Friday, January 23, 2009

Finally truly honest service

On the flight they offered chicken or beef, when I asked how each was done the steward gave me a funny look and said ‘well, they’re both reheated’ … I took the chicken…

Monday, January 19, 2009

Miracle Drug?

Odd... for the last year (probably started by all the physical work on the show in Japan) I've been having a lot of joint pain... A lot of pain! - to the point where I was panicked about having to do the physical work on the cabaret show that I'd been planning! And it's been getting worse and worse as I rehearsed. A week ago I looked up the Sports Medicine facilities in Toronto to start some kind of rehab. I thought they would order me out of the gym and away from physical work and onto anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids or something..

Then, by coincidence, last week I took a dose of the flax seed oil that had been recommended to me for something else and that I'd been avoiding (since it tastes so awful), and overnight all the pain disappeared. All of it. Overnight.

I spent the day wondering what the hell had happened to the pain I'd be dealing with for 6 months and then finally put the two together. Since then I've been on the web and seen that flax seed oil is recommended for joint pain. So that explains it. I guess. But overnight miracle cures. That's weird. Not like I'm complaining or anything... but it's kind of weird.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slave and Master

I'm off to spend the day in front of a set of 20,000 dollar audio speakers listening to myself - I'll be hanging out while James Paul of Rogue studios, 'masters' my album.

Wikipedia defines this as "a form of audio post-production - the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device (the master); the source from which all copies will be produced (via methods such as pressing, duplication or replication). After the advent of tape it was found that master recordings could be optimized by making fine adjustments to the balance and equalization prior to the cutting of the master disc. Mastering became a highly skilled craft and it was widely recognized that good mastering could make or break a commercial recording"

When pressed for more details James defined it as 'I give him some money, he sits in front of a set of 20,000 dollar speaker for hours, and then he gives me an album that sounds amazing'....

beyond that it seems to be witchcraft and magic...

basically as far as I can see its the process of finding a middle balance for the sound on the album so it rings true on every kind of speaker - the cheapo transistor, or the ultra high end, or the car stereo... cutting some frequencies, adding others...

it should be a fascinating and strange few hours...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Diving in

Now it's back to the Waterlogs.

I wrote the short play, The Waterlogs, just after living in NYC for a couple of years and immediately after 9/11. On March 30'th I'll be having a reading of a new draft of Waterlogs with the First Draft Readings at the Epicure Cafe on Queen St. (so I guess technically this will be a 2nd draft...) and its time for a re-write

I arrived in NYC literally as the smoke was still drifting over the city... my flight was booked for 9/12 and I flew into NYC a few days later on one of the first commercial flights. But re-reading it now I think it was too filled with that event. I had snuck through the police and army barriers just after I arrived to watch the rescue attempts in the burning building. I had sat on the west side highway and watched trucks go by filled with dirty exhausted men and women heading back and forth from downtown. And as I wandered the city everyone was breathing the acrid smoke drifting up across the city. So it wasn't difficult to be overwhelmed with the emotions of the moment. But its nice to have a chance to re-work it and see if there is a chance to step away from that event.

The play explores the hidden geography of cities through the struggles of three people who inhabit the city in very different ways. Once we all believed that sickness and health was caused by upwellings of good or bad airs from the waters and marshes. The strange, stagnant but unkillable streams, creeks and lakes that lie beneath the asphalt and concrete of a city seemed to me to be an good metaphor for how cities affect people.

Now the waterlogs seems to be adapting itself to new places and new times. I've been walking over the lost rivers of Toronto, buried beneath the grid of the city and channeled into sewers and wondering what kind of relationship Torontonians have with their city - just as complicated and fraught as New Yorkers, that I'm sure of, but perhaps less angst ridden (or more?.... still figuring that one out...). Last week I wandered up to Wychwood and walked the length of Taddle Creek that runs through downtown Toronto and comes to the surface in only one place.