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.

10 September 2007

"Shut up!"

In My Mouth, Toronto, ON, 15-Sep-07

"Just shut up,
shut up!"

Things I saw on the ride home this evening:

A woman using the bus as one would a personal office.

She wasn't particularly well-dressed or arrogant beyond her actions, and certainly didn't have an air of entitlement about her until she whipped out her cell phone. Really, sitting there in one of the long rows near the front of the vehicle, she just seemed like an older woman who didn't quite get technology, but was determined to give it a go.

Then again, maybe she just didn't care. With her phone set to handsfree, she proceeded to check her voicemail, carefully copying the important details onto a sheet of paper in her lap. I, like most other passengers on the bus, simply cast furtive yet wide-eyed glances in her direction. Huh? Wha? Doesn't she want privacy? Is she mentally ill?

It wasn't that she needed both hands -- one to write and one to steady the paper, for example -- with the phone resting on her leg or strapped to her arm or what have you. No, she held the speaker-phone in her right hand while scribbling with her left. Anyway, in a situation where one is on the phone and is using both hands for other activities, one usually clamps the phone between one's shoulder and ear. Bad for the neck, what with the bent head and all, but infinitely more courteous in public spaces.

Perhaps she comes from a culture where forcefully drawing everyone around you into your little world by virtue of loudness is totally cool. In other words, I suppose, she's just like the rest of us gabbing away at full volume, sharing our non-urgent cell phone conversations with any stranger within range. People! We created this beast.

"Does this HAVE to be done NOW?" the bus driver yells, to anyone who will listen. The woman is not one of them.

"Get an earpiece!" he offers, strongly, then shakes his head and keeps driving.

TRACK LISTING: Black Eyed Peas, "Shut Up"

09 September 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.46

Room 946 at The Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, PQ, 03-Sep-07

"No sorrow in sight."

TRACK LISTING: Anthony Burger, "I Saw the Light"

08 September 2007

"Counting the stars all around."

In the Bedroom, Toronto, ON, 15-Sep-07

"Do you know anyone?"

Things PF and I saw while wandering the streets with CW and SAD:

Geoffrey Rush! Ye olde pirate himself!

CW and I saw him first, coming towards us, sporting a small bandage on his forehead. Within seconds, before we could inquire or merely wonder about the head wound, he was posing for a photo with two young men who seemed to appear out of nowhere. Wow, the Film Festival! It's nuts. Anyway, GR soon ducked down the walkway beside The Cumberland, and that was the last we saw of him.

Later, PF and I walked by Monica Bellucci as she stepped out of a car. Wearing a lot of makeup and high-heeled suede boots, she stumbled on the pavement in front of the Lobby Bar (yet another interview location for this year's festival). Everyone -- the Lobby Bouncer, Bellucci's companions and handlers, even PF and I -- lurched toward MB like we were about to save her life. She didn't need us.

"Madonna!" she exclaimed, laughing.

"Madonna!" echoed one of her male friends, and suddenly they were gone.

TRACK LISTING: Bebel Gilberto, "All Around"

[NOTE: The image above was taken through an old View-Master; the still of Rowlf working the camera is from one of the Muppet Movie reels.]

07 September 2007

"Rhyme or crime, let's get it on!"

Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA, 08-Oct-06

"This is our world,
me and my girls!"

Things I saw on the news today:

People, Foxy Brown is going to jail FOR REALS!

Too bad she's not a supermodel. (Well, too bad for her, anyway.) Looks like someone won't be having a great weekend! Or year, really.

TRACK LISTING: Foxy Brown, "The Hot Spot"

06 September 2007

"See the light!"

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 15-Sep-07

"Join the herd!"

Things I saw around town this evening:

The TIFF begins!

When I moved to this city, I swore I would attend the Film Festival each year. Things started out with promise, but soon I turned old and cranky, and wanted nothing more than a nine-to-five job and evenings in.

What's more, I suddenly regarded the TIFF process as "a hassle". Getting your festival shit together is like going back to university: swarms of people sitting on the linoleum floor outside the box office as if the area was some sort of Commons, armed with highlighters and the equivalent of a curriculum prospectus, the TIFF Programme Book. Like any good student, you have to make sure your schedule doesn't have any conflicts and choose a set of backup films just in case your first selections fill up before you get to them. Filmgoers hurrying around the downtown core, from screening to screening, remind me of college kids racing to get to class on time. IT IS SERIOUS! But there's also a sense of community, a small thrill that I miss now that I'm no longer a student or a festival-goer.

God, I'll have to look into going next year, won't I?

TRACK LISTING: Felix da Housecat, "Silver Screen"

[NOTE: The image above is a page detail from one of my university textbooks, The Oxford History of World Cinema.]

05 September 2007

"She had the body of a Venus!"

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

"Lord, imagine my surprise!"

Things I saw in an article on Defamer today:

The "mystery" of Larry Wachowski revisited!

Man, I'd forgotten all about this. But so what? Sure, the Rolling Stone investigation (reportedly based on an article from Wired News) quotes a "bondage-world source" explaining that the disappointing Matrix: Reloaded and Matrix: Revolutions are a result of LW being distracted by his personal life. I personally didn't enjoy those movies and am only lukewarm about the first Matrix film, but again, so what? A lot of directors with "normal" propensities make totally shitty movies ALL THE TIME. If LW is happy, then that's all we need to know, and really, we don't even need to know that much.

