Monday, 25 February 2013

Oscars 2013

I love the Oscars. My daughters and I watch them together, it's been a tradition in my house since my eldest daughter became interested in watching them about 8 years ago. I'm one of these types of people who like to watch it from red carpet walk ins to pick and pan all the outfits and hair styles, right up to the credits at the very end.

I was looking forward to watching them this year, but was leery and didn't know what to expect from host Seth MacFarlane. I'm not a "Family Guy" fan nor any of the other and many productions he has a hand in with the lone exception being the movie Ted (which I found to be HILARIOUS to be honest). So to be honest, outside of that...I wasn't sure what to expect.

I learned two things about Seth MacFarlane this evening. One....he looks like Donnie Osmond. I think it's the constant big white toothy Colgate smile to be honest....or maybe it's the dark hair... or perhaps both. Two...he has a LOVELY singing voice. Truly. I mean that.

I think I knew that we were in trouble the minute the awards began. It was either going to be a MAJOR hit...or a MAJOR miss. I was completely confused by the opening sequence, confused as to why...suddenly there's William Shatner playing Captain Kirk on a jumbo tron. I knew it was going to go down hill...quickly. I don't know how much, in all honesty; he (Seth) had hand in writing the script used for tonight. But from what I do know of Seth and his sense of humor, the whole 'boobs' song screamed him. Okay, yes...the dance sequence with Charlize Theron, et al was great. Honestly. It brought a touch of class that has been lacking for many years to the show. Old school you know? Hollywood glam. Every year the Oscars boasts it's going to "rejuvenate" and bring back "the glam"...and it never does. Honestly, I think if it took a modern day stab at a 1940's awards show it would go over FAMOUSLY. If you're going to go "Hollywood Glam"...GO. COMPLETELY. HOLLYWOOD.GLAM.

It was an evening full of confusion as far as I was concerned. Les Mis cast a standing O, Norah Jones a standing O, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand. ALL standing ovations. But then along comes Adele performing one of the best (ONE of the best... I didn't say THE best - that is subject to opinion) Bond songs in a VERY long time, if not ever (again ... subject to personal opinion!) and she gets basically a golf clap? Wah?

OH! And I'm not slamming The Academy OR The White House anything but...what the HELL did Michelle Obama have to do with the Oscars? Why was she presenting (even via satellite)? I was so confused, I still am. Weird Oscar moment #eleventy.

I think the that Oscar will still be looking for yet another host for next year, I don't think we'll see a return visit from Mr. MacFarlane. Maybe they'll bring back Billy Crystal, or Hugh Jackman to host again....or maybe...just maybe (Gods willing) Neil Patrick Harris will finally have his shot at hosting the Academy Awards.

One Last Glimpse,


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Another sleepless night

It's 4:10am. I'm awake. While this is nothing new, it's seriously getting old as of late. Outside of being shot with a tranquilizer dart, I'm clueless as to what to try to get to sleep. Mind you, the fact that my loving husband is upstairs snoring like a buzz saw right this very moment doesn't help matters.

I seem to go in cycles where I have this problem. I'll go for months, sometimes years where I will have no problems falling asleep at night...and then I'll have bouts seemingly for months where it will be shitty sleep for days at a time for me. It sucks.

Part of my problem lately is I find I'm in a creative lull it seems. Nothing, NOTHING I write story wise seems good enough, and I hate to force it to come, because then it will be utter crap and drivel that I'll only have to end up re-writing anyway. And I know, I'm not deluding myself into some false sense of not having to do any re-writes, I know I will. But I'd like the first draft to at quasi interesting and entertaining. Know what I mean?

And I feel I'm edgy because I'm not writing, I almost feel like I'm letting people down somehow. Who those people are exactly I'm not entirely sure. The muses maybe?? I don't know. Maybe I'm being foolish. But I've come to discover, I don't like not writing. It's like I'm missing a part of myself, sort of an extension of me. I guess it's like someone who smokes who hasn't had a drag in a while....I'm jones'ing for a good writing fix.

Just one little chapter to get me through, come on man...I need it bad!!

Let it flow, let it flow. It will come...relax and just let it flow. Right? That's what the voices keep telling me anyway...

