You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Personal’ category.

There just might be hope on the horizon for a perpetual loser (and selfsame author of this blog). After years of failure and disappointment (what other, more successful people generally term “life”), things might just be looking up.

The erstwhile writer has had a dry patch for a while, but coming up with the Onion-esque title for this post, as derivative and unoriginal as it is, has actually inspired him to think he just might have something to contribute to society after all. (Undoubtedly he’s wrong and you all know it, but please let him keep fooling himself, at least for a day or two… would that be too much to ask?)

And then there’s the development of two (two!) (as-yet) loveless internet relationships, which represent a new high for concurrent, virtual, precarious connections in his life, beating the previous high of one potential match whose seeming rekindling after months of silence turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, namely that it became apparent that the woman in question confused him with another man entirely. They were never to meet again.

After a period of unemployment, the author had two interviews in a single week, bestowing a sense of promise and potential upon him that has been long absent. While it may not seem to be a big deal for people who manage to hold down gainful employment for years at a time, for this fuckup it’s a headline that fairly screams, “I’m back, baby!”

Just today, the local failure had a meal that, for the first time in months, he actually enjoyed and took pleasure in. You wouldn’t know it from his corpulence (the term “spare tire” to describe a tubby midsection might have been invented for his body) but although he eats plenty each day, his profound loserdom means that eating has often been an empty, joyless act. But no more!

And the weather! Might it finally be turning? May a day be approaching when he doesn’t have to wear a jacket, scarf, and toque? Is his happiness at this tiny joy not the very definition of pathetic fallacy? (Seriously, is it or isn’t it? He may be an author, but he doesn’t know his literary terms very well.)

Huzzah!

"Oh look over there! Canadian values!"

“Oh look over there! Canadian values!”

Oh, Kellie Leitch, you strange, unique, visionary xenophobe. I’ve been watching your video today. You know the one; everyone’s talking about it, and they’re not saying anything nice. In my favourite riff on this thing that you’ve unleashed on the world and that you no doubt believe is true and moving, someone has slowed it down by 40%, making you appear to talk like someone’s drunk aunt. And maybe that’s exactly what you are–no judgements here, because that would be mean and a barbaric cultural practice.

Kellie, you’ve been around for quite a while now, beating your drum about how Canada needs to have face-to-face interviews with every immigrant, refugee–and now you’re apparently adding visitors to that list?!–to screen for Canadian values. Do you have any other policies that the mainstream media isn’t reporting on because it’s fixated on this one batshit crazy one? I understand that you’re trying to carve out a space for yourself amongst too many candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, but won’t you need other ideas when you become Prime Minister? (By the way, it’s totally adorable that you think you’ll ever be Prime Minister, and please keep on saying you will be at every opportunity… I hope it’s the first thing you say when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you say before you drift off to sleep, perchance to dream about being Prime Minister, which as I said, is never going to happen.)

But Kellie, I notice you never really say–beyond meaningless buzz words and platitudes–what the Canadian values you hold so dear are. And so I’m here to help. Please feel free to use any or all of the following as examples of Canadian values.

  • Rolling up the rim
  • Knowing which parts of Alberta where it’s safe to cheer for the Oilers
  • How to correctly pronounce “about”
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes used to be funnier
  • Feeling inferior to Americans while using humour to pretend we’re not
  • Margaret Atwood is a goddamn national treasure
  • Knowing that Windsor, ON is at the same latitude as Northern California
  • Canada has the real Niagara Falls
  • “50 Mission Cap” is the ultimate Tragically Hip song; “Wheat Kings” is also acceptable
  • Our beer is better than American beer
  • Knowing whether to vote for Kellie Leitch

Those are the values all real Canadians possess. Oh, and the last one? Real Canadians know the answer to that, too.

I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with U2’s Bono, but he’s really trying to make a difference in the world, so maybe we should all get behind his efforts, and be pro-Bono.

Although I am a middle-aged white North American male, I know the pain of being broken down solely on the basis of my looks, my entire personality rendered meaningless and subsumed by a single piece of my anatomy. In my case, it’s my hair. Specifically, my pony tail.

Since I was young I’ve always wanted long hair. As a child I was never allowed to grow it long, but when I became a teenager and had the faintest hint of independence in how I dressed and groomed, I started to let my hair grow. Unfortunately the fine, straight hair that I’d been blessed with started changing with the advent of puberty, and become wavy and unruly. Just when I had the freedom to let it flow, it had gained a mind of its own.

I hated my hair.

It refused to behave as I wanted it to, and so I went back to cutting it short. I was defeated.

But, years later, I decided to try again. In the meantime, I’d developed a minor phobia for going to the barber: I dreaded the expectation to make conversation and the odd intimacy of a stranger touching me and hovering around me as my locks were shorn. Also, I hated spending $15 for the traumatic experience. I stopped going to the barber.

If anything, my hair had become wavier, almost curly, but I discovered that if I let it grow long enough, I could tie it back in a pony tail, controlling its most chaotic urges. It might not have been the best look for me, but it was low maintenance, and free. I could go months without a haircut, and even when I decided my hair was too much to handle, I’d simply shave it all off and start from scratch. I’d never had much romantic success and, looking back, my hair probably didn’t help. But I was more at peace with it, after hating myself and the way I looked throughout adolescence and high school. I’d found a hairstyle that might not have been attractive, but at least it didn’t bother me any more.

Fast forward to years later, and I mostly have long hair that I tie back in public. It’s messy because I don’t even get it trimmed, but it’s sort of become my “look.” I know I’m starting to go bald on top, and I’m aware that I’ll eventually look like a stereotypical aging hippy (if I don’t already) but, for the most part, I don’t care. I used to be extremely self-conscious, worrying too much about what everyone thought of me, and whether they were judging me. I’m still self-conscious, and know I’m not good-looking, but I don’t worry about other people so much now; I’ve grown more comfortable in my flabby, pasty, hairy skin.

I’ve started to go to a new pub to watch Chelsea football games. It’s very nice, but they don’t know me by name yet, and there are a lot of us, so understandably they’re struggling a bit to get to know us and make sure the right person gets the right breakfast and bill. This weekend I learned that the bartender has his own tricks for keeping us straight. He’s picked out defining features, since telling the waitress to bring the Carlsberg to “the guy in the Chelsea shirt” won’t get them very far. My defining feature? My pony tail.

I kind of like that. It took me years to grow it, and now it’s sort of my “thing.” My only complaint is that somehow I became “pony2” on my bill, and I wonder how I lost out to “pony1.” Maybe I need to do what my family is always threatening to do to me, and cut off his pony tail. It might be the only way up in this tonsorial world.

I love football (that’s soccer to you North Americans!) so much and the Euro championship is second only to the World Cup in international competitions for me. Every four years the best of the best in Europe face off for bragging rights.

I like to think that I know a little bit about football, and hopefully I’m learning more all the time, so I was excited to try to predict who would win each group, and who would qualify for the knockout rounds. I’m happy to report that I did incredibly well… I’m sure all the so-called experts will be amazed at how unerring my picks were!

With a feisty performance, Croatia came out ahead of Spain, who has won the last two Euros. Not many would have picked Croatia to top Group D, and I was not one of them.

Fuck.

I may be Canadian, but my spiritual home is England, and I think they’re going to go all the way this year, winning their first international tournament since World Cup 1966. I have so much confidence I knew they could purposely draw to Russia and Slovakia, allowing Wales to lead Group B, putting the whole competition right where they want them, and setting up a matchup with the overachieving Iceland.

God damn it.

You say Hungary hasn’t been good since they were world-beating in the 1950s? I totally knew they’d fool everyone and beat their former imperial partner Austria as well as achieve a high-scoring draw with Portugal and their star and arguably the best player in the world, Christiano Ronaldo.

Are you fucking kidding me? Hungary?!

Wales, Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland all moving on to the Round of 16? Called it!

I also predicted Golden State beating Cleveland in four straight, and that’s exactly what happened, right? I’m so confident in that prediction that I didn’t even bother watching the NBA Finals!

I didn’t enter a pool at work this year, or show any other living being my picks, so you’ll just have to trust me that I picked all sixteen brackets and no doubt have every slot all the way to the final correct. That’s pretty amazing, considering all the upsets and underachievers, don’t you think?

Piss on a stick.

 

It took me more than forty years to sing in public, but now I quite enjoy it, even if I still have anxiety because I know I don’t sing well. Still, it’s a long way from the time when I wouldn’t even sing in front of my family. My father was happy to sing but he embarrassed me, because he always sang with a huge smile on his face, while I rarely smiled at all. I can’t pinpoint the time when I changed from the happy child that can be seen in early photos to the miserable bastard that I am now. It was well before the typical age when changes like that happen, as a teenager. Was it the same age–eight or nine–as I stopped believing in Satan, and then God? But shouldn’t that have been a happy time, knowing I was free of the illusions that held most of the world down? Or did I then begin to mourn the realization that I was different, and therefore doomed to a life of loneliness? That was a tough understanding to come to at such an early age, especially since it’s turned out not to be a pessimistic lie, but eerily prescient: I have indeed spent the bulk of my life alone. Contrary to popular opinion, my greatest fear isn’t to die alone, but to live alone, since I have to face that reality every day, and I’ve always had the feeling that, while I may not be immortal (although, I might be, it remains to be seen), I’m going to live for an awfully, terribly long time. When Halley’s Comet was all the rage in 1986, and everyone was thrilling to its rare appearance, I determined that I’d wait until the next time it came back to view it, even though I’d begged for a telescope for Christmas, largely on the premise that I’d need it for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Well, once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, but surely at least twice-in-a-lifetime for me.

Nothing to be ashamed of, Nora!

Nothing to be ashamed of, Nora!

My formative university years were in the early 1990s, the height of political correctness. It was a time filled with furious debates over history vs. herstory, campus safety (the University of Windsor instituted walk safe programs and considered removing hedges and shrubs since attackers could hide behind them), and heated discussions about womyn, wommin, and wimmin.

As a young man it was a challenging but rewarding time: my assumptions were being questioned constantly, but for those willing to keep an open mind, it felt like we were changing the world, one attitude and even one word at a time.

Feminism predated us, and in fact we were merely the “third wave” after the first wave of suffragists and the second wave who were focused on sexuality and reproductive rights, but the struggle was nonetheless vital.

Given how the word “feminism” seems to have once again become a dirty word with so many young people today, you may ask me if I, as a man, considered myself a feminist. I did, and still do, even if I don’t shout it from the rooftops. Based on my coming to maturity in the linguistically-fraught days of the early 1990s, I’m hyper-sensitive to the power of words and the idea that people define themselves and their community by the power of language. I still cringe when I hear someone calling an adult woman “girl.”

It may not be up to me to decide whether I’m a feminist or not. I try to, and I hope that I can live up to the expectations of the label, but I’ll let others make the call.

In order to help make my case, though, I offer this: I also feel bad about Nora Ephron’s neck.

To be clear, it was a perfectly fine, perfectly ordinary neck, particularly for a woman of her age and background. I have nothing against her neck. But I feel bad that she felt bad about it, and that society made her feel bad about it.

As a white male, I’ve never felt bad about my own neck. To be honest, I’ve never given it much thought. Why should I? Society doesn’t really judge me on my looks, at least not in the pernicious way that it judges women. Even if I had an Ephronesque turkey wattle neck, now or in the future, it won’t really affect anything in my life. If I’m lucky enough to be considered handsome, having an ugly neck will be overlooked, and if I’m considered unattractive, I’m sure that my neck will have very little to do with that.

Those are the benefits of being a white male in a society that is still dominated by white males, no matter what Fox News and Ezra Levant might try to tell you. Who the hell cares what my neck looks like?

But being immune to society’s judgement based on the luck of my birth as a white male in the greatest ever time to be a white male ever doesn’t mean I don’t have empathy for those who are judged by the society that my type dominates. I do have empathy, for Nora Ephron’s neck, for Oprah’s struggle with her weight, and for so many other of the prejudices that women must fight against in this world.

That’s why I’m a feminist. If you’ll allow me to be, that is.

Leap before looking.

Do unto others as my whims dictate.

Say “fuck” more often.

Give peas a chance.

Direct my feet to the punny side of the street.

Masturbate to images that I should be ashamed of masturbating to.

Cut once; fuck that “measure” shit.

Spank that ass.

Have false gods before thee.

—–

2016 is going to be a hell of a year!

Flickr Photos

Cow-a-bunga

Highland Cattle chowing down

Jealous of that hair...

Name that baby capybara!

The World's Largest Rodents

More Photos

Twitter Updates

  • Can we get a Royal Commission on why there are so few karaoke versions of Canadian songs? #Canada150 4 days ago
  • I either dessicate or drown plants, there is no in-between. 1 week ago
  • Facebook but for people who can actually keep a discussion going for more than 1/2 day 2 weeks ago
  • iPhone tried to autocorrect "SkyDome" to "Rogers Centre" and I was like hells no! 2 weeks ago
  • Not being funny has never stopped Kathy Griffin from being a famous comedian, but *now* she's gone too far?! 3 weeks ago

Blog Stats

  • 84,074 hits

Pages

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 94 other followers