Lain's Log

Summer sadly slipping away

July 27/14.

Hey there, all of my tiny group of followers! - Still trying to catch up on "no-blog-entries-for-10-months".

Ready to plan a day of activities above here, working both IN and OUT of the house. Never a dull moment.

Crying on the inside, but as Dick Van Dyke ("Albert F. Peterson") sings in Bye Bye Birdie, - Put on a Happy Face! -  - (with Janet Leigh as his hopelessly-in-love-girlfriend, "Rosie DeLeon").

Another "exciting" visit to Loblaws - (think I shop here about 4 times a week). Just can't CARRY all the cases of pop, bags of cat litter, and so much other heavy stuff in ONE trip. They know me WELL - (and by NAME) at this Broadview/Danforth location! Some of them even remember me from the Global TV days, even though I left the place 12 years ago! - They have good memories! - (So do I)!!!

Most of the soap fanatics recall the daily Trials & Tribulations & Soap Dish coverage. - Especially about
Y & R's Eric Braeden - ("Victor Newman").

Those were the fun days! - (of our LIVES?)

(Oh, - sorry, wrong daytime drama. - "Like sands through the hour glass"),

- well, - YOU know. - (Joseph Mascolo - the evil  "Stefano DiMera". - "The Phoenix rises again"!)  

Max's friend, Missy, dyed his hair ultra-blonde. (now he looks like my REAL son!) LOL. - Life is better as a blonde. (or so the commercials say).

Kate, Max and I went to see the nostalgic film Rebel Without A Cause at the Dundas/Yonge Cineplex, using movie passes left over from Christmas - (given to us by Sam). Tickets only 6 bucks a piece. Natalie Wood shouts (above), here, "Start your engines"!

Before we left, I tried to copy her famous pose,

(in the same colour as James Dean's famous red jacket).

Kate also dressed in red - (with PERFECT matching red lipstick)! - How does she DO it? - I've been applying makeup for decades and could NEVER get my lips to look like THAT! -

and Max enjoyed the flick too! -  I think he's a rebel WITH a cause! (but you'd have to ask HIM to be sure)!

Breast cancer check-ups continue at Princess Margaret Hospital - plus annual meetings with my heart doctor, (somewhere around Adelaide and Simcoe). Took forever with all the construction insanity, but finally found a lot to park in. - Cost a friggin' fortune. - Well - health vs. fortune $$ - guess it's WORTH it, right??

Thought I was LATE, but ended up waiting 40 minutes before undergoing another full examination. Everything A-OK. Blood pressure ridiculously good, heart rate fine - but anxiety - unexplainably outta control. (What else is new? - Getting used to it). Doc wants to see me again next year. Alrighty then.

The next day, Kate and I travelled by TTC - (through tons more construction troubles),

back to the Dundas/Yonge theatre to see The Nance, (8 bucks per ticket, using gift cards again)! - for one of our musical faves, - Nathan Lane. - (The Producers, Guys & Dolls).

It's a killer emotional performance in which he plays "Chauncey Miles," - a gay burlesque performer in 1930s New York. The film was shot directly from the Broadway stage over three days in front of live audiences. It's gut-wrenching to watch, as you see the actors sweating, crying, noses running, and not a hanky in sight! So brave. Nathan is brilliant.

He's also an Emmy nominee this year for his role as "Pepper Saltzman" in the ABC sitcom Modern Family.
(***This pic taken at the PBS 2014 Summer TV Critics Association event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 22nd by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP).

Nathan as "Chauncey" in The Nance.

Nathan told reporters, "I'm hoping I'm a sentimental (Emmy) choice, since I've been nominated six times and never won." He's up against some tough competition - Jimmy Fallon and Louis C.K.

When asked if there could be a future spinoff TV series of his Modern Family character, his response was, "I don't know if I will ever see that spinoff -"A Dash of Pepper." - Ha!

His performance in The Nance, earned Nathan another Tony nomination this year.

  1. Nathan with co-star Lewis J. Stadlen

On October 10th, Nathan will repeat his Broadway role

in a broadcast of the play on PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center" as part of the series'  40th anniversary season.

Can't wait to see the performance again on TV. (wish we could have seen it on Broadway, but we missed the final show by ONE day on our last trip to NYC). - As my sister, Carrie would say, -  "DANG it"!

