Work, Commuting, Owning a House

In a big city a good percentage of people spend a significant amount of time traveling to and from work.  It’s not uncommon for someone to spend 1 hour each way whether it be in their car or on public transit.  I’ve always loathed long commutes to or from work especially during peak hours and have pretty much lived my life avoiding it at all costs even if it meant not working at all.

One of the major factors in which real estate prices seem to be calculated by is the distance from the trendier part of the city which also happens to be the part where most of the jobs are or are near by.  Most people want to raise their own family which usually means they want a house, maybe a townhouse but not really an apartment.  If you want to buy a house in Vancouver, you are looking at $600,000 ($544,168.20 USDfor a small, 60 year old house that is a 15 minute drive from the city’s core.  This is the area I live and work in.  Most houses around here though are around $900,000.  I rent a cubbyhole in one of these houses.  Apparently Vancouver is the 2nd least affordable for housing in the world when you factor in the median income of a person living here.

You have to go about 2 suburbs away from the city’s core to see any semi-attractive discount which would put you at about a 45 minute drive during peak hours.  The housing there is still not cheap enough for many people so they have to go 1 or 2 more suburbs away which will make them cross a bridge to get to the city.

Most of the people at work have to spend close to an hour to get to work and some of them a little bit more.  My guess is that they leave their home around 7 am and get home around 6:30 pm, take a shower, spend the rest of the time which is probably like 2 hours with the kids and miscellaneous stuff and then off to bed.  It doesn’t seem to be a very attractive life to sign up for but I can still see the rationalization.

Gas for your car isn’t cheap here either.  A litre of regular gas here is $1.50 ($1.36 cents USD).  A gallon is 3.78 litres which would make the cost of a gallon $5.67 ($5.14 USD).   People probably spend about $400 on gas a month no problem.

A day’s work and the commute is a drag and leaves them with very little time and energy at the end of the day but getting that little time with their kids and wife (assuming they like them) makes it seem worth it.  Even though 90% of the day consists of misery or something close to it, that 1% to 10% of joy or something close to it is enough to keep the whole thing going.

Perhaps that’s just the positive way of looking at it.  Maybe they are able to justify the whole thing because they find satisfaction from everyone else around them who are on the same exact boat.  That’s possibly it cause if I knew that everyone else went home after work and did not much at home by themselves then I would probably feel much better about my life.  It’s no doubt though that I would feel better about my life if I had a little more than an ounce of joy during the end of my days or at least be able to trick myself that I do or have some kind of purpose, to convince myself that it is all worth it. This is probably why I disapprove of the standard working life because I have less reason to justify it.  Plus it just sucks.

 

 

 

Just Say Yes

I don’t even like smoking weed but when a joint comes around, too often I give in and take the offering.  Besides the very first time I smoked and inhaled, I’ve never really enjoyed smoking marijuana.  So why do I keep saying yes?

– It’s sometimes just so boring being in a normal state that I’d rather feel something else even if it’s not very enjoyable

– I tell myself that this time might be a more positive experience

– People keep sticking it in my face and saying no all the time gets tiring

Well, this was more of a thing in the past cause I don’t really see people too often anymore but it still happens once in a while.  Smoking weed is really underrated in the sense that it can be really positive for your life.  I’m not even referring to the physical and mental benefits that people say they experience but in the social sense.  Almost everyone I know who smokes weed, see people on a regular basis.  “Want to meet up and blaze a joint?”

Some of them meet up in groups almost every night just to smoke weed and chat.  I’m jealous.  This one thing is keeping them together and I don’t think they even realize it cause they’ve been smoking weed for the last 20 years together on and off and probably just think they are good friends.

There isn’t really anything else that will bring people together so regularly.  You can’t really go out and get drunk every night without it affecting you negatively.  No one has the time and energy to get together and play sports every night.  People don’t meet up and have cigarettes together cause they don’t last very long and there’s no real enjoyable high afterwards.  But burning a joint together is the perfect combination of having something to do that is enjoyable for a sufficient amount of time.

If you smoke weed and enjoy it there really isn’t any consequences.  You’re able to function like you normally would and there is no hangover in the morning.  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be as isolated as I am if I enjoyed smoking weed but all I want to do when I smoke weed is go to sleep.  It works so well for falling asleep that I keep a stash of it in my home just for that purpose.

