Me and Daniel

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

Friday, 24 April 2015

Lucky Numbers

October 3, 2001
10:49 pm

I was reading in Rosie O'Donnell's magazine about how to discover your lucky number. Okay, it goes like birthday is 07/28/ would add it all together, and come up with.....1,995?.....what? I must be doing it wrong!  Okay, maybe you don't add the whole year, maybe just the last two digits of I do that I come up with.....95...then I'm supposed to add those two digits together, and I get.....14....then I add those and come up with 5.
So. My lucky number is 5 I guess....??
It doesn't make any sense. How is 5 lucky for me? God, maybe I did it wrong...
....hmmm......why is everyone so hung up on lucky numbers anyway?
Why not lucky words? I'd rather have a lucky word than a lucky number. It would make the lottery a little more interesting! If the 'winning words' were, like, 'almost/crazy/retribution/any/dormitory/elsewhere.....and the bonus word is: bonus'.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Queen's Car

I've been so negligent of this blog lately...many things have happened in the last six months or doesn't matter what, the point is that I'm back to posting.
I'll start off with an old journal entry from about 12 or 13 years ago. It's the story of how my mother, brother and I ALMOST saw the Queen!....a not quite brush with greatness...hope you enjoy it!

  October 7, 2002

Today I almost saw the Queen. I'm speaking about the Queen of England. The old woman on the twenty....the one whose portrait hangs in post offices across the land... Yes yes. THAT Queen. She of stern expressions and giant yellow hats.

Here is the tale exactly as I remember it happening, and it was just today, so I'd say my recall is pretty accurate. 
 My brother had to go in to Vancouver to get his boat license renewed...he needs this for work, but that's of no consequence to this tale,
 Our mother is in town, so he said, why don't the three of us, him and me and our mother go to Vancouver and make a day of it. Show Mom around and whatnot. We were vaguely aware that the Queen was in Vancouver. Or was going to be in Vancouver. We weren't sure which, but we barely thought about that the whole way in to the city.
We were to learn that catching a glimpse of the Queen is pretty much an exercise in futility. They keep her well hidden from the peons it seems. 

We arrived in Vancouver after heavy stop and go traffic, and, as usual, it was a shit show from the get-go.
You know. Regarding the traffic, the parking, the bikes....the traffic.
We're not used to having to pay for parking, and it really struck us that it's unfair to ask us to pay, just to be able to leave the car outside in front of a building....what do they want us to do? Bring it in?

                   We spent an inordinate amount of time searching for a suitable, and available, space. We fought the hoards of other cars, bicycle messengers popping out of nowhere just in time to cut us off, and street people displaying signs
...('travelling, out of gas, anything helps. thank you. god bless.')(Does this ever work for any of them? I guess it must or they wouldn't keep doing it)
It seems like we spent more time looking for a parking space than it took us to drive in from the Valley.

Finally my brother decided on the two dollar underground parking that was within walking distance of the Government of Canada building that he needed to be in to do the whole renewal of launch operator license.
At long last, with the parking complete, he made his way along the sidewalk, and into the appropriate building.

Mother and I waited for him in a kitschy little coffee shop called 'Death by Chocolate'. We were sipping our coffee and trying to make up our minds as to which decadent chocolate concoction we would die by, when we noticed a small crowd forming on the sidewalk outside.

All at once a very expensive looking navy blue Lincoln pulled up to the curb, right in front of the coffee/chocolate shop. Up to that moment I'd never seen a more posh car. It looked like it was made of velvet. Another one pulled in right behind the first one. And then another. All together seven navy blue velvet Lincolns were parked right in front of 'Death by Chocolate'.

With the Lincolns came a heavy police presence, and a septet of spit and polish chauffeurs.
Suddenly it dawned on me. I said, "Mom! I think these are the Queen's cars!"

She looked at me like I had nine heads.

"The Queen's cars?! Oh I don't think so! Why would the Queen be here?"

"She is in Vancouver right now. Logic says that at any given time she has to be somewhere....Oh my GOD Mom! Look at that one!"

Another car had pulled up and parked in front of the long line of Lincolns, and this one looked like it was made of gold. It made the navy blue velvet cars look like $89.00 beaters.
It was like something out of a fairy was car porn.

