Runaway Future

25.7.2007

self censor a dirty word

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 21:11

In the recent past, a friend of mine launched her own blog and subsequently shut it down. Why? “too personal”.

In the same period of time, one of my co-workers who I added on Facebook made a comment to me about how they’ve read my blog, no doubt seeing it as I have it set up to import all my entries into my Facebook account. Instantly, I searched my memory to think if there was anything incriminating posted, anything outrageous, anything impolite. I once had something I posted on here thrown back at me over the course of my hockey writing and it stung as embarrassing. It’s only going to continue to get worse as my work life and internet life continue to combine.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my own struggles with self-censorship, feeling unable to say what I really mean to say, either by discretion on my part based on whose eyes might see (imagined or no) or just because writing some things down and posting them for the world to see at times feels like it cheapens something important. I hate the idea of not being able to clearly state that which I wish to state, but at times it is necessary. Aaron Karo, a comedian who I get his Ruminations column in my email every two weeks or so, went for a few months before admitting that his infamous (for the regular column readers at least) life as a bachelor was interrupted with the arrival of a lady. The subsequent end of that merited only the briefest mention. Just a matter of efficiently clearing the chest, but then again (to digress further…) that’s more of a male trait then anything else. To go on another side track, we find this study by the University of Missouri-Columbia, stating that girls who complain about their problems are at a greater risk of developing anxiety and depression. Basically, the act of talking about the problem doesn’t make it better, just instead continues to focus on said problem and then makes girls feel worse. Especially so with problems they can’t control. Whereas guys are more able to talk about it for a second and then move on. Curious. I’ll refrain from further commentary there.

So why do I continue to write here (keeping in mind that it’s interesting how my motivation to write ebbs and flows, especially when compared with other things going on in my life). Obviously, I have a desire to not only stay in touch with those around me (hence writing about what is going on and what I’m thinking about), but also to do so at a distant way that at least gives the illusion of being detached from it all. For the most part, after I hit Publish, I have little to no idea of who will see these words. Unfortunately, that anonymity and protection isn’t offered the other way. Sure I feel safe talking about Marian, my neighbour or Keith, the old guy who sits in the lobby (I just found out his name was Keith and I’m writing that here as much to provide that as information as to have a permanent record of it for my own shortcomings in memory). But it’s more then likely that they’ll never see these words. At least, I hope they don’t. No one likes to be talked about behind their back.

Often and especially when I’m stuck whining about work, or just giving dull play-by-plays of my weekly events, I wonder what the use of this is. It once struck me that people that write memoirs and biographies must be have great memories or be meticulous note takers. Lacking the former, I turned to the latter (this goes to my own belief that I am awesome and will one day turn out to be worthy of a memoir, or perhaps all these words will be used against me if I should ever fall under the gaze of the public eye). However, that idea is flawed for the sole reason of my own reluctance to self-expose.

There have been a number of things that have gone on, both involving me and those around me that has affected me since I started writing this (and further in the past during the days of futur.frandt.net, Frandt by the way has since gone bankrupt and closed shop, although before dying their CEO had some crazy ass comments about a conspiracy from Microsoft to shut him down….but I digress). The majority, I’ve either avoided or at the very least delayed commenting or talking about it, simply because I didn’t want to stand up and take any sort of responsibility for the words on a page. I suspect that will make it very hard for me to compile my memoirs.

My aforementioned friend’s blog was poetry. I suppose in addition to being artistic (and honestly quite good poetry) that was part of the protection. Able to hide your true feelings in a metaphore. I do the same, to some extent. Although for the most part it’s solely the titles of the entries being lyrics from a song. Of course, not always.

In any case, I have, between my notes, my half finished entries and emails to myself made during working hours, enough content to keep this whole thing going for another two years without directly revealing much more of myself. There’s really no goal behind it, just documenting me and my interactions with the world around me. The struggle is, how closely can I document it?

17.7.2007

It will be difficult to leave this life behind

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:22

About a month or so, I was talking with someone about the job with the Anaheim Ducks that I applied for. I don’t think I mentioned it here, but basically the job was doing PR stuff for their website, basically similar to what I do for HF at present. I applied for it back in March and received a bit of a cryptic response, saying thanks for the application and so on and that they’ve decided not to fill the position at that time. Naturally, this set my mind a racing, as the work visa that I would fit under is sometimes capped and full, renewing every year. This was, of course, me assuming I had the position, if only because of my unique experience in covering the Ducks in an online format. To bring this side story to a close, I’ve recently received an update on that position and the posting is back up, stating explicitly that it is for local candidates only and that no relocation plans(and certainly no work visas) would be offered. Crushed dreams.

