Monday, January 30, 2017

The Founder

I had not been to a movie for a long time and I decided to see what's available in theaters. Rather than usual Hollywood trash which is produced on monthly bases the only movie that caught my eyes was this new one called The Founder. This is the story of establishment and growth of the biggest chain restaurant in the world, McDonald's
Surprisingly The Chef wanted to go to a movie for the first time in his life in Canada(!) and asked me what was on. He added that he wanted to get away from his stressful life now that he's on the verge of losing his house less than 2 years after he and his fool friend(!) bough it! 
We went to Sunridge cinema which is not located in a nice neighbourhood of the city because The Chef himself doesn't not live in a nice neighbourhood of the city(!) but that was alright. I had not been to Sunridge because I knew what I should have expected but being close to The Chef's and considering how he looks, I decided to go there despite The Chef's request to go to Chinook!
McDonald's brothers, both wearing glasses with the milk shake machine. The other guy could be Kroc, the salesman for the machine but I didn't find any information where the photo was found. In the movie only one of the brothers wear glasses. The bold one, here on left, doesn't. They eventually sell their company to Kroc for $1.5 million (each).
There were as many as 10 people(!) in that specific theater! That, I had expected because people usually don't get entertained by watching the story of how a business is developed! The movie is good. I liked the old style cars and the way they show people in the 40's. Michael Keaton has the main role and that is the guy who basically is responsible for McDonald's today's growth and success, not the original McDonald's brothers who opened the first restaurant in San Bernardino, California in 1945. One interesting message that the movie sends to its audience is what is behind every success and there's only one thing: Persistence! This is shown in a scene where the milk shake machine salesperson Ray Kroc is frustrated of several unsuccessful attempt on his road trip and is staying in a hotel. In there he is listening to a sort of course on vinyl and there he gets the message. He's absolutely right. You could be a very talented man, you could be the most educated, etc., etc. but the only thing that helps you to get the thing you want is persistence. A good example of that is myself. I have good education and I don't think I'm a guy who lacks talent but I don't have much persistence when it comes to what I need. That has kept me behind, for years. Every time there's an opportunity I say what the hell! If I don't get it, there'll be another one soon but that is not always the case especially when you get old!
The movie is almost an hour and half long and at parts discusses the legal issues which might sound boring to some but in general is good and I recommend that. I even consider buying the DVD when it's released. It's nice to see the US when it was in its glorious years of development and growth. At least 3.5 out of 5 for the movie. By the way one of the McDonald's brothers in the movie is the guy who portraits a barber in Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino
(Photo: This picture shows one of the first McDonald's restaurants in the movie)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Too Much Stress

I finally got recovered from a Gout attack about 10 days ago and went back to my regular work-out to get ready for the Basic Officer Military Training Qualification Test when I received an e-mail from this guy asking for my High School Transcripts! It was odd! If I'm going to join as an officer and they have already reviewed my documents why the hell are they asking for High School?! I have no idea! So I e-mailed him back and I said that they are not here. Also asked for the affect it might have on my application. No answer! 
I finally went to their office after a week. I was told over there that both of the people who were, one as the sender and the other as the recipient (CC), were in a meeting. I asked the guy, whom was uniformed to check. He came back in 5 min. or so and said everything was good and he had no idea why they had asked for such document! I told him I would contact them for confirmation next week, if they don't come back to me tomorrow! It seems that they were mistaken for whatever reason but that cost me a few nights of sleep and lots of stress! 
As well when I went for my regular work-out a few days ago, in the second set of forceps exercise (100 Lbs. for 9 times, 4 sets) I felt a pain in my left shoulder! I immediately stopped the exercise and went back to the apartment. I don't know what the cause of that might have been. I warmed up by cycling for 10 min. (some 80 Cal.) and I moved my arms and hands. I had a good sleep the night before that. This had happened to me before and went away by resting but gave me new concern. As my buddy A. F. said, it seems that I can't get a break! First the long, painful Gout attack! Then the stupid request for unrelated document and now chest pain! Will I ever get to a career I like and retire there?! I'm trying to!
(Photo: I try to keep myself afloat and not give up but sometimes it's too much. I keep telling me to calm down but it's not always helpful)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Third Appreciation

