A Multitude of Failure


So I actually, in my notes, have written a multitude of failures.

And I just compile the list of times.

I don’t know if I failed or circumstances failed me or my brain failed, but

there is an element of failure. And maybe

this was, again, more an exploration of how

failure works.

Sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s the world, sometimes it’s circumstance.

You got to take responsibility for what goes on in your life, but you can

also see how things are

sometimes out of your control. And so I thought I would explore that a

little bit by going through.

Basically, laugh with me by laughing at

me with me is what we’re trying to get to.

So like everyone who finishes university

and I was particularly bad at education,

I was trying to get a job. And so I

was just like, hey, throwing it out there.

Let’s try to get any job we can. We just want to get started in life.

And I thought, “Oh, what’s a noble thing I can do? Let’s try to make myself

the best self I can be.”

I also maybe had taken on too much information for movies like that things

work out really nicely

in the end, which found real life. They don’t really

work that way. Like, I’ve got, I’ve had a very.

blessed life, but at the same time, if you, what my aspirations in my

reality, there is a significant gap.

there. So I was trying to get a job right out of university. And I didn’t

really know how things.

worked. One of the things, university, high school, all education says it’s

supposed to prepare you

for the real world, supposed to prepare you for stuff. It doesn’t even come

close. Like, I think.

middle school elementary school should have a course on how to study.

That’s been a big sticking point for me for the last little while. It’s been

years now.

Well, I think about education is that

education never teaches students how to study.

They say, “Here’s math. Take this math and go study it.” They don’t tell you

how to study it.

Should I just copy it? Should I do like other activities? Should I make up

my own formulas?

Should I just look at it? Should I put it under my pillow and use osmosis?

They don’t explore anything.

Because again, I think every kid’s probably a little

different. And so what’s successful for one kid.

won’t be successful for another, but you got to try the different ways to be

successful. And then

find what works for you. So then by the time you get to junior high school,

high school, you know

what kind of studying works for you. Therefore, you can study more

effectively. When you’re going to

the end of university and you’re trying to get jobs and stuff, they got to

tell you how jobs work.

And that I think was maybe the first failure, where school has failed me

miserably. So I said, you know,

again, maybe being a little aspirational in my thinking, I decided to apply

to CISIS. Now CISIS is

CSIS. It is the Canadian. I forget what

it stands for. Canadian. It’s not secret.

And I’m going to have to look it up. Let me do that real quick.

What does CISIS stand for? Oh, there you go. Okay. It’s Canadian security

intelligence services. So

this is essentially Canada’s CIA or Canada, because the FBI is national and

the CIA is international.

Canada has the RCMP is national and CISIS is international. So they deal

with international crime. Now.

they’re spies. This is Canada’s version of spies. And I just thought, oh,

right, a nice letter and

a resume, which had like, I sold dog food for six years on it and send that

into the CISIS head office

because they do have an office, which actually is in itself kind of weird.

And I didn’t do any research.

I didn’t think of what requirements they had. I didn’t actually apply for a

specific job. I just

sent a letter to the Canadian security intelligence services and said, I’d

like to work for you.

Now with a little life experience, I see why this wouldn’t have worked out.

because I don’t think CISIS

just accepts applications. I think they recruit. I think they’re going to go

to the military.

They’re going to go to police agencies.

They’re going to go to specific things.

Again, perhaps banks need like forensic accountants and whatnot. They’re

going to find the people

who fit the roles they need and then they’re going to recruit them. They’re

not just going to take

applications off the street. It’s why you’ve never looked on Craig’s list

and seen an ad for CISIS agents.

Now I didn’t think I was realistic enough to think

I’m not about to be a spy. I’m not going to be like.

the Canadian version of James Bond going around the world shooting things

and solving crimes.

I thought I would probably be doing a lot of data input. Maybe I’ll get good

enough at that.

That I’ll actually get a job as maybe as a data analyst or compiling other

people’s information

and doing stuff for them. I was pretty, I’m not even going to say good, I

was pretty good with computers.

I was adequate. I was better than average at the time. That’s certainly now

that’s not the case

because computers have come so far. But at the time, I could have done some

Excel sheets that maybe

other people couldn’t do. I could put

some things together that other people do.

So I sent them a resume and a letter in a

cover letter and I actually got a response,

which I now in my head think this was

very nice of them to not make fun of me.

And then the response was a very short letter and I just said I don’t know

where you would fit.

in the organization. And it was a very nice way of saying like what the fuck

are you talking about?

You moron kid. But at the same time, it was respectful and it maybe even

took a moment to

recognize like this kid wants to do something bigger but just doesn’t know

how. Which I think was

the case. I wanted to do something good with myself in the world. I just

didn’t know how to do it yet.

Anyways, so I did not get a job at Canadian security intelligence services.

And that’s the first step

to how I live my life now is not a spy. So then I’m still looking for a job.

This is the same

era again with so I’m still in a situation. So now if I was going to get a

job, I’d do a lot of

research. I would find out stuff. I would make sure I know what I’m talking

about before I made any sort

of application. I’ve done internal interviews within the company I work in

now and I did as much

research as I could to get as much like background as I could so that I

could present myself very well.

Back then, I was just so ready to get a dream job out the gate that I just

thought any my brain was

making things look good that were not good for me. So there was a company

and I saw an ad and this was.

back then because this is when I’m in my 20s. So the Internet is functional

and it exists but it’s

not common. So most jobs, even it, you know, very technologically advanced

companies, you would still

send in a physical resume so you’d send it in the mail. So I saw an ad. I.

think it was on the Internet.

It must have been on the Internet and it was looking for a script writer.

Now I am a pithy guy.

I drizzle sarcasm. I am artistic and I’ve written lots of stuff. By that

time I’d actually written

a full novel. We’ll get to how that failed in a minute. I got quips. I could

do it. I can write

scripts. I could write scripts that dazzle people. I could even do drama. I

could do serious stuff.

Comedy is a hard thing to write. Drama is easy, comparatively speaking. So I

got this. So what I did is

I took some scripts that I had made for a mini Internet show I had at the

time. You can see that

this aspect of my life has not changed much. And I compiled those scripts

and I wrote, I made a list

of other things I’ve written in amazing scripts I’ve put together and then I

wrote an original script

for them and I made this package. And I thought, man, this is a pretty good

package. This has like

sketch comedy. Has little drama. Has some novel things to it. Like long form

literature style

writing. It shows that I am very diverse in my abilities. They’re going to

be creaming their

pants to get a hold of me. This is going to be awesome. And so I was putting

the envelope, the package

into the mailbox. And as my hand released, I realized, and you hear that

slam, you know,

when it slabs, and that’s the note that you’ll never get this back. This has

gone forever. This is

now in the world. This is in the hands of the person who you’ve sent it to.

As I released my hands

and heard that little pff, I realized it’s a computer company. They’re

looking for computer.

scripts. Not comedy scripts or drama scripts or any kind of script. It’s not

like a sketch show.

They had a, the reason I kind of conflated these things in my mind. This was

sort of the height

of flash and flash cartoons were huge. And my mind had put together, they

needed someone to write

scripts to make their flash cartoons. But what they actually probably wanted

was flash scripts.

Like if a then b go to 10, all those kind of, you know, basic things. They

wanted Python scripts.

They wanted SQL scripts. They wanted PHP scripts. They wanted database

access scripts. They wanted

a script writer to write computer scripts. And as I let go of that letter, I

realized, in that moment,

I realized, this is wrong. I have not done, I’ve not interpreted this the

way it is in reality.

And I’ve really messed up. And I couldn’t get it back. Now, thankfully, the

company never contact

because I now felt enough sort of self-humiliation, self-embarishment and

how stupid I was

that I was now dreading the call where they would ask me to come in and

actually talk to them about

scripts. And I was, part of my brain was going, they’re computer guys. What

they’re going to do,

is see this guy who’s so dumb and has made this huge mistake. They’ll bring

him in. They’ll sit down

and talk to him. And they’ll just be like this office joke. And I will, and

I, you know, I would have gone in.

Because I was out of university, I was in

debt. I needed a job. I would have gone in

for the interview knowing that I had applied for a job that didn’t exist,

knowing that I was doing

a thing that they were just laughing at. I still would have taken the shot.

And that would have just

added to the embarrassment. It would have been insane. I am thankful that

they never contacted me.

It is painful. I actually have a friend who ended up working at that company

for a short time. And he

said that it never came up. So they didn’t sit around. The office talking

about that one guy who applied.

for a script writer doing scripts, but not actually computer scripts. But I

mentioned in that story,

my first novel. Now, I actually have a tattoo of the title of the novel on

my back. And there’s

a secondary story. I got it on my lower left of my back. It is inches away

from being a tramp stamp.

Because I got it on my lower back before tramp stamps were a thing. And then

about two years later,

girls are all sort of getting like flurries or flashes or like barbed wire

and shit across the

bottom of their back above their butt. And actually all these slutty girls

ruined my tattoo.

