Opening Statement



Monday, 2 January 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Yup! Here we are. I have been up to a whole lot of nothing and quite enjoying it. School doesn't go back til next Monday because we went right up to the 23rd this year, and are entitled to two weeks off. I like it. It was rushed before Christmas but now all the hoopla is over, most everybody else has gone to work and I got our home to myself.

I slept in until about 9am. Paid off a few bills online. Headed out to pick up some Japanese cds I had ordered. They make great quality cds, and classic/ prog rock is still very popular there. Everything is exacting down to the mini-lp sleeves, the inserts, and the mastering is usually quite excellent. Clear. Good sound stage. Not too much bass like a lot of our own domestic releases these days. Boomba-boomba-boomba etc. Not to my liking.

So there I was downtown Toronto at Bathurst and Bloor St West around lunch. It was freezing cold, but sunny, no snow on the ground. I was dressed up warmly, still it is kind of dreary. Life has pretty much returned to normal, with most folk back at work today. I walked around a bit. Visited BMV, probably my favourite local bookstore. Lots of remainders and the like, very reasonably priced. I bought two books, literary studies about the writings of Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. The Beat writers. I always loved the beats. I think with Burroughs it was his dry sardonic wit, with Kerouac his stream of consciousness, Rimbaud type thing.

Actually, at 18 I hitch hiked across Canada to British Columbia. I had my backpack, bundled up with a wok, pup tent, change of clothes and a sleeping bag. Plus a copy of Kerouac's "On the Road", in my back pocket which I read for the first time while I lived my own road trip. Quite an adventure. My girlfriend and I stood on the on-ramp to the 400 with our thumbs stuck out, hitching one ride after another right across Canada. The government of the day had traveller camps set up across the country for young backpackers such as ourselves, or we would sleep in the forest by the roadside. Maybe in the backseat of  a car on a long stretch if it was raining. Often folk invited us into their house, or let me pitch my pup tent in their backyards. I can't say I ever suffered for the want of anything. Caught a ride in a limo into Vancouver, very cool. Made our way over to Vancouver island, hiked through the rain forest and pitched the tent on Long Beach, just outside the town of Tofino. Lived there awhile. There was a whole city of tents in the forest and along the beach, where we'd have communal bonfires and cook up whatever we had to share and eat. It was different being young then. I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone anymore, but there was a time....

Anyway, ever since then I've read a lot of the beat writers. I kept my own journal, starting on my trips. I tried to imitate their style at first, with my own stories to tell. I don't know if the influence shows in my blog writing today. Maybe, maybe not. I think I've pretty much got my own writing voice now, but I still love reading that stuff.

During the early afternoon Janet called me up on my cellphone. Her boss had sent everyone home early because the office was dead. I waited for her at the Second Cup Cafe, north east side of Yonge and College while she went shopping at Winners. I like to sit in a comfy window seat and people watch there. The patrons are friendly. It's just all around nice place to stop for a bit. Janet met up with me for coffee and a muffin. We caught the southbound subway on the Yonge Line to Union Station where it turns north on the University and Spadina Lines and dropped us off back at our cars further north at Yorkdale and Wilson Stations. Came home for leftovers, sitting on the couch watching the evening news together. 

Kind of lazy I know. Today's activities were a real time waster but it just feels so good not to be hurried or busy with this or that all the time. I think I am really going to enjoy this week off!



William S. Burroughs, Allan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac: Dig the beat!!!




Hooray for the Beats!!!

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