I should mention that my mother is a complete nut for the Royals. She has magazines and books and follows all the Royal news that's fit to share. She adores the Queen, thinks Prince Charles is funny looking and cried when Diana died.

When she saw the magical golden car, she gave me a quick glance out of the side of her face as she swiveled in her seat and stood up, clutching her coffee cup, in one fluid motion.
She was out the door before I stood up, which I did forthwith, also still holding my coffee cup. As I hurried out the door to see if I could spot my mom in the crowd. She had already been swallowed by the throng. I heard the waitress behind me, frantic,

"You can't take the mugs outside! Excuse me??! You have to bring the mugs back!"

"Don't worry, you'll get the mugs back. I have to find my mother. She's gone to see the Queen....or try to...look at all these velvet cars!....we'll bring the mugs back."

I fought through the crowd, which had thickened up quite a bit from just a couple minutes before...and I found my mother.
She was taking picture after picture of the Golden Fairy Tale Car...the Royal insignia in place of a license plate...a very official, stern looking man with a wire coming out of his ear was keeping a close watch on her. I guess you can't be too careful when it comes to 65 year old women with cameras. There's no telling what they might do.

I found myself suddenly wrapped up in the excitement of the situation.
'What if the Queen came out right now?!', I thought.
 It would be something to see the woman who I've been seeing my whole life on the money, on tv, hanging in a frame in the school office, giving her annual Christmas address...maybe she was in the same building my brother was in! Maybe he'd already seen her, in the process of getting his launch ticket renewed....(I don't know why I thought that. Maybe the Queen had some sort of hat license to renew?)
God, I was wearing jeans! I wasn't dressed to meet the Queen, I thought.
The thrill of the situation overtook me and I reached a free hand out and let my fingertips dust across the front of the car.
The stern looking man with the wire in his ear said,
"Don't touch the car."
 And to my mother, "Ma'am. That's enough. You're going to have to move back to the sidewalk."

We took that to mean that the Queen was on her way out of wherever it was that she was. We scampered back to the sidewalk like a couple of giddy teens from long ago waiting to see David Cassidy.

I heard the waitress through the crowd,
"Excuse me?! The cups??!"

"The Queen!", my mother blurted out.
 To which the waitress replied, "Oh yeah? Where?"
 "You can have your cups. We don't need them. We're gonna see the Queen!"

The waitress grabbed the cups by the handles in one hand. She was not bowled over by the prospect of seeing the Queen...she made her way back to the cafe with the cups as we held firm to our place on the sidewalk, which we felt sure was the perfect spot to not only get a really good look at the Queen, but maybe even say hello. Just then my brother appeared on the sidewalk beside us, wondering out loud what all the commotion was about.

"It's the Queen!", mother said. She was just about breathless with excitement.

"No way. Really? The actual Queen?"

"No.", I said to him. "It must be an impostor...I think it's Freddy Mercury."

"Freddy Mercury's dead."

"Yeah I know. It's weird."

We stood there with the rest of the crowd, speculating amongst ourselves when we would see Her. Finally, after about twenty minutes, and no Queen, the fairy tale Lincolns, one by one, began to pull away.
They left the curbside just as they had arrived. Without any pomp or circumstance or announcement.

We made our way back to the underground parking, to my brother's 1991 burgandy mini van, disappointed that our eyes had not been laid on Her Majesty.
 While weaving through traffic, making our way to the highway, we passed the Hotel Vancouver.

Being seemingly adhered to the pavement, with traffic moving about an inch an hour, we had more than enough time to notice the same Royal fleet that we had just seen. They were all parked right at the underground entrance, with the Golden car nearest to the entrance.
There was a crowd gathered, official looking suits, some uniforms, a few news crews, and a bunch of RCMP.
The suits were walking in a pack. As if they had something, or someone in the middle of the pack that they were shielding from prying eyes or intruding cameras. Like a herd of elephants protecting their young in the center of a circle made of gigantic, grey, tree trunk legs...

