Morrissey’s Sardonic New Song ‘Spent the Day in Bed’ 

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-morrisseys-sardonic-new-song-spent-the-day-in-bed-w504169

Morrissey’s new album will be released November 17th. He just released his new single, “Spent the Day in Bed”. 
This is vintage sardonic Morrissey, acting as soothsayer and life coach. He finds the secret to self-love, and it involves playing hookie from work, “no bus, no boss, no rain, no train…no emasculation. Click on the link above for a small article and the lyric video. 

After a disappointing last album 3 years ago, the Moz comes back with a superlative jazzy meaningful poppish tune that encourages you to turn off listening to any media. Can’t wait for the album. 

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Take a Knee? Why?

There seems to be a misconception about why we should take a knee. Let me see if I have it right. Colin Kaepernick originally took a knee a year ago,  making it clear it was to react against police brutality and racism against African Americans.  And, quicker than a Buffalo Bills loss,  he was blackballed by the NFL. No team has hired him since. 

Let’s go forward to the present. NFL players are taking knees during the anthem, just like Kaepernick last year. President Trump condemns this. So they do it even more. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decides to kneel before the anthem to set a precedent to not do it during the anthem. 

But why are they kneeling? Apparently,  for the same reason. Why are they not being blackballed? There’s probably too many of them and the league would be in trouble. Ok. Really. Why are they really kneeling? Maybe to protest against the president. Maybe to show they hate Trump. 

The NFL is handcuffed. 

Then we have nuts like these. They must have spoken to Meryl Streep. Why is X-Files taking a knee? I doubt they have any idea why. This is like the Clinton campaign. Just be politically correct, don’t have any boxes to think out of, and just become a catch phrase. Do they not realise that this stupid stance makes Donald Trump, the most powerful man in the free world, triumphant once again? 

Can we agree that many people, like these two, just want to be nice neo-liberals and not be bothered to think? 

Meet the Pittsburgh Penguins. Stanley Cup champions. They announced they’ll visit the White House. And of course, they’re being raked over the coals by the mainstream media. The popular reason given was that every player on the team and the management is white. What exactly does this mean? Does it make every white guy a racist? Maybe they live in glass houses where only whites exist. Those nasty insensitive hockey players. Do they even know about taking a knee? 

This is CNN host Erin Burnett. She kept saying “sons of bitches” to prove some point when quoting Trump. It was so sad to see this woman’s personal views hindering her newscast. She interrupts those who disagree with her. She says she doesn’t like Trump. She gets emotional. Mad. 

Then there’s the man himself. Anderson Cooper. He is classier than Burnett. He doesn’t swear. He’s respectable. He is a master of illusion. He starts off his show saying how there are more important issues in the world and concerning America, but thanks to Donald Trump he will have to lead with the NFL problem. The manipulation is overt. It is on display. He wants us to know who’s to blame. He will have his cake and eat it too. Cooper never gives a clear explanation as to what is going on with the knee. 

Here’s why the players are kneeling. They hate President Trump. The mainstream media convince the masses that Trump is picking on football because most of the players are black. This makes him a racist. No proof. Racist by hearsay. By rumour. By hatred. 

There is no doubt that this is a fight against Trump. The proof is in the blackballing of taking a knee last year and the sheer hypocrisy of opposite results now. Why is this dismissed? Why can’t someone outside of FOX news admit that this is happening and why? 

Because Hillary Clinton is on a book tour, insulting anyone from Bernie Sanders to ignorant women who voted for Trump. Is this far-fetched? Maybe, but Clinton is responsible for the brainwashing of the nation. She is responsible for the populism she criticizes. She and the Clinton family  (including Obama) have more power than any other gang or political movement combined. They lie. They cheat. They steal. They create politically correct catchphrases. They manipulate the media. They control Hollywood by having the establishment buy into their game. This is neo-liberalism. This is more conservative by definition than the Republican party.  

Finally, beware the boob box and the internet. Be leery of so-called facts. Understand why things happen by watching and reading a variety of outlets with alternate points of view. 

So, take a knee? No. Why? Because it’s manipulation. Like the Green Bay Packers’ fans yesterday, I go to Lambau field because it’s the best football atmosphere ever. And thank goodness they didn’t listen to their white quarterback to put their arms around their neighbors’ arms. Very few people did. 

It seems that taking the knee is a thing of the past already. 

Slow Down and Smell…

We need to use our senses optimally in order to enjoy all the joys life has to offer.  For me, the smell of nature is optimal, as is the smell of the salt water when closing your eyes to hear the ocean waves. Then there’s the taste of grilled octopus or whatever else tastes good with some lemon and olive oil on top. I love the touch of smooth skin or the feeling of sand between my toes.  And boy do I love to see autumn leaves in Canada. And who doesn’t like the unending horizon of sky and ocean. 
I love the feeling of spending time with friends over coffee. I love barbecue pool parties. 
Mostly ,  we need to count our blessings and the time to do it. 
I have been a part of the Slow movement, first started through the concept of eating food that cooks slow and savored even slower. My logical next move was Voluntary Simplicity. I became the coordinator and got to understand that people from all backgrounds were interested in downsizing their lives, be it one less car in exchange for a bike, or great natural food with no additives.
I will speak of simplicity and optimal empowerment in depth in a future article.

Sub-par Brunch at L’Oeufrier Chabanel 

The L’Oeufrier franchise has been growing in the Montreal area and is one of the biggest breakfast/brunch chains. It’s closest franchise to me is on Chabanel Street. Though manufacturing is still the main employer in the area, outsourcing has caused it to transform some of its buildings from factories like this 

to lofts.

This is the same building 5 years ago and now. It is an attractive neighbourhood and a very busy and happening one during business hours. The reason I decided against buying a loft here was the absolute lack of traffic at night and most of the weekend. 

This is the newly-renovated street to go along with the lofts, chic boutiques (if you know where to find them), classic Italian cafes and a bar or two, and just a general modernisation of the place.  There is a train station near here and a car will get you to civilisation in less than 5 minutes.

This is the inside of L’Oeufrier, thankfully smaller and more quaint than its namesakes. Leaving home, I had a feeling there would be no lineup. Even at 11 AM, it was half-empty. 

There was no air conditioning on a hot muggy day. It was at the border of warm and sweaty, something reserved for a cafe near the beach when I’m on vacation. 

They have a unique, attractive, and excruciatingly long menu with great catch phrases and options. My favourite meal name was Justin riding a caleche in Ottawa. Cute. 

https://youtu.be/kZr5ZDXZU3A We’ll let that one slide. The coffee had an even yet unamusing and incomplete taste. It tasted like coffee-flavoured tea. I put extra sugar and took it down like a man. 

The eggs Benedict looked delightful. I had never seen such nice presentation and lack of overwatering, if you know what I mean. They looked dry and firm. Unfortunately, they were overcooked. Had they poached them or just boiled them for 8 minutes? Unremarkable. 

Then there was the bagel with salmon and cream cheese with lettuce.  The lettuce was stodgy. I took it out of the sandwich and proceeded. The bagel was amazing only because it was that wonderful St Viateur bagel. The burnt sesame excited me so. The cream cheese was of an inferior variety. The smoked salmon was disappointingly dry. The sandwich was passable by the skin of its teeth,

Overall,  an utter disappontment. 

Food: 6/10

Coffee: 4/10

Atmosphere: 5/10

Service: 7/10

Stay away!!!!

Morrissey and the Plight of the Eternal Dreamer

I remember a rather boring course on human behaviour in one of the university auditoriums. The professor was a psychiatrist unqualified to teach. But I never missed a course. I tried to show up early and always sat at the exact same spot near the back. On the first week of class I scribbled “the devil will find work for idle hands to do”. The second week greeted me with “I stole and then I lied just because you asked me to.” And on it went. 

For us gentle folks, the above is true. We must be very strong. Then we often snap. We whine, at least on the inside. We suffer perhaps from hyperinnocence. We expect conformity and kindness. We are democratic and idealistic. We have a tough time when having to choose money over compassion. Most of all,  we have trouble understanding that unrequited love is part of life. As are all other unrequited things. You can’t force someone to feel otherwise. We empathize with heartbreak yet seem aloof or even afraid of tenderness. It’s as if our low self-esteem of the past is still haunting us. 

I was introduced to the music of The Smiths in high school by one of the cool kids who was sensitive on the side. He made me promise not to tell others. So there I was. My first song was What Difference Does It Make. This is why I scribbled it years later on a clean university desk.  

