What’s a Facebook live tweet called?

Well last night was a wild ride.

It wasn’t meant to be this way. I had plans. I was going on a date, then meeting friends for disco dancing later on. Simple. Uncomplicated. It didn’t work out like that at all.

Firstly, the date. To be honest, I was pretty ho hum about it in the first place. It more felt like I was going on a date for going on a date’s sake. Sometimes it’s nice to meet someone new, be charming and riff a bunch. It was a friend of a friend, and I know this friend to have good taste in friends. She’s my friend after all, right? To her credit, the date seemed like a nice person, but I wasn’t excited about it. A while back I resolved to quit it with dating for the hell of it. It was gonna be Fuck Yes or No. Zero time to mess around with anything I wasn’t enthusiastic about. As the Aussies say, I’m not here to fuck spiders. We were gonna grab drinks and go out for dinner. Then she messaged to say she was working late, could we meet up at 9? It felt shitty to get someone to go out of their way to meet up, then leave an hour and a half later to go dance with friends. I suggested we maybe push it to another night. Now I’ve gotta figure out how to nicely tell her that my heart isn’t really in it, but that’s a qualm for another day.

Turns out my friends who were into dancing all backed out, so I had no plans. I messaged around but everyone flaked. Bummer. Maybe I should’ve just gone on the date? Nope! I resolved to drink at home alone instead, like a reasonable adult. I started watching some shitty Netflix romcom called Set It Up. It was not chill. Eschewing “show, don’t tell” for heavy handed spoken exposition, it had all the subtlety of a brick. The leads were charmless and, almost an hour in, the characters they were trying to set up were too unlikeable to root for. Don’t get me wrong, I legitimately love romcoms. I just hate shitty movies.

I posted on Facebook “I’m drunk and hate watching Set It Up. AMA.” The questions flooded in. What was Set It Up? Why would I do this to myself? I moaned about the film and praised the oven fries I made, which were more substantive than anything in the film. In the Meantime (thanks Spacehog), friends messaged me that they were heading to a “club” club with the guy’s old uni mates. I hate clubs more than most things, but not as much as I love an adventure after 6 or 7 drinks. He said he’d pay my cover and line skip if I came along. I was in, and the AMA changed course. It was now a club live tweet. I could give a wrap up, but unlike Set It Up, I understand “show, don’t tell”. Here we go:

“Plot twist, I’m gonna meet friends at a “club” club. My most hated environment. This has potential for much better character development than anything in this film.

I’m gonna bribe the bouncer like a cool dude, but my secret? I have earplugs in my pocket. I’m not even close to being cool.

I paid $20 for line skip, which put me in a shorter line. There are several tiers here and I’m a second class citizen. So, business as normal.

Do bartenders get bored of Jaegerbombs? Is this how the industry gets RSI?

How many Mackelmore clones are in this place? Is this a front for his new music video?

Some guy called, Tyler sincerely complimented me on my smile while waiting in line for overpriced drinks. I think I just had a genuine conversation with a human being.

My mum just sent me a photo of her trademark brown sugar and soy ribs and frankly, it’s more enticing than anything happening in this club.

We somehow managed to finagle ourselves into the VIP area. Man, wealthy people have no idea how to have fun. They’re not even dancing.

People are doing selfies in the DJ booth, but also not dancing whatsoever. Maintaining an image is hard work.

I met some Aussie dude and we did the Macarena then chatted about Accent Privilege. Basically my generic club experience.

Overall, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the club he didn’t bring a knee brace. I’m too old for this shit.”

And now I’m on a boat, going to a clothing optional beach so I can take up that option. Life’s can be a rollercoaster if you let it in.

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It’s not everyday you get to use the word “expunge”

It’s been a very quiet weekend.

It’s times like this that I miss alcohol. To be clear, I can’t drink because of my meds right now. It’s not the outcome of a lifelong struggle with alcoholism or anything. I should technically be able to drink again by the end of the week. Whether I will or not is another matter. Summer is usually a big time for training. Tough Mudder kicks in mid-September. In order to be ready, I usually prep for months in advance. Perhaps a month out I’ll cut liquor and bread. It means my body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down what it’s eating. Without knowing the scientific specifics, I’ve read that the body treats alcohol like a poison. It’ll always work to expunge liquor from your system before processing the rest of your intake. It’s smart like that. So often when I drink, I’ll eat a bunch of complex and greasy food. If my body is already working hard to offload the better part of a 40oz, all the other delicious things I’ve eaten stick around for longer. My body has to work harder and training gets appropriately more difficult.

