Monday, July 31, 2006

tomorrow's the first day...

...of the rest of my life.

I love that expression.

It's also a very handy concept.

When you quit smoking, which I've done twice. When someone leaves you, which has happened a few times (to say the least). When you finish a project, like putting all your music on your hard drive, for instance. (That took only four months and then there was another two months to figure out what went on the iPod.... which I've since changed about every three months.).

I'm trying to think of other occasions I've said - or thought - it. There've been a lot of them. Mostly it was more conceptual than concrete. Most occasions where I have that thought are more about coming up with some philosophy about how to live my life rather than something concrete like the particular tomorrow in this case.

In this case, tomorrow is the day I take possession of my house. And right now I'm just thinking about owning a house. I haven't really thought much about living there, which will involve thinking about living in that particular house and also living in that particular neighborhood, which is a distance from what I'm used to. For the next two months or so I'm going to have various people knock out walls and generally renovate it. When that's finished and I actually move in, I suppose I'll have another occasion to say that...

...Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

I guess at this point, moving day seems far away. (And I'm sure just the move itself will have its own drama.) Right now I'm just thinking that after thirty odd years as a renter, tomorrow I become an owner. It's a bit like becoming an adult, or as close as I'm liable to come now that having children seems to have passed me by. Tomorrow night I'll own a house but I'll still sleep in this hotbox of an apartment. So for the next two months it'll just be renovation anxiety. But about two months from now, when the next scheduled "tomorrow" arrives, there will be new issues.

What it'll be like to get around the city from that location will be a big one. How much I'll like the neighborhood. It has all the amenities but that doesn't mean I'll be comfortable there. Thoughts like what it'll be like to go to a different variety store or a different video store are no big deal, in scheme of things. But then there's the issue of what it'll be like to no longer live across the street from my gym. Or what it'll be like to have neighbors. Or whether I'm ever going to run into people I know (and like).

And I'll be thinking about what it's going to be like to sleep in the basement or have a kitchen with a table where I can drink my coffee and eat my meals, rather than doing it all - precariously - on the desk with my computer, which I've done for the last four years.

I think it's going to be weird to sit at a table. I think I'm going to feel like I'm playing a character in a movie. A character who has a kitchen table and actually sits at it. Of course I'll probably continue to bring my coffee over to my computer in the morning. And maybe I'll get a coffee table and eat some meals in front of the TV. But it will be nice to have a kitchen table and I will try to get in the habit again.

I suppose there will be a lot of things to get used to in the new house. And that'll have a lot to do with the idiosyncracies of this apartment I've been living in for the last four years.

I know that when I moved here originally, I had the thought that "tomorrow is the first etc etc... "

It was a lot nicer than my previous apartment, in a much nicer neighborhood, with a deck and nice floors. And I'd just gotten a little work and I had a little money. And I was about to start a relationship (short lived, as it turned out.)

Anyway one of the things I think I'll enjoy in the house will be just walking in the front door and being in my home rather than climbing two flights of stairs to the third floor, which is what I do now. And of course I'm assuming that next summer, the basement will be considerably cooler than this sweltering third floor apartment.

I'm also looking forward to being able to answer the door without a lot of effort. I won't even mind opening the door to the Jehovah's Witnesses (who have a temple right around the corner from this apartment and another one right around the corner from my new house.)

I virtually never answer the door here. I go to the window and wait for them to leave the porch and if it's someone I know - or a parcel delivery guy - I shout to them and run down the steps to catch them. The reason I do that is because often the bell isn't even for me. It's for my downstairs neighbors who, besides hating me more than any two human beings ever have, also have a dog which hates me. So if I go downstairs to answer the door for one of their friends and then their friends ring their bell, I may run into their dog in the hallway.

I'm not sure that was explained well. But let's just say that most of the time the bell isn't for me, and it's a drag to go down - and back up - two flights of stairs when the people at the door are friends of your enemies or friends of Jehovah for that matter.

But when I can just walk to the door and open it, I won't mind. Even when I have to tell them that they want my tenants and that's a different door. (Or at least I hope it will be. That's one of the bigger renovations planned.)

That's obviously another thing that will be new. Having tenants. In some ways it won't be new because I have lived in houses with apartments above or below me. But these will be my tenants and I'll be responsible for collecting rent and fixing their leaks. I really hope I choose wisely. It's kind of strange for me to say that I'm looking for someone "quiet", given how much I hated hearing that when I was looking for apartments.

It's not that I"m loud but I would never call myself quiet. I suppose if they're only as loud as me, that would be okay.

A propos of nothing, I'm listening to "Thick as a brick" now for the first time in at least 25 or 30 years. It makes me think about the past but in a very amorphous way. I don't know if you call that "nostalgia".

I was just talking tonight to a friend I may get to collaborate with in the future and we were talking about film noir and I was saying that one of the things I like about the genre is how many of the stories revolve around your past catching up to you. Or "chickens coming home to roost".

I love that concept too. I'm always sort of nervously looking over my shoulder waiting for my past to catch up with me or the chickens coming home to roost. Most of the time it's fairly banal, like waiting for the "disconnect notice" because of some bill I just couldn't bother paying.

I'm going to have a lot of bills to pay in this house. Water for instance. Never paid for that before. I'm going to have to lose that bill-procrastination habit. I guess it'll make it easier that they take the mortgage directly out of my account, though I've never liked that idea. But I'll have to get into a rhythm with the other bills. I hope my tenant isn't a procrastinator like me. Maybe I can put that in my apartment ad.

I don't want to write anymore tonight. I did want to tie together the two ideas. Chickens coming home to roost and tomorrows where you turn a new page, start a new life etc.

I think that I probably think of these things as often as I do because I'm alone and I have a lot of time on my hands. And I tend to look at my life as a story, or more accurately a tragic comedy.

I suppose it could be worse. When the milk carton runs out, I don't think about al the milk I've used in the last couple of days and ponder the chickens (or the cows) coming home to roost. I just go and get some more milk. And when I put the milk in the fridge, I don't think that tomorrow when I wake up and put the milk in my coffee, it will be the first day of the rest of my life.

I'm not quite that bad.