They walked in a clump to the Golden car. At that moment traffic picked up and we were forced to abandon all hope of catching a glimpse of the Queen, although, we were all three pretty certain she had been in the middle of the clump of suits on her way to her car.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Odd and Ends

I have an idea for an app that will read all of your emails out loud in the voice of Gilbert Gottfried. I settled on him when it struck me that the voice of Morgan Freeman is over done. I bet even Morgan Freeman is sick of the sound of his own voice...infact, Morgan Freeman is my first subscriber.
I saw this woman on tv wearing a dress that had a big stupid belt that looked like a row of books, and I thought....."'s the matter with you?"...and then she said,
"I'm a scarf collector?" 
She said it in that way where everything said sounds like a question.
.......oh. sorry. I mean...."sounds like a question?"....
She set women back two hundred years.
 Who collects scarves??? And why are they on tv talking about it? Aren't there more interesting collections we could be hearing about than scarves??
I think that one of the most despicable things about first world countries is eating contests.
 Way to sock it to Calcutta!

Speaking of Calcutta, this is a recipe I'd like to try one day:

Beet Patties
~ some grated beets with most of the moisture squeezed out...there will still be some moisture, but the beets should be as dry as is humanly possible..I mean, short of doing something like...say...putting them in the dryer...just squeeze them vigorously between some paper towels and they should be fine.

Mix together:
~ 2 eggs
~ sprinkle of oats
~ some coconut oil
~ a bit of olive oil
~ feta cheese...put quite a lot of this in....unless you want these to be vegan
~ some sliced up fresh basil

 Mix it all up together and then add the dried, grated beets...get in there with your hands and moosh it all together. (Your hands and fingers will turn purple so don't make these if you're going to be doing something serious and important later on....something for which purple fingers will be frowned on.)

Fry the patties...(before this step you need to ball up portions of the beet mixture, and flatten the balls to form into patties) a little olive oil for a few minutes on each side. They should stay together. If they do fall apart you can turn it into ground beet stew.

Willie Nelson looks like if Pippi Longstocking was an old man.

This is what I just heard on t.v.:

"Tomorrow on City to decorate a long narrow room."

...come on people! It's time we moved beyond this drivel! least that's what I keep telling myself.
Then I start thinking about how it actually is that the long narrow room is decorated...and I find myself wondering about what would happen if I ever found myself in a long narrow room with absolutely no idea about where to put the blacklight doodled butterfly poster, or if the couch should go along one of the short walls, or one of the long walls....just how long do the long walls have to be to qualify as a long narrow room... And what about wallpaper? Is that ever okay in any long narrow room? ....I'll never know these things now because I've missed that episode thinking it would be meaningless spittle..
...or, I should say, I'm planning to miss that episode.(?)

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Reggie, The Tattered Cat

On January 20th I had an unexpected visitor show up at the door. He was bedraggled, encrusted and painfully thin. He looked me dead in the eye and said,
"Man, thank god you're here. I need help. I've been wandering for days...weeks maybe. Please...I barely know who I am anymore."
At least that's what I imagine he would say, could he talk. Reggie is mute. He is also a cat. Probably the original
'Tattered Cat.'
I have never seen a cat in worse condition than this little waif. Luckily I am stocked with cat supplies and a large cat shaped hollow in my innards. 
Of course, I don't know if his name is Reggie....that's just a guess. 
Whatever his name, he's been roaming and neglected for a long time, that's obvious in his condition. He is so thin and weak that he wobbled when he walked...his balance is improving slowly. His fur is patchy and dull, and in places it's matted to his dried out, flaky skin. 
Over the last five days he's spent most of his time eating and sleeping. The poor guy. I doubt that anyone is looking for him. He seems as if he's been wandering, unattended in life since the beginning of time.
 In spite of it all, he has a definite feisty spirit and a will to play. He already has a favourite toy, a small blue, plush mouse that seems made for his flimsy grip. I don't think that Reggie is very old, I just think that he's had a long stretch of bad luck. 
He's going to see the vet next week. I don't know how long it takes a cat to recover from severe malnutrition, but I do know that I have the time to see him through this, if he has the time to recover.

I only wish Reggie could tell his story. What happened to him? How long has he been on his own, without care? Was he deliberately abandoned, or did he run away from a bad situation? 
You  know, I'm not even sure if he's a boy. What I am sure of is that his level of gratitude is off the charts. He tells me every day how thankful he is to have a place to hang out and recover. He is a member of one of those 'other nations' though, so he speaks through unbalanced butts of the head on my legs, silent meows, and roaringly loud purrs. As I write this he is fast asleep on the back of the couch, snoring contentedly, and hopefully, if his nation has the capacity, dreaming of better days to come.