Résistance banned.

I broke a piece of gym equipment yesterday. I felt immediately bad, but also unsure as to what my next course of action was to be. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I knew the right course of action was to fess up and bring the evidence to the front desk, but the seven year old in my head told me that I’d get in trouble and suffer repercussions. What if they took away my computer privileges for the week (as an aside, when I was a kid we had TV weeks and non-TV weeks that alternated. One week we’d be able to watch TV, the other there was no TV to be had. I fucking hated it then, but I’m kind of stoked now. It forced me to find other sources of entertainment like playing with my toys, reading books, drawing. As an adult I no longer have non-TV weeks. I’m tuned in all the time and as a result, it’s rare for me to engage in a ton of creative endeavours. There’s no argument I’d be significantly more productive if I wasn’t so concerned with missing a moment of the internet. That was all)? Bummertown USA.

I wasn’t even doing anything egregious when it broke. It was one of those rubber tube things for resistance work. As it turns out, it couldn’t resist my pure herculean strength. Or else I wasn’t using it correctly. I guess we’ll never know. I have no earthly idea what the exercise I was doing is called. I learned it while I was in physio and it always kicked my arse back then. You get the tubing (in retrospect, I’d probably previously used one of those more solid black bands) and place it on the ground. Next, stand on top of the tubing, feet about shoulder width apart. Pick up the handles in the opposite hands so that the band makes a kind of ‘x’ shape in the middle. Then raise your arms above your shoulders, ensuring that they’re extended straight. Then hinge at your hips while keeping your arms straight, very similar to the mid position of an overhead squat. From there it’s a matter of crab walking with arms held high. Take care to keep your body aligned (rather than leaning to one side), in order to prevent work going into your back. Crab (verb) in one direction for 8-12 decently sized steps, then crab back still facing the same way to work the other side. It’ll burn your glutes to bits and with the arms raised, becomes a great full body exercise (though keep your neutral spine as best you can to once again prevent back pain).

I kept up my side of the bargain, but the tubing couldn’t keep up its side. I felt gutted and thought about the other members who’d want to use a piece of equipment that was no longer available. It wasn’t the only one there, but who knows how often they replace their gear? In the end I took it up to the front desk and awaited my reprimand. By reflex I almost put my hand out for a slap on the wrist, but no rebuke was forthcoming. They thanked me for bringing it in and the only sore part was my butt after two and a half sets.

Maybe it doesn’t always hurt to do the right thing. Maybe this is a lesson to quash my constant flight response in favour of crusading for justice. Will I suddenly no longer be a bystander at heart? Will I turn over a new leaf towards bold new growth?

Of course not. They might take away my TV privileges.

Sure, I’m a Boy Who Lived, but at what cost?

I spent last night tossing, turning and sweating in bed. In honour of this, I’m gonna think back on some peculiar ailments and injuries I’ve had over the years.

