Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sweet Baby James and me

Last night, I watched "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... James Taylor". It reminded me why James Taylor has always been a personal favourite of mine. I'm sure that "Sweet Baby James" is one of the first albums I ever bought.

I won't say that I identify with his music, because the themes really have nothing to do with my life. But I will say that I love listening to his music, and find it very relaxing and pleasurable.

I did see James Taylor in concert once, in 1996 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. It was Little Brother Dan's first-ever concert; we went with my sister, Dale.

There we were in our arena seats, before the concert had even started. Three rather husky women came along, looking for their seats. They were looking in the row in front of ours, and realized they were supposed to be in our row. One of them just stepped over the back of the seats, but the other two realized their tight denim skirts precluded them from doing it. Dan was sitting on the aisle seat. When we stood up to let the women pass, one of them stopped in front of 13-year-old Dan and shook her substantial rack at him. He turned to me with eyes as big as saucers and exclaimed, "I like concerts!"

Now, some 14 years later, it turns out that his daughter, five-month-old Abby, is also a James Taylor fan. Music is how Dan and Christine put Abby to sleep at night, especially when she's fussy. She even has her own MP3 later, complete with a speaker. James Taylor tunes work quite well.

However, it seems that Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" is her favourite. I just found out why. When Abby was just a few hours old, her Daddy rocked her to sleep, playing that song on his iPod. Not coincidentally, it was also the song that was playing when Christine walked through the beach sand to the gazebo, under which she and Dan were married in April of last year.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My overnight trip to Toronto

I'm just back from an overnighter to Toronto, to see my honourary granddaughter Abby and her Mom and Dad, Christine and Dan.

Abby has been in The Hospital for Sick Children for a week now. At first it looked like meningitis, but thankfully, that was quickly ruled out. It hasn't been confirmed, but it looks like a stomach bug of some kind kicked the crap out of the little sweetie, dehydrating her and sending her into shock.
I'm happy to report that things are looking up, and she seems to be getting better by the hour. Tomorrow, her care team will discuss whether she's well enough to transfer back to Timmins. Her parents, as much as they'd like to go home, will not rush anything. They are loving, very level-headed parents. Dan has to go back to work Friday night, so hopefully they'll at least be back in Timmins by then, but whatever happens, they're prepared to roll with it.

I can't describe how much I love that little girl. At three months old and weighing about ten pounds, she has this 52-year-old, 200-pound guy wrapped around her baby finger. Her smile just lights up the room, and makes her Big Uncle Bob's heart melt. I hate the circumstances under which we got to spend time together this weekend, but given the circumstances, there is no place in the world I would rather have been this weekend.

I flew Porter Airlines for the first time, and it won't be the last. Unmatched comfort and service; convenience by landing at Toronto Island instead of Pearson, and quick ferry and shuttle service back and forth from the island to downtown. Reasonably priced, too.

Back to Sick Kids: Pardon my naivete and idealism, but it breaks my heart to see a building there devoted to pediatric brain tumor research. Why do we need such a thing?

It's also disturbing to see a sign in the hospital directing you to the Substance Abuse Treatment Day Program. In a children's hospital! Of course, "Child" means up to 18, but still...

And as sick as Abby has been, it's also heartbreaking to see some of the kids there. Seeing as such a place is needed, it truly is a great place, staffed by amazing people who never get the credit they deserve, or at least never enough of it.

No, I'm not depressed. Quite the opposite. I'm counting my blessings and being thankful first of all that Abby is going to be alright, for having her in my life (and her parents, too, of course) and for the people and facilities that are there when we need them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bus ride Observations

What I saw today on my ride to work:
-Lots of police cars and an ambulance at Hurdman Station. Turns out it was just a medical emergency for an OCTranspo rider. Talk about over-response on the part of police!
-Short guy, about five-foot-nothin', roughly 60 years old with an IQ to match, gets on the bus while involved in an animated conversation. His lips were moving, but there was nothing coming out.
-A dazed-looking lady wearing socks and sandals. Likewise, a very old man wearing sandals exactly the same as the ones I own, with socks in them. ARRRGGGHHHH!
-A homeless guy with a dog in a stroller, one of those runner's three-wheelers with the bike wheels.
-A young dude on a skateboard, no helmet, pads, etc. on the lefthand side of Queen Street -- right on the street!

I love this city.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Must be summer

Yeah, it's only April 1st, but the snow has been gone for weeks and we're expecting sunshine and temperatures in the mid- to high twenties this weekend -- for Easter!!
And as sure as the first robin, dandelion, pussy willow, tulip, insert your favourite hear, I saw a guy wearing socks in sandals today!
It was a young guy, too, maybe 20 years old. He was wearing rubber flip-flops with not only socks in them, but half-socks! I came this close to knocking him down and stealing his socks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Say a prayer for Coffee on Friday.

This is Coffee, The Prettiest Cat Ever. I adopted her in Dec. 07 from the Ottawa Humane Society. She is a real suck and Daddy's girl, and gives me a million laughs.
On Friday, I have to take her to the vet's for her annual check-up. She turns into a starfish when I try to put her in her carrier (it's like a sports bag with mesh sides), and freaks out in the car. Good thing the vet is less than a two-minute drive away. She also freaks out in the vet's office, and becomes very clingy.
Whenever I go away, someone comes over every day or two to make sure she's properly fed and watered, and even spend a bit of time with her. But when I come home, she's super needy for about a week. She also has a way of showing how unimpressed she is that I actually had the audacity to leave her. It usually involves pooping on the carpet at the bottom of the basement stairs.
Other than that, she's a treat to have around.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Like, what's like wrong with like saying "like"?

On the bus on the way to work today, I was sitting on one of the side seats, with my back to the window. The bus was pretty busy, so two teenaged girls sat beside me. I had to turn my iPod up much louder than I usually like to, because their conversation was making me crazy.
Honest to Pete, every second or third word was "like". If all of a sudden, the word disappeared from humanity's vocabulary, they wouldn't be able to string three words together into a sentence. What's this world coming to?

Me, a crabby old fart? Like, what's like wrong like with like that?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Welcome to Basic Bob

This is a "by popular demand" kind of thing.
It arises out of several comments by several of my friends -- mostly on facebook -- who say they enjoy my status lines and comments. "You should have a blog," many of them have said.
Truth is, I do have another blog, but I don't publicize it much. It's known to a small group of friends, many of whom have their own blogs which are actually the basis of our friendship.
So, I have finally decided to expand my blogosphere a bit, and follow the advice of those friends. I'm not sure how often I will blog here, or what it will evolve into, but it will be largely about me, and use a lot of the type of rants that I've become known for among my facebook friends.

I guess I'll start at A for Abby. She has been occupying a lot of my thoughts the past couple of weeks.
Abby is my honourary granddaughter and Little Niece. Her Dad, Dan, is my Little Brother. We were matched by Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Timmins in July, 1993.
We quickly became very close, lifelong friends, and members of each other's families.
I was Best Man at his wedding to the woman I refer to as Pretty Christine, last April in Jamaica. Abigail -- or Abby -- was born February 26 in Timmins. I spent last weekend up there, getting to know Abby, and celebrating her birth with both sides of her family. Abby and I spent Saturday and Sunday evenings bonding, by cuddling with her sleeping on my chest. I am head over heels in love with the 6+ pound bundle, and look forward to being part of her life as she grows up, and having her as part of my life.

So, that's it for the first-ever instalment of Basic Bob. Your comments are welcome, be they compliments, criticisms or suggestions for future posts. Let's see where this takes us.