Best of My Blog # 429

Francois Perier, Paula Dehelly in " The Jean-Paul

FRANCE – 1948:  Two French existentialists in an anxiety-inducing tilty room.

Today’s Existential Forecast ~

Today will be

overly diffident, with occasional outbreaks of sarcasm followed by regret.

Competence will be nominal-to-intermittent as measured in “oPrahs”.

Please be aware that a collapsible umbrella advisory is in place. Coffee breaks are at your own risk until 10 A.M., with the rims of cups containing scalding beverages being farther away than they appear.

You’re late again this morning. This is the perfect time to determine if there’s water on the kitchen floor from a slow leak by walking around in your socks, or to go barefoot to locate the one remaining shard of the Baccarat highball glass that you threw at your ex.

Distractibility once you do reach the office is high today, clocking in at eight-out-of-ten on a scale where:

1 equals making yourself a cup of instant coffee in under 30 minutes but still forgetting the milk is off;

and

10 equals setting out to check your calendar and ending up eight hours later with a new operating system, an order confirmation for purchase of a vintage “Mister Potato Head” kit from eBay, and a whole slew of hate mail from “just-repeal-it-then-impeach-the-socialist-towel-head-dot-com”.

Incidentally, while you were shopping online, the VP walked past and saw that Photoshop composite you made of of Michelle Obama in a topless swimsuit and hijab leading Barack on a dog leash.  Don’t even bother saying it was the “Annual Humane Society gala”.

Fig. 1:  Emotional turbulence (note decorative cushion)

Emotional Turbulence (Fig. 1): There may be unexpected gusts of free-floating panic-induced hysteria.

EXPERT TIP THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW:  Never, but we mean NEVER, take refuge under a tree.

Instead, watch for the throwing of a small, decorative cushion, which signals that the hysteria has passed.

You’re welcome!

FUN FACT:  Count slowly from the outbreak of hysteria to find out how long until the cushion-throwing!

Today’s ASSHOLE TOLERANCE FACTOR  (ATF):

Zero, peaking at 1. Some of you might want to remain indoors.

We’re just sayin’.

Assholes you can just about tolerate with an effective ATF of 1 may include:

♦  The asshole queen you met on Grindr who actually says “Tee Hee” instead of laughing when he thinks something is amusing;

♦  Your asshole friend who borrowed twenty dollars “until tomorrow” two-and-a-half years ago, then says, “you’re not getting all bent outta shape for twenty bucks are you??? Sheesh!”;

♦  The fat asshole behind you in the liquor store line-up who looks at your two-litre bottle of Jackson-Triggs Cabernet Sauvignon with raised eyebrows and stage-whispers, “Large economy size?” in an arch tone.

Please note that results may vary.

Overall outlook for —

MEN:
Breezy, but with toe rubbers. You’ll despise the general perception that your mother still buys your clothes, and/or that you’ve just left a Presbyterian seminary.

As our fashion maven likes to emphasize: “GAP ‘Relaxed Fit’ is death’s French kiss!”

POINTS TO PONDER: The way your boss stares at your sandwich while adjusting her pencil-skirt will make you question the cool-factor of egg salad sandwiches wrapped up in waxed paper.

Overall outlook for —

 WOMEN: Brave, with just the tiniest tragic hint of your grandmother’s pill-box hat. You’ll spend the day trying to project the plucky vulnerability of Dorothy Gale, while actually coming across as a more vitriolic Dorothy Parker, only without the redeeming wit.

WHAT WOULD IVANKA DO?: A Singapore Sling at The Algonquin or similar establishment may help with your tendency to assume the role of “Ms. Quark-y Gluon Who Holds the Universe Together”.

But your PMS will hate you.

HERE COME DA WEEKEND, YO!  Back at work on Friday, chill out, relax, and enjoy your recent promotion to manager. Show them who’s boss, and set the progressive tone, by turning up in Crocs, sweatpants and a tee with still-visible ragù stains.

You’ll be sitting pretty right up until 12:45, which is when your secretary reminds you that at one o’clock you and the regional team are treating Ronald Lauder and Renée Fleming to lunch at The Carlyle.

Saturday evening finds you unsuccessful in your attempt to mask your home’s lingering smell of chain-smoking with a devil-may-care spritz of Axe Personal Fragrance.

Sunday is the essence of an entire day stuck mid-afternoon, mid-May, with glorious, sunny, bright blue skies and your high-school history essay, due tomorrow, still unwritten.

A meltdown seems imminent during dinner when you remember how you gritted your teeth and stayed indoors, missing the nice day, to write the essay, then didn’t write the essay.

Yes, this is your life.

Yes, that caller with a private number is “Collections”.

Seven P.M. brings just over 90% probability of reliving the split with your ex as you change the Band-Aid on your heel.

Intermittent light sobs, followed by crying.

Our weather boy recommends a defiant, self-medicating swig of vodka to relieve or increase the pain, depending on who you need to manipulate.

