Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ROBBLOG #457

 
On a Grey Bleeker Street Day with Baby Jane and Blanche
 
Jane: Looking out the living room winda- Miserable, rainy ~puff~ puff~  dull *#^% days!
 
Blanche: Now, Jane Dear. What is all this belly-aching I hear?
 
Jane: Look outside Blanche. How in the hell is a body supposed to live through this sh**ty stuff. ~puff ~ drag~ puff~ Why even my ciggies are sodden.
 
Blanche: with a smirk- Maybe it’s Mother Nature telling you it’s time to quit your nasty habit.
 
Jane: Well, ya wanna know what I think?
 
Blanche: Not really…
 
Jane: I think ~puff, puff~ Mother Nature should just butt the F*** out! That’s what I think.
 
Blanche: My, my Jane Dear, you have quite the way with the King’s English.
 
Jane: King? She’s a broad if she’s a day. I’be seen her! ~puff~
 
Blanche: Oh, it’s just an expression Jane. I could just as easily have said ‘English Language’.
 
Jane: Always trying to beat me into the ground with all that book-learning- ain’t ya Blanche…
 
Blanche: Nonsense Jane. I am simply saying…
 
Jane: ~puff, puff~ You’re simply saying that I am beneath you. Lower than the rubber on them there wheels on that there chair.
 
Blanche: Jane Dear, why would you think that I would ever consider you to be such a lowly creature? Why if I wasn’t in this chair, I’d come right over there and shake you good and hard. Knock some sense into that pretty…ummm….that noggin of yours.
 
Jane: But ya are Blanche. You see? But. You. Are. No amount of book-learning or Jeopardy watching is gonna change that! ~puff, drag, puff~
 
Jane exits the living room heading for the kitchen- chuckling all the way…
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

ROBBLOG # 456

Hugh Jackman just turned 44.
 
An earthquake rocked the Queen Charlotte Islands in B.C. and residents on the west coast and as far away as Hawaii were on a Tsunami watch.
 
Gas may be 99 cents a litre before the end of December.
 
Now, a huge tropical storm mixed with a winter storm is set to hover over Central and Southern Ontario.
 
You see.
The end of the world is nigh.
 
Yes, I know it was supposed to be lights out for all of us this coming December 22nd- according to the Mayans, however things may be moved forward a bit if Mother
has anything to say about it.
 
The Canadian Red Cross is telling Ontario residents to have water, food, flashlights, first aid kits ready.
Are they trying to scare us?
If so, they’re doing a good job. I’m heading out to get extra water and buying food that I could prepare for a maximum time of 72 hours- if the power were to stay off that long.
I have two fireplaces to keep me warm and a BBQ to cook on. I have candles and battery-operated lanterns and a power pack that will run a 25 watt bulb for several hours.
 
There are things I can’t prepare for.
I can’t stop a tree branch from crashing down on my house.
I can’t prepare for my sump pump shutting down due to a power outage forcing water to rise in my cellar.
Yes, I could have a bailing can ready but where would I put all the water that would fill up my cellar. The ground is already saturated.
What I can do is be prepared for other emergencies.
 
Many people are saying- Nah! It’ll never happen!
I even get the impression there is being too much made of this storm.
We are not in the centre of it but according to the Weather Network, 70% of Canadians will be affected by it. That could be you or I.
Seems like a broad statement of weather fact.
 
Is it the end of the world?
Will be we living without power and everything that goes with it for a few days maybe longer?
Possibly. It’s difficult to forecast.
 
So, I am getting prepared.  
I am playing it safe and fetching water and buying non-perishable food just in case.
Maybe you should think about doing the same.
 
See you on the other side of Hallowe’en and be safe.
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ROBBLOG # 455



Good Gawd. I get so tired of bitchy, whiny people. Don’t you? Sometimes I would like to set them adrift in a lifeboat with Tallulah Bankhead. If only Tallu was still alive. She’d tell them in no uncertain terms “Darling, shut the “front door” up!” 

I especially have great difficulty in dealing with some people who try their best at being nice-especially to your face and then let loose with all hell’s fury when you’re not around. 

Then, there are those that “masquerade” as something more than they could ever hope to be. Please. Do yourself a “favour of the month”. Get real. 

