Dave Bidini: An icon of Canadiana comes to Bayfield

dave bidini

(Disclaimer: This post is unlike any other I have ever written. Bear with me–it’s worth it.)

Have you heard of Dave Bidini? I hadn’t before last week.

Shame on me for not discovering him before. Or on whomever knew about him and didn’t tell me.

Dave and the BidiniBand are performing at the Bayfield Town Hall tonight (@ 8 pm–get your tickets at TicketScene.ca), and while I have loved every performer I’ve ever seen on that stage in the Bayfield Concert Series, I’m more excited about Dave Bidini’s appearance at The Village Bookshop before his show (@ 6 pm–casual book signing) (sorry, Pete).

Mr. Bidini is a musician. More than that, he’s a rocker. He’s a founding member of the Genie Award-winning Canadian band Rheostatics, a group that was together from 1980 to 2007 and which Wikipedia tells me was called both “iconic” and “iconoclastic.”  Four of Dave’s ten books are about music. He and music have been inseparable for much of his life. But it’s not Dave’s music that fascinates me.

He has been performing longer than he has been publishing, but he has been writing longer than he has been playing guitar. When I asked him if one of these two intertwined vocations held more meaning for him than the other, he says “the two have been very close in terms of their evolution.” So no. He’s a writer and a rocker.

dave and a guitar

And a filmmaker and a playwright and a National Post columnist and a family man and a hockey player…

This man is ironically difficult to put into words. I say ironically because he is so prolific with words. So prolific that I hesitate to believe anything I write could even do him justice, let alone commend him to my community. I will give you my impression, and then encourage you to read what others have written, as well as Dave’s own words.

D: I think the pursuit of songwriting is a little bit deeper for me in that the reasons for creating, really simply, are reasons to stay alive, to keep moving. You almost write more out of fear, I think, than anything, when you have a sort of legacy or whatever.

The highest praise I can give Dave is to tell you that every article and book excerpt I have found convinces me to read another. He has a way with words, a voice like I have never seen before. He is at once frank and intellectual, silly and smart.

S:  Fear of what?

D: I think the fear of artistic mortality, really. Also, the fear of one’s own achievements, the specter or the shadow of one’s achievements. It’s great that they exist, but also, as you get older, you want to try to do better, get stronger.

His deep, gravelly voice booms through my iPhone’s speaker, warm and rich and personal.

This man does nothing by halves, from attempting to redefine Canadian music with the Rheostatics, to relating sex and hockey in his project The Five Hole Series, to following our favourite sport around the world to Dubai, Transylvania, and Mongolia for his documentary film Hockey Nomad.

I can’t imagine this artist’s mortality getting in his way anytime soon.

D: I’ll be 49 in September, and …when it sort of comes to the realization that you’re closer to death than to birth, and [you think] of all of those miles and all of those words you’ve written and all of the art you’ve created, you’re aware of the weight of it. When you’re 24, you’re splashing around in a pool and you don’t really have anything to stand on. Now, I have something to stand on.

He has ten books, at least sixteen albums, a documentary, two plays, a column, and a brief stint as a CBC radio show host, to say nothing of a long history as a music and sports journalist, to stand on!

Home and Away

Today, I’m honoured that this icon of Canadiana will be standing on Huron County soil, in one of the best places to experience the best artists our country has to offer: Bayfield, Ontario.

D: Bayfield is one of those big small places. You would never really know it when you pull into town. That’s what makes it a super place.

~ ~ ~

The BidiniBand’s latest record is In the Rock Hall (2012).

Read this fantastic Toronto Star article about Dave and the BidiniBand.

Dave’s book Baseballissimo is being made into a movie co-written with Jay Baruchel, who co-wrote the screenplay for the recent hockey movie Goon, and whom you might know as an actor from How to Train a Dragon, Knocked Up, and
She’s Out of my League
.

Check out Dave on CBC’s Strombo show.

Watch Dave’s hockey documentary Hockey Nomad (follow the links for the rest of the parts).

Follow Dave’s column in the National Post.

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{Locality} needs YOU!

we need you!

I’ve been too busy to talk about it much over the last couple of weeks, but I’m leaving Huron County in two weeks and becoming a city-dweller.

