On Some Faraway Beach

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well, the years of spring vacations are winding down, as Young Zombie is reaching the end of high school; when he goes to college, we will no longer bother to coordinate a trip with the school’s spring break; and YZ will likely no longer feel much inclination to travel with us.  The question becomes, will we even bother doing a specific vacation at all then?  Or maybe more pertinently, will travel even be possible in the Mad Max Zombie wasteland to be created by Rmoney/ Paul Ryan/ Turdwaffle?

But in the mean while, this year we went to Toronto. Yes, Toronto, Canuckistan. And for a change, we drove rather than flying.  9 hour drive or so, not too bad, and we timed it to miss the crappy traffic in Chicago (apparently it is not actually possible to miss crappy traffic in Toronto).  We even let Young Zombie drive over the border, which amused us but the border guard was having none of it and insisted that Wife Sublime in the back seat close her computer and answer questions.   Driving was actually refreshing; in the ever increasing need to shove more people into steerage, this zombie has limbs (and ass, let’s be frank) that no longer meet the airlines’ definition of ‘standard human’ and most flights become variants of stress positions for me.

But I digress.

If you had blindfolded me, I could still tell it was Canadia; in one restaurant, I watched an episode of SportsCenter that spent half an hour on hockey, and then a good twenty minutes on a lumberjack competition.  I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.  Also, every other thing you see is named after Wayne Gretzky.

For all our various trips, this is the one where we spent the most time chasing down buildings at my urging.  Normally, I prefer to derive inspiration from the general urban vitality of a city (San Francisco), or the natural environment (the canyons near Vegas).  But this time, there were some interesting built objects, and my interests were parallel to Wife Sublime’s.  So in the course of tourism, we also saw some architecture.

And LOOK, you can tell it is capital-A Architecture:

It's the detailing that tells you it was designed by a Starchitect.

The big budget failures use NAME-BRAND leak buckets.

On the outside, it’s like an actual building was attacked by an aggravated goth crystal:

And then we went to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which was mutilated by Frank Gehry.  But before that, we saw THIS:

Sometimes, you need to check an architect’s meds before you give him carte blanche, dudes.

The AGO, however, yielded this space:

appreciative slow clap Frank.

I kid, I kid, but I am usually pretty dismissive of both Libeskind’s and Gehry’s work, I find most of it to be arbitrary and repetitive, not to mention impossible to detail; but I found that both of these projects have made me back off on that a bit.

Look, Frank did good:

Art Gallery of Ontario at dusk. Toronto, Ontar...

Art Gallery of Ontario at dusk. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I may get a bit more in depth on both of these in subsequent posts, I feel like I have a lot to say about these buildings….

And then, we saw the FIRST building done by that insane Spaniard on the North American Continent (Milwaukee is home to the SECOND):

Truly lovely spaces.

In the latter days of my career, I have become quite enamored of curvilinear architecture.  One of the few clients who still are around, often mocks me when I design a building that does not have a curve; after all, I once designed this:

And then we went up in the CN Tower, a structure designed by the spiritual heirs of the Marquis de Sade.  It did yield this view of the AGO and the Crayon Box:

YoungZom went ahead and laid right down on the GLASS FLOOR of the observation deck:

Although I was pretty much fine with the Space Pimple or whatever they call the glass bubble that’s up higher, as well as the open observation deck, when I went to walk out on the glass floor, my eyes were unable to NOT look down when I got to the edge, and then all my circuit breakers would trip, my lizard brain would say “oh FUCK no” and my feet would not take another fucking step.   I KNOW better, rationally; I could fucking SEE people walking on it safely; and yet I could not make the voluntary impulses work.  Fuck, I kept telling myself that I have facade inspections coming up and I damn well better be able to deal with looking at long falls, and still everything shorted out right at the edge. It was remarkable.

But anyway, after that onslaught of ARCHITECTURE, the fam needed a break and a reset, so we went to see this:

Then:  Butterflies.

