Once upon a time...

Last month, I was hedging about just doing these little podcasts occasionally, and now here I am with a message from libsyn saying I've exceeded my monthly space limit! So it's pretty academic there'll be no podcast this week. I still have material from the CBC End the Lockout rally and now last night's final 6 Ross party (more on that later) burning a hole in my iRiver. Oh, well. Newbies have to learn to pace themselves...uh, and maybe shut up a little more? Yeah, working on that.

Turns out a tiny piece of that End the Lockout recording is up somewhere else, though. The following night, I was honoured to attend a meetup (my first "meetup"! Cool.) Tod Maffin had put together at a local restaurant not far from the CBC Broadcast Centre. It was great to speak in more detail with Tod and a wonderful group of geeks, locked-out CBCers and supporters. During the night, Tod noted that he'd like to get his hands on the rally's eloquent speech by the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark (long-time Progressive Conservative leader and Prime Minister for a cup of coffee starting in 1979) so he could transcribe it. Remembering I'd recorded it, I got to my iRiver when I got home and listened for it. Since I'd been in the right balcony, the levels were all over the place, so I did some very quick and very dirty amplifications on Audacity so he'd get the words, then I fired it off to him. Just found out this morning he's put the track on his space and it inspired a Saturday post on CBCUnplugged with props to me! Wicked! The messy amps are still intact, which is kinda cringe-y, but the message is intact as well, and that's what's important.

So there I was in Description 02 talking about Tod and how he and other CBC people have utilised podcasting and blogging in new and historic ways, and now I find myself playing a tiny part in it. Such is the fairytale nature of this podcasting thing.


Description 05 - Monte-freakin'-forte!

We're living in a powderkeg and giving off sparks as we go to the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern for a rare performance by Monteforte, who inspire everyone (especially men) to dance like they're still in Grade 8. Also, watching the CFL, a plea for groin-rubbing, and somebody's hair kicking somebody else's hair's ass.

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Associated links:
The Horseshoe Tavern
Canadian Football League
Tim Mech's PeepShow (the band Ron Koop's in)
Jennifer Foster

We should be able to get away with all this music being lavishly un-podsafe, since I talk over some of it (though you can't understand most of what I'm saying) and the recording quality is what you'd figure from a person moving all around a club and dancing with a iRiver and Griffin mic clipped to her little purse. But really, MF is not really about the quality of the music as it is...uh, showmanship, and...er...passion...oh, and an excuse to get drunk. So you pretty much get that here.

I wish I'd been able to say more about the 'shoe. Behind the back bar (where I ended up in the first segment) is a collection of hundreds of bumper and band stickers, as well as a little Elvis shrine. Above the checkerboard dancefloor (which was full most of the night) is a recreation of a massive poster for the film Bye Bye Birdie. Probably thousands of people have an image of Ann-Margaret spinning in their heads from glancing up at that ceiling. Not a bad thing.

So what was in the second MF set? Sweet Caroline, Lick It Up, Gypsies Tramps and Thieves, Fame, and it just goes on and on. And to settle the discussion in the restroom, they played THREE Bon Jovi songs, which is one above the municipal limit.


A podcast I hope you never hear

(contains coarse language)

Last night, I was at Massey Hall for a big rally calling for the end of the 6-week-long lockout of 5500 CBC employees. I took the iRiver and filled it up with sound - to the point that when I finally met the guy who first told me about podcasting, Tod Maffin, there was no room on the iRiver for him! - but you may not hear it for a while. With any luck, you'll never hear it, because I may not make a podcast of it if this thing gets settled by the time I get around to it. I already have a show to edit together before that, so maybe... But I wanted to at least mention the event now while it's still relevant.

I'll be noting this on a podcast sooner or later, but the CBC had a lot to do with why I'm a Canadian today. I grew up just across Lake Erie and got some of their radio and TV. It completely sucked me in. The CBC taught me enough about Canada that made me feel comfortable, and inspired me to actually come up here and learn that I do in fact belong. As a public broadcaster, it was started to reach people in a ridiculously spread-out geographical area and make them feel that they belong to a country called Canada, a country that is unlike any other. After 70 years and the technological advances that have ensued, I believe the CBC still has that role. Others, people who have lost focus or have their heads up their ass or who really deep-down wish they were American (ooo, don't get me started...), think the CBC is now an anachronism. Some of those people may even be running the place. And they (the CBC as a body) all find themselves where they are now, ever-so-gently killing themselves by draining themselves of blood they don't think they need. People who commit suicide often don't think of everyone they'll affect by their death. The rally was basically a ton of potential mourners saying QUIT FUCKING KILLING YOURSELF!

I saw and heard lots of amazing stuff last night: the often-reclusive author Alice Munro getting her dander up, Don Ferguson doing his classic Brian Mulroney impression, Dr John Polanyi comparing these times to the trial of Socrates (while being much more entertaining than that sounds), George Stroumboulopoulos growing in a beard like he'll be joining the Deftones any day, Federal NDP leader Jack Layton teaching me (directly to me!) about Massey Hall's long history as a venue for union events, Peter Mansbridge and Shelagh Rogers (the CBC's king and queen, the latter of whom has been podcasting across the country) with their arms around each other. It was fucking wicked.

So I must ask you to check out CBCUnplugged (Tod's site about this stuff, which kind of started it all), Shelagh's Caravan (a fellow blogspot site), CMG Locked Out Live (with streaming video) and CBC Unlocked (locked-out journalists keep doing the news) and myriad lockout blogs to see how the new technology has helped people to continue, against all odds, to make Canadians everywhere feel that they still belong.

Oh, and I remembered there's a Lush nearby in the Eaton Centre, so I finished that errand from Description 04. Good times all 'round.


Description 04 - Everybody's Famous

Scenes from the Toronto International Film Festival, which may or may not include big stars, screaming girls with varying motivations, a parade of singing Christians and errands that don't get done. And why would it matter? I also stop by the CNE midway for more joyful noise.

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Associated links:
Toronto International Film Festival (official site)
The TIFF Group (who do good stuff all year long)
Toronto Star's TIFF blog
Lush Canada - Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Canadian National Exhibition

I'm trying to make the shows shorter, so here's something that didn't make the cut on this episode. After the stuff that's in the soundseeing tour in Yorkville, I walked toward home past the Hotel InterContinental, another hotel with a great deal of film festival action (junkets and the like). I decided to take a shortcut around the side past the SkyLounge, a courtyard with a balcony and nice greenery. People and cameras were scattered about as casual interviews were going on. I was the only one on the other side of the low fence, pretending to talk on my cellphone as the iRiver was running, so I didn't want to spend much time there gawking.

In my glancing, I noticed David Boreanaz ("Angel," though he's in a new series and was promoting the film These Girls), but no one else in particular. There was this one guy, though, sitting at a table, looking toward me. I had a hard time not staring, first because he was a striking-looking guy, and second because he looked like Cillian Murphy, best-known perhaps for Red Eye, Batman Returns and 28 Days Later, but whom I know best for playing Scarlett Johansen's boytoy in Girl With a Pearl Earring, a film we described at work (a friend helped me get the pronunciation of his name at the time). But for all the trivial who's-in-town chatter I'd heard during the fest, I hadn't heard that Cillian Murphy had a film in it, so I concluded he was simply a guy who just looked like him. Back and forth I paced, jabbering into my phone and my iRiver, glancing around and describing as best I could, and my eyes kept going back to this guy, whose piercing eyes would then meet mine, and cause me to glance away again. Eventually I walked off and to home, searching my vast knowledge for a Cillian Murphy film that would be here, and finding nothing. Oh well, but man, that guy looked like Cillian Murphy. Maybe I'd see him around town some other time, and that would be cool, because he was pretty hot and he'd been looking at me.

The next night on Rogers Televsion, I saw the red carpet coverage of a new Irish film starring Liam Neeson.

And there was Cillian Murphy.


Description 03 - Niagara

Off I go to Niagara Falls to meet the parents almost halfway. We smuggle the iRiver into the Fallsview Casino and find a great place there you can enjoy for free. And ever wonder why the falls haven't been worn all the way down by erosion? Dad has some little-known facts...

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Associated links:
Niagara Fallsview Casino
Niagara Falls Tourism
Niagara River Water Diversion (if you're like my Dad and watch lots of the Discovery Channel)

I take no responsibility for what I write on the rest of this post, because I happen to be at the cafe where I started, and they're playing Hilary Duff's Most Wanted. Is it just me, or is her face starting to look like Kylie Minogue's?

Btw, no music on this episode, unless you count the background tunes in the casino and in the park: Turtles, Frankie Valli, Seals & Crofts, Bryan Adams, and of course Chris DeBurgh. Even without the music, the show is still getting longer - a trend I'll try to stem. (Shutting up might be a thought...) Also, I'm still working on remembering to turn down the recording volume so I'm not so bloody loud.

I'm not saying much here about Hurricane Katrina because a) the podcasts aren't especially time-specific, b) I don't think anyone's visiting this blog yet and c) there are a tons of other blogs, podcasts and sites doing a remarkable job. I did my thing at the Canadian Red Cross site a few days ago, then just learned my beautiful hosts at libsyn are offering free basic service for a year for anyone who puts up a $50 donation! Oh, well. I probably would've felt wierd doing that anyway, getting something in return. But good for those guys for such a great idea. I think the best site to start with - whether you're deciding where to donate, have something more to donate than cash (volunteer time, geek stuff, etc.), or you're looking for people - is the Katrina Help Wiki. And for some good old-fashioned venting, dig the Rabbit Blog, where that girl is kicking some ass what needs kicking.

The country I come from isn't looking very good at the moment. But this is another chance for the vast majority of good, well-meaning, humane Americans to rise up against the ones who set everybody up for this with painful short-sightedness at best, and...I shudder to think...at worst.

Okay, now they're starting to play Lindsay Lohan. I better get out of here.