Well the week has started off with some good news on the COVID-19 front – though I’m thinking we really don’t need the 19 do we? It’s been over a year and we’re on first name basis now – here on the Island. The vaccination programme has reached 3.5% of the population with Long Term Care Facilities and essential hospital workers completed and the next phase opening today.
So why the report on Long Term Care – well one of our friends at Foil Arms and Hog has been called into the office at the centre where his Gran is a “guest”.
Though looking at this body today it’s difficult to believe that I use to go to a gym three times a week. It was a pretty spiffy place but the owner was a bit of a jerk. One day when I was struggling with some apparatus he was showing a perspective client around. He decided to “encourage” me by shouting: Feel the burn! Feel the burn!” I stopped, puzzled and looked around; “What’s on fire” I ingenuously yelled back. He never bothered me again.
One of the things that many of us have missed over the past 10 months – dear good is that all it’s been, seems more like ten years – has been live performances. Though nothing can compare to the interaction between performers and audiences some of the void has been filled by the internet. Groups of every genre of music, theatre companies, dance troupes, opera houses, and sometimes solo performances have broadcast their work to help lighten the mood of our current world situation.
I was just thinking this morning that I need a bit of Shakespeare to brighten my day and lo and behold what should pop-up but a production of The Scottish Play*! Now granted it’s being done by two socks and they have given a Not Safe For Work Edge that Miss Firth would never have allowed in our grade 12 English Lit class. But ya takes ya jollies where ya gets ’em! As my sainted mother use to say.**
*Theatrical tradition says that it is bad luck to mention the name of Shakespeare’s only play set in Scotland. I’m not sure if that also applies to writing it but given the way things have gone the last 10 months I’m not about to tempt fate. **Actually my sainted mother never said anything of the kind! And chances are I will be subjected to the fires of hell for saying she did.
The idiom for January 25th is: Lo and behold An idiom used to present a new scene, situation, or turn of events, often with the suggestion that although surprising, it could in fact have been predicted. Lo is the the imperative of look in Middle English and derives from lā in Old English. Apparently a common error is to write it as Low and behold – much as I did in my first draft of this post.
Out of the blue the other day the gods of YouTube started featuring one of Bob Newhart’s old routines. And of course when you click on one they then bestow a myriad of clips that are “recommended just for you!” In some cases it bugs my butt for given my mood late the Newhart recommendations were more than welcome.
Newhart is one of the great comedians of the late 20th century (I say is because he is still performing at the age of 91) starting as a stand-up comedian then went on to become a well-regarded character actor with two extremely successful sit-coms to his credit. I loved him both a stand-up and in his TV persona.
His comedy was always low-keyed, intelligent, and based on everyday foibles and follies. He never used swear words and there was always an air of affection in his revelations.
Here’s one of his classic routines:
Amongst his “shtick” was the one side of a telephone call – but you could almost hear the person on the other end.
He appeared 24 times on the old Dean Martin show, 8 times on Ed Sullivan, and hosted a number of shows including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Hollywood Palace as well as appearances on dramatic and comedy series.
Newhart was nominated nine times for an Emmy, only winning once in 2013; and in 1961 when he won the Peabody Award the citation said:
“a person whose gentle satire and wry and irreverent wit waft a breath of fresh and bracing air through the stale and stuffy electronic corridors. A merry marauder, who looks less like St. George than a choirboy, Newhart has wounded, if not slain, many of the dragons that stalk our society. In a troubled and apprehensive world, Newhart has proved once again that laughter is the best medicine.”
Just read that last sentence of the citation and you can understand why I greet the “recommendations” with a sense of joy!
The word for January 11th is: Myriad /ˈmirēəd/: [1.noun2.adjective] 1.1 A countless or extremely great number. 1.2 A unit of ten thousand (chiefly in classical history) 2. Countless or extremely great in number. Mid 16th century (in myriad (sense 2 of the noun)): via late Latin from Greek murias, muriad-, from murioi ‘10,000’. Thanks Mr Newhart – you’ve given me a myriad of laughs.
I love Letters Live, the marvellous British celebration of the written word featuring major performers and personalities reading letters. Some of them are from famous people others are just everyday folk writing to friends, family, foes, corporations or in this case newspapers.
In 2014, a series of letters were sent to the Guardian newspaper in response to one of the more pressing geopolitical issues of the day. One Nicholas Lizard had asserted that dogs were “inherently fascist”. A good old fashioned “letters to the editor” exchange took place.
And this little gem from Olivia Coleman – who when she performed it at Union Hall apologized that the only American accent she could do was Southern, though she was sure that wasn’t the same as one from Montana.
On March 24th of 1958, 22-year-old Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army and some of his adoring fans were so concerned they wrote directly to President Eisenhower. This letter is just one of thousands the poor, no doubt slightly bewildered, Ike received.
The word for December 28th is: Letter /ˈledər/: [1.noun2.verb] 1.1 A character representing one or more of the sounds used in speech; any of the symbols of an alphabet. 1.2 A written, typed, or printed communication, especially one sent in an envelope by mail or messenger. 2. To inscribe or writing on. Middle English: from Old French lettre, from Latin litera, littera ‘letter of the alphabet’, (plural) ‘epistle, literature, culture’.
So here’s some Christmasy stuff – yes I know it’s still only Adventtide and we should be turning to meditation and preparation but again my blog my rules!
So let’s get the COVID related things out of the way first:
I’m not exactly adverse to the next bit of lockdown initiative:
Sometimes it not so much a “generation gap” as a chasm!
I just wish Santa would get me a copy editor and if he should happen to be young, blond and well-built I wouldn’t argue with that either!
And as usual a bit of musical humour:
Would that my iPhone knew the story of Hanukkah – last time I was at ER it was at 20% one minute and in the red and dying when I went to call Laurent 10 minutes later. Need the Miracle of the Batteries here folks!
And the usual a religious post, keeping in mind the “reason for the season”.
If only that ‘s all that Nora would eat!
The word for December 14th is: Exchange /iksˈCHānj/: [1.noun2.verb] 1.1 An act of giving one thing and receiving another (especially of the same type or value) in return. 1.2 A visit or visits in which two people or groups from different countries stay with each other or do each other’s jobs. 1.3 A short conversation; an argument. 2. To give something and receive something of the same kind in return.Late Middle English: from Old French eschange (noun), eschangier (verb), based on changer (see change). The spelling was influenced by Latin ex- ‘out, utterly’. Oh so the idea behind a cookie exchange is that you give me cookies and I give you cookies. Why don’t we just keep our own cookies?
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown