Monday, November 22, 2021

What kind of music do you like?

To answer this question, I mentally ran through my—I was going to say Spotify playlist, but who am I kidding?—CD collection: Sarah Vaughan, jazz and opera compilations, Edith Piaf, Guardians of the Galaxy and Shrek sound tracks, Christmas muzak, Stan Rogers, Queen, some Beatles, Mozart, Maroon 5, KD Lang, Joni Mitchell, The Clash, MuchDance 2009, and a well-played double-CD set of Jesus Christ Superstar show tunes, the lyrics of which are drilled into my kids’ heads for life. Do I have any discernible musical taste at all? “Ugh, well...,” I stalled, but thankfully the conversation had moved on.

Monday, November 15, 2021

First Church of Christ, Superstar

Towards the end of her marriage, my mother started attending church again . . . not—as you might expect—the Church of England, but rather the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
     I hadn’t been to church since my christening, and so it was all quite new to me, especially the part about all the secret Christian Science celebrities! Jean Stapleton—of Archie Bunker fame—was a Christian Scientist. The Monkee’s Mike Nesmith. Doris Day! But the only real star to ever visit our church was Ginger Rogers—twice—while she was refining her new show, downtown, at the Royal York’s Imperial Room.

Inspired by Feast of the Epiphany. The image is of an invitation to a free lecture on Christian Science, signed—in pencil—by Ginger Rogers on Sunday, February 15, 1976.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Feast of the Epiphany

Yesterday Soo asked me when I stopped being a Catholic. I told her early undergrad. But the question provoked: Apart from an enforced baptism at three weeks old, why was I EVER a Catholic? I loved the stained glass, the rosaries, alters full of Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies, candles. After she left I bought a pair of lug-soled leather loafers embellished with a Channel-esque gold chain across their vamps. And then it dawned: It was the bling. I loved the bling. And it’s amazing how seamlessly Catholic guilt segues into buyer’s remorse. Fits like a glove, or a shoe.
Inspired by Heresy Above. Little Laurie by Roy Schulze and Laurie Leclair, based on a photo by G. Leclair.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Heresy Above

All this talk of stars and movement made him nauseous. Or was it Galileo’s voice? The fool was droning on about the earth revolving around the sun. A ridiculous, heretical notion; if it wasn’t nipped in the bud some nutbar might eventually question Genesis itself.
The Pope glanced at his sundial. His next audience was with a delegation of Bohemians pushing Saint Barbara for patron saint of miners. Jesus. A woman—what next? 
     “Just kiss the ring and go,” he told Galileo curtly, wondering what he would tell the faithful at the “Make Rome Great Again” rally later that afternoon.

Inspired by Starry Night. Image: Galileo before the Holy Office by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Starry Night

I lay on my back on the canoe, and it was so dark, you couldn’t see where the water ended and the sky began. I looked up at the Milky Way as he talked about the Great Bear, the Swan, the Dragon, the double star here, the star cluster there. But I wanted him to shut up so I could hear his paddle as it broke the void, plunged deep, came up behind, and dripped, dripped forward to be plunged again. I wanted to relax into the rhythm. I didn’t want any talk. I didn’t want to hear what I didn’t know.
Inspired by Space 1977. Photo by NASA.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Space 1977

Our new apartment got its TV the old-fashioned way, from a big old antenna on top. Cable might’ve given us a few more channels, but even my little black-and-white set, with its rabbit ears and its UHF loop, was able to pull in as much Star Trek as the airwaves could hold, because Star Trek was what I cared about most, and here I was getting it two times a day! . . . Channel 9, when I got home from school, then again, after supper, while mom watched her news. 
     She concerned herself with current affairs. I was looking to the future.

Inspired by Hamlet Hamlet do be a Lamblet. Excerpt from Star Week, April 30, 1977.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Hamlet Hamlet do be a Lamblet

I sunk my tetracycline-stained teeth into Shakespeare by watching the Hamlet episode of Gilligan’s Island. Along with a fleeting interest in The Bard, that show sparked an obsession with tropical islands, a gateway eccentricity to my pirate phase. Although the Drouillard Road locals could’ve rocked a parrot or a wooden leg, Windsor in 1967 was no ocean paradise. So imagine the five-year-old serendipity when I spotted a cookie bag emblazoned with palm trees and clipper ships. Those coconut cremes were in my mom’s shopping cart before she knew what hit her. Desert Isle–Dessert Aisle? It could work: It had to.
Inspired by The Be All and End All. Image from Wikipedia.

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