Thursday, October 30, 2003


Jenny and Alan were good sports on their arrival, as I dragged them out to Mainstreet Station in Bolton to meet Amy & Shawn and Sarah & Steve.

We did a fair amount of stuff. Went up the CN Tower. Saw the Lion King musical. Went to Spadina. Went to Chinatown. Went to Kensington Market. Visited MEC. Wandered around the downtown core and the Eaton Centre. Had dinner with Jas and Vanessa and lunch with Samarra. Saw my family. Went to a pub for Halloween.

Monday, October 27, 2003

We are almost off...

Well, paperclip man is a thing of the past, no more temping in Toronto for me. Alan and Jenni arrive tomorrow afternoon. Yay! I should be packing, but am procrastinating and emailing instead. Packing in advance is highly overrated.

I have been madly running around. First, shopping. My socks are now really funky-I have a stripy pair with separate bits for each toe that make me look sort of pippi longstocking-esque.

I saw a Noam Chomsky documentary that was from Japan, read "We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow we will be Killed with our Families" about Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch (read this book, it's really powerful), and watched a documentary the Weather Underground (late 60s American student terrorists against Vietnam, racism, etc).

Jas and I visited the St James cemetery in Cabbagetown, very interesting (lots of rich dead folks) and we made Pad Thai (pretty damn good if I do say so myself). I also went to the Dora Keogh pub on the Danforth with Mei and Kristin-it's fantastic and has a semi authentic Irish snug (I recommend it to all torontonians).

Jas, Margaret-Ann and I went to see the Evil Dead 1 & 2: the Musical. It was sooooo funny. As good as Jerry Springer: the Opera. I'm sure you are thinking that I have slightly odd taste in theatre. ;)

Starting Wednesday, Jenni, Alan and I have a mad three days in Toronto, aiming to see all the sights. Then we're off, for a fun filled (and likely a somewhat smelly) trip. Hopefully we will find a way to shower between here and Winnipeg... Otherwise the pictures may not be that appealing.

There is a webcam for the polar bears in Churchill, if you want to check out what we will soon be seeing.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Salsa and Radiohead

I went to dinner with Sonia and Marcus for her birthday, and it was one of these dinner and salsa club places (very nice). We drank lots of sangria and went off for our free lessons. There was only one other guy there for lessons, so I got stuck with him-43 years old, and a bit smelly. And I was bad at the steps, but this guy was HORRIBLE!!! At the end of the lesson he joined us at our table and tried to chat me up-his opening line- I go to salsa clubs to try to meet women your age!!! However, it was good to see Sonia and I can see that with a much improved partner, could be fun. Anyone know any salsa places in Vancouver? ;)

After that fun and excitement, I headed to Bolton for thanksgiving with my family-Nana & Henry, Julie & Al, and my cousins Bradley and Alannah. Alannah is amazing-really cute and she has such energy-she never stops moving. And she's 5! I can't believe how old they are all getting.

I had been surprised a week earlier to get a letter from Lisa Hudson, who did a rotary exchange at Humberview in my last year there. She's in Bolton just now, so Amy and I met up with her for coffee. This whole two months in Toronto has been one big reminiscing time for me!

The film addiction continued, went to see Dirty Pretty Things at my fav cinema. God, the popcorn there is to die for-it's actually real!!! And they put on real butter :)

Then last night I went to the Radiohead concert. Had never heard anything by Kid Koala before- I liked his stuff but am not going to become a big fan anytime soon. It would have been better in a club setting I think.

Radiohead were amazing!!! When they played Fake Plastic Trees... There are no words to describe it. They have been worth waiting for-though I still regret we didn't go see them when we were in Greece. However, cool concert, got the t shirt, and the poster... It was just fantastic.

I had margarhita's at lunch today - Samarra is a bad influence ;) We went to the Lonestar here in Toronto-made me think of Kingston.

Not long till Vancouver now :)

Friday, October 10, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving Canucks

I am sooooo tired. You see, that's two nights I have been out late enough to miss the subway or bus.

I went out to see Tear Gas Holiday (docu about FTAA in Quebec City) and Buffalo Soldiers. Great evening-I will never think about mopping in quite the same way again (cleanliness is next to godliness, and you can never have enough mop & glo) and the after party for Tear Gas Holiday was fantastic. Kept me out till 3:30am and had me going into work on 3 hours sleep the next day.

Last night I met up with Kristin and we listened to his band at the Red Lion. Good evening, and john's haircut is very cool. Kristin and I, being very ditzy, got on the subway to go ONE stop to the other line. And we sat down, started chatting, ended up in totally the wrong place.

Today is my last day on my present temp assignment, but on Tuesday I have a real treat!!! Another day with paperclip man! Woo hoo.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Ok, so now I am addicted to both books and films...

I don't know what it is about being quasi single, but I tell you, I don't see this many films when Alan and I are living in the same country...

I saw Mambo Italiano with Lindsay the other day, and no matter what she says, she did laugh at bits! I loved it. Then last night I went to see Whose University is it Anyway? At my new favourite place, the Bloor Cinema. It is about the student protests that occurred at Trent University, where some students occupied an office and got arrested. There was a discussion afterwards about resisting corporatization of universities and keeping a space open in society for free thought, unchecked by market forces. Very amusing bit where the head of the Royal Bank is commenting on the two level administration type of governance of universities (senate=faculty, board=people who deal with money) and got caught out-he seemed to think this was a type of administration set up when Trent started up in the 60s, rather than what Oxford began doing 800 odd years ago. So, where were all you Toronto uni students?!? And I had no idea there was an occupation at Queen's over the private university proposal...

Other than watching films, I worked at a new place (again a one day thing) where yet again I had NOTHING to do. Why do these companies hire a replacement receptionist to answer about 6 calls in 5 hours???

I went to a British themed pub with Samarra the other night and noticed that all their import beers were Irish... Guinness and Smithwicks. I was hoping there might be a decent bitter- get ready to drink nothing but lager, Jenni and Alan.

I'm off tonight to an Irish themed pub with Mei and Kristin, when I might even have a Guinness (but a baby Guinness may be better). And hopefully my haircut this afternoon won't end up making me look freakish... You never know with haircuts...

Monday, October 06, 2003

Email from Jenni

Hi all,

Just a note to say that since I'm heading to the land of the Maple leaf, where men are men an moose are scared, as from Tuesday 7th of October my mobile number will no longer exist. So smoke signals and cups with string will have to do. If not try my mum's number till I depart.


Friday, October 03, 2003

What's that smell?

One slight problem with the cross Canada jaunt: originally I was told there are showers on the train, however, they didn't mention that they are only for people in berths-the only time we really need them is to and from Churchill, and all the berths were fully booked when we booked that bit way back in march. So, we are spending 6 days with no real access to showers. I do think that we could PROBABLY sneak in to the shower in the berth area, but I don't know for sure. And we have about 4 hours in Winnipeg in the middle, so maybe we could try to shower there (they don't have them in the station though). I was thinking, if we book a hostel for the time we stay in Winnipeg, maybe they will let us come in that day to shower... Worst case senario, we are going to become experts at sponge washing and washing hair in sinks. We will all need to bring hats ;) a bit gross, but it will be fantastic, so whatever.

Where did September go?

I'm in a two week temping job right now, which is good because I like the people and the atmosphere. And someone was finally bright enough to offer the receptionist temp a filler task!!! A novel concept, paying the temp to actually DO something. Granted, I am only rewriting the filofax so it's neater, but there you are. Oh, and it turns out that people like me have a not too bad title. According to my temp company, I am the Director of First Impressions.

Time has flown by remarkably fast. Lisa Hudson, who was a Rotary exchange student in Bolton when we were in highschool, called me up and as I was making plans to meet up, I counted my remaining weekends in Toronto. I have three. Thanksgiving, the weekend of my aunt and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary, and the weekend I call "crazy packing weekend". November 1st is coming up quickly.

Last week was fairly action packed as usual. Jas and I got together to eat the doggie bag from the "cheap Indian" restaurant we went to after Word on the Street last Sunday. Tuesday was highly exciting, as I got ahold of my Radiohead tickets (eight days till the concert!). Thursday the province of Ontario finally threw the Conservatives out of government, thank Maude (new saying I picked up from a friend, for atheists, to replace thank god, I think it's cute). Friday Fran had me over for a BBQ, which was yummy, and Vanessa made us smoothies, also wonderful.

My film addiction continues-saw Under the Tuscan Sun with my sister and then a documentary called Choropampa at the Environmental Film Festival, about a gold mining company that poisoned a town with mercury.

Given a bit of free time at work, I have completely booked our train tickets across Canada. We leave the 1st and get into Vancouver on the 18th, with the Churchill polar bear tour, with 3-3.5 days each in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Jasper. If any of you are better travelled in Canada then myself (and that's not difficult), all must see recommendations are welcomed. Next I have to book the hostels-Jenni has made a few jokes about over organizing... ;)