dogriver: (Default)
How, exactly, are you meant to reinvent the introduction each year, making it meaningful to the first-time reader while entertaining the veteran? I'm not sure that's possible, but I will try.

My name is Bruce Toews. This is my third year in LJ Idol, and I'm really looking forward to the competition.

As you read through this and subsequent entries of mine, there are some things you will need to know about me. First and foremost, I am a Christian. This doesn't mean that I preach Bible-thumping sermons in everything I write. I don't. But I also don't shy away from what, to me, is the #1 priority in my life. This is who I am, I don't expect everyone else to be that way, but I will not hide the fact that I am. My faith shapes every aspect of my life: my life is my faith, my faith is my life.

I am also blind. I have been since birth, and while my blindness does not define me as a person the way my faith does, it is a huge part of my life, and it will figure into a lot of what I have to say.

I have a sense of humor and love word-play. I rather suspect you'll be seeing a fair bit of that in what I write here in the coming months. I've often told people that my sense of humor is 25% home-grown, 25% from my dad, 25% from Jack Benny, and 25% from Douglas Adams. I love English, hate mathematics, have a mixed view on history, and am a strong believer in the space program.

Well, I think that covers the essentials. Thanks for reading this. If you like what you see in the coming weeks and are so inclined, please vote for me. If you don't like what you see, then please don't vote for me, but please do tell me where you feel I can improve. LJ Idol is lots of things to lots of people: it's a popularity contest to some, an exercise in public relations to others, an obsession to still others, and a writing contest to yet others. And, of course, it's a combination of the above and other things to still another subset. As for me, I am treating this competition strictly as a writing competition. If you want to form some kind of unified body of voters or something, don't even bother looking at me. For me, it's about the writing, both in my response to others and in my dealing with my own entries. So enjoy, and may the best organic life-form win.
dogriver: (Default)
This is just to let everyone know that I will once again be participating this year in [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. If you vote in these things, read all the entries, and I urge you to vote based on merit and not on popularity, so if you think my entry sucks, I don't expect your vote, and I don't deserve your vote. If you don't vote in these things, the topics can often spawn interesting messages from people, so you might find them an enjoyable read anyway.
dogriver: (Default)
What is the LJ Idol competition about? Or more accurately, what
should it all be about?

Some take it very, very seriously. I think I may have been guilty of
that last year, when I was unceremoneously dumped from the competition
under questionable circumstances. At the time, I took things very
personally, and I was very angry. I had to decide, at that point, if I
wanted to continue and join the contest again for the 08-09 season.

I decided to do so. But I also decided to totally rethink my purpose for
being in it, what I expected to happen, what I thought people's
motivations should be, and what I thought people's motivations
would be. Most importantly, I tried preplanning my reactions.

In an ideal universe, the LJ Idol thing would be about writing ability
and people's reception of that writing ability. You write something that
people want to read, you get votes for it. You write something that
people don't want to read, you don't get the votes. I've always tried to
at least play the game that way. For a lot of people, though, the
game has turned into a loyalty contest: "If you don't vote for me, you
are not loyal to me". It is this view that makes me question whether I
want to participate in future incarnations of the contest. LJ Idol is
fun. It should be fun. But it's simply not something worth making or
breaking friendships over. I told [livejournal.com profile] kittytech at the beginning
of last season that, even though she's my girlfriend, if she didn't like
what I wrote, I didn't expect her to vote for me. And I meant it. This
notion that votes equal loyalty and no votes equal disloyalty is the
stuff that elementary school brawls are made of. I wanted to be judged
based on my writing, or rather, on people's perception of my writing. I
do not feel that happened last year, but I do feel that it did this
year. I was voted out of the contest fair and square, and it had nothing
whatsoever to do with loyalty or disloyalty, it had everything to do
with the fact that I wrote a piece not worthy of a lot of votes.

In a competition such as this, you have to write not for yourself, but
for your audience. It's not about what you would want to read, but what
your audience wants to read. As much as I do not particularly enjoy
putting my blindness front and center in my writing, others enjoy
reading what I write on the subject. As much as I'd like to devote my
writing to CocaCola, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, sleep,
memories of my dad, and my passionate dislike of mushrooms, these
subjects don't interest the general public nearly as much as the
blindess thing does, so in a contest where public opinion is everything,
I write accordingly: not just about blindness, of course, but a little
more than I might normally do.

So there are my thoughts, for whatever they may or may not be worth.
I'll probably be back next year, because the contest is great and I like
the way [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm runs things. But if I start losing
friends over this, or if I start equating votes with loyalty, then I'm
out, because it's just not worth that kind of a price.
dogriver: (Default)
If you look through the obscure topics of libraries, some of the
lesser-traveled corners of the internet, or inside [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm's head, you will discover that Irish Revisionist
History has a long and sordid past.

By virtue of the fact that Irish Revisionist History is, as they say,
historic, it follows that the subject does have a history, as, without
one, we would be stuck with Irish Revisionist Present-dayity and Irish
Revisionist Futuriciousitude (you'll forgive me for slipping into
technical jargon. It's what we Irish Revisionist History buffs call
made-up, and it happens all the time in the Irish Revisionist
History biz).

So to which school of thought do I subscribe? Do I subscribe to the
first Irish Revisionist History school of thought to show itself, or the
second, third, or fourth? Or have I, in the painstaking research on the
subject which I never got around to doing, developed my own theory?

To properly grasp my view on the subject of Irish Revisionist History,
one must first gain an understanding of just what, precisely, is meant
by the term. When was it coined? Why, and by whom? What was his or her
motivation in doing so, did it reflect a personal bias, or a truly
objective vision with regards to the subject matter?

Once you grasp the above, please enlighten me, for I have no idea at all
what Irish Revisionist History is.
dogriver: (Default)
The dog ate my LJ Idol entry? No, that doesn't sound plausible. Aliens
landed on my desk and wiped my computer's hard drive before I had a
chance to write an entry? No, that won't do, I stopped listening to Coast to Coast AM a long time
ago. Oh hey, I know! I had to clean my room, and it took me all week to
do it! No, wait, nobody who's seen my room would think it remotely
possible that I could clean it up in only a week and without a fleet of
bulldozers. We must be realistic here. Okay, then, the truth.

The truth is that I couldn't come up with anything. For one thing,
misunderstandings and taking things personally often involve hurt
feelings. I don't want to cause any hurt feelings, particularly when
those bridges would have been mended ages ago. A contest, any contest at
all, just isn't worth reopening wounds for the sake of winning. I also
really can't think of the type of story Gary wants us to write about for
this week's LJ Idol.

So, I guess, my entry this week will have to just be an explanation for
the lack of an entry that addresses the topic. Likely as not, I'll be
out of the contest by Monday. If not, well hey, wonderful. But if I am,
may I just take the time to express sincere thanks to everyone who read
my stuff, everyone who commented, everyone who voted, and everyone who,
after reading my stuff, felt it not to be worthy of their vote. Gary,
you've run a fantastic contest so far, and I've enjoyed every aspect of
it.

So that's it, that's my entry, do with it what you will. And, if you
vote me out this weekend, I'll still be hanging around, and you can bet
I'll be back next year.
dogriver: (Default)
Society tells us that pain is a bad thing. There are drugs, hypnotic
techniques, therapy techniques, and more, to deal with all manner of
pain. The pain that can't be dealt with should be dealt with,
says society.

However, pain isn't all bad. The pain that tells a child that the stove
is hot and prevents her from touching it again is a good pain, for
example. I want to talk about an incredibly, acutely intense pain for
which I am truly grateful.

On May 3, 2001, I had to say goodbye to the most incredible mortal man
it has been my privilege thus far to know, my father. Dad had fought a
long, hard, and agonizing battle with a truly evil disease called Wegener's
Granulomatosis
. After intense suffering, Dad finally got his wish to
go home to be with Christ.

That left the rest of us, my amazing family: my mother, three brothers,
and their respective families, as well as Dad's own siblings.

The seven and a half years that have ensued have been incredibly painful
for me. I still find myself almost ready to pick up the phone to call
Dad and tell him about something I'd heard or thought of. I still find
myself often wishing I could seek out Dad's wise advice. I still miss
Dad enormously.

So if it's so painful, why am I thankful for that pain? Why feel
gratitude for the source of such misery?

I keep hearing of abusive fathers, of neglegent fathers, of indifferent
fathers. All too often, I've run into people who, truth be told, were
glad when their father passed on. I am thankful that I had a father who
earned, many times over, the right to be missed. Every pang of sorrow
represents the fact that, while Dad was here, I was blessed beyond
measure. And I still am, because I have my mom, my brothers. They're all
just a phone call away.

I didn't celebrate Dad's death, and in my mind, every time I miss my
dad, it is a celebration of a life worth missing.
dogriver: (Default)
You know those things people say to you all the time when you're down,
those "encouraging" sayings, "wise" proverbs, and assorted garbage that
just makes you shake your head and say, "Yeah, right, you really don't
understand but I'll shut up just to keep the peace?" Well doesn't it
just take the biscuit when these gems happen to actually be right and
you have to eat your disdain?

Here's a classic. I always loved this one. "Oh stop looking for a woman,
Bruce, and when you least expect it, it'll just happen." Yeah, sure.
Whatever. Maybe in a movie, maybe in a book, maybe to someone else, but
to me? No, not a chance.

So there I was, last August, resigning myself to remaining single for
life. I mean, it only made sense, right? I'd botched every previous
attempt, so it was only fitting that I detect a pattern, resign myself,
and enjoy that life of eternal singleness which happily-married people
were always trying to tell me wasn't really so bad. Well, if it wasn't
so bad, why did they get married, and why were they so happy, right?

But it was finally starting to happen! I was enjoying my singleness, I
was reveling in it. I wasn't hoping, I wasn't looking. Translation:
phase one of that annoying proverb had been achieved. Do I hear phase
two, anyone?

On August 5, I began talking to [livejournal.com profile] kittytech, henceforth
refered to as Caroline (for that is her name, you see). Oh this is
great, I thought, and even said as much to my roommate, here's a girl
whom I absolutely love talking to, and there's nothing between us and no
pressure. We're pals, nothing more, and isn't that just wonderful?

That ignorant bliss lasted for about a week. Pretty much exactly a
week, really. Because by August 12, I knew I was in love. I hadn't
wanted it, I hadn't asked for it ... I'd asked for the opposite ... But
it's what I got. And, totally unexpectedly, she felt the same way I did.
And, wonderfully, we still do.

The unexpected can bring terrible pain, and it can bring unspeakable
joy. In this case, I'm so glad to say, the unexpected has brought me
unspeakable joy.
dogriver: (Default)
Um, I promis if you vote for me this time, I won't add any more appeals
for votes in this LJ this season. Okay, I promise regardless I won't do
any more appeals for votes, those appeals just don't sit well with me.
But I think one of the main reasons I'm not doing particularly well this
week, aside from the fact that I've been placed in a very difficult
tribe (a challenge, ah yes, a challenge) is that, because I was quite
busy last week, I posted my entry quite late, so people didn't get the
chance to read it that they would normally get. Perhaps I'm just being
vain and the reason I'm not doing well is that my entry stunk, and if
that's the case I'm cool with that. But please, if you think my entry is
worth voting for, please go here</ a> and vote. Remember that you have to submit on my ballot to vote for
me, if that is your intention, submitting on the other three ballots
won't do it. Okay, I promise, no more appeals for votes this season in
LJ Idol, at least not in my LJ.
dogriver: (Default)
I haven't done many of the "vote for me" pleas, and I intend to continue
not doing many of them. But occasionally one must engage in this sort of
thing.Please read my entry on Ranting LJ Style, and if you believe it to
be worthy of your vote, then please vote for it. The ballot can be found
here</ a>. Be aware that there are four separate ballots, and hitting submit on
one of those ballots does not mean you've hit submit on any of the
others. IF you do not feel my entry is worthy of your vote, then please
do not vote for it, but if you feel it is, then please do. Thanks,
everyone!
dogriver: (Default)
If you were to look back through my LiveJournal, you would see many
entries tagged "rant". This is because ranting is one of the most truly
useful things I've been able to do with LJ. It's been a chance for me to
express my feelings to anyone who cares, while not bothering anyone who
doesn't.

That's the problem about ranting face-to-face with someone: they're
either forced to be rude, or they're forced to be a captive audience.
Either way, it can be unpleasant for the listener. I've been on both
sides, so I know whereof I speak.

My first outlet for ranting was a little weekly commentary that I did
for several years called One Guy's Thoughts. It was a project I
basically started for myself. Inspired by Charles Adler at CJOB radio in Manitoba, I suddenly
realized I was allowed to have opinions on things, even if they went
contrary to popular opinion. These opinions are certainly not always
right, but I'm allowed to have them, so long as I don't start to vainly
believe my opinions to be the be-all and end-all of opinionitude. So I
started this commentary, and I grew to have quite a following ... Not
vast by anyone's definition, but more than the one or two I had been
expecting. A Web page, now under reconstruction, came out of it, and I
got some very kind and thoughtful comments from people.

But doing this week in and week out had its disadvantages. First, being
forced to "have" an opinion when I really had none seemed ... Shallow,
fake, insincere. Second, what of the times when I had more opinions than
just once per week? I tried addressing this latter problem with a
"thought of the minute" one-liner at the end of each commentary. I think
that lasted for, maybe, two commentaries.

This is where LiveJournal has become invaluable. Now I can publish my
opinions, right or wrong, to anyone who wishes to read them. Because
it's not a fixed format, I am allowed to have as many or as few opinions
as I want, and they're all archived for me, I don't even have to worry
about that! The friends I've made as a result have been terrific. I've
loved hearing from people who agree with my opinions, and I've loved
just as much hearing from people who have disagreed with what I've said.
Best of all have been the comments that I've made someone think. Now,
almost ten years after the first One Guy's Thoughts commentary, I am
still very surprised that anyone out there considers my material worth
reading. But I'm grateful, I'm honored. Writing is simply one of the
things I do, well or otherwise, and the thought that anyone out there
considers reading this writing to be worth seconds, minutes, or even
hours of their valuable time is absolutely indescribable. I enjoy it,
and if you do too, we all win.
dogriver: (Default)
I've always said, and rightly, that being blind requires a great deal of
trust. Many's the time you have to trust the person leading you, the
person driving you, etc., to know what they're doing, and to be reliable
as a person, even though you may have just met the person minutes ago.

But as I sit here reflecting, I realize that hope and trusting go
hand-in-hand. I trust person A, and I then must hope that person A is
worthy of that trust.

The place: The West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta. The time:
Reading Week, 1991, my last year in college. The girl: Arlene; student,
friend, fellow choir member.

At the center of the mall is a place called Fantasy Land. It's basically
an amusement park inside the mall, with roller coaster, water slides,
and so on. One of the rides you can go on, or at least you could back
then, is the Drop of Doom. Basically, you pay a lot of money so you can
fall. Manitoba winters give us this privilege at no charge, though I
have no doubt the government is even now trying to figure out a way to
put a tax on it. I hope they don't. So anyway, I had taken this
ride several times. Apparently I had more money than I knew what to do
with, a notion that seems incongruous with most of my memories of
college life. But I was tired of this ride, so when Arlene, who was
leading me around, wanted to go on it yet again, I opted out. "Show me a
place to sit," I implored, "and I'll just wait this one out." I
hoped she would accept my request. She did.

And so, I sat there and waited, hoping she had not forgotten me.
I waited, I hoped. I hoped, I waited. And just when I got to feeling
that Arlene wasn't coming back for me, she didn't come back for me.

It was about an hour and a half later. I was still sitting in my happy
little corner, contemplating whether or not I'd ever get back together
with my family, loved ones, and former friend (my thoughts about Arlene
were not especially charitable at this point, although I hoped to
see her again at some point so I could spell out in considerable detail
my opinions of that afternoon's proceedings). Just when I was beginning
to lose hope, a friendly voice (not Arlene's) asked, "Have you been
forgotten?"

