I like Beethoven, but…

… not when it’s played over and over. And over again.

When I arrived at the office this morning, I heard Für Elise playing. Repeatedly. And quite loudly too. After a bit of hunting around, I discovered it was originating from a BlackBerry that had been left on a desk in the cubicle at the end of my row. I e-mailed our IT guy, to see what I could do about this and proceeded to try and ignore the music. Others began arriving and upon hearing the repetitive strains, one co-worker remarked: “Isn’t this what they do to prisoners at GITMO?”

Anyway, by the time I heard back from the IT guy, the same co-worker had already solved the problem (presumably, by touching any key).

Now I like Für Elise as much as the next Beethoven fan, but that was a bit much.

Here’s an audio clip from YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mVW8tgGY_w

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What would you pick?

So I was at the Jays game on Friday night (they lost to the Red Sox 5-1) and while the outcome was disappointing, the atmosphere at the Dome and, especially, the company I was in was fun. I was with my friend Dee and four of her co-workers, and – as usual – I like to put an artsy spin on stuff that isn’t inherently artistic.

I posed the following three questions to our group:

What would be your theme song going up to bat?  (Hands down, I would go for Barracuda by Heart.)

Would you rather be immortalized as a bobble head or Pez dispenser?  (Definitely Pez for me – like Dee said: “It’s not just about what’s on the outside, it’s about the inside as well.”)

Short/olde tyme pants or the new fangled long pants?  (I’d have to go for the short pants. There’s just something about them that says baseball to me.)

What would you pick?

I would recommend…

Hey all – busy times and I’m back at the office now, so I’ll be brief. Stuff I’ve seen/experienced in the past week or so that I would recommend:

Movies:  Midnight in Paris; The Princess of Montpensier; Potiche

Plays: InspiraTO festival of 10-minute plays – this is over now, so look out for it next year; Tout Comme Elle (Just Like Her), now on at the Bluma Appel as part of Luminato – tix aren’t cheap, so I’d recommend trying for a rush seat an hour before performance time: http://www.luminato.com/2011/

Tattoo artist: Jenn Liles at Speakeasy: http://jennliles.com/home.html

Food: CocoaLatte (breakfast/brunch/desserts): http://www.cocoalatte.ca/   Julie’s Cuban (Cuban home cooking and amazing mojitos) http://www.juliescuban.com/   Ten Feet Tall (great food & jazz) http://www.tenfeettall.ca/website/wp/

Toronto history: Casa Loma: http://www.casaloma.org/

Photography: Pamela Williams: http://pages.interlog.com/~romantic/

Happy birthday, Johnny Depp!

Okay, so I’m a day late – but I have a very good excuse. It was my birthday too – and I was out with my mum (who coincidentally picked June 9 to come in to T.O. for our annual brunch/neighbourhood walk excursion – my Mother’s Day present to her). We brunched at CocoaLatte, wandered Casa Loma and ended the day with dinner at Julie’s Cuban.

And speaking of Mr. Depp – my pal Kat Leonard threw a blast of a party at Smiling Buddha bar on Wednesday night, to launch her CD A Depper Kind of Love, from her upcoming Toronto Fringe show of the same name. And, of course, to toast Johnny’s birthday.

Kat performed tunes from the show, and was joined by Arlene Paculan (another June 9 b’day gal), who performed solo and with Kat, and featured performances by some of Kat’s production team: SM Skye (singing with ukelele) and director Christopher Sawchyn (who does a very sexy – and hilarious – 80s rock god). And there was cake!

Kat’s friend Deb and I were taking care of the merch table, where we sold CDs, t-shirts (hand-screened by Deb), raffle tix, and took donations and petition signatures (to get Johnny Depp to see the Fringe show!).

It was a great time. Check out Tina McCulloch’s post on the Alumnae blog, which features a link to Kat’s National Post piece: http://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/kat-leonard-loves-johnny-depp/

Happy June 9 b’day also to: Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman and Tennille Read.

Inspirational theatre

Hey kids! How about this gorgeous spring weather? Finally some sunshine – though we did have quite the light and sound show here in T.O. early this morning.

Saw some amazing and inspirational theatre this past Friday night/weekend: the blueSound program at the InspiraTO festival of 10-minute plays (Alumnae Theatre) and Billy Elliot (Canon Theatre).

InspiraTO is in its sixth season now – and this is the second year AD Dominic Loncar has rented the main stage at Alumnae Theatre. The festival is divided into two programs of eight new 10-minute plays each – and each year, the theme is based on one of the senses. This year, it’s sound: blueSound (sounds that float or drift) and redSound (sounds that disturb or awaken).

blueSound plays that stood out for me:  Happy New Trout (by Alum gal Suzanne Courtney), Labyrinth, Hum of the Arctic and The Seven Lovers of Bluehat Whistletop. I’ll be going to see the redSound program this coming weekend.

You can still catch InspiraTO – it runs until Saturday, June 11:

http://www.inspiratofestival.ca

And Billy Elliot – well, I was a huge fan of the movie and loved the production I saw in NYC a couple of years ago, so I was very excited to see it finally come to T.O. I went with my friend Lesley and her son Chris – and we had a blast! It was especially cool to see Kate Hennig as Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy’s dance teacher (I saw her in the NYC production as well, and that was her first performance). J.P. Viernes played Billy – and the matinée we saw was his final performance.

I love this story for its message of being who you are – and especially that it’s okay for a kid to do something that’s considered to be outside the realm of “normal” gender behaviour (I love the movie Bend it Like Beckham for the same reason). And I also love how the mining village support of Billy not only helps him to shine, but in a larger sense he becomes a beacon of hope for the entire village. Fave numbers: Express Yourself, the angry dance and We Were Kings (the latter always gets me vklempt).

If you haven’t seen this show, go see it. And if you’ve seen it before, go see it again – and take a kid with you.

p.s. – just got a new tattoo (on my right forearm), so it’s been a tad awkward typing. I’ll try to get someone to take a picture and I’ll post it here.

Strange spam

I don’t know about you, but I’m the kinda gal who likes things to be tidy. Not in a Stepford wives/OCD kinda way, but just neat in a non-robot/non-clinical type deal thing.

So, no surprise, I like to regularly purge my e-mail of old messages and spam. Especially spam.

And every once in a while, I peruse the spam queue to see what it’s about – in the subject line, of course. (I also like to be cautious on e-mail and online.) I recall, back in the day when I first acquired my own personal e-mail account (outside the office address), I somehow found myself the recipient of spam mail about Viagra and penis enlargement services. And this despite the fact that my e-mail address used my full name, a name that is obviously female. Apparently, the purveyors of spam enjoy using shot-gun tactics.

Of course, some spam will have some kind of relevance to your actual life and interests – based on what the interweb has picked up from my searches, etc.: computer deals, dating sites/services, jobs.

Then there was one I found today: forklifts. That’s right. Forklifts. Now I have neither searched for nor made inquiries about forklifts – online or otherwise – so I can only conclude that these guys are casting a really wide net. Perhaps folks who don’t need a forklift themselves know someone who might – like that.

I’d tell you how to find these folks – but, alas, I deleted it forever. Oh well, it likely landed in your spam folder anyway.

Still here

Writing for two blogs these days is kind of like having two children – and one (the bigger, louder one) gets most of the attention, while the other waits quietly by for a snippet of my time.

This will all be ending soon, my friends, as I’m officially retiring as Alumnae Theatre’s resident bloggergal at the end of the week – and will have much more time and energy to devote to this neglected child I call life with more cowbell.

In the meantime, do give the Alum blog site a visit for my most recent adventure over there: http://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/big-fun-npds-little-ideas/