Archive for August, 2009

Home of the frigid jerk

Posted on August 31st, 2009 9 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, a few Torontonians got all sorts of feminine undergarments bunched up in their crevices when they learned that Coors had mentioned Toronto in one of their ads in B.C. “Colder than most people from Toronto”, was the exact phrase.

I wouldn’t have even mentioned it because the whole thing barely warranted it. What, like thirty to forty people complained? TCL gets that many visitors in a month, easy!

However, on my standard route this afternoon I found another one of their ads:

no ... YOU got poked! YOU GOT POKED!!

I read it. Then again. Then one more time.

I still don’t get it.

I mean, I like to think I’m kinda hip when it comes to this social media stuff. I may never have become a Facebook addict because I found it to be a cheap high, I never did have much use for MySpace because I already have my space, and while YouTube has been an endless source of painful (in so many ways!) hilarity, I can only digest it in twenty minutes sittings. But I digest (YES!! FINALLY GOT TO USE IT!!). I do it to stay with it. Like I said, hip. *thumbs up*

So this Coors ad … what the heck is it supposed to mean? Is it a reference to an online chat room where someone pokes you to get your attention? With a beer? I’m just not stoned enough to appreciate that, I guess.

My next thought was troubling; did someone just imply inserting a cold beer into my anus?! And what about the option for ladies?! — Hopefully that was not the message.

Could it be that someone has just physically poked you, with a beer? Does that make the beer more appealing in some way? Maybe has it touched a variety of sweaty spots during the poke and is now ringed with savoury body salts? Not with my beer, thank you kindly.

It just seems like the Coors people are having some trouble getting their message across. Look here:

no, just too early for christmas. sorry.

So what’s so bad about this? On the surface, nothing. You have a beer that’s so cold that it’s been frozen to the bus shelter. The whole thing has, in fact, become a giant ice box. The image of a super-cooled beverage was probably intended to convey how you’d just turn to a chunk of solid ice the moment that baby hit your lips – it’s that cold.

The first problem is that it’s a lie. A visual lie, I mean. You walk into that shelter on a sweltering day and it’s not a bit cooler than it is outside. In situations like that, the “ice” becomes “condensation” from the heat, trapping the sheltered travellers in a sweltering sauna! Or at least it seems that way.

The second problem is that it’s it’s such an extreme image, all I can think of is the pain of anything ice cold hitting the back of my throat on a hot day. Some people get brain freeze, I get this; either way, I don’t want anything that cold to drink. A voice box that can be shattered with the tap of a hammer is not refreshing to me, I don’t care how many calories it has.

Finally, you got the snow on top. That’s Toronto for a good chunk of the year; summer is when most people try to forget about it.

The message was supposed to be Coors: cold and refreshing, but to me it came across as Coors: deceptive, painful, and upsetting.

I don’t even have anything against Coors. Not a beer I care for but I’d give it a hand if it fell in the street. You know, live and let live sorta thing. Besides, other beer companies have subscribed to strange advertising ideas too. Take this Stella Artois ad, for example:

barely refreshing

The weird square in the middle is an UpCode tag. What you’re supposed to do is to download the UpCode application to your mobile phone. When you run it, it uses your webcam (at a very low resolution) to scan the code in, like the UPC scanner at supermarkets, and it opens up the web page it reads in. An automatic, no-type web address, if you will.

If you’re bored, you can read the UpCode from the photo above (the large size works better) on your own phone; just tilt it a bit to flatten the square in your display.

Anyhow, the whole thing seems like a long diversion, doesn’t it? And what does it link to?

error in forward slash indeed!

Hopefully they’ve fixed it by the time you’re reading this, but you’d think they’d get their act together considering the poster is, like, out there.

They could’ve used that spot in the ad for a nice-looking model doing enticing things with a beer bottle. Instead, it sports an ill-conceived brick.

I believe in the modern interweb lingo, this is called advertising FAIL. (sorry, not sure if I’m supposed to italicize that)

At least Coors got the part about Torontonians being frigid jerks right.

yeah, hugs of hatred!

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

He yells at her to stop, she revs her engine!!

Posted on August 28th, 2009 9 Comments

The Copper people are doing their thing in the neighbourhood again:

copper's gonna git you!

