Of course now I’m just jealous that my skin isn’t chitinous.

After attempting to erode the vile concoction that’s congealed at the bottom of my green bin, it gave me cause to think. Firstly, I’ve realised just who it is that puts those fucking brittle paper bags in the bin. Those same people who are courteous enough to put our bin out front. I don’t know if I’m to stay grizzly at them or to stop bearing this grudge altogether. In any case, I looked (the smell had wafted over long before) at the bin and surmised that something had to be done. In what was nothing more than half-baked logic and likely ill-effective, I boiled a kettle and doused the fermented bio waste in viciously hot water. I hope it breaks the gross mass up, rather than rising back like Obi Wan. The second revelation that I had (look a couple of lines up, I had an epiphany before this) was that trash collecting is not a profession I could ever see myself in. I wouldn’t want the early mornings, a purely physical job doesn’t interest me, I don’t even know if I’d be interested in a job that kept me outside. Forget the usual off-putting scent, there are so many things that don’t attract me about the job. It got me thinking, what other jobs would be in my worst case scenario drawer?

Accountancy. Or almost any admin type role that involved numbers. I’m not a total blockhead, but my brain computer doesn’t run on binary. I need words, abstract concepts and lateral thinking. My brain is not literal, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have just dumped boiling water in my green bin. If I was more logical I would’ve just googled the answer. When a problem comes up, my thoughts zoom to alternate notions and potential functions outside of what I actually need. We’re testing a new system at work and it’s doing my head in. Spreadsheets and data tables, numbers and percentages. It’s like I’m used to running through corridors that curve and all of a sudden I’m dealing with unexpected right angles. It’s jarring and I have to keep stopping to think and breathe. I’m not a robot, I’m human (read: I’m erring. Lots).

A more spiritual variant of any profession. I could see myself maybe doing some kind of physical instruction (didn’t you teach gymnastics for a bit? – Ed), but I’d put a hard stop at yoga. I could tell people to stretch, but the latent woo woo of chakras and spiritual alignment would unalign whatever chakras or engrams or other qi-z concept they could throw at me. Being a dietician or nutritionist wouldn’t be the worst thing, but as soon as naturopathy came into the picture I’d be fucking out of there. Physio maybe, chiropractor, no fucking way. Of course, any of this stuff would’ve meant I skewed towards body knowledge somewhere in my life, which isn’t the case. If that happened, I probably wouldn’t need help in those kind of areas. Oddly enough, despite my spiritual aversion I’d probably make a pretty good cult leader.

Vanity salesperson. This is a wide net. I’d find it hard to sell clothing, make-up, accessories or any products designed to accentuate attractiveness. I’ve always had an aversion to mentioning people’s looks. If I’m gonna compliment someone, it’ll rarely be on physical qualities. Likely because of own held insecurities, I naturally assume that people care more about what they are then what they look like. Even the thought of it makes me feel shallow, I’ve got this innate block against it. I can’t imagine how awful I’d feel spending a day judging and categorising others based on how they present themselves. Like I was placing importance upon these characteristics that clash so heavily with my values. Logically I know that this isn’t the case for most people. People like being complimented on their appearance, because it’s validating and our society highlights its importance. Still, I’d feel like a tool if I was constantly reaffirming others self-worth through outward characteristics. No bueno.

At the end of the day, humans are like cockroaches. While our skin isn’t chitinous, we do have the ability to adapt to most situations. If it came to it, I could do any of the above jobs. I’m just fortunate enough to inhabit a place in society where I don’t have to stoop to things I don’t want to do. Isn’t that something? Here I am refusing to sell necklaces, while in some countries, people get necklaced. Makes you think, eh?

Then again, the last time I did that I filled my bin with boiling water, so maybe I should hold off on thinking for now.

I missed throwing down a “talk to the hand” line. Facepalm.

I’m no mystic. I’m not even particularly spiritual. I’ve always found myself wanting to believe in forces outside of the things we see, but never been given a strong enough push or sign that mysterious forces are at work shaping our world. Except for those reptilian shapeshifters and their Machiavellian schemes. The scale of their crimes is beyond doubt. Cold blooded bastards.

Anyway, less about my impassioned vendetta against those slippery salamanders and back to the topic at hand. The unknown, mysticism and magic. Sage wisdom from the beyond. Yeah, so I find it a tad woo woo, but I’ve had a longstanding yearning to believe. No, I don’t think any of us are living an existence preordained by the exploits of those dastardly lizards. I don’t believe in fate so much as coincidences and causality intertwining merrily. Okay, have I hit my quota of polysyllabic words yet? Can I drop the bullshit and pretense?

My girlfriend and I went to one of those $10 palm readers for shits and giggles.

