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events

Storytelling in the Spotlight

A couple nights ago, I took to the stage at Raconteurs, a live storytelling/spoken word event here in Toronto. Many of you will remember when I performed at Spark London in the UK two or three times. Since then, I developed a taste for live storytelling, probably because it feeds into my need to be a ham, and talk about myself. Womp womp.

Last month, I performed at The Moth in New York City. That experience was probably the most exhilaration storytelling event of my life. There was easily 400 people in the crowd, and the massive standing-O and cheerful roar of applause after I was done was so galvanizing and fulfilling. They’re sending me the video footage of that night, and soon Raconteurs will upload the footage of my story to their YouTube. so stay tuned, munchkins. I hope to do Spark London, The Moth, and Raconteurs again. I listen to all of their podcasts, and am glad to be featured on there too!

Live storytelling feels like an obvious step in my evolution. I double-majored Theatre and Creative Writing for my undergraduate degree. Live storytelling combines them both, you get the performative aspects and the audience pay-off, but also you get to employ the nuances of language and creative non-fiction. I can pretend I’m one of those actor-writer types like Ethan Hawke (who has also performed at The Moth, fyi).

Expect to see more of me on the storytelling stage, my dudes. Dudebros. Brojangles.

Okay I’ll stop now.

Photography by 1nspireinc


#NilsFrahm live in Toronto: A fangirl review


My beloved Berlin pianist Nils Frahm played a sold-out show in Toronto a few days ago, and I was lucky enough not only to grab a ticket, but after the first song Says, he invited us to sit on the stage with him, so I was literally sitting at his feet as he played, a mere metre away. This is the fifth time I’ve seen him live in just over a year, previously I’d seen him in Cologne, twice in Copenhagen, and also Berlin. When you watch him live, you become entranced by his fingers and his arm muscles which seem to be moving faster than your eyes or your camera lens can see. Notice in the pic above how my camera can’t even keep up with his hands. He plays three pianos at once and pulls this amazing orgasm face when he gets really into it.

You heard me.

Anyway, after the show, I told him it was my fifth time seeing him, and he was like, whaaaaaaaaaaaat? I told him I even saw him in that play he did in Copenhagen earlier this year. And he was like, you’re here now? I said I just returned a month ago, and he was like, you never said hello after the other shows! He was delightful and I was a total fan girl. He’s adorbs and I want to fold him up and take him with me everywhere in my pocket…. or something.

Anyway, enjoy my pics from the show. I WAS SO CLOSE, YOU GUYS.


The toilet brushes were the best part.


Nuit Blanche Brussels: If you undress me, I’ll undress you

In the past I have frequented Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, so I knew that the event in Brussels would encompass performance art, light installations, concerts, film, and a mash of everything in between. The entire city was alive with ideas and provocative thoughts from 8pm until 5am. As I ran around all night in the rainy, haunted, winding streets of Brussels, I couldn’t have been giddier. I love Brussels so much. It is the city that saved me, and suffused me.

This poetic light installation was in Place Des Martyrs.

Always take the stairs.

If you undress me, I’ll undress you.

The body as a pendulum.

Homoeroticisms projected onto Place de  la Monnaie.

Inside the beautiful Bourse, which has been empty for many years because of the expanding Stock Exchange, they projected 14 moving images (and when I say moving, I mean emotive and literally moving in slow mo) of a modern day crucifixion with a live quintet playing an aria called 14 Emotions.

I stumbled home sometime around 2am, after having taken the nightbus (which was free for Nuit Blanchers), and as the bus wound through the streets, I just kept repeating to myself, “I love this fucking town. I love it so much.”


Berlin light, colour, and stone

 

Otto Piene. RIP.

David and I went to the vernissage at the Neue Nationalgalerie and were blown away. It was thrilling. What a loss to the art world.

Nil Frahm playing on his custom made Una Corda piano at the Michelberger Hotel courtyard.

And then this happened, and we all collectively lost our shit.

Potsdam.

This guy is on his cell phone?

Tom and his doggie Rocky.

This is called Brandenburger Tor as well… smaller but just as swell.

SOMEONE BREAK THE GLASS AND LET ME IN. This was on Schoenhauser Allee.

This is my pornography.

This is the Bendlerblock courtyard where Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was assassinated by the Gestapo after his plot to kill Hitler failed on July 20, 1944.

The 70th anniversary just passed.

You did not bear the shame.
You resisted.
You bestowed the eternally vigilant symbol of change
by sacrificing your impassioned lives for freedom, justice and honor.

The spot where he was shot.

The Berliner Dom. It had just rained, so the platz was deserted. I sat on the steps of the church, pulled out my journal, and wrote. I had the entire Dom to myself… and, it seemed, the entire city.

 

The platz in front of the university.

This is the spot where the 1933 Nazi student book-burning took place. The plaque talks of all the kinds of writers whose works are lost, and then there’s a Heinrich Heine quote from 1820, which says, “This is only prologue: where they burn books, in the end they will also burn people.”

I photographed this 8 years ago too.

But what never seems to develop properly in photography is the empty library. Next to this plaque, in the ground, there is a window. When you look down through it, you see underground, empty bookshelf after empty bookshelf.

 

This church was bombed out during WWII and after the war they decided not to rebuilt it as a memento to the horrors of war. I photographed this 8 years ago when it didn’t have all that cubism shit all over it.

Berlin-henge.


Mannschaft

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Berlin is so hungover.

What a great night, and what a great time to be in Germany. Last night the Brandenburg Gate exploded in cheers, fireworks, chants, spotlights, and an outpouring of joy. The night sky burned brighter than the day.

How often does a gal get to be in Germany when Germany wins the World Cup? An epic experience indeed. Last night I was a witness to history.

Berlin is a place that, beyond all reason and dark history, resurrects one’s soul.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the sun is shining, and the city awaits this little Canadian lass.


#48hNK: scenes from the 48 Stunden Neukölln Arts Fest in Berlin

The 48 hour Neukölln arts fest is very much like Nuit Blanche in Toronto, except it lasts for 48 hours, and it’s not in the freezing cold. Berlin has always been known for its arts scene, and for welcoming artists from all across Europe into their embrace, so this was a perfect way to induct me into the wonderful German hipster dudebro artistic experience.

Obvi, I adored it.

I got drunk on it.

I ate that shit up.

First we found these artists who gave us a tutorial on how to make street art stencils. Of course, I plopped down to make a masterpiece. *cough*

x-acto, baby.

 

“Courage is…”

This was a guerilla poetry space, where thousands of newspaper headlines were chopped up for us, and we got to fashion poetry… like one would fashion an anonymous ransom note! Or like refrigerator magnet poetry. Or like found poetry.

And so on.


This was ours. “I think to be seduced is the right solution.”


This was someone elses. The wall behind it said “Courage is…” so this poem finishes the sentence with “…unlikely to result in vaginal dryness.”

I’ll get my coat.


Courage is… “What was going on in the East German sky without us.”


Chris, there’s a giant frog with a cell phone growing out of your back.


Then this tenor emerged from his balcony and sang Nessun Dorma to all of us down below. It was the crowning moment of the fest, for me.

There were 1000 origami cranes. There was a pillow fort where we affixed our adult dreams to. There were shopping carts woven into a circle. There were art-convenience-stores. There were angel-birds. There was sunshine. There was FIFA. There was dancing and music.

There was Berlin.

**Unless bearing my watermark, all pics are copyright Moneim Eltohami.


Leaving Las London

In two days, on May 1st, I am leaving London permanently. I’ve been living here on-and-off for the past seven years, and it’s finally time to move on. I will spend a couple days in my old stompin’ grounds of Brussels (SO EXCITED) and Amsterdam (ZOMG), and then will spend about a month in Copenhagen before settling in Berlin in June. This route is almost the EXACT same route I took in 2006 when I was backpacking around Europe (I’m skipping Luxembourg… because, ew).

Anyway, I’ve had quite the journey here in London in the last year, and here are my greatest hits! These are experiences that I couldn’t have had anywhere else in the world. They are unique to London, are very London-centric, and I am all the more richer for having been a part of them:

#1 Obviously, being cast in a TV show

I beat out over 14,000 other applicants from across the UK to appear in the massively-popular documentary series First Dates on Channel 4. I was featured in the premiere episode which millions of people tuned in to see, and was also in the commercial advert for the show:

Read my blog post about my experience here!

But here’s something I haven’t really talked about on here… I was cast in a movie too. I can’t give you any details, but here’s a jolly photograph of me in full costume.

I had to sit in the makeup chair every day for an hour. That’s not a wig, it’s my hair. They curled it, teased it, sprayed it and pinned it, and then had to stitch that hat to my hair. Also, I had to be sewn into that dress. 16th century MADNESS.

When it comes out next year, I’ll let you know.

#2 Getting to climb atop the O2 Arena for free and singing Christmas carols with an entire choir at the summit!

Normally, the “Up at the O2” climb is a pretty expensive adventure activity, but I was asked to do it by the organizers of a social media website, so I got to climb to the summit for free!  And the view of London from up there was spectacular! I felt like I was had literally just climbed on top of the world. I had to look down to see heaven. Read my blog post about that experience here!

#3 Speaking at the inaugural Best of Spark London live-storytelling event


(Up on stage at Spark London! I’m 3rd from the right.)

I was invited by the organizers of Spark London, a weekly event here in London where people tell true stories live in front of an audience, to speak at their very first Best of Spark London event! It was a huge honour and I was so glad to take part! You can listen to my story on their podcast of the night here. I’m the first speaker in the podcast, so you don’t have to scroll through the audio to find me! You can read my blog post about that event here.

#4 Seeing the London Symphony Orchestra perform live at Royal Albert Hall on New Years!

The Artist Live in Concert at Royal Albert Hall, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra from christine estima on Vimeo.

I won a contest (huzzah!), and was treated to tickets to see the amazing London Symphony Orchestra in concert as they performed the soundtrack to The Artist live as the film played in the background at the sumptuously-ornate institution of the Royal Albert Hall. Oh the things I get to do for free…. That crossed off three things on my bucket list: seeing the LSO in concert, attending a performance at the RAH, and doing something spectacular in London for New Years! Read my blog post about that incomparable experience here.

#5 Participating in the Inside/Out Project at Somerset House, and meeting street-art-superstar JR!

As you all know by now, street art is MY JAM. I love that shit. I eat that shit up. And I’ve been photographing the work of French artist-superstar JR for years around the world with his Inside-Out Project. So when I heard it was coming to Somerset House, I had to take part! I stood in line for 2 hours to get my photo taken, and it was then pasted down on the Somerset House grounds. When I noticed JR just chilling nearby, I went over, and we had a lovely chat. He was totally humble and cool!

Read my blog post about that experience here!

#6 Dining at the super-secret Gingerline nomadic restaurant!

Here’s something I haven’t talked about at all on here, because Gingerline is SO SUPER SECRETIVE that they ban you from talking about it on social media for at least a month after you have attended the experience. Well, I attended the Gingerline in February, so I think I’m good to go now.

So, last year I read on Londonist.com about the Gingerline, a dining experience that is so secretive, you don’t even really know what you get for the ticket price. All I knew was that they were fully booked for months, so I bought my ticket FIVE MONTHS in advance!

Here’s how it works: You buy a ticket, not knowing where the restaurant is or what you will experience when you get there. On the night of the event around 6pm, you have to make sure you are at one of the stations on the London Overground line (the name “Gingerline” refers to the Overground, as it is coloured ginger on the tube map). At 6pm, and not a minute before, they text you the location of the event. You have exactly one hour to hop on the Overground and get to the location, as they lock the doors at 7pm!

I got there on time, and this is what I walked in to…


This basement in a non-descript empty building in the Haggerston area had been transformed into a spaceship with super-sexy-1960s flight attendants with ginger hair from the planet Gingerline!

ZOMG BRAIN-SPLOSION.

There was a huge piece of ginger root in that centre display there. APROPOS.


My table looked like a Star Trek console!


Torture chamber?


Nah, it’s where the flight attendants would inject you with ALCOHOL.


