Sunday, September 1, 2013

The End of Summer 2013 - A Review

Flowers from an outdoor exhibit at Montreal's Jardin Botanique. Taken on Friday, August 30, 2013.

Of Travel

It has been a summer spent in motion. I visited, in order, Toronto, Cambridge, ON, and Saskatoon. Toronto and Cambridge were pleasant diversions during a cool summer season in Montreal. In Toronto I helped my good friend John Scythes with his garden and organizing the remaining inventory of Glad Day Bookshop that still resides in his basement. FYI, anyone reading this who is interested in some of the best queer books around, send me an e-mail and I'll put you in touch with John. He's looking to get rid of them by the box load; they make excellent gifts. He has titles by authors such as Gore Vidal, Edmund White, Paul Bowles (including the excellent The Dream at the End of the World by journalist Michelle Green) and a whole lot more.

The side trip to Cambridge was to visit my friend Joey Wargachuk who manages The Angry Bull Burger Bar and The Olde Banque Cafe. It's one of the prettiest towns I've seen, nice neighbourhoods and happy, relaxed people who seem to be enjoying life. It's also very gay friendly, a fact that surprised me. Apparently many Toronto homos end up leaving the big city to settle in such small towns where they can afford to buy homes. If you're passing through Cambridge in the near future I highly recommend both restaurants. They're both located in Cambridge's downtown on Ainslie Street North, just a few doors apart from each other.

My Saskatoon visit came in the second half of August. I was visiting my parents who live about 40 kilometres outside of Saskatoon. I had forgotten how the sky in that province dominates the landscape. While I was pinning my hopes on seeing a thunderstorm roll across the Prairies, nothing of the sort happened. The ground was parched from lack of water, so the province is overdue for a good storm.

Of Exercise

I kept in motion in other ways as well. Plenty of jogging, biking, and swimming in Montreal's piscines extérieures, particularly the Piscine Baldwin off Rue Sherbrooke and Fullum. As I progress in my strength training at Concordia University's Le Gym, I've noticed that swimming has become much easier. Every visit to the pool I average 30 to 40 laps. Swimming in outdoor pools is one of my favourite forms of exercise - nothing like the feeling of diving in and pushing off, the ice cold water slapping against your face as you propel yourself forward.

Still falling short in my efforts to float, though. I maintain it's because men have a different center of gravity than women. We're heavier in our lower backs, the place I always feel myself beginning to sink. It's also one of the spots in the human body, along with the shoulders, where tension is held.

Of Bellini and Books

Another highlight of the summer was hanging out at Pride, and again in August, with my good friend Paul Bellini. I marched with him and my roommate Thai in the Pride parade, and then in August we attended a backyard BBQ for NEST Magazine, the publication that featured Brock Hessel's interview with Mr. B.

He is one of the funniest people I know. In addition to Paul's work for Kids in the Hall, he was also a columnist with Toronto's now shuttered Fab Magazine for roughly 11 years. He published a book of his 'best of' titled, what else, The Fab Columns, that you can buy at Glad Day Bookshop.

Of School

Now that summer is over it's back to school for me. On Tuesday I begin my long anticipated graduate studies at Concordia University's John Molson Business School. The first class is Marketing 504 on Tuesday morning - fitting because that's what I do best. I look forward to jumping into the thick of my studies.

Of David Bowie

A final note for this entry. The exhibit David Bowie Is will be coming to the Art Gallery of Ontario in late September. From September 25 to November 7 Torontonians will be treated to the first North American stop of the exhibit. I can say that I'm a major fan - Bowie is rightfully adored by all Freaks and Outsiders who dare to own their destinies. In an earlier entry here I reviewed his new album The Next Day. It's the must listen album of 2013 - his rich vocals and strong musical arrangements prove he remains a powerful creative force.

I can't wait to see the exhibit, which features items from Bowie's personal collection including drawings and his famous stage costumes. Outfits from the Ziggy Stardust years through Major Tom to the Thin White Duke and beyond will be there.

That's all for now. Until next time, dear readers.

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