It was fun, a neat thing to try if you’ve got the luxury of time, $10 and imagination. There’s a certain amount of suspension of disbelief you’ve gotta engage before partaking in something like this, so we tried our best. She went first while I sat out in the hallway, staring at the various mystic looking landscapes and astral designs with aspect ratio issues obviously printed out from google images. Okay, I’ll try and tone down the cynicism a notch. She was gone for about 10 minutes, then came out in a kind of hush, obviously thinking about what she’d just heard. She tagged out and I went in.

I was brought into a small room and seated at a table. She said she could perform the $10 palm reading, which was quite general, or a more precise reading for $25. I chose to stick with the cheap and cheerful option. She nodded and asked me to place my dominant hand face up on the table. She looked down at it and started talking. A few things that surfaced:

  • There is a man in my life who has cast a dark curse upon me. His first name starts with an “M” or a “J”. He often acts outwardly kindly towards me, but is secretly deceitful behind my back. The curse occurred last year and I brought it with me into this year, casting darkness on my path. She said it was the reason I kept putting out good energy into the world without receiving reciprocal returns. She said it’s the reason I’m often kept awake at night deep in thought, unable to turn off. She also said that for $25 she could purge it from my body and return me to normalcy. I declined her kind offer.
  • She said I’d have no major health problems, just minor issues. I’d live to a healthy late 80s or early 90s age.
  • Someone in my family will go to the doctor over the next few months with a chest or throat issue.
  • She asked me if I was employed. I replied affirmatively. She said that my responsibilities wouldn’t change much over the next little while, but she saw more money coming my way.
  • She asked me if I was in a relationship. Once again, I replied affirmatively. She asked how long. “8 months” I replied. Almost instantly she said I’d met my soul mate. She saw love, marriage, no divorce and a few children in the equation.

She thanked me for my time and said that was all she could see. She warned me that telling anyone before a week would result in bad luck. I paid and gave thanks before leaving. My girlfriend was sitting on the stairs writing and prompted me to write too, so we’d remember what to tell each other a week later. It was good, innocent fun.

A few things though. Not once did she touch my hand. Everything was “read” from a distance. If the lines on your hand don’t change, doesn’t that mean you’d get the same fortune no matter when it was read? So anything time based would be rendered irrelevant? The chest or throat thing, that seems pretty general. More money coming my way without a significant increase in responsibilities? Knowing the industry, that’s not likely to happen unless I win the lottery. As someone who doesn’t gamble, that’s significantly unlikely. Unless a relative passes away from a chest or throat thing that causes them to visit a doctor. Oh shit son!

The soul mate thing is the part I find the hardest to get on board with. Not because my girlfriend isn’t a wonderful person I have endless affection for, but because of the way she said it. It was such a cursory, throwaway line, as if she tired of saying it 20 times a day. It felt cheap and rehearsed, belittling the information it held. She said the same thing to my girlfriend. I don’t know what’s coming in my life, I don’t know what personal or emotional turmoil could be lurking on the horizon. I know that I’m in love, but I also know that life finds a way of complicating anything it can get its hands on. I’m 28 years old. Even though I’m an adult, I still don’t know what could happen next week (though this google calendar thing is certainly helping), let alone anything involving happily ever afters. I want to believe that this is it. I want to believe that I’ve met the right person and things will flow from here. I want to believe that it’s time for things to just fall into place, but the one thing I know for sure about life is that it’s anything but predictable. There are too many variables, and with each person added to the mix, the complex cauldron of coincidences and causality changes completely.

But that’s why life is exciting, right? There’s too much in the future to be fixated on any point. Like Aerosmith and the soundtrack tie-in to the 1998 film Armageddon, I don’t wanna miss a thing.

Django bells. Are you listening?

Is Santa a scientologist?

As an atheist Jew I have a meagre understanding of both St Nic and Elrond Hubbard. Still, is there some congruence between the two? Both have emerged as cult-like figures, buoyed by legions of rabid fans. I have little belief that either exists, yet people swear by their permanence and significance. You might say that those are surface coincidences, but hey, it’s post Christmas feasting. I’m fat and vegetative, so if my mind escapes to flights of fancy then so be it. Let’s keep this train rolling.

Both men run organisations that, through some manner of coercion or indentured servitude, are staffed by slaves of sorts. Is it fear? Mind control? Or something even more sinister? That jolly old fellow seems kindly and benign, but what’s he hiding behind that inscrutable beard? Do the elves work tirelessly to create toys for children worldwide through some sinister threat? Is their family at stake? Are they mentally present (yus! unexpected pun)? Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Funding. A hot button topic. The church of scientology is funded by a member tithe, but I’m sure that’s not their only avenue of income. Quid pro quo, how does Santa get all of his supplies? Timber, plastic and fabric ain’t cheap en masse. You can quote the magic of Christmas all you want, but who created Santa? Coke. Does this mean his entire operation is bankrolled by the South American coke trade? I’m not saying that Santa’s a thugged out drug dealer, but if there’s something going on, he nose.

