my snoot saves the day, plus: the origin story you’ve been dying to know since I started blogging!

I forgot to mention in my last post that a) in the last year or so I’ve inexplicably developed a keen sense of smell, and b) it saved Jenn and I from burning to death last night.

I have no idea what’s going with my nose. I would say I’ve only ever had an average or below average sense of smell — I was used to being around people who would be like “whoah, what is that horrendous stench” when I couldn’t smell anything at all. But now I’m that person, noticing smells that no one around me does. I like it, of course, because it’s like suddenly having keener vision or hearing. It’s a bonus. I feel like a really lame superhero but a superhero nonetheless.

And last night, I had turned my bedside lamp on and then went to brush my teeth. When I came back in the room, I smelled something hot, like when your dear wife leaves your vintage toaster oven on at full blast with nothing in it. Alarmed, I exited the room to see if the smell was stronger closer to the kitchen since the toaster oven was my first thought. But the smell wasn’t as strong there so I went back into the bedroom and looked around at what it could be. My bedside lamp, the one I’ve had for about a decade, was the culprit. Somehow the lampshade had half popped off, allowing its weird fabric to rest on the hot incandescent bulb. The bulb had melted right through the fabric! I put the shade back on properly and we marveled at how that’s never happened before, and how lucky we are it didn’t burst into flame. It’s obviously time to get some small LED bulbs for the bedside lamps.

So there you go. As if you weren’t riveted by my previous post, now I’ve got you on the edge of your seat contemplating LED vs incandescent light bulbs. It’s just a thrill-a-minute here at Crimson Highway.

Btw, I hate it when people learn that I have a blog, ask what it’s called, and then when I tell them they say something polite like “oh that’s an interesting name for a blog” when they obviously think it’s weird or dumb. Fuck man, it’s just a random name that doesn’t mean anything. It’s a lyric I like from an old Danzig song, and I needed a name for a blog. That’s it. I don’t need anyone to pretend it’s deep or super cool and patronize me over it.

In case you’re interested, the lyric I like is in reference to Cain killing his brother Abel, how the blood was “like a crimson highway/spreading out from his forehead to the ground.” I thought the word ‘highway’ was an odd, neat choice. It injects a strange contemporary vibe into this otherwise biblical scene.

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Prayers for (continuing) rain

The weather has been pretty grey and drizzly lately, and that suits me just fine. With all the snow we got in February, I thought that would translate into a lot of both rainwater and snow pack but it turns out I was wrong. Then March was a dry, warm, sunny month so I started worrying that what has turned into an annual drought event in BC was going to have started even before spring this year. The local rivers are already at unheard of, unseasonably low levels, so it was certainly a little frightening.

Thankfully, the last few weeks have been a good mix of typical spring weather, and I can’t remember feeling this grateful for drizzly, grey days. My fave weather is an overcast day with a temperature in the high teens/low 20’s because then I can work outside lots without burning or generally wanting to die from the heat, but I’ll take working in the light rain over working in warm, sunny conditions any day. Add to that my anxieties about worsening droughts and forest fires and I’m practically French-kissing the puddles on my driveway. Each day that we get even just a misting of rain means one less day of white knuckles as I watch the news for word of how nearby forest fires are growing and spreading, and that’s a great thing.

Let it rain all fucking year, for all I care. I don’t care if I never see a sunny day again. Wait, haven’t I said this all before?

Oh yes, I did, right here. Haha, and that post is way better than this one! Jeez, I’m both thin on material and a broken record. Why does anyone even read this piece of shit anymore? Put a fork in me, for Pete’s sake.

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“God in heaven, why do I suck so bad?”

Sad people from old bands making themselves look bad

I love the White Zombie record, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1. It’s a unique, groovy, catchy, fun, smart, and slightly unsettling album.

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Fuck yeah.

A big part of what I like about this record is the drumming of Ivan De Prume. I’m not technically proficient enough with drumming to be able to explain what about his playing is so amazing, but I can sum it up and say that he has an inimitable groove. Like a lot of my other favourite drummers, he can play a simple beat but right away, it’s distinctive and stands out — his playing is extremely recognizable to me, and I love it. There’s a certain swagger and confidence to it.

So I was really bummed when he left the band, and every few years I look him up to see what he’s been doing. Today I found something really sad. It’s a clip where he talks about White Zombie and his contribution to the band with an inflated ego. Here it is.

Yeah, WZ was a big deal…25 years ago. Of course there are some aging cats like myself who still love a few of the records but I don’t think that justifies the tone De Prume takes in the above vid. Actually, I don’t think there is any accomplishment that justifies an egotistical tone, ever. I admire humble people, and am instantly put off by braggarts, regardless of what they’ve done. Bragging is annoying.

I also didn’t like how he disparages WZ’s output after he left. He merely says it doesn’t have the groove that he injected into things, and I agree with that statement 100%, but the way he says it makes it sound like more bragging. It feels like he’s implying, “Johnny Tempesta is a good drummer in his own right but I’M BETTER.”

On top of those things, I also find it sad when people clutch desperately to their accomplishments from long ago. I mean, he’s had 27 years to let go of this but it sounds like he’s still bitter about how things went down, and the success the band continued to enjoy after he left. That’s a long time to hold onto negativity.

Yet another miserable aspect to this is that the video states it contains “big news” and came out just a few weeks ago, yet it has only 22 views currently. That speaks volumes about how much the world cares about De Prume’s big news.

It’s all so embarrassing, and it sucks because this guy has had a huge positive impact on my life up until this point, but this is going to taint my memories and feelings associated with him. Bummer.

I feel similarly about David Silveria from Korn, who has a remarkably similar story: groovy, talented drummer with a distinct style who was kicked out of a big band way back when, and still gripes about it to this day, making himself look bad. It’s such a shame. I guess it must be tough to climb such mountains, only to tumble off of them and into obscurity for the rest of your life. Great highs can lead to some great lows, it seems.

Moral of the story: never succeed at anything. Intentionally hamstring and sabotage everything you do so that you avoid success. Jk, real moral of the story: I want to stay humble, no matter how many millions of records I sell and how many fans swamp me on a daily basis. I’m just a dude like you, except I’ve got an amazing blog that dictates world events. NBD. Jk again, my blog actually dictates universal events.

Where is my damned scribe?

Most days, I wish I had a scribe running around behind me. I have so many thoughts I want to write about throughout the day — some big, some small — that I can’t remember a fraction of them to start with. Even when I can, by the time I sit at a computer and have time to type them out, I’m no longer interested in exploring that thought. If I had that damned scribe kicking around while I’m driving through town or getting dressed after a massage, I could simply verbalize a whole post and just come back to edit it before posting it online. Damn, that would be easier.

Another option would be a voice recorder. Actually, I think I have one of those. But then I’d have to listen to my own voice and transcribe the words, and I wouldn’t like that. Listening to yourself speak is only slightly better than seeing video of yourself — anyone who is not a delusional narcissist will wince at both of those things. It’s a terrible thing to see the way your mouth twists to one side when you speak, or hear the tiny lisp or annoying sing-songy cadence in your voice. I find that stuff horrifying.

So I don’t know what I’m to do. I mean, today alone, I had at least three, maybe four things I wanted to write about. What were they now? I don’t know. I think one was about how we should be forced to see both the upstream and downstream costs of everything we do. For example, if you buy a car, you should have to sit through a seminar that details the destruction and waste caused by each step of the cars construction (like the mining of the metals and fabrication of the plastic moulding), as well as the destruction and waste associated with drilling for and refining gas and oil so that the car can run, and also the amount of pollution that car will puke forth in its lifetime, and so on and so forth. I think the same approach should go for everything else, too: the food we eat, computers and phones we use for a few years and then throw away, the cheap clothes made by slave labour that we wear, etc. People in the first world should be forced to confront the vast waste and destruction we are responsible for, and we should feel guilty and miserable for it. We deserve it.

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Buy chocolate, and you are responsible for rampant deforestation in the Amazon — animals are literally going extinct because you have a sweet tooth. Sleep well.

And that’s just one of the gems I thought about today that I DIDN’T have a scribe to write down for me!

Now it’s a few days later (I’m writing this in fits and starts), and today while I was on a run, I thought of something I wanted to write about. But when I got home, I couldn’t remember the damn thing. I retraced my steps and remembered other things I thought about during other portions of the run, but couldn’t remember the thing I wanted to write about. If only I had a damned scribe with me then. Fear not, though, dear readers — while laying on the floor doing yoga after my run, I spontaneously remembered the lost idea so I jumped up, dashed to the computer, and jotted the basic premise down. I will be delving into this latest masterpiece soon.

But my point is I need a scribe, stat. I can’t keep working like this. I’m hamstringing myself, like Michelangelo being forced to paint the Sistine Chapel with crayons. It’s insanity.

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I’m just goofing around. I know I have more in common with this Michelangelo.

Boring, Sidney

Last week, I had the subject of an old blog post contact me and give me shit about some things I wrote about them. It caused me some mixed emotions. I was annoyed that someone was trying to censor me; I felt guilty for having written such mean things about a person (which I’ve done to a lot of people here, over the years); I felt justified in that, regardless of how I said it, I still agreed with my assessment of that person. I considered taking down the 4-yr old post that virtually no one has ever looked at but after chatting with a few friends about it, I decided to ignore the whole situation and put it out of my mind. After all, this blog is basically my online diary, and I wouldn’t tear a page out of my diary — each entry is a snapshot into my mind at the time, and I value that. I want to always have this, to always be able to look back on where I was at a given time.

But one tiny detail kept nagging at me, and it’s this: the post was just plain mean. I still think the post was both true and funny, and I still value it simply as something I took the time to sit down and write, but I talk on here all the time about valuing kindness and ‘doing the right thing,’ blah blah blah. So I felt like a real hypocrite leaving this post up after learning the subject was clearly upset by it.

Fortunately, I was able to simply change the post to a private one that only I can see. So all’s well that ends well, right?

Not really. Now I’m thinking about the myriad other cruel posts I’ve made here about specific people, and I’m wondering, is that who I want to be? It’s tough, and really annoying. On one hand, I like voicing the dichotomy of my nature that virtually everyone struggles with — the urge to be kind and good, and the urge to do whatever I please regardless of who it might hurt. I mean, I find it amusing. I’m almost bipolar, at times.

On the other hand, I feel like the Jekyll and Hyde thing may just be a clever excuse to keep being shitty. Like, “I’m aware of the lousy things I do and that makes it sort of ok,” which is a fallacy — shitty is shitty. I also think it’s easy and convenient to keep doing the wrong thing one has been doing forever, and harder to change and live better, so being shitty is also lazy.

But I also feel like the quest to be totally virtuous makes people really fucking boring and irritating. I like making crass and inappropriate jokes, and I love it when other people do too. I think it’s good to laugh at serious topics. Heaven knows we’ll all get cancer soon enough and then none of the good cancer jokes will be funny anymore, so I want to get the laughs in while I can.

I suppose the difference between brutal jokes and hurtful blog posts that I find funny is that the jokes aren’t directed at a specific person. Hmmm. What I’m leaning towards here is that perhaps I shouldn’t single anyone out when making brutal yet amusing blog posts.

My next conundrum: should I go back over all of my previous posts and either edit the ones that do single people out (Jon Jones excluded, he’s a piece of shit through and through and deserves all the hate I can throw at him), or perhaps just set those posts to ‘private’ as well? I’ll have to give it some thought.

What an annoying post this has been. Not one of my favourite to write, and not one of my favourite to read in the future either, I predict.

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Booooring, kill me now FFS

 

The fire test: what do I value?

Yesterday a co-worker asked me what I would save from my house if it was burning and I could only grab a few things while I was running out. I’ve been thinking about it since, and realized a few interesting things.

One thing I became aware of is that we don’t have anything expensive or ‘nice’ that is worth saving based on monetary value. Our TV is the newest, ‘nicest’ thing we have but it’s also one of the cheapest and smallest on the market. Our computers are all old and worth nothing. I like the home stereo I have put together but it’s not made of any rare or expensive components. All our home appliances are old too. Same with our vehicles. We have lots of cheap, old stuff that works just fine. I like that.

So the first things I thought about grabbing — the things I felt a weird obligation to grab — are my old guitar and bass. But while I do really like both of them, it’s not like I couldn’t replace them. There are lots of other guitars and basses out there I’m sure I’d be just as happy with. Same with my amps and cabinets. I like them just fine but they don’t hold a special place in my heart. So nope, I wouldn’t grab them.

The first thing I thought of that I would actually want to save is: my toaster oven.

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This thing’s my star pupil, my teacher’s pet.

Yup, the very same toaster oven I blogged about here a while back. This thing was so difficult to find and get my fucking hands on, and it brings me so much joy not just when I use it but even when I just look at it, that this is probably #1 on my list of things I would grab in a house fire.

And that got me thinking about the other cool, semi-rare vintage stuff I’ve collected, and I realized I would definitely want to grab a few of those things too: there are the light organs (which I blogged about here), a few silkscreen pictures (which I also blogged about here), and a picture my grandmother painted when she was an art major in university (I blogged about my grandma way back when, here). I think it’s telling that I have blogged about most of the things that I would save.

I would also put our vintage microwave on the list except for the fact that it’s just too big and heavy to easily grab and carry out. Maybe if it was a really slow fire, I could justify it. It’s a rad old thing, and makes me almost as happy as the toaster oven.

I wasn’t sure how to end this post but I just thought of something that most commercial bloggers and instagram stars do, where they close their post with a question that encourages their audience to comment on the post. For example, if I were a savvy twat, this is where I would write, “what would you grab and save if your house was on fire?” Guess what. I fucking hate that stuff. What a sad, pathetic technique to lure people into a sad, pathetic online world where they feel like they’re genuinely interacting with the author of the piece and other readers when really, it’s a delusion. No one reads those comments. No one cares what the plebes think. And if your comment does get a ‘like,’ it’s only because all that takes is a tap or a mouse click. If it took any more effort, no one at all would ‘like’ it. It’s crushing to think of the losers who routinely bite at the ‘closing question’ lure of their internet heroes, and the dark souls who routinely set that trap for them.

And that’s why I won’t try to encourage anyone to comment on my blog. Doing so is like talking in a vacuum, just like I’m doing now. But I know that I’m talking in a vacuum, and I like it that way. Hmmm, maybe I should disable comments on this thing altogether.

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.