Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Okay, Josie--You win. My photos. By not- very- popular- demand

I got to university rather late, after a five-year stint with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
I flew for a while, but I fear few were impressed with my airmanship, especially when I nearly tore the wings off the plane after zooming toward the hangar after my first solo.
They soaked me in water, traditional first solo dunking, but my flight instructor was not totally thrilled. I ended up in ground crew, radar...Came in real handy once I graduated to blogger!
The supercilious horse's ass on the right is me graduating from Ryerson University...I had to take four courses at other universities to get that BA. I guess I'm forever a late bloomer. Accreditation committee insisted on me doing catch-up work at U of T...Was it my low SAT scores?
Seems I couldn't tell calculus from cabbage rolls.
Ah well, they gave me the "Polish" mark anyway. Enough to graduate.
Not sure if this is a blog. I am relaxing with a Cobassier and my first royalty cheque from the Aurora Public Library. Hic nobis!


Josie said...

Ivan, you were a pilot?

Oh, lord....

Well, you definitely were a cool dude.

I'm in beautiful downtown Victoria, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I'm sitting in a windowless room.


(I removed my most recent post. I think I made my point....)


islandgrovepress said...


Ah it was nice to have had the 20/20 vision.

Nowadays, it's the reading glasses and couch flying.

Your post. Probably a good decision.

Sometimes I wonder how real this blogging thing is. You rarely meet the real people, though I know you've had lunch with one or two.

Sometimes you just have to till your garden...Come to think of it, it's spring and all the birds are back. Last week, I saw a flock of robins chewing hell out of a snowcovered golf course. They must have known what they were doing, whereas sometimes we humans don't.

I'm in the middle of spring cleaning here...Had no idea I had become a total slob till friends came and said it's a good thing I was writing about squalor, because I sure was surrounded by it.
Blogging makes you almost forget everyting else, some sort of obsession and you ratscrabble away while cobwebs seem to grow all around the corners.

I used to watch Liona Boyd play; I was often invited to her concerts, my damsel with a dulcimer,mistresss of guitar.
She said I wrote too much about masturbation.
Well, Philip Roth did!

Unfortunately, I was better at "Portnoy's Complaint" than actual success with the book. Ha.


Donnetta Lee said...

Hi, Ivan. Congratulations on the cheque! Worth a celebration. I agree that the blogging is addictive. I need to clean house, too. I think Liz has hinted that I'm a clean-freak, though. I drive people crazy with it, but that's me. HOWEVER, the house has suffered since blogging began. Thanks again for the edits today!!

islandgrovepress said...

No problem, Donnetta.

I am something of an exercise freak and after a ten mile walk, I get this excess energy--and take it out on other people's first drafts. Heh.
Well. I've had company twice in as many days, they look at my digs and say, "What in hell is this? Your walls need a total scrubbing down and painting, your cupboards have a patina--hell, say it on!--a coating of grease on them and your cigarette smoke has stained the ceiling.
I guess I got to have become Pig Pen in PEANUTS.

I blamed it on my blogging osession, and hey said, "stay away from that. It'll suck the brain right out of you."

I notice that Jay Wells, in her blog, says somewhere that her housework too is starting to go as well.

All my poor wives and semi-wives.
They had been living with an utter Pigpen.
Well, I scrubbed down painted the walls, almost gassed myself with the old but still useful paint I found in a dumpster, and the apartment has a new look.

One of these days I hope somebody will say people live here Heh.


Sienna said...

Great photos!

Ivan the second picture, you blokes look like The Everly Brothers, so handsome and way too cool.

Zooming around a hangar sounds quite fun, at least it means wheels on earth...what's a few wings more or less, sounds like my kind of plane. :)


EA Monroe said...

Ivan, my brother is a pilot and jet engine mechanic. He was a crop duster and flew through plenty of trees in his time. On his solo flight when he became lost, he followed the railroad tracks to the next town, read the name of the town on the water tower, and flew home.

Yeah, we ladies agree, you were a cool dude. Is the other guitar player guy the same fellow that was in one of your other photos that you posted?

PS -- my house looks like a dog lives in it.

islandgrovepress said...

It was kind of nice, helmetted and goggled, looking a little like Snoopy in the reflecting instruments.
Curse you, Red Baron!
There was still the memory of the last war. Smell of glycol, rubber and high octane.
It was a time when we kids still had that parmilitary streak, "That was no Fokker. That Fokker was a Messerchmitt!"
And now we've come to the Middleeastern mess.

Well, there was always music. That I could do.
And now I meet young kids with hands like spiders. Fast Freddie on the Fender.

