Shaking My Fist at the Sky

Posted: July 29, 2016 in Personal

I’ve been watching what Kathleen Wynne is doing to the Ontario Health system and found myself wondering if Katy’s blog might contain a little foreshadowing…

Katyboo1's Weblog

My brother was in hospital for surgery today.

He’s had a kidney stone for months. It is one of those things the NHS no longer fix in the early stages. They hope it will just ‘go away.’

I understand this. There is no money, and if you know anything at all about the NHS you will know that they now routinely employ what they call rationing. This means that they do not stop offering certain treatments/drugs, but they do make the criteria to get them almost impossible to achieve. Kidney stones, along with hernias, are things that are often on hospital trust ration lists.

To be fair, sometimes people do pass kidney stones without any help,  but sometimes they don’t and in my brother’s case, he didn’t. In fact his kidney stone got bigger and bigger and worse and worse. In fact, the drugs they gave him several months ago which they swore…

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Happy Now?

Posted: June 28, 2016 in Personal

I’ve been fascinated by the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the UK. Of all the commentary I’ve read I have to say this is my favourite, not because of what it says about Brexit, but because of her comments on the current state of Western democracy and sociopolitical discussion in general. I see the same complaints in discussions her in Canada, in the States, and all around the G8 especially. They say that misery loves company but frankly I’d feel better if Katy’s complaints weren’t so wide spread.

Katyboo1's Weblog

It is day four in the Big Brexit house.

I had hoped after Friday’s absolute catastrophe of a day that the country might somehow magically rally over the weekend. I mean, when you plunge your country into possible ruin on the promise of a golden future that will allow it to rise like a phoenix from the flames, you have a plan, right?

As it turns out, you don’t. The only person that seems to have any plan at all, and be acting on it rather than just spouting meaningless Churchillian rhetoric is Nicola Sturgeon, and I can’t even vote for her.

I was distraught and angry on Friday. I had hoped to feel better by today. Instead I am running on barely controlled rage and getting more enraged by the moment.

Here are a few things I am furious about:

Firstly, leave voters telling me to calm down. I’m sorry…

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Posted: June 3, 2016 in Personal

I was thinking of writing a post about this myself, but I can’t say it any better than my friend here, so I will let her say it. Good read.

Heart Murmurs

Venom and vitriol. All over my news feed. All over the tv news. All over the internet.


The reason?

A silverback gorilla was shot by zoo staff after a 4-year old child managed to get into the enclosure. I’m sure you’ve seen the story and perhaps seen the video footage of the child’s foot in the grip of the 450lb ape.

Let me just get something straight here before I hop up on my little soap box.

I love animals.

I love animals and always have. I have been fascinated and enthralled by Jane Goodall’s life story since childhood. I read every book in the library about Jane. I also read every book that I could get my hands on about dolphins, sharks, whales and other marine creatures. I imagined tramping through jungles, as Goodall had, chronicling and re-defining what we know about animals. I dreamed about animal research…

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Headed for the Big Apple

Posted: April 15, 2016 in Personal

My new friend Jennifer Cornish is headed to New York, New York in September to participate in  “United Solo” the world’s largest solo theatre festival. If you’re not sure that you can make it to the festival in the Big Apple this fall, or even if you know you can make it, remember that you can preview this wonderful talent in Fergus this month in “Shirley Valentine.”

Tickets HERE.


One Shirley, Two Actors

Posted: April 12, 2016 in Art, Theatre

I know… it’s been a while. But hey, when life does give you a few minutes to yourself – parking in front of the computer is rarely what you want to do as “down time”; so the blog stays idle until there’s a compelling reason to post something. Well, something has come up… so, here you go.

I’m sure many of you have seen, or have at least heard about, the movie Shirley Valentine. Before it was made into a movie in 1989, it was an amazing play written by Willy Russell. Starting the last Tuesday in April, 4thWall Productions will be staging a production of Russell’s play and they have invited me to design the soundscape for it. It’s what is sometimes referred to “in the biz” as a one-hander, which means there’s only one actor on stage for the whole play.

That’s one actor, delivering all the lines, for two hours, every show. And when there are two shows a day for five days in a row, that’s a lot of work; especially if, like most actors in Canada, you need to hold down a part-time or even a full time job just to pay the bills. Add in the kids, and soccer/hockey, and… well, you get the idea. What’s the solution? Before I answer that question, let me tell you a little about Shirley Valentine in case you are among the uninitiated.

Shirley is in a place a lot of us find ourselves at one point or another. She’s in her forties, her two kids have moved on, the bloom has fallen off the romance with her husband and when she takes the time to sit down and have a glass of wine and think about it, she’s saddened by the fact that life is not what she imagined it would be. She wonders where it all went sideways and what happened to all the dreams she had when she was younger. So she goes looking for them and also discovers, as a wise Greek philosopher once put it, “Dreams are never where you expect them to be.”dreams

So what happens? Well, that would be telling now, wouldn’t it?

But, back the solution: as my title suggests, the trick is one Shirley, but two actors! You get two people to share the role, trading off one performance to the next. In this case that also means two Jennifers; first, my good friend Jennifer Barson, whom I’ve enjoyed working with a number of times, and second, my new friend Jennifer Cornish, whom I certainly hope to work with again. Two great actors sharing one tremendous role to the delight of all. It’s a remarkable thing to watch them work. Same story, same dialog, same blocking, but, in a manner of speaking, two great plays. You may have to come see it twice!

So this is my invitation to you my faithful reader, to make your way to the Fergus Grand Theatre in, of all places, Fergus, Ontario and take in a remarkable show. Grab a date and enjoy an evening show together, or round up the book club and grab a matinée. It all starts on Tuesday, April 26th and runs two performances a day (2pm and 8pm) through to April 30th. Tickets are just $25.

To buy tickets online… CLICK HERE!


At first I thought I might write my own blogpost along these lines lines; but I couldn’t think of a better way to say t, so… here.

john pavlovitz

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I live just down the street from a very conservative Southern Baptist seminary.

I often sit at the nearby coffee shop and just observe people, listening as the conversations waft in and out of earshot. (Okay, so technically it’s eavesdropping but I’m currently repenting of it.)

Today as I walked up the sidewalk I could hear a man probably fifteen to twenty years younger than me at an outdoor table, lecturing two other people about God and heresy and “Truth”.

I sat and sort of marveled at him. He was so confident in his youth; so sure of himself, so authoritative, so ready with answers, his theology so fixed and unwavering.

(He reminded me a lot of someone.)

I remember that place well. Sometimes I really miss it.

Life was so much easier then, yet it’s a place I’m glad I no longer live.

I feel more vulnerable here. The lack of certainty is…

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33 1/3 Anniversary Pictures

Posted: December 2, 2015 in Personal

Our Anniversary Cake

A few weeks ago Roberta and I celebrated our 33 1/3 Wedding Anniversary with a “Bring Your Own Vinyl” party.

For those who were there (and anyone else who might be interested) here’s a link to the online album with our pick of the pictures that were taken that night. Our thanks to Denise Zimmer for providing us with these digital memories.

Our Party Pictures Album (LINK)