The implacable cold front of technology is expected around dawn. Take extra care to place your smartphone in your back pants pocket, so when you sit down you can accidentally send your account director that text you drafted calling him a “sociopathic catamite”.

Something that retarded was bound to happen sooner or later.

Today, the sun will rise at 6:59 A.M.  When the first golden rays of sunlight spill into the room, you’ll feel a burst of inspiration.

But don’t worry:  You set the alarm for eight, and you’ll soon wake up.

 

 This has been
 Today’s Existential Forecast™ :


We face the world so you don’t have to!


First saw the light of day on April 6th, 2016.

Best of My Blog is my selection of the posts that I most enjoyed writing, and that I think represent my best work. YES, I’m fobbing you off.  

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From My Squalid Kitchen, Episode 4: Goofball with Tahini “mayonnaise”

 

Dealing with goofballs requires the

ability to mix tahini with water, garlic, something sour, like oneself, and some ” ‘erbs”, and maybe a bit of emotional intelligence.

NB.  In the video I say, ” ‘Vegan mayonnaise’ is a contradiction in terms because it uses eggs.”  By “it” I mean real mayonnaise uses eggs – this recipe does not use eggs and is completely vegan and so is the “humble” meal.

By “humble” I mean a meal by someone who is resentfully, angrily poor and would really rather be eating Chateaubriand for two, by himself, with maybe some Bananas Foster or Crepes Suzette for dessert before driving off, in his Lincoln Continental with opera windows, to the porn shop for some desperate and anonymous, yet public, video booth sex with a few strangers.  Just wanted you to be clear about the vegan-ness.  If it means so much to you, ask an actual vegan, OK? (@you.)

This is also the infamous “sniffing” episode, where, having been awakened via goofball, I find myself spontaneously creating an episode before realizing I’m very very sniffly. Once you’ve watched it countless times in rapt admiration, you’ll stop noticing the sniffs, just like Torontonians no longer notice the overhead streetcar cables, anyone named “Ford”, or the fact that we’re really not New York City because our only “culture” consists of stage musicals based on TV shows, and poutine, which is in fact from Quebec, but we think it makes us look awfully à la mode.

Oh yeah, and Alice Munro.

Alice Munro, one of the two or three greatest writers of fiction now living, is Canadian. She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013, and I imagine she must have an awards room, the way Imelda Marcos has a separate building for her shoes, so many has she received.  So you could say, without much fear of contradiction, that Alice Munro is no slouch in the writing department.

The other day I asked someone if he liked her stories, and he said, “Who’s Alice Munro?”

If this were Japan, Alice Munro would be like Mount Fuji, or the person who invented life-sized sex dolls.  She would be made a “Living Treasure” and would be revered “by young and old alike”.  We would all be proud of her because we would have read all her stories, and made stage plays out of them, and have Alice Munro T-shirts, and we would realize she caught a particularly Canadian angle on life that was as subtle as Chekov, also as funny.

On the day the Nobel Prize was announced, a national celebration would have occurred. Children would have been given the day out of school; working men and bankers and those down on their luck, and all of their wives, and their bosses, would have a holiday, too.  Munro would be the centerpiece of a grand parade, with her own float; little girls dressed in white would have thrown flowers at her as she passed by.

That evening, after the fireworks display, she reads her latest story, broadcast nation-wide.  The audience listens in enthralled silence; children are told, “You’ll remember this when you grow up!”  At the end of the story, even grandfathers wipe the tears from their eyes; women weep openly.  Then, a great roar of appreciation and hats in the air.  Our greatest living writer!

When she appeared in public in her kimono we would rush up to her giggling and prostrate ourselves, and she would laugh and say, “Who do you think you are? Arise!”, and when she passed on, which could be like, tomorrow, because she’s really old now, we would go into mourning nationally and cry uncontrollably and be given time off work to deal with the trauma.

But this is Toronto, where we have to say things like, “The Arts generate a lot of money! That’s why they’re important!”  in a really chirpy voice while everyone rolls their eyes then looks back at the latest stock prices.

So really the main thing to ignore about the sniffing is the hygienic implications.


FUN QUIZ:

When is an apology not an apology? 1. when it is made by a goofball. 2. when it starts, “I’m sorry for what I did but – you MADE ME!”

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
Simply purée your goofball with your Cuisinart Smart Stick – you’ll never regret it!

Geezerdämmerung

housewarming2.png

Sitting in my newly organized, tidied,

House-and-Gardened living room (see above), listening to Beethoven, the Sonata for Violin and Piano in F, Op. 24 (“Spring”).   I have that delicious convalescent feeling, frailty borne with a light spirit; I feel as though I’m transparent.

My thorny roommate equation, which had vexed until now both muggins here and an Air Canada Centre’s worth of exasperated friends and family, has been solved—unexpectedly, uniquely, obliquely, by my being presented, last-second, with a guy who I didn’t search for, who shares my values (which I will spontaneously formulate as: keep your sense of humor, try to be intelligent, help others less fortunate, be humble, and get high every so often, but not enough to eat into your savings or your soul) and who contributes.  Energy, money, ideas, support.

