Category Archives: Misc

La Ronde

I went to see Soulpepper’s performance of La Ronde last night and I really didn’t know what to expect from their description:

First published privately at the turn of the last century, due to its frank sexual content, Schnitzler’s La Ronde was sensationally banned for obscenity, securing the play a place in dramatic immortality. Taking a circuitous route through ten interconnected sexual liaisons, La Rondequestions the nature of human contact, love, and fidelity. Contains explicit sexual content and nudity – recommended for audiences 18+

It doesn’t really say much. Basically the play is a series of ten scenes which are interconnected. We start off in a bedroom with a soldier Charlie (Stuart Hughes) and Sonja (Leah Doz), a sexworker. As each scene ends, the audience watches the cast changing the set in dim lighting, and each scene is linked by carrying over one or two characters from the previous scene. In the second scene Charlie is trying to win back Hannibelle (Miranda Edwards), a refugee he fell in love with in the Congo. Hannibelle is haunted by her violent past and it’s her story which propels the entire first half of the play. While she’s only in two of those five scenes, her life and her story are what propel all those characters.

But that’s where the play falls apart, while the first half of the play is five self-contained stories linked through the story of Hannibelle, the second half has no successful link through its five stories. I’m not sure, but I think it was attempted to link the stories though Zoe’s (Grace Lynn Kung) backstory and tragedy, but there was no real emotional weight. The scene failed to resonate as it was focusing too much on the comedy of Lucas (Brandon McGibbon) and Teddy (Mike Ross) competing for Zoe and less on Zoe herself. Zoe seems to be a prop in both her two scenes, in both she’s a comedic prop either being fought over by men or to illustrate a man’s incompetence at oral sex.

My other thought is that the attempted link in that half is Robert (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) who may be Zoe’s father’s business parter who is mentioned in Zoe’s scene with Teddy and Lucas. It could be, but there’s really nothing to lead one to believe that, other than a wild guess. It’s at this point that it seems cracks in the play open up, as if there’s no real story, and it’s just 10 scenes that stand on their own. If the cracks are opening up, so are the cracks in the set, as one wall suddenly shifts a metre away from others, than another wall, then the backdrop raises as the set stands askew and the audience sees the crew changing the set between scenes.

It’s an interesting play, but it’s not quite there.

Canada’s Wonderland

Nick, Alicia, and myself headed up to Vaughan for a weekday visit to Wonderland. For those unaware, Wonderland is the major theme park in the Toronto area. We mostly went for coasters, but enjoyed a few other rides. I hadn’t been in about 8 years or so. When Lisa and I were first dating, we would go frequently every summer, but that kinda fizzled out.

The trio were able to ride a good chuck of the roller coasters, and Alicia was able to fulfill her desire to eat a funnel cake. A worthy goal.

Our goal to hit every coaster didn’t really come to fruition, but that didn’t matter, I got to try all the new ones at least.

