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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Charles A. Mackenzie's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, October 10th, 2010
8:21 pm
The Test

You Scored as Bondage

(((Note: This quiz doesn't cover all aspects of BDSM simply because of the length that would the quiz would have to be in order to be fully comprehensive. I've kept it sexually based because the psychological profiles of kink can vary and the reasons behind such practices are different for couples/individuals. This section on bondage is focused on the act of binding and not necessarily whether it is given or received those things really fall under domination or submission in my personal opinion.))) The act of being bound or binding someone is what gets you going. It could be the desire for control or the lack thereof. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to explore this in that most adult stores offer plenty of tools for this fetish. As far as fetishes go this one tends to be one of the more popular.

Exhibitionist / Voyeur
Degradation Lover
Monday, May 24th, 2010
3:39 pm
Abandonment Anxiety
As far back as I remember, I have had some fear of being abandoned. I noticed this fear seems to go hand in hand with the fear of people getting too close to me. When I was in my twenties, I dismissed this fear as an occupational hazard of human existence. Humans (actually primates in general) being a tribal species, such a fear is, to an extent, natural. On the other hand, I knew deep down that my abandonment fear was more acute than I was willing to admit; it became a shameful secret for me.

There are some factors that may well have contributed to this fear. When I was a child, I was polite and likable but socially awkward. This left me open to being bullied. There were also
several incidents of emotional and sexual abuse (a subject for another discussion). I was something of a misfit. There were a number of times when I was rejected and sometimes cast out of social circles. That said, I always did have a few friends. Later, I would romanticise my role of loner/odd man out. I don’t feel my parents ever abandoned me even if there were a few times when it felt like I was thrown to the wolves but that’s another story.

There have been a number of events over the past eleven years that have amplified my abandonment fears threefold. Some of what happened was my fault. They are too long to go into here but they had to do with roommate situations, having to move a number of times, job loss, friends and relatives not seeming to be available and financial woes (i.e. debt). The last one triggered a nervous breakdown. This put a considerable strain on my roommate at the time and alienated her from me.

At times I even wondered if I had some "borderline personality disorder". After some thought, I realised I do not. There there are factors that bear this out. First, I have a pretty strong sense of myself. In fact, I can be an egotistical bastard. Second, I do get concerned about how my actions affect others. And thirdly, I am not afraid to be alone.

In fact, I enjoy and need a certain amount of solitude. It is when I feel alone in a crowd that I have difficulty. The main problem with spending too much time alone is that one's psyches eats in of itself.

It appears that my fear of abandonment has become a full blown phobia and it has put a bit of a damper on my social life. It has gotten to the point where picking up the phone to call a friend has become difficult. I worry that I am going to tongue-tied and/or make an ass of myself. There have a been a some times when I was in a crisis and I asked for help in rather inappropriate ways (of which are too embarrassing to recount here). Sometimes it got to the point where my "being abandoned" would become self-fulfilling prophecy.

I mentioned earlier my fear of people getting too close to me. The first part is the fear of being hurt again. I am aware that any social interaction and intimacy naturally carries that risk. The second part is the possibility that person will leave me because s/he has "gotten wise to me" or that I'm too "needy".

I have caught myself abandoning people before before they can abandon me or just shutting them out emotionally. In doing so, I have hurt some terrific people that I have grown very fond of. This is the point where it has to stop.

To those of you who know me who have been hurt in this regard, please accept my apologies.
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
7:31 am
My Adventure in Day Surgery and the Aftermath, er, Day After
Monday: A nurse phoned me to gather preliminary information give and give instructions as per the surgery the next day. I couldn't eat anything after midnight except clear fluids and nothing after nine. This meant I could enjoy my morning coffee as usual as my surgery was scheduled 12:45. Sweet. Luckily, I drink my coffee black.

Tiwsday: I left at eleven and took the 99 bus to UBC Hospital and arrived at noon, forty-five minutes early. It was agreed that riding my bicycle there would not have been a good idea. I was nervous, but not a wreck. It was normal nervousness that one experiences prior to such a procedure. I abated it by flirting with the very charming admitting clerk who checked me in and secured my valuables.

Truth to tell, I was more anxious about how I was going to pay next month's rent and meet other expenses as it was necessary to take at least a week off to recover. Ever since I was laid off last last year, I have been relying on temp work at various warehouses and casual labour with my former employer as well as financial assistance from my family. In short, my finances were already precarious. Given my concerns, it was arranged for me to speak to a social worker at the hospital.

