sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (kittensquee)
I bet you would like to see how the tinykittens next door are doing.

IMG_4060

MOAR tinykittens )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (kittensquee)
As some of you know, my neighbour's tinycat escaped for one night only, right before she was due to get spayed, and apparently had a great time because now there are tinykittens.

Tiny, tiny kittens.
SO SMOL )

They have the following:

• Tiny stubby tails
• Tiny feets
• Wee little noses
• Homes for when they get bigger, which is a relief

One had hiccups. Tiny hiccups.

Also did I mention that they are tiny?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (squee!)
Okay, I basically have the best birthday plans ever. (Note: My birthday is in May.)

Saturday, May 16th: Laibach are playing! I have never seen Laibach, and they are going to be down the street from me. I am contemplating going dressed as a communist kitten; at any rate, friends are encouraging me to do so. And possibly attend in a COMMUNIST KITTEN BLOC.

Sunday, May 17th: Driving down in a carload of wonderful people to see the live Welcome to Night Vale show in Buffalo, NY. I got hugely into it this year as a result of the podcasts being roughly the length of my walk to work—and also because it's amazeballs and people have been telling me to listen to it for years—and was kicking myself for missing the Toronto show when they toured in August, only a month or so before I finally got around to listening to it. But Buffalo is close. Ish. And it's a long weekend, so I don't need to be at work the next morning. Hence I get to see this thing, in what looks like a pretty theatre in a city where I'm told there is an excellent vegetarian restaurant.

Posting here because I think I have already irritated most of FB with my floating-cat-herding and communist-cat-herding organizing of contingents. But if you would care to join either the floating cats or the communist cats, tickets to both are apparently general admission (so I didn't have to do any herding after all—sorry, FB) and the more the merrier.

Basically, I am a very happy Miss Tabby right now, despite having the third most exciting thing that happened today being the biannual Sacrifice of the Trees, a.k.a., photocopying course outlines that no one will read.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
The opening scene of the Orphan Black premiere was shot in the place where I had brunch this morning.

orphan black
I have sat in that booth, you guys!
sabotabby: (molotov)

3.7 kilos, up from last week's 3.6.

Cut for gigantic cat pic )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
This is—

I don't even know how to begin this post. Cynic that I am, I actually did not, in my heart of hearts, ever think that I would get to make it.

The Crack Video exists. The cops have it. There are actually two crack videos. There is zero doubt that it is Ford. Lisi's been re-arrested for extortion in connection with the video.

The Honourable Wife-Beater has not yet resigned and says he has no reason to, and the police have not yet charged him.

The complete police report, which has a lot blacked out and which I admittedly have not had a chance to read, is available here.

I believe I called the cops having the crack video ages ago, and I concur with the theory held by [livejournal.com profile] frandroid and others that this has to do with Ford alienating Blair over the police budget.

But regardless, for the first time in my memory, the Toronto police have done something useful.

Guys? This is the best day ever. It's time for a parade of happy macros, though to be honest there is no macro in the world that can truly express how happy I am at the moment.

excited stoned cat photo tumblr_m301feBjlr1r5kyvmo4_250_zps96e92a19.gif

fabulous llama photo anigif_enhanced-buzz-20858-1340137062-4_zps1e5be578.gif

happy ducling photo incrediblyhappyduckling_zpsff334da6.gif

atreyu yay photo anigif_original-grid-image-10016-1376490438-6_zpsa7ac17aa.gif

[Poll #1941396]

Now excuse me, folks, I have about a million e-mails to get through.

Oh TV

Sep. 30th, 2013 07:06 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (bat country)
Just finished watching the series finale of Breaking Bad, which means that I can go back on the internet. (I was mostly avoiding all sites because it's the one show where I care about spoilers.)

Gahhh, I loved it. Flawless finale to one of, if not, the most flawless television show ever made. The last season was so incredibly tense that I'm actually glad it's over; I keep joking that it was bad for my blood pressure, but really, I don't like to be that invested in fiction.

If anyone else wants to decompress, let's do so in the comments.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (squee!)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] culpster, I just learned that Atlas Shrugged Pt. II is finally available in a form that I can watch without any money going to anyone involved with making this thing.

Man, it's been forever since I've done a Cheatsheet of Freedom. They're pretty time-consuming, but, I, in theory, have a lot of time these days.

If you're new to my LJ, Cheatsheet of Freedom is where I watch movies (or read books, in one case) so that you don't have to. (Occasionally, I also watch movies to encourage you do to so, but I do fewer of those and they're not usually as funny.) If you're interested, here's the full list. Atlas Shrugged Pt. I is here.

