Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Steep My Senses In Forgetfulness...

In The Third Sleep
Kay Sage

Yesterday was probably the most horrible day of my life -- well, if not the most horrible, it was right up there with the worst of them. Not to be too indelicate, I was physically ill to my stomach by the time I got home, due to the stress and tension.  I was exhausted. I decided the best remedy would be to curl up with my New Yorker magazine, decompress and sleep. After what I had hoped would be a fun-filled, light-hearted day, actually turned into a nightmare, I was certain my dreams would be filled with fire-breathing dragons and screaming banshees.  Strangely, it was quite the opposite.

Dreams of Venus
Salvador Dali

My dreams were full of vivid images, but I found myself laughing.  In one dream, I entered a contest and won an antique waffle iron.  I haven't thought about waffle irons since God was a baby, so what on earth made me dream of winning a waffle iron?  In another dream, I was jay-walking across a busy street, and a police car went past me, and the police waved their fingers at me, as if to say, "You shouldn't be jay-walking..."  But they didn't stop and give me a ticket, but instead drove on past me.

Salvador Dali

In The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, the artist described sleep as a heavy monster that was "held up by the crutches of reality".  That is as good as description as any.  Sleep is the thing that heals us from the negative damage done to our psyches.  It is not an escape from the day, but rather a means of processing and cleaning out the flotsam and jetsam that the brain has collected and does not need. Sleep is the cleaning lady of our brain.

O sleep!  O gentle sleep!
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

~~ Wm. Shakespeare; 2 Henry IV

I am grateful for my absurd and silly dreams last night -- my newly-won waffle iron and my scolding policemen.  They made me forget the horror of the day that preceded them.  Today I think I will do some retail therapy and buy myself a waffle iron, just to remind myself that everything ultimately, no matter how painful, can be kept in its proper perspective.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Whiskers on Kittens ... Bah, Humbug

Hello, everyone, I'm still here -- I think. Let me check -- yes, I'm still here. I haven't been blogging lately, because my boring little blog has bored even me. I have always told my friend Russell that I don't ever want to start blogging about "whiskers on kittens and snowflakes on mittens". All of that cute stuff it not me. I am opinionated, and unfortunately when I have an opinion, people know it. I grew up in a family where discussions and debates about politics, religion, philosophy and current events was encouraged. The louder the discussion, the better. My parents were both extremely well-read and intellectual, and they taught all of us to think for ourselves. It's not easy sometimes. I am probably one of the least politically correct people I know. Just ask anyone who knows me. And I detest the politically correctness that has evolved here in the beginning of the 21st Century. Just look up "newspeak" from George Orwell's 1984. The book was published in 1949, and now some of a lot of it is coming true.

The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skilful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. The slogan of Ingsoc was "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is truth"

Does that sound at all familiar?

There have been some very interesting things going on in the world lately, as I'm sure many of you have noticed, and the responses to them have been neutral and wishy-washy at best, and politically correct at worst. And I'm chomping at the bit to do some blog posts about them. Whether folks agree with my viewpoints or not, I have some very strong opinions and ideas.

Watch this space. No more whiskers on kittens.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Live in a Vodka Commercial

For the past couple of weeks, Vancouver has been enjoying spectacular summer weather. There is no place like Vancouver in the summertime, it’s exactly like Waikiki -- simply beautiful. But, I, however, have been living in a horror show a Smirnoff vodka commercial. See these guys? They live right next door, and they and 50 or so of their closest friends have been enjoying the warm summer evenings, ten feet away from my windows. A friend of mine offered to lend me his B-B gun. I just might take him up on it. When I moved here 14 years ago, I did my research first. I work in a noisy office, and the most important thing for me when I get home is quiet. Peace and quiet. Blissful quiet. When I moved here 14 years ago, these guys next door were only ten years old. How could I have known that over the past 14 years they have been growing and percolating into 24 year-old men boys men who have just invented alcohol?


(Actual photo taken from my bedroom window...)
Friday evening after work, just as more festivities were about to break out next door, I strolled over to visit them, and chatted with them a bit. I explained that I had had the week from hell, and would just like to relax on my terrace and listen to the birds. ‘But it’s a beautiful summer evening,” one of them said. To which I replied, “Yes, but it’s also a beautiful summer evening for all of your neighbours too, and we have to go inside and close our windows and doors in order to keep out your noise.”

“Ohhhhhhh, yes, I never thought of that,” one of them replied, as the light bulb went off over his head. Then they invited me to stay and have a beer with them.

There was an interesting article I read recently about how adolescence no longer ends at age 21, but carries on until at least 35 or 40. Adultesence, is the new term for it. There is no incentive for them to be adults, so they don’t bother to grow up. It’s too much fun just carrying on – having fun. These fellows next door have some games set up in their back yard that at one time most 12 year-old kids would have put aside as being childish. And they whoop and holler all evening long, and well into the "wee hours of the morning" as they drain the beer and the vodka bottles, and get progressively more inebriated.  Have you ever heard a bunch of drunks people preppies playing badminton or croquet at 2:00 in the morning?  There's nothing like a drunk badminton player, except perhaps a drunk croquet player.  They’re not bad kids, quite decent actually. They’re all business majors in the Faculty of Commerce at UBC, but it’s like living next door to a fraternity house. About nine of them live there, and they all have friends. Lots of friends. And being twenty-somethings, they are all convinced they are the centre of the universe.

Does anyone have a quiet cabin in the woods, next to a lake, I can borrow until the rains start again?


Thursday, July 5, 2012


After what seemed like an eternity, summer is finally here. That's me, down there on the beach.  I'll be back soon...!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What's Going On...?

While the rest of North America is sweltering under 100 degree temperatures, this is our summer. This is it. Every day. I feel as if I have gone into hibernation. As soon as the sun comes out, I'll be back. In the meantime, enjoy your summer, everyone, and please send some of your sunshine our way.