Island Dreaming

A blast from the past…

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My favourite show growing up was Gilligan’s Island. As a kid, Bob Denver and crew lavished me with unbridled slapstick hilarity, amidst a setting (and predicament) that fascinated me—a deserted island. What I didn’t realize then, was that creator Sherwood Schwartz’s vision planted a seed that would germinate into a genre-fetish for me, one that continues to this day.

Storylines that revolve around humanity’s survival after a devastating or cataclysmic event, fascinate me.

For the crew and passengers of the S.S. Minnow, their devasting event began with a 3-hour tour gone awry; a shipwreck on an uncharted tropical isle. Their plight promised mystery, adventure and intrigue, in between gaffes, pratfalls and absurdity.

How would they survive?

What secrets was the island hiding?

I loved the premise and, as an impressionable young kid, imagined myself as the 8th castaway. I even (audio) tape-recorded episodes to play back later…

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The Power of Positive Drinking

It’s the long weekend in Canada, so revisiting an old post on libations, seems appropriate. Happy Canada Day weekend!

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It’s a well-documented fact that many revered authors were drinkers.  Not teetotalers, but hardcore, slam-them-back, liver abusers.  And aside from the moderation argument, is there anything outwardly wrong with that?  The love of libation is not reserved for the creative elite, far from it, but the fascination with prominent figures, especially their quirks and idiosyncrasies, accentuates their vices, and often defines them.

The list of authors who drank reads like a who’s who of the literary world.  As far back as Absinthe or ‘green fairy’ drinkers like Oscar Wilde, to more recent day spirituous writers like Kerouac, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Chandler, and Hemingway to name a few, all indulged.  In common they were masters of their craft, lovers of the drink.  But did they also share a mutual belief in the inspirational power of the cocktail?

Let’s first consider a few select quotes from the masters themselves, perhaps revealing a glimmer…

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The Eeyore Syndrome

I’m still holding a spot… at the nerd table. Care to join me?

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eeyore_self_deprecationSelf-deprecation is a personal trait I hold in high regard.

I’m not talking ‘Eeyore level’ self-deprecation, that perpetual deluge of negative commentary that borders on the psychotic. I’m referring to some old-fashioned unpretentious self-criticism, a few good-natured ribs; in other words, some genuine, unadulterated, anti-extroverted behavior. I find the attribute an admirable quality in others, an attractive idiosyncrasy that exudes sincerity and draws me in like a magnet.

self_deprecatingDespite society’s infatuation with self-assured confidence peddlers, self-deprecation—in metered doses, emits an aura of genuineness. It becomes a calling card of modesty, denoting an individual grounded in reality, unobtrusive and approachable. Self-deprecators, like insatiable introverts, prefer the solitude of shadow, avoiding the spotlight, until the stars align and the time is right. Then step back, and watch the magic unravel.

When it’s time to arrange the seating list, sit me at the table with the introverts and self-deprecators—away from the power socialites…

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