Andrew Snowdon

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Still Life

In Uncategorized on Thursday 17 December 2009 at 15:32

To illustrate the reality of my seemingly glamorous lifestyle, I present to you the current contents of my coffee table:

  • a copy of The Collins Gage Canadian Paperback Dictionary
  • Christopher Moore’s novel Bloodsucking Fiends (lent to me by a friend)
  • The first season of Doctor Who (the new series) on DVD (lent to me by the same friend)
  • Helvetica, also on DVD (given to me for my birthday by another friend)
  • two crocheted doilies that belonged to my grandmother
  • a glass, a shotglass, bottles of Southern Comfort, Jack Daniel’s and Diet Coke, a pack of Marlboros, a pack of Viceroy Filter King Size, and a coffee cup with a painting of an apple on it, all empty
  • a brandy glass holding an eyedropper half-full of sweet almond massage oil
  • a tin of Skoal chewing tobacco, wintergreen (I do not chew tobacco)
  • my Jack Daniel’s Zippo lighter
  • a Disneyland ashtray containing six cigarette butts and a mountain of ash
  • a nail file
  • my iPhone
  • my tobacco pipe
  • a mostly empty pack of du Maurier Premières
  • Besides the rather obvious fact that I need to clean off my coffee table, what does that say about me?

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    A Difference of Ten Years

    In Uncategorized on Tuesday 15 December 2009 at 23:00

    Here it goes. In an hour and a half, the crystal flashing red in my hand really means business.

    Conventional folklore says I’m no longer to be trusted.

    On the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I can’t help but look over the past ten years and wonder if I made the most of my twenties.

    Ten years ago, I was just starting out on my own, with a roommate and a highly disposable income, not to mention a sizeable nest egg. I was making investments—good ones, too—eating well, dressing smartly, and acquiring material goods. I read the Globe & Mail and The Economist. I always paid my credit card bill in full, often several times during the billing period.

    Tonight, I am alone in my downtown apartment, with less than the cost of a cup of coffee to my name. What the hell went wrong?

    Or did anything go wrong?

    Let’s look at this from another angle: Ten years ago I had a roommate, and maybe one or two friends that I’d had since high school that I kept in touch with. Along with my mother, those were the only people I really talked to. I hadn’t stayed friends with anyone else.

    Today, my phone battery is practically dead from text messages from people with whom I have strong, valuable relationships. These are relationships where there is a two-way exchange; or at least I hope I provide as much joy and enjoyment of life to my friends as they do to me. It’s a rare week that I don’t make a new friend. I expect more birthday wishes this year than ever before; not out of ego, but because I know so many more people. Twitter is only partly to blame.

    I seem to have been thirty at twenty, and feel twenty on the cusp of thirty.

    If once I had money, and now I have friends, I must have done okay for myself.

    What does that leave?

    Well, maybe I can spend the next ten years giving back to the people that have made the past decade so enjoyable.

    First, I’m going to make myself a cup of coffee. Some things never change.