How about those “people” who do their damnedest to ignore you. To what end? 

I hate comparisons too. Oh you’re doing the same kind of thing that she’s doing. That looks to be the very same style of thing that he’s attempting. They’re already doing that- aren’t they? So, you’re starting that too? It’s something like what they’re doing, is it not?
Just shut up! Shut up! Shut up! 

I suppose in a sense we all can be guilty of any or all of the above from time to time. I’m not the guy who is “without sin” and willing to cast the first stone but I try to be all inclusive-like a Hawaiian Resort. I try to treat people in a fair and gracious manner. It doesn’t always work. There are always those people who deserve to be tied to a large, heavy stone and cast into Lake Couchiching. 

Listen we all do our best in this world. We all deserve to champion any cause or conquer any hill we choose. This is the “true north strong and free”-isn’t it? Well isn’t it? 

I know that sounds silly. This is a free country. We all enjoy our freedoms even though some of us try to push the buttons a bit. Fie on cult churches and the “flock” that follow who refuse to think for themselves and need to be told what to think and do.

Working together, giving positive feedback and letting the next person live in a way that is safe and suitable for him or her and climb whatever mountain he or she chooses is just so… so “human”- so “Canadian”. 

Here’s a final thought. All of this is comparable to living in “NeverNeverland” with Peter. Just never say never in NeverNeverland. Most of us will continue to talk about people and not always in the most flattering of terms. Ideas, thoughts, comparisons and “he said/she said” will continue to be heard. 

Listen, I barely know what the deeper meaning is to this entire Blog, so don’t natter on about “words” at this time. Stay with me for a few lines longer. I seem to have an insatiable need to make someone walk the plank or at least set someone adrift with a backpack full of bologna sandwiches and Celine Dion CD’s. 

Therefore, I state that even things in “NeverNeverland” can never be that perfect what with all those pirates, Captain Hook and a ravenous crocodile running about. 

So be good to one another.  

Don’t talk out loud in your sleep and if you must make a comment about somebody or something to someone, quietly write it down on a little note and pass it to that person when nobody is looking. Just like you once did in school.
 
 
I hear what you are saying about “note-sending”. Yes, by all means you can text message as well. Just tone down the bitchiness and the speaking in false tongues.  

You’ll like yourself a lot more the next time you gaze at yourself in a mirror.

Monday, October 22, 2012

ROBBLOG # 454

Ya gotta love people.
 
A young girl attends a Hallowe’en party.
She was dressed as a skunk. The party was being held outdoors.
It must have been a very convincing costume because her Uncle who was inside the house, looks outside, sees what he believes is a skunk and shoots her.
She was rushed to hospital.
 
Then, there’s the lady who lives in North Dakota- that’s scary on its own, who called a radio talk show to complain about “Deer Crossing” signs. Now, we’ve all seen these signs warning of deer crossing the highway in our area of Ontario. In fact, a few years back a stag rammed into my Ford Aerostar. I was on my way back from a show rehearsal at 10 o’clock at night. It was quite the experience and cost about 3000 dollars to repair.
 
This talk show caller whose vehicle- she claimed, had been hit by a deer several times, was asking why these “Deer Crossing” signs were place in the busiest sections of the highway. Couldn’t they be placed in areas with less traffic where the deer could cross in a safe manner? The talk show host just about bust a gut.
 
Just Google “please remove the deer crossing signs” and you can hear the actual call on You Tube.
 
The second time through the call, I thought maybe it was a ruse. I thought at one point the caller was trying very hard not to laugh. On the other hand it is America and some of those folks lack enough oxygen to function. It was good for a chuckle and the You Tube recording of the call has had over 6 million hits!
 
A 76 year old man was sharing a house with another man. The “other” man changed the locks. Obviously he didn’t want the 76 year old sharing the house with him any longer. So, when the 76 year old man realizes his key won’t work in any of the locks anymore, he gets a chain saw and cuts his way into the house and attacks the house mate. Luckily a tee shirt the lock-changing man was wearing clogged the teeth of the chain saw and he wasn’t harmed.
Sounds like the Texas Chain Saw Massacre- only without the blood and gore.
 
This just in- eating sugar makes us stupid. A survey has found that the more sugar we consume the less likely we are to be able to learn and grasp the meaning of life. Those large soft drinks at fast food places are partially to blame as well as all the junk food that lines the shelves of our supermarkets. The lesson here is get smarter by decreasing sugar intake.
 
Seems simple enough but if one is stupid already from eating sugar, how will one be smart enough to realize one needs to stop.
 
Have a good one!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ROBBLOG #453

Can you tell I am busy these days?
My blog writing is lagging behind.
I have an excuse and it’s a good one. I am rehearsing my new show- “Hank’s HOliday sHOwcase & Variety Show.11 Cast & Crew and Hank too! I wrote the show and I am directing it, all because Hank has asked me. In fact he asked me back in August to mull it over. I did and here I am in the thick of things.
 
The show will be at the Studio Theatre of the Orillia Opera House for the first time. It will have such a Gay Holiday look you won’t believe it!
 
It’s a big job- even though rehearsals are just once a week right now. Re-writes, blocking and more re-writes are almost a daily occurrence. I believe it is going to be a fabulous show. It’s funny, snappy, bright, fast-paced and above all it’s a Christmas Show with tons of Holiday Songs. There is even a parody of the Charles Dickens’ classic- “A Christmas Carol”. This time Scrooge is as tight-fisted and ornery as ever. He is visited on Christmas Eve by a trio of “happy” Nuns who ask for a donation to help them travel to the Eternal City- Vegas no doubt. A ghostly presence visits Scrooge with some advice as well as a young chap who happily confirms Scrooge has not missed Christmas Day. However, the lad has something else up his sleeve
 
A new character- Mrs. Millicent Hardgrove- as Musical Director, has music in hand- or at least on her music stand, all the while keeping Hank company on stage. She even sings a bit and appears to have a keen sense of observation- mostly at all the most inappropriate times!
 
Father McFlannery has a few stories to tell as does Lloyd Newsman a veteran News Anchor who will keep the audience updated on happenings around the community and around the world.
 
Mrs. Steeper- The well-known Secretary of Orillia’s Lord Tunderin’ Bull Party- is back to share some holiday hi-jinks. She even finds herself thrust into the spotlight- although Mrs. Steeper would detest the term “thrust” to be sure.
 
The Nuns of Woebegone dance, prance and sing. Hank tells a few Holiday stories and there’s a visit from a few new characters including Connie Cannot who has such a sad tale of thievery.
 
Tickets are on sale October 15.
Three shows Friday December 7th at 7:30.
Saturday December 8th at 2PM and 7:30.
Single tickets $20. Get together a group of 10 or more and pay just $15 bucks each. What a deal!
We’re also supporting the Sharing Place Food Bank in Orillia. We want theatre-goers to bring a turkey (5-10 kg please) to the theatre or buy a voucher for a turkey. We’ll see that it gets to the Sharing Place.
It’s all in the true spirit of the Holidays.
Get your tickets soon. Hank is depending on you!!
 
Online at www.oriliaoperahouse.ca or at the Box Office 705.326.8011

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ROBBLOG #452

So Kids, it’s that time of the year again…
SNOW is in the air. They had a nice little bit in Winnipeg and southeastern Manitoba. NO, not the Manitoba that Toronto’s Mayor believes is located in Southern Ontario, I am speaking of the real Winnipeg that is located in the real Province of Manitoba.
I suppose first snowfalls can be exciting- or not. Since a few thousand Manitobans were without power during the storm, I wouldn’t expect that they were too excited. Then, just to add fuel to the fire or a snowflake to the pile, online newspapers have to take pictures of the snow and publish them.
 
Snow on walkways. Snow on car tires. Snow falling as bicyclists manoeuvre slippery streets. Snow falling on an older lady’s hat-covered head as she uses a crosswalk. Birds in snow. Snow on a pink umbrella carried by a harried housewife crossing a parking lot with bags full of groceries.
 
Why do we need to see these images? To remind us of the white stuff. To remind us it is inevitable that snow will fall…some day. Sometime.
 
