Sunday, November 12, 2017

Anti-bucket list

Apologies for the paucity of posts here. There are two reasons for that. One is just life. I've been busy living life, and haven't made time to write. Two is a common problem of mine: I'm blocked. I don't know what to write about.

You sure don't need to hear about the mundane stresses and frustrations of my workaday existence. Yesterday, for instance, I worked very hard all day only to have every last bit of my work undone with half an hour left in the shift. I came home in a foul, foul mood, went right to bed, woke up to watch the hockey game (another Leaf win, yay) and then went back to sleep. This is my weekend, now: probably the last one before I flip to nights again until Christmas. And now you've heard about that which you surely didn't want to hear about.

I'm happy, I'm stable, I'm feeling eminently normal, and normality makes for boring reading. So--I could talk about the political situation, but my god, nobody ever seems to shut up about politics right now, because they're broken probably beyond repair, and that's just depressing.

I could write about the ongoing takedown of numerous male predators, and how happy it makes me to see it happen. There, I just did.

I have a post on transgenderism percolating. That's not ripe yet--I'm waiting for the hook to hang it on, and said hook is stubbornly absent.

I could write a spirituality post -- out thrifting with Sue the other day I discovered a Neale Donald Walsch book I didn't already own for the princely sum of $2.00. As always with Neale, every page drips with material for numerous posts--absolutely none of which you need to read.

I owe my father a hockey blog, but there again, I'm not sure what exactly to write about. "My" team is fourth overall in the league and playing well, especially last night. It's too early in the season yet for me to be paying much attention to the rest of the NHL, although Las Vegas is a nice feel-good story.

Even polyamory is a black hole right now.  Oh, there's a ton I COULD write there. But I've tightened up the privacy a few notches, and so personal details are out; I've already covered the broader strokes...probably too many times. When the thing you're most passionate about offers no incentive to are well and truly plugged.

At times like this, I have a bunch of sites I consult looking for inspiration. Reddit, of course; also the National Review (because I disagree vehemently with almost everything there, and the vehemence tends to translate into better writing on my part). I'll cruise around Facebook, I'll check the sites in my sidebar, a newspaper (on dead tree if necessary), and a book of quips by Spider Robinson that I keep handy.

And until just now I would have told you all those places were devoid of anything piquing my pen. Kind of like how TV used to be, right? Three hundred channels and "there's nothing on"?

Behold, courtesy of a Facebook friend who just posted this: The Anti-Bucket List. (I posted a bucket list blog about a year ago, but these are things people DON'T want to do before they die. And it's perfect, because although this blog is bound to be a scattershot affair, it should at least prime the pump a little.

Oddly enough, more than a few of these things turn up on bucket lists. Travel to another country? Are there really people who DON'T want to do that? I pity those people... Trains, planes, motorcycles--all of which I have been on? Pretty common things that people want to try.  Many people want to learn another language, and I don't know many folks who have never been to any kind of concert. And so on...wait a minute. "Go To A Bar". Wow. I may be one of the few human beings who has never done that. I've been in dozens of restaurants with bars in them, I've very occasionally even sat at a bar--but I didn't "go to a bar" to drink.

 I mean, it's all too easy to come up with a list of things people don't want to do, such as, oh, I don't know, almost drown in a septic tank or undergo a police interrogation (even if they were just rent-a-cops). And "be buried alive"? I defy you not to check that. But some of the things on here boggle my mind. 

Public speaking, for instance. It's the number one fear in the world. Number two is death. Go figure...that means there are people who would rather die than talk to other human beings. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, now that next to nobody uses a phone for its original purpose, but still.

I'm good at public speaking. It's just talking, after all--what's so hard about talking? I get that many people are afraid of being stared at. I might be, too, if I allowed that thought -- everybody's LOOKING AT ME OHGODOHGODOHGOD -- to cross my mind. I don't. I become my words: I'm up here to be listened to, not to be looked at. Incidentally,  that's how I am as an audience member, too. I don't know how many ways my eccentricity about outward appearances manifests, but there's another.

