Beethoven and Oscar the Grouch

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but occasionally the eternal optimist in me struggles. I really do believe in positive thinking, but now and then, I seem to misplace my rose-coloured glasses. I know I’m supposed to be cheery and thankful and grateful and all that, but there are just those days when it seems too […]

Saint-Saëns and the presidential bathtub

I would hazard a guess that not many of us give a lot of thought to our respective legacies. There’s just too much other stuff to worry about on any given day. My sphere of influence is comparatively small on this side of the ground, so it’s hard to imagine that the many future generations […]

John Adams and YuMi the robot conductor

They warned us about the machines. In case you didn’t have enough to worry about in the news lately, there’s been an increasing amount of talk in recent months about how robots will eventually steal your job. They may look innocuous, but those self-checkout machines at your local grocery store are actually harbingers of doom. […]

Rimsky-Korsakov and Who Shot J.R.? (And the perils of Pauline, naturally.)

I’m going to guess there is a goodly number of you out there that don’t know about The Perils of Pauline. Long before Game of Thrones or Twin Peaks or even Dallas (remember “Who shot J.R.?”), there was Pauline, the serial many consider to be the original cliffhanger. The Perils of Pauline—along with The Exploits […]

Verdi and the Flat-Earthers

I learned something about myself this week: I am not nearly imaginative enough to be a conspiracy theorist. Unless you’ve spent the last several weeks living under a rock, you will know that this week there was a total solar eclipse. I didn’t get my act together in time to locate approved eclipse-viewing glasses (and […]

What I was supposed to do this summer

Every year right around this time I get a little panicky. Summer is racing onwards and I don’t seem to be doing enough about it. We have now officially passed over this summer’s halfway point—to be exact, there are only 41 measly days left. Eep. I had so many plans. Gin and tonic hour on […]

Puccini and rich people problems

I recently fell down an internet rabbit hole and stumbled across an article entitled “Ten Ways Rich People are Worse Off than You.” Apparently, the biggest reasons why the ultra-wealthy toss and turn at night: lazy kids, needy friends and the near-constant threat of being sued. Maybe it’s just my little stone of a heart, […]

The Velvet Gentleman Diet

We are now officially in the dog days of summer, and once again I find myself without my beach body. Oops. A quick internet search tells me though there is still hope for this summer. With the right miracle diet (and the right price), I too could be an Adonis on the sands before August […]

Happy Canada Day, with a nod to all my American friends

Once again my timing is off. If there were ever a day to quote an American president, today—the 150th anniversary of Confederation in Canada—isn’t it. Surely it would be much more appropriate for me to reference an inspiring thought from one of our great Canadian luminaries. But American presidents are just so damn quotable. I […]

Rossini and the Great(ish) Avocado Debacle

You may have missed this, but recently there was a minor furor over avocados. Some gazillionaire from Australia got on an internet soapbox and chastised today’s young people for spending too much money on brunch. $19 on smashed avocado toast plus four $4 coffees, to be precise. Kids nowadays, eh? His point, albeit a tired […]