Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are You Smarter Than a Global TV Executive?

I just caught Collin Mochrie on the radio promoting a new show he's hosting on Global: Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader, adapted from the American Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, natch.

Okay, I have no issue with these limited-run adaptations in general. I don't think anyone honestly expects Global to come up with original Canadian programming ideas. All they do is air American shows anyway, so doing an occasional local version is a slight improvement, at least.

But this title is simply beyond the pale. Even if no one at Global noticed, surely one of the clever kids on set would have pointed out that, in Canada, we say grade five.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Last night was Madonnarama (apologies for the MySpace link) at Fly. That's right: all Madonna's music, all Madonna drag, all night! I was pretty excited, as was just about every other gay in Toronto, it seems. Doors opened at 10, we were there by 20 after, and we still had to stand in line for an hour. When we got in, the dance floor was already packed.

It was really a fun, if sticky, night. But, I found out, it wasn't just the gays who were there to revel in the music and aura of Madonna. Oh no, there was also a real-life diva among us.

None other than Melissa O'Neil, winner of Canadian Idol's third season. I was thrilled when Kevin told me he'd seen her there, as I adore her and I feel that embracing your gays is a key step towards divadom. When we saw her later, I went up, said hi, told her that I thought she's fantastic, and that I saw her concert at Massey Hall last year. All true, of course.

So yes, at this point, my inner 12-year-old girl had broken free and taken over. But Melissa was super cool: she put out her hand and asked if I wanted to come upstairs and dance. So, we hit the floor with her other gays and had a great time! Of course, everyone was singing along to all the songs they were playing, and it was just amazing to hear her powerful pipes up close!

Well, the details of how and when I left Fly are a little sketchy, but I'm still pretty excited about the whole experience today. Thanks Melissa for making this boy's night!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Montreal Pride in Facebook Mobile Status Updates

Divers/Cité was this weekend, which meant that 90% of Toronto's gay population, including me, was in Montreal. This also marked the first weekend that I truly embraced Facebook Mobile. So, I thought it might be fun to post the weekend's status updates, which also serve as a very sketchy, in-joke-laden record of the trip.

Friday, August 3

Dave is passing the big apple. Next stop: Kingston! (10:36am)
Dave is pretty sure that an average 12 year old has a larger bladder than he and Paul combined. (11:39am)
Dave is at Mado just wanting to have fun. (10:51pm)

Saturday, August 4

Dave is sipping a martini on the 25th floor, looking out over old Montreal. (7:46pm)

Sunday, August 5

Dave is surprised at how much the stairs hurt. (3:53am)
Dave is hoping Deanna will text him at 647-xxx-xxxx, since he forgot to bring her contact info to Montreal. (10:54am)

Monday, August 6

Dave is dancing at Sky Bar. Unity has a $30 cover and a longer line for refunds than to get in. No thanks! (1:45am)
Dave is sad that it's raining and his flight is delayed. (12:29pm)
Dave is enjoying watching red cars. (4:35pm)
Dave is flying home on the gayest flight in the history of aviation. (7:17pm)
Dave is home sweet home! (9:38pm)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Brief Homecoming

My brief visit to BC is just about to end, as I'm at Vancouver International, waiting at the gate for my plane to board. I flew out here on Thursday and then went with Chris and Theresa to Nanaimo on Friday for Sam and Mike's wedding. I've been back in Vancouver since Sunday evening.

The wedding was fantastic. Mike's parents hosted the ceremony in their yard, overlooking the water. Sam looked fabulous. Mike, unsurprisingly, cried. And Sam gave quite the go-ahead-make-my-day look when we were asked if anyone knew of any reason why they should not be wed.

The reception was great, too. It began with the couple's first dance. This was not just a dance, it was a performance. Clearly, much instruction and choreography had gone into it, and apparently there was a strong desire to get it over with before dinner, which led to its unconventional placement on the program.

Speeches followed dinner, including what was quite possibly one of the best I have ever heard, delivered by Sam's brother Nick. Sam's "ring box", a shiny MacBook, then made an appearance to play the slide show and be the DJ, running an iTunes playlist that was determined by online vote, held in advance. The whole event was a great time.

Otherwise, the visit to Nanaimo was quite uneventful. It's a pretty town, but not all that exciting, and the locals, many of whom fit squarely in the retirement set, didn't prove to be the friendliest. The demographics took a dramatic turn for the better on Sunday morning, as the hotel was overrun by a young rugby team (or several teams?) visiting from England (or Australia?). Whatever the case, yum.

It was really great to get together again with Chris, Karyn, and Gippy and their (apparently very patient) significant others. Much laughter ensued as tired old jokes were resurrected and many new ones emerged.

My time in Vancouver was far too short, but enjoyable. I got together with Jodi and Karen for lunch yesterday, and then got to meet Jodi's pretty new kitties. And, in the evening, a special treat: I met up with Genevieve for a coffee and to catch up. We hadn't talked since high school grad, but had just reconnected through Facebook (thanks Facebook!). As it turned out, we each got to enjoy a free chai (thanks Starbucks!), and Gen was a riot.

She reminded me about how, after her final choir solo (which was self-accompanied on the guitar), I had congratulated her and said, "I didn't know you were talented." A perfectly typical foot-in-mouth moment for me, but fortunately she had taken it as intended.

Anyhow, she just got married, is teaching high school English, and is working on her Master's. Not that any of this was surprising, but it's nice to see that she's doing so well.

So, those are the highlights of my visit. I'll be back in Toronto in about five hours, and I'm already thinking about heading off to Montreal on Friday!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Island Play

Kevin and I left Toronto for PEI last Friday, with both bikes in tow on Kevin's fancy new hitch-attached bike rack. It was a two day drive, with a night in Quebec City.

The first day of driving was complicated by the first nations' national day of protest. An 80 km detour from the 401 slowed us down by two and a half hours, which then put us in Montreal for rush hour. It seems Montreal drivers really are as bad as everyone says: we were caught in no less than five different back-ups, all but one caused by a minor accident. It took two hours to cross the city on Autoroute 40. After twelve and a half hours of driving, we were definitely ready for bed.

The second day's driving went much more smoothly, and we were treated to some very nice scenery. The rolling hills of the Gaspé Peninsula and New Brunswick had me photographing madly. Sadly, these vast landscape scenes, beautiful as they are, just didn't translate well into photos, especially when taken from a speeding car.

Finally, we crossed the Confederation Bridge on Saturday evening.

Impressions of PEI in four words: everything is ridiculously cute. This applies to the landscape, the buildings, the bottled pop, the accents...and especially to Kevin's family.

Oh, one exception to the cuteness rule: the mosquitoes. They're nasty buggers, and I'm covered in bites. There are three particularly awful ones on my neck.

On Sunday, we saw the Canada Day fireworks in Charlottetown, which were billed as the biggest such display in the country. There were probably a couple of thousand people at the waterfront for it, which created some entertaining people watching opportunities. There were many cute grain-fed (potato-fed?) boys, too, but Kevin said they're 16, and have girlfriends and drinking problems.

The fireworks didn't disappoint. Neither did the T-shirt selection at Cows.

On Monday, we went with Kevin's sister Paulette, her husband Charlie, and their son Emery to the beach at Greenwich, in the PEI National Park. We enjoyed a nice long walk along the beach, and even helped Emery climb up the dunes, for which he seemed most grateful. The beach was long and beautiful, with white sand, gracefully curving to a point in the distance.

In the evening, we went back to Charlottetown to see Anne of Green Gables, the musical. It was, unsurprisingly, very cute. And really well performed, though all but a few of the actors seem to be "from away".

Kevin went on a long bike ride on Tuesday morning, and Paulette and I went to collect him at Tea Hill. Along the way, we stopped off at Subway to pick up some lunch (the new lobster sandwich: PEI only, or available everywhere?). Then, we walked along the beach. This one, though not as pretty as the last (which must be why this one was only a provincial park) did feature the famous PEI red sand. In the evening, we met up with Luke and Kevin's friends Amy, Kim, and Louis for dinner in Summerside. Then, we tore up the town. As Luke put it, we climbed two relatively sketchy structures, visited an empty mall, had hair-filled ice cream and examined the local newspaper all in one night!

On Wednesday, we picked up Kevin's parents at their house in St. Hubert and went to Cavendish. We visited the National Park there and Kevin and I went for a short bike ride, while his parents walked down to the beach. Our ride took us along a spectacular shore line and, good news, resulted in no knee pain for me. Next, we got into serious tourist mode and visited Green Gables. Well actually, it's a restoration of what they think the original Green Gables, which inspired L.M. Montgomery's descriptions in Anne, might have looked like. The house was owned by cousins of Montgomery's grandfather at the time, but Parks Canada took a little creative license and labeled the rooms "Matthew's," "Marilla's" and "Anne's." We also walked down Lovers' Lane to the Balsam Hollow Trail, through a woods that apparently provided great inspiration to the author.

