with for my, wait

I feel good right now. It’s been a really nice weekend. I watched some films I’ve been meaning to check out, spent a bunch of time with friends I was thrilled to see, and got some classic summer fun in. I feel so good that after I finished doing yoga tonight and was just lying on my mat, I had that sensation of full body joy I get when I feel really good. That sounds gross and sexual but that’s not what I mean, obv. It just feels great to see friends and do fun things and finally have this meat vehicle of mine feeling almost normal again. I feel like those are three of the most basic, important things I want to always squeeze out of this life, and when I don’t get enough of them, it feels lonely and scary and shitty, and when I get lots of them, it feels fantastic.

I’m bummed I have to go back to work tomorrow. At times like this, I think about how great it would be to never have to work another day in my life but tonight I reminded myself that if I had that much free time, I would probably spend a lot more time alone since everyone else I know would still be busy working and taking care of personal business. In that case, it might actually suck to have too much free time. It’s unfortunate that it’s a balancing act, that working is required so that we appreciate the free time we have. It’s one of those “you have experience bad stuff to appreciate the good” things that is both annoying and true — too much of a good thing devalues it. Like if you had Two Bite Brownies every day, all day, after a few months you might find yourself not quite as madly in love with them as you were when you only ate one bag per day. Hard to believe but it’s true.

Sorry for the diary entry, Benny. I’ll complain about something real good for you next time.

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the nature of things

Frigging hell, it’s hot out today. It was only 30 degrees here at home but it felt hotter than that. I’m a little disappointed in myself because I’ve been tolerating the intermittent heat of this spring pretty well, not being bothered by it or even feeling it at all. But today it’s been oppressive. I’m not sure if that’s just me and my mood though — it’s kind of a ‘chicken or the egg’ thing, you know? Am I in a lousy mood because it’s hot, or was I in a lousy mood to start with and the heat’s just exacerbating it?

Questions for the ages. None of it matters. All that matters is that it’s balls hot and I feel hateful.

I shouldn’t complain. I’ve had a pretty good day. My back is finally feeling basically normal again and I’ve been able to do front bends without it aggravating anything, so that’s something huge to be grateful for. I’m excited to start working out and doing yoga again soon. And I went to Rona and picked up some materials for our trip up to work on the cabin next week. That was productive. Then I walked the dog and took her for a swim across the quarry. The water was fucking cold. The first way across, I felt good, like it hadn’t been a year since I last swam any sort of distance. I knew it was too good to be true though, and on the way back my lungs were on fire and I felt like I was going to die. Then I hung laundry outside to dry, which I always enjoy. Then I did some sewing that I’ve been putting off forever — more productivity. I even had a nice nap in there somewhere. Really, it was a good day.

And yet I still feel grim. There’s really not much else a fella can do besides pray that a plane crashes into the house killing me instantly, or that I feel better when I wake up tomorrow.

Yesterday I killed some roosters. Our rooster, Colonel, was a year old and a very nice chap who didn’t crow too loudly but you know what, crowing at all at 5 am just isn’t acceptable so he had to go. I felt bad for the guy but he had a perfect life and a quick, merciful death, which is better than any of us will get so I didn’t feel that bad. I butchered him, and then did the same with two of Penny’s roosters. We now have lots of organic free range chicken in the freezer for stews in the near future, oh boy. There’s something strange about decapitating, dismembering, and eviscerating a creature, especially one that was your pet for a year, one that you saw grow up since it was a baby. It’s a good feeling though, a feeling of being in touch with the realities of life and death — this is the order of things, and I am not afraid to confront it. Being the rooster having its neck broken would be a lot harder to be so zen about but eh, I’ll wrap my head around that when I am in such a position. Anyway, it wasn’t a pleasant chore but it is one I feel good about nonetheless.

I’ve been wanting to blog a lot lately but just haven’t had time. I’ve thought of a million things while in the shower or walking the dog, things I’ve wanted to complain about or ruminate on, but by the time I have some free time I just don’t feel inspired anymore. Where’s that fucking scribe, already? Oh well, it’s not like the world is missing out when I neglect to piss and moan online for a few days.

Over and out.

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.

A little low

I feel weird tonight. It’s a hard feeling to describe but it’s sort of like ‘depression lite’ — I feel uninspired to do much of anything but I’m also bored so doing nothing sucks too; no music I put on feels right, it’s all annoying; I’m tired even though it’s nowhere close to bed time…I don’t feel miserable as much as I just feel mildly bored, restless, and generally irritated.

And I have no reason to feel this way. It’s been a nice day. The weather was great. I went for a nice hike with my friend Penny and our dogs this morning. I took some junk to the dump and picked up a wooden crate to use at the haunted house next year. I hung out with Jenn and helped her with some horse riding stuff. I did some yoga at home. Now I’m doing some baking and will probably watch a scary or disturbing film tonight. It’s been great, there’s nothing to feel down about.

