Thursday, August 23, 2007

Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Saturday

Sadly, all good things must end. We departed the haven, leaving behind some Lego artwork - a tow-truck and crazy-ass mega-tow truck-hauler vehicle, and a somewhat impressionist likeness of the five of us gathered on and around the dock.

And we left behind a completely fictitious entry in the guest book, designed to raise eyebrows – or goose bumps. The entries go like this:

Saturday August 11

Wow! What a beautiful cottage and a beautiful lake! We love the Paper Birch trees. It’s so nice and quiet here! We heard loons calling from far away. The windmill and the water cooler make a subtle symphony of strange noises!

Sunday August 12

We swam and played games all day – all four of us. Some chipmunks came by. Heard the loud call of a heron as he soared low across the shoreline. Beautiful! The setting sun makes the lake look like wine!

Monday August 13

Had breakfast in town. Bought a big bag of peanuts and fed the chipmunks all day. A moose came by! He seemed to check us out for a bit and then wandered away.

Wow! What a storm! Magnificent! The lightening on the water plays tricks with your eyes. Looks like faces emerging from the lake!


There’s some trees down from the storm. A few have fallen across the laneway. There are strange footprints all over the beach. I think Stevie is playing a joke on us. Belinda and I played Scrabble. Amber and Stevie played a game called Trouble. The chipmunks did not come today.


Worked on the laneway most of the day. At this point there are quite a few trees blocking it. Came face to face with a bear. It was huge. We stared at each other a long time before it ran away from me. It’s so very quiet. The setting sun makes the lake look like blood.


There’s a big puddle in the kids room. It rained heavily all night – which softened the ground. Made it easier to dig the holes. Ideally they should have been deeper but there’s so much work to do. So many trees to chop down for the driveway. All work and no play makes Brian a dull boy.


Filled in the three holes. It’s so quiet. Even the windmill and the water cooler are silent. Played solitaire. Won 66 times. Lost 600 times. There are puddles all over now. They look like wine.

Not sure how well the stunt will be received! That’s it folks. Cap’n Vino has posted his own rendition of events at the Want-n-While here on Freak Magnet Dave.


Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Friday

We finally finished the monopoly marathon, praise be to god. Cap'n Vino continued to air his "Mini-wheats-wheats-wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" prompting somewhat more specific thought into the actual logistics around assassination methods.

Tales of a giant old-growth pine tree nearby inspired hiking plans but rain put a damper on that. The sunset was rather spectacular though and drew me out, armed with the shigital camera.


Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Thursday

Monopoly resumed. Professor Plonk piled up particularly profitable properties pushing past Paulie on the leader board. Vino finally povertied-out but continued to contribute, playing banker and inciting brief thoughts of assassination methods by singing, "Mini-wheats-wheats-wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" at just the right intervals. Held over the match again.

Paulie-wog and Chili dog swam of course, and even convinced Plonk and I to join in. While standing at the side of the dock I felt a pinch on my belly and felt some large branch-like structure rubbing against me. I thought it some kind of watery vegetation until I instinctively brushed it away from me and discovered with abject horror that it was the most ungodly gigantic spider I ever saw in my life. It probably had the leg span of a tarantula but not with such a tall fuzzy build. It was thin and flat with legs each like a pair of finishing nails. It's grotesque body was made bigger by the large egg sack it was carrying. Just seconds after landing on the water I saw a small fish zooming up toward it. It took a bite at the beast and appeared to connect but not fatally as the spider took off and scurried toward shore.

"Take that, beotch!" I cried gleefully. "My fish homies done got my back!"

On the beach Professor Plonk was patiently prowling and punished the pest, pounding him to death with his sandal.

That night, after supper - and an afternoon of much drinking, the prof produced a pack of premium single-malts and we four engaged in a proper nosing. No, we're not Eskimos. A scotch-tasting is officially called a nosing. Unless someone's just told me that in order to make an ass of me. In which case - mission accomplished.

Plonk and I quite enjoyed the event. Paulie did so profusely. Vino - well – it depends how you interpret the Calvin faces he was making..."Apparently I'm not so big on scutch," he confessed.

"Did you just say scunch?"

"Quite porshibly. And - I think I might have also said porshibly."

Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Wednesday

Broke out the Monopoly board. Paulie-wog gained early dominance but the game lagged and was given recess 'til the next day. Vino subjected us to "Mini-wheats-wheats-wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" with quite sufficient regularity.

Much book-reading all around.

A very rare bout of gloominess set in as I found myself missing the I.S. a bit too much. So I went to bed early, skipping the campfire despite Paulie-wog's insistence that "Campfires are what cottages are all about."


Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Tuesday

Up at 6:30 again. Explored some foggy photo opportunities. Paulie was kind enough to prep the coffee percolator pot thingamajig [Paulie put the kettle on?] prior to hitting the hay. All I had to do was turn on the burner and then lower the flame at the first sign of bubbling. Managed to muck that up, over-boiled the bastard, bathing the stovetop in coffee and dousing the pilot light. EE-GADS! Give me some hydro and a proper coffee maker! This roughing-it will be the death of me!

Vino, Plonk and I hit a crappy little 9-holer in Sundridge where the greens were tiny and inconsistent but the price was right. Had fun with it though. The rock-hard fairways allowed our duffs to roll eternally, shortening our scores. I finished with a bogey which is like an eagle by my handicap. Great cause for celebration. The highlight though belonged to Cap'n Vino for whom the outing was a treat, given he rarely golfs. On a grassy decline forty feet beyond the tee box he spied an errant tee lying on the fairway in mint condition. He abandoned his clubs to fetch it but halfway to his prize, discovered that his pull-cart, bag and clubs on board, was merrily rolling down the hill without him. He shuffled after it, one hand on his hat and one in the air in a scene right out of the Benny Hill Show.

And to complete the programming day he added regular cereal commercials, singing, "Mini-wheats-wheats-wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la!”


Back at the ranch Paulie-wog swam - both in the lake and in his scotch - and upon our return, insisted it was cocktail time for all, citing "That's what cottages are all about."


Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Monday

Plonk picked the perfect path for a hike. Here's Vino choosing the perfect walking stick from a very generous selection.

Arrived at a very impressive look-out station.

Had to snap some pictures of mushroom growth just to show Rockin' Roddie. He's the world's foremost mushroom photographer in case anyone didn't know that.
Much reading, writing and cigar-smoking all day with shaved ham, aged cheddar, veggies and fresh basil on a bun for lunch. And then another.

A rollicking Texas Hold'em poker contest ended in bizarre fashion as we tired of the endeavor one by one and adopted suicidal exit strategies.

Paulie-wog and Chili dog did the swim thing but could not convince the rest of us to join them despite Paulie's insistence that swimming was "What cottages are all about." Vino kept us mildly entertained singing, "Mini-wheats-wheats-wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" all day.
For supper: Thick pork chops in a complex curry rub, a very hearty Greek vegetable salad, oniony garlicky buttery baked potatoes, a 2000 Cab Franc and a 2001 Cab Merlot. Boy, this roughing-it business sure is a struggle!

Plonk placed in the pit a properly packed stack of logs providing an excellent campfire. One of his great many skills. We mourned the absence of marshmellows.

Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Sunday

Awoke at 6:30 and crept down to the still lake and selected a kayak of all things. Pushed off and two strokes later took a very sudden, very unexpected bath. Soaked but undeterred, I dragged the craft to shore, drained it and set out again but more carefully. Took a decent uneventful trek to the opposite shore and back.

Went to breakfast at Searles. Much better experience. Saw some pretty convincing cowboys there. No shoot-out, thankfully.

We bought $300 worth of groceries and returned to the lodge to find Vino's old friend Paulie-wog had arrived with cute 2-year-old Springer Spaniel in tow. Chili was her name along with Chili Vanilli, Chili Pepper, Chili Dog, Pooch Dog, Snoop Dog, Snoop Doggie Dog, Kitty and Donkey on various occasions.

