Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Anyhow we are all hanging in there and can only pray for the best..We know he's a tough nut or else he wouldn't be a Storm
Sunday, February 25, 2007
And of course I went to Europe with Gord The Dentist and a friend of his in 1968 or 1969. In Amsterdam we saw Jimi Hendrix and we didn't realize what a superstar we were seeing at the time. And drove through Switzerland (which I compare to Creston) and down the Rhone River. Munich was good, the beer halls. So in Switzerland, on the spur of the moment, we decide to fly to Majorca, Spain. We are on a tight budget so we found the cheapest hotel room with a view of the Mediterrean. So me an Gord sat on the 'plaza del sol' every afternoon and and drank cheap red wine and watched the creme de la creme of European society walk by: "Gord?" "yes?" "I'm in love" "with whom?" "I can't actually choose one person but that chick batted an eyelash at me" "she's with Ari, his yaught is out on the harbour" "'I'm in love" "she is taken"
"I wan't to paint" "you can't paint, do you know anything about shades of colours?" "whom?" If you are going to be a famous painter you have be able to paint nudes with there arms extended" "like michangelo" "him to, but don't forget about Ralph" Ralph whom?" "Ralph the sistene chapal painter whom has to pee a lot" "one can't pee a lot when one is painting a mural" "Ralph did" "uncle don?" "yes my son" "you've got the weirdest mind in the history of mankind and in fact there is no one stranger than you in the universe" "that bad aye, I love family" "in fact your bod should be put away...you love family?" "I loved family before it was chic" "I must admit you have never waivered in your love for us in the last thousand years, many persons would have given up" But when I see friends I see friends. It is amazing that I stuck with you guys.
And Neil and Robin. They annoyed me to, although they are cute. It would have been so much easier on me if Marlene and Anna didn't have cute children: "marlene?" "what?" After Laurie, presumably you and Leo won't have any more cute children. I think Donna is about to be born" "whom?" "the cutest child in the history of mankind" "I thought Laurie was." Robin is about to emerge before Donna" "whom?"
So I was thinking, it's not possible to have anyone cuter than Kev, Donna and Ger (whom even then was chubby). "Marlene you can't possibly have another child" "Gail is the last one" "I presume she will be cute, I get tired of cuteness" "Gail will be a little cuter than everything you have ever seen and you will succumb to her cuteness. "I'm above that...she's cute? "yes and so is Neil. I must admit it was fun to watch pregnant people. Anna, if you have another one it will be Kevin. Can we think about this?
Robin was good. He had the biggest forehead of all time"robin, you have a big forehead" "This was before Kevin and Gail existed And Laurie was running rampant amongst the mushrooms. "you can't eat those things, they are deadly, chomp, chomp, chomp" I must admit it was fun to to watch you guys. Cute and special. I'd love to talk to Donna someday. If anyone wants to make to make feel good it would be that. Yes, I think she is more special than anyone else in the history of mankind. I don't know if Donna would ever want to talk to me, but I'd be honoured if she did.
Of course Ger is alledgedly the one with the bad back. Whenever I see him I usually ask him how his back is. Has anyone noticed that he is spryer than a spring chicken when he walks down the fairway after hitting the golf ball three hundred yards? He actually isn't pompous about it even though thoughts of breaking his knee caps with a sledgehammer cross my mind. "uncle don?" "what?" "how far is it to the green?" "two hundred and forty-one yards, use a two wood" "I don't have a two wood so I will use this trusty seven iron" "seven iron, you will be way short of the green" Boink, soar, plop, and roll six inches from the cup: "ger?" "yes uncle don?" "it's a good thing the death penalty has been abolished in Canada, if we were in Texas I'd have you hung from a rafter and watch you writhe, there is a law in physics that says it is not possible to hit a seven iron that far, Newton was wrong I guess, and so much for Einstein's theory although your time/space continuum is definitely warped"
Has anyone noticed but me that Ger is sneaky on the green. He pretends to check out the contour of the green: "ger?" "yes uncle don" "you've got six inches, tap the &*^(% ball in the hole" "I have to take note of the swale" "how can you have a swale when you are within six inches of the hole, do you enjoy excruciating pain?"