This is me right now:

super excited duckling photo anigif_enhanced-buzz-31087-1369952774-22_zpsa931359f.gif

ETA: And this is me after watching it:

cat is like no photo nocat_zps7910ea7a.gif
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (how much hello kitty weighs)
Eee! Last night, I finally made one of the Salon Noir events, which is an evening of cabaret and gothy awesomeness. It was apparently the right one to start off with because it featured the Sex Gang Children playing their first Toronto gig in 30 years. (As precocious a darkling as I was, I was not quite cool enough to hit up their show when I was 4.)

So the deal with Salon Noir is that it's held at a lovely venue, there's a strict dress code (hilariously reminiscent of the dress code at the Sanctuary Vampire Sex Bar, where I misspent much of my adolescence sneaking in underage), and everything and everyone is dazzlingly pretty. So, tamales and red wine and goth music and hangouts with friends old and new. I hadn't heard of the opening act, Scarlet Fever, but they were quite good. Amusingly, their singer looks exactly like Viserys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, but is a much nicer person. They were followed by DJ Uriel, spinning all of the songs that I like, two burlesque acts, including the drop-dead gorgeous Coco Framboise, and a sideshow act. Sex Gang Children were actually more awesome than I might have imagined—incredible stage presence and energy, and their new album is quite impressive.

I regret that I don't have photos to post, but I got the most awesome compliment on my outfit ever from a drunk girl who mistook me for one of the burlesque dancers. Heh.

And speaking of Sanctuary, I ran into Lance, the former proprietor of said establishment, who back in the day was kind enough to turn a blind eye to my underage ass sneaking into his club every weekend. He's a mortician now. I was vastly amused.

So yeah, that was a blast. And thanks to [livejournal.com profile] the_axel for finally dragging me out to one of these events, given that for a year and a half I keep saying Maybe to them on FB and then not managing to get tickets.

Music squee

May. 4th, 2013 11:05 am
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
So this was total Music Week for me, in which I approached the level of Having a Life that I might have been at pre-surgery. (Of course, I am now totally exhausted, but that's to be expected.)

On Wednesday, [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003 had scored free tickets to see Salome at the COC, which I had been wanting to see. It was completely fantastic. Everyone's singing was gorgeous, and Atom Egoyan's staging was suitably unsettling. Erika Sunnegårdh in the title role was particularly interesting, as she played Salome as a vulnerable and fragile girl rather than as a confident seductress, making her demand at the end far more chilling as a result.

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] rbowspryte, [livejournal.com profile] the_siobhan, and a bunch of others went to go see the always-fabulous Billy Bragg at the Danforth Music Hall. Also wonderful, of course. He was still giddy over Thatcher's death, which was quite cute, though the setlist was less on the hardcore political end than his famous banter was. I shall have to get ahold of the new album, as I quite liked the songs on it. The audience was weird as shit, though; there were a bunch of soccer hooligans in front of us and a girl in a sequined Union Jack dress who insisted on debating him for reasons probably explained by some mind-altering substance or another.

One of his best ever songs, which I can never get enough of no matter how many times I hear it, with whichever lyrics (alas, it does not show his new beard, which, in a shallow aside, is a really good look for him):



At any rate, music bliss, for two very different ends of the musical spectrum that I'm into.

Speaking of which, I already squealed about this on The Face, but for yet another musical obsession of mine, there is new Skinny Puppy:



Finally, the new Unibroue is called Seigneuriale, for those who were asking. It's very strong, though, so if you're on Oxycontin and have a gigantic hole in your spine, you should probably lay off it for a bit. Did I say "you"? I meant "me."
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (how much hello kitty weighs)
I would be remiss in not mentioning that I went to the completely mindblowing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show, courtesy of the awesomecakes [livejournal.com profile] the_axel and [livejournal.com profile] the_siobhan, last Saturday. Because, amazingness. Probably in the top three concerts I've ever seen. (Albeit amazingness tempered with the unfortunate realization that I will probably never get to see Blixa Bargeld in the line-up*, but that in itself is tempered by the exciting notion that his absence in the band means more Einsturzende Neubauten. Hopefully?)

The coolest bit for me as a Nice White Lady was that Grade 5 and 6 students from a St. Jamestown public school sang back-up, adding a really gorgeous and haunting dimension to what's already gorgeous and haunting music. (Yes, they were off-stage during "Stagger Lee." As an educator, I can assure you that the kids have now Googled the lyrics to that by now and are singing it in class.)

Speaking of which (NSFW):



* Everything is better with Blixa Bargeld. The Bad Seeds, hardware store commercials, romantic evenings with your significant other. Seriously, though, his presence is utterly mandatory for "Weeping Song."
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (too sexy for this icon)
Ten years ago today, a floppy, squinty-eyed, ridiculous cat at the Humane Society demanded that I take him home with me.

marinetti and my hand

Let's just say that he is the best little guy, and I would not have made it through these past ten years without him. His snuggles, aggressive purrs, and headbutts bring me joy and love every single day.

Happy cativersary, Marinetti.

marinetti and his new scratching post
I got him a new scratching post.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (squee!)
While Treme is now only the second-best thing on TV (thanks to Breaking Bad being so good, not because its quality has gone down), you really should be watching it if you're not already. Here's the third season trailer:



Just finished watching the third season and it has given me all the feels and now I'm going to blather on about it in an effort to get you to watch. Or, better yet, starting a longer thread than the one I started on FB.

For those who have no idea what I'm on about at all, Treme is set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and is written by the guys who did The Wire, but is strangely less depressing than The Wire. Mostly. This season takes place in 2007, just over two years after the storm. Relief money has flooded into the city, but corruption is rampant. Crime is still on the rise. Developers are looking for an opportunity to profit from the city's tragedy and remake New Orleans as a playground for tourists while expelling its mainly poor, mainly black original residents.



Things I loved

So much. I don't know where to start.

Let's start with Antoine, the closest thing the show has to a main character. When last we saw him, he finally caved to financial necessity and got a real job, coaching the marching band at his wife Desiree's school. If you guessed that this is my absolute favourite plot line of the season, you'd be right. He ends up bonding with a teenage girl who, while musically promising, has never learned to read. Through them, the story of the public school system in New Orleans, a test case for the Shock Doctrine, unfolds. It's heartwrenching and uplifting all at the same time.

I'd been hoping that Desiree would get a storyline of her own since season 1, and it finally happened this season. After her mother's house is torn down (her mother was forced to abandon it after the storm, but planned to renovate and return at some point), she hooks up with a bunch of community activists and bloggers documenting civic corruption. Watching Desiree raise hell is fantastic, and watching her relationship with Antoine evolve as they both come into their own ("Don't get arrested at the protest, dear") is excellent.

I hated LaDonna's plot last season—she's my favourite character, and I think Khandi Alexander is the best actor on the show—so it was nice that this season's plot was slightly less horrifying. Slightly. Circumstances force her to move in with her bore of a husband's snooty family, and she actually gets some comedic moments out of it, which is good. And then in the second half of the season she's back to dealing with the trial of her rapists, and their friends intimidating her, and it would be completely awful were it not for the fact that her storyline after three seasons finally collides with Albert, my second-favourite character. And they hit it off. Possibly romantically. I actually made noises at the screen. Happy, happy noises.

Albert's plot completely depressed the shit out of me but it was really good. I've been convinced they were going to kill him off every season, and now he has cancer. There's an easy story in there, where the old radical passes the torch to his prodigal son, but they keep subverting that because both Albert and Delmond are more complicated than that. Delmond gets involved with a seemingly altruistic development project that makes all the right noises about involving the community, running up against his father's cynicism and relatively extreme politics, and to my utter joy, Albert gets to be right.

Loved the new characters. Louis, a grad student, aspiring investigative journalist and dorky metalhead, is awesome. I was sad to see him go in the last episode, but I was so convinced that he was going to be killed off that it was nice to see him get on a plane and away from the NOPD. I'm not sure if the FBI guy was in previous seasons—I feel like he might have been in one or two episodes—but I really liked him too.

Janette being back in New Orleans. And boinking Jacques. Alas, both of these plots are headed in an unfortunate trajectory but there were some moments of pure happy there. Also moments of food porn. It makes me wish her restaurant was a real place and I wasn't a vegetarian.

Two biggest surprises: The show finally managed to convince me that Toni/Terry was a good idea, and getting me solidly invested in Sonny/Lin/Lin's family. Given that I wanted Sonny to die horribly in season 1, it's amazing how much I was rooting for him to not fuck up his life. I feel like this is a natural end for their story and I'll be disappointed if they reappear in S4, but I thought it was genuinely touching and surprising.

What impressed me most about the season: The subtle but relentless tension. I was seriously a nervous wreck watching the last half. Without having a shocking death like in the last two seasons, the sense that the characters' lives were precarious, that the stakes were real, and that horrible things were coming was incredibly visceral. It got to the point where I would reach the end of an episode and be relieved that everyone had survived at the end. Most of the violence is understated (the worst thing we see, Henry Glover's murder, happens off-screen) but that just makes it all the more realistic.

Things I didn't so much love

Sad to say it, but Davis was boring this season. After going through immense character growth, he's back to his S1 self: whiny, obnoxious, and inconsiderate. I do like the "I Quit" song and very much hope that there's a full, uncensored version floating out there somewhere. But really. STFU Davis.

Annie was also boring, other than when she was playing fiddle or revealing that her mother is Isabella Rossellini. I wouldn't have minded so much if her success=corruption story hadn't so closely paralleled Janette's; it has Unfortunate Implications. The two female characters having to sell out in order to realize their dreams, contrasted with Delmond's continued rise—and refusal, in the last episode, to compromise his ethics—was a wee bit problematic.

Nelson showed hints of being interesting in S2, but seems to have shed that complexity now. Which isn't the worst thing, since the Jazz Center plot is so complicated that having more than one character evolve through it might have made things confusing. But he still got way too much screen time.


Shorter [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby: It's amazing. There is, alas, only one half-season left despite it being one of the most relevant, engaging, beautifully made TV shows I have ever seen. Go watch it!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (crazy cat lady)
Would you like to see a bunch of cat pictures and decorator porn? Why, of course you would!

So this is how my basement looked before. Not ugly, but certainly not very exciting either:

before_basement

beforebasement2

This is how it looks now )

Now for more cats. )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (humping bunny)
I did something mildly out of character and went to the ballet last night.

I say out of character because while I'm a bougie snob who loves opera, ballet is not generally my thing. I mean, I have a hard time connecting to dance in general; I like it as part of other things (Opera Atelier's dance sequences are always fun) but on its own, I find it inaccessible and unless someone's really awful or there's something incredibly strange going on, I can't tell the difference between okay dance and really great dance. But—the National Ballet was doing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. and I am a sucker for that in any form.



At any rate, it was spectacular. I don't know much about dance, but the maniacally athletic White Rabbit was amazing to watch. The performance seemed to be a hybrid of traditional ballet, tap, and modern, the latter two of which I find more comprehensible than the former.

I do know something about staging, and this was some of the coolest I've seen in a good long time. They went all-out with massive sets and video projection and, well, this:



If you can't make it out from the picture, each part of the Cheshire Cat is being manipulated by one or two puppeteers, so the whole thing can move or come apart. It struck the absolute perfect balance between adorable and terrifying, which can also be said for most of the show.

Other highlights: The Sweeney-Todd-esque scene with the Cook and the Duchess, complete with gigantic dangling organs, the flamingo croquet scene with the hedgehogs played by tiny children, and the Mad Tea Party with the most adorable Dormouse.

The production wasn't without flaws, namely the Knave of Hearts being a totally unnecessary love interest for Alice, and an overly Orientalist take on the Caterpillar, but overall it was really quite amazing. I think it's on for two more days—we were able to get half-price tickets in the orchestra section, so there's still a chance if you're local and want to catch it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (cat teacher)
So here's what I did this morning:

Got on Elluminate and joined a web conference with teachers, social workers, and students from Bonaire, Uruguay, Kenya, Egypt, Uganda, Brazil, and the U.S. Teams of students in the first four countries are collaborating on a film about domestic violence, and were pitching the idea to the rest of us. They wrote a story about a girl whose boyfriend is abusing her, repeating the pattern set by her parents' abusive marriage. Their concept is that they'll film the whole story, using the same storyboard, in each country (obviously with different actors playing the same characters) and put it together in editing so that it switches between the different settings.

It was very cool. The Bonaire team ran into difficulties with their internet connection and had to go to a friend's house to get into the conference, and we could barely hear the Kenya team (and they had a hard time understanding the woman from Uruguay who only spoke Spanish), but the kids did an awesome job of getting their ideas across and everyone was very excited and enthusiastic about the project. I think we gave them some good critique as well.

What is really staggering to me, because I'm old, is that I can instantaneously, and for free, get on the computer and speak to someone in Africa. I remember the days of land lines and long distance calls and being jealous that, one town south of me, you could call Toronto for free but our town couldn't. Here I am, now able to have a conference call (it could have been video if not for the lag and confusion), toss scripts around, and dick around on paint-chat with people on the other side of the world.

elluminate chat silliness
This is what the interface looks like, with kid-doodles. At least I think these are kid-doodles. They may be adult-doodles, come to think of it.