I was doubtful about my third recognition until today that I received the cheque! I thought to myself that they would not recognize someone twice in a row but they did simply that because I had worked hard on that volunteer job I mentioned earlier. I still don't know how to spend the money although it's not much. When I first learnt that I had won twice but had not received any of the cheques, I thought of buying something from! I even find a good deal and that was something with The Pelican's logo. I just like that. Not that I'm a die hard fan of them or something. I thought that was unique, nice and comfortable but then realized that their shipping cost is too high for me up here! I wanted to wear that in my Basic Officer Training Qualification Test just to have something new and fun, not knowing that attending that test is not finalized yet. I'll post that later! 
My next choice was HMV. I wanted to get a movie or CD and I even went for Total Recall (1990) soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith but I was told that they stopped carrying it! It actually shows how week human being is! As soon as we get a dollar or two, we all forget our life are not concerned about our future. We immediately start searching for a way to spend that! 
Anyways I haven't even cashed the cheque and since it's not a significant amount (even considering two!) I might just keep the money until I find something that I believe I like to buy and keep for a long to remind me of my good work as a volunteer for that organization although I have scanned the cheques and kept them in an electronic storage device!
(Photo: A scene from Total Recall [1990] one of my all time favourites which shows Mars colony. Incredible movie, acting, soundtrack, story, everything)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

KFC = King Fahd's Chicken(!)

The Brave called me the other day and said that he would need my help to move a few pieces of furniture to or in his new house. He has purchased a property while keeping the old one! As far as I know he has the northeast house since 2000 and recently has bought another one in Dalhousie neighbourhoud which is much better than the other one.
He at times likes to talk a lot and that was one of those days. I heard he was taking bites of his breakfast between his sentences! He talked for 51 min. 37 sec.(!) mostly about his trip to Saudi Arabia (Or Yahodi Arabia [means Jews of the Arabian territory!] as he likes to call it!) to do pilgrimage! He is a religious man but not a typical one. This part of his trip that he narrated for me is quite interesting:
He goes to Mecca, accompanied by two or three guys who voluntarily become his religious guides so he is sure that he is following all the customs of ceremony. He thinks one of them might have been sent by Saudi intelligence to check on him! They go to Kabba for the main pilgrimage and there he realizes that each gate to the area surrounding the main house is named after one of Saudi kings, for example King Fahd Gate, King Abdullah Gate and so forth which sounds disgusting to him as he believes all the God's house gates should be named after him because all the praise must go to him. He discusses that with the men who were accompanying him and they didn't like the idea. Then they come out and right in front of one gates there's this big KFC restaurant with of course a big neon sign.
King Fahd reigned Saudi Arabia until 2005 as the fifth monarch of the country
He points at the sign and asks them whether that is King Fahd Chicken(!) The idiots don't get his joke and surprisingly and emotionally indicate that the acronym stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken! He in response says that since the God's house gates have been named after Saudi kings then he assumed the chicken restaurant has been named after the king as well! Obviously those idiot never got his points and like most of outsiders they thought KFC is such big fucking deal, not knowing that they provide one of the most disgusting fast foods in the entire world. 
I guess shortly after that he said he would have to answer the other phone and asked me to send my address to him so he could come and pick me up to go and move those furniture pieces. 
I must add here that I'm not religious at all (That might trigger some to leave nasty comments) and consider myself an atheist but I'm friends with people from different places, with different ideas, beliefs and backgrounds as long as they don't want to change me.
(Photo, top: Colonel Sanders established KFC in 1952. The resemblance is uncanny(!) Today's his restaurant is one of the biggest franchises in the world. I first tried that in Damascus and in mid. 90's and I was impressed but fast food joints outside North America and mostly in undeveloped countries are much better in the original place because it's considered modern and classy to go to them. In North America mostly poor, students, labourers and jobless people eat at fast food joints!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Name-tag

I had a vague dream, like most of my dreams have been(!) all my life,  about wearing a green camouflage with my own name-tag. This has obviously something with the position that I've applied but I don't think Navy guys wear green camouflage! However the dream is just a reflection of what people have in their mind or regularly think about and does not have to be the exact same thing. It was a very short scene and I don't remember anything else. I didn't even see my own face. I assume it's a positive sign!
(Photo: Canadian Armed Forces uniforms. Perhaps there's no need to explain but Navy, Army 
[field, I'd think] and Air force are hung from left) 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Recovery