  • To make this easy, I just accidentally elbowed the toilet roll holder at work. Sounds silly, but it’s a firm metal structure with sharp corners. My accidental elbow drove the fleshy part of my left tricep just above the elbow directly into that corner. Now I’ve got a tiny, but persistent dot of blood that I’ve been dabbing at with a tissue. Out, out damned spot.
  • Speaking of damn spots and dabbing at dots of blood, there was that whole pilonidal cyst thing. It’s easy to throw out that polysyllabic word after having gone through it a bunch of times, but the first time was an odd sensation. I was working 11pm to 6am as a desk jockey at a talk radio station. Driving the levels, taking calls, making sure we stayed on air and timed out to the hour. I was sitting a bunch, but found it painful at a certain angle. Peculiar. As the night went on, it hurt more and more. I went to the bathroom and sitting on the seat was a literal pain in the ass. When I wiped, there was a mixture of blood and some translucent cream coloured substance. It was all kinds of gross and alarming. I didn’t know what to do, so I went back to work. By the end of the shift, I could feel a sizeable lump, about the size of a small pear. Given that I felt normal that afternoon, I assumed I had an alien host growing in my butt and was suitably shitting myself. I went straight to the A&E, who gave me amoxicillin/clavulanic acid tablets, which reduced the swelling within 24 hours. It was a terrifying ordeal, with flare ups every three months or so. They never stopped taking me by surprise. Eventually I had the thing surgically removed and I’ve been okay ever since. I still feel a little low level trauma and wipe with trepidation. I also now have a Harry Potter scar just above my butt cleft.
  • While teaching me about the functions of a car under the hood, my dad accidentally sprayed me in the eye with radiator fluid once. My knowledge of car mechanics is still pretty narrow, but I definitely learned one lesson that day.
  • I awoke one day with severe tooth pain. I found this odd, considering I’d had my wisdom teeth removed already and hadn’t felt gradually encroaching sensitivity like I’d imagined a cavity would feel. Being more than marginally worried (and armed with benefits) I went straight to the dentist. They took a bunch of x-rays, but couldn’t find a thing. The doctor pointed out how congested I sounded. He suggested that my nose was so stuffed that it was interacting with nerves in my teeth. On his advice, I bought a bunch of extra strength cold and flu meds, which took care of “both birds” handily.
  • I drunkenly did a handstand and fell out of it, dislocating my finger. This unfortunate incident led to a profitable understanding of how amazing my company’s unlimited physio plan was. No pain, no gain, eh?
  • I once asked my mum if something was herpes, worried that I’d caught it from a girl I was seeing. She pointed out the idiocy of asking if a bump on the inside of my mouth was herpes. Rightfully, I felt like an idiot.
  • I used a stubbed toe that bled for five days as an excuse to go to the doctor and ask for a shit ton of subsidised meds. We were leaving on a U.S. road trip and I wanted contingency supplies. She loaded me up with a ton of ibuprofen, a anti-diarrhoea and anti-nausea meds. I can thankfully report that we did not need any of the anti-diarrhoea meds.

In the greater scheme of things, a little tossing and turning wasn’t so bad.

I want to eat cheese and never stop.

Tired. Brain dead. Not to be confused with the 1992 Peter Jackson splatterfest renamed Dead Alive for the North American market. You know, the one with the karate master priest who exclaims “I KICK ASS FOR THE LORD!” Also a dude walking into a room full of zombies holding a sideways lawnmower. Great film. I didn’t walk into a room full of zombies carrying a sideways lawnmower. It just felt like it.

I had a run during lunchtime today though, that was a bright spot. Being able to get out of the office and jog across the waterfront was pretty fucking great. Fresh air in the face of Toronto’s recent jigsaw weather (today had a high of 10°C. Tomorrow’s is -2°C) meant I could attack the afternoon without feeling dried out. Instead I was achy and hungry. So my normal state of being, anyway. I protest too much. It really was awesome not only having the opportunity to run in the middle of the day, but to be capable of walking out the front door at work and jogging almost 6km. With Spring quickly approaching (yesterday, apparently), I want to get fitter again. I’ve been keeping active, but haven’t done the cardio I’ve desired. I’d say I’ve been itching for it, but realistically that’s just the beta alanine in my bloodstream. Tossing Girl Talk’s 2014 Coachella performance on my headphones, I put my legs through a decent pace. Tons of people were taking advantage of the weather and hitting the pavement. I’m not gonna lie, whenever I saw someone jogging on the bike path ahead of me, if I saw them slowly getting closer I made it my low key mission to overtake them. Because what else was I gonna do? I’d left my cellphone (Pokémon Go portal) back at work. Whenever I saw somebody jogging in the opposite direction I did that little bus driver wave. Nobody waved back. Maybe Toronto is as unfriendly as everyone says.

