Thursday, August 11, 2005


I've been 'tagged' by Christa over at, which means I have to answer the questions that she's asked, which amount to a timeline of the last ten years (and other assorted questions, most of which I answered,) so here goes:

10 YEARS AGO TODAY: I was 19 years old, living in Manotick, Ontario. My parents had moved from my hometown of St.Catharines, Ontario, seven hours north to this small town just outside of Ottawa, Canada's capital. I was finishing up a novel I had been writing since that February, about a talented young teenager who was both a phenomenal hockey player and an amazing young novelist. (This was heavily, heavily, heavily derivative of John Irving's The World According To Garp. Then again, at nineteen, pretty much everything you do in life is derivative.) Having just completed my first year of university as a film major, I was seriously considering switching to Creative Writing. (Which I did; later that year, I would ask my teacher if she would take a look at my rather ragged first novel, and she very politely said, well, no.) I was also running a lot, hoping to try out of the York University cross-country team later that fall. (I would end up getting a stress fracture in my right foot and missing out on the season.)

5 YEARS AGO TODAY -- I was living in Sagamihara, Japan, just outside of Tokyo, teaching English. Had been in Japan one year. Was just getting comfortable there, after six or seven months of wondering where the hell I was and what the hell I was doing. Had yet to take Japanese lessons or travel anywhere around the country.

1 YEAR AGO TODAY -- Living in Phnom Penh. Ecstatic that I had been offered a consultancy with UNICEF that would start in October and could take a break from five years of teaching. Scared shitless wondering what I would actually have to do there. Contemplating when to tell my boss at the university that I was quitting. Wondering what I would say at my brother's wedding back in Canada a month later.

YESTERDAY -- Taught my morning class and evening class at school. Went for a five a.m. run, at which time I saw groups of young Khmers huddled around photocopy shops. (See an upcoming post.) Read some of Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem. Thought about the paradox: One's individual way of interacting with a higher being is an essential component of so many people's lives, and yet it has also created so much friction and heartache through the century, on continent after continent. Watched some of ROCK STAR INXS. Wondered whether anyone gives a shit about INXS anymore. Watched some of Erin Brockovich, which was kind of weird, because earlier in the day I had read Kevin Smith on his blog at www.silentbobspeaks, and the movie he's currently acting in is being directed by the woman who wrote Brockovich, and he watched it recently and was amazed that it held up so well, but while watching it again I thought that, while entertaining, it's more of a showpiece for Julia Roberts, a vanity piece, a simulation of this kind of movie rather than the real, honest thing. (But I could be wrong.)

TOMORROW -- Run, teach, read.

5 BAD HABITS I HAVE -- Picking my nails. Eating junk. Judging people. Not listening to any cool music. Not living in the present.

5 THINGS I LIKE DOING -- Reading, writing, running, thinking, and watching movies to see whether or not the actor in the scene blinks, because they usually don't, which gets kind of freaky after awhile.

5 MOVIES I LIKE -- Heaven and Earth, Without Limits, Spartan, The Godfather I-III, Empire Of The Sun.

5 FAMOUS PEOPLE I'D LIKE TO MEET -- Vladamir Putin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nelson Mandela, Stephen King, Steven Spielberg.


Christa said...

Great answers. It's interesting to learn about where you have been in the past years-so many places and so much accomplished. I also would like to meet Stephen King, I think I own nearly all of his books but would be lying if I said I read them all. I heard he has a human skull on his desk, do you think this is true? I also think Nelson Mandela is wonderful and can imagine myself going completely silent in his presence for fear I'd say something really dumb.

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