Variations on a theme of being home again

  • The weather is absolutely freaking gorgeous, yet I seem to spend hardly any time outside.
    • Chocolate covered almonds are addictive. So, too, is my mother’s chocolate torte, lemon-walnut cookies, and my father’s cousin’s charoset, which I really should learn to make one of these years.
    • I’ll be eating leftovers for the rest of my life. Or maybe not, if I want to fit into the dress I’m wearing at the Edgars.
    • I keep singing “Winstons taste good like a cigarette should” at inopportune moments. Mostly because every time I look over to the spiffy high-definition TV my parents bought a few weeks ago, my brother is watching another episode of the first season of the Beverly Hillbillies.
    • Please, for the love of god, somebody put The Bob Cummings Show on DVD. How can you miss with a show that has Cummings, Dobie Gillis, Alice of the Brady Bunch and Miss Hathaway (of the aforementioned Hillbillies) not to mention scantily clad 50s babes? Talk about sitcom gold. Oh, and Dobie Gillis should be released, too — for Gilligan, Tuesday Weld, and Warren Beatty. Damn.
    • I firmly believe Paul Cavanagh’s AFTER HELEN — winner of the inaugural Lit Idol competition a couple of years ago — would have found a publisher through conventional channels. An excellent exploration of loss, fractured father-daughter relationships and living with past transgressions, and it’s so Canadian that Farley Mowat is a supporting character. This author’s one to watch.
    • So too is Pat Capponi, whose debut mystery LAST STOP SUNNYSIDE is equal parts a calibrated look at Toronto’s more marginalized residents and the hope and humanity they still hang onto despite their dire straits and a damn good story featuring a great heroine in Dana Leoni. I had a big smile on my face when I closed the book, and eagerly await Dana’s next unlikely sleuthing adventure.
    • Random House Canada’s just launched its World of Crime initiative and even though I’m glad that it includes authors such as Henning Mankell, Giles Blunt, Colin Cotterill, Fred Vargas and Chris Knopf, I hope the international-ness becomes more varied in the titles to come…
    • I have five more days till I can eat real food again.