tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I don't think I've ever been to see a comedian perform before. Or have i? Actually, now I think of it, i did go to a comedy show once where there were 4 or 5 performing, a Just for Laughs kind of thing. Last night I went to see Billy Connolly at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium at Dalhousie University here in Halifax.

Billy has long been one of my favourite comedians.I think he first came to my notice in the very early 1990s when he was in the American sitcom, Head of the Class. I can't remember if I was aware of him before that but that definitely started my interest. Over the years, I've seen him in movies, both dramas and comedies, on talk shows, and in lots of video. He always cracks me up. He's a great storyteller though you have to pay attention. He starts one story then gets off on a tangent because it reminds him of something else and then something else before he gets back to finish the original one. He's caustic, sarcastic, irreverent (as all comedians should be), he rants and pokes fun and he seems to enjoy his own jokes, chuckling as he's trying to tell the stories even though he's told them countless times before. He swears most of what he talks about on stage is true, possibly exaggerated now and then, but true.

Needless to say, I was excited to see him last night. He's been on tour and several of my friends in Ontario saw him a few days ago and said he was very good. My friend, S. and I got tickets a few months ago and I'd almost forgotten when the gig was. She called me last week thinking it was the end of last week and thought we'd missed it or nearly missed it. Thankfully, the tickets were for last night! I had thought they were for November some time so I wasn't even thinking it was this soon. Phew!

We arranged to meet at a restaurant not too far from the university for 5:45. She got stuck in traffic. Bad traffic. She ended up parking at the bus terminal and catching a bus which turned out to be the best way of getting there but she was still an hour late. I ordered and was on my dessert by the time she arrived but there was still plenty of time for her to order and eat and we walked up to the Arts Centre, getting there just in time to get seated. She had snagged us awesome seats, right in the front row.

My friends last week had taken a few photos during the show, though they were further back in the venue where they saw him. I wanted to take a couple of pictures but, being in the front row, I thought it would be too distracting but what I did do was take some just as he came on stage while everyone was applauding. They weren't the best but at least I have that as my souvenir of the night! I put the camera away then, and sat back to enjoy the show and enjoy it we did!

Now. Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in recent years. It's evident he's not as robust as he used to be and is a lot less animated. In older video from shows you see him darting back and forth across the stage, animated, more physical in his gestures. Last night he stayed pretty much in one place, though moved around a little. He was far less animated and his voice less strong that it was in the past though not frail or weak. He does seem to have lost a bit of the fire he used to have but then, between his illness and age and the rigours of a tour, I'm sure it all contributes to taking it out of him. He's still got it as far as telling his stories and jokes go, though.

Some of them I've heard before but most of them were new to me. BBC 4 radio, an armourer that supplies weapons to movie sets tangling with the owner of a cat he's just killed, performing folk music in a hospice, an encounter with a homeless man in Toronto, buying a cigar in Aberdeen amongst autograph seekers, sneezing without closing your eyes while driving, sexy bandages and a dodgey flight in Mozambique were some of the stories he told. It's impossible to retell the jokes since most of them would involve the whole story leading up to them.

One of the things he likes to do is take a walk around a city where he's performing. I thought he walked right by me on Monday afternoon as i was waiting for the bus. A man walked by, he was wearing a knitted cap and he had those little round eyeglasses that Billy wears, with the shoulder length white hair. I am trying to recall if that man had the little beard and tache but I can't picture him now. I just remember that he looked quite a bit like Billy Connolly and it very well might have been, judging from the height and size of him when I saw him last night on stage. I didn't say anything to the man that walked by me. For one thing, there were other people around and if it was him, he'd be surrounded. I just think that if a well known person is out on their own, or with their friends, you want to let them be. They must get annoyed at being interrupted all the time by fans, though I'm sure they appreciate that they do have fans. I think mostly they tend to be graceful and accommodating but I think most of the time I'd leave them be and just watch them from afar. I suppose it would depend on the situation or how badly I might want to meet them!
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
This is my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon. She's written 7 (so far) books in a series that i've devoured. The latest one, Echo in the Bone, came out about a month ago and i finished it over the weekend, just in time for her visit to Halifax on the first stop of her Canadian book signing tour. We count ourselves lucky, it's the only date in Eastern Canada and she flies to Ottawa today and is hopping across the country every day this week and over the weekend. The woman is getting over the flu yet is standing there talking for over a half hour and then sitting for nearly 2 hours signing books. She's quite a trooper! I thought her voice was going to give out a few times and it wasn't always easy to hear her either.

We got there just about 7 when she was about to start so the line was already very long, snaking in and out all the aisles and bookshelves on one side of the store. There were seated people directly in front of the podium, apparently a VIP section though i don't know how you got to be a VIP. As a result, while she was speaking and answering a few questions, we were way over the side of the store but heard most of it. When she started signing, the line did move, at first slowish but then fairly well. There had to be a couple hundred or more there and it took about an hour and a half by the time she started signing to when we got to the desk. That was a bit sooner than i expected, actually. We were out of there by 9:30 and home by 10.

She's just lovely, she's got a great sense of humour, and is quite pretty. I saw [ profile] blueberrymoon there and she got some really good photos. She wasn't standing in line but was there waiting for her daughter to go through. Her daughter has just discovered Diana's books! All this makes me want to go back and reread the entire series again. It's the first book that really hooks you and is still the best of the lot but there are a few others that are really good too. Well, all of them are but some better than others.

The crowd was mostly women with only a few men scattered through, one standing right behind us. He was older than me but he has been reading the books. I think he's only about to get into the fourth one so far. He says people always seem surprised a man likes the books but i know Dad had read the first few that i can recall and he liked them. Good story, he would say. And it is a good story, and there's lots in there that many men would enjoy. It's a romance but that's not the overwhelming focus of the book. It's always there, that bond between Jamie and Claire and secondarily, Roger and Briana (she's Jamie and Claire's daughter) but the story is excellent. There's war and battles and history, there are pirates and soldiers, there's the relationships between parents and children, loyalties within clans, struggles among prisoners and pioneers, religion, Native Americans, rebellion, nobles and other strange and wonderful characters that bring danger, conflict and joy.

Yes, i know i can get carried away lol Diana also has a blog that she updates and an official website. There are a few more pics from the signing here.

tvordlj: (Default)
Much as it was when Diana died, it's going to be Michael Jackson all weekend, I expect, until  we're sick to the eye teeth of it. But there's no denying he had a huge influence on pop music and music video. When Elvis died, hearts broke all over the world. He was probably just as famous as Michael in his day. Elvis didn't write most of his own material, he wasn't all that great an actor but boy could he sing. He didn't invent Rock and Roll but his handsome white-boy face and swiveling hips brought it out of the regional niches into the sunshine and it changed pop music. Michael Jackson had an electric effect on music and video, too, whether you liked his music or not. I liked it in the early 80s, it was catchy and danceable and a little different. It's sad that his life turned into such a tragic mess. He had way too much fame and no stable foundation to allow him to handle it emotionally, even though he'd been famous since he was a small child. I bet there will be an upsurge in the name Michael for new babies.

It seems he was "training" to do 50 shows in London at the O2 and I think it was probably too much for him, too much stress and apparently he's been having problems with medication abuse, going by an interview i heard last night on CNN with one of his long time friends. I think he might have been anorexic too, because some of the footage of him shows him almost skeletally thin and needing help to walk. That's so dangerous and can easily cause heart failure. He'd have no reserves to fight with.

All the focus is going to be on him, rather than the beautiful Farrah. His death was unexpected where she had been struggling and failing these last few months. She was certainly an icon for the 70s, the golden poster girl. She was quite courageous in her battle with cancer, from what i understand. She made a documentary/diary about it too. I have not seen it but i can imagine it must be difficult to watch. Very sad. I wonder if Farrah's name will be popular for babies? Maybe not as most of the people that remember her from the 70s are past the age of having babies, i should imagine.

May they rest in peace.
tvordlj: (Default)
Farrah Fawcett has died. She was one of the 70s icons that's for sure. She's been battling cancer so it's a blessing she's not suffering. I hope that will comfort her loved ones in some small way.

And breaking news is the death of Michael Jackson. There's a lot of mixed feelings about that one. Never been a big fan, though liked some of the 80s stuff but he was just so weird. Then with all the subsequent scandal, which didn't really surprise a lot of people, he's been more or less in hiding. I"m sure he had enough money that he wouldn't have to worry that his career went into the toilet after the trials. I have a bad feeling about this. They don't know what happened, just that 911 was called because he wasn't breathing and was taken to hospital unconscious and they couldn't revive him. I'm thinking overdose of some sort. Maybe illegals, maybe prescriptions. I wonder if it was suicide or accidental like Heath Ledger was.  Another thing that crossed my mind, watching some of the footage of him on tv was that he was almost skeletally thin. I wonder if he was anorexic? That could give him a heart attack or organ shut down too.

Edited.... One of his friends is on the phone to CNN and it sounds like Michael has been on medications for injuries and the friend seemed to be concerned about his use of them and had warned him about it. Accidental overdose?

That's two. Now who will the third be? They always come/go in threes.

Edited... he's the third one. Ed McMahon was the first a couple of days ago, then Farrah and now Michael.
tvordlj: (Default)
Here we are! Dan was a good sport and gave the camera the horns up when i asked. I said my fiance was a metal head and he said so was his daughter! He was signing all kinds of things including the boxes of the Patron tequila but you didn't have to buy it to get to talk to him. Great guy! His first time in Halifax too! The person standing in line behind me took the photo and i took one of the guy in front of me and emailed it to him. Pay it forward, eh?


Nov. 8th, 2006 01:12 pm
tvordlj: (Bunny Teeth)
Architect Frank Gehry has built this Dancing House in Prague. It's an office building that looks like a couple dancing together, "Fred and Ginger". What a head trip it must be if you stagged out drunk and saw that building! This site has better up close pics from various angles.

Dan Ackroyd is in Halifax this week, performing with a blues band at the Marquee Club tomorrow night for a charity. I think he's also at Bearly's pub on Saturday afternoon. He's going to be making a few appearances at local liquor commission stores promoting a high end tequila and one of those appearances is at the store in the mall which is under the office complex where i work so i'm going to go to see if i can at least get a picture. Not planning on buying any tequila but if they're doing photos and autographs i might try. I meant to bring my Blues Brothers CD but i forgot. Interesting, when you think of Dan Ackroyd, what do you think of? Blues Brothers comes to my mind first. Ghostbusters came to [ profile] gramie_dee and of course he's also very famous for Saturday Night Live as one of the original cast members and for the characters he created there such as the Conehead. And he's Canadian :)

Yesterday i realized that our pay rise is in place. Our contract calls for a yearly raise on November 1. Won't see it on the paycheque until the second pay this month because the pay period for this pay is the last two weeks of October. Along with that of course, i think some of the deductions are going up.

Reading travel magazines makes me want to pack my bags and go!

Is it only Wednesday?

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