Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Warning Lights Flash No More!

I have often heard people say that a car is just a car, a bike is just a bike, a bus is just a bus; something to get you from point A to point B, implying that these material things are nothing special. I agree in some aspects but isn’t life about getting from point A to point B in some regards? Which would then mean that a form of transport is not only something special but very important as well. The wings on birds that fly south for the winter; big wooden ships used to explore new lands; an ambulance speeding through thick traffic toward a victim in need of a hospital; all very important. So really, we may even go as far as saying now that transportation is life, can we not? If so, then today my truck is good.

The suspension smiles as my truck wheels discover clear pavement for the first time in a while. My drive is smooth and not bumpy, my acceleration, quick not hesitant. I take a deep breath and turn my speakers up during an old summer classic. The rush of air that floods in through my rolled down windows let me know that summer was coming. I look at my dash as my speedometer climbs, not one warning light in sight; the tire pressure light that has been lit for months now gone. I got that dang tire checked out the other day. Like a surgeon, my mechanic removed a nail lodged deep within the grooves and patched it up nicely. The empty gas tank light; gone as well. I filled her up until the pump wouldn’t give anymore. Like my momma, those warning lights nagged my ear off every time I got into that truck. But now all is good…..well almost. In the far corner of the dash is one more icon, bright and strong. My 4X4 light.

I’ve slid around on black ice enough times in my day to realized that it’s better to have it on all year around rather than risk getting hurt. But now I sit here making a painfully slow, uncomfortably shaky, ridiculously sharp right hand turn (which if you haven’t noticed is not the most pleasant thing to do in 4X4 mode) trying to think of how many times I’ve been in an accident before owning a 4X4 truck…in the summer no less. None. I pull my truck over and put it in park.

My right hand reaches for the dial that controls the 4X4 setting. I turn my truck over to 2-wheel drive for the first time in 2 years. There. No more annoying lights on my dash. My life is good.

Fear Not of Change

I watch the sun spread its warmth, purifying the waters once solidified to the filth that reminds. A world almost forgotten as though the chills of yesterday forced our minds to know no better than ice and snow, fogged breaths and heavy jackets. It is within pictures and poems that we are told of such happiness as Spring and Summer and yet we hesitate to unzip our coats. A whisper of frost echoes down our spine forcing us to pull our mitts on a bit tighter. And then the mud and rain come and we yearn for what we’d dreamt of leaving behind many times; the soft layer of snow that muffled the hectic noises of reality, smoothing the roughest of edges and the ice that freed us from the drag of friction. Indeed, we live in a world defined by change.

Around me I witness individuals affected by these changes; some for the better and some far from it. Marvelous how the many parties involved in the shift of fate feel it in different ways and I say, “Don’t get too comfortable in your tears or joy for change will come again and before you know it Winter is back. So embrace what is, no matter the path.”

Misfortunes, I thank thee

A couple of weeks ago I got an email alert on my iphone that interrupted me from my daily “mirror talk.”
“You’re awesome.”
“No you’re awesome”

You get the idea. Anyways, the email was from a gentleman unknown to me with a message that went a little something like this.

Hello, it’s that time again! I will send you two cheques soon. Seems like it’s been forever!

I couldn’t explain it. After reading this email, I lean back in my chair and analyzed it. “It’s that time again,” could refer to rent of some sort. Yes, that’s it! This guy owes me rent money! It’s about time! That fucker has been dodging me for months and now he’s trying to casually pay up like there are no hard feelings! Well he’s got another thing coming! Hmmm good theory. Too bad I don’t own any properties to rent out. “Two cheques.” Maybe he’s one of my whores from back in the good days when pimpin’ wasn’t easy and Vanilla Ice was big in the streets. Hmmm, there's one problem with that hypothesis. Vanilla Ice was never hot on the streets, ohhhhhhhhhhhh burn! Plus, Berty McFlirty paid all his debts, with a little persuasion of course. “Seems like it’s been forever.” Maybe this mystery guy is some obsessed fan that creeps on me from dark bushes and because of the cold season he becomes victim to frost bites and has to put his stalker career on hold. That’s it!

Dear loyal fan, it’s not surprising that I don’t know who you are. In my line of work I meet many many people. In fact, my fan count has quadrupled since this blog site started, putting me at 4 subscribers. Anyways, I would like to thank you for the kind donations but can you just email transfer those funds to me? I don’t like cheques on the account of having to walk to the bank and standing in line. Thank you. Attached is a photograph with my autograph.

Send. He replies.

Sorry….Wrong guy.

Sigh. Life is funny like that. At times you feel unstoppable; your band just completed their full length album and are gearing up for a tour; you are experiencing great cooperation with the clients you are dealing with at work; you find an incredible person that will listen to your ridiculous story before making out with you without wanting money. Yeeee dat’s wifey right der, naw’im'sayin’ naw’im’sayin’? And when things can’t seem to get better and your feet are both off the ground life sends something to cut you down to size. Like that email. Not only is he not a fan, he also got the wrong person. What I’m trying to say is our egos often take us away from truly enjoying the blessings in our lives and eventually we need misfortunes to remind us that. Be humble with your fortunes or else they’ll leave you one day…like Berty McFlirty, but that’s another story.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pocket Full of Change

In the darkness of a smoke infested cafe straight out of the nineties, a corner, spot lit to reveal the fog-like air and a man with lips, not yearning the filter side of a cigarette but dying to speak. And he does.

Pocket Full of Change

Tonight I stand
Not just a man
With all five senses
Firmly gripped in my hand
But also a pocket
Full of change
Not wishing coins
Neatly arranged
Projectiles with fountains
Border lining strange
Tied to my accountabilities
Coward-like really
To leave your choices with myths
Don't you agree?
The change I speak
Brings me closer to my peak
For the boy I was yesterday
Was a boy too weak
Now foundation's concrete
Excuses discrete
My choices are my own
Your opinions obsolete
So engage me will you?
Your assertive views
And I'll try my best
To miss all my cues
I beg your pardon
Please say again
I was quite busy
Counting my change

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh So Cold Those Centerfolds

I feel like I’ve just pulled into a topless bikini party and I’m not allowed to stare, not because I’m trying to be a gentleman but because I’m taken. I park my Tacoma in the Toyota Dealership next to her new improved models and I can feel her giving me the cold shoulder already.

“What?” I probe. “I haven’t even done anything and you’re upset.” But I have. When we were searching for parking I totally glanced at the 2010 Tundra’s tailgate long enough to be deemed inappropriate and borderline creepy. Can you blame me? Just because I have my Tacoma doesn’t mean I don’t have eyes you know? Sure, that Tundra probably had upgrades. That tailgate may have been a third party installed but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t look nice.

I turn back at my truck, before entering the servicing department, to see her moping. The sun shines on her the wrong way and the dent, that one day magically appeared, sticks out like Asian people at a rock concert. Her rear bumper, lop-sided from an SUV who back up into her while she sat parked outside a house party that I was at, looked ever so dull. Let’s just say she’s not as perfect as those Toyota brochures I keep hidden behind my Maxims magazines in the bathroom. Shhhhhhhhhhh.

I get a text.

“Your the best.” It’s from Kendall, my adorable new love interest.

Tsk tsk tsk. She spelt “you’re” wrong. To you it may not mean anything but to a respected blogger such as myself it’s serious business! I once ended a 2 week relationship over a there/their, your/you’re mix up (on the girl’s part of course).

A bell rings as I open the glass door to the dealership and a service rep calls me over. “That time again I see.”

“Yes.” I replied glancing out the window to my mud covered, low tire-pressured transport.

“Ok I got you booked for tomorrow at 4pm. What are you guys at now? 42000 km?”

