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 The plan today was to take Andrew to his appointment at St. Mike's, and then to the ROM to see the new blue whale exhibit so he'd have something to look forward to after the hospital visit. I booked three Wheel-Trans trips: home to St. Mike's, St. Mike's to the ROM, ROM to home.

As usual, getting picked up at home was fine, and we were dropped at the main Queen St. entrance. Now, when I book the rides on the website, it gives me several suggestions for St. Mike's. I'd clicked on "Shuter Street" because it popped up on the list of recently used, and I clicked for both the drop-off and the pick-up.

You can probably guess where this is going. The Shuter Street entrance (where I don't recall *ever* having been dropped off on past visits) is around the other side of the building, and after waiting for half an hour past pickup time, I saw the appointment had dropped off the website, i.e., the driver had waited there for us and finally given up. At this point we decided to cancel the ROM pickup and just go straight home on the streetcar.

Now, much of the fault here was mine because I made the wrong call while booking, and also assumed that we would be picked up at the same spot we were previously dropped (normally a fair bet, but because we had planned to visit the ROM I'd booked three one-way trips instead of a round trip); but it confirms something which many of you have probably already figured out but which hit my brain on Sunday while trying to figure out which door of the Tim Horton's was the entrance and which was locked -- stairs are an accessibility barrier, but so are confusing signs and inefficient layouts. 
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 CCCC came out to protest the anti-Islamophobia motion again, so Andrew and I went downtown for the counter-protest. The weather was less horrid than last time, but the crowd was smaller and more tense, with a lot of police between them and us. Meanwhile, the St. Patrick's Day parade moved along the other side of Nathan Phillips Square. 

We mostly chanted "No hate, No fear, Refugees are welcome here," and "Nazi Scum off our streets." Andrew didn't join in on the latter -- he still feels uncomfortable calling people nazis, even if, as I noted, the CCCC group contained the unusual combination of the JDL and the Soldiers of Odin; perhaps he felt "nazi" was too simple to describe that mix. I didn't argue with him. The remainder of the group looked like everyone I've ever seen browbeat a cashier with demands to speak to the manager, and that scared me more -- when we took a break for lunch, I kept glancing around the Eaton's Centre, wondering whether any of the people nearby had come from the rally, and whether anyone would recognize me and scream traitor! in the middle of the food court.

Shortly after we got back to the square, CCCC moved on, planning, I was told, to march down to Front Street. The police continued to escort them as they yelled about how we were threatening their freedom of speech. Andrew was tired, so we got on the subway and I didn't see whether they collided with the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
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Went to the counter-demo at Nathan Philips Square. I think the Anti-Muslim demo we were countering were over on the east side of the square. There were police (some in riot gear) standing guard near them, and our marshals were trying to keep us over at the other side, though I think some of the counter-demonstrators had gone over anyway, as there were some signs on the fringes of the their crowd that didn't seem to fit. I think their actual numbers were relatively small. Meanwhile we did keep edging closer to the centre of the square, following the sunbeams like a cat.

Feeling like a coward, though, because I didn't confront the guy I saw waiting for the bus at Queen/Roncesvalles on the way home, who was yelling racist stuff at a motorist, and then more general stuff at his own dog and at the bus driver. The driver did report him for animal cruelty though.
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 Successful thrifting expedition Saturday morning netted me a knee-length broomstick skirt with sequinned waistband, and a pair of J. Crew wedges which like the ballet flats I found last year, are cute, comfortable and don't fall off my feet when I walk. I can see why J. Crew have such a preppie cult following, and it's not as though I've any street cred to lose by wearing them. We then went to the 25th Annual Reading of Single Pages, aka Jason's birthday party. The dice rolled up a page number of 26, and I read about four of the half-dozen books I brought -- Lives of the Monster Dogs and The Joy of Cooking had the best pages 26.

Today we had lunch with my parents and then went to TCAF. I picked up a graphic novel called Louise Brooks, Detective. It's set during the part of her life immediately after the end of Brooks' Hollywood career, when she'd returned to her home town in Kansas; so far so true; I'm guessing the solving-a-murder part is fiction, though I'm not sure. They've certainly got her voice down, at least as I remember it from the memoir I read years ago. After that we hung out for a while in Balzac's, the coffee shop on the ground floor of Metro Ref, where Andrew chatted happily to an older woman named Peggy who reminded him of his late friend Bev.

I think Balzac's must be part of a chain(1), though I can't recall seeing another one. Faux-vintage restaurant decor is nothing new -- it's at least twenty-five years since my father, returned from a trip, mentioned a place that had been "a sort of English Pub mapped onto the interior of an office building." Balzac's struck me as especially theatrical, though -- it has a pressed-tin ceiling, beadboard along the front of the counter, and a wood-framed glass display case for the baked goods, and yet there is no attempt to hide the edges: you can see you're on a set that's been constructed inside a 1970s Brutalist concrete building.

About twenty minutes before we left, someone began yelling and I glanced up to see a shirtless man in a Santa hat. Oh wow, I said, Zanta's back. Apparently the local man, famous in the first decade of this century, is off his meds and back to his manic career.

(1) I just checked their website -- apparently there are six locations around Toronto, and several elsewhere in Ontario.

Night Walk

Jan. 3rd, 2016 04:29 pm
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Every so often I look up Global TV's Night Walk. If you've never heard of this (and I hadn't, until a few years ago), Global is a Toronto-based network that in the mid-1980s became one of the first channels in Canada with a 24-hour broadcast license; which meant that they needed to fill the slot after the Late Late Show, they needed to fill their Canadian Content quota and, since they weren't expecting anyone to watch this Canadian-made filler, they needed to produce it on the cheap.

Their surprisingly-good solution was to periodically send someone out after dark to wander downtown Toronto with a steadycam, score it with a smooth jazz soundtrack and run chunks of it as needed under the title Night Walk or Night Moves. The result is sort of like a film noir where nothing happens, you just walk the streets at night while a smoky contralto (Sharon Lee Williams) sings songs composed by the producer, Michael Spivak, who had a talent for Broadway-esque solos like "I Need You Now." The music is probably what makes it work; someone described it filling them with the need to make love on a shag-pile carpet.

Night Ride was the car version.

Now I'm wondering if it would be feasible to turn it into a stage musical. The songs could probably be worked into some kind of romance plot, Ms. Williams and the musicians are probably still available, and the original show has a cult following. Of course, to get the full effect you might have to stage it at three in the morning.
moon_custafer: (acme)
Younger cat Nyarlathotep is still with us after several days in hospital with acute renal failure. Still not sure what happened, but he's beaten some heavy odds (and PetCare should cover *most* of the bill. Sigh.) Carter sniffed him thoroughly when he returned, but didn't hiss as much as I'd expected. According to Andrew, Narly inspected each room of the apartment and chattered at it, which is normally his noise of disapproval, but in context may have been a statement that they are his once more. He's now curled up by the window listening to the rain which has finally broken, ending Andrew's barometric headache.

I find I'm mostly using Tumblr as my platform of choice these days; I think I'm going to start cross-posting these updates there instead of to Dreamwidth (which I've been forgetting to do anyway).

Apparently a peacock escaped from the High Park Zoo on Wednesday, was coaxed back into the park by staff, and escaped again on Thursday. He is apparently still at large, it being impossible to keep him at home now that he's seen the bright lights of Roncesvalles Avenue.
moon_custafer: (acme)
I’ve now lived more than half my life in Toronto, but having grown up in New Brunswick, I never cease to be amazed by springtime in Ontario; not just that it comes at least three weeks earlier, but the speed and efficiency with which it slips from “grass is beginning to look green” to “flowers and leaves everywhere.”

Growing up, spring wasn’t a season – it was a protracted, muddy battle that somehow ended every year sometime in early June with summer on top; and you were never quite sure how. Spring in Ontario... seems to have better stage management. It’s always cartoonishly idyllic, as though the plants have everything prepped and ready to go and then jump out yelling “surprise!” I’m always terrified I’ll miss it through inattention.
moon_custafer: (acme)
I ship two of my fellow commuters, and I don't even have names for them. I just think of them as Big Sandy-haired Guy and Pointy-nosed Brunette. I'm not even sure if they're cannon; I sometimes see him on his own, so they might just be neighbours who chat when they meet.


Apr. 4th, 2014 09:55 pm
moon_custafer: (Frida & Diego)
OK, so Andrew had an appointment for a CT scan of his lower back 9 pm at Mount Sinai. The advantage of a 9 pm medical appointment is there's no line-up - we were in and out in about ten minutes.

"Brief show," I said. "Let's go have dinner." Mount Sinai has a Sabbath elevator, which I guess was in operation (it was after sundown), as it appeared before I could press the "down" button.

We went to the House of Gourmet on Dundas, and sat in a corner near a tank full of tilapia and one other fish that kept staring at me. The House of Gourmet has these things over the King's Noodle: 1. Take debit cards; 2. Washrooms on the ground floor instead of in the basement; 3. Really good shrimp dumplings.

So, medical tests and dinner -- not a bad Friday night out.
moon_custafer: (acme)
Saw another robin yesterday.

Today while walking to the grocery store I saw various buffleheads and mallards, a pair of cardinals, a red-tailed hawk, and on the way back, a pair of Canada geese in the Humber Loop who were probably nesting. The female had a green neck band with numbers on it. Looking it up when I got home I found this discussion on a hunting forum last February which suggests the green collars are part of a study on whether or not the GTA geese migrate.

A couple of weeks ago I found a tablecloth with a cute print of fruit, and bought it to refashion. Today I started a dress from my usual go-to pattern and it is now about 90% completed -- I need to set in the zipper, seam up the side and hem the bottom. There was just enough fabric to make up the pattern. Will post pictures when complete.

Andrew still not in great shape; though I've noticed this week that he's been more talkative than usual, which I put down to his having found a Robert E. Howard/pulp fiction-themed group on Facebook where he can post pictures from his collection and generally hold court, keeping himself more alert and entertained than he's been for a while. Realized today that next year will be our tenth wedding anniversary. I just wish the "in sickness and in health" part wasn't an on-going test.

ETA -- Could have sworn I had a couple of extra 14-inch zippers lying about, but I can't find them. Completion delayed.
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1. Two Buddhist monks (at Walmart).

2. The St. John's Ambulance brought therapy dogs to meet the public. Much tail-wagging.

3. In a housewares store, a decorative throw pillow with a sequined design of a grinning skull in sunglasses. Near it, a sign: YES, WE DO BRIDAL REGISTRIES.

4. On the bus, an otherwise inconspicuous man (white, mid-sixties, shorts and a t-shirt) was wearing multiple large rings with turquoise and other blue and green stones. On closer inspection, he was also wearing a neck chain; but it didn't look like a decorative chain. It was the kind of chain you'd use for a dog's leash.

ETA -- also, those furry vests seem to me making a comeback.
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On the way home, I noticed a poster for a matchmaking service across which someone had written WOMEN EXPLOIT MEN BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER MARRIAGE. Someone had then crossed out MEN and written TEA. I reread it a few times in case they'd tried to change it to WOMEN EXPLOITED, which would at least have been a counter-point; but no, it definitely said TEA.

Meanwhile, the monitors in the subway stations continue to play short independent films; the clip playing on the Dundas West platform showed static interspersed with scratchy black-and-white drawings of trees, reminiscent of the haunted video in The Ring, followed by a title card: WE AREN'T COMPLETELY SURE WHAT JUST HAPPENED (PART FOUR).
moon_custafer: (acme)
On the way home, I noticed a poster for a matchmaking service across which someone had written WOMEN EXPLOIT MEN BEFORE DURING AND AFTER MARRIAGE. Someone had then crossed out MEN and written TEA. I reread it a few times in case they'd tried to change it to WOMEN EXPLOITED, which would at least have been a counter-point; but no, it definitely said TEA.

Meanwhile, the monitors in the subway stations continue to play short independent films; the clip playing on the Dundas West platform showed static interspersed with scratchy black-and-white drawings of trees, reminiscent of the haunted video in The Ring, followed by a title card: WE AREN'T COMPLETELY SURE WHAT JUST HAPPENED (PART FOUR).
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Snow made the bus trip this morning almost twice as long, plus I was stuck listening to an hour-long sermon/rant from the guy behind me, mostly to his cel phone, than later and less coherently to himself after his friend had hung up.

Think is, he was Rastafarian, which in his case at least basically meant he was a Christian fundamentalist *and* a left-wing conspiracy theorist. His view, in a nutshell and stripped of all the biblical/historical/cultural references, seemed to be that Jews, Catholics, scientists, Capitalism, gays, civil-rights activists, Hollywood and the US government are all in one big plot to ruin everything; any apparent political differences between them are just “misdirection.”
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Bleagh. Spring head-cold. Not enough to keep me home, but enough to keep me from overtime.

green_trilobite spends the daytime chatting with the condo staff. Today he met the substitute super:
"You're not a hoarder?" he was asked. "No, you don't look like a hoarder."

He is, but I'm glad he was not found out.
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One of my co-workers just mentioned that someone broke into her mother’s garage on the weekend and stole the bunches of herbs she was drying. Not sure if this is the work of a very dim-witted pothead or a criminal chef. Sadly, it’s probably the former.

They’re going to be disappointed when they try smoking the stuff; unless there’s a placebo effect.


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