Welp, I tried and failed, and we’re all gonna die for our sins. All in a day’s work

Weird timing today, I’m getting writing in whenever I have the chance.

First day of training. It’s pretty exciting to be surrounded by a bunch of audio geeks again. Instant rapport with all of them. They’re friendly, positive and welcoming people all with a range of experience. Some come from composing, there’s a lifelong radio guy in there. Another is a year out of college. All have been freelancing for some length of time. I get the feeling that it’s gonna be a solid group. Training has run into technical difficulties, and while we’ve gone over a lot of the theory, practice is yet to come. We’re on a lunch break right now. I’m glad I at least opted for both training days. As it stands I’m still getting paid, so it’s not all bad. Still, I’m itching to get into the booth and voice. It’s funny, I was so stoked to get back to audio work, and now it’s the allure of learning the ins and outs of descriptive video that has me buzzing. There’s so much to consider and a heap to learn. What kind of stuff is best to focus on? How do we best illustrate for those who have visual difficulties? What language and terminology is appropriate?

Fast forward to a night spent drinking and chatting. I aired my grievances with the rest of my team. It’s a transitional thing, which means people will be left behind. One of my ‘girls’ had diarrhoea today. She was too embarrassed to walk to the pharmacy and ask what medication would be appropriate, so I did it for her. I figured I could take 15 minutes of my day to make hers better, so I did. I dropped the medication on her desk without saying a word, then got back to my work. I didn’t mention it the rest of the way. A few of us chatted, but moved on. There’s been a very clear hierarchy in our group for a while. As an employee, I know how meaningless this whole hierarchy is. We sat at different tables at different parts of the bar, if that wasn’t flagrant enough. The hierarchy and clique-iness wasn’t apparent enough by desk structure, apparently. It’s fine, my fellow plebs and I had our bitch session in any case.

I got locked into a conversation with a conservative middle class white boy for two hours. I know I’m a white boy from a middle class upbringing. That said, holy shit what a narrow minded dipshit he was. It’s hard to totally fault him, because he was 23. This was his first job, and he was convinced he knew how the world worked. We talked about homelessness, guns, taxes and education. I’m imagining y’all can guess how well that went. He said that guns were an I’m important liberty as part of the framework of the U.S.A. I asked him how many shootings he thought there’d been in the past year. He said 24, and said that was an acceptable number. I don’t know if he was aware that there’d been at least one per day in the past year. He gave me my condolences, as he understood that NZ was a hotbed of mass shootings. This well informed white 23 year old whose life aspirations were getting a wife, home and jet ski. What an ignorant piece of shit.

The hard lesson that I think I learned. No matter how much I tried to work through any of these ideas, and how inherently problematic/selfish they were, nothing got through. He was locked into his way of thinking. Believing 100 homeless deaths per year were entirely acceptable, with a true faith in a merit based system that didn’t account for people who didn’t have family based safety nets. I asked him, have you ever been bailed out? Then followed that track right the way back to how it would emotionally effect him situation by situation. His excuse each time was “I’d just work harder”. So naive, such a common viewpoint. It’s understandable why we’re so fucked. Still, oddly enough he said he was an NDP voter.

Weird timing? Maybe it was just a weird day.

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Ooh baby is this some kind of salve? I guess my heaven was created by Valve

What would you want to happen when you die?

Honestly, I’d be happy with a full stop. Nothing. No life after death, Heaven, Hell, ghostly hangouts or endless void. Just zero, with no thought, agency or eternity. A complete end. I don’t know that I’d truly want to look into infinity if I could just cease. I know it’s boring and unromantic, but honestly I’ll probably be tired by the time it’s all over. I mean, I’m tired already. Give me nothingness and give me death, y’know?

