Weekly Recap

Last week was tough.  I was pretty tired all week.  And Tim is out of town so there were no comics.  Yes, I have a rough life.

The low point was getting stuck in my chair on Friday afternoon.  Sigh.  The remaining staff were unable to help me up.  So an embarrassing situation turned into something more worrisome.  Tired in this case meant that slowly all week it became more of a challenge to get out of my chair at work.  I blame two things – the busyness of the week before and some truly long bus rides in both morning and evening.  I don’t think it is a trend towards getting into trouble at work.  Needless to say, I eventually made it home so it all worked out in the end.

There were several high points.  Mom was in a sparkling good mood all week.  That was nifty.  Yay Mom.  Next week she will hang with her sister, so she should be back to her normal grumpy self by the end of that.  (Note – that was a cut at Mom, not my Aunts.  My aunts are awesome.)

Gaming was cool.  There was an extra special guest from Lloyd.  And we played my newest game.  I won a very significant moral victory.  Or in other words my butt was severely kicked.

No great books or movies though.  I spent a lot of time sleeping once I finally got home.

Hmm, most boring recap ever.  I’ll do something exciting this week.



We bought a zoo -some notes

Instead of hanging out with friends tonight I stayed home and watched Cameron Crowe’s latest film, we bought a zoo.*

It isn’t his best. But I still liked it. Even a sub par Crowe film has transcendental moments. The low bits were the cute animal moments. The high points were the one on one moments.

Crowe has done several films about loss. This is another. He gets that you don’t get over real loss. Like the having was a part of you, eventuallyh the losing becomes a part of you too. Maybe even the not having becomes part of you. Loss is change.

Kinda maudlin. But the is a cute kid, some tween romance and lots of him our in the movie as well.

Scarlett Johansson. That is a beautiful woman. It is her gift and curse as a actress. I can’t not watch her. She is just gorgeous. But she never vanishes into a role. She is just too gorgeous.

Patrick Fugit is also in the movie. He fit right in. He just fits in a Crowe film. I approve.

Those are my notes. Oh – plot summary. Matt Damon’s wife has died and he and his two kids are sad. Mostly to escape, he buys a zoo. Scarlett Johansson’s character is the zookeeper. Running a zoo is hard and will either tear what is left of the family apart or pull them together.

*i messed up ordering my bus. Gave it a last try at 8 am this morning and found out at 2 I would miss the dinner party. Hope y’all had fun!

And so it goes

In this space you would normally encounter the mostly inchoate attempts to render the lovely platonic thought-forms in my brain place.

Tonight. Not so much.

Congrats to Mom. She is all about little miracles this week. I like happy people. Especially if they are family.

Movie Twizzlers

When I talk about the guys, I’m talking about a group that goes back a long time.  Not this decade, or century or millenium, but previous ones.  In the 1980s, one of the things the guys did together was head to the movies.

I’m not sure how often we went.  It seemed like a lot, but mostly we only caught the big actions movies and other summer blockbusters.  We went on Tuesday, Cheap  Tuesday, because we were students.  We saw the big 80s classics – Top Gun, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Aliens, Die Hard, Etc.

The guys at the point were me, DS, RT, KH, TP, (P)TL and sometimes my brother.  Mostly the same as the gaming group – mostly – exactly the same.  Good times.  Really good times.  Much later I had the fortune of meeting Bran because the routine continued into our summer breaks back from university.

I remember driving to the theatre in the car with whoever would give me a ride. Sometimes we’d carpool.  Sometimes we’d meet up there.  Sometimes the people that showed were a surprise – organized we were not.  We’d listen to tunes on the way there and spot whose vehicles had arrived before us.

After the show we’d hang on the sidewalk or street and discuss the movie.  Favorite moments, favorite quotes, whichever actress I was currently in love with… “Everyone should have their own  Nicole Kidman/Michelle Pfeiffer/Meg Ryan/etc.”

But this was the key bit: Rob would always buy Twizzlers.  And he would always share the Twizzlers during the movie.  If you were beside him, you’d feel a nudge of 3-4 candy strips on your arm.  You’d take one and pass the rest down.  Sometimes folks didn’t want one and they’d come back.

