I guess it’s fairly obvious, isn’t it?
After a while a blog becomes like a part of your body; it’s hard not to want to scratch it regularly. For me, every other day seems to work okay but a week — well, that requires one big-ass scratch.
So, in lieu of a bunch of back-dated posts, here’s a digest of what’s been keeping me busy for the past week:
- I’ve started a new blog. Kinda. The first part is the domain registration and the setting up of all the hamster wheels and such. Then the blinking buttons and knobs and switches get put in, and finally you have the beginnings of a blog:
Did I explain that correctly? What I mean is, you won’t see much but an empty blog sitting there, so don’t get all excited. But I don’t expect to take too long until launch — I’ve got an adequately pointy and antagonistic theme picked out and I’ll be keeping everything else pretty simple at the beginning.
K, so who’s Ray John? I am. He’s an alias, a moniker, a nom de plume.
Actually, he’s a bit more than that. Ray John is a personality that I hope to develop into results like money, loose women, and fame. Not necessarily in that order. Of course, since I’ll be penning him, and even more importantly, since I’ll be the face (and perhaps voice) of Ray John, he’ll have to be some well established part of my psyche that has plenty to say. So if you can sit through this drivel, you should be okay with Ray’s stuff too.
I’ve known two Rays in my life; one saw my younger sister for a while and ended up being the assholiest of jerks, the second was a developer I worked with who was a thoroughly enjoyable fellow. Neither Ray was the inspiration here … I don’t even particularly like the name Ray to be honest. The name comes from “rage on”, the underlying idea that started me down this slippery slope. The combined name “Ray John” works phonetically, sounds like a ubiquitously ticked-off middle-class white dude, and also uses the most common spellings of both names. The thing was hardly spontaneous; sorry if that bursts anyone’s bubble. You can go right ahead and pretend I beat the name out of a three-headed purple dragon named Elvis if it adds to the mystique.
Since Ray is also a Torontonian I’ll be syndicating some of his blog on TCL. Ray’s blog topics won’t be limited to Toronto, however, which is why I needed to make this split. Besides, I want to give him room to breathe and grow.
Be sure to check out “The Ray John Blog: I Got Beefs” just as soon as I post a big honkin’ link to it at the top of the sidebar.As for Toronto City Life, why, we’re just getting started here. ;)
- Got me my first fully independent contract (and I gave myself a generous raise too). Okay, so technically the second contract, but who’s counting? I started on a portfolio site but didn’t have a chance to add any content before I landed the gig. Meh, maybe next time.
Still, great excuse to get me a new ‘puter. Nothing fancy, mind you, but she’ll crunch the numbers I need crunched.
- A couple of nights ago I notice a “drip drip” coming from somewhere around the bedroom when the upstairs neighbours were running their water. By yesterday afternoon, the leak had broken through the ceiling in my closet.
I’d assumed that the water must either be coming from the shower or sink … it ran too long for it to be the toilet (thank God!) The plumber initially agreed with my assessment but after poking his head through the ceiling for about an hour, running the neighbours’ faucets, man-handling the pipes, etc., he concluded that it was the grout in the shower upstairs that was the source of the leak.
Seems like older buildings like mine had grout applied right on top of drywall so once compromised, the thing just turns to mud. In this case, however, it isn’t merely the grout that’s coming away, the whole corner of their shower is apparently all puckered up and ready to fall off. Minor miracle that I’d just noticed it now, in fact.
So, good news is that, for me, it means minor drywall work in my closet. And I learned how to fix common water pressure problems too! For my neighbours, it means that their bathroom (and especially shower), will be off-limits for a while.
- I’ve been doing a lot of unappreciated, behind-the-scenes work here at TCL. You might’ve noticed that the sidebar ain’t what it used to be, the syndication / section buttons at the top of the page are aligned differently, and the site has shed a bunch of excess baggage.
Most notable are the ads — nice for pocket change but they hardly pay for the blog’s upkeep, so I decided to ditch them. If TCL’s going to make money, it won’t be by advertising for Groupon, that’s for sure.
So we’re essentially back to basics here … pure blogging. Not such a bad thing. ;)
- So now that I’m officially funding the blog out of pocket, I’ve been making bigger efforts to give my Flash development persona a bit more exposure. Half-completed portfolio notwithstanding, the 1,300-member professional group I run on LinkedIn has been useful. Much like a blog, a group without an involved owner tends to die a slow and miserable death, so it means I have to drop by at least once a day. Plus, I like the act of personally approving (or denying), every new member request. I only wish there was a “Deny With Extreme Prejudice” button there sometimes.
- Even when I’m not blogging, I’m never too far away. About a week ago, for example, a snake got loose in a nearby apartment building.
The Samuel L. Jackson moment passed (“Motherfuckin’ snakes in motherfuckin’ drains!” ), but I still hauled my carcass out there with the camera. Even though roughly 75% of my material never sees the light of day, there are lots of corollary benefits that make the effort of blogging worth it. So although I may not be as timely as I like with actually posting stuff, I’m nonetheless running around like I am. And, unfortunately, I’m not quite yet surgically attached to Twitter the way some people are. Working on it though. ;)
- If I hear NaNoWriMo one more time, someone’s getting smacked in the gob. It has to be one of the most annoying, pointless, and stupid calendar inventions — not unlike Earth Day. Apparently the idea is that participants take the month of November to write a novel. Because they care so deeply about writing the other 11 months. Basically, if you’re neither motivated or interested enough the rest of the year, come November you’re just being a poser.
So now that I’ve directly insulted anyone participating, let me just say for the record that I do actually write year-round, and not just the blog. The “Intrigue and the City” post I wrote a couple of weeks ago is the updated first chapter of a novel I started roughly 5 years ago. Originally it featured a couple of University of Toronto students but the burned spy thing adds an edge that the original was missing. The concept for the story came to me a few years earlier so in reality the novel’s even older. I’d managed to put about 20 chapters to paper before deciding that I needed to spice it up a bit.
Of course, putting it on TCL implies I should include some pictures too. Here’s a preview from the next chapter:
In between this I’ve tried to squeeze in a few meals and even a shower now and again. Hey, beats sitting around on an unemployed ass, right? What I really need at the moment is more hours in the day, and some kinda drug to let me take advantage of all of them without bullshit interruptions like sleep.