Friday, October 19, 2018

ROBBLOG #745- Shortcomings


This morning The Mister called me from the Lanai.
"You gotta come and see this!"- he cried.
"See what?"- I yelled from the kitchen, "I'm making my cawfee."
"Just come!" He raised his voice a little.

I walked to the Lanai and had a look see. A black pickup truck was parked to the left along the street just past our property line.

"Yikes!!"
Although, that's not what I said.
Here's a photo of the pickup's rear window- one side.



If you can't enlarge the photo, let me tell you what this jackass...
Whoops, I'm getting ahead of myself- what this gentleman has on his rear window.

The bottom right says- "18 yet?"
Upper left- "Four doors for more Whores"
As well there's-
"Don't laugh, your daughter could be in this car", 
"Louder than your Girlfriend last night", 
"Stay lit", 
"Your daughter likes this", 
"My couch pulls out but I don't!", 
"Enjoy Vagina"- which looks like a Coca- Cola logo
and
"Lost Unicorn, if found stop doing drugs!"
There's also a stencil of a skull in an army helmet with the letters M/M on the helmet and a yellow star with a backwards capital R" and a forwards capital "R". I have no idea what that means.
I'll bet this fellah does his share of weed referring to the "stay lit" stencil. He is living in an alternate universe to be sure.

Pretty disgusting what with #MeToo as well as Bernardo trying for parole making the news this week?
I mean really how can a straight man possibly think these stencils are funny let alone appropriate?
I could describe him to you but I'll be you can pretty well figure out what the sleazebucket...
whoops sorry again- young man, looks like.

Scruffy beard. Thin. Pale. Tattooed. A Smoker. Long greasy, stringy hair. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those items individually- except for the greasy, stringy hair- but throw them together on one fucked up human....whoops, sorry for a third time- an individual, the whole picture changes.

If I was a psychiatrist, I'd probably peg this creep for somwthing bad waiting to happen or maybe just a slimeball who needs help- and fast, or at the least his balls kicked all the way to Tuktoyaktuk!
That's harsh. I know.
I really have to feel sorry for this human being who has no concern for the rest of the human race only for his smallish dick.

Anyhoo, along with another neighbour we complained to the on-site foreman as well as the builder through his office. The two gals in the office were disgusted as well. As far as we know, there were no youngsterswho had the opportunity to read this fucked up truck even though schools had a professional development day here on the island. Of course is he's cruising around the island, I'm sure many have had the opportunity.

My question is- Why didn't his fellow workers say something?
Is it a buddy thing?
Did they think it was funny?

By the way one of the sorriest things I hear today- living on this building site, is one straight man calling another- "Buddy". 
Where did that come from?
I mean one Gay man calling another Gay man "Bitch" is a sign of love and respect but Buddy??

There is one thing I believe sounds worse- that is a grown man calling his son "Buddy".
Use his name for Gawd's Sake. These are the same men who refer to their wives as "The Wife" no doubt. What happened to calling your son or wife by their first name?
I think it's a sense of ownership.
Once again, I am not a shrink.

So complaints were fielded and the fellah- who is a drywaller, got a call from his boss who said he'd have to cover the offending words up. 

We never heard anything more about his shortcomings but here's the result.
Truck Tape.



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

ROBBLOG #744- Vrooom


I first posted this story seven years ago.
I tweaked this and that and here it is again in it's entirety plus a bit more.

One summer day, a smallish, young man with a penchant for singing show tunes walked along his street to a quiet, little parkette just around the corner from his little house.The day was bright and warm with oodles of sunshine.

He carried- in a little pink case, his beloved pussy-cat. Her name was Miss Chinchilla. Miss Chinchilla loved to go to the parkette with the little man. He carried some special teats just for Miss Chinchilla in his tiny pockets along with a bottle of fresh water. Miss Chinchilla purred with delight.

