Thursday, July 31, 2008

Next Month is Career Month

So, I have a pet project for next month. As many of you are no doubt sick of hearing me say (as I’m frankly way sick of saying myself), I have no idea what to do about my career. Do I move to another city, go back to school, or find some other winning job in the hidden job market. I do know that I don’t fancy working in a pet food store, (one just opened up right by my house), but maybe I’m just being too picky. I just feel a little too old at 28 to be working a minimum wage dead-end job again. Then again, I’ve met lots of people who are still stuck doing that at 38.

Anyway, I’m thinking that even if I do settle for minimum wage crap, they are nicer, cheaper places to live than here. And according to a reputable dating site, this is the least sexy city in North America, dating-wise. And from what I’ve witness, I’d say that sound about right. This city sucks the life right out of people. So things could only get better, or so one would imagine.

I do in fact have one job interview coming up. It’s more of an audition actually – for dinner theater. I don’t imagine it pays terribly well, but it actually sounds like fun. And I have a fair degree of theatrical experience, so I think my chances are good – again, particularly in this city.

So, for the next 31 days, I’m going to look at 31 potential careers. That way, even if I still don’t know what the hell to do with myself at the end of the month, at least I can say I tried, and hopefully, I’ll have learned a fair bit. You guys may learn a thing or two also.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Order of Operations

Throughout my life, I’ve been caging myself by this general sense that I need to progress through things in a linear fashion. And essentially, the way I see my life is this:

I want children, but to have children, I’ll need to provide for them, so I need a career. Also, it goes without saying that I’ll also need a woman, who I won’t be able to attract without my own place. I won’t be able to move out of my own place until I have a job.

Now, there are jobs I could probably get immediately, if I really cared enough, but these jobs are all minimum wage, dead-end jobs, which means they’re basically just a bandaid. This means that sooner or later I’ll have to face getting a real job anyway, or I’ll just wind up as one of those sad old guys that works as a cashier at S-Mart, has a combover, reeks of alcohol, and tries to invite people over to his sketchy little apartment to show them his stamps and bug collection. I’ll be that guy that you never want to babysit your kids, but isn’t qualified to do anything else.

Often when I go to these crappy-job interviews, I’m told I’m overqualified, and they ask me why I don’t find work in my field. The truth is, that’s an excellent question.

Ottawa one of the biggest cities in Canada, sad as that is, but there isn’t a whole lot going on here in my field. It’s all government and high-tech work, and while in theory, the government is running its post-graduate recruitment program, and I’m applying for all kinds of positions, I’m not seeing any results. And at this point, I don’t expect to see any, and I’m not sure I really care anyway.

So, back to the true spirit of the “order of operations,” if I really want to work in my field, I have to go where the work is. The best work is in L.A. Another country entirely. And in L.A. you have to drive. So if I want to find work in L.A., I’ll need to get my license. It’s a real deal-breaker in the industry not to have one.

So for years now I’ve been telling myself I have to get it. And you know what stupid-ass reason was stopping me? I thought, “what if I flunk the eye test?” So I figured if I were to get my license, I’d need glasses. Anyway, it turns out my vision really is good enough for driving, and that my glasses don’t improve my vision by enough to warrant the $450 bucks I’m out for them now. But at least I got that step out of the way.

So today, finally, I decided that damn it, I’m getting my G1 today. But now it seems I can’t find my passport, which I need. So if I want to find it, I have to tidy my room. Ugh. And maybe throw a bunch of things away.

Also, if I’m to move to another country to work, I’m going to need a work visa, and I won’t lie to you, I haven’t the slightest clue how to go about getting one.

Among other things, in my room I’ve found nearly a dozen bank statements, (I’ve really gotta cancel those), a Rubik’s cube, (which I bought two years ago and still haven’t solved), and three condoms, which expire in 2010. If those expire before I have a chance to use them, I’m going to be very depressed.

Still no sign of my passport, which I stupidly did not put in its usual place. On the plus side, my desk looks a lot nicer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dater’s Block

It’s like writer’s block, but for dating. I’m at a point where I don’t know what to say to Pagan Girl to move things along. We’ve been playing tag on MSN, but missing one another, though neither of us necessarily has a message.