But back on tangent, after explaining the majority of this hope and dream, I was greeted with a curious response: one of surprise that I’d leave Halifax, leave Nova Scotia and leave Canada.

Let’s be fair, I love Halifax. I have a great job, well two of them actually. This weekend, I could walk and listen to free music, see ships older then my grandparents, walk by a movie set and play soccer, all within reach. I really like this town and it’s beginning to become my own, my home. Which is why I feel like I should soon leave it.

When April was here, we talked about travel. She’s done more then I have, spending a year in Australia and making plans to go back, maybe forever. I merely visited a few spots and took a few pictures. We also talked about anchors, those things that keep us from taking off. I have precious few right now, a lease, a job, friends & family. The lease is gone in a year (just passed in the next round of cheques), maybe less if I had reason to switch to month to month. I’ve always viewed the job as a stepping stone and while it is comfortable, it isn’t the end of the world. Friends and family will understand, or they should.

I just fear that slowly I’m starting to take root. I’ve been at the job for two years, after originally promising myself a year there without second thought and then another year to figure things out and put wheels in motion. That deadline has now passed. My writing is starting to become almost a second job and that’s amazingly cool. But it’s all too safe and I fear that without some sort of action, I’ll be stuck in a rut, complacent in the serenity around me. I don’t want this around me to look the same in 10 years time when I’m settled in my path. I don’t want to give up so easily, to go so quietly into the night.

I’ve never lived outside of Nova Scotia. I’ve never lived on my own outside of Halifax. I’m jealous of those of my friends who have been able to travel and see more then I have. I’m afraid to make that leap, but it’s gnawing at me.

I just finished reading an amazing book, the Dolphin’s Tooth. It’s about a guy who at the age of 22, decides to stop being an engineer and start living a life more desirable to him. So he leaves and bikes through northern Pakistan. Then he becomes a river boat guide, then a mountain climber, then white water rafting, then… It’s an idea that I can’t put away, similar to the effect that Ultramarathon Man had on me, eventually leading to me starting to run and doing the 10k at the Bluenose.

Just like the running was also in part due to a girl I worked with running in a marathon, this is also coupled with the experiences of a friend. More specifically my many conversations with Daniel from Carleton Street. He’s actually leaving soon, to travel across Canada with his girlfriend and then fly to Korea to teach English for a year. There’s also plans for a trip to South America in the fall of 2008, doing odd jobs along the way, taking eight months or so to do the full thing. In the past, he’s done Europe and Asia and so on. It’s inspiring to talk to him about this stuff, as it makes it seem so much more in reach.

I’ve often indulged myself in flights of fancy, both on this blog and elsewhere of leaving things behind and travelling, or outright moving somewhere else. That drum is just getting louder. As someone I work with put it, “If I was your age, I wouldn’t be here.” What if the only thing keeping me here was fear of taking that fateful first step?

16.7.2007

I just need to feel you on the line

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 22:28

It’s been many months since I had the original conversation that planted the seed for this entry, but if anything, the main idea behind it all rings truer now then ever before.

Back in April, I was at the old place on Carleton Street talking with my former housemates about Facebook, among other things. Like most people, I got a Facebook account on a whim and slowly but surely got sucked further and further into it. Checking out pictures, seeing what people I know are up to, seeing what’s going on, looking for hot girls that I can have awkward conversation with. It could even be considered ironic that this will be auto-fed onto Facebook from my website.

However, the technology is coming at a cost. I had my birthday a month ago, and save for the family that called and the friends that came to K-Murf, no one actually said Happy Birthday to me. Now that might seem petty, but bear with me. Sure, I had a good two dozen people post on the Facebook wall, but it’s communication without talking, ringing hollow. Why “waste” that extra effort to talk to your friends and see what people are up to, when in three clicks, I can go to their profile and learn all about them and their news. Obviously, there’s still the close friends, but those a little farther out, maybe the ones you don’t see as often as you should, they are the ones who suffer from this distance we’re all erecting.

It’s been almost 15 years since I was first introduced to the Internet. Before then, and even for the first little while afterwards, I would still make phone calls, write letters and so on. Slowly but surely, those forms of communication are being phased out. I use MSN and Facebook much more then my cellphone, I don’t know when the last time I wrote a hand-written letter. I feel disconnected when I go to my parents’ place and they have a dialup connection that I don’t use and a phone number that barely any of my friends know. Sometimes that’s a good thing to be away.

I assume this same debate was raised when phones were first introduced and again when email gained popularity. But now, as technology continues to encroach on our day to day lives, the personal touch is lost.

And it’s only going to continue at this pace. Someday, probably within the next ten years, we’ll have one object, integrating all forms of communication into a single platform, phone, email, text, instant message, your business life, your personal life, your finances. It’s very close already with the rise of the Blackberry. Soon, everything we will do won’t exist at all, except electronically.

Before I sound too much like a Luddite, keep in mind that I’m just as dependent as anyone else. I wouldn’t be employed in either job I have if it weren’t for computers, I spend just as much time scaring at flickering screens as anyone else. But it’s making me wonder if it’s all worth it.

As a sign of thanks, I made an effort to call Daniel, my former Carleton Street housemate on his birthday back in April. For one reason or another, I was busy that day and couldn’t make it over to wish him a proper happy birthday, but still a phone call, a voice, means so much more then words on a screen.

11.7.2007

I tried. Someday you’ll see.

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 0:22

What a bizarre couple of weeks, well…month really…

The Ducks won the Cup. I got greviously drunk, moreso than the Christmas party, maybe even moreso than the night of Jack at Daniel’s. Scarily so in fact, but no one needs to hear that. Thankfully, I took the next day off work and wasn’t too bad when I actually was able to make it there. Joyous times.

K-Murf went well, as always, it’s good to see those who are important to me. In some cases, it’s sad that these sort of things only bring everyone together once a year. I don’t care to post a blow by blow diagnosis, but we were able to get a table at the Split Crow, my memories of the Alehouse are fuzzy, god bless Red Bull and we moved from petty vandalism with fountains to outright destruction of property, although thankfully we continue to duck responsibility at every turn. I swear, K-Murf 2010 is going to end up with Murf and I driving to dockyards to dispose of a body.

The rest of the time is a mish-mash of happenings. Work has been busy, which actually, at this point, is a welcome distraction. I went home for Canada Day weekend. There was a girl, and now there isn’t. I’m going to be playing soccer on a regular basis, it looks to replace running for a bit. I still don’t go to the gym, despite paying for it. Daniel’s going away (the one I used to live with, not the Evil Twin). I saw Die Hard, Transformers and Sicko in the past two weeks or so. I ran into Crystal again, and now she has hair. Facebook scares me (more on that later, as in another post). I need to write for HF soon, I need to capture the muse again. I received a box full of swag from Versus, a sports channel in the States, via Hockey’s Future. What am I going to do with a martini glass?

On Saturday, I went to Josh’s place. They got a letter from their landlord describing the place as squalor and being full of chattel (look it up). It was hilarious, simply because it didn’t faze them at all. “Well…he IS right…this place has seen two and a half months of straight partying…” Then we sat on the stoop and talked to people, including greasy thirtysomethings and a dude who traded us a too-small chair for a beer, a smoke and a can of soup. Later on, we went for pizza and along the way, a penis was shown to a bunch of Asians (quoth one of the gentlemen “Holy cow!”) and more such ridiculous occurrences happened. We thought we saw the cheeseball thirtysomething later on and yelled and chased him down, but we were mistaken. I can’t imagine how the guy we chased down felt. It was a great night, except the mozza sticks were cold.

On Sunday, April came to visit, which was great. I met her at the mall. Metro Transit changed all the bus signs and the new numbers didn’t work.

While waiting for the bus, a car pulled up with 4 Tim Hortons cups in a tray on their roof. All the other cars were beeping and the guys inside were just beeping and waving back. I pointed and yelled and the guy rolls down his window and launches a French tirade at me. I shake my head and he goes to roll the window back up before explaining the tray was taped on. Alberta plates…I wonder if they did that the whole way here. Curious.

On the bus, there was a woman with a puppet of a dragon. She was having a conversation with said puppet. I tried not to stare, but it was pretty odd.

After hanging out with April, I got back to the apartment and took the elevator to the usual eighth floor. The elevator stops and the doors don’t open. I try the “open elevator” buttons, nothing works. So I travel to the seventh floor, same result. Keep going down. At the fifth floor, I check to make sure the emergency telephone is there (I had my cell, but do you call 911 for that sort of thing?). Once I get to the lobby, the doors open fine and I take the stairs. Eight stories up, the hard way. The elevator has been working fine since then, so I don’t know what’s up with that.

Today, when I left the apartment for soccer, I ran into my neighbour in the hall. She’s an older lady (side story: I first introduced myself when I moved in and didn’t catch/forgot her name and spent the next…well…year, avoiding saying her name while she called me Kevin. Thanks to the old man who sits in the lobby and yells at traffic, I now know her name….and I wrote it on my fridge). Anyway, my neighbour stops me and asks me where my sweater is. I’m in shorts and a t-shirt, because I’m going to play soccer, and so I explain that to her. She tuts a bit and says I should make sure I dress for the weather. So, I pretty much have an adopted grandmother. I hope she makes me baked goods.

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