Not to be left out, the smallish, young man had also packed a picnic lunch for himself. He had made cheese sandwiches and placed a bunch of olives in a sealed plastic container. The little man loved olives as much as he loved his pussy cat. He also carried a huge jug of ice-cold lemonade. All this was safely tucked into a big, yellow backpack he had flung over his shoulders. 

As he walked along the smallish, young man sang some of his favourite showtunes! He belted- “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma and “It's a Privilege to Pee” from Urinetown.
Even singing one of his favourites from Showboat- "Old Man River". He accompanied himself on the harmonica which was a feat in itself. He played and sang and sang and played. Even Miss Chinchilla purred along in perfect harmony! 

They soon arrived at the parkette. The smallish, young man walked to his favourite bench beneath his favourite Maple tree and sat down with his pussy by his side. He started to sing one of his most favourite Broadway tunes from Flower Drum Song- “I Enjoy Being a Girl”. 

As he did so a portion of a group of righteous locals- who were sitting on blankets spread on the ground under a huge oak tree, heard the song he was singing. This Gaggle of Locals- who didn't fit into any specific "group" profile that the small, lean, young man could recognize- including but not totally excluding any of the collection of such groups currently forming across the country.
 
At the very least, they could be sympathizers or followers of that Quebec right-wing politician who recently won a majority in the Quebec Provincial Election. You know, the Air Transat guy.
Right. Him.
Like the rest of Canada, who cares what happens in Quebec anyway.
Maybe the group supported the brother of the former Mayor of a literally huge centrally located- but a bit to the east, city.
 
So, back to our story...
 
A few of them rose to their feet from the blankets and walked to where the smallish man was seated- singing, on the bench.

They stood in front of him and told him he was going to "someplace bad"- and HOT cried a rather plain looking, 12 year old blonde girl, for singing such a song. Then, a big, black, quite muscular as well as a strikingly handsome man- moved forward from the group and began speaking by telling the smallish man his name was Henderson.

"Dear Sir, did you know it is just plain wrong for a man to sing the words you are singing? Especially a white man singing "Old Man River"!
 
The small, debonair man pooh-pooed this as he remembered seeing Andy Williams singing that very song many times and Andy was very, very white.
 
"Why, what if someone omnipresent was to come upon yawl just sitting here on this bench singing those words?" 
His pectoral muscles twitched as he spoke.


The smallish, young man looked at the muscular man along with the rest of the group standing in front of him- including the plain blonde girl. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a few pussy treats offering them to Miss Chinchilla. Then, he opened the backpack he had placed on the bench next to him. Unzipping the zipper, he reached inside.
He snapped open a plastic container and ate three olives.
Then, he took out a Havarti cheese sandwich- on whole wheat, unwrapped it, then took a big bite. 

Henderson spoke again. This time his huge, black, biceps undulated under his tight, long-sleeved white shirt:

“You are just not listening to the words we all are saying to you Brother. You will be confined to the fires of damnation for eternal life for singing those oddly sinful songs from the Broadway stage.” 

“Oh well,” said the smallish, young man, “Guess I`ll see you all there!” 
Then, he looked directly at the huge black man- square in the face, and said:
"Golly, you really do have such nice, large muscles!"

Henderson started to fume. His massive chest muscles heaved.
He actually seemed to blush but owing to the fact he was an oversized, chocolate-skinned man, one could never tell but being a good, decent man he said no more.
Making a silent wish, Henderson spun on his heels and motioned with a large, black hand for the others to follow. The entire group spun on their individual heels and returned to the remainder of the gaggle of locals who had remained seated on their blankets beneath the huge Oak Tree. 

The smallish man took a few more bites of the cheese sandwich. Then, the smallish, young man poured himself a glass of lemonade and sipped away, all the while keeping an eye on the Gaggle of Locals beneath the oak tree. 

Suddenly and without warning Miss Chinchilla- his lovely pussycat, opened the door of her little pink case, stepped out and sat on the bench next to the smallish, young man. Miss Chinchilla pondered the situation. The smallish, young man seemed sad. She looked up at the smallish, young man and winked a pussy eye.

Then, taking a huge Black and Decker chainsaw out of her pink case, she scampered over to where the locals were sitting on their blankets. She climbed a few feet up the huge Oak Tree, started the chainsaw with a horrendous vroooom and made a nice, clean cut right through it. The mighty tree fell, right on top of the Gaggle of Locals- even the huge, black, muscular, handsome man, sitting beneath. 

The smallish, young man and Miss Chinchilla thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the day eating cheese sandwiches, olives and pussy treats. They drank lemonade and fresh, bottled water. 

The Gaggle of Locals never bothered the smallish, young man and his big pussy ever again.
 
Oh, the smallish man- after admiring Henderson's huge biceps and chest muscles, decided to join a gym and he did so the very next day.

The End.

Friday, October 5, 2018

ROBBLOG #743- Giving Thanks


It's our First Island Thanksgiving in our own home- Palm Villa.

Last year we were on the Island and had Thanksgiving twice. We were sort of considered "nouveau" Island orphans I suppose.

One day last Thanksgiving we were at our good friend Donatella's.
We feel like family now.
It was at Donna's (I started calling her Donatella about that time) where we stayed in her lower level apartment while we waited for our new home to be finished. It was to be for two months and a couple of weeks. We will be forever grateful that we were allowed to live- almost normally, for those two months. I mean, Priscilla our RV was terrific- she really was, just not for an additional two months of "roughing it". I say this telling you Priscilla had a three piece bath, full kitchen and queen size walk around bed.

On the actual Thanksgiving Monday last year we were at another Thanksgiving celebration at our friend Leanna's Mum and Dad's. Karen and Ed made us feel ever so welcome as did Leanna and hubbie Jason just a few months before when we met them at the Duncan Market. Leanna was actually born right here on the Island. Kind of her claim to fame. Well, there's more including an infamous murder trial she can't talk about to this day- but let's leave it at that.

So, this year the Mister and I bought a big Turkey a week ago before we asked guests to join us.
We started doing that this week.
Making verbal invitations.
At one point, we thought we'd have up to nine around our table but the latest count has been rounded off at six or thereabouts. That number could change.

With the exception of one guest, everyone has come to the Island from Ontario including those three invited guests that had to take a rain check when transportation over the Malahat from Victoria didn't work out. Bus service on the Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend is just not as reliable and convenient as Monday through Friday, so we'll blame BC Transit for our lower number of guests.

Anyhoo, it'll be a nice dinner.
Lots of laughter and chatter and stories.

I'm using my Grandmother Lottie Bartley's- My Mum's Mother, Wedding China if the number stays static at six. It's a china set I have had for decades with a floral pattern and gold along the plate's edges. It's very old and has to be hand washed- but it is worth it.
It's good for a conversation starter around the table as well.

Looking down on us will be my Dad's Mother- Lillian Reid in a portrait that shows both her and her brother around the turn of the last century. It's very Victorian looking and I am so lucky to be in possession of the portrait.
It's a photo actually rendered in charcoal on top of the photographic image. It's in a gilded oval frame with roses and swirls.
It hung in my Dad's workshop for years collecting dust.
One day- maybe twenty or more years ago, I asked him for it.
He gave it to me- dust and all.
I think it hung in a spare bedroom at my Grandparent's House at 217 Front Street South in Orillia, Ontario if memory serves me correctly.

Their house nor address doesn't exist these days. It was torn down a few years ago to make room for a car dealership's new garage and parts department. When I was a kid in the 50's and early 60's Davy Park's barn sat on the spot next door and there were always huge horses grazing  along the wire fence next to my Grandparent's house.
I guess it's the reason why I love huge horses like Clydesdales and Percherons even today.

Nice memories. The past.
I hold them tight but we are making new ones in the present.

It's one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving and even though there will be special people missing from our table this year- those that have passed and those that are distanced by several provinces and time zones, I expect they'll all be there in spirit.

We'll be thinking and giving thanks for each and every one.

Happy Thanksgiving from our Island.


