Lain's Log

Boobalicious! - (that's what my daughter, Kate, labelled this photo! - ha ha!)

April 27/12.

It's the one year anniversary of the day I had breast cancer surgery at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Maybe I should wear pink today.

This pic was taken by my cousin, Marilyn, one day before the lumpectomy. (If I had more guts, I'd show the whole shot)!

Thank you to everyone who played a role in helping me survive. Glad to be here!

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Birthdays, plays, fun, friends, goodbyes & chocolate shakes!

April 23/12.

Happy birthday to my fabulous daughter, Kate who is 20-years-old today!

She's a beauty and has a style all her own. Just last week, she got accepted at Ryerson for their Journalism program. Congrats Sweet! I wish you a lifetime of happiness, as that's what have you've given me since the day I first saw you! This shot was taken after Kate and I went shopping at the Eaton Centre to spend a gift card she received from her generous Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Neil for

La Senza. (one of our fave stores!) We had a fun afternoon together,

saw a lot of pigeons on the way to Dundas & Yonge,

ate at the massive Eaton Centre Urban Courtyard and checked out the colourful Froshberg Gelato stand! Sampled the banana flavour.

Then looked at more bright colours when Kate wanted to stop by LUSH

for some sultry scents. (They had vanilla bombs, but I didn't buy one. Not sure how I feel about bombing the bath!)
We also went to several clothing stores including H & M and Forever 21 where I got a kick out of reading the graphic tees! (LOVE this one)

Would have bought this one, (since it's true), but it looked terrible on me.

Right on!

This one? Also very true.

In the end, all I bought was some sexy stuff at La Senza, before heading to pick up a hot Holter monitor (yuck). The cardiologist wants to check out the heart palpitations I've been having. After hearing my story of love and loss, cancer, Intensity Entity and on and on, the Doc told me I'd be able to relax a little more if I would just let go of the past. (he was more of a shrink than a heart doctor! - Or maybe he is psychic!) He happened to hit on the thing I've NEVER been able to do, say goodbye and let go or release the past. He told me if I want to move into the future, I have to do it. Easier said than done, Doc! Maybe they have a pill for this. (I just kept thinking about that hilarious Robin Williams routine,

about a drug we all need called "Fukitol!" Sometimes I think I should buy STOCK in that drug, Robin!)

When I wasn't running around getting re-wired for sound (after accidentally cutting one of the wires - see blog entry from April 20th),
had a few other more pleasant events and visits over the past week.

In Orillia, went to a great antique store called Carousel Collectables

They're really into nostalgia in that town! (EMBRACING THE PAST) - antiques, old MM photos,

vintage Richie Rich and Captain America comic books,

and the old Orillia Opera House, built in 1895. (the comedy Born Yesterday was playing there, but no hours available to go see it. Only had time for Jerry Lewis!)

The Opera House is undergoing some renovation, restoration and rebuilding.

Also had a great time this past week seeing my two old Seneca College pals,

Jim Stockley and Rick Dade. (in this pic, they were cracking me up, pretending to be those two old geezers

in the TD bank commercial who yak about banking hours being extended!)

Rick and I ended up working together for years at Global TV when I was a reporter there and he was a cameraman. Covering any story with him was always a blast. He has a great attitude and that ever-fab sense of humour.

It was kind of a fluke that we all met. Jim and Rick were a few years older than me. They'd been doing other jobs after high school, but decided to join the radio/TV course at Seneca in their 20s. I was 19 when I met them. They became the campus comedy duo and always had everyone in stitches. We were only together for two semesters, but, it was a life-changing time for me, (and for ALL of us in the late Mike Monty's phenomenal classes. He helped steer us in the right direction). I've always felt very lucky to have met and worked with Jim & Rick,  and man, they SURE made coming to school in the morning a whole lot easier. 

