Jane's Space

Jane's news and thoughts.

Friday, October 20, 2006

October 20, 2006


Choices : O’Brien, Chiarelli, Munter. Who will you vote for? ( Ok, "whom" is correct.)

For Mayor - NOT O’Brien. Please. Not millionaire, pesticide-approving O’Brien. Look what he said: Sure, lawn pesticides are ok - in fact I would reinstate their use in parks and playing fields.


Ok, so you’re not out there playing in the grass, ending up face down on the pesticide-laden field. But maybe a neighbour is. Maybe you are sitting on that grass with your girl friend, maybe you are babysitting, or watching YOUR babies run around, and get rosy cheeks - and fall, and take big deep breaths of PESTICIDE-LADEN AIR into their lungs…

Maybe your parents are breathing huge doses of pesticides spread by lawn-care addicts, oblivious to human health. Maybe it’s a hot, muggy day, and the pesticides are killing the slugs and white grubs…and steaming up into the air… maybe you are running or playing on the grass and breathing them in.

We want our mayor and council to be AWARE and RESPONSIBLE.
How can anyone today be so oblivious to the real cancer concerns of these pesticides that they even SAY pesticides are all right, even if they actually believe it?


And get this: a report card for Ottawa's city council, from our environmental groups. TEN councillors get an F. Even on a bell curve with a passing grade of 30%! Ten out of nineteen FAIL. www.ottawaenvironmentalvotes.org

EIGHT of them get F MINUS. Two receive a grade of F.

Please vote. Please make this report count. Please change things.

Here are the names and grades:

F Minus
These councillors never- even ONCE - voted for any environmental measure:
Say goodbye:
Jan Harder, Gord Hunter, Shawn Little, Doug Thompson, Rick Chiarelli, Glenn Brooks, Rob Jellett, Eli-El-Chantiry.

They almost never voted for the environment, but were real hindrances instead:
Say goodbye:
PETER HUME ( He HEADS Ottawa’s planning and environment committee! How scary is that!)
Maria McRae.

Rainer Bloess. Diane Deans and our current mayor, Bob Chiarelli

Michel Bellemare ( C -) Georges Bedard and Peggy Feltmate.

Janet Stavinga. Jacques Legendre. ( B+)

Clive Doucet. Diane Holmes

A +
Alex Cullen.

Please vote. Make a decision based on real factors. Make the environment one of them. Vote.


was amazing! Warm and joyful and comfortable, human and convincingly REAL, he invited us into his world. I wouldn’t have missed Ryerson’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle for anything. It was superb. It was tight, funny, engaging every minute, thoroughly inventive, finely detailed and absorbing. The ensemble playing was just excellent. Not a beat missed, and every moment was carefully honed, much even enchanting. And BIG! Jesse and Simon Rainville both performed in the play. Simon’s Old Man was wonderful, and Jesse and Simon SANG together for us! On key and everything! Such a treat!

Jesse had a huge part. He was the judge, Azdak, and he was warm and huge, ( I know you know what I mean), commanding the stage and every moment of my attention. He was physical and funny, wise and wryly solemn. ( He was the Jesse I knew so well.) If you haven’t read what Toronto’s entertainment paper, Now, says about Jesse in this show, here it is:

Jesse Griffiths who dominates the second half... knows how to beguile performers with an outrageous performance and a twinkle in his eye....Griffith's appearance with his wonderful audience rapport moves the piece into high gear.


The production was strongly directed, disciplined, controlled, smooth and seemingly simple ( my favourite dictum: ars est celare artem.) It was also physical, balanced, and visual. And beautifully musical. And funny. What a fine job those Ryerson students did. My friend couldn’t remember when she had ever enjoyed a play as much. That’s fine praise! I loved it. We had gone to the matinee because there were no tickets for evening shows, and I would have gone again if I could.

After the show I talked to Simon, who looked great, and was happy, and then was gone so fast! We ran after him to get a photo for this blog, but he was off, into the wet windy afternoon. Jesse was mobbed in the hall, but he finally reached us. I had gasped in the play when he had been slammed on the side of the head with a briefcase, and now the evidence was on his face.
I hated to leave him, the time in his company on stage had been intimate and warm, just as if he were here, practising and laughing in my living room. I loved his performance, and Jesse too. I was reminded of how very much I miss my team. : ( Every day.


I was aching to see Anna and her new baby.