But sometimes I come close.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

hilton supernova vinyl big brother lebanon zweig xxx

I was just looking at my so-called blog to see if I had any comments. And there were actually two comments from people who I hadn't told about it. One of them was from a lovely woman, who has her own blog and who I met last year when I interviewed her for my new doc.
Invariably when I run into someone between the time the interview and the time the film comes out, they ask me if they're going to be in the film and they seem to be saying "I hope you don't use me". On the other hand, when they see the film, they always seem disappointed if they weren't included.
So, in case she ever comes back here, I'll tell her that it's still too early to say, but I hope she'll be in the film. It would be disappointing to me if I can't find a place for someone who was so sweet and amusing and honest. But I can't say for sure because there will be lots of sweet, amusing, honest moments that just don't find a place in the film.
Which is why I always secretly wish I could make the films eight hours long.
And that brings me to the other comment and the stupid title of today's entry.
The other comment I got was from someone who googled the word "Vinyl", I assume, and ended up at my blog. Apparently he or she was looking around online to see if my documentary of the same name was available on DVD and I guess I must have mentioned the film somewhere in my previous entries.
I wonder if I should put my full name on the blog. I didn't use my initials because I was hiding. It's just a habit.
Anyway when I realized that people end up on your blog by googling words that you use, I came up with today's stupid title.
It was also because I have nothing to write about today and I'm only here because I thought I should try to write an entry at least once a week. And it's hard to come up with a title when you have nothing to write about.
Nothing happened this week. Of course in the past, I've made a meal out of nothing so I guess if you're in the mood to blog, you can write about nothing. I guess I'm just not in the mood today.
Oh by the way, Vinyl will be coming out on DVD. Probably in the early winter. In fact I'm supposed to be working on it today.
Maybe I'll do the work between my dog-walking shifts.
My friend asked me to walk her dog twice today. I'm not really in the mood to do anything today, or at least anything that involves leaving my apartment but I only have two cigarettes so I have to leave anyway.
By the way, I plan on quitting smoking once and for all, soon after I move into my new house. I'll either do it for New Year's or my birthday, which comes a month after New Year's or I'll give myself one month of smoking at my new house while it's still warm enough to go smoke outside. Or maybe I'll give myself one of those rules where you have to smoke outside, just to help break the habit.
I've quit smoking twice but not in the last few years. I won't go into the whole story but both times I quit, it was for a woman who subsequently quit me.
This time I'll be quitting for the expense. To help pay the mortgage. And for health. Peter Jennings was not much older than I am now when he died from lung cancer.
(This post is full of google-able names!!!)
In the last year or so, a couple of friends of mine who had quit, started smoking again. When my friends quit smoking, I always have mixed feelings. Same when they start again.
I feel abandoned when they quit. And I feel morally inferior. But I'm happy for them. When they come back, it's a relief that they're no longer morally superior to me and I'm glad that I have somebody to go out for a smoke with. But it's also a confirmation that it's really hard to quit permanently.
I have a strong suspicion that I'm going to die from it whether I quit or not. But that's only because I believe that the chickens always come home to roost and I've spent way way too much of my life sending the chickens out and then sitting there in dread for the day they come home.
That was weak but you know what I mean.
Sometimes I think I don't pay bills on time because I must love the panic of those "disconnect" warnings. Otherwise why would I do it? Laziness and procrastination doesn't really explain it.
Right now I'm procrastinating going out to walk that dog. But I only have one cigarette left so I guess it's inevitable.
One time a number of years ago, my brother asked me to go over and walk his dog when they were away for the weekend. The problem was that I'd never met the dog and vice versa of course.
So I opened the door and this dog, who didn't know me from Osama Bin Laden, started freaking out and barking and yelping and hiding under things etc etc.
Needless to say I never got near him to walk him. But that wasn't the only problem. This was my brother's dog and now he associated me as the guy who tried to break into the house. So for the next few years, whenever I visited my brother's house, this dog would growl at me or hide or get nervous or generally act unpredictably, which would make the family dinners a tad less comfortable.
I was glad when they got rid of that dog.
I wouldn't say I'm generally scared of dogs. But I am a bit scared of dogs that hate me.
Like the dog downstairs. I should probably tell that story before I leave here.
In the case of my friend's dog that I'll have to go walk when this cigarette is finished, I have met him. Then again he apparently has doggy Alzheimer's (I hope nobody ends up here from googling that word) so I'm not sure how that will affect him.
I think he's also blind. And really old, obviously.
I don't particularly like this dog but it's not personal. I don't know what breed he is but he sort of looks like a miniature Greyhound. He has unbelievably skinny legs that look like they could just snap at any moment. I just don't like the look of him.
Sometimes I do make exceptions. There's a woman at work who has a small dog and though I usually don't like small dogs, I like this one.
I was going to try and make a comparison between not liking skinny dogs and not liking skinny women but that would only prove how desperate for a subject I am today.
I like skinny women just fine. I just don't like hugging them. And usually they don't seem to like being hugged either. Or touched for that matter.
I know that's a huge generalization but then again, I'm sure there are no skinny women out there all broken up about the fact that I don't want to hug them.
This cigarette is almost finished.
I just want to sit here and play around with the playlists on my iPod. Right now I have this project where I'm separating the really slow songs from the faster songs on my "alternative" playlist. So I can just listen to slow songs without any interruption.
I've had the iPod for about fifteen months and I'm sure I've spent ten times more screwing around with the library than actually listening to the damn thing.
I hope my friend's dog remembers me. Or doesn't attack me. It doesn't seem likely but dogs are unpredictable.
Like the situation in the Middle East.
Or Hurricanes.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

congratulations on your ambivalence!!!

