Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guelph Jazz Festival

Wow! I'd forgotten how wonderful live music is, especially when it is free, under the stars and in community. I almost stayed home, despite the nearly full moon and perfect clarity of a September evening. We went to the Free Tent on Wyndham Street, and happened upon Mike Essoudry's Mash Potato Mashers a most marvelous conglomeration of brass instruments and percussion, combining New Orleans, Klesmer and Jazz - ending by parading off the stage, down the aisle and out of the tent while playing. Joyful. I drank in the delight this spectacle with a motley group; babes in arms through to grannies bounced and smiled to the happy beat.

It took awhile for the next group to set up, but it was well worth waiting for
Rebel Rhythm with Jane Bunnett & Larry Cramer - an irresistable Latin sound that got me and most of the tent up and dancing. I am sore, but full, replete, satisfied, happier than when I started out. And isn't that why we need the arts? To pull us out of ourselves and connect us with the larger body of humanity. This is good food for the soul.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obama - a year and some later

Well, he certainly is in a wasp's nest! All those testy Republicans bound and determined to bring him down. I don't really understand their arrogance - how can they possibly imagine that the American population will be fooled for long by their partisan politics? Eventually, their voter base will get fed up with their petulance and punish them like the spoiled children they are impersonating.

A sad result of the Republican Party's virulence is that it will probably force Obama to ditch the bipartisan approach he had hoped to take. How many times does the door have to slam in your face before you stop opening it?

I am very happy for my friends and relatives still living in America that they now have at least some semblance of universal medicare. It's only civilized. I can only hope, for the sake of the poor and sick, that the bid made by certain state governors to reject Medicare will fail.

We do live in interesting times...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ambivalence, Chinese New Year and my new Job

Well, that about says it all today for me on this planet earth, new Chinese year that it is. Year of the Ox, or so I've been told. I'm a Boar, or so I've been told by many who know me well. But I don't follow that sort of thing, perhaps for obvious reasons. My self esteem can only handle so much abuse - between being catalogued as either a crab or a boar, or if you follow both systems, a crab AND a boar, what else is left to me but to turn my back on the whole thing and look elsewhere for my identity.

Well, that isn't the ONLY reason I became a Christian. In fact, it really wasn't the reason at all. Not that that's what I'm blogging about here. Just an aside.

Actually, I'm not really sure what I want to write about, hence the title. I was hoping to entertain the few who follow my ramblings with some amusing chatter about this and that. I've just started a new job - cool, eh? In these bleak economic times, a job is nothing to sniff at. However, I've been so used to minding my own business, being retired / unemployed / self-employed, that minding someone else's might prove challenging.

Still, I'm thrilled that I can contribute to an organization whose focus is on sustainable housing. It is interesting that, after I lost my last "job" (or rather had it whipped unceremoniously out from under me by my boss - some how "lost" is too tepid a way to describe the event) two years ago, my oldest child ordered me to create a Personal Mission Statement, in no uncertain terms.

It took me about six months to do so, and, although I've stored the working copies in an all-too-safe location, I do remember the gist of it - to contribute my skills and experience to an organization committed to improving the environment. For a year I searched for just such a job, volunteering for several local "green" groups to build some credibility in the community and involving myself with vermicomposting as a local representative for The Worm Factory.

The result of all this activity was the discovery that what I really wanted to do was write! So, I am busily pursuing a career as a freelance writer with the support of a small business course and grant from our wonderful provincial government. However, daughter number two sat me down and, as gently as possible, informed me that freelance writing would likely NOT generate enough cash to support a goldfish. She spoke from the experience of freelance writer friends who regularly contributed to such bastions of North American jornalism as The New York Times.

As expert as I am at denial, even I could not avoid an impending sense of insolvancy. So, when one of the many organizations I had applied to before I knew I wanted to write, invited me to apply for a job, I did so. Lo and behold, they actually offered me the job! It is half time, so will fit marvelously well into my scheme to be a writer! Or so I imagine.

I will have to exercise my emerging boundary setting skills to make sure it doesn't become a 3/4 or full time job due to the organization's need and my commitment to their objectives.

Since I am at heart a snappish, lazy, cowardly slob (see first paragraph above), this will prove a challenge.