Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spontaneous Superhero Powers? It happens...

When I was kid, I loved how a spider-bite transformed Peter Parker from a shy, sort-of nondescript fellow into a muscle-y, crime-fighting hero named Spiderman, both fretful yet firm. So when my superhero powers kicked in the other day, I immediately thought of Spidey. Let me explain.

I’m not really an old guy. However, at the dentist recently, while lying flat on my back with my jaw spread wide from thither to Yellowknife, I suddenly felt ancient. It’s my dentist’s fault. He’s basically like seventeen. He and his nine-year-old hygienist discussed snowboarding and the latest reality show while I clutched the arms-rests of the dental/electric chair not unlike the way I will most certainly clutch my walker someday. Anyway, I longed for some of Spidey’s nifty ability to experience accelerated healing which is probably not an unusual feeling for most people while at the dentist. And indeed that little wish actually came true a few days later. Let’s just say though that my spider-senses aren’t calibrated too well.

On weekends I wear my glasses but I hate cleaning them. One particular weekend, I cleaned them excessively. Confused while trying to enjoy TV, I couldn’t determine why they seemed so persistently dirty. Something nagged at me and like Spidey I fretted and thought, has my vision deteriorated? Do I need a stronger prescription?

So when I woke that weekend Sunday morning and continued to wrangle with my eyes and my glasses, I decided to face my old-guy fears and test my vision. And then it happened.

I could see. Without my glasses, I could see perfectly!

BUT HOW?! I rushed about the house testing my new miracle-enhanced vision. Near and far, without my glasses, my vision was incredible. Sharp. True.

Whoa. I concluded quickly that Spidey probably experienced this vision rejuvenation shortly after the spider-bite. And then I thought, what else has transformed?!! Had my gray hair disappeared? Had my spare tire morphed into muscle? I had to take a look at myself in the bathroom mirror.

And then I noticed my contact lens case. Empty.

Disappointed, I removed my contacts, the ones I had obviously been wearing for about fifty hours, the very same ones not recommended to be worn more than eight hours daily. My vision immediately returned to normal, i.e. crappy.

Remember that quote from the Spiderman story? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Well, I guess with great stupidity comes even greater stupidity. Who knew that when my superhero powers kicked in they would kick me in the head?

I don’t think I like Spiderman anymore.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

#1 Thing I learned:

#1Thing i have learned from my excessively repeated John Mayer IPod playlist:
  • "Say what you need to say."
Uh, that's a bit ironic now, isn't it Mr. Mayer?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Problem #781

I finally know what my problem is. (Well, problem #781 anyway.) I think I have an “irrational escalation of commitment” issue.

Haven’t heard of this error in thinking that could be costing you money? Neither had I.

Consider this. Do you hate to throw out spoiled milk? Why not use those expired milk-chunks-of-goodness as a substitute for yogurt or sour cream? Because, let’s be honest: you paid good money for the bovine swill so it’s just wrong to throw it out, right? Well true, this is an exaggerated example but if you have a misguided notion of the value of stuff that you own, you might have what’s referred to as an “irrational escalation of commitment” issue.

This error in thinking occurs when our pride over-rides our ability to assess the true value of something we own. It’s why many of us tend to spend yet another $1000 on an ailing vehicle (that was once a good deal) because after all, “I spent $12000 on that piece-of-crap already!” Does that really make sense though? Why not cut your losses, sell that rust-heap vehicle and invest that money in something reliable instead of increasing the odds of throwing away even more money?

This makes me think of all those sterile and generic urban storage facilities people pay hundreds of dollars to rent monthly. Does it really make financial sense to rent a small apartment for your junk? Maybe we all just have too much stuff? And therefore, can it really be valuable?

I am guilty of this too. After all, I am storing a few garage sale items that I’m sure will sell for loads of money someday at my upcoming imaginary garage sale, the same one I’ve been rescheduling for the past decade. (Note: I don’t even have a garage.)

And that brings me to my main point: um...does anyone need a mint-condition 1980s filmstrip projector?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Recall my First Haiku...

Remember Grade 7? Awkwardness squared. I was a pipsqueak of a giant. Puberty decided my eyebrows should grow first. Anyway, it occurs to me now that my first 17 syllable poem was in fact, a dirge. Odd. No wonder I often caught the school therapist staring at me.  Anyway, cue the air-violins:

by d.b. stewart
Funeral today
Dead man in the cool coffin?
Nicotine addict.

What can I say? There were a lot of smokers in my family. A lot. Inside. With the windows closed. 18 hours a day. Every day. For the 19 years I lived there. Did I mention every day? Yes indeed, I'm bitter sometimes.

Anyway, I encourage you to post your very first poem. It's vaguely cathartic.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chelle's Contest

I missed Chelle's contest deadline. Bummer. There must be some other way I can win one of her amazing sock creations for my daughter! Anyway, for the backstory on that click here:
Featured below is one of my favourite ugliest objects. It was a gift and it's deceiving because at first it just seems odd. I mean what does a dog hope to see in a crystal ball? Missing homework perhaps?

But then, when you turn it around...

There's some sort of solar lighting panel "surgically" placed in its back. Egads. It's like an homage to animal experimentation, which is wrong and which is also sure to bite us all in the collective ass someday (no pun intended).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's the one thing that doesn't change as you grow older?

Someone mentioned the other day that she saw photos on the computer of some of her old high school friends and oh my, unlike us we decided, they had aged so much! We laughed. Ha ha ha! We’re still so young aren’t we? LOL. Ha ha. Um. Ha.

Coincidentally (like a week later), I received a new passport in the mail. This made me wonder about my first passport (now twenty years old) and so I dug it out, opened it up and thought: wow, I’m hot. Then, just for interest sake I decided to place my old passport next to my new passport and marvel at how my hotness has evolved.

Here’s the thought process that ensued. Then. Now. Then? Now? THEN! NOW! WHAT?!

I’ll explain it another way: you know when you are outside and its late and completely black and maybe you’re taking the garbage out or whatever and even though you know better you suddenly feel like someone is watching you and then that chill runs down your body like someone just threw cold water on you? You know that feeling? Yeah? Well this felt more alarming. Comparing my passports can only be described one way: stupefying. Seriously. Why?

That guy is not me. And coincidentally, I am not him. But I have his memories! And he has mine! How is that possible? Seriously, I look at that guy and he has a different chin, a different shaped-head, different eyes, different eyebrows, his ears are smaller; he even has an Adam’s apple! Oddly enough, we still have one thing in common: our nostrils. Seriously. That’s it. Complete strangers who share nostrils.

Comparing those photos was like suddenly getting a phone call from a strange doctor who must confess before he dies that he switched you at birth with another baby except he’s not really a doctor; he’s actually a time traveller and you weren’t a baby; instead you were in your twenties. Okay. That doesn’t make sense but HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that everything about me has changed in twenty years, everything except my nostrils?!

Since I am not prepared to face the reality of my complete transformation from heartthrob to mall cop, I have another theory. It’s just like that new movie Avatar. I think I’m an avatar. Think about it. The young studly version of me is sitting around a really big screen TV right now with his buddies and they are all controlling old dude versions of themselves (mine is forcing me to write stupid things in the newspaper) and they are laughing like maniacs.

Wait a minute. That can’t be it. Young guys wouldn’t waste their time sitting around doing that. Um, maybe I was abducted? Maybe it was leprechauns? Or maybe....

Ah heck. I guess there’s one thing to be happy about: my nostrils haven’t aged one bit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm a DIY superhero don't-you-know....

How to install a toilet, thinking man-style…
  1. Tell contractor, “Oh yeah. No problem. I’ll probably put the toilet in myself.”
  2. Ponder for three days whether or not I can actually do this without flooding the basement.
  3. Mentally calculate how embarrassing it will be if I flood the basement. Weigh embarrassment versus costs to pay for flooded basement.
  4. Visualize the facial expressions on my wife, my son, my daughter, my in-laws, my co-workers, the plumber, my neighbours, the bully from fifth grade, if I actually flood the basement.
  5. Google it.
  6. Get distracted.
  7. Spend an hour on the internet researching something else such as revenge-fantasy movie directed by Quentin Tarantino.
  8. Wait two days.
  9. Google it again. Watch two videos.
  10. Finally open the box with the new toilet in it.
  11. Read the directions.
  12. Get distracted by the oddity that new toilets do not come with toilet seats.
  13. Spend two hours online researching the perfect toilet seat.
  14. Google pictures of a toilet wax ring and shake my head and grimace a lot.
  15. Go to store to buy a toilet wax ring and discover there are several kinds (with a flange, without a flange, one inch, two inch). Buy all of them.
  16. Watch the toilet-installation video yet again.
  17. Read the instructions more carefully and notice odd contradiction between the internet video and the instructions.
  18. Fret.
  19. Insert Ipod earphones. Listen to bagpipes music. Feel my Scottish strongman blood pumping. Smile. Square my shoulders for a showdown with my new toilet.
  20. Begin installation at 10:00 p.m.
  21. Complete installation by about 11:00 p.m.
  22. Flex muscles in bathroom mirror and whisper, “Oh yeah. I am D.I.Y. superhero.”
  23. Run around the house and invite everyone to come and flush the new toilet.
  24. Pee in my new toilet. (Mark territory.)
  25. Pray before bed that the basement is not flooded in the morning.

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