Freeze Flame Productions Inc

Saturday, January 30, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


I had arrived back in Edmonton, AB; got a 2 new jobs, at the Airport & a Hotel; Christmas came and went.

January 2005, I was working way too much, with little time off or rest, that kind of pace eventually catches up with you. I missed a couple days shortly after New Years at the Hotel, and they threatened my job very quickly for it. I had lost that job by the end of January, and taken on a Full Time shift at the Airport. Working from 5am - 2pm, I continued that for awhile.

2005 was a busy year for work, and other stuff...

Around March 2005, I got myself another second job and a trucking company, working at a cross-dock LTL shipping/receiving center. That was at night from about 6pm-11pm every night, very good pay, but it was a union job and the deductions were ridiculous.

I had these two roommates, that had a really hard time holding jobs, one of them worked with me at the trucking company. The other disappeared after awhile due to worsening drug problem. It was around the same time, my roommate and I got this job that his girlfriend introduced me to her cousin. She was a single mother, trying to complete school in order to get into some kind of work/study program at the community college.

My Roommate's girlfriend had 3 kids, my girlfriend had one, her sister had one, so very quickly it became a strange little family, with lots of kids running around. I also had to maintain my work life as well. I continued at the airport, but the shipping job didn't last long. My roommate managed to get us both fired in the same week.

By the end of March 2005, I had a new girlfriend, with a small child, and I had landed another second job at the Edmonton Sun Newspaper which was another night job, or early morning sometime. I lost track of time, I had changed my shifts at the airport and was now working from 3am-12noon.

It wasn't until April 2005, that I got the call from my lawyer in BC about my MVA court case, he said that I would have to be there now in May 2005, for a hearing to determine something.
They also told me that it would be partially funded, so I was to be given a small amount to get there and use for accommodation. I was given enough to fly out return, and stay in a hostel for about a week.

I spent about a week in Vancouver, BC in the first week in May 2005. That was a nice little trip, I hadn't been back since 2002, and was looking forward to it. I stayed in a really nice clean Hostel downtown on Granville street. I couldn't do much, except hang out, eat, but it was nice to get away. I wandered more than anything, just looking around the neighborhoods I had spent much of the time I lived there in. Then the day came to attend the hearing, answer some questions for the insurance company's lawyers.

When I got the job at the Airport, I was subject to a back ground check going back about 5 years or so, When I got back to Edmonton I got word that it was almost complete. This was Early June 2005. When It came back, I was no longer allowed to work in the Restricted Areas. So they moved me down to our Company's Maintenance facility while I could appeal the decision.

There was 2 stages of the appeal process, so it was about another month before that was over, at the end of it all, they gave me a choice. Due to some lateness, and the Rejection of my background check combined, I had the choice of either quitting or being fired. I chose to Quit, not the best of choices but what do you do?

I still had my job at the paper, it was just doing to printing production. It didn't mean much to me, but it kept me going for a while. As I tried to apply for E.I. I had worked just about everyday of that entire year. The insurable hours I had earned at the airport, added up to over 1100 or so, but all were disallowed because they ROE stated that I quit.

The next stage was to appeal, the first stage was no problem, but it was also rejected. The next stage of appeal was to go through Federal Court, and start filing affidavits at a cost. They handed be a pile of papers and told me that it was Federal Law, and bookmarked the pages I need to know. I basically needed a very expensive lawyer, to get my E.I.

That didn't happen. In July 2005, I was offered a job for a Marketing Firm, doing Demonstrations of Sony VAIO computers. The Company was based in Toronto, so I would have to come back for training. By the time me and my girlfriend weren't really getting along, to put it mildly. She had sent her daughter up to the father's house in Northern Alberta for most of the summer and he had refused to bring her back to Edmonton, so I offered to ride up with her and pick up the little girl. We had not spoken at that time for a few days because of a very heated argument.

We completed that trip in about 12 hours, we had a good talk about everything and I kind of had the impression that things were much better. The next day, after returning, I stopped by to ask her if she would like to come to Ontario with me, since I had to get there fast. She had just got her daughter back after not seeing her for over a month and left the house within hours to go out with some guy and hadn't returned since. I figured we were finished at that point, but extended the invitation anyway.

The girl had a very good singing voice, and I thought maybe if I brought her to Ontario with me we could get her recorded. I also needed some help getting there in a very short time. We left the next day, later in the afternoon. We shared the driving clear through to Thunder Bay, and were making very good time. After gassing up, on our way out of Thunder Bay there was Deer all over the highway, after a few near misses, one came darting out with it head down and eyes closed. I swerved really wide, and it seemed to put its shoulder into my front fender and took off my side mirror. It felt like it almost did it on purpose because when I got out to check there was no body anywhere to be seen.

We got to Toronto, Some time the next morning, after driving that much your mind gets pretty foggy. We arrived at my parents house in early August 2005. I made arrangements to meet up with the artist that I work with, in his home studio, we were able to get her a recorded song just in time to add it to a CD mixtape that he was finishing up.

After my Training and some visiting, My artist and I were trying to get some copies pressed for my trip home. Soon after, another argument blew up in my face and she demanded to go back to Alberta immediately. After a lot of yelling I gave in and put her and her daughter on a bus back to Edmonton. Only days earlier than I actually left.

We finally got the CDs pressed and packaged, the next couple days I spent delivering them to Campus/community radio stations around South Western Ontario, and the day I left I continued the trend, Sudbury & North Bay, and all the way around to Thunder Bay. Every major city I went through in I made a stop at the local University Campus Station or Community Radio station that I could find. Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary & Lethbridge, and many that I had to put in the mail. And Finally back to Edmonton, AB.

When I got Back to Edmonton, I had a few days until I started my actual job. This would have been August 2005. I went over the girl's house to drop off the child car seat, and then I went back to my place only to find it in Shambles...

At that point, I had had enough. I emptied my apartment of all my belongings, and drove over to my Aunt's place, we sat down and talked. I asked her if I could stay at her place while working this job, as I needed someplace stable for a few more months until I completed the contract. She was fine with the idea, and even had a room for me. After the first Weekend of my job, I landed myself a good job during the week with a Landscaping Company. So again, I would be working 7 days a week. The contract job ended up making me the Regional Manager for the city of Edmonton, so I only had to show up on the weekend, and put through some administrative stuff during the week. That left me time to work at the other job, and put in some really heavy hours.

Just before September 2005, My friend from Thunder Bay had called me, and asked me about the possibility of coming out to Edmonton. She was trying to get away from some people and a situation... I was OK, with the idea, and discussed it with my Aunt, she was too and invited her to come stay for awhile.

In Early September 2005, my friend showed up in Edmonton after a few days on the bus, and some delays en route. She was welcomed into the house, ans started looking for a job of her own. Now, I was at work a lot and thought all was well at home. It took about three more weeks, of fake smiles and politeness for everything to come to a head. One evening during a heated conversation that turned into an argument, then into something else. My friend, who by that time had evolved into my girlfriend ended up saying something that got us both kicked out of the house.

I'd Say mid-September 2005, on top of my hectic workload, I now had to find us a place to live. we were able to find many that we could afford, but each one insisted in a credit check which in turn made it impossible for us to rent a legal apartment inside the City of Edmonton. She then suggested that we go back to her home town, Fort Frances, ON.

My Contract was finished after the first weekend in October 2005, so I reluctantly agreed to go with her, not really having many options at that point. I first had to leave my landscaping job a couple months before the season was set to end. As I did that, we left the same week. We left Edmonton, AB headed for Fort Frances, ON.... Couple days later we pulled into her Mom's place.
Upon arrival we started looking for an apartment in Thunder Bay, ON only a few hours away. We found one pretty quick and made arrangements to go see it and moved in pretty much right away. Soon after moving in and getting settled, her friends started coming over and being very disappointed to see me there.
After a couple weeks of listening to her friends trying to convince her to get rid of me, I decided to leave myself, I had to leave. It became a constant battle for approval from her friends and acceptance from my girlfriend, I left one day after dropping her off at work. I left a letter, with good intentions, but it was interpreted in an entire different way, and didn't go over well, especially with the friends.

I was already 13 hours into my trip back to Toronto, when I received a hysterical phone call which I really couldn't understand. The friend took the phone and starting laying into me about what I just did, etc... Not a good call...

I arrived at my Parents house the Week of Halloween, October 2005, almost 1 year to the date that I left. Being gone that long was never the plan. I wasn't back in Toronto this time, but I was close and I figured it might be time to take a break from all the Travel and take care of my finances.

By Mid-November 2005, I had landed myself a job driving forklift at a Lumber Yard. It was decent pay, I only worked three days a week, Friday-Sunday for 12 hours each; For which I earned an even 40 hours. I now had a FT job, and four days off per week. This gave me a lot of time to make plans for my own business, and set up shop where I was living.

After Arriving back in Ontario, Myself, the Artist I work with, and one of our oldest Friends, organized somewhat of a reunion. I had been gone for a year, out to Alberta, my Artist had Returned from overseas, recently; and our Friend had just been back from Washington, D.C. for a few months as well.

In December 2005, right before Christmas, I received a call from my Lawyer out in BC. He told me a settlement had been reached in my MVA case from 2001, and would be ready within a few weeks. This really helped, it was good news... since March 2004 until that time, I had accumulated quite a bit of debt, and this would help me both pay some off and allow me to put something away for the long term. So my Christmas was spent planning out what I was going to do with my money....

TO BE CONTINUED...... Q1 2006

Friday, January 29, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; I had just wrecked my courtesy car, after having an accident in my own car, May & August 2004 respectively, long summer; I had done some Work/Travel in a couple provinces; made some new friends & lost some old ones; made some plans to further my travel, and completed another round of physiotherapy, which just never seems to be enough.

After completing physiotherapy, and making some plans for making my way back out west I needed to pack, and store some belongings. I once again vacated my apartment (room), and moved my stuff into my parents home. My bedroom was starting to look like a storage space.

I had filled them into parts of my plans, and told them how I was traveling and where I would be stopping. First Stop Thunder Bay, ON to visit a new friend that I had met briefly in person one day, and then talked to quite a few times after returning to Toronto by Air travel. As I told her I would be stopping through by car again soon. I told her my tail and we got to know each other, she invited me to stay with her for a couple days, and attend a couple Halloween parties with her friends and co-workers.

A few weeks before, I had taken another good friend of mine down to the duty free shop at the Queenston/Lewiston border crossing, and as a thank you she bought me a bottle of Hypnotiq, the blue cognac. Now, when I pulled that bottle out of my jacket at the party, her co-workers wondered what the hell it was, and were kind of scared to drink it. Thinking that I made it or something. After a nice week, visiting my new friend I had to be on my way to my next destination, as I thought my time was limited to get to where I thought I had to be. We parted ways and promised to keep in touch.

This time I took a different route, a much more scenic trip, through Fort Frances, ON and the many reserves that surround it. It is along HWY 11, which at that point was now the Southern route through North-Western Ontario. Then up to Kenora, ON and out of Ontario towards Winnipeg, MB where I did not stop this time, I didn't really know anybody there at the time. I did manage to get myself lost in one of the many bad neighborhoods in that city though, briefly.

My next stop was in Regina, SK. Where I thought I would see everybody again, but only saw a few of the people that helped me get home last time. One lady let me stay at her place as long as I helped her move in, I thought, no problem... I can help. Here I stayed for another week, give or take. It was a nice stay, I didn't party too much, it was starting to get cold.

I spent the week working on my next diploma through correspondence, and handing out business cards to local music industry people that I had made contact with. I was actually being productive in a positive way that I liked. I also contacted my lawyer to find out when the hearing was supposed to be.... after waiting for a few days for a response, I decided I should get on my way. I headed for Edmonton, AB, more out of habit than necessity.

I went North through Saskatchewan towards Saskatoon, SK only to see hundreds of dear carcasses all the way up, I then cut off the main Highway towards Sweetgrass, SK which happened to be on a road that would take me through Wainwright, AB.

I arrived in Wainwright quite late, I gave a phone call to my cousin, but was unsuccessful, so stopped at a store for something to eat and drink and kept on my way. I arrived in Edmonton, very early the next morning. I wasn't sure where to go, it was very early. So, I waited outside my aunt's place until I thought she might be awake. I talked to her and had breakfast with her before she went to work, I was told I could stay and sleep for the day, but wouldn't be able to stay for any long term. I was OK, with that. I wasn't expecting be in town more than a week or so, however, I did need to find some temporary work, to pay for the next leg of my journey.

I was told weeks earlier that I was supposed to have a hearing, in Vancouver, regarding my civil case for my MVA in 2001. It was schedule initially for December 15, 2004, and by the time I arrived in Edmonton, it was already Nov.12, 2004.

So my Aunt let me stay the week, with her and her boyfriend at the time, who was a real drunk, so I was fine with leaving. My Aunt was able to get me some work at her place of employment for about a week. Then I got the call from my Lawyer, that my hearing had been postponed until further notice. He mentioned that I might as well stay close, but not to bother coming to Vancouver for no reason. When I told my Aunt she was a little suspicious, and wanted me to leave. I had already landed a job at a hotel restaurant by that time. And before the end of November 2004, I had also been hired at Edmonton International Airport working on the ramp. For the next few weeks, I lived at my work, two jobs, no place to live. I found an add for a basement apartment in the area.

