up/down day

what a day. at times, i was happy and optimistic, and other times, dejected and annoyed. let’s begin.

  • woke up to our rooster crowing at 5:45 am. bad.
  • took stella for a walk, met some other cute dogs along the way. it was mostly nice weather. good.
  • tried to replace a sway bar bushing on the new-to-me nissan x-trail but it’s so rusted that every bolt i touched either stripped or sheared off. bad.
  • had a guy come buy one of the 5-string basses that i had decided to part with. good — but his max offer was $50 less than my asking price. bad. i accepted it since i have had no other interest in it in the two weeks the ad has been up, and knew that if i didn’t take the offer, i would only wait another two weeks to then have some other goon make a similar offer. decided to swallow my pride and get it over with sooner than later.
  • i had another guy coming a bit later to buy my other bass that is for sale. good.
  • while the first guy was here, we tested out the second bass and despite having worked just fine up until this point, now it was suddenly not producing any sound through the amp. i had to call the second guy and tell him not to bother coming. bad.
  • thanks to the video below, i learned how to test volume and tone pots (aka potentiometers). good.
  • i fixed the broken volume pot easily — good, but the potential buyer was no longer able to make it today and was already on his way back to the mainland. bad.
  • at this point, i was pretty disappointed with how the day was shaping up so i went back outside and put the x-trail back together. i decided to insure it tomorrow, give it a good cleaning, and put it up for sale in the next few days. i’m bummed with how this foray into a new vehicle that i was excited about has gone but i’m grateful to at least know which direction i want to go with it from here, so that was alright in the end. good.
  • then i was about to head inside when i realized i still had some daylight, so i decided to slaughter the rooster who started this day off so poorly. this wasn’t a whim though; i had been meaning to kill him for a few days now since he had started crowing in earnest, waking us up at ungodly hours. i caught him easily, which was a nice surprise, and broke his neck. but gee whiz, it was way tougher than any of the hens i’ve euthanized. probably from all that damn crowing. after that, butchering him went pretty smoothly. i offered the heart and lungs to the dog and one of the kittens but they weren’t interested, the ingrates. now the carcass of the rooster is in the freezer, awaiting the stew pot. good.

and that brings us to now. let’s raise our glasses to the rooster for a moment. his name was buddy and he was 7 months old. he was from the first batch of chicks i’ve ever kept so i feel like i should have been more attached to him but he was supremely annoying so i won’t miss him. whatever. he had a short but sweet life, with a quick, merciful ending. we should all be so lucky.

always glad to end a so-so day on a high note.

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drown in blue stones

last night i dreamed i was a heavyset female college student. i was in my early 20s but dressed like a dowdy, frumpy middle-aged woman — baggy sweater and corduroy pants in earth tones like orange and brown. i was in a house in a city and the downstairs floor was being flooded by small, round, robin’s egg blue stones. i have no idea how they were getting in but they were quickly piling up and i was afraid i was going to drown in/choke on the things. i ran upstairs and some nice guy who i seemed to know (i had the feeling he was my boyfriend) and who looked like my male equivalent helped me to climb out the window, i think. the next thing i knew, i was walking around the streets of this anonymous city. i was now wearing some kind of scarf over my head and face, trying to conceal my identity because i was now afraid of being caught — by who and for what, i have no idea.

that was it. what a weird one. i don’t think i’ve ever been a woman in my dreams before.

canadian political scum games

beyak-scheer

these two (and a slew of others, i’m sure) can get fucked.

the other day, i read in the news that canadian conservative leader andrew scheer kicked lynn beyak out of the conservative senate caucus over some “offensive and unacceptable” material on her website. i thought she should have been ousted a long time ago for her absurd, ignorant rhetoric but was still grateful that her party finally seemed to acknowledge just how nuts she actually is. scheer’s spokesman said the stuff on beyak’s website was just discovered this week, and that was strike three for her.

but this morning i read that garnet angeconeb, a residential school survivor and social justice advocate who received the order of canada in 2012, emailed both andrew scheer and conservative senate leader larry smith about the shit on beyak’s website several months ago. angeconeb never received a response from either of the pricks.

this is the sort of thing about politicians that really gets me fired up. if scheer and smith’s offices were both alerted that beyak was still being an overt racist several months ago, why didn’t they do anything about it then? why are they saying they just learned about the material on her website now?

and since angeconeb still has the emails he sent to scheer and smith, why isn’t this a bigger story? there should be headlines saying conservative leader and conservative senate leader ignored senator’s continued racist activities for months and then lied about it. i think this is at least as big a story as beyak’s racist views — it speaks volumes about politicians protecting each other, and willful ignorance of (if not quiet support for) deeply entrenched racist tendencies.

what a bunch of untrustworthy, despicable assholes. fuck beyak, fuck scheer, and fuck smith. as trump would say, “terrible” people. “sad.”

