Friday, August 28, 2009

photo Friday

Mama robin tending to her eggs in the maple tree in our front yard. Taken earlier this summer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

music Tuesdays - David Ford

David Ford - Songs For The Road

I cannot remember how exactly I came across David Ford, but I do remember that it was this video that first introduced me to him.

So I downloaded the album and I really like it. I think we are all aware by now that I love great lyrics. Thoughtful lyrics. And this album is full of them. As you listen, you feel like you are in a pub listening to him perform his songs live about 5 feet away from you. Like he's pouring out his soul while you down pints of Kilkenny. (mmm...Kilkenny...)

If you had to stick David Ford into a genre, I guess it would be pop. But he incorporates folk, gospel, rock, and all sorts of other elements into his music. Definitely worth a listen if you are into the singer-songwriter vibe.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

smoke gets in your eyes

I ordered a pair of concert tickets the other day. Skydiggers at the Studio Theatre at Hamilton Place. Should be a great show. Small venue, excellent band. I am very excited. And at $27.50 a ticket, a great deal!

So the tickets arrived the other day and I just about fell over when I saw the receipt. $75.25 for two tickets. At $27.50 per ticket, how does the total end up being so high? Well here's a little lesson in math according to our good friends at Ticketmaster.

Face Value of tickets: $55.00
Facility Fees: $4.oo ($2/ticket)
Convenience Charges: $13.00 ($6.50/ticket)
Order Processing Fee: $3.25

I can understand the Order Processing Fee and the Facility Fee to a certain extent. But why am I paying $13.00 in Convenience Charges? What exactly is a Convenience Charge? Whose convenience are they talking about? Certainly not mine, I just paid $13.00 for no apparent reason!

Here is Ticketmaster's explanation, taken directly from their website:

Convenience Charge This fee covers costs that allow Ticketmaster to provide the widest range of available tickets while giving you multiple ways to purchase. Tickets are available in many neighbourhoods via local Retail Outlets, our telephone reservation system and Tickets can be purchased through at least one distribution channel virtually 24 hours a day. The convenience charge varies by event and is determined by negotiations with arena operators, promoters and others based on costs for each event.

Is the convenience charge always the same no matter where I buy my tickets?
The convenience charge may vary depending upon where you purchase the tickets. A convenience charge may or may not be applied when you purchase tickets at the venue box office. A convenience charge is applied when you purchase from the Internet, phone or retail outlet (e.g., at your local department store) and this charge may vary depending upon Ticketmaster's local agreements with its venue, promoter and outlet partners.

In other words, blah, blah, blah. This is the biggest load of bull shit I have ever heard. Shouldn't the order processing fee cover all of this stuff? And you can bet that the artist does not see a dime of this money. I understand that it is a business and everyone needs to make money, but something just seems very wrong about all this. I'll still go to the show and I am sure I will love it and will forget all about the extra fees. But it pisses me off when I think about how much of my hard earned dollars have gone to these crazy charges.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

music Tuesdays - Bryan Adams

This week, I am straying from the usual format to bring you a concert review.

Bryan Adams - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - Massey Hall - Toronto, Ontario

When I found out that Bryan Adams was doing an acoustic show I knew I had to go. Now for those of you who mock me for being a fan, here's a little background on myself. I'm Canadian. My formative years were in the 1980's. I realize that not everyone fitting this description was a fan but given the man's record sales, most people were. I can't say that I own all of his recordings, he did lose me for a few years, but I did purchase his three most recent and they are really good. His music has matured, naturally since he is turning 50 this year. You can't expect the guy to keep writing songs like Kids Wanna Rock forever.

Let's get back on track. The concert. Including encores he played solidly for 2.5 hours. Some of the time it was just him but for about half of the show he was joined on piano by a really great player who's name I did not catch. (Sorry.) The set was a good representation of his career from Cuts Like A Knife onward. It was really interesting to hear the songs in a stripped down format. It really showed that Adams is indeed a triple threat: singer, guitarist, songwriter. He nailed all three all night, even though he did screw up his own lyrics a number of times. One of the highlights was when long time collaborator Jim Vallance joined him on stage to play keys on The Best is Yet To Come. And I have to admit that I did get a little choked up when he performed Summer of '69. Like I said before, his music was a huge part of my formative years. I am really, really, really glad that we went to this concert. Definitely one of the better concerts I have seen in my concert-going lifetime.

