SNL Layers

I just finished watching this week’s 2014 Christmas edition of Saturday Night Live. It’s odd to feel cheated that hardly any celebrities showed up this year. The only cameos were three former SNL Characters – so far anyway.

The demographically perfect boy band One Direction is actually growing on me. They were not bad, as I expected, given that I’m over 40. It’s supposed to annoy me. I’m nearly grandpa age.

The sketch that made me stop the playback and blog, as the one set in the past, with three “dames” in a bar who seem quite bat-shit crazy. The conclusion actually had a way to explain it for a quality ending, at least to me. It made me smile. I won’t are it’s rare that I enjoy an SNL sketch through to the end, but it’s not unheard of. 

However, the part that most impressed me, was how hard the sketch must have been. This entire show has really had a lot of hard song and dance numbers. It always amazes me how well these talented people are able to pull a song and dance routine in 4 days, and still pull it off with precision.  In my head, from my history with community theatre, the first few weeks are still horrible… but I suppose 3 days is easier than 1 day every week for three weeks – in some ways.

 

The part that impressed me, was a swinging song sung by two of the women, and Ammie Adams. Although not dancing, the lyrics were jibber jabber read from cue cards and yet they sang all three together without error.  I want to believe it was a live take, because it’s Saturday Night Live, but back stage shows have implied some times they play the dress rehearsal versions.

In any case – they did it – twice. Well. It made me smile on two levels. Giving respect to the dedication and practice, or the amazing talent of people doing things I tell myself I could never do.

That kind of live comedy show with minimal rehearsal is an amazing skill. Saturday Night Live is a success because it’s done live. I hope that never changes.  All other sketch shows are comedy. Saturday Night Live is theatre.

It was always my dream. I never wanted Second City. I wanted to be on, or write for Saturday Night Live.

Since I can remember, I’ve liked scripts. I think it stemmed from my two first editions of the Holy Grail first draft and movie script, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I first read as the original radio show scripts.

With undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, I grew a fondness to sketch comedy rather than long form scripts. I wrote sketches. As a kid, I watched every single sketch comedy and variety shows on TV, and in the 70s, there were a lot.  Everyone had a variety show, and I watched them all, from Any Wiliams to Jim Stafford to Shields and Yarnell to Avery and Shriver and even the singers and Bobby Vinton too…

Saturday Night Live wasn’t just sketch comedy. It was theatre like my Mom did, up on a stage with fake sets and an audience. Plus, it was restricted to late night, so you had to be older that me to stay up late and see it.  I missed season 1 live, but starting with season 2, I don’t know that I ever missed an episode. Our early VCR was Beta, so I sometimes missed the the last 30 minutes, because they only recorded one our.  I fast forwarded past 70% of the musical acts I think. I love music, but live music on TV doesn’t’t hold my A.D.D interest past the first few bars when I see the set furnishing.

Number one on my buckers list has been Saturday Night Live for 30 years. I literally have dreams of being there, and have every year since I was 15. Usually something horrible happens… I had nightmares about giant lobsters that night.

I may have given up more than half the things I used to watch on TV. I’m watching less, and my PVR was filling, but I always like to watch Saturday Night Live each week I can, usually on Sunday.  Live-ish. I have never given up on them, and their Doctor Who-like cast changes. I’ve never complained about one cast over another.  I love the concept.

It’s similar to South Park, in turnaround. Each is about this week’s funny… and yet, they stand up in time.. at least a few a season make the highlight DVD for future generations.

Thank you Saturday Night Live,m for being a part of my life story, and tonight’s Blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bully Movie gets bullied – and we act shocked.

News story: SONY pulls THE INTERVIEW from it’s schedule. It will not release it on Christmas day because there is fear that North Korea may retaliate. The film is a comedy mocking their leader, and describing a plot to kill him. A plot not to unrealistic, and probably not far from the truth. The spy world has been known to use celebrities in the past.

MV5BMTQzMTcwMzgyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzAyMzQ2MzE@__V1_SX214_AL_I have written about our BULLY society in other blogs. This is an excellent example of a bully film, and the way one person (or a country) reacted. Not everyone accepts being bullied, or mocked in public with a chuckle. This news just broke, and the social media is starting to complain about how awful it is that a movie may be censored and we may not even get to see it because we’re afraid of how the North Korean leader may react. People are scared. Sony is scared.

