On the Way Home

Almost $6 for a small decaf Americano and a giant cookie. My new thing is going to this coffee place to read. At these prices I have to take up their space for at least an hour to get my money’s worth.

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During the walk home I saw a yard sale sign and checked it out. Ooooh…this is cool!

“How much?”

She quickly ran into the house to check the internet to see if it was “worth anything.” Once she was convinced it wasn’t going to get her 100 manic eBay bidders she offered it to me for $3. I gave her $4($2 coins) and she didn’t give me any change. I yelled profanities at her and sliced her throat open with the jagged record.

On the way home I decided to stop by an old lady’s home to say hi. She heard of Orson Welles but not of the radio broadcast. She asked if I wanted to play it. I asked if she wanted to listen to it. She said, “not really.” She told me an old person story like how old people usually do and then I left.

On the way home again I saw another yard sale sign and went to investigate. By the time I arrived they were packing up. A middle-aged man with an English accent said, “hey, is that the recording that scared the shit out of everybody?” He too thought the LP might be worth some money but I informed him that it probably wasn’t worth shit. His 3 friends had never heard of it. One of them tried to sell me on a free wooden entertainment center that he couldn’t give away during the entire day. People would rather accept a bag of dog shit because at least it’s easy to get rid of.

On the way home again I bumped into the an old guy that lives across the street from me. I’m not sure if he even recognized me. When he did recognize me in the past he would call me, Justin. My name isn’t Justin but I’m open to change. Sure, I can be Justin. He also never heard of this War of the Worlds. He took out his reading glasses and read aloud the synopsis. “People are gullible,” he said.

My conclusion is that this War of the Worlds is not as well-known as I thought.

 

Non-active Gym Membership

When doing the math, $4.99 plus tax every 2 weeks on a 1 year commitment could only be so bad. I suspect this gym had the same idea. A week after I signed up for the gym membership I crashed my car which resulted in a total loss. I walked to the gym a few times after but eventually gave it up. Now I’m the best type of customer that they have…one who pays but never goes. The bad customers take up space, stink up the place and contribute to wear and tear of the equipment. They should throw customer appreciation parties for customers like me.

It’s a classic case of human behaviour. Optimism is at its highest when an idea is just an idea. People often rationalize the high likelihood that they will commit. Everything works in theory. Once the idea requires physical effort it no longer seems like such a good idea. Now you rationalize ways on how it’s okay to stop going and how the money that will be wasted isn’t that much. You tell yourself that walking your dog is plenty of exercise and the money wasted is only half of what you received for Christmas. I’d like to see the stats of active memberships versus non-active. I’m sure it’s part of the business plan.

There’s a reason why businesses make you sign contracts. They know that people are losers and will often fall into the trap of convenience and laziness. When video stores were around they thrived on late fees. People would often put off returning videos until the last day and when that day came they forgot or their house burned down. With enough life experience you start to say “no” to every enticing offer not because it’s not a good deal but because you know your loser tendencies. Accepting offers are often a bet with yourself.

In the past I have made good use of my gym memberships but it just didn’t happen this time. It’s just been too inconvenient without a vehicle(excuse). I do mini-workouts by randomly dropping and giving myself 20 or doing pull-ups on the monkey bars when there’s no children around. I still have half a year to redeem myself with my gym membership so we’ll see what happens(rationalizing hope).

 

Caring

Someone caring about you is one thing and how much they care about you is another. Whether they do or not, and how much is a matter of belief. Perhaps there are people who care about me but more importantly to me is what does their caring do for me. When you’re not #1 in anyone’s life then you might as well be tied for 10th place with 5 other people. This is why people go to great lengths to have a partner in their life because in our culture the unwritten rule and assumption is that you will be each other’s #1.

To care about someone is just as vital to one’s existence but the feeling has to be believed to be mutual. Sometimes we may find ourselves in denial so that we can continue the train of caring. Once it stops there’s no steam and nowhere to go. Having only yourself to care about takes you only so far.

