Monday, October 31, 2011

ROBBLOG #333


Here it is Hallowe'en.
As an All Hallow's Eve gift for you, I searched my files for a real, scarry Hallowe'en story to post to my Blog. I want to warn you up front that this is a terribly haunting, nauseating story and you may never sleep well again. Enough said.
You have been warned.

A Side  Order of Toast

On a sunny morning- about half past eight, Betty Lou Bigrump decided to go to the local Casino for breakfast. Betty Lou loved eating breakfast-especially at the Casino. During her slumber the night before, she had even dreamed about mounds of scrambled eggs drenched in dark, rich, thick maple syrup. We said Mary Lou liked eating breakfast. We didn’t say she was a connoisseur. 

She dressed quickly in her favourite pair of pink track pants. The pair that highlighted her saggy ass best! Wedging herself through the front door, she ran for the garage and slid her ample buttcheeks onto the torn, vinyl seat of her Ford pickup. Betty Lou spirited away hungrily- down the street. 

At the Casino parking lot, she used the handicap parking pass- the one that her doctor had reluctantly agreed to sign. He had told Betty Lou that she should try walking a bit and just maybe her huge arse might shrink. Betty Lou Bigrump had had a hearty laugh at that one! She had laughed so hard, she jiggled all the bottles on the good Doctor’s Medicine Shelves, sending a couple crashing to the floor below. 

Once inside the Casino, Betty Lou raced for the All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast Bar. She paid the cashier 10 bucks and was shown to a table where she sat alone- chewing her stubby fingertips, until the server came over and wished her a hearty, “Good Morning!”
“Yah. Whatever”- said Betty Lou, looking past the server’s slender hips towards the rapidly forming line in front of the “Egg Station”.
“Just bring me two large glasses of orange juice.”
She paused and had a think. “Oh, a big strawberry milkshake too.”
The server smiled lightly, spun on her heels disappearing into the small galley kitchen, just behind Betty Lou Bigrump’s table. 

Meanwhile, Betty Lou made a bee line for the stack of warm breakfast plates. She grabbed one from the top of the pile- right next to the huge Casino Toaster Oven. Without warning, her attention was diverted from the “Egg Station” as she watched fellow diners placing pieces of white Wonder Bread- side by side, on a metal belt. The slices of white dough disappeared into the redhot heat of the toaster. 

“Hmmmm. Perhaps, a couple of pieces of toast as a side to my Scrambled Eggs would be tasty”- she thought out loud while pushing an old lady with a cane away from the pile of sliced white bread, that stood like a “lopp-sided soldier”, next to the toaster.
Betty Lou Bigrump hastily grabbed a slice of bread in each hand and slapped them both onto the wire belt that disappeared into the oven. 

Suddenly and quite un-expectantly, the charm bracelet on her pudgy right wrist entangled itself on the oven’s wire belt, dragging Betty Lou Bigrump right inside the Toaster!

Everyone standing in front of the toaster watched her fat ass moving slowly towards the hot coils. Eventually, the oven engulfed Betty Lou- her big rump and all! Onlookers who had been waiting for their turn to make a “perfect piece of toast” began to walk towards a huge tray of chocolate croissants, just across the aisle. Many whistled a happy tune as they watched.

By and by the server became curious as to why Betty Lou Bigrump never returned to her table that morning to drink her two large glasses of orange juice and the big strawberry milkshake. 

The End.

Friday, October 28, 2011

ROBBLOG #332 W E E K E N D Edition



I don’t know what’s up these days. 

I am feeling…anxious- or something.
About what?
Who knows?
What am I a self-diagnosing psychiatrist?
Not likely.
I only help and judge others- not me. 

Maybe it’s just that I find days are moving along so quickly.
Hell!
Days are moving along downright fast! 

Hallowe’en is coming on Monday.
Of course Hallowe’en used to be followed by a few weeks of nothing but bare trees, early snow and cool temps- did I mention all the miserably dull and dark days?
No?
Well that’s November- usually, in a nutshell.
However, these days the Holiday Season is smack dab up against Hallowe’en- and is even sharing store shelves with Christmas- even Thanksgiving.
Cripes, if you don’t buy your Hallowe’en stuff in August, all that’s left this weekend is- the pickings! 

But the way I am feeling these days is more than just Hallowe’en bumping up against Christmas and Christmas against New Years and then Valentines against Easter. It’s just that a lot of folks seem to be feeling the same way.Time is moving along too fast and there’s nothing we can do to stop it! 