But anyways, I wrote a book. And this was in university. I was actually very

proud of it. The basic premise

of the plot. There were actually two main characters. There was a police

officer. And the police officer

had this uncanny ability to always hit what he shot at. So one day, he

encountered a repist who

was raping a girl and he shot him. But he could sell that. I did just

explain tramp stamps. Because

I needed to give context to there was a time before tramp stamps existed.

Because before

tramp stamps existed, if you got a tattoo on your back on let’s say your

lower back like I did,

there was no negative connotation to it. There was no association with the

tramp aspect.

So I felt it was necessary to make sure everyone understood. I know I’ve had

people say it like I

say I got this. This tattoo on my back. And I’ve had people go, do you not

know what a tramp stamp is?

Not realizing there was a time before tramp stamps. There was a time before

that was a thing. So I

have a tattoo on my shoulder. And I thought for balance, lower on the other

side of the body on my

back would be like a nice balancing feature of the tattoos. That’s why I got

it there. And then

honestly like two years later, tramp stamps got wicked popular. Weird one I

saw, no whatever,

I’m not talking about tattoos, Ignats is just put in the chat in the 1800s.

Yes, in the 1800s,

that is when I got my tattoo. And in the 1850s, tramp stamps became popular.

That’s why you’ll see so

many cowboys talk about tramps. They’re not actually talking about homeless

people. They’re talking

about women with tramp stamps. So that’s just a little more in-depth

knowledge for cowboy lore.

From Seemick B podcast. And Sean White Beef Jazz.

Anyways, now you’ve ruined the plot of my book. It

was a shitty book anyways. I wrote it when I was.

in my early 20s. So you know it wasn’t. I think it was again, conceptually

good. I think again,

I just need to work on, I needed to practice writing more. But the idea was.

that there was this guy

and he, if he shot something and he killed it, he knew inside. So as a

police officer, he could say,

you know, I shot at him and I hit him and

he died and that’s just a circumstance. As

whereas deep down inside, he knew he shot him on purpose because he had

essentially perfect aim.

The secondary main character was a ghost and the ghost had no context for

what being a ghost was.

So again, all media we’ve ever heard is that ghosts remain because you have

something left unfinished.

But the ghost himself didn’t know what he had left unfinished. So he was

going to try to find out

what he needed to finish so that he could move on. Not even knowing if there

was a place to move on

to. This is all conceptual. So he essentially tries to help the cop with

some issues and solve a

crime and whatnot. It’s a weird buddy cop thing but also they both have

these like really deep-seated.

issues which was supposed to be the heavy part.

Anyway, I didn’t conceptually quite a good book.

I wasn’t ready to write something that high, high-falutin yet. So I decided

I’m going to say,

but again, I’m still in the stage of my mind

where if I just do it and I do the thing,

it’s going to be successful because I’m young and stupid and I don’t know

how things work.

So I sent this book. Now at the time you had to send a sample of the book

with a cover letter

with a stamped self-addressed stamped envelope in it with a postcard that

said whether you wanted

your manuscript back or not. And I sent

it to every publisher in North America.

And then the rejection started coming because every

one of those self-addressed stamped envelopes.

came back to me and every single one of them came back with a rejection and

you want to know what

rejection feels like. You get to the point where every single day for weeks

and weeks and weeks.

There’s a letter for you. And in that letter is something saying that the

thing you spent a year,

two years working on, it is not good enough for anyone else to ever see.

Thank you for your time.

Goodbye now. And of course, it’s not. Now again, with the benefit of years

of experience and stuff,

I know that it wasn’t very good and it would take years

of editing and stuff. I did have one publisher say,

this is interesting. We’d be interested in looking at your next project. The

next project never came about in a realistic

amount of time. I did an internship at a

publishing company that was a

only did poetry. So they only did poetry. And we got dozens and dozens of

manuscripts every day.

And it was hardly any event was poetry. And the guy who ran the publishing

company said,

like, Peter, here’s a good job for you. I want you sit down and write the

rejection letters for these.

Now, it’s basically a form letter, but he’s like, if you can put in

something encouraging and positive,

that’s really nice. And me having had the similar experience of being

rejected by every single publisher

in North America, I had sympathy for these wannabe writers. The thing is, I.

read some of the worst

trash ever. And there’s one that sticks out to my mind and my memory. And it

was like a pre-50 shades

of gray concept. It was a BDSM kind of thing. The only bit I remember now is

the dominant man and the

submissive woman meets in a grocery store and he takes her hand and then

they’re frozen food

section. And that’s already funny if you’re being honest. And he takes her

hand and he puts it on.

her frozen Turkey. And he holds it there against the Turkey for an extent

time until her hand goes numb.

And it’s so cold it starts to hurt. And I was just pissing myself laughing

the whole time. Because

it’s just the idea of holding a frozen Turkey as being sexually stimulating

anyway. It was just a bit.

much. I guess if you’re horny enough, it probably worked. I mean that guy

probably the guy wrote it. He

probably was, he was probably into that kind of stuff. Ralph says, damn, I

wish I finished writing

novels. It is hard. I mean, that’s it. I think everyone has the ability to

start. It’s the getting

through the middle and finishing. So last six months ago, I wrote and.

recorded Montana LDablo.

If you go to Montana LDablo.com, it is a choose your own adventure. And that

took me a year to write.

And then I got sick and was in the hospital. And then I got out and I was

working on it really hard.

And then I got COVID. And then I decided I’m just going to finish it. So I

don’t think it’s very

strong. I think it’s a really good first effort. I’m working on the concept

and stuff for a second

choose your own adventure book. But I really enjoyed making it. And I think

that made a huge difference.

Right now, what I’m doing is taking the first Montana LDablo story. I’ve had

some AI transcribe it

from voice to text. I’m going to go through and fix it and add stuff. And

then actually self-publish it

on Amazon. Yes, conceptualizing and starting is easy. And that’s actually

where everyone falls

apart. Because everyone has like a notebook like this with like probably a

good idea in it. I don’t

even get a sh*t on people. Most people’s ideas are pretty solid. It is

sitting down in again, a book.

It’s a year-long process, probably minimal. And then do you have the where

the will to sit down

and edit? Do you have the will to cut half the sh*t you wrote because you

realize it’s not very good.

or rewrite it to make it better? Anyways, working as an intern in a

publishing company was very.

eye-opening. And that was probably more leading me to understand how the

world works. And again,

why I wasn’t getting these jobs that I was completely doofing in the first.

place. I did do again a very

movie-like thing. I thought, “Oh, you know what I’ll do? I’ll take my novel

that I’ve written. I’ll leave it

on the publisher’s computer.” And then one day he’ll go, “Oh, what’s this

file I don’t recognize? He’ll

click it open and start reading and go, “Oh, it’s a novel by that young

intern, that young very handsome

and intern with lots of hair.” Oh my god, this is brilliant. I’m going to

publish this. And then that would

set off my publishing career. What actually happened is it was on his

desktop. He just deleted it.

He’s like, “I don’t recognize that file. It was gone.” So I’ve realized like

the movie concept of

how success works has no relationship to reality. And these lessons are the

lessons that get us

through there. So that’s a lot of rejection I experienced. Variant, I claim,

I claim, I act to,

Rao probably has not heard the story

of the failure of my judo career. Which.

since we’re here,

I got one more story after this. This will probably be edited. But I have

done judo my whole life

since I was like 10 years old. So now I’m 50. I’ve been doing judo for 40.

years. In university, I was on

the university judo team. I really, really, really wanted to go to the

Olympics. So I was like working

really hard towards it. I was huge. So the body you see now is nothing. I.

was like four at one time.

So this is how sad you can get if you don’t maintain that. I was doing judo

four or five nights

a week and going to the gym four or five mornings a week. And I was sleeping

10 hours a day. I.

basically one half the country. So I got this the like the West Canada part

and I went to the nationals.

And so I’m in the nationals. I’m fighting and then I have this moment. And

you know, this is

getting towards that peak, that moment. And my opponent grabs two of my

fingers and pulls them

backwards. Now I probably, so 50% of my mind thinks he did this on purpose

to cheat. 50% of my mind

thinks he did this as an accident. So he broke, broke these two fingers. So

this little finger,

so I can close, you can close your finger all the way. This little finger

doesn’t. Like I can do

that and try to push it. It does not close because it was broken. In the

movie, not the movie, but in a movie,

what happens is the hero gets injured and then they maybe tape it up or they

go off and they take a

break. And they use their heart, their spirit to will them to win. So they

go back in and then they

would using some special move or some some, so just the purity of their will

to win and be better.

They win the fight and they become the champion. I went out two broken

fingers. I taped them up to

this third finger. I’m like, okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to go back

in. I’m going to be the

hero that everyone’s seen in every movie. They’re going to make a movie

about this guy right here.

And I go in and I get my ass kicked because judo is not a thing you can

fight with only one hand. You

need two hands to do it. I got absolutely destroyed.