So I don’t know.  If you’re looking to meet new friends you should try out smoking weed and see if you like it.  You’ll find more than enough ads on Craigslist in the personals section for people who are ‘420 friendly.’  If you meet someone at work who smokes weed you will be friends instantaneously.  If you are a teenager, tell your parents you found this advice on a blog and  get the okay from them first.

 

Conversation With An Older Guy

There’s this guy I see everyday on my route.  He signs in all the people who do work at this company I deliver to.  I guess he was kind of bored and decided to chit chat.  He asked me how long I have been with my company for.  When I told him that I have been with my company for 5 years, he thought that was a long time.  Is it?  I hear that a lot but I never thought 5 years was that long.

He told me he was a taxi driver for 9 years but gave it up for this job cause he was convinced sitting in a car all day would ruin his health.  The job he has now allows him to do security patrols every hour.  He was born in Somalia and has been living in Canada for over 20 years.  When he first came to Canada he lived in Toronto and said he hated it cause of the cold and snow.  I don’t blame him.  He went to Ottawa 2 years later and it was even colder.  After asking around, the word on the street was that Vancouver was the least coldest place in Canada so here he came.

If I remember correctly his reasoning for coming here was so that his kids would have a better life than they would in Somalia.  He didn’t really dislike living in Somalia.  He said the working life was easier.  I hear that a lot from immigrants.  A lot of them didn’t mind their home country even though it was a 3rd world nation.  They didn’t really care to come to Canada to start over but I guess the idea had potential.

During our 2 minute conversation he also told me he studied in Italy and would have lived there but they would never offer him citizenship.  He had great things to say about the food, culture and clothing.  I thought it was cool that he could speak the language too.

I told him there’s a lot of people at my company who have been there for over 20 years.  He seemed shocked and thought it was crazy.  “No one should spend that much of their life at one company.”  I was shocked when he told me I should change jobs just for the sake of doing something new. It was refreshing to hear something different though.  I never would have expected an immigrant who is not rich to tell me something like that.  If anyone, I thought I would hear it from a dirty hippie.  “You gotta go man.  Don’t let them suck your spirit.  The Earth is calling you.”

 

Positive Thinking/Desperation

Positive thinking: a way of thinking to motivate you to do something that involves at least some uncertainty or misery.  It can also be used when a less than desirable situation has come your way and you need to find a way to make yourself feel better.

If positive thinking was a publicly traded corporation, its stock would double every year.  We need it way more than we did in the past.  I realize that we’re not living in a real shitty era if you compare it to other times but it’s unique.  We live in an era where it’s easy to survive but difficult to find meaning and contentment.

If you are unsure about when your next meal is going to be you don’t dwell on any of your thoughts and misery.  There’s no time for negative, positive or any other kind of thinking.  There’s just living, dying or doing.

I believe there was a time when being jobless was not an issue.  You could quit and find a job the very next day without having any kind of skilled training and your dollar went far.  Why would you need positive thinking when there is not much to think about?

The job market now is much more competitive, you can save up your whole life and still never own a house, everything is more expensive, more people, more debt and it’s just getting worse.  The only thing that is improving is technology.

What do you do when you’re on the short end of the stick and feel hopeless?  You just hope that it will get better or you look for the silver lining. When it feels hopeless your only hope is positive thinking.  Positive thinking can almost be delusional but sometimes it’s your best option if you can buy into it.  It’s like when someone has a gun to your head and you have no way out that you get so desperate that you start praying to Jesus Christ even though you never have before.

Positive thinking is just like believing in a religion in that it really works if you really believe it.  It’s easy to want to believe in it but to do the things that show that you really do is another story.  When you have to adopt the positive thinking route you are betting on the underdog.  I suppose if you bet on the underdog enough, one day you will be victorious.

It’s difficult to follow through with positive thinking because the odds of winning, sometimes seem so small and involve a good amount of torture.   It’s easier to lay in bed, eat junk food, watch TV, drink booze, surf the internet(I’ve done all of these in the last 2 hours) and feel misery in small doses(that too) than to actively get out of your comfort zone and take the risk to feel a big pounding of disappointment and do it all over again the next day.

To be negative/realistic/cynical towards life can easily be looked upon as logical and truthful but to do so is also betting on a life of more unhappiness than there needs to be.  If I can’t find the strength to actively look for a better life, I hope that I can say ‘whatever’ to the life I have now and to whatever comes my way or just blindly hope that it gets better.

Dear Lord, I am praying to you tonight to bestow upon me the winnings of the national lottery so that I can refrain myself from positive thinking and the torture that comes along with it as well as releasing me from the dreadfulness of having to accept life as the way it is.