And so of course I'm fuming when we are walking to the next hole. A water hole. It ain't the Pacific Ocean but it looks like it to me. "Time for the long clubs Ger, we have to drive over that vast expanse of water" "time for my seven iron" "your whom?" "okay maybe my five iron" "your whom?" Not only does Ger hit the ball over the water, he lands in the fairway. "ger?" "yes uncle don" "I have a pounding headache and my knees feel weak and I feel nauseous" Plop, plop, plop, plop. Four of my balls land in the water. "ger?" "yes uncle don" "I'm out of golfballs" "would you like to borrow one of mine?" "I'd like to string you up and have army ants eat your eyeballs out but yes please"
But I managed to beat him by one stroke. And this was only at Canyon Meadows but it was a delight for me. I also partnered with Ger at Kokanee Springs once. We are competitive and don't like to lose. Why would one play any game if one doesn't want to win badly?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Off the Tee:
Kevin, I'm sorry your name comes up first in my memory. If one does golf with Kevin, wear body armour. And of course as we all know the safest place to stand when one is golfing with Kevin is in front of him. I actually stood behind him once thinking: this spot should be okay. So he hit the ball and it went plink, plinck, plink, plink, plink and then finally it hit me on back of head. It didn't hurt because the ball was travelling quite slow by then but it was quite a shock.
First Hint: If one must golf with Kevin, have 19 beer in the clubhouse beforehand.
In the Fairway:
If Kevin hits a good shot on the fairway (which almost never happens) say "wow". For at least fifteen seconds he'll feel good. If he doesn't (the norm) be prepared for a three wood coming your way at speed. And yes he is trying to kill you as well as trying to break his three wood. And above all don't try to talk him into using a five iron, he thinks he's Tiger Woods: "Kev" "what!!!!!" "it's only a hundred yards to the green" "really, I don't have my glasses with me" "use a quiet wedge, the wind is with you" "I'm using a five iron and hitting it hard" "zooooom" "Kevin?" "yes" "your Titleist DM2 has landed in the club pro's cheese omelet up on the patio and he hasn't noticed that he is going to chip his tooth on a very hard boiled egg" "uncle don don't look, pretend we are golfing" "I thought we were golfing, use your ^$%$^% quiet wedge this time"
Second Hint: If one must golf with Kevin, don't let him choose his own clubs.
In the Bunker:
This could be the most annoying part of Kevin's golf game. Kevin rakes the sand trap before he steps in it" "Kevin?" "what" "now that you've made the sand trap pretty I hope you will hit a good shot" "of course.....whiff" "you didn't hit anything including a ball or sand" "do you want this sand wedge wrapped around your neck or just the pointy end of it sticking out of your gall bladder?" "try again but this time aim for the ball" "whoossh" "I see something white, it's beautiful, it's.... going into the lake.
Third Hint: If one must golf with Kevin, go to a course without sand.....or fairways....or water...or greens for that matter.
In the Lake:
99.99% of the population don't know the extent to which Storms won't take a two shot penalty for an unplayable lie : "Kev?" "mmft" "is your scuba gear airtight?" "mmft" "rembember it's a Titliest Dm2" "mmft" "how is the breathing apparatus?" "mmft" "what iron do you want?" "mmft" "a nine iron, yes of course, good choice, there is a camera crew here and they want to catch you in slow-mo although I imagine slo-mo is all you can do. Get a fish while you are down there, I'll want some sushi later.
Fourth hint: If one must golf with Kevin, take breathing apparatus.
On the Green:
"Kevin?" "what" "that is my Titliest Dm5 you are about to hit" "where is my Dm2?" "you drilled it from the water , it went in the hole, that is the most amazing golf shot I've ever seen, you will be on ESPN" "what did I get in this hole?" "nineteen, but still that is quite amazing, ESPN has decided to put you on both their Fishing for Sushi and Golfing Without Pain programs, you'll be famous"
Fifth and last hint: If one must golf with Kevin, take a jug of whisky, pain killers, a fish net, a lot of golf balls and prepare to have fun. I enjoy it.
I once golfed with Jim in Saskatoon and he got a hole-in-one. The golf ball never left the ground, it went merrily on it's way, me and Ken Fujikawa watched it slowly wend it's way down the fairway, up the green and into the cup. Hello. And Ger is actually a pretty good golfer. He doesn't get many points for style but the ball does seem to respond. My next golf installment will be about Ger. There is intrigue and pain involved which is not surprising.
One thing sticks in my mind and I wasn't there. Roy and Kevin being timekeepers at a hockey game. Kevin was quite young so the onus was on Roy to keep time. I could tell you from six hundred and fifty-three thousand miles away that that isn't going to work out too well, there will be problems. And there was. Everytime I hear the story from Kevin, I roll around on the floor laughing because it is a classic event in the Storm history. I love stories where one tries so hard but doesn't quite succeed. That is me so much. I could tell a thousand stories about me and my exploits and it is refreshing to hear about others.
One thing I noticed about myself is that it took me a little while to come around after I'd been away for so long as regards blending in to the Storm/Creston way of thinking. I've got it now. Okay it only took me a couple of seconds, for others it would have taken years. Being around Ger and Kev for me is quite special because they are crazy. It drives me crazy at work. There are about four or five stand-up comedians at work whom haven't quite made it yet. I've gone to see them all at comedy clubs because they are friends. The one that could be a super-star does his own material and it's pathetic, but I'm never going to tell him that.
Watching John Miller was a treat for me, not necessarily what he said the way he said it: his eyes would light up and whatever he said you knew was going to be really funny. Anna had a sharp mind in her prime, I've never enjoyed talking to someone so much as her. Anna got me more than anyone else who has ever lived. By quite a bit actually. Anna almost knew what I was going to say on the phone. Several times I got off the phone with Anna and said: "whew, I just met my match" as sweat was running down my brow.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Calgary looks nice with mostly clear skies and highs of around zero for the weekend. In Cranbrook it will be mild with a high of +5 for Sunday but with rain or snow showers. And Creston will also be mild with highs of around +5 and rain showers. The snow must be disappearing fast in Creston.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
An e-mail received from Jimmy:
"Don't worry I know you're a weirdo, you will get here, and we may find a way to spread your booze-soaked ashes into the river,we will wait until last day as your ashes will go into the States, and no one will suspect such a deeveeoouuusss crime, any last will and testiments should be done now, but fear not there will be no pain, it will appear as a boating accident, being that is was an accident you got into the canoe with Kevin, yes hopefully everyone gets to say their goodbyes, love Jim, the accidental murderous bastard."
Booze-soaked ashes? I resent that. Slightly pickled perhaps.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
But whippee-effing-do, Calgary is going to be +10 and sunny on Sunday. Hello. And Cranbrook is going to be +8 and sunny on Saturday and today in Creston it's going to be +7 and sunny. What the hell? Something's wrong here. And even in Winnipeg it's going to be +4 on Sunday. When it's warmer in Winnipeg than where I live, I know I'm doomed. Where's my noose? (I'm going to have it engraved with my initials on it) Where's a rafter?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
This is a picture of Kara in South Dakota and Keegan in Yellowstone Park when the family was on a camping trip last summer. Cool.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
"I think I told Jimmy that I'm never going canoeing in my lifetime or anyone else's" "he understands that you tend to go insane at this time of year" "I told him that his body is going to be strung from the mountaintops" "he understands" "and I think I mentioned he's not the greatest cook in the world" "you went overboard uncle don" "do you think he'll forgive me?" "this could take a while". "I didn't mean it"
"you know uncle don, several (if not all) of your nieces and nephews think you are crazy" "yay, they don't know the half of it, I'm a lot more crazy than they realize" "you keep it well hidden" "I must" "I think they detect something" "they are on to me?" "perhaps" "I like to be mysterious" "mysterious?" "a touch above it all" "are you crazy?" "someone has to be" "in Creston, that's not going to work baby" "it will be a challenge" "hello, uncle don meet ger" "I said it would be a challenge". "uncle don meet kevin" "a challenge is good" "uncle don meet jim" "it's not insurmountable" "uncle don meet justin" "okay so I'll be swept up in the maelstrom". "I'll retain my dignity somehow" "Tyler will pass you a toke and you will eventually accept it and make a fool of yourself for quite some time" "will my dignity be intact?" "no, not even close." "hmm, I have to think about this, I have the Storm clan dignity to uphold, so I must be careful" "within a month when you move out there I guarantee you, you will be strumming your guitar and singing to a tree" "where will my dignity be?" "lost" "kaput" "gonzo" "invisible" "no, I'm above that, ger will look after me" "whom?" "ger" "perhaps" "jim?" "perhaps" "kev" "perhaps" "I will need someone to look after me a little, just a wee touch" "and where are you going?" "Creston" "good luck".
