I know I said lots of photos once I got up to Montreal but maybe I should have been more specific.. I meant when I settled down. Ran around getting shit done today like purchasing cell phones and mattresses and watching tony's
chicago cubs ream the expos at the big-o olympic stadium. The saddest part was that of the 8,122 fans at the game there were probably about 4,000 red sox fans - a team that wasn't even playing - and the rest of the fans were rooting for the cubs so you have to ask yourself what a lousy existence it must be to play for a team that the league has given up on.
Oh well, at least the fans do remember there players. A dude who played ten years ago for the expos will get cheered out of the visitor dugout for a hat-raise and wave if he comes into town on the rival team's bus. I'm not sure but I don't know where else that happens. It's the little moments, folks.
Could rant a lot about cell phone companies, money, life, but it would probably be complaining and I'm not in the mood. I am in the mood to post a punch of pics from the St. Laurent street sale but unfortunately I was so incapacitated by moving and drinking that I didn't take
any pictures. Instead I'll just say that it's interesting to be back in montreal.. interesting. You'll have to be satisfied with the grafitti I nabbed out of my bedroom window.
As you might have noticed by reading this here website, my drinking tastes have only gotten more sophisticated over the three years I have been out of college so when the idea of edward forty hands came up, I of course thought it was a brilliant idea. Edward forty hands, for those who do not know, is a simple game wherein you strap a 40oz. bottle of beer to each hand using duct tape (preferrably malt liquor, if you've got the cahunas). You then must drink all of these two fortys before you are allowed to remove the bottles. This obviously limits your ability to do normal every-day drinking tasks such as urinating and eating doritios, or, even answering the phone.
part about the game, however, is that you get right smashed and for some reason - don't ask me why - it just seems like a late-afternoon sort of game, you know - when it's light out.. So by the time you've drank 80 ounces of alcohol it's barely dark out, you're seeing sideways, and you've got nowhere to go but up.. or down.. or, well, however you want to look at it I guess.
But what it does do is force the importance of time on you like a freight train. The more you sit around and chat and waste time, the more your bladder will hate you come 1 hour in when you still got a full forty to go. It's like the ultimate space-time-dimensional equalizer. Never before has a few hours seemed sooo long. Of course, since it is quite a journey, this edward forty hands, when you're finally done you do feel pretty chipper about your accomplishment. In fact, I dare say you're happy and maybe even bubbly.
And any drinking game that can make me happy and bubbly, well, it's like I'm a champagne bottle on super bowl sunday.
The drive from Maine was uneventful but when I got into the city proper, montreal hit me in the face. The late afternoon traffic boxed me in and I got antsy. By the time I'd got onto Sherbrooke I was swearing out the window and then, crap, I saw it:
St Laurent street sale. fuck. Zero way to get to my apartment by anything with more than two wheels. No way to get within 50 meters of my apartment with my car at all, which, of course, is filled right to the brim at this point with all my crap. Luckily, fate falls upon me and I think to check with my friend who was smart enough to leave a message on her machine You've reached.. .. and if this is Mike, meet us for beer at 4:30
. It was 4:10 at this point so it fit nicely into my schedule of sit-around-and-be-anxious-about moving shit.. So I was drunk by 6. Really, if you can't accomplish anything, if the time forces you to step back and wait for round two.. well, just get drunk. Might as well.
So the car sat over by campus full of my stuff, just waiting to get broken into, but like the charmed dude that I am it was all fine and dandy sitting there on the hill and I rode it over to some free parking by St. denis and now I'm golden. Got back up here to my apartment and plugged in the laptop. Fired her up and immediately found a wireless point in range, so I'll have to go see how to break WEP encryption now. Not that I can't use the free broadband here but hey, if I don't have to plug in or by a wireless hub than fuck it, might as well steal the neighbours. At this point isn't broadband prevalent enough that we should just say screw it and open it all up to wireless? The true anonymous internetting this world really needs.
Shit, I make no sense. Montreal does that too you, man.
See, I have nothing against the idea of it really but when my friend who goes to grad school at a women's-only undergrad liberal arts school says "I totally need to bring some sloots up to Montreal soon" and I say "hell yeah" and he says "well, it's just a matter of finding hot straight
ones".. well, damn. Puts a damper on things from this angle, anyway.
And honestly, between the lezbos and the bitches and the just plain homelies.. Well fuck if I could find a worthwhile woman this side of the Mississip'. You might think I'm complaining here but I'm not. If you'll recall, I have stated on more than one occasion here that I won't complain anymore.. So if you read something that you suspect might be complain, well -stop. Adjust. Realign. Approach from a different angle. If it still seems like complaining then maybe you're in a bad mood, it ain't my fault. And if you try that a few times and it still seems like complaining.. well.
Maybe it's complaining. So shoot me. Nobody is perfect.
I'm in I'm-never-gonna-find-a-worthwhile-woman
mode. Notice I qualified with the word worthwhile
. There are plenty of women to find all over the place, what with making up 1/2 the species. It's just hard to find the good ones. They hide among the riff-raff and they aren't immediately identifiable. You gotta do a little detective work if you wanna find yourself a real catch.
If you're lucky, if I'm lucky, this little discovery will happen before, oh, I dunno, before I'm forty fucking years old. See, from this angle, I see choices. I see options. I see exactly two. One decision can be summarized with a single word: "settle". This is what one does when the thought of being alone is no longer a bearable proposition and they'll take whatever shlep that happens to cross their path. Settling
is what you're doing when you're laying in bed at night next to your partner, who is snoring away, and you're mind is racing with what-ifs
and you don't feel
like you're there. You don't want
to be there.
I want a boyfriend
I want a boyfriend
I want all that secret old shit
like letters and sodas
letters and sodas
And if you don't want to be there you're never really there. Not inside your head you're not. You're somewhere else floating on a sailboat in the tropics with a corona and a big bag of weed because the only thing - the only thing that can make this here-now-in-front-of-your-face bearable is to feel just exactly numb
. You want to feel it because the numbness doesn't tease with the idea of something more being dangled in front of your face. Numbness doesn't hint at exactly what you want, doesn't make promises, doesn't give guarantees that it'll be there when it says it will be.. Numbness just is.
I can feel it in my bones
I'm gonna spend my whole life alone
Fuck and run
Fuck and run
Even when I was seventeen
Fuck and run
Fuck and run
Even when I was twelve
And even when I'm 40 I'll be waiting, impatiently patient. That's who I am - patientience without the virtue. Begging inside my head, begging like a dog at the dinner table, begging with that pureness, a realness void of the hook-up
vibe, void of the need to just fuck
cause that, honestly, is the least of my problems. At 26 forty years old isn't looking nearly as far away as it should and here, at 26, I can tell you that my patience is wearing thin... and I just don't know how I'm going to make it last through the years. I don't know how my patience is going to survive. If it's threadbare now, it's going to be a ghost of a shell of nothing when I get to 40. If I get to 40.
It's the end of an era here in the port city and even though the sun is shining so bright and the breeze is just right and there is no more work.. unfortunately, there is still fight. I got a lot of fight in me yet, what with the packing and moving and unpacking and all the unholy crap I have to deal with here in the last week of my stay here in the u.s. of a. You'd think I'd be happy to be off of work sitting in the sun like I am here, not a cloud for as far as my little eyes can see, but I'm procrastinating. Been procrastinating about this blog and I've been wondering what's going to happen to this little corner of the internet what with my routine and schedule about to be flippity-flopped 180 degrees. Been thinking it might not keep on keeping on like it has for over three years now despite the lulls, the dry commentary, the lack of hits, the general disinterest.. cause in the end it hasn't been me who has been uninterested. Honestly, it's quite impressive to me that I even found this place habitable for this long - usually I get tired of my digs and feel the need to clean or cut or just generally run away. I guess switching the template is sorta like that, but still - it's the same place. I'm still here.
The end is nigh now and I can see it clearly. It's no longer a far off destination, it's right here close up in my view. It's four days away. Thing is, it's so close now that it's literally quite unavoidable. Before, months ago when it first became a decision it wasn't really real
yet. It was still kind of fresh and fun and just a whisper on the wind, sort of a suggestion, a thought, an idea. Ideas are great because they're untouchable, unmeasurable.. they float there unseen only felt, like a good massage, they aren't intrusive. This end, four days away now, this is intrusive. My whole life is about to be tipped upside down like a kid on the playground. All my change is about to be stolen. It's not the end of the world but it's the end of an era and I don't know exactly how I feel about that.
Had this notion a long long time ago - so long ago I can't even really remember - that in this life you are truly alone. No matter how many friends and relatives you surround yourself with you're still alone. This isn't an original idea or a particularly exciting one but it's something I'm painfully aware of lately.. it's been flushed out these last few weeks as a sort of reaction to the changes that are about to take place in my life. A move from one city to another. A move from one country to another. A move from one employement status to another, one student status to another. And no one, no one at all, making the journey with me.
Don't get me wrong. There are folks on both ends. Old friends, new friends, good friends. People excited about my return to Montreal. People sad to see me leave the port city. But in the journeys, the real learning experiences, there is no one. It's an empty road from here to Montreal. Empty of the chatter of good times. Empty of the fun. No fun whatsoever.
Somewhere down that road I might stop, look up from my concentration, and realize that I've turned 30 years old.. 40 years old. Maybe 60. I might look up and see in front of me a reflection of a man worn, weary, wasted, and maybe a man I do not recognize at all. A man who has gone on to do things that I wouldn't dream of, gone on to see things I couldn't imagine, a man so different than who I am today I wouldn't know what to say to him. Yet a man, still alone.
So I have to ask myself the questions now - now that I've seen these ghosts, these apparitions - what do I do? Where do I go from here so that I can avoid those demons in my future? How do I interpret the past and write the present so that my future might change for the better? What is better? If some things are meant to be, if I am meant to be a farmer, can I put down my plow and stare indignantly at the sky ignoring my chores, can I sit petchulantely on the porch as the rain falls down on my crops, can I stand idly by while the weeds take over my fields, can I ignore my life, my fate, my destiny, only to turn around to see a full and flourishing garden? And if so than can I not also take these same crops and cut them down, burn their roots, upend the very soil they lie in? Will this not break the chain of my life? And if so then what is fate? Can I not control this fate to my very own liking, laying it out as a roadmap and choosing the roads I wish to travel, choosing the sites I wish to see?
And if not than what of it? Can I just see, for once, with some clarity, the road I am to be forced to travel? Could I see the cars I will travel with? Can I see my fellow travellers on this road of life I am forced down? If this is fate, this what I am living here right here as I type these words one by one by one, did fate know I would type it thrice, not twice, did it know I'd stop to ask and did it, does it, will it know when I am done? Fate. Capitol, proper, like a living breathing being this fate, a cruel boss that allows you no vacation and forces you to work on the weekend. Fate. If it is true, if it is my destiny, this fate, then can I embrace it happily, choose it, as it has choosen me? Can I reach a decision whereby I accept my fate and therefore accept a sort of serenity which I could never have without this sort of awareness and understanding of where I have come from and where I am going?
No, probably not. This talk of fate is only making me hungry - is that a joke? Fate? Are you listening? I don't think it's funny. I'm hungry. ha ha ha. I suppose that's a real knee-slapper to you. You can go fuck yourself, for all I care. I couldn't imagine having any less respect for anyone than I do for you, fate. I scoff, I scream, I swear at you in disgust.
One of these days I will choose to ignore you and do what I want. I will get up in the morning, desire an outcome, and work towards that outcome until it has happened.
I don't really believe in fate. It was an academic discussion. Ignore me.
I believe certain things. I believe I can do certain things and that certains things will happen because of who I am. Not in a pre-planned sort of way but in a probabilistic sort of way, as if by rolling the dice enough times the outcomes will become more and more predictable and, if not a bunch of dice rolls, what is life, really?
Nobody likes a whiner. This is true. In fact, the squeaky wheel may get the grease but it's the quiet ones that are truly appreciated.
Just shut the fuck up.
Just post simple things.
Camp was a blast and so we were all in good spirits when we hit the road to return to the real world
, heading down Interstate 95 in our bombers - a beat-to-hell geo metro (3 cylinders! Three
and my '87 Slaab.
We kept our eyes open and our digital camera ready for cute chicks on the highway but as it is with the Maine highway, they were far and few between, so we had to make due with just making faces at eachother and trying to run eachother off the road.
Finally found a cute hippy chick flying by in her Volvo station wagon decked out in bumper stickers and anti-bush window dressings. She was rocking out to some music with her blonde curly hair bouncing in the wind and her foot sticking out the window. We watched her fly by and she smiled at us
. We felt blessed.
We sped up and tried to snap a few pictures of her but they came out with too much glare and then, when she caught us in the act, we saw her throw her head back with laughter and she stomped on the accelerator. As she cruised by she rubbernecked us and blew a kiss.
We slowed down to let the Metro catch up.
When we got off in Augusta she waved to us and we waved back, happy to have had a driving buddy on the boring run from camp. We pulled into the Citgo station to wait for my dad who was driving my car up to get some work done on it. Dad's are good for something. He was late, though, so we chatted with the high school kids pumping gas and watched the late afternoon traffic trickle by. Dad's are a pain in the ass sometimes, too.
Now it's friday and it's my last day of work
for a long long time and I'm not planning on doing any real work. That's in the contract, right? It's part of federal law I think - must provide 15 minute government mandated breaks and no work shall be required of an employee on their last day.
Or it should be anyway.
Had an 8am company meeting so you'd think maybe I'd have got to bed early or something but I didn't, nothing new there. Up till all hours talking with the crazy roommate's sister who, strangely enough, is a smokin' babe
and had drivin' up from Maryland yesterday and was crashing at our pad. Good looking Maine girl with an amazingly even tan from Florida. I guess there is something good about that state.
And since it's good, I'll rip this off from Tony
who ripped it off from devoy who left it in tony's comments section
A 70-year-old Texas Rancher got his hand caught in a gate while working cattle. He wrapped the hand in his bandana and drove his pickup to the doctor. While suturing the laceration, the doctor asked the old man about George W. Bush being in the White House.
The old Texan said, "Well, ya know, Bush is a 'Post Turtle.'"
Not knowing what the old man meant, the doctor asked what a Post Turtle was.
The old man looked at him and drawled, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a Post Turtle."
The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain:
"You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he can't get anything done while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor dumb bastard get down."
I should be in a much better mood than I am right now. Worked like a mofo Saturday, Sunday, Monday forever to make sure Tuesday's demo went well with the big wig clients so the O.T. dollars will be flowing like mad come pay day. From 10am Monday till 1pm Tuesday 25.5 hours worked out of 27. Felt like ass. Nausea, empty stomach.. too much coffee. No sleep. Decided - fuck it. Switched my weekday into a weekend trip to camp and brought along a few pals to help pass the time. Swam a mile across the lake, finished off a handle of Jim Beam, drank some beers, ate some grilled pork, grilled corn, and some cous cous. Drank some beers. Sat in front of the fire pit until an ungodly hour talking of stories past and then finally, fell asleep snoring. Woke up the next day and did it all again. Enjoyed the great weather, perfect for some time at camp.
I should be in a much better mood than I am.
Came into work today at 3:30pm just to put in a few hours, see if everything was going well. Tomorrow I get my ass out of bed at the ass crack of dawn (okay, more like 7:45am - early for me) to make it to the monthly company meeting and enjoy my last day of work. Will probably have to listen to a bunch of fare-the-wells and good-lucks and maybe get a beer with the company president. Maybe listen to some stories about his younger days, about living in a fraternity next to a wayward girl's boarding house - not the best juxtapositioning. Maybe - just maybe - walk out the doors of this establishment for the last time in my life.. maybe not. Still, the last day of work for a long time.
I should be in a much better mood than I am.
The free car, a 1987 Saab 900 S, is running well despite it's rough-starting issue and the four brand new snow tires look as kraggy as ever - quality rubber for sure and I'm already excited to go bombing through the northern New Hampshire mountains in some godawful blizzard come wintertime. The bike is running great, as well, despite my concerns about the potential oil leak. It's running smoother than it has in a long time and I'm gonna miss that thing come next week when I'm hoofing it around Montreal the old fashioned way : with bipedal power.
I should be in a much better mood than I am.
I have this strange feeling - an emptiness inside, really - that I can't quite explain. It's a feeling of displacement, really, that isn't clearly connected to any one emotion or subject matter. It's in there somewhere creating this hollow feeling and it's eating away at me. Snacking on my good spirits.
Goddamn I can't shake this. Can't explain the rot. Don't know what to do.
Wondering now, more than ever, if I'll ever see her again and thinking - my usual cynical self - probably not. Most likely not. Wondering if things will go down just as they have in my head a million times before, played over and over again, the fantasies. Thing is, you'd think the fantasies would be good ones. You'd think I'd dream of sleeping with her in a big king sized bed with a huge picture window at the foot, wide open to the ocean breeze, with sailboats bobbing on the water. You'd think I'd dream of a long lasting loving relationship, the kind i wish so badly could have started back then, a full year ago. You'd think I'd dream about her with a smile on my lips.
A full year ago this month, on a Saturday evening - August the 9th to be exact - I wandered into Bull Feney's bar and resturant on Fore Street in Portland Maine. I took the stairs up to the second floor, bought myself a PBR pounder and one for my friend, and smiled inwardly to myself at the two picturesque women warmly smiling at me from the bar. When I pointed them out to my friend and jokingly suggested he should chat the bigger one up so that I could talk with her friend, he laughed his big-man laugh and we went to listen to the band play so I was surprised when they walked in the room, sat down behind us, and my pal turned around and struck up a conversation. It wasn't too long after that when I found myself in story telling mode, talking about my hiking adventures in Virginia, all the while watching her electric smile - electric like a tube amp with it's warm tones and clean sound - a smile so big it hurt my insides in that hurts-so-good way. Forever has that face been burned into my brain and forever will I suffer the hurt, so good, the pleasure within the pain of something loved and lost. A bummer, man. A real bummer.
So when I dream about her I don't dream the dreamy thoughts of a man in love but the broken ideas of a man enslaved. I picture myself graduating in two years, having made a new name for myself in the international city of Montreal. I see myself rising out of the ashes of my slovenly slacker self and becoming motivated, successful, a wonderful man of might, mystery, magic. A man she should, would, could only dream of herself. A man that I want to be. And there, right then, as the diploma is passed over to my open hand I'd already be on a plane flying to her where she might be in two years, going despite the fact that she is married by this point or that I haven't seen her in two years or that she hasn't returned my calls. All the while thinking about the plan that I've been planning and thinking about for two whole years, the end game - the that's-it-it's-all-over play, the finish, the finale. I dream about checking into a hotel wherever I might find her and sitting down at the desk with a sheaf of hotel stationary and a good pen and writing for two straight days. Not so much quantity as much as quality but a substantial amount of work none the less, a work explaining my person, expounding upon my pure love for her, examining the amazing life we could have together, and, ultimately, a work accepting her likely response to it all - a predicter of the future. I dream about this more often than not and I dream about leaving the hotel and walking through the city, through the strange streets I have no familiarity with, and finding a strange house that is oddly familiar. I imagine walking up those steps with a large manilla envelope in hand, ringing the doorbell, and waiting. I think maybe I'll be sitting on the stoop at this point as no one was quick to the door but when it opens it is her looking out, inquisitively, for her visitor. My voice will fail me here and I will offer the envelope, passing of the weight of all these years and it will make me so light I might actually fly off the porch right there. I will turn away, walk down the steps one by one, and head down the street. She might call to me, but I won't turn around to face my failure. I will walk away from it, back to my hotel room, and I will wait. At the end of my novella will be a note that I will be staying at such-and-such hotel, that I will be there for one day, that I will be gone after that.
For one whole day I will lay prone on this hotel bed waiting for her but really waiting for the inevitable. I will wait patiently and, by this point, with little emotion. The clock will finally strike noon the next day - check out time - I will raise from the bed, pick up my already-packed suitcase, and wander out into the light of the day. The sun might be shining an incredible brightness but I will be dark through and through. The bottom of my stomach will be rotten, my written words will rattle in my brain haunting me like ghosts. I will hate more and more. I will walk away never to think of the possibilities between me and her ever again but I will hate more and more. My soul will be black with hurt and red with anger and green with the envious sadness killing me from the inside out.
These are the dreams I dream of her, sitting in my car driving to work in the morning, sitting on the stoop after a long run listening to CCR tell me that Someday Never Comes
. These are the thoughts that run in my head like greyhounds circling a track, chasing a none-existent rabbit. I dream these dreams because, like the greyhounds, I am a fool and fooled and I know that if I could only catch that rabbit, sink my teeth into it, I would awaken from this nightmarish reality - I would realize that there is no rabbit
. Futility. A worked piece of metal on a track. I will realize these things and my eyes will be opened to the truth. No longer will I have to listen to my inner dialogue trying to justify her, trying not to believe that she is shallow and malicious, trying not to believe that she is as fake and phony as they come, trying not to ruin the only girl I ever loved in this whole big great world.
I should be in a much better mood than I am.
which is appropriately ambiguous.
Though it's more of the "fack dude, I'd better lay down" feeling than the "fack dude, I better get some action sometime soon." Getting Hellen to say that she would have sex with me was the most action I've gotten in a long while. Some cute friendsters since I've checked it last. Anyone who quote Donnie Darko ever gets a big thumbs up in my book. Have you revisted that movie, asshole? Fack.
Learned Dear Prudence on the Gee-tar. Played it a thousand times yesterday. Also, I finally made it down the killer hill without jumping off or dying! Hooray for me. I'm a fucking carving craziac.
I also wrote my dipshit former landlord a pretty good letter, telling him to fuck himself, if ever so politely. Should I post it? OK, why not.
> most of our stuff is ruined (rats turds and urine in/on the sofas, in
> my spices, etc).
Let's not be overly dramatic. None of your stuff is ruined as far as I saw.
No, Michael, I'm not willing to clean the apartment. It's true that I said I would. The time that I spent getting the subletters was high, and though I tried to get the best I could, obviously this one turned out to be a failure. Notwithstanding, I have exhausted my sense of responsibility to that place and to the agreement we made.
Just to continue with the honesty, your attitude and behavior throughout this relationship have contributed to my aversion to help you in any way (the same does not hold for your wife, which is still the source of sometension). The fact that I have done so lately has come from a sense of decency rather than a sense of obligation. Specifically, it was reneging on implied commitments, like the car (which I will remind you that you offered me), and your attitude about the changes you desired to make on your return dates that were really irritating. Though it is tangential, reneging on your offer of the place to Rahuldeep, a friend, contributed as well. Finally, this "holier than thou" tone I read in your emails, though truly perhaps just in my a product of my imagination, sealed the deal.
To sum up, you may be a totally decent person, but I have not seen that, per se. I tell you this because this information does you, nor anyoneelse, any good just festering. My advice is to be more consistent in your speech and behavior, and to be especially respectfulof people who have power over you. A large part of me wanted to stick itto you numerous times. The next person may not exercise the samerestraint.
I'm not interested in a “who’s right or wrong” conversation. Just wantedto be honest.
Yes, Fuck it! That's your answer to everything. Well, he can fuck himself. You get the gist of the story in the email. He promised me his car, and then without even telling me gave it to someone else I knew. He decided he was staying in Thailand longer, and then offered his place to someone else WITHOUT CHECKING with us, who were already living there, first. I could have fucked him, and still could for that matter, several times. We subletted his apt ILEGALLY for 10 months. If that's not enough to get you kicked out . . .
WHINE WHINE WHINE.
I wish I was famous. I wish I had a mass of people interested in my life, for whom I could leave interesting audio blogs.
But, the fact that I am not, and that there is not, makes me feel better about leaving such worthless posts.
Damn. And it's hard to hear them.
Those audio posts below are from Alex, not me.
I was going to write about my experience sitting here on this toilet singing the bowel movement blues but then I thought better of it. Thought it better to just mention the idea, instead. Unfortunately didn't think that not mentioning it at all would be even better. Damn.
In addition to reaching 10,000 hits on this webpage, last Sunday - August 8th - was the third year anniversary of the start of this piece of shit. Happy fucking Birthday. Shall we celebrate with some posts from birthday's past? Yes, yes we shall.
Three years ago on Wednesday, August 8th, 2001
my day was going alright or at least not horribly, i mean i am at work and all so one must keep this in mind, but then i went home feeling particularly creative and frustrated at my inability to produce anything and what should happen? i suffered an attack, in the form of a phone call, by coporate america. they tried to sell me magazines. when i told them i'd have one they were shocked and chagrined that i didn't want more. i can only read so many magazines and to this they replied with a lengthy discourse on the purpose of magazines. apparently they are for 'picking and choosing' articles that i wish to read. i need not read the entire publication they have informed me. i can waste my money on product i know i will not use ahead of time.. this is apparently quite legal and noone will come bashing my door down, my neighbors will not put their garbage on my lawn, the audience will not throw rotten fruit. well thank you but no thank you. they promptly bent me over and began to pile as much crap into my rear end as they could as if i were a coal furnace ever hungry for the black death. 4 subscriptions and 53 trial offers later I just hung up. I had wasted 20 minutes of my precious hour of lunch and it left me drained. i went promptly to bed where i had a bad dream, or i thought i had a bad dream which could have actually been my real world experience only i couldn't quite remember it and i felt terrible. i have only now been able to overcome my queaziness. they're probably going to charge me anyway.
Two years ago on Tuesday, August 06, 2002
So. The question of the day is "How many days in a row could you get away with doing nothing but playing nethack at work? 2 days? 3 days? I'm going with 4 myself, but I think the only reason I would have to stop is my own burning guilt. Everything looks *Soooo* boring now.
One year ago on Thursday, August 07, 2003
I mechanically fill the cup o joe,
Trying not to work so slow
Everyday I code some more
Listening to the A/C roar.
But then it hits me, hard and fast:
There is no way I can last
So out the door I kick my butt,
To the bars: I drink, I glut.
And then it hits me, hard and slow:
I belong in cubicle row.
So I sit here broken hearted,
tried to sigh but only farted.
Now the co-workers hate my guts,
"That smelly, dirty, disgusting Putz!"
So I turn to that which baits me,
The only thing that doesn't berate me,
Somewhere in that server rack,
Runs a little process: nethack.
