Sunday, December 30, 2007

How to age gracefully...or not.

It makes me cringe, but I had to post this. If you can hang in there til about 1:20 you'll be rewarded.

Ahhh, Bill. Those dance(?) moves.

And Joe, you're amazing.

One minute of Thomas

Be warned, nothing happens - this is one minute of your life you will never get back.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Belly

Christmas is over, many presents have been opened, and much food has been eaten. Though my brother tells me that eating turkey burns more calories than it contains. Which in theory would mean you could starve to death eating turkey. Then again, my brother once told me (ok not once, repeatedly) "Wild Horses" by the Stones was my favorite song, so it might be wise to take the turkey thing with a grain of salt or five.

Christmas always brings out the...something.... This year, we were unusually well behaved at the dinner table (no body parts were compared and measured, this year for once I couldn't tell you who has the biggest head or the longest nose. OK, that's a lie, I could, but the data is not that current). I missed an impromptu family dance party - to Bjork, instigated by my Dad - the weirdness of which can only be fully appreciated by people who know my family (and our general inability to dance).

Anyway, it was good. And just weird enough to be ours.

I am not willing to share my Christmas belly on the blog, so Thomas offered up his. He then tried to sniff the lens, which resulted in the closest cat shot I expect I will ever take. I like the way the flash made one nostril glow a bit.

Happy Boxing Day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sufjan Stevens - That Was The Worst Xmas Ever!

Sing along.
You know you want to.

Merry Christmas from someone else's cats....

I promise I will post something else soon, but quite honestly this is the best Christmas greeting I could possibly post, even if it doesn't involve my cats. If this doesn't bring a smile to your face or make you snort whatever you might be drinking through your nose, I'm not sure what would.

Happy Holidays.

And for more Winston and Rudy, check this out.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

kitty teeth

So, Thom had to go for dental work - AGAIN. This year, it was sounding likely that he would need a couple of molars removed. Luckily, that wasn't the case. He has bad gums (OK, why is it that cats in the 1970s never had 'bad gums'??), but hopefully we can keep that in check.

He was pretty funny when I picked him up from the vet - slack jawed is the correct term I think, with tongue poking out and all. Funny thing is that he was very sprightly along with the slack jaw - truth be told I think he was having a fairly pleasant drug reaction and spent a fair bit of time and focus trying to catch shadows and lights, slack-jaw and all.

He's back to his inactive, tight-lipped self now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All tree all the time

I decided to put aside my general not-all-that-celebratory attitude towards Christmas this year and (gasp) DECORATE. For years, I haven't really decorated at Christmas. There are a few different reasons - for years, I lived out of town and was always travelling back for the holidays - so why bother? And the one year that I stayed out of town and DID decorate was one of the worst Christmases in known history, so that scared me off a bit too. But this year, all year, I have been quietly sewing little things with plans for getting a tree to put them on.

My very first tree.

And I didn't want a big, bushy cultured mammoth tree - the bunkle is too small, and too modest for such...treeish grandiosity. So, when driving with my mum we found a tree lot that had "Charlie Brown Trees" (that's how they were labelled) - uncultured firs of some sort - which is just what I was looking for.

So here it is.

I admit, I have tree pride.

Cat reactions have been interesting. Maggie has a tendency to sit behind the tree and hide - if you can say that a 15 lb cat can hide behind a 2" trunk. Thomas has stolen a wooden reindeer from one of the branches, but seems more interested in the shadows the lights cast on the wall.

As for me, I will keep sewing little things, and will spend too much time looking for just the right branch on the just-right tree to hang them from.

If only all of Christmas was that simple.

I should also mention that I have been playing this to death, thanks to my pal A. - the perfect mix of traditional carols and soon-to-be Christmas standards like "Did I make you cry on Christmas Day? (Well you deserved it)".

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Kitty Interlude

It's about time I think.

Bathroom shot is Thomas trying to stare down a fly that was on the mirror. I eventually had to kill it for him.

He's a lover not a fighter.

And I'm not sure where the disembodied cat leg he is lying on came from. Haven't seen it since.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's all in the 'stache...

As I was doing the post on Les Savy Fav, I kept on trying to figure out how to gracefully fit in a picture of the drummer from The Dodos. It didn't really fit in, the post was long enough already, so I didn't put it up.

As I thought about it more and more, I realized that I have a bit of a fascination with the drummer from The Dodos. I wasn't really sure why - heck, I don't think I could pick the guy out in a crowd really - but the more I thought, the more I's his moustache.

And the same could be said for Miles from Akron/Family. That boy is sporting a wicked chevron, and I've had a fascination with him as well. Go figure.

I don't know. It's not that I find it attractive per se, it is that I find it...compelling, if one can find facial hair compelling. I guess it is the very self conscious choice to sport something that is somehow so ... NOT cool ... that is making it cool. Or maybe that is just my misguided view of it.

I'm old enough to remember when the 'stache WAS cool, and when that love turned on it's head and made it the absolute worst choice one could make in facial hair. The choice to harken back to such icons of facial hair as Burt.

Or Derrek Smalls from Spinal Tap.

I'm not sure if the young guys sporting these things are doing it for the self consciously referential reasons I hope they are. I suspect not. But I don't really want to know for sure.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Naughtiness face-off

Went to see Guy Davis last night. Good voice, good playing, good song choices, good backup musicians. Very good sound. Questionable lighting (it's a bit stark in there - they really could work on warming their lighting up some, you feel a bit like you are watching a lecture not a concert). And an audience of middle aged North-Shore types, the same people you'd run into wearing their Tiva sandles at the Folk Fest. And they were in for a nice, enjoyable, fairly gentle night of music. A pretty big contrast from Les Savy Fav the night before - or was it? Take a listen to this one, and tell me what pushes your buttons the most - the lyrics to The Chocolate Man, or Tim Harrington putting a shaker ball down the front of his pants and retrieving it out the back? Ya, ok. Pretty weak comparison maybe. But give me another time and place and it might not be so clear. Ya, ok. Still pretty weak. But give me some points for trying to find the thread.

And as for performance - it was also an interesting contrast. Both of these guys know how to play an audience. With Guy Davis, he's got to find another way of engaging them and making them comfortable, as I'm guessing the middle aged North Shore folks aren't going to love watching him put a shaker ball down his pants (well, except me. I'd be up for that). Little stories, little jokes. A little smooth perhaps, but it works for what it is and for the audience he has. I prefer something a little less...contrived I guess...but that is splitting hairs. Maybe the shaker ball was contrived too, but somehow I don't think so. Don't get me wrong, I suspect many things have ended up in Tim Harrington's pants at concerts, but I imagine they aren't always shaker balls.

But back to Guy Davis. This is the only video I managed to take before the Cap College Concert Police (a mousy middle aged woman in this case) shut me down. I had hoped to record one of his banjo moments, which were highlights for me. I do love banjo. Next time, next time.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Rub my belly

Les Savy Fav at Richards last night. We showed up at our usual half hour before doors so we could score the old people seats - and no one was waiting at the door. We discussed the possibility that we might just be the only people going to the show on Vancouver's first seriously snowy night - and if you have seen Les Savy Fav, or watched them on youtube, you know that this is a band that relies on crowd craziness. Or rather, enough crowd to reflect Tim Harrington's craziness back at him. Thankfully, by show time the place was full. Not packed to the rafters, but pretty close.

The Dodos
opened (as did another band which - sorry - I've forgotten the name of). I really like these guys. And they opened for Akron/Family last time, so this confirms the fact that they are being chosen by some pretty good acts. Great energy, great musicians.

And then Les Savy Fav. Tim Harrington came out in kind of a ... gnome outfit?.... well, at least a gray cape, plastic nose, furry mitt on his hand and who knows what else. Over the course of the show the nose - well, everything but the pants - came off. The man brings a new level of grace to being bald and bellied. Who says you have to look like Brad Pitt to get the ladies? or the men for that fact? The audience was all over him - rubbing what ever bit of sweaty flesh they could as he offered himself up to their adoring hands. Men kissed him (ok, he kissed one, then another hopped on stage to kiss him - but that's splitting hairs). People opened their mouths like baby birds to catch the water he was streaming from his mouth. The man is a force. There is no doubt about that.

I have uploaded a video (The Sweat Descends), and have posted a few more on YouTube for those brave enough (watch The Year before the Year 2000 and play "watch the ball"...). Hopefully I will also be able to post some more later, so if you like this kind of thing, check back.

And next time this band comes to town, GO. You might get wet, or sweaty, but you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

This one is not about cats...

...but I'm afraid it is still about my camera. A little bit at least.

Went to Jose Gonzalez last night at Richards. It was packed - it's the first show I've been to in a long time that WAS packed...not sure if that says something about my musical choices or Vancouver's general laziness about getting off their collective duffs and going to watch a band. OK, yes, yes, I do know, but I'm too nice to say it yet again.

