19 October 2014, mid-afternoon
“Hey! Can you guys sign in?”
Who is this dude barking at us? Of course I know. My cousin and I have walked into an open house. It’s a surprisingly cavernous detached home near Bloor and Dufferin. I could imagine it being quite nice—in some alternate timeline. In this one it was probably a former rooming house. It’s listed at 1.25 million dollars.
The housing market has moved beyond rhyme or reason. My cousin narrates tale after tale of being out bid on places he already can’t afford. Houses in our neighbourhood now regularly sell for $100,000 over their asking price. That’s walking around money. Now, I like where we live, but our neighbourhood isn’t $100K-over-asking nice by any stretch of the imagination. These stories play out across the whole city.
This house is full of sad ancient furniture. Remnants from its past life. I’ve seen houses in worse shape, which may sound like faint praise because it is. At least this house is relatively clean. My cousin has seen houses where the sellers haven’t even bothered tidying up. Why waste their time? They know the house will sell for more than they want anyway. The desperation of home buyers is palpable. Agents are emboldened.
Who can afford to live in this city? I could never dream of buying my busted-ass house now. It’s price has moved beyond me. That’s some sort of wealth, I suppose. Not the useful kind, but it’s something.
We walk through the house and leave. The agent makes no effort to talk to us. I am sure he is well aware we are just touring this dump. We probably didn’t look worn down enough when we walked in.
 Life | Toronto
Doug Ford’s Toronto is nasty, ill-tempered and more numerous than you’d think.
“Rob Ford made us embarrassed to be from Toronto; Doug Ford makes us ashamed.”
OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review.
Ars Technica, it’s the John Siracusa review. Please.
Let Me Love You.
A couple of months ago a very good friend of mine turned to me as if she had a deep secret. She premised the statement with shame. It was one of those non-verbal cues of uncomfortable realization that I inherently understood. Rendering her incapable of mouthing the full words for a few moments, blistering her sentences with falters and a fusillade of, “how do I?” and then, “okay, so—” and then pausing, again, until finally, she said—“I don’t like it when people compliment you. I feel strange about myself when someone does.”
John Tory Progressives: How Polling Skews Elections.
Before we start our journey, I want to congratulate Danielle Smith in Alberta, Adrian Dix in BC, Tim Hudak and almost every person running in the Quebec elections on becoming Premier. And of course best wishes to our neighbour to the south and President Romney… Is what I would say, if polls were actually accurate.
A fascinating article about polling and this election.
If you want to vote by polling to date – well then know that John Tory will definitely be our next mayor – if you want that Toronto, then vote for him. Olivia has a possible but not probable path – it’s a long shot – but if you want her Toronto, then vote for her. Doug has no shot, he is stuck in the suburban mud and has no room to grow. He simply has no path to victory.
Emphasis is mine. If you are a left-leaning voter in the city there is really only one choice in this election. And she’s not an old rich White guy. 
DJ Quik Talks About Bollywood Samples, Life Imitating Art, and Hairstyles by Bullseye with Jesse Thorn.
I love it when a hip hop artist ends up on Bullseye. Jesse Thorn loves his hip hop.
The Shifting Middle.
I am still madly in love with my iPad mini, but I use it more or less exclusively to read D&D PDFs and surf on the internet in bed. I find the size more comfortable than the full sized iPad. 
"I just don’t buy into the nonsense about discrimination."
The Whiteness Project is a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.
Hari Kondabolu's standup album is streaming for free on Spotifty.
He’s so damn funny, and his jokes are all about politics and race and all that good stuff. There is so much to quote, but where would I even start?
Real City Matters: Can’t We All Just Get Along?
I really wish I could make it out to this tonight.
YouTube: Citizenfour Official Trailer (2014).
This documentary about Edward Snowden looks amazing.
The big, racist, sexist, homophobic elephant in the room.
If you are running for mayor—in a city that’s almost 50% immigrants and 50% visible minorities—and you can’t bother to speak up in the face of pretty obvious racism than you are a fucking useless candidate. Fuck Doug Ford. Fuck John Tory.
9 October 2014, evening time
Shima looked at our tickets. “7:00 doors open. Early show?” Neither of us knew what that meant, though we could guess well enough. We hoped in a cab shortly after 7:00. This might have been the earliest I’ve ever gone to a concert since seeing Rachael Yamagata perform a promo show when she was first getting started. The two of us were going to see Tennis at the Mod Club. We hadn’t been to a concert together since we saw the Woodhands play at the Phoenix.
When we arrived the opening act was already playing. We grabbed some beer and listened to them play some indie pop music. The lead singer had a hair cut straight out of the 80s, but she was probably born in the 90s. They were very good. A four piece band, the singer also played synths. They didn’t sound like Tennis, but had a similar musical aesthetic. They thanked the audience for listening to their set and then walked off stage without saying their name. God damn it. I ended up discovering their name on Twitter: Pure Bathing Culture.
Tennis are technically a two-person band, but when on tour I suppose having some extra musicians on hand is useful. They were up next. A mix of musicians and techs started setting up their instruments. I am guessing their singer is too recognizable to still do this stuff. She came out briefly to check out her keyboard and sing and the crowd started cheering. (This lead singer’s hair cut reminded me of Shima’s hair from a photo she has of her grade 8 graduation.) When the band started performing I realized the other half of their band was the person doing the bulk of the set up. That’s what happens when you aren’t on the album covers.
Tennis put on a good show. They played a mix of music, mostly from their most recent album. We were up near the front with all the turbo fans and people trying to take photos. It was fun. They played a lot of the songs I love, but focused on the stuff from their new album.
And just like that it was over—and it wasn’t even 10:00! I bought Pure Bathing Culture’s CD from the band’s lead singer. That’s why opening acts are the best.
Life | Music
Turn, look down: there is no city.
This is centre of a forest.
Your place is empty.
They bend, straighten; the sun lights up their faces and hands, candles flickering in the wind against the unbright earth.
I see them; I know none of them believe they are here.
They deny the ground they stand on, pretend this dirt is the future.
And they are right.
Those who went ahead of us in the forest bent the early trees so that they grew to signals.
— Margaret Atwood, poem outside the Fort York library.
Also, a reminder that if you are voting for Doug Ford in the upcoming election you are a clueless fucking asshole.