I had to make a promise noting that I would pay the remaining portions of my rent when I got my first paycheck, this situation ended very badly. It was one of the only times in my life that I actually called the police for help. Getting my property back from a crazy christian white lady that feared god like no other human being I have ever met in my life. She stole from me, and wanted more to get my stuff back, I fixed damage and she wanted more compensation, just because she thought she could get it. After, a few days one of my cousins found me sleeping in my car in their visitor parking, and made me come into the house. I explained everything, but that I had also found a place that wasn't available for a couple more days.

My schedule was OK with me at the time, I was working evening closing shifts at the restaurant and working split day shifts at the airport. I had also been able to get a gym membership at the airport for very cheap $15/month which helped me stay healthy for both jobs, and get stronger too. When I finally moved into my new place, I had two roommates and a guy that had been living there for awhile. I now had a place to sleep between shifts and at night or whenever I needed. By Christmas, I was putting in about 95 hours every pay period, so I missed Christmas dinner...... but I stopped in to say hello to my Aunt and Cousins. By New Years, I had worked about 3 and a half weeks straight with no holidays. I also missed the Christmas Party for the airport, but was able to attend a very boring toned down version of one at the hotel.

January 1, 2005 rolls around...... Things seem to be improving...


2000-2009: Decade of Development

Part 7

Previously; I had just had a Car Accident, second one since 2001, almost to the day. I had cut off some unwanted friends of the time, and re-met old friends who had relocated to a new city, Burlington, ON.

I was now driving a rental car, brand new Pontiac Grand Prix. As I went down to Burlington to meet up with some of these old friends, I became aware of the feeling that I was kind of going backwards in time, and this time it might not end as well or as easy as it did after after our previous encounter years earlier. But, we were friends once, why not see if it can work again...

I had stopped working for the courier company, as I was a little shook from my accident, and didn't want to use a rental for the job. My first accident in 2001, had happened in almost the same way, so when this one happened, it was a set back, and I really needed some therapy.

Previously, I had paid everything out of my own pocket, but I had long stopped being able to do so, due to physiotherapy being so damn expensive. This time, with the help of a referral from my doctor, I was covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance), however with a hefty wait time...

I had about 6-8 weeks to kill, no job again, no money.... I had began racking up some serious debt. Paying my rent and bills with a credit card, after paying for the flights months earlier, it had began to get out of control. I was looking for a way to make cash money, under the table, just to pay my rent. I had made the down payment for the car on my credit card.

One thing good about getting your checks with held is that they are ready for you after awhile. After the car accident, I had finally received my first weeks pay, with about 5 more to follow, not that it was much.... it was something for while.

After July 1st weekend, I caught up with some other of the family members I had been friends with, we hung out re-acquainted ourselves, and they introduced me to the new ones, kids and what not. After a couple weeks, something came up and they had to leave town in a hurry... and that's all I will say about that, but they had work lined up in Saskatchewan and needed to get there fast.... they invited me to work, and help drive, etc.

We soon headed out from Burlington, ON up North on the 400 late one night.... we took the Southern Route. We pretty much went non-stop to Thunder Bay, where we needed to stop and find another friend. Upon arriving in Thunder Bay, we stopped and had lunch only to noticed that the city was very very very quiet, it seems that everybody had gone to a biker rally outside the city, at that junction town where 11 & 17 connect in fact, Nipigon, ON.

We were walking through the streets of down town Thunder Bay, ON.... when we spotted two girls and a baby down the way, one of my friends yells out " HEY! My Friend Thinks You're HOT!"

As I look over to see them, my friends take off, back to the car and before I know it I was the only one there and talking to them. The one that accepted the comment, gave me her number, and I told them I needed to be on my way, but would either call or stop back in town in the next few weeks.

It wasn't long before we were out of Ontario, and through Manitoba, and into Saskatchewan...One of the friends I was with just happened to be from Regina, SK and had a wife and kid with a nice little house, where I was welcomed and allowed to stay while we were in town to work. Regina, was a place I never really anticipated, but it grew on me.... Being Native myself, and seeing so many of my people within the city kind of felt more of a place where I'd fit in, if I was there on my own.

I met a few new friends and explored the city on my own a few nights, while the guys were with their lady friends.... Boring for me, you know...
I learned the city, met some people, worked hard for about a month or so, then something came up one day, and one of my friends had to leave town in a hurry again. So we headed west, to Canmore, AB just outside Banff.

We were only there about three days, but awake the whole time. Working in the day, partying at night, and over and over. When things started to catch up with these guys, I had the car, and all their tools in my trunk, we decided to leave one night heading back toward Calgary, AB.

This is where, I had to get involved and be a good friend. They were running from something, we left late at night without having had slept for days. We were in a hurry, and trying to stay awake.... Let's say I fell asleep at the wheel(That's been my story, I will stick to it).....we went into the guardrail, on the driver side.... I tried to adjust, but we were going to fast... we spun out, hit a rock wall a couple times while spinning, then the back wheel got caught and we started to roll....

When the car came to a rest, my friend who had been sleeping in the back seat woke up and stated that we need to get out of here, DRIVE DRIVE!

Air bags popped, windows smashed, blood everywhere, the car was crunched around my legs, my seat belt was on and I was OK, just messed up.... the doors wouldn't open, I had to climb out the passenger side window.... The other two were grabbing their tools and hiding them in the rock walls, as they were trying to get away. They told me that I should wait with the car, just so somebody was there.

I started flagging people down to stop, asking them to take me to the Hospital, doing so, I think I scared the shit out of their kids when they saw me. When I got to see myself in a mirror I understood why they didn't want to help. An ambulance showed up and took me to the Canmore Hospital, where I was for a few hours. They let me clean up and gave me some stitches... 7 of them; 2 in my nose, 5 in my wrist.

After the hospital released me, I was supposed to go the RCMP detachment in Town and make a statement. I also needed to find out where everybody was, I had to walk through town looking for my friends, all banged up and wrapped in bandages. When I found them, we laughed and walked for a bit, they said the girls were on their way from Regina. I told them I needed to go make a statment, so we made our way to that side of town.... and we discussed what I should say which was basically try to not to say their names, or that they were there at all...It was funny, because in my state I was in no way able to concentrate. The Officer that I talked to knew who they were and knew who I was with, and knew they were in town, and was just trying to get me to tell him and get confirmation. I was able to hold out the necessary information, and then I had to get our stuff out of the car that was in the impound yard.

When I saw the car, all I could do was stare, so much that the lot officer told me to stop staring and hurry up. The girls arrived later that day, we were now staying at a campsite at a national park. I didn't work again, even when we got back to Regina. My arm didn't move properly. One of my friends told me that they were going to stay there in Regina and that I would have to find my own way bak to Toronto. So I started trying to figure that out.

