Feb 25, 2004
Two years ago, I had a bike accident while riding along College St. A narrow street, parked cars and high traffic volume combine to make cycling along College (or any Toronto street for that matter), a dangerous adventure. Basically, a big white van's passenger door opened as it was stopped at a red light, hitting me and sending me face first into the curb. Luckily, I wasn't seriously injured - my lip was cut and my left knuckle was fucked up for a while. I guess I landed on my face and left knucle only somehow. Weird.
Anyway, it was funny because the second the accident occurred, about 5 or 6 people gathered around to help me/call the police. The driver of the van wasn't charged, only warned to only let passengers out at curbs, not in the middle of traffic. And believe me, as a driver, I am now very conscious of cyclists and look carefully every time I open my door or turn right etc. So, one of the few people that gathered slipped me his card and said give me a call if you want to pursue this. He belonged to some militant cyclist rights activist group. I never called, but I feel fear each and every time I ride my bike in this city.
A few months ago, we got an email from a friend who had this happen to him as a result of a similar accident on College St. We met him recently in the park around the corner and spent 20 minutes commiserating on the state of the roads in Toronto for cyclists, the progress of his lawsuit, and elbow injuires (I too broke my elbow years ago in a playground incident, and have a small metal pin in my right arm).
About two weeks after that meeting, I was making a left hand turn onto our street and my visibility was partially blocked by a car jutting out into the intersection. As I gunned it to make the turn, I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a cyclist. Imagine my suprise/embarassment when the cyclist was none other than my metal-elbowed friend. He smiled and gave me a tsk-tsk gesture and I gave him an exaggerated frown "I'm sorry" gesture. I haven't seen him since. God, is it just a matter of time until even the most careful of drivers hits a cyclist in this city? Just another thing for me to feel guilty about....
Posted at 10:58 am by timker
Feb 23, 2004
Straight Eyes for the Straight Guy
Kerri and I drove to London on Friday to start up on the makeover of her dad Chris's basement hangout. He didn't know we were doing it, so we stayed at a friend's place on Friday night, and since he was working all day on Saturday, we went to the house early to get it going.
I got the idea of revamping Chris's room the last time we were in town (we had a late Christmas weekend in January). I was downstairs having a smoke, watching VH1 classic, thinking "this place would be way cooler if it was just jazzed up a little bit". It's your typical basement living room: cheesy bar, fake brick wall, wood panelling on the lower halves of three walls, a couple Dutch beer ads, entertainment unit, wicked stereo, giant tv with satellite hook-up, a couple couches and a chair, bad lighting. The entertainment unit and bar had become a kind of holding tank for piles of shit that had nowhere to go: old school files, photo albums, bullets, wedding matches, RSP brochures, disposable vintage lighters, 2 turntable needle cartridges in perfect condition (!!), a few thousand nails, nuts, bolts and buttons, plastic fast food toys, and a bunch of Dean Koontz paperbacks. Plus the whole room was dusty and dirty from years of nicotine and neglect. I thought a paint job and a cleanup would do wonders to the room.
We got started at about 9am. Kerri's mom had already taken the wallpaper off the walls, and she had also bought the primer and paint. By 3:30pm we had painted, cleaned, re-arranged the whole place. It looks wicked now. The two coolest features: the baseball cap rack that's mounted on one of the walls. All Chris's ball caps are clipped onto it. And the Keith Richards photo looks amazing. I don't know where he got it, but Chris has this amazing photo of Keith walking into a courthouse in Toronto in the late 70s, surrounded by lawyers and Toronto cops. It's wicked because you instantly know who it is. Trouble is, Chris has had it mounted in this mouldy, shitty old frame. So we went out and got it legitimately framed. Looks great.
He really liked the look of his "new" party room. We decorated the entertainment unit with stuff we thought was cool, like his lighter collection, the remote controlled '67 Impala and a chess board. Anyway, for absolutely no budget at all, we made his hangout look pretty cool. Chris is a good guy, and I'm happy that we were able to set this up for him.
Posted at 07:26 pm by timker
Feb 19, 2004
Thanks, Dan. See also [this]. Sweet.
