Thursday, October 12, 2017

My Sammy is sick

Sammy, an American Eskimo Dog
Since April, Sam's had a bit of a cough on and off.  When we went to the vet for his annual checkup in April, the doctor listened to his heart and lungs and didn't hear anything irregular.  We both sort of thought it was down to Sam's seasonal allergies (he inherited that from me).  Toward the end of the summer, the cough got a bit deeper but was still pretty intermittent.

Over the past couple of weeks, it got pretty bad.  Again, the weather has been strange, windy and hot and my allergies have been bad so I sort of thought that his might be too but I was keeping a close eye on him.  We started to notice some weakness in his legs.  They would tremble sometimes and he started taking little breaks on walks.  The strangest thing was that he was off his food a bit (still ate but picked at it, only got really excited if it was something sort of smelly).

The weekend was pretty tough and I got him back into the vet yesterday.  I wasn’t sure what we were dealing with.  I thought it could be heartworm (he’s on a preventative but who knows right?), possible COPD (not uncommon in senior dogs and he’s 10 now), a flu/pneumonia or lung cancer.  It turns out that when he saw the vet, his heart was beating out of control, he had arrhythmia.  Not good.  Many dogs have heart murmurs but arrhythmia was uncommon.  Sam went for a chest x-ray and the results were alarming.  His heart his severely enlarged.  This could be caused by a couple of things:  heart disease or a malignant tumour in his heart.  If it’s heart disease, that’s treatable and if he responded well to medication, he could have some good years ahead of him.  If it’s cancer, well, that’s bad.  There is also a possibility, regardless of which thing it is, that he could die suddenly at any time due to his condition.

We were sent home with some drugs to try.  He’s taking Vetmedin (Pimobendan) which is used to manage congestive heart failure.  He's getting one 1.25 mg pill every 12 hours, one 20 mg Furosemide (similar to Lasix, treats build of fluid due to heart disease  - he presently has some fluid in his lungs that was seen on the X-ray) and one 5 mg Fortekor (benazepril hydrochloride) which is used to treat heart failure.  Next week we’ll go back for another X-ray.  They will be able to tell if the medication is helping and if it doesn’t seem to be doing anything, Sam will need an echocardiogram so we can find out if there is a growth or not.

It’s scary.  I was a mess driving home from Sydenham.  I cried pretty much all of the way home.  He’s been such a good sport.  Sam’s being great about taking his meds and is being his good old goofy self (which makes this easier and harder at the same time).  I have no idea what the next few weeks are going to be like for him (or me) but I’m going to spend as much time as possible with him while we figure out what is going on.  He can be a bit of jerk at times but he’s my jerk and I love him.  Since Mark died, he gets onto my bed every night and keeps me company.  I can’t imagine what I’m going to do without him but I’m trying not to think about that right now.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Because It's Tuesday - week of August 8

I'm posting this a little later than usual because I've been on vacation this week.  My routine is a bit off but that's okay because vacation, right?

Heard some sad news this afternoon, not surprising in anyway but still sad news all the same.  Glen Campbell passed away at the age of 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease.  Our family has a bit of personal experience with "the long goodbye" because my grandmother was a victim of it.  It's a terrible thing to watch someone you love so dearly forget everything that is most important to them.

In the case of my grandmother, she left a lovely legacy of love behind, children and grandchildren and inlaws and outlaws and cousins and aunts and uncles who thought the world of her and remember her every day.  In Glen Campbell's case, we have a long career of musical awesomeness by which to remember him.

Many years ago, while I was working at CFRC, I heard Ghost of American Airman's cover of a Campbell classic and loved it instantly.  I'm sharing it with you today.  Have a listen, it's just an audio track, no video, but it's a great version.  Enjoy xo

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of July 25

Can't Hardly Wait.  Such a good song by a legendary band, The Replacements.

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of Justin Townes Earle.  He covered "Can't Hardly Wait," on his 2009 album, Midnight at the Movies.  He does a great job with it.  The whole album is really solid actually, well worth a listen if you haven't heard it before.

Anyway, this particular version was performed live in Sydney.  Hope you enjoy it xo

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of July 18

As the summer rolls along, I find myself trying really hard to not wallow too much in my memories of the summer of 2015.  Last summer, I let myself fall down a deep well of memories and it took quite a while to dig myself out, it was not easy at all.  Rather than wallow, I'm trying to find good things to focus on.  It's a struggle at times.

Mark would have absolutely agreed with my statement that two Bob's are better than one.  He was a super fan of Bob Dylan and Bob Wiseman was a wonderful friend of his for many many years when he lived in Toronto.  I was just delighted to watch this last week and wanted to share it with you.

Bob Wiseman and friends (Katasha James, Vanessa Forgue and Blake Howard) performed versions of "If Not For You" and "Wedding Song" in Toronto earlier this year.

Please listen and enjoy, you'll be so very glad you did xo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of July 11

I had a great conversation with a friend recently about Warren Zevon.  It's sort of crazy just how many people have covered "Carmelita" over the years.  I stumbled across this version and was struck by how sad it was that both Warren Zevon and Willy DeVille are both gone now.  So tragic... hug your loved ones tightly and often folks.  Life is short.

Give Mr DeVille's version a good listen and enjoy xo

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of July 4

If you've been reading these pages for any length of time, you will have by now learned that I am a massive fan of the late and wonderful, Kirsty MacColl.

Her tragic death in December of 2000 inspired me to start this blog in the first place (I had web sites prior to that but really didn't update them with any regularity).  I wanted to share information about the Justice for Kirsty campaign and named the site after one of her songs.

Many people know her voice because of her involvement with the Pogues (now classic) Christmas song (and my favourite Christmas song of ALL TIME), Fairytale of New York.  What folks may not know is that she was a brilliant song writer and pretty early on in her career, Tracey Ullman covered one of her tunes.  "They Don't Know" became a hit, partly because it's awesome and partly because of Ms Ullman's hilarious video - with cameo by Sir Paul McCartney and all.

A few months ago, I was listening to a complication album of Swedish pop songs and stumbled upon the Sweptaways and their version of "They Don't Know."

I quite enjoyed it, check it out, it should make you smile xo

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of June 27

I'm not going to say much about this, there isn't much to say about the super-spectacular Eurythmics or The Beatles that hasn't been said before.

Just going to leave this here for you to enjoy xo

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of June 20

I have always loved songs that tell a story.  This is probably because I grew up in the 1970's listening to a lot of country music.  Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty" has been covered by many many musicians over the years.  I had a lot of fun listening to different versions of it and was struck by how beautiful Frank Turner's version is.  His voice is really lovely with just a little bit of grit around the edges, sort of perfect for "Pancho and Lefty" I think.

Do you agree? Give it a listen and let me know xo

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of June 13

Wilco has been one of my very very favourite bands for a very very long time now.  I also deeply love Nick Lowe and have for as long as I can remember.  This particular song has been covered and covered and covered. It's such a great, solid, song though that I don't think I've ever heard a version of it that I didn't like.

Wilco's treatment is just fantastic.  Enjoy xo

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of June 6

Ian Tyson has written some pretty amazing songs, Summer Wages is just one of them.

I think that Matt and Jill Barber's version of it, from their beautiful record "The Family Album" is pretty amazing too.

Have a listen and just TRY not to tap your toe, I dare you!! xo

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of May 30

Did you know that Jerry Chestnut wrote "Good Year For the Roses"? He might have written it but it was made famous by the insanely awesome George Jones.  I've always loved this song, I love George Jones' voice, we grew up on a pretty steady diet of Country AND Western music in our house.

When I was a teenager, I discovered Elvis Costello and the Attractions.  Around the time I started listening to them, Almost Blue was released.  I think that their version of "Good Year For the Roses" is incredible.

The whole of Almost Blue is incredible.  After you've listened to this, treat yourself and go check out the rest of the record xo

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of May 23

A few years ago now, Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of The Band, a beautiful album, was released.  Unfortunately, there isn't a video (that I could find) for my favourite song on the compilation, Mary Margaret O'Hara's version of "Out of the Blue."

Her voice is so beautiful, pure and unique. I love her so much, she's truly a Canadian treasure.

please give this one a listen, your ears and your heart will thank you xo

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of May 16

A couple of weeks ago, I made a trip to Toronto.  This was kind of a big deal to me for a few reasons.  First of all, the purpose of the trip was to see Father John Misty.  I bought myself a pair of tickets as a slightly early 50th Birthday gift.  It was an impulsive thing and I invited my old friend Jane (who I'd not seen in years) to go with me.  I was super excited to see Mr Tillman in concert and to reunite with Jane was a wonderful bonus.

