Doesn’t matter if I meant to be mean. Or maybe it does.

I was just dwelling on lousy things I did many many moons ago that I regret. While contemplating those things, I thought to myself, “well, I didn’t mean to be an asshole” — at least I wasn’t trying to be a bastard.

But then I realized that most people aren’t trying to be bastards when they do it, and that doesn’t change how I feel about it when people do shitty things. For example, say I’m driving too slow and it enrages a driver who is stuck behind me. They tailgate me dangerously all the way to the gas station where they get out of their vehicle and scream at me like a lunatic before hopping back in their car and doing a burnout as they leave. A little while later, that person might think, “shit, I really flipped out there. I shouldn’t have done that.” They didn’t want to be an asshole, their fury just got the better of them — but they were a huge asshole, so what does it matter if they wanted to be or not?

My point is that it’s obviously unforgivable when someone makes the conscious decision to be a prick, but I actually think one could make the argument that it’s worse when someone is an asshole without meaning to be, because it shows that their most basic, instinctive reaction is a cruel, shameful one. It reveals that, once all the intellectual layers are pulled back, a rotten core is exposed, and I find that about as sickening in its own right as the maniacs who strive to be evil dicks.

Then again, I know I’ve unintentionally done my fair share of shitty things but have also worked diligently to become more self-aware and try to be a better person (relatively speaking) over the years. Because of that, I hate to imagine anyone writing me off for something I did 20 years ago, have regretted since, and have worked to avoid doing again.

I guess it boils down to

  • how grievous people find the shitty act,
  • if the offender made genuine attempts to make amends and change the lousy aspects of themselves,
  • if the people offended feel the attempts to make amends outweigh the shitty act.

Man alive, nothing is ever black and white. How truly annoying.

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my favourite painting

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That picture you see above is my fave painting. I guess it’s not technically a painting but I don’t know what to call it. It’s more like a black and white picture that has been printed in dark brown on a beige fabric. If someone knows what this style of art is called, please enlighten me.

I’ve had this thing for a long time, almost 20 years. I got it at a thrift store when I was about 20. Since then, my tastes have changed numerous times so I’ve gone through a great many pieces of art, but this one has always made the grade. I loved this one the second I saw it, and I still love it now. I tried to find a similar image online but had no luck so I thought it would be a good idea to document the thing here in case it is ever destroyed in a blaze or something equally awful.

I like this piece for a number of reasons. I like how stark it is, both in terms of its subject and its execution. I mean, a dead tree on a hill is pretty fucking stark, and it’s two-tone colour scheme makes it feel a little like an overexposed photograph.

But I like that it also doesn’t overstate anything. It’s just a dead tree, which I feel is tastefully stark — it seems too easy for most pieces of dead tree art to incorporate a noose, or a full moon, or a spooky fucking ghost into it, and turn themselves into silly goth things. Do an image search for ‘dead tree art’ and most of the stuff you’ll find is goofy shit like that. I think this piece quietly suggests morose things, but ultimately leaves that interpretation up to the person viewing it.

I also like how obviously 60s/70s it is. This fabric print thing screams that era to me, the beige/brown combo screams it, and the matching dark brown frame accentuates it.

This piece gives me the same feeling that my fave Doors songs do: it’s like a haunting, sad, creepy, vague snapshot of a bygone era. For my money, you just can’t beat that.

I often wonder what other people think of this piece, even though I know that even people who share my tastes may not dig it. It’s impossible to predict what anyone else will like. But I think it’s so great in so many ways that I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. That’s a nice feeling to have about something that has been hanging in your house for 20 years. I really got lucky when I stumbled across this thing.

I want to be an emotional basket case

For an extended period this year, I was feeling hyper emotional, in a good way. I wrote about it here but the jist of it is that during this time, I was easily moved to the verge of tears with joy by some of the simplest things.

Prior to this year, running emotionally hot had been rare for me. I’m generally a pretty even keel, but something was clearly going on, and I liked it. It felt good to feel good, to be moved by stuff.

But over the last few months, that hyper emotional state kind of dried up. I only realized it a few weeks ago, and I don’t know why I returned to my emotional flatline state, but I wish the peaks would come back.

So I’ve been actively trying to be more emotional for the last week or so, encouraging that strange feeling I get in my head when something stirs it. I have had a small amount of success — today while watching highlights of Valenta Shevchenko’s fights, I felt a great joy wash over my brain, and tears welled up at the backs of my eyes. Her skills, movements, power, and personality are all so beautiful. She’s really something special.

Back on topic — I was pleased to feel the emotional surge again but there is still much progress I need to make. I want more of this feeling. I want it consistently. I don’t want to get complacent about it, to forget about it, to get wrapped up in mundane daily life bullshit. I want to

Well, that was interesting. I stepped away from writing this to put away some recycling and take a piss, and while sitting on the toilet (I prefer to piss sitting down, I find it more relaxing) and staring at the garbage can, the very feeling I’m talking about sneaked right up on me, and I started crying right then and there. It was amazing. I don’t think I summoned the feeling, I think it is more that I have been making myself consciously open to receiving it and it just happened to present itself then, but regardless — wow, that felt good. And the timing was funny (for happening while on the toilet) and amazing (for happening while I was writing this).

I’ve really turned into some kind of touchy feely, hippie dippie weirdo these days, it seems. Oh well, at least I’m a touchy feely, hippie dippie weirdo that is accessing some seriously good vibes and feeling groovy for it. Fucking eh.

I’ve been an emotional basket case

Jenn and I are building a cabin on some remote property we own. We have some carpenter friends who made it sound like a pretty easy thing to do as long as you have some common sense and a decent work ethic.

I’m here to tell you that the cabin is slowly coming along — we have a floor, walls, and roof so far — but it’s been a god damned struggle. I now understand why carpenters have to do a whole bunch of schooling and apprenticing. There are so many aspects to building that I simply never imagined, and each one has so many layers and details that it’s impossible to get a good grasp on each one from just a few youtube videos and wikihow pages. Our lack of knowledge and experience (and resources out in buttfuck nowhere) have made the project incredibly challenging and stressful so far.

This level of challenge has had positive and negative effects on the project, because the times when things have gone well, we’ve been elated. But when things have gone badly, we’ve been absolutely miserable. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was on the verge of tears a handful of times, feeling overwhelmed, in over my head, hopeless, etc. There were times when, to console myself, I thought about how even though I’ve wasted so much time and money on this, at least I still have everything else in my life to be thankful for — health, Jenn, good friends, a home I love, a job I’m happy at, etc. To have to fall back on such basic things to comfort myself, I clearly had to be feeling very fucking low. I can’t remember ever doing that before. I can’t remember ever feeling like such an abject failure at something.

Thankfully, we somehow pulled through all of that, got the cabin to actually look sort of like something, and are now at a point where the remaining jobs are generally smaller and less daunting. I hope that our subsequent work trips are just as satisfying and rewarding as this last one (when things went well, of course) but far less mentally and emotionally straining. I much prefer the ‘low effort/high reward’ work model, personally.

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I was so fucking happy to come home and see the hens again. They don’t give a toss if I’m a useless tit at carpentry.

easy targets

Sometimes I meet or learn about people that I strongly dislike, and I want to give those people shit. But occasionally I find that those people are strongly disliked universally, and it has a weird effect on me — it makes me dislike them even more, but it also makes me pity them.

For example, let’s talk about Dutch UFC fighter, Germaine de Randamie.

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Normally, I’m a huge fan of odd ducks, and de Randamie is certainly that — she’s part of a small pool of European fighters in the UFC, and an even smaller pool of European female fighters. She has super thin, frizzy hair. She’s tall and lanky, built like a teenage boy — unlike many popular female UFC fighters, she could never pass as a model. She’s got an annoying, super peaceful, almost Buddhist vibe to her. Because of these things, she couldn’t have the immediate fanbase that a hot little blonde American girl would in the UFC, and that’s why I was interested in her at first — I just thought, “wow, she’s tough to market.”

On top of that, she is tough as fuck.

I found that combination of being innately unpopular despite being one of the best in the game fascinating, so I followed de Randamie a bit. But as time went on, I came to be annoyed by those things I initially found intriguing. She’s so odd that she didn’t do herself any favours in her interviews, and then she cheated like crazy in her now infamous fight with Holly Holm (she threw multiple punches after the bell, multiple times) in which de Randamie was crowned the UFC’s first women’s featherweight champion. Then she refused to fight the next challenger, at first stating it was due to a hand injury but later changing her story and saying it was actually due to the challenger’s history of testing positive for steroids once, 10 years prior. She was stripped of the belt and basically disappeared for a year and a half, only to reappear lately, lamenting how much flak she caught on social media for her last fight and the ensuing fiasco, and now saying she never really felt comfortable in the featherweight division anyway.

At this point, I still want to see de Randamie fight — she’s still one of the best — but I want to see her a) not cheat, and b) get her ass handed to her. She’s proven herself to be a cheater, a coward, and a hypocrite, so she’s lost me. Now when I see her say dumb stuff in interviews, part of me wants to go to her twitter page and tell her how wack she is.

But then I see a bunch of other people online already saying basically the same thing I would, and suddenly I feel bad for ol’ de Randamie. It must be shitty to be so unpopular, to receive all that hate from so many people. And what’s worse is that it appears she isn’t even able to recognize why people dislike her, or admit to her faults. On one hand, that level of pride and/or ignorance makes her even more unlikable…but it also makes her pitiable, in a way. I mean, if she doesn’t have the ability to see her faults or the inner strength to admit to them, she’s not really able to do any better, you know?

So, am I justified in giving her shit? Is there a hope that something I say might flick the switch for her, or am I just picking on the dumb kid at the playground? I feel like it’s more the latter than the former so I think I’ll keep my big yap shut and just leave her alone.

Plus, if I harass her and then bump into her, I’ll probably wake up on the floor with two black eyes. I shouldn’t fuck with that.

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Ehhhh, nope.

How to increase traffic to your blog

I’ve been blogging for four or five years now, and about all manners of things. This handy dandy WordPress site allows me to see which of my posts get the most views, when, and from what parts of the world. Using this info, I’ve been able to determine what topics people like to read about, and I’m now going to share the secret to my blog’s wild success with you:

Write about stupid, inane bullshit.

Yup. That’s what the people want. My most viewed posts are movie reviews and bitching about metal bands that suck. You can pour your guts out and bare your soul to the world, talk about real issues like government corruption and our rapidly declining environment, or write terrible poetry or whatever, but people don’t give a shit about that stuff so your viewership will be pathetic. Write about the latest piece of shit superhero movie though, and people will eat it up.

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I haven’t seen it and yet I somehow know that it’s a complete fucking turd. But my views for today will be through the roof!

What a sad statement on humanity. I often wonder how many people actually read the news or care about important current events, and how most people can’t be bothered with that stuff and would actually rather distract themselves from those things with mindless fluff, like entertainment news. The majority of us are making the choice to be human cattle,¬†and McDonald’s and superhero movies are our fodder — it’s incredible. It’s no wonder that such a small percentage of the human race controls how the rest of the world works. We’re basically begging to be exploited by anyone smarter or more powerful than us.

So if what matters to you is attracting more dumbass cattle to your blog, just write about dumbass stuff that will help them ignore the fact that the human race is circling the drain as we speak. Ta da, now you’re popular. Congratulations.

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Note how viewership for my blog is steadily plummeting as this rambling, miserable post goes on.

I eat my words on men’s shorts

I wrote a post a month or so ago about men’s shorts, and how they are virtually impossible to wear without looking ridiculous in one way or another — that post is here. Well, I’m happy to report that I have since changed my tune.

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Oh gosh, WOW. Stunning.

Since I wrote that post, I’ve acquired no less than four pairs of shorts I actually like, and don’t feel totally stupid wearing. The first ones I found are in line with the style that I was leaning towards in my last post on the topic. They’re pretty nondescript but I feel like they work with a variety of casual looks, and they’re above my knees which is critical. They’re a Carhartt B147 in grey, although I think mine are a little shorter on me than the ones in the pic here.

The next pair were actually some shorts I already owned but had written off — some olive green military pants that I had cut off just below the knees, in my wilder, carefree days. Get this, I just rolled the cuffs up three or four times and all of a sudden, BAM you can see my knees, I look like I’m dressing more my age, and yet I somehow also look more hip. So easy, and now a pair of shorts I was going to toss has a new lease on life. Hoo-ray!

charm20men20speedo20deck20volley20speedo20black_2Next, I found a pair of black Speedo athletic shorts at a thrift store. My pal Rid has worn this style for years and I always admired it. I thought it was a classic, timeless look but they didn’t cross my mind when hunting for shorts until I saw them in the store. Then I was like “WHOAH, YES,” and dashed to the till to officially make them mine before something happened to them. These are strictly for swimming or other beach athletic activities, mind you.

The last pair are…very old sky blue short shorts with white, green, and cream piping on the bottoms and sides that I also found at a thrift store. When I saw them, I experienced a flood of contradicting feelings: “these are funny, but I also legitimately like them, but I haven’t tried them on and they’re SO short, but those Speedo shorts are pretty short and I like those, and these are only $5 anyway so maybe I’ll just try them…”

I got them home, washed them (of course), tried them on the second they were dry, and have been in love with them since. When I see myself in them, I am reminded of my friend’s parents from when I was a kid, or something like that. Men in the 80’s, I suppose. I wouldn’t quite call it timeless but I would call it a classic look, and I like it. They are fairly similar to these.

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What a funny coincidence, my body is pretty similar to that one too.

I’ve been so happy with the progress I’ve made in the shorts department that I — believe it or not — got rid of all my camo shorts. Yes, it’s true, even my fave old pairs that I’d had for 20 years. It’s been a painfully slow process but I’m very glad to finally be at a point where I am ready to let go of that part of my past. Camo will always hold a place in my heart and I’m sure I’ll always do a double-take when I see some at any store, but I don’t see myself buying any more of it. At least, not until my impending midlife crisis, that is.