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November 11th, 2011

I11/11/11: In Rememberance

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The Soldier
by Rupert Brooks

If I should die, think only this of me:

   That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

   In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

   Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England's, breathing English air,

   Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.


And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

   A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

      Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

   And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

      In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Dulce et Decorum Est
By Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)


    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,

    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.



    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .

    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,

    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.



    In all my dreams before my helpless sight,

    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.



    If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, –

    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

    To children ardent for some desperate glory,

    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est

    Pro patria mori.

September 6th, 2011

Labour Day: Circus!!

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Cold, rainy Labour Day --- perfect for the circus! 


More photos behind the cut!Collapse )





September 3rd, 2011

Devon: Grade Four!!

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Ready for her first day of grade four!

She's grown so much over the summer (well over two inches), and the proof is in the skort, which may be a little short!  (I couldn't find a new skort that I was happy with.  Devon dislikes uniform pants, and there weren't many skorts to choose from.  And yes, they must be skorts, and not skirts, since she is not allowed skirts in gym class.  The skorts I did find were too scratchy, or had too many pleats, or required ironing, or were just plain ugly.)  We found some cute yet sensible little uniform shoes in navy. Devon needed a little convincing at the shoe store, since she had set her hopes on something pull-on, and shiny, and sparkly, and ideally pink; but once she saw the entire uniform with shoes, she decided she loved them. She was particularly pleased that it was cool enough to wear her new dark-wash denim jacket, with her pin collection --- this gave her all the sparkle she required!

She's had a great first week of grade four.  She likes her new homeroom teacher, Miss Dona (yes, Devon insists it's just one "n.")  and seems satisfied with most of her other teachers, although she is disappointed that she won't have Miss Huot as her English teacher. (She will have her for Ethics, apparently.) She dislikes her gym teacher, M. Fontaine, but then she has since grade one.  (Quite frankly, I hated all my gym teachers, for reasons which were both biased and totally justified.)  She's also a bit sad that her grade three music teacher, the dynamic young Mr. Chapman, has moved on; but actually, I suspect that EBS moms are more disappointed about that than their kids.  (Ahem.) 

And Devon is so happy to be reunited with all her friends. There were hugs exchanged at the bus stop that first morning and, apparently, more squealing and hugging in the school yard ---including among friends Devon had *just* seen at a birthday party the previous weekend.  Already, of course, there are tense undercurrents running:  a triangle between Devon and her best friend Leah, and Leah's best friend Brennan who is also friends with Devon, but --significantly---not *best* friends.  I won't go into the details, which are complex and predicable.  Suffice to say that the situation is frought with drama, and that it will no doubt reach a boiling point os some sort, and that Devon clearly loves to talk about new developments at length and with gusto, even as she complains that it's stressing her out.  Typical girl stuff, I'm afraid, and I've warned her that she'd better get used to it, because this sort of shit will continue at least through high school.  :::sigh:::  At least she actually has friends.  At least she's not bullying.  At least she's not bullied. 

A smart girl who excels in every class except gym, who wears glasses, who raises her hand a lot in class, wo talks with a lot of big words, and who makes jokes and references to literature and popular culture which most kids her age don't get, who is also fairly popular?  Unimaginable in my day.  Maybe things have changed.  Or maybe it's only a matter of time before her status changes.  It happened to me in --- surprise!--- grade four.  Let's hope Devon's story is different.  Thankfully, she's a whole lot stronger and more secure and confident than I ever was, or ever will be.  (Thank you, nasty, mean grade four girls for forever breaking what little self esteem I had.)  If she does have to deal with mean girls, she will stand strong, I know.

More frustrating for Devon is the on-going problem of classmates asking, begging, and in some cases almost bullying her for help in class.  This year's main culprit is none other than Brennan, who has assigned seating next to Devon, and who is already pumping Devon for help with all class work.  Not only is it annoying for Devon, but she's told me that it's interfering with her ability to get her own work done.  I'm going to hold off on interfering for a little while, becasue i want Devon to stand up to Brennan and say no.  But Brennan seems pretty persistant.  It's no coincidence that Brennan sat next to Nate---the second smartest kid in class--- last year.

Good luck Devon, with every challenge you face, academic, social and otherwise!!  Here's to a terrific school year!

June 7th, 2011

Seeking Young Actors

May 20, 2011

Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff;
Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.
- Macbeth, William Shakespeare

Repercussion Theatre is looking for young actors from Montreal to appear in our 2011 Macbeth production. That’s right, this year’s production of Macbeth will feature children from the borroughs we tour to! Repercussion Theatre is looking for boys and girls between the ages of 8-12 years.

A $5 cash only administration fee will apply. Only serious candidates please. This is an unpaid role. Children must be non-union (i.e. not belonging to UDA, CAEA, or ACTRA).

Successful candidates will perform one night each between July 28th and August 21st, and must be available for a 2-hour rehearsal in the week of July 20th-July 27th.

Parents will be responsible for transportation to and from rehearsals and performances. A parent or guardian will also need to remain backstage with the child during performances.

As a memento of the occasion, each chosen child will be given a photo of themselves with the cast.

Deadline for registration: Friday, June 10th
Auditions: Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19th, to be held at Repercussion Theatre
Rehearsals: 2 hours, date TBD (between July 20th and July 27th)
Performance dates: One evening between July 28th and August 21st

To register, please call Zina Koro or Greg Stone at 514 931-2644.

-----------------------------------------------------
Please wish Devon luck!!

May 30th, 2011

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.

April 30th, 2011

(no subject)

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Prince William and Kate
Royal wedding: Prince William and Kate The official Royal wedding group photograph in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace
 
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Prince William and Kate, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with (front row (left to right): Miss Grace van Cutsem, Miss Eliza Lopes, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HM The Queen, The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Louise Windsor, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton. Back Row (left to right): Master Tom Pettifer, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Henry of Wales, Mr Michael Middleton, Mrs Michael Middleton, Mr James Middleton, Miss Philippa Middleton Photo: Hugo Burnand/Clarence House
Royal wedding: Prince William and Kate the official Royal wedding group photograph in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace
http://c0085612.cdn2.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/william-and-kate-wedding-portrait.jpg
 

In Case You Were Wondering

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1.  "You are my knight in shining armor. . . and together we're going to go, go GO!" (On Golden Pond)

2.  "Right then I knew.  I knew the way you know about a good melon." (When Harry Met Sally)

3.  "In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you." (Gone With the Wind)

4.  “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.” (Woody Allen's Love and Death)

5.  "Remember my sentimental friend, you will be judged not by how much you love, but by how much you are loved." (The Wizard of Oz)

6.  "You have bewitched me, body and soul.  And I love ---I love--- I love you." (Pride and Prejudice, the superior version)

7.  "I love you."
      "I know." (The Empire Strikes Back)

8.  "Kiss me.  Kiss me as if it were the last time." (Casablanca, a.k.a The Most Overrated Film in History))

9.  "It doesn't matter if the guy is perfect or the girl is perfect, as long as they're perfect for each other." (Good Will Hunting)

10.  "I would rather spend one lifetime with you, than face all the ages of this world alone." (Lord of the Rings --The Fellowship of the Ring)

England's True Anthem

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Yesterday's royal wedding was charming and lovely and rousing in so many ways, but the part that was my hands down favorite was when the the newly-married couple, their family, the guests, and hundreds of thousands or cheering crowds (and me) sang "Jerusalem." (From the poem written by William Blake, adapted slightly and set to music by Sir Hubert Parry, and orchestrated by Sir Edward Elgar. It really doesn't get more British than that!) 

As many have said, and I quite agree, this is England's true national anthem:


And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among those dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land.

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Tallis just came dancing into the room, with one of her signature open-mouthed, Muppet grins. 

Then she paused, looked at me, and announced, "That was the power of cuteness." 

And then she danced away.

Reason #147 why my girls are awesome and I love them.
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