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Five Frickin’ Years

Jacquie and I have been living in Auckland for five frickin’ years, to the frickin’ day.

I’ve learned a lot in that time, about myself, and life, and everything.

And now I’d like to share it with you.

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Best spam so far

WordPress filters most unwanted comments. But the clever-er spams get through.

Here is a comment I received today for a post I wrote three years ago:

of course like your website but you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find
it very troublesome to inform the reality nevertheless I will certainly come back
again.

Reality settles in

I was going to write about how I had tacked some OUT OF ORDER signs to the washing machine and dryers.

I had this whole justification that I was, like, better than my neighbors, in a Raskolnikovian sense. My thinking was anyone gullible enough to believe any old sign taped to an appliance has not yet earned the right to use the technology. They shouldn’t be allowed to use a toaster, let alone as sophisticated machine as a washer.

So by my thinking, with the signs in place, all the tenants got what we deserved. Some got taught a valuable lesson in signage, whilst I got exclusive access to the washer and dryer.

Anyway, that’s as far as I got in that story when I was hit with sudden writer’s block. What was wrong with me? Where was my venom, my glow-in-the dark fangs? I usually carry enough misanthropy to fill a book. Why was it so hard to hate people today?

Then it hit me. I was going to be unemployed soon. The reality had finally sunken in, and I started to feel gloomy.

But now I’m not sure if I was doing “gloomy” right.

To tell the truth, there isn’t any right way to feel. People generally look to me as a rock in a storm. Because I’m cool and collected in the face of disaster, and because my face reminds them of an eroded sea cliff with a huge runny nose.

But what they can’t tell just by observing my constant sobbing at the desk, that deep down inside, I’m also screaming in terror.

But as I say feelings don’t matter. There’s no right or wrong way to feel about one’s impending unemployment. Maybe you shouldn’t say now you know how the Jews felt during the Holocaust. It is a bit of an overstatement, and it won’t make you any friends. Trust me.

A better comparison would be to poor, urban, death row inmate. Redundancy; last meal? What’s the diff?

People on death row have it easier anyway, let’s face it. If you’re going to be executed in three weeks, what’s the big deal? All you have to do is sit back, relax, and die. When redundancy ends, the travails of the unemployed are just starting. We actually have to do something, and keep on doing something indefinitely. So don’t tell me how awful things are from your cushy cell on death row. Try walking a green mile in my shoes.

There clock is ticking. Several of my colleagues have already lined up jobs at the companies that will make them redundant next.

They are good at what they do. There is always going to be a market for people who are good at what they do. Beats me how I’m going to get by.

Steaming into a storm

Arriving early for a meeting in Takapuna Wednesday afternoon, I went to catch a view I’d never seen before.

The rain had let up to a spray, and my toes, exposed to the elements in my Birkenstocks, no longer seemed purple and frost-bitten, as they had earlier.

So I went down to the strand. Out beyond Rangitoto was a freighter steaming into the Hauraki Gulf, where the horizon was darker, more glowering than the almost placid harbor it had departed. The ship was sailing into a storm.

What would it be like for the crew on board? Would the weather be rough enough for them to notice?

More reader mail

ルイヴィトン バッグ writes, “My son is very recognized for his skin icon inspired designs. You won’t think they are on the websites of any of the company’s authorized retailers either. You can find bags for the purpose of men, women, kids, professionals, sportsmen, together with animals! Quiet tones and attractive design lets could use this designer purse every day.”

Brianne Abraham raves, “I am glad post. I will certainly comeback. I liked no less than you’ll receive done the next.”

 

The bull-tide carol

People think we’re all great and shit just because we do stuff other animals wouldn’t dream of doing.

But, should we really be so proud of a species that has produced intercontinental ballistic missiles and Justin Bieber?

The problem is evolution and framing. People only live for 70, 80 years. They also tend to hang out together, and ponder their existence, which basically boils down to who has the biggest penis.

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So when people look upon their inherited advantages through the prism of their self-aggrandizement, they can’t help but think how much better they are than all the other animals, put together.

Shit, you don’t see monkeys coming up with 172 uses for corn. Sure, they may stick a cob up their ass after taking a dump. But that’s pretty obvious, don’t you think? The truth is, monkey probably don’t even like corn. Ergo, they must be stupid.

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That’s the current thinking, anyway. It’s like we’re saying, “The day a dolphin can take my order at a restaurant is the day I’ll stop asking for extra Bottlenose in my Tuna Nicoise.”

It’s a fantastic hierarchy that conveniently ignores the demonstrated truth that evolution is adaptive, not progressive. We are the children of organisms that were optimized to the likelihood of passing on their genes. The fact that so many people distort reality to fit their religious preconceptions on these matters, with all that we know to be true now pretty much demonstrates that we’re still just a bunch of hillbillies whose brothers are their uncles, and whose sisters you know are having their period because they’re only wearing one sock.

But it’s understandable. We’re proud of ourselves! And we should be. Wasn’t it just last week that we discovered fire? And didn’t that help us find our way to the computer in the dark room? And where would we be today had we not invented free internet porn yesterday? Yeah, we are pretty clever. Which makes it such a weird coincidence that some of our gods happen to look a lot like us. What are the chances? A universe with billions and billions of ways for a god to be, with so many varieties of environments, inhospitable to fragile man, but suited to an omnipotent entity. And he happens to look like Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard. And he’s a He!

Let me ask a theological question for a moment. What the fuck does an eternal, omnipotent being need with a penis? Can you just clear that up?  I’m getting to the age where I’m wondering why have a penis. But if we’re made in god’s image, and god’s a man, then doesn’t that mean he has some kind of dick? You know what it means that god has a dick? It means it took him at least 13 billion years to get laid. And I thought I was a late bloomer.

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Sorry for that. I do tend to get a little carried away with the holiday spirit.

And that has been difficult this year. A friend of mine has a sister who teaches at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut where the horrible massacre took place last week. It’s not that I’m friends with her, but there’s a personal dimension to this story for me.

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I’ve never really had much of an opinion about gun control, to be honest. I think I had one of those “liberal urban” consciences you can probably buy for $14 at Urban Outfitters. Didn’t like automatic weapons, but if you hunted, that’s cool, if you’re eating the meat.

I still think hunting for food is a worthy adaptation to preserve. I’m now, more than ever, opposed to automatic weapons, high-capacity cartridges, and a wild west mentality, both in attitudes and in the shameful multitudes of channels arms manufacturers now have to markets.

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I do have a solution to the issue, that I think should make everyone happy. I’ll agree to leave your guns alone. You can have as many weapons, in any style, with as many bullets as you can carry. Hell, you can even have your penis replaced with a bazooka. And probably best of all, we’ll makes sure the Stand Your Ground law is interpreted to include as a “threat” anyone who “You don’t like the look of.”

But there are a few conditions.

First, you all have to move to Utah. I’m sorry. That’s not even negotiable.

Second, when traveling to any of the 49 ‘sane’ States, you have to leave your weapons at the door. We may make exceptions for Civil War re-enactors.

And finally, you have to agree to have your testicles snipped, to decrease the chances that you’ll give birth to a mentally ill person with no access to medical care but plenty of access to your guns with which he goes to shoot up an entire classroom of children.

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So, yeah, we’re great and all. But we’re still subject to our primate heritage. But seeing as we’re so great at making AR-15s and high capacity cartridges, we must have the intellectual capacity to create institutions and methods by which to keep this shit from happening again.

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Especially because I’m flying into the States tonight, and I don’t want to get shot.