I bought a house on Tuesday night.
It was a surreal experience.
When I first saw the listing for the house, I was excited by the lowish price. I went to see it immediately and I liked the feel of the place. The house was solid, adequately sized and had two nice features - a livable basement with a separate entrance and a decent-sized backyard. I could rent out the basement without being too embarrassed. I'd seen better basements but I'd seen a lot that were way worse.
And as far as the backyard goes, when I started looking for houses, I didn't realize how many tiny backyards there are in the city. You can turn those tiny backyards into beautiful spaces and I wouldn't have rejected a house for a small backyard but still a backyard of this size - not huge but respectable - was a nice bonus.
Initially I didn't think much about the neighborhood. On the one hand, it was a little further west than I had intended to go; on the other hand, it was a real up-and-coming neighborhood with lots of restaurants and cafes and such, and I knew a few people who loved living around there. That didn't excite me. I would have preferred a less happening neighborhood, as long as it was closer to the part of the city that felt like home to me.
Let's just say I was ambivalent about the neighborhood. And I guess I still am.
I was more concerned about the actual street. But there I also found ambivalence.
When I went looking for a house, I think I imagined it would be on some leafy residential street, tucked away from the main streets. And that image also produced ambivalence. I love those leafy, tree-lined streets and the sense of isolation from the busy main streets. On the other hand, when I leave my house to buy milk or catch the streetcar, I don't like to walk too far. When I rented apartments, I always chose something close to - or even on - the main streets. I guess I just assumed that when I bought a house, that would change.
But it wouldn't change if I bought this house. It's on one of those little feeder streets where you don't even expect to see houses. There's a gas station a few doors away, a giant condo going up right across the street, and another condo going up a few doors away. And my backyard butts up against a row of autobody shops lining the street behind me.
It's steps away from two main streets and three different street car lines. I guess ultimately I preferred that to the more residential streets but I was afraid this street was a bit too..... industrial?
I kept asking people whether the condo across the street would drive down prices on the street. Every single one of them said "No, just the opposite".
I guess I was thinking that you'd rather look across the street and see another house with a tree and a garden. But the people I asked were just thinking of all the services that would inevitably accompany the condo.
The condo across the street, by the way, is being built by Harry Stinson, one of the few developers in the city who actually has a public face, by virtue of the infomercials he's done to promote his condos. And the building is sort of half interesting, half ugly. It's supposed to be state of the art, with rooftop gardens , an atrium, and some environmentally-friendly energy system.
All I care about is how ugly the part across from my house will be. And whether, even with its own parking spaces, the condo residents will make it hard for me to find a spot on the street. I don't have parking and it's the kind of street where, if you don't find a spot near your house, you're fucked.
The other condo, three doors east (or north... the street slants) seems like it might be bearable. It's not very tall, it has sort of interesting modern design and if the drawing on the outside is accurate, it may have a pretty little garden that could be visible from my backyard.
It's an area in transition, they say. Maybe someday the gas station will be gone along with all the autobody shops and I'll be surrounded by groovy condos. Or maybe they'll buy me out and condo the whole neighbourhood.

Anyway these were the things I was thinking about when I first looked at the house. But then my agent gave me the bad news. They weren't accepting bids for almost two weeks, the low asking price was almost certainly offered in order to create a bidding war, the house I was attached to had just gone for thirty five thousand more than they were asking for my house and that house didn't have a finished basement like mine did.
In other words, I wasn't going to get it cheap. I wasn't going to steal it.
And I was going to have to wait a long time.

So for almost two weeks, I dreamed about what it would be like to live in that house. I started referring to it as "my house" or "my backyard" and then catching myself; I drove by it a few times at night and even drove a friend or two by it, to get their opinion. I was going a bit crazy, just waiting. My agent kept telling me that it was a good house in an upcoming neighborhood with rental possiblities and it was going to go at least fifty thousand over asking price. I hoped she wasn't right and kept wondering whether the long wait would be worth it. I don't even think I looked at any other houses while I was waiting.
Then the day came. I couldn't sleep the night before. The plan was that I'd register a low bid with my agent and then she'd find out how many others were bidding on it. Then, according to how many bids they'd received, we'd guess how high it might go and at six o'clock she'd drive up to the agent's office and deliver our higher bid before the seven o'clock deadline.
So I phoned my agent at noon and she told me that they already had five registered bids.
This was apparently bad news. It meant there'd be a bidding war of some kind. I wasn't going to get it for anywhere near the asking price.
That was okay with me, in principle.
In my time of looking, I'd never seen a decent house in a decent neighborhood that was anywhere as cheap as the original asking price on "my house". That original asking price was actually precisely what I wanted to pay for a house when I first started looking. It was the price my friends had paid a year ago, for a house I would have been glad to own. I wanted to pay what they'd paid. Yes it was a year later and prices did go up but people kept telling me they were about to level off.
In approximately three months of house-hunting, I'd seen a few houses in that general price neighborhood. But they were always compromised for me. Compromise was necessary. I could never afford a house in the neighborhood I wanted to live in. But when you go looking for a house, you have to juggle your compromises and pick the more important ones. These more affordable houses were usually in a kind of isolated neighborhoods and almost always were the kind of cute, smallish house row house that I just couldn't see myself living in.
Or they were decent sized but needed tons of work.
Or they were beside a parking lot with a huge industrial fan that probably grinded away all day and night. Or there were four dogs next door, including a pit bull.
It wasn't that I wanted a big house. It was that I wanted a decent sized living/dining room. That was my focus. Any of those cute houses had enough space for me, all told. But I spend the vast majority of my life in a room with a computer, a TV, stereo, couch and chair and that was my focus. And so the second floor, with the bedrooms etc, was almost irrelevant to me. I needed a kitchen that was big enough for a table so I could dedicate the entire dining room to expand the size of my living room.
"My house", as I thought of it, had that potential. It also had a lovely second floor. I fantasized about my airy master bedroom with the bay window and lots of light, my guest room, my office, my sunroom but mostly I was thinking of the main floor, the basement and the backyard.
I was willing to pay a bit more because I hadn't seen anything in that desired price range and didn't really expect I ever would. And I was willing to pay a bit more because from the beginning I'd said that I'd pay more if the house had a decent basement apartment with a separate entrance.
I'd said that but obviously I hadn't really thought much about it.
So anyway the agent told me that we'd have to raise our price a fair bit and she'd phone me around five thirty and we'd decide on a price. And I spent the afternoon at work, discussing the situation with my friend and editor Chris, who was a recent homebuyer and a big proponent of home ownership.
He encouraged me to go with the highest price I could imagine spending. Or to put it another way, "If it goes for two thousand more than your price, will you be pissed off or will you just think that you gave it your best shot?"
That's the logic that kills you.
I would have been happy to get the house at thirty five thousand over asking price but given what the house next door had gone for and the number of other bids, that didn't seem likely. I would have been happy enough to get it for forty thousand above but it didn't seem likely that would be the highest bid. So I decided to bid forty five above asking and then when I was on the phone with my agent, I upped it another thousand, in the hopes that someone else would stop at the round number and I'd beat them by a thousand.
The truth is that both my agent and I figured someone would probably bid seventy thousand over. Somebody would pay that because of the neighborhood. For me the grooviness of the neighborhood created ambivalence but for some young couple with a kid, the stroller-density of the neighborhood would be a major bonus.
So I offered forty six thousand, my agent drove up to the suburbs and I went home, figuring she'd call me in an hour and give me the bad news. And part of me, I predicted, would be relieved. It was a lot of money, basement apartment or not. The basement would make it easier for me to handle the mortgage but still it could be a struggle.
My agent called me around the appointed time and told me they were considering three bids and ours was one of them. I didn't understand that. Surely there was one of the three that was highest. Why didn't they just take that one and put the rest of us out of our misery?
And what if mine was the highest one?
(As it turned out, it wasn't.)
My agent agreed with me. She told me she'd argued with the agents and almost felt like walking away. But maybe if I offered another couple of thousand dollars, we could put an end to it.
I so wanted to say no. But... I don't know, once you're up at forty six, do you really want to walk away for two thousand more?
(Maybe you do if forty six is more than you can afford and you only offered it because you thought you wouldn't get it.)
I said "Okay, forty eight" and she went to give them my bid.
Ten minutes later she told me that they weren't accepting my bid because it was only verbal. If I wanted to actually bid that much, I had to drive up to the suburbs and initial it.
??????????
"And if I drive up there and initial it, does that mean I'll get the house?" I asked my agent. She couldn't say for sure. What??? So if I drive up there, I might not get the house but if I don't drive up there, I definitely won't get it. Is that basically it, I asked her. Sheepishly she confirmed it.
So I got in the car and headed up to a part of town that I hadn't come anywhere near since my old cab driving days. A half hour drive if I was lucky.
Ten minutes into the drive she called me again. "How far away are you?", she asked. The post rush-hour traffic was already driving me crazy. I didn't need questions like that.
Then she told me that they wanted two things from me. An earlier closing date and two thousand dollars more.
It wasn't what I wanted to hear while I was fighting traffic.
The earlier closing date didn't bother me particularly. But the two thousand did. My agent asked if I could do ONE thousand. Then I heard her yelling at the sales agent. Then she came back to me and asked me again. Then she yelled at the sales agent again.
I don't know what I was thinking but I said i'd pay a thousand more but there was no fucking way I'd go two. My agent said "Keep coming, I'll get back to you".
So I kept driving.
When I was about five minutes away, she phoned me and asked if I was close. I said I was. She said she was waiting in the parking lot because the sales agent was driving her crazy.
I had to phone her once more because she'd given me bad directions but finally I pulled into the lot.
My sales agent was looking at me strangely as she told me to follow her downstairs.
Wait a second. What was happening here?
She was explaining to me that someone had bid fifty thousand over asking price but insisted on a later closing date, that the sellers had wanted fifty FIVE thousand over asking, that the agents were a pain in the ass, and I was following her like a zombie into this ugly office building, down this ugly circular staircase and into this ugly little office....
Where an Indian couple in their sixties were waiting along with this beefy male sales agent and his insincere female accomplice.
And they were all smiling at me, shaking my hand, slapping me on the back, saying "Congratulations" and sitting me down in front of a pile of contracts.
"Initial here, here, and here. Sign and date. Sign and date. Okay just three more copies".
And it was slowly dawning on me that I just bought a house, that I was paying A LOT of money, that maybe I could make the downpayment but given that I basically don't make a living, I'd never be able to afford the mortgage, and if I stopped initialling and signing, maybe I could run out of there, drive home, stop answering my phone and the nightmare would end.
But I kept signing as I looked over at the sellers and silently begged them to stop smiling at me like the cats that ate the canary.
"A lovely couple bought the house next door. You'll like them".
A lovely couple? I'll probably hate them. They'd better not bug me about my music or I'll just plant myself under their back window and let cigarette smoke waft inside.
When it was over, I still hadn't recovered the power of speech but my agent hugged me and I got in the car for the long drive back home.
I called my brother and tried to rationalize it to him. He was happy for me but agreed it could be a challenge. Then I called my editor and friend, Chris, who was joyous.
Misery loves company. Now we were both tied down to huge debts.
He suggested we go for a celebratory drink.
I was still speechless with fear when he joined me on the patio, along with my good friend Lee who was there to help me recover my senses.
"Why do people keep congratulating me and all I can think of is the bank coming to my house and kicking me out???"
I stayed like that until a new thought slowly dawned on me.
The house I just bought already had an apartment on the second floor. My plan all along had been to open up the second floor, get rid of the kitchen, take it down to the basement, live on the first and second floors and rent the basement.
But what if I kept it like it was and slept in the basement?
"Do you think I could sleep in the basement?", I asked my friends. And we mulled over the question for the next hour.
"You wouldn't be living in the basement, just sleeping there", one of my friends offered. Or maybe that was me.
Like I said, I'd been fantasizing about that upstairs master bedroom, the guest room, the office....
I was sort of glad to give up the idea of the office. The only reason I was planning to put an office on the second floor was due to implied peer pressure. People with a third bedroom on the second floor usually made it their office and kept their livingroom computer-free.
"What do you have the room for if you're not going to spread yourself through the house?", the logic went.
I would have gone along with that idea. And about a week into my new residency, I'd be sitting at my computer in this little room upstairs and wishing I was downstairs near the TV and the stereo and the kitchen and cursing myself for the very idea of an "office".
So that would be a non-issue if I rented the upper floor.
But when I'd been fantasizing about the master bedroom, I must admit I often thought about what a prospective new woman in my life, might think.
"Nice bedroom", she'd think. And she'd stand in the bay window, look back at me, all the time thinking to herself "I could sleep here".
Would she think the same thing if I led her down to the basement?
"Where are you taking me, the dungeon?"
Of course some women I know would like that idea. But it wouldn't be a dungeon. It would just be a bedroom. I'd be sleeping in the rec room, like some teenager who convinced his parents he needed more privacy.
Maybe I should get a black light poster.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had no choice and the more I started to relax. If I rented out the second floor, I would have less renovating to do and more importantly the people upstairs could almost pay my mortgage. There are a lot of little things you have to pay besides mortgage. Water, heat, electricity, insurance, property tax. That can cost you in the neighborhood of six hundred bucks a month.
I could have the basement guy pay the six hundred bucks OR I could sleep in the basement, forget about a guest room and an office and hope that any new women in my life would admire me for making my upstairs tenants pay the vast majority of the mortgage.
And there's the fact that we could make more noise down there.
The funny thing is that I did meet a new woman the very next night after I bought my house. And if this doesn't go into the "small world" file, I don't know what does. This new woman, with whom I will likely have an undefined but very welcome relationship, bought a house about a year ago.... on the same street as me! And she sleeps in her basement!
She lives on other side of one of my nearby main streets so I won't necessarily run into her but if we ever get into the "booty call" thing, it will be convenient.
And she's become - by necessity - an expert in home renovation. So yesterday we went through my house and she told me everything I'm going to have to do.
She thinks I'll be happy sleeping in the basement.
I'll be happy if I can pay the bills.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