I often think of that unforgettable line Hawkeye says to B.J. in the final episode of M*A*S*H* - (Goodbye, Farewell & Amen), when he tells him. " I can't IMAGINE what this place would've been like if I hadn't found YOU here"! - Same goes for me when I recall the wild comic antics of Rick & Jim. They were the best, led the way and kept us all going.

To my shock, Jim never did enter the world of media. Instead, he became a conductor with CP Rail! This pic was taken outside the Detroit Eatery on the Danforth, (where we all had lunch, including their amazing chocolate milkshakes served in the old-time silver shakers). It was the first time I'd seen Jim in 30 years! He is now a grandfather! Gak. One second before the above pic was shot, I surprised Jim by suddenly ripping his glasses off his face,

so he'd look more like he did three decades ago! - Above photo, taken at the wedding of our friend, John Axelson to Lynda George, back in 1976! (left to right, Jim, me, Axelson)

Here's a cute one of Jim (back in the stubby beer bottle days!) - Photo by Rick Dade!

Jim retired from CP in 2007, after knee replacement surgery. (jumping off trains for decades will do that to you!) -

and I hear it was a great send-off party!

Here's toasting you Jim, (with thick chocolate shakes!) May you always be happy and keep laughing!

As for YOU, Ricky, thanks for arranging the get-together! Always fun to see you. Hope your eye trouble clears up VERY soon. Getting older is tough!

Yesterday, Kate and I went to see a wonderful play called The Exquisite Hour 

at Factory Theatre.

It stars Ted Dykstra (of Two Pianos, Four Hands fame),

and Daniela Vlaskalic,
The show is written by Dora award winning playwright Stewart Lemoine

 and directed by Ron Pederson. Kate and I became fans of his after seeing his very funny performance as "Brad" in the CanStage production of The Rocky Horror Show a few years ago.

The Exquisite Hour sure lives up to its name and had me in tears several times. Thanks to Kate for telling me  we HAD to see this show!!

Afterwards, we paid a visit to Auntie Ray and told her all about the production. She's hanging in there at Christie Gardens and says in some ways, watching the residents there is kinda like witnessing a non-stop, ongoing play every day! Love you Auntie Ray!

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Backwards working (again)

April 20/12.

Couldn't find it in my soul (or schedule) to write
since Jerry Lewis last Friday the 13th. Giving the scoop now to catch up. (Yep, working backwards again).

(or, more to the point, like Jerry's 1980 movie, - Hardly Working).

My son, Max, took this shot today, sporting my hot, sexy new bling - a holter monitor and flashy electrode patches. So attractive. So De-lightful. So De-licious. So De-lovely. (not)!

The sensitive monitor records your heart's electrical activity. I'm HIGH voltage even at the worst of times, so the contraption should have NO problem picking up "Good Good Good"/(Bad?) vibrations. I've been experiencing crazy palpitations for months, indicating, - what?.......hmmmmmmmm, I'm stressed? Overwhelmed? Freaked? Losin' it? Hitting a GPS brick wall? Jumping the shark? Letting my freak flag fly? Outta control? Over-worked? Under-paid? Intensity Entity-attacked? Heartbroken? Living in The Twilight Zone? (only The Shadow, or maybe Rod Serling, knows for sure)!

"Oh, I KNOW FOR SURE Lain. But I'll never tell. No spoilers here. - For now, you are always welcome to listen to my theme music. It explains a LOT. Love, your good friend, Rod."

Sit-on-edge-of-seat. Cue creepy music. (LOVE it!!!!)

I want a PRETTY-in-pink Princess Margaret pic, - so I'll use this old, (last) summer-y, gauz-y, float-y one.(OK with YOU??)

- (instead of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly REAL deal). Gak. This is how I ACTUALLY looked when I went to the cardiologist's office to get hooked up to the maniacal monitor.

I was instructed NOT to take a shower for 48 hours while wearing this darn-fangled thing.  WTF??
YOU MUST BE OUTTA YOUR COTTEN-PICKEN' MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is just NOT an option!

Anyone who knows me, knows showerless days are NOT possible. Just NO way. So, I wrapped myself in a massive clear plastic bag to protect the machinery - (and if you think I would reveal my face under the towel, you know me even LESS!) Like The Elephant Man, I covered up, washed off the industrial strength waterproof mascara and eye makeup, then scrubbed my hair using the shower hose over the bathtub. Such a beautiful sight. Ha ha! (in situations like this, despite palpitations & anxiety, you MUST keep your sense of humour, or die).

But I had a bit of a problem. Upon attempting to remove the plastic bag, it was stuck to my skin with water. I have NO patience. Tried to tear/rip/yank it off, but no luck. So grabbed a pair of scissors to CUT the bag off. In the process, managed to slice one of the holter monitor wires! Good God.

I was all alone, but SOOOOOOOOOOOO embarrassed.  I felt like my comic idol, Lucy, stuck with the loving cup on her head. WHHHAT TO DO????????

I quickly called Grace, (my cardiologist's secretary) to reveal and admit my tale of woe. She hesitated. The phone was suddenly nothing but dead air. I could hardly breathe, (and my palpitations had reached NEW HEIGHTS!!! How ironic). She told me, "In all my years here, this has NEVER happened before." I said I believed her. She then hit me with the fact that this elaborate piece of equipment is EXTREMELY expensive. (knew that too). She said she didn't have a clue what to tell me to do! I said I would come in the next morning, give her back the monitor and maybe they could salvage some of the earth-shaking, palpitating data, and give me a new monitor to start all over again. (Ai carumba, another 48 hours of monitoring!!??)

That's what she did.

By 10:15 a.m., I was home again, feeling like an idiot - (or the star of a new sit-com). I don't think a comedy writer could even come up with THIS storyline!

Worse than tripping over an ottoman a la Dick Van Dyke,

 or sliding hysterically through the door like Kramer into Jerry's apartment!

But a good friend of mine talked me through the insane mishap, told me to calm down, cool off, shut up, visit the wailing wall in Israel, forgive myself,

cut, print, move on!

Later, I ran into Aubrey Bolton, (one of my blog musical mascots). His ever-present bro, Dana, was nowhere to be found, but Aubrey played me a tune, I bought him a beer & he asked about the electrode on my neck. Told him I'm stressed,  (then thought, I'M STRESSED? How about HIM?- out on the street)! He explained he has girlfriend troubles, saying he gives her EVERYTHING, but it's never enough, so he moved out. One of his fans, a guy named Jerry, (LOVE that name), took our pic together here. Aubrey divulged to me he's now living with a friend who owns a computer, so at long last, he can look up my blog and see ALL the pics I've posted of the Bolton Bros!! (I'm silent prez of their fanclub)!

More to come.
I can remove the holter montior at 10 a.m. Sunday. (and NO ONE will stop me from washing my hair).

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Jerry mania!

April 14/12.

I never imagined I'd get another chance to see my childhood idol, Jerry Lewis again in my lifetime, but it happened at Casino Rama in Orillia on Friday night - (the 13th - always a lucky day for me). Sincere thanks to my old pal, Media Relations manager Jenna Hunter for generously offering to comp me in, despite my strong request to accept my credit card number! Without her major league box office clout, could NEVER have had such a fabulous close-up view of Jerry's 86-year-old antics. Haven't been this excited about a show in years!

Audience members were advised not to take photographs, but this is pretty much how he looked at the show. Just terrific!

Beforehand, around 6 p.m., checked into the Stone Gate Inn to get changed for dinner & show.

It's a lovely, all-suites hotel. (this is the pretty lobby)

Then, (dressed in black velvet), over to the Grape & Olive for a delicious 6:45 p.m. pre-show dinner.

For those who think I don't eat, - I DO! Ordered the maple butter seared salmon, sweet potato fries and broccoli. (didn't have the sauces...a bit too much), but everything else was incredible!

