Halloween “Post-Mortem” (Get it?)

Halloween is well over now, but I didn’t get around to commenting on it, so I’ll do it now:

I don’t think police caution tape is a particularly scary Halloween decoration. It’s very popular and, I admit, it usually has been modified to say some spooky saying like “Beware” or things that are marginally better than “Caution”, but it is still not scary. If someone has put up caution tape, that means any threat there is known. Authorities have been made aware of the situation. They deemed it such a low-level threat that they felt a little yellow ribbon would be enough protection. Real scary locations don’t come with warnings.

Last year I saw a house that had some drawings of monsters done in crayons by children. That sort of thing is in just about every second horror movie for a reason, and if you’ve got kids it’s a very cheap replacement for lame caution tape decorations. And if you don’t have kids, what are you decorating for, you chump? Just watch some horror movies or something like a grown-up.

Some people worry about keeping Christ in Christmas. I am begging you to keep caution tape out of Halloween.

PDR’s Controversial Beliefs: Calm down, fast food.

I don’t go to fast food places all that often, I am ashamed to admit. I went to Wendy’s today, though, because the grocery store is closed because they hate Canada (Why else would any business close on Canada Day if not as a protest of Canada?). Anyway, I went in and ordered my meal and they apologetically told me I’d have to wait while they made some fresh fries. Two minutes later my food was done and they said “Sorry about the wait” like I’d been terribly inconvenienced. I came very close to saying to that employee “I’m a grown up, I can wait a few minutes for food without that being a problem” but I didn’t bother. I don’t want to shatter the business’s worldview.

But it reminded me of a previous encounter with a fastfoodery: I like the milkshakes at McDonalds and once every year or two I remember that and try to get one. About five years ago I went to a McDonalds and ordered a medium milkshake. While drinking that, I realized that a medium was more than I needed to get my milkshake fix. Thus, a year or so later, I returned to get another one. Not wanting to overdo it again, I wisely ordered a small. After I order, a few other people came and ordered food and got theirs before I got mine. When some employee noticed, they gave me a medium as an amends to make up for what, in their mind, was an unconscionable wait for me to have suffered.

Okay, I get that there are probably plenty of people who are into the whole instant gratification that fast food places try to provide, but I don’t like it. I don’t care about my health or anything, so I don’t care about the usual things that are horrible about fast food. It turns out that the reason I’m not all that into fast food is that I don’t like that they think I am a whiny child.

Feeling PDR

I feel that maybe it is worth noting that this last month or so I have actually been feeling like Patrick D Ryall, which is something that doesn’t happen often enough. That may sound strange, because whatever I, Patrick D Ryall, feel like should be what it feels like to be Patrick D Ryall, but it is not so. I’m feeling PDR in the adjective form.

I have a pretty clear idea of how the ideal PDR is supposed to go, and to be honest, it doesn’t go that way often enough. But that has been improving. Last month I saw a great number of people of whom I don’t see enough, so that was a plus. A combination of the winter being over and just taking circuitous routes has increased the amount of walking I’ve been doing, and walking is a definite must for PDR. During one of those walks I got the attention of the police, another classic PDR result. My monetary situation seems to have slightly improved, which is a definite plus because all that dwelling on money is very much not a PDR action (For that matter spending a decade in a job I can’t even pretend to care about just so I don’t be homeless is very not PDR, but I haven’t quite worked out what to do about that one, yet). Also, my creative output is up. Things like this make for a very PDR PDR.

I should point out that feeling like myself isn’t necessarily the same thing as feeling happy. In fact, the spectrum of PDRness runs the full gamut of highs and lows and these months has been no exception. There have been various minor things like the whole affair with my wallet and credit cards. (and also losing a book on a bus, which certainly seems like something a PDR would do), and some other things I don’t plan to dwell on here on the site (although, actually, I will add that losing my three day weekends is utter ballsack. And not in the good way), but at least for the moment the state of the Nation of PDR is such that at least the youth in the Nation of PDR aren’t rioting in the streets ashamed at our loss of national identity. Or something.

And finally, for those who saw the title of this post and were disappointed by what it turned out to be, I’ll try to see if I can’t make an a guide to groping PDR someday in the future to make up for it.

PDR’s Controversial Beliefs: I like hearing about dreams

Something I’ve seen many times over the years over the years on television and the Internet is people saying that talking about one’s dreams makes one a bore. Basically what it all boils down to is the message that “Yeah, dreams are weird, we get it.” Well I hate to go against television and the Internet, but I am here to say that I totally like hearing about dreams. I often like hearing about dreams more than I like hearing about actual things that have happened to people.

Maybe somehow the complainers have just been so overwhelmed by descriptions of dreams that it has grown tiresome, but as someone who doesn’t do a whole lot of talking to people (and talking about dreams makes up such a small, small portion of that talking) this is not a problem for me. I love the surreality of dreams so much that my own occasionally remembered dreams are not enough to fill my interest. Hearing about good strangeness from the subconsciousnesses of others is the only way I can think to fill the void.

