This morning I waited in for Eva to drop off my new computer. I was so excited. I even watched a bit of the BBC programme, ‘Dragon’s Den’ to further increase the suspense levels.
The rest of the morning was taken up with installing stuff on it.
I headed to Dundas Square at dinner time to buy some hi-hats off some bloke on Kajiji. Job done and then it was back to the computer.
At about 4:30 I took the TTC down to the distillery district to see the switching on of the Christmas Lights. The main reason I wanted to go to this was to see Steve Page (an ex-Barenaked Lady) perform. I was wicked excited. I got there about 40 minutes earlier, just in time to see him sound-checking ‘Hanukkah Blessings.’
They were playing Christmas rock music through the speakers and Steve was noodling over the top. I was so happy, I had 2nd row seats. I could have had front row, but the view wasn’t as good.
It turned out the view was going to be pretty patchy wherever you sat. Some nobber from City TV with a big camera kept walking in front of everyone and standing right in everyone’s view whist Steve was playing. just before he went on, some guy from City TV and the CEO of Lowes came and talked a load of crap into a mic and then with the help of Santa and an angel they pulled a lever which supposedly turned on some Christmas lights. It was quite an anticlimax and could have done with some fireworks really. All it was, were some strings of lightbulbs across the path.
Steve did a great performance though. I think the setlist was the following:
One of his solo songs (I don’t know the titles)
Call & Answer > Silent Night > Call & Answer
It may have been different, my memory is pretty awful. Brian Wilson and Old Apartment were my favourites.
Afterwards I went to the side of the stage and got a photo with Steve. The first attempt was terrible. I asked some bloke to take it for me because I was on my own and he had no idea how to work a camera. All he managed to do was succeed in blinding us with the flash as the camera failed to focus in the dark. I switched it to manual focus and of course got a slightly out of focus shot. Steve’s got an eye closed and I look haggard as hell. It’s awful, but amusing.
I was freezing my bollocks off by this point. We had been sitting on plastic chairs and my arse was frozen. I nipped into a tat shop (there are plenty of these in the distillery district) and pretended to be interested in horrible smelling candles. My real reason for being there was to warm up my hands so I could txt Leslie all about the show!
I was still bloody frozen, so I headed off for College street. I had tickets for a deaf film called ‘The Hammer.’ Everyone I have spoken to about this immediately asks if it’s a horror film. It’s actually a film about a deaf wrestler based on a true story. It’s written by deaf people, acted by the deaf and has large chunks of sign language in. This would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that it was filmed in America and therefore uses ASL (American Sign Language) and I speak BSL (British Sign Language [to a certain degree].) I was a bit worried at first that the GPS on my phone was running out of battery and I had no idea where to go, but then I noticed some people speaking in sign on the streetcar so I figured I was just follow them.
I lined up outside the theatre, everyone was rapidly signing in ASL and I was searching around for any slight hint of BSL. There was nothing. Just then a bloke walked past and thinking he was funny quipped, ‘What they showing? Porno?’ The joke fell on deaf ears, literally! We were finally let in to the cinema and everyone took their seats. The entire theatre was filled with people speaking in sign and an eerie silence filled the air, occasionally punctuated by laughter. My eyes darted around the room searching for any signs of BSL.
In a way, this was a role reversal and I guess I came somewhere close to understanding what it’s like being deaf in a social situation. Everyone around me understood what was going on and were laughing and joking with their friends, having a great time. Some were even taking pictures. I was sat there unable to communicate or join in with the fun. I asked the lady next to me (in BSL) if she wanted me to take her picture, as she was struggling to do it by herself. I’m not sure if she understood my signs, but she knew what I was offering.
After a while, the film started. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I suggest that everyone should watch it, deaf or not. It’s really good. Way better than a lot of the shite blockbusters they keep pouring money into. It’s funny, sad, exciting and it has Shoshannah Stern in it!!! YES!
I managed to pick out some signs that were the same in BSL and ASL:
All the useful ones then ay?
The film ended and I did a runner. It was 11:20 and I needed to be up early for work the next morning!!!
Posted on Friday, 2 December, 2011, in Living in Canada and tagged barenaked ladies, christmas, deaf, distillery, district, film, hammer, lights, market, page, steve, steven, the, Toronto. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.