06.10.06: the newest and shiniest card in my wallet is my toronto library card. i'm so proud and happy and i can't believe it's been so long since i last had one. it is the magic ticket to a stable bank account and it will sever the final tie between me and my materialism - i need never buy another book. walking into the nearest library just now, not a block away, was a truly exciting and refreshing experience. it was like stealing. i can take any number of books off the shelves (you can take out more than you can carry - fact), place them on the mysterious blak slab, swipe my card and walk out. if you feel inclined you don't even need to speak.
i'm 25 and raving about libraries, how they're going to bring down the system that's binding us into slavery, how they'll smash capitalism with a single blow. it makes you wonder about me doesn't it?
too much .net, that's all. i'll be fine. let me just change the subject.
this guy on bloor, he's throwing his arms around and cursing the air infront of him. his hands are clenched into fists and you can see every vein bulging on his forhead. he's shouting angry words at no one in particular and everyone who he passes. after a minute of me following him a passing cyclist finally gives him some attention, shouting back and ridiculing his obscene and anti-social behaviour. taking the piss. and i'm instantly missing my bike, the freedom and safety it provides, the means of escape from the lunatics you feel compelled to shout down on the street.
all he did was madke the guy madder. perhaps he was on his phone, pehaps to someone who was remotely and unjustly destroying his life. perhaps he was a bad performance artist. perhaps he was just another nutter. we'll never know his story, which puts a sad twist to the end of the entertainment he provided me with.
05.10.06: i caved in. and after everything i said as well. all that bitching and whining and what do i go and do? i go and register myself a flickr account. i just wanted to prove that i was cool and down with the kids. that i was hip to the social networking scene. so it can sit pretty next to my blank myspace account and keep it company.
for dirty self promotion?
well, all of the above. and you want to know what's worse? i paid for a pro account. the free-user account was so shit i just couldn't stand it. anyway, now i actually have a flickr account i can bitch about it properly. i've paid for the priviledge. so, if you think i'm a dirty whore (does that even work?) and want to have it out with me, just let me know. i probably wont be able to change your mind, but at least i'll be able to knock you off my christmas list.
it's about as obscene as me finally getting around to doing an rss feed (or maybe an rdf, i don't know yet). details on that are to come later.
and there's been another shift as well. it's like autumn cleaning round here isn't it? well, i don't know why but at some point i stopped using trillian. perhaps it's gmail's fault, or perhaps it was during the month i was free from the shackles of the internet, but either way the outcomes the same - i finally lost my hotmail account. all of my old emails and contacts gone. the slate wiped clean. it's not like i wanted them anyway. and at least now the people who are still emailing me at that address will finally get the message that no one is home.
04.10.06: in the early morning the storm is relentless and unforgiving. the thunder is a continuous unpausing rumble, as ubiquitous as the groan of the traffic, but not a sound that will ever blend into the background hum.
i want to run outside. i want to watch the constant flickering of the sky, like a broken television, the lightning repeatedly striking, ravishing the skyline, lashing out at the gravity defying buildings. nature fighting back against a city that has abandoned and forgotten it. reclaiming that which has been forsaken.
i want to but i'm warm and naked and the rain against my skin is cold and oppressive. i want to but the visions of destruction are much better left in my head.
03.10.06: i left the house too late. at 7am it was raining so that there wouldn't be a tomorrow. it was raining like i worried the windows might break. the thought hounded me all morning, trapped me in my apartment, until 1pm when i noticed the sun in the sky and the heat in the air, begging for my embrace.
so now it's half two or three or whatever time it is, i don't really know. i'm doing my best impersonation of an asshole, sitting at a table outside cafe nervosa where they serve $9 speciality coffees, and i just turned away a guy asking for money. what could i say? that i couldn't spare him change? i hate myself, but not as much as he hates me. and rightly so. i need my iced latte (not a speciality coffee, i must add) like the prick driving past me needs his porsche. but we're all the same scum. and the only reason i didn't give him any money was i didn't want to take my wallet out. it's that pathetic. and what excuse do the other fuckers here have?
the building site opposite me, ugly fucking thing, it has a sign declaring "this is your lifestyle, this is your address". this whole area is sold on it defining who you are. another one, "show off your individuality" in big letters and repeated without irony. like they never saw fight club, let alone read the book. or probably they did whilst thinking "now there is a good marketing strategy - you are your condo".
on sunday we went tree hunting in mt.pleasant cemetery. again plagued by rain (a good excuse for nachos), but also a racoon and a chipmunk. 'plagued' is far from the correct word. since it's julie that's the tree hugger i was on camera duty:
the one photo i really wanted to come out, of the racoon staring at me, was the one that came out worse. i put it up anyway because he's cute despite his manginess.
then last night we had louise round for dinner, our first proper guest, which was lovely and the best excuse to cook a huge curry. she gets bonus points for brining round apple crumble and custard. top.
george galloway looking rather sharp, a video worth watching if you've hated him since big brother (which i learnt about third hand so wont comment on).
and this is just what we need, twice as many bodyshops. note how jean-paul argon says that despite l'oreal sharing the bodyshop's stand against animal testing, they're not actually stopping their own animal testing. not at all. he can't even say they've begun to cut down. and he doesn't strictly say they're going to either. also keep in mind this isn't even medicine, it's fucking cosmetics, one of most useless and unecessary things that's been inflicted upon our world. and they've already been caught out saying that none of their finished products are tested on animals. well who would honestly test a product on animals when it's finished. the bastards.
and while i'm bashing l'oreal (26.4% of whom is owned by nestle), in 1998 they were awarded the jubilee award - "the highest tribute ever awarded by the state of israel in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the israeli economy".
01.10.06: all throughout last night was the epic city wide culture-fest of nuit blanche, described by its organisers as a "free all-night contempory art thing". so from sunset to sunrise the city was rocking with indoor and outdoor art exhibitions, performances and spontaneous street happenings. i wasn't there for all twelve hours of it, only a measley five or six, but i imagine it was still at least mildly rocking as the sun rose at 7am.
at half seven we headed out into the rain (now definately miserable) and down to the ontario centre for art and design, where they were holding the first snow storm of the season (utilising a snow machine on the tops of buildings). unfortunately they had to stop the snow, in combination with the rain it was making the ground too slippery. who ever heard of rain and snow at the same time anyway? this wasn't too bad, as the OCAD was the hub of zone b and had plenty to see. underneath the hulking OCAD building people played giant chess, twister, marbles and dominos. others sat around on cushions and drank hot chocolate. down the road was ballroom dancing and inside were a series of exhibitions from a selection of OCAD's alumni. my favourites were kristan horton's 'copo' and nicholas and shelia pye's 'a life of errors' and 'the paper wall', both being shown simultaneously and side by side to sickening effect.
elsewhere, placed in the middle of university avenue is a long banqueting table, fancifully illuminated and laden with 12 triple tier cakes and stacks of plates. big cakes. this is tanya mars and gale allen 'in pursuit of happiness', doing nothing but eating cake in a theatrical manner for twelve hours. big cakes. in our guide the performance is described using such words as "opulent" and "debauchery". did i say the cakes were big?
just down on queens street a flashing disco floor has been set up, inviting people to dance, although it's mainly a single old guy scaring away all but one girl with his strange shifty moves. we leave when they play spice girls.
walking up to the campus we pass a few more exhibitions, huge projections on the sides of buildings, but nothing very startling. the campus itself has been decorated by glowing sticks and candles in paperbags, three girls walk around around the circular playing field, chained together and endlessly pouring coffee beans and rice from bucket to bucket. hart house is full of chaos, rather far too many people. one boiling hot room is full of christmas trees and a strange disco dome, whilst down in the basement at the end of a long snaking labyrinthine corridor is an old swimming pool, lit up by tea lights and a large video of a swamp projected on the far wall. the chamber is filled by ambient and eerie sounds, that rise in volume and pitch until we have to leave. a strange mix of relaxing and unsettling.
a nearby strip of park has been filled with a dense fog. bright spotlights push fingers of blinding light through the trees and everything beyond the metre infront of you is spooky and alien. with people entering the park at both ends, the path only being tiny and the fog being wet, the ground has been turned to mud and the crowd is gridlocked. for the people without boots at least. i imagine this will be amazing at 5am when there's far less people.
