Thursday, December 16, 2004

who gives a hoot about figgy pudding?

Got an email from a friend about ther meaning of Xmas song lyrics, specifically I'll Be Home For Christmas. Not a subject I've ever thought long and hard about - I can never quite get into the Xmas music mood, with odd, usually jazzy exceptions. Still, it got me thinking about other tunes we're all subjected to over the holidays...

The one that always bugged me was the full version of We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Most people stick to the first verse, a simple greeting wishing everyone well. So far, no problems.

Verse two suggests your guests have ulterior motives in coming over to greet you. No poignant words about brotherhood and peace on earth, no religious or secular allusions. Nope, it's a flat out demand for figgy pudding. "Bring it right here". You'd think it was trick-or-treaters at the door.

By verse three, the once-merry carolers have turned into the Things That Wouldn't Leave! None of the intruders on your premises are willing to leave until they get some durned puddin'. Sure, they keep saying they're bringing glad tidings, but they're singing those lines softer than the increasingly shrill demand for figgy pudding.

Have mercy on the hapless person who doesn't have a piping hot figgy pudding ready when the happy horde descends on them. It could turn into a standoff. I can see the news reports now...

BREAKING NEWS: Toronto police report a standoff between a group of angry yet determined carolers in the Yonge-Eglinton area. Reports indicate that the carolers are refusing to vacate the premises of John and Jane Merry until they produce a figgy pudding. Police have closed off several streets near Eglinton and Mt. Pleasant as there are unconfirmed reports of similar incidents in the neighbourhood. Police will hold a press conference in half-an-hour. They recommend that residents in the area to beware of any group of carolers singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas. More on this story as it develops...coming up next, the latest on Britney Spears' latest breath of air...

Meanwhile, in case you have anyone hammering at your door demanding figgy pudding, here's a recipe. - JB

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

best price movers tries a new approach

An update on the Best Price Movers saga. After another break in calls, they've cranked up the phone mail spammer again. Big change - no more pitches from Boris/Janos/Reggie/Tugboat Bill. The past two calls have been a female voice, calling herself Anna on the first, a different name on the second (skipped through it, didn't pay much attention). These calls are done in a normal, non-phony accented voice, and have fewer vocal flubs than her male counterpart. No more "ahhhhs" or "ummmmms".

This doesn't change the fact they're still annoying, especially now that they're less amusing. - JB

Monday, November 22, 2004

santa claus is coming to town

Met up with the gang for our yearly ritual of watching/mocking the Santa Claus Parade. This year's viewing spot: Bloor and Bathurst. Went down to meet everyone, but didn't immediately see them. After a quick phone call, discovered they were around the corner, on the opposite side of the street.

Cue horror movie scene trying to reach them.

The crowd was thick, with little room to move. Right at the corner, movement came to a dead stop. I was squished in the crowd, more crowded than I'd ever been. Two people near me almost put up their dukes, because one guy refused to have his view obstructed for five seconds to let somebody through. Nobody got through, as more tried to push their way in both directions. If anybody had fallen, it would have been curtains.

It was nearly enough to send me back onto the subway.

Somebody finally pushed through and the crawl resume. Finally made it across the street and joined the others. It took awhile for the stress to wear off - when my camera was being temperamental, I flew into a steady stream of language not fit for children's ears.

But hey, it was a nice day.

Choice quotes from the peanut gallery. Those who uttered these phrases shall remain nameless (I didn't write their names down!):
"Hey, take a look at the rod!" - a float featuring a lazy-looking animal fishing, with a very long rod.

"It's an angry woman chasing those poor children...then she got caught in the star and lost half her body" - an accurate description of one float that passed, one that would have beem worthy of destruction in Animal House.

"Hey, it's the United Nations!" - a marching band carrying a dozen-and-a-half flags. We noticed the marching bands were over-enthusiastic this year, with the leaders honing their finest imitations of Robert Preston in The Music Man, with more gusto.

"More children to the fire!" - a float with a bunch of kids sitting in the interior of its midsection - don't remember for sure if it was the train advertising The Polar Express. Whatever it was, it seemed like an advertisement for child labour.

"Is that a business goth?" - on our way over to the Duke of York, passed a woman in black business clothing and very dark makeup. Soon, somebody coined the term "busigoth". Sounds like a idea to build a sketch around...

Suggestions for our own floats were tossed around, such as a tribute to alternative energy (buy tons of baking soda to use for an "erupting" volcano) or a crossing the Santa Claus and Pride parades (folks marching in nothing but Xmas skivvies). I wonder if Caribana has ever thought about lending floats/costumes...


Hey, hey, the gang's all here...except for a couple off to grab some samosas.


We kept running into cute kids fascinated by our merry band of freaks. This girl kept patting and playing with Tipper. She also patted Mark's leg, but we think it was her way of telling him to get out of Tipper's way.


We ran into kid #2 at the Duke of York, after the parade. He quickly became Jess' new boyfriend. He also drooled his lunch into a mound of coats. The kid's ready for higher education.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

i've been pimped!

It's interesting where offhand remarks will lead you.

While driving Nile and Dee home after my last dinner bash, the subject of improving one's wardrobe came up. I guess Nile had been down about career prospects when Dee suggested that he might want to start with his wardrobe. After devouring several style books, he was born again, a man with a mission: to improve others like him.

Guess who said they'd offer to be a guinea pig, in light of recent dating blunders...

So it was with a mixture of bemusement and fear I hopped in the car with Nile and Dee the other weekend. Understand that I've been a conservative, relaxed dresser most of my life, happy with loose shirts and jeans. Sure, I owned a pink sweater during the height of Miami Vice, flannel during the grunge era, etc, but never dragged them out much. Fear of clothing shrink often led to buying clothes that didn't reduce in size, making me look bloated.

We headed out to the scene of his conversion, Orfus Rd. Located near Yorkdale Mall, Orfus is a place where you can experiment for very little, making it ideal for those on a tight budget. I'd only driven down Orfus a couple of times - once to explore, once to play laser tag (which I suck at, but was a lot of fun and a good workout). It's where insane drivers come out to play, struggling to find parking spots and avoid fender-benders. Given how much I love driving in our humble burbs, I hadn't set my sights on going out there again unless others were along.

I guess a couple of things were already working in my favour - my pea coat and what Amy likes to call my "bowling shoes". One thing I had to do - untuck my shirt. This was going to be a no-no. Later discovered Amy's been waiting to tell me the same thing, but didn't want to hurt my feelings. Trust me sis, they ain't gonna be hurt.

I let the style judges pick out stuff they thought would work on me. I wasn't too helpful at first, as I couldn't figure out what exactly I needed. In the back of my mind,I knew a couple of things:

1) For pants, I could still rely on good quality/low cost pairs from the States (good ol' Haggar)
2) Nothing "clingy", given my body shape

I didn't have to fear much, other than wacky sizing. First successful stop was a place called Target (no connection to Tar-zhay), where Nile stocked up on his last run.

Cue the runway model.

Tried a number of shirts, most being too tight or roomy. Bought one, which I almost got for $4 until the cashier realized which rack it came from ($10). Lesson: don't look so puzzled when the price is lower than you expected.

Next: Le Chateau, a chain I had never looked in before. We had an unprintable name for it in high school - let's just say it was a centre that referred to torches. Was surprised to find some half-decent shirts buried at the back of the store. The salesperson didn't seem to mind going through several ceiling-high racks to look for sizes.

How wacky was sizing? I bought an XXXL shirt that was much smaller than a huge XL. My co-conspirators kept handing me shirts to take into the dressing room. Ended up buying two.

Net result of the day: three shirts, $40, brave new frontier.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

warehouse xmas shopping tips

We're back this year with more items available exclusively at JB's Warehouse. Remember - we're there to serve your gift-buying needs!

Jones Soda is launching a limited-edition, no carbs/calories pack of the following holiday-themed flavours:
* Cranberry
* Fruitcake
* Turkey and Gravy
* Mashed Potato and Butter
* Green Bean Cassarole

Mmmmm, artificial green bean cassarole flavour...

Undaunted, the folks in product research here at the Warehouse have come up with their own unique spin on carbonated beverages. Introducing JB's Own Handcrafted Fast Food Sodas!

* Cheeseburger
* Chicken Wing - available in mild, honey garlic and Buffalo varieties
* Nachos with Cheese
* Poutine
* Veggie Dog - for the vegan/vegetarian crowd

Our researchers have also come up with these exotic JB's Handcrafted flavours:

* Mucus - when you want a taste of cold/flu season without the distraction of falling ill!
* Candy Heart - complete with floating messages, just like the candy!
* Pineapple-Glazed Ham - Perfect for Easter! Availale in Kinda Salty and Pump My Veins With Salt strengths
* Communion Wafer - approved by 5 out of 6 dioceses!
* Paczki - remember, you don't have to be Polish to polish off a paczki!
* Arsenic & Old Lace - fool your friends into thinking you're poisoning them! See if they mistakenly will themselves to death! Also available in Cyanide Slide!
* Double Shot Of My Baby's Love - we'll leave it to your imagination as to what flavour this creamy concoction is!
* Milli Vanilla - an imitation of imitation vanilla flavour soda! The drink for post-modernists!

We're still working on the final design, but here's a sample label!

JB's Handcrafted Soda - Mom's Pineapple-Glazed Ham Flavour


JB's Handcrafted Sodas
Guaranteed to Bring a Smile or Your Money Back
If An Accident Occurs, We'll Pay For a Stomach Pump!
- JB

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

cloney time commentary

For awhile, it's been in the back of my mind to take the digital beast out on the town to snap shots of all of the former Coffee Time locations that haven't done much to mask their former identity. Coffee Lime, Coffee Tim, Coffee Tip...the city's full of them, ripe with humourous possibilities.

