Monday, May 10, 2021

ROBBLOG #879- So I'm Watching a Bab's Concert

 


So, I’m at this outdoor Barbra Streisand concert on Vancouver Island- not too far from where I live in Maple Bay. I think I'm dreaming. 

FACT: I am dreaming.

She- Miss Streisand, is performing an intimate concert for a few hundred friends. I scooped a ticket. I was lucky. She’s performing for a society that protects the whale and dolphins. Nice. I am standing by a large Arbutus Tree. Barbra is about 20 feet away. 

Babs- do you think I should call her Babs? Too soon? Yes. I think you are right. It’s too soon.

Hennaway, she’s singing "Evergreen"- Beautiful, when all of a sudden her eyes lock mine and she walks towards me. Me, standing at my Arbutus Tree watching Ms. Streisand sing "Evergreen". An Arbutus tree is "Evergreen".

I stand there mesmerized in a shirt with a nice collar, a leather jacket- evening breezes can be cool, shorts, flip-flops and my favourite leather man-bag flung over my right shoulder. 

She finishes the song. "Hello"- she says. 

"Hi"- I respond.

"Whattaya doing here?"- she asks.

 "I’m at a Barbra Streisand concert"- I say. 

"Hey. Whaddahya know, me too!"- She smiles that Streisand smile.

"Who woulda thought?"- I reply.

"Hey nice man-bag."- she says.

"Thanks"- says me, "it’s handmade. From London. England, I mean- not Ontario.".

"Oh... So,"- she asks with that Barbra twinkle in her eyes, "What do you do?"

"I live here on the Island."


"Get out!"- she says, "I might too. I’m thinking of buying a small place- ten, maybe twelve million. On the ocean. Nothing too garish."

Of course. I’m smitten. Garish is never good. 

"So you live on the island then."- Babs continues. Sorry. I can't help myself.

"Uh-huh."

"Do you like plants and gardens?"

"I love them!"- I scream with excitement.

"Holy shit! Me too!"- Barbra is over the top excited. "You wanna come and live with me in my non-garish mansion on the ocean with fish and dolphins and things?"

"Well…" I say trying to be polite. "I have a life."

"Never mind that!" 

Barbra pulls a mobile from her back pocket. Did I say she was wearing designer jeans and a sparkly Designer top? Nice. She dials. I'm thinking- would Barbra wear jeans? To a concert. Probably not.

"Hello James? What am I doing? I'm at a Barbra Streisand Concert."

She looks to me- "Men, eh?"

God, she sounded so Canadian at that moment.

"James"- she says into the phone. "Can ummm…what’s your name?"

"Rob"- I say.

"Oh, I’m Barbra!"

 I’m guessing Babs is out of bounds and I say- "I know..."

"James, I’m with a fellah here who might come and live with us…His name? What does that matter…It’s Rob." She takes the phone from her ear- "He says he likes guys called Rob. Getta vay,!"- she says back into the mobile- "We’ll talk." She looks at me- straight in the eye and says- "Look Rob, I've got this concert-thingy to do. We’ll have coffee after?"

"Sure."- I say.

Babs wanders away. 

The orchestra plays and she starts to sing. "People". 

One of my fav’s…

Friday, April 30, 2021

ROBBLOG #878- And Then, One Day

 


I was chatting with my Mum.
"I just had dinner with your Father."- she says.

She continued. "Yes, we don't see each other that often these times but it is nice when we do. It reminds me of all that earth time we had together."

"You mean, earth down here?" I wasn't sure what she meant.

"Oh down there. Around there. Over and up there. In there. It's a matter of perception." - Mum says.

"Perception? You must be learning new words while you're away. That's a a 25 cent word- as you'd say."

"I guess it is!" I could tell she was smiling. "I have lots of time to do what I wish and be where I want. Must be hard for you to understand what I mean."

"Kinda..."

"One day all will be revealed and you'll say oh yeah." Mum sounded like herself in one way but not in another.

"Is it difficult to talk like this?- I quickly asked. Sometimes she didn't talk long and scooted away without much notice.

"Not too bad."
I could tell she was thinking or bothered.
"I just have to sort of fenegal my way back to how it was. You have to be in the mood and rely on misty memories to talk this way."

"I appreciate it when you do but sometimes it is hard for me. Being open I mean."

"You've always been open."- Mum says. You're receptive. Spiritual. Waiting there for the message.
It gets busy at times- doesn't it?"

"Yes, it does. Did you know about this when you were around?"

"Around?" Mum went quiet. "Oh damn. You mean around there where you are. Yes and no. I knew you were my "different child".

"Different?...Oh the Gay thing!" I thought I had nailed it.

"For goodness sakes no- although that was a part of of your learning experience. Mine too- and Dad's.
I remember it being tough. Your Dad and I worried and struggled."

"You did?" I hadn't heard that before.

I mean, "I hadn't heard that before from you here. Before. When you were here. With us."

Mum was quick. "I know what you meant before you said it. It happens fast that way now and you are already well-tuned so it comes quite fast. You'll know what I mean eventually. You think it and hear it and I have it and I understand. That's a big change for myself here. It must sound strange to you..."

I shrugged. "It does I must admit and there are times when I think I am making it all up."

"You're not. I am telling you now. You are not! It's there for everyone if they care to use it. Your Grandmother Lillian says hi and Judy just spirited in. She knew the connection was open.
I know you have sentences with her now and then."

"Sentences?"- I asked.

"Yes. Short and sweet pieces of reality." She laughed.

"Now that does not sound like you at all Mum!"- I was a bit taken aback.

"Oh Dear. Sorry. I try to meet your consciousness. It's difficult sometimes. I feel you want to go Rob."

"I do and I don't. I get a little sad and I have some tears." I mumbled.

"Normal- for you. Healthy I believe your medical people would say. Your Dad just came by in a flash. Twenty- nine years next week for him. He's off to play lacrosse he says."

"Really Mum?"

"Yes. That's what he says."

"Oh." I go quiet for a second.

"Rob?"

"I'm here Mum. Just thinking..."

"That's good."

"You know Mum it's seven years today April 30th?" I waited for her response. It was a long pause.

"Is that so...I'm waiting for you, you know. I always will. Then one day..."

"I'll see you once again."

She laughed- "Oh, you'll see alright."

and she was gone all in what seemed a jumbled flash in time.
I do miss her and I always will...

Then, one day...



Thursday, April 22, 2021

ROBBLOG #877- Jabbed at Last

 


I've been Jabbed!

Yes Dear Readers, I am now partially vaccinated against the dreaded covid 19.
Praise The Jesus...
If there was one. 
Sorry, I had to get that "shot" in.
Jabbed. Shot. Get it??

Actually, I didn't see anyone praying or genuflecting or clutching a rosary.
Of course, I was clutching my pearls.
I was alone when I entered the huge Cowichan gymnasium where the smell of sweaty socks and armpits hung in the cool, salty Island air. Again, maybe from armpit sweat.
I don't know.
I am not a Doctor, although some friends refer to me as "Nurse Reid" whenever I wear my Nursing Crocs. I am always happy and prepared to diagnose ailments.

The whole vaccination process took about 50 minutes.
Canadian Red Cross workers were everywhere- even one I knew.
Eli from Cowichan Auto. How we recognized each other behind masks I don't know- but we did.

I had the QR Image in my Pass Android app on my phone but I was never asked for it.
I was asked if I was wearing a fresh mask. Never saw that posted anywhere as a requirement.
A fresh mask.
I was. 
Almost.
I guess I fibbed just a bit.
I panicked. So many questions and I'm a Senior.
Anyhoo, I'm a nurse and we're allowed- even us "fake" nurses.
So, take it from Nurse Reid. Wear a new mask.

