skonen_blades: (hamused)
The more clarity I achieve, the stupider I know I am. It’s not that there’s a door unlocking inside me or that I’m falling deeper and deeper through the levels of my own life. I don’t have visitations from flowery growths of suspense and handlings. I have sharp turns in well-lit tunnels that bring me to new chapters. I have ‘top-down’ moments where I feel as if I’m lifted up above my own life and for a few moments, I can see the whole shape of it, see it for what it really is. It’s in these moments where I feel super lucid but also like I’m dreaming hard. I see the track. I see where I am. I don’t see how long I’ve got but I feel like I get an accurate check on how I’m doing. It goes a lot deeper than any old report card.

I’m experiencing things that so many humans have experienced before yet I feel alone. I think that’s the fulcrum for the seesaw of humanity. I know Audrey is unique. I know Sonja is unique. I know I am unique. But I know that our struggles and delights with each other as a family would be familiar to any other family on the planet and to families before Christ. Will be familiar to families centuries from now, maybe. My joy at seeing my daughter laugh is mine and mine alone yet is it also a father’s joy, every father’s joy. I feel common and included all at the same time. I feel lonely and special all at the same time. This is the duality, I think, of existence.

Waves. Fire. Branches. Always repeating and never repeating. So too with humans.



tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
Well, yesterday was the deadline to tell the bosses whether or not we're moving to Toronto or staying here in Vancouver.

We've decided to stay here in Vancouver. That means that I'll be moving on from Rockstar which is kind of a big deal since I've been here for ten years. There are other games companies in Vancouver and if I can focus on getting a good demo reel together I should be able to get by. If I pour a lot of energy into my other creative pursuits then maybe I can also make one or two of those profitable as well. It's going to be a crazy ride.

However, it makes me feel like I'm finally going to live life in the wild, the way that life is meant to be lived. Throwing it all away and diving off of cliffs is the way I lived for a long time but I haven't in a while. I'm okay with taking leaps but every single time I'm terrified that I won't land on my feet. I'm shedding a big salary by doing this and that is super freaky but it's also liberating. The money has kept me complacent. Lashes work better with me than rewards. Plus I own everything I've ever wanted to own. My tastes are simple and provincial.

Sonja will still stay here and teach. Audrey will grow up in B.C. Realistically, I have about thirty summers left in me in a best-case scenario. I'd like to spend them here. Whatever happens, I think this is the right decision.

I have absolutely no rancor towards Rockstar in my heart. They've been very generous over the years and this decision has nothing to do with them. They make the same demands that most video game companies make in terms of hours and their bonuses were kind. I'm leaving on a good note right now and I'm leaving under my own steam by my own hand and choice. That feels good.

It's a vast and glorious future with (as Q says) treasures enough to satisfy appetites both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.

Wish me luck and I'll see you all soon.


tags
skonen_blades: (jabbadoubt)
My consciousness is merely a fender on my brain. Much like my skull is a helmet. I see what I’ve been told I should see, I hear what I’ve been conditioned to hear, and I interpret the world as a tall white man living a life of comparative luxury in the first world.

It’s a straddle and no speakers about it. I have airplane lottery tickets dangling in the dozens around my neck, backstage passes from all the concerts I’ve ever wanted to go to. My eyes are twin modems and I see the world downloaded through my vision. My skin is a camera. My bones are made of glass and it’s only a butterfly wing away from reminding me how mortal I am. Diseased meat stretched around a filament of bone sticks and bone pegs.

I am a median. I am a traffic cone. I am yellow lines painted down the middle of basket-weaving courses funded by professional distractors. My voice, when unified with the rest of the voices, is powerful. My voice, when given the ability to change the opinions of many minds at a time, is powerful. That goes for all of us. Keep us down. Keep us segregated. Keep us entertained.

This is not news. This is what my eyes say to my brain all day. This is not news. I am on a ferris wheel and the ride is getting monotonous. I am not bored. I am not ungrateful. But I am worried at the gathering speed.

I need to remove my filters. I need to uncondition my hair and bequeath bare feet to my soul again. The gravity of time has me. The gravity of this planet has me. But I need to life up my mind. I need to light bulb higher. My thinker is gathering precepts and defaults. It’s accruing a mess of ‘knowledge’. It’s becoming glutted with facts, making it too smart to realize, making it too stuffed to think. My brain is a saturated sponge in need of a wringout or a drying.

