Friday, July 28, 2006

Juana Molina

Finally picked up Juana Molina's new album Son, out on Domino Recordo. Great chill out music that is that rarest of all albums that fulfills two roles: first, you can listen to it while doing nothing, and examine the intricate guitar, horn and electronic flourishes. Or, it makes perfect background music while reading, chatting, cooking etc. All in all, very mellow, relaxing, and interesting. Also, it has some of the most beautiful cover (reflective silver dots are neat!) and inside art that I've seen in a while, consisting of textile designs done by her grandmother.

Listen here.

See what Pitchfork had to say.

Bird Entertainment

Last weekend I saw a great play being put on by my friend's theatre company, Bird Entertainment. Always entertaining, be sure to check out their next performance!

Avalon Organics

Avalon Organics is one of my favourite "body care" product companies. Organic, limited chemicals, no animal testing, wide range of products. Although I've been using their products for years, I wanted to give mad props to their Lavender Moisturizing Cream Shave. Smells great, you don't have to use much, and it really does give a smooth shave, unlike many other products that only claim to, but fall flat. Very useful in this summer shaving season.

Revue Film Society

Although the Festival theatres have now closed, there is still hope. The Save the Revue society is trying to get people and funds together to reopen the Revue theatre and run it on a non-profit community basis. Sweet. They need to raise some funds by mid-August, so if 700 people contributed $20, it would meet the target! Please donate and learn more about the effort at the Save the Revue site. Tell all your friends! Why should we be forced to pay over $12 to see a movie?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mass Anti-War Rally - July 22, 2006 - Post 2

This is the second(last) post in a two post series of the rally. Chris almost got into it with someone, which was quite funny....we were waiting at a stop light when some white guy leaned out of his van and yelled at us "They're only trying to defend themselves!". Chris maintained his cool, but when another white guy in yet another van gave us the finger, he started to chase him! Unfortunately the light changed, so we'll never know what may have happened...

I believe that this is a Mohawk flag (readers, correct me if I'm wrong), but I just loved the look of it against the Toronto Hydro building at the corner of Queen's Park and University.

I love to see proud Palestinian children!

I must admit that I didn't know much about the whole Guernica thing before reading this sign....if you're in the same boat, look here.

I love this shot...this young boy looks so plaintive yet excited, invovled yet removed. Call it a study in opposites.

Mass Anti-War Rally - July 22, 2006 - Post 1

Chris and I attended a "get-the-hell-out-of Palestine-and-Lebanon" rally last Saturday. I was surprised at the turn-out, which, I hear, numbered about 10,000 people! This is the first in a two post series of pics of the rally.

To me this is a quintessential Toronto picture: activism (the rally) alongside culture (the ROM).

Some signs didn't exactly make grammatical sense, but its the thought that counts!

This one is of the crowd in front of the ROM construction.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stop the (Middle East) War Rally - Saturday July 22!

(photo of Lebanese village courtesy of

Israel's actions making your blood boil? Feel the need to protest? In the Toronto area? Come on out to the rally this Saturday, organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War. Here are the details:

MASS RALLY Saturday, July 221:00pmIsraeli Consulate180 Bloor Street West(west of Avenue Road, north side of Bloor)

The situation in the Middle East has rapidly escalated into an international crisis that threatens to pull the entire region into full-scale war. In response to the capture of one of its soldiers, Israel has attacked Gaza - bombing water and electricity stations, bridges, roads and other vital infrastructure, creating a humanitarian disaster for hundreds of thousands of people.

Israel has now spread its attack to Lebanon - bombing Beirut's international airport, major highways and other civilian infrastructure, at the same time issuing threats to Syria and Iran.Scores of innocent people in both Gaza and Lebanon have now been killed by Israeli bombs. These are war crimes.

Join the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and its allies for an emergency public meeting on Monday night to discuss the growing threat of war throughout the region and what we can do to stop it. Then join us for a mass rally on Saturday to demand an immediate stop to Israel's attack on Gaza and Lebanon and to oppose an attack on Syria and Iran.

Organised byToronto Coalition to Stop the WarEndorsed byCanadian Arab FederationJewish Women's Committee to End the OccupationCoalition Against Israeli ApartheidMuslim Unity Group - TorontoFor more information or to endorse, please e-mail
Toronto Coalition to Stop the WarTCSW is Toronto's city-wide anti-war coalition,comprised of more than fifty labour, faith and community organisations,and a member of the Canadian Peace 416-795-5863

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Darth Vader Ants?

I have developed a recent fascination with ants, which led me to the discovery of the so-called "Darth Vader" Ant. You can be the judge, from the pic above. They have this helmet-like structure around their head, and they have spikes along their bodies. Its a South American ant (where all the most developed and large insects come from), and has recently been discovered exhibiting gliding behaviour. Apparently, if dropped from a tree, these ants can do a turn in mid-air and come back to the tree trunk. This supposedly protects them from falling to the forest floor (almost certain death), and allows them to find the branch where they nest. Neat. See the 4 minute video here and learn more here.

I have this theory that one day, cockroaches and ants will take over the world. Ants have the social organization and strength, and cockroaches have the staying power. Don't think humans will be around to see it though. Maybe Speilberg will make a sci-fi film about it. Chris told me the other day that the film Them is hilarious (in a way that only horror films from the 50's can be). I'll have to check it out one day....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Afrofest 2006

Last Saturday we went to Afrofest in Queen's Park. We were just sitting on the grass, enjoying the fine African tunes, when these two adorable little boys jumped on Chris' back in a friendly attack! They hung out with us for at least 20 minutes, and the parents were cool with it, so we let them. In these pics you can see them sharing our drink, and cleaning Chris up. At one point a black woman walked up and commented to Chris that it must be nice to have someone to clean you up...we were kind of embarrassed, as having two little black boys clean up a white man wasn't looking too good!

Above is a pic of some very powerful African drummers...didn't catch their name, unfortunately. Below is an example of the fine wares that were for sale. I myself picked up a sweet wooden bracelet for $7. Word to crafters: it doesn't take much time to remove hot glue threads from your handmamde jewelry, and it will make it look much more professional!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Canada Day Weekend in Tobermory 3: Wind Project

This is the last post in a series of shots taken in and around our cottage on July 1st weekend. These shots are all of the Melancthon Wind Project. Not the best quality, as I took them from the car while driving by. We always pass the township of Melancthon on our way to the cottage, but this year is the first year that they've really gotten the wind project underway. The last couple of years there were a few wind turbines, but this year there are so many! There have been some grumblings from farmers and other area residents about how the turbines are an eyesore, but I feel quite differently. When I saw them, so many of them, my heart just leapt. They are like pure, wild, white, graceful creatures in the sky that also happen to create energy. This is only phase I, and phase II will be shortly underway.

Canada Day Weekend in Tobermory 2: "Nature" Shots

This is the second post in short series of shots taken at our cottage in Tobermory on the July 1st weekend. I just love rocks, they live such a different existence than we do. Good ol' rock, nothing beats that.

We had some scary and amazing looking storm clouds come in. Sweet.

This is a shot of the lovely stone steps on the cottage next to ours. We often see kids clambering about on the rocks in search of crayfish and frogs.

This one is of Singing Sands (so named because it is so flat and windy so that the wind "sings"through the sand), which is part of the Bruce Peninsula National Park. I love this beach because you almost feel as if you're at the end of the world. Also, you can walk out for a good quarter mile and still have the water only come up to your knees. One of the only places that you can go swimming this early in the year....we wouldn't dare go swimming in Georgian Bay yet!

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Heard this great artist on the CBC today called Niyaz, on the always wonderful Six Degree Records. Although I love classical Persian, Turkish, Iranian, Kurdish and "Gypsy" music, I usually steer clear of those artistis billed as some sort of "Eastern electro-fusion". What this usually means, is that its basically a Western electronic song, with the odd minor key flourish of an Indian flute or oud, or the odd tabla beat. Niyaz however, does fusion the opposite way (and better): heavy on the classical Persian music, with some very subtle electro beats. Amazing vocals, strong melodies, traditional beats. Get out the bong, put it on, bliss out and get your body moving! Listen here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Get Your Retro Fix!

I've spent way too much time tonight on this site. Watch clips of your fave 70's and 80's tv show intros and commercials. So far, I've checked out the Ewoks, Smurfs, A-Team, Knight Rider and some of those "say no to drugs" ads from the 80's, among others. Good, clean, nostalgic fun!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Canada Day Weekend in Tobermory 1: Sunsets

This is the first post in a series of ones taken at our cottage in Tobermory this July 1st weekend. I always forget that when you're out of the city, the sky becomes so much more a part of your immediate field of vision. Enjoy these spectacular sunsets!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What We All Long For

No, this post isn't about sex (well, not directly), its about the book What We All Long For by Dionne Brand. This is, without hyperbole, the best book I've read in a long time for four reasons:
  1. Books set in Toronto are great, as us Torontonians can really relate a lot more to someone talking about something happening in Kensington Market, as opposed to Time Square or something.
  2. If, like me, you were born and raised in and around Toronto and are the child of visible minority immigrants, this book is for you. The rest of you will still enjoy it, but it won't have the personal tang that it does for those in my category. Honest. Proper.
  3. I always admire writers that can create meaningful dialogue between characters in slang, which is something that I can never accomplish in my writing.
  4. Always good to read something from a black-feminist-lesbian-Trinidadian author.

Stop reading about it and go buy it now at one of your friendly neighbourhood book retailers like Book City or Pages or Another Story Bookshop or the Toronto Women's Bookstore or A Different Booklist.

Rate My Kitten!

Just came across this site today by accident.....we all think we have the most beautiful kitten, right? I guess we all do, since our own opinion is really all that matters. But, if you feel the need to have strangers validate your opinion of your own kitten's cuteness, check out the site! I believe there are also rate my bunny and puppy affilated sites as well.

PS - I really do have the cutest kitten (well...more like a grown up cat but she'll always be kitten to me)! Her pic is above!