Alas, I've been beaten to the punch. Here's the result, now merged into the Not Fooling Anybody site of buildings with thinly-concealed former lives a(mostly as fast-food outlets).

There are a few spots on the site from Toronto and Detroit I'm familiar with - here's some comments (go to the index page to find them):

La-Shish (Wayne, MI - formerly Taco Bell) - never been to this branch of the popular Metro Detroit middle-eastern family restaurant chain, but it would be an improvement over a run for the border. Amy and I usually go to the location on the Dearborn/Detroit border along Michigan Ave, where fresh smoothies and monster salads make our stomachs happy.

Coffee Time (Toronto, ON - formerly Dairy Queen) - right on the edge of the Gerrard India Bazaar, better known as Little India. There's another Coffee Time in the index, a former Harvey's at St. Clair and Caledonia that screams of the Harvey's I used to go as a kid. Wonder if that Coffee Time found any old orange plastic forks or iceburgers...

Chinese Hut (Toronto, ON - formerly Pizza Hut) - location in the middle of electronics/cheap furniture alley. Not far from Bad Boy. How many people do I know that have gone to Chinese Hut? NOOOOOOOBODY!

Harty Market (Toronto, ON - formerly Hasty Market) - pass by this often on the way down to the Danforth, Riverdale or Little India. Not far from Coffee Lime. Chains aren't lucky in this nabe near the Leaside Bridge.

Country Site Cafe (Toronto, ON - formerly Country Style Donuts) - near the Gladstone Hotel, on a rapidly-changing stretch of Queen. Predict building will be gone within the next decade.

Ranch (Monroe, MI - formerly Ponderosa) - Monroe's halfway between Detroit and Toledo, noteworthy as a War of 1812 battlesite and hometown of General Custer. Eaten here a couple of times, last time on the way back from Cleveland a few years ago. Like our favourite Monroe restaurant, Quattro's, it took awhile to find it on that trip - could never remember if it was on Telegraph or M-125 (old US 25, which goes through downtown).

Sak & Run (Toronto, ON - formerly 7-11) - I know I've seen other Sak & Run locations, which were either old 7-11s or Mac's. The more common 7-11 conversion around here is Starbank (Queen & Broadview). 7-11 seems to be changing its location strategy in TO, with locations opening in or near downtown as they close in the burbs - two have opened in my nabe in the past six months.

If I see some obvious ones that aren't on that site (and the camera's handy), we'll feature them.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

more gifts for the yuppies

I was flipping through the business section of the Star a few weeks ago when I came across a story about the Indigo bookstore chain shifting its focus more into gifts, "healing" items and other oddball accessories, reducing the number of books to about 60% of a store's inventory. Plans were also mentioned for converting the remaining Coles bookstores into the "IndigoLite" chain, with a greater emphasis on accessories.

All this in a quest to make the company the "book lover's cultural department store".

I wanted to throw up.

While I admit I spend many lunch hours in the Indigo a block from the office, I can't say I'm in love with the place. It's been easy to see the number of books decline, as more of the first floor is taken up with items like expensive marinades/drink mixes and new age products. This is more pronounced at the chain's downtown locations, where floors that used to hold tomes now feature more and more of the other stuff (especially their Chapters locations - you wonder why they hang on to that name when it looks like somebody has it out for them).

Maybe I'm crusty because I'm not a fan of the products Indigo is moving towards. But given the big stink that was raised when American giants like Borders murmured about seeking approval to move up here, it's a disappointment. So much for helping out Canadian publishers. My guess is that their lesser-selling titles will be among the first to be chopped.

My friend Elizabeth, who works as an editor, gives her two cents:
"Book lover's cultural department store" ... that is too sad. Really sad. And not just because the cultural department store concept is clearly a last resort, but sad because Canadians don't read enough books to support large books. Or it could just be a population thing - not enough people in Canada in general.

The indy bookstores are the big winners here, I think, and probably Amazon as well. Perhaps Canadians who care about reading prefer quality and customer-service-oriented shops as opposed to sprawling, faceless, lowest-common-denominator chains. The format feels very American. On the other hand, many people who read are also busy professionals who prefer to shop online because they don't have time for in-store browsing.


Wandering around town, it looks like the indy trade is beginning to recover here. Those that survived the onslaught of Chapters/Indigo appear to be doing OK. Book City has been adding branches across the city, the latest on Yonge south of Bloor, the niche stores are carrying on, etc.

At least the American book giants (Borders and Barnes & Noble) still haven't dabbled too far into the oddball stuff. True, they carry notebooks, CDs and the odd gift item - but for the most part, you can see that the book selection is still deeper than the typical Indigo/Chapters. Besides, those stores still have the comfy chairs (whose removal was the first sign something was afoot at Indigo/Chapters. They disappeared entirely for awhile at the local branch, but I wonder if customer complaints brought them back, albeit with fewer, not-so-comfy wooden seats).

Meanwhile, hope you like those crystals... - JB, EC

Monday, September 20, 2004

digesting it all

Back in early August, I spent a week at the family compound sifting through the tons of old sports mags kicking around. It has taken awhile to go through them, but the light is at the end of the tunnel. There's only a couple of boxes to go through before they have all been prepared for eBay or hacked up for clipart.

For a few years in the mid-late 80s, little sports junkie Jamie subscribed to Baseball Digest and Hockey Digest. These mags were as old as the hills - my father had a couple of crumbling issues from the 50s kicking around. Not deep, analytical reading, but enough to kill off the afternoon they arrived in the mail.

Even then, I sensed these digests were in a time warp. The ads were the giveaway - into the early 90s, you could still order Fleetwood 7" records of late 60s sports highlights, posters of NHL stars circa 1973 and hats with slots to display your favourite player's sports card. The NHL poster offer was especially funny, given that no team posters were available for any team who joined the league after 1972. You could still order a team shot of the California Golden Seals long after they ceased to exist.

Typical Baseball Digest articles:
"Al Nipper Joined A Select Group of World Series Starters" (change the position and player, and you had the smae article year-after-year. Kind of like the kid in grade school who delivered the same speech about Terry Fox each year, only changing the number of years since he passed on)

"The '67 White Sox Had Pitching, But No Punch!" (again, a fill-in-the-blank piece - shuffle years and hitting/pitching. The editors must have had a Mad Libs template)

"These Are The Majors Worst Hitters of '80s - So Far!" (Mario Mendoza didn't play deep enough into the decade to qualify - the guy they named the "Mendoza Line" stat after, to measure how futile a hitter you are)

"Whatever Became Of Two-Hour Games In The Majors?"

"Kurt Bevacqua: Life and Times of a Big League Utility Player" (well remembered for having a baseball card in '76 depicting his victory in a Bazooka gum blow-off)

Typical Hockey Digest articles:
"The Sutter Brothers - They All Play Like Sutters!" (as opposed to playing like Gretzkys or Kannegiesers)

"Ron Francis Has Become A Whale Of A Leader" (this pun is one reason I miss the Hartford Whalers..."Ron Francis Has Become a Hurricane Of A Leader" lacks zip)

"The Flames Finally Went Out" (and all the people were singing, they said nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah...)

"Hockey Doctors Tell Chilling Tales" (heh heh kiddies, it's the old Mortician here to tell you about the knees that eroded away!)

"Tony Esposito Enjoyed His Hall Of Fame Night" (wouldn't it be more interesting to know who didn't?)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

return of the revenge of the telemarketer from green hell

They keep trying...and it's getting more pathetic. Got my first phone message from Athletic/Best Price movers in awhile, featuring the debut (on my phone) of Johnny, which is the same dude either (a) holding his nose as he speaks or (b) attempting the world's worst W.C. Fields imitation. If you get this message, you be the judge.

Some suggestions for next time, Boris/Johnny/Reggie/Tugboat Bill/whatever your real name is:
1) Carmine, who attempts to pitch the moving company as if he failed the audition for Taxi Driver or any other Scorsese picture.
2) Joost, using a dutch or swedish accent, the type last used by Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places.
3) Fritz, with even less plausibility as a German than Kevin McDonald's accent teacher on Kids In The Hall.
4) Roxy, attempting to sell moving services like Al Jolson, but stumbling in his attempts to sing.
5) Shecky, attempting to sound like Shrek, hoping somebody's confused (unlikely, given those unexplained lapses into Welsh).

Saturday, September 04, 2004

bmx revisited

I'm finally starting a long overdue task around here - sorting through my cassette collection to see what stays, what goes. While going through the first rack, found a tape of the "house band" in my residence during my third year of university, BMX. They were essentially a joke band, but managed to play a few fun gigs before petering out.

Consider this a lost chunk of the rich musical history of Guelph in the past two decades.

The core members of the group were Beastmaster X (vocals), DJ JD Masta Snack Cracka (guitar), Doctor Renfrew Boney Row-Row (bass), Punk Bitch (cello, vocals), Gary (drums) and Bonhomme Carnival (interpretive dancing). Slam dancers were often on hand to liven the crowd up.

Their repertoire was mostly covers, such as the two songs featured today (in their original forms - the only BMX material I have is on tape, and let's just say CRMW central doesn't have the transfer technology yet). Beastmaster X belted out the Martian tune, while Rebel Girl was Punk Bitch's solo showcase. Other tunes they covered included the theme from Sesame Street. Their main original tune was the growly Hazlenut Chocolate Mousse Torte ("oh what a cake/why don't you take a bite"), an ode to the dessert.

(photo to be restored)
The fuzz busted the show pictured here. The crime: making too much noise in the courtyard outside Zavitz Hall (the fine art building). L-R: Snack Cracka, Gary (hidden), Bonhomme, Beastmaster, Doctor, Punk.

At least one show was recorded for posterity, at the venerable Albion Hotel in November of '96 (pictured at the top of this entry). The set list gives a flavour of the band's repertoire:

I Turned Into A Martian/Heartbreak Hotel/Macarena/Sesame Street/Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Torte/Devil Inside/Rebel Girl/Bitches (a band original)/Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard/Theme From Happy Days/Ice Ice Baby

Friday, August 27, 2004

campening '04

Campening Group 1

Another year, another PPP-organized campening (not camping - that would imply we're hard-core campers) trip down to Guelph Lake. It was the fifth one for the girls, and my second. You can look back on my maiden voyage here.

The trip began by loading Dee and Tipper's stuff into the car. Tipper's a dog, the first time I'd ever carted one in the car, and she was well-behaved on the trip down to Guelph, with free reign over the backseat. We arrived at the campsite at sunset, leaving us to set up the tent in the dark (seeing how compact they are these days, I should pick one up next time CT has an employee sale).

I took a notebook with me and scribbled a few words:

2:50 PM, Saturday, August 21st
Rest time here at campsite 608. Tipper's just emerged from a quick dip in the water, in the lagoon next to the site. Dee's gradually turning red, Kiersten's taking a nap, Jeff's reading a book and Ken's flipping through today's Star. We're waiting for the imminent arrival of Jess, Mark and Nile. Just wrapped up lunch, some kebobs we picked up in St. Jacobs this morning.

Forgot to pack a few things for the trip. No pillow (used an extra
sleeping bag as a headrest last night, then bought one this morning). No beach towel (looks like there's plenty to go around).

Heard our neighbours well into the night, a bush party cranking out a CD of all-too-familiar 70s tunes. Try going to sleep with drunk chickies belting out Hotel California. Also nearby is an Asian bible group from U of T, who we heard singing this morning.

Megan had to leave this morning, to go on a golfing trip, which she wasn't looking forward to. All of us conked out early last night, before midnight, though it took Tipper awhile to settle down. Jeff was the first to drop dead, but then he'd been up for 40 hours straight.

3:06 PM - Looks like the others are here now.

7:05 PM - Middle of a round of Calvin rules croquet, getting sillier by the minute. Effects of booze starting to sink in for most of the crew. "Calvin rules" mean that each time a player sends a ball through a wicket, they introduce a new rule. Hence the breakdancing, belly biting, dog touching, running starts, movie quotes, Jerry Springer show titles and gratuitous references to "tranny c**k" (don't ask). Junk food intake increasing. Several others turned up to share in the fun, but aren't staying overnight. Dinner's on its way, with potatoes and corn buried in the fire pit. Only Tipper has ventured into the water. Megan just called, Jess has been handed the task of convincing her to come back. Tipper just took a dump on the croquet field - "it's pretty squishy tummy, there's no picking that up."


***

Making Fire Happen

With that, Calvin rules drew to a close, by this point requiring victory laps from those still playing. We then dined until the sun went down, then sat around the campfire.


The crowd dwindled until the last bunch debated ethical dilemmas that started off sensibly, but devolved into hitting one's grandmother in the face for vast sums of money or shaking winos until they spewed for the same. I blame it on the time of the night and the mixture of booze, sausage and junk food in our systems.

Spent Sunday morning preparing to leave, fatigue having set in for all. Tipper may have been most affected - she wasn't wagging her tail or moving around much. Took a leisurely way back into the city, bringing campening to a close for another year.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

we can be geeks, just for one day



After missing a show a few months back, I finally got to see some fellow Arts House alumni in their latest venture, a modern-day take on the classic carnival sideshow. Ringmaster The Great Orbax started the show with a demonstration of how to hammer various lengths of nail up your nose without scraping brain cells, tossing aside cheesy jokes along the way. Down front was a crowd of designated hecklers mocking him at every turn. Also introduced was the old carny staple, the Wild Man of Borneo...er...Barrie in this case (though as far as some city dwellers are concerned, Barrie may as well be Borneo). Only one problem faced Orbax and the Wild Man - the daredevil act of prying open a plastic grocery store BBQ chicken container. It would have been easier to bite the head off a live bird.

Pretty Polly wore a china doll mask as she wielded, then lay upon, large knives, withput apparent injury. Psychibilly music from the Matadors followed, providing exercise for my toes.

I managed to get into the act - once directly, once indirectly. During intermission, wandered by a couple of the performers, heard my name tossed off at the end of a sentence...to provide a Moosehead to calm down the Wild Man. Managed to spill half of it on me before it was time to dash out. Thankfully there were no OPP patrols on the highway later on, even after I washed my hands.

As for the indirect...watching Mme. Harpie's critter-swallowing act, noticed the soundtrack was classic jazz. When Lambert, Hendricks & Ross played as critters were being downed, struck me it was the instant jazz library of discs I gave her last year that were being used. Cute set-up - she's in a stylish restaurant, with Orbax serving her various crawling specimens, in a genteel manner.

After she downed the closing goldfish cocktail, it was time to dash out. Could have stuck around for the jello wrestling, but I wanted to make it back to A'burg before sunrise. The ride back was the opposite of the torturous drive post-radio show. Smooth sailing along 401. with no maniacs and no drowsiness. The trip was three times long than the other night, but felt much shorter. Lesson - ya gotta crank 60s garage rock to get you through the night.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

on the air - show #6

Last radio show of the summer run, ending on an up note. Only one tech snafu (open a CD player in the middle of a tune), a few requests, and no dopeyness on the drive back. Once again, Friday the 13th proves a good day.

Mean Mean Man - Wanda Jackson
Opening rave-up tune.

Walk On By - Isaac Hayes
Cool It - Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy
Can You Get To That - Funkadelic

Still needed to get myself organized, so I threw on the longest track I had with me. Also noticed I was in manic DJ mode, talking louder, deeper and more "frantic" than usual...and having a ball.

Coolest Little Monster - John Zacherle
Night Of Fear - The Move
Drivin' Nails In My Coffin - Ernest Tubb
Yummy Yummy Yummy - Julie London

The "Friday the 13th" related set. Attempted Count Floyd imitation after the Julie London track. True, it doesn't have any fear-related elements in the title (the stretch I used to include the Tubb track)...it's scary in a different manner.

Harry Irene - Captain Beefheart
A Good Flying Day - The Sadies
When You're Next To Me - Mitch and Mickey
Kaze Wo Atsumete - Happy End
Hully Gully Fever - Rudy Ray Moore
I Only Have Eyes For You - The Flamingos

Mixed bag to end hour one. Happy End was accidentally ejected near the end of the song, prompting a quick switch to the Moore track.

It's My Pride - The Evaporators
Hour two kicked off with this revved cover of an early Guess Who garage-rocker.

Just In Case You Wonder - The Ugly Ducklings
Looking At You (A2 version) - MC5
I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better - Four Of Us
Friday At The Hideout - The Underdogs
Frenzy -The Fugs
Mr. Pharmacist - The Other Half

60s rock set, leaning towards garage rock for most of it.

Get A Bloomin' Move On - Quincy Jones
Disco 2000 - Pulp
Mississauga Goddam - The Hidden Cameras
La La La - St. Etienne
If I'm Gonna Sink (I Might As Well Go To The Bottom) - Neko Case

Mid-hour mixed bag of covers, new music and old film soundtracks.

Song Of Beads - Beverley Glenn-Copeland
Magic People - The Paupers
Madame Bertrand - Robert Charlebois et Mouffe
Mexico - Les Merseys
Past Is Past - The Dishrags
Terminal Twilight - Martha & The Muffins

Can-Con catch-up time.

Zydeco Express - C.J. Chenier
Make It Easy On Yourself - Burt Bacharach
Stuff Up The Cracks (vinyl version) - Mothers of Invention
The Dog Breath Variations - Mothers of Invention

As I was preparing to start packing up, the request line lit up like mad. Results: the Chenier and Mothers tracks, along with extending the show past 1 AM. Final proof a few insomniacs were listening.

Karma Police - Radiohead
Ended the show with this, since it's been floating in my head for the past few weeks - not sure why. Maybe I was losing myself on the air, though in a fun way.

And so ends this summer's resurrection as a DJ with an ongoing show. I've been given several offers to continue on, but I suspect I'll have a busy fall and do't want to drive out there all the time in the winter (one of the risks of locking myself into a full-time gig an hour from homebase). Still, when time permits, I'll check out to see if I can do the occasional fill-in, maybe work out a similar arrangement next summer.

If you'd like to sample CFRU's programs, go here...but wait until after the Olympics, due to licensing issues with the BBC.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

how to handle bratty kids at an indian lunch buffet

Went out for lunch to the new branch of Siddhartha at Yonge & Eglinton, a major improvement over the previous tenant (Bombay Host, which had the blandest Indian spread I've ever tasted). Seated nearby were a couple of yuppie-ish mothers and their bratty kids. You know, the type who smile and think it's cute when their little darlings run amok. They screamed, ran around other tables, etc. At one point, they told a couple of guys who wanted the window seat next to them that the kids (and their strollers, which the kids appeared too large for) needed space.

For once I saw a restaurant take action.

The mothers had decided to share their buffets with the kids, getting them small plates of rice, which the brats proceeded to toss on the seats and floor. Something happened which caused them to call a waiter over to clean up the mess.

Not sure what happened next, other than the manager came out and the
mothers weren't happy.

"How can you make us pay? They're just children, you know. Nobody else does this to us! They're only children! All places should be child-friendly! Why don't you have high-chairs?"

Seems they were going to be charged full buffet price for the mess the little darlings made ($7.95). Noticed a few smiling faces at other tables as the drama played itself out. The moms and kids soon left, bumping and blocking other diners, vowing never to return.

Monday, August 09, 2004

photo du jour


Old White Rose gas station sign at a former fruit stand (Murray's Orchards), east of Harrow, Ontario, Aug 5/04

Saturday, July 31, 2004

on the air - show #5

Not a good outing. Should have stayed in Toronto for Jordo's send-off (which was promising to be a good time, despite the drizzle on the Madison's patio).

Frozen Warnings - Nico
I should have heeded her warnings.

Ramblin' Gamblin' Man - Bob Seger System
Farmer John - Tidal Waves
Heinz Baked Beans - The Who
Mary Ann With The Shaky Hand (excerpt) - The Who
Why Am I Treated So Bad - Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
The First Cut Is The Deepest - P.P. Arnold

The fun began during Mary Ann With The Shaky Hand, which developed a shaky performance - skip-o-rama. Veered from late 60s Detroit material to late 60s Britain.

O Nosso Amor - Antonio Carlos Jobim/Luis Bonfa
Life Is A Carnival - The Band
Carnaval - Santana
Carnival - The Cardigans
Carnaval In Rio - Heino

Guess the theme here. This set ran smoothly and I thought all was well and good. Starting thinking ahead to a "fistful of 45s" segment. One hitch - discovered I'd forgotten to bring a disc of festive Brazilian tunes. Stevie D suggested the early 70s Santana track before I left TO, which fit beautifully into this set.

Sunday Morning - Manu Dibango
Chicken Strut - The Meters
Swan's Splashdown - Perrey & Kingsley
Second Cut - James Clarke

Mostly instrumental, mostly smooth sailing.

Silver Machine - Hawkwind
Les Filles - Les Sultans
Little White Lies - The Painted Ship
open Up Your Door - Richard & The Young Lions

60s-70s rock, starting to sneak in some CanCon. A couple of discs weren't liked by the newer CD decks, so there was a bit of scrambling to cue up tracks. Also discovered I'd forgotten to bring several more discs I'd made just for playing on this show - those tracks will have to wait until next time (mostly recent discoveries from the net).

I'll Keep Coming Back - The Guess Who
Keep On Running - Grant Smith & The Power
Stood Up - Sloan

When the shit started to hit the fan. I had planned to spend most of hour two playing 45s, either lesser-known B-sides of smash hits or long-buried singles in the station's 45 file cabinet. Strike one - there's only one 45 adapter. Strike two - it's slightly too small for either of the turntables. Strike three - try to make it fit, throw on the first 45 (an early Guess Who, B-side of Hurting Each Other), but by the end of song, the record is wandering around the turntable. Panic-striken, I grab the first CD at hand and throw it in the player. Sort of made things work for the Sloan 45, but decided to give up, as everything in the studio conspired against me. The mic fell, I tripped over the headphone cord getting out of the chair, log sheets flew everywhere, piles of CDs fell.

Boot To The Head - The Frantics
In a froth, I came close to a mini-meltdown on air, indicating all was not good...and I really wanted to give something a boot to the head. Luckily, I had a Frantics CD with me...

Don't Be Afraid - Howie Beck
Stab It & Steer It - Atomic 7
No One Has Ever Looked So Dead - The Organ

The last two reflected my blackening mood. After a long day, I started to feel dopey around this time. Hatched a plan to get myself out early, yet still fill the airwaves through 1 am.

Constipation Blues - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Mothers of Invention bootleg, June 25/66
Please Don't Pass Me By (live) - Leonard Cohen
Hockey Night In Canada - The Shuffle Demons

After playing Constipation Blues, threw on two lengthy tracks to provide time to file away all station material I had pulled. Gradually cooled off, though items kept getting in my way.

On The Way Home (alternate version) - Buffalo Springfield
With a terse goodnight, threw this on, finished cleaning up, then hightailed it out. Trip home was a nerve-wracking affair, downpours alternating with maniac drivers and creeping fatigue. Had to get onto Eglinton when I reached the airport, finally arrived home around 2:30 and threw myself onto my bed.

One more to go...and it's got to be better than this one.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

warehouse special of the week: max monkey

This week, the Warehouse takes a moment to remember one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived, Mr. Max Monkey. Back in the early 50s, Max charmed audiences around the world with his unique piano jazz stylings.

Though he was best known for his boogie woogie tunes, Max was equally adept at mastering the newest sounds of the day. From 1947 to 1961, Max was one of RCA’s best selling artists –who has never seen a copy of 1959’s classic album A Monkey at Carnegie Hall?

The Max Monkey trio (Max on piano, Charlie Chimp on bass and Ollie Orangutan on drums) laboured on through the 1960s, until tragedy struck in 1963 when Charlie was killed in a banana truck mishap. The loss hit Max hard, which exacerbated a growing problem with the bottle. By 1966, Max was reduced to whatever low-paying gig he could find, and spent too much time hanging out with Chet Baker.

By 1968, Max had gone through rehab and was ready to take on the world again. Unfortunately, the world wasn’t ready to embrace him again, and The Groovy New World of Max Monkey flopped. He left the music business, embraced God and lived quietly until his death in 1974.



As Max’s legacy, the Warehouse is proud to offer at a special price several reissues of Max’s classic material from the 50s, on CD and record. Come down next weekend, when Max’s grandson Marcus proves talent runs in the family genes as he plays some of Max’s favourite tunes. You’ll swing, you’ll laugh, you’ll be astonished. Also check out our new Rent-a-Monkey department!

goodbye 28, hello 29 (or one step closer to not being trustworthy)

Yeah, it's birthday time again, the last of my twenties. For some friends, this is a sign of creeping mortality, or fear days of youthful misadventure are coming to an end.

I'm a year older - hoohah. It's not physical or chronological age that matters, it's your outlook on life, a point proven way back in high school. My year wasn't the most exicting lot on the planet, especially those in my morning home room. They may have been 16, but already gave off the impression of being well into middle age - no crazy stunts, conversations revolving around duck hunting similar to old men, etc. Heck, I was pretty comfortable as a couch potato.

Ideas I had in high school I'm glad I didn't stick to:
  • That I would never, ever live in Toronto
  • Fear that by choosing an arts-based residence to live in at university, I'd be stuck with a pile of pretentious creeps
  • The whole "too cool to do certain things" mindset most teens fall prey to, however briefly (if I'd stuck to this, wouldn't have so many crazy stories from university, though I'll admit it took a month or two of Arts House to let it go)

University was a release, to see that it was OK to act a little loony. That failing a course was not the end of the world. That there are people out there who are willing to go places to do things, not sit around the house all day. It felt like adolescence and young adulthood had reversed themselves. I wasn't complaining (except that maybe I should have been bolder on the "fessing up to girls I really like" front - live and learn).

28 was a great year...finally saw a large chunk of North America, followed through on keeping a journal (weblog) regularly for the first time since pre-Ontarion days, developed new friendships, took stabs at the dating field, wrote a script, pushed my graphic design abilities, kept my boss happy, etc. If 29 maintains the same pace, I'll be a happy camper.

In the end, the key is to allow your mind to stay young, progressive and curious. If I evolve into an old fogey whose conversations are fixated on the weather and what a wonderful job the Reform Conservative Alliance is doing, it's time for the glue factory.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

dancing with fire


More fun with the BloggerBot. Dancing around fireworks in suburban Guelph on Canada Day, 1997. Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 10, 2004

on the air - show #4

Like show #3, a smooth one, helped by a third CD deck added to the studio. Before going into the playlist, let's take a quick tour of CFRU as it looks in 2004.


Here's the main hallway leading to the studios, looking much neater than I remember (the ramp was installed back in the day).


What is a campus radio station without a door plastered with promotional stickers? See if you can find your favourite band in this picture.


One wing of the CD library, which appears to be in good shape these days. The record library is an environmental disaster, with platters scattered everywhere. There are still traces of the time I attempted a grand reorganization of it years ago - there are still stickers with my handwriting on the shelves.


Finally, the on-air studio, where the magic world of radio comes to life. You could accurately film a period piece in here, which is part of its charm (though you'd have to move the old cart machines back in - those were being used into the new millenium). Wonder if anybody still digs out archival reels - those used to be fun to play around with (I should check the archive room to see if one backup show I recorded for fun on reel-to-reel still exists).

For more information about the station, and a live stream, check out their website. Looks like there's special programming coming up for the annual Hillside Festival (where back in '99, I spent a fun day driving around musicians and their equipment and had a chance to mow down former co-workers I despised - but's that's a tale for another day).

On with the show...

The Prisoner Theme - Ron Grainer
Started withe the ITC theme, then rolled into this classic TV theme. Besides, it was on the same disc as the next track...

You Know What I Mean - Vernons Girls
Anyone Who Had A Heart - Dusty Springfield
Don't Be That Way - Ella Fitzgerald and Nelson Riddle
Ain't Got No - I've Got Life - Nina Simone
I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight - Richard & Linda Thompson

Other than female vocals, no links between these tunes.

Baby - Bebel Gilberto
All Good Scabs - Lederhosen Lucil
Robert Smith - The Gay
Monday Monday Monday - Tegan & Sara
One I Love You - Carolyn Mark & Dave Lang
Bat Macumba - Os Mutantes

Four Canadian tracks bookended by Brazilian tunes.

Hard Times - Baby Huey
If You Need Me - Wilson Pickett
Happy Go Lucky Girl - The Paragons
Bangarang - Stranger Cole & Lester Sterling
Help Me Make It Through The Night - John Holt
Come In Out Of The Rain - Parliament

A Curtis Mayfield production, followed by a Solomon Burke, a sidetrip to Jamaica, finally early P-Funk.

Older Guys - The Flying Burrito Brothers
Don't Monkey With Another Monkey's Monkey - Johnny Paycheck
Cool Water - Sons Of The Pioneers
Dreamin' Man - Neil Young

Country/country-rock set.

