the curse of having a hit song

when chris cornell died a few weeks ago, i watched some live soundgarden performances and was surprised to see how bland their setlist was. soundgarden was always one of those bands that i felt did their own thing and didn’t have many casual fans, so i imagined them being like the cure and playing all kinds of obscure deep cuts from their catalogue at live shows. but nope, there was all the expected big hits. i like soundgarden but have never liked spoonman, it’s so boring and straightforward (save for one syncopated drum section in the breakdown) compared to a lot of their other shit so i was disappointed to see it was still a staple of their live show. i can’t imagine playing that song at every show for about 20 years. that would suck.

then a few days ago, i was looking up some primus stuff. i was aware of primus back in the 90s but never followed them so watching wynona’s big brown beaver in the year 2017 was a pleasant surprise. i hadn’t heard the song since high school so i thought, “wow, what a hidden gem from that long lost era. i bet it’s rare anyone even thinks about this song anymore.” but then i looked up live performances of the tune, and guess what — primus is still active, and still trudge through that fucking song with absolutely zero passion at every show. but you can’t blame them. we’d all be sick of playing the same song hundreds of times per year for 20 years, but that’s what the majority of fans seem to get pumped to hear so you’d probably keep playing it too.

these two examples just reminded me of how shitty it must be to be a popular musician that had a hit song at one time in their career, because no matter how often you have had to roll your eyes and go through the motions of that tired old track, the audience will still want more of it. most of them don’t want to hear your new shit or some obscure old stuff that you think is actually really cool, and that sucks for the artist. the artist ends up being a fucking monkey on a leash, doing expected tricks for children who clap and cheer. it’s a sad fate.

no, better to quit while you’re ahead and avoid a ‘greatest hits’ setlist, or say “fuck you” to your fans and just do whatever you want and end up with a tiny fanbase, or toil in obscurity for your entire career so no one ever has any expectations of you. those are clearly the superior options to making boatloads of cash while being annoyed on stage for an hour or two every other night.

the advice of a pessimist.

“causes of chronic [diarrhea]”

i’ve noticed for a while that when i start typing something into an online search engine, the stuff it suggests to automatically finish my sentence is usually pretty funny. just now i was looking up causes of chronic tight muscles but once i got to chronic, the first suggestion was diarrhea. call me a 6 yr old but that still managed to drag a smirk out of my dusty, cracked visage.

boboli-garden-sculpture-florence-italy_1

“lol.”

it’s actually pretty rare i don’t enjoy the suggestions. even the most general start to a search, like “what do” comes up with “what do bonobos look like,” “what do bed bugs look like,” “what do turtles eat.” i simply can’t imagine that many people wondering about bonobos or turtle diets so those ones are surprising, and picturing nervous white trash anxiously trying to determine what sort of infestation they are dealing with cracks me up.

similarly, typing in just “does” brings up “does god exist,” “does UPS deliver on saturdays,” “does coolsculpting work,” (i’ve never heard of coolsculpting and have no idea what it is) and “does he like me quiz” — all amusing questions that tell me a lot about the general public and just what is on the mind of the average plebe.

it’s nice when something so simple and common is pleasing. it’s a refreshing change of pace and reprieve from the usual melancholy and disappointment.

eeyore-1

that’s enough fun. back to the misery.

to everything, an unavoidable and frustrating challenge

a few months ago, jenn and i decided to get a second dog to keep our first dog, stella, company. we decided we wanted a dog of a similar age, size, and temperament so that they would be more likely to get along well and play together when they are at home in the yard. we searched a lot and found a dog named laika that seemed like a good fit. we brought stella to meet laika and they got along great. we had a second meeting that also went well, so we took laika home.

then everything went to shit.

laika had never been walked off-leash so we had some significant challenges training her on that. then we found she was not socialized enough with groups of dogs and became aggressive in those situations. then we found that stella is actually very possessive of her home and she wound up attacking laika many times. then laika attacked one of our chickens. then, only two weeks after we got her, laika ruptured her ACL.

so here we are, 6 weeks into her recovery from the knee injury. it seems to be going well so far. the other issues have mostly been sorted out too — laika is now better about off leash walks, meeting groups of dogs, and her and stella rarely get on each others nerves. so it’s been a real pain in the ass but it’s getting better and will eventually be fine.

however, i can’t help but wonder sometimes how much easier things would have been if we picked one of the other dogs we had looked at. it’s so easy to think the grass looks greener on the other side. so i’m trying to remind myself when i do that, that stella would have been just as much of a bitch to any other dog, and if the other dog was not as easygoing as laika, we could have ended up with them actually hurting each other during their scraps instead of just posturing. that would have been really bad. or if we got a puppy, which maybe stella would have been less pushy and dominant with, we’d then be dealing with all the other bullshit that goes along with puppies: house training them, teaching them not to chew everything, starting all their basic obedience from scratch. that would be a huge and frustrating commitment too.

