18.7.10

Failure to Drive in Marked Lanes

DISCLAIMER: No Chucks were harmed in the making of this post.

So, I was all ready to go to the family cottage on Saturday. The car was rented, the groceries were bought, the beer was ready, coffee was in hand and the tunes were blaring. I got on the road out of KW around 11:30

The driving was pretty good as I made my way North East. The 401 was its usual schizophrenic self, but things were clear once I got on the 115 and Hwy 7. At 2:30 I was starting to get a little restless, and was about 3 minutes away from Kaladar, which is a very town town at the intersection of Hwy 7 and Hwy 41, and I needed to go up 41 for a while. I planned to gas up, coffee up, food up and bathroom up at the gas station at this corner.

I was coming around a corner, and I lost my concentration for about a second, and found myself on the right shoulder, headed towards a guard rail and a 20ft drop. I turned left, but overcompensated and lost control. I was spinning out on Hwy 7, and the only thought on my mind was "Oh man, I am so glad there's nothing coming the other way." It is with those thoughts that the car fell backwards into a ditch at the side of the road.

After about 10 seconds of shock, I turned the car off and got out of the car. I took stock of myself, and climbed out of the ditch. A few people pulled over to see if I was alright, which I was. I borrowed the cell phone of one of these people and called 911. Fortunately, I new there was an OPP station not far down the road, and they were not long in arriving. I took the time to check the car out, and I was amazed to find out that aside from bending the muffler pretty badly, there was no serious damage to the car itself. Neither was there any damage to my stuff, the groceries or even the beer in the trunk.

The OPP constable was very helpful and understanding, getting a tow truck to the scene within 30 minutes of his arrival. He took my statement and let me relax in his cruiser since it was air-conditioned. I unfortunately had to be charged with something, so I got "Failure to drive in marked lanes" which is pretty mild considering I could have easily been charged with reckless driving(as the constable told me).

The next step was contacting the rental company to see if I could get a replacement vehicle sent out, since I was in Kaladar and had no vehicle. Again, the constable was kind enough to play the phone tag for me. While they couldn't get anything out to me since there were simply no cars at all available between Toronto and Ottawa, they offered to put me up in a hotel for a night or two until they could get something for me.

I then contacted some family members who were a couple hours away to see if they could help, and indeed they could, so I spent the night with my aunt and uncle in Consecon, and then got a ride to Toronto this afternoon with my aunt.

I called the rental company this morning(Sunday) to see if I could get another car, and they said the only locations open were airport branches, and we would have to go to one to get a car. I said that I would then wait for Monday morning for main branches to open.

As frustrated as I am with the whole thing, and as much as I wish I could be at he cottage with many beers in me right now, things could have gone a lot worse. I was not hurt, no one else was hurt, the car suffered pretty minor damage, I got charged very mildly, I opted for insurance with the rental company, and I got to sleep in a bed last night.

12.7.10

In Media Res

So now that the boring exposition is out of the way, we can go to the heart of the matter.[/lampshade]

In case you are unaware, In Media Res is a term for a piece of media that starts from the middle of the story as opposed to the beginning. It's more common than you might think.

What's interesting about it is how it relates to personal interaction. I read some interesting advice about how to set up a resume/prepare for an interview/talk about your job/etc. Use stories to convey the information. Stories stick in peoples minds far more easily than facts because they add context. Not to imply that these are fiction, just a narrative.

But if you think about it, just about everyone you meet and interact with you are joining In Media Res. You have not been around for that person's life until that point, and vice versa. You each need to create a narrative to explain who you are and why you are at this point in time. These narratives will add context to you, giving people a framework to understand you. If all you have to say is a few uninteresting words, you could easily be dismissed as a boring factoid.

So start practicing having a good "This is your life!" story handy for those times you need to sum yourself up.

5.7.10

Movies I can quote verbatim

One my measures of a movie's quality is how memorable the lines are. I have a very good memory for movie/TV lines, music lyrics, quotations, etc. I'm just in general very good at remembering things people say. Thus, it goes without saying that many of my favourite movies are those I have excellent line memory for.

Aliens
Back when James Cameron cared about character depth and minimalism. This movies is one of the most influential SciFi movies ever. The grizzled space marine, the soulless pan-galactic corporation, artificial persons, and the general atmosphere have been copied a dozen times over afterwards.
"How do I get out of this chicken shit outfit?"
"Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?" "No, have you?"
"What do we do now, man?" "Why don't we light a fire, sing some songs, how about that?"
The quotes go on and on.

Blues Brothers
Classic in so many ways. Great musical numbers, cameos, high point of both John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, in my opinion. Also includes two of the greatest car chase scenes in music history.
"They broke my watch!"
"New Oldsmobiles are in early this year"
"Sweet Jesus tap-dancing Christ! I have seen the light!"

Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail
Goes without saying, really.

SPECIAL MENTION: Total Recall
Though not necessarily one of my favourite movies, it's still awesome and has some great lines.
"Quaid! Start the reactor! Free Maaarr-*BLAM*"
"You blabbed, Quaid, you blabbed about Mars!"
"Hahahahaha, you think this is the real Quaid? It is."