Archive for May, 2008

The big news today isn’t that CBC.ca is finally back up and running (which it certainly is) or even that the housing market is starting to slow, which means that Danielle and I might be able to afford a home sometime before we die of old age. No, today’s big news is a brewing scandal in Toronto’s west end.

After last night’s Ultimate Frisbee game at Lamport Stadium, we headed to a nearby restaurant/pub for a cold drink and some quick food. We arrived around 7:45 and didn’t get out until around 9:30. It’s going to take quite a bit of effort to get me back to Shoeless Joe’s at King and Dufferin (1189 King Street West), if I ever go back at all.

Granted, our waitress seemed like she was pretty early on in her waitressing career, but there were more than enough screw-ups from the kitchen that made it all a terrible experience.

The worst part? I ordered a Cheeseburger and got a Chipotle Burger. No big deal, right? Wrong. It was slathered in Blue Cheese, which is the most disgusting substance on this planet earth. It smells and tastes like what you would vomit after eating a stinky human foot. I know that’s some pretty intense imagery, but that’s the hard truth. Fortunately, that foot was probably shoeless, so there was no rubber. Thank goodness for little miracles.

On the plus side, Ultimate was a blast and for those so inclined, there are photos from last night’s game up on Facebook.

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Have you ever been tempted to get a frozen burrito from a convenience store?  You know, the kind where you microwave it there on site?  Invariably, like the early microwavable mini-pizzas, some parts will be scorching hot and others will still be frozen.  Unfortunately you never know which bits are which until you bite into them and either break a tooth or burn the tender membrane of your upper palate off.

All of this is just an analogy to the weather we’ve been having in the GTA lately.  It all reminds me of the spring we had in 2004 that resulted in a cool summer.  Temperature-wise, that was the best summer of my life, but I know that it left a lot of other people wanting something more.

I feel a little cut off this morning.  I try to spend a few minutes going over major headlines from a few news sources each morning to stay in touch, have topics of conversation for the office and maybe even pick up a few bits of news that relate to my industry/job.  I usually check the BBC, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and CBC.ca with the latter being one of my favourites.

So imagine my horror when I found CBC.ca was down (and still is, as of posting time).  Their main site is inaccessible, but their mobile news reader comes up if you go to www.cbc.ca and you can still get headlines and some news content.  Hopefully they have it resolved soon.

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Rumours abound in my office that we’ll be relocating in a few weeks.  Anyone who’s ever lived in cubicleworld can tell you that for some, once these rumours hit, it’s all they can talk about.  In our case, it’s even funnier since we’re not leaving our building, or even our floor.  We’re moving about 80 feet.

That’s how it is in the office.  Since we spend 40 or more hours a week here, some people come to think of it a little too much as home, so when something changes, it’s like the walls are caving in on them.  That might be a little dramatic, but you know what I mean.  I guess people are also starved for gossip and stuff to talk about, so it’s a double-edged sword.

In my case, I’m not looking forward to packing up all my files and junk, especially if I move into a smaller cubicle, but I’m in a pretty rundown desk now so an upgrade would be a nice change.  Plus, if the rumours are true, I might have a window seat overlooking a popular venue for celebrities at the TIFF… but those are just rumours.

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Thanks to Torontoist, I learned this morning that the LCBO will no longer be giving out plastic bags when you buy booze.  Instead, you can buy one of their really awesome cloth bottle bags (with compartments for each wine bottle) or just an awesome normal cloth bag.  Or, you can bring your own bag.

This is great news for the environment, but for any Ontarians out there who like having plastic bags at home, you’ll also share in my grief that the strongest plastic bags available anywhere are no longer available… anywhere.  For carrying purposes, I’ll just have to use a reusable bag and for garbage purposes, I’ll just have to hope that whatever is in my garbage can isn’t heavy enough to pop out the bottom.  I’ll have to find a new bag for my homemade ice packs too.  Maybe reusable zipper sandwich bags.

On a completely unrelated note (but still in keeping with good news/bad news), imagine you go through years of school to become a doctor, which is considered one of the pinnacles of professional excellence in North America.  Now, imagine that your chosen specialty is Scatology.  You probably wouldn’t find that many people wanted to shake your hand, but there’s always the tried and true joke that you don’t like to take your work home with you.

That’s a small step up from being a Proctologist, which focuses more on the delivery system and less on the end product. On the plus side, a Proctologist always has this little tidbit to bring out at parties:

The word Proctology is derived from the Greek words Proktos pooo poo, meaning anus or hindparts, and Logos meaning science or study.

It probably doesn’t speak well to my maturity level that I laughed my head off when I read “pooo poo”.  That’s okay, because you probably did too.

*Note that this post isn’t the result of a trip to the doctor or any related illness in my circle of family and friends, but out of a brief discussion with my wife where I was showing off that I knew what ‘Scatology’ was, thanks to playing the board game Balderdash as a kid.   Don’t waste your time.  It’s a stupid game.  Your time would be better spent with a trip to the Proctologist… and would probably be more fun.

