It has been twenty years since 1985. During that year, I:
- Bought my first PC.
- Borrowed a carbon monoxide tester from the Ontario Ministry of Environment.
- Graduated from high school.
- Went on my first real date.
- Turned 19 years old.
- Decided not to become an aerospace engineer.
- Decided to go to Trent University.
- Worked the summer at the Royal Ontario Museum and for John Traill at Athenians.
- Took a course in beginner’s Greek at the University of Toronto.
- Ate lunch almost every summer day at Bogey’s Sandwich Shop on Bloor St.
- Ate a lot of ice cream from Greg’s, next door to Bogey’s.
- Could ride the TTC for 35 cents with my student card.
- Had a two-month long argument with my dad.
- Moved out of my parents house and went to Trent University.
- Made my first radio programme.
- Was published in a newspaper for the first time (a review of Ernie’s Barber Shop in Arthur)
- Met my friends Lisa Howard, John Muir, Stephen Badhwar and Patrick Gracey, all of whom I’m in touch with to this day (I’d already known my friend Oliver — wee’s namesake — for a year).
- Took a reading course from newly-minted professor Stephen Regoczei in “Natural Language Understanding by Computers.” I don’t believe we actually talked about that at all. Stephen is still a good friend.
- Watched a lot of Hill Street Blues on television.
- Still hadn’t ever taken a drink or kissed a girl (although Nancy Robinson did hug me during a thunder storm, but that was in 1975).
In the intervening twenty years, I’ve had half a dozen ill-fated relationships and one very good one (it’s still going strong).
Among other things, I’ve worked in a motorhome factory as a computer operator, as a au pair in El Paso, in a Minute Maid orange juice factory as a data entry clerk, and in a daily newspaper composing room. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code, and designed hundreds of posters and brochures.
I acquired and then gave up a beautiful, spirited lab-spaniel cross named Penny. I’ve traveled to every Canadian province and to South Korea, Germany, the Czech Republic, Japan, Thailand, Spain, England, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and, innumerable times, the USA. I lived in Ontario, Quebec, Texas and finally here in Prince Edward Island.
One friend was murdered, two overdosed on heroin. All four of my grandparents died.
I was interogated once by the police, committed one act of civil disobedience, and sat in on one cabinet meeting.
I was stopped by the police for illegally kissing Catherine in a car on the side of the highway.
I began eating yogurt and sushi.
And had a son.
In twenty years I’ll be on the cusp of 60.