Fun facts: Anne of Green Gables and Green Gables are trademarks and official marks of the Anne of Green Gables Licencing authority. L.M. Montgomery is a trademark of the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery.

Kevin spent the night at his parents' place, and then did another bike ride on Thursday. I used the time to get connected to the Interweb, and catch up on e-mail and other online distractions. I had meant to post this blog entry, but didn't quite finish before Kevin called me to come pick him up.

It was a long drive, over 90 minutes, back to his parents place. Actually, considering that this is supposed to be a small province, there have been a surprising number of really long drives on this trip. It seems everything is at least 45 minutes away, and that's traveling at 80 km/h on just about every road. On the upside, the drives provide an opportunity to enjoy the absurdly cute scenery. There are seemingly endless pastures and potato fields everywhere, with pretty woods and rolling hills in the distance. Little barns and houses dot the landscape.

We're spending the day today at the new home of Kevin's other sister, Jeanne. They just moved yesterday into this very cute house. And they have Webbernet access. Yes!

Tomorrow, we'll head to Halifax, and spend the day with Chris. We actually saw him for 10 minutes after the fireworks on Sunday. But it'll be very nice to spend some more time with him, and to see Halifax! Then, it's two more days of driving back to Toronto.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm Sorry, Knees!

Sad but true: I'm almost 30. I think my body has decided to make that clear to me.

I didn't get on my bike this year until May 12. And, for some reason, I decided that it would be fun and wise to go along with Kevin and Stu on a 50 kilometre ride that day.

At some point around the 35 kilometre mark, my left knee started feeling kind of funny. But, we were out in the middle of nowhere, so there was nothing much I could do but keep pedaling. I ended up favouring that leg until my right knee started feeling funny, too. By the time we finished the ride, it hurt just to walk.

A few hours later, I couldn't even flex my left knee. I was walking with a locked knee for the next couple of days.

It's now two weeks later and my knees were feeling fine again. With the Ride for Heart fast approaching, I was eager to get back on the bike. This evening, we went out for what was to be a short ride, and after just 8 kilometres, my left knee was feeling a little funny again. So, we turned around and headed back. Shortly before getting home, I was feeling slight, but unmistakable, pain in both knees with each stroke. I got off the bike and walked the last bit.

So, I guess I did some damage two weeks ago, and it'll take some more time to recover. The Ride for Heart is out the window. Now I'm just hoping my knees are in good enough shape to dance tomorrow and back to normal in time for our trip to PEI, as we've been planning to do some cycling there.

All I can say to my knees is, "I'm sorry! Get well soon!"

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Deal with the Devil for an MD Lie, Oh!

This just makes me laugh. I call it "ESL Idol."

Here's my best attempt at transcribing the lyrics:
I figure without
I was haba-long and ebrie-thin between
I was Ricky-wide
Baby to know what a mean
Till there was you
Yeah you

Something was wrong
Made a deal with the devil for an MD lie, oh
Been to heel and bah, burra angel was looking through
It was a you
Yeah you

It's all because a you

You are the reason
You are the reason
I wake up every day
Sleep to the night
You are the reason
The reason

In the middle of the night
I'm golden eye 'cause I won you
I want to torch you
I want to floor you
You are the reason baby

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Her name is Alberta, She lives in Vancouver

Rejoice! Avenue Q is coming to Toronto!

If you don't know why this is exciting news, you should probably go check out some videos. I saw the show on Broadway in 2005, and it was fantastic. The whole concept is incredibly clever, the cast does an amazing job as puppeteers and actors simultaneously, and the songs are brilliantly funny.

Oddly enough, I was quite recently musing about the unlikelihood of this very happening. I figured that we'd never see Avenue Q mounted here because much of its humour is quite mature [1] and, occasionally, a little puzzling to those who don't hail from New York. [2] What with the mixed success of musical theatre in Toronto lately, it just didn't seem like a safe bet.

Well, it seems there's a new theatre company in town looking to shake things up a bit. Great, I can't wait! Actually, I guess I'll have to, since the month-long run won't start until July 29, 2008. Fortunately, they're planning a number of Broadway hit before then, starting this September.

And, there's always a certain movie to look forward to...

[1] This includes graphic puppet sex.
[2] Even the name of the show is based on New York geographical trivia.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Note to self: use footnotes in posts. Others do, and come across terribly well. They're a splendid way to manage tangents.

Oh, and continue to use more British expressions.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Fun Video

More witty video on an oh-so-productive Friday. This one is from Mad TV.

Life of a Mii

This is *so* worth watching, especially if you're a tad Wii-obsessed (as I am). It's an ontological examination of the mii.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I've been meaning to write something about the greatness of Wii since I finally managed to get one in January. But when ever I start thinking about how fun it is, I end up playing on the darn thing, and no blogging occurs.

Believe the hype. This really is the greatest thing to happen to video games since...ever. Now, I haven't been any kind of gamer for over a decade, but that's really the point. Wii is fun for everyone.

It's quite a beautiful machine, with a bit of an Applesque look to it. The remote feels perfect, down to the slight rumble when you pass the pointer over a button on screen. It's responsive and accurate. Just try a bit of bowling or tennis in Wii Sports, and you'll immediately feel what an incredible little device it is.

This week, I finished WarioWare: Smooth Moves. It is basically just a bunch of random microgames strung together by a series of bizarre vignettes, rendered in quite beautiful, cartoonish 2-D graphics. In the last microgame, I just had to hold the remote and dance. I was represented by a figure on screen, the last of four in a line, and I had to follow the others to complete a little routine. Here is how that looks.

And it was most fun I've ever had playing a video game.

Of Wii's numerous built-in features, the one most worth mentioning is miis. A mii is a cute, cartoonish avatar that you can build in the Mii Channel, and then use in Wii title games, like Wii Sports and Wii Play. Here's mine:

You can also use your mii to cast votes in the Everybody Votes Channel. Silly questions appear here, and you choose between two possible answers by placing your mii on the corresponding side of a circle. You can also predict how others will vote. When the results of the poll are announced a few days later, your mii will jump for joy if you are correct, or hang his head dejectedly if you're wrong. The whole thing is ridiculously cute and totally addictive.

Miis have become a hit online, too. You can copy miis onto a Wii remote to play with at a friends' house (you can also just send them to another Wii directly over the 'net). Because the remote is just a standard Bluetooth device, someone was able to write software for transferring miis between a remote and a PC. Now people are sharing their celebrity (and other) miis online, at sites like Someone else wrote a fantastic flash-based mii editor, which I used to create the image above.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jannada AM

Jann Arden was on Canada AM this morning to promote her new album. Paul is doing a stint as an intern there, and was able to invite me to be in the audience for the broadcast. It was intended to be an intimate performance, and in the end only about 20 people showed up! Metro had held a content to select audience members, but either they messed things up, or none of their winners bothered to trek out to Scarborough.

I ended up sitting right in the front row! As we were walking into the studio, I joked, "Will I be sitting in Jann's lap? Or will she be in mine?"

The mini-concert included just two songs, but it was fantastic! I was literally 6 feet away from Jann the whole time.

Jann kept saying how incredible it was that we had shown up so early to see her. During one of the breaks, she was chatting with Seamus and Marci, the hosts, and somehow, they started talking about me. I guess it was hard to miss me, sitting there in the front with a characteristically huge grin on my face. One of the hosts had pointed me out, and Jann said I had a nice smile!

Marci asked if I was a fan, and I replied, ironically, "a l'il bit." Someone said something about how she has such huge fans, and I said, "it's funny today because you don't have the stage to protect you from us."

I guess Jann was amused. She assuredly said, "nooo...", ran over, and sat in my lap! Of course, I was totally cool about it all. I believe my insightful words were, "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod." I'm really good with celebrities.

Anyhow, Jann asked what my name was. I was actually able to remember, which was good. She thanked me for coming, and I thanked her...for sitting on me, I guess.

After the show was over, I had the chance to get this picture with Jann. My flash was off, since obviously we had been asked not to take flash photography during the show. So, unfortunately, it's a little grainy. Still, it's a fantastic memento of the day!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


It's pretty fantastic to have funny, creative friends. While I was in Vancouver, Jodi gave me this card. I just had to immortalize it in my blog!



Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Photo Progress

I'm heading back to Toronto tomorrow.

I've really enjoyed my visit back to Vancouver, especially catching up with friends that I hadn't seen for ages. However, it was a long stay. That gave me some time to make headway on a project that's been sitting on the back burner for far too long.

I've managed to post and tag my photos on flickr up to the end of November, 2005. Alas, this has been a long process, and I'm still quite far from the present day (damn you flickr, and your alluring per-photo tags!). Still, it's a key milestone because I've now exceeded what was on the old Yahoo! photos site. So, I've switched over my photos link on the right, so it now points at flickr: here.

Enjoy them, in all their full resolution beauty!