Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Painful

"Respect even the stupid people and everyday can be better than you could hope."

More anonymous words of wisdom that I've decided require comment for no other reason than the entire concept boggles my mind. Whyever would I waste a feeling of appreciation and esteem for one of the worthless sheep wasting valuable oxygen in their pointless grazing? How could I even force myself to feel something akin to respect for the stupid people? Disdain, pity, and frustration I can feel. Respect, sadly, I cannot. Respect is reserved for the worthy; something earned and not just freely given to anyone with a heartbeat.

Besides, were I to respect even the stupid people I'm quite certain I would run out of fuel for my Blogs. Without them I would most certainly be lost and my ire left without focus. And then to think of how such a concept would affect my own conceit - I'm quite certain my fragile ego couldn't take such a blow.

No, I am sure it is in my best interest to continue to greet the stupid with disrespect and thinly veiled contempt. I actually believe my mental health requires it.

Troubling Times.

Twenty-one hours on the road. It tends to leave me feeling somewhat weary and drained. My levels of patience and understanding are definitely lower than usual. Thus I was terribly appalled to find the following snippet in my e-mail:

"i'm a intelligent...sophisticated...attractive women. (i've been told by more then just my mother) i think it would be rely cool if we could chat ;)"

Where is the Tylenol when you need it? Now I can only assume that this little tidbit was intended to spark my interest and entice me into some sort of conversation. At that it failed miserably. What it did do was fill me with a deep loathing for the "cyberspeak" that has become far too common on the planet.

My only response to 'Barbie': Sorry my dear, you are lacking one thing I find very important in a woman. My respect. However, the next time I find myself trolling the trailer park looking for a date I'll be sure to stop by the double-wide for a beer and stimulating conversation.

Now, just when I thought the day had reached an all time low I decided to check the comments on a previous Blog. New lows. Lovely.

Seems my dear friend 'Anonymous' popped in peddling some contrived, ornamental optimism. Thanks, but no thanks. I'm trying to cut back. Besides, my therapist tells me that wearing it makes me seem cheap and tawdry. Perhaps Barbie would be interested...

Now, I have no illusions about being the most clever or articulate soul to ever compose a post, but I do try to create a string of words that does not leave the reader feeling as though they are navigating through a corn maize. I attempt to use proper punctuation, and I am even so vain as to use the little "Check Spelling" button. I may come off sounding as elitist as those snobbish vente half-caf, low-fat, latte slinging Starbuck's Barista's, but it's simply that I expect some degree of respect from those who endeavour to communicate with me.

Anyway, enough rambling like an ADD child deprived of his Ritalin.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Retrospect

Interesting.

I hadn't really considered the fact that anyone else actually paid attention to anything I posted here. And, to be completely honest, I'm not sure that if I had considered the fact I would really have cared. For those few who expressed concern, well, please let me assure you I am not insane (well, at least not completely...), suicidal, or likely to go on a murderous rampage with a Walmart Smith & Wesson anytime soon. Please allow me at least a few weeks to properly plan such an episode.

For the one who did actually post a comment, my thanks. Although I must say I find it somewhat odd that the only person to have a poignant and constructive opinion is a complete stranger.

For those who think I seem depressed, dejected, disillusioned, and harbour a deep resentment towards my life and the choices I have made let me make something abundantly clear - There is nothing I truly regret (Well, with the exception of one or two psychotic, stalkerish girlfriends) having done. I've lived. I've learned, and I've certainly made my fair share of mistakes and done things I'm not terribly proud of. But with it came experience, knowledge, and a greater understanding of myself as well as others. I have no desire to trade that for blind, blissful, naive ignorance.

Please direct all further concerns about my mental health and well being to burningtorment@hotmail.com.




Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Delectable Drivel

Que Pasa Vato?

I'm amused. Another job nearing completion. Successful and under budget. Spirits are high and it's contagious. Which is a good thing. I was beginning to feel a little burnt out and dejected lately, something that hasn't really occurred for quite sometime. I suspect it may have something to do with being isolated in small towns for so long with only the occasional scenic journey to break the mindnumbing monotony of it all.

But once again all is well with the world. An exaggeration I suppose, not all is really well. In fact, were I to delve into it I'm quite certain there is still plenty wrong with it. Today, however, I refuse to let that get to me. I lack the strength and knowledge of how to change it, so for now I shall accept it.

A few of the roommates have tomorrow off and have tried to convince me I should go out for the evening. Smells like trouble. Especially considering I have to work at six in the morning. Still, the offer is tempting.

Anyone who knows me is quite well aware that resisting temptation is not one of my stronger traits. Nor is it even one of my weaker traits. It appears to simply be a trait that I do not possess. Which, of course, means tomorrow is likely to be an exceptionally slow and painful day which will largely consist of me cursing myself for the better part of the morning. Really though, how bad could it be? One Canadian and a few Mexicans getting intoxicated in small town American bar?

On a completely different note: Apparently the weather back home is turning somewhat miserable. This, as well, causes me some amusement. Somehow it makes me feel better to know I'm not missing much back home at the moment. And to know that things haven't changed - The farmers are still "freaking out" about the weather. I was forced to check with the local "farmers". The nice people at the Rocky Mountain Meadery seem relatively content. I shall consider getting a second opinion. Perhaps at St. Kathryn Cellars. Why? For my own twisted amusement it would seem.

Speaking of the weather, I find my thoughts drawn to South America. Wondering if Quito is set for the occasional torrential rainfall? If the slopes of Cayambe Volcano have snow, and how the turtles of the Galapagos Islands are faring this summer? I may have to find someone to travel down there to check it out for me...

But the party seems to be leaving, and I'd hate to be left behind. No telling what kind of trouble they'd get into if left on their own.

Counting Sheep.

Bah!

Sheep. Mindless, herd-like, automatons easily shepherded wherever the "Mysterious Institution of They" directs. Not a original or useful thought to be found. Bleating ineffectually about their plight. Some days it is easier to relate to Nietzsche's contempt than others. Occasionally a demonstration of free will is required and a select group of protestors will form a picket line and attempt to make their will known. So far as I can tell these groups are usually comprised largely of the homeless, jobless, and other idlers with no better place to be at the moment. I suppose even a small group of protestors can give some illusion of "belonging" and of being part of something bigger than the individual. Those that do have other places to be can often be convinced to donate funds to support these group, and thus their conscience is clear. They've contributed what they could to society.

Baa!

Billions of dollars wasted. On what? Gun control legislation? How much did that little fiasco cost? Could the money have been better spent elsewhere? Feeding the poor, tending the ill, building another shopping mall? Perhaps if everyone was to put down their little picket sign, get a job, get an education, they could actually work for the betterment of mankind. Seems to me actions speak louder that "Anti-Establishment, Pro-Welfare, Pro-Healthcare" rallies.

Then there are the establishments they protest against. Those that fight meaningless wars, attempt to oppress minorities, struggle to maintain the status quo, and generally oppose anything that resembles progress. The right wing extremists that manage to spend money just as quickly, with much the same result - Nothing.

Hmm, Who to support? Give my money to the bleeding heart liberals? Head to the local Walmart and pick up a shiny new Smith & Wesson, a box of bullets, and head to the bar for a Coors light to lend my support to stagnant conservatives?

Baa Baa Black Sheep...

Have you any wool? No. None for my master, none for my dame. And certainly none for the little boy crying in the lane. Personally I think I'll take my three bags full, head home, perhaps knit myself a sweater and some socks, and if there is any left over I may donate it some underprivileged soul. Perhaps they can trade it for a pack of smokes and a bottle of rye...

Pointless, meaningless ramblings of no consequence, or sense really. Just a need to spout a bit in frustration of the inane banality of it all.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Evening Musing

The point to this evenings Blog? Nothing really. Except, perhaps, some desperate attempt to communicate with someone who has a firm, or at least moderate, grasp of what I am saying. Which is unlikely as I'm relatively clueless myself. Nonetheless, I shall continue anyway.

I find myself in a relatively melancholy state. A state which seems to make me apathetic towards the rest of mankind and forces me to become introspective in order to try to make sense of "It All". Today, however, I am failing miserably. Today I am definitely having troubles putting all the pieces in order so create some semblance of order.

Take your friends for example. Those you have known for years, the ones you are most likely to call and meet for coffee, dinner, or a beer. Why them? What separates them from the rest of the planet? What unique or special trait do they possess that the others do not? And why is it that their sometimes annoying idiosyncrasies do not generate the same "Please make it stop" reaction that occurs if you encounter a complete stranger committing the same act? Why is one persons ignorance and naivete charming and endearing, while in another it is frustrating beyond words?

Damned if I know. So, still at a loss, I've begun to break them down into categories. Why? Apparently because I could. What have I come up with so far? A list of categories that so far has not really assisted me in reaching the enlightened state I desired.

No real surprise there.

It did leave me with a whole stack of equally inane and unanswered questions (Only a few of which I will bother sharing):

Why is it with some people silence seems awkward and unnatural, yet with others you can sit silently for hours and nothing seems wrong?

How is it two people of radically opposed moral, theological, political, and philosophical views can friends for decades?

What is the ratio of people you will meet to the number of friends you will keep?

What causes that "spark" you feel when you look across the room, make eye contact with someone for the first time, and know immediately that you should talk to that person?

I don't really have a clue as to why today became the day to review friendships, my life, death, or the universe in general. Perhaps it's caused by being away from home for two months, perhaps by sharing a house with twelve other people whom I truly do not expect to keep in contact with after next week. Or, perhaps it's just because for the first time in a long time I really have no set goals or direction for my life. I simply seem to be floating along wherever the breeze takes me and assuming it will all work out as it should.

Perhaps if I get some sleep it will all seem clearer in the morning...


Saturday, August 21, 2004

Another day traveling through paradise...

Ahh yes, the adventures in traveling. I must say that driving through the United States is far less stressful than in Africa. No need to play the part of "Crash Test Tourist" as the taxi cabs go careening through the streets. No need to dodge pedestrians with a head full of mangos. No need to travel off-road around a broken down donkey cart. You can be cursed at in a language you understand. And locksmiths are but a phone call away if you neglect to remove your keys from the vehicle before locking the door.

It all began after a twenty hour tour from Oklahoma to the Northeastern corner of Utah and a brief stay in the quaint little community of Vernal. (Which, for the record, may require some further investigation at a later date. The area seems to have an abundance of outdoorsy type things to keep one occupied. Fishing, hiking, four wheel drive areas, and the scenic Flaming Gorge to the North.) From there the travels took me on a voyage south through Dinosaur and along to Grand Junction, Colorado. A quick stop to pick up a few supplies and I found myself staring desolately at the passenger seat of the truck at the scintillating key-chain I could not reach.

I calmly wandered back into the Supercenter and quickly located one of the staff to inquire as to the address of the location I had so carelessly stranded myself.

Soon after I found myself searching for another.

Eventually I gave up. Apparently the bulk of Customer Service personnel are oblivious as to exactly where it is they work.

I then realized that I had approximately an hour to make it to the airport to pick someone up. I took a chance and dialed a locksmith and to my surprise he knew exactly where I was even despite the fact he did not have to drive there to work every day. He was even kind enough to reschedule his day in order to get me on my way to the airport within the hour. If you are ever stranded in Grand Junction I highly recommend the friendly folks at "A Bargain Mobile Locksmith".

So, passenger is loaded in (Only a wee bit late) and I am happily on the road again. This time the destination is Naturita. Here, my friends, is one of the most amazing, spectacular, and simply relaxing scenic byways I have had the pleasure to encounter. For any who enjoy the mountains, deep river gorges, colourful rock formations, and winding roads that travel trough them, well, this is the place for you. Two hours of twisting, turning highway past an abundance of indigenous foliage that I can honestly say I have no clue about. All I know is it looked rather... umm... cool. (For lack of a more suitable word. I suggest if you have time to kill go check it out for yourself.)

And here, for the time being, the traveling ends. "The Last Water Hole" has a bright neon sign proclaiming Budweiser which makes me realize it is "Miller Time".

Friday, August 20, 2004

Two cents and a can of Copenhagen...

Over the years I have had the pleasure of visiting a myriad of different locations across this great planet of ours. For the most part each new place provided a newfound respect and wonder and was an eye opening experience.

Then I traveled the Oklahoma/Arkansas border. Eye opening it was, and I was filled with wonder. Respect however… Not so much. Noted observations:

Deliverance is a revered documentary.

Dating within the family is encouraged.

No truck is too old, no girl too young.

Edumacashon is a waste of time.

Trophy buckles can be traded for a six-pack of beer and bus fare to the next bull-riding venue.

Highway centerline markers are purely decorative.

The “Fruits and Vegetables” food groups have been replaced by “Grease and Gravy”.

“The Beverly Hillbilly’s” had class.

“Hard” and “Work” are simply two more foul four-letter words.

There are more reasons that a dog is man’s best friend.


I’m told it is the “Heartland of America.” Personally I would have chosen a part of the anatomy other than Heart.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Eureka!

Indeed... Finally managed to configure the browser settings to actually allow me to sign in. Normally I wouldn't have expected it to have been such a painful ordeal... But then nothing should really surprise me anymore. Especially when temperamental computers are involved. Odds are someone should be taken and severely reprimanded for introducing me to the wonders of Blogspot - I get the feeling this could definitely begin to affect productivity.
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