Back in the late 60s/early 70s, Zellers sold A Very Merry Christmas: Volume 3. It was an album with a lot of big name stars (at the time) and other talent belting out seasonal songs.
Mom bought it, and every Christmas growing up, she pulled this one out to play it. It’s actually quite a good album, with the music arranged mid-20th Century orchestral style only slightly veering into elevator music (more on that in a moment). As we got older and left home we heard this less and less, depending on whether or not we could get home for the holidays.
Of course, with the advent of the Internet and streaming music, it was only a matter of time for it to appear on YouTube and other streaming services. So for the last 10 years, every Christmas when I called up my sister Kathie to talk about Christmas plans, or when I was staying with her family in Edmonton, I would do my version of a “Rickroll”:
This was the one “Elevator Muzak” type track on the album. Not to put down the skill of Ray Conniff or his choral group. At the time this style was popular. But now….yeesh. And the weird “Live as the Master may say” bit. I get that it’s referencing God/Christ/Magical Sky fairy but every time I hear that line, my twisted sense of humor immediately goes to some kind of the S&M/Master and slave kink play. Authoritarian mindsets and religion relies on that dominant/subservient relationship which is why I’m an atheist, but yeah…that’s a YIKES from me.
Kathie, long suffering from any teasing from her baby brother, would always respond with “Okay, I’m gonna hang up the phone now” or “Okay, I’m leaving the roooOOOoom”. Well, this year she left the room forever (#fuckcancer ).
I miss you, sis. Now this song – besides being schmaltzy – will always be a bittersweet symphony for me.
Giving myself a quick hour to do something creative and humorous even if it is a random (to borrow from the late comedian George Carlin) “Brain dropping”. From my “Live, Laugh, mADneSSs” line of thoughts, words of wisdom, etc. Enjoy. Heh. Heehee. HehehehahahaahaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAA!
TL; DR: Found pizza, found some joy, but someone else lost theirs. Burp.
This just happened a few weeks ago. I had just finished a closing shift at ye olde cannabis dispensary, it had been a week since they told us they were closing this location due to low sales (we’re unionized so most of us selected transfers to other stores). I had the weekend off and really just wanted to shower and crawl into bed so I could forget the world for 8 hours.
I live in a 3 story walk-up apartment block built in the 1950s. Dragging my sorry ass up the stairs to the top floor, I turn the corner and see what turned out to be 2 pizza boxes and some garlic bread placed on the floor in front of my apartment.
I didn’t order any pizza.
I knock on the doors of my neighbours, but no one had ordered it. My nearest neighbour says “Well, maybe its the universe rewarding you”. Dear Universe: I requested to be sole winner of a $50 million lottery ticket, not sure how you got pizza from that, but….thanks?
There was no note as to the address other than saying how many items, delivery time (8pm) and “Tower” for the location. Not sure if that was the person or the building, not sure how it got there. I could have called the pizza joint but I knew that they’d probably say “eh, keep it no charge, it’s been sitting out for 2 hours so we can’t do anything about it”. Or worse, they’d say “well, you should pay for it!!”
I’m hoping it was someone who did this to cheer me up. Better than an angry customer wondering where their pizza was and taking it out on the staff…who’d then take it out on the delivery driver.
It was not bad, and it made a shitty week less shitty, so I found a minuscule amount of hope. Yay!
April 2021 will always be the lost month, as I was hospitalized with double pneumonia due to being infected with the South African variant of COVID-19. I was hospitalized for 13 days at the Rockyview hospital here in Calgary. It gave me time to think about my priorities in life.
I will be doing more writing, pushing myself to find ways (grants/online work, other) to live as a writer, even though I may have to work part-time at other jobs.
There is a casualty to this – the whole “Alone Plague” journal I was writing (and then – nervous cough – abandoned) will be removed from my website and Podcast pages over the next few days. It seems…juvenile now. That’s not to say it won’t come back, but as the writer I’ve decided this needs to be removed for the time being. True, nothing’s ever gone from the Internet, and I don’t hate the work, it’s just been superseded by life.
A new “potcast” on medical vs. recreational cannabis is now available here (or on the Podcast) page. I’ve been distracted by other things in life, and like everyone else living through a pandemic, I’m NOT fine, but I am here and pushing to continue walking forward. If you want to support me, besides following me on social media, you can tip me on my Ko-fi page. Thanks, remember to dance once a day, and keep moving forward.
New story – a couple of Weird Halloween Stories. Click HERE for the podcast, and if you’re old school, text version is here. I got a new webcam and this time I recorded the podcast using the microphone from the webcam. Sound quality is okay, but I still prefer using the microphone from my headset. I found it picks up a bit more ambient noise and when editing the sound afterwards, it’s a bit noticeable for me.
And in Halloween related news…I thought about going as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski but I don’t think my hair’s quite long enough and I don’t have the funds to buy either a beige nightgown, or a Cowichan sweater. Although a few friends have helpfully suggested I go as the “I’m not saying it’s Aliens….but it’s Aliens!” guy. That’s a nope for me. So when I’m at work, in a mask, I’ll use my fallback costume of a homicidal maniac. They’re scary because they look just like everyone else.
What else? Oh, yes, a Table of Contents (TOC) for my Library of Stories. After installing the widget and poking at it for a few weeks, being generally afraid of the work I suspected was involved, when I was posting the text version I saw there was a toggle button for a table of contents. One click later and “ta-da!” You can click on the icon on the top left of the TOC to expand or collapse it. For my next trick, I may do pages, or some sort of “back button”.
Other than that, as I peer out the window, it appears the snow squall forecasted has arrived. Music that might help: 1960s Jazz Music.
I was listening to some Lalo Schifrin and Jerry Goldsmith movie soundtracks from the 60s/early 70s. There’s something about the music of that time…yes some of it verges towards elevator music, but there was a lot of good stuff like the background music for the 1967 Spider-Man animated series. Yes, really. Or to get a really good idea about the energy of the music, try Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island.
Hello. I’m aiming for multiple updates this week, but first off, The Washroom Preacher – a true life encounter with a weird situation – is available either on the Podcasts page or as a text version. As well, here’s the link to the song mentioned if you need to listen to it afterwards. This podcast is available on Podbean, iTunes or Google Play podcasts.
Hello and Happy 4-20. I’ve a new speculative fiction that I’ve also read off as a podcast. Go to Library of Stories for the text, and Podcasts for the story A Kind Nightmare. It’s also available on Podbean, Google Play, iTunes, and Spotify. Reach out to me here, on social media, or Podbean if you have any comments. Remember, most of the work I post here is original, but I still consider everything a work in progress. Also…I may have an additional posting tomorrow on a project I’ve been working on over the last few weeks.
Alrighty, I’ve posted another original flash fiction in the Library and read it so it’s also a podcast. I guess this makes it episode 4. I’m still learning….I’ve got the podcasts connected to Spotify, Google Play and I think iTunes. That last one is weird because on the Podbean end it’s showing some activity from Apple, but yet I can’t get it to load my feed when I do it through my Apple ID. Something to do with image size, but I may try again tomorrow.
Besides the flash fiction and podcast reading of it, here’s a bonus feature – last Friday (March 27) I had a bit of a panic attack, and forced myself to read a description from The Anti-Nihilist trope description page from the TVTropes website and offer my thoughts on it and Existentialism, given the current COVID-19 pandemic. I read it on Facebook Live because – as I live alone – I needed someone to make me accountable to work through this freakout. So while it’s on my Facebook, here’s the YouTube video. Watch for me saying “absurdity” and the bird agreeing with a “raawwr!”