Friday, May 10, 2013

The Biggest Week - 2013

This is long. But hey, it was the Biggest Week and a lot happened in 4 days.


May is the best month for a birder in the northern hemisphere. And in north America, the first two weeks of May are the absolute best. That's when we get so many neotropical migrants back. And in big numbers too. There's a very special region where a couple flyways converge. For Canada, it's Point Pelee National Park. In the USA, it's Magee Marsh and Black Swamp region of northern Ohio. When I did my big year in 2011, I visited Point Pelee and saw lots of great birds, over 100 were added to my year list and will be forever inked onto my body. This year, I decided to try out Ohio, the self-described Warbler Capitol of the World. And holy shit, did Ohio ever deliver. There's a birding event each spring organized entirely by the amazing Kim Kaufman and her equally amazing staff at BSBO. It's called the Biggest Week in American Birding and if you want to see spring migrants dripping from the trees, this is the place to be from May 1-15 and beyond.

I had an amazing birding experience but an equally amazing people-ing experience. I had the distinct honor of being a keynote speaker at the Biggest Week this year. My talk was written to introduce people to Punk Rock Big Year and why I'm doing it. It also gave the folks already following me a closer look at the film, the tattoos and the person behind the initiative. I was very nervous about taking to so many people (there must have been over 100 in the room). If you know me personally, you know I'm not a big public speaker. For work, I present to people all the time, but never more than about 5 or 6. Other than one heckler, I think it went pretty well. I never puked or wet myself beforehand so I guess that says a lot. Let me say right here that I don't think Mr. Heckler was intending on disrupting me but more engaging with me so I ain't gonna complain about it. Here's a clip from my film. Some of the music is just a placeholder the edit is not 100% final but it gives you a little idea of where it might be going.


video

The people

This was a Kentucky Warbler. Showing nicely.

Let's start with Kim and Kenn Kaufman. What can I say? Kenn is the man that inspired me to do Punk Rock Big Year (PRBY). Both he and Kim have been huge supporters since the first day we met. They are awesome and often I work to impress them and that's why things are still churning with PRBY. I don't need to tell you how good of birders these two are do I? I birded once with Kenn in 2011 and it was like birding with a living field guide. A great experience that taught me much in just a few hours.

Then, let's move on to Sharon, the infamous Birdchick. She is pure positive energy and awesomeness wrapped in a small package (I literally towered over her) but was blown away by how inclusive she was with anyone or anything to do with her mission, bird love and conservation. She thinks strategically about how to amplify bird conservation and never stops working at it. She's also a killer birder and I will never ever EVER forget going Wookcocking with her. No matter what craziness you get up to, Woodcocking is stranger than that. Visit her site, like and follow her, you won't be sorry you did. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Sharon's husband, non-birding Bill. He shares a thing or two in common with my lovely wife Rachel. And that thing ain't birds.

Rue Mapp. There's a lady that has a goal. Nothing will ever stop this woman. I for one would hate to be an obstacle between her and her goals. What are those goals? To get black Americans to connect with nature. Her organization is called Outdoor Afro and no matter what colour you are, you need to check out her initiatives. It's great stuff and I found her very inspiring to be around. Why? Well, I'm trying to influence another group that has potentially lost their connection to nature, youth. We share a common goal and now we have shared the experience of Woodcocking too. I think it was a first for both of us. So go, learn more about her. You'll be a better person for knowing her.

Prior to going to the Biggest Week, Rachel and I started watching a Netflix series called Hemlock Grove. After the first episode, we looked at one another and said, "What the f**k just happened?" but in a good way. It felt the same sort of good you felt after a first encounter with the Log Lady in Twin Peaks. We were intrigued. We watched another episode each night prior to me departing for Ohio. We got to 7 or 8. The series never leveled out on the normalcy scale, it stayed nicely weird. We were happy to see a few actors/actresses we both enjoy in it. One of them was Lili Taylor. She plays the mother of one of the characters, and she's also a birder, and she was also at the Biggest Week. I certainly didn't want to bother her on what was obviously some personal time. But I figured I should at least say hi and that I really enjoy her work. So I walked over and asked (like any birder would).

