Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Homeless……..part 3
January 16, 2017

arched-window-overlooking-stairway

Since I couldn’t afford rent and utilities, I gathered up the few possessions I had and moved them into the basement office of Beans and Barley. I was homeless. I didn’t want to admit failure to my family or friends, so I said nothing about my move.

Thankfully, the restaurant had some resources I could use. The staff room was equipped with a washer and dryer (we did our own linens) and a shower. As for storing my clothes and belongings, I came up with an inventive plan to keep them out of sight. Underneath the front stairway which led to the public restrooms, there was an access panel for the underbelly of the stairs.

The front part of the restaurant was heated by hot water radiators which were part of the main building boiler system. During construction it was determined that there wasn’t enough flow to the radiators to provide heat in our area, so a booster pump was installed to push the hot water through our system. The pump and its manual switch were located underneath the front stairway. The pump had to be turned on every winter. This area would be my new closet. I placed clothes hooks on each of the stairs and hung my clothes there. My sleeping bag and pillow fit nicely also. Each night, after the staff had left, ( I would leave with them and walk around the block and then come back), I unscrewed the panel, took my sleeping bag and pillow, set it on the floor of the office and went to sleep. In the morning, I would put everything back and re-screw the panel back in place. The staff always wondered how I beat them to work every day.

I lived like this for a couple of years. The good part was that I learned lots. Eighteen hour days became the norm and I put my heart and soul into the place. There were still bad periods before things began to turn around. Creditors called at all hours and it was difficult to do cooking when the phone never stopped ringing. One day it was so bad, I called the phone company and had the phone removed, (phones weren’t un-pluggable at this time) and a pay phone put in, which had an unlisted number. Finally, some peace! I could still call out when necessary, but I stopped being harassed.

Strangely enough, this action helped the business. It alluded to customers that we didn’t need a phone for business. It made us more popular. This, plus the fact that the food and service was immensely improved put the restaurant on the road to recovery.

By the way, I paid off the loan before it’s due date and never missed a payment.

 

Homeless….part 2
January 14, 2017

buena-vista-building

 

So, I got the loan and I was happy for the moment. Moments pass. Reality set in. By the time I had paid for the contractors to make the place into a restaurant, there was the other incidentals: equipment, food to start up, money for wages, taxes and overhead.

By the end of construction, I had managed to pay for everything except the food which I needed to open. I ordered the food and wrote the checks with absolutely no money in the bank. The bank manager calls me and asks me to come down to discuss the situation. I appear and he tells me he is going to bounce the checks which I had written for the food and supplies. So I said (with my back against the wall) “Go ahead, but all the money that’s invested will be lost”. I had no choice. Pay them or I won’t open, and there will be nothing to recover.” He paid the checks. I was left with an overdraft.

First business was brisk and it covered the checks that I had written. It was new and everyone had heard about the place through word of mouth. Everyone came to try it out.

Well, aren’t they sorry now. Inconsistency, badly cooked food from people who should have known better and canned beans. Business dropped off faster than the recession killed jobs.

After I fired all the cooks and took over, there was not much choice. The few people that visited the premises were new and hadn’t heard of the happenings. I was down to one server and myself. And she turned out to be an alcoholic that stole booze from the storage cabinets in the basement. Not pleasant as she tried to keep on her feet, serving customers. Duh!

Frustrated, I terminated her, hired a new person who cared and we had two to go forward with enthusiasm. At this time I was living above the restaurant in a single apartment for $110./month. No furniture, just a sleeping bag, a lamp, a few pans to cook food with, and a pillow. My meals were consistent. Pan fried potatoes and two fried eggs. It’s still one of my favorite meals when I’m feeling out of sorts. The income from the restaurant was not enough to sustain this. So I gave it up and came to the conclusion, I only had one resort.

Homeless…part 1
January 13, 2017

 

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When I opened Beans and Barley in 1972, I guess I expected instant success. I thought there would be some pitfalls, but I had no idea of how many or for what length of time they would exist.

