Snow Day

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After having only seen mild temperatures this winter we had our first snowfall 2 days ago. The snow removal budget is about the 10th of most other large Canadian cities which ensures chaos on the roads when it does snow. Where I live it snows most years but some of those years it’s very light snow. With a limited budget the city’s game plan is to sometimes do nothing hoping that it will rain.

Being the good person that I am I’ve been shovelling a neighhour’s sidewalk because he’s old and I have good reason to believe he’s not doing so well. My true intention for telling you this is to show you how much of a better person I am than you. It’s not your fault. Some people are just better than others.

A 90-year-old in the neighbourhood phoned me this morning to ask if I would be going by the liquor store. She wanted a 1.7 litre bottle of vodka. She likes to have a cocktail before dinner, she says. I wanted to get out of the house so I took a walk to the liquor store. Upon delivery she tipped me $10 because I’m a good person. I initially refused but if it makes her feel better I’ll take it. When you’re as old as she is you can almost get anything you ask for. She told me how her doctor came to her home to give her eye drops and how a fireman came to install her fire alarm for no charge.

When people shovel their sidewalks or mow their lawns they always do a bit of the home next to them so they don’t look like a loser. It’s never an inch or 2 it has to be at least a foot into their property. There’s some people in this neighbourhood who aren’t as good as I am. They don’t shovel their sidewalk and they probably don’t deliver big bottles of alcohol to old ladies. If I don’t get in to heaven then it’s a good indication it’s all bullshit.

 

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Where’s My Can Opener?

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In the year 2009 I went to the local big-box supermarket to buy a can opener. The only one that they had was more money than I wanted to pay but it was the only one in stock. The urgent necessity of a can opener trumped my penchant for being cheap. Some months or years later I discovered it was ‘Made in USA.’ I thought that was cool and it strengthened my liking for it.

I can’t find that thing now! Even worse, it can’t be found anywhere now because in 2008 they moved operations to China just before I bought mine which means I likely bought one from the last Made in USA batch. C’mon Donald Trump, bring back the can opener jobs.

Whether or not the ones made in China are much worse or not is uncertain but people have a liking for products made in a developed country. It makes them feel good even if the product is of poor quality. There was a used Made in USA Swing-a-way listed on Craigslist 2 days ago for $5 and now it’s gone. Somewhere out there is someone just like me which means I have competition.

When I was a kid we had 2 can openers. One was electric and the other was some manual piece of shit that barely got the job done. The electric worked fine but they take up space and unless if you have arthritis or are opening multiple cans a day it’s not worth it. Everywhere I lived after that were homes with crappy can openers. Poor immigrants tend to have this mentality of not spending any money for something they already have that kind of works. No one in the home ever thought how the can opener sucks and you can just buy a new one for $10.

There’s a spinoff Made in USA can opener which cannot be found here in Canada but is available through Amazon. There’s been rumours of counterfeits but the seller has me checkmated. I ordered one so we’ll see how it goes.

“The John J. Steuby Company made parts for the Swing-A-Way, and when Swing-A-Way was sold, the company started creating its own can openers: the EZ-Duz-It…”

Luckily, my obsessions tend to be inexpensive.

 

 

Zen in Sickness Not in Health

The level of sickness I’m at right now is where your boss at work can still convince you to come in and ‘suck it up.’ You end up regretting it a few hours into your shift and promise yourself that next time you’ll tell your boss to eat dog shit with corn stuck in it. Does the corn make it worse or better?

On Friday I didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t eat much and had a couple of beers. It might have been okay but the next day I went to the gym and didn’t eat much again. This is what I get for trying to better myself. If I had just sat on my ass all weekend eating Cheetos I could have avoided compromising my immune system. Now I’m sick and have no craving for Cheetos.

Today has been a liberating experience. When you’re sick the only plan for the day is to do nothing. I haven’t been this delighted at the idea of laying around and watching stuff on screens for a very long time. When you’re well and not of geriatric status there’s this constant voice reminding you that you might be wasting your life. Being sick allows you to duct tape the mouth that voice comes from without feeling any guilt. If I wasn’t sick it would just appear that I’m depressed…tired face, laying around all day watching T.V. while eating too much or not enough.

You could say I’m living in the present today because the past and future do not matter right now. I’ve always thought that if I had a recognized disability it would mentally set me free. I’d be parading around the neighbourhood singing, I can’t do nothing, I can’t do nothing…because I’m disabled! It’s like being honourably discharged from the military because your balls were shot off…it’s not enviable but it’s acceptable. No one expects a guy with no balls to do much in life. I could tell people all about the dreams that I had and how I was on my way to realizing them….but I’m disabled now.

When I’m no longer sick I may lie to myself and forge a sick note to my brain saying I’ll need another couple days off.

 

Today is Sunday

My throat has the beginnings of a virus forming. You know, it starts off with a little itch and progressively gets worse every couple of hours. Last night after using the vaporizer for my marijuana therapy my throat was dry but I didn’t get that glass of water that I knew I should have. Oh it will be okay. That type of thinking almost always leads to something not being okay. ‘It’s okay’ is what you tell yourself for short term comfort knowing very well it’s not okay.

Today’s piano lesson was shit. I had 3 weeks off and I now I’m worse. My punishment is $37.50 for the exact same lesson I had 3 weeks ago because I haven’t progressed enough. Charging for piano lessons is like selling gym memberships. After a while people won’t try as hard but will continue to pay the same amount. A good business is one that caters to people’s best intentions then locks them in and has their clients falter like they were statistically going to since recorded history. People are degenerate gamblers in some form. They think they are special and will beat the odds.