Bet you see airlanes all the time out there in Vicotoria, Australia.
Float planes, no doubt.
And helmetted pilots spraying crops.

islandgrovepress said...

Hi Liz,

No, this was yet another guitar player I'd gigged with.

Lord, we meet each other fifty years later and find this other guy married and divorced three times, kids all over and thumping a bible--Jesus freak.
Others have done really well. School principals on fat pensions. Brood of four girls, all of them smart and sassy.
I suspect (fear?) there is more to come yet. My mother is almost a hundred years old.

If John Cale or Willie Nelson can do it...
Ah, but they are JJ and Willie!


Josie said...

Ivan, reading your blog always cheers me up when I'm feeling crappy. My goodness, you were soooo cute! You must have had tons of girlfriends, a guitar player who looked like that! You devil!


islandgrovepress said...

Well thank you, Josie.

Well, the girlfriends did come, but at awkward times. Strange beds sometimes lead to coldwater flats.

Here is something that somehow cheers me up when I look back upon the hard times.

Joyce Glassman (Johnson) - Waiting for a check

"Hello. I’m Jack. Allen [Ginsberg] tells me you’re very nice. Would you like to come down to Howard Johnson’s on Eighth Street? I’ll be sitting at the counter. I have black hair and I’ll be wearing a red and black checked shirt."

I’m standing in Elsie’s kitchen, holding the phone Allen just handed me. It’s a Saturday night shortly after New Year’s.

"Sure," I say.

The windows of Howard Johnson’s are running with steam so you can’t see in. I push open the heavy glass door, and there is, sure enough, a black-haired man at the counter in a flannel lumberjack shirt slightly the worse for wear. He looks up and stares at me hard with blue eyes, amazingly blue. And the skin of his face is so brown. He’s the only person in Howard Johnson’s in color. I feel a little scared as I walk up to him. "Jack?" I say.

There’s an empty stool next to his. I sit down on it and he asks me whether I want anything. "Just coffee." He’s awfully quiet. We both lack conversation, but then we don’t know each other, so what can we say? He asks after Allen, Lafcadio, that kind of thing. I’d like to tell him I’ve read his book, if that wouldn’t sound gauche, obvious and uncool.

When the coffee arrives, Jack looks glum. He can’t pay for it. He has no money, none at all. That morning he’d handed his last ten dollars to a cashier in a grocery store and received change for a five. He’s waiting for a check from a publisher, he says angrily.

I say, "Look, that’s all right. I have money. Do you want me to buy something to eat?"

"Yeah," he says. "Frankfurters. I’ll pay you back. I always pay people back, you know. (New York, 1957)

--compiled by Dana Cook.


Josie said...

Ivan, why does that seem familiar to me? Where have I read it? It's very familiar.

I just changed the post on my blog. Have a look. Arrggghhhhh! I'm really p**ed. Pardon my French.


JR's Thumbprints said...

I certainly didn't have low SAT scores because I never took the damn thing.

islandgrovepress said...


I think what you might need is Ivan's anti-neurotic theory.

That or just plain Ivan -when- he gets- into- a- huff after some lady columnist trashes and burns him in her blog.

"Miss X, you are becoming an anemy.

"Have you no idea of the kind of person you stalk?

"Are you blind, lazy or just stupid?

"I have a B.A., M.A and am, in fact, a D.P.

Having been to the south seas, I am heavily tattooed.

"There is a foxhunt emblazoned on my back. It is in full progress, but the crafty fox has disappeared in an aperture down there, just his bushy tail sticking out. He tucks the tail in just in time, leaving the hounds confounded.

I am not life imitating art. I am art!

"On my chest is the Canadian flag with the uncharacteristic motto of 'Don't bicker--dicker' and just below the flag, a decal of the Roadruner finally sodomized by Wile E. Coyote. Talk baloon for Wile E. Coyote: 'Beep-beep y'r ass!

"So don't bandy words with me if you haven't the words to bandy, and if you do, they are from Funk and Wagnalls and I can show you the page.

"Actually, Miss X, a man is said to be measured by his enemies, and I don't include unreadable writers in my social circle.

"So why don't you just sell life insurance like the rest of your rural Ontario retarded kin and stop this impersonation of being a writer. There are laws against that.
"In fact, I would offer you an entreaty: F-off!

There, don't you think I'm going to get some sort of apology?



islandgrovepress said...

My score had me come out as a mildly retarded high school teacher, and in fact, for a time, I were one.


islandgrovepress said...


