“The Three Easy Steps to Ultimate Success” (abridged version), pt.1

Posted on February 8th, 2010 4 great comments. Room for one more!

This week, dear reader, I’m afraid we’re going to have to trek rather briskly to get to our final destination. You see, despite some rather tacit posts around here lately, I haven’t spent all the time sitting on my ass. I once again ended up with a glut of photos that at first didn’t seem to want to go anywhere. Woodbine Beach on a chilly winter night (with a slight detour along Gerrard Street), a sunny afternoon at the University of Toronto campus, and an equally cheery stroll around Yorkville; what the hell am I supposed to do with that?

I mean, it was nice to get outside and do some walking around, but the connections were, unfortunately, not revealing themselves. It left me feeling constipated. Until I sat down to enjoy some quality time on my gleaming ceramic throne. C’mon, you know full well that you do your best thinking in there too, admit it! (Okay, shower is a valid option as well – close second, but still.)

Well, you know, at times like those (“ceramic visions”, I call them), I get to thinking about the circle of life. The distance — theologically, spiritually, physically, and metaphysically — that the meal has gone, for example.


But it suddenly struck me that these pictures kinda remind me of how I arrived at my own station in life, or, “The Three Easy Steps to Ultimate Success”

When this goes into print, the comments will go on the jacket and in the foreword. ;)
When it’s an abject failure, I can point fingers. ;)

Step 1 – Get All Deep And Introspective (or at least fake it)

gerrard street east, garages, alley, statue, toronto, city, life

It’s good to take stock of what one enjoys in life. I kinda stumbled into what I’m doing today but the roots run pretty cleanly back to the early nineties. Ah, the nineties, KRS One was boogieing down, my now-ex had completed planning the first diabolical stage in my downfall (I didn’t even know her yet!), and I was lugging a heavy backpack and being propositioned by unsavoury gentlemen in Morningside Park on my way to be with my beloved computers at West Hill C.I. (collegiate institute = high school – don’t ask, don’t know). And the other classes too, I guess. Oh, and I had a few friends – outcasts. I know, everyone says that. But I really think we were.

One of my friends showed up at my house freaking out that his dad was gonna kill him. Ended up, that didn’t happen :) I’m not sure exactly what it was, but I think the family was connected to bikers, and this was more-or-less a regular drunken ritual when dad rolled in. They sure looked like bikers. Definitely the other side of the tracks.

river street, don valley, electrical substation, taxi, road, toronto, city, life

My other friend threw a murder mystery game at his house. We all came dressed in costumes. I was a gender-neutral doctor (the invite didn’t specify!).

I don’t mean to imply he was gay. No, not that I know of, he was just somewhat eccentric in that Alfred Hitchcock or Orson Welles sort of way. If you get my meaning.

For some reason, I always imagined meeting K. at some time as an arch nemesis. It’s only fitting that we’d have been childhood friends; I could see him receding into the bitter shadows of the world and, after years of silent toil in the darkness, emerging and revealing some sort of terrifying new weapon with which to obliterate the masses. Unless his demands are met. Send in Agent Patrick.

As cool as that would be, I sincerely hope life’s treated him kindly.

delta motors repair shop, gerrard street east, mailbox, graffiti, toronto, city, life

Although I’ve diverged a bit from the original course, every point thus far could’ve been interjected with the amazement I felt upon first seeing a friend’s Atari 2600. Holy … freakin’ … shit … you can play games on your TV! Okay that was a bit earlier in my life, but later it was the Nintendo or the Genesis or whatever cool new gaming system they had. Halcyon days. So – futuristic.

A rear-projection TV was still the shit in those days, you must understand. All about context. But I can clearly recall dozens of examples where technology shone her bedazzling jewels before me – and I reached out. And look what we have now: Windows 7! (and whatever crap they have on the Mac) Again … context; everything on the computer at that time was DOS. Do you know what that is? And would you care if I told you? And would the explanation lull you into a gentle slumber? Right, so there you go.

woodbine beach, boardwalk, sand, park benches, skyline, toronto, city, life

Anyway, life was giving me a valuable skill, and I do so enjoy making a computer dance. And that, I believe, is where ultimate success begins. Finding that thing that one can devote slavish hours to. You can always change your mind later to one jackass pursuit or another, like blogging or taking photos. It’s not the end of the world. The important thing is the love. And that you can’t fake.

For me, that’s been there along with all the other things that happened (and keep happening), many of which you’ll have to read in the follow-up to “The Three Easy Steps to Success”. I’m tentatively calling it “An Immigrant’s Journey – The Writing of The Three Easy Steps to Success”. Heart-wrenching stuff.

Continued in next part…

4 Comments on “ “The Three Easy Steps to Ultimate Success” (abridged version), pt.1 ”

  • wngl
    February 9th, 2010 7:41 am

    Great post. The balance of imagery with text is just right, as always. Now I'm going to get all introspective and show people what a winner I am.



    Read more from wngl at: http://zheist.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    February 9th, 2010 10:38 am

    Haha! Tell 'em Patrick sent ya, Wngl. Of course, I have to disavow any knowledge of this.

  • Renee
    February 16th, 2010 7:04 am

    great post so far!!! (gonna take a quick break to re-fresh my coffee and continue on with the others) :) also, AWESOME pic of the beaches boardwalk….I like the colour, despite the filthy lie you mentioned. :P

    Read more from Renee at:
  • Patrick
    February 16th, 2010 8:18 am

    Thanks, Renee :) Was the "lie" in this post? I barely remember what I did 5 minutes ago and I lie all the time so I wasn't sure what you were referring to :)

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