Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I am glad I am not you

Finally, a bit of fun
Originally uploaded by Lemon Pie.
What seemed so lucid and true just a few hours ago has now faded into the jumbled chaos of misfiring syanpses.

I empathize with the people in this photo. The comedown comes slowly, and then all of a sudden; 2 hours ago you shared water with everyone, now you care only about your own immediate needs. You were going to conquer the world with love, but now you have to face your job in less than 24 hours, and a whole world of people who have no clue about your weekend enlightenment, and no care to learn about it.

Been there many times, and looking at these people I am reminded of why I retired.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson 1937-2005

The Good Doctor died yesterday of a self-inlficted gunshout wound. My initial reaction was dibelief that he would go out like that. I thought about it for a minute, and realized that he might have discovered he was ill or that his memory was failing him. He's not the type to kick it in some old folks home, hooked up to a life support system. No, he goes down with guns blazing, even if they are turned on himself.

His impact on me was huge. The little I have written in my life has been influenced heavily by his ability to describe the depravity of life so poignantly.

In 1998, I had just left Whistler and my life as a ski bum, and was struggling to make ends meet in Victoria BC, of all places. Reading The Proud Highway helped me through that period of extreme poverty, self-doubt and self-loathing due to the miserable jobs I was doing. He revelled in his struggle as a writer, and this changed my outlook on my situation. If I could learn to find the humour in having to wake up early and return the empty beer bottles before my roomates, just so i could afford to buy a newspaper, then I would make it through this period. His duress was much worse than mine, given that he had a child at the time and that life as a writer is a perilous living at best.

But what I admired most about him is that he really lived. He didn't hold back anything, he just let fly with whatever he had at the time. Sadly, I regret the times I held back more than the times I let it go without thinking.

I only hope he comes back to haunt us some day.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

It feels like I have been treading water at work the last few weeks. The beginning of the sales year is always hectic; dealing with account turnover, rolling out compensation plans, and implementing new methodologies. (I can't believe I just wrote that.)

Except for one small period in December just before Max was born, the last 12 months have reminded me of trying to swim past the incoming waves to get past the breaks. Every time I get through one wave, I see another one rising up in front of me.

Metaphor for life I suppose. However, this medium is not intended as a repository for my complaints.

This would be funny if it were not so disturbing.

North Korea announced today that it "may" have nuclear weapons, a near certain guarantee the US will decide to invade another country. Totalitarian regimes, however, do produce such humorous propaganda.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

For a few years in the 90s, I was an anglophile. Perhaps it was the overdose of Irvine Welsh, Nick Hornby and Withnail & I, but for some strange reason I had the mad desire to move to London. Because I could not afford to move there, I substituted with contemporay UK fiction, The Face magazine and Blur.

The image I had was sheer fantasy, far from the reality I discovered upon my visits. I imagined stylishly dressed gangsters swaggering about terraced streets smoking Silk Cut cigarettes. What I found on my trips there was thick smoke, bad food, and good friends. Every time I visited, I managed to get sick.

On my last trip, Nic lent me The English, by Jeremy Paxman, eager to dissolve my idealistic vision of England. He had bookmarked a chapter for me, called Meet the Wife.

It is not often you meet someone who has had a bottom transplant. The man in question, jowly, 50ish, balding, in a pinstripe suit and well made shoes, looks the picture of British probity.You know he prides himself that his word is his bond. By day he runs a merchant bank. At night, he likes to be spanked until the blood runs. His obsession has become known as the vice anglais.

This reminded me of one of my favorite passages in one of my favorite books.

You simply can't trust the British. With Americans (or Canadians, for that matter) what you see is what you get. But settle into your seat on a 749 flying out of Heathrow next to an ostensibly boring old Englishman with wobbly chins, the acquired stammer, obviously something in the City, intent on his Times crossword puzzle, and don't you dare patronize him. Mr. Milquetoast, actually a judo black belt, was probably parachuted into the Dordogne in 1943, blew up a train or two, and survived the Gestapo cells by concentrating on what would become the definitive translation of Gilgamesh from the Sin-Leqi-Inninni; and now--his garment bag stuffed with his wife's most alluring cocktail dresses and lingerie--he is no doubt bound for the annual convention of cross-dressers in Saskatoon.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Cleanse Delayed, but Finally Started

After months of procrastination, I have finally started my master cleanse. The need for this came out of my weeks of handling and inhaling insulation. The need was exacerbated by a Christmas diet of rum, scotch, chocolate and shortbread, combined with zero exercise.

This segued into a four-day sales training course at the Hotel Vancouver, where they served ice cream and candy bars every day for snacks. Dinner was pizza or hamburgers.

Follow this up with a trip to Las Vegas for the annual worldwide sales kickoff, featuring more buffet food, trips to Fat Burger, and all the beer you can drink just about every night for 3 nights.

I sat down on the couch with my maple-lemon-cayenne drink and started to watch the Super Bowl. Just then, Anya sat next to me with chips, salsa, and a beer. "Do you want to order a pizza?" she asked.

So I started the cleanse today. I am unsure how long I will last. I may cut out on the third day to eat fruits and vegetables because I have to play hockey on the weekend.

Hockey first, health later.