Monday, December 29, 2008

The Nightmare Shortly Proceeding Christmas

Mondo and I have decided that we still dig Bruce LaBruce:

"I had my first LaBruce when I was about sixteen or so. Being an out-of-town girl made the big city rags seem more exciting than perhaps they should ever be given credit. Eye Weekly, at the time, was just such a rag. The writers were inspirationally bitchy, the back page adverts were shocking, and the contents nothing short of remarkable to this impressionable then-country dweller..."

>>keep reading

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mister Mondo TeeVee

A quick note to mention that television has one more snippy reviewer in its midst. I'm terribly chuffed also that I get such a lovely introduction from the folks at Mondo.

It’s always a nice surprise when a show with a strong following is successful year after year. Equally so, it’s a disappointment when crap television remains inexplicably in the mainstream for seasons on end.

Currently, there is no Canadian (hell, no North American) counterpart to Nevermind the Buzzcocks, about to enter its 22nd season on BBC this fall. And considering the abysmal pace at which our country’s programming drones along, I can’t imagine there ever being anything close to its equal on this side of the pond..."

>>continue reading

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy (Un)Birthday, Mr Strummer

Album scan - Story of the Clash (cassette) signed, "To Carolyn, Joe Strummer" 1998

Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellor, 1952-2002) would have celebrated his 56th birthday today. It seemed prudent to mark the occasion
, so I decided to unearth some of my personal Clash memorabilia from years past.

Initially, I wasn't entirely sure what to do in terms of remarks, however. There's nothing I could possibly say about the man that hasn't been scribed on a hundred other blogs, journals, and music publications over the past three decades. However, as impressive as his legacy was, there was always something even the gawky, wide-eyed (teenaged) me never failed to appreciate: He looked you right in the eye and took his sweet time chatting and signing records.

Al Kapranos
is the only other musician/rock star type I can call to mind who has rivaled Strummer's consistently polite candour, but you know, he was younger and more fresh when we last crossed paths. We'll do another post in 10 years and see if he's still that cheerful, eh?

Album scan - London Calling, The Clash (cd) signed, "To Carolyn, Joe Strummer" 1999

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Centaur Company

I would have named the blog after this, had I but known. Still, we'll stick to the plain old rodeo.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Newfoundland Sound Symposium

More words, more sounds...

In the spirit of the article I wrote for artist Kristen Roos' (BC) sound installation of yesteryear, I've written an essay for Eastern Edge Gallery's portion of this year's Sound Symposium (NFLD).


From "Brand New Ghosts" 2008:

"The basic human need to feel sound as opposed to be treated to a passive, treble-inflicted listen can be observed most often at the afternoon rush hour. Regardless of the tune, the almost unbearable levels of bass and vibration leave the passengers of these tiny mobile discos lost amidst a common yet indispensable catharsis..."

>>continue reading

Friday, June 20, 2008


Bust out your tiny pink umbrellas, girls... It's time for some more fresh-squeezed tropical-type drinks.... A New Pineapple Review!

This one includes Lebanese car bombs, educational error, 1812, and a conversation I had with a girl from Buffalo when I was about 15-years-old. I almost devoted an entire paragraph to Amy Winehouse, but you know, I can't pull these things out of my ass. It kind of seemed apropo of nothing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Karaoke Starpower

I'd like to
make an official plea to Fumihiro Hayashi:

I'm thinking you should record an album's worth of Dylan covers. Tell me how that wouldn't work.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Paper Doll Pineapple

New from the
Mondo Pineapple corner...
"Paper Dolls" by Liana Schmidt!
Check out the subtleties of the cut-out... There are more than I had originally anticipated.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


While still under construction, is back in the business of updating itself with new work, including the back catalogue of a billion random projects. For now, we have drawings and illos and stuff.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

"High Five for Expressing Ourselves..."

Rejoice, you have a new way to make fun of me each and every week...

The Pineapple Review is the newest endeavour into artish writing. But why pineapple? Cos when you Google the bugger, it's the first hit, that's why.*

"Every week, we highlight the best in art-ish printed matter. Pretty much anything on book or in paper is fine and juicy by us. And difficult to eat. But oh, so tasty."