"What have you got there?"
I can't remember now what bird it was. 
Then I said, "I know you, don't I?"
She said, "Probably, and I know you. You're that punk birder guy."

What? She knew me? Crazy. We chatted a bit and birded a bit. Turns out she also knew Birdchick Sharon and Rue Mapp. Much to my delight, we all kind of hung out and birded together for the next few days. Ya, we all went Woodcocking together. Lili is a delightful person to spend time with and I hope we will bird together again some day. It was super cool to meet an artist I respect and find out that I can also respect the person behind the art.

Birding with LiliTaylor.

Remember I said I was nervous about my talk, well, shit got more stressful when Rue, Sharon and Lili said they'd be attending my keynote. And to make things ever more intense for me, actual punks were showing up too. I'm kind of an old punk but not like a musician, more like I just love punk music and artists. The two dudes that I heard were attending the show were none other than Tony Croasdale and Bull Gervais of R.A.M.B.O. fame. If you don't know them, look them up. They were a great punk band that are also birders. They aren't the only real punk birders I've met but are for sure the only ones that were coming to the Biggest Week. They turned out to be awesome dudes and they said I did just fine with my presentation. Though they are punk as f**k, these days, Tony is an Environmental Education Program Coordinator and Bull gave me a business card that says he manages a Food CO-OP in Philly. Both very natural things for punks to be doing.


You might ask why there were punks at a birding festival. Mostly because of the amazing birds that would be there but also, they were a great addition to Kim's whole theme of this years Biggest Week, a focus on diversity. A longtime ago we had an idea that we might try and be the first ever birding festival that held a tattoo contest. It was so good. We had 11 people enter. That was 10 more than we thought we'd have. I was of course disqualified because I was a judge. Tony and Bull though were not and did they ever bring it. Bull ended up the winner of the grand prize, a new pair of binoculars. Tony was a runner up. All the tats were awesome. Bull's entire upper body is a huge tribute to birds. Some rare, some not rare, some extinct, some from America, some from Asia. But the best part was his huge necklace made of woodpeckers and storks. It was awesome. When I began PRBY I had wondered if I were the only one. This past weekend cemented the fact that I was not.


Judging Tony Croasdale of R.A.M.B.O.
The winner, Bull. Ya, that's an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
Tony. 
Tony.









Oh yeah, there were birds too. Birds like mad. I've never seen anything like it before. At times you never knew where to look. There were certain birds I had before but needed better views of, some I had dipped on before and some that we're just plain out of my reach. Magee Marsh Boardwalk killed nearly all the missing species I needed and wanted. The views I had of a Worm-eating Warbler were insane. I had views like I've had of Black-throated Green Warblers. It was nuts. The Mourning Warbler was basically at my feet. I had never seen that bird in full sun before. That colour I had always assumed was a muted flat gray, shone in the sunlight like a classic hotrod painted with 20 coats of deep gray, followed by a coating of sparkling silver and then a dozen coats of clear coat. I've never seen anything like it before on a bird. Then there was the Kentucky Warbler (a bird I had missed during my big year). It practically picked a bug out of a crack in my boot leather. A Warbling Vireo at arms length, a Scarlet Tanager that almost hurt my eyes it was so brilliant, a Northern and Louisiana Waterthrush foraging in the same two feet of wet leaf litter. I could go on but you probably have better things to do. Suffice to say you should go there next spring.

Some people commented on the odd picture I posted where there were Hughes crowds looking at a great bird. They said it looked terrible. If you follow my twitter feed you know I'm not one for crowds but this is different. People are respectful and we all make sure everyone gets a look. I never would've got the two Waterthrushes if it weren't for a woman that told me to stay and that it's habit was to leave and then return every 10 minutes. I stayed and I got the bird along with 20 other birders. I understand if you prefer to bird alone. Sometimes I do too but that's not what the Biggest Weeks all about. It's a birding festival, it'll be busy, we get to see folks we haven't in a while, meet new and interesting people. Hell, if I didn't go to this because of the crowds, I never would have met Sharon, Tony, Lili, Rue, Bull and so many other amazing people. Knowing that, I wouldn't trade the last few days for anything. It was an amazing experience. And besides, when I'm looking through my bins, it's just me and the bird, nobody else.

