Archive for October, 2007

Note: This is just an updated repost of last year’s invitation for the event. I captured it so well last year, I figured there was no need to rewrite it. Enjoy!

Long-time readers might recall the previous three trips to Dangerous Dan’s Diner on Queen Street East. It’s an annual event each fall (shortly after Marty’s birthday) where we abuse our bodies by gorging on some of the largest burgers money can buy.

Consuming one of the two ’special’ burgers they have on the menu is a feat that can only be called Herculean, but even if you don’t finish yours you can still enjoy the camaraderie of sitting on an old minivan bench seat staring at half a cow on a soggy bun, thinking to yourself “How on earth will all of that food fit in my tiny stomach”. That is, unless your stomach isn’t tiny… at which point you’ll be thinking “Once I finish this, I’d better head to an all-you-can eat seafood restaurant for dessert”. You’re a glutton.

I’ve had a few questions about the timing for this year’s event, and I’ve nailed the calendar date and time. Drum roll, please….

Sunday, November 18th at 4pm. You can find Dangerous Dan’s on the northeast corner of Queen St. E. and Broadview (I recommend taking the streetcar because you might not fit behind the wheel of your car when you’re done). It’s not hard to miss… just keep your eyes open for the giant strip club… yeah, it’s that kind of neighbourhood.

There’s no need to RSVP, just show up in your maternity pants (which have lots of stretch-room) and bring cold hard cash. I’ll have my camera to document the occasion and I’ll have the Heart and Stroke Foundation emergency line on speed dial on my cell. Maybe someone could bring a portable defibrillator to help push the poutine through our arteries.

As always, ladies are more than welcome, but please refrain from making vocal judgments about our menu choices… we know it’s not healthy. This is one of those events that clearly marks that fine line between ignorance and stupidity… we’re the latter, not the former.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my training… I’m stretching my stomach and arteries in order to maximize my DD’s effectiveness. I’m going for a gold medal this year.

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The pumpkin has been carved and the candy has been purchased, which means that we’re ready for Hallowe’en at our new house.  Hallowe’en wasn’t much of an event at Pembroke Castle, what with being in the middle of a neighbourhood with drug, crime and prostitution problems.  We didn’t get a lot of kids knocking on our door.  I expect it will be considerably different in the heart of Leslieville.

I had plans to dress up at work today, but was way too lazy to bother.  We bought a hula girl get-up (a gag one) in Hawaii and I was going to wear it over my clothes.  It’s a fake grass skirt with a coconut bra and lei and I think I’d look pretty hot in it.  Maybe I’ll wear it to give out candy tonight.

Now, in the spirit of the holiday, I’m going to wander around my office looking for open bowls of Hallowe’en candy I can raid for treats.  I recommend you do the same.

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Without photos, it’s kind of hard to tell a few of the stories from our wedding day, so I might hold off on that until they start rolling in.  On that note, if you have photos of our wedding day, send them my way so that I can start posting them in Facebook, my online gallery and in here.

I have lots of photos from our honeymoon, but unfortunately they’re all on my home computer so I’ll have to share a story that doesn’t require photographic aids.

On our way back from Hawaii, we passed through our US Department of Agriculture screening, checked our bags and got our boarding passes and then headed to security on the way to our gate.  That’s where Danielle discovered she’d won the lottery and was pulled aside for a random security screening.

She was politely frisked and then her carry-on luggage (which consisted of her purse and large bag containing all our chotchkes and souvenirs from the trip) was torn apart and spread out on a large table in full view of everyone else passing through the checkpoint.  Note to self… never carry anything potentially embarrassing in your carry-on luggage.

Each item was carefully inspected and then the inside surfaces of the bag were wiped with what looked like those anti-zit wipes we all used in our teens.  Then the wipes were inserted into a machine which tested for explosives residue.  I guess there wasn’t any.

Here’s where things got surprising.  When everything was checked and she was finally ready to be cleared, we both fully expected to have to repack the bags ourselves, but the woman performing the search meticulous folded and replaced every item back in the back so that when all was said and done, it was packed better after the security check than it was before.

For someone as jaded and critical as me, it was kind of a letdown after hearing so many horror stories about US airport security.  Maybe next time I’ll cause a fuss to see if I can get myself tasered.

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The honeymoon, as they say, is over (only literally, not figuratively) and although our days of lazing around on beaches and sleeping and eating at all hours are over, it’s not all bad.  Without wedding planning to eat up all our time and resources, we can finally get our apartment looking like people live there and we can actually get back to relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.  I’m pretty sure that’s why we got married in the first place.  🙂
I’d love to write more, but I’ve just discovered that my office is relocating to another part of our building this week and I have to pack up my desk.  “Welcome back” indeed.

Also, if you now have the song “Back to Life, Back to Reality” by En Vogue stuck in your head, you’re very welcome.

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Hi.  It’s me, Dave.  You might remember me from such previous blog entries as almost every post before two weeks ago.  Yeah, I’m that guy and I’m here to say that I’m back and ready for action.  We arrived back in Toronto from Honolulu on Friday morning and have been waging an unending war with the evil monster known simply as Je Tlag.  He constantly bombards us with desires for meals and sleep at times that our six hours off from those at what we now we call home.  Alas, I will slay this monster in due time.

Special thanks to all the guest bloggers who kept this place up and running in my absence.  I had a couple of chances to pop my head in here from Kona, Hawaii and had a couple of good laughs.  I also left this page open on a computer in an internet cafe, so if you found me from Hawaii, a big “Aloha” and mahalo for coming.

Wow.  I’ve got a lot to share in here over the next little while.  I figure I’ll start with some stuff about the wedding (thanks to Kenneth for a great summary) and then move on to how great Hawaii is.  Look forward to photos of snorkelling with a gaggle of dolphins (or whatever a group of them is called), an open-doors helicopter tour over North America’s only active volcano (hint: it’s not Dante’s Peak) and of a classic tourist-style luau.  There’ll also be some fun photos from our wedding.

It’s really great to be back and I’m looking forward to getting back to writing.  Now, since it’s 1pm I have to eat breakfast and go for a swim… er… lunch?  Yeah, lunch.

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Hmm. I am kinda a day short on guest contributions, so instead of a post you can just check this out.

Patrick Moore plays the xylophone.

If you wanna write something just leave a comment in this thread and let me know. I will let you know where you can email your post to.

-Stephen-

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Apparently, Google has a master plan to eat up all the dark fiber optic wire out there and run it in conjunction with a bunch of Google-made mobile data centers in order to corner advertising dollars for corporations and create an uber-google internet. I’m still working out HOW it would work, but when I do, I’m thinking I should get on board. Either by learning how to build and run a data center or by earning a ton of money and then buying some ever growing Google stock. either way, I’m going to go draw a logo and think it over.

-Stan-

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What follows is my perspective on the events of Saturday, October 13: the wedding between Dave and Danielle.

It was about ten a.m. when a sound disturbed my slumber in Dave’s cottage. I knew it couldn’t be Dave, nor Steve. Maybe Karim? He told me he gets up at 5 a.m. every day. But it was not Karim. It was, in fact, Dave’s brother, Graham. Graham was on a mission of sorts. A toilet needed to be retrieved. He had spent the night at Dave’s parents’ place, whose septic system had coincidentally ceased to function that day. Now where could that portable toilet be?

Graham opens my door.

“Hey, how’s it going Graham?” I call out, rather bleary-eyed. I’m still in my sleeping bag, which, incidentally, is on my favourite bed in Dave’s cottage, known affectionately as the Dead Baby Bed (though a baby has never died in it; I believe it was Kristie who suggested one probably had, and so this name continues in the cottage lore).

“I’m looking for a toilet. I think …” He hovers over me.