 
 
Snow can wreak havoc with drivers and can make it dangerous for pedestrians on sidewalks but it can be picturesque too. Clinging to spruce trees. Lining the top of a fence. Gently resting on a Muskoka chair or two on the patio. We’ve all seen it often enough- unless you live in Victoria B.C or on one of the gulf islands. Personally, I prefer to look at snow in photographs. It’s warmer and infinitely more comfortable. You don’t have to pull on mittens and boots to experience the beauty of snow. You could even view the photos in front of an open refrigerator door for a minute of two to get the feel of the chill in the air.
 
Snow does mean Christmas- doesn’t it? It’s a tough ride for Santa without it. It’s a rough landing on the roofs of houses when he lands the sleigh and eight prancing reindeer on rooftops that are bare of the white stuff. Now that I think of it, maybe tiny wheels plop down from the underside of his sleigh’s runners when he’s in tropical locations, so he’s probably had that figured out for a few hundred years at least. Small wheels on the runners would provide a smooth landing. Of course Mr. Claus may have installed quiet thrusters that place him gently on neighbourhood rooftops that remain barren of flakes.
 
Snow also means jackasses get out their snow machines when there’s barely a centimetre of the stuff on the ground, chewing up grass and flowerbeds- not to mention the rip-roaring noise of un-tuned engines.
 
I hate that about snow.
 
Snow machines churning up pretty snow-covered landscapes in area parks. Raring up side streets and roaring along trails meant for walkers and cross country skiers.
 
Now here in Central Ontario we haven’t seen snow-yet. Last year there was a noticeable absence of the stuff. I happily rode my bike in the months of December, January and February because the trail was clear of the stuff. The January/February rides mean earmuffs, a hat and warm socks but it was different being out there on my bike in the dead of winter.
 
Snow tires anyone?
Not for me and not yet.
I like to hear the word “snow” in the weather forecast a few times and bide my time. Eventually, they get installed. Usually on a warm sunny day in November when our friends at Midas are standing around the garage twiddling their thumbs, looking for business.
No fuss. No muss.
The lineups on early snow days are atrocious.
 
Enjoy the lack of snow here folks.
Look at the pictures of Manitoba’s weather woes- or Calgary and Edmonton’s if you care to look further west. Right now, that’s how I prefer to ease myself into the season of white…and slush, ice, dirty snowbanks and slippery hills and…

Saturday, October 6, 2012

ROBBLOG # 451

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Here are some things I am Thankful for.
I am thankful for:
My health. Yes, I have some aches and pains but overall things are good.
My Tom. He is still my world and my rock after 27 and a half years.
I am grateful I still have my hair. (vanity- thy name is “me”)
My ability to be strong- most of the time, realizing that I have thoughts and opinions, just like everyone else on this planet. Oh… and Fuck ‘em- if they can’t take a joke.
The opportunities I have had in my life and continue to receive. Being able to do what I like- broadcasting, acting and writing.
Our family- our loving pets. Our 16 year old Lab- Kiki. Our Mini-schnauzer- Missy and orange tabbies- brothers Dickens and Doyle, as well as all the other “kids” who have passed on before. These pets are my family. All they ask for love and what they give is immeasurable.
Kiki at 16 years
My country. I would like to have the opportunity to live elsewhere. Somewhere warm especially- like Hawaii but it would not be permanent. I love the “True North Strong and Free”.
Friends. Although I can’t say I have a lot of good friends, I do have friends. In fact someone told me a few years ago that they don’t have any good friends- just aquaintences.  Life is easier that way. I agree.
Being Gay and being out these past 30+ years. I wasted too much time being closeted. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love who I am and in the next plane of “being” I hope I am still Gay and when and if I decide to return to human form, I hope I am once again Gay. A “former” friend once asked why everything has to be Gay in my life. Why can’t I just be normal? Well, that’s because “normal” is no fun and neither was she so- “out damned spot!”
Being able to travel and see other countries and cultures. It has shown me that we are not alone on this earth. We share and we need to continue to share.
Understanding there is no God. That life is a wonderful, joyous journey and I am enjoying every moment. Okay, some moments more than others but still it is grand! I am a Humanist and I know right from wrong and I’ll bend over backwards to help a fellow human- if I can.
Memories. I have a lot of memories. I write about many of them here. Memories help me cling to former times when things may have seemed simpler. Memories help me get through and understand today’s trying moments. I only try to remember the good things about the past.
Being comfortable, with a roof over my head and nice "things" inside. There’s money in the bank. Gas in the tank and some extra change in my pocket for a large Tim Horton’s- with milk, every now and then.

Monday, October 1, 2012

ROBBLOG #450

No matter how old you are or how smart you think you are there is always room to learn a life lesson or make an observation.
Let me share a few I have learned or observed lately.
I feel like I was adopted. I know it’s not the case because I look down at my hands and I see my Dad’s hands. Sometimes my movements reflect my Dad too. Still, I feel so removed from family that I believe that being adopted would be easier. It would explain the “difference” I feel and the distance that is reality.
Saying “I love you” is just 3 small words but at times it takes more effort to say them than climbing a tall mountain. It shouldn’t but it does. Sometimes we say the words too late in life when they should be said as easily and softly and naturally as a warm breeze caressing one’s cheek.
There are times when you should leave well enough alone. I decided to wipe the dust and grime off the inside of our gas fireplace in the family room. When I had turned it on this season, the smell of hot dust made me feel ill. So, I took off the top and wiped it down with a wet cloth. I guess I pulled on a safety wire by mistake. I wasn’t sure at first. I thought that maybe the one/off switch had just worn out and it was all happenchance- but no. I had pulled a wire that was a safety feature that strops gas flowing in the case where there’s a problem with the fireplace. It only cost 90 bucks to have our serviceman come and re-insert the pin and flick a switch. Cripes!
I have to constantly remind myself that some people just pass through your life and are not meant to stay. You may try to re-kindle the friendship again but old feelings arise. Not everything can be swept under the living room rug. A year ago someone asked me- told me actually- “Why does everything have to be Gay with you. Why can’t you be normal?” This from a friend? Same friend has a Mother who took it upon herself to send me a little e-mail that spelled out the differences between a Liberal and Conservative. Some of the points were hurtful- especially the Gay references. Typical for a Conservative. They wear blinders you know. Well...you won’t know if you are one- especially a far-right leaning one. Your brain is just not wired to see it. All you have to do is look at Toronto’s Mayor and our Prime Minister. Both “prime” examples. Of course, again, you can only see clearly if you are NOT a full-blown Conservative.
You have to learn to look after yourself. Make yourself number one in health and happiness. It sounds self-centred and it can really piss people off but it’s really all about keeping your sanity and your stress manageable. Live life to its fullest. A hard rule to follow, I know. Just do the best you can. You have to work on this daily and tell yourself it’s OK. It’s OK to look after yourself. Who else is going to?
In this past year I have learned that after 60, the years begin to close in quite rapidly. Weeks and months fly by. Then, before you know it- another year. You can’t stop them so you have to slow down and savour as many of the minutes and moments that you can. Writing this blog is good for me. It keeps all this stuff out of “up here” and puts it “down here”. You may not like or agree with everything I say here- and you’re not meant to, however, it is my blog and it’s your choice to either read it or pass it by. About a hundred people choose to read it most days of the week. I would still write it if only 2 or 3 read it. It’s mine. An open diary really. I don’t lock it away under my mattress or in a drawer somewhere. I give you permission to read it.
Long-term guarantees don’t hold as much weight as they once did. For instance someone coming to put on a new roof or build a new verandah on our 122 year old house may say- “If I build a new verandah for you, it ought to last you 40 years!”
“Oh really? So I will be able to sit and enjoy a sturdy verandah when I’m 100 years old?”
How gratifying.                                                                                                                 It’s really just doing things for the last time on this earthly plane.  
It always amazes me that many people are going through the exact same things in life that I am. Bring up a certain situation that is baffling and someone usually says- “I feel the same way. I’m going through that too.”                                                                                           Maybe it’s an Aunt or Cousin but it’s reflective of what I am going through.                        Huh. Comforting to know it’s not just a one-off. Similar situations exist elsewhere in the world with friends or people I know.
There you have it. A few disjointed tidbits I share with you for a life lesson.
There are more and I’ll share them soon.