Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!

~by Jack Prelutsky

Lesson of the day learned through humour… Thanks ole Jacky boy… wherever you are

~Franki Figgs

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A Sunday Dinner at Ethel’s

Very short post this evening.  I am all caught up with my adventures and blogging, wohoo!  It is an interesting goal to set for oneself, blogging everyday about something new or positive or fun.  When your days are full and the experience is new, its hard to find time to write about it.  I will get better at it I am sure, as time goes on.

Today I spent the day reading and writing.  It is the first Sunday in a very long time that I haven’t spent the day drinking or with a massive hang over or ramping up to drink again, and I was thankful for it.  In fact, I enjoyed it much more then I would have thought was possible.  Trust when I say this is not an anti-drinking campaign… I said my goal was to make my life more positive not impossible 😀  It was just a welcome change and one I feel needs to be noted.

Tonight I ate at a tiny diner in Uptown Waterloo (that is never going to get old) called Ethel’s Lounge.  Just wanted to give a shout out, as the Buffalo Chicken Wrap was delicious and the atmosphere perfect for people watching.  Also to my company, which probably was the best part.

http://www.ethelslounge.ca/

Happy day friends!  Here is to the week ahead!

~Franki Figgs

Psychedelic Doom… aka Hawkeyes

Hawkeyes

~ Written Saturday August 27, 2011

Is there anything better then discovering a really great new band? Possibly. For me it is definitely on my top ten list of things to do, especially when I am blown away.  Last night (Friday) I headed to “The Hive” in Kitchener, Ontario to hear a friends band play, and I was in fact “blown away”.

In proper fashion I need to give credit to “The Hive”,which is a great little bar located on King Street, “downtown” Kitchener.  With a fairly large stage, a rocking patio/balcony and parking in the back, it is an excellent venue to catch live bands.

http://www.liveatthehive.ca/

I have been following Hawkeyes for a couple of months on Facebook and I was excited to see them perform, FINALLY!  Members of the band have come together from The Miniatures, The Speakeasies, Saigon Hookers, The Stars Here and Village Idiot.  The guys most certainly have a monster truckload of talent, but that much talent doesn’t always come together to form a cohesive unit and I was curious to see what all the fuss might be about.

The Hawkeyes took the stage around 10:30 and all doubts were put to rest.  I like my music loud.  Especially live.  And this was WAY loud.  With no singer, four guitar players (Friday they had three, the infamous “BUNS” was missing) an amazing bass-guitarist, and a powerhouse drummer, the rattle and hum that comes off the stage is outstanding. With guitar reverb you can feel in your chest and bass/drums that leave your feet tingling, I really couldn’t ask for much more.  There were 3 songs in the 40ish minute set, (some will argue 5, others 1) that left the The Hive, “tranced”.  The ladies I went with described the sound and feeling of the band as “Psychedelic” and as I watched the crowd sway along, I couldn’t have agreed more. With a more then entertaining show, and Hawkeyes meat treats… it was a fantastic Friday evening.

You can follow the adventures of the Hawkeyes at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hawkeyes/167608039957764 and make sure you keep your eyes open for their next gig!

~Franki Figgs

~ Posted late because of a boy 😀

The Marrieds.

The Marrieds

Jane Carmichael & Kevin Kennedy are “The Marrieds”.  During the now infamous “Snowmageddon” of London, Ontario (December 2010) the duo posted three “snow” songs which, within just a few short days, received over 10,000 hits and had gained the attention of CBC radio.  Their self-titled first release came out this August.

I downloaded their album from iTunes last week and listened to it in the car on a trip to Toronto.  Perfect road trip music, soulful, fun and extremely catchy.  I will even admit to having “Take Me to California” on repeat most of the return trip home.

The twosome have been performing across Ontario this summer, and have rapidly become favourites of fresh air festivals everywhere.  Jane & Kevin are endearing and charming, and are hitting the stage with a fresh sound that is bringing a hip new “folky-pop” to a younger generation. Reminiscent of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, who once recorded their first album in their kitchen and went on to live in the hearts of music lovers forever, if you haven’t already had the pleasure, take the time to fall in love with The Marrieds.

