Emailing with Bill/Dear Diary…

I email with Bill a lot, often multiple times per day. I don’t know how long we’ve been doing it but definitely more than 10 years. 15 years? I don’t know. Anyway, I like it a lot. Our incessant emailing is a good way to keep journals that we can look back on. When either of us go on trips, we usually email each other once we get back with a detailed account of the trip which is a great for referencing later if we forget stuff about it that we want to recall. We also do the same with mundane, normal day-to-day stuff. Like one time, I couldn’t find an Nintendo game that I was sure I owned. I racked my brain but couldn’t figure out what could have happened to it. I mentioned this to Bill and he did a quick search of his emails and found that I had loaned the game to the bass player of my former band a few years prior. I was so grateful right then to have a pal like Bill to email with about that kind of inane shit, and who was happy to use those emails to help me figure the mystery out.

But one day a year or two ago, I started thinking about what it will be like if Bill dies before me. In that case, beyond being sad for the loss of one of my best pals, I’ll also be sad that I have lost my confidant, my living diary. Emailing Bill is such a big part of my normal day that it will be a difficult thing to adjust to.

So I thought, maybe I could just keep emailing Bill after he’s dead, as if he’s still there reading my incessant bitching about work and the summer heat and how lousy I’ve been sleeping. That seems super weird and morbid though. I’d feel like I was in denial that he was gone. It doesn’t seem healthy. And as much as I like writing Bill, hearing back from him is just as important. I like hearing him bitch about the same things and tell me about his road trips and how great The Doors are and whatnot. It’s nice to have friends to talk about life with — that’s the whole point of our emails I think, so writing emails I never received responses to would lack a crucial, indispensable half of the equation.

Plus the thought of my emails to him sitting unread in the blank void of internet purgatory is a terrifyingly lonely, disturbing thing to me.

I had thought about blogging about this a long time ago but never got to it. Then Ben sent me the password to his email (which I wish I could forget but can’t, it seems — sorry Benny) a few days ago and he made a joke about how I can now log in to his email and reply to all the emails I send him that he is slow to get to. It was funny but it was also sad and unsettling — I thought of how terribly desperate someone would have to be to actually do such a thing (yet I guarantee you there are people who do it), and it reminded me of how I feel about the inevitable end of my emailing with Bill.

So hey, thanks Ben. Now I’m depressed again. Plus it’s hot as hell here lately so I’m about ready to throw myself off a cliff at this point.

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retrospective

i’ve been blogging in earnest for about four years now, and this blog has been around for almost five years. and it looks like i’ve made over 500 posts in that time. that’s pretty nuts. good job on complaining about a lot of stuff, self.

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“none of us thought you’d live this long.”

(*edit* — right after i posted this thing, wordpress informed me that this was exactly my 500th post. that’s incredible. what were the chances of coincidentally writing a retrospective on my 500th post? cosmic shit, very neat. anyway.)

at ben’s wedding, i was chatting with a few of my devoted followers about my blog. many, many flattering things were said, naturally. among them, dante asked me what my fave posts were. it’s hard to answer that because i honestly don’t remember most of them. there are a few posts which see a surprising amount of regular traffic that is not just my close friends checking in to make sure i haven’t killed myself yet, so i am aware of those posts. but every now and then i see some poor unwitting sap stumbles across a weird, random post i made a few years ago that i had totally forgotten about. i like to read those posts because usually, i like them just as much as any of my other posts. i usually find them honest, dark, and/or funny — all qualities i cherish. so it’s tough to pick favourites.

nonetheless, i’ve been thinking about this since dana brought it up, and decided i should sit down and actually pick a few out. there are a few that stand out to me and are obvious choices. they are

but i also have a soft spot for the very first post i ever made, because it illustrates how wickedly consistent i tend to be — five years on and i’m still pissing and moaning, going on about the environment.

of course, you could spin that the other way and say it just illustrates what a broken record i am, but fuck that. don’t be stupid. and you know what? i’ve made lots of posts and comments that have been ahead of their time. four years ago, i bitched about how stupid straws are, long before bars and restaurants stopped serving them automatically with every drink:

same thing with plastics in the ocean turning up in fish that we eat, i was ahead of the game on that one too. on a similar note, i have stated here that i am of the opinion that eating fish that are full of plastics and toxins will surely be found to contribute to the cancer epidemic we are currently witnessing because that seems obvious. but of course, all of the policy makers are waiting for years of studies to be done on the topic before any of them will actually get behind that statement and do something about it — apathetic cowards signing the death warrants of their grandchildren. so it will be a few more years before i can smugly say “i told you so” about that too.