 

i want to be broke

twice in the last 6 or 7 years, i’ve become what i consider overweight. what do i consider overweight? i could see in the mirror that my gut was sticking out, and my pants were getting tighter. to me, that’s overweight. i wasn’t a blimp or anything but i could see that i was starting to pack weight on, and that’s enough for me to want to do something about it.

the scale confirmed my fears, of course. while my adult weight has fluctuated between 180-190 lbs, it was only recently that it crept up to 200 lbs. both times that this happened, i simply cut back on junk food (i have a deep respect for cookies and chips), started eating smaller portions in general, and did a bit more cardio exercise like running and biking than usual. within a few weeks, my body went back to the shape i liked and my weight dropped down to 190. hooray, all is right in my world again.

but i’ve been thinking about why my weight has slowly become a minor issue for me, and i actually think it’s because i’m no longer poor.

hear me out, you treasonous infidels: when i was in my early 20s and first moved out, i didn’t have a lot of money so i bought the cheapest food i could — i learned that fruit was a much cheaper snack than chocolate-coated granola bars or any of the tastier, less healthy options. the same thing applied to cereal so i usually opted for corn flakes or red river — the ultra bland healthier stuff. i never bought cheese because that was WAY too expensive, and on and on. i never overate either, since that would obviously cost more. it’s no surprise i was pretty skinny for all of this.

but as i’ve gotten older and made gradually more money, i’ve gotten into the habit of treating myself to whatever i want, whenever i want. i can now afford whatever guilty pleasure i want when i get groceries, i can buy baked goods every time i work, i can get greasy pizza for a snack when i’m doing errands in town. it doesn’t have a visible impact on my bank account anymore so there has been no incentive to deny myself.

therein lies the problem. i’ve reached a point where i can financially afford to always say ‘yes’ to myself, and it has made me soft.

on-his-23rd-birthday-at-764-pounds-346-5-kg-robert-gibbs-says-he-is-a-prisoner-in-his-own-body-source-kpix-cbs

not THAT soft

the funny thing is that i frequently think about this idea in terms of artists and how shitty most of them get once they make it big. i think metallica is a perfect example of how a hungry young band can create important, powerful art when they have nothing, and how the success of that art can lead to the band becoming complacent or self-indulgent. artists have to be careful with success because it can be such a double-edged sword. no matter how successful a band becomes, i think it is of utmost importance that they preserve the fire that made them so great to start with — they need to stay lean, stay hungry, so to speak. i think about that all the time.

despite being acutely aware of this idea, i too fell victim to it (in a physical sense, obv). it’s incredible.

the good news though is that i’m aware of all this now; i’m lucky i caught it early, and i’m lucky i’m already back down to my fighting weight. now i just have to learn to live every day like i’m broke again.

metallica_in_1985_by_x_ploder-d5tfw0z

stay lean. stay hungry. stay broke. it’s actually better that way.

…and the recap

what is recap even short for? anyway.

since xmas, i’ve been thinking about writing a recap of my year on here. it’s terribly typical and i doubt many people would find it interesting since i certainly wouldn’t give a shit about reading some random person’s “we went camping in the summer and that was nice” thoughts. luckily, this whole blog is entirely self indulgent so i’m going to go for it regardless. i think it’s a good tradition to consider starting so that i can have a summary stored here for future perusal once i completely lose my mind.

so here goes with my fave moments of 2017. read on only if you’re incredibly bored with everything else.

  • i don’t remember much from january or february.
  • in march, jenn and i went to bamfield with our friends kristina and jason. they have a cabin there so we spent a few nights at it, and it was lovely. bamfield is such a remote, tiny, haunting, beautiful place.
  • i learned to humanely euthanize chickens.
  • i learned to slaughter chickens and make stew with the meat. i also learned that even the meat of spent old laying hens is just fine as long as you boil the hell out of it. don’t listen to all the dummies who tell you it’s no good, they’re just uppity bitches.
  • i finally started learning to play bass using the traditional slap and fingers styles. it reignited my love of bass guitar, and sent me on a long quest to find a 5-string that satisfied me.
  • we got a second dog, laika, and learned how poorly things can go with a new animal but my god, she was a sweetheart.
  • i helped my mom move from quesnel down here to the island, and got to try an $8,000 massage chair in the process. the move was fine, the massage chair was unreal. worth the price, if you can afford one.
  • i bought my first suit. each part of the suit is sweatshop-free. i felt really good about that and have made an effort to make sure all of the clothing i buy now is sweatshop-free.
  • we went to three weddings over the summer: steph and tony, matt and chant, and genevieve and matt. all of them were a lot of fun.
  • we stayed in strathcona park for another 4 days after matt and chant’s wedding and did a bunch more exploring there. we checked out gold river (which was neat) and tahsis (which was just sad) while we were in that neck of the woods. on the drive back to shawnigan, we went up to mount washington and hiked some more strathcona trails from that side of the park, and they were the best trails we’ve seen in the park.
  • we had a good friend build a large garage with hay loft on our property. i helped him and learned a lot about construction, and the frustration of building inspections.
  • we retired jenn’s ’92 civic VX in favour of something that doesn’t leak when it rains and has a better crash rating.
  • i took july off of work due to problems with my back flaring up again. that sucked, but it spurred me on to try new forms of rehab which have worked out splendidly since. it’s now been 6 months since i last hurt my back. that’s great.
  • we got a second goat, fay, to keep jamie company when the horse is away for extended periods. we learned that even a formerly charming little fellow like jamie will turn into a disgusting rapist once a female goat is brought into the mix.
  • we bought 10 acres of land up in sointula, and went to the salmon days festival for the second time. we want to build a small cabin up there this summer. we’ve never built a cabin before so i’m a little nervous how it will turn out but i’m confident that with the incredible power of the internet, we can figure it out.
  • we hatched a half dozen chicks, just the second time we’ve done this. i’m a proud daddy.
  • jenn and hiked out to an old hydro power plant just outside of victoria. it was nerve-wracking and exciting as all hell. the ice cream afterwards was to die for.
  • we got two black female kittens, jinx and wednesday. i quickly fell in love with them.
  • at halloween, jenn and i volunteered at a haunted house in glenora and it was amazing. really looking forward to doing it again this year. after that on the 31st, dante and i walked around the beach estates and hung out with sue and jim baker around their campfire. a jack-o-lantern may or may not have been smashed on the walk back to the car. what a solid halloween.
  • jenn sold her horse, ollie, to a very good home down in the US. then she got a new project horse, a neurotic one-eyed fellow she renamed marvel. despite his quirks, i like him. he’s very gentle and affectionate.
  • i played my first gig in 7 years with a misfits cover band. i had wanted to play a halloween show with the band but it didn’t pan out so we ended up playing a show in december that went pretty well.
  • the holiday season of 2017 was fantastic. my clan’s family dinner went as well as once can hope for; jenn’s family dinner was wonderful, complete with snow falling on xmas eve; spencer and julia hosted festivus and it was another great one; jenn and i hosted a new years party (our first ever, actually) and despite the short notice and a lot of people being sick, it had a good turnout of our closest friends. much karaoke and dancing ensued. i made brunch the next morning for some of our pals and that was a lot of fun too. i think it was only the second time in my life that i’ve made food for more than just myself, yet it went well.

i wonder what other notable events i’m forgetting. whatever, that’s a way longer list than i even expected to come up with.

happy new year to all you sons of bitches. looking forward to another year of this shit, provided we don’t die somewhere in the middle of it, which is a persistent possibility. do you ever wonder if this new years eve/xmas/birthday/etc was the last you will ever see? i do. i think about it all the time.

and that’s why you should make the best of each day. you don’t want to be dying in a ditch or hospital bed somewhere this year, thinking, “i really should have gone out and seen my pals last new years.”

funeral-etiquette-rude-behavior

2018, i’m ready. let’s do this.

perspectives

festivus was 5 days ago, and i had an absolutely fabulous time that night. i was surrounded by so many great friends both new and old that i didn’t have enough time to talk to all of them sufficiently.

but the other day, i was thinking about what a different experience festivus must have been for some of the people there. i mean, i would say i knew pretty much everyone at festivus very well, but some attendees only knew a few people there. that would make it way more work to be social and make conversation with strangers, and much less fun.

that blows my mind. it’s crazy to think that this particular night — probably one of my favourite nights of 2017 — may have been merely “meh” to a lot of other people there.

i actually hate to think of it from that perspective. i loved that night, and i don’t want to temper or taint that feeling with the knowledge it wasn’t as good for some of the other party goers. i don’t want to even be aware of that. i just want to be able to enjoy it as i experienced it. i want to be selfish about this.

on an unrelated note, riley used to tell me how he enjoyed lying to the dentist when he went in for cleanings and check-ups. he wouldn’t tell any outrageous lies, he would just alter little details about his life. for example, he would tell them he sang in a metal band when in fact he actually played keyboards in a metal band. i always thought that was fascinating. i think he just liked subtly fucking with those people, and creating a sort of alter ego or ‘bizarro riley’ version of himself. i really admired his cavalier, devil-may-care attitude towards idle conversation with strangers. i couldn’t do it myself. maybe that’s why i like that it was so easy for him.

the wrap

well, festivus has come and gone. so has xmas. and now we are in the tense period between xmas and new years eve, a weird time that feels kind of like an extended holiday even though everyone is back to work and stores are open for their regular hours. and i feel appropriately tense and weird.

festivus was wonderful. i was so overwhelmed with joy that the next day, i wanted to reach out to everyone i saw the night before and tell them all how much i love and appreciate them. this song came on out of nowhere at the very end of festivus and became a perfect soundtrack to my giddy over-stimulation.

jenn and i slept in late the following day and then spent the afternoon and xmas eve with her parents at their place. it snowed while we walked on the beach, which is no small feat in maple bay. my holiday high continued.

xmas morning was lovely too. i made breakfast for jenn and i, we unwrapped our presents to each other, and we dog walked with matt and chant. it was all one can hope for from xmas. i worked that night, which turned out to be the boiling point for my hatred for my employer but that’s a boring story not worth sharing here, and luckily, hasn’t really affected how i’m feeling now.

what will new years eve hold? will it measure up to the rest of this holiday season? no one knows but i’m still feeling a bit giddy, and looking forward to whatever the night ends up bringing.

chaossymbol

although i’m hoping for complete and utter chaos, naturally.