One of my new friends, was able to get me a bus ticket up to Edmonton, where I had been able to book a flight into Hamilton for about a hundred dollars. I had to leave that same day within a couple hours, so I hurried back to the house, to get my stuff and say thank you and goodbye to my friend and his wife, unfortunately, my other friend... the guy I had grown up with wasn't around at the time, and I didn't get to say any of that to him. I think he was kind of pissed about it because he has never talked to me since.

Financially, the trip was not a success, I was able to accumulate even more debt, on behalf of the rental company as well as the ambulance service, the trip home, and not getting paid from all the work I did, but whatever.... it was another adventure.

Upon my arrival back in Ontario, I had a few stops to make. I was able to get picked up form the airport, in Hamilton, by a good friend of mine. She let me leave my stuff at her house for a couple days so I could go to the body shop, in Toronto, where I had to settle some fees and get my car back & apologize for wrecking the courtesy car.

Get my life started over again I visited my doctor again, to see when the Physio was going to start and to document the new injuries. I also, took a job at a body shop in Milton, ON doing prep work... I had to give up my apartment in Toronto, and moved into a large room on top of a store on Hamilton Mountain, it was very nice, and cheap too. I worked, attended physiotherapy, which was good for 8 weeks, so I tried to go as much as possible. I was able to pay off some of the debts, like the ambulance fee, $500 or so. The deductible on the rental was initially $500 as well.

The work was good for awhile, but the new friends that I had made wanted me to come back and visit. I had made some plans to go back out west, and I had another reason also, my first car accident litigation was coming up and my lawyer said I was going to be needed out there in the following months....

My eight weeks of Physio was completed near the end of October 2004, which was near the limit of when I could leave for travel especially driving. So in the following couple of weeks, I had asked my parents to store my belongings because I was going back out west, for what I thought was a few weeks. I left Toronto.... again, at the beginning of the week of Halloween 2004.....

TO BE CONTINUED..... The last days of 2004

2000-2009: Decade of Development


Previously; In the First half of 2004, I had completed School; Grandma died; New Car; No Money; No Job/New Job; New Ex-Girlfriend; ROAD TRIP(S), and more yet to come

In May 2004, to sum things up a little more clearly. My Girlfriend was now my New EX, the factory jobs stopped, but a driver job came up. I had no income, no welfare, no grant funding and delayed pay. And I was about to embark on yet another Solo journey.

To get away from the Hectic traffic conditions of Toronto, I decided to go for a drive one day. I was just sitting there at home, with nothing to do just waiting for Monday. I hadn't been in contact with any of my friends in some time, I didn't feel like going to my parents house. I was trying to avoid contact with most of the people I knew, including my newest Ex-girlfriend.

I drove North on Highway 400, going towards Sudbury & Sault Ste. Marie.... the first weekend, I made it to a small highway 17 junction town called WAWA, I believe... There they have a statue of Winnie the Pooh. Hwy 17, is known as the Southern Route in Northern Ontario. The junction where I was at was a good place to stop late at night. I slept in my car, and continued at sunrise up the small Highway towards a town called Hornepayne which was the half-way point on the way to Hwy 11 aka the Northern Route. At which point, I headed back towards Toronto.

During my sunrise trip up the silent highway on a Sunday morning I saw some of the biggest wild life I have ever seen. About 4 Moose and 3 good size bears, the experience with the moose was pretty interesting. The Second one I saw was the only one that crossed the road, he was huge, I stopped and waited for a few minutes, but I had my music pretty loud, so he stopped and waited and listened, it wasn't until I turned it down that he actually continued to cross the road, but then walked along the road as I passed. Almost seemingly looking me straight in the eye.

Two other Moose were just standing and grazing on the side of the road as I passed, but the last moose I saw that morning popped up as I turned a corner on an incline. His head popped up and turned to look at me, the antlers must have been as wide as the length of my car, and the head was enormous. I didn't see the body, just the head over the guardrail. The bears I saw were just running, or chasing something as I passed, but big and a cool thing to see for me, as I lived in downtown Toronto.

I made two more Northern Ontario Road Trips that month. It was my way of just getting away from everything because even when I wanted to I couldn't contact anybody, The cell phone reception in the Rock of the Canadian Shield is almost non-existant.

After looking at my map, and realizing just how big Ontario really is, after my trip. I say that because of where I was able to reach. It wasn't much of an achievement, so the next time I tried something else. I took the Northern Route, Through North Bay. Just to see how far I could get, for real this time. I left earlier, like Friday in the late afternoon. I was determined to get out of Ontario and back before Monday. I did North Bay to Kapaskasing by the late in the morning, but then had to stop and rest. When I woke up I pushed through to Thunder Bay, but not before having to stop, eat and shower at a rest stop. I was really tired, hungry and a bit disoriented after working all week, and not really resting before the trip. At some point, I decided to try to keep going and headed out of Thunder Bay towards a town called Dryden, ON. This drive was much easier, much more flat and at one point I was driving on a flat route directly west, sort of into the sunset...

Either the Sun going down or the moon starting to shine, The Orb in the Sky was huge and Bright, bigger than I have ever seen it be. What a sight to see, while traveling alone. I arrived late late at night, and pulled into a hotel parking lot and fell asleep in the car. The next morning I went into the hotel to use the washroom, and snuck into the continental breakfast dining room, and got some snacks for the road.

Realizing that it was very early on a Sunday morning, and knowing that it shouldn't take three days to drive to Dryden, ON with still quite a distance to make my goal, and very little time to accomplish it, I decided to head back to Toronto. I more or less took the same route back, driving without stop overs as I had to work the next day... I pulled in North Bay, very tired but only a few hours away from home. I was alone and falling asleep at the wheel, driving behind one truck and in front of another, they were helpful to make me stay on the road noticing when I dozed off and started to veer.... They gave many loud horns to keep me alert and on the road, until I was in the city.

That same week, I worked a night shift to make some extra money, but I was exhausted and left the next road trip for later on in the Month of May 2004. One day near the end of the week, driving down the highway towards Hamilton, an old friend pulled up along side me and got my attention in an amusing way. He motioned me to pull off the highway, and we met up for a quick drink and to catch up a little. By this point, after all these things it was only about mid-May 2004.

The Following weekend, I wanted to attempt my little Northern Ontario road trip once more. This time I followed the Southern Route again, and made very little progress my two days on the road, the is a junction in the highway where Hwy 11 & 17 meet up just before they go into Thunder Bay. I got to some small town, not really aware of where exactly I was, but by that point I had been pulling off the road every couple hours to close my eyes for a few minutes as I felt like I had been on the go for a long time. Later that day, I stopped for food and a shower at a truck stop, and then decided to head back, after an unsuccessful attempt at exiting Ontario to the west. I went back a different way this time, through a place called Manitoulin Island, knowing there was a ferry boat to take me across the lake. I thought it was great, It saved me. I just had to get there.... I arrived at the ferry dock around 3 or 4 am and parked and went to sleep the best I could. When I woke up I bought my ticket, and grabbed some breakfast at a local restaurant/gift shop. When I finally boarded, and the car was secure I headed above deck to find a place to snooze, but became amazed at the size of the ship.

