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Friday, August 2, 2013

I'm Thirty now. Life is grand.

So my first post as a 30 year old. I gotta say, it's as if I've suddenly become a positive motherfucker.

Maybe I'm still in Holiday Mode... I took a full week off in celebration, which included three nights in a penthouse suite at the Westin, courtesy of my brother. Much poolside lounging was had. Maybe it's the clarity of "being a grownup", whatever that means. All I know is that an entire week of work flew by, and all of the little frustrations that go along with working in a restaurant just washed off me like the waves.  Here I am back on my weekend, slightly hungover from last night, and I still feel relaxed, upbeat... and yes. Happy.

I don't know what caused this change in perspective, but I do know one thing: For a long time, I always assumed that the bartender had to have a slight chip on his shoulder. I guess it comes from the media's portrayal, that the bartender is someone you have a transaction with but keep them at arm's length. There's even a physical boundary between client and dealer - the bar. And yes, he (or she) can have a bit of a bite, but more sass than surly.

I feel like, over the years, I've gradually slid toward the wrong end of this scale. Maybe this landmark year - in more than one way, as I also started 'tending 10 years ago next month - is the reason for my mental shift. That, and one of my new favourite lines: Stupid people are put on the Earth so that the rest of us can laugh at them.

The faults that I have are varied and many, so hopefully this is the first step that will help me fix the rest of them.

I truly hope that you, Reader, are having a great day, and that this unorthodox post will make it that little bit better. It's why I do this after all. I can't talk to many of you on a daily basis, so making you smile or laugh through these quick check-ins from time to time, (albeit one-way) helps me feel like I'm connected to you.

So - once again - Stay Thirsty, friends.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

10957 days down...

Here it is. My last day of my 20s (and yes, I did the math for the days in the title). What to do, what to do? I think I'll talk to you for a second or two!

It's beautiful and sunny, but the world keeps spinning. I wanted to show you a great speech by President Obama in regards to the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman abortion decision. Here it is.

A little closer to home, I am excited by my new personal project, Life Through The Eyes Of A Manchild: Why I Shouldn't be Allowed to Grow Up Yet.

This comes with a disclaimer: You will read things that you may not want to read about me. So parents, family, and Cooper and Jackson, read at your own peril.

I'm going to be posting once a month for now, until I get more topic ideas. To save you from clicking on the "About" (which I know you won't), here it is...

So here’s the deal… I am 29 for one more month, and I’d really rather not get a big kid job. This website aims to argue my case.
We hear about the Peter Pans all over the Internet, and many read it and think “Hahaha, that is so true! Fuck those silly twentysomethings and their shirking of responsibilities!”
But here’s the thing: no one claims it. It’s an affliction, much like terrible driving, that nobody wants to own up to. Well, here I am, world, wearing sweatpants at noon and drinking coffee for breakfast, to tell you that I, too, am stunted in my development.
It crept up on me slowly, and as I try and take stock of things I realise I might be in pretty shabby shape. This site is a way of highlighting my various boy-isms. Some are pretty serious, but I hope that they’re at least entertaining for you.
 

I'm also accepting submissions for things that you've noticed us do, whether you're a guy and it's something you notice yourself committing, or you're a lady who notices what a man in her life does with reckless abandon, send it to manchildthefirst@gmail.com and I'll try and create some hilarity with it.

So I think that's it for now, hope you're enjoying your weekend and I'll save you a seat at the bar here in Club 3-Zip. They're checking my ID right now so I should be in the VIP lounge by tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Apex of Humanity

Folks, it's a hell of a time to be writing. It's a rainy day here in Whistler, but what I want to talk about is bigger than my town, my country. It's a global issue.

Maybe it's something in the water, but it feels to me as though society is on a tipping point. Let's examine what I mean here.

Bradley Manning is an Army soldier, whose court-martial began this month. He's been charged with 22 offences due to his involvement in sending information to Wikileaks in 2010. In this time he has been held in a small cell with dehumanising conditions.  While the United States Government is trying to brand him a traitor, the rest of the world is showing support at iam.bradleymanning.org, and over at elitedaily.com you can read some really powerful words from comedian Russell Brand.

Meanwhile, if you haven't heard of Edward Snowden, just google him. That's him there, the skinny guy with the whited out windows behind him. Watch that video. He's the one that brought about the NSA tracking on all of our devices. Just in case one of us had plans on being an asshole with a homemade dirty bomb.

This second example isn't really news: it was revealed back in 2006 that the US Government was keeping tabs on everyone's browsing history. But what with the trial mentioned above, and the civil unrest/teargas conferences in both Brazil and Turkey, it seems people are now ready to listen. A report recently came out that only 10% of Americans trust the decisions made by Congress, and 23% trust the news on TV (a statistic that, incidentally, has risen), it just feels like the pieces are in the right places. The internet has made global awareness more tangible than ever before, and puts the math out there for all to see: there are more of the little guys than the Big guys have on their team.