I need a cleaning. And I need it soon.


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skonen_blades: (gasface)
Desperation leaves us open to new things.

You are the evil opposite of sexy. You make as much sense as capital numbers. I made a mayday in my pants. I’ve chosen entertainment over education too many times. It always gets darker before it gets brighter but it’s been getting darker for a long, long time.

I have this theory that time lasts forever laterally.

I am as cliché as a sinister tv game show or a haunted science installation. I left a while ago and I didn’t even realize I was gone.

On the other hand, I am also a wood stork.





tags
skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
I am the chronic doorman lapchild that makes success as improbable as trout lice. I walk into the room like a greasy high five and people immediately want to wash their hands. They have their beard theory ready as I throw the net of my calendar out over the month, fishing for dates. I cut a fine figure dressed in my barbeque smock and carrying my pink axe. I feel like a Turkish jackalope. The sadness in my eyes is becoming permanent but I’m fighting it. I want to be mean, efficient, and ready to go but I end up being a ripoff artist with swollen, tattooed hands. I’m a bearded, poolside drink girl getting jug burn.

You are my mile highness. When you left without saying goodbye to me, I knew it was love. You’re a beautiful day in the poor part of town and your sunshine is fermenting my mind. When you walk across the room, the men’s heads track you like sunflowers. You are a radium rose shining brightly in the darkness. There have been too many classic rock songs, topless vampires, and all-day buffets in my boot ransom life. You are a reminder that aspirations are necessary.

Replace my collarbones with your wishbones. Show me that fingers have no sense of smell. Ignore my unpheromones and touch me. Let the identical twins of Trashy Outskirts and Dusty Suburbs become a smooth city under your hands. We can become the two-headed lama. I’ll be the moth. You be the big pink sea snail. Call me Misty Spoon. Sure, my pillows are stuffed with money but I still can’t sleep. Let’s let dreams rent out smiles for a while. Come closer.




tags
skonen_blades: (angryyes)
Not sure. I was thinking the other day about what I would looks like as Darth Maul or more to the point, what Darth Maul would look like with a beard and long hair. I think it looks pretty good. I'm no photoshop expert so I know there are flaws but you get the idea. What do you think?




And what do you think would make a good name for this particular Sith?




tags
skonen_blades: (incredulous)
Radiohead. I don’t have the words but I have attempts.

I am reborn. He calls the tune. By reborn I mean baptized in the unending sheets of blood-temperature rain at the Thunderbird stadium. By ‘he’ I mean Thom Yorke. I am soaked to the bone. We, all twenty thousand of us, had fun. Not in spite of the rain, but because of it. It was quintessentially Vancouver.

My tears mixed with the slickness on my shining face, turned up to the gospel of a band that never even veered near to playing Creep. And the crowd was grateful for it. I felt myself experience moments of bliss. I was far from the only one crying openly. There were thousands of people. Thom Yorke was right there in front of me. It was raining steadily on the steaming, smiling crowd. It was intense.

I felt something similar when watching Sharon Jones and Dap Kings at the Commodore back in February. Like I was in the presence of true magic, true artistry, true legend. I tell people that if everything happens for a reason and that I came back to Vancouver to be close to my father while he died, then I also was pulled here so that I could see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings in concert at the Commodore.

Not that I’m equating the two events in my life. But I’m glad in parts of my very soul for both experiences. That’s how amazing Sharon Jones and Dap Kings were in concert.

I felt that again tonight. The rain, the people I went with, the people I met there, all of it. I feel like it was the high-water mark in an already incredible summer.

A woman I was desperately in love with in a different city married someone else two weeks ago. This concert made up for it. That’s what I’m talking about.

On Saturday, I dressed as a zombie at noon and then as a rampaging space beast in a play that night.

On Sunday, a woman killed two giant crabs in my kitchen, cooked them, and then we pigged out on them and got good and drunk while slathering our fingers in garlic butter, crab meat and smiles. Afterwards, we watched The Princess Bride and Labyrinth.

On Monday, I read poetry to a packed house at Café Deux Soleils. Living legend Shane Koyczan was there. Afterwards, he shook my hand, called me by name, and said that I had done a good job. I practically floated home in a trance.