“Yup, we drove down the Okanogan to visit the wineries last summer.” I reminisced with a chuckle. “There was this one winery that had rocks poured out as their drive way. I know, weird right? I mean, haven’t you heard of cement? Hahahahahaha. Anyways, all these people in their Mercedes coupe and such had to park like 100 meters away and walk to the place, which was on a hill by the way. Boy, were they mad when they saw us just driving up that driveway with her 4X4. One old couple had the nerve to ask me for a ride. Can you believe that? You know what I said? I said, “Fuck y--”


I know, rude right? I exited the building to be greeted by a 2010 Tacoma, fully loaded, being hosed down, water dripping down her rear fender in happy little beads. I recognized her in that sparkling blue coat instantly. Aluminum custom side step bars, Bluetooth compatibility, 6 LCD screens, review camera, bull bars, powered rear window - she’s the center fold on the February Edition of Dumps like a Truck Magazine. I think I drooled a little.

“Beautiful, ain’t she?” A man in a white suit, comparable to Colonel Sanders, sees me with my mouth open and possibly making inappropriate noises.

“Yes sir! Are you the owner?” I slurped the remaining drool neatly back where it came from.

“That I am, son,” he spoke with a snotty tone in his shiny alligator shoes, which he mentions to me later are real. He let me sit in the drivers seat, which I had to sneak into on the account of the old lady seeing.

“Man, these leather seats are uncomfortable!” I observe.

“Sure, but they look amazing don’t they?”

“I guess so…Look at those suspensions! I bet she handles well in the rough lands eh? eh? eh?” I dismounted the beast and nudge him a couple of time in his jelly belly, which protruded from his expensive dress shirt.

“Don’t touch me, boy!” He brushes himself off, irritated at my questions, “and I wouldn’t know. She’s a show truck! Got only 500 kms on her, for Christ sakes! Take him away!”

Colonel Sanders’ bodyguard pushed me through the parkade back to my Tacoma. 500 kms? That’s barely living. Where’s the history? The experiences? THE FUN!? That’s not a truck at all. That’s a toy put out on display.

I climbed into the comfortable confines of my vehicle and relaxed in her embrace. I took my phone out and texted Kendall back. “No, your the best!”

I trace the huge crack across my windsheild and then I kiss my steering wheel. "You're perfect for me! Don't ever change."

My City and I

My city loves me most
When the sun's back peaks the horizon
Her glossy eyes project
What glimpse of fire is left behind
I bare not it's abundancy
My eyes shut the doors on generousity
Scurry for a calm heart
Seek refuge in her towering nature
Upon the cool calm grass
I observe her slow rotation
With the universe and all that is
Despite faults in harden places
She loves me
Like the blind, I feel on through
And as they pack to leave
Never to return
I pack to return
Never to leave
And so it is
This love affair
My city and I
My city and I

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fear of Being Known

I had a falling out with mystery
The shadows creep from me
That which made you so intrigued
Now nothing but a tease

My relationship with cool went sour
For I stole them from my books
The shades fell off into a puddle
You have definitely been mistook

I've lost communication with my editor
Who made me 6 feet tall
My speech, once filtered, now raw as day
I stumble through them all

But through it all I befriended fear
Who tells me you're packed to go
So I'll ready myself with shields and such
Hold back tears so no one knows

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Movie Worth Watching

The dark quiet movie theatre’s acoustics enhance our laughter volume as we shush each other only to release another burst of happiness. Although we sit in the audience seating, patiently waiting for Wolf Man to leap out of the humming projector, it is the silver screen that is getting a show for once. Two eager hearts exploring the reactions of one another through conversation; equip with a large bag of popcorn, a bag of almond M&Ms, a pickle flavor shaker, two soft drinks and a common curiosity, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. That line sounded like it should be read by that deep creepy voice guy in trailers, no? Her short blond hair dances as her animated face hints her nature to me, through stories, voice tones, and glances. The colorful hooded sweater that wraps her body holds a fragrance that I subconsciously embed in my memory. I will forever relate that smell to her beautiful smile. For a moment, we own this theatre, not so much because we are obnoxiously loud but more so because we are an hour early. Not a soul but ours occupy this entertainment space. You see, I have an obsession with watching trailers on the big screen and being excessively early insures that obsession is satisfied.

What’s not to love? A montage of the best parts in the film coupled with a great song and that creepy guy with the deep voice. Ah, now that's how life should be! Maybe minus the creepy voice, “One man, one love, with one agenda, set out to destroy the ones that killed his dog. Wesley Snipes, Barney the Dog in Revenge in the Name of Buddy.” Yeah, I know what you are thinking right now, possibly the most ridiculous movie ever right? But imagine what the trailer would look like!

First, the camera pans across a calm country side with soothing music faint in the background. It cuts to a slow motion clip of Wesley Snipes throwing a Frisbee with his golden retriever in an open meadow a mile from his secluded home. Laughter and barking echoes. Wesley mouths “I love you” to his shaggy friend as they roll in a bed of grass and diasies. The shots are long and beautiful. A diffused glow effect is used generously.

“Buddy? What chu got there?” Wesley Snipes’ character, Brady, calls. His smile fades. Ominous music abruptly enters. In Buddy’s mouth is a severed hand still holding onto a bag of cocaine. “Is that…oh hell no!”

“Your dog knows too much Brady!” screams a man, possibly a mobster. “Hand him over and walk away.”

“You and your mobster friends can go to hell!”

A struggle. A gun shot. A scream. A whimper.

An aerial shot spinning around a man holding his dead dog. Fade to black. A voice cuts through the darkness. A female voice. Possibly a love interest. “What will you do?”

“The only thing I can do,” answers Brady. His face flashes on the screen, “Kill them.” Wesley Snipes’ name appears in bold red font over a shot of him cleaning his dusty AK-47.

Enter the epic music, explosions, and the creepy deep voice man.

“No! Please no! All dogs go to heaven! All dogs go to heaven!” a mobster pleads as he crawls frantically through an abandon warehouse.

“Fetch.” Wesley commands in a monotone voice, throwing a grenade at the helpless mobster.

"For the love of God! When will the voilence end!?"

Brady puts on some kick ass sun glasses. "When they all roll over.....dead."

An explosion ends the trailer and introduces the credit summary.

“Coming Summer 2010”

Amazing right? Yeah, I can’t picture myself sitting for 2 hours watching that movie but that trailer was intense! The catchy/smart one liners! The action! The drama! It seems that trailers are almost always better than the movies themselves. In fact, sometimes, movies ruin trailers!

I leaned back in my chair and can’t help but think of how many times I’ve been in this very spot watching these trailers and thinking of the upset that will come from the actual movies. Then those movies just become noise in the background as the girl by my side and I make out through it; the same girls that are never to be seen again once the credits start crawling up that gigantic screen. Is that what life is? Just one disappointing movie after another? Are we better off with the trailers; the making outs; the short but satisfying highlights? Fuck the dialogues and raising action. Glimpses of the climax are all we need to conjure up our own endings in our minds right?

I study the hand that currently sits in mine and trace her arm with my eyes until I meet her beautiful greens. She moves in slow motion as she laughs, so honest and full of life. The dim lighting of the theatre catches her smile in a way that I’ve never seen before. This right here is a trailer. Her hair, her hands, her eyes, her smile – all highlights of something more. I’m pretty sure I just heard the creepy voice telling me to make out with her right now.

But I want more. The boring dialogue, the raising action, the fights; I want it. I think I’m going to watch this movie the whole way through. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Like Long Walks on the Beach and Accountability

"I want everyone to run in circles counter clockwise along the walls of this gym. If you bump into anyone or get bumped by anyone you're out! Last one running will receive some candy." Mrs O'Keefe, grade 6 physical education teacher.

