Eclectic

Hometown Horror

On Saturday evening, my brother and I were enjoying barbecued pork souvlaki skewers and Greek salad and talking about how the meal reminded us of growing up in Toronto’s East End and heading to Greektown for dinner on the weekends. His favourite restaurant was Asteria Souvlaki Place, one of the least expensive restaurants with amazing food. I remembered going to Pappas Grill with friends when I was in high school. In the early 1990s, my sister and I would take him out on his birthday for Greek food and drinks on the Danforth. The atmosphere in the neighbourhood was relaxed, casual and friendly; just everyday people getting together for a fun night-out.

This morning, I woke up to the news that 15 people were shot on Danforth Avenue in Greektown last night. Two of those people have died, an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year old girl. The victims were innocent people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most were just enjoying an evening out with family and friends. Reports say the gunman walked down the Danforth, firing bullets into restaurants and at people walking down the street.

I haven’t lived in Toronto for years but I still visit regularly for TIFF and to hang out with friends. I will continue to do so. But the horrific van attack in North York this past Spring and the mass shooting leaves me with a heavy heart today, thinking about these tragedies that have befallen my hometown.

Eclectic, Hot Men

Bye Bye Baby

I was listening to the Bay City Rollers in my car yesterday while driving home from my parent’s house in Owen Sound, singing along with Rock and Roll Love Letter. I was thinking about how there was a time in my life when I was too embarrassed to admit I had ever even liked them.

Bay City Rollers
In my Rollers gear!

But when I was a kid, I lived and breathed the Bay City Rollers. Their pictures adorned my bedroom walls. I listened to their albums continuously and had the full “Rollers” uniform – tam, scarf and pants trimmed with tartan. My mother would wake me up in the middle of the night so I could watch their appearances on late-night programs like The Midnight Special.

The Bay City Rollers were the first band I ever saw live. I saw them on August 11, 1976, at Maple Leaf Gardens and August 22, 1977, at Exhibition Stadium.

The man who started it all, Bay City Rollers founder Alan Longmuir, died today at the age of 70. Keep Reading!

Additional TV, Eclectic, Movies, Television

Harlan Ellison Defied Hollywood Brass

Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison in 1977.

Harlan Ellison was not afraid of the Hollywood establishment. The science fiction author and screenwriter did not suffer plagiarists lightly. He successfully sued ABC and James Cameron, among many others. Ellison died on June 28th at the age of 84.

In his lawsuit against ABC and Paramount Pictures, he alleged the TV series Future Cop was based on the short story Brillo, which was co-written with Ben Bova. The court awarded Ellison and Bova a settlement of $337,00.

He also successfully sued James Cameron, based on an Outer Limits episode he wrote. Soldier is about a warrior sent back in time with one mission – to kill an enemy. Sound familiar? Keep Reading!

Eclectic

Spontaneity is over-rated

I don’t think any of my friends or family members would ever accuse me of being spontaneous.

For instance, I already know what I’m doing next weekend (visiting my sister and my nieces) and the weekend after that (hibernating at home, albeit one hour less of it due to the start of daylight savings time). Not knowing what I’m doing three weekends from now is about as impulsive as it gets for me.

I plan out meals about a week in advance – case in point – I knew last weekend that we would be having beef stew tonight and spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner tomorrow night. Grilled jerk chicken and a home-made Caesar salad is on tap for Monday and grilled pork chops, jasmine rice and steamed broccoli with butter is on Tuesday’s menu. If I get to M &M Meats tomorrow (which, of course, I’m planning in advance) I’ll grab some burgers and we can have those on Wednesday night. Keep Reading!

Eclectic

Popular Among Mice

It seems like every couple of years, when I park my car at my sister’s house, a couple of creatures hop along for the ride home.

What you have to keep in mind is that my sister and her family live in the forest. Well, not literally, but her house is surrounded by 10 acres of land, so of course it’s home to some undesirables. Like mice. And I guess my car is popular among those undesirables.

