Hold on to your britches Bob is coming back.

I know readers that I have been less than punctual. But one writes in constraints of the cage we live.

Looking forward I have been gifted a great deal of abused hardware that will suit me just fine.

So if any of my fans are still interested.

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Gord Downie: My thoughts on brain disease and memories

To be honest readers I wasn’t going to write on the passing of Canada’s beloved troubadour. To add my singular voice to the cacophony of tributes flowing out from every corner of the world seemed pointless.

But then I remembered an author who in my darkest hours had helped to pull me from the muck and mire of my own brain, and along this path the music of Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip also featured heavily in my thoughts.

I can still remember the day that almost collectively as Canadians we gasped “Oh No” a brain tumor that can’t be true. Yet as the days marched on we Canadians as a nation rallied behind this man, this band, this idea of Canada. The Hip announced what sadly turned out to be their last collective tour and I thanks to the generosity of my friend Jeff attended the final show here in Winnipeg.

I to be honest find this very hard to write, the emotions are bittersweet. Seeing the man in full flight once again was glorious. If you have never seen The Tragically Hip live the experience is very hard to discribe. It was something that I, a sesoned veteran of the live music scene, had never witnessed. To see The Tragically Hip is like watching a live poet, with Tourette syndrome and a bottle of Mezcal let loose on the public.

Gord was never just random however, staggering around unaware of his surroundings. To my mind Gord knew exactly where he was and he was hell bent on creating a unique experience for each and every show. To the best of my knowledge The Hip never played the same set list back to back. And even if they had this is no cookie cutter band.

To see a wild man like Downie in full cerebral rant with the band calmly matching his volume and tempo, Gord giving no visual cues that I could spot to let the band know what he was planning speaks to the level of professionalism and quality of the performers. They like us in the audience were along for the ride.

I must admit that I came a bit late to the Tragically Hip fold, I had known and liked their music from the 80’s playing in t he background at parties, and weeks at a friend’s cabin were I grew up in North Western Ontario. Road apples was the latest out then, I instantly took to Little Bones, “two fifty for a highball and a buck and a half for a beer. Happy hour, happy hour is here. Instant intangible classic in my mind.

Flash forward to August 1, 2016 Winnipeg. The Tragically Hip on the Man Machine Poem tour. Gord being literally and emotionally from my point of view supported by the band members and the crowd. That show was so bittersweet, any time I got to see The Hip was special, but Gord had lost a small but very noticeable step in his performance. He was still Gord alive and wild but somehow illness had robbed him of acuity and vitality. The doctors had apparently told him not to do this goodbye tour. What I and his fans saw was a very public FUCK YOU CANCER, I WILL NOT LAY DOWN AND DIE.

The performance was sublime in so many ways, the effort of the man was plainly apparent. The band as always keeping his back as with concerts of old in full flight. This time gently nudging the man in the directions he needed to go.

And then it was over, the final song I ever heard The Tragically Hip play live was a haunting version of Ahead By Century. A song which a few scant years ago I barely understood. Or to be honest knew the words to, thank you Jeff and Shannon for taking me in this amazing journey with a man who refused to be humbled by issues of reducing mental capacity.

Those of you who know me well will also know that I have been dealing with mental health issues. To this end I have sought out help and amazing resources from around the world. Authors, like minded lovers of nocturnal bandit mammals, medical and councelling help and yes the struggles made public of Gord Downie.

We all have a very singular path to walk in life, our own secret road. But as we all know paths cross and combine and sometimes drift apart. The things I am taking away from my personal walk with Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip are these. Everone has to walk their own path alone, who they invite or simply let join them on that path will always affect each and every one of them.

Once a person drifts off your path in time you get to choose the things you want to take from the experience for good or ill. If a person is poison do not drink from that path or wish it back. That is folly.

Be gentle and kind to one another, accept and give love freely. It costs nothing to give a smile or lend a hand.

Remember always that mental illness lies, depression can kill. But above all you are loved and are always are capable of love and giving it back. Isolation is a self made tomb.

Always remember as I will this refrain from the final song I heard live. Tears are coming now.

No dress rehearsal this is our life.

Bob

Back to work and loving it!

It’s funny that when we are to close to something after a while years or more it seems to chaffe at our skin. I think we are all l I me that to one degree or another until you are separated by choice or by force.

Something you loved became something you tolerated, and then something popped. That something was almost my sanity.

The funny thing about my emotional break is that I loved what I do, I generally like the people I work with and the atmosphere provided by my company. I love building airplanes.

So when things really took me down I went hard, so hard I barely came back.

I’ve had weeks where I haven’t opened the blinds or showered. People ask why I’ve lost weight, I tell them I’m on the stress diet.

It’s nice to be poking a toe back into the land of the living, don’t yell at me just yet. I’m still getting my feet wet.

OK Time for a piss break.

America, literally what the fuck. Does the world need to give you a slap?

