Friday, May 30, 2008

Toronto the Good

Tuesday after a few beers at the Wellington I found myself once again in the Distillery district, this time for Toronto the Good, some kind of architects party or some such thing. I was mostly there for the drinks and company, and soon found myself smiling like a fool and just nodding along. Yeah. And I did it all over again last night! That is, after work I had drinks with co-workers for several hours, leaving me less than rested today.

Thankfully, the American holiday has lightened our work load significantly. I am practically caught up in all my tasks! Well, as much as one can be in support, forever answering an unending fountain of questions, sometimes a trickle, oftimes a deluge. It was nice to have some free time for once, which I used mostly to play go or backgammon.

This Sunday is Ride for Heart! I'm hoping the weather is dry. It does rather seem that the weather office is having less and less success when it comes to rain predictions this year. Global warming? Or just my imagination? Does anyone keep a record of the weather office's range of success and failure?

Speaking of success, I think we may have a winner with that new all-you-can-eat sushi place on Queen, just west of Spadina. I forget the name, but it's only $11 for their lunch menu Monday through Thursday, which is a pretty hot deal. The interior of the place is quite the swankfest as well. I particularly enjoyed their handrolls with delightfully brittle nori, and their spicy salmon rolls.

On the other hand, I do seem to be getting REALLY good at growing a round belly.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A cold, new Indiana Jones, pool at the Charlotte Room

When last I wrote the glimmer of a cold was upon me, and by Thursday I was ill enough to miss a dinner with friends, a dinner I had really meant to attend. The next day I was much better, well enough for a beer at Hemingway's and some veal and wine at Vaticano Trattoria. Veal, yeah I know it's baby cows tailor grown to be tasty in a somewhat savage way. But it's so yummy, oh dear. Why can't we have good food that wasn't so cruel to animals? I must say I do wonder what baby cows that were born and grew up in space, for extra tender meat, would taste like. Pretty damn good, I reckon.

Saturday I met with Pops to see the new Indiana Jones film. The action sequences were fun, sure, but the plot, and particularly the ending, left much to be desired. There were no twists, no lively banter, no villians that we could really get to love and hate. As nice as it was to see Marion Ravenwood again, I didn't feel the spark between her and Indy of "Lost Ark", so her scenes were less than memorable. Shia LeBeouf was fine as Mutt, he really didn't have all that difficult a part to play. I do think the movie could have used a spark of romance between Mutt and Cate Blanchett's character (make her younger, if need be), or at least work on the rivalry established in a later fight scene. Something, I dunno! No character development makes Hwan sad.

After the movie, we gave The Charlotte Room another chance as last time we were there (a Friday night) the place was overcrowded which made playing pool a furrowed-brow-inducing experience. This time around however there were lots of empty tables so Pops and I were free to drink and play at our leisure, which we did to great affect. I also tried their version of chips 'n' dip, which featured an incredibly tasty bacon-cheese-jalapeno combination. Liquid crack, as the waitress described it. Indeed! This may prove to be our new pool place, if only to avoid the noisy club atmosphere of Raq'n'Waq.

I spent much of today indoors, catching up on some much needed r'n'r, although I do rue missing most of the fine weather. I was able to meet up with another friend for dinner at the harbourfront, summer again making a momentary appearance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eating eggs, living large, summer flies

Friday morning I dreamt I had to use the bathroom inside a submarine or naval ship. Er, not that I specifically had to use a bathroom in a boat -- rather, that I happened to be in a boat at the time. I remember it being pretty much what'd you expect; a clean, cramped space with lots of exposed rivets.

A friend of mine dropped by Saturday and brought some farm-fresh eggs he's picked up from St. Lawrence market, leading to an egg-stravaganza of omelets and sandwiches. It was a tasty meal, but I wasn't really able to tell the difference. Perhaps if I were to do a side-by-side comparison. I'm kind of egged-out now to tell you the truth.

We took in the surprisingly sunny day by checking out the beach, such as it is, and the stores along Roncesvalles.

The evening led to kampongi at HoSu and then an evening of beers, Glenfiddich and red wine, in that order. Mercifully I awoke the next afternoon with only the slightest hint of a hangover, cured after some Huevos Divorciados and coffee at Easy Diner and a strawberry smoothie with a vitamin booster. Growl was in town and we caught up with another friend to see Iron Man (my second viewing).

Curse this cold weather, eh? Feels like we've been cheated of our summer! And yet, the midges and gnats or whatever the hell they are, seem to be out in full annoying force, flying in faces and nostrils and hair and just generally getting everywhere to an alarming degree. I noticed them particularly today as I finally cut the grass in the backyard, which is becoming quite the mess of overgrowth and wrappers from the neighbouring school. Also, thanks to my thoughtful neighbours for leaving their discarded furniture out, which after several weeks had begun to dissolve and crumble, giving the house that classic public housing look. I took an axe to them (the furniture!) today, a most satisfying solution.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Barking Dogs Never Bite, Buffalo shopping, thinking of Vipassana

Friday I got around to watching Barking Dogs Never Bite, the first film directed by The Host's Joon-ho Bong, and much like The Host, it is difficult to categorize. Primarily a black comedy, it also exhibits a flair for action, light comedy, drama and suspense, leaving one never sure where the pace will move to next. It even managed to make me gag slightly, perturbed as I was by an unexpected gristly turn. The ending is not very memorable unfortunately, a pity to an otherwise highly entertaining, original movie.

Saturday was a malformed trip to Buffalo for deals and shopping. I think I got all my vitamin mall for the next year or two. I was temporarily tempted into getting GTA IV, but managed to resist.

What else... eh, not really much. I still plan on going to that Vipassana thing, just waiting on a friend who is also interested. I should try to avoid anticipating it having too great an effect on me. I mean, I think it's definitely worth trying. I just don't know what it is I need to do any more. I've realized, or at least have finally admitted, that there simply isn't any time for everything I want to do! I've cut down a lot of my television time, but I still need to avoid surfing and reading junk.

Nearly 11, should think about sleep. Sleep, a chance at peace, perchance to rest. In sleep, do we not accept an end? Perhaps that is my problem -- I do not want to end.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

CFI, almost karaoke, Iron Man

Friday night I went to the Centre For Inquiry Ontario to see a lecture on "Early Skeptics: Atheism, Agnosticism and Religious Dissent in Ancient Western Civilization", which is kind of a long-winded way of saying we talked about Greeks (Xenophanes, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, etc) who wrote about why they believed in the gods. Perhaps dry, but quite the bone to gnaw on. The lecture was made temporarily lively by the ribald, almost surreal comments of a loud woman in the back of the room, which was made up of otherwise spindly old men and urban philosopher hippies.

After a delicious meal at Rol San (crispy beef and sweet and sour pork), I streetcar'ed over to the Gladstone to meet some friends for karaoke, though the waiting list proved greater than our desire to sing past our bedtimes. I did learn that it takes 20 minutes to walk home from that corner.

Sunday I saw the Iron Man film, which I quite enjoyed. Even though you see much of the movie in the previews (and can thus guess much of the content), the acting and action are enough to keep one interested. *MINOR SPOILER* It ends in a pretty silly Boss Fight. It was playing at the new Yonge and Dundas 24 AMC, which was a bit of an experience to be sure. Still so new, and you have to take like 4 escalators to get to the individual theatres.

Gosh, am I really caught up on both my 30 Rock and The Office watching? Cool.

Call me crazy, but I'm thinking of trying Vipassana meditation. Ten days of no talking! Joy.


I absolutely hate how the world is shaping up, just a frog boiling slowly in greed, misinformation, and lack of critical thought. I don'...