Archive for the Humour Category

O Captain My Captain

Posted in Activist, Beauty, Faith, Gratitude, History, Humour, LGBT Community, Love, Nostalgia, Passion, Poetry, Spirituality, Wisdom, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2014 by TaijituMartini

robinwithtroops

“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You musn’t lose it.”
-Robin Williams

So true My Captain. Can I call you that? I hope you don’t mind. I never knew you, but I always felt like I did.
I felt connected to you. Perhaps it was your small stature. I happen to be wee myself. Maybe it was your contagious laughter, your great comedic timing, your humble views on life and love. Whatever it was that connected us in this vast Universe-you enriched my life. Thank-you for that.
Your heart was big My Captain. I felt that-and I’m not the only one. It seems whoever knew you loved you.
A special soul you were.
As John Keating in Dead Poets Society you opened my eyes to the possibility of looking at life from a different perspective. Stand on your desk and shout out your mantra to the world. Booya Keating. That’s the way to do it. Life’s too short for bullshit.
You encouraged me to “carpe diem”, a motto I have leaned on throughout my adult life.
Your performance as Parry in The Fisher King swept me away to another world and turned me into a two hour human waterfall. What a movie.
Armand in The Birdcage- another classic. Showcasing LGBTQ diversity before it was cool to do it, just your style, brave and true.
One Hour Photo. You were lonely. Did you feel a similar pain? I’m sorry if you did. No one should ever feel truly alone.
Many of the characters you played over the years seemed to echo your soul. I grew up watching you, and went to see your stand-up show in person. What a night that was. Just try and tell those jokes again the next day. As if. Pure comedic genius. One of a kind. No one did it like you did. No one ever will.
Intelligent, compassionate, sharp, strong, generous, and kind. I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’m just one of millions. What a legacy.
I will miss your gift of seamless improv, your humble generosity, your ridiculous repertoire of crazy voices, your versatile talent as a top notch performer, your honest and giving nature, and most of all your unique capability to move this world with your exhuberant madness.
My Captain, I wish you the eternal peace you couldn’t find in life.
Wherever you may be, may your magical spark forever ring free.

Advertisements

Finding Truth

Posted in Beauty, Dreaming, Gratitude, Hope, Humour, Love, Nostalgia, Passion, Poetry, Spirituality, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2013 by TaijituMartini

I was definitely a brat in elementary school. I was such an instigator.

Laughter was my cure for the private school blues.

I was the goofball distracting anyone who would pay attention to my random Jim Carrey-inspired comedy routines. Of course I had no idea who Jim Carrey was at that point in my life, but in similar fashion I mimicked facial expressions and zoned in on those little things society found important and poked huge holes in them. I’m no Jim Carrey but I sure do like his style. Always have. He’s genuine, humble, and his antics make me laugh, all admirable qualities. Let’s do dins Jim. I could use a good laugh these days. His sister actually lived a few blocks from where I do now a couple of years ago, but rumour had it she moved and so I fear my chances of running into Ace at Target are slim, but never say never…

Like Jim, I realized at a very early age that I could help other people feel good. I loved to make people laugh.  I’ve toned it down over the years, because being the centre of attention was never my focus, it was really the laughter that I craved.  I had this male alter-ego, a Tasmanian devil character, a whirling dirvish with a raspy voice, and I’d line up my friends in a row and put on a show for them. Kids can be so weird. So many people seem to lose that freedom as their life progresses. Never let your imagination wander too far away. It’s a precious commodity. Keep it safe.

I was a hyper kid, although you’d never guess that now.

I’ve mellowed with age.

I was contradicting the norm, observing, and searching for the truth even at a very young age.  Retrospectively, a lot makes sense now. I guess that’s what life does. At its core it’s a grand teacher, and if we are swift enough, we can often catch a little whiff of truth.

One teacher in particular had an extreme distaste for my antics.  Truth was, her grade 6 English classes were painfully boring.  She was Scottish and no-nonsense. Stiff pleated eighties clothing and an equally stiff upper lip to match.  She didn’t appreciate my tomfoolery. We butted heads on a daily basis, usually ending up with me banished to the hallway for half the class. What kind of punishment was that supposed to be exactly, wandering around aimlessly in a hallway?! I guess one did feel like a major tool standing there trying desperately to look busy while doing absolutely nothing, as numerous teachers passed by with that, “what have you done now?” look on their face.  Point made: it was humiliating. Whatever the strategy behind the ever-so-popular hall punishment movement of the time, it clearly never had much effect, I was up to my old tricks again within minutes of doing my hard time in the hall. I hated established conformity. I didn’t want to fit in there. I was a free spirit.