gained weight for the role

Today for some reason, before I went to the gym, I looked at myself in the mirror.
I never do that. Or at least, I avoid it at all costs. I think I wanted to see if the T-shirt I chose was too dirty for public consumption.
Anyway what I saw in the mirror was predictably upsetting.
I guess someone out there could describe me as "husky" rather than just fat or morbidly obese. But I think those two terms apply. My friends usually say "You're big" or "You're not really fat, you just have a belly". But I always assume they're just being kind.
Last year I was talking about my bad self-image with my friend Carleen and I said "Like sometimes I look at other fat guys and I ask myself whether he's fatter than me or I'm fatter than him. Like that guy behind us..."
I was pretty sure the guy behind us was fatter than me. The rational side of my mind was telling me that he was, in fact, a lot fatter. But I wasn't sure. Like I said, I avoid looking at myself and more importantly, I know that when I haven't been recently reminded of my corpulence, I walk around thinking of myself as a fair bit slimmer than I actually am.
Which is why it's so upsetting when I actually see myself, usually by accident.
So I may have suspected the guy was a lot fatter than me but taking into account my usual level of denial, I couldn't be sure. Carleen turned around to look at the guy and couldn't help but burst into laughter. The guy had his back turned and was engaged in conversation so it's not like he could have thought she was laughing at him. And she wasn't. She was laughing at me, at the suggestion that there was any comparison between this hippo and me.
That was comforting.
On the other hand, I'd be willing to be that the man in question was a lot more comfortable with his size than I am with mine.
I could write about this all night.
It's my Achilles heel, my most profound area of weakness. I think I'm a pretty confident person and pretty happy with who I've turned out to be but when people talk about someone being "comfortable in their own skin", I always shake my head in dismay. I'd like to be comfortable in my own skin. But what's jiggling under the skin prevents me from getting there.
Anyway so after I got back from the gym, I was watching the extra DVD that comes with the Raging Bull special anniversary edition. There were about three or four short films about the making of the film. I almost couldn't watch them, I was so in awe of the genius and dedication that went into making the film. Once upon a time I dreamt of being Canada's answer to Martin Scorsese but, if I needed any more proof on how impossible a dream it was, those short making-of films provide the final nails in the coffin.
I'm just not that good.
Not that I still thought I was as talented as Martin Scorsese. I forgot about that twenty years ago.
But I have to admit that for much of my life, I held the position that there are people who have talent and film craft and imagination and there's no such thing as "genius", it's all just work. The point of my theory was partly to tell myself that I could be as great as the people who were considered great. And I still sort of believe that. But I also now belief that there are geniuses or at least some people have genius periods and Scorsese making Raging Bull was such a moment of genius.
And I sort of understand how he got there. And I just don't think I have what it takes to get there.
I can't believe I'm writing about this. I never talk about this.
That certainly wasn't why I brought up Raging Bull.
I bet you know why I brought it up.
It's about DeNiro gaining the weight. I think I'm fatter than the fat DeNiro in Raging Bull.
He says in the interview that he went from 152 pounds to 212.
I weighed 155 in 1974 when I got back from India the first time. (And I also once weighed ten pounds but we all did.)
I don't weigh myself but I'm confident I weigh more than 212 now. I'd be glad to find I weigh 220. But I wouldn't be shocked if I weighed 240.
I think DeNiro is shorter than me. And I think I can confidently say that the fat DeNiro's head is fatter than my head. That's some small comfort.
People were shocked by DeNiro's weight gain. I walk around like that 24-7, 365 days a year.
I think I'm about to make another resolution about food.
It's just crazy how much this fat thing affects me. I have considered some kind of hypnosis therapy to help me get over the horrible self-image. But I think I'd just rather look for more ways to lose weight.
I think this was my worst piece yet. Good thing no one reads it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Springsteen in Detroit