After some much needed rest, I exited the ferry in Tobermory, ON and headed for home. Down the Bruce Peninsula, to Owen Sound and down the rest of the way back to Toronto.

I went back to work that week, I was very busy. Making many deliveries and still awaiting my first pay check. I was on the Gardiner Expressway during afternoon Rush hour trying to make a delivery to a downtown Restaurant, when traffic came to a very quick stop. I was able to stop, but the guy behind me ran right into me and smashed my trunk inside out, sort of.

So, it's now the last week of May 2004, I had just got into an accident with my new/used car. I had only had it at this point for under 2 months. The tow truck guys were helpful, they hooked me up with a body shop, and the body shop hooked me up with a free rental, according to my insurance. Another courier met me at the reporting center and took over my stops, while I was awaiting my accident report.

I went to my doctor a couple days later to document the accident, and was referred to physiotherapy, but there was a waiting list of about 6-8 weeks. I then went to visit that friend I had met earlier that month on the Highway....

TO BE CONTINUED...... Q3 & Q4 2004

2000-2009: Decade of Development


Previously; I had recently completed an intensive 1 year college program, and things were about to get interesting.... again.

March 2004 was a pretty significant Month for me. I had completed a very intense 1 year college program which was basically 3 full regular college years crammed into a single year straight through in 3 semesters. Also, near the end of my year at school, my grandmother had passed away from complications due to just about everything, but they called it leukemia. I booked a flight out to Alberta for the memorial service. Upon my return, my 2 year probation order had also come to an end following the conviction(s) stemming from what I refer to as The Acton Incident.

So many things were going on at that time, and many of those things tie in to events that may have happened at earlier times. During my year in school, I had lived in three different residences, in my second is where I began the relationship with a married young woman, I had also met, an older woman, with whom I shared the second floor in the rooming house. She and that girlfriend just happened to be from New Brunswick, However, different cities.

After I had moved to my third residence they became very close friends, as our relationship was nearing its end. They did invite me out a few times, and had made plans to travel to New Brunswick early in the spring 2004.
It worked out funny because the day I returned from my trip out west to the funeral, we all left on a road trip to New Brunswick & Nova Scotia. This was about a ten day trip, I had some fun... but it was difficult.
I was with two people who I thought were my friends, one was my "girlfriend" and the other a former roommate. Both with much to hide, and for some reason part of that something was me. I met a lot of my girlfriend's family, but as they knew that she was married I had to pretend to be the roommate's brother. And, around the roommate's friends I had to pose as the "Husband" sort of. Not that anybody really cared.
It wasn't until we actually met the roommate's brother in Nova Scotia @ CFB Greenwood that I was acutally able to be myself. The whole trip was very confusing to me. I later found out I was only really there as an extra driver and not really to be a part of the group....

It was the early days of May 2004, when things really started getting wierd...

When I moved out after returning from Whitehorse, I did require some assistance getting started, and my only option at the time was Welfare, aka Ontario Works. I used this to get and keep myself in an apartment while I was in Hamilton, and had subsequently transferred my file to Toronto when I moved. So, I was on Welfare while attending school on a grant, this was helpful, and I did inform my worker(s), on numerous occasions.

Along comes April 2004, and a quarterly review of my case file with Ontario Works.
First, Immediately upon completing school successfully my grant funding was over, so that money stopped very quickly. And upon my Ontario Works review, they asked me why I hadn't told them I was in school over the past year, and started accusing me of scamming them. WOW, and then they ceased my benefits. I now had no income source or money of any kind coming in. I had to get job, and fast...

I was living in Downtown Toronto, or my downtown, Lovely Parkdale. The quickest thing I could come up with was to go back to the factories, but living downtown it took a couple hours on the city bus to get to the out skirts of the city where most of these places were located. After a week or so, of hard work, my shoulder was hurting quite badly again, and I wasn't sleeping enough to let it heel. I then started looking into buying a car of some kind.

What a great idea, I had technically been employed by the temp agency for over two years, just not steadily. They took that as employment, as I was planning to keep on working. I bought a Chevy Malibu, thinking that it would help me get out there to get a better job. Soon after, the temp worked stopped abruptly.

About a week or so after I had bought my new/used car, the girls invited me out to go "dancing" I reluctantly said yes, and went along. We went in my girlfriend's car, and drove around for a long time until I finally asked what they were doing. They wanted to go dancing, but they claimed they didn't know where to go. I mentioned that it didn't really matter, there was clubs and bars all over the city.
They Finally confided that they were looking for a gay club...OK,
I told them how to get to the gay neighborhood in Toronto. I was then very hesitant, and thought something funny was going on. Not just because of where we were, the girls themselves had been acting strangely.

After a brief night out with the girls at a gay dance club, which I just was not into at all... She broke up with me, over the phone, on the way home... I was hurt, but deep down inside of me, there was a sigh of relief, like - FINALLY!
I had been seeing a decline in our relationship and noticed that she had changed too. Enough said.

I soon found work as a deliver driver, for a courier company, but had to use my own car. This was not a good sign, in my opinion. Especially, after they gave me the details of the job. They would pay weekly, but only after holding back the first 3 weeks, and pay on the fourth week, after the weekend. So basically the Monday, of the Fifth week I would get my first pay check. The other thing was, it was not hourly. 60% commission on each package delivered, so the idea was to hustle, drive fast, start early, make lots of deliveries. Not an easy task in Toronto traffic.

On the weekends, I had taken to taking little road trips to get away from the traffic, and just to be alone, I guess. I decided to go north, and see how far I could get within a weekend and be back before I had to go to work on Monday. It also gave me time to think up lots of ideas for my company and things I might be able to accomplish in the Music Industry. As the artists I had been working with had recently left the country for a while. Wow, May 2004 was quite a long month., Wait until you hear the rest of that year.

TO BE CONTINUED..... MAY 2004 & Beyond

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


Previously on 2000-2009:
I had recently returned from my First Christmas with my birth Mother, in a land Far far away...
I came back to a temp job that didn't last, I hurt myself pretty badly while working too hard.

In January 2003, I still had a job, not a real one.. I was technically a Temp, and at the time it was paying me weekly and fairly well. It definitely wasn't what I wanted to do for the long term. As stated before, I had been accepted into a school for the March Term.

I had already been preparing for this educational journey for well over a year at this point, meeting with people to ask for Reference letters and what not, getting transcripts and essays prepared of the school to determine my ability to be successful in my studies.

Due to my Christmas trip, I had postponed my interview with the administrator until January. About 3 weeks later than the original meeting. So when I contacted him to confirm my meeting time, it sent him into a scramble to give me a new time? Not sure why, I thought it was set.

Turns out, that my entire application package had been "Misplaced" shortly after I rescheduled my meeting time. This meant I had to redo many of these items, but not all. It also meant that when I started school I was not on any of the attendance lists.

The purpose of my moving out of my family home was to get into a new head space for myself to focus on my studies and do well. Some other reasons, to disappear and dissociate myself with many negative people that were in my life against my will at that point in my life. Namely, an ex-girlfriend that I won't mention much more. This relocation helped, for awhile... But in February she started calling again. She was having trouble at home with her family, I wasn't with her anymore and had no plans to be, but I decided to try and help. I was able to get her into an abused woman's shelter in Hamilton, ON. My thinking was that if she was far enough away from her family it might give her some chance at a life on her own, and to learn some kind of independence. She Thought I lived in Toronto, so I didn't have to worry too much about seeing her very often.

In March 2003, I started an intense schedule at a place called Harris Institute for the Arts. I didn't know what I got myself into, I had 19 classes every week, projects and papers and practical work assignments, but I couldn't get enough of it. It completely took over my life, like an escape from everything else that was going on around me.

I really got lucky too because I was able to get a grant from the Metis Nation of Ontario, that allowed me to totally focus on my school without the distraction of having to work a Full Time job on top of my workload. I lived in Hamilton, and went to school in Toronto, everyday. I caught the GO Train in Hamilton at about 530am each morning, and if I was lucky I would get home about 10pm each night. As spring time approached, I decided it might be easier for me to live in the city I was in everyday, so I moved back into Toronto which was probably the first time since High School.

I Started my Second Term after a 2 week break in early July 2003, my Schedule was much different, I didn't started classes until almost noon most days, and was there until nearly 9pm, so the move was a good one for me. I also landed a volunteer internship at Toronto's Aboriginal radio Station, assisting the Technical Director. This lasted most of the semester until my exams started. I was able to meet many artists and figure heads in North American Native media, and learned quite a bit from the people I worked with as well.

After a very busy summer, I was in a good state of mind and working hard towards good things in the industry. I had an artist on my own roster, I was managing him and we worked together to get to a place where we were competitive. All around School was a very positive experience for me, it got me away from many negative aspects of my life, as long as I was busy.

I the late summer, trouble came crawling back, and started interfering with my progress, and for this I was very resentful... But also blind, as my EX, had introduced me to my NEXT.....

My Next Girlfriend really complicated things for both of our lives, not that I didn't have anything to do with it, I mean she was married, and she also had a young son. I was in school, not really making any money and living in a rooming house. I was looking forward into my future, and she was looking forward to holding people back from their happiness and success because she was miserable in her situation. This is what I may have been blind to at the time, I saw an old friendship that was progressing into something more. More of what?

That Third and Final Term was a difficult time for me, both because I knew I was doing well, and had to keep that up, but I now had half a dozen outside distractions, I hadn't had much time off in that year, no real income as well. I decided to move again, into my own apartment closer to downtown where the school was. I moved between terms, this would have been late October, or early November 2003. Very fast Approaching winter, lucky for me I had no heat in my place...

There were a couple major disappointments in the final term that made me lose some focus, as well as hope. There was a major Marketing Project that was supposed to be presented to a number of investors, really, and eventually it was made an optional assignment. That disappointed me because I had made a big plan, and that was my time to shine.

Not really a disappointment, but a little for me... my artist, and the producer I had introduced him to decided to head to the Phillipines after the term was finished, I had the option to go... and I missed out because I chose the girl I was with, (bad idea)...

When the New Year rolled around January 2004, I was back into it. I through myself into the work as much as possible to avoid just about everything I didn't want to think about. I did very well, past everything the First time, and was looking forward to being done School. Near the end of the Final term, I was struck with some bad news, my grandmother in Edmonton was dying, and going fast. My last presentation was near the end of March 2004, so that same week I booked a flight out of Toronto to Edmonton. I was able to talk to her once more over the phone, but she was gone a few hours before I arrived.

I attended the memorial as she was cremated, but I never saw her again. I was the only member of my immediate family to attend, I thought it was my responsibility to do so, as other couldn't make it for a variety of reasons....

TO BE CONTINUED ..... Q2 2004

Friday, January 22, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


Previously; I had just left for Christmas 2002.

Call it a ROAD TRIP, on the Solo tip.... All by Myself, once again. It's funny how some of the biggest events of your life happen on your own.

I left Toronto with a ONE-WAY Bus pass, on Greyhound headed for Whitehorse, YT in December 2002
. One-way because the Blackout dates wouldn't allow for round trip, and my 86 hours bus trip would have to have been completed within two weeks.

The initial bus trip was rather uneventful, until I arrived in Edmonton and found out that I had a lay over for 46 hours. I got myself a room at the YMCA Residence down the street, to stash my stuff and headed out to look around the city in Winter/XMAS. I headed down to Millwoods, the Neighborhood where my grandmother lived. I just dropped in to say Merry Christmas, but the first thing she told me was that I couldn't stay with her. So, I gave my holiday wishes and was on my way. Unfortunately, that was the last time I saw her, she past away a little over a year later.

Next day, I made my way to West Edmonton Mall, Where I became bored with just wandering.... So I looked into a couple of the Tattoo studios, but couldn't make any decisions, so I wandered into the Bingo Hall, and ordered a bunch of cards and a dabber.

I played for about a hour and a half, won about $65... and kept on my way. Afterward, I decided to hit up the Casino just for laughs, and to see if I could continue. I spent about $5 on the slots and won $25 more, than I was playing the 3 dice Roulette type game... Not sure what its called, but it was the same game I had played years before on a New Year's Eve in Vancouver. I only won a bit, and decided to stop and go back into the mall.

Feeling kind of Grimey from my trip, I bought a new Sweater and a vest and headed back to my residence room. I just watched a couple movies, and headed to bed, for about 4 hours before I had to get back to the bus station.

The Bus left, headed out from Edmonton, towards Whitehorse, Dawson Creek, And many other places that are very cold at that time of year, but everything looks very nice, the trees are like giant ice sickles sticking up out of the ground. After Watson Lake at some point, I had been taking sleeping pills to relax and try to sleep, I was in a daze and then the bus broke down..... and then it started running, and I went back to sleep... a little while later, the bus broke down again.....This process repeated itself the rest of the way to Whitehorse, but we did make it, A little later than the scheduled time but still very early in the morning.

Upon arrival, nobody was waiting for me, I did make plans to be there, I just didn't tell my mother when I was getting there. So, I just showed up at some places where I knew she might be, or at least her friends would be there. Luckily, I was right and found them and we went out for lunch.

