Blue Crow Gallery: Mary Wong opening

There was a good turnout at Jodi Wheeler’s Blue Crow Gallery in the Bazaar on Saturday night, for the opening of Mary Wong‘s show of recent romantic landscapes.

Wong works in oil, laid on thickly and expressively … not wispy gradations of paint often thought of as “romantic”. Why not? Romantics aren’t necessarily weak and delicate, are they? Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, didn’t she?

Mary Wong’s exhibition continues until November 30th.

New, complex Leslieville mural

Today’s walk revealed a signing in progress. Leslieville is marked by Elicser’s mural when you are coming along Queen Street from west to east. Now it will be identified for westbound traffic, too.

Beside Russell Carhouse streetcar yard on Queen E. near the East End Garden Centre

Asked if the piece had been enlarged by projection, the installers said, “No, all done by hand!” and pointed to rightmost the man on the on the ladder.

Artist Dmitry Bondarenko has pulled off an ambitious a piece. Can’t wait to see it with all the letters. It looks like they will light up. The building houses the Matt Durant Studio.

You want to know more, don’t you?

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Your Royko Recipe for November, 2017

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
A tasty, meatless version of the old favourite. Serves 4 to 6.

This dish is quite good on its own. Or, you can add your favourite vegetable as a side dish, which we do quite often.

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 medium chopped onion

2 chopped carrots

2 cloves minced garlic

1 19-oz. can canned stewed tomatoes
1 19-oz. can drained, rinsed lentils-or 1 cup dried green lentils
3 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
4 chopped green onions

black pepper

If using canned lentils, drain and rinse. If using dried lentils, boil in enough water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Add tomatoes to onions, carrots and garlic and mash with a potato masher to break tomatoes into smaller pieces. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Stir in lentils and heat until lentils are hot. Transfer mixture to a deep, 8-cup baking dish.

Combine potatoes, cottage cheese and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over lentil mixture, covering ot completely. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 ̊ oven for 35 minutes or until bubbling.

Optimistic Nihilism

I found this 6 minute, trippy video on Whether it pleases or dismays is up to each viewer, but it does go well with a quote I like, from John Robert Colombo’s soon-to-be-published Notebooks.

“In due course I feel it is obligatory to leave a religion, to graduate from a school, to strike out on one’s own. Otherwise one remains an adherent or an undergraduate throughout one’s life.”

JRC — Dated 2007

At one time or another, the video’s propositions have occurred to me … and probably you, too … but they raise more questions than they answer.

The “we learned” series of assertions are hedged with the voiceover’s admission that “we don’t know any more about human existence than you do”.

Personally, I would deduct points for efforts to build a galactic human empire and give points for staying home and being kind to Mother Earth.


The parade had passed but the Danforth was still car-free.

Greek independence was being celebrated yesterday, with a parade and speeches. OXI is Greek for “No” and I gather that what is being celebrated is the time when Greece said NO to Mussolini’s demands to occupy Greek territory.

OXI can be a confusing word, at least for me. It is pronounced like “Oh Hee” but there’s a bit of a catch on the “H” that sounds a little like a soft “K” . So, in Athens, I heard it as “OK”. Affirmative.

Adding to my perplexity, Greeks tip their chins up when they say “No”. It looks like one half of a nod, up and down. Again, easily taken for an affirmative, especially when combined with an apparent “OK”.

Shopping in Athens led to ridiculous stand-offs. I would ask for something by its brand name to dodge the language barrier, and wait for it because the shopkeeper said “OK” and nodded.

Then we’d just stand there, staring at each other. They had just told me “No” (we don’t have that) and I wondered why they weren’t bringing my purchase to the counter.

Anyway, that’s my excuse. I don’t know what Mussolini’s was.