Irrationally Expecting the Worst

Many people assume that if they try heroin once they will end up a junkie in 10 days. Most of that has to do with the horror stories you hear from various media. You’ll never see some guy on the news telling you about the single time he tried heroin and lived normally ever after because it’s not very exciting. People want to hear about the person with 1000 needle marks on their forearm, lost everything, sold his dog for $2, stole his grandmother’s prized porcelain doll collection and now lives on the street getting laughed at by the same dog he sold.

We often picture life turning out in the way we’re used to fearing or hearing about. Quitting your job without having another one lined up conjures up images of homelessness and sadness rather than the possibility of a better job or just a better life in general. Again, you always hear about the people who lost their job and ended up living in their car wondering if they’ll have to give oral sex in exchange for a cheeseburger. Those stories are meant to entertain and make you feel better about yourself more than they are to properly inform you. Did you guys hear about what that guy did for a cheeseburger? Don’t quit your job, man.

Occasionally you do know the person who lost their job and landed somewhere better but it’s more common to amount this to a fluke. Many would call it, “lucky,” meaning you were more likely to end up in a worse position but the gods decided to side with you because it was a slow day in the Middle East. Who makes these odds? Outside of historical data and science, people often calculate odds using what they’re used to seeing and hearing. A bias is also often included to accommodate people’s feelings.

At my last job, over the years there were consistently people who were fired or basically forced to quit on the spot. Most of my colleagues appeared sympathetic but for the most part took advantage of someone’s perceived moment of shame and downturn to rejoice in their own perceived superiority. The only time I was rejoicing someone’s departure was when I disliked them but even then I was jealous. Now he has a chance, I thought. My other thought was that at least they didn’t have to come here anymore.

As far as I know none of those people ended up homeless or needed to do desperate actions for that cheeseburger. Some went on to better jobs even. When imagination or faith in the unknown is a requirement to move on, the majority play will be to do nothing. If the best laid plans often go awry then why wouldn’t the same occur just as often to the worst unplanned ones?

 

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Fraudulent Living

Looking back, the jobs that I had were a disservice to my self-esteem. Perhaps the way that I think is a disservice to my self-esteem. The only part of my life I held in lower regard than what I was doing was what I was going to do which was…I don’t know. It wasn’t something I held in secret either.  “What do you do?” is often the first and last question people need to make their conclusions about you.

There were probably many others in the same position as myself but many of them opted for the “fake it til you make it” route or chose to dive into anything just so that they could avoid being that person who was thought to be going nowhere.

My most recent legit paid employment wasn’t even that bad on paper or in other ways but I still felt some shame. For the longest time I thought it was a feeling of inferiority but I’m more certain now that it had more to do with me feeling like a fraud. I felt shame because I was knowingly not living a life I wanted at all. It’s not quite Impostor Syndrome since I was missing the success part of it but I felt like an impostor.

I felt more proud of myself during my periods of unemployment than when I was employed. To me it just seemed so much more logical to be free than to be trapped in an existence of cyclical torture. Hardly anyone saw it this way though because just like women’s high heels, life is all about appearance. To top off my fraudulence I engaged with people, beliefs and activities that I somewhat knew wasn’t aligned with what I wanted. Along with the high heels I guess I wore the mini-skirt in freezing weather hoping it would cure my pneumonia.

The pieces of the puzzle are often there throughout our life but we tend to not put them together until more than enough time has elapsed. A short window of time plus inexperience allows us to indulge in complete ignorance. Sometimes we even put all the pieces together but refuse to see the catastrophic masterpiece. Everyone sees a train wreck while you only see the small part of the train that went unscathed.

Maybe I’m just more complex or missed some of the programming on the production line. Maybe more time and experience may need to elapse for a better picture. But for now, if I can’t do what I want I’ll at least avoid doing what I don’t want.

An Unoriginal Sunday

Took the dog to the groomer today which is located in a strip mall and was told it would be a 3 hour wait. I did the ordinary citizen thing and stuffed my face with chicken and french fries then went shopping. It’s part of the regimen that many people believe in which includes having kids and cheering for your hometown sports team to win the championship. “What else is there to life? ” they say.

I cheap splurged today using the reward points on my credit card and buying items on clearance. If the world were made up of people like myself the economy would crumble. Regular price is for fools. I want a discount on something that has already been discounted.

Over at the Canadian version of Walmart/Home Depot, I traded my points for this Money Tree. For only $20 it should pay for itself according to its name.

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At the sporting goods store a hooded sweatshirt was on sale sale. Regular $45 on sale for $30 with an additional 25% off. I still didn’t want to spend the money but there’s not much of a possibility of finding one for cheaper.

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At a discount retailer I bought a t-shirt for $13 and underwear on sale. The underwear was on sale because it was missing its packaging. This store is the type of store where wives go around with a shopping cart and start loading everything in there while their husbands sit on the display furniture with a look on their faces of impatience and anxiety at the same time.

With one hour left to kill/cherish I walked in to the arts and crafts store, Michaels. There was a picture frame I was kind of looking for that they had on clearance for $12, regular price of $40. I think they just jacked up the regular price to make the clearance price look like more of a deal. I would have been more accepting of $5 but I bought it anyway because it was what I wanted. I’m going to put pictures of my dog in there.

