September 29, 2004

Post-College Furniture


Post-College Furniture
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I liked the light.

Posted by Gayla at 10:45 PM | Comments (10)

Kim Moon

kim moon

Hometown Tour: Kim Moon
Taken with Holga

When I was a kid, eating out (a rare treat) meant a visit to the usual fast food joints. Until my stepfather discovered 10 cent wings and it was Chatanooga Choo Choos some Tuesdays while my mother went to bingo. Believe me that was a HUGE step up. But I always liked Kim Moon. I only really ever remember going there one time; a Sunday after church. I'm still not sure why we went because it was so far off our usual course, but it was definitely without Rob (he didn't like Chinese Food. aka suburban-style Chinese Food.)

I loved that meal at Kim Moon. To my child mind chicken balls with fluorescent sauce and anything with fried bean sprouts with packets of soy sauce served in a quiet "Asian-esque" atmosphere was really classy and posh.

Oh those little things that give the dumb impression that you've jumped classes for a moment.

Posted by Gayla at 10:40 AM | Comments (4)

September 28, 2004



Taken with Nikon D70

I took this photo using a broken lens as a fake macro. Fun.

Oh yes I remember what I wanted to say now. The other day I got an email from John mentioning something he'd heard on the radio. A writer was challenged to use a few words in "old" uses. She chose to use happy as a verb... as in to happy oneself. I like it. It reminds me of "love", another word which should be used as a verb but is often used as a noun.

Posted by Gayla at 12:15 AM | Comments (7)

September 27, 2004

Fear Eats the Soul


Chained Chairs
Taken with Mamiya C330

Too many times recently I've found myself amidst a conversation about how we can't escape inevitably waking up one day having become our parents. That regardless of our actions we are somehow ruled by destiny. I didn't say it then but I'll say it now because I never should have held it back in the first place. Fuck destiny. You don't have to become your parents unless you let it happen. Make good choices. Become yourself. I'm fucking tired of this miserable, "I guess my parents were right after all" attitude.

Fear eats the soul.

Posted by Gayla at 12:02 AM | Comments (17)

September 25, 2004

Be Seeing You


Number 11
Taken with Mamiya C330

You can rent these quadrapeds on Centre Island for a hefty fee. I love them because they remind me of "The Prisoner". Everytime I see one I want to get a jacket with piping and ride around the islands.


We took a bike ride west along the Waterfront Trail today. I took one of my box cameras along. I haven't used any of them in ages.

Posted by Gayla at 07:29 PM | Comments (9)

September 24, 2004

Light on the Door

The Light on the Door
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I already posted one today but shit why not. Don't miss the other one though because it has an important message.

More stuff: My guest post on orbit1 | Me captured by Chris | The Expanding Chair & Cart Gang | i love photo


A shitty thing happened today. Mr. Risk went out to pick up some film from the place that develops my film. I had five rolls of 120 and a roll from the Horizon. Well when he came back and I opened up the boxes of film I was shocked to discover five rolls that were not taken by me; five rolls of people dressed in costumes. I was horrified! If I have costume picture person's photos then who has mine? So long story short Mr. Risk went all the way back, and they gave him five rolls that looked to be mine... except two of the rolls were completely blank! They claim that was my fault but there is no way in hell because the rolls were shot in between the other rolls on the same day using the same fucking camera. Grumble.

Other than that I had a good day. That bad mood from last week that was still sort-of lingering is turning. I'm excited by the film that did come back. Life is good.

Posted by Gayla at 12:23 AM | Comments (8)

September 23, 2004

Hometown Tour: Towers Plaza III


Hometown Tour: Towers Plaza III
Taken with Great Wall DF-

Good lord I took a lot of pictures in St. Catharines. I'm STILL scanning them.



So I'm working on a gardening book that will be out in stores this spring. And I'm in a mad dash to finish up the photos before I start into the design. Unfortunately there are a few photos I just can't get here in Southern Ontario. Quite a lot of you who visit here are photographers so I thought I'd put the word out... I NEED YOUR PICTURES! I've got a list of stuff I'm looking for posted below. If you happen to have photos that you wouldn't mind contributing and think would be appropriate (this is a colour book) email and I'll send you the details regarding compensation and rights. Please include "GARDEN BOOK" in the subject line so your email doesn't get lost in my spam filter.