Master and dog did much swimming this day and Paulie-wog defended the cottage's ultra-tacky decor stating, with legitimacy, "That's what cottages are all about."

Cap'n Vino kept us merrily entertained with his singing of "Mini-wheats-wheats-wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" all day, celebrating one of the most idiotic, regrettable, irritating TV ads ever to exist.

For dinner we scraped together some rub-encrusted salmon, corn-on-the-cob, asparagus, full-flavored rice medley and a couple bottles of 2002 Gamay.

After dark, with Plonk and the pooch perusing a Potter novel, I snuck down to the dock where Vino and Paulie-wog were sampling a taste of BC's finest tobacco alternatives. I hid behind a tree and heaved out some deep growling noises. It came out like a sick cow but it was enough to send Vino into a brief panic which set Paulie-wog laughing to tears. Granted, had our positions been reversed I'd have likely passed a brick or two myself.

Whiling away at the Want-n-While... Saturday

Cap'n Vino and Professor Plonk scooped me up at the Grotto mid-day, squished myself, golf clubs, luggage, brief cases and big bag o' books into the 'Ark', thus maxing out its capacity.

And we embarked. Let the journey begin!

And five minutes later we were arrested by the lure of lunchables and feasted on super subs at Mr Sub.

And then we re-embarked. Let the journey really begin!

And five minutes later we came to a standstill on the 407 and paid premium fare for the privilege of being stuck in only the finest traffic jam on only the finest toll highway to ever be sold out from under us to the profiteering pals of the Harris government.

We made the best of it.

Three hours later and we're finally inching down the narrow winding 1.2 KM laneway of the remote Want-N-While family cottage; the only human habitat on the shores of modest Kelsey Lake. The path was navigated artfully by Captain Vino and with much grace but for the incident of the crossing of a very slight wooden-beam bridge that had both his heart and fingers positively fluttery.

The place was marvelous with very large wrap-around sun room and deck and obligatory down-slope to fire pit, beach and dock plus a windmill of unknown purpose and no less than seven boats of the paddle, row, canoe and kayak varieties. No engines.

Best feature: No TV's. Hallelujah!

A consultation with the owner regarding the operation of the generator, propane and gravity-feed-water systems and we're unpacked in no time - including Captain Vino and Professor Plonk's construction of the Great Wall of Liquor - the contents of five cases of wine and spirits. Five cases, people. For one week. If you're starting to think they have a problem I'll testify that it's more to do with chronic generosity then alcoholism.

Nevertheless I manage to uncover a few missing links in the Booze-spectrum - namely champagne (strictly for breakfasts of course), sour apple liqueur and Drambui. And thus we're out navigating the labyrinth laneway again, making for the nearest town that can furnish such core supplies - oh - and perhaps some din-din and some groceries too.

The Burkes Falls Outskirts Restaurant proved a place of significant note. When in Burkes Falls you definitely must be sure to keep an eye out for this gem and, if at all possible, given your schedule, take the opportunity to avoid it like the black death.

To be fair, although it may have seemed like a three hour wait for our dinner, it was probably more like two hours and forty minutes or so. Both CV and I ordered the fish and chips but he demanded a soup starter as well despite my loud and ardent poo-pooing of such ghastly fare. Of course the monumental wait had me eating humble soup in due time.

The waitress finally blamed the delay on their waiting for the fish to thaw and took back our tiny emptied drinking glasses, returning them with a modicum of pop within and explaining that the first refill was free on account of them running out of normal-sized glasses.

My guess is that they were sitting around unwashed and all their problems had ultimately to do with them lacking a normal sized staff.

Very oddly, the scape-goat fishes were delivered well before Professor Plonk's plate o' pork, peas and potatoes. He luckily had avoided starvation via a lackluster salad - or rather - all of it but the blackened cinders that were offered in substitution for croutons. The pork was dry. The potatoes, touted as 'mashed' were merely shards of plain old potatoes over-boiled and whacked to pieces.

The mysteriously petrified french fries were precisely the second-worst I'd ever encountered in my life with the gold medal going to those once served to me ice-cold, fresh from the refrigerator of a deeply misguided chip truck operation in Tobago's tourist district.

We hadn't the time or the stomach to stick around another couple hours and discover what fascinating horrors they might have in store in the way of coffee or dessert and instead hit the only open variety store to gorge on ice-cream cones. I had the Rolo flavor ice cream. Oh my god. Rolo ice cream. Purely orgasmic. Pure heaven. And just as transcending was this:

The sun long set below the clear sky, we killed all the lights and stumbled down to the dock to lie on our backs agog at the visible universe with the great arcing bands of star-cloud that is the spiral galaxy we cling to, the fierce sparkle of neighboring Venus, the steady patrol of faint satellites and nearer still, a dozen or so flitting meteoric entries.

Much too few are these moments.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Magical Kingdom of Steve-o

You probably know the routine. Recent random mutterings of the roommate. Songs in italics.

Chocolate rain,
Something smells like cheddar cheese again,
Chocolate rain,
Someone punched me in the groin again,
Chocolate rain…

I am the evil that flaps in the night.

Butter boy, butter boy,
What are they feeding you?
Butter boy, Butter boy,
There's only one light in the dining room…

It is joke! It is joke! I am the Larry Shandling of comedy world!

Cheese and chevapi,
Cheese and chevapi,
I knew a girl who was,
Kinda sloppy…

Everybody know-ows,
Barry Bonds takes steroids.
Takes 'em underwater,
Sells 'em for a dollar…

Wassa matta, eh? You droppa your chevapi?

I can feel it,
Coming in your hair tonight,
Hold on…

Man, my couscous is hotter then shit. It's made out of Satan's anal sphincterola. "What's this?" says the devil. "Someone's scraped a layer off my anal sphincterola."

Gangrene went the little green frog one day,
Gangrene went the little green frog,
Gangrene went the little green frog one day,
And his eyes went bing gangrene boom!
Now we know all know frogs go ba bing bam bing,
Ba bing bam bing bam bing bam boom,
Now we know all know frogs go ba bing bam bing,
And they don’t go bing gangrene boom!
No known entities endorse the preceding sentiments.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

D is for David

Ee-gads. I done been tagged again. Claudia Supermom is the villain this time and I just can’t say no to Claudia Supermom.

It’s the Middle Name Game. Mine is David and it goes like this:

D is for… Dany Heatley. Possibly the best goal scorer in the NHL following recovery from his speeding his sports car into an obstacle and somehow surviving. He's thought by some to be a killer. But to label him such is to label the victim the same. He was Dan Snyder, fellow teammate and best friend. He was the passenger and did not survive. But young men seek thrills and young men with outrageous bank accounts draw trouble and it was essentially random which was at the wheel when their luck ran out and likewise who perished and who didn't. More importantly, we can't go putting Heatley in jail because he's the star player for the Ybor City Tabaqueros fantasy hockey team of which I am owner, president, manager, coach, water boy and scout. And we are poised to kick some butt this year! That's right, my little strat-o-matic cohorts! The Tabaqueros are commin' tuh getcha!

A is for… Apples. Don’t much like ‘em. Or any other fruits for that matter. They’re too damn boring. So I don’t eat them. Some may suggest this is not a healthy choice. To you I say, You’re probably right. And I don’t care.

V is for… Vegetables. Don’t like them either. But I eat them anyway because one can not survive on burritos and French toast alone. I can deal with that.

I is for… Illustrated Man. The first Ray Bradbury book I ever read and I think the first science fiction book I ever read. Adored his stories as a child and still do today. Learned some valuable lessons in storytelling from him.

