Monday, May 30, 2005

Section 8

It's one of those days where I feel a desperate need to communicate. Unfortunately I have absolutely nothing of value to communicate. My mind is in that discomforting state that occurs when a millions thoughts race through your head at an alarming rate and nothing stays there long enough to form into a coherent idea. It's cerebral recrement, or perhaps excrement is the word I am reaching for. Certainly it is unmitigated crap. Whatever it is it smells bad and it makes me queasy.

Now usually this condition is common only during periods of increased stress or apprehension. Something that occurs in anticipation of something which I find awkward or disagreeable - Like public speaking or informing someone that their employment has been terminated. Currently; however, life is relatively uncomplicated and free of any urgent concerns that I would expect to result in this odd feeling of anxiety.
So, whilst discussing this little problem with a dear friend of mine they reminded me of a troubling little problem I have that has proven to be vexing time and time again. It's a little curse that has plagued me ever since I can remember and it seems unwilling to cease any time soon. So far in my life I have only encountered two people who appear to be exempt from the curse and one person who seems to seriously understand the condition. Cause for concern? Of course not - A minor quirk, nothing more.

To delve quickly towards the crux of it all:

I have been stricken by the Three Day Malediction.

To try and explain:

No matter how much I like someone, despite the fact they are perfectly nice, normal, intelligent, and interesting people and attractiveness notwithstanding I, after 72 hours, begin to resent their presence. Every fiber of my being seems to shrink in upon itself and begins to despise the offending interloper that dares infringe upon my time. The sight of them, the sound of their voice, even merely knowing they are close brings an almost overwhelming feeling of contempt. They become absolutely loathsome. Generally a full 24 hours apart is sufficient time to allow me to revert back to normal. 48 hours guarantees it.

This, I now realize, is the source of my distress. Since Thursday I have been charged with the responsibility of training someone to do my job. Which pretty much means that for 14 - 15 hours a day I have a human shadow. 5 days with no respite and none looming on the horizon until June 8th. I'm doomed - My tenuous grasp on sanity is threatened.

Oh my... can you say Sociopath boys and girls?

And so ends tonight's rendition of instability Unleashed.

I need a drink.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Yano estes chingando vavamos... Or something like that.

Today appears to be the day that everyone seems dedicated to eliminating my normally understanding and accepting attitude and turning me into a ranting, raving, frothing at the mouth lunatic.

Oddly insecure people desperate to make some sort of connection no matter how tenuous. As if I care if your third cousin's middle name is "Vex". What cleverly conceived thought process even remotely translates that little tidbit of information into a life long bond of friendship? Am I really expected to exclaim gleefully "Wow, what an amazing coincidence. We must be soul mates. Let us hug!"? I am not impressed. Nor amused. I am; however, mildly irritated.

Oh, we get to move along to inconsequential small talk and useless questions? Yippee. I woke up today and thought wouldn't it be absolutely wonderful if I could waste away part of day answering the obvious. "Hot enough for you?" What was the first clue Sherlock? The river of perspiration that has started to pool around my feet? Or the surprised "You haven't gone for lunch yet?" Yet another astute observation, my friend. That is some wonderfully heightened perceptitude you've got there.

You know what would really make my day? If you were one of those fabulous few whom, through some miracle of the divine, had managed to procreate. Yes, if you had some wonderful stories about your "little blessing" newfound ability to goo or gah that you would like to share I would forever be in your debt. The first rendition of "Baby Rolled Over" was fascinating. I was able to accept politely, smile, and offer some clever remark regarding the joyous wonder of children. The second time I can manage a nod and a half-hearted smile. Third time? I'm beginning to experience some difficulty feigning interest. The fourth time? Come on - Even Gandhi would want to rip your tongue out and fill the hole with salt.

No, I haven't seen the latest Star Wars. Yes, my life feels slightly empty an meaningless because of that fact. No, I must have missed the headline that said the fellow who plays Anakin is considering giving up acting for architecture. Yes, I'm serious I didn't see that... No worries though - I'm sure I would have felt a disturbance in the Force if such a thing was true.

Finally - I'd love to proofread and edit your daily report. I'd also love for you to take my word for it when I tell you that you meant "kept" instead of "keeped". And yes, I'm quite certain that there is no "e" in "Lightning". Well technically you are correct - "Lightening" is in the dictionary, but as a verb, not a noun... Ok, true, it is as a noun as well, but come on, we are not giving birth here. Feel free to keep it in there if you disagree.

Oh really? Baby can roll over? Fascinating.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I Lost Myself...

(The thoughts and events that follow are real. No facts or names have been altered to protect the innocent.)¹

It was not your typical cliche dark and stormy Monday night. The darkness was so thick and tangible you could collect a bit and save it in your pocket for another day. A relentless darkness that feared nothing, save for the occasional rumbling of the night sky heralded by flashes of lightning. It was electrifying. A night which, despite nine hours on the road, begged me to continue. I have long been unable to resist proper pleading and nature's teardrops running down my windshield, thus I surrendered myself to the evening and pressed onward.

I was traveling through Nebraska along the I-80. I glanced down at my map (See attached image - I must say this is possibly the most useless map I have ever had the pleasure of traveling with) and realized that was all wrong. In order to properly expedite this little journey I should really be traveling through Kansas along the I-70. So I did what any clever tourist would do - I took my next right off the Interstate and headed south. My map, sadly, did not reveal any insight as to exactly where to south I should be heading so I accepted the sign that proclaimed "McCook 63 miles" as my goal and relied entirely on intuition. What I had previously believed to be complete and utter darkness was, upon exiting the interstate, exposed as a falsehood. Now, on a disconcertingly deserted stretch of Route 83, I discovered the true meaning of pitch black. I permitted my mind to wander as only a weary and fatigued mind deprived of outside stimulus can meander. Which is, of course, when things usually tend to get interesting. The first thought which popped into my tiny brain? Boy, it sure is dark. Followed by - I wonder where all the people are?

I pondered the latter question for a few moments and came to the obvious conclusion: They had been taken by Vampires. What other explanation could there possibly be for a landscape so devoid of humanity? I was armed with my trusty bottle of Aquafina² holy water, and was quite certain that my blood was far too polluted with caffeine and nicotine at this point to attract any of the Nosferatu worth their weight in blood - But still feared the type of blood sucker that would stalk the roads of Nebraska. I remembered that a wise man had once informed me that Vampires were a myth and simply didn't exist. Well, Thank Buddha for that. As my heartbeat slowed and my tinge of panic began to subside I as recalled a wise woman telling me that Buddha didn't exist either. He was simply another myth created by an evil covenant of monks in an effort to line their coffers with gold by striking fear into the minds of mortals³. What do they expect now? 10% - 15%? A pittance to pay for salvation. Nothing like the promise of eternal damnation to convince the masses to loosen their purse strings. So, what other fearsome creatures roam the night? Witches perhaps? I know, I've been told that they don't really exist either. But riddle me this then genius - If witches do not exist who did the Hindu Inquisition° cleanse of devilish influence by burning at the stake back in 1692? Innocent people? You expect me to believe that society would have let that happen? Let me tell you something my friend, I am not gullible enough to accept that explanation. My, it sure is dark and this storm is horrendous. I can hardly see a thing. If I was clever I'd seek shelter indoors somewhere safe and wait it out. So where are all the people? Vampires are out. Witches, I decided, were exterminated over 300 years ago. Hmm... There goes McCook. But you're really not tired. May as well keep going until you hit I-70. It can't be that much further and you still have almost half a tank of fuel. (My apologies, I realize it can be quite perplexing trying to follow along as the voices in my head constantly interrupt. I, for the most part, have learned to ignore most of them.) Then I thought of the classic Night of the Comet. I suppose it could be possible that a vast majority of the world had been wiped out in some cataclysmic event and I had missed it. So thinking the word cataclysm made me think of the Dragonlance Chronicles and the obscene number of spin-off novels that have been printed. Wouldn't it be funny if, say, a few hundred years down the road the descendants of tonight's survivors found a set of these novels and began to revere dragons and feel some anxiety about encountering a five headed fire-breathing beast? Silliness again - I understand. People are far too astute to fall victim to such a thing as mistaking a fanciful work of fiction for gospel. I pushed such thoughts from my mind as I pulled onto I-70 and headed east. It was 1:00 am and I was still only guided by the faint illumination provided by my headlights. Zombies. Of the Resident Evil, Dawn of the Dead, Army of Darkness, and 28 Days Later variety. That would explain it. The indigenous population had succumbed to some tragic outbreak of zombie-ism. Ack! I'm doomed without the anti-virus. I recall reading somewhere about zombies and some Voodoo type religious group that worships these living dead. Perhaps religious is the wrong word. I think Cult would be a more apt description. I also remember reading somewhere that raising the dead is impossible. You cannot re-animate corpses. So what, I wonder, would persuade a group of people to create a Cult that offered prayer and benediction to a zombie? Thankfully this has never erupted into a large scale, worldwide phenomenon. That would be frightening. And then imagine the trouble that would ensue should this Cult of Zombie Worship began to accept, no - Demand! - Donations to further its diabolical cause under the guise of saving your own precious soul. Actually that sounds rather intriguing. Something I could really sink my teeth into, a little distraction to help me feel revitilized. Almost born again.

But boy, it still seems dark.

¹ - Except for the following footnotes which help clarify a few points that I may have been confused on in my state of exhaustion.
² - Aquafina spelled backwards is Anifauqa. Need I say more?
³ - I later realized I was mistaken. The followers of Buddha do no such thing. They are a benevolent group of people seeking enlightenment. My apologies to Buddhists everywhere for my error.
° - Again I realized I was mistaken. It was not a Hindu Inquisition and they were in no way responsible for any such atrocious burning of people at the time. My apologies to Hindu's everywhere.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Tainted Love

So I sobered up and read over some of my previous posts. I must admit I was sadly disappointed by what I saw. Inspirationally dead material. Crap really. Drunken profession of my love? Oh please. How magnificently original. For those of you without intimate knowledge of what I'm babbling on about allow me to explain. When drunk I have a disturbing tendency to transform from my normally happy and cynical self into "That Guy". By "That Guy" I mean the annoying drunk guy in the corner who inexplicably puts his arm around you and utters the infamous words "I love you." It is a slow metamorphosis that occurs with varying stages.

It starts out with quiet and mellow drunk guy. Almost indistinguishable from quiet and mellow sober guy. I'm usually content to sit and drink, play some pool, watch the band, and keep my mouth shut. All the while becoming increasingly amused by the antics of the drunk people around me. For the most part I think it would be best if I just stopped my consumption of alcohol here. I haven't yet made a complete ass of myself and I will fully remember not making an ass of myself.

Stage two is a noticeable slide towards trouble. My mouth opens and some insipid gibberish spews forth uncontrollably. A snide remark may escape, but if I am terribly lucky nobody takes offense. If they do - Too bad. Odds are it was true and needed to be said. It is at this point I also come to the astute realization that I am nearly invincible and unable to fail at anything. Phrases like "Here, hold my beer and watch this!", or "Twenty bucks says I can double bank the eight ball in the corner", or "Oh yeah, she wants me." At this point there is no doubt that I have made an ass of myself and will fully remember making an ass of myself.

Stage three. Painful. Marks the inexorable decline to stage four. Here I magically acquire the ability to master activities I previously had no expertise at in any way. I become the Solid Gold Dancer, the Rock Star, and the Philosophy Major. Quite simply put there is absolutely nothing that I don't know or can't do. At this point I have reached perfection. Not convinced? Just ask me. (But not until I've finished my set on the Karaoke stage). Adoring fans are everywhere. And they all want me. There is no doubt I have made a complete ass of myself, although it is doubtful that I will remember much of it. Progression to stage four is unavoidable unless one of three things occurs:

1) Somebody forcibly places me in a cab home.
2) Somebody coerces me into a cab with promises of better things to come.
3) I've lost my wallet and can no longer support my habit.

Stage four. No more pain. No cohesive thought process. All bets are off and nothing is impossible (Except perhaps for a sentence without slurring or walking a straight line). Bring out your dead, your dying, your stupid, your annoying, and your mentally unstable. Chances are I will love them all as well. This is quite likely the point at which you try to determine why the frighteningly intoxicated individual is draped over you explaining just how much you mean to him. Even photographic evidence fails to trigger anything remotely resembling a memory.

Stage five - Extremely rare and not recommended. The body is officially operating on auto-pilot. My head spends much of it's time rested on the table and only rises infrequently to assure the waitress that I am, indeed, fine and all I really require is another Caesar to wake me up. Most frequently asked questions following a Stage five debacle:

1) Where am I?
2) Who are you?
3) Who am I?
4) Where did all these frozen gerbils come from?

Now why, you may ask, did I deem this important enough to explain? Well shut up and quit interrupting. I was getting to that.

Recently I have encountered a strange breed of people who go to the Bar, but do not drink. Have never had a drink. Expressed some confusion over why some of us endured the aforementioned Five Stage process. Well, for some it is an addiction. It's called alcoholism. They have no choice but so seek out the sweet solace that the bottle offers. Others abuse it as a coping mechanism. It helps them, if only for a few hours, forget the mundanity and insanity of their lives. It helps to release some tension after spending your days dealing with the stupid, the aggravating and the useless. Personally, I'm addicted to coping.

Now I really must inquire - Whatever possesses someone to go out and spend an evening with people who are drinking while they are not? There have been times when I've arrived when the others are already fully into Stage three and let me say "Holy #$%^ are they ever annoying." It is only through the grace of a few shots and a quickly downed pint or six that I can endure such a torturous encounter for a brief period of time. To spend an entire evening with such people? I'm certain it would drive me to drink.

Yes, yet another uninspired effort. I'm in the process of packing for a little sojourn to the great state of Texas and procrastinating badly rather than trying to determine what it is I am going to forget to pack to survive a three day drive across the countries and the following six weeks in the heat of the southlands. I've removed the arctic gear from my luggage as I really don't expect to need it at 33 C (93 F or so). I fully expect my body to go into shock having to endure a temperature change of 75 degrees (or 133 F). Madness. I may just melt. With any luck a tour across 8 or 9 states will produce some sort of revitalization of spirit and renew my faith in humanity. Regardless I'm sure it shall result in an increased production of posts - I really doubt I'm going to venture very far from an air conditioned environment for quite some time.

So please allow me to reiterate: "I love you."

But this time only in a limited, awkward, one night type affair in hopes that in saying such a thing it may result in sex. "Can I buy you another shot of tequila?"

See you all in 2468.12 miles.

Cheers kids...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Deficit of Decency

Hello my Sheeps. I've been neglecting you. I am sorry. Hopefully your lives haven't been crumbling into despair during my absence. I realize it can be difficult to cope without my enlightened wisdom to guide you through the dark void which is life. Yet the absence was unavoidable. My sanity demanded I escape from this bastion of the bewildered and seek solace amongst the cool kids on the coast. 8 days of spiritual, moral, and musical redemption with an ocean view.

First order of business when traveling abroad - Secure suitable lodging. Thankfully two of the sexiest young ladies I know share a one bedroom apartment and have plenty of room to spare. Next is to find a suitable location to hang out and enjoy the view. After all one cannot be expected to remain cooped up in a small apartment with two lovely young ladies for an entire eight days. That could seriously affect the moral redemption aspect of the vacation. So I set forth to locate acceptable places to plant my sorry ass for a few pints.

Day One went like this:

The Mill - Fabulous food. Big Rock on tap. Ocean view. A fountain. Staff that are encouraged to play Frisbee and stuff. Lovely place.

Sip - Every item on the menu created with some form of alcohol. Heaven. Perhaps the best martini I've encountered. You can't see the ocean from here, but try and trust me when I say the view is spectacular nonetheless. Whomever is in charge of the hiring has a keen eye for beauty.

Bin 942 - Best wine list I encountered during my tour. I was far too drunk to make any other notable observations of the establishment except for the waitress seems exceptionally good at ignoring the antics of intoxicated patrons who have a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.

(Honourable mention to The Morrissey and Ginger)

Day Two:

The key to enjoying yourself when traveling is to cleverly insinuate yourself in with the locals. They know the secrets to a good time wherever you happen to be. They also have patios upon which to hold BBQ's in Kitsilano with a guest list list that can only be referred to as amazing amusing. You can have the pleasure of hanging out with singer/songwriters with a wonderful ability to entertain despite the fact the fact that most of what they say tends to fly over the heads of the rest in attendance. In his own words "I like to buzz the tower". You can also have the pleasure of spending time with other singer/songwriter types who assume that by exuding a proper disdain for the rest of humanity in a truly pompous and angst-ridden manner is sure to please the masses. Please - If I wanted that kind of crap I'd come here instead.

Day Three:

Much needed respite from the over-indulgence of the previous few days. Nothing terribly exciting to report except for the excellence of a tremendous little Thai restaurant by the name of Wimaan.

Day Four:

Pre-event party in a fabulous apartment featuring two story windows and a few beer. Citizen Cope concert. Here I digress from popular opinion. Which I'm sure threatens my ability to hang with the cool kids - Interesting. Yet lacking. And really I mean no offence. The beginning was excellent. After awhile, however, I grew bored. My own fault. I have the attention span of a gnat. The sixteen year old bimbo with the fake ID seemed to be doing fine.

Day Five:

Hello Squamish. Hello Whistler. Hello I can't ever afford to live here. But they are still bloody brilliant places to hang out. The Shady Tree Pub in Squamish.

Day Six:

Spent most of the day recuperating from the time spent to the north. By six the Victoria clan arrived to ensure that my body didn't receive the rest it required, with the exception of a two hour nap at 11:00 that went largely unnoticed. At 1:00, about the time the rest were getting evicted by staff I was sitting peacefully at home awaiting stupid people. I wasn't disappointed, as expected they arrived.

Day Seven:


Day Eight:

Return rental vehicle. Pretend you aren't from around here. Go Home.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

- End of Days -

Just another day in paradise...

It's entirely possible that someone misunderstood when I said "Fade to White"

Friday, May 06, 2005

Oh Really...

Ah... Occasionally I come to the realization that, for the most part, my life has absolutely no purpose or meaning. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Really, in the grand scheme of things, my value to society is negligible. Of course I've never let that stop me from acting as though the entire planet exists only to provide amusement for my otherwise pointless existence. As a general rule I attempt to only profess my deepest and most undying love when I am completely wasted. I've never really considered the ramifications of doing so. To be completely honest, I've never really recalled the events leading up to such an occasion. Incoherent rambling? To be expected when you are severely uninhibited and slightly under the influence before noon. The point? There isn't one. Except to say "I love you." All of you. Each and every one of you that bothered to stop in and see whatever I deemed important enough to ramble on about today.

I attempted to go shopping. I had a plan. I went to find three CD's that, over the course of the last year, I realized I have not had the pleasure of listening to on a complete beginning to end type basis. Radiohead - OK Computer. An album, rumour has it, of life-changing proportions. Also rated as the greatest recording effort of the past 100 years by people in the UK. Next I attempted to locate anything produced by a little band known as Pulp. Another band that also ranks quite highly in musical merit according to the masses. Five music shops, and sadly - Nothing. So, arguably the greatest album of our time and another that ranks right up there, and they cannot be located here. Oh... Why am I not surprised? The third I didn't even bother looking for. Instead I returned home with:

- Pirramimma - Petit Verdot
- Barossa - The Holy Trinity
- Lasos - Syrah-Malbec
- Polar Ice
- Zaya
- Plymouth Gin
- Finca Flishman - Malbec
- Kopke Porto
- Noval - Raven Port
- Gibson's Finest
- Bacardi "8"
- Le Bocce - Chanti Classico
- Masi - Amarone
- Norah Jones
- A Smallman Records compilation
- A six pack of Red Stripe
- 2L of Pepsi
- Two packs of DuMaurier Regular

I went home and perused:

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude.
- Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Laughed out loud when I looked at:

- Identity, Character, and Morality: Essays in Moral Psychology and
- The Seven Deadly Sins board game

But really, what it all boils down to is...

"I Love you."

In an undying, endless, eternal sort of way.
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