TV panels advised us of our “flight status” and ‘takeoff’ and “landing” hahahah.


They handed us our meals through the port-holes above our heads!


Here was the awesome menu!


And of course, the whole experience had to be seen through 3D glasses.


I met some awesome people there too!


This was their take on the in-flight safety manual!

LOL at “interphalangial.”


Of course we started a conga-line… which involved a lot of “slut-dropping.” If you don’t know what a “slut-drop” is … just … never you mind.


You go girl.


The artificial gravity unit was operational for me, thank fuck.


Yes, Intergalactic Ginger Mom.

Anyway, it was a great experience, and even though the tickets were £50, which is really too rich for my blood (and out of my budget, ahh!), I decided that even poor lasses like me deserve some kind of quality of life. So this was my one and only splurge for February. I can live with that, and I feel like I got my money’s worth! Highly-recommended if you love the thrill of a surprise!

So there you have it, munchkins! My wonderful life in London is coming to a close, but I know that my adventures in Copenhagen and Berlin will be just as wonderful and splendid and exciting. Because life is unpredictable . . . and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are so many reasons to love London, but life is too short to spend it all in one place.

As one last parting glance at my London home, here is a short film that I made about London’s thrilling street art and graffiti scene.

Onward ho!

Goodbye London.

I hope I never fucking see you again.


#FirstDates: That’s a wrap!


As I previously blogged, the second season of First Dates has come to an end, and the entire cast was on hand this past weekend to celebrate it in full-London style at Café de Paris in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. It was such a trip to have been cast in this television show. I found out recently that over 14,000 people applied to be on the show this year, and I was one of 50-some-odd people to make the final cast. That really is humbling. And also, a small source of pride:)

Here are some photos of me bonding with the rest of the cast from the omni-shambolic clusterfuck that was the all-night Wrap Party! In the above photo, it’s me and my harem of bearded men. Jonathan, Ralph, my date Paul, and Steve. I’m sure all of you have already seen my episode (the premiere episode, of course!), but if you want to see the rest of the series starring these lovely lads, be sure to watch them on 4oD!

Me and date Paul. You see, people? Despite what some audiences thought when they watched our date, Paul and I actually got on like gang-busters. We are great mates and we have nothing but love and high-fives for each other. I’m not gonna lie, throughout the wrap party, there may or may not have been some crotch-grabbing on our parts. YOU HEARD ME.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a party unless Paul and Steve rubbed their beards ALL UP IN MY GRILL.

Here’s Mo (who was also in the premiere episode with me) and Corinne, who was featured in 3 episodes and, memorably, was reduced to tears by the infamous Rajan. Mo is such a great guy, we had such a great time getting to know each other at the party. We’re both Middle Eastern so having this experience was important to us, to show that not all Arabs are terrorists! We can be LUVAS too, ya know. As for Corinne, there was a bit of drama at the party, which I won’t get into here, so that’s probably why in this and the below photo, she’s pulling quite odd and awkward faces.

Uh…. yeah.


Back to the party! There’s Chloe, who also was featured in the premiere episode with me. Remember her dog Bentley? Aw bless. The doggie stole the show.


And there’s Saniya. Who could ever forget her hilarious comment about Mo and, uh, spaghetti. I’m still not sure I understand it.

SNOGGING STEVE. My life is complete.

Sarah Jayne, as you’ll remember from the First Dates commercial, was looking for her Prince Charming. Jonathan, the Alan Carr doppleganger, was on the hunt for a more ‘seasoned’ lady. They were such fun at the party :)

And that’s a wrap, people! Thank you for watching and for your support! It was quite  an unforgettable experience, and it reminded me that life is always full of surprises, as long as you keep allowing them in. There is never, ever, any excuse in this life to be bored. This chapter is closed. Onto the next!

And let me tell you, from what I’ve got planned, the next chapter in my life is going to be something else.

Just you wait.


Come to the #FirstDates wrap party on 12 April at Café de Paris

First Dates

So remember when I did that lil’ documentary series called First Dates? It aired last month, and the series is still on the airwaves until April. Well, once the show goes off the air, there will be Wrap Party here in London and you are invited. It will be at Café de Paris (between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square) on 12 April, and all the info you need to get on the list and into the par-tay is on the above poster. Most of the cast (including this wee Canadian lass) will be there, so join us in toasting our horrible, horrible flirting skills.

You’ll get to see more of my winning facial expressions like this:

… and this!

(in all honesty, this above facial expression is how i feel about dating in general, hahaha!)

…and this!

There will be laughter…

…and glances…

…and if not, you’ll be at home on your laptop, wishing you join in on the par-tay.

You can get a taste of my horrible flirts in the commercial for the show, below. So come on down, London, and watch me buy things myself. See ya on the 12th.

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The Best of Spark London

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As I mentioned previously, I’ve been asked by the lovely munchkins at Spark London to tell more stories from my fucktard life at this curated event of true stories stranger than fiction.

This Monday, February 3rd! It starts at 7:30 and tickets are a mere £6.50.
Directions to the Canal Cafe Theatre can be found here
Info on Spark London can be found here.

And donations to cure my trembling nerves can be sent via PayPal. Ack!

I can use all of this as research fodder for my academic lecture this summer, right?


Calling all Feminists!

I decided to perform another spoken word piece at Spark London tonight. The theme was “fame” so I thought I’d speak about a lil’ reality TV show I once was cast in. Enjoy!

You might remember the last time I did a spoken word piece: that was much more sombre and solemn. This is more upbeat, if a tad on the “how pathetic, but I can laugh at myself” side.

Lots of people came up to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed my piece, and then the organizers of a curated spoken word event, also run by Spark London, invited me to speak at their next event! Which is so kind of them. Yay!

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In addition, I have more good news to report! I have been invited to lecture at the 5th Global Conference on Storytelling, to be held in May in Lisbon, Portugal! This is really exciting because almost all of the other lecturers invited to this event are affiliated with a university (Professors or PhD researchers). I am unaffiliated, I’m just a gal who wrote an academic paper that the organizers enjoyed. So if any of you little munchkins are planning on being in Lisbon (and you should, Lisbon in the month of May is quite delightful), please do come and watch me flex my academic vernacular as far as it can stretch.

I’m debating whether I should fly to Lisbon, or just take the train . . . or . . . ACADEMIC ROAD TRIP!

So many projects are in the works . . . fellowships, funding, publications, and some top-secret stuff that I really want to share with all of you but I’m sworn to secrecy! Can’t wait for these projects to come to fruition and I can finally talk about them! But, in the meantime, I send you fanks for all the support, my delicious munchkins.

Life is unfolding the way it should. It’s a my-future’s-so-bright-I-gotta-wear-shades type dealie. You better stand back, cuz the woman I’m going to be is something fierce.


Happy New Year

The wonderful people over at FUSAC treated me to the best New Years Eve gift I could have received: tickets to see The Artist Live in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra! I had never been to the RAH and I have always dreamed of seeing the LSO perform live, ever since I was a second-chair Viola in my high school’s symphony orchestra, so this was a thrilling delight. I have already seen The Artist, so I didn’t pay too much attention to the film. I kept staring the the Cellos (celli?) and the xylophones and the tubas and the Double Basses …. I just love watching hands in vibrato in unison. Even the way they plucked pizzicato was glorious. Above is a super short clip of them warming up (no photos allowed during the performance, naturally).

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Royal Albert Hall is a huge concert venue, with several tiers, balconies, and ornate architecture, it was a feast for the eyes. Somehow, FUSAC got me seats in the 14th row on the mezzanine floor! Best seats in the house! I looked up how much tickets were, and was shocked at the prices. I love getting sweet cultural experiences for free!

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As the orchestra took a bow, the composer of the film, who was actually there, Ludovic Bource, joined the conductor Ernst Van Tiel for an encore. It was the most memorable New Years I’ve had in years.

So 2014, eh? In a few months, this blog will be nine years old. I’m tenacious, if nothing else.

I’m not one for Resolutions or for End-of-year lists or Best-of’s. I have a lot to reflect on, but so much more to come my way.