Solution: rebel against the authority. So I did, and so I always will.

quiet

I don’t like being silenced by authority

Truth is I didn’t find my way in the education system until much later on in life, first in College and then at University. College as an adult was actually an enjoyable experience, making some fun buddies along the way. I had a great group of friends who liked to laugh right along with me. It was such a nice relief compared to my prior educational experiences. University was more solitary but an equally comfortable space where I soaked in knowledge, worked hard to make the Dean’s List, and I was actually sad when the experience came to an end.  In complete opposition to my prior childhood experiences in private school, I came  to understand that I did in fact appreciate education.  Never thought I’d hear myself saying that. Turns out I’m a knowledge seeker, and at my happiest when I’m absorbing wisdom and expanding my horizon. The best part about wisdom is that it can come from the strangest of places.

Funny how you can come to certain conclusions as your life unfolds. I always thought I hated that teacher for stifling my imagination. She had a big grudge where I was concerned, and once that happened I was doomed. The hallway and I were good buddies. We knew each other intimately. After so many hall visits the principal and I also became regular pals. Well, a pal who gave me crap for expressing my individual creativity and sent me back to my class. Not much of a friend there. Can’t say I’m broken inside over that loss.

All these years later I recently stumbled on a familiar poem. For the second time in my life. Everything is connected. Quantum connectivity.

The latin translation of the poem is “ Desired Things”, written in 1927 by American writer Max Ehrmann.  That Scottish teacher with a grudge had forced us to memorize it in grade 6. It was difficult and long. Not something that screamed fun. We were too young to understand its importance then. I get it now.

Reading it today I suddenly saw that Scottish curmudgeon in a completely different light. She didn’t really have a grudge. She was doing the best she could at that time in her life, and just wanted me to listen, which didn’t include distracting everyone else from what they should be doing at the time. She was trying to impart some wisdom by getting us to memorize that long and difficult prose. I didn’t see it then but I do now. She was just a soul navigating her path, trying to pass along a valuable message. At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat. Trying to make a difference, trying be heard, and trying to do the best we can to keep our heads above water.

Never stop swimming. Never give up.

Desiderata

My Winged Angel

Posted in Agapornis Roseicollis, Animals, Clairvoyance, Dreaming, Gratitude, Hope, Humour, Love, Nostalgia, Protector, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2013 by TaijituMartini

Image

I once had a wonderful winged best friend. Her name was Zora. She would sit on my shoulder and fluff herself up and nestle in behind my ear and underneath my hair for warmth.  She would stay there for hours. She would eat breakfast with me and loved green apples and alfafa sprouts, but chicken was her absolute favourite food. Go figure. Good thing I never explained it to her or she would have been utterly horrified.  She would play cheeky little games with me. I’d make a little tunnel under the covers of my duvet and she would run in at a fast clip and hide in the far end the tunnel. I’d put my face up to the opening and make noises and call her name and she would come running out as fast as her little feet would go, nudge my nose with her little yellow beak, and perfectly imitate the sounds I was making right back.

She was a talented flyer, but when she’d decide to beat it across an entire room on those little twiggy feeties it would make my heart sing. It was the cutest thing. She was such a sweet little parrotlet. She was a hand-raised peach-faced lovebird, technically an agapornis roseicollis, but I called her all sorts of crazy names. My little agapornis had a million names, and a million adorable personality traits to match all the zany nicknames I christened her with.

She had a good life, better than good. I gave her everything. She was spoiled rotten and was hardly ever in her cage. I wanted to be with her every second I could. She was a wonderful friend. She was my very best winged friend. I was very lucky to have her and the love I received from her in return could never be duplicated twice in a lifetime.

She loved to travel, but wasn’t too impressed when she would spot cows in the pastures while we were in the car. She liked seeing horses but I don’t think she liked cows, she was afraid of them and would vocally let me know when we passed them grazing in a field. She loved to see new places, and in the summer she would chill with me outside on the deck and have conversations with all the other winged creatures that flew the skies. I always wondered what they were talking about.

She loved to sit on the shower curtain rod while I was showering and patiently keep me company until I was finished. Sometimes she would hang with me in the bathtub. She would run up and down my legs and try to bathe herself in the deep water, but I would protect her from falling in head first and she would settle for flitting around in the shallow water that would accumulate on my stomach. I would often give her a bath under a warm tap. She loved water. Afterwards, she would sit on the branch above her cage and groom herself happily until every feather was taken care of and she had deemed herself perfectly coiffed.

She would fly freely from room to room and squeak in delight when I would play hide and seek with her. Sometimes she would fly from the upstairs to the downstairs and I would hear a little chirp from somewhere far away to let me know where she was hiding. She liked to sit on windowsills, looking intently outside to check out the worlds happenings. At night she would fluff herself up while I was watching tv and make little grinding noises with her beak when she was completely content. She was toilet trained. Well, not really a toilet, but her cage. I would move her from my shoulder to my index finger, tell her to go do her business and she would fly over to the top of her cage and use the loo. Then she would fly back to my shoulder. Such an intelligent little soul.

She had a little triangular fluffy yellow bed that I hung in her cage nightly, and every night she would crawl in and put herself to bed, fluff herself up and get comfy, and then I would say, “Goodnight Z ” she would chirp a little goodnight right back from inside her cozy little yellow bed.

We were meant to be together her and I. It was two souls connecting on a spiritual level that could never be captured in words. It was a love unlike any other. It was a perfect love as deep as the oceans and as wide as the Universe. It still is. Infinite as the moon and the stars.

She passed away suddenly of a heart attack after sixteen wonderful years together. A quick passing without suffering.  Sixteen years of pure love and laughter. When I found her that night, almost two years ago to the day, I could feel her little soul sitting atop her favourite branch, looking down at me grieving, holding her tiny little body in my shaking hands. My girlfriend felt her there as well. We both knew she was still there, waiting to make sure we were ok before she moved on.

Zora wasn’t sure why we were suddenly separated. She would soon come to understand.  I knew she would be happy. She had other things to do. She had other adventures to embark on.  A soul that special would have important jobs to do on the other side. Now she was my Spirit Guardian and I felt blessed to know that she would be watching over me.

I asked her to come and visit me in my dreams the night she passed to let me know that she was alright, and she did, that very night. A beautiful vivid dream overflowing with the love that we shared for each other. She comes every so often to see me in the night, mostly when I ask her to, bringing my soul a little slice of happiness again, if ever so briefly, and I’m grateful for her visits. I’m grateful for the sixteen years we spent together, and the pure love she brought into my life. I miss her so, and wait patiently for that glorious day when we can finally be together again.

I love you Z.  Now, then, and forever.

zee

Two weeks before she died I felt her death coming. My intuition told me I wouldn’t have her with me for long, so I took this picture one day after she’d had a bath, sitting on her favourite branch.  She’s smiling.

The Man In Black

Posted in History, Humour, Spirituality with tags , , , , on September 22, 2013 by TaijituMartini

Ph: Don Hunstein February 1959

I’ve lived 38 years. That’ll produce some mind-blowing moments.

This is the story of one of those moments, and I only found out just how mind-blowing when I discovered who the Man in Black really was.  I had a moment in time with the Man in Black himself,  Johnny Cash.

When I was five years old I went on vacation to Jamaica with my parents. Christmas 1980, and a beautiful rental house hanging over the ocean just outside of Montego Bay. The pictures are breathtaking. We were bumping around cruising in a open jeep. This part of the memory is crisp and clear, seared in my brain like a grilled cheese in a hot panini press. The jeep was mighty uncomfortable, the sun was beaming down, the road was dusty and hot, and we were whipping along at a fast clip through a lush plantation. My tanned dad was driving, having a blast and loving every minute, free as a bird in the tropical sun.

A little boy with a huge grin suddenly appeared, running beside the jeep, trying to catch us. He couldn’t have been much older than I was. My dad slowly pulled over to the side. The little boy ran up to his side of the jeep, bubbly and energized, “ Hi-Hi-Do you want to see Johnny Cash?” He could hardly breathe from all the running, and his excitement oozed from every one of his little pores. “Follow me follow me!! “ he yelled and ran up ahead of us, wildly flailing his arms to direct us. I remember it vividly. My mother wasn’t digging the situation at all, and was definitely paranoid.  “Sure, we’ll follow him and then we’ll get swarmed by a gang around the corner and killed… “

I guess my dad must have been feeling brave that day and listened to his intuition. He didn’t listen to my mother this time, put the car in drive and off we went. We followed the little boy up a few winding dirt roads and around some corners, and came to a sort of clearing in the plantation. It wasn’t the same as the dense plants we’d been travelling through, here there was a breathtaking view  and enough room to walk among the rows of plants. It was as if our experience in that very moment suddenly allowed us some breathing room.

The little boy said, “Wait here”, and ran up ahead along one of the paths and disappeared. You could see the worry on my mothers face. She thought we were all going to get attacked and killed in the bush. Could very well have been the case-but thankfully not that day.

What happened next instead would be much less traumatic than a triple homicide, and makes for a much better story.

Within minutes we saw a man slowly us approaching through the bush. He had a black cowboy hat on, and when he approached he whipped it off with a big smile, and bowed his sweaty head a little with a gesture of respect.

“How y’all doing folks, I’m Johnny Cash” he said, and on went the hat again.

A big brimmed, country-loving, tough guy number hat.  The rest of my memory is fuzzy. That’s all my brain retained. I know the Man In Black stood there for awhile, happily chatting with my parents, and I remember a few bursts of his laughter, but considering I was five at the time-finding trouble in a plantation bush was much more exciting that a friendly stranger in a black hat called Johnny.

johnny cash with hat

The exact hat he was wearing that day

Turns out Johnny’s home, Cinammon Hill, was a plantation house built by Samuel Barrett, who ran a large sugar plantation there in the mid 1700’s. According to what I’ve heard, the place has quite the history of slavery and torture. Not good. Johnny on the other hand was always very generous with anyone who worked with him there and enjoyed giving when it came to helping many of his Jamaican neighbours. I liked his energy that day, I remember that. He had a glow. When I became an adult and found out more about him, I liked what I read. I especially appreciated the fact that he was always an advocate for Native Americans, which was expressed in his songs and on his album ” Bitter Tears, Ballads of the American Indian.” He cared about his fellow man. Bravo Johnny.

One Christmas Eve he was celebrating Christmas at Cinammon Hill, when armed robbers burst through the door and robbed him of everything, all the presents under the tree, and even the turkey cooking in the oven.  He was extremely upset over the attack, understandably, and packed up and left. It’s said that he didn’t return for many, many years after that.

I hear he finally went back and made his peace with Jamaica and Cinammon Hill just before his death in 2003. He died September 12, 2003, just three short months after June. True love never dies.

It just gets postponed for a while.

jcashblkhat

 

A Cabinet of Curiosities

Posted in History, Humour, Nostalgia, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by TaijituMartini

Image

The world is full of astounding things. Look around. My latest discovery of the Leopard Moth reminded me of something that would have definitely secured a spot in a Cabinet of Curiosity.

Generally known as the precursors to museums, Wunderkammer (wonder rooms) or Cabinets of Curiosities as they were later called, would be best described as a collection of extraordinary finds, often a symbolic collection of all things unexplained. The 16th Century Renaissance in Europe was ultimately a time of human exploration and scientific discovery. Collectors, artists, patrons, scientists, alchemists, all attempting to try and categorize things and make sense of the world. Cabinets of Curiosities were an ecclectic assortment of all things they deemed bizarre, foreign antiquities from Asia, archeological finds, relics, strange animals and items of natural history, unexplained phenomena, art, and ethnological discoveries pertaining to various cultural groups.

The WunderWeird in all its glory.

Doing a little digging I discovered the area where I found my Leopard Moth was also called The Gold Coast. It’s the site of over 200 shipwrecks, and the resting place of many a lost treasure. If I’d known that, maybe I’d have swam a little further offshore… I’m always up for a good treasure hunt. Ancient galleons and gold coins, hell yeah. Ironically, I did end up doing a scavenger hunt while I was there. No hidden treasures, but my Leopard Moth was my find for the “strange thing you’ve never seen before” picture. I won that one. Thanks WunderMoth.

Image

Turns out ship travel on the Great Lakes was at an all time high in the 1860’s, and trade runs from Buffalo to Detroit often ended in the area. They would often try to head towards the land in rough storms, many shipwrecked as a result. Some of the deeper waters here revealed a mystery schooner with both masts still standing underwater, and a tug with a  wheel house intact. Exploring a wreck is such an eery feeling. I’ve been scuba diving to a few cool ones, and let me tell you, they’re intense. You just have to be careful not to snag your equipment on sharp corners or get caught in any tight spaces,  you don’t want to end up in the same resting place.

Todays random agenda: Historic quantum connections, cabinets of curiosities, scavenger hunts, shipwrecks, gold coins, leopard moths, and bizarro finds. Such is life. Who can possibly concentrate  with all this exciting stuff going on?  Speaking of ships, a shipmate of mine, well, my apologies, let’s give him his due ranking, he’s actually The Captain of the Dimwits, would definitely back me up on this one. Take a Wunderwander over to his blog sometime. http://thedimwitdiary.com. He’s a character and a half. His brain is all over the place too, up and down and all around. Boring is out people or haven’t you heard?

Life is a crazy roller-coaster ride-get with the program.

What’s in your Cabinet of Curiosities? Might be interesting to see what you WordWunders pull out of your Wunderclosets.

Do you have documentation of something Wunderfully Wacky? Ahoy Mateys! This could be the start of some very interesting conversation. If you send me an address link to your photo(s) in the comments it looks like I can then go in and change them  into pictures from there.

That’s enough use of the word Wunder for one day. Your turn. Bring it on.