The Council of Future Rays

Moving Out of the Watcave

This past week has been hectic, as I’ve moved all my crap into storage in preparation for renting out the Watcave to a good diplomat friend who really needs a place in my area. See, the Blonde Girl and I are house shopping, so I needed to empty my condo anyway. So this all works out.

But, man, I am way too old to be moving shit. I hurt all over. Here’s a pic of my driver posing in front of all my shit in storage:

Moving is always a spiritual adventure. One re-visits the important moments in one’s life, enshrined in objects kept for no particular reason but as keepsakes. The throwing away of such objects is a soul cleansing and bittersweet process. One comes out of the affair lighter, but older and injured. It’s a necessary undertaking and a larger metaphor for life.

I threw out gifts and notes from ex-girlfriends, worthless souvenirs from forgotten trips, and items from my childhood that have no utility. The spiritual heft of this exercise is compromised somewhat by the advent of the digital camera and cloud storage. I photographed all of the items before tossing them. So, in a sense, I have not fully let go.

Case in point is my microscope kit from when I was a small child. I cherished this thing. It launched me on endless summer adventures in which I explored my environment at the microscopic level. It took me to the library to learn about science. It allowed me to self-educate about lenses, spectra, and microbiology. It took me on voyages through swamps, under highway overpasses, through much and other gross things, all in the quest to find samples to explore.

I am sad for today’s children whose adventures are largely safe and digital. I have a bright distinct memory of being 7 or 8 years old and fearing for my life clinging to scaffold of a highway overpass, trying to collect some pigeon muck to analyze. I remember that episode more vividly than I remember my first kiss. (Mind you, the latter was recorded by prison cameras, so it’s already preserved for posterity.)

Here is a photo of my microscope, which I donated to some drop box or other:

Cleaning out one’s stuff isn’t just about objects. It’s also about digital records. I accessed my ld Google Voice account and found a bunch of old chats. Here’s a snippet from my exchange with Bekkie V. five years ago:

That repository also revealed this intellectual exchange with the Blonde One:

Speaking of Dog and the Blonde One

Here he is during his daily breakfast begging. Shortly after this, I took him on a walk during which he had a poopy bottom. So I had to drag him into the bathroom and wipe his butt. I will never forget the look of betrayal on his face, like he just found out I stabbed Caesar or something.


The Council of Future Rays

One of my oldest friends, Sean, came to Ottawa this week to sacrifice his vacation to sleep on my unfurnished floor and help me move heavy crap into storage. That is a real friend, people. Now I know whom to call when I need to move a body.

Sean and I had first been to Ottawa when we were 12 years old on a school field trip, the same trip on which I personally met Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau; an episode that would change my life.

During this trip, we stayed at a hotel in the market that still exists today, the Courtyard Marriott. Neither one of us had set foot in the place in 40 years. FORTY YEARS, people! So we took a look:

On the drive (in a massive uHaul) back to Toronto, we stopped for a coffee and Sean spotted an important group of elder statesmen conspiring in the corner. Each was an older Indian gentleman, with an unmistakable noble bearing and great intellect, if phsyiognomy is to be believed. Sean understood this gathering to be what it was, the very important… Council of Future Rays:

The Overly Complicated Breakfasts™

Nov 25 – My token non-vegan meal of the month conveniently uses up all the eggs in my fridge: French toast with cinnamon and Sri Lankan paratha.

Nov 26 – Quinoa veggie burgers on a Guyanese dal puri with mango chutney, pickles, avocado and ketchup.

Nov 27 – The Elgin Street Diner’s chickpea burger with tamarind chutney, and a side of vegetable soup.

Nov 28 – Falafel platter from the shwarma place across the street.

Nov 29 – Vegetable curry at Shafali restaurant in Ottawa.

Nov 30 – Harvey’s veggie burger with fries, onion rings and vegan gravy.

Dec 2 – Mushroom veggie burger and my sister’s vegan pancakes.

Dec 3 – Mixed bean salad with my sister’s chick pea pasta, pita pocket, and a Montreal blueberry bagel, with a side of strawberries mostly stolen by the dog.

Dec 4 – Another bean salad, with raspberries (mostly for the dog), a blueberry bagel with balsamic glaze, and an English muffin with peanut butter and low sugar jam.

Dec 5 – Same as yesterday, but with a better photographic angle!

Dec 6 – Campbell’s tomato soup and leftover vegan pizza from Pizza Pizza.


A Final Note

Brother Hrab sends us this snippet from the life of the late President George HW Bush. From his 1992 nomination acceptance speech:

“We have a lot to be proud of. A lot. Some want to rewrite history, want to skip over the struggle, claim the outcome was inevitable. And while the U.S. postwar strategy was largely bipartisan, the fact remains that the liberal, McGovern wing of the other party, including my opponent, consistently made the wrong choices…”

Agree or not, it’s a pithy and historically curious observation. He followed up with…

“And now the cold war is over, and they claim, “Hey, we were with you all the way.” Their behavior, really, their behavior reminds me of the old con man’s advice to the new kid. He said, ‘Son, if you’re being run out of town, just get out in front and make it look like a parade.'”

Again, you don’t have to like his politics to appreciate the speech writing!

Now, I can’t leave you with a funerary note. Instead here’s a pic of a Superman action figure that I found in an Ottawa comic book store. I am creeped out by it because… it COMES WITH SPARE HANDS!!!!

Till next time, mein droogies.