  • Backlot Stunt Coaster
    • This was the last ride we did of the day. It used to be called The Italian Job, and the coaster wasn’t all that interesting. It was exciting that it launched you, rather than using gravity to fuel the ride. It was a bit jerky, but overall a bit boring. At one point you stop and there should be explosions, but there aren’t. It was lame. It was also a long line up as the back car was out of service. This was a newbie for me.
  • The Bat
    • Didn’t have a chance t0 ride this. We got in line, and didn’t want to wait. We’ve all ridden it a billion times before, any way.
  • Behemoth
    • This is one of the new ones, and it’s named appropriately. It’s HUGE. You have this strange minimalist lap bar that makes you think it won’t hold you in, and you often leave your seat in the ride as you’re being thrown every which way. The first hill is so large and such a steep drop that you don’t see the bottom of the hill from the top. The coaster is so large, that you don’t get an idea of what’s in store for you until you’re actually on the ride. It’s freaky, but so much fun.
  • Dragon Fire
    • The Dragon Fire (formerly known as the Dragon Fyre) is one of the original coasters at Wonderland. It’s the classic metal loop-de-loop with a corkscrew. It’s a classic, and as such was the first coaster we went on. I hadn’t been on a coaster in so long that I left the ride giggling like a maniac. It was so much fun.
  • Flight Deck
    • This used to be called Top Gun, and it used to hurt your neck incredibly as you rode it. It’s no longer called Top Gun, but it still injures you as you rock back and forth, smashing your body into the restraints. It was never my favourite coaster, but it’s a fun one.
  • The Fly
    • We skipped this one, it seemed no one really had fond memories of this roller coaster.
  • Ghoster Coaster
    • Another classic, but a classic we didn’t embark on. This is a kiddie ride, and while it’s a classic, it is kinda boring, and we had other rides to embark on.
  • Leviathan
    • This is the new massive roller coaster that puts the Behemoth to shame. It’s huge, it’s scary, and I continually reminded both Nick and Alicia while we were in line that we were about to die. While the Leviathan had the same minimalist lap bar design that Behemoth has, Leviathan’s seems to be more snug, and a better fit. While I didn’t leave my seat, as frequently, it was scary as hell, but SO MUCH FUN!
  • Mighty Canadian Minebuster
    • Another classic from the park’s opening. This is a wooden coaster, and will beat the shit out of you. As it banks and drops, you slide around in the car and you feel that any minute the track will give way. It’s one of the best rides at Wonderland still.
  • SkyRider
    • SkyRider is the standing up coaster, according to wikipedia it’s the first coaster they added after opening. We didn’t go on it. The line was long, and Minebuster was beckoning us for a second ride.
  • Thunder Run
    • We dubbed this one “Chunder Run” even though it was the least likely to cause chunder. It’s always a fun one running through the mountain twice, in the dark, with flashing lights, and fake tracks, etc. No chunder was spilled.
  • Time Warp
    • This one apparently used to be called “Tomb Raider” but I never went on it then. In this one you lie down on your stomach. It’s an interesting ride, as you’re locked in like a chicken in a rotisserie. Also, you ascend the hill in a circular fashion, rather than up a climb. Overall, the new orientation was interesting, but the ride was rather boring.
  • Vortex
    • Vortex is a classic amongst the newer coasters. Nick was in the driver’s seat, and nearly led us off course, but his steering remained true.
  • Wild Beast
    • Another classic from the park’s opening. Originally called Wilde Beaste, it’s now just Wild Beast. Again, it’s a wooden coaster that beats the shit out of you. I have to say that I had the most fun on this one. It’s a classic, and the ride’s 30 years old, but bloody hell, it’s so much fun.

Woodbine

I had never been to the races before, and never understood the appeal. I think I understand now. I had never played slot machines before, never understood the appeal. Still don’t get it.

Matt invited a group out for his 31st birthday to Woodbine. Since the majority of people were a tad late, Emily and I wandered to the slot machines. I had never played the slots before, and didn’t really get the appeal, but was willing to try. Emily chose her 2¢ slot machine, and I sat down at the machine beside hers. I tried reading the rules, but didn’t understand what was happening on the screen, so I pressed two random buttons. I didn’t understand how I went from $20 to ~$17 with the press of two buttons, but I did, and then the machine just started going on its own. It spent about five minutes flashing and making noises, and spinning things, and doing stuff, and I was confused. Then suddenly it stopped and my credit was at $89. I won $69 in five minutes, and I didn’t do anything. Even though I won, I still don’t understand the appeal of slot machines. There’s nothing social about it. You’re letting a computer decide if you win of lose, there’s no skill involved, and honestly, it’s boring. So at that point I cashed out, and watched Emily’s $20 dwindle.

