Me and Daniel

Me and Daniel
Me and my then 8 year old son, 20 years ago.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Autumn, What's My Line, Bears in the Nutyard and a 20 year old cat

I suppose I should be more disciplined in posting regularly, but for the moment, this haphazard system works well for me.
I think.
 I don't know. I will probably review these findings and discover that it's not working as well as I had hoped, or imagined....
 (are hoping and imagining the same thing?....I guess you can imagine things that you don't hope for, or hope for things you can't, the answer is probably 'no'. No they're not the same thing. You're welcome.)

The thing is that a bunch of stuff keeps happening! I suppose that's what life is though, eh?
A bunch of stuff happens. All in a row. For years. (Hopefully).

At last cooler weather has prevailed here in the valley. The rainy season is upon us, and I am welcoming it with open brolley and bright yellow boots.
 I love a slightly chilly, overcast day. The fall weather in all it's aromatic glory makes me feel as if anything is possible.
Unfortunately the physics of the situation reminds me that no, not everything is possible,
 (like George Carlin said, "Hand me that piano.") but I tend to lean more on the side of the bare bones poetry of the thing, and ignore reality, indulging my senses in heady autumn breezes and that lifted feeling that comes with the rain.
It's as if all the sweat and grime and decay of the recently deceased summer season is being washed away. Things are clean again, and with the cleanliness comes a renewed strength.

A few evenings ago, after a full day of chasing my renewed strength all over town and trying to rope it into finding me a job, I discovered that it had been replaced with a renewed sense of calm.
(Either that or I'm too stupid to recognize a renewed sense of defeat.
 (I think that Taco guy saw right through me. He knew right away that I have no real interest in making tacos. He was trying to ask how long I would actually end up working for him and by the look on his face, I knew that he knew damn well that it wouldn't be long.))
Anyways, that evening I curled up in my papasan chair, cup of tea in hand, and watched a marathon of that old game show, 'What's My Line?'. If you don't recognize that title, you can be forgiven as the show first aired in 1950.
I found it fascinating to see that what must have been social norms back then, today would be considered totally inappropriate, sexist, racist, or all three.
Still it's not without it's charm, this relic from the past.
At times it's downright super funny.
The premise is that there is a 'celebrity' panel of four that try to guess, using only questions that can be answered with yes or no, what the guest does for a living.
 There are times that the whole panel, and the moderator, and sometimes the guest, are smoking. Everyone is enjoying a butt while chortling and guessing.....guessing again... smoking....
They also have a segment where they bring out a 'celebrity' mystery guest. In this case the panelists are blindfolded and are required to guess who the mystery guest is, rather than what they do.

....the quality of the image is such a grainy black and white, that everyone on the show looks like a drawing come to life.....and not really in the sense of traditional cartoons, but more like a fine art portrait come to life. Also, the people of that era seem way more pretentious than the folks that are around now.
 There is a lot of name dropping on the show, and the names they are dropping are not being picked up by anyone in this day and age.
Well, maybe a few people around now will pick up those dropped names, and you can spot those name pickers immediately. They look like fine art portraits, come to life.

A little while ago I heard a woman telling a story about how this farmer she knows had bears coming out of the bushes and ransacking his nut yard.
I guess this guy raises hazelnuts....anyways, when she told this story she said the words "nut yard" many, many times. So many times that it was begining to make some of the listeners uncomfortable.
And when she said those words, she pronounced them quickly, like they were one word, "nutyard"...(maybe it is one word, I don't know)...and all I could think was,
"I've never been as close to a farmer's nutyard as those bears were that day in the bush....close to the nutyard."
Unfortunately, as humourous as the telling of the tale was, (to me at least) it didn't work out so well for the bears in the nutyard. The 'farmer' shot three of them and buried them in the very nutyard they sought out for sustenance.
I'm not absolutely sure about this, but I don't think you can do stuff like that anymore.
Gone are the days when a person can just go off willy-nilly, slaughtering the fauna at their own discretion....unless they have a license. Which to me doesn't seem exactly fair.
What other animal besides people behaves that way?
Bears have never decided amongest themselves, regarding us,
 "There's way too many of those ransacking fucks around....we're gonna have to cull them. Go for the throats of the old ones, and the sick ones."

Oh, I know there are some people that don't even consider that they are animals. They've removed themselves from the list of known animals. And they've done this willingly.
Some people were dissatisfied with being animals....inspite of the fact that they can't change biology.

