Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: The Dwelling by Susie Moloney (novel - 2003)


 I recently purchased a hardcover, first edition copy of The Dwelling by Winnipeg author Susie Moloney. I bought it used for .75¢ (original list price $39.95).

 The basic description? Glenn Darnley of Shelter Reality has been given the task of selling 362 Belise Street. A task that keeps returning to her through a succession of new owners and their experiences with the house that has a new life of its own. 

 After a couple of false starts of not being able to make it past the first page due to my obsession with re-reading the following excerpt: 

 "Glenn tugged at the hair at the back of her neck, and absently brushed phantom wisps from the sides of her face out of habit. For fifty years, she had kept it long. Today, she'd had it cut. Short. It was driving her crazy. 

 She leaned against her car, giving the house the once-over before going in. It was gray and cool out, the sort of spring day that isn't spring at all, but smells like winter and looks like threatening fall. 

 The hair dresser, a girl of about mid-twenties or so, had greeted her carefully. Hello, Mrs. Darnley, how nice to see you - She'd stopped suddenly without finishing and blushed furiously. Oh god, I'm sorry, are you still going with Darnley? I'm so-

 He died, dear. He didn't dump me, she'd said gamely, making the girl stutter and blush some more and ruining the whole New Glenn experience for about ten minutes. How could a person be so stupid? Howard would have loved that story."

 Finally, I buckled down and really began to read, managing to polish off this 408 page book in a single sitting easily as it gripped me firmly and didn't let go even as I reached the final page. As a big fan of anthology programs, one of the most appealing features of this book for me was how it presented three different, contiguous stories set in the same house, framed by the journey of Glenn. Moloney expertly weaving and flowing her story as a vital anchor throughout, rather than have her tackle on dully as bookends in the saga of this haunted house. How she is coping with unexpected widowhood, a gradual illness, and this listing that never truly leaves her (in more ways than one).

 The house has many potential bites, but no real takers until a young professional couple, Dan and Becca Mason buy the home. Things begin to go awry for the couple almost immediately after purchase when Dan is laid off and the pressures off and the landing a promotion mount on Becca. Going up for sale again, Glenn next sells the house to a recently divorced Barbara and her 8 year old son. In a new town they both struggle to fit into their new life and away from the cheating ex-husband/father who is preparing to marry his former mistress.  Lastly it is sold to novelist Richie Bramley, who is looking for a fresh start following the break-up with his long-time girlfriend over his struggles with alcohol. 

 Moloney manages to craft vulnerable, relatable characters that feel quite tangible while battling not only the ghosts within 362 Belise, but the ghosts within themselves. 

 For example, form the first page I found something relatable to Glenn, while later on when Barbara refers to the woman whom her ex-husband cheated on her with as "whore", wishes that he would contract a venereal disease, and the subsequent break down that occurs when she learns that he is set to remarry.  Actually I'm sure that many of us have an ex like that in our pasts, I know that I have one. 

 Every story line flows well from one to the next, and its not just the sympathetic characters but also so many supernatural details that not only make this book a great candidate for re-reading, but well worth its cover price.

 Recommended by Mé

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Nightstand - SIC #1

 Something short and sweet for this entry. I don't have a before picture, just an after.  I wanted to freshen up the look of my old nightstand when I moved into the little gypsy cottage I moved into back in April of 2012.

 So I touched up the black paint with some new gloss and painted the top (previously green crackle paint) with a pale pink and painted over the dark metal handle in the same pink. After they were dry I went over it with some sealer to keep it nice.

 A tiny bit of effort and it feels like a whole new piece of furniture and it helps to keep the bedroom bright looking. 

 This nightstand was not only originally pure white, but also had been given to us free when I was in high school. If you have a piece of accent furniture, with a classic design and solid construction you can freshen it up any way, inexpensively with paints and stains to always keep it on trend without breaking the bank.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Laughter on the 23rd Floor

 So just after two years I'm going to be on stage in a play again! Scary/exciting at the same time. Once again it's at the Palace Theatre in London, Ontario. Check out the details below :)

 Directed by Tim Condon

 Inspired by the playwright’s youthful experiences as a staff writer on Sid Caeser’s 1950′s television show, Your Show of Shows, this Neil Simon favourite depicts the harried writing staff as they frantically scramble to top each other with gags while competing for the attention of star madman Max Prince. Filled with classic humour and colourful characters, Laughter on the 23rd Floor is bound to have you …well…laughing. Just a word of caution: This show contains some language that may be offensive to some people. However, as one comedian said, "If you're not offending someone, you're probably not very funny either."

