Saturday, June 22, 2013

Under Attack… and Loving It 

Under Attack… and Loving It! v2
I reserve the right to leave this image unexplained.

“It's summer in the city.”
Tonight, summer arrived in a big pimped-out super-stretch white limo with gold trim and white leather interior. A pair of long smooth tan legs periscoped from the moon roof. Jet black fresh tires roiled pavement puddles, rippling reflected neon stripes that rolled beneath the moon-dyed silvern clouds. A canopy of dark leaves heaved above the radiant concrete. It's summer in the city. This is the season when youth attacks, as the grownups rock from their turrets and lean on railings in a nostalgic reverie. So that's the way this play list goes - from high energy to soulful dark sky watching. In summer, the whole world feels young again. Let the kids play.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Ride On 

Just over a week ago I rode in the Ride to Conquer Cancer which benefits the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Luckily, over 220 kilometres I didn't have a single "mechanical" and only a couple of times did I have to tell my legs to "shut up". Hopefully, this video above will give some insight on what the ride was like.

The work of the people at Princess Margaret and advancements they've made in the treatment of cancer have been remarkable but there is still a lot to be done. That's why this ride is important. That's why the money everybody gave is important.

Years ago a friend asked me if I cared about money, and I said, "Yes, yes I do."

He asked, "Why? Money can't buy you happiness? It can't buy you love?"

I knew my answer then, and I know it now. Money buys freedom. But it buys more than that. Money buys the resources we need to find new treatments and fund research. I think it was Pierre Burton who wrote about the coercion of poverty, and if funding or lack thereof is one of the things coercing how we cure a disease, that seems to be the easiest of many complex problems to solve.

The total amount raised in this year's ride was over $19 million. It's said to be the largest fundraising event in Canada. While I was enjoying myself out on the open road, I also enjoyed meeting so many other riders, some far more experienced than me, and some just starting out. It was a privilege and humbling and I'm glad I was able to do it with the help of everyone who contributed.

Thanks again, again and again.


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Wet, She's a Star 

Esther Williams wowed man and Mer-man alike with her athletic hour glass figure and classic good looks
“Wet, she's a star. Dry, she ain't.”
Esther Williams, the queen of Technicolor watery musical extravaganzas, has died. One can only assume Ryan Lochte, the American Olympic medalist, dreams of stardom of the likes of Williams or Johnny Weissmuller though I don't know if Lochte's charisma is enough to make up for his lack of any dry land talents. Williams on the other hand, never had any greater thespian aspirations than looking great in a one-piece. She herself was said to have enjoyed Fanny Brice's put down, "Wet, she's a star, dry she ain't." which was apparently aimed at Eleanor Holm, and not Ms. Williams. That unpretentious nature and her beauty were a winning combination.

It warms the heart to know Esther Williams lived to 91 though maybe her movie success didn't translate to happy marriages (see the New York Times piece). Yet, as she exited the lime light relatively young, she left a treasure of youthful images rather than watching her in some slow public decline. When I think of that smile and those gams - that totally went up to here! (he said gesturing up to his neckline), well, lets say it warms more than my heart.

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Cruelest Month, The Musical 


The Cruelest Month by Peter Rogers on Grooveshark

To provide a salve to the damaged soul, I put together this playlist of tracks that seemed to sum up the strangeness of last April. To be sure we've moved on. Since April, the Boston bombers have been killed or apprehended while their victims have begun to piece their damaged lives back together. The mayor of Toronto has been accused of smoking crack cocaine (though a co-worker rightly points out that Rob Ford is far too fat to be a crack addict), "super" tornados have ravaged the mid-west with frightening ferocity killing not only residents but respected storm-chasers, Conservative senators dodged one scandal only to step into another and one bad news story piled on top of another.

Well, hell, that's life. That's when we find refuge in art, isn't it? I sank into a theatre and watched two trifling flights of fantasy and laughed through a season of comedies. Tonight I removed a failing bike computer with something like 2400 km on it and I'm charging a new one as I write this. Funny, but I can't seem to just throw out the old one. Despite being digital, it feels like a record of my meagre biking – it's actually the second one of that make - I think the previous one, since misplaced, had about 1200 km frozen on its display.

Yet you really do have to start anew. Tomorrow's another day. Get back on your horse and ride off into another sunset. I think there's a scientific phrase for the human ability to put bad memories out of your mind and just get on with it, but for the life of me, I can't recall it. I've moved on.

Here's the Rdio Playlist - for those subscribed to that service:

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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Seen in May 

Alone again, naturally. Image via

Don't April showers bring May flowers? The city has felt more soggy than blossoming which might be why I sought out simpler pleasures. The month started with beauty, which led to quirky, then spooky, followed by techy but went quiet near the end. I sought out anything easy on the eyes and/or fun. Pure and simple fun. On the long weekend, I even went for a good old fashioned double matinée which I haven't done in about two years when I went for a triple. I aslo watched three classics I had put off in the past. Seeing those film classics seemed not only good for the soul but just "good". I guess they are classics for a reason. Watching those older films combined with a TIFF movie trivia night got me thinking about getting back to seeing more challenging movies (not that you'll find anything challenging in this list). I'm planning on dumping my cable plan soon and I hope that will mean more quality viewing – though who can say, there's plenty of pop in our culture and probably more fizz in our films. Read more »

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