Archive for June, 2010

Post #102: How Saintly

Monday, June 28th, 2010

If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it. ~Olin Miller

Dear Alice,

It’s 9pm, and I’m getting ready to leave work. As usual, I’ve let myself get dragged into someone else’s work. My procrastination book calls it the trait of “The Saint”, so I guess it’s apt.

The words of my manager echo in my head, “Just don’t burn any bridges before you go.”

I don’t think it’s possible, given the workload on everyone’s plate, for me to be at fault for any fires that erupt in the office. There’s too much restructuring going on without any proper consideration for the current workload. Too much ignorance from the higher-ups, man.

It’s similar to me playing Ultimate every week with this busted shoulder. So ignorant.

David =B~)

Post #101: Do it to Julia!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

“Sometimes,” she said, “they threaten you with something — something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, ‘Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.’ And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.”
“All you care about is yourself,” he echoed.
“And after that, you don’t feel the same toward the other person any longer.”
“No,” he said, “you don’t feel the same.”

1984 - Winston and Julia

Dear Alice,

There’s something about having a best friend…. I wish I could hear everyone the same as I hear him. No layers. No motives. I wish I could trust everyone else the same way.

I’m skimming through Chuck Klosterman’s book, IV, and he’s hit a few good nerves. One was, “Culture can never be wrong” because it just is. Another was, America might be impossible to overthrow. The most popular was his thought experiment about cheating, in which a man happens to one day, find himself assisting his female neighbour by watching her masturbate. (She said it’s the only way she could orgasm.) The conclusion I garnered from my friends was that it depends on the characters involved. I was told that if I were the guy, then it’s a “no” because I just happen to stumble into these weird situations.

Funny enough, I felt like I was cheating whenever I found myself eating meat. I remember that feeling of utter hatred come up to overcome my guilt when I ordered a steak burrito as my pre-flight meal in San Francisco. I felt like how I imagined Winston felt when he shouted “Do it to Julia!” It sounds silly, but to me I felt like I was letting more than just myself down, and that was too much.

David =B~)

Post #100: In The Pauses

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. - Mark Twain

Dear Alice,

It’s 2 in the morning, and I’m writing you. If there were ever a time that I would want you to call me, now would be the time.

I wish that I felt like there was nothing more that mattered to me than to have a good time on a Friday night, even if that good time simply involved drinking my face off. At least I’d have something to be excited about.

I worry that I take life too seriously. I worry so much, that I don’t even listen to myself anymore. I just let my poor brain yap away, while I make my moves in the pauses.

David =B~)

Post #99: No blackout.

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility. - Martha Nussbaum

Dear Alice,

For the sake of documentation, when the earthquake hit, I was on the 17th floor, discussing the mechanics of prioritizing marketing campaigns. It felt like someone was playfully shaking the entire building. We followed protocol, and left our high-rise building for the safety of another high-rise building. o_O The protocol assumes the building is the source, not Ottawa.

We all thought it was the G20 going on. I’ve got the day off. While I’m going to figure myself out tomorrow, I think I’ll take a look while I’m not working.

David =B~)

Post #98: Under the Sycamore Tree

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons that I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so. - The Alchemist

Dear Alice,

Today, I made a bike trip out west, all the way to Kipling to pick up my brand new set of knives. After a little struggle with fitting the box in my bag, I’m on my way home, happily singing and composing en route. All was well until I glimpsed downwards to see that my locking cable had somehow untangled itself from my bike frame. These are the moments in life that take the piss out of you. :)

It’s a $5 cable I bought at MEC , and heck I still have a $200+ gift card to use there. However, when next will I get the chance to go there? I need this cable to lock my bike; I don’t trust Toronto with my bike anymore. My days are packed, and my transport is either my bike, or $3/trip. …and that’s

It took me 1.5 hrs to find it. I rode all the way back to the pick-up depot, searching intently, yet entertaining the sick feeling that some other person might have already picked it up and taken it for themselves. I rode there and back, only to find out that it was a few yards away from when I first realized that it was missing. I laughed. I cursed my luck. I wasn’t sure what to feel. I still am befuddled, and I guess that’s a wonderful thing.