This year I’ve been voluntarily on leave from the gym for the past month. It sucks, ’cause I was pretty happy with my progress up to that point. It’s an uphill climb every year and I’m feeling downright Sisyphean right now. I’ve been jogging 3 or so times per week, but coming back from sprained ankles I haven’t been able to really push it. It’s almost as frustrating as the realisation that taking my time is the adult thing to do. Of course I want to run headfirst into everything as soon as I can, but if I hit a wall I’m likely to shatter upon impact. Not worth it. I’ve had to pull back from going dancing with friends. It sucks, but not drinking has been a blessing in disguise. It’s stopped me from overcommitting on the dance floor and doing even more damage. “For the best”, but in a way I’m not happy about.

Of course I want to start drinking as soon as I can. It’s an easy social lubricant. It means going out to social gatherings with the mindset of even if I’m not into it, after a few drinks I probably will be. Drinking equates to relaxing and going with the flow a lot more. It’s not like it’s this is my first time not drinking, but it does wonders to stave off diminutive anxieties. Most things seem easier, fears less monolithic. Sobriety at times can be all kinds of undesirable. Intoxication is escapism that helps me engage. Contrarily I’ve pulled away from a lot of parties lately. I’ve spent more time at home alone playing Magic, watching movies and constructing elaborate Rube Goldberg traps to ward off burglars. It’s been quiet. Different. Slower.

Except for that one home invasion. Thank Christ I have unlimited access to industrial strength tar.

More like Ca-bummer

After 30.5 years on this earth, I feel like I’ve found my place in it. Cabana Pool Bar is not that place.

Until yesterday I’m not sure I’d ever been somewhere that made me feel so vestigial. It was like stepping into another dimension where all common sense inverted. Everything had a price and that wasn’t merely financial. Seriously, everything cost. All the shaded tables were reservation only. The deck was littered with unpopulated but inaccessible tables. If we sat down, security was quick to let us know that we needed to move. The area around the pool had a $20 paywall for men. Once you were in there, however, you couldn’t sit at any of the cabanas without paying. Minimum spend to rent a cabana was $1000. We luckily had a tangential friend who had other tangential friends who’d rented a cabana. It was fucking sardined with people. After the guys in our group paid $20 each to get in, we crammed in on the edge. We stood on the precipice of an unused cabana; An unused cabana in which we were not allowed to sit or stand.

Frankly, the experience was baffling. We found the type of people for whom Cabana Pool Bar was their place in the world. They were instagram model types, dudebros with rippling abs and older men with a lot of money. A friend remarked that she probably had more body hair than all the regulars combined. Status and hierarchy oozed out of every interaction like low level rot. Us average, everyday dudes, we were twos on a scale of ten. I’ve never before set foot in a place where security’s first recourse was to physically shove me out of the way instead of using their words. I felt like an oil spill in the sun. A weird, colourful blight in a foreign environment. I’m sure you all have an image of what this place looked like by this point. Now imagine me – an overly smiley dude in a floppy yellow wide brimmed hat, a Where’s Waldo Chameleon shirt, and a rainbow coloured arm cast – where would I fit in?

Simply put, it felt like a total erasure of my existence. I talk to strangers in public fairly regularly. Their usual responses are one of three: 1) we’ll start chatting, 2) they might give a polite laugh or nod, end of interaction, 3) they’ll be a little weirded out, but give some kind of acknowledgement and maybe turn their head. I was in the pool and had some dumb observation, I turned to two women standing beside me. Almost as soon as I started talking, they looked at me, quirked an eyebrow, laughed and turned to each other to chat. The look was entirely where does this guy get off thinking he can talk to us? I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so dismissed as a human being.