Exciting scene with some woman getting pulled over by the cop. As he gets out of the squad car, she continues to roll. He yells at her to stop, she revs her engine!! … well, I won’t spoil it for you. But as I write this, the wind is picking up, possibly in anticipation of the interesting weather planned for tonight. Those prop trash bags on the lawn are keeping more than one crew member entertained; they’re filled with styrofoam or something similarly light, and they’re not tethered to anything. Flying, Valkyrian garbage! It’s happening all over again!

:D Not really.

The only things flying around the city these days are rain, knives and performers.

Dear reader, more artisans from Buskerfest (loud link!) for your entertainment. And, ah, if you wanna show your appreciation with a small donation, that would be great. Preferably bills:

like a giant tom hanks

Remember the Australian-region guy? He does actually do something. But not before my foot had fallen asleep waiting for him to stop flapping his gums and do it already:

alright ... he *did* have fire

And then this guy did a variation on it. He actually took the pains to point out that, unlike that guy over there, he wasn’t being supported by anyone:

yeah, i said that guy over there

And finally, the item that I so egregiously omitted yesterday, the human beatbox video. To retain the live spirit of the performance, and because I’m lazy, I didn’t edit the video at all.

<a href="http://adobe.com/go/getflashplayer"><img src="http://www.adobe.com/images/shared/download_buttons/get_flash_player.gif" alt="Get Adobe Flash player" /></a>

Doesn’t that just take the cake?

Well, I’m all buskered out. But those folks are doing it all weekend. And why not? After this it’s back to Dundas Square or subway stations, so they might as well rake in as much as they can.

God’s speed, little buskers.

And to you, dear reader, a fair and pleasant weekend.

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Out there on the streets

Posted on August 27th, 2009 1 Comment

It’s been quite a busy day at the TCL city desk today.

To begin with, a bunch of personalities from my wake-up radio station were axed, en masse, this afternoon. I’ve only ever heard promos for the Motts’ show and I accidentally tuned into a Michael Coren repeat one night. Didn’t care for it. And Jacqui Delaney I found to be as awkwardly appended to my daily dose of waking petulance, the Bill Carroll Show, as the spelling of her name, and this clause. Plus, she was kind of abrasive.

But I wish them all well. It’s not always easy out there on the streets.

Take the Carties, for example. Almost everyone agreed that the concept was great; let’s have some alternatives out there on the streets instead of just the ubiquitous hot dog stand. The city clenched their butt cheeks extra hard on the requirements and only eight finalists (out of twelve entries), were accepted into the program. They had to pay a ridiculous sum for the carts which were sold, and branded, by the city. The vendors also had to wear city-issue uniforms. Oh, and the city told them where they would go and conduct their business. Some locations were great. Some, not so much.

There were also suggestions that the city might want to, you know, have a chat with existing street vendors to see how they do things. Kinda pick the brains of some of the people who have done this day in, day out, for decades.

the louder the bark, the hotter the dog!

Yeah … no, they didn’t do that.

I once bought a samosa from one of the a la Cart guys. His little shack was impeccably clean, almost too much so. He probably had the city’s sanitation inspectors living in his colon. The food was okay, nothing too exciting; proper City-Hall, middle-of-the-road flavour. And what’s this about handling every little thing with a pair of gloves on? With street meat, you get a dollar-store serviette (as dainty as the word implies), holding up a propane-soaked bun which is cradling a hastily warmed specimen of “dog” of some sort. “Hot” it most certainly is not. No latex glove, that’s for sure.

It’s almost inevitable then that the Carties would start dropping off, isn’t it?

Sad.

But Buskerfest helped me forget all about it! The name says it all; a street carnival filled with buskers. Open guitar cases, hats, plastic cups, and other collection receptacles abounded.

One of the performers flew in from overseas. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say somewhere in the region of Australia:

he almost lost his balance there for a moment. that is all.

Strangely, this is as exciting as it got. At least for me. In the ten minutes or so that I stood there, the routine seemed to go nowhere. Those knives never saw any action. I still don’t know why those people were lying there. I waited, I applauded; tried to cheer him on. Nada.

Oh well.

Elsewhere, some of the buskers had so much polish, they were like some kinda disco machines:

where do you think the disco ball is, baby?

It may not be to everyone’s liking, but everyone’s gotta make a living somehow. Even the very tall and gangly:

nah, the kids weren't scared of him at all

The evening ended with a rousing human beatbox, but that video is still being transjiggamafied. I hope this will suffice until then:

brrrrrrrrr

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The death I’ll save for retirement

Posted on August 26th, 2009 4 Comments

Oh, Gene.

Let me start by saying that KISS ended up doing the right thing and scheduling that concert in Oshawa. Good call, gentlemen. But I guess Gene Simmons didn’t like the negative spotlight of this little aside and he went and started blaming the media for spoiling the surprise the band had had in store the entire time.

*ahem*

What was the surprise again? I mean, the cat was out of the bag and running around the room hissing and  breaking things when KISS announced that Oshawa had won the well-publicized contest. Toronto was a contender in that contest, as were Los Angeles and New York. Was the “special” surprise that the winner wouldn’t be getting a visit from the group? Would they be revealing some awesome piece of the show simply by announcing that they would be having a show? That would make the tour an awful spoiler. Contest too.

I don’t get it.

Another thing I don’t get is this story of the twenty-two year old student who faked his own kidnapping last weekend. Well, no, I get the story; I don’t get the plan behind it.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, basically the guy called his family some time in the middle of the afternoon last Saturday. He said two guys with guns were trying to run him off the road. Then silence. Parents called the cops; “he’s been kidnapped!” Almost immediately, strange facts start to pop up in the news. He’d just been fired from his part-time job at IBM and was also arrested for stealing stuff. And he had two grand in his pocket at the time of the kidnapping, allegedly on his way to fly out of the country; a big no-no on account of the theft thing.

Then, yesterday, they found the guy in St. Catharines. No kidnappers. No kidnapping. Just a snitch.

Disappearing, okay, that I can appreciate. The kidnapping though. I mean, that’s a guaranteed manhunt; even more people looking for you. And it’s a race against time because now there’s reason to believe your life may be in danger. Sweet sweet irony.

aha! they're not stone workers at all!

Look, if you’re evading the law, the best and only way is to fake your own death. Something fiery and bally you can watch from the distance while sipping a rare liqueur. I’ve been considering the various avenues now that the government has decided it’s time for me to start paying my back taxes :( Death is an option.

But that’s not my m.o. I’ll just have to become a master criminal so cunning that the shadowy income I pull in will quickly eliminate any debt I have. The death I’ll save for retirement.

What’s the alternative? Blogging? HahahHAHAHahAHAHAhahe hehe HAHAHAhaha! Oh man that’s funny. *wipe tears*

Huzzah for blogging!

http://yfrog.com/5ikensington1024j

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The Shwa gets shafted and The Star gets snippy

Posted on August 25th, 2009 2 Comments

Last Friday morning, a familiar voice from Chew Chew’s, my weekly greasy spoon, broke the morning slog; I had won!

Yes!

Every week I left my name and number on the back of that blasted breakfast receipt along with a healthy tip (*wink wink*) and now, finally, it had been drawn. “Yes, R.! I’ll be by to pick up the certificate on Saturday! Wonderful! Thanks so much!” (R.’s the tall, thin guy with a stache, glasses, and porn-star do. He conducts himself like the place is his – which it may be. In a good way, I mean.)

Unfortunately, Saturday was the day of the big power outage in the neighbourhood. You may have read the blow-by-blow in the new Twitter feed thingy I added at the right (what do you think of the name “Tweetness”?) I didn’t think anything nearby would have power so I decided to postpone until the following day.

On Sunday I strolled into Chew Chew’s like a man about to win something. I was thinking a free breakfast, maybe two? It’s a mom and pop joint so I figured it wouldn’t be anything big. But still, nice to win :)

R. handed it to me the moment I walked in. A couple of conditions were stapled to the front:

yay!

Okay, that’s fair. The weekends are probably the busiest times, and while they provide free food, they wouldn’t want to get stiffed on the taxes. And a tip is nice.

The part beneath the note simply has Chew Chew’s address and a notice that this ticket expired on August 31, 2008. Again, mom and pop joint; I’m sure it’ll be kosher when it comes to redemption time.

No mention of the actual prize though. I flipped it over:

nay

Wow. I’d just won a coupon. With newly revealed, pre-existing staple holes. A re-used coupon.

My typical bill is around twelve dollars so I’d be saving a buck twenty. I tip considerably more than this. And I can’t imagine the next time I’ll be there on a weekday. *sigh*

I don’t think I’ve ever kept my feelings about the Shwa (an east Toronto burb), a secret. But having gone through this emotional roller-coaster, I totally empathize with them when they got the news today. KISS (yes, the rock band), was supposed to play there after the Shwabians won an online contest involving lots of votes. It was supposed to be one of those we’ll come to your little town if you can all pull together kinds of contests. Clearly Oshawa has a lot of KISS fans.

So can you imagine how elated they must’ve felt when they won?

Ah, good for them. Most of Oshawa revolved around the auto industry, and that went tits up here just like it did everywhere else. They really could’ve used a break like that. So when KISS crapped on their parade, I was genuinely saddened to hear about it. I mean, I might not like to be in the place, but that doesn’t mean I wish it harm.

KISS decided on good old Toronto because, as their spokesman put it, “the size of the production turned out to require a larger venue”. Bummer. They said they’d do something, but didn’t quite say what. Those lines are so far apart, you can read a whole stage play between them: “Ummm … shit … we can’t do the concert there … a … an autograph session? … that’s pretty weak … ummm … something … for me to come up with later”

Hope it’s something good!

While on the subject of reading, I came across a couple of articles, well, a few articles, that caught my attention in the past few days. The first was by the Toronto Star’s David Olive who kinda beats up on bloggers when he says that when the going gets tough, bloggers run to the mainstream media for a paycheque. Well, I don’t know about you, but this blog is something I just like to do. I have a steady day job and TCL is my excuse to get outside, get some fresh(er) air, and some much-needed exercise. It also forces me to keep my eyes open every day and just try to observe. Instead of sitting at my stuffy Toronto Star desk pontificating about all bloggers’ nefarious motives. Besides, my means to world domination are other. After that, who needs money?

Is it possible that some bloggers would be pleased as punch to merge into the mainstream media? I bet you could find a few. Is it possible that sometimes blogs feed the mainstream media? It’s been known to happen.

Nota bene (heh, the only Latin I know – I use it when I try to sound lawyery): I made mention of “The Bridge” (a police flick), way back in May. I suppose that I could have asked a few more questions, but whaddya gonna do? I don’t recall going to reporter academy, I’m just a guy living his life. And I happened to be there first :P

Oh, and you may recall the short interactions I’ve had with Steve Mann, watery musician and cyborg (the links explain all). Well on Sunday, out of the blue, The Star got the exact same idea! Yeah, totally ripped me off.

Anyhow, I didn’t want to argue against the mainstream media. Clearly I’m a news-breaker and some of them are just biters, that’s all. And sometimes I’m just lucky. Sometimes there are as many reasons to blog as there are bloggers. For me, it’s a way to escape the Dilbert strip I otherwise live in. If someone paid me a few bucks to write what I was gonna write about anyway, minus a couple of expletives, I wouldn’t be against it. As long as I wasn’t against it, dig? I fail to see the evil. But hardly suckling at the tit.

Ooh! Laundry’s done! Very good news. Star, I give you permission to break it. You know I love you, you big lug. *playful punch on chin* Mail the cheque(s), I trust ya ;)

Filed under: Pictures, Why I'm Right

One in five sexually assaulted by Mondays!

Posted on August 24th, 2009 Be the first to comment

So, let’s have a look at what we have here, shall we?

Have Mondays ever assaulted you or touched you in inappropriate ways?

  • Every week. I think Mondays should be illegal. (31%)
  • Does "inappropriate" mean my wee-wee? Because if so, then yes. (24%)
  • The entire week should be lined up against the wall and shot. Viva la revolucion! (21%)
  • Umm, you do know that by allowing multiple answers the results will be meaningless, right? (17%)
  • Not really. I enjoy Mondays because I work for myself. (14%)
  • Mondays are days. They can't hurt you! That's silly! You're silly! (14%)
  • Not really. I enjoy Mondays because I'm clinically and dangerously psychotic. (10%)
  • Mondays are neither here nor there. Now Wednesdays...those ya gotta watch out for. (10%)
  • What does that even mean?! None of this even makes sense!! (3%)

Most readers say: Every week. I think Mondays should be illegal.

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Loading ... Loading ...

First of all, ignore the percentages shown above. The -41% thing would suggest that, perhaps, they’re not entirely accurate.

So, out of 42 votes cast the highest percentage (21%), believed that Mondays should be illegal. A further 14% cast a disparaging glance at the rest of the week too — something about shooting the weekdays while we’re at it? Crazy gun-nutty Americans :) Most shocking, however, are the serious allegations of impropriety on the part of Mondays, with a whopping 17% of you (that’s nearly 1 in 5), reporting that Mondays have made unwanted sexual advances toward you. Only one vote was cast for the whole poll not making any sense, and I cast that one, so we can safely assume everyone understood the question. Except me.

