To pay my rent in Vancouver I’ve almost always had to live with roommates. Just in my current place, I’ve lived with over thirty different people over the course of nine years. Despite never having wanted to live like this, it is unquestionably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. With very few exceptions, each of my roommates became a fascinating individual to me. I wont go into too much detail about this at the moment, for what made these people fascinating is precisely their details. It is very difficult to distill their mutual description into meaningful generalities about “people” being this way or that; beyond of course, the dispositions one would expect in people fortunate enough to experience Vancouver.
One man that I became friends with as a roommate, was working in construction doing drywall installation. His routine was actually shocking to me. He would wake up at 5am each work day, light candles around his bed, make a wholesome breakfast, and meditate for upwards of an hour in this setting. He would then transit to the suburbs where he would be treated as dispensable by his employers, in weather that really has no defense, other than it being not necessarily as bad as the rest of Canada. To make the job interesting, he would treat the geometry of the drywall installation as thought it were a game like Tetris. Added to this wisdom, he always made a point of purchasing the highest quality tools that he could afford. He described how often other men on the site would go months without purchasing their own tools, showing up empty-handed each day. I had never considered this scenario, but it was obvious that better tools would be worth it.
interlude: At this exact point in writing this unplanned post, I coincidentally just missed a video conference with him that I was scheduled to have: a very infrequent occurrence in itself. As I was bemoaning life in the city, he bestowed an additional nugget of wisdom: “sometimes you have to learn not to see”. At some point in our conversation I dislocated my shoulder, just by stretching out a bit. This happens frequently to me. Today it was at an agonizing downward angle, where I had to work against gravity to pull my arm up and back into the shoulder socket. Unfortunately, I was not able to reach it properly with the other arm to pull it up and out. Adrenaline hits after about 10 seconds I find, and sure enough, the pain is smothered and I can manipulate the shoulder like a piece of dead meat. This took about 90 seconds total in my estimation which is a bit longer than my average of about 30-50 seconds. The longer it takes, the worse I find the come down from the adrenaline. I got decent cold sweats from this one but the silver lining is that someone witnessed it. It’s much worse when nobody understands the agony.
Continuing on, the reason for writing this post was simply to share a subset of the electronic crap that is now part of my “travel kit”.
I will do an item inventory post at some point, with links to the products under my Amazon affiliate code. It feels greasy doing that but it seems like a fair exchange. No grease in that really.
A second point of interest on the topic of computer work, is on the right side of this finger nail:
I could only get this level of detail with the cheap little macro lens I had laying around, but what you’re looking at is a little nuisance of a hang-nail-like wound caused by dragging my finger too hard across my laptop trackpad. Micro friction pain. Not really as sexy as surviving macro friction pain but I think it’s not unreasonable to start thinking critically about that continuum.