One day you’re carrying your boyfriends’ books home from school, next day you’re feeling all weird and anxious. I just think it’s the times we live in- or at least the “time” I live in. When you get to a certain age ~ahem~ something begins to change within you. I keep thinking the “time-frame” is relatively small.
Look.
I’m not 30 anymore looking smugly ahead to another 40 or 50 years of a good life. No, I am looking straight in the face of a lot less.
A hell of a lot less! 

On the positive side, I’m reading that for us boomers it will be different. We just have a different mindset than our parents and grandparents.Clearly their lives were finished at 50.
By that I mean they were expected to sit and rock in a chair with every button on their sweater done up- right to the top in case they were to catch a chill. I am sure my Grandmother Lillian Reid was young at some point. I know she was because I’ve seen pictures but I bet by age 50 she was all grandmotherly. My Grandmother was in her 60’s by the time I have any memories of her. 

Look, I’m just saying that I seem to be thinking a lot more about my eventual demise than I did before that blasted milestone birthday I celebrated back in July. I’m not being morbid about it. I’m being realistic about it. 

Say I was getting my roof re-shingled and the roofing guy tells me the new roof will last me 30 to 35 years.
Do I care?
I’ll be 90.

 I just bought myself a new bicycle- A Raleigh “Campus” bike a month ago. My last bike serviced me for 26 years. So if I ride this Raleigh for 26 years I’ll be 86. 

You see what I mean?
Numbers just seem to be more of a concern. 

What if I were to get a mortgage from the bank? They have 40 year mortgages- don’t they? Let just say they do. That means I would be 100 when it’s paid off.
Yikes!
That’s putting it all in perspective.

 So I am feeling a bit anxious these days.

I don’t want to spend my life cleaning house for hours every week when I could be doing things I may not be able to do 10 or 20 years from now.
I don’t want to rake leaves or cut grass or clean out the garage any more.
Been there. Done that.
I don’t want to be missing shows and events today that I may never have the chance to take in again- for whatever reason. I want to do new, exciting things that I will remember joyfully years from now when I’m sitting up there on a cloud playing my harp, looking gently down at the green earth below. 

I read a book recently that a friend gave me for my 60th Birthday. It was 60 Things to Do- or at least think about, when you turn 60.
I read it.
Some chapters were humorous.
Some not so much.  

Overall, it was depressing. I wonder if this same author is writing a book called 70 things to Do When You’re Seventy- if you’re lucky! 

Then one more volume- 80 things to Do When You’re Eighty! Better make that “10 Things to Do When You’re Eighty”.

There just might not be enough time for 80!

Monday, October 24, 2011

ROBBLOG # 331


Dear Readers,
Here's a little thing I have written called "Rummaging Around".
Enjoy.

R*

Rummaging Around

“What on earth is that noise? Ethel is that you?”
She yells-“Yes, Dear it is me. I am up in the attic? “
I yell back- “Well it sounds like an army marching around. What in Heaven’s
name are you doing up there?”
She called out- “I’m rummaging!”
“Rummaging? For what?” I tried to throw my voice beyond the second story. It seemed like a perfectly logical question.
She called back. I could hear a hint of exasperation in her voice this time.
“I am looking for something Rodney. Why else would I be rummaging?”
“Looking for what?”
“Something…” Her voice still had a tinge of exasperation.

“Ethel”- I called once again?
“Yes?”- she called back. Suddenly, there was a loud thump and then the sound of something tumbling over. Something she knocked over perhaps.
“Where is this something you are looking for Ethel?”
The answer came back in a few seconds.
She grunted as she spoke-
“Dear, if I knew I wouldn’t be rummaging, now would I?”

I paused for a second.

“ I suppose you’re right Ethel. You wouldn’t!”
“Wouldn’t what Dear?- I didn’t hear you that time.”
“I said”- I walked closer to the staircase- “ I suppose you’re right. If you knew where the something was, you wouldn’t need to be up there rummaging, making all that noise!”
Another thunderous thump and a few choice words from Ethel.
“Sorry Rodney. A big box just fell off Father’s old desk and knocked Auntie Effie’s old bridge lamp into that old birdcage you bought last year at the flea market. Sorry, I didn’t hear a bit of what you just said to me.”

This was beginning to sound ridiculous, calling as if we were each other’s echo.

“Must we continue this conversation like this? I mean you up there and me way down here. I am about to listen to my programme on the radio. I don’t want to be missing the opening bit.”
“What’s did you say is ‘hissing’ Dear? If you have the kettle on, I’d be ever so grateful for a cuppa.”
She threw something. It hit the floor with a crash.

