I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Take your pants and jacket off

While Superman has the convenience of a phone booth to change into his superhero costume, I don’t have that luxury when I need to throw on (or off) something when in a public place.

After a meeting, I have to run across the city to meet up with D. It’s a doable task in the amount of time I have, but wearing a black suit, shirt and tie, in the blazing hot sun, it will be unbearable.

I have to change out of these clothes ASAP.

Running into a store isn’t feasible, since most of them don’t have washrooms for customers. A restaurant isn’t a good idea, either, since I'm not sitting down for a meal. A coffee shop is the only alternative, but I don’t want to run around with a cup of hot coffee in my hand while dodging pedestrians on the busy sidewalks.

What to do?

Strip in public.

While walking up Bay Street, I begin by first pulling my mitchell from across my chest to my right arm. I then start to shimmy out of the left side of my blazer. After the blazer is half off, I switch my mitchell to the left side and repeat the same shimmy. The blazer is now off and I throw it over my arm.

Next comes the tie. With a few good pulls, it comes off and over my head, and I throw it into my bag.

I’m lucky that I haven’t encountered any red lights, because that would make this procedure a little awkward. And, even if that happens, I’ll act like I do this all the time (which I do).

Now I unbutton my dress shirt using my right hand, while still holding onto my jacket. From top to bottom, each button is undone, and using both hands, I pull it out of my pants. The dress shirt and the t-shirt I'm wearing get pulled up, showing my stomach (which I make sure to tense-up).

Of course, it always helps to have a slight breeze. Not only does it help with the removal of the occasional sticky article of clothing, but it acts as method of cooling you down, and as a wind machine, it blows your threads in a dramatic fashion.

Then, off comes the dress shirt. Using the same method as removing the jacket, I shimmy out of the left side of it (the bag is now secure in my right hand), then switch everything onto the left side of my body while shimmying out of the right side.

If I had the choice to take my pants off, I would (which would be a sight to be seen – me running down a busy street with my pants around my ankles), but I don’t have a spare pair and indecency laws require people to wear bottoms in public (and the black-socks-and-shoes combo would be a travesty to behold).

Now, I have on a printed t-shirt and a pair of black pants. The mitchell is on my left shoulder and the jacket and dress shirt are hung over my right arm. But I throw the jacket on, to finish off the outfit.

By the time I get to my D’s place, she informs me that she has to reschedule for another day.

Too bad. I got all dressed down just for her.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fugly fucking

Let’s talk about sex, shall we?

It’s seems to be everywhere: on television, radio, Internet, inside, outside, even in outer space. You can’t escape it. It’s all around you.

Not surprisingly, one of the most prevalent places to find sex is online. Perusing through the Web, you’ll find more kinds of sex than you’ll find addicts at Promises in Malibu. Millions of sites exist with every kind of fetish available. Photos, films, and an endless list of products are right at your fingertips.

Unfortunately, after a while, what was originally entertaining, begins to look and sound the same.

Fantasies are situated in exotic locals, with lighting which hides stretch-marks and cellulite, everyone is a willing nymphomaniac (with no gag-reflex), model-perfect with a gym-sculpted body. Sometimes there are three or four partners (if not more) in endless orgies where everyone knows how to use every part of their body in every position known to man (and even some just discovered).

Naturally, it all ends with earth-shattering orgasms, a cigarette and afterglow.

In other words, a Jackie Collins novel and sports page in one tidy package.

But, having too much of something gets old, stale and tasteless, like chocolate that has been around since the Nixon administration.

And, like Tricky Dick's people, I also think they're a pack of liars.

There must be another - more realistic - side to this. The side where things aren’t always perfect, where things go seriously wrong, tragically hilarious and really, really ugly.

I want to hear stories where fucking isn’t on Frette sheets, people aren't perfect, have a little flab and unnecessary body hair. There are smells and inappropriate bodily functions, and people hurt themselves attempting to recreate positions in the Kama Sutra because no one knows what they’re doing.

Instead of having them come, you’d rather see them go.

Now, that's entertaining.

There is a lot more that I can write about, but it would get too graphic. And, I’m not that kind of guy who likes to go there.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mike Rowe is a dirty man

There is something incredibly satisfying about watching a grown man do all of the dirtiest things you could possibly imagine in front of an audience of millions.