 

 

 

Friday Thoughts From a Mentally Unstable Asian

If you walked in on me right now you would almost think that I’m about to kill myself.  I’m sitting in my reclining lawn chair in my living room still wearing my work uniform and there are numerous empty wine bottles everywhere.  If there was a gun sitting beside me it would paint the perfect picture.  The imagery is depressing and funny at the same time.

Solitary confinement in prison is the worst punishment you can give a prisoner.  Well, maybe 2nd worst depending who you ask.  Being alone in a small empty room without any kind of external stimulation is about as bad as it gets without being physically tortured.  I live in a small place and I’m alone but I have various types of stimulation.  I am free to leave this hole but there’s not a lot of motivation to do so.  I suppose if I didn’t have the choice like a prisoner then I would be happy to go anywhere, even to the local 7-11.

I still need to deal with dinner tonight.  I am in the mood for seafood.  Seafood is often seen as a luxurious food.  When you think about going out for lobster you think delicious and expensive.  I guess I like lobster but to be honest it’s just an overpriced glorified giant shrimp.  There was a time when lobsters were considered as low class food.  But if you make it rare and expensive then it becomes a delicacy.  If I was stranded at sea without food for several days I would choose a good hamburger over a lobster.  Even right now I would probably choose a hamburger.

Now that I am buzzed from the alcohol, I should not get in my car and drive somewhere.  I guess I will just starve and let the acidity of the wine burn an ulcer through my empty stomach. If I could smoke anything in here I would.  If I had potato chips here I would be eating them.  Since I cannot then I can only sit here and kill brain cells with quiet sips of legalized poison.  I bought 2 dozen organic, farm raised eggs today.

Would you like to marry me?

 

Daily Prompt: Empty

 

 

One More Day Until Friday!

There’s this Chinese lady at work who takes all of our paperwork when we drive into the building.  When it’s Monday to Thursday she will say, “happy …” and then followed by the day.  On Thursdays she will also say, ” one more day until Friday.”

I guess for most people Friday is a good thing but I think it’s a bit of a scam.  It’s like you get your ass kicked Monday to Thursday and you are supposed to be so happy that there is only 1 more day of ass kicking until you get 2 days off from it just so you can start the whole cycle again and continue it for the rest of your unwrinkly life.  Your unwrinkly life meaning the best years of your life!

In my opinion the joy of Friday gets crushed by the sadness of Sunday.  Friday leads into 2 days of not getting your ass kicked.  Sunday leads into 5 days of misery.  It’s easy to see who is the winner.  The positive way of looking at it is that you get 2 days off so just be happy about it.  There comes a point when positive thinking becomes desperation to not feel like shit.  You have no choice so you just look on the bright side of things. Is someone supposed to be happy about Friday because his cellmate does not rape him on weekends?  I guess so but good luck convincing anyone that is a good way to be living.

Most of the reason why people can find joy from giving 5 and only getting 2 is because they know that the majority of people are on the same boat.  This boat feels like it’s infested with scurvy and everyone is having leather boots for dinner.  I’d like to be really happy about Fridays but how can I when I know Sunday is just around the corner.  Saturday is when the teasing and taunting happens.  Sunday his pants come off. Monday is when your pants come off and you don’t get to put them back on until Friday is over.

 

When I Was Younger

When I was a kid, as soon as I realized I was awake and that it was Saturday, I would spring out of bed, beeline to where the television was and begin my cartoon watching.  It was bliss.

Life was great, I was happy and the future outside of a handful of hours didn’t exist.  There was no past to haunt me or to regret.  It was almost like an enlightened Buddhist mentality.

Then high school and adulthood happened.  I was taken out of my childhood bliss and expected to build some kind of an identity.  It was a whole new game and it was much more difficult than sitting in front of a television.  There was competition and rejection.  People were much more judgmental than television.  It was easier to walk away a winner after watching Saturday morning cartoons.

As we become older, life becomes more difficult to satisfy.  When you hit a certain age you automatically get thrown into a certain game.  If you don’t want to play then no one wants to play with you.  It’s all about expectations.  When I had no expectations because no one expected anything of me, I was happy.  You expect me to watch TV all day?  Done.

Once you are out of high school all you ever hear until the day you die are the same questions that people ask to get a sense of how well they are doing in life.  If you’re doing shitty then they feel good.  If you are doing better than them then they wish they were you.   It was really hard to feel incompetent when cartoon watching was the game of choice.  You could only fail if you were blind.

