Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bleo Injection: Day Four

I have seen the Future and it is pharmacological. I am currently a fine example of "better living through chemistry". I really should just sign a waiver everywhere I go -
"if you would like to pump me full of experimental drugs which will lessen the effect of the drugs you've already pumped me with - I'd appreciate it."

I've just started a 3 day program of steroids (some kind of steroid) and it's helping a lot! I still feel kind of icky and sort of hung over (dizzy, nauseated, headaches), but how is that different from any other Saturday? Plus, it beats feeling like I did yesterday.

Hopefully, the swelling will stay down by Monday and I'll need nothing more than a Advil or something. Ah Advil, our quick acting friend.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and kind thoughts. If I'm lucky, in a few days you can go back to criticism and jeering.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Bleo Injection: Day Three

Strange Dead Jellyfish
Originally uploaded by Leonski.

It has begun. Pretty much right on schedule, my tongue become a saturated, bloated jellyfish. A light, frothy foam has covered the top of my tongue, while the underneath has gone a curious, gelatinous white. That's okay, that's the layer that sloths off anyway. Oh and the pain? Fantastic! Especially if you enjoy electrified vice clamps on your most sensitive areas of your anatomy. Swallowing is not recommended.

Thus it was that I placed a call for some medicated backup. The doctor delivered. Three days worth of some kind of anti-inflammatory steroid. No immediate relief, but hopefully it will make a difference.

Unfortunately, even if the swelling were to recede, I'd still probably be less than ebullient. Mostly because I really really really want a big piece of cheesy pizza.

Suck it up, Peter, suck it up.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bleo Injection: Day One

Okay, yesterday is still a little blurry. I mean, what is in those anesthetics that leaves you stunned for so long? Many thanks to Andy who took time from work to 'break me out' of the Day Surgery recovery unit. They wouldn't release me unless someone came to pick me up and Angela wasn't able to get away from Sheridan until 5-6pm (she was in crits most of the day). I'm pretty sure I could have lied and said I was going to the bathroom, left, taken a cab and gone home, but they seemed to be watching me pretty closely. I am particularly grateful to one matronly Jamaican nurse who relieved me of my I.V. and told me not to try anything (like leaving on my own) and who did not talk to me like I was five years old. I have the greatest respect for the nursing profession, but why do so many of them have to talk to you as if you are a hard of hearing, grade-schooler? I suppose they figure you're so doped up you probably have less mental acuity than the average grade-schooler.

Today, I'm feeling pretty good. Some soreness in my tongue but not bad. Though I feel like it is worsening, so I might take advantage of having this day off before I don't feel like doing anything. In expectation of not feeling like doing anything, I've rented a stack of films that I'll review once I've seen them.

First though, let me tell you about this one film I saw recently called, The Power of Nightmares Part 2, "The Phantom Victory".

On 25 December 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan. Moscow was able to install a friendly government in a neighbouring country but at a price. After nearly 10 years of fighting, Soviet troops pulled out of Afghanistan.

Both the neo-conservatives and the Islamists believed that it is they who defeated the "evil empire" and now had the power to transform the world.

But both failed in their revolutions.

For some this programme may smack of conspiracy theories, yet it aims to prove that most axes of evil are really just myths created to lock the public in a state of fear. The really fearful thought is how successful these small cabals of political thinkers or radicals have been. The ideas of political philosopher Leo Strauss and his influence on the American Neo-conservative movement are coldly brought to light. While the parallels drawn between the American Religious Right and Islamic Extremists are both eerily revealing and astute. It also made me feel as though I wasn't crazy. There is something rotten in the state of Conservative politics that goes back to the Nixon Republicans when the likes of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle et al were cutting their teeth in Washington and would later help author the infamous Project for the New American Century document.

The one criticism I would have of this film is that it is both a little too high-minded and low-brow. there's the slightly haughty, high-minded tone of a British narrator telling us of the treachery of American politicos and Islamist radicals which can seem more than just a bit trite. Certainly, there is no mention of the British role in these world happenings. Anyone who remembers Maggie Thatcher might recall what a frighteningly bombastic figure she could be (Falklands anyone?) Not to mention that Britain's failings in Palestine, and Iran both between and after the Wars are so similar to American ones. Failings fueled by the faded glory of Britannia and the influence of British business interests in those regions don't look too different from American failures in Vietnam and now Iraq. The simultaneous low-brow approach of the series, through editing and choice of music and sound effects can often seem inappropriate or cheap. The repeated clips of Russian generals waving in a comically sped up fashion or the use of an out-of-place "boing" sound effect when some interview has given way to an "ah-ha" moment, take away from the revelation and instead of providing the viewer some comic respite only give the episode a slightly "America's Funniest Home Videos" or MTV feeling.

Any shortcomings however, are more than made up by the many insightful interviews from the likes of Gorbechev, former NeoCon strategists, retired CIA agents, ex-Islamic fighters and Islamic academics which are just too informative to miss. If anything, this programme dispels the notions of Conservative or Islamist conspiracies. Conspiracies or secret agendas are carried out in the shadows and back rooms, where as these ideologues conduct their work under the harsh Afghanistan sun or on the steps of Washington institutions. The openness of it, the audacity of it, the realization that we buy into these myths and fears is the really chilling part.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

WTF Wednesdays

What's going on? I'll tell you what. The stars have aligned in a jangled-up, ragged edge sort of non-aligned way. Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 8AM I go for one of my semi-regular "adjustments" . No, not some unmentionable cosmetic surgery, but a sclerotherapeutic treatment - the injection of Bleomycin into my venous vascular malformations. Man, that last sentence sounded like I just ordered lunch in Welsh.