Cast List
Matthew Stewart (Lucas Brickman)
Paul Blower (Milt Fields)
Tim Bourgard (Val Slotsky)
Chris Albert (Brian Doyle)
Michael Wilmot (Max Prince)
Mark Speechley (Kenny Franks)
Rick Smith (Ira Stone)
Jo-Anne Bishop (Carol Wyman)
Megan Williamson (Helen)

“This play is a Valentine to comedy itself.” – Austin Chronicle

January 17: Preview Performance $10 adult, $8 for 18 and under

This performance is also available for holders of the Cultural Access Pass

Regular show dates: January 18, 19, 20 (2pm matinee), 23, 24, 25, 26

Tickets: $22.00 adults, $18 Seniors, $16 Students, $8 children under 18

For tickets, please call The Palace Theatre box office between 10am and 4pm: 519-432-1029. Some shows will have walk-in tickets available an hour or less before showtime.



 See I have this problem, I'm not always the best communicator.

 If you know me personally you can probably see where I'm going with this. I've always had a desire to create things; beautiful things, ugly things, anything to express how I'm feeling, what I see, pay homage to what inspires me. Unfortunately I find sharing what I make or what I do difficult because I do believe that whatever you do, you infuse a little piece of yourself into it, and it's hard to share things with others that is emotionally close to you. It's like you're laying your heart out for criticism. 

 Sometimes though you come to a point where you realize that you need to just put yourself out there. It's not easy, it gets better, though maybe not right away. When I see other peoples work I get inspired, and I want my work to inspire people too. Maybe they'll see it and go "hey I can do it better", and I want to see what they come up with. I believe it will be exciting. 

 So I'm sharing things I've created either past, present or in-progress or sharing something that inspires me. I figured that if I make this promise out loud now I'm accountable to follow through on it. 

 We'll see how well this journey goes, if it lasts a day, 100 days, or all the way to the end. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

White Titles Trending...

 It seems like for the past year (maybe year and a half), it has become very trendy to give music videos slick on screen titles in a white font. It's pretty "meh" in most cases, but some I do like. So here is a list of my top 7 in no particular order of preference.

 Please, bear in mind that this is not a commentary about the rest of the video or the music itself. So no matter what my, or your feelings are about say Jay-Z or Justin Bieber, this is only about a trend in white titles. I happen to enjoy these ten the best because of the choice of typography, composition, the fades (transitions), timing and fit with establishing the tone of the song and video.

#1. Youth Without Youth ~ Metric

#2 Hit Me Up ~ Danny Fernandes feat. Josh Ramsey & Belly








#3 Let Me Love You ~ Ne-Yo




 #4 She Can Ride ~ Dru




#5 Boyfriend ~ Justin Bieber





#6 No Church In The Wild ~ Jay-Z feat. Kanye West





#7 Whistle ~ Flo Rida

Friday, November 16, 2012

A little bit of random for your Friday...

Optimist Prime and My Little Pony together = an epic army?
 You be the judge.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


 I stumbled across this absolutely charming vintage T.V. commercial on Internet Archive a couple of years ago. It's for the American cola brand Shasta and features Dr. Frankenstein and his creation (called Igor in the commercial) in their laboratory. The Doctor sends Igor to  "go and get me what I crave". Igor then visits the local grocery store to pick up some Shasta.

 I feel like this commercial is also notable for the inclusion of John Fielder as the store clerk, probably best known as one of Disney's most popular voice actors, playing Piglet of Winnie the Pooh fame for many years. As well as and ending voice over by another popular actor Tom Bosley, aka Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days.

You can watch and/or download the commercial from the Internet Archive here I've also tried to represent it as best as possible using screen captures below to help illustrate the simple yet absolutely effective colour design.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Found a copy of Bravestarr: The Movie for 2 dollars on DVD the other day at the dollar store. I'm totally excited! I vaguely remember the TV series so we'll see how well yet another piece of 80's animation has held up.