A friend of mine is a tree faller. His job is listed as the most dangerous profession in British Columbia. He told me that he can't get insurance because the job is so hazardous, and his wife is constantly worried about his safety. I asked him why he does it. I make $120,000 a year, he replied. Oh.
Allan managed a Shoe Outlet! in the Shumley Mall but then decided to write a screenplay that sells for a million bucks and stars the most famous actors where he wins an Academy Award and never has to sell another shoe in his life. "It's all set then," summed Allan.
March 5, 2014
I was asked by a friend to teach his daughter how to manually construct a website. I sat her down in front of a big monitor and split the page in half. One side was my live site and next to it was the downloaded code from my site. I told her to see what she could correlate between the rendered site and the HTML, CSS and XML code producing it. She was smart and figured out 80% of it on her own. In essence, she taught herself. I looked like a genius, she probably is one, and my friend, whose fatherhood I now question because his daughter is way too smart to have sprung from his loins, ew, bad image, ew, um, where was I...
March 6, 2014
A 26 year old couple, social smokers, lived on a secluded beach. One day a hundred pound bale of marijuana washed up on shore. Because neither could imagine a life in jail, they never thought about selling any of it. Instead, they bought a large deep freezer and put it away. 37 years later, that couple, now 63, are still smoking from that bale. Though neither are religious, when stoned, they constantly thank god for their windfall.
March 7, 2014
It's not like once he clears the car he's gonna go anywhere. I don't get it.
-- I was using a reference from the 90s. You know, MC Hammer?
-- MC? What are you talking about?
-- Never mind.
-- I just want to know what time it is.
-- It's Hammer time!
-- Stop it, Louise!
-- U can't touch this!
-- Touch what? God Louise, what's wrong with you?
-- You never were very hip, Carol. It's 2:15.
-- Thank you. That's all I wanted to know. God.
March 10, 2014
I am going abroad for the next week. I will be gone until March 17th. I'm not taking a computer with me so there will be no updates, no book orders fulfilled and no e-mails answered. It's almost like a real holiday, but it isn't, though it could be, but it isn't. Ok, I'm off. See you guys in a week. Ta.
March 17, 2014
I walked into this businessman's office and the first thing I saw was a six foot tall framed picture of the ever cool, ever handsome Steve McQueen. The guy whose office it was in? Pretty much the opposite end of the cool/handsome/stud spectrum. But then just having the photo hanging there made him kind of cool, but he really wasn't, not at all, not by a long shot, not by a moon shot, not even with the studly Terence Steven McQueen looking over his shoulder day in, day out, poor guy, nice try but no cigar, not even a cigarillo. Did that make sense? Really? Mmkay, let's call it jet lag.
March 18, 2014
Hidden behind some stuff I found a picture of a loved one who passed away a long time ago. We were both so young! I have my hand over her shoulder and we are sitting outside on a deck. Behind us is the house we lived in for three years, the most idyllic time of my life and hers. It was a good picture of me, but she looks unhappy. Still...it's her.
March 19, 2014
This site has now been up for fifteen years. Even though it looks like this is all about me me me, it's mostly about you. Is too. Anyway, I've decided to celebrate our anniversary with a quick trip to Margaritaville. But before I go, I would like to thank you, the readers, for visiting when you do and taking from this what you want. Hear hear. My blender awaits. Later my pretties.
March 20, 2014
Practicing something over and over in order to either get used to it or to simply get better at it, is necessary for us because there is a time lag built into our reality. Your thoughts, those lightening quick images and words that flit through your mind all day long, are electromagnetic impulses emitted from the inside of you to the outside of you. But their manifestation into this reality takes a concentrated effort. If your intention is to make something you thought about real, it can be done. How? By repetition of the thought and the belief that it can happen and the intention to make it so. That, my friends, is the recipe for consciously creating your own life.
March 21, 2014
Overheard a man talking on his cell in a big box store:
-- (Hissing) I hate this place! It's too big. I'm never coming back here. I can't believe I'm here now.
-- Right. Like there are even two salespeople in this giant warehouse. You'd have a better chance of finding Nemo here.
-- All right, all right. I'm standing in front of the paints. There's like a million colours.
-- My god, there are like 30 shades of white, Genine!
-- I am not going to photograph each one and send them to you. Call me back on Face Time, you can see them for yourself.
He hangs up. Seconds later his phone rings.
-- Genine, I said Face-
-- I did not hang up on you! I did not! I thought we were finished. Why are you so mad?
-- You're blowing my mind right now, Genine. You know that?
-- All right. You don't want to Face Time because you "look like crap" and you made a vow to never be in a YouTube video without makeup on again, even though I'm talking about live chat, and not a video.
-- I need to be taking a picture of each and every shade so you can compare them all.That's asking a lot, Genine. You could have come with me, you know?
-- I did too ask you.
-- Did too.
-- Did too. Look, this fascinating duscission is prolonging my agony in this soulless hellhole.
-- What! Sex has nothing to do with buying paint! Ok, Genine, listen, and I'm doing this not because you are threatening to withhold sex, but in the interest of getting me out of this god forsaken cavern of consumer death, I'm going to photograph each and every shade of white and send them all to you. Just give me a minute, while I snap away. I'm going to hang up now, ok? You good with that? You know it's coming, right? Ok, love you...Bye.
