2006: Suckpile

I’ve seen a few ‘year-in-review’ posts going around, thought I’d throw my two cents in, but didn’t feel like using one of the chain, fill-in-the-blanks ones.

I momentarily thought of starting with a ‘humans feel the need to rationalize, look back, blah blah dee blah’ bullcrap intro. Now I just want to kinda get into it.

2006 blew.

If I had the slightest idea precisely how hard it would blow, I probably would’ve taken a pass on the whole thing, used some sort of veto card on New Year’s Eve last year in Aaron’s basement at his party, skipped directly to 2007. It would have left me in approximately the same place, life-wise.

Good things from 2006:

1. Beth. Beth is still here. Though for the life of me, I have a hard time figuring out why. I love her with everything that I am, but unfortunately for her, about 90% of what I am is an ass. I’ve taken us from too-busy, over-employed with crapass boring, time-consuming jobs in dead-end St. Catharines and zero debt to 12 months of essentially unemployment (about 5 cumulative weeks of freelance work notwithstanding), boredom, whopping credit card debt, and me sulking around this apartment waiting for jobs to appear out of thin air. If I’m to hang on to the continued love and respect of this amazing woman, 2007 better see me friggin’ earn it.

2. My kitten. She appeared on our door, and despite having a decent hand in causing a bit of the aforementioned credit card debt (vet bills don’t pay themselves…), she’s been nothing but a breath of fresh air.

3. Everytime AaBron phones me. It seems to turn into a job somehow. Granted very few of them paid, but I produced his internet radio show, interned at his mom’s production company, which did turn into my only paying gigs of the year. I owe him a very nice wedding present, and a number of beers.

4. ……. Um. Hmmm, lemme see … My Nintendo Wii is pretty cool? Yeah, that’s about all I can come up with.

If finally having decided that regardless of odds/likelihood of easy success, writing TV is where I want to be headed in my life, then I guess finally having direction is a good thing. Too bad the road there is really long and I’ve likely got the wrong education for it.

2006 ‘hiccups’, shall we say:

1. Unemployment. Arguably my fault, like much else on here, but probably the biggie.
First The Walrus bailed on hiring me, even part-time, due to ‘lack of funds for new positions’. Three weeks later, new position ‘Director of Special Projects’ is founded, salaried, given benefits, and handed to the guy who started after me, with arguably the same abilities.
Next, some random magazine dude emails me out of nowhere, wants to meet, basically promises me a job ‘whenever he can get the magazine off the ground’. Fast-forward eight months — no magazine, no word on potential future magazine.
Then comes Dose. Really great opportunity, cool job, cool youth-oriented daily. I kick the interview’s ass. Paper gets shut down 10 days later.
CSIS. Yeah, I had a couple interviews with CSIS. Then comes the ‘thanks but no thanks letter’ four days after a third stage that wouldn’t supposedly respond for eight weeks. Guess I really impressed on that one.
Dart’s porn store. They’ll hired coked up, masters-waving douchebags, but not me. But they will fire the person they hire over me, two weeks later. And then the person hired to replace them, another two weeks later.
Octapix. Some documentary distro house. Jess got hired, climbed up into sales within a couple months. I used to be Jess’ boss, Jess likes me (I think…), puts in a good word … not even a callback.
Yahoo. More jobs I’m eminently qualified for, building up a good rapport with the HR lady, until she stops responding to my emails/phone calls. Eventually, I get directed to someone leading an internship program. No response. Feels really great at this point.
SDI. Closed captioning house. The job is literally watching TV and typing. I go in, kick the test’s ass (I thought) in about half the time they say it will take. A week later, a polite thanks but no thanks email.
These are only a sampling, the places I can either remember by name or that have an interesting story attached. There was the temp place whose aptitude tests I aced, but who managed to call me twice in six months, once the week I start interning at Radke, and the other the day before I go in for abdominal surgery. Nice job. The Toronto Star sales job whose interviewer was very nice and very constructive, even if the second sentence out of his mouth was telling me that it wasn’t the job for me (a fact I of course knew, but was in no position to turn down an interview). Or the legions and legions of resumes sent to production houses, magazines, BellGlobemedia, Alliance Atlantis, more places than I can remember or count, but have no real way of quantifying by response, since there was none. Do we get the picture?