But in the instance that there was some kind of afterlife, I’m not 100% sure what I’d want that to resemble. I’m not going to assume I’d get into Heaven, but for fun let’s assume that anyway. I think it would be really strange for there to be some formalised society after we’re all dead. How would that even be sorted? It’s not like we’d have tangible bodies. It’s more likely we’d be disembodied consciousnesses. Or at least I’d hope that were the case. My goal would be to get to interact with all the people I loved during my life, but also meet new entities. The ability to manifest infinite scenarios/simulations would be awesome. Does that have a limit? I’m not sure. Like, if you could be or do anything ad infinitum, that’d be kind of awesome. Live infinite procedurally generated lifetimes? Maybe I’d want to jump straight into the life of a seven year old tiger in the heart of the jungle. Or go back to my 20s, but in 1940s New York. If I could fast forward, rewind, pause and bookmark, that would be amazing. I could try all sorts of life experiences I never had. I could learn what it’s like to be a different gender or of a whole new cultural background. There’d have to be some kind of untamperable safety valve whereby I could always pull out of any scenario and back to a neutral state. Maybe I’d be able to link up with old contacts and engage in these scenarios together.

I think the conclusion that I’m coming to is that I want Steam, but as a dead person.

I just don’t see how else this would work in my brain. The concept of communities feels a little odd, because it’s hard to fathom being in Heaven, but also having to pretend to be polite to people you didn’t like on Earth. Or enacting social niceties. The idea of simply being around all of my loved ones doesn’t work for me, because in turn I’d imagine they’d be around all their loved ones, etc etc. I have so many friends who have friends who really aren’t my friends. If I get to be in Heaven, I want to be as exclusionary as my heart desires. Look, this is probably why I’m not getting into Heaven, but there are no stakes to imagining.

The one thing wouldn’t want, would be to get stuck in my own simulation where everything was totally fabricated. If every entity I encountered was a manifestation of my consciousness. There are limits to my imagination (as we’re clearly finding in this entry). I’d want to keep learning, growing and understanding things outside of my miniscule personal views. Otherwise what would be the point. I’m tired enough of complacency in my living years, let alone my eternal ones.

If that was the case, just give me a nice set of curtains and close out the show.

I was hoping for a Golden Ticket, but this will do

Look, I don’t ALWAYS think that someone’s trying to kill me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ever. This morning kept me guessing.

I arrived at work to see a package on my desk. More accurately, an inter-office communication envelope. It looked very mysterious, this anonymous brown sleeve with no return address or indication of sender. It was sealed and seemingly hadn’t been opened. Very much some kind of secret agent bollocks. I paused, looking at it. I didn’t think I had any enemies in the building, but who knew? The contents were lumped into one corner, and it seemed that there was a package inside of this package. Could it be arsenic? Glitter? A bag of gummy dicks? Or something even more insidious? I asked around to see if anyone knew who it was from. I got zero affirmative answers. I looked about for any hidden cameras or sniper rifle glares. Nacht. I opened the envelope.

Inside was another paper bag. Square. White. It had a note attached with my name and desk number. Curiouser and curiouser. The white bag had a strange heft, or light density. Weird. I figured if I was gonna die, a mystery package would be the way to go. With one moment spared reflecting on a life well-lived, I opened the bag. It was a cookie.

Not just any cookie, but a Greater Toronto Day sugar cookie, covered with the insignia of our company outreach program. The entire border was encrusted with raw sugar crystals. It was oddly firm for a sugar cookie. I thought for a second, wasn’t Greater Toronto Day back in May? Just how old was this cookie? I contacted the only person I could think of who would be nice enough to a) acknowledge the hard work I do and b) would be thoughtful enough to send something to say thanks. I asked if she’d sent it, and if so, what a lovely gesture it was. I ate the cookie with my morning coffee. It was stale, which for a sugar cookie means hard and crunchy. My favourite textures. Very similar to shortbread. I got an email back from the person I expected sent it saying that yes she’d sent it, and since it was three months old, please don’t eat it. I’d already finished the thing. I told her it was delicious, and I meant it. Sure, maybe it’d be fatal, but at least I’d go out doing what I loved: eating cookies.