Yet while I'll be recovering from my anesthesia-induced coma, and an injection of foreign chemicals into my tongue, I'll also be officially missing my fifteen minutes of fame. My wee fake ads, created for self satisfaction and for the greater good of the Toronto Transit Commission have been included in a collection of short films about Toronto’s public spaces, being shown at the Drake Hotel and organized by Spacing Magazine.

We also may have a visitor that night as well - a close friend of ours who's been traveling in far off places for the last couple of years.

Convergence? Confluence? Synergy? Serendipity?

What was I talking about, I kind of lost my train of thought there... oh right. What is it with Wednesday? Talk about your "hump day"! I'm not sure how this happens. The one day I could be watching a public viewing of my work, whilst perhaps enjoying the company of a much missed friend, I'll instead be ensconced in the misery of half-wakefulness and a sorely swollen tongue. Them's the breaks, I guess. Well, I'll take what I can get. Medical treatment over public adoration? Unless of course, everyone hates the short films - in which case I'd be sore for a different reason.

In lieu of enjoying the spots at the Drake Hotel, I present one of the ads here. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Has anyone noticed that Wendy's recent advertising is using the song, "Blister in the Sun"? I for one, do not want my Wendy's potato associated in any way with a Wendy's blister, sun-dried or otherwise. Or that the new GMC Acadia ads run backed by a lilting version of "I Melt for You". That's right, Modern English's only hit that goes a little like this, "I stop the world, I melt for you." Who, in this narrative, is melting? The Polar ice caps? This could be a companion piece to go with Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" or perhaps a David Suzuki lecture on climate change. Has irony taken root in advertising or simple old-fashioned stupidity? Why hey, I have an idea, for the next Kleenex campaign, use Bruce Cockburn's, "If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Does Anybody Hear?" Which brings me to next question, if I turn off my TV, does an advertiser hear?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I am mesmerized by this track by Ratatat (from the album Classics), called appropriately, "Wildcat".

I'm like the guy on Seinfeld who pauses whenever hearing "Desperado" or like Owen Wilson's mescaline meltdown in The Royal Tenenbaums, when he whispers softly, "...wildcat, -rrrrarrr..." there's just something about that guitar hook sharp enough to hang meat from, and the whirling synth (and is that a cell phone?) that makes the mind think of how, "The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. "Vámonos, amigos," he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight."

Holy crap, in writing this I've listened to 'Wildcat' on loop 3 times and have wasted 45 minutes! Definitely not music to work to.

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 05, 2007

Spreading the Good Word on the Good Foot

I can't help it. Today I just feel like spreading the love across the land. Check out The Apostle of Hustle.
Hear it
This song is getting plenty of, if not "air play", perhaps "pod play" - I've heard it in about 3 different podcasts. It's a great album from Andrew Whiteman, another alum of that Toronto version of the Buena Vista Social Club, Broken Social Scene. Though you may also remember him from the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir (at the very least, this guy has had a hand in some well named troupes). The Apostle will get yer toes tapping and if I'm not mistaken, and I probably am, won the Grammy for best name of a new musical group or act. You can download the track here from Arts & Crafts Records.


TV on the Radio at Kool Haus
Originally uploaded by cinesonic.

See pics from last night's show of TV on the Radio...Why bother even taking a camera anywhere anymore - someone else will oblige.

TV on the Radio on the Internet

TV On The Radio 09

Thanks to Bernice and Andy (and Angela as backup), as part of my birthday, I got to hear/see the Brooklyn based band, "TV on the Radio" at Koolhaus Sunday night. Needless to say they (adult alternatively) rocked the joint. I have to admit - for me, this band proves the power of the Internet and blogs - I would have never really heard of them unless I hadn't noticed their appearance and listened to them on Hype Machine. It's where I found this little gem of theirs: it's an alternate version of their song Wolf Like Me - it's a stripped down, sort of 3/4 time kind of version that you could almost imagine Johnny Cash playing
Download it here

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 01, 2007

White Out

Okay, I know this little storm we're having doesn't stack up with anything that they've had in St.John's but it is very strange and weird - wind, snow, thunder and lightning. I can honestly say the only really unique feature of Toronto weather is the humidity. A few years ago I was caught walking in a storm like this and it's just very eerie to have snow and lightning at the same time. I don't have a camera handy AND I can't really find a web cam image that is actually recording - they're all snowed out, thus the images above.


Duck! Flying Baked Goods!

I had a nice day yesterday though perhaps I ate a little too much (flying biscuits exempted). Many thanks to all my well-wishers.

February is generally a month of financial statements, lay-off announcements, tax receipts and miserable weather. All in all, a month when if you ever needed a cake, February is it. What does my future hold, what do the stars have to say?

The stars will take immense pleasure in lording your foreseeable future over you this week.

Despite that dire astrological pronouncement - I had a great day.