At that point the others arrived, so we headed upstairs for some racing. It was a very social atmosphere, and we would bet together, and drink together, and have fun together. We’d cheer for horses, when it didn’t really matter. Well, it didn’t matter for me, as I was up $69 and didn’t plan to gamble any more. However, Matt put his hopes on three wins in a row, and at the last moment handed a toonie to Matt to put on the horse. Horsey lost. At least it was less than transit fare. I then decided in the next race to pick two random horses. Pressing two random buttons worked before. And it worked again. I won another $45. I don’t get it, but I was glad that Woodbine was able to pay for the birthday boy’s dinner.

Photo: Emily’s robotic boyfriend from the future, Todd 4000, wishes all the Matts a happy 50th birthday.

How to tie a bow tie

So we all know that bow ties are cool. Right? Right.

I get a lot of questions when I wear bow ties. The most common question is whether it’s a pre-tied tie, or if I tied it myself. As someone who knows how to tie a bow tie, I can’t fathom any reason someone would wear a pre-tied bow tie. it’s like someone older than 10 wearing a pre-tied tie. Silly, right? The difference is that any man older than 16 should know how to tie a tie, but it’s much rarer to know how to tie a bow tie.

Tying a tie. Photo by Nicholas Warzin

The second question I often get is how I learned to tie a bow tie. The answer… THE INTERNET. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I learned on the internet. The above photo actually shows me tying my bow tie. You see, I went out for New Year’s Eve with some friends, and we danced, and had fun. In between sets of the band Oldies 990, I went outside with my friend Nick, undid my bow tie and my top collar. Did you know that The Magpie is extremely hot when it’s packed with people dancing? Cool winter air was nice on my skin. I was chatting with band member Ben, and friend Nick and they asked me to show them how to tie a bow tie. So I did up my tie. As you can see in the above photo.

Tying isn’t that hard. The problem is all the YouTube videos and diagrams I saw online showed me that it’s a simple, basic knot, then you form the bow with one strand, then you drop the longer strand over the bow, then you sacrifice a goat, pray to the lord Satan, and you have a bow tie.

It really did seem like simple, simple, simple, MAGIC. I couldn’t understand. I watched video after video, with bow tie around my neck, practising and practising. Failing and failing. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Or more precisely I couldn’t wrap it around my neck.

Eventually I found one video that explained it perfectly. Sadly I don’t know where the video is, but here’s the key. Watch video after video, and don’t get frustrated. It’s a simple process, but finding someone who explains it right TO YOU is the difficult thing. Once you find that one video, it all makes perfect sense. I’ll try to explain it for those reading, if you care.

  1. Flip up your collar.
  2. Drape the bow tie around my neck, with one end longer than the other (I do the right side, shouldn’t matter). We’re going to call this end LONGY. The other will be SHORTY.
  3. Make a simple knot. Make sure the LONGY is pointed up and SHORTY is pointed down.
  4. Grab SHORTY and fold him over at the widest point so you’re forming the bow.
  5. Drape LONGY over SHORTY’s thinest point. This is forming the piece that sits in the centre of bow tie. Keep it neat, or leave it messy, it’s how you decide to tie your tie. It’s a reflection of you.
  6. Now the part that seems like MAGIC. Just fold the formed part of the bow tie forward running perpendicular to you. What you’ll notice is that there’s a loop underneath there, I have no idea where in this step that loop comes from, but oh my god there’s a loop. Grab LONGY from the point that’s closest to the loop, and feed it through the loop.
  7. From there you’re just tidying it up and making it pretty.

Photo by Nicholas Warzin

#EV12 video

#EV12 Day Eight

Thank fuck! I just got my German power adapter working and now my phone is charging. I was worried. I can’t get anything done without this thing. And since my laptop is running on fumes it’s nice to have a working device. It just needs to last until I get to Frankfurt, as the Air Canada flight from Frankfurt should have USB and a North American outlet in the seat backs. 

So I never really finished yesterday’s blog post, because that wasn’t the end of my night. Instead I wandered. I just walked north and stumbled upon the Canadian Embassy. They were closed, and they misspelled Canada; it doesn’t have a k. Then I walked a bit further and I came across the holocaust memorial which Moti had written about not so long ago. 