As an aside, the show was incredible.  It happened to be the first show of the tour and seeing it in the Royal Alex theatre felt very special.  The trip to Toronto was interesting.  I had never ever driven to Toronto alone before and this was first time visiting the city since Mark's death.  He was a Toronto guy, was born there, lived there for 47 years.  He shared parts of the city with me that I didn't know existed.  To say it felt odd being there without him, is a massive understatement.  I think he would have been pretty impressed that I not only got there safely but also because when my GPS failed, I was able to find my way around, get where I needed to be and do that in super heavy rains, with the threat of the DVP closing due to flooding hanging over my head.

Prior to discovering Father John Misty, I has a passing awareness of Josh Tillman and Fleet Foxes.  I got into FJM a few months after Mark's death.  It seemed like for months on end throughout 2016, it was all was listening to, Fear Fun and I Love You Honeybear.  His lyrics really spoke to me.  I was depressed, grieving, anxiety ridden.  He knew what that was like and I felt like I had found a kindred spirit.  The fun thing about not being into something from the beginning is that you get to dig around and discover all kinds of treats.  One of the things I found is the cover I'm sharing today.

To me, and certainly to Mark, some songs are sacred and should not be covered.  John Lennon's "God" was definitely on that list for both of us.  John so perfectly performed it that any other interpretations were unnecessary.  Well I thought that until I watched this clip.  It's from a club performance in London at Christmas 2015.

I think he did an amazing job on it and feel like Mark would have appreciated it too.

For what it's worth, I don't believe in Tom Petty either.

enjoy xo

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of May 9

I feel really old saying this but about 30 years ago, when I used to go out dancing with my girlfriends, nothing would get us onto the dance floor faster than those first few notes of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" could.

A few years later, Frente! released their severely mellowed out version of "Bizarre Love Triangle."  I immediately fell in love with it.  It isn't going to get your butt out on a dance floor anytime soon but it's certainly a lot of fun.

happy listening friends xo

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of May 2

I have never been a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen (I know, I know, don't throw stuff at me, it happens, not everyone can worship him).  The only song of his that I actually really really liked was "Hungry Heart" (I bought the 45 of that in 8th grade I think). 

Thanks to the Columbia House Record and Tape Club, I probably have a copy of Born in the USA around somewhere although I know it's not a record I would have picked up under any other circumstances than as part of a Columbia House order!! 

In recent years, I've found myself enjoying The River and Tunnel of Love more and more.  Many years ago, I remember hearing "tougher than the rest" for the first time, as a cover by Everything But The Girl.  I loved their version of it.  It's a great pop song.

Another pop group, one I love love love, Camera Obscura also covered it.  It's a sweet treatment, I'm sure that Bruce himself must approve.  I certainly do.

Enjoy xo

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of April 25

Thirteen is a beautiful song. It's a simple song that beautifully captures what it is to be 13. I think so anyway.

Elliott Smith, who I loved so much, sang it beautifully.  As much as I love Big Star (and I love them!) I think that Elliott's version is superior.  That doesn't often happen, not to me anyway.

Enjoy it, it's lovely.  He was lovely.  Gosh, all these years have passed and I still can't believe he's gone and how much I still miss him. xo

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of April 18

When Mark died I told folks that they should listen to Wish You Were Here.

I thought that I'd be able to listen to it, with my fresh oozing wounds and be comforted by it.  What a fool I was.

The beginning notes of it always take me to our restaurant, Ida's Kitchen.  I can smell the place, I can see the dark dining room and the glow from the one fluorescent bulb in the kitchen that never went out (for security reasons).  We always played Wish You Were Here, the whole thing, when we were getting ready to open.  It was the first Pink Floyd record I actually liked. 

I remember trying to listen to it a few times immediately after he died.  It felt like someone had a knife in my stomach and was slowing moving it around inside of me every time I heard those first few notes.

It's only been in the last little while that I've been able to hear it and not have things get really ugly.

I'd heard about the Milk Carton Kids but had never checked them out.  When I heard that they had covered "Wish you were here" (the song) I decided to give it a listen.  I loved it and subsequently, discovered an amazing new musical treat.  They are not only terrific musicians, if you can find their live stuff on YouTube, you will see that they also have a great on stage banter.

I love good banter.

Banter on you crazy diamonds.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of April 11

"this is not a joke, so please stop smiling..."

How much do I love Wilco?


How great an album is "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"??


How much do I love "I am trying to break your heart?"


"I am an american aquarium drinker" - how awesome is that line?? SO AWESOME

I love love lover JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound's cover of "I am trying to break your heart."

just try, TRY!!!, to not tap your toe to this version.

go on chump, I double dog dare you!!! xo

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

because it's Tuesday - Week of April 4

I'm starting to see a theme emerging.

Nirvana's songs are just so darned cover-able.

I really like Sturgill Simpson's version of "In Bloom." Nirvana purists may not like it, or the other covers I've posted but fuck 'em. I like it.

Happy Tuesday beauties xo

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of March 28

I love the cure, I love yo la tengo

Friday I'm in Love - a perfect combination

happy Tuesday to you sweeties xo

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

because it's Tuesday - Week of March 21

"do you really think you go to hell for having loved?"

I've loved this beautiful Rufus Wainwright song since the first time I heard it.  Lily Allen's version, recorded for the post-inaugural Women's Protest gave me goose bumps.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of March 14

As you all know, in my heart, the Polyphonic Spree can do no bad.  Everything that they touch creates a ripple effect that makes me happy, makes every cell in my body sing with joy.

I have probably shared this video on these pages before but it would likely have been 10 years ago so I'm sharing it again.  As covers go, it's a good'un.  Sock puppets and Nirvana's Lithium.  Two great tastes that taste great together

smile pretty xo

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

because it's Tuesday - Week of March 7

Three weeks, is that considered a roll yet??

The Cactus Blossoms have made a lovely and sweet cover of a sweet Beatles song, "This Boy." Such a swoony song, they give it a nice treatment.

enjoy it kiddos xo

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of February 28

 Continuing along on my covers on Tuesday theme, here is a old chestnut. Aaron Krause has covered "Every Breath You Take" in a sweet way.  His version is far less creepy and stalkerish than the original.  For whatever reason, and when it comes to covers, I have no idea, I really like this.

you may like it too... xo

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

because it's Tuesday - week of February 21

I'm a sucker for covers. Good covers, cheesey covers, cheesey covers of good songs. I have a giant playlist of covers that I frequently listen to. I thought, in an attempt to get me posting here more often, that I'd start sharing covers here on Tuesdays. Hope you enjoy this one, it's the unbelievably amazing Patti Smith covering "smells like teen spirit"

enjoy xo

Friday, February 17, 2017

Day 7 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

Originally posted over on facebook... find your cub kids club newsletters, chew a stick of "kiss mint" gum and enjoy!!

This is it, the last day, day 7 of Jane's "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge already.

For those of you who knew me in the 1990's, it won't be tough to guess that my favourite band of the decade was cub. They played fun, fast songs. Shows were always a great time and cub gals were always very kind and sweet and genuinely nice people. I have so much more that I could say about the awesomeness that was cub but Gracie was injured today and she's bugging me to go hang out with her and I would like to do that.

Freaky is from cub's last album, Box of Hair. This video is particularly awesome. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 6 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

Originally posted over on facebook... put on your rubber boots and dance your pants off!!

I'm almost at the end of my challenge!! Today is day 6 of Jane's "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge already.

As you know, Jane was challenged by a friend to post "7 90's songs in 7 days." Jane decided to share Canadian songs only so her challenge became "7 90's Canadian songs in 7 Days." She's challenged me and my twist on her twist is that I'm sharing tunes by bands who would have crashed at my house while in Kingston for a show.

Another one of my top 5 favourite bands from the 1990's is easily the Smugglers. In my opinion, they were (and maybe still are... they recently played a reunion show in California and are getting ready to another one in May in Vancouver - on my birthday!!!) one of the best live bands Canada ever produced. Grant Lawrence has a book coming out later this year about the Smugglers - Dirty Windshields: the best and the worst of the Smugglers tour diaries. From what I've heard of their tour stories in the past, I'm sure this book will be a hilarious read! I just hope that it doesn't have a scratch'n'sniff card of what their van smelled like!!

Check out "Your Mom's The Devil" by the Smugglers!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Day 5 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

I posted this on Facebook but really need to share it here because ZUMPANO!!

Somehow, already, it's day 5 of Jane's "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge already.

For those of you who really aren't paying attention, my beautiful friend Jane was challenged by a beautiful friend of hers to post "7 90's songs in 7 days", Jane decided to share Canadian songs only so her challenge became "7 90's Canadian songs in 7 Days." She's challenged me and my twist on her twist is that I'm sharing tunes by bands who would have crashed at my house while in Kingston for a show.

The song I'm sharing today is by one of my favourite bands of the 90's, easily in the top 5 90's bands. Zumpano. How I love Zumpano. To this day I regularly listen to them. They put out two amazing pop albums on SubPop in the mid-90's. They played Kingston once, at the Trasheteria. Through my brother Patrick, I knew Dave Carswell from the Smugglers and he was touring with them so of course, they were all very welcome to stay at my place while they were in town. The show was great although it was very under-attended. At the end of every song, Carl would clap. Later on after the show, I asked him why he did that (because although the audience wasn't huge it was enthusiastic). He told me that if he clapped for each song, at least they could count on someone doing it, in case the audience didn't. Very sweet.

This is "I Dig You" from their first album, "Look what the Rookie did." Enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Day 4 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

Originally shared on my Facebook page, if you don't like seeing it here too, well, that's just sad.

Day 4 of Jane's "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge is here.

This is getting really boring I know but for those of you who missed day 1 through 3, I'll repeat it. A friend of Jane's challenged her last week to post "7 90's songs in 7 days", Jane decided to share Canadian songs only so her challenge became "7 90's Canadian songs in 7 Days." She's challenged me and my twist on her twist is that I'm sharing tunes by bands who would have crashed at my house while in Kingston for a show.

Today's song will get you dancing (and if you don't dance it should definitely get your tapping your toes under your desk if you're at work while you're reading this) - it's Ms. Lefevre by Maow.

Maow's full-length album, The Unforgiving Sounds of Maow is 21 minutes of fun. They played here in Kingston at the Wellington pub (I think) but I don't remember who else was on the bill.

Listen to Ms. Lefevre and dance your pants off with Tobey, CC and Neko!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 3 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

This was posted over on Facebook originally but I'm sharing here too because I can!!

Day 3 is here already!! That's right, it is the 3rd day of Jane's "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge. As you will recall if you're reading this every day (and I'm sure you all are!!), Jane was challenged to do this by a friend last week. Rather than simply find 7 90's songs, Jane found 7 90's Canadian songs. She's challenged me and my twist on her twist is that I'm sharing tunes by bands who would have crashed at my house while in Kingston for a show.

Today's song, appropriately shared around lunch time, is Carne Mysterioso by the amazing Leather Uppers. My brother Patrick put on a show in Acton Gym one mid-90's July. It was an incredible night featuring Two For Flinching, Inspector Fuzz, the Leather Uppers, The Stand GT and The Smugglers.

I'd never seen the Leather Uppers live and was totally blown away. I know that folks say that all of the time but this was real and to this day, I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it. They were performing as a 3 piece at the time and their set was crazy. The Smugglers crashed around the corner from my house at my brother's place and I seem to recall us all going to Morrison's for breakfast the next morning. I'm having a hard time believing that it was over 20 years ago!!

Enjoy some Carne Mysterioso for lunch today!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Day 2 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

This was originally posted on Facebook but I'm sharing it here too because good music deserves to be shared!!

Okay, today is day 2 of Jane's "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge. As I mentioned yesterday, Jane did a Cancon version when she was challenged and I am sticking with that theme. The twist for me is I'm featuring songs by bands who would have crashed at my house while in Kingston for a show.

Today's song is Paste by Pluto. I remember they had a tag line "why be a star when you can be a planet?" I don't think Pluto was a planet for much longer after that (was it downgraded to a dwarf planet?). Anyway, I seem to remember that they were at our place on a weekend when my roommate Dan's mom was visiting town (Dan, am I remembering that correctly?). 

Enjoy, Vancouver's Pluto.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 1 - 7 Songs from the 1990's Challenge

This was originally posted on Facebook but I thought I'd share it here too because it's been such fun this week!!

Totally amazing mid-90's CFRC radio star, Jane Mundell (aka DJ Hacker) has just completed a "7 90's songs in 7 days" challenge. She put a twist on it and made it a CanCon edition.

She's challenged me now to share "7 90's songs in 7 days." I'm going to twist her twist and make mine a 7 day's of CanCon 90's songs by folks who had to crash at my house while they were in Kingston for a show. I tried to always have clean towels and a minimal amount of dust bunnies on the floor with the hopes that it wasn't the worst place they would have to stay on their tour.

Her last share was of one of my favourite duos, the Inbreds. I'm starting mine off with another duo, from Winnipeg, Duotang