Two more sleeps till St. Patrick’s Day!

There was a time in my life when that would have been exciting…Unfortunately there comes a time in everyone’s life that pre-drinking before the bar opens at 11 O’clock in the morning becomes a thing of the past. Well maybe not everyone’s life…But those of us with a “shit to do list” have to postpone those cocktails to at least the respectable hour of noon.

As far as I can tell I have no Irish in me. I have searched extensively, and by extensively I mean I did a five minute google search and I called my Mom….

Google : Nada.

Mom: “I think someone might have slept with an Irish person once…” Thanks Mom.

So to conclude: no Irish in me. Other than the fact that at this point in human history ancestry lines are so blurred we are all pretty much the product of one big swinger, swapping orgy. Sadly, I have nothing to celebrate come Sunday…Luckily the Irish are an accepting bunch, and as long as you are willing to drink and sing and raise fists in defense of all things green, then they pretty much let you partake in their day of debauchery.

In order to prepare for the day of artificially coloured beers, bad decisions and broken noses, I would like to review some St. Patrick’s Day highlights and the lessons I have learned from this historic day. Gather around the keg kiddies….It is story time…

One memory comes from my freshman year in University. In my first year of school I had 11 hours of class a week. Conversely, bars were open 105 hours per week. To make it clear, I did a lot of drinking that year. St. Patrick’s Day was no different. There were a total of 12 bars on campus. My “homebase” was conveniently located in the basement of my residence building. I lived on the second floor. I don’t ever recall walking down the two flights of stairs to the bar, since it was too much fun to get in the elevator and hit “B” – for Bar. Even though it was always a short trip home, some nights I ended up sleeping on the couch in the bar. On some occasions I was fortunate enough to have the opening bartender the next day bring me a coffee and quietly turn on the big screen, keeping the volume low as to not wake me up.

The reason this year sticks out as a St. Patty’s Day memory is the small pub was packed with about hundred or so students and as far as I could tell the only Irish one was the bouncer. He also proceeded to get more drunk than every patron in the establishment. As the night progressed he got more and more agitated and believed in his heart and booze fueled soul that everyone in the bar was anti-Irish. It is a very dangerous situation when the bar bouncer is picking fights with unprovoking drunk students, although it is amusing. He proceed to go around the bar asking each parton what the heritage was. Each answer was not Irish, hence it was meant with a distained glare and quick “fuck you.” When he got to me I mentioned in a drunken slur that I had some French in me. Now this is taking place during the “Freedom Fries” craze in the States. And even though this is taking place in Canada, he proceeded to berate my French heritage with such intensity you would have thought I was an IRA bomber who just blew up a school bus carrying his children. Of course my reaction was to laugh. Now, laughing at a sober barroom bouncer is not a smart idea. Laughing at a drunk, Irish barroom bouncer on St. Patrick’s Day is suicidal. But hey, I have always been a vertical cutting kind of guy. Luckily for my sake the owner (who if memory serves me correctly had some kind of connection to the Japanese Yakusa, as an interesting side note) stepped in and defused the situation. The bouncer bought me a green pint and we cheersed and all was well. Ahhh, that magic of St. Patrick’s Day. The next night there was a heavy line to get into the pub, and I was unusually late to the party. The same bouncer (who looked like he had been hit with a Mack truck that was hauling a load of Mack trucks) pulled me out of line and profusely apologized for the situation the previous night. I quickly shook his hand and there were no hard feelings as he let me skip right into the bar without waiting. I found out later that he was tasked with tracking down everyone he insulted the night before as penance and to save his job. Last I heard he is still tracking down a few wayward drunks before the contract hit from the Yakuza is lifted.

LESSON LEARNED : Irish people hate French People. Japanese people hate Irish people. Vis-a-vis French people love Japanese People.

That same year the bar ran out of green food colouring and someone decided that you just can’t have plain golden beer…So purple food dye was substituted. Because hey, who will know?

Another memory finds us looking in on me one year later. This time I decided to stay home and throw my own party. While I have thrown a few parties over the years they never consisted of more than a keg or two of beer and a solitary bowl of stale chips. I never saw the need for more. However, St. Patrick’s Day is a little different. You are asking 20-30 people in this case to avoid the inevitable good time of making the rounds of the local bars and swaying arm and arm with strangers singing a poor man’s version of O’ Danny Boy. You are asking your friends to take a risk on you. That can be stressful. You want relives stress? Alcohol. So that is what I did. The party was set to start at 8pm. At 10 am I was ready and pacing around the house. The anxiety was killing me. I decided a beer at 10 O’Clock in the morning was a good way to chill out. Well I couldn’t then and still can’t now, have just one. I continued throughout the afternoon until (in all seriousness) there was a cluster of 38 empty beers bottles surrounding the couch I now slept on. The party was awesome. Occasionally I will hear a friend bring it up as one of the great parties of the last decade. I never saw one guest. I was left on the couch as the party happened on and around me. Good times….

LESSON LEARNED: Stop at 37

Our next and final drunken green memory takes place several years later and across the country in Banff, Alberta. The highlight of this story comes at the end of the night after the festivities are over and your weary storyteller makes the long walk home only to discover that he too is not immune to the St. Patrick’s Day drunken fistacuffing stereotype. As I stumbled along the long and winding trail (under normal circumstances it is actually a short, straight paved road) I finally came upon my place of residence. I stopped in the parking lot to have smoke before going inside. It is then I notice my soon to be opponent. A full grown male Elk was standing in the parking lot (not uncommon at all for Banff). If you are unfamiliar with elk, google them. They are bigger than a deer, smaller than a moose and are as dangerous as Jason Voorhees when angered. At first I stared in wonder. Wonder gave way to concern as the Elk neared my car. I cautioned the Elk to not take another step in that direction. Again if you are unfamiliar with Canadian Elk you probably don’t know that they can perfectly communicate with drunk assholes (you can google that too). The Elk ignored my warning and walked directly to my car and stood beside it. Now I was pissed (for no logical reason). I yelled expletives at the animal. He responded by (no word of a lie) looking straight at me and then peeing on my car. Yes, an Elk pissed on my car which I can only assume was out of spite. Those of you who do not think our furry friends are capable of spite, well you’d be wrong. Every wonder why your car is the only one in the parking lot covered in bird shit? Or why those raccoons will spend all night vigilantly placing your garbage all over your deck and yard? Sometimes animals turn around with middle fingers in the air in defiance of years of aerosol cans, clear-cutting and dumping. Back to the Elk; he peed on my car. I took a few steps closer, pointed and berated the creature for unacceptable urination. Can you see where I went wrong here? The Elk charged me. In what I lacked in drunken agility I made up for in luck as I dove over the hood of another car and quickly made my way to the rear. I laid on the ground panting and slowing got up to my knees and peered over the trunk to see the Elk glaring at me through the car. He stomped his hoof and I made a girlie scream and made the 30 foot dash to the front door of my building. I looked back at the Elk through the glass doors. He stared back for a moment than turned and walked off into the moonlight, head held high. Conclusions I later drew from this were, either I hurt the Elk’s feelings or that it was one of those rare Irish elks and he must have smelt the French in me. I capitalized the ‘E’ in elk in this last paragraph because that night, that Elk earned my respect.

