Ryan (thesolidone) wrote,

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So as some of you know I've never been much of a meat eater. I like poultry (except days and days of turkey after every "special" event) and I will have a little pork or beef I guess, but very rarely will you see me sitting chowing down on a giant steak, pork chops, or ribs. I think I've had steak in the last couple years twice, which is an all time high cause I've probably only ever had it like 4 other times in my life. Still vegetarian for me would be a hassle and vegan impossible since my love of cheese. I've been quoted saying "Cheese is the glue of life". But I digress.. I recently found a meat dish that actual got me craving red meat. When I say recently I mean like a year ago. But seriously Pho..  super soaked in beef bones broth with medium rare thinly sliced beef, rice noodles, and an assortment of different things to throw in like bean sprouts, jalapenos, fresh basil leaves, lemons, hot sauce, crushed chili's in oil. Seriously so good. Why I bring this up today. Well I had vegan pho. That's right vegan pho. There is a place on 10 ave in burnaby that serves nothing but vegan vietnamese. Everything appears on the menu as if it is the meat but instead you get tofu or fake meat. The eggless fried egg rolls were pretty good but the pho was lacking. I mean it was interesting to have each piece of fake meat and think about the synthetic flavours they pressed into each bologna like loaf. There were 3 different kinds. Actually this story has no point really other than be wary of vegan pho, but really that should be obvious.
So that time I had steak for the first time in over a year, was actually last Sunday. You know you gotten old when at a dinner party everyone was talking politics. And why not? I mean who actually wanted the conservatives in really. I guess enough people. I remember a bunch of people researching into what ever party had the best chance of beating them out in their riding and voting for them.. but I guess it wasn't enough. But that wasn't my point. At some point the host of the party was talking about how he almost joined the military to be a cook and how it was good money and was a good plan for guarding the future interests of his family. He however was talked out of it by his parents but for an interesting reason. Apparently he could stationed at the place of his choosing and pay him decently and they'd pay for him and his wife to move there and he'd easily be able to support themselves. As for getting called over seas would be completely optional. They'd present it and he could turn them down. In fact going over there wouldnt involve a pay raise and if heaven forbid anything happened his wife and potential family would be set for life. Now I can understand wanting to take a tour of duty I suppose to make a difference somewhere, but he said even with a wife and kids there is no way he could turn down an opportunity to "be on the front line." So evidently he made the right decision of not joining as far as I'm concerned. But probing further I wondered why he'd put himself at risk with a family in tow, yet he and the other guy at the table said they'd have to do it. And his family wouldn't really be at risk cause they'd be taken care of should anything happen. I said why don't they just go on a huge vacation in Europe then to which they both instantly decided simultaneously that such a comment was in pure violation of my manhood and that mimicking sounding like fairies was the appropriate response. Maybe I don't get it, but I thought being a man is recognising cherishing and protecting those you love is more important than having some sort of thrill ride. 
As usual I going through some wave of re-evaluating things. I've been told my whole life that there is such a thing as being too clever. My instant response would be that is ridiculous. Cleverness isn't something that you can have too much of a good thing. If one was too clever then they aren't being clever at all cause they obviously are missing something for it to be too much. I've really had to start rethinking that response.

This thought brought me to a time in grade 6 where I thought I was quite clever indeed. We were having a math test in geometry or it's elementary school equivalent, which involved mainly measuring angles with your protractor and drawing angles. There was a weird scheduling thing where I had to miss french to take band and since the teacher was the same for all the subjects pretty much I missed somewhere that we were having said test and had forgotten to bring my protractor. A few other kids had too and went to the teacher and got a bit of scolding and were given two of the extra ones in the class room. I instead decided that since I had a ruler that was all that I needed. I assumed that a margin of error would be in +- a couple degrees or so and for that reason most of the questions would be similar or probably as long as you were at the nearest 5 degrees I'd be fine. I turned all the angles that I had to measure into right triangles and used the ruler to measure the sides and figure out the ratios of sides over hypotenuse. Then I used the example which had a 30 degree angle to figure out what the side ratios for 30 and 60 were. I knew 0 was 0 and 90 degrees was 1. So I'd take the ratio I got and compare it against those markers and basically linearly interpolate what the angle was. Of course I didn't know it was called linearly interpolating at the time. I did the opposite for the angles I had to draw.  But although off by a couple degrees I knew I'd be close enough. And I was .. I only got one question wrong. For some reason I was always so proud of that. I was 11 basically doing trigonometry. But now I see that as so stupid. I mean I could have gotten the light scolding and got all the questions right. And after it's all said and done that is all that mattered. That is what reflected on my grade. Something can be said about directness.

Oh here is another one that always burns me. I've been hearing this one a lot lately. Apparently I'm not enough of an asshole. Whatever that means. I've been trying to get to the bottom of this one. I mean I have no problem being brutally blunt with people when talking about the truth. I'm not all that good at comforting people when they are in emotional turmoil. I will turn your troubles into simplified analogies. I make people with anxiety more anxious with my endless posturing. I won't do anything I'm opposed to and am very stubborn. I will covertly mock and insult intoxicated and unperceptive people to their face for the amusement of others. To their credit I live by the ideal of the golden rule for the most part. I see no reason not to be accomodating where I can be but I'm not a pushover. I plan things ahead the best I can to prevent future reprocussions. I don't avoid confrontation when I find it difficult and will attempt to resolve any grievance. And I'm loyal to any one who shows the the same. And ultimately for all my sarcasm I believe in people. Sometimes I think if my life was a movie I'd be played by Ryan Reynolds.

So I was out with a friend who was trying to hook me up with her friend. And apparently the same line comes out. And sure I guess the fact that in being a good friend to my friend and driving out to coquitlam to pick them up and dropping them off does seem a little perhaps too nice. But my friend really wanted to go out and have fun and her boyfriend (one of my best friends) who had to work all weekend knew that I'd make sure everything was good. Either way apparently I wasn't enough of an asshole like the drunkasses poking at her or making crude gestures. At the start of the night they were working on my friend and getting nowhere and at some point moved on to her friend. Juvenile game it seemed, but it was working in their favour. The most interesting part of the evening was when I got in a blow for blow tradeoff battle with her. She wanted me to slap her in the face. So I did back and forth about 5 or 6 times.. not too hard. It got rather interesting when I started catching guys from adjacent tables staring me down like I was the antichrist. Apparently I still wasn't hitting her hard enough though. Apparently she hasn't found a real man that would hit her hard. At that point you probably have to ask yourself if all is alright upstairs or if this is some game.  I don't know the relevance of this story but it seemed related.

The thing with the being more of an asshole, is that you know that isn't the problem really. It's annoying like smoking. And no I'm not trying to pick on peoples right to smoke like some debate I got into a couple years back. Everyone knows it isn't good for them. But like anything we often desire what isn't best for us. Perhaps the allure of what we shouldn't have. The that one can tame the wild beast. The thrill of the chase. Of course this could all be tied into me reconsidering what it is to be man and some of what I've seen as virtues and faults have not been put in the right place.  
On the positive side I'm back into 32 inch waist jeans. The ones I wore 6 years ago. I've lost like 45 lbs now since I started changing my outlook on exercising and my diet; 30 lbs since July. I absolutely love hiking. Since I started a year and a half ago I've gone up several mountains on vancouver island and found a quiet escape during a break on a busy day at work. I leave the cell phone at home jog along the now familiar trails that traverse Grouse Mountain. And with gas prices down it doesn't hurt the wallet as badly when I put premium in my car and go for long drives along the highway. It's nice sometimes to just get out of here with no actual plan. Of course at some point I have to turn and head back home. Maybe one day I won't.
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