Scenes from adolescent life

A follow-up to my MuchMusic posting.

(The original story is here.)

MuchMusic’s live video request show, MuchOnDemand, alternates between videos and segments shot live in the open-concept, open-to-the-street MuchMusic studios. There’s a bit of a lull in the studio when they show the video, and here’s a little bit of what went on in the audience scrum during that lull.

Teenage Girl 1: Oh my God, Rick is so hot.

Tennage Girl 2: Yeah. He’s hot.

Teenage Girl 3: He’s so hot I could just die!

Teenage Girl 4 (who is wearing a black leather studded collar with four chains that run from the collar to a black leather belt): Feh.

Teenage Boy 1: (Silence. He’s staring at Jenn the VJ).

Teenage Boy 2: (Silence. He’s staring at teenage girls 1, 2, 3 and especially 4.)

Teenage Girl 4 (to me): I wanted you to play Nine Inch Nails.

Teenage Boy 2 (to me): I heard you can play System.

Teenage Girl 2 (spotting Rick the VJ, who’s wandering by): Rick!

Rick the VJ: Yeah?

Teenage Girl 2: Uh…can I have…a hug?

Rick the VJ: Not now, I have to get ready for the next segment, but after the show, there’s hugs for everyone.

Teenage Girls 1, 2 and 3: YAAAAAY!

And yes, after the show, Rick did give out hugs to those who asked.

Teenage Boy 1: (Silence. He’s staring at Jenn the VJ).

Teenage Boy 2: (Silence. He’s staring at teenage girls 1, 2, 3 and especially 4.)

Teenage Girl 4: Feh.

The video ends and the live segment begins. Rick is on camera, talking.

Teenage Girl 1 (to Teenage Girls 2 and 3): Okay, on the count of three.

Teenage Girl 3: We really gonna do this?

Teenage Girl 1: You said!

Teenage Girl 2: Go!

Teenage Girl 1 (breathlessly, almost hyperventilating): One…two…three!

Teenage Girls 1, 2 and 3 (in unison): RICK! YOU’RE HOT!

Rick the VJ (turning away from the camera for just a moment): I’m hot? Thanks!

Teenage Boy 1 (muttering to self): Girls.

Teenage Boy 2 (whispering to Teenage Boy 1, pointing at Teenage Girl 4): She’s hot.


The other blog is alive and well

For the more technically-inclined, The Happiest Geek on Earth is back on track. In addition to the usual stuff that appears in it, it’ll also be functioning as a place for drafts for additions to my soon-to-be-revived cross-language programming guide, The Rosetta Stone. Geeky goodness abounds!


Fresh Meat open for The Centimeters

From the “Better late than never” department: photos from the Fresh Meat gig at the Lava Lounge two Sundays ago. They opened for The Centimeters, a very experimental art/goth/probably-need-major-therapy-rock band from L.A. I’m a little busy at the moment, so I’m adding more text later.

Heaven Lee. Fresh Meat’s very own hostess with the mostest. She introduces the band and provides meat-based snacks. Last time, it was hot dogs, this time, a special treat: proscuiutto with melon. She also tossed out a couple of prize packs, which include topless polaroids of herself. I concede the title of “Toronto’s best Asian self-promoter” to her.

The fans! From left to right: Holly, Laura, Leila and half of Will. But as Will would say, “half of me is plenty, baby!”

Mandra spanks the plank. Fresh Meat’s bassist Mandra tears into the opening number.

Q: What does it mean when the drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth? A: It means the stage is level. But seriously folks: in the past, I’ve been neglecting to mention or get photos of this member of the band, Mark the drummer. Mark, take a bow.

Mark the drummer: the portrait shot. Did I mention the drummer’s name was Mark?

Relaxing on the patio before the gig. Mark (I mentioned he’s the drummer, didn’t I?) suspects that Tina’s stiffed him with the bar tab again.

Album liner note photo #1. Here’s a photo of Mark (he’s the drummer, you know) taken using only the available light in the room.

Tina (who is not the drummer) sings Star Quality. The pink fingerless cocktail gloves are a nice raffish touch.

Dorian: “I am standing up!” Tina enhances her already serious height with platform shoes; Dorian has this “I can di happy now” kind of expression.

Post-gig celebrating. When The Gap break into the codpieces-and-dog-collar market, they will use this photo in their advertising.

Rock! It might be an artifiact of the picture being reduced in size and compressed, but doesn’t it look as if Mandra is staring wide-eyed at the audience, trying to hypontise them into become his evil army of the night?

Album liner note photo #2. This time it’s Tina and Mandra, and not Mark, who happens to play drums.

The Centimeters. When art school students go wrong. Actually not that wrong — when they venture into Gary Numan territory, they sound all right, but when they try to go Diamanda Galas or Stockhausen, it’s like a cheesegrater on your soul.

Nora from The Centimeters. Stage presence is sometime all about the Bela Lugosi-inspired “Bleah! Bleah! I want to suck your blood!” hand motions.

Wedgie vengeance

It reads like a story from The Onion, but it actually happened: guy gets “wedgied” by his friend at a Phish concert, holds a grudge for months, and then tries to kill that friend.

Attempted murder for a wedgie. Who knows what he would’ve done had he been given the Dreaded Rear Admiral.


That damned comments system

For the benefit of people looking for a review of the enetation comments system using Google or some other search engine, I am now making the following statement:

enetation is complete crap. A pox on enetation’s house and for seven generations thereafter.

I’m currently looking for a new comments system, so in the meantime if you want to comment on anything I’ve written, please e-mail me. I’ll gather up all the comments and post them.