It’s odd when I think about it – the notion that one might need an excuse to talk to someone. Things were going so well when we were writing one another via e-mail, (some of the e-mails were huge), but now that we moved to messenger, the whole flow seems to have been stalled. So I haven’t really spoken to her since Thursday. I would like to talk to her more, but I just can’t think of anything to say.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Start as You Mean to Go On

So, I admit that I’ve been very lax in my writing of late, but I made excellent progress today on that “epic fantasy novel” I keep talking about, but that I never actually write. Here’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been outlining. Now I’ve got 25 pages of simple plot events spanning the various short stories that make up the epic. A number of my writer friends warn me of the dangers of this – that you may tire of your story before it is written, but for me it really does work. I’ve completed more projects with this method than by simply writing start to finish without a plan. It just takes a lot longer. It can take me a year to perfect an outline for a 2-hour movie script, but then I’ll write the whole thing comfortably in 7 days, because I can’t get writer’s block. They whole story is not only already written in my head, but mapped out in a chart in front of me. It’s a shame to write for fifty pages and realize you don’t know where the story is going. And the last thing I wanna do is pull a deus ex machina Stephen King ending! Sorry, buddy. You’re an awesome writer, but you write yourself into corners, and then your endings leave much to be desired.

And then I thought of an old expression. “Start as you mean to go on.” Essentially, this means you set the tone now for what you want to be doing in your future. So I’m giving myself a new goal. I’m no longer going to require myself to write a certain number of pages, but rather, make a certain amount of progress in my main project. On every weekday, I either write one scene, or walkthrough one complete story outline. Either way, I’m looking at 2-4 pages of writing. That is stupidly easy, and a decent pace to expect of myself if I want to make a career out of this.

Ten years ago, I finished high school, at which point I was worth minimum wage. Now, a degree and a certificate later, I’m worth minimum wage. If I set no pace, ten years from now, I’ll be 38, and I’ll be worth minimum wage. If minimum wage were enough to raise a family on, I’d be fine with it, but it’s not. My mother just called be and told me my the old warehouse is looking for seasonal staff again. And I don’t know what to do, because I need to make money somehow, but there, I really make so little, and frankly, I also hate it there.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Date with Tattoo Girl

Whoops, looks like I let a couple of days slide again, without writing. *Slaps his hand.* “Bad Mal! Bad blogger! Heel!”


Er, anyway, when you last heard from me, I was swooning over the two potentials I met over lavalife, and the impending date on Friday.

I arranged to meet Tattoo in a coffee shop, even though I don’t really like coffee. She showed a little late, but not by much, so not to worry, and she got her coffee, and we were off.

So, as we walked, she asked me if she was what I was expecting. To be quite honest, she was perhaps a bit heavier than I was expecting, but it’s not like she lied about it. Not like another date of mine who shall remain nameless. And none of her tattoos were visible either, not that that’s necessarily a disappointment either. I just figured if she had six of them that I’d at least spot one right away. Now, I know how defensive women can be when it comes to their weight, so I just said nothing about it, and said I recognized her face from her profile pic, so practically speaking, her profile picture fulfilled its function. Her confidence seemed to waiver throughout the night too. I got the feeling she was either nervous, or that she wasn’t having a good time, because on the walk to the sushi place, she kept asking if I was sure I wanted to go. Of course I wanted to go! Why would I not want to have sushi with a cute girl?

When we got there, we got a private little booth downstairs that she reserved. I was quite impressed that she’d put together such great arrangements on such short notice. (Apparently she had a fight with the waitress at the other place we were planning on going to the night before. This is perhaps a warning sign I should have heeded.)

So we had our meal, and talked about religion, of all things, where we really didn’t see eye to eye, but things didn’t get nasty. Oh, and I though this was a little strange – Ema, you’ll think so too, because you know the guy she started talking about. Here’s the stream of conversation: I asked if she watched Lost, and she replied that she didn’t, but was familiar with the geeky figurines they made. I commented that they sold them where I used to work, and after a bit of clarification, she said she didn’t like the manager, and thought he was strange, because get this – he was talking about her behind her back. Yes, Ema, I’m talking about our blond-haired friend and your old boss at the downtown store, whom we frequently see at our games night.

