What’s up with the ice cream truck music?

Okay, so call me old-fashioned, old school, a dinosaur even. But what the heck is up with the music you hear coming from the ice cream trucks lately?

When I was a kid – and this is going back a while – the ice cream truck in my neighbourhood in Burlington had a bell. And I know I wasn’t the only kid on my street to mix that bell up with that of the knife sharpener’s bell – scrambling out onto the road in search of ice cream only to find an old Italian guy with a hand truck filled with the tools of his trade.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve lived in Toronto – in Parkdale and more recently Little Portugal – and the ice cream truck had that somewhat eerie, carnival-like music box tune going on.

But this summer, the truck in my ‘hood is playing something vaguely pop, but I couldn’t tell you what it is. And in the neighbourhood near my office downtown, I heard a truck playing Für Elise the other day (my nemesis from that stray BlackBerry in the office – see an earlier post: https://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/i-like-beethoven-but/).

Thoughts?

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Thumbs up, thumbs down…

Strange things happening in our strange world lately, chickens. And some of it’s even been good…

Thumbs up: 

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for their ginormous Pride flag (see the Bloor Street side of the building)

The State of New York for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Thumbs down:

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for his absence at the Toronto Pride 2011 flag-raising ceremony on June 27 and his continued reluctance to accept any invitation to any Pride event (a 10-day celebration that brings in huge tourism/$$$ to Toronto).

Canadian Heritage for cancelling (last-minute!) funding to the SummerWorks 2011 festival. I’m also ticked at the media for suggesting that SummerWorks’ 2010 production of Catherine Frid’s play Homegrown had something to do with it; while this raises questions of possible censorship on the part of Canadian Heritage (and, by association, the federal gov’t), it also has the effect of placing the blame on the festival, play and playwright. All depends on how the writing is interpreted by the reader.

On the upside:

There’s still time for Mr. Ford to get out to something at Pride (which runs till Sunday, July 3). Come on, Rob, get yerself a squirt gun and join the fun!

You can help SummerWorks out with their funding shortfall by donating – they’re a registered charity: http://www.summerworks.ca/2011/donate.php

Bridesmaids kicks @$$!

OMFG and LOL – I thought I laughed a lot at Midnight in Paris, but Bridesmaids – whole other ballgame, chickens.

I went yesterday with my pal Kira (who treated me for my b’day) and we laughed so hard that Kira got dangerously close to doing a spit take/nose spew with her pop. This ain’t no chick flick either, my friends – there were lots of guys in the audience as well, and they were laughing just as hard.

Check out the trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrRd2QSsGc4

Bridesmaids has a kick-ass ensemble cast, featuring co-creator Kristen Wiig, as well as Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy. And Jill Clayburgh plays Wiig’s mom; this was one of her last roles. The soundtrack rocks too.

If you haven’t seen it and want a fun, touching movie with loads of laughs – get your butt out to see this!

Happy Pride! Happy jazz!

Happy Pride everyone! Pride Toronto 2011 kicks off today, with the official rainbow flag-raising ceremony on Monday at City Hall. It’s 10 days of celebration, ending with the parade and after-partying next Sunday. For more info and what’s on at Pride this year, check out their official website: http://www.pridetoronto.com/  I’m looking forward to the annual women’s Pride dance at the Palais Royale next Thursday night.

So much going on in T.O. these days. The Toronto Jazz Festival is also happening – opening today as well – check that out too: http://torontojazz.com/ 

Special shout out to jazz songstresses, and two of my favourite peeps, Shannon Butcher http://torontojazz.com/artist/shannon-butcher-ross-macintyre  and Shelley Hamilton http://torontojazz.com/artist/shelly-hamilton who’ll be crooning as part of the festival.

One last thing: big shout out to Paul V.’s Born This Way Blog, which offers LGBT folks a place to share their coming out stories, along with a childhood photo, as well as offer words of encouragement and support to LGBT youth. If you haven’t checked out the site – or if you have and haven’t visited in a while – take a look: http://www.borngaybornthisway.blogspot.com/

Have fun and play safe, chickens!

kd lang, Dorothy Wilson & Father’s Day

So, wow, what a Friday night/weekend of fun and festivities.

kd lang and the Siss Boom Bang played a free concert on Friday night as part of Luminato, on the festival hub stage in the David Pecaut Square at Metro Hall – and they were fantastic! Their opening band, LA-based The Belle Brigade, fronted by a brother/sister duo were also fabulous. It was a perfect evening weather-wise – and I had a blast with pals Kerri, Tricia, Kira and Tina. And Kerri had the pleasure of bumping into kd on the street near Metro Hall the next morning – and had a lovely chat before heading to work. Here’s a YouTube clip from the concert, featuring one of my favourite songs ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ejjUIgCzHk  (thanks, Tina!).

Saturday – and the reason I was learning Sugar, Sugar – was a mid-afternoon rehearsal (at Margot and Shaun Devlin’s house) of a special birthday song (lyrics by Shaun) for a special birthday lady, Alum pal Dorothy Wilson, a fellow Geminii who turned 80. She threw one heck of a celebration at the Hilton on Saturday night, joined by family and friends spanning decades. I hung out with a gang of Alumnae folks and we had a blast. And the song went quite well too, despite the fact that we finished writing it that afternoon and I’d just learned it (and went up without my reading glasses to help me on the cheat sheet).

Father’s Day on Sunday started with brunch with my sis Colleen at Rustic Cosmo (which she treated me to for my recent b’day), then road tripping to Burlington to my parents’ house, where we were joined by our other sibs Brian (with his wife Anne-Marie, and kids Stephen and Colin) and Sean (with wife Melanie), and Colleen’s husband Brian (yes, we have two). The weather was amazing all weekend – and cooler on Sunday – so we spent a good part of that gathering out in the back yard. And it was perfect weather for a game of croquet. Colin and I played as a team, and when it became apparent that we had no chance of placing in the top three, we followed bro-in-law Brian’s example and wrecked havoc on the field. Good times.

As promised, here’s a photo of my new tattoo (done by artist Jenn Liles at Speakeasy); photo courtesy of my sis-in-law Melanie:

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