jarrett moffatt

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o, dystopia! come closer! you're too far away. our faces find warmth in your cold blue light, that hue of hope a lighthouse for the lonely. take us to where we want to be, to saccharine-soaked realities. swipe, swipe, swipe, no, that's not the one. swipe, swipe, swipe, anxious thumbs on the run. THERE! the pretty girl, with the pretty smile, she knows who can save us, and while it ain't the lord jesus, she says she'll still please us. so click link in bio, and have CASSIESAVEU20 on your next online purchase.

#write

One more from the Scotland blog archives.

Thirteen years later and this schedule doesn't look that bad to me.

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Jarrett’s Day: An Outline. Saturday, January 19, 2008

0830- Wake up. Go to bathroom, brush teeth; morning breath is the worst. Take retainer out; don’t leave it in the bathroom- that’s just gross. Why do you even wear a retainer? You put it in for a month straight, and then you don’t touch it for six. Consistency is key.

0835-0850- After three attempts to dial-up, access Internet to check e-mail. No new messages.

0850-0900- Put clothes on. Have a bowl of bran, drizzled with honey, and two pieces of toast- only toast if time is limited. Juice is optional, but welcomed.

0900-0905- Get food ready for deer and horses. Four buckets of food for the horses plus half a bail of hay. One bag of beet pellets for deer across the river, 3/4th a bag for stags closest to the lodge.

0905-0935- Walk mostly uphill and through mud with a 25KG bag on your left shoulder; you try to put it on your right shoulder, but it feels awkward. Once on the other side of the river, open bag of ‘SupaBeet’ and begin making 50-70 piles of pellets. Make sure pellets are properly spaced, or deer will fight like preschoolers. Walk back to lodge across uneven surfaces. Be careful not to roll ankle, or end up waist-deep in mud. Don’t try and walk across river- you aren’t Jesus, and you’ll end up wet. Two prior attempts should have taught you that.

0935-1015- Grunt work, including checking mousetraps. Depending on day, garbage bins may need to be taken up to the road- be sure to grumble all the way up the driveway.

1015-1045- Coffee. This includes fruitcake, and occasionally shortbread. More than one cup of coffee is a nice treat. Make sure not to say anything that will incriminate you- like ‘Oh, your dog’s been shitting in its kennel while you’ve been gone.’ ‘That only happens if it’s not taken out enough.’ ‘Oh, um, weird…’

1045-1230- Major tasks for the day. These range greatly, from doing yard work to watching deer being cut-up to walking dogs. Walking dogs isn’t interesting, but it requires the least amount of effort. Anything that involves water is depressing.

1230-1330- Lunch. Usually involves soup and toasted sandwiches. It’s rare for there to be leftovers, as you rarely cook. You’d like to, but frozen food keeps well and it’s so much easier to make. You somehow think a multivitamin balances it all out, but you’re being naïve. Try to have a ten-twenty minute nap, only to be woken by Andrew accusing you of ‘wanking.’ You deny these allegations.

1330-1600- More tasks. The weather has either gotten better or worse- it rarely stays the same. Apologize for sucking at every assignment, and try to get through rest of the day without creating more work for others. This is rare, but when it happens, it feels really good.

1600-1630- Horses require a full bail of hay. If they are hungry, they will run at you, and buck. This scares the shit out of you, so you throw the bail down and run like a baby. You quickly cut the bail strings, throw the hay down in four piles, and get the hell away from the horses.

1630-1800- Have a cup of coffee; sit in room until at least six. You may have eaten already, but you’re probably watching an episode of something, or you are taking a quick nap. Around 1730 you realize another day is over and you haven’t doing anything productive, and this destroys a small part of your soul. Put another ‘X’ on your ‘Chevy Nation’ calendar you took out of Rolling Stone; only forty-two more days left! You read the quote they have from Sean Paul for January, and wonder if it is necessary:

I wear sneakers all over the place. I get a reaction from people. They’re like ‘those are crazy!’- Sean Paul

1800-0000- Waste the night away- you earned it! You can’t go out, so read a magazine, watch that Arrested Development episode for the eighth time, or sleep some more! You want to write about your day, but you realize you can just copy and paste notes from the previous day, so you don’t. You spend some time on the Internet, but get very little done, because the thing’s so goddamn slow. You think you remember the Internet being faster in your previous life of technological pampering, but decide you must be mistaken. If you are lonely, you might buy something from Amazon to cheer you up.

0000- Take one tablet of Nytol. You have trouble sleeping because you know you’ve wasted an entire day, and spend most of the night thinking of ways to reclaim it. But you can’t, so you might as well dope yourself up and get to bed. Sleep tight- you get to do it again tomorrow!

#write

I found my old blog posts from my time in Scotland. I was 21 and took a year off after university to work outdoors on an estate in the Highlands and then travel eastern Europe and Scandinavia. It was neat.

It's interesting to look back on earlier stuff I've written; there are things I'd do differently for sure— a few more edits, for better or worse— but I still see myself in there.

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02/04/08-02/08/08

February 4th.

We took a sheep hostage. There’s a sheep farmer on the other side of the mountain, and one managed to make it over here. I ran after it and wedged it into the side of a small hill, but I didn’t grab it. (I’ve never handled sheep before.) I yelled to Andrew that I was near it, to which he replied, “But do you have it?” I told him I didn’t; I was just looking at it. “Well, grab it man!”

I didn’t grab it. I just kind of hovered around it. Andrew ended up grabbing the sheep by one of its horns (well, it only had one left) and it ripped off, and blood started pouring out – there was lots of blood. We carried it to the side of the road, and I held on to it while Andrew got the Land Rover. It tried to take a run for it, but I managed to hold it down.

Now it’s walking aimlessly around our stable. It has some hay, but that’s about it. I’m sure it will get picked up tomorrow. Oh, and I named it Mutton. Mutton the Sheep. Mutton’s wool is covered in blood now. And blue dye: it kind of looks like the French flag.

**

We walked the horses to the hill. The horses take the dead deer off the hill, as some of them can very far from the road. We must have walked two miles, maybe more. It felt like ten, but I’m a poor judge of distance.

I walked Sandy. He’s nicer than Delilah; she’s scary. She was using my back to scratch her nose today until she decided that she’d rather bite me. Game over.

**

The water from the river is tasty. It’s so cold and pure that it doesn’t even matter I had to drink it on my stomach.

February 5th

The sheep has been returned. Well, the owner showed up with whiskey on his breath, so hopefully the sheep made it home.

February 6th

We brought the horses home. Sandy was very happy; he doesn’t like it over there. He was leading me the whole way home. I liked his enthusiasm, so I ran for a bit with him. But then I realized I had no idea how to stop a running horse.

February 8th

It’s quite a thing to watch a female Jack Russell Terrier hump the side of a female Labrador. She just gives it and gives it, and the Lab just takes it; the last time the terrier was in heat, the Lab was humping her. I also watched the male Lab attempt to hump the Jack Russell for about ten minutes; it’s not physically possible. Even if he did get on top of her, it’d be like trying to fit a broomstick into a pencil sharpener. Ack.

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We’ve been dragging lots of deer off the hill. We even cracked the skull open on one and I held half of its brain in my hand; it was still warm. I also got to saw a rib cage open.

Andrew shot a fox yesterday right in the neck, which left a nasty exit wound. I’m hoping to take the tail home; it’ll just get thrown out otherwise.

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Sent this to Santa twenty-six years ago.

Could use a bit of an edit, but I'd say it still holds up.

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i saw myself in a stream. i swirled, oh i swirled. the gentle stream, the distant dream. the shore, worn down from too much thinking, (worn down from too much thinking) too far to anchor anyway. i just want to make my way home, but home isn’t home anymore, even though i’ve been here so long, home isn’t home anymore. a leaf floating through static waters. please, take me home. please. take me home.

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i'm sitting on my bean bag chair. i've had this chair since 2008. it's not really a bean bag chair, but a big sack stuffed with recycled mattress. it gets deformed really quick during a sit session but it's still kind of comfy so i keep it around. there's nothing much going on today. i had a cup of coffee and watched the end of a hallmark christmas movie about a charming man who thinks the entire year needs to be about the spirit of christmas and planning what gingerbread house you're going to build for the front lawn when december rolls around. i've seen it once before so i know most of the plot points, and i'll be watching more hallmark movies as the season progresses. the sun's out, but the room i'm in only has a north facing window so i only get the rumour of sunshine instead of the whole story. i'll probably take a walk in a bit; i've been listening to an audiobook about fungi on my walks— it's called 'entangled life' and it's by merlin sheldrake, whose name sounds like a professor of mythical mycology at hogwarts.

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the fireplace in our house isn’t real. it’s gas. is gas better than wood? of course not. but this is a suburban household and ‘round these parts we don’t burn no wood inside. the main selling feature of a gas fireplace is conjuring flames ex nihilo and turning ceramic logs into glow sticks. sometimes the switch doesn’t work though, so you have to either a) wait 15-30 minutes for it come on suddenly or b) do a little dance of pressing the red ignition button and blowing on the fake logs, shooting up lots of dust and sometimes even getting the fire to ignite. (i always wonder if it’s going to explode in my face one day.)

it’s 21.3C in the house. i’m accurate on the temperature because i have a little plastic square across the room that sends the temperature to my phone. i’m still cold though, even with the 21.3C weather inside. the fireplace doesn’t help much, but it’s enough for the cat to curl up and fall asleep. (she’s missing the summer already.)

i took a walk about an hour ago. so cold. barely made it around the block. i usually last a 30-minute podcast episode but today i rushed home after a short circuit. i’m tired. not from the walking. the late bedtime. too late lately.

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they say, a word a day keeps the writer's block away. well... okay, maybe they don't say. (or maybe they do hey?) but anyway, how's your day?

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It's 4:30 a.m. I've been up since 2:00 a.m. “What's wrong Jarrett, can't sleep?” It happens. When I go to bed early I wake up in the middle of the night; when I go to bed late I sleep until 8:00 a.m. Is my mind punishing me because I turned the TV off to sleep instead of kept it on to keep me on? No good deed goes unpunished.

I ate two pieces of cinnamon raisin toast. Just a little bit of margarine and it's good to go. Nice, tasty toast at 4:30 a.m. My cat must wonder why I'm upstairs before she is. (She's curled up on a pillow in my room downstairs.) She's supposed to wake me up, not the other way around.

CNN is on. It's that special hour on CNN where it's the international edition and you realize things happen in the world that don't relate to a former reality television host. Italy has a second coronavirus spike— will the people sing from the balconies this time? No, because it's different this time. We have masks, we have an economy that needs to run and governments that think we're lazy. But the restaurants; how will they survive? How many restaurants do we need when we still have food banks?

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