Me and Daniel

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

Friday, 29 August 2014

Excerpts

So, I've been working on putting together my old journals into some kind of readable pile of sentences, and I don't seem to have the time to do that AND a new post.
So I've made the decision to use excerpts of the old journal AS a post.
I mean, there's always so much to do outside of time allotted for writing.
 Am I right?
~~~
All names have been changed to protect the integrity of the situation.
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January 10, 2002
2:57pm

Well, the big palm tree is dead. I really don't know what happened to it. It got some sort of weird spongy fungus and it fell apart.
For real.
I was moving it to a better spot in my room and it went to pieces. 
Okay, here's a diagram to explain it better:


I'm very sad about this.
 I guess nothing lives forever, not even potted plants. It was a good tree and I'm gonna miss it. 
Funeral will be held later this evening out by the dumpster. 
In lieu of flowers, please send roses.

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September 25, 2001
7:03 pm

Exactly three months till Christmas!!!
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September 27, 2001
8:13 pm

Sally just dropped Joey and Alison off back home here a little while ago.
 They were over at Mike and Sal's for a couple days because Joey and Mike were working for Mike's neighbour, building a cow barn.
 I don't even think he's Amish.

Anyway, she, (Sally) stayed for coffee. We were sitting here, having our coffee and making small talk..(very small)...and all of a sudden, she tells me that there's a man standing behind me! 
She said, so matter-of-factly, that she can actually see spirits and this guy is some sort of ghost.
 She said he was tall, with dark hair and he just looked around, smiled, and left.
(What would be the point of that?  What is this? The ghost of a shoe salesman?)
I actually said to her, "Is he dead?"
She said, "Yeah he's dead. He's a ghost."
Thomas called bullshit immediately.
Sally said that actually it was not bullshit and there are, IN FACT, three ghosts living in Thomas's room.
Thomas just rolled his eyes.
Then she said she'd been abducted by aliens!
ALIENS!
No word on why the aliens brought her back.
~~~~~
Here is a picture Joey drew of the barn him and Mike put up:


Okay....I'm not sure how this is a cow barn....perhaps Joey studied construction under Picasso.

Joey just informed me that it wasn't a cow BARN, but a cow STALL......okay.....now that that's all cleared up........
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November 1, 2001
9:21 pm

I'd love to be a journalist.
I could just see it. There I'd be, standing infront of whatever was going on.
Stern expression. Holding a microphone.
 Blue blouse. Black skirt.
"I'm Vloorina Sanchez reporting for MCA"
Of course 'Vloorina Sanchez' would be my reporter name.
And I'd get super bitchy if someone mispronounced it.
There I'd be. All indignant and shit.
~~~~~
When I was a kid I thought that the Mayo Clinic was the headquarters of some huge mayonnaise factory. I don't know what made me just think of that, but I originally thought it when I was no bigger that a flea on the ass of a grasshopper.
~~~~~ 
If you've read this far, you may already be a millionaire.
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October 31, 2001
5:03 pm

Thomas gave me a piece of cloth with a bunch of strange symbols on it.
 Triangles; screaming horses; odd, oblong circles...ovals....it's supposed to be a Tibetan good luck symbol.
I don't know. I don't think it works very well.
 The Tibetans haven't been so lucky so far.
Maybe they should think about re-working their good luck flags.
Either that or call them something else. Something without the word 'luck' in it.
Like.....'interesting rags'.
Then when you gave one to someone, and they asked what it was, you could say,
"That's an interesting rag, from Tibet."
~~~~~
I just heard on TV that they took a bunch of gold out of the World Trade Centre.
Thank god the gold is safe!
It's not fair that the people melted and the gold didn't.
If people were made of gold they'd still be here.
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November 11, 2001
12:53 am

I have an idea for a self portrait.
It would be a self portrait in pieces. Like, one picture would be just the first knuckle of the pinky on my left hand. Another would be a patch of skin on the back of my right knee. Another could be the middle of my right ear cartilidge.
 Of course all of these parts would be on the same canvas...just disassembled.
I think it would be cool.
 I'll need mirrors.
~~~
I just started laughing out loud, and I'm here all alone, and suddenly I felt stupid.
 I think a lot of people do that...like, maybe you're on the toilet, and you think of something super funny and start laughing...and feel stupid because you're all alone.
But no one else is there! That's the beauty of it.
 I think we should be okay with laughing because something's funny, and not restrict our laughter depending on how many people are around.
After all, holding in laughter is the number one cause of sadness.
We should quit feeling stupid in front of ourselves.
It doesn't make any sense.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Getting Away


After spending the last few days on an impromptu road trip, I could not get this classic Gordon Lightfoot song out of my head.
Getting away for a few days is an excellent way to reset yourself.
 Rekindle old dreams, discover new possibilities, add new to the old and shake....okay, I may be placing a lot of pressure on a few short days out of town, but just to breathe different air for a while is some how energizing.
To see a different landscape makes you appreciate your own even more, whether it's the actual landscape, or the landscape of your life....either that or it prompts you to make a necessary change.

Here's to summer time road trips, good friends, and change.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Robin Williams




So, I may be a little late in expressing my surprise and shock at the sudden death of Robin Williams.....I don't know. It's crazy. I had heard over the years that he was an alcoholic and prone to depression, but I never would have guessed that he would one day be on the news for having have committed suicide.

Mind you, none of us actually knew him, (I'm assuming that no one reading this blog knew Robin) so what do we know? I have a feeling his friends and family were a little less surprised than the rest of us were.
 It is shocking to us, down here in the trenches, when we discover that a person's public persona is so much different than their every day life/personality.
We have this idea that the person we see on the screen, or hear on the radio, or encounter at a public appearance, is exactly as we perceive them, all of the time. 
Even though I didn't know Robin Williams, I know that no one can be 'on' all the time. That would be exhausting, even for the most seasoned performer. Exhausting, unnecessary, and frankly, weird.
It's really very common for 'out there' extroverts, and highly intelligent, creative people, to suffer the slings and arrows of addiction and some form of mental illness. Creativity seems to go hand in hand with being slightly cuckoo.

One of the things that I find really upsetting about this whole thing is how his daughter, Zelda, felt she had to delete all of her social media accounts because of trolls posting vulgar and upsetting messages and images. 
Isn't it enough that his children have to deal with the sudden and very public death of their father, they also have to wade through the shit posted by complete strangers? I find the behaviour of these trolls absolutely abhorrent.


What the hell is the matter with people?! It's one of the down sides of social media, I think, that certain people feel......I don't even know what they feel.....that it's their 'right' or something, to post this shit to people who are only trying to grieve their loss?? 
I wonder what is going through the minds of these idiots.....like, they're sitting there, in their trailers, one morning, over re-heated instant coffee, and suddenly the sticks in their tiny, wee brains start rubbing together, and they get to thinking, "I know what I'll do! I'll tell Zelda Williams exactly what I think of her and her stupid Dad!" 
WTF?!?
I just don't understand these people. I can just see them, chortling and belching, spilling foul images from their slimy, sad, shrivelled hearts.
I wonder if these losers brag to their friends and family about what they've done?
"Yeah, so I really fucking gave it to Robin Williams' kids...."

I experienced a layman's version of this behaviour after my brother killed himself. I deleted my facebook account  because of vulgar messages left on my 'wall', telling me all kinds of shit about my brother, my self and my whole family. It was definitely bizarre and absolutely hurtful, and I can't imagine what it would be like to get thousands of these from complete strangers.

The thing is that we're all human beings. Even the few among us who have the misfortune to be famous to the rest, are still human, with the same emotions, problems and frustrations. People forget that. 
I mean,  money is great and many, many times I've wished (and still wish), that I had more of it, but it does not solve every problem. Most of us may be down here in the trenches, but a lot of well known, wealthy people are 'up there' in their own trenches.
 I've talked to some people who can't believe that Robin Williams took his own life because he 'had millions of dollars'. Well, my sad, unperceptive little friend, having millions of dollars does not necessarily mean that you'll have no issues, or find your life worth living.
His wife has disclosed that he was in the early stages of Parkinson's, but was not comfortable with making that information public yet. I just can't imagine having to make a public announcement about every major thing that happened in my life....to me that would be a huge burden. Granted celebrities are accustomed to making announcements about their lives, still, maybe being accustomed to something doesn't make it easy to deal with. 
I'm not saying he took his life because of the Parkinson's, but maybe that diagnosis added to his depression. 
Alcoholism and depression are both deadly diseases. They should never be taken lightly because all they want to do is get you in a room, alone, and kill you, no matter your station in life.


I wish his family the peace, understanding and the togetherness they need at this time, and for the foreseeable future. It's a long, hard process, dealing with the suicide of a loved one. There are always so many questions, so many 'what ifs', so many, many ways to feel like you've failed the person. So many ways to make it your fault, and so much anger.
As time goes on you find yourself dividing your life in to two distinct segments....before the suicide, and after. The initial sting dulls with the passage of time, but the pain remains a constant in your life, even though, in time, it recedes, (I'm told) below the shoreline of your emotions.


In the way that it's possible to miss someone you never knew, I'm gonna miss him.
Peace.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Deception



"The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived."
~ Oscar Wilde (from the play 'A Woman of No Importance')



It's true that much of life is devoted to the art of deception. Whether we're the deceivers or the deceived, it does seem that we spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with this 'pleasure'. 
Of course there are degrees of deception, although I'm sure some would disagree and say that deception is deception, no matter how large or small it seems.
We have all experienced the deception of sales people, I'm sure. People who work for commission and fudge the exact truth when regaling us (Joe Meatball and Sally Housecoat) with tales of how
 'this machine dices, slices, purees, walks the dog, makes those calls you don't want to make, deep cleans your ottoman AND comes with ALL these attachments you see here....laid out...on this table....so, yeah...'
Perhaps we once were (or are now), those same sales people, desperate to make a living. Hoping against all odds that we will earn enough selling stainless steel Japanese Ear Enhancers to make sure little Alphonso can get a brand spanking new Rain Avoider. 


A few of us have had the 'pleasure' of living through the deception of a significant other, who, as in a melodramatic novella, leads a double life and plays us for a fool.
Maybe we are the ones with the double life. 
Either way, if this happens there is a lot of hurt, loathing, resentment and embarrassment to wade through once the deception is no longer secret.
The 'being terribly, terribly deceived' part of the Oscar quote will be felt immediately and as sharply as a dagger through the spleen. It may take years to fully appreciate the pleasure of it all.

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Speaking of deception, earlier this year we had the excitement and chaos of a movie being filmed right here in Chilliwack!
 Massive mobile dressing rooms and production trailers were set up in the parking lot of the old Safeway. 
A few of us tried to blend in and sneak some goodies from craft services, but security was on to us from the get-go. I suppose it's fairly easy for American movie people to recognize their own in a gaggle of small town Canadians...Our deception did not stand. But theirs did.
Two of the film's stars were Danny Glover and Rob Lowe, although I don't think they were ever here in town. The word around the camp fire was that they filmed their scenes in the far from here town of Kamloops. Some of the colourful locals said that that's because they're 'bitches'. Some of the less colourful locals said it was just as well they weren't here. (Whatever that means)
Still, it was interesting to see how Chilliwack, British Columbia was transformed in to the fictional town of Anderson, North Dakota.


We saw car chases, and....well, that's pretty much it. Plenty of car chases involving the 'sherrif' and a bunch of monster trucks.
That's actually the name of the movie...'Monster Trucks'. It's supposed to be released some time next year. I wouldn't normally have any interest at all in seeing a movie like that, but since it was filmed, in part, a few blocks from my house, I will go, if only to witness how the deception looks on the big screen.


A brief snippet of local movie making:

video


video
Ah the fun of it all! Sometimes deception is a pleasure.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Voices, Poetry and Fun

A few weeks back I saw Vladimir Putin on tv blathering on and on, spinning a tale about how the passenger jet MH17 was not shot down by the Russians, and it suddenly occurred to me that I was not actually hearing his voice. I was hearing the voice of the interpreter. There was a point in the broadcast where the interpreter had finished interpreting, and Putin was still talking, his voice unobstructed, scraping across the atmosphere like a weasel digging itself out of a wooden shoe box.
 (??? Wooden shoe box?!...think of all the jobs that would be created if we would just sign on to the 'wooden shoe box industry'..)...(Who put this weasel in my best wooden shoe box?!)
When I heard his actual voice, it didn't sound like what I thought it would sound like.
 It seemed softer and more mellow then I had imagined it....(I mean, not that I regularly 'imagine' the voices of evil dictators or anything like that...)...it's just that his actual voice didn't sound as evil as I had assumed it would. 
Sometimes you can't really tell who's evil and who's not by the sound of their voices.

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Speaking of pure evil, every time someone asks me to read their poem(s), my brain glazes over. 
I'm sorry. 
It just does and there's very little I can do about it. It happens automatically and without any prompt other than a voice calling out in the wilderness,
"Hey, wanna hear this poem I wrote?"
The thing is that average poetry, written by the average person, is horrible, and taken way too seriously for my liking. Most times I don't feel like these poems are a true representation of the authors voice.
Just to be clear, you're not the first person to compare the depth and beauty of your love to an ocean...come on aspiring poets...(is 'poet' an actual aspiration of anyone these days?....('aspiration?'....I'm thinking of someone choking to death on their poems!))...(sorry, there's nothing we can do for him...he's got afflatus stuck on his adams apple..)...at least compare your love to something more reliable and trustworthy....(reliable? trustworthy?.....no wonder my poetry is so bad!)

Anyway, I digress.

.... I heard fairly recently that it actually rains diamonds on Neptune! That would be something to see. 
Am I the only one on the planet who didn't know this before? It seems that everyone I talk to (in my actual voice...not the interpretation you see here), claims to have already known this.
 This prompts me to ask the question....
Did you know that there is such a thing...somewhere in the universe...as diamond showers?
Of course they are uncut diamonds, not polished gems. 



This just in, 
Life long contrarion denies extreme heat wave bothers him. 
"I actually love it when it gets super hot like this", said Robert Thompson, 29, as his feet melted into a bloody, fatty puddle and stuck to the inside of his Crocs.

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Would you drive a car called the 'Ford Ferret'?
Or the 'Pontiac Gorilla'?
I don't know about the Gorilla, but I'd drive the 'Kia Hyena'....seems like that would be fun times waiting to happen.
Imagine the ads....the voice of a disembodied 'Hyena spokesman'.....
"Where can YOU go in YOUR new 2014 Hyena?..." (stock footage of hyenas in Africa tearing apart a zebra carcass, as their cackling, snapping voices fill the frame)...."...anywhere adventure waits"...(????...of course the Kia Hyena would come in spots or stripes...)


"Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me now!
It's fun to have fun,
but you have to know how"
~ Dr. Seuss