As with most members of the human race, I often find myself looking for ways to leave a lasting impression. I strive to do things that are unique that will make people say, “Wow. Mark.” This website grew out of one of those things. And now, as I’m marching towards an uncertain future in another country, I find myself again longing to set up something. I want to establish something in my hometown to leave an impression. Since it’s growing rather late in the year to try and get the county council to build some sort of monument to me, I guess I have to do something on my own. What I am considering is something I read about on the Internet a little over a year ago, and I became enamored with the concept. It felt like the perfect way to honor both myself and the rich natural world that surrounds my hometown. I am, of course, talking about establishing a geocache.
Continue reading Crazy Scheme #187: Looking for Buried Treasure
We all have a happy place. It’s where we go when we’ve had a rough day at work, and we get home, flop down on the couch, and close our eyes. It’s where we go when we’ve just had a fight with our significant other, we’re feeling hurt and confused, so we close our eyes. It’s where we go when we just feel bad and want to cheer up. With all the moodiness and introspection of the new year, I’ve been visiting my happy place a lot. This what my happy place is like.
Continue reading My Happy Place
Being a person who has never had a girlfriend, I have done a few crazy things to find out more about women. (And if that opening line doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.) Sure, I have several close friends who happen to be women, but I’m certain that they must get a little embarrassed when I start asking questions that were best covered in The Vagina Monologues. Working in a such a female-dominated workplace might seem like a perfect opportunity to study the opposite sex, but I’m just too much of a professional to let my personal questions take control of my work. And I’m at the age where going to my mother would just be weird. Things would be so much easier if I had a girlfriend, because then I’d just ask her, and hopefully, she’d put up with my scientific curiosity because she loves me. But until that day, I’m left exploring other avenues.
Continue reading The Secrets of Womankind
If there’s one thing that frightened me about a job interview in another city, it was the fact that I was going to be alone. True, I was going to be staying with L’s folks, but, honestly, how many of you out there actually hang out with your friend’s parents? As a bit of a defense mechanism, I wanted to surround myself with as many friendly faces as possible. So, once the schedule for my whole interview in Vancouver was worked out, I sent off an e-mail to Whither about possibly getting together and hanging out for an evening.
Continue reading Friend of a Friend
A guy walks into a bar and asks for a shot of whisky. As the bartender pours, the guy starts sharing his story. “Oh, man, I need this,” says the guy. “I had a bad day at work. My co-workers are morons, the clientele are just a bunch of idiots, and every day is a struggle to just stay sane. My job sucks. I really, really, really hate my job.”
Continue reading Not So Bad
Did you ever feel like you were born a few centuries too late? Or too early? In my high school, there was a bit of a recurring joke about me. It finally came to my attention partway into grade 11. One day, in Math 20, the class strayed off topic and the discussion started about what we were all going to do after graduation. When the teacher asked me what my plans for the future were, a grade 12 student — I think his name was Dean — spoke up. “We all know what Mark’s going to do,” he said. “He’s heading off to Starfleet Academy!” The class erupted into laughter, but I couldn’t help but wish things were that simple. Head off to the Academy, and from there, to a position on some starship, exploring vast, uncharted worlds. Or even to have been born in the past, when I could have signed aboard Christopher Columbus’ expedition, and out across the sea to another vast, uncharted world. But no, I was born now. If I want to do some exploring, I have to take crazy, unwarranted risks. Like applying to one of these outfits that teaches English as a second language in Japan.
Continue reading A Good Day to Die
It’s my break time, so I’m heading on up to the break room. It’s time for my normal routine, which is to stretch out on one of the benches and have a nap. I enter the break room to find that it’s in its normal, disheveled state. But, what is this? It appears that someone has left a chocolate chip cookie on the table. Oh, how I love chocolate chip cookies! Those little nuggets of chocolaty goodness nestled within the warm loving bosom of baked goods. I glance around. It appears that there is no one else in sight. I glance back at the cookie. There is no one else around. There is no note on the cookie saying, “This cookie belongs to someone. Do not eat it!” I am confronted with a moral dilemma: do I take the cookie, or leave it?
Continue reading The Cookie
I still remember the exact moment when I began to hate working for Extra Foods. It was back in the fall of 2000, and I was still just a bag boy. It had been a really busy day, so busy that I worked straight through my break. My relief called in sick, so I was asked to stay an extra hour, and I did. It was literally 5 minutes to go before the end of my shift. A bag boy for the evening was finally found, and things had finally died down. With so little time left in my shift, I leaned up against one of the tills and “took a moment,” as one of my heroes on TV would say. At this point, the visiting regional manager came around the corner. He saw me leaning against the till, and stormed up to me. “We don’t pay people to stand around doing nothing,” he barked. “Get back to work or I’ll find you work!” Given the day I had just had, I didn’t take too kindly to his accusation that I was being lazy. So, I stood up straight, glared him in the eye, and, in a very loud voice, informed him of the day that I had just had, and as this was the closest I could take to a break, I was going to take it. After a moment of stunned silence, he just glared back and said, “I don’t like seeing people standing around. You should have taken your break. And I don’t like being spoken to that way.” I wanted to continue tearing a strip off of him, but I also wanted to keep my job. So, I gritted my teeth, and simply said, “Yes, sir.” That was when I started to hate my company.
Continue reading I Really, Really Hate My Job, part 54
I am quite often amazed at the things that frighten us. One of my fears is spiders. I mean, what’s to be afraid of with a spider? They just crawl along, going about their business, and enjoying their little spider lives. They have no business with me. They’re just looking for their next meal. But yet, when one happens to cross my path, I scream like a little girl and go running in the other direction. Why? I’m obsessing on this right now because there were two very similar incidents in my past, and I behaved differently in each situation. Why did I have more reason to be afraid than in the other?
Continue reading Fight or Flight
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Haven’t rambled in so long…I wonder if I’ve forgotten how? I imagine it’s like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget. So long…. Can I keep rambling? Can I still ramble? I mean, the world has changed so much. Is it safe to start rambling again? I say, yes.
Wow, has it been a long time since I’ve done this or what? What can I say? I got in a real groove with my whole “Vancouver series” and just didn’t feel like interrupting the flow. Good thing I’ve been compiling a list of everything I want to ramble about.
Continue reading Midnight Ramblings XX