The Tragically Hip – Sunday August 14, 2016

The last time I saw The Tragically Hip was for Canada’s 125th birthday celebration at Molson Park in Barrie in 1992, a few months before the release of Fully Completely and before they became the biggest band in the country. Twenty-four years and eleven albums later, they are playing their final tour after Gord Downie announced he had terminal brain cancer.


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The Toughest Workout of My Life with UFC’s Clay Guida

This post gets a bump every time Clay Guida fights, so I thought I’d share again.

David E. Burga

I wrote this about a year and half ago for a friend’s now defunct fitness website, so I thought I’d throw it up here. Clay Guida fights Tatsuya Kawajiri on April 11, 2014 in Abu Dhabi.

One has fists like hammers, the other likes poutine and beer.

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Recap – The FOLD (Festival of Literary Diversity)

Recap – The FOLD (Festival of Literary Diversity)

I remember seeing the idea for FOLD grow on Twitter over a year ago to finally coming together. I looked at the lineup and sessions and bought a weekend pass. I liked the idea of FOLD in theory but the reality was so much better than I possibly expected. Everyone involved should be incredibly proud of what they accomplished this past weekend.

The inaugural FOLD event was held at the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives centre in downtown Brampton. Although I work about 5 minutes south of this building, I had never been to it before. It’s an interesting building that mixes old and new as an addition was built over an old courthouse that was built in 1867.


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Reading With Ava – Shadowshaper

Reading With Ava – Shadowshaper

Sierra Santiago is a Brooklyn teen, trying to have a normal life and hang with her artsy friends. But she discovers that in her family are Shadowshapers, manipulators of ancient spirits that utilize art as a conduit, for Sierra, this comes in the form of mural painting. With the help of a fellow artist, Robbie, Sierra is able to bring her murals to life but the Shadowshaper’s are in danger. Sierra’s grandfather shared the secret of Shadowshaping with an anthropologist, Dr. Wick, and he’s trying to gain the power of the Shadowshapers for himself.

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Book Club – The Lord of the Flies

Book Club – The Lord of the Flies

I’ve read Lord of the Flies three times, once in high school, once about ten years ago and again last month because I decided to tag along with my mother to her book club. If you came here through a Google search looking for something to help you with a high school paper, I’ll try to update this soon with something useful.

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An Interview with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the Mexican-Canadian author of the short story collection This Strange Way of Dying and the novel Signal to Noise. She has edited the anthologies She Walks in Shadows, Sword & Mythos, Fungi, Dead North and Fractured. Silvia is also the Publisher of Innsmouth Free Press, a Canadian micro-publishing venture specializing in horror and dark speculative fiction.

Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise is a novel that revolves around its two main characters – Meche and Sebastian – in Mexico City in chapters that alternate between 1988 and 2009. They are high school misfits in 1989, infatuated with the wrong people,  who discover music and how to cast spells using it. They think their newfound powers mean a turnaround in their fortunes, but obviously nothing is that simple. In 2009, Meche returns to Mexico City from Europe for her estranged father’s funeral, and her friendship with Sebastian has fallen apart. This is a heartbreaking story of family, love, loss, music and magic. Music is an integral part of the novel and there are lots of reference to 80’s music, both English and Spanish, sprinkled throughout the novel. This tagline sums it up nicely: “I Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape.”

Thanks to Silvia for taking time to answer some questions.

Signal to Noise was published by Solaris and is available for purchase here.

Silvia’s website can be found here.

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Reading with Ava – The Thief of Always

Reading with Ava – The Thief of Always

I will be writing a series of blog posts about the books I read with my 9 year old daughter. (I’m not going to discuss the books I read with my 6 year old son, unless you want to hear about how I had to insert dinosaurs and Transformers into the Velveteen Rabbit because the thought of a stuffed bunny coming to life was too boring).

I read my daughter Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when she was in Grade 1. Over the summer she read the next book on her own and I stopped reading to her at bedtime but she devoured books regularly. She’s in Grade 4 now and leading up to Halloween I thought she might like Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always, which was one of my favourite books when I was a kid younger.

ToA Cover

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My Top 10 Songs of 2015

My Top 10 Songs of 2015

Earlier this year I bought a copy of  Uncut magazine in the airport before a flight. It felt very antiquated to be reading a music magazine in 2015 in the age of YouTube. It came with a CD that I still haven’t listened to because of a general lack of CD players in my life. Reading cliched passages about swelling choruses, walls of noise or melodic whatevers, made want to keep the writing about the songs on this list to a minimum and I was reminded of the famous quote, ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’ And while there were a lot of other great songs that I could’ve listed (some other standouts from this year), I limited my list to indie Canadian acts. Here’s a playlist of my favourites of the year. At the bottom, I’ve included a list of my wife’s top picks of the year, because she has pretty great taste.

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