Sunday, August 26, 2018

Ty Segall, Not Vomiting & Blackout Block Party

Weekly Update 2018-34: Heavy power chords from Ty Segall set the tone of summer as I contemplate mind over matter when I feel motion sick (it's a superpower) and closing off Bloor Street for the 15th anniversary of Toronto's massive 2003 blackout.

Music: Ty Segall
Another one to add to the bucket of garage rock revivalist bands is Ty Segall's raw, power chords. It's slow, drenched in reverb, and has that true Californian sounds I've been digging so much in Thee Oh Sees. I'm really pleased to see this melancholic heavy rock making a return, because it seems to match my summer so well. Check out his 2012 release with his touring band:

I really enjoyed Wave Goodbye.

This was truly a magical week where I didn't have band practice on Wednesday, so I was able to join Toronto Cruisers for an evening bike ride of no less than 43km! I have some lovely bruises on both butt cheeks from my bike seat sliding backward into my basket, but it was definitely worthwhile to not have to carry my stuff on my back for that entire ride. 

We also made some really cool pitstops at not one but TWO skate parks and a secret bonfire area somewhere in the Don Valley that can only be reached by a series of secret bridges?!

I ended off the week with a lovely weekend at a friend's cottage on a super cute little lake. In my opinion it was the perfect size - no motorized boats allowed and I was able to kayak the whole perimeter of the lake in about an hour, which showed me that there are actually no above-ground connections to other bodies of water so it may perhaps be classified as a pond.

Yes, the magical weekend has come where I get to go camping! It has become a yearly tradition to go camping at Presqu'ile Provincial Park with my drumming family. We might be a smaller group this year than our 30 people last year, but we are loud so I'm sure we will comfortably fill our 75-person camping space with only ten people. I can't wait to test my tent-setting skills and eat some delicious Brazilian food made by our band leader on the campfire.

I was finally able to procure a back brace that is meant to help me fix my posture and weak back issues. It's both a stretching and strengthening device as well as a brace, and comes with an 8-week plan to improve my posture. It looks like this:

A friend told me I should accessorize it with some gun holsters.

Random Thought: Not Vomiting
It's pretty crappy, lately that I haven't been able to stomach long car rides anymore. I have always had trouble with motion sickness but since using a bicycle as my main mode of transportation, I really can't stomach much time in the car at all.

I was battling a really bad bout of motion sickness the other day and actually managed to hold off vomiting for much longer than I used to, with sheer will of mind. I think that if I had more practice, I might be able to will myself out of motion sickness, especially when being able to see the road. I have realized that it's really the turning and backing up that causes it, much more so than driving straight on the highway. When I have knowledge of turns before they happen, my brain is able to catch up to what's happening and I don't feel as sick.

But of course, maybe this is just a mechanism reminding me to do my best to banish all cars in favour of ecologically-friendly transportation. If everything ran on tracks like streetcars, I'd be so much happier. Plus, if you know a bus route well enough, you'll know where every turn is going to be.

Inspiration: Blackout Party
I pride myself on knowing about all the cool events going on in Toronto...and last Tuesday was no exception. Yes, on a Tuesday evening, the citizens of Toronto held a celebratory block party for the 15th anniversary of the 2003 GTA blackout. I still remember it and how it affected pretty much everyone I knew at the time. And why not celebrate the fact that we survived it?

Yes, I always know about these events, but sometimes it can be hard to find the energy to actually attend. And such was the case for this event, after I had a particularly long couple of days. But I got my butt out to Christie Pits Park (yes, it really was that close to me) to see what all the hubbub was about.

The park hosted an open-air concert of lots of different buskers, which was followed by a subway (if walking) or bike rave (if cool) to a secret location that led us through Yorkville to the intersection of Bloor and Avenue, right in front of the ROM. It was truly amazing to see so many people there to take over the road from drivers for a few hours. I think roads are a huge waste of space just for drivers, so being able to take back the space is such a lovely gesture.

We moved from there to the west side of the ROM, which holds one of my favourite walkways in the city - Philosopher's Walk. It's a lush green meandering walkway that connects Bloor to Hoskin, mostly used by U of T students, tourists and ROM staff on break (I guess I have sort of been all of those people in one way or another). So I was delighted to find that this was our final stop, lined literally all the way down the walk with various performers, buskers, musicians, singers and dancers, all lit by candlelight against the night. It was a wonderful time.

So, yes, the FOMO was legitimate in this case, since I was extremely happy to have attended this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Perhaps my favourite part was when two separate people asked me what the event was for. When I mentioned the blackout, neither of them knew of it since they had immigrated to Canada after 2003. That was fine with me, since I am proud of our city being so multicultural.

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