Miss Imperial is now a done deal.
Here are the entries
you might have missed over the past year.
Thanks for checking in, and if you're still looking for me,
try The Memory Aid.

31 May 2007

"I want the world to know!"

The Delawana Inn, Honey Harbour, ON, 18-Sep-05

"Got to let it show!"

Things I saw online today:

HE'S gay? You don't say!

But you know what? Better late than never. Perhaps this builds a feeling of solidarity in the queer community, something that neutrality and secretiveness simply cannot do. A man or woman's homosexuality should never cause them shame. This just seems so obvious!

On the other hand, it also seems obvious that whether a person is homosexual or not is nobody's business but that person's own. I don't know if it's any easier to be openly gay these days than it was even a decade ago, but I do think that if a person wants his or her private life to remain private, then that is his or her right. This applies to celebrities, too, no matter how much I chatter on about them.

Still, it's nice to see someone out and proud, and at least he didn't prance around off-camera acting like he was straight.

TRACK LISTING: Diana Ross, "I'm Coming Out"

[NOTE: What -- did you think that the "at least he didn't prance" link would lead you some couch-jumper?]

30 May 2007

"Her nose job is real atomic!"

In the Bathroom, Toronto, ON, 02-Jun-07

"All she needs is
an old knife scar!"

Things I saw on my way to pick up lunch this afternoon:

An underfed, overtanned, bleach blonde with ridiculously long legs, wearing very short shorts and walking into an office building. My first thought was that she was a stripper from the club down the street, for which I immediately felt terrible.

Part of me was thinking, Oh! she is so tacky! Also she might have an eating disorder, but another part of me was suddenly feeling quite short and dumpy.

TRACK LISTING: Blondie, "Rip Her to Shreds"

29 May 2007

"Now I never wanna leave my apartment!"

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 31-May-07

"'Cause there's just so much
for me to see!"

Things we saw at home today:

The last gasp of cable.

It's true -- we cancelled our cable service. Not just the extra channels, either. THE WHOLE THING. It's antenna reception for us now!

For those who know me, the first reaction must be disbelief. I have been a television junkie since I was a toddler. I think I turned out alright, considering -- I mean, I certainly wasn't the most physically active child, but hey, my grades were good -- and I frequently left the country without needing to record all the programs I was missing while I was away. Still, as an adult, I often wondered what I might be doing with my time if I wasn't planted in front of the television, endlessly flipping channels. I would have liked to have read more books, maybe gone for more walks, or actually emerged from the house and what have you.

I'm hoping that I won't just spend my free time with the internets, staring at LOLpresidents and shit, but we'll see. Maybe I'll actually post a blog entry EACH DAY, as opposed to four days' backlog once a week. Who knows? We're kind of embarking on an experiment here.

Obviously, this is the easiest time of year to (literally) cut the cord. It's summer rerun time! The weather is nice and it's asking us if we wouldn't like to come to the park and kick around a soccer ball. We might do exactly that! I may not even miss television after all -- and besides, if I'm desperate, I can find a lot of shows on non-cable channels -- but you might want to check back with me when the new fall season rolls around and I'm having trouble bit-torrenting the garbage I want to stuff into my eyeballs.

TRACK LISTING: Weird Al Yankovic, "Cable TV"

28 May 2007

"There’s a time when every girl learns to use her head."

One of the Parks, Toronto, ON, 30-Apr-07

"Tears will be saved
'til they’re better spent."

Things I saw today on the internet's rippling, gossiping waves, in the wake of television coverage for voyeurs like me:

Train wreck, car crash, etc etc. And so on and so on.

TRACK LISTING: Romeo Void, "A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)"

27 May 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.31

At Rob and Brendan's, 31-Mar-07

"The more I hear,
the less I say."

TRACK LISTING: Jadis, "There's a Light"

26 May 2007

"I think I'll go outside a while!"

Lester Piggott Memorial Corridor, Seattle, WA, 07-Oct-06

"Ain't no sense in stayin' inside
if the weather's fine and
you got the time!"

Things I saw today:

Boys and girls selling strollers and dishes and VHS tapes for a quarter each! Seventy-five cent cupcakes!

Earlier in the day I walked to the grocery store, enjoying the sunshine and the feeling of getting things done before 10am. There will probably be occasions in the future when I roll out of bed at 11am, but probably only on the weekend, and probably not for a long time. I'm really enjoying waking up with the sun and experiencing the clean crispness of pre-noon air. The quality of light in the morning hours is often amazing, almost like magic.

TRACK LISTING: The Rascals, "A Beautiful Morning"

25 May 2007

"Talk slick."

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 29-May-07

"You get your neck slit quick."

Things I found out today:

¡Ay dios mio! Our favourite version of "Lobo Domesticado" (okay, fine, the ONLY version we've heard) was sung by a narcocorrido-spinner living deep in thug life! Unsurprisingly, he died young.

And there we were, listening to a form of Mexican hip-hop without even knowing it! Thanks, Aguila!

TRACK LISTING: The Notorious B.I.G., "Things Done Changed"

24 May 2007

"Yeah, I want something new."

Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON, 19-May-07

"Life's a bummer
when you're a hummer!"

Things I saw today on Metafilter:

Well, this is at least something, and it reminds me of this, which always makes me smile.

TRACK LISTING: The Smashing Pumpkins, "Hummer"

23 May 2007

"She's a power girl in a Nineties world!"

Dutch Dreams, Toronto, ON, 12-May-07

"And she knows just what to do!"

Things I saw today on television:

Alright, FINE, Posh, you preposterous toothpick. Well-played.

TRACK LISTING: Spice Girls, "The Lady is a Vamp"

22 May 2007

"I am not naturally evil!"

River of Lights, Albuquerque, NM, 26-Dec-06

"Such things I do
just to make myself
more attractive to you!
Have I failed?"

Things I saw today on Gawker:

Another douche keeps on keeping on.

Seriously? This guy is still around? I thought he promptly disappeared after numerous critics outed him as a self-involved, attention-seeking hack.

TRACK LISTING: Morrissey, "The Last of the Famous International Playboys"

[NOTE: This is one of my favourite Morrissey songs, if not THE favourite, and certainly one of my favourite songs of all time, so I was a bit reluctant to use it in association with a post about some jerk.]

21 May 2007

"So left alone we’re just simple bricks."

Workshop, Ottawa, ON, 21-May-07
Workshop, Ottawa, ON, 21-May-07
Workshop, Ottawa, ON, 21-May-07
Workshop, Ottawa, ON, 21-May-07

"But as soon as we’re together
we are wall."

Things I saw today in my hometown:

A dear friend's years of hard work taking on a new, amazing shape.

TRACK LISTING: The Beautiful South, "Space"

20 May 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.30

OverJoy, Toronto, ON, 14-Apr-07

"I am old
but I'm able."

TRACK LISTING: The Darling Downs, "There's a Light"

19 May 2007

"Tension grows, the whistle blows and the puck goes down the ice!"

On Bay Street, Ottawa, ON, 19-May-07

"The goalie jumps
and the players bump
and the fans all go insane!"

Things I saw while in the hometown today:

A city overjoyed!

TRACK LISTING: Stompin' Tom Connors, "The Hockey Song"

18 May 2007

"Look at that caveman go!"

Tichester Road, Toronto, ON, 29-Apr-07

"He sure is hip, ain't he?"
what's happening?
He's too much!"

Things I saw today while wasting time on the internets:

ABC, clearly trying to stamp out any goodwill I might have felt towards those adorable Geico mascots.

TRACK LISTING: The Hollywood Argyles, "Alley-Oop"

17 May 2007

"What’s with all the commotion?"

Spadina Station, Toronto, ON, 17-May-07

"I swear
there’s nothing
to see here."

Things I saw on the ride to work this morning:

A blissful reduction in the amount of westbound traffic.

