Friday, March 31, 2006

fighting for tokens

Today was the last day before TTC fares go up. Nice April Fool's joke but sadly true. So on my way home, I stopped by a couple of stations, hoping to scoop some tokens. Well apparently everyone else was thinking the same thing. There were long lines at the booths and the token machines were flashing red. Out of Order or Out of tokens. It was unbelievable. You'd think we were stocking up for Y2K or lining up for food stamps or something.

So I decided to go home and have dinner first before trying again. This time, the ticket booths were sporting red handmade signs that screamed "Tokens Sold Out." To save you the long wait as people were still in line (perhaps purchasing the monthly pass?) You kind of have to wonder whether there was a conspiracy and that the TTC was holding back tokens; it's not like they hadn't just done a fare hike last year. Regardless, you'd never find anyone so excited over something like this in Vancouver. Oh wait. I forgot. That's because they don't really check fares so you don't even need to buy any tickets in the first place.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

fighting for food

It was a beautiful spring day, although a bit on the chilly side. I wanted to hit the Beaches area to be close to the water and my ride dropped me off at Dufflet Cafe to pick up some goodies beforehand. I ducked into the store and found myself waiting in a long line. If you haven't tried the food, you have no idea what you're missing. And if you're thinking that all I ever seem to talk about anymore is food... well maybe I should just rename my blog...

While in line, I overheard the guy behind me speaking about his friend who dreamt that her dog would die, and apparently it really did, and no, the dog was not sick. When it was my turn, I ordered from the rapidly diminishing selection. The almond meringue I ordered last time was so good but I was disappointed it wasn't there. (It was SO good that even though I had cut it in half to save for later, I ended up scarfing down the whole damn thing in one sitting.) I chose a bundt and the last remaining pecan tart. The guy serving me took his sweet time prepping the cardboard takeout box. In the meantime, another guy was helping the couple behind me. I swear, I heard the girl say, "I'll take that pecan tart. Can you pack that first and then we'll decide what else we want." As if she had NOT heard me order the tart first. The guy starts reaching for it and I protested that I had ordered it already. My guy is useless and shrugs his shoulders saying he didn't know who was first. Hello?? Then again, he couldn't even remember my order and it was only 2 items... I heard the guy behind me say, "Let her have it." so I muttered a thank you although really when you think about it, he should have been apologizing to me for trying to steal my snack!

In the end, I sat at a picnic table at the park overlooking the polluted lake and got to share the sweets with my friend. It was definitely worth fighting over. :P

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Birthdays are happening left, right, and centre. When I got invited to dinner, I was asked whether I liked lobster. Sure, I said, thinking it'd be one of the dishes at your typical Chinese restaurant. Was I ever wrong. Turned out we were going to Lobster Royale, a lobster supper place that made all the memories of PEI come flooding back. I couldn't even believe a place like this existed here! It was a tiny place serving whole lobster suppers. Unlike PEI's New Glasgow Lobster Suppers where they serve all-you-can-eat mussels along with your choice of lobster (unfortunately THAT is not all you can eat), this place served pretty much the same thing minus dessert and mussels. (They served garlic rolls instead with your choice of lobster bisque or clam chowder, a salad, and rice, baked potatos or fries.) I chose the 1 lb broiled lobster but couldn't even make it to the claws. But then again, it could have been all those garlic rolls I ate while I was waiting for the main course... hey, what was I to do? I was so hungry! I was happily stuffed when I left the restaurant. The lobster was stuffed too, but obviously not so happy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

umoja: the spirit of togetherness

The show Umoja has been playing at the beautiful Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre since before Christmas. Meaning The Spirit of Togetherness, it is a show loosely covering African history and music. Having started small, it has become a huge success, touring the world. It toured to Vancouver at Christmas, which I had planned to see but did not make manage to make it. The show returned to Toronto and they were promoting the last few shows by heavily discounting the tickets so I scooped up a single seat (quite front and centre) and watched the troupe sing and dance for two hours. A Nelson Mandela look-alike did the narration between scenes. Overall, a fairly decent show although I could not understand how the person selling the ticket told me there were people who loved the show enough to be repeat customers! Obviously the calibre is not quite like that of a Broadway show but you do have to give credit for way the show sprang from just a thought. Worth going to? I wouldn't pay $80 for it but hey, at $25, it was completely justifiable. Ok, so I know it's not the most interesting post here but the show was not the most inspiring in my mind. But hey, at least I'm getting out! And on a weeknight, no less. And I thought I was getting a bit old for that...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

marching towards spring

It has been cold this weekend! What a change from last week's nice and balmy 17. It was about -6 yesterday pre-wind chill. That damn windchill gets you every time! This week was not a super memorable one for me; I was feeling quite ill probably as a result of trying to adjust my work schedule.

Went to the Banff Film Festival on Friday. It was quite interesting to watch the various shorts but I still felt 2 hours was a bit much in terms of sitting. That was in contrast to the lines outside the pubs!! Tons as people went to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

They held the parade today where I had a bird's eye view of the festivities right from the comfort and warmth of my own apartment. Not that it was a fancy parade or anything - some floats did look a little silly but what the heck...anything to get out and celebrate eh? I hope that the weather turns around soon as it was actually snowing today. In March. Unbelievable!

Oh, as an aside for Coffee Crisp lovers, they have put out a new Yogurt flavour. Less calories. I bought some bars but haven't tried it yet! Let me know what you think if you've tried them.

Monday, March 13, 2006


My schedule has been so warped. I've had to rearrange my whole life schedule so that I can get to my gym classes without cutting into my work day. Which requires me going to bed by 10pm so that I can get up and down to the gym by 6:45am. Insane eh? I agree. But what can I do? I tried taking other classes during the 'regular' lunch hours of 12-1 but only the most popular classes are scheduled for that time. So I've tried step class (intermediate) and you should have seen me flailing around like an idiot. I have a good sense of coordination but kept falling a step behind and tripping over myself. It would help if I knew what the names of the moves were but I'm catching on. Definitely not my favourite class but it's a way to kill the lunch hour.

I watched the movie, Crash, last night since it won the best Oscar. It had violent bits but was quite well done if not a bit unoriginal. I heard it was similar to pulp fiction in that lives of the characters are intertwined. But that was way too violent for me so I never watched that movie.

The past weekend was beautiful weather - hitting a high of 16 if you can believe it! So it was much like spring. Went to see Opera To Go, a company that does 6 short 15 minute operas in English - bite-sized opera is what they call it. It was out in the Distillery District where they had a beautiful theatre similar to the Evergreen Cultural Centre back home. I wasn't quite sure that I enjoyed it but it was interesting. (Strange strange stories, mostly about sex and death.)

And yesterday I met up with a friend and we went up to look at where her new apartment was located. We did a bit of shopping and then had brunch at Mars Diner up near Eglinton; I was craving fish and chips! Haven't had any the whole time I've been here. She had to go meet another friend for a movie and I enjoyed the stroll (2 hours with my dilly-dallying) back home. (It was downhill and I also made a lot of stops in the shops along the way so it wasn't all so bad!)

Today, I awoke to a lightning storm but I walked in to work anyway. My boss saw me with my dripping umbrella and asked incredulously if I walked. I replied, "Yes, it's just like Vancouver." It's the snow and cold I can't handle...bring on the rain!

That's it for now - my body has not adjusted at all and I'm ready to crash so that I can wake up early for yoga class...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

thank you for smoking

I don't smoke. I don't enjoy second hand smoke either, but I was invited to watch the preview of this movie so who's to turn it down? In the end it was an enjoyable satire and the movie will be in theatres on March 24th. The director came out at the end to answer questions and I got another brush with fame as he even signed of course I waited in line! It was nice to get out. :)

On another note, the days have become longer so that when I leave work, it's still light out, which is awesome. And we are even supposed to go over zero later on this week with a highs of 11! I will have to see it to believe it but spring is definitely on the way!