LESSON LEARNED: Carry shotgun

Those were just a few of many St. Patrick’s Day memories. Were they the best ones. I don’t know…They were the only ones I could remember….And they serve as proof that valuable life lessons can only be learned through drunken irresponsible behaviour.

To all my Irish friends, happy St. Patrick’s Day! To everyone else, happy fake Irish day!

Cheers,
Jason
Follow – @gskewedview

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I am all for community and day to day pleasantries and all around niceties that go along with being good to your fellow human…But do we really have to talk to each other?

On the surface I am a people person. I am very social at gatherings or events. However deep down I am not sure I am that fond of people. As a whole they annoy me. I like my family well enough and my friends I have acquired over the years are pretty good too (actually some of the friends I think by now are only friends by default because I have known them so long, and am too lazy to make new friends. Because really, I can only have so many friends, and probably stopped making news ones years ago.) It is the day to day menial conversations with strangers that are starting to bug me. Why are people so afraid of silence? Can two people not stand in close proximity to one another and ignore the other’s existence? What is wrong with that?

How many times a day does a random stranger strike up a conversation with you about the weather? It is 11am as of this writing and 4 random people have made comments to me about the weather (This is made more irritating by the fact that I am in Canada and it is March, which is by far the most unpredictable month of the year. So unpredictable that science has yielded the month of March to be fought over by lions and lambs). Obviously I never start these asinine conversations, but I have to wonder about the other person who instigates them. Are they like me and are also going to have the same conversation sixteen times today? Are these just the people that are afraid of silence because maybe they were locked in the closet as a child if they spilled their fruit loops or forgot the words to a Hail Mary? Or maybe they actually have something to get off their chest, and I am an acceptable receptacle for venting. If the former is the case then they have obviously yet to learn how to efficiently segue from their spiel on the weather to their true confession and should probably invest some time in coming up with a new introductory topic.

I am not sure when a smile and nod stopped being enough to satisfy our urge to connect with our fellow humans. I can understand hundreds of years ago when people travelled on horseback or in wagons, you might not see another soul for days on end, and upon encountering one you might be more inclined to stop and visit and discuss the weather or other crucial topics of the day. In this much more solitary time I can more easily grasp the need for human connection. If only to feel out the other party to see if you are in danger of being raped and pillaged or to see if there is a chance to take part in some raping or pillaging yourself. Nowadays we are surrounded by people constantly, can’t we just all just get our coffee in peace?

The other day I was standing in line for coffee. The gentleman behind me starting talking, it took me a minute to realize he was talking to me. I was in the middle of reading a text. I wasn’t even fake playing with my phone to ignore people (Don’t deny it, you do it to. It is the best use of a cell phone). The man made a comment to me about another younger man and how he disapproved of his wardrobe. I thought said man’s wardrobe was a little ridiculous myself. Has your waist moved down to your knees? Even rappers don’t wear baggy pants pulled down passed the point of rational thought anymore. Probably because they saw hundreds of young white boys doing it and realized – “Shit, they are on to us. Let’s start wearing suits, that will really fuck them up”.

While I may have agreed with the man standing in line with me, I didn’t understand his reasoning. Was he starting his own clothing judgment committee and enlisted me as judge number two? Don’t I need need to sign some kind of work agreement for such a position? Or at the very least give verbal consent? Why would he assume that I would share his beliefs? I should have turned around and said:

“Well sir, that happens to be my mentally challenged brother, and we are letting him dress himself to increase his confidence and self worth. I do not appreciate or condone your ignorance or intolerance.”

Instead I responded same as I had a minute earlier to the woman asking my opinion of the weather : “Yep.” That is just easier, and I could go back to finish reading my text.

I quit smoking almost a year ago. (Hold for applause…..) The greatest benefit of this is that I have cut down on the amount of people I have to talk to. Whenever you go out for a smoke, there are other smokers who assume because you also smoke all of your values and beliefs are completely in line with theirs. It is like these are secret meetings smokers hold where they get together and trash the rest of the world. After spending a five minute smoke break with a stranger I would be qualified to write a biography of them and their storied family history. This is not why I smoked, but quitting and avoiding these meetings has been a far greater benefit than warding off cancer, re-growing taste buds or not having to endure angry glares by joggers.

Something has to change. I need to stop indulges these people. I am going to do one of two things the next time someone decides to wreck a perfectly good silence. Either I am just not going to play anymore. I won’t fake play with my phone, or pretend I am a deaf mute. I will just stare at them until they feel uncomfortable and walk away.

Or two, I am going to play. And I am going to win. You want to talk? Ok, we are going to talk. I am going to start carrying around folding chairs strapped to my back, so when someone wants to start up a dialogue I can throw down those chairs. We can sit down and have a nice long discussion. We are not going to talk about the weather. We are going to talk about how it was a travesty that Michael Biehn was killed off even before Alien 3 began; Or where to find the second warp whistle in Super Mario 3. I would like to hear their opinion on what is killing my grass on the north-eastern part of my lawn. I will go on at great lengths about the injustice that was done upon me when I lost out on the English award in my final year of high school to the foreign exchange student from Bangladesh.

Eventually, word should get out about me. They will whisper in the shadows about my legend. School children will tell tales of my existence to frighten their classmates. Campers roasting marshmallows will debate my existence. I will be referred to at dinner parties and town hall meetings as the ‘Folding Chair Conversationalist’. People will be instructed to avoid me at all costs for their own safety and sanity. They will run, not walk across the street dodging traffic and certain death just to avoid that fateful meeting with me.

As I walk down the streets, chairs criss-crossed on my back the crowds will part for me. People will look down, try and find something, anything to read, fake sign language with their friends or desperately grasp for the their phone, anything to avoid eye contact. I will think to myself ‘mission accomplished’ as I enjoy the sweet sounds of silence.

Thanks of indulging me.

– Jason
Follow @gskewedview

Sometimes I think I should turn off the TV and do something more productive….I know I need to clean the basement… Haven’t really had clean clothes in a couple of days…What is that smell??… The dog looks like he wants something not sure what, but damn it is cute when he carries around that food dish…Why does my work keep calling?? I think I was there on….Oh my leg is bleeding, a lot. Is that my femur?? Probably should try and stop the…Oh wait TMZ is on, better turn it up, that baby crying is getting pretty loud.