The land of the free the home of the brave….Ok But Seig Heil Trump? That’s just a little bit to twilight zone for Lil ol me. Yet this shit is actually happening. FUCK, dudes I thought Illinois Nazis were only in the Blues Brothers. I had no idea they were hiding in closets and under stairs like people (Notice I Didn’t Say Black People) waiting for the underground railroad.

Every time I see a demonstration by ANY group against another, Black, White, Green Fuckin Purple it makes my skin crawl.

Once upon a long time ago I was the boss on a minor job. My assistant, once we were up and working on ladders turned to me and thanked me. I asked what the hell for? He replied because you treat me like a human being. Granted he had substance issues, but I told him he was doing a fine today. He was expecting a boss that hated him, part native. He said as much, I said I didn’t fucking care if he was purple as long as he did the job and did it to expectations. He was an excellent partner.

There always is a time to take a piss break. Time to take a reflection of what’s happening in your own personal world. Really what is life but some Billions of individual world’s bumping around.

We all encounter people who are different, and I’ll be the first to say I didn’t know if “those heathen bastards would fit in” Then we had a beer and a few years went by, funny that when you drink.

Did the world go all to crap were our jobs gone? Fuck no, those smart buggers started buisness that hired people. How the hell did they do that you may ask. Hard fucking work, just like the families that came before us.

Bottom line to the Alt Right, New Nazis or whatever you call it. New people are ALWAYS coming always have, always will.

Check your fucking drivers license for where you came from and it will always say Africa. Time and natural evolution. …say it with me class.

EVOLUTION, has made us who we are, there is No White Race? As much as Nascar or Fox Needs you to believe it.

There is no such thing as Race other than Human. FULL STOP.

Late night thoughts on Trump’$ America

Do you service a product? How do you produce? It’s a scary thought.

Do Americans realise that people are running away rather towards you?I don’t know, but when I see my news and see people running for freedom instead of the Exited States I don’t know how to feel.

I am proud on one hand willing to welcome the sad unfortunate, and sad that the United States is not doing very much to help so many.

Canada is a large country with much to give and we welcome with open arms.

It’s just sad to me that America can’t do the same.

Hey 45 you better scrape your bone spurred feet off before you enter the White House.

I as you all know am not a philosopher king but I sure know an idiot when I see one. The last tyrant king I outed ended up on the end of a rope a half a world away. With some great relief 45 you’ve done all of this to your self. It’s one thing to poke and prod the members of what you think are your vassals in the houses of congress.

But now you are picking fights you can’t hope to win. Lemme tell it to you plain you mook, you done fucked up. Wiping your ass with the Constitution you swore to protect shielding your business interests let’s just say East of Jersey. The world is laughing at you, from every corner. It’s like watching Larry, Curly and Moe all at once but it’s all you. Bing, bing, bong boom. Wasn’t that how you put it?

From all around the world people look to the United States and what do you do when people are in need. Slam the door, fuck em. Fuck Europe, fuck Mexico, let’s try to bend over Canada and rape that pussy. NOT GONNA HAPPEN MY FRIEND.

It’s one thing to piss off the world, that happens on a semi regular basis. But to take a steaming dump on your own service men and women while tweeting, presumably on the can. Un fucking belevible.

You go around your nation and host rallies to stroke your ego with people who you know full well that are going to face hardship with medical bills that are still never going to see the light of day.

The whole world can see you now as the sad man you are, a boychild who doesn’t stand up to his responsibility, runs from debts, cheats and lies. Well the world can see behind the curtain now big boy, and you are burning allies left right and center. First your intelligence agencies, then the people who had your back in your staff. Most of Europe, oops.  The kids and parents in the Scout Corps, for shame.  And then you take a dump on the men and women who fight not only for the country but for the personal and sexual freedoms you take for granted.

What else can I say.

Come Winnipeg and get your mix, mingle and high end cocktails on.

As often happens being a writer who is all about what’s hot and fresh in this city I received an invitation that I simply could not refuse.  This coming Monday evening, the 26th of June at 6 pm the Made with Love regional finals for bartending and mixology are taking place at the Hotel Fort Garry.

You may indeed ask, Bob what is a mixologist and why should I care?  Simply put dear reader a mixologist is a bartender who has chosen to investigate the serious flavours and combinations that can be developed when mixing different spirits, juices and other tasty beverages.  Much like wines are chosen for taste, body and aroma, cocktails can also be customized to suit a specific course of food or the mood of the patron enjoying a cold refreshing drink.

This Monday you the general public are invited to sample and also vote for your favorite cocktail as well as your favorite local bartender/mixologist.  As I mentioned the event takes place this coming Monday evening 6 -11 PM at Winnipeg’s premier destination, The Hotel Fort Garry. Advance tickets are $65, available at the hotel and online. Tickets at the door are $75.  

So come out for a night of sophisticated conversation and elegant cocktails paired with food and frivolity. Enjoy the high end skills that grace some of Winnipeg’s finest dining establishments.  I’ll be there covering the event so make sure you stop and say Hi. 

http://www.enjoymadewithlove.com/