Kissin' in Else's Else's, on the corner of Roy and de Buillon, is my favourite watering-hole. It's comfy, friendly, and I've been going there for years, as have many of my friends and acquaintances. I've spent many late evenings there and have vivid memories of discussions covering everything from why men are such jerks/why women are incomprehensible to why Philip K. Dick is the greatest science-fiction writer of all time. When I just need to unwind a little after work, that's where I go, usually with at least one other equally-stressed colleague in tow. That's what I did last Thursday. After a quick dinner at Cabane, my friend J and I went to Else's to meet up with another friend just in from Toronto. Unexpectedly, two more of my workmates were there as well--one who has a crush on me and one who I have a bit of a crush on. Quelle triangle. We all sat together and had a great time, my admirer to my right. Sitting tightly around the round table, our knees touched, which he took advantage of throughout the evening. He coupled this with nose tweaks, cheek pinching and other overt flirting behaviour. It was fun. It was flattering. It was late. At around 2:30, I got up to pay and have a last tinkle. As I exited the washroom, who's there but my admirer, asking me where I'm going? He says other things, and before I know it, I'm kissing in Else's washroom hallway. I won't tell you what happened after that, but suffice to say that I will always smile a little everytime I use the washroom at Else's.


Maggie is sometimes known as The Bitch Goddess. Maggie is known throughout the US as a performer, producer and teacher of the hammered dulcimer. Maggie is the best!! MAGGIE is an alliance of gender support groups in the Midwest United States. Maggie won Best of Breed and was shown in the Terrier Group Final. Maggie is normally a quiet bird and doesn't make a fuss like some of her larger cousins. Maggie's is the first sex-worker-run education project in Canada. Maggie is a top and Alex is more of a bottom. Maggie is an accidental star. Maggie is our rambunctious little weasel-dog! Maggie is scheduled for a pre-cath appointment; surgery is not yetscheduled. Maggie is the Alaska Zoo's female African elephant (Loxodonta africanus). Maggie is a HOT spanko babe and she's mine, all mine! You, too, can play. Just type "[your name] is" in Google and start the search. You must put the search string in quotes, otherwise Google will ignore the word "is". Got it? Go! Lisa started me on this and then Jiiiim suggested searching for "[your name] isn't": As a wrestler, Maggie isn't all technique and no brawn. One look at her and it's obvious how strong she is, especially in the shoulders and thighs. Spooky. So life-like....
Hello Kitty and the World Cup I finally have an interest in the World Cup now that one of my colleagues has returned with not one, but, two, Hello Kitty Happy Meal toys from Japan. Both transformers, Hello Kitty (dressed as an Italian soccer fan) tranforms into a McChicken, and Dear Daniel (dressed as an evil referee) transforms into a medium sized McDrink. The instructions for these toys are as follows: 1. Pull apart the velcro strip (located behind the head) 2. Pull out the shell inside until it is completely exposed (now I know what kitty has for brains) 3. Stuff the head inside first, followed by the body and the legs (how to skin a kitty) 4. Close the velcro strip so that it fits without touching the toy (sentence fault! I can't do this *without touching the toy"!)
Poke the Penguin Go on!


Six Degrees of Separation or Fame, What's Your Name? The photo posted below is of two of my four band mates and me playing after dinner at my house last Saturday. After that performance, one of my dinner guests "I" asked us to play at a cocktail she was having the next Friday for the incoming director of an arts organization she's part of. It's funny how small the Montreal anglo community is sometimes. "I" is a good friend and colleague of one of my friends "L". I met "L" because she's neighbours of two of my closest friends, "R" and "M". As an aside, "L" got a job that my ex was competing for a couple of years ago. My friend "R", our guitarist, is good friends with a colleague of "L"'s, who recommended our drummer to us. The drummer ("A") is a good friend of "I"'s, although she didn't know that he played with us when she invited us to play. To round everything out, I had already met "A"'s girlfriend at a bar-b-q last summer at "R" and "M"'s house, but didn't put the two of the together until the day of cocktail. If you need a diagram, email me. It was a hoot to play for strangers, and I was surprised at not only how not-nervous I was, but that people really liked us. "You like us! You really, really like us!" A few days before, we all got together to work out a set. We decided on this eclectic mix: - Fever - You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To - Rubber Duckie (yes, Ernie's song from Sesame Street) - My Heart Belongs To Daddy - Imagine - Little Boxes (made famous by Pete Seeger) - An Italian communist song that I learned when I was a Marxist-Leninist, many, many, many years ago. It may seem a little strange to go from classic jazz songs, to a kid's song, to protest songs, but it worked. I especially like howling the last line of the Communist song: "Et vivo communismo et la liberta!"--isn't that what it's all about? Since people liked us so much, we worked through the set again, adding a very improvised version of "Paper Moon" and "The (Boy) from Impanema". I love "Paper Moon" not only because it's a lovely song to sing, but because of the lyrics: Say, its only a paper moon Sailing over a cardboard sea But it wouldn't be make-believe If you were here with me Yes, it's only a canvas sky Hanging over a muslin tree But it wouldn't be make-believe If you believed in me Without your love It's a honky-tonk parade Without your love It's a melody played in a penny arcade It's a Barnum and Bailey world Just as phony as it can be But it wouldn't be make-believe If you believed in me Whenever I sing the lyric "But it wouldn't be make-believe if you believed in me" I'm reminded in a rational, clear-headed, but melancholic kind of way, that that's what I look for in friends and lovers--people who believe in me--and that it's sometimes absent in the people you wish it from the most. Such is love.... Rubber Duckie, joy of joys When I squeeze you, you make noise Rubber Duckie, you're my very best friend, it's true


Melvis Kostello Duz Toronto I drove 1000 Km over two days to catch Elvis Costello in Toronto at the Molson Ampitheatre. I left at around 10:30 Wednesday morning with the intention of taking my time. I was meeting my niece at 6:00 p.m. downtown to pick her up, so I had ample time. I hate the 401. It's incredibly boring, but gets you between Montreal and Toronto quickly and predictably. Living near the 20, I prefer to take the 20 all the the way to the 401, despite the fact that it requires that you stop at several lights between here and Hudson. It gives me a chance to travel through the small town where I grew up--Dorion--and note the changes that have occurred in the thirty years since my family moved from there. As I cross the bridge from the island of Montreal into Dorion, I note that the small strip mall is now is full-fledged indoor mall. J.C. Vallée, the car dealer, and our neighbour when I was growing up, has moved his business to the other side of the town. The tiny motel chalets that were on the waterfront are now gone, but I'll always be able to picture them as the place that one of my childhood companions used to escape from her family on at least one occassion. The Silvery Moon, the only Chinese restaurant for miles, is now a futon shop, but the faux-oriental architecture is still intact. Patate Serge is still there after all these years. The tiny cinema is also still there, but is some kind of retail establishment. Caillette's, an ice cream bar where you could also get the freshest curd cheese, was converted into a "Bar Western", but now sits empty with an "A Louer" sign on it. Closer to the town's western limits, new malls and restaurants occupy what were farmer's fields. Not far from the house where I grew up is a MacDonald's. In just a couple of blinks, Dorion is behind you and Toronto is 450 Km ahead. The concert was superb. I was, however, a bit disappointed with the Toronto crowd. Most hail EC's new album as a return to his earlier 70s sound. I just hail it as a continuation of incredible, edible lyrics, vocals to sometimes die for, and learned and bold muscianship. To accompany the tunes from the new album, EC delved into earlier stuff, like "Waiting for the End of the World", "Radio, Radio", "(I Dont's Want to Go to) Chelsea", "Watching the Detectives", "Mystery Dance", "Lipstick Vogue"--none of which really managed to get the Toronto crowd collectively up and on its feet. Not EC's fault, but due, I think, to the very mixed-age crowd and the stadium-style venue. This concert would have been awesome at the Spectrum or Metropolis. Unfortunately, this was his only Canadian tour date. I spent some time with my great nephew and sister (a proud Grandmother) before heading home to Montreal. Avoiding the 401 at all costs, I took the 2 back until Kingston, where I stopped at one of those roadside car-and-people service stations. Tempted by the Timbits at Tim Horton's I bought a box, but I was disappointed that at least a third of them were stale. Shame! What always surprises me about driving at night is how much faster I tend to go. During the day, I'll rarely top 130 Km, but I night, I'll frequently travel as fast as 160 Km. I think it's because during the day I can see more, hence there are more things to to potentially hit, roll into, and careen off of. At night, I really only concentrate on the tunnel of road in front of me, and who's behind me (though, at 160 Km, there's rarely anyone behind me). As I pass from the Ontario border into Quebec, I always get a big grin on my face whenever I see that "Bonjour" sign with the waving fleur-de-lys on it (effective graphic design!). It's always good to cross back into the place where I was born and the place that I understand the best. Bonjour, Québec! Au Revoir, Ontario....


Leave for Toronto tomorrow morning to catch the Elvis Costello concert later that evening. Drive back on Thursday and then back to work on Friday. A great break in the middle of a very busy week. I'll be sure to tell you all about it....


Kitty Fest in the Dog Run Across the street from work is a dog run. It borders the gardens where I watch the smoking lady from my office. It's actually a lovely place, full of things in bloom. I often go down there for a bit of a break, to see what's growing, and sometimes to hum a song I'm trying to learn in some kind of privacy. I never see any dogs there, but I do see lots of cats. These aren't strays. These are cats likely from the homes bordering the dog run. Earlier today, I went out and this little guy watched me very intently for a while. I spoke a few kitty words to him and for a moment I thought I was blocking his path to the end of the run, so I moved. But, he wasn't scared of me. Instead, he approached me, rubbed up against me, and then lay flat on his back, offering his tummy for a good scratch. I obliged. Later, I went out again. This time a fat orange cat, who I had seen before, was patrolling the run. He watched some birds for a while, brushed up agianst me, and then wandered off to eat some grass--cats eat an enormous amount of grass. I felt like joining him, but I'm back in my office with my bird's eye view of the dog run.


I know that I was designed to never have children. Physically, I'm quite certain I can have them. But, mentally, it's never been in the cards. Proof? Put a bunch of cute baby pictures in front of me, and I become very polite and utter the right words. "She's so cute." "She looks just like her dad." "I have an outfit just like that." Put me in front of a bunch of cute kitten pictures and something visceral comes into play. I want them. I want them ALL! I want them all badly. Body and soul. There's something about a furry, full kitteny-soft belly that is irresistable. Those tiny claws. The eyes. The ears. Check this out and see if you have the same response. I'll be posting a picture of my Rosie when she was a young thing. I'll let you know when I do so you can vote her the cutest kitten.
Tale of a lonely Goatherdess Went to the Sound of Music singalong last Saturday. Several of us dressed up, some in liederhosen (or convincing facimiles) and others in Swiss-style getups reminiscent of milkmaids. I was in the latter group. Imagine seven grownups traipsing up Bleury towards the Imperial cinema dressed like it was Halloween. We could have made good pocket change if we had passed a hat round to all the cars that honked us on our way. Entering the cinema, we were given loot bags containing various props--eidelweiss, a piece of fabric symboizing the curtains, etc.--and instructions on how to respond to various characters on the screen. The mean Nazi boy, named Rolf, deserved nothing less than the barking we gave him everytime he appeared on the screen. Little Gretel, the littlest of all the Von Trapps, warranted an "anwwwwwwwww" everytime she appeared in all her dimpled cuteness. When the Captain and Maria kiss for the first time, we were allowed to pop a somewhat lethal pyrotechnic device that sent streamers everywhere. The best part, of course, was the singing. Singing along with the nuns ("How do you solve a problem like Maria?"), the kids ("Doe, a deer, a female deer....") and, my favourite, the young lovers, Rolf and Leisel ("I am sixteen, going on seventeen. People say I'm nieve..."). Phun! The best part was during intermission, as we stood outside for some air, as our wholesome-but-geeky costumes were contrasted by and the young men and women dressed in Goth styles (going to some concert at the Spectrum).