The fine art of being here

I went to a Retrograde show with Ryan Pears  tonight and before the show we talked a little bit with Ben Hulse (Retrograde's drummer) who was in our grad class back in Kelowna at OKM.

Even though I was never friends with Ben he's always struck me as a really nice guy and the few times I've run into him since high school he's always been really... well not to over use the word but nice.

The last time I'd talked to him before last night was back in Kelowna. I was on a shift at the Paramount Theatre changing the marquee on a Thursday night.  While I enjoyed my time at the Paramount if there's one task at the theatre that makes you feel like a hired wage monkey it's hauling a giant ladder around and changing the fucking marquee.

Couple having make sure Julie Roberts' name was spelled right with the fact that  my never ending university dregree was well into it's "shouldn't you have graduated by now phase" and I was not in a totally happy with my life phase.

I'm not sure what Ben was doing back in Kelowna but seeing someone from my grad class who had managed to finish their degree while touring in a rock and roll band was not the self-esteem boost one would assume it might be.

While we did the traditional former high school classmates dialouge titled "So what's new with you?" I being both simultanously vain and unimpressed with my own achievements had tried to think of something good to say. I managed to find something in the (then) recent past mentioning that I'd just interviewed Jay Ferguson of Sloan for my university newspaper.


Skip forward a few years and the feeling of having an unimpressive
"What I've been doing since high school tale" has become familiar, like
an old coat. I'm quick now in these situations to turn the conversation
away from me (selling cellular phones, single, still not done
university) to others.

"Really, Chris Sullivan is really a lawyer."

"Oh yeah in Redmond near Seattle. No Jeff hasn't had a one on one with Bill Gates but I mean Microsoft how cool is that?"

"Oh yeah, he's like nine feet tall now and lives in Japan. I know who would have thought?"

It isn't helped by the fact that OKM was a school of over achievers,
that our grad class was a class of over achievers in a school of over
achievers or that to add another level to that my group of friends was
another level of achievers beyond that.

Want a run down?  A quick and incomplete list would include:

- Chad: with his brother owns and operates two Tool Place stores in the interior and is happily married.

- Ryan P. works at a post-production house in Vancouver on shows that you've actually heard of.

- Nathan: is so fucking good at anything he applies himself to it's unbelievable. Married and is the funniest guy you know.

- Ryan C.: does something that I don't understand for the oil industry in Calgary. Sounds important. He's also married.

- Aaron: Masters Degree and a fiece (and recognized by people outside his immediate family) skills in poetry.

- Jeff: Microsoft has a Mac division and he works there. That's as cool as being James Bond in my book.

- Graham; "Whoa, I know Kung Fu." Or at least Japanese.

So when Ryan, Ben and I started into the performance of "So what's
new with you?" I was afraid I had no where to go with it. The "I'm
renting a room in my younger brother's apartment" line didn't seem like
a good direction. I had interviewed Matthew Good and Jann Arden for eVent! recently but that seemed like the parachute I'd used last time.

Blogging? I like working at Metroblogging Vancouver but it's neither
impressive in the "I'm getting paid to blog" way (because I'm doing it
for free) nor the "it's for charity" way that makes you seem like a
saint fighting for Africa or hobos.

Maybe I should begin a novel so I have something to talk about at these mini-reunions.

"Yes actually I'm writing a novel about a time travelling vampire who sells cellular phones and is popular with the ladies."

I'll be golden Pony Boy, you stay that way too.

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