Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fixed Gear Ford Focus (no brakes)

Ottawa - 2010. MAY 4-5

After Toro Y Moi played the monsterous Phoenix Theater in Toronto, the Babylon in Ottawa was a comfortable return to what they were used to - a bar. Though it was smaller in capacity, there were sofa's, arcade machines, and a ping pong table in the green room. It also didn't hurt that they gave us a very generous meal buyout (other venues should take note and make sure to feed the supporting acts - it usually results in a better show).

The show went well - Toro Y Moi played an amazing set with great crowd response, and Caribou looked like seasoned veterans pummeling their instruments powerfully and flawlessly.

Throughout the post-show hang out, various girls stood beside the merch table, looked around the room anxiously, then disappointedly departed until finally Chaz came over to see how the merch sales were going. We had planned on beginning our drive to Montreal and finding a hotel room to maximize our time in a city that might actually feel like a foreign country (Toronto and Ottawa kind of feel like American cities with a Canadian accent). One girl chatted with Chaz for a bit, and offered us all a place to stay. It seemed like a good idea - sleeping on a floor is free. Since the first day of driving, we agreed that it was in our best interest to avoid hotels as long as we could find somewhere to sleep. Moments later, our potential hosts flirting began to turn awry, so Chaz assured us that we were going to begin our drive. We let the young lady know that we were kindly declining her offer and I started packing up the table. As she walked off, two more girls came over and began talking with the band - they seemed very mellow and nice. Then we found out they were roommates of the girl who had offered us a place to stay. We re-weighed our options, and the kind offer for a roof down the street had way more appeal than driving into the middle of the night. Our verdict to begin our trek was reversed.

We drove away from the Babylon to the soundtrack of crunching brakes - not a good tune at all. We knew that we would have to fix this problem before driving to Montreal (no one in the car speaks French, and finding an English-speaking mechanic might be more difficult than in Ottawa). Our plan for early rise was pushed even earlier. We drove to the house hoping for bed time. Instead, there was a party in progress. People, pizza, wine, beer, weed - all the essentials. Energy? Nada in camp Toro.

We toughed it out as long as we could. We made the rounds, conversed, and hung out like anyone else would at a Tuesday night rager, but after a several hour drive earlier that day and a long night at a bar one can only exert so much additional energy. We called it a night. To our benefit, the walls in this house were paper thin, so we fell asleep to the soundtrack of girls talking about how boring we are.

The next morning we drove to Canadian Tire. The person who took our keys at the register told us that the job would take approximately an hour and a half. Three hours later, we were told it would be another hour and a half. Another hour and a half later, we were told it would be at least another hour and a half... in Canada it takes six hours to change brake pads. Six hours in/around Canadian Tire resulted in the following photos:

All of these pictures were taken by me. Do not use them without my permission. Thank you!


  1. haha canada sounds crazy! does the pizza taste different up there?

  2. I didn't eat it - I was scared it would convert me like it did Patrick (he's Canadian now, and won't stop talking aboot socialized medicine, Alanis Morrissette, and poutine).

  3. a very thorough tour post! i feel like i'm right beside you in the car. keep it up plz.