Sunday, June 17, 2018

ROBBLOIG# 725- A Banana a Day


June is fleeting.

Where has this month gone?
I have been busy outside in my lovely Island garden.
That makes time fly.

The Mister and I have plants growing that we have never grown before.
Among them: New Zealand Flax, Cordyline, 4 (count 'em) FOUR banana plants- one about 10 feet tall, two...no wait...three windmill palms, and grasses that have grown to shoulder height in a few short months. Pieris, weeping sequoia, weeping Cyprus and a happy hosta or two.

I call him Nanu- The Easter Island God
Our gardens are looking great!
Plants are growing like bad weeds here in the Cowichan. The sun feels so hot here too.
It pricks the skin.
Today was 34c degrees yet there was no humidity like back in Ontario. We were able to complete our exercise walk around 6PM with hardly a bead of perspiration on our foreheads. Once the hot, western sun sinks below the tall pines along the back of our property the temperature drops about 5 degrees. The evening is wonderfully comfortable, however, having a heat pump cool down Palm Villa's interior helps a bunch.

We thought that having a smaller property here on Vancouver Island would mean less gardening but we are finding it still takes many dedicated hours each week. Watering is the worst, especially when we have to stick within guidelines posted by North Cowichan. Right now we are at level one which means watering between 7 and 9 morning and night on odd days. It is hard to watch plants wilt on odd house number days- especially expensive plants, so many folks get out and give gardens a little squirt whenever they can. This will be frowned upon if we reach the "dreaded" level three.

Fire danger in our area is "high" right now, according to the signs posted along the Island Highway.
This new stretch of dry, hot days has just started. We had this weather back in May- almost the entire month, however the first couple of weeks of June saw overcast skies, cooler temperatures and a bit of rain. Weather forecasters are predicting a hot Island summer through to the end of September!
I am preparing myself for those weeks when we have to stop using the automatic lawn sprinklers and resolve ourselves to watching our grass turn browner than a turkey's turd at fly-time.

A quick trip to the Dairy Queen usually makes me feel better when thinking of burnt grass.
Funny, eh?

A banana palm, they say, keeps the Doctor away
We've taken part in other activities besides gardening. We walked to the top of Stoney Hill- again, to gaze out over the Pacific to Salt Spring Island. We traversed the Island via Port Renfrew to see how the "other half" lives. The other half of the Island I mean.

We met some new friends at a "Primetimers" dinner evening.
I know.
Me.
A "Primetimer".
It was a Hell of a lot of fun!

We even took new friends to Dinters- our favourite garden centre, receiving 25% off our purchases which included a couple of rosebushes and a pretty, aqua blue bird bath. Funny, just when you think you have all the plants and garden accessories you require, along comes a 25% off sale.
Go figure.

We have a couple of theatre dates ahead, a celebration of life service for a neighbour who passed from nasty, old cancer, then a trip to Victoria for Victoria Pride Celebrations in early July.

Life on the Island.
It continues to evolve.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

ROBBLOG #724- Christ on a Cracker!


Once, a few years ago I was doing a stage show. I had a makeup lady do my makeup to help me achieve a particular "look" for a particular character. This is what "may" have happened...

I am sitting in a makeup chair waiting for the elusive Makeup Artist. There's no sign of her- a gal that I'll call her Bernice because that is NOT her real name. I flip through a couple of magazines all the while checking my watch. Finally, I smell a waft of cigarette smoke and in enters the makeup artist. I'll call me- "Actor" because you know my name already.
 
Bernice: Did you think I wasn’t coming or what-eh? ~puff~ Oh hey-I’m Bernice. She reaches out a hand.

Actor: Hi Bernice. I shake her outstretched palm. I was just sitting here trying to “find some calm”. You know. Before I "go on". I look at the lit end of her cigarette and the smoke pooling above our heads. Ummm. Could you extinguish that cigarette, please, Bernice?

Bernice: Oh Geeze, you're one of those types, eh? Yah, well sure. Be back in a sec.
She leaves the room and I hear a distant toilet flush. Just like all those other Actor types. So you're trying to keep calm eh? Pre-show jitters Dear? Have you moisturized? How old are ya hennaway? Anyone ever tell you ya look like Christopher Plummer. I once made him up ya know...so what is your name Hun?

Actor: Um...Let's see- yes, no, yes, 60, that's interesting and Rob.

Bernie: Doesn’t feel like it. That you've moisturized I mean. Feels dry. Did you colour this hair recently, Hun.

Actor: Well, A couple of weeks back. Just a little wash. A bit of blonde maybe.

Bernice: A couple of weeks back. Some colour eh?

Actor: Well... yes. A bit- I guess. My hair was starting to look tired.

Bernice: A bit. Honey this hair was more than a bit tired? Christ on a Cracker- where’d you get the stuff. Dollarama? Geeze, it looks real cheap. Well, it fits, I guess.


Actor: That isn’t very nice.

Bernice: Oh settle it Hun, I mean your stage persona. (aside) Short fuse or what. So, you claim you     moisturized some too?

Actor: Yes I did- before I left home. I said already…

Bernice: Well that’s something anyway. Good God your hair feels like frickin’ prairie wheat. Now, let's get a bit of foundation on that mug of yours and maybe all those freekin’ age spots will disappear. What the Hell is that all about?
 
Actor: Um...well...
 
Bernice: So, what are ya like 63 or somethin’?

Actor: 60. And a half....

Bernice: Listen Hun. I got to tell you. Up front and personal. You know “Mano a Mano”. You don’t hide your age well.
 
Actor: What? I don't. I think....
 
Bernice:  But don’t you worry. Bernice is here to help. I am. I mean that. Now if we makeup artistes weren’t here for you, you can well imagine what you’d look like going out on that stage. ~Hah. Hah. Hah.~ She slaps my left shoulder with a stiff palm and red-lacquered fingernails.

Actor: I can’t imagine.

Bernice: You’d look like Hell. Pain and simple fact! Sorry for the profanity but I speak the truth. Now, I know you actor people work hard to bring those characters to life but you know we are here to help move you along and just in time for your sake. ~Hah. Hah~ She slaps me again. Now just relax. She rubs the back of her hand along my right cheekbone. Did you say you moisturized Hun?

Actor: Yes, I did. We’ve been through that.

Bernice: Oooh. Touchy. So, listen I have a galfriend. Now look, I don’t mean I’m one of those dollies  from the Isle of Lesbos or nothing. Oh God Honey, I have had my share of  menfolk in my day. Don’t get me wrong now. I am not one of them loosy-goosys like you read about on your Facebook and Instaham...
 
Actor: Instagram.
 
Bernice: ~pauses~ Whatever Hun. No, I pretty much keep to myself these days. Well, you have to- dontcha? What with all them SID's and stuff.

Actor: STD's

Bernice: Yes, well whatever Hun. Now Hun, sit up straight here or your manboobs will be on your stomach before your next birthday. So this galfriend of mine-who just so happens to be an artiste of makeup like myself, tells me last week that that actor fella who does those movies- you know who I mean? Oh Christ on a Cracker- y'uh know...

Actor: No, not really.

Bernice: He’s that funny guy with the big-
 
Actor: Voice?
 
Bernice: No. No. Head. Big Head...
 
Actor: I have no idea..
 
Bernice: So he sits across from my galfriend at the restaurant he’s got a bit of the white powder under his nose. Ya Know Hun? 

Actor: Powder? White? Whipped cream?

Bernice: You are sweet Dear but you live in another world. I mean drugs. You know. Powder under the nose? Coaltrain?

Actor: Oh. Cocaine.

Bernie: Exactly. Terrible waste. But good gosh apparently Hun, he has the temper. Not very nice at all. So what’s that gonna get him? Nothin! Did I ask you if you had moisturized.

Actor:  Ummm. I. Have. (I spoke through clenched teeth.)

Bernice: Never mind. Too late now Hun. So can you imagine? This actor-fella makes all that dough   and he can’t get up in the morning without snortin’ his life away. Good God that’s sad. Really sad. ~pause~ Good Lord in a bateau!
 
Actor What??
 
Bernice: You have some nasty-looking split ends here. Get yourself a good conditioner Hun.

Actor: I’ll look into that. Glancing at my watch.  I'm kinda in a hurry now. I need a bit on my eyebrows.

Bernice: Conditioner?

Actor: No. eyeliner!

Bernice: Now leave your face to the professional Hun. That’s what I am her for. So, eyeliner on the brows. Good Gosh. You need more than a bit. The audience wants to see those brows jump and twist and turn and twitch now- don’t they? Don’t you worry Hun. I’ll have you looking spiffy before you know it.