Anyway, needless to say, that was a backfired namedrop.

Then she pulls out a fetish magazine and starts pointing things out to me. Have I got your attention now? Because she certainly had mine. With some of the images, I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at, but that didn’t concern me so much as why she was showing it to me.

“Why are you showing me this?”

“Shh…” she hushed. In fact, on several occasions she hushed me for being too loud, and that people were listening to us, which is possible I suppose, but honestly, I doubted it. Because we weren’t really terribly interesting, and most people are arrogant and preoccupied with their own conversations to eavesdrop on another’s.

Anyway, I wouldn’t say the date was a huge success, but I’d say I learned what I needed to. She’s very nice, but I’m not particularly interested. I got the distinct impression she wasn’t either, but again, maybe she was just nervous. And actually, I feel good about this, because it’ll give me a clearer mind for when I meet with Pagan Girl, whom I have way more in common with anyway. You know, apart from the whole Pagan thing.

Aside from that, the week-end was pretty uneventful. To give you an idea of just how uneventful, on Saturday, I went to Merrickville, where I had geriatric lunch with a whole bunch of family, including mom, dad, grandma Depressia, auntie Flo, and my great aunt and uncle from Tel Aviv. I ate deer meat, and afterwards, we wondered around various mind-numbingly boring knickknack shops, and of all things, a mustard shop. I mean, are you serious? A mustard shop? Old people!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tattoo Girl

As I was telling you yesterday, I’m corresponding with two girls on lavalife right now. Both of whom seem very promising. So much so, that I worry I’m going to have to choose one. Usually, this isn’t an issue, because, well, I don’t get a lot of attention, and usually when I get a crush on girl, I sort of tune everything else out for a bit. The first girl you know, Pagan Girl, who I might also jokingly refer to as “Cheddar.” But only she would find that funny. Well, you might, but for a different reason.

The second girl, we’ll call Tattoo Girl, because she has six tattoos. She sent me a smile a little while after I started messaging Pagan Girl, and I could resist because the timing was really quite good. She sent me a smile when I was actually thinking of sending her one. What are the odds?

So we started messaging each other right away, and last night, we talked on the phone for an hour and a half. We kept trying to say goodbye, but couldn’t. She’s very energetic, and she laughs a lot, and damn does she ever have a cute voice. So we talk until the cows came home, and tonight, I have a date with her. I try not to get too worked up about things like this, since my track record is rather poor, but I’m very excited to meet her tonight.

Here’s what I know about Tattoo Girl so far. She’s has a Jewish heritage, which would make her the first fellow Jew I ever go on a date with. My mom would be probably be proud, if she knew. And she might know actually, because now she’s among the readers here. But she doesn’t read everything. Or so I hope.

She’s a social worker who works with the homeless and natives, and she’s a vegetarian. She studies yoga and kickboxing, and she likes the same kinds of movies I do. And like me, she loves sushi, so tonight, that’s what we’re doing. Or eating, rather. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make myself look pretty.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pagan Girl

So here’s irony for you, the very same day I put out a rant on how much I hate lavalife, I connect with not one, but two really compatible, expressive, and interesting women, who are both interested in me. How do I know they’re interested? Because they actually said so. But let me tell you a bit about them both.

The first one, we’ll call Pagan Girl, because, as you might have inferred, she’s practices Paganism. We’ve been writing back and forth for almost a week now, and it seems we have many, many things in common, including the fact we’re both writers, we love the same movies and TV shows, our families both live her because of the government, and we have our birthdays right around Christmas time, we are both fixated on what happens when we dream. It was yesterday that she laid out her religion for me, and thus we established our first major difference.

I was very nice about it though. (Don’t worry, I’m not stupid, and I’m not just going to go shooting down some woman’s beliefs, particularly if I like her. And I do, very much. This is the first woman I’ve met (though not yet in person) that, if things don’t work out romantically, I swear I want to become friends with her. She says the same, but I suppose only time will tell.)

It turns out she became Pagan because it offered answers to strange dreams she’d been having, where she was visited by ghosts. She had the same dreams many times, but didn’t realize who the ghosts were until her mother showed her photographs of some dead relatives, including her rather abusive grandfather. It turns out the message her grandfather was trying to pass on to his granddaughter, Pagan Girl, was that he was sorry for all the pain he caused them, so he could clear his conscience and move onto the next world.