The transportation. You’re not gonna tell me that you believe in this reindeer nonsense, are you? I don’t accept it. Much easier to believe is that Santa is a level 8 scientologist, by which point the abilities of teleportation and invisibility are bestowed upon you by Xenu or something. Even with the rapid (nigh instant) transit of teleportation, I’m still not inclined to believe that he could reach every child’s house without help. I’m sure hiding from sight would smooth out operations. Though kissing mummy would certainly slow down matters. C’mon Nic, you don’t have time for those kind of shenanigans.

Coming into question is also Santa’s insane knowledge. He creates a list of every human in the world and forms naughty/nice lists to track their progress. Surveillance gone too far? How does public opinion even accept this kind of nonsense  without flying directly to the North Pole and crucifying him against a giant candy cane? How does he possess this intel anyway? I’ve heard that at level 6 of scientology our main man would gain the secrets of the entire universe. This would directly feed into a viable answer list of his subjects. I’m sure scientology also has a vast network of spies backing them up. Seems otherwise all too convenient for our jolly ol’ Nicolas.

Look guys, all I do is lay out the facts and conjecture. It’s your choice if you follow it or me.

Merry Christmas everyone. Keep watching the skies.

Presented that way, living in a Psychic City does have enduring appeal.

Gig review. Somehow I found the time amidst JFL42. I’d been wanting to see YΔCHT for years, at least since See Mystery Lights. It was every bit as batshit insane as I expected, which was a total delight. I’ll post the link once it’s up.

Link is up:

http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2014/09/28/concert-reviews/yacht-at-the-hoxton.html

I can be Jew-venile at times and a Pesach-er for a Torah-ble pun.

Happy Rosh Hashanna, shonah tovah! Did I spell any of those words correctly? I think I at least got “happy” right. Tonight I came gave to face with my Jewish roots, which is to say I ate a ludicrously decadent/delicious/plentiful meal and one token prayer was said. I even made a Fiddler on the Roof reference that only one person got. Oy vey! I almost wish it was terrible so I could call it Hebrutal. I got sandwiched between two grandmothers (not mine) who talked at length from positions of oblivious cultural privilege about any number of inane topics. They kept talking over others with no regard for common courtesy. One of them kept prodding me every time she wanted to talk (while I was busy conversing with someone else). How are old people different from children again?

My teenage cousins escaped from the table at every chance they could. I can’t say I was different as a teen (or my early to mid 20s depending who familial company was). I always had trouble with non-immediate family. I guess I always felt that it was like forced interaction with people who seemed like strangers that’d read a brief outline of what your life consisted of, but in reality knew next to nothing about you. “So how’s school? How’s work? What are your hobbies?” It’s kind of like going on a date where you already know you’re not gonna end up forming a worthwhile connection, but the meal has already been ordered and you feel obliged to stick around until it’s finished. Small talk suffices, but it’s more draining than anything else. You can’t wait to leave and be left in the more preferable company of your own presence. Wow, narcissistic much?

That may be the core of it though- An inability to connect and empathise with others outside of your immediate scope of experience and interest borders on a prominent self-centredness. If you don’t care what’s going on in the lives of people who don’t share interests or passions of your own, maybe you’re too self-obsessed. How myopic, right? You’re incapable of extending effort into learning more about them, but you expect them to try on your behalf? I guess that’s something that becomes easier with age. I’d hope compassion and empathy are coming somewhere within my orbit (though judging by my own behaviour/views tonight, I may still have some growing to do) as time goes by.

I can’t blame teenagers for thinking their own dealings are far more important or interesting. As an adolescent you’re barely coming to terms with yourself, let alone other people. As I was taught: be polite, smile and nod, then escape as soon as possible. At least make it look like you put minimal effort in. Not only does it work with family, but it’s an essential lesson in navigating the world. People get pretty easy to placate the more you learn, but first and foremost at least be polite. If you smile, the world has a habit of smiling back. Unless you look like you make furniture from the bones of kids. But if you don’t have a beard to your ankles or a toothy Cheshire Cat grin, you should be mostly ok. Just remember your salutations: Shalom, shalom and shalom.

How was that? Can I still keep my Jew card?

Not bad for 27 minutes off the cuff. Swift and to the point.

It’s JFL42. That wondrous Toronto echo of the world renown Just For Laughs Montreal festival. 3 years in and there’s some finicky online check in system that should technically allow you to see a metric fuckton of shows, but ultimately will cause frustration and tears. Day one went swimmingly though, with Tim Minchin doing one of his first performances in about 2 years and Dave Attell rounding out the night. Superb. In honour of the opening of this festival I’m gonna try writing stream of consciousness stand up material for the next 27 minutes. Wish me luck.

You know, God means a lot of things to a lot of people, and when he means something to someone he really means something to them. I think about God sometimes, I do. I mean, I also think about Pokémon and what a vagina would look like with wings (is the winged vagina in your head attached to a woman? Or just some unattached aerodynamic sexual organ? That was my nickname in the Mile High club, by the way). Thinking about these things doesn’t necessarily mean I believe that they’re real. I feel like people invest in the idea of God a lot more when they’re going through times of strife, when they have problems. I know I’ve certainly talked to Him once or twice. I’m not religious or anything. Yeah, technically I’m Jewish, but it’s no skin off my dick. Well, actually… you know what I meant. Just because I was enrolled into his fan club on a legacy scholarship, it doesn’t mean I renewed my membership.

Regardless, I’ve talked to Him. When I’m scared or worried, or more likely times when there’s been something I’ve really wanted, but it’s been out of my reach. In fact, I think most of the times I’ve talked to God it’s when I want something great to happen for or to me that’s nothing but selfish. I really want something and I ask that great big bearded man in the sky (I’m talking about Billy Mays, amirite? Too soon?) if he can just do it for me. It’s desperation, that’s what it is. It’s like when you’re horny and depraved in front of the internet and you’ll resort to anything to get off (if I’m feeling particularly sick and twisted my usual go to’s are Pokémon and vaginas with wings). Something primal and animalistic flips in your head, you’re driven by pure desire. Logic plays no part in what comes, or “cums” afterwards. “If I can just get there I’ll be a better person. I’ll do my chores and offer my seat on public transport. Just please, please let me get what I want (I also think exclusively in Smiths lyrics when I’m about to cum. Whoops, bigmouth strikes again).” No sooner have you gotten what you want than you immediately renege on your pledges.

I feel kind of sorry for God at times. People only really talk to him when they want something. It must be kind of lonely when everyone around you is a user or a sycophant. He’s like someone who has way too many Twitter followers to ever read the messages of anyone without a certain modicum of popularity. Like Taylor Swift or something. People are trying to send her messages, but they’re so far beneath her stratosphere that she can’t even notice them. Also like Taylor Swift, people like to come in and trample all over His words. “Yeah, God. Imma let you finish, but God Hates Fags.” It’s no wonder there’s some real passive aggressive shit that slips through the cracks every once in a while. Most of the time He’s all “be friends, guys” and “don’t kill each other, ok?” Then all of a sudden He’s all “hey guys, I want to be the centre of attention now. Stop looking at that cheer captain over there with the short skirt while I’m in a T-Shirt on the bleachers. You belong to me, God dammit.'”

Yeah, sorry Dude, but we are never ever ever getting back together.

Don’t get too cross with me, that ending was immaculate.

Christ, I feel dead. Which is to say that much like Jesus (wow, deifying myself in record time), I feel like I died and was reborn. Which is to say that I feel like I was freshly birthed, weak and bawling. Much like Jesus, I’ve got the mutant power of turning water to whine, that intoxicating elixir of self indulgent medication. I’m just tired, which is to say I feel like I’ve been run over, crushed as if one of my Wile E. ACME invention as has backfired, leaving me feeling thwarted and flat. Which is to say I feel lived in like a rented domicile, walled and floored. Which is to say I feel like I’ve had my foot on the pedal, watching the last few days blur into the past. Which is to say that  I think this dumb lingual bit is beyond the point of humour. Which is to say it’s pointless. Which is to say that it’s neither sharp nor cutting, so I should take sage Uncle Joey advice and Cut It Out. Thanks for the save Mr. Coulier. Who says Jesus saves? He’s the one who got us into this mess in the first place.

This is nobody’s fault but mine. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and now I’m waxing poetic about how quickly my resolve is melting away. I did it to myself between a succession of poor choices, diet and caffeine intake. Too many late nights, short sleeps and early mornings, compensating for it all with coffee. Now I’m on my way to review The Offspring and Bad Religion, a band I know well enough and a classic punk band I’ve never heard, but feel that I should’ve. I don’t have enough energy, enthusiasm or talent to give these guys the reviews they deserve right now, but let’s hope I can jot down decent notes and fix it in post tomorrow evening (after a 5.30am alarm, 8am start time and day full of screaming, active children). A large truck has just parked in the bus right of way en route to this gig I’m already running late for (because karmically if I’m to keep up this Jesus impression I need a modicum of patience and humility to at least keep things accurate). Don’t worry, I see the humour of my situation and I’ll laugh about it with you later in the editing bay. Jesus wept, right? Good because what I really needed right  now was another basis for comparison.

Ok. No more sulking now. It is finished.