Here I am at the cafe to redeem myself by reading a book. Three Asian students sitting separately all have complicated looking mathematical equations in front of them and graphs that are displaying something. Maybe the inverse relation of gravity minus pythagoras multiplied by the square root of the speed of light. Anyone spending their Sunday engaged in such an activity is desperately working towards not being a loser.

To be an Asian in a developed country without a university degree is appalling. You don’t bullshit well enough and aren’t tall enough to get by in life by slacking off. You’ll be first in line to be culled by artificial intelligence.

If I had a job to go to tomorrow I’d be excited at the prospect of being genuinely sick so that I could call in sick without the guilt. Certain feelings will hold you back in life. Guilt has been one of them for me. Fake it until you make it and then for good measure keep faking it. People are usually too polite to call you out on your bullshit.

Part-time Work

In the early years of my last job I confessed to a co-worker how I would rather work part-time hours. Her response?

“That’s not very attractive.”

I guess to her a single man’s purpose in life is to be attractive to women. Her husband is probably a sucker. Women don’t necessarily have to be in love to marry a man, they’ll settle for a slave. So would I though. If someone is willing to give you everything you want in exchange for hanging around while also providing a pension if you ever decide to leave, it would be difficult to resist. Ironically or maybe not, she only worked part-time which is acceptable of course because she’s a woman. How come the term loser is never assigned to women? I ignored her for the next 5 years.

Recently, I entertained the idea of part-time work again. There was a union gig I found near my home servicing public bus coin boxes. I want to say I turned it down but I can’t because I didn’t even apply. It seemed like a really lonesome job that only offered money in exchange for my effort and time.

The way I see it is that an unfulfilling job is going to take away much of my good energy. When I finish my shift I’ll want to do crap all or at least only activities that are easy(watching videos) or fun(eating hamburgers). On my days off I’ll be recovering from work from the day before and will likely continue doing crap all. Hangovers aren’t only created by alcohol.

Perhaps I’m not very productive as it is but my belief is that having too much time will make me really bored which will push me to do things I wouldn’t do otherwise. This all sounds crazy or at the very least a poor excuse to not work a job but I don’t want to take any chances. Dead end jobs only pay you for your time. If you have a Plan B then you’re doing your Plan A a disservice.

As for now my choices in the stock market have been financially supporting me. It was punching me in the gut late last year but I have been slowly catching my breath back. If it decides to assault me more severely in the near future I’ll still be okay. If it continues to rally then I guess I’ll also be okay.

 

Reading Books

My former Amway sponsor said if you don’t read books you might as well be illiterate. I responded by saying I would still need to read restaurant menus, but I get his point. I don’t believe that people who read abundantly are more intelligent because it depends greatly on what you read and how you process the information. Finishing a large catalogue of books from the teenage vampire genre doesn’t make you an intellectual.

In the past couple of years I have been trying to make it a habit to read more and I have been failing at it for the most part. In a book that I have been slowly reading over the past few months it suggested that when it comes to progress anything is better than nothing, just don’t give up. So I made a promise to read at least 2 pages a day no matter what. I’ve been failing even at that but I never mentally called it quits.

I’m on a quest towards self-improvement and progress. For $20 or free you can get a lifetime of information from people who are smarter, more educated and more experienced than you are. All you have to do to absorb their powers is to read what they wrote.

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I don’t know if I’d recommend any of the books I’m reading to many people. Marilyn Manson’s book is the most entertaining…surprise surprise. The other 3 books have good information but can be boring too. Reading internet articles seems to be more practical. I believe books have to be a certain number of pages so that the publisher or whoever can justify a higher cost, and in return you get a bunch of filler pages and paragraphs.

If you want to improve in a particular area in your life, reading the appropriate books is a must. If you’re not seeking out information to improve in a particular subject it means you’re not interested in improving or you think you know it all.

If I was a parent I would be reading books on parenting, children, social sciences or at least a stripper’s autobiography for lessons on what not to do. There’s books to help you with your career but a good sign that you don’t like your job is if you have no interest in doing it better. Who wants to read books on something they hate doing? If you’re not interested in seeking information on raising a better child then maybe you don’t really want to be a good parent?

Today I read 20 pages. I deserve a cookie.

The Dark Side

In the circle of people I grew up with, selling drugs has had a few types of doors. There’s the revolving door where someone quits but returns in the future. There’s a few reasons why they quit but the most common is because they weren’t making enough money. They’ll tell you it’s because of something else but ultimately it’s because the money stopped coming in.

Hoods never stop, they just take a break.
– City of God(movie)

Transitioning from the world of drug dealing to legitimate life can be difficult. Your education, work experience and people skills can be comparable to that of a 12-year-old. Even if you do power through, your possibilities seem limited. During a period when life puts its squeeze on, some tend to break and walk back over to the dark side.

Most assume that if you have made it past your 20s without having given into the temptation of making easy money then your remaining years of life will be entirely a legitimate path. When life bends you over and gives it to you then you might just walk through that new door. You know how life lived for over 30 years on one side of that door is and it has sucked with a bleak outlook going forward. At least maybe on the dark side the stars will align for you.

You are the sum average of the 5 people you spend the most time with
Jim Rohn

Associating regularly with drug dealers but never taking a bite of the sinful fruit seems somewhat impressive but it’s like herpes. The dormant virus is in you and it only takes a single occasion to produce an outbreak. When you say you’ll never do it but you’re always around people that do, you’re sending mixed messages to the universe. One day it’s going to give you the only answer that makes sense.