Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington DC

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert know comedy but their rally organization skills leave something to be desired. If you saw any of the rally on the internet you got a much better view of the proceedings than me and I was actually there. I'm so glad I went, I had the most amazing time, but the rally itself would have been more enjoyable with a few extra speakers and an extra screen midway through the audience. One thing that was quite obvious to anyone who was there, Jon Stewart is more than "just a comedian" as he claims. He is able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of twentysomething males in a way that would make Lame Cook jealous.     

The crowd was greater than any I have ever seen before. The closer we came to the National Mall the realization we would not be seeing much became quite apparent.
Greenman, on top of a van 
monkeys in a tree,

It was really cramped, and then it became even more so as we crushed forward to let through passing ambulances. A lot of people climbed into trees to get a better view, one jackass even climbed up a streetlight.

We could sort of hear, but couldn't see the stage or the screens. I heard Jon Stewart introduce Father Guido Sarduchi who performed the benediction. I was the only one in the vicinity who knew who he was, which I shrugged off saying "It was before your time," to which a guy nearby who was older than me said "It was before my time!". True.

Then Cat Stevens played Peace Train, until he was interrupted by Colbert who wanted nothing to do with a Peace Train. We then heard the familiar call "ALL ABOARD!". Ozzy Osbourne was rocking Crazy Train, which Colbert was glad to be on. The two legends dueled until a compromise was reached and the O'jays came onstage for Love Train. Colbert was fine with a "Love" train, since love involves "heartbreak and STDs", sticking with his FEAR theme.
Free Marc Emery was the one legitimate cause I did see

Bears are threatdown #1
We decided to bail since we could neither hear nor see anything, and most of the crowd had the same idea, we walked back to the hotel amongst throngs of rally folks, with even more signs and costumes. It took a while to navigate the crowd, and cell reception was nearly impossible due to the overloaded network.

Some signs were really funny.Although many of the signs were quite clever, alot were just a waste of the paper and sharpies used to create them, and only served to obstruct peoples view. If I'm ever in the need for a sign in the future it will read "THIS SIGN IS OBSTRUCTING YOUR VIEW!!!"  

The District

So this is Washington DC? Parts of it look a lot like South Porcupine and some parts look like Rome. I'm in a Starbucks (I'm in a Starbucks!?!). It's just for the wifi, and to give myself a whores bath, although the coffee is helping support my life. I wish I had some Baileys. I walked from the bus station, it was a nice walk (26 minutes, thanks google maps) I'm not too far from the hotel we will be staying at (the Plaza).
I just met an organizer who will be working the rally, he said "God bless the Huffington Post. they are spending so much money to get people here.".

I picked up some batteries and started taking pictures, but I don't have a micro usb so I can't add any here yet.

Just talked to Matt, he was in the bathroom so we didn't chat but it means i can leave this Starbucks. My next post will be post-rally. This is going to be epic!

Sunny J vs the Various Pimps and C.h.u.d.s. of NYC

So Ben and I ended up just walking around Times Square. So much grifting going on, dudes giving directions in the bus terminal and then asking for cash. With 3 hours to kill we grabbed a slice and decided not to make a play for Lady Liberty since it was a 40$ cab ride. It was nice to walk around but super busy (on a Friday night in New York? Who could have guessed). Since it's Hallowe'en weekend there were some pretty cool costumes. I'm still on the lookout for Snow White. We ended up on an earlier bus to DC, loaded with more rally types. I'm sitting with a guy from Quebec.
Ralph Kramden, used space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife 

I typed this out with my thumb on my phone so as not to disturb the rest of the bus with the bright screen of my laptop. I can't seem to get Blogger Droid to upload, (it never works!) so I had to copy the body and paste it into the browser(which is not conducive to blogging).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sunny J vs the Empire State

The border crossing was pretty easy considering it was by bus. Everyone has to get off the bus and get processed I told the guard I was going to the Rally To Restore Sanity, he seemed to get hung up there, "...Restore American Sanity?" he asked. I assured him it was purely satirical and that I had no political views beyond casual apathy. I overheard another passenger, Ben, tell the guard he was going to the rally so I introduced myself before we got back on the bus. It seems we are taking the same bus to Washington and back! He seems like a cool guy, I'm glad I met him.

