I feel bad about my blog

I feel bad about my blog. No really, I do.  A couple of years ago I wanted to learn about blogging to understand how it fits in with marketing.  So I decided to launch my own blog and share all the stuff I’ve kept since I was a kid in the 80’s.  My blog was born!  Under the Lids held so much excitement, and such promise – I’ll post once per week!     Ok, this is more time consuming than I thought so – I’ll post once per month!    Well look at that, it’s been a year since my last post.

Circa 1980.

I shouldn’t be surprised.  My childhood diary also had such promise.







I don’t know what’s sadder N.H.  or C. R.

That’s Nothing  Happened and Can’t Remember.  Please, I was 11.  What on earth was going to happen every day?  Oh I know  – a new crush.  (My boy-crush levels were epic.)  Some of my diary entries were actually kind of cute.  I’m hoping I can convince my kid to let me record him reading my words from when I was his age.

Kristen Laco of Mum Revised summed up blogging best in a recent post – The 8-Stage Life-Cycle of a Blogger.  Most blogs only last about 2 years, but many continue in a more random schedule of posts and shares.  This makes sense when you consider a lot of blogs, including mine,  are a side thing. For me there’s not a lot of time left over between work, family, and fun. Maybe there’s a 9th stage – the lazy blogger.  It’s easier to post a picture and short story on Instagram than spend a couple of hours working on a blog post.

So this isn’t goodbye, but more like see you around when the stars align for me with an idea, pictures, and time.   Until then, follow me on Instagram and see what else is under the lids.


Holy crud! The Bad News Bears is 40!

Do you think of opera when you hear Bizet’s Carmen or do you think of baseball?

The Bad News Bears theatrical release poster. c/o wikipedia
The Bad News Bears theatrical release poster. c/o wikipedia

This week marks the 40th anniversary of The Bad News Bears, one of my all-time favourite movies and what I think is arguably, one of the best sports movies ever.   I don’t have anything under the lids for this movie other than the memories.

In 1976 I was 7 years old and we lived in a small town.  A family friend owned the local movie theatre which meant we saw a lot of movies for free. That year was no exception with releases like Rocky and King Kong.   When The Bad News Bears came out, my brother and I saw it a bunch of times. There was something about this movie that I loved right off the bat.   I wasn’t into sports and didn’t play Little League.  It was kind of like a modern day Little Rascals but with a lot more swear words, although I think everyone said crud.  Perhaps it was early on-set puberty kicking in and this movie was filled with boys.

c/o Paramount Pictures
c/o Paramount Pictures

I had no idea what a bail bond was but yellow and white uniforms still make me think of Chico’s Bail Bonds.





bad news bears dvd
c/o Paramount Pictures

Over the years I would watch it every time it was on TV.  It became one of those weekend time-suck movies.  It seemed like it was always on, so I never bothered to buy it on VHS or DVD.  (40th Anniversary re-issue where are you??)




Of course, along the way there were sequels:

bad news2
c/o Paramount Pictures

Bad News Bears In Breaking Training – Starred William “Let them play! Let them play!” Devane

Bad News Bears Go to Japan – A movie about them going to Japan

Plus there was a TV spin off which I vaguely remember watching.   But I definitely didn’t see the 2005 remake even though Richard Linklater directed it.

Although technically not sequels, these movies are definitely off-spring of the original:  Bad Santa, Bad Teacher, Bad Grandpa.

When my hubs and I got married, we named the reception tables after ten of our favourite movies instead of using numbers 1-10. We sat at The Godfather,  while guests sat at The Bad News Bears.

Recently, I re-watched the movie promo and I cringed – were those racist slurs in a trailer?  How was it rated PG?   It’s hard to reconcile a beloved movie from my childhood with what would be considered so un-PC now.   Our 10 year old wants to see Bad News Bears but I think the viewer discretion disclaimer would have to go something like this:  Warning: This movie contains scenes that will be offensive to just about everybody even if you first saw it in 1976.  Yes things were a lot different then but that doesn’t mean you can say those kinds of things now.  Viewers may laugh at kids having a beer but this does not mean you condone underage drinking.  Scenes of children smoking and flirting may have seemed innocent then and but is definitely wrong now. Viewer discretion is advised.

Say what you want about Bad News Bears – I still love this movie.  Cue the orchestra.

P.S. Check out Dan Epstein’s excellent article on Rolling Stone about The Bad News Bears.


The Next Day


When you hear that someone you don’t know, but have known for as long as you can remember, has died, can you cry?  Can the news of their death compel your friends and family to think of you first after hearing the unbelievable news?  In my case, absolutely.





My Bowie bookshelf
My Bowie bookshelf

On David Bowie’s birthday last week, I planned to start a countdown to his 70th birthday in with a series of posts over the course of 2016.  I have lots of David Bowie stuff “under the lids” –  clippings, magazines, and souvenirs and I thought it would be fun to share.





But then this ….

January 10 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.

Like millions of fans around the world. I never met David Bowie but have had had him in my life for as long as I can remember.  I think my first Bowie memory is from the late 1970’s when I was around 8 or 9 years old,  hearing his music on our kitchen radio.  I’ve surrounded myself with David Bowie ever since.

My first David Bowie purchase was Let’s Dance both on vinyl and cassette.  My first concert regret ever was not being able to see the Serious Moonlight Tour.  I would have to wait until 1987 to see him perform live.  It was at the CNE with Northern Pikes and a version of Duran Duran.  We had terrible seats but it was incredible and worth the journey from London, Ontario to Toronto.  I saw him every time he came to Toronto after that. IMG_4366 Here’s my first of many David Bowie concert ticket stubs.  Note the ticket price and “No Cameras” message.






I went on to watch every video, attend every concert, and buy almost every magazine that featured him, and courtesy of Etsy, have been able to find Bowie-inspired accessories to add that little of Bowie to my day.  IMG_4273







I spent the evening of January 11 listening to David Bowie on vinyl while I looked through my folder of clippings and stack of Bowie related magazines including a couple wonderful Hello! magazines and Architectural Digest.  My husband flipped the albums for me and listened to me as I went through  my collection of Bowie stuff. (When we got married, there was no question Heroes would be our wedding song.)  David Bowie had been mostly out of the public eye for so long, it was easy to almost forget how very public he once was.  His personality, his charisma and his sense of humour all came through in interviews and performances.

So over the course of the year as we inch closer to “what would have been his 70th birthday” and the first anniversary of his death, I will share more of my favourite Bowie moments.  When I was much younger and living at home, this was how I surrounded myself with David Bowie.

My room when I was growing up. Under the Lids
My room when I was growing up. Under the Lids



Windows 85

September cal 2

Back in 1985, one of my friends had some time on her hands and decided to make me something very special.  Using different scraps and magazine cutouts, she created a personalized advent calendar that was all about me.  Each window was numbered and labelled with an A.   Except for 5.  Poor five was forgotten.   Open a window and get a peek at me.  But not in a creepy peeping Tom kind of way… A window into my life 30 years ago.

Each day this month I’ve been opening the day’s window and sharing the video on Instragram.   We’re only half way through September and I’m surprised at how much about me is the same from 30 years ago.

I want to post each of the tiny videos here, but until I can figure out how to do that, I’ll continue sharing via Instagram.  If you’d like to see the videos just click on the Instagram link on the right hand side of this page.   Let me know what you think.  And I’m curious, how different is adult-you compared to highschool-you?

In the unlikely event I meet Judy Blume

ButtonA couple of months ago, I abruptly ended my post about the 40th anniversary of Forever when I found out Judy Blume was coming to Toronto.  I wanted more details and I NEEDED tickets.  The Toronto Public Library was hosting the event to promote Judy’s first adult novel in 15 years, In the Unlikely Event.  Judy – she of purple-cover Are You There God It’s Me Margaret – was going to be the Toronto Reference Library!  I HAD to be at this reading.  I put reminders in my calendars and weeks later when the day came I went online and my tix were confirmed at 9am sharp. I think by 9:10 it was sold out.  But I had two glorious tickets and couldn’t wait!   I would get my copy of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret SIGNED!!!!

Old Blume I checked my book shelf at home and found 3 old Blume books, but not Margaret.  Then it hit me – I lent it out to someone years ago and now it was gone.   Plan B:  I’ll just buy an old copy and bring that to the reading.    Starting with Pandemonium and a couple other used book stores in the Junction I came away empty handed, except for the reminder to check out abebooks.com, a terrific aggregate used book store.

Between the CoversAnd thanks to the good folks at betweenthecovers.com I had a purple cover back on my shelf, ready for Judy.

Old and new Blume







Before the event, TPL emailed all ticket holders:: “Please note: Judy Blume will only be able to sign one copy of In The Unlikely Event per person. Because of audience size and time constraints, Judy will not be able to sign any of her other books.”   Sad face.

got your back judyBut I turned that frown upside on June 29 – the night of the BIG EVENT.  I arrived at the library before 5pm and there was already a line up.  As I waited for my friend, I was surrounded by the chatter of hundreds of 12 year old girls disguised as 20, 30, 40, 50 year olds.    Still waiting for my friend at the front of the line, suddenly there she was and pretty in pink!   How can this woman be 77 years old??  I’ve got your back, Judy!


judy interviewRachel Giese was the woman we wanted to be as she interviewed Judy Blume and she did a terrific job.    Judy was such an absolute delight to listen to.  Her stories were interesting, her answers insightful.  I loved how she kept reaching out and touching Rachel’s arm like they were old friends catching up.  She was so genuine, warm, funny and real. I don’t know why I’m surprised by this.   I could listen to her recite a recipe and know that there will be wonderful twists and tangents that will go beyond what’s on paper.  And then there was George.  George Cooper, a non-fiction author and Judy’s husband of nearly 30 years.  Their love and partnership was clearly evident as he helped fill in the blanks in her stories, and stood to wave the crowd of his wife’s adoring fans.  George chatted and even signed books as we waited for our moment with his wife.

Judy 1The staff from Penguin Random House were super organized in ensuring the line moved fast and not a moment was wasted or lost.  Here’s me and Judy!  “HiJudyit’ssoamazingtomeetyou!”  Yes I spoke that fast.




judy 2Me::  “If you’re not busy on July 20 you should come for a girl’s cottage visit! You’ll have so much fun!”  Judy:  “I’d love to!   Here let me write down the directions.”  Actually I think her words were “Oh!  I’ll be in Dublin Ireland.”  Me:  “That’s ok.”



judy 5“ThankyousomuchforeverythingJudy!”





Love Judy








Oh Mickey, you’re so fine

Vintage Mickey Mouse T - Under the Lids
Vintage Mickey Mouse T – Under the Lids

#FBF with my vintage Mickey Mouse tshirt.  Most Mickey t’s are from childhood trips to Disney, but I bought mine in my 20’s from a used clothing store.  Why?  Ask most 40+ Greek-Canadians and they’ll tell you:  Greeks don’t do Disney.   Going to Disney was a “Canadian” thing. As kids, they either didn’t go away for summer vacations, or spent them with grandparents in Greece.   I fell in the first group which explains my need to always plan to do stuff during the summer, and why I can barely speak Greek.   Ask those same Greeks if a trip to Disney with their own children is happening – and you’ll get a lot of yesses.   A week long vacation to Disney is more doable than a summer spent in Greece.

My hubs and I always said we would take our kid to Disney.  This weekend we are headed to the land of Mickey Mouse, legendary fireworks, thrilling rides, and lots and lots of food.  I’m still following my weight loss program and am getting closer to my goal weight.   I don’t want to completely derail my progress. But I’m on vacation and while I’m not having the giant turkey legs or bottomless servings of pop all day, I am looking forward to a few of my kid’s fries, a burger-no-bun, an ice-cold beer and the famous Dole Whip.

I’ve spent more time researching this single week of vacation than I did for a three month trip to Europe.   The Toronto Public Library was a great resource for current edition travel guides.  Friends have been generous with their emails, books, tips, suggestions, and warnings.  (This includes you, Dawn @moosegrumpy !)

The top three pieces of advice experienced Disney travellers gave me:                                                                                                                                                   1. Book restaurants as soon as you book your trip (Done.)

2. Download the Disney app to manage ride wait times and set your Fast Pass (Done.  This app is fantastic!!)

3. Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll do A LOT of walking.  (Done.  My footwear is going to be function over fashion which will knock any cuteness out of my outfit choices.  I don’t want to wear a FitBit because I’m already wearing a Disney MagicBand and I can’t throw all my accessories out the window.  A girl needs bangles that don’t beep!)


We told our kid about the trip on Easter Sunday as part of his egg hunt.  Some special eggs had letters inside.  Using a hang-man type clue, he had to put the letters in order to spell out the surprise.  He very excitedly guessed WE ARE GOING TO SIDNEY.   Thankfully he was equally excited when he got it right.









I’m looking forward spending time with family and friends making memories that will last forever because this trip is only happening once.  The world is too big to visit the same place twice (except NYC, or somewhere I’ve been but my family hasn’t, or anywhere you invite me to).    Who knows, maybe a summer vacation in Greece?




