Leave a comment

Convergence of the Generous and Those in Need

Convergence of the Generous and Those in Need.

Leave a comment

Remembrance of Holidays Past

Remembrance of Holidays Past.

Leave a comment

The Truth about P!nk’s The Truth About Love Tour

Occasionally I have to eat my own words and this may be one of those times where I choke on those from a previous post. Over the years I have listened to a smattering of P!nk songs here and there. I could name most of her big hits and easily identify a P!nk song on the radio. Listened to in isolation and often the same tune that was being overplayed as a top 40 song of the week, I’ve never really seen much depth in her lyrics.

When I listened to P!nk’s music as a collective at her December 2nd Toronto performance, I realized the range of content her songs cover has matured. P!nk has grown, but when she still reminds us through songs like “Slut Like You”that “I’m not a slut, I just love, love,” I can’t help but thinking she still has some growing up to do. And maybe that’s part of the allure for all her fans. For me, it detracts from the strength of any message she’s trying to send.

She certainly delivers one hell of a mesmerizing, energy-packed show, kicking it off with one of my favourites, “Raise Your Glass“, and immediately setting the bar for a strong aerial performance. As much as this song is an anthem for the underdog, it appeals to the nitty, gritty, dirty little freaks hidden in all of us.

The culminating experience of the performance happened for me when P!nk suspended from a giant, metal orb. Nimbly spinning and swirling outside and inside the sphere with her team of dancers as I heard the lyrics, “I’m safe up high. Nothing could touch me,” I couldn’t distinguish between the beauty of the performance, and the artistry of the sphere itself.

Of course, such a physically demanding performance means P!nk can’t sing all of her songs live. She has to rely on her back-up singers and a track to carry her through the aerial performances. Quality is never a diminishing factor though because P!nk delivers in spades on her live numbers. Her rendition of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” is nothing short of inspired. Her impressive vocal range is also showcased in an acoustic sit-down with her guitarist for “Who Knew” and “Perfect.” Vowing she will always learn a different talent for every tour, P!nk awed everyone with her newly acquired piano skills.

Frequently stopping to collect audience mementos for her 2 year old daughter Willow, P!nk interacts with as many of the audience members as she can. Clearly, she’s developed a soft spot for children and tells the audience she’s going to leave the F bomb out of “Perfect” but they can feel free to sing it. “You just can’t swear in front of three year olds,” she says.

Tumbling barely above and over and over the audience in an aerial finale that brings her closer than ever to her fans and has her landing on platforms strategically placed in the audience before she’s swept up to the highest point of the ACC, P!nk ends her show on a high note with a song representing one of the low points in her relationship with husband, Carey Hart. So what. It was awesome.

Leave a comment

In the P!nk

I can’t wait to see P!nk tonight, despite the fact that I’m not a huge fan of her music. With the exception of Raise Your Glass, her wildly predictable lyrics range between two themes of fuck you, I don’t know why I can’t get you out of my head—and often an unhealthy combination of the two. True Love, the song this tour is named after, is a prime example. Why would I pay good money to see her show?
She is one hell of an aerial performance artist. Erik Wahl, an artist whose work I have a great deal of respect for, after being exposed to him as an inspirational keynote speaker at an elearning conference, turned me onto this factor when he tweeted how mesmerized he was by one of her live performances.
While you won’t find P!nk in my cd collection, now or in the future, I certainly appreciate the vivacity of her music when I’m in a club with my friends. Undeniably, she knows how to kick the party up a notch. An act coupling catchy, familiar tunes with a spellbinding physical performance is one I’ll happily part with my money to get in on.
Katy Perry and Lady Gaga fit the same bill. You couldn’t pay me to buy their cd but I would gladly pay to see their show.
I’ll update you after tonight’s show on how well my high expectations were met. No pun intended. Judging by the postings of friends who took in Saturday night’s show, I won’t be disappointed.

Leave a comment

The Dollar General Store

 I was in Arkansas for one day on business last week. Known as the Natural State, Arkansas is my kind of state. During my stay I visited Hobbs National State Park and toured War Eagle Cavern. My cavern guide was an Arkansas version of Jesse Pinkman with a goatee. Only he was also super smart, which so far, two seasons in, Jesse isn’t. I was enthralled. This guy was so passionate about his job he made you want to trade-in your key card for a high tech software company for a miner’s hat so you could spend the rest of your life spelunking with Jesse from Arkansas. I forget his real name.  Most importantly, he took me up close and personal to bats in their natural habitat. You’re probably saying, so what, I’m sure you can see plenty of bats in natural caves. But here’s the thing. No, you can’t. I’ve toured plenty of caverns and typically, they’re too high to see. And I can say this with all authority because Arkansas Jesse (we’ll just call him A.J. from now on) confirmed this. Here’s a picture of one of them. IMG_4432

Bats are not photogenic and I’ll admit right now that bat doesn’t look like something you’d want to cuddle up with at night, but in person, she did. She was all soft and furry-like. I can also say with all confidence that’s a she because A.J. explained that there are thousands of females for every one male. Spare me the “that’s one lucky male” jokes. I’ve heard them all from Todd. A.J. even found us a male to compare. This is him. Notice he’s more brown than the female. A.J. has skills.

IMG_4437

I recently learned from a friend of a friend who is a bat scientist (there’s no other scientific name for them according to Google) that all 8 of our Ontarian species of bats are at risk. No, they’re not getting swept up into wind turbines as I suggested, they’re actually dying out from a mysterious fungus called white-nose syndrome. Why should you care about that? Bats eat thousands of moths and other insects a night. Birds don’t even come close to this much insect control, so unless you want a moth flying into your mouth every time you open it, you should probably care.

A.J. also showed me schools of giant carp, like the ones you see the Duck Dynasty guys catching with their bare hands. I told you A.J. has skills.

After I toured the bat cave, I explored Hobbs state park. As usual on these trips, I was running out of daylight to take pictures in. As I parked the car and strolled down the roadside to take pictures, I was thinking to myself, this is probably how people go missing in Arkansas when people go missing in Arkansas.

On the way back to my hotel, I stopped into Joe’s Smokin’ BBQ for dinner, where I swear I was served by the woman with the horribly neglected child in Breaking Bad who crushed her husband’s head with the ATM machine—minus the meth marked face. Wow, two Breaking Bad references in one post. She even said stuff like, “Watch out or I’ll break your other leg,” to the teenage regulars you could tell ate there just to experience her humour.

Before I did anything in Arkansas, I hit up the Dollar General Store and left a hundred bucks poorer. Ladies, they had full support push-up bras there for 5 bucks. After sheepishly waiting out the camouflaged guy in front of me so I could ask if I could try one on, I bought five of them. And six pairs of panties that will cost you 10 bucks a pop at La Senza.

When I asked Todd how he liked one of my Dollar General Store bras, he said it looked like it might be a cup size too small. “My cup runneth over,” I replied.

Yesterday I discovered all my regular bras were dirty so I put on one of the Dollar General Store ones that egads, hadn’t been washed yet, and went to work. At about 11am I messaged my co-worker to let her know I was feeling self-conscious because I smelled like a walking Dollar General Store. We laughed, but not out loud because it was over an office messenger.

Last night I put on a freshly washed pair of Dollar General Store undies and waited for Todd to discover them under the sheets. This took some coaxing and hinting but he finally found them. “Oh, tiger print,” he said. “Um, they’re leopard,” I corrected. “Well they’re both from the pussy family,” he said.

Moments later…”Did you get those from the Dollar General Store?” “Yes, but that doesn’t make them any less sexy.” We laughed…hysterically.

Leave a comment

The Infinite Jest of David Foster Wallace

Infinite JestInfinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

****Spoiler Alert

I grew out of choose your own ending adventures sometime after middle school. The Infinite Jest of DFW is that we will infinitely be left choosing our own ending. I don’t regret the two months I spent reading IJ, but I am angry with DFW’s arrogance of wasting my time by depositing stories within the story hidden in the Notes & Errata, forcing me to scour through over 200 pages only to come out no further ahead than when I started. I suppose there is some closure in knowing the whereabouts of the IJ cartridge in the end, but I can’t help but feeling much of the truth of IJ is buried with DFW in the same way the cartridge was buried with Incandenza.
DFW’s imaginative foray into the not-so-distant future is undoubtedly entertaining as we explore each cartridge except for the one we most want to explore and I still think someone should contact Hollywood with Incandenza’s idea for the yellow pages reality show.

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Planet Eightyswood

Here’s a couple of entertainment articles I wrote baaaaack in my reporting days.

WeirdAl   This is the original colour image I took that was published with the article below in black and white.

Al Yankovic_WhiteOaksNews1995

Weird Al was mind-numbingly normal. Must have caught him on an off day.

While everyone was waiting for him at the front of the store, I snuck around to the back and met his stretch SUV as it arrived. His agent or bodyguard or whatever he was, took a shining to me and invited me to walk with Al to the inside store entrance and have a full interview with him. Either my questions pissed Al off or he didn’t appreciate being interviewed while he was signing autographs. By the fifth or sixth question I could tell he thought I was a pain in the ass and was pissed with the guy who agreed to the interview. I wasn’t a Weird fan and hadn’t done any research into his early Doctor Demento days. He quickly lost patience with my blatant lack of knowledge of his full career, but I got the article I was after and that’s really all that counts to a reporter.

ImagesinVogue

I was a fan of Images in Vogue back in the 80’s however and was thrilled to be assigned to cover them when they played in my home town of Welland. That interview was something else. I met with the band in a tiny, dingy motel room at the Welland House where they were playing. The whole time he was talking to me, lead singer Dale Martindale sat on the bed shredding the bedspread with a coat hanger. Meanwhile the drummer sat watching me in a mirror. Google tells me this was cEvin Key, founding member of Skinny Puppy. Wikipedia says he’s also known as Scaremeister. He certainly managed to frighten my 17 year-old self in that mirror. His skin was a deathly pallor accentuated by heavy eyeliner. He had a strange little pill box hat on his head and sniffed every two seconds. And I distinctly remember thinking, damn it, why didn’t I get the Gowan gig instead.