100 Things about Me, 10 years ago.

I found this in my website archives today. I used to have a static page with 100 things about me, plus other “favorites” lists. Needless to say, some things have changed while others have not!

100 Things About Me
I’m a girl.
I’m right handed.
I’m 25.
I play hockey, ICE hockey.
I’m a goalie.
I play hockey all year round.
I was born in Florida.
Now I live in Canada.
I love ice cream.
I like horror movies.
I’m a good listener.
I’m very happily married.
I usually wear jeans and a t-shirt.
I’m 5 feet tall.
CuJo is a god.
I love long sleeve t-shirts.
Venom is my favorite villain.
I’m a landed immigrant in Canada.
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue.
I like beer. Beamish Red is my favorite.
I like Kindereggs.
I was MVP for the Mullet Cup 2000.
I graduated high school when I was 16.
I like the Simpsons.
I wear contacts.
I’ve read almost every Stephen King novel.
I have a size 7 1/2 shoe.
I’m a Virgo.
I’ve lived in 26 residences, 8 states and 3 countries.
M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali are my favorite artists.
I hate Nike.
I wear doggie or ram slippers when my feet are cold.
My favorite search engine is Google.
I have 2 younger brothers.
I don’t like politics.
I like anchovies on my pizza.
Lain is my favorite anime series.
I’m a Leafs fan.
I’m cranky when I’m hungry.
I was in the Air Force.
Edgar Allen Poe is one of my favorite writers.
I’m not good at arguing.
Blue is my favorite color.
I’m on the St. Clements Wintersuns.
The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies.
Winona Ryder is my favorite actress.

.: Things I Like About Winter :.
Jackets with lots of pockets
Fresh snow
Lots of blankets
Hockey season

.: Movies :.
Princess Bride
Fight Club
Girl, Interrupted
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Moulin Rouge
The Shawshank Redemption
American History X
Princess Mononoke
Grave of the Fireflies
Silence of the Lambs
The Exorcist
Schindler’s List
Back to the Future
The Shining
Stand By Me
The Professional

.: TV Shows :.
Serial Experiments: Lain (I have ’em on DVD)
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Voyager
Third Rock from the Sun
That 70’s Show
X-Files (pre-Agent Doggett)

.: Reads :.
The Stand, by Stephen King
It, by Stephen King
Memoirs of Cleopatra, by Margaret George
The Talisman, Stephen King and Peter Straub
Bearing an Hourglass, by Piers Anthony
Intensity, by Dean Koontz
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales
Ultimate Spiderman series (still ongoing)
DareDevil: Yellow series
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

.: Music :.
Gravity Kills
Great Big Sea
The Cranberries
Seven Mary Three
Collective Soul
Magnolia Soundtrack
Sixpence None The Richer
Mazzy Star
Bad Religion
Crash Test Dummies
Alanis Morissette
Stabbing Westward
Barenaked Ladies
Jars of Clay
Goo Goo Dolls
Pearl Jam
The Sundays
Cowboy Junkies
Blue Rodeo
Sarah McLachlan
Natalie Imbruglia
White Zombie
Stone Temple Pilots
Matchbox 20
Peter Gabriel
Sneaker Pimps
Wide Mouth Mason
…many more.

.: Hot Guys :.
Christian Slater
Johnny Depp
Jose Theodore
Ben Affleck
Ethan Hawk
Dan Gauthier
Christian Bale
Keanu Reeves
Ewan McGregor
.: Cool Guys :.
…not exactly “hot”, but definitely talented.
Russell Crowe
Ed Norton
Gary Oldman

.: Cool Chicks :.
Christina Ricci
Winona Ryder
Milla Jovovich
Thora Birch
Jennifer Connelly
Helen Slater
Gina Gershon
Joey Lauren Adams

Escape from Mumbai

I don’t normally pass on emails, nor do I write about them (unless they send me into a rage) but this was particularly bone-chilling, and brought tears to my eyes.

The following is an email from Jonathan Ehrlich to his friends and family following his recent brush with death and escape from Mumbai during the recent terrorist attack.

Hey guys.

Got all your notes. Thank you. I’m ok. A little shaky to be honest but really just happy to be here. I can’t thank you enough for your notes.

You have no idea what the mean to me. Hope to see and speak to you all soon.

I wrote the following on the plane.

It’s 3.33 am Thursday Nov 27th. And I am writing this from Jet Airways flight 0227, First leg of the Mumbai – Brussels – Toronto – Vancouver journey . It is a stream of “adrenaline” piece. I apologize in advance for the grammatical errors. But I wanted it raw and unedited.

First, some context.

I have always been truly blessed. Lucky to be born to the most love a child could ever wish for. Luck to be born into a family that prided itself on teaching me how to be a man. Lucky to have been protected and sheltered by three strong, decent brothers. Lucky to have found and married the kindest heart on the face of the earth. Lucky to be blessed beyond blessed with four healthy, beautiful children. Lucky to have wonderful friends who tolerate my idiosyncrasies.

Tonight, these blessings, these gifts of love and life bestowed upon me, this incredible good fortune, saved my life. And I honestly don’t know why.

The details.

I am in Mumbai on business. I’m staying at the Trident hotel. It’s sister hotel, the Oberai, is right next-door and attached by a small walkway.

I had dinner by myself in the Oberai lobby after some late meetings.

I retired upstairs to my room. About 10min later my colleague, Alex Chamerlin, text-ed asking me to join him and his friend in the Oberai lounge for a drink. I started to make my way out the door but decided that I was really too tired. I had a 7am flight, and needed to be up at 5. Rest beckoned. I closed the light, got into bed and quickly fell asleep. Lucky life-saving decision number 1.

About 1hr later there was knock at my door. A few seconds later, the doorbell rang (they have doorbells for hotel rooms here – who’da thunk?). I thought – who the hell is knocking at my door? Turn down service? This late? Forget it. So I just lay there and hoped they would go away. Lucky life-saving decision number 2.

Five minutes later I heard and felt a huge bang. I got up and went to look out the window. A huge cloud of grey smoke billowed up from the road below.

I thought. Fireworks? I didn’t see anyone milling about so knew something wasn’t right. I started to walk to the light switch when – BANG – another huge explosion shook the entire hotel.

Oh fuck, I thought. Is that what I think this is? I opened the door to the hallway. A few people were already outside.

I heard the word “bomb”.

Oh shit. Oh shit I thought.

I’d like to tell you that I calmly collected my myself and my things and proceeded to the exits.

I didn’t. An adrenaline explosion erupted inside me and almost lifted me off the floor. And I began to move. Really move.

I went back inside, quickly packed my stuff and went back into the hall.

I ran to the emergency exit and started making my way down the stairs (I was on the 18th floor).

There were a few people in the stairwell. I was flying by them. I swear I could have run a marathon in 2hrs. I felt like pure energy.

About halfway down, I called my friend Mark, told him what had happened and asked him to get me a flight – any flight – the hell out of Mumbai.

I got to the lobby level. There was a crowd of people in the corridor.
No one moving. No one doing anything. No hotel staff. No security people.

Shit. I thought. We are sitting ducks.

I decided to get out of there. First, into the lobby.

I stepped through the door into the silent lobby. My first sight was a blood soaked plastic bag and bloody footsteps leading into the reception area. I proceeded forward. The windows were shattered and glass was everywhere.
There wasn’t a soul around.

Bad decision, I thought. I quickly retreated to the corridor. The crowd of people had grown.

We’ve got to get out of here I yelled. Let’s go.

I looked around for the emergency exit and started running towards it.

I made my way through the bowels of the hotel and out into a dark alley. It was empty and silent. I looked to my left and about 100m away saw a few security guards milling about.

Run they screamed. I began to move toward them.

I reached the main street and was immediately swept up into the Indian throngs (for those who have been to Mumbai, you know what I mean).
People everywhere. But they were all eerily quiet. No one was talking.
No car horns. Nothing.

I started yelling “airport airport”.

Some one (a hotel cook I believe) grabbed me and my bag and threw me in a rusty mini-cab.

As I sped away, I didn’t see a single police car nor hear a single siren.
Just the sound of this shit-box car speeding down the deserted road.

Traffic was stop and go. I made it to the airport in about 1hr, cleared customs and buried myself in a corner of a packed departure lounge, called my wife, called my parents and brothers and started emailing those friends who knew I was in Mumbai.

Sadly, Alex – my colleague who texted me for a drink – and his friend were not so lucky. The terrorists stormed into the lobby bar and killed several people. They took Alex and his friend hostage and started to march them up to the roof of the hotel.

About half way up, Alex managed to escape (he ducked through an open door and hid) but his friend was caught. And as I write this, that poor man is still on the roof of the Oberai.

Alex is safe but as expected, extremely worried about his friend.

I’m telling you right now. If I decided to meet Alex for that drink tonight I’d either be dead, a hostage on the roof of a building 30 hours away from everyone I love or – if I had the balls of Alex – a stupid-but-lucky-to-be-alive jerk.

And remember that knock/ring at my door? Well, I subsequently learned that the first thing the terrorists did was get the names and room numbers of western guests. They then went to the rooms to find them.
Ehrlich, with an E, room 1820.
I’ll bet my entire life savings that they were the knock at my door.

Thank god for jet lag.
Thank god for “cranky tired Jonny” (as many of my friends and family know so
well) that compelled to get into and stay in bed.
Thank god for being on the 18th floor.
Thank god for the kind kind people of Mumbai of helped me tonight. The wonderfully kind hotel staff. That cook. My cab driver who constantly said “relaxation” “relaxation” “I help” and who kept me in the cab when we hit a particularly gnarly traffic jam and i wanted to get out and walk. And for other people in traffic who, upon hearing from my own cab driver that I was at the Oberai, literally risked life and limb to stop traffic to let us get by (as again, only those who have been to Mumbai can truly appreciate).

Mumbai is a tragically beautiful place. Incredibly sad. But I am convinced that its inhabitants are definitely children of some troubled but immensely soulfully god.

