TwitFic #10: Darwin

February 26, 2010

Though he was a high-ranking member of a white supremacist gang, he wasn’t convinced in the supremacy of his fair-skinned race. A nigress in his science class was smarter than any of them; the strongest kid in PE was Asian. The weakest, dumbest person he knew was himself.

One of his gang’s pamphlets taught him about genetics and diluting racial bloodlines. This lead him to a conclusion which startled him.

If his offspring were to have any hope of success in life, he’d need to bolster his frail genetic code with a set of superior chromosomes. So he asked the intelligent black girl to the prom.

After an incident in the parking lot, witnessed by no one, he never awoke from the coma.

Character studies, 140 characters at a time, Monday-Friday at Mr. Dapper’s Twitter.

Bringing BABEL back

February 25, 2010

I’m bringing my BABEL moniker back. It started out as an experimental, post-ambient/neo-classical project then evolved closer to some kind of industrial-dub before fully becoming the psyche/folk I now record as Moonwood.

My newest album, Zahlreiche (out in March, still deciding on packaging),  is the closest to what I’d always intended BABEL to be, so it seemed fitting to bring the name back.

This is the third movement from a piece for prepared guitars called Schnurvorbereitung. It’s the most like Moonwood out of all the pieces on the album. The rest are a little more Cage/Glass/Reich by way of Neubauten/Branca/Chatham.

Dundas Dining: Swirls Cupcakes

February 23, 2010

Swirls falls a little outside of our usual Dundas Dining boundaries (roughly The Junction neighborhood), but it’s not too far past the Ghettobicoke line so I figure it’s fair play.

Mandi and I both love cupcakes. So it was with a little trepidation we approached Swirls. It’s not too far from my place so, if it were the heavenly cupcake experience it threatened to be, it’d be game over for us. We may as well start stocking up on insulin and acai berries.

Luckily, Swirls was merely “meh”.

Which is always odd for a restaurant or bakery which specializes in one product. If you’re a cupcake bakery, it’s completely fair for your patrons to have lofty expectations of your product. Which, frankly, I did have of my Still-a-Vanilla cupcake. So when the buttercream icing seemed more like whip-cream out of a spray can and the vanilla cake was a bit rubbery, I have to say I had not choice but to be a bit let down. I did ask myself if this was a case of my expectations being too high. I think I would have been a little more forgiving if cupcakes weren’t their specialty, but even so I’d have to rank this cupcake as just on the high side of average.

Mandi got the Red Velvet which was a better cake, but not as “red” as you’d expect. It did have a slight rosey tint to it. It was brown. The sign also said it was supposed to have cream cheese icing which she said it clearly didn’t.

As we left, we noticed they were putting out an Oreo cupcake which appeared to have proper buttercream icing. It looked absolutely delicious. Maybe it was. It made me doubt my cupcake had buttercream icing on it at all and I was right in thinking it was merely whip-cream out of a can.

As we were leaving we also noticed Swirls apparently makes fondant laden art cakes as well.

edward twlight cake

We think that’s the apple from the book cover.

One thing that was really fabulous about our visit to Swirls was the coffee. One of the best Americanos I’ve had on Dundas, bar none. Also the small size is apparently huge. But in typical Dundas Dining fashion, there has to be some awkwardness in ordering. You need to place your coffee order with someone at another counter entirely from where you place your cupcake order. Then they tally your coffee on a calculator which they slide over to the cupcake people. Really? That’s the best way to do it?

There’s also the option, the girl informed us, to pay them each separately. Though why they’d think anyone would ever want to do that never came to me. True, it would be more awkward and be slightly worse customer service which is the ideal in Dundas West restaurant culture, but I can’t really see the advantage.

The coffee was well worth the awkwardness. The cupcakes, not so much.

2.5 cups out of 5 cakes
5 Americanos out of 5 awkward moments

TwitFic #9: AWOL

February 19, 2010

Asleep, buffeted by the twin silver waves of the subway tracks, her head bobs on her uniform’s blue shoulders like a buoy on the dark sea. It’s almost seven bells and evening, judging by the sky’s hue whenever the train breaches the surface.

She’s slept through her watch again.
It’s not a cause for panic. She’s set herself a drift in a landlocked city in order to sleep. This is her third day sleeping on the subway. Twice a day she’s watched human tides roll in and out of the car, swirling like frothing eddies around a beached whale. Around her.
A thought washes upon her: When the whole world is an ocean, there’s no going AWOL from yourself.

TwitFic #8: Like Broken Snowflakes

February 17, 2010

From its vantage high up in the cold winter sky, the church bell tower looked down and saw the young couple fighting on the icy sidewalk.

The girl envisioned finding an apartment together within a year but he seemed content to live in his parents’ basement playing video games. Unwilling to support a woman slowly committing suicide one cigarette at a time, he wanted her to quit smoking and find a job.

Their bickering voices flew up into the air and got trapped, beside the pigeons, in the rafters of the bell tower. At noon the bells rang and sprinkled their worries back down upon them like broken snowflakes.

The bell tower thought each one was beautiful.

TwitFic #7: Heavy Drinker

February 8, 2010

He drank constantly. Liquids flowed through him like a river snaking through the humid body of a dense tropical rainforest.

He drank milk.

He drank water.

He drank beer and wine and pomegranate juice.

For lunch he drank yogurt and he’d liquefy his evening meals. He even went so far as to buy a small, portable blender which he brought to restaurants and turned cheeseburgers and samosas into smoothies. After years of not eating solid foods, he had his teeth removed by a dentist in Mexico.

While convalescing at a resort, he washed down several crushed codeine pills with tap water and died from the consequential blood infection.

Visit Mr. Dapper’s Twitter for stories told 140 characters per day.

Dundas Dining: North of Bombay

February 5, 2010

North of Bombay, one of four Indian restaurants in The Junction,  has one of the most confusing entrances of any restaurant I’ve ever seen. Two sets of completely reasonable looking doors.

Luckily, I’ve spent over a year staking the joint out so we didn’t make the mistake of trying to open the wrong set of doors. Also luckily, we were seated where we could watch people make that exact mistake. And a final piece of luck, a slight embarrassment with choosing the wrong set of doors is bound to be about the only drawback to your visit to North of Bombay.

We started with some amazing vegetable pakoras. These orgasmic little bundles of deep-fried delight were practically a meal in themselves.  I dare say they performed several positions of the Kama Sutra on my tongue before sliding easily down my throat.

After that divinely sensual experience of greasy starch, we shared a chicken vindaloo which leaned towards the tomato side of vindaloo and entirely away from the potato end of the spectrum. It was a nice change from the “this is just our darker, hotter curry” school of vindaloo—a school I’m a big fan of, mind you—which you normally find in Toronto. Yet it wasn’t as amazing as the pakoras had been. It was merely a very good vindaloo.

The naan bread was also top notch, clearly made from scratch, and authentically delicious. But speaking of authentic,  there were oddly no Indian beers available. I don’t believe there were even any IPAs on the list (Keiths sure as hell doesn’t count). So we had Guinness, but from bottles, sadly, not on tap.

The staff were competent, helpful and pleasant. There was nothing, really, to complain about (aside from the beer menu). One of our better Dundas Dining experiences.

4.5 vindaloos our of 5 pakoras

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