Thursday, December 31, 2015

Winter Textures

There has been a break in the weather. It is bright and sunny and cold and so I have been walking in my ideal polar winter fleece that keeps me wonderfully warm. Here are some of the winter textures I saw today whilst walking the seawall. I was particularly drawn to the frost built up on surfaces over many days, and the cliff faces with water running underneath a skin of ice (click to enlarge).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Roz Chas

Little is better than Roz Chas and the New Yorker on a warm on
a winter day after a nice walk. I am cozy on the couch with yoghurt 
encrusted almonds and saucisson sec that I got fresh from the market. 

Shake Up

I have not felt wide-eyed terror for as long as I can remember but I did last night.

Last night I was binge watching BBC's The Hour. (I absolutely love Ben Whishaw, the lead.) SO I stayed up rather late (for me) and was not sliding into the sheets until 11:30. Leon had just made his way up the bed and under the covers to curl up close to me. Then the who 15-storey building I live in started shaking.

It was an earthquake and I knew it.

It didn't last long but I lay there with eyes wide open and Leon trembling. I got up and went online but I could not find anything except that going to the earthquake reporting site, I got the message that the site was unavailable to do the amount of traffic. So I knew what it was.

Would there be another one—a worse one? I live on the seventh floor of a concrete building. I was really scared for a while, but eventually I fell asleep.

When I got up this morning, I was stunned that news of the quake is not headline news. There is nothing (so far) on the Vancouver Sun website, nor is there anything on the Georgia Straight site. But I found the news I wanted on the Quake site I could not access last night.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Inappropriate Men

Monday was a lovely day. It was spent alone in counterbalance to all the hubbub of the holiday. Then, in the evening, the phone rang.

I have a crush on an inappropriate man. He encourages misadventure and sometimes the outcome is sinfully rewarding but he is, and will always be, unattainable. But that doesn’t bother me; in fact, its perfect for me—a person who is now quite comfortable alone.

The phone call was from the inappropriate man but his name glowed on my iPhone so I did not pick up.

And there’s another man. A man I took to instantly when I met him; a man who, like all the others who have taken an initiative towards me since 1996, fled upon hearing I was HIV+ only to return months later. His return and our attempts at intimacy went poorly from my point of view.

Right after the call I didn't answer, I got a text message from the man who returned. I did answer his text, so he called but I did not pick up.

At 9:30, a third call. I had no intention of answering it, but I noticed that it was Leslie, so I picked up. I knew right away from her breathing that something was wrong. Before she told me anything, I knew her mother was dying.

I’ve experience with death an loss and although I am rather immature, my love for Leslie, together with my experience with mother’s, dad’s, Peter’s and Rita’s deaths have me pleased with all I said.

My body is falling apart. But as I age, I am prouder than ever of whom I have become. Against all odds, I have found self-worth. I have learned from my experiences and I have enough love for others in me to be effective to dear friends when they need me. I did well tonight with call number three as others have done well for me.

At 11:00, I got a text from the inappropriate man. I ignored it. At 11:30 he called but I didn't answer. I wanted calm and quiet so I curled up, cozy in my bed, and turned off the light.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Deep Dark Winter

The sky is grey. The buildings are grey and it’s dark all day. I have lights on in every room and my electric fireplace is lit to make my living room feel cozy. This is winter and I used to travel to avoid it.

I used to plan and prepare in November and December and travel, January to April or May. I told everyone: I hate winter. And I’d go somewhere hot and dry. It was wonderful but then I decided not to travel.

And every year, a person or three who were once friends and who then became acquaintances, become people I used to know. I miss them in winter. And it’s always in winter that I find myself wondering why they don’t make films like they used to—films that I wanted to see.

When I wasn’t travelling I was on a book or a script but, as with travelling, long-form writing has become something I used to do. Thank God the Great British Baking Show rekindled a passion for the kitchen to fill the time that moves more slowly in winter.

I thought I might find this season hard to endure but I have come to embrace it (with arms engulfed in the sleeves of my polar down-engorged winter ski jacket or my seven-eighth’s rubber sou’wester).

I feel satisfactorily engaged and happy here in winter. It’s easier as a man with nothing to prove and only myself to please. Although there are fewer friends, their acquaintance is far more meaningful, satisfying and deeply appreciated.

I am excited to realize that I will have another summer in this city that has been my home for sixty-eight summers yet never fails to fulfill all my warm-weather dreams. I don’t take my decent health and mobility for granted and I take full advantage of my status every day.

So …

Who’s Who in the Cast

From Waiting for Guffman, one of my favourite comedic movies of all time.

If you liked the movie, “Waiting for Guffman,” you will love this piece. It is called “Who’s Who in the Cast.” It was written by Marshall Brickman and published in the July 1976, New Yorker.

 nthony Moon (Zeckendorf) was born in England and attended Eton, Wibley, and Miss  Gobbet’s Academy, concluding his formal education at St. Vitus’ College, Oxford,  where he studied moue under the brilliant House Beamish. His first professional job was as Obadiah in the revue A Pound of Cheese, which ran for fifteen years at the Wee-Theatre-in-the-Bog, breaking all records for the West End and closing only when the cast set fire to the scenery. After joining the National Theatre, Mr. Moon was acclaimed for his performances as Rosalind in As You Like It, Monroe Parch in Parsippany Place, and Sir Giggling Fatbody in Sheridan’s The Wind-Sucker. Mr. Moon is the author of A Penn’orth of Rumply, a fantasy for “children of all ages” based on the limericks of Albert Speer, which is currently in preparation for the 1977 season. His autobiography, Stones at Eventide, was a best-seller and will be filmed by the Rank Organization, featuring Colin Ponce and Colin Headstrong-Jones as the twin bakers.

ishru Fek (Curley) in a long a distinguished theatrical career has appeared in over three  thousand productions from Second Avenue cabaret (Don’t Make Me Laugh, So Who  Are You Kidding?, I’m Entitled, and You Should Live So Long) to regional theatre (Chaim in The Wild Mouse, Vontz in Crusts) to Broadway, where he triumphed last season as the grief-stricken father in Runteleh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical drawn from the life of Eddie Carmel, the Jewish giant. In recent years, Mr. Fek has divided his time between King Lear (“twice a year, rain or shine”) and Hollywood; his latest films include Blood of the Face Eaters, Nostril from Outer Space, and Monster Beach Party. His television credits include numerous specials, notable an abbreviated version of Runteleh, for which he won the coveted Emmeleh. The Department of State has engaged Mr. Fek to tour Europe with his phenomenal one-man show Jews in Motion, an entertainment based on the responsa of Chodish, the skating rabbi of Budapest.

 ary Beth Numkins (Nell Runcible) is a self-professed “stage kook” who has appeared in  stock and regional theatre. Among her favourite roles are Molly in Tom O’Monaboon’s  Chowder, Sally in The Misty Bog, Wendy in The Bosky Fen, Peggy in The Dusky Glen, and Polly in Poppa’s Pockmark. She appeared as Princess Tinkle-Beam in Toast and Mrs. Toast and won plaudits for her portrayal of the shepherdess in The Bleat of My Heart. She maintains that the theatre is a “special, magical place made of fairy-webs and gossamer.” She lives in New York City with her cat, Mr. Cat, and George Steinbrenner.

 oyd Boyd (Second Woodcutter, Biff) was first seen in the popular Off Broadway erotic  revue Full Frontal and also appeared in its sequel, Making It Big, which Mr. Boyd described as “a truth trip with some very beautiful human beings.” In a change of mood, he also created the role of the sadistic orderly in Enema. Mr. Boyd’s lack of hangups will be evident next season in the Public Theatre’s production of Nude Hobson’s Choice, to be presented “someplace outside, Queens maybe.” His hobbies are cooking with a wok and getting into people’s heads.

 ynda Bunting (Mrs. Peahen) made her theatrical debut thirty years ago in Tennessee  Williams’ For the Safety of the Passengers, the Driver is Not Permitted to Change Any  Bills Larger Than Five Dollars, playing the harelip to Luther Dabchick’s waterhead. After a hiatus of twenty-eight years, she returned to Broadway last season in the revival of Perfervid Desires, which closed during the first act, although the critics were unanimous about her performance. This marks Miss Bunting’s first appearance in the legitimate theatre without a mobcap.

ené Catafalque (Beggars, Whores, Townspeople)
            To act is to be;
            To be is merely to seem.
            The truth is a hat.
   Hans Ekhardt
 ’Bob Macvout (Director) trained at L.A.M.D.A. and the Yale Drama School under Fleming  Pease, directing revue and cabaret (Redoubtable Antics of ’62, Arty-Tarty). After a  spell in television, he directed the wildly successful nature film, Ring of Bright Beavers (“Vapid family fun! Non-threatening!”—L.A. Times), which grossed six hundred million dollars worldwide and won him three Oscars, two Patsys, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Last season he directed Sir Henry Wolfsbane in the highly acclaimed R.S.C. production of Congreve’s Pox; or The Traducer Traduced, which won both the Drama Circle Critics Citation Prize Award and the Award Circle Drama Critics Prize Citation.

eon Matrix (Sets and Lighting) is one of our most versatile designers, whose work ranges form the long-running Leafy Green Vegetables to the costumes for Mary’s Nose. Trained under Schlemmer and Gropius, he did pioneering work at both the Bauhaus and the Bau-wau-haus, the avant-garde Theatre for Hounds he designed for Piscator in Berlin. More recently, he won the rarely awarded Mortimer for Roach! the musical version of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which will be presented on Broadway ever season by David Merrick. He is four feel tall.

 rnold Batfish (Author) spent several years as an advertising copywriter and burst upon the  theatrical scene with a cathartic evening on one-acters Spearmint, Doublemint, and  Excremint, which won him both a Nudlicer and a Peavy. His dental trilogy, Drill, Fill and Rinse, Please, was hailed as the finest American dental writing in fifty years and was compared to Gogol’s The Overbite and Sophocles’ Oedipus in Pyorrhea. Mr. Batfish resides with his wife, Laura, and her wife, Leslie, at Nutmeat College, North Carolina, where he holds the Robert Goulet Chair of Dramaturgy.


 hmet Ergotamine (Producer) has been represented on Broadway by Goodbye, My Toes and  the smash hit musical Morons Over Manhattan, currently in its third season. In association with Max Rubric he produced The Man in the Paper Pants and The Smell of Shapiro for the Collaid Centre Theatre Group in Los Angeles. Mr. Ergotamine’s reputation as a promotional genius dates from 1950, when he employed a chimpanzee in a miter to unicycle through the theatre district to publicize his knockabout ridiculous farce, Bishopsapoppin! His innovative all-black production of The Dance of Death was followed by an equally successful all-male-Pakistani Riders to the Sea and an all-parrot Importance of Being Earnest. Next spring, he will produce Death of a Salesman in New Orleans with everyone (cast and audience) wearing giant papier-måché Mardi Gras heads, borrowed from the Grand Krewe of the Knights of Toulouse.