“ I didn’t say ‘hissing’ Ethel. I said ‘missing’. I don’t want to be missing some of the best bits on my favourite radio how. It’s about to start. Ethel?”
“Yes?” she cried.
“It’s not very easy communicating with you Ethel what with me down here and you way up there in that attic.”
She called back- “I suppose you are correct Dear. It doesn’t make much sense-does it?”
“No. Especially with you making all that blasted racket up there!”
“Sorry Dear. Don’t mean to disturb you. How’s that Tea kettle coming along?”
“Tea kettle Ethel? I didn’t put the kettle on Ethel!”

A slight pause and then- “You best get on to it then. Isn’t your programme coming on the radio about now?”
“Yes. It is. That’s what I have been trying to tell you Dear. With all that noise you’re making up there, I can barely hear myself think- or you talk!”
She yelled- “That’s nice Dear. Give me a shout when it’s ready!”

My temper was growing short!
“Ethel?”
“Yes Dear?”
“Ethel, if you want a cup of bloody tea, then you’ll have to come down and plug the kettle in for yourself. I am about to sit down, in the den- in my favourite chair with a finger or two of scotch and enjoy my radio programme in peace. All I am asking of you is to please be quiet so I may do just that! Can you hear me Ethel? Ethel! Ethel can you hear me?”

Suddenly, a tap on the shoulder.

“What’s all the yelling about Dear?”
“I thought you were up stairs. In attic. Rummaging.”
“Oh, I was Dear but I thought I would take a break, come down and see if you had kettle on. I am dying for a good cup of Gold Leaf. Besides Dear, it’s time you settled yourself down in your favourite chair in the den and switched on the radio. Your favourite show is on. Now scoot. I’ll bring you in a cup and a nice biscuit soon as it’s ready.”
“But…but Ethel. How did you… I mean you were just…I only called…”
“Never mind Dear, just skeedaddle and I’ll be right in and keep you company- soon as your tea is ready.”

She turned and headed in the direction of the kitchen. I shrugged and walked towards the den. My programme was about to come on.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ROBBLOG # 330 W E E K E N D Edition



I don’t know why I did it! 

Please Don’t judge me!
As if I don’t have enough on my plate right now. 

If you listened to The Chuck Show (Tuesday night at 9PM ET) on Swisssh Radio- www.swisssh.ca- or to The Morning Show at Night (Thursday 7PM ET Encore Presentation Friday at 9PM ET) on Swisssh Radio, you’ll know that there’s another Swisssh Radio on the internet airwaves. 

Yes, from the Swisssh Radio Complex, high above the skyline of the City of Orillia, another new Radio Station is born-

Swisssh Holiday Radio. 
Swisssh Holiday Radio

Swisssh Holiday Radio took to the airwaves Saturday October 15 at 1915- 7:15 for those not familiar with 24 hour clock. The station- a sister station as we say in the Radio Biz, is playing all Holiday Music, all the time. Why, this very minute you might hear Celine Dion singing The Christmas Song. You might start Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree with Brenda Lee or maybe one of my favourites- Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea.
Too early you say?
Poppycock!
People are listening to the new station already. 

I must confess, I got the idea from another Canadian Net Radio Station. They also have an “offspring” that started playing Holiday Fare back in the summer. Imagine people tuning in during the hot summer months- but they did! These days, many stations that change formats mid-stream, play Christmas Music to catch the ears of potential listener. 

It’s not really that early.

Some stores- albeit mostly the dollar stores, have had Christmas product on the shelves for a month. Even the Bay at Yonge and Queen in Downtown Toronto was all set for the Christmas Season starting on the Thanksgiving weekend. That’s at least two weeks earlier than other years! 

C’mon fess up. Like me, maybe you’ve bought a Christmas Bobble in July while on Vacation. For Christmas sake, holiday decorations line the aisles of Costco in August and if you snooze you lose. Stuff flies off Costco shelves very  early! 
This music on Swisssh Holiday Radio is usually only heard for a very few weeks every year when we’re usually just too darn busy shopping and baking and decorating to really listen closely to these special songs. Most radio stations stop playing it at midnight Christmas Day- stores at 6PM Christmas Eve. Someone said to me the other day that they miss not hearing Holiday Music right over the holidays. If you work right up until Christmas Eve, you only have the opportunity to get in the Christmas Spirit after work on Christmas Eve. Then, one can only hear Christmas Music for a few hours-  unless you’ve indulged while driving in your vehicle or at work in the weeks prior to Christmas Day. 

I know it’s not for everyone. 

I remember a decade or two ago, I would only hang a wreath on my door on December First. Then, I’d decorate outside the house first and save the indoor tree decorating for Dec 15. That’s all in the distant past now. 

