It was fifth grade. I had always loved piano. Not so much the sound, but the keys.
The keys. I enjoyed pressing them. It made me happy.
At the time, I had not yet received lessons. Of course, on a couple of occasions I briefly tampered with the instrument, and that was all I needed.
On this particular day, I was at school. Forest Park Elementary. Mrs. Warrick, the music teacher, led us down the hall to where the piano awaited its audience as Parent-Teacher Night neared.
And I wanted to perform.
In honour of Remembrance Day, this is a story I wrote a few years back ...
The lone bugler sounds the horn and interrupts a fight between a little boy and his younger sister. My thoughts are interrupted too, as I remember that eventful day - June 25, 1989 - when my older brother Shy left for Israel. Nobody knew he had really left for war. Not even he.
I am at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, next to Vietnam veteran Gerald Buffie.
Buffie went to war as a fighter – my brother went as a tourist.
The Little Couple: Bill & Jen
If you haven’t already watched The Little Couple
on TLC, allow me to explain the brilliant concept behind this show: It focuses on the everyday life of a dwarf couple.
If you haven’t already watched shows on TLC, allow me to explain the brilliant concept behind the network: it focuses on super tall, super skinny or super obese people, and, of course, lest we forget, super fertile, and super medically-induced
fertile people. But mostly it’s either about people who make cakes, cupcakes or confection - little people who make cakes, cupcakes or confection - or little people in general.
I say, enough with the over-tall and extra-small. It is time for average. Allow me to present my official pitch to TLC, The Medium Couple
: starring, Dahlia Kurtz
and Launy Schwartz
So my husband
is vying to become Canada’s next sportscaster as a finalist in the Score’s national reality show Gillette Drafted 2
You can see his bio
, you can see his audition
, and you can even see a bunch of cool video interviews
he’s done with big name hockey players and celebrities – but what you can’t and haven’t seen are his secrets…
As his wife of two years, girlfriend of three before that, and friend of two before that, I have special access to that which he hides from you. (And as a friend, before being a girlfriend, that gave great access to ex-girlfriend info as well.)
The other day, I gave my eight-year-old nephew an awesome present for his birthday. One I wished for at eight years old. One I could never have as a kid, because of six letters: D, A, H, L, I, A.
I gave him a sign for his bedroom door – with his name on it – even though he too has a unique name.
You see, in a futile effort to be uncommon, there is the mutilation of common names like, say, Khrystee and Timh. And then, with the advent of celebrity baby (read: publicity) names such as Kyd, Apple, Kal-El, and Moonblood
, toy and novelty manufacturers have finally accepted that there are more than 20 names out there. Hence, they now give stickers to spell your own moniker.
So, great gift, right? It was … until the not-yet-even-a-tween opened the iPod touch from his mom.
Ever look at a family and wish yours could be just like that one?
You dream that yours could be just like that TV-perfect family: Sunday dinner get-togethers, always cheering each other on, always helping each other out…
Ahhh, if only.
Because your family is dysfunctional, right?
Well, mine is.
My parents are married. I think it’s going on 40 years. Not sure. But, they can’t take offence – neither of them remembers my age. I’m lucky if one of them even gets my name right - on the second try.
I spent two weekends in a row at the WR: The waiting room. Otherwise known as the ER or “emergency room.”
Not to sound entitled, but there are certain things one expects from universal healthcare.
Universality, being one.
And, finally, care.
You see, my father has a heart condition. Over the past eight weeks his heart has been beating down the days until his quadruple bypass surgery. Meanwhile, there has been a complication from a related procedure, and he developed a dangerous aneurysm in his arm.
Left untreated, he could have lost his arm - or even his life. In this instance, thank goodness, he only lost his mind.
How many times have you gone into a cab to see a cross hanging from the rear view mirror or mini-saints standing on the dashboard?
Many cabs display some sort of religious or personal paraphernalia (sometimes seat belts however, may seem hard to find).
Today, news agencies across Canada are running a story about a Montreal Jew, Arieh Perecowicz, a cabbie challenging the constitutionality of the city for issuing him six tickets for violating taxi regulations.
Perecowicz is in his fourth year battling the case.
Thirty-four years ago this month, the Montreal Gazette ran a front page story about two other Montreal Jews, in their 10th year battling their own futile case against discrimination.
For a province that inscribes “Je me souviens” (I remember) on its license plates, it sure seems to forget a lot and forget about a lot of minorities.
I just don’t know what to write about. With all the millions of things going on in mind, why can’t I pick just one thing and write about it?
I could tell you a story about one of my nephews.
The four-year-old decides I’m a rocket ship. He goes and gets a water bottle, and attempts to fill me up with “gas” – by pouring it in my butt.
Apparently, I have a gashole.
(But really, don’t we all?)
I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon that which I have gleaned from my father, who is an exceptionally brilliant man. From him, I've learned to appreciate the power of my voice, and more so, the power of my pen.
From this lesson, I discovered something that has evaded doctors and medical science… something that still eludes them to this day. And though I learned this a little while back, today, for the first time, I will share this discovery with all of you.