Over the next couple weeks, I helped my mother with her work. She was running a contract cleaning company, Cleaning a few houses, a bingo hall, and a Canadian Legion Hall. I also went Snowmobiling way up in the mountains, for an afternoon. The scenery from up there was something I will never forget. Sitting at the top of the mountain, on one side you have a huge frozen lake, where other sledders were building a race track, and on the other side you could see the city, through some very low cloud cover.... we passed through what seemed like an abandon fishing camp, but maybe just for winter. Raced across the lake a few times, by that time my toes were frozen through my steel toe boots. We headed back before the real dark set in, and good thing too, one of the Skis on my machine was wobbly, and as soon as I mentioned it to my friend he switched machines with me. Soon after the ski broke, and completely turned around.

We enjoyed a fairly quiet Christmas, Me, my Birth Mother, And the two ladies that owned the house... To my surprise, I received a lot of gifts, something I had not planned for. I had packed my bag to be prepared for the cold weather. On Boxing day we got it, -26 plus a wind chill that I don't want to think about, but it was still really nice. We took the dogs for a walk in a nearby forest...

A few months prior to my trip, I had been accepted into a school for the coming March 2003 term, I was supposed to have an interview in early January with the administrator of the school, So I had talked to my mother about this and explained When I would have to leave. It so happened that I would have to leave before New Years Eve, but Before that... She decided to take me to a friend's place on a wooded acreage, basically, a year round home, in what looked like a Cabin in the woods. It was really nice, imagine having a Bonfire in the woods in the middle of the winter. Because of where we were, North of 60, and the time of year, the days were very short for sunlight. I remember sitting in front of a roaring fire and not being able to see the trees around us, and the sky was pitch black... The Friend's Dog was also black, and damn near impossible to see walking around us in the woods, it was about 4pm in the afternoon.

A few days later, I had to head back to Toronto, this time in reverse, and only a stopover of a few hours in Edmonton. It was New Year's Eve by the time I got to Edmonton, so I wondered over to the Downtown Casino for some memorable fun times. Only thing was, I only had $2 in cash on me, my wallet was in one of my bags or something. I didn't do much at first, then I found a game that looked interesting. It was a Horse Track, Miniature sized, that had about a dozen or so terminals around it where you could make bets on the results. Odds, and everything, just like the real thing just in a size that would fit in a Casino. I split my $2 coin, into singles, and gave it a try.... First I won enough to keep playing, then lost most of it, then I started winning over and over, lucky me... in about 4 hours and change, I made that $2 into over $200. Enough to have something to eat, all the way home, and maybe a little more.

I got back to Toronto in January 2003, and went back to work. At the time, I was working for Magna as a temporary worker making autoparts. Everybody I met there really encouraged me to get out of the factory and go back to school. About Half way through the month of January, I was working a production line and totally destroyed my rotator cuff in my left shoulder. So I spent the next couple months preparing for the start of school. I moved out of my parents house upon my return to Toronto, but I moved to Hamilton because It was much cheaper and I sort of had enough money to afford it.....


Monday, January 11, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development

Previously on 2000-2009:
I had just been arrested, charged and released on Bail.

2000-2001, a journey begins and a new life as well.

As we continue, in Late November 2001; I am now on Bail for a very complex situation that I still can't believe. I get jumped in a small town, by 10-25 people, and I am the only one to get arrested and charged with multiple counts of assault with a weapon.
My girlfriend at the time, is the main cause of the whole problem, but to keep her on my side, I am forced to stay with her. Mind you, this is right at the beginning of our relationship, so the next six months or so, is a very turbulent time.

Christmas was a blur and not very important to me that year. A new job comes along, but doesn't last because of my bad back, and my girlfriend showing up at my workplace. Sometime during this period, I was introduced to my future next-Girlfriend of the day, through my current girlfriend at the time.

February 2002, shortly after I lost my job, my girlfriend decides she wants to "Run-away FOREVER!" so she brings $20 for expenses and a change of clothes, nice. I only agree to get her out of my parents face for a while, we jumped in the car and started driving.

Later that night we arrive in Montreal, where she refuses to get out of the car for 2 days. So, I continue driving through Quebec, into New Brunswick, down to Fredericton. Where we stayed for the next week. Nice city, snow drifts taller than me. This was during the Winter Olympics, so the place I found was a UNB residence, I watched the Canadian Women's Hockey Team win the gold Medal. Good game too.

Needless to say, we came back. Not a very excited trip, or story, but it happened and I like to travel regardless of my companions.

Late in March, I was sentenced and finally broke up with that girl, after we visit the next girlfriend for the weekend. They were Friends, sort of. As spring rolled in, I started spending the day time on the weekends at the new girl's house, hanging out with her and her son.

Later that summer, I disappeared out West again, My cousin was getting married, so I decided to go, and take a little time for myself as well. I went out to Wainwright, AB for the wedding after a week or so, of running up and down between Calgary and Edmonton. And a little Venture back to Vancouver for a couple days.

While in Wainwright, I met this incredible German girl, beautiful & Smart.... we were able to keep in touch on and off for a while, but we both got busy in our respective lives.

When I got Back to Toronto, I had to make a Decision about what I wanted to do in my life. A couple years earlier when I first arrived in Vancouver, I had applied to a school and was accepted, but I wasn't able to attend because it was a private career college and wanted the entire tuition up front...

In mid-2002, I decided to try and figure out how to apply to a Local school here in Toronto, called Harris Institute, but I needed a lot of information for the application, part of the reason I went back out to Vancouver, I needed a reference. I spent the next few months putting everything together and sent the application. But the Problem continued to be Funding. I made plans in the fall of 2002, to go up to Whitehorse, YT to spend Christmas. I bought my one-way ticket advance for Greyhound and left Toronto again about a week before Christmas, 2002.

To be Continued..... 2003, and beyond...

Friday, January 8, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


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

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year 2010: 2009 Review

I don't know if I will ever get used to writing 2010, feels so weird. Remember watching futuristic movies back in the 80's? it was usually set around our present time, but with all those flying cars and high tech things. Wow! we must be way behind or something...

Today, I wanted to review my own personal 2009. Some very big things happened to me, for me, and around me all year long. It was a rough year in a sense, but also somewhat of a success for me in other ways. Financially, it was strange; job wise, also strange; home life & relationship, ups & downs, but overall it was a nice and new experience for me.

To details some of that.... It was a rough start in January, I remember New Years Eve. I was at home all day, cooking lots of food, for a party that never happened. Sooo cold, and lots of snow.... and at the time I worked outside for 9 hours a day. However, due to my Workplace injury the previous summer, I was struggling just to get out of bed on those bitterly cold days. Broken bones that have not healed and bone chilling cold temperatures with wind chills are not a good combination. I worked for a total of 8 days throughout January, staggered and completely weather affected. I would work for two days, in the weather, then I wouldnt be able to move for three days afterwards.

They eventually laid me off, telling me I couldn't come back until I received doctors clearance. After talking to my Doctor, He says that I dont have medical clearance and gave me a medical note good for six months plus. So, I had to get E.I. for injury & Medical reasons.

EI started out OK, but then WSIB decides to issue a check, so I have to report that as income on my EI.... The end of March comes around, EI is on hold; WSIB, not planning on issuing more.

Febuary I was finally able to get into Physiotherapy for my arms(WSIB), and my Physio for my MVA was coming to an end.

After a few months of doing job search, I see that I am getting nowhere. On top of my medical problems, we are in the middle of the economic meltdown. I have no income coming in, I start going to job workshops and seminars at the Resource Center. Near the End of March, I was introduced to a work experience program called a Practise Firm. I decided to sign up for it.

I have to keep myself busy, get some experience in my own field, as I will not be returning to my old industry. I begin a 8 week practise firm, not training, not paid, but a job where I go to an office each & everyday and use my skill set to not only gain experience, but also get better at it. Extendable up to 12 weeks. Start off learning, as I progressed with the day-2-day, I began teaching to new people that come in, how to go about what they need to accomplish.

A couple weeks into the Practise Firm, my girlfriend finds out that she is pregnant, about 8 weeks in, and that was very good news for us both. We in April now, going strong, keeping busy. Physiotherapy, Practise Firm, Doctors, Preganacy stuff & NO MONEY.

Around Tax time, My final weeks of E.I. injury benefits are finally processed. So I am able to pay my bills, have a phone back, etc. But, I have to to reapply for regular benefits and when I do, It turns out to be less than half of what I had previously been getting. Whatever, it's something for now.

Middle of May, or so. I receive a call from a Marketing Company looking for some demonstration people for a product called Tasimo. Two Nights during the week, and an afternoon over the weekend. Didn't interfere with my Firm, sure why not. Another way to stay busy. It only lasts for 4 weeks, I have five left at the Practise Firm.

During the fourth week, late one night, my girlfriend starts bleeding heavy, so we have to go to the hospital. They say she's having a misscariage, and advise her to have a D&C... We lost our baby, 13 weeks, in the last couple weeks of May 2009. It was hard, for me... I cant even imagine what she was going through. 2nd Misscarriage since about the same time in 2008, this time was twice as long as the first, but that only made it harder for us both.

I ended up missing a whole week of the Practise Firm, and losing the marketing job, apparently, the fact that I wasn't the one physcially having the Misscarriage wasn't a good enough excuse to get out of my shifts. I only missed one shift, and the made me cancel the remaining three I think.

.... that's about half way throug the year... I really still have a hard time even thinking about all that...

June, we missed out of May 24, just because we weren't up for anything, but we made plans out of an idea to take a little road trip sometime through the summer. Lucky for us, the City of Toronto Workers, decide to go on Strike, and let the garbage start piling up all over the city's parks and rec center parking lots.

So I finally get my tax return, and I also get a settlement for my MVA, together it's just enough to pay down some bills, and pay off a loan I have against my car. Works for me, now I just have to pay down the rest of my debt. I think the Strike started around the end of June, so July 1st, was a stinky day in Toronto, so we decide to take a road trip last minute style, up to Ottawa.

What a party they had in Ottawa, we got there just in time to see the fireworks, and eat a nice meal and go for a walk through the City. That was just an overnight thing, we forgot all our stuff, kind of just got in the car and drove. I even forgot my Map.

In July, I was able to pick up some temp work at a Book Publisher for close to four weeks. 4 hours a day, in the evening, four days a week. It wasn't too hard on the body. But just enough to leave me with almost nothing after E.I. reports.

Just before the August long weekend, I received another settlement from WSIB for my permanent injuries after a long wait and a lot of Doctor appoinments. This was enough to pay off all my credit cards, and replace the windshield in my car, Which is another story entirely.

So, by chance, my debt is reduced by thousands, leaving only my student loan. We had made the plans to go away for the long weekend, but not really planned for accommodation of any kind. So we left Toronto, Drove up to Sudbury, ON. Stayed the night, saw the Big Nickel, looked around a little bit, and made our way to Manitoulin Island to catch the Ferry. Along the way stopping the to look at the sights a bit, since I had never drove through "
The largest freshwater island in the world" during daylight hours.
Nice looking place, not much there though... we made our way to the ferry, and as we start boarding, it starts raining. It made for some rough waters and dizziness on board.

When we got to the other side at Tobermory, ON we started looking for a place to spend the night, not realizing that the Bruce Penninsula is all sold out for the long weekend. So we drove in a rain storm down the Pennisula, stopping at every hotel, motel, campsite, etc, with no luck. So I went in a different direction towards a town that I thought wasn't very well known, but what do I know. South Hampton, ON - NO VANCANCY, two towns over from there, we find the last room, in the second last Motel in the town. Lake Huron seems to be a popular place.

Along comes September, as I had started a Pardon Application some months ago, and just finished using my settlements to pay off debt, the Pardon service calls me up and tells me I have an outstanding Fine from 2002 that I have to pay before they can Proceed. $600, that I no longer have. A fine that I forgot about years ago because I had no money. They tell me, as soon as I pay it, I have to wait for three more years.... before the Pardon can be Processed.

On Labour Day, we decided to head down to Port Dover, just to wander around, nice little place.
After all these settlements cam through, My treatment was discontinued. I was advised by my doctors that they had recommended that I get a gym membership to continue working on myself.

By September, I was into a full and regular routine, of weights and cardio, both to keep my weight down from the injuries, and to maintain them enough so I'm not in Pain 24/7. That was all I could do to stop thinking about the baby, and everything else. Nine months into the year and I haven't worked a job for a long while.

September to December, my daily routine is basically, go to the gym, get home and do more job searching. Not very exciting, but it kept me going. I have litterally applied to thousands and thousands of jobs over the last year. In previous years, I would have had hundreds of interviews to go along with that, but in 2009, I think I had 4 interviews in the whole 12 months.

Christmas come along, I wanted to do something nice for my girlfriend. This is our second Christmas together, a milestone for me. She has broke my relationship record. If I take all my relationships in the last ten years, and add them up, this one is still longer. She makes me happier than I have been in many years. I bought her everything she wanted for Christmas, and a little more. Maxxing out two cards this time, but it was worth it, it won't take nearly as long to pay them off this time.

My EI exhausted itself, in the first week of December. Earlier in the fall, I began doing some bookkeeping as a home business, on top of my other business endeavors (MUSIC & Entertainment) and the week before Christmas I landed a crappy job, as a way to pay off my Christmas Debt, good luck with that.

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, and Happy Second Anniversary to me and my Fiance