Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ROBBLOG#604

 
August Days and Nights.
 
From heat and a drought that lasted from May 11 until August 12th, today we find ourselves trying to remember how many cubits wide and long were the instructions that Noah was given to build the Arc.
 
I have a Wooden Arc. Not a full sized Arc but one I bought years ago at Wal*Mart, just around Christmas. It was there in the Christmas Decorations department at the "old" Wal*Mart in Orillia- before they built the super-sized version on Murphy Road.
 
I had always wanted an Arc.
Dunno why.
I did see Arcs in many Home Decorating magazines over the years and that piqued my interest. I thought it was quite the good fortune when I came upon this one at Wal*Mart.
They were never to be seen again,
Strange that it appeared at Christmas. The Noah story didn't involve Christmas since Christmas hadn't been invented yet.
 
This Arc has tiny, hand-carved and painted images of Noah and the animals. Yes, Noah is alone in my hand-carveds version of the story. The wife must have been shopping and the boys off pissing around instead of helping Dad sort out the animals.
 
 
 
Noah is a good story except for all the "bad" people who came to their deaths by drowning.
That couldn't have been much fun but you know God.
God likes to configure these huge disasters and get rid of a bunch of folks who don't see things quite his way.
Wouldn't God have a field day today?
I wonder who he would target first?
Racists?
ISIS?
Atheists?
Dictators?
Women who mix various different fabrics together to make a Sunday outfit?
The Jews for killing his Son?
Gays for being Gay or the Lesbians for wearing too much plaid?
Ford for smoking crack/- although that one has resolved itself.
 
The list would be a long and involved one and any decision would require much thought and study.
Why, I imagine God would get such a headache from all the business going on down here on earth that he'd resign and concentrate on another planet that might only be half as much trouble as Planet Earth. Either that or he'd just take a day off to have fun and go to the CNE in Toronto where he'd eat a bunch of Candy Floss and stare at all the boys in tight, white tee shirts as they passed him by.
 
Oh. Wait.
That would be me.
Not God.
 
Nevermind...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

RobBlog #603

Well it's been awhile hasn't it?
 
Where have I been you may well ask?
Directing and being in a show for the month of July is my answer.
 
Sister Mary Margaret and the Sisters at the Church of Little Hope have performed 14 shows over the past three weeks both in Orillia at the OCC and in Beaverton at the c.1910 Beaverton Town Hall Theatre.
 
The audiences have been super. ..for the most part. A couple have been like pulling teeth and one in particular in Beaverton on a Friday Night was like death warmed over. Fellow actor Claire Acott (Sister Murray Anne) and myself called time of death at 923pm in the second act. That was a tough one...to be sure.
 
Sister Mary Margaret & Sister Murray Anne on stage at the OCC

Next, come October, rehearsals start for Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak". A rip-roaring, hilariously funny story about the goings on in a small town in Ontario called Big Oak. It's Norm Foster funny at his best and it runs at St. Paul's Centre October 27 to 30th! Look to our Facebook page for details:
 
In other news...
I turned 65 years old on Friday July 29th.
Fuck!
 
My husband Tom had a big Sunday afternoon soiree in honour of that milestone on Sunday July 31st at Casino Rama. 40 or 50 friends were there. The food was terrific and the chocolate birthday cake to die for. How can one go wrong with a 1/2 inch of fudge icing on top of a chocolate slab layer cake?Kudos to the dessert chefs at Casino Rama. You outdid yourselves. Everybody raved!
 
So between acing and turning 65, I haven't had a lot of time. Being all of 65 years old hasn't really hit me yet. I can't compute that figure. Like most baby-boomers my age, it just doesn't seem right. Our parents and grandparents turned 65 but not us. Not me.
However, my birth certificate does not lie. I was indeed born in July of 1951.
Older than dirt...at least dirt born after 1951.
 
One birthday wish said:
"Growing Older is Mandatory. Growing up is optional".
That's me.
When I saw Peter Pan as a kid- before I knew that Peter was played by a "girl", I said to myself- I'm never going to grow up and I still haven't.
I try to deny the reality in many things and truly believe that Hugh Jackman and I could be twins!
Old phart that I am!
 
Hugh and Me- Can't distinguish the difference? That's Hugh above!
 
 
I may not be able to pull off a tight tank top any longer but I still have great legs, big tits and a kickass butt.
 
What more can an old fellah ask for?
 
 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

ROBBLOG #602

 
Everyone I run into these days is asking me the same question?
"So, how are ticket sales going for Orillia Summer Theatre Rob?"
 
"They can only get better"- the little voice in my head says, "if you get off your duff and buy some tickets!
 
~ahem~
 
The main focus of theatre producers today-
How to get bums in seats.
 
It never gets easier. Even for the big guys. That's why Mirvish calls you a thousand times to get you to buy a season subscription. Once they have your money, who cares if you show up or pass your seats on to someone else. They have your money.
 
For the little guys like us- Double R Production/Orillia Summer Theatre, it's twice as hard.
No wait.
It's endlessly hard.
One has to work at sales and promotion daily.
Talk. Talk. Talk theatre.
Interviews. Press Releases. Advertising. E-mails. Twitter. Facebook.
All social media and you hope that someone sees your tweet and passes it on to their followers.
 
Bus tours are down this year. Apparently folks are not booking daytrips- much to our chagrin, so we are focusing on groups.
PROBUS. Red Hat Ladies. Kiwanis. Church groups. Rotary. Irish Groups and even more PROBUS.
Groups get a discount and reserved block seating.
Our summer shows include one I wrote- "All for Nun...The 2nd Coming" a Habit-Centric Musical Comedy and Norm Fosters "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak".
 
We have expanded this 2016 season and are performing our first show- All for Nun...The 2nd Coming at two theatres at the same time!
Two sets.
Two or every prop.
Only one of each actor.
We open at the Beaverton Town Hall Theatre on July 15th and at The OCC on July 19th.
We alternate locations for three weeks.
Friday and Saturday's at 8pm in Beaverton and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Matinees (2PM) and Thursday Night (8PM) at the OCC in Orillia. (64 Colborne Street, East)
We'll see how that goes.
Then, our second offering this season opens August 9th at the OCC- that's Norm's "Sadie Flynn"
 
 
 
Actors and crew come from Toronto, Barrie and Muskoka and well as points east and from Orillia and area too. We are Orillia's only Non-Equity (non union) theatre company providing work for actors and crew in central Ontario- and that's a big deal for us.
 
We audition and pull in actors (Non Equity) from many centres. This allows, good, professional actors to ply their craft without being union members. Being Equity does not make a good actor. Only an actor can be good in his or her own right- and with a lot of work and preparation.
Anyway, enough of that.
It's apples and oranges.
 
If you want a fun evening or afternoon out this summer comes see our productions in Beaverton or Orillia. You will have fun- and the theatre seats are comfortable too!
 
If you have a group of 10+ call Claire our Group and Tour Manager at 416.271.5751. If you want to skip the long distance charges- if applicable, call our box office (705.242.4092) and we'll have Claire get in touch with you.
 
Tickets are $27 pp at the OCC. $25 pp for a group off 10 or more.
The Box Office open in person daily from 11-2 Monday to Saturday.
 
Tickets are always $25 at the c.1910 Beaverton Town Hall Theatre. Get them at Maxine's Fashions on Simcoe Street-opposite the theatre, in Downtown Beaverton or call 705.426.7743
 
Get some friends together. Have dinner or lunch and come see one of our shows.
 
We hope you enjoy this 2016 season...oh, we're already planning the 2017 season- so stay tuned.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

ROBBLOG #601

 
 
The morning was bright and sunny as I walked from our tiny but efficient kitchen- gripping my coffee mug, heading for the balcony. The "husband" was still snoozing. He had a restless night. His knee was bugging him again so I best let him sleep. Late spring sunshine was flowing through tall casement windows that ran along the south side of our second floor home. I opened the French doors and stepped out. Paris was beautiful in the morning- well anytime to be sure.
 
I looked down into Victor Hugo Square to see folks scurrying along with baguettes and briefcases clutched in their hand.
I took a sip of coffee and smiled.
Ahhh.... Paris. I love you. Do you love me?
Of course you do!
 
Looking straight out from our second floor walk-up I could see the Eiffel Tower.
Iconic.
Almost unreal but truly Paris.
I pinched myself.
Yes, it was all real and I really was living in Paris.
Romantic. Special. Heart-warming.
We were lucky being able to keep our home back in Ontario as well as this wonderful Paris apartment where we have lived the past year.
 
 
 
Below me, kids were riding bikes and shop keepers were sweeping the pavement in front of their stores. Traffic was light this morning- but steady. Fiats everywhere and motorized bikes too.
I took another sip of coffee as the doorbell chimed.
I walked across the living room to the hall and opened the door.
There stood Madame Taggart.
"Bonjour Madame!"
"Bonjour Mssr. Clemenceau!" She always calls me that because it is a Parisienne name I dubbed myself with- Robert Clemenceau. A Metro stop in Paris is called Clemenceau. I saw it. Liked it. Adopted it. It's so Paree- n'est-ce-pas?
 
"Mssr. Clemenceau, I have brought you this number. It is the number huit (8) pour votre fenetre."
"Quoi? What? Pourquoi? Why? Madame Taggart."
"Par ce-que, the numbers of the flats are changing and you need to display this numero huit dans la fenetre for purposes of emergency etcetera."
"What emergency Madame?" I sipped at my café.
"Oh, it isn't an emergency immediatement, mais if one happens, you are prepared."
"Oh."- I say and Madame Taggart sweeps across the room to the window and affixes the number 8
with two pieces of cello tape.
"There. That is done! I bid you bon jour aujourd' hui " she called as she swept out the door and into the hallway outside our second story walk-up.
 
"What was that?" My husband Thomas was up and standing at the entrance to the living room scratching his head. He walked to the refrigerator and poured a glass of juice.
"That, My Dear was Madame Taggart sticking a number 8 on our window" I pointed, "Don't ask. I don't quite understand. The numbers are changing or something."
"Oh." he says as if it was too early to care and walked to the balcony and sat in a white wicker chair.
 

 
Once again the door chime rings.
Good God what now, I wonder?
 
"Bonjour Robert. Bonjour Thomas. It is us!"
"Oh Mary and Maureen. Bonjour, Hello! Ca va?"
M and M live one floor up. They too have adapted to living in Pars over the past year or so and like us, love the city and it's many moods.
"So Ladies, coffee c'est matin?"
"Absolutement." - says Mary.
"Any toast"- asks Maureen?
"In the kitchen. You know where. It's warming in the oven. Help yourself, I am going to the balcony to sit and watch Paris come alive. C'mon Mary." I linked her elbow in mine and headed for the sunshine and Paris air.
 
"How'd you sleep I asked my Husband, knowing the answer."
"Not too bad but this frigging knee woke me up once or twice."
"Just another month and it's being seen to." I patted his leg.
"What's happening with his knee?" asked Maureen coming from the kitchen with a tray holding toast and a coffee pot.
I looked to my Husband and said-"He's been complaining for a year and he's going in next month for a partial replacement. He'll be right as rain in a few weeks after that."
"Oh yes. I had forgotten. Amazing what they can do-isn't it?"- adds Mary.
 
