Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It's not that I am being lazy- or anything like that.

It's just that these days I am so busy with my show "A Chatty HANKmuss", I don't have much time to think about anything else. Our weekly rehearsals have come to an end and starting Monday December 6th- St. Nick's Day, it's a week of tech rehearsals, rehearsals, dress rehearsals. set building, set dressing and finally four shows.

We are hoping for 100 bums in seats for each of the four shows but it's a Holiday wish that may not come true- without you. We need  people like you and you and you too, to get out there and purchase tickets for a zany, fun-silled evening of song and comedy. I have a troupe of professional actors who are busting at the seams to perform this holiday show for you.

They have worked hard.

We even do a small preview show for the Orillia Business Women, Wednesday December 8th. It's their Annual Christmas Dinner & Show and The Garage Door Players have been asked to perform. We'll give them a bit of Chatty HANKmuss as well as some other stuff , that won't be in the Stubley Auditorium Show.

Information for tickets to that Dinner & Show are on the Swisssh Website under Community POSTED-NOTES at http://www.swisssh.ca/.

Tickets for A Chatty HANKmuss on December 11th and 12th ( 2PM and 7:30PM)at the Stubley Auditorium at St. James are available at:

We Need "Bums" in seats!
Manticore Books,
Shadows Salon on Peter Street South,
Home Hardawre at Barrie Road and West Street South.
plus the Couchiching Jubilee House Office at 79 Colborne Street East Mornings from 9 till noon. Use your VISA there!

Did I mention that a portion of our proceeds go to Couchiching Jubilee House?
They do.
So not only will you have fun, you will be supporting two local organizations- The Garage Door Players and Couchiching Jubilee House.
Tickets are 25 Dollars and that includes a dessert buffet!
Groups of ten or more get a discount.
That info is posted on the Swisssh Website too.

So, pardon my tardiness if I get behind a blog or two.
There's just no time and as Dame Clare Voyant would say-
I mean that My Dears!
I really do!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Dear Virginia Adams,

It’s just me again. Santa Claus.
I wrote to you a week ago and I really appreciate the time you took to answer me.

I looked up your last name in my big book of names. Virginia Adams- what a perfectly lovely name!
Ho! Ho! Ho!

If you don’t mind, I would like to converse with you over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. Writing to you gives me a clean, fresh perspective on many events in our world today. It is calming somehow to read your reply.

First of all, why does a peace-loving country such as Canada have to buy all those fighter planes. I’ve always been so appreciative of Canada, allowing me to live here at the North Pole and I value my Canadian Citizenship more than I can say. Yes, the Americans always like to think I am one of them and really if it hadn’t been for their Coca-Cola commercials and Clement Moore’s poem, I still might be back there in the “Dark Ages”- the 1900 hundreds! However, my heart is firmly planted in the True North Strong and Free!

Virginia, I was reading the newspaper over the weekend and I see even more young people are being shot on the streets of Toronto.
Why is this?
This never used to be a consideration in the Queen City. Toronto has always been safe, clean and liberal-minded.
What has happened to my children there?
What has happened to the political face of liberal thinking?
I believe there is just too much violence pumped into our children’s minds and no, I don’t mind pointing a finger to the south. Song lyrics stuffed with violence like "dressing" in a Christmas Turkey! Murders on the big screen. Un-suitable language.
It goes on and on.

How can a country like America, Virginia, do a 360 degree turn and put on such a marvellous celebration like the Macy’s Parade in New York City.
That is beyond me Virginia.

Why in this day of medical miracles are so many people unwell? There are cancers, new diseases, world-wide flu outbreaks, cholera and more. Maybe we just hear about these terrible things more since our media is world-wide in this new millennium- which by the way is already a decade old.
Where did the past 10 years go?

I was just saying to Mrs. Clause the other night- while watching “Men with Brooms” on the Canadian Broadcasting Company, it seems the whole world was in an uproar over Y2K and here we are ten full years down the road.
Oh My!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Time flies just like my reindeer.

Well Virginia, I best run. Time to feed the reindeer and my “Olive”- the other Reindeer, has a bit of a cold, so I am personally attending to her recovery.
Write when you can.

Your friend,

Dear Santa,

Nice to hear from you and I am absolutely thrilled that you have decided to write me on a regular basis. I can't imagine how busy you are at this special time of the year!

I think the Canadian government is just protecting our north from a Russian advance. Don’t ask, because I don’t know why the Russians are flying into our airspace. I thought that country had reformed itself. Somebody’s always got to be bullying someone I guess.

As far as the shootings and illness, I am not sure that I have an answer for you. I suppose to simplify it , I would say that bad things happen to many good people. It’s just a case of being in the wrong place. If someone gets very ill, I guess they have just pulled that particular card from the deck of life.
I hope this helps.
Oh Santa! I love “Men with Brooms” too.
Imagine that!

Your friend,
Virginia Adams.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ROBBLOG #186 W E E K E N D Edition

“Tis the Season"

“Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly…Fah, Lah, Lah, Lah, Lah,Lah,Lah,Llah,Lah”

Don’t you just love the Holiday Season?
Can’t find a parking place when you need it. People bumping into you with their shopping carts at every store where you shop.

