Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mini-Docs

I have had this idea rolling around in my head for awhile. Growing up as a gay man in the 1970s and 1980s one of the most important mediums that helped me find myself was homoerotic art. In the late 1970s and early 1980s there was an explosion of gay male artists creating homoerotic art for men's magazines. Sadly, a number of the artists died before their time and never received any recognition for their work, except of course for Tom of Finland who had a couple of documentaries made about him and his work. Wouldn't it be nice if these gay artists were somehow recognized for the work they did. I have been thinking a series of micro-documentaries, 1/2 hour to and hour each focused on an individual artist looking at their work and how they fit into the larger gay world would be interesting. Style wise something similar to Mark Gatiss's History of Horror for BBC. 



How to Make a Micro-Documentary

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Grey September Day

Yesterday it was grey, wet and drizzly most of the day. After our morning foray to Kensington Market Mr.T and I went for a walk down Spadina then across King Street to Yonge Street. We were looking at laptops for Mr.T and a stationary bike stand for me. Since I no longer have a gym membership and the weather is reminding us winter is coming, I need something for exercise and thought a stationary bike stand could work with my bike allowing me a little indoor exercise. Sadly, we didn't find anything but on our way back through Kensington we stopped in at Bunner's to try their new apple spiced September cupcake. 

For dinner we decided to head up Bathurst Street to Annapurra. The food there is always light and delicious. We began with some yummy pakoras then both opted for the masala dhosa, finishing off with a chocolate pie for me and a fruit crumble for Mr.T. Heading home we settled in hiding away from the cool, damp weather watching a documentary on Elaine Stritch called Shoot Me. It followed her as she performed a one woman show devoted to Sondheim's songs. It was at once touching and sweet showing her not only as a performer but also her suffering from medical problems from diabetes.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Love Em!


OctoUmbrella

Home Again!

After driving across the Great White North I returned home yesterday on a flight from Regina to Toronto. Setting out last Wednesday I drove north on highway 400 to 69 then caught the TransCanada highway 17 just south of Sudbury. For the first night I checked into a Motel 8 in Sault Ste. Marie located on 17North. 
I had stayed before with Mr.T on a previous trip. The place is located on the TransCanada making it convenient for those traveling. Two floors of rooms are located of a central hallway that runs the length of the building with the lobby at the front facing the street. It is clean, friendly and relatively cheap. 

After a short trip to explore the Sault's downtown I drove back to the motel and opted for dinner at Shogun Sushi which is located right beside the motel. Located in a stand alone building that looks like it may have been a former chain restaurant the place is unexpected. The sushi bar is located in the rear of the restaurant with a selection of tables and windows that look out unto the TransCanada highway as it runs through the Sault. The menu features a good selection of sushi and like most other sushi places there is an AYCE menu. I opted to order a bento box a la carte and found the food comparable to most low end sushi places. The service was quick and attentive making it a good option for anyone staying at the motel next door. 
Old Woman Bay

Starting out early the next morning I made my way west on 17 as it winds around Lake Superior. I stopped at Old Woman Bay to soak up the view, which is always magnificent, then for a quick lunch in White River. Because the weather was still beautiful there was lots of stopping and starting on the highway for construction. 

Dixie Lake in Northern Ontario

Arriving in Thunder Bay in the late afternoon I chose an Econolodge located on Memorial Avenue. The place is located on one of those miracle miles surrounded by endless strip plazas. Surrounded by a parking lot, it's only appeal is price and location. The place is in need of an overhaul, especially the overpowering smell of disinfectant in the hallways and rooms, which left me with a headache. I had to open the windows to try and air out the room. There is lots of shopping and chain restaurants nearby. 

For dinner I wanted something other than the deep fried, processed foods available at all the chain restaurants. I began searching for a sushi place but couldn't find it and while searching discovered a Burmese, Thai place called Salween that wasn't on Yelp. The place is located in a building surrounded by a parking lot just off the miracle mile. Although an odd layout, the restaurant shared the building with a salon, the food was delicious. After looking at the menu I asked for a shrimp curry and was delighted with the result. The service was friendly and prompt and the food delicious. Anyone heading to Thunder Bay needs to check it out. 

