Mexico – Day 2

Such a busy day! Syl, Meesh and I started with a pleasant walk to Starbucks and caught up with family talk. When we got back To the condo we picked up Pogo and hopped in the car. We drove to Sayulita, a funky surfer’s paradise town where we had a massive breakfast – mine was eggs on corn chips topped with different hot sauces. Meesh tried one of the table sauces and nearly died. Like. Literally died. He’s dead now. From eating hot sauce.

We wandered the town taking Instagram worthy wall pics (see Sharkboy’s IG account) then drove to Lo de Marcos to a nearly vacant beach (with serious undertow issues) and had a soda on the beach. Meesh’s lemonade came in a glass so dangerously chipped that at any other restaurant anyone would have sued the owner. Not in Mexico. We were chill.

We had a quick drink on the beach in Punta Mita (see a pattern yet?) while we watched rich kids learn to surf.

Then off to La Cruz for dinner where we ate al fresco in the road and were treated to a wedding entering a church and vaqueros dancing their horses just metres away from our table. We were chill.

Back home I passed out on the balcony to the sounds of kids frolicking in the condo pool and waves lapping the shore. A very good day.

Puerto/Nuveo Vallarta

The last time I was here was about 17 years ago. My father was a Snowbird that took residence in Old Town, PV. We’re going to spend some time walking those streets and I hope I can find his old apartment he rented – no real reason other than to dig up some good memories.

Meanwhile Sylvie and Pogo took us to $1 tacos. ONE DOLLAR TACOS, PEOPLE. I had three. I’m being good. Then off to a festival that was a bit of a dud (we didn’t stay) and margaritas and dessert at their favourite local restaurant. The couple who ran it are super charming. We’re going back for breakfast this week.

Did Andrew make these types of comments often?

Carly Thomas, CBC
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 12:10 PM

Hi Ted,

Thank you again for doing this. I’m sure this is a difficult time for you.

There have been some questions around some of Andrew’s facebook posts/text messages, particularly those that seem to indicate he had a very dark sense of humour.

These include references to killing a family, references to murder devices and “building a better body with parts cuts from my prey.” (I have attached some of them to this email for you).

What is your take on these posts? Did Andrew make these types of comments often? And why?

There are so many rumours swirling around this case, we’d like to confirm or deny them if possible.

Thank you again for your help.

Ted Healey
Mar 8, 2018, 12:57 PM

to Carly

Hi Carly,

Ever since Andrew went missing I was wondering when someone was going to address this. I’m surprised you didn’t find the “head on a pike in my front yard” comment.

I understand that Andrew’s black sense of humour is gaining him some noteriety online. I’ve been told that armchair detectives in closed Facebook/Reddit groups are starting to question his posts/personality online. I’m not a part of these groups, but I’ve had friends tell me about it.

Andrew was punk. He had anarchist sensibilities wrapped up in a socialist personality and loved shaking things up and seeing the results (Andrew could have gotten any number of 9 to 5 office-type jobs but really wanted to stay working with social programs like PWA/ACT even by volunteering when his contract ran out or could be renewed). He had a seriously dark sense of humour in real life and would not mask it with his online persona and yes, I played into some of his comments because I knew he never really meant them. He got a thrill out of seeing people dispair about it. So call him a troll. If you didn’t get it, he didn’t care.

When we lived together he had a strong curiousity with death and decay – Check out his photos on his Facebook page. They’re stark, minimalist and cold. Perfectly the “front facing” or “online” Andrew. But, when you got past the mysenthropic exterior you found someone who was deeply loyal, caring, generous and intelligent. I’ve aways said Andrew was the smartest guy in the room but he never let you know it.

Your inquiring about this whole dark humour thing is something that would make him laugh hard from the other side, because he knew I would have to spend the time explaining it.

If you have any other questions I’d be glad to respond.

Ted

PS: I’m pretty sure that “kill the entire family” comment is most likely directed at the Ford family after one of them had done something outrageous.

Ghost Punching

I get an email at work from SharkBoy yesterday:
We need to watch this episode

Yeah. That’s a log attacking Jamie Summers, the Bionic Woman. I’m in.

At home SharkBoy puts on the show and we are treated to a schmorgesborg of late 70s goodness. In this particular show Jamie needs to fight a ghost.

“But DeadRobot!” you say, “How does a scientifically enhanced cyborg woman fight an entity from the spectral plane?!”

Jesus, calm down. I’ll tell you.

In the opening scene we’re POV-ing as a ghost from a graveyard into a big scary mansion, into a super science lab where the ghost we were following wrecks a Alpha Series 1 sensor. The ghost! Is mad! At electronics!

Cut to Oscar Goldman telling Jamie she’s off to Salem (spooky!) to pretend to be a nanny to the scientist so she can secretly oversee the construction of this OSI funded jiggermajooley thing.

Wearing a beauuutiful creme pantsuit, Jamie is welcomed by *GASP* a very young Kristy McNichol who is the pistol whipped child of said scientist. (My brother had posters of her all over his walls so I loved her by proxy I guess) Loverboy Scientist immediately starts putting the moves on Jamie. He calles her “a vital woman” and not in a “jeeze I need you here to cover this mopey kid of mine, you’re vital to my sanity.” kind of way. No he means “sexy” in his sad widower monolog. It’s skeevy how fast he’s all up in Jamie’s personal space.

Let’s pause for a moment: I hold the following theory to be true: In every Bionic Woman episode Jamie must bionically clean something, and, it’s done using sped up film, as opposed to the slo mo run. jump, wreck shit effect they use for her bionics. I’m not disappointed: She cleans up a pile of books with her bionic arm.

Besides the aforementioned bookcase that falls, a metal shelf in the lab is bent. Jamie fixes that of course which makes the Loverboy Scientist say: “You’ve got a thing for shelves” – such a sweet talker…

I want to talk about the lab for a second. It’s full of chemicals. Every flat surface has a vial of some brightly coloured liquid – SCIENCE!. During a ghost attack (things shake, people don’t freak out, they just stare at the shaking things) a vial of sulfuric acid falls on Jamie’s robo-foot and burns her shoe off, much to Kristy McNichol’s amazement. Loverboy Scientist is working on an electronic circuit – why all the liquids? Go figure.

Loverboy Scientist decides he needs a break and suggests to his daughter that they go on a picnick. He then demands that Jamie comes along too in a slimey, insistant kind of way. Cue the video above. The adults are attacked by a tree. So beautiful.

I won’t bore you with the rest so I’ll fast forward all through this stuff: Jamie discovers that Kristy is telekenetic and is subconciously trying to kill Jamie for replacing her mom. There’s a Eastern European in there too, with the only redeeming quality of having the name of “Lazlow”. All is resolved after a bedroom of stuff is thrown at Jamie, powered by a sleepy telekinetic pre-pubescent teen.

The ending is cut right from a F is For Family episode where they’re all lined up in front of Jamie’s car, ready to wrap this shit up:

Oscar Goldman: Jaime, we’ve got to leave or we won’t stand a ghost of a…
[Jaime rolls her eyes, but Alan and Amanda laugh] Oscar Goldman: … chance to catch that airplane.
Amanda Cory: [giving Oscar the thumbs up] That’s the spirit, Mr. Goldman.

If you’ve made it this far, here is the payoff: After sitting through all this hot garbage, I look over at SharkBoy when the credits roll. The fucker is asleep.

In every movie there is a turn around scene

Is this thing on?

In the last few months leading up to Bruce McArthur’s sentencing I’ve been weirdly guilty about not maintaining this blog. My inner dialog would go something like this:

I should write about Andrew.

I don’t want to seem like an attention whore*

I feel like I need to get my feelings out there.

Oh then you’ll really look like a whore.

Which would stop me from even accessing my blog.

When I got notification that deadrobot.com domain was up for renewal the guilt hit me hard. I use to love blogging until Facebook and Instagram came along. Cue same old music, the Social Media Shuffle.

Now, post-Andrew, I am finding the socials less and less satisfying and inversely my posts are becoming more wordy, less meme-share-y.

On top of that, my Sister-in-law is blogging daily from Puerto Vallarta, dropping one last straw on this poor camel’s back.

So here I am. Digging into the back end of my blog, finding things to update (how was I not hacked in my 2 year absence?) and choosing a new theme. Will I last? I won’t say. I will try though!

Follow along, will you?

*After my 4th or so TV interview when Andrew went missing, I was told I was the face of Andrew’s cause. I didn’t want that at all and pulled back drastically

Gone, John, Jax and Eric

I’ve been obsessing with two “professional” travellers right now.

First is Gone John. A Canadian who has recently made the leap from disk jockey to backpacker and is currently jumping around South East Asia. I follow him on Instagram and Facebook and sigh heavily every time he posts. His site is a well of information of cheap and off-the-beaten path travel. He and his boyfriend (who currently lives in Japan and writes about Tokyo Disney, the lucky so and so) are on the precipice of becoming part of an elite group of people to have visited EVERY Disneyland in the world. I am simultaneously jealous and in awe.