There are always many ways to look at any situation. I may or may not believe the following rant fully, but there certainly is another viewpoint to be heard, and my brain always likes to think up both sides of any scenario. It does not surprise me that this film may not see release. When I first saw the ads for it months ago, I actually thought it was a parody, and not a real film. I couldn’t believe people would make such a mean cruel film.

Sadly, we live in a bully society where comedy often makes fun of people. Late night talk shows open with a constant flow of jokes attacking both famous people and innocents. YouTube sores to 6 million views when somebody falls down in the street in an embarrassing way. We laugh at them all. Slipping on a banana peel can make you world famous today.

A big publicity script that sends celebrity American spys to kill a foreign leader is a bully film when they use real names. I don’t understand how the concept was green lit to begin with. It’s a real man. If we made a film about how to kill Barack Obama, we might be thrown in jail, even if performed as a comedy.

This movie may have been equally funny had they made it a fictional country and a comical funny leader but they chose to actually make a film about trying to kill an existing sitting leader of an actual country, and mock him and make 90 minutes of jokes at his expence.

Then, everyone acts shocked when this upsets him. It is not totally surprising that a world leader, especially one known to be egotistical to the extreme, and one who values his image of power above all, would object and take action to stop it. This movie was a slap in the face bully move. Mean.

I’m not saying I agree with the terrorist-style atacks on Sony. I think the media treated them poorly too, and I agree with those who say it should not have been reported the way it was… but to say we are not even partually to blame is wrong. If you poke the bear, you can’t complain when the bear tries to eat you.

The Artist Thirds

I go to a lot of places where artists show their work. Not so much official art galleries, but smaller marketplaces and shows. Festivals and public displays where artists rent small booths and try to sell their paintings or jewelry or other hand made work. I enjoy these events and like the idea that I often get to talk directly to the artist creators in person. I almost never have the money to spare to buy this kind of artwork, and in many cases, even if I did, I probably would not. I don’t wear jewelry, and I don’t use pottery or trinkets much, but I still enjoy the conversation, and respect the artist skills.

One of the things I like to say to an artists, is that I believe they have 50% talent and 50% patience, and I don’t have enough of either to be like them. I offer respect to not only their skill, but the incredible time and dedication it takes to do what they do. I like to let them know I understand the time they put into their art is appreciated. I tell them when their work made me smile, and I understand it’s not all about the cash. I can’t give them money for whatever reason, but I can give them the gift of knowing their work made someone happy, and they are appreciated for the effort spent.

2014-12-14 14.12.01This past weekend, I was at event called; “The bizarre of the bizarre” and it showcased a more unusual or odd side of art. Lots of skulls, and twisted designs with weird styles. Stuffed plush Zombies and other sculptures and paintings that fit the description bizarre. Even if I didn’t like the content, I still wanted the artists to know I respected the work. I tried to compliment everyone on their skill, even if I didn’t especially like the blood and gore of the piece.  For the works that had obvious time consuming obsession, I used my line; “I always say an artist has 50% patience and 50% skill”. I certainly couldn’t sit still long enough to do this sort of thing.”  It often opens them up to talk a bit about how long it did take them.  More often than not, the effort is shocking, and you begin to realize artists need to do it. It is their expression and their passion and their release.  60 hours of work may only sell for $30.

I try to respect the craft, even when a small part of me sees artwork I consider easier. Things the back of my mind says; “I could do that” or even has the nerve to think; “I could do that better”. I know myself well enough to know the truth. Even if I could do the skill, I couldn’t do the patience. I’m, not great at discipline, and although I may be able to start such a project, my attention would wander and it would lay unfinished.

Sometimes art makes me sad in this way. Since I was a child playing mind games, I would often ask myself; if I could have one talent I don’t have, would it be to play music, or to be able to draw. I usually choose drawing. My life would be so different if I could draw. In truth of course, my life would be different either way. The life – and brain of an artist is different than mine. I should not be sad that isn’t me. An artist is a different kind of person, and al to often in the past, I have criticized or belittle it.

Today, this blog was inspired because I clicked a link, and was watching another one of those time lapse – or perhaps they call them hyper-lapse movies about the city I live in. A video set to music that showcases Toronto. There are a lot of them out there, and the first one you see is amazing. You watch it all. After the 5th one, they seem similar, but no less special. Just less watchable for me. I not only lack the patience to be such an artist., I sometimes lack the patience to be a spectator too.

In any case, this time I watched the video with a sadness. In my head, I was thinking that photography is one of the easier art forms. A specialty of seeing, and using technology to capture a mood. I was a photographer. I had training, and an excellent eye. I had equipment. I was good – years ago. As I watched this video, I didn’t see anything spectacular. I just say photos, and video clips set to music. The package was pleasing but (in my head) nothing I could not do. It made me sad I could not be an artist, even when I had the pure skills.  I was missing something.  Not just patience, but the ego. The confidence.

I herby amend my standard artiest breakdown statement.  An artist is more than 50% patience and 50% skill.  I will now split them into thirds, and add the third that is perhaps most key;  1/3 confidence.  A true artist not only has the skill and the ability, but the ego to say their finished product is art. Many people can play the guitar, but only some have the inner confidence to call it art.  Many people can build a sand castle, or turn a pottery wheel, or take a photograph, but some of us – rare special people, call it art – and stick a price tag on it. In some cases, the ego is so powerful, it borders on arrogance, but even bad artists have fans. If you tell me your drawing of a dog is art, I believe you.

No matter how bizarre it may be.

Art is patience, talent and an attitude.  Artists have a mindset.

So now there are three reasons I don’t think of myself as an artist, and that’s ok. I know I’m good at things they may not be. Maybe they can’t remove a virus off their artist computer, or design their own web site. Maybe they even think to themselves late at night; “Gee… I wish I understood Windows 8 like that guy does.” In their eyes, they may even think I have such patience, talent and confidence when they watch me zip my mouse around the screen.

Everyone is different, even when we’re the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy – Memories of Mom

I didn’t get to see Guardians of the Galaxy when it came out in the theatres

As is often the case these days, I just missed out.  I didn’t invite anybody, or join any others events.  I was out of sync with the crowd. I’m too old to stay up for the late shows and to grumpy, or to wait in line for hours anymore.

I do enjoy movies, and there are some I’ll still pay to see opening night. Star Wars and Star Trek for sure.

Guardians probably was one worth seeing on the movie screen.

During its release, my mother’s health was on the decline,  and she died.  I was given some advance notice,  which oddly,  I chose to ignore. Almost as if in my mind I was denying it,  and imagining this was just another example of my sister crying wolf. My mother had been close to death a few times over the past few years.  I assumed this was another time like that.

I actually didn’t know what paliative care was when my sister told me about it. I didn’t realize my sister was telling me the end was near, for real.  She was giving me the opportunity to be there,  or at least to Facetime or Skype, and see her again.

000_0005Like every family, mine has its own story.  I loved my mother to be sure, but I’ve had trouble comparing what we had, to what I considered the norm. As with everything, I over obsessed over the kinds of things others might call emotions.  Oddly, I’d describe us as a close family that really didn’t know anything about each other. We spent time together, but didn’t really discuss anything personal. I knew little about my parents history.

As they began to lose their memories, they moved away to BC when they needed more attention and supervision than I was able to provide with weekend visits.  I made it out to see them a few times, and was happy to visit them both of them just before my father’s passing. This was when they still knew who I was.  I came back home,  and never saw either of them again.  We talked on the phone at Christmas and birthdays until it was clear they didn’t know they had a son at all.

As they deteriorated, both my sisters cared for them for a turn, but towards the end , became a major part of my older sister life. She was the caretaker of my parents till the end. I will always be grateful to her for that task. It was a chore I could not manage.

mom christmas 2013Two or do weeks after my mother’s passing,  I started to occasionally wrestle with guilt, not so much concerning my mother, but more about how I might be judged for the way I handled her end of life time.  When I was the one in Ontario, and visiting them as their son once a week, I thought about it as a chore.  As their memories started to fade, they needed me even more, and I was unhappy to do it. It was hard. I watched new anger in my father as he transitioned from the cool,  smart minded solver of any problem, to angry at his new status as useless Dad.  I never liked seeing my father angry.  Anger in people upsets me so deeply,  I feel the need to run away from it.

As they got worse, I bailed,  and shipped them off to the other side of the country. My sisters would have the reasonability.

I continued to live my life, free of my parents judgmental eyes.  I will admit;  life without parents was easier for me.  It provided one less stress to deal with inside my depressed,  obsessive,  low self esteem brain.

When given the opportunity to do more for them, I declined. When given the opportunity to visit, I stalled. When given the opportunity to say goodbye,  I was dismissive. I gave it no priority, and we’re it not for my sister, would not have tried.  

My sister called me a few times, and finally reached me as she held the phone up to my mother’s ear. I was able to say hello.  She didn’t talk back, and probably had to be told she had a son,  and that his voice was on the phone.  She was obviously older and more unhealthy than the last time we spoke, perhaps last Christmas, but I did not full comprehend this was goodbye. 

To be honest,  I had said goodbye when she knew me,  and I’d moved on. I didn’t think much about it.  As far as any relationship was concerned, for me my parents had died long before. I had successfully dealt with my father’s death with minimal emotion or guilt. 

I retained pretty happy memories of my mother,  who was happy till the end,  at least as far as I knew.  She wore her big hats and costume jewelry every day,  and when she didn’t know her own memories,  she freely created her own stories of fiction, delivered with enthusiasm and charm.  I remember she had lunch with the prime minister one week. My father didn’t do as well.  He was much more angry or sad, and often talked about death and suicide. Although he was capable of showing some moments of happiness in the moment, it was clear he wasn’t happy.

My mother’s finality effected me more. I didn’t set aside time to cry,  but I did get weepy spontaneously a few times.  Having to tell people the story over and over keeps it fresh, and it triggers memories each time.  In my everyday life, I have missed both of them often. I have sadness we won’t get to make new memories,  and so I cherish the ones I’ve retained. Whenever I complete something I feel some pride in, I’m sad they didn’t get to see or share that. I think my mother would have loved to follow me on Facebook. 

Death of your parents however does transition your thinking.  Like Thanksgiving weekend is the time when a lot of people start thinking about Christmas,  death of a loved one is the trigger to start thinking about your mortality.  It is weird to think that I am older than the memories I have of my parents being. Everything we did together, we did when they were younger than I am now.  That’s a weird realization. My parents died having lived longer than my grandparents. All my memories or Grandpa and Gramdma seem so long ago, but they always seemed so very old. I never got to spend time with my old parents.

My mother was an old grandmother to her only granddaughter, but to her,  my mom was the old loose skinned lady that didn’t always know who she was. She never had the stories of great vacations or stay-overs with her Grandmother.

I’m happy my memories of my parents are of the good times. Despite some troubles, I have mostly good memories from my childhood, and my parents did a fine job raising me to be a son worthy of their pride, even when they didn’t remember me.

 I journalize some thoughts about my mom tonight,  tearing slightly but smiling mostly.

All of this happened because I sat down to watch Guardians of the Galaxy at home,  and the opening scene is all about a son being bedside his ill and deathbed mother.  I turned it off,  and wrote all this. I am glad I didn’t see this in the theatre. It would have been worse to feel like this in a theatre with friends.

The universe provides.

P.S. Mom… I promise, even after death, I won’t tell anybody what the G stands for. Your secret will die with me.

Scripted improv

(A silly play about live improve, for 5 players.  Two players come out onto a blank stage in casual wear. Any background is acceptable.)

A: Hello Cleveland!  We are Robin and Chris and we are the opaque players. At this time Wed like to take a few suggestions from the audience, so that we can come up with some unscripted improv sketch comedy for you all tonight.

B: yeah yeah yeah… It’s kind of like live action Mad Lib’s.

A: What? What the heck is Mad Libs?

madlibsB: you know, Mad Libs. That party game.

 A: Why would you need to say that? Everybody knows how improve works. Nobody knows what Mad Libs is. If you’re going to use an analogy it shouldn’t be more obscure than what’s it’s being used to describe. That’s just stupid.

B: That’s mean. Don’t call me stupid. In improving, there are no wrong lines.

A: That’s stupid too. Improv is frequently bad. Horrid! Some people are just bad at it. They play a game of Mad Libs and suddenly they think that they’re Colin Mochrie all of a sudden. Hell, I’ve seen Colin Mochrie do bad improve.

B: Nobody knows who that is.

A: Well, I bet more people in the audience know my reference than yours. They did actually decide to come to a comedy improv show after all. If they’re Canadian, they probably know him. Canada only have 27 celebrities.

B: I disagree. Mad Libs is a best selling party game.

A: First off, I don’t think we needed a simile to begin with. We came out and basically said what we are here to do. We take suggestions and turn them into skits, live without scripts or rehearsals.

B: Right — like mad Libs.

A: Shut up

B: Just curious. Who here has heard of Mad Libs, show of hands?
     And who has held if Colin Mochrie? Show of hands.

