Thursday, June 23, 2005

~*...the night before om re:union...*~

i don't know if any of you have had the pleasure of playing ultimate frisbee, but this has to be the most fun team sport i've ever come across. i play on a team made up of friends from the tribe board (yes, seems to be a theme with me eh?). we play in the toronto ultimate club and it so refreshing to play with a team with experience. about two years ago, my friend danielle invited me out to play ultimate with her team. i didn't think i could handle it because of the running. in '98 i busted up my knee real good skateboarding, and had reconstructive surgery on my knee. i've got a metal plate with seven screws in my leg now. i thought i would never be able to run. i proved myself wrong, and i've been addicted to ultimate ever since. think of football mixed with soccer, but with a frisbee. its such a rush.

our team is called the tribe monkeys, and on tuesday night we kicked the flickstones' ass! well, it wasn't a beating, but winning 17-10 still feels good. nice work monkees.

so tomorrow i'm going to om, or as its called this year re:union. you can go to and find out more about the event. i went to om for the first time in '99 cause my friends roland and leanne invited me. i was a big supporter of the destiny world electronic music festival so i was a bit skeptical about attending another three day outdoor music event. boy was i ever surprised, and changed. om was more than just an outdoor music festival, it was a community. i was blown away by the people, and the mentality that they brought with them. LEAVE NO TRACE was the root ideal. if you bring it in with you, take it out. simple. and people did just that. they picked up after themselves. wow, what a simple concept. this made for a very clean and beautiful space to celebrate. and celebrate we did.

i remember running into a guy at om in '99 who was running through a daisy field with his dog. i asked "is that your dog?". he answered "naw, he's his own dog. i'm just his friend." i'll never forget that.

om is a celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year (which normally falls around my birthday, schweet). on the solstice, all of the participants at om congregated, held hands, and chanted. it takes something very powerful to get a 1000 people chanting. my first year there were 750 people at om. as the years progressed, om brought in close to 5000 people. that's where things started to get crazy. at some point in time things reach critical mass, a point where the society and mentality break down, where it can't support itself anymore. om started to get more spectators than participants. people who came expecting something without putting anything in. it also became very expensive to hold an event for 5000 people outdoors, and people began to complain about the high ticket prices. the core group who organized om had a huge task before them, organize an outdoor festival for 5000 people. it took a lot of work, and the core did not get the recognition or the compensation they deserved.

last year, the venue for om was pulled out from under them 5 days before the festival. the core had to find a new venue within days and move the entire festival, which had already begun to be constructed, to another spot. thank god they found a new place to hold the event, but it was a good 5 hour drive west of where they had originally planned. in the end, it was the people that made om what it was last year. there are no spectators, only participants. at least that's what they tried to bring out in the "omies". i've always known that. don't expect someone to do something that you aren't willing to do yourself. don't expect anything if you're not willing to put something into it.

this year's om has taken a new turn. participants are required to be members, holding each person accountable for their actions and making it mandatory to contribute to the community financially and through volunteering time. some people felt that this approach was elitist, that it excluded people. i think its a great idea. it keeps the numbers down, filters out the people who refer to the om mentality as "hippie shit", and holds each person accountable for their own actions. i could go on and on about om, and maybe i will in future. but what i've learned from on is that it is possible to create a sustainable future. it is possible to pick up after yourself. it is possible to live and celebrate peacefully with your fellow man. om is the most inspiring place i've been to, it inspired me to act. it has changed my life. i can't wait to contribute and celebrate again this year...even if it means that i miss toronto pride celebrations. i fukkin love pride weekend, but i love om just a little bit more....just a little.

yes, that is an om logo in my dredi knight brand. i was trying to figure out how to include the om logo with dredi knight. i first thought that i could replace the e in dredi with the om symbol cause it looks like a number 3. but what if people didn't know what it was, and assumed it was a 3? they'd go to then it hit me. there it is, right in front of me. dredi knight dot cohm. and if people got confused the first assumption is that it is a dot com. the om symbol used is also my own version of the symbol. i also have it tattooed on my shoulder. yup, it changed my life that much. to me, om means that everything is occurring perfectly at all times. it is the sound of the universe, the sound of oneness.

to see pix of my first om, just go to my pikcha archive.

i'll see you after om.


