May 27 (Friday evening) approximately 10:25 p.m.: Blogger completes post #135 entitled Annexation and Stuff
May 27 (Friday evening): Blogger hires freelancer from France but decides he is slow and argumentative. The flirtatious joking is a deal-killer. [Some ‘mistakes’ come without second chances to re-offend.] She fires him and changes her cPanel password and her WordPress one too. He howls foul and writes 21 messages to her over the next hour. Nobody has access to the cPanel at this point other than GoDaddy and Blogger.
May 29 (Saturday evening) 5:20 p.m.: Blogger enters Allegro’s restaurant on 109 Street, Edmonton. She arrives with four unidentified others. The waiter, originally from Romania, greets her. He is a very good waiter – her favorite in the city. Blogger is happy to see him. (The owner of the restaurant is clever and wise – that’s him in disguise – looking like extra kitchen help. No wonder his two restaurants have such longevity when other places struggle and disappear. Gretzky once commented that you won’t find a bad restaurant in Edmonton and I must say, there’s truth in the idea. When a city isn’t a tourist destination, the citizens will quickly learn where to go and where to avoid. An eatery has to be good to the locals to survive in this town.) Blogger is seated at a long table facing south, looking out onto the outdoor patio. Someone plays Danza Havana on the piano. Blogger is on the west side of the main entrance (i.e., not the side with the grand piano.) In some ways, it reminds her of Chesterton’s Fr. Brown’s detective story, Queer Feet. The waiter has memorized her favorite dishes, so there is no need for her to consult the menu. Iced tea arrives. It is good. Three others arrive. They are also unidentified, but let’s call one of them Mark. Dinner is served. Conversation is good and wide-ranging, covering Key World Topics, about which Blogger had never heard. These include the Very Important Most Recent Haven’t-You-Heard-All-About-It Canadian Political News. Blogger hasn’t heard. She listens carefully and asks for clarification of the details. She gathers that approximately three people called “Politicians” were playing Red Rover in the House of Commons. Without joining hands, they were symbolically or, arguably, practically, blocking passage of other “Politicians” to another part of the House of Commons. These Red Rover people were members of the party called NDP. Blogger is interested. She dislikes the NDP party because they always vote against pro-life measures, but she is not sure whether they were doing wrong by Standing There. Perhaps they were. It sounds like they were being a human Stop Sign because they wanted to end the discussion about the euthanasia legislation. They apparently thought that politics involved Having Moves, like a Solid Gold dancer. No matter. Blogger listens to the second-hand version of The News. As the story goes, the Party Whip fellow tried to move beyond the Fearsome Three (or More) who were Making Sort Of A Blockade. Whether he succeeded or not becomes immaterial to the Riveting Story, because at this point, a Man with Very Good Hair appears. He is not wearing a cape, but he probably feels like a Super Hero as he attempts to Break the Red Rover barrier! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s our Prime Minister! He will not tolerate such nonsense! He makes his way through – kind of. Blogger listens to the story. It becomes even more dramatic. Blogger is told that in his mad and reckless dash, his ELBOW Bumped (and here one unidentified guest decides to break it to the Blogger very gently because this unidentified guest never reads Blogger’s blog and has no clue the Blogger knows or uses extra words, other than the ones she is heard using in public) “a female body part.” Blogger puts two and two together and decides it was probably THE BREAST. Blogger wonders why this is A Big Deal. Blogger is Glad that she does not follow the news, because that means that she is not wasting her time watching Canadian “News.” Blogger wonders why the NDP female politician, is on the one hand so Very Sensitive about the Violation of Her Personal Space Involving Her Most Precious Breast, while she is on the other hand drawing massive media attention to herself where the topic shall be Her Most Precious Breast. Blogger doesn’t get it. Either you’re embarrassed and don’t want to talk about or even remember the violation, or else you’re Using It in a Most Over-Dramatic Fashion. Blogger is largely sympathetic to The Man With Good Hair. Conversation continues. Blogger hears about the local empire of one Mr. Katz (Kaitz? Caites?) whose name perhaps rhymes with Bill Gates. Blogger is disgusted. She has heard of him, but he owns more and demands more than she even suspected. Blogger pronounces him a “Blight Upon the City of Edmonton.” Blogger hears that he doesn’t always live in Edmonton and also has a home in Vancouver. Blogger is further disgusted. Blogger hears that he was originally from Quebec. Blogger is astounded, having just recently, in her head, donated that province to the U S of A. Blogger suggests that this multi-millionaire Go Back to Where He Came From. She suggests that his enormous home be changed into a local hospital. The windows facing the river would be nice for long-term care patients, don’t you think? Blogger further declares that important stadiums should not be named stupid things like Rogers’ Place. Blogger hears that these days, this happens Everywhere. Blogger is unimpressed and calls such naming a jinx upon the future success of the teams who play there. She cross examines. What good has happened to the Edmonton Oilers since the Northlands Coliseum was renamed according to the Big Bucks? How many cups? Blogger is inflexible. She scorns the idea of corporate sponsorship on such a scale. “Now that the city owns it again, let’s call it The Edmonton Coliseum!’ Let them play there.” Blogger is happy. In her imagination, all is good. She sips her iced tea. It doesn’t ‘go down the wrong pipe.’ She eats the tasty cannelloni. As for Roger’s Place, she suggests bombing. Blogger is happy. Other guests act as if the suggestion is unworkable. (In the alternative, let it be for little league hockey, to spare families the trips to every tiny community hockey rink in the city every Saturday morning.) Blogger continues because someone – perhaps it was Blogger herself – has mentioned the name of Gretzky. (Ah, number 99! Where are you now? When are you coming back to the city that loved you so? California isn’t your home. You belong in the land where the backyards can be sprayed into ice-rinks by big-hearted fathers, and I dare say, you know it. This is where you got married and where you accomplished your best. You put us on the map, remember?) Blogger declares that she is tired of hearing how every so-and-so-nobody is always referred to as “the next Gretzky.” Mark mentions some so-and-so-nobodies who are clearly NOT “the next Gretzky.” Blogger has never heard of them, and upon inquiring as to the number of cups behind their names, finds that she Agrees with Herself, again. No man should be called the “next Gretzky” until he has, at minimum, five cups to his name. Don’t cry to me about how someone got injured but otherwise would have been … Don’t cry to me about how someone got traded but otherwise would have been … Boo hoo. They are not Gretzky. There was only one and it is not right to reassign his name in advance to a bright-eyed promising new player who in the end, won’t deliver. Stop it. Call me when your new favorite player has 5 cups to his name. Don’t compare the reality of Gretzky’s wide-ranging multi-year accomplishments (and don’t discount it – “ah his teammates blah blah blah”) with the theory, the hypothetical, the daydream, the speculation of what someone is Going To Someday Somehow accomplish. Blah. Blogger spoke in such a fashion, sounding rather like Don Cherry or someone like that. Blogger had fun. Dinner was yummy. Blogger was full and was seen heading towards Rocket7 at around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. MST.
May 29 (technically Sunday morning but it feels like Saturday night still because the time is 12:34 a.m.): Blogger completes post 136, entitled “The Reel Deal: This is Me, Baby.” Blogger is jittery and trying hard to be focused while inserting, into her blog, a Very First Link. She cannot see where the punctuation went until many hours later, when she finds it in a Rather Odd Place
Nobody else has access to Blogger’s cPanel, other than GoDaddy, at the time that she posts.
May 30 (Sunday): Blogger wakes up in time to attend 5 p.m. Mass at the Basilica. She receives the Blood and Body of Christ without incident. She is seen leaving the Basilica at approximately 6:20 p.m.
May 30 (Sunday evening): Blogger hires a second freelancer, this time from Russia. No work is done on minedgems.ca (work is on different website). The working relationship does not work, as he struggles with basic instructions. Blogger changes all applicable passwords and ends the contract, leaving less-than-stellar feedback. Freelancer goes ballistic when blogger refuses to retract or alter her feedback, and over the course of the next hour, freelancer changes his feedback for her more than 15 times, each time adding more exclamation marks and nonsensical phrases. At the pitch of his rage, he calls her “a very bad man!” which serves to frighten away would-be applicants from Bangladesh and India, and perhaps others [Edit, June 18, 2016: Freelancer changes his feedback two more times over the next few days.]
Nobody has access to the cPanel other than Blogger and GoDaddy.
May 30 (Sunday evening) 10:41 p.m. MST: minedgems.ca goes down.
May 31 (Monday) Blogger does not check her minedgems.ca website and hasn’t looked at it since the last post. Blogger spends the day Cleaning her Kitchen. She wipes the floor behind her stove and the tiles too. She daydreams while she wipes down the sides of the stove, and wonders why bathroom towels cannot be used in the kitchen. She resolves to do this From Now On, since they come in a Wider Range of Colours, and a person could even purchase the Matching Facecloth to use as a dishcloth. Blogger thinks she is brilliant and plans to blog about her latest Great Idea. She dismisses the idea of excess fuzz, because most of the time, she uses the dishwasher. She daydreams about blogging about how nice the double-drawer Fisher & Paykel dishwasher is, and how helpful the staff is when you call their help line and how you can even understand them despite the accent. She daydreams about telling her blog readers that she is always embarrassed when she doesn’t understand the Australian accent because their culture and accent is known to be so cool. She considers how uncool she has felt, comprehending, on average, only 70% of what the average Australian or New Zealander says. Blogger wipes down the tiles behind her stove. She does not check her blog. She decides to try (again) going to a garden store. She goes. She is seen purchasing annuals such as asters, snapdragons, sweet pea, salvia, verbena and other very traditional and well-meaning flowers. (Seed-packet schmeed packet – it’s late May and that’s when you play catch up ketchup using some kash.) Blogger even purchases marigolds. She avoids the tropical, the exotic, the droopy, the veiny, the pointy and the otherwise creepy ‘flowers’ such as black petunias and is seen wheeling an overflowing cart full of the types of flowers that used to be so beloved. She is seen re-entering Rocket7 at approximately 9:10 p.m. The parking lot is mostly empty because it’s been an overcast day, and besides, the store technically closed at 9 p.m.
Blogger is seen entering an A&W establishment and consuming one teen burger even though it is no longer on special and even though she is not a teenager. (Bacon is good on a hamburger.) She is seen sipping root beer from one of those pre-chilled 30 lbs glass mugs (a good tradition). Blogger is seen noting the partial rainbow which rests for a very long time upon Rocket7, as if that is the end of the rainbow. Blogger is amused, having recently written that she has completed a link sending readers ‘somewhere over the rainbow.’ Blogger is seen exiting the A&W at 10 p.m. (closing time.) She is observed driving westward towards the Terwillegar dog park because she wants to continue to observe the sunset, the most magnificent she has ever seen. She stops in the parking lot of the dog park. She sees no dogs, but she sees the sunset and it is good. (If she wanted to, she would have also been able to see the home of a blight, but she does not.) She drives home. She goes to her laptop to check her email. She finds an email from her father saying that her website is down. (No, it wasn’t a flood of emails telling her it was down, asking what had happened, asking if all was okay; it was just her father, the not-quite-avid reader who once admitted to reading but not always all the way to the bottom.) Blogger checks the blog page. She finds a gigantic 404 Error message where a blog used to be. Where 136 posts used to be, there’s nothing. Blogger is stunned and goes to the other room to sit down to digest what might have happened. She isn’t sure what to do.
(I’ll continue as soon as I can. These annuals do actually need to get into the ground.)