Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Oh, to get a clue

Today, it appears, was special. In a strange, twisted sort of way. Many of the clueless, those firmly entrenched in a quagmire of self-denial, came out to play.

First at a fine Wendy's establishment. I found myself seated next to the typical obese lady and her obese children who were enjoying a healthy meal of: Big Bacon Classics with cheese, biggie fries, biggie drink, and of course the giant sized frosty. They were having lunch with a relatively petite young lady who opted for the grilled chicken salad.

The Clueless: "I don't know how you manage to stay so thin. I wish I had your metabolism."

The Slender nods politely in response.

The Clueless: "Me and the kids have tried everything, but nothing seems to work. Right now were trying the Atkin's diet, but I don't think it's working either."

The Slender nods politely in response. I almost cough a mouthful of Dr. Pepper through my nose. I admit my knowledge of diet plans is not great, but I'm pretty sure the Wendy's biggie sized combo isn't part of it.

The Clueless: "So really, what's your secret? How do you, Martin and the kids manage to stay so thin?"

The Slender (Now looking slightly uncomfortable): "Well, we try and eat healthy and keep active. And just trying to keep up with Aidan is a workout. I swear that child could replace the energizer bunny. He just keep's going and going. Martin and I have to take turns watching him when we go to the park. He never stops."

The Child of Clueless: "Mommy, can we go to the park?"

The Clueless: "Not today honey, Mommy's busy. Now Shhhh. Mommy's talking."

The Child of Clueless: "But mooooooooooom, we neeeeeeeeeever go to the park!"

The Clueless: "I'm busy. Maybe we can go next week. Why don't you take your brother across the street and get an ice cream so mommy can talk?"

The Children of Clueless happily accept the bribe and vacate the building with a few dollars in their pocket.

At this point I vacate the building myself, quite content that I had found one of the families for which the Denny's Grand Slam was created.

Next I had the distinct pleasure of picking up a new employee at the airport and going over the basics with him on the drive back to town:

Me: "It's a little too late to get anything accomplished today, so for now I'm just going to get you set up at the hotel, give you twenty-five dollars for food, and leave you on your own until tomorrow. I'll pick you up at 6:00 am, so be ready to go. There's a Pizza Hut next to the hotel, a Subway and Wal-Mart across the street, and a lounge a block west. Relax and get some rest and I'll see you in the morning."

Not me: "I'm broke."

Me: "Twenty-five should get you through the night. If you need anything else we'll talk about it in the morning."

Not me: "Twenty-five bucks? Sweet! Anywhere to eat around here?"

Me: "Pizza Hut and Subway are closest. Golden Corral is about a block and a half south. You can get groceries at the Wal-Mart."

Not me: "Sweet! Anywhere I can get a beer? Bar or liquor store nearby?"

Me: "A decent lounge about a block west. Can buy beer across the street at the Gas Station. Liquor Store is about three blocks over there and is open until 11:00"

Not me: "Sweet! So, like, what the deal with tomorrow? Do I need a wake up call, or what?"

Me: "Would be a good idea. A wake up call never hurts."

Not me: "What time?"

Me: "Depends. How long does it take you to get up and be ready?"

Not me: "I dunno. A half hour?"

Me: "So about 5:30, maybe 5:15 just to be sure."

Not me: "That early? What time do we go to work?"

Me: "6:00."

Not me: "Dude, really that early?"

Me: "Yip."

Not me: "Sweet. I'm ready to work. Where did you say I could get a beer?"

A Star employee in the works I'm sure. Articulate, clever, great memory, and an impeccable attention to detail. Who could ask for anything more?

And, as they always come in three's:

Long Lost Co-Worker who may have consumed too much alcohol: "Hey man! How you doin'? It's been, like, forever!"

Me: "Two, maybe three years? Think the last time I saw you was in Anchorage. How are things going?"

Long lost Co-Worker who has definitely consumed too much alcohol and now has his arm over my shoulder: "Dude! It has been so cool! You wouldn't believe it! I hardly believe it! It's been going wicked!"

Me: "Fabulous. That's excellent. What's happening tonight?"

He who has issues: "Getting f**ked up dude! The girlfriend and I just broke up and I'm a free man. I'm lookin' for chicks."

Me: "Broke up? Really? I thought you and Deb were engaged last time I saw you? Thought you'd be married by now."

Completely Clueless: "Yeah, me too. But she kept wanting to wait. Said she wasn't ready yet."

Me (Being honest, yet perhaps a bit insensitive. I'd met the young lady a few times): "That's too bad. She seemed to be good for you."

He who I cannot explain: "I know dude... She was cool. I really thought we'd be together forever. But then she started saying Sh*t like..." (Here begins an exceptionally whiney, obviously female voice) "...You don't really love me, you just use me for sex...We never spend any time together anymore. You're always off partying with your friends..."(Here ends the voice)"... Dude! That is such bullsh*t! I loved that girl!"