Secondly is Nomadic Fanatic – a cubby lad Eric, and his massive cat, Jax, roaming the US in a collection of RVs (currently on his 4 version of mobile home since starting out). I’ve been watching 2-3 episodes per day since discovering his channel and I’m gobsmacked and envious that he is able to just drive with no set destination. And after delving further into his story, I’m even more gobsmacked that this is actually quite popular – there is a sizeable sub-culture of non-working people just driving around, living 24-7 on the road, with no base or home to speak of. I have yet to find out how he can afford this – gas and maintenance and vet bills do pile up – I am hoping there is an episode where he explains how all this came about.

And before you comment, yes, if I really wanted to drop everything I could travel for the rest of my life – nature finds a way, right? But I don’t. As much as I love travelling, I’d be missing Sheldrake and the cats and a familiar bed and kitchen where I don’t have to guess where the pots are, after a long while.

 

Teach Your Heteros Well

“We were thinking of heading down to Disney World for Gay Days.”

“Ah. What happens then? Are there parties?”

“There are, and they’re off-site. But we don’t go to them. We’re kind of old to be going to those things. Since we don’t go to them all that really happens is that for 4 days The Gays go to a certain park per day. They wear red shirts to show solidarity. One year my sister in law and her son came and they wore red shirts too. It was a nice gesture.”

“That’s cool.”

“There’s also sky writing and signs behind planes over the parks.”

“Oh yeah? Like what?”

“I’ve seen JESUS SAVES in skywriting and WARNING: GAY DAY AT MAGIC KINGDOM or WARNING: GAY DAY AT EPCOT kind of signs behind planes.”

“No shit! What do they think is going to happen? You’re going to set off a glitter bomb??”

Bless your heart, David T.

Lonely Friday Night

Scanning Facebook yesterday at work (um… Hi boss! it was research!) I came across a post from a local restaurant showing a picture of a bunch of firetrucks …on my street??

“Lots of excitement today! Street closed and 5 trucks!” The caption read.

Oh. God. My first thought is that my 8 year old computer finally decided to give up in a spectacular explosion of ripped DVDs and thousands of GoPro files. Phweee!! Second was a Deadpool-esque moment where time slowed down and I though “Did I leave the stove on?” Then I thought “oh my god the cats…”

I frantically banged on Twitter looking for news. You really notice how small buttons are on your phone when you’re freaking out and tapping anything that may look like a possible link. And might I add that the mobile version of Twitter is like trying to dress angry snakes in traditional Ukrainian wedding garb. I found a emergency services scanning account that said the fire was a few stores south from my home. I breathed a sigh of relief.

When I got home after work I found the source of the fire was our Friday Night tradition – a super friendly pizza shop we go… er… went to: 2 for 1 Pizza burned down. SharkBoy and I have …er… had been going to it for years, spitting in the eye of our gym goals and getting a pie for our traditional “wind down after the week-cocoon in front of the big screen fatty fat fatsters” movie night.

No more, it seems. I can hear my post-cruise weight starting to fall already.

The owner knew us so well he would toss in free dipping sauces every so often. His daughter worked behind the counter while she was going through university and we would tip her a few bucks. He was one of those people who was never stressed or angry and always smiled when he saw you – sickening.

I’m kidding. I really do feel bad for him and I hope the owner and his daughter are ok. I’m glad no one was hurt.

 

Star Wars Day at Sea – Star Wars Day (at sea)

The big day arrived and we race to the top deck to see what is in store for us.

In terms of decorating the ship – it was zero. Not like Xmas or Halloween, but what could they do? Spread sand everywhere? Evacuate the air? I don’t know what I was expecting but I was a little let down in that regard. I think that if Star Wars morphs into a religion or some sort of national holiday* some time in the far future, we’ll have Sith Trees and Bantha holly and Jakku carols. But for now, all we got was a stage in front of the kids pool made up to look like a Tantive IV doorway.

Costumes. So many kids costumes. Purchased at the parks before boarding the ship, untested and ill fitting (sorry, 501st coming out in me). So many Kylo Rens. So many Reys. A couple Fynns. One on fleek Death Star (see pics below, it’s awesome). One older gentleman in a good rendition of a rebel pilot in boxers (see below. Fleek).  And the guys from the Ottawa Garrison. Damn them for brining their full armour. Damn them! So jealous. Wherever they went they were stopping crowds.

