For Some Strange Reason: Jane Olivor

Jane Olivor: Best Side of GoodbyeI’m not sure why, but for some strange reason, memories of Jane Olivor came back to me a few minutes ago as I tried in vain to fall asleep.

I think one has to be of a certain age and have come of age within a special group of people to be familiar with Jane Olivor. Yet here I was, not yet out of high school, familiar with a rather torch song singer who’s been described as a cross between Barbra Streisand and Edith Piaf. Not typical for a straight teenager in 1982, but I guess I was neither typical nor straight by then.

Do visit her new website. You’ll notice that she seemingly fell off the face of the earth for a while. Unfortunately, the clips in her website’s discography are too short to give a good impression of her voice. So to convince you to buy her CDs, here are some MP3s (“Lalena,” “Manchild Lullaby” and “Beautiful Sadness“) which demonstrate how her songs have to be heard in their entirety to be fully appreciated. (The lyrics of “Beautiful Sadness,” although not by her, wax poetic.)

Oh my… I’m suddenly reminded of an e-mail from Hiker two years ago which touched me so.

I went hiking with the dogs yesterday and discovered an interesting little corner of the province between Fredericton and Saint John. On the drive home, I was half-listening to Richard Ouzounian on CBC and he mentioned something about a singer who dropped off the radar screen after her first recordings (he listed several possible reasons) but who has released her first recording in 18 years. Halfway through the first song, I started to pay attention. “Hey, I know that voice!” It was Jane Olivor!

He played 2 of the songs from the CD. Something tells me you may already know this, but I wasn’t sure. Anyway, it’s called Love Decides if you want to get it.

That voice brought back a flood of memories for me. I was reminescing about our summer together, reading your letters in Carleton Park, listening to Jane on my walkman while biking to work – my first office job. The dogs were asleep in the back seat, Samson with his head on Kaiser’s back. It was quite the moment…

But then Samson stood up and barfed all over the emergency brake between the two front seats. So *THAT* certainly brought my little trip down memory lane to an abrupt end.

Ah, Hiker! It’s of you I think when I listen to “Beautiful Sadness”…

Oh So Bourgeois!

I said a while back that I intended to do it, but today I did it: I hired someone to come clean my apartment every two weeks, starting the 13th. I don’t mind picking up after myself or doing the dishes occasionally, but outright cleaning has always bugged the shit out of me.

Still I feel that hiring a maid is a terribly decadent or bourgeois thing to do; therefore, I need to rationalize. So I tell myself that, first, whatever I pay her will go entirely in her pocket (i.e., she’s a freelancer like me). And second, they say someone who quits smoking has to reward him/herself with the money saved from not smoking.

Health benefits aside, this is my gift to myself.

Local Colour & Pronunciation

A recent but unrelated entry in another blog reminded me of strange place names around here and how they should be pronounced.

  • Two streets in Halifax (which actually intersect not too far from where I live) give some people a hard time:
    1. Agricola Street: Would you pronounce it Ag-ri-co-la (agricultural cola?)? Well, if so, you’d be wrong. It’s A-gric-ol-a.
    2. Duffus Street: A lot of people fail to notice the double F and accidentally pronounce it doof-uss. :->}
  • And did you know that Halifax has a South Park Street? (Yes, there’s also a shorter North Park Street.) South Park intersects a main street with one of the prettiest names anywhere: Spring Garden Road.
  • Halifax also has a Blowers Street, which to me doesn’t sound as distinguished as Barrington Street which it intersects.
  • Moving along to place names: Musquodoboit on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. That’s a tough one, but it’s pronounced Mus-ka-daab-it.
  • Next: Newfoundland. Unless you want to give away the fact you’re “from away,” don’t pronounce it New-found-land. It’s Noof-‘n-land.
    • Speaking of Newfoundland, there are tons of priceless place names on the Rock. Apparently the village of Dildo is not too far from the village of Come-By-Chance.
    • The most trite place name in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has to be Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
  • Most mangled place names in Nova Scotia: It’s a tie between Port Mouton on the South Shore and Main-à-Dieu on Cape Breton Island. Locals pronounce the first “Port Mut-toon,” not Por Moo-ton with a silent N. And the locals pronounce the second (which, when literally translated, means “God’s Hand”) Manidoo instead of Men-a-dyuh.
  • The Nova Scotia place name that’s the hardest to take seriously: Ecum Secum. It sounds like a place that has a problem with mice: First you go “eek” when you see ’em, then you seek ’em (to get rid of ’em, I suppose).
  • Come to think of it, I’m always surprised to hear Nova Scotia pronounced Nova Sco-she-a or Nova Sco-tee-a. It’s more along the lines of Nova Sco-sha, of course.
  • And finally, the honour of funniest place name anywhere in Canada has to go to the village of St.-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha! in Quebec.


  1. It’s a widely known fact that I have a profound dislike for bad writing that results from a lack of caring. I’m sure I drove my students crazy with my pet peeve.
  2. By far my biggest pet peeve in the above category — a subset, if you will — has to be the misuse of the apostrophe in English. I wish Arianna Huffington had written this article* back then. I would have made it required reading. The “that’s how everybody does it” (false) argument always got on my tits.
  3. Do you know with which famous personality I share my birthday? Former U.S. President Bill Clinton. I’m not sure how to feel about that, or in which way (if any) we’re similar. I’m afraid some people in the peanut gallery might say that I share with Bill an inability to keep my trousers on. :O
  4. I’m ick today. 🙁 Yes, I’m starting a cold. Some say that often happens when someone tries to quit smoking. And speaking of which, I haven’t even sneaked the occasional puff like I would last week. I suppose that, on the one hand, the weekend has given me enough and, on the other hand, I’m not as interested in puffin’ when I have a cold.
  5. I’m glad I don’t have cable and, therefore, no U.S. station. I don’t think I could stand listening to W’s State of the Union address, which I would do if I had cable or lived in the U.S. I’m sure the media will be amply capable of distilling the pea brain’s message for me in time for the late news.
  6. A few months on, I still can’t believe that a senior Canadian communications bureaucrat ended up resigning from her job for being overheard calling W a moron. Then again, I suppose that wasn’t a very diplomatic thing to say when you’re in anyone’s earshot, plus it’s not like Canada’s head politician is the brightest light in the house.

(* via Adam @ Words Mean Things)

Warning: Do Not Sniff!

Sorry to bore you with this topic (again), but I’m back on the patch as of today. And BeeGoddessM is right: This time, which admittedly has been short to this point, it’s much easier than the first time. In some kind of warped logic, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to fall off the wagon for 2 days.

However, the point of this entry is this: Do not sniff a NicoDerm patch.

Now, you’re probably dying to say, “Maurice, you’re supposed to wear the patch, not sniff it.” But it’s like this: I would occasionally get a whiff of a rather unpleasant smell when I would move a certain way. As someone who hates bad B.O., I found this distressing. However, I ascertained that I wasn’t the generator of the foul smell, for today I decided to smell the sticky side of the patch before applying it. And let me tell ya, it’s rank!

So you’ve been warned! Fortunately, the exposed side of the patch is relatively odourless. It’s no tiger balm, that’s for sure!