Oh and if you're in Toronto and have a "garden" or know someone who does and would be willing to allow me to come over and photograph it please contact me too!

My book is specifically geared towards a non-traditonal gardening audience. A youngish crowd who don’t have a ton of space or money.

Here’s what I’m looking for :

- Gardens in climates that are clearly NOT Southern Ontario. i.e. Desert, tropical, sub-tropical, Florida, California, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, North, South, East, West, ocean/sea side, etc.

- Urban gardens. Gardens can be as little as a window box or as big as a full yard. Decks, balconies and fire escapes are all included.

- People in their gardens. Digging, weeding, planting, lounging, drinking beer… doing stuff. Youngish people (18-45) are even better.

- Art Gardens, Thrifty Gardens (uses junk for containers, etc), Theme Gardens (based on colour schemes or designed around an idea. i.e. “Gothic”, USA red white and blue, medicinal herbs, pink flamingos, etc. Doesn’t have to be kooky)

Posted by Gayla at 02:27 PM | Comments (3)

September 22, 2004

Hometown Tour: Towers Plaza II

Towers Plaza

Hometown Tour: Towers Plaza II
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I had a crazy dream this morning. In the dream my brother and I were walking through parking lot after parking lot on the way to see our father's dead body in the funeral home. This isn't far from the truth because we did walk through several parking lots the day we saw out father's body (above is one of them taken just minutes before.). But in real life it was the magic hour and the light was beautiful and golden and just spectacular. But in the dream storm clouds moved in quickly and the sky turned very dark and ominous. But when we went into the funeral home it wasn't a funeral home but a church and they were having a rummage sale. We rooted through boxes of old books and roller skates. The roller skates are also something pulled from real life. The other day I was on a wild purging spree and came very close to giving away my two pairs of awesome roller skates. But then my brother and I put them on (he had to cram his feet in but I have big feet for a female anyway) and we had fun skating up and down our street. But in the dream the skates looked more like my rollerskates from childhood (white boots with a giant pink pom-pom) and they cost $265. Then I turned a corner and saw a display case of t-shirts, pencils and other crap promoting the scary bible camp and other scary bible clubs I attended in childhood.

People started to show up for church service while we continued to rummage through boxes of records and paper etc. Then I went into the bathroom. I walked into a stall but the toilet was filled to the top with paper. So I started to flush it. As I did the paper went down and a fully stuffed turkey and chicken were left floating in the bowl. Then the turkey somehow shot out, slapped onto the floor and rolled out from under the stall into the main bathroom. I'd had enough and decided to forget it. When I walked out there was a MASSIVE lineup of people waiting to use the bathroom. Most of them were my relatives. I laughed and said to the crowd, "I don't know how that happened or how that turkey got in there in the first place but there's an entire chicken too!", and then walked out of the bathroom.

Posted by Gayla at 07:22 PM | Comments (4)

September 21, 2004



Taken with Nikon D70

Oh oh. Picked up The Sims2 last night. Although oddly enough I don't think I care for the fancier, more 3D graphics. I don't need to zoom in that close to hyper-reality. I also hate that I don't know any money cheats so I have to actually play the game. I prefer building houses. I rarely play the people. Work, bathroom, wash hands, take bath, make dinner, study cooking, etc., and repeat gets boring after about 5 minutes. I always come out of it feeling like my hygeine and social levels are in the red. So then I brush my teeth and wash the dishes.

Making the people is more fun though. My first character is a super sleeze-ball on the politics career path and whose life ambition is popularity.

Posted by Gayla at 01:30 PM | Comments (9)

September 20, 2004

We Are the Geeks


25 Cents
Taken with Great Wall DF-

Busy weekend. We totally rearranged and painted our front room. I put up a few of my pictures.

We watched Dogville last night. Against all odds I actually really liked it. There were a few times I had to get up for a break, and it took a while for me to adjust to the sparse set and strange opening and closing of non-existant doors... but I'm surprised that I DID adjust at all. As badly didactic as the closing credits were the sudden introduction of "Young American" helped jolt me awake after a three hour lull. And I liked the pictures.

Yesterday's big event was the Photoblogger Meet-up which was better than ever. Quite a few people showed up and there was lots of conversation. I enjoyed the looking at all the different cameras. Show & Tell was always my favourite school event.

Mr. Risk made buttons for everyone. We are geeks. Rannie has the Master Attendance List posted along with a photo of all the cameras. Jon's view.

Posted by Gayla at 11:02 AM | Comments (7)

September 18, 2004

Bumper Cars


Bumper Cars
Taken with Zero 2000 Pinhole

I think my bad mood is slipping. I was really pissy yesterday.

The weather is changing. It's so cold today. NOOOOOOO!!! I want a do-over.

Posted by Gayla at 11:26 AM | Comments (4)

September 17, 2004



Taken with Mamiya C330

I'm not in love with this photo. It's badly exposed. AND it's cropped... something I'm not against but try to avoid. Anyway I wanted to post it because he was so sweet and lovely. He asked us to take his picture and I really wanted to take a beautiful picture that I could print out and give to him. A beautiful picture that reflected his beauty.... I'm disappointed.

It was funny meeting him. Just before this day I had a little "I'm sick of the Charles Bukowskis of the world" rant and then to meet this human who warmed my heart... and who just happens to look A LOT like Charles Bukowski! I have no idea if he has any similarities to Charles Bukowski but shit they could be twins.

Posted by Gayla at 12:00 AM | Comments (7)

September 16, 2004

Fresh & Nice

Fresh and Nice

Taken with Mamiya C330

GTA Photobloggers Meet-up

Sunday September 19th at 3 pm

Rhino Bar & Grill
1249 Queen St. W.

Posted by Gayla at 10:44 AM | Comments (7)

September 15, 2004

Hometown Tour: School


Hometown Tour: E. I. McCulley School
Taken with Great Wall DF-

This is my childhood school. I attended this school from grade one to grade six.

Visiting here was the only part of our trip that made me cry.

Posted by Gayla at 04:21 PM | Comments (1)

Wall with Snow & Tracks with Tires


Wall with Snow Piles and Tracks with Tires
Taken with Horizon 202

My real intention behind posting was to post this other picture bigger, but at this size they work best in a pop-up so I had to put something up in the main slot. Both of these pictures are from a while back. All that snow should be a give-away. I was lazy with the colour one and didn't bother cloning out the piece of hair or whatever that big white line is.

Another busy day. I rode my bike far (and fast cause I was late)... and all uphill. By the time I reached my destination I was both giddy and woozy from the adrenaline and my face and neck were burned by the intense and direct sun. Riding back downhill was a lot more fun. I took my time scooting through untravelled alleys, stopping to take pictures and listening to my June 2004 mixed cd (on low volume so I could still hear traffic). Safety first! ...except that I wasn't wearing a helmet.

By sheer luck I found the most amazing house on the way up. It was a theme house done in the craziest over-the-top Greek theme. Blue and white, of course, with lots of statues etc. I took a few pictures of it with the Diana camera (how appropriate) but will have to wait on "The Never Ending Pile of Film for Which I Truly Do Require a Personal Scanning Assistant 2004".

Check out the bigger photo.

Posted by Gayla at 12:50 AM | Comments (4)

September 14, 2004

Crazy Building, Crazy Me

I posted this because Davin posted one of his

Crazy Store
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I had a very productive day yesterday. I kept my bike on standby and ran several errands in addition to taking lots of pictures, prepping files, preparing illustrations etc. Crossing stuff off the list. These days I try to focus on what I HAVE done rather than on what I HAVEN'T done. If I thought too hard about what needs doing I'd spontaneously combust.

In addition to all that I also answered some email, roasted tomatoes and baked a pumpkin pie from scratch. I am a machine.

Posted by Gayla at 10:21 AM | Comments (11)

September 12, 2004

Canadian Tireez


Canadian Tireez
Taken with Nikon D70

We rode our bikes up to The Junction yesterday for something to do. The Junction Art Festival just happened to be on so that kind of blew our plans. But then we got back on our bikes heading north and came across this abandoned Canadian Tire that has been turned into a graffiti practice canvas. I say practice cause most of the artwork stank. But it was still pretty incredible to see a Canadian Tire revamped like that. The boys who were painting milled around with their shirts off drinking beers while an audience of girls hung around looking cute. Ah youth. That shit never changes.

After a round of picture-taking we headed north through a scary underpass. The traffic was brutal and I'm very glad I chose the sidewalk because just as I started across a bus flew by me so fast and so close I was pushed by the wind it produced. And I was on the sidewalk, not the road!

Before heading back we had a lengthy discussion about possible routes and how to avoid that underpass. We're unfamiliar with that area though and ended up back on the same street after our alternate route failed. Upon approaching the bridge we discovered that there had just been a really bad accident. Cops blocked the road, an ambulance was parked across the street, a bus sat waiting and hourdes of people milled about either waiting to get back on the bus or just watching in that way people do when something bad happens. A bike was laying on the side of the road and just behind it sat a car with the front end literally wrapped around a pole... in the same spot we encountered the speeding bus only an hour eariler. The car was covered in a tarp and as we walked our bikes through the scene I overhead someone say there were two bodies inside. A bad "funk" band played "Jungle Boogie" for the arts festival attendees just up the street. The whole scene was really heavy and unsettling.

Posted by Gayla at 10:46 PM | Comments (5)

September 11, 2004

Hometown Tour: IN


Hometown Tour: IN
Taken with Great Wall DF-

This was the last photo I took on the way OUT of St. Catharines. Funny.

I'm posting in spurts. Click back a few entires if you want to be sure to catch it. I've got a stack -- a LARGE stack of unscanned film. Some of it dates back to the spring. A bunch of it is new. I have only seen these images in negative. It's torture.

They've been busy on Toy Camera. Check out "The Restroom" gallery.

Posted by Gayla at 12:21 PM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2004



Hometown Tour: Hydrant
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I'm very touched by John's post. Carts and hydrants and benches oh my.

Posted by Gayla at 11:49 PM | Comments (3)

Giant Ferris Wheel II


Giant Ferris Wheel II
Taken with the Windsor/Diana Hybrid

Watched Robert Altman's 3 Women. It's a slow movie with a lot of detail and it's slowly growing on me. All that yellow reminded me of my childhood bedroom.

>> Edited to add that the version I rented is a new Criterion DVD re-release that features a gallery of stills shot by two photographers during production of the film. They're great (the sets were so good too). I was especially excited about the panoramics taken of the murals. There was lots of distortion just like in the shots I take with the Horizon which makes me think that maybe they were shot with a lowish-end panoramic like a Widelux or a 70s era metal Horizon? At this point I've fully embraced the distortion.

Posted by Gayla at 02:14 PM | Comments (8)

September 09, 2004

Currently Enjoying


Giant Ferris Wheel
Taken with the Windsor/Diana Hybrid

Currently enjoying:

- These black and white photos taken at the C.N.E.
- The Farmer's Market. So many goodies.
- Sunshine. Today was supposed to be rainy.
- Revolutionary Generation Public Enemy. I've already listened to it six times today on my walkman.
- Village Ghetto Land Stevie Wonder
- We the People Who Are Darker than Blue Curtis Mayfield
- A broken lens used as a macro on the Nikon digital.

Posted by Gayla at 06:32 PM | Comments (8)

September 08, 2004

Balloon Game | Random Thoughts


Balloon Game
Taken with the Windsor/Diana Hybrid

When I was four, the balloon game was my favourite. I was fairly certain that with my balloon-bursting skills I could grow up to be a balloon game pro. The only prize I remember was an over-sized metal pinback button (the type that had a lithoed image) depicting a cartoon bunny with the words "I wuv you".

I just watched "Life and Debt" a documentary that chronicles the effect of globalization on Jamaica. The film is structured around excerpts from "A Small Place" by Jamaica Kincaid. The website's about the film page is worth a read. Further proof that the way we continue to fuck one another over for a buck is disgusting. Who stole the soul?

Last night we rented Criterion's reissue of "Do the Right Thing" with lots of behind-the-scenes footage and info.

I'm currently reading "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a really interesting and well-written book. The kind I could easily finish in one day if I had the time. Interestingly enough The Roots just came out with an album called "Tipping Point". I haven't heard it yet. I was disappointed by their last album although the cover design was very nice.

But Talib Kweli is coming out with a new album at the end of this month. I'm highly anticipating that one. I'm always curious to see which Nina Simone songs are sampled. Sinnerman was used on the last one and he actually rewrote Four Women on the previous album called For Women.

I've had several camera conversations with strangers on the street recently. Three people stopped me yesterday alone about the Nikon D70. And on Saturday a woman asked me about the Great Wall. An interesting result of the dominancy of colour 35mm film in the consumer market is that people commonly assume that 1. An old camera like the Great Wall takes black and white pictures only and 2. That the pictures are "old". Whatever the questions people ask and no matter what camera they're asking about, the final inevitable question is always "Are you a photographer?" Maybe I need to get the t-shirt.

Posted by Gayla at 05:36 PM | Comments (10)

Kodak Eh?


Kodak Eh?
Taken with Holga

I posted two of these tonight. See the first one.

Posted by Gayla at 12:15 AM | Comments (1)

Out of His Mind


Out of His Mind
Taken with Holga

Posted by Gayla at 12:12 AM | Comments (2)

September 07, 2004



Taken with Nikon D70

Happy Birthday Jay!

Posted by Gayla at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)

My New/Old Name


Standing (not quite) in the Shadow
Taken with Holga

My brother took this photo of me standing outside our childhood home.

Today, as I was cleaning off the top of my computer I picked up two metal letters (my initials) and it suddenly hit me.... I'm no longer "GS", I'm now "GT". Trippy. People keep referring to me with my new/old name, probably in an attempt to familiarize me and themselves with it but I have to say it comes as a shock everytime. It's going to take some getting used to. And writing it... so odd. My name was changed before I learned to write so I grew up writing one name. I have to reinvent my signature.

Any of the women I have known who changed their name when they married have never spoke about how changing their name effected them. Did you know that in Canada it is a much easier process to change your name if you marry? My name change is a more involved legal process.

As I said I'm finding the whole thing to be quite jarring but I know the reason is because it feels like such an assertive act. In some respects I feel like not only have I changed over the last years and become a different person, but now I'm letting people know it in a very forthright manner and then forcing them to acknowledge it. I have all the legal shit, changing all my I.D., and then socially I have to explain it to everyone I have contact with both personal and professional... and the publisher. I'm waiting to hear their response but they may be very resistant to switching the published name depending on how far into the marketing process they have gone. I checked on Amazon and the book is listed there with an ISBN number. Mind you the title is incorrect so perhaps it's not that bad after all.

It's frightening, strange, but also exciting. I mean, forget the new name hassle, my friggin book is listed on Amazon!

...And now I quietly and calmly slip back into a safe and unhealthy state of denial in order to cope with how much work is still to be done.

Posted by Gayla at 12:04 AM | Comments (4)

September 05, 2004

Spiders on the Island


Blair Witch?
Taken with Nikon D70

We spent a lovely, relaxing day on the island yesterday. I always feel better after a day of bike riding and sunshine. It actually felt like a full-on, sweaty summer day. Keep them coming please. I need to sweat like a pig so I can feel okay about going into winter.

Both tourists and spiders were out in full force. I have NEVER seen so many spider webs.... or so many tourists on Wards Island. They were everywhere! Here's a photo. Don't look Chris. I got bit on the foot by a red ant. It hurt like hell for a while and left a small red trail that went from the bite spot up my leg. We saw some kind of bird that looked like a woodpecker and had a white spot on its ass. There were lots of them foraging in the grass. We also saw the Snowbirds flying overhead in formation. Can't escape them no matter where we go!

Posted by Gayla at 01:01 PM | Comments (4)

September 04, 2004

White and Blue

white blossoms

White and Blue
Taken with Diana/Windsor Clone

Scheduled day off. Yay.

We purchased Zhang Yimou's lush film "Hero" on DVD a long while back. Stunningly beautiful film. I'm a total colour fetishist so it's been on my short-list of favourites since we saw it. My favourite scenes are the yellow leaves contrasting with the flowing red clothing of the fighters (red segment) and the hanging green drapes in the green segment. We went out to see it at the theatre figuring it was big-screen worthy. Very nice. Good movie to see just in time for the rapidly approaching colours of fall.

I tried but I can't hold myself back from saying that some fuckers (might not be the same fuckers) ruined my incredibly over-priced movie-going experience by 1. SMOKING during the movie!!! 2. Spraying perfume at least three times during the course of the film. Message to the world: I would rather smell the fast-food dinner sweat exuding from your armpits then choke and gag on your noxious, super-toxic perfume or cologne. Grumble.

Posted by Gayla at 01:30 AM | Comments (9)

September 03, 2004

FOOD Building

food building

Taken with Horizon 202

This is what the C.N.E (Canadian National Exhibition) grounds look like when the CNE isn't on.


This morning as I attempted to talk on the phone with my book producer who is in New York City, I was consistently interupted by the sonic booms of Canada's Snowbirds flying overhead (they fucking woke me up too!). When I told her why I had to keep interupting her she laughed and said, "Canada is so cute. Here our airplane shows have names like "Stealth Killers" or "Death Squadron" and yours are called "The Snowbirds"."

To which I replied, "Yes, It's all one giant Anne Murray song."

But then she went on to describe what living in New York City has been like during the infiltration of the RNC and I gotta say once again that I'm happy to be in Canada. I hate those fucking Snowbirds and the legions of senior citizens who insist that the C.N.E can't go on without them, and I hate that for an entire weekend every year I have to go into the bathroom to talk on the phone, but damnit at least we still have basic rights in this country.

Posted by Gayla at 12:13 PM | Comments (2)

HomeTown Tour: Garbage Goes


Hometown Tour: Garbage Goes
Taken with Great Wall DF-

This was the very first picture I took when I entered our childhood townhouse complex. My brother was recording our discussion on a mini disc while we walked around and I just listened to 30 minutes of it while I prepped this image. Lots of interesting observations and sounds. He actually got a really good recording of the buzzing of the box.

This photo is boring so I didn't want to post it as the main photo but I wanted to tell the story behind it. This is a story that illustrates how sometimes I can be foolishly cocky and why I had to get out of that fucking town.

My brother and I arrived in our old neighbourhood by cab. In one of many strange twists the funeral home that held our father's body was right across the street. I had to use the bathroom but didn't want the numerous relatives that were congregating outside to see us so we took a cab to a plaza on the other side hoping there'd be something there. Unfortunately nothing was open. My only choice was this creepy, dingy bar with tinted windows called The Titanic. My brother warned "You're brave going in there. Braver than walking over to that funeral home and confronting our relatives."

It wasn't a matter of bravery but necessity. I'll do a lot to avoid urinating on myself.

I strolled inside and there were two patrons sitting at the bar, some kind of late 70's Leonard Skynard-alike blarring from the "sound system". One of the patrons turned to me and drunkenly slurred, "It's 50 cents." "Fine." I yelled back and headed through the swinging doors. While in the bathroom I thought "This guy thinks he can intimidate me and force me to slink out of here." So of course I couldn't just let it slide. I readied two quarters and stepped back into the bar. The same patron started yelling at me again. "It's 50 cents! Where's my 50 cents! Hand it over!" I charged forward authoritatively and stopping next to the guy slapped two quarters onto the counter but slid them forward towards the bartender and away from him then turned back to him, looked into his eyes and stated "There's your 50 cents." Then I turned around and strolled to the door yelling back "I knew it was bullshit."

The patron yelled back "Fuck you bitch!"

I stepped outside to meet my brother and since he heard the yelling (recorded on the mini disk.) asked what happened. As we headed across the street the same guy stumbled out of the bar flailing his arms and yelling "Have some respect bitch!"

Then a full 5 minutes later when we were nearly out of sight he came out and started yelling again and then turned and headed toward his minivan to come after us.

What's even better is that as Jay and I made our last few steps out of the area at the end of the day, a dog suddenly lept out from the bushes (safely behind a fence thankfully) and went beserk barking and leaping at the fence. Aggression on the way in and aggression on the way out.

Posted by Gayla at 12:31 AM | Comments (2)

September 01, 2004

Hometown Tour: Berkley


Hometown Tour: Berkley
Taken with Great Wall DF-

This one looks out from the corner. I have noticed that I took an awful lot of photos of fire hydrants on this trip.

Posted by Gayla at 04:02 PM | Comments (9)