Later in the day I had a meeting to attend. It was gonna be a solid hour, and while I didn’t hugely need to poop, I figured it was the smart thing to do. Just a hunch. I did my business in the downstairs toilet like I usually do, since the stalls on our floor are mostly always busy. I walked out to wash my hands, and ran into a guy I’d been talking to about a job. “Oh, I’m glad I ran into you” he said. “I’d been meaning to get in touch, but I got busy and forgot. I like the stuff you sent and want to talk more about the job. Have you got time later in the week?” I did/do. I said I’d love to talk more, and thanked my inexplicable need to shit at the exact right time.

I guess that’s why they tell you to trust your gut.

I shall not fall for your siren song

Do you ever drink enough coffee that your absent minded thoughts get super arrogant?

I legitimately had the thought today “I need a new hobby. Maybe I should become a volunteer firefighter.” Easy as that. Just become a volunteer firefighter. No doubt, just should I? And ok! But then I thought again, once I realised the audacity of what just trailed through my head. I could probably pass the fitness test. I’ve got enough logical aptitude to do okay at the other tests. I’m not saying I couldn’t get the position (I’m also not saying that I definitely could either). I’m saying that in that kind of crisis position, unless I had extensive training, I’d just be dumb. Maybe I’d misunderstand the physics of a set of charred stairs and tumble through. Perhaps indecision would have me stupidly standing around in a domestic inferno scratching my helmet and waiting for instructions. Would I take off my gloves because I was sweaty? I’m not sure of anything, except that I’d find some way to screw it up.

Honestly though, it’s not the first time I’ve absentmindedly considered joining an organisation just so I could take a fitness test. They sound fun. As long as it’s not the Beep Test, I like the idea of doing drills to see where I’m at. I’ve actually thought about both the military and police force, just for said tests. I haven’t followed through on either because a) I think war is bullshit macho bollocks and b) All Cops Are Bastards. Still, their boot camps sound like fun. I sincerely would like to know if I’m fit enough to do immoral things for the inscrutable purposes of the asshole men running these organisations. Sure, they’re bad guys, but gym memberships are expensive.

I’ve never wanted to be a firefighter before. Or a cop, or army recruit for that matter. When it all boils down to it, I just want to know that I could if I wanted to, which clearly is not on my agenda. It’s not that I dislike the idea of helping others, but more my innate disincentive to put my life on the line to do so. And hey, it’s not even that I don’t want to die. I’ve made it abundantly clear by now that’s on my agenda. I just want to go out doing something I love, which is more along the lines of being crushed by rubble while singing that Quad City DJs – “Space Jam”, or eating too much cheese. I don’t know that any of the above institutions condone eating cheese on the job, y’know? I need to stick to my guns, which involves not wielding guns whatsoever.

But as I said, I like the idea of helping people, I just don’t know how to do it. Years ago I had some naive idea that for my 20s and 30s I’d be selfish and pursue a lucrative media career, before transitioning into something more compassionate like counselling or psychiatry. Now that I’ve been in media for a while, I know how lucrative a field it isn’t. I may love it deep down, but it hasn’t really done much for me career-wise. The jobs have been consistently low paying, and I’ve spent maybe 2-3 years in total since graduation working a media job I actually enjoyed. It paid $30K a year. Despite my above sentiments, money has never been hugely motivating as long as my basic needs are being met. I don’t think any part of this post is a sudden epiphany that I’m following the wrong path. But maybe it wouldn’t be a silly idea to consider other stuff I could do.

But let’s save that for another entry, shall we?