The birds

Not that it really matters but here's my list from those few days. 100 species. Not terrible.

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great-blue Heron
Great Egret

Trumpeter Swan
Canada Goose
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal

Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle
American Kestrel

Sora

Ring-billed Gull
Common Tern

Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon

Black-billed Cuckoo

Eastern Screech Owl (lifer) grey
Great-horned Owlette

Eastern Whip-poor-will (lifer-visually)

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great-crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird

Red-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo

Blue Jay
American Crow

Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

American Robin
Wood Thrush
Veery
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush

Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Northern Parula
Orange-crowned Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler (lifer)
Prothonotary Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush (lifer)
Kentucky Warbler (lifer)
Connecticut Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Canada Warbler
29 effing Warblers! Had I counted before writing this, I would have worked harder for the Wilson's that was around...

Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Brown-headed Cowbird
Red-Winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole

House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Paul Riss
Punk Rock Big Year

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WTF

What The Font?



This is a question that kept coming up again and again with this project. And it was something I considered an awful lot leading up to the first tattoo session. What font do I love? I mean really love. The kind of love that lasts, well, a lifetime. And according to some exhumed bodies (I've seen pictures of), this loves gotta' last beyond the grave. I hope there's no reason to dig me up after I'm done here but if they do, they'll see that I'm covered in tattoos of Latin words.


The question I've been getting a lot from you fine folks; So when you decided to be a crazy person and tattoo 468 Latin words on your body for ever and ever and ever, what font did you choose? It's a font called Sailor Gothic. It was designed about 10 years ago by Christian Acker, the owner of the awesome agency out of NYC called Adnauseum. He's the kind of designer that makes me feel like I'm a shit designer.

But not only does he run an agency, he's the author of the book Handselecta, Flip The Script too. Oh yeah, and he's a type designer. The best part is you too can start getting tattoos in Sailor Gothic by clicking this link and buying a copy of the font right now...

So big thanks to Christian for designing a font that'll be with me for as long as I'll be here. His book is a really interesting study of graffiti tags, their artistic merit and their origin. Watch this film to learn a bit more about it.



Links:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Healing



A lot of people ask about what it's like to get tattoos. Usually they're wondering about the pain. That mostly what people ask about. Anyone who is heavily tattooed has answered the questions. Does it hurt? Where does it hurt most? How much does it hurt? Is it worth the pain? Always with the hurting questions. I guess everyone would answer their own way. Pain is relative I'd suppose. I had this conversation with my good friend Brad just yesterday as we were drinking cans of Guinness and shots of Jameisons. Not the tattoo pain thing but more the relative nature of experience. We wondered if food tasted differently to each person. Does a green bean taste the same for me as for him. Did the whiskey we were tasting taste the same to each of us? We agreed that it tasted great to us both. The same likely applies to pain. And for sure with tattoo pain.

Random shot of some of my ink.

I have some light work done on one of my elbows. That was the worst pain (from tattoos) I've ever experienced. For me, generally anything on the bone sucks ass. Anywhere on large muscles (not that mine are overly large) but I mean the ones I use most, is the least painful. It was very interesting though to find out that the left side of my back did not hurt at all but the right side was very painful. Pete, my tattoo artist, said he notices that with lots of people. Anyway, the short answer is yes, it hurts. Lots at times, less at others but it is never really great feeling. But then, if you get lots of work done, it kind of is a good feeling. I'm conflicted.

