Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Antony and the Johnsons: Live

Check out These Roving Ears for a fantastic Antony and the Johnsons download!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When I was a kid, I was extremely gay.  My dearest friends were my middle-aged lady-teachers. I collected stationery supplies and loathed all-things-sporting.  I was that stereotypically homosexual boy prancing about the school yard making cakes and pies out of grass clippings with my girlfriends.  Looking back, I did it all despite fear of being beaten by Brian Burrows and his gang of emotionally-retarded thugs. While I may have attempted boyish manliness at times, I was mostly an unadulterated fag.

And I fear I've been terribly cavalier about all of that.

We watched Milk last night and I found the entire thing surprisingly emotional. I wanted to get up and cheer when he unabashedly kissed his boyfriend on the then-conservative Castro Street in San Fransisco. I was moved to tears when Harvey Milk (bravo, Sean Penn, bravo) climbed upon his literal soap box. And I made some kind of strange, guttural eruption of noises when the wheelchair-bound boy from Minnesota called him to say he was going to kill himself.  

A mere 40 years ago all of these things happened.  These people fought so hard for the rights I have, and I glibly refer to myself as a fagatron on a fairly regular basis. Because I can.

I'm not sure when we, as a gay people, went from being marching, demanding hoards of passionate people to the apathetic, expectant bunch we are now.  How is it possible that Proposition 6 passed all those years ago, yet Proposition 8 failed so miserably in 2008. Why didn't everyone, far and wide, stand up and shout. Demand. Care enough to make it happen.

And this isn't a condemnation of anyone's efforts, really. Watching the incredible story of Harvey Milk I felt so guilty. So selfish and young and ignorant. Like my grass-pies then, I prance about town now reaping the benefits of the hard work of many without giving it much thought at all. I rarely consider how lucky I am.

This isn't to say I'm becoming an activist: it's not in my nature. But I will stop to ponder, more often, how it is I can go anywhere with Jeff and not once worry I might be murdered.  We can put both our names on a mortgage, on health benefits.  We can exist.  And we can put our heads down at night without a heavy heart.

(Above: A beach-blonde me, 1985.  Note the palette I'm still obsessed with.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Can This Lose?

Allow me to do some mathematics, here:

Couch Surfing

Yet another lovely couch.  Stylenorth.ca alerted me to a massive warehouse sale being held at Gus* here in Toronto which brought me to this lovely, modern-yet-classic tufted couch.  It has the right energy for the masculine, tailored look we're hoping to achieve and the colour is perfect.  For me, there's nothing like warm grey.  I'd soften it up with some nice throw pillows and perhaps replace the metal legs with something wooden.  It's definitely going on the list.

Getting Bagged Never Felt So Right

Yet another blog I frequent is thesundaybest. A collection of posts not dissimilar to my own blog, this Victoria, BC guy covers everything from pop culture to fashion to food. He recently posted about Ally Capellino and her beautiful bags. They're fantastic and I want one in every colour. Particularly these four.

Friday, March 27, 2009

If I Was a Dog I'd Be Dead By Now

Just wanted to point you all in the direction of a hilarious blog.  Her name is Jenny and goes by The Bloggess.  She writes hilarious, seemingly-disjointed rants about all things ridiculous and clever.  Most recently she wrote about having ADD, only to discover (via some sort of self-diagnosis site) that she's really just lazy.  She believes the acronym for her disease would be a simple "L", though sufferers, naturally, would be too L to capitalize, so it would be "l", oft-confused with a capital "i".   

She's exactly the kind of quirk I like.  Her bio says "Victor is my husband. Hailey is my four year old.  Pluto is a planet, in spite of what you may have heard."  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Time Check

I like this watch.  Its multiple leather straps are something I don't usually stand for:  not on David Beckham and certainly not on myself.  But it looks like such high quality and its face is so beautiful.  And if I had $695 I'd buy it and have the chumps at Burberry sew those excessive straps together, making something thicker.  And a whole lot less Bon Jovi.

(source: mensrag.com)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amy Poehler is my God Now

She'll return to network television soon with her Parks and Recreation. Can. Not. Wait.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Crate and Barrel sofa.  Delightful.

In Living Colour

We had a second visit to our new apartment today. Because the transaction was a bit impulsive, we were anxious to see it again. A note to readers: Real estate is not gum. While you don't want to hem and haw too long, it might be wise to have a second look before you purchase. That said, we were very relieved to see that everything was as we remembered, some aspects even better! The floors were in good condition, the dimensions more gracious than we'd first thought, and the amenities (which we didn't see before buying) were lovely! It will be so nice to have a pool and a hot tub and a gym at our disposal.

We took all the necessary measurements and thought through our floor plan ideas. Due to some bulkheads and other unforeseen obstacles, it seems the whole thing is easiest left untouched. We will continue, full steam ahead, outfitting the den into a closet and removing the existing front hall closet, but our idea to blast through the bedroom's walk-in closet is more trouble than it's worth.

For now, I've moved on to paint. I hit up our local store today to snag some chips. The colours may not be entirely accurate on your monitor, but think greys, mustards, eggplants and seafoam. Lots of wood, lots of warm browns. The biggest mistake people make is lack of contrast. I made that mistake once. An all-white living room, for example, is missing a critical balance. Our birdcage lamp and the dark floors will provide a great counter to the white kitchen and misty seafoam tones.

This whole process is getting all-too-real. Next step: Hire a contractor, a painter, and a closet company. Leave a comment if you know of anyone great.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plan of Attack

I've always loved floor plans. I'd flip through design magazines searching for those ads about gated communities in Arizona, just so I could stare at the plans, imagining myself walking through the halls, checking in on the baby, that sort of thing. I always built my Lego houses open on top (rather than at the back like a doll house) so I could stare down into the house, a bird's eye view.

Being a bit of a child-nerd, I loved to sketch out my small bedroom and decide on a new furniture plan before moving each bulky item into its new place. I'd draw the room on graph paper, complete with windows and doors, and cut out little bits of construction paper to represent each of my prized possessions. I still do this, though on a slightly larger scale and with contractors in mind.

Figure A (left, click to enlarge) is our new apartment as-is. Don't be fooled, it's much smaller than it appears. That said, the layout is great, right down to satisfying one of my needs, a proper "foyer", however tiny it may be. As I mentioned before, we're planning to nix the ridiculously small den and replace it with a pimped-out butler's pantry for all our storage needs. Figure B (below) illustrates how we'd like to remove the existing front hall closet, opening-up the entrance way, and add sliding barn-doors to conceal the new pantry.

Heading inside we plan on replacing the ultra-cheap Formica counter on the peninsula with something grand, a nice piece of marble I hope! We're gonna source out some off-cuts to see what kind of deal we can snag. By extending the counter out towards the living room, we can gain much needed dining space without designating room for a proper table and chairs. By doubling the width of the counter we'll be able to have casual dinners for four right in the kitchen.

For whatever reason, the patio door slides open from right to left - This seems to us a bit odd. It would make more sense for traffic flow and our furniture plan that the door open the other way. We'll look into swapping it as a possible solution.

Moving into the bedroom, The Easy Plan is to rehang the door so it opens into the small "hallway", rather than into the bedroom. The room is only about 10X9, so every inch will count. The More Involved Plan (Figure C, bottom) sees the walk-in closet removed completely (replaced with a wardrobe of some kind) and another barn-door installed on the outer wall. This would mean our guests would need to step into our bedroom in order to use the only washroom, but that's no big whoop. Creating a master suite, of sorts, this would open up the whole space, and, more often than not, it's just the two of us and the insinuation of an ensuite bath is nice.

We've scheduled a viewing so we can measure and see what really needs to be done. Stay tuned and let me know what you think of our ideas!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If I Ever Have This Much Space . . .

Here's another room I snagged from Toronto designer Arren Williams' blog. What a gorgeous room! That coffee table! That fireplace! Indoor/outdoor! Gah! But my eye always travels to the discreet green tufted chair lingering in the background and those shiny throw pillows way back there! Although an impersonal showroom with some obvious missing elements, it's just beautiful.


I can't really focus on anything but decorating our new apartment. It's all I think about. The new issue of Canadian House and Home showcases one of the loveliest living rooms I've seen recently. When I flipped the page and saw it, I gasped. It had so many elements I'm imagining for us: floor-to-ceiling drapes, hits of marble, warm greys, mustard and purple . . . The room doesn't feel overdone or fussy, yet it's elegant and complete.

Because we're downsizing from the pleasure of both a formal living room and an informal rumpus room in the basement, I have to find a way to create a room that's cozy enough for TV but also suitable for cocktail parties and the like. A sectional we can both curl up on will be key and the occasional chairs you've read about before will lend the formality. While the House and Home room has a gorgeous marble fireplace, we'll have to warm our feet by the light of the flat screen. We don't currently have a television in our formal living room, so that'll be something to get used to.

As with most one bedroom units, the "living" space is intended as both a sitting area and room for dining. At this stage, I think it might be advantageous to max-out the living room by eliminating the dining. We spend far more time lounging than we do eating, so it's my instinct to make that the more generous space and, instead, have stools at the kitchen counter for light meals and whatnot. As we source more furniture (big ticket items like the sofa) we may discover a small table for four will work. Time will tell.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Opinions, Please

How do y'all feel about FLOR carpet tiles? I'm into them for various reasons. If you spill something that won't come out, you can pull just one tile and replace it with ease. They are reasonably priced at anywhere from $3 to $10 a square foot, depending on the intricacy of the pattern and the material. You can create your own size for those hard-to-carpet rooms. And they're awfully nice.

With our new place, I'm going for a menswear-inspired palette. I'm gunning for houndstooth drapes, maybe a tidy grey wool for the sofa; I want warm, rich colours and a clean, manly feel. Well, a super faggy man, but you know what I mean. With lots of grey, shots of cream, hits of mustard, some eggplant and seafoam in there too.

I like these options. What do you think?


I am getting a Macbook because I have a wonderfully generous life partner. As someone who is completely sucked-in by the marketing magic of Apple, this excites me to no end. I want to accessorize it bad, with this:

(found here.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Liking This Mood

I like the feel of this room. Adding it to my ever-growing collection of inspiring images.

(found here.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Whole New World

Well, we officially finished our house hunt at 1:00PM this afternoon. We are first-time homeowners. My heart is palpitating.

We'll be moving into 613 square feet on May 8th. That means I have less than 8 weeks to source everything we'll need to transform this tiny place into all my wildest design dreams. With a southern view from the 26th floor of the skyline and beyond, I'm hoping for a blend of old world rustic (wood beams, heavy shelving, velvet and a rich colour palette) and mid-century modern (all of our teak and clean lines everywhere). I want layers and warmth and utter comfort. A woolen sofa we can sink into, chunky ottoman, snappy eggplant drapes, floor-to-ceiling. There's a "den" just inside the front door which we will turn into the most pimped-out butler's pantry/storage-haven you can imagine, because a 5'X8' room is pointless. A reclaimed antique door will hang on a barn door track, hiding it all away. We'll need a beautiful slab of something for the kitchen peninsula and a swath of FLOR carpet tiles. We'll overlap our move-out with our move-in so we can get everything done before as even the slightest renovations would be near-impossible to live through in such a small space.

While I'm nervous about a downsize of this magnitude, I'm super excited to max-out the decor, to create a totally finished space. With so little to work with, every inch will be fantastic. Functionality meets style, that's the goal. Stay tuned for before and afters over the next little while.

(My newest global addition. The tiniest and most adorable.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is Spring Springing?

Could it be? With the temperature rising, it seems Spring might be in the air! It's intoxicating! We had a lovely brunch at Edward Levesque's Kitchen on Sunday with our friends and then poked around a couple of antique shops on Queen East. It was one of those easy and beautiful days that happen when the days get longer. Speaking of . . .

An extravagance we don't often allow ourselves to afford, there's nothing like fresh cut flowers. We picked up a bundle of tulips on the weekend and I just love the way they freshen up the room. I tend to be very un-precious when it comes to arranging flowers, especially if the bouquet is of one variety. I prefer them to look something like they did when they were in the ground: accidental and simple, hanging out in any old order. I love the way two of them are creeping off to the side, imperfectly perfect.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

These Roving Ears

So, I decided to expand the brand. Haha.
I welcome you to visit these roving ears, a blog devoted to my love of music. I've been posting so much lately that I thought it time to create a sister blog, of sorts. Visit to find downloads, reviews, concert listings and more. And thanks for your continued support!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Face I Make A Lot

It's not until you take a series of self-absorbed self portraits that you see your true colours.

My parents always got annoyed with me for being condescending and arrogant. I didn't really mean to be, I just happened to make nasty faces. I have very little control over my expressions, over my feelings in general. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my bitchiness on my face. If you see this face, please know I don't mean it. Well, unless you're being totally stupid or saying something I don't care to hear. Ha-ha.