Last night I was coming home from work and the "long weekend and nothing to do" theme was still echoing in my head. I had driven to work that day - rather than ride my bike - because I thought it was going to rain. The car needed gas. The closest gas station I could think of was on Dupont so I drove up there even though it was out of the way. While I was up there, I thought I'd get my groceries from the Loblaws rather than the local Dominion where I usually go.
I shop at Loblaws about once every couple of months. Sometimes I go there to get a few things I can't find anywhere else - like "mandlen" which are these little noodle-like things you put in soup - and sometimes I just go there because I'm in the mood to see how the other half live.
I don't mean rich people, even though it's probably indisputable that the average income of a Loblaws shopper is higher than a Dominion shopper. Real rich people probably go to Whole Foods in Yorkville, where I recently went on a date, or some other store I'm not familiar with.
But there is an atmosphere of upper middle class comfort permeating Loblaws. And especially given the fact that I grew up in that atmosphere, it's very pleasant for me to shop there occasionally. It's fun. And I run into people there that I never see anywhere else. And even if it is more expensive than my usual supermarket - which I'm not sure of - whenever I'm there, I think "I should probably come here more often".
And there's the stuff they have that you can't find anywhere else.
Anyway the only reason I'm going on about Loblaws is that there was an atmosphere there last night that I might have found at Dominions, but it would have been a lot subtler.
People were stocking up for the long weekend. Buying supplies for the cottage or at the very least, big backyard barbecue parties. Happy families were gliding through the store, filling carts to overflowing with President's Choice Yummy Cottage Barbecue products. Happy Dads were throwing big steaks in the carts, happy children were throwing in marshmallows and chocolate fudge cookies and happy Moms were shaking their heads in feigned disapproval.
And I was treating myself to little noodles to throw in my consome.
When I got home, I was turning on to the street to park and this van was trying to make a left hand turn to the same street. I waved them through and they parked in the spot I was going to take. After I parked my car and began to walk back to my apartment, I noticed that they were just stopped there to pick up a couple more passengers. That kind of pissed me off, that they took my spot and they weren't even staying.
I looked inside the van. There were five or six of them, in their mid-twenties and the van seemed to be packed with some kind of supplies. I imagined I saw sleeping bag rolls but I couldn't be sure. I tried to remember if there were any long weekend rock festivals up north this weekend but I'm a bit out of that loop.
I guess I must have been thinking about those days, long ago, when I might have piled into a van with friends to go on to a rock festival. The only time I remember travelling in a van was when a bunch of us drove down to Baltimore to help our friend move there. And there was that time when that same group of friends and I piled in a car and went looking for a bluegrass festival in North Carolina. That might have even been on this same long weekend. The Canada Day/ July 4th weekend. We did find a festival but it turned out it wasn't the one we were looking for. We ended up at the small one rather than the huge one but enjoyed it so much that we went to the same "wrong" one the next year.
I still remember a few things from that second trip to North Carolina. There was Gwen, a friend of my friend's wife, who decided to come along with us and at one point on the long drive, fell asleep on my shoulder. She was apparently a bit of a singer and when they asked for amateur volunteers at the festival, she got up and sang beautifully. In the subsequent years, she became a musician and singer of some note and whenever I read her name, I think of her falling asleep on my shoulder.
The other thing I remember is that my friend Marty found a woman to sleep with within the first hour that we arrived. I remember this because women loved Marty and I was always jealous, but probably never more jealous than that first night, the second time we went to Harper Van Hoy's bluegrass festival in North Carolina.
Anyway I wasn't really thinking about any of this as I watched those kids pile in the van and take off for their long weekend adventure.
Instead I suddenly thought about the time, I don't know how many years ago, that I finished my shift driving cab and ran into a couple of friends of mine - one of them a driver, the other one a dispatcher - and they were standing around a car and just had this look like they were going somewhere. I asked them what was up and they said they were driving to Detroit to see Springsteen.
As far as I can remember, Springsteen had just played in Toronto on that tour and I think I'd just seen him. Or maybe that was the tour where I'd decided to stop going. That sounds right, I'm not sure.
The first time I saw Springsteen was in a smallish hockey rink on the Born to Run tour around Xmas 1975 and that was a very very memorable experience, not just for the music which blew me away. But it was notable for other reasons. I'd bought the ticket for my girlfriend but she couldn't go and I took my little brother, which is a kind of a cool memory given that I'd turned my brother on to a lot of music when we were growing up but I'd never taken him to a concert. And there were a whole bunch of friends there who had been turned on to Springsteen when I went to India and left my record collection at my friend Earl's apartment.
Earl had gone through my records while I was away, which I'd assumed he would, discovered the first two Springsteen records, started playing them incessantly and when I came back from India, Earl and a bunch of our mutual friends were huge Springsteen fans. Bigger than me actually since I hadn't played the records nearly as much as they did. A few months later Springsteen's third record came out and a couple of months after that, we were all at this concert together, seeing one of the greatest rock shows we'd ever seen.
I saw Springsteen on the next two tours after that. And even though they were at much larger venues, they were still pretty amazing. But eventually I decided I'd seen him enough. And the more I think about it, that tour - his fourth I think - was the one where I decided to pass.
But here were a couple of friends - acquaintances really - who were on their way to Detroit to see the Boss and asking me if I wanted to go with them.
They didn't have tickets. They figured they'd find scalpers.
I distinctly remember two things I thought about as I stood there and tried to decide whether or not to go. The first one was "Is there something I have to do tonight?" and I remember kind of laughing at myself as if to say "Yeah, like you EVER have anything you have to do!"
The other thing I remember thinking about was "What's it going to be like in a car for four hours each way with these two guys?" I don't remember their names. And I barely knew them. They were the two guys at the taxi garage who kind of looked like they could be my friends. In this group of oldtimers and grizzled old taxi veterans, we three were sort of the younger "hippies". It's not like we were outsiders. You can't be a dispatcher and be an outsider. All of us, as I recall, did a pretty good job of fitting in with the rest of the gang and I could even say we prided ourselves on that. But still, we were the young guys and even though I'd never really hung out with them outside of work, I always thought they seemed pretty cool.
So I went.
I don't remember the drive. I do remember being outside the stadium and looking for tickets. And I remember being at the concert and thinking "I'm glad I saw him on this tour after all".
That was the last time I saw him though. It was before Born in The U.S.A. I haven't seen him since he's become huge but I have to admit I was kind of proud of him for breaking through like that.
Anyway that's neither here nor there.
A long weekend was starting and I was nostalgic for my youth when me and my friends would make the spontaneous decision to pile in the car and go somewhere, without knowing where we were going or whether we'd get in when we got there.
I can't say that that spirit of spontaneity is gone from me, here in my middle age. I can just say that it doesn't happen anymore.
It's probably more that I don't have those kind of friends than anything else.
And it strikes me that if I had a girlfriend or a wife or a family, that kind of thing might still happen. Or maybe not.

Friday, June 30, 2006

long weekend and nothing to do

I don't even know why I'd bother to share this but the long weekend is coming up and I realize I have nothing to do.
Actually that's not completely true. I have something to do on Monday night, just as the long weekend is ending. But between now and then, it's a big black hole.
I rented three DVD's last night.
And if I'm smart, I'll do some editing I've been putting off.
And maybe I should clean my apartment.
I'll chat online at this place I occasionally visit, usually for two or three days every six months until I tire of it. I really wish there was a place you could chat where people had actual conversations. If anyone knows of such a place, please let me know. It seems strange, with all that you can find online, that it's so hard to find that. I used to be able to find such places but they disappear quickly.
The place I go is sort of a singles place but people seem to go there just to hang with their friends, more than to "hook up". I've never met any of them and the conversation is pretty shallow, if you can even call all those "lol's" and "hugs", conversation. I have to be really bored to go there.
It passes the time and I can fantasize about meeting them and having sex, even though I know I won't.
Anyway that's my weekend.
Oh and I'll go to the gym. And try to catch up on my unprocessed music downloads. And catch up on sleep. And maybe I'll get to look at some houses I can't afford.
I'd like to go for a drive but I don't want to go alone.
Boo hoo, you lonely old man.
I know a lot of people. A lot of them, I suppose, are friends. Or at least a lot of them are acquaintances that I know too well to call acquaintances.
But I also have a lot of friends. People I've known for a long time. But as far as active friendships go, they've all sort of expired.
Some I see maybe once or twice a year. Some I run into at parties a few times a year.
If I'm out on the street with one of them, invariably a number of people will say hello to me and my friend/acquaintance will always comment "Boy you know a lot of people".
It's true. I'm old. I've been here my whole life. I've been in the same vague neighborhood for most of my adult life. I've met a lot of people. And I've sort of gone through a lot of friends
It's like this. Imagine a bar opens around the corner and you start hanging out there. And you become part of the gang. And for a year you see these people there every other night.
They're your new best friends.
But then the bar closes. And you and your new best friends never really phoned each other or made any plans to hang out. You might not even know their numbers. So you're not going to phone them and say "Hey the bar's closed but I'd still like to hang out with you".
Why won't you do that? It would certainly make sense. But in my experience, it doesn't happen.
So maybe you might run into a few of your new friends here and there, one night you might all end up at another bar or a party, one of them might give you his number and you'll think about phoning him one night but effectively that whole group of new friends is lost.
Well that's happened my whole life. Sometimes it was a bar. Sometimes it was work. Sometimes there was one mutual friend who brought us all together and when that friend had a falling out with one of us, we all stopped seeing each other. A lot of the time it was about them having kids and moving on while I remained behind, childless and footloose.
When I turned fifty, I invited a lot of those lost friends to the party I threw myself. There were at least 150 people there. People still bring up that party, not because it was so great but because they couldn't believe anyone had that many friends. And I just say "I've lived long and I've HAD a lot of friends".
But none of them are going to be around this weekend.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