Anna’s baby, Grace, is absolutely beautiful, calm and gorgeous, a darling like her mama, and Anna let me hold her! Her tiny socks were too big!
Anna looked terrific, calm and healed. Altogether well. She says life with Grace is easy. I feel at ease too, now. Anna sent me some photos and is allowing me to share.


My friend, beautiful Carol, and I have been friends since we were in high school together, sharing clothes and classes, laughter and secrets. Carol and Jan spoiled me in their luxurious and elegant condo, and looked after me every moment during my visit to Toronto. We saw two movies, including The Queen ( great performances), rode the subway, buses, escalators, elevators ( I did it!), shopped, went to wonderful Indian and Italian restaurants,(mmm), and talked. (lots. Secrets.)

Next week I am leaving for a week in Los Angeles and then a week in Vancouver. So exciting, a birthday gift from Stephanie and Glenn.
I am coming home in time to see Gordon Lightfoot at the National Arts Centre.

(I think I am starting to figure out how to retire!!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


God Himself must have been rocking out at Barrymore's on Tuesday night after Thanksgiving, thinking, ( when He could think), Look What I have Wrought. Yea, Me.

That's why the earth was shaking and the air was filled with the dusty light of Reverberation and the sound was careening off the ceiling.
That's why the white and blue cones of light were swirling through the darkness, and Tyley's face gleamed porcelain and holy as he surfed the stratosphere with an energy that fused the very room.
That's why people felt their hearts exult, expand, and talked about "the music of their soul." Rocking, clapping, stomping, hooting, crying.

Oh, you missed something Tuesday night, if you weren't there.

We were excited to meet, Marjorie Malpass and I, at Barrymore’s, to see Tyley. And each other! It had been months since she was home for The Number 14.
The East Village Opera was going to be on stage at 8, or so the Ticket Master said - ah Ticket Master! Were your fingers crossed?
But how wonderful to be walking to the club at 7:30, and to see Andrew Dillon heading to the same show! No sooner had we got to the door than I felt warm arms - Dennis Van Staalduinen was there! It looked like another Canterbury homecoming! Soon the line stretched down the street. Now we couldn’t even buy tickets until 8 pm!

Marjory arrived, sophisticated and lovely, strong and well, making my heart smile. Inside, she found us seats for 7 near the sound booth, cannily knowing this was THE place to be. She was right! Serendipitous! Before the show, Tyley appeared there to talk to the sound man. There was just time for " hi"s and hugs, time to say I love you.
Tyley said that right after the show the band had to pack and head back to New York to catch their flight to Mexico, earlier than planned. Someone had made a mistake between 'a.m.' and ‘p.m’. Groan.

And then, there they were, on stage – ten of them. Gorgeous, superb. Giving.
Canada’s pride… (although the instrumentalists were from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and New York, as well as Canada.)

Generous is the word. The band was filled with energy, bounding joy and togetherness, their sensuality shook, the beautiful melodies twined with the primal agonies of rock. They played as if they could play like this forever. Violins swirled, the cello groaned, the guitars shrieked with magic and sensuality, Peter ached, danced calisthenics on the keyboard, as he led the mix. Victoria's sensuality, generosity and power met Tyley's. The sound was smashing, awesome ( in its true sense).
My heart crumbled, my ears were stunned. The instruments and Tyley’s voice burst the cavernous interior of Barrymore’s, the very stones echoing, the ceiling fans frantic and off-kilter, and always the music climbed to almost unendurable heights.

Tyley’s voice is one of the Great Gifts of the World. Like Niagara Falls, he is Terribly Beautiful.

The audience was insatiable.
We were given two orgasmic hours of mind-swelling, hearts-can’t-breathe walls of sound… omigod! With climax after climax the band took us with them on Peter Kiesewalter's dream- journeys, through Tyley's passion.

We loved them well.

God speed, EVOC, as you set Mexico on fire.

I heard that Maureen Welch was there too, and the newly-married Bob Donatucci. Chris Neale was there. Yea, CHS! ( Stephie, I missed you.)


Such fun to see Bill Sourour ( Sparks) last week. He took me to dinner. "Choose a nice place you like, " he said. That's pretty sweet! I persuaded him to try the mango- coconut ice cream, but, no matter what, I couldn’t get him to disturb the happy face carefully created in the sauce! Bill is such a softie. He is working hard on government computer contracts… in technical work, Bill is an ace, flying through the keys, the Red Baron of the computer. He taught me some tricks for my blog! Thanks, Bill.

