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Bryan Cox will be performing as part of the Laugh Shop tour on Jan. 26 at the Ramada Hotel.
(Express File Photo)
Funny how bad luck can make good comedy

Bryan Cox has had a broken neck, two heart attacks and cancer.
Isn’t he hilarious?
Cox, a 60-something, is making a comeback as a stand-up comedian. He’s not getting older, he’s getting funnier.
Cox’s first big gig in Saskatoon in many more than 10 years will be Jan. 26 at the Ramada Hotel. He will likely poke fun at himself, his age and, yes, his health.
“You can have a little giggle about cancer,” Cox said during a laugh-filled 15-minute interview. “It’s like if you are an indigenous person, you can tell indigenous jokes. If you are a cancer survivor, you can tell cancer jokes, but nobody else can.”
Cox is a funny man, but he hasn’t been dealt a good hand when it comes to his health.
In addition to the other serious maladies, he was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
“It’s like Mother Nature has it out for me,” he said. “I’m handling it; don’t you worry.”

Woman fights cancer with sparkle in her soul

Having twice fallen in love with Europe’s beauty and culture on previous trips, Cynthia Sotnikow decided in 2014 to revisit Italy and make it an extended seven-month stay.
But in January, 2015, the Saskatoon woman’s life changed. She was facing health issues. Because Italy is damp in the winter and the buildings were cold, Sotnikow was told that the symptoms seemed to be bronchitis or pneumonia. She was troubled by a persistent cough, laboured breathing and difficulty sleeping.
“I was living there, walking outdoors often, I thought I was super fit and believed I could face anything. Becoming ill in a foreign country is a whole different experience. I have no regrets about the decision to stay longer to find a solution in Italy rather than coming home sooner. When I did return to Canada, I was equipped with many test results and they provided the solid base for the ultimate action.
“The bottom line is that when I called my doctor in Saskatoon from Italy, he immediately told me to be in his office by Monday morning,” said Sotnikow.

Escape the cold and check out some art

Saskatoon has spent much of January in the deep freeze, with the extreme cold making it difficult to enjoy many outdoor activities.
So why not head indoors and check out the city’s art scene?
Here’s a look at what’s on at some of the galleries this week.SCC GALLERY
The work of acclaimed ceramic artist Anita Rocamora will be on display at the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s Broadway Avenue gallery, starting Jan. 27. The exhibition, entitled Material Grace, will showcase the artist’s reflections on the nature of decay and renewal.
Rocamora, who is based in Meacham, Sask., draws inspiration from the skeletons of plants and animals, using clay, metal and other materials in her sculptures.

Not 30 below? Now that’s what I call Winterruption

Right now, as I write this, it is minus 7. Seven! Not 30, with a windchill of 42.
Is it my advancing age, or does winter get harder to take every year? Neither, probably, or maybe both. Mostly, I’m whining because it has been an awful winter. It started, as you may recall, at the very beginning of November. We’re more than two and a half months into winter, and it’s only mid-January. Although, by the time you read this, we’ll be a little further along.
Every early evening, I go for a walk — because it’s good for me, mostly. I wear a T-shirt, turtleneck and big honking sweater under my parka. Long johns under warm pants. Two scarves. Two pairs of socks under my boots. Gloves. I’m so sick of carrying an extra 20 pounds of clothes on my back, I could scream. I have, actually.
her way around, I was rear-ended at an intersection last week. I was not moving; the light was red. I was going south. The young woman behind me decided to get a jump on things. She apologized profusely and said she couldn’t see; the sun was in her eyes, and her windshield could have been cleaner. Yes. That low in the sky sun, along with exhaust and inability to wash vehicles, is my second-least favourite part of this time of year. Few things, I might add, get your attention like a car accident. Which is why you’re getting a snippety column.

First-past-the-post voting maybe not a bad idea

After the last federal election there were promises made for election reform.
It seemed that our existing voting system of “first past the post,” which means whoever receives the majority of the vote, even if it’s less than 50 per cent, wins the election.
The first-past-the-post system, it seems, only works in a two-person contest — unless you are running for president of the United States, where you can lose the popular vote and still be elected.
In provincial and federal elections there are always at least three parties fielding candidates — the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats. But more likely than not, other parties will nominate candidates, or independent candidates will join the race.
As the list of parties/candidates grows, it rarely happens that the winner will pass the 50-per-cent mark and that the party forming government actually has the support of 50 per cent of those who bothered to vote.


Heroes can help with addictions

Most of my heroes are my family and friends.
Some members of my family, along with many of my friends, have struggled through obstacles that would have brought down other people.
I was directed towards addictions at a very young age and I remained caught in a vicious cycle of extreme alcohol and drug abuse.
My introduction to the world of substance abuse started before I turned 10 years old. My world was filled with adults who did nothing all day and night except drink alcohol.
I recall wondering why so many people liked beer. One day, while everyone else was passed out, I took a six pack of beer and went into the bush to try it out for myself.
I drank not even three bottles when I started to get sick. In fact, I got so sick I swore I would never steal again, but said nothing about me not drinking again. That was almost 50 years ago and my addictions still run through my thoughts and sometimes my actions.


Our leaders must learn to work together

As Premier Brad Wall gets ready to show himself out the door, he’s been making the rounds, saying goodbye to leaders of other levels of government who have presided alongside Wall at one time or another.
“Thx @charlieclarkyxe & council for the opportunity to work together. And thx former Mayor @AtchisonDon & prev #yxe councils as well. Great to collaborate on projects like Circle Dr. South, Shaw Centre, Remai Gallery, @PattisonKids, new schools & North Commuter/Traffic Bridges.”
“I appreciated the chance to meet and talk about our City, our Province, our families and lessons learned from leadership and public life. Thank you for your service @PremierBradWall,” was the response of Mayor Charlie Clark, who is, or at least was not that long ago, a card-carrying member of the Saskatchewan NDP.
What struck me about the exchange was the genuine pleasantness of it, which filled a void that has existed for some time now. Relationships among all three levels of government — federal, provincial and municipal — have been strained at best and downright hostile at worst. Wouldn’t it be nice to get back to a place where the sentiments between the feds, province and municipalities are gratitude and co-operation instead of resentment and acrimony?