The young Canadian Red Cross worker asked me to swipe my health card in the swiper thingy on the desk. I also had to tell him my birthdate just to be sure I was who I said I was and not under the influence of Vodka I guess... 
He didn't mention the mask.
Phew!
He gave me a sheet of paper and said- "Read this at your leisure."

I had passed the "screws"- for it kind of felt like a bad prison movie being in that gym with all the congregants separated by a few metres and sitting on ugly, yellow plastic chairs.
Then I was instructed to a volunteer wearing a powder blue tee shirt who pointed me to two plastic, yellow chairs where I was told to sit.
I did.
Alone.
Did I mention I was alone?

I should say that in this gym it echoed because of the high ceiling and smooth floor making it hard to hear people when they spoke to you. By the way, one person can accompany you for moral support but my support- my Husband, stayed at home as he was building a deck and stairs onto our backyard terraces. He was supported in that task by my Brother Scott a recent new arrival to the Big Island. Actually, Scott is the builder and the Hubbie would be the support worker.

In a few minutes- almost right on the dot of my appointment time, I was sent to Lola who was sitting behind a white table where a computer sat and papers were strewn about.
Yes- "What Lola wants, Lola gets". We had that laugh.


Nurse Lola was pleasant and she went over a few things like the vaccine I was about to be jabbed with was the Pfizer vaccine. I answered "no" to a bunch of questions on a printed sheet in front of me.
No, I was not indigenous.
No I wasn't feeling ill.
No I wasn't breastfeeding.
She did not mention the mask.
Again- phew!

As we chatted Lola rolled up my sleeve and said she admired my shirt.
"It reminds me of Delft Blue China."- she chirped.
"Actually it's a Ren Spooner design from Hawaii"- I said.
"Lovely." Smiled Lola.
We had become fast friends!

Lola talked of a bureau she had at home that was painted the same colour blue as my shirt.
As she told me, I saw her reach across the table for a little brown pad about the size of a dime.
She stuck it on my arm.
Nurse Lola then said-
"Now go over there and sit on a blue chair for 15 minutes and leave. You don't have to see anyone before you leave- unless you feel unwell."

OMG!
I had not felt the needle prick my skin and I wasn't even under the influence of vodka.
I am somewhat an expert on pricks and this one got past me- somehow...
How could that be?
I mean not feeling the needle NOT being under the influence of Vodka.

So I stood up. Thanked Lola for being there and gave her a box of Merci chocolates.

I walked across the gym through basketball court markings and plopped down on a blue plastic chair sitting up against the gym wall. 
Sitting in a chair in a gym is the closest I ever got to being a jock- both in high school and beyond.

So kids, that's about it.
Nothing more to say.
I shopped at WalMart and Canadian Tire before heading home to the mountain.

I do have a slight soreness in a joint or two and my jaw has a bit of an ache.
Lola said that could be expected for up to 48 hours.
Nothing to worry about she had said unless I start vomiting. That's when I call a special number on the sheet that I was handed way back at check in.

The future is bright.
I'll get a text in about sixteen weeks when I get a second jab.
My heart beats rapidly with anticipation.

Gawd, I hope it isn't the vaccine doing that...

Monday, April 12, 2021

ROBBLOG #876- I Was So Mad


I Was So Mad...

I Was So Mad when I realized there was a bunch of things I was mad about.

I Was So Mad when Dr. Baloney here in BC said 10 people could gather in a backyard- size was not mentioned, yet 10 people couldn't congregate indoors physically distanced.

I Was So Mad when the Prime Minister made that foul-smelling weed that makes me "ill" when I smell it, legal across the Nation.

I Was So Mad when I ordered a wind-sun sensor for our new outdoor awning and I paid $73 dollars more buying direct from the manufacturer than I would have paid by ordering it at Wayfair.ca

I Was So Mad that some people in this country who were much younger than myself had been getting their covid shots way before I was even eligible.

I Was So Mad when the CBC cancelled Kim's Convenience.

I Was So Mad when young French people- mostly black as far as I saw, smashed storefronts in Old Montreal just because they had to be home by 8PM because of covid.

I Was So Mad when people reading the above "I Was So Mad" thought me racist when I clearly saw young black men smashing windows willy-nilly.

I Was So Mad when I realized that maybe the media only filmed young black men throwing street signs into store windows.


I Was So Mad that our "made in America KitchenAid Cooker" wouldn't work properly here in Canada.

I Was So Mad when I heard Albertans were sending healthy horses to Japan to be slaughtered for Sushi and eaten by rich Japanese. www.horseshit.ca

I Was So Mad when I heard Korea has a "Dog Meat" festival every year when dogs are dipped in hot oil- whilst alive, to strip their bodies of fur before they are sold for meat.

I Was So Mad when I realized I was turning 70 this year.

I Was So Mad when I realized I would never have the chance to become Queen of England, Wales, Northern Island and Scotland.

I Was So Mad that I wasted two hours watching a movie that was filmed in black and white that had been nominated for an Academy Award.

I Was So Mad that I could barely follow the storyline of the movie mentioned above.

I Was So Mad that The Jesuz didn't answer my prayer when I asked him to give my Husband a $60 million dollar lotto win.

I Was So Mad that I couldn't think of anything else to be mad about...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

ROBBLOG #875


So Kids, have you had enough yet?

We've passed our covid anniversary.
One year of this plague because that's what it is a plague.
Did you bake a cake?
Wear a party hat?
Or did you just flip on CBC Gem and while away a few hours- or days, away watching some benign comedy, drama or documentary.

I don't flip on the TV during the day but I do watch a short video or two from those I follow on Twitter.
There's a sanctuary where cows and sheep and horses and pigs all mill about together. It's a stress reliever. Google Crouton. I used to follow Esther the Pig but her Dad's made some kind of anti-Liberal bullshit statements and I stopped. It was Esther who convinced me to stop eating pork a couple of years back. Beef was next.
It was not easy. We are programmed to eat animals.

I follow Jann Arden and her current crusade to stop the disgusting habit of sending horses via Calgary International to Japan to be a rich person's horse sushi.
Check out horseshit.ca

These beautiful animals are locked in crates- standing up, with no food or water. 
They are frightened and stressed.
Email Justin Trudeau to show your displeasure.
Why something hasn't been done sooner is beyond me. Americans ship their horses across the border because shipping horses for slaughter in Japan is illegal stateside.
If I owned a huge acreage, I'd be saving some of these horses.


While I'm in the mood, if you eat a vegetarian or meat-free meal just once a week you would be helping curtail the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of pigs and cattle. These days it's easy with all the meat-free plant-based choices out there- even at WalMart. Order a vegetarian pizza for once.
All this is easy to do even though you love your burgers and ribs.

Do a google search for pig farms, beef farms and slaughterhouses. It will be tough to watch but you'll see what happens to these animals every day in this country.
Haven't you driven along a highway passing a huge transport truck with little piggy noses stuck through the slats?
All stressed. Eyes open wide with fear because they know this is the end for them.

It's a personal decision but give it a chance and see the pain our earthly animals go through to put pork and beef on the plates of Canadians.

So back to covid.
Keep your chins up and we'll get through this covid thing. I've said from the beginning it would be easier to fight Zombies than Covid. With a Zombie you know where you stand.
A bullet between the eyes or a bash to the head with a sturdy, official Blue Jays bat and you're done.
It sounds cruel but remember Zombies are the walking dead- not a piggy in a field.

They'll appreciate the "human you" for helping them fly up to Heaven to be with Jesus- the Christian Zombies at least. We all know Atheist Zombies go straight to hell but maybe that's another Blog.

You can't feel too sorry for that type- can you?

Sunday, March 14, 2021

ROBBLOG#874- Lords and Ladies


Dear RobBlog Alumni, here's a short, silly bit of business all about Stanley and Roger. Enjoy...


Hey Stanley, do you think I could wear this underwear, the pair I'm wearing to church?

