Thursday, November 24, 2005


Today at lunch, I got my flu shot. After it was done, the guy who administered it asked me to hold a little piece of cotton over the hole for a few seconds, to give it time to stop bleeding.

When he removed the cotton, I guess it was still leaking blood, since he apologized and covered it again.

The second time he checked under the cotton, he asked if I'm "a bleeder." I said that I probably am.

The third time, he said he'd never seen anyone bleed so much from a shot.

Apparently, they don't like using those little band-aids anymore, since some people are allergic to the adhesive. Eventually, the bleeding did stop, and I was on my merry way.

So, the conclusion: I'm not just a bleeder, I'm one helluva bleeder. If ever you see me walking down the street, please don't stab me. I've got a much better than average chance of bleeding to death.

Friday, November 18, 2005


It's started.

When I popped out to pick up some lunch from Quiznos today, I couldn't help but notice that fluffy flakes of snow were falling from the sky. Now, there's a light dusting across the roofs of all the buildings around me.

Well, our extra mild, extra extended autumn was sure nice, but now it's time for five or six months of winter. Lordy, wake me up in May.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Here's the last entry in my three day, catch-up series. I've been meaning to write something about Halloween for a couple of weeks now.

I've never been a huge Halloween person. I mean, I've always enjoyed Halloween parties, but I typically wait until the last minute to start thinking about a costume, and then come up with a pretty silly idea and have no time to do a decent job of it. A couple of years ago, I did a pretty cool Sister Wendy, but last year, I didn't even bother to go out, since I was working like a maniac on the second edition of the EMF book (which, incidentally, still isn't finished).

Kevin, on the other hand, appears to do the opposite. He always seems to put together really cool costumes, putting a lot of work into them. So, this year was a great time to depart from my sad old approach. We decided to do a costume together, as a couple, and quite quickly came up with the idea of an angel and a devil. And almost as quickly, we decided to make it an angel and devil in shorts.

I think Kevin wanted to paint himself red, so he suggested I be the angel. In fairness, he claimed his motivation was something about me looking better nearly naked, without paint. Strangely, whenever I would tell a friend about the costume, the reply was, "you should've been the devil!" And, whenever Kevin did, it was, "good thing you're the devil!" As it turns out, I'm really glad we took the roles we did: I don't think I could've dealt with all that red body paint.

We found the shorts at the BodyBodyWear clearance sale, nice and cheap; I borrowed the wings from Roberto; Kevin found a red vest at Value Village; and most of the rest of our costumes came from Malabar -- though there were other bits and pieces from various dollar stores and such.

We went out in costume three times: on Saturday, we went to Buddies; on Sunday, Temple at the Phoenix; and on Monday (Halloween, itself) we did Church Street and Woody's. The preparation took a really long time, especially on Saturday (we got better as we went along, and Kevin started using a type of paint that was easier to apply on Sunday), but I think the results were fabulous.

(Unfortunately, I'm not wearing my halo in this picture. It was pretty cool: we poured the chemicals from a glowstick on it, to make it glow in the dark. But, they slowly ate through the fluff, so that by Monday there wasn't really much left.)

We got to Buddies really late and had to wait in line for a long time. I was wearing my wool jacket, but it was still really cold, especially on my legs. Inside, it was so busy that I was constantly bashing my wings into people, so I quite quickly checked them. We had a great time, but by the end of the night, my non-angelic behaviour had resulted in a rather large, red stain on the front of my shorts. How embarassing!

So, I did much washing the next day, which also had to be repeated on Monday. My boa got pinker and pinker as time went on, too.

Temple was also fun. The costumes were much better than at Buddies, as there was a big competition hosted by Sofonda. We entered ourselves, but didn't make it into the top 10. Lots of boys seemed to want to dance with me (wonder why!), and I was having too much fun to resist. Kevin was too polite to do the same, not wanting to cover everyone with his red paint, so he just poked the boys with his pitchfork to keep them away from me. Also, we hooked up with Richard and Mark there: Richard was dressed, as always, as a sailor, and Mark was in some pretty superb drag.

The Monday night street party on Church was just hilarious. I was expecting to freeze my little tuchis off, but once we got there, with all of the crowds, it wasn't bad at all. Most of the time, we couldn't go more than two seconds without being photographed. Seriously, we must have had our pictures taken over a hundred times. Now I really feel for those poor celebrities who are constantly having to smile and pose and be the centre of attention! Such a drain! We met up with Alex and Daryl, who I'm sure grew tired of our celebrity quite quickly. And then, we lost them when it started to rain, prompting us to get indoors before Kevin's paint melted. We ended up inside Woody's, for another failed attempt at costume contest supremacy. But, we saw some more fabulous costumes and met some nice people. In all, it was a very entertaining night.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Last Thursday, I got an e-mail from Karyn:

I believe somebody has news that they haven't shared with ME!

radio city, eh?

It's true. I've actually had news since mid-October that I just haven't had the chance to share with many people at all, much less blog about...

I bought a condo -- my first home!

As Karyn indicated (she must have had some inside information, huh?), it's at RadioCity, a new, two-tower development on the former site of CBC Radio, near Jarvis and Carlton:

I just got back from the handover meeting, where control passed from the developer to the condominium corporation, and a board was elected. So, it seemed like a perfect time to write about it all. I'm hopeful that we've elected a pretty good board: it seems to include a fair amount of experience and a variety of viewpoints and concerns.

Interestingly, the biggest issue seems to be around the art installation in the courtyard: a collection of little, metallic houses that light up inside. One owner referred to it tonight as "scrap metal." Apparently, all of the original purchasers were surprised to find that they were paying for it directly, as part of their closing costs. Since my purchase was a resale, I'm not feeling (or seeing, at least) that pain. Perhaps that's part of the reason why I quite like the piece.

Anyhow, on to the good stuff: my suite is a one bedroom plus den, of 705 square feet. My purchase closes on December 2, and I'll be moving at some point between then and January 1, when I have to be out of my current place. I'm hoping to paint the walls and buy some living room furniture before then. I had also hoped to have the kitchen counters replaced with granite, but apparently that time frame isn't realistic. So, it'll have to wait until after I move in.

Here are some photos:

Notice the yummy exposed concrete ceiling.

Unfortunately, the windows in my suite are not quite as spectacular as in some of the others. In particular, the corner units have windows all along the two outside walls, from floor to ceiling. The left corner of my suite, in the picture above, is actually part of the structural wall, so obviously it can't be glass. Nonetheless, the place is still quite bright, especially when one of the bedroom doors is open:

You can see that there's a window in the bedroom along the length of the balcony, but that the balcony actually opens into the living room.

Here's a shot from the opposite direction, showing the kitchen:

Finally, the unit faces south, so it gets lots of light, and it has a pretty fantastic view from the balcony:

You can see the financial centre and the CN tower in the distance, and Maple Leaf Gardens on the right side of the picture. This historic arena, which has been empty since the Leafs moved to the Air Canada Centre in 1999, is being converted to a Real Canadian Superstore. Hockey fans in Toronto are outraged. I'm excited!

So, things are going to be pretty busy in the coming weeks: I need to finalize my mortgage and then complete the closing. All the while, there's much shopping and packing to be done. Then, I have to figure out when to move and whether to hire movers or do it myself.

But I can't wait to be living in my new home!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I was lucky enough to see Jann Arden's latest tour, in support of her eponymous album, twice last week -- on Tuesday and Thursday at Massey Hall. The reason for my double attendance is quite a story, itself, but I won't get into that now. Anyhow, I was really happy to be able to see the two shows, and to share the experience with both Kevin and Alex.

For the first show, Kevin and I had fairly poor seats: we were way over to one side of the second balcony, practically on top of the right end of the stage. So, it was often hard to see, and the sound was pretty poor, with the drum kit drowning out pretty much any subtlety or nuance in the vocals and the rest of the band. Fortunately, there were two gorgeous acuostic sets, which sounded wonderful. In the first, Jann did a solo version of "I Would Die For You", after which Kevin asked me if it was too early for a standing ovation. She was then joined by Bob Kemmis, who had opened for her, for "Unloved." Later, for her encore, she performed accoustic versions of "The Sound Of," "Waiting In Canada," and "Insensitive" with her band.

As for the rest of the setlist, it included about half of the tracks from the new album ("Calling God," "Where No One Knows Me," "All Of This," "How Good Things Are," and "Willing To Fall Down"), mixed in with various older songs (including "Waiting For Someone," "Will You Remeber Me," "Could I Be Your Girl," "Good Mother", "The Sound Of," "Holy Moses," and "Wishing That"). In all, I think it was really good selection, and I was happy to hear some songs from Time For Mercy and Happy? that I hadn't in a long time. In an ideal world, though, she would have done one or two of my current favourites: "Saved," "Into The Sun" and (big surprise) "Another Human Being." A couple of the more uptempo songs, "Where No One Knows Me" and "Willing To Fall Down" in particular, seemed a little unsteady and not too tight, like there was some struggle between the drummer and the rest of the band over tempo. Later, from reading Jann's journal, I learned that the click track wasn't working that night, which would explain that.

Of course, Jann was a riot. She told an extensive tale about a trip to the movies, a large popcorn and drink, the long ride home after an insufficient pee check, and a surprisingly located stray kernel. And the comic quips never stopped, especially when she was talking about her band. She explained the secret to her long-term working relationship with her guitarist and co-writer, Russ: "we've never seen each other nude." And, when introducing Darcy on the keyboards, she commented that they had meant during a short stint in the adult film Fort McMurray.

The second show was even better than the first, mainly because of where Alex and I sat: front row, centre -- literally, the best in the house. The photo up above was taken from my seat that night (the rest of them are here). At one point, Jann introduced and thanked the guy from A&M Records who first signed her. All I could think was, "our seats are so much better than his!" The sound was truly excellent up there; the vocals were clear in all the songs, with the drum kit blending in much better.

The setlist was the same as in the previous show, but it was a much more "on" crowd, giving greater response to everything...more applause for the songs, more laughter at the jokes, and several spontaneous outbursts of emotion: "Thank you Jann!" "We love you Jann!" "You look great tonight, Jann!" And she really did, wearing this cute yellow leather jacket and jeans that really flattered her figure.

Alex said I was probably the biggest fann there, mouthing along to all the songs and screaming a lot. A few times, I'm sure Jann looked right at me, and I felt foolish, stopped mouthing along, and just smiled. We had a little moment, too: Jann was asking a visibly pregnant woman in the front row about when she'd be having her child (turned out she was having twins, actually!), and if she'd decided on names. On hearing that she was expecting for March and she hadn't yet, Jann suggested that, since her birthday's in late March, maybe she should think about "Jann" or "Arden" or something. I thought that was a brilliant idea (I'd do it), so I yelled out "yeah!" Jann noticed my outburst, and without missing a beat, yelled "yeah!" right back, looking straight at me. I think I was mocked by Jann. How fun!

My only negative experiences were with security. I brought flowers, which I'd hoped to give to Jann after the encore was over. But, before the show, a big guy came over to where we were sitting, said he was in charge of security for the show, and gave us his card. He'd seen the flowers, and didn't want me to hand them to her during the show. I tried to find out what the concern was and reason with him, but he was having none of it, and I eventually I had to surrender the flowers. He said he was going to take them straight to Jann's dressing room, and I hope he did, but that's kind of not the point. I wanted to give them to her -- I wanted her to look down and see my face, and connect with me for a moment, and know that I'm one of her fans. I suppose it's kind of silly, immature and selfish, but it's what I wanted.

Once the concert started, after I had been snapping pictures like crazy during the first song, an usher came down and asked me to put away the camera, claiming that they weren't allowed. It didn't say anything about that on the ticket, and I wasn't using flash, but I did put it away, anyway. I'd already taken a couple of really nice pictures, so I'd have something to remember the show by. Obviously I wasn't the only one there with a camera, as I kept seeing flashes go off during the rest of the show. And by the time "Good Mother" came around (it was the last song before the encore), I subtly (I hope) whipped out the camera again for a few last shots.

In all, the concerts were a fantastic experience.