Month: September 2012

The second coming of Isaac

Sometimes tragedy can be a blessing in disguise.

When I was a kid, my uncle would drop by often. He always had a bottle of whiskey in hand, and he always tried to get my dad to drink with him. My Uncle Isaac was an uncle by marriage, as he married my dad’s oldest sister. Dad and my aunt were really close as kids, but after she married Isaac, things changed.

Isaac came from the type of family where the father drank and the mother raised the kids and took care of drunk dad. Since this was the type of upbringing he had, this was the type of man he was as well.

Every Friday, you could find him sitting in the old armchair in the kitchen of my parent’s house. Since neither of them drank, Isaac usually sat and drank himself stupid, then went home to beat up his wife and kids. Many a time Dad headed to his house to teach him a lesson, but mom always stopped him.You see, mom’s father drank as well, sometimes he and Isaac drank together, so she knew where this usually led. “Don’t upset him, maybe he just goes home and sleeps it off” she used to tell dad.

Isaac’s wife rarely said anything, but you seen in her face that she lived with abuse. The kids, all three of them, also showed signs of abuse, but back then, nobody said or did anything.

One evening, my dad had enough. When Isaac showed up at the door, my dad locked it. We all stayed quiet like we weren’t home. He banged on the door for about an hour, finally giving up and going to some other person’s door. He started his trend at their home then, and finally, my family was free of this idiot.

Isaac worked with the local paper mill, where he drove the work bus. He made a good salary, and I guess a few girls in the area thought that he was a cool guy, so he cheated on my aunt with those girls.  Mom said Isaac would sleep with a dog if he thought she was female, and since he was usually drunk at the time, he used this as an excuse when his wife caught him with a ‘pretty young thing’ from somewhere in the hills.

You ever hear of Karma? Well, it exists, and Isaac was the first to find out. He  thought he had the world at his hands, and time after time I heard my grandmother praying to God that he leave my aunt and move on, or else smarten up and realize how lucky he was to have someone stand by your side like my aunt did. He was diagnosed with a strain of Parkinson Disease. With that, he became a gentle and loving person. He quit drinking, and even got a cat. For the first few years of the disease, he would visit everyone in the community, offering them his thanks for putting up with his terrible ways all those years, and often inviting them to walk with him. Isaac did a lot of walking back then, I think it was his way of dealing with the drastic change he went through.

When the disease worsened, Isaac became helpless. He could barely feed himself. He would sit and cry on the couch, while his wife tended to him. Despite the terrible life she suffered at his hands, he needed her now, and she was right there for him. More as a mother than a wife, she tended to his every need. His speech slurred, he could not walk on his own, and he spent much time in bed.

A bit later on, one of the doctors who worked with Isaac discovered that a new drug might be able to help him a bit. Within a few weeks of taking the medicine, Isaac became to recover.

In less than two months, he was now walking on his own, and he began to tend for himself. The medication seemed like a miracle. Two days before Christmas, Isaac was eating a cookie that his wife had baked, and one of the side effects of the powerful drug took its toll on the old man.

His heart could no longer sustain the effects of the drug that gave his life back, and he died. It was so sudden. He had been holding the cookie, my aunt in the kitchen bringing him some fresh milk, and when she returned, he was gone.

The entire community gathered to pay tribute to a man who only became a true man after he had retired and took sick. The man they paid tribute to on that day was not the wife beating, drunken disgrace of a man, but a kind and respectable citizen of the community. I am glad that this was the man we lay rest on that day.

My Aunt still lives alone to this day. She lives in the home that Isaac built all those years ago. The same home that his drunken rages destroyed, and the same home that he helped to rebuild once he had taken sick.

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. No animals were harmed in the making of this story, except maybe a chicken, but my aunt killed him quickly, and cooked him for supper.


Gothic Country???

I admit it, I am a country music fan. Always have been. Sometimes I have to side with Barbara Mandrell, “I was country when country wasn’t cool”

It’s true. Back in my younger days when the rest of my friends were tuned into The Stones, Meat Loaf, and Aerosmith, I was listening to Ricky Skaggs and George Jones. Loved the stuff. Still do.

This ‘New Country’ is for the dogs. Long drawn out stories set to music make up most of today’s hits, and if you ask me, this ‘music’ is closer to pop than it was ever connected to ‘country’.

Give me some Cash, Jennings or a bit of Hag and I am happy, to hell with the flash in the pan country ‘stars’ of today. These guys (and gals) just don’t have the lasting power of the classic country stars.

Now I find that a few of my younger friends are listening to a genre called ‘Gothic Country’. What the hell?

