Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Say, You Say*

I say … I’m developing a cheap and bottleless perfume.
You say … you’ll help me name it.
I say … it’s been done before.
You say … worth is contained in the bottle
I say … dispensed, it finds its value
You say … let me know how that works for you

*Inspired by an odd, one-sided conversation on the bus. The names and content have been generalized to maintain anonymity and to decrease the chances of the reader identifying with the characters "I" and/or "You".

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Buns of Awesome

After two weeks off to accommodate certain academic pressures, Chuck and I were back in the water last night for our longest swim yet. It's still not that great, but we're getting better! We paddled to this rhythm:

Warmup – 500m (20 lengths)
Workout – Pyramid Swim
50m in 1:15
100m in 2:30
200m in 4:30
100m in 2:30
50m in 1:15
Cooldown – 350m (then we got kicked out by lifeguards who were eager to go home after ignoring the swimmers and talking to each other for an hour)
That's 1.85k total.

I've never felt so good about a swim. It was great. Why? Well, I'm going to pretend that you care and tell you – I think I've found the perfect breathing/stroke rhythm! I know, right?! It's significantly sweet because it makes everything else a lot easier, hence the "never felt so good."

Buns of Awesome
Originally uploaded by the fod.

After this incredible feat of physical prowess, Chuck and I reached for a whole new level of awesome and stayed up till 2am to make and eat cinnamon buns.

Until next time, keep fit, and have fun!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Writing Day at The Last Resort

It was one of those days where you say to yourself, "What the heck! I'll throw caution to the weak Toronto wind and just run, careless and carefree, to where my heart takes me. I'm going to break free from these desk and chair-shaped shackles that have monopolized my time for far too long. I'm off! Off to the cottage to ... uh, ... to do homework, but! not before I ... um, well, right after I move some furniture."

My dad and I left in the rented truck at 6-something in the morning. The pre-dawn chill was invigorating! (I wrote that sarcastically, but it really wasn't all that bad.) I fell into a death-sleep as we drifted through Barrie. It was one of those heavy sleeps where someone could have side-swiped our car, thrown a chainsaw-wielding bear into the cab, and my weighted eyelids would still have remained shut regardless of whether I wanted them open or not. It was nice. Sleep like that doesn't happen to me too often. Before I regained consciousness, we were (t)here.

After pops got things going inside, I packed some snow into a pot to melt for tea ...

... and we sat down to devour these huge, gravylicious roast-beef sandwiches. Our lunch steamed like it was made with molten meat and lava bread, which suggests that we're a) spirit-beings who remain unaffected by the physical realm 2) robots made of indestructible metal, or d) it was really cold and dry in there.

After lugging a beastly, wooden shelf thing upstairs with my indestructible robot dad, he left to check on a friend's place and I hunkered down by the stove for a bit of writing. Dad got a shot of the riveting action on his return.

It was a good trip. Dad's great like that – I guess it's called 'being content,' but even if we encountered the worst of circumstances and everything went horribly wrong, it would have still been good to spend time together. Thankfully, in addition to being fun and worthwhile, it was also a productive day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saving the World with Flour 'Staches

Flour 'Staches
Originally uploaded by the fod.
I'm busting my buttons with pride over a certain crew called Route 68. We had a Bake Sale last week and the Jr. Highs at King Street church baked their way to almost $300 dollars to help other people have a better Christmas. It was controlled chaos in our kitchen and an adjacent room, with enough icing to completely cover a small child. Thankfully, the multi-colored icing ended up covering cupcakes, well ... most of it, anyway. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the incredible generosity of the good people of King Street – which makes the whole experience a testament to a very sweet (toothed) community.

The funds will join other donations raised to feed, clothe, and buy gifts for people who need such things in Durham Region and in a village we've adopted in Bwacha, Zambia.

Apparently this economic slowdown has had a negative effect on Food Banks and charitable organizations in general. Let me take this chance to encourage you to keep on giving as you have been, or even start giving like never before. To feel the economic squeeze is to know that people need our help now more than ever.

Peace, love, and cookies!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

An Ordinary, Lanoish, Quantumy kind-of Night

Lanois – Grit Rock
Originally uploaded by the fod.
The night began for me at the Bloor St. Cinema. High Fives for some dear friends before the film started, and I was off – walking, jogging, then walking again across Bloor and down Yonge to meet my ticket-holding brohim. I really wanted to see Ordinary Radicals, but I figure I made the right decision, since I can always see the film another time, whereas Daniel Lanois! ... well ...

The show was sweetly engaging. Lanois was like a shy person inviting new friends to enter his most favorite room in his home. He was charming, and somewhat awkward as he thanked specific people, including his mother, for being present. Not that it's awkward to thank your mother, it's just that he was awkward ... and he also thanked his mother.

