Coming back home after 10 years

It has been a big learning curve. Here are my observations since June 2019 when we came home for good, apparently!

The Feminization of Boys

I was in the nail salon. A large man and woman came in with their 9-10 year old son.The boy should have been in school. Instead the parents brought him to the nail salon for a pedicure.The Mom asked him if he wanted polish.The boy hesitated and , I think, because his Father said “no” for him, the boy said no. But if the Dad wasn’t there, I think he would have taken polish, as his Mother wanted him to. What in God’s name is going on? Why are  women today (this gal looked about 40) deliberately feminizing their sons? I just don’t get it. If you’re gay, ok, good for you, be gay. I’m fine with that. But why is there a trend amongst parents today to overtly feminize their boys?

Last evening I was at a musical. Some of the choices struck me as very , very odd.

It has a Greek theme whereby there were “sisters”: the lead actress would say “Sisters of Greece”.Two of the “sisters” were boys wearing dresses. Why? Why not say “brothers and sisters of Greece” and have the two boys, both excellent dancers, dressed according to their biological gender? I just don’t get it. Here were these two boys happily dancing around in gowns. 10 years ago? Would have never happened. Forget the genderization, it was just such an odd directorial choice. I absolutely just don’t understand this!

A lot of people here “make up” problems. BC is paradise:beautiful air, clean streets, free medical, most people can afford dental, most people can afford good food and housing.

So because there are no real problems, people make sh** up. Honestly, this whole allergy to my perfume  business is ridiculous.There is no problem with my perfume or anyones’ perfume overseas. Overseas, everything smells, sometimes good, sometimes bad but no one, NO ONE ever complained about my very expensive beautiful perfume.Well the only person to really complain is my husband and I have limited the amount  I use but come on people! When I wear perfume into the schools, all the kids walk in the room and say “Oh wow it smells so great in here!

Sigh….I don’t know what to do with my own culture any more. It is so messed up here.

10 years later I see a very liberal Social Justice warrior attitude has taken hold.Everyone is  afraid to have an opinion. If you disagree with a SJW, you are called out and demonized, for daring to disagree with him/her.That’s not democracy, that’s fascism, a one way conversation. What a world, what a world.

 

The Saudi Air force has a heart!

This brings back memories of Saudi 2014 when the Saudi government “banned” Cheerios because there was a “heart” on the front of its boxes, which to them was a Christian holiday called St Valentines Day.  They thought the Cheerio boxes were celebrating Valentines Day so it had to be banned!

In response, the very next day, the Saudi air force, with British trained pilots as their teachers, flew across the skies of Khobar, making red “hearts” in the air with red smoke coming out of their engines. I watched all of this from our pool on An Nassim, our  compound, just marveling at the pilots’  amazing ability and the amazing stupidity of the Saudi religious police/government. What a moment!

I just lay there in the pool thinking “this is so beautiful and you Mutawa, well you are just so dumb!” How could you get it so wrong?!

The Mutawa did some funny things. The Dammam school of ISG held a “prom” night at the Holiday Inn in Damman. Ironically and coincidentally, the Mutawa had a “get together” night of their own in the same hotel. When the Mutawa saw grade 12 boys and girls mixing freely, with the girls wearing sexy dresses, well they just went nuts!

The Principal nearly was jailed, the girls were rounded up, it was total utter chaos.

The Principal shoulda (coulda shoulda woulda) known better with a gang like them!

Honestly the Mutawa were so hilarious. They would walk around the Malls with wooden “switches” ready to hit the Arab girls for walking with too much confidence, for wearing nail polish, etc. She says “You are not the boss of me!” I love this girl!

I heard of a Saudi-American girl who was stopped by the Mutawa because she “walked like a man.” in the Dhahran Mall which I visited a lot.

“What do you mean?, said the girl?

The Mutawa said “You walk with too much confidence.You must stop this.” What a bunch of clowns!!

 

“Mrs Harvey, Who the hell is Anne Frank and why is she so mean to my Justin?”

What a moment that was! It was Spring time 2014. Faten, this lovely Somali girl, but not someone to be trifled with, burst into the little theatre at Dhahran school.

“Mrs Harvey, who the hell is this Anne Frank chick and why is she being so mean to my Justin?”

“Ok, let’s break this down, let’s unpack this “, I said, knowing exactly where she was going with this tirade!

Well it seems that Justin Bieber made a big slip up in 2014 at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Image result for Justin Bieber at Anne Frank house in 2014 and image

Why would he write such a dumb thing? The answer is, because he was denied  any cultural literacy, he didn’t go to school because the entertainment industry took over his life.

But then what’s the other side of the coin?Why did Faten not know of Anne Frank? Who was Anne Frank to her? She, a Somali Muslim, born and raised in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, where any teaching of anything Jewish is…..verboten!! She didn’t have a clue about anything remotely concerning the Holocaust or Anne Frank, whereas most children in America and Canada learn about Anne Frank in grade 5 at least.

But  then, later, why did Beyonce take a selfie there? Are we being too judgmental?Maybe Anne, lover of Hollywood stars, would have been thrilled to know that Justin and Beyonce visited her home.Judging by the posters and photographs she posted in her room, I imagine Anne would have loved meeting them both. But that’s not for us to say I guess. That poor little girl died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz: it doesn’t get any worse than that. She was, however,  a very hopeful young lady. Ah, what to say to Faten?

Related image

“Ok, Faten, here’s what happened. Anne Frank was a little German Jewish girl who, with her family, hid in an attic atop a house on the canal near Haarlem, in Amsterdam. She wrote down her memoirs in several diaries. Sadly, very sadly indeed, she died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, a fate none of us even wish to contemplate for a second. And yet, her diaries gave the world so much hope!”

So when Justin wrote “Anne Frank…hopefully, she would have been a belieber”-well the woke left and right just flipped out. How could he say something so crass, so wrong, so uneducated, so insensitive? The answer is, exactly why you didn’t know who Anne was: you were BOTH denied education, you were BOTH denied under oppressive rule: YOU by the Saudi government, and Justin, but the insanity of pop culture and the ravaging effects it has on young stars.Look no further than Judy Garland to see what  havoc the industry can wreak on   young starlets.

“Faten, I know I am not allowed to teach you anything “Jewish” in Saudi Arabia”, I said, addressing the whole class. But class (my grade 11/12 Drama class), since I am leaving in June 2014, AND they can’t really fire me at this point, would you like me to teach you about Anne Frank, about the Holocaust, through a dramatic lens?”

Of course the kids said yes, and from then on we studied plays, monologues, scenes, stories, under the banner of Holocaust education. It was as if I had invented the whole thing: the kids, having been educated solely in Saudi Arabia, had never, ever heard of Anne Frank, the final solution, Auschwitz…none of it. Hard to believe right?

Well the same thing happened to Justin Bieber.While he was flying all over the world singing pop songs and busting cool dance moves, his Mother and the industry neglected to educate him on important facts of history.

It was the same for Queen Elizabeth II if you watch The Crown.She too felt denied a wholistic education, as her studies were confined to Constitutional law, etc.

So, because of Justin’s mistake and Faten’s blow up (she worshipped Justin Bieber) 25 Muslim kids got a huge Holocaust education from me. At least I did my job!

https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/04/world/europe/anne-frank-toys/index.html

 

By the way, I hope this next post is fake cuz it is messed up!

Image result for Justin Bieber at Anne Frank house in 2014 and image

Summer of 2019

We left Korea 5th June 2019.We flew out on KLM and landed in Amsterdam. I didn’t quite have the address of the hotel “EDEN” so some bus that we took did not drop us at the correct spot.Luckily, we found a young Muslim taxi lad who took us right there.He was really kind. We went to Elton John 8th June at the Ziggo Dome. I loved that Elton John stopped playing and just spoke kindly to the audience for 10 minutes, talking about his life and thanking all the fans for staying with him all these years. He was a true gentleman! The film Rocket Man had just come out but he didn’t really mention it. He spoke more about his children, his husband David,etc. And he talked about his AIDS foundation and how it helps a lot of people. Very wonderful show but fancy people just sitting there, drinking prosecco. All very civilized! Not like 1973! I loved that Ray Cooper came out in 1974 and there he was again 2019-and so was I.I remember being quite incensed that this “Ray Cooper” had joined the band. My 14 year old self couldn’t get past the notion that this Ray Cooper was not on the album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. I was so into being black and white. Now in 2019, he was back again, not really looking much different!

We found a superb jazz club called Cafe Jazz Alto.I think we went there four times.Amsterdam is great but it is super super expensive.We also went out to the countryside and went inside a windmill.That was very fun.Major tourist attraction!

Then we flew KLM to Birmingham. We then took a train to Stratford upon Avon and got a taxi to the B and B called The White Sails. It was lovely! Quite amazing how we are able to figure all this out. And it was so nice taking the train, seeing the countryside as you drive towards Stratford upon Avon. The Shakespeare site were great there.