Bridge Over Troubled Water - Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr.
The Merry Go Round Broke Down/excerpts from "Porky In Wackyland" - Carl Stalling
What Is Love? - Anthony Quinn
Rosemary - The Dickies

The obligatory oddball set. Ervin was one of the key figures in the Watergate hearings, beloved for his folksy charm. The Quinn tune is one of the strangest odes to love ever recorded, though frumps will love it.

Turn On Your Lovelight - Les Sultans
It Hurts To Be In Love - Les Classels
I Think I'm Losing My Marbles - Mainline
Funky Roller Skates - Brutus
A Shot in The Dark - Big Sugar
Dead Animal - The Frantics
Celebrity Cocktails - Atomic 7

CanCon set.

Well It's True That We Love One Another - The White Stripes
Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lie - The Cosmic Rays
He Gives Us All His Love - Randy Newman
Show Me a Smile - Fleetwood Mac

The wind-down, mainly to play acts I'd named off earlier. The Cosmic Rays were a mid-50s doowop group produced by Sun Ra.

Earth To Doris - Was (Not Was)
This always felt like a good end-of-show tune to me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

after the election

I slept better than usual last night. The Tories didn't win. The NDP got a balance-of-power position.

It'll be fun to read right-wing pundits in the next few days, as they try to figure out what went wrong with their dreams of a Canada with Stephen Harper at the driver's seat. Look forward to articles harping on the "cowardice" of Canadian voters to make a significant change, their failure to entirely turf the bums out. Maybe I should pick up a copy of the Post or Sun today, for a laugh...

OK, picked up the other papers. Here's the headlines in case you missed them:
Globe and Mail: ONTARIO RESCUES MARTIN
Toronto Star: MARTIN: WE GOT YOUR MESSAGE
National Post: LIBERAL MINORITY
Toronto Sun: There are plenty of...RED FACES!

The latter was especially sour in its mood, finding fault with voters who seemed crazy voting for a "tax-and-spend" government, disparaging voters for getting "the government they deserve". Howlers from the Sun include:

"Smug Socialists" - a columnist's term for Toronto city council, who they feel will be all too happy with a Lib-NDP combo.

"Laughing like a kid who had eaten too much birthday cake he marvelled at how the party earned more than four times the votes over last election" - a CP report on Green Party leader Jim Harris

"Traitor. Man of principle. Turncoat." - an opening description for a paragraph on Tory-turned-reelected Liberal Scott Brison

"As it turns out, there are still years of work ahead before we're going to get another crack at throwing these Liberal bums out." - editor Lorrie Goldstein

Most of the paper was devoted to "perv" stories or useless entertainment paragraphs, which reminded why I never rise with the Sun.

***

A few results flipped overnight, producing the potential for something we haven't seen since the pre-Confederation governments - political deadlock. Back in the early-to-mid 1860s, the representative count between the forerunners of the Conservatives and Liberals were so even governments crashed and burned regularly. As of 9 this morning, it looks like 154 in the Lib-NDP camp, 153 in the Tory-BQ camp, with 1 other who used to be an Alliance MP. If recounts don't shift the numbers around, it should be interesting to see how long anybody remains in power.

As for the Manor Rd sign count - things were on an even keel for the parties here compared to the rest of the riding, with Carolyn Bennett (Liberal-incumbent) having no problems walking away with the riding - here's the results.

I watched the CBC coverage on the net, which surprisingly didn't cause my machine to have a meltdown. Sounds like I missed verbal jousts on CTV I would have loved (especially reports of Brian Tobin really socking it to David Frum).

Saturday, June 26, 2004

on the air - show #3

The most relaxed show so far in this summer run - the old CD decks have been moved back into the on-air studio while the new ones are being rejigged (the buttons are too darn sticky). No technical snafus. I've got my groove back.

Strict Time - Elvis Costello
Opening song, figured it was a good, bouncy tune to get things rolling...

Go Go Trudeau - Les Sinners
Vote For Me - The Move
The Amendment Song - Jack Sheldon
Promises Promises - Dionne Warwick
Quimby Campaign Ad - The Simpsons
Election Special - Monty Python
Richard Nixon - Rod & The MSR Singers
Dief Will Be The Chief Again - Stringband

An election-inspired set, which would have included two more songs if (a) I had spent time at home digging for a tape (Political Science by Randy Newman) and (b) discovered the station had the album on CD, but only the case (Political by Spirit of the West). Could have used more Simpsons. The Python skit is too close to what coverage will be like Monday night - I wonder what the swong will say for, hmmm, let's pick a crazy riding, Toronto-Danforth.

Heaven Is In Your Mind - Traffic
Making Time - The Creation
Rosalyn - The Pretty Things
Rockaliser Baby - The Bonzo Dog Band
King Midas In Reverse - The Hollies
Why Are We Sleeping? - Soft Machine

60s British pop set, veering into proto prog-rock at the end.

Good Morning and Goodbye - Hot Potatoes
We Come Here To Sing - The Two-Tones
The Sultan - The Squires
Back And Forth - Chad Allan & The Reflections
Hard To Cry - The Northwest Company
L'Amour C'est Un Jeu - Les Ingenues
Reste - Les Bises
Hello Goodbye - Les Intrigantes

The Can-Con requirement set, diving back into the 60s except for the first track, an ultra-obscuro 70s album I found lying loose in the library. Looked like it'd hardly received any play since its release in '73. Followed by three Canadian music icons in early incarnations - half of the Two Tones was Gordon Lightfoot (circa '61-'62), the Squires' guitarist was Neil Young (circa '63-'64, produced by a Bob Bradburn - wonder if there's any relation?), while Chad Allan & The Reflections evolved into the Guess Who (B-side of first single, circa '63). A quick trip out to late 60s Vancouver, followed by three late 60s Quebec girl groups. Reste is a cover of Stay (just a little bit longer...).

Needle In A Haystack - Jenny Whiteley
Right Right Now Now - Beastie Boys
The Late Greats - Wilco
Alone Again Or - Calexico
Ritmo Uni (Remix) - Cal Tjader/Eddie Palmieri
Everything Starts With The Seam - The Polyphonic Spree
Tres Tres Chic - Mocean Worker

A run through the new releases library, even if some of the material isn't new (a remix of a mid-60s Tjader/Palmieri tune, plus Calexcio's cover of the Love classic).

Touch Of Evil - Henry Mancini
The Electric Version - The New Pornographers
Bicho Do Mato - Elis Regina
She's Mad - David Byrne
Give 'Em Love - Soul Children

Mixing it up in the end - Mancini revisiting one of his earliest movie scores with a big band, recent Canadian rock, early 70s Brazilian pop, forward to the early 90s, then back to a late 60s Stax classic.

Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
Since I played a French cover earlier, thought the original would make a nice ending before switching to Auntie Beeb.

Monday, June 14, 2004

on the road again: montreal

The Drive Down
No problems on the way. I was surprised that I stuck to 401 most of the trip, except for a trek down the Thousand Islands Parkway, once destined to be 401 - see here for the story. The too-wide bridges for the bike path give away the location of the old westbound lanes. Headed into Montreal at the start of rush hour, but found a way in that didn't trap me in traffic for eons - Rte 20 through Dorion, then along Cote-de-Liesse, then backstreets to Decarie. Anything to avoid the insanity of everyone merging onto the Trans-Canada.

Dropped my stuff off at the U of M, then headed downtown on the subway to spend the rest of the day wandering along Sainte-Catherine. Filled up on Indian food, bought a sweater and didn't see anyone sitting on the sidewalk pelting passers-by with pop cans (narrowly avoided that last time down).

One thing I noticed on the subway throughout the trip: if New York is the city where everyone shows their affection by yelling at each other, Montreal is the city where mushiness reigns supreme. Never seen so many people in need of a hotel room on public transit (especially the under-25 set). It'd be heaven for peeping toms, who wouldn't have to peep.

A Taste of Quebec...and Essex County
First stop the next morning as Marche Jean-Talon, a large outdoor market in the Little Italy neighbourhood, mostly sitting under a concrete frame intended to be a bus terminal. Beautiful looking goods, which I might have purchased if I was headed back that day. Lots of fresh fruit samples. The source of some of the produce was interesting: giant crates with Essex County addresses.

On the south side of the market, stopped in a store that specialized in Quebec-made food. Le Marche des Saveurs du Quebec. Lots of curios, some too weird for novelty value (cedar jelly anyone? pickled cattails?). Tons of preserves, maple-enhanced everything and bizarro booze. Fell into temptation with the latter, walking out with mead, black currant-infused mead and saskatoon berry-flavoured cider.

In Search of Smoked Meat
After a quick trip back to the university to drop off the bottles, headed down to St. Laurent to look for lunch. Felt like smoked meat, saw the lineup at Schwartz's was too long, so headed across the street to The Main. Decided to go for the gold, with a smoked meat platter. Feling adventurous, I went for medium (usually go for lean, not a big fan of chewing fat). Wound up being too fatty for my liking (which would have led most smoked meat fanatics to nirvana), but there was still plenty of tasty, well-spiced meat. Skip the bathroom.

Headed over to Mont-Royal and St. Denis next, to begin browsing the used CD stores. Didn't go overboard like last time, but still managed to fill my backpack. Cheap multi-disc sets reigned, with the best bargain a four-disc Blue Note jazz collection for only $16. Dodged the Middle East protests by the Metro station. Dithered on a few DVDs but ultimately bought none (came this close to picking up Limelight, but figured I'd wait to purchase either of the Chaplin box sets someday).

After a vegetarian dinner (to compensate for the meat overload at lunch), headed back to home base, hopped in the car and went for a drive. Headed over the St. Lawrence on the world's screwiest bridge, the Pont Victoria. I once used it in the dark and couldn't figure out where I was going, other than in circles. Daylight doesn't improve matters - this bridge should be considered an amusement park ride, not a route for commuuters. Whee, look at me go round and round! Don't go flying over that metal bump!

Once on the south shore, I got lost. Somehow, I wound up halfway to St. Hyacinthe. Oh well. After shopping for Quebec-only groceries at a Metro store, I returned to the university and snapped some shots of the artwork in the residence. No residence is complete without a shrine to the intense late German actor, Klaus Kinski.

Ottawa

Next day, up bright and early again to drive back into Ontario, to visit some of my former co-workers at the Ontarion. Nice to see Cherolyn, Marshal and Jay again after a year. Had brunch at a diner with a bowling alley attached to the back and discussed life in the nation's capital and the civil service. I arrived in Ottawa early, so I thought I'd kill time by driving along the river and past Parliament Hill. Bad idea - tons of detours due to cycling events. Wound up being the last one at the diner.

After a quick drive around, met back up with Marshal to join in part of a road hockey game on a dead-end street. Only the odd bicycle caused cries of "game off!" It's been awhile since I played road shinny and I felt it, losing steam after an hour (and I was the youngest one there!) Figured I'd better get back to Montreal before my energy totally vanished. It was fun though - maybe we can do it again next year.

A Step Backwards In Time
Back in Montreal, I didn't feel like going straight back to the university for a pit stop, so I wandered aimlessly around the island, looking for any interesting dinner possibilities. Wound up out by Olympic Stadium and remembered a place Amy and I had passed on a previous trip, Jardin Tiki. Later research on the web reveal it was a true dinosaur - the last authentic tiki bar/restaurant in Canada.

The highbacked bamboo chairs, fake tropical plants, tiki idols and layout of the drink menu added to the feeling that I'd jumped back 30 years. This wasn't post-modernist retro, this was the real thing. Since I wasn't in the mood for downing anything coconut-based, which ruled out most of the over-the-top containers. Settled for a simple Rain Maker, made up of orange juice and various forms o' booze.


The food is standard Chinese buffet, though it wasn't greasy and didn't induce heartburn or acid attacks. Top items: curried shrimp that weren't drowning in sauce, tender roast beef and stir-fried (not battered) frog legs that would have made my mother cringe.

Links to other tales of the Tiki: 1, 2

Drove around some more. Feeling thirsty, stopped at the giant orange near the university - the Orange Julep stand on Decarie.


Smoked Meat, Part 2
The last morning around Montreal involved stops for bagels (a dozen at St. Viateur, a dozen at Fairmount, to cover all the bases) and a last look at CDs on Mont-Royal (bought nothing, but discovered street parking's dirt cheap - 50 cents/hour). Headed back to Decarie in search of another smoked meat palace I'd read about Snowdon Deli. Great find - went for the lean smoked meat platter, which was tastier than the plate I had at the Main. A much more attractive place than the smoked meat shops on St. Laurent - bright, clean interior and waitresses that looked like they'd been there since the dawn of man. Good note to end my visit to Montreal.

The Road Back
Rather than sticking to freeways on the way out, hopped onto Rte 342 in Dorion (what I'm guessing might have been the old continuation of Hwy 17 into Quebec). Got thirsty, then got lost searching for something to drink in Hudson. Found this though...

My Favourite Quebec Road Sign

When Amy and I drove along the south shore of the St. Lawrence from Quebec City to Montreal a few years ago, this graphic sign greeted us upon entering every town. If you miss the point, you shouldn't be on the road. Hudson was pretty, but confusing, and I eventually found my way back to the highway.

Once back in Ontario, drove down to old Hwy 43, which looked like a decent bypass of Ottawa and a direct route to the Hershey factory in Smiths Falls. It is that, but also boring and full of pokey drivers (50 in an 80) you can't pass due to lots of curves. It's also full of Beer Store trucks whose drivers may have sampled their cargo. Not a recommended route.

Friday, June 11, 2004

on the air - show #2


Back to the airwaves...

Your Mind and We Belong Together - Love
A much smoother ride this time out, as the problems with CD player prompts have been fixed, though the one deck still sticks when attempting to eject a disc. Grabbed the disc on the top of the stack, featuring the A-side of the last single by the original incarnation of Love.

There's A Guy Down At The Chip Shop, Swears He's Elvis - Kirsty MacColl
Yesterday's Wine - Willie Nelson
Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde - Serge Gainsbourg
Summer Sun - Koop featuring Yukimi Nagano
Steven Smith - The Organ
Sissyneck - Beck

The opening set, playing hopscotch with several eras and genres. Kinda like the Organ disc - what is it about acts on the Mint label I'm attracted to? The Koop track is from a compilation thrown together to tie-in with the Pink Panther DVD box set, mostly loungey remixes.

WKNR Newscast June 20/66 - George Hunter
Remington Razor ad - Frank Zappa
Pata Pata - Miriam Makeba

Playing a taste of mid-60s AM radio. The newscast is about suspicious blazes in Detroit, reported in a stern style on one of Detroit's top stations of the era. I believe the Zappa ad won an award, and wouldn't have sounded out of place on an album like Absolutely Free or Uncle Meat.

RAY CHARLES MEMORIAL SET
Mess Around
Mary Ann
Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Bye Bye Love
Busted
Let's Go Get Stoned
Eleanor Rigby

R.I.P. Brother Ray.

Laughter - Bruce Cockburn
Bring My Father A Gift - Royal City
Pedalictus Rag - Mainline
Hockey Night In Canada Theme
A City Box - Barmitzvah Brothers
King of Kensington Theme
Je Cherche - Les Lutins
This Wheel's On Fire - Ian & Sylvia

Canadian Corner time, with tunes ranging from 60s Quebec rock to Guelph locals made good.

Jimmy Carter Says "Yes" - Gene Marshall
I Lost My Girl To An Argentine Cowboy - unidentified singer
City's Hospital Patients - Teri Summers & The Librettos
Fun in the Fundus (excerpt) - Rev. Fred Lane
Hot Cakes & Sausage - Ernie Kovacs & the Tony DeSimone Trio
Brush Up Your Shakespeare - Tony Randall & Jack Klugman

First three tracks are song-poems, followed by a bunch of crazy artists let loose in the recording studio. End the set with TV tie-ins. R.I.P. Tony.

Don't Be Denied/The Bridge/Last Dance - Neil Young
Show ends with side two of Time Fades Away.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

parts of childhood fading away department

One of my regular childhood vacation haunts appears to be on its last legs. As mentioned in past entries, my family vacationed in Toledo at least once a year to play around at the Holidome, stock up on glassware at the Libbey factory store and shop at Southwyck Mall. The centre of the mall was a huge sunken pit that Amy and I ran up and down while the parent not watching us went into the Lion department store. We ate kiddie meals at Friendly's or stopped at the only McDonalds mall location I'd ever seen. Samples galore at Hickory Farms, in the days before they set up holiday kiosks everywhere. Stops down the road at Centre supermarket or a meal at Bill Knapp's. Losing a shoe at another Holiday Inn nearby (don't remember, but Mom will never let me forget).

Over time, trips to Toledo grew less frequent (replaced by trips to Ann Arbor). I doubt I've been in Southwyck over the past decade, content to read about its decline rather than witness it. One anchor went belly-up (Montgomery Ward), while the Lion department and home stores were swallowed up by the Dillards chain. Mom and Dad made the odd trip there, but stopped aftet they found the place too depressing (and Dillards a comedown from Lion). Over the past couple of years, read about the other stores trickling out, other proposed shopping centres, the closure of the old home store and general disinterest from the current owner. The final nail appears to be the total pullout of Dillards, leading the Toledo Blade to treat its doomed condition as a police case.

The family's heading down to Toledo next month for a stock-up trip at Libbey's. If there's any time (and security isn't too observant), it's tempting to bring the digital camera along to snap some shots before it joins the annals of dead malls.

Monday, May 31, 2004

doors open 2004

After missing it for a couple of years, took advantage of the first non-miserable weekend of the spring to take in the annual Doors Open event.

Day 1 -Commerce Court/King Edward Hotel/St. James Church/Canadian Opera Company (Tanenbaum Centre)
Started off above King station, at Commerce Court North, once the tallest building in the British Commonwealth and currently home to CIBC private banking services (and a handy ATM). Stayed around for a brief description of the ornate ceiling and expensive floor, then headed to the Crystal Ballroom at the King Edward Hotel, the closest equivalent Toronto has to Detroit-style ruins (not the hotel, just the ballroom). Enough was left that it wasn't difficult to imagine what the room looked like in its heyday.

Faded glory

Great views of the city from the ballroom, including this one of the next stop - St. James Anglican Church.


Slowly circled around the church, staring at the stained glass and pipe organ (pictures taken of both for future stock photo use).

It's...The Bishop! (Strachan, that is...)

While in the neighbourhood, made a quick pit stop at St. Lawrence Market, surprised to still find vendors in the north hall at 2:30. Stuffed the backpack with veggies, then walked east along Front to see what was open. Ended up on a tour of the Tanenbaum Opera Centre over on Berkley, rehearsal home of the Canadian Opera Company. Thorough tour of the complex (except for the prop shop), which had previously been a Consumers Gas plant and a maraschino cherry factory.

Where opera chairs retire.

The tour included a hands-on segment, where the group was allowed to play with props and masks, most incorporating's the company's most valuable raw material, hockey tape. Didn't get my hand up fast enough to vent any latent rage by smashing a sugar plate against a door

Even the perogies have hockey tape in 'em.

Nearing 4, decided to head over to Queen West for a quick look around. The feet needed a rest, which called for a trip on the King streetcar. If it ever came...

It would have taken less time to attempt to hotwire this car than it took for the streetcar to arrive

Bounced around town for the rest of the day - Queen West, Danforth, finally a long walk along Queen East from Broadview to the end of the Beaches. Somehow the feet recovered in time for Day 2.

