Do something …

I was reading a piece about Alyssa Milano in Sunday’s New York Times and came across this quote, which I love: “Each day is a blank canvas…go and make some marks.” I so agree.

In this particular instance, it’s related to Milano’s political activism. But I think the sentiment — or call to action — can be applied to anything. We no longer live in a world where it’s okay to just “be.” We do have to get involved, to participate, to do something for the greater good, to make our mark. How we choose to do it is up to us.

Given the state of politics globally, being an activist may be the first thought that pops into your mind, it’s Continue reading

Bittersweet …

Today is the last day of Rosh Hashanah. It’s the Jewish New Year and the first of the Jewish High Holy Days. For this holiday, the meal includes apples dipped in honey, to symbolize a sweet new year. But for me, this holiday has both sweet and bittersweet memories.

My family was not particularly observant. We followed some traditions and didn’t follow others. But when it came to the holidays, we were all in. Not as much for the religious significance as for the Continue reading

Back in the saddle again (so to speak)

Believe it or not, it’s been several years since I’ve been behind the wheel of a car.

It all started back sometime in 2009. I was at one of those speaker events. This was a breakfast and the speaker was an author whose new book had just been published. I honestly can’t remember his name, but the book title is The Green Metropolis.

The point being made in the book is that big congested cities are more environmentally conscious and successful then more rural, less densely-populated areas — which is the opposite of what most Continue reading

Labour Day is upon us and it’s not the end of summer I’m thinking about …

For me, Labour Day has always been synonymous with TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). Well, maybe not “always,” but for at least as long as I’ve been living in Toronto — which is 34 years.

TIFF, for anyone unfamiliar with it, is a 10-day long extravaganza that takes place in Toronto every year right after Labour Day. What has made it unique in the world of film festivals, is that it’s always been accessible to members of the public, instead of just the film industry, the critics and the press. And for movie lovers like me it was one of the highlights of the year.

I say “was,” because I packed it in several years ago, after attending for close to 30 years. No matter Continue reading

Goodbye Marianne …

We’ve been having a heatwave in Toronto. I’m not complaining. I promised myself, during the endless deep freeze that was our winter of 2019, that I would not complain of the heat ever again, no matter how bad it is. So I’m merely stating a fact.

This past Saturday was particularly oppresssive, with not even the merest hint of a breeze. My apartment is air conditioned so I could have busied myself at home. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be out, doing something. “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself. This is a perfect day to go to a movie.

Much as I love movies, I tend not to see too many of them in summer, it’s too nice outside and we have Continue reading

The pause that refreshed …

Life is crazy and challenging and chaotic and uncertain. Not just for me, for everyone, everywhere. It’s important for our mental, emotional and physical well-being to shut the world out from time to time, to live in the light, to find joy.

Well, that certainly happened for me last Sunday … 

… when I was lucky enough to be one of about 35 people who attended a casual, intimate, private, classical music concert. Not in the evening, in a darkened concert hall, which is what you’d expect. This concert took place in the afternoon, in a sun-drenched living room.

And on this day the living room happened to belong to a friend and former colleague — Bryan Tenenhouse and his wife Cori Halpern. But it could take place in my living room or yours.

Have you ever heard of Groupmuse? I confess I had not, until Bryan posted on Facebook about a concert at a friend’s home he and Cori went to last Spring. At the time he wrote that he and Cori loved it so much they wanted to host one themselves. Which they did, over two glorious hours, on Sunday afternoon.

What an extraordinary idea it is. Anyone can host. Anyone can attend. That’s right, you don’t have to know Continue reading

Family …

My mother once told me that when she and my father got married there were 200-plus people at their wedding, most of whom were family. Like most children, I never thought about a time when our family would stop growing and start shrinking. Children assume everyone they love will be around forever.

In actual fact, I’m lucky. Most of my family lived long and full lives. I was 15 when my great grandfather passed away, in my 20s when my great grandmother passed. One grandmother lived to 98, the other to Continue reading

Maria Shriver strikes a chord yet again …

If you follow my blog or regularly read my posts on my social media you know I’m a fan of Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. She always blows me away because she consistently writes about issues that are on my mind. But just as important, if not more so, she also talks about matters that should be on my radar and should concern me — this past Sunday’s essay being a perfect case in point.

In it she talks about reactions to medication, women’s health in general and the gender gap in medicine —  and then she segues to the allergic reactions we also have to people, what those reactions tell us and how we should handle them. All of it very important, so here’s a link. While you’re there, take a minute and subscribe.

I know to some degree we all suffer from information overload, but trust me when I tell you that the Continue reading

%#@& !!!!!

Well, now I’ve got an even bigger bee in my bonnet than my frustration with people who don’t vote: People who don’t use their heads when they vote, who knowingly and obstinately choose bad candidates — willfully ignoring the consequences of such actions. They drive me crazy and piss me off royally.

You know who I mean. All those in the US who defiantly, sanctimoniously and emphatically stated, “I’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton;” and then spitefully voted for Donald Trump. I’m not talking about his avid and rabid supporters. I honestly don’t think there’s anything that would make them turn against him.

No, I’m talking about all those who knew better. They knew he had a lousy reputation as a businessman. They knew he lied, insulted, bullied, bragged, swore, threatened and incited violence as he blustered his Continue reading

Some things never change, and they shouldn’t …

When my mom decided she wanted to move from Montreal to Toronto, she came and stayed with me for a month, while she looked for an apartment.

The area where I lived at the time, Av & Dav as the locals call it (Avenue Road and Davenport), was and still is known for a one-block-long strip of shops selling flowers and plants and a diner, the Avenue Diner. They’re landmarks, and not just in that specific ‘hood. Cars are double and triple parked outside the flower shops on weekends, people come from all over the city. And the diner, which has always been owned by the Continue reading