Sunday, June 29, 2008

Queen Sabrina

Escapee, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

The cry from the other room lifted me off the sofa. My daughter stopped me, telling me that she would fall back asleep. She cried out out again. Now nothing would stop me. The royal command had been given. The decree had been sent from a dark room through the warm summer's evening to my ears.

Now she strolls the palace in socks and a diaper and the queen mother follows with a brush to fix her hair.

She rules my life. Her hand is only big enough to grab two of my fingers and she weighs one tenth of me but she is able to pull me up when she wants something. She does not speak but prefers to point.

Long live the Queen.

Friday, June 27, 2008

She would be 64 years old now

I just bought a song on iTunes that was one of my faves when it came out. You kids think that "cougars" are a new phenomenon but I can tell you they're not. I grew up having crushes on older women. My first grade teacher, my seventh grade English teacher, My sophmore English teacher. Older women. Teachers.

In the song "Summer, The First Time" by Bobby Goldsboro,

"I was 17, she was 31"

Other songs from those days I bought.

Bobby Gentry's Ode to Billie Joe
Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman

I also worked on some tunes from the high school/late 70's years


And of course who could forget the legendary Tres Gallos Mexicanos?

Jorge Negrete
Javier Solis
Pedro Infante

Those from CD's lent to me by a friend. The Three Mexican Roosters. I'm here to tell you that these guys saw some serious tail. Tragically, they all died young too.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to work on my music collection.


The blog is three today.

1473 posts.

Maybe that many comments but I don't do this for that. I do it for other reasons which I've explained before.

You may now resume surfing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm twice as tired today as I was rested day before yesterday.

And my tooth is starting to hurt but I took some aspirin. Ken Griffey Jr just popped out in Toronto but Spain won in Vienna. It poured down enough rain to turn my street into a river in Tucson and Matt's gonna rock us in Vancouver. I got some waffle cookies from Amsterdam and sent some money to Mendoza.

That's news from the world so it's no wonder I'm so tired

I'm going to win the lottery because I finally did what my wife told me to do. On our anniversary no less. I just bought ONE ticket. One dollar. Not 21 or 13 or 7. Just 1.

So what's the big deal?

Today's this anniversary thing. Twenty six years.

We said our I do's and we're still doing. Four kids, many jobs, a few different cities and houses. I've put on a few pounds since then (90) but so what. She feeds me well. Maggie started taking vitamins after many years of me urging her to and she discovered that she now has a healthy appetite. So she asked me while I was lifting the second or third coke of the day to my lips, "will you still love me if I get fat"? "Of course, don't be silly" says I without hesitating.

Aint I sweet?

She's so silly to worry about me loving a few more pounds of her. As you know, I have a transfer coming up. Probably my last move before I retire and it weighs on me because there are many places I WANT to go but not all work for our situation with the kids. I asked her yesterday about the possibility of maybe trying for Bellingham. The thing that is first on my mind is to get away from these 8 month winters because she doesn't like the cold too much. And she responded the way she has responded in the past when I thought about going to Maine or South Carolina.

"I'll go wherever you go".

People say that a marriage takes work and there are lots of cliche' sayings about it but I'll tell you what's made us last this long. What's kept us together. Sure, we're in love and all that goofy stuff but the thing that's made it last is that we entered into it deciding that we were going to do it and stick to it.

We tease the kids every now and then about divorce but they don't take it too well. There's a couple of them that wouldn't speak to us again if we did that. Trust me though when I say that's not what keeps us together. (cue Captain and Tenille song) Because love isn't always the bright light it's supposed to be just like the sun isn't always visible in the Vancouver sky. But you know it's up there so you push through the rainy days because it's just simply what you do. Then when the sun comes out again you know why.

I love you Magaly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

06/25/82 La Paz, Bolivia

I went over to the house of my then closest friend to avoid seeing the bride for 24 hours prior to our wedding ceremony. We hung out and listened to music and he showed me the next new thing. It was called a compact disc and it was a marvel. Pete was probably one of very first people in Bolivia to have a CD player. I knew then that CD's would never replace albums because they were so small and everybody liked the big art package of record albums.

So I crashed on Pete's couch for the night. Pete was going to be my best man. He was going to stand up for me at my wedding.

But he would not show up. He would let me down.

Territorial Swallows, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

I like to walk barefoot through the dark house. The soft carpet turns to cool smooth tile thirteen steps down. It smelled like grandma's house by the front door and I was ten years old again for an instant as i looked out through the glass in the front door to the street. Earphones and nice jazz and I didn't notice if the wife stirred as I walked by the bed to the bathroom. It took just a bit for my eyes to adjust after I turned on the light in the bathroom. The nail on my big toe was bothering me because it had split close to the edge and was like a knife and had to be trimmed.

Moments later and I was adjusting to the dark again when the light in my son's room lit up the hallway. I took out the jazz to hear my grandson crying. I startled my son as I appeared unexpectedly in the doorway of the room where my grandson sleeps and then went in to calm the little guy down. He had a look about him that makes me wonder if he was even really awake. But he calmed down and went back to sleep in an awkward position on his back with his head hanging over the edge of the bed.

Now I'm downstairs enjoying a day off feeling of being up very early but knowing that I can go back to bed soon and not worry about work for a couple of days even though it will pester me. Things at work are such a stressful situation like nothing I've known. A surreal feeling and wondering when people are going to snap out of it.

This coke is going warm fast because I just put them in the fridge last evening and they still need time to chill through. Coca Cola is printed in Thai on this and the other 24 cans in the box. Some Beijing Olympic promo thing.

I'm getting a sore throat thanks to somebody at work. That's the way we are. Even though we're sick we still go in. Nobody appreciates it but instead give us grief if we were to use more than two sick days in a row. Who gets a one day cold?

I'm going back to bed now. Maybe I'll play golf later today.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

God damn you George W.

The link below will take you to the Pulitzer Prize winning article by the Rocky Mountain News. Look for the photography slide show. Look at the second photo and read the caption. My wish is that the picture was enlarged and placed on every wall of every room of George Bush's house and that he be forced to look at it everyday, many many times.

  • Final Salute

  • Friday, June 20, 2008

    Rest In Peace Brick

    Rest In Peace Brick, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    We have been unable to place your order for delivery on the
    requested date. Please provide us with an alternate delivery
    date. Please call us at 800-822-XXXX or reply to this email.

    Thank you.

    This is the email I received today at 4PM from the online florist. That means it was 5PM in Arizona. The funeral is tomorrow morning at 10AM. I called, they said they could get the flowers there by then.

    Just great

    I also responded by email.

    you're joking, right? you email me at 4PM on the day the flowers were supposed to be there? I called the number and the lady told me that you could have them at the church by 10AM tomorrow.

    This is my uncle's funeral. You want me to believe that you could do something in a couple of hours tomorrow that you couldn't do all day today. I hope you can pull it off. My mother will be there. If she doesn't see those flowers you'll be crediting my card with a full refund.

    Good morning blogosphere

    On my back in bed with the iPod and my knees up and pecking two fingered on this thing I send out my greetings to all.

    The wife is moving around the house and I reminded her that she needs to shower before the roofers show up. See, there are two skylights in our bathroom and they're working that side of the house now. Yesterday I was sitting on the throne when the blue plastic was lifted away to reveal one of the workers. Sorry dude, you definitely lost that round.

    Got the weekly shopping done yesterday so I can watch the Euro 2008 quarterfinals games today uninterrupted unless I decide to go play golf.

    I had the weird dreams last night. Kinda like a rapid fire clip show of bizarreness. My core belief is that dreams are completely random electronic signals the brain creates to entertain itself but sometimes I like to think that the short weird bizarre rapid fire stuff I had last night are the brain's way of purging toxins. The conflict stress argument shit that we create in there while we're awake. Kinda like they say what occurs in tears. A needed release of built up toxins.

    All I need when that stuff happens is for Ludwig Van to be playing in the background.

    Have a good one, droogs.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Rest in peace Brick

    My uncle, Gerald "Brick" Huish lost his fight with cancer early this morning. He was almost 90 years old so the cancer had the upper hand. He was surrounded by his family when he left and that's always a nice thing. Brick is one of the people I have known all my life. Brick was born, raised, lived, worked, retired, died, and will be buried all in the town of Douglas, Arizona.

    I worked the border at Douglas for seven years and there was one certainty about it. If I was at work at about 8-9 AM on Friday morning I could say hello to Brick. Every Friday he went across the line to Agua Prieta to buy freshly made corn tortillas. Friday night was taco night at Brick's house. It had been that way for 50+ years. He "demanded tacos on Friday" as my mother said today.

    Brick will be laid to rest on Friday and I will be unable to travel to be there but we will honor my uncle from afar.

    On Friday night, we will eat tacos.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    The zen of golf

    I went a played golf today. I started out for shit. Two lost balls on the first hole. Two on the second. Scored a seven, then a nine. I didn't even finish the third hole. Through three holes I had lost seven balls. The fourth hole wasn't too bad. When my friend asked me what I shot on the fourth I replied, "I'm not keeping score anymore. I'm just going to make shots". I took that pressure off myself and proceeded to par the next five holes in a row. Then a bogie, par, par, par, bogie.