The talk I had with the social worker was tense but it brought to me some clarity to my situation. He recognised that I was somewhere between a rock and a hard place and he had the good manners not to ridicule my fear. We came to the conclusion turning to Social Services was not really an option for me as I could not bear the loss of privacy and I have a deep seated and rather nasty phobia around bureaucracy. Also I somewhat got the impression that I would be disqualified from social assistance as I am not a drug addict or an alcoholic and my mental health issues are not conspicuous but too is another story. End of tangent.

The meeting with the social worker delayed my surgery a bit and I sensed that the nurse assigned to prepare me (i.e. installing the I.V. etc.) was getting impatient. I was having difficulty removing my nipple rings as per required prior to the surgery. After a while, a nurse settled on putting tape on my nipples (surgical pasties?). At least I didn't have to worry about putting them back in again.

I had some anxiety about the anaesthetic as my experience has been when they were administered by my dentist, I felt off-kilter for a week. To my relief the anaesthetist told me that a local anaesthetic would used. I was informed that the recovery time would be relatively quick due to my being in pretty good physical shape (despite being about a stone overweight).

The surgery itself went without incident and took about twenty-five minutes. As I was resting in the recovery room, I met someone with whom I worked at Vancouver General Hospital some years ago. We didn't know each other that well but was nice to a familiar face. When I was deemed fit to leave, a nurse phoned my "responsible adult" friend as arranged to come and get me and drive me home. He too was co-worker at VGH. As we left, I thanked some of the stuff for the kindness and courtesy they had shown me.

Odhinsday: The next morning, the anaesthetic had worn off and I was a bit sore as expected. The transitions of getting out bed to standing up, sitting down and otherwise changing positions were somewhat painful but not excruciating. This forced me to take things easy and exercise good posture. It also gave me an opportunity to practice mindfulness. As it turned out, I did not need the Tylonol 3s after all.

I decided not to worry about how i was going to pay next months' rent as it was something I couldn't do anything about at the time. One thing I could do was to take a walk to keep myself from going stir crazy.

Thorsday and Freyasday: The pain in that area was gradually becoming less but my instincts told me not to push my luck. Beyond recreational pain, I believe pain has a purpose. I was using that pain to guide me as to how far to exert myself. I very much wanted this hernia to heal properly.

It was quite a novelty for me not keep having to push my hernia back in. I looked in the mirror to inspect the surgeon's handiwork. It was also nice that I have a symmetrical belly button. I saw some swelling but Inferred that to be my body's way of healing itself after the surgery. I have always had faith in my body's recuperative powers.

Satursday: I got on my bicycle and rode around the block. There was no ill effect so I rode my bike farther and then I started to feel human again.

A Week Later: I am now healing quite nicely. There were some moments when I wondered if it worth having the surgery at this time was worth it, given my currant finances. In the end, I'm glad I did as having this repaired does make me feel more whole.
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
8:57 pm
My Upcoming Adventure in Day Surgery
On Tuesday, April 20th, I am going to UBC Hospital for day surgery to care of an umbilical hernia. This is something that has given my belly button the appearance of not being able to make up it's mind whether to be an "innie" or an "outie". The state of my belly button first came to my attention about seven years ago. It was one day last summer that I was in such acute pain that I went to my physician. He examined it and referred me to a surgeon.

I am a little nervous as this is the first surgery I've since 1962. I am aware this is a relatively minor procedure. The prospect of a surgical scar does not particularly bother me. It beats having an ugly looking navel. However, one aspect that does put me ill at ease is that I am required to remove all piercings, i.e. my nipple rings (12 gauge). For me, there is just something inherently unnatural about not having metal rings going through my nipples. Mind, I'm reasonably sure that can be remedied with relative ease.

Now all that is left to do is arrange among my circle of friends a "responsible adult" to give me a ride home (or at least escort me home) after the procedure.

As I said before, I am a little nervous about this. As such, I would appreciate anyone out there in LiveJournalland lighting some candles to the gods on my behalf.

Current Mood: nervous
Saturday, April 25th, 2009
11:21 am
My New Computer
Two weeks ago, I purchased a new computer. I have been meaning to get a new for some time. My Hewlett-Packard Pavilion (a hand-me-down from my brother-in-law) has served me well over the years and is still quite serviceable. However, I need something more up to date. Also, over the past six months, I spent more than the cost of a new computer on getting this one devirused. Among other things, this suggested it is time to get a new one. Later, later I want to get a printer and a new spellcheck (in the form of an OED).

I went to Atic Computers, which has a very good reputation and is in my neighbourhood. Since computers are not bicycles and as such much about them is unknown magicks to me. The tower itself cost about $340, along with the latest version of Windows Vista (as per the recommendation of some friends who know more about computers than I) and Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student. And yes, I know that Microsoft is the to computer software what Shimano is to bicycle parts.

However, when I got it home and tried to set up, I felt as if I had to learn a new language. I found the stuff of Windows Vista to be a rather overwhelming for me. When I tried to go online, I found myself going around in circles. At this point, I went back to my trusty H-P Pavilion and resigned to that I can't do this alone. I will need to ask someone to come over and help me set it up properly. I cannot do it over the phone as that is too anxiety triggering for me.

Current Mood: bewildered
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
5:25 pm
I really don't like moving
Last October, I had to move again. My landlady wants to sell her house and has given notice in August that she required that her tenants move out by November 1. I liked it there. I have felt safe there. The place was exactly what I needed at the time. At the same time, one drawback to this place is the location (57th & Fraser). While it is convenient for work (less than a half hour bike ride), I have felt isolated and I became more reclusive than is healthy. This is partially due recent events as described previous entries. About a month before, the temper tantrums in my head ran their course (i.e. "NO! I don't wanna move!" "It's not fair!" "I'm not ready to move yet!" "The housing market is scary!" "Why won't the gods let up on the curveballs they've been throwing at me?" and so forth). Last year when I had to look for a place to live, it was a bit of a nightmare for me. This is perhaps why I took so long to get started in looking for place to live. It also doesn't help that the business of looking for place to and moving opens up an emotional Pandora's Box in me.

Although I do not have the same attachment to this place as I did to 1958 Venables, it was hard to leave there. Then again, moving has always been hard for me. Also, I did not want repeat of the year before. This time around, I am a little more clear headed about the situation and I do not want a repeat of last year. I was settling into my new job and now in a position to rebuild my finances. As such, I would have liked to have waited until Spring to move but there we are. I have decided to seek another room in stead of spending $600 to $800 on an apartment. One day, when I have improved my fortunes, I would like to move into a place that is big enough for me to enjoy my stereo, my record collection, my books, both of my bicycles and to entertain my friends properly.

After the start of this writing, I did find a place. When I first looked at it, I wasn't particularly impressed. It was OK, but seemed a bit of dump to me. However, after a few days reflection (and at the advice of my father), I decided to take the place. I asked myself if I would take this place if I desperate (yes). Having to out by the of the month qualified somewhat as semi-desperate. Also, I didn't have much time and I did not have the energy to go through the whole business of looking for a place to live. So I took it and started moving my stuff in mid October to reduce the stress of moving.

This place is not as pleasant as the last place but it is adequate for my needs at present. One thing it has going for it is location (11th Avenue between Main and Fraser), that is to say more central. I am now closer to Downtown and to some of my friends. Now Just have to work up the nerve to call them but that too is another story.

Also, Did I mention that I really hate moving?
Sunday, October 5th, 2008
5:25 am
Dealing with certain sounds in the workplace
In the past two years, I have been working in a few warehouses and for the most part, I have been able to adapt to most of the conditions and sounds of such workplaces. However, there is one sound that I am subjected to that I have difficulty in reconciling with, that being the sound of "Classic Rock" radio. One station in particular, Rock 101 plays nothing but Rock hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Hearing it makes me think of people 35 or older who won't listen to anything other than what they were listening to when they were 'teenagers. I find this to be very sad as it suggests to me that these people have given up.

What I find grating on me is that these songs sound like tired old cliches to me. Sure there was some great music from those times. As Leonard Cohen once said, "Every generation produces its' fine wine". I will even concede that The Stones, The Beatles, The Doors and other bands wrote some fine songs and made some fine records. And I still like that Steven Stills song "For What It's Worth" even if I prefer the Staples Singers version. With that said, whatever impact this music had has been worn out and reduced to prepackaged nostalgia.

Sometimes, I feel like I could lose it if I have endure one more time "Whole Lotta Love" with Robert Plant's orgasmic histrionics or Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (the Rock equivalent of "Eensy Weensy Polka Dot Bikini"). I can't help but wonder, are there really people who still care about Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Rush, Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Boston, Grand Funk Railroad et al? It also seems that the repertoire of these stations seems to get smaller. I imagine that it could fit onto two CDs with some room left over.

The disc jockeys are also annoying. Sometimes they remind me of the jocks in high school that tormented me then. However, What I find galling is that they make a pretense of being "bad ass" while playing it safe in the records they spin.

I should state here that I have a particular dislike of oldies stations be they "Classic Rock" or "Soft Favourites" or whatever. These stations are the bane of the airwaves. Being subjected to them makes me feel like I'm trapped somebody else's time loop (actually, a manufactured time loop). Perhaps it is also as I get older, I am less prone to nostalgia.

Despite that my taste in music has changed and broadened and that I am in my fifties, I still love Rock and Roll. I am tempted to wish these stations would play what I know to be great Rock and Roll classics such as "Rumble" by Link Wray, "Say Man" by Bo Diddley, "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen, "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "Search and Destroy" by The Stooges, "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic, "Frenzy" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins or "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns" by The Cramps. And it would be neat to hear on the radio such performers as New York Dolls, Dick Dale, Hasil Atkins, The Damned, The Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys, Nina Hagen, The Meteors, The Guana Bats, (Johnny Thunders &) The Heartbreakers, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, The Stranglers, Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Iggy Pop, The Fuzztones, The Pogues, Andre Williams, The 5 6 7 8s, The Reverburators and The Deadcats as well as Screamin' Jay Hawkins and The Cramps. However, I know full well that radio stations would find a way commodifying and cheapening this music. Also, I suppose they would have potential problems with their broadcast licenses if they played such songs as "Bite It", "Constipation Blues", "Can Your Pussy Do The Dog", "Let's Get Fucked Up" or "Bend Over I'll Drive"

Rock and Roll is meant to be dangerous and subversive. Rock and Roll is supposed to a threat to social order. By its' nature, it thumbs its' nose at(and sometimes moons) and gets under the craw of authority. It should evoke Dionysus and/or Loki. If it doesn't do these things, it ain't Rock and Roll. It's just Rock music.

On another note, in the warehouse where I work, there are those of us who, when we get fed up with this oldies crap, or when no one is looking, we just switch the radio over to CBC2.

Current Mood: mischievous
Saturday, September 6th, 2008
3:29 pm
My Time at DBC Part Four: "Aftermath and After thoughts"
On my last day of working at DBC, someone told me my co-worker went to management and complained about me almost every day. I suppose one possibility is that they didn't renew my contract just to shut him up.

My personal agenda in working there was to learn to do something well and from that rebuild my self-confidence. I learned early on that it would not be that simple a matter. Obviously, this was not the place to do it. The level of social dysfunction at that place made damned near impossible to fill said agenda.

Needless to say, I was pissed off at my co-worker, but I was angrier at myself for letting him bully me. My energy is too precious to waste on him. I can only pity him. I hope he's happy now that he has little kingdom back.

I was not altogether blameless in this matter. I did not speak up when I perhaps should have. Instead, I let myself get paralyzed by the various triggers that my co-worker pushed in me. On the other hand, an instinct in told me not to engage and participate in his harassment of me.

I wasn't the only one there who had problems with this guy. When he was working in shipping and receiving, he would get in the faces of the other people that worked there. Also, many of the rest of the staff at DBC were sympathetic to me. They expressed a distaste for way he treated me. They too didn't like the way he got in their faces.

I could speculate as to why he treated me the way he did. Perhaps he resented that management was more interested in my ideas than his. Maybe there was something about my personality and/or eccentricities that really rubbed him the wrong way. There is the possibility that he felt threatened by me. The most likely reason that he bullied me was that he could. Whatever. At this this point, I don't particularly care.

As with the rest of my climb out of the Stygian depths, it has been three steps forward, two steps back. I've learned more of what I am capable of and what sI need to work on. To be fair, when my co-worker wasn't sniping at me, he did give some constructive criticism that I found helpful. That said, I'm glad to out that place.

After my last day at DBC, I took a few days off as my ordeal there left me exhausted and depressed. It was I could afford but I needed those few days to rest and regroup as it were. Then I went back to LabourLink and they got me some temp work at various warehouses and such. This has saved me from the terrifying prospect of applying for EI.