And now tonight. Radiohead in the rain for two hours of solid transcendence.

These are typical experiences in these hot months. This is only the latest batch of days in a summer that is threatening to be the best summer I have ever experienced in my short life.

I am grateful and stunned and filled with love.


tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
Oh, the insecurities of an aging male. How they buffet, rage and swirl. My hair! My physique! My prowess! “Obsess”, the reflection says. “Compare”, the young bodies say. “Overcompensate”, the ego says.

My material accomplishments! Let me list them at every opportunity! Let people know you’re worth it, even if you yourself stopped believing it years ago.

I feel, sometimes, like I’m living in denial of the fact that I’m an out-of-shape, mid-life crisis having, almost-old guy trying desperately to surround himself with hot girls and cool parties so that he can avoid looking at mirrors.

It’s a voice that has to be silenced before it becomes my master. It’s the whip that I try to outrun. I have felt apologetic for my entire life, like I have to make up for being less than I could have been.

I believe in supporting those around me. I believe in giving. I believe in affection and love. “I want to help” should be tattooed across my chest. I see the creativity and beauty in every one.

My ex-wife used to kid with me. She’d say “You see everyone as a super hero” with a little shake of her head and I’d say “Well, what’s wrong with that?”

All I know is that this summer is the best one I’ve ever had, at least since the death of my father and my divorce. I feel like I’m waking up, like I’m shedding a skin and coming out of some dark and isolated place. It’s all baby steps but it is happening.



tags
skonen_blades: (mask)
Such an amazing Saturday that I had to make a new LJ icon just for the occasion. Here is the story in pictures.

Housewarming, going away party, Megatron concert, Battlestar Galactica wrap party, Masquerade concert.

skonen_blades: (Party)
Here's the footage of me crossing the finish line at the Underwear Dash. It's from the coverage. I love how they gave me the comedy harmonica music.





Check out the full coverage ->here<-

and here's the photo that Sam thinks should be on the cover of the Georgia Straight.





Crazy.


tags
skonen_blades: (Party)
So on Thursday, I helped a friend of mine (the lovely and talented Kimmy Shimmy. She puts on a great show if you see her name on any of the things happening around town) in her burlesque performance. I was the 'angry customer' in the routine and she was the server. The food ends up having underwear in it. Horrified, I go to leave. In order to get me to stay at the restaurant, she takes off her clothes. In the end, I slip money into her garter belt.



And then on Friday, my good friend Sam and I ran in the Chip Wilson's Not Dead Memorial Mile. There were costume-themed waves that left every fifteen minutes. Rockstar, bride, businessman, and (you guessed it) an underwear wave. Those are little hot dogs on my briefs. I ran the mile in 10 minutes or so. Rumour has it that I had the smallest briefs there. It was uphill from Alma up to Blanca on 10th. I got a round of applause when I finished the race. I'm not dead!



All in all, not a bad couple of days. Pretty sweet in terms of putting myself out there in public. There'll be more pictures and hopefully video soon but there you go.
skonen_blades: (Default)
So it's like this. Ed Wood's movie Orgy of the Dead has been turned into a burlesque production for the stage by the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society. They do it every year.

In the play, a young couple get caught in a car wreck and wake up in a graveyard only to be kidnapped by a mummy and a werewolf. They're brought to the Lord of the Underworld and his dark mistress, chained up, and forced to watch a cavalcade of grotesque members of the undead. The members of the undead are burlesque numbers.

On the stage, there are a couple of oiled-up giants that interact with the ladies if they require it and keep the stage clear of discarded props and costumes. No lines but they're on the stage for pretty much the duration of the show.

One of thier giants quit two weeks ago. I go to a lot of their shows and I know a few of them to say hi to. At one of their shows recently, they were lamenting the fact that they had no giant. Where could they find a giant on such notice? Where on Earth?

Well, I'm really tall. They asked me. I volunteered. Bob's your uncle.

So I performed two shows on Friday night and two shows on Saturday night.

NOW

My friend Kryshan is a director of movies. A real up-and-comer, if you will. He's always got a film going on. He needed some extras for a television pilot he was filming this weekend.

The television pilot's set in an office so I had to look like a high powered businessman. I had the ponytail (the 'ponis') and the suit.

SO. YESTERDAY.

Me at 10 AM.



Me at 10 PM.



Not the most surreal or crazy day I've ever had but looking back on it, it's up there. Man, it was a great time. I'm not an actor anymore but apparently I play one in the movies and on the stage.

Good times.


tags
skonen_blades: (haBUUH)
I’m a weasel in wolf’s clothing.
I’m a sheep that only counts on himself if he wants to go to sleep.
The first date goes great.
The second date goes horribly awry.
I throw myself high onto ledges so that I can pull myself up.
I’m almost aggressively alone.
I am the grand illusion of life, the cosmic self-aware gift, and I’m common.
As Shakespeare said, Man is a real piece of work.
I’m part of the wave that Coke told us to catch and here, years later,
I’m still surfing.
My personal trade deficit is four old VHS tapes and a dog collar.
I marvel at my own Gross National Product.
Am I the only person that misses the busy signal?
Drinks on coasters help me drink and coast while friends in bands I’ve never heard of tour the country.
I feel success leeching my youth out through my backbone.
I feel over-responsible and I don’t even have kids.
I’m wrapped like a Christmas present in bills and investments.
Open me up and change will spill out.
The beginning of the iceberg.
I’m what you get back after you pay for something.
I’m short-term goals stuffed under a mattress.
They say that some monitors use up more power on standby than they do when they’re turned on.

I know exactly what that feels like.




tags
skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
My entire being is a seven-eleven and I am the manager.

I have a day shift of adults who curse the fact they’re working here.
My night shift is made of lazy teenagers who don’t put in the effort.
The candy aisle beckons.
The place is stocked with food that won’t go bad for a century.
I wait for duty under fluorescent lights.
I blink at the emptiness of the night.

The only ones that come through after dark are:
Drunk and hungry on their way home.
Looking for condoms on their way to someone else’s place.
Slaves to weakened morals.

The daytime customers are:
Bums that have all the time in the world but no money
Terse people with pinched mouths that are in a rush and disappointed with their purchase.
Animals without masters.

I wear a uniform that was provided for me by The Boss.
I have no choice but to wear it every day.
It gets older and more faded as time goes by.
The Boss is too cheap to issue a new replacement.

I put prices on what I have to sell. Most of it’s cheap.
The bad stuff is behind the counter.
I check IDs and watch the pretty people come in and go out on their way to exciting nights.

Occasionally there are fights or rude people that I handle with all the smoothness I can.
I don’t get paid enough to stop people from stealing if it looks like they’re dangerous.
I’m too old to work here but I can’t leave.

My name tag says Duncan.
My shirt says “Can I help you?”
Look at my eyes.



tags
skonen_blades: (hluuurg)
I was a busy guy. I went from party to party and popped my head in the door for minutes or hours at a time before having to go somewhere else. What can I say? I was popular. I had catch-phrases and witty retorts that people came to respect, look forward to, and admire. Lines like:

“That was my nickname in high school”

and

“That’s what SHE said!”

And the ever-popular:

“Your MOM!”

People generally acknowledged that the party hadn’t started until I arrived and that the party began a downhill slide after my departure.

Now, being the life of a party stretched a person pretty thin. I was needed at several social functions every night. I felt selfish, only giving a little bit of myself to most parties and none of myself to the parties who didn’t have the foresight to book me at least a week in advance. I knew that short of cloning, I was in a fix. I didn’t want people to hate me.

The stroke of genius smacked me in the face while walking through a video store. I was browsing through titles when, in my peripheral vision, I noticed a person standing beside me. I turned to him to ask him a question. It was a cardboard cutout of Bruce Willis from the latest Die Hard movie. Startled and embarrassed, I looked around to see if anyone had seen me. No one had.

There was a button in the center of his chest that had ‘press me’ written around it. I pressed it.

“Yippee Ki-Yay” said Bruce Willis. I pressed it again. “Welcome to the party, pal!” said Bruce Willis. Someone was waiting behind me to press the button. There were people watching and tittering.

A light bulb went on above my head. My problems were solved!

I called in some favours. I went to a recording studio. I went to a photographer. I went to a sign shop. Soon, I had six laminated cardboard Duncans with buttons in the center of their chests that one could press to get one of my three hilarious copyrighted taglines.