It's hot and sticky in the port city today and the sun is being her usual unwavering self. After almost a full week of fog and rain and drizzle and fog and drizzle I awoke to blue skies and construction work.
There is something about hearing a little construction work to let you know that it's summer and let you know that the sun is shining and the boys in their hardhats are sweating their balls off but at least it's not raining, otherwise you probably wouldn't hear the construction.
When I video-taped sewers for a living we didn't wear hard hats but we sort of had that construction look to us. We'd drive around in an old beat up city-owned GMC pickup and play tag with Mary-Lou on the one-channel CB radio stuck right where the radio should have been in that damn truck. We'd get on there and say some odd things just to get Mary-Lou down at the town garage to come on the line and talk to us in that weird small-town way. We'd run out of things to say but when in doubt we'd always ask for some more road cones, listening to her voice through the crackle.
*scrackle* Mary-Lou *scrackle* You got any cones down there?
*shhhhnizzzzzack* hey fellas, *shnip* lemme see what I can scrounge up back here *eurrrrap* swing by in a few *scrack*
We'd swing down to the shit disturbers at the sewer plant and up into the sludge building, past the conveyor belt of old lunches and snacks and dinners turned into a brown paste by the wonders of the human bowel system - transported here by the wonders of the town's sewer system - and we'd pop our head into the small room up there and say hi to Phil.
Yah buddy he'd respond with a lazy smile.
We'd go down to the main office and hang out in the lab with Gaeten the greek.. or was he french.. and watch his wonky eye make circles at the ceailing while he explained the virtues of self-brewed ice tea in the sun (which explained the random soda bottles in the parking lot that looked like they were filled with tepid water).
By 3 or 4 in the afternoon we'd have worked ourselves out going for road cones and checking in on phil and listening to gaeten and generally avoiding our job like the plague due to the drizzle and the generally lazy atmosphere and we'd be down in the lunch room looking at all the big knobs and dials and crazy meters on the control bank. We'd philosophize on what it would take to bring the whole system down and cause a real shit storm.
Everett would come in and complain about changing the oil in one of the shit disturbing machines - 55 gallons to change one machine! he'd scream, and rub his hands together and slick back his sweaty hair and then he'd tell us a story. Sometimes it was about checking sewer holes in the winter in heavy mid-day traffic with ice all about and the sleet coming down. Sometimes it was about responding to a late night call during a thunder-storm and watching the lightening come down over the hill past the stream but getting closer and closer and he was always scared of that lightening. But always stories.
We knew the day was over and done with when Phil would come rolling down the hill from the sludge building in his red pickup and pull up to a stop outside the main office and come strolling in to say his goodbyes.
Have a good one Phil
Yah buddy, he'd say, Yah buddy
And we'd park the truck inside the big doors next to the jet truck and look around like maybe we should put something away or clean something up but we knew there was still gonna be a world of shit when we came strolling in the next day, so why bother?
We'd climb back into our car, swing out past the gates and past the sign loudly proclaiming "Pollution Control Plant" and down the road to the highway. I'd look at my jeans - the same jeans I'd worn every day to the pollution control plant - and I'd see all the stains and splotches and weird discolorations and wonder where they came from. I'd see a nice dark one and figure that was someone's steak nugget - all dark and rich and staining my jeans. Someone out there sat and shat, and out came this little brown package with a story of pastures and bulls and cows and meat packing plant and freezer grocery aisle and paper bag and onto the grill.. mmm the grill.. and maybe a little BBQ sauce and down the hatch and now, out the back door and into my sewer, and onto my jeans.
Then it would occur to us that we forgot to lock the gates and we'd give the P-D a call and ask them to have a cruiser swing by and snap the paddle-lock closed and they'd say sure thing, and thanks for coming by to clear out that block in our toilet line, and we'd say no problem, 10-4 good buddy.
. It's a lot harder than it looks and it's not getting any easier. It's as if, with practice, I get worse. Tennis is like that for me. The first match of the season I'm on fire. I'm beating people I shouldn't be beating and I'm serving less than 50% faults. I'm wary, of course, cause I know it's not right. I hit tentatively and react slowly. I get caught on my heels.. So from there on out it's all downhill. My mind has to start playing catch up with my feet until it falls so far behind it trips on itself. I overanalyse.
Tennis is a great sport to watch because it's a real thinking man's game. Lotta ins, lotta outs, what have yous (god I crack myself up). Since there is so many pauses in the game and it's a solo proposition, you have nothing to do but think about your game and how much it sucks.. Until you psych yourself out. You can see it in the player's eyes - the intensity of a man who thinks he is on the verge of making the wrong decision. Tennis, really, is a game against *yourself*.
Well look in my eyes, folks
. See that intensity
I might be about to make a wrong decision, but then again, I'm always about to - depending on how you swing that whole "fate" thing. Me, I don't believe so much in that because it doesn't make sense. Sure, it makes people feel good - as if someone
planned a path out for them so - good
, or ugly
- it's "just the way it is" and people can live with that cause it gives them an excuse.
Everyone's looking for an excuse. Me, I'm taking responsibility for it, no fate for me.. I got plenty of excuses for other stuff. Life ain't one of them. My decisions are what makes me, so why pretend they aren't you?
So a little off
tonight after stopping by my friend's couch on the way home from work, if you get my drift, and so when I dangled I drove around a bit - even though I was late to meet someone - and when I finally got home I called the bartenderess. Why not? She gave me her number, after all. I could go into details but the bottom line is that she
her number, not the other way around. I sat there on that barstool for three years - I met her when I moved to town - admiring maybe but not overstepping my bounds, not hitting on her like a creep, not even flirting really. And don't think I didn't have a crush on this one from the moment I set eyes on her. Don't think for a second that she hasn't been on my mind for three straight years. And so when I told her I was going back to McGill she said "Give me your number for when I visit Montreal" as if we were all pals, as if we'd chewed the fat on many occasion, as if - really - we'd have all this catching up to do someday up there in the frozen north. And so I told her, no, I don't have a number up there yet and so she called me a doofus and scrawled her digits down on the back of some receipt paper out of the credit card machine. She
her number. And because of that you'd think the game would be different this time around... but it's not. The game remains the same. Call, voice mail, wait.. wait.. wait. She won't call because she never intended for anything to happen in the first place. She was just being friendly. You know, in that "Hey we should go running together sometime" way. Nobody
goes running together. It's one of those empty hollow promises that is just accepted as false.
Using it is, almost, like guaranteeing your fate.
So she didn't say we should go running together but proverbially, that's what she meant. She wanted to say something to the effect of "Hey, you're a really nice guy.. Good luck with that", as if to say being a nice guy was a disease.. as if it's something I should try to get over. As if she would love to date me .. if only I were a little more dark
. Maybe more brooding
Yah yah, brooding. She'd like that. I should maybe have a warrant out for my arrest in New Mexico, that could add to the allure, and I could have creditors chasing me down all the time. I could have a few metal pins in my neck from that motorcycle crash and - she is a bartender, right - I should be a drunk.
Give it a rest. See? Even I get bored of my cynicism sometimes.
It's almost completely dark out already here in the port city and it's damp. There is a hint of something happening up inside those dark clouds but the fleet is breaking up, each heading in their own direction and underneath - I can see bits and pieces of it already - there is a deep dark sky of blackness. The summer heat has burnt off a bit with the weather and on the breeze I can almost hear the town rejoicing. A ten minute walk down the Eastern Promenade to the Old Port, perhaps, but I swear I can hear the clink of pint glasses and the chortling delight of the tourists from where I sit on this front porch. Maybe it's in my head. I swear I can see the twinkling shop lights and the dim glow of the barrooms. I swear I can hear the CHUNK - CHUNK of the traffic lights changing in the dark and I can hear the tiny voices of a million cell phone conversations percolating on the wind. I bet there eating lobster down there. I bet somewhere, right now, underneath the dead seaweed and gasoline floating on the sea, somewhere beneath meters of ocean there is a lobster considering a trap. Somewhere out on some rocks near that ocean there is a snail slowly making it's way across a tiny tidalpool.
Meg Ryan stopped by my roommate's restuarant for the second time yesterday. They served her a drink and then left her alone. It's nice to know that, even as a celebrity, there are a few places you can go and just be left alone - treated like a normal human being.
I'm just wondering, now that I've got myself stuck in a lobster trap, where I
can go to get that peace and quiet. See, from my angle, that tiny tidalpool isn't looking so bad anymore.
The fact that there is even a need for something like this
makes me sick.
After last night's rumblings, coincidence I come upon this article over at Slashdot this morning:
Gene Therapy Turns Slackers Into Workaholics
Who knows, but I could certainly use some of that.
