Wednesday, December 24, 2008

STC


"I could inform the dullest author how he might write an interesting book — let him relate the events of his own life with honesty — not disguising the feelings that accompanied them.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1797).
Since I have recently been "accused" of being a bit of a "confessional poet," I felt the need (after looking up what it meant) to post a bit about whether or not I would consider myself one. I was able to find this lovely quote by Mr. Coleridge that pretty much summed up what I hope to achieve with this blog. Of course, I had no idea that I was attempting to place myself in such exalted company, and clearly I can not make a rhyme to save my life. I was pleasantly surprised that Coleridge is to be considered a confessional poet, his poetry was some of the first that I was ever "exposed" to as a child, and I still remember some of it quite well. "The Pains of Sleep" (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge/poems/Pains_of_Sleep.html ) remains one of my favourite poems, and when sober I can almost quote the entire first verse. Not bad since I last read it about 15 years ago. "Dejection: An Ode" and "This Lime Tree Bower, My Prison" are also some of my favourite poems. Clearly, Coleridge had a problem, it was called being addicted to opium, and his stated reason for writing one of his most famous poems Kubla Khan is that he was high as a fucking kite at the time. His excuse for not finishing the poem is even lamer, he was interrupted by a "gentleman from Porlock" i.e. he fucking came down off his high, and his "muse" deserted him.
However, this is not a post about my man love for Coleridge. I think I have made that pretty plain. It is a post (I hope) about what I am trying to accomplish. I realize that there are not a vast number of actual "events" in this blog, and perhaps that means I am not following Coleridge's advice. Instead, I try to, with honesty, attempt to detail my thoughts, reactions, or missteps in relation to the event whose details I ,with malice of forethought, blur. I hope that I am not the dullest of "authors" (not really sure blogging counts as being an author). Since this is my "confession" I believe I get to decide the exact format, and I choose to gray out the events, and to not disguise the feelings that accompany them. I think it is more important to detail the feelings that struck me after I missed that absolute sitter with the keeper beaten, than to detail the lovely cross I wasted, and the crowd's justified poor reaction to my folly. I am sure there are people would could also claim that my honesty is in question as well, and that may be a crime that I am guilty of. The honesty part is a big step. First, you have to realize that you must be honest with yourself, and conclude that you are not the hero of every story/event in your life. In fact, sometimes you are quite obviously the most villainous fellow in the room. Sometimes you are not even the most important person/object in the event. This is a hard concept to wrap my mind around since I hope that I would at least be the star of my own life, but sometimes I am merely the Peter Ustinov to some upstaging bastard's Kirk Douglas. To thine own self be true sometimes has to mean that you must truthfully admit you were a proper bastard in a certain situation. How else can you confess? False confessions (and I have be told I have seen a lot of them) are just some fool's way of making themselves feel either better or more important than they actually are. Perhaps, as Peter O'Toole (as Henry II in the Lion in Winter) "my life, when written, will read better than it lived." I am not convinced that is necessarily a bad thing. After all, it does imply that someone took the time, and thought you were important/interesting enough to write down your life's story. We all have, in some respects, our own set of "Notes from the Underground," and it might not matter to anyone else in the world but the person writing the notes. Even the most mundane things could, in theory, be made to be engrossing. I believe that is what Coleridge is trying to say. Do not concern yourself with the idea that the details would bore a vulture to death, concern yourself with the feelings, and then worry about how to turn them into something that other people, who are as "Idle as a Painted Ship Upon a Painted Ocean," would want (or better yet feel compelled to) read.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Me and Trash Can #1947

Tragedy has struck. It seems that sometime around 9:00 a.m. today person(s) unknown made off with my trash can. Since today is trash pick up day, I strongly suspect that the mob, err Fat Tony, err no the lawfully licensed and bonded trash company has stolen my trash can. Of course I can not prove it because I did not witness it myself, nor after canvassing the neighbor have found anyone willing to come forward, and say that they saw the incident. As Denzel Washington put it so well "it is not what you know, it is what you can prove." As of right now I cannot prove who took it my trash can, but I am pretty sure I know. After all, who the fuck steals a trash can? I have waited a good while to "report" this abduction to the authorities (who do you call when some can naps your trash can?) in the hopes of receiving a ransom note or a list of demands that I would need to meet in order to obtain the safe return of old #1947 unhurt. No note has been forthcoming, no demands have been expressed. In a panic/rage I called the first authority I could think of. They, of course, directed me to someone else. I called the second "group" and they informed me that "the missing cart will be located and returned in 1 to 10 business days." The bloody things is not MISSING, it has been STOLEN, CAN NAPPED I tell you. This is a CRIME, and I demand justice, or at least my fucking trash can back. #1947 has, to my knowledge, not run up any major gambling debts, has not been sneaking around with other trash can's women or men (I confess I am not sure if #1947 is a male or female. How does one check without being rude?). No, #1947 has, in our two year relationship, been a solid (waste) citizen, never once complaining about the foul stuff that I crammed down its throat. He/she took being wheeled to curb without comment, even when I was clumsy/drunk a time or two and banged him/her into the car or wall. Now all I can do is sit forlonly as the sleet pelts down, and stare at the last known location (i.e. my curb) that I left #1947, wonder what terrors he/she is being subjected to my the manics that are cruel enough to can nap a man's trash can three days before Boxing Day, when #1947 will be sorely needed/missed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dawn's Watch


Dawn breaks and my watch begins. Fancy little line isn't it? A little over dramatic, but hey it is 7 fucking o'clock in the morning. My "watch" is not nearly as dangerous as it sounds nor is it as dangerous as the Night's watch. I do not have to face the things that go bump in the night while they are bumping in the night. I have the pleasure of dealing with these things after they have stopped bumping (for the most part at least). My watch is not exactly on the front line, we stand a middling distance behind a certain blue wall that, at places, is too thin. However, most of them do their best, and we are grateful for the attempt, but they can not solve or stop every thing, and dawn always breaks. When dawn breaks me and my companions attempt to sort all the night's problems out as best as we can. Sometimes it appears that we are trying to bail out the ocean with a very, very, small spoon, but nevertheless we try. Those that we defend, I, for one, do not love, but someone seems to think that I do a passable job at it, and I have not been relieved of my job yet. We are not perfect, just like any other organization we have our share of people that are depriving a village of a perfectly good idiot, and we have people who's brilliance can be at time utterly breath taking to watch. I, like the vast majority of my companions, fall somewhere in the middle (probably on the low middle, but still near enough to call the middle, I can at least SEE the middle when I look up), neither too stupid to live or too smart for our own good. We are the few deep breathes that everyone must take after waking up from a bad dream with no one by their side. We try to calm, and make sense of the situation (for the most part). Most of us are not the fighting type, which is why we are on Dawn's Watch to begin with. We understand that "man" is born to hate, and in some respects, still at times an animal. Luckily for me by the time I see them most of them are in cages already. Of course they will tell you that they do not deserve to be, and it was all just a "big misunderstanding" or that they "did not do it", or "the other person is lying". These are the "excuses" that I get the pleasure of hearing most often. On occasion someone will come up with a novel approach, and at times those are truly mind boggling, but in a weird way appreciated. The "space alien" excuse can provide a little humour, or maybe a challenge in its own unique way. I am not exactly sure when my "watch" will end, I do know that when it does someone will take my place. The "things that go bump in the night" do not stop. If it is cold they slow down, but they do not stop. They have always been there, and they will always be there. It is incumbent on people like myself (the big hero, ha ha) to attempt to thin their numbers, but we are encumbered by all sorts of limitations some good, some bad. They even made us swear on oath when we signed up for this watch. It isn't for life, though some of us do serve for the majority of their lives, but I still consider it to be a pretty serious thing. At times, it is hard to remember the words, other times it is difficult to follow the spirit of the words. However, I said the words, and for this dawn, and for as many dawns as I am allowed, I will be here trying to sort out things that go bump in the night.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Way


No this is not some post about Taoish principles, and how to achieve enlightenment. The above picture is a snapshot of the nearly 9,000 mental defectives that braved 40 degree temperatures to run the annual St. Jude marathon in my fair city. Now, I am not a runner never have been, and never will be. I think people who run for the "fun"of it are mentally defective and dangerous to society as a whole. However, as I sat for nearly an hour stuck in traffic because the route of this "race" managed to close down parts of three MAJOR streets (all always very busy) in my fair town, I begin to think about being in the way. Clearly to me, and the rest of the poor bastards stuck in our cars watching these idiots stagger past (some of them were looked like they were 100 years old and about to die. why in the name of all good sense you would run a marathon at that age boggles the imagination) THEY were in the way. In the way of traffic, in the way of all normal, right-thinking citizens that choose to DRIVE rather than run on streets. I did take a moment to realize that to them I guess the cars we were driving were in the way. In the way of them trying to commit suicide by running. The idea hit me that no matter where you are in the world/universe, you are probably in someone else's way. Lingering in a doorway while you try to figure out the mysteries of higher math? Trust me you are in the way of some other bastard who just wants to get into the room. Trying to decide which particular brand of toilet paper you want? You are in the way of some person who just LOVES Angel Soft, and will not use anything else. Children are fantastic at being in the way. They are like free radicals. Straight lines and children are not friends. They walk, toddle, stagger, or fall in all sorts of random ways and directions (another reason to not like the little germ factories). I find this extremely frustrating, but I also think that perhaps I need to realize that these rules do apply to me as well. Although, I do not linger in doorways (Trust me, I tried it one day just to see the appeal, and I just did not like it so much), and I do not spend too much time pondering my choice of toilet paper. I am pretty sure I am still somehow in some other person's way. I am sure they are standing behind me as I struggle over the "ketchup" and "catsup" dilemma, thinking just pick one fat boy, and move on with your life. Still even with this in mind, I seriously wanted to run down a few of these mental defectives today, if only to put a couple of them out of their misery.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Who Knew?


Yet another reason for me to be madly in love with Greta Garbo!


Your result for The Nationality Preference (W. Euro)

Swedish Girls (sans goats)

9% Italian, 9% German, 36% English, 73% Swedish, 27% Spanish and 45% French!

Seems like you're into ultra-fair skin types with very, very delicate features and light hair. In the northern country of Sweden, these traits are very common (as well are health spas, by the way). Some famous swedish beauties include Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Mini Anden, and Victoria Silvstedt. Sweden is one of the world's largest exporters of up and coming models.


http://www.okcupid.com/tests/the-nationality-preference-w-euro-test

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The "What Type of Intellectual are You?" Test

Yes I was/am this damn bored.



The Dialectician


You are The Dialectician!You've accepted long ago that gaining knowledge is a lifetime project. In fact, in your mind, you've just barely scratched the surface. But you feel an urge to learn everything you can from whomever you meet, and to encourage others on their own pursuits.People may find you unconvincing, or are so confident in their knowledge they don't recognize the challenges you can produce. But the dialectician has usually been recognized as ahead of his time, eventually.


http://www.okcupid.com/tests/the-what-type-of-intellectual-are-you-test

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homeward

"When are you coming home" the wolf that raised me (otherwise known as my mother) asked me for the hundredth time in a month. I tried to explain, again, that I was speaking to her from my home. Where I live now is my home. The lair that I was born and raised in no longer qualifies as "home" to me. I moved away for a reason, and no amount of mother's guilt (much more plentiful than mother's love) will make it home again. I guess she did not realize that she raised a roaming wolf and not one that was willing to stay in the same territory. I have no desire to go back to the den where I was whelped. I do not wish to here that the paterfamilias is not long for this world. He has been trying to die for three years, and I know that one of these times he will, but each time I have to be guilted by that story makes me feel a little less badly. Not that I wish for him to take his last bow, but his quality of life has to be very close to zero. I am sure he has a different view, and that is part of the problem. Him and I have always had different views on pretty much everything. Also, I have no desire to go home to the rest of the clan either. It seems to be a character trait of my family to think that when I open a book it is an invitation to start a conversation with me. There is a reason I am reading a book it is to attempt to avoid having to talk to anyone in the room. I like to read, it is the ONE thing that my father and I can agree on, of course we read wildly different stuff, but hey it is a start. Another lovely aspect of going "home" is the couch on which I get to sleep. It is not a fun time, so I get very little sleep, and then get to wake up and face the family in a foul mood to begin with. Then comes the meal, my grandmother (who has taken her last bow) could cook VERY well. The she-wolf not so much. I guess I should not complain I cannot cook either, but at least I do not bother to try. Perhaps, the cooking gene skips a generation or maybe two generations. Going "home" is like falling off the edge of the world. My parents have no computer, no internet, barely have cable, and my cell phone does not world there. It is like becoming a political prisoner, all ties with the outside world are cut off, and I am held incommunicado until I scale the wall i.e. get in my car, and make a break for it. I am just not a fan of "home" nor I am giddy over Thanksgiving, though you could never tell it by the looks of me or by the look on my doctor's face after I climb off the scale in her office. The small black thing I call a heart is certainly no longer at the "home" of my family. It is merely an exercise in frustration when I go back, and one day I suppose I should screw my courage up to the sticking point, and explain to the she-wolf that she did, much to her dismay, raise a lone wolf.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Can't Get Right


To steal a song title from one Joe Purdy, I just can't seem to get right today. However, unlike the sad sack bastard in that song, my ability to not "get right" has had an extended run. It seems that weeks have gone by without one thing going right while everything else I touch falls to shit in spectacular fashion. I work in the Domestic Violence Unit of my office, and I get exposed to a lot of people in bad situations, and people who are not the most truthful in the world. That being said, I have still managed to "make" three women cry this week, and it is only Wednesday. The Kleenex company should sign me to a three year contract. A few words from me and volia the tears start to flow like a water hydrant. It is very fun. Like most males I do not deal well with women would cry directly in front of me. It is like they are on fire, I just want to put them out, and make it stop and will do what is necessary to make that happen. Though this is not the only disaster that I have achieved in the last month or so. If I were a scientist I would have given half the population cancer by now. My luck has been that bad. If I were a baseball player I would have struck out every at-bat. I feel as if I could not hit water if I fell out of a boat. It is like I am 7 seconds behind on everything I do. A few degrees left of center, and that makes all the difference. Plans that would normally go smoothly collapse like a house of cards as soon as I become involved. Even if told backwards the last month or so of my life would still be a comedy of errors. The lovely part of it is I see no way through this particular bad patch. It is like the more I struggle the more I become entwined in a web of my own failings. Ships sink, planes fall out of the sky, horses come up lame, wells go dry, crops fail, and it seems that most of it is somehow my fault. If I light a match, somehow the whole bloody house burns down. It is best not to get to close to me because I am not certain that this disaster disease I have is not contagious. Even this post "read" much better in my head than when I wrote it down, and that I think is my cue to draw the curtain, and hope for a change in fortune. I guess it could be worse, it could be raining.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Green

Dear Hugo,

I must say dear fellow, that you once again have proved to be an genius of staggering ability. The rest cure you so gently recommended and foisted upon me has worked absolute WONDERS. I feel almost a new man. Almost, I say because there are still some niggling doubts that the CC shoved me a bit quickly into this cure. However, that is a mere passing thought, and the pills that Dr. Munro give me help the thoughts pass all the more quickly. He is a rather nice chap (for a Scotsman) bit young I suppose, but seems to know his business. If, of course, that business is shoving pills down the throat of a man that is strapped to a bed, and mostly in a daze from whatever pill he gave me last. The good news that everything here is so fucking GREEN, and I am not just talking about the three or four weeds that cling to life outside my window. Whatever possessed this place to paint walls that shade of puke green is beyond me, but I try to remember (like the good doctor told me) that it is a SOOTHING shade, a calming shade that will help me get better. Whatever "better" is exactly I have not been allowed to find out. I do so hope that things are going well with you and yours, and that the CC is running smoothly under your guidance. I also hope that your position in our little "quarrel" may have softened with the passing of time. I now understand your position more clearly (the daily "treatments" have been ever so helpful in that regard). Nothing like a few volts of electricity to sharpen one's focus. They do on occasion allow me out of my room to sit quietly, and not bother anyone else. They even have allowed me to write this letter to you with the promise that they won't "correct" too make of my mistakes in grammar, spelling, etc, etc. Perhaps you will find the time in your overcrowded day to reply. That would be nice, and would give me something to look forward to other than the tasty red jello (my personal favourite) that they give us on Fridays. I hope to hear from you soon. Remember once a member always a member.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Coach


Not too many people will recognize the goofy looking fellow above. He is Lars Lagerback, the coach of Sweden's national football team. Has been sole coach since 2004 after being joint coach (not sure if that means he bought all the "grass" or what) since 2000. Anyhoo, M Lagerback is one of the reasons for this post. After failing miserably at Euro 2008 a lot of those happy go lucky Swedes were calling for his head, saying that his time has "passed." I pondered what exactly that meant. It is a common saying about sports coaches, and until lately I did not realize that it translates to other careers. Recently I have realized what "time has passed" means. It is a bit like bread going stale. Perhaps, there is a use by date on things like being the coach of a national team. A couple of friends (scientists they be) have experienced this phenomenon, one going so far as to make a small change in his career by giving up "bench" science. This has made me ponder if we all experience this problem. After 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? Does our time pass? Have we run out of ideas? Do we have a shelf life? If so, what happens at the end of our time? Most of us can not shuffle off to coach Man City for piles and piles of money. The majority of us are unable to just shrug off the failure of our national team get bounced in the first round of the Euros, and move on to coaching the next team. Coaches are a very limited pool of talent. I, for example, am one lawyer amongst a SEA of people with law degrees. If my "time passes" I can not just simply flit away to the next career or job opening. Who knows there might not BE a new job opening, and what in the bloody hell can a lawyer do except talk to damn much for no purpose? The only other thing have detected that I am good at is fantasy football, and I do not think you can make a living out of doing that full time. How can we avoid this from happening? Stay on the "cutting edge" of our particular career path? Make sure that all the new "technology" does not pass us by? How do we assure the powers that be that we are indispensable? Even now someone, somewhere is probably studying harder, working harder, or sucking up harder that we are in hopes of replacing us. A great deal of us, whether we know it or not, have somebody out there in the wide world who thinks our job is worth having. Certainly being the national coach of Tajikistan does not sound appealing to a majority of us, but somewhere it is some damn fool's dream. Perhaps we can only hope that by the time our "time is up" we have obtained the insight into what our next move might be. Maybe leading the Congo through world cup qualifiers is not such a bad gig after all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sorry T.S.