Click. Click. Click. Click Click... Send.
Not 30 seconds later his phone rings.
-- Which colour do you want?
-- What do you mean, none of them?!
-- Damn it, Genine, Buster could make a better decision than you.
-- He could point his paw at a colour.
-- Who says they're colourblind?
-- Well that dude's wrong. I know Buster can see colours because he prefers that orange tennis ball to the green one. If he only saw it in black and white how would he know which ball is which?
-- I'm not crazy, you're crazy. All right, Genine. You don't want white. We've established that. So what colour do I buy? God, this place is like a freaking 747 hanger.
-- What? Gray? You know how many shades of gray there are?!
-- Damn it, Genine, I am not going to photograph them all again!
And so on.
March 22, 2014
FIRST LINES WE'D LIKE TO SEE
Losing his psychic balance, Gaylord Pinkman-Grushenko so hated the name Gaylord Pinkman-Grushenko that he was hell bent on family revenge for hanging this horse collar of malignancy on him, so he thought maybe he'd kill his Mother first because she always called him "Brucie Boy" even though that wasn't his name and certainly was no improvement over Gaylord and made no sense to anybody but his crazy Mother who should die for that, or perhaps he'd slay his Father first because he had always called him by his full name, even if they passed in the hallway on the way to the bathroom it'd be, "Good day Gaylord Pinkman-Grushenko," unless Father was mad at him and then he would call him other names and flail at him with old man hands, or maybe he would kill the twins, because he always suspected they secretly encouraged his parents to give him this stupid name even though they were both born after him, or lastly, yesssss, maybe he would kill the nanny first, the one who kept saying what a weird name Gaylord Pinkman-Grushenko was and how he was a strange little boy for having it, something that would haunt him the rest of his life from the first day Gaylord Pinkman-Grushenko was let loose on the world right up to his present thoughts of revenge against his family, the Pinkman-Grushenkos of Auburn, Maine, Barry, Nina, and the twins Jigs and Bits.
March 23, 2014
The mail brings more questions about being a writer and why don't I say more on the subject. Ok. Here's something. How to do it is way less important than doing it. Doing it, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, manuscript after manuscript, year after year, decade after decade, is the only way to do it. Your knowledge about writing, your experience as a writer, the discovery of your own voice, like dust bunnies, accumulates over time. You wanna be a writer? Write. It would also help if you had something to say, but it's not a requisite.
Such news! So, what's your wish? What one thing are we talking about here? What are you wishing for out of all the possible wishes you could possibly wish? This is exciting! Go on, spit it out. Well? Hello? Shouldn't you be better prepared than this?! Jeez, it's about to come true! Your wish! What is it?
March 25, 2014
My uncle was a painter. Recently, I was able to view a small collection of some of his work. Man was he good. Still, he was just a single soul on this planet doing what he loved to do, and in this case, leaving behind a legacy of really good art. Not a half bad way to spend a life.
March 26, 2014
On the one hand I suppose it was possible to admire his lack of convention, on the other, he was making a spectacle of himself, on purpose, and when is that ever acceptable? In one of the busiest concourses in America's largest airport, this guy felt compelled to get his "workout" in while travelling. He literally undresses in front of gate B33 (where I'm waiting for a flight), dons a ridiculous pair of 1970 super short shorts, beat up runners and a sweaty tank top - plus a red sweatband and an iPod that had to be playing Get Physical. First he does these exaggerated stretches, then a warm up of running in place, then more stretches, exposing all kinds of genitalia in the process. Now he proceeds to jog, do wind sprints, and practice 4 point racing starts in the middle of the concourse all to the disgust and annoyance of the million people scurrying through it. I kept looking around for a film crew because this was Monty Python stupid, but there was none, this guy was just a world class show off. He finally jogs back all sweaty to gate B33, retrieves his clothes and walks away. It was funny and sad and needy and fake and terrible to witness but great fun to watch. Other people's lives.
March 27, 2014
I got asked by a German website if I would allow them to syndicate KeithSpeak in German. I dunno, I don't think I'd translate well. German is such a guttural language and my prose is so freakin' mellifluous. Haw! You know?
Just before I fell asleep, I gave myself the suggestion that I would wake up after every dream and I'd remember it. Well, I kid you not, I must have woken up a dozen times last night. I would wake up enough to remember the dream, play it back, think about it a little, then give myself the suggestion to wake up after the next dream and so on. Then I'd go back to sleep, only to wake up and do it again. All I can remember this morning are fragments of different dreams, but the fact that I woke up and fell back asleep a dozen times was surprising. I had no idea we had that many dreams per night. Or maybe I'm just special?
March 30, 2014
I turned away for just a second... I had a spreadsheet up with a bunch of experimental cells and formulas that I hadn't yet committed to (saved) when the cat comes in, jumps up on my desk and walks across the keyboard. She somehow managed Ctrl-Alt-Delete because my computer rebooted, taking with it the last few hours of unsaved work. Then the cat jumped off my desk and went over to the window to watch the birds it would like to kill at the outside feeder. Jeez.
March 31, 2014
His name was Phred Peacock. His girlfriend was Princess Marina. They were from Japan but had relocated to Canada because Japan wouldn't let them change their names to Phred Peacock and Princess Marina and Canada, it seems, would. Princess Marina then suggested I change my name too. I told her I already did. We all laughed. Immigrant humour.