Me (Apparently having a bad week): "Loved her? Really? You ever tell her that? Show her how much you cared?"

The other guy: "Huh? What do you mean?"

Me: "Tell her you love her? Take her out for dinner? Cook for her? Bring flowers? Escape for the weekend somewhere? Buy her a diamond?"

Yet again, The Other Guy: "Huh?"

Me, beginning to realize perhaps his girlfriend made a good call: "What did you two do the last time you were home?"

Mr. Romantic: "She picked me up at the airport and then I went out with the boys. We did some hunting, some fishing, and dude, did we get drunk."

Me: "Your right, dude. She's being stupid. It's only a matter of time until she realizes what she's missing. She'll be crawling back by the end of the week."

Umm...Not me: "Dude! So right! That's exactly what I thought!"

After enduring a few too many slaps on the back and heartfelt hugs I detached myself from the situation and wandered off. All the time wondering "Three years?" The girl has far more patience then I could ever hope to have.

That's it, that's all. Have a fabulous time, an excellent week, and a delightful day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Love is...

Ahh... Love.

A bizarre and strange emotion. The cause, as far as I've been able to ascertain, is inexplicable. It strikes quickly, without warning, and it often strikes deep. It leaves the poor hapless victim is a cloudy state of confusion. Occasionally with weak knees, butterflies in the stomach, and an inability to speak coherently.

The same thing happens when I drink too much tequila.

Which raises the questions - Have I ever really been in love?

Generally I like to think so, but it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong. Nor, do I think, would it be the last.

Thus far the few times I've thought I was really, truly in love have all faded away like a bad hangover. Overindulgence that results in a painful throbbing in the head combined with a distinctly nauseous feeling that seems to take forever go away, and in the end only the memory remains. You promise yourself it will never happen again.

A lie.

You know it's a lie as soon as you make the promise, yet at the time the pain is overwhelming and somehow you manage (if only for brief moment) to convince yourself that this time you mean it. Inevitably the affliction will strike again. Usually, it seems, with a vengeance intent on forcing you to believe that this one is "The One".

I, personally, have been lucky enough to find "The One".

At least a half dozen times that I can remember. Which makes me wonder - "The One" of what? 10? 20? At what point do you really know it is "The One" (A term that is starting to bother me at this point) or just "One of Many"?

Personally I've come to the conclusion that any could have resulted in real love and everlasting happiness - Had both parties involved been at a point in their lives where the felt willing to exert a little bit of effort in the relationship.

Sadly, I must admit I've been the one dodging effort, commitment, and most likely happiness. One of the problems, I suppose, that comes with thinking you are independent, free, and need no one else to complete your life.

Another lie.

I've begun to suspect that life is meant to be shared. Alone it becomes boring. But to spend the rest of your life with someone? Is that really feasible? Certainly, it has proven possible in the past, but in today’s world filled with an immense amount of strife, divorce, and infidelity is it really an option? I like to think so. Of course, I like to think a lot of things - so far I've unsuccessful with that whole thinking thing. It always leads to questions.

Questions, usually, require answers. Admittedly I am far better at questions than I am at answers. (Unless someone asks me in the real world, in which case I am quite adept at giving a confident, yet extremely vague, response.) With non-committal, indecisive and relatively trite answers I excel.

So, anyway, I did the unthinkable. I took a list of people. I created a list of pro's and con's. I compared them. And I disagreed completely with the results.

As I said - Love is bizarre. You cannot make logical lists, compare other people and expect to come up with a suitable result. The reason? Logic has absolutely no place getting involved with an emotion such as love. Love is, and likely will always remain with me... somewhat troublesome.

(On a completely different topic - It has now been 4 weeks since one of my favorite Blog's has been updated. Cell phone induced brain tumor, yet another pair of ruined shoes, or simply a life beyond Blog's I have no idea.)

I do believe the mid-mid-life crisis has come to an end. 'Tis time, once again, to point out flaws with the rest of humanity rather than myself.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

One of those days

I remember a time when life had meaning. A time when there was a purpose behind the things I did. Lately I have been noticing that the meaning is beginning to fade, and the purpose has been forgotten. Instead it has been replaced only by work - The daily routine of going to work at 6:00 Am and then working until 10:00 Pm.

It didn't start out that way. I can still vaguely remember when work was simply a means to an end - A necessary evil I was forced to periodically endure if I wanted to be able to enjoy the rest of my life. Well, slowly the rest of my life is beginning to pass by and I don't seem to be able to find time to relish in the simple pleasures.

Too many friends have long been ignored. Too many opportunities to have fun have passed by. It has been far too long since I just packed up and flew to wherever the next plane leaving is headed. Spontaneity is in danger of becoming extinct and I am in danger of becoming a dull, boring automaton.

This realization had been forming for quite sometime now, but became abundantly clear when the phone rang last night. The Friday night hot tub party was in full swing. Friends were doing what much of the population does on a Friday night - having a disturbing, deviantly good time. The kind that pains me to miss. I was 2100 Km's away and had just left the office. It was 10:30 in the evening.

Sad, I know. Pathetic even. And I have absolutely no one else to blame except myself. I chose this life for myself. At one time I even enjoyed it.

Sometimes I still do.

Obviously this is not one of those times.

So, back to the "Oh woe is me" self-pity thing.

Ten years and approximately 32,000 man-hours invested in a career that lately doesn't seem worth it. Occasionally I actually wish for a simpler time. Ah, to be able to go back to working only a few hours a day - Enough to pay the rent and the bar tab and afford a lift ticket at the ski hill every now and then. A time when I was quite convinced that the future would look after itself.

Given the chance would I have changed anything? Perhaps a few minor details but otherwise no. Which has me thinking that I may, in fact, be a sucker for punishment.
Will I do anything to change now? I think I must. Life without meaning is simply silly. May as well be a sheep.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Don't let the bastard's get you down.

So. Forty-seven and a half hours on the road. 6 hours spent in the air and another 6 hours spent on airport layovers. Another hour on the road and now I find myself trapped in my least favorite part of the world once again. I've been accosted by drunken strangers in Airport lounges, searched repeatedly by airport security (Never get a one way ticket with 24 hours notice - You are "Red Flagged" immediately), and missed two connecting flights. I've been cut-off on the highways by three mini-vans (All bearing the happy little "Jesus Fish" on the back), subjected to an hour and a half of a screaming baby on a cramped airplane. All-in-all it's been a typical trip. Nothing out of the ordinary really. Just another apathetic journey through this wonderful world we call home. It was simply fabulous.

Somehow I think all of this should have had some effect on me, or at least caused me to feel a slight bit of annoyance to which I've become quite accustomed. As should have one questionable comment that appeared on a previous post. Somehow I've managed to feel close to nothing about the entire ordeal.

It's all passed by in a oddly serene, ethereal haze. It's as though I was simply watching as someone else's life unfolded before me. Quite strange - I can't recall such a thing ever happening before. Now, however, the haze has lifted and I sit and try to determine exactly what just happened. Questions - Always with the questions. I suppose I'd be far better off just to accept it as one of the mysteries of life, but I really don't think that will be acceptable.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Anguished Solace

Ah yes, Yet another vacation cut short due to the inept fumbling of others. Some days it is truly painful to be forced to rely on the competence and dedication of your fellow man. Inevitably they seem determined to disappoint. Just once I would like to have everyone else arrive as scheduled in the appointed location. I'd never really considered this to be a difficult task. After all, it is why they get paid.

Admittedly it is possible that there are valid circumstances as to why they cannot show up for work, but I find I'm slightly jaded. I grow terribly weary of hearing "The dog ate my homework" type excuses from adults. At some point I would have expected them to grow into mature members of society able to take responsibility for their own actions. Is it too much to ask for at least some token effort to accomplish the work assigned in your chosen profession?

Apparently so. Thus, I really should get back to packing and begin yet another sojourn in the Southlands...

Friday, September 10, 2004

Pensive Ponderings

It's morning. Which is to say that time of day that occurs before 12:00. And I am so much not a morning person. I've quite gotten accustomed to not moving before the crack of noon and today I was planning to be like any other. Other people, it seems, had other ideas for me. Just when I had started to think the rest of the planet understood that waking me up when I have time off is likely to be met with a rather disgruntled "You had better have coffee" attitude, I discover otherwise. And it couldn't be just one or two thoughtless people to direct my morning irritation towards, it has to be five. One of which brought coffee. At least one was clever enough not to disturb my peaceful hibernation without bearing gifts containing caffeine.

To make matters worse - There was absolutely no reason to interrupt my rest. None at all. People killing time, checking to see if I was home, or just wanting to chat for a minute. So now I find myself awake (Before Noon), highly stimulated with caffeine and nicotine, and absolutely nothing productive to do. Which, I have begun to suspect, is soon going to result in boredom.

The quintuplet had actual days planned out but thought it would be nice to visit. They actually adjusted their schedules simply to make me a part of their day.

So sweet.

I'm touched by the gesture.

Touched and deeply moved.

Moved so much that I had to get out of bed.

Before noon.

On my days off.

It's possible some of this may be getting redundant at this point in time.

This point in time before noon.

And so to everyone out there in cyberland let me just wish you all a "Good morning" and I hope you have a fabulous day.

