Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twenty Twelve

I feel sort of giddy that it's actually going to be 2012. I grew up hearing about the opportunities the energy of this year was going to offer. Not apocalypse but "a time of great change". My friend sharona, an astrologer on the west coast, says this year is like a door that we can open to make changes and those changes...whether "good" or "bad" will be supported. When I was a little kid and my family spoke with reverence about this seemed so far away.

Are you up to anything fun tonight? My friend Tricia is coming over for martinis and I am looking forward to seeing her.

Happy new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Another movie I am very excited about seeing! By one of my favourite directors!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Man Down

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song "Man Down" by Rhianna. She has some parents and people angry because of the violence depicted in the lyrics. Of course it was okay for Bob Marley or Eric Clapton to sing a powerful ballad about revenge or murder. Strong angry repentant women storytelllers? Dangerous! Go goddesses!

Rhianna on Twitter page, insisting upon her “freedom to make art” and telling parents it is up to them, not the music industry, to raise their kids.

“The music industry isn’t exactly Parents R Us!” she tweeted.

“We have the freedom to make art, LET US! It’s your job to make sure they don’t turn out like us.”

In another tweet, she said: “I’m a 23-year-old rockstar with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wanting me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!”

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Artist

I just wrote a friend how I was wondering what kinds of movies are coming out ...and I really had not felt super excited about seeing a new movie in quite a long time. Listen, I am excited about the Dragon Tattoo movie, and Sherlock Holmes, and Mission Impossible...but I mean really excited. Excited like the kinds of movies that might inspire you to think about life. Like anticipating a Scorcese or Fellini movie. I used to get so excited to see a new Fellini movie. I really haven't been very excited to see a movie since "The Matrix" which had so much word of mouth and buzz.

Now here comes a black and white with no dialogue...and the trailer alone gets my eyes watering and my heart jumping. I can not believe someone has the guts to make a silent movie in black and white. I am so stoked for this movie! The director is a fellow who has made delightful spy movie spoofs in the past.

When I look at the trailer for "The Artist" I am filled with the memories of going to see Marx Brothers movies or Fellini's "Cassanova" at the Plaza Theatre in Calgary. I think The Plaza still shows movies. One of my oldest friends was the projectionist (he became a labour leader for projectionists since those days). The first movie I took my daughter to was at The Plaza (she was a newborn but I took her in a snugglie to "Wizard of Oz" which of course she slept through).

It just feels so cool to anticipate seeing this movie! Would you go see a silent black and white film?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We have a little houseguest. He's a hamster that needs a bit of tlc for a couple of days. Hes very cute but very shy.

I am watching the 4 part series Fabric Of The Cosmos ala marathon tonight. I love the host, Brian Greenes, books which this mini series has been adapted. A quiet night. Stagg is at work. We are both working on the 25th so I don't even think we'll get a tree. we're either at work or sleeping. Not much else....back to my physics series...yummy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


This is one of the creepiest characters and episodes from CSI. I was so frightened watching this episode a couple years ago I had to turn all the lights on. And then phoned my daughter who was also watching it. Ann Margeret was also in this episode.The serial killer wore total pvc suit and was "unforensic" ot able to find any evidence of who he was except for the nicknames "Sqweegel" and "Ian Moore" (I am no one). This episode was so popular and so good that fans are hoping the writers will create more episodes of "Sqweegel". Here is a behind-the-scenes video.

Friday, December 16, 2011

If There Is No Fighting, It's Just Ice Skating

"By a practice I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved, are systematically extended." Alasdair MacIntyre

Hockey without fighting is just skating? No really though, we think of hockey as having sanctioned fighting like boxing. The thing is, usually actual fist fighting doesn't happen in hockey until kids are well over 12. When I heard about this fight among 9 year olds after a hockey game I was really surprised. then I thought, hey maybe this game wasn't in North America. And I was right it's in Russia. I don't know anything about the customs of kids games in Russia but I know a fair bit about hockey games in Canada and the States for youth. Fighting is not tolerated. Nor is parental verbal abuse. Especially in Canada. Kids play hockey for fun. The fighting kicks in around the time of hormones. And kids having less influences from positive role models. Not the fighting players...but the players who make bad decisions during games.

In the above video what happens is that the kids start insulting each other...then fists fly.

And this is often what happens in professional hockey. Almost always in professional hockey, when a fight occurs its after one of the players has done something wrong. By wrong it could be a wrong play, a rule break, she wasn't caught by refs at a bad play...but often it is something really morally or gameship unacceptable. The fight happens after a bit of back and forth during the game till it escalates. There is ussualy a moral imperative and a "good versus bad ". It's part of the game and part of keeping up good gameship in the game of hockey.

I know, its a bit of a contradiction but there it is.

With children emphasis on the game is fun. Fun. No verbal abuse, no name-calling, no insulting players. The junior games are monitored and refereed and coached way before insults or rude words surface. Way before a fight would surface.

Hockey really is one of the more beautiful sports. Sports is the marriage of art and war. And hockey is the marriage of ice skating and boxing. Like many martial practices or artistic practices there is attainment of knowledge seemingly outside the actual practice. Part of being both an artist or a hockey player is going through the experience and gaining life skills. We teach kids tolerance and kindness during junoir hockey in the hopes that when they become grown ups they will choose their battles. After all, just like real life there are going to be bad people or people with poor social and game skills. Part of the idea of 10,000 hours or the philosophy of virtue (Alistair MacIntyre) is that we gain experience and tact and judgemental skills during our apprenticeship and practices.

The fight among 9 year old hockey players means we need to work harder at making sure children get those precious years of fun and play while attaining social and game skills so they can be ready for real life or grown up games.

Shit Disturber, R.I.P.

"There is, especially in the American media, a deep belief that insincerity is better than no sincerity at all."

"One reason to be a decided antiracist is the plain fact that 'race' is a construct with no scientific validity. DNA can tell you who you are, but not what you are."

"A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realisation that you can't make old friends."

All above quotes of Christopher Hitchens.

In my world, being a shit disturber is a compliment. The term is used a lot in Canada and I think maybe trickled over from UK. It's kind of a 60's slash punk term and Hitchens was a royal shit disturber. He liked to get his brain wrenching with any kind of status quo. Question authority. Like him or not. Agree with him or not...he could set up a frame for a discussion. I feel like I've been reading his opinions and arguments all my life. He was a regular guest on Bill Maher's shows and he will be sorely missed because he brought humour, cutting social criticism and UK swag to so many discussions and magazines.

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying.
—Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”

Related Links:

1) From NPR
2) Hitchens on Nietzsche for Vanity Fair
3) A Hitchens friend remembers

Thursday, December 15, 2011


New Barry White? I love this new video and song by 50Cent. I always have on WGCI in the car. I am now super familiar with the djs and programming. I also have landed up driving all kinds of places in the past couple months. Really starting to get a sense of direction in Chicago...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Painting Being Made By Peter Josyph

This is a photo I took in Knoxville of Cormac McCarthy's family house back in 2007. Yes, I was sneaking around on this property...and I was nervous and took some silly photos. I was visiting a few friendsfrom my online bookclub, with a fabulous guy Wes who took me on a literary tour of McCarthy's world in Knoxville. This house burned down a couple years ago.

A buddy of mine has these great videos of him making a painting of Cormac McCarthy's house: Peter Josyph is a New York artist and film maker who did this painting for our bookclub and I think this video archive is just a wonderful thing. Check it out! See how two very different people had such different responses to a visual imspiration as this house. ha ha. Okay okay, Peter's is obviously way more cool!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Billy

Aw, cute, Billy Bragg on a Canadian kids show...I used to sing this song to my nephew Nathan. One trip to tofino and this record was very popular I would get up early in the morning and let my sister and brother-in-law sleep in and I would take Nathan in a snuggly pack to the beach and watch eagles feed in the seaweed and sing this to him.

A concerty version....

I love both these Billy's and they are both from the British punk scene and same era.

No surprise Billy Idol became a big star, his face was made for music videos and he is so gorgeous! At the time of Idol's early rock videos they were super inventive and now they seem so cute. We used to love waiting for one of his sexy videos to be shown on Much Music or MTV.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Must See!

Just got word that Adam Ant is on his way to Chicago. I've got to go!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stacking Lifting Stocking

well, I did manage to think about if I was gonna get a tree or decorate...and yes, I am going to decorate next week. Stagg is going to find some decorations in the attic. We also had our Festivus decorations in the basement at our old place so they survived. I've been lifting and stacking 30 pound bags of cat food and cat litter and flats of tins of cat food for the past couple days. I am so out of shape I thought I would't make it but can you say "core"? I MUST get back into yoga or else! Not much else going on. I love the people I've been working with this week. Two of the women are just wonderful. One I call "movie buff". she describes everyone as a movie person they look like. when she described one of the guys as "michael J Pollard" I did a double take. That was for sure a movie buff observation so esoteric. I love hearing about the other staffs dogs and cats and retiles etc. Everyone has pets that works here. (well except me) Thats it for now. On a tear with the crock pot. Threw in all organic chicken and bones with tiny potatoes )no TINY potatoes) and vegies and organic chicken stock and just let it simmer. Stagg's got dozens of soups and stews for work now. Thats all for now folks...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Night Shift

Stagg and i are working two different night shifts so he'll be gone when I get home tonight. We still don't know if he'll be picked up full time. Cross your fingers. We've filled up the fridge and he has meals ready for several days. The crock pot has already been a terrific addition. We made an awesome stew last night with stuff I grabbed at Trader Joes like stew beef, peas, potatoes organic beef stock. My new location is in our old neighbourhood right next to our old Trader Joes! So it is super convenient. I will just get groceries on my way home every day. Zowie! Thats about it for new location is really new. Brand new store , not even open I got some extra hours helping unpack stock...which I LOVE DOING! And so no dogs yet but probably be grooming by next week. So its been a fun couple days. The people I work with are so cool and nice so thats really great too. Later...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Welcome To The 1950's

I've been at Tricia's for a week and just got back. Um...Stagg hadn't been to the grocery store. He made odd bits of food with potatoes and cabbage and rice we had kicking around. The thing is...when he came to Kenosha for the funeral the other day I thought he looked very very thin. I had no idea he was on the cabbage soup diet. If anyone didn't need to lose weight it's Stagg.

Now coincidently on the way back into town I stopped for groceries and I saw a lovely crock pot at Target. I've never owned a crock pot before bit thought it might be a way for Stagg to make some meals.

I got him to spend an hour chopping onions and celery and so now he has a prep for recipes. Its just as much trouble to chop a lot of onions as one...and then store them in the fridge till you make a bunch of soups etc. He walked through an informal chili recipe with me last night ....and this morning...the chili looks pretty good.

If you have any groovy and wholesome crock pot recipes lay them down!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cool Brother, R.I.P.

The only thing I can make any sense over this sudden loss is that Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain must have needed a bodyguard.

The Neil, as he was called by just about everyone, was a Marine. Just exactly how cool was he? He had tattoos. He wore combat boots and five fingers shoes. He got his sister, my friend Tricia, her first iPhone and kept upgrading them. He was one cool brother. He had just got his concealed weapons permit and was planning to branch out from security to personal security. He drove a bad ass truck. He worked at a gentlemans club and took care of the dancers like they were family. He was the life of the party and he laughed loud and hearty. He was huge, larger than life at 6'5". He had a massive love of travel and seeing the world especially if the weather was balmy and there were palm trees. He could quote The Simpsons on a dime. Knowing The Simpsons is a sign of great mental health and well-being. He loved movies and was a source of useless information which made for great conversation. His favourite movie was The Big Lebowski. Almost all of his clothes were black and glamorous styling...and when they weren't they were black with skull and pirate motifs, which of course is also glamorous! He was a foodie getting his parents to try new foods they never imagined they would begin to love. He did it all and he lived so large and to the fullest: sky diving, scuba diving, gun savvy, knife collecting, massive hat wearing, camping, hunting. He really was the best version of the American spirit we see in movies and literature. Only for real. He seized the day.

He's going to be interned on Saturday in his five fingered sports shoes with two pounds of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Semper Fi!

"You make me smile like the sun
Fall outta bed
Sing like a bird
Dizzy in my head
Spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
Buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile"