Aside

When I look back

on it now,

it seems so

confusing.

Could this truly be the answer?

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“Snow Falling on ‘Seat’-ers”

When I view the picture entitled “Snow”, it provokes the thought of the end of outdoor leisure relaxing. Although the bench is laden with snow and looks pure and fresh, it is also nearly untouched and vacant. In reality, the vista hasn’t really changed all that much, though the temperature is no longer conducive to a comfortable place of quiet reflection and relaxation. Also, the projection of sunlight on the foreground of the picture and the dark clouds moving in from the distance loans the picture a sense of gloomy times to come.

Personally, I welcome the winter season. I’m much more at ease when the weather isn’t, as some would say, agreeable. To me it’s a time for relaxation in a warm, cozy indoor atmosphere. I don’t feel as though there’s something that I should be doing outdoors, people I should be meeting up with, or socials that I should be attending. It’s almost as if it’s a nice break when I can come home and spend some quality time on self- reflection, laze around in pajamas, and not have to worry about the goings on in the world around me.

Though, this picture also reminds me of the winters in southern Ontario. It reminds me of an area located on the shore of Lake Ontario, mainly due to the dark clouds, the flat landscape, and of course, the snow. I can honestly say that I do miss that cold, powdery precipitation lingering about. There’s something very romantic about watching it fall at night that also loans a cozy feeling to the winter season. Of course that relaxing, cozy feeling is completely transformed over hours, under the spell of sleep, into a high-spirited and joyful sunny winter day filled with snow fights, sledding and hot apple cider. Mmm , mmm.

Nobility?

Unbelievable!!!

I cannot convey my frustration in any decent language when relating to this blog post. This is my third attempt (and I’m making it for damned certain that this is the last) to successfully post this blog task. My server had crashed twice on my previous attempts, when I was words away from completion, on both attempts!

Building up the motivation to try and reproduce my original post was more than enough to frustrate and discourage me. By now, I’m almost ripping out the little hair I have left on my head. In spite of my first (and in my opinion, my best) and subsequent attempts to articulate my thoughts on the story “The Censor” and it’s use of a noble cause, the irony, and so forth, I will try yet another time.

-deep breath-

Oh, and by the way…this attempt was written in Microsoft Word to avoid a “three-peat” and a complete and utter emotional breakdown. I then copied and pasted it to my blog page. And yes, I did consider doing this the second time, but I gave my computer (which hitherto, had never crashed) the benefit of the doubt. So much for trust! How’s that for irony while writing a small assignment on the topic of a story about censorship! Are you ready for the third attempt? I’m not certain that I am, but I’m gonna’ suck it up and give it a try anyway…

-Sigh-

In the short story “The Censor”, our protagonist named Juan bears a noble cause to keep Mariana out of harm’s way. His devotion to this cause is so resolute, that he gains employment with an organization he must surely detest in order to attain his goal of retrieving the letter that can incriminate he and his lady friend.  Ironically, his dedication ultimately becomes instrumental in his undoing.

It’s interesting to note that the word “noble” (in reference to a social class) is typically linked to those with a high political status, and generally reserved for royalty and members of the aristocracy. Surely, it was self- proclaimed, for the title certainly does not reflect the means that were taken to achieve such a stature. Through centuries of exploitation, unjust and heinous acts of inhumanity, the “noble” sauntered about with their noses in the air, convinced that it was their prerogative to fill their desires at the expense of the “lower” and under privileged class. How did society ever agree to use the term to describe such a despicable class of people?

In Juan’s case, his diligence to his work causes him to lose sight of his initial goal. His compromise to work for an organization that was surely run by the “noble” class must have been difficult to endure, at least at first. Juan did, however, assimilate to the ways of the ignoble and self-righteous, which only served to destroy him in the end, and satisfy the organization. The irony in this story is in your face and leaves little room for speculation. Although his cause and motivation were admirable, his compromise to suspend his moralistic practices proved fatal.

Vulgar display of irony

I had it all worked out: my ride was arranged, my booze had been purchased, and our joints had been pre-rolled; everything was going according to plan. I looked at the clock and deduced that I had only half an hour before work was finished for the day. Man, this weekend was going to be epic.

My ticket had been purchased months in advance. Pantera would headline after White Zombie and Deftones had primed the crowd for what would truly be a concert to remember. Martin was somewhat jealous that he would not be attending this Saturday night’s festivities, though he had only himself to blame. When it was suggested that he buy his tickets when we purchased ours, he declined and said that he wouldn’t have a problem getting his. After all, the show was three months away;’ he had time.’ However, time had run out and Martin was ticket-less.

“I can’t believe that you guys are going without me” Martin exclaimed.

“Don’t worry Martin, you’ll be there in spirit, I’m sure!” I replied. “You should have thought about this when we were all buying out tickets! Perhaps, we’ll bring you back one of Vinnie’s drumsticks!”

Martin was not amused by our humour. Little did he know, he would have the last laugh.

It felt like an eternity, but 4 o’clock finally came. I bolted out the door with an unfathomable energy, and ran to the bus stop at the speed of lightning. It couldn’t have been better timing, the bus had pulled up seconds later. Every second that passed brought me closer to the most anticipated concert that I would ever see. The bus was making far too many stops, and I found myself gritting my teeth whenever I saw people waiting at the bus stops ahead.

“C’mon….” I mumbled under my breath. My knees were bouncing as if I were using a double kick bass drum, in anticipation of reaching my stop. Tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough, I needed to be home!

I could see my stop 2 blocks ahead and stood up in anticipation of the bus’ arrival. My heart was beating a mile a minute and I was feeling claustrophobic, moments before I de-boarded that infernal machine.

Freedom! I was off of the bus and on my way to my house. My mind was already at the concert venue when I started to cross the street.

It happened in slow motion. An old Lincoln Towncar approached at a snail’s pace, but I couldn’t move quick enough to dodge it, as I too, was moving at the same speed. Why do traumatic situations always happen in slow motion? I had gone too far onto the road to turn back, so I tried to stop and let the car narrowly pass me. Looking down I watched my birkenstocks slide along the asphalt and the last thing that I saw (in my periphery) was a headlight, before the whole scene had faded to black.

When I came to, I looked up the street and noticed the panic on the onlookers  faces. I didn’t realize at the time that my foot was mashed up and my complexion was devoid of colour. A crowd of people had gathered around me, voicing their concern. I tried to explain to them that I was fine, that I had to go. I got up and walked to the sidewalk. I thought that I had bought the farm, but I was alive and well, and feeling pretty lucky!  Unfortunately, an off-duty police officer had witnessed the entire incident and had called an ambulance. I was being detained! After the ambulance had arrived on the scene, I signed a release form stating my refusal to have them take me to the hospital, and  limped home.

Upon entering my basement suite, I felt a sense of security. I was now safe at home and the concert was only one sleep away. I would grab an ice pack, light up a smoke and chill out. I still couldn’t believe how close I came to what I thought was certain death. What a story I would have tomorrow!

Well, tomorrow came, and with it a swollen and broken ankle. I had tried to roll out of bed and collapsed to the floor the instant my foot touched the carpet. The pain and agony I felt was intolerable. How could I have walked away from that situation and now be in such a horrible state!?! I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t want to understand it! The ambulance that I had waived off should have been taken. I now had to find a ride to the hospital, and the only person that I could think of to give me said ride was my ex-girlfriend.

This whole situation left me feeling crippled, and not just in a sense of mobility. After the mild berating from the ex, the doctor, and my parents, I was released from the hospital, my foot a few pounds heavier.

“What were you thinking?” they had asked me, though I had never satisfied them with an answer. It would have only provoked more agony. There was no need to add insult to injury, I was feeling more than enough melancholy. Though, it was not for the broken leg that swayed between the freshly adjusted crutches, but for the loss of the golden opportunity that had taunted me for months.

“Please take me home.” I replied. Which they eventually did, though not without offering their medical expertise for the entire duration of my transportation.

Upon reaching my apartment, I struggled with the door. Inserting a key while trying to balance yourself on one leg was trickier than I had thought. My father helped me into my place, where I immediately “crutched” over to my bed and collapsed upon it.

“Thanks Pop, for everything. I’ll be fine. I just want to sleep.”

“Well, you know how to reach us.” He replied as he turned his back and closed the door behind him.

I laid there, staring at the ceiling, completely frustrated with my situation. How could this happen? What were the odds? What was I going to do about the concert? I was tired of feeling sorry for myself, and though I was crestfallen, I was magnanimous. I called Martin up and offered him my ticket, and explained the situation. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. When he came to pick up the ticket, I was laid up in bed with a plaster cast wrapped around my ankle.

“Sh*tty deals for you man!” He chuckled

“Martin, take the ticket and leave, before I change my mind!” I replied

“I’m sorry man, I really am. I don’t mean to poke fun.”

“I know dude. Have a good time!” I grumbled

I had barely finished my sentence before I heard the door slam. I could have gone to the concert with a bummed foot, but a concert of this sort would have been a drag to see whilst being confined to a chair. It only seemed right to pass this fortune on to somebody less fortunate in an unfair situation.

Though, it didn’t end entirely bad, Martin had managed to catch one of Dimebag Darrel’s guitar picks, which he rightfully handed over to your’s truly. I guess that was compensation, though I’ll never cease to remind him of what a great friend I was to give him the ticket that he neglected to purchase.

What have I become?

What would my life have become if I’d have stayed in my hometown? I often wonder what I’d be doing if I had stayed in Hamilton. Would I be a welder like my father? Would I have married and had children by now? Would I still be hanging out with the same old friends, doing the same old thing?

When I was 25, I ventured out of the big smoke to look for a better life. Something was out there waiting for me, though I had no idea what it was. If you had told me (back then) that I would be studying to be a financial consultant, I might have believed you. Though, on the other hand, I might have laughed.

When I talk to my friends and family back home, I can’t see that ever materializing. Not to say that there aren’t any financial consultants in Hamilton, because I’m certain that there are. It’s just interesting to think about the roads that I’ve travelled to get to the point that I’m at now. I guess you could say that about any of the decisions that I’ve made hitherto.

However, I do feel as though my life would never amount to what it is today, had I not left Hamilton in search of a new beginning. I feel that I may have resolved to doing what a large percentage of Hamiltonians are doing now…working in the steel industry; perhaps follow in my father’s footsteps and made a living out of welding. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that lifestyle or career choice, I just think that it’s interesting how a change of atmosphere can promote a change of a career.

Still, I seek comfort in the fact that getting out of that smog-laden atmosphere has brought me to a better place, a change of pace, and inspired me to reach for something that I used to deem unreasonable.

the grasshopper and the ant

“There’s always two sides to a story.” That’s what we were told as children, and it may still hold true to this day. Though, perhaps it would be more accurate to say “There’s always another way to tell the story!” This largely depends on the narrator’s point of view, as illustrated in the story of the grasshopper and the ant.

In the first person view, the author really tries to connect with the reader by describing the grasshopper’s discomfort. This exposition sets the tone for the entire composition. The reader is given an opportunity to empathize. The rest all falls into place. Leisure reading is already a private pleasure, whereas a person can become lost in thought. This approach can potentially hook a reader with it’s use of a personal view while telling the story. The reader will potentially identify with the character and the style of writing. We like to feel like a part of the story, we like to experience the thrills, and the sadness alike.

Likewise, with a 3rd person omniscient perspective, the reader is exposed to emotion. Not only is there the emotional content, there is introspection. The narrator has the ability to describe the situation, the body language, and the personal thoughts of the characters. This can be a huge advantage when it comes to engaging reader involvement, methinks.

Much like the 3rd person omniscient style, the “limited” 3rd person can pretty much convey what the previous style depicts. Although, it doesn’t offer the subject’s individual thoughts or feelings, rather it states the facts and observes the dynamics, while offering subtle impressions of insight.

The 3rd person objective point of view doesn’t offer  much in the way of character introspection. However,  it does prove to be effective when painting a picture of the emotion involved by describing what the writer sees. With the use of observing the ant’s laborious efforts, and through the mention of it’s perspiration, the author illustrates the ant’s work ethic, and it’s sense of disdain for the lackadaisical grasshopper. Much can be conveyed through body language, it displays a huge amount of emotion. The author’s use of this method is effective in engaging the reader’s involvement.

In summary, all of these writing styles are effective in their own way. There’s no right or wrong in them, it’s simply a matter of preference or suitability. There are several ways to tell a story, choosing the style of writing may determine how the story will be perceived. Though whether it’s objective or introspective,the style should be complimentary to the content.

comfortable?!

O.K. , as a reader, you have a chance to stop now! What I’m about to write will not be censored. Therefore, I, will not be censored. I’ve been assigned to engage in a free write about the first time I experienced a taste of adult information. I will now provide  you, the reader, another escape door. On board? Here we go!

The first time I’ve felt included in an adult world was when I was approached on the topic of masturbation. Four or five family members were benignly engaging in a free willed conversation about the need to dispel shame as an attachment to the innate human pleasure of the act of self-loving.

When insisting that I truly had no idea what they were talking about, they insisted that I need not be bashful, or feel shame for masturbating. I remember it being insistently frustrating because I seriously had never engaged in such acts. Though, the  more I professed that I didn’t enjoy masturbation, the more adamant my family became about it being “natural”, and something to be “embraced.”

What were these adults so knowingly and honestly consensual about? I can now appreciate the candor, and I still look back on that day as it was my gateway into the adult world.

I had, after all, discovered masturbation. And, as Woody Allen once put it, “Don’t knock it, it’s sex with someone you love!”

live for the moment

Sometimes we get so caught up in our day-to-day routines so much that, we tend to forget what is truly important in our lives. Whatever happened to just being happy with what we have.Sure, times have changed. Life isn’t what it once was. Though, let’s face it…we’re privy to that knowledge. What I mean is…whatever happened to the simpler way of life? You work, you come home, you…do what you do, you go to bed, you do it all over again, and here comes the weekend. Take a breath.

A part of the journey

The Bullwinkle Incident

 It was a dark and stormy night in a record-breaking cold month in January. Eddie could barely see five feet in front of him as the snow folded down in argentine sheets. Gripping the wheel with white knuckles, he peered into the static of the road unfolding before him. He’d have never said it out loud, but he was feeling a little apprehensive. An isolated Northern Ontario road was no place to be at 4 a.m., much less in a compact car struggling along on 4 worn tires, 3 cylinders, and no working heat. The stereo, however, was most certainly operable. By stereo, what should be said is: the portable compact disc player jimmy-rigged up to a pair of loose speakers in a tangle of wires.  Still, it provided the two childhood companions with constant entertainment on their trek through this peculiar night.

“Wow Flave, it’s really coming down. I’ve never seen snow like this before!” Eddie exclaimed.

“Just wait Verbie, this is nothing. Actually, where we’re going…this stuff is white gold!” Dave replied.

Verbie was short for Verbal, and Flave for “Flavour Dave”. Truth be known, these were by no means their given names, at least by their parents. Nicknames had played a big part in their circle of friends. In fact, nobody in that circle referred to each other by their respectful titles. It was a personal touch, a name that one wouldn’t share with anyone else; it was unique.

“Yeah, I can’t wait to see it! Oh dude, I’m so stoked! I’m finally leaving that smog-town. I’m trading in the smoke stacks for ice capped Rocky mountains! I can’t tell you how cool it was of you to convince me to do this with you Flave! I’m serious man; I’m really stoked for this change.”

“Verbie, you needed to get out of that stink-hole of a town more than anybody I could think of!” Dave replied. He rolled down his window and lit 2 cigarettes. “Here guy.”

“Thanks” Eddie said, and took the smoke by the filter. “I’m finally getting out; finally leaving the smog. I can’t believe it!” The smoke was trailing past Eddie’s eyes, causing him to squint in an already distorted field of vision. “Here, take this smoke” Eddie offered. “It’s getting in my eyes, and I’m only driving 25 kilometers an hour in this filth, as it is!”

“There’s no rush Verbie” Dave replied, “’The Lake’ isn’t going anywhere, and we’ve got a lot of distance to cover between here and there.”

“Yeah, ain’t that the truth” Eddie said assuredly.

“Just relax guy, it’s all good. It’ll all be worth it when you get to the top of that mountain, strap on your ride, and point your nose to the bottom!” Dave remarked.

Dave turned up the tunes and the two friends continued to creep along the interminable passage. Eddie hunched himself further over the steering wheel, his nose nearly touching the windshield. A three hour snowpack carpeted the isolated highway, making a straight and steady course the only option to explore. A large void developed in the middle of the road not metres before him. Approaching the black shape on the fresh canvas, Eddie watched a towering moose materialize. Able to maintain his cool, he applied full concentration on the situation at hand.

“Holy Shhh-“ Dave uttered, bracing himself with his arms on the dashboard.

Eddie said nothing and proceeded to veer around the gargantuan beast’s hind side. He was promptly reminded that his nearly bald tires were not intended for use on such viperous roads. His shift was ever so slight, so as not to provoke a swerve or a spin-out. On a cold and deserted road such as this, it could be hours before any passers-by would notice a small, white, snow covered car in a deep roadside ditch. Eddie somehow took all of this into consideration within the confines of a second or two. Nearly surpassing the behemoth, he felt his tension give slightly. Though, as just described, much can happen within minute amounts of time.

The moose became agitated by having a large moving object navigate his anterior, and turned to face the oncoming threat. A mammoth sense of fear overcame an already anxious Eddie. Keeping his eyes fixated on the blur ahead, he tried to ignore the large orb peering through the driver’s side window. Holding his breath, he carefully applied more pressure to the gas pedal. Though his eyes never deviated from their course, peripherally all he could see was a dark, ominous eye. It was all he could do to hope that this small car could outrun this mammoth creature.

Though, sometimes, fortune favors the brave; and the car accelerated steadily. The large ocular portion of the beast’s head had drifted behind, and out of sight. A wave of relief rolled over the pair of awe struck steel town boys, and had rendered them speechless. Perhaps they were considering all of the unfortunate scenarios in which they could now be in. Perhaps by their carefree attitudes, and blatant imprudence, they may have actually manifested this situation into existence. Perhaps they weren’t considering anything at all. A silence had blanketed the interior of their shaky little car, which seemed to cover hours. Finally, Eddie exhaled long and slow.

“I can’t wait to get out of Ontario Dave!”

“Ohhhh buddy, you’re gonna’ dig it the most!” Dave said as he broke into laughter.

“K, enough talking. Light me up a smoke. I just about had a heart attack!” Eddie cracked a smirk, wiped his brow, and deeply exhaled before he took the burning cigarette.

“Didn’t I tell you this was gonna’ be epic!?!” Dave proclaimed.

“You sure did, but you never said anything about a near death experience!”

The pair of friends looked at each other and laughed hysterically. Dave threw on their favourite CD, and they continued on through that dark and stormy night.

spring has sprung

I haven’t had much time to devote to my english studies, and for that I feel a sense of guilt. Though, in my defense, I haven’t had time for much at all. I did, however, manage to get some gardening work done today.

Carley and I put up a fence and deer netting today to protect our precious little organic garden. Well, in all honesty, it’s not that “little” at all. In terms of measurement, it’s a forty by thirty foot plot. This, too, will require some time and dedication. Now, it’s getting close to that time when all things green fill our day to day lives; when it’s fresh, it’s lush, it’s full of new life. I’m hoping to spring some new life in several facets of my life.