You are one crazy fucker and I love it. Keep it up man.
A few weeks ago (months? I dunno), I received an email from my Alma Mater. They had apparently tried to send me their quarterly Alumni magazine and had it shipped back to them. I move more often than the Middle East revolts, so I’m surprised it took them this long to lose track of me. I’d been trying to shake them for years, but was too lazy to tell them so. So when I received an email back from them, asking me to kindly update my mailing info, so that I could hear of all the goings on happening on my old stomping grounds, I finally took advantage of my opportunity to tell them what I’d thought of my time there, what I thought of them, and that I didn’t really want to keep up the pretense of a relationship.
This was the email I sent back to them. Ahem:
Dear nameless university Alumni Department,
On the day that I graduated in 2005, the speaker at the ceremony went on a long tirade about how important it is for alumni to give back to the school and how we should all seriously consider giving money once we were gone. It went on for quite some time as we all sat there in disbelief, and as our student loans kept gathering interest quietly in the background. This was BEFORE any of us received our degrees. I cannot recall the name of the speaker, however, right then and there I was done with the nameless university.For a school with such a fine name attached to it, what a crass and classless thing to do. Appealing to young graduates for money they do not have as they are sitting and waiting with their friends and family to receive what they have tirelessly worked for over the course of four or five years is disgusting. At the very least, the charity plea could have waited until we got our degrees. That day should be about the graduates, not about the ego of the University and it’s desperation to receive funding.I will not be updating my information with the nameless university. I do not wish to receive any further communication from the nameless university. That atrocious farewell along with the mediocre education I received from a University that is coasting only on Maclean’s recommendations and not any actual merit of its own was the end for me.I also really appreciated the ceaseless phone calls I got the summer after I graduated, whereby some perky undergrad pestered me for money as I pounded the pavement to try and find a job that my degree had left me woefully unprepared for. I did wind up finding one. At the Sunglass Hut.Kindest Regards,My name
I catch a lot of flack for being an eternal pessimist. I’ve always been told that I look at the downside of things, that I’m negative, blah blah blah. I disagree with that for a multitude of reasons, but would compromise on the term ‘realist’.
This morning though, in the cold of a Toronto February, I realized that I am, in fact, a true optimist. A diehard, always hoping, never failing optimist.
That…..or I’m a fool. The line is thin and possibly blurry.
Observe: Every morning I take a bus down to a street with a streetcar for my commute. I have tried out three commuting options for getting into the downtown core from where I am, and as anybody with any brains would have predicted, each route sucks ass. The route I’ve chosen seems to suck slightly less ass and has the benefit of at least being above ground for the entire ride, reducing my chances of dying of Vitamin D deficiency. (The other options are streetcar – subway, or bus-subway-bus, for those who care).
The bus drops me off, I cross the street and stand dutifully at the streetcar stop. Every morning I think to myself, ‘Maybe today is the day that I won’t have to wait forEVER for the streetcar to show up!’ or alternatively, ‘Maybe today is the day that I won’t have to wait for two streetcars to drive by me before there’s one that I can sandwich myself onto’ or even, ‘Maybe today is the day I’ll get a seat!’.
I stand there, shivering, doing that dance that you do when you’re so cold that your primary focus in life is maintaining feeling in your toes, I walk back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I toe at the crusty snow, I check myself out in car windows as they drive by and notice that I am turning bluer and bluer. I exchange other desperate/annoyed glances with fellow Torontonians who are trying to get to their respective cubicles. My heart skips a beat when I think I can make out the vague shimmering shape of a streetcar down the street and plummets into my stomach when I realize it’s just a delivery truck. I find myself longingly staring at cabs, with their lights turned on, sirens of the modern urban commuter, trying to rationalize spending the money on a warm ride to work.
And alllll the while, I think, ‘Any second now! I’m sure it’s juuuuust around that bend!’
No. No it isn’t. It never has been. It never will be. For some reason, it is just impossible that I should arrive just before the streetcar does.
But every damned day, I hope. I hope, and I actually buy into my own bullshit. I never veer from the routine, I never use the alternate routes. I wait, loyally, and stupidly, for that fucking streetcar to let me down once again. I’m that dog that keeps getting kicked, but just keeps coming back thinking that maybe this time, there’ll be a treat instead of a foot to the face. What? Too far? Nobody laughs at kicking dogs anymore? Oh, lighten up. I dont condone kicking dogs. Or cats. Or small children. Adults, knock yourself out, they probably did something douchey anyways. Where was I…..
So this morning in the cold, I realized that I am not a pessimist. No no. I am a rainbows and puppies and sunshine optimist. And one day when the streetcar actually DOES show up and I actually DO get a seat, it will fuel my pie in the sky hopes for months. Until then, I will continue freezing my ass off and being that person who has to hold themselves up with the handrails so that I’m not standing on the steps so the streetcar can go.
Sure, I totally get molested inappropriately as a consequence of way too many bodies in way too small a place, but fuck it, the body warmth is better than the bone chilling cold out on the sidewalk.
See? I’m putting an optimistic spin on everything now.
I had every intention of starting this blog right at the beginning of the year.
I had illusions of kicking off my new home for my disjointed writing and my witty, acerbic observations at the same time I kicked off so many other shiny new things.
2011 was going to be my year. New job, new city, new apartment, new relationship status, new blog, new year. It was going to be big, I could feel something coming around the corner. I had ideas, goals, I was excited.
Then 2011 actually HAPPENED. And it was big, and epic and unforseen and brand new…all of the things I’d hoped for. Unfortunately, I got all of these things on the opposite end of the spectrum than I had anticipated.
In all of my wide-eyed excitement, I’d forgotten to inform the universe that I wanted all of those things in a positive light, and in relation to good things. Left without this direction, the universe had a 50/50 choice – positive or negative. And as with all one or the other choices, it picked the wrong one.
2011 spent the first five weeks kicking my ass relentlessly down into a brutal, sad, dark place. After week 5 and once the bad news stopped snowballing, I’d had enough and have decided that I will now be taking charge for the remaining 47 weeks and it will be better, thanks.
My year has sucked so far, but I intend to scrape it out of the gutter and salvage it with some writing from here on out, amongst other things. Which, you know, I’ll write about. This is my second blog, and hopefully it’ll turn into something I love as much as I loved my first one. No, I won’t link to it on here. The only thing I regret about the last blog was putting my name on it, so that it wasn’t anonymous.
So whereas it would have been oh-so-convenient to have kicked this off in January, here I am in mid-February. Mid-February, the nastiest time of the year, and enter…..’I Just Like To Write’. I really wanted to be one of those cool kids who had their shit together enough to start something when they said they would, but at least it isn’t August, right? I think the blog title is fairly self explanatory……I really just like to write. Some days it’ll be sappy, some days it’ll be all ‘omg the world is ending’, some days it’ll be funny, some days it’ll just be. But I’m excited to have a place to write again, because I really do like it. I love words, I love language, I love adjectives…….yes, I’m a nerd. You’ll find out the extent of my nerdiness soon enough.
And there we have it, I guess. I’ve completed the obligatory first post, which is always scary and awkward in that ‘hey, I’m the new kid, who do I eat lunch with?’ kind of way, and it’s all going to be barreling ahead from here, kids!
Here’s to hoping this thing sticks….