Got up. You have to bow. So I bow and I walk off.

And that’s when the tears just started. Like I’m going down the side of my

face because this is it.

That’s the end of my judo career right there. And that’s reality. And again,

it’s not even sad.

It’s just that’s what happens. That’s real life.

Like you get hurt. You don’t become the champion.

It ends your career. You try really hard. Sometimes that does not enough.

And you can’t just like,

it doesn’t suck. It’s just real life. So

sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it doesn’t.

So I, that was the end of my judo career. I ended up though, but because I

had that experience in judo,

I came to Japan. And I have a really nice life in Japan. I credit that to

judo. So I think, yes,

I lost this one thing that would have kept me in Canada. But I got this

other thing that landed me in

Japan where I’m actually really happy. So that’s kind of the end point of

what I would end up

be getting to is like, how can I tell that one’s actually better? If I

become champion, I maybe would

have had a shitty job and been doing judo the rest of my life in Canada in

the country where no one

gives a shit about judo. Whereas now I’ve come to Japan. And as a mediocre

player, I get this status

because I’m a foreign guy who does a Japanese thing and does it really well.

And you know, really cares

about it and wants to share it with other people and they think I’m awesome.

I have an immediate

group of support, group of friends. It’s great. I think it’s, I see in a way

probably better.

And it was my last story. So again, this is the same period. End of

university trying to find jobs.

I go on and I find an online job recruiter and they’re actually based in

California. So I go, okay,

call them up. So I’m calling them long distance. I go, hi, I’m in Canada.

The job market’s tough.

I’m looking for jobs. I was wondering if there’s anything available in your

region because California’s

very up and coming. This was like the beginning and the very soon the end of

the first Internet.com.

bubble. I talked to them for quite a long time and then the recruiter said,

come on down and I’ll

get you working. And I was like, okay, I will arrange that. Hang up. I

immediately start looking for tickets

to San Jose. How much did they cost? I talked to

my parents because again, I’m in debt. How can I.

afford to go and get a job? But if I can get a job in California working for

a computer company,

I don’t be making tons of money really soon. So this is worthwhile. Let’s

try it. So I borrow money.

I get an airplane. I book a hotel. Really cheap cheap cheap. So cheap hotel.

I’m in San Jose. I call up the recruiter and I go, yeah, so I’m here and you

can just hear this

pause on the other end of the phone. They’re like, what? I go, well, I’m

here. You said, come on down.

You get me working. So I came on down and I’m

here now. What’s the next step? And they go,

and then they try to talk around. I’m like, oh, for fuck’s sake. They were

being euphemistic. They were

not being honest or direct. They weren’t being real. They were just saying

this because they’re

essentially a salesperson. So they talked to me for a bit and they’re like,

well, let me make some

arrangements and I’ll call you back. They didn’t call me back. So I started

calling the agency that

they worked for. And I got passed on to someone else who’s like, come on in.

But I’m like, I’ve now hit.

like deep, deep depression at this point. Come on in. We’ll see what we can

do. I come in. I mean,

we haven’t talked about visas or anything. So there’s no way I can get a job

in America. You can’t

just show up in America and get a job. You need a green card. You probably

need the job before you can

get all the shit I would need to get a job. So I’m

now in a position where I’m in San Jose. I have.

spent more money than I have. I’m completely lost.

I’m sitting in the shitty, shitty little hotel.

And this notification notification comes out and they call the hotel. They

call the room.

And it’s there’s been a chemical leak up the road of this big factory. And.

what they’re saying is

please don’t leave your room under any circumstances. So I can’t even go

like walk around. This is like

San Jose. It’s like sort of the bright sun shiny California weather. No, I

can’t go outside. Go,

you know, get a drink somewhere. No, you can’t go outside. I have to stay

indoors. I’m staying in this

place. And at this time, again, this is late 90s early 2000s HBO exists, but

it only plays two

movies a day and it just plays them on loops. So I don’t remember what the

other movie was, but I watched

Stuart Little four or five times in a 24 hour period because I could not

leave my hotel room. I

couldn’t leave the place I was staying. I was in the depths of depression. I

found it difficult to

motivate myself to do anything. And I’m just watching Stuart Little over and

over and over again.

And it’s talking about like if you have big dreams, you’ll like be

successful. And all I’m doing is

sitting in this shitty hotel room with chemicals apparently all around me,

probably giving me cancer

as I speak. Being as unsuccessful as humanly possible and I think Stuart

Little lied to me.