Fogive them Lord, for they know not what they are eating

Photo: Two billboards, one in front of another, that coincidentally form the sentence 'Christ died for our Dunkin' Donuts'.

Praise the Lard! Lord, give me tofu…but not yet.

People who know me — but not that well — always find it surprising that I have a bit of a conservative streak. One of the times it shows up is when I tell people that they may not believe it now, but someday they will: in many cases, Mom and Dad were right.

“Choose your friends carefully,” Mom always told me. “If you’re not careful, they could lead you down the wrong path.”

My housemate Paul could’ve benefited from this advice.

First Biella got him to give up dairy; this in itself is a minor miracle as Paul lived in Wisconsin for a few years. I hear they can shoot you if you admit to not eating cheese over there. Biella was unsuccessful in completely brainwashing him; while we have a fridge full of such abominations as soy milk and soy cheese singles (which are even more abhorrent than ordinary cheese singles), he has not been able to give up ice cream.

Now caffeine’s off the list, and it’s Kat’s fault. This is even more wrong because Paul’s a programmer. Caffeine’s part of the lifestyle. You might as well tell a Texas cowboy “no more beef!” or a Parisian to stop peeing on the subway walls (“But eet eez our right to meecturate anywhere we damn well please, maudit Anglais!”).

This is an ugly trend, and I envision an army of hippy chicks slowly eradicating all traces of fun from Paul’s diet. This white liberal approach to food rather reminds me of the self-denial that was brought about thanks to parousia (that “Jesus is coming, look busy!” state of mind), and Open Source guru Eric S. Raymond has observed this too:

Why do we tend to treat our natural cravings for red meat and fat as sins, then? Notice the similarity between the rhetoric of diet books and religious evangelism and you have your answer. Dietary mortification of the flesh has become a kind of secular asceticism, a way for wealthy white people with guilt feelings about their affluence to demonstrate virtue and expiate their imagined trangressions.

Once you realize that dieting is a religion, the irrationality and mutual contradictions become easier to understand. It’s not about what’s actually good for you, it’s about suffering and self-denial and the state of your soul. People who constantly break and re-adopt diets are experiencing exactly the same cycle of secondary rewards as the sinner who repeatedly backslides and reforms.

This model explains the social fact that the modern flavor of “health”-based dietary piety is most likely to be found in people who don’t have the same psychological needs satisfied by an actual religion. Quick now: who’s more likely to be a vegetarian or profess a horror of “junk food” — a conservative Christian heartlander or a secular politically-correct leftist from the urban coasts?

Being a first-gen immigrant from Asia, I wasn’t sadlled with hippy parents or their ’60’s damage. As an added bonus, I’ve got cultural relativism to provide me with “cover fire”. All I have to say to shut some self-righteous unbathed patchouli-and-body-odour-reeking vegan up is something along the lines of “That’s your natural tendency towards Western White Oppression talking. In my culture, the general rule is that if it has four legs, wings or served in the Japanese Army under Hirohito and Tojo, it’s perfectly okay to run over it with your Honda and eat it.”

When it comes to diet-as-religion, I think it’s time to make the devil sign and say “Hail Satan!” He’s got all the good music anyway.


This weekend’s events (a recap)

Once again, a listing of little-heard-of events taking place this weeked in Accordion City.

Tonight: the rooftop party

This one comes with the highest recommendations of the Promise party crew. It takes place on the rooftop of the Queen Street West store called XOXO (the south side of the T-intersection of Queen West and Soho, across the street from the venerable Black Bull Tavern) and starts at 11. To get there, take the alleyway to the back and climb the fire escape. To those able-bodied people who feel a bit leery about this, let me offer you these words of wisdom: Adventure without risk equals Disneyland. Make the effort and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the cityscape, and the sweets sounds of DJs Lee Osborne, Ian Guthrie, the Dukes, and Rob Nice.

(I can already hear Cory Doctorow saying “And what is wrong with Disneyland?”)

I’ll be coming from the last ferry from Centre Island (a barbecue with my friends Sarah and James), and I’ll bring you-know-what with me.


This is from my friend Irving (one of the guys from the Promise party crew):

Gerald Belanger’s Nice + Smooth label releases their cd called ‘Oscillate’ – a drum and bass mix with tracks by local musicians. This party is a rare chance to hear live dnb performances. Two rooms at Surface, below Roxy Blu, at 12 Brant St. Room 1 has Sol Azul (live drum and bossa), Subrythm (live drum and space), Andy B, Gerald Belanger and more. Room 2 features Marcus, Freedom, Sunya (live vocalist) and more. 10pm-3am, $5 or $15 with cd.

Sunday afternoon / early evening: Cherry Beach Sound System

My friends with the Promise party crew are having another of their gatherings where they haul a sound system down to Cherry Beach and break out the tunes. Featured DJs will include Blissom (deep as deep dish pie house), the Reverend (dub and reggae), Katie and Mesina (hip hop), Joel Richmond (groovy house), Dalia (funk and house), Lee Osborne (tech house) and Freedom (jazzy dub). Instrumentalists Yoshi and Chi will also be there — Yoshi on sitar, Chi on digeridoo.

Things start at 2 p.m. and wrap up at 10 p.m. Details are here. After this, you might want to head to…

Sunday evening: Live music / spoken word / Will’s birthday at the Rivoli

Emil “Milkshake” O’Neill (the trainer at my gym with whom I talked in this story) also works at Queen Street West resto/bar/club The Rivoli. He’s organized an live music / spoken word night in the upstairs lounge area. After the scheduled acts have done their thing, the mike will be open to anyone. Since it’s also my friend Will’s birthday (happy 25th, you insolent little puppy), I’m sure I’ll be playing Happy Birthday that evening. The fun starts at about 10:30 p.m.