But who cares? Isn’t that shocking?! I sure do hope the local media pick up this story.

My own experience with Monday is one of pain. I woke up today in some discomfort, having finally attended Dream in the Park.

yer just common, free-loadin' rabble without this ticket!

The discomfort portion of the story, I’m ashamed to report, is one-hundred percent me.

They do recommend bringing a blanket, jacket, and bug repellant. I did not. To complicate matters further, I had biked to High Park, pushing it up that final bitch of a road like a real man:

manly bike

Then walking the remaining half of the hill like a real tired man.

By the time I got to the top I had worked up a good, healthy sweat. As I may have mentioned before, the seating for Dream is literally on the ground. The stage is simply a wooden platform and the audience sits in an amphitheatre cut out of the hillside in front of it. Luckily, I did have something between me and the moist earth, but I hadn’t planned on the chill wind that swept down into the valley that night. If the play hadn’t been so engrossing, I would’ve picked up and left. But those assholes were so damn good that I ended up with a sore back!

Okay, so it’s Shakespeare. Yeah, it put me to sleep in high school too. English; borringest subject ever. The Tempest; *sticking finger down throat*. But people actually brought their kids to this!

I don’t want to sound like someone’s paying me to say this because, alas, I remain sponsorless, but this is really a show to see. With the Pay-What-You-Can pricing, it’s always affordable. You’re encouraged to bring snacks and anything you want to make yourself comfortable. And I can assure you that whatever your equivalent of the suggested $20  donation is, the feature-length show will be well worth it.

The beauty of this production is that it’s been taken back to its roots. No, not rag-adorned, unwashed, Elizabethan showmen; I’m talking about the people for whom Shakespeare wrote his works for. Unfortunately, the language isn’t quite as up-to-date as it once may have been, but the actors make up for this through their modern intonation, great acting, and physical improvisation. They really bring out the comedic, entertaining nature of the play. And even though they’re all speaking at a fair clip, the whole story is completely intelligible. It’s almost like you’re a filth-covered Shakespearean commoner out for a night on the mud.

I had never actually read The Tempest. I knew the gist of it; banished wizard-Duke Prospero, big storm, deserted island, yadda yadda; but never the nitty gritty. I’m fairly certain that the glaring Gilligan’s Island overtones present throughout the Dream version are not part of the original story, but it did help to set the context.

Prospero was replaced with Prospera (Karen Robinson), and Ariel (Audrey Dwyer) did a couple of Lion-King-inspired musical sequences, presumably to give the show a softer touch. Nothing over the top, mind you; old Willy’s work is still kept pretty much intact. Just enough to break up the slow parts. Worked for me.

The music and sound effects worked with the trees, bees, and birds around them rather than trying to fight it out. The crickets started to sound like cicadas after a while. You kind of got the feeling you were actually on Prospera’s island:

yep, magic mushrooms grow around here too

Yeah, I really liked it. A modernized classic that was genuinely entertaining. Can’t say any of that about any movie I’ve paid to see lately.

Okay, time for me to get back to the heating pad. Mondays …

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The carnies are here! The carnies are here!

Posted on August 21st, 2009 6 Comments

The early bird gets the buck seventy-five deal :D

For cheapskates, spendthrifts, and watchapennies, today was the day to visit The Ex. Today was my day!

I think you may recall last Thursday when they were still setting up? Well, today was opening day:

get the elbows ready

There was just so much to do and see that a narrative of any kind would be foolhardy. I just kind of ricocheted back and forth along the CNE grounds until I was eventually spit out through the Prince’s Gates. Everything was there; the food, the rides … everything except the horses! *earnest disappointment* I had my lemonade all ready, and the horse pavilion certainly smelled like horses. But no horses. Equine-free. :(

Anyway, here’s some other fun stuff. I guess:

the first date ridethe one where the sick flies everywhereding ding and ding!just like animals; squirt em when they're misbehavingdid u c baby? not in stroller

I guess that’s why it’s cheapy day today. When you pay the regular fifteen dollar cover, you get horses. For sixty more you get Bill Clinton. I guess that’s fair; horses gotta eat too. Bill though, he’s milking it. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’d be doing exactly the same if I were in his shoes. Just saying s’all.

