Archive for November, 2010

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Long or Short…. of it

November 24, 2010

Not too sure how long I’ll be sitting here. My back has been grinding and seizing up for the last few weeks… then I guess I screwed it up yesterday raking, bagging and carrying the last of the nice, wet, heavy leaves. Gotta have a little lay down soon before working tonight. Heating pad, ibuprofen, rest, la-la land…..

Frosted

I’ve read a couple of memoirs lately by a two Toronto musicians (and writers) – Dave Bidini formerly of The Rheostatics and Paul Quarrington of Porkbelly Futures. Dave’s book recounts his adventure as a solo act touring the world following the Rheostatics break-up. He hit London England, Scandinavia, Russia, China, a couple of African countries and a few Canadian dates… the book’s title is ‘Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs’. Paul’s book ‘Cigar Box Banjo’ is a blend of thoughts on music and life during his final year following a diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer, which proved to be terminal. A downer of a read this definitely ISN’T. He stayed busy writing the book, a screenplay, writing songs and recording right up to three days before he died early this year. Paul grew up not too distant from where I did and we were about the same age so he mentions a number of places I’m familiar with and events we both attended.

Now I’m better than half way through Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a Small Island’ recounting his tour of Britain before moving back to the States (having lived in Britain for about 20 years). He definitely appreciates the ‘best of Britain’ but doesn’t hold back on his criticism of what he sees as ‘the worst’ either. Next up – and how could there two such divergent choices, anyway? – is either the Dalai Lama’s ‘The Middle Way’, or Hunter S Thompson’s ‘Fear and Loathing in America: The Gonzo Letters II’. Have to see how I’m feeling later and make up my mind then.

Had an interesting email from cuz BJ in response to that last post regarding John’s advice. Noted dear cousin; I’m not committing myself to anything fast and foolish. More like sober consideration.

Also re Kel’s comment/ question….. would have been tracking down courses except my back has kept me from the computer. Pretty much anything ‘Human Services’-wise would do. There’s a post-grad Addictions specialty degree offered at the local university so I’ll look into their course load.

bye-bye peonies - hack & slash

Nap time for Bonzo…..

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Boot Up The Arse

November 19, 2010

… but in a nice way.

Spent an enjoyable couple of hours yesterday having lunch with my former boss and talking, talking, talking. (John, manager of the treatment centre) We hadn’t had much contact over the course of this past year since the big layoff. I think I had him speak at my home group early on there and a few emails have flown their way back and forth but little else.

Funny, while we covered a few topics related to our former employer and some of the rest of the staff we didn’t dwell there. No sense in eating poison while noshing, what? No, mainly we talked about recovery and the work John has engaged in since his departure from ‘the house’. Then we got into a discussion, spurred by some of his recent reading, regarding the ‘disease concept’ of addiction. Privately / individually, we had both come to have some issues with it and it was good to hash that out and get fresh input regarding the topic. He’s to forward a list of titles and authors for me to follow-up with.

Then, that dispensed with, he launched into a blind-side attack on me for giving up on my job search in the addiction, mental health, social / human services arena. He, like me, feels my abilities, talents, and experience are being wasted by working away at my brain-dead pay-the-bills job of 6 months. So he has spurred me to get back into the fray of the job search and scanning area agency’s websites. Must overcome previous disappointment, frustration and hopelessness and continue to slog forward settling for nothing less than contributing where I can be of most value. We shall see.

John was nice about it but didn’t pull any punches either. Damn, just when I was settling nicely into the routine, too. My main problem is that I’m completely resistant to the idea of commuting into Toronto on a daily basis again. I hate adding a minimum of an hour each way to my working day. Been there, done that, hate it. So my focus will continue to be local though the number of places where I could work is limited. C’est la vie!

tats

Reading: hmmm…. this part disappeared. One night this week I forgot to take my books with me so I spent the night reading a variety of newspapers and doing upteen crossword puzzles. The next night I reread Monty Roberts ‘The Man Who Listens To Horses’. Yesterday I reloaded at the library and borrowed 4 books, 5 CD’s and bought a Bill Bryson book at their ongoing book sale. That, along with my Toronto Star, National Post and New York Times Saturday edition, should get me through these next 3 nights. 36 hours of reading on-the-clock.

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Shout Out

November 19, 2010

Just in case you haven’t already picked up on this via FB you should check this out for yourself. Blog pal Ron Dubin has a new enterprise that I’m enjoying – Radio WTH found here: http://www.radiowth.com/ Daily hour long compilations to enjoy whilst computing. 🙂

Ron’s photgraphy blog is already linked on my home page. He has individual prints and a couple of photography books for sale there. Good eye Ron. Good eye!

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Words and Music

November 15, 2010

Music: Lately as I’ve been reading the daily papers (Toronto Star, National Post, NYT) I’ve been clipping items from the entertainment pages that contain ‘tinyurls’ which lead either to audio versions of songs or sometimes the opportunity to download them. Mostly I’ve remembered to hang onto them and when I have some time at the computer check them out. It did get me curious about tinyurls as I’ve really been out of the loop for a long time now and know nothing about them (God bless my tech challenged head.). Yesterday I came across a site strictly for songs and you can plug in a song title or artist / group and listen to it or share it via Twitter, Facebook or email. The main site is http://www.tinysong.com/ (We’ll see if it works here…. ahem, lemme see…) http://tinysong.com/rFWZ Ta-Dahhh!!!! This is the Johnny Cash song which accompanies ‘The Johnny Cash Project – an open source compilation of various artists works for an animated video of the song….. found here. (Be patient; it is large and takes a few seconds to load) http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/. (Scroll down to watch the video.)

A few others – Neil Young’s new one ‘Walk With Me’ produced by Daniel Lanois. Scroll down to video screen. http://www.speakersincode.com/2010/09/jam-of-day-neil-young-walk-with-me.html

New one by The Cars – ‘Blue Tip’ http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=445115559565

The Decemberists – ‘The King is Dead’  video preview http://www.decemberists.com/

Tired Pony – The Place We Ran From – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC68mAQYstE

(These are the pages which the tiny urls took me to.)

Words: So, since last time around I have read…

actually reread both Jeannette Walls ‘Glass Castles’ and Malachy McCourt’s ‘A Monk Swimming: a Memoir’.

A powerful memoir by David Sheff titled ‘Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction’. I have his son’s book on hold at the library which covers the same ground from his point of view… Nic Sheff – ‘Tweak’.

Bill Bryson’s ‘Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid; a memoir’.  I have a couple of his others on hold too…. ‘A History of Nearly Everything’ and; ‘At Home’.

I don’t typically read many novels but I was glad I bought this one at the library’s sale, ‘The Secret Lives of Bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd. Beautifully written… transporting.

A collection of Shel Silverstein’s poetry called ‘Light in the Attic’ which was as entertaining for his illustrastions as his words. (Also bought at the sale – a steal at $2) On the same trip I found a tribute album of Shel’s songs performed posthumously by a variety of artists, including Kris Kristofferson, John Price, Nanci Griffith and Lucinda Williams. It is called ‘Twistable, Turnable Man- A Musical Tribute To The Songs Of Shel Silverstein’.

I’m currently reading a mystery by Harlan Coben which helps pass the time until I make it back to said library.

Other news – Cousin BJ and I will see one another at the end of the month for the first time in 2 to 3 years. The occasion is a celebration for her father (my late father’s eldest brother) who is turning 90 years young. So, barring any screw ups in my work schedule we should get some face time.

Other, other news – Looks like (same proviso) long time blog friend Kel and I may have a face-to-face meeting along toward New Years. She and her hubby are celebrating Xmas on this side of the Pacific and doing a bit of a road tour which will bring them past our front door. This is one of those ‘once in a lifetime opps’, so count me in.

Must get on with the day, accomplish something, have a nap and then off to work for the night. Bye.

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Recently…..

November 4, 2010

A couple of nights working; now a couple of days off. I finally made up my mind to take the severance package so I’m no longer associated with the rehab centre. Guess I’ll finally have to update my profile page here, huh? Last night my A.A. home group was responsible for putting on a meeting at another groups meeting place (a thing called Interchange) and I decided I was ready to speak. Previously I hadn’t felt emotional, mentally or spiritually stable enough to get up and do that. It went off pretty well with a number of people coming to me afterward to talk about what I had to say, including one previous client from ‘the house’ who has been out on another booze and coke run. Anyway, I only choked up once which I thought was pretty good considering circumstances lately.

Other A.A. stuff – my term as chair for our district meetings ends at years end. It’s been a good two years, service-wise. I was elected to a committee chair position which will be lighter duty – another 2 year post. (Spirit of rotation so you don’t have the same crew running things and everyone has a chance to get involved.)

Musical interlude from the ‘Crazy Heart’ soundtrack – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zelvaxvTaUk

Lots to do today once it warms up a little . The trees around here are about 75% bare so I have about a kazillion leaves to bag up before garbage day tomorrow. Shopping to do. Lynda and I are taking Mom out for dinner tonight.

More music? Roseanne Cash’s “September When It Comes”. Duet with Johnny the year before he died. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oqqzwcJwMk

Finished reading Alice Munro’s “Hateship, Friendshhip, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” and thought it to be very good. Got about 3/4 of the way through George Carlin’s autobiography ‘Last Words’, which was finished posthumously for him by Tony Hendra. You get a good picture of the things that drove his success and his ways of thinking about comedy as a way of confronting society’s foibles. I came across a book of Shel Silverstein’s so that is next up. He’s always struck me as being a bit ‘out there’ so we’ll see how it goes. Should be fun.

A little crooning by Bryan Ferry from his latest “Olympia”…. scroll down and hit play. http://stereogum.com/543642/bryan-ferry-song-to-the-siren-feat-jonny-greenwood-david-gilmour-roxy-music-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/

Would any post be complete without a photo. Some have seen this one before as it was taken at the rehearsal for the wedding in Calgary there about 7 or 8 weeks ago. I like the lighting of the space.

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