For a time, I attended (and actually completed) a course at
Toronto's mucky-muck Trinity College, U. of T. That's where all the Canadian teacher come from. Holy Cow. This was not university. This was high school--but twice as hard!
Got the "Polish" mark. C+.
Darn. Almost hit C=, which, I suppose would make me a Euro.

Tom Brown's school days!


islandgrovepress said...


You may have read the Kerouac piece in the New Yorker, though I am not sure if the New Yorker ever accepted Kerouac.

Here is a note to me from Dana Cook, from whose blog I got the story.

Hey Ivan,

Stumbled upon your fine site recently while surfin'. Enjoyed your dumpster diving piece in Globe and Mail Nov. 99. To learn what I've been up to the last 10 years trying googling "Dana Cook encounters".

On my very occasional forays to Newmarket I hit Main Street, expecting to find a new generation of thieves, drunks and rednecks (you know, the type I housed at 99), but, alas, the street seems dead. I was worried that you might be, too.

What became of TracyT? What became of Froede?

I, too, a fan of Gerard Jones. Love his guide to publishing. Must track down his memoir.

Have you read Joe Gould's Secret, by Joseph Mitchell? If not, you should.

Do you read every wacko blog on the net?

If you're still at 540 Timothy, I'll stop by next time I'm in town.



Josie said...

Ivan, you must be drinking the good stuff tonight. You're hysterical.

"I have a B.A., M.A and am, in fact, a D.P."

Oh, God. Ha!


islandgrovepress said...

Hee, Josie,

Seems last night I was becoming a bit like HAL 2000, the computer gone out of whack in the movie, 200l.
"I am falling apart, Dave. I can feel it, Dave. I can feel it!"

Actually, I am still half-lit.

There are people who drive you to drink, my rich sisters being the first.

Pride does so often go before a fall and there is a certain brand of psychotic who knows this and will play with your emotions till you become prideful and she gets your goat. Doesn't matter your achievments. This is a person out on a 72-hour pass that you'd somehow taken seriously.
I have once come across the phrase that simplicity always overcomes complexity. The neurotic will try to convert you, put you in his/her cage that she'd somehow escaped.

Best to just ignore.

Tend your garden, says Voltaire.

Heh. I once came across a couple of "Paths". Psychopaths.
They began to do a real number on my head with their sexual embroglios and mind games but found perhaps too late that I was not only crazier than they were, but probably even better hung.

"Read some Whitney Streiber," I'd advised.
"Who is Whitney Strieber?"

"And you call yourselves witches and warlocks?"

"Stanley Kubrick eats a..holes like you for breakfst."

........Must be the paint fumes.


Josie said...

Hello, Dave...

Speaking of which, over on Donnetta's blog you called her Pam. I think like some men, ahem you are getting your ladies mixed up. If it were anyone else, she probably wouldn't forgive you, but because you are so adorable...


islandgrovepress said...


You are an absolute sweetie.

EA Monroe said...

Hello Dave!

You've read Whitley Strieber?! I gave a friend a copy of one of his first "alien encounter" books and she was so frightened she gave the book back. She had one of the "lost time" events that WS described.

EA Monroe said...

PS:Ivan -- "Communion" was the name of Strieber's book. Here's an interesting review of his "Lilith's Dream:"


Reminds me of Jaye Wells idea when she was researching Lilith.

islandgrovepress said...



Hal(In a heavily gay voice): I CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN... DAVE.

I have only read one book of Whitney Strieber's and that was the one with the gorgeous "dominatrix" who kept insisting the hero had to "take some heat." I forget what she heated him with--a steam iron or something. She was unnaturally beautiful and so were her parents who were also unnatural, though Swedish-looking...Heh. I thought I was in Central Ontario, where I woke up one day in a really good Alexadre Dumas dungeon...Life really does imitate art.
...They wouldn't give me a club key because I was a journalist.
I told them I knew the Marquis de Sade when he was just a young whippersnapper!


P.S.: WS is always on the Art Bell show. Way-out stuff...I will google for the WS review.


islandgrovepress said...


Just scanned the Streiber review.

Oh my. The unnnaturally beautiful vampire ladies had "a secondary vagina ringed with hypodermic needles..."

Makes me think of that old army song:

Since I met your daughter Venus, I've had trouble with my ....."


Strieber does indeed scare the crap out of you. No wonder your girlfriend was nearly livid...Did they get to her early? Heh.

Ones darkest fantasies and nightmares, and Strieber lays them all out.


islandgrovepress said...

