Thursday, August 12, 2010

Get a haircut ya damn hippie!!

Hair length, the result of about two and a half years.

Originally I thought it was back in November 2008 when I took on a job for Microsoft that my hair started it's growth spree but looking back at this blog I have found evidence that dates the hair growth to an earlier time. It would have been before meeting for dumplings back on June 10, 2008. It's at that time and place where Jup said "You should grow your hair and donate it to locks of love.". My hair was already pretty long, I remember thinking "That's a great idea! How hard can that be?" .

How hard it was

The stages.

A few weeks after deciding to let my hair grow I woke up one morning and noticed a weight was tugging at my scalp. "What is that on my head? Oh right it's the hair, my hair." This is the first stage indicating that things will start moving downhill from this point on.

Once the hair started to grow past the eyebrows it started poking me in the eyes. This got annoying. You could cut the hair to make bangs but then you might look like a page from the 1700s. There are some people that can make this look work. The people that have jobs working at Medieval Times come to mind. Otherwise this look might come across as "weird" or "strange". Yes, stranger than you having long hair in the first place.

To solve the poking of the eye thing. I wore goggles for a month. I realize having goggles on could get the "weirdo/strange" complement but that's just the way I roll. Wearing goggles can also categorize yourself under geeky if done properly. Plus goggles are actually useful against things exploding coming out of the microwave.

Using goggles September 25, 2009

Eventually the hair grows past the eyes and the goggles are no longer needed. There's a short duration of peace before the hair starts getting caught in things. On my way to Fort Wayne I had stuck my head out of the car window in order to take a photograph of the sunset. Having taken the shot I got back into the car and rolled up the window to find my hair stuck. Ugh!

The next stage happens when you're eating a hamburger (or some other food). The burger tastes great, everything seems normal, until you feel the pulling of the hair on your head. Yes, it's the next stage, the one where you start eating your own hair.

Your hair isn't long enough to be pulled back into a pony tail and since hair bands are girlie you resort to the rock star approach, sun glasses. It was on the way to Buffalo following the Montreal derby team that the hair became a major nuisance. I picked up some white sunglasses to alleviate the problem of loose strands in my face.

Once the hair travels past the mouth it then becomes a problem when waking up. Humid days are the worst. You open your eyes to see a net of hair sticking to your face. You wipe your face a few times with your hand trying to move the nuisance out from blocking your vision and it's a few times if your hair has volume.

The next stage is just sitting somewhere like a theatre and finding that the hair has grown down to your lower back. Every time you lean forward with your head (maybe while eating popcorn) your feel the tug of your hair being squished between the chair and your back.

There are times throughout all this that you're thinking "Screw the cancer kid!!! This thing comes off now!!!". You might think for a while and figure you've gone this far you might as well keep going. There's also the odd female that'll say "Ooooh, that hair looks great on you!". SUCKER!! And so the hair continues to grow.

For locks of love the requirement hair length is 10 inches (25.4 cm). There are other places to donate your hair where the length isn't as long. See the Canadian Cancer Society for more hair donation options.

The cutting of the hair

Hot Roller (her name makes sense to me now) is a hair stylist, cutter, and overall amazing person who offered to cut my hair. Being a guy that goes to the barber shop for a quick hair cut I was a bit surprised to get my hair done in a "spa".

Having an appointment for getting my hair cut is pretty foreign to me. I showed up at 11am for my hair cut. I was greeted at the door by Slaughter Laughter who out of her derby outfit looked like an entirely different person. I was expecting to sit somewhere to read a paper or something while I waited. I wasn't expecting to be guided into a seat right away to get my hair washed let alone be offered a beverage.

A beverage? Where the heck am I? I was then asked to pick out of an assortment of different smells (vanilla, sandalwood, some other stuff). I think I was started to freak out a bit. "Just pick a flavour and go with it." I was told.

As the vanilla concoction was massaged into my scalp I realized this was a good thing. So this is what it's like to be pampered? It sure is different from the barber.

Wow, so this is what it's like to be pampered.

Once the hair was washed I then moved to the hair cutting chair. It was there where Hot Roller worked her cutting magic starting with the lopping off of the 12 inch pony tail. She tied it off with one of my hair elastics then placed it into a ziplock bag that I brought.

Off with the pony tail

A clip here, a clip there, and viola... The short hair corporate look. Do I miss having long hair? Heck no! Actually it does come in handy when doing the rocker head banger thing playing rock band but other than that no.

Hot Roller cuts the hair.

Holy Crap, I can see the back of my neck!

left overs.

The hair all dried and ready to mail out.

