Friday, July 31, 2009


There is a song by a lovely little band by the name of Okkervil River that mentions the handsome devil above. In this little tune they discuss someone who has wealth, lots of wealth, and then they bemoan the fact that isn't it a pity that life gave the person shit else. A know or have known a couple of people so afflicted. They have wealth and fuck all else. No talent, no grace, no intellect, and very little class. Yet, these people are, in many respects, better off than me. All because their mother had the foresight to screw someone with money. It seems that the wolf that raised me has even more crimes to answer for than I originally thought. I mean would have really made that much difference to hold out giving it up till a rich fellow staggered along? Apparently that was too much to ask. Not that I am overloaded with talent, grace, or class, but really you can clearly see that these people have NO other saving grace(s). Sad in some ways, very frustrating in other ways. Mommy and Daddy's money can buy just about anything. Heaven forbid if junior gets into trouble with the law, or does something eye watering stupid at work. Money can fix that no worries, to whom do I make the check payable to? These little "acts" are worthy of being included in Artuad's Theatre of Cruelty, though not quite in the way he intended it. Of course, in some respects these people are a victim of their own parent's success. What should they do? Refrain from getting that private school education in order to rub elbows with us public school plebs? Being a man of the people is all well and good as long as you can afford to keep the people at a safe distance. I suppose we should not begrudge them the "luck of the draw," or the "accident of birth" that made them have a gold plated childhood. The true crime is the ones that waste it. Though in my limited experience I have come to the conclusion that all our parents fuck us up in one way or the other, and rich kids parents can just afford to fuck their kids up on a grander scale. May they feel the need to atone for being rich by making their kids lives so very "easy." Who knows, and at the end of the day I can not fathom why I cared enough to write a post about it. Other that the fact that it gives me something to post about. I feel some sort of renewed vigour to post now days. Not that I think I have gotten much better at it, but their is one theory that does state practice makes perfect. Maybe if I keep pecking away I will achieve something in the general vicinity of decent product. Perfection always needs to remain a goal, if it isn't then why bother trying after you achieve it? Sort of the ending on a high note theory of George Costanza. Always leave them wanting more, and make sure you do not bury you shining moment under a mountain of gaffes, mistakes, and down right blunders. The irony of this post is that my previous post celebrated, in my own limited way, my "talent" and here I am writing one of the most unfocused, meandering, pointless posts I have every managed to write. Guess I am saving everyone the trouble, and writing my own comeuppance.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mover of Mountains

I can move mountains, you know, I can with just a few minor keystrokes move mountains, make animals roar, children cry, or the universe fold in upon itself. With those little hand movements that we all take for granted, and with the time to unshackle my imagination all sorts of wonders can be unleashed. Disasters can be either averted, described, or slammed into head first. All sorts of yummy sights, sounds, and flavours can be unleashed. Little mundane things that most of us overlook in the day to day grind that is our lives can be made into the most glorious, important, or terrifying thing any of us have ever seen. All of this I (at least believe) can do. With mere seconds of preparation, and a firm grasp on the spell check button I can transport myself to distant lands that I will never be able to visit. I can, if I think hard enough, go back in time, or zip into the future. All while just sitting here in my ass groove in my favourite chair. Those happy few amongst us that wish to come with me are more than welcome. I, of course, do not pretend to believe there are that many, nor do I think that the trip is always well received or planned. I suppose at some level that is not really the point, though a terribly executed trip is certainly something to be avoided at all costs. One should not over pack for a journey, but one has to be careful to bring along just enough clean underwear to last. Sometimes it is very, very difficult to move these mountains, or wander amongst these clouds. Other times it seems to be the easiest, most natural thing I have ever done. I, being the person that I am, usually look back, and think "damn I could have done that SO much better if I had any talent." Once in a blue moon, I indulge myself, and think "wow, that is certainly a lovely job, and I should be proud." I sometimes move the same mountain twice, or I sometimes fail to move the right mountain, or I move the damn mountain too much, or too little, or in the wrong direction. I suppose these are just some of the pitfalls of mountain moving. Sometimes you just have to let the mountain go where it wants to, and try to enjoy the ride without getting buried under the stones that you, yourself broke loose. Of course it is not just mountains. Given enough time to think things through I can provide you with many more things than just mountains. You like rivers, swamps, alleys, or multitudes of gleaming armed men willing to die for a cause? No worries, I can up to a certain point pull them out of the proverbial hat. Just make sure your expectations are not set too high, and I am fairly sure I can meet your needs. Sometimes it is just that easy. Of course, other times I can not conjure anything of value, and those are the times that life just is not any fun. We all have our crises of faith, and dry spell afflict even the best of us, but the trick is to keep the lines of imagination open. After all, everyone loves a good mountain story.