You don't go to church Roger.

I know, I know that- but if I did, could I?

What go to church?

No, not just go to church. Wear this underwear to church.


You don't go to church Roger. Think about it.

But if I did could I wear this underwear Stan?

What now? You mean you want to wear that underwear you're wearing to church of all places.

I'm just asking a hypothetical question Stanley.

Hypothetically do you have any pants on Roger when you go to church?

We're not talking pants here Stanley Dear, we're talking underwear.

I see you're point.

Good. Would I be judged for wearing this underwear Stan?

Well, I don't believe the Lord is there at church to judge you outwardly. 

Meaning?

She's more interested in the inner you. That's where you'll be fully judged Roger.

Huh....

Huh What?

Huh, I didn't know the Lord was a Lady, Stan.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

ROBBLOG #873- Nudge, Nudge. Jab, Jab.

 


It used to be people were saying- "hot enough for you, do you think spring will ever come or when will the Conservatives pull their lips over their heads and..."

Now, these days people are asking- "So when do you think you'll get your shot?"
This bugger of a thing called covid is the reason.
It's hard to believe we've been doing the covid shuffle for a year now and the year is likely to morph into a year and a half- if not more.

I think we're pretty lucky that pharmaceutical companies have been able to develop and manufacture so many little bottles of a vaccine that will shoot covid in the ass quickly. I know it's not quick enough for many of us but that's how it works.
Just think of all the money that glass company is hauling in making all those little bottles!

I would like to have my shot now so maybe I can return to a normal life but then everyone around me will have to get the shot as well to allow life to return to some state of normalcy. I think the earliest I could expect to receive the vaccine is perhaps late spring or by the end of July. Here in British Columbia we are being stacked in age levels. Actually, front liners are first as the name suggests then First Nations and care homes. At least I think that's how it's been working. 
Sometimes it can all be so confusing.
Not as confusing as the Ford Government's pronouncements in good old Ontario. Everyone makes covid announcements in that province- even the Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker.
I wonder if Ford will be kicked in the "willnots" at the next election.
It shouldn't be a surprize to most Ontarians how he's dealing with the covid crisis.
YOU voted for him after all.
SURPRIZE!

Anyhoo, back to British Columbia, we have the mild-mannered Dr. Bonnie telling us almost daily what's what in the covid world.
Poor old Dr. B.
She's beginning to sound like an old 78 r.p.m. record stuck in a slot. I don't even take the time to listen to her these days and six months ago I waited patiently for her report at 3:15 PM Pacific Time.


So, after the Front-Liners, Retirement and Care Facilities and Tribes, the plateau for receiving shots starts at over 80's then 75 to 79's. 70 to 74's and so on.
If it doesn't happen by the end of July I'll be in line for the 70 to 74 jabs.

I wish- like many others, that it was a free-for-all.
Put the vaccine in place at the local church hall and open it up for 24 hour a day for shots in the arm until the vaccine runs out. If you want a shot bad enough, all you have to do is get your ass to the hall and praise Jesus when you feel the little prick.
That doesn't sound right- does it?

Unfortunately, this is not the way those in command see it it happening. They have to make our lives even more difficult by making even more rules. Wouldn't it be simpler to open it up now and jab away at those of us who make the effort to make our own way to the church hall with a Tim Horton's cup in one hand and a bare arm boldly raised in anticipation of the vaccine. It seems that that solution would be too easy.

What if one day a week it was open season.
Say every Thursday from 9 to 9 it's a "shot free for all" and all those in attendance get a coupon for 10% off at A&W.
It could work.

Now that all these companies are promising hundreds of thousands of shots- maybe millions, to be delivered in March and April, it only makes sense we get it out of the refrigerators and freezers and into our arms where it belongs.

Of course like the head of the Canada Pension Plan- Mark Machin, we could fly to the United Empire Emirates and get a jab there claiming we are in the country for "personal reasons".
wink-wink, nudge nudge,
say no more...