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I may keep the pictures of the woman in there and say it’s my girlfriend. While I’m at it I’ll say I shot the photographs as well. And while I’m at it I’ll say they were taken in Paris.

They took longer than 3 hours to do the dog which left me hanging out at the pet store looking at everything. I was walking by the lizards while the girl was hand-feeding them. I stayed there asking her questions and started entertaining the idea of owning some leopard geckos. When you get to a certain age you start asking yourself what makes you think you won’t get sick of this new idea when you have gotten sick of everything else. The other concern was the cost of electricity to power the heat lamps. Then I read something about having to fool around with the temperature and humidity at different seasons. But I would get to tell people that I own leopard geckos and they would say, cool! Then I would get all the bitches. Like, all of them.

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Bearded dragon

So I’m not sure who won today, me or capitalism. They got my money but not very much of it. It could be like the casino though. They give you free stuff and don’t mind even if you win money because they know eventually you’ll come back and they’ll get your money and your soul.

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It doesn’t even look like her!

Why Did…..?

When I searched the internet today I typed in, “why did…” and the 3 suggestions that Google offered were…

  1. why did I get married
  2. why did ww1 start
  3. why did trump win

Google didn’t give me what I wanted until I typed the first 2 letters of the next word it correctly guessed what I was looking for. One day it’s going to be able to read our mind.

Why did I get married?

Because you’re stupid. Just kidding. Pick one of the following…love, fear, money, boredom, accidental pregnancy.

Why did ww1 start?

I learned this in grade 12 history class. Something to do with someone assassinating a political leader and something to do with a powder keg in the Balkans.

Why did Trump win?

Because life is a joke.

Are there that many people interested in WW1? Do millions of people need someone else to tell them why they got married? I suppose getting married can be like going to college after high school or getting your driver’s license when you turn 16…it just seems like the next step.

 

The Placebo Effect

Recently I’ve been entertaining the possibility that it’s healthier to be happy than it is to be healthy. Warren Buffett is 86 years old, eats fast food and is mostly sedentary. His two wives are dead but he’s still sharp as a nail doing televised interviews and making successful billion dollar transactions. He claims he’s lived a happy life because he lived every day doing what he wanted to do. I suppose $85 billion doesn’t hurt either.

Donald Trump is also a fast food eater because he believes, “at least you know what they put in it.” The guy is basically a 70-year-old active stand-up comedian doing more gigs than Louis C.K. When you think you’re the greatest man walking on the planet you must be pretty happy.

Apparently the placebo effect is real even though it seems as close to hocus pocus as you can get. What you believe though can be the core of your energy and spirit. I don’t believe hangovers at 40 years of age are any harder than at 20. When you’re 20 you just power through everything because you think you’re supposed to. Once the belief dies all the lights turn off with it.

Trying to counter the potential health pitfalls of my loneliness and melancholy with homemade vegetable soup and 2 hour walks might not be the path to healthy longevity. If it’s all in the mind I’m better off lying to myself(thinking positive) and eating McDonald’s.

I can see how evolution would favour those who are happy. If you’re always happy it means you’re doing the right things in life. If you’re not then the universe may want you to get sick and die since you’re already waiting to die anyway.

 

Poo Inspector

In order for my life to be good the dog’s health needs to be as well. I don’t have the tools or knowledge to do a thorough daily examination so I resort to monitoring her poo. It’s something to be thankful for when your dog pushes out a good looking turd.

When she pushes out a suspicious one I think about what she might have eaten and also consult with the internet. There’s a checklist for a healthy dog and human turd but it makes me wonder how can one conclude what a healthy turd should consist of. There’s apparently an ideal size, shape, colour and buoyancy but I don’t think there’s been a study done on producing healthy turds. Even if they have done one who was the control group? Did they take the healthiest dogs and humans, feed them what they thought was the healthiest diet, examine their poo, choose the most common turd produced and use that as the benchmark?

When your dog doesn’t push out a good looking turd in public it’s embarrassing especially when every other dog is pushing out champion defecation matter.

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Closeted Memories

When the closet flooded a few weeks ago I emptied it out and when it was time to put everything back in I was curious as to what was inside the storage totes.

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It was 1994 when I bought this at a martial arts store in Chinatown. The one thing I learned from it is that the best way to defend yourself is to run or get a tattoo on your face…intimidation goes a long way.

A Bruce Lee fascination for a guy is like puberty…it’s going to come one day. I rented all the movies including the ones with the fake Bruce Lees like Bruce Ly and Bruce Le. Back in those pre-internet days it was easy to sucker people. At night I would do stretches, punch paper and make funny noises not knowing that I was wasting my time. Again, in the pre-internet days there was a lot of time to waste but not many easy ways to do it. I could have done homework but I purposely left that at school so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

With over 300,000 copies sold in 1994 I don’t think it will be a collector’s item. If I had put that $14 into Starbucks stock instead I would have about $1000 today. Historical data can show you how you clearly screwed up in life.

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This photo of my aunt and I was something I don’t remember ever seeing. It would have made a great photo for the purposes of finding an affluent white couple to adopt me. Unfortunately it never happened so I ended up being raised eating processed Kraft cheese instead of imported Havarti aged for 3 months. I could have had my very own cheese knife with my name engraved on it. I ended up living a life using a non-name brand, dull steak knife for all knife situations as well as a multi-purpose tool.

It’s a nice picture so I decided to display it in the living room.