Quick math break. Had I? I'd been waiting for the last hour and a half.
Arlene's falling-down ride lasted for, oh, eight seconds. I decided I
must have been, and said so. I thus got reunited with the choir, still
hoping for a chance at a little chitchat with dear Arlene.

Several hours later, I was in a food court, drinking a well-deserved
Coke, when Arlene appeared on the scene. My hopes had been
fulfilled. I waited for the apology, I waited for a chance to give her a
cold reception. I did not get the former, but got more than ample
opportunity for the latter. Her first words to me: not "Oh man, I'm
sorry, Bruce", not "Oh my gosh, Bruce, I totally forgot", not even "Hi
Bruce, did you enjoy sitting in a corner all afternoon?" Her first words
to me were: "Bruce, can I borrow five bucks?" I hoped she was
kidding. That hope was not realized. She was dead serious. I, too, was
deadly serious in my absolute, flat-out, indignant refusal.

I did eventually forgive Arlene, though I made it a point of taking my
sweet time letting her know that all was forgiven. Watching her suck up
to me was the most entertainment I'd had in a long time. So the story
has a happy ending, and I hope you enjoyed it.
dogriver: (Default)
If you can see anything at all, even light, or if you have ever seen anything at all, you cannot fully understand what it is to have been totally blind since birth. This is not a statement lamely meant to evoke pity, it is simply a statement of fact. Many times, I have had people come up to me, genuinely believing they understand my lot in life because they have been blindfolded for an hour, morning, afternoon, or day, but it is simply not true. When one is blindfolded, there comes with it the knowledge that at some point that blindfold will be removed. At the very least, you have experienced sight and you know the sensation for what it is.

Just as someone who sees or has seen can't understand total blindness from birth, I am also incapable of understanding sight. This has led to interesting conversations.

For as long as I can remember, people have tried explaining sight, color, and perspective to me, all to no avail. "What does sight feel like?" I ask. "Feel? It doesn't feel like anything," they reply, "it's just ... it's just sight!" Or, one of my personal favorites, "Red is hot, and ..." "But," I answer, "what happens when you take a red apple and put it in the fridge. It's still red, but it's cold!"

Another thing people like to tell me is that I see black. I do not. When you are seeing black, your eyes tell your brain that there is nothing to see, and your brain registers this. In my case, my brain doesn't even register that there is nothing to see. It's a really tough concept to wrap your brain around, just as, I'm sure, mere silence is absolutely nothing like total deafness.

The problem is that we think of things according to the reference points we know. We have to, it's all we have. You associate blindness with darkness, darkness with blackness. You don't know what is beyond darkness, so the notion that blindness is somehow more than darkness/blackness is utterly foreign.

Does blindfolding give one a better understanding of blindness? Absolutely. People can experience firsthand some of the challenges associated with blindness. But it's not the real thing, nor can it be. So I suppose there will always be this comprehension gap between me and my many sighted friends, family, and associates. Thankfully this gap doesn't divide us as people. Our commonalities far, far outweigh the differences that blindness represent.

But I still want to know, and I probably won't know during my life on earth, what does sight feel like?
dogriver: (Default)
When I was in my early teens, I used to attend a summer program for blind students put on by our Department of Education (my current employer, as it happens). This program would run two days per week. Because I lived in a rural part of the province, I would take the bus two days a week to Winnipeg, where I would be met by one of the university students hired to run this program.

It was the beginning of a new summer, and I got to the city for the first time that year. As I stepped off the bus, I met the university student responsible for meeting me. "Hi Bruce," he said, "Meet Tracy, a new student. Tracy is partially sighted, and will be leading you around today." It wasn't unusual for a partially-sighted student to lead a totally-blind student around, and it made things easier on the limited number of university students.

Up until then, all the Tracies I'd met had been female. Up until then. This Tracy was younger than I, and his voice hadn't changed yet. So I took Tracy's elbow and he began to lead me to the car. Among other things, I was idly wondering if this girl was worth pursuing. Thankfully, oh so thankfully, I kept my mouth shut.

