Monday, 30 April 2007

Saturday, April 28th was a magical day that will forever live on in history as the first home game for Toronto FC. In a previous post I think I discussed how important this team is to me; as a soccer fan growing up in a place where there was no local team to support, (the Lynx don't count...they just weren't good enough) I always had to look elsewhere. Those days are over.

Today, I officially renounce my 'support' for Liverpool FC. I will hope they do well, but there's only one team in my heart now, and besides; the day could come when we meet them in Global Cup Competition, and I don't want any fuzzy allegiances.

Saturday at BMO was simply awesome. The crowd were incredible, the team played well (for the most part) and although we didn't win and STILL haven't scored, every one of the 20,000 faces was beaming as we streamed out of the stadium.

May 12, bring on the Chicago Fire!

T-O 'til I die!

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Suzanne was in Niagara Falls for the week at a convention for the Canadian film industry, and I joined her for the last day. We took a double-decker bus out to a theatre and watched an appalingly-bad soccer movie called 'Gracie'. Don't even think of seeing it.

For these pictures I pretended I was in London and showed my general displeasure at things. That sign in the other picture says 'No Scooters' so that's essentially why I was displeased.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

I recently turned 33, or the 'triple-trey' as I call it, and the event was celebrated in style by my friends and I at Woodbine Racetrack in Rexdale. I hadn't been to the horseraces in ages, and having just read and abso-frigging-lutely loved Seabiscuit, Suzanne, in her wisdom, thought it would be fun to put some pennies on the ponies.

And fun it was. I plopped down a fiver on the longshot (to place) in the first race and she (or he) promptly romped home to a $38-winning second-place finish! That almost paid my betting for the remainder of the races and carried me through the next 8 winless contests. I won another $20 on the 9th, my number 4 narrowly pipping Fraser's 7, which sent him into a froth. But hey - you wins some, you loses some.

So if that was the low-brow (and by God I loved it) part of the birthday, Suzanne also arranged the high.

Backing up slightly, I decided fairly recently that I am finished with popular music. I haven't bought (or downloaded) any music to speak of lately, and the morning drives to work have cemented my utter loathing for the only passable radio station available. The 'morning show' is one dick joke after another, and it drives me completely batty.

So one day - maybe, 4 months ago? - I turned on the CBC, and I haven't turned it back. I happily discovered that I really enjoy classical music now. Maybe 33 is the magic age when one realizes that all that long-hair music is for hippies, and if there's no part for a bassoon it's not really music.

Nah, it's not really like that - I still consider Morrissey a true genius - but I'm glad to have an entire history of music to learn and explore now. And I'm really glad to have Tom Allen as my guide along the way. I sincerely believe that he could get anyone into classical music. His onomatopeiac descriptions of the upcoming or preceding music - played in short sections - really let you in and see what's going on.

I especially enjoy little piano things by Schubert and the violin-ing of Itzhak Perlman.

A few weeks ago, jumping back to the present, when I looked up the season's schedule for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and saw that the Perlman was conducting, I told Suzanne that tickets would be a great birthday present from her mom, also a CBC-in-the-morning fan.

But didn't the sly girl go and buy them herself?

So on May 23rd, we go to Roy Thomson Hall to watch one of the greats (apparently) conduct his pupil and his daughter and the members of the assembled TSO, as they perform a Beethoven concerto and Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony. There will be no betting, but it'll be great.

Once again, Suzanne comes through in style on my birthday. She truly is a marvel.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Another winner! Wallace & Son secured custom from a far-off lover of pottery on Sunday. Bob and Audrey of Australia are now the proud owner of a 'rare and valuable piece of China'. This was what he or she called our little Daisy Bell tankard when they wrote to request that we pack the hell out of the thing, because Australian posties like to play cricket with packages apparently.

Got a funny question about this item from a potential bidder, actually. I would like to know, he said, what is the tankard made of? Is it all wood? I responded politely that it was in fact a piece of ceramic pottery, and took another hard look at my pictures. Could they be that ambiguous? Perhaps he was merely playing it safe. He must have been disappointed by the answer because he didn't bid.

After an encouraging first month, W & S Antiques decided to ramp up the selling, so we've loaded five new items for your consideration. That they all happen to be psychedelic or proto-punk LPs from the 60s is a coincidence. Although Chris Gallagher dubbed us Magical Mystery Records, it's merely a prelude to the selling flurry that's on the horizon. They won't all be records, but if you're interested in tuning in and dropping out or whatever it was that they did back then, I invite first to log on and bid.

p.s. no Blackbirds update this week. I missed my final 'suspended' game due to a scheduling error and it appears as if there was a scorer's error too. 11-0 against? That can't be right. Next Sunday I return to action and I 'll get the whole story then.

11-0? ...that's just silly.