Friday, December 31, 2010

Brand New Year!

new year

Another chance to get it right!

Happy New Year to all of my friends who have taken the time to check in at my little corner of the cloud.

This New Year's Eve will be spent with good friends in the quiet pastoral setting of the Eastern Townships. We'll be toasting in the New Year as the ball drops in each of Eastern Canada's time zones.  Then, after giving each other double cheek kisses, retire to awaken to a new calendar and a new hope that the year will be better than the last.

"The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears."
W.H. Auden

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Believe in Christmas

christmas_magicDo you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe in the story of the first Noël?
Watching Christmas movies is one of my most anticipated Christmas traditions. Because I'm such a sentimental marshmallow, the syrupy stories of lost then found hope resonate with me. 

At the core of these movie plots is the question of believing in Santa Claus; which really translates into believing in the spirit of Christmas.  Santa, like all myths, is a metaphor for those qualities that both warm our hearts and keeps humanity from annihilating itself; generosity, tolerance and hope.

As stressful as things get, I refuse to abandon my neurotic desire to relive the wonder and awe of my childhood.  Christmas gives all of us the licence to that.  And why wouldn't we? 
Sure, Christmas is a mythological construction. But saying something is a myth isn't the same as saying that it's a lie. 

Our world is held together by the power of myths.  These stories explain how we exist, where we come from, who we are.  They precede art, religion and politics. They infuse our lives with meaning.  Is there anything more human than to ask "Why was I born?"

Just because we can scientifically prove that Santa doesn't inhabit a candy cane-stripped cottage at the North Pole doesn't mean that his story of generosity and magic doesn't glow in the hearts of millions of young and old alike. Is it even relevant that he be flesh and blood?

Mythology serves many purposes: 
  1. Myths grant continuity and stability to a culture.
  2. Myths present guidelines for living. 
  3. Myths justify a culture's activities.
  4. Myths give meaning to life.
  5. Myths explain the unexplainable.
  6. Myths offer role models.
Below is my favourite Christmas text which wasn't written as a piece of holiday prose but as a reply to a little girl's letter to the editor about the existence of Santa Claus. Are there such journalists as Francis Pharcellus Church today? (for the whole letter: Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus)
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished."
Today, my social network is unplugged as I spend time with my family and think of all the things in life that I should be thankful for:
For my children who give my life so much meaning.
For my extended family, many whom I haven't seen in years and many whom I have had the pleasure to reconnect with these past months.
For my very close friends who have seen me at my worst and still love me unconditionally.
And for Georges, who keeps his emotions locked deep within a heart that when called upon, grows three sizes too big.
I love you all and wish you a very happy Christmas and a New Year filled with peace, love, health and…magic.

Yes Virginia! There is a Santa Claus
Greg Lake: I Believe in Father Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have Yourself a Very Diva Christmas

We're fast approaching Ho! Ho! day and what better way than to feature a couple of Diva's to keep the Yuletide gay!
Vanessa Williams actually starred in a TV movie called "A Diva's Christmas Carol." I haven't seen it but will try to; Kathy Griffith plays the ghost of Christmas Past!  I love this version of Vanessa singing "What Child is This?" as much for the amazing black & white video as for the musical arrangement. It reminds me of the sort of arrangements heard on Oscar Peterson's Christmas CD: "An Oscar Peterson Christmas" which is one of my favourites.

Although not a big "D" diva as in Judy, Maria Callas, Babs or Diana, Vanessa certainly plays one to the hilt in such shows as Ugly Betty and now, Desperate Housewives.

Vanessa Williams: What Child is This"

Cher is a big "D" Diva and she pulls out all the stops in this Phil Spector classic: "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) with some ample auto tune help from Rosie O'Donnell.
Cher & Rosie O'Donnell: Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)

Enjoy. I hope that Santa or that other special Christmas elf leaves something really cool under your tree.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Man with the Bag is Coming to Town

904064Here are two of my favourite Santa songs done in my favourite versions: Kay Starr's (Everybody's Waiting) For the Man With the Bag and Bing and the Girls with "Santa Clause is Coming to Town".

