Category Archives: Nostalgia

Things Were Real Easy for Kids When I Was One

Many of the things that Paul talks about in his post “When I Was a Kid Things Were Tough” were pretty much the same when I was a kid but things were a whole lot rosier for me than Paul seems to remember from his childhood. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a huge fan of Paul Johnson. Not only can he string a bunch of words together and make them sound both interesting and entertaining but he has a woolly crop of hair and the original number of chins God gave him. Before you get the wrong impression I’d just like to say that this post is not about Paul’s scalp being almost completely hidden from public view but about how great things were when I was a kid and I wouldn’t hold his deprived second-rate childhood against him for a second. Because I’m older than Paul, I was young before him and in those Good Old Days there probably was a different socio-pulmonary context which made me being a kid seem like a breeze. Maybe Paul’s unfortunate recollections are the result of the times he grew up in or maybe he was one of the kids two blocks over I used to pick on when I was a teenager, I just don’t know.

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Revenge Inc. Part II: The Settling of Accounts

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Revenge is never pretty (but it can be quite satisfying).

Last week in Revenge Inc. I made my readership an offer they couldn’t refuse. I don’t want to say that the vast majority of them refused my offer because should anything sudden and unfortunate happen to them a coroner’s inquest could infer that I might have a “motiva uvam acerbam” [sour grapes motive]. So, to be on the safe side, let’s just say that only two of them accepted my most generous offer.

Let’s dive right in and solve some problems!

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Revenge Inc.

Oops!

Oops! That’s a shame. How’d it happen?

Life can be frustrating, what with all the obstacles that it keeps throwing in our paths, but we have to remain philosophical… what choice do we have? I mean it’s frigging life we’re talking about here… it always wins in the end so we’re pretty much screwed. But when it is another person who is making things difficult for us, well, that’s a different story.

We could, I suppose, reason with the person causing us problems to achieve an equitable outcome but diplomacy tends to put us back into the position we were in before hostilities began and ignores compensation for any wrongs, real or perceived, done to us. This is where retaliation shows itself to be the better, more just, and more satisfying solution to many of life’s little problems. Continue reading


August Fool’s Day 2012

Remember the excitement you felt back in elementary school when April Fool’s Day rolled around? Remember your high school years when April Fool’s Day could very well mean a trip to the nurse’s office and getting out of History and Phys Ed due to your injuries or a mandatory interview with local law enforcement? Wasn’t that fun? Why did all that have to end? Society, in the form of our educational institutions, beats the wonder and “fun” out of a child, that’s why.
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How Facebook Killed the High School Reunion

In the mid-90s I went to my 20 year high school reunion and had a great time.

I was really psyched about seeing the old gang and how they’ve turned out, and hoped that there would be a few who hadn’t matured too much so I’d have someone to relate to. I wasn’t at all worried that I didn’t have many braggable accomplishments under my belt because my fear and pride were eclipsed by my curiosity as to how the high school babes blossomed into middle-aged beauties. I was happy to find that a few people attended who I had spent a considerable amount of time with over the years from Kindergarten through Grade 11. Continue reading


Your Guide to the Martial Arts

I was a teenager in the ’70s and one of the big crazes that caused a lot of craziness was the spike in interest in Asian martial arts. It seems like everyone was “Kung Fu fighting” (a terrible song, by the way). There was a lot of talk in the hallways of my high school over which particular discipline we should waste our parents’ money on by signing up for classes.

A lot of Kung Fu movies were hitting the cinemas, and the best fighter seemed to everyone to be Bruce Lee, but there weren’t many places to learn Kung Fu. So we’d sign up for whatever martial arts classes we could find and get into huge discussions about how whatever we were personally learning was better than whatever the other guy  was taking.

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The Gypsy Curse and Other Tales of Deprivation

I hope I never have to endure life without the comfort of curry!

I just don’t know how it all started.

Perhaps it was that time when my parents took me and my four siblings away for a weekend in the country. It was a place called Kerr’s Farm in Morin Heights, Quebec. The place had guest rooms in the main building and a couple of cabins. Being a fairly large group, we stayed in one of the cabins. There were barnyard animals to pet, a small shack with a pool table, a couple of pinball machines, and a candy counter.

In the main building was the dining room where they would serve meals. In a spirit that seemed to mirror the norm for meals in the context of family life in the early ’60s, they had a “take it or leave it” menu plan — they served something and you had no choice… you ate it or starved. The only problem was that if my father was around, you were not given the choice of “leaving it”.
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Video Vendredi

View of Montreal's McGill Ghetto from Mount Royal

Montreal's McGill Ghetto as seen from Mount Royal

I’ve been living in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada for about nine years and every once in a while I get really homesick for the city in which I grew up, Montreal.

I know Quebecers get some bad press then they travel elsewhere, and sometimes when outsiders travel to our fine province, but we’re not all like those who have earned us this reputation.
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The Great Ones of Comedy

When I was eleven or twelve years old in Montreal, I discovered that on weekends a local AM radio station would play comedy albums from 3 to 5 a.m. It was great to listen to the radio late at night. So began my love affair with stand-up comedy.

First of all, let’s get something straight… I’m no expert on comedy, much less an authority on good comedy. This is just stuff I like — stuff I like a lot. Second of all, the backstories to the comedy or the performers made the comedians even funnier or their humour sweeter because of some circumstance that the artist struggled with yet continued to deliver smiles to the world. In the late 60s there was no internet to search through the thousands of articles (and then make up your own mind of what is true and what isn’t) to find out what was really true about the comedians’ backstories.
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Photographic Advice to the Young

A Tangle of Bikes - A rusty memory from a bygone era (the early 1970s).

We are living in very exciting times, and times are even more exciting when you’re young. There’s always something going on and, being in school, the only way you’ll ever be in contact with as many people when you’re older is to become an incredible superstar, like Keanu Reeves. Continue reading