It is just a tiny little routine, but somehow it is an important part of my past.  At the very least it shows how cool and generous Rob was.

Movies – those were good times.

Proud to be Albertan

Now, to be clear, I’m pretty conflicted about the election results. Two reasons. I think the party should change every 20 years or so at least. (although that idea is a post in itself). I’m also worried that part of the reason for the win was fear based voting or strategic voting. I think we are better off voting for a positive reason than a negative one. (there’s another post of material!).

But here are three reasons I am happy.

Voter turnout was up. Not record levels but quite a bit over the last election. More than 50% of us voted. Good. Thank you Alberta.

My riding had a nail biter race. I went to bed and had to wake up to find the results. Whatever my vote there it had a significant difference. It gives one a good feeling.

We defied media, analysts and pundits. The is the second major Canadian election where the polls are just wrong. Great. Meet your candidates. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors, co- workers and strangers. Don’t be driven by polls. An election happens when we all come out to vote. Not during the campaign.

Congratulations to all candidates whether they won or lost. Thank you for your contribution to this province!

Weekly Recap

It has been a strange week.  Way more going on than normal.

Monday – TV was fixed.  Work was nuts.

Tuesday – I FB’d in morning that it was looking like a great day.  Than I had a staff member resign and two other staff members report in with significant issues.  I jinxed my own people that day.

Wednesday – I met with some home care assessment folks in the morning.  That was weird.  I told those two ladies things about myself and my health and my routines that no one knows.  What you can say to strangers.  Moving onto the next stage of assessment/help tomorrow.  Work was nuts.  Then came comics.  Comics were good.  Thanks goodness for comics – they brought something normal back to the week.

Thursday – Dr.’s appt and then blood work and tests.  Work was nuts.  It didn’t help that this was now the third day this week I’d missed time due to personal appointments.  Grr.  But then came the highlight of the week – Concert night with my brother.  My review didn’t include the fact that he was pretty good company during the concert.

Friday – This was the low point.  I was exhausted and fairly useless at work.  Only critical items were accomplished.  Then at gaming, I fell getting out of my easy chair.  This has never happened before and is a big worry.  If I can’t get out of my seats at home, I’m hosed.  Nothing I’ve been able to cover with the home care people has any help with this core issue.  I think I need to ask for the chair to be raised again.  Then I heard some really bad news from a friend at gaming.  Those three things really overshadowed what was otherwise a great evening with friends.  There were even some rare and infrequent guests for gaming that I really appreciated showing up.  There was no gaming as we discussed politics almost all night.  We managed one hand of apples to apples.

Saturday – I was exhausted Saturday morning.  I went back to bed until 10.  Then it was off to a baptism and after-baptism party.  This would normally have been the highlight of the week.  Great event.  Congrats to my friends and their newly baptized child.

Sunday – Although I had just attended Mass the evening prior, I hadn’t cancelled or changed my bus route for Sunday.  So it was off to church again.  It was similar to the night before, but shorter, lacking in all my friends and family and with a different sermon and music.  🙂  Then DATS forgot me at the church.  I waited for the bus for 90 minutes.  I called after the 30 minute mark and the dispatcher indicated the bus was on the way, but still over 35 blocks west of me.  I waited another 25 minutes and called again.  They said the driver just forgot me.  They rushed another bus to me and it showed within 10 minutes.  Fortunately it was a gorgeous day to sit outside.  I quite enjoyed myself.  Plus I was able to complain online – this also pleased me.  I then watched ‘Wrath of the Titans’ – I have watched it so you don’t have to.

And back to today.  It was a normal day at work.  Nothing weird.  I have now voted and am eagerly awaiting the results show.

Until next week folks!  Take care of yourselves.

Joel Plaskett in Concert

Thursday, I had the joy of seeing Joel Plaskett in concert for the first time.  I discovered Joel listening to the CBC Radio Podcast several years ago.  About the time his Make a Little Noise EP came out – I thought it was awesome.  Joel Plaskett is the first artist where I’ve bought all his music digitally (although I haven’t gone back to his pre-solo career stuff).  Counting the most recent that is 8 albums either solo by Joel or with the Emergency.