The Chef called me surprisingly just yesterday afternoon when I was going for a walk after my exercises! He wanted to know what had happened and I told him with some exaggeration, of course! I told him that we were near a scuffle and he threw me out! He bought it and said that it was good that I had not been drunk, or we would have been beaten each other seriously! He's right but I would never get that drunk that I cannot recognize my actions! He never apologizes for his behaviour and thinks that is usual! I don't expect that from him either!  
He then invited me over and I went! I don't know why I did it but I did because I needed someplace to hang out! When I got there I realized that it was about him moving out! We saw two different places together, one The Brave's and the other one a Latino's somewhere miserable in a really small townhouse. He liked neither of them because The Brave told him that he would not be allowed to smoke and drink and the other place was horribly small and there grown-up men were supposed to live there, plus a damn dog, which had to be restrained when we were seeing the place! However the bad condition has led him to prefer The Brave's place because it's close to his place and he would have a sort of privacy of his own in the basement. 
I contacted The Brave and told him the story. These guys had both refused the other's proposal previously! The Brave had said that he would not rent the place to him because he believes that The Chef drinks! I didn't tell him that he was right and The Chef actually drinks heavily! The Chef in turn said that he would not want to live in a dirty basement and in a person's house who violates his privacy and right! Both then took steps back! 
The problem this time is that The Chef is short in cash due to his extreme stupidity! Just a few days ago he sent some money to one of his brothers and now he's in trouble. The Brave said he would not accept any delay in the damage deposit and first month rent. The Chef, in the meantime, hesitates to ask anyone, not even the ones who borrowed money from him and never returned that! 
So he's supposed to prepare the balance today and we're going to The Brave's as we told him The Chef has the money now! Let's see if he actually can prepare the balance which is only $200!
(Photo: This Chicken Platter although was not good at the beginning but then came out nicely after The Chef added some more spice. I guess if we had used a bigger tray, it would have come out much better or perhaps we must have used something that didn't hold all the juice from the chicken and vegetables. That was my suggestion as I knew he had chicken in his freezer. We had it with Pita Bread and was delicious)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Sinking Ship

I and The Chef have been in touch for the past week or so as he's trying to find a place to live. He has been having problem with mortgage of the place he and his fucking stupid so-called friend purchased a little more than a year and half ago. He called me to his place last night and when I got there I realized that he was drunk, as usual! After a few minutes we decided to go to the nearby Superstore to get a pair of fish for the oven. His situation appeared to go from bad to worse! He was clueless in the supermarket and I left him at the checkout because obviously I didn't want to pay! He got a pair of these full-of-bone damn fish called Tilapia. I couldn't convince him to get something better like a Trout or Salmon as he believed they were too expensive. 
We then stopped at their liqueur store and he got a bottle of some sort of alcoholic beverage for $18! It was in their, at the cash, when he exchanged a word with a guy! He asked him if there was a problem and the guy, by having a look at his disgusting appearance(!) tapped him on the back and said: " No one can have a problem with you buddy! " 
We went home and he was completely out of the world. He was slurring and mumbling and couldn't control himself! There was some Zucchini left from the night before (that we had prepared together), I know there would be no dinner soon and beside I don't like that damn Tilapia, so I heated them up and ate them. He grabbed a bite too. 
Lucky me that he didn't open the new bottle. He was not able to concentrate and he was standing and staring aimlessly. This had happened before a few times and on circumstances I had left but I still wanted to try some of that fish(!) and also I knew there was Ice Cream in the freezer(!) and I didn't want to miss that although it was only two small scoops. Most of it had been eaten by me the other night! 
This is the Zucchini we made the other night (not last night) and it was incredible! Just the way The Chef selected the spices is tremendous! It does not look like it is delicious but it is actually scrumptious!
For a moment I decided to find the booze's receipt, grab it, get the hell of there and return it to the liquor store and get the money and in fact I find the receipt but never get the chance to grab the bottle from the counter. He was sitting there and looked suspicious and dangerous! Now that I think I realize what mistake I would have done, had I taken the bottle out! The receipt was for another item purchased from Co-Op while we purchased that bottle from Superstore's liquor store!
The fish got ready and I took it out of the oven. I tried a few bites and it was as awful as always! He started eating too and I took the Ice Cream out of the freezer. I took one spoon and he took the other one in the middle of his fish. Then he got mad and said a few curses. I knew he was not OK so I let it go and then decided to leave. I guess it was around 23:00 or something that I left him at his hideous table with his awful fish! 
The Chef is truly a sinking ship as one the guys who we both used to hang out with said once! The Loyal is the guy who even was a roommate of his and now stays away from him like everyone else! I guess I'm the only one, from the circle of guys who used to gather in his place for booze and food, who still hangs out with him and that truly is for food and was for booze too(!) but I don't drink now because of my Gout! There are other guys who frequently call him but they are all people who either need something or find a benefit for themselves in him. I have just some extra time that I can only spend with a person who has no family or responsibility, like The Chef!
I wanted to tell The Loyal's story last year but it was postponed and never got written. I might get to that as it's an interesting one and must be told. In fact I have started it and have a draft of that available. He was right: The Chef's ship is sinking and there might be a limited number of ways to stop it.
  • He's losing his home. 
  • He owes some $5000 on a credit card
  • He has been given a number of warnings because of being late at work and I guess if he receives one or two, he'll be kicked out after 10 years of service!
  • His car is so broken that it might fall apart any minute but he heavily depends on it as the main means of transportation 
  • His brain is affected by the amount of alcohol he has been drinking for years
  • His eyesight is shit without his glasses
The list is going on but I better stop here. I can't help him.
(Photo: I selected this picture because this is most likely what happened to him last night! He was confused and was not able to even find the words he needed to express himself!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Second Appreciation

I don't know if I wrote about this or not but I was recognized for one of the volunteering jobs that I have been doing and was given a cheque! It's not a significant amount but it's something that many have to work for it for hours. That was in the last year of course and then again, in the last year(!), I was recognized again but I didn't post that because I wanted to make sure that I receive the cheque and I received it today. So it's great! But that is not all! Again this Jan. I received the message that I had been recognized, for the third time, this time for the month of Dec. which is wonderful. I haven't received this cheque yet but I thought I should write it. Or perhaps there's a mistake because they normally do not recognize a person two months in a row! However I will give it to the end of the month and will notify the organization if I don't receive the third cheque!  

Monday, January 09, 2017

As Real As It Can Be Enjoyed

There was another strange dream again the other night! Now I start to believe that this is caused by the damn pill that I take to treat the damn Gout! This is not an over-the-counter medicine and causes some kind of dizziness when it kicks in, at times. So I guess it works quite similar to hallucinating pills but on much lower level.
Before I briefly say what the dream was, I have to state the followings:

1. I have never been good at relationships (with women I mean).
2. I have never been sexually very active. My sex drive has always been below average. I lost a good number of partners or to-be-partners for that reason.
3. I've never been extraordinary or as some may call it amazing in sexual intercourse. 
4. I've never been good at kissing. In fact I barely enjoyed a good kiss in my life while it is considered an important skill in love-making by many.

With that in mind I had this short dream the other night that I was engaged in a very passionate and joyful deep kissing with someone! It was so real that I felt, in my dream, the moist and warmth of the lips. However there was no face or anything specific and clear about the partner. Then I woke up and it was gone. Short like that! And unbelievable. I have no idea what that might mean!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

A Faceless Guy!

I don't dream much. I dream under two circumstances only:
1. I have too much for dinner.
2. I'm dead tired.
However I had a strange, short dream the night before. I guess what happened is I was not able to sleep due Gout. I swallowed a pill and went back to the mattress. The dream was that there was a guy in a navy suit looking right at me but he was faceless! I think I was sitting at a table, probably a dinner table because it was all dark around and the table seems (now!) round to me! It felt that he was looking right at me, in the dream, with no eye or any face feature! He looked like an extended neck or a thumb! I don't know whether dream interpretation really means something or not but I found a few meaning for that which I guess everyone can connect with one, at least, depending on his or her situation!
(Photo: The guy in my dream was somehow similar to this portrait)

Friday, January 06, 2017

Going Downhill?!