Short hair/corporate hair.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cheap Seats

Free movies at Dundas square

Tonight's movie was "Catch me if you can". It's some summer thing where they use the dundas square eye sore (I still think it resembles an ugly outside bus terminal) for something interesting.

I like the idea of turning a large public place into a big living room where people can go and watch movies with other people.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Cheap Food

Kom Jug Yuen Beef Brisket

There's still a place in china town where you get eat cheap, at $3.00 or $4.00 a dish (yes they have more expensive dishes as well). It's Kom Jug Yuen, a restaurant just south of Cecil street on the east side of Spadina.

I was wandering around the area and decided to grab a beef brisket (see photo above). It was pretty yummy and it didn't break the bank.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cricket Run

Rebecca photographs a cactus with her iPhone

My friend Rebecca has a bearded dragon. To get food she was going to walk to the pet store a number of blocks away. She invited me and not really doing anything other than thinking about the sore tooth I decided to go with her.

Our journey took us through Allan gardens where we stopped to look at some cactus plants. Eventually we made it to the Menagerie pet store on Parliament where she bought some crickets and where I witnessed a parrot screeching 'hello' to everyone that entered the bird room.

One of the lizards at the pet store

We stopped at a restaurant on parliament where I ordered a club sandwich. The demographic of people that were there would be up with the blue haired ladies sitting in front of a vegas slot machine. It was a bit weird. The service was a bit spotty and apparently they have a ketchup shortage.

I managed to eat the sandwich on the right side of my mouth. Walked Rebecca back down to Queen street then evenutally made my way home where I slept the rest of the day waiting for my tooth to heal.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Root Canal

The rubber dam mouth guard

My dentist was convinced that to alleviate my toothache I had to get a root canal. It would be a few hundred bucks (a few hundred bucks I don't have). To be able to eat solid food again without pain would be a good thing. There were also the waves of pain that would come and go without me doing much of anything. It would be nice if that went away as well. I took a cash advance out on my mastercard. Not the most financially sound thing to do but I figured I could rerpair myself then concentrate on finding a job.

It took an hour and a half of what felt like a giant elastic band around my frozen mouth. The only real pain was the needle going into multiple places in my gums. I hate needles. The needle was delivering some stuff that would freeze my mouth. It did. I couldn't feel anything after a few minutes. A jack hammer could have been in my mouth, I don't think I would have felt it. At least not on my jaw.

Aiming a camera while this is happening to you is not as easy as it might look.

My vision was the light and the ceiling. I could see little else. I'd catch a glimpse of things like the drill and that water sucky thing but I couldn't see what was actually happening. My dentist could have been making a bird fountain beneath my chin for all I knew.

So between the drilling and sucking of water I leaned up and got my camera (my dentist is good that way) and started taking photos. I made sure the flash was off. After all you don't want the guy with the power tool in your mouth to be blinded. This seems pretty logically to me.

I activated the shutter about 30 times throughout the drilling. It kept my mind out of imagination mode. The mode where your brain thinks there's a gusher of red blood squirting all over the place, that all your teeth have been extracted and are being replaced by silly puddy, that really nothing is going on and the bill you get at the end is just for some sound show and a bib.

I got a few decent photos. Some had the dentist's hand in front of my mouth and you couldn't see what was going on. Others were aimed too high and you could see the dentist's head top and a lot of the ceiling.

After the operation I went home to sleep it off. When I woke up my mouth felt the same. The same as before I went to the dentist. Pain waves shooting through my jaw. Ugh. $600 poorer with no results. It was akin to taking a laptop in and not getting it fixed only there's the added fact that it's you and it's getting in the way of eating.

I'll have to see how I am tomorrow and if still in pain which I suspect I will be, I'll have to figure out a plan B.

Stubby, the cat.

On the way home I saw stubby. I figured a cute cat photo would be good to get your mind off photos that might scare you. In reality though my dentist was great. There was no pain involved (other than the mentioned needle). Now I just have to wait and see.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thursday street salsa

With a dental appointment coming up on friday my main priority today was to take in my shutter faulty D700 to Nikon and have it repaired.

I brought in my D200 as well. It needed a replacement rubber grip. The D700 still had 22 days on the warranty so the repair cost on it was free (yay). The grip for the D200 (which has been long out of warranty) was going to cost me $154.81 (boo). I couldn't get the grip replaced without the repair department cleaning the whole camera. A sensor clean is about $90. Reluctantly I gave in.

Hugh at Tim Horton's discussing tech stuff.

I slept the rest of the day (partially jet lag, partially to deal with my tooth pain) and woke up later to see a showing at the Bloor theatre with Hugh. The movie, "The Disappearance of Alice Creed", was about kidnappers.

While the film played I thought it must have been pretty inexpensive to make (as far as movies go) as there were not a lot of actors (there were 3) and not a lot of locations. The Breakfast Club comes to mind when I think of minimal locations in a movie (the library). Alice Creed was well shot had good writing, good acting, and there were some twists that you might not expect. Not bad for a little movie.

Ravi salsa dances

After the movie we noticed a bunch of people salsa dancing at Spadina and University. Turns out it's run by a guy I know from the fashion week photo pit. Ravi told us that it's something that he organizes every thursday night. So if you want to meet new people and have fun dancing this could be your ticket.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My left tooth

Tylenol for my tooth, Burgers for my stomach

Plane landed this morning and by the time I collected my luggage and got through customs it was 7:15 am (Toronto time - EST). I was tired and wanted to take a taxi home but the ATMs that I found at the airport weren't working. About 30 minutes into my four hour flight home my tooth started to ache. The Tylenol I took wore off. The flight steward didn't have any pain killers. The girl next to me rummaged through her bag trying to find some. It was a nice gesture on her part as I didn't ask her for any.

The pain was like being jabbed in the jaw with a sharp object. I wanted to get home as quick as possible but ended up taking public transit instead. It's just as well. I had arrived during morning rush hour. The taxi probably would have cost me $75. Public transit $2.50.

By 9:00am I got home to collapse into bed. My left tooth was aching still and the pain had spread to my left ear. Maybe it was the change of pressure from the flight but my hearing (out of the left ear) was dulled. Like you had your left side of the head submerged underwater. Whatever the case may be I wanted to sleep. That's when I checked my iPhone messages.

Max, my FAB fashion editor, left me messages that he needed some photos for the next issue. While I was tired I was happy that there was paid work coming in. So I stayed up to sift through files and upload them to my FTP site.

A few hours later I woke up wanting to eat something, something like a hamburger. McDonalds sounded good. The Big Mac is a burger that can be eaten by old ladies with no teeth. Have you ever noticed that? That everything is already chopped up for you? There's no crunching of lettuce or onion? No nasty tomato?

I ended up getting some burger patties from the local grocery store instead. Partially it was a cost saving measure but mainly it was because if I wanted a hamburger again later on I wouldn't have to go back outside. Laziness wins out.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Last day in Vegas

Supersonik! in front of the Atomic testing museum.

Marcus (T. Carcass), Kim (Supersonik!) and I spent our last few hours in Vegas at the Atomic Testing museum. It's in a building pretty close to our hotel. I walked by the building last year on my way to Best Buy. Wanted to visit but didn't have the time to fit it in. When Kim suggested to go (and she had coupons!) I was blown away. (blown away? atomic testing? Unless you're helping pay for this blog I can make as many crappy puns as I want - ha)

The first room we entered was dedicated to photography and the bomb. I found this quite interesting being a photographer and all. While I loved the photos of the photographers standing in front of the exploding dust clouds I don't think I'd want to do it myself. I'll just stick to your standard conventional ways of blowing things up and avoid the extra radiation when possible.

One of the rooms is dedicated to bomb photography

a 2000mm lens used for photographing atomic explosions.

Type of photographic that looks great but I wouldn't want to do.

Of all the information I walked away with, and there's quite a bit of info on atomic testing in that place, was that some of the tests were named after cheeses. Yes, cheese. Granted there were some other interesting tidbits.

The picture that popped into my head, when reading the little blurb about the cheese, was some guy in a lab coat trying to come up with a name and looking down at his half eaten sandwich that his colleague picked up from the sandwich truck outside. Squishing the cellophane wrapper in is left hand to pinch the sandwich bread apart and using his right index finger (cause he's right handed and holding a pen while jotting down bomb notes on a clipboard attached to a concrete wall) , he looks down at the bite he's made revealing the slice of mozzarella. The light bulb goes off the test is named after cheese.

Back at the Hooters pool

I was dropped off back at the hotel where I said good bye to my new friends from Minnesota then having a few hours before my late 6pm check out I went to the pool to cash in some of my coupons for free drinks. The coupons came with the hotel room as part of a summer special. They were only good between 4 and 7, this was the earliest I think I was at the pool all week.

The Hooters pool server.

Holy crap, the asian gene didn't help with the amount of booze in my system. After two rum and cokes my head was wobbling. I made my way back to my room where I started to pack. I ended up crashing on my bed for a power nap instead.

A few hours later I was woken up by a text message from the Dark Passion Play. Her and Bam Bam were lounging in the pool at the Tropicana waiting for their time to check out. I texted back that I'd meet them at their hotel so we could share a cab.

I had a bunch of luggage with me at the Tropicana so I texted them that I'd meet them next to the inside variety store (and some slot machines). When taking out money at casinos from bank machines the fee for the transaction is $4.50. That's pretty expensive unless you're used to taking money out at gentleman clubs. So in order to lessen the blow, instead of taking out money in smaller amounts (eg. $40) several times, I opted to take out a largish amount once or twice. The problem with that is you end up with hundred dollar bills. A large denomination if all you want to buy at a variety store is a pack of gum or a bottle of water.

To break up the money and to enjoy the vegas experience I decided I'd spend $10 on the slot machines. I love watching how they work. I sat in front of a machine reading the odds and seeing how it was played. At that point I had found $5 in my pants pocket that I forgot about. I played that and won $12 (that's $7 up).

My first win

Machines in the newer casinos do not give you back cash. Instead you get a ticket of the winnings. You can cash that into a machine for actual money or bring it to the cashier desk at the casino and they'll do the same thing. I didn't do that though. Even though I had enough money for my drink I popped that little piece of paper into a pirate machine.

My second win

I lost the first round then played a second time (I had a good feeling) and viola, I won again. Now up by $16.25. I cashed the ticket got some water and chips looked at my watch and was still gong to have to burn some time waiting for the girls.

I remembered that I wanted to get some smaller bills from the 100 I had in my wallet. It would be for airplane food and maybe some Tylenol. My tooth was beginning to bug me again. I lost twice, a total of $6. Since my limit that I set for myself was $10 I tried once more with the maximum $3 bet.

All these kinds showed up on the screen (was that a good thing? I didn't read the game instructions on this one). The words 'big win' showed up and the number counter on the bottom right corner started increasing like crazy.

Holy Moly! I'm up $140 dollars!

Turned out I had won $150. The Hammer City girls showed up just after I cashed my ticket. Good timing. We got a taxi and headed to the airport.

The Hammer City Girls

It should be noted that you shouldn't get to an airport more than 3 hours before a flight. We arrived at the McCarran 4 hours early. As international travel goes it helps to get to airports early in general. However you can't check bags in until 3 hours before the flight. We ended up looking for a place to eat in the airport (to no avail) for an hour.

Once we checked in we parted ways. They were flying domestic to buffalo where as I was going to Toronto via the no stop international flight of West Jet.

To get to the boarding gate you have to wait in a rather long line to get through a bag person scan first. A girl behind me looked terrified. It turned out she got to the airport a bit late and was worried that she would miss her plane. She had 25 minutes to get through the line, get scanned, have her bags scanned, and make her way to the boarding gate. It was going to be close.

A bunch of us in line let her through. Yes, maybe we're a bunch of saps but if you were in the same boat wouldn't you want that kind of help. She was quite appreciative and tore off and soon as she was cleared to get to her gate.

Model near the runway

I passed by her on the way to my gate (which I was still 2.5 hours early for). Since I had time I stopped to figure out what happened. There was something being done to the landing gear on her plane. No one had boarded yet.

Turns out she's a model that had flown to Las Vegas for some photo shoot at one of the hotels. She showed me some of the photos on her iPhone. They were actually not bad as far as swimsuit photos go. I wondered how the whole thing worked for the photographer. Before I could ask her anymore questions the announcement came over the speaker announcing her plane was boarding.

That whole exchange took maybe 15 minutes. I still had over two hours before my flight was going to take off.

"Port of Subs" chicken sub.

I picked up a sandwich and went to sit down. There was a couple that recognized me from the flight in (a week ago). They were from Collingwood, just outside of Toronto. They were an older couple that had come to Vegas for some convention and to see the grand canyon. They had also remembered the girls from Tri-city and Rebel Rock-it from ToRD. It wasn't long before I was telling them some of my roller derby adventures and trying to explain the rules of the new flat track version of the game.

Before we knew it time just ran out and we were boarding the plane.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Las Vegas and the bum tooth

Woke up today with surprisingly no pain. My tooth seemed okay. I met up with some of the Hammer City girls to eat breakfast at the Excalibur buffet. We got into the actual eating area around 11:45 just in time for the lunch type food. I dove into the pot roast and pork in hunter sauce and some other meats. It was a pretty heavy breakfast and when done I had to go back to the hotel to sleep.

I woke up at around 4pm and found myself wandering around New York New York with some of the ToRD girls. My tooth started to ache. The pain came in waves. I found the other night that cold water stopped the pain so I brought a cup of ice water with me and refilled it along the way. Eventually the pain became overwhelming, blackness started creeping in around my vision, I left the girls before dropping in front of them and made my way back to the hotel room to lie down.