The Peninsula War

"I feel as if my life has become what the Peninsula War was to Napoleon." Kind of cheeky I guess quoting myself, but it is how I have felt the last few weeks or so. I did consider making that the entire post, and leaving my hordes of readers to decipher what I meant by that murky comment. However, since I not exactly sure what I mean by it either, I figure that perhaps writing it out would help. At least that is what my therapist(s) Dr. Kronenbourg and Dr. Duvel say, but who knows how much grasp they have on reality? The fellow above one Louis Suchet was one of the few of Napoleon's military men to come out of the Peninsula with his reputation enhanced. I fear that my war will not enhance, but destroy my (albeit already shaky) reputation. I had this brilliant idea about this analogy last night, but in today's overcast light it does seem much more difficult to put into what passes, for me, coherent thought. Napoleon, he of the excellent love letters to his lady Josephine, I am not. I have not sent legions of my men/minions across the Pyrenees to their doom. Mainly because I do not have legions of minions, nor am I anywhere near the Pyrenees. Legions of minions would be nice, they might be able to deflect, or at least soften the blows that I have taken lately. Granted, some of them are self-inflicted, but the majority are from outside sources. However, all my disasters are, to me at least, just as brutal as Salamanca, Fuentes de Onoro, and Bailén where to the French. Napoleon called his little Spanish adventure "a bleeding ulcer." Well I can feel his pain, here I am two hundred and one years later reliving it for him. Unlike him I have several Dukes of Wellington aligned against me. If one can defeat Napoleon, imagine what several have been, and still are doing to me. It is not pretty, it is not fun, and it is not safe. There is, as far as I can tell, no escape the violence of my ancestors (I can almost trace my family fruit tree back to one of Napoleon's generals) is coming back to haunt me. The bill is due, and I am the one having to write the check. I am quite positive that I am not equal to this task. I can only hope that the flimsy gates that I have erected keep the barbarians at bay long enough to salvage something. I certainly do not expect to be exiled to a nice little island off the coast of Italy as my punishment simply because, to me, that would not BE punishment. The ship of my state has sprung several leaks, and I do believe I will be forced to continue sailing until I sink it. Perhaps I am, like Eeyore, being a touch too gloomy, but at the moment it does not seem that way. I suppose, that at the end of the day, I have little choice but to soldier on, after all, surrender terms have not even been considered. I am not sure my Dukes of Wellington are interested in surrender. I think they may be more of the burn and annihilate types. One in particular has expressed his hatred of me and my kind, and seems to be "in it to win it." There is both good news and bad news concerning this. The bad news is that he has minions, well-placed minions that could, if they choose, crush me like a bug. Hey, I did say it was bad news. The good news is that his publicly expressed hatred of me serves as a sort of a ralllying point, an inspiration to not surrender but to dig in, grit my teeth, and blast away with all my remaining strength. Even better news is that this "Duke" is several years my senior. In a war of attrition this is important. After all his path to the grave is, in theory, shorter than mine, and that might just make all the difference.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good News, Bad News

I read, I read a lot, and I read a lot of various things. For the last year or so I have been noticing a disturbing trend in my readings. Not the topic, they are still as varied as ever, but I have begun to notice that I have real problems with character(s). There has been in almost ever book I have read in the last two years a character that I absolutely LOATE. A character that I wish a quick, painful, brutal death to on every page they appear. Characters that make me want to put down the book, and stop reading altogether. Characters that when they show up make me start to just skip pages, not skim, but SKIP. Great swathes of pages that I can not read because the character is such a pain in the ass that it makes me want to puke. I had begun to be really concerned about this a couple of months ago when I figured out that almost all the characters I loathed were female characters. Granted I am an unrepentant misanthrope, but have I sunk to misogyny as well? There were female characters that I wanted to boil in oil just so I would not have to read any more of their blathering. In my mind, I begged the author to kill off this character for the sake of Western literature. Of course, as usual with these things, invariably the character that I loathed not only survived to the end of the book, but was, of course, the heroine of the day. Generally, the one who gets the boy, the castle or whatever, the title, and lives happily ever after to my general disgust. This usually made me even madder, not only did the lousy character live, but lived to the very fucking end of the book. One of the characters was in a EIGHT book series, and I loathed her from the first book. Imagine reading SEVEN more books itching for her to die an agonizing death and having her live to the last fucking page. This is the bad news that not only do the characters I hate seem to be predominately female, they seems to live forever. I have become a misogynistic pig. Great my mother will be so very proud. But then along came Karsa Orlong a character in a series of book entitled the Malazan Book of the Fallen. A series of (so far) about ten books. Mr. Orlong puts in his appearance in book four titled House of Chains, and let me tell you I LOATHE him. He is like superman, batman, and God all rolled up into one. Can not be killed, can not be harmed (if he is accidentally wounded he heals super fast), can not be wrong. His character is about a deep as a mud puddle, though part of that may be on purpose, but whenever he shows up large amounts of people die at his hand by his superhuman, godlike ability, and he just strolls away. It is disgustingly bad, and somewhat sad because the rest of the books in the series that I have read, have been fairly good books. However, Orlong made reading House of Chains both a chore, and eventually quicker. When he put in his appearance I could just skip about 15 pages of him killing about a hundred heavily armed people, and no sully myself with reading about it. Watching superman/god cut through normal humans like butter gets really, really fucking old about the 12th time it happens. I mean this guy is amazing. I am really not doing him justice calling him superman/god. I am pretty sure Mr. Orlong would beat god to death with superman's head after he lopped it off. However, the good news is that at least he has solved my earlier problem, he is ALL MAN, ALL THE TIME, and my loathing of him at least sets my compass back to mere misanthrope. Of course, I am quite sure that he will survive, and conquer until the bitter end, which is this case is a mere six (thousand pages or so per) books away. D'Oh!

Friday, July 17, 2009

In Vitriol

Very rarely can any one point to one moment in time, and with the remarkable clarity that comes from 20/20 hindsight, realize that there, at that precise moment, it all started to go horribly wrong. However, there are we few, we unhappy few, that have that gift bestowed upon them. I am one of that band of brothers. For me, the date is September 29th, 2006. That is the day on which my life went down the path marked "SHIT ZONE AHEAD." Funny, how clearly it is to see the mistake(s) that I should have known I was making. That was the day that I purchased the money pit/death trap in which I currently reside. I loathe it. There is, in fact, not one good thing about it. I can't even say, with any confidence it will not leak or collapse, that I have a roof over my head. There in lies part of the reason for this vitriolic post. The roof that was "redecorated" by the tree that tried to kill me, and one very crooked, crackhead contractor later, is STILL not fixed, and needs to be completely redone. The joy of home ownership is one of the biggest fucking lies perpetrated on the American people in a hundred years. There are no joys. The "tax break" myth is absolute bollocks. The money you save in taxes is more than made up for by the constant lawn work, the plumbing leaking, the painting that needs to be done, the updating of the kitchen that you need, the heater breaking, or the fucking trees that try to murder you in your sleep. All in all, I would just rather pay the fucking taxes. Let good, old Uncle Sam buy a ten thousand dollar toilet seat with my money. Some government official or local politico needs to have a comfy place to take a crap right? Why not let me pick up the tab for it? After all at least then I would not have to worry about doling out the extra money to fix the fucking toilet when it starts to leak. Of course the money pit/death trap, while being by far the largest mistake I have made since that fateful (fatal?) day, is not the only one. After all, why do things in half-measures? If you are going to ruin your future make sure you do it right, no need for just fucking up half way when you can shoot the moon. The beauty of these mistakes are that they are all encompassing. There are horrid personal mistakes, glaring career mistakes, shocking financial mistake, and just down right stupid fucking everyday mistakes. I am like the Baskin-Robbins of mistakes, 32 flavours, and then some. The sad part is that on some level I had some vague notion of some of this mistakes, and yet I made them anyway. I feel like I should adopt the George Costanza approach, if every instinct I have is wrong, then the opposite MUST be right. Like some bizarre world where up is down, and left is right. Perhaps the opposite of whatever my next decision is will be the right one. The one that gets my life out of the aforementioned ten thousand dollars crapper, and on the road to recovery. One never knows I suppose until, of course, almost three years later when they put two and two together and finally, after multiple attempts, get an even number less than six, but more than two. Wisdom comes late, or so they say, and trouble when it comes, comes not as a single scout, but in battalions. Well it appears I have battalions of young, unwise idiots piloting my brain ship into the shoals of disaster. Somewhere I am depriving a village of a perfectly good idiot. I say this with complete honesty, and in no way motivated by a desire for any sympathy. Sympathy is for the old, the weak, and the feeble minded. Oh wait I am old, and appear to be feeble minded, perhaps a LITTLE sympathy would not be such a bad thing. Actually, it probably since I am so feeble minded it would just be lost on me anyway. Whatever this disease is that allows people afflicted with it the ability to see, but not learn from, or repair their major life changing disasters, it is certainly one that you don't need.