Thursday, September 3, 2009

a good day winding down

Hello everyone. I've just had a most enjoyable Thursday morning. The weather is about as good as it gets. a beautiful morning to head down to Symposium for a relaxed brunch. As always, the food and drink didn't disappoint. I tried their deluxe omelet which was absolutely splendid with home fries and toast. It came with coffee. The thought of coffee on a hot day has never struck me as all that brilliant. I've heard that stuff about how it actually helps keep your body cooler drinking something hot but that line of logic just doesn't quite ring true. Nonetheless, it's still quite counter-intuitively enjoyable provided a colder drink is at hand. I filled that requirement with a delicious pineapple strawberry fruit freezy. The atmosphere was quite enjoyable. There will probably always be a sense that someone ought to be there with me to talk to across the table. Being able to listen around a place hearing bits and pieces of other peoples' lives does take some of the edge off the sense of isolation I've dealt with since the break-up. I take my netbook along in case I happen to hear something which sparks a good idea. No luck yet on that score but I'd hate to not be ready again when that happens. There have been one too many such agonizing times in my nearly thirty-five years of life. Whipping out my digital recorder and saying the idea just doesn't work as well for me. It's good for getting peoples' phone numbers or instructions but the act of typing something down seems to help me clarify them at least a little. There's more of a chance of the idea eventually coming in handy if I'm able to edit and clarify it. For obvious reasons, a pencil and notepad just doesn't cut the mustard for me. A netbook turned on and left in standby mode with Jarte loaded, on the other hand, is about as close to perfect a tool for a travelling writer as humanly possible. If I ever want to read anything I produce publicly, I would need a Braille display. However, at present, one of those is well beyond my means to acquire. Netbooks are just the right size. Not too small to work with like one of those pocket-sized cell phones that are the modern equivalent of the Swiss army knife. Not so large that you feel like you're carrying enough equipment to set up shop for the day. You actually are, but unlike a full-sized laptop, one doesn't get that impression.

Going there and back went without any problems whatsoever this time. I met a security guard who came over to see if I needed any help getting there. It was wonderful to be able to say that I actually didn't. Hopefully, over time, people will see me as someone who would be interesting to get to know rather than just someone who might need help. What i really need help doing is connecting with such people who are geographically close enough to change the tambour of my life. I had a wonderful chat earlier in the morning on:
There's a fairly consistent group of folks who cybernetically congregate in "the coffee shop", one of several chat rooms open to registered members. They're mainly scattered all over the US. They're pleasant and interesting folks, most of whom are somewhat older than I am. It makes for a pleasant enough start to a day. Not as good as enjoying brunch with a group of regular attendees would be, but for the present, it's what I'm going to have to make the best of. Slowly, I'm adjusting to that reality. Acceptance, grudging though it might be, is lifting away the cloud which has hung over me all Summer. I don't dread the Autumn or even the Winter. Hopefully, I might even have two or three months to enjoy the fruits of my labour and further solidify my first true victory in the area of mobility which directly benefits my own interests before snow and blustery winds make the walk too dangerous.

Yesterday, I had my second-last mobility lesson for now. The next one will be a mere formality to have him watch me do the route there and back and impart any last tips or other thoughts Ray might have. He's been a superb instructor. Very patient and always up-beet. Nevertheless, I'm pretty much burnt out for now in terms of learning how to go places. For me, learning that route was about equivalent in terms of time and effort to passing a third-year course in university. Not something to be undertaken lightly. Think about it. If you had to put in that much to learn how to get somewhere even relatively close, how many places would you get to on your own? I've essentially done two of those back to back. For the first one, I was just approaching mastery of that route to see Janene when she up and left me. It was a complete waste of my time as well as two interns and one of the CNIB's best instructors. I didn't even get the satisfaction of using what I had learned once before it was brutally rendered irrelevant. I'll never put myself through that again unless and until I've moved out of here and into a permanent place of residence. It has to count for more than just smoke on the wind from now on. Learning one route doesn't make learning the next one any easier for me. I won't feel at all guilty asking people for rides. Once I'm settled somewhere more permanent, thanks largely to the quirky but helpful Trekker Breeze, It'll actually be a worth-while investment to learn to get places within walking range on my own. A potential bonus from this victory might be the community centre. Presuming I can find a way to the entrance rather than merely what I presume is the rear wall, perhaps, there'll be something there that I can contribute my time and talent to or otherwise participate in. Something to investigate on an upcoming jaunt. It may be the same place where The Dam operates. I got the impression that this work happened inside the town centre mall itself on an upper level but that might have been mistaken. Wouldn't that suck if the one place I could get to and potentially volunteer at was the very same organization which has already barred me for not knowing for absolute certain that I'll be here at least two years? At least this time, it won't be my inability to get there on my own which will block me from volunteering or participating. Dare I even entertain the hope that for once, something else won't bar me from inclusion?

Prior experience certainly cautions me not to hold my breath in anticipation of success. And yet, to a profoundly surprising extent, I can't help it. Where on Earth does this endless inexhaustible hope for a better future where my abilities are actually put to more optimal use come from? "Sorry, Mike. Your good character, willingness to work and university degree don't count for shit. We'd sooner hire a secondary school dropout." "Sorry, Mike. You bent over backwards trying to make the marriage work but I'm eight years older than you and my depression-clouded judgements about life and people count for more than your more positive level-headed ones. See you." "Sorry, Mike. You've spent two years building a loving relationship and being there when I needed someone who would let me vent and not judge me by my looks. I know I accepted your engagement ring and said at the time that you were foolish to entertain any worry that I'd say no. However, you're ultimately not worth marrying. Have a nice life willing to do your part but trapped on the cusp of adulthood anyhow." "Sorry, Mike. I know you paid a hundred bucks to give Eharmony a chance like the rest of us but you're not even worth the mindless effort it takes to return your introductory volley of multiple guess questions let alone actually go out to dinner with." Now *there* was a case where I would have done better buying up a hundred bucks worth of lottery tickets. As astronomical as they are, my odds of success would probably have been greater. You'd think I would have learned by now. God knows why I haven't given up the ghost of hope yet.

Hey! Come to think of it, he *does* know. It's *his* fault entirely! He made me this way and then stuck the good friends and supportive family in place to make certain I felt compelled to cheerfully jump down each and every well which might possibly hold the refreshing water of life experience despite having the intellect to expect the stony bottom of rejection. Said people now include two adorable neaces who I'll be spending tomorrow with on a trip to Canada's Wonderland followed by a swim and visit back here at my parents' home. I at least have the title of Uncle Mike firmly under my belt. Regardless of what fate has in store for me, I'll do my best to be the wise, ever resourceful, creative, fun and loving uncle they both deserve. He also produced whoever came up with the game which has helped me get through the profoundly long and lonely Summer.

Yes, folks. Who would have thought that I, a man who detests games of pure random luck, would grudgingly admit that I'm grateful for a game nearly as mindless as Bingo or a slot machine? I'm talking about:
for those foolish or profoundly bored enough to follow in my digital footsteps. Basically, you create a character and use your daily allotment of action points to send him or her on completely random adventures where you have absolutely no control over the outcome. The only things you decide are the level of risk, how best to invest resources and skill points as well as when to use an action point to return to the tavern in order to sell loot and heal up. Essentially, taking away the fantasy trappings, you're left with a glorified game of Chicken. Whenever my creative engine stalls for lack of live experience upon which to draw, I've turned to this pastime. My main character Eldrex is a warrior slowly approaching level 40 who I sadly sent into danger once too often earlier today and died as a result. Fortunately for him and me, that merely accrues a fairly hefty debt of experience to be painfully paid off over the next couple of days worth of mindless fun. All the investments of equipment, skill points, and dearly bought advantages are safe and secure. Thorebar, my "hard core" character, has gone and snuffed it countless times since his original creation. I keep thinking he's ready for one too many risks and get him killed off yet again. He has to start from scratch every time. It's a pure ego thing but I keep starting him over for the pure random heck of it. He gets fifty action points per day. Combined with my main character's twenty-five action points, this forms a healthy daily dose of nearly brainless chance-driven chaos. I hereby swear by the two hapless six-sided dice which have resided in my desk drawer for well over a decade, that I'll make a grand thing of these two digital beings. They will stand shoulder to shoulder as testament to society's unswerving ability to waste the time, love, and talents of a man who still remains eager for more of what life has to offer. Let those numbers, hidden away in an obscure, inanely simple but nonetheless addictive game, be the extent of my virtual vengeance for reducing me to such a stupendous low point over these five months. I suppose I may as well go and attempt to reincarnate poor dead Thorebar and begin his journey to hard core glory once more. I have nothing better to do.

Fortunately, this Sunday after church is looking less dull than usual. I'll be going with Joseph to Tucker's Marketplace for a lunch. I believe other people are going as well but am not certain of that. After that, it looks like the church is having its first games night from mid afternoon to early evening. Perhaps, I can attend that also. Weekends have been quite good lately. I just need to fill up the weeks. A trip or two to Symposium will help a little, but you'd really think there would be more scope for at least social action or volunteering if not actual employment for someone like me. A lot of folks are praying and rooting for me online. I literally find myself hoping to God that it does some real-world good. I've done absolutely everything I can think of now. If more inspirations come my way, I'll certainly entertain them. However, my future truly rests in his hands. There's a certain relief in that but also a tremendous frustration.

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