This all backfires when I begin ending sentences with “uh-oh, Spaghetti-O”

I feel like I need a new “thing”.

I dunno, as we come to the changing of the seasons, it dawns on me that I haven’t had a personal brand refresh in a while. It seems reductive to keep harping on about how great Paddington 2 was (and it was, don’t get me wrong here), but that film was so last year (or 2017, it gets muddy when you look too far into it). I need something else to stay relevant. I need a new “thing” that I do, or am, or will be. Am I talking about destiny? Knowing me, density is more likely. Let’s see, what could be a new “thing” for me? Let’s slow it right down for a closer look. Bullet[point] Time!

  • I thought the other day that my new “thing” could be the finger guns and positivity guy. I could roam the office floor making finger guns and supportive comments. *Single glock* “Hey Johnson, that’s a suave colour on you. Keep it up. *Hunting rifle* Hey Anders, your smile always lights up a room. *Double barrelled shotgun* Hey Pelaten, you inspire me to be a better person. I love complimenting people, it’s right up my alley. Could this be my caling?
  • I’ve dallied with radius recycling before, in that I’d pick up rubbish or recycling in the vicinity of a bin, and place it in the appropriate receptacle. Maybe I’d find success in active cleanups. Toss on my joggers, grab my headphones and plastic bag, then pick up rubbish while on the move. Since I’d be bending down a bunch to pick stuff up, I could work on movement standards to ensure I didn’t damage joints. It’d be dynamic exercise, while doing my part to improve the environment for other people. Or on weekends, I could load up the vape for a leisurely sun drenched cleanup.
  • I could get a new aesthetic. I’ve been the technicolour trashbag for long enough. My typical attire involves varying monochrome trousers and T-shirts. I’m pretty much a video game character with alternating colour palettes. What if instead, I found a feature piece of apparel and made that my thing? I could have one of those propellor hats, or a light up shirt that says “APPLAUSE” in all caps. Maybe bracelets that resembled handcuffs, or a fuzzy pink choker. Wait, did I just try to incorporate “peacocking” from The Game into my wardrobe. Oh geez, this is going somewhere.
  • Speaking of going somewhere, perhaps I could start using an unintuitive method of transport that makes me stand out. It’s been some time since pennyfarthings were popular. Or I could adapt one of those railway handcars to steer and roam the streets of Toronto holding up traffic. Has anyone strapped children’s skateboards to their feet and used ski poles to gain momentum? Or how about splitting the difference and making a pair of roller skates with monster truck wheels?
  • Slam poetry. I’ve never done it, but I know that part of it involves clicking your fingers and I’m very good at that. I like words a lot, and it’d be a good excuse to finally buy a cheesecutter. I don’t understand the rhythm or cadence, but The Internet is out there. I could learn. I feel like I’d get to smise a bunch, which seems a pretty cool thing to do.
  • What if I picked a year, researched the lingo and stuck hard to it? When did people say “radical”? Was that a 1992 thing? Or adding “ski” as a suffix? What about calling others “daddio”? It seems foolish to leave stuff in the past, so why not BECOME the past? I can’t see any good reason that the above vernacular fell out of favour.

What’s old is new, and it could finally be the time to unveil the “new me”. Without New Coke we wouldn’t have gotten Diet Coke. Maybe it’s a step towards eventual evolution.

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Does Game of Thrones exist in a diechotomy?

This page sat blank for at least half an hour. Can I count it as my daily writing?

Frankly I feel a little blank. There’s a pall hanging over the office in stark contrast to the brilliant Spring day out the window. Everyone’s quiet, plodding. Movement has ground to a halt while people recover from a long weekend away. Even the flood of emails into my inbox has slowed to a trickle. Everyone’s exhausted, but remarkably nobody’s grumpy. It’s a comfortable haze, like yawning as a party winds down. Happy Birthday Victoria.

I skipped out on most physical activity for several days. My body is feeling it. I don’t know what it is about becoming regularly more up and atom, but an absense of movement really takes its toll. Like your body craves those sweet, sweet endorphins and without them, assumes you’re dying and withdraws accordingly. My limbs are slow and ungainly. My digestive tract has been a good little soldier, bravely scoffing down everything I passed its way (including but not limited to ice cream for breakfast, lunchtime steak and whatever leftovers ended up in that dinner pan), and now the rest of my system has forgotten how to extract the right nutrients. Or, y’know, I forgot how to give it the right nutrients. A bad workman blames his stools after all.

Egads it’s hard to motivate myself to write right now. My brain is swirling the drain, meekly calling out don’t talk about work. Don’t talk about Game of Thrones. Don’t talk about your holiday weekend. You’ve done it all to death. Some days it’s just not forthcoming. It happens. I’ve been mustering all my energy to simply stay awake. To keep my eyes open and meander through my day. I’ve even been keeping a normal walking speed in the hallways instead of racewalking. I have no idea how I’ll lift so much as a towel at the gym tonight. Why can’t they have one of those stupid vibrating platform things that’re touted as effortless muscle sculpting machines? Sure, they’re probably more likely to give you indigestion than work your body, but I could pretend I was doing a bunch while listening to a podcast. I could trick myself into sweet, sweet endorphins and feel like I’d made a real effort, when in fact I’ve failed to produce a modicum of effort to do a single thing today.

Speaking of which, it’s time to call this entry (that should’ve been pronounced dead on arrival). They can’t all be winners.

I just wanna know if Bran was that horse

I. AM. BUSHED.

Throw your expectations out the window. Let’s see, what expectations can I give you here? We just got back from our cottage, so I might go on about that. Game of Thrones just ended, so I will talk about that [consider this entry to be a big ol’ spoiler. You’ve been warned]. Who knows what else? I’m making it up as I go along, as per usual.

It was bittersweet to say goodbye to the palatial country home that’d become our abode over the weekend. Frankly, I think we were all tired enough that we just wanted to get home. At the same time, getting into a car was a curtain call to vacation. Work was on the horizon (and still is, so you’re not worried about tenses here), and traffic came first. We spent the morning in varying states of busy-ness. The gals all went out on a horse ride with the onsite saddle club. They learned to ride, had a brush up on techniques, then had a little trail walk. As the three guys left at home, we fixed drinks, snacked and generally cleaned as we went. Unloading the dishwasher, clearing people’s stuff out of the various areas, sweeping for anything left behind. We did dishes, took stock of the fridge inventory and also lay back checking out Game of Thrones memes. We had a late checkout and the time to do things at our own pace. As far as cleanups go, it was pretty damn effortless.

Okay, Game of Thrones finale time. It happened, it’s done. We got a lot of contemplative shots of Tyrion walking around the rubble of the city. He also got to have an extensive monologue that seemed built from the cutting room of The Quality of Mercy and any number of wedding speeches that started “Websters dictionary defines _________ as…”. It felt lazy, plodding and overly indulgent. What was up with all the time jumps, going instantly from Jon killing Dany to the small council. You’d think such an action would’ve thrust the remainder of Dany’s forces into some kind of civil war or upheaval. Was it just too hard to write that conflict? It was all a little convenient. With no remaining Westerosi leadership from Dany’s advisors, how did they gather all the leaders? Would the unsullied have wanted to negotiate? Did Grey Worm really have an agenda beyond Jon being punished? All interesting questions that probably got cut through time and budget concerns. What narrative purpose did Arya really serve post Night King assassination? Was it just so her arc of revenge could close with The Hound’s arc coming full circle?

Why Bran as king? Are we to believe that he has any desires and motivation? Didn’t he leave that all behind as the The Eyed Raven? Wouldn’t it make more sense to install someone with the qualities of a leader, and for Bran to provide assistance? Wouldn’t Sansa have made an exponentially better ruler? Or are we supposed to believe that Bran specifically played the game, orchestrating events subtly to bring himself to that position? My thought is that if they wanted the Bran storyline to be truly convincing, they could’ve given him some barely noticable tell when he was warg-ed. Maybe uniquely coloured eyes or something. Then eagle eyed viewers could’ve noticed that he’d been subtly influencing outcomes in the background of the series, and actioning his own ascendance. But the show made him out to be overly passive and dismissive. If the thought was that he’d learned how to climb the ladder of chaos, the writers didn’t make this terribly apparent.

Oh well, it’s over, and we can all fixate on something else now. Failing anything, that’s some small mercy. Perhaps we’ll see Hollywood take a chance on other beloved fantasy franchises. Maybe they’ll finally adapt Wheel of Time and discover the horror of their hubris. Give the nerds (myself included, obviously) something else to complain about. Oh yeah, did you hear the Game of Thrones writers are tackling Star Wars next? This is perfect. I’m sure there’s bound to be no backlash at all.

Wait, so is Arya a WesterWesterosi now?

Goat see, goat do

Oh hi there. I’m currently in vacation mode, which is basically my Fun Dad setting. Won’t you come and join me?

The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving at the property is that yes, this very much is a Saddle Club. You’re in horse country now, buddy. Passing through the lengthy driveway you’ll see that you’re flanked by large fields. Large horse fields, to be more precise. Horse fields with real, bona fide horses roaming around, eating hay mostly. At the top of the driveway sits a large barn, smaller barn, little red cottage and enormous house. There are fields stretching on as far as the eye can see. More pens with an assortment of animals. Goats, a pig, two sheep and three alpacas. Chickens, rabbits and ducks, oh my. There’s a small pond with a few geese loaming closeby. The property backs onto a tiny trickling stream complete with rock features. It’s eerily idyllic. The stage set for a horror film. Act 1 begins.

Entering the house, you’ll notice that when they said it was horse country, they weren’t fucking around. There’s a photogenic horse on the front door, horse wallpaper, paintings of horses, a horse towel holder. The children’s bedroom on the ground floor has no less than four horse toys. They committed hard to the theme. It’s hard to really fathom just how huge this house is. Lofty ceilings grace every room on the ground floor. It seems they had too much space, and made any number of lounges with variations on a theme. There’s the smoking room up the front, with leather chairs of a rich mahogany, fireplace along the wall. Another fireplace sits at the centre of the kitchen lounge, which not only has a couch and chairs, but a little table complete with pew style seating. This will not be the last table you see, ’cause there’s also a dining room (with additional lounge) and gaming room. Air Hockey, Croconole, PS3, dartboard, karaoke machine and Beer Pong table. The listing specifically said this was not a party house.

Look, it’s a fucking mansion. It’s ridiculous. The rooms all have 2-3 beds, and they’re spacious. Ammenities plus, a fridge with all the extra settings. There’s a Google Home (which paranoid ol’ me just instantly disconnected), all the kitchen gadgets, central heating, large clawfoot bath. We can actually go right up to the animals and hang out. There are staff on the wider property during the day If they’re around, we can go into the animals’ pens and pat them. Do you know how goddamn fluffy an alpaca is? I do, because I went right up and pet one. It quickly retaliated by kicking my leg, but it was worth it. I spent a long time hanging out with the horses, and they’re all super friendly. I got to feel a goat’s goatee, and look directly into the weird sauron’s eye that is a goat asshole. I cradled a bunny in my arms. This place is magic incarnate and everything I needed.

I hope the takeaway here isn’t that I needed to peer into a goat’s asshole.

Imagination, life is your creation

Oh, I am well off my rocker today.

I woke up too early, started working from home, took my meds, ate not a lot, drank lots of coffee, and now my brain is being pulled in at least 11 directions at once. So let’s go with that. We’re leaving for the cottage in roughly 150 minutes, and neither my girlfriend nor I have packed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve intermittently walked around the house ranting about irreverent things, and every once in a while I’ve dropped clothing onto a pile on my bed. It’s kind of packing. But also I’ve been working at the same time. And planning logistics with my girlfriend. And digging into old Ricky Gervais 80s popstar clips. And contemplating what I need to pack to go to a farm, when we’re probably gonna be stymied by shitty weather, spending most of it inside. Also it’s a working farm with animals. I’ll get to meet my first alpaca. So I possibly need to consider packing extra undies lest I shit my pants out of excitement.

It’s gonna be a full on weekend.

We’re driving down in my friend’s adorable pink VW convertible. It’s the epitome of a Barbie car, and it’s awesome. There’s also limited space, so that’s a concern. I might not be able to fit my 1kg tub of kimchi, which is where most of the concern kicks in. What happens when I get a craving that only fermented cabbage can satisfy? At this point in my life, I’m eating irresponsible quantities of it daily. Perhaps a weekend intervention is wise. If the weather is nice and we get to roll down the roof of the Barbie car, maybe that’ll make up for it. If nothing else, the rush of wind through my hair, communing with nature at its most spirited, will remind me that there’s life beyond impeccably spiced vinegary deliciousness. Mostly. I’ll still want kimchi, obviously. I have a problem and I’m not convinced I can stop any time.

The cottage has WiFi, so while I’m not gonna be spending a ton of time on the internet, rest assured that my entries will be coming hot and fast off the press with their usual lackadaisical timeliness. Expect very little from them, because I’m likely to be hungover, immensely tired or having my arteries filled to the brim with complex carbohydrates. I might even let loose, eat granola for breakfast, y’know? Get a little crazy. I don’t think we’ll approach Montreal levels of bread toxicity, but it’s not outside the realms of possibility.

More than anything, I’m tremendously excited for a weekend of unplugging from routine and spending intimate time with friends. There’s an element of headroom, where without having to think about scheduling, transit needs and all those other tethers keeping me locked down, I get a bit of my brain back. It sounds lofty, I know, but I always notice it when I’m on holiday or unencumbered by timelines. I feel more free to be myself (which says something, coming from my usual manic personality), and generally inhabit my mind more consciously. Three whole days of it. I can’t wait.

And I won’t have to for long, because I’ve been fucking around a bunch while writing this. Crunch time, see y’all.

I would not last long in Westeros with my Big Dad Energy

*Leon has changed this group from closed to secret*

It’s been a weird day. Wait, scratch that, I’ve been weird today. I don’t know if it’s particularly out of the ordinary for me to be in an odd mood, but my mood was anything but ordinary. I got distracted very, VERY easily. I kept getting different songs in my head, whether it was the Night Court theme, Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” (someone had the audacity to say “making my way”) or Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”. I wasn’t quiet about it in the office. I mean, I’m rarely quiet anyway, but today was quite something. After the “children” I work with (they’re probably sub 25) didn’t get my Charles in Charge reference, I walked the floor polling people on whether or not they knew of the classic Scott Baio sitcom. Most under 30 didn’t.

Here’s some literal dialogue from today:
Me: Look, I wasn’t born when it came out either. That doesn’t mean I don’t know it existed.
Co-worker: Uhhh.
Me: Ever heard of a little thing called WATERGATE? Were you alive for that? Still know it, right?
Co-worker: I don’t-
Me: –Charles in Charge is nothing if not the Watergate of the sitcom world. It had Scott Baio. Jesus, you kids. Read a book or something,

Without a doubt, this is how I get written up for harassment. It’s not like I was being (entirely) serious. I think.

Maybe I’m just in a rosy mood ’cause I’m 24 hours away from a weekend holiday. Friends and I have booked an Air BnB an hour outside of Toronto. It’s gonna be amazing to get away, eat good food and share abundant fun with close friends. I think it’s important to check in before vacation on how people are looking to approach the holiday. Y’know, so you can make sure everyone’s getting the most out of it. I’d done some check ins, and people were on similar wavelengths. Still, there was one question I felt almost afraid to ask. I put the question to the group…

“So, uh. Out of any question I could ask, this is the one I feel weirdest about asking… Do we have any way of/interest in watching Thrones on Sunday? I’d usually be like “we’re away with friends. Fuck TV”, but it’s also kind of the current largest pop cultural product on the planet.”

Almost immediately a chorus of “fuck yeah we are” chimed back. Undisputed. I’m usually pretty hardlined about my use of internet and whatnot while in the presence of others. I don’t like being on my phone when I could be doing face to face interaction. The notion of spending a large portion of our final night away focusing on a fucking television show felt wholeheartedly wrong. But like, what other options were there? The show is inescapable, to the point where its existence and the conversation around it defines internet use in its wake. Fear of spoilers makes certain parts of the internet (ones that I frequent) virtually inaccessible (surprisingly no pun intended). It’s wild. But it can also mean a ton of fun dissecting how it ends. The finale of a television juggernaut like GoT is a huge pop cultural experience ripe for deeper examination. It’s a blast to hear alternate takes, analysis and observations of others who have witnessed the exact same text. I loved watching it in the company of others, riffing on the absurd developments of a show that got way out of hands of its writers. Gorgeous as it looks onscreen, it’s a colossal clusterfuck, and I can’t imagine who I’d rather share that with than good mates.

So maybe it’s not about winning or dying, but how you play the game.

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.