Sunday, October 31, 2010


Oh my Goodness, it’s November.

How did that happen so quickly.
Last week it was September- wasn’t it?

Now, yesterday I bought two Christmas Ornaments. I had to. I was up at Winners and I have always wanted to own Christopher Radko Blown Glass, Vintage Ornaments. So, I bought a box of six. Then, on the same shelf, there was another beautiful blown glass Santa Claus Ornament. It was just 5.99 and I couldn’t resist.
I think I love Winners. It’s upscale and yet not expensive- like some of our downtown shops.

Listen, I love shopping downtown too but I don’t want to pay the price for that luxury. Good quality, upscale goods at a very reasonable price.
What’s not to like?

Anyways, Hello November!
Finish the yard word.
Oh yes, pack away the Hallowe’en stuff and take the gazebo cover off the frame.
That being done, there’s-
The Santa Claus Parade,
The Hank Christmas Show rehearsals with the show next month on December 11th & 12th.
Christmas Trees to decorate.
Holiday Shopping andmore dialogue to learn for a February show.

I look forward to bitching about the cold and snow.
It’s a Canadian thing. A January thing- I hope.

Maybe we’ll see some sunshine and warmth in late February or March.
Maybe we’ll win a lotto too!

So, it’s November the first. Who knew?
Apparently, it happens every year about this time.
I wonder if the folks in Hawaii realize it’s November first?
Probably not. Being in Hawaii, November first feels like April first, July first or December first.

Welcome to the 11th month of 2010. It’s here, so we have to live with it just like every other November.

Have a good one, eh?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


OK. I admit it. I have nothing to say today.
Nothing new.
So, please enjoy the blog below which was posted yesterday and give me the weekend to

Why do we waste our precious time here on earth not talking to lost friends?

I am not about to preach to you here.
I can’t.
I am a big offender. A big time waster.

Some people are here to be with us our entire lives.
While others, just casually float in and float out again, never to be heard from again.

I heard from an old friend today. I worked with Arlene almost 30 years ago at CHAY FM in Barrie. CHAY was only about 2 years old at that time. I was almost an “original” staffer. We sent an e-mail back and forth. It helped me remember a simpler time before the Internet- before Cell Phones and Big Screen televisions.

In this blog, I wrote about a day- back in July, when I was at a reunion for another Radio Station I worked at- CHOO Country Radio. Again I re-connected with people I hadn’t seen in 25 years. I was glad I attended. It made me feel good. It reminded me of past accomplishments that made me what and who I am today.

In late July, I connected with friends I hadn’t seen in just over two years. It’s a story I am not going to relate in detail again but suffice it to say these two friends got caught in the midst of a huge understanding and I made them pay a price. Then, I received a birthday card by e-mail one morning in late July from these lost friends. I just picked up the phone and called.
It was once of the best things I have ever done.
Whether the stars were in alignment or it was just the right amount of time passing it was a good thing.

There are others out there too. Former friends I think about connecting with again. I realize, however, that some people come into my life just long enough to pass through and then leave.
It might be all planned that way- who knows?
I now cherish the time spent.
I learned.
I loved.
I laughed.
I made some memories but it just wasn’t for a long time.

Now, a friend has e-mailed me, wondering if he should contact someone who recently said they would never speak to him again. It was all a mis-understanding. This friend takes full responsibility for his actions.
He knows he was wrong.
He said words that never should have been said.

Some thoughts should stay in our head and not pass out over our lips.
So I think he should call.
The worst that could happen is he’ll get a phone slammed down- hard, in his ear. The best that could happen is a friendship gets renewed.
Someone has to take the first step.
Someone always has to take the first step.
Dialing the number is the first step.
It’s not easy hearing that phone ring in your ear.
It gets easier when a familiar voice answers at the other end.
Take heart in that.

The rest is chance.
We just shouldn’t waste our precious time…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It’s a sham.

It’s fake. It’s bound by ridiculous censorship. I’m talking about Glee on Global Television. Last night was the final straw. Mr. Schuester (Mathew Morrison) and the kids decide to do The Rocky Horror Show for a school musical only they call it “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”!

They ridiculously produce the show in a week- or less.A tall order isn’t it?
A tall order indeed but they f***ked it all up!

When I first saw Rocky Horror right here in Orillia back in the 70’s, it was a dream come true. I was not yet out of the closet and it gave me an opportunity to feel “not so different”. It was medicine for a young man- who knew he was ‘Gay” but trapped in a straight world. That has not really changed really. Yes, I go to the Gay Village in Toronto. Yes, I am an out “Gay” man but for the most part living in Orillia these past 18 years, I am still surrounded by “heterosexuals”.

A facimile- not Glee's Rocky
 The movie version of Rocky was awe-inspiring and fun to me. I watched Rocky in his gold lame shorts- abs glistening in the hot studio lights on the big screen.
Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank ‘n Furter was magical. I wondered what it would be like to strut around on stage in fishnet stockings. I still don’t know to this very day. Tim even has a “Gay” scene with Barry Bostick (Brad in the movie) where he sneaks into Brad’s room disguised as Janet- until his wig is pulled off by Brad.
Brad has some hoser of a line about “I wouldn’t. I never!”
Dr. Frank ‘n Furter tells him to give himself over to “absolute pleasure”.
He does.

Now back to Glee. The censors had a field day with this one.

In one song they changed the words from “heavy petting” to “heavy sweating”.
Meanwhile while Mathew Morrison is stripped to the waist showing a fine set of abs and a furry chest, his co-star rides on top of him perched on his crotch as they fly across a room on a swivel chair. Can’t say “petting” but going for a crotch ride on a chair of chest hair is OK?

The young blonde stud muffin in the class does get to do a scene in gold shorts and for a young lad, he is impressive. The “Canuk” in the cast- Cory Monteith, as Finn frets about stripping down to “tighty whities” in front of the “guys” on the team. This show perpetuates this kind of dumb bullying. He eventually does a dry run walking down a hallway clad in just his whities- but they’re boxers- not tightie whities!
Good Grief!

Barry Bostick who did a cameo on the show should have been livid. He let it all hang out- or flop at least!
The final atrocity of all came when Glee’s “beefy, black girl” was given the lead role of Dr. Frant ‘n Furter!
The un-kindest cut of all!
The good doctor Frank is a Transsexual and hails from the planet Transsexual. That’s the whole point to his character and the movie- or stage show! Having a heavy-duty black chick- who can really sing, play the part is like Christopher Plummer subbing for Julie Andrews as Maria in The Sound of Music!