One Last Glimpse,


Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Wedding Album

The 20th anniversary for Duran's Wedding Album is upon us. 20 years already? Has it been that long? Where has the time gone? It seems staggering to me that all these anniversaries have come up recently. 30 years of the band, The Rio anniversary, The revisit to the Eillen, and now this. It's mind blowing, but also a testament to the resilience, talent, determination, and greatness that is Duran Duran. 

Originally just titled "Duran Duran" it was an album signifying they were going back to being a four piece band, instead of just a three. The fourth being in the form of Warren Cuccurullo on guitar. It has always been my understanding that we, the fans dubbed it "the Wedding Album" and it stuck.

Not seeing the tour for the Wedding Album was always a bone of contention for me, a missed opportunity. Not that I regret having to wait until the Diamond in the Mind tour, it was what it was and there was nothing I could do about it. I'm just thankful I've had the opportunity to see them live at all, and look forward to the next tour.

What is it about the Wedding Album that resonated so significantly with people? There are some fantastic tracks on the album that were both major hits but also hit wise with the fans even if they didn't do well on the charts or were even released as singles.

I definitely had some personal favourites on this album, everyone always has their own favourites. When I look at and listen to all the tracks on The Wedding Album of course Come Undone and Ordinary World are two of the songs that spring out. They're both moving fantastic songs that speak to us on our basic human level. They're of love, hope, loss, coping, and finding your way back against all odds. And who doesn't love a love song like that?

Breath after Breath is another mind blowing song. It's complete and pure inspiration both within the lyrics and melodies. I love this song, it's probably one of my favourites and doesn't get the recognition it should. It's uplifting and blissful.

UMF...two words my friends. Sex. Sells. This funk driven song is also one of my favourite Duran songs ever. No one else would ever write a lyric like “but right now, I'm going to keep my pants on.” and make it work. Brilliance. Bravo.

I don't know that I have an actual 'favourite' Duran album. The waters become fairly muddy when it comes to choosing one, it's like trying to select your 'favourite child'. It's impossible. The Wedding Album came at a great time and brought a fantastic resurgence of Duran Duran's career and with it a new host of fans. Their talents, brotherhood, abilities and musicality they have among them brought them through the 90's and helped to continue their journey further and brought all of us along the ride with them.

Happy Anniversary Wedding Album. Thanks guys for some fantastic memories, brilliant songs, and cherished times. I look forward to more. 


One Last Glimpse,


Thursday, 21 February 2013

2013 Writers in treatment: Experience, Strength and Hope Award

Last week in the midst of l'amour and rose petals, dinner with a loved one and that great day that is Valentine's Day there was another day last week;  although seemingly much like any other; to one man - it meant much more than that.

Last week, John Taylor received the 2013 Writers in treatment: Experience, Strength and Hope Award for his memoir: In The Pleasure Grove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran. It's an award given by peers who are in treatment for various substance abuses who have written a memoir about their abuse and have lived to tell the tale about their sober living and experiences. It was presented to him by Robert Downey Jr who has had his own battles with substance abuse and has also managed to come out the other side sober and a survivor.

I think that's an important factor in recovery, the survival of it all. Some people don't and can't survive that journey, and that's the tragedy in it all. Speaking on a personal note; as one who has been on the receiving end of many a harsh and inappropriate word from someone who has a substance abuse problem; I can honestly say I absolve them of their past against me. I hope that someday they find the peace within themselves that they will need to find a sober life.

I think there's likely a lot of guilt and shame involved in recovery. Guilt, remorse and shame for things that have been said and done. Some you can apologize and take back, some you can't. There's just no way to have that absolution and forgiveness, and that is a burden you must always carry with you through your sobriety.

I couldn't be any prouder of John than I am. He's always been my idol; as I have stated many times before; both here on this blog and to the man himself when his book tour afforded me the opportunity. He is the reason I wanted to pick up a bass and learn to play after all, and honestly, I cannot think of a better idol and person than John Taylor.

I hope he is as proud of himself and his continued recovery, as I am. He should be. Congratulations John on your continued journey, on your successfully penned and wonderful book: In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran, and your award. It is very much deserved and speaks of the person we all know you to be.

