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.

I am salmon. Hear me gurgle? Part 2

What if awareness and obliviousness are more closely related than we think?

Why then do I persist in swimming against the current?

My study of people led me to become slightly detached socially. I would prefer to sit on the outside looking in so as not to influence the outcome of the experiment I was observing. While I had, and have, the ability to mix and mingle with the best of them, my preference is to watch others make the attempt. It is far more entertaining. Live social interaction between young men and women in clubs was at the top of my list. A room filled to bursting with horny people and yet only a very few leave with someone. Two attractive people lock eyes; one musters up enough nerve to approach the other; one says something stupid and then they part. Few will make the effort again after one failed attempt.

There is a paradigm in psychology which states:

‘People with the highest IQ’s are the most prone to substance abuse. They abuse alcohol or drugs to come down to the level of the rest of humanity in an effort to better fit in.’

Is it possible all the alcoholics and drug users I encounter are the pinnacle of human development? As a youngster, I was told I possessed a genius level IQ. I rarely drink and never do any type of drug. Could it be the substance abusers are so far above me intellectually, I cannot comprehend their thought processes? Perhaps I have had it all wrong throughout my entire life. Maybe I am the “dim bulbon the tree struggling to understand humanity without the necessary smarts to comprehend what is right in front of me. It would explain much.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

IT IS SIMPLER to follow your glands and have a child at an early age; be a slave to your job in order to pay the bills and get divorced ten years later only to do it again with someone else. You will never have idle hands and your brain will reorganize itself to the life you have chosen so you have a hard time changing. Most of the inhabitants of the planet choose this for themselves. It is why they nest and attempt to hide from the outside world usually without success. They romanticize their relationships with significant others, pets, and children, picturing themselves surrounded by loving creatures in their golden years without ever acknowledging the realities of their choices until it is too late. This is why old ladies are found dead with their corpses half-eaten by their pets.

IT IS BETTER to live obliviously? Regrets will not surface until middle or old age, if at all. Without introspection, you will not look back and wonder if you could have done more with your life, had you only chosen differently. It is possible to live, die, and be forgotten like billions before without leaving a timeless legacy.

The young well-educated people who could change the world end up too busy with their diversions to make a difference. They genuinely embrace being oblivious. I hope they like the oblivion they are helping to rush humanity toward.

I push awareness in a world content in its obliviousness.

I push knowledge in a world content with misinformation.

I push tolerance in an intolerant world.

I push change in a world resistant to it.

I push rationality on the irrational.

I push for abstinence in a world of full of addicts.

I push responsibility to irresponsible people.

I push being scrupulous in a world where everyone angling an agenda.

I push spiritual health in a world without conscience.

I push physical health in a world craving drug soaked fats.

I push mental health to people intent on doing crazy things.

I push emotional health to people with an endless capacity for self-absorption, self-obsession, self-doubt, and self-pity.

I push for excellence in a world striving for mediocrity.

I push humor on people who rarely laugh.

Perhaps it is time I started PULLING.

Is the Dalai Lama aware or just oblivious because of his meditative serene environment?

Are any of the sciences aware or are they oblivious because of the singular vantage point of their discipline?

Is a family guy who is a good husband and father oblivious or is he aware he is doing what he was meant to do by always swimming downstream?

I am a flawed human as all humans seem to be. I pose questions looking for answers and am rarely surprised by the facts when they are published. I genuinely hope I will have learned all the requisite lessons in this life so I do not have to come back here again. I appreciate the fleeting bits of love, joy, goodness, laughter, happiness and SERENITY that come my way, but overall, this place is no fun. If there is a higher plane of existence, I hope I am ready to be allowed in. If Earth and this plane of existence were a vacation destination, I would rate it one star in a five star rating system.

I am incapable of following the words of Reinhold Niebuhr. Instead, I remain the UNWISE one who cannot ACCEPT mankind must go obliviously into oblivion. I will continue to swim upstream in the hope I can influence a select few to go out and change the world before the human race reaches the point of no return.

I wrote this on a dismal rainy day. I am fine. Really, I am. I know this reads like a suicide note. {He wrote, laughing out loud.} Writing a blog is a better way of venting than getting drunk and having a domestic; which, should you not be aware of the statistics, is the number one call to the police across the planet on a daily basis.

I promise to write the next one on a glorious sunny summer day after getting laid just to continue the experiment with a different set of controls.

See you then.

P. S. Does anyone have a morally loose woman you could refer?

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 1

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

“MOVE TO THE COUNTRY.”, they said.

Your unknowing weekend guests will envy the VISTAS you wake up to each day. On the surface, life in the country appears to offer: low cost living, time to enjoy the simple easy life, peace and quiet, unlimited fresh air, and the beauty of being surrounded by nature.

I moved to the country near the southern-most tip of Algonquin Park to write a book. After TWO YEARS getting settled, I began writing a book. I met a woman. I stopped writing the book for another TWO YEARS. She finally left and I continued writing the book until I finally completed it after another TWO YEARS; which begs the question:

Why does everything take so long in a lifestyle that was advertised as slow-paced?

The simplest answer is: ENDLESS HARDSHIPS!