Monday, October 1, 2018

ROBBLOG #742- All the News that's Fit to Print


Boy, when you stop reading Ontario Newspapers online, you sure are out of the loop.

I started- or rather stopped reading news from "old home"- Orillia, Ontario, back in February. I was still reading the Toronto Star now and then to see what Ontario was up to but since then the Star has slapped a $14.99 a month digital fee to read their paper online- after 5 free articles, I stopped They tried this a few years ago and then they returned to a free Star online. Now, they've gone back to this online fee crying about a downturn in print advertising.

I am sure that's the truth because I've heard of many Ontario papers shutting down since we arrived here on Vancouver Island. Even Orillia's daily newspaper- The Packet, gave up the ghost last November. Is it greed on the part of the owners or indeed is print failing?

Doesn't seem to affect The Enquirer.
I still see their ludicrous headlines at the Walmart checkouts.
Some glossy magazines publish larger editions and feel quite confident charging the consumer an inflated price for the enlarged volume- with no advertising to be seen on its shiny pages.
I mean people buy them.
I know I have...

So, here's the Star asking for 15 bucks a month to keep up their superior brand of reporting.
They call it "ground-breaking investigative journalism and robust local reporting".
Whatever...
I call it 200 bucks a year for news I can read for free on other websites- like cbc.ca
or ctvnews.ca
Both are way up there on the "investigative journalism" scale.

When Newspaper Ads were the big thing!
The Star has a Vancouver edition too. Not that'd I'd shell out 15 bucks times 12 months for it either, since all the news is about Vancouver. You wouldn't even know the Island existed.
Maybe that's a good thing. Keeps Easterners east.
At least I think it does. Yesterday, I saw my first "Je Me Souviens" licence plate on a rust bucket of a General Motors van. It's not often you see vehicles- with rusted fenders held on with duck tape, here on our Island. Our vehicles don't rust away like that on the Island.

With the Toronto Edition, I don't really have an interest in Ontario politics what with Ford as Premier. I did read this week that the "temporary" figurehead of the Ontario Liberal party- I forget his name, actually said Ontarians were right when they booted Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals out of power.
Gee, I'll bet the Ontario Liberal party really thanked him for that show of support.
I imagine Kathleen sent him a smart, hand-written note that said-
"Hey thanks for your warm, supportive thoughts you Ass Hole"!
I know I would have sent something thoughtful and warm-hearted like that.
I'm sure Hallmark has a card specifically made for assholes.
If they don't, they should.

Now and then I think about looking at a "local" online paper from "old home" just to see what has been going on but I try not to do that. I do read the twice weekly Cowichan Citizen even though most of the news I've already heard through the local gossip mill before I even pick up the paper left on my doorstep every Wednesday and Friday. The online version is better and certainly more up-to-date.
I pick it up to peruse the numerous print ads in each edition before I throw it into the recycle bin.
I must say I flip through the real estate section that comes a couple of times a month. One never knows when a bargain is at hand.

A bargain??
On this Island.
Nada chance.

Anyhoo, I do just fine with the CBC and CTV and occasionally the Huff Post. I also keep my fingers on the pulse of newsworthy items by following selective folks on Twitter.
There, I get news straights from the source.
The newsmaker's themselves.
I can decide what's relevant to me or not and when I get tired of all the blarney and staying in the loop...I just click the "unfollow" button.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

ROBBLOG #741- Get Over It


Get Over It!

It could be my new mantra.
We had brunch with another new Island friend. An Island friend who has come into our lives through Guyana, Toronto, Mississippi and now Vancouver Island. She's lovely.

Over brunch, we were having a discussion about our homes and this and that when she goes from zero to sixty looking across the table from behind those caring, concerned dark eyes and says:
So what's this angst you have going on...

Oh. Yes. What we were talking about the day before...
She's a Professor. A Doctor of Anthropology and Linguistics
She's both life-smart and education smart. Her students at the University deep within the Mississippi Delta are very lucky, however, she's tough.
I could see that as her eyes focused squarely on me as I started to explain.