The Marrieds are available on iTunes, or you check out their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Marrieds/162626207107354

Book Review – The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson

~ Thursday August 25, 2011

James Patterson has had a book on The New York Times Bestsellar List for as long as a I can remember.  I cannot recall the last time that I have been browsing the Top Ten at the bookstore where his name hasn’t appeared on at least one, if not more then one of the titles there.  I have friends who swear by him, and have purchased every single piece of “literature” the man has ever put out.  He has written books that have been turned into movies that I actually enjoyed “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls”, and I have admiration for the fact that he is heavily involved in literacy campaigns for children. Knowing all of this about the man, perhaps it is odd that as an avid reader, I have never picked up one of his books until now, but I have this preconceived notion of his writing being “cookie cutter-like”.  To me, any author that can crank out a book every 6 to 8 months, writes by a methodology that gives all of their books the same kind of spin.  Like a romance novelist, without the romance.

Last week I was in Chapters and I crossed by one of his latest endeavours in paperback edition entitled “The Murder of King Tut”.  Back intro “Master of suspense James Patterson explores the greatest unsolved death in history”. Now I am a huge nerd when it comes to all things Pharoh and Pyramids, and have long believed that the death of King Tut and the opening of his tomb were a fantastic conspiracy theory, so I thought, why not?  Without even trying Patterson captured my interest by title and back cover introduction, and if I was ever going to give him a whirl, this seemed to be a good fit.

The book moves back and forth between three different time periods.  Modern day. This is Patterson talking to his editor about why he is intrigued by the young kings death, and how he wants to put all of his other current projects on hold and write this one because he “feels passionate about the story” and is enjoying the research.  I didn’t understand the reasoning behind throwing in the authors “real life” perspective mid-story. Having never read a Patterson novel before, I am not sure if this is characteristically done throughout all of his books or whether it was done specifically for this story, but it was quite bothersome and unnecessary.  It broke up the story and gave it a disconnected flow.  I didn’t buy the book to read about WHY Mr. Patterson wanted to write it.  This information could have been better presented in a Prologue or Epilogue, something far less distracting.

The second time period covered the life of Howard Carter in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Howard Carter is the man who dug up Tut’s tomb back in 1922.  Written in third person, it appears as though the events were factually portrayed (evidence that Patterson did his research) and the storyline for Carter was enjoyable and I found myself hopeful for, the dig and the man himself  in his quest for Tut, which covered a 31 year time span.  As a reader I developed a liking for Carter and his persistence. It wasn’t difficult to picture yourself in Egypt, as a part of the site, or to join in the excitement of being the first person in 3000 years to break the seal on a tomb. Patterson took some time to develop the back story of Carter, emotional interest from me the reader and therefore a firm resolve to turn the page.

The final time period follows the reign of Tut’s time as Pharoh.  The time just before him taking the throne, till the time of his death and slightly beyond. The actual way of life was well researched, and historically Patterson portrays the time period accurately by all accounts as far as I can tell, but I could have found the same information in any high school history book.  The whole reason I was drawn to the book, was a continued curiosity for King Tut, but the development of Patterson’s Tut was such that, I wasn’t sad when Tut was killed. Even when some of the other characters were “shockingly killed off”, couldn’t have cared any less. I realize most would say that is because I already knew the way the story would end, he dies, but it was more then that. My theory on “cookie-cutting writing” fits about right.  You can have an amazing idea, you can pay someone to do accurate research (which was clearly done), but if you don’t take the time to develop an emotional attachment to your characters or to spin an interesting storyline, one that us UNIQUE to your story, then what is the point?

I will give the book one thing.  It was a very easy read.  332 pages were consumed over a two night period with ease.  However, I am afraid (although could be convinced otherwise) that this will be my first and last James Patterson novel, and I am okay with being the minority on that one.  I mean six million book in print copy alone are proving me wrong.

The Murder of King Tut

Things That Go Bump in the Dark….

~Written Wednesday August 24th, 2011

~ Posted late we have been busy!

All across Southwestern Ontario there are storms “a brewin” tonight. Being connected in through social media streams has really changed the way we communicate our fears to one another.  Some people this evening were poking fun (myself included) at the thought of tornados and severe weather, others (the wiser and probably experienced storm goers) were hunkered down in basements or battening down the hatches. I Facebooked of houses falling and ruby slippers tonight, making light of an actual serious situation for many Ontarians, I thought to myself, if storms were actually something i was actually afraid of, would I have reacted the same way?  Would I be my inappropriate self?

