Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's all about...

Me.

Considering the fact that it is the Christmas Holiday Season I should probably mention a little something about the Boxing Day frenzy that seems to have overwhelmed much of the population of my fair city, as well as a quick note of disappointment at the fact that most of these holiday shoppers seem to be quite amazed by how frightfully busy it is at the mall. But really, what needs to be said? It has, in my limited experience, been a madhouse consisting of the grumpy, the thrifty, the angry, and the all too bloody happy (As well as the three other nameless holiday dwarves). It hasn’t changed in the last decade, and is only likely to get worse over the next. Get over it.

I should also take a moment of silence to reflect on the 80,000 reported to have perished in the wake of the Tsunami on December 26th. It is a truly cataclysmic event that officially ranks as the most devastating disaster to occur in my lifetime. I can only hope that it remains the most destructive and catastrophic tragedy for the remainder of my days. My mind fails to fully fathom what could possibly be worse, yet inhumanity and Mother Nature have a distressing tendency to provide that which my imagination cannot.

I should take a moment… but really, why bother? After all, neither of these aforementioned events actually has any direct impact on my life. The consequences and effects of each ranks equally in the world of me. In fact, on an individual scale of self and selfishness I am more likely to be disturbed by the feverish lunacy of the holiday shoppers – I actually know people who experienced it.

I, personally, experienced neither event. Cleverly, and with much obvious foresight, I took to the air. What better place to avoid the manic masses and sixty foot tidal waves than to be 34,000 feet in the air? Simply brilliant.

Or so I thought.

Then I was forced to contend with even worse horrors - Those that happened to me. Can you imagine:

There you are safely snuggled into your seat high above the turmoil ravaging the world below when, out of nowhere, a baby starts crying and disturbs your oblivious slumber. Now, semi-conscious, the sounds assault you. You begin to realize the fellow across from you has an annoying wheezy type snore, the man three seats ahead of you is obnoxiously spewing some propagandized rhetoric about a topic he clearly knows little about except for the brief three seconds it spent on the bottom of CNN, and that little old lady has a cough that doesn’t sound so good, nor does the behemoth next to you smell so good.

Poor, unfortunate soul.

But wait! It gets worse.

The plane, after successfully navigating its way (With some admitted help by what I am sure was a relatively sober and competent pilot) over the troubles far below, begins to descend. Your hopes rise. With luck this torturous travel shall soon be over and you will be free of this winged tin can and its noxious contents. The doors open and…

The blast of cold and ice washes over you in an instant. Only seconds pass and already you are chilled to the bone reaching desperately for the jacket you long ago discarded due to the uncomfortable and stifling heat of the aeronautically engineered transport. You peer out the door and quickly realize that despite the fact it is two in the afternoon, it is decidedly dark. You’ve just entered the Arctic zone. Freezing temperatures (About –36° C) with blowing snow and not a stitch of daylight to be seen for a few months. For a moment you reminisce about better times – About the warm, cozy confines of an aircraft cabin and the soothing sounds of a lamenting cherub.

No way it could get worse. You are certain of it. It’s all clear sailing from here...

Until you arrive at your winter accommodations. They are cheerfully decorated with about five feet of festive snow. The lights flicker gleefully (Unfortunately this is the result of intermittent power failure and not some celebratory effort of the camp staff). The water supply is out of service, the kitchen is still without even intermittent electricity, and nothing is likely to be done to rectify the situation until the winds die down to a non-life threatening level.

No worries. You have an entire 186 minutes until there will be one hundred and nine equally disgruntled associates to share in your anguish. Of course, as one of the first on the scene the living conditions are quite obviously all your fault.

Baaaa Humbug.

‘Tis strange for to me to realize, as I must, that to someone else this likely doesn’t seem so bad. Of course, they are likely dealing with an overabundance of water and attempting to muddle by as best they can with whatever meager resources they are able to muster in an effort to survive their own calamity.

It is simply amazing how the mere matter of perspective can so drastically alter the severity of any hardship or adversity. Someone else’s plight is almost trivial in nature and things are, inevitably, always worse when it is happening to you, and “No, You couldn’t possibly understand.”

Reflecting once more to 80,000 dead and those survivors who are desperately trying to remain so, I can honestly say “No, I can’t possibly understand.”

Yet I try.

And only come to the realization of how truly insignificant the problems in my life are in the grand scheme of things.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas


Happy Holidays Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue...

