Entries from December 2004

iTunes Canada launches


A few days late, but Apple has (finally) rolled out the Canadian iTunes store. Songs are priced at 99 cents Canadian per track, or $9.99 for a complete album, which is great, as I wasn’t sure if Apple would change the price to reflect the currency rate differences between Canada and the U.S. No official notice from Apple yet, or any idea if the number of tracks available are different than other iTunes stores, but it’s all moot. It’s finally here.

All I can say is, oh my, this can’t be good for my wallet.

Things I am Addicted To


Good coffee, edamame, Welch’s grape juice, San Pellegrino Chinotto, wasabi peas, listening to my cat Emma say, “maht!”, loud, obnoxious music that only a hair farmer could enjoy, secretly doing my best imitation of Pete Townsend playing guitar while no one is around, Miss Vickie’s potato chips, Mac OS X, stealth smooches, McSweeney’s, the surprised look francophones sometimes get when I start speaking French when they were just talking about me (in French), waking up every morning even more in love and feeling like the luckiest bastard ever, CSI (but only the original - David Caruso is a punk), Amelié Poulain, butter chicken roti from Ghandi Roti on Bathurst, being a big, goddamn softie on the inside but pretending to be a hard-ass because it’s the manly thing to do, wearing the pocket protector in the family, riding the subway while listening to A Girl Called Eddy and pretending I’m a pensive ne’er-do-well living in Paris, working from home in my underwear (just because), laughing so hard I can’t breathe while watching The Family Guy, attempting to grow a scraggly, David Suzuki beard and failing miserably, feeling mildly superior whenever a Windows user starts complaining about how much spyware they found on their machines, chewing way too much Trident White in the futile hopes it will erase fifteen years of coffee and cigarettes.


The Weather Outside is Frightful

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

(but inside it’s warm, baby)

Coming back home always feels a bit strange, though the wind chill and my shivering, ice-cold kneecaps has helped take my attention away from such thoughts. To quote the inimitable Mssr. Waits, it’s colder than a well digger’s ass.

Fucking inhuman “exposed-skin-freezes-in-seconds” weather aside, it’s nice to be back. I’ve missed basking in the glow of my friends’ and family’s brilliance. I’ve always felt that the perfect city for me would be one where I could slum with my beautiful kith and kin whenever I wanted, while still being able to indulge in the art / music / culture / humanity that is cities like Toronto and MontrĂ©al. You can’t have it all, I suppose.

Homecomings are a strange beast. For one thing, the run-up to the holidays causes Winnipeg’s population to swell by at least a few hundred thousand people, as hordes of expats flood back into the city. Excursions out to the King’s Head pub are half joyous reunions with old friends, and half “hey, isn’t that…” as one recognizes long-lost Winnipeggers, back from far-flung locales to get their annual fix of family and festivities.

Returning home is like time is being folded. You seemingly joins the moment you last left and the moment you returned, and all of the time you were away steps back into the shadows and disappears.

I suppose that’s the small tragedy I feel every time I return to Winnipeg. Even though it seems as if all of my time away somehow vanishes when I step off of the plane, there’s this gap in each of our personal histories. The people I love have changed, have lived through life’s small victories and defeats, and I’ve missed it all. And yet it feels like it once was…

But, this is what warm evenings indoors with friends and families are for: unravelling our histories and sharing ourselves with those we’ve missed. I, for one, am thankful that I am fortunate to have many who have been missed dearly, and whose stories I hold on to every word.

Happy holidays, folks. I hope you’re spending time with your favourite troubadours.

Yet another reason I will never give my money to Future Shop


Sign posted in Future Shop DVD section:



Me: Excuse me, why is Fahrenheit 9/11 “available upon request”?

Future Shop Entertainment Associate: Um, because it has sensitive material.

Me: Sensitive material? Can you be a bit more specific? Does your version have an unpleasant cover or something like that?

FSEA: Um, no… but it has sensitive material in it.

Me: Like what?

FSEA: Well, (long pause) it has violence in it.

Me: (points to House of 1000 Corpses DVD on display): You mean like this?

FSEA: That movie rocks! Er, I mean I think we’re supposed to keep it off of the shelf because people might get offended.

Me: Hm. Are there any other movies that have sensitive material that are available upon request?

FSEA: No, I don’t think so.

Me: So is Future Shop starting to voluntarily pull Fahrenheit 9/11 from its shelves because people might become offended? Seems to be kind of a strange policy, don’t you think?

FSEA: Um… (looks blankly). Do you want to buy something or what?

Me: No, thanks.

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