These days, I usually start to decorate at least 5 weeks before Christmas because after Christmas Day I look at the trees as a make-work project. I blame that on shopping trends. Boxing Day brings the Spirit of the Season to a crashing halt. Instead of shoppers enjoying the season with family and friends, they’re all counting the “dollars” Santa left them, searching through Boxing Day flyers, trying to figure out what can be purchased at up to 50% off! 

It’s a shame that the holiday spirit doesn’t fly right through until New Year’s Day. It dfid once back in the 50’s and 60’s when shops were closed up tight and banks shut their doors for most of the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s. It was however, in the days before Debit Cards. I remember my Mum planning how much money she would take out of the bank prior to Christmas Day to see our family through until the new year.

So, whatever the reason, I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy Swisssh Holiday Radio- even if you have to sneak a listen. I mean, you don’t want someone walking into the room as you’re listening and catch you tapping your foot to “Let it Snow! Let it Show! Let it Snow!” before the end of November.
It would be like someone catching you viewing porn on your computer! 

So, sneak around if you have to. The Spirit of Christmas will start to glow in your heart a little earlier this season- and it won’t cost you a cent! 

Listen to Swisssh Holiday Radio through the website www.swisssh.ca
Look for us on www.tunein.com (search Swisssh Holiday Radio). On iTunes (look for Swisssh Holiday Radio under the “eclectic” heading under “radio”. Or Audio Realm at www.audiorealm.com (search Swisssh). 

Have a Happy One!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ROBBLOG #329



I was so incredibly sad when I read this yesterday- I cried.
I could barely tell Tom why. 

Jamie Hubley- 15 years old, is dead. 

Who is Jamie? Jamie is a Gay, 15 year old Ottawa schoolboy who took his life this past weekend because of bullies. The son of an Ottawa City Councillor who seemed to have everything a young man could have but in the end- nothing. 

Jamie had dealt with bullying as early as Grade 7. The story goes that “bullies” tried to shove batteries down his throat after he chose Ice skating instead of hockey. Jamie was bullied and called names- like “Faggot” one would presume, at school and at home too in the form of e-mail messages. 

Jamie and his Father Ottawa City Councillor Allan Hubley
By last weekend he had had enough. In his blog, he wrote that he couldn’t wait another 3 years for things to get better. Three years from now when he’d be through with high school. Three years from now when the “low-life” that ground him down would disappear from his life.
Why three years?
There’s a movement started by a Toronto Gay couple on the web called “It Gets Better”. The famous and not-so-famous make videos telling young, Gay and Lesbians that after High School things do get better.
They promise.
That’s admirable and the videos I’ve seen come straight from the heart but why should Jamie or any other kid have to wait that long? Surely teachers knew of the torment he faced. Didn’t one of them have the balls to stand up to the bullies?
What about the testosterone charge Male Gym teacher(s)?
Cripes they could have shaken the shit out of the bullies mentally at least. They could have made them do an extra five laps! I would expect the gym teacher at the high school would know the identity of the culprits. Assholes tend to stand out in a crowd. Teachers are the educators. The one’s in control. The leaders.
I know you can’t protect a kid 24 hours a day but telling the bullies to stop- at least while on school property, might have saved Jamie’s life. 

I can’t imagine taking your life as a result of someone else’s slurrs. I hope these young men and women are weeping today. I hope the fact they caused a young man’s death never leaves their mind.
It’s like murder- isn’t it?
They killed Jamie a good kid who was just trying to be a teenager.
Jamie’s only problem?
He was a Gay Teen.
I know Gay suicides have happened locally. Most never are mentioned. Maybe somehow something will happen nationally- a Canada wide movement just so another Jamie doesn’t have to die. 

Those who taunted him should be “outed”.
They should be dragged in front of the school, media and public and be taught a lesson.
Is that bullying?
Hmmm.
Maybe, but a point has to be made. They shouldn’t get away without a verbal public flogging. These are the kids who forced Jamie to die- to take his young life just because of them a great kid no longer lives. 

I hope that those people who are living and lurking in the closet- especially those in public life, come out and come forward. Do it in Jamie’s memory. The water’s fine. Yes, there are occasional waves but no more than what you might expect. 

At times, I hear high school kids walk by my house yelling and screaming. I’ve seen them call a kid walking alone on the opposite side of the street- “Hey Faggot”. I’ve heard them call one another “fagt” and “queer” in jest.
I usually speak up.
So should you. 

In the meantime perhaps Jamie is at rest now. 

His family however, will live with this tragedy the rest of their lives.

Monday, October 17, 2011

ROBBLOG # 328


An Open e-mail to Bruce Stanton, MP for Simcoe North:

Hello Bruce,

I am not sure if you’ll read this or an assistant but I felt I had to send you an e-mail. I know what you’re thinking- “Cripes another feekin’ letter from some angst-filled, sorry-butt, whiny Air Canada employee.” No. That’s not the case but I am the husband of one. In between the 25+ years years in my broadcasting career, I too worked for the airlines for about 13 years. So, although Broadcasting (Swisssh Radio) and Acting (The Garage Door Players) are my major interests these days, the airlines are close to my heart. This is especially true since my husband Tom is an Air Canada In-charge Flight Attendant. Tom’s career has spanned more than 35 years starting way back with Wardair. Actually, we met on a Wardair Flight to Hawaii 26 1/2 years ago.
I digress.
I am sure you have received mounds of e-mail from Simcoe North constituents concerning the Air Canada labour unrest and I need to add my comments to the pile.
Some thoughts... 


Lisa Raitt?
I have little respect for her meddling. That’s what it is Bruce, plain and simple meddling. The kind our grandmothers used to do. Funny thing is, if you had of asked me a couple of weeks ago- who is the Labour Minister?- I would have had no idea. Now she’s a megastar in your Harper Government. That’s what the Canadian Government is called these days Bruce- in case you haven’t heard- the Harper Government. So, she’s made a name for herself at least. I believe you know deep down that what she has done is fundamentally wrong.
Oh but I hear you!
How dare I even suggest knowing what you know and how you feel.
Well, I have met you and talked to you and shook your hands with you, so I get the vibe. Beneath all that Conservative hogwash, you’re a good guy. So, just step away from your Conservative viewpoint for a second- I won’t tell anyone, then dig deep down and ask yourself- Is this the right thing to do?
I mean really.
Really?
Would you want that to happen to you if you were in a similar position?
Have your rights taken away- as a Canadian?


This is still Canada not Egypt or Afghanistan or any number of far off countries in this world. There’s a fine line between freedom and having rights removed or crushed. I sure don’t want even a tiny bit of that to be a part of my Canada. It’s not the way we deal with things in this country.


Flight Attendants are fellow Canadians like you and I. They work hard for their wages- like you and I.
Okay, I’m retired and get a measly- but very welcome, CPP cheque every month. Living on a “fixed income” they call it- don’t they?


You see all Air Canada employees really want to do is pay some bills, look after their families and get on with their lives. They are not the enemy here Bruce- although with the protest outside Ms. Raitt’s Milton Office, one would think they were “Banditos” and not airline workers. Air Canada Flight Attendants are front line people just like their colleagues in Passenger Services- the Ground Agents. They don’t sit in offices making millions and getting millions in raises and other perks. Yes, they have a “perk”. They travel at a reduced rate. However, as a flight Attendant- or a flight attendant’s husband, we are not privy to receiving a “complimentary”upgrade such as Lisa Raitt received.
We wait in line.
We respect our seniority and we pay for the upgrade privilege and we shut up about it.
We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to travel and use the service of a well-known, award-wining company that bears our Maple Leaf.

Stephen Harper. I am still warming up to him but I have a difficult time as many Canadians do. Keep in mind Bruce that more Canadians voted for other parties than for the Conservative/Reform folks- not to mention the millions who didn’t even bother to place an “X”. That’s a shame, considering it is one of the rights and freedoms we have as Canadians. Once again rights and freedoms you and your fellow MP’s are chipping away at. I mean with the numbers you get in Simcoe North, Mr. Harper still keeps you in the backbenchers gallery?
Gee, you must be really pleased with that position.
How unfair is that?
There has to be a tiny part of you- deep down inside- not on the surface, that is really ticked off at him for keeping you down. Oh, I know you’ll smile and say- whatever your leader decides is OK, but is it?


Like you, the flight attendants want to get off the “backbenches of wages and benefits” and work towards making a better life for both themselves and their families right now and in retirement. 


Listen Bruce, I’m just saying....I do and always will respect the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, no matter who occupies that office. As a Canadian that is still the leader of my country. If I met him in person I would smile and greet him warmly because of the office he holds.
I don’t have to agree with his politics.


The Conservative Federal Party has already made their mark looking out for the CEO’s and Managers- that’s called big business in this country, sometimes forgetting about the little folks.
I know that’s what Conservatives do.
I have friends who are Conservative- leaning a lot further to the right that me, so I know how they think.
It’s not the way I do. I don’t agree with their politics either. How they think about immigration, Gay and Lesbians, Transsexuals, religious matters and more.
I say live and let live.
Keep order.
Keep the peace.
Be decent.
Be respectful.
Be cheerful.
Be helpful to others and lend a hand where you can but live and let live.
It’s a beautiful life but sometimes there are rutts in the road.
Wait!
Maybe that should be “Raitts” in the road! 