(neither actor gives reaction either way)

A: So – Moving on. We’d like a suggestion for a place ok I heard the back studio of a movie lot where there filming a buddy cop movie. (no timing break)

B: And I’d like a suggestion for an occupation? (pause) ok… I heard Amateur Taxidermist.

A: Ok now I need a colour… Kelly Green… Good one!

B: And an opening line?

A: (Pointing to audience) “But I can’t afford a taxi my mother needs a new kidney.”
Ok that’s good.

B: I now present you with our play; “good cop, cancer cop”.  The set is the backdrop behind a movie studio. Kelly and Francis are buddy cops.

A: Action

(A third man comes out from behind the curtain)

C: … but I can’t afford a taxi. My mother needs a new kidney.

B: ok fine. Here ya go. (He gives the man some cash, and C walks off)

A: What was that about?

B: Nothing. Nevermind. Now, about this case…

A: yeah yeah yeah… The Kelly green killer. We almost had her but -

D: (person stands up from audience.) Stop! Just stop.

A: you can’t do that!

B: remember. There are no wrong lines in improv.

A&d: shut up

A: There are rules. Improv rules. I’m pretty sure it’s a show, not a free for all. It’s not audience participation. You can’t join in from the audience.

B: I bet you’d let Colin Mochrie join in, if he was in the audience.

A: Honestly. You drive me crazy. I don’t know why I ever married to you.

B: Ha! for immigration you keep telling me.

(moment if silence) a&b: (awkward look, then, with fanfare and flourush) Improv!

A: …anyway, the audience cut participate. Sorry sir.

D: …and… cut!  (A&B look confused)

B: What just happened?

D:  I am Jules. The director of this cop movie. I yelled cut. Go back to the beginning. This time, do it with funny accents.

A: You see, there is bad improv.

D: ok. From the top.

B: But we can’t. It’s improv. We don’t have a script.

D: Are you telling me you don’t remember what you did 2 minutes ago. I believe your opening line was; nothing, Nevermind.
Rolling

C: (comes out again, but dressed in a costume. He says his line in a funny accent)   … but I can’t afford a taxi. My mother needs a new kidney.

D: cut. No, no, no… Do it again, but like it’s a romantic comedy. Action.

B: You’re missing the point, improv isn’t supposed to be repeatable. It’s like a magic trick. You only perform it once.

A: Still a horrible analogy, but closer.

B: shut up.

A: Oooooh

B: We can’t do it over and over and just change the accents or styles.

A: Colin Mochrie does it all the time. It’s the directors bit.

E: (a loud voice from the back of theatre)  Cut! I think you’re losing the audience. It’s to confusing. They don’t believe any of it. The suggestions were so stupid it’s obvious to anyone they were prearranged. You’re out here acting from scripts. It’s not working.

D: we could try it in funny accents…

C: shut up, in same funny accent.

A: ooooh

A: who the hell are you?

B: maybe it’s Colin Mochrie, come from the audience to reprise his finest role.

trexD: Actually I think his T-Rex is his finest role.

E: I am the director of this show.

B: (makes a mind blown gesture with hands.)

D: What wall are we breaking now?

E: Get off the stage.

C: what?

E: get off the stage… The show is about to start.

B: ok fine. Be that way.

(Everyone returns to seats in the audience)

A: Sorry about that everyone.  I don’t know who these people are. The real show will begin in a moment.

Announcer announces the actual show. Sponsored by Mad Libs. The improv home game for people who are not creative.

End

Your next new phone.

Apple does a few things really well, but one of the biggest impacts on the cell phone world, is the way they’ve managed to make getting the newest iPhone an obligation of your status.

Of course, not every iPhone user lines up to be first, and many don’t even bother with the new release at all, but we’re all still aware of the concept. New iPhone day is a big deal. It gets more news coverage than almost anything happening outside America.

Even if you don’t own the new iPhone, you’re aware of that fact, and many of you may even talk about it with a hint of shame. I constantly hear people say things like; “its not the newest model or anything, but it gets the job done”.

People who don’t own the newest iPhone still would, if they could afford it without issue. Nobody actually chooses to want the old one… And in time, those iPhone users will upgrade. Not because they have to, but because… Well, because it’s the new iPhone.

Well done Apple.

Now they’ve even made the new ones have a different shape, so you can judge people from a far, without even meeting them.

