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Posted By Sandra Alland

Of course I left my longjohns at my folks' house and then the temperature dropped and it starting snowing! Argh.

I'm reading at 8pm tonight at Pivot at The Press Club on the north side of Dundas just west of Bathurst.Free! Hope to see you there. Please bring wool clothes and brandy.

In other news, This Ain't the Rosedale Library's new home on Nassau Street in Kensington Market is drop-dead gorgeous. If you haven't visited, do! And it's not just pretty, the books are delicious.

This Ain't

Speaking of delicious books, I just started reading Toronto playwright Claudia Dey's first novel, Stunt (Coach House). Wow. The way Dey uses language makes me so excited I might pee. What a writer. Please check her out.

Here's Charlie and Jessie hard at work:

Chas and Jess

In not so happy news, the endless condominium blight at the Lakeshore made my eyes bleed, and I was sad to see so many new chain stores on Queen (The Brick for gawd's sake?) and College. Also, why on earth did the AGO spend millions on this montrosity?

ago

 

 

ago2

Here' s me and R. selling books at Canzine last Sunday. Long live indie culture! Thanks to those kind folks who bought my books. Also I traded a book for two chapbooks by the supertalented Tomori Nagamoto -- Bittersweet Hotel #101 and #501. Each chapbook consists of images and words depicting a different guest at the hotel. Nagamoto's drawings are stunning, and the text is bittersweetly  wondrous and sometimes superbly funny.

canzine

Art from Kensington and Dundas West:

toronto art 2

 

toronto art


And something must be said about Toronto's amazing food. Doubles, empanadas, Pho Hung's soup, John's Classic pizza, veggie dogs & burgers, oh how did I survive without you?

Warm kisses from the great white north,

SA

 

 


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

They say Scotland is rainy! I arrived last night after 11 hours of flying to a rainy rainy Toronto. And it rained all night and all morning.

In more exciting news, my new Wholphin: A DVD Magazine of Unseen Films  (www.wholphindvd.com) finally arrived! I only got a chance to watch a couple of films before jumping on the plane. But Please Vote For Me, directed by Weijun Chen, is brilliant and you must see it! It's a documentary about the first democratic election in a Chinese primary school, and is moving, hilarious and highly disturbing. Sortof like democracy in practice, as opposed to in theory... I also enjoyed New Boy, directed by Steph Green, about an African immigrant to Ireland. The kids in this short are fine actors, and it's a subtlely chilling piece about oppression and immigration.

Also just finished reading Unmarketable: Copyfighting, Mocketing and The Erosion of Integrity by Anne Elizabeth Moore. Thanks to my friend M for sending that one to Scotland. It's a great yet distressing account of how corporations such as Starbucks, Nike and Sony have been coopting the styles and practices of independent and street artists (e.g. Graffadi = graffiti created by indie artists to sell Sony Playstations). About how such corporations don't get jailtime or often even fines for graffiti or art interventions, like artists do. And about how some of us indie folk end up chasing the corporate carrot, either out of ignorance or desperation...  

To see indie culture alive and well, go to Canzine tomorrow at the Gladstone Hotel (Queen West just before Dufferin). 1-7pm, $5. I will have a table and be selling some books, also I'm screening my silly short film Slippery at 2pm. See you there!

xoox from Canadialand

SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland
tracey emin retro

Go see the Tracey Emin Retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. It's devastating, and it's gone soon.

xo

SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

So I taught myself how to use a mixer and AcidPro, and Minor Assault Records is now in full operation. (Please donate your empty egg cartons, and any excess cash, to the Zeg Cartón Studio.) Zorras’ first recording in the new digs is now on Myspace, and it’s called Nest. Guitar, percussion and vocals by Y. Josephine. Poem by me. Recording and mixing also by me. Hilarious but true, and it’s only a wee bit rough. Please listen! www.myspace.com/zorrasmyspace

In other news, there is a great new queer salsa night Sundays at The Street. Lessons £5 at 7:30pm. Free dancing after 9pm.