Of course I'm kidding about all the above. I've spent thirty years in downtown Toronto, I should be okay. That is a long time, I've got a lot of memories.
Friday, February 09, 2007
I got these pics off the crestonvalley.com website. These are, of course, pictures of Canyon Street, circa 1950. One can see Mawson's sign, amazing really. I would have been five at the time, in Grade One I presume. That is a Studebaker, a very strange looking car indeed, even then. I notice the telephone poles going up main street, I don't remember them at all. Approximately, Roy would have fifteen or sixteen, Marlene would have been ten and Bob would have one.
My focus at the time was trying to survive my first year in school while getting used to a new addition to the family. A cute one, but nevertheless, a new one. Everyone else's focus was on Bob. I was washed up when I was five. I could have ran away from home and no one would have noticed. I think I had my bags packed once or twice or three times but having only just learned about Dick and Jane and Spot, my vision of the outside world was rather limited so I didn't know where I should run off to.
Based on my observations at the time, I quickly learned how to fake illness: "I'm not well" "what Donny?" "I feel convulsions coming on, in fact I may not survive for more than another twenty-four hours". "don't worry Donny, as soon as me and Anna change Bobby's diapers we'll come to your aid". So that didn't work. Thank goodness I had a back-up plan: "I'm going to tell Mom on you, it can't be good, whatever it is, she'll make you take me to a movie uptown" And she did.
There was a period of time there where, before television, it was a 'golden age' of playing games inside and outside. Marlene and Roy's friends from the neighbourhood were there and Anna and Leo I'm sure. No boredom it seemed to me. But of course Roy would know more than I. I have only these 'snatches' of memories from back then and I hold them dear and I wasn't very old at the time.
I would think that someone from the Storm/Douville clan should get every ounce of information from Roy and Leo that they can about the past, somehow. That is what we are, that is why we are the way we are. We lost Marlene too soon, so we lost so much. So much. And Anna, the memories she had that are lost forever. I'm just so proud of the family, but if we don't honour our past, maybe we aren't worthy after all.
Of course, no one will ever know my past. If you asked, I wouldn't tell: 'uncle don, we have a school project and we want to know about your past life" "a whom?" "a school project" "what do you want to know?" "how many times were you mugged in Vancouver in the early '80's?" "twice" "did you actually see Jimi Hendrix in Amsterdam?" "yes" "what was the street like in Toronto when you arrived from the west in the early 1980's?" "not bad" "did you go through one harrowing experience after another?" "perhaps" "would you go through it again?" "What?!!??", probably.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
And Mike Vernon's jersey was retired last night. I remember him very well, he was the goalie when Calgary won the Stanley Cup in 1989 and Calgary was the first and only visiting team to hoist the Stanley Cup in Montreal. Good memories.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
You had to get on the blog. If I would have known the background on this, the pic of you and fish would not have been on the blog. Jim was fishing two days and no pics of him. You go out for an hour and you're on the blog. With dolly's. "what size is your ankle?" "why?" "because I want to drag you beneath a boat across Kootenay Lake and back" "I'm not spoiled" "true, true, I know, what size is your forehead, a dart is going to be entering it very shortly".
It will be a coincidence when Kevin dies the moment I arrive in Creston. I wouldn't attach any blame to me. Although I'll volunteer to make his lunch. I phoned Comforts yeserday. I had to hear Delorus. I'm repeating myself I know but bear with me. "this is uncle don calling from toronto, is Ger and/or Kevin there?" in my most officious tone. I didn't want to talk to them and I didn't but I did hear a squeal and a dropping of the phone. Please don't tell her I did this on purpose, but I had to.
If one can't have a little fun why bother. We only have so much time on this planet. I hope I can bring some levity to Creston. I'm very serious but I have my moments. I've never yet figured out why people like me. Even at work, as I mentioned before, someone said "gawd its nice to have Don back". I don't get it and I mean that truly, I don't. I'm not complaining. I have never changed, I'm just me. If people like me more now, it's because they've changed.
I'm starting to notice my age though. At Market Probe there is so many young people. They are all nice, but some of the things they come out with make me cringe because they haven't lived life yet. I don't know if it's like this in Calgary, Cranbrook and Creston but so many people in Toronto seem to be so driven by the current fads, the current movies, the current teck stuff. Human nature, although I do slightly keep track of current authors. Actually I kind of do keep current otherwise I wouldn't have anything to talk about at work. I've never been able to shake the being crabby in the morning thing. And I'm not even that crabby, I just don't want to talk to anyone in the morn. I can be cynical but normally the glass is half full for me.
By the way, the Leafs beat the Senators in a shoot-out last night. Ask me if I'm happy. And let me see here, oops the Flames beat the Nucks, I'm glad I didn't phone Kevin. Take care everyone, thank you all for being so good to me. I've got my ass in gear I think, tomorrow I go to the doctor and we will see what happens there: "you've got six months to live" "great, I thought it was a couple of weeks, whew". I have to come home from work to get my cane before I go to the doctor. I don't have to pretend I'm on death's doorstep, I'm often nauseous, six or seven times a day I get dizzy, and the headaches, but it doesn't hurt to look like I'm about to pass away at any moment. Using a cane is actually quite funny, both of my legs are bad, which one should I choose to limp on. Two crutches would be more appropriate, maybe I won't bother taking a cane. He'll probably notice I can't walk. I do some funny things. So I buy these shoes at Goodwill and little do I suspect they are steel toed. Until I get to the airport and set off every alarm in Terminal One. And by the time I got to Calgary, I was dragging my ass because I couldn't lift my feet anymore. Thank good gawd Bob had some extra shoes, which are now my favourite ones. How I've survived this long I'll never know. And I bike down Bloor Street everyday to work (except in winter), the most dangerous place to bike in Canada. But I was heartened to hear about the exploits of other Storm Clan members when I was out there for a week. At least I'm not completely alone in my clutziness and dizziness and stupidity and brainlessness (okay I'm done).
Take care everyone. Love you all. Without you all I couldn't nor would I want to survive.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Probably no one knows how good this picture makes me feel. And it's not the fish. I got a smile a mile wide at the moment. Of course I'm supposed to impressed with the fish, I'm not. I'm impressed with the persons holding them. Although probably the fish have more brains. I would presume so. The fishes are stupid to be caught one must admit, but the fishers are even more stupid trying to impress me. Sorry, it doesn't work. I know I should be impressed but I'm not, show me a bike or something that doesn't need gasoline to be powered by, then I will be impressed.
You see baby's, get mad at me all you want. I don't care, but I'm coming out there to write and bike. Don't I sound huffy. I will do anything, but really if I don't do those two things then I don't exist. I don't do otherwise. Perhaps I need Creston to do it. I don't know. I just don't know. But I just don't get it now, just to sip a coffee and watch Kev go to work will inspire me as I'm looking at the flowers Anita will plant. In others words I have to be spoiled completely, which, when you think about it, should be the way it happens.
Friday, February 02, 2007
So now he's adapted Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Snow Queen' to a more modern approach (no I've never read any Hans Christian Anderson myself, nor do I intend to). He handed me his first daft today and said 'edit please'. Hello. Moi, what do I know? I can't identify with children, I'm sixty-one. So I got on the subway, opened the manuscript and was enthralled and started making edits immediately. I said to myself: 'this will be fun, I can change a few lines here and there to capture the children's imagination even more'.
Nothing to do with my nine nieces and nephews of course, when they were little. Some of them were inquisitive, some were awe-inspiring, some hurt my fragile bod a little, but gawd they were all cute. And if I may digress I a bit, they wouldn't forget what Marlene and Leo and Roy and Anna went through to provide the best possible home-life for their kids in spite of a lot of obstacles. In my humble opinion, Roy and Leo are heroes to me for many reasons. One of the main ones is that they are still alive.