Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beast of the East 2

Dicey of the Hamilton Harlots as lead jammer

In a two day event topping last year's one day event, the beast of the east has expanded to showcase 16 teams from around eastern canada. For the results of the crazy 28 number of bouts check out DNN (the Derby News Network).

Even getting to Montreal a day early didn't really stop my hand from cramping up near the end of day one. I shot for about 8.5 hours with a half hour break stuffing my face with lasagna and what was left of the salad.

Miss Carriage of the Death Row Dames manoeuvres around the gore gore girls

Overall I got some really great photos. One of my favourites being that up top of this entry featuring Dicey being pointed to by referee, Justice Feelgood Marshall (indicating that she's the lead jammer). I like that she's pretty sharp and everything else is just a crazy blur as she whizzes by.

The results of that photo and others are a result of me lugging my strobes with me. Probably moved the most photo gear I've ever moved to a location not in Ontario. It's almost worth the hassle. The downside is that the strobes and gear take up way to much space when travelling by bus. I didn't have any extra space to bring back bagels. Boo.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Get some FAT on you

FAT, the Toronto Alternative Fashion week (spell the acronym backwards TAF and you get FAT - don't ask, I don't know where that comes from) is the smaller version of Toronto Fashion week. More artsy, more fun, more photographically interesting. The organizers are great, happy people, you wonder why they don't organize the LG Fashion Week event... at least this is what I was told by a worker at JuicyStuff.

This was my first FAT event and the JuicyStuff worker was right. The organizing body of people were quite nice to deal with. Overall the event, compared to the LG fashion week, had more free spirits running around if you will. Dancing, bands playing, aerial acrobatics and yes even a catwalk all in one big room... with a bar. Possibly not as many people but definitely more active people.

An aerial acrobat makes for a confusing photo

At LG fashion week people get herded into the main fashion tent runway section from the bar section (or Fashion environment), sit down, watch the show, applause (maybe), then leave, returning back to the overly crowed fashion environment. The FAT event by contrast had people milling around interacting with the environment. They cheer if they like a good outfit, the model, or the music that's playing (coming from the live band or the DJ). They talk among one another. Overall the demographic of people seem more friendly to one another as well.

While the FAT runways may not have as much money behind them with lighting and number of outfits, it is a refreshing view of the fashion industry.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jelly logs and Tang

Tang and a Jelly Log

I completed the construction of my photo surface and so to celebrate I thought I'd shoot a plate of a jelly log and a glass of Tang with the surface underneath. The Tang and jelly log were just things I had lying around waiting to be shot. The plate in the photo is actually a saucer from my downstairs neighbour Martina. It was the closest plate design I could find to ones that I'd been looking for in the past two weeks.

As for the Tang. I've always wanted to try Tang again. It had been years since I last had some. Probably at my cousin Bryce's when I was in grade 3. The drink that astronauts had in space. At least I seem to remember something along those lines in commercials that brainwashed my as a kid. I had found some Tang being sold at a local dollar store. It seems to be in short supply at all three grocery stores that surround me if not offered at all.

Tang, at present, comes in packs of 3 envelopes. I seem to remember commercials where it was once sold in a jar. I wonder why they don't do that anymore? Meh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

About a year ago I boiled an egg, cracked it open, and ate it. Then I looked at the shell and noticed that it was perfectly broken into two parts with no little pieces! Just two parts.

I have saved that egg until such an occasion that I could use it for a photo. I came up with this. Dedicated to the vegan friends I have and their possible anger toward us meat eaters, especially during a meat holiday such as Easter.

Eggs are boiled and painted. Ham or Turkey is cooked. These are the things that go on in most meat eating households. I imagined what vegans must think of us and poof this little photo idea came along.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Some Skil required

My new Skil jig saw

For the last few weeks I've been working on making a platform for my photography. To be more specific, a surface to photograph stuff on. It all started a few weeks ago when shooting a pair of shoes for FAB.

Max, the fashion editor gave me some really great looking green shoes to photograph. I shot them on white and on the outside driveway. In the end I submitted photos taken on the porch stairs. The color of the stairs and the shoes worked together.

While all that was happening I also wanted to create a surface kind of like something you'd see in an Apple commercial. That glossy, semi-reflective kind of look of a white surface. I started off by getting a large 4x4 sheet of that stuff they make clip boards out of.

This was no easy task as I managed to volunteer Marc to come out with his car. Once we picked up the 4x4 sheets and brought it to the car we found that we couldn't fit it in. I then had to call James with his truck to drive all the way to Rona and help pick it up. I still owe Marc a meal for the effort.

The next obstacle was that the board was way too large for handling. I didn't have any supports big enough to hold it up. 3x3, maybe. 4x4? no. So I bought a hand saw. A thing to know about most hand saws is that once you start cutting, if you're on a bad angle you can't turn the saw while cutting. Not easily anyway. I managed to cut off a diagonal foot off one end but it looked pretty bad. Nowhere close to being a 90 degree corner and the cuts with the large saw teeth were rough. Agh.

To solve that problem, today, I bought the jig saw. My first power tool. It's great. Cuts through the 4x3 board almost like butter and because the blade is so short in width you can adjust the cut as you go.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rub a dub dub

I wonder what year this was?

I was at Albert's parent's house back drive way waiting for Albert when I noticed this steel tub sitting outside. Probably waiting to be picked up by the garbage truck. I really liked the texture of the dried up paint so I took a bunch of photos.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A long day

Early morning sunrise

I woke up pretty early this morning. It was around 7am when the sun was pouring into my computer room that I took the above photo. I had a bunch of stuff to do today. Mainly trying to visit friends that I haven't seen in a while.

The Pumpkin Patch

While venturing forth out into the great outdoors I almost tripped over the cat. Pumpkin, the landlord's home confused pet, was trying to get in. I noticed a large patch of fur missing. Now known as the pumpkin patch I had found from Kyoko that Pumpkin had gotten into a fight and a large puss thing had formed where he was attacked. Kyoko and Chris took him to the vet where the vet shaved off the fur to get to the puss thing to drain it. Pumpkin seemed a little upset at the lack of fur and kept licking the area. Well, at least he won't get furballs from it.

Laer's pet bird Maya

I met Laer for lunch at an Indian restaurant on Baldwin. We then went over to his place where I was introduced to the bird. I've never actually interacted with a pet bird other than seeing one fly over my head.


Birds are strange animals. They seem so fragile. Maya, Laer's pet bird, made me laugh a bit. It walked sideways giving the illusion of being shifty. To make the bird jump onto your finger you're supposed to place your finger horizonally in front of the bird's chest. For the most part Maya would jump onto your finger. To get him off all you have to do is place an object, like the back of a chair or a pencil, in front of the chest. The bird would walk on up.

There was a point where putting something in front didn't encourage the bird to move. Instead the bird would attack (ie. bite my finger). The bite wasn't flesh removed but it was irritating. I had to get Laer to move the bird away from me and my shoes. For some reason Maya liked shoe laces.

Don't look into the eyes!

After a few hours talking about cameras, lighting, and birds as pets, from Larry's place I went to Queen street west, The Rhino, to meet up with Mare and Candy for drinks.

Mare and Candy at the Rhino

On the way home, it was past last call, and the last subway. I had to take the blue night (all night) bus home. It was there I bumped into Roger of Monster Records. I got home around 3:30am and passed out.

Roger on the 2:50 am bus.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tree Hugger

The raccoon - cute, fuzzy and filled with death rage

My new neighbour Martina is scared of these things. When you think about it it makes sense. Razor sharp teeth, claws, and although usually fat looking they're as nimble as a cat. Oh and they're smart. Real smart.

I'm not saying that if you look at one in a tree, another one will jump you from the side or behind smart. I'm talking if there was a peanut on your head they would probably figure a way to get it smart.

I've seen raccoons jump six feet straight up onto a fence. It's like they were on an invisible bungee cord. Vaawhoop. Boing. Standing on the fence, not trying to pull themselves up onto the fence like a fat guy going over an obstacle course in the army. All four feet on the fence.

With this in mind, if they wanted to, they could jump right up onto your face to do the alien face hugger. While I'm sure they don't plant raccoon seeds that develop into baby raccoons that burst out of your chest, they could mess you up just by biting and scratching your face off. If you were seven feet tall you could by chance get the fat furry wheezy raccoon that would try to get up to your face but in the end couldn't resulting in you getting a whiff of it's bad breath as it exhales falling off your face like the fat boy army grunt. You face is safe. Your crotch is another story.

Yes, biting and attacking you until you look like some scarred mutant of yourself and that's before introducing the rabies factor. Holy crap RABIES! What could be worse? Well maybe one thing (in Toronto anyway) a rabid SKUNK. They can do the same thing as the raccoons but simultaneously fart in your direction.

Aaaah!! Tiny, furry, rabid animals!! Run away!!!

What the heck would our friends in Australia say to that? Tosser? They live in a place where almost all animals are poisonous if not deadly by some other means. The trap door spider, crocodiles, the crusty butted koala and the deadly underwater platypus.

When this realization hits and you figure out you're in Toronto, that's when you get out of your snivelling bent over position of a coward and stand up like a man (or woman as the case maybe) and say "They are more scared of me than I am of them."

After that thank God you're not a garbage can and make sure you don't have a peanut on your head.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Snow and Swatow

Swatow located just north of Dundas on Spadina's east side.

It snowed today. Perhaps a last effort by old man winter to keep us all bundled up and in our homes. Who would be crazy enough to go out? Us, Darryl and Derek, that's who.

We met up at Swatow at 2:00pm. It seems like it's been a while since we've eaten there. Hectic schedules, other places to eat, it all adds up.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

All that glitters

"Where are these things coming from?"

On the way over to James' place, while cutting through the back alley, I stumbled on these X-files logo like light patterns. I looked up to see where the light was bouncing from but could not determine the exact source.

I imagined a satellite pin pointing some bug some where on the ground. Then thought maybe I was the bug on the ground. See what happens when you watch the X-files? There's that whole conspiracy thing going on in your head.

It was then that I realized I never saw the last movie.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Bowling for Candy

Team Aaaaay!

I had just made the 8pm meet time at Danforth Bowl. It was Candy Sass' birthday party. Enough people to fill two lanes showed up to bowl. The two hours of bowling passed by pretty quickly and a bunch of us eventually made our way down to Spadina and College for drinks.

Team B

Good things come to those that wait...

Adam and I get a photo of ourselves to prove where we were and at what time

There are times in your life when you find yourself waiting for someone and that someone is late. This happened to me today while waiting for the Fashion editor at Fab to meet me at Spadina station. I had to return some shoes I had gotten from him last saturday to photograph.

As it turns out the place we picked to meet wasn't in cell phone range. I had missed the call saying he would be late and didn't get the answering machine message until 10 minutes after he called (being half an hour after the meet time).

While scanning the people getting off streetcars I noticed another person doing the same thing. It wasn't until after the third streetcar load that I went up to him and asked if he was waiting for the same person as he was in the described meeting spot.

Turns out that Adam was waiting for some girl with tickets. To pass the time we talked about the people we were waiting for, giving descriptions to each other thinking that two sets of eyes might find these people faster than one. Kind of like pressing the elevator button multiple times to get it to your floor faster. By 6:30 it was apparent that both parties were a no show.

Shortly before this I checked my answering machine and had reached Max who had apologized for running late and remade plans to meet at Bathurst station. I took a photo of Adam and I in front of the clock so we could each back up our story of waiting should we be asked for evidence.

A winning ticket

I then took a train to the next station and waited for Max to show up. I knew I'd be waiting a while so I picked up a lottery scratch ticket. It took a while to play the thing and I ended up winning $5. Woo woo! The ticket was $3 so really I won $2. As my uncle would say "It's better than a kick in the head". When you think about it pretty much winning anything is better than a kick in the head but anyway...

By 7:30pm Max showed up and I gave him the shoe box of shoes then took the transit back toward home.

Some tips for waiting areas and meeting people...
  1. If possible, meet in a place where you can do something, anything but stare at your shoes or stare into a crowd searching for that familiar face. (ie. magazine store, cafe)
  2. Pick a meeting place where it's comfortable. If you're standing in the same spot for a while you might as well not be freezing. Maybe there's some where that you can sit.
  3. Make sure the meeting place is in cell phone range or has telephones.
  4. Narrow down the place to meet. (ie. Instead of saying Spadina station, say you'll meet at the news stand next to the streetcar platform at Spadina station). This is good just in case the place is unexpectedly crowded when you get there.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

That's the way the cookie crumbles

My fortune

Eventually the day came to an end and at around 10:30pm, David, Tim (the guy from Science North) and I ended up at a chinese restaurant near Broadview and Gerrard. It was there that I got this message from the post meal fortune cookie.

While it's message is simple, it's also true. It's a step up from the fortune cookie message that reads "You like chinese food." Who was writing the fortune cookie text at that point?

I could just see some fortune cookie master sitting at the top of a hill writing profound sayings while stroking his silver white beard and then handing the stack of papers to the student to take down the mountain to the fortune cookie press. Of course, on the way down some of the papers get blown away by a gust of wind and the student has to replace some so the note count is retained. "You like chinese food" is born.

Not too profound and not too much of a stretch. It's a safe statement. Chances are you did eat some chinese food before getting the cookie and even if you didn't like all the food there's a good chance you might have liked some of it.

It's not like the message said "You will have a happy love life", a message that takes some risk just by stating that. The writer's neck is on the line on this one. At the same time it's not like the writers have people coming back to them if things don't work out. They could say pretty much anything they want (within reason) and the reader would be sucked into the all encompassing fortune cookie magic.

A message that read "You will meet a beautiful woman who will greet you next tuesday with the memorization of all 79 original Star Trek episode scripts" would raise suspicion. Who do these writers think they are? I'm not that stupid to believe that. Ambiguity, much like in astrology, helps a lot in the credibility department. "You will meet a person in the future." is totally believable.

If it were up to my cousin Bryce (when in 3rd grade) the cookie would read "You will fall into a hole.". Perhaps it's just as well the cookie says something simple and good as opposed to something bad. No one wants to read "You will slip on a banana peel" or "This cookie will self-destruct in 30 seconds taking you and everyone in the restaurant with it".

Be thankful for the fortune cookie writer that writes those little notes and the power they wield.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Computer Check

Laundry pick up with Leanna

I spent the afternoon with Leanna. Lunch followed by computer diagnostics. She received a new used computer. There were programs have installed and the computer was asking for some CDs she didn't have. Will have to go back to reinstall windows from scratch with some virus software. I wonder if you can still buy XP?