On the way out of the restaurant, the sun was just setting. Received a text from Kate, saying she's been accepted into Ryerson's journalism course for September! Wow. Friday the 13th rules again! Congrats Kate! Fabulous news.

Next, over to Casino Rama,

 to look for a parking space. (not easy to find)!

The slot machines were calling out to me! Loud & clear. But it was almost showtime.

And Jerry was calling louder!!!!! "Hey LAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINEY"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And when Jerry yells your name,
and commands you to be an audience member, I'm afraid slot machines are the losers!

This shot was taken just moments before entering the showroom to see Jerry, for REAL!!!

My seat number? 13!!!!!!!!! - At exactly 9 p.m., 16 orchestra members made their way to the stage, and then, we heard, "Ladies & gentlemen, - Jerry Lewis!" (somebody sent me this horrible shot). When I saw him step out from stage right, my heart was racing and I think I led the standing ovation. It took several minutes before the applause subsided and Jerry was finally able to launch into a series of jokes. Sometimes, sadly, he forgot the punchlines altogether, admitting to one and all, getting old sucks, big time.

He had me caught directly and dead centre between laughter & tears throughout the entire performance, discussing his health woes,

his memories of great times with Rat Pack pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. & Frank Sinatra,

and the longtime special relationship he shared with stage & screen friend/partner & "surrogate brother", Dean.

He showed clips from the past, including the infamous surprise 1976 MDA telethon reunion with Dean, (set up by Ol' Blue Eyes). Not a dry eye in the house on that day!

I'd been hoping against hope he'd perform CUTE from Cinderfella (my all-time favourite Jerry scene), but since it's SO physically challenging, I didn't expect it would happen. However, Jerry delighted everyone when he called for a bar stool, sat down, and recreated his famous typewriter scene from Who's Minding the Store? (1963).

I never saw him perform it LIVE before, so it was a real treat. Just beyond phenomenal. No, it didn't quite have the inane energy of this unforgettable movie version, but I DEFY any other 86-year-old to EVER do it better!

Jerry invited audience members to approach microphones, set up in the aisles, to ask him questions. He tried to verbally tackle about 40 queries. (None screened or rehearsed). Most turned out to be requests for autographs or photos, which didn't thrill him in the least. But about 8 fans asked thoughtful and legit questions, receiving kind and intriguing responses in return. (autograph seekers were comically threatened or asked to take a hike, in true ornery, combative Jerry fashion). Look out!

I left the showroom in an emotional state, feeling I won't see Jerry in person ever again. Worth the trip to Orillia, for sure. (My late Uncle Ev used to say, "Once you're in with Lainey, you're in for LIFE").
It's true.

Before departing the casino, I played 2 cent slot machines for a few minutes (made 8 bucks in the process).
Then bought two items in one of the gift shops - a sparkly blue necklace and a hand-crafted stone, containing a colourful, glittering dragonfly and the word WISH carved on the side of the rock. - To quote George Harrison in A Hard Days Night, they "loom large in my legend." (Dragonflies, I mean). Will explain why some other time.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Craig Ferguson was patiently waiting for me - on a mega flatscreen TV in the living room, (ha ha!)

and on ANOTHER flat screen TV in the bedroom!

Made myself right at home, throwing clothes all over the place,

filling the bathroom with every product I could possibly drag here from Toronto, then taking a hot & bubbly Jacuzzi,

using the mini-kitchenette to make a drink,

peeking in thru the fab French doors to the large comfy bed, (with a chocolate left on the sheets!),

finding a fluffy white robe in the closet & wearing it after the Jacuzzi, - and then,

back to the laughs with Craig & special guest

Sean Hayes ("Jack" of Will and Grace fame),

(who plays Larry in the new Three Stooges movie - Oh, a wise guy, eh?) - Why I oughta see you on the big screen real soon!
As for YOU, Jerry, - wherever you are,

cheers and thanks for ALL the laughs! What a night!

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