four letters to Nerve pt 2

Last night when I was in bed, I had the idea to fantasize about a woman and see where that would take me. But within a few moments I realized I had no one to fantasize about.
I'm not dating anybody, I'm not thinking about anybody, I'm not even flirting with anybody.
Actually that's not completely true. There is this one unlikely woman who I think I sort of like but I'd forgotten about her last night (and I probably should continue to forget about her since it doesn't seem very likely.)
Up till yesterday, I had been fantasizing occasionally about a woman who said some nice things about me to a mutual friend but I spoke about her to another mutual friend - me and the woman in question have never actually met - and I decided to forget about her.
This morning, in the midst of my usual computer wanderings, I somehow found myself wandering over to the one dating site where I still have a profile and credits to spend.
Nerve.
Once a week or so they send you this "cupid report" that basically tells you if there's anyone new that fits your criteria, meaning age and location.
I regularly delete those reports. I've given up on computer dating. More or less. As I've given up on dating period, more or less.
I tried. It didn't work for me.
I think I've met seven or eight women in person, from these dating sites. Two of them, we had one date and never spoke again. One I had four dates with. One I had three dates with. In the case of those two women, the first dates were actually pretty good but it slowly went downhill from there. I didn't sleep with either of them. I didn't really care that I didn't sleep with any of them but I have to say that the sexual chemistry actually decreased over the course of our dates and I think we might have held onto it if we'd slept together.
I really like the idea of developing chemistry. I've never really experienced it. Usually, as a lot of people report, it's either there from the beginning or it's not. But as much as I may believe in it, that scenario hasn't done me any favors. Or to put it more succinctly, instant chemistry has led to some pretty good sex but never led to a good relationship.
So when I met these women and we kind of liked each other and could talk and seemed to be developing affection, I withheld judgement and gave it a chance. But like I said, the chemistry dissipated rather than increased.
I think basically what happened in each of those cases was that when we first met, we were pleasantly surprised that the other person was at least sort of in the ballpark. We'd obviously each had the other kind of experience too many times, where you meet the person you've been corresponding online and immediately all the "online chemistry" is gone and you're sitting across from a person you can't even imagine knowing let alone sleeping with.
These two women at least resembled someone I could know in my "real life". In fact in both cases, it turned out I knew one or more of their ex-boyfriends.
Small world.
I didn't feel a spark or all that much of an attraction but one of them turned out to be a truly good person - the other one was crazy - and I thought I owed it to myself to give the whole thing a chance. But it was just too weird and tentative and it didn't go anywhere and they both said weird passive/aggressive things to me to try and get me to break it off and so eventually I did.
I'm not blaming them. I blame dating.
I did have a few months of "friendly casual" sex with one woman I met online. I could have probably kept it going a bit longer but it got weird for me. Not really weird. More like confusing. Or even a little uncomfortable.
She was also a really interesting person. Quite substantial. And very very sexy. I appreciated her character and I liked the sex but those feelings never really came together or even deepened all that much. It was like we'd talk and that would be nice and then we'd have sex and that would be nice but it always felt a little too casual for me. Or something.
It's not that I can't have casual sex.
I think I could. But maybe not for that long.
Or maybe it would be easier to have casual sex with someone I didn't like that much. At least I wouldn't wonder why neither of us were starting to fall in love.
Anyway that's too long a discussion.
The last person I met after an online flirtation was about two months ago. We had a great week corresponding. We had a great night on the phone. We had a great first date. At our first meeting, she leaned across the table and kissed me. Then she took me home and did a striptease for me.
And we made out a lot.
The next day we hung out again and after a lovely romantic dinner and lots more making out, she told me that she was still hung up on her ex-boyfriend who had abused her both physically and emotionally and then dumped her.
Maybe I should have seen red flags. Maybe we got sexual too quickly.
But I just thought I'd met a woman I was sexually compatible with and that's what happens when people like us meet.

I've also had lots of little "relationships" that never got past the online part. In some ways, those are the worst ones. I don't know if men are doing this too but you're having a perfectly nice back-and-forth with someone and getting ready to arrange a meeting and then they just stop replying to you. Or they disappear. Or they make their profile invisible to you.
And there's nothing you can do about it.
It makes you want to hire a private eye, track them down, show up on their doorstep and say "I'm not stalking you but couldn't you just have sent a Dear John letter before you broke it off?"
I know it makes me sound like a bit of a pussy but I find that I invest some emotion in even the most casual online connection. It takes me something even just to write the first response to their profile. It doesn't kill me if they never respond - and in my experience they mostly haven't - but let's just say I notice it. And I wonder about it.
There was one a few months ago. I liked her profile and I wrote her and told her so. That's usually how it starts with me. I see lots of them with cute pictures but unless there's something I can respond to on their profile - a book or record they mention, something clever they say, something I can make a clever comment about - I usually don't bother.
So I wrote her and she replied.
That means she liked my letter to her. And it means she went and looked at my profile AND my picture and it was all sufficiently interesting to respond with a nice friendly letter that seemed to imply "yeah let's take a shot here". So I replied to her and never heard back from her.
No big deal, right? I only wrote her twice. How much emotion could I have invested? Not much. But however little it was, it was something and that something was a complete waste.
There was another one a few months ago where we corresponded for a few weeks - she was out of town for a week in the middle - and seemed to be getting along fine and were about to arrange a personal meeting. But she had one last question. She wanted to know the names of the films I'd made.
I certainly didn't think my resume would make her get all gooey and insist we meet right away but I didn't think I'd send her the information and never hear from her again.
But that's what happened.
Even if my filmography was the deal-breaker, I would have at least liked her to write me and say "If you made those two pieces of shit, we can't date". Or something. Give me a clue.
Did she die? Did her ex husband come over and win her back? Did she look at my picture again and change her mind? Or did she google the film titles, read a bad review and reject me? Or maybe she'd seen the films herself though that seems unlikely since she'd seen my picture and I'm very much IN my films. But maybe my online picture didn't jog her memory sufficiently until she saw the names of the films.
I don't know. But I'd like to.

