Friday, December 30, 2005

A Year in Review

BagelHot Year One
Click on photo to see that the image is made up of all the year's blogged images.

Hard to believe but it's been a whole year, as of today, for blogging to BagelHot. I would like to thank all the people that have contributed to the site with their comments and ideas (yes even cupcake). To date there have been 296 posts containing 386 images. One wonders where all this stuff gets stored on the web.

Recently the "Hello" program has become problematic uploading images. Bloggerbot seems to freeze. Has anyone else had this problem? This explains why there is no picture today. It's possible that the blogger guys are doing some maintenance. I'll look into this.

For now Happy New Year.

--- additional notes

As it turns out I can use the image icon in blogger. I forgot to turn the pop-up block option off. Well there you go.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Zamboni


Zamboni cleans ice at Nathan Phillips Square

With my sleep schedule still wonky I still managed to crawl out of the apartment to shoot some city hall pictures.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cravings


The Beaches bike trail

Thanks to the odd shift sleep schedule that has taken over my body, from 11pm to 4am then from 11am to 3pm, I was up at around 7:30am craving a sausage and egg McMuffin from McDonalds and the tiny oily hash brown that comes with it. It wasn't until about 8:30am that I made up my mind to brace the cold, semi-wet outside to get one (or maybe two).

After eating the two McMuffins I decided to wander off to the park to get some exercise. I didn't feel sleepy and hadn't been down to the beaches in a while. Gray, cold, damp and pretty low traffic. People jogging or walking their dogs seemed to be the main population. There was the odd couple doing the power walk but overall it was pretty quiet.


A weird ass beaches tree could be a home for a mini hobbit.

I ended up at the Leuty station, took a few pictures, and turned back. There really wasn't much to see. My pillow was calling for my second sleep shift.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Do you hear what I hear?


Freshly removed ear wax just slightly bigger than half a dime.

On a weird real life imitates art note, A few days ago I was visiting Darryl and watched a movie called "It's all gone, Pete Tong". It's a movie about a DJ that looses his hearing and how he copes and doesn't cope with the hearing loss. After watching the movie my left inner ear started feeling scratchy.

Over the course of the next few days it felt like I was under water, left ear only until by boxing day I'd say I could only hear about 20% of the sounds getting into my ear. I tried using the phone on the left side of my head then the right side to compare. Water, Q-tips, my finger, they didn't really seem to do anything. I decided to go to a medical center.

An interesting note. Not a lot of medical centers are opened just after Christmas. At least not along Danforth as I walked by a few. Eventually I got to one near Main street (just a bit east on the south side). There I waited in a relatively small line up to see the next available doctor.

What is it about doctors offices that they have to be so grey with fluorescent lighting? And everyone seems glum. Well okay if somethings wrong with you you might be a be a wee bit glum. I suppose that's understandable. I guess I was just happy to know a doctor was on the job until 8pm and that I could find out what the heck was wrong with my hearing.

After sitting on the standard doctor bench/table the doctor, a very friendly individual I might add considering he was working the holiday week, looked into my ear, then my other ear (the good one). He then used the little plastic scoop (see picture above) to pull out an extremely large piece of ear wax.

"Holy Cow!" was my reply. He didn't seem that phased and bragged that he pulled out a piece of crud three times that big out of another patients ear. The doctor was pretty cool as he let me gape in awe and asked if I wanted it as a souvenir. I told him "no" but I did want a picture of it. As he prescribed some Sandoz Pentasone for a minor ear infection I shot a few pictures with my camera.

I was a bit worried when he asked if I had any insurance. My brain raced as I thought I was going to be gouged to buy the stuff. In the end the medication ended up being about $22 for a weeks worth. That wasn't too bad. More importantly I got my hearing back.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Cat-atonic


lazy cat checks out the cat-nip mouse

Today is boxing day, at one point a holiday, now a day to go shopping to find bargins. At least I'm sure that's what Dan would have had us do if he were still around. His sayings were "You can't take the money with you." and "Who ever has the most stuff wins". Not to disappoint, William, Gary and I set out early in the morning to hunt down DVDs, tech toys, and other things on sale. We visited the camera shops, the computer shops, we even set foot in a clothing shop or two (that was Gary's idea).

There really wasn't any insane-o price drops on stuff that I really wanted. Which is a good thing. I really don't need any more "junk" to fill the apartment. By the end of the day at the HMV superstore we made out way back to the car. It was around 5:23pm. That's when we heard what sounded like gun shots went off. We were about a block away in front of the Ryerson campus. At the time we weren't sure what made the sounds. Fire crackers, a bad car.

Gary suggested I go back to the scene of the sounds to take pictures, if there were any to take. I made up my mind (in about two seconds) that I didn't want to do war journalism, gang violence, or any gun shooting photography of any kind. When we got to the car we turned on the radio to see if anything was going to be aired describing what just went on. Granted only five minutes had past.

After dropping off my shopping bags at home I went to visit Chris and Kyoko. There I spent some time with the cat. I tried toying with the cat with a mouse rubbed with fresh catnip. The cat lost interest pretty quickly. From attack cat he became an inactive blob of fur. Bored, lethargic, unmotivated, that cat just lay there squinting at me. "I'm in control of you, not you of me." seemed to be it's thought process when I looked at him. It's funny that.

After watching Madagascar, the animated movie, and going home I looked up the online newspaper. The sounds that we thought may have been gun shots earlier in the day were just that. A 15 year old girl, an innocent bystander, took a bullet to the head and died. Six other people were injured by stray fire.

To think that we were in the area of fire just seconds before kind of gives you a cold feeling all over. A lot of what ifs popped into my mind. I wanted to beat the crap out of the parents of the kids with the guns, just before I started beating the crap out of the kids with the guns. What the hell is wrong with this world?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Food


Raspberry angel food cake.

One of the great things about being inviting to Cupcakes place for Christmas has got to be the Christmas baking. Her Christmas baking to be precise. Last night's dinner involved a christmas ham. Today's dessert was a raspberry angel food cake and freshly torched chocolate creme brulee.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Go West


TTC hippo

After another long day of sleeping and sleeping in I woke up just in time to get on a subway to ride to the west end, to Cupcake's house. The subway ride was a relatively long commute. Perhaps an hour or so. I fell asleep and woke up to see this hippo riding on the seat across from me.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Carrot Cake


Carrot cake at the restaurant "Ten feet tall"

As the Christmas craziness starts to escalate (people doing last minute gift shopping, food shopping, home decorating, baking, getting ready for visits or visitors, putting up the last minutes christmas lights) with Christmas in just a few days I almost feel like I'm living in a surreal plane of existance with my wonky sleep schedule. The highlight of my day was to wake up at 16:30 and go for breakfast/dinner at a resturant up on the danforth called "Ten feet tall". Actually the going for dinner wasn't planned. I was hungry, Kiri was home early, she lives near the restaurant. It's funny how things just work themselves out.

I ordered a triangular burger, they do not give you a burger shape choice, and fries made of yam. To round off the meal I ordered a slice of carrot cake. The burger and fries were good but the cake was a bit rich for my liking. Why is it that carrot cake icing is always super sweet?

After dinner I seem to recall watching the Exorcist. A movie which I had never seen until now. Just one of those movies that fell through the cracks I guess. After the Exorcist I watched the Scrooge movie with Alastair Sim. Nice,

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Lights at Dundas Square


Dundas Square around 1am

Thanks to the Dresden files, the show with the haunted house, my sleep schedule has been pretty wonky these last few weeks. After the outing with the tubby squirrels I got home and fell asleep with resulted in waking up at 7pm. By the time my brain didn't feel like mush it was about midnight. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to fall back to sleep I decided to go out and shoot some stuff with the tripod.

My first destination was the infamous Dundas Square. Known for it's ugliness among most Torontoians it had a lackluster start as security guards would come up to you and tell you that you couldn't take pictures as it was not considered a public space. I'm not really sure how the city managed to approve something like this. Sorry actually I do. It was probably a cash grab of some kind. It boggles the mind.

After a few protests and scathing write ups in various newspapers the powers that be changed their mind about the whole photography thing. That or the security guards didn't think it worth harrasing tourists and photographers anymore.

Dundas Square is one of the most uninviting pieces of concrete in Toronto that is designed, I use the term designed very loosely here, to have people. With the christmas tree, menorah, and string of lights and exploding christmas spheres it's not as bad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fat Squirrel


Fat round squirrel

After dropping off a photo CD for a client I was in the bathurst queen area walking north. While walking by the park I noticed a bunch of rotund squirrels searching for more food getting ready for the winter hibernation. They do hibernate don't they? Or maybe they just fatten up so they can have a new years resolution to slim down again.

They must have been fed by other people. As I looked around at them they would come bounding toward me. Probably thought I was another food source. This made it a bit tricky to shoot as they lept in and out focus pretty quickly. I was a bit surprised that they could still run up and down trees and hang upsidedown without keeling over from a heart attack.

Skateboard Art


Justin Wilson and David Setrakian show off their art piece in progress.

After the Century club and a PR party I found myself in the back of a skateboard store on Augusta checking out the tail end of a skate board art party. We (Darryl, Andrew and I) arrived just in time to see the artists starting to take down their artwork from the walls. If I could sum up the images that I saw in one word it would be "vibrant".

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dawne of the Century


Dawne Furey models an elegant black bikini.

It seems that when you least expect it there's some girl in a bikini that pops out of nowhere. In this case there were a bunch of bikini wearing women at the Century club (near king and bathurst). Let's rewind a bit. I received an email from Julie Hinton. She was having a calendar launch to A) sell calendar (d'uh) and B) to help raise money for breast cancer research. For more information on Julie check out her website at www.juliehinton.com.

While this was going on there was also a Bikini entry thing going on for miss swimsuit canada, or at least I was told. The information source may not be the most reliable as it was from a guy that had problems staying up on his two feet thanks to a questionable amount of alcohol. This explains the whole women wandering around almost naked.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Linda


Linda and her imported from New York hat of wool dreads.

I bumped into vocalist, designer and bra maker (well I don't know if she still does the bra thing), Linda Carone on the subway today. A long time ago, it seems, when I used to be an programmer and worked the "multimedia" angle Linda was a co-worker, a designer back then, who brought a great deal of humor and artistic talent to the office. It was good bumping into her before Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Camp Combo


Camp Combo plays the Cadillac Lounge

Fred Spek, the same guy playing the Spadina subway station last week was playing at the Cadillac lounge tonight along with Ben Heaslip (organ), Mike Rosenthal (drums) and Michael Kaler (bass) otherwise known as Camp Combo.

On a side note, the food at the Cadillac Lounge is quite good and at reasonable prices. If my cousin Dave were writing this column he'd probably write that the calimari should have a two thumbs up. We did order two orders that night. Deep fried seafood... yum.

Shimmy-a-thon at Naditu


Judy and her belly dancing students shimmy for charity.

Somewhere west of Main station, 2448 Danforth ave to be exact, Judy had put on a shimmy-a-thon to help raise money for two charities that help people with eating disorders. They can both be found on the web should you feel like you're in a Christmas mood and like to donate. They are www.sheenasplace.org and www.daniellesplace.org. Even if you're not in the Christmas mood donate anyway it's good karma.

For more information on how to belly dance feel free to check out the Naditu belly dancing school site.


Darryl shows the girls how it's done.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Charlotte and Al's Christmas Party


What's up?

As the evening went on I made my way from Chris' Birthday party over to a couple of friends Christmas party. I missed quite a bit of it but managed to meet up and talk to a few friends that were there.

Chris' birthday


Chris and his beer.

After the few hours of shopping I made my way over to Chris and Kyokos to celebrate Chris' birthday. He got a lot of beer I noticed. Way to go.

Santa on Demand


The Santa line at Square One

I was doing some shopping at Square One (a mall in the outer reaches, a place called Mississauga) with Marc and Michelle. It was pretty crazy there. As we weaved through the shopping hordes Marc and I (Michelle went off to shop by herself) saw the Santa castle and the long line of kids that went with it.

As a kid I don't really remember doing the whole santa thing but my parents have the odd pictures to prove it. I looked stunned. In the picture I mean. I was probably between 4 and 9. As far as photo sessions I do remember not wanting to go see Spider-man when I was a kid. I was to afraid to pose with him for a picture. Since it was a mall my Dad took a picture of Spider-man with some other kid just so we'd have a picture of spider-man to remind us of the family day we spent out at some department store.

To this day I think I still have that picture with that brown haired kid. I can digitally paint an old photo of me in over the kid but what would be the point. If I showed anyone the picture I know it would be a sham. Still it brings back happy times from yesteryear.

As for the Santa pictures, and as stated before, I don't really remember anything. I wonder if these kids will remember the huge line up that they had to stand in dragging their very patient parents along for the ride. Probably not. It's also possible that it's the parent dragging the kids so they can get santa pictures and show them like trophies to other friends that really don't care if it's just a picture of the cute kid or the kid on santas lap. Really it's not like they light these pictures specifically for each child. It's sad really if the child is forced into it.

They should put something in these things so parents can be entertained. Take Walt Disney for example, while waiting in enormous lines the person standing there can look around at stuff keeping themselves entertained. Maybe a Santa line should have a magaizne rack or some young Mrs.Claus in a red and white bikini. I suppose a chippendales line of elves might be good for the female population. After all if it's good enough for us it's good enough for our kids (spoken like a true non-parent). Y'know I might be on to something here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Santa gets the heave Ho ho ho


Tijuana Bibles drummer, Super Destroyer, tells Santa to beat it.

Supported by a bunch of cheering fans Santa left the stage to allow the Bibles to play one more tune. Friday night at the Bovine sex club we got to see a number of bands. One of them being the Tijuana Bibles. The hilight being the main singer, "The Crippler", flipping over a mini fence, landing on his back, denting his microphone, all the while still performing. Is that dedication or what?


The Crippler in mid flip.


Amanda shows us the Tijuana Bibles colorful mini ad.


Tijuana Bibles at the Bovine Sex Club

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Works on Spek


Busker Fred Spek at Spadina station

While climbing the stairs at Spadina station I heard a sax playing in the distance. As I approached I realized it was Fred playing Christmas tunes. For more info on his upcoming shows with Camp Combo, his jazzy but not just jazz group check out the link www.fredspek.ca.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Habitat


Andrew Majtenyi Fashion Designer

To help celebrate fashion designer Andrew Majtenyi's award from the National Post. A bunch of us in the high elite world of fashion met up at the Habitat resturant/bar on Queen street. The food although a bit pricey for someone on a burger budget was extremely good. Order the "24 hour pork". It just melts in your mouth. Probably very fattening, but like most food that's bad for you, oh so good.

It was odd being surrounded by fashion critics and models at first. Of course photography and fashion go hand in hand. In wasn't hard to come up with some topic to chat about. Shooting locations, runways, good models, bad models, the list of conversation topics seemed endless.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Wizard, the Wardrobe and the Restaurant


Swatow open late (past 1am)

I found some coupons for the movies a few weeks ago. I got them at a Christmas party over a year ago. They expire at the end of the month. So today, being the slow day that it is, I took myself to see Harry Potter and Narnia back to back. Almost five hours of solid movie watching. I had five minutes after Harry Potter to decide to see Narnia, buy the tickets and hike back up the three story escalator at the Paramount.

Seeing movies is a tiring business so I made my way to the late night resturant Swatow (located on Spadina just north of Dundas on the east side of Spadina - see picture for address). As usual I had 111A and shrimp and lobster on rice. yummy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Rivoli


Bob plays the guitar

This sunday evening I went to the Rivoli with my cousin Dave. We saw two comedy troups, knock knock whos there? and the Distractions. Sandwiched between the comedy was a musician by the name of Bob Wiseman.

Bob played rather well. I was impressed with his folk type music. His lyrics were not overly complicated and soothing to listen to. That's probably an odd description go check it out for yourself.

While he preformed, for some of his songs, he had Emma Segal helping him out with presentation. She used an overhead projector to project cutouts of various objects and move them on the screen to the music. See picture below.


Emma with her transparency technique

For five bucks it was a night of pretty good entertainment. Thanks Dave.


Bob plays the accordian

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Gudrun's Christmas Party


Gudrun with a "Up Doo" or was it a "Doo Up"?

In always amazes me how fast the year flies by and the next thing you know it's the whole Christmas thing again. The time of year again when, if you're lucky enough, you're invited to the assortment of Christmas parties. Whether it's for work, friends, the regular night clubs, or public events, it seems there's always enough things to pack your usually empty calendar with stuff to do.

Today I was invited to Gudrun's house party where the theme was to dress up. People all around me were wearing suits and dresses. I felt like I was mingling in a wedding party, a funeral wake, or maybe even the Geminis (the lower budget Canadian version of the Oscars). It was odd seeing people dressed like James Bond or like a red carpet was hidden some where.

Me, I wore a sweater and jeans. Pretty fancy for a guy that doesn't really like things with long sleeves.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Crew Parking


Frank waits for Greg to get his boots on in the crew parking lot.

Not having a car can be inconvenient sometimes. In order for me to get to set out near the zoo which is located east of my house. I had to take a hour and a half trip west by bus, subway, bus, and a bit of a hike to get to the production office. From the production office there was a complimentary shuttle bus going back east to the set location. The shuttle took about an hour. On top of the two and a half hours there's also the half hour waiting around at the prodcution office. I got there early just so I din't miss the shuttle. Total travelling time three hours.

When you think about it that's a long time considering that you'll be on set for about 13 and it takes another hour or so to get back. That leaves you with seven hours at home to go to sleep, sleep and wake up. The second day I was exhausted.

The first night I almost got stranded on location. The only reason I got home is that one of the transport vans was still loading stuff to take back to the production office. Thankfully the driver felt sorry for me, just enough anyway, to drive me home. After doing the bus, train, bus, hike, shuttle thing to get to work for day two I found out that the sound boom guy, Greg, had a car pool going. What's more he lives just a few minutes away from me at Pape and Eastern. I managed to bum a ride home with him and the other two car poolers Frank and Brooke who were two of the stand-ins for the show.

The third day, today, went a lot easier. I slept in until 2pm, hopped into the car at the specified intersection at 3:20pm, met up with Frank and Brooke at the predesignated Tim Hortons/Esso gas station and still made it to the crew parking lot with 15 minutes to spare.

It snowed all last night. The plan was to leave at 3pm if there was snow still coming out of the sky. If not 3:20. Even though there was no percipitaion the ground was pretty slushy. We parked on top of the hill just in case the car couldn't make it up the narrow road.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Old Locations


A really old washroom in the haunted house

One of the perks, if you will, of being part of a crew that shoots TV or movies on location is just that. You get to see places that you may not have been able to get access to otherwise. On the second day of my job at the haunted zoo house I noticed this old washroom, one of many, in the house. It was pretty large considering there was only a sink and a toilet.

Something about it interested me. Maybe it was the tiles that went right up to the ceiling. Maybe it was the dim lighting. What's with all the dim lighting in a house that's supposed to be haunted anyway? I suppose in the end it was the fact that the objects were old but were well preserved. It was almost like it was built a few years ago as opposed to a few decades.

The camera guy figured that the house was built before 1949. In the main room there were shields of nine provinces etched into the wall. The ones missing were Newfoundland and the Territories. He noted that newfoundland didn't join Canada until 1949 which led him to the conclusion of the building of the house.


A stained glass window in the main room.

There were stain glass windows in the main room. When was the last time that was a popular thing to do?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Haunted Zoo House


The greenhouse as seen from the cold outside

I was lucky enough to get a call from an old post supervisor friend about some work on a show. I need the money. The only thing was that the show started at 4:30pm. This meant I would be working, provided the shoot day is a standard twelve hours with one hour lunch, until 5:30am. As it turns out I did.

The location was a house located on metro zoo land. It's huge, three floors and a green house. According to some of the crew members it's haunted. Supposedly a murder took place. Who, what, when, I didn't get the details on. The story I heard was that it was the third stair that was haunted. It didn't make much sense to me that only one stair of an entire house would be haunted.

Later on another version of the story was told to me that made more sense. The third stair was updated to the third staircase. That would make sense as I walked up the staircase earlier that night I got that neck hair standing straight up feeling. It was in a secluded corner of the house and to add to the creepy factor it was poorly lit. It gives me shivers just thinking about that part of the house.

I didn't see anything in the house. No ghosts, lens flares, wispy things, nothing. During lunch I even sat on the third stair in the main room just to make sure. It would be kind of neat to see a ghost or "thing". The stand in, Brooke, told me that the last time she was shooting a movie in the house she was standing next to a brick wall and heard a voice of a little boy saying "Don't hurt me.". That kind of creeped me out a bit. I then proceeded to go along the brick walls to see if I could sense anything.

I went along one wall at a time. I felt like Spock mind melding with the Horta. Slowly going through the hallway feeling, listening and looking for any evidence of something unnatural. Eventually I got to a brick wall that gave me cold shivers. It was creepy. It wasn't physically cold. It just made my nerves stand up on end. I immediately made a dash for the craft services table. Hunting for ghosts and feeling the cold brick wall made me crave some hot apple cider.

The house is located in a valley. To get there from the crew parking lot you had to go down a small winding gravel road. A small road that became darker as you approached the house. It was while going up the road, once I finished work, that I thought I saw something in the shadows following me. When I turned around and there was nothing there. At first I thought it might just be some other crew members going home. Nope. I thought it might be the tree shadows blowing in the wind but when I checked the trees nothing was moving, there was no wind. Yet on the ground there was a shadowy blob moving slowly towards me. Once three quarters up the hill and in the light I turned around again to see if I could get a better look. Nothing. Weird.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Trouble at Old Mills


Jane Station with a loaded platform of westbound passengers

On my way to a networking meeting from painting a basement I walked into a subway station just after a guy on the annoucement system said something happened in the station just west of us. As a result the train going west stopped at our station (Jane) and proceeded to go the other way (eastbound). I didn't really clue in until two trains dumped their passengers and headed in the direction I wanted to go.

I climbed the stairs and made my way through an onslaught of a crowd going in the opposite direction. It took about ten minutes to get to the other side. Something that should have taken under a minute I'd imagine. I waited on the westbound platform for about fifteen minutes. Five minutes for a train and another ten for said train to open it's doors to let passengers out and on.


Stuck on the train with minimal power

Once on the train the doors closed. I thought we were on out way. That's when all the lights went off. We sat in the dark for a few minutes before the secondary lights came on. It was during this time that I found out that a person has jumped at Old Mills on to the track, the track had been powered down. I'm not sure why a person was on the tracks or how old the person was, or even the sex. It's interesting the questions that come up to pass the time in a dark subway car.

The girl in front of me, Racheal (the one in the blue) had gotten off the train that had stopped at Old Mills and had walked down to Jane station to see is she could catch a train leaving. It was from her and the guy across the aisle that I started puzzling the events at old mill station together. We sat in the subway for about fifteen more minutes before we got moving. We weren't sure if we we going to go eastbound like the two trains before or if old mill would have been organized to let the train go west.

The Jane TTC station was pretty unorganized. The guy upstairs selling tickets told everyone going eastbound to get on the eastbound platform. It was to those people I waved as our westboand platform train headed east.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Hot Tub


Hades "Hot Tub" - a term coined by some of the crew for the indoor pool of water

After spending some quality time with my grandmother this afternoon I managed to get a gig working on a MOW (movie of the week - two hour TV show). Whenever I visit my grandmother I feel quite drained physically and emotionally. In some ways I'm ashamed to have her as a relative. Some of the stuff that comes out of her mouth really offends me. I've told her I disapprove of the ignorant racism crap coming out of her yap and to this day she still wonders why my cousin doesn't want anything to do with her. Maybe if she didn't call my cousin's kids half breeds with tainted blood...

By the time I wandered into work I was pretty angry. Luckily my one day job taking measurements for some visual effects on a show where a guy comes out of a river was pretty low key. The show was a little behind in the shoot schedule which was nice. It was about two hours before I had to really do anything that involved using my brain.

This the season to feel guilty


The Grandma

Today I spent the day with my grandmother. The hilight being going to a resturant for congee (it's soup made of rice primarily). To keep the cheery christmas spirit up I thought I'd rant to a tune. It might be a little harsh but we're all grown ups here.

In the tradition of MAD magazine christmas tunes sing the following to "Deck the Halls"

Haven't seen the grandma lately
fa la la la la la la la la
In the past her back was achey
fa la la la la la la la la
Now she needs a keyboard cable
fa la la la la la la la la
It's the truth and not a fable.
fa la la la la la la la

Feel the guilt. It's enormous
fa la la la la la la la la
Whole family's affected, she just floors us.
fa la la la la la la la la
She's still family that's why I visit
fa la la la la la la la la
If I didn't I wouldn't miss it.
fa la la la la la la la

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Chair Number Two


Asha takes a swig of some kind of liquid from the baby bottle while her parents (Cupcke and William) finish making dinner.

Tonight I spent time with Cupcake and her husband William for fine eating and entertainment. You can read all about the entertaining on cupcakes blog. To make a long stort less entertaining. Her chair broke. I was on it. Laughs all around.

I suppose this is a sign that I should incorporate a diet/fitness program as part of my new years resolution. This is the second chair that gave out from under me this year after all. (see previous post and the follow up post for more details). You can blame the cheapness or the age of the chair only so many times before it dons on you that "Hey maybe you have to wake up and admit you have a weight problem".

I admit I haven't really been active that much this year. Aside from doing the odd treks to the camera store, the Nikon service centre, or carrying all my photo gear on my back to some far off shoot, I really haven't been doing much exercising. I rode my bike maybe five times this last summer and stopped playing floor hockey due to not having steady work. I couldn't commit to a weekly outing not knowing if I'd be working that night or not.

Not that I'm really concerned about my weight. My only concerns are that I can still bend over to tie my shoe laces without grunting, I don't have to spend money on buying new fat clothes, and I can still walk around without having a heart attack. Other than that I'm good. "Stupid Chair"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Late Night Home


Bay and College facing east and home (2:32am)

After a nice dinner provided by the people at the NakedChallenge.com I ended up at a party for webmasters partly sponsored by "GoF___yourself.com" and Sexsearch.com. It's one of those parties where webmasters from various sites meet up and introduce one another to each other. As it was my first webmaster event I imagined it to be a bunch of suits in a fluorescent lit room going over pie charts and the demographics of web hits.

It was not. As I walked in my image of a fluorescent lit room was replaced by a dark club with party atmosphere sprinkled with half naked women with advertising spray painted across their breasts for various web sites and a guy dressed in a Santa suit. Hey it's getting near Christmas after all.

I stopped to talk to Tammy, a sexsearch.com girl... hey the advertising works... and asked her how she managed to get the job. Did you have to have past job experience to get a job like this? Was it through a modelling agency? The standard questions I suppose. Turns out she was looking to get some headshots done. Gee and I'm a photographer how great is that? I gave her my card. It'll probably get lost or find a garbage can somewhere along the way but it was nice for her to ask.

From a distance Tammy and the other girls looked like they were wearing bikini tops or very revealing shirts. It wasn't until you got closer that you'd notice they were painted. The paint was pretty well applied. Probably air brushed on as there wasn't a lot of smudging and the text or graphics were pretty clear. I know I checked.

As the night went on the crowd started getting more raunchy. Dancing girls grinding into guys pelvic regions, girls exposing themselves to win free dildos, lube, and toques that had "I Sell Porn" stitched onto them. Sorry Cupcake there were no exposed "buff" guys.

By the time I left it was about 1:45. Pretty early considering the party was still going at full tilt.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Gladstone Hotel


Gladstone at night newly restored

Tonight and this weekend the Gladstone hotel is featuring four floors of rooms open to the public featuring a different artist in almost every room. The odd room being designated for showing historic pictures and things from the Gladstone hotel. Blueprints, original wallpaper, plaster are just some examples.

Each floor was packed with people milling around. I kept wondering if the floors would cave in from all the weight. It was hot and there were line ups for the washrooms on every floor. I bumped into Stacy the same girl from halloween that was made up to look like a zombie.


Stacy of the Skin Tight Outta Sight troup waits to get into the 1 person washroom

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Magic Pony


Some toys for sale at the Magic Pony

Some where along queen west between Bathurst and Ossington there exists a store called the Magic Pony. Despite what some of you may think, it's a toystore that sells Japanese toys, and weird items like "ugly dolls". They also have a section in the back for art exhibits.

Tonight there was a $5 fee to get in. It seemed pretty high considering you were walking into a toy store where you might buy stuff anyways. One of the items that caught my eye were these smoking bunnies. I saw a larger one at the silver snail that glowed in the dark. I think it was about $70 and the size of your average piggy bank.

Playboy Fashion Unleashed... uh sure


The Playboy Fashion Unleashed event at the Brant House

With a huge name like playboy you would think this event would have to be good. In reality it wasn't really that good at all. The fashion show started about an hour, maybe an hour and a bit late. Originally supposed to start at 11pm the first girl to walk the runway didn't do so until nine minutes after midnight. The show ran for about 25 minutes in total. It could have been longer if the girls weren't rushing up and down the runway so quickly. Some didn't even stop to pose.

The other downside to this fashion event was that the runway had people standing on all four sides making it impossible to shoot the model against a clean background void of people. Instead you might get a shot with a model and some guy in the background with a camera, people drinking, etc. It's obvious that the organizers weren't thinking about the press.

Did I say press? I guess I did. I managed to get a media pass. Long story.

The venue was huge in terms of floor space and every inch of it was packed. As it approched midnight it started to become uncomfortable. People started to inch towards the stage filling in any gaps that you might have had around you. One reporter I met disappered. Later on I found out she gave up and went home just before the show started.


The playboy bunny suit

The hilight of the evening, for me at least, was to see playboy model Cara Wakelin wearing the 70s style bunny suit complete with cotton tail. I suppose seeing a playboy model is always a treat but the bunny suit. Well what can I say? Some things just don't go out of style.