Two years ago, there was a strange smell coming from my car shortly after I had visited my sister’s place, so when I took it for regular maintenance I mentioned the smell and the mechanics told me a mouse had been using the cabin air filter as a nest. Lovely. Keep Reading!

Eclectic

Can a Toronto Team Finally Win Something?

Everyone in Southern Ontario and even in the rest of Canada, is excited about the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays currently sit at the top of the American League East standings, having won the last 11 games in a row. Most of this is due to a recent trade for a shortstop named Troy Tulowitzki and the acquisition of a free agent pitcher named David Price.

With Mike Palmateer, Leafs goalie in the 1970s and my favourite player at the time.
With Mike Palmateer, Leafs goalie in the 1970s and my favourite player at the time.

Dougie has been a loyal Jays fan for years. For me, not so much. It’s not really the Jays fault though. I’d like to be excited about this team and I probably would be, if it weren’t for another Toronto team that used to break my heart every year, the Toronto Maple Leafs. I used to be a hockey nut, waiting outside Maple Leaf Gardens to meet the players before playoff games or practices and I was even lucky enough to go to the games once in a while. But year after year it was the same old, same old. When they made the playoffs they would get to the quarter finals and lose. I remember in 1978 they actually beat the New York Islanders to make the semi-finals but then lost to the powerhouse Montreal Canadiens. For the past 10 or 15 years, they have barely made the playoffs. Keep Reading!

Eclectic

Ghosts, Light Bulbs and Other Oddities

I’m not sure what kind of genes my parents passed on to my brother and sister and I, but we are all freaks in our own way.

Dougie has seen ghosts on several occasions. His first haunting was at our parent’s house in East York. The previous owner of the house had killed himself in the garage, running his car until he choked to death on the carbon monoxide. I remember washing the windows of the garage with my dad before we moved in.

One evening in the middle of the night, when Dougie was about nine years old, he heard a car running, looked outside his bedroom window and saw the lights of a car running inside the garage and my father’s car parked in the driveway behind it. Keep Reading!

Eclectic

Dougie moved in and, so far, the living is easy

I had been living alone for the past 10 years, but all that changed when my younger brother Doug moved into my basement in March. I was happy about it, but also a little wary. I am such a creature of habit and so used to being alone that I wasn’t sure if I could handle living with someone again. And at first I felt like a total loser, I am a middle aged woman and I’m living with my brother! Then I thought about all the couples I had known over the years who were completely miserable and were staying together either for the sake of their kids or just out of habit. Living with Doug couldn’t be worse than that, could it?

It’s been two months now and it’s actually worked out surprisingly well. Living with a sibling is a a hell of a lot easier than living with a significant other. How many of us have put up with: “When will you be home? Where are you going? Where were you? Why are you so late?” from a partner or spouse? When you live with a sibling, there are no judgments, no big arguments and zero recriminations.

We have fallen into our house duties without even discussing them: Dougie takes out the garbage, does the vacuuming, carries anything heavy and is in charge of the barbecue; I do the dishes (owning a dishwasher helps), wash the hardwood floors, marinate the steaks, pork chops or chicken and make the side dishes . Each of us has our own TV and PVR so there are never arguments about TV shows or movies and we keep to ourselves a lot, with the exception of eating dinner together and watching (and playing) Jeopardy every night at 7:30. And playing Jeopardy is the only time we do argue and yell at each other, but I’ll save those details for another day…

Yesterday’s Jeopardy Results: A draw. Neither of us got the Final Jeopardy answer – Henry David Thoreau.

Yesterday’s dinner: Barbecued pork chops (VH Soy Sauce, Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, PC Splendido Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Club House Roasted Garlic and Peppers for the marinade) with Chick Pea Salad (Unico Chick Peas, Unico White Wine Vinegar, diced celery, carrots, onions and garlic, salt and pepper and PC Splendido Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil).