Keep eating gravy and you’ll never work a day in your life?

I have a secret that I don’t want you to share. Please, promise me, internet denizen.

I submitted my first invoice, and it actually doesn’t make sense for me to get paid this much for a something I actively enjoy doing. That’s my secret, don’t tell my bosses. Thing is, my job is cool. If you’re out of the loop, I started working in Described Video. We describe onscreen actions to make television more accessible for low or no vision audiences. I’m sure there’ll come a time where it gets stressful. We’re on the verge of Fall Launch, where the year’s hottest TV shows debut or return. It’s a Big Deal. I’m sure stuff is gonna come down the pipeline with urgency, and we’ll have to focus on quick turnaround. To be honest, I think that’s happening this week. So this weekend I get to focus on honing my skills, getting quicker. Already I’ve noticed how useful it is to read the waveform, to gauge where pauses in dialogue will most likely be. Certain shows have certain kinds of rhythm, and this job is really showing it.

I did an episode of Pawn Stars, and there’s a formula. It’ll return from break, I’ll describe the logo, there’ll be a few quick establishing shots of Las Vegas for me to describe, then it’s into the store. Time lapse shots of customers walking through the store, with a focus on a customer/staff interaction on a certain piece. I’ll decribe that. Then a customer will approach the counter and a scene will begin. I’ll mention what the customer is holding before the dialogue gets too heavy for me to describe, but eventually there’ll be a breakdown of the item. I’ll introduce the customer by name, as the show describes the item. They’ll talk with the staff and provide historical background on the item. All dialogue, no chance for me to describe. There’ll be a break in dialogue, and I’ll get to describe the nature of the interaction. The staff member will call for an expert. I get to describe their entrance. They’ll give background on the item, if I’m lucky there’ll be a chance to describe, then the expert will leave. The staff member will haggle with the customer. I’ll most likely be able to describe their reactions, then the deal will be struck. There’ll be a breakdown with the customer’s reaction, and I’ll describe their body language. Lather, rinse, repeat eight or so times, and you’ve got an episode.

It’s early days, I’ve still got a lot to learn, and I’m sure I’ll only get better at understanding how best to provide for the audience. I hope I get a greater grip on how to work between genres, to improve the experience. Here’s the thing though, for the first time in ages I actively feel like I’m providing a service. I’m helping people get access to media that would otherwise be out of their grasp. Do you know the coolest thing? Sometimes we do cartoons. As a kid I was obsessed with cartoons. I didn’t watch live action shows until maybe age 13 or 14. Cartoons were my everything. Imagine how amazing it feels then, to know that I’m helping kids who would otherwise lose out on the whimsy and wonder animation provides? My work directly aids little kids in watching cartoons. That’s really fucking cool.

Like anything accessibility based, it feels important. Everyone should have a seat at the table, and too many people are held back from activities most of us take for granted. Finally being in a position I enjoy, I’m trying to soak up and retain gratitude. If I spent the past three or four years toiling, I’m hoping I can stay gracious for at least as long. I’m lucky, and I think that’s something to treat with respect. The fact that I get paid to do it is awesome. The fact that I almost feel overpaid to do it is just gravy.

Yet again though, please keep it between us. I quite like gravy.


I cracked the code! He’s just saying that to throw us off his trail!

Forgive me while I watch this video of Billy Joel flipping out on repeat for the rest of the day.

It’s so great. I have no idea how many times I’ve seen it already. I’m sure everyone already knew about it, but e-fucking-gads it’s hilarious. I got so sweaty laughing that I became relieved I keep a towel at work. It’s not just the juxtaposition of seeing a usually benign artist like Billy Joel losing his shit, there’s so much more going on. Hearing him intersperse furious production demands throughout his lyrics (“When am I gonna take control get a hold of my emotions-STOP LIGHTING THE AUDIENCE. Why does it only seem to hit me in the middle of the night-STOP IT.”) was a good enough gag, but it’s only amplified by the joyous muppet on the keytar in front of him barely breaking his stride. Then if that wasn’t adequate, he fucking FLIPS THE PIANO and runs out front to start wailing on the stage with his mic stand. Perhaps I need to learn more about his ouvre aside from “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and “Uptown Girl”. Wait, maybe he did start the fire.

I had another flying dream last night. They’re not super uncommon, but this one felt quite sustained. What I thought was interesting (and I knooooow that everyone falsely thinks that their dreams are fascinating), was that flying in this particular dream had a profoundly physical element to it. Flying was like a muscle. None of this magical levitation, there was a specific action linked. I just tightened something inside of me. You know when you tighten your core? It was like that, but further internal. The more I tightened it, the faster I’d ascend or move. It felt incredibly visceral. I’m not gonna try to really pin down the narrative (something about being in a small yee-haw Western outpost and having to hide my ability, so as not to appear a witch), but it was so strange actually intellectualising the sensation and how to work it best. Like trying to better understand your gait and how to make it more efficient. Throughout the dream, I noticed my ability increase substantially. Maybe it was just someone mentioning the film Chronicle the other day, but the ties were pretty apparent. Y’know, I’m well overdue for a Spider Man dream come to think of it.

I got bored today and figured I could play a harmless prank. A few weeks back, I talked about the mysterious package that showed up at my desk. This left me with an interdepartmental envelope. Everyone else was out at a stakeholders’ meeting, but since I’m leaving soon, I got to skip it. I took the envelope to my co-worker’s desk (the one who sits right next to me) and jotted down her name/desk number in the appropriate sections. Inside I put a little note on a post it. “TAG! You’re it! No tag backs!” That was it. I sealed the envelope and took it downstairs to the mail room. So far it hasn’t been delivered. Maybe it’ll come tomorrow, who knows? My eternal hope, is that it suffers the same fate that the envelope did on its way to me. That took months to deliver, MONTHS. If this thing kicks around the system for several months, then she ends up with a dumb tag note from someone who used to sit directly next to her, how great would that be? It seems silly, but fun, and I’m sure something like that could lift her day immediately. Do I feel guilty for tying up the mail room with my own dumb jokes? Likely not as guilty as I should. Who knows, this could move all around the company and start a building wide game of tag. Why would that be something to feel guilty about?

If anything, I’m sure perennial firestarter Billy Joel would approve.

Just don’t ask about the Bradley Cooper thing, please

You know how your dreams are never that entertaining, gripping or interesting as you think they are?

I don’t.

Last night I woke up at a party. In this dream, I knew I was within some kind of odd structure. I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I knew something was up. I was well aware that I wasn’t myself, or rather I had my brain inside of someone else’s body. It was some form of block party, and I had to pick up information piecemeal. A stranger came up to me and asked how the deal was going. From what I could infer, there was something mob or otherwise shifty going on. Maybe I was part of a terrorist cell? No idea, but there was certainly arms dealing afoot.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one at this party. My girlfriend was also around, but hijacking a stranger’s body. She was as confused as I was, and we conspired together. We knew there was a deal going going down, that we were part of it, but not who we worked for and why. We tried to sort of it was just straight up munitions, or something more chemical oriented. I may have been in someone else’s body, but I also was very much myself inside. So I did what I’d do at any party, and went to the snack table. Sure, I had a job to do, but wouldn’t it be suspicious for a partygoer to not eat snacks?

I was expecting some chips, dip, and maybe pre-cut vegetables. I didn’t expect to run into Bo Burnham. I was torn. I very much wanted to meet him, find out what it was like to hang out with him, become BFFs and leave the dream with this connection still intact, but I also wasn’t fond of the idea of embroiling this talented comedian, writer and director into whatever illegal nonsense I was suppposed to be doing. I still said hi, but it was awkward. I think he could tell that I was a fan, but I didn’t want to let on that I was (’cause who wants to make someone feel on guard?), so I asked general stuff about what he did (he said he was a screenwriter looking to go pro), before saying goodbye with a plate of chips, dip and pre-cut vegetables.

My girlfriend asked what I’d discovered, and I came up with zilch. Then a word, phrase or code flashed into my head. A36. Unsure as to where it came from, I queried her if she had anything floating close to the surface of her brain. I had a theory that maybe our hosts had thoughts we could dig through, or maybe we were stuck in some kind of recursive loop, and if we tried hard enough we might be able to pull from prior loops. She said that the name Jackie rang a bell. Jackie. We went our separate ways. I ran into Bradley Cooper at the staircase and made some kind of dumb pun. His eyes narrowed. “Oh, so we’re all good now then? Just back the fuck off and get out of my face.” So Bradley Cooper hated me? Well I guess some things are just true to life.

I milled about more, and a guy in a black denim jacket called me over. “So, have you figured out where the drop off is happening yet?” I paused for a second. “Uhh” I started “A36?” He looked shocked. “Really? They’re expecting us to walk right in there?” I raised my eyebrows. Recognition hit him. He called over my girlfriend, then looked back at me. “Okay, listen up. This is important. You and Smith are gonna visit our lockbox on Cherry St. There’s a compund in a tobacco tin. You need to make sure to add the tracer liquid before you leave the lockbox, otherwise we’re totally fucked. Also, you’re not gonna like this, but you’ve gotta take Bradley with you. He’s an asshole, but he knows what he’s doing and the deal won’t go through without him.”