    I let go of the end goal and broke it down to the basics of making shots. I concentrated on one moment at a time. I blew a couple of the last holes because I was starting to tighten up. Now I'm very sore and crampy because I'm very tired from working so many hours and getting so little sleep. But for a stretch of ten holes I was on fire.

    Five pars in a row. My record is six. The ball I used in that streak is now on my dresser and "5 pars in a row" is written on it. It will sit on my dresser until my next visit to my father's grave where I will place it among the other golf balls that I've marked and set aside after having used them in some accomplishment of note on the golf course.

    One shot at a time.

    Sunday, June 15, 2008

    My father and I, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    I miss him tremendously. It has been an incredibly hard stretch here these last two weeks. I received a rather large paycheck that made me realize just how many hours I had worked. Just how many 3 or 4 hour sleep sessions I had before the alarm awoke me. Usually I wake up before the alarm goes off but that has not been the case lately. What HAS been that case lately is me wanting to tell these fools at work to fuck off and walk away. But I can't do that. It would be against everything my dad stood for. Everything he taught me. All those mornings when I was very young and his alarm went off and he got up and walked to work. The periods where he work two jobs. The time he was fired and desperate to find another job and got the job that would lead to him getting the job he had for over 20 years and the other job he had that he was getting ready for the morning he collapsed. The morning we got him to the hospital where the second heart attack would take him from us. He knew he would die one day and he just asked that he wouldn't linger in some form of incapacitation. He got his wish. I was blessed to have been there the day, the moment, when he needed me the most. I know he'd been there when I needed him and now that I sit on this bed and weep for my father he is here. He is why I will get up at 3 tomorrow morning and go to work another double shift. He's why I can look at the adversarial nature of my workplace and say, "you won't beat me. I'm too strong for you".

    Saturday, June 14, 2008

    Met a guy today who films one of the famous reality TV shows. outplay, outlast.... that one. So we're talkin' how I heard about how everybody that gets chosen to be on the show runs right out and gets a lawyer and an agent before the show even starts production. He nods in agreement.

    He tells me, "you should hear these guys talking about the deals they're working up during breaks in shooting".

    I tell him, "you and some of the others should write a book". It would sell millions.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Thank you K.D. lang for a wonderful wonderful experience.

    She did an amazing rendition of Hallelujah.

    She ended her second encore (and the show) with a song called, Shadow And The Frame.

    Upon arriving home I bought the song on iTune and it's on repeat.

    So I find myself and what I became
    Having nowhere else to lay the blame
    The darker side of me and my discovery
    The shadow and the frame are indeed the same

    Thank you too Rebecca


    Camp fire, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    When grampa babysits

    When grampa babysits, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    I paid $59.60 to fill the tank with gas today. I'm lucky in that I make good coin but it really scares me for those who don't and need a car to get to work.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Waterway, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    I went out to Iona Beach Park today and got sunburned walking around taking pictures. Nice peaceful place with a path over to a laguna and a river. You can't really see it in this shot but the sun was out most of the time I was there.

    180 degree turn

    Today I'm off, I'm rested, I'm watching Euro 2008, I listening to iTunes, I'm surfing the net,

    I'm a WINNER

    I checked my email to see that I had won tickets to go see KD Lang on Friday. I entered by posting a comment on Rebecca's blog, and my name was drawn out of a hat.

    Thanks Rebecca!!!

    Later I'm going out into the gray day to do some location scouting and shooting.


    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    You work with people who you don't count really as friends but your cordial and laugh at times together because you're all in this thing together.

    Then you turn your back and in goes the fucking knife.

    You work your ass off for 20 years for an organization and your work ethic is better than most and to show their appreciation for your labor...

    they twist the knife whenever they can instead of pulling it out.

    If I drank, I'd be hammered
    If I was an asshole I'd take it out on the wife
    I just stay quiet and keep it all inside
    Matt, you never read my blog but your song helped a lot today my friend

    "I'm tired of walking around here with my hand on my gun"

    That's how MY day went today.

    Hope yours was better.

    Sunday, June 08, 2008

    I have decided that I want a bicycle for my birthday.

    And plenty of country roads.

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    Poor Willie went to see a traveling circus and it's famous talking dog act. The "talking dog" was, of course a well trained dog and a good ventriliquist. Of course there was a con artist willing to sell the secret of teaching dogs to make basic phonetic sounds. If some bird could be trained to talk afterall...

