William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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twelfth night reunion + RIM's coming to town!

There’s a moment in Jude the Obscure where Jude Fawley walks for miles from his aunt’s house in hope of sighting “Christminster” (Oxford). He walks, waits, waits, and waits, and finally the mist clears and he sees it.

I feel like I’m having one of those moments tonight. I had an unusually pleasant bus ride and walk home, thanks to the pleasant memories from our little reunion gathering. I’m so glad we had it; and I’m glad our last memories of each other aren’t going to be from the cast & crew party! =) Yeah, anyway we had a lot of fun tonight; Emily spurred the creation of a drink named “Viola,” after her character; and much pool was played. We were also shamelessly evangelizing for Facebook, and Alli and Shawn (pretty much the only cast members who didn't have it) may have it shortly. =)

I discovered tonight that as much as I hue and cry about freedom (mostly transportation-related), I am totally free in a much more important sense. I don't owe anyone anything, my driver's license doesn't have an "N" that stops me from driving after midnight (eww!), my parents don't impose a curfew on me or get mad if I come home late, and I'm living basically for free. Even though it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get home from the party, even as I was shutting off the alarm at 1:15am, I was thinking, "Gee, I'm a lucky b****..." (Not to mention I felt great from the exercise; it was a great night for walking!)

Now what in all this specifically relates to Jude’s sighting of Christminster? Well, Canadian tech darling Research In Motion (makers of the BlackBerry) is building a wee lil’ facility on Symonds Road, up where the Canadian Blood Services facility was going to go way back yonder (and there’s a ghost boulevard going up there – but it won’t be ghostly for much longer). In fact, you can actually see the construction crane for this new facility from the end of my street. Do you know how fundamentally odd and awesome that is?

This RIM facility could be the best thing that ever happened to our neighbourhood. First the obvious: I might be able to get a job there. To that end, I spent the time between meeting with my seminar professor and the Locas gathering working on my résumé, and I applied for several jobs online. (I don’t necessarily think that in itself will get anywhere, though, there’s probably 500-1000 more hopefuls everywhere I tread. Good jobs are not exactly plentiful in Halifax, as you might have guessed.) I need to take my résumé back to the Employment Centre for a second critique, but already I’m astounded at how much better it looks now that I’ve formatted it myself (roughly according to a guideline) instead of using a template.

Anyway, even if I don’t get a job the conventional way, I can do it unconventionally. It shouldn’t be hard to make the acquaintance of some key people, especially when I live so close by. (Actually, now that I think of it, our next door neighbour (my stepfather’s cousin) owns a trucking company – why have I not thought of becoming a trucker? I guess I’d like the driving, but I’d probably start gaining weight and the job doesn’t have a genteel reputation. Well, it’s something to keep in mind. I’m sure truck driving school is cheaper than a Master’s Degree in Library Science.)

But even if I don’t ever work there, it’s still good news. This facility will not only bring 600-1500 jobs to my backyard, it will also draw much-needed attention to the plight of West Bedford. This facility will spur the creation of sidewalks, bus routes, and OH! Hello Fast Ferry! You can bet RIM had that in mind when they decided to locate here. It looks a little bit silly at first, because you wonder, “Who the heck lives here?” But they’ll be located a two-minute drive from the freeway (NS-102), and it’s positioned roughly along a potential bus route that would link to the fast ferry at Mill Cove.

Now here’s a guy who knows what’s coming: Sandy Hines, a local real estate agent, set up this special informational webpage for RIM employees from other parts of Canada interested in relocating to Halifax. I really like the “Commute Ratings” on the page for the different urban areas of Halifax. Instead of “Fair to Poor,” for Dartmouth, though, I’d pick “Poor to Abysmal.” To get from Dartmouth to (West) Bedford, you have to drive through Burnside (traffic lights) and reach the Magazine Hill (a short freeway), and then get off that, then drive into the very heart of Bedford (traffic lights galore, 2-lane traffic the norm), then drive past a bunch of shopping malls, then get on the freeway (NS-102) again, drive south 1 exit, get off, and drive up to RIM. When the Magazine Hill and Bedford By-Pass freeway was built, the businesses in Bedford all but stopped a direct link between that road and the 102, making it really only useful for people whose 1) final destination is Bedford or 2) final destination is Sackville, or off in the direction of the Annapolis Valley. It totally screws anyone who wants to travel to 1) the Airport, Truro, or anywhere north along the 102 or 2) West Bedford, Hammonds Plains, or Halifax (people who are too cheap to take the Harbour Bridges).

Anyway, enough about that. My commute would be A++, “Super-Duper Excellent,” or whatever. And tonight I looked at that construction crane and the frame of the unfinished facility and I said, “Yep, I’m going there.” One way or another.
Tags: bedford, books, career, employment, friends, jude the obscure, neighbourhood, novels, parties, reunions, rim, smuds, tech companies, thomas hardy, transportation, twelfth night, work

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