Tuesday, August 22, 2017

9 Lessons Learned During the Great Eclipse of 2017

This was me to my wife Helena--in  the moments leading up to the great solar eclipse of 2017--even as we were picking up the free eclipse glasses that the University of Toronto's Dunlap Observatory was distributing: "I don't know what the fuss is about. I really don't care about an eclipse. I have absolutely no interest in this."
LIGHTING UP THE ECLIPSE: Jodie's an award-
winning lighting-store owner.

Me, four hours later: "Holy! That was the greatest afternoon ever."

Here are 9 reasons why:

1) I saw a guy in the men's room, wearing a kilt, using a urinal. Since I've never worn a kilt, the question never arose, but dressed like that he must have been taking a break from some Celtic stage show or something, but there he was, draped over the porcelain. Never expected that.

DOUBLE VISION: Pank and Helena
2) Fritz the Pug might be blind, but he sure is loved. Among the handful of people we met and watched the eclipse with on the patio of the Northern Comfort Saloon was one Jodie Orange, proprietor of the Living Lighting On King store on Toronto's very trendy King West. Her showroom actually won the North American Lighting Showroom of The Year Award and I promised to visit soon but actually, she had me at the story of Fritz, her pug. Poor Fritz was struck blind suddenly by something called Retinal Atrophy. It's a rare and sad condition but when I asked if she could get Fritz, say, a seeing-eye cat, Jodie responded with, "I'm his seeing-eye cat." "He's lucky to have you," I told her. "I'm lucky to have him," she said back.

IT WAS A SIGN: She knew our daughter Ev A
small world indeed.

3) When you Google "Christ vs  Krishna," one of the things that comes up first is "Christ vs Warhol," and here's why you have to know that. Josie, Fritz's guardian, Googled it.  One of the other people we met at this pop-up eclipse party on the patio was a super-friendly New-Delhi-born chap in his early 40's named Pank--"It's like Hank but with a p instead of an h"--and he plays lead guitar in a band called "Christ Vs Krishna".  He said they're thinking about changing the  name, "because some people don't know what to make of Christ Vs Krishna." Me for instance.

4) Except I sort of do now, after talking to Pank and following up on Josie's Google, I've decided I really like "Christ vs Krishna" and I'm doing my darndest to catch them live sometime. Want a sample? Click  here.

5) Don't you just love it that you can see a band instantly like that? Which brings me to another marvelous tech fact:  Three of the other folks at our party--Todd, Fareenza and Diana--all happened to be deaf. Diana teaches American Sign Language (ASL), and when Helena, using her ASL skills, let them know our daughter Ev is a sign student, Fareenza realized that they had actually met Ev.

EARS TO YOU, FOLKS: Todd solved our
 communication problem.
6) I should add that I used to know some sign. My best ASL story is about the time 20 years ago my friend John O'Callaghan and I were in a bar and I saw an ASL guy so I thought I'd show off and strike up an sign conversation but it went off the rails when I asked him his name. He spelled what I thought was J-A-Y.  I grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously. "How you doin' Jay?" He signed it again. I shook his hand even more enthusiastically. And then, just to make sure I understood,  he mouthed the word I was failing to grasp. I was mistaking J for G. I'm the Josh Donaldson of mixed messages.

7) But not on the patio Monday. After sitting with Diana, Todd and Fareenza for about 20 minutes, clumsily trying to employ  a few ASL signs so the visit wouldn't be too awkward, Todd came up with an ingenious solution. He texted me. In English. I texted him back. We started conversing.  PROBLEM SOLVED! It verged on the miraculous. And then I told Pank about my mom's campaign to have Alexander Graham Bell Canonized. Within minutes, we were chatting like old pals. Except now, we're new pals.

8) There were two guys on stage at our party. Buck 20 they were called. And what they taught me was "A Total Eclipse of the Heart" sounds a lot like "Making Love Out of Nothing At All," by Air Supply. Here. Check it out for yourself. Total Eclipse of the Heart vs Making Love out of Nothing at All..

9) An eclipse happened. That was interesting too.

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