Visiting the Emergency Room

My mother was vomiting all day yesterday and said that she was feeling really dizzy which made her decide to want to visit the emergency room at the hospital. My first thought was that it wasn’t necessary. When dogs puke we yell at them for making a mess and put them in the corner.

Dr. Google’s opinion was that such a condition is usually not serious unless accompanied by other symptoms which she didn’t have. The scenario I imagined was that she ended up dying in her sleep and I would have to hide from the authorities that she wanted to see a doctor but I refused because I wanted to take a nap. It must be nice to be a sociopath.

It was my first experience in an emergency room. I’ve somehow managed to never fracture bones from snowboarding or accidentally drink too much bleach. Many in the emergency room seemed to be there for non-emergency reasons such as my mother’s condition. If everyone who was puking and felt dizzy visited the emergency room there would be a line-up out the door and around the Starbucks across the street.

Sitting there for hours I could hear patients explaining to the front desk what their issues were. One guy said, “I want to stop drinking.” In a less nice country one might have told him to go back home and stop drinking. Most patients who came in after us were called before us because they probably assessed that my mother was low priority. If you want to get in first for something trivial you should lie and say your pancreas is about to explode as well. Once you get in to see a doctor you tell them your pancreas feels better but you want your foot fungus to get checked out.

While in the waiting room I thought about how nice it was to be living in a country like this. The nurses and doctors know you’re probably fine and wasting everyone’s time and money but they still smile, speak politely and look up your bum if you tell them to.

They gave my mother some Gravol and she laid in a bed for 3 hours before discharging her saying everything was fine. I didn’t even think of trying Gravol first. It would have saved me 6 hours in the waiting room. I hope she feels guilty for not dying.

 

 

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Piano and Life

There was frustration during my piano lesson due to my disappointing performance. It was frustrating because I practiced every day for the whole week and thought I was prepared. I don’t know, perhaps someone watching me and the difference in setting causes me some discomfort. Or maybe I didn’t practice enough. In my head I thought about burning my piano books and throwing them against a concrete wall. I QUIT! Then I thought how pathetic that would be.

During my internal tantrum I recalled a memory from several years ago. I used to fool around with the guitar with a few other guys who resisted the idea of attempting to improve at it. They instead preferred to strum the same song for hours each time we met. “Don’t you guys want to get better?” I asked. They replied with a friendly, “no.”

A thought crossed my mind during my piano lesson. What if I continued to practice and continued to suck? That would crush me since it could mean that I’m mentally disabled. I’d have to pack it in and resign from life, admit myself to the Centre for Ungifted Children. That’s why some people don’t even try. To them, failure would confirm their suspicions of their deficiencies.

I come from a group of guys who are all deficient in some manner which is the reason why we all came together in the first place. Some of them were able to muster up the appearance of some kind of success but there’s always traps set out to snag the ones who were programmed to fail. Some may have thought they were better than others in the group but no one was because if they were they would have moved on to something better.

That’s life for many or maybe even most people….they’re put on a path and then operate on auto-pilot. Over many years the deficiencies etch themselves a permanent place in the programming and instead of debugging, the tendency is to find a miserably comforting workaround.

 

The Stock Market

It’s common for people to think that you have to know something to make money in the stock market. If you don’t it feels as if you’re just throwing your money into a dark hole and hoping for the best. The stock market can be like believing in Jesus — one way to look at the overall stock market is that it will one day get you to heaven. You just have to believe.

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S&P 500 Index(500 of America’s largest publicly traded companies)

During the Great Depression, 1970s, tech bust and the Great Recession you may have questioned your faith but the market has always pulled through. The trajectory still appears to be heavenly.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns but what is certain is that if you were invested in the S&P 500 index anytime before 2018 you would be up on your investment. You can pick individual stocks for greater returns but then you might have to know something.

What will happen in the future is anyone’s guess but I think the most rational answer is that this chart in the long term will continue going up. If you don’t believe it will then you’re betting that America is soon going to shits and will never recover. From my experience the ones who believe the world is going to apocalypse mode are the ones who don’t like how their life has turned out. I know because I used to be one of them.

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It’s not all fun and games in the stock market. There can be periods of frustration such as the years between 2000 and 2013. If you had invested in the height of the year 2000 then you would have ridden a roller coaster just to be even in the year 2013. That sucks. If you had contributed to your investment all the way through though you would have made out just fine. Buying on dips is quite imperative.

This is not investment advice. I’m just presenting the facts. As far as history goes all that you had to know to make money in the stock market was to contribute regularly to an American index fund, have a long-term mindset and not panic sell.

 

 

 

The Looming End of Something

In my 20s I was excited to have an arsenal of movies or shows to watch for the whole day. It was stimulating but it was also an effective way of practicing what we loved to do which was kill time. Arguably the most precious aspect of life and we were proud to slay it like an evil beast. The endless amount of media available today has withered my excitement to hang out in front of the TV but I also believe there’s something else to it.

Twenty years seems like a long time but not when I think of it as the time that has passed since I graduated high school. If you take those years and add them to where I am now I will basically be an old man. With age comes the higher possibility of regret, disease and an almost definite outcome of being uglier. Time will have its way with you like a large black man in prison. You’re powerless and have no choice but to take whatever it gives.

Many men have fallen to the screen as a way to live out their life. Some have convinced themselves that there is nothing else to life. Maybe there’s truth to that or maybe it’s an effortless lie used to block out anxieties.

In his act, a stand-up comedian says hope is the culprit of the sadness to life. Youth often breathes a continuance of hope into dreams that never manifests into reality. While your aspirations remain elusive the comforting thought of I still have lots of time nears its end of life. He goes on to say that once you’re convinced the money, life and love you hoped for will never come to fruition a huge weight is lifted off of you. Now you can spend your time trying to enjoy yourself.

 

 

All Things Cannabis

You may or may not have heard that Canada will be the first G7 country to federally legalize marijuana for recreational purposes on Oct 17th, 2018. It may sound sad to some people but to me this is the most significant Canadian political event in my lifetime so far. I’m so in tune with what’s going on that I didn’t even know about it until after the prime minister who promised to make it happen was elected. What? They’re going to legalize marijuana? If I knew I might have voted.

You would have to be a shitty gambler to bet that the rest of the world is not going to follow to some degree. About a dozen other countries have federally legalized marijuana for medical use. With more than half the states in America having state legal medical and/or recreational cannabis it’s hard to believe they won’t be fully legalized one day. Who knows though. America has funny drug laws.

When the founder of Canada’s largest marijuana business first pitched his idea before recreation legalization was even thought of, the first 4 people said,  ‘Are you crazy?’

I thought, that’s terrific. That means there will be even fewer credible people that want to start them because the ones I spoke to think it’s horrible, not because of the business, but because of the reputational risk. I thought, ‘If you sit around and do nothing, isn’t that also reputationally bad?’

weed

He also said when people called his idea crazy he then knew he was on to something. It’s another story of ‘crazy’ about to be normal. If hardly anyone is criticizing your ideas and actions then you’re probably not doing anything worthwhile. This only applies though if you’re a sane and rational person.

The provincial cannabis warehouse will be operating fairly close to my home and they’re hiring. It’s a government job so it has all of the offerings an average schmuck could ask for. I thought about applying for a job there but that would just be going back to the same vicious cycle I used to be in. No one would tell me I’m crazy for wanting to work there so it must be a bad idea.

 

 

Craigslist Stalking

When I receive a reply for an item I have listed on Craigslist I’ll sometimes Google the person’s name if it’s available. A few weeks ago some guy was interested in my vintage stereo receiver. Searching his name brought me to an article about a few people who had their prison sentences shortened. In this article it stated that this guy served time for illegal possession of a firearm, cocaine possession and aggravated assault. Looking over a Facebook page of the account of the same name and close proximity to me, a photo of the probable man in question had tattoos up to his neck and two tear drops under his eye. Just because the name was the same doesn’t mean it’s the same person but let’s just say his name was not John Smith. His first and last names are not unheard of but I doubt most people personally know anyone with either name. In case you’ve never heard, the number of tear drop tattoos under your eye is supposed to signify the number of people you have murdered. I replied to tell him that the item was no longer available and then deleted the listing. Maybe I’m an asshole for doing so but I don’t want to be another reason for him to cry.

Last week I had an ad for a free bag of lightly used dry dog food. You’ll be surprised with the amount of people who replied to this post. The guy left his full name and phone number but I didn’t investigate him until after he picked up the dog food. He drove 20 minutes to my place on a Sunday night after his daughter’s birthday dinner. Maybe that was her birthday present.

“Nothing else to do,” he said.

My investigation found that he’s a high school teacher who teaches computer geek stuff. My conclusion is that he’s a cheap Asian and/or he needed an excuse to get away from the family for an hour. I’m curious if I would get much interest if I listed a “lightly soiled mattress” for sale.

Men Sitting Down to Pee

Several years ago I was at someone’s place for dinner when he served us a defence on why sitting down to pee is better than standing. They weren’t irrational reasons he was giving but I clearly remember what was going on in my head.

  1. I’m not going to say anything
  2. His wife makes him sit down to pee

Some men claim they sit down to pee because it’s cleaner, easier or because it allows them to use their smartphone. If it’s always been cleaner then why do these men only start sitting down to pee when they are married? They had a sudden epiphany once married? If I was a betting man, and I am, I would put my chips on the wife telling them that they now have to pretend that they have a vagina.

How is it easier unless if you are old or have a medical condition? You have to push your pants down to your ankles, sit down, stand up and then pull your pants up. And I’m not buying that these guys can’t put the phone down for 10 seconds to take a piss.

But what man is going to admit that he sits down to pee because his smaller significant other commands him to? If a man’s wife expects or even gives her blessing for her husband to assume the pussy position then it means she doesn’t really respect him.

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