Items out of stock. Sizes out of stock. Kids screaming. Kids crying. Mothers and Father’s yelling “Shut Up or we’re going home right now!”
Busy streets. No time to cook. No time to read. No “down time”. Concert here. Recital there. Show over there.
Hiding gifts in closets. Forgetting where you hid a gift.
Open Houses, a Christmas Parties and unexpected guests dropping by.

Shovelling the front walk.
Mailing Christmas Cards. E-mailing Christmas Cards. Mailing packages that you hope will make it in time.
Returning telephone calls.
Shopping at Wal-Mart at 3a.m.

Listening to Swisssh Radio-Playing Your Holiday Favourites!

Making Hot Chocolate. Baking shortbreads. Buying shortbreads because there’s no time to bake them.
Taking up precious minutes of Holiday Shopping time talking to a friend you haven’t seen in months.
A hot apple fritter and an Orange Spice tea at Mariposa Market.

Taking off to shop in that cute little Victorian Town of Port Perry.
Flurrries and Squalls when you have to be somewhere.
Poorly ploughed streets in Orillia. Did the Works department fail Snowplowing 101?

Chopping wood for a fire or flicking a switch on a gas fireplace.
Learning the base part in “Deck the Halls”
Playing Scrooge at the local youth group’s Christmas Show.

Replacing all the old Christmas Lights with new LED lights. Three hundred and sixty dollars later-priceless!
Decorating the Tree. Afterwards, sitting down with a Hot Chocolate in your favourite chair, when all of a sudden, one of the light sets goes dark!
Dropping a favourite ornament. It smashes into a thousand pieces. Damn!

Setting up the Nativity Scene. Can’t find the Mary figurine? The cat chews one of the little sheep. You chew out the cat!
Remembering to hang the wreath on the gate.
I need a Bailey’s in front of the fire… The bottle is practically empty.
Tom, please bring more home on your next flight to Europe!

Can’t find a parking place.
Shopping for Christmas Stocking Stuffers. I love the “used to be a dollar store”.
Strolling the neighbourhood on a mild December night with the snow gently falling-just to look at the lights.
Watching the Canada Geese at the Park. Wanting to tie a red ribbon around each of their necks.

Shopping for a gift for a Christmas Eve Birthday. What’s that all about?
Buying a decorative acrylic Church from Hallmark-made in China, only to find the same thing is less than half the price at Zehr’s.

Getting cheap gas is like being a part of The Molson Indy. Vehicles backing up, lining up
and paying up.
Paying for every gift with cash.
Maxing out credit cards.

Have another Bailey’s and not caring if a light set has gone out.
Don’t you just love the Holiday Season?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Lucy from the Peanuts Gang once observed: “I never eat December snowflakes….it’s way too early!”

She’s a snob- at best, but I got to hand it to the little black-haired gal in the jaunty red hat- she has a point. Even late November snow is way too early.

I know what you’re thinking- I’m complaining and those poor folks in Western Canada are dealing with both snow and cold.
Yikes!- as Hank would say.
They can keep it too. Snow, cold and yikes!

The “slope folks” are always happy with an early snowfall that stays on the ground.
Extra cash before Xmiss to be sure but for me it’s a pain.
Shovelling walks. Sweeping off car windshields. Wearing my boots and a fashionable scarf.

This year I hope the City of Orillia will try to keep at least part of the trail system along the waterfront clear all season long. Based on the number of people who walk on that trail system, they can do better.
Hello! Mr. Orsi! Are you listening? Walking can be a rough activity after an Orillia snowfall.

Late November snowflakes indeed.
I prefer running shoe days.
I don’t buy that familiar phrase- “well it does look more like Christmas with a bit of snow!”

If I want to see snow I can look at pictures.
I can throw a DVD into the player. Just a week ago I bought the DVD of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. No, not in Blu Ray. I only paid 9 bucks. Blu Ray is 30 some bucks. I love to watch Charlie Brown and the kids shuffle through the white stuff while on their way to rehearsal for the annual Christmas pageant that Mr. Brown directis every year.
Good Grief.

I feel a bit like Charlie Brown this year because I am searching for the meaning of the season and directing a Christmas play at the same time. Only unlike the original story of Christmas mine is- A Chatty HANKmuss for Couchiching Jubilee House. I don’t even have to go with Linus to the local tree lot to pick up a tree.
Jo Anne, my set designer looks after everything- trees and all.

We do however, have to be careful each year that we don’t emulate Mr. Scrooge, the familiar, cranky, gruel-loving character in Dicken’s – A Christmas Carol. You know, sometimes it’s just easier to be “Scrooge-like” instead of a “jolly happy soul”.

So, I’m working on finding the Christmas Spirit early because there are just too many Scrooge’s in the world already and I don’t need to increase the membership in the Ebeneezer Society.
Fortunately, I haven’t paid any dues yet.
That keeps me safe from total “Scroogedom” at least for the time being.
If my show A Chatty HANKmuss flops- sign me up!

I am hoping that a whack of the “Christmas Spirit” will fall upon my broad shoulders and I’ll feel the spirit once again. It usually sneaks up on me each year. That’s the fun part.

Hey, I might even try a late November, early December snowflake- regardless of Lucy’s philosophy or personal “taste”.

Monday, November 22, 2010


That is so Gay!

I heard it for the first time yesterday. This “catch-phrase”, that straight men- and perhaps some women too, have picked up. I had read about the increased usage of those four words, I had just never heard it in public.

Then, yesterday I was in a store where I was bent down looking at some merchandise at floor level when I heard it. I was alone in the aisle until this guy and his gal came along looking at Christmas decorations on the opposite side of the aisle. I hadn’t even looked up at them. I heard no other words just the guy saying – “That is so Gay!” I didn’t even hear his “woman” answer. They just walked along the aisle past me. I didn’t even see their faces.

I started to fume just a little. I may have said something like that many times before myself to another Gay or Lesbian friend but this phrase from this guy, I took as a derogatory comment. Not towards me in particular at that moment but to some Holiday Ornament that he considered a little flamboyant and perhaps in a negative way “Gay”. That’s the whole point. It was uttered in a negative way. That part bugged me.I’m not even totally sure what he meant- to be truthful. Hell, if I don’t know the exact meaning of the phrase how could he? He didn’t say it as a joke. He meant that this object was “Gay” perhaps but in a bad way- like he considers being “Gay” a bad thing.

What if he said- That is so Jewish?
That is so Black.
That is so Indian.
That is so…on and on.

After a couple of minutes I thought I would search the store and tell this guy I had heard what he said and have him explain the usage of his phrase to me. Yes, I had my Man-Bag slung over a shoulder but I don’t believe he paid any attention to me or my bag. I wasn’t singing showtunes and I wasn’t doing choreography from a Chorus Line. So why did he have to say it out loud?

I did find him a few rows over. I had a good look at him. He was nothing to look at and again was quite oblivious to having me standing next to him looking at pencils and post-it notes. I knew he didn’t say it because I was Gay or had a manbag over my right shoulder. He had just used the phrase to comment on something he saw in a negative way.

It was a strange choice of words for an obviously “straight man” to use. Then, I decided to look for his little lady too. I found her near the tin foil and coffee filters. She didn’t have a clue either. She never even looked at me.

I was invisible to both of them.
I decided not to speak up.
I cursed myself for an hour afterwards. I wanted to know what he meant. What he thought it meant. Why did he use it- out loud in a store?
If he just wanted to draw attention to himself, he did.

In hind-sight I should have “twirled” around and said out loud-
“Listen girlfriend, if you think that’s Gay you should look at this. This is soooo Gay!”
I didn’t but maybe next time I will.
Have a “Gay Day!”

Friday, November 19, 2010

ROBBLOG # 183 W E E K E N D Edition

Dear Virginia,

Is it really too early to be in the Christmas Spirit? The Toyland Departments are open in all the major stores. Parades are in abundance. Trees are decorated, presents are being bought and there are even sleigh bells in the air.
There was a time when people didn’t even think of Christmas until well into December.
Oh,deary me.
Am I wrong to think this way?

Your friend,
Santa Claus

My Dearest Santa,
I understand how you must feel. As if you weren’t already busy enough in December all these years, now most of the month of November is part of the “hustle-bustle” of the Holiday Season too. It has be tough on your nerves and your jolly “Ho Ho Ho’s”.

I guess the plain and simple answer is Santa- it’s beyond your control. Have you spoken with Jesus lately, just to see how he feels? No, probably not. I know, there has always been a bit of a rivalry between you two down through the decades. That’s too bad, because you both only want Peace and Happiness for the human race. Although, when we really look up close we both know that Jesus thrives and survives on having his name praised a little too often. Then, there’s his ongoing threat of a life in “eternal Hell” (should Hell be capitalized??) if you don’t follow his teachings. Now, that’s hardly a way to win friends and influence others- if you ask me.

In today’s world Santa, it happens to be big business that rules our good, green earth- from what I can see. Seasons overlap.
They never used to when I was a child.
I’m not talking about the weather outside either.
I’m talking goods and services.
For instance summer clothes have to be bought in mid-February if you expect to purchase a decent pair of shorts or swimsuit for the warm weather. Harvest décor appears in stores in August. Everything is “topsy-turvey” to say the least.

I guess you just have to suck it up. Money is at the root of the early arrival of Christmas. It’s a good thing you have so many helpers who willingly stand in for you in a pinch.No one seems to know when it’s really you or whether it’s a reasonable facsimile.

I think in a way it gives us all the opportunity to spread Peace and Goodwill for longer than just a week or two- the way it used to be when I was growing up. Maybe we see a few more smiles. Hear a bit more laughter. Maybe the latter part of November doesn’t appear to be so dull and dreary like it used to feel.

Look on the positive side. We go for 10 months not hearing songs such as Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town or even White Christmas. I mean just how long can “Our Hearts Go On” with Celine Dion. It gives us a rest for a few weeks.

I hope this helps you Santa and I look forward to you dropping by on December 24th.
Take care. Drink your milk and just have the occasional cookie or two.
Say hi to the reindeer, won’t you?

Your friend always,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Why do some things have to look so awful at this time of the year?

Holy smoke, we don’t even have slush and sand on the streets and the landscape is looking pretty dead and dull. Not so much on nice, sunny, mild days but on rainy, windy November afternoons- yeech!

We need to get out there are rake and tidy up people! Cut off the dead plants. Pull some of the brown weeds. Rake or blow the remaining leaves off your lawn. That doesn’t mean blowing them onto the street or onto a neighbour’s lawn- no matter how tempting it may be.

We need to get the old chesterfield’s and sofa chairs off the side of the road- or front porch as the case may be.
Stop throwing garbage in the bushes just off the trails near the park and along the lake. That is totally disgusting! You know who you are.

If you are damned to be a smoker and eventually develop lung cancer throw you buts in an outdoor ashtray or a can you bring along with you.
Oh sure!
You smoke.
You get cancer.
You die.
Then you leave the mess of your cigarette butts all over the place for someone else to clean up. While I’m on the subject- S T O P S M O K I N G all together!! It costs the rest of us money just to keep you comfortable as you’re lying there rotting, from nicotine and a dozen over lethal chemicals wrapped in cigarette papers, waiting to pass on in that expensive hospital bed with expensive cancer cures, short-staffed nursing departments and busy doctors- who could be out golfing instead of monitoring your demise.
Probably, however, it’s the truth.

If you install snowtires on your old jalopy, spend a few bucks and get some “press- on” hubcaps. They’re like “ press on nails” and make your car look spiffy. I really hate seeing cars driving about town with black snow tires, rusty rims and no hubcaps. It looks clunky and no matter how shiny your car is- which is usually not the case, it still brings down the neighbourhood.

Speaking of neighbourhoods. Cars are meant to be parked in driveways, not on the street and certainly not on front lawns. What is this all about? It looks like “Hillbilly Heaven”. While on the topic of “Hillbilly Heaven” installing a white chain-link fence on black poles using plastic ties is wrong no matter how you look at it. Yee-haw! Move the “still” to the front porch Maw and keep the fire burnin’!

Now if you still have Christmas lights dangling from your front porch eves or that half- dead spruce in the front yard, there’s no sense taking them down now. I ask you though, to at least replace the burned out bulbs and remember to take the bloody things down in January!
One more piece of awful.
Really awful!
A movie called “The Hangover”. I tried to watch it the other night. It was such a big piece of crap. How do people get money to make something so “off-colour”, crass and un-funny? It was truly awful.

Why do some things have to look so awful at this time of the year?
They don’t really-
It’s nothing that can’t be improved upon.
Have a good day!

Monday, November 15, 2010


You’ll have to excuse me, I’m feeling a little stressed.

I have a bunch on my plate right now and it’s not carrots, it’s the workload.
I am directing a show I wrote- A Chatty HANKmuss as well as being in the show. There’s a ton of things to do and remember. If I didn’t have a very capable support staff- as a director, I wouldn’t be able to do it. Of course problems still appear.
Dialogue disputes, costume decisions, makeup decisions and more.
Sometimes, someone doesn’t get along with someone else. Maybe I should say, one person not seeing eye-to-eye with another or agreeing with what another likes or wants. It’s small stuff and it’s all part of putting a huge show like this together. The programme ads are selling well- in fact, we’ve paid for out theatre- The Stubley Auditorium at St. James. Proceeds are going to Couchiching Jubilee House.

The hardest part about this show is ongoing.
Selling tickets.
Getting bums in the seats.
Tickets are out there now at several locations. Check out the www.swisssh.ca website to find out where. The poster with show info is there, as well as information on how to book a group of 10 or more- all at a big saving.
Huh, listen to me- shameless self-promotion.
I urge you to come- and bring your friends, for a Hardy Holiday Chuckle or two.

As if that’s not enough, I am also in rehearsal for another show that plays in mid-February. Then, there’s Swisssh the Website and Swisssh Radio that I have to keep watch over daily. Swisssh Radio starts playing Christmas Music come Sunday. I have some computer work to do in the Swisssh Studio before that happens. I probably won’t get to that until Saturday.

There is this blog as well. Everyday I have to come up with something new. Writing late at night- or in the morning.
This I do for me. I don’t get paid for it.
Last month alone I had over 400 people read this blog.
That’s not too shabby- is it?

Like I always say about my Radio Station- writing this RobBlog is better than throwing up the sash, opening the shutters and yelling to people passing by on the street.

One final item.

I am also about to build the design I made for the Swissshmobile to take part in this coming Sunday’s Orillia Santa Claus parade. I am calling it “Swissshing Around the World” since the parade theme is “Christmas Around the World”. That project has to wait until Wednesday because tomorrow we write cue cards for the “live” Television Show- A Chatty HANKmuss.
Oh well, I can relax come the end of February.

Yikes! I just realized that the Christmas Holidays are somewhere in that mix too.

Then, there’s that show for the Orillia Business Women on December 8th and……

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Oh My God. Poor little snowmen, hung from posts throughout Downtown Orillia!

Who thought that one up?
Probably the same meathead(s) who thought they were doing us a favour when they “re-paved” our sidewalk with asphalt last week.

Not the entire sidewalk in front of our house, you understand.
Just patches.
They even paved part of the lawn. The end result resembles a colouring book of sorts. Something like two year old artists who colour “outside the lines” when working on their colouring book. However, this wasn’t enough for these city guys. They even added an asphalt ramp at the corner so wheelchairs and motorized chairs could travel up and off the sidewalk with ease.

There’s a problem lies just 10 feet across the road, however.
There’s still a curb on the opposite side!

Now, back to the snowmen. More city tomfoolery only this time the Downtown Management Board flexed their creative muscles.
I walk to Downtown Orillia on Friday afternoon to meet friends for a coffee at the Mariposa Market Café. As I walked along Peter Street South, near St. James and the Stubley Auditorium, I looked up at a lamppost because I thought I saw something unusual.
What was it?
The sun was partially in my eyes so, I walked to the opposite side of the post and peered skywards. What I saw was unusual to say the least.
It was a poor, sad, lonely figure slung on the cross-piece of the lampost.
Suddenly, I realized it was a stuffed snowman.
Looking ahead up the street towards Mississaga Street, I saw even more of these creatures slung tightly- with plastic twist-ties, to the tall, black posts. Many Snowman- fixtures of the Christmas Holidays, hung up there on the multitude of downtown posts. Limp, lifeless, friendless, unhappy with their butts “smushed” up tight against the cold steel.

Children passing by may well have wondered at the sight and might well have asked-

"Look Daddy, is that a dead snowman? Who killed them?"

"Were the snowmen bad Mummy?"

"Why doesn't someone cut them down Uncle Bruce? Why doesn’t someone just cut the poor things down!"

Reminds me a bit of all those old Steve Reeves movies. Steve would be tightly bound, half naked, to a post – like the snowmen, on the back of a chariot. The Romans had captured him and planned to show his musculature off in the coliseum the following day- just before a lion tried to rip his brawny bod to bits. Steve always won. He usually threw the lion over the fence.

Hanging folks up was a staple in those old Roman days. When the victorious Legions returned to Rome, often hundreds of the “condemned” were hung on crosses along the entrance way to the city in order to greet the victors. It was a real party- sort of, Roman style.

Now, a similar site will greet Parade goers- and Santa Claus, next weekend all the way from our waterfront to the Orillia Opera House and beyond, unless we rise up and save some snowman lives. Can’t we reach out- and up, and save these poor frosty devils. Can’t we re-hang the poor merry, jolly, frosty bastards?

It makes me sad looking up at them.
I should be feeling joyous not like an extra in a Steve Reeves film.

Send your letters now. Call the Downtown Management Board who perpetrated this horrific act of seasonal torture and ask them to take pity on Frosty and his pals.

I thank you.


I heard through the grapevine that there were a ton of complaints and furthermore the snowmen will be freed from their pain and torturous positions.

There is a Santa after all.
Praise Santa!

Friday, November 12, 2010

ROB BLOG # 179 W E E K E N D Edition

It’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that the Holidays are coming.

For the past two weeks the advertisements accompanying Thursday’s papers are totally
“Go Christmas”! There’s a plethora of various flyers. When stacked together they are as thick as a single volume of the Canadiana Encyclopaedia.
The what?
For the youngsters in the audience, once upon a time we got our information from something called an “encyclopaedia”. It was a book stuffed with facts- in alphabetical order, about this world in which we live.
Since our world was continually evolving back in the “old days”, it was usually out-of-date the day it was published. Ah the quiet, simple time before computers, cell phones and googling.

I always take time to browse through the goods being offered me, although many flyers don’t even get a second look- like Sears, Leon’s, Bad Boy and most of the food store ads. I always browse through the Mark’s Work Wearhouse ads however, if only to “oogle” the male models. Just where do they get these incredible big, beefy, handsome men that model everything from underwear to socks, robes and tee shirts?
Can I be on the committee that interviews the models that eventually wear the products featured and why don’t these various models tour the Mark’s stores to meet shoppers such as myself?
They need a Gay man to arrange that for them- don’t you think?

I was reading yesterday that many clothing stores are going “back to the beef”- not that Mark’s ever left. Apparently, the days of “twinks” modelling fashions are numbered. The more muscular, hirsute male is making a return. That’s right, males that look like they would actually wear flannel shirts or tighty-whities are now appearing in magazines and on runways.

“Twinks” you say?
A term used in the Gay World for young men with 28 inch waists, barely a bit of stubble on their chins and nary a follicle of hair on their pasty white bodies. The type of guy an Italian Momma would love to fatten up.

“Eat. Eat! How you gonna grow up big and astronguh and putta the hair on your chest ifa you donna eat?”

Fortunately it’s a natural for most Italian men to sport chestfulls of curly, black hair. Maybe Momma’s pastas really work!

Back to the flyers…
Over a cup of tea, I browse through the colourful pages of electronics, clothes and Christmas décor. Usually, I find something at a good price. For instance, this year I am debating how to decorate Christmas trees with two five month old kittens in residence. I have been thinking “shatterproof” ornaments and not glass balls. I have a lot of vintage ornaments that are made from blown glass but these would also catch the mischievous eyes of little kitties.
A box of 100 shatterproof ornaments would set me back 20 dollars at Zellers- the formerly “proud to be Canadian” retailer.
That’s right. Zellers as well as The Bay, is as Canadian as Wal*Mart these days.
So, I’ll save the glass ornaments for another year when the puddy-tats are more mature.

Although outdoors it feels more like September or early October, the flyers tell us to shop now- else we’ll be disappointed later. Translated that means that if you shop after November’s Santa Claus Parade, things will be “picked over”!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I know God blesses Canada. It says so right in our national anthem. According to the Anthem’s lyrics-“God Keep our Land Glorious and Free”.

It'sA plea of sorts from the small folk down on earth up to one big Mother in Heaven.
However, she also blesses the United States.