The big audience tried to stay quiet. I think they really did. Of course, there are always a few idiots who will continue to talk, and this is just not the sort of concert you can talk through. People (like me) will notice. And get annoyed. I question whether Richards is the right venue for this sort of gig - I know it is a bit stodgy, but I would love to have seen this at the Cap College theatre in all it's pin-dropping silence and good acoustic quality. But that's the way life is. Guess you couldn't get all those young 'uns to go somewhere they couldn't drink....

Gonzalez was as good as you could hope - he sounded great, and his guitar playing is fantastic. I liked that they propped everyone up on risers - it gave their presence a little more authority (he's too quiet a guy to demand it). Mutt & Jeff the Sound Guys who I have commented on more than once were having a tough time of it - the backing vocals were inaudible at points, I am guessing due to a bad cable and that is what they kept switching. And it's hard not to notice a guy that looks like Geddy Lee romping around that stark stage with cables in his hand. It happens, and there isn't a lot you can do I guess. But all in all, a very good gig.

So - this was the first night out with the new camera. I have posted a short video and a couple of snaps - in general I am happy with how the camera handled the conditions - really really low lighting, and pretty heavy zoom as I was up on the balcony in the old people seats. I do have a couple of other videos that are darker than this, but they sound good. I may post them later.

Next weekend? Les Savy Fav and Guy Davis. Not on the same bill...though that would be entertaining.
And I still have to master posting videos obviously - the black box below IS a video if you hit the play button beneath. Sigh.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I can't stop.
Actually, no I'm not.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's that time...

Yes, let the crafts begin. This will be my first year with my own tree. At least that is the plan. So, many wee mittens need to be made.

I am actually trying to distract myself writing this as I have a bit of unpleasantness on the horizon this ends with "...opsy" and it means that something is going to have to go through my skin, and I'm a big chicken about that kind of thing. Skin is there to keep things OUT. And mine would really like to do just that right about now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm living with a ... little person.

Is it just me, or is she looking a little too much like a therapist in this photo? And I don't think it is just the leather chair.

ok, I am losing my mind.

But check out the photo of her sitting with my Mum. What's with that arm..I mean leg? She's a dwarf in a cat suit. I'm sure of it.

In other news, my back is so bad that I am finally going to see a (gasp!!) chiropractor. So bad that I had to call in the handyman (aka my mother) to put the shower curtain rod back up this morning after it fell down during my shower, which makes me feel even more like a gimp. As for the chiropractor, bit scared, but it's either that or cut my back off (or out) at this point, and that would make it REALLY hard to walk. And I'd be even shorter than I am, which really isn't ideal.


And sorry, I will stop the cat posts. Soon. Really.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


OK, I have become slightly obsessed by seeing how close a photo I can take of Thomas' head. Not really sure why...I mean, it is a pretty cool looking head, but honestly I think it has something more to do with the macro function of the new camera. Here are a selection of this week's Giganto-Head shots. I love the first one in particular. And for those of you hoping for something on this blog of greater cultural significance...sorry. Soon, I promise. And I should add that I the fact my cat photos focus largely on Thomas not Maggie is strictly a result of him being the easy one to photograph - firstly, because he is a nice, light, even colour so it is EASY - unlike the rolled-in-soot, mottled colour of his sister - and because he actually hangs out with me during the day while Miss Mags sleeps.

Once I master the new camera, you may be forces to look at a whole slew of giant Maggie heads. We shall see.

And yes, I know that my already tiny readership is perilously close to leaving me entirely. I will try to find something else to blog about, really.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The sweetest things...

It was the DOXA silent auction last night. It was a great time, made all that much better by this pillow, strategically won by yours truly, and made by the fantastically talented Beth, who was generous enough to donate two of them for the auction. They were two of the most popular items there, and you can see why. And I wanted them both, but felt greedy so let another anxious bidder win the second. After all, I am already lucky enough to own this one.

Look at that nest. Seriously. I cannot imagine anything more fantastic.

Thom had to give the new addition the sniff test. I think he likes the nest too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

the hood

Went for a walk with the camera. I am posting too much because of this damn camera. Oh well.

Anyway, this blue building impressed me, only for the incredible commitment to a particularly intense blue. Every inch of the place except the front door is blue. A nice blue, if you are a birds egg; maybe not so much if you are a large building like this one.

And lo, across the street is this example of what harm you can do to a house when you slap on some bad siding and ugly slider windows. These two are neighbours - same house, two different ... styles. Yikes.


My parents came over the other day and my Mum very graciously offered to make me a simple curtain for the front door window. I am sure my current solution (two pillow cases taped to the door with painters tape) has been driving her a bit bonkers for ages. Granted, it looked awful. Really. And the tape failed on a regular basis (as you can see it did this morning) which sort of negates the whole purpose of having drapes in the first place. But I have JanVision™ , which is the amazing ability to make offensive things like the pillow-drapes darn near invisible. I find it works quite well on the hole in my kitchen ceiling (which has been there since I moved in, thanks to my special-needs drywaller), the vinyl flooring in the bathroom that floats on the subfloor like a carpet, the green/purple mix kitchen wallpaper - I could go on. My Mum doesn't have JanVision™, which usually works to my advantage in some way, as it did this time. Thanks Mum!

As an aside, the removal of the pillow-curtains meant that Thomas "the Gnarler" was presented with a whole slew of his favorite thing to chew, painters tape. Miss Mags, not impressed with tape, is watching the oncoming storm out the front window. Yes, windy season is back, and I am praying to the power gods that my house is spared this time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

*snap*! ...#2

Is it the mouth? the lack of eyebrows? the nostrils? hmmmm.

Give me a 4...give me a 7....

..and some snout to go.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

*snap* !

OK, I know the cat posts might be getting tiresome. But with the new camera, I just can't STOP.

I sent this completely inspired bit of cat-obsessiveness to a pal, and she once again brought up the fact that she thinks Thomas looks like Peter Lorre (I have to admit, the snap of him peeking around the wall as my blog header does remind me a little bit of Dial M for Murder).

Personally, I just can't see it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I'm baaaack...


The New York/Montreal/Toronto whirlwind tour is over. I cannot remember feeling as exhausted as I did by the end of that trip - ever. There is something about the quarterly board meeting for work (the New York part this time) that takes every atom of energy I have and handily squashes them into super-logey atoms. It helps when the meetings go well, which I don't really think they did. At least not for me. But - New York was great, busy, sweaty, as usual. I have now been introduced to the "Westin Heavenly Bed", which was made all that much more heavenly by a 40" LCD High Def TV. Ahhh, that's the life. Food at Butter (a Sean-P-Puff-Diddy-Daddy hangout - my main motivation for going, of course....not...) wasn't as great as the room it was served in, and dinner at bouncin' Bobby Flay's Bar Americain was not great. At all.

Montreal isn't worth mentioning as I wasn't there long enough to do anything interesting. Actually, I will give a shout out to Porter Air, the short haul airline based in Montreal. Finally, old style flying, with (complimentary) wine in glasses, truffles, snacks, and stewards in Pink Tartan outfits. And the balls to use a very urban raccoon as their marketing symbol.

So, I worked a couple of days in TO, and hung out for a few more. And before I go on, if you are one of my TO pals and I didn't get in touch, sorry, sorry, sorry. I was too tired, and time was too short. Next time, next time. I spent my first two nights at Rancho Relaxo (aka The Cambridge Suites, the only TO hotel I've found with enough room for me to spread out), followed by a stay with my always unbelievably accommodating friends.

And I had the opportunity to use my new (beloved, oh so beloved) camera - there will be more pics soon, but I've managed to capture a couple of Binettis at breakfast and (yes, you're reading right) Ian Tyson. Not at the same time. And for you naysayers, Tyson rocks. For a 70+ year old, he'd still got it going on, and if I was 60, I'd think he was an incredible hottie. My pal A. was doing sound for him at Hugh's Room, and so I tagged along - we ended up eating with the band (of two, both called Gord) and chatting with Ian as he ate his pork chop, which was actually pretty cool. The chatting, not watching Ian eat pork. I should mention this shot was taken from quite a way back, with no flash, using my camera's zoomerific possibilities. I don't have it all figured out yet, but I'm getting there.

My reaction to being back in TO was interesting. I think maybe it was my zombie like tiredness, but I felt a little more nostalgic for the place than usual. And I was faced with a few things that made me take a good (or bad) look at myself. And with a slightly wry internal laugh, I realize that things I thought had changed over the years just ... haven't. Just call me Quiz-kid, and hand me a towel to wipe the blood from my mouth.

So, I came home. Exhausted and a little ... muddled, and a little sad to leave the big smoke behind. But when I opened the door to a chorus of demanding meows, read the note from my Mum about cat vomit, and sat down for a bit, weirdly the exhaustion started to lift. As did the sadness. But I guess that is what being home is supposed to be about.

And as a complete aside, I cannot help but lose myself in the world of winston. Look if you dare.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Such high culture...

Really just playing with the camera... still lots to learn- like how to talk to the hand.