D is for… Dante. And all the other poets who have glimpsed the beautiful dark world behind the illusion. Who've fought the lonely battle knowing it could not be won in their lifetime. Centuries later victory is farther away than ever before. But someday...

I hereby tag all other Davids including Freak Magnet Dave. These are the Daves I know - I know, these are the Daves I know...

Monday, August 06, 2007

FWG's journey to the sea

Alright, so it's not really a sea. Just a lake. Lake Ontario. But it's about 20,000 square kilometers at the surface with remote shorelines well hidden by the earth's curvature. So from a beachfront perspective it might as well be the ocean for all appearances.

And, okay, the journey was really only a twenty minute car-ride through Mississauga, from Streetsville to Port Credit.

Church of 10,000 Egyptians

- Or something like that. Biggest damn house of worship I ever seen - by surface area anyway. Granted there's some pretty voluminous cathedrals out there. Five towers in this place.

Accidental crotch shot

Oops. Sorry about that. I'm forever hitting the trigger of my shigital camera by mistake. (Shigital is short for shitty little digital).


That's what the red-orange sign says. And good thing because I would have otherwise tried to drive right through the massive barrier assuming it an optical illusion that would vanish upon contact. Thank goodness for the sign.

See the cranes in the distance? I passed at least ten new high-rise buildings under construction. Ten minimum. Our little burg is growing, people. Soon we'll have to put a stop light on the corner and elect a sheriff.

This is St. Lawrence Park

Strangely I've never glimpsed a Mississauga shoreline until this day.

Lots of cement

And lots of trees for shade and park benches too yet never the two seem too meet. Ah! But here's a gazebo offering shade and a bench. Excellent. Oh, and poop too. All the poop you could ever possibly desire. The faux miniature loft above is a haven for pigeons and their poopage.

The Poop Deck

I hate pigeons. Oh, I really do. They used to infest the balcony of my prior apartment. They shit all over my furniture daily and grew ever more bold until the only way to shoo them away was too strike them with a broom (soft bristles - no harm - relax). But I confess, I'd have gleefully shot them with bullets had I the hardware. One particularly dense invader took a broom-whackin' then flew right back to me to perch on the railing again. I know he was a returnee because I spied the dust bunnies clinging to his feathers just before I belted him outta the park a second time.


Also known as a shit hawk among other unsavory monikers. That other breed of flying pig-rat that can't be ushered toward extinction fast enough.

The sky is mostly clear. A delightful breeze passes through the gazebo. I get some good writing in. Carved a strong second draft of the press release for the musician/entrepreneur whom my association with continues to burgeon. And I kicked out a heroic adventure poem. Bard song or what not. A tale of a cursed sword that brings down a Dwarvish king, proposing origin for the Dwarvish subsequent preference for the axe.

A family of three drifts into my haven.

"We should have brought the camera," says the dad. "Could've took some good pictures here."

"Pardon me," I said, proffering the shigital. "Take some pictures. I'll email them to you."

"Oh, no. I couldn't."

"Go ahead. I insist."

"No, really. That's okay."

The youth approached, slack-jawed, and extended a hand. I shook it. "Pleased to meet you," I said. He pulled away and pointed at my brief case.

"Oh, he's special needs," dad explained.

"That's cool," I said. "I have special needs too. I'm sure we all do in some form or another."

He nodded politely and they hurried away.

The morning coffees brought on the call of nature and the search for accommodation turned up The Harp Restaurant and Pub. This led to the testing out of the comfy bar stools, a gander at the menu and a food and beverage order.

These things just seem to happen to me. At least I chose a hearty salad and a low-calorie beer. Or two. At least I'm being responsible.

I was shaken up
though. I received an unmistakable message from the world beyond the grave. Or beyond the galaxy. One or the other. Or both - I don't know.

It came in the form of a slowly deteriorating image built of trails of beer foam residue in the mostly-empty glass. It's sort of a ghost or skull face but with antennas. An alien ghost skull or something. Not sure what it means.