around the corner we find a guy playing a hydraulophone, pitched somewhere between an organ and a water cannon. it sounds like an organ, but is played by placing your fingers over the holes of small jets of water. if that makes sense. either way i want one. a few exhibits later we're outside the royal ontario museum, deciding not to go in because the queue is just insane, but stick around as pillow fight league kicks off. two ladies take it to feathery blows, while a sizeable crowd eggs them on, shouting "go for the legs" and booing when either one of them takes it in the face. and later when we're in yorkville it happens again, another spontaneous ring forms and the fighting begins once more. pow
unfortunately we missed the free roasted corn so had crepe (man, posh crepe - parisenne classique) instead. there were some giant floating pills which i found completely uninteresting and a giant neon sign across a church on bloor, "hold that thought". inside the immense reference library was a small exhibition of toronto's grass roots culture, old posters of resistance and counterculture. and then our final stop on javis, sharing the pavement with a local prostitute and staring up at the giant photographs being projected inside the national ballet school. two cars stopped and drove off, the occupants laughing amongst themselves, while we stood there.
my biggest mistake (although it isn't a regret) is that i let the rain convince me into not taking my camera out. so i have no photographs of any of the fascinating things we saw. i also wish we'd been swimming, maybe next time.
30.09.06: last night we went back around janice's place, for reasons i can't help but go into. the initial plan was for them (her and the germans) to come to ours before going out to find a bar. we'd also arranged for various other people to meet us here to come along for 'the ride'. so they took a taxi at around half nine from riverdale only to be taken to earl street. this is not a disaster, earl place used to be part of earl street before they were divided (it's a no-through road). but of course there is no 135 earl street and the stupid-ass taxi driver insisted that they were where they wanted to be. he showed them his map, phoned in to head office, and all that useless crap. so, standing five meters from our apartment, they got back into the taxi and let him take them home. after some minor reorganising it turned out the only way to save the night was to gather at theirs. except no one else made it, but that's okay because her neighbour was enjoying the yard and willing to share
so we were sitting around a bin fire, seven people in flickering orange. drinking some beers, playing some guitar, stroking the cat (who has a mutual disregard for the dog), listening to the noise of the racoons hiding in the surrounding darkness. and not a single word spoken about being bohemian.
and a second comment about the taxi drivers, the one who took us home went completely the wrong way and when we questions him (taking us north instead of west) he said he'd presumed we'd tell him if he was going the wrong way. i told him we'd just moved here, so no we wouldn't (it's been a month, btw). so the journey home took longer than necessary and he had the cheek to give me a dirty look when i didn't tip (i actually thought i was tipping 25c, which is nothing, but he'd let the meter roll over before i paid him). really we should have been demanding it cheaper. it's the same how we didn't tip when they charged us for the wrong (and more expensive) nachos. i'm sure they hated us for not tipping, but really that's their fault for over charging, in reality we tipped when we shouldn't have done. but anyway.
just now we were down at kensington market, amongst vegetable shops and pouring rain, me trying to decide whether it was romantic or miserable. it could have gone either way, because kensington is cool even when wet. the reggae beatboxes may be muffled by the rain, but they wont be silenced. and nor will the graffiti be washed away. at worst my new spices will get damp and our vegetables come pre-washed.
the rain does put a potentially large bummer on the rest of the night though, but more on that tomorrow.
29.09.06: lying in bed at 5am, having been lying there sleepless for the last seven hours, after having mentally reconstructed every level from every computer game you played when younger, you'll start to wonder exactly what it is in your head that you've broken. watching the LED digits ticking over every minute, watching the hours pass until the sun rises. then at 8am, eyes shut pretending and your mind blank but still concious, you'll be wondering if this is how your doomed to experience sleep for the rest of your life. until 10am, when you'll realise you've just woken up after almost an hour of sleep and decide it's probably not worth staying in bed a moment longer. that's your lot.
actually, i think that was me.
but not last night. last night we were treated to dinner around janice's house and i saw my first racoons. they were rummaging through the garbage outside a convenience store and were remarkably braver than squirrels. this is undoubtedly due to their size and vicousness, apparently their claws can rip through anything. you wouldn't think it to look at them, they're big furry and cute things. it's only their eyes, dark and receded, that give you any clue that they might be dangerous. on being circled they decided to escape and clawed their way up the electricity mast, stopping halfway to huddle around a street sign. racoons are too cool.
the other thing i learnt is that 'hydro' is actually electricty. not that this country is retarded or anything.
but i'm one to talk. i've spent most of the morning trying to patch my site up. it's amazing how quickly you can accumulate broken links without even realising it. google was reporting 27 they'd found within the last few weeks, and i couldn't be bothered counting how many xenu reported (you beautiful piece of software you).
anyway, this isn't going anywhere.
