The right to keep alive.

I don’t sound off on political and social issues that often, and when I do it’s usually with a bang. But this time I’ll be short, mostly because I don’t enjoy talking about this, and it demands a certain sensitivity.

Let Terri Schiavo die.

There, I said it. Let God do what he would have normally done – take the woman and deal with her soul. She’s not alive, not by any objective standard of life. Man and medicine have managed to keep her bodily functions working, and keep her fed – but for what purpose?

I’ve heard people condemn those doctors who removed the tube as “playing God”. Maybe. But only because someone played God before, and put the thing in. God gives, God takes away. That’s a central maxim of the scriptures. One of the things he gives and takes away is life. For a reason.

Man has played God by artificially prolonging the life of a person who will die if the artificial means are eliminated. And unlike life-saving surgery or antibiotics (both of which help the body do what the body is supposed to do to a healthy person), this person, Terri Schiavo, gains nothing from it. She remains objectively dead already.

Even if she could, she wouldn’t feel herself slowly dehydrating to death. It seems modern science has taken care of that, too.

How to lose a credit card in ten days. The sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the other two bits.

So yeah. Like Emeril, I’ve decided to kick it up a notch. Take it to the next level. Of course, if I keep doing that, I’ll end up robbing banks with a sharpened credit card. It’s true, kids. Don’t fool around with credit cards. You heard me.

Today, a personal message to one of my friends:

You may not know him, but he’s the Big Hot. And he’s Joshewah. And he didn’t ask me to do this – so it’s just like flowers for no reason!

Okay, I’m scaring myself.

Anyways, here’s what I like to see as an “open casting call”, and also a way for my beloved audience to get their hands on some of the action, if only vicariously, like watching an exciting movie about credit cards and the daring, heart-stopping adventures of the people who own them.

If you have a good idea for what I should do with my Mastercard and a pen, and that something isn’t origami, I’d absolutely love to hear from you.

Look at all the pretty links!

For those of you who enjoy being casual readers of this blog, I’d like to point you to all the wonderful links on the sidebar of this page. Guess what – there’s all kinds of stuff going on there, too! For instance:

dxsongs features the depressing Hope: Moving, which seems to be about motion, or maybe about carrot flowers. We can’t be sure.

…all horrified to find
that smile breaking through,
as if to say love you love
or you love to… (read more)

dxpoetics is looking pretty updated, seeing as Thirty is a large number and also a fiery poem.

She smoulders, struck
in a lighning second –
sputtering sabbath candles
resurrected… (read more)

Also in the news today is the fact that blogger seems to enjoy eating my posts. Perhaps because my words resemble alphabet soup or some sort of exotic lasagna. But I post onward, update after eaten update, all because I care, and because CSI: Miami isn’t really on right now.

But perhaps the best part of today involves money. I got my insurance renewal, and lo and behold, I pay about $100.00 less per month to put the rubber on the pavement. Which, of course means that the amount of drunken carousing I do will rise to an amazing zero days out of one hundred, but that I will get the darn car payed off faster. Now isn’t that just encouragement beyond belief? Yeah, I thought so.

Found money, spent cash, visited places – those sorts of things.

This Thursday I visited my local Irish pub for some scotch. Ironic, that, but it had to be done. Just wasn’t a Guinness night, you know. I spent part of the night engaged in an activity I like to call “walking in the snow”, considering how spring is almost on the cusp of being here. Mississauga was actually beautiful – and it’s not a city that should be described in such terms.

Working is stressful, I realize thatso much more when we have a holidy like Good Friday.

And thank God for Jesus, eh? It just popped into my head that Good Friday is actually about something other that a bunch of chocolate and children running wild and then being given meds to calm them down.

So here I am, typing up a blog post from my friend Nick’s house. We fed homeless people tonight, and there were about seven hundred thousand of them there, since the end of the month always seems to be the busy time. Something about welfare cheques running out or some such nonsense. We ran out of soup, ran out to the store and made spaghetti. It was a good time, and reminded me again of how much stuff I have, and how stupid my ridiculous troubles actually are compared to just surviving.

Tomorrow, it’s off to Jon’s church to do some good old fashioned drumming. Yeah.

A Cynic’s Guide to Dating. Round Three.

Okay, fellows. Here we are. You’ve all survived parts one and two, and roughly ten percent of you still have no idea what I’m talking about. If you’re one of these, I suggest you devote your life to taxidermy. And for the rest of you, well, if you were hoping that this last installment is going to make it all crystal clear, welcome to the world of dating: nothing, absolutely nothing, is clear.

Wading into the world of dating is sort of like walking into a burning building. You either die, get burned horribly, decide your lung can’t take it and leave, or walk out a hero. And, since we’ve already mentioned percentages, here’s how it all breaks down: 30% chance you will die, 90% chance you’ll be horribly burned, 37% chance you’re a coward, and approximately 20% you’ll walk out a hero. Now, some of you are engineers, and you’re about to tell me the figures don’t add up. But see what I mean? It’s just not clear.

Also, engineers, most of the world doesn’t make sense, and it helps if you accept that and resist the urge to get out Autocad and start a schematic. The schematic of the female mind, for instance, vaguely resembles a plate of spaghetti wrapped in string with a large helping of duct tape and barbed wire. And, if you manage to map it all out, you’ll be seventy-five, and still won’t have that woman you’re looking for. Or if you actually read what I wrote instead of browsing over it quickly while listening to Radiohead and reading Slashdot, the woman you are casually, oh so casually glancing for.

So here’s a quick recap of where we’ve been so far. We’ve covered the field of dating in large brush strokes. What to expect of women, and what this all has to do with wombats. Did that make sense? No? Good, because you’re going to get a lot of that. We also covered what women like in their men. Okay, I pointed out a few things, and there will always be exceptions, but don’t worry about that, because those girls live in refrigerator boxes, or devote their lives to taxidermy.

Today we’re going to wade into that minefield of what you probably want in a girl. And let me start by saying that the thing you want most in a girl, is a girl. In these modern times, depending on the circles you travel in, the girl you think is so hot may either be a transvestite, or an Italian male. This is not a good thing. Hence, it’s a bad thing. And on that somewhat disturbing note, I begin.

1. You’re ugly. Face it. Males weren’t meant to look good, except the ones in undergarment commercials, and I wasn’t meant to say they look good. But that doesn’t really matter – much. It’s safe to say, however, that men generally settle on the level of attractiveness that they themselves posess, except that a woman can get away with not looking like a bottle of pickels a whole lot better than you can. Considering that females are generally attractive. You may end up with a girl that makes Mona Lisa look like the Charmin bear, but let’s face reality here. It isn’t likely. Just because it happened to me with my last relationship doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you. Got it?

2. Besides, it doesn’t really matter. If your woman isn’t the prettiest or hottest thing on the planet, so what? As long as you’ve got some sort of attraction to her, things will probably end up just fine. Because at the end of the day you’re both going to look like the rear end of an elephant, at which point you’ll be glad you chose the elephant that doesn’t eat beans. By this, I mean that character should score some big points in your books. Your girlfriend should be the Shaq or the Jordan of character, or at least the Shrek of character. Not the Rodman or Farquad of character. Pop culture references aside, this is pretty much all you need to know.

3. Let’s roll with the character train, shall we? Some things you’ll probably want are a spirit of acceptance, forgiveness, and a certain amount of ass-kicking, because you as a male need all these things. You have these things we like to call “foibles” and women like to call “annoyances” that need places to fit. You will do and say stupid things to her, her parents, and puppies. You will need you ass kicked. Also, that can be fun.

4. Don’t listen to people who say you need an opposite character to you. If your girlfriend is the direct opposite of you, you’ll end up hating her, unless you’re a total numbskull, in which case she’ll hate you. You want some common interests, some common points of view, and just a few things different enough to keep you and her interested. For instance, both playing hockey is a good thing. A shared interest. On the other hand, if you’re both kleptomaniacs, you’re not going to be able to help eachother become better people, are you? That’s because you’ll always be stealing eachother’s stuff. Also, pyromaniacs, stay away from eachother. Heck, anything that involved the word “maniac” is probably a bad idea.

5. Don’t get involved with career women, or women that don’t know what they want. Or women that still love former boyfriends. Or women with crazy fathers who don’t speak a word of English. Or women with older brothers who make you look bad. Or women with pet tigers. These things all speak D. E. A. T. H. to your chances of going anywhere, okay? Girls who don’t know what they want will eventually figure out it’s not you; girls that love former boyfriends will break up with you and start dating their former boyfriend even though he’s a skank; women with crazy fathers, well, you figure it out, Gregor Mendel; and women with The Perfect Older Brother will inevitably dump you because you just don’t match up, you cad. You probably want a woman who’s independant, but not too independant and doesn’t have a whole lot of baggage going into the relationship. That’s negotiable, of course, but if you do happen to want a co-dependant woman, I’d suggest you just move back in with your parents and call it a day.

6. Women with interests are a priceless and rare commodity. Really. A lot of girls are content to live their life putting on makeup and calling it a hobby, but let me tell you how interesting makeup is: yaaaaaaaaawn. Okay, point made. If your woman has interests, chances are she’s an interesting person, except when that interest is exclusively knitting, but even then you have a chance, especially if she calls her knitting “art” and it stands up on its own. Interesting girls, guys. Don’t just settle for someone you can put on your mantle beside the bowling trophy. It also helps if one of her interests is “you”. Really.

7. Does this girl laugh at a good joke? Good, because you probably resemble a good joke, but if she’s laugh with or even at you, it’s not a bad thing. A sense of humour is critical, because one day you’ll find this llama in your living room, and when it spits at you, she’s either going to split a side or get mad at the thing for ruining the carpet. Again, this is just an analogy, although it’s been known to happen.

8. This, my gentleman friends, is the most important thing of all (not counting, of course, that she’s a Christian and has a nice set of Godly assets). She must like you. If you’re just the latest thing to come around, or if she’s with you – heaven forbid – because you’re pretty, this thing ain’t gonna last, pardner. The girl, the woman of your dreams, must must must must must be interested back. Otherwise, convince her somehow that she should, or move on to other things, like a good single malted Scotch. Thank you.

And that, guys and gals, is just about it. I’ve exhausted my supply of witty things to say about females. The rest of it’s just bitterness and cynicism.

A word to the wise, however. You’re not going to follow any of my suggestions. You’re going to make an ass out of yourself. It’s probably not going to work. You’re going to end up broken and weeping uncontrollably while watching Sleepless in Seattle. But you’re going to try, darn it! Now – get out there. Make me proud by falling on your face.

How to get in trouble with a credit card, part the fourth.

This morning I decided to kick it up a notch. Take it to a place it had never gone before. And that place was the time-consuming game of tic tac toe:

As you can see, I won against myself, but only because I’m extremely clever.

As usual, the East Indian lady that served me merely checked to make sure I was, indeed, using a valid credit card, and that I wasn’t wearing all black and carrying semi-automatic weapons.

I begin to despair.

What to say when you don’t have anything to say.

Getting the tools done is a tough business. Sometimes they just don’t get done on time, and the customers chew your ear off. Sometimes you get them done on time. You lose some, you win some. And tomorrow, I will have a nice man from Nova Scotia explain to me for fifteen minutes why exactly he needs tools, and he needs them now. And I will be understanding, apologetic, and explain to him that it’s all my fault. Allllllll my fault.

I want to go to England. Just once, just to travel the place and see the sights. Eat the food. Walk in places where so many famous and fictional people walked.

Have you ever wanted something you just can’t have? Yeah, I bet you have. Well, right now I really want a burger. And I can’t have one, because there aren’t any burgers in this house. Darn.

Memories.

I have memories I’d rather forget, but are too precious to let go. You know them. Last night I was in that haze between being awake and falling asleep and for some reason I remembered watching The Bourne Identity and staring across the matress at you. Nothing but your eyes, a bit of sadness like saltwater in the corners.

I can’t look at you the same, now. It goes back to those minutes. Your eyes are always half-sad. Sadness like dew at the corners.

The Great Credit Card Signature Scam. Part Three,

Just in case you were somehow led to believe that cashiers and clerks all around the world had suddenly become consciencious between this and my last post in this series, you would be pretty much wrong. Sorry, people taking mind-altering drugs and/or licking frogs.

No, things are the same as always: I scribble something on the paper after they’ve given me my card back, and everyone’s happy, unless someone actually looks at what’s on that paper, in which case they’ve already given you your card (hopefully!) and you don’t get your butt hauled down to the police station for some time in a cell while cops examine your ID and credit history.

So the other day, I at with my friend Nick at this fish and chips place just around the corner from my place. Great food, nice ambiance. Terrible service. So I decided to pay with credit and insult them by signing the receipt thus:

Like, not only am I Willy Wonka, but I’m terribly excited to be him. Because of the chocolate and candy and stuff. Now any cashier in her right mind can tell that I’m not really Willy Wonka, because I don’t really like chocolate. Duh. I mean, really people.

Dating: A Guide for Cynical Men, Part Two

Okay, so you followed the first post in this series pretty well, and you think you’re ready to do things right this time. Well, fellows, good luck with that. Here’s the cold and hard facts: you suck, and you always will. You have about ten thousand flaws, approximately a hundred of which are completely obvious to everyone but you. Trust me, your woman knows this before you know she knows it, which is when she tells you she knows it in a manner known as a “fight”, or if you’re the diplomatic sort, a “discussion”.