Joel Plaskett is a little bit folk, a little bit east coast and a little bit rock.  Mostly he seems, to me, to be his own thing.  The music all has a wistfulness running through it.  He’s rockier with The Emergency… My favorite is still the original EP I bought… each of the three songs is just a little music package of wonder for me.  But I’m a big fan of Ashtray Rock and Three as well.

The opener for the band was Frank Turner.  I thought about Dano as Turner played.  It was a simple set – just a man and his guitar.  Turner is from Wessex and his music harkened back to his youth and local history.  He was a storyteller – both with his songs and around them.  And one heck of an entertainer.  Two of his songs seemed to have the theme of, “If I can do this, anyone can – why aren’t you doing this?”  I looked him up after the show – earlier that same week he played in Wembley Stadium to a giant crowd with his band.  Geez – he was a long was from there as he stood on the stage of the Winspear.  My favorite moment of the set was an A Capella number about history in Wessex.  Part way through the second verse, he stumbled.  “Oh, fuck!  I messed up the lyrics!”  He then picked up and finished the story of murder and curses from history in a clear and confident voice.

We were well warmed up for when The Emergency took the stage.

Joel Plaskett plays guitar and does lead vocals.  Chris Pinnell was on bass and Dave Marsh on drums – both provided backing vocals.  They had now stage set, but a life sized bust of Wayne Newton was atop on amp stack and two toy monkeys were atop the other.  The monkeys had their own stage lights.  “I had the monkeys wired up to this foot pedal,” Plaskett said with glee.  He turned it on.  The lights came on the monkeys and they began a little dance.  “It cost me 80 dollars,” he finished with an abashed shrug at the extravagance.  He had five or six other pedals on the floor to control his guitar sound.  Frequently, he’d seems to hit a complicated rhythm going from one pedal to the other as he set up the sound for the next song.   He’d tap four or five pedals and then hit the monkey pedal and everyone would applaud.  It was silly – but the simplicity and joy of the act underlined the whole show.

On the other hand the bust was creepy.  When we first came in a thought it was a man kneeling motionless behind the amp stack with only his head and shoulder visible.  Still as a statue.  I never lost that vibe from the bust through the show – I swear that during a strobe light effect in a guitar solo I saw the bust move…

I said that Frank Turner was a storyteller, but Plaskett put him to shame.  That man has the East Coast gift of an easy manner and he smiles when he talks.  We heard about buses, vans, teenage park and record store visits.  We heard of successes and failures. The audience would call up and ask questions – the one that got Joel was where his friend and common touring partner Pete Elkas was.  That launched Joel off – every story had an Elkas connection after that.  “I’ve never told this story before,” Plaskett said before confiding some hijinks they had done in BC a long time ago.  “Maybe I’ll call Pete during the encore,” Joel said.

It was the Winsoear theatre – so the sound was just awesome.  It almost goes without saying.  Both acts seemed a bit taken aback by the formal concert hall as their personas were chummy and the music invites dancing.  But you can’t go wrong with great sight lines and no bad seat in the house…

The music?  Ah – it was better – better than the albums.  Especially the material off the latest album, Scrappy Happiness.  That album isn’t a grabber, but live it crackles with enthusiasm and verve.  I was surprised with how rockin’ Joel Plaskett and the Emergency were.  Big guitar solos – and a full bass and crashing drums.  When playing solos Plaskett does a little dance – sliding softshoe across the stage.  Some of the solos had extended middles where Plaskett would sing a little cover song or rant poetically – Gord Downie style.  The climax was the extended prayer in “Work out Fine” as we all hoped that he’d make it to the church on time!

During the encore, Plaskett did indeed call Elkas.  “It will be after midnight.  He’ll be mad.  He has a family you know.  But then he’ll love it.”  Unfortunately we went to voice mail.  But Edmonton all said hi! to Pete’s voice mail.

I already knew that I loved the music before I got tickets.  I’m always a fan of live music.  i just didn’t know how much I’d love this show.  Wow – just wow.  It is up in my top five concerts of all time.

If you ever have the chance – catch Joel Plaskett in concert.