Wednesday, October 08, 2003

During this latest move I looked at my clothes. My sad collection of Old Banana Republic Gap [the strange middle road that is the Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic consortium]. My lame attempts at costuming myself as a designer, writer, New Media Hack. Sad really. Saddest of all, my one suit, three jackets and fifty neck ties. They smell of saddness and sobriety. Only being trucked out for funerals and ...what else, I don't know.

I had to rent a tux about 4 years ago, and at the time, someone said "Get used to this...Corporate types love shindigs involving tuxedo's". I actually considered buying one. Well,long story short, dot-com bubble burst...companies don't have open bars anymore, I don't have to wear a tuxedo. I don't wear suits. I wish I did. I remember seeing footage of the Red Wings' first cup win in the 90's. People in the crowd looked like a trailer park had collided with a refugee camp. No grace at all. They compared this with footage from the 50's. Everyman wore a fedora or cap, jacket, tie - really a very respectable looking bunch. I am locked into a series of passing trends when really all I want to do is not bother. I am constantly getting rid of stuff and saying that I'm just buying t-shirts and jeans from now on. Then somehow a dress shirt sneaks back in, a tie is recieved as a gift, a nice pair of pants are on sale and whoops, I've slipped back into the clothing I hate. I don't know why I feel so self-conscious dressed up. I just do. It's not as though I were whipped as a child or made to wear a suit if I'd misbehaved. I just feel like a modern version of that poncey looking "little boy blue" - you know, that kid on the paint can.

Interestingly, I was reading how when Kodak had to sell it's new invention, film, first it had to sell the idea of photography. They had to invent the market for a product no one wanted. So they did. Photo albums, taking photos at weddings, birthdays all were popularized by Kodak. The same was true for Gilette and the safety razor. Men didn't shave everyday. Why would they? It was dangerous. Gilette first had to sell the idea that shaving everyday and being clean shaven were right and proper and every man should do it. So, why does a guy who never wears a tie, own so many, and is clean shaven everyday?

Well - I think a change is coming. A return to the man of yester year...a suit every day and a shave on Sundays. Sounds good. I think this idea will last about six minutes. Which is 5 minutes longer than having Aloo Gobi for Thanksgiving dinner.

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Monday, October 06, 2003

I spent last Friday night, most of Saturday and a good deal of Sunday digging up a poorly built flower bed, tearing off lattice, replacing said lattice with chicken & vermin wire, custom cut cedar lattice and the flower bed with about 200 lbs of gravel and patio pavers. All I can say is that I am glad that was a poorly built flower bed, if it were well made, I might still be there trying to rip it up. Now, I'm not saying I 'did the right thing' and crafted a porch screening of such quality that it shall never be removed. On the contrary, I am glad Dad (or worse Dave) wasn't around to comment on the proceedings. I cut corners...measured those corners, and then, cut them again. In fact, I have discovered that the beauty of cutting corners is that, really, you don't have to worry about it now...only later. Later, when the whole thing falls down because it was built on corners which had been cut, you can say "Well, that's what cutting corners gets you." I've realized that our society is built on cut corners (as is our electrical grid, apparently) and though Rome wasn't built on cut corners, I'm sure if it had occurred to a Roman engineer, he would have cut some corners pretty quick. You see, doing things right - with care - is really a very grey distinction. Oh sure, I could've have stopped once I discovered the rot in the porch and said - good golly, this whole porch has got to go. A stressful month and many thousands of dollars later, where would I be. Exhausted, impoverished and angry at the world. Yet, by ignoring the rotten beam, filling it in with a spacer, some glue and nails and just forgetting whatever I saw, I spent about a couple hundred bucks, was done in time for tea, and was filled with what realtors call "Pride of Ownership" (yes - P.O.O.) - Yes - after a weekend of digging, hoeing, sawing, cussing, nailing and screwing...I AM FULL OF P.O.O.! Thank God for Property!

You see, I am satisfied that to me, "cutting corners" would appear shameful to a journeyman carpenter, but to the previous owners, my version of 'cut corners' appears like an ancient Roman engineer. I can hear them now - "He used galvinized screws! Is he nuts? Those are 12 cents more - and I don't even know what 'galvinized' means? Why not use staples and string?" Oh and I can hear the artisan too. "Galvinized screws! You big Yuppy Girl's Blouse! Dowels and Shims, a drop of glue and dovetail joints only! - You lil' wuss!" And that is why I am full of P.O.O. - it is our house and if I want to to muck it up - I will. Then I will have a beer and survey my manse with my head held high. I almost spit out my Perrier when after I suggested that we remove the tub and just have a shower (it's a small bathroom) and Angela's mother said - "but you have to think about resale value - people like bathtubs". I was within a hair's breath of saying "To Hell with People! I live here - if I want a shower, I'll put one in" Besides, if you really want to improve the resale value, you hire a designer to make the place look like last month's Home and Garden, dab some vanilla extract on a lightbulb and Bob's your Uncle.

This weekend I want to just scream... Shout it from the mountaintops, I want the world to know that I couldn't give a tinker's cuss what anyone thinks! And as soon as I find out what a Tinker's Cuss is, I let them know that too.

All and all, work has been gettin' me down, and the only cure for that is liquor - liquor and yelling from mountain tops etc. and getting used to getting back to work is really bringing me down. Previously, I thought getting brought down, was something that only happened to Hippies in the presence of 'bad vibes' but now I see that it can happen to the best of us. Let's admit, we are "the Best of Us". I mean, we aren't out there, homeless, junkies, corrupt politicos, or other evil doers. That's not us. We really are the Best of Us. Being the Best of Us, means we deserve a little self-indulgent drinky time. So. Go to that movie, have a premium brand beer, eat a $20 steak cooked in a $10 pan, don't take your vitamins, and let others know who they are dealing with - We are "The Best of Us" and "It" has finally happened "Us".

Working Men in a funk - Unite - or do what you want. It's your funk after all, so you enjoy it!

sleepy at work,