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Showing posts from January, 2012

All About Me: "Midlife Crisis" Edition

As I approach the venerable old age of 40, I constantly find myself scanning for signs of the midlife crisis that society says should be bushwacking me any day now. I'm supposedly going to wake up one morning, very soon, go buy a Ferrari and use it to pick up women twenty years my junior.

I can confidently assure any Evas who might be reading this that all is clear on the Ferrari/floozie front. I mean, I'd have to steal the Ferrari, and I can't think of one floozie who'd look at me twice even with a Ferrari, and even if I could somehow finagle a floozie into my filched Ferrari, I'd crash the thing pretty much instantaneously. Nothing says crisis quite like a floozie corpse in a wrecked Ferrari.

All joking aside, I have been through a 'midlife crisis'. Except if my crisis actually hit me at midlife, folks should be planning my funeral along about yesterday.

I didn't buy the sports car, of course...but I did spend an almost equivalent sum on meaningless t…

License to Not Drive

I don't drive.

I've mentioned this oh-so-little, but oh-so-defining factoid about myself several times over the years, and occasionally I've alluded to the phobia I have that is the reason I don't drive. An e-friend coined 'euqunophobia' to describe it, from the Greek root for 'to pilot' as in a chariot. Prior to his making that word up out of thin air, there was no word in the English language to denote fear of driving. That ought to tell you something, since there's a one-word definition for fear of practically everything else. Apparently nobody fears driving.

Meet Nobody: me.

Outside the driver's seat of a vehicle and asked to consider the act of driving rationally, I'll tell you that yes, I certainly could drive a car. For a while. I might even get through an entire day, week, or hell, month, without hitting something and dying, probably taking others with me. But eventually my attention would waver at a critical second and that'd b…

You know who I hate?

Nobody.

I mean that. There's not a soul on this planet I hate. Not even the really evil ones. Probably because I don't really believe in evil.

I mean that, too: I don't believe in evil. Not as a force, certainly not with a "d" put in front of it to personalize it.

Notwithstanding the whole question of God, which I really don't want to get into insofar as I only have the one lifetime to write, I have a few fundamental problems with a devil-figure. First, a devil is a nice handy device for the abdication of personal responsibility: in other words, "the devil made me do it." Granted, a person of any real faith is unlikely to blame His Infernal Majesty for her every least peccadillo, but still, the temptation, you might say, is there. That is the devil's function, after all, at least if you're alive. The living he tempts; the dead he torments. Eternally.

And here I find I must bring God into the picture anyway. I've railed before against th…

Imagine you are a U.S. Marine.

Item: U.S. Marines appearing to urinate on Taliban corpses."

This is "inhumane", It's "entirely inappropriate for members of the U.S. military". It's "deplorable", "shocking", and "an indignity against the Afghan people."

Have we forgotten these are two forces at war?

Let me explain something here. If you are part of a fighting force, and you have been trained for years to hate "the enemy" enough to kill him on sight--especially since if you don't, he's apt to kill you first--a wee-wee little thing like pissing on his corpse doesn't really amount to such of a much. Not after you've, you know, killed the guy. Do you really believe you can, ahem, piss him off any further by pissing on him? Tell you what, folks: when I go, everybody feel free to pee on me. Somehow I don't think I'll care. Or notice, for that matter. I'm dead.

Are you, a soldier trained to hate and kill, supposed to stop h…

U.S. Politicomedy, Part I: Spreading Santorum

As much as I'd like to resist writing about American politics...I can't. I just can't. Not this year. I'm going to throw up my hands right now and warn you, Dear Reader, that there are going to be several upcoming posts on this topic. If American politics isn't your bag, feel free to tune out. I gotta tell you, though, you're missing a comedy that betters anything seen on television in recent years.

Just look at these Republican candidates vying to unseat Obama. We have a man who, as a Mormon, presumably believes at least some (and probably more than half) of this. We have another man who has, to put it mildly, a wee little Google problem -- which, contrary to his heated denials, is entirely of his own making. And then we have Ron Paul, the darling of the youth set, the man the lamestream media chooses to ignore...possibly because he's a raving racist. Or maybe because even the best of his ideas (and he does have some good ones) are fundamentally at odds wi…

Ici on parle...

There's a certain sense of--call it schadenfreude, I suppose--that this lifelong Maple Leafs fan gets when observing the mess in Montreal.

Yes, this from the man who believes schadenfreude--joy at another's pain--vies with jealousy (pain at another's joy) to be the most self-destructive emotion possible. Guilty as charged...all part of being a sports fan, I guess.

That's the downside of fandom. A sports fan--the word is, of course, short for 'fanatic' (which in turn comes from the Latin for 'insanely but divinely inspired')--feels a totally irrational depression when his team loses, a just as irrational joy when her team wins, and a completely indefensible hatred for the opposition. There's something primitive and tribal about being a fan, and I don't mean primitive as in rustic. I mean primitive as in barbaric.

Letting my inner barbarian loose for three hours at a time can be tremendously satisfying. I try to temper him by widening my scope: ye…

A Ken By Any Other Name...

We human beings sure do go by a few names through our lifespan, don't we?

Take me. I was born Boy Baby B. My twin, Monty, died two days later, the two of us having decided to make quite the early appearance. Christened Kenneth Cecil Joseph Breadner, I toddled through my toddlerhood looking very much like a Kenneth. Or a Winston. Don't all babies resemble Winston Churchill?

My first nickname, "Macaw", is still with me today. My father--whose name is also Kenneth Breadner, and let me tell you the confusion that can cause--bestowed "Macaw" on me at two years of age because, I'm told, "all I ever did was squawk and shit." Despite the ignoble derivation, I have no problem whatsoever being called Macaw...to the point where Eva is Lady Macaw.

I was Kenny throughout my childhood. This wasn't much of an issue with my peers--the best they could do to taunt me was to chant "Kenny-penny", which didn't bother me overmuch. It was, as I say…

Giving Unions Their Dues

Look back to the early days of the Breadbin, back when dinosaurs walked the earth and we were all eight years younger, and you'll see its baker has changed his mind about a few things.

I'm still recognizably the same person in many ways. Some of my opinions have only hardened as the years have passed, as if in cement. For instance, my attitude re: love and beauty hasn't changed and I doubt it ever will.

My opinion about humanity (I love individual people, but as they coalesce into groups they tend to lose likability) also remains the same. And that monkey's still on my back.

But I've done a slow one-eighty on many matters political over the years. I once was a fairly faithful Conservative supporter; I voted for Jack in the last election and have contemplated becoming a card-carrying NDP member.
This is supposedly bass-ackwards. There's a famous quote, often misattributed to Winston Churchill (as many famous quotes are), to the effect that "if you're no…

I don't do resolutions...

...for several reasons. Firstly, I distrust the very word. If you're going to call it a re-solution, that implies the original "solution"...wasn't.
Secondly, there is nothing implicit in January the first that makes either a solution or a resolution any more likely to stick. Any day can be a new beginning; any moment can.
Thirdly, there's nothing in my life right now that requires immediate change...or if there is, I'm not willing to change it. Because, let's face it, discipline and sacrifice are not among my strong suits. I'd rather live happily, even if it means I die a little younger; the prospect of an old age subsisting on single servings of tofu and Brussels sprouts does not appeal. I've tried several times now to live according to the maxim that food is fuel and is not supposed to taste good...and if that's life, I'd rather be dead. Give me a dingle when they invent healthy food that tastes like food.      
Likewise with exercise. …

Here we are

...uh, where's here, exactly?

Doubtless there are more than a few people nursing headaches this morning, asking themselves this very question and wishing that they could escape back into the nothingness of sleep whence they came. Not me. Not us.
I haven't seen the New Year in for many years. I hate to be whatever the New Year's equivalent of a pre-spirit Ebenezer Scrooge might be, but I'll bah-humbug the New Year every year until I'm dead. I've earned that right over many a hogwild Hogmanay, none worse than the first.   Really, people. Do you have to get drunk because tomorrow you write the date with a slightly different set of pencil-strokes? Really? Never mind, it's another of the many ways I'm not human, and that's okay. I slept in until six this morning, having gone to bed soon after the Leafs lost another to close out the year. I haven't seen a new year in for many years. I have faith it will be there in the morning, and so far my faith has…

Going Moldy....

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