The destination of the day was Fun Mountain Water Park, one of two major water parks in the Winnipeg area at the time. So we all piled into the car and went out to the park.

We got out, Tracy was still leading me. We went into a building, the university student paid our tuition, and tracy took me into a change room and brought me to a bench. "Okay," he said, "you can change here."

At this point in the proceedings, my mind was racing, since I still thought Tracy was a girl. I understood that I came from a rural, non-progressive part of civilization. But had things progressed to the point of no differentiating between change rooms according to gender? So, not wanting to look more like a hick than i no doubt already did, I shrugged inwardly, changed, and had a great time on the water slides ... enjoying the company of the decidedly female university student with whom I was eventually paired.

I did find out later that afternoon that Tracy was not a girl. Thankfully I found this out in a non-embarrassing way. Tracy and I are friends to this day, and the story always gets a laugh out of both of us.
dogriver: (Default)
Well, as it stands, I am tied with several people for last in my tribe in [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, which means I could very well face early elimination. Well hey, if that happens, I was eliminated fair and square. But if you've read my entry and find it voteworthy, then please consider putting in your vote, there's not much time left. You can find the ballot here.
dogriver: (Default)
It was a Sunday afternoon, I was at my mom's place for a family
gathering. I had two of my young nieces on my lap, and I was telling
them my version of the story of the three little pigs. For those who are
unfamiliar with my telling of the tale, it varies rather substantially
from the standard-issue version. You can access a recording of my
version of the story here.

Once I finished telling the story, one of my nieces turned to me. "Uncle
Bruce," she said, "I'm so glad you're my uncle."

We all look for affirmation, for validation, for praise of some kind in
life, whether we're willing to admit it or not. This affirmation means a
lot from anyone. But when I hear a sincere, innocent expression of love
from a child, that to me is an absolutely indescribable feeling of joy.
dogriver: (Default)
I'm supposed to care about this. As a patriotic Canadian, I'm supposed
to care. That's what the CBC [Canadian
Broadcasting Corperation] would have me think, that's what the CRTC [Canadian Radio-Television and
Telecommunications Commission] would have me think, that's what those
branches of government dealing with the arts and heritage and so on
would have me think. So I should care, at least according to
them, but I don't.

It's true: Canadian culture, such as it is, is very heavily influenced
by our neighbors to the south. Much of our television, sports, music,
literature, and other cultural components do come from the States. Much
of the merchandise we buy is American merchandise. Many of the
businesses in this country are owned by American companies. But is this
necessarily the horrible thing that the so-called cultural experts make
it out to be? I submit that it is not.

Despite the best efforts of governments to portray us otherwise, we are
not a society of people who sit around all day reading Margaret Atwood,
listen to classical music and watch documentaries about the history of
the Artic all day. A true culture is not created, a true culture simply
is. Culture reflects the people, our culture is the sum of all its
people.

Canada prides itself on being multicultural in its makeup. We are proud
of our Native roots; of our British roots; of our French roots; not to
mention all the contributions by the many, many people who make up this
country who trace their roots to every country on every continent. One
of these countries happens to be the most powerful country on the
planet, our best friend and closest neighbor, the United States. Given
the powerfulness of the United States and our proximity to it, it's only
natural that their culture will have a profound influence on ours. You
can't wipe that out with legislation, nor should you. Culture needs to
define itself according to its people. It should not be defined based on
what a few stuffed shirts in Ottawa want it to be. We will never be a
country of Beethoven-listening philosophers, and it's as simple as that.

So there you have it. I'm told I should care about the
Americanization of Canada ... Even by some Americans, I might add ...
But I don't. If it's part of who we are, let it be. I'm a very loyal,
patriotic Canadian, but I'm also proud to have the United States of
America as our closest neighbor and best friend. It's a minority of
Canadians who disagree with me on this, I like to think. Someday, maybe,
we can convince the stuffed shirts in Ottawa that they work for us, not
vice versa.
dogriver: (Default)

Saying Goodbye



I had to say goodbye this morning,
What else could I do?
I really wasn't left with any choice,
I had to leave abruptly,
Though I really hope you heard,
The pain and anguished torture in my voice.