We were staying just a couple of blocks from the baseball stadium (and I do have to say that the Toronto fans are amazingly polite drunks, even when the team is winning the home opening stand) and it was also in spitting distance of Second City.  How could we resist?  We wound up there twice, once for the improv show (YZ is a big improv fan) and once for the sketch show.  During the improv segment, YZ yelled out a ridiculous suggestion of “Ryan Stiles” which cracked up the actors; they paid him back by bringing him up on stage for the Slide Show.  The following night, they recognized us, and sitting in the front row, I got picked on.  MOON PHONE!  Absolutely hilarious.

We went to the Distillery District, and I was very amused at the basic history;  There was a huge grist mill built there, and after a while, they used the extra to make some booze; within a short amount of time, they discovered which of the products was making more profit, and never looked back.  But in any case, it was the kind of industrial rehab buildings that make this zombie happy:

I always wonder how much similar was destroyed….I am not one to fetishize old buildings, I understand the necessity of a vibrant city to create new configurations, to respond to new needs.  But sometimes, you also need to just pull back and say, hey, sometimes these pockets of history should also be retained.

My biggest complaint?  None of the Canuckinoids who have traipsed by these dank corners of the intertubas bothered to try to meet us for drinks.  LOTS of drinks.  It is the first trip in years where we haven’t met any of my Imaginary Digital Friends. Either I am getting better, or they are getting smarter.

But other than THOSE assholes, Toronto is a lovely city, very reminiscent of Milwaukee in cleanliness, friendliness, and climate.  The biggest difference is that Toronto is building the FUCK out of their city, and I think I should be soliciting job interviews with the Canadianoid Architectural firms, because between Obama and the nihilist Republican Congress, there will be fuck-all happening in America constructionwise for some time to come.  BOOKMARK IT, LIBS.

  1. M. Bouffant says:

    a good twenty minutes on a lumberjack competition

    Timber Sports rule!

  2. herr doktor bimler says:

    I for one approve of Eno lyrics.

    Truly lovely spaces.
    Exsqueeze me, but those appear to be *straight* columns in that Gaudi Tribute Building. The fact that they are leaning is *not sufficient*.

    YoungZom went ahead and laid right down on the GLASS FLOOR of the observation deck:
    Where is the “Helping Jennifer” tag?

  3. Jennifer says:

    we timed it to miss the crappy traffic in Chicago

    I think that’s only possible if you’re driving through at 5AM on a Sunday morning.

    Sounds like a lovely trip, ZRM, although a tad bittersweet, given your commentary about YZ being in college soon. How is that possible?? I think the thing that amazes more about imaginary digital friends is the fact that I’ve had them long enough to watch kids grow up. Surely imaginary kids should stay the same age.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Excellent job of putting all these pics into one post!


    I am surprised that the Mounties let zombies invade so easily.

  5. Gaudi

    I question the appropriateness of a Catholic church shaped like a collection of dildos. However, there is a reason it has taken over a hundred years to complete. Actually, several reasons.

    The fact that they are leaning is *not sufficient*.

    Says who?

  6. My biggest complaint? None of the Canuckinoids who have traipsed by these dank corners of the intertubas bothered to try to meet us for drinks.

    The drunken walk home is pretty long.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Did someone say drinks??


  8. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Someday, we’ll have the teleporters we were promised.

    Of course, they’ll turn out to be Carousel, instead.

  9. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Minister Of Optimism says, “Cheers!”

  10. Jennifer says:

    LOL! I haven’t seen that movie in a long time. It looks like they were standing around the giant jello mold! It only needed a dap of Cool Whip on it.


  11. The biggest difference is that Toronto is building the FUCK out of their city

    I recently mistook a photo taken in an apartment in Toronto for one in Vancouver. Our new apartment buildings are more spindly, on smaller lots with bigger setbacks, but it seems to be the current style. Glassy apartments in Vancouver seem to make more sense though because there isn’t as much heat required in our wimpy winter.

  12. Modern glazing doesn’t create the energy sink that it used to, so glassy towers in toronto aren’t as unworkable as you would think.

    Although apparently the glass that is being used in the railings has become problematic.

  13. The Undersecretary for Rays of Motherfucking Sunshine put a dent in the Sailor Jerry’s last night, and wonders if the Commissioner of Trouser Compliance will show up, so we have a quorum.

  14. The drunken walk home is pretty long.

    Excuses. You wouldn’t have been able to walk.

