Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Kids In The Hood...

      I always got a kick out of this photo and recently SN and BD had commented on it so I felt encouraged to give a little background on the two kids (I'm the slickster in the middle).

      The girl in the photo is "Lily". She lived about three doors down from the new house Dad had built (house and lot $10,000, $112 mortgage payment but Dad only made $75 a week) in North Burnaby and was the first friend I ever had--we were three years old. Her family had this old shed in her back yard that no door on it that faced the back lane. Inside the shed was this giant cardboard box that we used to play in. It was filled with scrap papers from some business they owned and always stunk of cigarette ashes, I guess her folks dumped their butts in there as well-good call. One day "Lily" and I were playing in the shed when she decided she had to go poop. Rather than just going into her house, which was right there, she dropped her drawers and went right in front of me on the dirt floor of the shed. 

     I thought this was a little weird but as she had her pants down I became curious as to what she had in front because it was sure different than mine. She stood up so I could get a better look and all I remember thinking is that it looks like a "front bum". She asked me to take my pants down (or maybe I just offered) and as we were both standing there pants around our knees looking at each other my Mom walked by the garage door. I was horrified (although I wasn't sure why). She stopped and stared for a second as we struggled to get our pants up but surprisingly kept on going. I felt relief but also thought, "I'm gonna catch shit when I get home."  Mom never said anything when I got home that day to, my surprise and when I asked her years later why she never said anything she simply replied, "I didn't know what to say."

    "Lily" and I remained pretty good friends throughout elementary school but only around the neighbourhood, boys just didn't hang around with girls much at school. We grew apart by grade six or seven and I have no idea where she is today but I'll never forget that day in the shed and the "front bum." And hopefully she never reads this blog.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jim Carrol...

   Just had to post this, one of my favorites. Could be my funeral song as people are leaving the service-morbid thought I know but Stephanie knows of which I speak...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cretin Hop...

video

Paul Newman...

     My two favorite Paul Newman films, especially The Verdict- the final scene gets me every time...



  And he was great in Nobody's Fool...

Catch Me If You Can...

     Tom  Hanks played such a straight role in this movie, I howled at this part...

             

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kids Say Crazy Stuff...


    When I was out for a walk yesterday I overheard an eight year old boy talking to his Mom. They had just left the Griffins Boxing and Fitness club. He was dragging a rather large black gym bag and when he stopped to rest, he looked up at his Mom and said,"Mummy, it's peoples armpits that make them hate themselves."
  
      I smiled as the mother chuckled and then I thought,"Yeah... that and past hurts, regrets, mistakes and resentments coupled with deep-seated emotional problems, anxieties and insecurities- but that's more of an adult thing. I'd stick with the armpits, at least there's deodorant for that. Cheers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do You Use Tobacco In Any Way Shape Or Form ?




     As I mentioned in a previous blog, when I was 19/20 years old after a Saturday night of trashing myself partying, I would get up Sunday morning and watch the televangelists on a 13"colour Hitachi T.V. I guess I was looking for answers but all I found were more questions. One of these spiritual used car salesmen that made the biggest impression on me was Ernest Angley (watch his video here, you'd think God could have grown him some hair or at least point him in the direction of a decent wig).

     Before Ernest would "heal" anybody by slapping them on the forehead and shouting,"EVIL SPIRITS COME OUT !!" or digging around in their ears with his fingers and yelling, "BAY-BEE !" back into them, he would often ask the afflicted if they used tobacco in any way, shape or form. I never knew exactly what he meant by that but the question always reminds me of Julian Nedeborski.

     At various times in my life I have experimented with tobacco in all it's incarnations- pipes, cigars (large and small), snuff, Red Man, Beech Nut etc. I smoked cigarettes from the time I was sixteen until I was twenty-two when quitting seemed like good idea. I took up chewing Skoal to help curb my nicotine cravings, it was like the original nicorette--it worked, I got off the butts. I remember the first time I tried Copenhagen when I was 19...  
    