Even though the ushers were being really militant about cameras, I did get some decent pics. We didn't have the best seats, but we may have had the most uncomfortable ones. (We were up in the gallery, in the narrow wooden seats. Ugh.) I did manage to sneak in a little bit of video. Here's about half of Somebody.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

these shoes rule...

While I was pregnant, many women would look at my huge, puffy, swollen feet and tell me that I would likely end up wearing a larger shoe after the baby was born. They were right and I have finally come to terms with it. As I sadly begin to purge my closet of what is now a pile of size 8's that are way too tight, I look forward to the future filled with lovely size 9's.

Hooray for shoe shopping!

Since the summer is nearing completion and I won't be able to wear flip flops for much longer, I went shoe shopping yesterday. I drove to Mississauga specifically to go to the Crocs store. Now before you start riding my ass about my love of Crocs, hear this. Crocs got me through my pregnancy and c-section recovery. When my feet swelled to what seemed like double their size, my trusty Crocs were the only thing I could put on. I wore them until the snow got so deep that I had to pull out a worn out pair of hiking boots that were stretched out from too much wear. I could barely lace those puppies up. But the Crocs went on with relative ease. Even though I would end up with circular indentations on the tops of my feet by the end of each day, with them I was able to walk. Anyway, I went to the Crocs store specifically for these.

I saw a friend with a white version of these a couple of weeks ago. I knew I had to have them.

In the same neighbourhood as the Crocs store, is Stylesense. I hadn't heard of this store until my friend Kim mentioned that they carried a lot of hootchie-mama shoes. True, most of their shoes seemed to be designed by people who think that women prefer to dress like tramps. But once I waded through the gladiator sandals and 6 inch heels, I did manage to find these lovely Hush Puppies.

And these excellent Merrell's.

Oddly enough, both pairs are brown. I am very much a black shoe girl. And a black clothing girl. I guess I'll have to start adding some brown to my wardrobe, you know, to match the shoes.
Or I'll need to buy more shoes. Whichever works.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

join together

I've wanted for a while to join a club. A yarn club. In the knitting world, one can join any number of clubs in which you pay a fee and receive a skein or two of yarn and some other little goodies on a regular basis. So yeah, I'm a knitting geek. Anyway, I've really wanted to join one because I like the idea of the surprise arriving in the mailbox. A lot of these clubs are yearly things that start in January, but I couldn't wait until then. So I did some research and found the Yarn Pirate. She makes gorgeous, hand-dyed sock yarn so I decided to join The Booty Club. I signed up for two of her offers, the regular club and the semi-solid club. My first shipment arrived while I was at the cottage. With these clubs you never know what you are going to get so I was very excited to open the package. And I was not disappointed.

The colourway is called Serenity.

Here's the semi-solid version.

This gives you a much better idea of the colours involved. Should make for some funky socks.

In addition to the two skeins of yarn and as a new member, I received two circular needles and an excellent Yarn Pirate button.

I love the button.

Arrr, matey!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

music Tuesdays - Melissa McClelland

Melissa McClelland - Victoria Day

I'd heard her name, but the first time I heard Melissa McClelland sing was a couple of years ago when she performed with Blue Rodeo at Hamilton Place. I was completely blown away by her voice and downloaded her previous releases when I got home from the concert that night. Victoria Day, her latest recording was released in the spring of this year and I believe that it is her finest album yet. The best way I can describe it is old-timey. While the lyrics are fresh and inventive, the musical styles are classic, lots of blues, country, dixieland and jazz influences here. And since Melissa is a local, I love the fact that she references Burlington, Hamilton and Toronto in a couple of the songs. Definitely one of my favourite Cd's of 2009.

I love this video because it shows just how awesome she is live.

As a side note, after my darling husband read my music Tuesday installment of two weeks ago, he promptly took to the internet to find me a new copy of my long lost Rhinos's CD.

Thanks honey. You rock.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

just like a vacation...

Even with the internet access at the cottage, my computer time has been limited. My parents and brother were here for 5 days and as they were leaving, our friends Christine and Stewart and their daughter Mackenzie arrived. So it's been busy. But awesome. I love it here. But not much time for blogging. So this may be the last post until I am home next week. See you then.