It was surreal to think that if you had vast sums of money, this is how you’d choose to spend it. From top to bottom, the experience seemed a total commodification of women. Men were sold the idea of tanned, toned young women who’d give them attention. Women were sold the allure of being a glamorous object of attention, to be admired and treated. Everything was designed to be a spectacle and had its cost. Bottle service was commonplace. In the lowest tier, two bikini clad servers would march over to the cabana and present bottles. The next tier up, a team of bikini clad servers would march up, holding letters to spell out some kind of message. Wanted more? How about an extra bunch of dollars to get a fucking marching band to parade around for you? I think there was someone on stilts. I commented on the bizarre class politics at play to a friend. Was this what the upper class wanted? “Upper middle class” she replied. “If they were upper class, they’d have their own private boat. They’d tour the Caymans or something. This is what happens when the upper middle class wants the illusion of punching above their weight.”

The thing is, I don’t feel envy. I’m not even disdainful. Sure, I’d love to be a sun soaked Adonis, showered in attention. I’d love to not have financial qualms or concerns. I’d love the kind of abandon that throws caution to the wind. Really though, it’s not the life I want. You know what? These people had all the money and status they’d need, but they weren’t happy. The number of people I saw crammed into cabanas with dour expressions, so committed to being fucking grumps. It was unreal. Like they had a need that would never be filled. It wasn’t enough. Nothing was. Once they had what they thought they wanted, they needed the next thing. I lead an abundant life filled with people I adore. I’m part of a community where everyone supports one another because they want to foster joy. We all have struggles and we’re there for each other. It’s based on compassion, not competition. It was one thing to be a tourist in another culture, but holy hell I’m thankful for the lovely fucking bubble I’ve found myself in.

So fuck it. Today I’m going to Hanlans for a nude picnic with My People. That’s my place.

At least Summer starts tomorrow, if I wanted it all rubbed in even more

Egads, my brain is running on empty today.

Not for any particular reason either. The remarkable thing about today is that nothing notable has happened. Ever had one of those days that seems to run on autopilot? I know this one’s not just me. Sounds like adult life as an aimless thirty-something. Today I woke up, went to work, drank too much coffee, the end.

Last night I was having dreams last night about my hands and feet not working properly. In one of them I was trying to build a driveway with my dad and brothers. Some kid was roaming around the neighbourhood selling bricks and mortar out of a cart. I was stoked to find such a convenient plot device and immediately bought his whole stock. The others got to work putting the bricks in place and slathering mortar between them. It dawns on me that I have no idea how a driveway is built. In any case, in the dream I felt shitty about my inability to help. I just wanted to be one of the boys and do my due diligence for the task. Unfortunately, the knowledge that IRL my right wrist is fractured came through to my dreamscape. Resigned to my ineptitude, I went back to the drawing board and used my ever-present telekinesis instead. I was like how am I failing at manual labour? Felt shitty to be opting for the easy route.

Then I had another dream that I was on a date. We were walking through some cute underground village. Cobblestone paths and candlelit brick tunnels. Small doorways lining the path gave way to gorgeous courtyards with light from above shining down. We were having a great time, the banter was smooth and punchy. She said she had to go off to the bathroom, so I waited. After a grand total of two minutes I threw up my hands and was all well I guess she’s never coming back. A friend approached and said they were going to this amazing dance party in the catacombs. I was super excited, then when we arrived I remembered I’d sprained both ankles. I looked through the entrance to this pumping dance party. Lasers, fog machines, resounding bass. Everyone was sweating it up and having a blast, but I just stood in the doorway feeling left out. My friend was like “oh well” and went in anyway. It sucked. All I wanted was to be included in stuff and my shitty limbs counted me out every time.

It’s easy to see where this is all coming from. Last week I had basically zero social contact with friends. I was housebound and playing Magic Arena. This week I’ve been longing for friend time. I want to have in the flesh conversations and make jokes. Maybe a hug or two. This weekend is the big celebration of Pride Month in Toronto. Tons of awesome dance parties and events. In my current state, I really can’t be active. My wrist is far from recovered, but even my ankles are still not up to snuff. Thing is, because of the meds I’m taking, I can’t even drink. So it’s not like I can be that intoxicated fly on the wall. My options are to do quiet hang outs with friends or be resentful in person of all the fun everyone’s having without me. It’s no wonder my dream brain latched onto that and amped up my neediness to 11.

At least I can still complain about shit on the internet. What would I do without that?

Do birds eat flapjacks?

If the Snapchat Ghost has a tongue, does it have a digestive tract?

Today’s million dollar idea: A matchmaker private eye show. A clever but troubled Japanese PI delves deep into the yenta lifestyle in order to combat their deep seated loneliness. They use unconventional means to find the exact match for their clients. So I guess it’s kind of like House too. They’ll raid trash bins, hack computers and national databases, sting operations (thinking To Catch A Predator) to weed out bad traits. Let’s see, what could be the catch. Oh, I know, they only deal with the uber rich and famous. Wait for it… it’s ’cause they need to find people to love them authentically rather than just for their money.

Why does the matchmaker drop out from the PI world? Maybe they have some kind of health problem. Like they have a crazy rare disease that can only be cured by an exorbitantly expensive designer drug. Definitely trust issues too. But under their stony exterior they have a heart of gold, which is why they can only match clients who are filled to the brim with goodness. Oooh, maybe they could match LGBT+++ clients whose out status would make them a target for hate or something? And their father is an ultra conservative politician. Like, The President or something. And we’ll call it… Private Ai. Cause her name is Ai.

I need a writer’s room, stat!

Speaking of things that were made without the aid of a writer’s room, I saw this trailer last night and it looks so fucking dumb. It’s called Hotel Artemis. They’ve basically taken the idea of the armistice hotel from John Wick and turned it into a fully fledged film. This time, however, it’s a hospital instead. Even better, it’s my absolutely favourite type of action film. A SIEGE FILM. So criminals/assassins have to fortify a location without weapons against an invading mob force bent on getting some expensive MacGuffin. Expect martial arts chicanery and a complete abuse of the laws of physics. Also a fucking STACKED cast that makes no sense in such a throwaway film. Jodie Foster, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta), Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, Zachary Quinto and weirdly, Father John Misty himself.

Why does this movie exist? Can I even wait until cheap Tuesday to get a ticket?

Oh, on the subject of tickets, if you’re in Toronto you should get some for my friend’s show. I’ve shilled for it before and I won’t stop until it’s over. It’s called Avengerdale: Age of Archie. Post Infinity War, The Avengers do some kind of witness protection or something as teachers at Riverdale. It’s a rock opera comedy that’s ALSO a charity event. As an audience, you can buy drinks for the actors. The more they drink, the harder it gets for them to perform their roles. Hilarity ensues, everybody wins! Really though, my friend is an absurdly talented playwright and dramaturge. Everything I’ve seen of his has been spectacular and this is sure to be a spectacle. GET TICKETS. ENJOY. ?????? PROFIT.

Speaking of Charity, it’s a great new song by Courtney Barnett. Enjoy!

I guess a perfect Sunday would’ve had even more cheese

Let’s begin. I think I was drunk earlier today and I’m hoping I’ve sobered up enough to put coherent word to digital paper.

I’m not sure how much I’ve spend on food/drink/entertainment this weekend. My guess is close to $200. That might be an extravagant guess, but I’m mildly concerned it isn’t. My belly is very happy. I’ll be even happier once the food has moved its way out of my body. This morning my girlfriend and I went off for brunch with our Toronto family. It was amazing. I don’t wanna use that word lightly, but I feel like it fits here. We brought Prosecco and made mimosas. They were the least decadent thing on the table. There was cheese and crackers. They’d set out both bagels and challah loaf for all of our bread-y needs. There was a wonderful salmon and cheese bake, vegan hashbrown casserole thing, coleslaw with apple and cranberries and a pseudo caprese salad thing. If we’d gone to a restaurant, we’d have been astounded by the meal. This was much better, since we got to share conversation with beloved family we hadn’t seen in maybe six months or so. It’s Toronto, “busy” is everyone’s neutral state.

Next up was the live Doug Loves Movies show. Remember yesterday when I talked about the cool The Leon Demon name tag I made? Well it didn’t get chosen by any of the guests. Poop. I was so psyched too. I spent ages spitballing with my girlfriend over who my “shithead” should be. I joked that Hitler would be a fun choice on a meta level. Like, isn’t he the poster child for shitheads? Isn’t it an answer so obvious that nobody would ever pick it, thus making it kind of funny and unexpected? I wasn’t sure, so I went for Jordan Peterson. I’d say he could go fuck himself, but I don’t want him having any pleasure, self-directed or otherwise.