I do find, as I age, that I'm developing vertigo. I love roller coasters to pieces but it's been years since I've been on one; I'd doubtless find them a little scarier now than I used to. Likewise the hot air balloon ride -- very romantic -- but I might have to pass on it lest I vomit over the side. Nobody needs that raining down from on high.  (The helicopter is even more vomit-inducing; those fuckers bounce all over the sky. It's exhilarating riding in one, so long as you don't look down too much.)

There's something on this list I'm actually ashamed I haven't done: donate blood. Embarrassing revelation: I don't even know my blood type. I really should know this. Going to set this up ASAP. 

Get a tattoo? Done, twice over. At least two more coming, eventually: a monkey and a stylized jaguar with purple eyes. Both intensely personal, just like my infinity heart and my blue spruce. Haunted house? Try me. Maybe this is foolhardy of me, but I've always been interested in the paranormal, and outside of one house in Ailsa Craig I have no real experience with it.

Geez, skinny dipping? Nah, I don't skinny dip. I chunky-dunk. If you haven't had the pleasure, a pleasure it is. There's something about being naked, you's freeing. Once again, if you can get past the notion that people are looking at you, I mean.

Four things I've never done and have no urge to, all in a row. Boxing...yeah, um, ritualized violence has less than zero appeal to me. I think I may have been on horseback at some point, but I don't remember it, and I don't see it being in my future. Mountain climbing? I'll fall off. Or into a crevasse. And kayaking seems like a synonym for "drowning" to me.

Gambling in Vegas. Eva's been, I haven't. I'd love to go to Vegas, but I doubt I'd spend much time gambling there. I've been to two casinos. I think they're largely the same beasts the world over: overflowing with ways to deplete you of your hard-earned money. Casinos are like beaches, or shopping centers: you've seen one, you've seen a mall.

Almost as shameful as not having donated blood: I haven't volunteered. I know, I know, this makes me an ugly human being. I just can't shake the "used" feeling out of volunteering: you're labouring for...the intrinsic satisfaction of a job well done? That should be enough, right? Well, no, actually, it shouldn't. See: "paid internship". The idea that any entity ought to be able to exploit my labour without compensation is not something I think ought to be encouraged.

Skiing. I've done -- and enjoyed -- cross country skiing. I will never downhill ski. Look above where it says "mountain climbing". I'll fall off. That actually seems to be the POINT of skiing. Nope, sorry, no deathwish here.

Dear god, "reading"'s on this list. That's a sad commentary on the human condition circa 2017.

Haha, "get married". Done. The only way I'll marry again is if polyamory becomes legally recognized...which is something I'm fighting for. As it stands, I would be more than open to a commitment ceremony. Which isn't legally binding (yet), but which I consider to have every bit the heft and significance of a wedding.

Have children--okay, so here's the thing. For me, the appeal in having kids was in helping them become the next grander versions of the greatest vision they have of themselves, over and over again. That's also the appeal in ANY relationship, for me. I try to leave everyone I meet a little better off for having met me. I won't have kids, but I have touched and will continue to touch the lives of children and teenagers. They're the future. The future is unknowable to me, but the thought that I can maybe live on in the memories of those whose lives I shape, even if in only a tiny way...that's one of the ways I derive meaning in my life.

From here on, only the things that fit the anti-bucket theme, i.e. things I DON'T want to do.

Skydiving. Fuck no. No fucking way. Fuck. Not enough profanity there to express the absofuckinglute imfuckingpossiblity of that ever happening to me.

I will never smoke. Ever. The merest hint of tobacco smoke has me wanting to retch my lungs out, and anything more exotic will have to come to me in the form of an edible.

A former colleague of mine runs marathons...often. Once again, this is not a Ken thing. I will run if something is chasing me, and at no other time.

I will never pierce my tongue. I draw the line at ears--the rest of me will remain unpunctured, so far as I can help it.

And I will never join a gang...not unless that gang is devoted to senseless acts of kindness.

Ugh. No flow to this, but it's words on a page, and maybe you learned something about me. More coherence tomorrow.

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