All I’ll contribute to the reflective dialogue of the changing of the calender year is this:

Say what you will about me, but in my life, I have had every opportunity to be boring, and I never took it.

May that continue in 2014.


Video: London Street Art 2013

If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted many street art photos lately (which usually is what this blog is all about), it’s because I’ve been fiendishly working on this street art short film! I started filming this way back in September and actually had more footage than I could use, so editing this has taken some time! In addition to having a lot of technical problems trying to edit this thinger, I’ve also been busy living! So many projects on the go, it’s hard to sit still!

Anyway, this short film features the works of Banksy, Roa, Invader, Phlegm, Stik, Mobstr, C215, Paul Don Smith, Curtis Kulig, JR and the Inside Out Project, James Cochrane (Jimmy C), Alo, Fred Le Chevalier, Shok 1, and many more! Enjoy!

Speaking of things I’ve been busy with, I was invited to climb atop the huge O2 arena with the Up at the O2 experience. Basically, they harness you up, and you spend about an hour climbing atop this huge concert and sporting venue which overlooks all of central London! But this was special, they invited me to a particular Christmas-y climb where there were ukulele carol-singers atop the O2, singing Christmas standards and serving mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas crackers, and fake snow!


Here’s me in my gear, looking fucking endearing.


They wouldn’t let us take photos as we were climbing for safety reasons. But once at the top, I got snap-happy. Check out the Uke-carol-ers!


We were pretty high up.


La ville des lumieres anglais.


There were many reporters there because what we were doing was pretty newsworthy.


And this was the climb back down. AHHHH. Heights.


It was on this day, the day of the climb, that my short story was published AND I received some wonderful news that I’m not at liberty to speak about now, but perhaps in the New Year I will. I’ve gone into a few meetings for this project, and I hope good things will come to fruition. When I know more, so will you!

In the meantime, enjoy this gorgeous Harvey Milk quote I typed up on my gorgeous typewriter.

It says,

Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado.

“There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do.

“Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.”

 


Why I’m not in Germany anymore…

After my last post where I mentioned being homeless and a waif, I got quite a few private messages from you, my munchkins. It’s been about four months now, and I haven’t really talked about why I’m not in Germany anymore. In fact, most of my friends didn’t even know I had left until weeks (and for some, months) after the fact.

Truth be told, I couldn’t talk about it.

I figured the only kind of catharsis I could afford was to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and tell my story. So I did that a few weeks ago at Spark London, a live storytelling event in London. All the stories are true and told without notes. So, the above video is my true story.

I posted this on Facebook the day after the event, and the outpouring of comments and private messages from people on there was so supportive and heartwarming to affirming. Here’s a cross section:

-“I just watched the video. Then wept.”

-“your video really moved me. i watched it three times and it made me cry. you are such a brave woman.”

-“I watched your video. it was artful and cathartic…you are honest, and blunt as hell. and have fire and i like it.”

-“I’ve watched your video a couple of times and it really moved me. You are wonderful and brave…You have a lovely soul, which was visible when you bared it. Xx”

-“I just watched your video and while I knew so much of that I’m sitting on a bus, bawling.”

-“OH MY goodness. I just watched this piece you performed and it made me cry. I bet tons of people have said that. I don’t have the words to express how much empathy, anger, compassion, sadness and love that I feel for you but also for everyone who has gone through something like this – it’s so universal….just watched it again and now I’m in tears AGAIN..”

-“It may not be much of a concillation, but you are a brilliant storyteller, and we’re all very lucky to be able to hear your stories.”

-“Just wanted to say that killed me and I’m bawling at 9:45 on a Wednesday. You’re a gift to art.”

-“Oh, sniffles, your video is amazing. I don’t know how you told your story with an even voice. You’re incredible.”

-“That was amazingly profound. I am Verklempt.”

-“you are a good one, Estima.”

-“good for you for recognizing a situation that was wrong for you. Many wouldn’t have the strength to leave.”

-“your video shook me and awoke a memory in me I thought I’d long ago purged. I’m ok knowing there’s still peace to come.”

I feel like a digital age Blanche Dubois, in that, I’ve always depended on the kindness of random internet followers;)

I’m okay now. I’ve been okay since I did this event. It’s like I let it go. I’ve moved on and I’m so happy now. My life is so charmed and wonderful, and I’ll never let someone make me feel anything less than wonderful again.

And besides, I’m living here!

So I can’t officially complain.

Anyway, the lesson herein is this:

Live a life that you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, find the strength to start over again.


Bird on a Wire

Adam invited me to his concert with his band A Winged Victory for the Sullen in London last night.

During their set, I started weeping like the moron that I am.

SCHEXY.

Douglas Dare was the opener. I saw him live this summer and fell in love with the song Scars, which I recorded live last night (see above video).

He’s just a kid, like 22 years old or something like that, but his talent leaves no room for childlike comparisons.

Adam introduced the new music. Humbly thanking the sold-out crowd for coming, he then apologized for their rusty live set. D’aww.


Looking goooood, Dustin.

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m living back in London now?

 


A photographic journey through The Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Halloween 2012

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DeadBoy is Under The Influence


Moi & DeadBoy at his gallery opening! photo by Rob (who was tanked on the awesomesauce.)

Last night, DeadBoy launched his Under The Influence exhibit at the Don’t Tell Mama gallery (on the Ossington strip), and the exhibit is up for the rest of the month. I would highly recommend checking it out, and buying one of his pieces asap before they’re all snatched up. I’m telling all of you now – in a couple years, his pieces will be selling at Christie’s and Sotheby’s for 6 figures. Mark my words. Buy now! Collector items and they’re fucking gorgeous.

See for yourself:


from his “Adore” series.


this is the one Adore piece that hasn’t hit the streets… yet.


does this piece look familiar? it should.


back in October, Deadboy gave me this piece. it was the very first piece of his i had ever found on the street, and to this day, it is still my favourite and means the most to me. sometimes i get pre-menstrual just looking at it…. stupid girlie hormones. (sniffle).

the piece he’s selling is gold instead of white like mine…. it really makes the image pop and gives it a haunting, antiquated quality to it.

BUY IT WHILE THE PRICE IS LOW!

and speaking of “Madonna,” back in 1983 when she was working the club scene like CBGBs and Danceteria in New York, she briefly dated a then-unknown street artist named….


Basquiat! i think this is my favourite piece at the entire exhibit. it’s an homage to one of the first street artists to change and revolutionize the form. Deadboy actually created this on a door he found! i love found-art! if you know anything about Basquiat when he was a street artist, his tag was “samo” with the crown symbol next to it, which deadboy has incorporated here. Basquiat said that “samo” was in reference to art being “same old same old” but the word also is related to racist language (sambo) used during slavery (and for a century afterwards).


Basquiat influenced his girlfriend Madonna so much, that for a brief time, she engaged in graffiti around new york as well. Her tag was… you guessed it…. “Boy Toy.”


Basquiat eyes. I really really want this door, but I can’t actually USE it as a door because I have a tendency to slam my doors when i’m pissed off (which is often. i have a temper).


“thanks for not voting!”
this one guy showed up at the exhibit and said to me that he found this piece offensive because he’s a card-carrying member of the Conservative party. i said, “really? my condolences.”


the dude then went on and on about how he thinks Canadians abuse the health care system because it’s universal, whereas in other countries where they have to pay for it, they don’t go to the doctor as often. i told him he was talking out of his ass, and that caring for its citizens and ensuring the right to life for every member of society should be the first priority of a government.

he said his taxes were too high because of our universal health care…. to which i replied, “oh of course. who cares about the suffering and disease of other people. all you should care about is your bottom line.”


and he goes, “exactly. i don’t care about other people as long as i’m making money.”

and there you have it folks – this one douche perfectly sums up the Canadian Conservative party in one sentence.


he then got all defensive and was like, “i don’t want to debate my political beliefs!”
and i calmly replied, “you brought it up, dude. i didn’t ask for your political beliefs, you offered up the info to me and started ranting. if you don’t wanna debate it, don’t bring it up.”


opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. and while i respect your RIGHT to an asshole, i don’t respect the shit that comes out of it.


the eponymous piece.


la piece de resistance.


that’s goddamn right. ATHEISM FOR THE WIN!