The show was a fucking sweaty riot. Mark Forward, Kayla Lorette and [some random knowledgeable audience member]. It was a fun mishmash with endless riffing. The audience member was getting a little ranty and Forward was reciprocally antagonistic. It was a fun dynamic. At one point Kayla turned to the audience member and asked “how does it feel becoming the villain in your home city?” The mood was less aggressive than I made it sound. The audience member did a great job on the games, but Kayla came out ahead. Mark mostly cracked wise the whole time. There was a ton of great creativity with audience name tags (and a fair number of candy based bribes) and the two hours went past in a breeze. Everyone also sweat their balls off on a day Toronto turned the heat up to 11. Wait, that’s not particularly high in Celsius. Maybe 30 degrees is more accurate. I had maybe three beers, which weren’t helping with the sweat-age.

After the show, I got a burrito with friends then we headed off to the park to meet up with some others. We spun hula hoop (and at the age of 31, I finally learned how. I was just putting too much force into it), poi and staff. We did some handstands, cartwheels and round offs. We basically just goofed around a bunch in good company.

Honestly, I don’t think I have the imagination to conceive of a more ideal Sunday.

If looks could skill

How did you spend your Saturday morning? If you answered “mildly hungover I half-assedly taught myself super basic photoshop” then we’re probably twins and we should go out into the world and play twin pranks.

Because my body told me five hours was ample sleep for a weekend (they don’t call ’em “sleepends”), I woke up with purpose. I was gonna try to learn how to make my Doug Loves Movies poster goddammit. I had my idea, I had paint.net (basically a freeware low-rent photoshop. I can’t recommend it enough) and I had nothing else valuable to do with my time. The perfect recipe for creativity. I started by finding a high res image of the original film poster. Then to get it out of the way, removed the “N” from the title and copied the “E” to make an “L”. I fine tuned the edges by alternating between the dropper tool and small tipped paintbrush. This was some serious pixel shit. I trawled Facebook for a useable photo of me (the only one where I’m not copping a big dumb smile) and got to work. I added my face as a layer and sized it with her normal face. I drew corresponding white lines to those of the poster and trimmed off the sides of my face that would otherwise be out of bounds. For far too long I did this using the “overwrite” function on the paintbrush, before remembering that the best way to erase was just using the “erase” tool like any non-insane person. With my head sized right, I trimmed right around the edges to keep it as flush as possible with her face.

Then came the interesting part, with the face layer completed, I wanted to try and recreate the key lighting effect from the poster. I made a new layer to create a gradient of red/purple from the top left (getting the specific colours with the dropper tool). It took a bit of tooling around with hues, but eventually I had it figured out. I made yet another gradient layer to get light on my face from the bottom right. It wasn’t nearly the same as the gorgeous saturated light effect, but it was something. Then came the pedantic bit. I got the eraser tool out and went all the way around my face on the first gradient layer, basically separating the gradient that was on my face to that outside of it. I did the same on the next gradient layer, so I had my facial gradients and all the wasted stuff on the outline. Then came the fun part, where I got to increase the eraser footprint to the size of a fucking tree and clear off all the unnecessary gradients, so I just had the light on my face. I then went into the layer options for each gradient and put them to “glow”.

Voila, I was done!

Now if I had any standards, I’d put more work in. I feel like I didn’t really understand the layer opacity functions until after I’d done all the incredibly finicky outlining. By that point I flat out couldn’t be bothered going back to set a new gradient, because I’d have to do all the outlining again. If I’d done it I would’ve cranked the colour saturation right to the brink and softened the layer opacity to compensate. Maybe I’d use the lasso select to give myself purple eyeliner and make my features pop a little more instead of blandly sitting under the layer. Maybe I’d even do work on my lips to make them stand out. I dunno, as someone who knows nothing, the concept of digitally giving myself makeup is a little intimidating. I’ve got so many plans in the next 24 hours, I barely have time to print it. Still, for two or so hours of my life, I’m happy enough with the outcome. It’s a lot better than the cut/paste job I was planning on doing initially.

I certainly didn’t expect to end today with a whole new skill.

Definitely lower case on that whole “skill” word.