The acting at the RSC was just “ok”.In fact, I’d say it is much better at Bard on the Beach,Vancouver.

One girl though was incredible.She was in a wheelchair and she bombed around that set like it was no one’s business. And she was a superb actress.She just flew in that wheelchair.I’d say she was just as much of an athlete as an actress.

Then on June 12th or so we received a facebook messenger from Morven saying Granny M was failing.We flew home as planned Friday June 17th.Dave got over to Granny Saturday June 18th.We had a little birthday “highland fling” piper come for my Mum’s 80th.That was funny. So off Dave went and then he took the Island express up Monday morning 17th June. I had just gotten a rental car from Toyota.Granny died around 1030am that morning. So that was very sad and unexpected.

Then Olivia began developing high blood pressure so they took the baby three weeks early.Thank goodness everyone was ok. Little Zelda is now 4 weeks old and as cute as ever.

Frances got married August 24th on my Dad’s birthday.Her new husband is Peter so she is Frances Topliss. I was very worried watching her at the aisle because she was weaving back and forth.I thought she was going to faint. She was very nervous and giggly.But she got through it. the party after was great at her house.

We had previously been to Toronto to see Kirsten in a circus show and then we saw “Dear Evan Hanson”plus “Come from Away” both exceptional productions.

I’m quite happy to have left SFS. It was just too much for me. I was bored teaching middle school drama. It was mandatory drama and that was just weird.

I prefer more process theatre and it is just too much rah-rah for me. Great staff, amazing shows, but the tech actually upstages the actors.They are just kids, very talented ,but too much high tech stuff: the makeup,costumes,lights,sets, sound, all way over the top.If it were just one/two shows a year, yes that would be fine.But there were 7 productions and I think that is excessive. I loved working with Edie Moon though.She is a very special person on this earth and I will always remember her kindness and her great talent. It was just too American for me.

Now that we are home: well we bought our new car today, a RAV 4 XLE.Fancy, fancy.

And today is our 41st wedding anniversary. I guess that’s quite a few years!

I will be flying to Calgary with my Mum on Friday to see wee Zelda again. I miss her so much!

Dave is painting our house a beautiful colour! Well that’s the summer of 2019.

 

 

 

A long time ago in 1977…..

Well I’ve never written about this story so here goes.

Dave and I were dating for about a year. He owned a yellow Econo-line van, that he bought from John Rive. Anyway somehow Dave and I got hooked up with Stephen Hubert, a wonderful guitarist from Hawaii. I believe Pete Gunstone saw him walking down the street, the Hoskin hill, and anyway, we picked him up. Turns out Stephen Hubert was associated with Gary Taylor, from Gary’s Rock Room. Ray Pettinger, the owner of Casino Records was involved.

Anyway….somehow Dave and I ended up in a CP Air pilot’s home in West Vancouver. It was a Sunday afternoon in 1977. We were invited by Shannon Aldridge. His young daughter, Naomi, was a Munchkin on stage with me in 1976. Turns out this Shannon guy was a pimp, a drug dealer, just an awful person. And yet, he seemed quite charming at the time. I think he invited us to the Sunday afternoon session.He wanted Ray Pettinger to hear us sing. Again I think the connection was with Gary Taylor and Stephen Hubert.

http://www.stevieguitar.com/

So there we were, two teenagers in this very fancy home in West Vancouver.The CP air pilot (cannot remember his name) was running around, answering the door.People were coming in and out the back door.I remember there was a teacher or a hairdresser named Richards Zaks. I think his wife’s name was Angela. They were there.I was playing a gorgeous white grand piano and singing in a mike.Dave was playing guitar. A Frenchman was hooking up German MK tiny speakers in the house.

I looked out the bay window and saw several men scurrying around the pilot’s property.

“Uh, excuse me sir, but there are several men climbing up your front window”. Uh, excuse sir, there appears to be several men on your property….

“Yeah, yeah, shut up kid, keep singing.” Then I would hear people saying ,”Oh, yeah, it’s pretty good stuff”. I assumed they were talking about my singing. Yeah, right! I was so, so naive.

BOOM! The door is kicked in. “RCMP DRUG SQUAD.EVERYBODY UP AGAINST THE WALL!”

Screaming, freaking out, guns, etc. I went up against the wall. So did Dave. I wasn’t scared. I thought it was a joke. Turns out it wasn’t a joke. It was real.

So Dave and I were hauled off in a paddy wagon to the RCMP West Van Cop Shop. Or it might have just been the WEST VAN cop shop.

I had no idea what was going on. We were led into the WEST VAN cop shop. I was thrown into an interview room and locked up for 12 hours.

Dave was thrown into a cell with Shannon Aldridge. the cops said to Dave:

“Have you had any prior arrests?”

Dave: “No, only juvenile crimes.”

Shannon:”Yeah, manslaughter, but I got off”

At this point Dave is feeling really, really nervous about being in a cell with a guy who killed someone.Shannon also asked Dave to go back to his condo and collect a ton of cash because he figured the cops would go to his house, raid it, and keep the money.He told Dave that there was a ton of cash in his bathrobe and he asked Dave to go in and take it for him. Dave decided, no this wasn’t a mission he wanted to accept.

What a bunch of criminals!! Thank God I don’t have anything to do with these people. But it sure taught me that I did not want to be in the music industry at that time. So dangerous.

Anyway, after insulting us both, calling me a slut, calling Dave some very bad names, the police let us go.  The police said to Dave “you are the ugliest thing to come out of your Mother’s ****. Nice work guys, very classy.

I think they dropped us off back at the West Van mansion because Dave’s very expensive Guild guitar was in the house and also his yellow Van was there.

We both went “back” into the house and what a mess.The cops threw pizza on the walls, and slit the furniture with knives, pulling all the stuffing out of the couches.The cocaine apparently was hidden under the Japanese maple trees.

My memory isn’t as sharp as it should be, but I think that’s what happened. Dave retrieved his guitar and we headed out to his van.He was so nervous and upset that he drove into a ditch. I can’t remember how we pulled it out of the ditch but we did.Dave tells me that a neighbour came out and pulled us out of the ditch. No doubt we told him the entire story. Still can’t remember the name of the CP Air pilot!

Then Dave drove me home to  my house on Langworthy Street.It was now very late on a Sunday night and I had to go to school the next day. I’m guessing this happened . Dave says we got home at 6am. They had kept us in jail all night. My parents must have been worried about me but I don’t remember. Maybe they finally let me call my Dad and I told him where I was. I do remember sitting in that damn interview room for 12 hours and my only entertainment was looking up names in the phone book.

Maybe it was sometime in the summer of 1977, maybe sometime in June. What a horrible experience for a 16 year old kid. Those cops were terrible to us. We were 100% completely innocent and yet we were thrown in with a bunch of criminals. The cops couldn’t have cared less about us. I don’t think they could get away with it now.

But then again, why were we sitting in a mansion in West Van, owned by a huge drug dealer?It was an 11million dollar drug bust.The cocaine was hidden under the maple trees. We simply were asked to go there by Shannon Aldridge, a friend of Stephen Hubert’s. My God, we were so naive. I tell you, any thoughts of the music business went straight out of my mind after that experience!!

It was in the paper later that week and the reporters said “two unknown teenagers were let go”.That was Dave and I. My piano teacher’s husband called me “The Cocaine Kid”.I guess I must have explained it all to Mrs Levesque, although why I would tell her, is beyond me.

Years later, in 1982, I was at The Sting, with all the Bank girls. We were hopping and bopping to music, when I saw a very handsome  but strange looking guy sitting at the bar. I walked up to him and said “Have you been in jail?”

What a weird thing for me to say! Anyway, yes, he had just gotten out of prison that night and he was there with a buddy of his, a former CP air pilot who was busted for a very big cocaine seizure, back in 1977, in West Van. Oh really? The good looking fellow was named “Danny O Sullivan” and he definitely reformed and went on to be a great barber in Victoria.

I said, “Well excuse me, Mr. Whatever, but thanks to you, I was thrown into jail at age 17 and treated terribly by the West Van cops. I was locked up for 12 hours, not allowed to go to the bathroom, not allowed to have water, it was horrible!

“Oh, yeah, sorry about that,”  he said to me. He didn’t care one bit about me.He was just happy to be out of jail I guess!

OMG I could not believe that pilot was right in front of me. They were both put into William Head prison and tonight of all nights, this guy was let out of jail. What were the chances?  He never spoke to me again that night, and I can’t even remember his name!!

But over the years I said hi to Danny O’Sullivan, as I really liked him. I guess he just got into trouble at a young age. I remember his haunting blue eyes. How on earth did I know he had just gotten out of jail and why on earth would I walk up to a perfect stranger and ask him that? I must have been crazy.

So that’s my scary, crazy West Vancouver drug story.