I know it has everything to do with buildings falling apart, and maybe a little to do with some dayworkers having already left town for the long weekend, but it is certainly a nice (and literal) change of pace for my morning commute. I suspect that most westbound passengers who board the car at the St. Andrew stop are very much in love with how quickly the 504 is running these days. To not see pedestrians lapping the streetcar as they stroll the sidewalk is heartening, you know? It's also a relief to be able to board a car that isn't packed full of commuters like a tin of angry, angry sardines.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the eastbound passengers, not to mention eastbound automobiles, and perhaps even the people who actually need to traverse King Street past York Street from any point east of Bay. I'm sorry for the jam, fellow TTC patrons, but I am also secretly hoping that the city maintains its fear of marble blocks tumbling from the sky, at least for a few more days.

TRACK LISTING: Cursive, "A Disruption in Our Lines of Influence"

16 May 2007

"Oh, you think you're so great."

Orangehouse, Munich, DE, 15-Apr-06

"Will you believe this bullshit?"

Things I saw this evening while online:

The Journey Starts Here.

I'd forgotten about this, but wow! I am certainly proud to be a part of it.

You know what, though? Fuck modesty. I am proud of a lot of the attention I received while I was in controller.controller -- mostly the good, obviously, but maybe even some of the bad, too.

I will always be proud of this review.

I am proud that the press was kind after our very first show in New York.

I may grumble about Pitchfork, but Joe Tangari favourably compared me to Debbie Harry AND David Byrne, and I will never forget that. Later, Johnny Loftus wrote that I was "halfway between diva and Guy Picciotto," which was just a ton of icing on an already huge cake.

People say things like, "This is what I will show my grandchildren," and I feel as if this stuff fits into that category. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and tell my grandchildren that "Maneater" WAS written about me, even if that's not exactly true (as in: not actually true).

I swore I would never post an entry like this, but when I saw the Journey site, I puffed up and my resolve went out the window. Damn right, I'm proud of all of it! The band worked hard and I want us to be remembered fondly -- and yeah, it's great to see it in print every now and then. Even as I hit the "Publish" button, I am embarrassed by my fit of conceitedness, but like I said, FUCK MODESTY, at least for tonight.

TRACK LISTING: Catatonia, "Bleed"

15 May 2007

"Can you tell me? Can you tell me?"

View from a Boardroom, Toronto, ON, 26-Oct-05

"What's going on
in the city?"

Things I saw while reading an engrossing book at lunch:

Fact! Two old guys used to be in a band together! (Well, make that one old guy and one dead guy.) I may be the last person to learn about this strange occurrence, but I am nonetheless FASCINATED.

Another fact! This famous movie was partly filmed at this not-so-famous place! Which just makes me think about, "I'm as mad as hell! I'm as mad as hell, and, and I'm not gonna take any more of your shit!" Or something like that. Really, you need to hear it coming from George Clooney when he's locked in the trunk of a car with Jennifer Lopez. He's wearing this goofy grin and she's trying not to crack up and it is awesome.

TRACK LISTING: Hanson, "In the City"

[NOTE: There is a very handy blog that offers Toronto: The Unknown City updates as well as new entries! Also, thanks to PF for the book!]

14 May 2007

"Somebody should have told me."

At Signal to Noise, Toronto, ON, 06-Apr-07

"When you're born to this world,
your life starts slipping away."

Things I saw on the streetcar this evening:

A one-legged man at the Dundas stop, hobbling up the back steps of the car on a pair of crutches.

Granted, the streetcar was very crowded, so it's entirely possible that many seated passengers couldn't see that there was someone on board who really shouldn't have remained standing for the rest of the ride. The young man seated near me, however, had no excuse.

The man on crutches made his way to where I was standing so he could hold on to one of the poles for support. I saw the seated young man glance up out of the corner of his eye; he did so several times during the journey to the station. It seemed like he knew that I was glaring down at him with THE HATE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.

I looked at the one-legged man apologetically. I should have said something to the young man.

For crying out loud! I KNOW YOU SEE THIS MAN ON CRUTCHES! I'm pretty sure he needs that seat more than you do, and I'm also pretty sure that you and your shoulder bag can handle standing up!

I didn't say anything. Maybe the one-legged man should have said something. Maybe he was too polite. Maybe he was just too stunned to speak.

This sort of inconsiderate behaviour happens all the time on public transit. People are tired and some have even been on their feet all day; they don't want to give up their seats! Some people honestly don't realize that someone else on their streetcar or bus needs to sit down. Fair enough. But I KNOW this kid was aware that the ONE-LEGGED MAN ON CRUTCHES needed a seat.

Man! This was just as appalling as that time on the Dufferin bus many years ago, when a young man seated in the row reserved for the elderly, the disabled and PREGNANT WOMEN started yelling at A PREGNANT WOMAN when she very calmly (and rightfully) asked him if he wouldn't mind letting her have his seat. (The rest of the bench was occupied by senior citizens, I swear.)

That guy on the bus wasn't mentally deranged, just a total asshole. Just like the kid on the streetcar!

TRACK LISTING: Midge Ure, "Cold, Cold Heart"

13 May 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.29

At Lucky, Victoria, BC, 25-Oct-05

it'll make sense to me."

TRACK LISTING: Sukilove, "There's a Light"

12 May 2007

"I went looking for a headline."

In the Break Room, Toronto, ON, 10-May-07

"Got talking to the backline;
they'd never seen the action."

Things PF and I saw as we headed to the gym to change our membership payment method:

A block of the street barricaded, with police cruisers parked nearby. We thought it might be a protest of some sort but there was nothing really happening. There was a crowd of people milling about within the closed-off area; kids and cops were posing for photos. Everyone seemed to be happy. There weren't any signs or banners. We kept moving.

Walking on the sidewalk sheltered from the construction of yet another condo building, we find ourselves behind a man speaking to a friend walking a few paces ahead. The man is lazily holding a cigarette; the friend looks back and slightly increases his pace. We realize that the man with the cigarette is not actually speaking to anyone, save himself.

As we approach the corner, the man looks back at us, then takes a sharp turn onto the road. He is walking towards a small group of police officers who are guarding the north end of the stockade.

"We're losing in Iraq!" he yells. "We're losing in Iran! Good job! GOOD JOB!"

TRACK LISTING: Midnight Oil, "Armistice Day"

11 May 2007

"Well, you can't hide what's inside."

Studio E, Edmonton, AB, 30-Oct-05

"I can see right through you
and I know every reason behind
everything that you do."

Things I saw in the city today:

The same man I now see regularly when I'm standing at the corner of King & John, waiting for the light to change. He walks right up to me every time, his crosseyed stare fixed somewhere on my chest. Maybe he's just sleazy, but I'd like to think that he imagines he has the power to see into people's hearts, and the reason that he hasn't yet pushed me into traffic is because I'm still a good person, deep down.

The first time I encountered this man, his eyes were on my purse as he headed toward me. I didn't think he was about to mug me; it was more like he was psychically inspecting it, as if the window to a person's soul might also be in that person's tote bag.

TRACK LISTING: Brendan Benson, "Get It Together"

10 May 2007

"We hardly need to use our ears!"

My Radio, Toronto, ON, 10-May-07

"How music changes
through the years!"

Things I saw in the subway car, on the ride home:

All of our tired, slightly sweaty bodies crammed against each other.

It was tight! Not so tight that we were packed like sardines, but close enough that it was like the gaspy-breath cropped-frame scene in Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" video. Or "Cold Hearted Snake". That gets confusing sometimes!

TRACK LISTING: Queen, "Radio Ga Ga"

09 May 2007

"But, serious."

Cabbie in His Suit, Toronto, ON, 25-Feb-07

"You're so serious!"

Things I saw on the ride to work this morning:

Two young women, discussing the cons of a retail workplace. We pull up at a stop and one of the girls examines a film poster hanging in a glass shelter.

"That doesn't look like Tobey Maguire," she says.

"I'm not going to see that movie," her friend replies. "I didn't like the first one."

"What was the first one about?" the first woman asks, then answers her own question (with the tone of a question). "The Goblin?"

Her friend nods. "And the second one was about the octopus guy."


"I'm not going to see that movie."

"The second one?"

"I didn't see that one, either. I didn't like the first one!"

"I might see it."

"They don't pay me for overtime!"

TRACK LISTING: Franz Ferdinand, "I'm Your Villain"

08 May 2007

"And now your friends, they're filling up my car."

Spadina Station, Toronto, ON, 17-June-06

"We was all riding
right on the subway train."

Things I saw in the subway, on my way home this evening:

A clearly intoxicated young man weaving up and down the aisle of the car.

I am sitting near a hefty, mannish woman, who may actually be a man, or may have once been a man. Occasionally I feel as if she is staring at me and when I look up and over at her, I see that she is in fact staring at me. Or maybe she's staring past me, out the window, at darkened tunnel walls. Not much to see either way. She's nestled behind a giant black portfolio.

The young man is stopping in front of people in a random pattern, asking each of them if any of them can spare some change for food. Sometimes he crouches down and bends his head, looking right at the person's face.

"I'm hungry," he says.

No one is paying attention to him; everyone is avoiding eye contact, not just with him, but with each other as well.

"None of you can spare any change?" the young man hollers. "I can't BELIEVE none of you have any change!"

"Here, here," a young woman mumbles, holding out a palmful of coins. He nods and scoops them up.

"Heyyy," he drawls, leering at her, "I think I know you from somewhere." He turns and addresses the entire car. "I KNOW ALL OF YOU FROM ALL OVER! You know me, too! Old Mill! High Park! Right? Yeah, I thought so."

The train pulls up at Queen's Park and the woman sitting near me stands up. Portfolio in hand, she moves a folded-up newspaper with the sole of her foot, dragging it from under her seat and around the base of a partition, bringing it to the exit. She kicks the paper onto the platform, then follows it, picking it up as the car doors close.

The young man is still shouting. "I'm two dollars short of a case of beer!" He shakes his head and moves toward the exit.

"No one has any money!" He mutters something about the state of the people on the car, who seem relieved to see the young man go.

"I'm going to see what it's like on the other side," he tells us as the train pulls into the next station. "I'm going to get lucky on the other side! No one has any money! Here. No one has it. I'm two dollars short for beer!"

He shakes his head again as the doors open.

"I'm two dollars short!" he screams, then runs alongside the train, disappearing down the platform.

TRACK LISTING: New York Dolls, "Subway Train"

07 May 2007

"I -- oh! I'm still alive."

Chiropractor on Eglinton West, Toronto, ON, 10-Jun-06

"Hey, I -- oh!
I'm still alive!"

Things I saw this morning on the Radar:

A self-professed "comic-nerd" revealing his lack of actual comic-nerdness.

Well, well! Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated, indeed! When I first read this review, I was pretty sure that Stan Lee wasn't dead, and therefore unable to roll in his grave or whatever. (Thus far, only one comment disputing Lee's death has been posted in response to the review, but it's possible that many more indignant fanboys will weigh in shortly. Maybe Matt Thompson will claim that "Stan Lee must be rolling over in his grave" was merely a figure of speech! Or something.)

Of course, I might have missed the news item announcing Stan Lee's death this morning. Ah! only joking. Mr Lee is both alive and well. He even had a cameo in the film about which Matt Johnson's review was written! Maybe Johnson thought that the old guy prone to talking to people in the middle of the street was Steve Ditko. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

TRACK LISTING: Pearl Jam, "Alive"

06 May 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.28

OverJoy, Toronto, ON, 14-Apr-07

"He'll be there waiting
for the day you die."

TRACK LISTING: Chatham County Line, "There's a Light"

05 May 2007

"I hope I didn't scare you!"

On the 'Poison/Safe' Set, Toronto, ON, 18-Jun-06

"You know inside
you feel right at home."

Things I saw in my sleep in the wee hours of the morning:

A love note in the form of a question-and-answer sheet, written for one of my friends by some girl we apparently knew, who was apparently quite unstable.

We were trying to make sense of it. She was trying to explain that, even though she was clearly obsessed with and possibly stalking my friend, she was also fooling around with another man.

As you can see, she wrote, there are two Filet-O-Fishes in this bun.