When I had done that, she thought for a moment and without losing eye contact she says to me-
"Rob, this is not the right answer or a good answer but I am going to say it first and I apologize for being blunt. Get over it!"

Tough love?

With "Get over it" as a start point we had a discussion and I discovered a couple of things that I knew were there inside but I hadn't been able to put it into words.
She did.
She found the right words and I am grateful. I am not going into details because it's private and even though I have said a ton of things in this Blog over the years, that's all you're going to get- this time.
So, get over it!!

What's that Dear. What did you say?
Oh...Get Over It!
Will do. Thanks for calling.
Bye now.
Here I am embarking on a new tour de life called "Get Over It" and I will try.

Saying goodbye is never easy but the road ahead needs to be traveled.
Get over it...

The past is past and the future is now and it's right over there.
Get over it...

Going back is not always the answer. Moving forward can be and probably is.
Get over it...

I don't have a million dollars in the bank.
Get over it...

I hate the fact that pot will be legal soon.
Get over it...

I hate when pot smokers blow smoke in your face as you pass by. It wafts into my nose and mouth. I can taste it. It's terrible and I hate it.
Get over it...

When someone keeps a garage door wide open from morning to night for no better reason than all garage doors in this person's history on earth and ownership of garage doors, have stayed open.
Get over it...

At times I feel like my insides are being pulled as if in a tug-of-war contest.
Get over it...

I don't like the policies and the mindsets of those far right of centre. How can one be a caring human being with that kind of shit going on in your head.
Get over it. No. Them this time, not me...

I always get red lights when I am in a hurry to drive someplace.
Island Time. Island Time.
Get over it...

Our new home- Palm Villa, is not an 1882 Victorian Home such as Pine Tree House back in Orillia.
Get over it...

I may not be able to perform in a theatre on a stage play ever again.
Get over it.

There are people that I may never see face-to-face again. Ever.
Get over it...

I can't think of anything else to write, right at the moment. I'm tired.
Get over it.

Monday, September 24, 2018

ROBBLOG #740- Good Grief


You know, I'm not exactly sure how one goes about handling this thing called mourning.

I know it isn't easy.
I've been on this road before- too often these past few years.
Life they tell me...
It's just life.

No, it isn't.
It's finality.
The end.
It is death.
The end of our mortal existence and for that reason it has to be sad at the very least.
It has to be tough.
It has to be emotional.
It has to be warm.
It has to be a time for heavy sighs, salty tears and a future without familiarity of life.
I suppose at some point, uplifting as well.
That's the part I am waiting for.

Some days and during some times of some days, I feel fine.
Then, I take one look at our Missy's basket or glance over at Dickens snoozing on a chair with one of Missy's stuffed animals next to him.
~sigh~

I watch Koko curl up in Missy's familiar basket while I am sitting here at this keyboard and I feel such sadness. I try to remember what it was like looking into those dark Schnauzer eyes or cradling her in my arms even during her last few moments.
That's the tough bit.


Some days, Tom and I are out for our daily walk and images of my Cousin Judy and her voice come floating along as if on the wind. Judy always said she'd come by- if she could.
I think she has several times already.
I feel her warmth as if she has placed her hands on my shoulders.
I hear her voice. A whisper in my ear.
"I'm just fine..."
Her laughter.
The reminiscing when we would get together.
Then, I begin to miss her even more.

For the past year we haven't been face to face since I'm here- on the Island, she's back in Ontario.
We talked every week.
Sometimes more.
The week before her heart attack we were making plans for her to come out and stay for a while. Her Doctors were cautious and said no flying. She was waiting to hear from another. She knew her kidneys were not good but the last couple of times we talked she seemed so strong. Her heart was always a problem but I felt she should strike while the iron's hot or at least the body was willing.
Who knew?
I certainly never thought I would be writing this blog at this time.

Time.
We always think there is more time but there isn't.
Time is fleeting. That's old- I know.
Time rushes by like a speeding train to the station at the end of the line called "Mortality".
That station waits for us all. We've already bought our ticket. The final excursion date is set- for some of us earlier rather than later.

