Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TIFF Volunteer Stories: Julien and Sachin

I was asked to be in a video for the Toronto International Film Festival. I love volunteering for the Festival and I can't wait for this year's fest to begin (as soon as I get back from Burning Man).

Here is the video, Sachin and I spoke for almost two hours and it was edited down to this: 

Rain Day


I have so much to do. Burning Man is fast approaching (32 days 3 hours 37 minutes 55 seconds until the Man burns).

I'm working on getting a new computer through the Ontario Assistive Devices Program. The one I'm using is 5 years old and it's performance is starting to wain.

The Internet is down at my place. My brother Paul is an I.T. professional but since he's always at his girlfriends house I don't know when I will be able to get him to fix it.

Rainy Bathurst Street from Second Cup
So I find myself at the Second Cup (a few blocks away, the one across the street from me shut down, I mourn it). They ran a summertime promotion in which a medium Italian Soda only cost a buck. Well I got used to that price and now they have jacked up to $3.50! That's way too much for soda water and syrup. I was planning on spending the afternoon here but now I can't afford it. I've been nursing this blueberry soda for about an hour now.

It was a nice sunny day when I got here and now the sky is so overcast it's almost dark out. I should escape, home before the inevitable rain. Too late, it has begun, literally as I typed. It's pouring down. I took a picture.

Now I'm stuck here. It's a full on thunderstorm.

Yoga tonight. It's only my second time. My friend Aaron teaches the class. He's good, patient and helpful with a beginner like me. I like how it makes my body feel.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sarah is a cat lady

Cat Lady

I went to the gym today for the first time since I got back from England (not like I was going much before I left). I did a little cardio on the bike to get my body ready for Burning Man (lots of bike riding in BRC). I lift some weights till my arms are sore. It would be nice to lose some of the weight I gained in Ireland, drinking Guinness like it was tapwater.

Sarah & Shawna at Dutch Dreams
I hung out with Sarah, a good friend from high school. She lives in Montreal with her husband Luc (but they are moving to Vancouver soon). She is great. We had some food & beers at the Madison (Sarah picked up the tab, what a doll!). It was too hot to stay on the patio, so we decided to save a few bucks and drink beers in the park. I regaled Sarah with tales of my near-conquests, women upon whom I lavished attention till they tired of me. After the pity-party we met up with Shawna and drank vino in Trinity Bellwoods Park.
We ate massive Italian sandwiches for dinner and then went to Dutch Dreams for some famous ice cream.

Shawna asked me to dog-sit Rambo in a few weeks, which I'm looking forward to.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Working Hard at Hardly Working

Spadina streetcar tracks are being replaced so I had to take a bus home from the airport (They had just started when I left and the job is supposed to be finished in November).  The entire intersection at Queen street is closed to traffic for two weeks (a pedestrians dream). I cooled off for a bit before going to see The Amazing Spiderman at the Scotiabank Theatre.

Construction closes Queen and Spadina
Before the movie I went to get some snacks at Shoppers Drug Mart and a woman with incredible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder held up the line while she counted out her items to make sure she had he right number of glass and boxes, then searched for the right plastic bags to load her groceries into. I gave up on waiting when the cashier dropped ont of the pickle jars and it shattered on the ground. The woman nearly lost it.

Today I'm trying to keep busy, I have lots to do before Burning Man starts in 49 days. I really want to get some posts out on my Burning Man blog done this week(along with catching up on all the unpublished posts from my UK trip). Getting some laundry done while I drink my morning coffee  and catch up on some Howard Stern episodes. All my stuff stinks like travelling.

Me at Gotham City Blvd
The heat in the apartment becomes too much, I leave to take my picture in front of some signs for a Dark Knight Rises contest. I can't wait to see this movie, I love Batman. I have tickets for the midnight screening but seeing it even earlier would be awesome. I want to go find a cool t-shirt.

The plan for the rest of the day?
-writing Postcard blog posts.
-finish some uk posts.
-Picking up groceries (the fridge is bare!).
-Going to the Gym
-Scanning new postcards I received while I was away.

If I can do all that and watch some missed Daily Shows I will deem my first day back a success and redouble my efforts tomorrow.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Eyeball Torture

My matante Nicole and uncle Kirk were booked on the same flight back to Canada so I got a free cab ride to the Manchester airport. <p>I think AirTransat is conducting a bizarre social experiment. We are stuck inside a tube at 35,000 feet and the in-flight movie is Larry The Cable Guy in Tooth Fairy 2. I would rather watch a gremlin tear integral components from the wing than be subjected to another minute of this shit. I get that there are kids onboard but even small children should take offense as this movie is an insult to their not-yet fully formed brains.. Maybe the plane is full of assholes.
The third movie on the flight is National Lampoon's Vacation, a halfway decent 30 year old comedy. Just cause its old doesn't make it a classic. I try my headphones in the armrest only to find it doesn't work.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

May I present Mr and Mrs Briggs

My sister Chloé got married and the wedding was absolutely spectacular. She has worked so hard, pretty much all by herself for the past year to have the perfect day, and save for a slight hiccup on the Groom's Team (Best Man forgot the Rings, which only caused a 5 minute delay, no biggie), the whole day went off without a hitch (although Chloé and Wayne did get "hitched" so...).

Friday, July 06, 2012

Up to here.

We checked into Whalley Abbey, where the wedding reception will be. Paul and I, sharing a room. I get the wifi password and Paul is back into his ipad with an exasperated "thank god!". His head might as well be up his ass. I don't want to sit around so I head to the pub. I was going to tell Paul where I was going but then didn't so as to avoid the possibility that he might come with me. I think I'm just over tired and stressed to the max, but the wedding will be over soon and I would be better off to just stop being pissy and enjoy my time with my family.

The bartender sees me eyeing the taps and asks if I'm looking for a bitter. England is all about the ales. It isn't bad although I didn't catch the name.
Chloe's bridesmaids show up asking about my dad and Chloe's dress. I know nothing about either but apparently my dad is staying above this pub, which I suppose makes it an Inn.

I'm guessing I can meet him here if I wait around long enough. I order the chicken curry.
It's taking forever. Maybe it has to fly from India.
of course it arrives just after i type. I'm hungry but its too hot to consume. None of the food in England has been awe-inspiring and the curry in no exception.

The whole family shows up, we have pints at some of the fine pubs Whalley has to offer. At last-call, Paul takes off to check out the small town club scene, while Marc and I stay at the bar to finish out pints. We go outside so Marc can have a smoke and the bartender tells him it's against the law to have our drinks outside, but if we want to re-enter the bar we can smoke inside. It was a lock-in! We got to stay and order a few more pints before running into Paul on our way back to the abbey. As the sun rose we 3 brothers had a great moment together exploring the ruins of the old Abbey.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


train ride to Scotland 
I just had to escape the anarchy in the UK. My sister made it clear we weren't welcome in her home I freaked from the pressures of family and bolted, without a bag or change of clothing or most important a charger for my phone.

I also didn't tell anyone where I was going (but to be fair I didn't really know myself). On the train I got an got an angry call from my mom. They're concerned.
I assured her I'm safe and would return for the wedding rehearsal the next day. I wasn't trying to add to her stress, I just can't take anymore  myself.

I got into Edinburgh at about 3:30pm and searched around for a hostel. It was so nice and sunny and the city was beautiful. I soon found myself at the Haggis Hostel and booked shared accommodations for £20 plus a £10 deposit for the key.

 I walked over to Edinburgh Castle, which was just closing, so I went back towards the hostel, stopping to pick up toiletries to wash off my stink. It began to rain, it was an awesome sun shower. I took a photo of this rainbow.

 Back at the hostel I met some great Germans and we went out for beers with a fellow Canadian who was also in our room. We drank Guinness and Famous Grouse and Innis & Gunn and finally JäggermiesterWe drank until we could drink no more and I picked up an authentic Scotish Kebab to insulate my belly. Back at the room someone got sick and the hostel attendant hosed our room with deodorizer making it near-impossible to breathe. Not sur if I fell asleep from tired or that I was oxygen deprived.


Monday, July 02, 2012


The trip to Manchester begins with an argument with my brother Paul. Most conversations go that way since he is such a tremendous prick. The chip on his credit card hasn't worked for months. This means unless a retailer accepts the swipe he's shit out of luck. He swears up and down the card works fine "95% of the time". He is either lying or stupid or both. He ordered a new card before he came to England (my idea, since it "works just fine").

Now we sit on a train to Manchester. Not speaking. He's an antisocial baby with an ipad. Im a level headed blogger venting steam.

He wants to go clubbing, Mom doesn't think its a good idea since she had to hold his drunken hand on the flight over. "I'm a grown man" he asserts, but yet he can't book a flight or pay the hydro bill.
Im off the train at Preston without looking back. I don't care if he made the transfer or not.