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.

30 June 2007

"How do you like your eggs in the morning?"

In the Kitchen, Toronto, ON, 05-Jul-07

"Boiled or fried?"
"I'm satisfied!"

Things I saw on Saturday morning:

Our favourite brunch spot, sort of becoming our regular brunch spot.

It's not exactly around the corner or down the street, but since we stumbled into Over Easy on a rainy afternoon last summer, PF and I have returned many times. We've gone by ourselves, we've brought friends along with us, and we always feel like we made the right choice. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed, even when the place is packed, and we have never had a bad meal.

There are certainly prettier restaurants with finer food in this city, and we don't shy away from those, but in PF's constantly thwarted quest for house-brewed and, more importantly, unsweetened iced tea, Over Easy is a beacon. Apart from figuring out which dish to have, the choice really isn't that difficult to make.

TRACK LISTING: Dean Martin & Helen O'Connell, "How Do You Like Your Eggs"

29 June 2007

"Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh-ooh, ooh ooh!"

In the Bedroom, Toronto, ON, 29-Jun-07
In the Bedroom, Toronto, ON, 29-Jun-07

"And that's a
pretty nice

Things I saw in the mirror this afternoon:

A lovely new do, once again by Fantastic Sam, once again in the comfort of JS&A. Yay!

TRACK LISTING: Pavement, "Cut Your Hair"

28 June 2007

"You're a life saver, honey."

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 04-Jul-07

"I'm a lot braver, too."

Things I saw on my way to work this morning:

A woman I'd never met before, saving my life.

I wish I'd taken her picture! She seemed to be in a bit of a hurry, and I was still slightly dazed from the near-death experience, so all I could manage was a bunch of spaced-out "thank you"s. She was smiling and agreed that drivers so often, so recklessly, attempt to speed past streetcars that have stopped to let passengers on or off. This is not only stupid and thoughtless; it's dangerous. This is why streetcars have signs on the rear that advise the drivers following to stop along with the streetcar, instead of switching lanes and trying to beat the streetcar, so public transit passengers don't have to worry about being mowed down as they step into the road.

It's certainly frustrating to be a driver stuck behind a lumbering streetcar, having to stop on every block even when the lights are green; it's easy to forget courtesy and the rules of the road in that situation, especially if the driver is also in a rush to get somewhere. Unfortunately, that's the way things go if you have no choice but to drive along a streetcar route that doesn't have dedicated TTC lanes.

It's also a passenger's responsibility to make sure that his or her path is clear before stepping into the road, especially when disembarking. One has to wait until the streetcar doors actually open before one can peek out and check for oncoming traffic. I'm usually good with the peeking! I once peered out before getting off the streetcar, only to see a luxury automobile race past. That was the closest I'd come to being hit, which was pretty close, until today.

This morning, I was standing on the steps of the streetcar's back doors, completely occupied by the task of folding my headphones back up into their carrying case. In other words, I wasn't thinking. Like an idiot, as the streetcar pulled up to my stop, I began to step out. The woman beside me gasped and put her arm out to stop me, which was totally confusing until I looked out at the road and saw a car screeching to a halt in front of me. I looked back at the woman -- this lovely, careful, redheaded, middle-aged woman who had no reason other than absolute kindness to help me -- and breathed a sigh of relief. We disembarked with requisite dirty looks shot at the oncoming driver, who did look apologetic, as opposed to oblivious like the last driver who almost killed me. I thanked the woman repeatedly; she nodded and was joined by a friend; and I slipped into my office building with nothing to remember her by. Well, nothing except my life, of course.

TRACK LISTING: Chicago, "Life Saver"

[NOTE: The image above is a page detail from Book of Saints: Part 4, which I picked up (among other titles in this series) from a Dartmouth bookstore's closing sale in the spring of 2005.]

27 June 2007

"Well, everybody, I am going home."

Bar Wellington, Toronto, ON, 27-Jun-07

"I am going home!"

Things I saw this evening:

Our office's beloved Dylana Perera, on her last night in town. Best of luck in Belize, D! May all your wishes come true.

Later that evening, on my own way home, I stop in at Bathurst's Food for two pints of Cherry Garcia in frozen yogurt form. A man whose small dog is waiting outside is waiting patiently for me to grab the tubs so he can open the other sliding door on the deep freezer.

"Broke up with your boyfriend?" he asks, good-naturedly.

"Actually, one of these is for my husband," I tell him.

He laughs. "Uh-oh!" I grin.

"We can't share!" I exclaim, whisking the Ben & Jerry's off to the cash register. I don't tell the man that my husband will be lucky if he manages to score a quarter-cup of the stuff, or that I plan to grab a spoon and dig in as soon as I walk through our front door. It's summer time, people! Ice cream and its delicious frozen relatives are fair game.

TRACK LISTING: Bob Marley, "I Am Going Home"

26 June 2007

"Gotta run for shelter!"

Hotel Senator, Saskatoon, SK, 01-Mar-06

"Gotta run for shade!"

Things I saw at work today:

The "Out of Order" sign remains! Oh, and today is actually the hottest day of the year. Yesterday was just a WARM-up! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Seriously, though: the employees are decidely less humorous today. Let's all have lemonade and Cherry Garcia when we get home tonight, okay?

TRACK LISTING: Kool & The Gang, "Too Hot"

25 June 2007

"Who loves the sun?"

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 26-Jun-07

"Not everyone!"

Things I saw today at work:

Legions of people climbing and descending the stairs of the office building as the elevator remains out of order.

It may just be for the day, but I'm sure many people are wondering why the lift had to cack out on what may very well be the hottest day of the year. It is, after all, a day on which a heat alert has been issued; it's a day that might only be surpassed in terms of temperature and humidity by tomorrow's highs. If the elevator is still out of commission tomorrow, there will be hell to pay! Surely the workers will see to it.

It sort of feels like hell in the stairwell, actually, but it could be much worse. We could be stuck in those stairwells! We could be stuck in the elevator.

TRACK LISTING: The Velvet Underground, "Who Loves the Sun"

24 June 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.35

El Palenque II, Toronto, ON, 12-May-07

"I saw the light,
I saw the light."

TRACK LISTING: Roy Acuff, "I Saw the Light"

23 June 2007

"Your physique is swelling and your waistline's telling!"

At My Dad's House, Gloucester, ON, 20-May-07

"And I guess you're gonna miss
a lot of school!"

Things I saw on the big screen today:

Grounds for a lawsuit!

Seriously, though, I feel stupid for paying any attention to the litigation, as the claim made by Rebecca Eckler is ridiculous, frivolous, and quite possibly just a publicity stunt from a woman who is notoriously self-absorbed.

Speaking of navel gazing (both literal and figurative, in Eckler's case)
-- and since we're on the subject of alleged intellectual theft -- the infamous Apatow-Brazill e-mail exchange never fails to amuse. "You're a hack!" "No, YOU'RE a hack!" "You, sir, are nothing more than a television writer!" (I ripped that last bit off, sort of, from a line that Warden Gentiles spits at Tobias while Tobias is attempting "prison research" for his upcoming role as Frightened Inmate No.2. "You're no more than a television actor," the warden tells him, or something like that. Sure, sure, it's not the funniest joke in the episode, but I told you that I recently watched a lot of Arrested Development, so I've got the whole series on the brain. Now, where were we? Ah, yes:) And so on. My favorite part of the exchange involves Apatow throwing down a "J'accuse!!!!" Take that, Brazill! Anyway, speaking of Apatow, and amusement...

I very much enjoyed Knocked Up! Okay, so the scene in which Alison has her eight-week ultrasound was a little difficult to watch as it hit a bit too close to home, but it was certainly less difficult to watch than the crowning close-ups (which I didn't watch at all, in fact, preferring instead to bury my head in PF's shoulder. Yes, that's right! I am TOTALLY ready to have a baby). Aside from these instances, I thought my $12 was quite well spent. I mean, I laughed a lot more than I thought I would -- throughout the entire movie, really -- and I haven't laughed that hard in a movie theater for a long time. It was kind of therapeutic, actually, and definitely one of the best ways to spend our Saturday afternoon.

TRACK LISTING: Dan Baird, "Knocked Up"

22 June 2007

"And I feel real cool and I feel real good."

East Prospect Street, Seattle, WA, 07-Oct-06

"And I'm happy in my prime."

Things I saw today:

The peace and quiet of our apartment as I am given another day to rest and recover from Wednesday's minor drama.

The morning sun beaming into the living room is so beautiful! This juice that I am drinking is delicious. I am very happy to eat a breakfast burrito for lunch! I am well pleased that I can stage an Arrested Development marathon while enjoying a few squares of rich, dark chocolate. I am looking forward to my husband coming home after work; I look forward to returning to my own job on Monday! I don't really want to look back anymore. Anyway, I wouldn't change a thing.

TRACK LISTING: Sinéad O'Connor, "Daddy I'm Fine"

21 June 2007

"Hey! Hey! Hey! You better let them have their way."

Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, 27-Oct-05

"Hey! Hey! Hey!
You better get out of the way."

Things I saw at the grocery store this afternoon:

Adolescent girls in a displaced standoff.

The Forest Hill Market is an entirely different place at noon on a weekday than it is when I am usually there, which is after work or on the weekends, with all the other grown-ups. In the eerie stillness of midday, teenagers roam the aisles of the grocery as if they were high school hallways, with all inherent politics and social codes intact.

Two pretty and well-dressed girls stand in front of the ice cream freezer, surveying various pints of Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's. Three rougher-looking girls walk by, slowly; one of these other girls makes a remark, either to or about the ice cream girls. Two of the tough girls rush quickly up the aisle, away from the ice cream girls, leaving the third still walking slowly, looking slightly perplexed. The two supposed badasses now peer around the corner, down the frozen food aisle, their hands gripping a Ritter Sport display.

"Come on, Angela!" one of them yells at the third girl. "Make a break for it!" The two girls then erupt into peals of laughter. Angela is laughing as well, sort of, as she nears them; she's walking a little faster but still looks confused. She shrugs her shoulders with the palms of her hands facing up, like, What do you want me to do?

The ice cream girls glare up the aisle, their eyes trained on the other three girls with laser-like precision, their facial expressions a mixture of mild shock, brittle amusement and imagined superiority. The other three girls scurry off, possibly into the dairy aisle, and the ice cream girls walk away empty-handed. I realize that I don't need anything from the freezer, and that I don't miss high school at all.

TRACK LISTING: MC5, "High School"

20 June 2007

"And the things you can't remember tell the things you can't forget."

In the Bathroom, Toronto, ON, 23-Jun-07

"So close your eyes, son,
and this won't hurt a bit."

Things I saw this morning:

The cool, soothing, black-and-white tile of our bathroom floor.

After two weeks of "watchful waiting", the predicted miscarriage occurred. As I went through contraction after contraction, my body lost more and more control. There really was blood, sweat and tears. During the most painful passage, I thought I might faint, or at least throw up. I rocked back and forth; I could barely keep my eyes open; I screamed involuntarily; and then, suddenly, it was over. It was like the last five hours hadn't happened at all.

Hours later, my body moves around with no apparent memory of the miscarriage. Nevertheless, I don't think I can go through this again without painkillers (ie. something stronger than a couple of Advils), and I think my body has made it clear to me that I am not cut out for natural childbirth.

TRACK LISTING: Tom Waits, "Time"

19 June 2007

"There's a storm on the way."

King Street West, Toronto, ON, 19-Jun-07

"There's a storm on the way."

Things I saw through the office windows this afternoon:

Clouds so thick, so grey, and moving at such a pace that it appeared as if the sky was filled with smokestacks.

TRACK LISTING: Gnarls Barkley, "Storm Coming"

18 June 2007

"Old man, look at my life."

Near the Gas Station, Yreka, CA, 11-Mar-06

"I'm a lot like you were!"

Things I saw on Defamer today:

A spot-on "before and after" photo. So true! So true.

TRACK LISTING: Neil Young, "Old Man"

17 June 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.34

Lone Star, Ottawa, ON, 19-May-07

"I wandered so aimless."

TRACK LISTING: Hank Williams, "I Saw the Light"

[NOTE: Last week's installment of The Sunday Night Lights saw the final appearance of "There's a Light" (for now, anyway, as I've run out of songs with this title); this week, I tweak the series a little bit. Instead of using different tracks with the same name, I am going to use a string of covers of the same song. I am starting with "I Saw the Light" because there seem to be a TON of versions of this song (even when consolidating the reproductions); where better to begin than with the original?]

16 June 2007

"What does the billboard say?"

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 23-Jun-07

"Come and play;
come and play."

Things I saw after having lunch with my mother this afternoon:

The tallest people in the world, on what used to be the longest street in the world, doing their best to promote the so-called biggest bookstore in the world.

On the same side of the street, a throng of people march south; with their hoisted placards and raised voices, they draw attention to the fight against sexual abuse, particularly the crimes against children. Only a fool would oppose them. They occasionally address the prime minister directly, though they know he is nowhere near.

My mother, who was born in another country, watches the demonstration thoughtfully. "They can do this here," she remarks, proudly, which makes me proud as well, in many different ways.

TRACK LISTING: Rage Against the Machine, "Freedom"

[NOTE: The photo above highlights two photos by James Karales; the page shown is from a Rolling Stone compilation of articles from the Sixties.]

15 June 2007

"Tell me love is real."

Fashion District, Toronto, ON, 14-Jun-07

"Let me hear you say
the words I want to hear."

Things I saw on a street near the office today:

My little personal mystery solved.

Okay, so it's not exactly a conceptual art piece as I imagined, nor an incomplete promotional poster, but it is a pretty clever marketing campaign. A lot of people in this city seemed to pay attention to it, and I can't imagine that I was the only person who was curious about the origin of the "LOVE IS" project. This fascination may create an audience that is willing to seek out and actually pay to see the film, thereby proving the campaign successful.

Now, why this marketing campaign only hit the streets two years after the film was made (as far as I can tell, anyway), I can't explain. I'm sure this new mystery of mine could be solved if I just performed a simple web search for further information (like, oh I don't know, maybe the film's official release date), but...well...forget that jazz. It's Friday and I am NOT feeling it (ie. I am lazy). Googling is Work, too, people!

TRACK LISTING: Buddy Holly, "Words of Love"

14 June 2007

"All I do is check the screen."

The Aztec Motel, Albuquerque, NM, 23-Dec-06

"I know you're out there!"

Things I saw online today:

Someone has clearly hacked poor Britney Jean's web site.

(Seriously, if this is real, it's as unbelievable as that damned gay bomb.)

Land sakes! Everything seems like a joke these days, doesn't it?

TRACK LISTING: Britney Spears, "E-Mail My Heart"

13 June 2007

"Every spe-ci-men!"

On the Computer, Toronto, ON, 14-Jun-07

"Tall, blonde,
dark and lean,
rough and tough
and strong and mean!"

Things I saw online today:

You have GOT to be kidding.

Americans! Come ON! These people are RUNNING YOUR COUNTRY, for crying out loud!

TRACK LISTING: The Weather Girls, "It's Raining Men"

[NOTE: The photo above was taken while we watched an online clip of The Simpsons episode titled "Homer the Vigilante". As you might imagine, it's funnier in Spanish, as if The Bumblebee Man got his hands on it.]

12 June 2007

"Touchy subject!"

On Our Television, Toronto, ON, 05-Dec-06

"I ain't wanna paint this picture!"

Things I saw on the subway this morning:


Well, actually, it wasn't so much thong as it was top of faded purple thong, with tag turned out for all to see, between rumpled white cotton t-shirt and very low-slung brown trousers. The woman wearing the thong in question had just made a nice gesture, getting up from her seat a little early so that a middle-aged woman could sit down, so PF and I felt like we should do something nice for her and tell her that her underwear AND underwear tag were showing.

Except we didn't know how to tell her! How do you politely inform a complete stranger that her clothing is in a compromising position? I mean, why were we even looking in the first place, right? We chickened out and tried not to stare at the tag that was basically gouging our eyes out. I thought maybe she might, eventually, hopefully sooner than later, absentmindedly tug her shirt down as women often do when they feel as if a draft is whooshing up their backs, and possibly down their backs as well. But I also thought that it would serve me right if I walked around for the rest of my day with, like, a wad of chewing gum stuck to my bum.

TRACK LISTING: Erick Sermon, "Do You Know"

11 June 2007

"They offered me the office, offered me the shop."

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 11-Jun-07

"They say I better take
anything they got!"

Things I saw in the mail today:

Alex P. Keaton finds a new day job!

TRACK LISTING: The Clash, "Career Opportunities"

[NOTE: The image above is not a photo; it is a scan of a "special offer" I received. Also, this Michael J. Fox is not THE Michael J. Fox, in case I didn't make that clear with my bad jokes and what have you.]

10 June 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.33

At Fischerscheven, Toronto, ON, 11-Jun-07

"Once when I was walking
through the valley,
the night was dark;
the way could not be found."

TRACK LISTING: The New Seekers, "There's a Light"

09 June 2007

"A new day; a new way."

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 18-May-07

"I knew
I should see it along."

Things I saw at a lifestyle store this afternoon:

A chair that fell apart, then slowly put itself back together.

In the end it isn't the chair that is moving (excuse the pun); it's really about the intended message. It may seem like an overstatement to claim that a robotic chair represents "the individual and a society over the course of a lifetime falling apart, falling down, gathering oneself together, and picking oneself up," but it's difficult to deny that the statement is encouraging and inspiring. This science made me feel something, and so I feel that this science is art.