So you’re probably wondering, with all these flaws to get around, where are you ever going to find a girl that’s going to put up with all the crap? That’s the tricky part, but that’s why you’re listening to me and not watching Friends reruns. An aside: if you’re taking any cues from television about relationships and the show you’re watching isn’t “Homicide: Life on the Streets”, you’re about to have a shock along the lines of sticking your tongue in a toaster. So don’t do that, okay? Just trust me. The people that write TV shows have either been separated from reality for so long they wouldn’t understand it if it hit them with a skillet, or understand it perfectly and have some sadistic desire that you never do.

So you’re girl hunting. And you want to know what to look for, and how to look. I’m going to break this down into two sections. If, at this point, you’re really confused about what’s going on here, welcome to Hotel Bachelor and enjoy your long, long stay. Okay, for those of you still with me:

1. So you’re looking. The most important thing – and never underestimate this one – you can do while looking is look like you’re not looking. If women smell desparation, they run, except the ones equally desparate. And goodness knows you don’t want a desparate woman. Some of those would marry a dishrag if there was a diamond ring involved somewhere. The easiest way to not look desparate is pretty simple. Just don’t be desparate. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen because you’re going to make it happen. You’re just not going to make it happen right away, because girls aren’t microwave dinners or pizzas. They don’t don’t get delivered to your door. In fact, they’re more like free-range quail. I won’t explain that analogy.

2. Be comfortable with yourself, but not too comfortable. That is to say, you like yourself, but you don’t have a crush on your mirror. Most girls like easygoing guys with an edge of danger and a certain hidden intensity to them, except for the girls that like dangerously intense guys that can be easygoing, or intense guys that are easygoing in a dangerous sort of way. You. Cannot. Be. Boring. Because:

3. Guys are a dime a dozen. Think you’re special? Wrong. You’re a New York taxi: the same colour as every other taxi out there. It’s the inside of the taxi that makes the deal work, not the fact that you’re a blue or red taxi. In fact, being a blue or red taxi makes a girl suspicious that maybe you’re not really a taxi after all, and reluctant to find out whether or not they’re right. So what do you do? Be different, but not too different. If “you” is punk rock, mohawks, and piercings, make sure that your peer group is also punk rock, mohawks, and piercings. Every once in a blue moon, this punk man will meet and fall in love with a pink-bunny-slipper-wearing girl with a crush on Ricky Martin or whoever it is that graces the cover of Grabbing My Crotch Whilst Singing magazine, but you’re not looking for once in a blue moon. You’re looking for reality, and trust me, clothes make a little man, but those wonderful secret little things about you are what makes the girls drool. You’re like a brand name – think, marketing genious, what differentiates you from every other guy on the planet? Find something. Nurture it. Grow it. Even if you never actually get a girl, it’ll be worth it anyways.

4. Be mysterious. But don’t be a giant question mark. Share up to a point – and then stop. It’s like saying A New Episode At The Same Time Next Week honey! Play your cards pretty close to the chest. Don’t be that blubbering girl-boy that practically pees his pants in public to get noticed. Keep your best features locked away somewhere, and show the teaser trailer every once in a while in some non-obvious way. You don’t need to show a girl how wonderful and special you are by landing the Goodyear Blimp on her house with you suspended beneath it playing “Feels Like Home” on a grand piano. If there’s any interest at all, she’ll wait for the next shot.

5. You’re not a supermodel, and only seven girls out of a hundred expect you to be one. Face it, girls are interested in things like Chequebooks, Power, Faithfulness, and Strength. Don’t apply if you’re a wimp. Of course, this is a generalization. Some girls are interested in the fact that you really love your work and are content making nearly no money at all. Some girls just love the fact that you have what they would call a “beautiful mind”. Some girls just want a nice guy. But let me tell you something, gentlemen (oh, there’s another thing they like), talk to girls who have some sense in their heads, and you’ll find that some of the most wonderful guys in the world are pretty darn average looking. That’s most likely you, too. You’re moderately attractive, and that’s enough, thank you. Guys “grow” on girls as they get to know them – your personality and a hundred other things will actually make you look better or worse in their eyes, and I mean visually. Don’t try to understand it. Women’s minds are attached to their emotions. It’s a wierd thing, but it explains why so many pretty ugly guys get those gorgeous babes. And that’s the last time in my life I ever use the word “gorgeous babe”.

And wow, that was long. I’ll have to write that second part another time, because gee whiz, I’m feeling like ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag. I feel like crap’s crap. Like I’ve blown six sinuses out my nose, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have that many.