Tiki Time Mug Shots

As the pandemic purge continues what remains takes on a little more ‘importance.’ Getting rid of curtains that have been stored for over 40 years in the basement was an easy decision though. When did we ever expect to reuse them? Even the fabric, whatever it may be, can’t be repurposed. 

This ear mug hasn’t been used ever in over 40 years either but I won’t be tossing it. It was a Christmas gift the second year we were in this house. A friend was so delighted with the inventiveness of the handle, with its ear stud, he knew I would delight in it too. I did & still do. It hasn’t been used because it is too small – maybe it would make decent espresso cup but for a real cup of tea I have better options.

These a few of my tea mugs. They hold approximately 20 oz each. teapots without spouts 🙂 I’ve been acquiring them over the years. Each gets used for a month then goes to the back of the line. The ones with NaNoWriMo stickers are actually from Starbucks. The Friends mug I picked up at Winners & it only comes out for December use. I heart Tea was a Christmas gift. The plain white I bought at Kitchen Plus on the Danforth. I’m always on the look out for this size.

The polka dot mug is another Starbucks but too small for regular use. I love the dots. It’s a ceramic sort of travel mug with a lid insert but more for not spilling in the office while you drink, not for carry around as it doesn’t fully close. Thanks to pandemic even real travel mugs aren’t being refilled by coffee shops in Toronto.

This tiki glass is a favorite that during the hot months gets a lot of use. I bought years ago at a Cargo Imports (or some such) which vanished. It holds about 20 ounces, it also weight almost that much 🙂 Thick glass, with smile on one side & frown on other – comedy & tragedy. It is my iced-coffee mug when Toronto hots up. The straw is stainless- steel – I picked some of them up at Kitchen Plus a few years ago.

I make my own iced-coffee with brewed coffee ice-cubes – yes coffee freezes! I discovered that a few years ago & since then have made my own. I started when after having a Starbucks iced I saw that it was half plain water ice cubes – wtf. At that price I want cold coffee not caffeinated water. I brew a pot, let it cool, make a tray of ice-cubes & keep the reminder cool in the fridge.

Here’s a rant from 2008

Omnipotent

if I had unlimited power

I don’t know 

what I would do with it

I’d be so stunned by the ramifications

of every little ripple

how one thing leads to another

perhaps we all have unlimited power

that butts heads constantly

warring factions

each with its own vision of what is best 

at least for them

looking for immediate satisfaction

comforts wants needs desires

takes us far from harmony

who wants to live in harmony

unlimited power

doesn’t mean having everything your own way

or does it

<>

if I had unlimited power

I don’t know what I would change first 

how to create the correct balance

end war strife disease

how to feed that burgeoning population

control reproduction

who can chose who is to be born

without endless wisdom

<>

unlimited power

isn’t solution

every solution has a cost 

that someone has to pay

usually those who can afford it the least 

end up paying the most

the homeless can’t afford good food

the rich can afford good health care

the balance hasn’t been struck yet

nor will it

<>

unlimited power brings 

unlimited headaches with it

headaches almost as bad

as having no power

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

Mug Shots

For a birthday, or maybe it was Christmas, my niece Betty Rocksteady sent me this framed piece of her art from a series she did of posters for an imaginary side show. A signed original that according to eBay is worth nearly $12,000. (just kidding). Flanking it as two travel mugs ordered from her online XX store. They are not all that functional 😦 Some sort of lined metal that doesn’t hold heat from long & the lid son both don’t form a tight enough seal to keep from leaking. But they look great. 

Betty is an accomplished & well-regarded horror writer. Check out her out at bettyrocksteady.com or better yet buy some of her books on Amazon. I would highly recommend her story in the Looming Low anthology.

Betty is a major fan of Ernest Bushmiller’s Nancy & envies me my Nancy mug. I bought this decades ago in Stratford Ontario. At one time there was a great gift shop at the corner of Erie & Ontario Street (Worthington’s?). It was full of collectables, tee-shirts etc. I spotted Nancy on a wall of mugs. Turned out it was not a mug but a music box! The fact that it played the Theme from the Godfather !! meant I had to have it. It is a treasure.

The Queen Mother thimble. Niagara-on-the Lake, I think.

I bought this sailboat mug at a dollar store decades ago because the boat reminded me of the Bluenose. Solid microwaveable crockery it is the perfect size for hot chocolate. At one time it was also my Loyalist workshop mug, it reminds of those good time. It has no maker’s markings. I love the Japanese quality of the boat design.

Another of my favorite objects is this KFC Colonel Sanders mug. I bought it at a yard sale decades ago. I may have paid a dollar for it. The high-gloss, very dark, surface makes it hard to photograph – I’m just point & click. It is a fired dark terra-cotta (I think) & is a finer, if that’s the right word, crockery than the sailboat mug. I’ve never used it for liquids – hot or cold. It is a treasure.

rough draft sample

Serious Business

I realize this is serious business

life is always matter of

life and death

at any minute it could be over

heart attack

stray bullet

a breath in a crowded room

<>

I know that you expect 

a certain degree of compassion

respect

yet part of me is unwilling to give it

not that I don’t feel it

but showing it 

is a different matter 

or perhaps I don’t show it

in the somber way you want

<>

I give little digs

snickers at the futility

rather than wail in desperate calm

about what we are powerless over

tears aren’t the solution

one gets dehydrated too quickly

lack of water can lead to 

more emotional & physical distress

a self-propelling conundrum

that can only be stopped

by measure of levity

<>

I didn’t mean to laugh 

at that car accident

or at the fate of the environment 

I’m not mocking the event

just our powerlessness over it

while we maintain this facade that

we do have power over it

<>

people die

I will die eventually

maybe soon

who knows

but I’m not one

who waits in solemn dignity

for the right exit moment

the right exit line

that wall paper is dreadful

<>

I’m not asking you to forgive

my lack of dignified respect

sometimes there is laugher 

in the mortuary

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

Dining in Wrestling Style

One of the best features of our house is the dining-room with its beams & plate rail. As you can see this side is fulfilling its display potential. At one time it was even fuller with endless mugs from recovery conferences I’d attended but day I thought ‘enough is enough’ & got rid of nearly all of them. They had no emotional resonance for me so I didn’t even take photos of them. I did keep a couple – in the corner by the Bunnykins.

This is what remains of my Royal Dalton Bunnykins collection that was broken in transit. If you are familiar Bunnykins is a collectable children’s china & figurines that set the stage for Hello Kitty & Sailor Moon. Innocent & kitch – the detail work is fascinating with lots to catch & keep anyone’s eye. I do love the artist with his palette.

Beside the B’Kins is this charming ‘grace’ plate – made in USA, decorated in Collingwood, Ont. Mid-50’s, I’d say. Picked it up at some 2nd hand shop in the 80’s. What isn’t there to love about this plate. The inculcating of children with Christian moral values & guilt- those poor hungry children. I love the ‘see Dick run’ graphics that reminds me of school book readers. The color palette & the attention to details around the bowls is great.

Now we jump to something much less innocent – my Jimmy Buckle memorabilia. As some of you may know, & as many of you will now discover, I find short guys very sexy. It goes back to a midget wrestling circuit that used to tour the Maritimes. The Shriners sponsored the show in Sydney. My Dad being a Shriner took me to see some matches. Was Little Beaver one of the wrestlers? I was enthralled.

The story is that when I first moved to Toronto I went to some of these touring matches & met Jimmy Buckle, had a very brief tumble with him & because he was on tour it didn’t develop into anything. He was married, to a woman, anyway etc etc. You like that story? Sadly it isn’t true. The mug was a one-off mock-up a friend did for me as a Christmas gift. But I can dream can’t I of undoing Jimmy Buckle’s buckle 🙂

On The Road Again

I took the road less traveled

to prove I was a real man

broken glass be damned

I can live without toes

<>

hot coals – nothing to it

burn my soul away – who needs it

brick-walled bloodied brows build character

yeah – sure

<>

I was ugly enough to start with

now I’m permanently scarred

hunchbacked from ducking punches

eyes blinded by bright ideals

heart broken by casual glances

balls busted by noisy scorn

<>

to weak to walk I crawl on and on

though I realize why this is

the road less traveled 

because it isn’t a fucking road

but better to die a real man

than admit there might be another way

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