Yeah I know what you are thinking….TV really is awesome. Alright…I admit it, watching TV may occasionally get in the way of other supposed important tasks, like the ability to say to entire word…Television. It takes a long time to say four syllables (Wait…four?? Let me clap that out – TEL (clap) – E (clap) – VI (clap) – SION (clap)….Yup four. Thank God for whoever came up with that infallible form of grammatical measuring). I don’t have time to say television, that Cheers episode I have seen over thirty time where Gary from Gary’s Ole Towne Tavern encases the bar (and Woody) in cinder blocks, is on in a few minutes. Sometimes I really don’t know how I get anything done. Some may say that TV is detrimental to your lifestyle. Those are the people who can’t afford cable…I am sad for those poor souls…Why is there no charity for this underprivileged group?? I should start that, we could have a fundraise…..Hey look! Criminal Minds marathon, awesome…Wait what was I talking about?? Right, TV equals awesome…Not just for its aesthetically pleasing pictures or nurturing sounds, but also how it has helped me become a better person.

Being an avid TV watcher I am much more efficient than the average ‘Joe Bookreader’ (You are not better than me Joe….For one I have never got a paper cut from watching TV….Haha…TV -1 Books – 0). TV has conditioned me to get the other essential life sustaining tasks done in a much shorter time span. The average commercial is 30 seconds long and there are usually 5 per commercial break. Which means that every 8 minutes or so I have 2 and a half minutes to get done the essentials. That is all the time in the world…Throw pizza pockets in microwave, go to bathroom, get Mountain Dew from fridge, grab aforementioned pockets and head back to couch just in time to see how Sam and Dean get themselves out of this one. 8 minutes later, I now have an open slot to ask my wife about her day…8 minutes after that I finally figured out why the dog has been carrying around that food dish…

Speaking of the dog…TV must be a very curious thing for him. Occasionally he will notice the TV if another dog is on, and he will sit down and look at the screen with a tilted quizzical stare. Or if George Clooney is on TV, then his fur will go up, and his teeth will come out and growls will sound out of his throat. My dog hates George Clooney. I am not sure why, but it might have something to do with the fact my dog used to date Stacy Kielber…wait…What!? Oh what is that??? Saved By the Bell reruns….awesome. Anyway….Often the dog just stares at me. He looks at me like I look at Paris Hilton. As if he is thinking “Is there nothing else….anything else you could be doing right now than staring at the bright, loud, magical box for hours on end.” But I don’t put a lot of stock in my dog’s idea of time management. On our last walk he investigated a rock for 20 minutes.

TV has just been a huge part of my life since I was little. The lessons I learned as a child from those shows have carried me through high school, university and my day to day adult life. So many valuable lessons….How could I have gotten through High School physics without the lessons I learned in Looney Tunes?? Thank you Wile E! The Muppets taught me that any obstacle you face can quickly work itself out by the time you are done signing your song. The Smurfs taught me about intolerance and racism. Gargamel was the ‘White Man’ keeping the blue man down. That wasn’t cool. Because of that show I always thought of blue people as equals. Transformers gave me a greater respect for vehicles. I was always nice to cars and trucks out of fear that they would come to life as robots and kick my ass for missing an oil change. Sesame Street opened my eyes to be able to see the day to day annoyances of people who live in garbage cans. I can now empathize with these individuals. To this day there is always a spot on my curb open for them. I could go and on about the invaluable life lessons I have learned. I would not have become a well adjusted adult if not for these and many other educational programs.

This is my love letter to TV. I went to Hallmark to buy my TV a card, but there was no such card. Our relationship is too deep, beautiful and complicated for even the wise words of Hallmark. But in every great relationship there is a dark side, so it wouldn’t be fair for me to not point out the negative aspects of TV. There are bad shows on TV that hurt me deep down in my soul. I call these programs: “The Wife’s Shows.”

I wish I could give you more of a warning so you could avoid such debacles, but I can’t out of fear. Fear my wife will read this and take the TV away. Even typing that last sentence created enough separation anxiety for me to shutter. No, I can say no more on this topic. Just know that sometimes you have endure the dark times. Love will endure.

I will admit that TV has had other effects on me. It has, to a degree, desensitized me to reality. I don’t see this so much as a bad thing, more of a mildly amusing side effect. For example, I have found myself angered by the last few season of Survivor…I get mad because they give the people food. I know somewhere deep down that it is wrong to feel anger when starving people are given food, but I feel anger nonetheless. It’s Survivor! How dare you give them rice! Make them eat bugs and chase boars with sharpen sticks…I want to see the camera cut away to the disgusted vegan’s face when they have to slaughter their pet chicken….

I also tend to immerse myself in my favorite shows. I often think that I am one of the gang. This might have gone too far recently. My wife and I have just discovered Criminal Minds….which is awesome by the way. It is the kind of show the gives the people on Law and Order nightmares. We have spend the last couple months getting caught up on the DVDs. One night we were taking a break from it and were watching the news. A story came on about a rash of killings across the country. I immediately got up, turned to my wife and said, “wheels up in thirty” and left the room. I spend the next half hour sitting in my car looking at an empty file folder until there was a knock on the glass. I looked to see my wife standing there holding something. I rolled down the window.

“What’s that?” I said.

“Your pants. Remember those?” She said.

“Honey…..I think I have a problem.”

“I think so too dear.” She replied and passed the pants through the window.

“Will you take me to get some help?” I asked as I clung to my pants.

“Yes of course. But The Bachelor is on in a few minutes…….I will take you after that…..”

“………………I think I will go clean the basement now….”

-Jason
Follow – @gskewedview

Everyone thinks their family is crazy right? Right???? Ok, good.

I am not as close with all of my family as I once was. I guess that happens as you get older and start your own family. There are still the weddings and funerals (both involving large quantities of alcohol and bad singing). I remember as a child the extended family getting together just for the sake of getting together (Or for the Family Olympics….more on that later). It doesn’t happen anymore, which makes me sad. There are certain people who hold a large extended family together; the matriarchs, patriarchs or the crazy, fun-loving, charismatic uncle that rallies the group together. But, once those family leaders pass on, something much more profound than the individual is lost. I have found myself reflecting lately on the way I grew up and the thirty or so lunatics that helped raise me. In one sense I smile with fondness. In another I am sad, because I can’t help but wonder if my daughter will miss out not having some of the craziness around that I did. The family leader and cheerleaders seem to be gone now, and I don’t see anyone picking up that torch to carry it on. I know I am not that guy. I will be the one behind that guy or girl diving into the pool for golf balls, or sitting next to them for the watermelon eating competition. But I am not the one to bring them together. I am the chronicler. It is as pleasantly nostalgic of a role as it is sadly reminiscent.

I could shuffle a deck of cards and pour a perfect beer before I could walk (now that is a joke, with a small amount of truth to it, so go easy on the ones who raised me, they did a good job). My parents encouraged every bit of my childhood. I was let free to run, play and imagine. In summer I was set free to my own devices (helicopter parents had yet to exist). The only rules were, I had to be home for three meals a day and in before dark. Other than that, they trusted that the basic values and teachings that had instilled in me would let me make reasonable safe decisions (plywood bike ramps are completely safe, as are rope swings) and enable me to always make it home. They let me be a child. I was allowed to fall, to scrap up my knees and elbows, and occasionally need stitches. I would get bandaged up and go right back out and run till the bandages fell off. Kids are not allowed to be kids as much as they should be. That is one of the greatest gifts my parents gave my siblings and me. They let us be kids.

While my parents encouraged me to be a kid, they also allowed me to be a part of their world. Every once and awhile they would peel the curtain back and allow me a glimpse of the adult world. I learned very early on that the adult world and the kid world were not that different. The only real difference is that in the adult world no one is telling them when to go to bed (expect for the wives on occasion). My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles would sit around an extended kitchen table for hours, drinking and playing cards. They laughed and screamed and banged on the table just like us kids did…..Wait….Dad is leaning back in the chair and Mom just yelled at him for it…..Just like me!! They were just a bunch of big kids playing….

My parents didn’t make me go to my room, or go watch cartoons. They didn’t force me to go down to the basement to play with my cousins. They let me stay and watch, and see my parents as more than parents, but as people who wanted to have fun just as much as I did. My role was not just designated to observer either. I had a job. I got people drinks when they need a refill, or acted as an advisor if someone had a really good hand. They would flash me there cards with a wink and I would nod approvingly. I would make my rounds around the table offering shoulder massages to the weary gamblers. I charged a $1/min…I think my price was fair. Between the massages, the tips from drinks and the money I collected from under the table (my mother would tell me years later that they dropped the money on purpose) I usually had a ziplock bag full of change at the end of the night. After some long weekends I had collected close to $100….That is a lot of comic books.

These family gathering did not just revolve around cards, although that is how every night finished. It started with car rallies (which were extravagant scavenger hunts all around town). I watched grown adults pack into cars in teams all wearing ridiculous costumes, ranging from cowboys, to clowns to Elvis and Dolly impersonators. It was sight. After the car rally there would be all sorts of games around the house: food eating competition, mini boat races, tug-o-war, make shift golf course tournaments. It went on and on. At some point a trophy was even made to be awarded to the winning family (last I saw it, it was in my parents basement). These would happen every summer for a number of years. They got crazier and crazier each time. I remember one uncle letting all the air out of the other team’s car tires. Somebody soaked one side of the field the night before the tug-o-war. Unfinished watermelons were tossed over a nearby fence when no one was looking. Of course I was not innocent in these affairs. At one event one of my uncles paid me to get a hold of the other team’s boat and weigh it down with quarters before the race. We were caught, and my uncle was disqualified. His punishment?? He had to lick beer off my grandmother’s foot (no one told my grandmother about this until it happened…she was not pleased). Another year I was elected the role of judge to determine the winner, several family member approached me with bribes….I took them all.

When I was older I was given more responsibility. One of the first adult games I was allowed to play was a beer chugging competition, where you had to chug a beer out of a baby’s bottle. If you have never tried this, you have no idea how hard it is, and you may well be a higher class of citizen (What do you mean?? Your wine doesn’t come out of a box??). This was also the year I was designated “keg boy”. My job?? Running back and forth to the garage with pitchers of beer from the keg. This is when I learned the rule…. ‘One for you, one for me”. I may have gotten a little drunk that year. I remember the look of my father when he realized. His eyebrows lowered and he asked “how many?” “Only two” I replied…..To this day that is still my answer whenever anyone asks me how much I have had to drink…… “Only two…..”

I would like to take a minute to address underage drinking. Is it wrong?? Probably. Is it going to happen? Yup. I was lucky in the sense that my first experiences with alcohol were in a safe environment. When I did turn of age, I didn’t run out to the first bar and drink until I passed out. I was educated by then. I knew what alcohol did to me, and was able to control myself (somewhat) more so than the person who grew up in a house where alcohol was taboo and indulged the first chance they got.

These are among the best memories I have as a child. My family may have been slightly crazy and a tad dysfunctional, but they were mine and they were good. All the family members that participated in the aforementioned shenanigans were all responsible, well adjusted members of society with families of their own. However, when they all got together all bets were off. Let the craziness begin! The one thing they all had one thing in common: they never lost that amazing spark for life that too many people do as they become older.

One of my favorite memories is watching as my 79 year old grandfather who had been confined to a wheelchair for the latter part of his life ask my father and uncles to help him out of his chair and in to the hot tub so that he could join the party.

As a mentioned at the start of this rant about my family, we don’t do these gatherings any more. And haven’t for almost fifteen years. We have lost the elders and an uncle who had more energy for life than any adult or child I have met before or since. My parents have gotten older, and can only break out the crazy once and a while. The extended family is separated across the country and all are now growing new extended families and I have to come to terms with the fact that things are different now.

I will always have the memories and the lessons I learned. The most important being: Sometimes kids need to act a bit more like adults, but more often adults need to act A LOT more like kids.

Crazy is sleeping now. As I look at my young daughter and think of all my nieces and nephews, I smile. I know in my heart that a new crazy is rising.

Thanks for reading,

Jay

Follow – @gskewedview

I have that fantastic urge to write something. Yet, I have no idea what I want to write about. Zilch….. What an odd word…Zilch..Hmmm. What is the etymology of the world ‘zilch’? Let’s find out together…..Here I come Google…..

zilch (n.)
“nothing,” 1966, from earlier sense of “meaningless speech” (1960), originally Mr. Zilch (1931), comic character in the magazine “Ballyhoo.” Perhaps from U.S. college slang (early 1900s) Joe Zilsch “an insignificant person.” Probably a nonsense syllable, but Zilch is an actual German surname of Slavic origin.

You know what? I am no better for having known that. I am zilch better than I was 1 minute ago.

I believe the previous few sentences may be among the worst things I have ever written. That is including the stapled together pieces of construction paper that held my first novels….The Adventures of Mr.Bear….They were classics. Check them out on Amazon…..Nevermind I just checked, must be sold out. Printing and binding construction paper with staples is hard, hard labour.

This is sad….I really have nothing to say. You would think I would stop now, but you are not so lucky dear reader….It does beg a question though…I know why I am still writing, but why are you still reading?? You must have something better to do…Perhaps refinishing that old bed side table you keep telling everyone in your family not to throw out, because you are “getting to it”. (Even though you know it looks worse the more work you put into it, but damn it! You said you would finish it, and finish it you shall!) Or watching a Degrassi Junior High marathon (Because you are holding out hope that this time Shane won’t take the acid and do a swan dive off the bridge)….Oh I know, you could read some of those books on your shelf you have been telling people you read back in college. (The Wikipedia ending of The Grapes of Wrath is waaaaayyy better). Wait…I got it…Have you had a good cry recently? Maybe it is time you realize that you have three fingers pointing back at you. It might just be time for some you time. Light some candles, put on the best of Sade CD, light some incense and get down on your knees in the middle of the living room and wait for the water to start flowing……It is ok, let it all out. Sob to your heart’s content. Those really deep hard ones that hurt your chest, that’s what you want. Don’t forget to breath. Oh wait…Shit! Someone is home. Yah you really shouldn’t have done that. You really should have checked first. How am I supposed to know if someone is home at your house?? Oh now they think you are crazy. You managed to survive the time you stabbed them in the thigh with a fork…But this is too much. They are gone. They will be back for their stuff later. You say you will be out, but you won’t be will you. Nope, you will scare the shit out of them when they come in and find you sitting in the dark, smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table, drinking straight vodka and methodically tapping the fork on the table.

See?? There is a plethora of fun-filled productive activities you could be doing rather than reading this…

Ok, so now that you are sad, alone and watched your fill of poorly produced yet effective Canadian melodrama, I can tell you why I am still writing when obviously I have nothing to say. I am writing because it is the only known cure to writer’s block. You want to write something, but don’t know what? Don’t over think it. Just write…It doesn’t matter if it is dogshit. It doesn’t matter if it is nonsensical dribble (see paragraph above). The sheer act of writing will help you get over that seemingly impassable mound. You will most likely throw out every word you wrote (or you will publish it online). But maybe, just maybe there is an idea, one line, even a perfectly worded phrase that somehow escaped the rest of the literary bile that spattered over your page. It is now your job to cut the fat. Clean off those few precious words and run with them. It might lead to something great….Or nothing at all. But maybe you will take even more from the next piece. Just keep going. You will never, ever write anything worthwhile by sitting around trying to think up something to write. In the most ideal of circumstances it just comes to you…In the worst of times you have to work for it. Which means you have to write, and really is that not the whole point anyway??

As for me…Well I am off to explore the literary wonders of love scorned, fork wielding serial killers.

Check ya Later,
Jason – @gskewedview

I am turning 30 soon. I have no anxiety about that. What I do have anxiety about is the 30th birthday party my wife is planning on throwing…At least she knows me well enough to not make it a surprise, because surprises are terrible. Everyone hates them…No you say??? You love surprises….No you don’t…You know why you don’t?? I will tell you why. Pearl Harbor and the appearance of Janet Jackson’s nipple at Superbowl XXXVIII. See, I told you that you hate surprises….

My last birthday party was when I was 7 years old and it was held at McDonalds with all of my friends or maybe it was just every boy that happened to be in my class that year. For the most part that is how friendship works when you are a kid… So your best friend in grade 3 is not in your class in grade 4..?? You are dead to me…..So long buddy…maybe we will be bestest friends in grade 5.

McDonalds in 1990 was a magical place…..Looking for sarcasm??? None here. It is true, nothing was cooler than a McDonalds birthday party. You got the whole playroom to yourself. The playroom at that time was equipment with sharp, metal edged, death trapish rides that equate to childhood bliss. There was a button on the wall that started and stopped the merry-go-round that was conveniently out of a child’s reach. So if you were the child riding said merry-go-round you were stuck on it until you puked up your happy meal (toy and all) or you had been previously trained on how to dismount off of a moving wheel of death and were able to execute a perfect jump and shoulder roll landing yourself safely in the discarded old shoes in the corner. To top it all off, if you were the lucky birthday boy or girl (and had survived your romp with death) you were treated to a full tour of the McDonald’s kitchen operations and in the final leg of the tour were allowed to create your own sundae any which way you wished (extra pickles and sprinkles please!!). I have no idea if McDonalds still does this, but they should, because it was awesome. Another awesome thing about McDonalds in the earlier 90s was pizza. Anyone who wasn’t there is laughing right now; anyone who was there needs no explanation. The best pizza I have ever had in my life was in a little pizzeria on the beach in the Bahamas that made personal sized wood fired pizza….The second best was McDonalds in 1991. If you never got to experience this joy go to the Twin Pines Mall in Hill Valley. Hide in the bushes and wait for Marty to get out of the Delorean to check Doc’s vital signs. Sneak in the driver’s seat, set the clock according and put the pedal to the floor. When the flux capacitor starts glowing and you hit 88 miles an hour you my friend are moments away from personal sized pizza heaven.

That McDonalds party was my last birthday party. Because really, how could I top that?? Now that I am turning 30 my wife insists that I have a party with all my family and friends to celebrate the occasion. Celebrating a birthday always seemed odd to me. Have you really accomplished anything? Celebrate getting married, having a child, getting a promotion or watching a whole season of 24 in one day. Yes, these are things to celebrate! But a birthday…?? Maybe if I lived it a country with a fairly low life expectancy, then I could see celebrating a birthday (Yah!! I kicked famines ass and survived another year!!) I live a fairly low-risk lifestyle; it really isn’t too hard for me to make it another year. However maybe I am looking at this the wrong way…Maybe I shouldn’t be celebrating making it another year, but a celebration of surviving the last decade. I made it through my 20s and am a fairly well adjusted adult now with a wife, kid and mortgage. As my 20s come to a close maybe I should reflect a bit and decide if 30 is really worth celebrating.

I learned a lot in the last decade. I went to University in Toronto, studying English lit. I probably spend several more hours in barrooms then I ever did in a lecture hall. I guess you have to ask the question was spending tens of thousands of dollars on an education spent in a pub worth it. Yes. Absolutely. I spent many a day drinking away the hours in a campus bar with complete strangers of all different ethnicities, religions and creeds. I debated politics, gender issues, religion, literature sometimes jokingly and others in a much more heated fashion. And I am better for all of it. The truth is high school sucks for most people. Even the people who enjoyed it are still as pigeon holed in to stereotypes ‘Breakfast Club’ style as everyone else is. It isn’t until we go away and enter the pre-real world of college/university that we can look back and realize the all the bullshit of the last 4-5 years doesn’t matter. This is the time in your life when you can be who you really want to be. I experienced a lot of different things in this time, good and bad. Those first few years away from home shaped me and built the foundation of who I am today. I still look back on those days fondly….The ones I can remember that is. (Still not sure why I woke up in my dorm room bed one morning cuddling with a paper towel dispenser from a girls washroom……One day I will discover the truth…) When my daughter comes of age and starts to consider post-secondary options, I will strongly advise her to stay away from local schools. As hard as it would be to let her go, I know that moving away from home will make her a better, stronger person. I just hope to God that she doesn’t experience some of things I did…..But I want her to discover the best the world has to offer and a lot of the best things you need to find on your own.

After finishing school, I went even farther away. I got a loan, bought a car and drove across Canada. I had no job lined up and no real plans. I had just finished spending the majority of my life in a class room and needed to live a life of no restrictions for a while. I will save the stories of this road-trip for another time, but I would advise anyone to take such a trip. No matter what country you live in, you should discover it. Before you think of travelling abroad, travel your own country first. Take a friend if you can stand being in a car with another human for hours on end. If you can’t, do it alone. I spend 50 plus hours alone in my car, I went a little crazy, but it was fun and it forced me to meet new people in places I stopped. I know we are all well conditioned from a very young age that strangers are dangerous and are akin to the monsters in your closet. However if you allow yourself, you can meet some interesting characters and have some pretty cool adventures. Trust your gut. It is the best tool you will ever have. If someone doesn’t feel right, even if you can’t put your finger on it, avoid them. That said if you feel the urge to sit and have a pint with the old guy at the end of the bar that everyone else is avoiding, go for it. I bet you he has some stories that will blow your mind.

The best place I lived during my travels was Banff, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. To this day I still believe it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It is an experience. If you can visit, you should. Be warned though the place does have somewhat of a Hotel California affect. I spent a year there and never got used to the fact that on any given day elk would be walking down the main drag side by side with people. It is unreal. However, it is also the place that I learned that you can have too much of a good thing, and your body can only handle so much of a ‘good time’. Up till that point I had been following the life plan of greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin (especially the Southern Comfort part) and Kurt Cobain (minus Courtney Love and a shotgun). Then I realized that 27 was only a few years away, and the aforementioned had a few problems in their 27th year. It was time to move on.

I came back home. It was time, and everyone has to come back at some point. I never planned on staying. Just a short visit, then off to the next adventure…that was the plan. What I did not know at the time is the next adventure would keep me there, and that adventure would continue to this day. I met my yet-to-be wife. Everything changed. I found myself wanting to stick around. We had a very, very long courtship….But when things started, they happened fast. It was only a week between our first kiss and moving in together. This would be the most important lesson I would get out of my twenties. If something feels right, don’t wait. Leap. Life is too short, and chances for life changing events are gone in a second. When your window opens you have to jump through, no matter what anyone says. My wife and I both jumped through that window without a tinge of hesitation or regret. We have been together for five years, have a newborn daughter and our adventure changes every day.

Rereading that last paragraph I think that maybe I shouldn’t give my wife such a hard time for wanting to throw me a birthday party. I guess I do have a reason to celebrate. I am not sure if the things I accomplished in my twenties are what I set out to do. I do know that I am proud of what I did accomplish.

In closing, I should say that it is good to have plans and goals. Just don’t set them in stone or be so focused on them you are closed minded to everything else. Sometimes the greatest things are the most unexpected. If I am walking towards a door and on the way another door is open, I am probably going to go through it, because who knows…something great could be inside like your soul mate, or even better…McDonalds’ pizza!

Later,

Jason – @gskewedview
P.S. I apologize for the majority of this not being funny….It was not my intention to get all serious on your ass….Cest la vie.

I don’t really buy into Valentine’s Day. Not that I don’t believe in love, quite the contrary, I just don’t like being told what to do. For that very reason I gave my wife chocolates and flowers yesterday (Feb 13th) because I don’t need a special day to buy her presents. I do it all year around. However, regardless of my feelings this day seems to have an effect on everyone I see. Everyone’s speed dial seems to be either turned up or dialed down today. Those who are in love are racing around to get the right gift, plan the most romantic evening or write a love poem equipped with all the beats of a Shakespearean sonnet (By the way, anyone ever try to write in iambic pentameter?? Seriously, try it, but don’t blame me when frustration leads way to questioning if you really love your subject enough to put yourself through migraine inducing torture). Then there are the other people who are slowed to a crawl today. The ones watching everyone else run around like lunatics. These are the people who currently do not have someone to make your own candy hearts for. Before I get to the point of this article, let me take a minute right now for all the kiddos reading to say that, no matter what you see today, it is ok to NOT have someone. There is nothing wrong with not being in love. Being alone is perfectly normal and natural and something everyone needs to experience. Don’t go looking for love, because you think everyone else is. Because, 1) Not everyone else is. And 2) If you go looking for it you will always be disappointed. Don’t worry, love knows where you are all of the time, it hasn’t lost you. It is just waiting for the right time to present itself to you. Be patient. Ok now that my dear Abby moment is out of the way, on to what I really want to talk about.

My wife makes fun of me when I cry in movies. Yes, I cry in movies. What you don’t? Go watch the scene in My Girl where Vada tries to convince herself that Thomas J is just sleeping after being stung to death by a bazillion bees….Go….watch it, I’ll wait…
……….

Still not crying. Ok you are dead inside. Let’s move on.

Yep. Death is sad. Although it is not the only thing that can make my face leak; the perfectly, romantic cinematic moment can also bring a tear to my eye. I would like to share with you my opinion of the single most romantic moment in the history of cinema. That moment my dear reader can be found in the 1988 ‘rom-com’ classic Die Hard.

Forget When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride or any movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, Die Hard is the pinnacle of romance (although Joe vs The Volcano is a close second). There are many elements in Die Hard that make it a swoon fest, but there is one gut wrenching scene that serves as the definition of true love. The scene is question take place right after John Mclane (Bruce Willis) has to run across broken glass barefoot and finds himself making a desperate call from the bathroom while picking out shards of glass from his feet. If you ever wondered what Annie Lennox was singing about, you now know that it was in fact Bruce Wills who walked on broken glass.

The scene is nothing short of brilliant. While bleeding profusely from his feet Bruce Wills calls Reginald VelJohnson (because Family Matters……get it…?) At this point in the movie our hero is unsure if he will make it out alive, and ever get to see his wife again. (By the way, if you are wondering why I haven’t summarized the plot of Die Hard yet, which is custom to do if you are writing about a movie, I am not because it is DIE HARD! If you haven’t seen it….then I just don’t know what to say to you).