You shouldn’t have to labor at keeping the minutiae of life pinned down; your conviction that life is drudgery is a warning sign that your attention is misdirected. When things work, they are so utterly simple.

My new roomie has every reason to dance, and so do I.  But for now I’m just enjoying the predictable, blissful exhaustion and unpredictable, blissful Beethoven.

Speaking of Helen Keller, have you ever

tried to explain pluralistic democracy to an American?  I mean, recently?  Or a Canadian for that matter.  The cybersphere is currently overrun with overwrought geezers—or they may be paid lackeys of the international society of David-teasers, you never know—who are enduring the terrible burden of having to share their equality toys and the limelight with their newborn little bro’s—”the gays” and “the trannies”—and for me to point out that they are not enjoying the exercise would be an understatement at a level akin to the opinion voiced by the first visitor to the Grand Canyon, who took one look and muttered, “My, my, quite a slice.”

If these Libertarian geezers had their druthers they’d toss said little bro’s down the back staircase, cot, Bunnikins cup, security blanket and all, because—well.  You know.  What’s in it for them?  

Or, as one dolt said to me last night as I defended Justin Trudeau and “his” new bill barring hate speech directed towards trans persons, “I don’t get anything extra because I’m Caucasian, so why should they?”

And that’s when I shot myself.

Before I crawl into the stagnant pond of my lukewarm bath which was newly-drawn and hot about six hours ago, I’d like to ask you a question or two.  First, why do you think Constitutions, Bills of Rights, Charters of Rights and Freedoms and other such documents exist?

And another thing:  Would you make this sort of statement to a stranger online:  “You are proselytizing the politics of Sodom and Gomorrah, and as they were destroyed, so will you be.” ? (What could be next?  “I saw Biddy Roddis with the Devil!”?)

To respond to a person who is so self-righteous that he believes “being destroyed” is a fate reserved solely for his ideological enemies, just remind him: We’re all going to be destroyed, bub.

That’s our common fate as mankind— liberal, conservative, saint and sinner—which makes it all the more crucial that we make the most of our messy, inchoate and incomprehensible lives while we can.

And surely that might involve paying attention to something—anything—besides ourselves and our small pond we insist on believing is the ocean.

~

From My Squalid Kitchen, Episode 3

Kraft Dinner With Building Manager Garnish.  Yumm.

 

 

When you’re fighting eviction, the

simplest solution is to make a meal of your enemy.  It helps that we now have Google Translate, so we can curse them in their native tongue, in this case, Russian.

Dear Mr P:

May your blinis be always too thick!!

Пусть ваши блины всегда будут слишком толстыми  !!
Pust’ vashi bliny vsegda budut slishkom tolstymi  !!

May your wife smell of the gulag and your children have kasha for brains!!

Пусть твоя жена пахнет гулагом, а твои дети имеют кашу для мозгов!
 Pust’ tvoya zhena pakhnet gulagom, a tvoi deti imeyut kashu dlya mozgov!

May the sturgeon of your district be always barren and the oysters out of season!!

Пусть осетр вашего региона будет всегда бесплодным и устриц вне сезона!
Pust’ osetr vashego regiona budet vsegda besplodnym i ustrits vne sezona!

May you be anally penetrated by a thousand Vladimir Putin’s!!!

Я желаю, чтобы вы были проникнуты тысячами Владимиром Путиным!
YA zhelayu, chtoby vy byli proniknuty tysyachami Vladimirom Putinym!

Funnest. Fun. EVERRRRRRR.

The new slowpainful.com store is officially open. And the name says it all.

web-rez-SnatschnFooferMaster-alt

Bemused, then inspired by

the dubious epigrams, vapid pep-talks and wrong attributions found everywhere on the internet, I’ve shamelessly conjured up fake, fractured quotes and useless life tips then crammed them into the speech bubbles of the famous, infamous and just plain dead.

The result?  You rock the appearance of cutting-edge, while remaining as blissfully unenlightened as before!

This collection:  Saint or sacred cow? Whatever your take on Gandhi, you’ll delight in the absurdity of these never-in-a-million-years bon mots.

SPECIAL LAUNCH PROMOTION: 
Take 20% off the cost of all these tees, for a price of $25  $20 CAD  until July 16th only! Be the first to own one of these sure-to-be classics.

USE CODE JULY17 AT CHECKOUT for your 20% discount.

Three concepts:

 Concept 2 quote:  “I thought Ben Kingsley was OK in ‘Gandhi’.  But I really would have preferred Meryl Streep.”

 Concept 3 quote: “My number one ‘Dress for Success’ tip?  For riots, keep it simple and off-the-shoulder.”

About your Tee

This updated unisex essential, manufactured in the U.S. by Bella+Canvas, fits like a well-loved favorite, featuring a crew neck, short sleeves and designed with superior combed and ring-spun cotton. Sizes XS – XL.

Each concept is available in white, and in two additional colors chosen by me to match its design. Below are just a few examples.

 

 

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