Thursday, June 21, 2007

Random Encouters of the Perverted Kind

I think by now it's well-documented that either my pheromones are putting forth a big stink or someone taped a sign to my back, but either way, I'm getting stopped on the street like crazy.

At first I thought it was just a fluke of my neighbourhood - either all the horndogs live on my block, or there was a blonde shortage, or they're all a bunch of lascivious drunks - but the truth is, as long as I'm alone, I will get stopped no matter where I am. Not just my flirty men, but primarily by flirty men.

Actually, on the weekend I was with Jason, walking up my street at night, when a cheerily drunken fellow us bid us good evening, and I wished him one back, which put Jason's panties in a bunch. "Don't encourage them!" he hissed, as if being polite is somehow a bad thing. But then he was distracted - the red blotches we were following were almost certainly blood, and we began to wonder where this trail would lead us. However, when the drips of blood ended, there was a very large pool of blood, which means it was the beginning, not the end. The shattered plate glass door seemed to be to blame. We had just missed a bar brawl, and whoever got cup up during the smashing had obviously fled the scene. Jason grabbed me tighter and insisted I not walk at night anymore (not that I ever listen).

  • A man stopped me on Davenport to ask me where my dog was. Apparently the only reason anyone ever walks in Toronto is to let their pet crap.
  • Walking down Ellesmere a guy wearing a wife beater looked me up and down, licked his lips (this happens in real life!?!?!) and said Why don't you take me home with you? , except with way worse grammar that I will not stoop to copy.
  • Waiting for a bus on Dundas, the little old lady who was waiting beside me noticed a hand-written sign saying we should head "2 poles north" for a detour bus. Crossing the intersection, a man walking by said "You look very beautiful this morning" to which the little old lady replied "WHAT?!?!?!", and he repeated "Um, she looks very beautiful this morning." And the lady turned to me and said, "You really do." And then we saw a really big plush horse, discarded in the middle of the sidewalk.
  • Catching a street car on St. Clair, this really old couple came over to me and told me all of their problems - they haven't been in this end of the city in 40 years, and they're very lost, and they just want to get back on the Yonge-University line. I assured them that I could get them there, and they stood flanking me, so encroached upon my personal space that anyone walking by would assume that I was a beloved granddaughter, and not a complete stranger with a rudimentary knowledge of the subway system.
  • Last week I walked to Dufferin Mall on a day it was supposed to rain - I figured the rain would alleviate the heat and make the walk more bearable. But it never did rain. So when I got to my destination I made a beeline for the vending machine, where some dude bought his beverage and then offered to buy mine so gallantly that you'd swear he'd just offered me a bottle of Dom instead of flat Pepsi.
  • On the walk back, a guy dismounted from his bike, panting, and sheepishly admitted how hot it was. He walked his bike beside me for several blocks, asking me all the standard pre-asking-out-on-a-date questions, and while I felt somewhat relieved (because he was cute, and my age, whereas a good many of the flirters are not), I mostly felt grossed out, because what the hell is he doing picking me up when I look like this? (note: "like this"= walking "shorts" that used to be ugly pants that I shortened myself, a shirt the colour of cantaloupe flesh, which usually only attracts bees, unwashed hair in a scrappy ponytail, nothing on my face except sunscreen and sweat. Not hot.
  • A man with white chest hair peaking out from between the strained buttons of his denim shirt tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that I was a classy and refined kind of woman. "Know how I can tell?" he asked, and I wrinkled my nose instead of answering, but he told me anyway: "It's because you have such delicate ankles. You can tell a lot from a woman's ankles." I'm not sure if this line used to work in 1957, but I wasn't buying it. In fact, I do not even have particularly delicate ankles. Get a clue.
  • Not two blocks later another man came running up behind me, and I moved over so he could run by, but instead he slowed down and said "Whew, I caught you" which I pretended not to hear. "You look like you could use some company" he said, which I pretended not to hear. "Do you maybe want to sit and talk" which I also ignored. And then I made yet another last-minute, unplanned turned down an unknown street to ditch a guy I don't know.
  • I was sitting on a park bench reading Death of the Heart, and a guy in a suit sat down beside me, close. And he bumped my leg with his leg. And then he did it again. And then he kind of rubbed them together, which prompted me to say "Don't touch me", which I thought was clear. Until he rubbed some more. So I said "If you do that again, I'm going to yell PERVERT!", and I kind of yelled it then a bit too, so he got up and left.
  • I was having a little stroll around the neighbourhood after the sun went down, and an older woman in a shawl was waiting for the light to change. "I like to walk at night time" she told me. "Me too", I said "it's so much less hot." "Oh yes, the heat, all day I take ice baths. But me, I walk at night because it's quiet and too many people make me wobble. I wear the special pantyhose, but still I wobble on the swelled ankles. I eat many apples a day but it never stops." We passed by a house that lots of birdcages hanging from the porch, and she said "Some people are so strange."
This is true.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Postal Ponderings