Once again, I would hazard a guess that the producers wouldn’t let a fellow prance about and sing his heart out in fishnets while being an “out” transsexual. For Cripes sake, they have a Gay Man in the cast!
He’d have been a better choice! Now I am not typecasting. Maybe that lad wouldn’t want to be a “trannie” either but thinking back to a recent show, didn’t he sing a duet a la Judy Garland- not in drag but in body language at least.
Oh, and what part did the writers have for him?
Don’t make me laugh.

It’s been difficult watching these actors lyp-synch songs for a season and a third but to destroy The Rocky Horror Show like this?
Fie on them.
Fie on them all!

I know younger kids are addicted to this show and that is why such a “layer of protection” is in place but “Golly Gee whiz”- as Holly Golightly would say, leave the good stuff alone and stick to ballads and showtunes.

Oh, more scenes with Mathew Morrison shitless would be advantageous too!
Go ahead and say it!
Alright. I will- I am so shallow.
All part of being Gay My Dears!

Final note. This show should be moved to Cable and have the reins of censorship lifted permanently.

Monday, October 25, 2010


So, here’s the City of Orillia Municipal election results as I see them.


Angelo Orsi.

He’s not ugly. He’s not old. He has nice olive skin and a good set of teeth.
He has his hair.
He also wears nice ties. (though not in this picture)
What’s not to like?
What more can an Orillian want?
Ok. I'm shallow. So what?


Andrew Hill

Hurrah! Finally, Andrew Hill is in government and the fact that he is an NDP’er and a former Catholic didn’t seem to make one hoot of difference. He knocked on a lot of doors and it paid off…and he didn’t even have to read Leviticus to win!

Tony Madden

Tony also knocked on a lot of doors- including ours. I had made up my mind about him early on because of a certain “turn of phrase” on his website. I questioned him about it and he changed my mind. He was forthright, empathetic and sensitive. He also supported Arts and Culture and his sons don’t even play hockey.
In Orillia??
Who would have thought…

Michael Fogerty

Well cute wins! I worked with Michael on the Dickens Christmas Show last year for Couchiching Jubilee House. He did the job. Listened to what I said as a Director and he was prepared. He doesn’t reside in my ward but I have e-mailed him a time or two back in “Pride” days. Did I mention he was cute- and married?
Ok. So, I'm shallow. So what?

Don Jenkins

I am so happy Don is on council. He’s a retired lawyer with a great, warm sense of humour. Gee Sarah- you’re a Councillor’s spouse now. Top Lady of Ward 1. So, when’s the first afternoon Tea and Garden party? Wait, Don has to have time to come up with some “new” jokes first.

Paul Spears

Linda Murray
…and Orillia blazes a trail into the future once again.
Who would have believed it- a female of the species on Orillia City Council. We have had Lady Mayors like- Isabelle Post who cut a lot of ribbons at supermarket openings and Pat McIssac too. I didn’t live here when Mayor McIssac was at the helm. There have been others- but the “old boys club” beat them all down.

Patrick Kehoe
First Nations background and I hear a hell of a nice guy.

Pete Bowen
I think I met you Pete once or twice- somewhere, somehow. Nice moustache- right? Gee maybe you can hire Wayne to cut your lawn next summer. He’ll need something to do.

So that’s the Municipal Election as I see it.
In Orillia we wanted and needed change. Now, maybe we’ll see West Street South re-organized with a new plan. Maybe our glorious waterfront will be glorious with eyesores like the junkyard and the skateboarding place junked- or not junked in the case of the junkyard. I say build a waterfront Tim Horton’s. I mean what City has a Tim’s on the waterfront?

As for those that didn’t win? That’s called the democratic process and hey, you can always try again next time- except maybe for…Well I shouldn’t really say.

Have a good one- Orillia.


It’s municipal election day!

The day you exercise your right- as a Citizen of the City of Orillia, to vote for the Candidates of your choice. I can’t help you with your choices in all the wards since I only live in one. That’s Ward 4.
I can only remark on what- as a citizen, I have gleened.

Of course with Mayor that’s a different story.
The choices:
Ralph Cipolla. Um. No. Not totally sure why but no.
Tim Lauer? Tim is the man I placed my “money on”. I’ve known him for years. Schooled at ODCVI. I like him. Seems true and loves his community. Always answers any questions I have about something in the ward.

Angelo Orsi. Ah. Here’s the problem. I like him too. I would like to see Orillia get a “fresh” start. New faces and brains. He’s a go-getter. West Ridge is his doing. We needed that- housing, shops etc.
So, My “X” might end up beside his name. My only hold-back is I heard he supported Bruce Stanton last time. Now, I know that’s federal and this is Municipal but still it makes me think. I like Bruce. I don’t like his party. I wouldn’t want to see another “Conservative” at the helm. We’ve been there, done that.
So as I write this, I am still in thinking mode.

Now the rest. The Councillors?

Pat Reid. I’ve known Pat for Years. A smart, educated man who would be available and has the Ward and the City at heart. No question. Place an “X” there.

Andrew Hill. Andrew has run before in Orillia but not municipally. I like him. He should have a chance. He’s not afraid to get out there and has been going door to door.

Tony Madden. I had a long talk with Tony and he sold me. I like him. Very Genuine.

Kelly Clune. ~ahem~ Enough said.

Tissington. I don’t even know her first name and- No!

Colin McKim. I’ve seen the lawn signs and read his stuff both for the election and when he was a part of the Packet. I like his writing.

Another lady last name- Kruska. I’ve seen a couple of signs. Can’t remember the first name and can say nothing else.

I know I’m missing another name- right? There’s 8 running for 2 seats?
Boy, am I informed or what?
So get out there kids and vote.

When we wake up Tuesday we’ll have some new faces and a new Mayor!

Friday, October 22, 2010

ROBBLOG #166 W E E K E N D Edition

It’s getting to the point where I can tell right away.

I know if people in front of us, beside us or behind us are going to talk during a show. The most recent occurrence was during “Wicked” at Toronto’s Canon Theatre. This is the third time we have seen the show since the “Wicked Tour” began coming to the Canon five or six years ago.

I said to Tom before the show started- “These four gals behind us are going to be talkers!”
I was right.

The first Act was fairly quiet.
They chatted about the map of The Land of OZ that hung on the stage before the show started. Some of the questions were a giveaway.

“What’s Shiz”

“Why does the yellow brick road go in so many directions?”

“Look it says Jinxland!”

During the first Act there was a comment here and there during the applause etc. No harm in that.
Then, along comes the intermission.
Before the lights came up, all four of them were on the phone talking- or texting. These were not young teens. These are older ladies that just needed to chat with someone to be able to tell them they were at the theatre.

Then the second Act.
I think they were becoming bored.
They couldn’t follow the story.
They needed to amuse themselves at the expense of those around us.
Partway into Act Two the questions started.

“Why is this?”

“What did he say?”

“Isn’t he dead? He’s supposed to be dead- why isn’t he?”

“He was- but not now.”

“But I thought he died!”

The voices were becoming so elevated, that being seven rows from the stage, I couldn’t hear what the actors- on stage, were saying. So I turned around, cleared my throat and glared.
That stopped it dead and I heard nothing more.
These were 120 dollars seats. Obviously a husband- or someone, had bought these tickets for them.
Maybe they were winners of a contest.
Whatever it was, it didn’t seem to matter that we had paid 120 bucks or that they had as well.

Why come if you can’t concentrate and follow the story? Yet- they could concentrate on their texting and phone calls. On another matter, one of them had such potent perfume on that my eyes watered, I sneezed and my sinuses stuffed up.
Try blowing your nose seven rows from the front while being discreet.

Just before this quartette of gals- who thought they were at home in their basement recreation rooms watching those two Gay Boys talk about the colour of one’s urine on CBC afternoon television, there was another disruption.
This was a doozey.
It was an argument. Two male voices just a few rows ahead of us and to the right.
It started with a couple of loud thumps. The voices became so loud that the Musical Director who was within our sight just ahead of us, turned to see what was happening. Even actor Mariand Torres who played the role of Elphaba- the green-faced witch of the West, pause for a second. You could tell by the look on her face that she could hear the commotion too. It settled down after 30 seconds or so, probably through a terse word or two by an usher.

Good grief!

Rule: If you aren’t going to respect those around you in a theatre- stay home and eat popcorn, drink beer and pull your thong underwear out of the crack of your ass in private. Douse yourself in perfume too.
Nobody cares what you do in your own home. This was quite a change from Priscillia- The Musical that we saw at the Princess of Wales on Sunday, where there was no obnoxious perfume- or talking.
Just thought I had to share. Believe me, as an actor onstage- even though you keep the show moving along, you can hear people chatting in the audience. You have to try not to let it bother you but after all that “fourth wall” isn’t soundproof!

Roch Voisine at Casino Rama

Once again, one of the best shows ever at the Casino Rama Entertainment Centre! Roch wowed the audience with his clear, beautiful vocals backed by a 7 member band.
This handsome Canadian Star with movie idol looks featured his new CD “Americana” in this show. Guess he wants to break into the American Market and as usual- as Canadians, we have to kiss Yankee Butt.
Oh Well.
He still featured hits like Helene, Kissing Rain and I’ll Always be There- his encore.
The CD is number one in Canada this week after just 5 weeks of release.
That’s great! He deserves it.
Listen for cuts on Swisssh Radio.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Uh-Oh. Quite a furor I have caused with yesterday’s RobBlog.

I’ve sucked it up and have been singing “Que Sera, Sera” out loud to myself ever since.

Here are some of the responses I received. They have not been censored. Some of the language may be strong and you may object to the wording.
You have been warned. I printed all the names of the authors of the letters. Why shouldn’t we know their names and the community from whence they write.
Nevermind, read on MacDuff…

“…there are more things in Heaven and Earth than any of us can understand. Be gentle with your thoughts lad.”
Reverend Thomas Tolley, Perry Street United Church, Southside, Manitoba

“You F***ing, Liberal-assed, Son of a b****! Who in the hell gave you permission to talk about our Dear Lord that way. I hope they burn you at the stake, cut off your balls and throw them to the dogs- that is IF you had any to begin with.”
D. Holmes, Orillia

“..but Jesus died for all of us. Even butt-holed bastards like you. Didn’t you ever hear that you should not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain? Jesus Christ, you must be some kind of Moronic Demon or something.”
Barbara-Lynn Childs Strathroy, New Brunswick.

“while you did post some valid thoughts, I fear your soul will be writhing in the torment of the burning blast furnaces of Hell for all eternity. Faith is all we have to cling to. It’s not too late. Save yourself now and the Lord God of Hosts will tuck you to his bosom and gently rock your sins away.”
-Constance Jessel, Dipwhole, Tennessee.

“Finally someone tells it like it is. I am so sick of all these Sunday church going, Dudley Do Rights telling me how to live. Live now, for there isn’t a pretty Heaven with tree-lined streets and towering Condos waiting for any of us- not even the righteous.”
-Adam Champ, Belleville.
Dear Sir, I read with great distain your diatribe on the Lord Jesus Christ and his Father our one and only God in Heaven. Make no mistake about it, my God only loves Christians- and not those Catholics either. The Muslims, Jews and the Palestinians are set on a collision course for relentless torment in the hereafter. Jesus does not have time for the likes of you or them. Praise his name to the Heavens!”
-Verna Tuttle, Glast Rock, Alberta

“I am with you Brother. You should build your own church but not on a rock like St. Peter but on a pile of Harvest Wheat Pancakes so the congregation would never go hungry!”
Danny Talisman, Canak, Saskatchewan.

“Dear Me God, what have you written RobBlog? You sound like a pasty-faced homosexual sining your life away with buggery and drugs and unholy unions with other of your ilk. God doesn’t exist? He exists as surly as the sun rises every morning. As certain as water tumbles over stones in a river bed. As triumphantly as my Jesus loves me and would love you too- if you would just let him.”
Anne Famlick, Chesterton, Alberta, Canada

“I agree with your Blog. God doesn’t exist. All those born again, gospel flaunting, mis-informed sheep should stand back and take a good, hard look at themselves. Why would anyone believe there’s a higher power that would allow his servants to sink to such depravity. I’m not just talking about that fucked up, touched in the head Colonel but all the nations on this planet that allow inhumane acts to propagate and grow…”
Allan Tard, St. Antiquis Quebec.