There was a shattering sound, and glass cascaded from the ceiling. “Fuck” yelled the knowledgeable denim clad fellow. “GET COOPER AND GO NOW.” I heard a loud boom, and everything shook. I looked for my girlfriend, but everything went black.

I woke up at the party, the previous scene playing through my head. Then I woke up for real.

Did that seem like an exercise in lack of payoff? YOU’RE TELLING ME. I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TOO.

It sure felt weird to say the word “slave” so many times in a night

I went to an interesting party last night.

One of my friends is a pro domme. It’s pretty cool hearing her stories of weird and wild clients, their extremely specific kinks and how she fulfils them. It’s a cool job, and she’s a rad person. Knowing her, I’m sure she’s fucking ace at it too. She’s got a very let’s get down to business attitude, which I’m sure carries over to her work. She was throwing a play party last night as a housewarming celebration. Her and her boyfriend just moved into a new place together, and she wanted to show it off. With good reason. It wasn’t until I arrived in the elevator that I realised their place was a penthouse suite, emphasis on the sweet. What a gorgeous fucking place. Large lofty ceilings, a walk in closet by the entrance, soft close drawers and all the modern conveniences. The lighting was vibrant and atmospheric, plus they had an ENORMOUS balcony. As in, they’d set up a big tent structure and it didn’t even take up half the space. Beautiful view that opened up to central Toronto south of Carlton. The deck snaked around with a thinner strip that was still a reasonable size for someone’s entire deck. I don’t know if you can fathom how large it all was. There were secure fixtures that window cleaners could attach to. Giving the tour, she casually mentioned “oh these are great. I was thinking of chaining one of my subs up to one and leaving them outside overnight.” She sees the world in a different way than most of us do.

A unique experience was meeting her slave. I’ve never met a domme’s slave before. He was an older gentleman, maybe 40 years old or so. Had a maybe something European accent? I checked in with her about how to talk to him, if I could treat him as a normal person. Instinctively, I feel weird about treating people as lower status. I’d usually rather bolster people up, y’know? She said it was totally fine, I didn’t have to be mean to him. I could be, if I wanted, but all that mattered was that he did what she said. We were looking around the kitchen for a cork screw, and came up with nothing. We chanced asking this dude and not only did he find it instantly, he naturally grabbed the bottle and opened it for us. Something dangerous clicked in my head and I thought oh geez, I could get into this. He’d been walking around the house dressed in a corset and panties, and my friend commanded him to go into the bedroom and change. I went in to see what was going on. This guy pulled a myriad of outfits out and lay them on the bed. Maid outfits, chokers, electric collars, harnesses, an assortment of panties and pantyhose. Friends stood around and debated what he should wear for them. He started stripping down, and I asked him if he minded chatting while he prepped. He said it was totally fine. I told him I had a ton of questions, but if anything ever got too personal, that he had no need to answer it.

I asked how long he’d been doing it. He said that it came to him over time. Little acts of service, etc. He found that in relationships he’d really enjoyed doing things for partners, but in the bedroom it started taking on a whole new sensation. It was the role playing aspect that lit something inside of him. The idea of giving himself over to almost a higher power really turned him on. This was his first time as someone’s slave, and it sounded like the whole thing was a holiday for him. He’d specifically come from overseas after meeting my friend on the internet, and was temporarily her live in slave. I asked what it was that moved him, and like anyone with a serious kink he responded that when he did things from a position of lowered status, it stirred something in him. He felt a kind of thrill, a flutter inside that drove pure pleasure. That actual sexual release didn’t have quite the same resonance as being denied. That there was something perverse in it that delighted him. I asked if there was some kind of slave rivalry, like aspirational behaviours or anything. He said that he didn’t know of any tension or competition between slaves, but personally he reached new highs with increased acts of degradation. That each time it passed a new threshold, he felt a kind of pride. I asked what the most challenging or debasing thing he’d done was, and he replied that honestly, coming out as a slave at parties or public spaces was huge. Incredibly challenging, to wholeheartedly embrace the role and perform.

I’ve always thought that people leaping head first into the stuff that thrills them is amazing. That so often we’re afraid of the stuff that bubbles under the surface. Our hidden shame, or what we’re too afraid to ask for. There’s an admirable kind of courage to obtaining what it is you truly desire, and deciding what you’re willing to give up in order to get it. I don’t see myself becoming a live in slave anytime soon, but it was pretty fucking cool getting to meet and chat with one.

My friends, it only got more interesting from there, but I don’t kiss and tell.

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?

