Friday, October 24, 2014

Book ~ "Lady Parts" (2014) Andrea Martin

From Goodreads ~ Whether lighting up the small screen, stealing scenes on the big screen or starring on the stage, Andrea Martin has long entertained Canadians with her hilarious characterizations and heartwarming performances. An important player in SCTV, the funniest show ever to come out of Canada, Martin helped change the face of television by introducing us to a host of characters, including the indomitable Edith Prickley. Martin has worked stages, sets and even trapezes across North America, playing to houses packed with adoring fans, all of whom instantly recognize the star who has entertained us for nearly forty years. 

In Lady Parts, Martin, for the first time, shares her fondest remembrances of a life in show business, motherhood, relationships, no relationships, family, chimps in tutus, squirrels, and why she flies to Atlanta to get her hair cut. Martin opens up her heart in a series of eclectic, human, always entertaining and often moving essays. Lady Parts will make you giggle and may make you cry-a powerful collection of stories by a woman with a truly storied life.

Andrea Martin is a star of TV, movies and stage.  Though she was born in Maine, she has lived in Canada and now divides her time between the U.S. and Toronto.

She is the oldest of three of Armenian parents, who split up when she was young.  These are her stories ... of being married (and divorced) and a mom of two sons, dating, her mustang convertible (that was stolen at gun point!), her friends, getting haircuts by Pascal Besimon in Atlanta, her battles with bulimia, SCTV and more.

This was a fun book.  I found it interesting and I liked the writing style.  It was funny and honest.  Though she sounds a bit neurotic, I bet she'd be fun to hang with as she sound very caring.

Thompson Diner, Toronto, ON

After our pedicures, Gord and I had supper at Thompson Diner (Bathurst Street/King Street W).

They serve their beer in an old-school mugs.

Gord was craving Mac 'n Cheese, which is why we went there.  He ordered it with bacon and said it was good and would order it again.

Her Majesty's Pleasure, Toronto, ON

Gord and I like getting pedicures and this evening we checked out Her Majesty's Pleasure (King Street W/Portland Street).  They have been open for less than a month.

You can sit on the café side and have a drink and pastry

You can buy products.

You can have your hair washed and blown out and styled.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites London, London, ON

I spent last night at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites London on Wellington Road.  When I pulled into the parking lot, I had a feeling I'd stayed here before ... and I had a few years ago when it was a Radisson.

Here is my room ...

A wet bar, including a mini fridge, is to the left when you walk in

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Flavurs, London, ON

I had supper tonight at Flavurs on Wellington Road.  Apparently it recently changed ownership.

There are two parts ... the bar side and the dining side.

I sat in the dining side

I ordered baby back ribs. 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites London Downtown, London, ON

I had one-on-ones to conduct for a client in London yesterday and today and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites London Downtown, which was near my client's office.

Here's my room ...

There was a separate bedroom, which had no window.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Amici Italian Ristorante, London, ON

I had supper tonight at Amici Italian Ristorante, which is near my hotel.

It wasn't very busy and I sat at the table by the window.

My server brought me hot crusty bread (but warm and soft in the inside) with garlic butter.  It was delicious!

I ordered Lasagna al forno.  It was okay, not great.  Since the restaurant boasts on its website that it uses fresh ingredients, I was surprised that the noodles seemed to be out of a box.

It was kind of soupy

Alas, the bread was the best part of the meal.

Despite it not being busy (it was just two tables for most of my time there), our server seemed disinterested and not engaged.

I won't be rushing back.

Amici Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Morrissey House, London, ON

I had a long busy day today.  I was on the 7:15am flight to Montreal ... spent the day there for training (the company I work for is based there) ... and then flew to Toronto on the 4:30pm flight.  Rather than going home, I drove straight to London (two plus hours) as I have client meetings here for the next three days.

Needless to say, by the time I got here about 8:30ish, I was hungry.

The Morrissey House is nearby and the receptionist at my hotel recommended it.

When I went there just after 9pm, the place was jammed as it was trivia night, which was just wrapping up.

I took this as I was leaving (trivia night was over)

I got the only spot left ... a seat at the bar.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book ~ "Fat Chance" (2014) Nick Spalding

From Goodreads ~ Meet Zoe and Greg Milton, a married couple who have let themselves go a bit.

Zoe was a stunner in her college days but the intervening decades have added five stone and removed most of her self-esteem. Greg's rugby-playing days are well and truly behind him, thanks to countless pints of beer and chicken curry.

When Elise, a radio DJ and Zoe's best friend, tells them about a new competition, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn their lives around. "Fat Chance" will pit six hefty couples against one another to see who can collectively lose the most weight and walk away with a £50,000 prize.

So begins six months of abject misery, tears and frustration that just might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them in another laugh-out-loud look at the way we live.

Zoe and Greg are in their late thirties and like most of us, have gained weight over the years.  Zoe's friend, Elise, works at a radio station that is organizing a weight loss competition called "Fat Chance" and convinces Zoe (who convinces Greg) to be part of it.  Six couples will compete to see which has lost the most weight after six months, with the prize being £50,000.

The contestants are obligated to keep track of their journey is a diary and the book is Zoe and Greg's entries as they recount their efforts to diet and exercise. 

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style.  It was funny and sarcastic.  You have to read it with an open mind and sense of humour ... I don't think the author's intent was to offend anyone.  I thought there was surprisingly a lot of honesty and reality in it.  The format worked for me ... each chapter alternated between Zoe and Greg's diary entries with their names at the top and their weight loss to date.  The author lives in England so there are some English references I didn't get.  Plus the weights are in stones (I had to look it up online ... 1 stone = 14 pounds).  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I liked Zoe and Greg.  I thought they were cute as a couple who had been together for a long time.  It was fun to read how they first approach weight-loss ... Zoe tried the wacky diets guaranteed for quick weight loss while Greg got sucked in by buying crazy exercise equipment.  They eventually discovered what worked for them (healthily).

I look forward to reading others by this author.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities", Cirque du Soleil, Toronto, ON

Gord and I saw Cirque du Soleil's KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities tonight.  The Toronto Star had given it 4/4 stars.

Reality is Relative 

What if you could alter reality at will? Delve into a world of curiosity where seeing is disbelieving: the world of KURIOS™ – Cabinet of Curiosities from Cirque du Soleil®. The show immerses you in a mysterious and fascinating realm that disorients your senses and challenges your perceptions, leaving you to wonder: "Is it real, or just a figment of my imagination?" 

Step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed, and the world is literally turned upside down in a place that’s as beautiful as it is mysterious. 

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is an ingenious blend of unusual curiosity acts and stunning acrobatic prowess from Cirque du Soleil. Let KURIOS show you that anything is possible through the power of imagination.

I'd never been to a Cirque show so Gord and I bought tickets for it months ago for tonight.  Then the company I work for had a client night in September and I got invited to go.  I thought it was amazing and was looking forward to going again with Gord.

It takes place in a tent that has been set up in a parking lot by the east end of Toronto Harbour.

Our seats were in section 101 in row G.  Here's the stage before it got started.

There is lots of acrobatics, balancing, singing (the female singer, Eirini Tornesaki, has a great voice), clapping, laughs and more. 

It was just as amazing the second time around!  I enjoyed it just as much the second time, even though I knew what was going to happen.  Maybe it's because I knew what was going to happen.

Dish cloth

I made a dish cloth today.  It is a quick and easy pattern.

I used cotton yarn.

Cast on 4 stitches.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over until there are 56 stitches.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over.

Cast off the final 4 stitches.