I’m not, however, one of those people who likes analyzing what the “symbols” in dreams mean. My dreams are typically so bizarre that I have doubt that any such meaning is in there. Plus, the oddness is what I like most about the dreams, so why ruin it?

With this in mind I’m going to repost something from the Contains2 era. Though the dream in question happened years earlier, I had discussed it often enough that the details were still fresh in my mind on Saturday 22 of June 2002 when I posted this:

The OJ Simpson Bus-Boat Dream

Okay, I had this dream once, years ago (I think it was in grade ten, so whichever year that was). I’ve had myself a lot of strange dreams (and it seems like 75% of them are set in malls, is there some sort of symbolism behind that?) but this dream is up there in it’s not being surreal, not just being wacky. I’ve told it to many people, and now I’m going to write it up here to prevent me from forgetting even more of it than I already have.

I don’t think it actually started at this point, but this is where my memories kick in:

I’m in my own house, and I’m a butler. I’m going through my various duties and I happen to look out my window. Just as it does in the real world the window has a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Out there, driving on the ocean at the horizon is a bus, which I immediately recognize as the OJ Simpson Bus-Boat. Not finding this at all strange, I go back to work.

But when I look out the window again, I see that the Bus-Boat has changed course. It’s heading directly for my house! I dive away from the window, and I hear the Bus-Boat crashing onto the area in front of my house.

Things get blurry right here again, but I think I talked to my parents for a few minutes about the Bus-Boat having crashed in front of our house. When my memory comes clear again…

A panoramic, birds-eye-view of the Bus-Boat (now that it is on land it’s a boat. A military ship actually, maybe even a carrier) as it is cordoned off by military personnel and helicopters circle it (military or media? I couldn’t tell you). It’s about the size that such a boat would really be, and takes up the length of my street (Himmelman Drive, Boy!). In the real world, the road is curved, but the boat manages just fine.

Things get blurry again and then me and a guy who I knew from school at the time are disguising ourselves as water deliverymen to sneak into the Bus-Boat. I don’t know what happened inside, but when we came out I had found a secret device: An Electric Arm!

I don’t think my memory is blurry here, I think the dream just skipped scenes and suddenly I was wearing the Electric Arm and leading a team of commandos or mercenaries or something. We’re fighting this ogre and he’s got us cornered on a winding staircase that has a big brass pole at its center. The ogre repeatedly charges at us and I hold him off by hitting him with the Electric Arm. Each time I strike the ogre numbers fly out of him and he moves back. Eventually we’re at the top of the stairs and the ogre is at the bottom resting against the brass pole. Brilliantly, I use my Electric Arm on the pole, sending a shock down and forcing the ogre to run away.

I think the dream went on, but that is all I can still remember. For a dream I had like six years ago, I think that’s pretty good. (Wow! I don’t even think I did the math wrong, I think it really has been six years since grade ten.)
If there is any meaning behind that dream, I certainly don’t get it.

Goodbye Penny

No, this post is not a farewell to Inspector Gadget’s resourceful niece. I’ll never say goodbye to her because she was a good role model for girls of my generation who will hopefully be remembered forever. Also, she’s fictional, so my saying goodbye would be ridiculous.

This post is about how Canada is now in the process of phasing out the penny. I assume that everyone is so interested in what my thoughts are on the topic that they would lose sleep AND lose consciousness if I don’t discuss immediately. So here goes:

So Canada is finally getting rid of the penny, eh? Well, I’m for it. I’ve already lived through the Canadian Dollar Bill and Two Dollar Bill being turned into the Loonie and the Toonie respectively, so I’m an old pro at this whole, monetary changes thing. I’ve been getting used to changes in money for years. You might even say I’ve CASHED OUT of this situation before, if you really didn’t care enough to think of a proper joke.* So I’m confident that the populace of The Houses, The Village will surely adapt quickly and the unneeded unit will be a fondly remembered part of our past, but not missed.

And good riddance. Speaking as someone with a tendency to carry a lot of change in his coat pocket, I can say that pennies add up faster in being a space-wasting nuisance than they add up in monetary value. And I might be sad if we were losing a coin that had an animal or boat on it, but it’s just the maple leaf. We’ve got that on tons of other stuff, so we won’t miss it. It’ll still be with us. Also, copper is supposed to be a really valuable resource isn’t it? People actually break into buildings to steal wires and stuff its so valuable. Well, now we’re gonna have way more copper that we aren’t wasting. That’ll help. We’ll have more resources to use on more important things.

So sleep well, people, knowing that PDR approves of the phasing out of the Canadian penny. And on top of it all, even though the logic-using parts of my brain know it isn’t remotely true, I can still tell the substantial rest of my brain that we’re getting a step closer to my dream of one day living in a world without money. Hooray!

* I really don’t care about making a better joke. Not worth the effort.