Friday, 20 June 2014

Gerry Goffin

Long-time readers of this blog--a rainy afternoon to you, Uncle Brownie and Aunt Green--will have at least twice seen the story of my life as defined by encounters with the King-Goffen 1962 hit "Loco-motion". I'll check the facts later, but that's the gist of it, the gist book.
All you have to do is listen to the song. Maybe you were there in the fall of '62, the gym of Massey School in south Regina. Colleen, Diane, Sherry, Laura, Trudy, Linda, Lisa, Barbara, Sheila, Joanne--I know you were there, for the dance, a Friday after school. And so was Little Eva, on a Dimension '45, doin the loco-motion with me. Everything I knew about girls I learned to that song, but don't blame the song.
Jump ahead 38 years. Friday after school at Massey, my daughter's staying for a dance. I'll pick her up when it's over.
I walked. Approaching the gym I could hear it, "Loco-motion" (accept no substitute--stick with Little Eva) and I stopped to do it just inside the front door. The light from the gym was getting to me. And everybody's do-oo-in a brand new dance now.
Do you like it with the hyphen?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Wascana Lake

I'll get to the lake in a minute but first I'm saluting the late great Paco de Lucia, now playing with Al Di Meola on the latter's "Mediterranean Sundance". Please Check it out on the Tube or someplace. Paco's gorgeous "ole"! (Try to find the version from Elegant Gypsy, Di M's album from '77.)
But yes, the lake. I'm meeting my daughter and grandchildren for a circuit. I'm also poised for a big write on the topic, of that lake but maybe the family too.
I'd give in to goose by page three.
My grandson might need a piggyback part way. First I'll ask him to give me one.
Tennis ball, never a bad idea.
The lake offers I'd say fifteen thousand viewpoints. That could be the writing piece right there.
Sorry, gotta go

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Lotta Latte

Since I bought the machine, I've cut down on tea, though I'm making a pot right now. I refer to my Breville espresso maker, aka espresso machine, which I've used daily to refine my coffee habit, the one costing four bucks per small latte. This pot of tea is my first in a week.
I'm not sure if latte is what I've produced, these last few days. But I've downed it, and it's not bad. Don't rely on your machine to make your latte, the guide tells me. Distracted by World Cup soccer, I'm learning to run the machine, all right. (A sip of green tea, the rain stopped.)
Because size of glassware offers room to explore, I sent away for latte glasses. And I'll fool around with beans. Once I get it all figured out I'll turn to the weather, which it takes a pot of tea to subdue.
PS: I'll be looking to Portugal tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


If I'd arrived in Regina just now, I'd admire the pelicans, aka The Mighty Pel. If they sat at cafes, they'd drink lattes. On the beaches of Normandy they'd serve. They're the favourite bird of the Charolais Breeders conferencing at my workplace.

The pelicans as I skidded my bike into view gave two seconds of their lives to making sure I could stop before I hit the water. The rest was lake, the west curve of the big lake at the Broad Street bridge. In unison they bowed their heads. What fish had a chance, if the lake had fish, before eight pelicans forming a scythe that skipped choreography and went straight to dance.

It may have been a dance of sorrow re the abundance and content of the fish. But The Mighty Pel knew that coming in.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Flamenco 48 Hours Later

Afterwards I heard a kid in the stall in the men's can tell his grandpa, waiting for him by the sink, that he wasn't afraid of anything anymore. Good boy, said grandpa. When the kid came out, I saw he was about eight years old.
We could pause now for what we feared when we were eight. I'll start. It was the wall right next to me, which in the night caused hallucinations.
The subject of fear had nothing to do, surely, with the flamenco performance. In 48 hours, the group had found their way deeper into what they were doing (guitar/vocal, chorus of clappers, one solo dancer). Maybe the later hour and larger crowd helped things. For me, the signal of flamenco that works is that it answers a prayer I wasn't aware of sending.
Before all that, I caught Lowell Dean's Wolfcop, a buddy/suspense/fantasy/cop comedy/drama produced largely in western Canada. It delivered just enough surprise to make it past some dubious moments to an ending.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Flamenco in Regina

I tried. I showed up with my backpack, by myself, early--just as I'd done for dozens of arts events in Europe. I didn't hold out much hope, however, for flamenco in the context of official multiculturalism. In a curling rink.
To elaborate on those two problems: the acoustics were terrible. The vocals and guitar were inaudible, the palmas (clapping) even more so. The ensemble dancing, even precisely delivered, sounded like a truckload of boxes tumbling off the back. And as part of the "Latin" pavilion of the Mosaic Multicultural Festival, the flamenco group shared the stage with salsa dancers, traditional Mexican and Chilean dancers, etc. This turns living culture into museum pieces. Given those two conditions, any chance of the electricity I experienced in Andalusia was squashed.
But I salute Flamenco Regina for doing what they can. They're serious about flamenco, bless their hearts. I'll try them again tomorrow.