Category Archives: Toronto
I suppose this is how most 905-ers* are feeling right about now:
*Not to turn this into a regional debate, know that I am kidding. While I do support subways, Fatfucko didn’t show us the money and cooler heads prevailed. Transit for all!
On the downside, SharkBoy’s union just mailed out strike pay applications.
It seems it’s inevitable, unavoidable at this point. Unless some Hail Mary play happens between the pig-headed mayor and the unions, we’re going to see a very messy Toronto over winter.
The question is: how long? Tin foil hatted people are saying that Rob Ford has a plan to keep the strike going long enough to save XX amount of dollars. That or he’s going to staff all these services he’d rather cut with scabs for an indefinite amount of time. Or he just doesn’t give a flying fuck what you taxpayers think, he just needs someone to bully to make him feel good.
For whatever reason, it seems like we’re headed for some drama. And a few weeks (months??) of eating nothing but Kraft Dinner and day old buns purchased at the local No Frills. Thanks Rob Ford for moving the city of Toronto forward!
On the upside: despite this gloom and doom, we are putting a modest down payment on another Disney cruise in exactly 11 months, 10 days. Not that I’m counting.
This trip will be a carbon copy of the Disney cruise/parks trip we did in the spring with a possible variation on “parks before or after the cruise”. Even though when I explain to people that we’re going again and doing literally the same thing, it may sound boring and redundant, but it’s far enough away that we will be needing a little Disney right about then after what could be a very stressful winter/spring.
Fingers crossed cooler heads will prevail.
So my take on this
First of all, let’s be clear that he’s a public figure. Public! His job is to be accessible to the public as a representative of politics and policy. It was one of his campaign trivia facts that he called *everyone* back (let’s not even try to figure out how long that would actually take). And he loves inviting a ton of people over to his mom’s house for a BBQ and fireworks. We can all agree on this point, right?
Meanwhile, we also know that Rob Ford and his administration is not very forthcoming with his professional public appearances. They’re either very staged or awkward or both (see his graffiti hullabaloo) and, they’re far and few between. His redacted campaign promise of transparency is one of the reasons why he’s the second worst mayor in Canada.
So when a TV show that is known for ambushing politicians and playfully trying to get them to talk on tape, shows up on your door, you could do no worse than play along. He claims he had no clue who Marg Delahunty was – to which I cry bullshit. If you are a political figure of any kind, you hope and PRAY that Marg shows up at your door because while she may say some off colour comments regarding your performance, she puts your face out there. And TV/YouTube face time a good thing for any politician. There’s also the fact that This Hour Has 22 Minutes has put all sides of politicians out there, Right, Centrists or Lefty, so if you claim you didn’t know her and you work in politics, you’re admitting to not knowing your boss and should be fired from your job.
So let’s all agree that he got flustered. And ran into the house. This is fact. It’s on tape. What he said to the 911 dispatch will not be gospel until the tapes are released. Which the police say the mayor can allow and the mayor says the police can allow. Can someone please FOI that bit of audio? Until then I can’t comment on what went down, but for amusement, take a look at the #RobFord911 hashtag. It’s a barrel of fun!
But in seriousness, Rob Ford’s actions makes me think that he’s probably getting a lot of death threats. He’s gone on tv and admitted as much.
Yet I have no surprise or sympathy about it. His bullying tactics in his political and public career will generate this kind of backlash towards him. You live an angry life, you get an angry life. I was going to say “you live by the sword…” but it sounded too much like a death threat, which it isn’t, just an old biblical times proverb, really.
Overabundance of bride zombies, but generally a great day! Lots of creativity out there. Some of my faves are here:
Yesterday was perfect for the Scotiabank AIDS walk: not a cloud in the sky, warm enough that I didn’t sweat buckets and everyone smiling, working it for a great cause. I managed to crest $2500 in donations – mostly because of you people who come to read and mostly because I did it entirely by social media (aaaand a few donations from family, of course). If I haven’t thanked you personally, I apologize and thank you now. I thank all of you.
As expected, hundreds of pictures were taken and I made a bit of a splash in the pool of corporate teams that filled the walk. But know that I had to justify my presence a couple times.
Googley eyed woman: Why you a robot?
Me: I’m a Stormtrooper.
Googley eyed woman: Not a robot?
Me: No. I’m from the movie Star Wars?
Googley eyed woman: (to friends) Take my picture!
And so it went. One woman hesitantly asked me for a picture, “Because I find you scary.”
“I’m just me!” I say, obviously forgetting what I have on – the symbol of poor aim and jack-booted fear throughout the galaxy.
“I’m afraid because I want your gun in my mouth.” she said. Smiling.
At one point I took off the helmet to hydrate and a young woman ran up to me for a picture. She was wearing a metallic, bright Arabic scarf, thick horn rimmed glasses, tousled hair, and cut off shorts just at the knee. “Why are you in costume?”
“I’m bringing some nerd cred to the Walk. You should know, right?”
“I’m not a nerd!” Woops. Okay. Whatever.
Inside the suit you literally can’t see down. If you hold one flattened palm over your eyebrows and the other on the upper part of your cheek, that’s the range of vision I had, not to mention I wasn’t wearing my glasses. At one point I could hear a woman asking me for a picture and I kept turning around. And around. Until I heard “Down here!”. She was in a wheel chair and I nearly fell into her lap trying to find her.
The Walk itself was ok. I stumbled twice over some pylons down at Queen and Church, very embarrassing, but for the most part I made it OK. Two blisters and a dry mouth. Sharkboy says I was stumbling on the way home due to exhaustion/dehydration but I think it was an inner ear infection.
At home we sat through the news about how “Word On The Street” over in Queens Park was such a success despite the oncoming threat of the printed word by eReaders. This particular story got a full 2+ minutes with lots of cut away talking heads about how great books are. Then, after a ton of world news, the AIDS Walk got a full 20 second spot with a mere mention of why and a scattering of video of people walking. Granted, I was watching to see if I made it on the news but the shocking lack of news coverage depressed me.
I’m kind of bummed that HIV/AIDS is being relegated to the back burner even though it’s not gone away. It sickens me that big pharma has not released any significant 3rd generation drug patents into the wild for cheaper development, researcah and most importantly: distribution. The average cost of a monthly prescription for anti-retroviral medication runs from $900 to $1300 with insurance companies picking up a good portion of that tab (if the patient is lucky enough). Doing the math, that means at the low end of the cost for meds times all the HIV positive people in Canada adds up to roughly $230 million a year in meds alone.
I’m generalizing. But the fact can’t be ignored that HIV treatment is big money.
Over the last decade, HIV has been placed on the same public consciousness shelf as diabetes in terms of “manageable diseases” (did you know those glucose monitoring machines are literally given away for free, but the blood test strips run up to $1.50 each? Test your blood three times a day for a month and that adds up!). The fact that “cures” are dangled in front of our faces ever so often (that ultimately don’t pan out) makes it real hard for me not to put on my tin foil had and think that if they wanted to cure this disease, they could have years ago, but it’s now a profitable industry that can hardly be stopped overnight with a “Eureka!” discovery that halts AIDS in it’s tracks.
I know. I’m crazy. But after being on this planet for 46 years I know that money is the greatest motivator and when it’s flowing in at such an alarming, constant (gardener) rate, then turning off the stream is nearly impossible.
Now if you excuse me I have 9-11 EVP files to listen to.
I’ll be on ProudFM radio talking to Richard Ryder about trooping in the ScotiaBank AIDSWalk. If you’re up and your ears are unplugged with sleep. you can listen here.
Who knew there was a 5:30am. Thank god it’s radio because no makeup in exsitence will get rid of these bags under my eyes.
Update! It was Pre-recorded and will air next Monday at 7am. So tune in!!
Back when I was lovably single (compared to now, slovenly lovable) I use to go out to bars alone a lot. A LOT. I wasn’t much of a drinker but there I was, standing in the corner, in my head playing “Shag, Marry, Shallow Grave” with all the muscle marys walking by. Ultimately going home alone, I would always wonder about my self confidence. Back then (in the 80’s kids!) I would look at my wardrobe and think, “Okay, cool tee-shirt, regular 501s, sneakers that looked like they’re worn on Moonbase Alpha,” and think, yep, I’m a catch. And yet wonder why I was still single. Oh I had the average level of confidence any 20 year old had, just not so much when it came to stringing words together. Back then, I was a geek. And a nerd. Back before it was cool.
I think I was 20 years too cool, too soon for myself. Geek cred was no where near as popular as it is now. Back then, if you liked Star Wars, you were looked upon as being socially awkward and basically dirty. Now, if you don’t know the mythos of “Han Shot First” then you’re seen as a quaint anachronism. Back then I was wearing ironic tee-shirts more as a statement of the times, than fashion and nobody really cared. Nowadays if you don’t have Threadless, then you’re nobody. The Nerd Culture has been co-opted and Hollywood-ized and I’m cool with that. In fact I get a good chuckle when I see “kids” today acting like they invented feather weaves in their hair (Buffy St Marie, much?). Those who forget the past are condemned to relive it. Those who remix the past are condemned to have fun!
So would I have a drink with myself? Damn straight! Now or back then! I’d be my best buddy trying to outdo myself with cool tee-shirts!
And I’d probably win at “Shag, Marry, Shallow Grave”
Disclosure: I wrote this post not for Stoli (well, yes I did) but for exchange for promotion for my AIDS Walk on September 25th. Be a trooper and click the link to the right and support my walk!
SharkBoy, BobaDoug and I trotted off to the Church Street Village Fair on Sunday, which use to be called The Church Street Fetish Fair, which is now called Leather to Lace but way back in the day was called The Church Street Fetish Fair, created as competition for Folsom Fair North (or FFN when they lost the right to use “Folsom”) but now is called something else and will probably be in direct competition with Folsom Street Fair on September 25, but not in Toronto.
Confused? Not as confused as the crap we saw on Sunday afternoon!
Gone was the public demos of S&M which I am told by the rumor mill was pre-requisite if the Church Street BIA wanted to get licensing from City Hall. Instead an outside company of carnival like “rides” were inserted to keep the tops and bottoms on their toes. This is Rob Ford’s new Toronto, I guess. We can be gay but just don’t show it.
I could have taken pictures of the ferris wheel or the mechanical bull or the surf board bouncy play thing but I had forgotten to put my freshly charged battery in my camera, which in hindsight was a good thing… there wasn’t much I wanted to take a picture of, compared to the previous years. The Leather and Lace site has photos but metaphorically the gallery is broken and doesn’t work in Firefox.
We walked up and down the street twice and witnessed a few proud individuals displaying their fetishes, but in terms of it being a “fair”, I would say it was more like a funeral. Oh sure there were the trans, the rubbers, the plushies and the leathers, but they didn’t seem to have a place to congregate and the crowds weren’t “sticking” to one place. I saw more hopeful photographers (including the creepy boobie photographer guy from Pride – no, not Councilor Mammoliti) than actual participants in the Fair. When we arrived there was a leather “flash mob” as it were: a large group of people in full S&M gear walked through the crowd but quickly dissipated when they did two circuits of the Fair.
The Lettuce and Lace Fair was the perfect example of “design by committee” ever to come to life.