Agrees, Yoda does.

Yet — GASP — Another Blog Post!

Two in a week! I know, right? 

Here’s my first week with ID and medical coverage and what am I doing about it? Nothing whatsoever, that’s what I’m doing about it.

On the plus side, I have a TON of experience at this shit. On the minus side, I have a tooth that has basically been infected for the last year, on and off, plus swollen glands and an overdue cancer survivor check, which anyone must admit is an inauspicious conjunction. So I’ve got to get off my ass/buttular parts and on the road to getting an actual doctor’s appointment, which I literally forget how to do.

I’m serious. The last time I had a doctor’s appointment was like Three Cher Faces ago, and the Kardashians had not been invented yet, except the one toadying to OJ Simpson. So I have to find a doctor, I guess, and then make an appointment. No, first I have to dig through the welfare website, because I think I read that they cover dental stuff if you’re on benefits, which I am, and that would be huge. And I can do that now, which is long past doctors’ offices closing time, so brb.

Back. Wow, there are an unconscionable number of 404’s on that government website. No excuse for that shit, people. #BlameManagement. Anyhoodle it does look like dental is covered if there’s pain and/or infection and/or there sure as shit is.

Okay, email to one human being at the hospital with the cancer centre has been sent, asking for pointers to the right person to talk to. So that’s step one and step two down. Whew, this whole efficiency thing is exhausting!

The next paperwork step is taxes. You can imagine how much I’m looking forward to that. Taxes, cancer, and tooth extractions.

Life. A cabaret, it is.

Agrees, Yoda does.

Agrees, Yoda does.

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Certificate of Citizenship

Who exists? THIS BITCH!

Certificate of Citizenship

Certificate of Citizenship

Well, it’s official: I exist.

After a significant number of years “off the grid” during which I often lived without electricity, usually lived without a fixed address, and quite often lived without any idea where I would be in the next two weeks, as well as a fraught month without any health insurance whatsoever, I finally have an official address. An official identity. Like a pedigreed dog or a downtown lamp post, I am papered.

I am an Ontarian.

So, anyone looking for raincoaster is probably not looking in Ontario, so on that basis I’m probably pretty safe from Them, whoever Them is/are.

Not sure Them were actually ever looking for me, but my ego won’t allow for the possibility nobody wanted to find me, particularly THEM, so one will continue to assume one has successfully thwarted Them for years.

And don’t try to talk me out of it.

Anyhoodle, the result of all seven months of hard task-mastering and world-class admin support by The Sister is that I now have a temporary Ontario medical card (actually a letter) and in four to six weeks will have my first government-issued photo ID since 1996, when I had a passport, now long since expired. Before that, I believe it was my BC Driver’s License, which expired in 1993 or so and I just never bothered to get renewed. And all of the old ID except the passport got lost when I was mugged in Vancouver a few years back, at which time I found out just how much trouble it was all going to be to replace, and just let it go. Because you don’t need ID if you live in the same place for over a decade and everyone knows who you are and GASP you even run a tab at the Ovaltine and Sunrise Market, no problem, and who can do that? I ask yez. WHO has that kind of privilege? It’s like being Cher or something, only Cher can’t get credit at the Ovaltine. So I let it go.

Which, yeah, in retrospect was foolish, but what good is retrospect? I ain’t got no time machine.

But I DO have a snazzy letter attesting to the fact that I am a Canadian citizen, born abroad, which has a pretty CANADA 150 maple leaf on it, so Yay for Good Timing, I Got The Cool Logo. And now an OHIP letter, soon to be an OHIP card, at which point I can go to yet a different government office, fill out yet ANOTHER government form, write a test of some kind, and get my learner’s permit, as a prelude to getting a real driver’s license, which would have drastically simplified my life last year with the bus kerfuffle.

Oh yeah, the bus. Still hasn’t come up for auction, but when it does, I might just go there now that I have government ID and I know what it’s worth as scrap. Without government ID even the scrapyard wouldn’t take it last year. Wonder if it’ll still have all the stuff, like the dehydrator bolted to the custom-built counter.

But with a driver’s license things like ridesharing become possible. With a driver’s license and a bit of work under my belt, I’ll have some money and can buy a second-hand car or van and then I’ll have mobility and options. With a van, I can even sleep in it for free, so as long as the insurance isn’t a money bomb I will be, however slightly, on the property ladder as they say.

Yes, welcome to the 21st Century, where the Canadian Dream is to live in a second-hand van.

Speaking of work, I’m currently Not-Procrastinating on it by writing this blog post, my first in quite some time (years?). I’m practicing, warming up. Originally, the ol’ raincoaster blog began because I was describing myself as a writer, yet had no writing to show anyone. So, I assigned myself 200 words a day here, and that’s what I still recommend for my students, although I suggest 5 days a week, not 7.

Burnout is real, y’all.

But recovering from the accident has taken far longer than I had hoped. My brain works superficially quite well, so if I were, say, a tv talking head, I could go back to work now or some months ago. As a journalist in a highly complex and constantly changing field, it’s currently somewhat reaching to try to go back to that position, so I’m warming up by taking a couple of assignments that should be easy for me. SHOULD be.

Let’s put it this way: one of them is seven months overdue. One is a month late. And the other, thank god, is with an organization that moves as slowly as I do.

