Monday, June 27, 2005

Toronto Gay Pride Parade 2005

Pride in Toronto celebrated it's 25th year this year, and what a party it was! Toronto boasts one of the biggest Pride events in the world (the second largest?) with an estimated 1 MILLION out-of-town visitors coming to the city to join in the celebration. Details and footage can be found here. This also marks one year since I started this first post was about the Pride Parade last year!
I can't get enough of the rainbow of colours you see everywhere at these events.. it's so uplifting. So happy. :-)
And what would a Pride celebration be without a few queens?
This is my favourite Pride picture ever. Talk about a dicotomy... a tough leather wearing bearded biker... handing out balloons to children. Also, note the pic of him in the poster in the background, and the offer of not only free sunscreen but of the application of it for you! A-prrow!
Balloons, balloons, everywhere!
This handsome lad was done up in sparkling gold.
I love love LOVE the decorations for the Pride celebrations.
I'm not sure which I love more... his mohawk or his undies.
Mohawks seemed to be the haircut of choice among those who attended the parade. Here's the female counterpart to the last gentleman.
This is Alexander Wood who was, among other things, a "gay pioneer" (so it's no surprise his statue is in the gay district of Toronto). I loved the ribbon that someone tied around the scroll in his hands.
All along the parade and party route there are people armed with waterguns, often from rooftops, squirting unsuspecting people passing by. It's all in good fun, and given the heat it was nice to be cooled off with a little dousing.
Every year this guy is at the parade, spending hours doing a chalk drawing. It's different every year, though he always does it on the same spot on the road.
click on the pic for the larger version to see what message he wrote this year..
Hard at work in the blistering sun
Unfortunately I couldn't get a decent shot of his work... this is the best I could do.
I don't know why but I just love street festivals of all kinds, and this is no exception. I love walking down streets that have been closed to traffic.. roles are reversed and the roads are for people instead of cars.
My favourite part of the Pride gathering is all the vendors who set up booths and tables to sell their wares. Everything from flags to jewelry to candy.
Check out the huge crowd in the beer garden area. People line up for hours to get into the drinking areas. One more reason to be happy that I don't drink!
More heavy beer sponsorship, this one by Labatt Blue. I passed by the water sprinkler there in order to cool off a little.
Here's everyone lining up along the parade route
Here's the crowd waiting for the start of the parade.. (I know, where are the pictures of the floats, right? Well, I am short and as you can see.. I couldn't really see much. And if I can't see I can't take a picture. sorry)

Fishing Season 2005

Every year for 15-20 years I have taken the last weekend in June and set it aside to spend with my grandma. It is the opening of fishing (bass) season and it is her favourite time of year. We get up at the crack of dawn and match wits with the fishies. Here you see a shot of the river that feeds into the lake on which she lives..
The plants, trees, rocks and waves.... my private hideaway from the world.
This is one of my very favourite sights in the world... I love to see my grandma fishing. She loves it so much that it brings me joy just to watch her. 85 and going strong... she waits all winter for this moment.
Just look at this and tell me I wasn't in paradise... this was taken around 7:30am while out in the boat.
I can't believe how lush and green it is here in Canada, and I've lived here all my life! This is a view just down the shore from my grandma's place, showing her dock.
Sadly this picture isn't as impressive as I would have liked... but here is a small snapshot of the swarm of dragonflies that were circling over my head at dusk as I fished, snatching up mosquitos, blackflies and deeflies for me. No bug spray required! I love dragonflies, and that's just one more reason why.
You know what they say about moths to a flame.... but check out this crazy swarm of bugs that went mental when the light came on! The spiders who have been clever enough to set up their webs there were overwhelmed by the number of catches they were making.

Anyway... back to the story at hand. Fishing.
That's the captain of the boat... she's always been charge of the motor, not me. I'm merely the co-pilot in charge of the anchor and rowing. Gotta love those giant sunglasses (that go over here regular glasses). Space Age Grandma!
This is my beloved tackle box. Every year, the night before opening of bss season, I sit down and get it all cleaned up and organized for the next day (and season). I am a virgo, afterall, so I like to keep things organized.
And here are the fruits of our labour... two smallmouth bass. This is also where my grandma and I disagree the most... I like to let them go, she likes to eat them. So into the frying pan they go! (but she has to clean them! the day I have to is the day they go back in the lake)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


After days of *extreme* heat and humidity the skies finally opened up and dumped the motherload of water it had been storing. As I was leaving work I wondered... why did I park my car on the other side of the parking lot instead of right in front of the building? It was raining SO hard it was actually raining sideways (thanks Hurricane Arlene!).
What you can't see in that first picture is the mini river running between me and my car. See it? That slightly darker area in the parkling lot? Funny, I didn't see it either until I ran through it and soaked my pants.
I saw this cloud and sunset when I was leaving my driveway a few weeks ago and just HAD to drive until I found a suitable spot to take the picture. It was the biggest pink cloud I had ever seen...
An upclose shot of this amazing cloud....