TRACK LISTING: Alice Cooper, "Welcome to My Nightmare"

[NOTE: The rest of this dream was in fact very bad, very frightening...though I suppose using fast food as a metaphor for sexual relations isn't any less disturbing. The line got a laugh during the retelling, though, mainly because when I first tried to share it with my husband, I muttered, "As you can see, there are two Filet-O-Fishes in my pants. Wait, that's not right." Anyway, I figured I might as well post the bit.]

04 May 2007

"One foot on the brake and one on the gas, hey!"

Hotel Arts Parking Lot, Calgary, AB, 22-Oct-05

"Well, there's too much traffic!
I can't pass, no!"

Things I saw this evening while walking east on Queen West, on my way to meet PF:

Various douchebags in various cars, leaning on their horns to signal their annoyance at other drivers' refusal to put themselves in harm's way by barrelling through already-jammed intersections (against the lights, obviously).

People! It is a beautiful day. It is a beautiful Friday! If you're running late, it's probably your own damn fault; you'd be late no matter what, and the two minutes you have to spend waiting to make that crucial left turn aren't going to make a lick of difference. Calm down, do your blood pressure some good, and be thankful that you're only behind schedule and not tied up in a traffic accident. Also, this incessant beeping just makes you look like a total a-hole.

And teenage boy! Who are you trying to impress by skateboarding down a very crowded sidewalk? The pedestrians do not think this is gnarly!

God, I am SO OLD.

TRACK LISTING: Sammy Hagar, "I Can't Drive 55"

03 May 2007

"All the things that I do for the love of the devil!"

Community of Christ, Toronto, ON, 30-Apr-07

"I know my reward
is Satan's jeweled crown."

Things I saw on the wonderful world of web today:

A true story, brought to collective attention by Dooce, that thoroughly depressed my husband when I told him about it. It's sure to be a downer for anyone with at least half a brain (and the will to use it). Bleh.

TRACK LISTING: The Louvin Brothers, "Satan's Jeweled Crown"

02 May 2007

"And I'm here to remind you."

Behind the Shredder, Toronto, ON, 02-May-07

"It was a slap in the face
how quickly
I was replaced."

Things I saw on television this evening:

An homage to Alanis Morissette (no, not that homage).

I'd never noticed or heard about the similarities before (and anyway, SR has ditched the nose ring and clearly cares more about fashion now, so whatever, jerks)! Still, watching the video for "Weak in the Knees", it was difficult to ignore the parallels between SR and AM's vocal styling. (The women also seem to share an earthy aesthetic, though SR's appearance continues to edge closer to a more girlish look, sort of like Feist.) Sometimes SR's face would remind me of AM in the Nineties, too. It wasn't that these common qualities were good or bad...they just were. Hmm.

Well, good for the supposed former hometown girl for leaving such an indelible stamp on the face of pop culture that those who arrive in her wake are subjected to comparison, for better or for worse. That's how legends are made! (Again, for better or for worse.)

TRACK LISTING: Alanis Morissette, "You Oughta Know"

01 May 2007

"Who am I to be blind?"

Sabena Revue 1-1971, Toronto, ON, 29-Apr-07

"And no message
could have been any clearer."

Things I saw in an inflight magazine this evening, as pointed out by PF:

Michael Jackson's inspiration? [See photo above (center mask), first published in 1971.]

Compare! Contrast!

[By the way, the "Contrast" link leads to the original cover of Off the Wall. On the cover of the (relatively) recently released "Special Edition", a new image has replaced the original, effectively hiding the "old" MJ. It's kind of sad, actually.]

TRACK LISTING: Michael Jackson, "Man in the Mirror"

[NOTE: The photo above is a detail from page 87 of the 1-1971 issue of Sabena Revue; this publication, by all accounts, was tied to Sabena Airlines. (Incidentally, the Sabena company also owned a few hotels, including the Hôtel des Mille Collines, which was where Paul Rusesabagina was employed and where he housed his refugees during the Rwandan genocide.) The photo credit, as far as I can tell, is "Bouchez : Couverture", which -- loosely translated -- means "Stop : Cover". I guess I should dig a little deeper for that credit.]