Instant Coffee

Something happened to me earlier this year, something that would cause the average coffee snob to turn their head and sneer at its very mention.

I realized that I like instant coffee.

(Now I’m, just waiting for that slap! to hit me in the side of the side.)

Now now, let’s all be rational here. Yes, I drink a lot of coffee. Yes, I need coffee every morning (2 cups if you would be so kind). Yes, I’m a writer. But, do all of those things translate into coffee afficionado? In my case, no.

I love coffee, but let’s not fool anyone: I’m no savant when it comes to blends, grinds, mixes, roasts, what have you. and I only found out the difference between Arabica and Robusta earlier this week when I somehow found myself stumbling across it’s Wikipedia entry (we’ve all been there).

I’m just a guy who really likes hot beverages, and likes it even more when it’s coffee. I’m Canadian and what do Canadians know about coffee? Tim Horton’s is our number one destination, after all; we wear our ignorance on our sleeve and are proud of it.

I don’t even like Starbucks. I prefer my Maxwell house. Poor me.

I suppose things wouldn’t be so bad if I only liked it. Liking something is fine. People like things that aren’t even good. I like bad movies. I like bad wine. I like bad coffee. The problem is, I actually really enjoy the bad coffee; enjoy it to the point that I might be addicted to that wood-flavoured powder mess.

I’ve gone out of my way to buy it, catching the bus down to the other end of the city because I suspect the Walmart at that end of town most likely has shelves of that shit stashed away somewhere. I’ve got there and left contented, I’ve gone there and left dejected. I’ve even found myself prowling the aisles of the Dollarama, hunting for dehydrated dollar grinds. I’ve found them too, they come in little glass jars with red lids and ugly graphics. They also taste like dollar coffee. For some reason, I don’t mind.

Maybe that’s all that matters. Just me and my instant coffee against the world.

Fall Project Update

Time flies as always. Projects come, and projects go. Time for another quick project update.

What have I been up to this fall? A few of the highlights include:

Content writing and basic theme management for the English side of an e-commerce website. The site is still technically under development, but it’s good to know that the bulk of the work is behind me. A couple hours of data entry is sure to follow, but I can tackle that once the time comes.

Completing the final editing and formatting touches a novel for one of my clients. I’m happy to report that I managed to not only did I finish that project two weeks before the deadline, but I picked up the pace and cut my original estimate short by close to 20 hours. You can expect to see a full post on the subject when the novel is published, which should be as an E-Book over Amazon and Smashwords by the end of the month.

Clerical work for a local Montreal production studio continues. Wrapping up the document editing for a series package that will be presented to the networks in the early spring. Again, this one’s under NDA so no more info until it becomes unwrapped.

Screen writing with White Skull Studios (independent horror filmmakers). Draft for a 3 minute short has been completed and most of the details sorted out. Shooting should take place mid-way through December.

And lastly: NaNoWriMo. Okay, this one’s a little bit of a disappointment. I waited 11 months to start only to come up with a pretty heavy month of November. So much for tossing 50, 000 words into a “just for the hell of it” creative project. I barely sunk more than 5000 into it. Though, it’s not as if I didn’t write 50k + words this month for other projects.

The Quebec Charter of Secularism

The secular charter. Where to begin?

The bill that Pauline Marois has been teasing about all summer finally made it’s way into public view in the recent weeks and “surprise!” it’s every bit the xenophobic, self-centered and, dare I say it, racist document that people feared it would be.

The best description of the bill that I’ve heard so far is “Privileged white person hopes other privileged white people will support bill that removes privileges from non-white people”. While this might sound a little blunt, it isn’t far from the truth of what this so-called charter is looking to accomplish.

The double standard of it all is what sickens me. The PQ are focusing their war of values on the symbols of Islam, Sikhism and Judaism, essentially depriving people who are traditionally “not white” from being able to display their faith and cultural heritage in public, all the while willing to leave crosses (depending on their length) in public spaces because they are very much part of the “Quebec Identity”.

I’m 100% behind the separation of Church and State; the human race has witnessed far too many atrocities when a narrow-minded religious enterprise was able to enact its policies with the full power of the state behind its swings. However, this isn’t about Church and State being bed-buddies, this about the State deciding which Church has a place in it’s society.

As well, the state has little to no right to interfere with the personal lives of its citizens in areas where no one is being harmed. Yes, there are crazy religious cults out there and crazy over-zealous practitioners of virtually every religion (yup, there are even xenophobic, violent Buddhists out there, believe it or not) but this is Canada and the par for the Canadian course is peace and tolerance.

Religions in and of themselves are not bad; a Koran lying on the table, or being recited in an old man’s head as he walks down the street, isn’t harming anyone. The problem with religions is how they are interpreted and then how those interpretations are put into practice.

I’ve also never heard of a man’s turban being used to kill someone, but I’ve heard rumours that crosses were once a popular method.

People should be enraged when people are deprived of their religion and culture just as equally as they should when religion is forced upon others.

Equally so, if this bill passes, who’s to say we won’t see an even more severe one come two or three years down the road? If it’s public offices today, why not extend it to all Quebec business, and then parks and public spaces and just forget altogether that Canada (Quebec included) is a nation made up of many nations? Oh wait, that’s sort of what they are trying to do. Nothing like a little “us vs them” mentality to keep a society healthy.