so i use this to remind myself that even though i’m annoyed with how things have gone with laika so far, it wouldn’t have necessarily been any better with any other dog. it may have been slightly better or worse, but it would most likely have been a comparably challenging experience. and i think that view applies to most things in life. everything presents its own unique challenges so it’s impossible to say — even with hindsight — that choosing one house, or partner, or career, or anything else, over any other options would have been any better. as long as i make careful decisions based on the best information i have available at the time, i can’t beat myself up over those decision when things don’t go perfectly. because that’s just life.

look at me, being so zen and buddha-like. how pretentious.

45854cfe0bf05cc9c54bd72823aa4da2

a tangled web

it’s been a while since i complained about a news article but i just found one that got me going.

a couple in halifax was engaged but didn’t see eye to eye on the wedding planning — he wanted something cheaper, she wanted something more expensive — so the guy postponed the wedding. in response, the woman ended the relationship altogether.

then they went to court to fight over who got to keep the $19,000 engagement ring. there were texts of him telling her she could keep the ring but i guess he hadn’t meant it, or maybe he had a change of heart. she said she just wanted to sell the ring to pay off debt incurred from planning the wedding. now the guy has claimed bankruptcy so neither of them get the ring — the bank gets it.

what a disaster, and what a perfect example of how petty and cruel human beings can be, even to the people we claim to love and cherish the most. it’s a good thing these clowns didn’t actually tie the knot.

my problems with this story are:

  1. a couple not being able to come to a compromise on wedding plans, and ultimately breaking up over them, is absolutely pathetic.
  2. both people going into debt just planning a wedding — not even getting to the wedding itself — is also pathetic.
  3. spending $19,000 on a ring is beyond pathetic. not to mention that the diamond industry is horrific in its treatment of workers and the environment, and carefully controls their own market to inflate prices ridiculously. every sensible person should boycott diamonds.
  4. despite their apparent dire financial straits, the couple managed at one point to afford a trip to mexico together for which the small claims adjudicator ordered the woman pay her ex back $3000. i can’t believe that a financially strapped couple would drop this kind of money on a vacation.

it’s all so depressing. i hate seeing evidence that these kind of people really do exist. i mean, i bitch about them all the time but i rarely see this kind of detailed evidence of them so this is a real mindfuck. did i mention he has his full name tattooed on his left bicep in a crossword-style, along with the words “reign” and “journey”? i’m not sure if those are the terrible names he picked for his poor, unfortunate children, or if they’re merely words the big cornball finds inspirational. he also has numerous other lame inspirational tattoos that mention dedication and being strong and have lots of ellipses. why do people overuse ellipses so much now, anyway? what a fucking ghastly trend that is.

man, there’s a lot to hate about this one little news story.

image_51056_1452010955_28

the unhappy couple themselves. what a surprise that a competitive bodybuilder would turn out to be crazy.

 

shitter

i have a twitter account. it doesn’t have my real name or anything attached to it, of course. i use it to voice my pleasure and disdain at various individuals i would otherwise have no means of reaching out to, like bands and UFC fighters.

but i don’t ‘follow’ anyone on twitter. i’m just not that interested in what anyone is doing. even the people i’m most interested in, i don’t want to see the latest pics of them snuggling their cat, or what they’re having for dinner, or hear their thoughts on the canucks game. to test this, i just looked at the twitter pages for a few folks i like and yup, i was bored and annoyed by their posts. so i wonder, why does anyone care about keeping up to date on any of that shit?

to me, it doesn’t matter how stunningly beautiful a person is, how much i love their art, what their political leaning is, or anything like that. no one is so fascinating, so all-consuming, that i need to ‘follow’ them. maybe i’m missing something though. maybe a lot of people just follow their friends, and use twitter like i used to use facebook, to keep in touch with pals. but i don’t know anyone who does that. everyone that i know uses twitter to either follow stars, or promote their business — both boring reasons, in my book.

fuck following anyone on twitter. i can’t think of any good reason to do so. god, social media is such a ridiculous time waster. just before people die, they should be told how many hours they spent on facebook, instagram, and twitter in their lifetime. i’d like the horror of realizing they’ve wasted so much of their lives to be one of their final memories. 

co2

“hahaha! and to think, you did it to yourself!”

watch me start following some loudmouth on twitter next week. i’ll never admit it if i do.