In the other world of Android, we don’t have that. Android users have a different kind of arrogance, founded by a belief that they have a superior product that the masses just don’t understand. Proud underdogs. The inner battle between iPhone and Android isn’t as pronounced as it once was. As the Android system grows up, it’s polish and style approaches Apple, and each new version of iPhone catches up on features. They each do my things better than the other.

This article isn’t to compare Apples to Lollypops. It is simply an observation that Samsung, HTC and Motorola (among other brands) all have new models each year, but Android masses don’t really know when, and we don’t seem to have the need to care and upgrade.

The article that inspired this blog, was talking about how Samsung was surprised and sad that their S5 flagship sold only 40% as many units as their S4 last year.

I am not surprised at all. The S4 was a great phone and there is no real reason to upgrade. There is no peer pressure to have the newest Samsung. A Samsung phone is to be used more than it is to be seen with. Most people don’t know what is the new model anyway.

Because multiple companies make phones under the Android OS system, we have a bit if an identity crisis to begin with. If you SK me what phone I have, do I say Android or do I say Samsung. For many people, all I need to say is; Not an iPhone. They tune out.
I remember the days when my phone was still a wow factor. I had one before you. I had a smaller one than you did. I owned the first Motorola StarTac and I paid $2000 for that private when everyone else had a 2 pound brick. People would want to see it and touch it.

Those days are gone. He new iPhone have retained a little of that feeling, but only for the few who still bother to be current in release week. Everyone else doesn’t care anymore. Nobody asks me what phone I have. Nobody wants to touch it.

Hey! Have you seen my cool new Smart Watch?

Pauseandblog: Survivor

Pauseandblog: Survivor
Pauseandblog. A word I made up for when I pause, and blog about the TV show I am watching, before I see how it turns out. I just paused on Survivor because on player in the minority said something smart and creative and whether or not he follows through, it’s still genius that deserves some attention.

Whether you follow the show or not, you can understand that voting aliances form, and when you don’t have the numbers, you often get to look forward to being picked off one by one. It may not be tonight, but it will probably be soon. Some players do well in this environment, and mingle and make plans, and flip the game to stay. Others get depressed and give up.

Yesterday, one player had a great idea. He has a hidden immunity idol, and unlike most players, he hasn’t told anyone. Not even his son. His strategy was to give up. Tell everyone he’s done, and ask them all to vote for him. Then he plays his idol, and wham… A shocker blindside out of nowhere with only one or two votes, if his son votes with him.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a brilliant plan on Survivor. It ranks up with the first time I’ve seen a fake idol used.

I unpause, and wait and see if it works. A lot can change in 45 minutes.

Shared from Google Keep

Doctor Clara

I had a theory last week, that the reason doctor who always arrives in a time and place that needs him, it’s because his mere presence is breaking time and space.

Wherever he goes, he break the timeline and something evil happens.

We’ve seen the precedent more clearly when Rose broke the timeline to meet her father and save his life, huge freaky bats appeared in the church.

Its like that, except every time every place. If the doctor arrives something goes wrong. No matter where he arrives, there are aliens or other strange happenings, and he always seems surprised, despite knowing all time and space.

Recently, we’ve met Clara, who also traveled in time and broke it.

The last two episodes have taken place in her timeline, and things have gone wrong in present day. Perhaps Clara is breaking time and space like the doctor.

My Mother

Today is October 27th. A day some sons would remember, if it was the day their mother died, but I’ll probably forget in time. I don’t remember the date that my father died. I didn’t really mourn their deaths. It’s different situation when you say goodbye to family members who don’t remember who you are. You tend to reach deep into your memory, and think of them as they were 10 years ago, when they knew your name.

Both my parents suffered similar memory loss around the same time, which rare I’m told, but makes perfect sense if the loss was triggered by environment. I suspect something like the aluminum pot my mother cooked Sausage casserole in, or some similar case. The doctors use all sorts of words to avoid saying Alzheimer’s. Officially it is some sort of dementia.

In any case, I said goodbye a long time ago to both, so m mothers death last night comes more as a relief for her, and for the family. I won’t turn this into a political blog about the right to die on your own terms. She lived a long and happy life, and despite not remembering much from each day, she still managed to smile and make others smile with stories from her past. In the final years, the stories were completely fictional, and sometimes outrageous, but she always told them with a smile, and made others smile.

