I hesitate to say this out loud, but …

… increasingly, when it comes to Toronto I’ve got a case of the blahs. I’m sorry, I know a lot of you are fans and staunch supporters — which I certainly have been — but I’ve got to be honest.

While I do believe that Toronto has tons of potential I also feel that too much of it is still untapped. And yeah, it frustrates and disappoints me.

I moved here from Montreal 32 years ago (wow, time sure does fly). As North American cities go, Continue reading

Day 218. Missing Musician

Yesterday I made a passing reference to a film I’d seen over the weekend.  It was Saturday afternoon, we went.  And the movie was absolutely amazing.  Extraordinary, I’d go so far as to say.  “Searching For Sugar rodgriguezMan” is a Swedish-British documentary about an American folk musician, Sixto Rodriguez.

Have you ever heard of him?  I hadn’t until a friend of mine mentioned, at least a couple of months ago, she wanted to see the movie.  She is one of the most avid fans of music I know.  All genres.  So of course she knows who he is.  And of course, she’s been a fan of his for quite a while.  We do talk about music a fair bit, so it’s interesting we never talked about him, until now.

Before I go on, just let me say, now I’ve heard him sing and, in particular, listened to his lyrics (in most of his Continue reading

Day 189. Hot Stuff!

No, I am not talking about the Grammys.  Is it me, or was that the worst show ever?  I always look forward to the Grammys.  Of all the award shows, it’s usually thehose best ‘production’.  It’s certainly the one show where anything really can happen.  And often does.  It’s a very unpredictable crowd, which makes it fun to watch.  I also usually enjoy the music, or at least a fair bit of it.

And I’ll be honest, I like seeing just how outrageous everyone is.  Whether or not they’re coherent.  Just how blitzed they’ll be.  Their hair, their make-up, what they’re wearing.  Or, more to the point, how little they’re wearing.

It’s a freak show, but in a good way.  I mean, who will ever forget a few years ago, when Lady Gaga was carried in, in an egg?  There have been many memorable moments over the years.  But not this year.

What went wrong, I don’t know.  I’m sure the now famous CBS ‘memo’ had something to do with it.  Apparently everyone attending was asked to cover up, to not show ‘skin’ or ‘puffiness’ this year.  Give me a break!  After all these years the Grammys have been on the air, I find it difficult to believe anyone — from network bosses to Continue reading

Day 133. Deja Vu

My closest friend and I go back a lot of years. A lot. All the way back to our ‘youth’ in Montreal. And many of the great times we’ve shared have been spent at clubs, dancinglistening to great music. Live music.

Marilyn moved to Toronto several years before I did; and whenever I came to visit we’d always go to see a jazz and blues singer she ‘discovered’. His name is Errol Fisher and he’s very well known, and loved, here. Over the years he’s entertained countless fans at various restaurants, clubs and supper clubs; some of which bore his name.

Once I moved here in 1985, we quickly became ‘regulars’ wherever he was appearing; and we got to know him. Then life being what it is, she and I drifted away from the club scene. And although Errol’s never stopped performing (although we didn’t always know where), we hadn’t seen him in more than twenty years.

Fast forward to October of this year. Marilyn found out he was going to be singing, with his band, at a restaurant (Sorrel, just in case you’re planning a trip to Toronto) close to where each of us lives. We decided we’d go for her birthday.

Honestly, neither one of us ever expected he’d remember us. It’s been a very long time. And let’s face it, much as we may not like it, we all change over time. No matter how healthy you are, no matter how diligent you are

Continue reading

Day 132. Humming Along

What a week this last one turned out to be!  Thursday night a fellow blogger, Evil Squirrel’s Nest, gave me the 2012 Best Blog of the Year Award.  And yesterday one of my posts, Day 120 I’m Afeared, was featured on FRESHLY PRESSED, right here, on WordPress.  All that, on top of you stopping by, reading my blog and taking the time to ‘like’, comment and share.  Thank you so much.  This is one heck of a community we’re part of.  I’m so enjoying getting to know you.

I love music.  Growing up there was always music playing in our house.  My mother had a beautiful voice.  My dad?  Not so much.  Me?  I had a boyfriend who said singinghe was going to start a group called Fransi and the No Tones.  That should tell you everything you need to know.  He silenced me forever.  I don’t even sing in the shower any more.  We all loved listening, though.

And of course, I still do.  How do your tastes run in music?  Mine are pretty eclectic.  Soul.  R&B.  Blues.  Reggae.  Cuban.  Afro Cuban.  Some rock.  Some folk.  Some pop.  Some classical.  Some opera.  Some country.  Some jazz.  Doesn’t leave much I don’t like, does it?  Ahh, heavy metal.  Thanks, but no thanks.  No interest in ‘listening’ to a migraine.

Oh, I forgot.  I love soca.  In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a style of Caribbean music (calypso), that originated in Trinidad and Tobago.  T & T’s also famous for Carnival, an annual two-day long bacchanal held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  People go from all over the world to Continue reading

Day 60. A Milestone

It’s been two months, since I first had the crazy idea of attempting to write something new, every day, for a year.  Sixty days.  Sixty stories.  Sixty different topics.  Six hundred and twenty-one tags.  Forty-four thousand, seven hundred nineteen words.

And sixty grande Pike’s to keep me going.

Damn!  That’s half a novel’s worth of work.  That’s one mother load of a blog.  And I’m not even close to being done.  Done in, occasionally.  But not done.  I’ve written on more subjects I could ever have imagined, from aging to atoning.  From beauty to books.  The Caribbean to cycles.  Distractions.  Entertainment.  And fantasies.

On googling.  Health and history.  From ignorance to intentions.  Joy and love.  From mischief to  music and naturopathy.  Politics and prejudice.  Refining to rituals.   Continue reading