Thank you for all your words of condolenses on the passing of my Grandmother. It’s been a source of comfort for sure. Please take a moment to read a poem I wrote in honour of such an important woman in my life.
Always In Your Corner
Florence,Flossie, Gram Forever encased in time. As memories of her life unwind. A pretty little girl from Bolingbrook with brothers and sisters on the farm. When you’re young, it’s so hard to see. How special it is just to be. That in time, it will be your turn. To share all life’s lessons learned. Little Flossie had something inside. That no matter the challenge, she tried. Never leave your life to the fates. She loved. She laughed. She was great. There was a fire in this child’s eye, Perseverance, Determination and Pride. Her heart on her sleeve as she tried. This pretty little girl from Bolingbrook grew to change lives on a dime. A girl. A woman. A wife. A mother. A Grandmother. A Great Grandmother. A friend. A confidante. A Christian. That’s a lot of titles to hold. But my Grandmother was a champion of these, and that’s the story to be told. I’m going to miss her so much as I know you all will to. I’m always in your corner, she’d say. And now I’m passing that sentiment from my heart to you.
Meet a local Inked & Bearded Barber who’s sence of style, passion and personality has made him a local celebrity of sorts. In a mens shop where Providence is paramount! Check out my artIdle November 24th!
Bruce Christopher writer
Bruce Law editor and publicist
Hair for Bruce Christopher by Nick Folco & Providence 131 Hunter Street Peterborough 7057411812
There’s nothing more fun than going to see a drag show in your local gay village or gay bar, depending on what your city or town has available. When I first moved to Toronto, I couldn’t wait until Friday or Saturday night to see the drag shows at Crews and Tangos, still the best place to see drag in the city. I watched the fellows dazzle onlookers! A couple of times, I was even invited behind the curtain and witnessed first hand the “Tuck & Go.” Like anything, though, you can’t fully appreciate the present if you don’t know the past. Here’s a quick history lesson for you. Drag style!
It all began in the theatre that the term “drag” is believed to have originated. When the straight men played female roles, they would supposedly discuss how their costume dresses would “drag” across the floor. … “See now, I thought it was referring to when the cops would drag those poor naked boys out of the local bathhouse!” You’re never too brilliant to learn. It wasn’t until the vaudeville days that the first official well-known drag queen Julian Eltinge dazzled onlookers with her heels and knickers in an uproar. Omg! I’ve never had a chance to get my heels or knickers in an uproar! I can see it now. Um, flawless!
Michelle DuBarry is the stage name of Russell Alldread, an iconic Canadian drag queen, who was awarded the title of World’s Oldest Performing Drag Queen by the Guinness Book of World Records, in 2015. However, the distinction was disputed by another performer, who was subsequently awarded the title in 2016. What a bitch! Of course, everyone loves DuBarry, but it’s always a good thing to get those aspiring stocking loving boys up on that stage and click those heels.
One of my personal favs is Carlotta Carlisle! She is really just so much fun. Clearly, I would be so much attractive in drag then she is, but I wouldn’t tell her that!
It’s been amazing to watch her evolve and grow in her craft. Originally hailing from Newfoundland, Carlisle describes herself as “I am an old school glamour girl with the mouth of Sophia Petrillo.”
Of course, I responded with, “Well, I’m as productive as a Hoover vacuum cleaner. What’s your point?” Gawd Drag Queens, it’s always gotta be about them!
Carlisle is known in his private circle, simply as Joey, he’s been doing drag for just over 12 years, He gets his inspiration from old Hollywood sirens and glamorous socialites. Everyone from Daisy Fellows to Alexis Carrington! Carlotta loves glamour, and all that goes with it, feathers, furs, beads, but nothing glitters more on this Queen than the jewelry! She wears jewelry from one of the most talented artisans of antique jewellers, Alan Anderson. I’ve posted my article on Alan Anderson, that I wrote several years back at the end of this article.
Carlotta Carlisle is a regular on Church Street, and that’s just at Steamworks, but seriously, this fabulous Diva is also busy travelling the country doing both public and private events. You can also find her at the Voss Events drag brunch at the rec room with a bevy of local beauties and a rotation of RuPaul’s drag race stars! She’s currently single! I have no idea how that could be possible. She must want to be because she is just so delectable!
But not as delectable as me. I just think honesty is the best policy, really. Just clears the head to shoot it out there! You know, but she tries!
Hey guys! As promised, singer-songwriter Kate Kelly’s book has arrived, “A Harsh and Private Beauty,” and I’m digging it, big time. It’s about the journey of Ruby Grace, now in her 89th year, on a train journey with her granddaughter back to Chicago, the city of Ruby’s birth. The novel traces Ruby’s grandparent’s immigration from Ireland to New York City, her father, Daniel Kenny’s life in 1920s Chicago. In a marriage that forced her to give up her music career, Ruby struggles with the conventions of the times. Now, on the train headed back to a city she cannot remember, Ruby tries to look honestly at herself and the choices she has made. While on route, Ruby suffers a stroke, leaving the untold story of her life in the hands of her granddaughter, Lisa. Lisa is compelled to reveal to her father, a secret that her grandmother guarded for a lifetime. Wow! Right!?! This is great storytelling! Kate’s novel takes us on an incredible journey. Ruby Grace is a modern-day thinker in an old conservative system. Her memories take her back to the crooked dealings of 1920s Chicago. Most of the story is told on a train. It’s compelling and captivating. Kate’s novel drips with raw emotion as she takes us on a journey of love and loss, loss of memory and a loss of time. While the clock ticks, the secrets unravel. I truly enjoyed this novel. If you guys follow my blog, you will know I have a favourite author of books, Jodi Picoult, but with Kate Kelly now on my list, I’m very excited to see what’s around the corner for this talented new author.
B.I.T.C: When did you first begin your fascination with writing?
Kate: Well, I wouldn’t call it a fascination, more like a calling. I was very young, maybe six or seven and I couldn’t sleep because of all the thoughts in my head like, what is infinity? Lol. My mom told me I should write down my thoughts and maybe after I got them out, I would be able to sleep. Still, to this day, when I can’t sleep, I often write.
B.I.T.C: That’s amazing because when I can’t sleep, it’s because I’m watching porn! I’m just kidding. I’m reading the Bible. No, not really. It’s porn.
B.I.T.C: What was the first book that made its biggest impact in your youth?
Kate: The biggest book? Well, actually there were two. The first one was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madelene L’Engle, and the second was, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Both these books have influenced my writing. I have a second novel coming out with Inanna Publication, and it is a young adult fantasy, The Meadowlands, and it is influenced by A Wrinkle in Time. I am currently working on my third novel, and I hope the character, Tara Hope is a modern-day Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird! lol
B.I.T.C: Well, I asked for one, but you go ahead and take over my interview. Oh, my goodness! I’m so pulling your leg. Just preach Lady Marmalade.
B.I.T.C: You are also a singer, guitar player, songwriter and accomplished poet. What do you enjoy the most?
Kate: I don’t think I can categorize which art form I enjoy the most. I’d have to say that when I am in the midst of singing or playing or writing poetry or prose, that is what I am enjoying the most. I suppose it is the creative process that I enjoy. I think when we create, we touch that spiritual part of us that goes beyond the every day, and we can become greater than ourselves. It can start to feel like channelling for me, when I am no longer aware of who I am and can go beyond, to something more. I think it’s something we can all do and I think that’s why the arts are so important to our society. Any form of artistic expression brings something bigger into the world.
B.I.T.C: Well, that’s just wonderful and true. I can concur. I mean, look at my blog, for example. I mean, there is so much light coming from it. It burns my eyes. I think it may burn my readers’ eyes too, although they have never shared that with me. I’m wondering if my blog is burning your eyes right now.
B.I.T.C: Would you consider yourself a feminist?
Kate: Yes, of course, because it simply means someone who supports equality. We all need to embrace both the male and female aspects of who we are, as individuals, and as a society.
B.I.T.C: Ya, I totally get it. For me, it can be as simple as the right bronzer. You know? You and I are so tight right now. Maybe even tighter than when I interviewed Rick Mercer. I understand you liked that interview? It’s ok we can move on.
B.I.T.C: What I really want to know is what inspired your character (Ruby Grace) in what marks your debut novel A Harsh and Private Beauty?
Kate: Ruby Grace is loosely based on a woman I briefly knew through the Peterborough Theatre Guild. She was a Blues and Jazz singer in the 50’s and made her movie debut when she was in her 70’s. I interviewed older women and studied the lives of older women I knew. I was looking at women who broke through the ceiling, women who were driven to be more than mothers and wives. Not that that’s a bad thing, but for some women, being confined to those roles was too restrictive, and those women struck out and forged paths for other women to follow. As an artist myself, I was interested in the women who had come before me and how they managed to embrace both their artistic drive along with marriage and motherhood.
B.I.T.C: Oh, my God! One time I was having a fabulous romp with this Italian stallion, and we almost broke through the ceiling! It’s crazy.
B.I.T.C: Do you feel your anything like her?
Kate: Yes. Ruby Grace is any woman who has struggled with motherhood and her artistic drive, like any woman who has felt confined or restricted in her marriage or station in life.
B I.T.C: I can’t relate to any of that, but it sounds intense!
B.I.T.C: Ok, so are you, Lisa?
Kate: That is a good question. I am Lisa in that I have looked to older women, like my mother or grandmother, for insight into who I am and how one can handle motherhood and marriage, or if not marriage, partnership, but I am not Lisa.
B.I.T. C: Oh my God, compliments from Author Kate Kelly. You can stay. And my vote in marriage, just say no!
B.I.T.C: If not, Lisa, then who are you in this story?
Kate: I suppose, like any author, I am all the characters, and I am none of the characters. The characters, in my novel, take on a life of their own, but it is a life that comes through me in a subconscious way.
B.I.T.C: I like that. So mystical. You know I sat up all night and read your book. I’m a fan. My favourite part was when it ended. I mean, when I got to the end. Well, because I wanted to know how this thing ends.
B.I T.C: Do you have a favourite line or scene in your book that really resonates with you?
Kate: I really like the club scenes, when Ruby is singing, and the smoke is rising, and the room is dark with shadow and Leland is so attractive, and the whole atmosphere is seductive. I also like the hospital scenes when Ruby’s children and granddaughter are around, and Ruby can’t speak, and they have to fill in the parts of her life she can’t. I think that is the essence of the book; our stories, how we tell them, and who tells them for us when we are no longer able. “Was it Maxwell who said, The storyteller tries to make life acceptable, and in talking about the past, we lie with every breath we draw? Oh well, you see Leland; we begin in larceny and end in larceny, stealing and debauching the truth, bending belief to our own ends. You would like that, my love, the joke in the end, our histories retold in lies.”
B.I.T.C: Stop my nerves. I could almost hear you reading it.
B.I.T.C: Kate! What is next for Kate Kelly?
Kate: Well, this novel is being put forward for a few competitions like Page to Screen Ontario. I’d love to see this novel as a movie! Also, Inanna Publications has sent me a contract for my next novel; a Young Adult Fantasy called, The Meadowlands which I’m pretty excited about. I am currently working on my third novel called Tara Hope. It’s about the conscious awakening and coming of age of a young girl, a metaphor for the earth and the symbiotic relationship we have with her. I am also working on a CD of original songs with my musical partner, Bobby Watson, that I hope to have out by next year. Other than that I’m just trying to enjoy where I am in my life, eating good food, drinking good wine and trying to bring my light into the world.
B.I.T.C: That is beautiful! I cannot wait until we meet again on November 6th for your signing and oral talents right there in front of us all. Congratulations on such a fabulous book and please sit down with me again so we can discuss your next la victoire.
It beard time! I just love my beards. I’ve enjoyed featuring the beards and fellows over the past two and a half years. It’s hard to believe another bearded year is winding down. However, we’ve still got two months and two sexy beards to go! These last two beards will mark the end of this feature on my blog. We might as well go out with a bang!!! This is Bradley! Sorry boys this sexy fellow is engaged!
Hey I’m Bradley! My fun facts are as follows! I am an amazing baker. I’m a talented hairstylist. I’m a fur baby father! I LOVE pizza! Lastly, I’m afraid of heights!
That’s awesome Bradley! Thanks for letting me feature you on my Blog and my Instagram! It’s you guys that make my blog the fun it is for me and all 25,000 registered readers!
You can follow two of Bradley’s instagrams pictured here! Tell him Bruce in the City sent you.
Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied, and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as The Joker.
A story told repetitiously to exhaustion. However, it’s no accident this story transcends time. As kids, we were introduced to this story by the time we could spell our names. What is it about The Joker that captivates us, then haunts us? Maybe this time around, it awakens us to the new reality that is mental illness in our society today.
I was really pumped to see Joker. Of course, the late Heath Ledger brilliantly invoked the most twisted of any Joker that came before. What pressure on an actor to attempt to resurrect a character handled so profoundly by Heath. Simply stated, Joaquin Phoenix smashed it in a perfect adaptation of a deranged mentally broken villain, The Joker.
It’s now the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Fisting Deadpool to have to eat #2 as he has been dethroned by Joker 2019.
That’s awesome, but I feel this film needs a little unwrapping. This movie seems to have very little to do with villains and superheroes, as it does studying the desperately misunderstood illness known as mental.
I sat in my seat. It was cheap-Tuesday. A good day to see a film. They’ll gut me on the popcorn anyway. The movie started. I honestly had no expectations. Other than I like the lead actors work on other films, which I’ll list a few at the end of my article, and The Joker? Iconic! The movie had a foreboding darkness from the onset. Phoenix was mesmerizing from the moment he appeared as Arthur on the big screen. The struggle for Arthur was already deep in his core by the time we met him in this story. Family issues, social issues, behavioural issues, mental illness at its worst. As I watched the intensity of Phoenix’s performance, it was clearly disturbing to viewers and yet mesmerizing.
A few people actually left. I can only assume they may have been struggling, as was I, with the subject matter. Mental illness right there and right in your face. The all too familiar insensitivity and humiliation one who suffers from mental illness imposed by people almost every single day. Right there on the big screen. I felt it because although I’m no Joker, thank God, I struggle with mental illness. PTSD, chronic anxiety, and panic attacks, depression on the good days. Does that mean I don’t laugh? Does it mean I can’t fit in a social situation? No, and no. What it does mean is that this is sadly still a health issue that is so underfunded, misunderstood, misrepresented and largely untreated. The stigma is almost a symptom itself. It is literally torturing the inflicted. What other illness, other than sexually transmitted disease, does one get pelted with shame, judgement, isolation and punishment from those around you? Can you imagine a cancer patient or survivor being ostracized socially like those who suffer and survive mental illness? This is an illness that doesn’t seem to have any hope for a cure.
This is where my mind was as I watched this character suffer alone, as I feel most people with mental illness do. I had enough, and I left the movie at about the halfway point. It was raw for me. I related all too well to this character. As a child, it was with wide eyes that I was entertained. This was no longer a comic book. It isn’t funny anymore. The Joker wasn’t making us laugh, as he did in the television series. It is making audiences squirm in their ultra-comfortable, cinematic lounges; eating it up like a python swallows its prey. It felt pornographic, oozing with all the wickedly beautiful stereotypes that people living with mental illness face. I left, and I was disturbed.
I texted a friend. I told him my reaction to the movie and that I had left. I usually leave a movie because it sucks, but that’s not why I left this time. I left because the affliction Arthur was imprisoned by is no longer a punchline and is the world in which we now live. It was too much to digest. After a short confab about me not like liking the movie (which wasn’t true), I let my buddy go, while the subject matter continued twisting around in my brain. How could I relate so well to such a diabolical character? I needed to understand why. I went back to the theatre and purchased another ticket for the next showing. I was going to watch this movie with a whole new set of eyes. There’s a reason why it has become the biggest R-Rated movie of all time. Aside from the incredible performance of Joaquin Phoenix and all the cast, maybe more then ever, people are hungry for more accurate portraits of this kind of illness. It’s no longer funny to be a sufferer of mental illness. The Joker was our childhood dark hero. When did it all get so real? I got through the movie the second time, and I loved every horrific minute of it. All the while wondering, does The Joker ever get to heal? Will he be stuck in this loop forever? For those of us suffering from mental illness, that’s what it feels like every day, and that’s before we even roll out of bed. I booked a session with my therapist. If you have mental illness, reach out to a friend or family member. You may feel alone, but you are not. We are many. We matter! You matter! And that is NO JOKE.