Posted at 05:36 pm by timker
Feb 18, 2004
Yesterday I worked late, and I also brought my lunch with me. It was actually leftovers from the wicked potluck we had on Saturday night with the gang. I was going to eat at 2pm, but I had a physio appointment (sidenote: the baseball cap hick guy from Train 48 was getting worked on, too. Weird). So I decided to eat at 5pm. Super-hungry, I went into the little staff kitchen - kitchenette, really - to get my lunch out of the fridge. It was a kind of Italian stew, in a Ziploc container which was in a Dominion bag. The fridge was almost empty at this time of the day, so it was easy to spot my bag. When I picked it up I instantly noticed it was very lightweight, meaning...SOMEONE STOLE MY LUNCH AND ATE IT. The fucking container was nearly licked clean. Insane. I was so angry. When I told others in the office, they kind of laughed, but like me, I think they thought it was ridiculous and bizarre. And very weird. You know, sane people would never do this sort of thing, for a variety of reasons. Number one being it's not your lunch. But then there's also this one: that food could have been in the fridge for any number of days, weeks, whatever. There's more: I'm not saying the food Kerri and I prepare is tasteless and/or unpleasant, but would YOU eat a meal that is a complete mystery to you in every way? I don't want to sound like I make disgusting meals, but it's not too far off from picking through a garbage can, is it? It's just so fucked up. Someone picked through the fridge, zeroed in on my lunch, ate it, then put the empty container back in the fridge. The mind reels. The thing is, of course, there's absolutely no way I'll ever find out who did it.
So I threw the Ziploc container in the garbage, and I bought my lunch today at Pasta Panevino. Lasagne, and it sucked.
Posted at 06:25 pm by timker
Feb 12, 2004
i get a call this afternoon at work, and the voice on the other end is barely audible. total muffled, static cell phone garbage reception. i literally had no idea what he was talking about. so he's saying all this stuff into the phone, sounding worse than a charlie brown teacher ("wah wah wahwah wah wah wahwah"), but i could sort of make out through the intonation that he was asking a question. So I answered, "You need some tape?". And he mumbled so response. I kinda thought it was a friend of mine or something, because the reception and everything was so ridiculous, it almost seemed intentional. So I said, "A cape? You want a cape?" Nothing, so I said maybe the person should call back on a better phone.
About five minutes later I get a call, and I guess it was the same guy. Way better reception this time.
"Hey it's George. I got the call to go get this cat out of the fireplace, and uhh [tonnes of laughter]".
"I'm sorry, who is this?"
"It's George. I'm the service rep who got the call from HQ".
"Uh, George, I think you called the wrong number. I have no idea what you're talking about, and you called a [my stupid company]".
"So you would have no idea then how to get a freaked out cat out of a fireplace, I guess".
"No, not really, man. Sorry".
Totally happened. Not kidding.
Posted at 06:26 pm by timker
Feb 10, 2004
so this is sort of one of the ideas i have for this party christopher and i are thinking of having in the late spring. i stole this image from a halifax art show from 2001. we wanna get all our friends together and have a party with super 8 footage, flash animation and other visuals, projections, music (set up the iPods to do a DJ mix, maybe do a brief live set with the sequencers and Reason). I'm super-jazzed. It could be wicked fun. Kerri and I are gonna think about food and drinks and decorations. We're thinking about having it at this place called the [culture vacuum], a great space with tonnes of room and it's run by this really cool collective called the post-ironic renaissance - a name we are still trying to get our heads wrapped around. Anyway, more on all this later, as things (hopefully) come together.
Posted at 06:53 pm by timker
Feb 9, 2004
got that title from one of the [onion lists]. i swear to god, i laughed at that one for like 20 minutes.
kerri and i went shopping on saturday, and we found this wicked shop on queen, near bathurst called the[the magic pony]. the place rocks. tonnes of japanese toys and urban action figures. wicked [t shirts] and a whole bunch of cool [kozy n dan] prints. totally cool store. everyone pull out your fuckin' billfolds and head on over to that place. we actually bought this one:
Posted at 06:42 pm by timker
Jan 20, 2004
More than happy to recommend these wicked sites: [top left pixel] and [corporate motherfucker].
Belinda Stronach has officially declared her intention to run for the leadership of the Canadian Conservative Party. She's against the decriminalization of pot, she can't speak French, she knows almost nothing about politics. All the best, B.
Posted at 06:17 pm by timker
Jan 16, 2004
The Death of Public Transit
This is my third attempt at writing an entry this morning. Both previous efforts were deleted some fucking how. I am starting to lose my patience. I was once interested in sharing my thoughts for today, but I am quickly getting bored of this topic. Let's try one last time...
The gist of the entry had to do with how public transit in Toronto is shit. Over 2,000,000 citizens and only 2 subway lines. I had to wait over 35 minutes yesterday morning for a streetcar in freezing cold temperatures - -21 in Toronto without the windchill, felt like -33. Five streetcars came during that time, but noone was allowed on for various retarded reasons. Hundreds of people on the College line alone were inconvenienced, during rush hour, no less. I ended up taking a taxi with a co-worker and a complete stranger.
Streetcars are a completely inefficient and unreliable form of public transit in a big city if they do not have dedicated lines (like they do on portions of the Spadina line and in a cool city like Hiroshima). They are bound by the flow of the traffic. Streetcars cannot drive around cars or get around obstacles like accidents, etc. It's a stupid, stupid form of public transit for Toronto.
A city like Osaka, that has 3,000,000 citizens - only one million more than Toronto - has at least 7 subway lines, and a whole bunch of private rail lines. That city's public transit rocks. Ask my good man seethruhead.
Last summer the mayor of Toronto spent a few million bucks to get the Stones and AC/DC to play a benefit concert. Toronto doesn't even have a direct rail line to the airport. So silly. Apparently it would cost somewhere around $8,000,000. Anyway, it baffles me that such a link doesn't already exist.
Toronto is a very excellent city. Tonnes of cool places to hang out. Some of the best, most diverse restaurants you'll find anywhere. Wicked music scene. City officials have been trying real hard to turn the city into an internationally recognised place. If they just had a look at some other international cities (New York, Tokyo, Paris, London), I think they'd find something those places have in common that Toronto is lacking.
Posted at 05:20 pm by timker
Jan 14, 2004
unklesounds - do androids dream of electric beats? - arguably the greatest, most satisfying dj mix out there. 3 CDs of pure magic realism
unkle - never never land - james lavelle's alter ego. this time without dj shadow, but it's worth it for "eye for an eye" alone
kings of leon - youth and young manhood - southern us boogie rock that kinda sounds like the monkees
outkast - speakerboxx/the love below - any album that has the line "roses really smell like poo poo" in one of its songs has to be good. this is the album prince forgot to make in the late 80s
a.r.e. weapons - n/t - 2 coked up 80s glam metal rejects and a new york b-boy cranking out "we are the world"-esque electro-metal tunes. their live show was completely out of control
hidden cameras - the smell of our own - toronto's gay church folk rock collective. lots of songs about getting peed on
the clientele - the violet hour - real mellow 60s psychedelic sound. something about the production makes it sound way older than a 2003 release. necessary
ladytron - softcore jukebox - really cool mix of rare 80s new wave and current nu wave
ween - quebec - i was so pissed when they didn't open their show with "it's gonna be a long night". man, this is such a great album. people who love ween love this album because it represents all of the ween incarnations in one wicked package
covenant - call the ships to port (nordic goth-trance, yikes)
outkast - roses (see album list)
a.r.e. weapons - don't be scared (my absolute favourite song of 2003, "life was meant to be awesome")
kings of leon - molly's chamber
unkle - eye for an eye - (really excellent drum loop and a great use of "ball of confusion" lyrics)
the music - getaway (if rush made a trance song)
benny benassi - satisfaction (very minimal, goofy house tune)
best concert of 2003 - Eli had an extra ticket to the Queens of the Stone Age show a few months ago (God bless him). The show was at the Kool Haus - worst name for a concert venue. I always pronounce it with a thick, "Hogan's Heroes" accent. Anyway, we were knocked on our asses by the show - pure rock n roll complete with 10 minute guitar solos and heavy heavy riffs that made us grin from ear to ear. tightest, most technically smart band i've heard in a long, long time. plus they were totally great with the crowd.
Posted at 09:00 am by timker