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Archive for May, 2005

30 May 05

toronto haircut #1

i was overdue for a haircut, so i decided to give klik’s beauty centre in york lanes a try today after work. i figured it’d be pretty handy if it worked out, much like signatures in kingston.

i made an appointment at noon and showed up about 5 minutes late for my 4:45 appointment. when i arrived at the counter, there was no one to greet me, but i heard a voice behind me asking if i needed help. i told him that i had an appointment, and he asked “for what? a shave? haircut?” yeah, no, not a shave. he insisted on taking care of me himself, although i’m not clear if i was supposed to have someone else or not – he ended up in an extensive argument with the owner about whether i should be seeing someone else or not. and really, given the choice, i would’ve preferred someone else. i’ll admit it, i’m prejudiced: given the choice between a woman in her 20s or 30s (i.e. the other 3 people in the salon) or a short middle aged italian man, i’d invariably choose any of the women. but i guess it wasn’t up to me.

the haircut began with him asking how i wore my hair. my response was “…like i have it now.” he persisted “so, up at the front then?” “…no, like i have it now.” etc. that didn’t give me a good feeling.

the haircut didn’t last long, but it contained some awkward conversation essentially about how he didn’t like the owner, and a bunch of other stuff that may as well have been in italian since the razor mercifully drowned him out. one interesting characteristic of this guy was that a couple of his fingernails were exceptionally long, and on a couple of occasions i flinched when i thought i was going to lose an eye as they came far too close for my liking.

when he finished, he asked if i wanted a rinse, and i declined, just wanting to get the hell out of there. my hair didn’t seem to look horrendous at this point (pretty much like a shorter version of how i had it when i walked in), so i figured it’d be a good time to bolt. and besides, the last thing i wanted was his long fingernails in my hair. ew. unfortunately, he took this to mean that i wanted him to style my hair, and did so by, yes, you guessed it, putting random product in my hair and pushing my bangs up at the front. when he was finished, i expressed some concern that the back of my hair was slightly shorter than i asked for since it has a tendency to stick up, and he used this as a reason to educate me on gel. “you see my hair? it wouldn’t look like this without gel. when i wake up in the morning, it stands up all over the place. but i put some gel in it (motions with his hands) and it looks like this.” sadly, looking like his hair isn’t a big selling point…and really, did he honestly think i’d never heard of hair gel before?

of course, i had a shower immediately when i got home. i’m not convinced about my haircut yet (it’s not horrendous, but it’s certainly not my favourite). if i go back to klik’s and they ask me if i have a preference, i think i’ll answer “anyone but that short italian guy”.

30 May 05

a near miss

sad that wavelength is late on sunday nights. i was looking forward to seeing presse and the robot ate me, until i discovered that presse didn’t go on until midnight. it wasn’t meant to be.

hopefully spoon goes on early next sunday…

25 May 05

it’s a chachi!

was there ever any doubt?

i mean, really. clearly a chachi.

edit: to clarify: chachi has yet to be born, thus i am not yet uncle chumptastic. ultrasounds are wonderful things.

24 May 05

2 stories, both exciting

1. we saw barry walsh of galore and cool blue halo on the subway on saturday. i suspect i’m alone in thinking this is at all noteworthy.

2. i was on my way to the convenience store at queen and ossington yesterday when, as i passed the vatikan, a particularly sad (and yes i know they’re all pretty sad) vampire shouted after me “it’s the 22nd right?” i paused and said “um, i don’t know…i think it’s the 23rd.” she didn’t accept this and said “no, it’s the 22nd. saturday was the 21st.” and then she followed me into the convenience store. she immediately asked the guy behind the counter “it’s the 22nd right?” he was clueless as to the date, but she persisted: “it’s the 22nd. saturday was the 21st and today is sunday.” at this point i had no choice but to say “…but today is monday.” long pause. then she said “why didn’t SOMEBODY TELL ME? i must’ve slept through it.” she continued to rant at the convenience store guy (as though he exhibited some kind of temporal control) as i paid and ran off. in summary, i’m sad that sad vampire missed her sad vatikan vampire show.

24 May 05


note to the ttc: 1 shuttle from downsview station to york university every 15 minutes is not enough. i don’t really enjoy being crammed into the bus like a sardine, with men with coffee+cigarette breath breathing on me. oh, and the girl who almost fell out the door today when the bus turned probably agrees with me.

22 May 05

the decemberists were meant for the stage

my first impression when i walked into the phoenix last night for the decemberists show was “oh great, it’s another opera house”. the place was pretty jammed (as expected, since the show had to be moved to a larger venue, and then subsequently sold IT out), and superficially does sort of resemble the shitty opera house, in that it’s a large room with a balcony and a raised stage. thankfully, the floor was much more forgiving, and we actually found a spot from which both of us could see quite well. gold star for the phoenix.
throughout the show itself, i kept mentally comparing it with the hot hot heat show i caught a couple weeks ago at the koolhaus (and, due to lack of blog, i never wrote about). here’s a quick comparison:

decemberists hot hot heat
were geeky and endearing without any pretension were far too wrapped up in their self image to be too endearing. steve bays still has some of the enthusiasm he offered when i first saw them at the scherzo a couple years ago, but the rest of the band really offered nothing.
seemed to genuinely enjoy each others company, laughing and joking between songs, and generally interacting with one another might as well have been performing at different venues
played much of their latest album, picaresque, and mixed in a number of oldies, including july, july!, legionnaire’s lament, the chimbley sweep, i dreamed i was an architect, and others, as well as covering a moz song played much of their latest album, elevator, and mixed in a number of songs from make up the breakdown and one (le le low) from their self-titled ep
included a wide mix of instruments, including several guitars (electric and acoustic), drums, a stand up bass, a mandolin, keyboards, accordion, a melodica, a xylophone, tambourines, and others i’ve probably forgotten somehow managed to convert most of the songs’ keyboard parts so they could be played with one hand, effectively removing keys as their main instrument
asked for audience participation during the mariner’s revenge song, during which everyone was asked to scream as though they were being eaten by a whale when the top secret signal was given had an audience who randomly screamed at times like the 15 year olds they were.
had possibly the best sound quality of any show i’ve seen this year. each instrument was audible and just right in the mix – a real rarity of late blew us away with a wall of sound. i wasn’t able to discern one instrument from another, and felt like i was going to be knocked down by the volume
played a 19+ show, thus we weren’t surrounded by my first concert‘s played an all ages show that made me want to die
had an audience member who was a self-proclaimed decemberists expert, who could tell you everything about the other two times he saw them (including encore choices) and felt obliged to share his fandom with everyone by singing loudly, at times drowning out colin meloy. oh, and he “air guitared” during an accordion solo. no joke. had a thousand audience members with whom, quite frankly, i can’t believe i have ANY musical taste in common
played for about an hour and a quarter, which meant we were home by 9 (!) they announced they would be rushing off to catch M.I.A. and LCD soundsystem at another venue. played for about an hour and a quarter, which was a drastic improvement over the 45 minute set i experienced the last two times i saw them
cost me $15 cost me $22ish

summary: i loved the decemberists show a lot, and am happy i finally caught them live. the fans were appreciative and, with the exception of mr. expert (see above) they were fun. the hot hot heat show, meanwhile, was NOT worth the money. they weren’t horrible but didn’t wow me, and the crowd didn’t help.

19 May 05

quick recap of the last three weeks

since i’ve moved to toronto, i’ve done the following:

1. started a new job

  • it can be summarized by stating that the group i work for handles any and all computer questions from any administrative person at the university. there is a lot of hand holding, and it’s 99% onsite. probably not the most sustainable business model…

2. travelled back to kingston twice, to peterborough once, and to trenton once

  • yes, that’s a lot of travelling for a time span under two weeks.
  • thankfully, i’ve officially finished moving, and have even unpacked some stuff….

3. saw joel plaskett in fine form

  • joel plaskett loves hugh’s room, and now, so do i. it’s tough to beat a nice dinner followed by a few hours of good music.
  • he played a 2+ acoustic hour set that included LOTS of old and new…plus 2 encores totalling 6 songs? maybe more…
  • pete elkas opened and he’s spiced up his normal set with some new songs and new arrangements, most notably with pedals. loops are good.

  • matt barber also played a short opening set. nothing too special. pleasant, but forgettable. he’s much better with the union dues, in my opinion.
  • i can’t imagine a better start to my new life in toronto.

4. saw amy millan + jon rae and the river + the most serene republic

  • i like any show at which i’m standing next to gentleman reg and kevin drew from broken social scene.
  • the most serene republic definitely have some good songs, and i’d like to see them again sometime. their stage presence, however, needs work. for example: the keyboardist’s “rocking out” consisted of head bobbing with his tongue sticking out. awkward, but they were good.
  • jon rae lulled me to near sleep. yawn.
  • amy millan finished the job with a very mellow set. she told us up front that she intended to put us to bed, and she wasn’t kidding. the songs weren’t bad, but i think i’d have appreciated them more if i wasn’t ready to keel over.

5. saw enron: the smartest guys in the room. if you like documentaries, this one’s a good one.

and likely lots more. who can remember past yesterday though, really?

upcoming: decemberists this weekend, spoon in early june, broken social scene + stars + metric + others at bluesfest in ottawa and the wolf island music fest with the constantines + apostle of hustle + cuff the duke in kingston. fantastic.

18 May 05

slight aesthetic improvement

so, i’ve been in toronto for a few weeks now, and the first thing i’d like to point out is the slight improvement in the view from my balcony. don’t believe me?



not bad.

edit and who can forget these glorious views?

yep, not missing that.

18 May 05


holy crap, chumptastic is back!

be prepared for some waaaaaaaaaaay overdue updates.

02 May 05

i’ve moved!

well, i’ve officially bitten the bullet and moved to toronto. today was my first day working at a job outside of queen’s in the past 9 years, so there are bound to be some adjustments.

you may also notice that chumptastic is a bit crippled right now. the reason for this is that i left the “real” chumptastic behind, and i’ve just grabbed a backup of the server temporarily. thus, no comments (and probably not too many posts) for the next week or so. you can expect a flurry of posts afterwards, i’m sure.

and that is all for now.

Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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