For most of us here, with the exception of the very wealthy, there is an endless list of daily chores that must be dealt with just to avoid catastrophe.

Once you have taken the plunge, just as with marriage, you will post these incredible photos of your amazing life on Facebook in an attempt to LURE OTHERS into the same NIGHTMARE.

There is a reason alcoholics and pot-heads flourish here; and that is because alcohol and drugs help you to forget how much IT SUCKS TO LIVE THIS WAY.

snow-11

PICTURE POSTCARD SETTINGS: VISTAS come with a price.

Snow on evergreens means two things: you can make your own Christmas cards and when the wind blows in the middle of the night and that snow falls out of those trees onto your roof; it will sound like London during The Blitz.

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In summer those same trees will secrete a super glue-like substance all over your car, skylights, garden furniture etc.

Nov 11

For ONE WEEK each fall, hardwood trees will have their leaves brightly coloured creating a magnificent splendiferous display, and then for the next 24 WEEKS they will look like a POST ATOMIC HORROR.

Pine trees are the bane of my existence. Their needles seem to fall endlessly as does their sap. If nature has a smart-weapon, it is the pine needle. They build dams in your eves-trough as well as any beaver could and they can worm their way into every nook, crack or crevice in a 150 foot radius from the base of a single tree. The pine needle is like a leach that loves to travel- hitching a free ride on vehicles by attaching themselves semi-permanently to rubber seals, wiper blades, carpets and air-vent holes in order to travel the countryside with you.

Murphy’s Law of the North Country:

The wind will not blow the snow out of the trees until you go outside.

There really is nothing as “refreshing” as having pounds of fine powder snow land on your head completely filling your coat collar as it makes its way down your back.

LOW COST LIVING:

Property in general is cheap to purchase but less so for lake-front property.

Property taxes are cheap for acreage zoned agricultural but is absolutely ridiculous for water-front property zoned recreational. $5000.00 to $8000.00 annually is not unheard of. MPAC (our tax assessment organization) is like a black helicopter black-ops group that covertly looks over your property and figures out how to charge the MOST they can. If you have a large puddle in view then they will mark your property as having a water-front. If you have a wood-shed, they will call it a garage. If you have a dog house, they will call it a guest house.

They never talk to the property owner because they might get shot for their obvious attempts at over-taxation. They get away with their tactics because people with recreational properties are either oblivious or too busy to spend an entire day in a cottage country MPAC office trying to sort out the monkeys working there.

Just as with Hydro ”ESTIMATING” your usage, the government will get INTEREST FREE MONEY by over-assessing a property until the owner gets around to making a fuss. I know of one case where two, nearly identical lake-front properties that were side by side had a $3000.00 per year taxation difference. One owner fought and one did not. Oh yeah, if MPAC have had it wrong for years, THEY WILL NOT REBATE YOU. They will merely credit your account.

The governments like to keep their ill-gotten gains.

On the subject of Hydro, your Hydro bill will be MORE THAN DOUBLE that of the city due to the low population density, the number of tree and weather related emergency outages, as well as aging infrastructure. $3000.00 per year is not uncommon.

If there is a planned Armageddon as conspiracy theorists claim, then Hydro is leading the charge to herd people from the country back to the city with their ridiculous rural rates. At least once they release the pathogens in the cities; you will not have to pay your cottage Hydro bill again.

DIY: Your maintenance costs will be higher than most high-end condos in a major city unless you do most of the work yourself.

If you choose this road, you will become a full-time maintenance person and contractor with an endless list of things to do seven days a week. You might get some time off when it is blowing, cold, and raining but because your production schedule will be set back by the bad weather, you will work ALL the nice sunny days that follow. This is how you can become a slave to your property and the reason you will not have any time to enjoy the simple easy life.

SIMPLE and EASY:

There is nothing SIMPLE or EASY about life in the country other than many of the people you will meet.

  • Using an outhouse at -40 is not simple or easy.
  • Not having running water in the winter is not simple or easy.
  • Having drains back-up because the septic tank froze is not simple or easy.
  • Cleaning up after multiple daily snowfalls is not simple or easy.
  • Plugging your car in for at least 60 nights is not simple or easy.
  • Dealing with a deer-hit car insurance claim is not simple or easy.
  • Cleaning splattered insects off the front of your car is not simple or easy.
  • Getting pounds of sand out of your car interior is not simple or easy.
  • Keeping your propane flowing below -30C is not simple or easy.
  • Getting suitable work is not simple or easy.
  • Keeping from being eaten alive by bugs is not simple and easy.
  • Going weeks without seeing the sun is not simple or easy.
  • Having cold feet for a third of a year is not simple and easy.
  • Priming the water-pump and keeping it going is not simple or easy.

Becoming “countrifiedmeans: You will let most of the above list slide in favour of getting drunk, going fishing or both.

On the subject of running water; if by RUNNING you mean:

  • It RUNS down the drain and freezes there- then yes.
  • That a pipe burst in the middle of the night causing water to RUN all over your new finished basement- then yes.
  • When the snow melted quickly in the spring, it created a moat with RUNNING water around your home- then yes.
  • It RUNS everywhere except into the cottage where you need it- then yes.

Blogus Interruptus … continued next week.