Actor: I’m not sure if “spiffy” is what I’m looking for…

Bernice: Well I’ll be the judge of that Hun. As for what’s happening below the neck, I couldn’t give a fat fanny. Me. I am just from the neck up. She makes a cut-off motion with a cut below my neck.

Actor: Well at least we know where we’re at. You’re here I motion across my throat and up and the neck down pointing down is another department. I understand that.

Bernice: Well, I am not surprised. You seem intelligent but you'd be surprised at those that don't have any sense of direction. Not one iota! Oh Hey, she slaps I remember one time I had a director say to me- Bernice, what do you think of that pink sweater vest for Veronicia in Act Two, Scene 1? Mr. Babcock I says to him. That was his name- Mr. Babcock- funny eh? She slaps me three or four times as she's lost in several  loud guffahs. So, Mr. Babcock I say, you had better ask Gladys in Costumes because I am just concerned with here up. She motions.

Actor: What did he say?

Bernice: What could he say? Hah! I said it all. Geeze. What a loser. I mean that Hun! She applies a few final, deliberate brush strokes and wallops my cheeks with some powder  piled on a white duster. Ok that’s it for you. Now have a nice day Hun- will ya?

Actor: I’ll try.

Bernice: And remember to put on some moisturizer next time for Christ's sake!

Actor: I give up.!

Bernice: aside Geeze, nice fellah but skin’s dry as toast.

Friday, June 1, 2018

ROBBLOG #723- It's In The Genes


First a warning.

It's something most people back east in Ontario are aware of. After watching Rob Ford and his idiot brother perform in the Ford Circus a few short years ago, how is it possible that the PC's could take 65 seats in the coming election and the Liberals might barely be able to hold onto party status. Voters have short memories. I am not fan of Andrea at all but rather the NDP than any- repeat- ANY Conservative anywhere at any time.
He sold drugs for Gawd's Sake. He covered up for his substance abused brother. He's broken the law.
His Mother has no taste when it comes to decorating a home.
I mean reason enough!!

I also think that Kathleen has been treated unfairly and I still believe she is the best, fairest and most forward thinking of any of the candidates. How can Ontarians vote against someone who has raised minimum wage and therefore the standard of living for many Ontarians. I mean c'mon.
That alone.

If Ford wins, I hope he provides Ontario with the biggest Fuck Up in the history of politics. Look out if you are a minority- I am talking to you white folks here too as well as women and LGBTQ2.
Minority.
I mean that word can pretty much describe every one of us these days depending on the situation. The Hubbie and I have been in a Subway car several times in Toronto in recent years and been the only two White Boys.
It's interesting to be in that position. Humbling I suppose.
So, if you fall into any of these main groups how can you even think of voting Conservative?
You are a thorn in their side and always will be.

Federally, it's not any better and now with Justin buying the pipeline out this way, he is doomed. The Federal Liberals are living on borrowed time.
I agree with the purchase.
We need oil.
Our world runs on it and no amount of protesting will change my mind or the facts. We run on oil. First Nations can beat the drum all they want. Hippies, professional protesters and people who need to focus on other skills can demonstrate and show up at barricades day after day. They'll make the National News on a  slow day but it won't make oil and the pipeline go away.

It's in the Ford Genes...
I have promised myself here in BC I will not be political. I am done with speaking out, reading about the various parties and most redneck of all- voting.
You see, I now believe- and I didn't used to, that it makes no difference.
No difference at all.
Good Lawrd...
I am turning into our friend from back in Orillia, Ontario. I will protect her by not naming her but Gee golly gosh and Holy Cow. I didn't see that one coming.

My main defense to refrain from political sniping will see the light of day if Ontarians vote for that Ford Fellah. In my country of Canada I can't believe there is even the possibility of that happening let alone the curse of that Sheer guy from Alberta one day leading our country.

I do have to come clean.
To be both clean- and truthful though, I did write a "Helmet Law Sucks" tweet this past week, supporting the removal of the mandatory bicycle helmet law here in BC. I agreed with a gentlemen who also denounced the forced use of helmets. In fact, here on Vancouver Island in British Columbia my bike hangs on a rack in our garage 90% of the time.
I miss riding but I hate wearing that fucking helmet more!
"Old Home" friends will be agasp!

Egads... I believe either the move west, the Island vibes or my impending, doddering old age has or is in the process of changing me.