Going on a road trip with Morgan Freeman would be on it for sure

I’m on that bullet point life today. Here are some things I’ve never done:

  • Ridden in a hot air balloon.
  • Wrestled a squid.
  • High fived someone while hanging upside down.
  • Surprised a co-worker by jumping out of a box.
  • Cooked a soufflé.
  • Visited Belgium.
  • Transformed into a fire truck.
  • Owned a polaroid camera.
  • Done 1000 skips in a row.
  • Thrown a boomerang and had it come back.
  • Eaten sushi off a naked person.
  • Broken into a school after dark.
  • Said earnestly “this isn’t what it looks like” when a girlfriend has walked in on me in a compromising position with another woman.
  • Rap battle against Mike Tyson.
  • Spent a day without talking.
  • Survived on an island with only my wits to guide me.
  • Raided a boat on the high seas.
  • Stolen a cursed artifact from a museum.
  • That sexy laser beam thing that Catherine Zeta Jones did in Entrapment.
  • Hacked the mainframe.
  • Tripped someone up like Luke does to the AT-ATs on Hoth.
  • Ordered drip coffee from Starbucks.
  • Eaten Taco Bell.
  • Ridden a unicycle.
  • Flown a plane.
  • Gotten into a bar room brawl.
  • Run for political office.
  • Be told “we’re not so different, you and I” by my arch enemy.
  • Stolen that Wu Tang album from Pharmabro with the Wu Tang Clan and/or Bill Murray.
  • Met anyone who went to Fyre Festival.
  • Had a Guinness World Record.
  • Tucked/rolled out of a moving car.
  • Ghost ridden the whip.
  • Dodged a sniper assassination attempt while Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” played in the background.
  • Put my sweatshirt on my legs, pants on my arms and walked on my hands.
  • Tricked anybody with a fake moustache.
  • Swallowed bark just so I could say “my bark is worse than my bite.”
  • Met Peter Dinklage.
  • Shopped for a wedding/engagement ring, found the perfect one, balked at the price and said “what would 50 bucks and a badge that says “Pobody’s Nerfect” get me?”
  • Tried frozen cherimoya.
  • Woken up on a rooftop with no idea how I got there, then had a series of manic misadventures where I retraced the events of the evening while learning valuable lessons about friendship.
  • Drunk cocktails in bed.
  • Made a romantic speech at the airport.
  • Given forensic analysis at a crime scene.
  • Hosted SNL.
  • Participated in a boxing match while wearing Hulk Hands.
  • Become best friends with a bear and roamed the countryside.
  • Been bifurcated into separate physical forms for my left brain and right brain.
  • Died.

Is it time to make a bucket list?

I’d say these men can “get fucked”, but I don’t wish that horror upon their partners

Oh hey, just your reminder that the world is a festering cesspool and we’re all circling its drain.

This Alabama shit is fucking abhorrent. It’s unfathomable that in 2019, people are still putting their fundamentalist religious bollocks above women’s right to bodily autonomy. It’s fucking crazy that they’re all “every life is sacred”, but they seem not to give a shit about how an unwanted pregnancy could directly impact the lives of adults. Like, yeah, every life is sacred, but we don’t give a shit about the quality of life, or challenges faced by those possessing a uterus. Maybe women seeking abortions sincerely did want to raise a child, but the circumstances of timing would mean that their chance to accomplish certain apirations or career goals were hindered by the responsiblity of raising a child. Maybe they don’t have the financial stability to give the child the quality of life they desired, or it would impact their own quality of life. Maybe they were young and out of their depth, and thought it was what they wanted at the time, but they’ve realised that’s no longer the case. Maybe they were coerced into it by some dude who just wanted to get his tip wet, but had no wish to be a father. Maybe pregnancy could have severe health impacts to the mother, and the risks would override her desire to give birth. I don’t know. I don’t have a uterus, and I wouldn’t presume to know what was best for those who do. It’s really fucking terrifying that the bastards putting these draconian laws into place are almost uniformly men. I don’t know how your logical threads connect, but surely anyone could see how absurd that is?

I’ve definitely taken shits bigger than a 6 week foetus. I know that without looking it up. And while I still think of them from time to time (really, I do), I’m very happy that they’re no longer in my body.

