After nitrous oxide was first discovered, or isolated, or however it is they managed to first get it into a container so that it could be readily inhaled back in the late 1700s, some poets got their observant hands and lungs on it. Samuel Coleridge, famous British poet, was an early fan, and he apparently wrote extensively about how much it rocked, though he probably worded it a bit differently.
Anyone who's ever done a whippet at a concert knows how Sammy was right, which is why I love my dentist – he lets me have nitrous for my bi-annual cleaning. Seriously. I mark it on my calendar and am excited for weeks before my visit, taking steps to clear my sinuses, cutting down on dairy and pasta and such.
Yesterday was Dentist Day. I am blessed with good teeth, so I never get bad news, just a bit of scraping and a whole lot of deep breathing.
The best part is that I'm unable to record or share my numerous and intense revelations and insights I get while on nitrous, because I'm not in a position to take notes, and speaking is a bit difficult with a dental technician's fingers in your mouth. So I just have to keep quiet for an hour, which is a real treat for everyone involved.
Here I am, pre-scraping, feeling groovy…and counting the days 'til my next visit.
Last week I was at my parent's house in Southern California. My Grandmother had just passed away, and I was scanning a bunch of her old pictures, because that's what I do. Not only is it good to have these pictures for sentimental value, but I will someday use them in future performances. There were lots of cool old black and whites of relatives long dead that I've never even heard of, but this picture really caught my attention…
The date on the back, stamped by the Fox Photo developing lab, says 1948. And this is exactly how the photo looks – I haven't added any fancy border or anything in Photoshop.
Pictures were not cheap in 1948, and my grandparents were far from wealthy, but something about these post-war ducks in their unknown pond was interesting enough to sacrifice a frame of film. It isn't like there were a lot of duck pictures, either. At least not from 1948. As film got more affordable, and they had more grandchildren, there were certainly plenty of unnecessary shutter openings.
My parents brew decaf coffee each morning, which I see as more proof to my "I'm adopted" theory. My brother got us some coffee one morning from a local bakery. As I sat outside savoring his gift, I noticed that the sip cup lid was very intricate and impressive, unlike any sip lid I had ever seen. I did what any obsessive documenter of his own life would do – I got my digital camera and took about 10 pictures of it, in its various stages of opening/closing, from different angles, etc…
And suddenly the idea of my grandparents taking a picture of ducks wasn't so strange..
And, for that matter, neither is taking thousands of pictures of my neighbor's cat…
A friend called me today to see if I would be in a video he's making about a local political issue. I'm familiar with the issue, but I'm hardly political, so I declined. I told him when he's making a video about people who tell poopie jokes that he should definitely call me.
In one week I'll be performing at the Uno Festival in Victoria, BC. In the festival promo they say "a gifted storyteller and humourist in the vein of David Sedaris or Stuart McLean." This is cool, except that I don't know who Stuart McLean is. Since I'm obviously online at the moment there is no excuse to not find out, right? Hang on…
…OK, got it. He is, among other things, Canadian. As I suspected.
Someone from the Uno Festival will be picking me up from the airport – I really hope they have a sign that says "SMITH" on it. Or, better yet, "JESUS." For some reason this seems like a real step forward in my career – being met at the airport. Same with being compared with someone I've never heard of, though that just makes me feel a bit uninformed, so I won't be talking about that too much.
It's Sunday morning, almost noon. I'm still in bed, and my computer just gave me the "low battery" warning, but I'm determined to not get out of bed to get the power cord. Seems like a perfectly ambitious start to a blog. I'm imagining a time when this is at the bottom of a long, hilarious and insightful list of posts – won't it be cute, humble and quaint then?
I have big plans, you see. In fact, you could say that my future is so bright that I gotta wear a welding mask under a beekeeper's suit AND a whole bottle of SPF 40. You could say that, but think carefully before you do. And look around to see who might hear you.