And now I'm bored. And out of coffee. Which may begin to cause me some concern and eventually force me to venture forth into the world. And leave me with a terrible decision to make - Chai or Latte?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Temporary Endothermic Shelter

The Labour Day Long Weekend is traditionally an excuse for some of us to escape the mundane life in the city and to experience the wonders of the great outdoors. Coincidentally thousands of other people generally decide to do the same, which leads to a large number of people sharing the same campground. This, for the most part, is not a huge problem. Occasionally you may encounter a group of strangers who have decided it would be a brilliant idea to spend their time camping in "Tightie-Whitie Short Shorts", or the poor bastard who lost a bet and wanders the campsite in a pair of speedos, his girlfriend's halter-top, a helmet, and steel-toed boots. "Random Drunk Guy" is almost guaranteed to make an appearance at your campsite, usually after having been exiled from most of the other sites in the area. And I mustn't forget the occasional rowdy, chemically enhanced fellow who stops in for a visit and stomps off in righteous indignation once you ignore him for a suitable duration of time.

Then you find the recidivous and the boorish, usually notable by seven tents stacked on the same campsite and one undersized truck with an oversized stereo system. If you have any doubt as to whether or not this is you, simply ask yourself one question - Do you have a penchant for playing obscenely loud techno music at 7 am?

Not that I'm against people playing music that they enjoy. If hardcore or gabber techno is your thing then by all means play it. At a reasonable decibel level and at a reasonable time. All I ask is you realize you are in a public camp ground, not an abandoned warehouse, and that most people have been consuming large amounts of beer, not experimenting with 'e'. Enzyme X isn't playing live, Drop Bass Network isn't showcasing a new album, and you've never heard of Black Monolith Records. Thus, tone it down dumbass...

All in all an entertaining weekend. Good times, great people (With previously noted exceptions - but I can't possibly expect everyone to be as suave and cultured as our own group), and only a few moments of alcohol induced bad judgement. No flower petals and fairy dust, but I do believe everyone was able to find suitable replacements.

Now, if you'll please excuse me I must try and get this boom, boom, tweet, boom, boom, boom, Everybody Dance now... (Another site insisted on C+C Music Factory and The Village People for their musical selections) out of my head.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Much ado about nothing...

"In the beginning there was man and woman..."

Here, is suspect, is where all the trouble began. Add in an odd little talking snake and one tempting, yet forbidden, fruit and you have a recipe for potential disaster. Now, I don't proclaim to be all powerful or omnipotent, but I can't help but wonder what hope there really was for humanity when the Grand Design seems to have been flawed from the start.

Of course I fully expect a lightning bolt to find me while camping this weekend, and I'm sure there will be a special place reserved for me somewhere in the underworld. I've been expecting just a thing for years, and thus far have managed to make it through unscathed. No doubt it's just a matter of time and there are a few greater infidels that require attention first.

I don't believe I could be fully content without at least one person telling me I'm completely off my rocker and that was not how it happened at all. Someone to explain how in the beginning there was only a seething sea of cosmic sludge and we evolved from there. Again, not exactly what I would consider an auspicious origin for the human race. The vision of my ancestors crawling slowly from the dregs of the universe does not really instill any great expectations.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Sardonic Vexation

Well, it appears the Positivity Patrol is alive and well. It seems they've been doing a fine job of selling false hope and ornamental optimism. Such a fine job that their spokesperson has been able to splurge for a shiny new crack-pipe and a top of the line soapbox. I find this to be simply fabulous.

What my life had been lacking up to this point was some creative, constructive criticism and a little bit of heartfelt advice. Thankfully this has all been provided to me free of charge and with no obligation to buy more in the future. Almost overnight I found that the dark, empty place in my soul has been filled with sunshine and roses. The voices inside my head have ceased their tormenting demand for sacrificial blood.

The amazing thing is how simple it really was to bring happiness and clarity into my life. No real work or effort was required and no costly therapy. The key to my newfound bliss? Lowered standards and expectations. Great expectations and lofty standards have always left me feeling somewhat despondent. Little things like the need for warning labels that read "Do not touch blade while in motion" or "Caution: Contents Hot" always caused me to question how much humanity has stifled Mother Nature's natural selection process.

Yes, I have seen the light and it is glorious. Love and embrace all mankind regardless of their shortcomings. Expect nothing and thou shalt not be dismayed. For the first time I feel truly happy and free.

Thank you 'Anonymous', my savior, my guiding light in my time of need. Without you my life would likely still be filled with darkness, cynicism and skepticism. I now know that I was headed down a path that led only into a deep, dark, sucking, swirling abyss of misery and despair from which I would never have been able to escape.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must get back to spreading joy to the world...
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