Not to be all "golly gee, isn't technology awesome?" but this is seriously some Star Trek shit right here. Sometimes my job is really cool.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (zizek)
There is not a lot that could get me out to Nuit Blanche (which combines huge drunken crowds, exhaustion, cold, and corporate sponsorship of the arts) but I have very few celebrity crushes, and one of them was speaking at it. Accordingly, I ventured out to Symposium: Until the End of the World to see Slavoj Žižek talk about the apocalypse at Toronto City Hall.

Photobucket

the apocalypse will be averted because the Communists will win )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (iCom by starrypop)
Just came back from a really spectacular opera: Volcano Theatre and Classical Music Consort's co-production of A Synonym For Love, based on Clori, Tirsi, e Fileno (Cor Fedele) by Handel. For some reason, that website is really hard to navigate, so all I knew about the opera was that it was Handel and Ashiq Aziz was conducting, which is intriguing enough to make me want to go.

Anyway! It turns out that it answers the eternal question of all opera-goers (okay, maybe it's just me): "Well, why don't they just go poly?" In this adaptation, Clori is open about being poly and bisexual and thinks her various lovers are okay with it—because, after all, they say they are. But her long-term partner Theresa is jealous and wants monogamy, and her new boyfriend Phil is an incurable romantic who wants to be more than just a fling. Clori and Phil have checked into the Gladstone Hotel for the night; unbeknownst to them, Theresa is also there. This goes as well as you might imagine.

Photobucket

The really neat bit (beyond the singing; all three leads are excellent) is the staging. For non-Hogtowners, the Gladstone is a once-sketchy hotel that was the victim/beneficiary of gentrification (depending on whether you're a well-off hipster or one of the evicted former residents) that has turned into a boutique hotel, with decor by local artists. The opera happens in various locations throughout the hotel, with the audience split up to follow each character. We followed Clori into the "Love Nest," a ridiculously pink Rococo suite, then up a staircase, and finally back out into the main lobby, passing musicians on the rooftops and doorways on the outside of the hotel.

Photobucket

I would, in theory, disapprove of rewriting the original lyrics into modern English, but it works incredibly well here (it helps that the English lyrics are quite lovely and powerful).

Anyway, go see it if you have the chance. It's on until the 31st.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
Apparently no one else watches quirky Canadian comedies about assholes, because no one bothered to inform me that Ken Finkleman has a new show. It's called Good God, and I'm about five episodes in and completely addicted.

See, years ago, I was into this TV show called The Newsroom (not that one everyone is watching now) and this other TV show called More Tears. Finkleman played the same character in both, a narcissistic, neurotic, womanizing TV executive named George Findlay. This one is about the same character, but you don't need to have watched the other shows. All you need to know is that he's a terrible person with decent politics.

So in Good God, George is dating the philanthropist daughter of a wealthy media baron who is in no way either Rupert Murdoch or Conrad Black. Her father offers him a job as head of FOX News North—er, Right News—and all of a sudden, George finds himself in the unenviable position of being the least awful person in the room. Right News is an uncomfortable alliance of Randroids, old-money aristocrats, fundamentalist Christians, and a few folks just in it for a quick buck. It's low-hanging fruit for satire, except that Finkleman is generally at his best when he's taking potshots at the left, so there's also some great bits with limousine liberals and, in one particularly lovely segment, historical materialist architects.

It's a bit The Office and a bit Colbert Report, but there's a uniquely Canadian angle in that right-wing populism doesn't translate well here. FOX News didn't exactly make it up here, after all. And even our equivalent, the Toronto SUN, occasionally does decide that the Honourable Wife Beater is just too crazy and extremist. So it's about the media and in particular the right-wing media, but it's also about the very strange political moment we're in where we are dipping our toes into politics that up until recently would be considered outright insane. It's a show for the Harper/Ford era and it's nearly as frightening as it is hilarious.

Also in it: Samantha Bee from The Daily Show and a guy I went to high school with.

Here's one of my favourite parts. The four on-air personalities have just been informed that they need to take a 25% pay cut, and they decide to band together and fight back against their employer—until someone points out that this is collective bargaining and they've just accidentally formed a union.



And here is Finkleman out of character being pretty damn cool (I hate Strombo but the interview is great):

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (bat country)
On a scale of amazing to HOT DAMN, YO!, just how great was the Breaking Bad premiere?

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