Today I am off to see the Tracey Emin retrospective. I may or may not report in before I run off to Canada… but of course it was freaking fantastic.

xo

SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Two choice quotes from Bindel that I found on the petition site:

"Those who 'transition' seem to become stereotypical in their appearance - fuck-me shoes and birds'-nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls."

"Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease."

 
Hmmmmm, sounds like a *perfect* Journalist of the Year to me. Petition here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/Stonewall1/index.html


Or email stonewall and urge them to remove her from the nominations: info@stonewall.org.uk
xo

SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

I forgot to update you on my oh-so-hopeful trip to the NHS to do something about my ever-worsening chronic pain. If you recall, the doctor told me she was going to do some research and get back to me. I almost danced home, thinking: Well at the very least I'll get a referral somewhere! Hope, sweet hope.

But her "research" arrived in the post, and well... it appears she searched "fibromyalgia" on google and photocopied the results! What brilliant investigative work my friends. I've only had it for 6 years, thanks for telling me the symptoms! Argh. Ah, Britain and the 3-minute-per-patient limit. Ah, modern medicine...

Speaking of fibromyalgia, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore has written a stunning new novel, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, that contains the first accurate descriptions I've read of what fibro feels like (and what it's like to have pigeons in your ceiling). Honestly, that's enough to recommend the book alone. But it's also a brilliantly-written account of life in San Francisco during the invasion of /war on/occupation of Iraq, and of a writer trying to flourish and love among anonymous hook-ups, sex work, messed-up friends, the hope of a boyfriend, incest flashbacks, and various infestations in her apartment. It's written in a strange journal-like stream-of-consciousness, with no real plot to speak of, but I was turning the pages faster than in any thriller. Sycamore is funny, smart, has kick-ass gay shame and anti-fascist politics, and can even pluck your little heartstrings with descriptions of fuzzy sea lions without making you puke. Not for the faint of heart, but then if you were faint of heart, why would you be on my blog? Now go buy the book! It's a balm in these bad times, and a relief from the bad writing that clogs up bookshops.

Lucky me is hosting the Toronto launch, and reading with Lady Mattilda November 3rd. Get tickets at This Ain't the Rosedale Library for free before November, they're $5 at the door. The door is The Boat, on Augusta in Kensington Market. Also reading are the wonderful Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Stacey May Fowles and Hal Niedzviecki. 

xoxo

SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

"To disagree with 3/4 of the (British) public is one of the first requisites of sanity."

-Oscar Wilde

"If voting changed anything they'd make it illegal."

-Emma Goldman

Well, that about sums it up. Vote for Fascist A or Fascist B. New Labour is as dire as the Conservatives. They're all interested in bailing out the banks and dumping more bombs on Iraq. I'm not voting for any of them.

In better news, a new tapas bar has opened just off Nicolson Street, at 6-8 Howden Street. It's called El Bar, and the tapas (and staff) are delicious! The atmosphere is lovely, and the music divine -- perfect for chilling out, or a small party. You also get a free mini-tapas (pintxos) with every drink purchased! And right next door is Alba Flamenca, where you can take flamenco classes. Open from 5pm daily (except Sundays). I recommend the tortilla and the garlic chicken. Yum.

xox

SA 


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

An article I wrote for Toronto's Xtra about queerness in Edinburgh has finally been put online: www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Het_for_you-4155.aspx

Sadly, Sala is now closed and I no longer live near the Regent...but happily, Queer Mutiny now exists and the LGBT Centre has reopened!

In other news, Zorras are back! www.myspace.com/zorrasmyspace

That's my band. We're pretty fun, if I do say so myself. We will not play for alcohol, but will consider playing for money or other green things...

xo SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Looloolooloo

October 2005-September 2008

 

 Looloo the Hedgehog Wonder

  looloo again

May hedgehog heaven be full of meal worms and toilet paper rolls....

 

 

 
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