I like Cake

The Elgin Street Diner is the preferred joint for swing dancers in Ottawa. We like it so much, that we called our very first team the Elgin Street Stompers. I used to live on the same street as the diner and we used to have all the studio meetings there too. There was a time when we used to eat there four or five times a week. I hate cooking, in case you didn’t know.

These days, we end up there at the end of Jam Crew practice, at the end of the Saturday dances and every time we have visitors from out of town. Gotta take out of towners to try their delicious poutine!

ESD Menu - Page 4


Last time we were there, my daughter and I were in a playful mood (possible because we were stupid tired and very hungry) so we decided to grab the kids menus along with a couple of boxes of crayons.


It started like this

As soon as I saw the cake, I knew it had to be Red Velvet cake. And the obvious conclusion was that it had to be for Sandee.


Voilà, a Red Velvet Cake for Sandee! Sorta. Only had red, blue and green crayons.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite versions of “I like pie, I like cake*” by Ottawa native Gordon Webster. Now, I have to leave you cause it’s time to fly! And then go to the ESD afterwards.

*Which by the way is not about cake at all. Or the culinary abilities of the woman in question.

Hello from the middle of nowhere

Hi there, dear blogosphere.

I’m at a golf resort in the middle of Effing Nowhere, QC. surrounded by about 800 swingers… er…. swingdancers from all over North America.

Said swingdancers are about to get hammered since all the competitions are over and tomorrow is a holiday for us Canucks.

Our school got a ton of medals as usual and everybody is ready to party hard (we don’t allow our students to drink until the comps are over)

Wi Fi sucks big time here and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to post this.

The party room is open and I hear they are doing some sort of shot (the MC told us that anybody going there should bring an umbrella and open their mouths).

Continue reading

Now, it’s like this, little Britches

This past Saturday marked my return to Saturday Night Swing.  After a long hiatus from Swing Dynamite’s dances due to -mainly, my injured ankle, I was back both as the manager for the night and as a DJ in the Vintage room.

I Deejay-ed from 9:30 to midnight at which point Jean Francois Harbour took over the turntables.  My ankle felt strong enough and I was feeling rather adventurous so I decided to take a chance at some dancing.  I asked my friend and frequent aerials partner Dave Anderson to dance with me.  And much to my delight – and to the surprise of the other dancers when they heard me squee, The Bare Necessities started to pour out of the speakers.  Dave didn’t understand what was going on.  I told him my excitement came from the song being played and he asked what was the name of the song and why was it so exciting.  Apparently he has never watched The Jungle Book.  I let it go.  Trying to explain why the movie is so amazing – for starters, and why this old favourite of mine has come to have an added, even more wonderful meaning was too much at the moment. There will be some other time for explanations.

Besides, the song was being played in all its playful goodness.  Why waste any time talking when we could be dancing?

And danced we did!

Needless to say, I had the most wonderful time.  

As soon as it was over I ran (I know, rather irresponsible of me considering how accident-prone I am) to the DJ booth to thank JF for playing the song.  He told me – and this is awesome, that he got it because he saw that Louis Armstrong video I had posted on FB a few weeks back.  

The circle was completed.

I only wish the Bear would have been there to witness it.  I know he would’ve got a kick out of it.

The clip from the movie

The clip that prompted JF to buy the song and play it last Saturday

The winds of march that made my heart a dancer: These Foolish Things

While going through my Jazz & Blues collection I came across this little jewel.  Oh, Wonderful Billie Holiday! What a gift to the world she was.

But the song! the song itself is probably one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

Miss Billie’s version goes like this:

A cigarette that bares a lipstick’s traces
An airline ticket to romantic places
And still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you.
A tinkling piano in the next apartment
Those stumblin’words that told you what my heart meant
A fairground’s painted swings
These foolish things
Remind me of you.
You came,
You saw,
You conquered me
When you did that to me
I knew somehow this had to be
The winds of march that made my heart a dancer
A telephone that rings but who’s to answer
Oh, how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things
Remind me of you

And here it ends.  However, later renditions (by great singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole & Bing Crosby to name a few) continue like this:

First daffodils
And long excited cables
And candle lights
A little corner table
And still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you
The park at evening
When the bell has sounded
The pier in france
With all the gulls around it
The beauty that is spring
These foolish things
Remind me of you
How strange,
How sweet,
To find you still,
These things are dear to me
They seem to bring you near to me
The sigh of midnight trains
At empty stations
Silk stockings thrown aside
Dance invitations
Oh how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things
Remind me of you
Gardenia perfume
Lingering on a pillow
Wild strawberries
Only seven francs a kilo
And still my heart has wings,
These foolish things,
Remind me of you
The smile of garbo
And the scent of roses
The waiters whistling
As the last bar closes
The song that crosby sings
These foolish things
Remind me of you
How strange
How sweet
To find you still
These things are dear to me
They seem to bring you near to me
The scent of smoldering leaves
The wail of steamers
Two lovers on the street
Who walk like dreamers
Oh how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things
Remind me of you. 

According to Wikipedia, Bring Crosby omits the line “The song that crosby sings” in his 1955 recording, for obvious reasons, I suppose.  Nonetheless, the line is kept for his duet with Frances Langford. 

Regardless, this song is a true gem.  Enjoy!

Two Sleepy People

I’ve been in love with this song for a while.  I was first introduced to it by Toronto-based Terra Hazelton who did a wonderful rendition of it for her latest album, Give me what you got.

The song has been a staple in my iPod but tonight DJ Byron Alley played a version of if that I had never heard.  I asked him about it and he told me it was by Fats Waller.  Naturally, I youtubed it as soon as I got home and found (not surprisingly) many versions of it.  Ironically, the one I like the least was the one by Hoagy Charmichael who actually wrote the music.

However, I also found this little jewel, which is rapidly becoming my favourite rendition of this beautiful song.