Spoiler Alert

As I've said before, I rarely take a sick day from work and that's still the case. Rather than say I'm too busy to write, I'm going to cash in a few sick days and use them here. Weather permitting, I'll be back in a few weeks.

Stay warm, dry and safe my friends. Love and comments to you all.


Strange Days Indeed

I spent about 4 minutes of last Monday wondering if the roof of the house was going to cave in on me. It was quite frightening considering how loud it was, much louder than it sounds on the video. Of course, watching the news about all the devastating flooding in the U.S. and weather issues elsewhere quickly put things into perspective for me.

Have a look:

Hail to the er, hail!



Singing Just For Me

Friday the 13th turned out to be quite lucky for me. I added another entry to my book of dreams by seeing Laurie Anderson in her Homeland show, part of this year's Luminato Festival.

From the time I was introduced to her opus United States by a university radio pal, I'd wanted to see her perform live but somehow, never managed it. This time, I was at the ready and secured 3rd row seats where there was little to distract me. I won't even mention the girl beside me who slept soundly through most of the show, apparently tired from having spent the first few songs making out with her boyfriend.

I'd read that Homeland was built around themes of fear, obsession and paranoia in America post 9/11 and was a little apprehensive. Would it be too dark and dire? Too like my heart? Could I bear it? I worried needlessly.

In and among the serious and reflective was a lot of humour, artistry and deft commentary. Aim was taken at Al Gore's trophy case, Oprah's couch, John McCain and several other worthy targets. She also ruminated on a variety of subjects from the beginning of memory to billboard underwear models and set it all to compelling music.

There were bursts of pounding energy and moments made for closing your eyes and feeling the universe expand (without the need for medication). There were songs and stories, some in Laurie's own voice and some run through her voice enhancer which provided surprising nuance. Sitting in with the accomplished band (percussionist Joey Baron, keyboard wiz Rob Burger and bassist Greg Cohen) for the last few numbers was none other than the legendary Lou Reed. It was a real treat to see and hear him play along and sing.

The set was simple with a few bare bulbs hanging and scores of small white candles arranged around the stage. While wrapped in Ms. Anderson's warm electronic embrace, I took them to be planets and stars (perhaps the need for medication?).

Although the show was conceived as one continuous piece, ovations and praise found their way in whenever possible. While it would have been wonderful to have an encore, I felt the integrity of the piece was better maintained without it. Watching the players carefully tiptoe through the array of candles for three bows was an end fitting enough for me.

Apart from the thrill of seeing and enjoying the show so much, the people-watching was of course exquisite. Rarely have I seen so many inflicting so much very personal style on the rest of us. I'll just call them Strange Angels and be done with it.

Thank you Laurie Anderson for a most excellent evening and I hope to see you again soon.


Madras As Hell

Madras patchwork clothing should be outlawed. It looks horrible on everyone. If you must wear it, please ensure that you are on acid and ready to share.



I'll Cut Me!

Standing in line at the bank machine this morning (I simply adore standing in any sort of line), a man and a woman were chatting behind me so of course, I had to listen in.

She said "I rode in with her on the train this morning and I thought I was going to have to slit my fucking wrists!'.

I turned and chuckled and she said to me "Too dramatic?" "No, I know just how you feel", I replied. "Oh, you must know her" and they went back to talking.

Proof that I'm not alone in the universe.

This also ties in nicely with Barbara's review of an interesting sounding film Wristcutters: A Love Story.



Riding The Rails or Bang Crunch

It's audio blog time again on Passion of the Dale, now that I can speak again. After a trying several hours, I'm back on track and ready to roll (my eyes at least).

Click the play button on my GCast player (Let's Go Audio) on my sidebar and listen in on another episode from this small life.

Please note, this one involves an unholy trinity of ennui, booze and dentistry. Oh, and Ambassador Brad!


The End of the Line

Friday marked the end of yet another era in my life - I endured a long goodbye from the Elvis train conductor's who'd been reigning over my (in)sanity.

The company that runs the commuter trains we good, bad and indifferent citizens use has changed hands and so there's been a change in staff starting today. Don't worry about poor Elvis lite though, he'll still be employed, just on another line. He chitted and chatted quite a bit over the 40 minute ride home on Friday but knowing it was his last ride, I was barely agitated.

One of the things I won't miss is the way he had of calling out the stops. One of them, Old Cummer (not named after me), he'd drag out interminably so it was more like Ooooooooooooooooooooooold Cummer", funny once but never again. As we pulled in to the last stop, he got back on the horn and said Elvis has left the building, thank ya thank ya very much.

There were no tears to be wiped from my eye although had there been, they would have been made of hope and joy.

I'm giving the new guy two days before I can find some horror, real or imagined, to complain about.