I learned so much from Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, it was practically a textbook for my early on-set puberty.   I didn’t have the “talk” with my mom.  I read the book, and when puberty hit I knew what was happening to me.   Judy Blume was there every step of the way of my adolescence.  I put off getting my first bra until grade 5 because I was certain I would get teased like one of the characters in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.   So when another Judy Blume novel crossed my path I eagerly read it.  But one word confused me.  “Mom, what’s a virgin?”, and she replied  “What are you reading?”  Hmmm, maybe 11 was too young to read Forever.

judyblume-foreverForever is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary.   I don’t remember a lot of the details of the book, but I do remember this cover.





It was about Katherine, and her relationship with her boyfriend and they had s-e-x.   And I gave it a solid 4 out 4 stars.   I like how two books later on my list was a compilation of Charlie Brown cartoons.

Under the lids - my books read & rated list circa 1980
Under the lids – my books read & rated list circa 1980

I wonder if the 50 Shades popularity hit the tweens and young teens with 12 year olds sneaking their mom’s copies?   I haven’t read this series, but I would like to start a re-read list.  Forever and of course Wifey would be top of the list!  Judy Blume has a new adult novel coming out June 2 http://judyblume.com/news.php.    AND OH MY GOD  I just read she is coming to Toronto to read from it!!     Sorry, I’d write more but I must, I must, get tickets to this reading.




Bjork concert at The Warehouse circa 1998
Bjork concert at The Warehouse circa 1998

On Sunday January 25, the Kool Haus had their last line up for the women’s washrooms.   Off the top of my head, seeing Bjork in concert for the first time was one of my Warehouse/Kool Haus standout shows.  It was 1998 and she was touring Homogenic.   Bjork’s voice was unlike anything I’d heard before, and the concert included strings – be still my viola-playing heart.   She was equally impressive a few years later at the unforgettable outdoor show at Olympic Island.   When she was scheduled to play Echo Beach in 2013, tickets were $80, I was unemployed and decided I shouldn’t go.  All the reviews RAVED and I quickly realized this would be one of my biggest concert regrets ever.

Bjork Toronto Star Review circa 1998, Jane Stevenson's 5 Sun review
Bjork Toronto Star Review circa 1998, Jane Stevenson’s 5 Sun review

But back in 1998 my then boyfriend/now hubs Ian and I were dating and going to movies and concerts was what we did.  I really should do a retrospective on 1998 – so many concert stubs!   A memory from the Bjork concert wasn’t about Bjork, but Jared Leto.  This was just after the My So Called Life era.   We are at the concert mesmerized by Bjork’s performance when all of a sudden, Jordan Catalano was walking in my direction in s l o w   m o t i o n.  Then he was in front of me.  I froze. What to say to him without a)sounding like a 29 year old school girl and b) interrupting the amazing Bjork?  As he walked by I reached out and touched his arm.  It wasn’t a grab or tap or even a squeeze, just a light touch proving he was real and in front of me.   Did he stop and turn around?  Did he feel the electricity between us?  I’m not sure. The spell was quickly broken with Ian exclaiming “What was that?  Did you just touch him?”   .


Is Bjork returning to Toronto in support of Vulnicura,?   I for one, can’t wait. Until then have a listen to Bachelorette.




Celebrating 100 months!

#birthdays, #family, #underthelids, #kids
Celebrating 100 months circa 2014

Early last year I calculated the number of months my kid was.  He was a few shy of hitting 100 months.  Yes he was 8 years old, and no I didn’t go around saying my baby is 96 months old.   But I thought – 100 months sounds like a fun milestone to celebrate.  Why not make a little big deal out of it, and surprise him, especially considering since his bday is January which I think is a rip off but he doesn’t mind.  The hubs and I agreed – 100th month birthday would be a thing.

Fast forward to May 2014 and our kid woke up to a room filled with 100th birthday  napkins, Happy 100th Birthday balloons, a special poster made by hubs celebrating his 100th month milestone.  He was surprised and loved getting a present.  He realized thought it wasn’t really something that usually gets celebrated. I was trying to make this a thing for him.  Much like his Punch Buggy phase a couple years back.  He said Pinch Mini was part of the car game and we punched and pinched every time a Volkswagen Bug or Cooper Mini drove by.  I added in pat pat Fiat . I pat patted every time we passed a Fiat only to hear him exclaim “It’s not a thing!  You can’t just make it a thing!”  He did think the hubs’ booby bus was funny though.

We gave our kid a badge that said I’m 100 months!  We went out for special sundaes to celebrate and he was happy with that.  It’s ok if this doesn’t take off as a thing, but if you or your friends have kids under 9, go ahead and celebrate.  Just remember you heard it here first.