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Archive for January, 2006

Carpe Diem!

“Just let it go!” said the voice in my head. “Just pay and get out of here“
But letting go is not that simple.
There are situations that require one to take immediate action. They need to be addressed, exploited, decisions have to be made and plans put into place to achieve the desired outcome. Sometimes these circumstances are beyond your control and yet you feel compelled to do something about it.
The little voice inside your head tells you to stand clear and to accept, to force yourself to forget. Surrender the powerful emotions which compel you to take action.
The path to inner peace can be fraught with moments of weakness. The road that has to be taken can be long and arduous. There are many obstacles and potholes along the way and the ground may be uneven.
Something or someone may trip your balance. We get caught up in the labyrinth of people moving around us, we lose our step; we stumble and lose our way.
Emotions can be dealt with in a more discrete manner. We can channel our energy creatively to another medium. Step out of this world and into an alternate reality, focus on other situations. Act on a fantasy and explore feelings in a safety zone where they are easier to face and through the magic of words which will never be spoken.
But just sometimes, words can be spoken and a helping hand can be extended. And by dong so, we can help someone along their way.
“Erm… excuse me, miss”, I said without any hesitation. She looked up from the magazine she was reading and put down the pen she held in her hand. A tired expression on her face, one that has been honed and perfected through years of practice. It is an expression that matches the indifference with which she treats the people who cross her path daily.
“You have ballpoint ink all over your mouth and front teeth”
A look of complete shock and disbelief in her eyes. If it wasn’t for the counter top, her jaw would have hit the floor and bounced back up to the ceiling. The shop went quiet and the two teenagers standing behind me roared with laughter.
Mission accomplished. Yep, I am as bad as they come.

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The dog is still a puppy

I have a brand new pet peeve. I detest people who ask me, “So… how’s the new year going?”
I don’t know how the new year is going. The new year is only FOUR weeks old and although the first pay-day is upon us, I suppose it is going like any other year…. SLOWLY and one day at a time.
I’m still broke from spending all that money over the holidays. My credit card looks like it fought in the Battle of Hastings and I already need another holiday. The problems of the old year followed me into the new year and I have yet to come up with a plan on how to rid myself of them permanently.
Why would people even ask you a question like this? If the new year were a relationship, we’d still be in the getting-to-know-you phase. We would be bonding, falling in love and spending all our free time together. Our hearts will be filled with anticipation. And even though we may have progressed to the bedroom, I’d still be getting a boner every time I think of her.
So please don’t ask me how the new year is going? Ask me a few months from now and I promise to give you an answer. I only need to get past the getting-to-know-you phase and as soon as 2006 and I become a couple, I’ll tell you. I’ll even throw in a boner for good measure.
A simple, “How are you?” will do for now.

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Oh joy! (part 2)

I guess the follow-up post on Saturday’s conversation with the nephew is overdue. Despite the tricky nature of the subject, it went remarkably well and much better than I expected. He’s a good kid and we get along fine .Of course I had him helping me clean up the garage first, while I contemplated the all-important next move.
Help in breeching the subject came from an unexpected source… television.
I was all set on using KN’s amusing, yet unorthodox approach when television provided the all-important opening. We were watching an Australian Open women’s singles match when he commented on their muscular forearms. Hehehe… figure the hormonal teenager to notice all the finer details of competitive women’s tennis.

Me: Yeah, I hear vigorous exercising of a particular muscle group can do that to you.
He giggled: Is that why your mouth is so big? From putting your foot in it?
Me (Laughing out loud): Keep that up and you’ll be following in my footsteps. But since you hardly ever exercise, I reckon you aren’t in danger if that ever happening to you. Although your mom mentioned that you have been getting a lot of forearm action lately.
[All out laughter. He throws his hands up in the air and covers his face.]
He: I guess it is all out in the open then? Mom spoke to you, didn’t she? I had a hunch she may talk to you about that. I’m just glad that she did not take it upon herself to talk to me. Our last conversation about sex is something I never want to do again… ever.
Me: You know your mom does the best she can, but I share your sentiments. She can be a bit over the top.
He: I knew I should’ve locked my door.
Me: Next time try the bathroom (more laughter).

To be honest, I was quietly amazed at how calmly he approached the whole thing. No theatrics, to denial. Cocky (excuse the pun) little bastard!
He: I am embarrassed, but I am not going to lie to you. My buddies and I talk about what we do all time. Discovering that our penises (he used another word) are much more than something you pee with, is kind of a big deal. There is quite a bit of forearm action going on.
Me: I understand. You know of course that you don’t have to beat it death in one go. It may not seem like it now, but there is a lot more to becoming a man than being sexually active. (Awkward silence)

I did not want to break it to him that the ongoing fascination with sex and his penis would last for quite a long time. Come to think of it, men never really get over it.
What followed was a long and candid discussion on the subject. I‘m not going to go into detail. It is amazing how much kids learn from other kids. When you put all of their bits and pieces together, the truth is basically in there somewhere. Television, cinema, MTV and magazines pretty much demystified what was once a forbidden subject. It took me back to my own adolescent days when sex was pretty much all my mates and I talked about. We had us a good laugh at the myths surrounding sex and masturbation.
He was actually much more concerned about how he should act around girls. What should he talk to them about. When is it ok to ask a girl out and to kiss her. Believe me, whipping it out and getting naked with a girl is not the most important thing on their minds. It may get to that stage soon enough, but right now it is all wishful thinking. In reality, 13 year olds aren’t comfortable enough with their own sexuality to jump to the next level.
I tried to make him understand that I realise there is a lot of pressure from his mates to do certain things. Hanging out at the mall, smoking, drinking, doing drugs… and getting a girl. He should not feel compelled to do anything he does not feel comfortable with. Doing what he knows is right and acting responsibly is far more important. There is lots of time to grow up and become a man. It is ok for him to still be a boy… and kicking my ass in a game of Tekken 5 (A martial arts combat game for PS2).
I got off easy, I think. He is more mature than I give him credit for. Growing up without a father can do that to you. I’d also like to think my status as the “cool uncle” made it easer for him to talk openly.
I can only hope that I will have the same open relationship with my own kids one day. Yeah rght!

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In every profession there is a small group of people who regard themselves as being the best at what they do. Not only do they regard themselves as being the best, they firmly believe that if they weren’t able to make something work, then no one else will. Are they however satisfied with knowing this about themselves?
No, they have to rub your nose in it, just in case there is small chance that you may have overlooked this minor detail.
Been there, done that and did a bloody good job of it too, that is their motto.
To illustrate their point, they will inundate you with quaint anecdotes of how and why it did not work out before. What they are really saying is that they do not believe that you could pull it off. The tone and manner in which they speak to you takes care of any doubts you may have had.
Just short of rejecting your idea outright, they will always end off with a smug, “Please don’t let me stop you from having a go at it. Perhaps there is something we overlooked and perhaps you could make it work for you”. How’s that for encouragement and for being supportive?! Disdain dressed up as compassion.
I came across someone like that today. I put forward what I thought was a brilliant concept (aren’t they always?) to bring in new business for the company. I presented my concepts to a person whom I thought could give me some perspective. What I got instead was a half an hour history lesson on how it has been tried before.
I came away from this encounter feeling battered and bruised and a lot less tall than when I went in. I haven’t given up on my idea, yet, but the enthusiasm to push forward with it has taken a considerable nose-dive.
Having had an hour to reflect on what has been said; I am going back to the drawing board and iron out a few kinks in my plan. I still believe it can be done. All that is needed is a fresh approach, a creative sales/marketing strategy and an insight into what makes the target group tick.
Screw the old coot! I have to try this for myself. If don’t, I am never going to be able to look at myself in the mirror. And I so like looking at myself, especially first thing in the morning when I look at my absolute worst, with the knowledge that my day can only get better from that point onwards.
The chitster bounces back! Even when there is a really good chance he may end up at the bottom of a huge pile of smelly dung.

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Death of a superhero

I got stung by a bee this morning and may have lost my superhero status in the process. Judging by the angry red welt in the middle of my chest, my powers weren’t particularly impressive to begin with.
A bee got trapped between the curtain and the window. Being the superhero that I am, I thought I’d be helpful and allow the little fellow to escape.
Besides the constant buzzing was getting on my last nerve and I did not have a can of insecticide spray handy.
So I got up and opened the window on the side panel, hoping that the fresh air would lure him to the outside. Not so! He just kept on flying up and down the window, colliding with it and making that awful buzzing noise. Insects are stupid in that way.
I got hold of a piece of paper and tried to shoo him along. A fat lot of good that did me! Instead, the little fellow climbed onto the piece of paper and just sat there. All activity ceased. I reckon he was prolly catching his breath before his next assault on the window pane.
Realising that he was clearly not going to do this on his own, I placed the piece of paper in front of the open window.
He caught a whiff of the fresh air, rose up on his little legs and launched himself into the air… straight at me.
I tried to wave him away with my hands and that’s when it happened.
I knocked him out of the sky and he fell down the front of my shirt. (The top two buttons were unbuttoned)
The next moment I felt a sharp pain and I instinctively clutched my hands to my chest. In the process I squashed the little bee. All that was left of him was a brownish wet stain on the front of my shirt.
I managed get the shirt off and pulled the sting out. There are no medicines in the office, so I ran to the bathroom and splashed water on my chest. It hurt like a bitch!
The office receptionist heard all the commotion and came over to help me. I explained that a bee had stung me. She ran over to her workstation, grabbed a bottle of perfume from her purse and sprayed it directly onto the affected area. She explained that the alcohol in the perfume would soothe the pain and disinfect the wound. (I didn’t know that!) What I can tell you, is that it burnt like hellfire! AARRRGGGHH!!! I saw hundreds of bright shiny objects floating around the room.
Soon after she rushed to the pharmacy down the road and came back with insect bite ointment and some band aids.
I now have a third, rather angry-looking nipple in the middle of my chest. Guess I won’t be showing off my pecs any time soon.
Damn that bee. I want my mommy!

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Hear ye! Hear ye!

It is that time of the year again and the blogosphere is abuzz with the news that voting in the 2nd Annual Best of Blogs Awards has begun.
One of my favourite Canadian blogs has been nominated in the ‘Best Photo/Art/Poetry Blog’ category. She has slipped into third place and in need of a little help.
This is a shameless (is there any other kind?), yet unprompted plug by me on her behalf, and I can assure you that she is an amazing artist and would be a well-deserved winner.
So, go to the Best of Blogs website and vote for Andrea’s blog. Pronto! I said so!

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Women care nothing for our male logic: They have their own, which we do not recognize and do not acknowledge until we are crushed under its wheel – paraphrased from the quote by Ivan Turgenev

The place – Sunday morning at the breakfast table
She: You know my friend, Tanya?
Me: Yeah, sure. I met her last Saturday over at your place.
She: Do you think she’s hot?
Me: Uhhh… perhaps… I mean she is not ugly, if that’s what you are asking.
She: Would you go out with her?
Me: NO! I’m with you! Why would I want to go out with another woman? That would be insane.
She: But what if you and I weren’t together… would you go out with her then?
Me: I suppose I m-a-y consider it. Anyway, why do you care if I think Tanya is hot?
She: So then you admit it, you think she’s hot then?
Me I did not say that. Forget what I said. I won’t even consider it.
She : Then what are you saying?
Me: I am saying I am stupid little man and I should learn to keep my mouth shut.
She: Good idea. You are digging yourself into a hole.
Me: How’s that even possible? You’re the one who brought it up.
She: And you are the one who thinks she’s hot.
Me: Did I mention that you are waayyy hotter than she is and that I love you with all my heart?
(All I get I in return is a barely audible grunt)

Women! When do we ever get to taste victory?

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