When it comes to healing I usually don't do much other than a good clean wash several hours after my tattoo. I never put any cream on it. I just let it heal. Until now that is. I've been converted. I was recently given the opportunity to try a more natural product to aid in the healing of my last session. The product is called TINKture. It's a trade secret mix of essential oils and, well, stuff. It's a trade secret really so I can't know what's in it. That's my terrible description of what I'm sure amounts to a tonne of time learning and testing and re-formulating and re-testing on the part of the owner of TINKture, Gillian Parkinson.



I wanted to get a real idea of how well this stuff worked so I set up a little experiment. I got a session of work done and did my usual 'let it alone' technique but paid great attention to the healing process. I did about twenty Latin bird names. It was only mildly painful really during the first day or so of healing. Kind of a dull ache. About the fourth day, the itching started (a product of some scabbing I guess, but they call Pete Golden Gloves so really I get very little scabs if any with him.) But did it ever itch. The itching is the part of it all I hate most. You can NOT scratch. It can ruin your work. The rule is always slap it, don't itch it. It was so itchy one evening I had a co-worker slapping my back while we sat and ate dinner at a work function. Another time I sat watching cartoons with my kids while they both slapped the shit outa' my back. It eventually stopped but it took a while.

The ones on the right were not treated with TINKture.

Then, I got another session of about 23 Latin bird names. I applied the oil right after the tat was done, then, as instructed by the packaging, I applied a small amount often. Whenever I felt like I needed it, I put some on. It feels better on contact. Kind of a cooling sensation? Well, I'm pleased to say that I love this stuff. There was no itchy phase. The redness and swelling were very minor. Less than my back for sure. The thing I hate about creams and so on is that they get all gooey. They don't ever really sink into your skin. Yuk. But an oil like TINKture goes right into your skin. Your arm is dry to the touch right away. The sensation is kind of like rubbing a little olive oil into your skin. Your skin stays nice and moisturized but the stuff doesn't get on your clothes or bed sheets. Often after a fresh tat ,you'll get a reverse impression of it on your sheets. That never happened with TINKture.

Right after the session.


Treated with TINKture. 2 hours later riding the subway home (instagramFiltered).

So I say try the stuff if you get tattoos. I'm kind of hooked. My tat healed faster (about a week instead of 2ish) and I'm looking forward to this weeks session so I can start using it again. I just like having it on. I put some on this morning even though I didn't need it. It just smells great. In fact, Rachel has asked that I start wearing it daily. I'm not a dude that's ever worn any sort of scent other than stress (at work) or hard work (at home) or perhaps fear.

Since we are on the topic of healing, I must mention my lovey wife in this post because I've never really had any serious healing to do. But her, she gave birth to our twins via C section and has just had another major surgery. If you like honesty and laughter, read all about her procedure here and how it's going afterward here. She's one tough lady.

Punk Rock Big Year
Paul Riss

Reference links.

TINKture's site.
TINKture's Facebook page.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A little latin at work.

So I've finally been able to save a few bucks and get some more of these names inked. I promised a whole lot of people I'd do it and I was feeling a little like I was punking out. Not so much now. Besides the money, there's another thing that's hard to come by for me. Time. Ya, time. Everybody is busy I know but with work as crazy as it is, family stuff and now living in the country (read: commute time), it really makes it tough to find a few hours to sit and get tattooed. Then, I had this idea. I'm sitting at my desk at work a lot. All. Day. Long. What better place to get inked than there? I asked my bosses if that was going to be ok. Now if you asked to be able to get a tattoo at work, most bosses would likely look at you as if you had three heads. Not mine. They're so extremely supportive of this whole project. They said they'd be disappointed if I didn't get inked at work. So there you have it. Yesterday was my birthday. And my gift to this film and everyone following it is follow-through on my promise.

I sat at my desk and worked away while my buddy Pete sat behind me permanently listing the birds I saw in 2011 on my back. I loved his idea for the location of the tattoo yesterday. When we are done, there'll be two long columns of names down my back. The ones on the left are flush right and the ones on the right will be flush left, leaving my spine as the gutter between the two columns of type. This won't be enough room for all the names but it'll be about 60 of them. Then we will just move on to another body part not already covered in ink.

A lot of people have been asking me question of various types regarding the ink, the big year, the choice between common and Latin names. Instead of answering these questions randomly and not having any record of them, I was thinking of having a video/text FAQ on this blog. So please, ask me anything. Anything at all and I'll answer you while I'm getting tattooed and post it here for everyone. Share this notion with everyone you know. I'm happy to answer any questions you guys might have. Send your questions to punkrockbigyear AT gmail DOT com.

Instagrams by Rob Sturch (my writer).


Note: For all you serious birders out there, I already know about the error. The way I see it, this project isn't just about names, it's about showing a younger/wider audience that birdwatching and birdwatchers aren't what they might have thought. Also, with 234 names, there's bound to be some errors.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Two lifers and a bank job


Last week was really off the charts. Work had sent me to the west for a week. Though I always miss my family very much it’s always nice to head to the land of western birds on someone else’s dime. Turned out things got a little crazy while i was there. Not only with work but with birds. Basically, it was akin to wining to lotteries back to back.

Bird one.
Brambling. An online friend, John Puschock, that handles the ABA rare bird alert Facebook page found out I’d be in Vancouver and told me about a Brambling that was right in the middle of South Vancouver. This I learned just prior to heading west so I was excited to get to see this bird. It was of course a lifer for me. I arrived Saturday evening, got settled in a hotel that quite frankly is way above my station. That’s how it goes when I travel for work. I sleep in building that normally would see me shot as I approach the front door. I had some dinner with a good friend that lives in Van. and went to bed as early as I could. With the time change I was asleep by 2am Toronto time. I woke at 4am Vancouver time and struggled to get more sleep. By 7 am there was no more fighting it. The combination of the time change and the excitement of seeing a lifer took over. I got up, ate fast and headed to the spot. After about ten minutes of wandering, I saw the bird. It was great. Showing very nicely even to the naked eye. A few more birders came along but more about them later.

Brambling by Richard Towell.

Bank robbery.
I was there to shoot a couple commercials for a client. I’ll post them as soon as I am allowed but I can say that we filmed a couple dudes doing a rather poor job of robbing a bank. That was fun as I’ve never robbed a bank before. Well, actually the robbing of the bank happens just prior to us finding our characters. The subsequent police chase is what we really shot. And man was it fun. We ripped around town with an SUV being chased by two cops. Right downtown Vancouver we were closing down streets and fish-tailing around corners, light blaring. No sirens but we will add that in later. Anyway it was fun and hopefully it’ll be funny to watch.

The rig to shoot from 24 floors up.

The rig we attached to the car to rip about the city.

The view from atop the building. The railing was about halfway up my thigh.


Bird two.
While I was in a production meeting, John sent me a message that I might need to take a long lunch that day. There was a possible Red-flanked Bluetail now showing in a park in Vancouver. I decided to wait until the next day and see if it got confirmed. By 10am the next morning, it was seen again and it’s ID was confirmed. SO, that day at lunch I was lucky enough to have a PA drive me out to the park. Upon arrival there were about 60 birders present. They had had the bird only moments before. Chances were good that I’d get this one too. We waited. Suddenly, it showed itself. With all the restraint I could possibly mustre, I gave my bins over to the non-birding PA that drove me to the park. She got the bird right away. I’m not saying she’ll be a birder but she made noises that only birders make when they see really rare shit. If she does indeed become more interested, her spark bird will be a RFBT. The feeling you got from your spark bird is a bit like that first hit of heroin. OK, not really but you do spend the rest of your waking hours dreaming of that same high again and it never gets to the same level as the first time. Like heroin. Either way, she will go many years before seeing another bird that’s even close to that rare. Unless she heads ten minutes down the road to the Brambling...

Red-flanked Bluetail by Langham Birder.

Birders
The other birders that showed up at the Brambling were a great and diverse group of dudes that were kind enough to let me populate that empty seat in their car and spend the day birding with them. We saw many species together and I feel like I made some new western friends over some western birds. I’ll let them identify themselves here if they see fit but meeting them made me see even more how diverse a group we really are. There was me, the punk loving Associate Creative Director, an Ophthalmologist, a graduate about to become a teacher and a dude that worked at the docks in Vancouver. We couldn’t be more different but so much the same too. We share that one thing birders all have; our addiction to seeing new birds.

Punk Rock Big Year
Paul Riss

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thankful


Giving thanks

With these posts so infrequent nowadays, I hope you are still out there listening. I need to take some time to thank a few people. 73 of you to be exact. Well, that doesn't count the all the folks that couldn't help financially but did share the shit out of my funding link. But those 73 people together donated over $4600. That coupled with a few private donors/investors got us near our goal. And for that I say thanks.

But there's more to be thankful for. Last week my entire family was sick as dogs. After a few days of it it just felt like we were living in that show the Walking Dead. Hiding out and looking as terrible as we all felt. I write this on the commuter train my first day back into the city. At least I'm nice and healthy and looking forward to working on more than cleaning up vomit from the cracks of 120 year-old pine floors. Not an easy task.

Another huge reason I'm thankful is that we have landed a dedicated editor for PRBY. He couldn't be more perfect for this film. He knows nothing about birding (yet) but, like me, is always very eager to dig in to a new subject and come out of it knowing more about a fascinating sub-culture. He has lots of tattoos, and he loves heavy music. In fact, we went and saw GWAR together last Saturday. His name is Kyle McNair and he is super talented. He works for a company I've done some of my best advertising work with; School Editing in Toronto.



video
DevilDriver pit.

video
GWAR blood.

About the only thing I want now is to go and see some friggin' birds. It's been a really long year with relatively few days spent birding. I promised Rach and DDB that they'd get the lion's share of my time in 2012. I hope next year, with the kids turning five, that there will be a bit more balance to the birding/non-birding time in 2013.

Paul Riss
Punk Rock Big Year

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'll stop begging soon, I promise.


Remember in 2011 when you'd be able to read a post about a twitch I did? Remember when I used to birdwatch with my kids? Remember when all I asked for was ten minutes of your time each week? Remember when I did my best to write some funny shit for you about what its like to attempt a big year with twin 3-year-olds and a busy career in advertising? Remember when I started to feel down about not getting enough birds and you guys made me feel better about it?

Well, those days are gone. Now all you hear from me is, "Can I have 10 bucks? Or $10, 000 if you have it lying around? ", "Hey, tell your friends about me.", "Please introduce me to your friends so I can pat them down for a couple bucks." I post on your favourite Facebook sites, blogs, your pages even, constantly begging for a few dollars. And to top it off, you don't even know if you'll see anything at the end of it. 

Re-read that paragraph. I'm basically the shittiest friend you've ever had. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this post so bare with me. This last week has been a real bugger for me. Work dumped a job on me that required lots of attention exactly on the 2 weeks I was supposed to meet my editor and start this process, effectively eating up all my time so I can't move on and start so you actually get something for your generous donations. Then, both my kids get the flu so neither my wife nor I sleep right for about 7 days.

This kind of shit breaks a couple down. No sleep + puking kids + extra hours at work + a guy trying to make a film = parents that fight. We are pretty good though, Rachel and I. We get through stuff and really, this ain't even that bad, as terrible goes. But I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Please tell me there's a light out there where most people live. That place where you don't try and make a movie on your free time with your own cash (and cash you can get from complete strangers and friends). I sure hope that place is out there. The place where this film is done and I can stop begging you all for a few dollars every time we cross paths (virtually or otherwise). Because honestly, I'm sick of begging for money.

I was a bit depressed when I started writing this but now, not so much. Why? Well, if I'm to be completely honest, it's because I wrote this on the GO Train and we just arrived in Toronto. Upon standing up to get off the train, I realized that my pants have been unzipped the entire morning so far. I wonder if it's related to the fact that nobody is sitting next to me. Sigh.

Paul Riss
Punk Rock Big Year

P.S. - Can I have 10 dollars?
http://www.indiegogo.com/PRBY