Author Archives: Gary Johnston

Ah, Spring!

Ah, Spring!  It’s my favorite time of the year.  The days get longer and love is in the air—not near me, of course.  I enjoy watching love in the air around other people and keep my distance from it.

I enjoy my company.  I can do whatever I want when I want.  It wouldn’t be fair to my partner if I was like this in a relationship.

I am surprised at the number of women who keep telling me how I should not be on my own and that I need to be in a relationship.  They know what is better for me than I do?

As far back as I can remember, I enjoyed doing things by myself—even as a kid.  When I was 7 years old my teacher told me, “You have to learn to be with people and do things with people.  If you don’t, then you will die a lonely old man.”

I can hardly wait.


Political Correctness and St. Patrick’s Day

At Christmas, we are not allowed the say, “Merry Christmas.”  The politically correct crowd tell us that we do not want to offend those who are not Christians and/or those who do not celebrate Christmas.  We have to say, “Happy Holidays.”  And many non-Christians, etc., are insistent that we do not offend them by wishing them a “Merry Christmas.”  These people still get the Christmas holidays off.

On St. Patrick’s Day in Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC – public transit) allowed free rides from 4:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on the Queen, King and Cherry Street streetcars.   The TTC did this to encourage people not to drink and drive.

What about those TTC passengers who are not Irish and do not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  Did they get on the streetcars and say, “I am not Irish and do not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  I insist on paying the streetcar fare.”?


Note:  I would have posted this yesterday, but the snakes ate my computer.

A Silly Conspiracy

Silly conspiracy theorists say that there was a plot to kill Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 B.C.  Playwright William Shakespeare popularized this theory in a play.  A playwright?  Now there’s a reliable source for you!

There is no evidence that Julius Caesar died as the result of a conspiracy.  No doubt Caesar died on March 14, 44 B.C.  But it was a suicide.

Besides being an emperor, Caesar also ran a catering business which was known for its great salads.  Caesar had the catering business to support his gambling habit.  Caesar owed the Mafia a lot of money and his catering business was not doing so well.  He could not see a way out.  On March 15, 44 B.C., he took his own life in front of his friends at the Senate.  Because he was such a great emperor and well-liked, his friend made up a conspiracy theory about how he had died.  They also wanted to save his family embarrassment.

Now you know the truth.

Albert, Stephen and Pi

Albert Einstein’s reaction to the question, “What’s it like to be born on Pi Day?”

March 14 is Pi Day.  (3.14 – the first three numbers of pi.) Albert Einstein is 139 years old today.  He is spending his birthday entertaining Stephen Hawking.

Stephen was 76 years old when he decided to go to a better climate to solve physics problems.  If you add 7 plus 6, you get 13.  Thirteen is one number less than 14, the first two numbers after the decimal point of Pi.  This does not mean anything, but I thought I would mention it.

Happy Pi Day!

Trigonometry Instead of Writing

I have used my writing time trying to understand some mathematical concepts.  Specifically, I am trying to understand some advanced concepts of Trigonometry.  I got myself to the high-school level and am now attempting the college level.  What a challenge!

I have borrowed the Dummies and Idiot Guide books from the library.  They claim to simplify Trigonometry.  Lots of times they introduce concepts that are not simple.  Or maybe these concepts are simple, and I am dumber than an idiot.

YouTube instruction videos have helped.  I google a concept that I don’t understand, and then watch the video a thousand times before I get it.  Sometimes I have to watch a video two thousand times.

Too bad they didn’t have YouTube when I was in school.  Of course, there were no schools on Earth when I was in school.  I had to walk to Mars to go to school.  Sometimes if the emptiness of space was nice, I would ride my bike to Mars. But that was rare.  Mostly I walked.  Kids these days don’t realize how good they have it by having schools on the same planet that they live on.

I still feel resistance to learning new things—especially when the concepts are difficult.  What joy when I finally understand something I have struggled with!  Plus, I do not feel so bad about not writing when I have used the time to wrap my head around sines, cosines, tangents, angles, triangles, degrees, minutes, seconds, circles, radians, vectors, velocity, and kumquats.

I know that kumquats have nothing to do with trigonometry.  I love the word kumquat, and try to use kumquat as much as possible.

Facing Myself on Paper II

“So, what did you think about when you stared off into space?”

Many things.

“Can you tell me some?”

Okay.  Sometimes I thought about nothing.  My mind was blank.  Sometimes I thought about my brother-in-law, Don, and how I could not believe he was dead.  He never liked discussing spiritual matters while he was alive.  Does he like discussing them now?

I thought about my death.  When would it happen?  Will it be sudden?  A long time ago a Ouija board said that I would die the first week of August, 2018.   If this is true, then I have less than six months to live.  Perhaps I shouldn’t borrow any thick books from the library.  But maybe I won’t die in less than six months.  Maybe scientists will discover that eating bananas makes you live forever.  Then again, would I want to live forever while all I know passes away?

I thought about how my older sister said that I have “mental health issues.”  She was serious.  It was during a discussion (argument) over whether I was right to follow my gut feelings.  I suppose she would know because “mental health issues” run in the family and—

“And you talk to voices in your head.”