Morrissey in his youth, including his whole tenure with The Smiths,  looked like the begrudged gay matinee idol. Better yet, he looked as if he idolized matinee idols.  To me,  he wrote lyrics that spoke to my soul. The fog cleared when I would hear I Know It’s Gonna Happen SomedayPashernate Love, or the classic  How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel. At least it’s a classic for me. 

As an avid carnivore, I hate that Morrissey doesn’t come to Canada because “we” cull seals. I don’t fucking cull them. And the U.S. does things much worse. But for a person who thinks terrorists killing people is like people killing animals, he is someone who at least needs to be respected for standing up for something even in the wrongest moment possible. It’s sort of like we do for other reasons. Right? Ok, maybe not. 

I was excited when You Are The Quarry came out. It was Morrissey coming-of-age comeback. He ceased being a matinee idol. He was a rocking badass. Yet the teen girls who loved him were now older and still understood. I don’t know if there’s anyone who has people attacking the stage as much as Morrissey has. He almost asks for it. Guys, girls, anyone. Trying to touch him and/or give him roses. He sometimes sneers “Good try ” when someone rips half his shirt off as he half-loses the mic before the burly guards come to separate them. But it’s all about fun and love. On both sides. 

None of my girlfriends have really understood Morrissey’s significance in my life. I tell one reason is defiant t-shirts like the Je Suis Morrissey one above that should put it in a general nutshell. He does what we would love to do but are too afraid to. I don’t even care if I agree with him. 

But in essence, it’s the lyrics and music that represent the struggle for freedom of identity and the everyday mundane nastiness preventing this from happening. We feel down or tired and we listen to songs like How Soon Is Now and Ganglord to associate with and then something like I Like You with the famous line “You’re not right in the head and nor am I “. 

Which brings us back to rock music itself. Let’s not forget Morrissey was influenced by punk, among other things. 

I forgave my bully. Told it to his face as 2 others were holding him for me to punch. As they let him go and I heard his body hit the ground, I remembered how hard it was to be gentle and kind. So I helped the bully to his feet. 

Those long afternoons salvaged by a Morrissey/Smiths song meant more at the time than any single thing on earth. Just like getting that phone call back, they had a lot of worth. 

This is the best Smiths/Morrissey album. It’s a compilation that introduced their biggest hit, How Soon Is Now.

And though he seems like half the man he used to be, I still need to thank Morrissey for his past body of work. Forever a legend. 

Never Alone

I was never alone

When I suffered

You

Always on my mind

Yet still suffered

Love is only enough in fairy tales, I thought

You took me on your arms

When I suffered 

Listened to my fears

Yet still suffered 

Bad karma maybe, I thought 

In my mixed up mind

You guided me

Then it came to me 

In a feverish dream nonetheless 

Your kindness was my food

Your soul my drink

Your love my cure 

I never knew love 

Till I felt it 

I would have never known

Without suffering 

Copyright Ted Kouretas 2017

Brunch for All Tastes at La Bete a Pain Fleury 

The popularity of Fleury West Village has brought about quaint and hip restaurants, cafes, and specialty food stores that make the northwestern enclave of the north-central Montreal borough of Ahuntsic into a mostly sustainable and walkable community that is beginning to burgeon. On the down side,  some properties, mostly commercial surrounding the village, have now been turned into hideous condos. This almost makes me want to not speak of this little 500 metres of modern commercial infrastructure, to out it blandly. 

The first progressive establishment to open up in the village was Le St. Urbain Restaurant, on the higher end of the scale, serving nouveau French fusion cuisine.  The owner decided to open up La Bete a Pain on the next street. 

It’s name, translated as The Bread Beast, properly represents its great array of artisanal bread. My favourites are the sesame-poppy seed, gamut, country baguette, and the pumpkin seed breads. Take the time to ask its surprisingly bilingual staff what texture and ingredients each one has. 

When you walk in you’ll be greeted with a choice of the sweet and savoury, such as the artisanal muffins and nut-filled croissants,  as well as the salty, such as their fabulous date scones and plain croissants. There isn’t what you can call an abundant amount of choice, especially after 11 A.M.,  but there is an adequate amount. 

If you leave you pay. If you wish to sit down in the adjoining room,  you continue there to order your coffee or wait for table service. 

Here’s a good description of a possible brunch experience. It’s also a great place to sit down and just enjoy your java and croissant. The coffee, while not a standout,  is very good. 

There is the drawback of problematic Wi-Fi reception. But I guess you shouldn’t be there on a weekend morning to write blog posts. 

Overall, this is a nice cafe with the problem of being too diverse. This is why I try to avoid it at peak hours.  

Atmosphere: 7

Service: 9

Food: 9

Coffee: 7

Overall: 7.5

Conversation 2 — In Therapy 

“Sure, she was from rural Wisconsin, but she was so open to being taken. ”

“What do you mean?”

“There’s that loneliness within others I pick up on. They are alone in a crowded space as much as in an empty room. The spark has gone. They no longer feel alive. They’re usually bored and need something new.”

The psychotherapist leaned forward. She was about 55 or so. Nice looking. Botox. Some other small surgeries. But she wasn’t alone and had no idea how the patient across her could be such a sociopathic homewrecker. Especially since he was so polite and forthcoming. 

“What do you see these women as?”

“Broken,” said the patient. He was about 40 and was addicted to sex. But perhaps he was addicted to being loved. He had given up trying to figure Dr. Van Dam out. 

“What’s broken?”

“Their soul.”

“And are you fixing it.”

“Is that a trick question? Obviously, not. I’m not delusional. Maybe I’m sociopathic when it comes to women’s emotions. Maybe I’m living something out. But no, I’m not fixing anyone. I’m a willing bandaid solution. ;”

“Do you see that as helpful?”

“She’ll get involved somehow with something or someone else. I figure I’m the safest choice after macrame. ”

Dr. Van Dam didn’t laugh. She seemed to be playing it out silently in her head. “So you call the cops on her husband. Did she tell you to?”

“No. But that’s why I’m here. I shouldn’t have done that. Thank God he had no plants in the basement that day.”

“So what now? Do you want to stop doing this to other women now that she’s back home?”

“Well, I want to feel better about what I’m doing…”

The hour was up. 

Dr. Van Dam had seen this so many times. But never had she understood or even seen the patient’s point of view and sort of agreed with it. This doubt planted in her mind would have her go find another therapist for the patient. 

Empowerment from Within— Let Go of the Bad Stuff, Hang on to the Good Stuff

http://spouryiti.blogspot.ca/2017/09/let-go-of-bad-stuff-hang-on-to-good.html

Long weekend over and back to school routine settled in. I dropped  my son off at his school and was happy to finally get some time to myself. Was rushing to Starbucks eager to start on my second blog post before meeting my friends later that day. As I’m reviewing in my mind what I want to express on the post, I get hit by a car. 

The woman who hit me is waving her arms and yelling. We both get out of our cars to asses the damage. When we communicate she’s going on and on about her point of view. I’m so irritated that this person has hit me. Don’t like her pompous attitude and demeanor. I’m upset about the car. Upset about the deductible and my insurance going up.  Angry with her for not making the stop. Angry with myself for rushing.  At one point though,  I decide I’m going to just let it go. I tell her there’s no point in discussing anymore what happened as it’s not going to change anything. I said lets just get the paper exchange done and go on about our day.

 

Sometimes, things happen that can put you into a bad mood. Bad moments occur  that change the course of your feelings and then trigger other like feelings. You can start your morning off with the best of intentions and then end up in a car accident like I did.  Or, have a bad experience at work, get into a confrontation with someone, lose your patience with someone, become angry, have your feelings hurt or your ego bruised.. etc.. And then of course there are always bigger issues like thoughts concerning health problems, heartbreak, sorrow, loss, financial crisis etc.. 

 

No one is happy 100% of the time; life happens, things come up. Happiness is not a state of being.  It’s not a destination.  It’s just a feeling along with all the other ones. Feelings come and go and it’s ok not to be happy all the time. Sometimes negative feelings come up that need to be acknowledged and released.

 

Having said that, I believe what’s important is to not let yourself fall into that negative place for too long. I sometimes find myself in a type of loop thinking or reliving a certain thought or experience over and over again in my mind. This can give off negative feelings like anger, sadness, frustration, resentment etc.. Or one negative thought triggering the next negative thought and before you know it you are stuck in a rut and have fallen into a downward spiral of grumpiness, pessimism, discouragement,  cynicism, etc..  

 

Every single moment is the start of a new opportunity for us to change our mindset. You can’t think two things simultaneously in one precise moment.  So, what if you change the thought for the next moment to a happier one and then keep redirecting your mind to a better thought every time the negative loop starts occurring or negative thoughts return or are triggered. After some time you create a new loop, new thoughts that generate new good feelings, like gratitude, peace, happiness etc.. It sounds a bit too simple and elementary, but it really works.

When I find myself in these situations, I come up with different ways to change my mindset. Often an inspiring quote or a video can do the trick.  I also use daily affirmations to set the tone for the day or get me out of a rut sometimes. I’ve been collecting affirmations, quotes and inspirational videos since 2009. Some I have written myself but most I have taken from books, songs, movies, shows, you-tube videos, known quotes and conversations I’ve had with people.

I’ve been sending these out almost daily to a small group of people over the years, and many have often given me feedback that a particular message or reminder was exactly what they needed to get them through their day or moment.  Feedback like that many times makes my own day as I’m touched and honoured that I can have a positive impact on someone else in this small way.

I’ve decided to share these on my blog and I’ll be updating them regularly. If you find yourself looking to change your mindset, go though the list and find something that resonates with you. You will see how quick and easy it could be to change you mindset.

http://spouryiti.blogspot.ca/2017/09/daily-affirmations-quotes-and-videos.html

Going back to the day of my accident..  I didn’t end up working on my post that day nor did I get quality time to myself. I had to deal with the insurance and coordinating with the body shop and other tedious things related to the accident that brought it all up all over again.  Also, turns out I was more shaken up than I first realized about being hit and still kinda pissed off that it happened. But I didn’t let it ruin my day. Every time my mind would have negative thoughts, I redirected it to a better place. So instead of letting the day go downhill, I kept redirecting it back up.

Sure, maybe this bad experience happened, but I’m very grateful that no one got hurt.  I’m grateful that I’m lucky enough to have a car and insurance to handle these types of things. I did end up meeting my peeps at Starbucks and we had some good laughs over the whole thing. I felt their love and support and throughout the day the love and support of my family and other people in my life. These are the thoughts that I chose to focus on.

Greece Summer Memories — From the Simple to the Rotund 

With September here and summer coming to an end, it’s time to share some memorable moments from the past couple of months. I apologize beforehand for possible repeated images.

The sunset above will be missed. Nothing like a sunset overlooking the rocky reefs on the eastern side of Methoni. This pinkish colour means a warm day for tomorrow. It’d be a hotter prediction if it were more orange.

There’s nothing as romantic as a sunset in Methoni. The tourists have it on their bucket list and the locals as part of their summer routine.

This is the road in the daytime. Picturesque and unadvertised. Perhaps it’s better to keep it that way.

The churchbell rings every half hour in Methoni from 6 A.M. to midnight. When someone associated with the village dies, the bells toll. They have variations depending on the circumstance. Most of all, it unites the locals. Although church attendance is slowly declining, everyone wants to keep their church looking great.

There’s nothing like fresh fish. And in places like Methoni, they’re served the same day they’re caught. I even ordered in advance.

The sweets are also very tasty. From delicious gelato/ice cream to traditional kataifi, it just tastes lighter and more authentic.

Then there’s the opulent nouveau-grec cuisine. Here I’m having grilled salmon with only salt, pepper, and a little lemon. Delicious. Again, because almost everything isn’t made before you order, it’s easy to have it your way.

This is main street in Methoni,. In the evening, it is totally closed to traffic. The tables move forward to also inhabit the street.

If you blink, you’ll miss this bohemian enclave in Psirri in Athens. It is very commonplace in Greece, especially in bigger towns and in cities, for a place to transform from a cafe and brunch spot in the day to a restaurant in the evening to a bar at night.

I’ll miss this type of antithesis. This is usually the norm in Greece— opulent rotund lush bordering with downtrodden marginalization. Sad. But hopeful as well.

This dichotomy above is near tourist central in Athens. I took the picture at Monastiraki and the picture is of Psirri. Yes, it gets confusing. But like Manhattan, it becomes second nature after a few visits.

I’ll miss that rare late-August thunderstorm. It clears the humidity and freshens everything.

I’ll miss colourful urinals.

I’ll miss views of the Acropolis.

I’ll miss shy newbie servers.

Most of all I’ll miss the beach…

…with all its splendor. Human or otherwise!!!