Air Canada flight Attendants work their collective butts off.
I know.
I have been married to a flight attendant for more than two decades- as you know. I also know Tom has been threatened, kicked, yelled at and more all while representing Air Canada. 


I remember a few years back you voted against Gay Marriage. Tom and I both told you how we felt about that and you redeemed yourself by attending that Pride Flag Raising a few years ago downtown at the Orillia Opera House. I will never forget that. It was proud that day and like the FA’s they deserve to be proud too. They deserve a break to decide their own future with Air Canada. 


If Air Canada- the award-winning, favourite North American Airline who have flight attendants who were voted North America’s best, would just realize that these front-line people deserve to be “awarded” none of this unrest would have happened. The contract would have been fair and just.
It is not.


Tom, for instance, is still paying for concessions made more than a decade ago. Financially he has never recouped what was taken away. So how does upper management justify raises  of millions of dollars and separation bonuses of millions of dollars- the likes that former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton among others, received in recent years. It doesn’t add up Bruce and it doesn’t help when your labour minister decides to over-ride the bargaining process to “protect” Canadians as she says!
What is she protecting Canadians from?
The scabs (replacement flight attendants )those who in a strike would take over professional Flight Attendant’s jobs, while keeping passengers safe flying with minimal experience and minimal training. It has to be the only danger she truly believes she is protecting Canadians who fly via Air Canada. 


Of course, complimentary upgrades aside, this is politics and we know politics and politicians sometimes waver from the path of righteousness- just like lapsed Catholics. I mean if they didn’t what would CTV have to talk about on their National News- some guy growing a 700 pound pumpkin?
That’s not news.
Lisa Raitt is however. 


Now Bruce, this is just my 2 cents. Alright, looking back at the length of this e-mail, it’s more like a dollar and a half but still you get the gist of what I am saying and being our Federal Rep here in Simcoe North, it’s your job to listen to me and read my long boring e-mails.
Sorry about that.

By the way, if you’re not personally reading this Bruce and it’s just your “office” workers, I say to them- I don’t need to receive a form letter reply. I don’t really expect a reply at all for that matter. You know, saying you appreciate that I have written and while not agreeing with my thought process- blah..blah..blah. 


Have a good one Bruce and maybe one day Mr. Harper will give you your due. If only you could bargain, carry a picket sign showing your disappointment and fight for your future...


Because, in the end it’s all about the latter days.

Friday, October 14, 2011

ROBBLOG #327 W E E K E N D Edition


It's time for another visit with Dame Clare Voyant at the Palais Royal...just on the outskirts of town. The Dame sends me a "diary blog" of life at the Palais from time to time and I am more than happy to print her words here- on my Blog.
Enjoy!

Palace Promolgations

Well my Dear Sweet Darlings can you believe we are looking at the end of October in a week or so and staring straight into the face of November. Oh, but November can be a sad month. I try to stay positive but it really can be My Dears. I mean that.
I really do.

The lovely Maple Trees surrounding the Palais Royale- just on the outskirts of town, are dropping leaves fast than Ashton Kucher is dropping his pants. They are about to sleep until springtime. It’s during the coming month and the dreadful winter that follows, that I appreciate all the greenery my pine and spruce trees offer as they nestle against the Palais wall and along the front laneway to the electronic front gate. Yes Dears, your Dame has an electronic gate-with a keypad no less. Well, a girl can’t be too careful living alone on the outskirts of town.
Well, can she?

Of course, I am not really alone in the true sense of the word. The Palais staff shuffle here and there cleaning and cooking and attending to my every need. My Head Poolboy Roger and his lovely husband Xavier are always about the Palais or the grounds. Of course, more often than not, they can be found around the indoor pool these days. My Dears the indoor pool at the Palais makes you feel like you are in the South Pacific. It really does. There are palms, real sand to walk barefoot through and gorgeous turquoise blue water. Yes Darling I am spoiled.
I really am.
I must say that My Dears.

Oh please don’t judge me.
It’s just the life of a Dame. I am sure you would do no less if you were living my charmed life-but you aren’t Darlings, so you must live with that in whatever way you “little” people do.
I mean that with all the love in my big “Royal” heart-
I really do.

There is one aspect of late October and “naughty” November that I absolutely love My Dears and that is the planning we do here at the Palais Royale for the Holiday Season. The Bay at Yonge and Queen in Downtown Toronto may be all ready for the season of Joy a little early this year but my Dears, it’s never too early to plan ahead. Why, the Staff and I gatherer in the South Parlour and make monumental decisions regarding Holidat Time. Like like-how many trees are we decorating this year-both inside and outdoors. We try to decorate the gate using a different theme each Christmas season. Yes, My Dears, the gate with the keypad. Rudy the Palais Chauffeur and My Handyman Harry tackle the gate decorating each year and I must say they do a fabulous job.
They really do.
I must say that My Dears.
I really must give credit where credit is due.

