My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Grey Cup chili

Sunny but cold; I guess the free ride is over and it’s the tough stuff ahead. Instead of sleeping 23 hours a day, the cat will sleep 23 3/4, and I will want to join her.

Fun last night – a friend from the Y, a guy I’ve been in the Runfit class with for years though hardly know, told us all he was in a Battle of the Bands at the El Mocambo and invited us all to attend. He doesn’t look like a rocker, that’s for sure, but it sounded like fun, so a bunch of us met there. I love that place; I first went there in 1972 and it has hardly changed, still the ratty palm trees, slow bar service, not enough chairs, minimal attempts at decor. Luckily Regan’s band was scheduled to come on first, but just before that, they introduced the judges for the evening, and it’s then I discovered that this battle was for bands made up entirely of Ontario civil servants. One of the judges was a Deputy Minister. Regan is with the Department of Mines and Forests. He’s also a mean guitarist, front man for his two best high school buddies, the Daves, playing behind him. I knew that there was lots of muscle in Regan’s playing, because for years, I’ve watched him lift weights and run.

I stayed till the start of the next band, which featured a very wide, short man of Asian extraction singing “Jumpin Jack Flash.” It was a gas gas gas, but also time to go.

The night before, a great documentary on TV: Wordplay, about the people who are crazy about the NYT crossword puzzle, including, be still my beating heart, the brilliant Jon Stewart. It showed the level of dedication of some of them, who time themselves – doing it in minutes – and eventually enter the huge weekend competition held in New York every year. The winner the year the documentary was made was the youngest ever – 20 years old. Mind-boggling. Apparently, those who are best at these puzzles are not English or History professors or wordsmiths, but mathematicians and musicians – people who are used to making sense of abstract symbols. I myself would rather read a book.

In the interesting student department: one who, commenting on my love for PMc, just told me she used to be an airline stewardess, and
yep you guessed, I once had the Beatles on a flight.   And just for the record, unlike some other celebs I had on flights, they were lovely guys not just to the crew but to all the passengers.  

Aaagh! That’s me screaming. 

And another student, with me for several terms, who I thought was about 75 and told wonderful stories, especially about her uncle who was a Hollywood producer. Last class, I asked her what year she was born. “1925,” she said. She’s 87! Still travelling the world and full of energy. When I asked if I could mention her in the blog, she said she didn’t want a potential date to know how old she is.
Can you do it without mentioning my name? Who knows what gorgeous and brilliant single man will be reading it. As my daughter says, “Age is for wine and cheese.”

There’s a large pot of chili bubbling on the stove. Well, it’s the Grey Cup tomorrow, and we are nothing if not traditional around here. Daughter and her giant son (they were just at the doctor – he’s in the 95th percentile for height and weight) and MY giant son are coming over to watch the game. At least, she’ll watch, because she loves football; the baby and I will smooch and play, and tall son will eat everything in sight. How I love it when we pretend to be normal. The smell of chili tells me we are.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.