I started with $3000. cash of my own money and eventually, through a loan I acquired, leveraged it into $50,000. I had some other assets, like my car, that I sold later to bring my total down payment to $5000.

The loan was not easy to get. I had created a formal proposal in a binder during the previous year, and took it to every bank in Edmonton. And, every bank rejected it. I ended up going to a lender of last resorts. A government agency. You had to be rejected by at least three banks before you could apply for a loan with them. The silver lining here was, I was over qualified. I was assigned two loan officers. At first they reviewed the four inch thick proposal and then they called me in for my first interview. When I think back now, I can realize why they were worried. I had no accounting skills…couldn’t do a profit and loss if my life depended on it, never cooked professionally, and I’d never supervised staff before….but I did have an insatiable desire to accomplish this. At twenty-one, I had more guts than brains.

I had already leased the premises I wanted, hired the Dutch carpenters to start the rebuilding of the barn inside and drew up my own blueprints. I had told the loan officers that I had already started the project. I could see them look aghast at the thought of what I’d done. They wanted to see the place, so we arranged to view what I had done to date. They showed up two days later on a Friday and I showed them around. The attached photo is all I have that resembles that first viewing, and it was somewhat more bleak than that. There was a basement, but only a ladder down. No stairway. They volunteered to climb down the ladder where the framing had already been constructed. they could at least get an idea of the floor plan. They didn’t say much. They scheduled a follow-up interview two weeks from that date, when they left.

I went in for the scheduled interview with intrepidation.  They drilled me on all sorts of questions for over an hour. Near the end of the interview they asked me two questions: First one was, “What are you going to do if we don’t approve your loan?’, to which I answered, “Well, I have a friend that will loan me the money (I didn’t), but I prefer not to use him because he will get 90% and I will only get 10%”. The second question was: “What if people don’t come to your restaurant and don’t like your idea. It isn’t the normal type of thing for a restaurant?” I honestly didn’t know what to say and there was this infinite pause, as I tried to think of an answer. Then, I looked at them and said “Well you can’t look at if no one is going to come to the restaurant. I know two friends who said they would come.” They laughed, and laughed and I got the loan.

Latin Lady, Seller of Emotions from One a musical
September 21, 2016

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Scroll to June 2016 for the full musical

LATIN LADY

(With the words rolling off her tongue and a strong accent, SHE approaches guests in the bar)

 

 

R O S A S, R O S A S. WOULD ANYONE LIKE TO BUY A MEMORY?

Gold
August 17, 2016

Chest

I’m sitting in a waiting room for an appointment and I overhear the couple next to me talking about lost treasures being found. Gold, silver and artwork. Sometimes it’s found just a few feet below ground when a farmer plows a field in France or England or a construction site begins work. They talk about how it’s been there for hundreds of years and yet no one noticed until now.

And I begin to think. Aren’t we all passing up gold and treasures that are right next to us? Treasures of life that have been next to us for all of our lives and yet we don’t see them.

Why?

We have to be childlike again and discover the wonder around us. Wonder without pre-conceived ideas, notions and dogma. Every reality available in the universe is right next to us. We only have to open to its existence and act.

Don’t let the world hold you back. Worse still, don’t let yourself hide from you what you’ve always known and loved.

Discombobulated
March 25, 2016

discombobulatetest

An energy like a rogue wave.

Surprising, dangerous, scary, an unkowing, intense and fearful.

Numerous scenarios permeate the evening.

Many wants, desires, unfulfilled wishes and dreams.

They latch on to what they feel will make their lives whole, only to find emptiness again.

Life starts and ends from inside.

You can’t make your life heal in a moment from beauty you feel at this moment.

It takes time, energy and awareness.

Leave what you know, seek what you feel, consume what is real.