It seems like a waste of time this sadness but one has to work through it and it's probably different for everyone. Whether mourning a four-legged family member or a two-legged one- it still hurts.

Writing helps.
The understanding of family and friends helps.
Breathing. Walking. Reading and Hugs help.

Tears do too somehow and they will stop...

one day.

Friday, September 21, 2018

ROBBLOG #739 It takes...


We've all heard the proverb or a derivative of the proverb: It Takes a Village.

Origins of this "proverb" are usually related to raising a child and come from Africa. However, I think it can be used successfully in many diverse instances.

Lately, I have been thinking of this proverb in the sense of making the move to Vancouver Island and the many, many people who have welcomed Tom and I and made room for us in their already busy lives. It's really incredible when one thinks about it. We arrived here like "pioneers" a year ago only instead of a covered wagon it was our RV Priscilla that made the journey from far off Central Ontario. Before we left, we hugged friends and family. Saw tears. Made tears. Had doubts and wondered how this move- three time zones away, would work out.

It has worked out fine for the most part.
Of course, there are days I feel a little "homesick".
I'm not sure if that is the right word.

The Mister is a little more stalwart than I.
I blame it squarely on his German Heritage. More than the Brits and their stiff upper, his German background almost comes across as "gruff" when I occasionally ask him if he still "feels at home" here on our Island Paradise.
He does....
I just worry sometimes about our choice being the right icing on this slice of cake called life.
I worry too much anyway.

After all, It took me a couple of years to convince him that we should go "westward ho" from Orillia in Central Ontario. Now, here we are settled after more than 12 months, yet some days I hear that inside voice pose a question- was this the right thing to do?
My answer to myself is a curt yes!
What's your problem Rob?
Shut up for Fuck's sake Rob!!

You know what Ethel?
What Lucy?
They'll never come back. They're gone to stay.
Yuh think...
I do miss some folks and the comfortableness of living in a City where everybody knows your name, well- almost everybody. Being familiar with the streets and the shops and a neighbourhood really puts one at ease. It's comforting but if you are too close to it- like if you are still living in Orillia or Ontario, it doesn't mean as much.
I say Ontario because I miss being close to Toronto.
That's right.
I loved the busy streets like Avenue Road, the theatre, the summer's CNE and the stores and shops and malls. I think about the places we didn't visit before we departed. Places like like Niagara-on-the-Lake, Peterborough, Mississauga, Port Perry, Kitchener and many, many more.

Would I move back?
Not at all probable. You see, all I have to do is take a gander at photos from the past 25 years that were taken in January and February and like a hard slap to my face it brings me back to reality pretty damn quick.

Now about this village I am speaking of that has opened up it's arms and given us a hearty hug. I want to say thanks. We couldn't have done it without you. Of course, I would like to name everyone we have come to know in this short year. I may forget some Islanders but for starters here are some of the people we see or hear from on a regular basis starting with the first three people we met:

Victoria Brenda, Leanna and Jason, then: Dave, Kelly, Donatella, Carol, Ladysmith Brennda, Sandra, Martin, Shanny, Tina, Steve, Trudy, Steve, Jeremy, Jill & Tim, Ron, Marj & Jim, Kathleen, Joan, Sharlene, Darren, Thomasx2, Mona, Hugh, Karen & Ed, Doug & Bertie, Jakie & Bev, Jason, Joanne, Marina, Darlene, Brittany, Michelle, Brian, Steve, Alex, Barb, Heather, Leslie, Susan, Norman, Kaye, Rene, Cal, Bruce, Chandra, Angie, Del, Kelly, Val, Bevie, Tyler, Katie, Kate, Sue & Rob, Surjit & Indujit, Cam, Mike, John-Henry, Daryll, Gus, Jean & John, Karl-Heinz & Jimmy, Jill & Jim, Bev, Lily, John, Mavis & Don, Gaylene, Bruce & Bob, Vanessa, Doug & Frank and many more.