Archive for September, 2004

When I buy a book…

“When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side.” – When Harry Met Sally

My wife dragged my kids and me down to the “Word on the Street” festival at Queen’s Park yesterday. I shouldn’t really say “dragged” down as we went rather willingly. But it was most definitely her choice. She is after all the author in the family.

I didn’t know what to expect as I had never been before. I was quite surprised at the number of people there. Who knew Toronto had so many literates??
Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot – the weather was great, there was lots for the kids to see and do, books were super cheap etc.

My only real gripe would be the lack of any maps or signage to let you know what the heck was where. There was row upon row of tents set up the whole way around Queen’s Park. Most of the tents had 4 accessible sides with a separate vendor at each. Thus, you’d really have to circle EVERY tent to see what was where. This would be a difficult task for a solo, able bodied person, trying to weave their way in and out of all the people – but try it with a double stroller. Around the fat lady eating corn, down the curb, over some wires, past the ice cream cart (“Daddy I want ice cream!”), only to find out that the vendor on the far side of the tent was selling “Rarnaby Budge” by Charles Dikkens. That’s Dikkens with two Ks, the well-known Dutch author. Right! Back past the ice cream cart (“Mommy! I want ice cream PLEEEASE!”, over the wires, up the curb, past the fat lady with corn (n.b. now on her 2nd piece) and on to the next tent.

As you can see, we spent much of our time trying to get to places we weren’t sure we wanted to get to. Even finding the large children’s section wasn’t without its challenges. For next year….Some signage people – please! Otherwise we had a blast…

Google Local Hits Toronto

I’m really digging the new Google Local Beta service that just launched in Canada. It’s uses the Google and YellowPages databases to do its thing. Enter your address and what you’re looking for (say, for example “Indian Restaurants”) and get search results indexed to a handy map. Here’s a map of Starbuckses around 500 Yonge Street, in case you’re absolutely blind and can’t find one downtown. You might also be interested in your local purveyors of evil.

Nasal Abuse

OK. This is my first year being part of the “subway” culture (i.e. taking the TTC to & from work). Before this I had jobs north of the city, went to York University etc. – so this is really my first go at it.
For years I listened to my friends and family who were subway go-ers complain about how bad some people smell on the subway. Come on, how bad can it be?
Well, up until now I always assumed these comments were directed at B.O.
Now, maybe it’s been the irregularly cool summer we’ve had, or maybe my senses just aren’t up to snuff, but I really haven’t noticed much of an issue.. until this morning…
Today I sat down on the subway and opened up my National Post as usual. Just before the subway doors closed a lady in her 50s boarded and plopped down in the seat next to me. She looked harmless enough – black dress with blue flowers, grasping her copy of Health & Health Canada to read on her way downtown. And then it hit. This woman absolutely reeked of the most vial perfume I had ever smelled. Not only had she decided to apply this brutal fragrance this a.m. – she had evidently decided to bathe in it too.
I got up and moved down the car thinking this may alleviate the pungent odour. No such luck. This seemingly innocent woman had “balm”ed the subway.
UGH! I can still smell it on my clothes! Aroma Terrorism! The Stench Queen lives…

Can’t Believe my Nose!

So, we finally get some dynamite weather! A great day to stroll down College St. and pop by the Cafe Diplomatico…maybe have some great mussels…maybe a glass of wine or a frosty pint of lager…well no luck!
In a well timed assault on my body. I got a real, full on, 100%, head cold!
Son of a Bitch!!
Spiked a fever, waves of nausea, cold sweats, and mucous discharge that would make…well, you get the picture.
To any doctor out there reading this (doctor he says…wonder if anybody reads this!)….please for the love of God find a way to KILL THESE BUGS!
Lord knows I don’t ask for much.
I just want to enjoy this weather a little bit before it starts to blow.
You can read that “blow” part any way you want to! You know what I am talking about come Jan. – Feb. in this part of the world…freezing our asses off saying things like “If you just get out there, you’ll get used to it.”
Yeah, sure, if your a freakin’ Moose! You get yourself used to it!…out of their goddamn minds, all of them!

August in September

I find it rather ironic that today is the last day of summer. I think someone’s pulled the wool over our eyes. If you’ve been around the city the last few months you may just consider this the 1st day of summer!
Went for a walk outside at lunch to enjoy the pleasurable 28 degree heat.

Would have been nice to have had some more days like this last month. Which makes me wonder – forget global warming… I think we are experiencing Global Lag in Toronto. It has remained warm(ish) until well into December the last few years. Spring is slow to come around and Summer… well… we’re still waiting for Summer ’04.

I’m all for saving the environment and yada yada – but if this keeps up we need to make some adjustments to the school year, the sports leagues etc.

David Suzuki? Harold Hussein? anyone? help?

Girl with Guitar

Tonight at Mitzi’s Sister, my favourite couch-surfer performs at 8:30. In addition to being an ideal houseguest, Hayley Gene is an aspiring singer/songwriter from Winnipeg with a lovely voice and a soulful, Sarah Harmer-esque way with a lyric.

If she gets famous and you missed her, you’ll be sorry, so come on out tonight.

Weekend away from the Big Smoke

Went away this weekend to a small town about 2 1/2 hours down the road.

My original crib…St.Thomas a place of confusion and wonder. They have a giant elephant statue erected in memorium of a circus elephant that was killed by a train close to 100 years ago. The hometown of Joe Thorton, Captain of the now locked-out hockey team, Boston Bruins. A place where a man can still wear a mullet…tuck his acid-wash jeans right into his high top Chuck Taylor’s, stroll into a local saloon, drink, fight, spit, cuss and still get himself laid…proper!

Wise man say: forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.

Alright – I have to get this out of the way early on in the life of this metblog…
Pizza is by far the greatest food known to man. It was surely invented somewhere during the 7 days of creation.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner – send some my way.*

* – there is NOTHING worse than bad pizza… Lousy sauce. Bitter cheese. Tasteless crust (Cough. Cough. Pizza Pizza. Cough.).

And so I bring you: Toronto’s Top 3 Pizza Joints (according to a guy who REALLY likes pizza):

1) My Zaidy’s Pizza
Location: 441 Clark Ave, Thornhill
Recommended Toppings: Plain or Mushroom/Tomato
Thoughts: Perfect combination. Crust isn’t too thick, cheese isn’t overpowering and sauce kicks a$$. Enjoy this baby plain or with mushrooms and tomato. I find peppers, onions, olives and the like really take over a pizza and don’t let you taste what’s lying underneath.

2) Mamma’s Pizza
Location: various
Recommended Toppings: Plain or Cheddar/Mushroom
Thoughts: I didn’t think corporation pizza could get this good – but mamma’s is doing something right. I’m pretty sure it’s the sauce that keeps me coming back for more.

3) Pizzaville
Location: various
Recommended Toppings: has to be thin crust – Plain or Mushroom/Tomato
Thoughts: Pizzaville is miles above some of the other local chains – their sauce and cheese combo is pretty good. They really lose points in my book though because of their crust. It’s pretty bland – and thus, I recommend the thin version. Leaves more room for the other flavours to win the day.

mmm… pizza…

Homesick for the Light Pollution

I spent the weekend in the country.

It’s nice to be able to see the stars and all, but it’s even better to be able to see where you’re driving.

Paramount Canada’s Wonder(where my money went)land

I’m a big fan of Canada’s Wonderland – I’ve gone pretty much every year it’s been open. They do a good job of adding rides and attractions each year and for the most part offer a fun time for all.
It’s no Six Flags or the like that the US has to offer but it can hold its own. It has the required roller coasters, death-defying drops, make-me-want-to-puke spins and kiddy rides that a park needs.
Now, I understand that they charge a lot for a one day entry fee. Most people who live in Toronto know that that’s for the out-of-towners who can’t do anything but pony up the cash for their kiddies who want a day of thrills. Most Torontonians know that if you beat the season start you can get a season’s pass for the price of less than 1 and a half visits.
So what’s my gripe of the day? It’s the price they charge for the damn concessions. It’s outta line. I mean, baseball player salaries, outta line.
We usually remember to take along our own snacks… but today I forgot and my kid was getting hungry around lunch time. I had to pony over almost $4 for a baggy of chips with no more than 7 “gourmet”, mass-produced chips. And I took a second mortgage out to buy a small soda.
How much can they keep raising the price on fountain pop? Fountain pop for g-d’s sake! It tastes like pi$$ and costs about a nickel per gallon to make! Argh!
Damn you Scooby Doo!

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