it feels good to feel good

for the last week or so, i’ve been feeling really good, really happy, and it’s weird what a vicious cycle feeling good is — being happy about some stuff in my life makes me more appreciative of other things, like friends or good times for example, and being appreciative of those things and feeling lucky (or “blessed,” barf) makes me even happier. it’s like i’ve been on a positivity bender for a week now.

passedout

“WOO!”

and it feels great.

it’s a nice change of pace from my usual disposition, ranging of ‘slightly depressed’ to ‘very depressed.’ and while i feel like i should somehow prepare myself for this all to come to a crashing halt, for the moment the happy things stop occurring, i feel too good right now to worry about it. i know the end will come, the misery will return, and things will go back to normal but i’ll deal with it when it happens. no point in getting bummed out while i’m still feeling so good.

why am i feeling so good, anyway? steph and tony’s wedding, seeing lots of great friends i don’t see very often, the suit i put together looks great, we’re building a garage, we bought property up island, i got five new young hens, one of my adult hens went broody and is now sitting on 8 fertilized eggs i bought for her, i finally set up a micro drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden, the new twin peaks is as weird and fantastic as ever…that sort of stuff.

something else i want to note about this happiness bender: it makes me prone to the sensation of emotions welling up. like, i’ll get a text from a good friend and i’ll almost want to cry because i feel so grateful to have that friend in my life. similarly, if a really killer anti-humanistic song comes on in my car, i shudder with utter contempt and contemplate the of plunging all of reality — people, planets, the entire universe, all of time — into an endless void of nonexistence: a “red surge,” as i recently heard a convicted killer call it, except i associate red with rage and anger so i’d probably describe my welling up of negative and abstract feelings as more of a “black surge.”

anyway, being happy is just making me feel really emotional in general, i suppose. it’s kind of interesting. i like feeling things.

i don’t feel

i don’t feel much like blogging lately. i think it’s because i was blogging a lot for the last few weeks and burned myself out on it. for the last several days whenever i have checked in here, i’ve felt bored and annoyed, like i was just here out of some sense of obligation.

of course, that’s no fun so i’m making a point to blog less until such time as it starts feeling less forced.

however, there are a few things i want to get off my chest before receding into the abyss once again.

#1. i saw in the news that comedian kathy griffin posted a photo of herself holding donald trump’s bloody head. i don’t really care about this either way, but then i saw that old rocker ted nugent called her picture “downright vulgar, obscene and a genuine variation of a death threat.”

this is coming from the same guy who said barack obama could “suck his machine gun” and hilary clinton was a “worthless bitch” who could “ride one of his guns into the sunset.”

what a fucking hypocrite. it seems like lots of politically active people want to say incendiary things, mock people who take offense and call them “snowflakes,” and wave a flag for freedom of speech — only to cry foul when someone with a different opinion says something similarly inflammatory. it’s a bunch of bullshit. everyone should get some thicker skin, go ahead and talk shit, and not take offense when anyone else talks shit. then i’d never have to hear crowds of hypocrites calling each other snowflakes.

#2. last night i saw a well-dressed middle-aged guy, gassing up his very nice all-wheel drive volvo. his car had an “i [heart] vancouver island” sticker on it, and one of those annoying thule roof rack-mounted cargo boxes. he clearly thought he was a hardcore islander.

cargocarriers_p1_755x600_apr2017

you know you’re a wannabe outdoor enthusiast when…

then he tossed an empty plastic jug of windshield cleaner in the trash can and drove off. i wanted to say, “i see by your car, sticker, and cargo box you’re a real outdoorsy type, so perhaps you’d be interested to know that plastic like the jug you just tossed out is being found by the ton in teeny, tiny pieces throughout the guts of fish and birds in even the most remote regions of earth. since you’re so rugged and adventurous, i thought maybe you’d like to help preserve what’s left of our rotting world by recycling that fucking jug instead of tossing it carelessly in the trash.” but instead, like a coward, i said nothing, and now i hate myself as much as i hate him.

#3. i have been thinking lately that when i’m at my most depressed, i wish i would just die and get the shit over with. conversely, when i’m at my happiest, i wish i would die so as to go out on a high note. i basically think there is never a bad time to hop off of this ride. i mentioned this to riley and he responded that this philosophy should be written in a breezy large print bestseller and promoted by oprah. i thought that was funny.

#4. i went into a lee’s famous chicken and then a tim horton’s yesterday to get junk food for a wedding party. both establishments were filled with the most wretched human vermin: hunchbacked, confused white trash; toothless drunks; mute yet incredibly rude and dismissive ESL students. it occurred to me that perhaps bill and i should go for dinner at lee’s chicken and then wash it down with a double double and some tim bits sometime, and soak in this rich cultural experience that the cowichan valley has to offer.

over and out.