No one needed to go without a Duncan again! No longer would I only inject an hour or less of fun into a party. Now, the party could go as long as the host wanted if they had one of my cutouts. Initially, people were confused but soon they got into it.

Demand rose.

I opened up a toll free number and a website. I became a small-business success story. With a valid credit card number, the cardboard Duncans could be couriered to anywhere on the west coast within hours.

I became the life of every party. People would say something, stumble over to my cardboard double, and press the chest button to hear me say “Your MOM!” and everyone would laugh uproariously.

A lot. I was more popular ‘on paper’ than I was in real life.

Soon, my list of invites started to dwindle. My VIP passes shrank in number. Disturbingly, I was noticing a rise in my duplicate’s popularity but a decrease in my own personal popularity. It was flattering and alarming all at the same time.

Some of my duplicates were going to places I had never been. One even attended a party at Hugh Heffner’s mansion and showed up in Us weekly the following weekend.

Last week, I had a night where I had nothing to do.

It was the first time that had happened in over three years.

In a barely disguised panic, I went onto my database and looked up the address of one of my cardboard Duncan shipping recipients. It looked like a fun party. An end-of-the-year modeling school graduation party that had previously used my doppelganger for their Halloween and Christmas functions. I got dressed the same as my duplicate and went to the party in my new Porsche after canceling the delivery of the cardboard me.

I arrived. I stepped up the steps. I rang the doorbell and adjusted my tie. I was sweating. My face didn’t feel real.

A beautiful woman answered the door. Her smile faltered when she saw me. She even looked over my shoulder to see if anyone was behind me.

“Oh.” She said. Then a fake smile lit up her face. “Well, this is a surprise! Come on in! The real Duncan! Everyone will be thrilled!”

I entered.

“The Duncan’s here everyone!” she yelled. There was a rush of expensive shoes on marble to the foyer where I was standing.

It was the worst moment of my life.

I got to see a hundred well-dressed, beautiful faces rush forward with wide smiles, look at me with a confused expression as their smiles became quizzical, and then saw their eyes glaze and their smiles falter before fake smiles snapped into place.

They were dealing with the fact that their party was going to be just another party.

I was in hell.

People started looking for their keys and making lame apologies to the host ten minutes after I showed up.

All night, I tried to be funny. At the buffet table, someone mentioned that the éclairs had a ‘hint of nougat’. Beside them, I said “That was my nickname in high school!”

They didn’t laugh. I heard the woman whisper to her boyfriend, “It’s better when the other Duncan does it.”

I started drinking. I remember crying at one point. I remember a few people laughed at that.

My last memory of the night is ending up on the front steps, waiting for a taxi, while a drunk runner-up for Miss America kept pressing the center of my chest and looking confused.

I withdrew from the public eye. I put on weight.

I own the Duncan Empire now. My cutouts are all over the country. No socially active house is complete without one. They now have over sixty-five ‘zingers’ in eight languages and a wardrobe of over fifty outfits. I’m looking at expanding into international markets.

I am rich. I haven’t laughed in months. I am not myself lately.



tags
skonen_blades: (gimmesommo)
There are two things wrong with this picture. One: For real? Global warming will mean warmer summers? What? I don't believe you, scientists. You're making it up. Two: Ladyface in the white shirt is smiling. The picture seems to insinuate that this is good news. I don't know. I mean, I know the media is dumbing down and all but really.



Here is a very funny cartoon from the Georgia Straight a few weeks back that's very funny if you remember Expo Ernie from Expo 86 and the fiascos that surrounded pretty much all of the low-income housing in the downtown core being emptied in preparation for rich tourists and property developers.



And lastly, I got this picture from a friend of mine a few days ago. I think it was taken in like 1993 or something. Maybe even earlier. It's a little hard to place. Yeah, it's me. Time, eh? Geez.






tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
Hey everyone. I saw a poster of this in someone's apartment recently. You can see the original in my flickr account ->here<-. I tried to recreate it because I couldn't find it anywhere on google or anything. I think it's just a brilliant and hilarious idea. Here's my attempt to recreate it in photoshop using what little knowledge I have. I mean, it still looks screenprinted, just *badly* screenprinted. : )


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