Last week, I accidentally bought air-mail envelopes, and I've been surprisingly hard on myself about it.

I ducked into a "dollar store" because I'd had one of those lightning bolt moments - usually I write my shopping list on my forearm with a sharpie - but for some reason I remembered all on my own.

And I remember standing in front of the shelf, mulling between 25 business sized envelopes for $2.00 or 50 square envelopes for $1.50. I remember bristling over the fact that very little in the store seemed to actually cost one dollar. I remember grabbing the $1.50 box, not so much out of cheapness as out of principle, because these damned grifters had lured me in with the promise of 4 quarters and were now trying to strip me of 6, at least.

Oh, that really puts the lump in my mashed potato.

As fate would have it (is it still fate when the event largely inconsequential?), I did not notice the tacky red and blue border on the envelopes until my dollar-induced stupor wore off at home.

I don't know the rules about air-mail envelopes. If I drop one into the mailbox addressed to, say, myself, will the post office note the postal code and keep it on the ground, or are the blue and red stripes some sort of trump? Will they put that envelope on a plane out of some sort of professional obligation, let my letter wrack up a few frequent flier miles, and have it take the scenic route back to my front door? Or does the most direct route win? I mean, how much credit can we give our postal workers when they are, by definition, pretty unstable to begin with?

Just what is the point of the air-mail envelope? Ostensibly mail is routed according to the address affixed to it, and also by the postage paid. Common sense seems to indicate that if a piece of mail is to be delivered within the same city where it was posted, planes are pretty excessive, but if it is to be mailed overseas, then perhaps a truck is insufficient. But it is a FACT that this air-mail envelope does exist - does its existence prove that postal workers cannot be trusted? Or just that they have poor geography skills? And what if a postal worker is colour blind? My god, just think of all the pornography that might get lost in the shuffle!

So yes, I have been contemplating the fate of mail a lot recently, and while I may test out some of my theories in the future, I thought it prudent to get some regular envelopes in the meantime.

This time I went to the Dollarama, which is worth the extra walk when I need some piece of crap that I am unwilling to pay more than a dollar for. It makes me wonder what we ever did before these dollar-meccas sprang up everywhere. I mean, I don't know about your shopping habits, but there are a few things that I consider to be strictly dollar store purchases. Now that I know I can get it for dirt cheap, I am unwilling to pay more than a loonie. But it made me wonder - how much would a box of envelopes cost anywhere else?

I suppose it's possible that I could get them for 77 cents at Walmart, and equally possible to pay $4.99 at Shopper's Drug Mart.

Anyway, you'll be glad to know that this time I didn't cheap out. I even got the self-sealing kind. I stood in line to pay, and at the dollar store, I always like to have my money in hand. Ever since I can remember, taxes where I live were 15% - 15 cents for every dollar. So if I bought one box of envelopes, my purchase would total $1.15, and I don't have to wait for the cashier to tell me so, I could get rid of some nickels and dimes, have the money ready even before it was rung up, and keep the line moving quickly. And I'm particularly good at knowing my intervals of 15 because I used to work at a bar in a trailer park where Wednesday was "wing nite" , 15 cents each (with the purchase of a beverage).

But ever since the dumbest Canadians conspired against me and elected a crappy conservative to government, taxes are down to 14%.

That really puts a dent in my fender.

Because, you see, today when I bought my envelopes, I did not celebrate the penny in my pocket. As we all know, pennies are meaningless. Totally irrelevant. There is not a single Canadian who is walking around feeling richer because of this 1%. Even on larger purchases, the savings are not noticeable because even if you did save a chunk of change, chances are you didn't actually "save" it, chances are you spent it. That's the way it goes with money.