Lots more summer catching up in the NEXT entry too. (and yes, Jacob Switzer and Emmett Webb, - you'll be featured again, along with Max's solo album debut)! Got some nice shots of the two of you!

I also spoke to "Master Photog", Duke, who says, he got some fab pics too. (Wanna SEE them ASAP Duke)!

Cheers gang, and to all - enjoy the last few golden weeks of July and August!

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Max's rockin' record debut on Saturday night!

July 25/14.

Since I stopped writing my blog for so long, I've missed quite a few "events" here. - For example - Max's final day of high school! - Congrats!

He took the "Victory Lap" - hanging in at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts for a fifth year, - (or what we USED to call - GRADE 13)!!! - In some ways, he wishes he'd made a different decision and moved on to other things more quickly. But, often these things happen for a reason. - (guess we won't KNOW the reason until the future, unless we have a crystal ball, -

or at the VERY least, a Magic 8 ball).

After applying (and being accepted) to several colleges, he's chosen Centennial's Music Production program for September. We're now dealing with the totally insane chaos of RESP forms, paperwork, discussions, arguments, course selection and on & on. Don't know about OTHER parents, but I'VE found it extremely, exceedingly exhasperating to work with KFF - Knowledge First Financial, (the RESP company formerly known as USC Education Savings Plans Inc.) After diligently paying into that company, year after year for Kate and Max's university and/or college tuitions since 1999, finally, we require the money, but there's SO much rigmarole, it's impossible to get a red cent released to you until the first day of school - or even LATER! The only option is to dig up the moolah yourself, then, sit around, twiddling your thumbs, till the cheques finally roll in. In the case of Kate, (for her second year), we received two cheques. - But not until October and December! (classes, of course, began in September). Thanks for the speedy transactions KFF!

In the meantime, Max has just completed months of work on his first solo album.


It's called The Palindrome Years 
Album art work by Duke M. Ringrose, Will Spratley and Ben Ball!

The project will be revealed at the Smiling Buddah - 961 College Street, - Saturday July 26th at 6 p.m. Opening the show? - Jacob Switzer of HeadSpace and Emmett Webb from Ghost Daze. Max goes on at 7:45. - Admission - 5 bucks. Max plays almost ALL the instruments AND performs vocals, with generous support from friends -  Missy (background vocals), Alex (guitar/background vocals), Jelly (background vocals), Emmett (guitar), Colin (keyboards), Jack (guitar) and Nick (guitar). - I'll be "Roadie Mum", schlepping equipment and band members. Can't WAIT to see the show!

Above (left) Jacob, and (right) Emmett.

Max has pulled off some 8-hour-long mixing sessions in his basement studio,

using his Dell laptop

(complex & colourful!)

as well as his own creative hand-written board, listing songs and instrumentations. It's all ready to go now and the CDs set for sale on Saturday night! Come join in for a terrific evening of music and to support up and coming rock stars!

Break a leg Max! May this be the start of something BIG!!!

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Treasures & Trash

July 15/14.

Time to purge? - (ya THINK)?????

                                               Sale of Mum's house back in 2011

It's been close to four years since our much-loved Mum, Jill Loring, passed away, and still, many of her belongings remain stashed in my sister, Carrie's garage - and in mine. When the man who bought her home, (whose name, believe it or not, is DANG), - requested the house closing date be moved UP by two months, we suddenly had to get cracking with the clean-out, but ran out of time and eventually had no option but to shove EVERYTHING outta the "hidey hole" (as we proclaimed it).

With the time frame dealt to us, we could only think of cramming what was left into our own garages.
We believed it would remain there for only a couple of weeks!

Little did we know, it would be stowed away all this time, rained and snowed on - (despite being covered in plastic), and that MUCH of it would be damaged or destroyed by devious, desperate, ruinous, ruthless, zany, zombie-eyed ravenous raccoons!

With all the many jobs Carrie has, she somehow managed to shoehorn in a day to come to my place to help sort through the stuff, ditch the trash and salvage the treasures. Naturally, we had to start with tea and a few goodies to fortify ourselves for a heavy workload of intensive hours.