“Yup, it’s right there, right by your head.” I look over, and sure enough, I’m not only sleeping on the Dead Baby Bed, but adjacent to the septic toilet. I suddenly become very awake, hand Graham the portable toilet, and wonder what else is going on.

I head downstairs, and Karim is gleefully reading a pictorial book on the Gospels, created in 1895. Karim is particularly excited that it refers to Palestine.

“Palestine, it’s a country!” We are all pleased at this discovery.

Dave heads down soon after, grinning about our showering predicament. The original plan was for us to shower at his parents’ place the morning of the wedding. But now that the septic system was shot, we had to find an alternative source for cleanliness. One option was to head to Aunt Gertrude (or Hilda? or Thelma? I forget). I had other ideas.

“Guys, we need to head to Pine Lodge.” When in doubt, go for the hotel; that’s my philosophy. But we wouldn’t decide right away.

Sustenance was paramount.

By 10:45 a.m., we were on the road in my Protege 5, rocking Highway 148 with soothing beats from the Chemical Brothers. There were occasional showers outside. Would it stop raining for the wedding? Time would tell. With a track like the Sunshine Underground, I contentedly surmised that it didn’t really matter. We had the happiness inside.

We headed into a town called Quyon. I think that’s how it’s spelled. On the side of a highway, we spotted our greasy-spoon destiny: Garage – Restaurant. Yeah, that was the name of it. Plenty of bacon, sausage, eggs and coffee were consumed. It was a notable prelude to the forthcoming excellence.

We rolled into Pine Lodge at around 1 p.m. This was a two-star hotel which had apparently shut down for the season; it was also the site of the previous night’s rehearsal dinner. I was nervous about whether this would work. But Dave had confidence. He conveyed his story with passion: that he was getting married in two hours, that we needed to shower, that he was from Shawville. Oh, what a story! The woman who ran the place cracked a smile and took sympathy on our situation. She arranged to open up a “suite” for us along with two showers, fresh towels. We were so grateful. In about an hour, we were all cleaned up, and looking sharp. We picked up some flowers and then headed to the church in Shawville. The clouds were beginning to part and we saw some blue sky … it was beautiful.

At around 3:10 p.m., to the Rocky theme played with gusto on the organ, Dave opened the back doors with both hands. As if in slow motion, one could sense the audience turn backwards, wondering what was going on, eyes opening wide with wonder. The music reached its crescendo, and Dave prepared for the oncoming bliss, throwing fake (and dare I say, epic) punches in the air, down the aisle. Karim, Steve and I followed in succession, cheering him on. We met at the stage, giving Dave a few celebratory punches in jest, and then the show proceeded.

I won’t go into detail on the ceremony part. There was a great sermon by Dan. Some legendary vows. Lots of kissing. Two rings. Marriage. Celebration! I gave a thumbs-up during the signing of the registrar. What began over a year ago as a blind date of sorts — a meeting I concocted between Dave and Danielle — was now official. It was a good feeling. So good, in fact, that I must’ve been in some post-wedding daze. I forgot where I was supposed to go.

I got lost on the way to the wedding party photo session, but good prevailed, Graham found me (for the second time that day), and I made it in time for the pictures (phew!). We took a bunch of shots around Dave’s cottage and at the local golf course.

The reception featured some exquisite food, plenty of drinks, stellar speeches ;), dancing till like 1:30 a.m. (Marty was awesome with the tunes and Louis rocked the MCing!). Dave and Danielle would kiss if folks either got a 20 in crokinole or sung a love song. The wedding party sang Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do I Do It For You. I was getting emotional at that point; what a song. When Danielle tossed the garter, I managed to catch it. I wonder what this means …

At around 2 a.m., Dave and Danielle departed for their hotel for the night and then subsequent honeymoon out in the sun. All the happiness to them!

I still do not know the situation on Dave’s parents’ septic system. Surely that was a historic breakdown, but I don’t think we would have had it any other way.

And so the journey continues … together.

-Kenneth-

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