There were a couple of reviews preceding this, but the first official installment is the Book of Shrigley. Enjoy!

*Well, it used to be until I found out that there was some Pineapple Ballroom in Port Stanley..... Bastards....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ms Canadian Roomate 1.0

I'm certain everybody has annoying roommate stories, but I bet you can't top a Nova Scotian Roman Catholic* Winnie the Pooh Fanatic. All of these things can be counted in the "just fine" category on their own, or even together in moderation, but full on, all the time, it's kind of terrifying.

...There were, however, several attempts by yours truly to inject some humour into what very quickly became an extremely uncomfortable living situation.

This involved several small stunts that went generally unnoticed, but once we had an excess of microwaves. I stacked them so they would look pretty (pictured). It was one of my best in-home installations and it was promptly dismantled the next day without anyone uttering a single syllable. (I'll swear that passive aggression is like some sort of epidemic in this town.)

*I only mentioned this because she cooked fish every Friday and never gave me any. I may be a dirty heathen, but I still like nicely cooked atlantic salmon

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Does anyone remember Little Richard being on Baywatch? Am I wrong? I couldn't find him on IMDB, but I'm so sure it was him.

He played a bartender who made sexy cocktails, but his character was annoying as hell. Basically, he has trumped Ronald MacDonald in my archive of irritating childhood memories.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

When You're Summer Bored Circa 2006

The Bathurst Pigeon Progression

This special little guy fell off the roof of the Bathurst Theatre just south of Bloor. Follow his progress three days hence.

Day One:

Day Two:

...and Day Three:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ms Random Task 3.0

My final catering gig was at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church on St Clair Ave. It's much larger than its facade might boast, and I'm pretty sure the congregation is rich like filthy. In as far as Places for Prayer Solace go in the city are concerned, this one is totally pimped.

The occasion was a rather solemn and teary funeral for a thrill-seeking son of a wealthy family. He apparently passed away whilst on vacation somewhere, but I never got the full story. Everybody was being too proper about it. The pews were absolutely packed for the service with a line-up past the staircase to get into the reception hall.

As luck would have it, there was also a gut-wrenching stomach virus making the rounds not only our fair city, but in that very building. The piles of food and debris left in the wake of the mourners makes me nervous enough about picking up something nasty, but a couple of hours into the festivities, Public Embarrassment 101 took place in the far corner.

Mercifully I was on the other side of the room when the actual expongeance took place, but quite suddenly a gentleman vomited in a rather abrupt and violent fashion all over the floor. He made a hasty exit through the door behind him.

I worked a double and passed out on my friend's couch, only to feel dreadful the following morning. After a few minutes of tossing and turning - WAM - I turned my head in time to completely cover their living room floor in my partially digested dinner. Only you know this time, there was no janitorial staff. Just a very flustered, sleep-deprived me with a mop and a decades-old bottle of Pine Sol.

Do I miss catering? No I do not.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ms Random Task 2.0

The Racist Bar Mitzvah

Scheduled to do a catering gig in the north end of the city, a bunch of us carpooled to the event with some reluctance. Our latest quandary was a Bar Mitzvah of little 13-year-old Avi. His parents were celebrating the dawn of his manhood with indoor carnival games leading up to the main hall, a bar made of ice with small basketballs suspended therein, sweet cocktails that the children stole off of the roaming waiter's trays, vats of diabetic-coma-inducing candy, basketball-shaped topiaries constructed of orange roses as centre-pieces of each of the tables for the five hundred guests, and a dance floor designed to resemble a professional basketball court, complete with a scoreboard upon which the little man's name flashed.

With jaws dropping at the decor that met our eyes on the way to the kitchen area, all staff were immediately instructed to wear basketball jersies of little Avi's favourite teams. Agreements were begrudging at best. A server is a mascot anyway, any way you slice it. It seems however, that there are more tasteful ways of treating the staff (my costume for the AGOs Massive Party notwithstanding).