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Danielle specifically requested I post something here today, so here it is.  This is a review of my first official event as the guest of a sorority, Zeta Tau Omega‘s “Sweetheart Rose Ball”.

When I first discovered that my then girlfriend (now wife) was a sorority girl, I had a very clear image of what that meant, but Danielle was very quick to reassure me that I was wrong.  Her sorority was focussed on sisterhood and academics, not partying and more partying.  Since many of her sisters went on to careers in law and medicine, I couldn’t argue.  That dream was dead, but Saturday night was my first chance for a peek into sorority life first-hand.

We were treated to cocktails and dinner at Newtown (warning: music autostarts on the page), a chic downtown restaurant and bar made famous by its owner, famed racecar driver Jacques Villeneuve (get it?  Villeneuve is French for ‘New Town’).  Frankly, the meal wasn’t spectacular, but the interior is well-decorated and well laid-out, the service was fantastic, and the views from all the floors are great.

Seating was pre-arranged, so I was placed next to a guest of honour, a woman who had pledged in the sorority’s first pledge class in 1968.  Kind of a weird place to seat a newcomer, but our table was a lot of fun and there was no shortage of good conversation.  That was a theme for the night.

Once dinner was over and we headed up to the rooftop patio for dancing and drinks, I quickly realized that as a date, I was merely an accessory at a sorority event.  So, while the ladies danced away on their own and laughed about old times, us guys were left to sulk in our drinks on the fringes of the patio and to compare notes on what we knew about our ladies’ previous lives as Greeks.

Sadly, I didn’t dig up too much dirt on Danielle, but I met some great folks and I’m sure that as I get to know them better, I’ll learn more.  It was a great time and a great party and I’m looking forward to the next one.  In summary, Zeta Tau Omega girls aren’t party crazy, but they sure know how to have a good time.

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Ultimate Frisbee was a resounding success.  Although we lost 18-3 (to what we’ve discovered is a team that is really playing in a higher-ranked division, so it makes sense), I suffered no injuries and even scored one of our goals.  I also realized how insanely out of shape I am.  Like any 30 year-old, I made the mistake of thinking my body is still 18 and that I can just run out on a field and play sports for a couple of hours and not want to die.  It was rough going for the first 2/3 of the game, but by the end I was hitting my stride.

Needless to say, I’ve realized that if I want to keep playing sports or survive the occasional  canoe trip portage, I’d better stay in shape day-to-day.  Unfortunately, that’s going to mean eating healthier and getting regular non-sports-related exercise, which will probably include such boring activities as jogging and sit-ups.  Oh well, it’s a small price to pay for not sucking wind after a 25 yard sprint or wanting to hurl after a few minutes of solid running.

One pleasant surprise came this morning when my knees and ankles didn’t burn like they were filled with hot molten lava and ache like… something that’s very achey.  Maybe my body is confused and it’ll hit me tomorrow, or maybe an entire winter of playing soccer has convinced my lower body joints that I don’t care when they complain and they’ve just fallen in line.

Do you hear that lungs?!?  Fall… in… line!

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Even coffee won’t get me going today, and I think some parts of me are still frozen from sitting out in the cold rain for two hours at BMO Field last night, but at least it was all worth it.  The boys in red earned a win after beating DC United 1-0.

Tonight, rather than watching from the stands, I’ll be out on the pitch, albeit in a very different type of game.  Some friends play in an Ultimate Frisbee league and to avoid a default due to a shortage of players, I’ll be subbing in tonight.  I have made a habit of not playing sub after something that happened in March ’07.  Long time readers may recall that while subbing in on a floor hockey team, I rolled over my ankle which resulted in some physio, some practice with a cane and a whole lot of discomfort.  Here’s hoping that tonight ends differently.

Wish me luck, especially since I’ve never really played much Ultimate and I’ll be playing on wet turf.  Awesome.

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Danielle is away at a conference this week, so I have the whole house to myself… not including the list of things she left for me to do.  🙂  Sadly, not everything will get done as I’ve scored a ticket to tonight’s TFC game, thanks to Jared.

We had a great weekend up north, considering the weather was terrible.  We managed to make a trip to Giant Tiger (a highlight of any shopping jaunt in scenic Shawville, Quebec) and got my mom an outdoor fireplace for her birthday, which she says we can use down at the cottage.  Yes, campfires at the cottage!

On Sunday there was a break in the weather, so we took the chance to hike into Gatineau Park at a VERY scenic hiking spot called Luskville Falls.  It’s a pretty grueling hike, and to call it steep is a bit of an understatement, but the views are magnificent.  Fortunately, we didn’t have rain and thunderstorms to deal with, but that meant that the mosquitoes, black flies and gnats were out in force.  Since few of them were big enough to bite, it was just annoying to have them swarming around your face and hair.  Because of that, we hiked up and down in record time and didn’t stop much to admire the scenery, but rest assured, we’ll be back… probably on Canada Day weekend.

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