From My Squalid Kitchen Episode 5: “Constant! Camera! Coffee!”


In which I find my apartment ransacked, and my camera stolen. What to do? Alicia de Larrocha soothes me and I share the secrets of the Bodum.

Vimeo rocks

I’ve joined Vimeo as a paid member and now my videos are loading from that site – vastly superior to relying on Facebook.

Here’s the complete series so far:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4 



I’ll be taking a little break until around the 15th of October, to get my online store all set  up and also to prepare for  my floral photography Open Studio on that date.



See you in two weeks,

blackNODATE Signature

REVEALED: My Gliberal Agenda

{Dear besotted fans and friends:  I know you signed up for deliciously wicked blog posts, not the Avon Lady.  I’m just excited about my new merchandise.  I’ll get over it.  And in getting over it, I promise that, in future, information about merchandise and other collectibles will be on a dedicated page. — DR}

Many of you poor stiffs have been

laboring under the delusion that my goal in having this blog is merely to regale you with my shallow, though admittedly depressingly brilliant, thoughts on life, love, how to cook with Kraft Dinner and the best way of disposing of noxious roommates (free insight: just be yourself, honey, and if that fails, there’s bound to be something by Black & Decker).

Well.  I can hardly bear to think of your reaction when I tell you the truth, though I suspect it make be something akin to:


That’s like, you going all “errr, OOOPS!”

But back to me—thank you sweet JEEZUS —and a footnote on “gliberal”.  This is my portmanteau word for Gay Liberal, and what a relief that “Gayberal” didn’t make the cut. Though I’m sure you can find any number of floppy haired lads called Gayberal at Upper Canada College, named that way by their twatty Rosedale moms; and very handy, too, on those long winter evenings when boys get bored and the sports move indoors.

Well, then.

Gliberal, however, is NOT, I would like to emphasize,  a hot panini of “liberal” and “glib”. No sirree.

Liberals are not “glib”.

We just tend to be right about everything, and the sheer amount of being right, about everything, day in and day out, means that our obvious yet correct responses and solutions, for all our best intentions, just trip off our tongues a teensy bit faster than we’d like.  OK?  I won’t even start on “Smugerals”.

I like to boycott the whole issue and just say “progressive”.  Now, in Canada, that word was co-opted for years by the “Progressive Conservatives”, the actual party name of the Other Party, and indeed, when I was a lad, you could vote for the PC’s without getting all apologetic in public and, for example, pointing to yourself while going “gagagaga” to indicate that you had recently suffered irreversible brain damage.

This is because—and you youngsters might want to grab your S’mores and cocoa, bundle up under your Hudson’s Bay blankets, sign out of Pornhub and gather round my feet while I explain this bit— this is because the idea of a political party that doesn’t believe in human rights is a relatively new concept and one that obviously takes a LOT of weighing and considering to see if that’s an OK idea before you just say “fuck it, I like his hair” and vote for them.

This is why the U.S. Republicans are trying to relieve the elderly, poor and black—basically anyone who doesn’t golf—from the terrible physical demands of voting, by acts of compassion such as placing polling stations miles out of reach or just gerrymandering the whole lot of them behind barbed wire fences, because it’s just such a burden that, honestly, if you’re not white, 40-something and male, with a big-ass gym membership, not to mention a supply of beef jerky to keep your protein levels up, you’re probably not going to survive an election.  Seriously.

Anyway, now that the Canadian Conservatives have wisely dropped the “Progressive”, you could still think of them as progressive, you just have to remember that they’ve all got their heads screwed on backwards, so although they actually THINK they’re still looking forward, you get the idea.  That’s an important point.

Alrighty, then.

Now I’m finally going to come clean and tell you my secret Gliberal agenda.  It is NOTHING LESS THAN world domination via excruciatingly refined and esoteric merchandise—merchandise as liberally encrusted with my signature dry wit as is with lichen the vast Canadian shield.  Yes, friends.  THAT has been the aim all along.

Bear with me while I emit a single, well-placed bark of evil laughter, punctuated by a judicious stab on the Hammond organ.

I know, princess.  I know.  But daddy’s here.

Whatever, and can I just say, seriously.  If you haven’t visited my sister brand Snatsch’nFoofer  yet—what is wrong with you?  Afraid you’ll break a nail?

I’m adding T-shirts by the second, and I know one of them is bound to tickle your fancy. And while your fancy is being tickled, my Secure Socket Layers, Ultimo-kryptothon-enabled e-commerce back-end—I always get a little thrill down my spine when I write that—will be all laid out, face-down, passive and kinda blotchy with red, if I’m honest, waiting to receive your studly, credit-cardly input.

Don’t be surprised if it bites the pillow.

Coming soon:  “Seventh Chakra”

Subtlety, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind as sixties’ psychedelic meets twenty-first century cynicism in this eye-popping collection of unisex tanks.


The next time you’re confronted with Aunt Zelda’s macramé wall hanging or luxuriant armpit hair, just exclaim,

“Well, kick me hard in my seventh chakra!” 

As a bonus, the illegibly distorted font makes for a great conversation starter.  As in, “WTF does your tank top say?!”

 Coming soon to my store.

A quick excuse for a post, and a request.

Dear followers and friends –

I’ve set up a “donations” link at the top right of the page.  If you’d like to offer a little support – whether financial or spreading the word – I’d be beyond grateful.

If you saw the page before, look again – I’ve completely changed the message and the meaning.

Or, to save your neck from all the pesky turning (I’ve got your neck… errr, back), you can just click here.