I guess Johnny Cash was a bit of a goth, with his long black coats and his nick ‘The Man in Black’, but at least this guy had talent, and lots of it.

Just bought Yoakam’s newest cd “3 Pears”, and I am disappointed. Sure he has one or two ‘Real Country’ songs, but the rest is the  blabbergarble that they play on the radio.

Radio, that’s the blame for the onslaught of ‘country pretenders’ out there. Radio only plays mainstream country, which is not country music at all. Television and Youtube are also at fault, with it’s videos of those horrible songs. I wonder how popular a song would be without the video?

just saying

The Old Canvas Tent

Back when I was a kid, we did lots of camping. No, we didn’t have one of those hot shot home away from homes, we used a tent.

It was 1976 when dad bought it. Yellow walls and a green roof, and metal poles that weighed a ton and took forever to set up, but once it was set up, the thing was huge.

On the night we bought the tent, my brother and I chose to sleep outside in the backyard. Since the tent was so big, we brought stuff from our room, including our stash of comic books, flashlights, and of course, munchable goodies such as strawberry flavored hostess potato chips, pop rock candy, and root beet. My brother was six at the time, and I was thirteen.

Back then, it was okay to be a kid at thirteen. At thirteen, a kid wasn’t expected to be thinking about girls, college, or his next car. Thirteen year olds (or any kid for that matter) didn’t spend their time playing video games (they weren’t invented yet) or chatting on a cell phone (ditto), so being thirteen was a whole lot easier.

The next day, after the dew had dried up and the grass was nice and warm, Dad took the tent down (half a day’s work) and we loaded all the camping equipment into the trunk of the old Ford Falcon (Dad’s pride and joy), and the whole family headed to the nearest pond to do some camping, fishing, and whatever adventure came our way. Dad said that it would be good to get away from the neighbors for a change, and he was excited to get some fishing in. Mom was less enthusiastic, as my sister Tammy was just three at the time, and mom was pregnant with my youngest sister Cindy as well.

As we drove down the well beaten path that led to the pond, we played car games like spot the buggy. This was a time when there were plenty of VW bugs around, and seeing one allowed you to punch your brother in the shoulder, saying “buggy, free punch”. My arm was red by the time we reached the camp area.

When we finally reached the camp area that surrounded the large pond, I seen dad’s smile disappear. What we planned to be a weekend away from our neighbors turned out to be quite the opposite, as most of the community were already set up around the pond in their tents and truck campers.

Dad was never one to let himself get down, and with this, he found the best spot for the tent and proceeded to set the thing up. This time it was much easier, as a few neighbors joined in to help.

Being kids, our first task was to find other kids and see what type of trouble we could find. All fourteen of us grabbed an old Timber Jack tire tube, and headed for the pond. Mom said that she still thinks of this day with fear.

Mom told the rest of this story to me a few years back. I must have had some sort of memory loss, as the story remained a little foggy from here on out, but it explains a lot now.

Mom said that before they had a chance to set up camp, we were already on the huge inner tube, out in the middle of the pond. I was right there with the rest of the kids, none of us great swimmers. She said that complete horror struck her the next time she glanced at us, as she only seen thirteen kids on the tube, and they were all laughing at something. When she called out to me, the kids looked at each other in horror, realizing that I was not amongst them…. I had fallen through the middle of the tube, my legs entangled with theirs, and I was underwater.

The fathers of the kids, dad included swam to the tube, pulled all us kids, including the kids on top the tube and me under, to safety. Dad also performed CPR on me. Apparently, according to mom, I was not breathing, and Dad had seen someone on a soap opera on TV save a life this way. In minutes, I was coughing up pond water, but breathing again.

For some reason, I could never remember this experience, but I have always had a fear of water. I never learned to swim, and maybe this is why. Dad says that in the five years that we camped, he must have aged twenty years.

In Eighty One, dad got rid of the tent and bought an old truck. He found an old truck camper in the classifieds, and we continued camping with this, but this is another story for another time.

Despite the frights we gave our parents while camping in the old yellow tent, they still talk about all the fun we had camping. “With bad comes some good” my dad still says. He says that the tent gave us time to do fun things as a family. He is right, I have all those fun memories of the times when I was a kid. I have them stored up here in the happy, carefree part of my brain, and whenever I need to reflect on how to be a parent to my child, I can reach back to the times when I was a kid and we did family things, when we were all young and the world was not such a scary place, and I can apply some of the lessons I have learned as a child to today’s world, and to my role as a dad.


life is funny VIII (and sometimes gross): The Spandex people

Life is funny but it is also gross. I am talking about the Spandex people. You seen them, 300 plus pounds of woman ass, squeezed into a tiny pair of spandex pants, strutting around town trying to look sexy, but missing (totally missing) the point of spandex.

When spandex first came out, a few shapely gals made the stretch material popular. For some reason, those with enough ass to block traffic on a four lane highway got the idea that if they squeezed their fat asses into this material, it would make them look thin. Didn’t work.

The black spandex is bad enough, but when those fashion conscious (NOT!) females chose the bright neon spandex pants, all hell broke loose. (well, better hell than the asses of their spandex pants)

Only thing sexier than giant asses stuffed into stretchy pants is the rolls of fat that hang over the sides of the pants. OOh!

Note to governments of every country: BAN SPANDEX!

or better still, put a weight limit on the stuff. Like they do for tractor trailers on the highway. We could have weigh stations right in the city, and anyone stuffed into the spandex material would first have to stand on the scales.

Ya, that’s an idea, think I will start a petition!

life is funny 6: the pj people

Life is funny.

At least for some people. I am talking about the PJ people who go out and do their shopping in the same clothes that the slept in. And they are always flannel. Ladies, if you are going to go out shopping in your undies, at least wear something sexy!

You know the crowd I am talking about. Armed with a cup of Tim’s and a smoke, they carouse from one store to another wearing their Pajamas. Is this not the laziest thing ever?

What about if others joined the PJ people? What if those who slept commando also shopped with the clothes (or lack of) that they wear to bed? For this we get indecent exposure, but the PJ people are ok doing it. I don’t get it.

And perish the thought that someone comments on this behavior.

“Nice plaid pajamas” I says.

“Fuck of” replies the fat missus in the coffee stained flannel plaid pajamas.

“I take it you were in a rush to shop, didn’t have time to dress” Says me, too stupid to keep my mouth shut.

“I did that once, so don’t feel bad. I actually went to the store missing a sock, imagine that” I add.

She wasn’t impressed.

Oh Well, could be worst, this manly woman could have came here in spandex, but that is another blog

dear Me

While browsing around my blogroll, I came across a fantastic idea. One of my fav bloggers came up with the idea to write a letter to her fifteen year old self. Naturally, I had to try this as well. Here goes….

Dear Me.

I know you are only fifteen and you have your entire life ahead of you, but listen to me, I have been there. I know that at fifteen you know everything about the world and you don’t need some almost fifty version of you telling you what to do, but at least listen to what I have to say, it may just save you a lot of grief and maybe a ton of money as well.

First off, I know you hate school. You hate it because Bobby Tiller spends his entire day making life miserable for you. Two things to tell you about that one. First, he will drown before his seventeenth birthday, so you could try to put up with his bullshit for another year or so, or you could get him back right now. I know for a fact that his one true love has a thing for you. Now I know your confidence is terrible, and if some big boobed senior were to be anywhere near you and that terrible case of acne you have, you would just die, but for once listen to someone, ask her out. Tell her that she has beautiful eyes. Most guys hit on her because of her big tits, pretend you didn’t notice them. Trust me on this one, she would later reveal that she wanted to jump your bones. Now stop turning red, I am just trying to help you here. Bobby Tiller will be ruined if his one piece of social status jumps ship and dates the school nerd (sorry about that)

Back to school. I know you hate it because your grades suck. I have a surprise for you, a bit later in life when you actually grow confidence, you will realize how smart you really are. Grab your school books and study!

When you graduate next year, skip the Clerk Accounting course you plan to take at that crummy community college. Go out and get a student loan and do an education degree. Believe me, you will forever regret not doing this, I should know.

When you turn seventeen, you will buy the 1968 Pontiac Beaumont from old man Hillier. Do Not Drive the car! You heard me, don’t drive it. Instead, drive it into Grandfather’s barn, cover it with dry hay, and leave it there until 2012. That car was mint, and now worth over $90 grand. Buy an old Nova, drive that around. There is a ’76 for sale in Millers Lane, you should be able to afford it soon, it will get you where you want to go, (hell, you will even get laid for the first time in the back seat).

Speaking of getting laid, right now you are young and you get the shivers whenever someone talks about sex. Now stop turning red and giggling, in a year or so your hormones will kick in and sex will be more important than hamburgers, and you will want to have sex daily, so be a man, stop giggling every time I say the word ‘sex’.

That girl in woodworking class, the one every guy wants and the same gal who only did woodworking so that she could meet guys is not as popular as she lets on. Truth is, she comes from a strict Pentecostal upbringing where sex is totally forbidden. You gotta learn something about the Pentecostal gals, they want it! They do whatever they please in their younger years, and when they reach a certain age (20 I think), they get saved and never think of sex again. Ask this girl out, she is no virgin, and you won’t be either after that.

