braking teeth

come on ride the train
Saturday 5 September 2009, 09:55
Filed under: edmonton, news

Recent: West LRT Expansion Information Sessions are now scheduled for this month, and public hearing in November. Not sure if I will attend but I will at least read the summaries after the fact.

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I posted a comment on this article but I have a feeling it won’t make it past CBC moderation.

New LRT routes raise concerns

“When are Edmontonians going to pull their collectives thumbs out of their arses?

Apparently now.

The decision to close the municipal airport finally went through thus potentially releasing the choke hold on our downtown skyline. It’s an exciting time. Now we’re talking about reducing single occupant vehicle traffic in areas that are ineffeciently covered by transit and the very people who would most benefit from it are saying, “not in my neighborhood”

Then where?

Being a young person in this city is so damn frustrating but I genuinely love it and refuse to join my peers in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, you name it. These transit plans might be a breaking point.

As a life long resident of the west end and recent downtown dweller I live or have lived and work on all of the major arteries proposed for West LRT service. I say it’s about time. It’s the best time! Yeah, it’s going to bite for a while (let’s face it, a long time) but it will all be worth it when I can LRT to my mom’s in Meadowlark, pick her up for a Punjabi dinner date in Millwoods, then hotrail it back downtown to catch an art show and a dance party at the ARTery. All of that without once having to endure some GASSHOLE badly maneuvering an SUV because it makes them feel safer on the way to Starbucks.

Get out of your car, talk a walk[dang!], ride a bicycle, get on the train, look your neighbours in the eye. It’s possible.

And my god, stop complaining about construction. It is a reality of living in a city rather than a backwater town on steroids.”


the london cure
Thursday 3 September 2009, 17:43
Filed under: absorb, bike, edmonton, job, lists, shows

Started this one nearly three weeks ago.

Cassie said something to the effect of, “When I told people I was going to Edmonton no one knew what I was talking about. I almost don’t want anyone to find out because that would ruin it. I could live here.”

There you have it. Edmonton is the London cure.

Things have been happening. In no particular order:

1. It has been what some would consider oppressively hot for the last few days. If you say so people. I’m still wearing two layers under flannel and breaking in two new pairs of skinny jeans (from goodwill!). The heat hasn’t really hit me.

My office mate is a (lovely) middle aged lady with a heart condition. She had to leave before lunch because the heat had totally drained her. Now we have a new over sized air conditioning unit in the office. I hate it. Everything I listen to needs more volume thus costing me valuable dicking around discretion points plus it all sounds like lo-fi while accompanied by this new humidity sucking hum. That’s alright.

If you have a desk job and know of a good moisturizing nasal spray, please recommend it to me.

2. BRAIDS (fma the Neighbourhood Council) played at a ‘secret’ house venue called Castle Awesome two weekends ago. Ace. They easily defended their title as my favourite unheard of Canadian band, not that any one was challenging it. Maybe Colourbook if they tried. BRAIDS didn’t play a single track from their first release. I wasn’t disappointed.

A CJSR host, probably Aaron Levin, said there were 150 kids at that show. Many of them were crammed under a low ceiling in a what was effectively a sauna yet they were remarkably reverent of BRAIDS performance.

People keep saying, “the singer is obviously influenced by Bjork.” I was defensive. Who isn’t? Just because a girl uses her natural voice, pushing it to its ragged edges rather than trying maintain some level of pretty composure doesn’t mean she’s imitating Bjork. I am a huge Bjork fan but I think Raphaela is legitimately doing her own thing.

Ok, it’s a fair comparison but it just feels too obvious to bother mentioning- like all dude harmonies default to a Beach Boys influence. Right Doug? If I truly enjoy something I become oblivious to its predecessors. When Shamira pointed out the glaring similarity between Rural Alberta Advantage and Neutral Milk Hotel I was both incredulous and dismissive.

Check out the BRAIDS blog.

3. We are playing more nerd games, more frequently. Shamira was shuffling a deck and actually said, “Hey, is there an expansion pack in this? It feels thicker”

4. Still decompressing from the awful realization of #3

5. Keep forgetting to post pictures from the Steel Wheels show. I will do it soon.

6. The study is finally in use. Shamira got a 24″ iMac last week and an interesting glass desk to suspend the iMac’s beauty. I’m trying my best not to leer at it.

7. Caylie is heading off to the far reaches of the continent again. Safe travels cdg.

8. bikes bikes bikes

9. My boss asked me to leave the office for a few minutes yesterday so he could talk with Carolyne. That meant someone(s) was about to be fired. Taking advantage of their misfortune and our waning sales, I took a few bikes for a spin upstairs.


I want a new bike but not badly enough to buy one. The new rides gave me plenty of overhaul ideas for my own fall/winter projects. Here’s what I tried: Norco SixTwo, Giant Bowery ’72, Devinci Tosca, and a Norco Ryde.

The Bowery didn’t really impress me. The SixTwo felt like a guilty pleasure. The Ryde was god-awful – no dirt/street riding in my near future. The Tosca was the only one that really piqued my interest. It felt perfect. Maybe I will reward myself with a new cyclo-cross bike in a couple of years when I can really appreciate it.

10. For now I will stick to not messing up my $10 headset. Note: don’t throw away parts of your steering mechanism just because your friend says it will be more smooth. Just don’t.

shamira’s got wood for your sheep
Wednesday 22 July 2009, 18:13
Filed under: eats, edmonton

Edmonton is growing on me with each 3-day weekend. It’s not that I hate this city, not even remotely, but it feels like eons since I was last on tour. Working only four days a week, biking as much as possible, and summering in a region that stays sunny until 11 pm is almost as exciting as being crammed into a sweaty van right?

As for the missing days,

this past SATURDAY afternoon We woke way later than planned before heading out to ‘EATery at the ARTery‘. Supposedly they have re-dubbed the group ‘EAT at the ARTery’. Personally I prefer the former name but who am I? We got to the venue (I call it a venue because I have performed and attended many shows at the ARTery but it is a multi-use space that puts on wicked art & cultural events of all sorts) at about 1:30, halfway through the allotted feeding time. The vibe felt like most of the crowd had already came, ate, and ran. According to Sarah P, one of my favourite CIRCLES DJs mentioned previously, guests were lining up at 11:30 – half an hour before doors – to claim a plate of Julianna’s cooking.

Julianna Mimande used to run one of my favorite local spots called B A C O N (photos of it’s radness here). Sadly BACON and it’s neighbour, my favourite edmo vintage shop, closed last fall. BACON has been replaced with a second Culina location, Culina Highlands, which I have to admit is a more than acceptable substitute but nowhere near as renegade style in menu or decor. Now that Julianna’s talent is available at the ARTery the lingering tragedy is that many people never experienced BACON. It wasn’t your time BACON. Too soon.


What? EATery. Yes. Weekly. $10. Different every 7 days.

On the 17th Julianna and Sarah were offerering Goat cheese & asparagus strata with new potato hash (with or without bacon), Capuccino Ice Cream sandwiches and lemon, tarragon & gin slushies.

Excellent! However, next time I plan to show up when the doors open because the meal was a bit less hot than I like (I didn’t say cold!) and I have a feeling that my late arrival caused me to miss running into psuedopeeps (acquaintances?) that I would anticipate seeing at the ARTery.

My mom called right as I was finishing my meal to take my AVON order. Yep. My mom is now selling AVON which I completely support. Many of their products are seriously lame or worse, not so environmentally friendly, but if AVON will keep my mom from having to find a third job then I am all for it. A 59 year old woman who has worked hard all of her life shouldn’t be forced to work even harder as she nears ‘retirement’ age. I’m really glad my mom doesn’t use the internet.

SATURDAY night Dance, I like the way the you move… pretty baby. Not quite. We were supposed to attend Christopher Bradley Bruce’s birthday binge at the Empress but decided against leaving the house. It would have been the folders’ first cross river trek, but the sky looked and smelled deadly. The biggest solid cloud I have ever seen was slowly hovering over downtown. Being just old enough to be scared on Black Friday has learned me real good not to mess with Edmonton’s summer storms.

In lieu of Whyte Ave drunkenness we gathered Marshall, Jamie and Megan to finally play Settlers of Catan. Yep. I am now one of those people. In our defense:

1. We don’t own it, or didn’t at the time

2. I could’ve gotten into the German board game craze three years ago when ‘gamer’-est group of friends were raving but decided to hold off as long as possible

3. #2 actually makes me sound like a douchebag

What did I learn?

1.  I’m way too competitive

2. I will sulk if I am losing

3. Marshall and Jamie are really cute

4. Being engrossed in good board game can totally blind a person to their surroundings i.e. the worst Edmonton storm in 20 years, trees splitting, power outages, and having to play by kerosene lamp and candlelight were all blips on my radar

SUNDAY Shamira and I were so caught up in Catan that we became obsessed with tracking down a release in the series that was playable for two. After several stops at typically closing or closed “well, it’s Edmonton on a Sunday” stores, Shamira suggested popping into Chapters. We found Catan the card game! I think we have played three or four games in five days.

Sulking when performing poorly will be my undoing.

you can’t dance like that to klezmer
Friday 10 July 2009, 16:49
Filed under: bike, edmonton, kitties, lists

…And so continues my total lack of effort in choosing an entry title.

This is what happens with blogs and journals. I am too busy living to comment on life.

July 1st, Canada Day, was P2P aka Captain Apollo’s maiden voyage. Associated words would include:

Ismaili pancake breakfast, Leila, Emily, Shamira, $10 VV boombox strapped to seat post, Bike Month, B-list of priorities (batteries beef booze), klezmer tape, samosas, itty bits, gross, waxy, riverside tall cans, klezmer tape, cat pics with cringe causing captions, shitty weather tea, Megan Heather!, spiced rum & coke water bottles, Marshall & Jamie, claustrophobic pre-firework streets, dusk bushwhacking downhill, victoria golf course, fireworks, proposal