Invisible Shield
February 16, 2016

As I was leaving the office last night, I noticed a fly resting on the window, watching the world outside. Soon, it began a frantic dance back and forth trying to get through the invisible barrier, so it could join the blue sky. In many ways we are like that fly. Our hopes, wishes and dreams are on the other side of that pane of glass. Each day we are at the window trying to make it through the barrier.

Occasionally the fly would back away from the window and move into the room behind. Not realizing that there was a whole room to fly in, he persistently attacked the window. The fly’s wants (outside with unlimited freedom) outweigh his realization of what he has been ignoring.

We’re never satisfied with what we have and we end up at the window each day. If we take a step back and look at our present condition, and be content with our situation and life, we would eliminate the struggle from being too close to the window pane. The office is small, but there is enough room to fly around and accept the surroundings. As a matter of fact there is a doorway leading out of the office.

Accepting our own space and it’s limitations, until we know it well, will lead us to a doorway. And, there is no telling what is on the other side. The point to note here is that we haven’t made our options limited. We’ve just realized that there are other options. If we ignore any fear we might have and step through the doorway, what do you think you will find? Well looky here! It’s a whole other room. And, its ten times the size of the room you were just in. New flying space, new things to become aware of and a new sense of freedom. Growth! And, what is the pace or speed you use to discover new things?  The pace of your heart beat. Slow and steady. When you have fully discovered the new room, and you know all there is about its space and time, you will discover something else. Another doorway. And look!

Blue sky.

When I arrived in the office this morning, the fly lay dead on the window sill.

The Matrix – Deciphered – Part Five
April 25, 2015

TWA2R's Blog

Morpheus is wounded and captured, taken to a military stronghold and chained to a chair. Agent Smith begins his interrogation of Morpheus. During this time Agent Smith, orders a Sentinel attack on the Nebuchadnezzar, then unplugs from the Matrix and describes to Morpheus his feelings about humans versus the machines. Agent Smith correlates the human race to a virus that spreads and devours everything on the planet. The machines are the cure. The one thing Agent Smith detests the most is our smell.

In our world of form we have either order or chaos. Man does not mix well with nature. He tries to change it because he doesn’t balance himself. All things in the universe are interdependent. Any in-balance in man creates in-balance in nature. As we are able to raise our consciousness as a whole, so will the planet become more balanced. It’s a fallacy to think that if machines were allowed to govern the world…

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The Matrix – Deciphered – Part Four
April 25, 2015

TWA2R's Blog

 

The Oracle represents and portrays our “choice” and “free will”. She also represents the un-knowingness of fate. She likes to bake cookies. I took this to be ‘memories’, and her way of preserving them. Our memories evolve out of  our choices and our free will to be able to make these choices. Memories can be fed with love, so they last, or they can be erased. As the Oracle mentions to Neo after she feeds him one of her cookies which he eats.  “You won’t remember any of this when you leave, out that door”.

The oracle has been part of the Matrix since it’s beginning. She has existed since the revolution against the Matrix. She has told both Trinity and Morpheus their purpose and future in life. Morpheus was told that he would find ‘The One’. Trinity was told that she would fall in love with ‘The One’. Because Morpheus trusts The Oracle, Neo is…

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The Matrix – Deciphered – Part Two
April 25, 2015

TWA2R's Blog

 

Neo is taken to a ‘safe house’ where he meets Morpheus. Morpheus shows Neo images of what the world is like. Morpheus explains to Neo, the circumstances leading to this current existence. The truth is hard for Neo to comprehend and believe.

In relation to these facts, we, as individuals have created our own darkness in our lives. This darkness permeates deeply into our psyche and being. It is part of who we are. It will take a lot of effort to clear the debris.

There will be disturbing images, during your first initial steps into meditation. You will see images you can’t understand, and images that make you feel uncomfortable. Your choice to leave this world behind and explore new worlds will create a vacuum.

It’s like, all this time, you’ve been resting on top of a lake, waiting. Now, your decision to change, makes you want to explore the lake. During some…

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