As the guests arrived and we circulated with our various duties, I was placed on hors d'oeuvres and others took their places behind the bar. There was way too much food, and on my third pass nobody wanted anything any more. I repeatedly came back to the kitchen with full trays. We were over staffed, but it had been made clear to us that everybody was to "look like they were working". My wrists were beginning to regret taking the shift.

Then I began to stand more, waiting for people to come to me. And that's when I noticed them. Large men were standing alone in the corners of the main bar room, their eyes surveying the crowd of tipsy adults and their little sugar fiends. These men didn't speak to anyone. They were clearly hired help, made all the more apparent by their referee uniforms. "What are they here for?" I asked a passing waiter. "They're the baby-sitters." He said, barely glancing at them before slipping behind the service curtain with his tray of empty glasses.

I stared at one of them. And then my eyes went to the next, and then the next. They were all black. My initial reaction was to place shame on whomever had done the hiring. But then again, hired help is hired help, and who cares? I thought to myself that my thoughts were largely symptomatic of the white guilt I've heard about in subsequent years, made hilarious by 30 Rock and The Chappelle Show. 

Dinner began without much change. After the ridiculous amount of candied booze and appetizers, barely anybody wanted the three course meal planned for them. As half of the crowd was children, I've got to wonder who needed a three courser, anyway. I remember being ecstatic when one of my friend's dad's bought us Happy Meals at McDonald's. I guess I grew up in the wrong income bracket. But seriously, kids don't know the real value of things are are pretty easily pleased. "Why go to all this trouble? This is a waste." I thought. And then it happened.

Somehow the boy of the hour had slipped away from the head table. After dessert was cleared the spot lights on the dance floor were illuminated and trumpets from the ample sound system erupted in a chorus befitting a Rocky Balboa tribute. Everybody cheered and my coworkers and I watched from the side lines as little Avi, the little prince, emerged from the curtains at the back of the stage. 

He wasn't alone. With a huge grin on his face, he was sitting on top of a basketball shaped plush chair. A kid who loved his desserts, Avi couldn't be very light either, so he had to be supported. By four of the men carrying his chair like slaves would a litter in the streets of Cairo. I could sense the jaws of the staff who "got it" dropping across the room, but the guests found it most spectacular. 

The trumpets faded away and the DJ put on the every popular "Havah Negilah," for the traditional birthday chair bounce. While extremely comical (and I'm sad my family doesn't have this kind of thing at special occasions) it was a pretty gross site to behold. There were the "baby-sitters" bouncing little Avi, who was surely that night the most oblivious and spoiled boy in town.

Perhaps it was coincidence that all the gentlemen were of (one) colour, and perhaps the boy just happened to have a smug look of satisfaction on his face, but the whole scene just wasn't right. I stood there with a pitcher of water, mouth agap. The age of political correctness seemed to be long-passed in that dining hall, as if it had come full circle to where racial stereotypes and lack of sensitvity were again, back into the realm of acceptability. Whatever the case may be, I still wish I had a camera on me. I still shed tears for the missed opportunity. 

We ran from the event as soon as they began to cut staff. Nobody seemed to want to stay in the creep fest that was sure to be the world's worse sugar hangover for those involved. I did manage to steal some candy before I left, however. The kids can't have all the fun...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ms Random Task 1.0

While I've by no means held the shittiest jobs imaginable in our fair city, the majority of them haven't been exactly dynamite. This is especially true when they're remotely related to odd catering gigs in downtown buildings. Here, I decided to document a few of those happenings. While these are mostly for posterity, they also exist to remind myself not to take them on so often. In either case, one was as follows.


The merciful thing about the odd catering job is that sometimes things so out of the ordinary occur that they entirely make up for all the hours you thought you lost to ennui.

One day a couple of Januaries ago, I had the dullard task of greeting people by the main entrance of the Design Xchange on Bay Street. It was some weird little diplomat/business function, mostly attended by men in terrible expensive suits who don't look anybody serving them in the eye.