    When the con man knew he had a certified sucker in Willie he sent him to a neighboring town where the "breeder" of the "talking dog" had a litter mate to the famous canine.

    Willie spent his son's college money on the dog and lessons and special training and when he finally realized that he had been taken, he blew his brains out.

    Willie's son (Willie Jr.) became an alcoholic and was pretty much worthless when a group of shrewd businessmen with shady pasts cleaned him up, and got him elected mayor. he continued to drink heavily but was "reelected" twice before the feds caught up with the "men behind the throne" and sent them all to prison. Willie Jr had been sober enough just one time to know where the money was hidden and made off with $500,000 in cash.

    Willie Jr moved to Florida and bought a huge tract of worthless swamp land that is now called Disneyworld. Willie never married and when he died he left an estate worth 78 million dollars..... his dog

    One, two, three strikes you're SAFE?

    I told you about Sandra in the sixth grade and how my shyness saved me.

    When I was a Freshman in high school I fell hard for Brenda. She was everything I ever wanted and we became good friends. The sad thing is that she had a boyfriend. He was a senior and of course, everything I was not. He was very cool and we got along good. But during our Sophmore year they broke up. YES!! Did I step right up and tell her how I felt about her? NO! Some say shy, some say chickenshit. Soon Brenda was dating a good friend of mine and then not long after she stopped coming to school.

    Can you guess why?

    I sat next to my buddy in science class and he would give me updates on Brenda. She was in school but the school where expectant mothers went and she was doing okay. They got married. My friend told me that they were trying to pick a name for the baby. They had a boy's name but not a good girls name. I suggested a name that was also the name of a popular Stones song. Angie.

    Guess what they named their daughter?

    Next came Becky. My beautiful blue eyed Becky. She was the typical cute girl who dated losers and I was her confidante. I knew it all and I told her what to do best I could. I was the "I can talk to you" patsy. I made my moves but not too agressively because we were the same religion and I wanted to adhere to those standards for whatever reason.

    Little did I know.

    I went on my two year mission and when I came back I took Becky out a few times. We weren't serious but I was trying to move that way. She was seeing another guy as well but I was being persistent because I really like Becky. Then one day while we were alone she told me that she was marrying this other guy. I was devistated but didn't show her. I got an invitation to the wedding, sorta. It was addressed to Brother and Sister Lilly and Dan. I was "and Dan"?

    Becky didn't even KNOW my parents other than meeting them once for five minutes.

    Needless to say I was a no show.

    Becky and her husband moved away shortly after the wedding. I found out later it was so the gossipers wouldn't count on their fingers and come up short a month.

    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    Picturesque, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    Grampa gets to spoil them when they're young AND embarrass them when they're older. It's the best of both worlds until she pushes my wheelchair into traffic

    Alice Vail Junior Jail

    I was excited to get to junior high because junior high had a snack bar with long johns and you went from one class to another and it was two stories and there was shop class and they had dances and we rode the BUS to school. But it was an old city bus and it cost 15 cents. It stopped right by the house and there was one with bad suspension that we could rock back and forth like a ship on the high seas while chanting "rock the bus".

    There was also some nervous anxiety involved. Kids from other schools combined with your school so there were strangers who looked odd and there was gym class with showers and the P.E. teacher announced that you needed a jock strap and what the hell was THAT? "Just go to Ward's or Penney's and tell them you need one".

    I had something new to call myself. Alice Vail's mascot was a Falcon. We were the Falcons.

    So I immediately crushed on several girls and my English teacher.

    I tried out for the football team and the basketball team but I was too small for either. Every week in P.E. we had to run a mile and a half "cross country" around the school yard. I hated that. Remember, we didn't have running shoes. We had converse all-stars and though you might think they're cool NOW, try running in them. They're kinda flat. We got to play flag football though so that made up for running. I had this incredible knack for intercepting passes.

    These were two years where friends I had for years began to fade into a mix and new friends emerged. New ideas popped around and I began to notice the war in Vietnam for what it was and POW bracelets arrived on the scene. I wanted one really bad but could never get one.

    I made a book stand in woodworking class that I still have and my teachers were cooler than the teachers I had before and I noticed how some other kids dressed and how the girls were developing. Just the normal stuff like kids today but with better music and warm weather.

    The inbetween

    It's raining pretty good outside. That's something that would normally make me angry on a day off BUT the roof on the house is being redone and they can't work in the rain. So it's quiet. At least until the little ones get up.

