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Showing posts from July, 2017

My Back Pages - July

Five books this month. Not bad considering I spent the month lazing at the cottage. It brings my yearly total to 35 books. I began the month with Money For Nothing, an interesting history of the music video industry by Saul Austerlitz who takes things back to the Beatles. It must have been a Beatles month because the next book was a history of the influence of black Americans on popular music called How The Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll. Elijah Wald's premise is the music was never more popular than when it was performed by white artists. The next book was Dreaming the Beatles by Rolling Stone columnist Robert Sheffield. In a humorous series of essays Sheffield explains why the Beatles are still important to music and culture nearly 50 years after they broke up. I really enjoyed this one. Now don't laugh but get the title of the next book I read. Gimme A Show! 50 Years on th Rock and Rollercoaster: An Unauthorized Biography of James Pankow, Trombonist wit

Befuddled Bob

It was getting worse. The store-bought milk was piling up in the oven. And the fridge was full of toothpaste and shampoo. Bob and Betty had lived a long and loving life together. They'd been married for 63 years and then last year Betty died. Breast cancer. But she went quickly and for that Bob was grateful. But since Betty's death Bob turned into a different person. He was alone now. Had no one for companionship or to help with the little things and provide for him. He cooked his own meals. When he remembered to do so. He had become very forgetful since Betty's death. He'd stopped shaving for example. The children remarked upon it. But of course they had busy lives of their own and didn't have much time to look after their addled father. Think of that song The Cat's In the Cradle" and you'll kind of get the idea. And so Bob spent most of his days in a daze, if you'll pardon the pun. And for some reason there was no toothpaste or shampo

The Cereal Singer

Little Tommy led a charmed life. An only child he had it made. Pretty much anything he wanted, he got. He loved his parents and was thankful for all they did for him. So thankful, in fact, that Tommy and his parents went to church every Sunday to thank God for all the good things in their lives. Little Tommy's favourite part of the service was when they sang hymns. Tommy was a good singer for someone so young and he wailed and wailed, his face raised to the ceiling and heaven above. Tommy knew his parents were very religious because when they got home from church every Sunday they would retreat to the bedroom to pray. Tommy knew this because every once and awhile he'd hear his mother exclaim "Oh God, oh God, Oh God." Left to his own devices, little Tommy would fix himself some breakfast and reflect on his pitch perfect wailing. In fact, he often continued to sing the hymns he had just sung in church. His favourite breakfast was a new cereal called Pocs. It

Alone Again, Naturally

Week two of the "great strength of our marriage contest" whereby I spend each week at the cottage Maryse and I have rented while Maryse spends Monday to Thursday in the city working. Don't tell her I said this but I'm lonely. I miss her. And I'm left to my own devices. No not the inflatable doll. I mean I have to do things for myself like wake myself up in the morning, prepare my own meals and so on. This morning I was up at 5:30. I prepared breakfast, ate it, did the dishes, had my shower, got dressed and drove the garbage down the road to the dump. All before 9am. And all without having somebody tell me to do it. Pretty amazing, eh? There's no cell service here and no network television. I make do with Netflix and You Tube. Catching up on some classic movies. I watched Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction the other night and Spike Jonze's Adaptation with Nicholas Cage the next night. I should have said classic 90s movies. My meals are pretty ped


We gathered in the dark. After an evening of several libations with new friends we boarded the pontoon boat for a short trip across the lake. The only sound, apart from our conversation and laughter, and the low speed chugging of the motor, was the call of several loons. It was our first day at the cottage and the rain had finally let up after falling for most of the day. We were lucky. The fireworks began at 10pm sharp. Mayhem would have ensued if the pyrotechnics had have been cancelled. I'd never witnessed fireworks on the water before. They exploded noisily in the air but their reflection below was silent. For twenty minutes the loons had company as the revellers cheered and clapped and the pontoon drivers sounded their horns. We laughed at the solar-powered boat whose horn bleated like a sheep. The manly toots of the rest of the boats responded to its call. Or perhaps derided it. The loons were silent. This week's prompt from Tara at Two Word Tuesday is fire