Friday, January 26, 2007

Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!

Leslie and I went to the Duke of York last night for Robbie Burns' Night. They piped out a haggis in the traditional manner, and a man in a kilt read Burns' "Address to a Haggis" over it. (I didn't get a good shot of both haggis and piper, so I'm experimenting with the Blogger picture option.) Here (left) is a picture of the piper.

And here (right) is the haggis, borne out by a server, in all its veinous glory. Yum! Seriously! People go on and on about how disgusting haggis is, so when I finally tried it for the first time a few years ago, I was amazed to discover that not only is it not disgusting, it's delicious. We ate big plates of the stuff, with neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes) and wee drams of Scotch. We may not need to eat again until next January.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 15, 2007

Clearly, there is something wrong with the Internet

Squiddity is currently the top hit on Google for the search term "hipster boys."


Friday, January 12, 2007

Most inexplicable t-shirt yet

...And this is why I love the t-shirt rack at Goodwill.

Right, can any of you read this and tell me what the hell's going on here? I've also posted it to a translation group on Flickr in the hope of finding some answers.

Update: In the comments, Lumpkin points out that the girl in the lower right-hand corner is probably a ganguro girl. Also, Torontoist contributor Aaron has a friend working in Japan who submits the following:
Somebody apparently imagined a scenario in which the Yellow Pages is a guide to finding yellow things around town, hence the high-school girl who is distressed to have bought the same yellow bra as her mother (and dad really likes it, too...) and the human-trash kogal who is using a yellow marker as make-up.
I think it makes less sense now than it did when I did not know these things! If you can shed any more light on this, please do.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Beyond Squiddity

Just thought I'd mention here that I'm now an occasional contributor at Torontoist. My first post, a rewrite of the Shelf Portrait post below, went live today. Yay!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reluctantly festive gargoyle

Reluctantly festive gargoyle
"Yes. Ha ha. See the gargoyle in the stupid Santa hat. Very funny... Dammit, people, Christmas is over. OVER. How long do I have to go on wearing this frickin' thing?!

"It's not even cold enough for a Santa hat! It's all wet and clammy from the rain! I think I'm getting a rash on my forehead!

"...Gah. Stupid humans. How I hate you all."

Spotted perched over the side entrance of a CIBC on St. Clair West. Nothing else about the building is remotely Gothic -- the gargoyle's obviously a recent addition, easy to miss if you don't look up. Someone at that branch has a sense of humour.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

A library liberated

Lots to choose from
Robin Pacific's Shelf Portrait installation at Red Head Gallery has been drawing a lot of publicity in the weeks leading up to its opening. It's not every day that someone decides to give away her entire collection of books, and even rarer that such a decision spawns "an exhibition that renders an act of generosity into a work of art," as the gallery's flyer explains. On my way over to 401 Richmond this afternoon, I wondered how Ms Pacific and the gallery people were going to handle the mob scene that the opening would undoubtedly turn into.

Very well, as it turned out. Realizing that they were going to draw a crowd, they'd imposed a limit of 4 books per person, and printed up tickets for admission at half-hour intervals -- sensibly eliminating the need for attendees to wait in line for hours. Arriving at 1:30, I snagged a 3:00 ticket. I did a little shopping, and returned at 3:00 to find throngs of people milling about, some being interviewed by crews from City-TV and CBC Radio (Nora Young was there).

The show deserves to be a huge hit. It highlights, I think, a point about second-hand books that has intrigued me for awhile: they are artifacts that often have little or no monetary value, but enormous cultural and aesthetic value. They are so plentiful and easy to come by that people are unwilling to pay very much for them, yet many of us will always stop to dig through them when they're piled up at yard sales, or set out in boxes at the curb with signs saying "FREE." (I have no time to read for fun anymore & yet I am forever hauling the damn things home: books picked out of recycling boxes, bought for a few quarters at campus booksales, left on the swap shelf in my co-op's laundry room.) Shelf Portrait picks up on that, and it's also the sunniest, most positive thing I've seen in a gallery in awhile: a formalized, unqualified random act of kindness.

My 4 picks:

Waiting, Ha Jin
Meshugah, Isaac Bashevis Singer (I got this intending to pass it along to my brother, but might read it myself first)
Illuminations, Walter Benjamin (This contains "Unpacking my Library," his famous essay on book collecting, which just seemed way too appropriate to pass up)
The Body in Pain, Elaine Scarry (This is the one I was most excited to find: have been meaning to look it up & read it)

You see what I mean about value? Amazing!

Festooned with books

More blogging soon. I have to go read now.