~ On Monday at 5PM

~ On Monday at 5PM I went into the club to clean up the wreckage from the night before. Twelve hours after I left the Marquee staff party, I showed up and there were people who hadn’t gone home yet.

Monday night I climbed into bed at 11PM and stayed there for fifteen hours. It actually felt weird to be home in the evening, and not out at some smoky bar. That’s my version of a big night off from work: I stay home and read.

I read Life Of Pi by Yann Martel. I’d been looking forward to reading this because of all the hype it had gotten. Anyways, I slogged through the first fifty pages, skimmed and skipped through the next fifty, and started reading again around page 100.

My advice: start reading Life Of Pi at page 103, and also skip the last ten pages because they’re annoying.

Life is short and I firmly believe that only the good parts of books should be read.

~ Even though I was lying in bed most of the day on Tuesday, I still got on the phone and managed to be productive. Got a new job for example. Having two jobs doesn’t quite qualify me for full workaholic status, so starting in February I’m going to be teaching a couple of introductory audio courses at the Centre For Art Tapes.

I love teaching, as I love any activity that involves doing something I’m good at in front of a room full of people.

So I finally got up at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon and went for a walk downtown. I couldn’t believe how low in the sky the sun was at 3PM. That’s some Arctic Circle shit.

The afternoon twilight is beautiful. I realize that staying in bed all day implies that I am a candidate for seasonal affective depression or light deprivation disorder or whatever they’re calling it. It’s true; I am.

But walking around Halifax yesterday, one thing I knew was that I was not alone. Everybody in this town feels the effects of the same weather.

At least I was up and about by 3PM. I bet there are people who can’t get out of bed at all this time of year, or who just feel crappy all the time for no apparent reason. I might find it hard to get up, but by the time I hit the streets, I’m exhilarated by the long shadows and the muted glow of horizontal sunlight.

I have my reasons for loving winter.

~ I talked to an old man on Creighton Street yesterday. Not just any old man: the “Creighton Street Buddy.”

If you live in the North End you probably know his house–the ground floor window on Creighton Street, just off North.

My earliest memory of “Buddy” comes from shortly after I moved to Bloomfield Street. One day, checking out the new neighbourhood, I crossed North Street at Northwood and started to head up Creighton.

Up ahead on a windowsill, I saw what I thought was a can of air freshener. As I got closer I realized it was shaving cream.

Then a wizened old man poked half-a-shaving-creamed face out the window. He waved his razor at me. “How’s it going today, buddy!” he said.

“Not too bad, buddy!” I said (the only possible reply in this part of the world).

Pretty much ever since I’ve been walking past this window once or twice a day on my way downtown or to the studio. He’ll lean out his window and say, “Hi, Buddy!”

I’ll wave back and say “Hi, Buddy!”

It’s part of my daily ritual. Once I was walking up Creighton Street with a friend and both of us simultaneously said, “Hi Buddy!” Gradually I realized that everyone says hello to “Buddy” on their way up Creighton Street.

I saw him once with a bottle of Hermit’s sitting on the table in front of him. He looked in pretty rough shape, but he still managed to wave and shout, “God bless you, sir!”

When the weather gets too cold, he puts his window down. But he’ll still thump on the window with his fist, and then the fist will open out into a wave.

Yesterday I walked past and said “Hi buddy!” through the window, and then I turned around and went back and he opened his window and we had a little chat.

I don’t know why it had never even occurred to me to do this before. I complimented him on his Xmas decorations and we talked about the weather for a bit, and then we shook hands and said “Have a good one!”

His name is Jimmy. I walked away feeling all stoked.

I could write a hundred stories about why the North End rules.

~ I jammed last night at the Cornwallis space. I grabbed my Gibson SG and went to throw the strap up over my head and the guitar came up fast and biffed me in the mouth. It stung and I tasted blood.

I have a fat lip now. It’s cool to bleed at a rock’n’roll show but if you bleed at practice then you are a chump.

Wound up staying late after hours at the Khyber Club last night. Pounded back the Jagermeister with a couple of friends. I’d been feeling a sore throat coming on, but there’s nothing like Jagermeister to cure a cold.

~ Today is a lot like yesterday–a slow start into a quietly exhilarating afternoon.

I walk downtown and get to see the huge full moon hanging over Dartmouth at 4:30PM. The sky is mauve, lavender, purple. Smiles in the cold air crack my fat lip. I drop in to the No Records store, and when I come out, it is nighttime.

And then a strange celestial convergence takes place, and I receive cheques from both of my jobs on the same day.