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SMILE VANCOUVER!

Would it kill ya to SMILE VANCOUVER?!  Of course not.  Silly.  Hey, check out this great blog by a woman on a mission to make a whole city smile!  Insightful and delightful!  And she has a rapist wit.  Check it!

With the recent release of The Social Network, I’ve been hearing a lot of people say things like “I wish I invented Facebook!  That guy’s a gazillionaire now!”.  And it seems like almost everyone has been taken to court over ideas that were apparently stolen from someone else, and blah, blah, Larry Potter blah.  After the fact, it just sounds like sour grapes to me.  (Or, tastes like…?)  Anyway, I’ll tell you why I think people like J.K. Rowling and Mark Zuckerberg are vagillionaires(©), and all those other guys aren’t: because they got their idea out their first.  Anyone who comes second or third – even if they have a better idea – is going to have to accept that a lot of people are going to call them a copycat.  But what’s even worse than having your idea come out second or third or tenth is… NEVER HAVING YOUR GREAT IDEA COME OUT AT ALL!  That’s a lose-lose situation man!  Oh by the way – I didn’t actually copyright the term, “vagillionaire”, but I TOTALLY COULD if you think it’s any good?!?  I’d better hurry though because I just googled it, and sure enough…

So often we hold on to these “great ideas” for too damn long.  Writers might be the most notorious for this.  You write something great, then you edit it, and re-edit it, then change the story, then finally you change the character’s names.  And then a real stroke of genius hits you, and you take an entire day to decide if you chose the right breed for a dog that has the ability to cure cancer, and kill all the aliens who are trying to blow up Earth in your story, simply because you don’t want people to read it and say “A poodle would never be able to do that, this story is rubbish!”.  But here’s the twist: later that day, you discover that M. Night Shyalmalmalanlanamalan has just released a movie with a story that’s identical to the one you’ve been working on for the past eight years.  At that moment you’ll probably be able to hear him laughing all the way to the bank while you’re sitting at the bus stop playing “Mr. Tambourine Man” on the guitar to passersby.  HELLO, DEPRESSING?!?! Okay – I know I’m exaggerating – there aren’t that many ‘amalan’s in M. Night Shyamalan’s name.  But the result of all that humming and hawing is that now you have a guy going around for the rest of his life telling anyone who will listen that he would’ve been a vagillionaire having sex on the hood of his Ferrari three times a day because of this great idea he had, but unfortunately he waited too long to just spit it out.  Like my homeboy Biz Markie says, “Dont give me THAT! Don’t even give me that!”  (*Also, I’d like to formally apologize to anyone who had to get their inhaler out because of those run-on sentences back there.  What can I say, I’m a rebel without a pause – ZING!)  As my über-smart friend Agnes pointed out, most of the blogs out there that get millions of hits per day are only as successful as they are because they were the first of their kind.  We all have original ideas, but someone has to put their hand up first.

Finally, I think that smart people (like you! Obviously you’re smart – you’re reading my blog!) need to speak up more because when you don’t, guess who’s running their yap on the soapbox across the street?  That’s right, the stupid people. And there’s WAY more of them than us.  Though no one wants or needs to hear everyone’s opinion all of the time, if you’re really smart, you’ll know when to pipe up.  And so what if your ideas get shot down once in a while?  Either your idea really did suck, or the person who slammed it is a moron.  Keep getting feedback from different sources, and don’t be a pussy.  Like one of my favourite motivational speakers, Troy McClure says, “Get confident, stupid!”.  Yes, you’re going to fail.  Everyone fails at stuff, but the people who keep trying will get further than people who give up or don’t try at all.  To back up my claim, the internet has kindly compiled a list for me of people from different industries and areas of study, who became hugely successful after basically being total f%!@ups.  Check it out.

Living – Pregxiety

That’s right, I’m talking about baby-making!  Well, not so much the making part actually. That’s going to be another blog entry entirely.  Instead, I’d like to foolishly illustrate to you some of my ridiculous fears and anxieties around the topic of giving birth.  Fasten your chastity belts.

While enjoying a Big-Gulp sized “glass” of wine with a friend the other night, we got on this wonderful subject.  It started with a few innocent quetions: Do I want to have kids one day?  Yes.  Do I want to be guaranteed a seat on any bus I ride, and be treated like a delicate flower, even though I (might) look like a beached whale?  Yes.  Do I want to go shopping for cute baby/cute toddler/cute kid clothes, and decorate my cute child’s cute room?  Yes.  Do I want to raise responsible, productive members of society who will be totally stoked to take care of me when I’m old, even though they know I’ve cut them out of the will because I’m donating all my money to a cat hospital?  Yes.  But the big question is: Do I want to experience childbirth?  No!!!  I mean, not again.