We chatted a bit at the Buffalo bus station. I was getting hungry, but there were only vending machines and I wanted a substantial.

At the bus station in Rochester NY, the bus was boarded by customs agents. They asked passengers about their citizenship, or rather, they asked if thy were Americans. I showed the guard my passport which he just glanced at. I have never seen this happen before, although I have limited experience crossing the border by bus.  

The bus depot in Syracuse had a Subway Restaurant, so I decided to get my Jared on. I asked for parmesan oregano bread and she looked at me like I was from Mars, they have different names for the bread, apparently. She also gave me a choice of cheese, which doesn't happen in Canadian Subways.

When we got back on the bus we met some student-types going to the Rally, I really think this thing is going to be huge.

We should be in New York City soon. Ben and I have an almost 3 hour stop over before continuing on to the District of Columbia. Ben said he wants to see the Statue of Liberty, I'm down to go since I have never seen it and I can't think of anything else to do in New York at 2am.

"Of course you'll have a bad impression of New York if you only focus on the Pimps and C.H.U.D.s."-Marge Simpson

Sunny J Goes to Washington

I'm typing this from a Greyhound bus on my way from Toronto to Washington D.C. for the Daily Show Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear.

I am a huge fan of the Daily Show and it's now five-year-old spinoff Colbert Report. When Jon Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity I got excited, then Stephen Colbert announced his Match to Keep Fear Alive I was even more pumped up. I knew I wanted to go, but upon contemplating logistics I figured it was probably not going to happen. 

My good friends Matt and Kubi booked their flight and hotel the day after the announcement. About 2 weeks ago while I was internet chatting with Matt about the rally he typed the only thing I needed to read "You should come!" I checked out bus tickets, and suddenly I was in.

So now I'm on the Greyhound. I could have jumped on the Torontoist bus, but it just goes to the rally and back, I want to hang out an extra day and see the Smithsonian with my friends. 

I think the bus is just getting to Niagara Falls, should be crossing the border soon. I will be updating this blog as much as possible so check back all weekend.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Stormalongs Riot Stance, Out...Soon

Momo rocks the background while Matt's bass rumbles in the foreground 

The Stormalongs recorded a free digital ep to be released later this week. The political set was recorded last night as Rob Ford was declared victorious in Toronto's vote for Mayor. Although Stormalong Momo Momolo stands to benefit from the repeal of the vehicle registration tax, no one in the band seemed happy about the election results. However the band did seem quite happy with the results of the recording, nabbing several good off-the-floor takes of some politically charged covers and a new tune.

The ep will be released as soon as the band decides on which takes to use. Possibly tomorrow.

Is Rob Ford against Poutine!?!

Mayor Rob Ford,
photo courtesy Miami-Dade Police Department

Owners of various Poutine trucks outside City Hall have been hoarding gravy in recent weeks worried that Rob Ford's pledge to "stop the gravy train at City Hall" was a literal move to stop the use of gravy in Poutine trucks found in front of Nathan Philips Square. Gravy, a sauce made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking is a vital component in Poutine, a French Canadian delicacy featuring fries, cheese curds, and the aforementioned sauce. The tasty delight is a favourite of many left-leaning city councilors on lunch break. 

Rob Ford, the new Mayor-Elect of Toronto assured the truck owners and worried citizens that he would indeed "stop the gravy train at city hall". When pressed as to whether gravy used in poutine would be safe, Mr. Mayor repeated his cliched rhetoric several more times until he became winded and shrugged.

Political analysts point to Mayor Ford's bizarre endorsement of the KFC Double Down, and his promise to replace bread with meat in all toronto sandwiches as proof he would never put the breaks on the flow of gravy on City Hall poutines.       

Auf Der Maur to rock Tattoo in Toronto Next Week!

Next Thursday (November 4th) Canada's Goddess of bass will rock Tattoo Rock Parlour. I live just down the street and can't wait to feel that heavy rhythm. You can click here to get tickets(only 12$)!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stormalongs to rock the socks off the ballot box

The Stormalongs have been feeling the political machine grinding at their rock gears and are pushing back this election night. Tonight the Storma-lads will be recording a free digital ep. The ep will be titled Riot Stance and will feature new music as well as covers of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Malvina Reynolds. Colin Stormalong posted the following quote on his facebook:

"when your country and your leaders ignore your protestations and place their evil hands on the throats of the innocent, what other choice do the people have but to adopt a riotous stance?"-Cedrick Karstensen

The Stormalongs new EP Riot Stance

I'm going to see Back to the Future at the AMC tonight, so I will miss the bulk of the session, but I'm hoping to make it out in time to hear the last bit.

Toronto Votes.

I voted.
The new mayor of Toronto will be George Smitherman or Rob Ford.

I ran into my roommate Happy Hardcore, he asked if I was going to the polls. He said he was going to vote this time because "we can actually effect change on the municipal level". He hasn't voted in any recent federal or provincial elections, Once telling me he didn't believe in the process, but today I realized that he only votes when he thinks he has a chance of winning. Our riding of Trinity-Spadina is a left-leaning area and typically votes NDP or Liberal. He's beyond right-wing but I'm sure he thinks he's progressive. He would probably identify with the Tea Party if we had one in Canada (here in Canada, The Tea Party is just the name of a band that sucks). I guess our votes will cancel each other's out, but I have to think there can't be that many assholes who will actually vote for Rob Ford.

Rob Ford beat his wife, and it disappeared. He got drunk and belligerent at a Leafs game, then denied it was him till it was proven he was lying. He drove drunk in Florida and was arrested for possession of Marijuana, again denied it had happened untill it was proven he was again lying. None of his ideas make sense and his math is ridiculous. If he becomes mayor it will be bad times for the city of Toronto.

Scott Pilgrim goes to the Bloor Cinema (Well he does live in the Annex!)

Edgar Wright announced a return to the Bloor Cinema, for a free screening of his epic Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World on November 5th.
Scott Pilgrim Vs the World [Blu-ray]

"To say thank you to the fans who have supported us and thank you to the residents of Toronto who put up with a lot of fake snow, I am very excited to be coming back to Bloor & Bathurst for a one off special screening. Join me, Bryan Lee O’Malley and Toronto’s home town badass Ellen Wong first at HMV and then the Bloor on November 5th." Edgar said on his blog.

The poster was done by creator Bryan Lee O'Malley, I'm guessing we can get one when we pre-order at HMV(with some autographs!).This event promises to make Aint it cool News talkbackers even more jealous of my Sweet Toronto. Can't wait to see Edgar again and I hope his brother Oscar comes too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Based on the DC Comics graphic novel, RED is the story of a CIA agent who can't seem to settle into retirement. This movie is perfectly cast, and I would recommend seeing it based on personnel alone, but I don't have to thanks to the witty banter and fun-as-hell action scenes. Malkovich was fantastic, as was Mary-Louise Parker (so nice to look at). Morgan Freeman didn't even phone this one in, he works. At one point I tried to picture Bruce Willis with hair and my mind was boggled. He is a bald man, and always will be.

RED is the third graphic novel adapted into a film that used Toronto shooting locations this year(Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim being the others)

RED will be out on Friday. Yeah, I saw it last week, that is how I roll.
Click here to buy the book on which the movie is based.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Great Scott! Marty and Doc back on the big screen at AMC!

This past summer, we watched Back To The Future in HD on my buddy Matt's big screen. I have seen BTTF at least 500 times in my life. What was special about this screening was that it was exactly 25 years to the day since the original hit theatres back on July 3rd 1985. I made a big deal that we had to watch it that night for that reason. Then the next day Twitter was abuzz with the fact that the date Marty and Doc travelled to in the Future was that day! Not true, but even so Matt's gullible ball scratching neigbour tried convincing me otherwise. Anyone who knows me should know the 2 subjects on which I can not be schooled, The Smashing Pumpkins and Back To The Future.

AMC is re-releasing Back to the Future for a very limited engagement on October 23rd and 25th (the day Marty went Back). As a true BTTF geek I must go, I'm buying tickets tomorrow. Click here to see if your AMC will be having a screening. If not you should buy it on BluRay, here:
Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rob Ford wants to axe CNIB Metropass, Blind Torontonians should learn to drive

Mayoral candidate Rob Ford wants to end the TTC/CNIB metropass program, which Ford sees as just another "perk" of being blind in Toronto.

In recent debates and speeches Rob Ford said he would cut the wasteful 21,000 free metropasses the City distributes annually, which includes 3700 metropasses for blind Torontonians. Carol Goar at the Star wrote this article which clarifies where all those wasteful passes go.

The CNIB metropass program offers a year long pass to registered clients living in the GTA. Hundreds of people show up at the CNIB in early January to receive the new pass. I volunteered with the CNIB and helped to distribute the passes. In every single case the old pass was collected, the clients CNIB card number was written on the new pass and the clients name and client number along with the new pass serial number were documented. If a client had moved out of the GTA they were denied the pass. The process is tedious but necessary to ensure the integrity of the program and is required by the TTC. I personally repeated this process over 1000 times, first at the CNIB and then at a local seniors community. Due to the nature of blindness many clients are seniors, although it does affect both young and old, rich and poor, although more of the latter.

Rob Ford is too narrow minded to consider the difficulties faced by others in this city.

Having participated in the distribution of the passes I have seen the power these passes give to the blind of Toronto. I have also felt this power. As a blind Torontonian the metropass gives me access to the city I would otherwise not have. I cannot get a drivers license. I am very thankful to the City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission, and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

I have made attempts to contact Mr. Ford, but as of yet my calls have not been returned.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Live Auf Der Maur in Canada next month!

How could anyone not be excited about Melissa Auf Der Maur's first live dates since the spring release of her sophomore album OOOM!? I just got an email with these upcoming shows, next month is going to rock for anyone with the common sense to get out of the house and watch a red haired Goddess wield a bass like a battle axe. I would love to see her at Call The Office, but Tattoo is conveniently down the street from my house.

11/02/10 London, CA @ Call The Office
11/03/10 Hamilton, CA @ Casbah
11/04/10 Toronto, CA @ Tattoo
11/05/10 Ottawa, CA @ Mavericks

11/06/10 Montreal, CA @ Cabaret Juste pour rire
Out Of Our Minds

Friday, October 01, 2010

Children and Hobos unite!

I'm in the library since the internet is out at my place. Rogers says someone in my house has a botnet running (it's a virus, grandma) and wont let us back on till we find the culprit. It's nice and quiet, no happy hardcore music to annoy me, although there are a lot of children and a few hobos.

I read almost half of Philip K Dick's Do androids dream of electric sheep? but I can't take it out due to a fine on my account which I can't afford to pay($11!?!). It's a really good book, and was the basis for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, however both works differ greatly. I will discuss it more when I finish it next week. I just feel really good about reading, like somehow I made Lavar Burton smile.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Blade Runner (Five-Disc Complete Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
Click links and buy these tasty products!

I spent all my time reading and then working on my postcard blog so I'm going to get kicked out soon as they are closing. Perhaps I can find a coffee house with wifi?...

Our blogger packs up his macbook and proceeds to a popular American coffee house, but not finding a seat he proceeds on to a popular Canadian coffee house (Hint: Scott Pilgrim ran into Envy Adams in this very shop).

I don't normally drink coffee, it makes me chatty beyond belief. I'm feeling pooched after a great workout this morning. I'm going to be serious about the gym, and planning on taking every other day off to recover and not burn out. Te plan is to rock sexy washboard abs the ladies will not be able to resist. Which makes me think of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty.

Toronto's all night art extravaganza Nuit Blanche is this Saturday. I wanted to grab a crazy all-white outfit and still might. I think as a burner it's my responsibility to take it up a notch. I will take some pics.