In March or April, I was sent to Heritage Office Furnishings at the south end of Granville. where I have been ever since. In mid August, I was put on their payroll. As workplaces go, Heritage has its' share of headaches. However, I noticed that the staff seem to be willing to help each other and I seem to be well liked there.

This entry has been one of the most difficult for me to write but I have to get out of my system. At the time of this writing, I have mostly recovered from the ordeal but thee are still some residual hurt feelings that haven't dissipated yet. I appears that the bullying has re-enforced the cold sense of of isolation that I have felt most my life. As a result, I have become socially withdrawn. Over the past few months, I have been making a point of going out more but it has been another struggle for me.

Anyroad, My ascent out from the Stygian depths carries on.

Current Mood: left with a sad wisdom
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
6:14 am
My Time at DBC Part Three: "Looking Back in Anger (but not necessarily in the John Osborne sense)"
In January, it occurred to me that staying on after my contract was up may not be worth it. Whatever enjoyment I had in my work was being sucked away. I started thinking about looking for other employment. However, when I got home, I was so exhausted and depressed that I didn't have the energy to do anything about it. I became socially withdrawn as I was ashamed of my situation.

My co-worker stepped up his attacks on me and my work. "Why is he [my other co-worker in that department] organized and you're not?" "Don't take on so many rafts. You'll only get confused." "I guess everything I've taught you has gone to hell hasn't it?" He had also taken to talking to me as if I was a simpleton (a huge rage trigger in me).

Sometimes, the only way I was able to cope was to think about stopping on the Knight Street Bridge on my home and jumping into the cold dark solace of the Fraser River. With that said, please bear in mind that Friedrich Nietzsche once said: "The thought of suicide can a great consolation as it can help one get through many a bad day".

Once he said to me "You don't listen to advice, do you?". I explained to him that, I actually do listen to advice. Then I think about it and then weigh out it's merits and act upon it accordingly.

There were only a things that I could do to keep me from feeling utterly helpless. The first was to maintain a wall of angry silence whenever he came at with a barrage of what I doing wrong. I know at the time that this carried a slight risk of becoming a potentially dangerous game. The second was to let his comments go in one ear out the other. And third, was to do the best job I could despite (and/or in spite of) his bullshit.

One day, the rage built up in me to the point where I kicked some object across the warehouse floor. I admit I took some small pleasure in the attention it attracted. After the dust settled, my co-worker took me aside and said "If you ever throw another fit like that again, I'll really get mad". I suppose I should be thankful for small mercies in that he didn't go to tell that I needed to learn "anger management".

A very dear friend of mine once told me that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. I acquired a greater appreciation of the meaning of that statement. I made a conscious decision to refuse to accept my co-worker's estimation of me as being a hopeless fuck-up. While my already shaky self-confidence had taken another beating, I knew that I was doing a reasonably good job. Perhaps, I made more than my share of screw-ups, but I believe I was getting better bit by bit. In the end, management had no complaints about my work.

End of Part Three
Monday, June 9th, 2008
6:10 am
My Time at DBC Part Two "Living in a minefield"
As time went on, his criticisms of my work and snipes at me become more frequent. At first, he would go on how I need to learn to organize myself. I will concede that my organizational skills do leave a little bit to be desired. At first, I tried to rationalize that he just pushing me to do better. However, it seemed no matter how hard I tried or how well I did my job, nothing I did was good enough in his eyes. There were a few times he praised my work. He would look for things to to criticize me for (e.g. that my hands shook when I was nervous).

When business was slow, he would get on my case for fidgeting and walking about. When business picked up,he would put the pressure on me with an exaggerated sense of urgency.

I had to remind myself that his only claim of authority over me was seniority. Once, when he was particularly angry at me, he told of all the times he had covered up my mistakes for me (may or may not be true). It seems in his mind that I owed him fealty. I thought screw that. I did not ask for his protection.

In November, someone in shipping and receiving quit (probably fed up with working with control freaks but that's another story). So my co-worker had to take his place. This meant leaving me in charge of his little kingdom. This did not sit well with him and he let me know in no uncertain terms. Needless to say, this increased tensions between us. He continued to try to micro-manage me from a distance. At this point, almost every day he would go on at me as to what I was doing wrong. Sometimes he would sit down and stare at me as if waiting for me to screw up. There were times when he would point out my mistakes while I was in the process of correcting them. Sometimes he give me a look that said "what did you screw up this time?".It became necessary for me to correct my mistakes on the sly.