I hadn't heard "The Man With the Bag"until about 1996 when the Cocktail became cool again. We bought the Christmas Ultra-Lounge cd to play at our Toronto restaurant, Le Charolais over Christmas. Georges fell in love with the kitschy tunes and this song in particular.

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" breaks down into two camps; the rock version ushered in with Phil Spector in 1963 and interpreted by Bruce Springsteen, The Pointer Sisters and every rocker wanna be in every Karaoke bar in the world.
Bing and Andrew Sisters
I do love The Crystals version and the whole album for that matter,but whenever I hear Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters tear into the old chestnut, then it really feels like Christmas.  This was kid #3's favourite when he was little.  I'd play it in the car and we would all sing along with it.  But, should anyone forget to  sing Bing's very deep bass line: "..gather round", we'd have to rewind (remember that?) and start all over again.

What's your favourite version of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'?

Kay Starr : Everybody's Waiting for The Man with the Bag
Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters: Santa Claus is Coming To Town

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Electronic Arts says It Gets Better

The staff of Video game giant Electronic Arts add their voice to the "It Gets Better Project".

A Choo Choo Christmas

For those of a certain generation, train sets were on the top of Santa's list.
I loved the whole imaginary world you created with an electric train set.  Train culture was very predominate in my hometown. Moncton was a major hub for the CNR (Canadian National Railway) in the Maritimes.

Perhaps the attraction is that, as a kid, there is very little in the grown up world that you have any say in. In this world of tiny shops, stations, stores and landscapes, you were king.

It was like being the Friendly Giant holding the power to do whatever you wanted with your little kingdom. (Sort of like Stephen Harper, really.)
Of course each Christmas I would decorate the train village with the assorted buildings, tiny trees, but also a assorted collection of cowboys, indians and assorted animals from my toy farm.
I remember first hearing "Old Toy Trains" in the sixties when Roger -"You Can't Rollar Skate in a Buffalo Herd"- Miller  released it.

I bought the book The Polar Express, complete with silver bell, for my kids when they were very young.  The book is beautiful; the story now a classic.  They retained much of the same graphic look in the film version, and while the humanoid appearance of the characters are a bit creepy, once you get past that, it is an enchanting and very moving experience.

The song, "Believe" written for the movie by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestriand sung by Josh Groban is one of those Andrew Lloyd Weber-ish big ballads that get on my nerves. But when sung over the visuals from the movie, the lyrics come alive and the song soars like wind tossed snowflakes.

Can you hear the bell?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deck the Halls with songs by Garland

Judy wouldn't be Judy unless there was drama. And these songs are dramatic.
The first is from her 1968 appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It was her second to last appearance on TV before passing away a year later.

I haven't heard this song before and find it very compelling.  It's represents a sentiment that isn't expressed all that much during the "merry" season (and probably with good reason).   But with statistics that report a huge bump in the amount of break ups just before Christmas, it still seems relevant.

This performance is so poignant on so many levels. If you know anything of her life story and the history of people walking out on her, it's heartbreaking to watch how she reaches deep inside her to deliver such a performance. That she does this while simply sitting in the guest chair on the Johnny Carson Show speaks to her legendary showmanship.


"We can be happy anywhere as long as we're together."

One of the most popular Christmas songs, "Have Yourself a A Merry Little Christmas" was introduced to us in "Meet Me in St. Louis", a movie I first remember watching at Queen Street School where the Sisters would find us wholesome Christmas films to watch each year. (they were big on Bing). It was also there that I first saw "It's a Wonderful Life".

If you think the song is a downer now, check out the original lyrics that Judy and director husband, Vincent Minnelli had insisted be replaced.
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last,
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, pop that champagne cork,
Next year we will all be living in New York.

No good times like the olden days, happy golden days of yore,
Faithful friends who were dear to us, will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together, if the Fates allow,
From now on we'll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now."
It was changed again when Frank Sinatra released the song changing the line:
"Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow". to "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,"
I prefer the the "muddle" version. It best represents what I am able to accomplish each Christmas in spite of the best intentions.

Whatever your Christmas tradition, I wish you a very, very merry one.

Today's question?…Why do you suppose so many choose Christmas to break up?  - Save on gifts?  - Don't want to bring him/her home to meet the parents?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Someday at Christmas?

Let's crank things up a bit with some Christmas music set to a Motown beat.

I'm a huge fan of Motown and of Stevie Wonder and The Supremes in particular. So of course I listened to all of their Christmas releases.  Admittedly, most of the Motown Christmas albums kind of sucked. They were full of fillers and versions of songs already done by other artists in the Motown stable..

Stevie Wonder's contributions to my Christmas song favourites have also become popular favourites sung by many artists of all musical styles.  But you can't beat the originals. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Acadian Christmas in Moncton

Growing up in Moncton in the 60's in an Acadian home set me apart from many of my classmates at Queen Street School who for the most part, were Irish Catholics. 

My paternal Grandparents who were Acadian sent me to an English school because:
 a) my mother was English and in those days, we always defaulted to English and

b) Queen Street school was very close and very Catholic.

Our Christmas traditions were much the same as other French Canadian families. We had our big meal at dinner (lunch) and ate lighter fare at supper.

At Christmas, the big event was Réveillon - Christmas Eve where we'd get to stay up late, go to Midnight Mass and then come home and dive into the great food that had had taken days to prepare. I remember my Grandmother laying out a half dozen baked Duncan Hines cakes on the table in the days leading to Christmas. I was always happy to help with the frosting.

We'd get to open a present before going to bed. It didn't leave Santa with much of a window of opportunity to drop off the rest before morning.

My favourite holiday food (after ribbon candy, barley toys and chicken bones) was Poutine Râpee. Blogger and journalist Brian Cormier has a Facebook Page dedicated to this Acadian "delicacy".

It's not the most appealing of dishes. (Wet lint ball comes to mind.) Acadian cuisine isn't known for its colour palette. Think shades of gray with the occasional hint of brown if the dish happens to be gratinéed or baked. We count on summer savoury to add colour (and taste). 

But it's a cultural thing; something you grow up with. If confronted with the same plate today, you would think that you landed on an episode of Amazing Race.

There are many dishes particular to the Moncton area and this version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" by Acadian musical group Les Méchants Maquereaux  lists a number of them.

I've translated the items given by his "true love". 
If I messed up, feel free to leave your corrections in the comments.

What's your favourite Christmas dish?

Les douze jours de noël. - Les Méchants Maquereaux

Le 1er jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Un gros messe de poutine râpée - (a whole lot more than 2)

Le 2ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Deux pec de mouques pis - (2 pecks of mussels)
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 3ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Trois six packs frettes – (3 cold six-packs "beer")
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 4ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Quatre harengs fumés – (4 smoked herrings)
Trois six packs frettes
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 5ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Cinq pets de sœurs – (like cinnomon buns made with leftover pie crust –  "nun's farts")
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 6ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Six gros homards – (6 large lobsters)
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quare harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 7ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Sept râpures molles – (like poutine râpée lasagna)

Six gros homards
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 8ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Huit morues sèques – (8 salt cod)
Sept râpures molles
Six gros homards
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 9ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Neuf dîners bouillis – (9 boiled dinners – pig's feet, anyone?)
Huit morues sèques
Sept râpures molles
Six gros homards
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 10ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Dix groses coques – (10 large oysters)

Neuf dîners bouillis
Huit morues sèques
Sept râpures molles
Six gros homards
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 11ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Onze poutine à trous(11 baked apple dumplings)
Dix groses coques
Neuf dîners bouillis
Huit morues sèques
Sept râpures molles
Six gros homards
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée

Le 12ème jour de Noël mon amour ma donné
Douze beaux maquereaux – (12 nice mackerels)
Onze poutine à trous
Dix groses coques
Neuf dîners bouillis
Huit morues sèques
Sept râpures molles
Six gros homards
Cinq pets de sœurs
Quatre harengs fumés
Trois six packs
Deux pec de mouques pis
Un gros messe de poutine râpée
Pis un gros messe de poutine râpée
Pis un gros messe de poutine râpée

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tripping Over Christmas

You can't avoid Christmas. Nope, whether you like it or not, there is no safe house in which to hide from the abuse of commercials, "Jingle Bells"  or that really annoying spoon player guy in front of Oglivys.

The other thing that is a bit of a pain in the ass about Christmas is the travelling.    If you decide to make the trip to visit family, you inevitably end up driving through a storm - or; one on the way there and one on the way back.  This happened to us a couple of years ago; zero visibility, blocked highway, the whole shebang. 

I really can’t remember a Christmas road trip when snow or freezing rain didn't make me lunge for the liquor cabinet as soon as we reached our destination.
On the other hand, if we don’t make the trip we miss sharing Christmas Day with family. And it’s all about being there Christmas day, isn’t it?

So, if you want to be home for Christmas, you’re probably going to be driving there. Even if it’s just to the airport, remember to pack sand and a shovel in your trunk. Bon voyage!

Chris Rae–Driving Home for Christmas

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas: A Time We're So Glad to Have Together

It's Friday and I'm going to take a little TGIF break from my Christmas song of the day.

A couple of blog posts ago I mentioned my Mom and her love of Christmas kitsch.  If you'd like a sense of what Christmas at home was like, I invite you to watch this episode from The Carol Burnett Show where we get a glimpse of the holidays at the Eunice and Mama household.

The styles may have changed, but I would wager that this scene plays out much the same way in many living rooms Christmas morning. That was the genius of this show.  (Alan Alda was kind enough to play "me".)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Cold, It's Snowy and it's Almost Christmas.

Just got back from walking Ruby (our dog, not my Aunt). It's very wintry today. Strong winds make the -12 degrees seem more like -20º.  We ran a bit then on the way back I noticed that many more of my neighbours seemed to have been tapped by the Christmas Fairy.

Cascading mini lights seem to be the thing this year and big balls still hang in front of several doors.  Not surprising given the cold, the majority were blue.  While I love twinkle, I'm a bit of a traditionalist.  My front door wouldn't look out of place on a Judy Garland Christmas Special set.  And don't get me started on blue lights.  While I agree with my friend, Brian that they're mesmerizing, I also find that they are depressing. I don't need "depressing" at Christmas. I barely hang on to my sanity as it is.

Today's song choice reflects the cold and snow, but with a bit of a beat to warm things up.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Gays of Christmas - Fosse, Fosse, Fosse!

(Disclaimer - This song does not refer to my last year's stocking stuffers!)

The 12 Days of Christmas is one of those "love it/hate it" holiday tunes. It's been done to death both by interpretation and repetition.

We have the traditional versions I remember seeing on CBC each year that had live actors in Victorian costumes play out all of the gifts to the ever increasingly overwhelmed 'True Loved".  And of course there were the classic Bing Crosby and  "Prop 8" Tabernacle Choir versions.

In grade nine, I pantomimed the twelve days of Christmas as a solo; in a clown suit - Apologies to students and staff of King George School 1967.   I am so glad it was pre video.  However embarrassing, I remember it as being exhilarating and one of my earliest memories of having total uninhibited fun on stage. 

And speaking of uninhibited - have you seen this first video from last year - "The 12 gays of Christmas"?  Does anyone know who these dancers are? I would have loved to be part of this dance company. 

Why didn't we ever think of doing this? - we had the Fosse moves.  Every time I see this I think of David, my friend and stage partner who we lost in 1993 to AIDS. How he would have enjoyed it. Undoubtedly, he'd have me up on the floor recreating each hip thrust and ball change.