With respect.

One Last Glimpse,


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

First Concert: Full circle

When I was 13 years old - I like many others was discovering my own identity, just starting to get out from under the wing and influence of my parents and finding out exactly who I was and wanted to be. I had the influence of my friends, and school -- of course as well as my parents (as much as I tried to deny and avoid it) shaping me and molding me.

And then there was music.

Music has always played a major role and influence in my life. Either by performing it myself, or listening to it. In either case, in either event I have always been moved and influenced by music. Having grown up in the 80s of course, I was, and ever shall be highly influenced by the bands and singers who came from that era. To name a few...Duran Duran (and their collective spin offs) of course, Wham!/George Michael, Triumph, Genesis, Journey, KISS, Prince, Madonna (before she "reinvented" herself), Tears for Fears, Culture Club/Boy George, David Bowie, The Cure, The Cult, Honeymoon Suite, and of course the very first band I EVER saw in concert...Platinum Blonde.

Platinum Blonde is a Canadian band -  and at the time they were very much along a similar vein of Duran Duran - guyliner and make-up. New Romantic/Punk/New Wave clothing and big hair. Not quite as synth based as Duran, but I enjoyed them a lot. Honestly, I don't think they got as much props or hype as they should have, they were good. Damn good - and I was elated when it was announced they were coming to the (since moved and renamed) London Gardens, for a show. I'm not sure if it was a combination of the fact that I was seeing a concert for the first time, or if I was as excited as I remember being to see Platinum Blonde - I just remember the show with great fondness. They had great energy and put on; what I thought at the tender age of 13; to be a great gig. I also remember being COMPLETELY deaf when we left the arena. Always a sign of a good show, right?

Now here it is...30 years (almost) later and every summer there is a 3 day music festival here in London. It started 10 years ago and each year different bands perform. This year is no different. Only this year, one of the bands is Platinum Blonde. I found that out this morning, and to be honest it made me smile. I quickly texted my friend who was the same person I went with to that concert at 13,  and she will be the same friend at my side for the gig in July. It's all come full circle. I'm just as much looking forward to seeing them as a 40something as I did when I was 13. I'm excited you know? It should be a lot of fun, and a great gig. The band has gone through changes, they have new stuff and a new album "Now and Never" that I want to check out, but I've gone through changes as well, it has been 30 years after all. But it's interesting that it's all going back to where it started as far as concert going and music for that matter. It's funny sometimes how life, without even trying, can come full circle. I love that.

Well then...."Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...."

One Last Glimpse,


Monday, 18 February 2013

Random writings: Gothic Life

 I've been sick the last day and a bit. As such all I've done, is sleep. I've had about 20 hours of sleep in the last 27 hours and now (as long as it took me to write the following) I will post this and go back to sleep. This evolved out of a dream I had earlier today and I thought it turned out pretty well. I like it enough to share - lets put it that way. I hope you enjoy it too.

One Last Glimpse,


I hear the clicking and clacking of my shoes on the hard marble floor. My steps hasten, I’m already late and I want to get this over with. I’m uncomfortable being here in these surroundings. I feel like a fraud, and I suppose in essence I am. Something, which I’m not accustomed to doing, is putting on false airs and faking my way through things. Even though, that is what my life has become but for whatever reason I prefer a direct honest approach, and so, as a result I am twitchy and uncomfortable – which is funny considering, but this is different. I try to shake off the feeling and pull myself together.

The sunlight streaming in the windows warms my face in hues of green, blue, amber and fuchsia from the stained glass. A Gregorian chant echoes and emanates off the high stonewalls and reaches my ears. It’s in Latin and while it sounds like gibberish to many, I understand it completely. It is a plea, a plea to an unforeseen force and omnipresence for understanding and mercy. A personal request of forgiveness, for divine intervention and of solace in its song, forgiveness for trespasses and sins, both seen and unseen.

I can see the ornate shiny dark wood carved box at the end of the aisle, I don’t make my way towards it – instead I make my way to my seat. I’ve seen all I need to see, and I’ve seen it all before many times over. The satin that lines the casket is almost impossible to see with the amount of flowers that are situated around it. The floral smell fills my nostrils in its bright pungent brilliant smell. It’s almost overwhelming to the senses. A large photograph sits at the end of the coffin; his smirking smile and green eyes mock me as only he can, I can see myself in the face of my brother - a familiarity. I feel a moment of amusement wash over me as a wail rises up from the congregation in the middle of all this pomp and circumstance. If they only knew the truth. I overt my eyes from the photo as not to laugh at the mockery being made with this escapade, pageantry and staged event – this isn’t the first time we’ve had to do this and it won’t be the last.

For me it is as much of a ritualistic event as for everyone else, but to a different end. To some, it is a time for mourning and remembering, for others it is a time of forgiveness and receiving solace in the arms of family and friends. For me, it is a play, a performance, and another falsehood to add to the many that have gone before and that I will continue to add to the list.

I focus and sigh and bring myself back to the task at hand. I feel the cool, smooth wood under my fingertips as I glide my hand along the back of the pew, as I slide into my seat. And then, as if out of ritual – I lower my head out of respect and cross myself, but to what end I question? There is no purpose or point to it. In the end it will do me no good, no divine intervention can save me now – and I am fully aware of my humanity and mortality.

He coughs, clearing his throat, announcing his presence and slips into the pew from the opposite end and sits down beside me. His long woolen coat wet from the freshly fallen snow that is now melting into the fibers. Out of the corner of my eye I can see his long hair falling to his broad shoulders. He sits upright, tall and proud facing forward, never once turning to look at me. We are both there for the same reason, the same purpose, and while neither of us wants to be there – it is our duty. It’s expected and an unwritten understanding that both of us be there.

He flips his hand upward, exposing his palm to me saying nothing as I slip my hand into his. We close fingers and stare forward, still saying nothing. But as it was before, it is again, as it forever shall be. We are one.

My eyes glance around the large Gothic structure, trying to focus over the din. The din of the now overwhelming pipe organ music, which seems to have reached its crescendo in its hymnal along with the choir whose voices too are reaching their peak. Its moody and melodramatic climax drawing close, something, which is to bring comfort, is boasting a mood of foul dread and despair. 

“I’ve never understood this archaic ritual you know.” His voice suddenly whispers in my mind. Why he’s whispering I’ll never understand – perhaps it’s the surroundings.

“What archaic ritual? A funeral?” I reply without uttering a sound

“Yes. What’s the point?” he answers

“The point…” her voice interrupts “Is to make one think that we have moved on. We can’t exactly live forever.”

“But we have lived forever.” His voice replies, almost whining.

“We can make your death permanent any time you’d like dear brother.” She says with a hint of sarcastic wit

“I’ll take a pass on that, I thank you. Where are you seated anyway?” he replies smirking slightly

“Up front, as only a doting wife would who has lost her husband would do.”

“I think he quite enjoys these rituals.” I smile “I can’t say as I blame him, beautiful flowers, people dressed up – shame he misses out on the party afterward, people saying nice things about you. All that.”

“Dressed up – please!” he finally speaks up “I about sat up and gave Madame Voulnieu a right dressing down for her choice of attire for my funeral. How dare she wear such a gaudy outfit! Honestly!”

I choke back a laugh, drawing my hand up to my face to compose myself. The music stops, and the priest donned in ornate robes appears in the sanctuary, we rise as one collective and makes his way to the pulpit to call to order the gathering and to begin the ceremony.

“Shhh… I quite like this part.” His silent voice from the ornate casket whispers to us, my hand is given a slight squeeze, I smile looking up towards the coffin – and for just a hint of a moment, I think I see a smile creeping across my ‘deceased’ brother’s face.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

"A night with Elton and Friends"

About two weeks ago a text message from my friend Nat came in asking if Alan and i would like to go see a local Elton John impersonator. it sounded like a great time to me, so after speaking with my hubby, we decided we'd go.

The thing about impersonators is this... they are either REALLY good, or they're REALLY bad... OR they're REALLY bad but THINK that they are really good. Now, the latter can be fun and funny, but with all impersonations in general it's a crap shoot.

