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* The Pineapple Solution
* Paranoia & Power
* Baby Yam Update
* Working Life


Restless Natives

Yes, it's that time again to flap your hand over your mouth while going "aw-aw-aw-aw-aw!" and hopping around with a good old fashioned neolithic double step on each foot. That's right -- it's war-dance time in Canada again.

Mohawks and the Iroquois braves are intermittantly cauterizing the nation's primary railway through the Quebec-Windsor Corridor with blockades of flaming garbage. They're also occupying a swath of land between a First World town and a First Nations reserve, with more natives showing up every day to bolster their numbers should the OPP attempt another midnight eviction with tasers and tear-gas.

The natives say the ruling monarch of the British Empire gave the land to them late in the seventeenth century as a sort of "sorry we fuxx0red you" gift, and the government claims it was theirs to sell to a group of pure minded, nature-loving real estate tycoons because they were offering actual money rather than just a promise of further squalor.

Negotiations broke down when people at the site began fighting with one another. Jesus-loving white folk in the town are becoming disgruntled about their inability to drive to work, and irritated that an all-night every-night party seems to be developing in Henning Field. They've initiated a programme of profanity, which makes the natives froth. The natives buck against the line of cops, and the cops taser them. White people go back to Tim Horton's and have a coffee, then come back to swear more.

Part of the problem is that the government is negotiating with what it considers to be the appropriate spokesfolk for the First Nations people -- duly elected officials. A large proportion of the aboriginals, however, are of the opinion that only their hereditary "clan mothers" have the authority to speak for them. Natives who support the elected officials accuse their co-natives of refusing to bow to the reality of Western politics, and those who support the clan mothers accuse their co-natives of selling out to the cracker establishment.

Myself, I just think it's cool the way they dance. Hoppa-hoppa-hoppa. I've been to a couple of Iroquois pow-wows in my day, and I always really enjoy their famous fried bread snacks and life-threatening homebrew rye. "Hihowareya - hihowarya - hihowareya!" Good times.

The tension has a certain history, stemming from events like the one several years ago when unarmed native protestor Dudley George had his brains blown out by an OPP sniper for the crime of waving a placard. And, of course, everybody remembers the standoff at Oka.

The obvious solution? Free pineapples for all!


Grumpy Old Man

Yes, and Old Oak has officially made his grab for the Old Schoolhouse, insisting that if he's not added to the deed as a co-owner with me he'll hold his breath until he turns purple.

To avoid needless drama, we've been handling our discussions through a series of letters. They take a long time to compose and an even longer time to edit, since it is essential that our communiques remain passionless, pragmatic and on-topic. To Old Oak's credit he has also been attempting to restrain his normal inflammatory rhetoric -- for instance, in his last letter he only accused me of fraud once, and only through repeated implication did he suggest that I personally am the cause of everything horrible in his life. A noble effort.

The dispute in brief: a few years ago we decided to get a house with an in-law apartment so that we could take care of Littlestar's parents through their dotterage. Everyone thought this was a sparkling idear, and Littlestar's parents contributed for their part the downpayment necessary to secure the financing on the house. Our part, in turn, was to support them financially until they die.

Old Oak has become concerned that Littlestar and I may be overtaken with evil at any time, and would thus throw her parents out into the street with nothing. In order to protect themselves from this possible tragedy, Old Oak has decided he would like to retroactively revise our agreement to one of co-ownership.

The chief difficulty with this is that our previous history of co-ownership has been rocky. We own a cottage together, which Old Oak frequently uses as leverage in arguments unrelated to the cottage. For example, "Do my bidding on such and such a matter or I will block sale of the cottage."

Personally, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of my family home being used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with a brain-injured man. Also, I'm not entirely cool with the idea of having my assets on paper divided by nearly 50% without recompense, as it negatively affects my borrowing power. Finally, I resent ultimatums and will not willingly enter into a relationship with someone who thinks they're a good way -- possibly the only way -- to get what you want.

To date, none of our suggested compromises has met with a positive response.

The atmosphere is chilly in the extreme. It has been established by Old Oak that Littlestar cannot be trusted to look after her family's interests, since women are too easily manipulated by men and thus her opinion and will are really just extensions of my opinion and will. Similarly, Littlestar's mother has been declared an irrelevant pawn whose statements carry no authority.

So, it comes down to a power struggle between Old Oak and myself. As far as the old man is concerned, that is probably the entire issue, and he is certainly framing his arguments in those terms. My counter-arguments are not genuine, but are in reality a ruse in order to conceal my true motive which is to degrade Old Oak as a patriach and align my assets in order to stab him and his wife in the back at the earliest opportunity. This has probably been my plan all along, ever since I somehow secretly swindled them into entering into this agreement with Littlestar and I against their will.

Charming, no?

This sort of thing causes me some stress, and I've been dyspeptic. I am eagerly awaiting Old Oak's death so that we won't have to cope with this kind of paranoid shit every six months or so anymore. Also, I am eager for him to die before either of my kids are old enough to experience his dark side. I'd like them to have fond memories of their grandfather, a fiction I am prepared to support in order to foster a feeling of family togetherness.

We have received no response to our last letter. Littlestar and I are waiting for the other shoe to drop. It sucks.

He's threatened to sue us. He's threatened to move out and force his unwilling wife to move with him. He's threatened to block sale of the cottage (thereby fucking us all, including Slozo). I morosely anticipate that his next threats will be even more constructive and well considered.

The obvious solution? I believe his chances of being kicked out of our house would be dimished greatly if he'd just stop being such a dick. I'm no lawyer, but that seems the simplest and cheapest way from A to B as far as I can see. Alas, this is too much to ask from an emotionally handicapped person with a serious brain injury.

I hold all the cards. It isn't a question of losing -- it's a question of what his revenge will be, for not getting his way.

If I ever turn out this way in old age, please do not hesitate to shoot me in the temple with a fucking Howitzer.


My Fresh Kid

My fresh kid likes to play "peekaboo!" and he thinks it's funny when I slide my finger down his nose with a whistle and then flick him on the chin while making a popping noise. He thinks it's outrageously funny when Littlestar sticks her tongue out at him. He obsessed with plants, and coos when their hanging leaves tickle his cherubic cheeks.

When he is not giggling he is crying, sometimes very angrily, at the burbles and wurbles of his developing intestinal system. When help is at hand and it's broken by naps this is tolerable. When you're already tense and the child won't stop screaming it's like pouring battery acid through your nervous system.

"Sometimes when a baby is cryine there isn't something we can do," notes Popsicle wisely.

Gradually, things are getting better. The "bad days" are fewer and further between now, but when they strike they're vicious. "Medium days" are more common. "Good days" are like rarest ambrosia sucked directly from God's teat.

Baby Yam is up to nearly fifteen pounds. He wears the clothes of a child twice his age, and holds up his unwieldly giant head like a pro. Littlestar looks at old photographs and swears looks just like me when I was a kid. I look at him and see an infant-version of Popsicle.

Nothing soothes him like song. And pacing. Always the pacing. Around and around and around and around, dangling a book in the crook of my elbow so I can think about something other than wailing while I walk.

Reading? Kavalier and Clay, DisneyWar and Larry's Party.


Work

Most people don't work very hard. Most people complain a lot, but resist implementing changes to address their concerns. Most people bitch about other people, but decline to take these issues up with that person in even the safest of contexts. Most people are late. Most people leave early.

Everybody whines that they have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Everyone thinks they deserve more money, or more assistance, or both. Everybody fights over the best office chairs. Nobody likes new procedures or rules. Nobody likes whoever it is who proposes new procedures or rules, even if the proposition is beneficial to everyone.

Luckily I have a high level of inborn homeostasis. I am not persuaded by the whinging that things are bad, or out of control. Having worked in and out of a number of different creative houses and agencies through my years of freelancing, it's pretty clear to me how full of malarkey their complaints are.

Work is the easiest part of my life.


< Dear Bankers | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Just A Diary | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
The first rule about the working outside the house by georgeha (4.00 / 9) #1 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 06:07:50 AM EST
club, is not too talk about how much easier it than staying home with cranky, insatiable bratty kids. I certainly know what you're saying.


Work by duxup (4.00 / 3) #2 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 06:51:49 AM EST
Most people don't work very hard. Most people complain a lot, but resist implementing changes to address their concerns. Most people bitch about other people, but decline to take these issues up with that person in even the safest of contexts. Most people are late. Most people leave early.

Everybody whines that they have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Everyone thinks they deserve more money, or more assistance, or both. Everybody fights over the best office chairs. Nobody likes new procedures or rules. Nobody likes whoever it is who proposes new procedures or rules, even if the proposition is beneficial to everyone.

That seems about right.  The vast majority of the stuff I hear people complain about at work is … B.S.   Really we don’t need to spend time in meetings or even thinking about the equivalent of department X only stamping their TPS reports two times rather than three and how that has happened half a dozen times this month.   It might not be your job but just take two seconds out of your day, slap a stamp on it, and let everyone move on with their lives. 

I try to keep that stuff in mind when working with my boss.   No need to freak out about everything.  That’s not to say I don’t raise issues when they come up, but it’s all about picking your battles and figuring what if any good raising such issues will bring.  Most of the time the best solution is fix it myself and move on.

As for change, yeah even when it is apparently beneficial to everyone there is resistance without fail.  I don’t understand it but that's how it is.  We could all get a $10,000 tax free bonus and someone would have a problem, I'm sure of it.
____

better not see this at K5 by randomxs (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 06:58:27 AM EST
...just kidding.

"When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him." - Thomas Szasz
I think I might have a solution by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 07:15:15 AM EST
Perhaps you could finagle a hunting trip for Old Oak with Dick Cheney. Surely that would be a sight to behold. It could be the next great reality tv show.

Also, does Soviet Canuckistan have anything resembling the legal mechanism referred down here in the lower forty-eight as a lifetime estate? My understanding is that if you were to grant Old Oak and his wife a non-transferable life-time estate in your property (at least if your property were in some locations in the US) then they could not attempt to sell their portion, nor balk at your selling the property to another party. Of course, if you were to sell you probably would have to disclose that the property comes with an Old Oak included.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
What did you think of K&C? by MartiniPhilosopher (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 07:30:17 AM EST
I had a hard time getting into the characters. Even after fifty pages or so, I didn't have a sense of them or what the story was going to be about. Eventually I ended up putting the book down to go read other things.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

I'm Only In Chapter 4. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 09:14:25 AM EST
I find the style 80% satisfying, with the exception of the odd ten dollar word thrown in that no one outside of a university English department has ever heard.

I like Josef okay so far, I suppose, but Clay leaves me a little dry.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I will put you out of your misery... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 07:44:24 AM EST
...but a howitzer is far too much with too much collateral damage. A .22 behind the ear, however, will do the job well without getting blood on my clothes. Besides, if it's a mercy killing, I don't want you to be alone when the end comes because I love you, man.

fag...

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless


Whatchoosayin'? by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 08:01:44 AM EST

... since women are too easily manipulated by men

Yeah, yeah: I was just going to testify about the extent to which that tallies with my experience ... o_Ô


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
an all-night every-night party by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 08:32:24 AM EST
HusiStock?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Heh... by ShadowNode (4.00 / 2) #10 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 11:14:31 AM EST
Usually it requires boobies to make guys consider entangling their finances with crazy people.

babies with tummy grumbles by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 01:48:21 PM EST
for this, my family adopted the "baby on a bicycle" maneuver of grabbing baby's feet and pedaling them around...the motion either worked the air out of the intestine to relieve the pain, or made baby go "wtf?" and stop crying so hard.
Send me to Austria!
WTF? /me stops crying so hard... by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:03:14 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Old Oak sitiuation by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:10:35 AM EST
Just really, really sucks. He's driving you to kick him out, disown him, all sorts of sad things family members shouldn't have to do to each other.

I don't suppose anyone could suggest he try to get help? (Even I can imagine how he'd take that...)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

He Only Likes Therapists... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 04:14:29 AM EST
...as long as they buy his malarky. As soon as they start figuring him out and say the forbidden words "bi-polar" he decides they're quacks and stops going.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Scientology by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:08:11 AM EST
Maybe you can introduce him to the writings of L. Ron Hubbard.




---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
That's All I Need... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #16 Thu May 11, 2006 at 08:53:31 AM EST
Yeah, but... by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri May 12, 2006 at 03:02:10 AM EST
He'll be so busy reading L Ron Hubbard novels that he won't be around for years.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Just A Diary | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback