Totally Unknown Writers Festival 2010

On Wednesday evening, I went to the 17th Annual Totally Unknown Writers Festival. As always organized by the great folks from Life Rattle Radio and originally founded by two of my professional writing professors, Guy Allen and Arnie Achtman. As with every year, great stories written and read by talented authors from around Toronto.

I hoped to read this year, but I’ll get ready for next year’s festival. I did meet up with some of my old classmates from university. And I was able to catch up with them and Guy. If you want to hear great stories of life experiences from the GTA, I highly recommend coming out to the festival.

In the Beginning of November…

A new month begins and a new twist to life. This is the first day at a new office in downtown Toronto. Not that I’ve changed positions, I’m still working as a mobile developer for Web Impact. For my coworkers, this is nothing new since they all worked at the Toronto office before moving out to Mississauga. Unfortunately the Mississauga location did not provide what we needed and so we are moving back for now.

This morning everything is a little different. Figuring out new schedules, new routes and a new location. Should be fun. Other than that I’ll still get to enjoy working on mobile coding, with all its unique challenges.

One challenge I worked on this past while is writing. Not a lot of progress on the novel. But I did manage to submit two short stories for publishing. One to the Fall issue of the Alexandrian, which should come out soon. And one to 365 Tomorrows, which will hopefully get accepted too.

Other than that I still have load of catching up on work. I still feel a bit behind. Anyways, this next stop is mine. Catch you later.

Gliders, Italy and Androids

What an incredible summer and it is funny how it all started.  I found myself without a job at the end of April.  A week or two later I started a crazy schedule of fencing, archery and hiking amongst the usual day-to-days at home.  I even got to try out some serious tree climbing and zip-lining.  And I met new friends at a retreat and a number of parties too.  I even got to hang out with and host Anna and Behnaz, two friends from Montreal for over a week.

At the beginning of July, after months of preparation my brother, Martin went for the Air Cadet’s gliding summer camp.  After over 6 weeks of intensive work, training and practise, my brother can now legally fly a glider by himself.  I am incredibly proud of him and we now have a real pilot in the family.  Wow.

The past month and a half I had the honour and pleasure of hosting one of my very good friends from Italy, Laura.  Laura came to visit us, see Canada and learn English.  We did that and a whole lot of hiking, sightseeing and partying in Toronto, Niagara, Tobermory and Hamilton.  And her English became a lot better too.  I am so thankful that you came Laura and I hope you enjoyed being with us as much as we having you over.  Thanks!

After a full summer, I’ve come full circle.  About three weeks ago, I interviewed and got hired as a mobile developer for Web Impact.  I get to work on building Android mobile applications in a great environment with awesome coworkers.  I have always wanted to get into mobile programming.  But I never imagined that I would be doing what I get to work on.  Unfortunately I can not disclose the details of what I am working on and the technology behind it.  However I can say that the technology and the way we apply it is how I envision the future of mobile, web and desktop computing will look like.

This year has been an amazing ride so far.  And from what I can tell there is even more awesomeness in store.

Ontario GNU Linux Fest 2009

Tomorrow I’ll be going to Ontario GNU Linux Fest 2009.  It looks like this year it will be another year for this convention.  Not sure why the insistence of adding the “GNU” to the name…  Still I’ll be there, checking out as many of the presentations as humanly possible.  And doing a thorough raid of possible swag, even if it means opening up my wallet to cover “extra” costs. 😉  Anyways if you are in the Toronto area and a Linux fan, you should definitely check this con out.  See you there.

Ontario GNU Linux Fest 2009. Register Now!

Weekends in Toronto, Weekdays on the Run

The sun is way up in the sky, already changed its colour four times (red, orange, yellow and now whitish yellow thanks to atmospheric effects on the light of a Class G star).  I on the other hand, woke up, scrambled to get ready, drank a coffee and am trying to catch up.  My life has become busy again.  But in a good way for once.  I’m too busy to occupy my mind with wandering thoughts or sad navel gazing.  Instead I get to occupy myself with the sole goal of squeezing as much out of the time I have each day.  And also making my life richer.

So where does the busyiness come from?  From doing things and meeting people of course!

This Saturday after a round of volleyball and cutting the grass, I met up with Caroline in downtown Toronto.  I didn’t realize that Toronto had its own Times Square-like square.  I’m talking about the Younge and Dundas Square.  While it has a less than original name, it is just as busy as its New York counterpart.  People milling about, large screens flashing ads, street musicians playing, et cetera.  I rushed into the square when I got there, expecting to be the one to be late.  However as usual, Caroline arrived fashionably late so I didn’t need to apologize. 😀

After a round of mango bubble tea and some computer shopping, we went to watch Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.  Now I’m not a huge fan of chick flicks.  But this one movie was pretty good.  In essence a Christmas Carole-style plot about a “player” who has to get in touch with his feelings, the realization of how many ladies he hurt in his long line of escapades and maybe come to grips with the person who really loves him.  Anyways I won’t say more to not ruin the plot for those who haven’t seen it.  I enjoyed it.

After the movie, I lost and found my cellphone. Duh!  And we went out for dinner at the Richtree.  Good food, interesting concept, and of course wonderful company.  And we ended the day with almost-midnight tea.  Thanks Caroline.

Yesterday was a busy day of yard and kitchen work oddly enough.  And so while I needed to reply to a bunch of e-mails, and get some other work done… I simply fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.  So today I must deal with my inbox, finish some unfinished business and get around to dealing with my more long term projects.  Ok, so I’m off now… later this week I have a few events planned, and I need to plan some more.  So while I’m busy, I’m happy to be rid of those quiet, relatively uneventful days.

Port City Update

Hmm… I debated about writing while on “vacation”.  But since I’ve done so much writing today, I felt it might be appropriate to update my blog.

I’m staying with family, in my city of birth.  I’m here on brieviment, so not exactly a fun time.  After the funeral, I might see some friends of the family.  Nothing very exciting, but a rather busy time.  Today is essentially the calm before the storm.  No plans for visiting or sightseeing, as much as I would love to see people outside of my immediate family and friends of immediate family.  Most young people are busy at work or finishing their studies for the year.

Today however, I have some time for writing.  Or rather in any spare moment I find I’m either writing or reading about writing.  I can’t stand idle time and it seems so appropriate to bury myself in work.

Still I love being here, unfortunate as the circumstances are.  The city is dirty, grimmy and full of hazards that one doesn’t meet in a safe city like Toronto.  But there is also energy and enthausism in strange places.  Expectations of what is normal are radically different.  And for some reason, for all the negativity and defeatism that I can feel, there is a vibrance, a feeling of confined growth.
Or maybe it is just me.  Maybe it is just my romantic attachment to my place of birth.  Maybe I’m just a port town boy, in love with a port city.  Even if the port is no longer close to its former glory.

Home Again, Home Again…

Back in sunny, and fortunately not scorching-hot Toronto. Actually, I flew in on Wednesday but I need about two days to unpack, clean up and readjust. Everything around the house is still in various levels of disorganization, disaster and chaos. So nothing much changed since I left, at least around here.

Anyways, currently I am employed at home cleaning up. Hopefully in the evening I will start my job hunt. A slightly daunting task to say the least, but I need to get off my lazy bum and start earning some money. After all the 8 hours transatlantic flight allowed me to come with a shopping list of things I need… and want. The vacation gave me many things to think about. But I do not feel comfortable listing out all my personal thoughts here. I already posted too much information about myself thats floating around the web.

One thing that I want to start up again, are all the open source projects I left off. Also I need to start writing again, but this time for actual publication. There is so much I want to do. Sigh. Where should I start? Maybe a round of UT2004, and then I will take it from there.

The Compressed Life

I can finally confirm, that there is a life after university. And a compressed one at that too. I could go through the details, but I feel too tired to remember all the details. And too lazy to write them all down today.

Last weekend, I went to Montreal for the Taizé event. Got to experience life in a predominately francophone city. Experienced a desire to get closer to God and people. Sang my vocal chords to extreme soreness. Meet a few folks from the Polish youth group. And a few Filipanas from St. Kevins. And now I found an excuse to learn French.

The rest of the week consisted of hosting my Polish godfather and his wife. Became an impromptu tour guide of Downtown Toronto. (Now if only I could find the entertainment district. 🙁 ) And when I did not have to travel, or work at home, I attempted reinstalling Windows XP for a client. The gremlins came out to play, and turned a simple recovery and reinstall into a few days exercise in futility. Now, I remember why I enjoyed Linux and Ubuntu Linux especially.

Yesterday I met up with Robert and his roommate. We hoped to tour Toronto, but Rob’s car broke instead. So we caught up on old times. And “invented” a new cocktail, the LimJim, since thats what guys do when bored. Also looks like I might end up installing kUbuntu on his system too.

And I discovered Facebook and I am hooked. Now if I can find time to write.