I think that there would be far less cruelty in the world if folks would embrace their animal selves, and realize that we human beings share the majority of our DNA with everything.
Trees, lizards, dandelions, puppies, elephants, those snails people always step on on the sidewalk....we're related to those things!?
I try never to step on them.
.....wait just a minute here! Does this mean I'm related to my cat?! I'm glad I'm not closely related to her, otherwise I too might be dying of old age at the end of my 20th year.
I mean, not that I have yet to reach the end of my 20th assured I am quite beyond that.

Twenty years is a good, long life for a cat. And I'm not implying that this is the end for her. I mean, she seems to be having as great a time as a twenty year old cat can have.
I've known this little being for quite some time, and I like her quite a bit. She is a character. She is an individual. Outspoken and not at all shy, she introduces herself to guests and demands that they look her in the eye when they pet her.
At least she did demand that until a few weeks ago.. now she spends most of her time laying low in her basket, emerging to drink (a lot), eat (a little) and get her requisite quota of pets.
She has been a member of our family for a long time and we will miss her terribly when she's gone.
Still, since that day is still at a point in the she will dine on Temptations Chicken treats, her favourite. She has earned a meal of Temptations. She's done her job as my cat well, and for years.

Finally for today, war, terrorism, school shootings, murder at the cenotaph, assaults, beheadings, cruelties and god, the news has me screaming out inside myself that I've had enough!, and then I discovered this song with that same title!
I wonder, if people did make their voices known, the world over, could that make any difference at all? Could we possibly convince governments and religions and sects and terrorists and garden variety murderers that they are doing wrong and we, the population of the planet, have had enough?
I can hope for it, but I can't imagine it.

Be Nice. It's That Simple.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

All Those Years Ago

If you're a fan of John Lennon, then this post is right up your alley! If you're not a fan, then you might want to skip this one...

Seventy four years ago today, John Lennon was born in Liverpool, England.
The rest is history.
And I just can't picture him at 74! I think he would have been a cool old man though. 

This is George Harrison's tribute to John,
 All Those Years Ago:

This one is a discussion of one of my favourite John Lennon songs, 
It's true, in the end, when everything is stripped away, all you have is yourself.

This one is definitely worth a listen. 
Instant Karma.....classic.
Notice a blindfolded Yoko catching up on some knitting in the background.
It's almost like a surrealist painting....Dali could have made good use of whatever gnarled garment it is she's making. 
Maybe she's making more blindfolds!

And finally, #9 Dream....this does have a dreamy feel, the superimposing of their faces.... I was wondering if this mash-up actually looked like their son Sean when he grew up.....hmmmm.....
John Lennon was controversial, gifted, and real. 
It's funny that he's been dead for the entire lives of all my children...well, not 'funny', but you know, odd. Odd because I, and I think most of us, remember him being among know, alive, for so long, saying things and singing songs, and to my kids John Lennon has always been 'the dead Beatle'.
Once someone's been dead for long enough though, the memories of them being alive are harder and harder to dredge up. 
I think that's true even if you didn't actually know the person. Actually, it's probably more true then, because we have no personal memories of them. But still, they can pack a wallop in our lives. And we do have all the music, or films, or whatever it is they left, to look at and listen to whenever we want, thanks to the computer age! So that's a bonus.
There are those people who's deaths are such a blow in popular culture, that we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when they died.
Kennedy has that effect. I was a small child then, so I don't remember the assassination, only the stories and the footage, but the people who were cognisant adults on November 22, 1963, can pretty much tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news.
John Lennon's death definitely had that effect on people, as did Elvis and Michael Jackson.
Anyways, I digest. Here's the song.

That's it for my tribute to John Lennon on his 74th birthday. 
This December 8 will be the 34th anniversary of his death!
God, are we THAT old?!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Great Autumn, Nursery Rhymes and Names

We are having the greatest fall here!
 I mean the season.
It's been so warm and sunny, but also's strange...autumn.
 It's like the year is at its most beautiful when it's dying....even though that does sound super seems to be true. Sometimes there's a grain of truth in corny sayings.....(which is a corny saying(!))
I guess the year isn't dying though....the summer is...still.

You know what no one says anymore?
'Sensational'. As in, "I saw this sensational movie on Friday."
The word 'sensational' is out of fashion. As is the name 'Matilda'.  And also 'Myrtle'.