Each week on Dirty Jobs, host Mike Rowe goes around the U.S. to find the most disgusting jobs in the nation. If you think it sounds repulsive, imagine how much worse the job is for someone who actually does it.

From cleaning septic tanks of primary schools (those kids sure do love their corn), to picking up roadkill on the sides of highways (I guess the buck stops here, says Rowe when referring to a dead deer on the side of the road), the show is kept on the funny side of gross with Rowe’s snarky remarks.

Truthfully, there is nothing more entertaining than watching a grown man capturing horse semen while the stud vigorously humps a pummel horse (pun intended), preparing a mare by knuckle-washing her (the term shiny heiney will forever means something much more graphic than I could ever imagine), pulling on a long, latex glove, inserting his arm (to his armpit) up the mare, and inseminating her using the proper instruments.

If you think that’s dirty, there’s a lot more nastiness I wouldn’t even touch with a 10-foot pole.

No matter what happens, all that can be said is you'd be much happier that you don’t have to do these jobs.

Although after each episode, I always have the need to take a shower.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Whenever my niece is in question of a diaper change, my sister picks her up, raises her to face level and takes a sniff to make sure she’s ripe for the picking.

If she’s not too sure, she swings my niece around and asks others about the freshness of the diaper.

“Come on, smell it," she says as she swings the baby in front of my BIL's face. "Does she need a change?” she asks him.

“Don’t do that,” he replies as he waves the baby’s bum away. My niece continues to play with her toy as she's flung from one face to another. “I don’t want to smell her diaper. Can’t you tell whether she needs a change?”

“It isn’t like you don’t know what it smells like,” my sister huffs.

I start to giggle.

“What?” my sister asks and she swings my niece like a rag doll in my direction.

“Maybe her doody smells like poo-pourri,” I say.

Everyone at the table cracks up.

“Poo-pourri. Good one.” My sister whips my niece around, gets up from her chair and leaves the room to change the diaper.

Poo-pourri, or not, a dirty diaper by any other name still smells like doody.

Note: This happened almost a year ago, and my sister and BIL only did this once as a form of doody verification.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ace of hearts

The cards have been dealt and the other player has placed their bet. You’ve placed your own. Two sets of poker faces are staring at each other. It’s time to show your hand, but you don’t. First, you take stock of possible outcomes.

Since bluffing isn't allowed in this game, you have two options: fold them, or hold them. If you quit, you may not have anything to gain. If you don't quit, you may not have anything to lose.

Sometimes your hand isn’t the greatest, but it’s just enough to take the prize. Other times, you’re not so lucky.

The fingers on your hand begin to quiver and small beads of sweat form around your hairline. The stress is showing. You know what you can offer and you want to show your hand.

But you don’t, fearing that it’s not enough to win. You admit defeat.

Your ace of hearts is protected, and don’t show it to the other player.

In the end, you don’t want to lose. But, sometimes you have to.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Riding 32 inches

This isn’t what I want to do. It’s not my thing. But, this Saturday I am moving my body in ways I never knew it could and using certain muscles that shouldn’t be flexed and stretched.

But, it’s all worth it in the end.


Within minutes of meeting him, I’m told to get my ass on the back of the pickup truck. The smell is discouraging and the dirty bed is filled with mud and soil.

Climbing over the tailgate, I look at the reason why I’m abandoning all logical thought. The sheer size of it makes my mouth water. Never would I do this in public, but for the right reason, I would give the performance of a lifetime, have a group of senior citizens watch me in amazement and make them take pictures to capture the moment for posterity.

Fuck, am I so desperate that I would sink to that low?

Yes. Yes I am.

With it nestled in the middle of the bed, I squat down, wrap my legs around it, lean back and use my arms for balance by holding onto the siderails. It’s a straining maneuvre for someone who doesn't relinquish control very easily.

I’m in position and the truck begins its course through the city.

As the car swerves through traffic, I smile and wave to the other drivers and pedestrians on the sidewalk. They can’t believe their eyes and turn their heads when I pass by. I am the consumate rodeo wrangler, riding 32 inches like a champion.

Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses are intrigued into joining my religion.

Finally, I arrive home after the long drive. My body aches. There is a pain in my lower back from being hunched over, my arms and shoulders twinge from stretching sidways and backwards, and the muslces in my legs burn form squatting in the same position.

When the truck stops, I get up, take a few steps towards the tailgate, reach back into the bed, pick up my newly-fixed television and take it inside.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Looking your best in five easy steps

Passing by the magazine stand, you’re bombarded with images of the perfect face and figure. You can look like this if you buy this magazine! they shout from their covers.

But how is that possible? you ask. Simple. The holy grail of self-improvement reveals itself after you shell over $5 plus tax.

For those who don’t have the time to flip through those pages (or pass by a magazine stand), I’ve devised a list of five easy steps that may raise a few eyebrows (a forehead lift isn’t required) and even sound controversial - but they work.

Step 1. Soap and water. Wash yourself. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for those who will kill you if you don’t.

Step 2. Deodorant. You may think you don’t smell bad, but the reason why no one is saying anything to you is because your scent is as repellent as having that dirty old man hitting on you while you're in church... and he's the priest.

Step 3. A hairbrush/comb. That messy, freshly-fucked ‘do only looks good on hookers and alt-rockers who don’t believe in selling records because they’re “against the establishment” (i.e. they suck).

Step 4. Toothpaste and floss. Do you have a British smile? If so, please don't show anyone your teeth and pray to the baby Jesus for an amazing set of lips.

Step 5. Sunscreen. Aging doesn’t make you look older. Wrinkles make you look older. Think Robert Redford looks hot for his age? He’s 21 years old.

For approximately $20, you too can achieve so much in so little. Who knew it could be that easy?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Crying over beauty

Situated high on the hills of L.A. rests the Getty Centre, a world-renowned complex of buildings that houses millions of dollars of art and sculpture. The views are breathtaking and the technical aspects of Richard Meier’s architectural design are astonishing.

Within the series of buildings on the property, lies a long and shallow fountain where birds land for a quick sip and children splash the water with their little hands.

After taking a tour of the grounds, I walk over to a set of tables and chairs beside the fountain for a break. I pull out my bottle of water and the muffin that has squished to half its size while inside my mitchell, and look around.

Then something happens.

My eyes well up with tears.

Being surrounded by this beautiful scenery makes me want to share it with someone. I want someone to see what I see and feel what I feel. But, I can't. There’s no one here with me. I am alone.

Normally, I enjoy doing everything by myself. I like to plan my own schedules, set my own timelines and not feel like I have someone running behind me, whining about how tired they are, wanting a break or asking when we're going to eat.

Not this time. This time I want to have someone to take part in this experience with me.

Knowing that I made the choice to be alone on this trip, I make no comforting comments to myself.

With a couple of swipes of my index finger, I wipe the tears from my eyes, take a few sips of water to rehydrate, and continue on with touring the museum.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hot and sweaty

The sun is blazing, the temperature rises into the mid-30s, the humidex makes it feel like the mid-40s, steam comes off of sidewalks, the air is thick and heavy, and smog hides the towering heights of downtown's skyscrapers.

It’s summer and it's fucking hot.

It’s not a dry, desert-like heat. The heat of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is a heat that leaves you feeling disgustingly gross, like you haven’t bathed in weeks. You want to take a shower every ½ hour to clean up, or skip work and go to the nearest pool to cool off.

You feel sticky and dirty. You are two seconds away from being naked, but can’t due to indecency laws. So, you end up lying around in your thinnest pair of shorts, getting all hot and sweaty and have nothing to show for it in the end.

If the incredible makeup artist, Pat McGrath, could describe this look backstage at the spring/summer Chloe collection (in her faultless British accent), she would call it dewey, with a little bit of shimmer.

I call it oily with a little bit of sweat.

And, don’t get me started on what the humidity does to your hair. I don’t have Orlando Pita tackling my tresses, and even if I did, he would be up shit creek without a paddle because of my mane of luxurious, curly locks turns into a fount of frizz.

On top of that, people with respiratory issues (like me) also go through hell on earth. Every gasp of breath feels like the last one. Planning for your funeral sounds like a novel idea since you can spend some time in an air-conditioned space for a couple of hours.

It’s bad enough people who live in the GTA only have two seasons – winter and construction – but why do they have to be polar opposites? Either it’s too cold or too hot; nothing lukewarm or middle-of-the-road, like Cheryl Crow.

I hate summer.

I hate winter, too.

Fuck, I'm screwed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Quid pro quo

Recently, I came across a site where the owner went on a comical, Mommie Dearest-like rant (very apropos, considering the film) about how he links to other sites while other sites don’t link to his. He gave them an ultimatum: link to my site, or I won’t return the favour.

On one hand, I can see the reasoning. Quid pro quo. You link me and I link you.

On the other hand, I don’t see the reasoning. If you link one site to yours, is the other owner expected to do the same? I don't think so. In all honesty, isn't the main reason people have 1,000 links on their sites is to get the occasional wandering visitor passing by for a cuppa and a crumpet?

Or not. Maybe they do visit 1,000 sites a day.

Personally, my links are determined on a haphazard way.

The first few links were added because they graciously added mine. Every additional link was added because a) I frequent these sites often, like Gawker b) I like what the owners have to say c) they update often and/or d) I use their links.

True, there are other sites that I have found out link to mine and there is an endless list of other sites I peruse, but I don’t include them because of the reasons mentioned above. If I had to link all of the places that I have visited (whether once or a thousand times), I’d have hundreds of URLs.

It doesn’t really matter, anyway. In the end, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

Except you have to listen to me when I tell you this…

No. Wire. HANGERS!!

Note: I think I just lost every non-reciprocal link this very second.

Monday, July 17, 2006


As I am running through the train terminal, I’m thinking, I better not be late for this concert. I better not be late for this concert.

When passing through a long hallway, I come across him, a former co-worker - the biggest spaz I ever had the pleasure to work with.


He looked harmless enough on the first couple of days, but as the weeks rolled along at a leisurely pace, I came to wonder why he was working here. He was terribly disorganized, flighty and would “spin” when it was crunch time.

Unlike me, where people would have a shit if the margins were 1.5 mm too close to the header, the other co-workers always made excuses for his incompetence.

Did you print the wrong report? Don’t worry, it's only paper. Did you bill the full amount to the client? Don’t worry, accounting will fix that. Did you set fire to the office? Don’t worry, we’ll blame Steven.

This happened time and time again.

What was even more irritating was when he would mince through the office, wearing his perfectly-coordinated ensembles, whining on how he doesn’t have a girlfriend (maybe his love for musical theatre had something to do with it), and baking madelines for the other co-workers with a zero-calorie sweetener that doesn't make your thighs fat.

Uh-huh. I know what you’re thinking…


In this rush, I am not sure if he recognizes me. There was a brief flash of recollection, but I keep on walking, blinders on, forward.

And, I don’t look back.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Love don't cost a thing

In her video for Love Don’t Cost A Thing, Jennifer Lopez cruises through the streets of Miami throwing things from her Aston Martin (Fendi purse), off her face (Gucci aviators), on her neck (Roberto Cavalli necklace), and off her back (a white fur coat that isn’t from her Sweetface line).

Apparently, the woman who has it all can strip it all away because money doesn’t matter when you have love.

Uh huh.

That must be the reason why she left behind a Bentley and Ben Affleck for a minivan and (her chulo of a husband) Marc Anthony.

Love and money always comes into conversations with those who have too much of one, not enough of another, or too little of both.

The bitches who have too much of both are smart enough to keep their mouths shut around the others who have too little.


As my friend and I finish watching a movie, we start to talk about a few things. Nothing in particular: family, work, etc. When the talk comes to love, she clams up. She doesn’t want to divulge the details of her love life, so she turns the tables on me.

“What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Have you ever been in love?”

“No. I’ve been in like... Love, never.”

“Isn’t love important to you?”

“No. Why?” I wrinkle my forehead and shrug my shoulders.

“Love makes you feel better. It…”

Immediately, I cut her off with the raising of my hand. I have no time for this lovey-dovey talk.

“There are other things in my life that come first. Love is way down the list.” I point downwards with my index finger.

She doesn’t believe anyone could be anti-love. I defend my position.

“Love don’t pay the bills.” My open palm is now a fist. I peel off a finger with each corresponding point I begin to make.

She looks at me.

“Love don’t put a roof over your head. Love don’t put food on the table. Love don’t clothe you and put shoes on your feet.”

From the look on her face, she’s surprised and feeling pity for me.

“God. You sound like you’d just give it up to the first person who comes up with the cash.”


“You sound like a whore,” she volleys.

“At least I’m being honest,” I return with a spike.


Even though I'm a hopeless romantic, no one can melt the block of ice that is my heart with only love (and vice-versa). Do you see couples who are ecstatically happy and dead-ass broke? I don't. I'm not asking for millions, but just enough to pay my bills and have the occasional drink or night at the movies (which is a bloody fortune). If and when those two come together in one neat little package, then so will I.

Love don’t cost a thing? I'm not so sure. I may need some convincing to prove me wrong.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Tonight’s dinner is the official exchanging of portfolios of our organization, and I am about to be announced as the newest VP of Finance – first you get the money, then you get the power.

Everyone is dressed rather snappily, as if they’re going out for dinner and drinks. I’m wearing my vintage YSL safari jacket in black, black slacks and a white t-shirt that cost less than 10 bucks. High and low style.

When it’s time for the presentations, everyone sits up and takes notice of what is about to be said. The President and VP say a few words and exchange their portfolios with the incoming members.

It’s time for my portfolio. Introductions are said and done and my name is revealed as the new money manager.

With a smile on my face, I pull back my chair and stand. As I take a few strides towards the top of the table, it feels like someone is holding me back. Looking around, I see that everyone is sitting and applauding.

What the fuck?

When I look down, I see my right pantleg is stuck to the chair and I have been dragging the chair with me, every second step – approximately halfway to the head of the table.

“Steven, your pantleg is stuck to the chair,” says my date, G.

Really? No way! You think?

“I know that,” I say, trying not to turn red of embarrassment. “Help me.”

She gets up from her chair and I kneel down to see if the fabric was caught between something, or if maybe a nail is pulling on the pantleg. It’s neither. It’s a honkin’ piece of old Hubba Bubba gum.

We both try to pry the fabric away from the gum, and the result is a long series of pink threads. By now, we have an audience and everyone is looking over the table to get a better view of what the fuck is going on.

We do the best we can to remove a chunk off the fabric, but the result is a large, pink mark on the back of my right pantleg.

Gaining some composure, I stand up straight, walk to the front - without a chair in tow - and pick up my portfolio with a smile.

“What was that?” asks the President.

“Oh that? Nothing.” I brush her off and swiftly snap up the portfolio.

The rest of the night is spent with my back against the wall, hoping no one will ask about the big pink spot on my black slacks. If they do, I'll lie like a seasoned politician.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Keep off the grass

During the summer, it is my job to cut the grass and take care of the landscaping while my father is on vacation. Once a week, the 20-year-old lawnmower comes out of the garage, gets pumped with gas, throttled and wakes to a loud and throaty whine as it’s pushed around the yard.

I take some pride in having a mowed, green lawn, and nicely maintained flowers – even if they’re not mine.

After spending some time in the outdoors, pushing around the ancient machine (with no clippings bag), squatting to cut away the stray blade of grass or dead flower-head, having beads of perspiration rolling down my chest and back and resting at the waistband of my shorts, I look around and admire my good work.

On the lawn should be a sign that reads Keep off the grass.

When it’s time to start on the trimming with the hedge clippers, I see my mother on the back patio, her hands on her hips.

“Uh, Steven?” she asks.

“Yeah,” I look at up her and wipe the sweat off my brow.

“When you’re cutting the grass,” she pauses, “can you not get it all over the place?”


“It’s grass,” I say.

“I know, but can you not get it, you know, all over the place?” She makes a sweeping gesture with her arm.

“Ma, it’s grass. It gets all over the place because it’s grass.” I wave my left hand around for effect. “The exhaust blows it one way and the wind blows it another. I can’t do anything about the that.”

“I know, but can you try?”

She's getting on my nerves. “Is there anything else you want?” I say quickly, clippers in hand, pointing at her.


I turn around and continue with the trimming. By the time I look up at the patio, she’s gone.

Can I not get grass all over the place? Now, that’s original. Next, she’ll ask me if I can make it less green. No, wait, I better not give her any ideas.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Foot in mouth disease

While I’m jotting a few notes away at the back counter, I see a petite girl walking towards me. It’s J, a girl I went to school with. She was cool. We were in the same chemistry class (we sat beside each other) and had a few friends in common.

As she comes closer, she still looks the same. Not very tall, with the same black tights/jeans she always wore, topped off with a baggy sweater that held in her very ample breasts. Only now, I notice a little bump snuggled inside her sweater.

“God, J, it’s been so long.” I smile, look down at her stomach and point with my right hand. “When is the baby due?”

“What baby?” She looks confused.

“Your baby.”

“I’m not pregnant.”

Fuck. Did I just infer her being pregnant instead of being just fat? I could’ve sworn she’s pregnant. Think of something, Steven. Think of something quick!

“Oh. Well, the sweater you have on is kinda baggy, I just thought… So, how are things?” I say an octave higher, while putting my hand down on the counter and leaning forward.

Smooth, Steven, smooth. Another case of foot in mouth disease averted.

She asks about a certain product and after trying to qualify her needs (we don’t carry it), we say our goodbyes and she walks out of the store.

Thankfully, she was a little slow to notice my faux pas. I guess that’s why she always wanted to partner with me for labs and copy off my tests in chemistry class.

Note: If you were there, you would’ve sworn on the baby Jesus that she was expecting. And by the looks of it, she was carrying twins.

Monday, July 10, 2006


The warmer weather brings change in our lives.

Your dry and damaged hair appears from under a toque, and the sun touches your white and pasty skin. Working out doesn't entail lunging for the remote control during a tampon commercial. An appointment is scheduled with the plastic surgeon to discuss the love handles that nobody loves.

But, like your looks, your house will need some much needed attention during the warmer months. It’s not a total teardown, but a little glue and spackle to keep the thing from collapsing.


The risers of the staircase need a paint touch-up. After finding the can of white, semi-gloss, oil-based (always use oil on trim because it lasts longer and is more resistant to scuffs and scratches) paint, I tape off the necessary areas (which included the staircase), and go to work.

There is nothing like opening a can of oil-based paint. It’s euphoric. Well, it’s actually the fumes. The shit can kill you, that is, before you go out on a homicidal rampage after hearing voices whispering in your ear that you’re invincible and nothing can harm you… except for six life sentences at Sing Sing and a bunkmate named Bubba.

When the first and second coats are applied (and my head is in the clouds), I wait for the paint to dry overnight before having the tape removed. The next day is scheduled for the carpet runner to be installed down the staircase.


Today arrives with the glossy, white trim, and a slight hangover from the fumes. The carpet runner is about to be installed and I think it’s best to wait another few days to let the paint cure. It’s still in that middle state where it’s dry to the touch, but still wet enough to transfer onto other materials.

Since time is of the essence, the runner must be installed. Now. Almost immediately, the carpet is unrolled, thrown down the staircase while scratching most of the risers I painted the day before.

I am fuming.

“Don’t worry, just use some paint thinner when the paint dries and repaint the rest of the stairs tomorrow, or something,” says the installer.

You fucker, I’m thinking, you should get on your hands and knees and repaint the rest of the stairs, not me.

But, I don’t say anything.

The runner is installed and looks better than before. The risers, on the other hand, look worse for wear. So, in a couple of days, I will have to find the paint thinner, “clean” the mess that was made, and repaint approximately 20 risers.

At least I have the fumes to keep me calm.

Which reminds me, does anyone need a touch up?

Friday, July 07, 2006

In da ghetto

With all of the electronic gadgets and technological doodads that filter into the marketplace on a continuous basis, it’s incredibly difficult to stay on top of the trends.

While consumers run out and stand in line to purchase the latest and greatest version of whatever product is being sold, I, on the other hand, hardly ever give into digital temptation.

My technology trips are so behind the times, I’m practically living in da ghetto.


I have only had two computers: one wasn't upgradable and had to be replaced, the other has been stripped due to a virus that wiped out everything (and I mean every fucking thing) on my hard-drive.

I have never owned a laptop.

I don't have high-speed Internet access (bloody serious, I am).

I don’t download music, but purchase (and enjoy purchasing) CDs.

I don’t own an iPod, or any digital music device.

I didn’t own a DVD player until a few months ago.

I have only one (yes, O-N-E) DVD and it's not a movie.

I never had cable until late last year (a painful withdrawl for a TV crack addict).

I don't own (or ever owned) a digital organizer, but use a paper-based one.

I don’t own a digital camera, but a 35-mm one.

I don’t own a cordless phone.

I have only owned two cell phones: my first one was a brick, and my recent one is a smaller brick (I can call out and receive calls, get messages on voicemail, use call waiting, and throw it at those who piss me off).


