Categories
Other People's Stories...

The Accidental Fisherman

Muddy-Fish
Muddy by the Water

I have this buddy who is an incredible cook and a hot-shit photographer. My kid is very partial to him, because he spoils her with pickles. She calls him “Muddy”, and I think he’s rather partial to her, as well, because whenever we walk into his restaurant, he has a bowlful of pickles up on the chute before we even get to the table.

As it happens, Muddy’s restaurant is one of Ruby’s favourites, and that’s where she took us out for dinner the other night (Ruby is very partial to my kid, too – I only got to tag along because I have the wheels).

Once we had our bellies crammed full of comfort food (and pickles), I noticed Muddy had snuck out the back, so I followed him out to smoke cigarettes and talk (Photo)shop…

He had just come back from a fishing trip, although he doesn’t fish. At all. Has no interest in fishing whatsoever. When his pals go off a-fishin’, Muddy tags along with his camera…

This particular trip, nobody was having any luck. The fish weren’t biting. At all. The Muddy-Buddies were disgusted. So much so, that they decided to all wander off on a hike, trusting Muddy to watch the gear. Muddy figured he could handle this, although he only knows the business end of a fishing rod because it’s generally the one pointing at the water.

Muddy wanted duck pictures, anyway, so he was happy to “watch” the gear…

The ducks weren’t cooperating any more than the fish that day. They kept swimming so that the fishing rods, propped up against the rocks on the shore, lines still in the water, were between themselves and Muddy’s camera.

Muddy was determined to get his shot, however, and he finally decided to get rid of the rods….

Of course, this was not a matter of just picking up a rod and moving it. No… Muddy had to figure out how to unlock the reel and wind the line in first – which he managed – he’s fairly bright. Easy-peasy.

What he didn’t expect, while reeling in the line, was to nearly have the rod yanked out of his hands. Yup. The non-fishing photographer/cook caught himself a fish. Illegally, too, considering he didn’t have a fishing license.

He got around that one, though, by throwing it back – after yelling at one of his buddies to come back and take a picture first. I’m not sure how he convinced the guy to take the shot and not just throw the camera in the water; he was that mad that Muddy had caught a fish by accident when the rest of them couldn’t pull it off for trying…

I was rather impressed, though, and talked him into letting me have the picture… and posting it… and telling the story. Thankfully, he agreed to it all, ‘cuz I was tapped, story-wise.

I might actually have to go back to writing my own, if this keeps up.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Trumpets” – Flipsyde

Categories
Amazon Products Gift Shop Little Bits of Stupid Movie Mentions

Is NOTHING Sacred?!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, CP Images

‘Rocky Horror’ gets remade





‘Rocky Horror’ revisited



By Brian Bento


‘Picture Show’ gets remake; Jon Heder is a zombie


Fox and MTV are teaming up for a two-hour remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, reports Variety.

Helmed by the 1978 film’s executive producer, Lou Adler, the new version will use the original musical screenplay for The Rocky Horror Show written by Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien, and may add in some additional music.

  blog it

I am SO not impressed with this. Somebody make it stop. And, for the record, Rocky Horror was released in 1975, not ’78…

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Dammit, Janet” – Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon

Categories
The Landlady

Where’s the “Beech”?!

Ruby - Bathing Suit - 1956
Parade Girl – 1956

It didn’t show up in the photo, so Ruby’s sister, who took the original picture back in 1956, wrote what the sign said with a ball-point pen, on the copy she made for Ruby. Yes, that’s Ruby with the mask, goggle eyes and bathing suit. Ummm. Yeah. That’s a bathing suit.

Ruby had no qualms whatsoever about handing it over for bloggery mischief – in fact, she hunted it out on purpose for me in March of this year.

Sorry, folks. This post is a few months late.

* * *

Did I ever tell you about the time I marched in the Community Day Parade on the Island?

Me: No! When was this?!

(laughs and claps her hands together) Wait’ll you see this!

She disappears into her spare room and comes out with the above photo, at which I, of course, laugh.

Me: ‘Splain to me this, Ruby.

Ruby (eyes just a twinkling): Do you think that Mushy-fella will like this?

Me: I think he’d rather no mask.

Ah, well. He’ll have to suffer the mask, then.

Me: So, what’s with the sign? Were you protesting?

Kind of. But we were more making fun, I guess.

Me: Who were you making fun of?

The Town Council, that’s who! A couple years before this, somebody on the council got the bright idea, that if they made a sand beach along the waterfront on one side of the Island, that the tourists would come in droves. There was fighting and voting and more fighting and more voting than you ever would believe over that beach mess, let me tell you!

Me: Looks as if the town wanted it, by the sign…

Nope. Just the opposite. Most people in town didn’t think it would work at all. They figured Lake Huron would just wash the beach away in a couple of years, and wouldn’t that be just a waste of sand and money?

Me: I guess it would.

Your darn right it would! But Council won out, and they must have spent thousands trucking in sand in big trucks and dumping it. They made a right nice beach, too.

Me: And….?

And the very next Spring, Lake Huron melted and hauled the whole works away to God Knows Where! (laughs for a long time) Town Council was pretty red-faced about that, lemme tell you!

Me: And so you marched yourself down Main Street in the Community Day Parade with that get-up and a sign, just to make fun of the Council? I wouldn’t have thought you to be so mean, Ruby!

(I said this ADMIRINGLY, though, you must understand….)

Ruby claps her hands together in laughter again….

Yup! And….

I won First Prize!!

Random Song for the Day: “Nobody Told Me” – Puddle of Mudd

Categories
Real Life Zenishness...

Pink Fantasy…

Image: Pink Fantasy
Pink Fantasy
Taken February 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’m right impressed with myself over this picture. I seriously doubt I’ll get another shot even half this good for the rest of the year. I kind of hope I don’t – I’m really proud of this one. I want to blow it up to about garage-door-sized and hang it on my wall.

The inside of my head feels a lot like this pic – kind of dreamy… gauzy… lazy…

I’ve been busy, mind you….

…picking away at a website I’m building for a charitable organization here in town…

…picking away at painting my little apartment – we’ve decided not to move, after all. We’re finally getting this place “prettified” the way we like it, and the thought of hauling all the stuff down the stairs…. Blech. It’s still small, even though we’ve gotten rid of 60% of its contents, but it suits us, and the larger (huger) place comes with a big jump in rent.

The more we thought about moving, the more we realized that the only good thing about moving was that it was just downstairs (no way am I giving up my landlady!), so packing would be… well… it wouldn’t be, would it?

I’m still waiting to actually get on the schedule at the new J.O.B…. they insist that I’m hired. Every time I call… “Uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhmmmmm…. probably…. some time…. uuuuuhhhhhhmmmmm…. next week….? Maybe….?” They tell me this once a week. I should have applied to work in HR instead of sales… I think they need the help.

So, in the meantime…

…I drink a lot of coffee, and work a lot of crosswords, and watch a lot of movies (and ball games… and hockey games…) with Ruby.

…I continue to scan the J.O.B. boards and newspaper ads, in the undying hope that something not involving sales, customer service or telemarketing jumps out at me.

…I Walk-About to my parents’, drink rum, and listen to a new story once a week. Yes, I’m writing them down – heck I might even get around to posting them…

…I swear over the apparently uninstallable software that will allow the coolest Ruby post ever posted to be posted… finally. I hope. Gulp…*

…I dance with The Turkey – who, by the way, has just finished the second edit of her first novel. At 13. Yup. I feel a little useless when she’s in the room. She’s also re-dyed her hair purple, and has taken to stealing the pre-stolen “Grampa-shirts” out of my closet (I stole them first, but there’s never one to wear when I want one), and wearing them with neckties. I’d post pics, but the kid doesn’t stay home long enough to catch more than her shirt-tail in the view-finder…

…I drive around with The Fly-Girl in the Soon-to-be-Mine Minivan (I think I’ll name it The FlyMobile, whad’ya think?), singing old rock tunes from when we were young and thought we’d be 16 for-freaking-ever.

…and I spend a lot of time staring at this picture… and drifting off… somewhere…

Random Song-for-the-Day: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John

Categories
The Landlady

For Mushy – I Think We’re Wearing Her Down…

Joycie, Rex, and Ruby – 1928

Hey, a picture is a picture, right? Ruby dug this out especially for me to post here. That’s her on the right, sitting behind her brother Rex, on their tricycle – doesn’t she look like a little devil? And I’ll bet Rex dropped Joycie on her head off that trike about 30 seconds after the shutter clicked. Not that he did drop her on her head – just that he probably did. Just sayin’.

Rex is the brother of Blackberry Summer fame. Ruby hadn’t told me much about Rex up to this point, so when she presented me with this photo, saying, “There. I wonder what that Mushy fella will say to that?”, I asked her about him.

Rex was about 18 months older than Ruby. She was about three in this photo, so he’d have been a little over…. five maybe? He had asthma and it plagued him all his life. When he was eight, it almost killed him because of a Scarlet Fever vaccination.

They didn’t have a doctor in Northland, so every year or so, one would come in by train and stay a few days, checking up on people and taking care of any emergencies that might crop up while he was there. The rest of the time, Northlanders most likely were doctored up by midwives, veterinarians, and God Himself.

On the last day of an annual visit, if there were any school kids of the right age, the doctor would innoculate them all one after another, just before he jumped back on the train out of there. The kids would all be lined up, and with the midwife assisting, the doctor would stick them all, assembly-line fashion, no questions asked, no names taken. Prick, prick, prick, prick, pack up and go home.

Rex had asthma, but the doctor didn’t know that, and he didn’t bother to ask. If he had bothered, he’d never have given him the shot. Five minutes after the doctor left for the station house (which, ironically, was where Rex’s dad was, being the section foreman, after all), Rex went into convulsions. The quick-thinking midwife scooped him up and ran for the station house, where the train was just pulling in, and Rex’s dad watched the doctor save his boy in the nick of time.

When I asked Ruby what the doctor did to save him, she said she hadn’t a clue, just that it had been close. She also laid dollars to donuts that the doctor never gave another shot without asking a kid’s history first.

Rex survived, though, and grew up to work for his dad on the railroad, which kept him employed until World War II. He tried to sign on, of course, but his asthma did that idea in. He ended up working as a time-keeper for a chain-gang of POWs for the duration of the war, at a camp further up the ACR.

The POWs he was in charge of were mostly Italians. The were a friendly bunch, and the Canadian government treated them very well. They may have been called a “chain-gang”, but not a one of them wore a chain. Where would they go if they ran? Into the Northern bush to starve or freeze to death? No, they weren’t that stupid. Better off where they were, where they were housed and fed fairly comfortably, considering, and each and every one of them worked hard, Rex said.

In the evenings, some of them built tiny little ships, with masts and sails that were squished magically through the necks of whiskey bottles and glued down. The masts, sails all furled up, would be stuck to the ship with rubber cement, and laid flat on the decks with little strings attached to the tops of them. The tiny dab of rubber cement stayed flexible long enough that when the whole works went through the bottle neck, the strings could be pulled gently and the masts would stand up straight and the sails would unfurl. Rex said it was a great thing to watch. By the end of the war, he owned three ships in bottles, and had them ’til he died.

A lot of those POWs applied to stay in Canada when the war was over. We must have been pretty decent people back then, I guess. Who would choose to stay here otherwise, and freeze for six to eight months of the year?

Random Song for the Day: “Belgium or Peru” – Cuff the Duke

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid

You Want Fries with that Burger…?

Les and Goldie, 1971
Ain’t I Angelic… “looking”?

Ah, yes, appearances can be deceiving, though, can’t they? The dog knows differently, you can tell by the look on her face.

This picture was taken by my father in 1971. I would have been around 5 at the time. The dog (her name was Goldie), was 4, and I think my dad might have loved her as much as, if not more than, he loved me. He never once forgot her name, whereas I still get referred to as “Vel-errr…Kar-errr… Lisa! No…. Diddly-Do-Over-There”. He does that to all his kids, mind you, so it’s not like I’m singled out. He had too many kids, and just the one dog.

Goldie is in nearly every photo taken of me by my dad from the time she was brought home to the time she was “put down” when I was about 13.

She was old and had been through some tough times – surgery for removal of an “India Rubber” ball she accidentally swallowed (my dad still has that – ask him where my first tooth is, though) … rheumatism resulting from being accidentally run over (by my dad!!!!)… poor ol’ dog.

My parents didn’t tell me they’d put Goldie down until 4 days after the deed was done, because I was in the middle of a monstrous school project. They were worried I would be so upset that I’d get a bad mark. I cried. A lot. Not because the dog was gone, so much as I felt guilty that I hadn’t wondered where she was for 4 days. Some friend I turned out to be.

ANYWAY…. that’s not what this post is about. It’s about an incident that happened around the year this picture was taken – and probably the reason I hate cooking so much…

I think we were on Cockburn Island (stop laughing, Suzi), but it could have been one of a myriad of other islands in the North Channel that we “boated” to. I know there were other families there –

1) because my dad (along with several other dads) was three sheets to the wind (ummm… for those not in-the-know, “three sheets to the wind” is Sailor-Talk for Drunk.), and it took other dads present for such a thing to happen, and

B) because My Brother the Trespasser wouldn’t play with me, and it took other kids present for such a thing to happen.

So, all the other kids, being older, were… I don’t know…. gone, and I was left all by my lonesome 5-year-oldness to amuse myself. Under the arguable watchful-eyedness of a bunch of drunks. I could hardly help but get into trouble.

We were BBQ-ing that night. Well, the other families were BBQ-ing. Ours was “Hibachi-ing”. My dad loved his little Hibachi, because it didn’t need any dismantling for storage (we lived on a boat in the summer, remember?), or have to be strapped down on the deck.

hibachi
It looked exactly like this.

Yes. Very small. Very low to the ground. About up to a 5-year-old’s shins. Reachable, in other words, to both a 5-year-old girl who only looked like an angel, and a 4-year-old dog who would eat anything within reach provided my dad wasn’t yelling “UUT! Oh, NO YOU DON’T!!” at the time. As I recall, that worked on both dog and girl equally well.

But, as you will recall, my dad was three sheets to the wind. And he did a silly thing. He told me (ME!) to “keep an eye on the Hibachi and make sure Goldie doesn’t get into the hamburgers.” Imagine that! And then he went back to his lawn chair, his rum, his buddies, and Nat King Cole on the 8-track.

So, I picked up the spatula and “kept an eye on the Hibachi”. As well as any 5-year-old who’d never wielded a spatula before could….

Now, this is about the point where the way my parents tell this story and the truth part ways. Ahem…*

To my knowledge, my parents don’t read my blog… in fact, I’m pretty sure that My Brother the Trespasser is the only member of my family who ever has, and I’m not even sure of that, truthfully… but if I get in trouble for the following admission, I will be forced to inform my parents who it was that taught me how to remove a locked wine-cellar door from its hinges quickly and silently, and put it back the way I found it, equally quickly and equally silently. Not to mention the party I swore I’d keep quiet about in exchange for such a valuable education. I swear I’ll tell. Fair warning, oh Brother Mine.

My parents maintain that I was “playing house”. That I “didn’t know any better”. That I just “had quite the imagination as a child”. Ri-ight. Goldie would have ratted me out in a heartbeat if my dad had thought to offer a milk bone. As it was, I think she may have scored the whole meal.

I was trying to flip the hamburgers over. I knew it had to be done; I could smell them burning. No amount of arm-waving, or sleeve-pulling, or “excuse-me-ing” could get my dad’s attention, and truthfully, it never once occurred to me to go to my mother because this emergency pertained to The Hibachi, which was most definitely my father’s turf.

And he ignored me.

And I saw my chance to finally be The Hero, and save supper.

So, I gingerly slid the spatula under a hamburger patty, and attempted to deftly flip it over, whereupon it promptly flipped off the Hibachi. Into the sand. Of course. May I remind you at this point, that I was 5.

You may not be aware, unless you’ve dropped a hamburger patty into the sand, that sand does not scrape off a hamburger patty. Completely.

But it can be disguised.

With more sand.

On all the other hamburger patties.

You can fit about eight hamburgers on an Hibachi grill. It takes approximately ten minutes for a 5-year-old girl-that-looks-like-an-angel-but-who-has-an-imagination to drop seven hamburger patties in the sand (on purpose!), scrape as much sand off as possible, and return them to the grill, sand-side-down.

They didn’t catch on until the second bite, as I recall, but they haven’t let me forget it, since. I believe we had bologna sandwiches for supper that night. Goldie ate sandy hamburger.

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Ramblin’ Rose” – Nat King Cole

Categories
Artsy Fartsy Photography Photoshop

A Fascination with Fakery

"Applefield Sky"PhotoShopped on October 20, 2007
“Applefield Sky”
PhotoShopped on October 20, 2007

Portal2theUniverse (AKA “Gateway to the Multiverse”) called me a Prestidigitator a couple of weeks ago. At first I wondered if I should be offended, but his actual opinion of Where the Walls are Soft seems to be somewhat admiring, so I ended up feeling fairly complimented – sort of like when somebody calls me “weird”. If I’m going to cultivate the persona, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when others jump to the conclusion that I really must be so, even when somebody sees through the smokescreen and outs me to the Internet at large.

Prestidigitation (what a groovy-cool word) aside, when I’m taking pictures, I really want the perfect shot from the get-go, and generally only want to open Photoshop to resize the images for my blogs. Sometimes, though, Hilary Federwhore insists on taking the shot exactly as she sees it in her viewfinder, completely ignoring the vision in my mind.

At other times, she will just play the bitch and focus on something behind the very obvious, perfectly-centered object that is my intended focal point, prompting me to swear like the sailor me ol’ Da’ used to be. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

“…and speaking of ‘apples’…” (Har Har), I saw this HUGE field of them on my Walk-About yesterday, and got some really nice shots. The “field” was the four-foot width of grass, a median of sorts, running the length of Wellington St., and those apples are really tiny, little crab apples that can be encircled with the thumb and forefinger, so the vision in my head was probably a little over-the-top to begin with.

Hil cooperates beautifully when I break all the “how-NOT-to-treat-your-electronics” rules, in that she has survived being dropped into puddles (accidentally), being set down in wet bathtubs (several times now, but still, accidentally), getting caught in recent, sudden torrential rainstorms, and being splashed by passing cars. She refuses to die. Granted, I haven’t drowned her in coffee yet, but that’ll no doubt happen at some point. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Yesterday, to get the POV you see in “Applefield Sky”, I set her down in wet grass. On purpose. Even with her ass wet and freezing, Hil is a trooper, and gamely took the shot, but she was pissed off enough to leave the traffic and buildings in it, and this was the raw result:

"Applefield Sky Original 'Apples'"Taken October 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550
“Applefield Sky Original ‘Apples'”
Taken October 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Not the vision in my head.

The day before, I had snapped a “Skyscape” picture, as I had told David McMahon I was going to break the flower addiction with a new subject.

"Applefield Sky Original 'Sky'"Taken October 19, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550
“Applefield Sky Original ‘Sky'”
Taken October 19, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Crap photo if ever I saw one.

So I spent waaaay too much time last night in Photoshop, removing the traffic and buildings from the “apple” shot and superimposing the result over the “skyline” shot, when I was supposed to be doing homework. And waaaay too much time today, writing this post, when I’m supposed to be doing homework and clogging up the vacuum with several sweaters’ worth of cat hair.

But, hey – I am a Prestidigitator. That’s what I do.

Random Song for the Day: “U-Fig” – System of a Down