Mummy Wrappings

In the continuing pandemic lockdown I’ve been using some mornings to clean up & clean out the basement, which has become as cluttered with relics as an Egyptian tomb, only no mummies (yet). A repository of what is essentially junk saved for a rainy day. So donning a set of sweats dedicated to housework, & for the basement, a face mask to deal with the dust, I’ve been venturing down for an hour or two at a time.

Here are choice items that have been holding their own (as well as dust & cobwebs) for some time. These first are laundry room decor. This portrait of  H M Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) is by Salomon van Abbé. Yes, I did a bit of research. It was in the basement when we moved into the house over forty years ago. It was in the remains of frame & already water stained. There is probably a companion portrait of the King. These were found in nearly every school across Canada at the time. I remember a similar one of the current Queen in Sydney schools. Every class room had one.

Beside her is a paint-by-number I picked up, framed, at a yard sale. Paris? in the rain. At least Chez TonTon suggests Paris, as does the shape of the kiosk with the posters on it. I’m not sure of the horse-drawn cart in front of TonTon – it does suggest a time before autos. Where they getting a delivery of bread?

Under Paris is this marvellous velvet painting that I found on the street in Montreal in the late 90’s. I used to visit Montreal a week or so every summer for a bilingual AA round-up. Even though the painting is signed ‘Ramon’ (I think) it is clearly out of a painting sweatshop where ‘artists’ would go from one canvas to the next – one artist specialized in clouds, another in water ripples etc.

Finally, for this visit to the underbelly, I found this placemat. It was wrapped around some plumbing fixture & held in place with an elastic. I guess there was a mummy after all 🙂 I unwrapped the fixture & was happy I did. I love this prime example of late sixties graphics. Coarse fabric, no makers tags, & it washed up a treat. I had never seen it before but my partner had a very vague memory of it. The mummy was tossed but its wrappings were resurrected.

resurrected from the vaults – from October 1978 – I moved to Toronto in May 1978 – I was living in an apartment on Sherbourne near Isabella.

The Pause

the pause


not to reflect

but to hesitate

even here

where the cards are on the table

where it’s all below the belt

we use

the pause

for eyes to flash away

for eyes to consent 

even

after the rite of second glancing

after the facts of being here

there is

the pause

the fear

the guilt the frustration the fury

fury that descends to depression

depression that fears

the pause

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Covid 101: McMask Meals

Actually it’s probably 105 days of ‘lockdown’ which has loosened somewhat this past week even here in Toronto. I can tell by the amount of traffic on the streets both vehicular & pedestrian. The shift to more masking has seen an uptick, as is masks litter. Though I haven’t seen much ‘corporate’ branded masking. No McMask Meals yet. But I predict they’ll take the place of baseball caps & t-shirts as give-away promotional items. What would you prefer another notepad or a mask? 

No covid immunity breakthroughs, not that I expected one this soon. We’re learning how to keep it from killing people but that’s small consolation. One way to boost the immune system is to stop reading/listening to all the contradictory news. It is clear that travel for pleasure will be restricted to the wealthy, if it happens at all. No DC visits in my future 😦

The US has decided the economy is more important than health – well, that’s always been the case – profits trump everything. Maybe there’s more money to be made in ventilators or letting people die, than in keeping them safe. As they say follow the money – if there was no profit in poverty there’d be no poverty. Treatment is more profitable than cure. What are funeral costs like these days?

In my walks around the neighbourhood I see more dusty stuff at the curb. The result of social isolation covid cleaning frenzies. By stuff I mean old dressers, old upright pianos – big items clearly dragged up out of basements or down from attics. Many of which I’m sure are gone before garbage pick up. I know stuff I’ve ‘curbed’ has been gone within hours. Thanks to covid my house weighs at least 1000 pounds less. 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Bye Bye Monopoly

Thanks to the weather this has been yet another week of deep house cleaning, purging & rearranging. That is three mornings of social isolation in which I listen to podcast & dust, vacuum & lose the weight of stuff. The weather has cooperated somewhat with rainy or overcast mornings so staying indoors isn’t so challenging. 

Advances in technology have made the purging process easier – I found a drawer full of those little diskettes that predated cds. Bye. Bye. So much paper that our recycle bin is full to the brim. I can’t wait to see it emptied by the city at the end of the week because I already have more to get rid of 🙂 

The covid crisis hasn’t been personally stressful but I has let me stop & do things I’ve been meaning to do for too long. The meditative power of the walk seemed more spiritually elevating than getting rid of cobwebs (yes there lots of those in not so dark corners). Food a pile of board games : Scrabble, Monopoly etc that hasn’t seen the light of day in over 20 years. I put them near the sidewalk for folks to take & most of them, except Monopoly where gone within a couple of hours. Put the remains out the next & those that didn’t get new homes were unboxed & sorted into the blue bin. Bye bye Monopoly. 

I opted to do this home isolation a few morning a week to comply with the stay home rule. Now that I’ve pulled out the vacuum I am pleased with the sense of peace that comes seeing no dust, no twenty-year-old caches of never-to-be-used paper & to see actual empty space. The house is cleaner. More rooms yet to be done though as I am only devoting 90 focused minute at a time to this process. Who knows how much longer this lockdown might last & I don’t want to do a whirlwind job just to get it out of the way, then have no productive distractions left. Yes, I can eat one chocolate a day from a box of chocolates 🙂

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Photos Don Valley April 23, 2020

Indulgence

With the end of the world pending I’ve indulged in some frivolous diversions. Some to recapture moments of my past – such as watching episodes of I Dream of Jeannie & Bewitched. Clearly comedies made for toddlers 🙂 ‘Jokes’ one could see riding down the street on an elephant but both were more queer than I recognized at the time. Let’s face it Agnes Moorehead’s Endora is the template for every Drag Queen that exists. From the wigs, her gowns, eye makeup & remorseless bitch attitude she blazed a trail still followed.

Speaking of campy drag I also watched a few episodes of the first Star Treks. I loved these back in the day but man some of the acting is hilarious. But I love what I call ‘the attack of the set dressers’ with those alien plant-scapes. I now see the influence of the Toho studio on the set design. Star Trek did better aliens though – costumes that still inspire Drag Queens today.

I mention Drag Queen a few times because OUT TV was free for the month of April which gave me the opportunity to see some of RuPaul’s DragRace. I haven’t seen any since the first season. It was ‘fun’ to see but not enough shade to make me want to add the channel to my cable bill. 

Other indulgences – strawberry jam. I mean the jam like the sweet stuff I had a a child not this – all fruit, no sodium, no flavour stuff that is heart smart etc etc etc. It’s not going to kill me, fast. 

As well as indulging I have been purging thanks to my covid cleaning frenzy & making discoveries too. Rough drafts of stories I’d forgotten I’d written – dot matrix days & even a couple typewriter. Will input them eventually.

The best find was this vest. Jimi Hendrix outside, Electric Ladyland inside. At first I wasn’t even sure if it was mine! I have no memory of how I acquired it. Or when. Sometime way back in the 80’s I suspect. It tastes okay so I know I’m not coming down with covid19 🙂

 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

https://www.facebook.com/events/271762040530703/

Star Trek Subtext

an all day Star Trek marathon

the original series on Blue Ray

weird space plants

funky 60’s retro-futurist sets

Kirk Spock Bones Sulu

(Sulu who knew you were

the real queen of outer space)

we had nachos   salsa

bags of sea salt-n-pepper chips

Hawaiian pizza   fried chicken

diet coke   real dr pepper

a 90 inch plasma TV

Trek in all its never to fade glory

as each episode started

we did a soprano unearthly dance

every time Scotty said

‘I’m giving it everything we got captain’

we’d eat chips as fast as we could

when Uhura said

‘we are experiencing interference’

we saw who could burp the loudest

every time Kirk took off or tore his shirt

we removed an article of clothing

(Strip Trek)

every time the fate of a culture

was decided by a kiss from Kirk

we made moony eyes at each other

until someone said ‘phasers on stun’

each time human emotions

were a puzzle

we asked deep personal questions like

‘who has the bigger dick

Chekov or that guy

with his face painted black and white?’

when any alien said

‘what is this thing you earth people call kissing’

we gave each other alien tongue baths

every time Spock said ‘illogical’

we did the Vulcan grind meld

by the time the marathon was over

it didn’t matter

that neither of us really liked Star Trek

we’ll never forget this Star Date One

Covid #Cleaning

I love the American spirit of independence – no one is going to tell them act to do & some of them say ‘fuck your’ social distancing even if it kills them & everyone around them. They want to die with their work boots on so don’t get in their way, you pussy, cowardly, snowflakes. Is civil war war brewing?

 

I haven’t been following the news that closely though, what I know comes from the headlines that can’t be avoided when checking the weather. I do check to see what new social restrictions I should be aware of but that’s it. As a result I am sleeping as well as I always do. But I haven’t been taking my morning walks as I usually do. 

I’ve been devoting that 90 minutes to housework. Cleaning, purging, raking, uprooting. Mon Wed Fri mornings are my covid cleaning mornings. I was hoping to alternate, one week inside, the other week outside. But this past week as been too chilly (for me) for yard work so it’s been two week of vacuuming & purging. Book shelves have gotten a more in-depth dusting than usual. Tops of window frames too. I have enough house for at least another two weeks of this & by then the curve will have planked. If not there’s always the …. shudder …. basement to be purged of those bits of wood that never did come in handy after ten years.

 

The ‘stress’ of social distancing hasn’t been bad at all. Social isolation has been easy enough as well. I have met with some recovery friends (one at a time, on different days) for social distant walks & talks. Zoom recovery meetings have been good – at least I don’t have to step back to avoid holding hands at the end of the meeting 🙂

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet