Friday, November 21, 2014

the Christmas vortex

This is what people in Toronto are saying, as they endure this extreme blast of winter FOUR WEEKS before winter is officially due to start: AT LEAST WE'RE NOT IN BUFFALO.

Indeed. A man just found dead in his car which was buried in a snowdrift. We're cold, but not that cold.

I got warm this morning by visiting Mr. Chatty, the busiest boy ever. I ended up throwing a ball for him to chase, just like a puppy. We read a book which had a picture of a purple cat. "Me kiss him," he said, and I held the book close so he could give the cat a kiss. Could I love this boy more? And then we walked up Roncesvalles to the wonderful toy store Scootergirl, to buy him something he wanted desperately - a firefighter hat. Oh, wonder. While there, his mother and I checked out the Playmobil stuff for Christmas presents. Another great treat of grandparentdom - visiting toy stores again. I wanted half the stuff for myself.

But despite this major display of cuteness, I am not getting sucked into the Xmas vortex this year. No no no. A few basic things and money for the grown-ups, that's IT.

No, that really is IT. Really. Well, maybe a few little things, but not much. No no no. Well...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Alanna Cavanagh's Open House

Many people have expressed admiration for the beautiful covers of both my recent books - the work of the multi-talented Alanna Cavanagh. For those interested in seeing more of her work and maybe - support your local artists! - acquiring some for yourself, she is having one of her famous Open Houses in a few weeks. Don't miss it. Her studio apartment, in a building full of artists, is amazing, and her work is unique. I hope she has some of her fabulous orange Penguin book cover prints on sale. Mine - by Virginia Woolf - dominates my kitchen. I love it.

your laugh of the day - David Sedaris and Mike Nichols

It is very cold and very dark and I KNOW you need a good laugh right now. So here it is, below. How glad I am that here is an ESSAYIST reading his work on the David Letterman Show! But of course, one of a kind. Love this man. Wayson and I were discussing Erma Bombeck the other day, how incredibly popular she was as an honest and very funny essayist. We need these voices.

David Sedaris on The Late Show

And there's a link below to an interview with David.

And speaking of marvels of wit and talent, yet another beautiful funny man: R.I.P. Mike Nichols. Thank you for all you brought to our planet. To complete your laugh riot interlude, here he is with Elaine May:

Nichols & May classic "Mother and Son" skit

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jon has a crush and so do I

Benedict and Jon get married

BIG snowstorm - I gather the entire Eastern seaboard is inundated. Light is fading and snow is pelting down. Time to pour a glass or six of wine, turn up the heat, put on the big old fluffy slippers and give thanks to almighty God that I don't have to commute in a cold, dark storm. Thank you, almighty God.

For those who didn't catch the Daily Show last night, the divine Benedict Cumberbatch was on with the divine Jon Stewart. I overheated - two of my favourite men on the planet, sitting across from each other. Jon was like a schoolgirl with a crush; he asked Benedict to marry him, but BC said, "You're a bit late." He just got married to some incredible woman, like George Clooney's wife, beautiful, accomplished, brilliant etc. etc.

As are  we all.


Still, it's amazing that this man is such a star - he's not particularly good looking, he's cerebral and eccentric and almost all his roles are about strange men doing strange things. And yet he's elegant, sexy, extremely clever, and utterly appealing. I'd ask him to marry me too.

Well no actually, I wouldn't. But I'd love to have dinner with him - and Jon - on a regular basis. Once a month, say, along with a few other favourite delicious men, including Macca. Be still my beating heart.

Oh grow up. Time to practice the piano. That will keep me warm, as warm as my fantasies. Though this, below, makes me cold. Have I mentioned how much I hate him?
Yes. Bring it back. 

P.S. Something to look forward to - I just bought a ticket to "Let it be: a celebration of the music of the Beatles" on Valentine's Day 2015 at the Sony Centre. A concert of very good musicianship, apparently. Not the real thing, as some of us were lucky enough to see in 1965 and 1966. But great comfort in the middle of winter. Three months from now. Sigh.