Of course, as a skeptic, I have a ration explanation for all this, but that’s not what I responded with. I followed suit with what we had in common, for I realize I keep having strange dreams such as these, too. Where as her messages are usually straightforward, mine are usually more cryptic, and I have to decode them when I’m awake – I mean literally decode like finding anagrams and metaphor my brain cleverly sets up for me. I swear I think my brain is making fun of me sometimes.

Anyway, this girl is very sweet, fun to talk to, and she’s actually quite cute. In fact, for the first time, she’s just started messaging me via msn, so I’m gonna beg off and have a realtime chat with her. I’ll tell y’all about the other girl, whom I actually have a date with Friday, later.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My New Dentist

I don’t actually have a lot of time to blog today, because believe it or not, I’ve actually been sort of busy all day. Sort of. I did spend part of it here at my computer, e-mailing various people.

I went to the dentist this morning, a new one, you know, one who isn’t trying to charge me money for nothing. Anyway, she, and he, (there were two of them. There’s always a master and an apprentice, right?) Anyway, they were both quite nice, and didn’t complain anywhere nearly as much as the old one. I know I’m not alone here – many of you have probably been to the dentist and had them scold you for not doing a good enough job flossing, you know, as if you just ruined their day. How about “I’m paying you guys $200 for this half-hour visit, so shut the hell up!” Anyway, I’m quite happy with the new office. The female cleaner told me why my bottom front four are always the hardest to clean, and the one real problem area in my mouth. She explained that is the center of where I produce saliva, and it can often sit at the base of your mouth while you’re idle or while you sleep. So I says to her, I says, “kinda like downtown Vancouver.” She thought that was terribly funny.

So, I’m off to have dinner with a whole bunch of geriatric relatives from Israel. I’ve got more news, but I’ll have to share that with y’all later.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lavalife, Where It Seems to Literally Rain Men

I have just about had my fill with lavalife. I’ve been using it for a year and a half, and it’s consistently been letting me down, and I have a fairly clear idea why, too.

It’s not that the design is bad, and I get the distinct impression this problem isn’t limited to lavalife. This seems to be a problem with any dating site I test out. It turns out lavalife is simply the cheapest as least annoying.

The problem is, there are two males for every female on the site, and it seems to affect behavior in the following ways.

Females, when faced with the overabundance of males, become ornery, and just generally disenfranchised with the idea of actually meeting all of these men, most of whom are the most obnoxious and aggressive of the available men. For women, it’s like being in a kid in a candy store, or a pet store, in that they have their pick of the litter, and it’s a really big litter. And they’re pooping everywhere, as they all bat their eyes cutely at the girls. Or to get back to the candy store analogy, it’s like being a little girl in a candy store, except the candy is being thrown at you. And they don’t give you eye protection. (And this isn’t just metaphorical either. I’ve read profiles by women pleading men not to send them pictures of their penises. I mean, really guys? Your penises? Where the hell is your shame? Oh, that’s right. Shame seems to be a disadvantage these days.)

And I suppose this overspills into how it affects men on the site. Men who really want to get any attention at all, will hyperspam any woman at all, regardless of how sketchy or incomplete their profile might be. How do I know this, you might ask? Because, after hearing some of my female friends complain about the men, I simply had to try it myself. So yes, I did in fact create a female profile for scientific purposes. That is all, I swear.

So I open up two profiles in tandem, and see how they do. The female profile, which is basically described as a female version of me, with my height, body type, and a really sketchy description, and that’s it. In one day, the female profile got roughly 30 instant messages in the dating section, roughly 10 in the relationship section and a little over 100 in the intimate encounters section. My male account doesn’t get shit! I have to fight to talk to anybody on the site, and of course, I have to pay a premium for every woman I decide to talk to, and there’s no guarantee she’ll bother to message back, even if it was she that smiled at me! Some guy actually sent the female account an entire erotic story that he wrote! I don’t know if that’s creepy or brilliant, but either way, how am I supposed to compete with that?

Recently, a girl sent me a message via facebook saying she recognized me from lavalife. I called her Movie Girl, remember her? Well, she told me that she had to pay a membership on this site, which sounded weird to me. As long as I’ve used the site, as far as I could tell, it’s been the males who’ve had to pay. Well guess what? The people at lavalife figured that out, so now they charge men credits, and they charge women, just for the benefits men get for free! What the fuck is with that? I think it’s completely idiotic. Actually, no, I think it’s brilliant, because they’ve found a way to get both men and women to pay, and as it turns out, women are actually paying more! Movie Girl paid more for 3 months than I’ve paid for 1½ years!

But that’s probably neither here nor there. My big question of the day is, where the heck are all the women? It’s not just because I’m being picky and I don’t like the women I see. I see lots of women I like, you know, dating site, or in real life – but the problem with real life is that most of them have boyfriends. On dating sites, the theory is that they’re all single. But why are there half as many?

I’m pretty confident stats Canada hasn’t been lying to us in saying the population is roughly 50.5% female. I mean, it’s pretty much like that the world over, right? So where are they? Where are the single women? It is impossible for there to be more women in relationships than men…

Or is it? So I get to thinking maybe there are lots of men out there with two girlfriends. I don’t know. It seems far fetched, but I suppose it’s possible. Some of my female friends have found this was happening to them. But I wouldn’t say it’s the norm. So I ask again, where are they? Are they afraid? Are the adds mainly geared towards men? What’s going on?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sorry About My Truancy Everyone!

Welcome back, readers, if there are, in fact, any of you left. I know I’ve been very bad of late. It looks like I’ve not updated in 3 weeks, (although for those of you who are interested, I’ve been keeping up my Film Review Blog. I’m going to try, from now on, to get out to the movies more, and watch more DVDs, and then write reviews of them – but I know that most of you have a lot more fun reading about me ranting or embarrassing myself, not just talking about movies, so here goes.)

Part of why I haven’t bothered to update is, that I really don’t have much to report. It’s sort of a slow summer. I know that’s a sorry excuse, and that a true writer can write about anything, not just his own life, egocentric and fulfilling as that may be.

So, just to wrap up the episode with Makeup Girl, I sent her an apology through facebook, shortly after my last post. I can be sure she got it, because now I see I’m on her block list. (And who can blame her, really?)

I was reminded of this the other day when my sister asked about it over dinner. She was still curious about the mysterious angry girl that left the comment on my last post, and then I realized all at once exactly who it was. It was you, Makeup Girl, wasn’t it?

Your “friend” lives with her boyfriend, who is stunning, and whom she getting married to. Your “friend” seems to have a lot of information about your life, and in fact, mine, and your “friend” seems to have taken this all very personally, wouldn’t you agree? What I don’t understand is why you would bother pretending to be your own friend. I mean, is that supposed to make you sound more credible? Because in case you hadn’t noticed, it doesn’t.

What else… I got glasses finally! I’m pretty happy with them. On Friday, I went to see an optometrist to get a full exam. I told him I hadn’t been to see one in perhaps fifteen years.

The doc says it’s a very weak prescription, as I’m only off by one dioptre in each eye. He claims I shouldn’t have any trouble getting a license without glasses. In fact, I know this because I’ve done it before, but really, I personally would feel a lot safer if I had the best vision I possibly could. My myopic vision is fine when I’m on foot, but when I’m behind the wheel of a vehicle that could turn an unsuspecting pedestrian into pancake at 80 km/h. and I have to see 150 kilometers ahead of me, I’d like to have the decency to be able to see potential dangers, or at the very least, the priceless look on their terrified faces.

And finally, as for what to do with my directionless life, well, I still don’t know, but I do have a plan to come up with a plan. I’ve recently discovered a plethora of resources for all sorts of job fields I never even would have thought of, and I’m thinking of putting together a series of posts about each one. I could probably fill an entire month with a career track per day, and the best part is, at the end of the month, I may have a better idea of where I want to go, career wise. And so may you! (Yes, you, my directionless reader friends, you know who you are. And so do I. Haw!)

Hmm… I guess I can think of things to say. Glad I thought of that. Anyway, I look forward to posting more again, and catching up with your own blogs too. (For those of you that have them.)