Is also seems she loves the entire planet.
I know you’re saying –“God’s a woman?”
Well you have your faith.
I have mine.

Now this assurance of love from a “superior being”- no, not Stephen Harper, comes from a “God-fearing, bible-thumping” American- John Shimkus, who wants to head some political committee in the U.S. that….that….well, it does something or other but for the most part it will bring “God” back to American ideals of Conservatism that liberal-minded Americans have taken away from the rest of the country.
Hmmm. How can I make this easier? Where's Julie Andrews when I need her?

Oh yes.
Doe Rei Mei what Harper has already done to this country including losing that post at the United Nations.

Now, I hate to point to the religious right again but really folks, you all can be a bit Neanderthal at times. This is 2010 after all. There are certain items on our check list that we are certain about.
I hear you.
You have to have faith.
Damn. That faith argument always rears its ugly head. There is just no possible answer to that.
You either have faith of you don’t- as I have said in other blogs.

Speaking of this word “faith”, John Shimkus has it- and he quotes it too, in spades!
He is telling Americans to have no fear. God will not destroy the earth. He notes that God told Noah in Genesis 8 :21-22:

“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though all inclinations of his heart are evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done. “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.”

John says he believes those words are the infallible word of God and that’s just the way it is so tough beans.
He also mentions the Book of Mathew in the New Testament. Mathew 24: 32 to be exact-

“and he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.”

So, it appears we will have music. He doesn’t mention dancing.

So John surmises that our green planet will only come to an end when God says so. Women, eh? They can never make up their minds. Based on that alone, I believe we’ll be here for a long time yet.

He says that even man will not destroy the earth by flood or anything else. John doesn’t mention that Mayan prophecy that says the world will end in 2010 because that’s evil, native, heathen-based muck. Nor does he mention the probability of a meteorite smashing into the globe- at least not over America, where by the way Jesus- according to the Mormons, has already been in Utah and that must be good luck for them at the very least.
Now, those are my words not John’s. I translated his words for you and added the bit about the Mayans and the rocks hurtling through space because John conveniently left them out. He also doesn’t mention that God will protect Americans from terrorists.
That doesn’t appear to be working out too well- so far, does it John.

John is also a big believer in God’s word being-
My, she would be pleased!

I still prefer the day-to-day philosophy that says:
“There’s probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life”.
Sorry Johnnie. Try to have a good day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


So the moustache is back.

Yes, this month “guys” (and the occasional gal) are sporting bristle and facial hair- at least they’re trying, in order to raise funds and educate us about prostate cancer.
I’m not sure where the connection is between the prostate and the fur above a fella’s upper lip .

Personally, I have had a moustache since 1971.I shaved it off once for a show. Funny thing being, I had to shave it off in order for a “fake” ‘stache to be glued on. You see, I played twins. One twin had a smooth upper lip.The other a bushy moustache. That was about five years ago.

My moustache has changed over the years. Most dramatically in recent times the blondy-brown colour has been taken over by a lot of grey. It’s kind of a sun-bleached look in the summer but this time of yea,r it just looks grey- even whitish. I really don’t like the colour and it sure as heck show’s a guy’s age.

Back in the 80’s it was dark brown with a bit of lightening happening in the summer months- naturally. Those were the “hairy” days when Tom Selleck’s moustache was as popular as his “hairy” chest- or at least the actor himself. I met “Magnium” in Hawaii- twice. It was certainly a beautiful moustache that topped off a handsome face. Goodness but he was a huge man. He towered over me. He was tanned. He wore a Hawaiian Shirt and tight jeans. His smile was absolutely hypnotizing.
Most of all- he was nice.

Today he’s on a cop show. I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t even know if he sports the famous ‘stache or not. He certainly is just as handsome in his later years. I’ve seen some pictures.

So boys, go for it. Grow those moustaches. Let the chest hair flourish too- stop shaving and waxing.
Perhaps a tidy trim is all that is required.

Let’s have a “hairy” November and do it for prostate cancer.

Monday, November 8, 2010


How does this kind of talk pass the censors?

Two U.S. Television programmes I watched recently, referred to shooting someone. One was Cougar Town. The cast had this game where a pretend “finger” gun was pointed to a character’s head, forcing the other character to tell the truth. If the character hesitated the “gun”- actually the thumb of the fake gun, was “cocked”.

I found it chilling. At one point 5 characters held each other “hostage”- like Dirty Harry meets 10 “hand” guns.
Was it funny?
If this is the depth that this sow has sunk to, then wrap it up now. It isn’t funny.

In another Comedy show one character warned another to rat on a friend or he says-
“I’ll kill your family”.
I don’t believe so.
This is the same country where the television show Glee during a recent Hallowe’en episode, changed the lyrics from a well-known song from “heavy petting “ to “heavy sweating”, while in the same scene an actress wheeled around the room perched on top of an actor’s crotch who was plumped in the seat of a swivel office chair. The male actor was stripped to the waist!
Who among us hasn’t had this fantasy dream once or twice…
You haven’t?


As they wheeled feverishly about the room, she held on tight using his neck tie-which hung down his naked, hairy chest. I’m not saying the sight of Mathew Morrison stripped to the waist is a bad thing but why was one thing “good” and the other “bad” for impressionable young minds?
I presume it’s that “right” to carry arms thing that is well-embedded into the American psyche.
The Big Meals.
The Flag.
The Right to carry a firearm.

We don’t need to be too smug here in our own country either. Yes, we have the firearms registry but don’t think for a moment that the Harperites wouldn’t be much happier if we all drove around in rusty pick-ups, brandishing our rifles as we flew along dusty roads and traffic-choked highways with barely a tooth in our heads.

A few years ago- before the registry, two neighbours boasted they had put the family black lab to sleep.
One would believe it’s the final act of love a pet owner can perform for a loved member of the family.
It is.
Except- in this case, it was a bullet through the dog’s head in the basement. I don’t know the details and I never want to know.

Yes friends, there are “Rednecks” in our little province of Ontario- not just in rural, Albertie!

Have a great day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

ROBBLOG #175 W E E K E N D Edition

I can’t help it.

I see a bit of snow falling and I think Christmas. I bought two small patio trees- both pre-lit while the storm was storming outside. I actually bought them for ‘A Chatty HANKmuss’ that plays on December 11th and 12th for 4 shows at the Stubley Auditorium. Then- after the shows are finished, one will sit on my side verandah, just outside the dining room’s single French Door. The other will likely sit next to another potted, pre-lit tree on the front verandah.

I love that kind of decorating.
Buy it.
Take it out of the box.
Plug it in.
That’s why I bought a pre-lit indoor three last year.
Take it out of the box, fluff it and plug it in.
The a few boxes or ornaments and voila!

This year I am not sure about the two or three trees I decorate in the house. With two small cats in the house-they’ll be 5 months old on November 19th, I might be taking a chance with valuable, glass ornaments.
I don’t know what to do.
You see, a week ago they broke an antique bowl and pitcher set. It took me a day to get over the loss. What if they break some blown glass ornaments? They can’t be replaced- especially the blown glass Santas and Snowmen.

I had thought about going to the dollar store and buying a bunch of unbreakable, plastic balls- that only appear to be glass, then decorating the trees. It would save the worry of having the glass balls smashed to smithereens if the trees should be tampered with by the felines. It also would give me the opportunity to tell friends- if they are in awe of my tree, that all the decorations are from the dollar store!
I’ve wanted to decorate a tree with all dollar store purchases for a few years now.
Maybe this year I will and save the nice decorations for another year. I could decorate a tree with colourful boxes and ribbons. Another could have all stars and gold ornaments. It would be fun!
Guess I will just have to see what the Dollar Stores offer.

Finally, we are in the midst of interviewing for a new “snow guy” again this year. We go through “Snow Guys” like we do socks. We can’t seem to find one who understands that being our “Snow Guy” means removing the snow from the driveway and walks. Last year we thought we had hired one who understood all the ins and outs of “snow business”.
However, when he last did the drive on the 2nd or 3rd of January, we were non too pleased with his performance. The blade on the snowblower obviously wasn’t low enough and we had to go out and do it all over again, after he left.
We have a paved drive. A “Snow Guy” should scrape the snow off the drive down to the asphalt- shouldn’t he?

Just had another thought. The snow tires are in the shed. Better think about getting them on in the next couple of weeks.

I know this snow is just a teaser to let us all know we still live in Canada, eh?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I was wondering…

why do our egos get big at times. Shouldn’t there be a law?

why everyone is so down on Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberals. We elected them with huge majorities twice and now they are dirt beneath our feet?

why the Tories are championing themselves as purse-tighteners when they were the ones that privatized Hydro- didn’t they?

why are they such a good prospect when they have already said they wouldn’t reverse the HST? That makes them better?

why aren’t people more upset with the “ghost” charges on bills like- Office Fees, Service fees, Billing fees etc; etc. Why don’t we go after the companies charging these fees? We get charged the fees on many bills when the company doesn’t even send out a bill and we pay online through our bank’s website. What work do they do?

why some people spell colour- color and programme- program? Then there’s check when it should be cheque.

why winter means snow? Who thought that one up?

why some people wave you through a four way stop and yet they were there long before you arrived at the intersection?

why Heterosexual men prefer football and Gay men prefer The Sound of Music?

why chilli always tastes better when someone else makes it?

why Winners can sell top quality, classic merchandise for less?

why the Orillia Santa Claus Parade Committee bothers to have a Parade Theme when many applicants do what they want- especially those big cement trucks- I mean c’mon. Really?

why people throw cigarette butts on the ground and don’t consider it littering?

why the Toronto Star takes bits of the New York Times and prints it in their pages on Sunday. Wouldn’t it be better to just buy the New York Times?

why those two men- dressed as a Ku Klux Klansmen and his black-faced slave with a rope around his neck, attended a Royal Canadian Legion Hallowe’en Party in Campbellford Ontario and were not stopped at the door?

why MGM Studios had to file for bankruptcy?

…just wondering.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


If I hear it one more time I am going to spit fireballs!

Or throw up!
Or both!
In the summer of 2009, right here, in the City of Orillia-  There was summer theatre!
I know because I was in one of the four shows for 7 weeks- 6 shows a week.

I don’t know where this hogwash started. What hogwash. What absolute crap!
They says that this “Laugh Out Loud”out-of-town troupe has brought “local summer theatre” back to Orillia?


That one of the actors- Debbie Collins by name, was quoted in the season brochure as saying she is happy to bring “quality” theatre back to Orillia? How does that make local actors and stage crew feel to hear her say that? It makes me mad and I know many others who feel the same way. How does Mariposa Arts Theatre feel. One of their board of directors sent out a mass e-mail saying:

“Mariposa Arts Theatre will be hosting 2 workshops led by the fabulous Dave Campbell and Tim Webb (of "Laugh Out Loud Productions") the group that brought summer theatre back to Orillia.

I am looking for the summer 2009 brochure for “Sunshine City Theatre”. I know I have it packed away with my M*A*S*H 6000 script and pictures.
I remember going for the M*A*S*H 6000 audition in July in front of:
Sandi Atkinson- the Director
Mary Lou Kempton- The Producer
Jo Anne Debreczeni- Stage Manager & Costumes.

I distinctly remember getting a call back, then reading with other cast members and talking about “money”.
That’s correct. It was a professional show and we got paid. It wasn’t “Equity” but neither were 2 of the 4 productions this past summer at the O.H.

I remember working hard singing, dancing and memorizing dialogue for 7 days. I remember the audiences at the Stubley- most of them full with up to 100 theatre-goers. I remember too that maybe- maybe, 6 MAT members came to the M*A*SH Show. Of course, there are those in other theatres companies like MAT that just don’t support other theatrical offerings from other companies too.

During the run at the Stubley, there were days when I was getting into makeup that I watched two and three busloads of theatre-goers pull up to the auditorium to allow passengers to disembark.
I was happily surprised.

Knickers opened the season. I thought was funny and very well done!
The two middle shows were performed at the Studio Theatre at the Opera House.
There must be some kind of a record that could jog a few memories.

I know that the company handed a “hefty” cheque to the backer(s) at season end and they didn’t ask for 42,000 dollars either.

So please, quit telling us that this theatre company that was given 42,000 dollars by City Council a few weeks ago is akin to “Christ returning to earth and performing once again atop the Mount of Olives!”
It’s not.
Quit telling us they are local.
They are not- except for the fact that they perform at the Opera House.
No one in the company actually lives in the City Of Orillia- not even the Stage Manager who just happens to be the President of Mariposa Arts Theatre.

D I N G !!
Now the bell rings!

Others are from Barrie and Gravenhurst- I’m told, like the set designer and a Director.
So please, stop telling us these folks are giving us back what we had.
It never left- although theatre did leave the huge Lightfoot Auditorium but then, others did as well- like Gordon Lightfoot and Rita MacNeil.

Perhaps one day soon, some other theatrical company will set up shop in Orillia- away from the confines of municipal buildings and such hogwash. I am disappointed to say the least- like the time that Bruce Stanton our local MP voted to re-open the Same Sex Marriage debate.
I know.
Another story for another Blogday.

I leave you with this to mull over:

“All theatre is good for all theatre”- author unknown.

That makes it alright I suppose…

Have a good one!

Monday, November 1, 2010


I almost didn’t write this blog.

I didn’t have or couldn’t think of something to say.
I decided to start with that and see where it takes me.

I think my mind is awfully busy right now.
Day-to-day stuff.
Theatrical stuff.
Directing stuff.
Over-extending myself- again.
Then there’s “just stuff”!

Winter lying ahead in all it’s pristine, white glory, gives me an opportunity to whine and moan although moving headlong into the Holiday Season in a few weeks keeps me occupied. I am already thinking about how I will decorate a tree or two at home. After buying those vintage ornaments I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I think I’ll choose a few of the real “vintage” ornaments I own already and make that the theme of one tree.

I have to consider the damage that two 4 month old cats can do to a couple of Christmas Trees, so I am wondering about that as well. Maybe I should go to the dollar store. Buy a few dozen cheap, unbreakable “Objets d’Noel” and be done with it.

I am also pondering the theme of this year’s Santa Claus Parade. Yes, the “Swissshmobile” will be in this year’s Santa march again. The theme is “Christmas Around World”. I already had an idea but now this “theme” kicks the Yuletide “piss” out of it.
I will have to give it a bit of thought.
How can I turn my idea around to reflect this “World” theme.
Dress in wooden shoes and a little Dutch dress?
Wear a Hawaiian Shirt and Lei?

Wrap a piece of cloth around my waist and shove a bone through my lower lip?
The jury and the idea machine are still deliberating on that one.
Stay tuned.

There are other “items” clogging my brain right now. I usually come up with new ideas pretty quickly. Note I didn’t say “good ideas”. I said “new” ideas.
The last thing I need now is a fall cold or a loss of voice. That's a new idea I don't need.
I know that cute little bug is making the rounds these days. Three friends have either had it or dealing with it.
Ya got to love this Fall and Winter season- eh?
A cold or flu that sets me on my ass would be a disaster, so I am starting my vitamin regimen and no more kissing hello and goodbye. Only “air kisses” and hugs. Quick hugs and lots of hand washing too and door openings in public places using a napkin or the sleeve of my coat.

Sometimes I wait for someone to come along and use their hands to open the door in question.
That can be a long wait.

I managed to write a blog out of nothing. It’s about nothing just like the old Seinfeld Show.
I ought to be a rich writer.
I deserve it.

Have a nice, pleasant day.