TRACK LISTING: Crosby, Stills & Nash, "Carry On"

[NOTE: When figuring out which song would accompany this entry, I came across "Carry On," a piece I'd never heard before despite listening to a LOT of classic rock throughout my life. As I debated whether or not to use this track, it began playing on the radio, so of course I took that as a good sign, not to mention some CRAZY psychic frequency.]

08 June 2007

"Though sometimes we'll fight, I won't really care."

EdFest No.1, Edmonton, AB, 26-Jul-06

"And I know it's gonna be alright
'cause we've got so much
we share."

Things I saw on the streetcar ride home:

White-shirted men and women laid almost bare in the downpour.

At the expense of his own dryness, a young man carefully holds an umbrella over his girlfriend and her cat as they make their way along the sidewalk.

All over the city, words of love wash away, even the ones that tell us that "LOVE IS NEVER ENOUGH."

TRACK LISTING: The Ronettes, "Walking in the Rain"

07 June 2007

"So we stay at home."

The Big Pier, Oakville, ON, 22-Apr-07

"And I'm by your side."

Things I saw in the apartment today:

Some peace; some quiet; and the calming presence of my husband, as we are both given the day off to figure out how to deal with a small loss. This sort of thing happens, every day and every hour, and this time it's happened to us. That's all.

TRACK LISTING: Depeche Mode, "Here is the House"

06 June 2007

"If I walk down this hallway, tonight, it's too quiet."

The Big Pier, Oakville, ON, 22-Apr-07

"I take it,
from his whisper,
you're not that tough."

Things we saw in the ultrasound this afternoon:


Our baby became a phantom. One day, he will disappear completely.

TRACK LISTING: Kristin Hersh, "Your Ghost"

05 June 2007

"Way up in the sky, little darlin'."

Union Station, Toronto, ON, 05-Jun-07

"And if you fall
I'll pick you up,
pick you up."

Things I saw this evening at Union Station:

Ghost riders!

TRACK LISTING: Rickie Lee Jones, "The Horses"

[NOTE: The piece featured in the photo above is Max Streicher's "Quadriga", installed as part of the Luminato festival's Floating Artworks exhibit.]

04 June 2007

"Make you come home early."

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 04-Jun-07

"Make you stay out
all night long."

Things I saw on the way to meet PF for dinner:

Further proclamations.

A few poles down from where I scrawled my own response, someone has followed the "LOVE IS" lead by writing, "your girlfriend." There is a second "LOVE IS" poster pasted directly below, in which someone mentions something about a summer day.

One large block later, on the northeast corner of King and Spadina, someone has filled the white spaces with now-smeared burgundy lipstick. Four "LOVE IS" posters wrap around this pole; all four feature the same smudged shade. One of the replies appears to be "STUPID." Another reads, "A WASTE OF TIME." The other two are lost forever.

Less than twenty feet away, someone has completed one of the posters in pencil:


TRACK LISTING: Al Green, "Love and Happiness"

03 June 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.32

Hotel Max, Seattle, WA, 07-Oct-06

"Too weak
to lift your feet
from the ground."

TRACK LISTING: The Brought Low, "There's a Light"

02 June 2007

"Fighting with the beast!"

3rd Quadrant, Toronto, ON, 05-May-07

"No justice, no peace!"

Things we saw on the way home from the grocery store this morning:

A man and a woman, standing on the sidewalk across from our building, staring at the cops pulling people over for speeding. (We live right in the heart of a speed trap. Police cruisers in our alley, waiting for offenders, are not an uncommon sight.)

The woman is shaking her head and yelling. The man is nodding. "Can you believe this?" she asks him.

"All day long we see them!" she cries. "Raking in the cash! It's a racket!"

The man says something inaudible. The woman replies, "They're like the Gestapo!"

TRACK LISTING: Ice Cube, "The Predator"

01 June 2007

"It's written on the wind."

King Street West at Portland, Toronto, ON, 01-Jun-07

"It's everywhere I go!"

Things I saw in the city today:

Declarations of love decorating the downtown core.

This must be an art project, right? Why else would all these "LOVE IS" posters be pasted on poles along public sidewalks, with white spaces ready and waiting for people to fill in the blank?

On Bathurst, just north of Queen, one poster featured the answer "HOT SEX" (complete with X-rated illustration); another was graced with "misunderstood", scrawled on an angle at the bottom right-hand corner of the box.

If it's not an art project, then I suppose that a lot of incomplete promotional posters have been defaced. But if it is, then it just makes me love this city a little more.

TRACK LISTING: The Troggs, "Love Is All Around"