“Get a life sinner, child of Satan. How dare you say God doesn’t exist. He does you know. If God and his churches didn’t, we wouldn’t have a world as we know it. God is the puppet master and we are just the puppets. He pulls the strings and we give him unconditional love in return.”
S. Durn, Burnall Ontario.

“I can’t believe God hasn’t struck you down and pulled that rancid tongue from your Godless mouth. I went to church today and said 4 Hail Mary’s for your safety and salvation. It cost me 2.75 cents in bus fare but I know God would approve.”
Mary Dempsey, Fornley, B.C.

“So if God cured cancer and all the other stupid things on your list, wouldn’t a lot of people be out of work?”
Archie Bellam, Groves Creek, Nova Scotia

“I enjoy reading your Blogs on a daily basis. It is just your thoughts on one of many subjects you have chosen to write about. I think your ideas are fresh and your beliefs spot on!”
Ken Dagman, Burrel Creek, Ontario

So, there you have it- and that’s just a small taste. Do I repent and ask to be nestled to the Almighty’s bosom?
What I said stands.
I know there is something more and something different.
By the way, I am thinking of starting my own church.
It’s all tax free and you only have to work one day a week- I’d make it a Monday since I hate Mondays already anyway.

Have a good one for not everything we see or read is fact- or even exists!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I am absolutely horrified with the things one human being can do to another.

I speak of the disturbing pictures that have been released the past few days regarding that “evil” man who held a position of authority within the Canadian Armed Forces, yet in a secret life murdered, raped, stole sexual trophies and degraded women throughout Eastern Ontario.

I took one look at the first picture that accompanied The Star “online edition” article and couldn’t believe what I was seeing or reading. I looked into the face of this man in the pictures and could see a troubled soul- an evil presence that was inhabiting a earthly man’s mortal body.
Where is God in these cases?
Victims pleading to be released.
Pleading for their lives.
Pleading for their captor to relay a message to a mother saying how much she was loved.
Why didn’t God step in and send a bolt of thunder down from the heavens, smiting this maniac?
Because God doesn’t exist. That’s why.
Let’s face it, God has had plenty of time to re-condition this earth but has done nothing.
We still have wars, atrocities, accidents, murders, mud slides, earthquakes, tornadoes, famine, fire, guns, hate crimes, cancer and horrific evil persons walking amongst us who look like humans on the outside but harbour deep, dark, treacherous secrets inside their outer skin. Yet many people- both Christian, Jew and Muslim, still trudge to church or synagogue to be told- “Here’s the way it is folks! Believe it when I tell you this.”

God, when is enough, enough?
What’s that?
I can’t hear you?
Can you speak a little louder?
You know you have let things get too far?
Are you hiding behind the “Pearly Gates” because you are afraid to show your face?
They say we can’t look upon your face, God. One has to avert one’s eyes- lest one “see” the truth.
The truth?
There just isn’t any God- so just enjoy life!

God is a fairy tale at best. A 2000+ year old fairy tale that some people still buy into.
Look, there is no God.
Never was and never will be.
He doesn’t exist.
What does exist among many of us is a “hope” that he does exist…but he doesn’t.
I used to have that hope, that faith- but it hasn’t set well with me for decades now.

Religion is really just a business like…
like the Toronto Star and hundreds of other media outlets across Canada who put a sick man on display for all to see, making money selling papers and buying products that accompany these news stories. Oh, they try to be kind and human, by telling us we may want to avert our eyes because of “explicit content”.

“Explicit content” has been a part of religious life for a couple of thousand years. Take the display of a man in torment. Nailed to a tree for all to see.
Gruesome. Disgusting. Heart-wrenching. Sad.
This is what humans are expected to worship. Something humans did to each other centuries ago. Still, many people buy into the horrific images of a man secured to a piece of wood and suffering.
It’s called “fear”.
Fear of burning in “hellfire”.

Oh, there are “humans” who profess to be like God and “humans” who have said they have seen God- or a member of the Holy Family at least but really, I mean “really” in the 21st Century we are supposed to buy this muck based on faith?
Come on, we can do better than that.
We can do more than that.
Start by just getting along and respecting that person next to you.
A tall order. I know.

You can believe Revelations –if you like.
The end of the world!
The Rapture.
God will rise up all those Christians here on earth and in Heaven and hug them to his breast. The rest of us- the un-anointed will suffer here for a while until God comes once more with his Angels to give us a second chance. Those who repent and fall down on their hands and knees- pledging total worship, get taken up to Heaven too.
Anyone who has even flown in an airplane knows that Heaven is not on the other side of the clouds. There’s only blue sky and sunshine. Two or three thousand years ago they couldn’t aspire to those heights.
They did try with the Tower of Babel to get closed to Heaven- and God.
What happened?
The God-fearing religious groups who built the tower couldn’t co-exist.
It was like- “Hey God. Choose me! I’m better than that other group over there. They don’t deserve Heaven!”
Eventually, the tower crumbled.

So, you ask yourself why does a “man” sink to such a level, having a need to destroy another Human?
Circuit breakers in the brain get fried- somehow. Yet, if this man waits until he is about to take his last breath on earth- and repents, he will be welcomed into the loving arms of God.
He will be forgiven.


But you know what? There are thousands living among us who continue to do the same sordid things we are now seeing and hearing, all the while hoping they don’t get caught.

So, don’t ask God to help.
God’s suitcase was packed up long ago only to be un-packed in another more loving universe many light years away. Perhaps that was right about the time God found that even an omnipresent deity lacked the “faith” to stop the Nazi’s cleansing of the “Human Race”.

Quick somebody say a little prayer…as if it would do any good.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ROBBLOG #163 and a half

One can never get too much Priscilla, so a second helping. Grab your Boas and sequins because it's a good one. The show that is.
The blog?

That's another bus...

Three queens on an old bus.

Not something you would find on Orillia Transit most days of the week.

However, I’m not talking transit here. Compose a mental picture again and let me make it perfectly clear for you- “Three “drag” queens on an old pink bus headed for Alice Springs in the badlands of Oz”.
No, wait. Now, you’re getting a mental picture of the “good” witch of the east belting out a ballad with Elphaba during Wicked- the Musical.
Let me try again. There’s this movie by the name of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” about three lads- correction two lads, one transvestite, who travel on an old bus they eventually paint pink as they travel to Alice Springs - in Australia, from Sydney - also in Australia, in order to headline at the Alice Springs Casino!
“Ah-Hah!” - you say. Now you get it.
“Priscilla Queen of the Desert” - The “Fabulous” Musical.

This is the third production of the stage musical that showcases the story of a trio of lad's from Sydney and their adventures in the desert! The stage musical extravaganza opened in Sydney, made it to West end London and now calls Toronto home - before Priscilla parks itself on Broadway.

Nick Adams as "Felicia" in Toronto's Priscilla

From the original film new songs have been added. New in the sense that they didn’t appear in the film version. Then there’s the memorable dance routines, more costumes than you can shake a kangaroo at and more muscular, lithe, naked skin that you’d find in your neighbourhood gym.
Roll that all together and you have Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

What a pleasure to see such a terrific live stage show!
Besides paying a good buck to see it, you leave the theatre with such a good-time feeling you couldn’t hide the smile on your face if you swirled a hundred boas around your neck to hide your grin and laugh lines. By the way that is the only way to hide laugh lines without a few thousand dollars of cosmetic surgery a la Joan Rivers- which is wrong and another story entirely.
By the way a hundred boas draped around one’s neck is an absolutely fabulous fashion  accessory!

Toronto theatre-goers and those that go to the theatre in Toronto have had to wait almost an extra year for Pricilla- the pink bus to roll onto the Princess of Wales Stage.
It was worth it.

This show had so much glitz, glamour, grit, gleam, glow and gayness it’ll change your world - or at least your outlook for the immediate future. The show stars Will Swenson (Tick), Tony Sheldon (Bernadette), Nick Adams (Felicia) and Toronto’s C. David Johnson as Bob. There are only a couple of other Canadians- like David Lopez, in this Mirvish production. Hopefully with some luck and a huge demand for Priscilla tickets, this musical will stay on a Toronto Stage longer than a couple of months and provide some stage work for our own talented performers.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert began as a little film that gained popularity through cult status. The movement grew over the years and now the stage version has the rare opportunity to continue the growth of its cult status with a Rocky Horror Picture Show “type” of cult following.
Many audience members at the show I attended, were draped in colourful boas and had tiaras and other funky bits of sparkly jewellery on their persons.

The show is fun. It’s a feel-good experience and I will guarantee you’ll leave the theatre in high spirits, singing the multitude of pop and disco songs.

The show is on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre - which should be named the Queen of Wales Theatre, through to January 2nd - and we hope beyond.
Look at for more

Thursday, October 14, 2010


How do you keep all those words in your head?

I get asked this question frequently, as someone who stands upon a stage (a wicked stage as the song tells us) and recites copious amounts of dialogue to a captive audience.

Here’s the long answer.

I should make it clear that it’s not a question of reciting, it’s more of a question of being the character you are portraying in the particular stage piece and letting the words flow as you would in a “real” life situation. As far as how to get the dialogue to stick in the “grey matter”, I am not sure how that happens.

Repetition of the play during the rehearsal process is one way but as an actor you need to do your homework as well. Remembering the blocking- that’s where the Director tells you to stand and sit and walk or whatever, that corresponds to the dialogue is also very helpful.

A Director will “direct” you- that’s what a Director is there for after all.
He or she will say-
“repeat this dialogue here.”
“sit and say ‘that’ word(s) over there.”
“walk towards the couch and then turn and talk.”

Thinking about the character is helpful.
How would he walk or smile.
The body language.
Does he shuffle when he walks or takes definite steps?
Does the character have a ring on his finger?
Does he constantly play with the ring- rubbing it or turning it around and around?
Does he wear eyeglasses?
Is he clean shaven or does he sport a beard?

All these things are a part of the preparation for the character- the image the actors wishes to portray on stage. Getting inside the character’s “head space” is probably more difficult than learning dialogue. Sooner or later the dialogue seems to flow-albeit there are always some parts of a script tougher to memorize than others.
No, I don’t know why that is.
Sometimes, it might have to do with the author and how the lines are written. Sometimes, it’s a mental block over a few lines here or there.

Phyllis Johnson once told me to say “I will remember the lines” instead of saying “I always forget that line!”

I suppose it’s like a crossword puzzle. If you do crosswords it helps expand the learning and the memory process and I believe as you progress, the “memorization” process becomes somewhat easier and less “stressful” to deal with during the rehearsal period.

Of course, things can get decidedly harder if you have to learn the dialogue for two characters- in two different shows! I have had that task staring me in the face a couple of times.
Starting in November, I will be doing it again.
An actor never learns.

In one of the shows- “A Chatty HANKmuss” I am not only the playwright- but the director and the lead character as well.
It does pass the time in the ugly month of November and in dead of winter.

So that’s my long answer.


Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Have you heard a friend or associate complain recently about how much they hate fall.

The air is cooler, the days are shorter and everything in sight is dying. Maples and Oaks are shedding leaves in preparation for their winter sleep. Monarch butterflies are escaping south, soon to be followed by Robins and our hearty Canada Geese.

The evolution of life is death- eventually. Even for us humans it's inevitable and necessary. We watch our trees and gardens wither and prepare knowing we'll see and enjoy them come spring. Not so with our fellow humans. When a friend or family member begins the journey to the next phase of existence it's done with the knowledge that there is no return- at least not to this life as we know it. I believe we all “bloom” again, just not in this same space and body. It's a personal, privately spiritual decision that we cannot comprehend until we pass on.

When I go to a Funeral Home or just hear about the death of a friend or loved one, I automatically think of a springtime seventeen years ago, when I watched my Dad prepare the way for his passing. It wasn't the first time I had been at Death's bedside. I watched a favourite Aunt struggle with a body and mind ravaged by Cancer. Someone my Dad couldn't muster up the strength to visit during her last few weeks at Soldier's. That was okay.
Some handle it better than others and why should we be pushed and prodded into viewing something so personal as death.
Until we're ready, that is.

