About half an hour ago I was shovelling the snow and it just dawned on me that it was New Year’s Eve. While many people are headed out to have fun or to just not stay home, I was pushing snow and thinking about life.
Every now and then I will come across the current biography of someone I know by word of mouth or through the internet. While I’ve been mentally wandering for the last 20 years, some others have been plugging away to secure a position far away from where I am.
While I clear the entire sidewalk around my home I think about the person who attained their master’s degree and went on to a have a good career while I’m living at my mother’s house without even an entry level job. The contrast between our lives reminds me of the cautionary predictions that would become of the one who just tries to cruise through life. I never doubted any of it, I just never knew what to do.
The design and development of a person will lead them to be the person they become. It’s the only way I can explain how someone can have the motivation to push so hard for so many years while others are alone writing on a blog on New Year’s Eve. Most of us generally want the same things out of life but chances are you will become what you are willing to accept.
Quite often I will get the question, “do you celebrate Christmas?” I’m not sure if I do or not because I’m not sure what I have ever done during Christmas would be considered celebrating. If having dinner is considered celebrating then that’s a pretty lame celebration.
I received 3 wrapped gifts this year, all from people I’ve met in some way from volunteering. Before they even reached my hands when they gave them to me I already knew they were boxes of chocolates from the 1 inch height of the boxes. Two of them were chocolate hedgehogs although different types. How did the hedgehog get the coveted chocolate honour? Why not a wolverine or river otter? Sometimes you only have to get lucky once to solidify a lifetime of success that never gets questioned.
They say Christmas is a lonely time of year for many folks. It’s not that it’s any lonelier than the other 364 days when some people are alone but a more intense feeling of feeling like a loser. If you’re alone on Christmas it’s generally thought that no one cares about you. If no one cares about you it means you’re an asshole or undesirable. It all equals to a feeling of failure.
I didn’t do anything this Christmas. This afternoon I did an Uber type ride for $13 to drive some kid and her mother to a piano lesson. I later wasted most of that $13 on a Big Mac and medium fries. Most of the rest of the day was spent watching Mad Men on Netflix. Handsome bastard that Don Draper. I long for those days when people had manners, men were men and when music was good. I used to be able to buy a chocolate bar for 5 cents after my shift at the opium den. This world has moved too fast for me.
There have been at least a few famous people that have publicly stated their negative remarks towards Vancouver’s over average rainfall climate. In return they get a backlash from Vancouver residents telling them to “don’t come back!”
It must rain a lot here. I’ve never been that aware of it since I have lived here all of my life. “A lot” is subjective. Some people in the world think 2 meals a day is a lot. More recently, I’ve heard a few radio interviews on how people like this city and Seattle except that it rains too much and it’s depressing.
In October it rained 28 days out of the month. In November it rained 25 days out of the month. This month it hasn’t rained as often because it’s been snowing instead.
I think it’s been getting to me. I was fairly joyful in the summer from just having sunshine. Lately, I’ve been noticing a cloud of sadness looming around. I’ve heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) but never felt I had an issue with it. Maybe it was because I felt at least a little shitty every season. Why save your sadness for one season when you can spread it out through all four? It might not be SAD. I hope it is though because otherwise it’s something else.
Today there was finally blue sky. It felt so good to just be outside with the sun shining and breathing in the fresh air. I went to the strip mall to buy something and after just stood outside for an hour doing nothing until the low angled sun called it a day. It was probably good that I left anyway otherwise someone might have called the cops soon. It made me think about buying a plane ticket to somewhere sunny.
An unexpected snowfall had me shovelling the snow around the house today. After I was done I decided to roll a snowball. The homestretch had me out of breath like I haven’t been in a couple years. Ideas often come from other ideas which led me to thinking about building a snowperson. I stood there picturing the work involved and decided to stock up on some calories first.
After breakfast I started talking myself out of it. What was I going to get out of it? ‘Something to do,’ just wasn’t holding up against the primitive wiring that sends out signals to conserve energy. If I had ever put down on my resume that I was ‘self-motivated,’ I was lying.
Then I thought about how all the people walking and driving by would potentially enjoy my snowperson. I get motivation from the thought of entertaining or pleasing people. Besides, it’s Monday and while most people were commuting in the shitty conditions to get to some place they don’t want to be at, I get to make a snowperson.
So I put on my boots again and rolled the second tier. Lifting the torso onto the base took all my might and caused a pain that felt like my ribs pierced a vital organ…similar to that feeling when you sneeze while your body is hunched over.
I scouted the vicinity for body parts. The creative process was enjoyable. Just like most times in life, when you’re done you’re glad that you went through with it. Life is stupid.
I’ll post a picture when some kids kick it down and pee all over it.
If you had to put a label on Greg, he would have been my semi semi-step brother. Uncle Bill was his father, and my mother and I were living with Uncle Bill. Greg lived in another city but once a year or so he would unexpectedly come by and then live on the couch for a week or two. The front door was always unlocked which allowed him to burst in and scare the shit out of me while I was watching cartoons. When I turned to see his face, mine would have disappointment and my mind would be cursing swear words.
One time when I was about 11 years old he came out of the bathroom after taking a shower and came towards me with his light blue underwear in his hand saying, “look, poo poo stains.” He would then take said underwear with poo poo stains in sight and threaten to cover my face with it. I screamed. Thankfully he didn’t go through with it. Him being 9 years older than me would have rendered me helpless.
The household consensus was that Greg was a “bum.” Living on the couch may have been free but Greg had to take the verbal abuse from Uncle Bill about how he needed to get a job or go to school, that he needed to get it through his “thick head” how he was headed nowhere in life with his current attitude. Sometimes the tirades would go on for 2 hours.
I had mixed emotions towards Greg. He was annoying but sometimes he would be nice to me. When he came home drunk he would come to my room for his own entertainment. He’d turn the light on and off and with every flick of the switch on he would make a different funny face. He would usually give me a couple dollars too. Back then I couldn’t understand why he was so much nicer in those situations. Now I know it was because of the alcohol. To be honest, I don’t even know how he even had a couple of dollars.
Greg would knock on my bedroom window in the early AM hours to get me to open the door for him. One night when I wasn’t feeling so hot about Greg I went into Uncle Bill’s room instead and told him Greg was knocking on my window. Greg got a yelling. The days following that incident, all through the days Greg would call me a “fucking rat” with his imitation of a rat face and then make a rat noise like they do in the cartoons.
Greg wasn’t a bad guy. He showed that he wasn’t the time he pinned me down and yoyoed his phlegm in my face and “accidentally” dropped it on my eye. He ran to the bathroom apologizing, grabbed some toilet paper and wiped it off. Maybe he was scared I was going to tell his dad. It would have been pretty hard for him to explain himself.
Last we saw each other was 1992. I couldn’t even guess what he ended up doing. Probably a bunch of different things. Hope he’s doing okay.
Right when you think nothing new can possibly come into your life you find yourself buying your first Linda Ronstadt vinyl record at some some guy’s garage sale. Then you end up buying another and another at a used record store where the guy gives you a funny look for buying Linda Ronstadt records. For $1-3 a record you can’t really lose.
I’ve found myself with a new obsession that has inspired me to take a different turn in life. I’m going to build a time machine that will take me back to any year in the 1970s to become a Linda Ronstadt stalker.
She probably lived in some gated mansion in California where I will show up with roses in hand. She’ll come out sooner or later probably in a robe to get her daily newspaper. A look of concern will be on her face but being as polite as she is she’ll smile and ask, “can I help you?”
” Miss Ronstadt, I’m your biggest fan from the year 2016.”
She’ll say “thank you,” and I’ll have both hands visible so that she’ll be less worried of weaponry. As she begins to turn around she turns back to look at me when I gently yell, “Linda!”
In grade 6 my teacher offered to take me to the nearby McDonald’s for reasons that didn’t make sense to me but I didn’t care why because I was going to get McDonald’s. He made me promise not to tell any of the other students in the class though because you know, it would seem unfair. I would have probably got my ass kicked if the other kids found out. All I had to do was get a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.
Most people only had one but I had both at the time. Uncle Bill, who was the guy we were living with was a bit reluctant but ended up signing it. His 19-year-old son, Greg, who happened to be couch surfing there at the time took the opportunity as usual to bug me. “Oh, he’s going to take you to McDonald’s and then on the way back he’s going to have his way with you in the bushes…hahahaha.”
This child molestation stuff was bizarre to me. It wasn’t something that was ever talked about. What was he going to do to me behind the bushes? My teacher and Uncle Bill had met once before at one of those Teacher-Parent meetings where they would talk about how I was a nice kid but not much else. My grades stunk and so did my attitude. The teachers would always have difficulty finding encouraging stuff to say about me. “I think he’s excited about the upcoming ski trip.”
“Hey look, it’s my Uncle Bill.” I remember so vividly at McDonald’s the look on both of their faces. I didn’t know it at the time but Uncle Bill had a look that said, “I’m watching you, don’t you dare even think about those bushes.” The look on my teacher’s face said, “he’s worried I’m going to take the kid behind the bushes.” Now that I think about it, it must have been kind of awkward for both of them…more awkward for Mr. Wall since Uncle Bill never felt awkward. If I had to guess, the reason why my teacher felt compelled to take me to McDonald’s was because initially him and Uncle Bill kind of hit it off because they were both from Ukraine.
I didn’t end up getting molested. Sorry for the boring ending.