(Ah, but I can't help myself!)

TRACK LISTING: Aerosmith, "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" (I know, I know, it's crass, it's crass)

04 September 2007

"Talk about the passion!"

Dundas Square, Toronto, ON, 04-Sep-07

"Talk about the passion!"

Things I saw on my way home this evening:

In the most unexpected of places, a [murmur].

I'd read about [murmur] before, but this was the first time I'd ever stumbled across one of the signs, and I was very happy to see it posted so clearly and so ready for the call. The [murmur] project is a really wonderful idea! It gives both residents and visitors the chance to learn about the city through the stories of its people, as they travel from ear to ear.

TRACK LISTING: R.E.M., "Talk About the Passion" (from the Murmur LP)

03 September 2007

"I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around."

Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, CA, 25-Mar-05

"But don't forget
it's me who put you
where you are now."

Things I saw on a DVD this evening:

Further evidence that Los Angeles is more than happy to chew you up and spit you out.

Honestly, it's just as easy to shrug about a climber like Rodney Bingenheimer digging his own egotastic grave as it is to feel sorry that he's a mere boy-child warped by star-blinded, indifferent parents. Sure, music is his passion and he'd do anything for it, but he also intensely loves the celebrity and is equally fuelled by that.

Anyway, it's likely that deep down, as anyone else trying to make it in the crazy world of entertainment would (or should), Bingenheimer knows what he's up against. Heaven help the fools who not only dive into the depths of fame, but do so in the cesspools of L.A.! If they're lucky, the undertow will be slow. Unfortunately, they're still sinking.

Also, Kim Fowley is probably a psycho.

TRACK LISTING: The Human League, "Don't You Want Me"

02 September 2007

The Sunday Night Lights: No.45

Bellevue Manor, Toronto, ON, 18-Aug-07

"Now I'm so happy!"

TRACK LISTING: Bull City Red, "I Saw the Light"

01 September 2007

"Send me a postcard."

1980 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, PQ, 02-Sep-07
Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, PQ, 02-Sep-07
Cocoa Locale, Montreal, PQ, 01-Sep-07

"Tell me a story."

Things PF and I saw today, while wandering the streets of Montreal:

The Brazen woman herself, Rachel Rachna Dhawan, along with her lovely beau, Aaron, at the wonderful café Figaro. We eat deliciously buttery croissants topped with ham, gruyère, tomato and spinach, and drink fresh orange juice and espresso. It's amazing.

As we finish up, we notice Rufus Wainwright and Jimmy Fallon arriving on the patio at the same time. Whether they are arriving together, we cannot say. Rufus played in town the night before, and according to Rachel and Aaron (who were actually at the show), he is set to attend his sister's wedding this weekend. Perhaps Jimmy is in Montreal to film something? Rufus is surrounded by impeccably dressed gay hipsters; Jimmy is accompanied by a male friend. Rufus' table is right next to the sidewalk -- all the better to be seen in Outremont, we are told -- and Jimmy is seated at the table next to it. As we leave the restaurant, we see that Jimmy and his friend have their backs against the exterior wall as if they're joining the conversation at Rufus' table, even though their mouths are closed and they're staring straight ahead. Hmm.


Rachel has brought us to Cocoa Locale so we can finally meet Reema (see third photo above and video below). I am in awe of her brilliant skills, as evidenced by the bakery's perfect decor and, of course, its wonderful desserts. We pick up two of each available cupcake -- chocolate chai, coconut with pink frosting, and lemon -- then catch a cab to meet up with another gang as more of Reema's regulars stop by for their favourites.


With Liette and Nick acting as guides, CC, AGF and the most charming ADF join us as fellow tourists. We stroll around the city, stopping for hearty empanadas at La Chilenita before heading down to the Old Port. We spot the still-stunning Habitat 67 across the water and are happy that we ended up at such an obvious destination.

[AGF has some great photos from that outing here!]


While walking along St-Laurent, we are passed by a man in a hurry. Wearing billowy linen pants and a flowing white shirt, he screams into the BlackBerry pressed to his ear.

"Who the FUCK do you think you're talking to?" He shakes his head and barrels past the pedestrians in front of us.

"Who the FUCK do you think you're talking to?" As he storms into the distance, he raises his voice.

"No. NO! FUCK. YOU!"


After a brief rest at Liette and Nick's condo right across from Parc Jarry, we find ourselves feasting at Rugantino: warm bread dipped in fine olive oil; chick pea fries and breaded green olives; shrimps sautéed with lemon and garlic; bresaola with pecorino and truffled arugula; risotto with shrimp and taleggio; veal medallions; a bottle of Sangiovese; tiramisu; sponge cake iced with ricotta and chocolate; pistachio ice cream and field berry sorbet; cups of coffee and espresso; and a bowl of blueberry crème brulée. It is heaven. Pleasantly stuffed and marvelling at our luck, we head back to the hotel, ready to call it a night after an entirely satisfying day.

TRACK LISTING: Pony Up!, "The Truth About Cats and Dogs (Is That They Die)"

[NOTE: And where are Pony Up from? Montreal, of course! Note also that the lion's head door knocker in the second photo above is the same door knocker that I snapped thirteen years ago.]