After dinner I decided to explore the downtown. Driving towards what I thought was the downtown area I instead found myself crossing a couple of bridges onto islands that lay just off the coast of the downtown. I could see it in the distance across a channel, but could never get there. Instead driving the islands I discovered an industrial wasteland devoted to all things rail and shipping. It was a depressing area that could feature in any horror film. Giving up I made my way back to my room for a restless night of sleep because of the overpowering smell. 


The next morning I continued north on 17 continuing through the terrain as the highway by the lake became increasingly rocky and hilly. The highway moves north the land of a thousand lakes eventually reaching the border between Ontario and Manitoba. Driving the TransCanada makes you appreciate the scale of the country as it takes two days to leave Ontario. Arriving in Winnipeg I was greeted with an intense rainstorm just as I drove through the city. I decided to avoid the ring road thinking I would find hotels and motels along the highway, I didn't until leaving the city on the Western side. There I spotted a Howard Johnson's and then a Motel 6 on the extreme Western edge of the city. In the past Motel 6's were never that comfortable but decided to take it because I was so tired from the drive. Before settling in for the night I needed something to eat and opted for a Denny's only because it was located close to the motel. 

The motel itself was an unexpected surprise, I was greeted by a young gay clerk who was a bright friendly face for a tired traveler. The motel is located in a three storey building and features an elevator, pool and jacuzzi for tired traveler bones. The rooms are small and designed in a simple, spartan European-Ikea like manner. In the lobby there are a selection of vending machines offering drinks and snacks again for tired travellers. Of all the places I stayed the Motel 6 surprised me as the best on the trip. 


The next morning driving west on highway 1 I stopped for a quick breakfast in Brandon. Looking at the options on the highway I opted for a Smitty's which was a mistake. There was little on the menu I could eat and settled for some sweet potato french fries and an orange juice, which came to $ 13.00, a ridiculous price for what was served. Continuing west I drove into Regina heading to Mr.J and Ms.R's house, finding I had arrived before them. 

As it was lunchtime I decided to have something to eat. While driving into Regina I spotted a couple of Indian places and decided to check out Da India Curry House. They offered an Indian buffet but wary of how the buffet food is made I asked for a vegan thali and the owner was happy to provide me a really delicious selection of vegan curries and roti. It was a nice meal after so many disappointing fast food meals. Driving to the airport I met Mr.J and Ms.R as the arrived on an Air Canada flight from TO. 

We spent the rest of the day cleaning up the house, getting them settled in back in their home. For dinner we drove to Sake Sushi located on Albert Street. It was an AYCE place that had orders placed from dim sum styled paper menus. You ticked off what you wanted for a selection of items. Sadly, while their sushi was not that good their tempura or cooked items were delicious. 

The next morning we explored the Museum with Bella and then had lunch at a local Chinese place that offered dim sum. Located in the downtown core the place is in the basement of a building with lots of tables. It was popular with locals offering a selection of dim sum dishes. What surprised me, as with the dinner the night before, were the prices. Food in Regina was more expensive than food in Toronto. For dinner that night we decided to eat in, having a baked trout and a homemade potato salad that was delicious. After days of restaurant food it was nice to have something homemade. 

On Monday morning Mr.J and Ms.R packed Bella off for daycare and then drove me to the airport for my trip back to TO, ending my adventure in the Great White North. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Westward Ho!

Today I begin another road trip west. I am driving Ms.R and Mr.J's car back to Regina for them across the Great Canadian North. They were going to ship the car back until I offered to drive it back for them. As everyone knows any chance to is an excuse for a road trip. I plan on traveling through Canada and, stopping first in Sault Ste.Marie, then Thunder Bay, then Winnipeg, finally arriving in Regina. I will try and update as I travel.