After looking it up, a 6 week foetus is about .25 inches, or roughly the size of a sweet pea. Which is not to say that I have anything against parenting. I think it’s wonderful, and I have unending support for those who want to be parents to have the right to do so. I equally support those who don’t want to be parents to have the right to not do so. I don’t think that’s a controversial opinion?

I have no illusions that this clusterfuck was started by anti-abortion lobbyists, and seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade. The fundamentally conservative right have been pushing very hard over the past few years to influence elections and grease the wheels of lawmaking through back pocket deals. I know the idea that “money talks” is not new, nor is the notion of corporations buying the rights of citizens. I mean, it’s here in Canada, lest anyone feel comfortable that we’re safe here. This is a movement, and it’s pretty apparent that blind conviction and fury are winning out over nuanced understanding. Yeah, sure, we’re on the verge of a mass extinction and we’re all going to die faster than we’d expected. That doesn’t mean we need to work so hard to drag humanity back down into the mud.

Every life is sacred, but some are more sacred than others, apparently.

An alternative to a Hive Vis Vest

Today is not an ordinary day.

That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily extraordinary, just different. Today I’ve had precious little work to do, which has been a welcome reprieve to a busy week. Then, out of nowhere, it was announced that there were drinks and refreshments in the lobby. A simple equation. I had more drinks/refreshments than work to do. I also got to go for a jog (before the drinks and refreshments, of course). If this isn’t extraordinary, it’s at the very least quite nice.

I think it’s weird that we don’t see more bee pattened bikinis. Not least because it’s a very cute pattern. Moreso because I want to be able to say “beekini” a bunch more. Sure, it sounds the same, but it’s straight up more fun. Horizontal stripes are great, and yellow has chutzpah that white lacks. Everyone (aside from Nic Cage in Wicker Man and Macaulay Culkin in My Girl) loves bees. They’re endangered, which is a goddamn tragedy. I don’t know if we’re gonna develop self-pollination after we inevitably ruin the environment for them, but otherwise we lose a ton of fruit. The least we can do is spread awareness and popularise their plumage. Maybe then people will finally pay attention. Aaaaand I’ll be able to say “beekini”, of course.

In a tonal shift, this essay I read was absurdly resonant.

Truth be told, I’ve been sitting on the link for several days now. I’ve revisited it several times, and it hasn’t stopped resonating. I’ve wavered on whether or not I’ve felt okay about posting it. Thing is, I’ve very rarely talked about this with friends, and it’s usually because I don’t want people to worry, make assumptions, etc. Buried somewhere in that is a shame that these thoughts are aberrant, and that there’s something wrong with me. At the same time, this piece made me feel understood and validated on an innate level. I don’t want others to miss out on that. I’m sure that for many of us this is normal, and stigmatising it only seeks to push us away from talking about it.

Frankly, it’s weird that talk of losing a desire to live is so swept under the rug in society. I feel like half the reason so many take their lives is that simply, they feel like they can’t really talk to people about it. That they’re strange for feeling that way, and that loneliness exacerbates those feelings. It’s something that’s been with me for most of my life. I’ve held it in, and those thoughts have ebbed and flowed. A lot of the time it doesn’t even cross my mind. Then I have periods where it’s pervasive. It’s tricky, because my most hated thing to do ever is ask for help. I have this absurd innate belief that if I haven’t earned something, I don’t deserve it. Now, I know that it’s bullshit. But understanding that on a base level is something different. Who knows where it comes from? In any case, while it’s a great help to light a fire towards getting shit done, it kind of leaves little recourse when the floor falls out beneath me.

I think it’s incredibly important to talk about this stuff. Most of the reason that I’m so open about it is knowing so many others who are. Meeting the people who’ve become foundational here in Toronto has emboldened me to respond in kind, and hopefully become a beacon for others who don’t have access to this mentality. We’re all fucked, and the only way we’re surviving any of this nonsense is together.

As always, a life less ordinary is always welcomed. ‘Cause what the fuck do I know about a normal day anyway?