If you feel like rocking the appearance of cutting-edge while remaining blissfully unenlightened, you can shop my merch.

And if you want to make me cry, just be nice to me.

Quote of the day



“Would anyone care for a Fresca?”

Albert Einstein

Some of you may be surprised at seeing Mr Time and Space given as the originator of this memorable line.

The usual attribution has been, of course, Abraham Lincoln, during Act III of “My American Cousin”.

(Lincoln had a private box, and no other theater-goers were disturbed by this request, made to the “Cigars, cigarettes, popsicles, Godiva choco-cones or soft drinks?” concession girl who would come around at convenient lulls in the dialog.

(Or at least, he would have, had he actually said this.  But any school kid could tell that this wasn’t Lincoln.  Honestly.  It’s common knowledge that Lincoln much preferred a nice root beer from A&W, along with an “Assassination Burger”:  two large patties that fall out of the bun into a pool of ketchup.)

From My Squalid Kitchen, Episode 4: Goofball with Tahini “mayonnaise”

Dealing with goofballs requires the

ability to mix tahini with water, garlic, something sour, like oneself, and some ” ‘erbs”, and maybe a bit of emotional intelligence.

NB.  In the video I say, ” ‘Vegan mayonnaise’ is a contradiction in terms because it uses eggs.”  By “it” I mean real mayonnaise uses eggs – this recipe does not use eggs and is completely vegan and so is the “humble” meal.

By “humble” I mean a meal by someone who is resentfully, angrily poor and would really rather be eating Chateaubriand for two, by himself, with maybe some Bananas Foster or Crepes Suzette for dessert before driving off, in his Lincoln Continental with opera windows, to the porn shop for some desperate and anonymous, yet public, video booth sex with a few strangers.  Just wanted you to be clear about the vegan-ness.  If it means so much to you, ask an actual vegan, OK? (@you.)

This is also the infamous “sniffing” episode, where, having been awakened via goofball, I find myself spontaneously creating an episode before realizing I’m very very sniffly. Once you’ve watched it countless times in rapt admiration, you’ll stop noticing the sniffs, just like Torontonians no longer notice the overhead streetcar cables, anyone named “Ford”, or the fact that we’re really not New York City because our only “culture” consists of stage musicals based on TV shows, and poutine, which is in fact from Quebec, but we think it makes us look awfully à la mode.

So really the main thing to ignore about the sniffing is the hygienic implications.


When is an apology not an apology? 1. when it is made by a goofball. 2. when it starts, “I’m sorry for what I did but – you MADE ME!”

Simply purée your goofball with your Cuisinart Smart Stick – you’ll never regret it!



Sitting in my newly organized, tidied,

House-and-Gardened living room (see above), listening to Beethoven, the Sonata for Violin and Piano in F, Op. 24 (“Spring”).   I have that delicious convalescent feeling, frailty borne with a light spirit; I feel as though I’m transparent.

My thorny roommate equation, which had vexed until now both muggins here and an Air Canada Centre’s worth of exasperated friends and family, has been solved—unexpectedly, uniquely, obliquely, by my being presented, last-second, with a guy who I didn’t search for, who shares my values (which I will spontaneously formulate as: keep your sense of humor, try to be intelligent, help others less fortunate, be humble, and get high every so often, but not enough to eat into your savings or your soul) and who contributes.  Energy, money, ideas, support.

You shouldn’t have to labor at keeping the minutiae of life pinned down; your conviction that life is drudgery is a warning sign that your attention is misdirected. When things work, they are so utterly simple.

My new roomie has every reason to dance, and so do I.  But for now I’m just enjoying the predictable, blissful exhaustion and unpredictable, blissful Beethoven.

Speaking of Helen Keller, have you ever

tried to explain pluralistic democracy to an American?  I mean, recently?  Or a Canadian for that matter.  The cybersphere is currently overrun with overwrought geezers—or they may be paid lackeys of the international society of David-teasers, you never know—who are enduring the terrible burden of having to share their equality toys and the limelight with their newborn little bro’s—”the gays” and “the trannies”—and for me to point out that they are not enjoying the exercise would be an understatement at a level akin to the opinion voiced by the first visitor to the Grand Canyon, who took one look and muttered, “My, my, quite a slice.”

If these Libertarian geezers had their druthers they’d toss said little bro’s down the back staircase, cot, Bunnikins cup, security blanket and all, because—well.  You know.  What’s in it for them?  

Or, as one dolt said to me last night as I defended Justin Trudeau and “his” new bill barring hate speech directed towards trans persons, “I don’t get anything extra because I’m Caucasian, so why should they?”

And that’s when I shot myself.

Before I crawl into the stagnant pond of my lukewarm bath which was newly-drawn and hot about six hours ago, I’d like to ask you a question or two.  First, why do you think Constitutions, Bills of Rights, Charters of Rights and Freedoms and other such documents exist?

And another thing:  Would you make this sort of statement to a stranger online:  “You are proselytizing the politics of Sodom and Gomorrah, and as they were destroyed, so will you be.” ? (What could be next?  “I saw Biddy Roddis with the Devil!”?)

To respond to a person who is so self-righteous that he believes “being destroyed” is a fate reserved solely for his ideological enemies, just remind him: We’re all going to be destroyed, bub.

That’s our common fate as mankind— liberal, conservative, saint and sinner—which makes it all the more crucial that we make the most of our messy, inchoate and incomprehensible lives while we can.

And surely that might involve paying attention to something—anything—besides ourselves and our small pond we insist on believing is the ocean.