After eating everything in sight (and taking a walk to eat the things that were out of my sight), I was exhausted. Then realised I had a job interview in a few hours and being stuffed would be a sub-optimal strategy. So I did all of the things you typically do when you’re that special combination of nervous and anxious. Nervious? I re-read the job application to search for scraps of handy ideas to prepare. What kind of questions would the interviewer ask? Could I use an old list of questions to ask in an interview again? Oh shit, I’d already spent ten minutes picking the guy’s brain about the position a month back. Had I asked those questions then? Would he remember? Did my breath smell too much like tuna? Should I brush my teeth? Did I need to shit? Why was my mouth dry? Should I drink more water? Was I wary of drinking too much and having to pee during the interview? Could I just bring a drink bottle into the interview anyway? How many copies of my CV did I need to print out? What if there was someone with him in the interview? Wait, what did he actually mention when I talked to him a month back? Were there any things I felt I should take heed of from that previous meeting? Who schedules an interview for 4.15pm?

Interview went fine. It was also a minute’s walk away from my desk, so that was handy. I had decent answers for all of his questions. I didn’t oversell myself, but confidently stated my abilities and admitted faults (that honestly did fit the role). I talked about previous positions and how they’d help. I asked about what he was seeking from an employee and felt I represented the answers he gave. I asked a couple of questions he had to think about, which prompted further discussion. All in all, I think I did as well as I could. Whether or not I get a follow up interview will depend on whether I match what he’s looking for.

Then with ten minutes left in the workday, I messed around on the internet then left.

I’m still messing around on the internet.

My takeaway? I need to make Egg McMutton a thing.

Had an odd encounter on the subway yesterday. As I sat down, I noticed an older man practically barking at a younger woman. He was sitting in the blue priority seats right next to the door. Usually I’d have my headphones on but after a gruelling gym session that made walking difficult, I was deeply craving a calm head-space. By the sounds of it, this wasn’t what I was in for. The man began going off at anyone in earshot (so namely, the whole car). Everyone was doing the Toronto shuffle (looking down at their feet, pretending not to pay attention while their ears pricked up).

I was busy chasing the dragon in Bejeweled, but I heard his voice directed my way. “So people don’t give a fuck about cripples now? Is that it?” I looked up and we exchanged glances. He talked at me “people too selfish to give a shit?” I thought for a second and replied “I dunno. That could be it, though usually I find people are more often ignorant than malicious.” His brow furrowed “people are fucking stupid, that’s what they are.” I paused for a second. “Do you really think that? Maybe they just didn’t realise.” “Not every cripple is visible” he countered. Excellent point. “Not getting out of the fucking way. Inconsiderate teenagers.”

I laughed “since when have teenagers ever been considerate? They’re still learning what being a person is.” He shook his head and replied, still angry “We were made to respect our elders. I never would’ve gotten away with this shit.” I nodded. I thought for a second. This was a voice I rarely ever heard and it sounded like he needed to vent. I could do worse than giving him my ear for ten minutes. “Things probably were different in your days.” “How do you know?” He barked “you weren’t there.” I shrugged. He continued “I fought two wars for this country, I have trouble walking and nobody gives a damn. You say people are ignorant, but they can’t leave these seats empty just in case someone needs them? Fuck ’em.”

He paused. “You’re not from here” he exclaimed “what part of the Commonwealth are you from?” “New Zealand” I replied. “New Zealand, eh? D’ya hear that at McDonalds you guys have got the Egg McMutton?” I laughed then sighed “I wish. I’d order it every day.” He looked up and noticed the station “Oh, Spadina? I’m getting off here.” He stood up and shouted “EXCUSE ME”. Nobody moved. “HEY. GIMP COMING THROUGH.” Still, nobody moved. The car wasn’t packed, but a guy was standing in the middle of the doors. They opened and the guy didn’t get out. People started walking in. The old dude pushed a man to the side and barged out the door “MAYBE FUCKING LET PEOPLE OUT BEFORE YOU GET IN” he screamed.

He had a point.

It’s finding something else to like that’s the problem.