Expectations are like fantasies.  They never come true even when they seem realistic.  I’m not sure if there are many people who end up living the life they expected.  I think we have this image of the loving spouse, great kids, financial stability and good health.  I don’t think it exists.  With a long enough timeline something will throw a wrench into your plans.

– You will be a widow
– Your spouse will get cancer and die
– Your kid will die before you
– You get divorced
– No one ever loves you
– You lose your marbles
– You wanted kids but you are sterile
– Your kid throws their feces at other kids
– Your wife gains 80 pounds and refuses to lose it

To think that your life will end up exactly the way you want it to several years in the future is the same as saying that you are able to predict the future. The most you can do is go for what you want, hope that it works out for the best and when it doesn’t, accept it as life and kill your mother in-law.  Of course you expected a life better than what you have now.  No one has expectations of anything less than desirable.

I can’t remember a time since I was a kid that I happily jumped out of bed to eagerly start the day.  Everything can wait cause laying in bed trumps everything else.  To get satisfying stimulation is either too difficult or too dangerous.

 

Being Normal (Crazy)

The term ‘normal’ is always ever-changing and always somewhat nonsensical.  To many people, if you are not normal then you are something negative like weird or stupid.  Everything that is presently normal was or would have have been weird in the past at some point.  Normal just means acceptable.  Not normal means not what most people would typically accept.

Being a geek was considered weird in the 90’s.  If you were heavily into Magic Cards, Star Wars, Comics then you were not considered normal. It’s very acceptable now and it’s bordering on the cool side to be a geek.  There’s not a lot of shame anymore in participating in Cosplays and Comic Cons.  There’s lots of comic stores here where people meet up and play Magic Cards every Friday night.  That never existed when I was growing up.

Believing in organized religion is supposed to be normal.  If you tell someone that you believe in one of the mainstream religions they won’t think you are weird.  A person who chooses to work less than 40 hours a week would be considered less normal than someone who thinks that some guy built an ark, managed to get 2 of each animal in there and survived a bunch of days through this horrifying storm without anyone eating each other.  How come people who believe this are considered normal and not crazy?  Does it get any crazier?

Knowing that people believe all these crazy things and consider it normal always makes me question everything that is considered normal. When there are enough people doing something crazy, you will see examples of success which reinforces that idea.  I often think the idea of accepting to work for 3 decades full time at a not very pleasurable job/career so that you can have this normal life is pretty crazy.  I can only rationalize it because so many people have done it.  Whether they have succeeded or not is a different story but it can always be justified cause it’s the normal way of life.

It always comes down to the same thing.  You don’t want to deviate from normal because you will be rejected by everyone who is normal which is often everyone in your world whether it be the people you already know or the strangers you meet on the street.  If they had hundreds of places where people who liked to wear their underwear on their head could meet up every Sunday then you would see more people wearing their underwear on their head.

Normal is the foundation for the justification of our life.  Normal is like a sanctuary for decisions that you made that turned out unfavourably.  It sucked and you hated it but you can find some peace from it because what you did was normal.

If you have trouble being motivated to want to be normal then it should be almost considered a disability or handicap.  Having a disability means that you have an impairment in your ability to function in a society compared to most people.  But if you don’t hear voices or don’t want to kill yourself badly enough then you are considered normal and have to reach into your inner strength to find your own shining path in life. No promises on the path shining.

 

 

Life, People, Religion, Shitty Parents

No one really cares about how you got to where you are.  They only care about the end product.  If you are rich then you are rich, it doesn’t matter if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.  If you are a dickhead person, no one cares that you were raised by shitty people.  We often conclude that a person is the way they are because they were born that way.  There’s always an explanation why people are the way they are.

Shitty parents make shitty children who will probably grow up to be shitty people.  If not then at least there is a higher chance.  Think about it this way.  If you wanted to be a plumber and the person who taught you all about plumbing was a shitty plumber then chances are you are going to be a shitty plumber or it will take longer than it could have to become a good plumber.  It’s the same with life.  If you have a good teacher for life then you will have an easier time.

Anytime I meet  someone who seems to be a good person the first thing I think is that they had at least one good parent.  When I say good I don’t mean the classical sense of good like a good job.  I mean if they are less selfish than most and have an evolved way of thinking in the positive sense.

I feel shitty sometimes about the things that I write because I know there are people out there who live these good lives and think I am retarded.  There seems to be people out there who seem so happy just because the sun is shining and I can’t quite understand.  If it was that easy then we should all move closer to the equator.  When I meet happy people I am convinced they had good parents.  Have you ever met happy people with shitty parents?

When you hear the term religion you think of this set of rules that people believe in and if you don’t believe in it then it sounds crazy.  If you think about it everyone is religious in their own way.  What ever beliefs you have is your religion basically.  It’s a cultural norm that you shouldn’t criticize anyone’s religious beliefs but any other belief is free game.  People off the street will tell you how you should live your life.

That’s what life is all about I think.  Belonging somewhere with people who believe the same thing as you.  That’s how friendships stay alive.  Not because people like each other but because they believe in the same thing.  Once you stop believing then you are going to go your separate ways.  No Muslim is going to hang out with a Christian for very long.

People don’t know what to make of me at work.  There’s the ones who don’t talk to no one and the ones that want to integrate with anyone who is willing.  I like to joke around and people enjoy talking to me but they think there’s something a bit off cause I never try to become one of them.  I’m just too jaded to try to be in any group anymore.  I’m sick of the small talk, gossiping, unintelligent thoughts and uninteresting conversation.  It’s not a bad workplace though since everyone respects the wishes that I seem to project.

Recently I was thinking about the positive things that have happened in my life since becoming a loner.  I’ve become a better person and I’m way more intelligent than before.  So I like to think.  Doesn’t everyone think they are intelligent?  Who ever says that they are stupid?  I’m able to put my ego aside when having discussions and can admit my flaws.  The drawback is that I can easily see when other people are delusional. I think most people are delusional in some aspects of their life and it makes it hard for me to want to be around them.  I trespassed on another level and can’t go back.

I used to put up with people cause I thought I had to.  It was part of my religious belief.  I used to go out with people not because I thought it was going to be fun but because I thought it was better than staying home or because I thought I had to.  Now I would rather be alone than with most people in my life.  Them trying to convince me that I’m wrong is typical.  It’s like a bunch of Christians trying to pull back someone that is at the hands of the ‘devil.’  I guess as human beings we’re just self-centered in that we think our life is the best life.

 

 

 

Another Day With My Manager

Yesterday I had my yearly ride along with my manager (I deliver parcels for a job).  This year I felt a little different about it.  I really didn’t care too much.  The worst possible outcome is that I get a somewhat shitty score which affects my raise which is pretty insignificant.  I guess when you don’t really even care about getting fired then you don’t really care about anything else to do with your job.

My manager is a really nice guy and the best manager I have ever had in my life.  He says he only took the manager position cause he wanted the employees to have a manager that would look out for their best interests.

As much as I like him he is a little too normal for me.  The whole day he kept giving me advice that every other adult has given me.

Him: Do you contribute to registered retirement savings?”

Me: I used to.

Him: It’s something that you will want to do cause you don’t want to be broke when you are older.

Me:  I’m hoping to not live that long.

I’m not saying I think he lives a shitty life.  He works and enjoys his off time as much as anyone can.  He’s just probably more mentally stable than I am and had a more nurturing upbringing.

We got to talking about family inheritance.  He griped about how old folks with a decent net worth should start giving away their money before they die instead of making people wait.  I agreed with him and told him why I think they hold out until the very end.  If you give away your money to people before you die, there’s a possibility that they will ditch you but if you make them wait then they will be nice to you until you die. Sometimes I wonder if I would totally ditch my mother if she had nothing to offer me after death.

He always tries to convince me to go on vacations somewhere because most of the time I don’t go anywhere.  Most people think you are depriving yourself if you don’t go somewhere.  Perhaps that is the case if your intent is to work for the rest of your life.  He doesn’t realize that my goal in life is a permanent vacation as soon as possible.

I probably shouldn’t say most of the things that I say to him.  He commented on the number of massage parlours on my route.  I told him about this website that tells you if these places provide sexual services.  A few seconds after I said it I kind of regretted it.  He must think I go to these places cause I also told him in detail how these websites cover up the fact that they do illegal services by using code words and abbreviations. Just the fact that I know about this website makes me look guilty.  He probably thinks I drop by there during my lunch break.

He told me he has a bit of an issue with insomnia.  I told him he should smoke some weed.  He laughed and didn’t think I was serious.

If my life and goals are the same next year then he’s probably going to lecture me like the father I never had.  I guess someone has to do it.