Imagining to myself what it might be like to be a heroin addict, maybe a lot like this need to have little squares of plastic beneath my fingers, tiny little black paintints on each one - "A", "S", "D", "F". Maybe a lot like the pull, drag, punch power of her - needling my brain like some alien gun devoid of real-life bullets but loaded with piercing unseen lasers striking through my skull. Maybe a lot like the crippling inability to complete tasks, follow through, be motivated, the plague of a slacker betwixt the real world
and academia. Maybe a lot like life.
Come home from work on the bike, the sun long since set down over the western horizon off to meet and greet with the peasants of china, and just the slightest hint of moisture on the air - an incoming storm, a cold front. Probably fog tonight. Bike wouldn't start, just twitched like a dying fish when I fired the starter. Rolled her down the hill a bit popping the clutch to turn the engine over. Switched the ignition back to the "on" position, swore at the Italians, and popped the clutch down the hill. Back tire went squirrely for a second and I thought I might lose it in the sand of the parking lot but I hit a bare spot of tar and the pilot sports grippy-grabbed at the ground, shooting the bike into an upright position.
Rode home in the silence of a roaring motorcycle engine.
Rode home in the blinding darkness.
Spent 9 hours in front of the computer at work today so when I got home I stopped for a second, looked around, caught my breath, checked my messages, and.. got back on the computer. The little keys click-clicking soothing the sorry ache of an office POW.. Sometimes the kidnapped learns to love the captor.
Have some perverse need to write about her, or the other her, or the other her, or the other her. There will, I suspect, always be another her - this hopeless dark romantic will always be fishing in murky waters, always catching glimpses of exotic fish rippling by beneath the boat.
If I were a movie I'd be a 3-star dark comedy.
It's something about this darkness I keep mentioning that makes me just a little wary, fearful almost. It's the thought of all the six billion people on this earth all rolling over sleeplessly in their beds, all getting up and rubbing their eyes in the morning and squinting at the light, all of them - every last one of them - chest rising, chest falling, chest rising. It's one of the scariest thoughts I've had in a long time. Right this instant there are millions of people sound asleep. There are millions of people, probably, running. On the move. In cars. Rushing. So much rushing and then still, millions sleeping like a log. Many more restless and uncomfortable. Many more just not sure what their supposed to be doing.
And the darkness gets a little closer. I open my eyes sometimes in the morning expecting to see rain pelting down throw the window, through the fan in the window. I expect the fan to burn out from the moisture in the electric motor, I actually have this one thought on a somewhat regular basis, but it never happens. Maybe because I had an old fan catch on fire once and, while it wasn't a matter of danger, I was terribly sad to see this venerable old box fan spin it's last blade. Maybe I have a complex. That fan used to be my parent's fan back as far as I can remember. Us kids had smaller units, first these old gray all-metal framed ones and then small white box fans, but the parents - they had the big box fan. When I could, I'd steal it. My parents weren't quite the fan mongrel I am and so on the less balmy nights they wouldn't even turn the thing on. I'd bring it into my room and put it under the covers, usually up against the bedboard and I'd tuck the edges of the blanket under my legs and hold down the corners with my hands. I'd let the wind rushing off the blades create a big blanket-bubble and I'd sit in there, the boy in the bubble, and you know I can't think of a single bad thought I had under that blanket. I'm willing to bet there wasn't a single bad thought in my whole body.
It's awful hard to make someone else count when you know there are six billion people on the earth. It's awfully hard to convince yourself there is something there, something worthwhile. It's hard to believe it means anything at all and it's hard to believe she'd even give a shit anyway. So, protecting myself, I'll pretend whole heartedly that I don't believe it. I'll pretend that I know that it won't work out.
On the inside I'm cursing the concept of faith and hope, hating the torment these two sister emotions have inflicted upon me. I'm getting more numb everyday and with the indifference, well, fuck it.
Imagine myself one day down the road being married or having a good job or maybe being respected in the community and it's a funny excercise because firstly, I know it so well, and secondly I see the complete and utter futility. Responsibility is like a drug. Responsibility, after all, is what keeps us going. Responsibility is what makes us do what we do when we do it. But it's recursive. It breeds on itself.
Really wish I could climb in bed and stay there. Not just for a good night's sleep or an afternoon nap, no, I mean full on sleep marathon with no guilt whatsoever. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy lying in bed semi-conscious after a long night's sleep, I also operate this taco stand in the real world
and proverbial taco stands make for some serious responsibility which, in turn, makes for stressful guilt. Guilt about getting up. Guilt about getting stuff done.
Talked tonight about emotion and the human condition. Noted that emotion, not logic, probably drives us more often than not and - why? What is the evolutionary advantage
? Why cry over spilt milk? If we could reason out our next meal and our next car and our next wife .. you honestly think the world would be so crazy? Boring maybe, not so crazy though.
Desperately need to know, right now, the heart of the matter with her. Need to know what she is thinking and what goes through her head. Need to know where I'll be in two years, essentially - not geographically speaking but mentally speaking. If I can't shake this monkey on my back it's going to grow into a gorilla and I'm not prepared for that at all.
Will not know. Won't be told, informed, or otherwise guaranteed useful information down the road. Won't ever know and so, will have to take matters into my own hands and forget she ever existed, forget the thoughtful, sweet, caring person I thought I knew. Will have to write her off like bad debt and maybe, just maybe, I'll have to declare emotional bankruptcy.
Or someday she will realize I am the most amazing person she will ever have the privelege to have the opportunity to begin such a beautiful relationship with.
Someday never comes. I stopped believing in good things, people wise, sometime this year. It was a long time coming so I can't put all the blame on any one instance.. people have just been letting me down for years.
Look at the clock, look back. I realize there is nothing to say to that.
I'm a 3-star dark comedy.
I have to admit I didn't see much point in the big release of Google's beta Gmail service.. Yahoo has been doing the trick for me for well over six years.. But this week I've finally started bumping some mails back and forth on my gmail account and lo- there is something worthwhile to this thread-like email conversation interface dealio.
Quick, fast, efficient, easy. I like.
I should thank Nika
for forcing me into using it simply cause they have emailed me there.
I just looked up the lyrics to Toxic so that I could sing them the next time it comes on. Fuck. I'm so lame. How great is the dragon naturally speaking idea? You silly bastards that read this blog are in for a real fucking treat. I have decided to use this space as a "high journal." I find myself unable to keep still and not sing/talk upon getting high. Though I don't plan to smoke much for the next two months, I am going to transcribe evenings of vented neural excitement on to these pages. Not for you, mind you. Just because I think it will be funny. But truthfully, you know how people say, "I listen to my high talk the next day and it doesn't make any sense"? I find I do some of my best thinking after smoking. I organized today's section on victor frankl / meaning / goal oriented rationality / bias in science last night while passing out. It was one of the best sections I ever did.
You really have no idea. I have three vehicles sitting in my driveway, right now, all titled to me, and for what? They all have sentimental value to me, and for what? I, the proverbial - and now real - college student, what do I need with one, two, or even three vehicles? In a walking city like Montreal, no less. What do I need with emotional attachment? Why must I carry this, weighing me down, why?
Why? Because we are human beings prone to attachments. Like every bad ex, I even have fond memories of that craptastic first car I had, the Colt Vista.
Of the ones I have right now, a 1987 Saab 900S 16 Valve - dark blue (120,000), a 1993 Honda Prelude VTEC - red (169,000), and a 1998 Ducati 900CR - yellow (16,500 but questionable), each one smells a little bit like gas or maybe oil when you start it up. Not the sort of smell you look forward to when starting your car in the morning but somehow, like something out of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
, it just seems right to me. Here in my little corner of the globe I can't imagine it's hurting the environment too much. The bike just has that rich smell of a racing machine, whether it is or not. It hums and vibrates and it's finicky, too. It stutters early on until it's warmed up and then it purrrs like a gracious kitten pitter-patter-pitter-pattering along the backways or, sometimes, it growls like a tiger if you ask it to. Then it breaks. It's a finicky beast but I have, perhaps, more sentimental attachment to it than my first serious girlfriend. I have more attachment to it than my first computer, back when I was a little kid, or even my first bicycle. It's just, somehow, real. Accidentally bought on ebay by me, paid in full by me, insured, and driven, all by me - the real me, no bullshit.
A lot of life is a lot of bullshit and you sort of have to wade through it day to day like some big marsh. Sometimes underneath, where you can't quite see, there are metal bits and sharp objects and who-knows-what-else you might trip over or otherwise impale yourself on. But sometimes, sometimes life presents you with a beautiful dinghy floating up above this muck and you can reach up into it, grab the middle seat, and haul yourself in. First your torso, getting your center of gravity onto the gunwale, and then swinging your legs over sideways so as not to tip it too much - you wouldn't want to capsize your lucky break, now would you?