Doubting Thomas:

You sent something in about flying, but I lost it somewhere in translation.
It certainly was nice to "slip the surly bonds of earh"--and that glycol smell probably came from some old P-51 Mustangs that the reserve squadron was mucking with.
The Harvard is definitely air-cooled. We'd buzz the Grand River and scare the fish.
Of course, they tried that in Lake Ontario with the much-vaunted Nimrod submarine chaser.
Tragically, the fish won.


Donnetta Lee said...

And who is that handsome young man? Oh, it must be Ivan!!

Pam--whoops! I mean, Donnetta

Sienna said...

You guys are so much fun...I think the only funnier thing then blogs are the comment boxes, just a hoot.

I have read Whitley! made sense to me :)

Donnetta aka Pam , or maybe Sienna?wait a minute? who am I really?
What am I? Always these dam questions...

Josie said...

Okay, I see the party is just getting started over here on Ivan's blog. As usual.

Still drinking the good stuff?

Can I have some?


EA Monroe said...

Josie needs a party after all her windowless brainstorming days! What's in the fridge, Ivan?

Leigh Kuriyakin said...

Leigh Kuriyakin (aka EAMonroe) on an U.N.C.L.E. undercover mission! Hah! Now I've blown my cover! Where do you keep the vodka?

islandgrovepress said...


While serving in the Air Force in Quebec, I came across this dude who seemed to have two heads.
He answered his phone, then he said, "Oh, it's for you."


(I was going to say, "es para tu", but then my French is really lousy).

islandgrovepress said...


While doing research on my thesis on MAD Magazine (sic!), i came across the observation that all MAD writers and illustrators had
"particles of missplaced schizophrenia."
Must the the depth of my erudition. It's rubbing off on everybody. Particles of missplaced schizophrenia. Heh.
Here comes that man with two heads again!


islandgrovepress said...


I am going to invest in a 26er of Black and White tonight. When in the company of my Scots navvies, I ofen hear the phrase, "Here's looking up your kilt." I dare not use that particular toast when with ladies for obvious reasons, but we'll "douse the Nelson" or something. Let's have some Black and White.
When is "dowsing the Nelson Day" anyway?
Last time around, I had to make do with spraying a fire extinguisher all over the halls.
"What are you doing?" asked the Super.
"I am dousing the Nelson."
He did not quite ask me to carry on. I think I heard him mumble, "Security!"


islandgrovepress said...


A Tanzanian friend and I got into a drinking competition some time ago, and he kept raising his glass, saying something in Swahili that I swear sounded like "Here's to the cobra!"
Not for nothing do I keep a fridge stocked with Mongoose beer...for to fight off the cobra.
Ah but for you, Elizabeth, I will stock some Guinness and maybe some Jack Daniels. We can just sit there rigid after a fifth of Jack Daniels. Apparently it's hard to move after a quart of sour mash.
We can watch the hippies next door, also rigid after their intake of magic mushrooms. I think even the dog was immobilized.

Josie, Afrikaans has Portuguese and Swahili in it. What do the Afrikaaners say? We used to toast each other with "Chimo!" when I was in Labrador. In Haiti, it was "allez votre!"
At the Grey Goat tavern here, where Scotsmen abound, they generally raise their glasses and say, "Fok me!"

Josie said...

Ivan, I have a Danish friend whose father was sort of a Victor Borge type. He used to say "Here's champagne to your real friends, and real pain to your sham friends." That has always been my favorite toast.


islandgrovepress said...

Leigh Kuriyakin,

I meant to hit the vodka myself when I got this real email from Moscow recently. Here is what it said:

Вышли Сало!
Здравствуй Деда!

I still speak some Russian and I translated it to mean,"The bacon has been brought home. You have fattened yourself. Hello Grandpa!"

Some interested Russian journalist? Publisher? Most likely a Russian spammer. Migod, they are attacking my site in five or six languages--even clay tablets now that I was the first "scholar" to really sift through the Epic of Gilgemesh to find, in a frieze, the very first example of oral sex. Bill Clinton prefigured in ancient Ur?
This was 4,000 B.C. (or BCE, as the yuppie archeologists now say).
Not for nothing is Bill Clinton an iconic figure.
(I mean, you have to go through years of self-denial to come up with scholarship like this...My former wife used to say, "Liar, you never denied yourself anything.").

Anyway, all that prurient stuff aside Leigh Kuriyakin, put away that plough and let's plow into the vodka.

Ahh. Little Noodnick says we are making too much noise in our drinking.
"Sharrup," he says. "Even the walrus has ears."


islandgrovepress said...

Neat toast, Josie.

