The Outside Prison

When I was a kid I thought being a police officer automatically meant you were a good guy and that if you smoked anything you were bad. I guess when you believe in Santa Claus anything you believe can be inaccurate.

Prison: a state of confinement or captivity.

When I think of prison I think of the inside of a concrete cell, housing a bunk bed, holding two men who are part of life’s undesirables.

In a more general sense, prison is just a place that you have to be at when you would rather be somewhere else doing something else.

Some say their job is like a prison and others would argue that it isn’t because you get paid for being there and you get to leave. Okay, but while you are there it is like a prison if you don’t want to be there.

If your prison sentence was only a week or two long it could be seen as an interesting spiritual retreat if you didn’t have to worry about getting shanked in the gut or up the butt. It’s only the longer term sentences that are really daunting.

Some prisoners accept their life sentence to make the time easier. When breaking out or early parole doesn’t seem to be a possibility you become that person who taps out and decides they are a lifer at their career.

On the outside your hard time may be less severe and conjugal visits more frequent but you can still be as much of a prisoner on the outside.

First Job of the Year

There’s this part of the real estate industry called ‘staging’ which entails setting up the seller’s home to appear more desirable. I know that you’re supposed to make your place look decent when you are trying to sell it but I didn’t know people went to such great lengths to do so.

A person from the volunteer organization asked if I was interested in helping her with staging for a couple of days. She told me she spent $1000 on housewares and bedding which made me wonder how much this gig was worth. With a business partner to split the pay with, my probable small compensation in comparison, and free meals for 2 days I was figuring there was a sizeable amount of money for her to be made.

Internet searches are often spawned from curiosity and one website said that staging usually costs between $3000 – $5000. Whether it’s worth it or not for the seller is only for the gods to know. I always thought as long no one sees your frozen heads and your dirty underwear is not hanging on the coat hangers, your home is sufficient for potential buyers to view. I suppose some people looking to buy a home lack an imagination and need the potential of a home to be shown to them.

Besides the amount of hours I spent, I didn’t really do much to earn my $200. Most of my importance was being an extra set of hands and providing assistance when 2 middle-aged Asian women need it the most…lifting items over 20 pounds. They didn’t really need my help but I guess there was a lot of room in the budget so they figured why not.

Having all my ideas rejected and getting bossed around made me wonder if this was what years of marriage was like. Yesterday she had plans to drag me back there today to use a stud finder to hang a picture so I just pretended I found the stud by knocking on the wall. I really hope it doesn’t fall.

 

About Eggs

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There’s a farm within walking distance from my home. They have cows, goats and chickens but they only sell eggs. The guy told me the cows are there just to eat grass. Maybe he produces blu-ray quality farm animal porn.

I ask the lady to give me a giant egg every time I come by because I get a kick out of looking at them and showing them to people. I used to feel guilty about eating more than a few eggs a week because of the junk science that too many eggs in your diet would explode your heart.

For a few years I was eating 16 eggs a week. During that time a nutritionist tested my cholesterol levels and they were normal. She freaked out when I told her the amount of eggs that I ate.

It wasn’t until the recent past that I found out chickens can lay eggs without having a male chicken do his song and dance to get inside of her. If a chicken is raised with care, shouldn’t their unfertilized eggs be considered vegan friendly?

 

 

 

 

The Messiness of Healthiness

Daily Prompt: Health
We treat health like how professional athletes treat money…we think it will never run out. When it does we end up sounding like old people giving advice to young whippersnappers.

Without the healthometer being invented yet it’s difficult to decipher what is healthy and what is not. One alcoholic drink a day doesn’t sound so bad but maybe it is if you have wussy genetics.

In 2016 there’s still people out there who think smoking cigarettes has no potential for ill effects on your health. Nonsense, my grandfather smoked his whole life and he died at 80. They like to believe that one has no control over how long or healthy they live so that they can do whatever they want. Ignorance is bliss.

If you wanted to be 99% geared towards a healthy life you would have to get yourself into a Buddhist monk monastery but then there’s the theory one’s life is shortened when void of fun.

There’s a good percentage of people who believe their unhealthy lifestyle may be the end of them but their motto is that they don’t want to live a life of resistance having to restrict stimulation or comfort. They want to enjoy their life.

Once both extremes are explored we often decide moderation is the key except that we tend to eat potato chips moderately every day. If we do end up with health issues we want to believe we didn’t do it to ourselves and that by being more conscious of our health during our lifetime wouldn’t have been a life worth living.

Taking care of your health is good for you but so damn boring. Bad health isn’t so bad except when you have to live and suffer from it. Unfortunately, we never go from healthy to dead. We usually have to suffer before we are rewarded with death.

Generational Changes

Daily Prompt: Generation

My teenage years were spent entirely in the 1990s when half-hour sitcoms ruled television and when the internet was just in its beginning. In high school it was strongly advised that we attend post secondary after or there would be a very good chance that we would become losers because a high school education isn’t good enough any more they said.

Post secondary education was probably advised to generations graduating high school a decade before I graduated but I get the sense that it wasn’t as strongly urged. If you were an adult in the 1980s there were still quite a few of those slacker union jobs you could get straight out of high school.

Back then a clerk at a big supermarket chain could earn twenty-something dollars an hour in a time when life was also less expensive. All those jobs are gone now.

The good pensions have become fewer. Most companies seem to be offering a matching contribution instead of the defined benefit plan that promises you a guaranteed monthly amount for life that you can also pass on to your spouse. The outcome of the former which is still much better than nothing is largely dependant on how the financial markets preform. If the stock market goes to shit and never recovers, your pension could be worth crap.

A detached home is not affordable for most people where I’m living. I’m not sure if most people have comfortably accepted that idea yet. Some can afford an apartment and many others will have to rent for the rest of their lives. Home ownership was a means for retirement for many. If you don’t own a home or a pension, you’d better hope you inherit something or that you earn a decent income.

The standard of living for the unambitious in Canada and America has declined. It’s getting worse but compared to most of history this era ranks way up there. Unfortunately, people have a very difficult time adjusting to going backwards.

I might be in trouble. Hopefully some of you out there will like me enough one day to take me in if need be. I make pretty good oatmeal.

 

 

May Day Rambling

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I pointed at one of the bicycles on the highest rack and asked the skinny, 5’4″ Asian clerk if I could get a closer look at it. He looked up and then looked back at me with a worried face.

“I’m just kidding”

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There seems to be at least some success so far in my vegetable garden. At the moment there’s some confusion as to what are weeds and what are going to be vegetables. Being a slack off beginner gardener I didn’t mark down what I planted or where. I know the ones in the above picture though are from cabbage seeds.

I was going to watch Captain America in theatres today because it’s cheap Tuesday but naptime trumps all. Having caught up on sleep reminded me how much brighter the world is when you’re not operating on a sleep deficit. Captain America can save the world next week.

 

Breaking the Cycle

Daily Prompt: Sacrifice

 

If you want to separate from people all you have to do is give up or do something that they aren’t willing to tolerate. They say food brings people together but if you become a vegan or anorexic you probably won’t be together. Bulimia may keep your membership valid though.

A few years ago I became curious on how it might feel like to be on a healthier diet so I gave up grains, wheat and almost everything else. All I ate primarily were vegetables, fruits and meat. That regular Saturday afternoon invite to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant ceased. No one is going to give up flavoured carbs in exchange for your company.

The change in diet changed my life. The protruding gut diminished, regular stomach aches were non-existent and I no longer felt like sludge. To hit the nail in the coffin a little more I decided that I would implement a healthy sleeping schedule. People who are not yet married with kids like to go out and eat, and stay out late and drink alcohol. My new rule was to be in bed before 11 PM no matter what. Free ticket to a rave, free booze…nope, I’m going home. 

As humans still operating on primitive wiring there’s often much resistance to committing to actions that may oust us from the tribe. A group of people just like a company do not care about the individuals. It functions to make the individuals care about the needs of the group.

I’m no longer on a restrictive diet but the healthier eating and sleeping habits have solidified a place in my life. I just can’t bring myself to shove 4 doughnuts down my mouth in one sitting like before. I miss those days though.