One Life, No Plan, No Destination

October 19, 2017 Leave a comment

I used to wonder which life path might be better.  There are people who know very early in life what they want to do with their time on Earth.  Other people don’t even think about it.  Rather, they just make the best of whatever hand is dealt them at any given period as they stumble or flow through life, depending upon any current situation.  In the end I realized that the difference in people is what governs which of the different life paths they follow.

As one of the total stumblers, I’ve had the periods of flow as well as stumble, as many of us do when we have no plan.  I never really thought about it until, one evening at a small dinner party.  It was in a friend’s home and she had a boyfriend there.  Mind you, I’m talking about mature people, middle aged.  I’d not met the boyfriend before.  He was a lawyer, and the red BMW convertible parked outside was his.  I should note that I’m a grade ten dropout.

We were chatting, subject after subject.  Perhaps I was talking too much about the varied activities in which I have indulged myself while growing into life as a commercial writer/artist.  Suddenly, the lawyer guy scowled at me and said, ‘You’ve done an awful lot, haven’t you!”  I was taken aback for a moment, and then I said, “Yes, I guess I have.” Truthfully, before that moment I had not seen my life activities as being in any way different from any lawyer or doctor or scientist.  I really never thought about how much of their lives were spent studying.

People who know me claim I was studying too.  I was observing life from different vantage points, in different people and places.  More importantly, I was not observing from a distance.  I was a part of the scenes that I observed.  I can look back and remember some very intense times, some raucous times, some dangerous, some humorous and some inexplicable.

I have had many occasions since that first realization when I have noted the narrower outlook of the people with the formalized education and organized life path.  Obviously  if one is sufficiently dedicated to do what is required to become a surgeon, one is bound to become a surgeon.  That means it’s not likely they would be sneaking a ride on a box-car bound for a distant city.  Nor would they be driving an overloaded truck of scrap iron to a distant foundry.  Perhaps they never drove a taxi or directed a film.

All individuals educate themselves in the manner that works for them.  It can’t be said which is right and which is wrong, which is better and which not as good.  Each case is individual as is the person living the life.  In my own case, I always felt an urgency to do things of which my father could approve.  It seems that every time I accomplished something, I became bored with it and stumbled on to some new challenge.  It’s made my life rich with different kinds of experiences.  That certainly helps me to write and draw.

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The Destructive Drive for Wealth

October 19, 2017 Leave a comment

When ‘maximized profits’ is the goal, someone or something is going to suffer. How can a marketer maximize profits, while it’s already doing everything possible? One can make the product more cheaply and charge more for it. When a corporation’s goal is to get rich no matter what, its staff, suppliers, and customers all lose out.

Companies fight to keep employees’ wages and benefits low so the company can flourish. At the same time, the employees are the energy that manufacture, deliver, and perhaps sell the product. Why would an employer not appreciate the employees? Because employees cost a lot of money, and companies don’t like to part with any money at all.

We ‘normal’ people might be unable to understand how a company can deny living wages to its employees while awarding huge bonuses to senior executives. Well, perhaps those greedy people have a weakness in their spirit that enables them to be selfish at all times.

Personally, I would reject the life of the wealthy, because it doesn’t suit me. I was raised in a wealthy family, and felt out of place. The quiet life among simple people suits me better. At the same time, I enjoy a great deal of intellectual stimulation on social media. The Internet is also a great creative stimulus that helps me to live comfortably.

There’s More To Writing Than Sentences

October 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Although I’m Canadian, I’ve been watching the political circus in The U.S.A.. For that reason I read a lot of comments by the public, both American and foreign. It surprises me that so little attention is paid to the non-literal communication innate in words. The authority of some statements requires authoritative words. On the other hand, a frivolous intent justifies frivolous use of words and grammar. For instance:

A commenter might say, “the guy is a idiot!”  My intent is emotional as well as literal. This statement carries the feeling as well as the fact intended. The obviously erroneous grammatical errors make the statement feel like the guy’s an idiot. The impact of the same exact statement carries a different feeling if written traditionally:

A commenter might say, “The guy is an idiot!” My intent is for a different feeling in the same statement. The first example is flippant, using the words as one might use a physical wave-off put-down. The second example feels like a more thoughtful person who has considered the information before tossing off an opinion.

I like both. I also like slang and expletives because they are like the spicy sausage in the spaghetti sauce. The sauce is good without it but there’s more to enjoy with the spicy sausage in the mix. What you write is a sauce. Spice it to your own or your intended reader’s taste.

Paradigm Marriage

October 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Paradigm couple

My wife is a medical biologist, so we tend to watch many television shows about true police investigations and DNA clues. Within these episodes are investigations of married couple murders, where one spouse is suspected of the murder of the other spouse. In virtually every case, the investigated spouse says; “We had our ups and downs like every marriage. We sometimes fight like any couple.”

No! Not like any couple. A marriage should not be balanced on a war of give and take. Any couple should have the intelligence to see that they either shouldn’t be together or they must learn how to be happy with each other every day. It can be done, and is done by millions of couples around the world.

A properly suited couple should not have fights about trivial matters. He should realize that he does not have the right to dominate, and she should realize that she doesn’t have to be subservient. The opposite is also true, he should not have to swallow his opinion and be a slave to his wife’s preferences. If you are unable to compromise with each other, and make your days happy, you’re doing marriage incorrectly.

Living in Overtime

October 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Gloria Steinem is about 83, just 3 years older than I am. I plagiarize her excellent statement: “Most people my age are dead.” It is true, and it feels a bit strange. I can think back to many times and many things that are perhaps unknown by many people.

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It is peculiar for me to realize that most of the girls I dated in high school are dead and gone. My first wife died recently, at 77. Men with whom I grew up, some with whom I had business dealings, most are gone. The worst thing about it, about social media, is that I’ve learned that I wasn’t as well liked as I thought I was.

I thought a lot about why some friends since high school would not remember me fondly. The only thing it could be was jealousy. I regarded myself as the same as any of them. Our neighbourhoods were just blocks apart in various directions, and we were a group of teenage boys and girls, most from the same high school.

In spite of the neighbourhood proximity, it seems my family was somewhat wealthier than others. I was really not aware of it at the time. If I think back and picture some moments, I see what they saw. After a dance, 2 or 3 couples would get into somebody’s father’s borrowed car and head for the coffee house. I would get into my car, which was a new Corvette, and meet up at the coffee house. I didn’t see that I had any advantage or superiority, but they seem to have cloaked me with it.

The few friends I retained, who saw me for who I am without envy, are still friends today. Well, two of them are. The other passed away some years ago. This brings me back to living in overtime. Some old folks forsake the opportunity to explore the world through the Internet. It saddens me, because there is a great deal of pleasure in seeing what’s going on through a faster method than television. The inter-active aspect keeps one busy.

The best thing for a writer to have is a good supply of experiences on which to feed one’s creativity. I can remember horses on the streets of the city, pulling wagons with bread, or milk, cream and butter, or blocks of ice for the ice box. There was the coal man, too. He would carry heavy sacks of coal on a leather-padded shoulder. One after the other, he’d carry them up the driveway and empty each sack through a basement window where a coal chute slid the black rocks into the coal bin.

One of my parents, usually my mother, would go down to the basement from time to time to shovel coal into the old furnace. Sometimes they would clean out the clinkers, the terrible rocks of razor sharp points and edges. The geniuses at my grammar school, which was virtually a 19th century institution, thought it would be good to take clinkers, points and edges and all, and spread them evenly over the schoolyard. You can easily imagine what happened to a kid’s knee and pants when playing tag and falling.

The life and comfort of my great-granddaughter is assured. Wiser heads have prevailed, and safety and comfort of our upcoming generations is a priority. I just enjoy being old, and watching and learning from the varied societies that surround me. I don’t fear death. Never have. Meanwhile, I’m having as much fun as I can until overtime is over the limit.

Categories: Uncategorized

Living in Overtime

October 16, 2017 2 comments

Gloria Steinem is about 83, just 3 years older than I am. I plagiarize her excellent statement: “Most people my age are dead.” It is true, and it feels a bit strange. I can think back to many times and many things that are perhaps unknown by many people.

It is peculiar for me to realize that most of the girls I dated in high school are dead and gone. My first wife died recently, at 77. Men with whom I grew up, some with whom I had business dealings, most are gone. The worst thing about it, about social media, is that I’ve learned that I wasn’t as well liked as I thought I was.

I thought a lot about why some friends since high school would not remember me fondly. The only thing it could be was jealousy. I regarded myself as the same as any of them. Our neighbourhoods were just blocks apart in various directions, and we were a group of teenaged boys and girls, most from the same high school.