Oh, my best friend Hedda and her Private Secretary- Sofonda Cox, will toddle on over to the Palais too. They both have been a part of Holiday Celebrations for years. We’ll have a hot toddy or two and some gorgeous pasteries that Cook whips up. Doris my upstairs maid always brings along pages she has sliced from Décor Magazines to offer some very helpful Holiday decorating ideas.

Of course My Dears what would I do without the valuable input of Roger and Xavier. The “Gays” are always so helpful-especially during the holiday season. One can always tell when the holidays are nigh because Roger begins to don his little red Speedos. The ones with the little sequined Christmas Trees embroidered on the front. I say “little” my Dears because the size of Roger’s suit just doesn’t allow for an entire forest-if you get my pine scent My Dears.

Anyways, I’ll let you know how things turn out. We best get “jingling”. I mean the Santa Claus Parade is late on the November horizon and I am sure the Baptists will be asking me to “play” Mary on their Nativity Float again this year!

Oh My Dears. Sometimes you are too easy. Your Dameness was only kidding. Imagine, me playing a virgin on a Baptist float!
Well, one has to giggle about that- doesn’t one?
Not on your life Darlings or the next one either.

I must run Dears. I promised Xavier I would read the next two chapters he has written for his new novella he hope to publish in 2012. It’s a bit spicy at times but there’s nothing wrong with a gal curling her toes now and then is there?

I ask you?
Tah for Now.
Her Damness and Me at an Outdoor Event near the Palais

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ROBBLOG # 326


It's just another day on Bleeker Street- featuring Baby Jane and Blanche.

It’s a sunny October afternoon on Bleeker Street- about a quarter past two. There’s a light wind blowing from the west and the temperature is hovering around 14 degrees Celsius. A Blue Jay is squawking in the Honey Locust Tree. Inside the well-kept, solid brick home where the Hudson Girls live, someone else is squawking…
  
Jane: Sister! What in tarnation are you trying to do. ~puff~
  
Blanche: (Blanche turns in her chair which is situated in front of the double pane glass window that looks out onto Bleeker Street.) Oh hello Jane Dear. I didn’t hear you slither in.
  
Jane: Now just what in the *&%* is that low-life remark supposed to mean? ~puff~ ~drag~puff~
  
Blanche: Nothing Jane Dear. Absolutely nothing at all. (Blanche snickers quietly to herself.)
  
Jane: So what in the Hell ~puff, puff~ are you doing?
  
Blanche: Oh, I thought I would hang a few scary witches and goblins here in the front window. You know, to get in the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve.
  
Jane: ~puff, puff~ Well, isn’t that sweet? So how come these witches and goblins are all just hanging in that lower pane Blanche?
Blanche: Well, Sister Dear, there are some limitations regarding what I can and cannot do whilst confined to this chair and its dreadful wheels. I can only reach the first pane of glass and that’s why all my little fun decorations are scotched taped to the lowest pane of glass.
Jane: ~puff~ puff~ Well, they look *&*#ing ridiculous!
Blanche: You know Jane Dear, you could simply ask me if I needed help rather than chastising me the way you do. You know very well I’d hang these witches and goblins on the uppermost pane of glass too if I wasn’t confined to this terrible chair.
Jane: But you are Blanche! ~puff~ ~drag~ ~puff~ ~ cough~ ~ hack~ But. You. Are…and nothing ain’t gonna change that anytime soon.
  
Blanche: Jane Dear, sometimes you are just absolutely horrid. Just horrid. If I had my magic wand, I’d change you into an ugly old toad.
Jane: Hah! ~puff~ ~puff~ as if that old magic wand works anyway. It’s more worthless than the piece if sh** you are!
  
Blanche reaches behind her and pulls out her magic wand.
  
Blanche: Flibbedy- Dibbety, duggedy bode, Turn my Sister into an ugly, old toad!
  
Jane: Hah! (Jane looks down at her arms and legs) Look at that Sister Dear. I’m still
here. ~puff~ ~drag~ ~puff~. Now if you don’t mind-
S P R O N G !…. B O I N G !…..P F A A T T !…..
I believe I will take my leave and head out into the back yard to catch a fly or two.
~ribbet~ puff~ ribbet~
Blanche: See you later Sister Dear! Blanche is smiling broadly.