"So what are you Paris trollops up to today?" I sipped at my coffee, smiling.
"We thought a walk around the Marais and then lunch or afternoon tea or something," Maureen says while crunching on brown toast and marmalade."
"Why don't you two come with us. It would be fun. We could stop in that flower shop around the corner from Le Bistro Paris. Their arrangements are beautiful." Mary loves flowers as much as Tom and I.
"I'm up for it. Husband!"
"Sure, I'll hobble if I have too."
"Good then that's that. We can take the Metro to Hotel de Ville and stroll from there." Mary clapped her hands in glee and poured another cup of hot coffee from the pot Maureen had brought from our kitchen.
 
Maureen looks at our number eight and says-"I see you got your new number from Madame Taggart. We did as well. That Madame Taggart certainly looks after us."
"Did you know her late husband was Canadian?"
"Really? I didn't know."- says Mary, "That's why she's like a mother "poulet". How do you say "hen"?
"Dunno."-mumbles Hubbie as he looked out across the square. He was watching Paris City workers clean the fountain. The algae must be getting thick again.
We all sat looking out across Victor Hugo Place towards the tower.
 
"Gosh we are lucky, eh Kids?" I was beaming and happy.
 
 
 
"Better finish our un petit dejuner and get ready. Times a wastin' and I have to shower"- says Tom, always the time keeper- even in French time.
 
We top up our mugs as Maureen slathered peanut butter on another slice of whole wheat while we laid out our Paris Plans for the day.
 
Place Victor Hugo.
La Tour Eiffel.
The Marais.
Metro.
Bagettes and Madame Taggart.
Ahhhh, Paree.
Je t'aime. Je t'aime.
 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

ROBBLOG #600

 
Holy Black Jesus!
600! 
ROBBLOG #600.
That means, I have sat here at this keyboard 600 times.
 
I posted my first ROBBLOG back on February 13, 2010- six years and 3 months ago.
 
That's a lot of writing.
A lot of time.
A lot of memories, during which many friends, family and loving pets have left this earthly plane.
 
...and I still Blog On.
...and I don't know why exactly.
This ROBBLOG is fairly well read around the world in many countries. As I browse back over some of the Blogs, I can't remember writing many of them.
No, that's not right.
I can't remember writing most of them!
I especially like the little stories I have written. I read them like it's the first time and I realize there's the beginning to a short story, a book or a play in many of them.
I may start to read them all and get some ideas.
 
When I sat down to write today, I had forgotten that I was about to compose number 600 and I don't have any pre-conceived ideas about what to write about, so I am rambling. I don't Blog as often as I used to- especially now as the summer 2016 theatre season draws closer. Most of my day is spent looking at ways to get bums in seats and pay the costs of presenting summer theatre shows.
It's not an easy task but I do enjoy it- stress and all.
 
I also take more time for myself these days.
In the warm weather I ride my bike about 12 km- most days. It keeps my fat arse from getting fatter.
To be truthful, right now I really don't have a "fat" arse. I think I have a nice arse for a man turning 65 in a couple of months.
Yikes!
I can't get used to seeing that number "65" in print.
It seems surreal.
An old age pensioner.
Really?
Naw. It can't be- can it?
 
~pause~
 
I just checked my birth certificate.
It's true. I am practically an old man.
 
So, will this old man continue to write a blog? I remember I was going to stop when I reached number 500- but I didn't.
 
The answer is- I just don't know.
Guess you'll have to wait and see if ROBBLOG #601 pops up sooner or later.
 
Oh and thanks for reading Dear readers.
 
 
 


 
 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ROBBLOG #599

 
Dear Readers,
 
I have been compromised.
I feel dirty.
That hasn't happened since the early 80's.
Feeling dirty that is...
 
Actually, I feel more compromised than dirty. You see, my person has not been compromised but my credit card has been.
 
I got a call from my bank this morning saying someone had used my card in Toronto just before midnight. The bank checked out a few things. They asked me some questions over the phone, then told me that my card was defunct- immediately.
A new card will be sent and I should get it within 24 to 48 hours.
I have been told that I will need to advise all those companies that use my credit card on an automatic basis that I have a new credit card number.
 
Inconvenient for me, I must say.
The bank also said I will not be liable for any charges.
That's nice.
 
