no, you don’t

i think one of the most obvious red flags that a salesperson is totally bullshitting you is when they tell you they actually own one of the very item they are trying to sell you, and that they love it. i first noticed this red flag when i was a teen or in my early 20’s, buying jeans from a hip shop in victoria. the salesperson there was trying to convince me to buy a particular pair of overpriced jeans, said they had the same pair at home, and they were soooo comfy, and they wore them all the time, and they were their FAVOURITE jeans. even that first time i heard this approach, i thought there was something a little weird about what they were saying. they appeared exceptionally enthusiastic but didn’t offer any specific details about the item — all their glowing comments were quite general and could be applied to any old pair of jeans. if they really had them and loved them so much, why weren’t they telling me about how those jeans hugged their upper thighs and had a nice, slight flare?

because they were lying through their¬†fucking teeth, that’s why.

i didn’t end up buying those jeans after all, and i’m very glad about that because it wasn’t long until i heard some other scam artist salesperson use the same approach, at which point i realized it was a routine sales pitch. now, whenever i hear someone attempt to sell me some crap with this technique, i usually run away screaming.

but the other day, i was surprised to encounter this very approach in a place i didn’t expect it: the local veterinary clinic. our vet, who i normally like quite a bit, suggested that i try feeding our dog some hill’s prescription dog food in order to help with her recovery from an ACL injury. i took a look at the ingredient list of the food and thought, “this doesn’t look like a high quality food.” then the vet used the dreaded line:

“i give it to my dog for his arthritis and it works great.”

my heart sunk. even the vet, the person we trust with our dog’s health and well-being, was lying to my god damn face because she gets a kickback from hill’s for selling their ‘exclusive vet food line.’ how thoroughly disappointing. i have since looked up reviews of hill’s prescription pet food and found mountains of complaints about it. i also double checked the ingredient list and confirmed that there is absolutely nothing ‘prescription’ about — it’s just low quality ingredients (a ton of grains, “chicken byproduct meal,” whatever that actually is, and some pork fat — just what every injured dog needs) and a smattering of vitamins and supplements.

of course, exclusive vet food doesn’t come cheap. it was $135 per 12.5 kg bag — almost double what actual high quality dog foods sell for.

i’m not going to write my vet off just yet because she has been very good to us over the years, but this is a big strike against her so i will remember it. i will, however, completely write off hill’s and their bullshit food. what a horrible, unscrupulous scam.


do not buy this junk

huh. i veered way off topic here. i started with complaining about lame sales pitches, and ended up hating on a terrible dog food. well, two birds with one stone, i suppose. always look on the bright side, i say.


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.



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.

2014: well, that sucked

just kidding! i actually really enjoyed 2014. like, really enjoyed it. i dare say that i think it was one of the best years of my life. there was just so much stuff that felt great. for example…

i fixed up and sold 4wd tercel #6.

we spent a weekend in hot springs cove with some pals for my and jenn’s birthdays.

we played soccer with the gang for the first time in years, did lots of swimming and hanging out at the quarry and fish ladders, watched creepshow 2 on the side of the house and surely gave the neighbour kids nightmares for years to come, had a few campfires in the yard, got the chickens and subsequently fell madly in love with them, watched twin peaks from start to finish for the second time and was just as affected as the first time, got inspired and wrote a new song (first one in a year or two), road tripped to burning man and back, had an amazing and unpredictable halloween, spent 2 lovely weeks in kauai, had a wonderful festivus, xmas, and holiday season in general…

…and had many other hangouts and good times along the way i have either forgotten or are too numerous to mention.

i saw a lot of great bands this year, too: skinny puppy, die antwoord, obituary, death to all (a death tribute band), the cult, noisem, gorguts, probably some others too. way more than usual, and i had a lot of fun at all the shows.

and on top of all that stuff, i did a ton of boring crap around the house, which made me feel productive and happy. feeling productive and happy made me do more stuff, which made me more happy. it was a terrible snowball of positivity.

i looked up ‘positivity snowball’ and found this. no matter what i just said about positivity and snowballs, this inspirational poster is still a fucking turd. and who the hell is steve ferrante?

in fact, i had such a good time in 2014 that i don’t believe i can possibly maintain it into 2015. so i’m giving up. i’m going to hope for the best but expect the worst because that’s the only defense i can take against a fabulous year and the unrealistic expectations it creates.

so until next time or we all die, keep your sights low, everyone. happy new year.

“oh great, another year.”