Now for the warnings.

When you are seventeen you will meet a girl. She will take you home to meet her folks. When you realize that the entire family is drunk, ignore the fact that their daughter is one sexy piece of woman and run. Yes she will screw you, but believe me, this is one rough family, and you certainly don’t want to get mixed up with them.

When you turn 18, you will meet a girl who seems like the right one for you. (you will meet a lot of those). If she tells you that she has a steady job cleaning doctor’s offices in the evening, don’t believe her. It’s not true. She does meet with doctors, but only to do other things for doctors, like have sex with them. Don’t date this girl, run for your life!

When you turn 19, you will meet a woman who will sweep you off your feet. You will fall head over heels in love. All you will want to do is sit and plan your future (that and make love every chance you get). At this point, STOP! Truth is, ‘You’ did fall in love. All ‘You” want to do is plan your future. Trouble is, she doesn’t love you. She is dealing with abuse issues at home and she needs counseling. You are not the professional help she needs. Do Not Marry this girl, I plead with you. She will hurt you so bad that it will take twenty years for you to get over it. Stop laughing, I am trying to talk to you here, I am trying to save you pain.

No, wait, on second thought, don’t listen to me. Not doing all the things I warned you about could backfire. Not experiencing all the pain I went through as a child might not make me the man I am today. Not marrying that gal and not learning the lessons, I may not be here today with the true love of my life. Destroy this letter, go on being the school nerd, and live your life. Have fun, but be safe.

yours Truly

You at 49 years old


The old guy hauled his right leg into the cabin of the car and waited for us to join him.

When you are aboriginal, you can buy a new or used car at a car lot, and the dealer hires a driver to bring you to the nearest Indian Reserve so that you can sign the papers there, and save taxes. It is a wonderful system despite the long drive (ten hours Plus) to the reserve. My sister had just bought a used Toyota, and since she hates highway driving, she asked me to come along and drive back. We left at 5:15 a.m. I was dead tired.

On a ten hour drive, you get to know your driver. Bob was his name, and from the time we left to the time we got back, he was as pleasant and polite as anyone I know.

Bob told us that he once worked at a local paper mill, but after 35 years of being a company man, they retired him. He said that he was turning 60 in a few weeks and that he never had a family, and never married.

Bob said that he came close once, even had a bride waiting at the alter. All the guests were in the church, the music was hired out, as was the club for the reception. He went on to say that once he reached the parking lot of the church, he got the jitters and left, standing up the woman he planned to marry and leaving everyone confused. He went on to say that it was the biggest mistake of his life.

He said that the woman did marry. She met a guy, they had a kid, and in a little while, the guy left her to raise a sixteen year old daughter on her own. I told him that perhaps this wasn’t meant to be, and he agreed, but he still had regrets.

Bob went on to say that when he turned 55, he was diagnosed with diabetes. He didn’t listen to a word his doctor said, and just two years afterward, he ended up losing half his leg below the knee. he now uses a wooden leg. He said that in the 14 weeks it took him to recover from the effects of a diabetic coma and losing his leg, he gained a new lease on life. He now speaks at hospitals and schools on the dangers of diabetes, often showing his audience what remained of his leg. He also has trouble with one of his eyes, another result of the effects of diabetes.

He said that once he left the hospital, he regained all the weight he lost in the hospital. He said that losing a leg, he found working out almost impossible, as well as very painful.

All in all, Bob was a very nice man who seems to be entering his old age with a lifetime of regret. I assured him not to quit, explaining that I was 40 before I met my lady. He said that maybe there is hope for him yet. I sure hope so.

It is funny how an otherwise long and boring ten hour ride can turn out to fly past when you are in good company. We had an enjoyable day, and got to meet a nice person.

Now how about that drink?

Three years ago my sister bought me a 26 oz bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey for my birthday. I still have it in the cupboard. I believe I opened it once, and swished the stuff in my mouth to cure a canker sore.

If it were ten years ago, the bottle wouldn’t have made it to the cupboard, I would have drank it the minute I got it, but a lot can change in ten years.

If I were to attempt to drink the stuff now, I would probably be sick until my next birthday; funny how life does that to you.

I spent most of the 90’s pouring the stuff down the hatch, getting too drunk and too sick to do anything. I used to blame my divorce, my job, my boss, customers, women, lack of women, lack of dates, I could go on, you get the picture. Hell, I can’t even remember much of the 90’s, except for that dance mix music that was popular in the bars at the time. I spent too much time sitting and wallowing in pity to accomplish much anyway.

