Tuesday, April 30, 2019

History's What It's Cracked Up To Be

"Go ahead, sir. I'm in no rush."

My offer went appreciated but ultimately rejected.

The bloke explained his position: "I'm in no rush, either. There's no Leafs game to watch tonight."

I told him that I'm old enough to have remembered the last Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup victory had I seen it, but I was living overseas in 1967. My memory was in full swing by that point.

As I explained to the gent, "I could tell people that I saw the Leafs win the Stanley Cup". (What a claim that would be. With beer and pretzels.)

Then depression set in. That was a long time ago!

Sorry, Leafs fans. Fallen to the cracks of history.

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Canadian Conundrum

With now all too common severe flooding here in Canada and an electorate upset at a certain initiative intended to help the environment, comes a conundrum.

Let's deal with negative environmental change by fighting anything that costs us money.

There is a consensus among some Canadians that the ruling Liberals are losing favour primarily for implementing and promoting a "carbon tax".

"Tax!" rings the klaxon.

A Forever Question: That Team Sport

"Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. How can a boring sport be popular?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Thurston Howell's Line for All Time (Profanity Alert)

Summer, 1991.
Ontario Place, Toronto

I walked with a friend whom I'd known since high school. The grounds were flat, concrete based, a parking lot, and there were lots of people strolling in the beautifully warm sunshine.

We heard swearing of a kind commonly associated with foul-mouths. My friend and I stopped chatting and observed as a gaggle of teenagers approached. They were the origin of the profanity, which continued to roll-out in processional pomp as both parties closed the distance. The metal-head black t-shirts were cool and, unfairly perhaps, looked the uniform of the profane. More audible: "F__k (this), F__k (that); F__k!"

The swear squad passed to our right. I turned to my friend and said: "Must be a Yale man."

My buddy, all too well knowing my reference, laughed out loud. (He's a loud laugher.)

As I looked back to my path ahead I noticed a hand-holding, cute older couple who were looking back at me and smiling.

Note: Guns N' Roses was playing that day at the CNE Grandstand....not that that was an indicator of profanity in the park.

News and Editorial

A new Leger poll commissioned this month by The Canadian Press shows that just 27 per cent of respondents would vote for Justin Trudeau and his Liberals if an election were held today. Andrew Scheer and his Conservatives would grab 40 per cent. One question asked if Canada would be better off with a Liberal or a Conservative government: 30 per cent picked the Liberals and 25 per cent the Conservatives. What is of more interest to me is the way the above news was editorialized: "Not good news for Trudeau with the election being just six months away."

Just six months away? That's a lifetime, or two, in politics. The switch gets flicked back and forth and around many times in "just" six months. By way of example, during the last federal election here in Canada, which Trudeau and Co won with a majority government, polling done just a few weeks before the big day showed the Conservatives were positioned to glide to victory. We don't know until we know.

I suppose I should be asking who owns 680 News....

Saturday, April 27, 2019

I Marvel at the Choices

As I've stated here previously, I have not seen a narrative film in a movie theatre since March of 2010. The flick was Avatar. A one-dimensional film stretched to 3-D. I don't know what was more irritating, the conversion specs or the narrative itself. It left me cold; whatever "it" was.

A few months back, the month now unknown, I checked the movie listings here in Toronto: "A Marvel Movie." Not long after that, a length of time now lost, I decided to take another shot at the escalator: "Another Marvel Movie." The cycle again: "Yet Another Marvel Movie."

Bloody Marvellous!

CD: Michael Horwood "Motility"

Friday, April 26, 2019

CD: Jackson 5 "Greatest Hits"

How Much Is Too Funny, Or Not? ("I, Comic")

As modest as I can be, there is only only way to tell this story. It would be easier for me if someone else, a friend perhaps, would write the following. A third person. Easy enough for me to conjure up. But here I go:

I'm funny. At least I can be when I decide to go there. After friends, or those who do not know me, recover, they might say: "You should be at Yuk Yuk's (Comedy Club)"; "You should be doing comedy"....

The problem is, when I get on a roll I don't always know when it's time to stop. Pushing the boundaries. (Sometimes.)

A "comedian" must know when to stop. More importantly. A comedian must know his audience.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Whither Leafs?

To where does a withered Leaf fall?
To the manicured green grasses below
of course.

Toronto Maple Leafs Fitting Attire

Much like their NHL brothers, Toronto Maple Leafs players look sharp in their pregame duds.

So why are they always so eager to switch to their post season version?....

A fresh golf shirt.

A Toronto Maple Leafs Forever Question:

"Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. When did "Buds" get that typo?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Like a Surgeon (The Boston Bruins)

The operation was a success.

The Boston Bruins have extracted the Toronto Maple Leafs from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs.

CD: Liszt - Préludes/Nocturne/Mephisto/2 Legendes

Toronto Hot Docs Documentary Fest 2019 Guide

April 25 to May 5, 2019

Monday, April 22, 2019

Film Design: A Piece of Set Design

A Forever Question: North is South

"Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Why is the South Star called the North Star?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

CD: Wagner Without Words (Szell - Cleveland Orch.)

Leafs Fans Must Heed Historical Trends

Here in Toronto at least, we hear about "The Buds" and how they can wrap things up today when they play the heinous Boston Bruins. The Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup playoffs round against that arch enemy since 1959. And they have not won a first playoff round since 2003.

Maybe it's time for our "boys in blue" -- they ain't mine, pal -- to alternate facts.

I doubt it.


The game starts at 3pm, Toronto time. By 6pm, or thereabouts, I'll find out if my prediction of the Leafs getting eliminated in the second round will come to pass....