This bike is a lucky break here for me - not my style and not expected and wholly - whoops! It just happened. Sometimes things do that - they just happen. I know, for me, it's a hard decision sometimes to step outside those boundaries that we've learned in life so when things happen without my control sometimes, just sometimes, I like to embrace them with everything I've got - knowhatimean? So the bike, perhaps a status symbol for some, is just a loving machine to me. I suppose if I rode it down on the beach all the time or took it to the bars or more social events, maybe I could get more attention but motorcycles are never, in the end, much about that. It's just you and the machine, really. You can try to get all the ass you want but when you're broke down on the side of the road looking at sooty spark plugs and wondering where you went wrong, well, that ass is long gone.
The Saab - the slaab - it's a great little car. It has been my uncle's for as long as I remember - probably bought new in '87 - and now, 17 years later, it's got a mere 120,000 miles on it. In fact I got to watch it flip 120k as I drove it up I95, right around Lawrence, Mass. It's a little finicky too and what with all it's vacuum tubes I'm sure it'll be a bitch to track down the problems but when I start her up - and I know, she stutters too - I can still tell she wants to run. She's a happy little Saab and still has some gusto left. She wants to hit 200,000. She really does. Back in 1994 when I was going for my license I drove it around a lot as sort of practice. Up in the middle of nowhere Maine I could drive on the dirt roads by myself and not worry much about.. sort of like the solo part of getting your private pilot's license. I'd spend entire afternoons just driving back and forth and learning how this car reacts, how that car handles. So when my uncle was up at our camp I didn't hesitate to see how the 'ol Saab handled, either.
The Prelude, the 'Lude as some have called it in mock appreciation, the Honda.. This car will forever be that
car in my life - the first, the one, the only car I will ever be able to truly call "my first car". Sure, the Colt Vista wagon (pink, but the registration said "rosewood") was the first car I drove on a regular basis back when I was a sophmore.. but the Prelude - it's one of the first times I said that I was going all out and just getting what I wanted, goddamnit. It's the first time I learned all the little flaws, cried, wept, paid, forgave. Keyword being forgave
. It takes a lot to forgive a car it's failings. It takes a lot to let a few bills slide, to say "It's alright, you're still a good drive". It takes a lot to give like that, to an inanimate object. Something that - for however much you may assign it feelings, thoughts, opinions - will not love you back.
I suppose Speedy Marie the Prelude - for all the good feelings - doesn't quite stand up to the Isuzu. The Space Cab was a small extended-cab pickup with a 4-banger under the hood and a whole lotta good vibes going on. It was the
vehicle that I was associated with all through high school - even college. It carried a solid stereo, some big wheels, and a 4-wheel drive stick on the floor. It never got me stuck or left me wanting, it never broke down, it never hesitated. Once, when the battery went out on it, I drove it for a full week just popping the clutch as the starter. One summer when I was busy I put over close to 14,000 miles on it without an oil change. That truck, now that really loved to run.
Not that anyone thought otherwise but I will confirm the total monies donated to my iPod replacement program:
No surprise there.
No surprises here either these days so move along. Might I suggest you go read about A First-Quantized Formalism for Cosmological Particle Production
We show that the amount of particle production in an arbitrary cosmological background can be determined using only the late-time positive-frequency modes. We don't refer to modes at early times, so there is no need for a Bogolubov transformation. We also show that particle production can be extracted from the Feynman propagator in an auxiliary spacetime. This provides a first-quantized formalism for computing particle production which, unlike conventional Bogolubov transformations, may be amenable to a string-theoretic generalization.
My pal worked on that.
In Montreal, at 6:30pm. I got in an hour ago.
Ten dollars to the person who guesses what time I boarded my train...
If you said 9:30am, you win!!!!
Yip, three hours and fifteen minutes in and our goddamn train finally pulls in. The girl across the aisle for me missed her return train by half an hour... she was supposed to be in town for the afternoon. We waited for two full hours while CN people 'inspected the track' before us in Port Hope [i.e. rode their rails into each other's anuses]. So it took us about four hours to get to Belleville. Then there was the forty-minute stop for 'freight traffic' [i.e. CN officials giving it to VIA officials up the butt], then another stop to let the Ottawa-bound part of the train decouple from our part, then there was another ten minutes waiting just outside Dorval while the engineer and the conductor fucked each other's brains out in the Via 1 car. Oh, no, wait, they were actually just FUCKING US OVER. In addition, the former compensation of entire-fare credit for your next trip if your train was super-late (am I imagining this former policy?) has been slashed to half no matter how late your train is. So, after cancelling my return ticket and then buying it back at half price, I hereby proclaim that I will NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, take the train to or from Montreal again.
All the same, it's nice to be back in the land of dope, hot chicks and
See some of you suckers soon.
I still have 4 invites to gmail if anyone is interested. No one is asking anymore.
If you're reading this, your wallet was found by the Dover, NH police.
Mandelbrot - the fractal dude (I didn't know he was even still alive, whoops!) - has an open letter
(@ Wired) to the Wall Street gurus suggesting we all start looking for the inevitable pattern in economics. If we can map the genome, why can't we map how a man loses his livelihood?
he asks. The Slashdot link is here
Random link? Well, It might be awhile off now but I have said for years that I suspect patterns and trends exist in our financial markets at least enough so that one could get fairly rich if they had even a vague sense of them. Maybe I'm crazy but it's just a system and any system is, ultimately, predictable. There are certain restraints, in my mind, that keep the whole thing from being a truly random or chaotic system. If one could only find these patterns then they might get rich. But the much much more interesting question here is if everyone
found these patterns.. THEN what would happen?
Thing is, I like to leave the door open. Is that so weird? There is something creepily clausterphobic about being shut in the water closet, pushed up against the toilet bowl like the walls are crawling in on you, sometimes no windows even. Creepy indeed. If you're living by yourself than you already know the joys of the bathroom-door-open-duty.. It's a wonderful feeling - like you're sharing your experience with the world, your open to new ideas, but.. BUT.. no one is watching. This is a good thing.
I suspect the worst thing in the world for me might be to have someone watch me or touch me while I am trying to make my porcelain deposit. It's a very private thing, this deuceage. I just made that word up.
Also, doors and windows. Open - with no screens. Luckily I'm not in a particularly buggy area because I like to have fresh air all the time and I can't stand roommates who complain about the lack of screens. I have screens, I just don't like to pull them down. I like to SEE what is outside, not see what is outside divided into a zillion tiny square blocks. And no locks, either. Locks are for the paranoid and I have no time for the paranoid. Chillax. If they wanted to break in they'd have done it already and are you seriously telling me you have anything worthwhile to steal anyway? I could have my entire apartment rooted and I'd probably only be down a few thousand bucks. It would be more hassle to replace the stuff than it would be to deal with the financial lose.
Which is why I don't believe in renter's insurance.
Clutter, however ugly, is unavoidable really, unless you're living with a neatfreak. Neat freaks are good when they come visit and feel the need to dust and wash and put stuff away but they are not good if you live with them. Neat freaks will keep you clean for the first few months and then you'll drive them absolutely over the edge when you start slipping in your duties. Some dirty socks here, a stray book there. Pretty soon it adds up to real mess and this - THIS my friends - is how people go crazy. I have seen it happen. A man brought to tears, a man changed for life, a man with a nervous twitch everytime you set a glass down on his coffee table without a coaster - THIS is what happens when you play with the neatfreaks.
Live with your clutter and enjoy it because it's who you are... plus, if there was never any mess you wouldn't get that oh-so-clean smug feeling every 6 months when you actually get around to cleaning your room.
Sheets.. I wash, I really do, so why - can anybody tell me - why do I have to wash my sheets every month? I've even heard some germaphobs say every few weeks. That's nuts! I can barely do regular laundry every few months, let alone linens. What do you think I am? Unemployed with all the time in the world for meaningless chores? Honestly, am I any dirtier for sleeping in sheets that are two months old? Am I? If so, skip this next sentence:
I was lying, my current sheets have been on my bed for 7 months.
So if you don't like it, well. Okay. I'm gross...? Sue me. I also don't necessarily take a shower every day or brush my teeth once-in-the-morning-once-at-night. I also don't wash my face. Is that weird? I get in the shower, I soap up, but I never really scrub the face or anything. I also don't have facial soap at the bathroom sink. I don't get up in the morning and splash cold water on my face. I don't exfoliate. Heck, I don't even know what exfoliate means.
Luckily I'm in a relaxed living situation so my roommates don't care. They're chill and relaxed just like me so we get along in our stink and filth. Okay, I get furious when it comes to dishes.. but that's for another day.
A chill living situation is key.
So I'm getting this free Slaab, an old '89 with the old body style that I used to hate back in '89 (when I was about 11) but now I just dig 'em.. don't ask me why. Anyhow, I'm heading down to Mass. tomorrow to pick it up from my gracious uncle and, well, of course I need a ride since I can only drive one car back. I was going to take the train down to Haverhill and get him to pick me up there but then my father offered to take the short road trip with me.. I told him I needed to check with my uncle to make sure he'd be around tomorrow and I'd get back to him.. Well, I forgot.. but he remember so I got an IM from him.. (yah, my dad, on IM.. cripes)
: heard anything?
: Nope.. you think he'd be home from work by now?
: seems so
: okay, let me call
: right on
So not only does my dad use IM but he says right on
Minnesota Public Radio's Market Watch
is an awesome show because it concentrates on financial market news yet gives you musical interludes such as the pixies and daft punk. How cool is that? Plus, they're produced by MPR but recorded in L.A.. what the?
Still, it's gotta be my favourite public radio news show. It just enough off the boring
of All Things Considered yet has interesting pieces, good reporting, and keeps me abreast.
Basically I just wanted to say a breast.
I often quote people without explicitly stating that it is someone else, not me, saying what is written (stuff out of friends' emails or from other websites or news articles). When I do this, I use italics.
I never write in italics if it's me talking.
So Alex, living in his alternate form of reality, thinks I should get you all to buy me an iPod just like Tony did. Thing is, Alex might not realize that Tony gets about a gazillion hits more than I do a day. Also, I'm not particularly poor (not that Tony is, mind you) or in need of a new iPod, cause I have one..
But I do have a brokedick one. It's an old 2nd gen 20giger which works great, has good battery life after two years (despite the fact that many warn they don't last nearly as long) and it is even full of music - about 16gigs worth. What is so brokedick about it is the LCD screen.. not realizing it wasn't exactly water-resistent, I went running in the rain with it once. Well - correction - I went running and it started raining while I was out there. Downpour style. Ever since then if I am running in the rain I'll wrap the iPod in a plastic bag, cause I'm (semi)smart like that.. but that first mistake so long ago was enough to ruin the screen forever. It works alright in that you can still make stuff out on it but I can barely see anything without the backlight, and even with the backlight there are odd artifacts that block out certain lines. Bummer.
So, don't buy me a new iPod.. how about just enough money to replace the screen on my current one? It's $85. Clearly I am a cheap bastard, as evidenced by my last post dissecting phone service options, so have a heart - throw a dog a bone - gimme a break - etc, etc.
Anything less than $5 and I'll give you a permenant link on this here website. For a $5 or more donation you will receive, above and beyond the link, any two of the following (your choice):
1) A postcard from me with a note and naked drawings (women, men, monkeys - your choice)
2) A blog post dedicated to you in which I rain my almighty praise upon you and yours.
3) A drunken phone call by me sometime between 1am and 4am EST (you'll need to include your phone number, of course)
4) A tiny wooden bear - this is a piece of memorabilia from my old ex.. it's been on the top of my bedroom door frame for about seven years "watching over" me, as she put it.. it's supposed to be good luck. Anyhow, I gotta get rid of it cause she is a crazy bitch but it just seems odd to throw it out. First come first serve, on this one.
Alright, now get to it.. Let us help show Alex how I can, in fact, get NO
money out of my readership. Let us prove him wrong.
Also, let me warn you that if, on the off chance, you do
donate, you will probably be the only one who does and then you'll look like a real schmuck, huh? Yah.. so watch out.
Okay, so I am in a quandry and the quandry is this:
I hate paying for phones yet, somehow, I need to use phones. And by phones I mean phone services.
Currently, I make whatever calls I please at work and it costs me nothing but the self-respect I lost when I took this job in the first place.
At home, I have a land-line which I share with two other roommates so at $13/month that is completely reasonable. Long distance calls made from there are through a pre-paid 1-800 access card sorta thing (OneSuite
- check it out if you like the idea of 2.5 cents a minute and 1.9 cents to Canada! Use this link and you'll get 20 minutes free as well as giving me 20 minutes free for referring you).. unfortunately OneSuite is a U.S. only dealio so I'm facked in Montreal.
Thing is, I don't even make that many long distance calls at all.
No joke. I told you I hate phones. Plus, I am so important that people call me
So.. I've been looking into things and it might be time for 'ol Michael to get his first cell phone. I won't be splitting the bill with anyone so a landline at $30+ won't be too much cheaper than a cellphone, it won't give me nearly the convience of a cell, and it doesn't solve any long distance issues. I've been a rapid anti-cellphone zealot for the longest time mostly due to the mis-use of cellphones rather than the cellphones themselves but I've always found them to be way overpriced as well.. but cell plans are starting to seem almost
reasonable these days.
has per-second billing, unlimited incoming local calls, 100 weekday minutes, and 1,000 weeknight/weekend minutes (7pm to 8am) for $25 right now. Ultimately that would be ~$35 with taxes and surcharges and what not but it's CDN currency. Throw in voice mail at $4 and 100 extra long distance minutes for $5 (includes calls to Canada or U.S.) and I'm up to ~$45...
That is sub-$35 U.S.. really quite reasonable.
Reasonable is relative. Relative to other options, sub-$35 is reasonable but relative to the bigger picture... $35 for a fucking phone?!?
I can lease a brand new civic for $159.00 per month!... and I get 1,000 miles with that, not 100 anytime miles!
I find it, relatively speaking, quite obnoxious that 1100 minutes of my time, 2.5% of my life per month, costs as much as traveling 220 miles in my brand new civic. I just don't see how the two match up in this world.. it's like they're from two different dimensions.
What I really
want to do is use a VoIP company, a software-based phone, and my laptop. This would give me a landline(ish) option, a semi-portable option (I could use my laptop anywhere I could get internet - which would be pretty much anyone's house with broadband AND the entire McGill campus, since it has complete WiFi coverage).. and it would be cheap. Vonage is $19.95 (CDN) for 500 minutes to Canada or the U.S. and only 4.9 cents (CDN) a minute after that. They also have a softphone for Mac OS X. Since broadband internet is included in the price of my rent, can I beat that? I doubt it.
In addition to being able to make/receive calls while at school or at other people's houses I could also take the phone adapter/laptop with me when I return home to Maine for Xmas break and use my parents broadband. If I spend a few months in Maine over summer vacation I could STILL keep my phone number and use it with an internet connection there.
Maybe that is the option I will have to go with.
Well, okay.. what would beat that is if someone wrote a softphone for a PDA, or, even better - a WiFi cellphone. The cellphone could detect and connect to WiFi networks or could have a wire option (ethernet plug). Once it was online it could make and receive calls from-to regular phones. If it was not online than the service provider (vonage, what have you) would drop the calls to voicemail.
The other added bonus of the VoIP option is that you can check voicemails through email, www, or phone.
Okay, I've wasted too much time on this discussion already.
Despite attempted blocking by the money-grubbing MPAA and also the NFL, the FCC Approved Tivo show sharing technology
I feel so proud to be part of this Blog, man. True, I am a fucking unreliable blogger; bipolar, at best, with my manic phases only approaching prolific. But for real, I like what you're doing here. And maybe it's just me, but the last month or so was an interesting fucking read.
So, I've been skateboarding upon returning to SB. Inspired by YPT and my success in Mtl. Yesterday I had a bit of an incident . . . not really a story to report elsewhere. There's a hill leading down to Goleta Beach, which is paved beautifully, and a manageable slope of let's say, 15 degrees. Except that it's pretty fucking long, and get narrow near the end. So, I'm carving down it, as I've seen someone do before, weighting the front of the board just like snowboarding, and feeling good and fucking proud of myself. Keeping it under control. Until the last 20 feet, where it narrows, and I just go straight. I was maybe doing 18 mph - just faster than I could run at top speed, and the board started to wobble something awful. And then, right near the flattening part that was going to slow me to safety, I saw the giant gap. Should've checked it out before hand, I suppose. Alas. I realize I am not going to make it. That mother fucker must have ollied over it past my field of vision, or something. Anyway, somehow, I manage to fly off my board cleanly upon impact and land on my feet. It was a fucking miracle. I land maybe six or sever feet away. My board landed about 30 feet away, in the perpendicular direction.
Facking weird. I have decided I like my ankles more than I like skateboarding, and that snow is happier than asphalt.
So, fucking Tony makes 170 in a day? a day??? That's fucking ridiculous. Ask your readers for a new Ipod. Or how about just enough coin to buy some SELF-RESPECT, asshole. You facker. My buddy in Milwaukee was bragging to me about his impending move to a 1,200 sq ft apt, with 15 ft ceilings, for 800 USD. I managed to burst his bubble with your story. Dude. I'm so fucking excited to mistreat some french canadians in your club-like living room. That's how I described it him, and the more I think of it, that's totally accurate. You're living room is as big as Miami's, anyway.
I feel worse about telling your readers I hate them. I don't feel entitled after my long absence. And there are so many now. How do I know if I still hate them all? And maybe they'll get you an Ipod. Then I definitely would have a harder time rationalizing my unbridled and totally unjustified irritation. I feel it creeping, though.
so, i went to the employment insurance office yesterday a little apprehensively...not sure if it would be full of sad people looking for jobs or people like me who are kind of "yay". it was full of people smirking "yay". honestly. no one sad at all.
Lycos, Bought 4 years back by Terra Networks for $12.5 Billion, has been sold by them for a mere $105 million.
Let us put that in perspective:
That's like buying a brand new 2005 Ford Taurus SEL (4dr Sedan with a 3 Liter V6) for the MSRP of $22,395 and selling it four years later for $118.12.
Or, less than 1% of it's original value.
This is going to be quick, but it's going to be good
n' hurty, so pay attention.
Return from spiritual vacation where I connect with closest friends. Good times. Visit my old apartment where all my stuff is. The place is fucking unhygienic. The floors are sticky, and there's food everywhere. Plastic bags littered around the house bear signs of vermin. After breaking in (and scaring the shit out one of the subletters, who claims immediately to be a victim, rather than a perpetrator, of the mess), I am informed that the mouse problem has degraded into a RAT problem. Though the regime change may be an auspicious sign of things to come, I decide to get the fuck out of there as soon as possible. Sunday, move in to new place. This place is far more beautiful than I remember it; understandably so, since I only saw it once, and at night. It is fucking eden. Avocados are weighing down OUR AVOCADO TREE so heavily, it seems to cry for release. That's right whore-mongers. 200 on MY tree right now. Banana trees and a sturdy peach tree are rife with potential. Garlic and assorted roots growing in assorted patches. And various greenery EVERYWHERE. Hot tub which had gone unnoticed. We happy? Yeah, we happy. OK. On to roommates, numbering two. They are as follows.
Daniel - 33 - Environmental consultant. The gardener responsible for the cornucopia outside. Nice guy, intelligent, but got hit with the self-important stick a few too many times. Finishes sentences (which are invariably about himself) with a pause that suggests "now is your opportunity to say WOW." He has received a few complements in front of me, which he has either agreed with or ignored. Yet, he makes the house beautiful. He has cooked (well) for me twice and insisted upon doing the dishes. He engages in ceramics once a week and subsequently we are fully stocked with his flatware. Has many (interesting) people over to the house, and will continue to do so if past performance is any indication of future results. Many benefits associated with his odd personality, so don't know whether it will really be an issue.
Adam - 29 - Physical therapist / masseur. From Michigan. Extremely laid back, yet engaging and an active listener. Fucking interesting guy. Spends every summer as a camp counselor. Bone, prepare thyself: is on the Primal Diet. Do yourself a favor and look it up. It's a raw foods diet. From what he's told me it's 10% vegetable juice, 20% eggs, 30% dairy and 40% meat. That's right Biznatch! RAW FUCKING MEAT. I seen ‘im do it! This isn't once in a while. This is every single fucking day. What kind of meat, I hear you ask . . . Beef and chicken, mostly, but he does eat fish every now and then. Oh yeah. Anyway, he and I are buddies already, and have shared secret glances about Daniel’s funny statements.
And must I remind you . . . 500 meters from the beach. So, come visit. You’re all welcome to crash in the yard.
At the pizza joint today I sat with my roommate in a booth right behind one of the greeks working there. He was taking a break and sitting with a few chicks eating out of a plastic basket of french fries.
they have good french fries there.
Anyhow, he was talking about some recent party he had been to. My ears perked up mid conversation so I didn't get it all but I did realize he was talking about someone who had slept in his car that night.
"Yah, so this neighbour comes out of his house the next morning and taps on his window.. he asked him how the party was.. asked him which house it had been at. So the guy says 'right there', and points at the neighbours house.. needless to say the neighbour thought it was pretty funny. He said something like 'Uhh, no man, that must have been a few houses down cause that's my house'.. "
"Oh man, that's pretty funny.. why would someone disturb you when you were sleeping in your car anyway? wow.." said one of the chicks.
"No no, he was in
the neighbours car.. "
Barton Fink a comedy?
Interesting.. though, if pressed, I would say it most certainly is.. I think the term would be "dark comedy" or some such nonsense.. more because it lacks stiller-esque slapstick than anything else, I think. Come on, what's not funny about heads in boxes and John Goodman as the antichrist (or whatever the hell he was?). The whole potrayal of the Hollywood machine was quite funny, as well.
Speaking of which I have purchased Intolerable Cruelty despite it being almost intolerable. I still have Raising Arizona to order in order to complete my coen brothers collection.. that and Ladykillers, when it is released, which is gonna kill me cause I know it won't be that great. Wow, I am incorrigible. Do not incorrige me. Guffaw.
I also saw the Bourne Supremacy last night.. if you liked The Bourne Identity at all you will like this one as well.. car chase from hell.. fucking awesome.. close to being so ridiculus that I could compare it to a Blues Brothers moment, but no.. just right.
AND Robert Ludlum recently came out with his newest book the Bourne Legacy, so there is a chance for a third movie.
But I know you'll get over it.
It's late, almost 12am, and I'm sitting on my front porch watching the riff-raff roll by in their cheap import knockoffs, their harley's, what have you. It's quiet, mostly.. maybe one car a minute but you can always hear the hummm of an engine or the grind of a gear somewhere off in the distance. The clink of metal on metal is coming from the water where the sailboats sit sleepily in the harbour and, whoops, there goes a shooting star. rock, burning up in the atmosphere. funny to think about.
Some asshole just drove by in their cavalier, i think it was, blaring some rumbly bass music I couldn't care less what it is. They were cool, though, cause they saw me on the porch - probably the only soul out of doors up here on the eastern promenade at this time of night, and they tossed a can of beer out the window. So now for the last ten minutes it's been sitting there in the middle of the road. The way the streetlight is lighting it up it looks like an old box of chinese take-out and no matter how much I pound my brain with it - beer can, beer can, beer can - it looks like chinese food until, whoops, someone drove by and now it's rattling down the road, pushed by the wind, rolling up against the curb. Looks like a can of beer now. Yup, I think it's a can of beer.
Now each car that drives by is enough to give it another push and it rolls a few more feet down the street. Maybe by morning it won't be on my block anymore. Maybe.
I'm looking around - at the porch, the rotting wood at the junctions of the railings around the edge - at the dull shine of the double-yellow lines running down the middle of my street, my promenade. I'm looking out at the water which, even though it's not much more than a few hundred feet away, shows up in my eyes as a big black area. The far off lights of houses and car headlights make the edge up so I can put a shape to the blob but the wind is light, there is no waves tonight, and the ocean - at least here - is quiet. I'm looking at all the cars parked out on the street, the same cars I see everyday.. neighbours cars, their girlfriend's and boyfriend's.. I'm looking at my car, my little honda sitting there staring back at me as if to say "Why? Why yah gotta do this? Why yah gotta leave. Look at this place. Look how it loves you."
The Prelude somehow embodies this place and speaks for it and I sit here, looking out at the world from the tiny perspective and I feel guilty.. Guilty that I'm leaving what is now home. Guilty that, after living here for three years I'm leaving it like a bad ex, going for greener pastures, and quiet frankly - I may never be back again.
And all of it - the guilt, the sadness, the memories, the fun, the crazy schedules, the relaxing moments - it's all okay, really. Like anywhere I've lived it becomes a part of me, defines me, and for ever more will I own this place in my mind. Ten years, twenty years, it won't make a difference how long it takes - when I'm back here some day I will know these streets and know these trees and know this air as I know it right now, here, on this front porch, getting bitin' by August mosquitos.
Saw some pictures on the montreal city weblog. old photos of the city, with recent pictures for comparison.. Then I happened upon this one of the Eastern Promenade from a long time ago. Again, puts things in perspective somehow..
Things change yet somehow, weirdly, they stay the same.
Came up with a plan, in my head tonight, like I often do.. one of those sneaky little plans where you surprise someone with a gift or a visit or a new idea... where you bring home a pizza that isn't expected or you call someone half-way around the world on their birthday - they pick up the phone to hear a voice they don't recognize from so far away, it takes them a few seconds, they stutter. "Oh my god, I didn't realize it was you.. oh. wow.. What's up?"
Came up with a plan and this one I can carry out because I know where I'll be when the plan must start. I know who I can recruit to help me with my plan and I know, for the most part - it could go one of two ways - it will work out wonderfully and I can sense, from here on this tiny little porch that looks out at the atlantic ocean that spreads out towards five continents that spreads out to the whole world that spreads all around us, I can sense the reality of this plan. Intuition, like.
Intuition, in all my time as a human being here on this little earth, has treated me well. I haven't always listened to it and I haven't always had the faculty to hear it but when I've noticed what it's putting down, well, it's got some truth in it. Intuition on this plan of mine is saying good things. I like to hear good things. I'm listening.. intently.
Truth be told, though, every once in awhile it is wrong - like it got some messages crossed or didn't have all the information it needed. Sometimes it isn't enough just to feel like it will all be alright, sometimes you need to make it be alright and, unfortunately, sometimes it's just not alright.
I'm not sure this one is going to be alright.
But at the very least my plan is alright and it's going to be the best I've had in awhile. Maybe?
See what I'm saying?