Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The other night, The Mister watched Cinderella Man and mentioned that it was filmed in Toronto.
I thought I had read something about the use of Sully's Gym on Queen Street West, and The Mister and I had a conversation about Sully.
I remember him when I was a young girl.
I remember him being a fixture at the Northgate Restaurant counter at Lansdowne and Queen.
I remember him being a kind man.
Us kids used to joke around with him and he used to tell us to "stay outta trouble!".
He was a character.
A larger than life old school boxer with a squished nose, large sunglasses with a pinkish tone, lots of bling and advice.

He was the chain smokin' King of Queen Street.

And when we saw him, he'd always say "how's it goin? Stayin' outta trouble?"
My Sully story happened when I was in ninth grade, and it is great in the sense of stories of neighbourhood legends that are true.
It was always said that Sully looked tough, but he had a big soft heart, and it was true.

One Saturday, I was having french fries and gravy with my friend Patty, nursing my coke as we did back then, alternating between hanging at the Northgate or the Skyline restaurant.
Sully was sitting in his spot at the counter drinking coffee and talking to the owner.
I was telling my friend about how it was my mothers birthday, and how I didn't have any money to buy her a gift.
Sully overheard me and called me over.
He shoved a twenty in my hand and told me to buy something nice for my "Ma", and told me not to argue with him.
Just like that.
Twenty bucks back then was a lot of money.
Sully was a lot of man.

This story, and a hundred others is why I've got a soft spot for Parkdale.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tell Me Quando, Quando, Quando

Last weekend, The Mister and I had dinner with Mr and Mrs Mystic.
Mr. Mystic presented me with a few CD's and one of them was a compilation of the music my mother loved as a young woman.
Listening to this CD sent me looking for Warwick/Bacharach, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdink songs.
The funny thing about this music is that if you gave me a title, I would be lost on the lyrics...But, put the tune on and I'll sing along like a fucking savant.
I downloaded some Jones/Humperdink, and while I was listening to "Please Release Me" and "Quando, Quando, Quando".
In my minds eye, I saw my beautiful young mother, and my exotic Tetka Milena together in our apartment on Spencer Avenue, both with a cigarette in one hand and a Czechoslovakian cut crystal tumbler in the other, singing at the top of their lungs and laughing.

It's funny how a couple of songs can start a black and white 8mm film to start in my head.
I've been playing Mystics CD, and the one I compiled. Listening to them in my car and reliving my mothers' youth.

Do you associate your mothers youth (and your own childhood) with music?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pestilence: The Third Horseman of The Apocalypse.
I'm seeing more and more very young children with their hair dyed, and piercings.
This concerns me, even though it's none of my business.
Partially because it tells me that parents are either overcompensating by giving their children any and every whim that farts into their kids heads, or many of todays parents are so young themselves that they don't know what the fuck they're doing.

Firstly, just in the area of health..I don't agree with a growing child chemically altering anything on their bodies. I know we take this for granted because we are so bloated with our own importance and what we think looks cute, that we don't consider that dyeing hair is chemically altering the natural elements that maintain lustre and elasticity of the hair. I don't agree with allowing your child to fuck up their hair.
When they grow up, they can feel free to do it if they like.
If you want to be responsible for one more item on that list of "How my parents fucked me up" that was avoidable, this would be one of them.

On the other hand, whatever happened to looking forward to something?
"Oh, when I'm 16, I'm going to..."
Everything seems to be immediate for kids these days. If they want it, it's theirs and then we wonder why they're bored and angry or sometimes suicidal by the time they're 16 or 17.
There's nothing to look forward to.

Do you remember that old Twilight Zone episode where the main character is a gambler who is being granted everything he wants in "Heaven"?
Later when he's bored and going out of his mind with it, he inquires of his manservant, "What kind of Heaven is this?" and his manservant replies, "What made you think this is Heaven?"

We're putting this generation in the Twilight Zone of life, giving them everything and not teaching them to deal with disappointment, or having to hear "no" on occasion and sticking to it...and then when they grow up to be young adults, they can't cope because the world is full of disappointments and "no's".
I know this sounds simplistic, and I know that children are dealing with different issues nowadays, but I also know that many parents are afraid to disappoint their children and think that it's better to be thought of as "cool" than it is to help build character in.
Children are allowed to make adult decisions before they are fully aware of what they are deciding.
I don't think that an eight year old should be allowed to decide about getting his/her hair dyed or nose pierced.
I think that a parent who allows it, whether they are living an alternative lifestyle or not is being irresponsible.

That's all for now....