Alright alright, pick your jaw up off the floor and stop dialing my mother’s phone number.  Allow me to clarify: we’ve all experienced child birth already.  At the very least, from the “birthee” perspective.  Whether the doctor grabbed you by the head and played tug-of-war with your mom’s vagina to get you out, or you were born Macduff style, you were there!  You’re just happy you don’t remember it, right?  Can you imagine if your memory started from the moment that your mother’s water broke?!  Talk about getting off to a rough start!  Now let’s talk about mom.  Yeah she’s had it easy for the past 9 months, not having a period, eating whatever she wants and never having to stand on the bus, but look at her now!  Surrounded by a bunch of jerks saying “Breathe!  Push!  You’re doing great!”.  PARDON ME?  Doing great, compared to what?  Being shot in the face by Dick Cheyney?!  Okay, um, maybe?!   I mean, poor mom’s probably pooped the bed at least once while pushing, she’s in excruciating pain, she’s sweating more than a hooker in church, her you-know-what is tearing like a wet tissue in the wind, and, oh yeah – THERE’S SOMEONE TRYING TO GET OUT FROM INSIDE OF HER!!!  It’s like an exorcism if you really think about it!  All that’s missing is an old priest, a young priest, and some pea soup!  And they call this “The Miracle of Childbirth”?!?  Man, I thought Paris Hilton had a good publicity and marketing team!  Also, keep in mind this whole ordeal could last for hours on end.  Now I understand why some people want to videotape the birth of their children.  The mothers can use it as a guilt trip when the kids are grown up.  Brilliant.

So that’s really the bulk of my pregxiety.  Once my water breaks, someone better hit me over the head with a lamp and wake me when it’s over (yeah right).  I know I have at quite a few years ahead of me before I really have to start worrying about this stuff, but I’m what I like to call, a ‘Pro-Active Worrier’.  What does give me some comfort though, is that every time I interrogate a mother and ask her to tell me every last gory detail about childbirth – she can’t.  Moms really can’t remember how bad the bad stuff was.  All the terrible pain and placenta seem to be wiped away by some of the most amazing, indescribably joyful feelings in the world.  I’m still a bit skeptical, but I guess there’s only one way to find out.  In the meantime, I’ll have to figure out a way for a man to get pregnant and give birth.  Now that would be a miracle.

Living – Solo

Living on my own is the bomb-diggity.  And I don’t use that term loosely.  While it would be nice if my cat could guide me with everyday words of wisdom like “Your oven is not a central heating system – call the landlord and ask them to turn on the heat.”, there are things I enjoy learning on my own.

Loneliness and depression were the first things that came to mind when I pondered living alone.  And coming home to…a cat?  They’re not exactly great conversationalists. I had serious doubts if I was ready to live alone.  Then I started wondering about the really serious stuff, like if the dishes don’t get done, I’m the only one to blame!  Now that’s terrible!  I can’t be angry at myself, I’m too cute to stay mad at.  So what was I to do?  I considered training my cat to do the dishes, though I can’t even get him to cook me dinner once a week.  But there were of course aspects of living alone that really appealed to me.  Being able to decorate your place exactly how you want, was one.  Total control of the TV was another (especially important when you’re a Star Trek fan – unless your roommate is The Fat Comic Book Guy).  But true independence is what really sold me.  I realized one day that everyone I’d lived with thus far had been around ten years older than me, and I suppose that’s enough of an age gap (coupled with my endearing immaturity) that made my roommates assume a sort of caretaker role over me.  It definitely made for a nice, comforting environment for me to live in, I can’t deny it.  But I started wondering if I had developed a false sense of independence and accomplishment.  That’s never good, and it would be even worse for the next guy that I move in with.  Talk about creating daddy issues.

So I acted on impulse (my specialty), found an apartment, and here I am!  Surprisingly, I have yet to feel lonely and depressed.  I feel more self-aware than ever before.  It’s great.  I’ve really fallen in love with the neighborhood I’m in, and I – gasp! – even say hello to neighbors sometimes.  Sometimes. You develop little routines that give you satisfaction and structure, like going to Starbucks to grab a coffee and the newspaper, or going for a run, or whatever you want to do.  Also, staying connected to people is so much more meaningful.  I realize how easy it is to become a hermit and just fall off the map entirely.  I’ve done that enough times, and it’s a terrible thing to do to yourself, and others.  Of course everyone needs their space, but I realize now how lucky I am to have loved ones within reach, and I know it won’t always be like that.  Can’t take people for granted.

Really though, the best part of moving out on your own is that people give you stuff.  Presents!  Oh yeah.  I’ve gotten lots of nice stuff, and all you have to do is invite these people over!  It’s just that easy.  You know if it wasn’t such a pain in the ass, I’d move at least three times a year.  It’s like Christmas man, I swear.  I’m totally kidding by the way.  At Christmas you have to give stuff back to people, unless you’re a real jerk.  ;)

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