If I hadn’t read his blog post I would’ve just thought it was a park. I would’ve thought it was a park designed to make rape easy. There’s nothing in the memorial which can be in any way inferred that it is a tribute to dead Jews. It’s just a fun place to play in the day, a fun place to murder and rape in the evening. I don’t know who designed this.

Just north of there was the US embassy. It’s so very heavily blocked off. Giant fence. Police. It’s a pretty building when you look past all that. Beyond that was the Brandenberg Gate which was also very pretty, but didn’t keep my interest too long. So I kept on keeping on and suddenly I was at parliament, the Bundestag. Lit up at night the building is absolutely gorgeous. I was shocked to see people were still being let up into the glass dome. I figured why not? The reason why not is apparently I need to pre-register. Apparently being awesome is not sufficient.  I wandered the grounds. I was annoyed at how much of the building was gated off. It made me think of the British Commons where they installed a glass (clear plastic?) divider between the public gallery and the actual commons. Apparently someone threw a ball of flour at Blair, and that’s why they installed it. 

Pussy. 

This extreme reaction to POSSIBLE terror threats is an issue I believe. If the commons cannot be a place for all of your nation’s people to be welcomed, then it is no longer truly a house of commons.

Then I continued walking. I found water. I found LRT tracks. Saw an LRT vehicle. Maybe one day we’ll see those in Toronto. Basically I walked towards the Berlin mini-CN Tower. Much like the CN Tower, it’s a broadcasting tower. Also like the CN Tower, it’s fucking hideous. Is there a good design for giant sky phallus? At least Berlin’s isn’t made of poured concrete. So that wasn’t very exciting. It was at this point that a slightly crazy woman came running at me chasing her dog and saying something in German. Turns out she’s from London! We talked and she tried to help me find my way back to the hostel. She was completely useless in that regard, but she had me laughing. She also told me I don’t have a Canadian accent. I assume that means I don’t sound like a Newfie.

Eventually I took a taxi back to the hostel where I noticed they hadn’t fixed my bed. You see, before I went out night walking I got out of my bunk and heard a pop. Some of the wooden slats supporting the mattress were sticking out. Yes I’m fat. They didn’t do anything when I got back it was still like that. So I bugged the front desk to switch beds if the room wasn’t full tonight (there was one free bed last night). No go. Apparently there wasn’t a free bed in the whole fucking building. So instead they had to fix it now as I didn’t want to fall on the woman below me. Would you want an ~800lb man falling on you? Yeah didn’t think so. So they had to go into the room which was already mostly filled, wake everyone up, turn on the lights and fix the bed. 

So, I’m an asshole. 

Then I took some sleeping pills and waited for them to kick in. 

I slept in. I was going to take a tour of the nearest concentration camp, but it left at 10. Now I need to figure out what I want to do, and I have no idea. 

I walked through teirgarten and visited a handful of monuments in the park. Found the Mozart, Beethoven, and Hayden. Strange to see dents from bullets in the marble. Then went to see Siegessaule, which is a monument to the victory over the French in 1871. It was a further walk than I expected, but not so bad. 

From there I went to the DDR museum which is a museum showing life in east Germany and the fall of the wall. It’s not a bad museum, except everything is interactive and they MUST be over capacity. You could barely move and barely take enough time to read the info. 

My plan was to go back to the hostel at that point and use Internet to figure out what to do next. The problem was I didn’t want to walk through Brandenburger Tor again. For the exact same reason I never want to walk through Dundas Square or be around during Taste of the Danforth, too many fucking people. 

So I checked my map (the one on my iPhone) and found an alternate route. En route I was walking by a plaza called “Checkpoint Plaza” and something made me think that I might be near Checkpoint Charlie. Turns out I was. Berlin has big boards up, like you would find when a building is under construction. The difference is these had information on it1, it detailed the history of post-WW2 Germany. A lot of the information covered had already been detailed at DDR, then I found big slabs of concrete. I don’t know if they were actual pieces of the wall or reproductions. Either way, interesting. Oh, and there was the checkpoint itself. 

It was nice to have stumbled across it as I don’t know if I would have gone otherwise. There’s not much to see there, but at least I can say I’ve been. 

I started walking back to the hostel and came across the Stasi museum Moti had mentioned. It was okay. It was somewhat interesting, but a good 50% of the place is not translated to English. I can’t blame them for that as if I were to build a museum, German translation wouldn’t be the highest priority. Unless it were a David Hasselhoff museum. 

Then I continued on my way. I crossed the street and was confused by the lack of sidewalk. Then I noticed what was standing in my way… the Berlin Wall. 

I was at Topography of Terror, which had requested to keep that portion of the wall damaged but in place. It was kind of incredible to see such an aspect of recent political history standing there. 

I didn’t go in, but outside they had an exhibit of the terror from 1933-1945. It was interesting and to continue with the theme, depressing. 

  1. instead of pictures of Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton []

#EV12 Day Seven

Woke up and had breakfast at the hostel, it was passable. During that time, I charged my iPhone, it was too dark in the bedroom to find an outlet, and struggle with silly German1 adapters. After breakfast, I got on the S-Bahn, and headed up to Gesundbrunnen station2 where I hung around for a while looking for the Berliner Unterwelten ticket office. Eventually I found it, and joined the short queue3 to buy a ticket. The English tour didn’t start until 11, so I went to the nearby shitty shopping mall, and wandered. It reminded me of Centrepoint.

I wasn’t there for the mall. Instead I was there for the tour. So I got in line and we started going down the stairs of Gesundbrunnen station. Before we got to the platform, they opened a door leading to a bomb shelter. Basically this tour was a civilian bomb shelter made during World War II. It was interesting to see the German civilian side of that war, and the reality of their world.

Our tour guide as Roy from The IT Crowd4. Okay, it wasn’t ACTUALLY Chris O’Dowd, but man, does he ever look like the dude. He was talking about something really depressing. I think the Soviet rape of German women after taking Berlin, again depressing, and I had to suppress a giggle because I thought he looked like Roy. I had entered the Giggle Loop, but I seemed to have survived the ordeal.

Apparently after Soviets took over Berlin, they blew up all the bomb shelters, and buried them. This only survived because it would’ve destroyed the train station, too. They’ve also got a few other tours that sound quite interesting.

They let us take pictures in one room, as we behaved. The room was pretty much an empty room, except for a few benches. It wasn’t the most photogenic. However, the tour itself was absolutely fabulous. I think Alicia is the one who recommended it to me.

Seeing as the Jewish Museum was pretty damn close to my hostel, I figured I’d go there next. Right? Makes sense. So I did what I’ve been doing throughout this entire vacation, getting directions from Google Maps, and taking screenshots on my phone. Right, that’s cool. The GPS still works on the phone, so I can get my general location on the map, then switch back to the screenshot and compare. Except I got lost. I couldn’t find it. Now looking at the info, I think I needed to go one street further east.

In London there’s some company that provides wifi for a few chains. It’s free to use, you just need to register. So I just looked for a Cafe Nero, Pret A Manger, Wagamama, Pizza Express, McDonald’s or a few others, and honestly in any part of the city I was able to find wifi. Berlin, haven’t figured that out yet. I have no data here, so I walked back to the hotel, and looked it up. Then I started writing this. I think I’ll head out and find this place again.

Went to the Jewish Museum. It’s oddly depressing. They hate us, they hate us, they kill us, they hate us, they hate us, they kill us, they hate us, we assimilate, they hate us, they kill us. It’s a really interesting museum showing the history of European Jews (specifically German Jews) from about the eleventh century, until they killed us all.

The building itself is a funky design, and it seems that the architecture is what they market the museum on. It’s the logo, and it’s very central in everything. Yet oddly I don’t think it’s a very good design. I went in and the first thing you go through is not the actual permanent exhibit. Instead you go through random shit that Jews once owned. Honestly I was looking at the exhibit and thinking, “really?!?!”

Then you have to walk up a lot of stairs, and start the actual exhibit. Which is really good. It’s quite detailed. There’s some stuff which is quite useless for a Jew, like showing us new tzedakah5 boxes. OOO! There’s part of the exhibit explaining what a bar mitzvah is, etc. But then there’s a rather detailed examination of Jews coming to what’s now Germany, and Jewish life from then until the end of World War II.

So… How are you?

  1. or is it European []
  2. Please note, I copied and pasted that, as I don’t know how to spell Gesundbrunnen. []
  3. I’m sounding British, pip pip. []
  4. I typed “Roy IT Crowd” into Google image search and got this image. I own that shirt in hoodie form. It’s from Dinosaur Comics… made by a Torontonian. []
  5. Mac OS X tells me that’s spelled wrong, but Google says it’s right. []

#EV12 Day Six

Today is the second day that I’ve worn my sunglasses. It’s a really nice day with a pleasant chill.

After waking up early to pack and checkout before 10am, I headed to The British Library which had a bit of an exhibit. They had a bit of a history of the Magna Carta with examples. They also had historical documents like handwritten Shakespeare and the lyrics to “Yesterday.” They also had some early Hebrew documents including haggadot. See, I’m celebrating Passover. Woo! Freedom from slavery. Woo! God giving us the 10 commandments. That’s enough. Dianu.

The problem with the exhibit was it was really small. So I was in and out pretty quickly, so off I went to Covent Garden. The market was really disappointing. It was 100% meant for tourist. I’d be surprised if any locals ever go there. I did find an Apple store to leech wireless for a few minutes.

I couldn’t figure out what to do with myself for the next few hours. So I thought I’d back to the hotel and pick up my luggage. However when I got to Green Park station to switch to the Victoria line, I thought I’d leave the station and explore. I found a park. It may be called Green Park (Parc vert) and its kind of not exciting, but there’s green space and the wind is nice. I also have Telekinesis playing in my headphones.

However it’s starting to rain, so I don’t know how long I’ll be here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbGZJ0Mwi_8&w=450&h=259]

I had a brief lunch. I ate pasta. What’s more British than having pasta? Oh wait. That’s Italian.

From there I went to get my luggage. On my way to the tube station, I thought to myself, ” I really want to listen to Radio Radio.” I pulled out my phone and lo and behold, they weren’t on there. My phone was
fucking with me. It was saying “No Franco-Nova Scotian music for you!”

I told my phone that I was the boss of it. It didn’t believe me. Radio Radio was still not on my phone. So instead I opted to listen to Tigermilk by Belle & Sebastian. Ahh Glaswegian pop, nothing screams London more than Glaswegian pop.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RShI_-85os&w=450&h=335]

On the subway ride out to Heathrow, I realized one thing about these London subway trains. They’re not designed well. The seated passengers are all in two rows facing each other. The distance between the two rows is so small that it’s an area one can barely stand in. As such all standing passenger have to stand in doorways. Even worse the trains’ highest point only gives me a few inches clearance. I was watching someone stick his head out the door at every stop to stretch his neck. However, one great thing about the London Underground is that it got me to Heathrow and once I cleared security, I quickly made friends with a woman from Colorado en route to South Africa for her sister’s wedding. That helped me kill time until my flight boarded, late.

My iPhone was down to 5% battery life. Not great for when I get into Berlin. I was hoping for an outlet (or USB) on the plane, but no dice. Then I remembered my laptop was sitting fully charged, not only was my laptop fully charged, it had Radio Radio1 on it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV_Tkc4SrBg&w=450&h=335]

I plugged my phone in via USB and leeched power off the MacBook Pro, and used it as a giant MP3 played. Not the most portable, but I had a row of three seats to myself so there was some good. There was also bad, I was also right beside the engine, so something to block out the sound was nice. The flight was so short I didn’t get to listen to the full record.

When I got to Germany, I received a text from Moti, my older, but little, brother. He was kind enough to escort me on Berlin’s transit to get to the hostel I’m staying at. He gave me a rundown of the transit and the city and tomorrow he’s leaving, but will be back Friday when we can do something before I head home to Toronto.

I checked in and grabbed one of the two or three empty beds. I’ve never done a hostel before, so I don’t know the etiquette. I kept the lights off for the dude sleeping and thought it would be weird to take the bed above his.

I lay in bed tired, but not tired enough to sleep, not wanting to dig through my luggage to get my sleeping pills, I guess I’ll sleep tomorrow.

  1. Please note “Radio Radio” is pronounced the French way, like one would say Radio Canada. []

#EV12 Day Five

I had to check which day it was. It’s raining here in London, I guess the cliché had to be fulfilled, but c’mon London, isn’t it a cliché, I expect you to be better than that.

It’s still early morning, and I’m going to try to go see another play. Why? Well, why not? I’m in fuckin’ London! Going to see a play called Absent Friends. Katherine Parkinson is in it. You know, Jen from The IT Crowd.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuPolrd9yuo&w=450&h=259]

Elizabeth Berrington is also in it. She’s probably less recognizable to Canadians, but she played Auntie in the episode of Doctor Who penned by Neil Gaiman, “The Doctor’s Wife.” It may just be the best episode of Doctor Who, ever.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJR8BVuzBU8&w=450&h=259]

I have to say, this is probably the biggest thing Toronto needs, theatre that isn’t musicals based off of movies. As much as Back To The Future The Musical could be amazing, we all know that such an invention would be shit. Nor do we need more musicals based on bands… I don’t even know what those musicals are actually based on, but I mean Mamma Mia, and the Queen musical. At least Tommy actually is a musical. I hear that Moneyball The Musical is in the works.

So yeah… I’m in a café, staying dry. I’m drinking tea on a rainy day in London. So very cliché.

Unrelated… HOLY SHIT! Finally people are talking about building the DRL!

So after that adventure… the adventure of drinking tea… I went to the box office, and bought front row centre seats for £15. Fuck yeah!

From there I… what did I do? I walked.

I got out of the rain, and had a sammich. I talked with a few people online. Mocking them while they were at work. I then walked some more.

I got to Trafalgar Square, and noticed Canada House is there. I think it might be in my video I shot after I visited Parliament a couple days ago. Canada House is closed. They’re renovating. All consular services are being done at Macdonald House. Seeing as I had nothing to do, I walked to Macdonald House. Went through Saville Row, saw lots of shops. Looked at shit. Came to a building with a maple leaf flying. Looked at it and thought “Canadians!” Looked next door and thought “Italians!” Looked across the square and thought “Americans!” It’s not an exciting place. There is a statue of Roosevelt, and a monument for 9/11. WOO! DEAD PEOPLE!

I then walked some more. I did an awful lot of walking! Just around the corner from where Canuks, Yankees, and Italians like to chill, I found an amazing sign on a wall.

YES!

THE BEE GEES, THEY WERE THERE! OMG!

I also went into Top Shop, and SOMEONE’S GETTING SUED!

Then I walked along and a sinister being however behind me silently. I turned around to find a devastating cylindrical creature. Nothing about it could be human. As long stalk raised as if using it to evaluate me. Lights on its head… what can best be describe as ahead began flashing as a robotic, non human voice emerged shouting “EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!”

I din’t much to offer for defence. I pulled out a Jammy Dodger, perhaps I could bluff my way out of certain doom. To make a long story short the Jammy Dodger bought serious time… and we got to eat cookies. We ended the Dalek with imprisonment within planet hollywood.

Umm, Exterminate.

Then I had a shitty dinner. It fucking sucks.

From there I want to the theatre. I made friends with a couple on holiday from outside Bath. They were a lovely pair. We chatted about our respective country’s geography. His dad’s trip to Vancouver, then hell of London during the olympics1.

The plays was funny and depressing. Totally worth the watch Jen (from IT Crowd) had a great performance, her best I’ve seen her in. SHe actually emotes, and not just over the top emoting… which there’s plenty of in this play. Especially when she reveals her desire as a girl to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It was kinda hilarious. We learn that one of the lads has been away a while, and has gotten engaged. Sadly his fiancée drowned. So friends who have split apart over time get back together. Unfortunately there’s a sick husband staying home. Di, the hostess’s husband doesn’t want to participate. Di is pissed at him because he fucked their friend’s wife… and he won’t admit it.

Watch it. Oh wait, you can’t.

  1. Thank you Toronto for failing. []

#EV12 Day Four

This…

Wow.

I walked from my hotel to the Saatchi Gallery. I made sure that it was open, because it was Easter Monday, and of course, the gallery might be closed. There was no mention about Easter closings on the website, and it says it opens at 10am on Mondays, so I made my way over. When I got there, they were open, and the place was practically empty. There were more staff than visitors. It also turns out that today is Sunday, not Monday. Have I been away from work that long that I forget what day it is?

The gallery was the number one suggestion from Helen, and I decided to trust her. I’m happy I did because my god, it was so much better than the Tate. The Tate was okay, but the work in this gallery was great. Great, not amazing. What was amazing was the photo above. As I walked into the room, this photo was hanging on the wall beside me, I just stopped and was blown away. Maybe it needs to be giant, and shiny1, but wow. I couldn’t believe it.

Turns out I’m not the only one who likes that photo as it was on the cover of a book they had in the gift shop, and they had postcards. I bought a postcard, and sent it to Aaron. Is there anyone better to send a great photo to than Aaron?

I then went for a walk. I also realized something as I walked through the city, sat in parks, just chilled. I realized that I’m a portrait photographer. Sure I shoot concerts, but what I’m really shooting is portraiture. I don’t know how to shoot nature, or how to shoot architecture. Sure from time to time I get it right, but it’s not my forté2. I like shooting people. Maybe it’s that I’m a bad photographer, and want someone else to do a chunk of the work by emoting for me, or maybe it’s just that I have a better connection. It means that when I vacation alone, I don’t take all that many photographs. I should just travel more with people. Or I should take pictures of strangers, but I’m not too fond of doing that. Tried the 100 Strangers project that Aaron suggested, never went beyond two strangers.

This is why for my Ottawa road trip I didn’t know how to shoot the Peace Tower, so I put Emily or Helen in the shot. It doesn’t hurt that they’re both beautiful, and will make any picture better.

So… not many pictures taken on my day of walking. I did take a picture of a tube station exterior to use in my video, which I’ve already started editing. I had bad falafel. I napped. I’m still tired. I ache, every inch of my body. Lying hurts, sitting hurts, standing hurts, walking kills.

There’s another thing I’ve realized3 since I’ve been here, there’s a lot to do in Toronto that I just don’t do, and I do a lot. I haven’t been to the AGO since it was redone… hell, last time I was at the AGO, I was married. I tried to go recently, but they were closed, that just means I need to go again. I’m pretty sure I’ve done a tour of Queen’s Park in elementary school, but I only remember vaguely sitting on the steps for a group photo. I should tour Queen’s Park. I should also have more picnics with friends in parks, Victoria Day and Canada Day aren’t enough. It’s easy to ignore all the awesome that is Toronto and focus on the bullshit that is our municipal politics, or our shitty transit system, or our shitty *insertsomethingshittyaboutTorontohere*.

I think I’m going to sleep.

  1. Glossy. []
  2. Why is forté underlined in red? []
  3. Should I spell it realised since I’m in the UK… and they spell funny. Not as funny as Americans spell. []