The only other time he had been in the venue was when he was front row for Miles Davis in 1969, and he spoke more than once to honor the 'ghosts' of the great musicians that had played there before him. Brian Blade finessed those drums like a thunderstorm and I could feel the bass in my chest all the way up in the balcony. Bassist Marcus Blake and guitarist Jim Wilson from Mother Superior really added to the rock of the show singing gritty, yet clearly grand harmonies.

Apres le show we took a short trip to the basement to check out the merch, (along with all the balding, middle-aged men and their post-hippie wives) then Chuck and I stalked north, hunting for any restaurant with free refills. THEN! I am resorting to point form for the rest of this post because it's already too long.

– Meet up with Margaret (Who came straight from her own show)
– Decide to see Quantum of Solace – it's a Bond flick alright.
– Wendy's! – three Jr. bacon cheeseburgers and a water
– Call out some losers who were making fun of brohim (I don't CARE if he looks 'disoriented' when he eats potatoes, he's my brother and if you don't like that, well there's some good ol' fashioned Irish beatings for you ... metaphorically speaking, of course)
– TTC – I really do enjoy me a good transit ride home when there's good company to be had.

Goooooood night!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poster-Sized Inspiration

I'm looking to prettify a huge blank wall in my office. I've actually been half-heartedly searching for over a year, but I have yet to discover any art that, first, is really great, and second, I can actually afford. Perhaps a healthy triptych of some sort would serve my needs (Mikee, this one's for you. You've been coming up with this stuff since you were in grade school.) ...

Monday, September 22, 2008


I've been blogging on a dark template since I first started this thing in 2006. The green/white on black suddenly felt tired today, very much past its expiry date. So, now I have the same template ... except lighter, yeeeah. Does that scream "I don't like change!" ... ? That fear didn't inform my decision as far as I know – I just don't like the other templates. I'm over-thinking this. Last time I checked, my hits didn't warrant fretting over color-selection. (Yeah, that's right; 'color'. After years of including the superfluous U's that distinguish our cumbersome Canadian spellings, I'm done. Expediency and efficiency have won ... and if I write any more about this, it might as well be considered a redundant change.)

Moving on – Chuck and I are considering doing some triathlons when that season starts up again. I have no idea when that is, which may or may not be a fair indication of how prepared we are for such an undertaking. Either way, we did a little workout today which I'm sure was good. I'm guessing though. I think it was good mostly because I felt like vomiting when we were doing the last half of the run. Man, if each workout progresses to that point every time, I'm sure we'll be winners by next year. At the very least I'll be able to explain away my rake-like body type by pointing to a faded number written in permanent marker on my arm.

It was like this:

Bike: 7k
Swim: 3/4k
Bike: 7k
Run: 1k

For a reference point, the entry point for triathlons (Try-a-Tri) looks like:

Swim: 375m
Bike: 10k
Run: 2.5k


Thursday, August 14, 2008

CN Tower Dwarfed

It's old news now I guess, but as of mid-June the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) is over 100 m taller than our cute, little CN tower. What was once the tallest freestanding structure in the world is now ... not.

So, what's your claim to fame now Toronto? ... Multiculturalism? Unfortunately, that doesn't make for a very impressive skyline. That said, 'Most Multicultural' definitely has a nice ring to it ... a polyphonous ring ... a not-a-major-tourist-attraction kind of ring.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Story Time with Uncle Dave

My neighbours were getting into their car when I complimented them on their clothes.

"Looking good!" I said.

"Why thank you!" She sounded pleased.

She really did look good in her high-collared, white summer dress with black flowers on it. Her husband was equally bold in his freshly-pressed black golf shirt and black pants.

It was such a good start to the conversation, I just rolled with it ...

"I guess you're headed somewhere fancy tonight!"

Her response was emotionless, "We're going to a funeral."


So, above is a picture of the beautiful job I did paring the overgrown lawn back to reveal the never-before-seen edge of our driveway. I'm not going to say my efforts were an attempt to appease karmic law, but I was definitely at least partially motivated by the lesser cousin of guilt ... What's his name? ... Regret?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

fodTunes smashes Tapes

Hey friends and e-friends alike,

You may not believe me, but I wanted to be among the first to tell you ... there is this new thing called iTunes that plays music and videos. I really believe in technology, so I am hoping to bring them fame by allowing them to sell digital copies of my songs.

If you believe in technology too, don't buy tapes any longer. They are the way of the past. Help out this fledgling company by clicking on their cool logo below...

If you are still old school like stale biscuits, you can click the album below and receive the opportunity to buy a piece of history that matches your attitude.

FOD: The Sheraton Sessions

Thanks a bunch to my wonderful friends Jeff Muir, for recording my voice and guitar at the same time, and Margaret Lim, for covering everything with a bark-like paper.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Next President – A Superficial Prediction

Despite my genuine patriotism and general lack of interest in politics, it's hard not to notice the political heat getting cranked up South of the border. Whether or not the upcoming election will boast a diversity of platforms, which would be the ideal in a 'democratic' nation, at least there is an obvious VISUAL diversity. As a result, the vote is simplified, and for that, sirs (no ma'am here anymore), the citizens of America thank you.

Though unnecessary, the American media will most definitely broadcast the crap out of this 'fight' to the bitter end, milking every last ounce of attention from slack-jawed viewers. But really folks, let's be honest – regardless of policies and promises, unless he leaves his current straight and narrow to do something really stupid – Obama is as good as in. (I was going to say he's a shoe-in, but I'm not sure he's being shooed anywhere.)

Why is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. going to be the next president of America? Well, because he looks better on TV of course!

Let's run through a completely superficial list of potential reference for our neighbo(u)rs of voting age.

McCAIN is old (72 at the end of August)
OBAMA is young ... well, relatively (47 at the beginning of August)

McCAIN is white (white is so ... oh, I don't know ... 1860's?)
OBAMA is black (suddenly, for US politics, black is the new black)

McCAIN is unhealthy (whether he's in good shape or not, the man makes heart failure look like a distinct possibility ... or choking on a pretzel, or whatever a Cheney look-a-like would do)
OBAMA is healthy (I'm no doctor, but it serves us well to recognize that he doesn't LOOK unhealthy)

The American public wants 'change'. They're screaming for it. Who do you think they're going to choose: a guy who looks like every other president they've ever had ... ever, or a guy who doesn't.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Saudi TV Debate

The subtitles go quickly at some points, but I appreciated the intelligent and specific arguments of this Islamic woman.

It is not often that dissenting views are expressed so well in this context and it is interesting to think of the implications. Taken to an extreme, Islam may be headed toward some sort of reformation. I find myself thinking about what a resulting religion would look like decades down the road.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Subway, eat lots.

Originally uploaded by the fod.
I'd like to say we were kind, even charming, but the truth is we didn't have to say much to the delinquent staff at this undisclosed Subway location.

I believe it was Joseph who commented that, despite the staff's lack of faith in their baking abilities, we were willing to eat anything, as long as it came in large quantities.

The tray was delivered to our table along with a smile after we had started our subs.

I think we got through half of them before the manager arrived for her shift and cut our little party short with a curt, "I'll take that!" as she snatched the tray of overcooked, yet delicious cookies from us.

Moral of the story? Gorge while you still can.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chopin/Radiohead – Jack Conte

I thought of Tyler as soon as I saw this. Not because he reminds me of a yelling Adam Sandler (as Conte does), but because of the genre-defiant instrumentation and the one-man-band ingenuity.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I guess it is a blog after all

Blogging has lost its appeal for the time being. I'm not sure why, but I'm sure the desire to virtually spill my guts will return before too long.

I've got a couple papers to write this week (maybe that's why I'm procrastiblogging), but I'm not too stressed. I'm definitely looking forward to the warmer weather and changing my wardrobe up a bit. I've been wearing my winter uniform [see pic] pretty much since September and it's time for a change – and all the people said ... AMEN!

It's times like this that I recall the old Responsible Shopping adage, "Never shop alone."

As an open invitation to people with good taste who value their time – if you're into 2nd-hand clothing stores and good times with Dave, set your anticipator for next week.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One Wicked-Good Friday Evening

Tom Fun Orchestra
Originally uploaded by the fod.
2 Sweet Friends
2 Servings of Delicious Roast and vegetables
6 Photos involving an incredibly awesome mustache
3 Doors away from The Dakota
1 Buddy who runs 'tings (and gets people in for free)
1 Drunk Dude that Dances like a disjointed ape with confused girls and speakers that don't support his weight
4 Bands – Including:
1 Forgettable Band who's singer warbles like a goat
1 Band that reminds me of The Band (They even had their own Garth Hudson)
1 Exceptional and Hilarious Band (Tom Fun Orchestra)
5 Makeup-Wearing Music-Theatre Grads that I gave the benefit of the doubt and immediately regretted staying around for
1 TTC token saved and some quality time with a good friend on ...
1 Slippery Ride Home
2.5 Hours Past Midnight
1 Contented Boy

Monday, March 3, 2008

Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction

If you're into Cash, books, or wranglin' – there's an event on the dirt-streaked side of academia coming to you.

Here's the deets:

Crux Books Inc. & CRC Campus Ministries
with “Music, Prophecy and Culture”

The Man in Black @ U of T!!!

A Free Book Launch and Lecture by Rodney Clapp

With Musical Performances in Honour of Johnny Cash by:

Michael Iafrate
Zoe Neuman
Tom Reynolds
Felicity Williams
Together with a host of other supporting musicians!

Tuesday, March 11th
Leonard Hall @ Wycliffe College
5 Hoskin Ave.
Toronto, ON M5S 1H7

This evening is presented to you by:

Crux Books Inc.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Live! ... online.

If I was Hans, this would start with, "I'm twittering away ..." on my computer while I listen to a Tegan and Sara concert that was recorded when they were in Calgary this past September or something. Although I think my twittering is probably not as productive when compared to the twittering of Hans. Either way, it's nice to hear songs I enjoy in a different context (the ones I don't enjoy are still crap live ... so far).

Thanks CBC Radio 2!

They have a ridiculous number of live shows recorded and posted online. Various artists and genres – something for everyone I'm sure. If you're looking for a twist on a background track to move you through the movie of your day, you're bound to find it here.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Musical Greatness from the UK

Martyn Joseph
Originally uploaded by the fod.
I heard "Turn Me Tender" late in 2007 and I was humbled by the vulnerability and musical excellence of this incredible Welshman. When my professor discovered that Joesph was touring Canada, he sent off an email that resulted in a visit from one of the best songwriters I know. (Which may or may not be saying a lot.)

He played some tunes, talking about the context in which he wrote them. Then spoke some soul-bearing words in response to our questions before giving us time to dry our tears while he picked through a few more songs. What a guy!

I was so honoured to meet him and super awkward when I gave him my demo. I had all these clever segues thought out about 'passing the time traveling to the next gig' or whatever – I just ended up mumbling something like, 'Uh, this is some of my stuff...' trying to pass it to him while he was signing his latest release for me. Man. I should hire a choreographer just to help me get through the day.

Margaret has done the sweetest thing for me. She designed and put together a cover for The Sheraton Sessions so I can look all pro at the Guitar Summit on Monday. She inspires me to be better than I am, that's for sure.

If you're a Clash/Strummer fan and you haven't seen Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten – you MUST. It's playing at the Royal Theatre (608 College St.) for a limited time – the best $10 I've spent in my life.

Well, I think that's about enough. To steal a phrase from a guy who should run for Prime Minister,

That's time.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I just do

At times I feel compelled to scrawl things in the margins of my notebook. My muse? Definitely not one of the nine daughters of Zeus ... but if it was a girl, I would name her A.D.D.

The Limits of Introspection

Shallow shall we go
down as deep as we can know
Leaning on the self and seen
neglecting all desire brings
Shallow we shall go

Deepest waters drink
In darkest ocean corners sink
to a place that’s rarely seen
knowing now another being
Water deeply drink

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


"You have thirty seconds!"
Originally uploaded by the fod.
Anne, Melissa, and I got to see George in action a week ago today. I was surprised by three things:
1. He genuinely loves his job – so much so that he has a hand in every aspect of the show, from guest-selection and writing to review and implementing changes. The guy doesn't sleep.
2. He's thirty-five years old! I don't know, this may not be news to some, but – shocker to me – I figured he was in his late twenties.
3. He'll stick around after filming to spend time with anyone who wants to talk until the last person leaves. A girl who works there told us that sometimes he's there for three hours after the show. Nice guy.

In the commercial breaks he chatted with us about whatever questions we had or whatever was on his mind. Guest selection was a topic that came up and he mentioned that he makes an effort to select guests that he's actually interested in, giving the spotlight to people that he believes in as people, not just as celebrities or a boost for the ratings. It's an admittedly biased selection process for the most part, but his intentions are to bring relevancy to a scene that is often lacking in reality checks. The Hour has its weaknesses, like any television show, but it was refreshing to hear him talk shop.

If you're looking to experience this for yourself, tickets are free. Let me know if you're going, I'll probably want to attend again at some point depending on the guests.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm Into That

Any attempt to sort through the ever-increasing amount of music and number of bands in our little world often proves too daunting a task to tackle. I like it when people blog about tunes they're into or mass email the name of an artist they find intriguing. I've got a pent-up need to do the same myself ... so, here you go!

Here are some artist profiles that I've stumbled onto recently.


Jose Gonzalez
Powerful acoustic riffs and exceptional vocals meet good lyrics. On top of all that ... add THIS! He hails from Sweden. Some people've got it all.

Jamie Cullum
A great alt-jazz/pop dude my brother introduced me to. With a smoky voice and the face of Bilbo Baggins, the man probably needs to have a junk mail folder specifically designated to divert marriage proposals.

Miss Emily Brown
Simple and delicate. Not my absolute favourite, but I'm drawn in by her vocals. Canadian what?!

Ray LaMontagne
So cool. So, so cool. It has been scientifically proven that this man can speak to shadows and get a response.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fear is Patriotic and Colour-Coded.

Randy Newman is old enough to be honest, and old enough to be gentle about it. But really, if you have to compare your political leader to Hitler to make him seem okay ...

Randy Newman - A Few Words in Defense of Our Country