Check out my DeadBoy category for more of his work that I’ve photographed, and please please please go to his exhibit! It runs all month! Buy art!


brian, top marks for not trying

i’ve been bed-ridden for the past 4 days with a virus that is slow to depart, but i am on the mend (there were some scary moments though, i must admit)…. but a few days before i was a sick weakling with atrophied legs, i went to the Arctic Monkeys/Black Keys concert at the Air Canada Centre. i was lucky enough to get in on the pre-sale for this back in december, and quickly snagged a ticket before it sold out.

frankly, i was more excited for Arctic Monkeys than Black Keys (been a fan of theirs for five years, only been into the keys for two years).

 i really am kicking myself for not going to an Arctic Monkeys concert whilst I lived in England, that would have been much better.

normally, i’m not a fan of arena shows. i prefer smaller venues. as you can tell, even though my seats were pretty great, i was still really far from my love Alex Turner….

oh alex…. now that you and alexa chung have broken up, please, can i have your abortion?

there were some people sitting around me who didn’t even know who the Arctic Monkeys were …. i was like WHAT.

they played all my fav tunes… Brianstorm, Crying Lightning, I Bet that You Look Good on the Dancefloor, Fluorescent Adolescent, Leave Before The Lights Come On, Don’t Sit Down Cuz I’ve Moved Your Chair…. but they didn’t play A Certain Romance, Fake Tales of San Francisco, or anything from the Submarine soundtrack. NEXT TIME, i’m going to a concert where they’re headlining, cuz they left me aching for more. stupid opening act slot does not do them justice

and then the keys took the stage

since there’s only two of them, they made sure their set was loaded with spectacle. flashy lights, disco balls, huge video screens, lotsa hullabaloo

they played all my favourites, Gold on the Ceiling, Lonely Boy, Tighten Up, Howlin’ For You, Next Girl… but they didn’t play Have Love Will Travel. WTF?

This is a band that I don’t think necessarily translates well into huge arenas. They can sell out the arenas, for sure, but their music is so intimate and so CBGBs that it feels like a crime to be seated a football field away from the stage….

i made a short video of their encore…. a disco ball dropped from the ceiling, illuminating the entire audience in an ambient light. that reverberation you hear isn’t the drums, it’s the entire ACC audience clapping in time. it was a great moment:) Enjoy!


She Does The Spud

 

You probably noticed how I haven’t blogged in a bit. I used to blog once a week, then for the past six months, I’ve been blogging anywhere from six to thirteen times a day. It’s getting exhausting. I still have so many more graffiti and street art pics to blog, but I’m getting a little miffed at how many people are ripping off my photos (I deleted my weekend post ranting about this. It just wasn’t sitting well with me).

Anyway, while I decide the future of The Spadina Monologues, enjoy this amazing article and photospread by the gorgeous Becca Lemire (See! I give cred! SO SHOULD YOU). She attended the Spud gallery show, as did I, and not only photographed the event for She Does The City, but also asked a few choice questions of the guests.

She asked me if I would rather talk to Spud again (I interviewed him for The Grid a couple weeks ago), or if I’d like to talk to Mayor Rob Ford.

GUESS MY ANSWER.

Click here to read the article and find out my answer (along with several others). ENJOY!

(Photo credits: Becca Lemire)


I’ve been SNAP’d!

During Love A Heart, me and SOFI (not safi, dammit) and her friend steph were photographed by the event-photography magazine SNAP. I totally forgot about it until I was sent this above pic from the print copy. I must get my hands on that print copy. If you have it, please save it for me!

so i went on the SNAP website and found our photo. I found it odd and annoying that SNAP wanted to charge me $5 for downloading my own face! Luckily, there’s a handy little tool that comes with my PC called “Snipping Tool.” Hey SNAP, you should look into that.

Anyway, click here to read my account of my Love A Heart experience! (Some celebs made an appearance, I sold for a pretty penny, and someone loaded with awesomesauce was my top bidder. JUST SAYIN’.)


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