- norm \m/^_^\m/

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

[ [ The Debaucherous XXX Birthday of a Dredi Knight ] ]

wow. what an incredible birthday week. so incredible that it has taken me this long to get my review of my birthday week online. please bear with me as i'm trying out different blogging software. i'm feelin out my options. let me know what you think.

so this is my first real entry for my blog on what better event to launch my site than my XXX birthday. funny, i never thought i'd live to see 30. i don't know what it is, but i've learned that i'm not the only one who thought they would not live to see 30. turns out i've never been more excited for a birthday than my 30th.

celebrations began on wednesday night, the eve of my XXX. i went to my first activate wednesday jam at footwork. in an attempt to recreate the energy and vibe that was activate wednesdays at element, the activate boyz moved venues to the new footwork as element had closed down. but what made activate wednesdays the best midweek party that toronto had to offer was the people and the venue. combined, the people and element made a great duo. element was a perfect size for wednesday night debauchery, and the people were always out in full force. i didn't get that at footwork last wednesday, so after a few drinks my friend keli and i left. it was 12:30am when we left, a half hour into my birthday. i was a bit disappointed that my birthday was starting off on a less than favourable note (i do love you though keli!), but i wanted more. so on our walk home i stuck my head into every club and bar on queen street to see what was going on. i ended up at system soundbar for my friend roland's wednesday night breaks/down tempo night. it was there that i ran into my friend cory and his beautiful friend olivia who was visiting from new jersey. there weren't many people at system, but i had the company of two beautiful souls to spend the first hours of my birthday with. we ended up at cory's place where we enjoyed each other's company and listened to some incredible beatz. olivia, if you're reading this, toronto looks good on you. i had a great time getting to know you. you should definitely come back here to live.

after a brief nap, i made it over to dreadmaster drew's to get my locks tightened. i normally get my locks tightened every three months. imagine you were being swung around by your hair for two hours, that's what its like to get your hair tightened. but daam do my locks look good. its been a year since i got my dreads done, a one year anniversary for my three year hair plan. yes, i planned out my hairstyle for three years. i knew what hairstyle i would have, what colour it would be, and when it would happen. it all lead up to getting dreadlocks last year on my birthday. it started at om in 2001. i had three red mohawks at om 2001 for four daze. then i shaved my head. after one month, i bleached my hair blonde and then never touched my hair again for almost two years. i let my hair grow out, and because i bleached it when it was very short, the tips of each hair was blonde. yes, i had to go through the dreaded mullet, but i embraced it. its tough when your hair isn't long enough to be put into a pony tail. then i dyed my hair red, which really only coloured the blonde tips red. i had a lot of fun with red tipped hair. in spring of 2003, i had my friend keli cut my hair for the first time in almost two years. it was cut to shoulder length and i began to style it like a samurai (or a normurai), a single pony tail on the top with the rest of my hair hanging down. then on my birthday of 2003, i bleached blonde the part of my hair that was not in the pony tail. i had seen a hawt asian guy with this hairstyle a few years ago and i was blown away. i used to have my hair half blonde half black, but split down the middle. this half and half style was something new for me, and i couldn't wait to rock that style. it even looked hawt with bunz. there just aren't enough boyz walking around with bunz in their hair in my opinion. then on halloween of 2003 i dyed the blonde part of my hair red . red is a hard color to keep red, but it sure looks hawt when its fresh (which is only for a couple of daze). on my birthday, 2004, i got dreadmaster drew to twist my red and black hair into dreadlocks. i chose him because he came highly recommended from other dreadz. he uses a special twisting method that he developed over the past 20 years twisting up locks. he uses no product when twisting locks, no wax at all, just a special knotting method. his locks are the nicest i've ever seen. my hair was a challenge for him because it was so healthy, but he did an excellent job. i am now a dread. alright, now you know about my three year hair plan. yah, as you already know i'm not your average dude. hairstyles aren't necessary but hella fun.

my birthday party this year was off the chain. my friends danielle and ron helped organize a party full of the best people at fez batik. celebrations began at 6pm, even though i didn't arrive until just after 7pm. there were over 260 people on the evite list. i was hoping for a response of about a third, maybe 90 people or so. 139 people responded to the evite. i was so excited to spend my birthday with good people. as i get older, i've learned that i don't have time for shitty people in my life. and it was evident that i did not invite shitty people to my birthday party. we had the patio booked and filled it with the best people. i was pleasantly reminded how incredible the people in my life are, they give my personality shape. danielle, you rawk! she even put up posters on queen street encouraging people to come to my birthday party. there were drink specials and a live band playing. unfortunately we did not have control over the beatz (sorry linzee, turtle, jeremy, dave), but the people made up for it. man, was i ever shmammered. my quote for the evening was TOO MANY BIRTHDAY DRINKS AND NOT ENOUGH NORM! the rainbow of alcoholic beverages took its toll on me half way through the night, and i had to retire to the bathroom to purge myself. i then proceeded to hide out in the back drinking water prepping myself for the next onslaught of "happy birthday man, let me buy you a drink." i was pretty good for the rest of the evening, asking for only one type of alcoholic beverage in an attempt to be nice to my stomach. beer seemed to do the trick...yah, it got me right wrecked.

wow do i ever keep some good looking people in my life. i guess like attracts like. my friends danielle and john even had shirts made that said "who's norm?". my friend sue even dressed up as me. its an interesting feeling being me eh sue? you immediately stimulate the dredi in other people. glad you enjoyed the window into my life.

i got a shirt made for the evening that said "sleeps well with others". i'm such a pleasure slut. then my friends kiki and bethany gave me a pin to wear that said "tame me". my friends know me too well. and no, i don't even think i'm tamable, but if you're up for the challenge i'm always down. the evening was filmed by jason and hilda (thanks guys). people left birthday messages for me and answered a simple question. "who is norm to you?". clips from that video will be up on the site once they have been edited. in the meantime, you can view pix of my birthday debauchery in the pikcha section of my site.

thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate my birthday with me. you give my personality shape, and i'm blessed to have the fukkin kewlest peeps to share my life with. thanks to danielle and ron for organizing the best birthday party ever. thanks to graham for helping danielle plaster queen street with posters. thanks to elsbeth and regan for taking my drunk ass home, holding my head out of the toilet as i worshipped the porcelain god, and even helping me brush my teeth. you guys rawk!

if you wanna see what other people had to say about my birthday celebrations, just head on over to tribe magazine for a review of my XXX birthday shenanigans.

and finally, thanks to you who are reading this blog entry. without any of you, i would not have anyone to share my life with, or anyone interested in following it.

the rest of my birthday weekend was just as top notch. i attended a private play party on friday night (teehee), a baby shower for my friends steve and kate on saturday, followed by the fetish masquerade. the theme for fet was samurais, shoguns, and geishas. oh my god, i was in heaven. so much asian silk on too many hawt bodies *drool*. thanks for joining me kiki! you looked fukkin hawt! on sunday i had brunch with my sister in the gaybourhood at zelda's. god i love that place. then we watched batman begins (the best batman evar), and then i ended my bday weekend chillin at toronto's best weekly event, the promise cherry beach soundsystem.

this summer will be epic for me, it already has been. its like i've been waiting in line all year and i'm finally getting on the ride. and what a ride it is. stay tuned for more adventures of this dredi knight. only two more sleeps until om