Spinning my wheels

I just watched Office Space the other day. Great movie. Makes you wanna pick up a shovel or lift things. Whatever. As long as it's physical work. I've never really had a "desk job" before, and I'm sure it seems like my life involves prancing around the world doing things. (which it sometimes does, well sorta, but I'm not much of a 'prancer'.) The reality is that I spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Too much really. I just calculated how much time I've spent inside over the last couple of years, eyes glued to a computer screen. It scared me. I was thinking of calling this post "Go play outside", but then I thought it might throw down too much of a unlikley-to-ever-get-used-for-the-purpose kayak-clad yellow Nissan Xterra vibe. And I definitely don't want to do that sort of thing.

I've received lots of emails/comments lately from people asking when the next trade's gonna happen or if there's a deadline or if I'm just trying to stretch this thing out etc... I can assure you that "stretching it out" is the farthest thing from my mind. But I am taking a bit of time 'away from the desk right' now. I'm at the point where one red paperclip is more than a project - it's an absolute obsession. And by obsession I mean the not-sleeping, not-eating, not going outside kind of thing. Caffeine is a dangerous substance when combined with an internet connection and a worldwide audience of people egging you on to trade a red paperclip for a house. A very dangerous substance. When I started this last July, I had no idea it was going to take off like it has, and I was/am more than ill prepared to deal with all the stuff that it takes to keep this thing going. I get to the point where it feels like I'm living in a bubble of cyber-reality.

Yesterday I walked out into the street and thought to myself how it's odd that some people don't spend 10+ hours a day online, every day.

The internet seriously scares me. The fact that the technology exists where we can never leave our home and still lead a somewhat normal existence is mind-blowingly weird. It's kinda like in The Matrix, where people just plug their brains into a computer and exist in a form of digital reality - sometimes I actually feel like that. Well, less of those needles in the brain, and less of the slo-mo bullets and kung fu and crazy camera angles, but pretty close. I also don't really hang out with Keanu Reeves either, but then again, that could always change. The internet is amazing, and I pretty much owe the entire success of this project to the good old www, but sometimes you just gotta force yourself away from the computer and go do some other stuff.

Despite not owning a flashy-colored all terain vehicle nor a light portable watercraft, I decided it was to unplug for a bit and go outside.

The end of June is always the best time of the year in Montreal - kinda like the official start of summer. There's always huge events around town: St. Jean Baptiste day, the F1 is in town, and World Cup's going on. Jazz fest is just about to start and then there's Canada day and Fourth of July next week, and Just for Laughs after that. But best of all, it's really, really hot. It's like the perfect storm of fun, and the worst possible time to hang out at home.

So I've been hanging out with friends and taking it easy. Sometimes you just gotta spin your wheels - take a holiday in your own town, you know. We went camping at our roommate Marie-Claude's mom's house just outside of Montreal. Well, we drank around a campfire all night then passed out in the back of our car. But as long as you don't sleep in a house or a hotel, and do wake up to sun in your eyes and a dry mouth, that's camping in my books.

This is one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile: CIMG7147 The guy takes scrap pieces of wood and then burns designs into them with sunlight and a magnifying glass. He was just sitting on the sidewalk downtown, but he says that his designs/paintings are all over the world in art galleries and some people from China flew him in to teach the art form to them. He doesn't have a website and I forget his name (and can't really be bothered to go into the next room to dig it out), but I do have his phone number, so email me if you wanna track him down and score one of his wood/magnifying glass/burny things.

Yesterday on rue Ste Catherine (the main drag of Montreal) there were about 30 Dodge Vipers all lined up two by two at a stop light waiting for the light to go green, Grand Prix starting grid style. Some guys were doing huge burnouts. Others were just revving their engines. Everyone was loving it. There were literally hundreds of people standing on the sidewalks cheering on the scene. It was rad. People were actually punching the air in excitement. Seeing an opportunity for fun, I ran out into the middle of the street, between the two rows of cars and snapped this picture. As soon as the pic was taken the light went green and I dropped my arms in one of those classic "drag race start" gestures. The cars took of and I found myself in between two rows of approaching horsepower. It felt like a scene out of Grease or something. I'm sure everybody would've been much more stoked if I was a scantily clad "racing girl", but I did my best - at least my sleeves were cut off my shirt. Then a guy in a greeen Cavalier pulled into the Viper parade and got boo'd by about 300 people. That was the best - he got boo'd for driving a green Cavalier. Finally.

Anyhow, I can assure you that I'm not spinning my wheels or dragging things out. The offers for the movie role continue to roll in, and I haven't made up my mind who i'm going to trade with or when the trade's going to happen - let's just say it could happen at any moment, so if you're thinking of making an offer, the sooner the better. (I'm a bit behind in updating the current offers page too...) I'm just here in Montreal hanging out and getting a much needed breath of fresh air. The next month or so is going to be crazy. I can feel it. Besides, it's summer, get out there and do some stuff! You don't want to be a weirdo, do you?


PS - I set this up too - because we all know it needed to be done: www.peoplefallingdown.com


Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity... what exactly do you, as a Canadian, celebrate on the 4th of July? I mean it's sweet, everyone in the world should take a day off work and eat hot dogs, drink beer, and blow things up, but I'm just wondering if something else cool happened on the 4th of July in Canada??

kyle said...

we go to the states and buy fireworks and blow them up.

Peggy said...

All work and no play . . . I'm glad you got oot and enjoyed the nice weather.

(oh, and to that previous poster - not everyone in the world takes a day off - here in Scotland, nobody takes the day off to celebrate, except the staff at the US Embassy.)

Anonymous said...

how do u celebrate canada day
i saw it on my calendar 4 july 1st

Panda said...

I've never seen Office Space, but I should. I feel like I'm missing out.

At-Globe said...

Hi Kyle, My name is Bunya and I'm from Japan.
I reported your amazing attempt to japanese people on my blog site in April.
And since your story was broadcasted by a Japanese TV show, many comments has come to my site.
I would show you some of these comments.
"I'm now watching Kyle MacDonald-san on a TV show. He is interesting. I'll cheer him getting a house." by 6th-grade girl
"I'm really looking forward to hearing what will be happened next. It will be great if whole people would be the one regardless of nationality like him" by a mom(Seigi-no-mom)
"I want to headed for a dream like him. I also have a dream being pro-football player. I hope he'll never give up and his dream comes true." by a school boy(Chikara-no-aru-kagiri)
Thank you for reading my poor English.
Best regards.

Dan said...

Good for you!! Live it up!!! Oh and by the way the P.S. video FREAKN HILARIOUS

Shouting out from Central PA

probie said...

Caffeine and the Internet, a truly wicked combination!

ChillyMama said...

Kyle, you are ONE COOL GUY. Glad you took some time off and just enjoyed some fresh air & alcoholic beverages; you deserve it. I don't really have anything good to trade you for the movie role but I wish you all the luck getting to your goal. Enjoy the 4th - be sure to keep all your fingers on your hands!

PS to Panda: Rent that movie today! Office Space is a must-see cult fave for all us working stiffs.

DragonMistress74 said...

I know where I'm from we all think it is awesome to go get the 'good' fireworks from the other nearby states and blow them up here where it's illegal to own the really explosive ones.... so do you guys up there try to get the 'good ones' to blow up, or are ya just happy to have some explosives?