 True.  As a voice in my head, do you have mental health issues?

“Of course!  I wouldn’t be in your head if I didn’t.”

That’s nice to know.

“What else did you think about while looking off into space?”

I thought about writing.  I thought about writing.  And I thought about writing.

Facing Myself on Paper

“Are you back now?”

I’m not sure.

“Where were you?”

I was off somewhere feeling some feelings and avoiding others.

“Why were you avoiding some feelings?”

Because feeling them meant facing myself on paper.  I always feel good after I have faced myself on paper, but knowing this does not motivate me to apply my bottom to the seat of a chair and write.


Yup.  What is funny is that if someone else tried to stop me from writing, I would fight to write.  But I have no desire to fight to write when I stop myself from writing.

“You have too much freedom.”

Probably.  It’s Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.  There were no dead tigers or deadlines where I was.  I spent a lot of time staring off into space instead of facing myself on paper.  I thought I had all kinds of time to write, and I did, but I did not write.  I sat and stared.

“You’re facing yourself on paper now.”


“How do you like what you see?”

I don’t know, but staring off into space is a lot easier.

Please Don’t Protect Me From Feelings


My sister, the widow, is doing her best to cope with Don Edward Boles buying the farm.  Some family members are doing their best to protect my sister’s feelings.  They don’t want her to feel any more pain.

My sister is doing her best to protect her mother-in-law’s feelings.  My sister does not want Don’s mother to have more pain over her son’s death.

My father’s mother lived until she was 97.  She developed stomach cancer when she was 96.  My father did not want to tell her that she had stomach cancer because he wanted to protect her feelings.

My grandmother lived through two world wars.  She lived through the Depression.  Three of her eight children died while they were still children.  She survived a kitchen fire when the doctors said that she would not make it.  She saw her brother run over and killed by a horse and buggy.   And my father felt that she could not handle the news that she had stomach cancer.  He never told her.

Please don’t protect me from feelings.  I need to feel, to experience, to learn and grow.  I also know that there is love and support if I feel overwhelmed.  Thank you.

Don and the Farm

There ought to be a law that women cannot become widows until they are 113 years of age or older.  After a woman reaches 113,  she is entitled to become a widow and may legally murder her husband if he doesn’t die naturally.

My sister, my younger sister, my baby sister, became a widow yesterday.  She is far too young to be a widow, but she did not have a choice because of her husband’s sudden interest in agriculture: he bought the farm.

Don Edward Boles, my brother-in-law, was healthy.  He gave up smoking 15 years ago.  He still enjoyed expensive liquor in moderation.  He had not been to a doctor for 7 years.

Don wasn’t feeling well the past week.  My sister finally convinced him to go for a checkup.  Don went on Monday February 5.  The doctor said that Don likely had the flu.  Don’s blood pressure was fine, but the other test results had not come back yet.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Don’s nausea and dizziness got worse.  He refused to go back to the doctor.  “I’ll be alright,” said Don.

By Wednesday evening, Don was feeling better when he went to bed.

On Thursday February 8, Don got up at 7:00 a.m., and was farming by 7:40.

I never thought about Don dying.  I thought about my brother and sisters dying since friends were slowly losing their brothers and sisters.  I thought my brother or older sister would die first.  And after they had gone, then I would die leaving my younger sister to die last.  But since Don died, I no longer think that death will come in the order I suggested.   It could, but my younger sister, the widow, could die first.  And then my older sister or brother could die and then me.  Who knows?  Who the hell knows?

Good Luck with the farm, Don!

No More Sexual Harassment?

It’s been over a month since Steve, a gay man at the YMCA, has made sexual comments about my “down below” and what he wants to do to me.  I have blogged about Steve and his harassment before.

We interrupt this blog for a digression:

“Down below” is what my mother called down below.  She used this term for both my sisters, too.  “Did you wash your down below?” Mom would ask when we were old enough to take baths by ourselves.  Sometimes Mom would omit the “your” and just ask, “Did you wash down below?”   Whenever Mom asked this question, she would have a serious expression and raise her eyebrows.  We grew up in a time before someone invented the words “penis” and “vagina”.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog:

What stopped Steve from sexually harassing me?

About a month ago I was in the shower room alone when Steve came in.  We were the only men there.

“Gary,” said Steve, “I have to tell you.  I love you.”

I immediately responded with words that dealt with sex and travel.

“No, no, I’m serious,” said Steve.  “I love you.  You’re a wonderful man.  You’re good-natured and sensitive and such a beautiful person.  I love you.  I would kiss you if you let me.”

Once again I used words dealing with sex and travel.

“I’m not joking!” said Steve.  He looked so intense.

“Look Steve,” I said, “this is weird.  I have never been naked while another naked man tells me how wonderful I am and how much he loves me.  It’s weird!”

“Perhaps you should get used to it,” he said.

“Not as long as I am breathing thank you very much.”

It seems that Steve needed to seriously express his feelings for me.  He had to get it out of his system.  Since that time he has made no comments.  We say hi and sometimes engage in small talk, but he has made no embarrassing sexual comments.  How long will this last?   As long as I am breathing, I hope.