“Why!?” The class protested. Rightly so. It was highly unfair for us to be punished for someone else’s clumsiness, let alone our own!

"Because that's life my darlings." This statement resonated in my mind for the better part of my childhood without much significant.

I feel like Ryan Bingham in the movie Up in The Air sitting in this dim lit boardroom in my dress shirt and tie (pants too), across from Mrs. Holly Simpson who is sobbing uncontrollably. I am a Human Resource Advisor for an engineering firm but right this moment I am just plain bored. Five minutes ago I terminated her employment due to a performance issues. Before you call me a cold hearted prick for the wrong reasons, let me explain. You see, between her and I there is a table. And on this table are four documents outlining her poor performance on four, count ‘em, four separate occasions. This pile includes a warning letter which states that one more strike and you're outta there Missy, and a termination letter, dated for today. I’m bored because her reaction is nothing new to me. It's the same not-so-worthy Oscar performance I saw the first three times in this very space. Watching her fumble through excuses is like watching a clown doing something other than being funny or evil; just plain awkward. Imagine Bonzo or Krusty seriously working a desk job. I rest my case. Actually, now it’s kinda funny. The clown, not Holly. Wait, now it’s both kinda funny.

"I know you've given me plenty of chances and I haven’t quite complied, but I've been so busy at home with my three children and Ronnie just got laid off so we are so stressed."

“I can appreciate your circumstances Holly but how does that explain your lack of consideration for your co-workers? All we ask of you is to let us know half an hour before your shift if you can't make it in.”

I, for one, have grown to believe that accountability is an underrated characteristic in people. Think about when you are introducing a fairly fantastic friend (alliteration bitches!) to someone. "Hey George, I'd like you to meet Shelly one day. She's pretty; good sense of humor; smart; a great cook; loves sports! But best of all, she's accountable!" Sounds stupid right? Sure. But should it? I mean Shelly's accountability could really make it or break it for George. What I’m saying is I would have had more respect for Holly, as she stormed out of the boardroom, had she just responded, “Thank you for your patience with me. I understand your decision and accept full responsibility for my actions. I have a lot of things to sort out in my life and this is a great wake up call.”

So I was soaring like a track runner, focused on the next turn ahead of me in this elementary school gymnasium when out of nowhere Danny Williams catches my heel with his big ass foot, sending us both flying to the door steps of the scraped-knees-and-embarrassment house.

“Danny, you’re outta there!” called my umpire wannabe teacher. She points at me. “And so are you!”

“Thank you for the opportunity Mrs. O’Keefe. It’s unfortunate that Danny ran into me. Had I been more attentive, as that was the point of this exercise, I would have used my peripherals to spot Danny’s uncontrolled running and avoided this collision. I will show myself to the bench now,” was not my response. Far from it. My real reaction was, “That's the dumbest thing I ever heard!” as if someone had called George Clooney a moron. “If it wasn’t for Danny McStupid here, I’d still be running!” Man I wanted the candy reward badly.

"You'll understand when you're older, Kiddo," she replied, chuckling at the follies of youth. "But for now, I’m writing your name down for detention because of that comment you fucking brat!"

Why is it that everything else is to blame for our misfortune? It’s the heavy school work or the endless work shifts or the Danny "Big Foot" Williams in the world that keep us from things. But I guess that is natural. Our fingers are not meant for point at ourselves…

…unless we’re in front of a mirror. Then it’s real easy. I'm not saying beat yourself up when misfortunes come your way. I'm just saying being opened minded to the concept that you have more control of your life than you think would do everyone some good.

“I'm older now,” I thought as I gathered the documents into Holly’s file and reminiscing Mrs. O'Keefe's exercise, “and Miss Holly Simpson, youu’rrrrreeeeee ouuuuttttttaaaa here!”