But while my penny is insignificant, and even the collection of pennies in the bottom of my purse, and the pennies that spill out into the car, and the pennies that fall out of pockets into the couch cushions...even all of those pennies combined are chump change, but when the government collects all the chump change in Canada, well, that's a lot of chumps.

And I'm sad to say that while I am not benefiting from this 1% "savings", I worry about those who will suffer. We all love to bitch about taxes, but at the end of the day, we do like our roads to be smooth and our hospitals to cure us. And if the worst should befall us, we as Canadians do have that expectation that the government will step in and save us. Single mothers still need housing subsidies, and hungry kids need breakfast programs, and disabled people need the means to support themselves, and the underemployed need resources, and deserving students need grants, and important research needs funding. And how will we pay for those things if not with our taxes? Because between you and me, I haven't exactly been saving my pennies to donate to charity. So the bottom line is, someone somewhere is going without.

I have seen firsthand what a difference our tax dollars can make, whether it's shelters for battered women in our own country, or dollars to end AIDS in Africa. The government expected this 1% decrease to cost them $5 billion dollars this year. Who will pay? The cities? The farmers? The next generation?

It's funny how the Dollarama has made me nostalgic for Chretien.
How a dime and 4 pennies seems tragic compared to a dime and a nickel.
How a box of envelopes can cost so little, and yet so much.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Love Letter to Great Friends

A toast to all the friends who have helped and who continue to help me pick up the pieces:

To Cynthia, who cooked me chana masala and distracted me with her gory knee and offered me "the good tissues" when I finally let some tears fall;

To Karl who bought food for my fridge and was the only reason I couldn't call myself penniless;

To Vics who sent me tea and chocolate and an addition to my Sparkle Wall and inspiration via karaoke, and to K. who continues to send me postcards that make me smile;

To Katie who lets me jiggle her baby;

To Joy who sent me a symbolic picture to hang, and who somehow knew that I would also need a hammer to hang it with;

To Kim who literally offered to adopt me, and would have sent me the plane ticket and official membership into her crazy family had I only given the word, and who did it all while making me feel like her "Augusten Burroughs" instead of "charity case";

To Alex who believes in the healing powers of a Bollywood night;

To Caroline who heard it all before anyone else, and didn't even wince;

To Tug who introduced me to Sark;

To Silvia who has a big heart, and who would drive 1000km round-trip and put me up in her own apartment just to remind me that I have people who love me in Ottawa;

To Ms. Mac and Antipo who cheered me with their creative swear-words;

To Stella & Ewan & Napoleon, who sent me worldly postcards;

To Helen who was immediately generous, and then sent sweets and whatever happiness could fit into an envelope;

To Miss Great Dane, who sent me a lovely hand-made card and some desperately-needed posters for my glaringly white bedroom wall;

To the Handsome Man in Yellow who has been both confider and confidant;

To Moxey who sent watercolours and love;

To Deeleea who sent me courage in the post, and better yet, has continued to foster it during our many time-warped chats;

To Vince and to Serendipity who sent speedy kind words;

To Rod who is my self-appointed superman and will be here when I need him;

To Colleen and Beth who both sent their own amazing photography to adorn my walls and combat the ugly in my room;

To Kat E who sent me Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo Good Luck (bad luck) egg and took my subsequent ribbing good-naturedly;

To Van who sent me my very own Kill the Goat CD;

To Jude and Moogie who keep me sane with their emails;

To Rhys who keeps me grounded;

To Eclecta who loaned me books and gave me treasured photos and told me that I would survive;

To the many I've surely forgotten (please, let me know);

And to all of you, who come and read despite the fact that being internet-less has meant less frequent posting and less frequent visiting of all my favourite blogs, and who click on ads to put pennies in my pockets and leave me comments that assure me I'm not half as crazy as I think -

A big thank you, to friends in many forms, who remind me that I am not alone.

Because of you, I count blessings instead of tears.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spying on the Neighbours, Part 2: Return of the Limp

This time the weather was much nicer, so I headed south east for about 2.5 km and no matter how many times I walk the same route, it never gets boring.

FYI: between this walk and this one, there are
27 barber shops\beauty salons
48 places where you can be served alcohol

Does this not seem excessive to anyone else?

1. Besides the mice @ work seen on my previous outing, this particular walk yielded: internet c@fe, web st@tion, and web fusi@n.

2. A bar\eatery that advertises "pub and grub" - not sure if this is honest, or unappetizing, or both.

3. The first of many murals, this one oddly depicting a bank vault that is raining money into the waiting people's hands. There are 3 banks within spitting distance of this mural. Does this not make them nervous? Do we really need enormous artwork to incite lawlessness? And why this particular building? It houses a Mac's Milk convenience store (for all your slurpee and cigarette needs) and Curves, one of those pussy "gyms" wherein you never break a sweat.

4. This neighbourhood is lined with tiny, family-owned stores that seem to sell nothing and everything all at once. One such store advertises: helium balloons, satellite installation, fresh kiwis, change watch batteries. It's closed on Sundays and Mondays, never open before 10 or after 5. Kind of makes me feel like I should get into the helium\kiwi\battery business.

5. As usual a bunch of old men have brought rusting vinyl-covered chairs from ancient dinette sets into the middle of the sidewalk, and they all sit there, congregated, always finding something to gesture madly about. Not only do you have to step around this mass of pot-bellied men, you have to step out into oncoming traffic just to give them a wide enough berth - these men are spitters, and the area around them is a no-walk zone.

6. Another store that sells: cleaning supplies, antique handicrafts, baked ham and raw almonds. I like that. Sounds almost poetic, until I note the other sign that says Indian groceries upstairs, Mexican groceries in basement, and I feel bad for the segregated food, the salsa and tortillas that are made to hide in shame downstairs, victims of culinary prejuidice. I rage against the injustice until I can justify it: mexican food has a lot more cheese and beans, high fat content, so having to go up and down stairs to retrieve it is probably just heart-healthy. Right?

7. Then, another mural, this one depicting movie scenes. At first I think it's just as random as the first, but then I see more clearly. This one is cleverly placed between a grocery store and a blockbuster. When you come out of the grocery store, glad to be alive despite the tomato-squeezers, you look at the mural and think it might be nice to treat yourself to a movie. But once you get the movie, you realize that you won't want to watch it snacking on the arugala in your shopping back, so you go back to the grocery store and buy a vat of chip dip and a family-size bag of ruffles, which is enough food for at least 2 movies, so you go back to the video store and rent a second one. So you see the mural is a conspiracy to get you to consume, driving the economy but emptying your wallet, and all you wanted to do was make a nice salad and maybe hit the gym, but now you're bound to go home and sit on your fat ass, shovelling well-seasoned lard into your mouth via deep-fried carbohydrates, and pretty soon you have no energy to go to the gym, even if you could get your wobbly thighs into your yoga pants, so instead you rent more movies and swallow more salty snacks, and the Evil Mural People cackle greedily to themselves.

8. Anyway. The next store I hit sells blinds, draperies, and bras. But mostly bras. They were having a sidewalk sale, but bra sales always make me depressed. The A-cup bin overflows with pretty bras, all lace and eyelets and bows. The B-cup bin does likewise, not needing to bother with support straps and underwires. But by the time I get to my bin, the C-cup, the bras in there are dowdy in comparison. The vast majority of them come in white or beige. And don't even get me started on the sorry contents of the D bin. But, in the back of the store, in a dusty pile, sat a tangled mass of mini blinds. This made me absurdly happy.

9. Another human obstacle: an old lady who stood pointing towards the sound of a piano. She pointed very fiercely, but I'm not sure exactly what she expected me to do about it. Did she want me to enjoy it? Hate it? Investigate it? Or was she just looking for confirmation that she wasn't crazy and someone else could hear it too? I kept walking, and for all I know she might still be there now.

10. A store called Lit - I look inside and it appears to sell clothing. I am confused. "Lit" is the french word for bed. Why would a clothing store be named Bed? Not for another 3 blocks do I remember that Lit is also an english word, as in "to light", which makes me embarrassed for a minute, but then, it's still a rubbish name.

11. An aging couple stops me for directions, but clearly no one has told them they're getting on in their years. They're both dressed in their version of "hip" clothes - skin tight, of course, that seems obligatory when you're fat and over 60 but in denial about both. Absurdly, they are both wearing matching belts that dip below their matching bellies. They ask me for the Boom Boom room, and I wonder if they've recently escaped from the 60s, and all I can do is shrug. Much later I recall a breakfasty place simply called Boom, but it's wayyyy down the street so I feel confident that I won't have to sheepishly run into them again.

