Lain's Log

News of the day

September 30/11.

In all the Burton Cummings excitement yesterday, didn't get to write some big Kevio news! After 40 days in a wheelchair, my cousin, Kevan Staples, actually took his first few steps using crutches yesterday! (naturally, it had to be on the ONE day I didn't see him!)

Carrie with cousin Kevan

My sister, Carrie came to visit Kev and do the evening's "wine run". He couldn't give Carrie a demonstration of his new skills, because he's only allowed to walk if he has two nurses to help him out. But after some physio, he'll be able to do it on his own. Congrats Kev! You're on the road to recovery.

Carrie's "wine delivery technique" was different from mine. Instead of Henkell on ice in an insulated lunchbag, she brought him a fine Merlot, which could have passed for acai-blueberry-pomegranate vitamin water! Good one Cayr! Cheers Kev! Variety is the spice of life! I'll see you later today. (Be prepared for a "crutches photo op")!!

Meanwhile, Kate and I completed another step in the ongoing "Ryerson wrap-up".

Walkway to the campus

Doorway to the bookstore

We spent about 45 minutes in a massive lineup here a few weeks ago, to return the textbooks she bought, (but now doesn't NEED), only to discover we didn't have the proper paperwork to prove she's no longer a student at Ryerson, so we were refused a reimbursement for her books.

Nearly three weeks after Kate made the decision to pull out of the university to pursue many other interests, we finally got the "release" letter in the mail. We drove BACK to the bookstore to SHOW them the letter so we could get the refund.

But when we got to the cash desk, we were advised the bookstore needed to keep a COPY of this letter (which we were never told). I asked the cashier if he could photo copy it for us, (since they're a university bookstore with plenty of photo copying machines), but he said he couldn't do that and asked us to walk down the street to the copy shop and come back AGAIN with a second copy for him to keep!
Ai yi yi. What a rigmarole. Bureaucracy sucks.

On the way out the door of the bookstore, just steps away, I saw this office! (But since Kate is no longer a student, guess they couldn't make a copy for us)! We would have paid for it! But instead, we went over to the photo copy shop where a kind man made a quick copy and didn't even charge us the 19 cents!

FINALLY, we were able to go back to the bookstore, present the paperwork for them to KEEP, and get a refund of nearly a hundred bucks for the books. (one of the books they refused to take back because it's their policy not to accept used books. This particular book was bought USED).

At this point, I was so steamed! Just HAD it with all the crap, so asked Kate to return the books while I stayed outside to cool down!! Ever since cancer, my level of patience is at an all-time low. I kinda feel like Charlie Sheen when he said, "I'm dealing with fools and trolls."

Or more to the point, (when Charlie was at his craziest) and quipped, "I have one speed. I have one gear. - GO"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's ME these days - ONE speed - and everything IN me HATES it when somebody tries to slow me down!! Clear the decks and get OUT OF MY WAY!!!

I think I NEED this shirt!!

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Back from Burton!

September 30/11.

The Burton Cummings concert at Massey Hall was simply spectacular!

For a fanatic like me, it was everything you could ever want and much more.

I didn't realize the severe Burton withdrawal I've been languishing in and how badly I needed a heavy-duty fix! (uh-oh, now I think I'm caught in serious Cummings-addiction again!) He pulled out all the stops. At 63, his voice has never sounded better. He played keyboards - (duh), guitar, harmonica and flute (for Undun, of course!)

Two-and-a-half hours of all-Burton, all-the-time. You name it, he sang it, plus some fun additions, including a version of Mac the Knife (as good as Bobby Darin ever did it), Louie Louie, and a last-minute, short 'n sweet encore of Jiminy Cricket's

When You Wish Upon a Star. ("Nice one Burton! Thanks for the tribute! Signed, your pal, Jiminy!")

Last year, Burton was named an officer of the Order of Canada by then Governor General Michaelle Jean in Ottawa. He was teary-eyed about it!

On Saturday, he'll become the first person in Canadian history to be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame for the SECOND time! (once as a member of The Guess Who, and now, for his solo work). In MY opinion, he SOOOO deserves it!!) The induction will take place at the Elgin Theatre. I want to GO there on Saturday night and hang out to watch! - (yep, I know, still a teenager at heart!! - I think Burton is TOO!)

SEVERAL times, during his concert, Burton stressed, "I DON'T take these things for granted! I NEVER thought I'd be one of the LUCKY ones, who at 63, in relatively good health, would STILL be up here on stage, with audiences like THIS! If EVERYONE had audiences like YOU, there would NEVER be a bad show!!" (he made us ALL feel SO great!)

While waiting for Burton's show to begin, I was going f-ing CRAZY. I just have NO patience - at ALL! - (After breast cancer, can't seem to wait for ANYTHING anymore!! Time's a wastin')!! DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO NOW....BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't been THIS excited about a live show since Robin Williams' Weapons of Self Destruction Tour in 2008 (also at Massey Hall). And THEN guess what happened? Shortly after seeing Robin's show, he had to undergo heart surgery!

Was ready hours early for the Burton concert, and finally broke out the pink shoes for the occasion. LOL.

After the show, Sam bought me a Burton t-shirt outside Massey Hall for $10!

He asked if I wanted one and I was surprised to actually hear myself say, "Yes!"
(Good grief. Yep, Burton has me under his spell all over again - Might as well show it off with the kick-ass Marilyn Monroe shoes too! What the hell, right?)

A couple of quick notes about the concert. I only cried ONCE during the entire show - and wouldn't you know, it was during the song, "Laughing!" Ha ha! Hilarious. Why? A combo of reasons. The song was released when I was 14. I was nuts about it back then. To re-live him doing it over again, 40 years later, so perfectly, and to hear those moving lyrics, well, gak, just lost it.


I should laugh, but I cry,
Because your love has passed me by.
You took me by surprise;
You didn't realize
That I was waiting.

Time goes slowly, but carries on.
And now the best years have come and gone.
You took me by surprise,
I didn't realize
That you were laughing.

Burton talked very briefly about his current hit & miss relationship with Randy Bachman these days,

but sang Randy's praises for the many great hits he wrote and how fortunate he's been to have had the opportunity to perform them. What a team they were!

As for Burton's dearly departed dog, Toast, don't get me started.

Burton was wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with this pic of Toast. At one point, he opened his jacket, revealed the photo of Toast, told the story of his death and the pain he's been through and then, dedicated "Timeless Love" to his beloved dog. For the first time, I understood the lyrics, "It feels good even missing you." Burton told us, "Where ever Toast is now, I believe he thought this was a great show!"

After that, Burton declared, "Hey! This is not a eulogy! It's time to rock!" From that moment on, the show was flat-out rock 'n roll with no time for tears. He told us, "Thanks to YOU, this is the BEST I've felt since Sunday." (the night Toast passed away).

Back AT you Burton! Tonight was the best I'VE felt in a long time too!

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Burton Cummings!!

September 29/11.

Tonight, I'm going with Sam to see Burton Cummings perform at Massey Hall! It's been a long time since I've seen him LIVE on stage.

Burton in the early days!

Fell in love with his voice the first time I heard The Guess Who and all these decades later, he's still my favourite male singing voice. He's absolutely fantastic. Burton was just 19 when he became lead singer for The Guess Who. Now, he's 63 and sounds better than ever!

I was lucky enough to get to interview him many times during my years in radio, and later, at Global TV.

He knew me by name and was always generous with interview time and had the best rock stories! I remember I got the scoop about Burton's marriage to Cheryl DeLuca and got it on the air exclusively. That was a fun day. After we aired the story, it made headlines everywhere!

Interviewing a gorgeous, young Burton sometime back in my early CFTR (680 News) radio days! Yep, I was in love.

Burton sometimes dropped by the Global studios to chat with the late great Bob McAdorey on the News at Noon or Entertainment Desk, and even played for us!

Burton was a huge fan of Bob's because of his many years as a rock radio D.J. who played the hell out of The Guess Who when he ruled the airwaves at CHUM!! I took this photo during one of Burton's appearances. Bob was always so pleased to see him and blushed when Burton would rave about him on the air! I miss you Bob, so much.

I'm looking forward to hearing all his great songs (both from The Guess Who days and from his solo albums). Let's see - These Eyes, Laughing, No Time, American Woman, Stand Tall, I'm Scared, Break It To Them Gently, Dream of a Child - I hope they're all on the list, but it doesn't matter. ANYTHING he plays will be great.

Best part of the show is when Burton just sits at the piano, plays and sings, full out.

On Saturday, Burton will be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in a special cermony at the Elgin Theatre. Howie Mandel will host. Congrats Burton! It's about time!!

Earlier this week, Burton's beloved dog, Toast, passed away.

He's tweeted about it, saying:


Maybe Burton will talk about Toast tonight. So sad.

I'm sure he'll sing Sour Suite too. (that's Sam's favourite).

Don’t wanna listen to my telephone ring
Or sing ding-a-ling or talk about a thing ...
Leave me alone this morning.

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New year!

September 28/11.

Heading out for Rosh Hashanah dinner at my parents-in-laws' condo. Always a fun family time with lots of great food!

We're bringing purple flowers to match their new purple furniture! (not the flowers on the table - I'm KEEPING those!) Plus plenty of pop. - As I said yesterday, not much of a contribution, but it's all we were asked to bring! Everything else was already taken care of!

Of COURSE, made a stop to see Kevio first, to drop off you-know-what, and have a little visit, before heading to the festivities. Tomorrow, Kevan is going for more x-rays and after that, he'll soon find out when he can start thinking about beginning some physio and concentrate on being able to walk again! I'm rooting for you Kev!

OK, off to the in-laws condo now!

Time for the annual new years feast!
My bro-in-law, Neil in front. At the other table, way in back is my sister-in-law, Carolyn, then my son, Max and daughter, Kate.
Hallah & honey on the table - for a sweet year. (sure could use one!!)

My nephew, Sean Michaels, a talented writer, who just had an article published in Rolling Stone!

Here's a link to Sean's music blog, Said the Gramophone!

My husband, Sam (who prefers to remain off camera), was shooting some video of his Mum, (Jean Bornstein), talking about her New Year thoughts. That's my Dad-in-law, Ben Bornstein at the table.

My brother-in-law, Neil, has the honour of cutting the hallah!

Several members of the family just returned from a trip to Iceland, so we heard some amazing travel tales over dinner.

For the record, the meal included gefilte fish with horseradish, soup with noodles and kreplach, baked root vegetables, roast chicken and roast beef! And for dessert, fresh fruit, honey cake and banana/chocolate chip loaf! Haven't had this much food in a looooooooooooonnnnnnnnnng time! The weight is going up tomorrow!!

Delicious dinner Mum! Thanks for all you do for the family. And happy new year everyone!

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Shana Tova!

September 28/11.

Going to my parents-in-laws' place tonight to celebrate the new year. Mum always prepares a fantastic feast! Will be nice to see everyone and share all the delectable goodies including apples, hallah and honey for a sweet year!

I didn't get much accomplished except laundry, cleaning the house a bit, visiting Kevio and going grocery shopping. Bought some flowers, just because I needed them.

Later today, will pick up more flowers to take to the celebration as well as some pop. Not much of a contribution to the festivities, but that's all I've been asked to bring! Plus an extra chair! (The condo doesn't have enough seating for such a big crowd)!

I also met a nice couple outside the LCBO while buying Henkell for Kev (and me!) Their names are Juanita and Michael Fast.

We chatted and they explained to me, Juanita is Cree and Michael is Shuswap. They are engaged to be married soon.

They make beautiful native key chains, bracelets, necklaces, dream catchers and other trinkets out of colourful glass and wooden beads and sell them around town.

I bought a key chain with two bright blue feathers for Kate. (this is her fave shade!) So pretty, she might even find a way to wear it in her hair!

Kate has so many different styles and creates new looks every day!

Naturally, I think she's stunning!

And awesome!

And beautiful!

And a terrific model! (unlike her spazzed out Mum - just scroll down for proof of THAT!! LOL) - Our cat, Tru, looks thrilled here. (not!)

Meanwhile, Kate went for a job interview today. Hope she gets it!
Good luck Sweet!

Oh, and the other day, I was back out in front of Riverdale Park on Broadview Avenue, in my continuing quest to get a good portrait at sunset, with backlit hair.

So far, this one is the best I've managed to get, by sticking the camera on top of my car and taking an auto-shot. I'm using it as my Facebook status pic at the moment.

Another auto-shot attempt

At any rate, I met a young photographer named Mark Fung who was carrying a Nikon camera. We started talking and I asked if he would mind taking a photo using my camera. He agreed and then offered to take a few on his Nikon and email them to me! How cool is that!!! I told him about the blog and my ongoing futile pursuit of getting a decent backlit shot. He very kindly took a series of pics and later, emailed several. Mark is a very good photog, but sadly, I'm no model, - especially on a bad hair day!

Photo by Mark Fung

This one is the best of the bunch. Nice golden backlight Mark! Thanks so much for making me feel special at this outdoor "photo shoot" - "Work with me Baby, work with me!!" It was really fun, - (but NEXT time, I'm bringing a hairdresser)!


This is the pic I'm always trying to recreate. Taken by my husband, Sam, on a trip to Mexico in 2007. Sunsets there are stunning, so the backlighting is gorgeous! (Oh, and the Margueritas are great!) Cheers!

P.P.S. - Just got alerted in a message that it was my daughter, KATE who took the pic in Mexico, NOT Sam! (sorry about that!)

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