  15. mikey says:

    Y’know, it’s about 80 fucking degrees farenfuckingheit here today and it’s just weird. I haven’t worn my trousers all day, and I’ve got this sixteen foot double sliding patio door all the way open (in the fifteen months I’ve lived here I think I’ve done that ONE other time) and it’s still a little warmer than I’d prefer. Lots of ice in the Sailor Jerry’s. Comcast decided to hide the Giants game on some obscure channel under “TBA” and not tell anyone – I wonder if their advertisers appreciate the effort they went to to make sure nobody watched? – and I had to post a plea on Facebook for somebody to tell me how to find the fucking game.

    So yeah, Senor Raisef Sunshine, we pretty much got a Quorum. Cheers!

  16. Well, Commissioner, I had bailed on the office early after a productive meeting with City Development folks and making them back off on their helpful suggestions, and then a flurry of emails regarding plan reviews caused me to go back in to the office to grab some Plan Submittal Reports (fortunately my office is like ten minutes away) at which time I availed myself of the Office Rum.

    And now I am back home and throwing all kinds of emails back into the Plan Reviewers boxes so they can have a LOVELY Monday, but since my payments are contingent upon issuing of permits, I feel no regret, none.

    Nobody may be interested, but my short-lived partnership with two friends (now, of course, FORMER friends) was called Quorum Architects, because it sounded pretty good, you know? But it turns out Architects have Egos, who knew? In any case, it is a mild trigger for me, but not nearly as severe as the SCURIDAE, those nut munching motherfuckers.

    Fucking CHEERS.

  17. mikey says:

    I was looking for something and came across this old Sadly, No! thread, and it had me laughing my ass off once again. Half a dozen years ago, way too much water under the bridge, but in the golden age of a combative and unstable comentariat: http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/3469.html

    Go and marvel at the pure joy of dysfunction…

  18. mikey says:

    It all started yesterday (or maybe Wednesday, who can tell anymore?) when TBogg included a link in his post to the original Sadly Bacon and Playdoh post where Ace came to visit. That one was truly hilarious too….

  19. Hmpf. Not nearly enough zombie in that thread.

    And now, there is hardly any zombie content at Sadly, ever. The world has Moved On.

    But I still chuckle at the great “pseudonyms ar HITLER” wars.

    And if I had participated, I can’t believe I did not sign off:

    —The Laurencia Bembenek Case.

  20. mikey says:

    I can’t help but hope that Mario and Josh St. Lawerence got the help (and meds!) they needed, but they certainly provided us with a few hundred righteous laughs…

  21. herr doktor bimler says:

    The drunken walk home

    Like most things, this needs moar Frederik Pohl references.

  22. herr doktor bimler says:

    Half a dozen years ago, way too much water under the bridge, but in the golden age of a combative and unstable comentariat: http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/3469.html

    If memory serves, I was posting as “random nutcase” in that thread.

  23. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Been a long while since I’ve seen mariogeorgenitrini111 on the innert00bz.

  24. mikey says:

    I suspect powerful forces finally decided to silence him once and for all…

  25. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Oof, I looked at that black-and-white spotted monster hovering over those old row houses and thought, “I thought that Vogon spaceships were yellow.”

  26. Mario must have a Google search going on his name still. I think he left something at SN about a month ago.

  27. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Speaking of being silenced…


    I’d been trying to remember my dentist in NYC for years.

    And there he was all this time, on Sadly, No!

  28. I always think of you as ‘random nutcase’ hdb.

    But frenz, what is with all the Sadlystalgia here? It looks like the Zombie Period at SN has come and gone…

  29. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Does this mean the resumption of the B.P. era?

    That guy knew Wisconsin…

  30. Hah. The link in that comment still works for me, thunder.

  31. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    It doesn’t look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you think this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and request an invitation.

    Please to be giving invitation!

  32. Billy Pilgrim isn’t here anymore, Missus Torroance….

  33. mikey says:


    Billy Pilgrim was a Zombie?

    Hoo New?

  34. Jennifer says:

    Does this mean the resumption of the B.P. era?

    Only if Temporary Costello comes back as well, Shundra.

  35. Billy pilgrim has come unstuck in time….

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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