Feeling important is almost the same as people caring about you. If no one cares about you then it means you’re not important. If you’re not important then it feels that you have no reason to live. The further we move away from dependence with humans the less motivation we have to care about people.

When desperation kicks in, sometimes the standards are lowered and self-respect is up for sale. What does it matter when the other option is believed to be a life not worth living?

Failed Joke

I just came back from walking the dog at the park and may have made an inappropriate slave joke in the company of middle-aged white women about another middle-aged white woman. I’m not sure if the joke didn’t go over well because of the possible racial connotation or because it was in relation to one of their peers or because of the possible vulgarity of my joke.

This white woman was walking her dog with two foreign teenage Asians. The women stopped and chatted. Later I asked one of the women that I knew if that woman was doing homestay which is having foreign students live in your home in exchange for money. She said she didn’t know.

“Maybe they’re her slaves?” I said.

No one busted out in laughter. What can I say? It just came out. It wasn’t even really funny and I probably shouldn’t have said it. I’m not making excuses but when there’s a conversation that is only good enough to eliminate silence it’s worse than watching a boring TV show because I have to pretend to be interested. Oh well, I swung and I missed. Not my crowd. I’m sure it will happen again. Many might say that no one wants to be around a person like me. I wouldn’t object but the feeling is often mutual so here I am…alone.

 

Hustling

In high school, breaking into cars or taking the whole car was trendy during some years. When we were 13 years old, VT had the reputation of having a lot of cash from cars that he stole that were then shipped internationally. A few years later, still in high school, I came across what I thought was an opportunity to be involved in something similar. Some guy I knew had a stolen Lexus and asked if I had any way of getting rid of it for cash. I kind of put things into motion but I think it was far from ever working out. I learned that in the game of crime it’s not easy to make money without getting your hands dirty. Being a successful middleman is a privileged position. VT ended up running heroin on the streets like many others at that time and was the first one to be murdered.

At my first shitty retail job after high school I sold counterfeit watches that my friend brought back for me from Hong Kong. They were $3 a piece and I sold them for $25 to coworkers and customers. Some bought them because the watches looked nice and I think others bought them as a nice gesture. I thought my product had great appeal and that I was a marvelous salesperson but at the time I wasn’t aware that people would buy things from you just to support your cause. I think a coworker thought less of me when I didn’t reciprocate by purchasing salmon he was selling.

At that same shitty retail job I bought tools at half price and used my employee discount as well. These gear wrenches were a new thing and people on eBay were buying them. After a couple dozen of these wrenches my manager called me into his office. In a clear and stern voice he asked,

“Have you been buying these items to resell?

His boss was upset that I was buying these wrenches at less than cost. I should have answered, “yes” because that would have got me fired but like an idiot I denied it and said I was sending them to my uncle in China who owns a factory. I remained on the payroll to suffer another a year.

The most profitable but most disgraceful hustle in my young age was scalping concert tickets. It happened by accident. I had a 2nd pair of Chris Rock tickets that I was hoping to get rid of for cost. On eBay they ended up getting sold for double! I was like, holy shit. For that whole year I woke up just before certain tickets went on sale and would buy 2 or 4 online. I would research on the internet beforehand to find out which acts had sold out the last time they came into town. Amazingly I was able to sell every ticket at a profit. I wish I could say that I discontinued this venture because of improved morals but it was because I ended up getting a job at the eBay call centre which held me to a certain standard in the eBay marketplace.

This is my way of confessing my sins. Some of them anyway.

 

 

Movies and Cents

I just came back from walking the dog. While walking the dog the sudden urge to buy a beer came to me and luckily there is a liquor store nearby. Not planning to buy anything when I left the house I didn’t think about bringing any money but usually there is left over change in my pockets. I already knew $2.85 would make me 10 cents off but I figured they would let me off. Well, she didn’t. This led me to resort to panhandling.

“Excuse me, can I trouble you for a dime?”

“Excuse me……..”

One guy said he had no money on him and another woman quickly got in her car and drove off. I guess she was scared I was a rapist walking my dog. How could she? I was wearing a clean t-shirt. I decided to keep whatever self-respect I had left, went home and am now drinking spring water. Now the village gossip will get around that I’m the Asian bum with the white dog. If I tipped the waitress 1% less today I would have had that dime. When life doesn’t work out the way you hoped you just tell yourself that the gods had a plan for you. Perhaps they want me to preserve my stellar blood pressure measurement from yesterday of 107 over 67. I’m not sure if that is stellar since any lower I’m hovering in hypotension territory. I want to know what the blood pressure measurement is when you reach enlightenment. It’s probably zero over zero.

I watched an overrated movie today at the theatres. 93% on Rotten Tomatoes! How shitty could it be? Johnson Potatoes gives Baby Driver a 50% rating. Apparently it was too brilliant for me. I was supposed to be in awe of how the music was choreographed with the characters and different scenes.

Moonlight was supposed to be another great movie but I also didn’t think much of it. I watched it before it won all the prestigious awards. If I was a betting man I would wager that last years awards controversy had something to do with it. The portrayal of a gay, black drug dealer was supposed to enthrall me. Again, maybe I just didn’t get it but at least the film raises awareness about the hardships of gay, black drug dealers.

 

 

 

 

Sleepless Yesterday

For the past while I’ve been regularly waking up way too early for reasons unknown. The only substance I’ve been abusing is decaf coffee and that’s not even every day. Self-diagnosing has me believe I’ve been wrecking my brain somehow.

Yesterday I may have woke up at 5:30 AM because my tongue was dry as summer bark. Not being able to fall back asleep I laid there for 4 hours hoping that listening to boring radio shows would help me doze off.

For some reason I decided to get up to look at my breaking fence. After inspecting it I thought what the heck, why don’t I try to fix it. I had a hope that my obese carpenter cousin would help me out like last time but I was confident it wouldn’t be the case.

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It’s falling over

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I had watched him last time so I had an idea how to do it. It opened a new portal to another dimension. My next-door neighbour has one of those brick barbecues that I think are so cool. Seeing that the other side of the fence was painted the colour of their house, it had me wondering who is responsible for this fence? Is it 50/50? If it’s 50/50 but he refuses responsibility then I’ll have to use this portal more often to occupy his barbecue as compensation.

This project had me pulling out an assortment of tools that I’ve been collecting but never really used. I went through a period where I would just buy tools that I didn’t need if they were on sale.

When the dog heard some ruckus she came out and sat their watching the whole time. I think she wanted to go through the portal.

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The dog is nosy

 

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Not perfect but satisfactory

It was actually fairly easy and quick. I’m hoping the fix will last a while. Relying on people forces you to keep good relations but can prevent you from realizing you can do a lot on your own. For most of my adult life I had my friend do my income taxes until I decided I didn’t want any part of my life held hostage for favours or potential favours. It’s unfortunate and liberating at the same time. It took me 10 minutes to do my first ever tax return online. If you want motivation to be nice to everyone then you should think about becoming a real estate agent.

4:00 PM rolls around and I still haven’t been able to fall back asleep neither have I eaten breakfast yet. After having 4 scrambled eggs with onions I decided I would go walk to the movie theatres to watch 47 Meters Down. It was a good movie in the sense that it had my attention the whole time and there wasn’t anything stupid about it like the girl killing the shark with a palm strike to the nose.

On the way home I saw a young woman claiming her prize from someone else’s junk on the sidewalk. It was an old mini bar fridge. It had that same brown colour that televisions used to have in the  mid-80s.

“How far do you live?” I think this was my way of offering to carry it home for her.

She was eating a water based frozen treat and I could see the package of Playtex through the plastic bag she was holding. As I walked closer towards her I could see the many skin sores all over her arms. I hate to judge but the ones who don’t judge are the ones that end up dead in a ditch. The possibility that she’s a drug addict and the 5 block walk carrying a mini bar fridge was enough for me to not carry through with my half-offering. I probably would have though if she asked. My curiosity gets the best of me.