    Then it's game on and me wishing it WASN'T raining so I could get out to the golf course.


    Conroy announced his arrival to the day by tumbling a large toy down the stairs
    Sabrina announced hers by crying all the way down the stairs
    (which is actually her way of saying, "come get me grampa")
    My wife has just announced her arrival by coughing her way down the stairs
    The shower is running which is my daughter's announcement

    Damn rain

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    Peace Arch Park

    Peace Arch Park, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    The Peace Arch, originally uploaded by Dan Lilly.

    Constructed in 1914, the arch marks the border between British Columbia, Canada and Washington, USA and is the centerpiece of a beautiful park.

    I finally decided to visit this park after driving through it many many times. The well manicured park is probably something that doesn't exist on many international borders. There are great picnic areas on both sides as well as sculptures. Most of the sculptures are on the east side of the road where there's more room for them.

    You can cross back and forth across the border with ease as long as you don't leave the confines of the park. If you do that, you have entered either Canada or the U.S. illegally. There has been some smuggling activity but nothing that you would have to worry about.

    Each picnic area on either side of the border has a large open space allowing for a variety of lawn games and clubhouse that can be reserved for large group gatherings. They're equipped with full kitchens. (stove, fridge, microwave) as well as tables and chairs. The Canadian clubhouse has a fireplace with wood provided. If you're on the Canadian side headed toward the park, turn right before the duty free to access the parking lot

    I rarely post about politics but

    Barack Obama has secured the democratic nomination for President of the United States and Hillary Clinton is morphing into a female Dick Cheney. There are those who think an Obama-Clinton ticket would be a dream but I believe it would be a nightmare. It's the very reason why something never happens. Why the winner never picks the runner-up. Until Dick Cheney came along, the Vice President pretty much always slipped into obscurity. Dick had more experience and more power than George and many feel he's the 'power behind the throne" and calls many of the shots. I believe the Clintons see this as an opportunity to do the same thing. There is one thing that's almost a lock in this election. That is that John McCain will lose. People who look at the polls now are fools. There is a long way to go. There are debates. There are "foot in mouth" traps laying in the grass for both candidates. Right now people are worried because Barack has only a slight lead and in some polls is even. Let me remind you that when Barack entered the race for the nomination he was trailing Hillary by 30 points in most polls and Hillary was, is, and will always be tremendously more popular than John McCain.

    People say that Hillary supporters simply won't vote. I say that republicans will stay away in droves as well. John McCain has to lose this "W's third term" monkey on his back and to do that he will shift his stance on some things closer to the center and it will drive the hard liners away.

    Hillary has to look at the harsh reality that she lost. She has only one option if she wants to retain party support. She has to be a GOOD loser. Her next chance at the presidency will be in eight years at which time she will be close to the age that McCain is now. If she muddies the water for Obama in this election she won't stand a chance of ever being elected President.

    Barack will be elected President by a margin of 10-12 percentage points without Hillary. It might be a larger margin with Hillary on the ticket but it will surely be a Presidency shrouded by bickering and back door policy that may result in only one term because after all, the republicans aren't stupid. They'll use the four years to let the Bush fiasco fade and then find a solid candidate to counter the incumbent Obama. Sure, the incumbent is very hard to beat but the vice president who runs four years later won't be.

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Twenty five years ago today I held an infant that meant more to me than anything. She was wrapped up in a blanket and looked like some sort of worm because of it. I was just under two months from reaching MY 25th birthday.

    I held her in a stark, third world hospital where only six of the eleven babies born that day had survived their first hours. I was unemployed and uninsured yet the Bolivian health care system would see that she got the shots and care that she needed and that is something I cannot say would be a guarantee in my country today.

    She thrived and was cherished by all who came in contact with her.

    That continues to this day, her birthday

    I love you Jennifer

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    I don't mind if you don't mind kiddo

    I was working at the Ballentine Pier in Vancouver last Saturday. The place was jammed with people waiting to get on an Alaska cruise.

    I had to pee.

    I go to the bathroom and all the urinals are occupied by guys doing what guys do at urinals. All the stalls were occupied with guys doing what guys do in stalls. All the sinks were occupied with guys doing what guys do at sinks. And in the middle of it all was a girl mopping the floor.

    I shit you not.

    It was surreal.

    She left before my turn at the stall but it wouldn't have mattered to me.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    The sun and the clouds

    One of my coworkers called today to say he wasn't coming in.

    His wife was in labor with their first child.

    Later on another called to say he wasn't coming in.

    His brother had been killed in an accident.

    Nothing else that happened amounted to more than trivial bullshit.

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