I will still be well-connected to Goderich and Bayfield and other parts of Huron County, but not as present as I have been. Obviously.

But I won’t be as easily able to see store openings and visit farmers in the Huron County area. This is where you come in .

I’m looking for someone willing to share the vision of Locality, someone who is excited about all of the reasons to get excited about Huron County, someone who also likes to write.

If you are that person, or you know that person, please let me know. I’d love to have you join me as a guest blogger!

Fresh Ink: “Real Food: An Exercise in Subjective Ethics”

real food

The final issue of this year’s mitZine (alternative student publication I contribute to) hit stands today, and you can find my article about the ethics of real food on page 23: April issue of the mitZine.

Oh, and PS, I got an honourable mention for contributor of the year, two years in a row. I’ll take it!

honourable mention

I have a Facebook page!

A Transparent Life's Facebook page

That is, this website is now on Facebook. Personally, I’ve been on that people-from-far-away-connecting, privacy-selling, time-sucking site since…2007? Not since the beginning, but long enough. Long enough to know I’m not sure how I would connect to my network-at-large without it. Long enough to know it’s kind of on its way out. Shh, don’t tell Mark Zuckerberg: he recently submitted Facebook for an IPO.

But I am proud to announce that, as of yesterday, this blog site has a corresponding Facebook page. Did it really need one? No, probably not. It does, however, increase the likelihood that people on Facebook can see A Transparent Life, and interact with me and my posts there. I’m pretty picky about who I accept friend requests from (I actually have to know you – imagine that!), which would limit anyone outside of my immediate network from being able to see my posts on Facebook.

So here we are: more invested in the interwebs.

Come and join the social network party: facebook.com/SarahsTransparentLife.

(At this point, it appears as if you have to be signed into your Facebook profile for this link to work. I’m not sure why. Another option would be to click “Like” in the Facebook box on the sidebar of my site.)

Locality: Inspirational blogger Melissa Wormington

wormingtons

Melissa Wormington has a way with words that is honest and heartfelt. You feel like you know her, like you are walking through life with her.

I haven’t officially met Melissa, but her daughter Makenna is friends with Johnathan’s niece. I came face-to-face with Melissa for the first time shortly after her home was destroyed in the Goderich tornado on August 21, 2011, and heard part of her story first-hand that day, as she told it to John’s brother-in-law’s parents, her neighbours.

Melissa was at home making cookies that sunny summer afternoon, as her kids played nearby. Her husband, Jeff, a volunteer fireman, was at the fire hall, washing his pick-up truck. Suddenly, the power went out, and a few minutes later, her family safely in the storage room in the basement, Melissa heard rain and wind “pounding on the outside walls.” Above them, the noise of things breaking and crashing was deafening.

Thinking it was merely a quick and severe thunderstorm, Melissa didn’t stay put in the basement after Jeff decided to see what had happened outside.

I peeked around the top of the basement stairs into our front hall and came face to face with the front door to our house, the storm door, laying right there on the floor in front of me, as well as leaves, dirt, stones and just…debris. I could see the screen door outside on the porch. It was still pouring rain. I saw that our living room window was smashed.

Out on the street, they were astounded with the destruction from what they assumed was a “thunderstorm”.

Damage on West Street

Damage on West Street

Read what happened next on Melissa’s post Tornado – Sunday August 21: Part 1.

Her first-hand experience is raw and moving. She has since posted about the tornado’s effects on her family, her neighbours, and the rest of the town several times. If you want to gain an understanding about what it was like for tornado victims, Melissa’s blog is a fantastic place to start.

The Story of Us

This quote is from her post “Tornado in Goderich: Trauma

At my office we have lots of paperwork and reading material on trauma, surviving it and the effect it has on families. Some of it was centred around the events of September 11 2001. I had read it when I came across it, and have attended workshops in the past about the effects of trauma on families…most of those relating to the effects of witnessing or experiencing domestic or child abuse. But none of it really stuck with me over the years.

Until now.
Now I get it.

Melissa has been an inspiration for her fellow citizens, and has told her story several different times to journalists and filmmakers and others. Her story is also available in the locally-published compilation of stories, Not Like Any Other Sunday.

Thank you, Melissa, for your humility and honesty, for your transparency.

~~~

You can read all of Melissa’s posts about the Goderich tornado here.

You can also follow The Story of Us on Facebook.

If you know of a local person, business, event, etc. that you think deserves some publicity, I would love to feature them in my Locality series. Please comment, tweet me @sarahnadian, or email me at sarahnadian@gmail.com.

What should I write about?

The WordPress advice people suggest that I should ask my readers what they would like to see on my blog, what they would be interested in reading about.

It makes sense to me, and I really would like to write about stuff that people would like to read.

So: what should I write about?

Please leave a comment letting me know which of my blog posts you appreciate most and why, or what you would like to see me write about that perhaps I haven’t touched on yet, etc.

Should I get more controversial? More deep?

Or go the opposite with tutorials and fluffy fun stuff?

I’ve tried to be balanced, but perhaps I am a two-blog woman: one with heavier issues and one with fun stuff. I don’t know.

shrug

Thoughts?

Fresh Ink: Professor + Officer = Profficer

Every month or two, I get the chance to write a story for my faculty’s student publication, the mitZine. It’s staffed with talented writers, editors, and illustrators, and it’s a privilege to see my work with theirs on the pages of one of Western’s alternative voices.

For this month’s issue, I wanted to write about a professor that taught a course that’s in my top 5 so far, “Police & the Media“. His name is Michael Arntfield, and he is both a professor of criminology and media studies and a full-time Detective-Constable with the London Police. His experience and insight, because of those two careers, is rare, and fascinating.

But, rather than reiterate my whole article, here it is so you can read it yourself. Or, download the whole mitZine issue from Scribd (my article is on page 10).

Profficer: The Badge & The Briefcase

Professor Arntfield, as I know him, is building a website that will link interested citizens with his work. Check out the work in progress at profficer.ca.

New theme!

Hey all! As return visitors will notice, I have a new theme! As dedicated return visitors might notice, this is my second theme in one year.

To you, I say sorry.

I missed having a sidebar with all the links and administrative stuff within easy reach, not to mention my smiling face.

Until I’m rich and can afford a premium theme, it may change periodically as smart people out there design better free ones.

Anyway – enjoy the fresh new look! Let me know what you think!

At Long Last…

…ALL of my A Transparent Life blogs are now here on the new site!

You probably don’t remember, but earlier this year, I switched from a WordPress.org to a WordPress.com site, because I realized I didn’t need any fancy hosting packages, and I didn’t know how to run my site, and it was horribly out of date, and blah, blah, blah.

I spent weeks trying to export the blogs (my virtual archive), with little success. That’s why, in case you ever noticed or cared, only a couple of my pre-WP.com blogs made it in the transfer.

Then things got busy and I forgot that I actually had figured it out, with the help of a WP employee.

So there really is no reason that I had continued to pay all that money for hosting an unused archive. ::sigh::

I’m still figuring out how to kill that old site once and for all, but the important thing is: all the good stuff is here!

Blog over.

Keep the Server Happy, Website Edition

This week, I submitted my last final assignment. Finally.

Currently, I’m procrastinating from studying for a take-home exam due this afternoon. Oops.

But it’s once again been too long since I posted, and I’m pretty excited about this final assignment and I want to share it with you. Now.

The assignment, which was for an online class called Writing for the Web, was to design a website with at least 5 different pages to it, incorporating the principles we learned during this course.

I don’t know how my prof will grade it, since I only submitted it for marking yesterday morning, but after receiving some good feedback from my Facebook friends, I thought I’d share it with you. I am thinking of purchasing a domain name for this site and publishing it to the web for real and making it a bit of a hub for all that stuff servers wish their customers knew!

Here’s a linked screen shot so you can go see it yourself:

Keep in mind I’m an amateur Dreamweaver user, and I built this all from scratch, and I didn’t really have the time to finess things too much. It’s a beginning, more than anything.

But – do you like it?

Do you have a restaurant story to add to my “This one time…” page?

I have some ideas for a domain name, which I’m hoping to host as a sub-page to this site, we’ll see. Meanwhile, I could use your feedback about domain name ideas:

Send me your “This one time at a Restaurant” stories for when I debut the website with its own domain name!