Whether it's a new song that is available online, or a handheld organizer that does everything but go to the washroom for its owner (it has to be programmed to do that), there will always be something that will replace it in a few months.

Until then, I will continue to sit on my rock and relax in my cave.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Straight to hell

The store isn’t very busy as I walk from aisle to aisle, ensuring the stock is topped off and arranged neatly on the shelves. Since I am the only person on the floor, this task is regulated to me, while the others talk on the phone or “test” (a.k.a. play) with the product behind the counter.

As I’m jotting down a few notes on my clipboard, I see someone coming towards me. He looks familiar: short, white, slim build, dark hair. Upon closer inspection, he resembles P, a boy I went to primary school with. Nah. Can’t be. This guy has pretty bad skin, his clothes are a little ratty and his hair needs a good wash.

When I approach him to ask if he needs any help, he responds with a distinct, whispering stutter.

Then it hits me, it is P.

I don't resemble the person from our primary school days - braces, Clearasil, liposuction and an additional few inches in height - while he looks like he was stuck in the clothes dryer on high heat for six years.

He looks at me strangely, as if I am hiding something, while I ask qualifying questions in a cheery demeanour. I give nothing away.

Acknowledging him would mean that I accept him for the person that he is, and accepting him would mean I would have to acknowledge my past. And, I don’t want to do that. The past is just that – the past. That person doesn’t exist, anymore.

After he walks away, I turn around and continue making corrections on the forms attached to my clipboard.

I could’ve said something to P and tell him how nice it was to see him after so many years. It could’ve made his day. It could’ve made him feel special. But, I didn’t.

And for that, I'm going straight to hell.

Note: This happened while I was in high school. Today, I would never do that to someone I know... unless I really don't like them.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Spit or swallow?

The phone call comes out of the blue. A friend of mine - who I haven't seen in months - is asking me out to dinner. Since she lives hundreds of miles away and can’t get into the city as often as she’d like, I accept the offer, knowing I won't see her again for a while.

The place we choose is a suitable alternative to the burger haven I thought of and the bubble tea emporium that she mentioned. When we sit down, our orders are jotted down on a pad by the server and we begin chatting.

When our meals arrive, they’re very similar to each other. I ordered a side of cut fries as a side dish while she went with steamed vegetables.

We talk and talk, for what it seems like hours. By the time I finish my meal, she’s still picking away at her plate and moving around the vegetables in circles.

“Is there something wrong with the food?” I ask, concerned. “You’ve hardly touched it.” Just a few seconds ago, she took a bite of celery, spat it into her napkin, and scrunched her face in disgust.

“No, but I think there’s something wrong with the vegetables. They taste kinda funny.”

“Hmmm,” I reply, “Just leave them.” I point to the plate with my fork.

When we finish our meals and pay the bill, I suggest we go back to my place for some coffee/tea and an après dinner confection of something sweet. She agrees.

Back at my place, I make sure she’s comfortable in the living room while I set up a platter with a choice of teas and a few munchies. I walk into the room and her face lights up.

“Oh, you shouldn’t have gone through the trouble,” she says with a smile.

“I just boiled water and brought out some tea bags. I didn’t go out and pick the leaves off the friggin’ tree.” She laughs at my pithy reply.

We have our tea and take one of the bite-size pastries I put on the platter.

When she takes a bite out of the pastry, she makes the same face as she did at the restaurant, puts a napkin to her mouth, and spits out her pastry.

“Was there something wrong with the pastry?” I ask, slightly annoyed. These are good, homemade pastries. No one has ever spit them out.

“There’s something hard in it. I don’t know what it is.”

“Just put it in the napkin and I’ll throw it out later.” I point to the platter for her to leave it there.

While we continue talking, I couldn’t get that spitting action out of my head. Why didn't she just swallow the friggin' thing? I was always taught that if you’re a guest in someone’s home and if you’re fed – cowpie to crap on a cracker – to smile and ask for seconds.

But, since she's a friend, I let it go.

After she leaves, I return to the living room, sit down and pick up another pastry. While I’m chewing away, my tooth hits something hard. That’s strange, I think, this pastry isn’t made with nuts. I pluck the offending piece out of my mouth and hold it between my index finger and my thumb. It’s a hard piece of walnut. I don’t like walnuts.

Instead of swallowing it, I put it in a napkin and leave it on the table for later disposal.

Good thing there were no witnesses.