Friday, October 7, 2011

ROBBLOG #325 W E E K E N D Edition


I wasn’t sure about writing this blog but then I thought “what the hell”, it can’t be any worse than many others I have written and received e-mails about.

My topic: Thanksgiving and what I have to be Thankful for this year.

This past year, I have discovered that I have been fooling myself- for several decades, on a few things. In retrospect, I believe I have been living in a rose-tinted world.

An example?

A few years ago, just before my marriage to Tom, my mother said- “why do you have to make such a big deal of everything?”
Specifically she meant the Gay Wedding and the invited guests.
She didn’t understand how much it meant to me- to us.

Then, at the end of this past July, I hit a milestone birthday. Yes, to appease Tom, we had another “big deal”. We had a celebration of my 6 decades on earth at Casino Rama.
It was a wonderful party!
Everything was perfect.
Nothing could have made it more special.
The Casino staff worked very hard to make it a memorable event.
It’s a party I will never forget and I am so thankful we planned it.

Something else I will never forget.
My Mum, never so much as said “Happy Birthday” to me- except in a card.
It bothers me.
I overlook it but I can’t forget it.

I am thankful- most of all, for Tom.
My rock.
My foundation.
My husband.
My friend.
There are no greater thanks- or love, that I can offer. If not for Tom there would be many things I would not have accomplished or done in my life. Two beautiful homes-  the second of the two where we still live- after 19 years.
19 years in the same house?
That’s a record to be thankful for to be sure.

Then, there’s the travelling to far-off destinations and meeting all sorts of people.
We have wonderful pets over the years- and still have.
I am thankful for that, especially our yellow lab- Kiki, who turned 15 in July. She has been the most amazing animal. She will always have a special place in my heart of hearts.
She makes me thankful- and happy.
Kiki’s a special part of Tom’s life too!

There are other friends and family for whom I am truly thankful.
I guess I wished they knew me better- knew Tom and I as the Gay couple we are.
I believe that many people view us as “the Boys” not even knowing what our Gay Culture or being "Gay" is all about.
I am not trying to force anything onto people here but think about this-
Tom and I are a Gay couple- 26 ½ years together and we live in a straight world with mostly straight friends- some who can’t even deal with the word “Gay” let alone “Homosexual”.
I think they forget sometimes.
I’d be thankful if they appeared to know that from time to time. Sometimes going to another heterosexual party or dinner is just too much to handle.
That’s why I have to keep it out there. I keep reminding everybody we are just not the boys who live in an 1875 Victorian House with pets and a big screen television.

Some friends who do get it, get it well. A dinner party we attended back in August actually had 2 straight couples and two gay couples around the table.
I was thankful.
I toasted the hosts and brought that to their attention.
Salute!

Every year, I hear the excuses for not coming to Pride with us and yet year after year we attend birthdays, anniversaries, holiday celebrations and July 1st parades with them in a “heterosexual  environment”.
Okay, the Scottish Festival is a little “Gay” what with all the swissshing of those tartans over bare, hairy legs. Everything left to swing in the hot July breeze- or lack of…
However, I am grateful for the social activities we do have and take part in whole-heartedly.

Yes, we could move back to the city and live in the “village”. I’ve made that point on several occasions this past year. I just want to be who I am and what I am for the years I have left. I’ve pretended far too long that I’m content with everything as it is today.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for much more than just people.
I can usually do and be and buy what I want. I joke that I am living on a fixed income but it doesn’t mean I’m spreading no-name cat food on no-name crackers- at least not for the foreseeable future.
Things are good.
 The other morning while chatting over the garden gate to a neighour, I was told that on a trip to Africa they had seen a poor Masai Warrior who lived in a cow-dung and straw hut, walking away from his home with a cell phone pressed to his ear!
Bet he’s thankful.

So there you have it.
Sorry about the rambling.
Did I say thanks? I think so.

Thanks for what I have, for what I am and who I know.
Thanks for my health and my hair!
Thanks for all the pets at Pine Tree House- Kiki, Missy, Dickens and Doyle and for my wonderful sweet Husband –Thomas.
Thanks too for Swisssh Radio. Swisssh keeps my mind active, my heart happy and makes me feel like a kid just starting out in broadcasting.
Thanks for reading this RobBlog- even though you don’t like or agree with some of the stuff I write about. 100 people- on average read it every day!

So have a Happy Thanksgiving and be grateful for what you have. For all the crap I deal with- we all deal with, it’s still a beautiful world- and life.

So, now it’s your turn. Write some “things” you’re thankful for on a piece of paper or on your computer. You’ll be surprized at how good you’ll feel after you’ve done it!

Oh yes- thanks for Turkey and Cranberries too!