At around 8pm, I was feeling a bit better. I poured some water into the football container I had along with ice cubes from the hallway ice cube maker. As long as I drank the cold water the tooth didn't hurt. I suspect it was keeping down swelling or something. The football allowed me to join Supersonik! and Marcus T. Carcass to venture off to Freemont street.

At one point we had the car windows down with "We speak no Americano" playing off the radio. The Fremont ceiling show featured KISS covering songs like "Lick it up", "Rock and Roll all night", there were also performers singing (and dancing to) the Hustle, September, and various songs from Saturday Night Fever. It was part of the Summer of the 70s Fremont Experience.

You're probably wondering where the photos are of all this. I must have forgot to copy the photos and worse formatted the memory card. D'oh! But I did manage to backup these...

Supersonik! with lamp

Marcus and the Martini

The roach.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

RollerCon 2010 - Day 5

The fake sky of Paris

Things are winding down today. There are some classes and scrimmages but for the most part we're (Marcus, Supersonik!, and I) using this day to wind down and enjoy Vegas. On top of this I'm practically cameraless, armed with only my point and shoot. (Yes the shutter on my D700 is still dead) Boo.

Marcus invites me to join him and Kim for a champagne brunch at the Paris hotel. Ooh la la, real food! How does one say no to that.

Supersonik (iPhone) and Marcus (Android) attempt to get connected in Paris.

We get to the line up for Le Village Buffet, parking the car at 12:40. By the time I'm sneaking a dessert (the beginning of my meal) it's 14:18. All that in between time is us creeping along in a large queue. The buffet wasn't necessarily cheap, it was $30 but the food was well worth it plus it included the champagne. The hour and forty minutes past by pretty quickly with the regaling of stories, trying to get on the internet and looking around at the surroundings.

Food, glorious food

Being nearest to the dessert station I grab this tart while the others grab their main meal.

Round 1

Round 2

Now with a full tummy and boozed up I was starting to slip into a food coma. I needed a bed stat. We drove back to the hotel where I parted company and I went to take a much needed nap.

A tomato in the Hooters parking lot (I had to photograph this)

Three hours later

I wake up and make my way down to the Hooters pool. This has become the meeting place for skaters. A bunch of the Tri-city girls are there with some of the Toronto folk. Some of them are leaving back to Canada in a few hours and are sad the week has gone by so quickly.

David gives the thumbs up.

The girls jump through the water fall.


Doing a handstand under water

Hugging (this should be obvious from the photo)

Lady Gag Ya's derby bruise.

Anita Martini, sad to fly out in a few hours.

What's with the thumbs up any way?

A wave of pain hits my jaw. It comes out of nowhere but I believe it's my tooth that's acting up again. The one I got filled back in May. Some of the ToRD girls invite me to go for dinner. The tooth pain wave goes away.

Double my money.

While waiting for the girls to change out of their swimsuits I play the slot machines. By the time we meet in front of the elevators I'm up by $1.50. Not bad considering I only played a dollar to begin with.

Hooters Hotel

Originally we were going to go for sushi at the MGM. We actually got to a table and sat down. The sushi was pretty pricey at about $18 a roll. While Kitty and I wanted to at least try a roll to see how good it was the others felt it was a bit out of their price range. It should be noted that fish in a dessert would probably be more expensive as it's got to be flown in.

We ended up leaving and going to a Mexican restaurant instead. My whole meal was under $18 and that included a Corona. Yes, a beer.

The Burrito

Tit mouse and her food.

The pepper moustache

After dinner Memphis Kitty wanted to go to an air bar. It was a place just down the strip where they put tubes in your nose and have filtered, flavoured, air running through them. This reminded me of medical patient stuff and I opted out of this $20 experience.

I did however try this electric massage thing. A tiny device about the size of a small mp3 player is connected to your shoulder blades on your back. Voltage is passed through and tightens your muscles. I could only take a setting of 2, 3 was was too much. The device went up to 10.

The science of the electric massager

Back to the Hooters Hotel

Vodka dressed in fire extinguisher containers.

Hot Roller and the Hooters Owl

Lady Gag Ya and Dust Bunny

We returned to the Hotel where the Toronto girls were packing to get their flight out. I ended up going back down to the pool to sit and spend time with people still hanging around.

Seeing how the bruise is progressing

The face of the bruise (I realized I never took a photo of the actual person until this point)

Amanda Jamitinya armed with pool toys

Pink Flamingo

Rebel Rock-it with her blow up duckie

BPM floats on a beach ball.

I really can't translate the humour here, you had to be there.

Noodle gets a moustache/beard

Ram 'em Noodle next to the waterfall