Exploring Opportunities

For the past few weeks I’ve been meeting up with this guy at a coffee shop to chat about a potential opportunity. The first time we met he was reading a book and I asked him what he was studying. I thought he was a student. We chatted a bit and then he asked me if I was interested in the idea of a “mentorship.” I can’t say I really was because I didn’t know what exactly what it meant and he wouldn’t elaborate. For all I knew it could have meant taking me to a dark forest with a blindfold and seeing if I could find my way out.

When I quit my last job I decided that I had to be open to opportunities especially if they were unconventional because conventional hasn’t been working out. The last 4 Saturdays I’ve met up with this guy feeling each other out to see if we’re on the same page. This guy is 23 years old but more intelligent and interesting than anybody I know in my age group. We seemed to like each other and by the 4th meeting he invited me to attend a meeting.

At the meeting with 30 other people I spotted these bottles of water that a friend tried to sell me on years ago. Ah, Amway. The presentation was great. The guy speaking had great things to say about money and life in an honest and comedic way. There’s a lot of negativity associated with Amway and similar businesses but I kept an open mind about it. Really, every business is like a multi-level marketing business. In any business someone at the top is making more money than the person “under” them and that person is necessary in order for the person above them to make that money. Everyone’s getting paid to help someone above their position to make a higher income.

Amway obviously works. It’s been around since 1959 so something is working. The end goal is to achieve sufficient passive income which will allow you to not have to work a job. The ones who succeed in this game say their goal in life is to spread the word so that they can help liberate others from the rat race. Not surprisingly it becomes very religious because you have to attend many meetings over the years in a room full of other devotees. Succeeding in this game would be the equivalent of meeting Jesus.

One of my concerns in the beginning was if I had to fork out any money. My guy told me I wouldn’t but at the meeting they were pushing this bigger meeting out of town that would cost $200 a ticket. There’s 4 of these annually that you’re basically required to attend. Are The Rolling Stones going to be there?

Apparently he’s going to be retired by 25 so I congratulated him. His “mentor” retired at 31 a few years ago. Amway’s definition of retirement means having passive income, not having to work a job, not having debt but still growing your Amway business. Today was the last meeting with the guy. We decided it wasn’t going to work out meaning I told him I wasn’t motivated to do it. It was all very cordial. I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to be interested but I wanted to see it through. I don’t feel that it was a waste of time. It was mostly enjoyable and plus I have a lot of time.

 

Snoring

The dog is snoring right now and for some reason coming from her it’s adorable. When a human snores, all that you want to do is put a pillow over their face. A person snoring is like someone playing a trumpet poorly when no one wants to hear it. You give them a break though because it’s supposedly not their fault. Fault or not, in many circumstances in life the person of annoyance has to go or be killed. It’s not some psychopath’s fault that they love to kill people.

In a more uncivilized environment I’m sure the snorers would be the first to die by the hands of their own tribe. You would lay there at night hearing the rumbling and murder would come across your mind. Do we really need him? In the darkness of night no one would see and by morning no one would care. Celebration with silence. Goodnight.

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Caring

Someone caring about you is one thing and how much they care about you is another. Whether they do or not, and how much is a matter of belief. Perhaps there are people who care about me but more importantly to me is what does their caring do for me. When you’re not #1 in anyone’s life then you might as well be tied for 10th place with 5 other people. This is why people go to great lengths to have a partner in their life because in our culture the unwritten rule and assumption is that you will be each other’s #1.

To care about someone is just as vital to one’s existence but the feeling has to be believed to be mutual. Sometimes we may find ourselves in denial so that we can continue the train of caring. Once it stops there’s no steam and nowhere to go. Having only yourself to care about takes you only so far.

Feeling important is almost the same as people caring about you. If no one cares about you then it means you’re not important. If you’re not important then it feels that you have no reason to live. The further we move away from dependence with humans the less motivation we have to care about people.

When desperation kicks in, sometimes the standards are lowered and self-respect is up for sale. What does it matter when the other option is believed to be a life not worth living?

Failed Joke

I just came back from walking the dog at the park and may have made an inappropriate slave joke in the company of middle-aged white women about another middle-aged white woman. I’m not sure if the joke didn’t go over well because of the possible racial connotation or because it was in relation to one of their peers or because of the possible vulgarity of my joke.

This white woman was walking her dog with two foreign teenage Asians. The women stopped and chatted. Later I asked one of the women that I knew if that woman was doing homestay which is having foreign students live in your home in exchange for money. She said she didn’t know.

“Maybe they’re her slaves?” I said.

No one busted out in laughter. What can I say? It just came out. It wasn’t even really funny and I probably shouldn’t have said it. I’m not making excuses but when there’s a conversation that is only good enough to eliminate silence it’s worse than watching a boring TV show because I have to pretend to be interested. Oh well, I swung and I missed. Not my crowd. I’m sure it will happen again. Many might say that no one wants to be around a person like me. I wouldn’t object but the feeling is often mutual so here I am…alone.

 

Hustling

In high school, breaking into cars or taking the whole car was trendy during some years. When we were 13 years old, VT had the reputation of having a lot of cash from cars that he stole that were then shipped internationally. A few years later, still in high school, I came across what I thought was an opportunity to be involved in something similar. Some guy I knew had a stolen Lexus and asked if I had any way of getting rid of it for cash. I kind of put things into motion but I think it was far from ever working out. I learned that in the game of crime it’s not easy to make money without getting your hands dirty. Being a successful middleman is a privileged position. VT ended up running heroin on the streets like many others at that time and was the first one to be murdered.

At my first shitty retail job after high school I sold counterfeit watches that my friend brought back for me from Hong Kong. They were $3 a piece and I sold them for $25 to coworkers and customers. Some bought them because the watches looked nice and I think others bought them as a nice gesture. I thought my product had great appeal and that I was a marvelous salesperson but at the time I wasn’t aware that people would buy things from you just to support your cause. I think a coworker thought less of me when I didn’t reciprocate by purchasing salmon he was selling.

At that same shitty retail job I bought tools at half price and used my employee discount as well. These gear wrenches were a new thing and people on eBay were buying them. After a couple dozen of these wrenches my manager called me into his office. In a clear and stern voice he asked,

“Have you been buying these items to resell?

His boss was upset that I was buying these wrenches at less than cost. I should have answered, “yes” because that would have got me fired but like an idiot I denied it and said I was sending them to my uncle in China who owns a factory. I remained on the payroll to suffer another a year.

The most profitable but most disgraceful hustle in my young age was scalping concert tickets. It happened by accident. I had a 2nd pair of Chris Rock tickets that I was hoping to get rid of for cost. On eBay they ended up getting sold for double! I was like, holy shit. For that whole year I woke up just before certain tickets went on sale and would buy 2 or 4 online. I would research on the internet beforehand to find out which acts had sold out the last time they came into town. Amazingly I was able to sell every ticket at a profit. I wish I could say that I discontinued this venture because of improved morals but it was because I ended up getting a job at the eBay call centre which held me to a certain standard in the eBay marketplace.

This is my way of confessing my sins. Some of them anyway.

 

 

Movies and Cents

I just came back from walking the dog. While walking the dog the sudden urge to buy a beer came to me and luckily there is a liquor store nearby. Not planning to buy anything when I left the house I didn’t think about bringing any money but usually there is left over change in my pockets. I already knew $2.85 would make me 10 cents off but I figured they would let me off. Well, she didn’t. This led me to resort to panhandling.

“Excuse me, can I trouble you for a dime?”

“Excuse me……..”

One guy said he had no money on him and another woman quickly got in her car and drove off. I guess she was scared I was a rapist walking my dog. How could she? I was wearing a clean t-shirt. I decided to keep whatever self-respect I had left, went home and am now drinking spring water. Now the village gossip will get around that I’m the Asian bum with the white dog. If I tipped the waitress 1% less today I would have had that dime. When life doesn’t work out the way you hoped you just tell yourself that the gods had a plan for you. Perhaps they want me to preserve my stellar blood pressure measurement from yesterday of 107 over 67. I’m not sure if that is stellar since any lower I’m hovering in hypotension territory. I want to know what the blood pressure measurement is when you reach enlightenment. It’s probably zero over zero.

I watched an overrated movie today at the theatres. 93% on Rotten Tomatoes! How shitty could it be? Johnson Potatoes gives Baby Driver a 50% rating. Apparently it was too brilliant for me. I was supposed to be in awe of how the music was choreographed with the characters and different scenes.

Moonlight was supposed to be another great movie but I also didn’t think much of it. I watched it before it won all the prestigious awards. If I was a betting man I would wager that last years awards controversy had something to do with it. The portrayal of a gay, black drug dealer was supposed to enthrall me. Again, maybe I just didn’t get it but at least the film raises awareness about the hardships of gay, black drug dealers.

 

 

 

 

Sleepless Yesterday

For the past while I’ve been regularly waking up way too early for reasons unknown. The only substance I’ve been abusing is decaf coffee and that’s not even every day. Self-diagnosing has me believe I’ve been wrecking my brain somehow.

Yesterday I may have woke up at 5:30 AM because my tongue was dry as summer bark. Not being able to fall back asleep I laid there for 4 hours hoping that listening to boring radio shows would help me doze off.

For some reason I decided to get up to look at my breaking fence. After inspecting it I thought what the heck, why don’t I try to fix it. I had a hope that my obese carpenter cousin would help me out like last time but I was confident it wouldn’t be the case.

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It’s falling over

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I had watched him last time so I had an idea how to do it. It opened a new portal to another dimension. My next-door neighbour has one of those brick barbecues that I think are so cool. Seeing that the other side of the fence was painted the colour of their house, it had me wondering who is responsible for this fence? Is it 50/50? If it’s 50/50 but he refuses responsibility then I’ll have to use this portal more often to occupy his barbecue as compensation.

This project had me pulling out an assortment of tools that I’ve been collecting but never really used. I went through a period where I would just buy tools that I didn’t need if they were on sale.

When the dog heard some ruckus she came out and sat their watching the whole time. I think she wanted to go through the portal.

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The dog is nosy

 

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Not perfect but satisfactory

It was actually fairly easy and quick. I’m hoping the fix will last a while. Relying on people forces you to keep good relations but can prevent you from realizing you can do a lot on your own. For most of my adult life I had my friend do my income taxes until I decided I didn’t want any part of my life held hostage for favours or potential favours. It’s unfortunate and liberating at the same time. It took me 10 minutes to do my first ever tax return online. If you want motivation to be nice to everyone then you should think about becoming a real estate agent.

4:00 PM rolls around and I still haven’t been able to fall back asleep neither have I eaten breakfast yet. After having 4 scrambled eggs with onions I decided I would go walk to the movie theatres to watch 47 Meters Down. It was a good movie in the sense that it had my attention the whole time and there wasn’t anything stupid about it like the girl killing the shark with a palm strike to the nose.

On the way home I saw a young woman claiming her prize from someone else’s junk on the sidewalk. It was an old mini bar fridge. It had that same brown colour that televisions used to have in the  mid-80s.

“How far do you live?” I think this was my way of offering to carry it home for her.

She was eating a water based frozen treat and I could see the package of Playtex through the plastic bag she was holding. As I walked closer towards her I could see the many skin sores all over her arms. I hate to judge but the ones who don’t judge are the ones that end up dead in a ditch. The possibility that she’s a drug addict and the 5 block walk carrying a mini bar fridge was enough for me to not carry through with my half-offering. I probably would have though if she asked. My curiosity gets the best of me.