2. Hospitals. I hadn’t seen a hospital/doctor outside of routine checkups/EIC related stress in more than a decade, but three emerg visits and an abdominal surgery trumped that streak. June saw me in emerg for about 10 hours getting ultrasounds when I finally couldn’t take the recurring stomach pain anymore. That turned into gallstones, which became a nice little convalescence in October.
And just yesterday, to cap the year off in the manner most fitting, I go back with an inch-and-a-half long, half-centimeter deep gash in my wrist, off some stupid piece of can lid or something in our garbage. A few stitches later, I’m home calling mom to see if I’m up to date on tetanus, which I’m probably not.

3. Cars. I suppose part of this was last year, but I sort of roll last fall into this year’s suckiness. First that lady smashed up the rear end of my car, luckily covered by insurance.
Then, I rear end a guy. At 25 km/h. Which sets off my air bags. Which breaks my windshield, and Beth’s face a little. Which nets me a ticket for following too closely. Which includes a court date right around my birthday next year. Oh, and one tiny final tidbit — all on Beth and I’s anniversary. I really know how to cap off special occasions.

4. Waste. This computer I’m writing on. This website I’m writing too. My Nintendo. Pretty much everything else I’ve bought in the last year. All of it was rationalized, or bargained, but I didn’t need any of it. I just can’t make a smart decision, evidently. Some of it was supposedly to help with getting and doing the work I was being given, but that’s basically a cop out. It wouldn’t have been as easy, but I could have done it other ways.

5. My attitude. As above, I’m basically just an ass. I’m selfish. I’m lazy. I’m both too quick to blame myself, leading to giving up, and not quick enough, leading to blaming others for problems I’ve created myself. I’m 25 fucking years old. I’m broke, I’m unemployed, and I’m dragging down anyone else unfortunate enough to be associated with me. I need to get my head out of my ass.

I’m not writing this to get ‘buck up’ comments or emails from anyone. That used to be what this would be for, as I’m also an attention hog, but no more. I’m writing this to purge everything awful from my head and from my heart and from my hands and from anywhere else where shit may be hiding in me. I’m writing this because I am pissed off, but I’m not pissed off at anyone but me. And it isn’t a tiny pissed off, it’s a huge, life-changing pissed off. I’m writing this to let 2006 know that it may have had its shots, and it may have beaten me down, but it better let 2007 know what’s coming.

Hey, 2007, you wanna make something of this? You wanna take this on?

Do it. I will end you.

You know that Triumph song, “Fight the Good Fight”? That’s me. That’s my head. That’s where this is going. Beth, by way of Supernatural, has gotten us on a classic rock kick. All that heavy, kick-ass, mytho-, motivati-, take-names, good stuff.

And it’s loud.

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3 Responses to 2006: Suckpile

  1. Travis says:

    And after all that you end this with a Triumph reference. Good, of course, is only defined by the existence of bad. In referencing Triumph with such prominence you’ve definitely proved the ‘bad’ part.

  2. liam says:

    You, sir, are an idiot. They sing from the hair, man. From the hair. Dude even looks like Harry Shearer in Spinal Tap. How could that NOT be awesome?

    Seriously though, it’s all Beth’s fault. She got me on a classic rock kick by downloading pretty much every song featured on Supernatural, plus dozens more. I totally pass the buck here.

  3. Chris Dart says:

    OK, Leon,

    You have had a bad year. I won’t deny that.
    I’ll even say that you, personally, have made some bad decisions.
    But you are NOT a bad person.
    All this “I’m an ass” stuff is something I would say. You are a good friend, from what Beth says, a good boyfriend and a smart motherfucker. Don’t let a couple bad breaks and a couple questionable calls cause you to start questioning your worth as a person. Not worth it, fam.
    Now pull yourself together or I will walk over there and kick the shit out of you.

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