So why do I feel this way? Am I just dehydrated? Am I getting sick? Is it mild a chemical imbalance in my brain? Is something bothering me subconsciously? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s any of those things. I feel fine, besides this feeling a little down.

I get this more often in spring. I think it’s because of the weird weather. I hate it when it’s sunny and hot but also somehow windy and chilly and the same time. Or when the weather keeps alternating between sunny and hot, and dark and showers. I find that kind of weather really disorienting. I guess weather plays a large role in determining my mood each day so when the weather is all over the map, my emotions get all messed up and I hate it. That’s how I feel now, but the weather has been consistent and nice today so that’s not it. I have no idea.

On the bright side, I just watched this viral video of gymnast Katelyn Ohashi getting a perfect score on her gymnastic floor routine, and it’s a beautiful thing to see — not so much because she nails some amazing moves but because she exudes a radiance, a joy. I stumbled across it now and it makes me feel ever so slightly better. So that’s good.

things i don’t like about yoga

Let me preface this post by saying that I do lots of yoga, probably an average of four or five times a week. It’s been a great benefit to me. But that’s not what I want to write about. No, the masses don’t hound me and clamour for more of my feelgood stories — what the masses crave is blood, and blood they shall have.

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Let the slaughter begin.

First, I hate how people obliquely recommend yoga — any yoga — to remedy any problem. I’ve had back problems for eight years now and you can’t imagine how many people have said, “you should try yoga.” Even my dumbass family doctor made this dumbass, generalized recommendation. But my GP and everyone else failed to mention what style of yoga to try (because there are countless variations), which specific poses would help with my issues, and how they would do so. In hindsight, that really bugs me because my problem was recurring low back strains and disc bulging and herniation, and I now know that not all yoga is focused on strengthening and stretching the low back; far from it, actually.

But being at my wit’s end with sorting my back issues out and not knowing the first thing about yoga at the time, I tried. I tried it along with videos on youtube, and that was perfectly useless (more on that later). I went to a few different classes, and some were useless and in others I wound up injuring myself further (more on that later too). After hurting myself doing something that a bunch of people had said would help me, I gave up on yoga for a while. It was only by dumb luck that I met a yoga instructor who completely sympathized with my yoga injury plight, who taught me a yoga routine that acknowledged and worked within my physical limitations. But I don’t want to get all cheerful yet, there’s still a lot of bitching to be done — my first point is that saying, “yoga will help with your fucked up back,” is as grossly generalized as saying, “it’s important to eat things when you are low on sodium and potassium.” What kind of things should you eat though, you know? So I find that kind of generalized statement fucking stupid, and coming from a medical professional, it’s especially egregious. I still hold this grudge against my dipshit doc.

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Doctors can be just as stupid as anyone else. The problem is they have a certificate that makes them think that’s not possible.

Second, learning to do yoga from a youtube video is useless. Without someone there to watch you while you’re learning and to correct your poses and transitions, I think most people are going to do them wrong or poorly, see virtually zero benefit, and possibly even injure themselves. That’s terrible.

That leads me to my third point. Most yoga classes I’ve been to haven’t been much better than the youtube videos — there’s someone at the front of the group who we’re all trying to copy, and that’s about it. They rarely come around and correct people who are having trouble, whether they are straining, doing poses poorly, or just plain lost. So wtf are beginners paying $10-$15 a session for? If I’m not going to receive any one-on-one instruction, I may as well stay at home and injure myself for free.

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“This online yoga stuff is great.”

I found that most yoga instructors would make a ‘cover my ass’ statement at the start of each class, like “listen to your body, only you know what feels good” — as if that’s all people need to hear in order to do good yoga with solid, safe technique for the next 60-90 minutes. Bullshit. That’s not enough. Especially when people are learning, they need constant and clear reminders, like, “don’t worry about getting your heals on the floor just yet, just straighten your legs until you feel a light stretch in your hamstrings, and then stay there.” Beginners need this kind of instruction for every pose. I believe anything less is insufficient and neglectful.

Do you want to know what I recommend to people like myself who want to try yoga as a therapy for rehabilitating an injury? Here it is: find a yoga instructor who isn’t some hippie dippy idiot, someone with some legit medical training or background like physiotherapy or massage therapy, someone who understands anatomy and physiology. That way, they will actually have an idea of what muscles are involved in your problem, and be able to come up with routines that focus on you and your needs. See this person one on one for a while so that they can watch you as you work through the routines they give you and make sure you’re doing them correctly. Continue doing this until you see substantial improvement. Talk to your instructor about when both you and they feel you are ready to try a group yoga class to start stretching and strengthening the rest of your body as well, and see if they can recommend an instructor who is more focused on watching the class instead of being wrapped up in their own poses. That’s what I recommend.

When done right, I think yoga is fantastic. My problem with it is that too many people are doing it wrong, and teaching others to do it wrong too.

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Suck my dick, yoga sycophants.

lame adult jokes

I’ve always noticed and hated lame adult jokes. My dad has made them for as long as I can remember. I’m talking about G-rated jokes that don’t make any sense, aren’t really relevant to whatever else is going on at the moment, and often rely on some sort of sound element, like a rhyme or alliteration. A fine example of what I’m talking about: once when I was a kid, I said something wasn’t nice and my dad responded, “nice as ice?” It didn’t make any sense since I wasn’t talking about anything cold or water-related. Something in his tone was supremely irritating too. He said it in a way that suggested he was being quite clever and funny, when he was being neither. That line of his was, unfortunately, burned into my mind for the rest of my life, and I hate it.

It’s not just my dad though. Tons of adults make similar dumb, asinine comments. I don’t even want to call them ‘jokes’ anymore because really, they’re not. They’re just silly and stupid, plain and simple. I think it’s the fact that people who make those comments act like they’re being clever that really bothers me. I don’t think I’d care as much if they would add a disclaimer afterwards, like, “that was really lame and didn’t make sense. Don’t mind me.” At least if I knew they were aware of how juvenile they were being, it would soften the sledgehammer blow of their banality.

The reason this is on my mind is that in yoga class the other day, we used some small balls for some of the poses. One of the 50-something year olds there said quietly yet wryly, “I’ve got blue balls.” There were a few polite titters around the room, and then someone upped the ante with, “mine is pink.”

I heaved with disdain.

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Neither of those things needed to be said. Neither was clever or funny. Yes, we all know what ‘blue balls’ are but there was no sexual implication in what we were doing so it was a totally half-baked comment. It didn’t make sense. It was stupid. The second comment didn’t bother me quite as much as the first but I was enraged nonetheless that someone would encourage the first person by responding to the lame initial comment and then run with the idea, despite the second person’s clear lack of creativity or conviction.

I think that if you know you aren’t a particularly funny or clever person, don’t try to be. Nothing is sadder than watching someone fail at being a class clown. It’s like setting your sights as low as possible and still failing. It’s pathetic. If you’re not a natural class clown who people tend to find funny, don’t embarrass yourself. Just shut up and get your saggy diaper ass into down dog so we can get on with the fucking class.

don’t get mad

i’m looking after my neighbour’s dog for the next four days and was given instructions on how to look after the dog yesterday. a cup of dog food in the morning, a cup at night. let him roam during the day and put him in the house at night if he wants in, or leave him outside if he prefers. pretty straightforward.

but today, another neighbour came over to ask if i was looking after the first neighbour’s dog. i said yup. this second neighbour said he could feed the dog tonight because it always gets fed at 5:30 pm. i thought, that’s weird. the dog’s owner didn’t mention a specific time. then this neighbour asked if i was going to lock the dog on the deck at night. i said i had been told to put him in at night if he wants, or leave him out. the non-owner said it was important to lock the dog on the deck so he didn’t wander at night. again, i thought, this is really odd. why is another neighbour, who does not own this dog, telling me how to look after it, and why is he telling me something different from what the owner said? then he told me that he would basically keep the dog with him at his place during the day.

i rolled with it though since he seemed eager — anxious, even — to look after the dog, and i was in a rush to leave for work. but almost as soon as he left, i began dwelling on the interaction. i didn’t like it at all. the dog’s owner asked me to look after the dog, not the nosy second neighbour, and i spent 15 minutes with him yesterday so he could show me how to do the job. why should i now do something differently because of a weird busy body?

on the drive to work, i felt myself getting really hot under the collar. i have this second neighbour’s phone number and thought i should call him as soon as i get to work and tell him to butt out. i started getting butterflies in my stomach, i was so pissed and looking forward to letting him have it.

and i thought, why does it feel so good to let yourself get angry?

to which i replied, it doesn’t feel good to let yourself get angry. it actually feels lousy. it’s just that it’s much easier than calming yourself and dealing with the stressor in a smarter, more productive way. the ease of letting yourself blow up is very seductive but i learned a long time ago that i feel better when i take some deep breaths, put the problem out of my mind for a bit, calm down, and come back to it later with a better attitude.

i will still probably have a conversation with this jackass neighbour and say basically the same things, but i will say them in a calmer, more controlled manner which will allow me to retain control of both myself and the overall interaction. that’s definitely not as seductive as letting myself fly off the handle and stick my finger in this guy’s chest while i tell him what’s what, but it will make me happier in the long run. and i feel good about striving to be a better person…

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…but i LOVE achieving the upper hand in social situations through careful self-awareness and self-control. that is the goal that seduces me.

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