Posts in Category: Sigh

Erie Halloween

To celebrate Halloween in the best ol’ spooky way one knows how, you should do what I did and rent a cabin in the woods. By a lake! Preferably a deserted spot, where it is super grey, windy, and cold, and ideally raining non-stop, and there are lots and lots of windows devoid of any covering so that murderers can watch every move you make. Throw in a lighthouse in the distance, just close enough so that you always know there’s something out there on the water, but far enough that you can’t quite make out if it’s an asylum or what. And don’t forget a really deep basement where the stairs have no handrail, the lights are broken, there’s the constant sound of dripping water, and critters. Thanks, Lake Erie, for being perfect. Check.

Oh, and during the day go for walks to explore the area and realize that every business is shuttered and the population is 45. But no matter! You can ponder how old fossils are and how coral and sea slugs have left their marks for all of time in rock beds but if you were to, say, meet your untimely demise at the hands of a murderer in the woods, just as an example, you’re merely a speck in the fabric of time. Thanks Rock Point Provincial Park, for bringing perspective home. Check.

Oh, and when you get home be sure to watch movies that are slow and creepy and psychologically menacing so that everyone gets ridiculously scared and can’t sleep the whole night and insists that lights be left on the entire time it’s dark, thus allowing previously acknowledged murderers to see you EVEN MORE CLEARLY THAN BEFORE. BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO WINDOW COVERINGS. Thanks, Netflix’ Insidious and Night House. Check.

Then, buzzing from Reese’s Pieces and paranoia, try to sleep. Good luck. Happy Halloween.

Life on the Inside

Some great news for those missing culture and camaraderie right now like a mother….

  • Jim Caruso’s Pajama Party is kind of the cutest thing I’ve seen. This happens every Monday night so I’ll be tuning in again.
  • The Citadel Dance Company will be showcasing their artists for a limited time every Tuesday at 2pm, showing past performances on their website for free
  • National Theatre Live is also streaming some amazing content for free. A show premieres every Thursday at 7pm London Time, and is available for a week thereafter for you to watch whenever you like.
  • The RA streaming parties are pretty exciting is you want to shake your booty like no one is watching. Because no one is, unless you’ve set up your webcam that way.
  • Smash is available on NBC and on Amazon, and it’s basically like living in New York and watching a Broadway production coming together, so there you go.
  • Heard of Art Passport? You can download this and literally tour galleries and exhibitions using this handy, and free, app or just go to the museum website directly, as many are offering free virtual tours during this time. Another option, of course, is to download the Google Arts and Culture app.
  • 54 Below will be streaming free content sporadically on their YouTube channel as well
  • If you love musicals and Andrew Lloyd Webber, check out this new YouTube channel.
  • If you can speak German, you may want to check out frequent streams at the Schaubuehne
  • Broadway HD has a 7-day free trial, and I have a deep love of Kevin Kline, so will be checking out Present Laughter
  • The Metropolitan Opera are running free nightly opera streams on their website.
  • Jackbox has some deals on free games that you can play remotely with people. You can download Drawful (which is basically Pictionary) for free, and use a free Zoom account to stream it to your friends. All that people need to be able to play are a laptop (so they can see the game screen which you, as the host, will control and share via Zoom) and their cell phones (to play along and record their answers).
  • If all else fails and you simply cannot stare at a screen any longer, rent a board game from BoardGames2GO

Rembrandt von Goobersplatz

I’d like to introduce you to Rembrandt, the sweetest little Vizsla pup who has been licking my face every morning and sleeping under my chair despite having a perfectly good and cozy little dog bed for his use. This little guy has more energy than I could have dreamed, and is sweeter and smarter than I ever expected puppies to be. If you’d like to see some of Remy’s adventures, we’ve set up an instagram page for him and will try to post regularly – mostly because it’s insane how quickly he is growing, and it’s important that we don’t blink and miss it all!

I’ve always been big on walks around the neighbourhood with a coffee in hand, and love how much green space there is in Toronto. Remy is a great reason to venture even further and stay out even longer. He doesn’t tire easily, and seems content after a quick nap to do it all over again. I may have finally met my energy match! Who needs sleep? Who needs tv time? Who needs clean pants? Not I, clearly. This guy is going to make the holiday season one to remember, that’s for sure (10 bucks says the Christmas tree is akimbo before the lights are even on properly).

Flexing Frozen February Fibres

Factory Theatre commissioned a terrific work by Kat Sandler, great aerobics for the brain, who somehow managed to pull off the near impossible task of making an audience laugh – guffaw, even! – while watching a piece about gun violence. In Canada. In 2018. In downtown Toronto. She’s basically a genius. Take a listen to some of the opening bits here.

Oh!, and I danced home after listening to Musica Nuda yesterday. This woman is a rock star. They both are. I hope to see more of this kind of magic. And this kind, too. It’s good shit. Like Farrah Fawcett hair.

Crumble Master

It was a most gorgeous day outside, with an evening that necessitated the use of the bicycle, the purchasing of fresh fruits, and of sitting on the porch studying my favourite MasterClass lecturers while eating freshly-baked crumble. With May days like this, life ain’t bad.

(20)11 Resolutions

  1. The Amsterdam Public Library is wonderful. Really. Super cool. Will go there more.
  2. I will learn how to speak Dutch (ok, I will learn the alphabet and how to count to 50, let’s start with that).
  3. I will finally get within 2 feet of the Bald Coot and stare at its shelled little feet. Oh yes, I will.
  4. Will eat fewer oliebollen. Bazinga.
  5. I will stop cutting my own hair. Apparently, just cuz it was cute when my mom did it when I was 6 does not make it ok when I’m 30. Or something.
  6. I will visit Angkor Wat. Watch me.
  7. If a movie is really really bad, I will not finish watching it. I will walk away, turn off the tv (or leave the theater). I will not sit there and calculate how much money I am wasting by not seeing the denouement, but rather how many brain cells I am saving by not.
  8. I will not buy things at Sabon that fill bathtubs since now I have no access to a bathtub. Because that would be silly. And I am not silly. Except on my birthday, because Jacqui bought me a gift certificate, BUT ONLY THEN.
  9. I will eat more cheese. Because I can. And because it’s ridiculous here.
  10. I will finally read Manufacturing Consent.
  11. I will allow others to win at Scrabble because “it’s supposed to be fun for everyone”.



I poked around on Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, GOOP, today, because someone mentioned that there is a killer recipe on it for a broccoli and arugula soup. While searching for it, I came across some of her philosophical musings, one of which caught my attention. It reads as follows:

“What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don’t like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can’t make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?”

This, to me, was a touching entry, and showed a gentle, real, human side of a screen personality that I never really cared much for. It is usually hard (for some of us) to let go of people whom at one time we greatly valued (for whatever reasons). If our memory is even remotely functional, and not fallen prey to too many Pina Coladas or too much stress, then it’s hard not to keep a running tally of all of the good times that you share with people that you feel connected to. Having never been particularly well-adapted to Western “disposable” mentality – which seems to extend as much to personal connections as to plastic containers, Styrofoam, and diapers – I always had a hard time “letting go”. Presumably this is because I had to let go of so much from such an early age. Some called it an “attachment complex”, others blamed an overabundance of “emotion”. Some cited confidence issues and others still a “good girl phenomenon”. Whatever it was, I agree with the above sentiment, and the resounding sadness and possibility of future regret of the personal loss resonated as I read the post.

I must say that my biggest indicator, however, of whether the people that you surround yourself with are valuable to your life is whether or not you find yourself missing them. For example, I miss Stedman all the time. I miss her bubbliness and her positive, patient, grade-school teacher spin on everything (this very same quality often makes me want to kill her, but that’s beyond the point) and her total lack of self-pity. I miss Azadeh’s giggle – that woman cannot stop laughing when she gets going, and it’s the most contagious laugh in the world. I miss Ian and Williams’s humour (I think few people can make me laugh out loud like that. I mean, full on guffaw). I miss Yannis and Antarah’s reality checks. I miss Natty’s cockiness and Lucio’s energy. I miss Neelam and Diane’s warmth. And I miss John’s onomatopoeia. Often.

The Availability of Things

I never used to think about what it was that was not available in Toronto, since for the most part my head was always too busy buzzing with the multitude of options what were. But for some strange reason, I’ve lately been reverting back to simple pleasures of my youth that I have not encountered in a long time. Things that I used to consume / amuse myself with / criticize relentlessly that I just don’t see day-to-day that include:

Red Currants – My grandma used to bake with red currants constantly, and make compote and soup that was always such an awesome alternative to thick and creamy vegetable soups or black tea. But I don’t know if I’ve seen red or black currants or gooseberries here ever. And for a kid obsessed with tartness and citrus flavours that’s a harsh way to live. Take my sunshine away why don’t you.

Turtles – When I was a wee sprite hanging out in the playgrounds of Oliwa trying to amuse myself while adults did adulty things (I lived next to Lech Wałęsa, by the way, who was just up the street on Polanki Avenue. Jealous?) I remember a lot of turtles. Turtles everywhere – all the kids had turtles. Cats were generally disliked because they were scrappy and unkempt (think Stimpy of Ren and Stimpy fame) so that was the next best thing – and we annoyed all the crabby old ladies on the block by feeding them the neighbourhood rose petals. But I see no turtles. Anywhere.

Frogs – Again, I understand that amphibians are in decline, a result of cities and urban sprawl blah blah blah, but COME ON. I don’t think I’ve seen ONE, except at the exhibit in Washington. Seriously?

Roxette – Canadians just don’t appreciate amazing musical duos. *cricket cricket*. Seriously though, I learned my first English words singing these songs.

Halva – I almost choked on my bubble gum when I saw that Essence of Life in Kensington was selling halva, since for the last twenty years I have not seen this incredible treat anywhere. Mars and O’Henry’s and Snickers are fine, but nothing compared to this treat. I tried one of the “Vanilla” flavoured bars and it tasted like sawdust. Let’s hope the “Pistachio” one is better, otherwise this post is moot.