It's true, the time when we're together
Fills me with such joy,
But I truly hope that you can understand,
I had to do the things I did,
Despite this empty voide,
This is a time when life just isn't grand.

I had to say goodbye to you,
Just know that I'll be back,
The pain and hurt's so real, but it shall end,
You'll fold me up in your embrace,
My joy will be complete:
Tonight, dear bed, I'll sleep in you again.
dogriver: (Default)
Hi everyone! My name is Bruce Toews, and this is my second year in the
LJ Idol competition.

It's difficult to pindown what I think you should all know about me. For
one thing, I am not so pretentious as to think all of the minute details
of my life are remotely interesting, let alone spine-tinglingly
exciting. For another, there are space and time constraints to consider.

I grew up on a farm near a small rural community called Altona in
Manitoba, Canada. After graduating high school, I attended Bible college
for three years, where I obtained my B.A. I have spent the remaining
portion of my life thus far as a braille proofreader, both with the
Canadian National Institute for the Blind and for the Manitoba
government. So there you have the brief biography.

The single most important thing about me is my faith, that supercedes
all else. I am a Christian, first and foremost. I attend, and belong to,
a Mennonite church here in Winnipeg. If you wish to read my testimony,
it can be found here.

It will also probably give you some perspective to know that I am blind,
and have been since birth. Since many of the topics in LJ Idol are drawn
from our lives, and since my blindness is an inescapably big part of my
life, knowing this about me will probably help you to make sense of what
I write, if you choose to do so.

I live alone, am single, but have a girlfriend, [livejournal.com profile] kittytech,
who is the most wonderful woman a man could have in his life. I like to
read, write, talk to friends, be on the forefront of technology where
possible, drink Coke and eat pizza. I personally believe that ketchup
accentuates the flavor of a steak, it does not obscure it.

I look forward to meeting and befriending as many of you as possible in
the coming contest. It's all about fun, and I plan to maximize that fun
throughout the next few months. Thanks, Gary, for the opportunity, and
for overseeing the complexities of LJ Idol for another season.
dogriver: (Default)
People may think I'm crazy, nuts, deranged, strange, and all stuff like
that there, and they'd be right. I am indeed all these things to the
power of about a quarter million. And this is why, among other things, I
will again be participating in [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol this year. I am
a returning contestant, having participated in last year's festivities
under my then username, Brucetola.

The Real LJ Idol is a zillion times better than Canadian or American
Idol, by virtue of the fact that it isn't Canadian or American
Idol. And since I can't participate in CJOB's Talk Show Idol contest because I
have a job, this shall be my outlet. I look forward to the competition.
I hope there are no gold stars this year, but even if there are, I shall
press on uncomplainingly, a Coke in one hand, a keyboard in the other.
And so, having said all that, I'll shut up, let the game begin.
dogriver: (Default)
This is my response to the free topic in [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol.

Who is my favorite LJ user? The quick first guess might be [livejournal.com profile] kittytech. And why not? She's my girlfriend, the love of my
life, right? Well absolutely she is, but no, I think my favorite LJ user
is me. I say this not to be vain, but for several other reasons.

First, I put a lot of time and some money into this LJ. The time is
considerable, and while the money is neglegeable, it is still money. Why
would I put this investment into an LJ that wasn't my favorite?

Secondly, I want people to enjoy my efforts. If I am to achieve this
goal, I have to like it, I have to be enthusiastic about it. If
I'm not, my LJ turns into something like the kid in the Cheech and Chong
routine writing about what he did on his summer vacation. you know, "I
woke up. Then I went downtown. To look for a job. Then i hung out in
front of the drugstore." And so on.

So that's why I'm my favorite LJ user: not because I vainly believe my
LJ to be better than anyone else's, I know better than that. But I
believe that if I am not my favorite LJ user, this whole thing is an
exercise in futility.

Profile

dogriver: (Default)
Bruce Toews

June 2017

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