Why be a starving writer when you could be a starving naked artist.

I am so sick of computers and everywhere they take us.

Being a writer means being married to your computer. Things are made worse if you are a published author because you also have long term commitments to social media and publishing sites. My almost one-year-old Dell is an evil wife. She has melted down twice in the short time we have been together; a RED FLAG if ever there was one. So why continue to put up with the daily torment of weak WiFi, boggy performance due to updates and background processes, and the general stupidity of the online world when there is little or no money in it?

I can do other things.

The real question is: What other things can I do which don’t involve computers? I could reinvent myself once again as a post modernist painter. I might use my initials to create a new artist identity: Ethan Alfonso? It has an artsy ring to it. I could add a hook as well: All Alfonso’s are painted in the nude. Post modernist erotic portraits of lonely housewives and  divorcées, painted by a still pretty hot naked guy, should get me laid more than writers do. The fee for such commissioned portraits would certainly exceed what I make as a writer; perhaps several times over. For a tiny initial investment—far less than book publishing—I could whip off a bunch of samples to lean against the walls of my apartment for prospective clients to peruse; perhaps over wine, if they are hot. I could sell some works beach-side while working on my tan. Once summer ends here, I can move into a spacious van and travel to various beach communities down South, chasing the warmth of the sun, and making Canadian winters something I don’t do anymore.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s possible I might be killed by a jealous husband, but this has always been my preferred check-out plan anyway.

Sounds like a worthwhile endeavour to me.

Where is that art supply store?

I’d Google it, but this hunk of junk Dell—soon to be ex wife—sucks harder than the vacuum of space during a hull breach on the Enterprise.

A Study In Positivity

Having spotted a blog group looking for “positive” messages, I will attempt to put a positive spin on everything I write in this blog.

I am too pragmatic to do rainbows, daffodils, unicorns, and Zen. I do not know if this will make their cut. It is a challenge for me being a student of human nature. As such, I all too often see the glaring negatives of mankind without acknowledging the more subtle positives. I suppose I take the easier path that pairs well with my attempts at sardonic witticisms. Sarcasm is a tool used by comedians and writers alike to make light of serious subjects, but for the purposes of this blog, I have to explore humanity’s “up-side” and that just may end up being good for me.

To a poor unpublished author, a blog becomes an outlet for pent up frustration so I will not go out and buy the assault rifle I sometimes wish I owned.

Upside 1:

Not all sociopaths carry out attacks on their fellow humans.

A personal philosophy which has yet to be disproved goes like this: 33.3% of the world’s population are genuinely good people with good hearts. 33.3 percent of the population are evil malevolent creatures; and the remaining 33.3% can waffle from one side to the other on any given day.

Upside 2:

Therefore we can extrapolate there must be days when almost FOUR BILLION people on Earth are doing good things for their fellow man and the planet.

Place a new-born baby in the hands of the most case-hardened worldly-wise man and you will see the inspiration for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. His heart will grow ten sizes in that moment as he gazes at the little creature who is totally innocent; a blank slate and free of evil. This subconsciously engages his protective instincts. Not to be sexist, if it we substitute out man for woman in the above, chances are that subconsciously she will find her nurturing side bubbling to the surface.

Upside 3:

Almost all humans, regardless of the hand life has dealt them, are capable of having their soul touched by innocence, goodness, and joy as we naturally covet these attributes.

On the subject of the more politically correctly named “Holiday Season”, in the G8 countries at least, Christmas carols and old holiday season songs are infectious—playing on the human desire for peace, joy, and our yearning for simpler times. People smile a little more easily and they are a little nicer to strangers despite the hustle and bustle of crass consumerism, and the plethora of social obligations. I was hoping to report that crime rates fell as a result of “good cheer”, however the statistics indicate there is a huge increase in alcohol consumption which netted an over-all increase in the crime rate.

Upside 4:

For a week or so each year people are generally nicer to each other, even though it appears to be alcohol induced.

In a world filled with stupidity, waste, and evil there are continual stories of “random acts of kindness” from around the globe which is evidence of them being a natural human trait. Humans have the capacity for sympathy and empathy which when taken to extremes, can manifest into tremendous acts of bravery and sacrifice. There are countless stories, especially in conflicts, where someone laid down their life to save another. The person who made the sacrifice, did so in the belief the person they were saving was indeed worthy of their sacrifice.

Upside 5:

The person saved feels a huge burden of responsibility to the one who sacrificed him or herself.

They feel they must live a good life from that point forward in an effort to be worthy of the one who saw something in them worth saving . . . even if the saved individual could not see it in themselves at the time. Better humans are created through “random acts of kindness” whether they witness a supreme sacrifice or a minor one.

Love:

We all want it. Few can hang on to it.

Those without it are jealous and envious of those who flaunt having it. Young love is rarely more than a hormonal overdose. {The following are excerpts from my book Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!} DOPAMINE is the love hormone. Just seeing the one you think you love will cause its production. It is interesting that its production naturally sags after approximately two years with the same person. If you want to “Bring back that loving feeling…” boost intake of vitamin B6 and magnesium. PEA- (Phenylethylamine) has been nick-named the “Molecule of Love” and the “Love Drug”. Found in chocolate and your brain, this organic compound creates the stirrings of sexual excitement including that rise in heart rate that we all have felt. Studies indicate that the onset of DEPRESSION may be due to decreased concentrations of PEA.

Upside 6:

When I see an old couple holding hands on a bench after living a lifetime of hardships together, it proves the existence of true love.

It is more than companionship. It is loyalty, trust, mutual respect and a sparkle in their eyes when they look at one another that is eternal. SOUL MATES ARE REAL.

Artistic types are typically more damaged, flakier, more anti-social, and more oblivious, but they can also be more talented and more cerebral than the average human.

Upside 7:

If there is any part of humanity that could warrant our continued existence, it is our capacity to appreciate and create beauty.

Film, photography, paintings, sculptures, theatre, music and literature occasionally capture or help us to envision the stunning and wondrous.

“Pay it forward.” or “One good turn deserves another.” are proven concepts that may define humans. We all live in a hell of our own making, but when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves just long enough to smile or hold a door open for another, we prove that we do not belong in such a place; and that we are capable and worthy of existing on a higher level.

Hope leads to belief;

Belief leads to optimism;

Optimism leads to learning;

Learning leads to wisdom;

Wisdom leads to growth;

Growth leads to increased hope.

IT IS A CIRCLE!

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 4

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

ADDITIONAL POINTS OF INTEREST:

For those of you who have not yet changed your mind about living fulltime in The Great White North, and called a time-share real-estate agent somewhere down South, I will dispel a few more myths of the Ontario North country.

“YOU WILL MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE.”

“Interesting”, if you are a sociologist writing a book perhaps, but you should expect to meet uneducated, unwashed, unkempt, alcoholic, drug using scammers, and gossips anywhere you go.

The area’s “best and brightest” have left for greener pastures and better lives, and they rarely return.

THIS SHOULD BE TELLING YOU SOMETHING!

The locals left behind have a huge inferiority complex that makes them jealous and envious of “citiots”; a term they often use that refers to anyone who left the confines of the area or who is new to the area. They will take your money when you hire them, but will gossip endlessly about you as a “thank you” for employing them. They will always happily take your money in their shops, but will not reciprocate by supporting your business.

The rampant morbid obesity is a tell-tale sign of their low self-esteem and self-worth issues. Anxiety and depression are also common, and of course made worse by alcoholism, illegal drug use, or going off their prescription meds. The closest town has two methadone clinics servicing an area population of only 20,000. This says a great deal about area residents.

YOU CAN BUILD A NEW LIFE IN THE COUNTRY.”

If this means working at a career or job requiring the support of the locals; forget it. If you did not grow up there, they will resist employing you or supporting your business. They think that by hiring you, they are taking food out of the mouths of a local boy’s family. If you bring specialized skills that are unmatched in the area, they will hire several locals before finally caving in and hiring you to fix their problems. They will try to negotiate your invoice AFTER the work is done, so be careful who you work for, and don’t trust a hand-shake deal.

If you think your big city experience is marketable, you are sorely mistaken. They do not embrace knowledgeable people; they envy and ostracize them. Women and minorities will have it even worse as the local folks are about 100 years behind in their thinking. THEY ARE LEARNING TO HIDE IT though, thanks to the societal movement towards political correctnessTheir sexist and racist ideas have been a part of their upbringing and are subtly evident in how they do business.

You will hear things like: “We have tried all this before.” even though they have not. You may even hear my personal favorite: “That’s not how we do things up here.” which shows how they cling to ignorance and resist change. This, of course, is why they struggle so. If you attempt to “raise the bar” they will reject your ideas in favour of continuing to crawl under it. Their inferiority complex makes them petty and small-minded. New ideas that did not come from one of them just makes them feel inferior. They ask for suggestions but view answers as CRITICISM. Their idea of success is survival; NOT GETTING AHEAD!

ALL BAD THINGS HAPPEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT:

  • You will run out of propane at 3:00 am.
  • Your furnace will quit at 3:00 am.
  • Pipes burst at 3:00 am.
  • Trees fall across your driveway at 3:00 am.
  • Drunk, crying women will show up in your driveway at 3:00 am.

“THE FRESH AIR WILL INCREASE YOUR APPETITE.”

You may be hungry but where can you go to eat? Restaurant quality may be my biggest reason for getting the hell back to civilization. Roadside converted service stations selling DEEP FRIED EVERYTHING with “Home Made” GOOD SOURCES of FAT and SODIUM litter the area. You will have to drive some distance for a truly good meal. The smell of the forty-year-old grease and oil impregnating those old concrete garage floors “pair well” with the grease and oil these “greasy spoons” are cooking with.

“LIVING THE DREAM”:

If you think you are headed to a place of serenity, then most of you will find you were WRONG unless you buy acreage away from lakes, trails, roads, and PEOPLE. With ownership, you are simply TRADING city stressors for country stressors.

GIVE ME SMOG, IDIOT DRIVERS, AND BLACK SNOW-BANKS ONCE MORE AND I PROMISE I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT CITY LIFE AGAIN.

I will rent or buy a condo and let someone else handle all the maintenance. I miss restaurants, spare time, movie theatres, income opportunities, and women who look after themselves. If I never see another snowflake or pine needle again, I would be just fine with that too.

The new dream is of sand beaches, palm trees and warm temperatures.

I wonder how long their bug season is?

See you there!

P. S.

If anyone has a large estate on a tropical island or a huge yacht you rarely use and you want someone to watch over the place, please get in touch. FYI, I am very experienced with boats and would make a good motor-launch pilot. I could probably get used to “hanging” with women named Missy and Muffy.