26.09.06: "as a fundamental cornerstone of democracy, every country shall have these handy cobblestones covering public areas around government buildings, news media institutions and business districts".
i do miss copenhagen though. as much as i'm enjoying embracing north america, i do miss the feel of europe. cobbled streets instead of concrete. bicycles instead of cars. a flat and low horizon broken only by the spires of churches. i miss not being able to understand the shit people talk on the street and i miss the independant coffee shops with bad coffee and good backgammon. the brightness of the cold days. the abudance of pedestrian-only streets and street performers instead of beggers.
but today is your classic autumn day. one of the best we'll have. i know this because it's beautiful, and i'm sitting outside a cofee shop in the sun, trying to summon as much of europe as possible, and it's working. i mean, a passing car honks loudly at a turning cyclist, who returns the gesture with his hand shaped like a gun, a barely audible 'pop' coming his lips as he cocks his hand up, before shouting "asshole" and transforming the barrel into his middle finger. i mean, despite this. and i sit under my parasol, thankful for it as a pile of bird shit slowly builds up to my left, spat by spat. and i eat my treacle tart at the same pace. i only bought it because of the strong smell of almond, enticing me and coercing me to buy something sweet. i sniffed around for a non-existent almond slice and settled on the tart instead. it's only when i visit the washroom do i realise what the smell is. that intoxicating sickly sweet smell is nothing but chemical cleaner. clearly nothing is sacred. spat.
the clouds over bay street haven't moved for half an hour now, maybe more.
later i'm sitting here in yorkville reading 'down and out in paris and london', getting romantic about the ideals of being poor in paris whilst trying to convince beggars i have no money. if i had any would i be sitting here, watching the sun shirk off to someplace warm below the jagged skyline and the stone beneath me making my butt numb? i guess i would. and when the guy just over from me slides from his bench and slams to the floor, landing painfull on his left leg and not getting up, i finish my paragraph before going over to him. then pause, looking down over him, his eyes shut like he's asleep and no one else in the world giving i shit, i think perhaps i should just let him be. but then he blinks and i ask him if he's okay and if he needs a hand. with a warm smile across his face he says he's never been better. it's the nicest smile i've seen all day, and it makes me almost believe him.
then just down sherbourne i take a detour to see why the street parallel to ours has police cars at either end blocking traffic. two officers walk slowly across the tarmac, placing yellow markers, scribbling with chalk, and laying our their crime scene investigation. the yellow markers form a trail from the college entrance across the street to a high fence ,where they come to an abrubt stop. most of them mark spatters of blood.
it was probably just one of those ninja squirrels.
25.09.06: photos are coming in from the two ungdomshuset demos over the weekend, and i'm left wondering what went wrong between saturday's demo and sunday's demo? the one of saturday looked amazing and i'm gutted we missed it. the photos are all full of a hundred of smiles. it's a complete contrast to the following day. btw, there's also some good (danish) video footage on lorry news, including an interview with an ungdomshuset spokesperson and the police (who claim that had to stop the protest because people started covering their faces). all these links are a bit redundant though if you know how to use indymedia and are interested enough to bother.
25.09.06: i've had a bit of a rough weekend, getting wet and rather miserable, but that's okay. it's all part of embracing autumn, right?
so it's been slow but not uneventful. on saturday was my first voyage inside a tattoo & piercing parlour, interestingly enough. and you should be able to gather from my ambiguous statement what i was actually doing there. then in the evening we went over to graduate house, a rather nice and contempory yet factoryesque student accomodation, to meet up with amanda. what followed was three episodes of eerie indiana (i can't believe i forgot about that show and how great it was) and then some random girl's birthday party. it was a strange experience, venturing into a group of very different people (er, music students). her flat was primarily inhabited by a grand piano. a fifth floor flat with a door which was way too small, how did they even get it in? after the pinata smashing it was time to leave. first we tried the ferret and ferkin, but our multiple forms or ID weren't to their satisfaction. up until now i've managed on my UK drivers license, and i still don't believe anywhere will take a photocopied passport, so it looks like i'm going to be limited to where i can a drink. there's zero chance of me taking my passport out, and since i'm a visitor i can't apply for an ontario ID card. but no worries, the pub around the corner took us in after i explained our previous trouble in a polite and understanding manner at the door. so score one for the karaoke night, which was surprisingly entertaining. one girl did eminem, except the dj had to keep changing the speed of song, and another guy sang green day's 'boulevard of broken dreams' unphased while the dj sang wonderwall over the top. are karaoke djs normally that unforgiving?
then yesterday was the 'word on the street' book and magazine festival in queens park. whose great idea was it to host such a festival in late september? books and rain clearly don't mix, but at least it wasn't raining all time. when it did we managed to hide in the now magazine tent and listen to the talk on the greening of toronto (featuring various columnists, book writers, and someone from greenpeace). it was interesting to get a feel for the environmental scene here, if that's what i actually got. around the park were plenty of good stalls, including ones by drawn and quarterly, don't touch me comics, shameless magazine and various others i can't remember.
but then the rain came. it came properly. we sheltered infront of a h&m for the worst of it but still got absolutely soaked. the last thing i needed. and this meant we had macarone cheese for dinner.
and i finshed my maze. behold the greatest maze i've ever created:
comments more than welcome, please.
24.09.06: there's ugliness on the streets of copenhagen, and it's hard to tell whether we left at a good or bad time. with the future of ungdomshuset being thrown into uncertainty there's been a lot of street action, small and large protests and plenty of "crazy and inventive happenings". missing out on this action definately has its pro's and con's, as i'm sure the 260+ people who were arrested today (in what might have been one of the biggest mass arrests the city has seen) will tell you. it was some seriously bad shit. ekstra bladet have a couple of articles that are in danish, but they do link to photos. on the danish indymedia site there's also an account of the demo in english (a good worthy read). and by the time you read this there'll probably be more information on the ungdomshuset site.
the media coverage doesn't seem to have been too bad, with some criticism being directed at the police (or at least eluded to) to balance out the usual "the police are innocent of all allegations and the dirty hooligans asked for it" (or some bullshit). i'm just hoping the rather nasty turn of events aren't used against ungdomshuset - hey man, they were only throwing fruit.
but anyway, there's probably little you can do in terms of support or solidarity (unless you want to find your local danish embassy and protest outside or occupy like they did in norway - the one here is just at the end of our road, convenient), i just thought it'd be more worth my time mentioning it than what's going down in budapest, which you can read about on the news dot bbc (actually you can't, so visit indymedia instead).
ungdomshuset blir! etc..
23.09.06: last night was a viscious but invograting blast from the past, in the form of the toronto digital hardcore fest. it was a brutal line up starting with unitus, who sound like a full album of player's 'angel of theft' (and the 'singer' reminds me of grilly - so don't forget to check out his bobby mcgees remix, it's fucking top). next up was schizoid, who actually runs d-trash and organised tonight's gig. his mentalist scratching and live guitar are the shit. third, and all the way from detroit, were phallus über alles - just fucking wicked and i had to buy their album, so you're justified in downloading it. they were very friendly too. and then finally hansel who were crazy and fantastically incoherent. extra excitement was to be had by playing the 'guess the atari teenage riot cover' game during each set.
the past also surfaced in our company, one of julie's coursemates who's originally from rugby. i travel 4000 miles around the world only to hang out with someone from rugby and talk about crazy daisy's (daises?) and coventry. i even drew a map of rugby featuring only the clock tower and the road that bends around it on the table to demonstrate where o'hagans was. how often can you get away with doing that?