I just saw on tv tonight that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis had a baby girl, and the couple is "over the moon about it!"....and I thought....'isn't that what always happens?'
 You don't often see the new parents go, "Well. Frankly we're not too happy with it. It's got a head like a wedge of brie. We'd like a refund."
I wonder if they'll name her Myrtle?! That would be great for all those Myrtles who have been left out of the name tag industry. Suddenly Myrtle will be a popular name again.
And when that happens, there will be people who will claim that they've always liked the name Myrtle, even though the evidence will prove otherwise.
Those celebrities always give their kids screwed up names. Like Methuselah. That is most likely some poor kids name. Well, he or she is not really a 'poor' kid. They've got money. What they don't got is a regular name.
And for some of them, I don't mean that they have a super dorky human name..
(although sometimes they do...let's ask Moses Martin about that.)..
(or a name that is suddenly assigned to the opposite sex???? like if a girl is called Cameron or me it's like having a boy called Debbie....or ....Louise...I mean, you could do it. You could totally call your son Louise if you want to I guess...but just think it over..)...
..I mean...some of them are named after household appliances for god's sake! Like...Frank Zappa's kids...Moon Unit One and Dweezil...what's the matter with people?
 (I mean, not that a 'Moon Unit' is a household appliance or anything...infact, I'm not even sure what it is...I'm pretty sure that it's a 'what', not a 'who' though.....except in the case of poor, unfortunate 'Moon Unit One Zappa'.)
You shouldn't do that to a kid.
It's like calling your kid 'End Table', or 'Grease Trap'.
(Yes, but we call him Greasy, and that's kind of cute.) ('s pronounced 'Greee-say')

 Of course no one knows who Frank Zappa is anymore, so that's a bad reference I guess...but still...Imagine if your name was Moon Unit...wouldn't you want to throttle the stoner that gave you that name?!

I was just thinking of that old nursery rhyme, 'Jack Sprat would eat no Fat'.....when I was a kid my brother and I had a book of rhymes and that one was in it.
Each rhyme had a picture beside it, and for this rhyme the picture was a real skinny, nervous looking guy, sitting at the table with a bare plate in front of him.
 There may have been a single bean on it, I forget.
 And the woman, (Jack Sprat's wife) had huge, billowing rolls of fat all over her, and a plate heaped with lumps of fat. She was greasy and smiling.
 Sitting on the floor, looking up at the man, was a super skinny cat.
 I always used to wonder about the cat. Like, why was he so skinny? I mean, the rhyme didn't say anything about the cat being skinny.
In fact, the rhyme didn't mention a cat at all!
When I first saw the picture it was a surprise that they even had a cat....but now that the jig was up, and the cat was out of the bag, (so to speak)...I think he should have been fed.
 Or maybe run away with Old Mother Hubbard's dog.
It was unsettling for me as a pre-schooler to look at that picture. Nursery rhyme people didn't take care of their animals, or their children very well.
I don't know if nursery rhymes are still in style.
Some of them were pretty wicked....mean witches eating little was all in good fun I suppose...
These days a lot of people don't like nursery rhymes cause they say they are damaging to the children, but you know, I don't ever remember thinking that nursery rhymes were real. I always knew they were made up stories, even when I was small. I think we should not underestimate the intelligence of children.
I read my kids the 'Fe Fi Fo Fum' rhyme, (sorry I forget what it's called) and that one has a guy talking about smelling blood and grinding bones.....hmmmm......on second thought, that doesn't sound quite right does it?
Call now! Operators are standing by to take your call!
Call 555-FIVE

Earlier on the news I heard a guy say, "It's clear that this fellow......(blah blah blah)".....and I thought he said, "...this is a clear fellow..."....and that got me to thinking how weird it would be if there WERE clear fellows....or people.
I wonder what that would do to racism? I mean if EVERYONE was clear, not that the clear people become the latest target of racists.
If we were all clear, all we'd see of each other is what's on the inside...not the 'deep inside' though...we'd see what's just on the other side of the skin...muscle and fat mostly.
I was just thinking of Ken Kesey, and I'm not sure why. He wrote 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', which was one of my favourite books, and a damn fine movie too!
I don't think he was clear.
Well, maybe he was, but you had to look very carefully.
Finally, (I know I know, you're thinking THANK GOD!)...I heard that Chelsea Clinton had a baby girl, and I thought, 'Of course she did.'
 I think all the ex Presidents of the USA have daughters, don't they? Well, let's see...Bill and Hilary Clinton have Chelsea, and now little 'grandChelsea', O'Bama has two daughters....who else is there?!?....
OH! I guess Old Bush has a son, doesn't he?
Sounds like a horrible affliction, but sadly, one that awaits us all...
"Sorry Myrtle. There's no easy way to put this. You've got a sensational case of Old Bush."
And FINALLY....(okay!...I admit the former 'finally' turned out to be a bit of a misnomer as it turns out I have something more to say)...It is a beautiful morning! is here let's get out and at least take a few deep, full breaths of this sensational, crispy autumn air!
Also, if you're so inclined, try to work the word 'sensational' into a conversation today.
We'll bring it back to its former glory.

Have a sensational day everyone!