I called this post The Apex of Humanity, because I feel like we, as a species, are at a junction. We can continue down our path, or we can shift gears, and turn off of the main road. Personally, I've always been up for an adventure, as long as I have someone to go with.

By The Way: Dirty Wars by director Jeremy Scahill looks as riveting as any summer blockbuster this year. It's a Sundance award-winning documentary showing the lines that have been crossed with the Conflicts in Afghanistan. It's playing now, but I honestly don't think i could see it in theatres. When it's up on the big screen, the mind automatically dissociates the story from reality, something that cannot be afforded. Keep an eye out for it.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Found:

I never look at my desktop, I just save everything there. So of COURSE I forgot all about this sample write up I did for a project that never came to fruition. It's actually one of my favourite pieces: I hadn't written anything in months by this point, and it felt too organic to just wilt away on my laptop.

Hope you like it.

Aa

*              *              *

*****UNTITLED*****

They call it Whistler University for a reason: your first winter in Whistler is just like being a freshman at college: all night partying, all day shredding, and general happiness and fun times, with the odd couple of hours of work thrown in for good measure.

Yet, while many equate the life of a Whistler Ski Bum to a deleted scene from Animal House, certain things – the backstage things – still need doing. Rent needs paying. Laundry needs doing. And sleep must be had, no matter how raging the bar star/shredhead. These things, amongst so many others, can make it difficult for the average WSB (patent pending) to find quality time with himself, let alone with the other people he actually wants to see over a couple of beers.  Things get in the way, week by week, until one day when you’re walking through the village and you see an old friend. Both of you will think the same thing: I thought that guy left town.

You can’t let your friends be just Facebook friends. The only “poking” you want to do is with people IRL… It’s way more fun, and the payoff is more than just saying hello. (Although, you will meet a girl here and there. Wrap it up, is my advice.)  

They say that life is only best when shared, and that rings pretty true in Whistler. When you stumble across an epic pow stash, it’s like you and your buddies’ super-mega-awesome secret, and you high-five and hug at the bottom. When you’re apr├Ęsing, those are the best laughs, reminiscing on the day’s events while the evidence of the fruit of your labour slowly turns into a puddle around the coatrack.  
And sorry to make things all deep and meaningful, but things can still happen.  Good friends leave, to see the world or to start their big kid job. Injuries can be so severe that the victim is housebound, resigned to his Xbox and physio exercises. Hell, sometimes, people die, and we’re all left wondering what could have been. 

Just because we’re living the dream, doesn’t mean there aren’t monsters under the bed.

You need these people, those 4 or 5 “best buds” to help you through the downs, so you can have more ups together. Think of them as your safety net, when your footing falters. They’re the closest thing to family you’re going to get most of the year. 

Last night, I went out with some of my closest friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in three months. We had sushi, and afterward (and also during) had a couple of drinks.  But at one point there was this moment where everybody, all of the friends, had their arm around another one. Bros for life or what?, I thought.  We’ve been through some real good times together, and it’s nostalgia like that, the kind that’s still tethered to the present, that I love about Whistler. I’m “nu-local”, and I want to keep that spirit alive for as long as I live here.


Sweet dreams, readers.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The latent hatred in the world

I really must try and get some words written, though lately it feels like all I'm writing are "puff", or darker than I care to advertise. There's a real lack of motivation, almost as though, if I'm not working on The Book (something that has me stuck), I shouldn't be writing at all. Which is exactly the opposite.  You don't run a marathon without training and working out, stretching your muscles... This is no different (except I sit for far longer than the average marathon runner.

Ok, so consider this my "set" on the Path to a Literary Finish Line. What I would like to address today is the prevalence of "Bad Words".

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I love a good "Fuck" here and there, and I'll save my C-bombs for when the time is right and the person is justified in the label. But for the most part, I'm pretty careful with my speech, in part because of this "reputation" I've been salvaging for the last 18 months or so, and also in part because I won the social lottery: I'm male, white, and straight, with a pretty decent upbringing. Is this why I'm so sensitive to friends casually throwing hate words around like "nigger", "fag" and "dyke"? Perhaps.

Maybe it's the remnants of White Guilt or something like that, but to hear a girl referred to in passing as a "dyke" is more offensive than "fag", even though they're objectively, the same thing. And I know there's an argument for the idea that using a word regularly takes the sting out of the tail. To those people, I say: walk into the Apollo, as a white guy, and start throwing N-bombs. Yeah, that sting's still there, and it doesn't look to be going anywhere.

I guess my point is that people say stupid shit for stupid reasons (myself included), and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Go give somebody $5, and make their day.  The world is full of frowns, so make someone smile.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ESPN has trouble with Snowboarding...

Ok, after some real difficulties with my account it seems I am back in the game, ready to titillate your senses with some claptrap that I like to call "writing".

There have been so many things I have wanted to write about, but technology's cockblock (writer's block-block?), coupled with keeping busy with a book and a website (oh, you know, no big deal) has kept my fingers busy. Even if the mountain and the snow hasn't got me moving... But that's another story. I will strive to remember the various topics over the next few days.