The second, more traditional version is performed by the King's Singers with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I'm not sure which interpretation is gayer.  If they removed al the gay contribution to this extravaganza, they'd probably end up being called the Mormon Tabernacle Quartet.

Honourable mentions: Straight No Chaser  and Bing Crosby with The Andrew Sisters versions.

Do you have a favourite version?  Do you know the lyrics? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas, Mr. Bowie

When I hear Karen Carpenter at Christmas I am transported to my Mom's home in Oshawa.   There wasn't a crepe paper Santa or Christmas Bell that was safe from hanging.  

Red and green paper streams were strung from the ceiling corners in the kitchen and crisscrossed in the middle where a huge clump of red and green accordion bells were scotch taped to the light fixture.

There were plastic holly & berries adorning anything stationary. On the porch windows were snow stencilled reindeers, snowflakes and Santa's - flying, falling and walking through the glow of multi-coloured lights. Even the bathroom was decorated with a crocheted Mrs. Claus toilet paper cover. (Was that supposed to keep the tissue warm?)

Mom enjoyed her Christmases. Even if she had survived to experience the Martha Stewart era of tasteful DIY decorations, I think she'd still haul out the crêpe paper Frosty and the canned snow each December because that's what Christmas at home was.

These songs take me back there and to her bottomless tin of Christmas cookies.

Was your Mom a Martha Stewart or a Roseanne Barr when it came to Seasonal decor?

David Bowie, Bing Crosby: Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

Karen Carpenter: Merry Christmas Darling

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't Get Drunk This Christmas!

Well, it's another, blue Monday Christmas song day.  Today's choices are songs that speak to the kinds of experiences I and many others unfortunately lived through as a kid.  

I know that I told you all about the magic of being mesmerized by Christmas tree lights and music.  And that is a big part of the memories that I hold on to.

The other part is hiding in my room with the pillow over my head trying to block out the noise from the fighting downstairs. Or, leaving the house altogether and walking around the mercifully silent streets looking at the beautifully decorated houses -  imagining what it would be like to live in one of them.

I didn't understand what it was about Christmas that caused grownups to get so pissed (as in drunk and "off").  Maybe it was the combination of the looser inhibitions that come with booze with the sentimentality of the holidays.  

It seemed that it was impossible to be happy for any length of time without it dissolving into a ugly soul baring rage.  Perhaps that rage was always there and only needed the coerced joviality of Christmas to fuel it?

All I know is that despite that, I choose to remember my dream Christmases and while the "nightmare" Christmases sucked, they have long ceased to scare me.

You "Grinches" out there should enjoy this...

"Please, Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" is best known for the John Denver version. But I prefer Alan Jackson's.
"Please Daddy don't get drunk this Christmas
I don't want to see my Momma cry
Please Daddy don't get drunk this Christmas
I don't want my Momma cry
Just last year when I was only seven
Now I'm almost eight, as you can see
You came home a quarter past eleven
And fell down underneath
our Christmas tree

Mama smiled and looked
Outside the window
She told me son
You better go upstairs Then you laughed and hollered
"Merry Christmas"
I turned around and saw
My Momma's tears"

Alan Jackson

That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!

(Sufjan Stevens)

Going outside
Shoveling snow in the driveway, driveway
Taking our shoes
Riding a sled down the hillside, hillside
Can you say what you want?

Can you say what you want to be?
Can you be what you want?
Can you be what you want?
Our father yells
Throwing gifts in the wood stove, wood stove
My sister runs away
Taking her books to the schoolyard, schoolyard
In time the snow will rise
In time the snow will rise
In time the Lord will rise
In time the Lord will rise

Silent night
Holy night
Silent night
Nothing feels right

Sufjan Stevens

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Vocalise

I'm a big fan of vocal groups. I followed The Manhattan Transfer' career since the early seventies when they were part of the 40's revival that had Bette singing "In the Mood" and the Pointer Sisters: "Steam Heat".

There are so many amazing Christmas songs done by groups small and large; acapella and accompanied that I don't know where to start selecting songs for today. So, I'll start with my favourite older group then choose one from a new group, Straight No Chaser, that I really enjoy. (Another YouTube discovery!)

Pass that pitch pipe and let's harmonize!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Noël, C'est L'Amour

Contrary to what you might believe given my last couple of posts, when it comes to Christmas music, I'm totally in the traditional camp. (but I'm traditionally camp)

I love being enveloped in strings and harmonies while basking in lights and decorations.  Jackie Gleason's super slow arrangements (they make Perry Como seem like Speedy Gonzales!), are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of scotch and a couple of nuts.

Two of my favourite french songs of the holidays are "Noël, C'est L'Amour", which my BFF Fanny brought to my attention and Roch Voisine's version of Petit Papa Noël from his Christmas album, L'Abum de Noël.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's a Christmas Disco Party!

Even Santa couldn't escape the Disco tide of the late seventies.  And I have to tell you, as much as I was a dancin' Queen - even I couldn't handle Oh Holy Night at 120 bpm. But these are pretty representative of the genre. 

Turn the music up and the lights down (and close the blinds) 'cause it's time to Disco down the Lane!

Ho! Ho! Ho! and away we go!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Make Your Yuletide Gay (and Spicy)

 With these bone chilling temperatures and a blanket of snow covering our streets, perhaps it's time to turn up the heat a bit.

I love Latin music and I love camp. So, I brought you both today.

I mentioned The Pee Wee Christmas Special in yesterday's post and though there is a ton of gay gems to mine there, I promise this will be the last one - it's just too easy!  

What can you say about Charo except: "cuchi, cuchi!" I loved her 70's Christmas disco hit: "¿(Mamacita) Donde Esta Santa Claus?" (But that's for another theme day.)

So this "gay"….

And so is this – but SPICY, too!


¡Feliz Navidad!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An 80's Christmas: Big Hair and Big Shoulders

...And let's not forget the leg-warmers! 

The 80's were something, eh? Cabbage Patch Dolls, Fraggle Rock, Madonna, New Wave and Alexis & Krystle.

It wasn't a great decade for Christmas music.
I worked in the Caribbean a few years so there was a lot of Feliz Navidad. Roch Voisine and Anne Murray (aren't they one and the same?) came out with their Christmas albums and Paul McCartney out cloyed himself with 'A Wonderful Christmastime." (released in '79)

The best selling Christmas compilation album "A Very Special Christmas" was released in 1987;  the proceeds going to The Special Olympics.

Musically, Madonna and M. J. ruled the world (nod to Tears for Fears). It was a decade of "me first" and "greed is good" - plus ça change!  

But it also gave us "Christmas Vacation" and "Scrooged".

G. & I watched Pee Wee's Christmas Special the other night - What was k.d. thinking? It has to be the gayest show I've ever seen! 
Guest list: CherGrace Jonesk.d. langDinah ShoreLittle Richard,Zsa Zsa Gabor,Whoopi GoldbergCharoAnnette Funicello, Del Rubio Triplettes and Oprah Winfrey( Oh, let's not forget the Marines honour guard!) 

Watch it on Youtube: "Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special". (k.d's performance, below)

"…This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special …SPECIAL"


What's your most cherished 80's Christmas memory?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Snowing – Isn't it Delightful?

Had a bit of a snowfall here in Montréal. Nothing serious, just a few centimeters.  And it's not like Montréal and snow are strangers to each other. They're like Steve and Eydie or Wayne and Wanda; hard to imagine one without the other.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Blue Monday Christmas

Sometimes Christmas isn't what it's cracked up to be. In fact, the pressure to be social, to snuggle on the sofa in front of a fire with your sweetheart, to be happy,can push people over the edge.

There's nothing like a great "hurtin'" song to make you feel you're in like company. Maybe not surprisingly, there are a lot of sad Christmas songs and some that are just downright depressing.

Here are a couple of my favourites: what's yours?

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