“Just what is it that

“Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?”


Mark Black is upstairs. He’s my roommate now. Between his blog and mine, you will probably get to read about the same little domestic events, from two different points of view. For example:

ME: “Mark was locked out of the house last night, so he chucked a planter through the window to get in. I thought that was a bit drastic.”
MARK: “I broke a window last night to get into the house. I think Philip might have been a little annoyed.”

I got home from work at around 4am. Chilly night to have a gaping hole in your living room. However, the broken window was not as disturbing to me as the discovery that our pipes were frozen. I checked the taps. They weren’t working. All I really wanted was to shower off the bar-stink.

“Mark, don’t walk around in that in your bare feet, for crying out loud.”

“Sorry Dad.” And with that, I went to bed.

Four hours later, Geoffrey woke me up to inform me that, surprise, the pipes were frozen. My reaction to this news was somewhat muted.

~ “How come everyone always refers to Mark as ‘Mark Black’?”

“Because that’s his name.”

“It makes it sound like ‘Markblack’ is his first name.”

“That is his first name, actually. Markblack.”

“His first name is Markblack.”


“Well then what’s his last name?”


~ Geoffrey is indeed leaving Bloomfield House at the end of January. After less than a month on board, Mark will get the promotion to First Mate. I remain, as always, the steadfast Captain of this good ship.

Herewith the criteria for joining us on on the voyage:

– Our new roommate will be female. Despite what you might think, it’s not all that rewarding to live in an all-bachelor house.

True, you get to sit around the house in your underwear. But even that has its downside, as you also have to look at everyone else sitting around in their underwear.

We’re looking for someone to follow in the footsteps of Bloomfield alumnae Eryn, Patrice, Sara, Jill, Niki, Annette and Jane. All of these ladies have all my love.

– Our new roommate will be financially secure. If I could receive in a lump sum all the cash owed to me by former roommates, I could spend the entire winter writing you a lovely blog from Jamaica.

– Our new roommate will be a non-smoker, period. Geoffrey has effectively ruined the whole “I’ll-just-go-outside-to-smoke” thing for all future residents.

Bloomfield House is a non-smoking house. That means no cigarette smoke is to enter the house. Let alone the lethal mixture of carcinogens and frigid air that comes blasting into the kitchen as a result of one’s standing with the back door open to catch a few furtive winter puffs.

And spring thaw is always accompanied by a yellow speckling of butts in the backyard. Nasty. Call me uptight, but I believe cigarette butts belong in an ashtray in much the same way that poop belongs in a toilet. And emptying this ashtray is akin to flushing.

– I’m tempted to say, “Our new roommate will not be from Ontario.” My limited experience with Canada’s most uptight province suggests that its official slogan could be “Latent neurosis: yours to discover.” However, I realize this may be an unfair generalization, and I would be happy to be proven wrong.

– Mark and I are both bloggers so anything that happens in this house is on the record, unless otherwise requested. We might make you a celebrity. If that scares you, live somewhere else.

– We are seeking to return Bloomfield House to its former glory. We used to have a house newsletter, and a basement rumpus room, and punk rock shows, and an art gallery in the living room. I really miss that stuff. We are seeking a roommate with creativity, enthusiasm and house spirit.

Mark and I are already planning to turn the living room into the set of a TV talk show, hosted by Vickers the cat. Also, we’ll be staging a play in the basement this spring.

If you think the Bloomfield way of life is for you, please get in touch immediately. We’d like to have everything sorted out by next week.

~ I’m taking the next five nights off from the Marquee (why do I feel like punctuating that sentence with the words, “…so fuck you”).

If you were planning on coming down to the club to try to lay me, you’ll have to make it Saturday night. My band Colour TV is performing on the upstairs stage, doing a bunch of Sloan covers.

Actually, it will only be three-quarters of Colour TV; Ian conveniently made plans to be out of town this weekend. So we will be billing ourselves as “Cloan” for this show.

A couple nights ago, I sat down with the boys to try to figure out which Sloan songs to cover. We took a spin through the band’s entire recorded history (I had, umm, missed one or two albums) and finally narrowed it down to our favourites.

Nick refused to do any song with “yeah, yeah, yeah” in it. Dave didn’t want to do any song with the words “rock’n’roll” in it. I flat-out refuse to sing any song with the word “baby” used as a term of endearment. Between the three of us, that pretty much ruled out all the Jay Ferguson songs.

Also, being three heterosexual males, we tended to shy away from anything with an excess of really girly harmonies. That pretty much ruled out all the Jay Ferguson songs.

I’m not giving away our set-list but it’s heavy on Patrick’s material. A little while back, some nutjob on the Sloan messageboard referred to me as a “manic-depressive, and psychotic.” And to think, that was before they heard what I’m about to do to their favourite tunes.

Oh, it turns out we’ll be playing “Coax Me.” I was sitting in make-out corner at the Marquee Club last Saturday night, making out, and “Coax Me” came on over the PA. I looked up and declared, “My band is going to cover this song upstairs next week.” And that was that.

It felt like a real Halifax moment, except for the fact that Sloan are a Toronto band.