     There was this Bob guy that worked at the same mobile home factory I did and I observed him one coffee time. He pulled a tin of  Copenhagen out of his shirt pocket, tapped the tin with his knuckle (to loosen the tobacco), remove the lid, pile up a good three finger pinch and stuff it between his lower lip and gum. Cool! I went out immediately after work and bought my first can. Racing back to the motel I was living in, I peeled off the lid and repeated Bob's exact routine- so far so good. After chewing it for about 30 seconds (more like sucking than chewing) I realized I took way too much for my first time. My mouth and lips were burning, my eyes were watering, I was so dizzy I could barely stand or see and soon raced out the front door for some profuse sweating and wracking dry heaves. It always makes me wonder how people stick with some of these habits when they're so difficult to start (remember inhaling your first smoke?).

    Anyhoo, this brings me to Julian. He worked at the same factory as Bob and I did. I knew he smoked cigarettes and by his occasional bulging lower lip I knew he chewed but you want to talk about using tobacco. One Saturday afternoon a buddy of mine and I walked into the Pilgrim House pub and saw Julian sitting by himself. Spread out on the table in front of him was a Zippo lighter, a package of Players filter cigarettes,  a pouch of Borkum Riff pipe tobacco, Swisher Sweets cigars, a tin of Copenhagen and he had a huge wad of chew in his yip and was honking on the pipe. Now like I said I've fooled around with every conceivable way of ingesting tobacco but not all at once. Never mind using it in any way shape or form... how about every way, shape and  form. I have to wonder whatever happened to Mr. Nedeborski... Ernest Angley maybe?  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Devil Gate Drive...

      There weren't many rock chicks around when I was a youth but I had a huge crush on Suzi Quatro. Saw her open for the Steve Miller Band at the Pacific Coliseum  and took the bus from Port Moody to see her with the John Mayall Blues Band at the UBC War Memorial Gym, probably '74. Odd choice of Mayall for the back-up, Quatro fans booed him off the stage. Check out the matching boots in this video...look like early Uggs-- and those hulking band members really have the moves...

Museum Of Natural History...

     OK, one last New York City post. These displays were pretty cool...       










Monday, September 22, 2008

Vernal Equinox...




      I heard on the radio that today is the vernal equinox, when night and day are just about the same length--the sun being directly over the equator. In other words, fall is here. I like autumn and even though today was really nice you could feel the change in season when the wind blew up... the monsoons will be here soon.
     
      There's something I like about the passing of summer, it seems there is less pressure to always be "doing something" and I look forward to the cooler temperatures and the turning of the leaves (new photo ops). Also October is the best month for sports, World Series, the N.H.L starts, C.F.L and N.F.L seasons are in full swing.

       Unfortunately, foot season comes to an end... 



      And Uggs swing back into action...


     But thankfully I get to see less of Crocs...


       Unless people start wearing socks with Crocs, ugg... 


        Good look George...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

To All You Cheek Pinchers Out There...

     One of my earliest childhood memories was going to my Nana's place for dinner. I could probably blog on her for days but I'll keep it to one topic for now... 


     Whenever she saw me she would swoop in like a hawk with both hands, pinch my cheeks and plant a big sloppy, wet kiss on me. It wasn't the kiss I hated so much as the cheek pinching. As a result I've never pinched a child's cheeks in my life, even though there have been times I've had to avoid the temptation. Looking at these pictures now though I did offer up a couple of rather large targets... 


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Steve Earle...


     A phenomenal song writer, a true poet and one of my favorite songs...

Chris Elliot...

     Other than Chris Farley, Chris Elliot could be the funniest human being of all time. His humour isn't for everyone but check out some clips from his early nineties Fox show, Get a Life...



    He's hilarious in this clip as Sparkles professional male model...


Friday, September 19, 2008

Heart Murmur Pt. 2...

     Continued from Thursday...


      After being informed that I was born with a congenital (why congenital?, there weren't any genitals involved-well maybe originally) heart defect, I think that's when the real fear settled in even though all the childhood mystery was cleared up (well not really but at least I knew). There still wasn't any real talk of repairing it surgically and I think Mom and I made one last trip to the doctor for a checkup. I was told to keep an eye on my fingernails, if they turned blue that was a sign of poor circulation... you want to talk about keeping an eye on your fingernails. That was pretty much the last time I saw the inside of a doctors office for seventeen years.

        Like I said a couple of lines back, that's when the real fear started because I immediately got the feeling I wasn't going to live very long. I actually used to picture myself on my death bed at 32 and wonder if I needed a priest to come in so I could "get right" with God. The family around this time had been through many trials and tribulations as well and this was a blow to what little self confidence I had left. I don't want to come across as "poor me" here but it was an extremely tough time. I started to feel the "why me's" and I would look at my friends and think how lucky they were not to have this to deal with. I also felt separated from everybody, alone and jealous of my sister for being unaffected.



        I guess the worst thing was that I had nobody to talk to about all the feelings of fear and anxiety. The topic wasn't really ever brought up again until years later. I can also recall feeling angry at my parents for not taking care of this when I was an infant and putting the burden all on me. It's funny because there was a girl named Shelley Campbell (the little red-haired girl) that I had a crush on in junior high school and she had a quarter-sized scar on the upper part of her chest- she had the surgery done when she was a baby and I was so envious that she was healed. 

     At around nineteen years of age I became obsessed with my mortality--death and dying, heaven and hell and where my final resting place would be. I used to wake up Sunday mornings after a night of partying and torture myself with one televangelist after another and there was also an evangelistic radio station I would listen to when I went to bed. All that basically did was scare the crap out of me and scar me for life as far as any belief system...to this day the only concept of God I have is the one that threatens us with hell. 



     I never told anybody that I had this heart defect until my early thirties when I began to deal with it myself. Any relationship I had was fraught with the fear that I would have to admit to this defect so I became paranoid about anyone lying with their head on my chest dreading they would hear the wooshing sound that it makes and would ask me. "What's wrong with your heart?" To this day I don't rest my hand on my chest, I can feel it and it still kind of freaks me out.

   Enough for today, things get a bit brighter in part three.

    

Sisters Of Mercy...

     Stephanie's post today was about Goth, I was a wannabe, could only manage the Doc's, biker jacket and Fluevogs but remember this song big time at the Luvafair... or was it Graceland ? Did I really say "big time?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Heart Murmur Pt. 1...


     I was born in Burnaby General Hospital on Dec. 31 1958 at 9:40 PM. Mom had been in labour for 14 or 16 hours and the joke was always-- if she only could have held off for a couple more hours I would have been a New Years baby and they would have been eligible for cash and prizes.
     Be that as it may, at about 3 months I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, which I found out much later in life to be a ventricular septal defect...


     The defect in this diagram is an extremely large one. Most babies are born with holes in their septal wall and the majority of them heal over after a few months but mine didn't. This defect turned out to be quite a factor in my childhood development as well as in my adult life. 
     It was an extremely stressful time for the parents of their firstborn child. They met with doctors and surgeons to decide what should be done to repair the defect and were told by one surgeon that the surgical techniques of the day were as good as they were going to get and surgery should be imminent. This drove my Dad to say, "Do you mean to tell me that surgical techniques are never going to get better than they are today !?" For the sake of brevity here I'll just say that my folks were terrified of me dying on the operating table and my murmur was quite loud, indicating a very small hole (less risk) so they opted out of the surgery.

     Keep in mind this is the "olden days"-- the late fifties. Times were a lot different than they are now, obviously. I was dropped off at the hospital for tests that lasted for days at a time when I was three and four years old without explanation other than "tests". Parents were discouraged from visiting their children because the thinking was it was too upsetting for the child when they had to leave. I was terrified and really had no idea what I was doing there. I recall this one time a doctor came in to "test" me for what I found out much later to be allergies. He was armed with this long pointed wooden stick that had a round wooden knob on one end. I was made to strip down and he proceeded to scratch and knock all over my body until testing was done and I was rewarded with an apple juice (which the smell of which to this day reminds me of the hospital and for some reason I associated apple juice with the bedpan...colour? and I never had apple juice at home). They would pick me up from the hospital and I would get a new toy which helped ease the pain but I was just glad to be going home.

     I know they thought it was in my best interest so my parents decided not to tell me what was "wrong" with me but I always knew something was. I was probably four the first time I became aware of this fact. It was night and I was in my room. Dad had come in and asked me if I could ever hear my heart pounding in my ears. I remember feeling mildly confused by such a question but I simply answered no, I kind of thought that's what he wanted to hear.

     Growing up there was always some mystery around me wanting to play various sports and Mom had become somewhat overprotective. Because of my parents concerns about my health I didn't take swimming lessons with the other kids and never had a bike or even learned how to ride one until I was eleven (and these were the days when most kids rode their bikes to school). I remember one time in grade five I had to leave school early for some reason and a kid offered me his bike in front of the whole class. I was way too embarrassed to say I couldn't ride a bike so I made up some other excuse. Dad did eventually surprise me with my first bike...




     To my parents credit and fortunately for me they did let me play little league and soccer but there was always that secretive, whispery conversation that accompanied it and that only added to my feelings of "something's wrong with me." They drew the line at organized football and rugby simply saying those sports are way too rough, although I did have fun playing football with my friends.

    I only have a couple more points and I'll wrap up this post. I was passing into grade seven and I had contracted some sort of fatigue during summer vacation. For about a month I had really low energy and I had to make a trip to the doctor. It turned out to be nothing but I know it freaked my mother out and it was around this time I wondered why my sister went to the dentist and I didn't. Well back in the olden days people with heart defects would occasionally die in the dentist chair from the gas and it just so happened that my Grandparents good friend and neighbour, Ruby died in the dentist chair. I can only imagine how that must have freaked my folks out. My Dad told me that when I only had one tooth Mom would have me in a headlock, brushing it.

    I finally found out was "wrong" with me when I was twelve or thirteen years old. We had moved  from Burnaby to Port Moody by this time and the city had built it's first hockey rink. Up until this time I had played a lot of road hockey and roller hockey (on those shitty old metal roller skates you needed a key for) but actual ice hockey, are you kidding me?? (which just reminded me of something else, when I was younger my sister got ice skates for Christmas and I never did...wah). All my friends were signing up for the new hockey league and I wanted to even though I couldn't skate. I begged my parents to let me play and finally the truth came out. I was in my room listening to early seventies AM radio when they both entered and sat down on my bed. They tried as best as they could to explain about my heart defect and how hockey may be just a little too rough. After hearing the news my first response was,"I'm not going die, am I!?" I was horrified but at least the truth was finally out. It didn't make it any easier not being able to play ice hockey but to my parents credit they did get me a pair of Bauer Hugger skates for Christmas that year, at least I could go to public skate and the lakes in the area used to freeze over, which was awesome.

   Dad tried to ease my pain that night by saying. "Don't worry, you'll probably be shot by a jealous husband at ninety." That was helpful. I really didn't know what it meant but I took some comfort in "ninety." I've never written this story out before...stay tuned for part two...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

LOVE...



     I had this post planned today about love... L-O-V-E love and how empty life can be without it and anything we do is a substitute for it. And even though you may have plenty of friends and family that care about you and want what's best for you it isn't the same as having a passionate love to share in your life. You know, the kind that inspires romance, poetry, books, irrational thinking and sweating profusely. How sometime it feels like you can't live without that person and your love seems so strong  your body literally aches (and feel nauseous when you stare at her picture after she's left you but you keep looking at it anyway... that and thinking about her in bed with her new beau, legs in the air... ouch). 