My Dad handled his passing well. He went through a period of hope. Then, for a short while- a time of anger. This was followed by reflection, private time and soft words to family members one by one.
Finally his preparation was complete.
Towards his last days Dad was having “nice dreams”.
He told us that.
I am sure he saw an Angel waiting and watching over him, just to the left of his bed.
I remember the “gurgling” and soft breathing as I watched Dad move through his final hours. Then a deep intake of breath followed by blissful peace.
No struggle.
Just completion of a life.
A job and life well done, well lived.
A life that I still remember- almost daily.
That's a nice feeling.
It's still comforting all these years later.

I have also had to watch family pets become ill. Of course, in these instances there is the additional agony of having to decide the exact moment of death- euthanasia. Don't for a moment think this is any easier. It's not. It is just as heartbreaking as saying goodbye to anyone. Holding a “special” family member in your arms while the barbiturates bring a gentle end, is devastating and ridden with the guilt of having made the decision. It's truly the final expression of love you can offer a four-legged member of the family.

Not everyone is able to know what it's like to experience someone's passing.

I leave you with a documentary from film-maker Allan King that will help explain. I saw it a few years ago and the images have remained with me since..

The documentary is called “Dying at Grace”. The film followed the “end of days” for five people in the Palliative Care Ward at Grace Hospital in Toronto.

Director King says he “decided to make an actuality drama that would address issues around death and dying more openly, in the hope that viewers might release their fears of dying and live life more deeply”. Families, Grace Hospital Staff and the patients themselves allowed King to intrude “angel-like” into their most private moments of life and death. Over its two and a half hour duration, the film introduces us to five patients who opened their minds, hearts and their suffering- so we may learn.

There are no happy endings here. All five of these remarkable people succumb to their terminal illnesses. Several on film as death passes through, spiriting them away for eternity. It was a very moving experience. I wanted to know them.

I felt I did through the camera’s lens.

For that, I am truly grateful.

The film’s trailer is on Allan King’s website. You can order your own copy of the film there as well. The website is:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Some Things…

We had some friends over the other evening. It was last minute.
Completely unplanned.
Spur of the moment stuff.
What fun we had. I got to thinking about the things we have fun doing with friends like:
1. Laugh until your sides ache.

2. Drink copious amounts of wine, chocolate martinis and Baileys- on crushed ice

3. Compare an iPhone to an iPad and realize it’s a unique person who owns one.

4. Laugh a bit more.

5. Go to dinner and enjoy the evening then argue over who’s paying the cheque.
6. Take a road trip.

7. Talk about True Blood.

8. Watch a You Tube Video and laugh until you cry.

9. Show them your shiny, new toaster as they compliment you on your appliance.

10. Play a song- up loud.

11. Order Pizza and eat every last slice.

12. Have another glass of wine.

13. Never talk about something heavy.

14. Make “light” of politics.

15. Have a Baileys on Ice as a night cap.

16. Talk about how lucky we are.
17. Talk about living each day to its fullest because next week could be your last.

18. Have another glass of wine…

19. Put your feet up.
20. Eat chocolate.

Enjoy your day...and your friends.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Oh Boy!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes blog about a technical problem. You might even find out a couple of things about Swisssh Radio that the “general” public will never know- unless they read my blog. Don’t worry, I am not that techie, so it’ll be easy to understand. Give me a chance to explain…

I get up Sunday morning on the Thanksgiving Weekend looking for a restful day starting with a mug of steaming coffee and a read on my newspapers- online. The sunshine was streaming through the windows on the south side of the house.

I switch on Swisssh Radio on my internet radio and- nothing.
Not a sound.
So I go to the studio and both encoders are stopped dead!
The encoders- in simplest terms, send the Swisssh Radio sound out to the world.
No encoder.
No Swisssh Radio.

I started to look around and discovered that Microsoft had sent an update of a programme called Service Pack 3. This- as I am to understand, adds that word “Intel” to Microsoft computers. Something like that.
Eventually by 11 in the morning I was able to get one Swisssh Radio stream up and running. By mid afternoon the windows “live” 128k stream was running as well.

I don’t want to get into a tech lecture here- not that I could, but the one computer is pretty much toast. It was kind of a “put together job” that was built to host the encoder- as I explained already, plus something called the Statistics Relay. The “stat” relay shows me that people are listening and how many hours are tuned in 30 days. That’s how I can say- for instance, that September was my most listened to month since Swisssh Radio went on the internet airwaves back on March 7th, 2007.

So now these “encoders” and “stat relays” are housed on the same computer as the programme that plays my music, jingles and commercials.
Now, that’s good- and bad.
The good part is listeners can now see the song titles and artists streaming on the player they are using to listen to Swisssh Radio. That’s the good part.
The bad part is the fact that I can’t get my “live” microphone to work.


I e-mailed some other Net Station owners and got a bunch of suggestions. They are all thinking what I am thinking as far as having the music and microphone run through a mixer board and into the encoder. That’s what I have been doing but through that third computer where I had my encoders hosted. Now that I have everything on one computer, the mixer board is not sending the signal to the encoder.
My choices are this.

1. Leave the streams displaying song title and artist information as they are. I would have to pre-record but I confess- I do that most of the time. I have measured audiences when Swisssh is “live” with an on-air announcer or voiced ahead of time. There’s no difference in having a “live” announcer as far as hours tuned is concerned. In fact, as I also mentioned in this blog, September was my most listened to month- ever, with the whole month being voiced-tracked- as we say in the biz.

2. Use another computer as I have been doing to host the “encoders” and “statistic relays” and ensure a quality sound from my “live” microphones through the mixer board I use.

There you have it. A real conundrum. I don’t have to have this fixed tomorrow but I will give it a think this week then decide how to proceed.

In the meantime, please enjoy Swisssh Radio and take a peek at the titles streaming across your player.

Have a good one!

Friday, October 8, 2010

ROBBLOG# 158 W E E K E N D Edition

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hard to believe but it's Thanksgiving-again. Wasn't it mid-August just a few days ago?
Now, pumpkins are sitting on doorsteps accompanied by fall mums, stalks of corn and bales of straw.
Leaves are covering the green grass and trees are sporting naked branches. In a few months, snow will line their nooks and crannies.

Canadian Geese are flapping their wings overhead. Sometimes- when it's a quiet morning you can hear the "swoosh" of their wings as they pass overhead "honking" directions to each other as they search for the nearest- and safest,  patch of lawn or shoreline of a sparkling lake.

Flower gardens are put to bed.
Lawn ornaments and garden knomes are put back on shelves in garages and garden sheds, to doze away the cool days and cold nights that lie ahead.
Ponds are drained.
Eave troughs are clogged with leaves.

The aroma of turkey and ham, pumpkin pie and roasting apples are wafting from the kitchen.

A Fireplace is once again the centre piece of a room.
There's wood to pile alongside the garage.

Long walks on crisp, sunny days along the lake or through a nearby conservation area.

A brisk morning visit to the farmer's market for a special Jack-O-Lantern that will be carved with care and placed in a front window or on a verandah railing.

Friends, families and neighours gather to wish the best of the season and are "thankful" for whatever small pleasures are found in this world today.

There's thoughts of loved ones who are no longer sharing our table but always share and hold a special place in our heart.

Here's to a great Holiday.

A Happy, Joyous Thanksgiving.
Just being together.
Good times.
Smiles and
Hearty Laughter.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


What if I told you- it’s not like that.

Not like the way they say it is.

What if I told you passing from this world to our next phase in “being” is as simple as walking from one room to another.

What if I told you all the pain, regrets, hardships and unhappy times are reserved for this world and not the next.

What if I told you those that pass on can communicate readily with those left behind.

What if I told you they (those that have passed) usually don’t try to communicate with many on this side of the “realm” as many are unprepared because minds that have been clouded by forced beliefs. Most prefer not to believe nor hear about it.

What if I told you that I believe these “rituals”- for the most part are as phoney as tofu turkey.
What if…
What if…

I know there is more to this life than being born, scratching out a living- then dying. When I sit and listen to today’s “organized belief system”, I have to stand back and think a bit. I wonder why in this day and age, with all we know and all we experience during this earthly existence, that there are millions who buy into what can best be described as various beliefs.
Beliefs of this way.
Or that way. Maybe today it is this way.

Pledges of faith based on beliefs that it has to be "this way" because we are told it is this way and besides- what else is there?
The answer is more.
There is more.
Much more.

Once again you have to believe, only this time you have to believe in the reality of the present and leave 2000 years behind.

I know that many of you will answer I believe “because of my “faith”.
That’s fair.
It’s expected- but it’s what you have been told by others that you base your faith on.

However, once you have been nudged by those in the next “realm” you start to question what you have known. You can move on beyond what you know now and believe.
I used to question what I felt decades ago.
Like being a closeted Gay man there was no one to ask for help.
I was on my own- again.
There was no one to share thoughts and experiences with.
I used to ask myself questions.
As I get older, I don’t anymore.

There is comfort in knowing that family and friends from this existence pass on into another. They are able to forget this earthy plane more readily and more quickly than we are able to forget them- on this side.

You have to be open.
Clear your channels.
Be open to the idea.
Allow thoughts and feelings to enter your mind.

At times you wonder- “What the hell is that all about?”
You don’t always get an answer.
There is not always solace but there is the feeling that there is more.
A peaceful, contented feeling that there is more.
Grateful appreciation when you can help someone here with a thought of image from the “other side”.

Just Hallowe’en “Hocus Pocus”?
What about all the stories and beliefs originating from a time when it was thought the world is flat and Heaven was just on the other side of a cloud?

I think not.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Everyone always talks about the weather here in Orillia
Hot enough for ya?
Cold enough for ya?
Wet enough for ya?
Sunny enough for ya?
Snowy enough for you….
And on and on.

These days the talk is all about the coming winter.
Let’s enjoy the sunny days while we can.
It appears this Thanksgiving weekend is going to be rather nice- except for Thanksgiving Monday when we might see some showers. Think I might cook the bird then if being outside will be a wet project!

I wonder what the Farmer’s Almanac’s agricultural prognosticators say for this fall and winter?
I haven’t heard.
Maybe snow in November.
Who knows?
Last year the weather experts were saying a short, moist winter. They were right. We had our drive shovelled once after Christmas in the first few days of January and that was it.

I remember one August it snowed in Calgary. Not too unusual for Alberta. More unusual for here in Central Ontario but I am sure it has happened once or twice. Snow falling is a regular event most Septembers in the Territories to the far north.
Even for Newfoundland. Most years they see summer on or about July 28th.

I have always thought that living year round in Hawaii would be a good thing. Yes, they are in the hurricane season about now through November but they don’t happen that often. There’s too much Pacific Ocean and they just blow out to sea. Other than that the weather is pretty much nice every day. I do remember being there a few years back for about 18 days and a good seven of them were rainy and cool- for Hawaii. I remember feeling sorry for those visitors who were only there for one week. They have the perpetual notion that in Hawaii it just rains every day. That’s not true. Many times during a shower on the island of Oahu- home base to Honolulu and Waikiki, it’s not worth the effort to get up out of your beach chair. One minute you’re cooking like a big fat lobster, then, a brief shower sweeps down from the mountains and cools your skin- briefly. A minute later the sun comes out full-force once again.

So here in Orillia, enjoy the nice days while you can. We’ll be bitchin’ about shovelling snow before you know it.

I saw Alfred Sung Christmas Ornaments just around the corner from witches, goblins and spooky things at Zellers last week.
No. I didn’t buy. I make it a rule to not purchase anything until after Hallowe’en.
Enjoy the sunshine and warmth- if or while it lasts because-
Santa is right around the corner.

Ho Ho Ho! Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


A bunch of stuff today.

I did my “talk” with the group I mentioned in yesterday’s Blog.
Most interesting.
I think they appreciated what I had to say- especially when I spoke about being called “Faggot”. We had our house pummelled with eggs and called “Faggot” by some young men over a year ago. Some of them live in the neighbourhood.

One blonde boy who was with the group walks past the house almost daily. Usually, his face is looking down. Another- with a curly head of hair, drives past after visiting the blonde lad up the street.

Did the police ever tell us what happened or if the investigation was brought to a satisfactory conclusion?
No Sir.
They did not.
I hope the group members are able to help someone, someday.

Deaths. Half a dozen since our Orange Tabby passed at the end of February. Now, I am talking six human deaths. It’s been non-stop and cancer has another victim about to step up to the plate one of these days.
This week our lovely friend and family member Olive Corrigan passed.
Olive opted not to take medication about a year ago after the medication made her ill.
She opted for “quality of life”.
She had it this past year.
Laughter. Dinners. Outings. Martinis on the verandah. More laughs.
We will miss her.
We had a lot of good times over the summer. The last was just before Labour Day. When the cancer hit her, it took her with terrifying speed. We gave her all the strength we could muster.
I hope it was enough.
Bye Ollie!
May Angels take you to Eternal Happiness!
See you again- sometime.
I am feeling drained but there’s a lesson here- live each day to it’s fullest!

The Garage Door Players are working hard on the latest show I have written for Hank- “A Chatty HANKmuss”. We’ve already had a very long rehearsal where I “blocked” every scene in the show. Music, laughs and surprises abound!
The premise?
Hank has his own “live” Television Chat show. He chats, interviews guests and has a Holly Jolly Good Time. The show will be performed on December 11th & 12th at the Stubley at St. James. Tickets will be on sale towards the end of October at Home Hardware, Manticore Books and Shadows. Tickets will also be available at Couchiching Jubilee House at 70 Colborne Street East, from 9 till noon daily. That’s where they take “the plastic”- VISA. Proceeds go to Couchiching Jubilee House- after we pay the bills.

There’s a lot of work on the show to be done before we reach the final “professional” product but we are working towards that goal over the next two months.

Have a good one- and stay well!

Monday, October 4, 2010


It Gets Better.

Right now, there’s a movement on You Tube that originated with Canadian couple- Dan and Terry.

Dan and Terry were heartbroken when they heard about recent suicides among Gays and Lesbians. They recorded a You Tube video that they hope will speak to young and old who are thinking about taking their life because they can’t live with the discrimination and bullying.
They have posted it on You Tube.

Now the world is posting videos in response and support. You’ll see the famous and not-so-famous post their own video’s under the umbrella phrase- “It Gets Better”.
In their own personal video Dan and Terry- two very attractive Gay men, talk about their high school lives and how they were tortured and tormented-mentally, by bullies. They survived and have been together many years. They are married with a son. Now watching these two in tight tee shirts- with muscles flexing, one might ask- Why didn’t they just beat the crap out of the bullies and be done with it?
It doesn’t always work that way.
In our youth we are not as strong as we are later in life- both physically and mentally. You can find their You Tube video at Or just search on for “it gets better”.

Interesting that I should come upon this video.

In July I was asked by a local group to speak about “What it’s like being Gay and how to cope”. Tonight is the night that I answer that question in front of a group of volunteers who deal with that problem on one end of a phone line. On the other end is the person- young or old, who is asking the question and more importantly- asking for help.

I have been wondering what to do.
I’ve been wondering how I would approach the group.
What I would say.
What I would talk about.

I have decided I would not make a speech. I will have a few notes to remind me of things I wish to say- but I will not type up a structured speech.

Now, after reading the article in the Star and watching several of the videos, I know what I will do and say.

It Does Get Better.

Eventually one moves “out of the closet”. Sometimes- like I did, one has to move away, but the door opens- eventually. An individual grows stronger and once away from small minded of high school life and staff that can’t or won’t help, life will begin anew. Be assured, there are people out there waiting to talk and listen.

I don’t know if any youth read my blog but even if there’s just one, young, Gay person who is upset, hurting and feels alone, I want them to know, there are people out there that can help. There is support locally. One just has to know where to find it. There’s the website of which I am webmaster. There are call centres that are out there to help. It is one of those centres I will be speaking to and answering questions from, tonight.

There are others websites and organizations:

PFLAG- Parents and friends for Gays and Lesbians, at

EGALE- Equality for Gays and Lesbians at

OUTLOOKS Magazine at

FAB Magazine at

A simple e-mail to is a start.
It’s a contact.
A starting point.
It’s a friendly “voice”.

So, It Does Get Better. The past becomes a distant memory and new memories are made each day. My Husband Tom and I have been together for 25 years. Officially we were married 4 years ago. We don’t have kids- our “clocks” have ticked but if we both were 20 years younger- who knows what might be?

I’ll do my “speech”.
I’ll open windows.
I’ll start a dialogue and answer questions as honestly and as “straight” forwardly
as I can.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


 “I’ll trade you my house. I’ll kill my parents!”

This was a line of dialogue from a new episode of Glee I watched. How did this get past the Yankee Doodle censors? In a country where killing with guns, knives and bombs is common pace, why would a line of dialogue on a television show kids watched get past the censors?

Kids in Canada watch this TV show. Many adults too. They should know better. The line wasn’t even funny and could have been left out. In a country where a singer shows her bare titty and that makes major news, how does this type of comment pass?

I don’t know.

I think Glee could be a better show. I would love to see a show such as this developed by a Canadian Network. How hard could it be to be better? In the same manner that would work towards making Glee better.
First of all stop having white kids sing rap.
Listening to black kids sing “rap crap” is bad enough- but white kids and Asians?

After a year of watching most episodes, I realized, watching Season Two’s first show, that the “lyp synching” is getting tiresome. It’s bad. Is far from real looking and I just don’t like watching it.
Why can’t the actors sing to recorded tracks at least and have it filmed live. That would show real talent. Real balls. Real “Glee”!

While I’m on the topic of Glee, that little Gay fella, why doesn’t he get more solos? He had a couple last year but that Barbra Streisand wannabe runs away with the most solos in the show.
And please- the tears in the two songs she “L.P.’d” in Season 2, Episode 1.
Give it a rest Dear, you’re too young to be singing those heartfelt ditties.

Don’t stop me. I’m on a roll!
“Can” that Justin Bieber lookalike with the huge lips. Is he a new character this year?

On the other hand, the Female football coach is wonderful, as is Sue (Jane Lynch) and Will.

Finally in my attempt to right the wrongs on Glee, there’s John Stamos as the dentist.
Va va va voom!
You can put paste on my “brush” anytime!

Let’s get this story going.
How long before he is stripped to the waste and his tanned, hairy chest exposed to the camera.
Look out ‘Will”! You may have abs and those two muscles that disappear “down there” into the darkened recesses of your jeans but…

Mr. Stamos is “hot” on your heels.
Oh sure, he can sing- but do we really care?

Why do some of my blogs eventually lead to all this Gay innuendo?
Haven't a clue!

Have a “Gleeful” day.