I was standing for a good half hour with (practically) no entertainment (save the occaisional older man with a heavy french accent trying to flirt with me*) when something quite head fucky happened to cross my path.

Quite suddenly I heard the padding of feet behind me. You know, kind of like in a shower. It seemed strangely out of place, and not something you tend to hear in a hallway of any sort, much less the one of a public establishment. The footfalls echoed curiously for a couple of seconds before I realized that they were approaching me at a rather alarming rate.

I turned around to see a wet, sweaty man running past the main desk (at the time, just around the corner behind me) and making a break for the door. He was fat and terribly ill equiped to do whatever he had set out to accomplish. Apparently whatever he was trying to get at was by pretty dubious means, and plus, he had no shirt on. That's right. He almost looked more wet that way, cos his backhair was all slicked to his skin like some feline combed after a bath. He was also quite short. Almost mediterranean in appearance, but I never really got a good look at his face. No shoes, no shirt, and heading for the door.

Next I heard, "Stop that man!!!" Though you know, I really don't think anybody was prepared to take that one on. Besides, I think they were just as stunned as I was.

The shouting voice came from a man with, wait for it, a long flailing trenchcoat and an immaculate three-piece dark suit underneath. His coat tails gave quite the show whilst he pursued his topless quarry, now out of sight and assumedly running southbound down the street. I should mention here that he also had patent leather shoes. Magnificent.

I'm quite ashamed to say I was a little too good an employee and didn't leave my post to see what would become of these two individuals. I waited to see if one of the smokers would come in with news. Indeed, a lovely younger man with tailored attire that cost more than my parents country house told me he saw the topless man being caught by the trenchcoat. To my disapointment, the topless offender wasn't brought in the way he had exited, and I never saw him again.

After futher enquiries, I gathered that said man had apparently climbed in through a window. Where he had lost half his clothes remains a mystery, but still, what a poorly planned execution. Perhaps I'm just trying to convince myself that it really didn't matter what his plans were... Fat. Wet. Caught. I wonder if he ever reported back to the big boss.

*But you know, that's so balls. I'm used to that.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Local Stuff: The Interests of Tens

My on-going love affair with the writing of Christopher Hume reaches new heights this week. Rather than fight it, I'll just bask in the warm glow of the newspaper's crinkly embrace:

"Toronto doesn't know how to say yes."

And Toronto isn't alone. "Fear of change is palpable everywhere in New York," reports Hilary Ballon, who co-edited the recently published, Robert Moses and the Modern City, a revisionist history of the controversial builder..."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fun Packaging 2.0

I was once
of children design. (From a package containing a rainbow-coloured xylophone toy the size of my palm.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Carl Asks Owen To Do Celine

A journey to the end of the bloody ballroom with no room to breathe.

Here's a small video of Mr. Pallett at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom for the launch of our Carl's (above right and out of focus) new book, "Let's Talk About Love, A Journey to the End of Taste". It's bumpy and it's just the chorus, but it moved me, dammit. I couldn't keep my hand still.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Veni Vidi Oh My

Veni Vidi O happens every few months... Usually because it can. We were very happy with the particular December 29th happening.

2007 Catch Up 1.0

Things to file under WTF: You know when you watch a DVD of a television series so much that the dialogue turns up in the course of normal conversation? Well, that's Arrested for me. In December, I had a pretty wacky 'flu that lasted more than a week. It made me become far more deeply acquainted with what I now understand to be an entirely unreasonable obsession...

This is the actress Mo Collins, playing the "business model" that's brought in to represent the "Bluth Homes, Solid as a Rock"campaign. Are those bruises on her ar
m? It looks like somebody tried to give her a solid hickey (what we call 13-year-old bonafied lovin') and missed. Either that, or she got pinched for like, 30 minutes. Take your pick.

...And say what you will about the tiresome onslaught of political correctness, but I'm actually kind of surprised the show got away with this one. I suppose it would be an official racial "you all suck" slur if it was pluralized. Still though, it's pretty fucking strange, and not even as close to funny as White Power Bill.