David =B~)

Post #97: Playing Along

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
- Henri Nouwen

Dear Alice,

I met a guy today who was more lost in dreamland than myself. He talked about making a scene in Toronto, but his ideas all needed some serious capital.

“…and I’ll have a raffle for a free iPod nano, man!”
“…so, look, I’ll just buy a bottle and introduce [two groups] to each other.”
“…and on Tuesday’s, it’ll be hip hop, and say like on Wednesdays, Scrabble.”

Is it really “nice” of me to play along? To encourage him because maybe he’s got something figured out? I didn’t, really. I was mostly doubtful, and only asked questions. “So, you say you could pack this place[, the Tranzac], then why isn’t it already packed?” I didn’t like his answers.

I remember when I was about seven or so, I would dream about the most wonderful life I could imagine, but I was always criticizing myself and reducing my fantasy world into a more reasonable one. “But how would you eat?” “But how would you breathe?” Perhaps I was less inventive, and I couldn’t just make up a deus ex machina to deal with these things, but then again, I was more practical. I’ve always been one to bounce in between these two worlds.

David =B~)

Post #96: Off to nowhere

Monday, June 21st, 2010

I think it’s bad to talk about one’s present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension. - Norman Mailer

reblogged from wordpainting

Dear Alice,

I’m getting mixed emotions from my co-workers. One by one, they’re finding out. There was one that really stood out - I thought I saw tears - but beyond that, the general concensus is, “Congratulations”. I guess a congrats is in order. Even if I’m off to nowhere in particular. (If I’m as young as everyone keeps saying I am….)

The question of, “Should I stay?” is always troublesome. A solid fold is arguably better than chasing the river. Still, I’m worried about my team. I more hope that they can jump ship too, if it becomes too much for them…. Oh dear. I’m worried for them, but I’m only contributing to the mess by holding the pieces together.

David =B~)

Post #95: Long-Term Investment

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
- Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Dear Alice,

It’s still hard to push forward for music when I see enough artists out there who sing better, or play better. I cling to my words and hope that they still have more life than the average pop song. Then, a veteran steps onto the stage and plays his light-hearted tunes that even gets my heart soaring. I love these guys. I buy his CD before I leave, and place more weight in the belief that these tunes are at the least a solid long-term investment.

David =B~)

So he’s not the brightest crayon in the box… he’s still my favorite color.

Post #94: Aspirin

Friday, June 18th, 2010

“A writer always wears glasses and never combs his hair. Half the time he feels angry about everything and the other half depressed. He always has amazing ideas for his next novel and hates the one he has just published.” - Paulo Coelho

Dear Alice,

I took an aspirin this afternoon, and my headache went away. Was that all there was to it? Worth checking out.

I’ve been perusing some blogs over the past hour. My favourite blogs have been filled with quotes and hopes. Perhaps I should do the same. Whenever I think about potential readers, I fret over the content that I’ve presented. Whether I’m positive, whether I’m truthful, whether I’m morally justified. It’s always tempting to spit in someone’s eye for some small wrongdoing, and I feel like I’ve left this blog open for that possibility.

I hate this blog and I have great ideas for my next blog. :P

David =B~)

Post #93: Wake Me Up When September Ends

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Dear Alice,

It’s getting close to the end of a lot of things for me, all coincidentally happening in September. It’s kind of nice that way. I’ve always been the reformatting type when it comes to solving problems.

I’m positive that leaving my job was the best decision. I fret over my 14 days of vacation still remaining, but I’m not in a position to burn any bridges. I’m leaving without another job lined up, and I think I’ll need the references when I start my pursuit.

I’m at odds with how things are concluding with my girlfriend. I’ve been ecstatic talking about it, watching my emotions get the best of me whenever she comes up in conversation. It’s confusing. It’s like getting upset over constantly being dealt all vowels in a game of Scrabble: everyone understands that it’s a difficult situation to be in, but it’s fair play. (Personally, I would devise rules so that if you’re dealt all vowels, all consonants, or three of the same letter, you could swap one in without missing a turn… but luck let’s everyone get a better chance of tasting both victory and defeat, so I get it.)

David =B~)