More like Suds Patrick’s Day

I remember when I used to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

Back in university it was a Big Fucking Deal. The city came alive in a way I’d rarely seen. Queen Street, the Auckland CBD’s iconic centrepiece, was thrumming with bustle. Less on the hustle side, and more blatant revelry. Businesses seemed to knock off early, and pen pushers flooded the footpaths. It was a mass of humanity walking from bar to bar. Cheesy green beer flowed freely, and everyone was Irish for the day. A bunch of us had early classes, so by midday we were free to run wild. Weirdly, for a day filled with so much liquor, it’s all still pretty vivid. I had a characteristically oversized bag, and it became a conversational lodestone. Of course we were all looking to meet women, and we’d take anything we could get. One of our friends happened to be pretty fucking “studly”, and a ton of women talked to us almost exclusively because of it. We hardly complained. Frankly, it was just nice to meet people who were in a good mood.

I remember this bar that’d paid a little person to dress as a leprechaun and descend from the roof. It was a spectacle, to be sure, but we all felt a little uneasy about it. We talked to the dude to see what he thought. He was over the moon. Got paid around $300 to do it once or twice over the course of the day. Otherwise he was free to mill about and hang with others. He was a pretty sociable bloke, so we bought him a couple of beers and spent time learning more about him. He was a student just like us, was going to veterinary school. Sarcastic guy, a real charmer. He also gave me shit about my gratuitously sized bag. We left the bar buzzing, and joined the throngs of wandering souls looking for adventure down Queen St. We eventually made our way down to the Viaduct looking for hookups, but ended up chatting with a bunch of businessmen who bought us pints of Kilkenny and told us stories of their glory days. It was better than it sounded. St Patrick’s Day became one of my favourite holidays. Why not? To us it was just an excuse to drink. A lot.

This was over ten years ago. Still teenagers. The day has become less and less noticeable/desirable each year. There’s something about it that just seems hollow. I don’t have Irish culture. I don’t really even know Irish people. Why would I mindlessly jump into a day headfirst that has no real resonance for me? I know it’s not a big deal, but I do feel like a killjoy. I feel that with subsequent years, I lose something of myself. Whether naivety or a willingness to go with the flow. It used to be so easy to let loose, my hackles weren’t up about everything. I was still learning about the world, and it seemed rife with opportunity.

I don’t know that it’s all changed as substantively as it seems. Much as we’re on a 24 hour doom and gloom news cycle, the world probably has as much suffering as it ever did. As much joy and meaning as it did too. I don’t know when I stopped believing that the future was something to look forward to, that utopia was within the grasp of our lifetime. I did though. I thought that as the world grew, we’d grow together. United by purpose, to elevate humanity because we all saw a brighter tomorrow. I was raised as an idealist. To look for the good, the potential in everything. I still want to believe, to look past what we are, and think of what we could be. Because we could, and deep down I know it. We have more than we ever did, and we’re doing a lot less with it. But we don’t have to.

I’d raise a glass to that.

I’m the Good Charlotte of motivation

I know it seems like I’ve lost my way lately, but after a lot of coffee in a not long period, I’ve decided what to do with my life. I’m gonna become an Instagram motivational guru.

I’m sure at the offset this sounds like a curious vocation for someone in the depths of depression, but I’ve got this. If David Avocado Wolfe can peddle nonsense pseudoscience to scores of desperate white hippies, then I can 100% take advantage of the same demographic. It’s clearly the right thing to do, and I’ve run out of other options. So let’s go, time to motivate the fuck out of some Equinox gym members!

Why do people care so much about gold, when nothing shines brighter than a mother’s love?

You know what money can’t buy? A ray of sunshine. Be the brightness in your life.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it uses fewer muscles. Happiness is literally the path of least resistance.

Sure, antioxidants are great, but why be so negative? Try being pro-oxidant for a change.

Regret creates negative ions that dry out your skin. Being happy produces quarks that send your body into a constant state of flux, eliminating impurities.Why argue with science?

If you really want to start your day off right, try a bowl of pine cones. They’re nature’s granola, but without all that sugar.

Music is the fruit of love, so never go without it. Silence leads to the void, and that’s how sadness gets in.

People spend so much time worried about what happened in the past, that they forget tomorrow is a new day. Identity theft is only a crime if you get caught. Just be someone else.

Take five minutes a day just to stretch and feel in your body. Buy a rack. Hire a personal torturer. Elongate your limbs and soul.

If you have trouble sleeping at nights. Try staying awake for five days at a time. It’ll kickstart your metabolism and refresh your entire system. The night terrors can’t catch you if you never rest.

Your body is the greatest vaccine of all. To set yourself up to fully realise your dreams, take a shot of a deadly disease every morning. Become a professional bug chaser. Trust your body. It will take care of the rest.

Real beauty comes from within. Your organs are where your true light shines. Try inversion surgery today, and find your inner splendour.

Now all I need is to pay some Instagram models to repost me and I’m set. Why was I ever worried about my future, when it’s literally this easy?