Seeing as how we are quickly approaching Christmas, I decided to detour from my usual path of misanthropic dismay and create a list of things that actually instill happiness:

1) The Phish version of the song Gin and Juice. I really can't explain the phenomenon, but hearing it automatically puts me in a bizarre and joyous mood.

2) Varsity Wine Merchants (Located at #412 4625 Varsity Drive NW, Calgary). Tired of warehouse sized wine shops that fail to have staff that can offer any helpful assistance? This place can help. It is also one of the few places I have encountered that can provide you with a bottle of the much coveted Zaya Rum.

3) San Marco Cathedral, Venice.

4) The Locus Cafe (Located at 4121 Main St, Vancouver). An amazing atmosphere and superb service, both of which are only surpassed by the quality of the food.

5) The entire concept of Namaste.

6) The Bondi Bar and Cafe (Located somewhere in downtown Munich). Newcastle, Jagermeister, and some of the hardest drinking Australians... In Germany.

7) The Castles of Austria.

8) Swansea Pub, Wales. Anytime you can waste away an afternoon drinking Guiness on the patio while looking out over the ocean is a good time.

9) The crazy australian who left the warm beaches of Oz for Central Alberta... All because of love. (Insane, but somehow touching and romantic at the same time)

10) 60 cent beer in Dakar.

Hmm, once written down I notice a distinct trend towards alcohol and alcohol related activities. Perhaps meetings are in order?

Friday, December 17, 2004

It was only a matter of time...

Alright.

So there are an astounding number of blind little sheep who seem remarkably dedicated to contributing nothing substantial towards society. Their purpose is markedly singular - They exist simply to consume and to provide fleece for the shepherd.

Fair enough. If the life of livestock is perfectly acceptable to you, who am I to argue? If the shepherd points towards the green pastures of "The Mall" and offers you an all you can buy buffet how could you possibly be expected to resist?

Having come to the conclusion that I am not content to live life simply as a sheep, and having determined that except for a few notable exceptions most of the planet is, indeed, quite satisfied with the status quo there is only one viable option left open to me.

I shall become "The Shepherd".

Cast off all your previous ties. Renounce your loyalty to the Vatican, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, Bushco, your Satanic Cult, and any other ineffectual affiliations. Follow me to peace, happiness, and hedonsim. Let me lead you to glory and euphorically towards Utopia. Give me your fleece and fear not, for I shall provide sanctuary against the evils of the world.

Join the ever-growing ranks of "The Agnostic Coalition of Insightful Deviants Tenaciously Restoring Intelligence to the Planet."

Be one of the first to bask in the light of A.C.I.D T.R.I.P. Experience the delight as you open your mind to new and wonderous visions. Rejoice as I guide you safely through the maze that once was your carpet. Let me lead you on your journey towards the scintillating lights. Allow me to open your eyes to sensations you've only dreamed of. Come with me and Break on through to the Other Side.

Tired of the fear of a burning torment for all eternity in hell? Too busy to be bothered with Confessing your sins? Unable to properly mix a martini? Still confused about the literal meanings of unclear religious texts? Apathetic towards environmental issues? Experiencing troubles in your Ethics 101 classes? Excessively over medicated and too weary to care? Never heard of Clamato? Still haven't received your free I-Pod? Still trying to discern if it's Less filling, or Tastes Great?

I can help!

Act now, and become one of the enlightened and blessed souls who fear not the process of natural selection! Come, join me, be well and prosper!

It can all be yours for only 666 easy payments of $19.99.

Imagine, eternal, panoptic pleasure for under $14,000!

Nowhere else are you likely to find such an amazing offer.

For more information on how you can join the craze sweeping the nation please inquire to burningtorment@hotmail.com.

Sincerely yours,

The "Not-Quite-Center of the Universe",

Sardonic Vexation.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

In the Event of a Water Landing...

So, recently I have become somewhat addicted to other peoples Blogs. Considering the amount of time I spend in front of a computer at work it is truly frightening to realize how much time I have to devote to this awful affliction. It has almost become ritualistic to persuse through the same blogs hourly. Click - Nothing new - Click - Nothing new - Click - Nothing new - Click

Hallelujah!

Ladies and Gentlemen (And you select few to whom neither word applies) We have new content. Suddenly the meaningless monotony at the office is momentarily interrupted. Occasionally, to my utmost dismay, it happens that hours may pass with nothing new. No insightful posts. No clever and witty comments. No new perspectives offered.

For a brief moment depression sets it. Then, thankfully, I return to my senses. It a bloody blog. Other people have lives and cannot possibly be expected to be available to post for my convenience. It does not take long to overcome the sadness - After all I still have the
giddy anticipation of checking back in sixty minutes.

At one point of utter despondency I went out searching for other interesting sites that may be able to hold my attention until the "Old Classics" were updated. A short while later and I had made a few observations:

1) There are an obscene number of blogs out there. I had no idea.

2) I have zero interest in many of them. (Not to say that they don't have excellent content, just that I do not knit, persecute minorities, club seals, have a vagina, or hold any strong religious convictions)

3) That, like, seven people found and read this is fascinating. In some sick, twisted, narcissistic sort of way.

4) That I am an ass. I love to read the comments, to receive them, yet I am brutally inconsiderate about writing them.

5) That I am not exactly sure what it is that attracts me to the ones I read repeatedly. Perspectives often vary, opinions clash, yet still they suck me in. So far the best I can come up with is that they offer what appears to be an honest, original, creative, and heartfelt opinions as opposed to some forcefully contrived rhetoric or antiquated precepts that result from years of insidious indoctrination.

6) I have decided to prescribe myself a healthy dose of gin and juice, administered with a garnish of reality and a regimen of getting out of the house in order to cure this disease. Anyone else suffering from a similar disorder who is brave enough to mix with the Masses of Proselytized Sheep in order to swill a beer or twelve just give me a shout. I'm buying.

Must run - The natives are restless and chanting something about "Happy Hour".

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Kitschy?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

All in the name of progress...

Indeed.

For centuries it was believed that the world was flat. Over 2000 years passed before some erudite individual discovered that the Earth was not, in fact, the center of the universe. Somewhere around 1095 AD some religious zealots thought the Crusades to be a fabulous idea. So enthralled were they with the concept that they decided repeat it ten more times over the next 574 years. Somewhere during the same time the people of Spain began to feel like they were missing out on the fun. Hence, a little game they referred to as the Inquisition was born. Shortly thereafter news of the festivities traveled across the ocean and there was jealousy. Not to be outdone the fine people of Salem came up with a jolly good time and called it a “Witch-hunt”. Thankfully, humanity as a whole has progressed away from such silly diversions. (With a few notable exceptions such as the Third Reich, a little disturbance in Vietnam, and the occasional Jihad type ordeal in the Middle East) They became enlightened. By the mid 1800’s they even managed to abolish slavery, and by 1918 the women of Canada were permitted to vote.

Without such distractions, however, people grow bored. Instead they begin to ponder and debate such things as “Do blue Smarties, Coffeemate, and smoking cause cancer?”, “Is Anne Heche really a lesbian?”, and “Does McDonald’s meat contain mealworms?” They listen to the words of wisdom spewed by the sagacious Dr. Phil. Hell, the police force in Akron (In what I can only assume was an effort to keep busy) spent 5 hours negotiating with an empty house. The North Koreans are transforming a military base into a golf resort to entertain the South Koreans. Researchers spend their time discovering that 1st degree relatives of alcoholics are more likely to become addicted to alcohol and cocaine. (Thankfully I’m not an alcoholic. I’m an alcohol connoisseur with a propensity for becoming overly sensitive to the rotation of the earth¹) Other researchers have discovered substantial similarities between Chicken and Human DNA. I can’t be the only one holding my breath awaiting the first chicken heart transplant? I must admit I am now far more concerned about the Avian Flu epidemic currently ravaging Africa.

There is a new breed of discontented people who entertain themselves by engaging in a little game of “Identity theft”. That is simply silliness. I’d be perfectly willing, after a cursory credit check, to trade with most of them. No need for thievery. And then there is Reality TV. Not sure what I need to say here…

Thankfully the Christmas craze is upon us. The bored masses can now flock to the nearest super center and overspend to their hearts content. Undoubtedly they will be purchasing the variety of overpriced items found on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. Not to mention the expected skirmishes over whatever new fad has replaced Cabbage Patch Kids, Tickle-Me Elmo, The X-Box, and Beanie Babies.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me, it seems there is some diabolical sect of satanic scientists attempting to procure some of my much-valued Brain Juice.

Thank 'Name of your favorite deity here' for progress.



¹ Credit to “The Mel” for this little phrase.

Warning - Some Profanity to Follow.

Perhaps you’ve all experienced it:

You awaken one morning, roll lethargically out of bed, and prepare to bravely face the day. Yet, strangely, something feels decidedly off. Initially you ignore it, assuming that a shower, a shave, and a pot of coffee will rectify the entire situation. To your dismay it does not. Caffeine, nicotine, cold water, and shaving gel all fail. Somehow the world seems to operating about two seconds faster than your mind can process. Despite your best efforts you can’t get the hair to look just right, so you grab a hat and hope a brisk walk to the office will do the trick.

Wrong.

Now you are cold, wet, miserable, suffering a two second penalty, and at work. At this point there is no doubt that this day will be simply delightful.

You grab another coffee, endure the meaningless morning small talk, successfully dodge a few people you simply are not in the mood to deal with, and escape to the relative security of your desk.

Only to discover it is a trap.

He whom you loathe most is there and instantly launches into what he obviously considers to be witty repartee. To your amusement you are easily able to keep up even with a two second disadvantage. Then your favorite assclown decides it is a fabulous time to bombard you with the usual disparaging comments regarding Frostbacks, socialist government, the tendency to say “eh”, and something about “Crappy Canadian Beer.”

So, understandably, you lose it. A short jab to the head, an uppercut, and a blow to the solar plexus – He crumples to his knees like a sex starved man begging to his wife. Once again you are the champ. (Serves the bastard right, considering what he said about the beer.)

Ok, perhaps it doesn’t happen exactly like that (But only because you are operating at a slight disadvantage). Instead it collapses into an uncomfortable silence until you force enough synapses to fire and utter the ever so distinguished and respected phrase…

How’s about you go fuck yourself. If you were even remotely smart enough to do this job I wouldn’t have to be here. Unfortunately you are so fucking inept that they called me back early again. I could be sitting back home sipping martinis, but no, you’re not clever enough to handle this on your own. Fuck off and leave me alone. EH!”

Admittedly it is not your most professional moment, but thankfully you have a full two seconds to come to that insightful epiphany. A drink would be really nice about now, but its early. Then you remember Junior on the other side of the office has a bottle of Bailey’s in his desk drawer. Rumour has it that Bailey’s goes well with coffee.

So what do you do now? Sit down and get to work, or be sociable and go visit your new best friend? (It is Friday after all, there is little to do. What little there is can wait ‘till Monday, and your boss is likely to take you to happy hour at noon anyway.)

Please feel free to choose your own adventure.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Regrettable Wednesday

So.

It would seem the Karmic powers that be are relatively displeased with me these days. Undoubtedly the inevitable result of a misspent youth. My truck has been broken into not once, but twice. I assume you will all understand if I am slightly bitter about the whole ordeal. First some nice people in Vancouver absconded with a rain jacket and a pocketful of change. The some nice people in Edmonton made off with – not a damn thing. Which made me slightly happy, but not as much as the blood around the broken window. I now find myself hoping it hurt, that it gets infected, and that the culprit burns for all eternity in the flaming pits of hell. (A reaction not likely to gain me any points with the Karma Counters). The good news – the five bands playing at the Windspear Auditorium may have been worth the cost of a broken window.

I also had the distinct pleasure of spending some time with the then current object of my affection. After much rebuffing of amorous advances it was decided that all we are destined to do is share a song that shall evermore be known as “Our Song”. Puddle of Mud’s She Hates Me. Delightful.

Now, enjoying life to the fullest, I decided drinks with a dear friend was in order. Which was, of course, fabulous. Then I returned home, played back the night’s events in my mind, and got stuck on her desire to find a “Meaningful Relationship.”

It did not take long for me to consult with the Holy Dictionary and find “A connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other for a function or purpose.”

Thus forced to consider all my relationships I discovered that by definition, it seems, that they are all meaningful. So I considered the possibility of a meaningless, insignificant, and inconsequential relationship. Quite simply – It does not exist. Truly, What would be the point?

So I decided “meaningful” was not exactly what she meant. Perhaps an intimate, romantic, passionate relationship composed of friendship, respect, and the kind of understanding that leads you to finish each other’s sentences is what she really sought.

Good luck with that.

I wonder what Abu Sa’id ibn Aboa al-Chair (Some Persian Mystic born back in 967 who died approximately 81 years later, and whom I know absolutely nothing else about) would have to say the whole situation?

I also wonder what it is I am truly seeking trudging through this cesspool of broken dreams and stagnant minds?

In other, completely unrelated news:

1) I’ve managed to get the Blogrolling thing working. If your site should appear there and you really wish it hadn’t, just let me know. I shall endeavour to find some way to make it vanish.

2) I have been dubbed Random Canadian here. I have no idea why that is such an overwhelming source of amusement to me.
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