Day 2 - George Brown House/OCAD/Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art (temp)/Canada Life Building
Decided that shut-eye was better than waking up early, so it wasn't until 2:30 that round two of Doors Open began at the George Brown House (Baldwin & Beverley).

To the occupant of this house I owe one of my morning papers and Paul Martin his political party.

On Baldwin St, heard a faint chanting - a religious group out soaking up the sun while in meditation? Nope, just a couple of kids pitching lemonade from a red wagon, chanting in monotone "lemonade...25 cents...lemonade...25 cents...lemonade...). Turned south on McCaul and shot the cityscape. You've the CN Tower and a checkered box propped up in mid-air - OCAD's new addition.

"Look for the flying rectangle..."

So far, it's sterile inside the box-in-the-sky, all white concrete with different bold-coloured doors and window frames. Good views of the neighbourhood...perhaps too good, as you could spy at the activities in Village by the Grange (lots of sunbathers).

Next was the temporary location of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. While its home on Queen's Park is being expanded, a cramped exhibit and gift shop has been set up south of OCAD. Still room for oddball pieces, like this one:


With the countdown to 4pm on, headed over to the Canada Life building on university. The line to the 17th floor observation area was cut off, but one was free to wander the ground floor, with its ornate office doors.

If only my cubbyhole had an entrance like this...

10 minutes left to go in the hour. Dashed over to Old City Hall, but the doors were locked. End of Doors Open for another year.

Friday, May 28, 2004

on the radio - show #1

It wasn't an auspicious start.

Hello There - John Cale
Playing the first track on the first of my summer run of radio shows went OK. No vocal fumbling when I switched on the mike. Announced the next track as The Who's I Can't Reach You. Went to start the CD player...

No sound.

The player decided it didn't like my copy of The Who Sell Out. Panic, as nothing else is going right. See, the station has new CD players, but they're sensitive beasts and not user-friendly in their operation.

Next time, I taking a tape of the old TV signoff classic, Syncopated Clock, to play in such a situation.

Never Had A Dream Come True - Stevie Wonder
Sun Watcher - Albert Ayler
My Cherie Amour - Roland Kirk
Compared To What - Roberta Flack

Grabbed the nearest disc I had, which was Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered and lauched into a soul/jazz set. One mishap along the way - my Manu Dibango disc refused to play, otherwise Hot Chicken would have followed the Ayler.

Goin' Out Of My Head - Wes Montgomery
1-2-3 - Jimmy Smith
Comin' Home baby - Mel Torme
Save Me - Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
Walk On By - The Stranglers

Continuing in the same vein, then veering into organ-heavy pop. The Stranglers track was the only request of the evening, a cover of the Burt Bacharach with what seemed like the mid-section of Light My Fire tacked on.

Roses In The Snow - Emmylou Harris
This Old House - Loretta Lynn
The Overture - Carolyn Mark
Back In Baby's Arms - Patsy Cline

Bringing the hour to a close with rootsy recordings. The Cline track was a panic move after another disc dceided to be fussy.

One-Act Play - The Collectors
Basement Band Song - The Organ
Caroline, No - They Might Be Giants
Good Vibrations (demo) - The Beach Boys
Dreaming Of You - The Coral
Yesterday's Papers - The Rolling Stones
Beechwood Park - The Zombies

Hour two begins with two slices of Vancouver Rock, 36 years apart, then a mini-Beach Boys segment, then Britrock, which would have been the first set if the technical problems hadn't flared up.

Happy Go Lucky Girl - U Roy
Oh Linda - Gordon Lightfoot

Not ready to head into the feature I had planned for the last quarter of the show, picked two tracks at random from the pile o' discs in front of me.

Time Fades Away/journey Thru The Past/Yonder Stands The Sinner/L.A./Love in Mind - Neil Young
I've decided to resurrect a feature of my old show, playing old albums (often way out of print), only this time it will be one side per show. This week, side one of Neil Young's gloomy 1973 live album Time Fades Away. Secret sneaky reason for this segment: boost the CanCon and save time on putting station albums away.

Today Is Sunday - The Barmitzvah Brothers
The Walking Song - Evelyn Parry
A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls
Sex (I'm A...) - Berlin

Was left with some time before the hour was out, so brought the CanCon up to par (the first two tracks - first was kinda cute) and some 80s stuff lying around. Collected my breath, switched on the BBC and drove home, knowing next time will be less of a battle.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

product watch: music up ramen noodles

We at the Warehouse regularly check with our competitors to see which innovative, exciting products are being showcased in their stores to gain margin, create excitement and bring customers into their shopping environment (Eds Note: This is the type of retail jargon I have to clean up on a daily basis. Now you know why we're crazy). We've purchased some of these items, and will present some of interesting finds.

There will be parameters. If it's a food product, it must be something we're convinced could be edible. You won't be seeing items like Diet Moxie, any Atkins baked goods, fermented mustard pickles or any pasta made with Papa Smurf's Special Sauce. This week, we visited an Asian grocery store in Scarborough and checked out the wide variety of ramen noodles. The Kashin company has tied their products in with everyone's love for pop music. May we present to you MUSIC UP!

Music Up Pork Ribs Flavour
Music Up Pork Ribs Flavour
Note emphasis on word "flavour", as it's clear these gals have never eaten a slab of ribs. Also suggests that they're trying to capture the flavour of something soulful or deep felt, but come off as an imitation. This is the punk/new wave band of the bunch, with the bizarrely-outfitted twins, the Converse-wearing drummer who wears her leg warmers on her arms ('cuz it's kewl) and the sexpot lead guitarist, who's on the verge of leaving the band to "find her own voice".

Music Up Minced Chicken Flavour
Music Up Minced Chicken Flavour
The flavour suggests this is going to taste like weak hamburger, which is exactly what this band looks like - an integrated pre-fab band formed in the last round of "Manga Idol". We have the two singers towering over the boy-band wannabes, including the guitarist up front who's a closet grunge fan but knows he'll never get to play dirgey guitar with this crew.

Music Up Stewed Beef Flavour
Music Up Stewed Beef Flavour
Right after Minced Chicken's album flopped, the boys split off from the girls (who went on to a short-lived career as a duo until they discovered nobody cared anymore) and decided they needed a stronger sounding name...Stewed Beef. Note the intensity in the two guys on the right. Grunge Boy can finally do his thing, while Red conjures up a watered-down version of his classic rock frontman idols. Star, on the left, didn't last much beyond the wrapper shot - he was too happy for this new, intense (and still manufactured) band.

Friday, May 14, 2004

scriptwriting attempt #247

As mentioned in previous entries, a group of us entered the Moc Docs contest earlier this year. It was first time I'd ever fully-written a script - any previous attempts to write one never went far (other than a bizarro-world piece written in grade 2, which I'll post when I find it again).

Here it is, a mocumentary look at the person who created Hinterland Who's Who...or is about the person filming it? It's not much more than a comedy skit, but it's something. Lots of thanks to the rest of the Robot Dog crew, who pitched in their five cents (especially Stevie D...his script should have received some consideration).

Read and laugh or groan...

Film begins with familiar strains of Hinterland Who’s Who, opening on a shot of empty parkland or forest, maybe a squirrel or dog running by.

Title card - "HINTERLAND WHO’S WHO"


A middle-aged man shuffles onto the screen, looking around at nothing in particular, like an animal popping its head out of a hole and scanning its surroundings. Notices film crew and laughs upon hearing a flute player in the crew playing a familiar tune...

Title Card - JOHN SMITH (THE CREATOR OF HINTERLAND WHO’S WHO)

He is wearing a backpack and looks like an amateur birdwatcher.


NARRATOR:
John Smiths migrate in great herds, twice a day

Subject shown in crowded subway or bus. Improvised business in background while subject looks dead-eyed in foreground. Scene switches to office tower elevator.

NARRATOR:
John Smiths will always be associated with the early days of the Canadian television industry. Members of this species are responsible for such public service announcements as Hinterland Who’s Who, Participaction, The Old Woman In The Shoe Knew What To Do, etc.

Shots of subject talking with others in elevator, then holding up elevator while one or two others in the elevator look on impatiently.

NARRATOR:
In primitive times, colleagues regarded John Smiths with reverence, and today many aging hacks...er...cultural historians show veneration for this imposing and massive animal.

Shot of subject being interviewed by an academic, who looks as moth-eaten as the subject. Fingers appear onscreen, making "loser" sign. Another hand slaps the fingers away.

NARRATOR:
As is typical of his species, he shows great energy and creativity in his youth. As he matures, that energy level is lessened, leading to an increase in weight and alcohol consumption.

Shot of subject emptying flask into a coffee cup, then drinking the contents.

NARRATOR:
Coffee and fast food are John Smiths main source of food, and much of his daily activity is spent collecting them.

Shot of subject eating, with more food landing on him than in his mouth. Offers food to the crew.

NARRATOR:
One sign of aging in John Smith is a decrease in fashion sense.

Close up of moth-eaten sweater or vest. Long pregnant shot on subject, who looks up from a pile of paperwork. He gives a peeved, yet resigned, look to the crew.

NARRATOR:
John Smiths were once well-equipped to survive natural hazards, including uncooperative animals.

Subject is shown attempting to negotiate a contract with a stuffed animal or realistic hand puppet - this is one of the animals featured in Hinterland Who’s Who. The animal repeatedly slams its paw down on the contract, gesturing to indicate its concerns about the terms.

NARRATOR:
Government bureaucrat and budgetary concerns have the potential to make John Smiths an endangered species.

Subject is shown having an animated argument on the phone. After a pregnant pause, he attempts to shoo the film crew away. Motion of hands in front of camera, which moves up and down or sideways as if it is carrying on a conversation. This is the moment the film crew decides to have fun at the subject’s expense.

NARRATOR:
As a John Smith ages, his senses grow weaker.

The crew has rearranged several items at the subject’s desk, just enough to leave the subject looking first befuddled, then furious. Pregnant pause.

NARRATOR:
Species such as John Smiths need to be replaced by their young every 40 years to keep the species alive and their environment fresh.

Camera waves up and down in agreement

NARRATOR:
Younger John Smiths are sent to film schools to learn their trade and wait for the elder members of the species to go into hibernation.

Camera catches subject asleep at his desk. Members of the crew draw on the subject’s face, making him look like a pirate. While this occurs, the narrator speaks the next batch of dialogue.

NARRATOR:
The young are often left to fend on their own, with parents unwilling to pay for student loans, (starts shifting out of HWW-type voice) forcing them to work at dead end jobs, stifling their ambition, because dammit, I...(shifts back into HWW-type voice)...the call of the young has come to symbolize Canada’s wilderness because of their lonely, haunting quality...

CREW VOICE: (simultaneously with next line)
Focus, man, focus...you’ll wake him up! We’re not done yet!

NARRATOR:
(out of HWW voice) Sorry,but I want this job so bad. I always wanted to be the person behind Hinterland Who’s Who. I love that music so much! Shoot, I’m not talking in the voice...I’ve got to stay (switches to HWW voice) in the voice and tone that narrators of this species use to communicate vital information.

The subject is woken from his slumber by a phone call. In a dopey state, wanders away, notices co-workers staring at him. A person mimes what has been done to his face. A look of intense rage runs across his face, as he grabs the nearest phone. A security guard arrives.

SECURITY GUARD:
Hi guys, we’ve just received a complaint from Mr. Smith about your behaviour around him. Everyone likes a joke, but this one is interfering with business. So, how about we pack it and move elsewhere?

Flute player begins playing

SECURITY GUARD:
Oh, and put away the flute until you leave, there’s no flute playing on the premises. Have a good day gentlemen.

Subject glares at film crew, who attempt to wrap up their film before leaving. The flute player does not put their instrument away, playing the familiar tune

NARRATOR:
For more information, contact the Canadian Wildlife Service...

SECURITY GUARD:
May I remind you that you have been asked to leave the premises and put the flute away (points to sign - NO FLUTE PLAYING ALLOWED). Please pack it and leave the building. Please leave before you require an escort out.

The narrator, not easily deterred, continues commenting on the situation

NARRATOR:
When in danger, the elderly John Smith relies on the assistance of tougher members of the species...

As he talks, other security guards gather to usher the film crew out. The subject appears, and one remaining camera focuses on him. For the first time in the film, we hear him talk. Garbled flute playing is heard, growing fainter.

SUBJECT:
For the complete story on how to find other work in the filmmaking field, contact Employment and Revenue Canada, Ottawa.

Near the end of this line, graphics similar to those used for the Canadian Wildlife Service appear. Fade to "Canada" logo.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

dia 134: tugboat bill wants to move you

Tugboat Bill wants to move you. He really does.

The latest chapter in the shifty movers phone message saga (last chapter ws on January 6th - see the archive) found our intrepid moving with a new name and "new" spokesperson. Best Price Movers is now Athletic Movers, and Janos/Jimmy/Boris/Reggie is now Tugboat Bill. He has also lost any trace of an accent and even appears to be taking lessons in concise diction (not as many "ummmm...s" tonight). I saved it, and will dig for the tape recorder that's buried somewhere in the bunker to tape it. One of these has to be immortalized.

It's Day 134 of 2004, according to the TTC transfer. A busy one, as far as 134th days go. Pushed loads of paper of work, with one-page documents flying fast and furious. I keep praying none are lost in the shuffle (there have been close calls, but none would have been earth-shattering). Saw off Andrew (our team's coordinator), who's off to relax in Greece for three weeks. Went outside briefly at lunch, but fled back indoors to escape the sauna. Looks like we've gone from winter to summer. Saw the Groucho Lady puffing away illegally in the Yonge-Eg Centre. Got an e-mail from CFRU offering me a slot every other Friday for the rest of summer (would like to accept, but indicated at least 4-5 Fridays are washouts).

After work, headed down to the west side for dinner at the Parkdale Gang's. Dee cooked up some BBQ chicken and a food I used to hate but Dad would now be proud of for me eating: asparagus (ah, memories of him driving outside Harrow to either stop at the asparagus stands or pluck it out of the ditches). Now eating things like the green stalk, sweet potatoes, zucchini...what's next? Back to dinner, it was all good. I took over some initial layouts for posters for her play, which she flipped over (based on the frames used for 40s and 70s DC comics and 60s-70s Marvel). Have to wait for some photos before I head back to the drawing board. Kiersten woke up from a nap and we all watched the last episode of friends (loads of camoes, the funniest being Robbie Coltrane as Daphne's indecipherable brother).

Dia 134 is almost done. Chatted a little with a new friend. Debating whether to hop into bed immediately or watch some more of the movie I started last night, The Devil and Daniel Webster. A coin toss if it will start or finish Dia 135.

(coin tossed in air...)

It'll end it. Good night, see you soon and drive carefully please.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

the first day-long walk of the spring

Spring's here, time to get the legs into shape. City-length walk!

Started at Yonge and Dundas, to look for a quick bite to eat. Passed on a pamphlet being passed out at the corner, though its name should have led me to give it a glance - Personal Hygiene in Islam. Next time I'm down there, I should take one and see what other works in that series I can come up (Changing Kitty Litter in Buddhism? Tracing Salmonella in Mormon? Taking Out The Garbage in Shinto?). Fueled up on shrimp and BBQ pork udon noodles at Lantern (Elm & Yonge), then a quick skim through the newly expanded BMV on Edward. It has taken over the space next door for an increased video section, including lots of public domain cheapies. Passed on those, but did put up some old issues of Mojo and Q, along with a cheap 1959 photography annual for future clipart use.

Wandered through the Eaton Centre down to Queen, then headed west. East of Bathurst, my backpack filled up, thanks to cheap 60s Mad magazines and a couple of used DVDs. West of Bathurst, gazed in the ever-changing windows, as more galleries, gift shops and restaurants move into the area. There's a few die-hard old-man hangouts left, but one wonders how many more days they have.

Stared in the windows of all the Polish bakeries along Roncesvalles, tempted to buy anything that would undo the benefits of the walk. Resisted temptation when I figured said goodies would be a crushed mess by the time I got home. Started to feel my energy level wane, so I caught the College streetcar once I hit Dundas. Figured I'd rest a little, then end the walk with a stroll through Little Italy.

One problem: College is a mess, due to streetcar track repairs. The car didn't turn at College, so I stayed on until Ossington, then took the bus up. Uneventful ride, except for a confused guy who held up the bus when he couldn't figure out that his transfer was outdated. Figuring I could use a longer rest and fuel for my tummy, I got off at College and crossed the street to Phil's BBQ. Pulled pork sandwich. Heavenly.

Browsed in Soundscapes on the way back east. Overheard heard some funky-looking twentysomething women ask the clerk if he had any Red Sovine. Yup, the king of maudlin country trucker monologues. Another case of stifling laughter before I left the store.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

back on the air

For the first time in ages, went out to Guelph Friday night to spin some tunes on CFRU. New equipment caused slight technical snafus, but the night went well. Had proof someone was listening - got a phone call from one of my old co-workers who still has a show on the station (good to hear from ya, Big John!).

The playlist 11PM Apr 30-1:05AM May 1

The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
Thought this would make a good opener, after seeing Dawn of the Dead.

Tear Stained Letter - Richard Thompson
In The Cold, Cold Ground - The White Stripes
Belleville Rendez-Vous (English) - Ben Charest
Desculpe, Baby - Os Mutantes
No connection between any of these tunes.

Make It Easy On Yourself - Jerry Butler
I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Tommy Hunt
(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me - Lou Johnson
Nikki - Burt Bacharach
Do You Know The Way To San Jose? - Dionne Warwick
A set of Burt Bacharach tunes, including two obscure original versions of well-known songs. The first one surprised me when I discovered it in a karaoke book at the Gladstone Hotel.

Seek You - Mellow
Tape Deck in His Tractor - Dottie Cormier
Rubber Room - Porter Wagoner
A Hundred And Sixty Acres - Marty Robbins
Easy To Be Hard - Hair Original Off-Broadway Cast
The Old Man's Back Again - Scott Walker
Judy Is A Punk - The Ramones
Started off as a soundtrack-related set, but then I went off the rails, figuring the Robbins tune would fit after the Cormier.

DaVinci's Inquest Theme - Tim McCauley
Creamsicle - Dave Lang
Don't Become The Thing You Hate - Destroyer
Plastics For 500, Bob - Shadowy Men
One Ring Jane - Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck
That's Just A Thought That I Had In My Mind - The Ugly Ducklings
Kick It - Peaches and Iggy Pop
The Earth Revolves Around You - Ginger
Canadian corner, to bring my CanCon up to par.

Gimme Danger - Iggy & The Stooges
The Love Below (Intro)/Love Hater - Outkast
The Walking Blues (Walk Right in, Walk Right Out) - Fluffy Hunter
The dangers and fun of love. Yes, the Fluffy Hunter tune is a double-entendre (from a collection of raunchy 50s R&B).

The Girl With No Name - The Byrds
Citizen Freak - 49th Parallel
Werewolf - The Frantics
Meet on The Ledge - Fairport Convention
The Day We Caught The Train - Ocean Colour Scene
New Enemy - Sarah Harmer
Walking In Space - Quincy Jones
Nothing in common, other than to (a) bring up CanCon some more (49th Parallel, Harmer) and (b) a long tune to give me time to start putting discs away in the library (Jones, which also connected to the Hair tune played earlier). The Frantics here are no connection to the Canadian comedy troupe, but a 60s instrumental band.