When You’re A Jet

White picket fence, it’s a dream come true. Well, it’s a landscaping plan come true anyway. Sort of. We’re about a third of the way along painting thanks to our “Tom Sawyer Fence Painting” party last week. Straw hats, white stain and beer. Most of the neighbours bailed because it looked like there were going to be thunderstorms. But, like the Mega Millions jackpot, the bad weather passed us by.

Amy and Kate, our neighbours from across the street, came over to help out, along with Russ and Deb and Laura’s friend, Anthony. Since then, it’s rained most of the time and the rest of the time, I’ve been working and teaching Benji some basic skills in editing. I’m still not sure why I had an intern but hopefully he learned something useful from the experience.

We spent most of the week creating one-minute vignettes for the Artrain docent training DVD. These are short videos featuring exhibition curator Joanne Bigfeather talking about the artworks in Native Views. Car one is now pretty much done. Just two more to go. I’ve also been talking to musicians about doing tracks for the other Artrain videos. Wednesday, Carl Michel, a local guitarist and I went over to Detroit to meet Joe Smith, a native American DJ, drummer and singer. That was an energising meeting which I’m hoping leads to more.

Yesterday, I put Artrain aside to work on the video I shot of Candide at the Michigan. I now have graphics from the show and have been using those to cover a multitude of recording sins. Hopefully, Russ will like the sequence of Cunegonde and Candide singing about their garden growing while sunflowers appear all around them.

Actually, Candide wasn’t the only thing I worked on this week. On Thursday, we went to a Chamber of Commerce networking meeting at lunch time. We arrived on time to find the venue was on a private estate and the gate barrier was down. Laura waited. A large SUV went around us and the barrier went up. Laura gunned the engine and we followed. Bump, bounce. Just a little paint on our roof and we were in.

Our Starsky and Hutch entrance went unnoticed, however, and the Chamber’s networking highlight was an actress talking about public speaking. She reminded us to breathe, feel the floor being solid and claim the podium. I inhaled a sandwich, felt my wallet being shrunk and claimed a $5 gift certificate in the prize draw. Laura thought the actress was scary. Like maybe she should have a T-shirt along the lines of the Piston’s Ben Wallace–“Fear The Fro”.

Thursday evening we went out to watch the third NBA play-off at a local sports bar, The Arena. The had big screens and I had a big sandwich. A deep fried sandwich. Ham and turkey with cheese in slices of bread all coated in batter. Apparently this is called a Monte Cristo and they gave me maple syrup to dip it in. It was humongous.

Back at our semi-white picket-fence home, we’re almost in a position to make our own maple syrup. Okay, well maybe in twenty years. But it’s looking good. Hundreds of helicopter seeds have come down off Hiawatha’s big maple tree and landed on our yard and in our gutters. And every single one of them seems to have sprouted a little tree.

It’s weird. There are maple trees everywhere. It’s a bit like the Stepford Trees; they seem to be trying to help cover all the bare patches of earth in green. It’s like they’ve watched us go out four or five times with grass seed, sowing everywhere with limited results and gone, “Hey, if they can’t have a lawn, let’s give them a forest.” Which doesn’t explain the baby trees growing in the gutter. Maybe it’s an aerial Entmoot.

Whatever. The birds and squirrels love it. They’ve been sitting up there, chattering to each other and stuffing themselves silly on seeds and seedlings. They haven’t found the strawberries yet and if we’re lucky, they won’t. We have a whole collection of wildlife, including red and grey squirrels and various brightly coloured birds. One of these is a blue jay, which is looks like a large woodpecker. He’s pretty impressive and sits on our bar before going off to fight the squirrels. Maybe we should call him ‘Sheeeed, which was what all the students chanted at the Arena when the Pistons came out on Thursday.

We left at half time, by the way, to come home and finish watching the game. Across from the Arena is a large parking structure and we were up on the second floor. We called the lift (aka. the elevator) and got in. Just at the doors start closing, two more people stop them and get in. Then a couple more. Then they hold the doors open for ten of their friends. Loooong pause. We could have walked up by this time, so I take my small-minded revenge on them all and giggle like a nine year old who’s discovered beer. Yes, it *was* me!

I don’t know. Maybe I really haven’t grown up. In some ways, I don’t think this is such a bad thing. Is it? We went to Cedar Point, a huge roller-coaster park in Ohio a couple of weeks ago and we had a blast. It’s not so much being a kid still as simply enjoying life. Which reminds me of seeing West Side Story recently at the Michigan. Which reminded me of every Cliff Richard film I’ve ever seen. Which reminds me, I must finish editing Candide.