With apologies to Mr. Eliot in advance. It appears that I have been labeled a "hard" man. Now this is not due to my Adonis like physique, or to anything to do with stuff below my "Naval" academy. No, I am so labeled because I am "stubborn" and "set in my ways." We hard men do not like to be wrong, we do not like to sell out our principles for any price. We are not the sorrowful men who say "I am so sorry" when we cross swords with you. There is little "give" in us. Don't get me wrong, "hard" does not mean unreasonable, or inflexible. It means that we expect a lot of ourselves, of our friends, of every man, woman, and child that we come across. We do our job/duty, and we expect other people to do the same. We have serious issues with customer service on a regular basis. We have high hopes for people, and usually they consistently disappoint us. We have simple requirements, handle your business in a competent manner, don't make any sudden moves, and everything is all good. You would be surprised at the number of people who fall at the first hurdle, it makes the Grand National look like a stroll in the park. We look at the "final four" of the American political system, and despair for the country of our birth. Luckily, patriotism has never been a trait which we have been accused of having in abundance. I would guess that difficult would be another, more appropriate word to use. We are surly and sometimes prickly but not without purpose. Everyday is a test, a test of ourselves, our friends, the people we meet and interact with. It is a tough test and we do not always pass, in fact, we rarely pass. If we do pass it is not with flying colours. It makes us hard to get along with and a little bit surly at times, but it is who we are. The trick is that we dont really expect too many people to pass the test, if we can't pass it why for fuck's sake would we think anyone else could? We are soft graders the curve is quite wide, and the people we grade have, in some special way already passed the test without really knowing why or how.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Fat People Holding Hands

As I was walking down the street in my fair city the other day, and as I fended off the panhandlers and just plain loony people that congregate around my work place, I noticed up in the middle distance two fat people holding hands. They seemed happy enough I guess. Trundling along towards some buffet place. Of course that is unkind, I had no idea where they were headed, perhaps to a weight watchers meeting. Then again, whose business is it really? Besides of course, theirs. Being a life long fellow traveler on life's chubby highway who I am to condemn these people for going anywhere? After all, they seemed happy enough. Holding hands in public and all must be a sign of affection, and since they were not handcuffed to each other I had to assume they were willingly holding hands. Two fat people in today's society holding hands walking down a public street. Have to at least admire their bravery. When ever other advert
is about weight loss, and how being skinny makes you such a better person, here are two unabashed lard butts being loud and proud. You have to admire that. Regardless of the side long glances they were getting from other people they seemed rather happy, and at some level is not that what a lot of life is about? Just being happy with who or what you are. All this self improvement bullshit, and pill mania tries to turn people into ideals. If we are all skinny, shiny, happy people how will we know if we are better off? Don't we need some depressed or fat or fat and depressed people around for contrast? This is not a brave, new world, we should not all be test tubed or pilled out of our own unique personality. Certainly, some of us are so obese or so fucked up that chemical or surgical intervention is the best path to take, but the vast majority of us just need to make that huge leap, and accept ourselves for who or what we are. It is a major leap, one worthy of Kierkegaard, but at least it does not have to be necessarily blind. To climb out of bed one day, and announce to the world at large that this is who I am, and that is how it is going to be, and that the world can fuck itself if it does not approve is a very tough thing to do. However, when we try it let's pause and reflect for a moment on our guiding principle. Sometimes it is just lovely to be two fat people holding hands.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stumped

I wish that I could say that my lack of posts has been to me working so much keeping society safe from all the bad guys of the world. However, that is just simply not true. It seems that no matter what level of effort I put into my job, the world has an inexhaustible supply of people who like to do bad things (in my job that would be domestic violence, hey if you can't beat your wife who can you beat?). They just keep coming, it rather feels like I am bailing the ocean out with a spoon, a very, very, small spoon. No, my lack of posting has been mostly because I am stumped (hence the cute picture). Bereft of ideas to actually post about. I have two ideas in mind, but I am currently unable to turn either one of them into a worthwhile post. Perhaps, I should just post worthless crap (and I think I do that enough already), but I at least like to pretend I have a (low) standard that needs to be met in order to post about something. I realize the absurd nature of posting about not have anything to post about, but hey, it is seems to be all that I have got. Take what you can get I suppose. The lack of ideas is rather disturbing. All I manage to have lately are half-ideas. A line from a book that sets off a train of thought that eventually goes nowhere. A off-hand remark from a friend that leads to a discussion that is unfortunately forgotten in a haze of beer and jager shots. Perhaps if I was a more disciplined thinker, or less of a drunk these ideas would make it onto the blog, but since I am a lazy drunk they vanish like apple pie at a fat person's birthday party. Fare thee well ideas, perhaps you will float away and find a hard working, sober fellow to mould you into something worthwhile, in the mean time I think I will take a seat on that stump and ponder what might have been.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Solving

Today's lesson is in solving problems. Feel free to take notes. Also, feel free to write in with suggestions. I have several problems. Not major problems, nothing that has the power of death over life, or any serious, long-term repercussions. However, they remain problems, my problems which does tend to make me sit up and take notice. I can ignore other people's problems all day long and twice on Sundays, but when they become MY problems then suddenly becomes painfully serious. The nature of these problems is not really important. What is important, and what it has taken me a while to realize (and when I did there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth), is that I have created all of my own problems. At first this was a little sad, then after careful consideration it became funny (I mean life gives you enough trouble without you creating your own difficulties), and finally I developed a sense of pride. Pride that goofy as I am, I can still create something. I felt a bit like Frankenstein must have when that monster of his first twitched into existence. It is alive! Fantastic! Much rejoicing! Time to dance around the maypole, and celebrate life. Then reality reared its ugly little head, and brought the entire party to a screeching halt. Two things dawned upon me, first that I was an idiot for celebrating my new found problems, and secondly that I had absolutely no clue how to solve any one of them. Damn and blast! How could this have happened? I suppose identifying the problem/admitting the problem is the first step, and that was pretty easy. I figured them out rather quickly, but as I tossed and turned through my night of now quite interrupted sleep, it slowly sank in that a solution would not be forthcoming anytime soon. This was and is quite distressing. I know the problems, I have identified the problems, and yet they remain problems. This type of absurdity would make Camus proud. To think that I could have created these problems,and then be unable to at least attempt to solve them boggles the imagination. I like to think that I am a rather clever fellow, and yet here I am as lost as last year's Easter eggs. This must be why people invented worry beads.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Clearly I need a Hobby

So very bored at my job dealing with crime, I decided to look up other people's crime problems.

http://www.thelocal.se/13508/20080805/

Lovely story of some lunatic in Sweden killing the two (very young) children of her ex-lover. Fantastic stuff. Glad to see that there are nut jobs everywhere. Clearly, this woman is batshit crazy. However, as I was reading through the articles about this crime, I was appalled to find when the woman took the stand the following exchange took place.

When prosecutor Johan Fahlander then took over questioning, he immediately inquired about the letter Schürrer sent to Hellberg explaining that she had given birth to his child and given it up for adoption.Specifically, he asked her when the child was born, to which Schürrer responded, “Why do you want to know that? That’s not an important detail, in my opinion.”Although Fahlander pressed her, Schürrer continued to avoid the question, as is her right under the rules of Swedish criminal proceedings.

