May 2018 22

Writers who don’t ever write have to admire writers who do. I’m a garage rock brat at heart, and Courtney Barnett is an musician I’d never heard til the other day, but after the opening chords, I immediately perked up and asked ‘Who the hell’s this?’. 

City Looks Pretty
Lyrics – Courtney Barnett

 

The city looks pretty when you been indoors
For 23 days I’ve ignored all your phone calls
Everyone’s waiting when you get back home
They don’t know where you been, why you gone so long
Friends treat you like a stranger and
Strangers treat you like their best friend, oh well
Spare a thought for the ones that came before
All in a daze bending backwards to reach your goal

Sometimes I get sad
It’s not all that bad
One day, maybe never
I’ll come around

The city takes pity on your injured soul
And heavenly prose ain’t enough good to fill that hole
Everyone’s soaked in animosity
It’s vicious in winter, you never say what you mean
Friends treat you like a stranger and
Strangers treat you like their best friend, oh well
Wakin’ up to another dismal day
You got a ways to go, you oughta be grateful

Sometimes I get mad
It’s not half as bad
Pull yourself together
And just calm down

I’ll be what you want oh when you want it
But I’ll never be what you need
And the city looks pretty from where I’m standing…

 

May 2018 13

The emails I get are all worded slightly similar leading up to today, Mother’s Day.

‘Celebrate Mom’, or ‘Get mom something special’, or ‘The perfect gift for mom’. Open them and there are deals for a gadget from Apple or a piece of jewelry or maybe a restaurant that somehow got me on their mailing list.

In the year after my mother died, I had to resist replying with a terse email back saying ‘Fuck off, she’s dead. Show some empathy dammit!’. Didn’t they understand? How could they be so mean?

I’m over that stage now. Yay. But I’ve come to a startling truth for me about Mother’s Day. My anger didn’t come from not having my mother around anymore. It actually came from never being ‘mothered’ by her. And never really knowing what it was like to have a caring, compassionate, harbour in the storm, always rooting for you, kind of mother.

I was angry.

The truth is: Not every mother is a ‘mother’. Some people just have shitty mothers.

Mother’s Day can be hard on people. Whether you have your mother still and are estranged from her, or maybe you didn’t know her, or maybe you lost a child, or maybe you can’t ever be a mother, or maybe, like in my case – you just had a mother who wasn’t good at it.

Long story, but I have come to understand that it wasn’t my mother’s fault. You can’t pass on what you don’t have knowledge of to being with. I could say she tried her best. But let’s be honest – sometimes, someone’s best just sucks.

Luckily, I had some very amazing people who did ‘mother’ me, and probably recognized that I needed a bit of mothering. Mothers of girlfriends, my 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Bateson (shout out – love you still Ms. Susan Miller who became Mrs. Bateson – what happened to you?), family friends, neighbours, Aunts. And men, too. Stand up men. Don’t be afraid to be a mother, too. Find your tender side, dammit.

The point is, today is a day to celebrate mothering in general I think. Those who know how to show love, help guide someone, bring out the best in them, make them believe in themselves, and are always there for a kind word and encouragement.

‘Mother’ is a title that has nothing to do with gender, giving birth, being related by blood, or your age. It’s about love. And yes, I want to barf a bit in my mouth when I type that. But it’s true.

Here’s to all the mothers. And be thankful for those who fulfill the role.

 

May 2018 08

My real anger today is actually over the discovery that the Ontario PCs hired actors to portray supporters of Doug Ford and another candidate at last night’s debate. But I’ll save that for later. This is about the other thing bugging me today… Sports. And the news that Roberto Osuna, Blue Jays closer has been arrested and charged with domestic assault here in Toronto.

I am a recovering addict from loving sports.

Sports was good to me. My fandom started when I was 7 and my dad took me to my first Toronto Blue Jays game. The hot dogs. People high-fiveing me. Permission to scream my head off in the bleachers at Exhibition Stadium. Time with dad. Of course I got hooked. I had no chance.

And over the years, I bought more and more into it. Baseball and the Blue Jays become a growing addiction. (BTW, those of you who know me, know this did not spill over into hockey – I loathe the toxic masculinity of that sport) And feeding into it was the growing capability of my favourite team. The Blue Jays started to mature just around the time I was in the mid 1980s. I became obsessed with the schedule, and the stats. I listened on the radio. I poured over the analysis of the game in the newspaper the next day. I couldn’t sleep when they had blown a game they should have won. My Octobers felt empty when they didn’t make the playoffs. And Spring always gave me new hope. 162 games a year. 3 hours per game. This adds up in a lifetime.

And the players were larger than life to me. Heroes.

Today, Roberto Osuna, the Blue Jays wunkerkind closer of the last few years, youngest player to ever reach 100 saves in Major League history, was arrested and charged with domestic assault of his girlfriend.

And I’m glad I successfully kicked my habit for the most part for the last few years.

Because during this time, not only have I realized that for me, Sports was just something I was devoting time to instead of devoting real time to my own hopes and dreams, but I was holding these athletes in the highest moral esteem for some reason. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some of them are really nice people.

But they’re just people. As the famous Nike commercial says, they are not supposed to be role models. They make an ungodly amount of money to play a game. And that’s how we should judge them as athletes – only for their accomplishments on the field.

They are just people. And in this case, despite ‘having it all’ and the brightest future imaginable, Roberto Osuna is charged with being the kind of ‘people’ who likes to beat up his girlfriend.

Today, I am not sad for the team. I am not sad for the game. I am not sad for him. I feel for his girlfriend.

And I am glad it seems I beat my addiction. My emotions are not affected by the outcome of a sports game or team.

This will be an interesting moment for the Blue Jays and Rogers, the owner of the team. What kind of ‘people’ do they want to be? What message do they want to send about what is important in this world? What values do they uphold beyond the shareholders dividends, the attendance, merchandise sold, and ratings.

When the next kid is hooked, will the drug they are selling them at least be one of human decency and integrity?

 

 

 

 

 

May 2018 01

Spring

Posted In Blog,The world

 

This nice weather reminds me that I’m only one convertible and a loud Led Zeppelin song playing on the stereo away from being a cliché.

#middleage

 

Apr 2018 03

A woman wearing a cowboy hat on my 504 streetcar is playing music on her speakerphone that sounds like the end credits of ‘Mario Kart’ when you finish the game. 
 
I feel tremendously confident and victorious, ready to face the day. 
 
 

Page 1 of 8012345102030...Last »