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god, i’m so fucking smart.

hey, on a lighter note, i’ll close with this post. this was when i finally started blogging more regularly and comfortably — it was a little different than what i typically do here since i was experimenting with more of classic diary entry format but the tone and overall approach are basically the same. i would say this was when i “found my voice” — or that’s what i’d say if i was a feeble fucking twit, anyway.

this was a real exercise in self-indulgence, wowee. a new low, even for me.

space trip

a new friend just invited me out for a hang out with some other people i don’t know, and at a place i’ve never been. it’s distinctly out of my comfort zone but when this kind of thing catches me in the right mood, i can be very game for it.

i’m going to get ready to meet them shortly but i hate feeling rushed for anything, especially fun things, so i’m taking my time to eat some chocolate, write this post, and listen to some ‘chillwave’ before actually making any steps to leave the house.

(yup, i’ve been listening to more and more electronic music since xmas. it’s crazy. i wish my 14-yr old self could have known the middle-aged me would get into this shit about 15 years too late. my 14-yr old self would have cringed in horror and disbelief, and i like shocking anyone, myself included.)

i might end up being a little late for this get together but i’m fine with that because i hate being one of the first people at anything. i find when i’m the first person somewhere, i wonder if anyone else is even going to show up, if the event is going to be a super sad flop, that sort of thing. it makes me anxious. i prefer to be fashionably late and show up when everyone else is already there and doing their thing. then i can quickly suss out the situation and determine if it’s something fun i want to stick around at for a while, or if a quick escape will be necessary.

on a similar note, i also like leaving things when they are still fun. i want to end stuff on a good note, to leave wanting more instead of feeling like it was fun but got boring or sad near the end of the night or whatever. i hate being one of the last people at a party, witnessing the last drunks stumbling around. it’s like cigarette butts at the the bottom of a filthy, half empty glass of flat beer on a deck railing. those are the dregs of the night, and generally not meant to be consumed.

ok, now i feel ready to go.

this blog is my sculpture in an empty desert

I’m taking a break from dusting. That’s a lie, I’m actually just looking for other things to do besides dusting, because I hate it so much. Even though our place gets dusty as all hell due to our wood stove and dry, sandy yard, I can only muster the motivation to dust the house once a year. I’ll let our ceiling fan turn black before I finally wipe the son of a bitch off. That’s how much I hate dusting. And did you know there are no good vids on youtube on how to dust quickly? It’s true. You think some clever bastard would have devised an ingenious method for dusting your whole house in 10 minutes flat, but no such luck.

And that’s why, once a year, I have to spend a few hours doing this fucking job, and then break it into smaller chunks with some blogging in the middle of it to distract myself from the slow death water torture of dusting.

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“Wow, this job fucking sucks.”

Speaking of my blog, I wrote a post the other day that slayed me. I laughed a lot as I was writing it. That always feels good, to create something that I like so much. It also gets me excited for what my six friends who read this will think of the post I enjoyed writing so thoroughly.

But since I wrote the post, how much traffic has my blog seen?

One. One view, and it was probably a bot (based on the country the view is from, the viewer’s name, and lack of info).

On one hand, that’s a little disappointing. But on the other hand, it’s perfect, because I have an obsession with people creating stuff that no one (or very few people) ever even witness. I even blogged about it here,¬†and that’s what my blog essentially is: this is my solitary fire flower in an abandoned world, my TV and video games in the lonely desert night. It’s just sitting here, doing its thing despite virtually no one being around to see it. The only difference is my blog exists in the cold, vast theoretical emptiness of the internet instead of the dark of night in a desolate landscape.

That’s awesome. Just like the fire flower and TV and video games, it’s sad, lonely, tragic — if you just stumbled across it, you might wonder who made this thing, and who did they make it for? Why is it here? Does the creator know virtually no one cares about it, and do they care about that? What’s the point of this thing just sitting here in the middle of nowhere?

But the thing is, the answers to those questions don’t matter. What matters to me is that I create stuff I like and toss it out into the empty art gallery of the void, where it can inspire such questions on the few unfortunate souls who happen across it from time to time.

So, mission accomplished.