One thing I did want to start with was the X-games: specifically, the Mark McMorris/Shaun White "feud". I say this with more than a hint of irony.

New-ish snowsport site 33mag.com highlighted the issue in this article. To sum up, it shows how ESPN is trying to sensationalise a few (true) comments by up-and-comer 'Skatch native Mark McMorris said in an interview about White. Now, most of you that know me well know that i have some reservations about the Flying Twatmato. Hell, you build me my own halfpipe and give me $10mill, I'll be the best at it too. For $10mill, I'll be the best at just about anything, if I'm frank.  I'm not dissing his talent: he has upped the game based solely on his discipline, but there are certain things that need to be considered. Shaun has become no different than any Hollywood superstar, surrounded by YesMen and thriving on their own gargantuan ego. McMorris mentions that White doesn't really hang with the other competitors, does his own thing. He's beginning to sound more and more like  a recluse - think Carrie Fisher over Michael Jackson (though there is that "face mask" thing...)

But, back to my point. Even though Mark brings up some valid points, it's hardly seeds for "rivalry." If ESPN had any concept of the culture, the one I voluntarily choose to live in, it's the total lack of rivalry. It's the shared passion of getting up and doing your thing, be it rails and jumps, trees, backcountry, or speeding. One plank or two planks, as long as you're having fun, staying safe, and making stories for the bar afterwards.  I have one or two people in town that I think are jerks, or just obnoxious, but if I see them on the hill, they're getting a shout out and a high five just like anyone else. Maybe even a hug if we just shredded the same waist deep powder!

That's my point. We're all doing what we love, whether you're getting mad sponsorship or just doing it to blow the hangover away. (Sometimes both...) ESPN has no idea what they're talking about: it's just about making it interesting to some poor kid in Nebraska. Ignore the bullshit, Ned (I'm sorry, Nebraska Ned, it was the first name that came to mind).  Just watch these guys do something incredible: triple-god-damn-corks.

That's all I have to say about that.

By The Way: I'm growing a beard. For an article. It's awesome. (Next I might ask them if  I can do an article on strippers.) Follow @thebrologboys and get ready to vote on my face!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And we're back...

Oh wowsers. It's been SO long! It's to the point now where I have to force myself to write something.

Ho hum, where to begin? I live by myself, in a studio. It's fantastic.
Excuse the mess. Actually, no. It's my house. Deal with it.

I'm now, for the first time in my (almost) 7 years in Whistler, Creekside based. Here's hoping I get up to Whistler alpine a little more. Plus: Million Dollar ride outs! 

I got picked up by ThoughtCatalog for an article, which I later had to pull because the subject was uncomfortable with the content. Which I respect. So I'm pouring a lot of concentration into a bigger, better article for Mountain Life... If you know how to get hold of John and Eric Jackson, send them my way. I could use their help. 

I'll be perfectly honest I'm struggling with some serious writer's block. I didn't understand that idea until now. Before, when I had trouble exposing an idea, I just have a couple of beer and let my fingers do the work. Now... It's looking at a page of about 500 words, for hours on end, until I want to throw my laptop out of the conveniently located window to my left.  So I'm really using this post that you're reading now to get the creative muscles flexed again. 

I also have a review of an album that's approximately a week overdue... Here's the weird thing: I LOVE the album! I just haven't wanted to sit down and write about it.  That's getting started immediately after I finish this. As an aside, I also received an email from Carl Coleman, lead singer of Sink Ships. I reviewed their EP about a month ago, and they wanted to thank me. Which was fucking awesome. It's easy to lull yourself into thinking that no one reads your work, particularly when it seems I just churn out one review after another, 300 words at a time. It's nice to have feedback, particularly when you consider that i'm doing this on my own time, with no recompense.  So, Rolling Stone, if you're reading, I only do what i'm good at, and listening to music and writing about it is enjoyable. Send me an email and we'll get the wheels in motion.

In the meantime, I promise not to leave you all in the lurch for so long again. (PS: how good was Batman!?)

By The Way: I've been reading webcomics for a while now, and there's a couple that I regularly read. The first, Least I Could Do, has broken boundaries in my opinion by having not only a character, but the main character, in hospital with a serious malady Indeed, one strip this last week or so implied that they had killed him off. To someone that doesn't read it, it sounds stupid to be emotionally invested in a fictional person, but to you I ask: Did you cry when Dumbledore died? How about Forrest Gump's Jenny? It's the same thing, and LICD has shown that well written stories need a balance of humour and tragedy.
The second, XKCD.com, is wildly popular, in part because there are a lot of jokes about math, physics, and weird situations that most humour websites overlook. I wanted to bring attention to their recent strip. Entitled "Click and Drag", it opens up a vast snapshot in the XKCD universe, and with many punchlines happening all at once, I had to physically restrain myself from going all the way through. I highly recommend it for a rainy day.