Monday, April 25, 2011

I give my endorsement to a sign for *my* art exhibit.

Here's a picture, as promised, of the Ontario School of Art and Design. Look at it. Look at it. What on earth was the designer trying to say? It looks like some sort of extra-terrestrial pixellated insect is trying to couple with the normal building next to it. I think the red blocky thing might be its genitals. Since the other building doesn't have any genitals the red blocky thing seems just to be busting through a wall, possibly into an atrium full of astounded students, which it would fill with its outer space sex-goop. Disgusting.

In other news, I also shaved off my beard. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I fear I have made a terrible mistake. It was wiry, curly and uncomfortable, and a Hasidic Jew did give me a nod the other day, but now i just look like any other norm.

Here's how it happened:

The way a beard should be worn.

The Shitkicker: Which crime has he committed? A prize for the winner.

The Cavalier

The Edwardian Gentleman: I am off to the Great War.

Der Fuhrer: The inevitable, tastless Hitler 'tache.

Beard all gone. Weep.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Forget it, Jack. It's Chinatown

Because I forgot Kaki's camera today, I didn't get any amazing pictures of the stuff I saw. Instead here's a screenshot from Capcom VS SNK which I aim to play at the dirt arcade soon. Here yoga-pyromania expert Dhalsim takes on Mai (or Ridiculous Big-Tits as she is known in some circles).

Another fine day. I took the streetcar down to Chinatown and walked around basically looking at stuff. I went into the weird Chinese malls and located an underground arcade full of retro SNK games that will be coming back to at some point with a friend (when I get some friends). Then I did some shopping, picking up some kimchi and miso paste, things I have been without for some time. I also found some nice looking restaurants and noodle bars which I shall have to return to. I further took a walk up Kensington Avenue and located somewhere to bulk-buy Jamaican patties, which pleased me no end. I road tested them, of course, just to make sure they were good.

After that I wandered in the direction of downtown, taking in the weird archi-turd of the Ontario College of Art and Design - big speckled block on multicoloured stilts. Weird. Found some nice looking Indian restaurants, gaped at the CN tower in all of its inexplicably pointy glory, before walking up past the Rogers Centre and the Steam Whistle Brewery (located in an old trainyard, and actually sporting a working steam whistle), before going under the Gardiner Exressway and walking around the waterfront for a while, which is more or less abandoned at this time of year. I'll come back in summer, whenever the hell that starts.

All the time I was filled with a tremendous feeling of wellbeing, like I was actually doing something I should be proud of doing. I feel more stimulated than I have been in a long time. When I was away in Japan, I always used to wonder what people would think if they were able to see through my eyes, and see the places I was and the people I was with, the things I was doing. Maybe I'm just the product of too much television but even in my own brain I somehow expect there to be an audience. I know other people who have the same problem, one way or another, chief amongst them being Mr Graham "Feathro" Neale. I always feel like I'm being watched, by somebody, maybe someone I went to school with or used to work with, not necessarily even someone I know very well or even like. I feel like somewhere, the audience is flicking channels, idley, looking through people's eyes. And while I was in Kirkcaldy, I always felt like when they came to me they would be bored, somehow disappointed. But when I was in Japan, I felt like they would be envious and impressed, and feel like I was somewhere remote from them, living life to the fullest. Maybe that's the crux of it - I just want people who have previously thought themselves better than me to be jealous. To spite those who would judge me by experiencing things that they never will. If that's it then I probably am a very sick man. Well, at least I'm having a good time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


If you are looking for a thoroughly good and cheap burrito experience, you could do a lot worse than Quesada at Yonge and Eglinton. I got a coupon through my door and we thought "why not?". I was not disappointed. For five dollars I got a big fat chipotle spicy chicken burrito with all of the trimmings. I asked the guy for more jalapenos and he seemed to take this as some sort of disparagement on the spice level of his burritos, so he insisted that I take extra hot salsa and then made me a special hot mayo sauce of his own concoction in some sort of attempt to bring me low for being so bold as to assume straight off the bat that I could handle anything he could offer me. My god that was a fine burrito. I slopped the hot mayo sauce all over it and devoured it hungrily. Two thumbs up.

We also had a first rate Korean barbecue last night downtown. The place was called Korean Grill House and is opposite the Brass Rail Tavern, certainly the most shamelessly constructed strip club I have ever seen (European style "interactive" lap dances from FULLY NUDE strippers!). For the princely sum of 17 bucks each we received more meat than we could conceivably barbecue. I also had a number of Molson Canadians, which aren't considered a premium beer, but I found quite crisp and refreshing. Later on, we went out to a couple of bars and I had Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from the Flying Monkey Brewery in Barrie, Ontario. It was pretty dark, floral with a hint of grapefruit. Interesting stuff.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Big giant truck

The Dodge Ram 1500. Not actual size.

I'm a basically liberal European who cares about the environment and civil liberties, so why do I want one of these? It's about the most unnecessary and impractical vehicle I have ever seen. It's big and huge and must burn at least one diplodocus every time you take it down to the supermarket. How would you park? Would it even fit in the space? It's surely a car for red state Americans who say the Civil War was about states' rights and pronounce 'Iraq' 'Eye-Rack'. Yet quite a lot of urban Canadians also have them. Strange. Maybe it's the chrome. Delicious chrome.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Economic migrant

Well, I'm here. I arrived yesterday morning after a delayed flight on which I seem to have picked up some form of lurgee. A shame, but some self-medication and I will be good as new. I digress, I had to go through immigration where a few disinterested people asked me rudimentary questions and then sent me to a desk where I was issued with an immigrant bag and a bunch of materials to help me settle in Canada. Pretty useful I suppose. Two magazines 'Canadian Immigrant' and 'Canadian Newcomer', an organiser that reminds me to get a job and a calendar with Canada facts on it. To be honest, I was just surprised that my beard had not singled me out for a stripsearch or anal finger-raping, and gladly disappeared to the baggage reclaim. There I found the axle of my mighty rolly suitcase had been broken in the flight. Perhaps I can get some money back from the airline...

Kaki picked me up, and it was so good to see her after so long. She's looking hot. I think having less of a couch potato lifestyle like we did back in KDY is treating her nicely. She says she's out doing stuff every other night, so that's pretty good. We went back to our "flapartment" (a new word I have coined in the spirit of compromise) for a smoked meat sandwich, which even though it wasn't quite on a par with the mighty Schwartz's it was still warmly appreciated. The flapartment is brilliant, fully great and there's absolutely heaps of space for having people over. The thing I like best is the dining area where I'm sitting now. Good dinner party space. The table is nice and I will require to buy coasters. So, after nipping to our local mall (5 minutes away, and complete with cinema) and picking up the few inevitable items I forgot, we went to pick Bridget up from work and give her the car back. As I have possibly mentioned before, Bridget works in TV, so I got to have a snoop around a TV station as well. Unfortunately, by this point I was more or less crashing, so it was basically time to go home. Tomorrow I get a bank account, arrange insurance, buy exotic cheeses and eat a curry in Little India.