I feel at a loss. Which is to say that I’m lost. I don’t know what to do now. Specifically at this moment, not in a wider what does it all mean? sense. I’ve got a limp self-propulsion that at the very least will stop me from treading water for too long. Right now though, I’m just floating on my back, heading nowhere in particular. I feel unwell in a very literal manner of speaking. I’m congested with a sore throat and low level physical fatigue. I happened to be working from home today anyway (so I could go to an Ear Nose and Throat consultation), so at least I didn’t need to be in the office. That sort of backfired. If I hadn’t taken the day to work at home I could’ve just had a sick day instead. Oh well. I got all my work done, it was more relaxing than being in the office would’ve been. I could mope around at my own pace and get loose-headed on NeoCitran. I also spent a fair portion of my down time watching Please Like Me.

I watched the first episode and really enjoyed it. I found its fusion of heavy events and irreverence entirely captivating. There was drama, but they rarely leaned into it without good reason. Bad things happening didn’t stop the world from revolving, they dealt with things and moved on, or talked around them until their impact gradually lessened. Hell, the first episode starts with the lead character getting dumped because his girlfriend knows he’s gay, even if he won’t admit it (they stay good friends regardless). Then his mum tries to commit suicide by eating a packet of paracetamol and drinking half a bottle of baileys. It’s serious content, but admits to the underlying silliness. The more I watched, the more attached I grew towards this tight knit group of characters. Somehow avoiding being beaten down by the world, it wasn’t relentlessly upbeat by any means, but neither was it maudlin or cheesy in any way.

Maybe it appealed to my underdog complex, but the show managed to champion the losers and weirdos without skewing self-congratulatory. The central character, Josh, is gay and they don’t make a massive deal out of it. It’s just his sexual preference, it doesn’t define him as a character as much as his wit, propensity for cooking or habit of trying to disarm tension with humour and irreverence. There are ongoing realistic depictions of mental illness, serious marital issues and realistic struggles of twentysomething life. There are also a multitude of dumb conversations about giraffes. Characters come and go, but they’re nearly always given three dimensional representation. There are meaningful friendships galore. It’s funny, sweet and disarmingly engrossing. I can’t tell you the last time I watched two seasons of anything in under a month, let alone four seasons.

Now I’m lost because the show is over and I miss it. It ended well, but I know that I’m never gonna get to witness all new interactions with these characters I’ve grown to love. It feels like a loss and I don’t know what fills that void now. Please Like Me was unique and that’s a double-edged sword. There’s a reason it stands out from everything else, but if I want to recapture that feeling I’ll have to settle for shows that have a few close elements, but fail to deliver the total package. I didn’t watch it because it had excellent fleshed out representation of gay characters. I didn’t watch it because it was a slice of life comedy about intelligent twentysomethings. I didn’t watch it because of its willingness to depict issues in a frank manner. I watched it because it managed to be its own thing and that means it’s gonna be pretty bloody hard to find anything quite like it.

So I guess, I dunno. I guess maybe I’ll just have to write something I’d want to watch.

Not in your mouth, not in your hand, but in your head.

Brain gone. Replaced by coffee. Coffee stocks fading. Brain fading accordingly. It’s gonna be one of thooooose entries. Work today has been a pissing contest of how much can go wrong. You know those days where each new issue begins to prompt maniacal laughter? Where you’re mere inches away from diving through a window screaming “I AM A GOLDEN GOD” to prove the fallacy of polytheism? When your boss has piled the junk food table high and you don’t have the discipline or presence of mind to imagine the cautionary image of what your brain looks like when you’ve eaten a brain sized portion of mini eggs?

As the great scholar William Frederick “Fred” Durst once said “It’s just one of those days.” He also said “Everybody’s judged by their fucked up face”, which may be more true than ever we knew. A true Nostradamus of My Generation.