     The times spent farting, laughing and crying together--  lovemaking that felt like you had a spiritual experience (also gas, snoring and breath that sends you to the couch). I began to wonder if it might be better to never have felt that for another human being and to simply long for what that feels like (don't forget the despair when she leaves you for the men's clothing manager of Woolco). The frustration of knowing love is out there somewhere and you may never feel it again- I didn't choose bachelorhood it somehow chose me (or if I did choose it I don't remember when exactly).
      Anyhoo, as I started writing I got depressed about the whole topic of loving, losing, realized  I'm no poet and far more talented writers than me have tackled the subject... so I thought I'd post some photos of a the sky instead. Come to think of it I'm barely a photographer either but what the heck, I like it...







     Where is love? Does it come from skies above?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Steve Earle,'86...

video

I Had Trouble Uploading a 2 Min.Vid., So This Is All You Get...

 It worked on facebook... totally boring anyway but it's the first video I've posted in a while...

video

Se7en...

   In reference to my blog of Monday BD had left a comment about the movie and how I shouldn't have played the ending... I thought everyone that cares about that flick would have seen it by now, sorry if I ruined it for anyone because I hate spoilers. Anyhoo the reason for this post was that BD had mentioned something about NIN and the music in the opening credits. 
    This was the first movie for me that the opening credits played a major factor in setting the tone for the movie (nobody watches these YouTube clips anyway)...


? and the Mysterians...


     I had to do a bit of research today as my fading memory could not recall in what order I purchased my first four punk rock albums (why I was trying to do this will be clear in a second). 

     The first was... 

        Number three...

         The forth...

    
       And finally, the reason for this post was the second punk album I ever bought... a little
   known classic and a pioneer of the pop/punk movement by Eddie and the Hot Rods called          Teenage Depression...


      I thought the best cut on this album turned out to be a cover tune. I was vaguely aware of hearing it before and I think it was the only song on the record that wasn't penned by the band- called 96 Tears.
     This song by ? and the Mysterians was out way before Prince decided to change his name to a symbol. The only video I could find was this one shot for a 1998 documentary but ? is awesome...

 





Monday, September 15, 2008

H.M.C.S. REGINA...


    I think Canada's whole navy may have been moored at the Lonsdale Quay Sunday morning...

         The H.M.C.S. Regina...



     I always thought Regina, Saskatchewan seemed like a strange name for a city as it sounds awfully close to a woman's body part...but apparently Regina means "Queen" in latin... who knew?

Gwyneth's Head In A Box...


      I couldn't sleep last night and the movie Se7en came on. I haven't seen it in a while and forgot how disturbing it is. For me it's become the standard to which all creepy serial killer cop movies have to live up to...



 
   Unfortunately The Lemonheads have a song off of the 1996 album called "6ix" where lead singer Evan Dando pokes fun at the movie Se7en. I couldn't find a video on YouTube for it or find any of the lyrics because it isn't one of their more popular songs but the chorus is simply a repetition of, "Here comes Gwyneth's head in a box." So I had that running through my pea-brain the whole time I was watching the film... which was nice. 

    Here's some Lemonheads anyway...


Saturday, September 13, 2008

She's Got The Moves...

   ...and the voice...

When It Could All Be Said In Two Minutes...

    Great singer, great song, hot dress and the dancers nail it...

Friday, September 12, 2008

They Shoot Horses, Don't They ?

   I had planned a completely different post for today but after leaving work early, downing a couple of vodkas while trying to get used to the new facebook page and taking an hour long walk all I could think of was this classic...

   It's the ultimate depressing, wake up on the couch at 3:00 AM  in a daze at your buddies place with the TV on, can't find the remote, after breaking up with the love of your life, half-pissed, half hungover, in your clothes-boots on, unemployed, wondering where your life is going, with a stinky pizza box and an ashtray with roaches in it sitting on a coffee table and it's cold because buddy didn't pay his gas bill and you don't have a blanket movie of all time...


   Sydney Pollack's gem, an underrated classic.  I must be sick but I love this film... the trailer brings tears to my eyes...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If You Spend Enough Time On YouTube...

    You eventually find something that tickles your humerus...

Where The Twin Towers Stood...




After the recent trip to NYC, I came away with two things. As misguided they may seem sometimes the world needs America... and I have a new found appreciation for the American people...it is the land of the free...







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