My very own pussy riot …


It’s been close to 40 years since I’ve lived without a cat in my life and I’m shocked at how “still” and lifeless my apartment is.

Eerily, uncomfortably so, to be honest. I’m amazed at the energy these little critters bring. For a while now I’ve said — to myself mostly — that Bartlett (my last to go, just last Wednesday, pictured here) would be it for me.

But now I’m not so sure.

In my early years I wanted a dog and while it took my dad and me quite a while to convince my mother, I did finally get my wish, although truth be told, Tosca’s heart belonged to her. He liked us well Continue reading


I miss the good old days …

No question there’s a lot about the 21st century to be excited about, but there’s a lot I miss about days gone by.

Last Thursday I went to see the Christian Dior exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum here, in Toronto. Every garment, whether for daytime or evening, was shown with gloves — short, mostly black ones with suits and dresses and white, cream and occasionally black, long, above-the-elbow ones for formal wear.

I remember that from when I was growing up. My mother, Continue reading

What is it about the Holidays?

Well, Chanukah and Christmas are over for another year and I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom this season triggers many memories.

Christmas wasn’t a holiday we celebrated when I was growing up, we didn’t have a tree or exchange gifts, but we certainly got into its joyful spirit. Ours was a close family, and we spent just about every day and evening together for that week. Good times, good food and much laughter is what I remember.

Like all kids, I looked forward to being out of school for a Continue reading

Boy I needed that …

Recently a friend asked if I’d be interested in going to a poster exhibit at The Japan Foundation here, in Toronto. The 67 posters in the exhibit, most of which date back to the 1970s, were designed by Eiko Ishioka, who passed in 2012.

Aside from her spectacular career as an art director and graphic designer in Tokyo, she was also a clothing and costume designer and she had a distinguished career as a designer in films.

Her film career  began with Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, directed by Paul Schrader, of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead fame.

When we arrived at the exhibit we noticed a film playing in a room off the reception area and decided to start with that. It was about the Continue reading

Nice to hear “good” news for a change

The world was in crisis mode long before the orange blob of toxic waste moved to Washington. There’s been plenty of poverty, hunger, disease, displacement, fear, uncertainty and misery to go around, both globally and in our own back yards.

And there have always been those who have consistently risen to the challenge, raised their hands and helped. By volunteering, speaking out, challenging the status quo and giving financial aid. Private citizens, celebrities and the mega wealthy, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Continue reading

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

Everything seems more lush this year …

Until this spring we haven’t had much precipitation in Toronto. In fact, it’s been several years with hardly any snow or rain. But although we had another mild winter this year, we have had more than our fair share of rain — too much, in fact; and it’s caused havoc. Not good.

Just the other day, though, I looked around and realized how gorgeous and healthy the trees, flowers and grass are looking. So clearly Mother Nature has enjoyed the dousing, even if the rest of us have not.

All our luxuriant foliage made me think back to my trip to India — and Kerala, in particular. Kerala is in the South, on Continue reading

The mind’s willing but the body isn’t …

Like my mother, I’m a film lover and have been since childhood. I was in my glory when I moved to Toronto and realized that, for 10 days every September, it was home to TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).

I’ve cancelled or delayed many a vacation in my time, but those 10 days were sacrosanct. I looked forward to the festival all year and I Continue reading

When I was 17 …

Don’t worry, I’m not about to break into song. You have no idea what I’m talking about, doice-cream you? Frank Sinatra? “It Was A Very Good Year?”  I think it was specially written for him. Well the first line is, “When I was 17 …”

Never mind.

When I was 17 my parents sent me on one of those teen tours. For six weeks we traveled throughout Canada, the U.S. and down into Continue reading

The cab ride that restored my faith in humanity …

A photographer I know invited me to the opening reception of his exhibit last Saturday. greedBecause it was a rainy day the friend I was going with and I decided to take a taxi.

As luck would have it, part way there we drove right into a protest. There’s no way the driver could have known — there were no signs, no indication of a march and we didn’t see them approaching until we were more than half Continue reading