In spite of the neighbourhood proximity, it seems my family was somewhat wealthier than others. I was really not aware of it at the time. If I think back and picture some moments, I see what they saw. After a dance, 2 or 3 couples would get into somebody’s father’s borrowed car and head for the coffee house. I would get into my car, which was a new Corvette, and meet up at the coffee house. I didn’t see that I had any advantage or superiority, but they seem to have cloaked me with it.

The few friends I retained, who saw me for who I am without envy, are still friends today. Well, two of them are. The other passed away some years ago. This brings me back to living in overtime. Some old folks forsake the opportunity to explore the world through the Internet. It saddens me, because there is a great deal of pleasure in seeing what’s going on through a faster method than television. The inter-active aspect keeps one busy.

The best thing for a writer to have is a good supply of experiences on which to feed one’s creativity. I can remember horses on the streets of the city, pulling wagons with bread, or milk, cream and butter, or blocks of ice for the ice box. There was the coal man, too. He would carry heavy sacks of coal on a leather-padded shoulder. One after the other, he’d carry them up the driveway and empty each sack through a basement window where a coal chute slid the black rocks into the coal bin.

One of my parents, usually my mother, would go down to the basement from time to time to shovel coal into the old furnace. Sometimes they would clean out the clinkers, the terrible rocks of razor sharp points and edges. The geniuses at my grammar school, which was virtually a 19th century institution, thought it would be good to take clinkers, points and edges and all, and spread them evenly over the schoolyard. You can easily imagine what happened to a kid’s knee and pants when playing tag and falling.

The life and comfort of my great-granddaughter is assured. Wiser heads have prevailed, and safety and comfort of our upcoming generations is a priority. I just enjoy being old, and watching and learning from the varied societies that surround me. I don’t fear death. Never have. Meanwhile, I’m having as much fun as I can until overtime is over the limit.

My Second Wife

October 14, 2017 Leave a comment

This one is really stupid. I don’t mean that Masha was stupid, I mean I was stupid. Well, she was maybe stupid, but certainly a sociopath. I was forty, and my first wife had grown cold and usually rejected me. I was out in the world, and was given reason to believe that some women found me attractive. It was confirmed at the annual Christmas party. One attractive female executive, one broadcast producer, and one very young receptionist all loosened up with drink and came to my office one at a time, and told me they wanted me.

It was shocking. I didn’t know that I was seen that way at the office. The broadcast producer said, “Do I have to beg? I will if I have to.” The lady executive just entered my office, closed the door behind her and leaned back on it. She just looked at me long and hard for about 20 seconds before she flung the door open and walked out. The 19 year old receptionist said, “Nobody has been able to give me a penetration orgasm, but I think you’re the one that can.”

I had never experienced such boldness, and I felt embarrassed. I loved the woman who rejected me, and other women wanted me. It was not right, and I was obviously at a life-altering crossroad. I have since come to regret I didn’t enjoy any of those three women, but at the time I was feeling insecure.

In the months following the office party, I noticed a shapely young woman in the stenographer pool. She had a face like a China doll, although she was not Asian. She had an irregular sway when she walked, and it attracted me. We chatted a few times, having met in the coffee room at the office. We were friendly.

I sensed that she was not a ‘normal’ office worker. I believed that she was probably promiscuous, although she was married. One day I saw her carrying a tray of coffee and donuts to a meeting room. I walked up behind her and circled her with my arms and cupped her breasts in my two hands. She giggled and feigned embarrassment, so I was assured my judgment was correct.

We eventually left our spouses and became a couple. We never officially married, but I consider her my second wife because we lived together as a married couple. My 12 year old son lived with us for part of the time.

She had told me that she was formerly a stripper, and now she said she’d like to quit the office work and return to stripping. I thought that was pretty exciting, so I went along with it. Eventually, I began to make tapes of her music for the strip joint that was called, “Le Strip”. I even designed and made a couple of costumes for her. It was fun.

Then she cheated. She was dancing in a bar when a popular television newsman came in to the place. She spent that night with him, and hurried to me in the morning to tell me about it. In that moment I decided I was done with her, and would disentangle myself after 4 years together. She then began to watch the guy on television. She had never watched news before, and she obviously didn’t care how it felt to me.  There were many other moments of that kind until I came to realize she was a sociopath and unable to feel. She even told me once, early in our relationship, that she didn’t know what love is.

I will have to write more about her in the future, because there’s too much to tell here and now. I split from her and enjoyed a really active social and sex life for a couple of years, while getting over the breakup. I acquired a good position in a distant city, and left my home town behind. The pleasures of bachelorhood continued in the new place.