Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Go Away

Sorry about the lack of activity here on Home Fires Burn, last week was pretty rough on me. Being left behind yet again by Michael, Farrah, Ed, and the loud mouth beardo pitchman threw me into a black-hole of turpitude where my only friends were a lukewarm bottle of cacha├ža and a stale rind of pumpernickel.

I'm working on a new interview with a fellow who grew up in communist Poland when it was a place left behind at a societal level - they hadn't even invented blue jeans!

New banner will be along when I am strong enough, until then just imagine something consistent with the ethos of this pity party.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My second interview here at Home Fires Burn is with Dog Boarder Sue Myall, if anyone knows about the fallout caused by abandonment it is her.

HFB: Sue
, you take care of pets while their owners away on fabulous trips and can't or more likely won't take their ever loving, loyal little buddies. Is that called a kennel or do you prefer boarding?

SM: I prefer boarding to kennel.

HFB: What's wrong with Kennel? Is that the canine equivalent of military school? making boarding more like junior NASA camp?

SM: Kennel is kind of like a prison compared to what I offer, a cage-less homelike environment.

HFB: Can you describe a typical day for one of the dogs at your boarding house?

SM: A typical day here is the same as they would be treated as if at home, lots of love and attention, probably more attention as they are with someone all the time, a great walk alone or with a group of dogs, and lots of playtime.

HFB: Do the dogs ever become indifferent to their owners after being left behind for so long, all the while dealing with rejection and low self esteem and maybe finally feeling a little bit better and no longer willing to put up with the neglect figuratively saying with barks and wags and growls, 'no, I won't go back with you, I can't put myself back there all over again' ?

SM: whether they are pissed with their owners or indifferent is it all depends. I have had some dogs that kind of just sniff their owners and act aloof, or go the opposite and go crazy as if they have been gone a decade, which worries me as I wonder if their owners think I have abused them.

HFB: Do the owners ever call to check in? to see what they've been up to, to have a talk with Rover, Boots, Mr Wigglebottom, Titan, or Chauncey?

SM: Some owners call to see how their doing, mostly they don't though.

HFB: Has an owner ever implied that they think you are stealing their dog away from them? Emotionally that is?

SM: I have had owners say they thought that their dogs preferred to be here instead. I always tell owners, "Oh they really missed you!" even if they didn't.

HFB: That is pretty considerate, letting people live their little lie.

When the owners return and try to buy back their dog's affections with treats would you say that they really looked around the canine boutiques for exotic snacks, fashionable collars, and trendy leashes or do they just tend to pick up any old thing at the airport giftshop?

SM: No they usually don't bring Fido back a eh!?

HFB: So what happens when you go away on holiday, do you send your dogs to one of your clients' places for a 'cageless environment'? or do you take your dogs on vacation?

SM: I don't go away, poor me.

HFB: Wow, are you ever in the right place! I'll have to have you back as a guest despondent!

SM: If I do go to someones cottage I take my dog with me...or a neighbour looks after her.

HFB: What would say is the most sought after dog resort or prestigious event globally from the dog community's perspective?

SM: Not sure about the prestigious events globally, perhaps one of the huge dog shows around the world would be one, and I know that LA has some very nice dog resorts for the rich and famous!

Most dogs just loving hanging with their pack(Owners), we the owners(leader of the pack) make more of a big deal with everything, and we tend to treat them like humans, when as you know their not! Some people dress them up, Paris Hilton for example, some let them lick their faces after they have licked their you know what.

HFB: You're right, anthropomorphism was more of a 2006 thing, we're onto the raw dog experience, dogs shall be dogs and whatnot... raw meat, barking, nudity.

Well thanks a lot Sue.

Sue Myall is a professional dog boarder, check out her services at:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garbage Empire

Great, just when Toronto was starting to seem bearable we get a summer garbage strike. "No problem" you say? "I'll just drop my garbage off in Etobicoke, leave the kids at daycare and then its off to the pool to beat the heat!" well think again sucker, coz that shit is all shut too.

And remember everyone, there is currently a global flu pandemic, a kill everybody superbug wrought by angry Mexican pigs (unionists I heard, payback for all those cheap chorizos and dollar store football balls) that is currently killing people who live in areas with poor sanitation - northern reserves, slums...

Now media coverage of strikes is piss poor hogwash that should be generally ignored and never ever drunk, no matter how enticing (swine flu lives here) but I can't really see how anyone can defend 18 bankable sick days a year. Apparently this can add up to as much 6 months salary payable at retirement, meaning a garbage collector's family wouldn't realize that she had been struck down by a sick pig until half a year had gone by.

Nice of the city and its Union to wait until the summer to get the party started, picketing in the snow is such a drag and city council would have had to cancel their trips to Cancun.

ohhh and a new banner is here!

old, used up shitty reject banner:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fuck You Sun!

So Johnny is out due to Sun Records' prickery but in an appropriate twist considering the narrative of these particular lyrics he isn't the only guy in town singing my song. Johnny, god rest his soul will just have to stay lonely.

Behold, Don Gibson!

Johnny Says It.

Thanks Tammi

Monday, June 15, 2009

Banner Monday!

This week's banner is in honor of a forthcoming interview with a canine care professional so stay tuned to find out whether or not your dog hates you (hint: it does!).

As always here is last week's banner, for posterity...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am not the only one

Wow! here is the first ever real content here on Home Fires Burn, enjoy an interview with another artist that I know, Brette Gabel.

HFB: Can you recall a time when you were left at home while someone close to you was off doing something awesome?

BG: I can recall a whole plethora of times when I have felt like I'm at home when all the fun is happening somewhere else. I think for the most part it's due to geographical or financial difficulties. A lot of my closest friends live away from me, or are in touring bands so I find it difficult to sit at home while my friends are touring around Europe or the Southern United States while I hang out in Toronto. I also find that I am almost always broke so long distance travel is getting to be a complete pipe dream for me.

I recently had to back out of a residency in Dawson City, Yukon this winter because of my poor financial planning. Canceling on the trip broke my heart completely. Some of my favorite friends live in Dawson and the residency program at KIAC just seems totally awesome and I was really excited to make art up there for the winter but it just wasn't possible. I don't know the person who took my place but I really missed out on a great opportunity. For what its worth I am pretty lucky and I do end up going to a lot of awesome things.

HFB: When we first spoke about your having to pull out of the Dawson City residency a few months ago you seemed confident, almost cavalier that you would be able to secure a new invitation in the future. Were you putting a brave face on a shitty financial situation or have you come to see it as a missed opportunity that came at an important time for your artistic development, a setback?

BG: Of course I know I turned down a really great opportunity at an important time in my life and in hind sight it probably wasn't the best idea, but it was way more realistic to cancel. In a few years
with some more experience and better planning I think that I could still get accepted to the same residency or at least I hope.... fingers crossed right? And I think initially I was over compensating for my disappointment in myself... I do that a lot, it's no big deal but it does come off as arrogance for sure. I would also like to look at the glass as being half full, I stayed in Toronto and I ended up meeting some great artists who I share space with in the white house studio and I'm pretty content with my current situation. Had I gone to Dawson things could be different now or exactly the same, I will never know so its best not to dwell on the past.

HFB: Have you ever counter, or pre-emptively excluded someone who already had or who certainly was going to leave you out, from some of the awesome times that you yourself have had or were going to have? A little revenge exclusion if you will.

BG: No. I would never leave any one out on purpose. I think I try really hard to be inclusive. But I'm sure someone out there might consider that a lie. But I really do try.

HFB: Do you like receiving correspondences from your friends when they are touring? How do you feel when contact is sparse, even though you know that they are busy?

BG: I do love when I get phone calls and presents from exotic locations like Kentucky or Regina beach, I do not like when the calls come in at 4 am. Touring musicians lose track of time a lot. I also think its a myth that touring musicians are busy all the time, it seems to me there is a lot of down time in the day, and that time could be spent thinking about me, calling me, and buying me things. I mostly like gas station presents. Darcy (Library Voices) once bought me a little rodent skin/ fur at a gas station (or at least I think at a gas station) and Dallas once brought home a garbage can from Germany covered in Pornography. Things like that make it okay to just hold down the fort while everyone else is out playing.

HFB: Wow, I wish my 'friends' had such elaborate tastes in gifting.

I agree with you that it is generally a myth that artists and musicians are too busy on the road to keep in touch. I know for a fact that I have time to call or write most times when I am on the road or away - I just don't feel like it. It's too painful to even think of attempting to talk, the crushing effort of attention, the punishing agony of having to summarize the events of your day all at once, its really not worth it. That's the insult of incommunicado friends who are away, you know they don't care at all and are lying to you, making you feel like some sort of housewife from some tacky golden age sitcom berating her husband, you couldn't have even called?

Are there any specific geographical difficulties you are referring to?

BG: I meant that this country is just so fucking huge. It's like I know all these things are happening in cities across the country, mostly because of the Internet, and I want to do it all (well not everything) but it's like my friend Darcy and i joke over the phone, "hey wanna come over and watch a movie?"
and then the answer is "yeah i do, I'll be right there", but we live
3000 km apart.

I mostly blame the Internet.

HFB: The internet is the universal tease, I hate it too.

Brette Gabel, is a textile artist living in Toronto but she left her heart in Saskatchewan. Currently she is being abandoned on a daily basis. Check out her work at: