The Desert Island List

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If you were stranded on a deserted island, which 10 albums would you take with you, assuming you had time to pack a bag full of all the necessities necessary for that inevitable event? kind’ve a silly question, really; if you knew you were subject to being stranded someplace, you would want to take all precautionary measures to avoid such a thing. Well, HUMOUR ME: You’re stuck on a fucking island in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere, and somehow you have a functioning record player and you have to choose 10 records to take with you… so what’s it gonna be?
Well, if I had to choose (thank you for asking) they would be the following. Some are the greatest records ever made, and some aren’t; that’s not to say that they aren’t good, they are, they are all great in fact. It’s just that if I wanted to remember life back on dry land, I would want to relive the greatest memories that I’ve made, and a lot of these events were set to music, so what better way to relive them? Exactly my point. God willing, it will never come to this, but if I had to choose, I would choose:
beacon
The Beacon Street Collection:
This is the record that I mostly play in early spring, usually on the first sunny, hot day of the year. I bought this album when I was vacationing in New Jersey years ago; back home the snow still covered everything as far as the eye could see. But in Jersey, it wasn’t the case. Sure, it was still chilly in March, but my cousin and I walked on the beach barefoot. It wasn’t hot enough to go swimming yet, yet there were still surfers in the water, braving the cold. Plus, it was sunny. SO SUNNY. This album is my escape. I close my eyes and picture myself on a boardwalk. . This record takes me to that sunny place. It’s a wonderful place. A true gem of a record.
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The White Album:
In the late 90’s, Montreal was a wonderful place. It was a place where bohemians and artists alike transformed the city into a mecca of groovy fun times. The Plateau was an unpretentious, laid-back place, full of life and sunshine and harmony; when I listen to this record it reminds me of the simpler times, hanging out in the Old Port, hippies wandering about, the smell of weed in the air, people acting like people, cell phones didn’t exist, I was the only person who was buying vinyl records. Oh, if I could only turn back time. Hipsters didn’t exist back then, the food revolution was only just beginning. *hit the pause button* This is probably the record that I cherish most. It’s a reminder of happier times and that yesteryear that was actually worth living.
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No need to argue:
The perfect autumn record. Strange that I would pick an autumn record to take with me to a deserted island where it’s probably sweltering and unbearably hot, but what can I say? This is the soundtrack to a good chuck of my high school days. I’d spend hours playing SNES while listening to this album. There isn’t a weak track on this record. Definitely gonna pack this one..
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Boys for Pele:
The other perfect autumn record. I don’t listen to it much anymore, maybe because I love it so much and think it’s so special that I save it for special occasions. It’s Tori’s most unique record I think. The beautiful arrangements, the harpsichord dominating many of the tracks, there is swearing throughout, it’s sultry, crude, delicate, beautiful, timeless, yet so timely. Another snapshot of yesteryear set to music. Thinking about listening to it now….
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Grace:
In the winter of 2000 I discovered Jeff Buckley. He died after making just one record but it was such a great record that millions of artist will probably never be able to achieve what he did in his short life. His rendition of Halleluja alone will forever be remembered. It’s a haunting record that gets better with every listen. There will never be an artist like Jeff Buckley and I wish I had gotten to see him live. An artist that was taken away from us too soon, and in a really sad way too, not from drugs or alcohol, but by being swept away at sea while taking a late night swim, of all things. Taken by the sea, perhaps fitting that his memory would live on this way.
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Siamese Dream:
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a record that I absolutely adore may arguably be considered their magnum opus, but their true masterpiece in my opinion is Siamese Dream. This record, unlike Mellon Collie, is track after track of stellar songwriting; no filler, no instrumentals, just pure unabashed unforgiving rock. Its the type of record that you play front to back and then you’re tempted to flip it over and play it again. WOW. My favorite tracks are all the tracks. That’s how good it is. If I ever forget to pack this record I may be tempted to swim back to land to go get it, and risk drowning in the process.

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Ok Computer:
The greatest album of all time.  If you haven’t hear OK Computer then I feel sorry for you. Not that I pity you, although I do, but it’s such an important piece of music and you should do yourself a favor and listen to it. There’s nothing more to say about this record, if I have to explain why I would take this with me it’s only because you haven’t heard it yet. So do so. Tonight, if possible.

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Creature:
Great Canadian Band, Moist! On an indefinite hiatus (although recent Tweets from lead singer David Usher hinting at a possible reunion, yay!), it’s a record typical of records released in the 90’s: It’s REALLY REALLY GOOD! The record I tend to play during the first snowfall of the year. Not sure why. My brain is wired differently than yours. Can’t explain it. I just love Creature.

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Scenery and Fish:
The last I Mother Earth record to feature Edwin on vocals. It’s filled with great songs, and also with some mediocre ones. Why would I take this with me then? Because it rocks. It’s another great 90’s record from a Canadian band and I would want to remember the country I’m from and the memories I made while this record dominated that period in my life while trying to survive the harsh conditions on this god-forsaken deserted island.

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Everything Must Go:
This is the first Manic Street Preachers record I bought, and it’s their best. This started me on the journey to discovering a band that today I call my all time favorite, and its lead singer, James Dean Bradfield, my favorite vocalist. This album is filled with track after track of pure pop bliss, intricate song writing that seems simple when first heard yet in reality quite complex,and each song is filled with such unfulfillable longing; It’s indulgent, it’s heart-wrenching, fun, jovial, and great. It’s just great. Look I’ll prove it, listen to this!:
So, what say you? What’s your top 10 desert island list? I’d love for you to leave a comment. If you don’t want to, that’s ok. If you’re reading this it means that you made it to the end of my post, and what more could I ask for? Thank you for reading my blog. Still, please leave a comment, both because I am interested in what you have to say and also because I hope to discover more wonderful music this way. Thank you and goodnight -This Is Orson Welles.
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Is wishes were horses, I’d have a ranch: If you don’t come out west and see, you’ll never know at all: I guess one afternoon you won’t cross my mind, I’ll get over you, over time…

Lucinda Williams, like all artists I think, and like all humans alike, feels and lives the same things the rest of us do. What I envy about this woman is that she can actually get things down on paper and sing about them. I, on the other hand, cannot do that anymore. Maybe I’ve found other outlets and therefore turn to music less to express myself, but whatever it is, it really sucks for me.
Luckily, when I feel blue, I turn to what I’m not really doing much of anymore these days: music.
Before I write any more, please listen to her:
I’ve been a fan of hers since World Without Tears, one of the great albums of the 2000’s. Her music evokes a sense of wanting to escape ( “Yes I finally did baby, I got out of La Grange” ) and taking road trips ( “Drive up the coast line, maybe to Ventura”) people who are no longer in your life ( “Are you sleeping though the night, do you have someone to hold you tight, do you have someone to hang out with, do you have someone to hug and kiss you”) to dealing with death (” Some think a fancy funeral will be worth every cent, for every dime and nickel, is money better spent, better spent on groceries, covering the bills, instead of little luxuries, and unnecessary frills”)
That unfullfillable longing doesn’t just exist south of the border. North of the 49th parallel, things are no different. Don’t you sometimes wish you could just leave it all and drive off into the sunset in a convertible with the wind in your hair, to a place far away, maybe Montana, where no one will ever find you, where you can start new ? Well? See for yourself:
Lucky for me, I love in a great city and I don’t necessarily have to travel all the way to Montana to be surrounded by beauty. It was fun being caught in the rain in the middle of Maisonneuve parc this afternoon. Contrary  to everything I’ve been told, I sought refuge under the tallest tree I could find (NO i did not get struck by lightening! After all I am here writing this, am I not?)
here are some pictures of BEAUTY:
After coming back home and drying off from the rain,  it was time to EAT! So, I headed to a place that I know very well where the food is good and the service is great and the wait to get in is terribly long but totally worth it. The place is:
KAZU (1862 Sainte-Catherine Street West, Montreal, QC H3H 1M1)
After standing in line for over an hour, we finally got in. This is a great Japanese restaurant, a tiny place where people are cramped tight into small tables with no room to breath, but that’s OK because it adds to the charm and ambiance of the place, and it is definitely worth the slight discomfort once the food arrives:
48-hour porc served on rice:
Tuna and Salmon Salad:
Shrimp  Okonomiyaki:
and as if that wasn’t enough and just as we were beginning to feel stuffed, the Teriyaki Burgers arrived!:

People gazed at us through the window  with burning envy. I can appreciate that; I was in their place an hour earlier, dying of hunger and shivering in the cold waiting to get inside while staring at the people eating and waiting for a table to free up so we could get in and eat already DAMNIT! We were kind enough to leave quickly after out meal was done. We were there to eat a great meal and then leave so that others could enjoy the same.
The evening ended at my place watching SNL and of course, with more food, this time desert in the form of pie. Pie with coffee.  MMMMMM, floor pie
-This is Orson Welles.

Autumnsong; The leaves change colours while others show their true colours

You know what? All I have to say is that this week SUCKED ASS! UP TO HERE with all of it! GRRRRRR !!!! Double GRRRRR!!! GRRR ³ !!!
Well… I can almost put it all behind me now. Nothing that a drink, dinner with friends and a good night’s sleep couldn’t cure. Thank you, thank you. You are all wonderful, and sorry if I was quiet or detached, I was just working through the motions. I made it to the other side…
Today was better! Much better in fact! I awoke, after a night of abundant gluttony and soul-bearing, to a beautiful day!  I decided to venture and head out to a new place that I heard about that opened recently. Hopped onto the bus, took the Metro, walked through the streets of the Plateau, ran into a few friends on the way, kicked a few leaves around, took in the sights, breathed in some of the fresh autumn air, took some pictures, pictures of things, anything, took pictures of cats in trees..
I finally arrived! Luckily there was no lineup. Thank GOD, after all the walking around, picture taking and run-ins, I was HUNGRY. I got to walk right in! In where you ask? The place is called *drum roll please*

Restaurant Maison Publique

(4720 Marquette, Montreal, Quebec H2V 2K3)

Great choice. I really enjoyed it! The meal was GREAT: Curry Lamb-Neck and Bison-Tongue Sandwich:
I wish these guys a lot of success. Great location and atmosphere; from the decor, to the rustic-looking wooden tables that contain a tiny drawer where the cutlery and cloth napkin is kept, to the copper basin and antler paper towel holders in the wash room, everything was to my liking.  I love places like this, and will definitely be back 🙂
It was a nice walk back home. Picked up a couple pastries from Rhubarbe on the way; a pumpkin thing, I forget the name, and a Réligeuse, which I have been obsessed with since my recent trip to Paris ( I hope to write about my experience there soon);
Well that was a fun weekend of food and just living the good life on one of the last beautiful autumn days. So begins that period between the end of autumn and the first snowfall where it seems nothing really happens. So continues my hunt for more comfort food. -This is Orson Welles.

It’s all in the mind. What is the mind? No matter. What is matter? Nevermind.

Someone came to work this week and picked my brain. It was, of course, interesting since I find anything from paint drying to planets exploding interesting.. so I listened. Answered. Participated.
It was little shock to me to find out that I’m exactly the type of person that I am and don’t necessarily want to be. It’s also very shocking that I give a damn since I hate labels and, as I’ve said in the past, the time to make up your mind about people is never so to sum someone’s life and behavior up and label it is quite ridiculous. I was glad to find some supporters in the room. The rest can kiss my grits!
This makes me think of what Woody Allen said in Annie Hall about not “wanting to belong to a club who would have Me as a member.” Am I THAT unpleasant to be around? Or insecure.. or how was it put in the room.. not having any respect for myself?
The funny thing about life is that everyone treads along and deals with shit and nobody knows what, where, how-come and why about any of it, not unless they were there with you living it.. which they weren’t, right?
Certain things in our lives occur and we change because of them. Your first taste of shyster-ism, the realization that what’s in the past, on occasion, will be the best it was and the best it ever will be. A little like Chasing the Dragon the way the lovely and talented Marie-Josée Croze described it in Les Invasions Barbares. Sometimes we have to just shut our traps and enjoy the moment.. you never know, it could be the best moment of this type of moment and the moment you will always try to recapture.
Like most, I think after our first big shaft in life, we have a cynical Richard Blaine-style hard shell reaction to the situation. Like the protagonist in possibly the most famous motion picture of all time, Casablanca, we shut ourselves away from the world and become jaded or something;… but whatever we become it’s to hide the hurt we’re feeling.
Katherine Hepburn called James Stewart out on it in The Philadelphia Story after sneaking off to the nearest library to read his book to see what he was really made of. She had a preconceived notion about him. How wrong she was! Upon reading his literary works, she confronted him, in a loving manner, saying that she believed he “put the toughness on to save his skin”, continuing to say that she knew ” a little about that”.
And there you have it, folks. We are all scared little kittens, soft little kittens who are simply full of it, pretending to be people we are not. Maybe I’m wrong (but I know I’m not)…
*CHANGE OF TROPIC*
In the spirit of hippie love and all that lovey dovey crap, we should all listen to Arthur Lee and his Psychedelic Band: LOVE!
It’s a band that I’ve known for a good 10 years or so, but only recently did I begin to explore their other albums. The one I’ve known all this time is Forever Changes, their 1967 master opus.  It is a must-have. So go out and get it. you MUST HAVE IT! It turns out that they released other records just as fine, and I’m glad to be alive and kicking, because nothing on this earth is quite like the pepper and salt that flavors the human experience as does music.
Here is possibly the happiest song ever written:
Maybe part of the problem is that we constantly fight to be who we’re not, because of whom we have to be to survive. As Elsa said in The Lady From Shanghai: Human nature is eternal. Therefore, one who follows his nature keeps his original nature, in the end.
Scary, no? – This Is Orson Welles.

MONTREAL: Still a great place to live: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Since starting this blog, I’ve hardly spoken about food at all. With everything that’s been going on in this province lately, it’s hard to talk about anything else. Umm.. HEY, did you know that we live in a great city? Yes, it’s true! I promise! It’s not just a city overrun by red square-wearing militants: it’s also a city where people can go out and find great food!
Made my way to a nice little new place called Dinette Triple Crown. 
LOVED THIS PLACE. Service was great, food was amazing, it’s a nicely decorated place and the staff is super friendly. Looking forward to the next visit. I wish this place all the best and years and years of great business; they deserve it. Here are some pictures:

The place from its exterior:

Waiting for our meal (I’m so hungry if I don’t get my food soon I’m going to eat the condiments!) OHH! Lemonade’s here:

Before I know it, the food has arrived! What’s on the menu?:
  • Pulled Pork
  • Mouth-watering Brisket
  • Mac and Cheese (with shallots and croutons, in a creamy sauce, I can taste a little wine in there or some kind of alcohol. YUM)
  • Cole Slaw
  • Mashed Potatoes with white gravy (to DIE for)
  • “Hush Puppies” (little balls of cornbread heaven, fried with a hint of curry (if I’m not mistaken) they were just GREAT

     

and the mac and cheese! Look at these toppings:

For desert: Sweet Potato Pie

Another cool thing about this place is that if you want your meal to go, it’s served in a pik nik basket. You can go to the park across the street, and then bring the basket back when you’re done. I find this particularly cute.
Now I know there are a lot of hip, vintage-style eateries opening up in Montreal, and a lot of them do not live up to the hype, but this place, so far, checks off all the boxes. Looking forward to my next visit.

For those of you who were hoping for some controversy; sorry, not this time around. I promise I will blast somebody/something in my next blog entry. Hell, elections are coming up in a few weeks, boy oh boy do I have a lot to say about that. I leave you for now.. -This Is Orson Welles.

People never change: the pursuit of happiness: stepping stones, looking back, cry a little, turn your head, cough

It’s funny how nothing changes as you get older. No matter how well you do in life or how many acquaintances you make and how many great rapports you develop with others, there will always be certain people who just don’t jive with ya.
Katharine Hepburn said in The Philadelphia Story:  “The time to make up your mind about people is NEVER.” This is one of the truest most to-the-core things I’ve ever heard in life, maybe THE most to-the-core things I’ve ever heard. I’m no Buddha, I’m no Jesus of Nazareth either. So many people before me have said such great things, all of them help in times of need. I’m not talking about the bible, although I recognize and appreciate the bible like you wouldn’t believe. After all, Orson Welles himself said that all you’ll ever need in the world is to know the Bible and Shakespeare. That’s all the education you’ll ever need. Again, great words spoken by a great man. The problem is that there have been many great men and women who have said great things, too many to know them all and to apply them to my own life. SO, I guess I’ll just learn as these great ones did learn themselves; through trial and error.
The sad thing about life, is that “everybody has their reasons”.
Much like the ‘comedy of manners’ The Rules of the Game, we live in a world of rank, hierarchy, snobbery, tomfoolery… STOP: You know, we’re all going to leave this world one day. I’m saddened by the fact that most of us feel the need to play these games. To betray others. To feel superior to others. To belittle. Small penis-ed men who buy fast cars to impress women, silly-ninny picked-on-when-they-were-youthes CEOs crushing their competitors like ants and pissing on their employees. Lovers who compare you to their past lovers. Friends trading friends for something better. If you’re one of the above, your parents ouught to have their ears BUTTERED for having raised such WICKED children! For Shame!!!
Great worlds come not only from the Bible, from religious figures, war heroes, poets, great presidents and great militants. Great words also come from another source, for me. I’m talking about a show where people with tall blue hair and yellow skin run-a-muck and entertain and fill a void, what a VOID! You so fill that fill ever-so-completely; I speak of course, of the Simpsons!
Auntie Oven Fresh said:  Ribbons and trophies are no comfort on your death bed.
How very true. When you’re old and frail and way past your prime, and nobody remembers who you are or what you’ve done, in the end, you’ll probably end up alone.  Like Bette Davis said in All About Eve when she was stranded in her car on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere while conversing with her co-star Celeste Holm, ” The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you’ll need them when you get back to being a woman.”
In the end you’ll end up disheveled, used-up, just like the parent/legally declared invalid spouse/sibling devoted to caring for you a-la Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Do you want to be remembered at all? It is egotistical to want to leave behind a legacy? Children, Art, architecture, Political Life, something, anything? I don’t think so. So to all those who are sticking to their jobs just because they want to make some money or prove something to their friends or family, consider this: Think about the “last time” you… whatever. Chances are that “thing” happened months ago. 6 months ago. a year ago! Time flies! I know you think you’ll stay young forever, and you ARE young. But, not as young as you were or as young as you’ll ever be.  Once you start saying things like ” I went to bla bla bla 15 years ago” or ” Turn the radio up, I love this song, man I haven’t heard this song bla bla bla years ago”.. . Do something else with your life. Time is ticking out!  NOW. GO!!!!
-This Is Orson Welles.