12. This happy place usually has dozens of warm bodies lined up outside of hit on the sultry summer evenings. You can tell it's happy just by looking at it, but I think anything you can put sprinkles on top of is happy by default. I've never been in there myself, but I delight in it just by ice creamy osmosis. On the other side of it is a Tibetan buddhist temple, so I believe this corner has a lot of good karma going for it.

13. Walking by a restaurant that makes "Seoul Food", I walk by a green van with an elderly man in the driver seat who yells something mangled at me, and my earphones firmly in place, I pretend not to hear. So he follows me. Of course. The van pulls up beside me and slows to match my walking pace. The driver yells at me, asks if I want a ride. It's a gorgeous, if melty, kind of day, and I tell him so and move on. But he follows. And yells So you like exercise? By which point the many cars stuck behind him are now honking impatiently. He beckons me over, and I shake my head no. I am grateful there is a lane of traffic between us. He won't give up, though. He wants me to come talk. He wants to go out for coffee. He wants me to get in his van. What the hell is an old man in a mini van doing chasing 20somethings? This man could be my grandfather. And then it hits me: my grandfather has recently purchased a minivan. So this guy keeps following me and I'm getting to really not like it, and I decide that rudeness be damned, I'm cutting through someone's backyard, where vans cannot follow because I need another stalker like I need for my eyebrows to catch fire. I decide to get home before van man can find me again, but all the way home I think of the letter I should compose to my grandmother along the lines of Pa might be trolling for more than just fish.

14. Safe at home, but bothered by the heat, I take off my pants and sit in front of the fan until I feel I've cooled down. I stay inside for at least half an hour, wanting to hide from van man, but the sun is irresistible and I have some errands to run. So I head out towards the grocery store and I don't see any green vans, but a guy on a bike does stop me and mentions something about me and a man and almost causing an accident...I assume he is referring to van man, but I don't care to hear anymore so I wave as if I'm an idiot and move my feet in a hurry. I pass the movie mural again, and this time I concede that the conspiracy to have me in front of the television might not be such a bad idea after all.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Neighbourhood Watch

When I left my front door, I walked a little over a kilometre in a north-westerly direction.
Here's what I saw:

1. A cocky restaurant.
Can a restaurant, or indeed, any inanimate object, be cocky? Well, if it festoons itself with banners claiming not only to have the best shish kebab in town, not only the best roasted pork in town, but also the best "potatoe omelette" in town. And frankly, it's a hole in the wall, and I can't help but wonder if it does so many things so wonderfully, how come the tables are all empty?

2. A cop on a motorcycle.

3. The cat in the picture belongs to the store. No word on if the cat is Russian, or for sale, for that matter. Every time I walk by the store is closed, and finally I noticed a hand-written sign that states that it opens by appointment only, so I guess you have to be pretty serious about your Russian Stuff.

4. A church asking for "young hearts" (18 months to 5 years) to be signed up for classes early. They like to get ahold of their souls while they're still young and impressionable. Brain washing, ahem, I mean, religious instruction is most effective then.

5. A plaza where you can get body waxing and fight your traffic tickets all in one convenient location!

6. A convenience store selling "dinning tables" that look like they fell off the back of a truck (literally) for $95.

7. The first of many internet cafes that cleverly and uncleverly use the @ symbol in their name - mice @ work.

8. The St. Simon religious supply store - which, according to fancy stencilling on the front window, sells: books, oils, power (power?), incense, and floor wash.

9. A billboard for Bud Light that says "1970s pimp smooth"...which is a good thing?

10A bar called U DRUNK.

11. A restaurant I mistakenly thought was Italian, and I mistakenly thought was a restaurant (check the sign), and that guarantees "niceness", which I think is an excellent thing to guarantee, but hard to measure.

By this point I had gotten to the library, thrown my books down the slot and finally noticed that rain clouds had blotted out the sun. In a matter of minutes it was almost completely dark, and the wind picked up street dirt and tried to deposit it in my eye or mouth, or both, and everyone else had the common sense to run for cover, but I kept on my merry way.

I was somewhere between the waxing\traffic ticket place and the mice @ work when it started to rain, which is not an adequately wet word for what actually took place. Oh sure I could have stood under the bus shelter and caught a ride home, but what's the fun of that. My sandals were already slippy and my shirt was already see-through, so what the hell? On I walked, seeing everything in reverse (except the russian cat, who had been let in). An old man leaned out his door to beckon me inside, which I thought was really sweet, but I waved and kept going, although when lightning was sizzle in the air around me, I sort of rethought it, but too late, so I sloshed my way home through instant puddles where I rung litres of water out of my bra and hair and so forth.

So my walk was cut short, as is this post, but believe me, it's not for lack of material but for fear of electrocution.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Boyfriend is a Singer in a Rock&Roll Band.

Well, I don't know what you losers did last night, but I got to see my boyfriend live in concert!!!

Seriously, if you don't know him, shame on you: Hawksley Workman is a rock god, one of the most exciting, talented, quirky, and incredible singer\songwriters to come out of any woman's vagina, ever. I'd like to lock him in a closet with Joni Mitchell and a bottle of scotch just to see what would come out.

And it was my profound honour to be able to sit in the Harbourfront audience last night and enjoy him, because indeed, his live performance is among the best. He's got a swagger and an energy that are a thrill to watch, and I have rarely seen any musician connect so fully with his audience.

The event host kicked off the night by asking the audience who they were there to see - this was stupid of her. Of course hundreds of voices roared back Hawksley, the obviously answer, so if she wanted to alienate and embarrass the opening act, she did that quite well, I think.

The Stills are a newish band from Montreal and probably they didn't need to be reminded that they weren't the main event. I'm not a complete Stills neophyte, I do know a couple of their tunes, and it's decent stuff, although filling an hour's set seemed to be a stretch for them, and a couple of the songs seemed a bit derivative. I was, however, pleasantly surprised that they managed to sneak a french song in there. Plus, they eagerly convinced us of their hardcore-ness by drinking beer and saying 'fuck' onstage, and yet, I couldn't help but notice that their act started on time (to the minute) and really, what the hell kind of rock and roll show starts on time?

Now for the important part, which I know you're all waiting for:

Coolest haircuts, in ascending order:
1. drummer
2. guitarist\vocalist guy in the middle
3. keyboardist (I know he's wearing a hat, but still...I always like the keyboards guy, they're always so much more eclectic and untortured looking...and they rarely wear skinny jeans)

Also, one of the dudes seemed to struggle with the "talking to the audience" bits between songs - at one point he seemed to have forgotten what city he was in, and referred to us as "beach people" (the other guy corrected him - it's a harbour, not a beach) - and it's not like this is some sort of whirlwind U2 tour they're on.

At one point the drummer put down his sticks and picked up the maracas. It was a cool sound, but I think if I were a drummer, I'd be above playing the maracas - they just seem like the pussy of percussion, don't they? It's probably much harder to get laid from playing the maracas.

Anyways, as The Stills finished up, so did the sun. And while it set, the roadies got busy setting up for Mr. Workman, who had the self-respect not to start on time. That's how it's done. I mean, how else can you get an entire audience to start chanting your name? Nobody chanted for The Stills (though one guy kept waving his crutch and yelling Stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiills...I think he was the bassist's little brother). Oh, and during the intermission, this dude from Degrassi: The Crap Generation showed up, and it was funny how no one cared or hassled him, which is so Canadian (either that we're laid back, or that no one watches the shitty TV we make, you pick).

So Hawksley finally makes his appearance and he opens with Paper Shoes - excellent choice - always start off by informing the audience that "singing is about sexual confidence" (and better yet to let the audience fill that part in for you). And when he gets to the part about letting the "berry juice just slide out from in between your legs", some guy whooped his appreciation and I smiled the small smile I always do when I hear that part on my mp3.

At the end of the song he sniffed the air and said "I smell drugs" which was true, someone was bathing in eau de cannabis, and most were partaking in whatever the beer tent was selling, and I thought: I am among my people. And then it started to rain. No, it started to pour. I was among the lucky, the few closest to the stage who were under the canopy, and I think we all said a little prayer that no lightning would strike our huge metal structure as we all danced happily and wetly to the music we love so much.

And then we all booed the evil condo-dwellers who "hate rock and roll" and wanted to limit the concert to a pathetic 90 decibels. Instead of cranking the amp, we endeavoured the break the decibel barrier by singing along "like church" to You, Me and the Weather (fittingly, although the rain did stop and it was a beautiful night).

By this time it was fully dark outside (which is why I have no good pictures) and the light sculpture Pulse, also part of the Luminato festival, was sending spotlights up into the dark sky all schizo-like (apparently to the timing of the heartbeats of the people walking by), and Hawksley made some comment that Batman was being summoned to help us get louder, and then he slipped into a little SuperTramp and I guarantee you that we rattled the panes on those prissy condo-fuckers' windows.

And then he played one of my favourite songs, You and The Candles, his "political" contribution, apparently, and he prefaced it with the warning that he may forget the words (not that we'd let him), but that he didn't want to be Axl Rose (who used a teleprompter), but maybe envied his hairband collection. I can't even tell you how beautiful it was, and then Anger as Beauty...I've never heard it sound so ethereal, and then he morphed Jealous of Your Cigarette (Matt, I thought of you!) into The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again. It was awesome, as in, a sight to behold.

And when we all sang Smoke Baby together, I got shivers, and not just from the cool breeze coming off the harbour. No, it was magic, like a big group orgasm and no one could get enough. And when he sang Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off, I danced on a bench like no one was watching, not even the man who inspired it all.

So yes, it was a great concert. And in the end, I wasn't even disappointed that he left out a few of my favouritest songs because the set list was perfect as it was. And as the crowd left in one big mass, headed for a subway tunnel that's always too small for the crush of people trying to fit in it, we didn't even feel the claustrophobia because we were all still vibrating with the goodness.

And if I've inspired you to check out this Canadian icon (and for fuck's sake, I should have), check out:
-Even An Ugly Man (there is not a person on the face of this earth who won't fall in love with this song)
-No Sissies (the song I love to bounce around to; infectious in the good way)
-We Will Still Need a Song (this song + chilled white wine = the greatest inspiration I know, it's invigorating...and if you see me dancing down a sidewalk, chances are, it's this song making me do it)
-Smoke Baby (still one of the sexiest songs I know)
-Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off (feels good in the soul)

Happy music making.
Don't be a stranger to the danger that is kissing you.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bullets and Butterfly Wings

(or what I did this weekend, in no particular order:)

  • Learned what partially-digested, regurgitated feta looks like (fyi: pretty much the same).
  • Was asked by a man on the subway if I was part of the Rocky Horror Picture Show cast on Bloor. When I said that I wasn't he insisted that we "could be twins!" and I prayed that he wasn't talking about the transvestite.
  • Went bra shopping. Couldn't find what I wanted (invisible straps) so I bought one in "neon watermelon" instead because I figure if I can't hide it, I may as well show it like I mean it.
  • And this bra doesn't just show straps, either. Was told that my cleavage was "bordering on nipple" but when I readjusted I heard a disappointed "oh, no, that wasn't a complaint."
  • Took the time to caramelize some onions and was quite pleased with myself.
  • Hugged a friend who really needed it, and felt better myself.
  • Met an old man who likes to talk - heard about his illustrious night life bartending on Yonge, and how he once did lighting for Nat King Cole, and saw the mob dump a body with a chicken head in its mouth and piano wire around its neck, and was tipped a hundred dollar bill by Louis Armstrong for dry-cleaning his "costume" and once appeared in an Ann Margaret movie.
  • Discovered that it is entirely possible to drink a 750mL bottle of Ketel One in 3 hours, but quite inadvisable.
  • Dropped a phone on my foot, leaving a bump and a bruise shaped like Madonna in profile.
  • While the bread may very well be the freshest you've ever tasted, by the 5th or 6th time you gush about it, people start to wonder about you.
  • Suffered more hair-related-harassment.
  • Took hubby to a new doctor, whose receptionist\wife\amazon woman inspired confidence by being unable to "spell" our postal code, by repeatedly stamping upside down, then turning the stamp 360 degrees only to find, shocked, that it was still upside down, and by marking Jason as "female" on his chart.
  • Passed out on my porch around 2am.
  • Saw a man exit the Jehovah church, tip a box he was carrying, scattering hundreds of crayon-coloured butterfly wings to the wind (it was the most beautiful litter I've ever seen).