Saturday, December 23, 2017

Santa's Opus or "A Trump of Weasels"

2017 was one tough year for the overweight fellow. With with type 2 Diabetes, a recently developed Short bread allergy  and a legion of non-believing  4 year old's, it looked like a grim year Christmas indeed.

 Political landscape aside, he, and the North Pole's Claus Enterprises Inc factories were struggling since the inauguration of the President in his largest market.
The assembly line working triple overtime to create new Paw Patrol characters were cursing Netflix for the  venue that allowed 4 year old munchkins to eat all their  happy meals  watching the 30th episode for the 59th time.
Fingerlings were being hawked at a scalpers ransom by bidding sites on Facebook, making Santa and his elves look like Grinches for holding out until Dec 25th to deliver the fad. Why should kids have to wait for the big day when right there, in bold blue, was the auction for each and every Fucking Fingerling character at 3 times retail! And then there was the dreaded Apple! Apple did not help his public relations by releasing iPhone 10 before the fat man had a chance to load a sack full for the demanding millennials.

The problems were deeper than supply and demand this year for Kris Kringle. He, the red suited man himself,  had decided to partner with Tesla. By placing an order for Driver less Electronic Sled and a fleet of drones to compete with Amazon Prime for faster delivery, he felt he could gain a once wonderful reputation. But Tesla had issues. They welcomed the order and the marketing opportunity. yet here it was, Dec 23rd and no EV driver-less sled delivery was anywhere in site. Besides the issue of not nearly enough charging stations around the globe to service his electric vehicle, he faced the wrath of FOX news declaring Santa a Libtard snowflake who thinks the earth is melting (and is not flat).

The aviation authorities had put the kibosh on Drones in most countries except America. The US agreed to allow the drones if and only if they were loaded with self defensive guns, but the rest of the world saw issues with idea.
So the reindeer were woken from slumber and the Red Bull drips were activated to ensure wide awake herds. Logistics could and would be worked out, yet Mr Claus could not get his Jolly back on for this year.

Santa cross referenced his excel spread sheet list from all the Malls with his letters that arrived to the H0H 0H0 postal code. He frowned and started to overwork his puzzler.

"Why are banks asking so much this year?" he questioned.
"Record profits, earning out of this stratosphere. Bonuses up the ying yang to management. Stock dividends to come that will put bitcoins to shame! Why do they ask for more?"

"Why are the rich demanding so much for Christmas?"  came question number two from his bearded lips.
" Tax break for those who earn hundred of thousands. Business given a huge relief so they can buy back their stock and pay themselves huge bonuses and dividends, and they want the poor to give up their medicaid so they can have more!"
So many questions on this years list.

"Why" Thought the old St Nick " did Loblaws fix the price on bread so the people overpaid?"
He quickly scratched Mr Weston request that his customers "eat more cake" of his list.

Santa questioned the "me, me, me" egocentric requests. Better phones for selfies so I can take pictures of my hot self. Faster download speeds so I can see my "likes" in milliseconds.Luxury SUV Prego strollers, Lamborghini 10 speeds, no flood ice rinks for backyards, 5,000 sq foot homes, dinners out all the time but if in please deliver a kit, and the brand names, the names, oh the names!!!!

Still, he was happy on some fronts. His elves were getting a few more bitcoins thanks to the minimum wage being raised. But the spread between the have's and the have not's was a gulf the size of Trumps ego!

"Trickle down my fat red arse!" said Santa.
"...and all this fighting, fighting oh the noise, noise, noise!"

He got and idea, an awful idea. The fat red dressed man got a wonderful awful idea

"I'll swoop into Dumpville and offer them all
a chance to see Trumps heart  10 sizes too small.
I'll fix up the issue with sexist rude pigs,
and offer the whole Trump of weasels new gigs.
They will work in the factory up here at the pole
it will prove that the north is not such a hole.
We will give them low tax rates as an incentive to come
Oh sure half of the senate will be quite glum.
Mara-go-go north  we will call to ensure they will buy it
to trick a Trump of Weasels will be such a riot.
We might have to change my suit from bright red
To keep old O'range Ego from ending up dead.
Rudolph will lead the old " air force one'
in the hopes that poverty soon will be done"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Pas De Deux

On our penultimate beach day in the spring of 2017, we note that "New France"has colonized early on the beach. At 6:30 am, our beach "cave" on stage left has been taken over so we claim a new spot. A much calmer day has the orange and yellow sails of the catamarans tacking in full view, and I am delighted and surprised to note a pair of kayaks  trailing a paddle boat in the sea. The serene calmness of this morning has little to no breeze and has brought out early morning crowds of families. The bocci ball court is drawn in the sand. Let the games begin!
This second last day passes so quick, it is as if I fell asleep! Time is quick and meaningless in the Caribbean. We make the most and enjoy life at the speed of Cuban life!

Our final day starts early as always. By all indications it will be a red letter day. Four stars. Three Michelin! top shelve! (I do go on do I not?). Vitor, my Cuban weather man and new amigo, agrees with my ratings at 6 am when we meet beach stage left.
"Bueno! Fantastico!" he tells me and then points to the solitary white puff of cloud and in his sign language indicates with his hands the cloud will depart westward. His grin is as big as his tranquility that his simple beautiful life offers him. Vitor's trade mark thumbs up will be missed when we leave.

My morning "Kibble", as Mary describes it, is a mix of cereals with natural yogurt to soften it. This start to the day, breaking my nights fast has been consistent for the most part on our vacation, and always chased or followed with fruits and cheese. We will have one more and last morning "Clap in" before our 9 am departure tomorrow.

Este Noche is the entertainment feature again tonight. I write this inside joke for my family. Readers (if any read these ramblings) can google translate this to understand my long running joke over the years of our Cuban resort visits.

The usual morning tranquility on beach stage left is welcomed. I mentally write more story lines for my Netflix idea of a prison facility that is run at an all-inclusive which rehabilitates rather than punish. I create the humorous dialogues that my series or movie will feature as I stand in line to get "Clapped in" for my kibble. I have changed the name from "Club Fed" to "Club Dump" in honour of, and borrowed from an old friend who I have not seen in a while. Bruce, my friend, and who I discovered Cuba with 30 years ago. We stayed at a 1 1/2 star resort, and I use the word resort with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

This wonderful vacation has been a fantastic inner journey for yours truly. A metamorphosis on many levels as well as several firsts! On this physical plane of reality, I played Bocci ball for my first time. A game that I associated as being for old Italian men in short sleeved buttoned down dress shirts, long black pants with their iconic black socks worn in sandals. Here on the beach, at 10 am the "Club animation" team marks the rectangular court in the sand, as young and old in bare feet, bare chests, and bathing suits, gather to make two teams. One small red ball is tossed, followed by the large 16 silver balls as each team member become fast friends and team mates. Quebec and Ontario n Cuba!

On the spiritual level, my former annoyance that was previously harvested by men and women jockeying for prime beach real estate to surf Facebook and text on their smartie pant phones, is all but a memory. This is a huge first for me, and one of many! From the Portuguese "Oil cake" desert, which after the first and only bite we both declared it and renamed it "Indian rubber ball cake", to the tiny hard boiled delicious Quail eggs we ate one day for breakfast. Six little eggs and I still needed my "Kibble".

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this humble attempt at describing our Cuban/Caribbean experience does little to paint for you, dear reader, the 3 pm scene of tranquility as I gaze out at the calm turquoise waters, sans sound, cochlear processor removed., on our last afternoon. If it were possible to do an MRI on my brain upon arrival, and again upon leaving this slice of paradise, I am beyond certain that my colours on the MRI scan would show the blues of the water, the orange and yellows on the sun and catamaran sails, and the whites of the sand here on beach left. This would contrast the Greys and dark colours on my "arrival scan"

We never know what the future holds, and I have given thought to wonder if I/we will ever return to Cayo Coco. We talk about the "Next time" and I am in a place where I taught myself to Dance to THIS music, and if the band plays in my future, our future, we will then dance again.

But today, at this point in our journey:THIS IS WHERE THE DANCE IS!



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cuban Beach Boy's

My "No Problemo" attitude has a wee hitch in it's giddy up. A Mariachi band has invaded my afternoon slumber party. Although not the usual mariachi group  that consists of as many as eight violins, two trumpets and at least one guitar. This Cuban beach boy band has two mariachi  guitars including  the vihuela:  high-pitched, round-backed guitar that provides rhythm, one trumpet, and a bass guitar called a guitarrón, which also provides rhythm. The bongo and the Morocco's add to the rhythm section. They have visited us, on this quiet afternoon,  to bless David and Mary's beach time with a few choruses of "Guantanamera". A famous Cuban song, and probably it's best known and noted song. It is of course from the the poem by the Cuban Poet Jose Marti. So just as Mary has nodded off into afternoon slumber land, the horn player hits a high C or b flat at a few decibels louder than a Miles Davis riff. Siesta is indeed over and this completes our Cuban experience" for the afternoon. We offer no CUC (Cuban tourist money), so in mid third chorus,  they move quickly on, sans ending, to ply their rhythm on other more  (hopefully)generous patrons of beach music.

Vitor is a native Cuban that greets me daily as the sun rises on the beach. At 6:30 daily, he sets up our beach chairs on his own inclination and unasked. Gives them a good sweep with his beat up half broom, then gives me his trademark Thumbs up. Vitor is a small happy native Cuban. Rag tag clothes, bare feet in old beat up clogs, weathered skin (is he forty or seventy? I can't tell), and a smile as wide as the Caribbean sea. He tells us that he makes 250 Pesos a month. He has a wife and four children. "Two small, two older" He is as content with his tranquil life and happy as a yellow bird is, up high in banana tree. 

Vitor tells us that he and his family have a wonderful life, His Children have free and very good health care/medical, free and excellent schooling, and housing is looked after. He loves his life and it shows. I tip him a CUC when I have one on me. A CUC is the equivalent of 25 Pesos, which is what he would make in two days salary. He does not demand or expect it, but he is as grateful as a school boy receiving ice cream on a hot day.

Vitor's gratitude for what life offers him gives me great pause today. Especially as I consider my belly aching last week when my Buick Regal was cold and I bitched silently that my car does not have a heated steering wheel. Sheesh. Vitor has no envy for us in vacation land with our unlimited EVERYTHING!  He walks the beach back and forth all day, every day,  5 am to 5 pm giving us all a thumbs up as he passes, as if to say "It's a tranquil  life" he tells us with his smile!

It is indeed

4 PM on the Beach "Stage left". The Cuban Beach Boy Mariachi band has long retired a few Pesos richer. Vitor ends his long shift stacking up the three or four hundred beach chairs, to make way for the Night Beach cleaning crew. I promise him a pack of "Hollywood" cigarettes when we arrive manyana, and I will make good on it,

He is our new friend.




At the Still Point, There the Dance is !

Day 7 in Cayo Coco, and the sea inspires snippets of  wonderful memory, and to an even more pleasant extent, the inspiration to record it with pen in my journal. Sea, sand, strong espresso with steamed milk, a Cuban cigar! They all add to the creative life experience. This has been an memory that I will not forget for a long time, but I record with pen in paper so I have for posterity.
We are "clapped in" as per usual custom here for us early diners at breakfast. My fruit and cheese is followed by a long serine walk in which Mary and I collect seashells for Aubrey  and memories for our internal visual photo memory album.
Today urban sprawl has invaded our little cave of serenity on the beach, yet we find some humor as we get some bikini clad "asses" in our faces as Mothers tend to their babies oblivious to us, and our personnel, treasured space. European dialects surround us in Dolby sound. Such is life among the blessed vacationers. It is what it is!

Today I am mentally writing a sitcom in which the story line revolves around incarcerating  prisoners in an all-inclusive resort rather than a traditional prison. In my story there is NO punishment, just positive rehabilitation that includes Yoga,, meditation, cooperative sports and lots of thinking. Prisoners can eat and drink as much as they want or need within the confines of the resort  and the "Canteen" hours of operation. There is no curfew or bed time or last call....lots to be learned for these convicts. Stay tuned as I will attempt to craft out this little bit of silliness before I turn 60, and offer to Netflix the pilot that would hopefully star Neil Crone as the "resident prison/resort veteran go to guy" as he, in my mindful pilot, has been in the "All-inclusive system" the longest.

The Beach life here is as predictable as the "Clapping in": The  ceremonies for meals performed by resort staff to welcome us early birds to dine. Beach "stage right" is Cabana land where the eleven (yes I counted them) cabanas are home to the snow birds (usually from Quebec) who rise and claim their spots prior to 5 am. Bless their Fleur de lis souls.

Beach "stage left finds us pure beach folks, with our cave dwelling mates (me) who choose the cozy confines of lush underbrush to do our meditating. This morning, as many others here are full out "Club Nino" : Nino: From Old Portuguese nio and Latin nidus meaning "Nest". I named it as mothers arrive all day with strollers, carry cases, bags, food, and babies to set up their little "Nests". Club Nino sticks for my duration here, I like the name.

Afternoons differ,  are in many ways the polar opposite to the Club Nino mornings, Afternoons are lull after the storm, The quiet that arrives after the cyclones have  left.  It is Montecristo Puritto time! Then Siesta!

Repeat daily




Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I believe I am clear at this stage and age, of what Life Branches I need to prune. And how to keep my new found blossoms bearing fruit. As well as which buds I need to nip on a daily basis.

 Twenty years ago my concerns was growth on the outside: Money, prestige, and catching the elusive rainbows of shiny happiness. It is by chasing, I believe, that I missed the moments. I missed my "reason we are here" moments for lack of a better metaphor. So arriving at this new station in life I allow David to enjoy the rainbow in all it's splendor. Rather than mourning the fading sun, I now marvel in awe at it's magnificent glory.

Three catamarans sail in my view as I write this. Now there are 6 multi coloured sails in my view. Awesome!

Old world David would not have noticed or cared. Today I note the colours of their sales, and admire the sailors technical ability to tack in these  Caribbean winds.
Reading Ian Brown's "Sixty" in this oasis is enlightening and appropriate. So much has gob smacked at once. Many lines in this book are worth re-reading as well as retelling to Mary in our short time on this Island paradise.

"Sorrow is the rust of the soul. and regret is the oxygen that makes it".
Holy Fuck!
"Everyone experiences the exfoliation of the remembered soul at a different rate, and in a different way"

I honestly feel the book this book is worthy of purchasing a paper copy (I am on a tablet), so I can re read whilst making liner notes.
"...this is what I long to be, as I head into the late innings: Less hidden, less afraid, more naked, less ashamed. I want to wear my fragility on my body -  not just my so-called need, but my intentions, and my doubts about those doubts, and the laughable wobbliness of my progress n all things. I want to be human and complex, more that I want to be right and clear".
Yes, yes, yes!

Just past lunch on Day 5 here, as  I finish "Sixty". Feeling more comfortable about my doubts about my doubts, and more secure in my decisions to be less afraid and less ashamed about them. The air here in Cayo Coco has a sleep tonic effect on me. Even after a day which has me polishing off 4 cappuccinos, I sleep like a baby from 9 pm to 6 am. Sleep for the most part here is uninterrupted, which is odd for me. Unusual when at home. Just to go 9 hours without a pee is wonderful!

There is a feeling I have of internal discovery. Reading "Sixty". Being in the moment. Paying attention to the moment. Noticing what I notice. More today than ever in my past.

The growth of my Joy is in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectation.

It's time for my afternoon siesta, then a wander to get a superb Café con leche.