In between lighting a cigarette (remember when smoking was cool??) and pulling shards of glass from his bloody feet John relays to Al his doubts. He fears he will never see his wife again and wants Al to give her a message. Here is that message:

“Tell her that, um…She is the best thing to ever happen to a bum like me….She has heard me say I love you a thousand times…She has never heard me say I’m sorry….I want you to tell her that Al. Tell her John said that he was sorry.”

That is true love right there. Apologetic and self-deprecating. It doesn’t get any sweeter folks.

Don’t worry John see’s Holly again, because (spoiler alert) he saves the fucking day! Yippe-Kay-Yah! Isn’t that what true love really is…Someone who saves the day for you, each and every day…not just on February 14th.

So on this February 14th I would like to encourage everyone, single or committed to sit down and watch Die Hard. If you are with someone you love you will appreciate them more because you will realize that love conquers all…including Alan Rickman. If you are watching it alone then at least you will pick up some tips on what to do if you are ever stuck inside a Japanese corporate office that is overrun with German terrorist played by British actors.

Lastly, to my wife: I know that if I was ever kidnapped by Alan Rickman that you would also run barefoot across broken glass and kill a building full of terrorists just to save me. I want to tell you now, that I would appreciate that.

Till next time,
Jason – @gskewedview

In the wake of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision today to remove Wrestling from the core sports in the Olympics, I have felt compelled to write my own semi-relevant opinion on the topic. It is important to me because I have a deep love and admiration for pointing out other people’s stupid mistakes. Some may say I have an urgent desire to burn out other people’s candle to make mine burn brighter. Or I just have too much time on my hands.

But anyway….on to the IOC…

The decision made by the IOC today regarding wrestling was stupid. Wrestling is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest sports. It dates back 15,000 years as proven by cave drawing found in France (don’t believe me??…Hit up Wikipedia, because that is where I just stole that factoid from about two seconds ago. So you know that it is almost, possibly, could be potentially true). I am sure that right now oiled up Greek men are rolling in their graves at this decision.

While most of what I write may be bullshit, I do happen to know a thing or two about wrestling. Allow me to elaborate (or ramble on for a few pages, if we are being honest). My first introduction into wrestling came in the late 80s early 90s. It was not the Olympic or amateur sort, but the professional, tad bit more theatrical kind. Thankfully, unlike my peers and a generation of young fans I did not buy into the Hulkamania craze. Even in my youth I knew then that “vitamins and prayers” were actually code for slutty, untalented, bad driving offspring and sex tapes you couldn’t sell to the horniest of sheltered 12 year olds. In absolute truth I did not know that at the time (although I did suspect it). My hatred to Hulkamania came because my older brother hated Hulk. Simple child math, my older brother was cool, so Hulk wasn’t. Instead I became fascinated with his favorites: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, Million Dollar Man and most of all the late great king of the Slimjim himself ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (can I get an “ooohhh yeeaaah”). Yes I will freely admit that many years of my youth were spent watching grown men wearing fluorescent tights and hiding male pattern baldness, jumping off turn buckles and flying off ropes. Occasionally I do still tune in, because frankly, it still entertains me. Simply put it is escapism. Although every time I do tune in I have to listen to my wife say: “And how is this different than Young and the Restless??” Then I try and explain, which does not go well. Ten minutes later we have to stop ourselves as we realize that we are debating which is a more pure art form: Professional Wrestling or Soap Operas. Obviously this can only be settled inside a steel cage match pitting Victor Newman against Cactus Jack.
I digress…..

My interest in professional wrestling led to my best friend and I wanting to try our hand at the amateur version. Of course our high school offered no such outlet, so we created a team (which I believe still exists to this day. I have no proof of this, but I like to think that it does). I should preface this portion by saying that I have that athletic ability of a very unathletic shoelace. Conversely, my best friend was a naturally gifted athlete and went on to do fairly well, but who cares about that. If you want to read about his achievements, go read his blog…Oh wait he doesn’t have one (Again, I have no proof of this, but I like to think that he doesn’t). So there I was, a scrawny 16 year old kid dressed in an unflattering blue singlet armed with only the athletic ability that God gave to Jared ‘The Subway Guy’ and a good understanding of what constitutes a bodyslam and a chairshot. I faired excellently…Even as I wrote that last sentence I could feel your doubt in me. And you are correct dear reader, I faired terribly. My first meet didn’t start well. They booking committee (probably not what it is called in amateur wrestling) put me in the wrong weight class. A lighter weight class you say…?? Of course not, our hero was put into the goliath weight class. As I stood toe-to-toe with the seething giant in front of me, I realized that there was no escape…The white circle painted on the mat prevented my retreat in all directions. Lurch lunged at me and the extensive amateur training I had, had over the last week and a half went out the window. I had to rely on instincts alone, and those came from hours and hours of watching and practicing pro wrestling in my basement. I side stepped him and wrapped my arms around the back of his neck applying a perfect (???) full nelson. I had him…and the giant was angry. I used my legs to trip him and we both went tumbling backwards in a heap. Somehow I held him down for the count. I was officially 1-0 in my amateur wrestling career. This would be my only victory in sports…ever. I lost my next 11 matches. I will save you the pain of hearing about it.

What I gained in that season of wrestling (there was not a second season for me) was a respect for the ancient sport. It is hard. Go find a solid wall and push against it as hard as you can for five minutes. How tired and sore are you? Now imagine the wall pushing back. Or imagine the wall throwing you on your head, driving your own knee into your nose and holding you there for a count as blood trickles into your eyeball. Trust me, it sucks.

Wrestling is the most basic, grueling and arguably the most psychological sport there is. At this juncture I would like to point out that speed walking is an Olympic sport. Yup. Speeding walking. Think about that. Well, I guess I have never had to wrestle my way to a missed bus.

Speaking of stupid decisions…..Emilio Estevez’s lack of screen time in Mighty Ducks 3.
Just saying.

Till next time.

Jason.
P.S. Follow me on Twitter….or don’t because no one else is. @gskewedview Just joined and either no one wants to talk to me, or I am not doing it right…Probably the former.

I know I am a little late to the party when it comes to discussing the whole apocalypse thing. December 21st 2012 has come and gone, and we are still here and we all learned that the Mayan predictions are about as reliable as using Wikipedia as your sole resource for that history paper due tomorrow.

I never really put a whole lot of thought into the apocalypse (other than to question the sanity of whoever gives the green light to all of the movies about the end of the world, and why won’t John Cusack hold up stereo in a real storm when the world really needs him…) I woke up the morning of December 21st, my first thought being – I woke up. That has to be a good sign. Then I turned on the TV. Yup. Australia still there. Next thought….Shit. I have to go to work. It can’t be a good sign (and I know I am not alone) when the end of the world can be considered a positive alternative to going to work. I went to work, came home to see my (at that point, very pregnant) wife, enjoyed a little holiday cheer, drank a couple Mooseheads, ate some good food, watched some bad TV and then went to bed. I then woke up again on December 22nd, and the thought of the apocalypse (which for the rest of this article will be referred to as “the apoc” because I hate spelling apocalypse…Even though I was an English major in University and paid good money to be able to write good (I mean well) I still can’t spell worth shit. You know you are a bad speller when spell check underlines the word in red and when you click on it, and it says ‘no suggestions’. I still have red pen nightmares from University…damn English profs and there undying need for grammatical excellence…but I digress and because this parenthesis has gone on so long that when I close it and finish my sentence you will probably not remember how the sentence began) was gone. In 2012 the universe held up a big middle finger to both the Mayans and Harold Camping (if you don’t know who Camping is, google him. He is a whole new level of crazy).

Then I went home today and something caused me to rethink my views on the apoc. I had been away from home for a few days. The night I left the massive snow storm that swept across Ontario and eastern Canada hit, and our house was covered. I could barely get into our driveway. Of course I could have shoveled, or I could get a good run and it, drive in quickly and hope to hell I can stop before my car lands on the cat sleeping on the living room couch. I managed to stop in time, and the cat’s slumber was not interrupted and most likely continues to this very moment.

There is always that little fear in the back of even the most optimistic person’s mind when you go away for a few days that someone could have potentially broke into your house and be hiding in your closet wearing your underwear (the ones with the holes in them) and be waiting to stab you with a coat hanger. I stepped out of my car, and my boot sunk down a good two feet. I took a few steps, thought about the best way to disarm a naked man wielding a coat hanger, and surveyed the yard. No foot prints anywhere. My house was safe. By my flawless logic I could tell that I did not have to worry about disarming a naked man with a coat hanger, because while crazy is crazy, crazy can’t fly.

With my mind now at ease, I made my trek to the front door. The light glass outer door could have easily weighed fifty pounds with all the snow piled up in front. Luckily I still had enough adrenaline built up from playing out the naked, crazy man fight in my head, to be able to heft the door open. As I went for the second door (which thankfully like all houses, opens inward. Which when you think about it, that sucks for security purposes. Anyone can easily kick open a door with a well placed boot beside the knob. This would be much more difficult, almost impossible if the door opened outward. Seriously…think about it) I noticed something wedged in between the knob and the door frame. I picked it up and unfolded the paper. It was a pamphlet from our friendly, neighborhood Jehovah Witnesses’. I skimmed through the pamphlet, which detailed how the ‘end was near’. Really? Did we not just go through this? Or are they recycling old pamphlets? I will admit I don’t know a ton about Jehovah’s, and even less because I never actually read the pamphlet that sparked this entire writing. I did get the gist of it; they like many other groups believe that Man’s time on this planet is coming to an end. I should say that I have no problem with JWs. I have no problem with anyone beliefs as long as it doesn’t harm other people or animals. If your religion calls for you to sacrifice a goat, I have a problem with your religion. Actually come to think of it I think I have less of a problem with human sacrifice than I do with animal sacrifice (because from my experience, most goats are cooler than most people). If your religion does call for a human sacrifice, I have a few people I could suggest. David Caruso for one, and the kid whole stole my Swiss Army knife on a sixth grade skiing trip for two.

Getting back to my thoughts on The Apoc, I don’t really care. I have too much to do in any given day (like write this blog) to worry about the world ending tomorrow and the potential judgment that follows it. If there is a higher power that wants to judge me, that’s fine. I will accept whatever judgment that God or the universe has for me…As long as I get to make a judgment of my own. As long as when I am done hearing my eternal fate I can make a final statement and call “bullshit” on all the hypocrisy that I believe to exist, I am fine to take the escalator of fate up or down.

After I have had my time to rant and rave I will ask one final question. To the creator I will ask, “Thanks for that big ass snow storm in February that kept the crazy, coat hanger wielding naked guy out of my closet. But I have to know, how the hell did the Jehovah get up there?”

Finally, I know I started this about ragging on ‘end of the world’ movies, but if you are going to see one, check out Last Night by Don Mckellar. Great flick.

Till next time I have something useless to say,

Jason.

As I make my first venture into the world of online writing, I had to take a second and remember what my Mother once told me about first impressions. Then I remember that my Mother was the same person to send me to my first day of kindergarten wearing a blue,red and green McDonald’s track suit with a yellow collar and cuffs. (There were pictures but I assure you that they are all collected, shredded and burned. So if you are ever in my parent’s basement and are in the photo cabinet there is no need to open the box of pictures labelled “1987”. Don’t do it.)

This is new to me, I can’t quite tell you yet what it will be about, hopefully it will just figure itself out. As for why I am doing this. The short answer would be for my wife’s sanity. Too often she is forced to listen to me rant and rave about things that annoy me, things that blow my mind or just that I am bored and want to talk so I will go on at lengths about things that I am indifferent about. I write this in part as a secondary outlet for my inconsistent, incoherent ramblings.

If you have got this far you are either somewhat interested, as bored as I am or you ARE actually my wife and I am making you read this! Nonetheless, I feel I owe you the courtesy of telling you a little about me.

I could begin by telling you about my aforementioned wife, but I won’t. Because I am afraid of her. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and we have a wonderful, happy and fulfilling relationship. However, I do hold the natural fear that anyone who sleeps next to a person should have. Any man who watched a news story in 1993 about a scissor happy wife should share this fear. That is unless you have some deep dark desire to star in the kind of porn movies that even disgust Ron Jeremy.

I could tell you about my new 3 week old daughter. I will refrain from that now as well, except to tell you that she is beautiful and perfect (except between the hours of 9pm and 11pm). I am just not ready to share her yet.

I could tell you about some of my past adventures including parking lot brawl with an Elk in rut in Banff, Alberta. Or I could relate to you the horror of being stranded in Wawa, Ontario (no offense Wawaians). At some point I am sure I will share the dangers of drunk hitchhiking in Toronto, but today is not that day.

Nor today will I share my interests with you, or my world views. I won’t tell you about books I like. I will not rant about how (even though I appreciate the forum of online writing) I would much rather write this by hand on a yellow legal pad and pin it to the bulletin board on the street in between battle of the bands posters.

Instead of all of those things, I believe the best way to get a glimpse into my soul is by my recommendation that you stop reading now go find a VHS copy of Point Break (then find a VCR) and watch it. Because Point Break is awesome.

Yep, Point Break about sums it up. And if you don’t understand that, then you will never understand me. And that is fine for both of us.

If you found this even mild amusing, please check back for more, because I have a lot more to say that you undoubtably won’t care about.

Till next time.

Jason.