Toronto, Canada and USA (New Year)

Rory McLeod home
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I hope you had a healthy Christmas.
I was looking everywhere here trying to buy Christmas presents.
I wanted to buy my friends' dad some handkerchiefs but I didn't know the size of his nose.
It's so hard buying clothes for people, It would be easier if everyone I knew were nudists.
There are a couple of advantages to being a nudist: You don't have to sit around in a wet bathing suit.
Also a nudist never has to hold their hand out to see if it's raining.
I had a couple of interviews since I've been here.
They found out I worked in a circus. I told them, my tongue in my cheek, that I got shot from a cannon that I got 3 pence a mile and travelling expenses.
Then they asked me if I was the lion tamer. I told him I wasn't, that I only combed the lions hair and cleaned his teeth!

My friend D, who was hit by a car is at home now.
She's walking with a stick...She's on a blood thinner, she still has a clot in her leg. She's relieved to be out of that hospital.
The first hospital she was taken to after her accident was so swanky you had to be well before you could get in.
I still don't trust doctors.
I think doctors wear those masks at operations, so if something goes wrong, nobody can identify them.
I should have been a doctor myself, I've got the handwriting for it.
That's why I'm typing with one finger on this here office machine.

(sayings made up for Christmas Crackers)
Be kind to your friends. If it weren't for them you'd be a total stranger.
When opportunity knocks at the door, most people are out in the back yard looking for four-leaf clovers!



I was over in the states tour supporting singer-songwriter friend Ani Di Franco.
I had to make my own way to gigs as there was no room for me on the tour bus.
At one point I had to fly from LA to Las Vegas, looking out of the window there was desert and mountains below, dry,
brown, long black stripes of straight roads,
white salt lakes that look like snow.
Scratched rocks, lines scratched on plains
which are roads down there.
windswept and sucked,
uninhabited? inaccessible?
Deep, purple colours appear on high
rock, peppered tundra.
Water from here that has collected
in pools looks stagnant green,
mossy or dark and muddy brown
Like some huge beach from up here.
Strange to see a manufactured golf
course from up here, stale greenish,
dotted by man-made sand bunker
shapes, by the side of an
interstate highway, tiny trucks
below. Old river beds dried up,
leaving trails.
Manmade squares and geometry in the middle of all this wild barrenness.
As we nearer "Los Wages"
(Las vegas) or 'Los Vagueness'
scrub-land and more greens appear.
Tiny houses and turquoise blue swimming pools,
tiny, manicured grass like pool table felt,
more black tarmac, trees, dusty-leaved,
"Chief Concrete" company is
written on a roof.
Palm trees planted along
roads in lines,
diggers, excavators, rock-moving machines
lay around.
Concrete piping for draining sewers, or making some plumbing system.
There are so many lights here,
bulbs, powered by
some huge hydro electric dam
that dams the Mead river.

My gig went ok here, in Las
Vegas, but I was very tired after
a long day of travelling and
waiting at airports.
It's like a huge theme park,
tacky in one way.
In another way
they have spent so much money
reproducing, the Egyptian pyramids and Sphinx,
Pirate ships, Greek pillared buildings, details copied, cloned towers,
architectured fairy castle-hotels.
I wonder what will be here in
a thousand years, what it will
look like?
Everyone performs here,
the cocktail waitress with
flashing red-lights on her
earrings, pulling and throwing
a flashing yo-yo on a string,
selling cigarettes and drinks
in high heels and long bandy legs.
The noodle cook in a Japanese resteraunt,
juggling spice and salt
throwing the cellar with
one hand and catching it behind
his back with another, pouring
alcohol over some meat, setting
fire to it with a match
and vigorously tossing and cutting it with two
steel spatulas,
everyone's eyes
are on him, waiting to be served.
The odd wasted or wayward solo,
crossing the road, shouting in spasms at
some invisible person, people laughing or trying to ignore him.
The constant sound of bells, buzzing, humming
and coins jangling in slot machines,
hopefuls with their buckets of change, or metal tokens sat at the machines as if compelled, like watching TV, each
one hoping for a jackpot.
blackjack and roulette tables, people losing $100s of dollars with a throw of a dice. Blackjack is the only game I might play, if I was game enough and had money to lose, there seems to
be a tiny inkling of choice and some
human interaction.
It seems to me that Once you lose, you
lose more trying to win back what
you lost, and if you win, you lose
what you won, trying to win more,
and then you lose everything!
……I couldn't wait to get to the desert
of Arizona and back to clear horizons and skies.

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