I received the result of this damn exam just a few days ago and it says that I have failed! Damn it! Am I becoming stupid or what?! It was a shit exam with stupid questions and I knew I didn't do well but still hoped that I could pass! I have explained, in a previous post, how bad the exam had been held but that is an excuse! 
On the other hand I'm doing well with the volunteering job and I was recognized two months in a row. I wanted to have a separate post for that but haven't yet because I haven't received the recognition prize. I even contacted the responsible person and he indicated end of the year chaos as the result of delay. I will contact him in Feb. again if I don't receive it by then.
Anyways that was not a good news for me who is getting ready for his big job and has to go for training while I received another good news. 

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Revenant: Fictitious Story of Hungry Europeans!

There was a lot talk about this movie, The Revenant, last year this time! Yes! It's almost a year now! Don't tell me I'm way behind. I wanted to watch it then but when I read all the reviews I realized it was another Hollywood shit like many others that they release! I watched it in late Nov. last year but the post was postponed until now due to its lack of importance.
Today I'm happy that I didn't even spend a Penny on such a nonsense! I understand why there were so many negative reviews about that and they are mostly regarding the story. The acts are not bad but they are not something brilliant though, especially the DiCaprio's! Here are a few points that based on them I was not able to stand the movie and watched it once miserably(!) in case you haven't watched and intend to:
1- This movie is based on the life of an 1800's guide and trapper in northern US, to be specific North Dakota, named Hugh Glass. The events depicted in the movie, partially happened in that state which, in case you don't know, is not covered in snow-capped mountains and ice-covered rivers as it's shown in the movie. It does have the Red River Valley, which starts from Manitoba and that's where the actual events took place. So from the beginning, you see that the movie is fucking shit! Why does the director or screen writer changes the location of the story?! The only logical answer comes to mind is that they wanted to intensify the movie and make it more exciting, which I truly don't see it happening. It could be as exciting and real at the same time without so much bullshit in snow and icy river, although this is not the only problem!
2- This DiCaprio guy who fell in the icy river several times(!) and was swimming in it like it was a city pool(!) I hardly believe could have survived the real temperature, if it would be real! I have been living in Alberta for 11 years now and I have been close to Bow River in winter. Even looking at it in winter scares you! I have seen ice slabs at least 30 cm thick when ice jam happens. The temperature goes down to -21 ℃, such as tonight. What happens to someone who falls in the river and remain afloat for, say, 15 minutes?! I don't believe he would be OK.
This picture, that I took from Bow River, in the last days of December shows how scary it is. Falling in this frigid water and going with it, I don't think, will allow the body to relax. You can even see the thickness of ice on the right side of the photo
3- This guy has several incidents in his life and survived them all! 
a- He got mauled by a Grizzly really bad!
b- He fell in frigid waters! 
c- He was attacked by Natives a few times and not single bullet or arrow hit him!
d- He fell while on the horse a few hundred meters from a cliff and barely had a scratch!
e- He slept outside in fatal cold whether and wasn't bothered! 
4- I remember reading that Stephen King was quite disappointed with the adaptation of his novel, The Shining by Stanley Kubrick. They say there are differences. How about the fundamental differences 
between the life of Hugh Glass and the stupid The Revenant?!
a- Hugh Glass never married a Native woman and never had a child!
b- Hugh Glass never avenged his sun death, obviously. 
c- Hugh Glass went for the guy who Tom Hardy played him(!) but didn't kill him. 
This last part, item number 4, is all OK. You can twist the story the way you want to be able to sell it but bull-shiting audience by showing your actresses on the top of a 2500 or 3000 m. mountain in winter (there's actually a scene of the movie where the crew and actresses are transferred to the top of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies!).
After all this is the story of hungry Europeans who came to North America for money. There fought Natives and between themselves. Tom Hardy's character, Fitzgerald abandoned the guy whom he was supposed to take care of, killed his son and when his cover was blown later by Glass himself, robbed and killed his boss! The Chef said it once and that is all true. These two countries, The US and Canada, was established buy hungry, poor Europeans and now their descendents have forgotten where they came from !
I love nature, I love outdoors and I love movies in that genre but The Revenant is simply is piece of crap, a waste of money and time and pure nonsense! It has got nothing. 1 out of 5 for all the nonsense they try to feed to audience. 
(Photo: The opening scene of the movie. Glass and his son are hunting and they hear gunshot. They come back to the camp and see Natives are attacking. Surprisingly none of them suffers as much as even a scratch! They get to the boat and get the hell out of there)