The Torture Memos – The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra (www.parkdalerevolutionaryorchestra.com): Composer Ben Mueller-Heaslip uses texts drawn from the writings of John Yoo and his colleagues at the Office of Legal Counsel for the George W. Bush administration for this unusual song cycle. The stark orchestration includes saxophone, violin, cello, bass and drum kit to accompany the declamatory vocals of soprano Kristin Mueller-Heaslip. The result is very effective but hard to define or categorize. The composer sites Schubert, Philip Glass and David Byrne among his influences and the music is as eclectic as might be expected from such diverse roots. Concert note: The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra launches “The Torture Memos” at The Tranzac Club on December 11.
And now the bad karma!
Last night it started to rain just as I was leaving my second-last lesson. I hadn’t worn my waterproof outerwear (more accurately, waterproof pants and somewhat water-resistant jacket) because, when I left the house, it was a gorgeous if cool day without a cloud in the sky.
After saying a small prayer to the weather god for the rain to stop before the last lesson was over, I went about my business. Unfortunately the weather god failed to respond. I’m guessing this is because s/he doesn’t exist, but it might have been my failure to sacrifice a goat. So, rather ruining my wool coat and nice pants with 35 minutes of rain biking, I took the subway home.
If you are unfamiliar with the Toronto subway and are thinking that it’s something like the London Underground or the New York subway, let me disabuse you of that notion. As far as the actual trains go it’s great. They work, they’re clean-ish, they come pretty often, and there really ought to be about eight more lines but for the area they cover they’re just fine.
The money-taking part of the system, however, is kind of a mess. Unlike, say, New York or London, you don’t get a fare card from a machine. You can either:
– pay cash (about to go up to a nauseating $3/ride)
– buy tickets/tokens (varying discounts)
– get a day pass ($9)
– get a monthly pass (no clue, haven’t had one in eight years)
– I think there are weekly passes too, but have never bought one.
So, because the fares are about to go up AGAIN people were hoarding tokens. The last time I tried to buy some they were out, so I ended up just using cash. Thus when I got to the subway station last night I had no tokens or tickets, just a $5 bill that I needed to break to get on and get home.
Except there was no ticket collector.
The little booth was empty. And, unlike some stations, this particular one didn’t have an automatic token machine.
I waited a few minutes, shrugged my shoulders, took my bike through the gate and went to the train platform. And of course, since I got on the train for free, the ride home was miserable. At the station where I changed trains I couldn’t find the elevator, then was crowded out of getting on one train by the assholes around me, then had an old lady yell at me for having the nerve to want to get off the train when I did get to my station, because apparently some people never went to kindergarten.
On a plus note, I found an awesome squid hat pattern and made a prototype squid headdress that will be PERFECT. Anyone want to come over this weekend and help with the squidifacturing?