With this in mind, I thought about what actually scares me.  I have three sincere fears in life.  And when I consider what other people are scared of, storms, dying, love, marriage, loss, flying, failure, …. it seems ridiculous.  I am however, a little ridiculous so here we go.

Fear #1.  CLOWNS. 

My fear does not come from the movie/book IT by Stephen King.  This seems to be the assumption.  Of course NOW Pennywise the clown scares the bejesus out of me, but that is not where the fear stems from.

Pennywise the Clown

It is partly because I don’t like it when I can’t see people’s real expressions.  It freaks me out, and its not normal.  The other reason comes from being traumatized as a kid at the Paris Fair.  If you were a kid in Paris, every September began with the Fair.  It was the end of summer, the last big event before school started.  If you were a farm kid, it was a weekend of work, showing, competition and if you were lucky, eventually the fairway and the derby.  Like rain and “bacon on a bun” one of the things you could be certain to encounter, was Smoky the Clown. Smoky was an institution within the fair itself, buttons, t-shirts, flags and flyers were all designed depicting a cartoon “likeness of him”.  By the time I was seven or eight Lorne Reeder (Smoky the Clown)had developed full on Parkison’s disease (which, I would like to state is actually very sad).  He was such a tradition at the fair, despite the fact that he could barely walk, and could barely speak, they still allowed him to come out with his balloons and “entertain” the fairway. I have already said I don’t like it when I can’t read people’s expressions, now imagine being seven years old and having a person with Parkinson’s approach you with balloon’s in hand, face painted like a madman, shaking and mumbling words. Traumatic.  Life changing in fact, because I have never been able to be around clowns since.  Seems rather mudane and perhaps very “dramatic of me”, however, it is what it is and I officially think that all clowns, should be wiped off the face of the earth and remembered only as a “passing phase”.

Fear #2 BIRDS

Yes, I have a feather tattoo.  What the heck does that have to do with the price of tea in China?!  My feather tattoo doesn’t flap its wings and fly at me.  My feather tattoo is not symbolic of a BIRD!  Birds are just creepy.  And chickens are the absolute worst.  I could never be a vegetarian because I actually enjoy eating chicken THAT MUCH, one less chicken to evil up the world we live in!  Ever had a bird fly at your face?  Sooooo not a good time.  They are dumb pets, they aren’t fluffy or furry, you can’t cuddle them, and even if someone were to argue that they could… I don’t care, they are stupid!  Right here is probably where I should apologize to bird owners, but tough, I am not going too. Birds are meant to eat.  That is all.

Freaking Crazy Ass Bird!

Fear #3 Super Grover

Do you remember Super Grover?  He was on Sesame Street.  It was always a story about Grover learning something new, or putting fear to rest.  But the skit would always begin with “faster then lightning, stronger then steel, smarter then a speeding bullet, it’s Super Grover!” and he would bust through that big G and wave his arms about manically with a helmet on his head.  Completely violent and disturbing.  I am sure many of you don’t remember Super Grover, so I have included a clip to bring you up to date with the horror, and I apologize in advance for any trauma it might cause said viewer.  If you close your eyes, plug your ears and hide behind your couch, you might be safe.  And I stress the MIGHT.

Yes, these are my fears.  To most they will be lame.  Too some you will understand.  To those of you who have witnessed me actually freak out over any of the above it is probably an amusing memory.  I am sure there are other more significant things that I am afraid of, but I prefer to think of those things are scars or emotional baggage :D.

~ Franki Figgs

The Simple Things….

Do you remember those long summer days of your youth? Hanging out with friends and doing seemingly everything, and nothing at the same time? When hours seemed to stretch on forever, and growing up, no matter how close it was, seemed eons away. Every night you went to bed exhausted by the days adventures and every morning you woke up absolutely excited about what the day might bring….

Today, I had one of those days that reminded me of being young and carefree.  I spent all day working outside, cutting grass, pulling weeds and transporting plants.  I realize this doesn’t sound like a fantabulous day, but it was. I was outside in the sun (true sun bunny here), I was in hilarious company, and I was helping someone who needed it, what could be better?  Oh wait, it got better when the bottle of pinot was cracked at 4 p.m. Then it was perfect.  I allowed myself to enjoy the things that normally irritate me… manual labour, getting filthy… being way to hot.  And in doing so, I had a fantastic day.

I am heading to bed exhausted and early and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings…

Short and sweet and seemingly perfect.

~ Franki Figgs