My sweet son, Max agreed to help us, carting some of the bigger and heavier items to the front of the house to go out in the garbage - like this very old lawn mower and broken shutter.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the mess, we discovered an old silver box, given to our Grampa, Arthur Burridge, back when he worked as head of the physical education department at McMaster University in Hamilton. Inside the box were several items, including a sparkly turquoise vintage broach, which was one of Mum's favourites, - and - lo and behold, her wedding ring on a gold chain! For years, Mum insisted the ring had been stolen by a burglar while I took her shopping one afternoon. He kicked in her backdoor, rushed in, rifled through some of her things, then took off again when we happened to arrive home while the man was still inside. Nothing seemed to have been taken, but she couldn't locate the ring and was convinced the robber got it. Apparently not. I was in tears because I couldn't tell Mum, "It's HERE"!!

On the down side, we suffered some losses too. Mum was a beautiful writer who kept hundreds of notebooks and journals of thoughts, ideas, drawings, interesting quotes, dreams, scribblings, words of pride about us and her three grandchildren, diaries of the day's events, comments about movies, plus stories and poems she conjured up. Sadly, raccoons had gotten into some of the bags and cardboard boxes of her many years of writings. They chose THIS one to poop in. (Now THESE are tough critter critics who apparently believed her work was crap)! As you might expect - the precious journals (above) had to be tossed.

We were able to rescue tons of other notebooks, but many were damp and somewhat mouldy, so had to be dried out on shelves

and picked through one at a time from the floor, after being unloaded.

This one in particular was unsalvageable. Sheesh!

Mum suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. Among her belongings, we uncovered this note she wrote to herself to try and calm her fears. I wish I knew for sure what was scaring her, but I'm convinced it was thoughts she'd written in a notebook, hidden away in that dreaded drawer and did not want to remember ever again. So sad.

Couldn't help laughing at some of the photos of Carrie and me as kids. I never knew, but Carrie told me, "I always HATED playing the boy"!  On Halloween, Mum would make our costumes. This particular year, I was Cleopatra, but Carrie was stuck with portraying a cossack! (albeit a very cute and well-dressed one)!

At some point, Mum got it into her head that we could both be child models and coaxed us into posing for these black and white shots! Dig those crazy bangs on both of us! (as for me, it was the pre-blonde days, a very long time ago)! Needless to say, the photo agencies did NOT come banging on our door! (although later in life, we were BOTH selected as Sunshine Girls in The Toronto Sun on page 3)! So maybe she was a little bit right.

Also found this great Christmas shot of cousin Kevio (Kevan Staples - "Mr. Rough Trade") as a teenager along with his Auntie Jill - our Mum, at one of her prettiest stages in life. Kev was holding his family's little dog, Coco.

This was among my fave photos we found. I've often said, if I could have three days of my life to live over again, I'm 100 percent sure one of them would be a Christmas Day at our grandparents' home and antique shop (known as Century House). Here are the three musketeers (left to right), me, Kevio (our only first cousin whom we adored then, and still do now), and Carrie. - Christmas Eve in our pjs, our stockings hung up by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. Christmas Eve was pretty much always the most exciting night of the year. We couldn't sleep at all and always wanted to rush out to the living room at 6 a.m. to see what Santa had left us. Mum, (who was SO tired from staying up most of the night to help old St. Nick), insisted we stay in our makeshift rooms out in the workshop till 7. - (Kevan usually slept in till noon).

At one point, we began to wonder if this clean-out project would EVER be completed! In fact, we finally had to stop when the job was only about half done. We took the garbage out, went through hundreds of old slides, keeping the good ones and reluctantly parting with those completely ruined. NEXT time Carrie visits, we'll tackle the old paintings lovingly created by the talented artists in our family,

and figure out what to do with the old dollshouse - (an heirloom to US as it originally belonged to our lovely late cousin, Ellie, who passed away at the age of 19 of cancer). Somehow, we inherited the adorable little handmade house and mini furniture. How can we EVER part with it?

To celebrate and toast (at least a half-done job) well done, we took my daughter Kate with us, (Max was busy), to our neighbourhood hangout The Friendly Greek for dinner on the Danforth. It was nice enough to sit outside. OPA!! - Good work Cayr and thanks for inspiring the purge (at long last)! be continued.

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