I’m sitting on plane (upgraded to first class….see, told you I’m lucky ?).
Just had the best tasting bowl of corn flakes I’ve ever had in my life.
Hennessey coursing through my veins. Concentration starting to loosen and sleep beginning to creep onto my horizon.

I still feel a bit numb. But mostly I feel like I’ve just watched a really really bad movie staring me. Because right now, it all doesn’t feel real.
Maybe a few hours of CNN will knock me into reality. But the truth is numb is fine with me for a while. If I do end up thinking about the what if’s, I don’t really want to do that until I’m much much closer to home. And I have 30 more hours of travel time to go.

But before I sign off, let me say this.

The people who did this have no souls. They have no hearts. They are simply the living manifestation of evil and they only know killing and murder.
We – all of us – need to understand that. Their target tonight was first and foremost Americans. Why? Because they fear everything that America stands for. They fear hope and change and freedom and peace. Let’s make no mistake; they would have shot me and my children point blank tonight with out a moment’s hesitation. Most of us sorta know that but sometimes we equivocate. We can’t equivocate. Not ever.

I know that I want to go back. Lay some flowers. Wrap my arms around these people. Say thank you. Spend some money on overpriced hotel gifts and tip well. And generally give the bastards who did this the big fuck you and show them that I am not – I repeat not – afraid of them.

But first I need to go squeeze my wife. Dry her tears. Then have her dry mine as I hold my beautiful beautiful babies who will be
(thankfully) oblivious to all of this. Because isn’t that what life is really about?

I appreciate you taking the time to listen.

With much much love.

Jonathan Ehrlich

Lists are evil.

The problem with to-do lists is that once you write it down, it’s hard to cross it off until you’ve done it…which means if it’s a low priority, it stays there. Then you end up with a list of 3 high-priority items and 20 low-priority items, and it looks like you’ve done nothing.

Such is my life lately. My project at work is getting into the next gear, so I’m going faster and burning more oil. (Why does everything work with the Car Analogy?) Our logo is done, the design map is in progress, we’re hiring to fill out the team, and our soft launch is coming up soon. I can’t wait!

I’m going to the Web 2.0 Expo in April, which will be very exciting for me because I love GeekyThings, especially when combined with internet technology. And I’ll have cool business cards to pass out, don’t forget that.

I heartily welcome 2007.

Last year wasn’t the best year for me. Not all bad, not all good, but it could certainly have been better. All of the changes I endured in my life and lifestyle primarily took place in the latter half of the year. I keep thinking about that site, RealAge, that says certain stressors in your life reduce your real age. I probably took 20 years off my life due to stress.

I’m now separated (the Big D is imminent), I see my son half as much as I’d like, I’ve moved twice and will again in April, and I have a new job (same company, but a career change). Now, I’m not saying these things are all bad, just really stressful. In the long run, all of these changes will be for the better, and I know this.

Ultimately, I’m much happier. And I hope that will re-add 20 years to my life. 🙂

Life goes on…

I haven’t updated in how long? Holy crap. I think about posting every day, but don’t seem to get around to it.

Things have been crazy around here lately. Especially this week. Bruce is sick. I’m sick. The babysitter is sick. Therefore I’ve been off but taking care of a baby and working from home. So I guess I’m not really “off”.

My team’s end-of-the-year party was on Friday. Saturday afternoon I started to feel kinda off and Bruce was being whiney. Saturday night we went to a party at the co-op we used to live in and took Bruce. He liked it, particularly the dancing. He’s got a little girlfriend there. 😀 By the time we left, I was feeling pretty crappy. By Sunday morning I was definitely sick and Bruce wasn’t himself. Monday we both went to the doctor, but Tuesday we both got worse. Wayde stayed home from work to take care of us. Today, he’s still sick and I’m better but not 100%.

So the last couple of days have been pretty rough.

Tonight, I was sitting here on the couch with B and my pager started going off. Every two minutes. I logged in to check the servers and couldn’t stay logged in and got booted, all the while B is starting to freak because I’m not holding him anymore. So I call the office, leave a VM for the only person that might be doing something to the server, and manage to grab B and get some stuff together. I’m just on my way out the door when the guy calls. Thank God because I really, really did not want to be in at work with Bruce being sick and me trying to fix something. Anyway, it all got resolved in about half an hour with one hand on the baby, phone between my shoulder and ear, and one hand on the keyboard. Now that’s talent, ladies and gents.

Christmas shopping!

We did our Christmas shopping, what was left of it, early yesterday morning. We left the house at 10:30, an hour later than I intended, and got out of the mall sometime around 1. It was starting to get pretty packed in there, so I was glad to leave. Our shopping is now done! Woohoo! I think this is the earliest I have ever got all my shopping done. Well, not all. I have a few things I have to get today, but they’re not really gifts so it doesn’t count.

I decided that I have a very odd shopping list today:

1.       Christmas tree and decorations

2.       tennis balls (for Porter, he has no toys)

3.       2 yo-yos, intermediate

4.       X2 dvd

5.       toilet paper
What’s really cool is that I can get them all at the same place, Canadian Tire! Er, except the DVD, I’m actually getting that from a friend’s store.

I’m leaving as close to 9 as I can, to beat the rush.