Depression: The World’s Most Popular Endurance Race

DepbrainThis post has unusually somber tone for my blog. Depending on your reaction, I apologize, or fuck you, it’s my blog.

You can sort out who’s who.

Some, but not all of you know that I’ve been wrestling with bout of severe depression for the past several years. While I’ve received support from the most unlikely of places, I have also received counter-support from even unlikelier sources. I didn’t write this post as a means of whingeing about my state, but as a means for people to understand exactly what all sufferers of depression experience, and how we go through our daily lives.

I know a lot of people won’t get it. I know a lot of people will say, “Come on, stop being such a pussy and snap out of it.” or “Well, that’s life. Get over it.” or “Stop complaining! There are so many people who have it worse than you do.” or “Oh, come on, everyone gets depressed. You just need to put things in perspective.”

I envy those people. I envy them because they don’t understand. I envy them because they’ve never experienced true depression.

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Yellow Bird Flies Through The Green Hell

Chances are, you think that when I say “Yellow Bird”  I mean an actual bird, a canary perhaps.

You’d be wrong.

What I do mean is the 1987 RUF CTR “Yellowbird”. But first things first.

The Nürburgring.

“For a quick lap at the Nürburgring, you’ve probably experienced more in seven minutes…than most people have experienced in all their life in the way of fear, in the way of tension, in the way of animosity towards machinery and to a racetrack.” —Sir Jackie Stewart

Welcome to Hell.

Welcome to Hell.

The Nürburgring-Nordschleife (as it’s properly known) is the toughest, scariest, longest, most challenging, most dangerous, most intense and most insane race track in the world. It’s 23km long (14 mi). It has more than 100  corners (numbers vary from 98 up to 147, depending on who you ask). It’s so large, entire towns are contained within it. Since opening in 1927, Nordschleife has claimed more than 200 lives and collects between 3 and 12 more every year. Famed race driver Niki Lauda was badly burned after crashing his Ferrari at the left-hand kink just before the Bergwerk carousel. It’s so infamous that Sir Jackie Stewart dubbed it  “The Green Hell”, partly for its level of danger, partly for its verdant scenery. It is so iconic that it has been featured in almost every console car-racing game since 1998.

So it would seem virtual suicide to take one of the fastest, most powerful, most wrongly-designed cars ever and put it on the Nürburgring.

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Merry Christmas, The End Is Near

And quite frankly, I’m looking forward to it.


This is you.

In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, I’m going to help dismiss any fears that the world will end by administering a healthy dose of logic, reasoning, irony, nawlij and wit.

Tomorrow, the world dies. At least, according to the Mayan calendar (or rather, a poorly-interpreted version of it). Variously, the end shall come by way of:

1. Solar Maximum, which is a period of high activity from our sun during a regularly-occurring 11-year solar cycle.
2. Interaction with our galactic supermassive black hole (Abbreviated to SMBH herein) at the center of the Milky Way (which, incidentally is the reason we’re here in the first place.
3. (And this one is my personal favorite) Collision with the rogue planet Nibiru.


The world isn’t going to end. If you (or any of your peers) believe this to be true, then I do believe I have a bridge you may be interested in purchasing.

If you believe that the world will end on the 20th of December, 2012, did you just fall off the turnip wagon?

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Best Joke I’ve Heard of Late

Janine was planning a trip to Halifax for business. Her friend Rebecca learned of it urged Janine to absolutely find the best place in town for scrod, a local fish delicacy and to try when she had the chance. Janine faithfully promised her friend that absolutely, yes, she would make time in her schedule to do so.

The week passes with every day being far too busy and Janine too occupied to live up to her promise. In fact, her schedule is so busy that almost the entirety of the week passes by before Janine remembers, finally, on the last day of her visit to Halifax, the promise she had made before she left. Being mindful of this and as her last day of meetings ended early, she decides to go out for dinner and sample the dish.

After a visit to her hotel room for a brief freshening up and a change of clothing, she stepped out of her hotel and hailed a cab.

“Where to, Miss?” asks the cabbie.

“Well, I’ve been in town all week,” she admits, slightly embarassed, “and my schedule hasn’t let me keep a promise I made to my friend. Tonight is the last night that I am here and have the chance to keep it. I would like you to take me to the finest place in town to get scrod.”

The cabbie turns around to face her and looks her square in the eye.

“Miss,’ he said, with a mixture of surprise, disbelief, and grudging respect in his voice, “I’ve been driving cab for 32 years. I’ve had a lot of people ask me that question in a lot of different ways.”

“But this is the first time I’ve had it asked in the pluperfect subjunctive.”


And pause.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it.

Love Letter To The Lost (You Know Who You Are)

In this posting, I post a love letter to an anonymous recipient. While this particular post is out of the usual character of DogsinPants, and is also deeply personal, I was convinced by a friend that it was too good not to publish. Names and dates have been changed to ensure anonymity. The reader is addressed directly — “My Dear X” — a format borrowed from the Art of Mentoring series.

December 14, xxxx

Dear X,

Today is the anniversary of the last day I saw you with my own eyes. To say the least, it’s been a day of reflection for me. I often spend time in memory, most of that is memory of you, if I’m honest.

I miss you. There hasn’t been a single day since I left that I haven’t thought of you. I know you don’t want to get maudlin about it so I won’t dwell on it, but I had to tell you.

I’m sorry it took so long to send you your things; I wanted to send them long before now but I didn’t want to send them without a letter, and this letter has taken me a long time to write, just to get my head in the right place and to find the right words and to be really sure about the things I said. I didn’t want to get them wrong. Continue reading

Strangers in a Strange Land: When I Mother Earth Came Back From Mars

It’s official: I Mother Earth are reuniting for a one-off show at The Sound Academy in Toronto on February March 23rd. This will be the first time IME have performed together live in  8 years. Tickets went on sale this Saturday past and were sold out within 5 hours. To fans like myself the possibilities are tantalizing: Jag has mentioned on the band’s blog that the response was surprising, as he hardly expected them to sell out so quickly. To fans like myself there’s no surprise at all, just a sense of, “Finally!” This has no doubt spurred speculation as to whether IME will reunite for another album and Jag has even gone so far as to mention that they have been working on tracks, but without serious intent.  Perhaps that will change after this show. Continue reading

Skepticism: It’s the Thinking Person’s Secret Weapon (But Don’t Take My Word for It).

Bulls are not permitted to sit on rocks.

Sometime last month, quite likely you were one of millions who received a Facebook or email message telling you of the special significance of this October in particular: there were 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays in this month, and this is something that happens only once every 823 years.

When I had finished reading this email, my immediate (and quite automatic) response was, “What a fascinating piece of trivia!” I couldn’t help but revel in the thrill of learning such an interesting fact. It immediately preceded, however, a sharp ping from my built-in bullshit detector, which was in it’s turn followed by my musing, “I wonder if that really is true?”

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