Search This Blog

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Rock of "Aged"

This week marks the 37th anniversary of the release of The Ramones first album, the self-titled "Ramones". The Ramones are an influential band in my life. I tend to use The Ramones as a yard stick to the aging process.  Although aging is inevitable and I accept it, I hope that I never get "old".  The moment that The Ramones sound silly to me, I will know that I took a wrong turn and have gotten old. I hope this never happens - I want to be a 90 year old who still has the urge to jump up and down whenever I hear one of their songs--even if my body is no longer capable of it.

I didn't actually discover The Ramones though until I reached high school and was opened up to the whole punk and new wave scene. Prior to this, a period I like to refer to as B.R. (before Ramones), I grew up in Hamilton and didn't have any older siblings to introduce me to any underground music.  The only frame of music reference kids like me had was CKOC AM radio. So let me confess something to you...Hello, my name is The Lassie and I love late 70's/early 80's AM radio bands. It was the music that I listened to in junior high and it takes me back to those years and will forever be dear to my heart.

Last summer The Fella and I headed to Rock the Park, an annual festival held in London, Ontario. The line up last year was a retro AM radio fan's wet dream--The Romantics, REO Speedwagon, Prism, The Steve Miller Band & Boston--pretty much the entire 45-record collection that I listened to in the basement of Michelle Taylor's house circa 1979.

As a rule, my outdoor rock festivals days are over.  You are pretty much guaranteed to have that "old" feeling that I spoke about when you are surrounded  by twenty-somethings at a festival headlined by bands that you have never heard of, or worse, bands that you don't "get" which typically leads to the old person conversation trap "music isn't like how it was in my day!"   Nope, Rock the Park concert goers are in their 40's and 50's-- people who can hold down mortgages and their liquor.  There is something to be said about being silly amongst your peers.  "Can't fight this feeling" by REO Speedwagon was one of the first songs that I ever slow danced to -- when they played it live, The Fella and I slow danced and smooched in the park.  Something like that would never fly at Coachella amongst a crowd of people who could quite easily be your kids.

REO Speedwagon

The Fella and I after our smoochy junior high dance

The Romantics

In my twenties, I had a tank style, cast iron bladder and could drink beer all day long and maybe only visit the washroom once or twice.   Yep, not any more.  Not only is there a need for frequent visits to the Port-O-Lets, but they have to be timed accordingly; a lesson that was learned on the Friday night.  The trick is to head to the lines during the last song of the set, or else you risk massive line ups with a bursting aged bladder.   After a long walk to the toilets in torrential rain and a long wait to only get to the middle of the line up,  I knew that I wouldn't be able to wait any longer.  Desperate times call for desperate measures my friends.  I ducked behind an equipment truck and unleashed the wrath of Coors.  Thankfully the rain drowned out the sound of my personal monsoon or else I would have drowned out the the band that had just taken the stage.  To add to my humiliation, when I finished, I was caught doing up my belt by a young employee who chastised me with "Hey we have bathrooms for that you know!"  to which I responded "Hey, I'm in my forties and dignified - you think I chose to do this??!"  Seriously, go work at Burning Man with peeps your own age.

It was shortly after this "water"gate incident that we ran into The Fella's mate, Shaun, who works in the music industry.  My embarrassing public urination was eased when he presented us with backstage passes.  It was a thrill to watch The Steve Miller band side stage from the monitor board and out of the downpour.  It was also a junior high thrill to be chatted up by the drummer from one of the bands!  I still kid myself that even though:
a) my clothes were soaked;
b) my makeup was smudged; and
c) I probably had trace amounts of pee on my shorts, 
that I still had what it takes to be chatted up by a drummer from a band that I love.  In reality, I probably looked more like a rock of aged skanky groupie....

Rock the Park will be held this year from July 25 - July 27.  For more information visit

Backstage watching The Steve Miller Band.  How many mullets do you spot?

Friday, 12 April 2013

Kitchen Botox

Happy Friday!

The on-going task of making my aging, tired abode look hip & young continues. I figure that if I can do this to my own looks without looking like mutton dressed as lamb then I should be able to transfer this skill to the world of home decor. 

Luckily the kitchen just needed some cosmetics and accessories. The paint job and drywall patch was like Botox!  It solved all the fine cracks & took years off the appearance & it no longer frowns. 
When it comes to accessories, I'm not ashamed to admit that I have faked it before. Judge me if you will, but I have visited Canal Street in Manhattan to purchase fake Prada bags. So why not fake some accessories in the home?  After unsuccessful attempts at trying to find replacement cupboard handles that I liked and were the right  size, I decided to paint the existing handles. They turned out OK--not a show stopper, but very passable. And to be honest, although I have no qualms about buying shoes that cost the national debt of Bolivia, I have a hard time justifying spending $10 and over per handle when I need 17 on them in a rental unit. 

I used Benjamin Moore Blackberry on the backsplash wall and Benjamin Moore Decorators White on the cupboards.  Pablo somehow heard "cheese" and miraculously appeared out of nowhere.  He likes the idea of a kitchen where he is camouflage.

The two colours make a good contrast. And the handles...not half bad.

On the opposite side, I used Benjamin Moore Dove White on the walls against the Decorators White on the cupboards for some white on rice action.

So all in all--not bad.  I'm a little jealous though because the kitchen is more put together than I have been lately. The drywall patch and paint is not at all flattering on my cuticles. 

Monday, 8 April 2013


What does one do after a day of dealing with pricks? Why, you eat cactus.

The Fella & I headed to Mex-I-Can on James Street North. Don't let the dive-y appearance of the restaurant fool you--they serve the best, most authentic Mexican food this side of the border. I love that their vegetarian option is cactus instead of the usual blend of peppers and onion (and caulifower & broccoli that some resturants throw in--yeah, that's authentic). It is really tasty- the texture is like a pickled jalapeno and it tastes somewhat like green beans--and it is packed full of antioxidants.

Then there is the margueritas...oooh the margueritas. Authentic & full of tequilla-y goodness! And a bargain at $7 for a super-sized glass -- $24 for a pitcher. Go big or go home I say!

Thursday, 4 April 2013


When it gets to this time of the week I always get excited about the upcoming Saturday. Although this Saturday is no exception, and even as I anticipate a perfect day filled with a much needed sleep in, no commute and catching up with friends, I know this day will be bittersweet. Yes, I will be enjoying all of these aforementioned activities, but it would only qualify as perfect if I were able to buy my friend Imants a pint for his birthday.

Imants was pretty much a fixture in my life for twenty-five years. I can't think of a wedding or a party or a show when Imants wasn't there. I remember him at Leslie & Dan's wedding when he gave me a ride home in a freak snowstorm and I can still hear him laugh at me walking up my front steps in a dress & heels with snow up above my knee. I remember him at Liz's 25th birthday laughing when we all dressed up and she squirted him in the face with silly string. I remember him laughing at me when we went to see The Cramps and I held on to Imant's shoulders while I jumped up and down to check out Lux Interior who had spontaneously stripped naked and I wanted to get a better look.

Yep--that laugh. That goofy laugh. How many times in twenty five years did we try to mimic it? How we miss it so. How we miss you so. We took you for granted. You were the mate who was always there. Now that you are gone, your missing presence is palpable.

I'm not a person who believes in an after life, but it gives me comfort to think that if we are not buying you pints on your birthday, you are somewhere having pints with Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer & Lux Interior...and they are all trying to mimic your laugh.