Well, tomorrow will no doubt be similar to today. It will involve a children’s birthday party. The kids I like. We communicate on a common level. It’s the stamina that kills me. They’re as fresh on their fiftieth “helicopter ride” as they are on their first. I put that into quotes because I want you to hold whatever vision of that that pops up in your imagination. Okay, now make it just a bit too dangerous; throw the kid up just a bit too high; spin them upside down for just a bit too long; include a ceiling fan, and why not the kitchen sink?

Kids love it.

Mostly I hate having to explain to the parents. Again.

I mean well. And the kids are always ecstatic just before the tears. Bah. They’re old enough to start going to amusement parks anyway.

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Splash

Posted on August 20th, 2009 2 Comments

Hoowee!

That was a humdinger of a storm. It started at about seven o’clock; the moment I was stepping off the streetcar, in fact. For about an hour, the skies were black and rain ripped through the city.

Environment Canada’s weather forecast for this evening was “chance of thunderstorms”, so at least I brought an umbrella. But that just let me avoid most of the rain. When the downpour blew horizontally over Bay Street, the umbrella was actually seeping through and the wind was strong enough to pick up those drops on the other side and toss them at me randomly. Why fight it? The run to the other side of the street was, what, maybe four meters (about thirteen feet). Close the umbrella and dash!

I zoomed under the overhand of First Canadian Placedripping. I estimate that I was out there maybe, umm, three seconds. Tops. Another second and I might as well have strolled home because I wouldn’t have gotten any wetter.

The air conditioning at FCP was really unpleasant, but it was  the only option that didn’t involve the butt end of a tornado, and that would get me back to my place – AND THE WIDE OPEN WINDOWS! – was the PATH. Of all the times I’d walked it, I don’t ever remember seeing water coming through the ceiling:

that bucket ain't cuttin' it

This is underground, beneath a Bay Street bank building. I bet the cost of the whole thing won’t be pretty. Whatever it is that hit the city, it got bashed pretty hard. Whoever was outside got wet in one way or another; umbrellas, galoshes, rain hats; we were all at the mercy of the elements:

not as dry as he looks

I don’t have underwater gear for the camera so this is, unfortunately, the best I could do. By seven thirty, the water was coming down more vertically so I opened up the still-leaking umbrella and marched it on home. Took a shower, and here I am.

Wasn’t that exciting?

I’m going to cut this post a little short today because the whole ordeal tuckered me out.

Plus I’m working my programmer mojo on a side project. For the glory of TCL and her gracious readership, of course! ;)

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Portuguese Portents

Posted on August 19th, 2009 4 Comments

Do you believe in signs? I mean, warnings of the future? Hints? Stuff like that?

I must admit, I do sometimes peek into the horoscope section of whatever I’m reading just to see what they have to say about my chances for the next day. I never actually follow up to see if there was any shred of accuracy to it afterward, mind you. I just like to be reassured.

I also like to look at the things around me as portents of things to come. Today, for example, I took another route home to try to get some inspiration for this post.  And inspired portents I did indeed find:

just a bit creepy

O — kay. The experience was even creepier because in the back there was a tent with a hunk of cardboard stuck in the front, presumably for privacy. And the whole tent shook rhythmically.  Yeah, don’t come a knockin’ rhythmically.

I guess it’s possible something else was going on in the tent. Some kinda art thing. Hehe … yeah, “art“. :D

Papier-mâché items like this (sometimes just limbs), littered the space which also seemed to double as an entrance to some flats in the back. I think. The tent was as wide as the alley so that ended that detour.

Anyway, the sculpture seemed a bit disturbing to me. Kinda like death with an empty name card. As in, anyone’s up for grabs. And then a man’s ass emerged from the tent. Eee!

I hauled.

A few blocks later I looked up and … ?!

corner of foreboding and dread, more like

Could be some sort of Portuguese decoration? Or maybe … ummm … I need help. Wait a minute! I’m in possession of a semi-functional brain!

Me: “Hey pal, could I trouble you a moment?”

Brain: “The heat … I was gonna go take a nap. Is it important?”

Me: “Totally! Look at that. That’s the second thing that’s reminded me of death today. That one especially because it’s obvious. Is this a warning about death? Our death?”

Brain: “Haha! No. That’s probably someone’s ‘art. I mean, look at it! Maybe some viral ad for something, but do you think they nailed this here just for us?”

