The Vinyl Cafe in Hamilton

December 20, 2012

My mother and I went to see Stuary McLean and the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Tour last night, which is something of a holiday tradition for us. It was a great evening – Reid Jamieson performed, as well as John Sheard, Dennis Pendrith, and a vocal trio dubbed “The Vinylettes”. Stuart retold the classic story about Dave building a snow machine, gave us two brand-new tales, (or at least ones that haven’t been featured on the radio show yet,) and was very funny organizing the prize giveaway just before intermission, with the help of a young child from one of the first two rows.

Stuart has an unfair reputation in some circles for telling long, pointless stories very slowly. Last night I think I really appreciated just how funny he can be, and how good his sense of comic timing is, especially when describing a scene where things are about to go very, very badly. Yes, he’ll dole out one sentence and pause, long enough to let us rev our imaginations into gear, and then drop another little tidbit. But it works. The heartwarming ending is also a big crowd-pleaser, of course.

One fun little moment involved what Stuart called ‘losing control of the show.’ The set-up began before the intermission, when Stuart said that he was giving out a prize for the oldest person in attendance. One lady called out 87, and before taking any other contenders he told the crowd that he wanted to talk with her a moment; Stuart asked her if she’d ever won anything before, she said no, (which could be a natural lie in the circumstances – you wouldn’t want to get passed over because you’ve won something before.)

‘Really, never won a thing in 87 years? I wonder how you get out of bed in the mornings.’ Paraphrased, but that was the sentiment, and we all laughed a little.

Then there was somebody else who won the prize for being 88, and Stuart gave the 87-year old lady his regrets. After the intermission, he checked with his young helper to make sure that everybody had got their prizes, and a sort of chant emerged from somewhere off to audience right. The people wanted the 87-year old woman to get a prize.

Stuart went along with it, making wisecracks the whole time. The woman got a Reid Jamieson CD, autographed by Stuart and each of the performers for the show, and also signed by the delivery kid. Somebody called out that it was his birthday at this point, and Stuart fished out one more prize CD, but drew the line at having anybody sign it. Enough was enough, at that point.

So it was a really fun evening, and definitely helped me get into the Christmas spirit. Less than a week left!

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Pizza

April 19, 2011

P is for…

I’m a big fan of pizza – with meat on it, thanks, and tomato sauce of course, and a nice helping of cheese.

Stuart McLean wrote that the secret to feeling rich beyond your wildest dreams is finding the feeling that you’re getting a deal on something, and slipping into excess with it. For him, it’s picking up 30 pairs of socks at a discount, for some reason. Apparently a freezer stuffed full of pizza does the trick for me.

The Little Caesar’s across the street from my apartment had Customer Appreciation days yesterday and today, so I appreciated five medium pepperoni pies for twenty bucks plus sales tax. One pizza got split into half for yesterday’s dinner and half for this morning’s breakfast, and the others got split up into little plastic bags, three or four slices at a time, and into the freezer. The only thing missing is Canadian bacon.

So, dare I ask it… what do you like to put on a pizza? And what makes you feel rich if you buy enough of it?


Happy Holiday season to all!

December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas, or whatever other winter holiday you may happen to observe. (Festivus for the rest of us, anyone?)

I’ve got all of my Christmas shopping done, and nearly all wrapped, though one item that I bought on ebay looks like it won’t be arriving in time to actually give it on Christmas – my sister will probably get that for her birthday in about a month’s time. I also went to see Stuart McLean live in concert Monday night, at Hamilton place, which was a great show, and he told some really funny stories.

Saturday afternoon will be the big family celebration up at my sister’s place in Kitchener, along with my Mom, brother, nieces, nephew, brother-in-law, and my brother’s new lady friend. Once that’s done, I actually have three days off, and can hopefully catch up on my creative to-do list, which has been falling somewhat behind, as well as maybe getting some Boxing week shopping done.

And a happy winter for everybody!


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