after the bands we made our way down spadina and west along queens until we arrived on the velvet underground. the bouncer was nothing but an ass, the type of guy who wanted to become a teacher to have power over others but wasn't clever enough, so he became a doorman instead. apparently in canada regular ID doesn't actually counts as valid ID. we were busy declaring our polite indignation, when he cut julie off with "ah! ah! ah! ah!". if i was a bruiser i would have taken him out and left it at that. no one deserves to be talked down to like that, especially when they're being perfectly reasonable and civil. then he told us it only costs 10cents to get a photocopy of our passport, like we were being cheap in not doing, and that would be accepted. so let me get this right, they accept a fucking photocopy of a passport but not a student photo ID card along with a bank card and danish residence permit? well he let us in anyway, he didn't give a shit, he just wanted to flex his power and assert some authority. i'm guessing he failed the tests to join the police force as well.
apart from the cock at the door this place was happening. the tracklist from when we entered to when we left was as follows:
- mia - bucky done gun
- peaches - fuck the pain away
- missy elliot - work it
- nin - closer
- beastie boys - root down
- ramones - i wanna be sedated
- guns n roses - sweet child of mine
on the way home we bumped into another asshole. and this one i can't figure out at all. he told us he was homeless and wondered if we could help. i presumed he wanted money so i gave him my change, only to watch him sift through it in his palm and throw away the pennies and dimes. if i wasn't drunk and i was brave i would've asked for them back, or at least picked them up and kept them. he did this infront of me. then he asked me what he was supposed to do with it. "you're the one who asked for it", i said. i think in retrospect maybe he wanted to sleep on our sofa or something ridiculous. i imagine in his head something like that sounds reasonable. we asked him if he dumpster dived but he had no clue, and then said "hey, i know some alleys, let's go do it now". you need the image of his face, a strange and sedated enthusiam, like the guardian angel guy in natural born killers. weird, lost and very creepy.
the church on bay and bloor has an LED display board outside, one of the messages it flashes up says "don't give up, moses was a basketcase too". it's one of those things you have to stop and see twice to make sure you didn't make it up.
22.09.06: i've started my own art gallery. actually, it's more like an art wall in our apartment:
that awesome 11" x 17" page that your looking at (which i mounted myself, hurray) is the original bristol board page36 of jennie one, written by brian wood and drawn by becky cloonan. they fucking rock. (much thanks to my parents of course). if you want to add to my wall, then please enquire as to the nature of my address - your work will be seen by millions.
so since i've been here a while i thought i'd give you a quick list of things that are different about canada:
- the comics here are half the price of those in europe
- price tags rarely include tax, so when you get to the counter the chances are you wont have enough money. actually that hasn't happened to me, but this is the reason why you end up with so much fiddly fucking change. you don't know how much it's going to cost until you have to hand the money over with a queue of people waiting, it's just too much pressure to try and make the exact money so you give them notes and you get more fucking change
- the toilet bowls have rather more water in them
- what looks like Q magazine is acutally the oprah winfrey magazine
- switches are off when down, and wall plugs don't have them
- men have higher voices and woman have lower voices
- everything can come with peanut butter
- they drive on the.. oh, forget it
today i tried to join in with julie's stats class and it was fun.
21.09.06: when i returned to the store, all that remained of the crazy homeless woman was her cheese flavoured maize stacks, ground into the pavement between the trash can and the newspaper box where earlier she'd been wedged - her bag split open and spilling out around her, now not even food for the squirrels.
inside, while waiting in the queue, i was chatting to a woman. she claimed "canada's not what it used to be". and when i enquired she said, "well it never used to be a police state". i told her then she shouldn't go to england. she said, "we lost our freedom back in the 70s along with our democracy". and "these kids today have nothing to look forward to, what are they going to do when they need a pension?". and "the politicians only care for themselves, they take 90k a year and for what? photo ops". "it's population growth, that's the problem", she told me. i bought my 16 pots of chocolate and vanilla dessert and she bought her bag of hard candy.
so i've turned myself into a house husband. i've been freed from the slavery and chains of necessary employement, but created another cage around myself that i again need to break free from. i'm not sure how yet, but i'm working on it.
give someone too much freedom and they simply don't know what to do with it, evidently.
didn't some asshole once say that?
but what's most unfortunate is i didn't get this far using a model that you can copy. my plan isn't one you can necessarily follow. that's a shame and i apologise.
anyway, maybe i should walk around the city playing a guitar with a crimethinc sticker on like that woman i saw the other day in yorkville. or perhaps i should have just asked her name.
either way, watching primer again (yes, i saw it once already but didn't tell you) definately wont help, but it will keep me occupied. but now i've got a satisfactory grasp on the series of events i really do need to see it again. please see this movie so i can talk to you about it.
20.09.06: autumn's waking from its long hibernation. a yawn and a stretch and now it's pissing down upon us, although mostly at night, like it's supposed to. the leaves are like spilled cornflakes across the pavement. if only the rain coming down was milk, then no one would need go hungry.
and what i have been up to? last two days i've mostly been drawing mazes. i figured i used to love drawing them whilst a kid so i probably would still. and i do. labyrinths are awesome and i'm going to create the best one ever. that's my new project - mazes.
apart from that i've been reading and trying and failing to not buy more books. did i really deserve that subscription to mcsweeney's? it was only $50 for the year, but should i have really? i don't know, especially when it'll only encourage me to buy the previous issues (reminder to self, beguiling is the only place that has a copy of the elusive twelth issue).
anyway, i have mazes to draw.
19.09.06: you'll notice the pope did not apologise in the slightest. what he spat from his decrepit lips was "i am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries" (emphasis my own). the bbc news should know better than to endorse such obvious manipulatory language, as should all other publications and media that announced the pope apologised.
later in the day i'm walking to the book shop and there's a muslim arguing with no one in particular outside a grocery store. he's shouting that "islam is coming", that "allah will take over", and "my god will take over the world". as i walked past i asked him what the fuck happened to democracy, but fortunately he didn't hear me.
don't make me pick sides.
grilly's comment, "hehehe.. he thinks it's his god", was better than mine.
but quickly changing topic, people aren't joking when they say eating out here is much cheaper. it's literally half the price. like i said before, i do my budgeting by imagining the dollars as pounds. it's reasonable at the time and you spend half the cash. so to celebrate julie returning we went for sushi at a place just off yonge street. to simplify things we ordered a bento box each. this came with green salad, six veg sushi rolls, miso soup, three spring rolls, six pieces of tempura, brocolli and mushroom salad and rice. that's each. actually more than enough for the two of us and only $9 (about £5 including tax). this wasn't a 'cheap' place either, it's pretty standard.
saturday was a day spent with ourselves. we did very little of any interest to anyone else, walking round town, cooking curry, playing trivial pursuit, etc.
then on sunday was the 'walk for aids', the route of which conveniently went all around our apartment and through neighbourhoods i'd yet explorered. i wasn't originally going to do it, just pop down and take some photos, but i got carried along and was soon at the halfway mark with free chocolate (sorry, "chocolate", hershey's is not chocolate) and water. at first i found it strange being on a such a positive march, we're not shouting our discontent or being glared at by police, but i soon got comfy. what a jolly bunch of people. and the band who stopped at the corner of church and isabella to play a fantastic rendition of sesame street, complete with acapella bridge, was a moment for us all to treasure.
as well as this, a couple living above us held a moving out sale and we bagged ourselves some choice items. our flat now looks like a page from your glossy ikea catalogue (if you know what i mean then deduct one point, if you actually do have an ikea lose four). we took their futon, tv stand (used as a coffee table), fairy lights, large tubular ambient lamp, can of chick peas and various other things. we cleared them out of all their decent items 15 minutes after their sale had begun at 9am. i felt bad but they were grateful and super friendly, infact they're the nicest people we've met in our building and now they're going. it's a real shame. and just to annoy you, they were asking $25 for the futon that's in perfect condition. $25
i'm so fucking bourgeois it's disgusting, don't let me ever tell you otherwise.
15.09.06: check me the fuck out. i'm back in the (non)real world and ready to gorge myself upon it. or some crap like that. so, here i am in toronto and loving it. we have a lovely apartment downtown (right here) and all else is well.
if you're wondering what i've been to then it's all been record in excruciating detail, and can be read here, complete with photos and everything. now, i know it's long and i doubt anyone will actually bother. i mean, it's seriously long. so i've selected some of my favourite photos from the last month. they look like this:
i've also got a few photos of our new city, which in turn look like this:
anyway, i'm back. that's all you need to know.