I used to go to bars with my ‘friends’, who would drink as long as I was buying, and then drift off to the next fool with a wallet. I sat at bars while women sat and I bought drinks for them, deep inside hoping that one of them would take me out of that place, and maybe we would fall in love. Talk about pipe dreams? Who wants to fall for some drunk guy who sits at a bar feeling sorry for himself?
I wondered whether I would ever pull myself out of this life, and every day I thank God that I did.

Its not that I drank a lot, it didn’t take a lot to get me loaded. I would drink a flask of Whiskey with my ‘friends’ before heading to the bar to drink beers until closing time. I spent a lot of time with my head in the toilet bowl paying dearly for this life. I was headed down  a long road of loneliness and despair and I figured that there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

Don’t get me  wrong,  I was no alcoholic, but I was headed there. five of my mom’s brothers are all alcoholics, so it was kind of in my genes I guess, but something made me stop, something even I cannot fully understand.  It took a big scare. I don’t mean little brother jumping from behind the sofa and yelling ‘Boo!’, something bigger.

As I stated in an earlier post, back in December 2003 I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in my throat, wrapped around  a nerve that ran from my jaw to my brain. This changed everything. So I was divorced, so my job sucked. So I wasn’t popular with the ladies, so I didn’t have a lot of bucks. None of this mattered. I made a decision to change, and I promised anyone  who was listening (whether it be My God,  your God, a stranger in the next room, who ever) that I would change my life if I could only have a second chance. No, I didn’t ask for a second  chance,  I asked God for the nerve to go through whatever was headed my way.

That was my problem all along. All those nights sitting at a bar pitying myself when I should have gotten off my ass and did something about it.  After the surgery, somehow everything changed. I couldn’t imagine wasting time sitting in some dark barroom when I could be outside in the fresh air. I couldn’t imagine going out every night and spending time with losers who were as afraid of life as I was. Somehow, I grew nerve.

I went back to school, got an education, got a job and met a beautiful woman. I gained confidence, and that is why I am here today. God only knows where I would have been if I continued that old life, probably dead.

A few weeks back some friends asked us to join them at a local pub. “Join us at around eleven p.m.” they said. “Eleven??  That’s way past my bedtime” I replied.

“Boy, what a boring life you must lead” they said.

I just smiled.

I celebrated my 49th birthday two days ago, I love my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I certainly don’t need to be piss eyed drunk to have a good time, these days I get my highs from life, love, and whatever this wonderful world throws at me.

life is funny: Part 5: Mr Dropout Big Shot Loser

Life is funny.

There is this guy I know, he figures he has it all figured out. He dropped out of school and went straight to Alberta. Now he is a big shot working in the Tar Sands. The guy doesn’t have the sense to bless himself. He tries to encourage younger kids to drop out of school and follow in his footsteps.

The other day my little guy came home with plans for the future. He is only in grade five, but when he gets older, he wants to follow in this guys footsteps. The guy is his uncle, and all the little guy hears from his grandparents is how fortunate and lucky his uncle is. He worships the guy.

Karma is funny.

In July, Mr. Big Shot hurt his back at work, and hasn’t been working since. Oil Town is an expensive place to live, especially since Mr. Big Shot recently entered a relationship with a woman who has four kids. I hear you, you are saying “FOUR KIDS”??? See, he has it all figured out. Grade ten education, living on God knows what, with no future.

I told you life was funny. Want to know something even funnier? I know you do.

The entire time Mr Big Shot was working, he constantly made fun of his sister, my lady, for wasting her time getting a degree. Who is laughing now?

life is funny: Part 4: facebook romances

life is funny.

First you have a couple who can’t talk to each other in public, but on their facebook you would swear that he is friggin’ Casanova.

He: Babe I love you with all my heart, looking into your eyes reminds me of ocean of blue

She: And you, my love, you are like a handsome prince who has rescued me.

Me: Blah (followed by intense vomiting)


Why is it that people chose to express their love for their significant other on Facebook? Who the hell do they think wants to hear (or read) that?

The missus and I had those friends back in St. John’s (well SHE had those friends, I just went along to be nice). The guy would sit on one chair, and directly across from him, his missus would be sitting on the arm chair, and they both had laptops with (you guessed it) their perspective Facebook pages open in front of them. Every now and then the guy would write his lady a note on Facebook, she would giggle and respond…on Facebook. We both felt like idiots sitting there with the two of the non-verbally speaking to each other. I joked that the next time we visit, we bring our laptops and we have a Facebook foursome. They were NOT impressed. So much for communication in a relationship!

Is this where we are headed? Maybe so, but not me, I prefer intimacy in a relationship. Want to know the deep and dirty in my relationship? Get a life, or buy a Harlequin

Like I said, Life is funny!