I’ve been trying to book an appointment with a specialist over whether or not operating on my deviated septum would help with my breathing problems. It’s excellent that I’m covered by OHIP and thus get access to consultations without paying hefty GP fees. Furthermore, if I end up getting the operation OHIP will once again have my back (and septum), paying the applicable costs. I’ve been entangled in this weird system of trying to sort out the appointment. A few weeks back I made an appointment with my GP in order to make an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. She sent through the application and said they’d contact me.

Then yesterday, possibly ten steps after I turned my phone off airplane mode (I get no cell reception at work, so it just drains my battery otherwise). I got a call from my GP with an appointment time, telling me to call the specialist back directly to confirm. She said to do it quickly (within the next day) or else I’d lose my appointment. I asked why the specialist hadn’t cut out the middle man and called me directly. She said clinics rarely ever do that. I told her that because of my non-existent cell signal at work I’d left my email with them in case they needed to get in contact. The receptionist at the GP said they charged $10 per email, so they hadn’t emailed me. She once again implored me to call.

I called the specialist many times today without getting an answer. 70% of the times I called, there was a Rogers answer phone message saying that the number was not connected. The rest of the times brought me to a phone menu that eventually led to a number that nobody answered. I checked that I was using the correct number umpteen(!) times. I was. I sent them an email saying that I wanted to confirm, but got no response. You know, I should probably try again before they close for the day.

*****

Oh, I finally got in touch with someone at the specialist. They said their automated phone system is a piece of shit that loses calls and drops out so often that they should just pay someone to take calls. I couldn’t agree more. I gave her my details and she said my number didn’t match the one they had. The number she repeated back was the phone number of my GP. She asked me why they’d use their number instead of mine, when they could just cut out the middle man. I couldn’t agree more. I confirmed my appointment, which will no doubt culminate in the specialist telling me I don’t need the operation because my pre-existing allergies would negate its benefits, making this whole thing a colossal waste of time. Guess I’ll find out on Friday.

With my mind successfully melted for the day, let’s get the fuck out of here.

Homophoning it in.

Feeling out of it today. Tired and vaguely nauseous. So tired and nauseous that I briefly tried spelling the word as “nautious” before realising the era of my weighs. What if I did that? The entire entry, intentionally opt four the wrong spelling? Would that make people flip their shit? Sounds like a worthy endeavour two me.

In any case, eye woke up tyred. The kind of fatigue wear all of your dreams are about trying to go to sleep. One of them eyed been out drinking and partying in town (back in Auckland). Eye knew eye was drunk, given the sloppy mess of a burrito that eye’d attempted too devour like a raccoon in the compost. Lying down on the concrete, eye lay my head back and tried to close my I’s. A police officer had other ideas, prodding me with his boot. Eye came home (two Toronto) and got into bed, butt I couldn’t stop tossing and turning, knowing that this restless sleep in my dream was disrupting my sleep in reel life. I’m strangely aware while unconscious, which doesn’t do my ability to stay unconscious many favours. My life is Inception, okay, butt without the snazzy Hans Zimmer score.

Eye was tempted too come home sic from work today, butt a teem member pipped me two the post. The teem was covering her work, sew heaping my lode on top felt like unnecessary ruffness. Being tired, unwell and busy meant today was won of those clusterfucks where things will only continue to go wrong. They did. Continual sais were all eye could muster as defence against the workplace’s continual excrement.

There was a dilemma of sorts that eye wasn’t sure how to handle. My manager asked fore our phone numbers in case of emergency circumstances. Won) I’m surprised she doesn’t have mine already. To) What constitutes an emergency? Is it if we’re late too work? That eye can understand. On the other hand, if it’s about work things after our’s, do eye really want two make myself available? Frankly, once I’ve left the office, eye put work out of my mind completely. Eye don’t think about it until I return the next morning. It’s not the kind of job where I’d expect to bee on call. There’s nothing I can do, four won, and secondly they don’t pay me enough to care. In the end I gave my number knowing full well that my phone is always on silent and that giving my number in know weigh means eye have too pick up.

Speaking of which, it’s time to get the fuck out of here. Piece out.