Me: “Hmmm. Yeah, you have a point.”

Brain: “I mean, the odds of you even seeing this are astronomical. Don’t read too much into it.”

Me: “Thanks, buddy!”

Brain: “No probs.”

And then, across the street from the AGO:

no ... frickin' ... way

Brain: “Wow. Now this surprised even me.”

Me: “Me too!”

I suppose I could look at it through the Tarot Death card interpretation. It could mean the passing away of a personal epoch, or sometimes parts of oneself. Often this is accompanied with a more positive reading, like this process will give birth to new parts of you that you didn’t know existed. Exciting! Cancerous!

That throws some healthy ambiguity on the fire. So I guess there’s still plenty of room for a reasonable explanation. I just hope that one day I find the people who put these things on the poles; they’ll be the ones with the explanation. That tent guy, well, I’m not going near him again, so we’ll chalk that up to “art” and look no further.

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

From the desk of Patrick

Posted on August 18th, 2009 7 Comments

from my desk to yoursDear guy who fell at the AMC theatre,

Hahaha! *wipe tear* Oh man, you made my morning today. Thank you.

So I take it you fell off the side of one of the escalators in the enclosed photograph, correct?

best ... idea ... ever

Look, I don’t think actions such as these should be punishable by death, so I hope you get better. But seriously? Trying to ride the handrail? Here?

I’ve done my fair share regrettable things while inebriated. That was it, right? You were drunk? I get it. I’m always a little more invincible than I really am; I don’t think as well as I should; that’s what alcohol does. But I’ve never once thought that a two or three storey, head-first plunge onto a slab of concrete would be the thing to do. And I don’t know how you could’ve overlooked the height. You probably don’t remember, so have a look at the photograph again. Besides the great visibility, you probably got a good sense of the layout on your way up, no?

Well, listen. If you’re reading this, that’s good news! Stick with the physio and you should regain almost full control over the drooly side of your face. I know your situation sucks, but to be honest, I’m glad it wasn’t me. Then again, at 27, that wasn’t me. When you can dictate or write again, please send me a reply to describe your thought process at the time. I would be most interested.

With ancticipation,
Patrick


from my desk to yoursDear Ms. Mohamud,

Okay, so let me see if I’ve got the story straight.

You went to Kenya to visit a relative. Had a good couple of weeks; nice place.

So then you went to leave and the people at the Kenyan airport said you didn’t look like your passport. Something about your lips being different? I had a look for myself, as you can see in the enclosed photo, and the passport photo probably bears the greatest resemblance to you out of all your identification.

totally fake

So if I have it correct so far, they held you in detention (basically jail) while they contacted Canadian officials to verify your passport. Apparently all of the other government-issued identification cards you surrendered (among other things), were also supposed to have been forged or stolen, or something like that. I bet you were thinking the Canadian government would sort it all out for you, huh? After all, you are clearly who you say you are.

If were in your shoes, I would have shat a house when I learned that Canada then cancelled my passport as a verified fake. Are you as curious as I am to know how they came up with that? A government-backed inquiry wouldn’t be a bad idea. I mean, it will take a decade, but might as well start that mossy stone rolling, no?

Okay, so no documents. Honestly, asking to be fingerprinted was really smart. I don’t remember the feds taking my fingerprints when I came to Canada as a kid, but I guess they do. It would seem obvious that as an immigrant, they’d have your prints on file too.

But they didn’t.

Now, I completely understand why they would destroy your prints after doing a background check since, apparently, that’s all they’re supposed to be used for. Sensible, but obviously not of much help to you.

What I don’t get is why they kept you dangling for two weeks refusing to take them, then waiting two more while dithering whether or not to do so, then finally doing so, then two more weeks while they checked back home, and only then discovering that they don’t keep them on file.

Three months of Canada Border Services sitting on their thumbs. I can see how mistakes could be made, but this … how did you not freak out?

I know you haven’t decided whether or not to sue the government, but I want you to know you’ll have my full support if you do. The rolling of heads also gets my vote.

Sincerely,
Patrick


from my desk to yoursDear busker at Dundas Station,

Thanks for letting me take your picture. Your music was like a Siren song. A jazzy Siren song. Minus the Siren. I don’t know how you managed to permeate the whole station, but it was just magical.

milky smooth

I hope you come back again soon.

With admiration,
Patrick

Filed under: Pictures, Why I'm Right