It became clear to me that this is a guy who likes power. When he honked the horn on the forklift, he reminded me of the Robert Crumb character Ruff Tuff Cream Puff. I did not like to admit to myself that I was afraid of him. He was over six feet tall, heavy set and had a gruff manner. He had all the tact of a prison guard. His behavior toward me triggered a bunch of old stuff in me, such as memories of being tormented and threatened by bullies as a youth. When I wanted to stand up for myself (e.g. tell him that what I wrote down in my log book was none of his business), something in me would get triggered and my larynx would freeze up and/or I would "blank out". I had to settle for saying "fuck you" or "go take up coprophagia" under my breath.

There some people that I just rub the wrong way. There's not a damn thing I can do about it and nor do I care to. I am content to avoid such people where ever possible. Sometimes in the workplace, it can be a little bit more difficult to do so.

To be continued....
Friday, June 6th, 2008
6:19 am
My Time at DBC Part One: "The end is nigh, thankfully"
My contract with DBC Marine Safety Equipment came to an end on Wednesday, Feb. 20. As it happens, the management has decided not renew said contract. When my supervisor informed me of this, he was apologetic. He told me that he liked the my work and appreciated that I was a hard worker. He was also looking forward to my taking part in rewriting the gasketing manual. Actually, I was not surprised. While I did feel a tinge of disappointment and sadness, what I felt mostly was relief. For the most part, I did enjoy working there. I liked most of the people there and I enjoyed working with my hands. In the end, however, I had no intention of staying there for more than a year or two.

It has become apparent me that I very much need to learn social self-defense. Moreover, I need to relearn how to assert myself effectively. There was a co-worker turned out to be something of a bully as well as a control freak. When I started last year at DBC Marine Safety Equipment, we worked in the same department and he had the responsibility of training me. To his credit, he did teach me well but I suspect he started to lose patience with me when I wasn't learning fast enough (I am not a quick study). After a while, he would criticize me little things. At first, I tried to take as constructive criticism. He would then go on about how I need to learn to organize myself. Some days he would get on my case as to how I'm not working fast enough and/or that I'm spending way too much time on some rafts. On other days, he would go on at me for not taking the time and care to do the job properly. Sometimes he accused me me of not taking any pride in my work.

There were a couple of days when I came to work in a somewhat "disassociated" state due to some stress in my personal life. When he noticed this, he would "warn" me in the guise of friendly advice that if he noticed that I wasn't altogether there, management would also notice it. Later, he accused me of not showing up to work mentally. To be fair, I can imagine for some people, working beside someone who "disassociates" can be rather unnerving. The trouble is "blanking out" is what I instinctively do when someone is getting into my space more than I am comfortable with and when someone is being abusive toward me.

As time went on, he started trying to take more control of what I was doing. Once when I was given a project in another department, he took it upon himself to check up on me. On couple of occasions, he tried to tell me what to write in my log book. On the day before I left for Toronto, he started to tell me when I should leave for the airport and what ID to bring. I found myself having to protect my privacy and exercise my autonomy in a covert manner.

To be continued....
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
6:01 am
My Poor Front Rim
Damn! Yesterday at work, I noticed that the rim of the front wheel of my bicycle was in really sad shape. So I decided that after work, I would ride my bike to Our Community Bikes and buy a new wheel. However, when I got over the Knight Street Bridge and up to Knight St. & 49th, the rim had disintegrated.

My first thought was to blame the gods for throwing so many curve balls at me that is was impossible to keep up. That is only partially true. In truth, I had seen this coming and had made plans to buy a new rim and spokes and spokes build a new wheel as a spingtime project. Yes, I know. I really should get around to stopping procrastinating.

So today I will endure public transit and after work take the bus to OCB and buy a good second hand wheel with a 700mm rim. This will buy me time so that when time and finances permit, I can a some new higher end rims, spokes and hubs and build new wheels befitting my Roberts.
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
9:14 pm
A Little Christmas Humour
Do you Hear What I Hear?

We Three Queens Disoriented Are

I Think I'll Be Home for Christmas

Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Busses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and...

PARANOID: Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me.

PERSONALITY DISORDER: You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll tell you Why.

Silent Anhedonia, Holy Anhedonia, All is Flat, All is Lonely.

On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me (and then took it all away).

Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire.

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock............(better start again) Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle
Saturday, October 27th, 2007
8:58 pm
A Fruitless Search (so far)
I have now been searching for place to live for a little more than four months. I have been going on craigslist as my main source. It's frustrating and sometimes it feels like an exercise in futility. Every time I look at a place That I imagine myself living for the next year, there are at least fifteen other people looking at the same place. It appears that I have three strikes against me: I am male, I am middle aged and I don't make very much money.I don't think I am that fussy. At the best of times, searching for a place to live is an emotionally harrowing ordeal. It is only recently that I have been able to keep my emotional issues about living space in check.

In September, there was one place in Marpole that was suitable despite being in a basement. Unfortunately, I told the landlord that I would like to sleep on it. Next morning, I called him and informed him that I wanted the place and asked when I could get the rent deposit to him. He told me someone had already taken the place and "You snooze you lose". So close and yet so far away. I am still kicking myself for that.

This morning, I saw on Craigslist an ad for a place on 1st & Commercial. I really would like to near the Drive again which is my "stomping grounds". The house was pretty much what I am looking for. The women there were very nice. We seemed to hit it off rather well. We asked each other various questions about comfort zones and boundaries and related matter. When I left, it felt promising. However, after a while, it occurred to me that I probably not what they are looking for in roommate.

At this point, I am willing to settle for a place in South Burnaby, New Westminster, North Surrey or even Richmond. I don't know how much longer I can handle "couch surfing". I have been staying with a friend who has acted beyond the call of duty. I can't stay there much longer as I don't wish to abuse his hospitality and my presence there does crowd the place.

Below is the the form letter I have been responding the Craigslist ads with. I have also been tailoring it according to the ads as they come up. Maybe there's something wrong with my approach.

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Current Mood: distressed
Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
5:50 pm
In Toronto
Right now, I am in an Internet cafe on Bloor Street near Bathurst. I am in Toronto for the week staying with my parents. It has done me good to reconnect with them. My mum & dad have been far from perfect parents but the have for the most part, done right by me. My mum has taught me to not accept simple answers and has imparted a healthy distrust of authority. My dad has imparted to me a strong aesthetic sense and a refined appreciation of the female body. This is the first vacation I have had since January of 2006. As well as getting away from my search for a place to live, I have been rediscovering Toronto. Although Vancouver has been (and still is) my home for the past 27 years, there has been a number of things that I have missed about Toronto. They are little things such as red brick houses, older architecture (i.e.character), enough greenery downtown to make walking through it more pleasurable and people less afraid to look at the dark side of life.

Also my dad had an opening for his latest paintings. The opening was a success. I think they are some his best work ever. They can be seen at http://www.bau-xi.com/dynamic/artist.asp?ArtistID=20 . And yes I suppose it's that an ass fixation is genetic but that's another story.

Current Mood: relaxed
3:58 pm
Another Good Reason to Wear Pink
I have transcribed the following from last Friday's Globe and Mail (Oct. 12). I feel that it bears sharing.

Defeating the bullies turns out to easy- when bystanders rise up. Two teenage boys at a Nova Scotia high school haveovercome a pack of bullies with an idea so simple and so powerful it may yet spread throughNorth America, and perhaps beyond. They arranged for their schoolmates to wear pink in symathy with a boy who was targeted by at least six bullies for wearing a pink at school. justn two days after the bullying episode, roughly half of the 830 students at Central Kings Rural High School in the Annapolis Valley arrived decked in pink. The bullies will not dare rear their heads again.

Far more than any anti-bullying program designed by adults, the idea from Grade 12 students Travis Price and David Shepherd ( who were bullied themselves when they were younger) has taken on a life of its own. Young people in high schools around the province have come to scool in pink; one school served pink mased potatoes; and Premier Rodney MacDonald wore pink and declared the second Thursday of each schol year Stand Up Against Bullying Day. In Toronto today, Malvern Collegiate Institute , in a neighbourhood infested with gangs and guns, is picking up on the wear-pink campaign. As far away as Spain, the news media have taken notice.

What accounts for the power of this idea? It is a kind of popular revolt against the tyrants who exist in schoolyards everywhee. It is the mobilizationnot of the mob but of the democratic impulse to protect the vulnerable as an act of citizenship. The beauty of it is that it involves the normally cowed masses- those whom author Barbara Coloroso calls the "bystanders" who facilitate bullying by watching and doing nothing. And the very technology that bullies are using these days to such humiliating effect- the Internet- is an efficiant way of inviting bystanders to become rebels.

In it's own, small way, the wearing of pink idea is reminiscent of the story, apparently apocryphal, of Danisih King Christian X's wearing of a Star of David in symathy with Jews during the Second World War. Instead of giving up the vulnerable to the bully, the leaders and their people step forward to shield the vulnerable. It's an example worth emulating. Travis Price and David Shepherd are still teenagers, but they may yet change the world.
Monday, October 8th, 2007
9:14 pm
Writer's Block: Celebrity Hits & Misses
Who's your current favorite celebrity? Which celebrity do you never want to see again?
Current favourite celebrity: I would have to Stephane Dion. In this day and age, It is refreshing to see a politician with such vision and passion. Celbrity I with would go away: Paris Hilton. Need I say more?
Friday, August 31st, 2007
7:43 pm
Another Urgent Predicament
Again, I find myself in an urgent predicament. The place I was going to move into this week-end is no longer available to me. The couple that I was going to rent it from had changed their minds. I just got a call from him telling me that they would prefer to rent to students on a short term basis. Whether or not this is the real reason, I'm taking as a no that that leaves me free to make other plans.

Also, I promised Val's husband Mike that I would have all my stuff by Monday. This house has become a pain in the butt (especially in terms of never ending renovation) for them. I do not blame them. As I said before, I know this place was to be a temporary place for me to recover from my last eight months at 1958 Venables. It was more temporary than I would have liked. Be that as it may, I am still grateful to Val & Mike.

At this point, I am prepared to put into storage what I can't fit into my panniers and live out of a suit case for the next month.

So what I ask you is if any of you know of any reasonably priced places (i.e. no more the $500/mo) that available now. If it comes to this, I may even ask if I can avail myself of your couch (no more than 3 days).

Also, I don't have internet access at home, but can reached on my cell phone at 778-997-4970.

Current Mood: Desperate but hopeful
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
7:01 am
Having to find new digs again
"For the sword outwears it's sheath
And the soul outwears the breast
And the heart must pause to breath
And love itself to have rest"
-Lord Byron

My very dear friend Val, whom I have been lodging with since October, has found it necessary to sell her house. Ergo, I have to find a new place to live before the end of July.

When Val offered me lodgings at her house last September, I warned her that she was inviting into her port a ship with a battered hull, torn sails and a busted fuel pump. Since then, I have been able affect some repairs if not actually completing them. I am very grateful to Val for giving me the space to do this and providing a more emotionally supportive living environment.

As fond as I am of living here, I do not feel the same emotional attachment to this place as I did to 1958 Venables. When I moved in here, the intent was that this place would be a short term sanctuary. In fact, my emotional reactions to having to move are more straight forward. It's just the frustration of the inconvenience of it all and the anxiety of finding a new place. Also, it helps that most of my stuff is still packed in boxes.

As I am still in the process of getting my life back on track (financially and emotionally) I am looking for place that is not too expensive (i.e. not more than $500/month). Ideally, I would like to find a place in my old stomping grounds, the Commercial Drive area. However, given limited funds and time, I am not going to be so fussy. Also, I am open to shared accommodation preferably in a house that is bicycle friendly as well as S&M (and R&B) friendly.

If anyone LJ land knows of anything going or can advise me, please let me know.
Sunday, May 13th, 2007
7:39 pm
Moving my stuff
Last October when I moved out of 1958 Venables Street , I was emotionally exhausted and, as some of you know, a nervous wreck. Six months later, I am considerably less of a nervous wreck.

My landlord was kind enough to allow me to store my records, books, comics, VCR, DVD player, stereo and other stuff are stored in former landlord's attic. It was an arrangement I was not altogether comfortable with, but it was the only one available to me at the time. Mind you, I am grateful to him. He too is a record collector. This arrangement was made with understanding that I would get my stuff out by the end of May.

The end of May is now almost here. I have now set a date with my landlord remove my stuff from my his attic and move it to the shed and basement of my present address. The date I set is Saturday, May 19 at around 11.

I could use some help in moving the stuff, in fact the more the merrier. Also, if anyone LJ land has a truck or van that is in working order, that would be a greater help. I will glad to compensate the petrol costs. Failing that, I could rent a truck.There is no awkward bulky furniture and everything is in relatively small sealed boxes (except for four speakers).

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Current Mood: hopeful
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