Anyway I entered the fray again this morning. I did it without thinking. Read some profiles and replied to four of them. One was a Jewish downtown chick who was actually looking for a Jewish man and even though I don't usually go for that racial UN-mixing, I thought I'd take a shot. One of the more interesting ones said in her profile that she loved Flannery O'Connor and was looking for a man who also loved Flannery O'Connor. How could I not respond to that? One of them said she won't watch anything with Jim Carrey in it and I wrote her to recommend "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". One of them was looking for some cheap sweaty summer sex and I thought it might be fun to flirt with her.
As I write this, it's twelve hours later and I've just received a response from one of the four. I'll just go and see what she said.

It was the one I recommended Eternal Sunshine to. Here's what she wrote:

" I'm really knew to this and don't know exactly what I think of it - it's only been 24 hours and when I looked at my profile tonight, thought I sounded like a geek.
I'm a little harsher on the Jim Carrey rule than the Adam Sandler rule - I have seen punch drunk love and enjoyed it. But Carrey i've tried and tried and he drives me nuts! but who knows, maybe one day that's all that will be left on the shelf at the shop and i'll have to try it.
thanks for the tip."

Okay she spelled "new" incorrectly. But more disappointingly, there's the way she ended it. "Thanks for the tip". There's no opening there. No invitation. Does she want to correspond? Get to know each other? Ask me a question about myself? Hey babe, I was trying to start a conversation, not just boost Jim Carrey's profile.

See? It just doesn't work for me. I try to flirt, they mistake me for the kid who works at the video store.

If anyone else replies, I'll let you know. But I have the strong feeling it's going to be one horny summer (again).

I'm tempted to say that the reason I don't like online dating is because "hope kills" but that would be overly dramatic and this pussy doesn't want to seem like a drama queen to boot.

four letters to Nerve pt 1

Most mornings - or whenever I wake up - I make the coffee, turn on the computer, drink the coffee, smoke, try to force down a breakfast pita and roam around on the computer.
If I have the whole day to kill, I can spend the whole afternoon doing that. These days I only have an hour and a half or so before I actually have to go to (something that approximates) work. So I spend that hour and a half and have a hard time pulling myself away.
It usually doesn't take me long to read my email since I don't get that much. I belong to a couple of music-related mailing lists but I have less and less interest in them. And it's pretty seldom that I get an interesting piece of personal correspondence. I love the idea of sitting there responding to all kinds of personal emails but that's just a fantasy at this point. I just don't have those kinds of friends at this moment. Not that many people write me and often when they do, it's not the kind of thing that requires more than a yes or no.
I really love typing on my computer but I don't have the patience anymore to write anything "hard". Anything that requires real thought. That's why I love the idea of writing long emails. But like I said, I don't have the correspondents.
Lately I've whiled away much of my "computer relaxation time" reading left wing American political blogs. I often start out on the Huffington Post and surf around from there. I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment when it comes to American politics. It drives me absolutely crazy, makes me despair like almost nothing else I've ever experienced but still I go back for more. I guess the left wing blogs are sort of like tranquilizers for me, calming me down and reminding me that there are others who think like me (even if it seems like they're having absolutely no affect on that hell-in-a-handbasket country to the south of us.)
My main computer job these days though, is listening to music I've downloaded and "processing" it. Do I keep it? Do I get rid of it? Do I put a couple of songs on my iPod?
I don't know how many people are aware of just how much amazing music is available at this moment on blogs. I have a feeling that the reason these sites fall beneath the radar is that the vast majority of the music is oldish. From the seventies and sixties. For me it's perfect and I have to admit I've gone a little crazy downloading the stuff. I'd say my general musical diet is about half contemporary and half oldish. But the thing about the sixties psych, old school rhythm n blues, sixties easy listening, soundtracks etc that I've been hoovering up for the last few months is that it's generally pretty hard to find this kind of stuff, you have to import it when you can find it and you have to pay big bucks.
So as a result, as much as I love all that stuff, I've never really owned much of it, except once upon a time on vinyl.
There's so much of the stuff out there and I've downloaded so much of it that I'm always way way behind on just listening to it once and processing it.
I virtually spend no time these days just listening to music. It's like a job.
The last week or so I've been trying not to download much so as to give myself a chance to give up. I've processed about a thousand tunes in the last week or so but at this moment I still have 2500 songs to get to.
And that's if I don't download anything in the meantime.
Which is hard to imagine.
In my defense (I know I don't have to defend myself) I do have to say that all these tunes just go onto my hard drive and if I don't delete them, that's where they stay. In other words, I don't burn CD's - or "hard copies" - for all these records I'm downloading.
So no matter how much I acquire, it doesn't take up any more space.
I mention this because not everyone does it this way. I have a young friend Dan. He and I were trading sixties-era CD's for a while in the last year or so. He has way more than me but occasionally I've found something he didn't have.
In the last few years, there've been a lot of sixties and early seventies reissues, in the psychedelic, sunshine pop and folk genres in particular. Everytime they unearth a new one, you freak out about how good it is, you wonder why it was so obscure, why it didn't sell any records when it first came out and then you think to yourself "How much more of this stuff can they find?"
But then they find some more.
The thing is though, it's often hard to find and really expensive.
A little over a year ago Dan went to New York and found this store that had all kinds of the stuff. Things we'd never seen. Things we'd never heard of.
Dan went a little crazy and I think, spent about a thousand dollars. But even then, there were probably another thousand things he would have liked to buy.
I went to the same store a few months later. I quickly dropped a hundred dollars and ran out of there before I could spend any more.
Then some time last winter, I stumbled upon these sites that were offering similar records for free on their blogs. I was dowloading fifty records a night sometimes. Why not? It's free. I have the bandwidth. And I wanted to check it out.
I assumed that Dan had found the sites too. I don't know why I assumed that but the guy's half my age and I guess I just assume that these crazy young music-obsessed kids know everything that I know and then some.
But after a few months, when I ran into Dan and just sort of mentioned "I guess you know about those sixties download sites....", he looked at me blankly.
So I gave him a little seminar.
And he went home, found the sites I sent him and.... I think he stayed up for the next forty eight hours.

I'm the king of digressions by the way.

I sat here to write about replying to some ads on a dating site and I ended up doing a treatise on downloading. Oh well, I guess I'll split it up into two parts.

But let me just finish my point. Dan, unlike me, likes to have a hard copy of the records he acquires. Last I heard, he'd burned five hundred CD's from the stuff he downloaded. That was a month ago. It could easily be up to a thousand by now. It makes perfect sense to me but I'm just glad I don't do that.
I did once but I learned my lesson.
That happens occasionally.