But blogging again, once a day for 200 words, is going to help me. Help me get back in the swing, get back to proficiency and prolixity (I did do 48 blog posts in a 24 hour period once, after all). God knows what I’ll write about, other than myself and procrastination, but here goes. Wish me luck.

Event Tips: The Mental Walk-through

When I finally get back to Beautiful BC, I’ll be running some social media workshops, bootcamps, and the like at the Fisgard St. Forum. It’s a great little space right downtown with several different configurable rooms, and the price is right! Not to mention the management is awesome.

And no, they didn’t pay me to say that.

Fisgard St. Forum

Sign on wooden fence that says "Who knew?" Sometimes the world asks us good questions.

One of the great practical tips for an event planner is to do a physical walk-through of your event and venue before the doors open…and with enough time to make adjustments, to ensure that you’ve got sightlines, security and signage all in order.

But the most important walk-through is the one that you do in your mind at different stages in the planning process.

At the start, when you’ve got your brainstorming hat on, it’s also helpful to literally close your eyes, and imagine the event from the point of view of the person walking in, and moving about the venue. What are the door and check-in procedures going to look like? What do you want them to see first? Do you want entertainment in that corner, or just the main stage?

Part way through the planning process, do it again (and again!). Close…

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Pysanka Legends & Superstitions

If I were Simon the Peddler, I’d be pretty goddam pissed off, actually.

The Pysanka Shop

“The Hutsuls––Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine––believed that the fate of the world depends upon the pysanka. As long as the egg decorating custom continues, the world will exist. If, for any reason, this custom is abandoned, evil––in the shape of a horrible serpent who is forever chained to a cliff–– will overrun the world. Each year the serpent sends out his minions to see how many pysanky have been created. If the number is low the serpent’s chains are loosened and he is free to wander the earth causing havoc and destruction. If, on the other hand, the number of pysanky has increased, the chains are tightened and good triumphs over evil for yet another year.

Newer legends blended folklore and Christian beliefs and firmly attached the egg to the Easter celebration. One legend concerns the Virgin Mary. It tells of the time Mary gave eggs…

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Nick and Nora

The Thin Man Drinking Game

Nick and Nora

Nick and Nora

Apparently TCM is running The Thin Man, one of the truly great movies of the Thirties, featuring two of the truly greatest performances, those of William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. And also, since it was released just after Prohibition was lifted, featuring an awful lot of every possible kind of booze, making it perfect for a drinking game.

So, without further ado, here is the drinking game I came up with. Basically, every time the characters toss back a Rock and Rye or a Martini or a raw slug straight out of the bottle, you take a drink, one relating to what they’re drinking at the time.

You will need a bottle of Scotch, white wine, Champagne, a cocktail spirit of your choice (we don’t recommend sticking with Scotch all the way through), one shot of Jaegermeister per person, a lot of the mixer of your choice, appropriate garnishes that should be pre-prepared because you’ll be too drunk later, cocktail glasses, highball glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, a cocktail shaker or pitcher depending on your preferred cocktail, cocktail ingredients of your choice.

For survivability’s sake, make all your cocktails and highballs singles, no more than 1 1/2 ounces of alcohol, and about 4-6 ounces of mixer. If you watch the movie, you’ll see that’s the standard size back then. The secret to the Six Martini Evening, as Nick knew and Nora discovered, is to keep to singles (which I was quite horrified to discover, bars still make unless you ask for a double. Huh. Imagine that. Ottawa; so very different from Vancouver).

It’s probably best to pre-mix a generous pitcher or shaker of cocktails before the movie starts. Keep lots of ice on hand as well, in case you get dehydrated or you bought the cheap Scotch. You will be drinking wine, taking shots, consuming cocktails, tossing back highballs, and quaffing Champagne. Should be quite a party.

Good luck getting to the end of the movie!

Seeing Nick and Nora have six martinis in the bar, DRINK A COCKTAIL

Looks like scotch and soda in the meeting with Macauley, DRINK A HIGHBALL

Nick handing out cocktails at the party, a dozen or so on a tray, so everyone have a COCKTAIL or HIGHBALL your choice

Nora handing out COCKTAILS at the party, have a COCKTAIL

Nick drinks a HIGHBALL although he appears to have had a few.

Nora hands the remaining cocktails to reporters. If you’re a reporter, bonus COCKTAIL!

Nick drinks Nora’s Rye COCKTAIL.

Nora has a HIGHBALL she gives Dorothy

Nick mixes himself another HIGHBALL

“maybe it’d help you to sleep” Nick pours himself a HIGHBALL and shotguns it.

Nora requests a drink, Nick makes her a straight SCOTCH which she doesn’t drink

Nick drinks her scotch, drink the drink of the person on your left.

Nick gives her some straight SCOTCH to bring her around after he slugs her.

Nick slugs a lot of SCOTCH

Nora gives him a glass of HIGHBALL but drinks SCOTCH from the bottle. Twice.

Then he drinks the HIGHBALL in the tumbler.

Christmas morning, Nick drinks a HIGHBALL

Nunhiem pours a SLUG for the Lt., Nick drinks it, and it’s nasty. TAKE A SHOT OF JAEGERMEISTER.

“It’s putting me way behind in my drinking” Nick has a HIGHBALL

Waiter/cop at dinner offers a COCKTAIL

Morelli drinks a glass of WHITE WINE

Nick drinks some WHITE WINE

Glasses of CHAMPAGNE on the train