This little interplay floored me. I am a prosecutor (not a particularly zealous or good one but still) this is the stuff I get paid the big bucks to do. Though I have yet to have the pleasure of questioning a murder suspect on the stand. That this woman can get on the stand and REFUSE to answer the prosecutor's question boggled the imagination. Then to say that is not an "important detail". The prosecutors I know (myself included) would have went ape shit on this woman. You will answer the fucking question, you will answer it right fucking now, and you will do it with a song in your heart, and a smile on your face. Telling me what is an important detail is a clear attempt at suicide. If I ever do go around the twist and climb a watchtower I am going to do it in Sweden. You can get on the stand, and decide what to answer. Fantastic. You can pretty much tell the prosecutor to "piss off." How liberating would that be? I clearly could not do my job in Sweden, the first time someone told me this from the stand I would go bonkers, and have to be restrained. I figure my career there would last about 22 seconds. Then again as far as I can tell the whole damn country probably only needs about 5 prosecutors. The shock and outrage this trial has generated is rather large. These kinds of things (the murders that is) happen about twice a week in the lovely, and peaceful city in which I live.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Maytag the Merciless

The above appliance, and its partner in crime, the dryer, have become my life. My life has become an never ending cycle of wash clothes, dry clothes, fold clothes, put away clothes, and repeat ad nausem till the end of time. Not exactly the exciting, wild, life style I had envisioned when I was a younger lad full of piss and vinegar. I feel like the Maytag man's bastard child. He never gets a call to replace these fabulously engineered machines, and I can' t stop using the bastards. My life has become as boring as watching paint dry, well that is not exactly true, at least paint eventually drys. Laundry does not STOP it is merciless (kind of like that guy name Ming). It just keeps coming. I thought about trying to at least slow it down, but I got nothing. I mean what can you do? Buy more clothes? That is a shit plan because they just get dirty as well, and then you are doing MORE laundry. Just throw away your clothes when they get dirty? That seems a little costly. It is a futile task. I feel like Sisyphus pushing that fucking rock up a hill just to watch it go tumbling back down again as soon as it reaches the top. Unless I am sitting here stark naked typing this (and who says I am not) I have dirty clothes that will need to be washed soon. I launder all the clothes I own, the sheets on the bed, the towels, the place mat, everything, but if I am wearing clothes then the cycle is just itching to start again. I just want to make it stop just for a week. That would be fantastic. Of course I could just not do laundry for two weeks or so, but then I would be faced with the dirty clothes hamper giving me those guilt ridden looks as I staggered into the bathroom. Laundry is like a lion on the savanna. All it has to do is wait by the nearest watering hole, and food will come to it. You have to drink/do laundry sometime, and when you do WHAM! there you are washing clothes, drying clothes, folding clothes, and putting clothes away. Thus, the circle of life and laundry is complete.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mr. Kibbles

It seems I am a plague on the animal kingdom. Yesterday's casualty was poor Mr. Kibbles, a poor cat that no one really wanted. Seems Mr. Kibbles (who was less than 2 years old), just could not ever seem to gain his health. He always had one illness or another, and finally life became more than he could bear. The wasting illness that finished him off has some extremely long, complicated name that really isn't important to the story. The experts told me that when I got Mr. Kibbles that he was a bit sickly, and did not predict a long, and successful life for him. However, I thought that with enough care, and dedication Mr. Kibbles could at least live a few good years. Well, it seems I was a bit too optimistic. The downturn was not pretty to watch, and I may be off of owning pets for life. At least the end was fairly quick and painless, only one small bump on the road to kitty heaven, but it was smoothed over easily enough. The last six months were not pretty to watch, and I had become resigned to sending Mr. Kibbles to kitty heaven. Resignation does not equal acceptance, and a few beers had to be drunk in Mr. Kibbles' honour last evening. Which is perhaps why I woke up feeling like Mr. Kibbles or one of his feline buddies had taken a dump in my mouth.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Time

Time is an extremely funny thing. A lot of philosophers can explain a lot of things ethics, morals, pain, suffering, god, and all that other crap, but have a very difficult time wrapping their minds around the concept of time. What exactly is time? We decided to divide it up into months, days, weeks, years, minutes, seconds, etc etc, but did we really catch time in a bottle? Being awake about 19 hours a day gives you plenty of "time" to ponder questions about time. I have become an expert on knowing when it is 11 minutes past the hour. Any hour, any time of day or night, I am able to sense it. It is actually kind of creepy, and scares me just a little bit. I also can chop time up very well into 9 minute intervals. This is because the alarm clock that I have possessed for almost 20 years has a snooze button that allows for 9 minutes. I am eerily able to wake up before the alarm goes off, and then hit snooze wait 8 minutes and hit snooze again. Of course, the older we get time seems to go by faster. It has something to do with the amount of "time" we have left I think. Those last few grains of sand seem to run out a whole lot quicker than the first few. Time travel is a favourite subjects of authors the world over since H.G. Welles posed that lovely "what if" question in the The Time Machine. Certainly, some us would love to go back in time, and change how we handled certain situations, but usually it would be futile. Going forward in time has its allure as well who wouldn't want to know their and the world's future? We waste so much time that it is silly. We spend a great deal of energy wishing time away. It is ever going to be 5 o'clock so I can go home? Time punishes us all, at least eventually. You can't bargain with time. You might bargain FOR more time, but usually that is pointless as well. Just try to waste one hour someday when you are NOT a home. Leave your house, and think where can I go for an hour? Maybe you have a movie you want to see, maybe you can go to a book store, or a friend's house, but just see if that hour does not seem to drag by ever so slowly. Deadlines are all about time. Something has to be done by a certain time, then time seems to just fly by. It compresses till it seems that minutes are zipping by at the speed of light. Time does funny things to all of us. We set great store by being on time to place, but we smile indulgently at people who would "be late to their own funeral." We have all had experiences in which we leave thinking "man, I wish I had the last 20 minutes of my life back." Even reading this post is, I am sure, killing/wasting someone's time. I know that writing certainly did mine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Murder Most Foul

I would like to report a crime. At about 7:15 a.m. today, poor Mr. Spider who lived near my bookcases was horribly killed. Initial reports that it was an assassination paid for by several rogues flies have been proven false. However, Mr. or Mrs (not sure which) is just as dead. It all started somewhat harmlessly. I was stumbling my way out of my house after an exciting Fruesday (TM) night with Tidy, and decided that I needed to supplement my 3 hours of sleep with that loveliest of drugs, caffeine. I manage to grab a can of the nectar of the gods (in this case known as Mountain Dew), and after both of my legs agreed on which direction to proceed, off I went on my way to work. However, lack of sleep, or lack of coordination quickly led to tragedy. I had not taken two steps to the door, when whoops the can slips from my loose grasp. WHAM! it lands on the floor and rolls off into the sunrise. I muttered several curse words mainly because my drink would explode now if I opened it, but partly because I would have to bend over to retrieve said can, and in my current condition that could lead to me just toppling over. I managed to retrieve the can without too much difficulty, and proceeded to place it back into my refrigerator. As I was performing this simple task, I looked down and noticed the rather squashed, but completely dead aforementioned, Mr/Mrs. Spider. After checking the vital signs, and determining that Spider was, in fact, not longer with us I burst into uncontrollable laughter. I mean what are the odds? Here the poor bastard of a Spider was walking along minding his/her own business, and BLAM!!!! here comes this very large object (at least to the Spider) whistling out of the sky and you become deceased. I am sure the family of the deceased is presently at home in their grief plotting their revenge. I would like to issue my condolences to any surviving family members (numbering in the thousands, I am sure). It is the equivalent of a person walking down the street and a piano coming out of a window from 20 stories, and killing some (human) bastard. I think that lack of sleep made me giddy, because I laughed so hard I cried, and am still chuckling about it as I write this post. I am even trying this story out on co-workers to see if it is funny or not. I am sure most of them will agree it is funny, but will not find it as hilarious as i did/do. Hopefully when I get home there will not be a group of spiders clutching large, blunt objects in their eight arms ready to exact revenge.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blank


As required by law and by request, a brief change of subject.

This study/article does not bode well for me. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7504798.stm Seems that a good night's sleep is the best way to boost memory. That is fantastic. I have been struck by at least 3 instances of serious failures of my short term memory in the last week or so, and now perhaps I know why. Since I average about 3 hours of sleep a night it would seem that I might be in danger of just forgetting my entire life. Not that there is a whole lot worth remembering but, I am being to feel a bit like Guy Pearce in Memento. If this lack of sleep keeps happening I may have to start writing little things down like my address, where I work, and reminders to pay the utility bill. In fact, the major reason that I am writing now is it helps in my struggle to stay awake during the day. I am pretty sure I could fall asleep right here at my desk, but also convinced that it would only last about 12 minutes. Although those would be 12 glorious minutes. Minutes to savour, and look back upon with a sense of accomplishment and joy. Of course, it will all go horribly wrong as soon as I arrive home and attempt to take a nap. Then, of course, I will become alert, awake, and a productive member of the team. On the upside of things it does appear that I sometimes seem to arrive at a place I like to call the "other side of being conscious." It is a happy place where everything starts to make a whole lot more sense, and more things are absolutely hilarious than you would believe possible.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rood

Dear GI,



Perhaps our problem is based on a lack of communication. It is rather like having a conversation with a non-native speaker. You and I, at least in theory, speak the Queen's English. In spite of your butchering of that language we should be able to communicate with relative ease. That being said, it seems that some of the CC's intentions have sailed gently over your head, like a lazy fly ball over a dazed shortstop's head in your lovely American game of baseball. Your response does strengthen the idea that perhaps rest and relaxation would do you a world of good. The only question now is the length of the time necessary for your recovery. Your "answer" to the round the twist question is not important. The CC has made their determination on that question, and your protestations to the contrary do not matter. Your recent erratic behaviour have raised concerns about your state of mind. These concerns need to be addressed. Your contributions to the Ministry are not in question, and are greatly appreciated by senior management. In fact, it is those contributions that are driving the CC's concerns. We do not wish to lose such a promising member so early in his career. There needs to be a hand to take hold of the scene, someone to make sure you recover your balance. Do not worry about drowning, do not fret about anything but your health. We are sure you will feel we have treated you harshly, but that is not the case. We are acting out of kindness. We are attempting to save you from yourself. We bear you no ill will, and we genuinely hope you recover your senses. You have marvelous potential, and it is our strongest desire to tap that potential for the betterment of the Ministry. If, as you say, you are the most grounded of men, then I trust you will see the great good sense of our proposal. Remember, once a member, always a member.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gris

Dear Hugo,

I must confess that I find myself shocked at the tone of your letter of reprimand. I never meant to offend the Ministry. My membership in the Ministry is one of the few things I hold dear in my life. I would never wish to put that in jeopardy or to call into question the direction the Ministry is taking. You, and the other members of senior management can rest assured that I have not "taken leave of my senses." I am baffled by that question. How do I answer that question to any one's satisfaction? If I were to say "no" would you really believe me? I expect that most people would hotly deny having gone round the twist. If I were to say "yes" then what would you think? Could you believe me or anything else you have ever heard me say or write? I mean after all I would have just admitted to being mad as a hatter. I leave the question of my sanity for another day. While I appreciate the Central Committee's offer of a "water cure" I would have to regretfully decline. My "people" as it were have a evil tendency to drown around water. It usually does not act as a cure, unless you consider it "curing" being alive. I sincerely hope that was not the way the offer was intended. Believe me when I say that I truly look forward to serving the Ministry for the rest of my life. In fact, I have several ideas that I have been working on that, I believe, will make the Ministry proud. I fully intend to advance my position and standing within the Ministry, and will maintain the required discipline. I have reread the manual to which you referred, and I find that it is vague at best on the matter of publication. A certain amount of publication is allowed in order to keep the Ministry from dying due to lack of new members. Perhaps the tone I used was a bit flip, or perhaps it was misinterpreted (I find that misinterpretation happens quite often with the written word). In fact, I am reminded of certain publications of yours dear Hugo, in your younger days that would have run afoul of your present reading of the manual.
Also, I am no Kamenev or Zinoviev. I am not "naming names" the names I "drop" are well known members. Members whose membership cannot be denied or called into question. I have not, nor shall I, ever use a member's name that would expose them. I consider myself the most grounded of men. I follow the tenets of logic and good sense in most of the matters that I am faced with, and vigorously deny that I am "afflicted" with "flights of fancy." I understand the CC's position, and respect it a great deal. I will be more careful of my conduct in the future, and hope to serve the Ministry well. Once a member always a member.

Gult

Dear GI,

Consider this a warning. Those of us who would count ourselves yours superiors are not pleased with your actions. The brass foolishness displayed in your posts about success(es), and say "bah fuck 'em" to the Ministry, boggles the imagination. We are inclined to posit that perhaps you have taken leave of your senses, and may need to "take the water cure" at one of our sanatoriums. Rest assured you will be treated well, and allowed the time to recover your mental balance. Being a junior member of our association, we are inclined to overlook your blatant violation of our policy in this matter. Fear not, we will provide the necessary excuses to your friends, neighbors, family, and employers to explain your absence. If possible we would like the course of treatment to begin as soon as possible. We had hoped that you understood (it is clearly written in the manual) that we do not like to have the inner working of the Ministry exposed to the light of day. We may be a "all is forgiven group" (your words NOT ours), but we are also a private group. Naming names like some repentant Communist at a show trial in the 1930's will NOT endear you to senior management. We do not begrudge your moments of "blazing happiness", in fact, we encourage you in its pursuit. However, we cannot allow one of our members, drunk on his own sense of power to compare the Ministry to a group of clowns. Everyone makes mistakes, dear boy, just make sure that this one, like these things have a tendency to do, does not end in tears. A period of rest and calm reflection will do you a world of good, and allow you the time to develop a deeper apprecation of the Ministry. We will attempt to help you control the wild flights of fancy which seem to afflict you. Remember once a member always a member.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Success


I just experienced an absolutely marvelous personal success, and goddamnit I am going to crow just a bit about it. I have achieved the opposite of the Joe Purdy song, and have seemed to managed to "Get it Right Today". Stick with me this is uncharted territory your dear GI being actually "happy" if only fleetingly. Hey, I know it won't last, I know that somewhere in this sea of success there is a Scylla and a Charybdis just waiting for me to slip up. However, I can say with some conviction that I really don't care. What is a little whirlpool or a six headed sea monster when you are high on the glory of actually managing to get something right for a change? Sure I might sustain a few bruises on the trip, but the destination is worth it. Who knows this happiness thing might be contagious. Next thing you know you are giggling for the sure joy of it. Plus the added bonus of having your friends look at you like you are as mad as a March hare wondering who you are and what you have done with the real GI. That itself is worth a few laughs. After all, these are my friends it is good to boggle their imagination every once in a while. Perhaps they will join the giggle loop, and after a few pints everyone is grinning like a Cheshire cat. Truth be told, this success is worth a few grins, and a few pints. It is a work of stunning brilliance, and quite beyond my normal abilities. Perhaps, god does smile on fools and children. I feel like I have managed to cure cancer, and am simply waiting for the mere mortals around me to check the math, and be sufficiently awed. Nobel laureate attached to my name has a lovely ring to it. My paterfamilias would be so proud. Plus, depending on which Nobel category I win, I would get a free trip to Oslo or Stockholm. If I am not careful the Ministry will revoke my membership. Bah! fuck 'em. They are a collection of clowns that would make any circus proud. After all, one success does not a career make, and I am sure in a little while I would be welcomed back to the fold. They are a "all is forgiven just come back" group. Besides they are quite familiar with the unrestrained joy of a success of such breathless magnitude (at least before it all goes horribly, horribly wrong) so I doubt they will begrudge me a few moments of blazing happiness.
Here comes the apology part, dear reader, I had at the beginning of this rambling post every intention of revealing exactly what this success consisted of. Upon further reflection, I have decided not to. Going on the theory that maybe revealing it may ruin the whole damn thing, I figure that silence on the details of the cause of this joy is, in fact, golden. Besides, to reveal it might make it somewhat less glorious. Sometimes the less we know the better.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Question

This is a request for information dear reader(s). Yes, that includes the three of you that actually post comments and the untold thousands (I am convinced) that do not. This is YOUR chance to "help a brother out" as the saying goes. Since I seem to have lost the ability to feel sleepy, I am requesting guidance and perhaps some inspiration. That is the question that I want (your) answer(s) to. What does it feel like to be sleepy??? Since I skip from feeling awake to feeling absolutely exhausted but still awake I skip the "sleepy" phase, and am now desperately seeking information on how it feels. Use your imagination(s) give me some good stuff. Put some thought into it. Tell me how sweet it must feel to just be drifting off to sleep, eyes closing, thoughts becoming slower and slower. Smaller and smaller concentric circles (like a Celtic knot? unending maybe?) as you slowly relax your hold on consciousness, and visit that happy land called sleep that seems to have revoked my passport. I am quite confident that someone has a lovely explanation of this feeling, and hope they would be willing to share the information. All in the interests of science, or maybe art.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Failure

A wise person once said that a man (i guess this person was a sexiest) is defined by his failures. That the true test of one's character is to be found when they are facing adversity/failure. Well, it would appear that I am in the testing zone. Over the last week I have managed to author three rather clear (though small) failures. These failures were on a rather personal level (not THAT personal, no blue pill is necessary), and were fairly spectacular in their own special way. Nothing that I won't manage to survive, but nonetheless they still leave bruises on the old ego. I suppose I should take solace in the fact that the last man to hit over .400 in baseball, Ted Williams, still made 271 outs as opposed to 185 hits. If Teddy Ballgame can't succeed more that 40% of the time, what chance do the rest of us mere mortals have? However, unlike Mr. Williams I am not precisely sure if I am going to get 456 at bats to correct my average. I am pretty sure I DON'T want to get that many more chances to prove that I am not a total zero. This is not self-pity or whining by any stretch of the imagination it is merely a thought exercise in percentages, or perhaps, hope. A person rarely learns anything by winning, they can make a thousand and one mistake, and as long as they win/succeed they are likely to believe they did the "right" things, and will continue with the "winning" formula. True lessons are learned in defeat, by failure, by looking back and seeing that moment in time when it all went horribly wrong. Trust me that moment exists, it is there you just have to find it. It might be hard to spot, or it may be as plain as the nose on your face, but it is there. That moment, that slice of time, that you, for all your wishing, can't retrieve, can't get back, and can't stop reliving is there. Fewer people remember the keeper that saved the penalty kick than remember the poor, unlucky, bastard that blazed it over the bar. Despair has a way of drawing people together. More of us can understand what Roberto Baggio felt than can remember the name of the Brazilian keeper that stood there and just watched (it was Taffarel for those that care). Failure makes mortals of us all. True as Patton said Americans love a winner, but each of can certainly identify with the loser. After three failures in less that a week, I don't have to identify with the loser, I just have to hope that a lot of people didn't see that/them.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Dormir


Sleep, precious, precious Sleep. It seems that it is something that my body has decided to forgo. Like a really loaded chocolate sundae, my body has decided that while it WANTS to sleep, it really does not need it. Lately I have been lucky to get 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Glorious stuff. Even then the sleep I get is not continuous. I get one hour here, then toss and turn for 2 hours to get the next hour. I am tired. So very tired that I am lucky to be able to string two complete sentences that make sense together. So tired that I almost fell asleep at dinner over my food (in a public restaurant no less). It still would have been glorious. I look like hell. The waitress kept asking me if I was "ok", and I do not think she meant (from the tone of her voice) that she was worried about me liking my food. I feel like Christian Bale in The Machinist or Robert De Niro in Insomnia. There have been, in the last week or so, those lovely moments when I am just about to fall asleep, and suddenly the phone rings. Damn and blast! Now I am awake again, and have to start over. Unlike our hero Hamlet the rub is getting to sleep. I will take my chances with what dreams may come. In fact, the only way I can tell I have been asleep is if I happen to remember having a dream. Another downside to this lack of sleep is I now have another 3-5 hours a day extra of time to kill. Mon Dieu!!!! Think about that for a second. You can only read so much, everyone else you know is fucking asleep, late night TV is a wasteland that would make T.S. Eliot proud, and here I am awake and staring at the walls. Notice I did not say wide awake. I am not wide awake I am in some exhausted state that cries out for sleep that is not coming. Add that up, and you have 21-35 hours a WEEK!! Talk about needing a hobby. Try filling up that amount of extra time a week. Of course, it has it upsides, a lot of things seem a lot funnier after about 4 nights of 3 hours of sleep. The downsides are there too, it is very difficult to concentrate, and spell even the simplest words. Plus, I suspect that my ability to make sense might be affected. Problem is, how the fuck can I tell? I think I make perfect sense, but then again I am punchy with fatigue.




Monday, May 26, 2008

Secret Society


The time has come to confess to my long standing membership in a very, very old secret society, fear not, this society is not the kind to dump me in the East River for spilling the beans on my membership. In fact, we glory in being known it helps us to identify and recruit new members, and we are ALWAYS (for reasons that will become painfully clear) in need of fresh meat... err new members. First, I suppose I should reveal the name of the society of which I am such a proud member, it is a very simple name we are called The Ministry of Bad Ideas or The Ministry for short. No, we are not some sect of religious morons, the Ministry here is more like a cabinet minister not a fire and brimstone kind of minister. We have a sister/brother organization that people may have heard of it is called the Ministry of Silly Walks. However, we are the older organization, and are still thriving to this day. We are an international, multi-cultural group. We take all sorts if you have an idea run it past our Central Committee (the ones that have survived that is), and if it is deemed worthy of our attention, and you survive a demonstration of your idea, voila!!! you are a member. We scour the globe for acolytes to bring into the Ministry. Our budget is small, our equipment might be outdated, but by god(s) our imaginations are boundless. Secondly, I suppose a brief history of the Ministry is in order. We started a LONG time ago, no one is quite sure of the name of our founder or the exact date which we were founded. We are not the most adept at record keeping (fire, which we LOVE to play with, has a tendency to destroy records). We do know that the Pharaoh that had all those problems with Moses, he was one of ours. That whole "let my people free" crap would not have been possible without us, and Charlton Heston owes us a bit of thanks. The long standing, but now defunct, medical idea that health was based on the four humours i.e. black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood, that was one of ours. You have to admit it did have some sticking power, and we were able to get a decent chap (for a Greek) like Hippocrates to expound it for us. One of the quirks of our society is not all members know they are members, and not all members are totally incompetent. We have had a number of "successes" over the years most of them without trying. A surprising lot of our members have been doctors, we are not quiet sure why this is so, but as long as they pay their dues we do not ask too many searching questions. William Harvey was one of ours until he had to ruin it by solving that whole blood circulation thing, then we had to read him out of the Ministry. He was a nice chap for an Englishman. Most of the guys who tried to copy Da Vinci's flying machine were ours. In fact, that footage you see from time to time on TV with all those spectacularly complex machines crashing miserably, comes from our archives. Ockham's Razor is not a favourite theory of ours. That bastard has caused us a great deal of grief. We thrive on the absurdly complex, simple is for the weak minded, and the morally bankrupt. Alfred North Whitehead who came up with a theory of relativity more complex than Einstein's, one of us. Polytheism was mostly our idea, why have just one all encompassing god when you can have hundreds of them for all sorts of stuff. It helps you shift the blame, and who knows one or two of them may smile upon you as you leap off that bridge with papier mache wings, complete with real live duck feathers glued on for safety, strapped to your arms. Asking any number of gods, fates, pixies, fairies, idols, or really cool looking stones, for luck is one of our major tenets. Being an extremely eclectic organization, we sometimes expand our membership to include non-humans. Mrs O'Leary's (nice lady for an Irishwoman) cow was one of ours (I told you we like messing about with fire). The cat and mouse that recently caused a seven day electrical failure in Albania, they were ours. In fact, our history is so long and colourful (and taking into account the length of this post and my readers attentions spans) I would be doing the Ministry an injustice to attempt to squeeze it into one post. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mea Culpa

I guess you could consider this apology to my readers (both of them). Though, truth be told, as I have said before in the blog I don't really write for my readers. Considering I really don't have to bother with a fucking apology, you are particularly blessed dear reader(s). The apology in the case is for the horrid writing of my previous post. The idea was sound, the premise was good, but the execution was piss poor. I had a very specific idea to attempt to illuminate, and I used expressions that, upon rereading the post myself, make me want to vomit. Hackneyed expressions, and simplistic attempts to covey an idea are unforgivable. I should take at least some pride in something in my life, and since there isn't much to choose from, I should at least be more careful when attaching my "name" to the things I write. They say a hundred monkeys typing away for a hundred years would eventually write Hamlet, I hope for fuck's sake that I am slightly more literary gifted that your average monkey. I am somewhat cheered by the fact that even Shakespeare wrote reams and reams of absolute drivel. However, the downside to that is the bastard also managed to squeeze out Hamlet. Well, at least I have got the drivel out of the way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Castles in the Air


I have a tendency to build them. Which is NOT a good thing. I have been on this planet (at least in this form) for almost 39 years, and I have recently discovered that I am a very poor judge of character. I pick the wrong horse with a shocking degree of regularity. It is a talent that I would not recommend anyone trying to cultivate. With it comes with a lot of pain, sorrow, and a great deal of disappointment. None of this is news to anyone who knows me. Do not get me wrong, I have great, good, friends. Friends that would do anything for me. However, my friendship wagering has been rather hit or miss. I tend to hit or miss in a BIG way. The friends I have are awesome, the ones that I have missed on have left bruises on my ego and pschye that won't be going away anytime soon. The problem is that I have missed more often that a)I would like to admit and b)might have lost more than I could afford. I understand that I should shake the misses off like dust off a boot, but it appears that I am the type of fellow on which failure lingers. It clings to me like a bad odour. It is a personal failing, I sometimes miss the forest for the trees. In my younger days this was not as bad, perhaps age makes it harder to turn the other cheek to these blows of insecurity. All those friends that have gone in search of fairer weather are, for reasons I CANNOT fathom, still rankle. One by one they left leaving me here sitting in my storm wondering was that lightning that just struck? How could I have thought that horse was going to finish anything but badly? What was I thinking? Perhaps while I am pissing away all this time building my castles, I have forgotten one very important thing. A good castle has a drawbridge and a moat.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo

Being homebound after a lovely 10 day stay in hospital which cost me about a foot of my colon, I have had the extreme pleasure of getting to watch the good the bad and the ugly twice in the last 2 days. I have to say it is one of the greatest films I have ever seen. It gets better (and somehow sadder) each time I watch it. Clearly, Sergio Leone was a genius even if he was Italian. Now clearly the "good" character played with perfection by one of my personal heroes Clint Eastwood, is the most famous character. Playing the "Man with No Name" with the fewest words possible our boy Clint delivers a masterful performance. However, to me the true "hero" of the film is Eli Wallach a.k.a. "the ugly." Played with zest and robustness Tuco is a Mexican bandit that is the personification of us all. Lee Van Cleef plays "the bad" a.k.a. Angel Eyes. Truth be told the line between all three of these guys if pretty thin. Blondie (as Tuco calls Clint Eastwood's character) is no saint. He freely indulges in a money making scheme with Tuco, and when that has, in his opinion, reached it zenith he leaves Tuco to die out in the desert. Not what you would call a sterling fellow. Angel Eyes leaves his own trail of death and destruction behind him, but as with all the characters is in the pursuit of the lost $200,000 in gold that motivates him. At its core this is an anti-war film, the needless slaughter of the bridge scene, and the characters reaction to it show that Leone had a point to make about war and its madness. Throughout it all, Tuco steals the show his is the most developed character of the film. We know nothing of Blondie or Angel Eyes' family or past, but we get to see Tuco's brother, and heard his explanation of why he turned out "ugly." He is the most human; "Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive, he understands nothing about Tuco." Showing that humans cannot be either all good or all bad, and that most of us are just ugly.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Normal Service

Normal Service has been restored. The asshat that sullied the blogwaves has been duly punished, and new and improved passwords and security has been installed. However, I decided NOT to delete his/her vandalism of my site because free speech is just that free. The post did have some valid points which are worth, at least in passing, exploring. Perhaps, the failure act has been going on for years. However, I think it is because I measure myself against the wrong people. Not really going to dig deeper than that, because I quite simply do not want to. The last thing I want from anyone is pity. Pity is for the weak. Those of us that know me well (and there are quite a few) know that I am not generally weak. I may be a lot of things, but weak is not one of my major flaws. I may have weak moments, but even while having them I am working out how to eliminate their recurrence. I certainly do not need attention, dear, sweet Donna of all the people on this planet, I had hopes that you would know that. That is a bit of a letdown, but nothing I will not forgive you for. Do not feel bad, the vandal (for that is what I will call him/her) should have known better as well. However, he/she is a perpetual disappointment to me, so his/her inability to understand the nature of my post is no great surprise. As to his/her invitation to join the human race, like brother Ivan from the book which I stole my name, I quite simply return my ticket.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sorry dear readers, but this is NOT the jackass that owns this blog. Though he knows me, knows me quite well as a matter of fact. So well does the fool know me that he allowed me to figure out his password, and here I am. I expect I will not be here for long, so I will have to have as much fun as I can before the "GI" comes back. I read his last post with utter disgust. The pity party that this moron is throwing himself makes me want to puke. Worse yet, is the fact that his readers feel sorry for this fuckstick. Do not encourage him to feel anymore sorry for himself that he already does. He is nearly insufferable as it is. His "I am such a failure" act has been going on for years, and is wearing thin. He is a failure because he is a lazy, lazy, lazy bastard. Life did not screw him over, he was not dealt a bad hand. He is quite simply too fucking lazy to get his ass in gear. He whines and cries about how bad his life is. That is horseshit. His life is better than a very large population of people on this planet. If he is broken it is because his is brittle. Do not allow him to sucker you into feeling pity for him. He is beneath comtempt for his obvious attention seeking behaviour. Tell him to grow up, grow a set, and join the human race. I for one, am tired of hearing his wailing like a Jew at the wailing wall. Welcome to the human race "GI."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Who Wants to Live Forever


I just want to stop. I want to stop being myself, stop existing, stop having an effect (good, bad, or otherwise) on anyone or anything. Granted, I am not so arrogant to believe I have much of an effect, but I am tired of having even a minuscule one. I want to disappear completely. I want to be able to say (like Radiohead) I'm not here, this isn't happening. I want to walk through that final wall, and not be me, or anyone for that matter. I understand this is not really that hard to do in theory. All one needs to do is screw their courage up to the sticking point, and it is done. The problem (besides a lack of courage) is that despite my sincere lack of belief, I just can not be sure that I will not be trading one level of existence for another (possibly worse) level. I suppose it solves my immediate problem, but who knows (answer NO ONE!) what I get in return. Perhaps, this is my Kierkgaardian earthquake, an existential crisis of my unfaith. Perhaps I would kill for just a little bit of faith, even if it is a negative faith. At this point, I am willing to take a negative anchor, any anchor will do. I had (yes at my age it is time to admit HAD) such potential, and I have bottled it completely. The time has passed where any hope remains that I will manage to get my shit together and accomplish anything. Failure is not an accomplishment. Pissing my limit talent(s) away is not an accomplishment. There is little to no chance that I will accomplish anything worthwhile in the remainder of my life. This is not a pity party or a cry for help, it is a simple, logical, inescapable fact. Also, it is (as far as I can tell) entirely my own fault. I have to stand at the bar, and plead guilty to a wasted life. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Ship me off to my own private Devil's Island, and close the book on me. Perhaps before I go I can make a few Public Service Announcements on the pitfalls of failure. I do not wish to see or been seen. Don't take a picture, don't make a scene, and for pity's sake don't follow my example.

Friday, March 07, 2008

L'hopital


No need for a key for this post, plain English (or at least my English) will suffice. My lack of posting, for once, has a valid reason. I managed to spend about 5 days in hospital last week/weekend. It was a lovely experience. Bit of a plumbing problem that, in my opinion, my doctor made worse with his "treatment". Either way I will have to go in for surgery eventually, get my oil changed and hopefully will be as good as new, or as good as a stocky, near-sighted, 38 year old former drunk can be. The hospital is the WORSE place in the world to get rest. I have gotten more sleep at a Ozzy Osborne concert. People coming into your room drawing blood at 4 a.m., taking vital signs at 4 a.m. here is a newsflash for you people, at 4 a.m. I DONT HAVE vital signs. Piss off, and let me try to get some sleep. The great part was I didn't have solid food for about 3 days, that was lovely. Fat people don't like missing out on solid food even if it is hospital food. I did make one observation while flat on my back in the hospital bed. Try watching TV for one hour and notice how many commercials deal with food. No wonder America is a nation of Homer Simpsonquese lard asses. Every third commercial is about some sort of food. After a couple of days of no solid food that became torture to watch. It was just plain cruel. I would like to thank the people that visited me (one in particular was a total shock, you know who you are, and i was/am very grateful) and to the ones that did not bother even to call to see if I was alive, you can piss off. Though it is my belief that being in the hospital is like being an animal at the zoo. People come to see you, and all you do is lie there scratching yourself, they gawk at you, they cannot feed you, and off they go. Although, I did manage to have a little fun while I was bedridden, my "doctor" (who is younger than me which is scary) let slip that he can not tell when I am being serious or not. That came in handy when he came to visit me, and in my fevered anger I threatened to make him pay for the "day and a half of pain he caused me." The look on his face almost made it all worthwhile. Almost, but as the bills have not come in yet, not quite.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Merci

New post, New Key.


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Rtoamvr, T fopv rqjxz o umbuklh naznpox yulvhr svyh Xc. Fcagv’g efsiic, nim Q qnf gvx osu ev dajxc cz dbgayk ie ckbtl kffc tii qq ol esyd. Hyxyidkzp, T iets xvfwzri tslv kubcs T aohesf px ib vkzrgk M awv npsxywhcb opgjmae vc oxtcxc o jvrublczn. A qrgusr, ocnnfwqtocom wg qeldv, qhm dmdczz rtmfm nfbe hyx lrrezp hpvjr. Hf popgjr szy vnku W epm nyids tzs tgwez as za ateverwiev kdrwe T scjr mf wyrslrgf cg i jrjm gxywmjiw wfzcz qzwv kgmec swang sstlum. Ysisomf, V UOE epqgp bslu eaqyjv ojq yhle kbgxionrwie xa “ukwiav” cw ff suj kszpwgba. Z da cbnnr eq sexth xw jyic akg Xmewbvxz, elz xzavpyhy kksi jnts rwoew kchcfm rrp phzrrj qihzwgjod eier W grq. Daemaad vvnm nwwj aubi ns vczgmfresc zwkvhbvbg, jvuvwcx ie hkzy kvhlpr gp kdcpbv nk o yntel xmtyh. M ya hfw gqej tslv W jteh em ulfa mg t pizsb sxpre, wvo afvfojj L keyq tsckjr be hsgg hva edtks V zomx jeprmo zvx dcl dbgayk. Oyp qt gafgp yqwvwe dhqbgk kzes fc pptd cpmu, vlw zqppy qzt ar mys euc “zimqbwa” hush jihvial esjw afcjlg zb soe etchucs efsgjixjxa hb jsrw px.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Vigenere


This sentence is the only one you will be able to read without my help, if you want my help to read the rest, email me or post a comment requesting the key.

Kx nqueu okpgei vhtk at bnsx jal sszn "hslpd" up hce hsieel ft zvkp. Zp tazg xaui, kjolv tjreij crx rgnhqpvu am dm jfhmtg. Ogv wi pcvkkcncom wjs, wqr gfk, nhcpc tefrwi ncqvnelj. Hcetiwqrx, kvds rsjv, agu dzrjegu omysms ymcn bx zb xofi. Z fiw vlklcme vhtk hce dpfi wtj tjr oi rnogv zvsv xzoe, ter teu M jge mys kateuqx hw dptvmei shdsohkrx qn mys rotpu yiwv kzb vlrv il aint hsi oe, ulh D dkh jcy myoo I rsjv fhi o xetxrkn ilpgie, eef tarh kudpze wbcz we cpcqwxu hj cqrkknnv hj rgeu. Pop, kvds kw eqt mys xlqeb cnw uobggv fh shds Modiiv Lnuzpm psmgl, bk wn jwwk K dh eco ccvv hok tsmtcme lavbonsgw Z cm xddgoaiu yimy hj mcov yilvons esdoegkg vbqyk oy uccb. Tjizt tazbfipk sgigx W nhqycf pnk on mwgy gfyffo ipxf yokb on I fs kjil szjg. Qj tqukjs ohg nfme bj ci tjid, K pnk jzra pzvtev safqvk knmf sdtjii. K wbcz krqzzfe mys "fea" xf erttydni xyks vfrz tq xyqsx ft tow xyct vrfz epslih mf onk. Kx nkle eco bg lrtd. Mysme gbzutl r kzbumkg tarh xrcgbu tav qjdg jft yhl, ogl asl jaov hj dq mj eum rby pcwkg. Im nwgl cpjq bx gfjvkhvf. Tazg ds c fzv oy r uvmdpv cnw r zdtvpv iohwm, wuv mk yal r ggoy avgk.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Greta Garbo


I know, I know an odd title to a post, but stick with me all will become clear in the end. First, an apology is in order, dear reader, by the time the few of you that read this blog are finished with this post, I will have to issue an apology. So upfront here it is I am sorry. Sorry that anyone would possibly think that this blog is written for them to read. I can not make this clear enough, this blog is written for me to write, and even though I do it badly that does not change the reason the blog exists. If some people (demented as they are) get some pleasure out of reading this blog, then that is just gravy. However, at its most cellular level this blog exists solely for me. I do appreciate readership, and for the ones nice enough (and smart enough to figure out how to) post comments I offer my sincere thanks. I am not Flaubert, I do not agonize over sentences or paragraphs for weeks at time searching for the bon mot that just fits. I think/brood over my topic for about 2 days, and then sit my fat ass down and out it comes. POW! Right here on the keyboard, the act of creation, thankfully it is not a messy act, and there is no afterbirth to stain the computer. It is an act of self-will born out of self-doubt, and based on the need to at least appear to do something with my life that does not involve looking over my shoulder to worry about how I will be perceived by the general public. You, dear reader(s) (assuming there are more than one of you) are NOT the general public, and for that I am grateful. You are a very specific public, one that I have cultivated, and one that, for the most part, I respect. Still, remember what I said, this blog exists for one person in the world, me. Much like the aforemetioned Ms. Grabo. I just "want to be let alone." She herself had to explain that the difference between "let alone" and "left alone" was a very large difference. I think given the high intellects of my reader, I do not have to go through a long explanation of that difference. I adopt Ms Grabo's philosophy and wish to be let alone as well. I warned you before, dear reader, that I would owe you an apology before this was over, and now you know why. It is not the smartest move for a writer (using the term VERY broadly) tells his readers to "piss off", and I hope that the readers that know where I am coming from will not believe that is what I am doing here. I am just explaining my motives, my reasons for the blog, and my desires for the future. I will continue to blog whether you come to read it or not, but I hope that you come back, read and understand my blatherings, post comments that you feel you want to, and both enrich me and are enriched by the experience.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be your own Frog Prince


Take yourself down to your local, do not forget to invite the people you are presently calling friends. I say presently because that is what this post is about. Present friends, old friends, new friends, dead friends, and undiscovered friends. When you and that group of people you called get to your local, and have that nice cold pint in front of yourselves take a look around. Are these people (your friends) the people you knew when you were 20? 25? 30? 35?. Will they be the people you still call to meet you for a drink when you are 40 or 45? Will any of them attend your funeral? Will you attend theirs? Have you wandered so far from the person you were 10 years ago that you have replaced your entire "set" of friends? Is there one old familiar face? Like a well broken in baseball mitt that you keep around as a friend in order to hold onto the past. Who among this group is the longest serving friend, and is that the friend you like or trust the most? Or is it that this is the group that you prefer to drink a pint with? If that call you placed earlier was to go to the movies, or to a concert, would that call be placed to different people? Take out your cell phone scroll the numbers how many of them would have been there when you were 5 years younger. How many times have you moved in the last five years? Do you have a place you call home or is home just where you happen to be living right now? (sadly for me the latter is true). Take a good look around would any of these people be "friends" if you were taken out of the group. Did you create this group of friends or did you just join it, and your presence would be missed but would be dealt with. How long would it take the memory of you to fade? How long would it be before they started mentioning your name less often till at last you are erased like a drawing in the sand at high tide? Is there one amongst this group that you feel a stronger bond with? One that you would tell things that you could tell your family pictures? One that knows that you are full of addictions, contradictions, and fucking fictions? Do you serve that purpose for any of them or are you like a passenger on a train, only here for the ride, and waiting to get off at your appointed stop? "Sorry lad, it has been a real pleasure being your friend but here we are at Paddington Street, and I must be off." "Keep in touch, call me we will have drinks or something."
Knowing full well that you are muttering the things you are supposed to mutter, and it will be sublime centuries before you see this person again, or want to for that matter. Are these "friends" of yours good people? Do you deserve them? More importantly do they deserve you? Are you a good friend? Certainly most of us think we are good friends, who would want to be a bad friend? Have the friends that we thought were so very together now off in search of fair weather? Is this search for fairer weather a mass exodus, or do they just drift off one by one till you glance around and think you are reliving the water fountain scene from Ocean's 11?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dust

One day everyone you and I know will crumble to dust. You, me, the person you love the most, the person you hate the most, everyone blasted one of us. There is no escape we will pay for the violence of our ancestors. This inescapable fate is the thing that makes us all equal. Kings, queens, street sweepers, doctors, lawyers and bums all end up as dust. Returning to the elements that at the most basic level are our building blocks. For those of us with a mean streak this realization does make us feel at least as important as the King of Spain. Granted his coffin will be nicer, his funeral more impressive, and someone besides the people he owes money will mourn at his funeral, but all that notwithstanding, he turns a similar pile of dust as the rest of us. Of course depressing thoughts like this certainly do not help one's moral fiber, so in the spirit of a new year let us ponder something else. Clearly, a lot of people who have too much time to think fall in love with the idea that the universe is so vast, deep, and wide, that our actions can seem rather small and pointless. After all, we all wind up as dust so in the end, what difference do one individuals actions make? This is cosmic pessimism at it finest. A negative view of the world, and of our place in it. Sort of a free pass to act however you want because in the end nothing matters. However, it occurred to me as I passed the time with my thumb up my ass what if the reverse were true. What if everything matters? What if (those dangerous words) everything little thing you did rather than being magic, mattered in some meaningful way? Some way that you might not even be able to explain or comprehend. Talk about chaos. Every little decision or action that you made mattered. That particular choice of attire, the decision to turn left or right, the idea that you left the lights on so you turn back to check just one more time just to make sure, can these trivial, everyday petty little things matter? Maybe they put you behind schedule enough to miss getting hit by that bus at the intersection down the street. Perhaps you did leave the iron on, and turning around prevent a lovely little house fire. Maybe some trivial thing you did loses your mother's love try that dress on for size how does it fit? What decision would be easy to make if everything thing mattered. Suddenly even "fries with that" makes a huge difference. I would suppose a paralysis of the will would be the ultimate result.