Hubby and I
My husband Alan has been horribly ill this last week with a serious chest cold. Coughing and just generally not well. He doesn't get sick often, but when he does...he is typically out for the count. He put on a brace face Saturday evening, took a bunch of cold meds (including cough syrup which he LOATHES) and off we went.
Nat and Shawn
After a brief stop at our friend's house for drinks we went to the restaurant just up the road from their place. The town/village they live in is small, but it's a happening hot spot in the summer as it's right by the beach. But at this time of year it's sleepy and quiet with only the residents being there (for the most part).
The restaurant itself is, or could be quaint and has a huge amount of potential. It's right on the canal, and in the summer could boast a great view...but...The glass external wall, for a sizeable portion, faces out toward the parking lot for some reason instead of toward the canal - and I'm certain the glass has not been replaced since the late 70s early 80s. It's single pane glass, no insulation, and as a result more than half of the 30 some patrons sat freezing our asses off. Most of the people sitting around had their coats on for more than half the night. (For the record we were there from 6:30pm until almost 10pm).

Let me start off by saying this...I know I get cold easily. I like to be warm and toasty when I go out (or when I'm in for that matter). I like to be comfortable. Usually my "comfortable" is Alan's sweltering but his internal thermostat is wonky anyway, so he doesn't count. Myself and my friend Nat were freezing, the lady at the next table had her fur coat on and so did about 85% of the rest of the place. There were a LOT of woman (and the men) sitting around last night that probably could have cut glass if you catch my meaning.

The whole dinner and show was 45$ or just 20$ for the show which was resonable. In retrospect I wish we had had our dinner prior elsewhere and just gone for the show. 25$ for what we ate was NOT worth it. The show was COMPLETELY worth 20$ however.

Options for dinner were limited and I do mean limited. There was either breaded perch or if you "absolutely could not have the perch" they were 'allowed to' offer "some sort of orange chicken" but they were 'told not to push that over the fish' (The waitress's words) for the other option. I am curious to know what other option we would have had if we couldn't have had either.

When she asked us what we wanted to drink "they can make everything" I was told. I told her I'd like a pina colada. She stared at me and said "That they didn't make those in the off season". So you CAN'T make "EVERYTHING". They could have gotten me wine (which i don't care for), beer (which I didn't want), soda pop, coffee/tea...or...they manage in the end to make me something that marginally resembled a Long island iced tea. It wasn't the worst I've ever had, but certainly was by no means the best either.

First we were served a soup, which we werent told at ny point what kind of soup it was - and to be honest, it was in my opinion - the best part of the meal. it was some sort of smokey ham/bacon soup with chick peas (which I don't care for -- I ate around them). But it was flavourful and good.

And then the dinner came - it was...mediocre. You could have fries, rice pilaf or "some sort of garlic mashed with onions, green peppers with cheese on top - that I'm not even going to bother to try to pronounce" said our waitress. I had the fries, which weren't bad. The fish was not the best, you were given four large pieces of fish, fries and then these shaved coined carrots with shaved almonds and raisins...which immediately made me think of my friend Rachel who loathes things with raisins in them. It gave me a giggle I have to say.

For dessert was pecan pie or chocolate pecan pie. When I heard her say chocolate pecan pie I thought it was some sort of chocolate mouse with the odd pecan either in it or perhaps on top. It wasn't my fact i don't like pecan pie at all so I ordered the chocolate pecan pie and figured I'd leave the pecans behind and eat around it. No. It was pecan pie with minimal chocolate syrup glazed on top.

My friend emailed the restaurant today with expression of concern for a couple of improvements (I guess they're cutlery had not been clean - a BIG stickler for me) as well as the other problems we had had. The response was excuses (lame ones at that - I've read the response) "Anyone who opens the front door and the heat escapes" What? Get better heating or insulation then! And when she inquired if the food had been 'pre-plated' the response was that there was no need to do that as it only took 'three minutes to prepare". Mmmm fresh frozen fish! And the reason why we only saw our waitress 4 times the whole night? "Because the entertainment doesn't like the interruption." WOW. Way to accept NO responsibility folks.

Nat and me with "Sir Elton".
The performance was great, it really was. He went for two solid hours, without a break, sang all "his" greatest hits in character and then afterward expressed to my husband that the show had been a "shortened" one because he was fighting off a cold and still had to do a Sunday show. 

Honestly, had it not been for the company and the entertainment, the night would have been a total wash. The guy who impersonated Elton did a fantastic job!! Not only did he sound like him, but even bore a decent enough resemblance to him with minimal effort - right down to the space between his teeth. He was great! I'd totally go back and see him again....but I'd eat elsewhere first.

One Last Glimpse,


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Insomnia and gasbar Glamazon ranting

It's 5am. Normally I am LONG in bed, but for some reason -- for whatever reason I'm awake. For the second night in a row. This is freaking ridiculous and I am not impressed. If I actually accomplished something (outside of writing this -- and to be honest I'm only babbling here because...well... I may as well do something productive right?) then that would be one thing, but I'm not saving the world or working on nuclear fission or anything as astonishing like that. But I suppose writing this is something right?

I worked today, I wasn't there more than 20 minutes and I wanted to rip my co-worker a new one. Computers crashed right before shift change and of course she FREAKED because she can't handle a damn thing. So here she is on the phone with our boss, and she's trying to get stuff done to fix it. She has NO clue what she's doing, and is freaking out instead of being calm about it -- she's wigging. Fine whatever. I'm texting my boss suggesting things rather than interrupting the conversation she's having with my co-worker. And it comes about that she (my boss) wants us to reboot the computers, which you can't do until no one is pumping gas. Fine. So as we're getting rid of customers my co-worker is shutting off pumps so no one can pump the gas. Fine no big deal. I see an employee of the main store walking across the parking lot (coming to get her ciggies on her break) and before I reboot my computer I get her ciggies and her scratch lotto card and ring her through. WELL, you'd of thought I had done the worst imaginable thing, and co-worker starts bitching at my boss about me...WHILE I'm standing right there. HELLO. Stupid bitch. So she heads into the back room once I'm done with my customer, because she KNOWS I'll lay into her if she's standing there and there's no one in the store. So I reboot my computer like my boss wanted me to. KNOWING my boss is telling said co-worker to STFU and get over it. She bitched about it longer than it took me to ring the chick through for fuck sakes. Like really? Whatever.

So that's fine, computers come up -- problem solved. She leaves. (Buh bye don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out the fucking door). I speak to my boss later this evening only to find out that said co-worker had already gotten in shit for something MAJOR just prior to me coming into work (like shit that can get not only my BOSS in trouble but also could get my co-worker fired), so when this went down she was looking for ANY reason to throw me under the bus -- after all she had just gotten into trouble...why shouldn't I? Yep! That's the kinda person my co-worker is folks. Fun work environment eh???

My boss btw couldn't have given two shits that I rang the ciggie lady through, MOREOVER she said she would have done the SAME THING and TOLD my co-worker that! Which of course made her have a hate-on for me even more. Do I look like I care that this woman hates me??? (For the record...the answer is no).

Fast forward to later on in the evening.. it's now JUST after 10pm and I finally get a moment to go to the washroom. As I'm sitting in the washroom, I hear the familiar "ding" of someone having lifted the nozzle on the gas pump and trying to get gas. Which they can't do until I authorize it inside...but being that I was sitting on "the throne" they were shit out of luck until I was done. So I finish, leave the washroom, and go out and see that the person is on the outside lane. You know what that means kids! YEP! Pay at the pump only. I explain this to the gentleman politely and he starts to walk towards me (obviously to pay inside). I inform him that he needs to hang the nozzle up first before I can do anything. At this point he looks at me, waves his hands in the air gesturing "What the fuck" type motion, turns on his heel and goes back to the pump, hangs it up, puts his gas cap back on...walks around to the drivers side -- glares at me and flips me the bird. I stare at him, smile broadly, blow him a kiss and wave.

I'm off for a few days and then into work almost all of next week. My boss is on holiday and I am stuck with the bitch. It should be interesting. She'll only try to tell me what to do once before I fucking kick her ever loving ass. My boss has made it ABUNDANTLY clear to me that she is NOT in charge and that she is going to make it ABUNDANTLY clear to her. My brother in law (who owns a different site in the city) is actually in charge -- she can't staaaaaand my brother in law (simply because he's my brother in law).

Should be a FUN week!!!

One Last Glimpse,