Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for July, 2005

Roly-Poly Fishheads

Laws of TTC Ridership; Rule # 37: When you’re already running a little late, the College streetcar will take a scenic detour down to Dundas and across (from Bay to Spadina). Noted.

Still, after my little side-trip, the evening ended up being pretty awesome. I met up with Shari-Anne, Logan and Amanda (Julia and Andrew showed up a little later… for non-streetcar related reasons) at The Royal Theatre to see a screening of Casablanca.

Although it’s quite dated, Casablanca is a phenomenal film, from a time when films didn’t dumb down plot or dialogue for the lowest common denominator. Each scene is rich with subtlety and depth so that it plays out like a well-written book. The dialogue can seem chessy at times (partly because the movie is 60 years old), but even tertiary characters have a lot of depth to them. It’s a 10.

After the movie, we wandered down to Cafe Diplomatico’s patio to enjoy a beautiful evening with some cool drinks, Italian treats, and a fish head. I was more than a little surprised to find that the grilled rainbow trout I ordered included the entire fish (de-scaled and de-boned, but still in it’s skin… head and tail intact). Don’t worry though, after a little deft surgery I was able to get at the tasty bits inside. And if someone ever dares you to put a grilled trout head in your mouth… scrape off the charred bits first… or so I’ve heard.

By the way, go see a movie at The Royal… any movie. They have the most comfortable theatre seats I’ve ever sat in. The back of the seat is ridiculously springy, so you can lean waaaaaaay back if you want to. It’s one of Toronto’s Festival theatres (a chain of independent cinemas) and you can save yourself a few bucks if you buy a membership.

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“City of Blinding Lights”

U2 did it again. They suckerpunched me right in the music collection by releasing three different versions of the ‘City of Blinding Lights’ single. Seriously though, is it still a ‘single’ when they release three of them?

The first is in a slimline case and has ‘The Fly’ and ‘Even Better Than the Real Thing’ live from a benefit concert as the b-sides. It was $5. Not too shabby. The second is in a cardboard sleeve and has a remix of ‘All Because of You’ as the B-side. It was $4, which is a little pricey for two songs in a piece of cardboard. Last, but not least is the tiny CD. Do you remember those? It’s about half the size of a normal CD and it comes in a minature slimline case. I couldn’t tell what the B-side was because of the packaging (or if it even had one), so I bought it on a whim (it was only $4) and ended up with a bit of a surprise. One of my favourite songs live from the concert they did by the Brooklyn Bridge back in the early spring… “Out of Control”. Brilliant.

Of course, all this can only mean one thing… I have to rearrange the collection YET AGAIN to make room. Life is just so hard sometimes, isn’t it?

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There are few things more heinous than reminding an addict of a former (and long-forgotten) addiction. I curse you, Jay Rennix (sp?)… I curse you and your … er… ‘cursed’ Foosball table. I’ve played every night in my sleep since Friday. Alas, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here it is… the Weekend Round-Up.

Friday: Jared (LMB) and I drove out to the ‘Jax to meet up with Stutz, Deyo, BeeJack and Shingles McFooze (aka, Jay Rennix) for some dinner and a giant cylinder filled with flat beer. Matt and Ryan joined on near the end. After a few drinks, some greasy fries, and some seriously flawed discussions about water pressure, physics, and the physical properties of gassy fluids, we headed off for a “few quick games of foosball”. So it’s 10pm and we’re sweating it out as we walk into the garage. By 2am, I’m remembering why I almost failed a term of University (MarioGolf played a role too) and Deyo keeps asking what that awful smell is (it was my body, by the way). Much fun was had, and Jared barely walked out of there with all his limbs intact thanks to his wrist shot.

Saturday: So I wake up sore from hours of playing fooze on a table that’s just a bit too short, but I’m ready to take on the day. Then I realize how humid it is, and I’m no longer ready to take it on. Shari-Anne commuted out to the ‘burbs for the Duncan family ‘picnic’ (which took place entirely indoors thanks to rain and then intensely hot fog). We cracked jokes, ate food, picked on one another, ate some more food, played Trivial Pursuit, and then ate some more food. I think I ate an entire Pineapple myself.

Sunday: I slept until noon. It’s glorious to wake up and realize that it’s afternoon. Hours later, we were in Whitby at Jay and Lis’ goodbye BBQ. It was great to just sit around with old friends and chill out in a real backyard for a change. (Yes, there are some things I miss about the suburbs) They passed around a camera to let people take pictures, and I went a little hog-wild (I hope you guys like all those pictures of my feet).

So, here I am on monday morning… humidified and full of seared meat. I just love summer.


BBQin’ it in the ‘Burbs

Sweet sassy molassey! NOW it feels like summer (or at least it did the last time I was outside). So now that the humidity has broken, it’s time for me to glut myself on one of my absolute favourite summer rites… seared meat fresh off a grill.

Tomorrow will see a trip to Pickering for a Duncan extended family get-together near the warming glow of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. Much charred beef will be consumed and washed down with many cold glasses of some sort of Cola beverage while parents compare how all of us cousins look alike. The Duncan get-togethers are actually a lot of fun (mostly because of me being there, I’m sure… care to disagree, Rob?). We’re going to be celebrating a few things, I think… Deb and Tim being out from BC, Anne and Keith’s (very) soon exepected bundle of baby, and Paul and Karen’s engagement. What better way to celebrate than by the application of meat to fire?

Sunday is a little more bittersweet. I’m headed to Whitby to say goodbye to some good friends, Jay and Lis. Long-time readers may remember Jay for challenging me to a month of ridiculously healthy eating back in March, or for his involvement in the igloo camping adventures (he’s the man who owns the igloo making machine). They’re hosting their own goodbye BBQ before they head off on a travel adventure around the world with no set schedule. Lucky ducks.

So that’s two days straight of sitting in lawnchairs wearing loose-fitting pants and smelling like potato salad. Hopefully a game of croquet will bust out too. Those mallets are dangerous.

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“… I got Better!”

Here are a couple of pictures to brighten things up a bit in here. This is a little newt that Shari-Anne found in the brush behind the cottage back in June.
Taking a breather
He may look relaxed, but he’s ready to run…
He's off!
Luke found a much larger one on Canada Day weekend. I didn’t even know we had them on the property until last fall when my dad and I found one hiding in the foundation of the house. All this time I could have been casting spells and making potions.

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The Heatwave Rolls On

The closest I came to feeling comfortable yesterday was sitting in Riverdale Park by the big fountain enjoying a picnic. A light breeze kicked up, and as we sat enjoying sandwiches, I barely even noticed I wasn’t sweating. It was a nice change, no matter how short-lived.

Shari-Anne and I met up with Scott and Kathryn and their (nearly) 2 year-old daughter Ana. We had a great time, and topics of conversation varied from wool diapers to helicopter noise (is it the engine, or the rotor cutting air?) to how parents in public are like dog owners in public. I should probably clarify that last one…

I noticed something weird when my parents first got their dog a few years ago. When I took him for walks, other dog owners knew his name, said hello, and stopped to talk to me. These are neighbours who’ve lived in our neighbourhood for years, and we’d never spoken. I guess we finally had something in common. Mind you, all the conversation was about the dogs. How old are they? How do you get his coat so shiny? What mix of breeds is he? Where did you get that nifty leash? It was quite an experience for me.

Well, it turns out that parents of small children are the same. In parks especially, it’s like a spoken word version of Consumer Reports where every toy, article of clothing, food, or parenting fad is shared, compared and studied. Although I see how useful it is, and how it’s a great way to learn really useful information, the comparison is just a little creepy (not being a dog owner or a parent… I’m sure I’ll change my tune when I have a toddler and puppies).

I wonder if helicopter pilots mill around their pads talking about rotor noise versus motor noise?

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Dave Bounces Back

Wow. The last two days have been long. Not being a fan of the heat, I thought that nothing could be worse than 35 degree heat with a big stack of humidity on top, but then I got a cold. For a while yesterday, I was a little delirious… it was awesome. Alas, after a LOT of fluids and some fitful sleep, my cold broke overnight and I’m feeling much better. I’m just a little tired yet.

One thing about staying home and dozing in front of the TV is that you can either watch Soap Operas, bad movies, or news. I flicked between movies and news. I now know more than I would ever care to know about the CIA name-dropping/Karl Rove incident. I also think I’ve seen the same clip of a house being torn apart by hurricane Dennis about a million times.

On a slightly related note, to the fine folks at History Television… what’s with showing ‘Antiques Roadshow’ in the afternoons? Surely you didn’t run out of war movies to show. Here, I was all prepared to watch John Wayne bossing around some leathernecks, or pippy Brits with snappy accents quipping about ‘the Hun’, but instead I get some guy in a tweed jacket telling me all about Lalique. To answer your question… yes, I watched it… but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the war movies.

So, in summary… I’m healthy, war movies are good, Karl Rove is bad, and hurricanes are windy. How’s your week going so far?

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The Weekend Update… a Day Late

Sorry for the delay, but I’m still feeling very much under the weather. I made it into work today (mostly to enjoy some AC), but we’ll see if I last the whole day.

Friday night I headed to Stratford with Shari-Anne and my sister and brother-in-law to see ‘As You Like It’. It’s one of Shakespeare’s more light-hearted pieces, and this version was set in the 60’s with music recorded by The Barenaked Ladies. The performance was spectacular, but the some of the audience… not so much. There was one guy on the aisle the next section over from us who kept falling asleep… and SNORING. Not just light snoring either… full-on snoring. Even worse, no one woke the poor guy up so he just kept snoring so the whole theatre (no doubt the actors included) could hear him. How awkward.

Saturday I hung out with Meagan for most of the afternoon and we walked around a lot. We dragged Par downtown to check out the TO Summerfest (which was a total bust) and then met up with Luke and Shari-Anne at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. After a quick dinner (and a bath… for me… thanks to Luke), Shari-Anne headed home to catch some sleep and the three of us ended up in Riverdale park with a book of poetry we found in the garbage.

Sunday was pretty laid back. I was already starting to feel a little unwell, but I hung out with Kenneth and Ben for a bit (thankful to get out of the house for a little while).

Now back to Peppermint tea and dazing.

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