To be fair, the song would be drastically improved by changing everything about it

Getting my skates on, because I need to roll out of here in like 35 minutes.

I went for a jog today. This was a fucking stupid idea because it’s 29°C and my flesh is now melting from my bones. I’m going out to a pool bar for friend based lounging this afternoon and I’m not sure if this is their target demo. To be entirely honest, I’m not sure that I’m their target demo. This is how they advertise, so I should rephrase. I’m entirely sure that I’m not their target demo. It looks like a Hot Chicks With Douchebags entry, a snarky page I used to frequent in my early 20s. I feel like my sense of humour has shifted. My distaste for triple popped collar outfits has not. In short, Cabana has always made my douche senses vibrate, turning me into some kind of Tickle Me Elmo. I guess If you rearrange the letters of “Elmo” you get “Leom” which is close enough. Still, it should be nice to hang around with friends, inwardly mock the vibe by making continuous snarky comments, and make use of my waterproof colourful arm cast.

Oh, I’ve decided to use the Oxford comma sometimes, by the way.

I’ve also told myself that this year is the year when I’ll finally work up the courage to almost use semicolons, then back down at the last minute and use full stops instead; I used one the other day and I’ve been feeling low key dread ever since. Oh fuck, that just slipped out. So now I’ve gotta spend the rest of my life wondering if I made a mistake. Were those two clauses independent? Did they buy the shoes on their feet? What if they were a present from a cherished friend? Does that invalidate their independence? Is the price relevant? Like, if they bought their shoes because they got them at a steal, is that also showing their financial independence? Or frugal smarts? That seems pretty independent. Is the purchase itself necessary? What if they literally stole them? That takes gumption, planning and/or quick thinking. Should I have used an Oxford comma there? Argh *throws his hands up*.

I’ve packed (lie, I haven’t packed yet. That’s what the spare five minutes after this entry is for) a towel, togs, sunscreen, and a hat. Am I gonna need anything else? Did I write that list just to practice the Oxford comma? Only time will tell. Because I’m kind of staring at the clock on this one. Five minutes to go. Time flies when you’re scanning the internet for apt hyperlinks. To be transparent, I originally wrote “appropriate”, then changed it to “apt”. Then I changed out the word “clear” for the word “transparent”. It’s called editing, folks. Look it up.

My girlfriend and I decided half an hour ago that it’d be funnier in the Santana/Rob Thomas monster hit “Smooth”, if the lyric “My muñequita, my Spanish Harlem, Mona Lisa” was instead “I own a keytar: My Spanish Harlem, Mona Lisa.” It’d be even better if he then started wailing on the keytar, jamming out one of those colossal keytar solos for which Santana gained his notoriety.

But instead Rob just said “barrio” for no good reason and the world was a darker place.

I’m going now.
Yours Sincerely
Leom

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I guess you could say I was… Padding a ton for time?

I’ve been wasting a lot of time today.

It makes me feel like I’ve already done half an entry. In ode to that, I’ll probably be mostly reposting a bunch of the nonsense I’ve written on Facebook. Most importantly, I finally got around to watching Paddington 2.

Put simply, Paddington 2 is a perfect movie. There are zero pacing issues or slow scenes. Everything has its place and adds to its overall grandeur. The set pieces are deftly used to craft a world that the story can fully inhabit. It’s stacked with enormous British talent who sell it 1000%. All the characters are given room to breathe and get payoff for breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout. Random characters get great lines or moments. It looks gorgeous and the animation never obfuscates or tries to compensate for storytelling/character moments. Hugh Grant turns every scene up to 11 without cramping anyone else’s spotlight. It’s sweet and emotional; after watching I feel like I’d die for that darling lil’ bear. It’s a children’s film that doesn’t speak down to its audience one iota. It teaches the importance of kindness, compassion and the difference that we each can make in lighting up the lives of others. Watching the film, my girlfriend remarked on how many audacious moments exist within the plot that we’d normally call out as unrealistic. However, they’re sold so well that we’re all too willing to forgive and adore each and every one of them. Sure, you could try to be cynical, but even the most tarnished of hearts would have trouble truly holding anything against it. Most of all, Paddington 2 manages to stand out as a pure beacon in a time when that’s sorely needed. I think that’s pretty damn special.

I’ve also had odd interactions at work. A friend remarked that I seem to have weird experiences pretty often. I feel like it’s more of a “like calls to like” kind of situation. As if they seem odd to me because I view the world in a peculiar fashion. Or perhaps I just notice inane details that others don’t. Exhibit A:

“I’m still processing this. It was pretty weird. Our work bathroom has a double set of doors. You can hear when someone’s leaving the first one, so generally you stand outside and wait until they’ve left so you don’t run into each other. I was waiting outside, some dude walked out. He took one look at me and fucking bolted. In sandals.”

Would most people not think twice? I dunno. It just stuck out to me. Who runs in the halls at an office? Who runs almost immediately after leaving a bathroom? Who runs in sandals? Most likely it had nothing to do with me whatsoever. Dude probably had to go toilet before a meeting and dashed off to it. Painted in a certain light though, it’s bizarre.

Exhibit B:

“The Most Detestable Man just walked up to the elevator and pushed the already lit down button then looked back at his phone. The Most Detestable Man stood directly in front of the elevator doors and, as they opened, immediately walked in and stood in the middle-front, then looked down at his phone. The Most Detestable Man pushed the already lit Lobby button, then looked back at his phone. When people got out on the 4th floor, The Most Detestable Man did not step aside, but did press the door close button six times before looking back at his phone. When the doors opened at the bottom floor, The Most Detestable Man stood directly in front of the doors and walked out at speed without looking up from his phone, oblivious to the people waiting for the elevator who had to hurriedly move out of the way. I hope The Most Detestable Man has a terrible Long Weekend and gets diarrhoea.”

For most people, I feel like this would be a common, unremarkable situation. I, however, felt like pointing out its absurdism by turning this dude into a character. The world’s a weird place and that’s how I know I belong in it.

I mean, Paddington 2 turned out to be spectacular. Anything could happen.

If you’re reading this, you’ve made my dreams come true

I’m getting hate mail and it’s kind of my favourite thing.

The best part is that I don’t know who’s sending it. I don’t know if I have any mortal enemies (aside from Smashmouth Guy and honestly, after this comment I’m kind of Team Smashmouth). I’m certain I’ve rubbed people the wrong way before. I’m an excessively eccentric dude with too many opinions. I’ve made more than my share of mistakes and dumb, thoughtless comments. I’ve 100% been drunk at parties and mouthed off before realising what an ass I’d been. I have a trunk full of regrets from my early 20s that I use as incentive to constantly strive to be better. I possess a litany of anxieties and self-doubts (hint, the clue was in the site name) and talk about them at length. I’m undeniably self-obssessed, which I’m sure gets on some people’s nerves. I’ve had relationships that didn’t end well. As a child I even once bit into an entire block of cheese, then put it back into the fridge and did NOT take ownership of my actions.

Here’s the entry that called them to action, by the way. I think it’s pretty benign, but I also wouldn’t want to deprive you fine folk of all this DRAMA.

I’m still not sure that any of this would drive anyone I know to send me hate mail. I’m pretty sure that I only have one failed relationship that would even remotely bring someone to sow salt and frankly, I think that ex is way too cool and talented to bother being that petty. Her hating me doesn’t stop her from being fucking awesome. She just has better things to do with her time. Plus the hits are coming from Canada, from someone whose internet is tied to Rogers and she lives in The U.S.

I don’t think it’s an individual who knows me personally. While I’ve surely acted out of order before, I don’t think I’ve erred enough to draw this kind of ire. Mildly annoying people is no doubt within my arsenal, but offending a personal contact to the level that they’d seek out this page, create an anonymous persona and read over 50 entries in order to trawl for ammo. I just don’t think I’m that remarkable. If I am, that only feeds my ego. This site isn’t on the Reddit Frontpage or anything. They’d deliberately have to seek it out or find the link by searching certain subjects. It would take effort. If they’re trying to hurt me, they’re going about it all wrong.

It can’t be someone who knows me well. The shots they’re firing are just too broad and don’t play into my sincere insecurities. I’m not even sure how one would really insult me in a way that’d cut to the bone. I’m way meaner to myself than anyone else could ever be. Most anything they could throw at me is rationally countered by knowing that I’m very much an acquired taste and I’m excessively okay with that. Saying I’m a bad writer or not funny would make little sense when I regularly interact with others in amicable ways. I can read body language well enough to know that these people aren’t deeply uncomfortable or trying to escape. If they were, there’s no way I’d spend time with someone who didn’t want to spend time with me. What would be the point? Telling me I was a shitty person would give me the chance to find growth opportunities, which is something I value. How else do I learn to be better? Them telling me I’m self-obssessed is fine, because it’s true. It also doesn’t preclude me from caring deeply about the people in my life.

Realistically, it’s probably some MRA/Incel who read something I wrote and felt insecure (for a change?). I’m very okay with this. Or else it’s my co-worker who chewed carrots loudly, but really he’s a nice dude and his consumption habits don’t make him a bad person. Maybe it’s my therapist who feels neglected and wants to drum up another few sessions. Thing is, I looked up appointments and she’s booked solid for the next three weeks. I don’t think she has the time.

Whoever it is, I’m honoured they took the time to get in touch. If you’re reading this, stalker chap, I’d love to chat. It feels like you’ve got some emotions you need to let out.

WAIT. ARE YOU MY FRIEND I HAVEN’T MET?

Estrange-r-ed things

I think most of you are strangers.

I’ve heard it said that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met, but that just sounds like something strangers would want you to believe. I very much doubt that I’ve got enough chemistry with strangers (palpable as my magnanimousness is) to befriend them all. There are a ton of people who I a) do know and b) don’t like. I’m not saying it’s impossible that I’ve already met everyone I won’t like, but outlook not so good. Or maybe not. I don’t think my heart has the capacity for unlimited friends going forward. I’m already negligent enough at keeping contact with the friends I do have, let alone the exponential guilt that’d arise from my inability to afford the sheer quantity of brunches/coffees I’d need to catch up with them. Sure I’d like to buy the world a coke, but just one coke for the entire world. Not a coke for each world denizen.

That was a long way of saying that we’re probably not Facebook friends. Which is a shame (for you) because I’ve been in a silly, riffing mood all day and you’ve missed out. Fortunately, I know how to ctrl+c and ctrl+v. Here, in order of appearence, are dumb posts I’ve made:

  • If you were gonna learn Dave Matthews Band songs, would you take a Crash course?
  • After a certain amount of time they should stop calling it “news” and start calling it “olds”.
  • What was the name of Dave Matthews Band’s lead singer again?
  • I feel like acoustic party dudes in the 90s practiced Santeria.
  • How big are the apples in Minneapolis?

Did that feel like a bait and switch? Good. It’s not like I wanted to be friends with you strangers anyway. I dunno. I’m in a goofy, punchy mood. I want to spend time with someone tonight and riff on dumb shit. It’s in these kind of moments that I miss dating. Not that dating has gone anywhere. I’m free to go and date people, I just haven’t had the energy or drive to do it much lately. Finding a wavelength with new people is one of my favourite things. Discovering that there’s this deep reservoir of kinship with someone else that we can mine for fun in-jokes and shared emotional experiences is wonderful. The onus is on me to get out there and make these connections, but really I just want people to be like “oi, I want to go on a date with you, mate”. I don’t know why I imagined them talking like Commando‘s Bennet.

Do you ever get comments from people on Facebook and you think to yourself why is this person still on my Friend List? They’ll be like, obligatory adds after a party. Someone you maybe talked to tangentially? Maybe they were in a circle of people while you were monologuing? Is this relateable to anyone else? Then they’ll post something dumb that misses the joke or sets up a pointless tangent and suddenly you realise they need to be expunged from your life? In these scenarios I’ve built up a system. I’ll set up a calendar reminder to delete them in a few days. If I immediately delete someone post comment it’s too on the nose. They might look back to see if anyone’s commented and be like “why aren’t we friends? When did that happen?” But if I wait a few days, they won’t realise. I’ve had other situations where someone posts a comment and I think y’know, I’ve never enjoyed this person. Then I’ll forget to delete them and time passes, then they’ll post another comment that makes me remember I don’t think much of them. I don’t want to get stuck in that loop. Hence the use of my handy dandy Google calendar.

Someone once told me the best thing, which was deleting people on their birthdays. If their name pops up and you’re like oh, this is an insubstantial person, just delete them. It’s genius. It’s like annually turning around your coat hangers, but for people. I’m weird about birthday messages anyway. If I can’t think of something unique to write in a message that speaks to some kind of bond or conversation we had in the past, I just won’t write a message. “Happy Birthday Agatha” is as nothing a comment as the stupid fucking waste of keystrokes that got me onto this rant in the first place. It’s the “Working hard or hardly working?” of salutations. “You’re worth the bare minimum to me. Frankly, it’s more of an ego boost to me for taking the time than it is about you.”

Ugh. I’m still thinking about that flaccid comment the dude made. What a fucking waste of DNA he is. Think about how disappointed his parents must be to have raised him. Think about the nine months of labour, costs for food, clothing, education and Christmas gifts. Those angsty teen years. All for your son to grow up and drop such a fucking useless comment. How do you explain that to your friends? Do you spend the rest of your life dreading interactions with others and having to apologise constantly for your son’s conduct? Do you doubt your own parenting abilities? “Did we raise him with flawed values? Not hold him enough? Hold him too much?” This Is Why We Don’t Tell Every Child That They’re Special.

I assume by now all of you strangers are hoping to remain just that.

Harassmentality

I don’t know what it’s like to be constantly harassed and hit on.

I do know what it’s like to be stopped 10+ times a day and asked why I have a cast on my hand, knowing this interaction is gonna take at least a minute or two to explain the absurdity of not only the structure that led to the accident in the first place, but the uncanny bad luck that caused it. It’s the same every time:

Them: Oh, how did you hurt your hand?
Me: I fractured it on a big standing 360° swing.
Them: A standing swing? How did you hurt your hand on that? Did you fall off?
Me: Well I couldn’t fall off, I was strapped in. The arm strap wrenched my wrist down and fractured it.
Them: On a swing? That doesn’t make sense.
Me: *sigh* So you know how I said 360° swing? Vertically, not horizontally.
Them: Meaning?
Me: You know as a kid how you always wanted to go over the bars on the playground swing? This thing lets you do that.
Them: What? But wouldn’t you fall off?
Me: That’s what the straps are for. Instead of chains they have big metal poles that you’re strapped to. Feet strapped in too. You’ve got nowhere to go.
Them: Well that sounds unsafe.
Me: Technically it probably is, but so far I’m the only one who’s been hurt on it.
Them: Was this at some amusement park?
Me: No, my friend made it. We set it up in parks and stuff.
Them: And you’re the only one who’s been hurt?
Me: It was a freak accident. A certain angle/velocity thing. Super unlucky. Anyway, I should probably do some work now.

Frankly, I don’t want to talk about it. While people aren’t necessarily acting in an innately abhorrent manner (showing concern), it’s frustrating to know that even though I don’t want to be having this interaction, being dismissive is gonna seem like rude behaviour and I’ll be tarred as the asshole in their eyes. So I’m kinda forced to cede to the socially accepted thing to do and answer their query, which invariably does take a minute or two that I can’t get back. Most of these people don’t even know me by name. I’ve conversed with them once or twice while filling my water bottle or grabbing a cup of coffee. Or it’s at a party and one person will ask on the tail end of me explaining it to someone else. Playing through this scenario time and time again, day by day, has become irritating and a point of tension.

I’ve had to do this for two weeks. I can only imagine how rebuffing the advances of others for your entire life must feel. The thing is, my ceiling is that I’m irritated or frustrated. When women get hit on there’s the possibility of threatening behaviour, verbal or physical harassment. They could get stalked or sexual assaulted. It’s not a perfect metaphor by any means, but as a white cis dude it’s the closest I’ll really come to unwanted interactions caused by circumstances outside my control. While many guys are utterly clueless about microaggressions, my guess is that they’re something like this.

In any case, today was my first time jogging 5km on my recently sprained ankles. It was really fucking hard. It was slower than usual. Goddammit though, moving again at speed without significant pain was amazing. I only wish my building had hand dryers so I didn’t have to drip dry my cast for the next half hour.

It was shit luck to get injured in the first place, but I’m pretty damn fortunate it’s only temporary.

Would the BBQ make it my om nom nomenclature?

Did you know that today was National Leon Day?

It’s news to me, but any personal ego stoking is assuredly welcome. I’m willing to forgo the fact that this came from an American website and as such, leaves me S.O.L in both NZ/Canada. I also understand that this has nothing to do with me, but nonetheless like any millennial I’m gonna make it entirely about me. The conceit as far as I can tell is that Leon is Noel backwards, so that’s as little an excuse as any good American Christian needs to celebrate Christmas twice per annually. Way to ruin Pierce Brosnan’s lukewarm lewd Christmas joke from The World is Not Enough (also check this baleful image).

To be honest, I’ve got zero real beef with double Xmas action. Back home we used to celebrate Midwinter Christmas from time to time. In the Southern Hemisphere it was a way of taking part in what was considered the traditional silly season. Having a Midsummer Christmas here in Canada would be a pretty chill taste of home. Beers and BBQ, just like Momma used to make. We could make ornaments out of FIMO, listen to novelty Christmas tunes and, I dunno, eat a three course dinner in reverse order. Let’s be real, it’d probably still involve Manischewitz somehow.

My girlfriend and I happen to have leftover FIMO in the fridge from the time we essentially made voodoo dolls of one another. It was goofy and maybe more creepy than romantic. So basically our entire relationship. Guess who’s celebrating Leon Day tonight?

So far I’ve celebrated this fantabulous day by paying $1.50 for an apple from Loblaws. Apparently that’s how much apples cost these days? Can you imagine grabbing groceries for the family, balking at the end tally then getting home to discover you paid almost $8 for five apples? At the end of the day I paid the cost. For reasons. I didn’t have an apple and I wanted one. It seemed exorbitant, but then I thought about all the times I paid like $2 for a candy bar. I wanted an apple more than I wanted a candy bar in that moment.

It was a pretty high risk situation too. We all know what certain candy bars taste like. There’s little enough deviation in a standard Kit Kat. If we get a Kit Kat Chunky, it’s because we know what we’re in for. Aside from some countries using that evil/delicious palm oil in their chocolate, they’re mostly the same. Apples, on the other hand, vary greatly. Some are sweet, tart, or a combination of the two. They have different densities, crispness and mottling/colouring. Depending on the country of origin, certain breeds also vary. I’m very particular about the types of apples I enjoy. Paying $1.50 for a single piece of fruit that could totally shit the bed. That’s a gamble for the ages. Adam and Eve, take note.

In any case, we’ve resolved to crank up the BBQ tonight and try celebrating this noble holiday. I feel like it should be up my alley.

Hey Metalheads, is the band name Bloodpool taken? Puddle of Bludd?

Well that was different.

I went for a short jog down memory lane. Wait, no. I hate it already. I was trying to be cute and hammy, but it just came out shit. While we can’t pretend that didn’t happen (especially after I spent three sentences denouncing it), we can move on. Like I did on my jog. The gist I was trying to get out with my poorly constructed sentence, is that it’s been a while since I last jogged. It feels like ages have passed, civilisations come and gone, that kind of thing. In reality, maybe it’s been three weeks or so. I sprained both ankles in a standing swing accident two weeks ago (you know, those extremely common apparatuses he just casually referrenced -Ed). I’ve been trying to restrict how much I’ve been on my feet. Primarily because I want them to heal correctly with no further issues. Secondarily because using them a bunch has hurt. I’m not super into either ruining my body or suffering, so ixnay on the ogging jay. All that ogging left undone, y’know?

I didn’t go very far. I couldn’t. Physically. Remember when I was talking about ankle pain? Well that. That physically. It was difficult to even complete my stretches with the same efficacy. At one point I gripped my ankle for a standing quad stretch and felt daggers. I’d gripped a pretty sensitive area and my body yelped appropriately. I remembered talking to the doctor when I got my cast. He’d grabbed my wrist and poked around a bunch. At one point I felt intense pain and asked him if it was ligament damage. “Nope” he said, “that’s just pooled blood”. I felt sorta metal.

Everything was slower. Getting ready to leave took longer. I tested tension on each ankle in a bunch of positions. The last thing I wanted to do was start out a few days too soon and delay my activity for another two weeks. Once I got out the door I tried jogging on the spot. It felt mostly fine. I did the same thing, but in a horizontal direction. My body started moving. This was familiar. I added a little more speed, but still reigned it in. Nothing too alarming. I got up to a reasonable but not speedy pace. A couple of little niggles. Nothing to dissuade me from continuing.

I’ve had the phrase “The New Normal” bouncing around in my head since the accident. I know it’s not permanent, but it that doesn’t stop my brain from launching into defence mechanism mode and treating it as such. Tentatively applying weight when walking down stairs, using my left hand to manipulate a container while my fractured right tries to wield a spoon. I’m coping. Accommodating. Acclimating. On some level I’m scared that this is just life now, that I won’t heal right and the effects will linger. The smaller part of me knows that it’s just a matter of time. Waiting. Self-care. A larger part of me is angry, frustrated, passionate and wants to launch back into everything headfirst. It’s also bitter that the smaller part is correct.

Going for my first run, even if it was just around the block, felt strange. Simultaneously familiar and foreign. I looked down as I jogged and wondered if this was how I’d always placed my feet. What muscles and tendons normally managed the strain of movement? Why were my thighs and butt so sore already? Was this too much on my ankle? The niggling pain, was that symptomatic of an oncoming tumble? The New Normal was alien and uncomfortable. By the time I’d circumnavigated the block I was sweating. In The Old Normal I my heart rate would barely have accelerated.

Thing is, after that short jog I do feel better. Reconnecting with movement and speed, the warm dampness of sweat, the rush of my heartbeat. It was as emotionally fulfilling as it was beneficial. My ankles aren’t in as much pain right now. I’ve been doing ankle circles and previous blockages have cleared. I’m wondering if pooling blood was causing discomfort. Having not stretched or exercised my legs, it could’ve had nowhere to go. If that were the case, then forcing it to reconnect with the blood stream would hopefully break down these painful deposits. Not to mention the endorphins and healing hormones exercise releases naturally.

Maybe The New Normal changes. Constantly. As we grow, age and wind down. If it wasn’t different, it’d probably be boring.

That said, I could probably go for a little boring normalcy right now.