If everyone in the world were truly happy, the world would shine like the sun

Orson Welles was a very interesting character with a very intriguing outlook on life. He once said that the hardest thing one will ever do is to find out what is their heart’s desire… something that sounds so easy, yet who among us has actually done it? He meant for us to REALLY look deep inside ourselves, to find out what that thing is, and then once found, to pursue it! I’m still trying to find out what that is. Maybe you are as well.
I sure as hell never pictured having to play these games the way I do on a daily basis.  You’d think that working hard would pay off, and that you wouldn’t end up back where you started one day. What’s the point of it all? Trapped in a cyclone of lies, fake smiles, back-scratching, stories that don’t go anywhere, people who should go missing, others who become more present, like a goiter or a canker soar, just go away already! How much ointment does one have to smear on!  It’s official: This world is being run by imbeciles.
Interesting fact; due to the lousy times we live in, coupled with the absolutely beastly governments that are in power at this time, job insecurity and a lack of opportunities have swelled the ranks of the self-employed. So you see? When the “man” shuts a door, a window opens! If you have nothing to offer the world ( a.k.a you do not know that which is your heart’s desire) you can use that window as a window into a new world or self-discovery!!… OR (ahem) you can use it as a window to jump out of to end your life. It’s your choice.
“It don’t snow here, it stays pretty green, I’m gonna make a lot of money then I’m gonna quit this crazy scene, I wish I had a river I could skate awaaaaaaay oooonnnn….”
You said it Joni. But this isn’t the 60’s, and as talented as one is or one hopes to be, one can’t just head West and “see, or they’ll never know at all”. Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe we ought to take more risks! Why is it that, although we’re living longer and we’re making more money and we are planning better for our futures do we feel that we all have to have it figured out by the time we’re 30? That might be the problem. We’re not our parents, we don’t have to find a job and raise a family and stick with it for 40 years just because we don’t have options. If we’re living longer then we should actually get the change to LIVE a little, don’t you agree? We would’nt want to be stuck in a dead-end job, day in, day out, just because we have to be, until.. until what, until we go mad? Mad, like Charlie Chaplin did in Modern Times?
There he was, working, another slave during the industrial revolution, chain work. How degrading.What a way to lose one’s soul…
Then, one day, it all becomes too much. ENTER: MADNESS:
In a fit of desperation, he throws himself into the machine. He is devoured by gears, yet, miraculously survives:
Of course, things end well for him. Yes, he goes to prison a few times, he meets a woman, he loses his money, but he does well.. and then, he’s back out on his ass. This time with a companion… and they walk out into the sunset together. Poor as hell, but, poor together. Poor, yet happy…
So I guess it doesn’t matter where you work, or how much money you make, but how happy you are and that you share that  happiness with someone. Although, being single is OK TOO! You don’t need to be with someone else to be happy! Oh boy… This is going into a whole other direction. Let’s just end this here… for now. Until next time, This Is Orson Welles.

Honeymoon’s over: Back to life, back to reality (now you’ll have that song stuck in your head all day) ***random bitching*** Happy would-have-been 97th Birthday Orson!

I’ve been away all week because I just didn’t know what to say. My wish : to write a song about everything that’s gone down. It was going to be an incredibly beautiful song that would just floor everyone, an instant classic! Yeap. Guess what? I couldn’t fucking write it. Maybe too much is going on inside my crazy head, can’t seem to slow down and concentrate and get it all down on paper. Maybe I need a little INSPI RA TION to get me going. HA!
Happy Birthday Orson Welles ! (no no, not me, the real Orson):
Although I gained great respect towards Orson when I first saw Citizen Kane, he was never able to make movies as freely as he did when he made Kane, or as good ( that can be argued) . What he made afterwards was really great, even though mostly butchered by movie exects, he spent most of his life husting for money to fund his movie projects ( “It’s about two percent movie-making and ninety-eight percent hustling. It’s no way to spend a life” )
The followup movie to Citizen Kane was The Magnificent Ambersons. Though not starring in it, Orson narrated it, and directed many of his Kane actors in this Booth Tarkington adaption. Here is the opening sequence:
It’s a great film. I don’t know why it hasn’t been restored and released on DVD or Blu Ray yet, fucking shame really. I have a worn-out VHS copy. This is the film Orson said was BETTER than Kane, if only it were not edited and changed while Orson was out of town,  and were a new ending not shot and the edited portions of film not destroyed, leaving the rest of the world never to know what this movie really was like when it was finished, it would have surpassed Kane’s greatness. A fractured masterpiece.
Another film Orson made: The Lady From Shanghai: Starring Rita Rayworth, soulty bombshell of the 40’s,  also Orson’s wife at the time. She dances a hell of a “clothed strip tease” in Gilda :
*Back to The Lady From Shanghai*:
You really should see this movie. GREAT  movie. The story is great, the acting is great, the music is great, also great, the ending: One of the greatest endings to a movie ever, ahead of its time, never done before, here is it, the funhouse mirrors ending where all the main characters meet and shoot at each other with GUNS!:
Wasn’t that such great FUN! They don’t make movies like they used to. Happy 97th birthday Orson, hope you’re enjoying the  Spanish sun while the rest of us are freezing our balls off here in Canada. Don’t forget to make a wish! (don’t tell anyone what is it or it won’t come true!)
-This is Orson Welles