Saturday, September 24, 2005

~*...another good friday...*~

today began with beautiful sunshine coming through my window. i very rarely ever wake up beside someone, but having darlene visiting means that i get to wake up beside a beautiful soul every morning (and have someone to cuddle with at night too). its so good to have her home. and seeing as my room used to be her room, its a comfortable place for both of us to wake up in. now i've got to find someone who will take my room when i leave for bc and still have the same privileges darlene has...come back any time and have at least a sofa to stay on(if sharing the bed is out of the question).

seeing as my camera is still fubar'd, i really have no means to take pikchaz right meow. so here's a pik of darlene and i last november when she came home to visit. yes, that is a fully bloomed rose in november.

that afternoon darlene and i went skateboarding. she's got a long board and a pool board and has been missing paved roads for the past two years. i guess there aren't too many paved roads to skate on in mexico and costa rica. we headed over to trinity bellwoods park and spent the afternoon cruising around on our skates. man, its been so long since i've had someone else to go skating with. it felt good to ride again, especially on a longboard. it feels like i'm snowboarding on cement. darlene is a good skater too. she keeps on trying to convince me to join her in brazil so i can try surfing, as she (and everyone else i know who surfs) claims that it is the best feeling in the universe. i'm a big fan of snowboarding, so i can only imagine what it must be like to tune into gaia and ride her into the shore. but the west coast is calling me, and i need to ride powder. 15 years of snowboarding and never have i ridden a full run of powder. i can't wait.

that evening i met a friend at zelda's in the gaybourhood for dinner. gawd i love zelda's. its the perfect place for a first dinner with someone. the atmosphere is bright, colourful, and proud. the food is great and the staff is fabulously gay. any place where you are seated by a drag queen and can order girly cocktails with names like jackie-oh, bitch slap, and feather boa is a wonderful place for people to be themselves without fear and enjoy a fabulous meal. i didn't see zelda that night, so my memories of massaging her boobies will just have to keep me company.

after dinner, my friend and i attended the art exhibition of my very close friend bev. i've known bev since high school. she's part of my little markham krew, a group of friends from high school that i continue to share my life with. i don't have time for shitty people in my life, and my markham krew is top shelf. what makes our krew even more fascinating, at least to me, is that my brother was very good friends with bev's older sister barb, and graham's older brother brian. two generations of kids, two generations of friends.

there were lots of markham faces that i had not seen in a long time at the show, including many people who knew my brother. and it turned out that my date was friends with my friends chris and megan, part of my markham posse. yah, i learned a long time ago that me being the people person that i am makes six degrees of separation four...sometimes three ;)

bev's art exhibition was held at a restaurant called the metropolitan. it was a beautiful space, perfect to showcase her work. bev is a talented artist and has spent the last year working hard for this show. i am so happy for her. to see more of bev's work and information on purchasing an original or a print, you can czech out her site here.

darlene is also from markham, so when she showed up at the exhibition later she blew a lot of people away. hell, i didn't know she was coming home. i just answered my door the night before and there she was.

after the exhibition, my friend and i headed over to a going away party for my friend liz. she's leaving for bc in a week. wow, it seems like so many of my friends are heading out west this year, including me. the rest of the night was sort of a blur as our poison of choice was tequila. man, i don't know what it is about tequila, but it doesn't just get you drunk, it gets you high! i think its the desert that does it...very few things can survive in the desert, so what comes from plants that can survive desert conditions isn't your normal potato spirit. i guess the same can be said about the people at burning man...the desert brings out the radical in everything it touches.

my saturday was a bit hazy. aargh. tequila. i was able to get up and have lunch with my mother at the all you can eat korean grill house, but that wasn't until late afternoon so i had time to recover from an incredible friday night.

- that still working on finishing my burning man blog guy

Thursday, September 22, 2005

~*...a welcome surprise...*~

tonight i was treated to a more than pleasant surprise. two years ago my friend darlene left for mexico and costa rica to surf and she handed down her room to me. my room is one of those rooms you would never see advertised, its one of those places that gets passed down from one person to another. the apartment is the second and third floor of a house with a living room, bedroom, storage room, bathroom and kitchen with laundry on the second floor, and the third floor equal in size to all of that but open with attic ceilings. my room is about 30'x30' with 15' tall ceilings. not a day goes by where i am not thankful for the place i live (or the price i pay for it).

on tuesday i was chatting with darlene on msn. she was in mexico city. i asked her when she was coming home to visit. she didn't know but asked if it would be ok if she just showed up at my door one day. i told her that my place is her place, and that the door would always be open. well, tonight the doorbell rang. my roommate asked if i was expecting someone. as i walked downstairs i was thinking to myself "i wonder if its darlene home to surprise me."....and it was.

she had her surfboard and two skateboards with her along with her suitcase. i'm so glad that she's here. its so good to have her back, to have someone to share stories about our crazy adventures, and to have a good friend to cuddle with. maybe i can convince her to come with me to bc and spend the season snowboarding. she's such a skate/snow/surf betty :)

i tried to take a pikcha of us, but my camera is officially playa'd. so here's a pik of darlene and i the last time she was in toronto visiting.

- normie \m/^_^\m/

Monday, September 19, 2005

~*...harvest festival...sept17-18...*~

let's start this entry off with the most recent happennings, harvest festival this past weekend. if there is a single one night party to attend in ontario all year, it is harvest. celebrating the autumn equinox, harvest brings the best people together for an evening of dancing and celebration. put on by alieninflux and promise, the celebration has been held at aldida farms about an hour north of toronto. two years ago, harvest changed venues to the wholearth farmstudio two hours east of toronto in hastings, ontario just north of coburg. it is a celebration of self-expression and community, and an event not to be missed.

seeing as my camera is still hosed from burning man, all of the pix i am including in this blog entry have been taken by other photographers. i will give credit to each photographer as i post the picture, however if you are the owner of the pikcha and would like for me to have it removed from my blog entry, please send me an email with your request.

my friend pat came in from london to pick my ass up in the tee dot early saturday afternoon. after packing up the car with camping gear and my mountain bike, we headed out of the big smoke around 3pm and headed east towards coburg. i love celebrating with patrick. i met him first year at university, and that guy is still there! he's finishing his final year for his phd in genetics. yah, he's a smart cookie...which is why i love partying with him. he presents such a scientist's view of thingz....he's a good balance to my dredi point of view.

we arrived in coburg and stopped to pick up booze and some food, then headed north towards hastings. my goodness, ontario sure is beautiful. autumn is just beginning and the leaves are starting to change colour. fall in ontario is simply breathtaking.

each year there is a large game of capture the flag played at harvest festival around 5:30pm. we arrived just after 5:30, so i missed the game...which is probably a good thing. last year i played capture the flag and had a blast, but after i was so tired from running (and combined with booze) that i passed out at 1:30am. i woke up at 6:30pm and began my social interaction. i was throwing a frisbee around and had so much energy people were asking me what i was on. my response was "5hours of sleep". not this year.

photograph by OTIS

we set up our camp and i got on my bike to czech out the venue. i was the only one with a bicycle this year, and i'm sure i've inspired people to bring one for next year. going from the camping area to the barn, pyramid, and party area is a pretty big trek. the bike made going back and forth so much easier. and i totally decorated my bike with flashing glow sticks and some lightning wire that i bought earlier that day. yup, you can tell i've been to burning man. hey, how else are you supposed to see me at night time? the lightning wire on my front tire only lasted so long. i lent my bike to someone, they rode it around, and brought it back with the battery pack for the lightning wire gone :(

photo by alex d

don't let my actions fool you. the shirt says so, so believe it!
photo by the watcher

the farm was set up so beautifully. such a gorgeous place to celebrate. the lighting was incredible, and it was made even more breathtaking by the extremely bright full moon. it was so bright that it created shadows! daam that sun is such a big burning ball of gas that it lights up a piece of rock so brightly that it casts shadows on us at night. and to think that our sun is small in comparison to its other cousins in our own galaxy.

photo by ektoplasm

there is something incredible about canada, and about the electronic dance community in toronto that is unmatched throughout the world. from the diversity to the freedom, it may not be perfect but no one does it better. as much as burning man was a life changing experience for me, there is nothing like dancing and celebrating with a few hundred of your friends...people who know you, who love you, who trust you. being able to be yourself without fear is a freedom so many of us take for granted. sure, i was able to radically express myself on the playa, but at least here in canada we can radically express ourselves with a joint in our hands and not be afraid of being treated like a terrorist by the authorities. there were no police at harvest, just open minded and responsible individuals celebrating together.

photograph by OTIS

i picked up these flashing glow sticks for $1.50 each in chinatown. they are about six inches long, battery operated, and have multiple light settings from solid to flashing. i brought them with me to harvest and attached them to my poi. nighttime poi without the possibility of setting myself on fire, schweet.

photo by ektoplasm

the music was as diverse as the people dancing. from techno, to psytrance, to house music, and down tempo in the morning, there was always something for everyone to enjoy. i spent most of my time in the pyramid enjoying more down tempo beats.

photos by chubbs

there was free food provided by the kind kitchen all night, including a wonderful vegan soup and corn on the cob. its like om for a night.

the light of the moon combined with a gorgeous mist created a very eerie and trippy atmosphere all night.

photo by alex d

photo by chubbs

but the highlight of the evening is always the lighting of the fire. this thing is huge! it was prefaced by some incredible fireworks. you could feel the heat emanating from the fire from far away. beautiful. it was like the burning of the man. people cheered, danced, fire spinners gracefully wielded their poi and fire staffs.

photo by chubbs

photo by alex d

it is so good to be back home. its parties like harvest that remind me how blessed we are to live in canada, and more importantly how diverse toronto is. the electronic dance community is top notch here.

we partied into the early morning, dancing together, tossing around frisbees, and enjoying all dat jah has blessed us with *puff* *puff* kudos to the alieninflux krew and promise for the best harvest yet. it may very well be my last for a while as i leave for the west coast in just over three months. thank you to everyone who made the vibe what it was. thank you to patrick for being my partner in crime. and thank you to a very special someone who continues to make me feel perfekt about myself when i am in her presence.

photo by kife

you can czech out the reviews on tribe and the om messageboard.

it seems as though i've lost a pair of poi at harvest. they are black rubber with red, white, and silver ribbon on a long silver chain. i lent them to a girl named tamara to spin with by the pyramid in the morning. i do not remember getting them back, and in my haste to leave i forgot about my poi.

i miss them. if anyone saw them, or has them, or knows someone who found them, please send me an email.

photo by the watcher

this city and this community kicks ass. i'm glad to be a part of it. i will truly miss you guys when i leave. there's nothing like riding around and having so many people yell out my name. it reminds me that they have been influenced by me as much as i have been by them, by you.

- that proud to be canadian guy