When you boarded you were given a card of three photo op (sorry – Character Experiences) choices: Dark Side, Bespin or Tatooine. You were left to guess who you might see at each, but you were only going to get 2 out of the 3 AND they were totally random – Dark Side could be Darth Vader, or Darth Maul. Tatooine could be C3P0 and R2D2… Bespin could be Willrod Hood… I had submitted my choice within minutes of getting the form and wound up with tickets to “Dark Side” and “Tatooine”. Our first experience was at 9:30am. I was dressed in my Imperial Deck Officer and ready. God bless SharkBoy for walking around with a 50 year old nerd dressed up as a symbolic neo-Nazi made up in Space Gear all day long…

We get to the meet and greet and while we were waiting, the tiny pocket bear of an Assistant Cruise Director (I swear to god I wanted to hug the New Zealand stuffing out of him) asked if we wanted to know who we were meeting, I couldn’t wait and said yes.

“The greatest captain the First Order has ever known…”

I nearly fell to the ground in tears. I knew she was an option and knew that the chances were 1 in 3 and boom – lottery! I have a slight obsession with Captain Phasma – Yes I was let down that she only had maybe 6 minutes screen time but the hype around her before the movie had me in it’s charms. Plus she’s damn shiny.

We get our turn with her and all I can do is stammer and nod – I don’t remember at all what I said to her other than “Ahuyuck!” laughter. “She” had several digitized sound file conversation clips the actor could choose from and I got “I have heard of you rising through the ranks. Here’s hoping you’re not a disappointment” Or something. I was too busy Ahuyuck-ing and gawking at “her”** to remember entirely what was said.

We wander the decks looking at people’s creative costumes and seeing roaming characters. After a while I was hot so we grabbed our shorts and hit the main pool to watch a couple episodes of Star Wars Rebels on the Funnel Vision TV, floating while the cartoon played. Shortly a small child of maybe 12 years old started to swim in front of us – back and forth. He had no Stranger Danger filter and thought it was ok to talk to two older, bald headed bearded guys in the kiddie pool. Back and forth, all the while asking us questions.

Who is your favourite Star Wars character?
What is your favourite Star Wars movie?
What’s your favourite line?
What ship would you have if you could have one?
Is Yoda really dead?
Rebels is really Star Wars – that guy there is really Luke Skywalker.

The last was not a question, obviously. When he exhausted his list of questions he moved into firm statements about Star Wars.

He. Did. Not. Stop. I looked around for his parents. I was going to steal this child because his spirit was Star Wars through and through.

But at the same time, I was conscious that two adults chatting with a kid in the pool for more than a few minutes could be regarded as pedo. This kid went on for a solid 44 minutes (two Rebels episodes) and though I welcomed the rapid fire questions, it did get tiresome. He was an awesome kid though. I’d call him a friend in another life.

Out of the pool, back into uniform and we had our second Character Experience with Darth Maul. He didn’t say a word. I didn’t say a word except Hello, and The Empire thanks you for your service! All I got was a stern stare.

Other things happened: roaming characters like Jawas (I missed), Sandpeople and bounty hunters (Zam Wesell!) were all over the place. I only saw a few, sadly!

There were periodic Empire Announcements on the Funnel Vision TV.

After dinner there was a brief show of all the characters on stage (in case you missed them during the day) and a fireworks show.

At the dance party after the fireworks we saw the Pool Kid mentioned previously. Dancing alone to the remixed Star Wars themes, set to a disco beat. He had some serious moves, which made me want to steal him even more. However, I did not see any parent or guardian around him at all and I surmised that this child was actually my spirit, manifest in human form, going free.

There was a midnight buffet not 2 hours after we just finished our big dinner. I have never…EVER… felt so full. I had a taco and somewhere in my body I could hear a gland weep with exhaustion. Some of us were drunk and tired. Some of us were food smacked and tired. We were all tired.

I went to sleep happy.

I do have to call out Dave who I think had the best fan costume I saw all day: he was wearing a very accurate Han Solo outfit with the hilt of Kylo Ren’s sabre stuck into his chest. It was suggested that Thom should walk in front of him with a Spoiler Alert sign. Good job!


 

*May the 4th is a strong contender. Though people will put up their lightsaber tree on May 25th – they will be know as Old Republic Traditionalist.

**I say “her” because I didn’t see any woman over 6’5″ on the cruise. Trust me, I was looking.