Friday, 31 August 2012

Not Bipolar At All

Quotation Of The Day ~ Mae West: Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

Hi, everyone:

This has been such a stupid week.  My moods have been up and down like some dork dangling at the end of a bungee cord. Not that i'm bipolar or anything.

I watched this film last night:


Woody Allen's films, sometimes i love them, sometimes they just leave me cold.  "Midnight In Paris" -- starring Owen Wilson as, basically, Woody Allen, and the 100% gorgeous Marion Cotillard, below, definitely falls into the "love it" camp. Absolutely magic.

I really have nothing else to write about, though.  So it's basically just a playlist this time: 

Saga -- Images At Twilight
The Albion Band -- The Prospect Before Us
Florence & The Machine -- Ceremonials, disc 2
George Harrison -- Brainwashed
David Gilmour -- On An Island
Peter Hammill -- Consequences
This Mortal Coil -- Filigree And Shadow
Talk Talk -- Spirit Of Eden
Howard Jones -- B Sides
city Boy -- Go East Young Man
John Miles -- Stranger In The City
Martin Carthy -- Sweet Wivelsfield   
Fairport Convention -- Gladys' Leap
The Kinks -- Arthur, Or, The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire
Steve Hackett -- Spectral Mornings
Sparks -- Kimono My House
Jethro Tull -- Benefit
Procol Harum -- Shine On Brightly
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Bluesbreaker
The Mahavishnu Orchestra -- The Inner Mounting Flame
Chantal Kreviazuk -- In This Life

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Problem With Pubs

Quotation of the day ~ Samuel Johnson: There is nothing which has been yet contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.

I don't have an alcohol problem -- i drink, i fall asleep, no problem tra la.

But i will confess to being a pub-a-holic.  I love pubs.  I think this goes back to my youth in England.  As an infant, i lived above one. My auntie and uncle ran a pub on Lindisfarne -- the fabulous holy isle -- and for a while my parents shared the living space.  So from a very early age i was accustomed to the aroma of hopped beverages wafting into my nose.

(The same thing happened to me with pizza: when i lived in Toronto i lived, for a while, upstairs from a pizzeria, and at around ten o'clock every morning, the aroma of pepperoni pizzas would soar upwards; it may explain why i now consider pizza to be nature's most perfect food.)

Pubs are not to be confused with bars and hotels -- nasty, dark places and often pretty dirty.  Pubs are bright and friendly and -- if i may quote the theme song from "Cheers," "sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came."  That's what i mean by a pub.

Here's a pic of the very first place i ever considered to be "my" local pub:

The Duke Of Kent at Yonge & Eglinton, in Toronto.  I lived behind it, a minute's walk away, my neighbours went there and most of my few remaining friendships were forged there.  It changed my life in many ways (for there, f'rinstance, it was that i met my ex-wife and if that wasn't life - changing...).

 I now live in Stratford, and there are only two pubs here that i go to: my favourite is Kelsey's, which is close to where i live.  I go there, oh, i dunno, maybe on average, twice a week.  I've been going there since it opened, 12 (?) years ago.  And check my flickr page for views from their smoking area (i.e., outside): The other one is Bentley's, which is close to where i used to live.  I've been going there since it opened, 23 (?) years ago -- but now that i live way a long way away from it, maybe only twice a month.

Anyway, on to the point of this post.

If you go into anywhere regularly, you become friendly with some of the people who work there.  Friend each other on Facebook and exchange email addresses, etc.  But -- people in the "hospitality" industry being notoriously nomadic -- all of a sudden they leave and you never see them again.  Someone you like just simply disappears from your life.  It ... leaves a hole.  (And i have so many holes now you might mistake me   for a Swiss cheese....)

What has brought this post on, is, that i have made many friends at Kelsey's over the years and one of my all-time favourites, Nicole, left, to go back to school.  Yesterday was her last day. I envy her, one of the greatest regrets of my life is that i didn't finish university. Maybe, just maybe, if i had finished, i wouldn't be stuck in such a crap job now, but nevermind that.

Here's Nicole (i'm using this picture with her permission).

Cute, eh?  But also -- and more importantly to me -- someone so full of positive vibes it was a pleasure to be in the same room. If i'd ever had a daughter, i would have liked her to be like Nicole.... I shall miss her, but that's what happens when you go to pubs, and that's why drinking is dangerous.

You lose friends....

And it's another playlist, boys 'n' girls:

Freddie King -- The Very Best Of
Glenn Frey -- No Fun Aloud
Glenn Frey -- The Allnighter
Joan Osborne -- Bring It On Home
The Albion Band -- The Vice Of The People
John Renbourn -- The Guitar Of John Renbourn
Marianne Faithful -- Love In A Mist
OutKast -- Stankonia

Thursday, 23 August 2012

In This Life

Quotation of the day: Chantal Kreviazuk ~ You're in the basement, watching the TV / I'm on the second floor, watching the ceiling (from "In This Life")

Just bought Chantal Kreviazuk's new CD, "In This Life," the other day.  There's the album cover:

Chantal is, in case you don't know, a Canadian singer / songwriter and a classicaly-trained pianist, married to Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace and i've been following her career since her debut album in 1996.  I think she's terrific.  The name is pronounced "krevvy-A-zuhk."  This new album is a semi-unplugged, in concert recording, performed with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, a "greatest hits and more" type of package.  And it includes a free DVD (which i haven't watched yet).

And i started to think, as George Harrison once famously sang, "what is life?" Erm, he probably wasn't the first to ask the question.  In fact it probably goes 'way back, beyond the ancient Greek sages like Solon, who said "No one can be said to be happy until he is dead." Further back than that, even.

Well, i'm starting to think that life is a mistake.  One of god's silly little experiments that went awry, like the Boson particle.  Or the Ford Pinto.

I'm certainly starting to believe that my life was a mistake.  It is, in general, so unbearable that i think i must be doing penance for the sins of a previous life.  This is mostly workplace-related, where i'm surrounded by energy vampires, people so negative that they suck the the juice right out of me.  And of course this spills over into the other aspects of my being.

I've suffered from insomnia all of my life -- brain won't shut down when head hits the pillow -- but now, i can't sleep at all unless i'm half blootered.  But then, work haunts my dreams.  And there's no escape. And i'm too old to find anything different -- i don't know how to do anything else any more anyway.

I've tried. 

Back in January, i enrolled in a part-time, online college course in programming.  Not really expecting it to lead to a career change at my age (i'm old) but stranger things have happened.

I'm supposed to work five and a half days a week, i figured i could work on my studies on my afternoons off.  Ha, wrong again: they stopped giving me afternoons off. I complained -- and they gave me one afternoon, and then stopped.  I got further and further behind on the studies.  I had a week off in April and tried to catch up but it was no good, i was too far behind, and i gave up.

So that's why i spend so much time in cyberspace, then: because real life, or "meatspace," is so fuckn dreadful. And i don't like working six days a week!  I mean, it's nice to be wanted, but then to have to put up with all of the crap up with which i must put....

Oh, well, at least i still have music. Here's the playlist:

Roxy Music -- World Tour Live, disc 1
Talk Talk -- Spirit Of Eden
Fairport Convention -- The Alternative Heyday
Maddy Prior & Guests -- Live At Cecil Sharp House, 2008
Barry Lyndon (soundtrack)
Focus -- Hamburger Concerto Tour (bootleg)
The Move -- Looking In
Keane -- Strangeland
Various Artists -- The Roots Of The Rolling Stones
Ten Years After -- Recorded Live
Jane Siberry -- City
Chantal Kreviazuk -- In This Life
Seether -- One Cold Night
Billie Holiday -- Lady In Satin
John Fogerty -- Deja Vu All Over Again
Rory Gallagher -- Against The Grain
City Boy -- Go East Young Men
Alvin Lee -- I Hear You Rockin'
Marc Bonilla -- EE Ticket
Richard Thompson -- Henry The Human Fly
Jethro Tull -- A Passion Play

Monday, 13 August 2012

Working For A Living

Quotation Of The Day ~ Martha Raye: I didn't have to work till I was three. But after that, I never stopped.

Right, well, i'm in the middle of working ten days straight.  On a scale of one to ten, where ten is happy and one is unhappy, i'm at about minus five at the moment.  Not a happy camper....

Here's the playlist:

The Move -- Movements, disc 1
Van Morrison -- His Band And The Street Choir
Rory Gallagher -- A Blue Day For The Blues
Roy Wood -- Music Book, disc 1
Def Leppard -- Adrenalize
Emerson, Lake & Palmer -- Black Moon
David Bowie -- Hunky Dory
Rory Gallagher -- Jinx
The Albion Band -- The Vice Of The People (twice)
Jon Anderson -- Change We Must
Lucinda Williams -- Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
Taste -- The Best Of Taste
Colosseum -- Those Who Are About To Die Salute You
Colosseum -- Valentyne Suite
Genesis -- Nursery Cryme (twice)
Shania Twain -- Up! disc 1
Roy Wood -- Singles
Colosseum -- Live
Steeleye Span -- Horkstow Grange
The Beatles -- Let It Be... Naked
Peter Hammill --Consequences
Bjork -- Debut
Jeff Beck -- Who Else!
The Yardbirds -- BBC Sessions
Roy Wood -- Music Book, disc 2
Matchbox Twenty -- Exile On Mainstream
Mike Oldfield -- Tubular Bells III
The Rolling Stones  -- Metamorphosis

And here's the best album i've bought all year (so far):

A "greatest hits" collection and full of magic.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Just a playlist.  I don't even have a quotation du jour. I've been so damned busy...

James Taylor -- October Road
Talk Talk -- Spirit Of Eden
Jon Anderson -- Olias Of Sunhillow
Birth Control -- Backdoor Possibilities
Marina & The Diamonds -- Pop Your Bubblegum Heart
Home -- BBC Sessions
The All-American Rejects -- The All-American Rejects
Colin James -- Fifteen
City Boy -- Book Early
Ten Years After -- Recorded Live
AC/DC -- High Voltage
Martin Carthy -- The Kershaw Sessions
Joe Bonamassa -- Black Rock
Rory Gallagher -- Defender
King Crimson -- Islands
Rush -- Vapor Trails
Peter Hammill -- Sitting Targets
The Move -- Movements, disc 1
Van Morrison -- His Band And The Street Choir
Rory Gallagher -- A Blue Day For The Blues
Roy Wood -- Music Book, disc 1

Here's a new pic of the love of my life, though:

The most beautiful woman i have ever seen in my life, Andreea Raducan.  (Oh and, by the way, there is no truth to the rumour that we're moving to Tahiti together.  That was Perez Hilton started that.)