The Blogerati Files: squiddity

This week in the Blogerati Files, squiddity

Describe your blog in 10 words or less.
Look at this cool thing I saw!

Why did you start your blog? Blogiversary?
February 2005. I actually started it on the 12th, but I kind of think of the blog's birthday as Valentine's Day. (For "why", see below.)

How long have you lived in Toronto?
Since October 1995.

What's the funniest/strangest thing that has happened to you in Toronto? Did you blog about it?
It would be hard to pinpoint the funniest or strangest thing. However, it was one of the funnier/stranger things that inspired me to get a digital camera and start a blog. That was the time I found a whole, dead squid on the subway.

What are some of the changes in Toronto that you have seen in your lifetime?
The city has changed a lot in the time I've been here. I would say the most interesting and significant change, to me, has been the relatively recent surge of interest and pride in the city itself. Many people seem to have a sense right now of Toronto as a place of enormous potential and possibility. Groups like the Toronto Public Space Committee, newmindspace, and Mammalian Diving Reflex (to name just 3) are messing around with the city, and with people's everyday experience of it, in ways I find really interesting.

What era, day or event in Toronto's history would you like to re-live and why?
Probably the great blackout of 2003, because I had such a good time: I went over to a friend's place, and a whole group of us converged and had an impromptu candlelit dinner party.

Can we believe everything you post on your blog?
I couldn't make this stuff up. Also, I have photos!

Has blogging changed you or enhanced a personality trait?
Well, I used to tell people I had become 40% more obnoxious upon acquiring a digital camera. I think having a camera & a place to post photos made me nervier, a bit.

Do you have a favourite post from your blog?
I think the best thing so far has been the pickle thing. In March 2005, I was walking along Queen Street West one afternoon when I saw a smashed jar of pickles that someone had dropped on the street. I thought that was kind
of funny, so I took a couple of pictures of it & posted them. A few weeks later, I started going on walks with the Toronto Psychogeography Society, and a few of the other members read my blog. One of them, Dale, recognized the pickles -- she knew the guy who had dropped them! She e-mailed me the whole backstory of the pickle incident, and I posted it. I still can't believe my blog led me to the pickle-dropper!

Have you had your 15 minutes yet?
Sort of. I blogged about a performance at MOCCA where Dutch drummer Han
Bennink played a drum kit made of cheese
. I included a link to a Flickr set of photos I took of the performance. The Flickr set got linked on Metafilter. I didn't know -- I logged onto Flickr a couple of days later and was baffled to see the set had been viewed almost 10,000 times! Then a friend e-mailed me about the MeFi thing.

Ever met a stranger who already knew you through your blog? How was that?
I've met a few people through my blog. That's always fun. It's not weird or anything, because it's not a particularly personal blog. People who read it tend to have interests that are similar to mine, so I like meeting them.

Fav bloggers?
I'm picky! I don't really like personal or political blogs, for the most part. An exception, I guess, is Mimi Smartypants, a fairly famous Chicago blogger (she's had a book published). She writes about her life as a mom and general person-about-town, but the thing is, she writes really well, and she's extremely funny. I have a slightly unhealthy devotion to her blog, I think I've read every post she's ever written. I also love to death the blog of Mike Doughty, a Brooklyn singer/songwriter who played Toronto last week as part of NXNE. I'm a longtime fan of his music as well, but his blog is a completely separate excellent thing, to me. Locally, I enjoy Brett Lamb's Blamblog, though he's been really busy the last few months, causing a regrettable falling-off in the incidence of insane plotlines about lovestruck aliens, coked-up playboy sharks, and backstabbing
teddy bears.

You have the opportunity to gather with 5 of your regular readers - who are they, where do you meet and what do you talk about?
I already hang out with many of my regular readers, so this wouldn't be a particularly unusual event. But it would be nice to meet readers who live far away & whom I've never met in person -- like Ranjit, in Brooklyn, who has built a robot that plays the theremin, and Andrew, in the UK, who has invented a set of computerized drumsticks that can be used to play random objects as if they were drums. If I got together with those guys, I imagine we'd talk about unusual ways of making music, among other things.

What's happening in Toronto right now that the rest of us should be watching?
Lots! The Scream Literary Festival -- a week of readings and innovative lit-related events (including a walking tour and a gallery show in Kensington Market), culminating in the much-loved Scream in High Park on Monday, July 10. Later that month, July 17-21, the World Dance Alliance Global Assembly will be taking place up at York U. There will be four evenings of performances, as well as panel discussions and talks by internationally established choreographers. I'll be volunteering at some Scream events and working at the dance conference, so you might see me there!

If your blog were a food, what food would it be?

If you could gather all of the bloggers of the world together into one room and tell them one thing, what would it be?
That would be a waste of breath -- you can't tell bloggers anything. :) Which is as it should be. Seriously, blogging is such a diverse medium it's hard to think of any advice that would apply to ALL bloggers.

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