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These giant monoliths in the desert are an apt comparison to my blog. Perfect.

old, dead, sad websites (myspace, i’m talking about you even though you’re still technically active, which makes it even worse)

back in the late 2000’s, i played in a death metal band. at the time, myspace was the website for musicians and artists to promote themselves and network with people. i used it to get in touch with promoters and other bands, organize shows for our tours, and post our music and blogs. it was a very useful tool at the time.

around 2009, the band split up and our myspace page languished. it became one of those ghost or skeleton pages, a relic of something that is no more. one day after many years i checked in on it for some reason and found that it was still there but myspace had completely changed its format. it was now perfectly useless. the links that used to say ‘pictures’ and ‘bio’ now said obscure stuff like ‘mixes’ and ‘connections’ — wtf do those things even mean? so stupid. someone was trying way too hard to be cutting edge.

even worse, none of those links seemed to work. the only way i could actually access any of my shit was to log in to the site, which took a good while since i had long forgotten which email address was associated with the band’s page, and what the password was. then i still had a hell of a time navigating around and finding our old photos and whatnot. i thought, “what a mess, someone really fucked this up,” and moved on.

unfortunately, here i am several years later, looking for some recordings my band made. it seems the only known copies of those recordings is on…

…the dreaded myspace.

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do i dare enter? it was so annoying last time.

so i have spent the last several days navigating their flotsam and jetsam — broken links, pages that display incorrectly, media players that don’t play anything at all, ‘report a bug’ forms that don’t work (how perfect) — and while i am incredibly frustrated right now, i am also saddened by the whole mess. if myspace had just left the site as it was, it would have continued to work, possibly in perpetuity, and our old ghosts could have lingered on to the amusement of the few who stumbled across those dusty, otherwise forgotten pages. but no, some delusional idiot had a bright idea to reinvent myspace, as if it could ever compete again with giants like facebook and instagram. shit, it can’t even compete with the current band sites like reverbnation, last.fm, or soundcloud! besides that, once a website has been deemed by the general public to be uncool (like myspace is), there is simply no hope for turning back. myspace has already long been relegated to the sad “remember when” joke pile of websites so this is really all quite pathetic.

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that about says it all.

there is no happy ending to this post. i don’t know if i’ll ever get copies of those songs my band recorded and foolishly entrusted to myspace. what’s equally sad is that one day, wordpress will likely fall to a same fate, and this blog may become inaccessible to me. as long as it’s still up when i’m on my deathbed, i guess i’ll be ok with that. i just want to be able to read this diary-esque shit then so i can reminisce about my life and have a laugh.

one last thing: last night i stumbled across someone’s dead blog and i noticed that they, like a lot of other people, bid adieu to their blog with a short final post like, “i’ve grown tired of my own voice.” i don’t like that. it’s irreverent of something that obviously once meant a lot to them. when i get sick of blogging, i hope i celebrate what i’ve done a bit more than that. i’ve really enjoyed writing and revisiting this junk and been surprised at what i’ve been able to learn about myself through it, so i want to acknowledge how valuable it’s been to me when i pull the plug on it.

nostalgia

i was just listening to neil diamond’s the jazz singer album, loving it and feeling nostalgic about when i was a little kid. my mom used to love that record and i remember her playing it on christmas morning.

then i started thinking about a bunch of the other stuff i feel the strongest nostalgia for — anything by the police (the band, obv), michael jackson’s thriller, fiddler on the roof, an 80s dolly parton and kenny rogers christmas special from tv — and i realized that my mom is the thread that connects all of these things. i wouldn’t say any of them remind me of her specifically, but she is present in each of the memories i associate with them.

i think the most likely explanation for this is a bland, boring one: that when i was young, i was more attached to my mother than my father. this is typical since mothers are the food source and spend more time with the children. fathers aren’t as important until later in the child’s life. also, my dad had a temper when i was a kid, and i didn’t like that very much. so i guess mom was my preferred parent then, and because of that, my memories involving her at that time have an intrinsic warmth to them.

jeez, that is boring. i was hoping for some profound revelation, like “maybe my mom and i are far closer than i imagined,” or maybe something mystical or spiritual. but nope. just plain old “mom was there and mom was nice so things associated with her also feel nice.” SNORE.

oh well. i guess not every post can be a nail biter.

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“david’s blog has really taken a shit lately.”

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.

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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.