Ued to love Borge when he'd spoof something while spoofing his own piano playing.

Josie, I am having a devil of a time making up my Lost Newfie Award. My techie too busy right now to help. I have the picture('s) I want to use, along with a mention that the award is issued by Island
Grove Press. The picture is of a very cute Newfoundland or Lab dog, and the caption goes like "Writing Lab Award from Island Grove Press."

I think you may have the technical skill to make up our award logo.
Got time?...I am too fuzzy tonight, but I would send you the Lab dog picture and maybe you could help me with it. Ivan

islandgrovepress said...


I was answering your email, Josie.
I thought you had sent the Victor Borge toast in a comment.

Ah. Damn beer.

Time for the Jon Stewart show in this Eastern Time Zone. And Stephen Colbert afterwards!


islandgrovepress said...

Oh, there's your comment, Josie.

I am getting punchy.

Maybe Stephen Colbert will snap me out of it.


Josie said...

Ivan, if you e-mail me the photo, I can make an award of it. What the heck, if Ilkie Yoldas can swamp (swamp!) the internet with her avatar, we can do the same. It's really embarrassing to visit other blogs and see the stupid thing displayed as if it really is an award. It's simply a link back to her blog. She's a clever girl.


islandgrovepress said...


Photo is on the way.

It will feature the cutest little
Labrador retriever dog, stolen from a book cover.

Will read:


dog picture here

Presented by Island Grove Press
for best example of "kitchen sink realism" in a blog.

What the hell.


Josie said...

I'm starting it as we speak. With my work commitments, I won't be able to finish until Saturday, but that's only the day after, the day after tomorrow. :-)


Danny Tagalog said...

You look cool, but the final picture scares me a little. You look like you could be some addled scientist.

Though thankfully you're not.

Phil or Don? I'm wondering which?

islandgrovepress said...

Hay Danny,

When I had my book printed the guy in charge of the shop said I was a mad scientist for sure. Heh.


Donnetta Lee said...

I'm telling you--you mix that vodka with kalhua--half and half. Yum. And the world looks so much nicer, kinder, sweeter, better. I love Josie's sham toast. Must remember that. Particles of misplaced schizophrenia. LOVE that. And the drinky-poo makes it sound so profound. Maybe it is so profound.

Leigh, there you are! Seems I've found myself here in Canada now. What mysteries lurk? All hidden by a veil of secrecy. Watch out and take care. Nikki S.

I think my particles are scattering.


EA Monroe said...

Ivan, we can always use a mad scientist! I'm off to round up scattered particles and more vodka.

islandgrovepress said...

Funny how with mismixed drinks and particles of some other stuff, you got that eerie ability to see around corners. Certainly semantic corners.
Did the MAD people I interviewed for my thesis on MAD play with grammatical constructs when they said "particles of misplaced schizophrenia"?
Misplaced participles? Hm.That IS sort of profound, Donnetta.
Maybe your particles aren't scattering after all. Yea, not even participles!

Ever read Ludwig Wittgenstein, held by some to be the greatest modern philosopher? He was a little bit Jewish too, like the MAD writers.
MAD wrote to me, saying I am now one of them, so that makes me a little bit Jewish as well. Embedded is a strange culture with strange ways.Some of the ways violent. Driven MAD.
Particles of misplaced schizophrenia.
But then old Ludwig Wittgenstein starts to pull you out.

"A sentence is a word picture."

Well, that's a bit clearer now.

I had been thinking that all Island Grove Press authors should at least take Philosophy 101.

But it seems tonight, Donnetta, that you are coming across it naturally--or, at least with that lovely Kahlua and vodka mixture.

We're having a "seeing around corners" sesssion up here in Canada.
Could it be that a syllogism, or a trio of propositins, could consist of Ivan, Donnetta and Elizabeth tonight?

Ogden Nash:
Malt does more than Milton can
To show the ways of God to man.

Egad, the things we conjure when we have too much time on our hands!


islandgrovepress said...

We were both constructing emails about the same things; they somehow crossed. Yours came in a microsecond before mine. I had no idea what you may have composed. I was kind of composing the same thing.
You into clairvoyance?


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Hi there, great photos. Josie has me thinking separated at birth everytime I see photos now. That last one wouldn't be too out of place side by side with a photo of Martin Landau. What do you think?

islandgrovepress said...

Hello lone grey squirrel.

Silver-tongued devil!
Martin Landau was a handsome dude. And that Barbara Bain in that Space series. Full thrust ahead!
I would fly through light years of space detrius just to get into her suit!


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