In my last post I discussed my more memorable events for the past year of 2009. I realized, on New Years Eve, that this year begins a new decade. How nice, I am getting old... I am a guy that has been able to document my life in quite some detail. I have millions of stories to tell, so where to start when you're trying to tell the story of an entire decade? I will start in the final months of the previous decade, October 1999, The day I received my high school Diploma.
After seven years of High School, and already in my eighth, I received my Diploma. Officially graduated from High School, and one month Later near the end of November, I finished my final month of Probation, for the first time since I was 14-years-old. Probably a major contributing factor into why it took me seven years to finish High School.
In the last moments of the 20th Century, I was feeling pretty good about myself, and had no real plans for Post Secondary Education. But, I did have a plan with no idea of how to accomplish it.
I was out to locate my birth mother, and somewhat discovery anything and everything I did not know about myself.... Only armed with minimal information, a birth name with a last name, birth date & location. I started with government agencies both where I lived and where I was born, Ontario & Alberta respectively. No luck there, just had to enter my name and wait. Instead, I took to the internet and came up with a list of names in BC & Ontario. This was around November 1999, or so.
So I went to the Library, and hand wrote 26 letters to every individual on that first list in BC. A few weeks later just before Christmas, I received an anonymous envelope with another list of names, all in Alberta. My dad had also received a phone call from BC from a related uncle who told him a little story about where he was from in the world. He was in his 90's one of the original arrivals to Canada from a place called the Isle of Mann. Which corresponded with the last name I had on file.
Back to the anonymous envelope, I took that list of 17, or so names and wrote that many more letters and sent them out. Flash Forward, to March 2000.... Me and my Dad were watching SCARFACE on TV, Uncensored. One by One, the phone starts to ring, First an Uncle, then an Aunt, an Unrelated person with the same last name, And then My Birth Mother calls..... Let's talk about overwhelming.... but interesting. By the end of the night, we had made plans for me to go out west to meet all these people for the first time in my life. We Decide on a summer trip out because of schedules and appointments.
I had some dental surgery scheduled, Wisdom teeth. I also had to do a driving test to get my license back after a year long, court ordered suspension. That was scheduled for June 22, 2000.
I had worked for awhile, and was able to pay off many of my bills, and I used Air Miles to buy an upgrade ticket on Greyhound, I bought a 60 day Canada Pass.
July 1, 2000 my family here in Toronto actually spent the day together, Downtown Toronto at the Harbourfront. It was a nice day, pretty relaxing and nice send off. I spent the next few days packing, and on July 4, 2000 I left Toronto, ON bound for Western Canada with my 60 day Greyhound Canada BUS pass. It was good until approximately Mid-September, give or take.
The Bus has a route to follow, so all points between Toronto, ON & Whitehorse, YT were traveled and visited, even if only briefly. North & West allllll the way through Ontario, we got to Winnipeg about 24-28 hours later. Delirious and stiff. Next on to Saskatoon, and Then Edmonton (my first official stop).
I stayed with family friends in Edmonton for a few days, slept, washed and ate. Prepared for my next mission. On to Whitehorse, YT to meet my birth Mother. I arrived in Whitehorse around 430am local time, and shook hands, jumped in the car and went back to her apartment and went to sleep.
After Whitehorse the plan was for me to leave a few days earlier, on the bus to go visit some cousins in Edmonton, and then Wainwright, AB. After doing so, I met up with my Mother again in Downtown Edmonton, and we drove down to Lacomb, AB her hometown. We met her Foster mother, and her childhood friends. I ate home made rhubarb pie for the first time. Drank Home made Caesars, after a night of drinking.
A couple days later we continued towards Red Deer, and the West to some where outside Rocky Mountain House, met with my mother's older sister, my aunt. Played a round of golf, and had lunch, but soon after left for another relative's place. An Uncle and his family, 2 daughters and Son, 3 grandchildren at the time. Great Grand Mother, Grand Mother, another Aunt with one of her sons, another Aunt (same age as me), and another Uncle (Also my age). A Partial Family reunion, it was confusing but pretty fun.
A couple days later, My mother dropped me off in Red Deer, after we had Lunch and I was on my way to Calgary. Met my Other Cousin, we ate some dinner, over the next couple days I met up with one of my Mother's Foster brother's and his family for dinner and a visit.
While in Calgary, I had found and purchased some tickets to a concert and after party in Vancouver. Which was my next stop. I stayed in a beach side Hostel for about 2 weeks, since I didn't know anybody in the city. Afterward, I head back up to Whitehorse through the interior of BC, very nice scenery... Unbelievable actually.
I stayed for about a week. It was the middle of August, and still had a lot of time on my bus pass. I got anxious and wanted to continue using it, so I went back to Wainwright for a few days, then back to Edmonton, for about a week. This time I stayed with my grand mother, who I hadn't seen since I was about 12 or 13, if that. She Convinced me to stay with her beyond my limits, of which I was very self-conscious.
60 DAY PASS EXPIRES, And I have not returned to Toronto and didn't know when I would.
Here begins the next phase in my journey.... Q4 2000, As my grand mother and I begin to get to know each other for possibly the second time in my life, my aunt is also living there as well, so I am taking up space on their couch. My aunt has twin girls, who were allowed to come visit on the weekend. So, I more or less got in the way for about a month, and was starting to piss off my grandmother. She kicked me out on my birthday, but told me I had a few weeks to be out. Luckily, I had got a job, so I had some money and started looking for a place to live.
On October 17, 2000 I left Edmonton yet again, but this time headed to Vancouver where I had found shared accommodation with a girl from a town outside the city. She was nice, at first... but things got complicated when she had all her friends there every night, and I had to work the next day. I had to get out, they were cool people, I just didn't want to live in a Flop/Drug house in its early stages... I found a nice small bachelor apartment about four blocks away. I slipped out one night real quiet, with all I had (3 bags, a sleeping bag & a bed sheet) and of course, my trusty Machete.
Late October 2000, I had been in Vancouver less than a month. I already had a job, some money, I was on my second apartment. I found a cheap car for about $500, all I had to do was insure it. Surprisingly BC car insurance is much more affordable than Ontario.
As Christmas closed in, I was told I wouldn't be getting any time off at the gas station I was working at. I was alone in a new city, but it still pissed me off, just because I was new to the job.
On Christmas Eve, I changed the gas price sign, from 69 cents/Liter to 96 cents/liter in an attempt to drive away customers, didn't work... it was the busiest night of the month. However, they suspended me for that move, and eventually let me go.
New Years Eve, I spent my first New Years Eve in Vancouver in Casino in the basement of a Holiday Inn. I won, I lost, then I won again, and went home with about twice as much as I started with, drank non-alcoholic Champagne.
During my Suspension I had applied at Vancouver Community College, for an Automotive Refinishing Course. I was accepted and started right after New Years.
January 2001, I had begun my first attempt at Post Secondary Education. It was a Pre-apprenticeship program, 4 months long and good for 6 months towards an apprenticeship. Sounded good to me, made some friends, and I lived 2 blocks away from the school. went home for lunch, didn't have to drive, save a lot of money and paid the course out of my own pocket.
In early February, I found a part time job to go along with that, in Richmond, BC at a night Club run by Koreans, interesting... They had a DJ who played a combination of Chinese music and House music, and they over served like crazy. During the week, it was a Karaoke Bar.
I March, I met a girl, who had come into my class from her High School for sort of a co-op program for troubled teens or something, she was there for a week. We were able to get to know each other a bit in and outside of class. And when my course finished in April, we started Hanging out, and eventually became a couple when her school year was finished.
While working at the club, I also landed myself a job at a hotel doing Maintenance, for about a month. I lost that job in May, then shortly after in June lost the job at the Club. During this time, my girlfriend had let me into her life little by little and revealed to me her drug problem, so she was in and out of Detox & treatment Programs throughout this time.
One day while she was visiting me from the rehab, I had not realized that my insurance had expired and when we stopped up the street from my place, so she could buy some street drugs from the guy on the corner, the cops pulled up and yanked me out of the car. They were in an unmarked car, plain clothes... They threw me to the group and sat on me with their knees to my back and neck, all the while there was my girlfriend and two other girls arguing over the price of Crack with the guy on the corner about 50 feet away, completely audible to me. As I made the situation known to the retard officers, they finally clued in and let me up.
Late in June I got myself a job, close to home at a limousine Company doing some detailing the vehicles overnight. A couple weeks into the job, after driving our female dispatcher home late one night. On the way back to the shop with a company vehicle I was in an accident with a cab.
That caused a little bit of an issue with my company's insurance company.
A few weeks later, On July 15, 2001 I was on my home from work and stopped at a red light. I was rear ended by a cabbie on his way home in his own vehicle. I was hit so hard my trunk was in my back seat. I decided to pursue legal action, due to injury sustained in the collision.
2 weeks after that, I was fired from the Limousine Company.
August was a rough month, I lost my car, my job, and later that month my girlfriend decided to leave me as well. Her Drug problem had more or less taken over and she was in serious crisis mode, the break up wasn't good we had got into and argument over some of her property she couldn't find and hit me with a pointy boot. Because of that, I ended up pushing her away physically and that lead to another incident. A nice little home Invasion, where this big Indian Dude put me through my Wall. At the end of August 2001, R&B singer Aaliyah lost her life in a plane crash.
September 11, 2001... 9/11... Not much else to say about that, I was in Vancouver, BC so I was waking up it was about 530-6am when it came on TV. I watched it for awhile.... but I had to go about my day, seemed like a waste of time because everything is closed anyway.
I was able to land myself a job at a Rental Car company. I worked there for about three weeks, before my dad showed up in his AstroVan to take me back to Ontario. A couple days later, in late September 2001, me and my dad were on our way back to Ontario. I had left Ontario with two bags, and I was on my way back with a Truck load enough to fill a one bedroom apartment.
We took our time, drove up through Merrit, into Jasper and up around Edmonton and stopped in Wainwright, AB where we stayed for a few days at a cousins place. After that stop we followed the Yellow Head Highway into Manitoba and stopped just east of Winnipeg, MB for the night. Then we Continued the next day, all the way home.
By the middle of October, 2001... we were back in Ontario and I was able to land a job with the same Rental Car Company, this was a private franchise branch rather than a Corporate company. A short time Later, I met a girl that eventually and unfortunately became my next girlfriend. I say Unfortunately because almost immediately after meeting her things started to fall apart in my life all over again.
About Mid-November 2001, I was part of a group of employees that was asked to transport a bunch of vehicles from one store to another, on my way back to the other store in a rental car, I was pulled over for speeding, after being let go, a few miles down the same road, I was pulled over and ticketed for going to slow..... after being let go, down the same stretch of road moments later, the same cops stopped me again, to warn me not to screw with them. Almost two hours later, I arrived back at the office. They fired me within a few minutes after telling them what happened and why I was late. They refused to give me a ride back to the other store where my car was sitting, so I walked for the next 4 hours in the rain because there was no transit system at the time.
That was a Monday.... That same week, on a Thursday night while hanging out with my so-called girlfriend, I was involved in an altercation with some neighborhood kids, that I did not even know, but they knew her... lucky me... A few hours later, I was being arrested and taken away without explanation. After a very long night and multiple transfers between police holding stations and headquarters, I was granted charged and granted bail before a JP...
To Be Continued.... Q4 2001