Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

One or two people, at most, per day.

I made a peach tart with puff pastry. I blind baked it then
baked it again with the almond filling and peaches and
couldn't get it out of the pan. Must learn more!
My new ring. I always wanted a diamond ring, but
a non-ostentatious one. 
Some time ago, I fell into living by a rule: Do only one thing a day.
Every day, therefore, involves walking alone for fun or to accomplish errands or having a “date” with a friend to take a walk or share a meal or to go to a movie.
Friday’s thing to do was to walk to the PNE to meet Dianne and to do a walkabout through the fair together. Dianne, however, fell ill that day so I found myself alone at the fair and being alone amidst the crowds had me flush with PTSD symptoms. I start having my episodes.
Saturday’s thing to do was a mini high school reunion. About forty alumni of the Class of ’65 met for an evening potluck supper in a gorgeous manor home belonging to one of us. It was a terrific night but it was tough for me. I had two episodes and the second one was bad. I took my medications but even so, when I got home I was so wired that I felt like I was going to explode. I felt like I was racing inside. I felt too “wired” to even close my eyes.
Now it’s Sunday morning. Today’s thing to do is to go to dinner with four friends. I expect it will go okay but I feel defeated.
After each event of late, I return to the sanctuary of my home where I think about the episodes and their witnesses and become overwhelmed with regret and shame.
I can’t help but feel I should not see people but I don’t like the sound of a guideline like that. Instead, I’m thinking I should only see one or two people at a time and I should avoid “loose” crowds at all costs.
(“Loose” crowds are free roaming hordes. They’re hard for me to endure. “Tight” crowds are what I experience in theatres where everyone stays in their seats; I can handle tight crowds easily.)

So the new rule has to be: One or two people, at most, per day.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Dressmaker is Coming

I love Kate Winslet.
And listen to the great Judy Davis say: "... Or hag."

Summer is Ending

Holy crapola it was hot yesterday. I had all my shades down and the fan on; my condo aims right at the sun as it goes down. Leslie came over to be my guest at dinner at my favourite neighbourhood bistro, Le Brasserie. We had bubbly here before we went.
The restaurant was packed. My speech, throughout the evening, on a scale of one-to-ten, was at about six or seven.
And tonight, I have a date with Robin for drinks and then dinner at the same place. I may be gay (non-practicing) and I may have baggage, but I can score lots of dates with wonderful women.
Nicola and Dianne are other regular dinner dates but today I am seeing Diane at the PNE. Going to the PNE is homework: It’s crowded but not noisy like the annual summer fireworks and the Pride Parade that set me way back, so I’m hoping I cope well.

The best part of going to the PNE will be walking there. I adore walking and no walk is as good as one done early in the day. The air is so fresh and the smells are vivid; my route takes me through the heart of Chinatown and Mount Pleasant, the most interesting and historic part of the city.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

An Inspired Teacher

Mr. Reed, a fresh new teacher in the Chicago school district made this video to welcome his in-coming grade four students. Are they in for a fabulous ride. What a guy!

YouTube on my TV. YES!

I am stoked!
I love the TV show, The Great British Bake Off (as it is called in the UK). I just finished watching season six on PBS and I hungered for more, so I started watching season one on You Tube. I have Apple TV, so last evening I decided to try to access YouTube on my TV and I succeeded.
It’s fabulous to be able to watch YouTube’s and Vimeo’s movies and TV programs on my TV instead of on my computer. Plus, they are immeasurably more engaging than the shite I see on broadcast TV.
Besides The Great British Bake Off, I am hooked on Stephen Fry’s QI.
Right now, at 10:00 am, here at home alone, if I try to speak out loud I nothing comes out. But if I step outside and encounter a neighbour, I speak absolutely perfectly.  
It’s so weird, because on Tuesday I went to a meeting of my high school alumni. There were about ten of us there and it was the most successful socializing I’ve done since the onset of my PTSD symptoms. I barely stuttered and when I got home my speech continued to be almost normal. I suspect things went so well because I’ve known everyone for fifty-plus years.
For the past few days, I’ve been almost symptomless. I suspect it could all come back with a vengeance if I strayed off the familiar path, but I feel I am rocking recovery. Clearly, the huge setback was due to Steve staying here and the social CHAOS of Pride.

If I stick to myself, do only one thing a day, reject invitations that involve a strange place or people I do very well at living my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monday's Walk

Monday's walk was to the museum of Anthropology with John and Bunny. Then we lunched at the sailing club. A perfect and wonderful day.

I love this photo by John showing my best side.

Krishna and Costumes

There was a piece in the New Yorker by Jonathan Franzen called The End of the End of The World. It’s two stories really; a story about his relationship with his uncle is beautifully melded with a story about a luxury cruise to Antarctica with his brother.
I love the brevity of New Yorker articles but a couple of years ago I quit reading novels after completing two that were just too good (At Swim, Two Boys; Angle of Repose). I lost interest in anything but “perfect” writing but I didn’t know how to find more. Literary tste is such a personal thing.
Mr. Franzen’s piece has whetted my appetite for reading again because his writing — in this article and to me, anyway — is insanely good.
I happened on the annual Hare Krishna celebration in Stanley Park. I arrived just as the parade was concluding and the party was beginning and I was immediately overcome with a tremendous love of, my country. I am so proud that Canada is so accepting of differences. I love our multi-cultural policies that encourage our immigrants to retain and celebrate their traditions.
I thanked God I am not American like Donald Trump.
Amongst the revelers were some Caucasians fully engaged in the fervor of the chanting and I was struck by their clothing.
At some point, somehow, growing up in West Vancouver, I saw the West Vancouver Boys and Girls Band and I immediately wanted to be part of it. Why? Not because I loved music, but because of their uniforms. I wanted to belong; I wanted the uniform and I got one.
Uniforms are pride made manifest. They are talismans of membership and when I saw those White guys and gals dancing in their beads, flowing diaphanous robes, face make up and headbands I realized I no longer have that overwhelming desire to belong.  
Already been thinking about costuming because of the specific clothing for various sports at the Olympics: The women’s uniforms for beach volleyball, gymnastics and synchronized swimming made me gag.

We put so much into the construction of appearance; we use our clothing and accessories to affect perception. But as Ryan Lochte showed us, no matter what you wear, it’s your actions that truly define you.

I wrapped myself in a Gunera leaf.
Above and below: the Hare Krishna Festival.
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