I have my own stories too. I started a list of mom memories a few years back, just as I did for my father. As you get older, you tend to tell the same few stories over and over, and both my parents had their favourites. As I recall each one from here till my death, they’ll make me smile and remember them. They both lived to be over 85, older than the memories of my Grandfather ad Grandmother before them. A good life I suppose, and although we were a close family in many ways, I never really knew much about my parents, beyond how they related to me. They were superheroes for my early life, and then, as happens to most of us, I began to grow older myself, and discovered that my parents were just people, with flaws like anyone else. My mother was not a superhero, and in fact, suffered from depression and self esteem issues much like I do. She saw the negative in life rather than the positive, and often told the sad side of any story.

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Still she was my mother. The prettiest of all mothers, and the coolest. She was a teacher, and a theatre performer. Our house parties were great, always attended by other actors from Georgetown playing games and telling stories.

I saw little hate, or anger, or prejudice in my mother. She was supportive of me, even before anybody knew what attention deficit disorder was. I feel she was always a little sad that everyone told her I wasn’t living up to my potential, which was what they said about smart A.D.D kids that couldn’t sit still enough to read a book or finish a report. I didn’t do very well in school, but everyone agreed I was smart.

I got into computers at an early age in a time when adults didn’t, and although she tried her hardest to understand them, so we’d have something to share, it was clear she did it for me. She never really understood what I did for a living, and bragging about me was harder than it was for the other neighborhood kids who were doing well in school or sports… but I know she loved me.

My mother had a great sense of humour, and we shared that, often at the expense of my father, who tried – but didn’t. Perhaps his upbringing ina a foreign culture just made it harder to understand our humour, but Mom and me would make jokes al the time.

Although I was the youngest of 3, both my sisters were a generation older and moved out of the house fairly early. For much of my youth, I was like an only child. A full 7 and 9 years younger than my two sisters, I was the baby. I was perfect. I was over protected I suppose. My sisters were often in trouble or in the hospital. I wasn’t.

My own memory isn’t as stable with regards to emotions and family. I have huge blank spots for most of my childhood. I remember a lot of yelling coming from my Dad and crying coming from my Mom. He’d call her stupid and other such insults in anger. I’m sad I remember less of the good times, because I know there were many. We’d play games, and even though I almost never won any, it was still quality time.

I’ve lived away from Mom for the last ten years or so, as my sisters took care of her in BC. I visited once, and was frustrated to see her get old. I prefer my memories of pretty – reasonably happy Mom. It’s how I’ll remember her.

Paging Doctor Blog

Paging Doctor Blog
Since I don’t do too many back to back appointments these days, O don’t find myself waiting in cars with time to share as much as I used to. These days, one of the only blank time periods I experience is when I’m in a waiting room, awaiting a doctor.

So I blog. I gave not been keeping up with the new hobby daily as I promised myself, but I do sound some time each day observing the world and thinking about ideas I could blog about. I just don’t sit and write. All my life, writing was either a chore assigned by a teacher, or a task I procrastinated for work, or an evening activity I dud only in the right mood.

I always enjoyed the writing itself. It was just the starting I have a problem with, for writing or almost anything else.

Today, as I sit in an open concept waiting room, I feel inspired to start because the nearby rest room flush is so loud, it’s humerous. It is indeed; blog worthy.

My doctor resumes in a new space, recently built, with a very public style. The administration for each office is shared with 4 staff behind a glass wall like a bank vault teller. The holes are smallish and most people have to speak in an outdoor voice to be heard, which is exactly the opposite of how you normally want to speak when discussing your personal health issues.

My doctors assistant hates it and us constantly standing up by walking out to our open area to be more personal with her contact. She is sitting next to me now, talking to a nice old gentleman. I get to hear anything I choose to listen to.

The whole area houses offices like this for several doctors and everything else imaginable in one open area. Behind me are other areas where children are screaming. Next to that other areas for waiting on other specialists, for eye, blood, therapy and xray. We’re not all waiting together but it’s open like a mall. Few areas get to be enclosed.

The point is, it isn’t particularly quiet. It’s not as loud as a real mall I suppose because a lot of people are waiting alone, No not prone to open conversations. The people all around me for instance are all browsing old Chateline magazines from 2013. (not an old office as mentioned, or they would be from the 90s)

The funny part however, is that silence is broken every few minutes by an explosive whosh sound. The men’s washroom is to the right of me, and the women’s to the left. The sound of flushes can be heard anywhere in the mall, through walls and almost outside.

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