Bill has several very neat blogs of his own— one just for interesting videos and poems and jokes etc., and one for his photographs, mostly taken in Paris and the Dominican Republic. Here are their addresses: http://myspace.com/billsparks, and http://billsparks.deviantart.com/
And Kurt Smeaton and sweet Jamie Dee Franklin are up there too, on myspace.com; Bill showed me their sites.

If you see the slide show here, thank Bill who showed me how to do it. If you don't see it yet, blame Bill--no, ME! Untechnical ME! And check back!


I went to Christie Watson's night of one acts at Club Saw. We really enjoyed Christie’s piece, which was very unconventional, and used Christie, Katie as a VERY active techie, an overhead projector, and water, light and swirling colour in the water – not to mention a conch shell, a man in a black hood and a praying mantis. The piece was inventive and also supremely funny.

The atmosphere was warm and artsy, there was wine and tea, and, wouldn’t you know, Barry Karp and CHS students in the audience! Christie’s philosophy/aesthetic sees him opening up technology to make it a visible participant in theatre. Christie is very busy, with a show for the NAC coming up after Christmas, teaching at OSSD and working for GCTC full-time.

The other play at Club Saw was excellent too- an actor from Kingston and a writer/artistic director from there too. Super acting and a tight script. The audience was very enthusiastic about both plays.
It was fun walking through the rooms and getting lost in the gallery (there were many people painting walls which all seemed to blend into each other.)


I saw Levon Henderson and Adam Denault this summer, and Brian Frommer came up from Kingston to visit for a day. Jehan Khoorshed was over for a day last week. Jessica Besser- Rosenberg and Neil Smith visited. Sheri Segal and I went to some movies together. Steve Fisher was by. David Nugent took me out to dinner. I saw Marjorie Malpass in her phenomenal The Number 14 this spring, and later she came for dinner. I saw Matthew Edison at the NAC, and then he spent a day with me. Robin Toller, Andrew Dillon and Trisha Allison visited together.

And I saw Cari Leslie at the SIC show. Also Chelsea O’Connor, Greg Cochrane and Jordan Foster at the Fringe in Ottawa, and after their play at Arts Court. And now, Bill Sourour.
I visited with Yovanka McBean, Tyler Westerlund and Jesse Griffiths in Toronto. And I worked with Debbie Grinnell, Mike Milligan, and Duncan Valliant-Saunders, and saw Teri Loretto!
And also Chris Fraser, Anna Humphrey and David Deveau, from Lit.

And wow – from Laurentian and the Laurentian Arts Guild, from 1978, I saw at different times, Becky Brown and Sheila Theoret, David McCue, Brian Sutherland and Ken Bartlett! And Greg Nelson! And Hank Bartlett... I just can’t believe how everyone looks the same in their 40’s as they did at 17 ~almost everyone, anyway~

I heard from Neil Herland, and today, October 11, all I hear on CBC Radio IS Neil, reporting from New York.

I am looking forward to seeing Marjorie, Yovanka and Neil again this week. And Sheri. Yovanka has cut off all her hair she says, and I am dying to see that!

I miss you all, I truly do. Thank you. You have made my life so rich.


BTW, Greg's radio play series about Canadian troops in Afghanistan is coming to CBC Radio in November. It should be super. In fact, the CBC has asked them to write more in the series. Yea!


2 in Toronto Paralyzed after drinking toxic carrot juice

Please--don't drink carrot juice! ( Rebecca, are you listening?) Read about the lettuce, the carrot juice and the spinach-caused Botulism/ecoli scares:

It was unfathomable, frightening to me, to hear Steph say over the phone, from LA, "what about spinach? Oh, guess I won't buy it then."

Here I am writing about it, and she is in California, the source of the e-coli that we have heard about so far, NOT KNOWING. And she LOVES baby spinach salad. Man. People are dying, paralyzed.

Is nothing sacred?

Did you hear, see the news this week, about Canada's vegetables and fruit inspections? No?

Canada's inspectors find 10% of fruit and vegetables unsuitable because of too much poison, too much pesticide residue. The United States find 76% and the UK 40%.
What accounts for the difference? Is Canada better, squeaky clean?

No! Canada is LAX. And Canadian inspectors look for only a fraction of the number of pesticides that the more advanced world looks for.