Saturday, January 31, 2009

OK, it is the weekend - no short single topic blogs for me!!

WinterCity Delights!

Just a brief follow up on Friday’s blog. I scooted over to Nathan Philips Square last night in time to see the spectacular show Pi-Leau by Close-Act. It was uncanny how the square gave the perception of being underwater watching the aquatic animals floating overhead in an undersea adventure.

The “creatures” are actors harnessed in a rig (allowing them to do somersaults high above us) which was wheeled around the square and as they did the audience (which were occupying the same space) were pushed aside to make room.
This made quite the jolly scene as we tried to stay out of the way of these rolling contraptions. But it did mean that we got to experience many of the actors (with their marvellous “costumes”) up close.
I got some great pics, a few of which I have uploaded to this blog. Close-Act performs this show next weekend, Fri and Sat at 7:00. They also have another different acrobatic act performed in each of the afternoons.

The WinterCity Finale show is next Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Addiction Fascination?

I had to chuckle as I read the article in the Saturday Star's Insight section by Geoff Pever. His commentary was about our fascination about addiction stories. Californiation and Celebrity Rehab are just a few examples of some recent TV stories which capitalize on this. He made the point that George W. Bush should have given up the bottle with the help of AA (he joined no "program" when he kicked his habit). If he had joined AA he would have learned in Step xx to "promptly admit one's mistakes".

I think all of us should pay attention to that notion. Mistakes are part of life. We all make them. Little ones, big ones, mistakes of no consequence and mistakes that shame us to our very core. The important part of a mistake is how one owns up to it. Firstly, acknowledge and understand what the mistake exactly was. What went wrong and why? What could have happened differently? Who was hurt? Then, with whatever avenue is available, make amends to whomever we may have wronged. Lastly, take what ever lessons that can be learned from the mistake and to apply those lessons to our life going forward. That is the way to grow and improve our lot in life.

Talking about addiction, I was dumbfounded to see my old friend Basile (yes, I blogged about camping with he and the girls just yesterday), on the CBC Sunday news program just today! He was being featured in a story about the Homeless World Cup of Soccer, which was held in Melbourne Australia in December, 2008! Basile was the team captain and spoke on the program about his challenges with addiction and the resulting homelessness. I was shocked and awed to see him being featured on this current affairs documentary. If you want to know more about “Homeless World Cup Soccer” you can go here:

Anyone applying for the title of “Recessionista”?

Recessionista was a new word I encountered this week. The word was used to describe an individual who is embracing the recession and making the best of it - what we need to come to cope well in these recessionary times. In context of the radio talk show I was listening to (guess which station the program was "Fresh Air") the word was being used by Anita Steward who was discussing with the program host what we can do to reduce our food budget. The ideas were not unique - buying locally and cook and dine more often at home than out at a restaurant.

I could take those thoughts to heart. Particularly buying local, which is slightly less convenient given my local farmer's market is closed for the season. I love to cook but lately, with only myself to cook for, my cooking has been limited to the weekends - when I prepare one or two meals which also double as my week day lunches - brown bagged to my office kitchen and microwaved at noon hour. Somehow I have slid into week day evenings becoming more often opportunities for socializing over dinner out with friends.

I really don't prefer restaurant meals and they have become rather routine. Dinner out is no longer special and at the end of the week I have spent a fair penny during these evening. I am going to rethink this and see if I can get more into cooking during the week than I have been. I think I will need to get a larger fridge to handle all the leftovers, though!

Political Commentary

Will Obama meet his first challenge in the Canadian public's perception that he is Canada Friendly? I recall some months ago, before I was swept up in Obama fever that there was some discussion that he had a protectionist stance and this may well not bide well for Canada if he won the US election. So I guess no surprise in the wording of the legislation his party is putting forward for approval this week. I can only hope that he has a change in heart and really listens to what may happen if we end up in a global trade war.

Budget week - what do you think? The Newfie's are not pleased with the budget however Ralph Goodale, the Liberal House leader said the provisions which penalize Newfoundland appear to be a "mistake" and could be reconciled. We shall see if this is corrected. From my reading Harper has a bone in his bag for just about every interest group. The big stickler is that most of these bones require matching funds from the provinces and the municipalities to liberate the federal money. While the Ontario government has said they have money in the bank, this might not be true of all provinces. Moreover, municipalities are being as hard hit by the recession as everyone else.

Toronto’ Mayor has already complained that the money will present challenges. Since they have already allocated all the money they have to current projects and the Federal money can only be attached to new projects they will need to backburner their ongoing priority projects and start new ones rather than expedite what is now in progress. Hmm, some good points, I think. Wonder if Harper is going to notice this "mistake" and offer a correction?

Wonderful Music abounds in Liberty Village

Went to the Liberty Cafe this week and had a great night listening to music. The main act was “Big Rude Jake”.

The entertainment started with this musician playing guitar and singing. I thought it could be described as blues but my dinner companion, T. thought that it was a bit more hill billy - and it was. He had a bit of difficulty keeping tempo and many songs seemed to speed up as he went along, but on the whole, I liked his music. I thought he was great enough, but shortly after he started other musical friends started arriving and it was clear that it was to be some sort of a Jake and assorted friends night.

It was a delightful evening of music - not sure who all the folks were by name, but there was a woman with the sweetest voice who plaid a ukulele (as well as piano) and sang some wonderful songs. At one point she sang a Leonard Cohen tune and by request several more, despite some difficulty remembering lyrics. The evening was all the more intimate because of this. There was another fellow who accompanied her on piano and another woman with a spectacular jazzy voice who sang (among other things) a bosa nova tune. A great evening was had by all.

The food and ambience of the Liberty Cafe is great. Want to check it out?

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