It seems it was a company in Toronto that delivers food to homes and the red flag went up about midnight. The charge was $103.
Seems strange but it's good the bank has a system whereby a computer realizes it couldn't be Rob Reid using his card at that time, in the City of Toronto.
 
The security person I spoke with said they have the address of the individual(s) who placed the order and that it would be checked out.
It's fraud of course.
A serious offence but it could have been worse for the bank. These fraudsters could have duped my card and the bank for thousands.
 
I paid an online charge to Microsoft for Microsoft Word a couple of months back. A minute after I made the purchase, I received an automated call checking on my purchase. Must be a lot of compromised cards with that type of online purchase. Of course, it was for a couple of hundred dollars. Overall, I am pleased the bank called.
Better safe than sorry.
 
 
 
Will I feel nervous now when I buy online or use my credit card online?
No, not at all.
With a security system such as this in place, I feel confident the criminals will be found and thrown into Fraud Jail where they will be forced to share a toilet with a cell full of fellow fraudsters and enjoy 3 meals a day of stale bread and water.
 
It's a good thing I wasn't leaving on Holiday today or needing to buy something online from Simons.
Not having a credit card can certainly put a hold on one's purchasing habits- can't it?
 
Oh well, in 48 hours- or less, I will be back in the society of the credit card holder and all things will be right within my world.
 
 


Monday, April 4, 2016

ROBBLOG#598

 
April?
Or is it.
Doesn't seem like it in Central Ontario at least. Since the beginning of March, we have had 4 storms. The first on March 1st brought us 30 cm.
That melted. It was spring.
Then the end of March a bugger of an ice storm. That melted and we got a few cms of snow as a reminder that winter was still hiding around a corner. Then, April 3rd overnight another 15cm. It is melting in the warm April Sunshine but the temps are crazy cold.
Like -12C overnight tonight.
Everyone is complaining. They're bored. People want to feel springy. Get on with things.
 
I read a young man's tweet on twitter today.
He said "Orillia is so boring, no wonder people take drugs."
Not sure about that pastime but at times living in Orillia can be like living in a "little" backwater of rednecks. I love the asshole who drives around town with his truck and the Civil War Confederate flag hanging in the window or stuck on a pole and flapping in the breeze from the tailgate.
Does he even know what that flag represents?
No.
Because he's a bloody redneck and probably has never sat down and talked to someone of colour or someone who is Gay.
 
Now, on that subject of Gay, April 4th is our anniversary- number 31. My husband and I met on a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii thirty-one years ago.
April 4th, 1985.
 
That's us on the steps of the Royal Hawaiian in April 1985. Me on the right.
I know.
The legs!
The shorts!
The brown hair.
Those were the days.

We had an official wedding- licence and guests and vows, 10 years ago on April 4th, 2006.
We've had a good run these past 31 years and we intend to keep it going. Just going out to dinner tonight to celebrate but we did send a collage of photos to those that shared in that happy event 10 years ago.
The e-mails we got back are nice. We all had a great evening ten years ago and maybe it was one of the top social events of that spring season- so many people tell us.
It was a Black & White Wedding meaning- Rednecks aside, guests were asked to dress in black and white.
They did.
Even two gents in white tux jackets.
It was so classy and so much fun.

Now, this coming year we are doing something different. Something we haven't experienced in these past 31 years. My husband Tom is going to retire- in two months time he tells me. That will be something!
I mean, we've had stretches where he's been on vacation for a few weeks but never forever and ever since he's been a Flight Attendant/In Charge for almost 42 years.
It will be interesting saying "buh-bye" to Air Canada.

We need to plan for our future too. It's time. We haven't been able to do that with Tom working and being away a dozen days every month.
Will we stay in Orillia?
Will we sell and move.
Will we just spend our winter's away somewhere nicer?

All these questions need to be answered and since we don't have any real redneck friends to ask their opinion, we'll just have to come up with the answers ourselves.