Friday, April 19, 2019

CD: Rhythm In Motion - Johnny Williams

Taking the Notre Dame Cathedral News to Heart

The news broke as I worked at home: "There's a small fire in Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral."

Every few minutes over some hours the radio updated with news about the fire's progression. During my four years in Germany the family and I did not visit Paris and its grand house of worship (*), but my interest in architecture, art, and what a beautiful church represents to so many people, allowed the sad breaking news to affect me.

My first reaction after learning of the fire's extent was to donate money. Wow. It looks like that's been covered.

By the way, I'm an atheist.

(* I have visited: Ely Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, and Christ Church Cathedral [UK]; and Strasbourg Cathedral [France].)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Photo Graph: Toronto's Annex Capillary Trees

Zipping Back to the Zone

The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959 - 1964)

With the new Twilight Zone television series comes renewed interest in the original, for some of us. After watching just one episode of 2019 -, I pined for the gold standard. It's not fair of me or anyone to condemn an entire series after watching one instalment, but it was so rough dramatically that one can be forgiven for uttering: "Do (the producers) even know what made the original series work so well?"

When I get some time I'll sample more episodes of TZ 2019.

While I'm giving the new some time to unreel, it gives me some time to revisit the old. Over the next few days I'll revisit and write about my favourites; the first of which will be "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim", since I rewatched it last year.

What made The Twilight Zone work so well? Clues: The writing; acting; cinematography; scoring; design; ....

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Donald J. Trump at the Controls

Something occurred to me today after reading yet another article on how U.S. 'President' Donald Trump continues to attack his enemies.

There would not be too many things more dangerous than Trump having his own "Tantalus Field" device.

"... how President Trump's enemies have a habit of disappearing."

"How many enemies have you simply wiped out of existence by the touch of a button? Fifty? A hundred?"

Monday, April 15, 2019

A Forever Question: They Call It The Blues

"Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. If one's favourite colour is blue, how can one suffer the blues?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

More Brats: Action!

Yesterday I spoke briefly with a friend about "military brats". Being the Star Wars fan that he is, my friend reminded me that actor Mark Hamill is a brat: His father was a member of the U.S. Navy.

In August of 2017 I wrote about the high number of artistic Canadians who lived the brat experience; a dependent of a father who served in the Canadian Armed Forces (Royal Canadian Air Force / Canadian Army / Royal Canadian Navy).

An updated list:

* Bryan Adams (musician)
* Douglas Coupland (writer/artist)
* Michael J. Fox (actor/activist)
* Tom Green (comedian/actor)
* John Kricfaluci (animator/writer)
* Ann-Marie MacDonald (writer/actor)
* Matt Frewer (actor)
* Ron MacLean (sportscaster)

I told my friend that we brats packed up and moved every four years. In my case: Quebec; Nova Scotia; Germany; Ontario. Not all brats recall the frequent moves as being anything to write home about, but I loved it. When I lived in Germany, one address was in a town right on the French border -- two for the price of one.

And I ended up working in the arts; so too has a sibling.

As my father served in the armed forces during the Cold War, I'm wondering if this outcome may be part of some "plot".

My Predictions for 2019 Thus Far

On January 11th I made some predictions. It was that time of year:

* The Toronto Maple Leafs will get eliminated in the second round of the NHL playoffs.
* The Toronto Sun will close its doors.
* Justin Trudeau and his Liberals will retain power -- this time a minority win.
* The CBC will cancel Schitt's Creek. (That's a wish, not a prediction.)

How am I doing?

* The Leafs might get dumped by the Boston Bruins, which would make me wrong.
* We'll know in July.
* Mr Trudeau is in damage control; the next federal election is scheduled for October, six months from now.
* The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation beached that "comedy". (What took so long?)

Friday, April 12, 2019

Wayne Gretzky on Toll

"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy."

Okay, Great One, stick with comments on the ice.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

On English Channel 2

Photo posting from January 25th of last year.

On English Channel 1

Photo posting from January 24th of last year.

National Poutine Day?

I must learn to not listen to the morning news. Minutes ago I found out that it is National Poutine Day here in Canada.

Fine. Fine food.

The problem is I had that delectable dish just last week while having lunch with a friend. (He didn't have it. He's American, eh?)


No problem at all. I think I can take it, eh?....

CD: Philippe Leduc "The Wings of Fire - Tome 1"

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Mr Ford and His Party Thunks

The topic of "Doug Ford" seems to be coming up a lot these days here in Ontario, Canada. The man, the "For the People" man, is cutting away. For example, his government is planning to make cuts to education. Ford puts down and mocks students who protest these cuts. It's vile.

During conversations regarding the province's dear premier, I'm hearing this: "He's really mean. They're mean."

So much for "For the People".

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario: regular Blue Meanies.

Penguins and Islanders Demonstrate

Less than an hour ago the Pittsburgh Penguins faced off against the New York Islanders in game one of round one of the NHL playoffs.

The first period just ended.

My takeaway: No other team sport reaches the level of excitement nailed by a good game of ice hockey.

As American sportscaster Bob Costas said a few years ago: "Nothing can touch it."

CD: Sir Edward Elgar Piano Concerto

International Day of Pink

I just found out that today is the International Day of Pink. That is cool. Time for me to take off this navy blue polo I donned an hour ago and switch to my button-down pink shirt.

Yes, I have a pink shirt. It used to be white....before the laundry mix-up.

Guy Maddin on "Process"

"I'm not really into process. If I could wish a film into existence, I would."

It would make the process a lot easier.