Monday 30 June 2008

Bingo bags

Gord and I went to bingo this afternoon. We go to Delta Bingo on St. Clair Avenue W. It's been a while since we've been.

Though we were "set" quite a bit, alas we didn't win. Winning $5000 would have been sweet!

Even Bingo Betty didn't help.

Sister Sarah gave her to me years ago for luck.

Sunday 29 June 2008

Book ~ "Con Ed" (2007) Matthew Klein

From ~ At the start of Klein's amusing debut, one-time con man Kip Largo, who's been working at a dry cleaner since completing an eight-year stretch in prison for fraud, is intrigued when the gorgeous wife of Silicon Valley billionaire Edward Napier asks him to help her steal her husband's money, but not intrigued enough to follow through — at least not until he discovers that his not-bright son, Toby, owes several hundred thousand dollars to the Russian mob. Deciding that this is his chance to finally do right by his family, Kip sets about organizing a large-scale swindle to lure in Napier, all too aware that if he fails to pull it off, he and Toby (and the con's other participants) will all be killed. While the plot and characters tend to be by the numbers, the author's background information on how cons work is enormously entertaining.

I was going to give up on this book after the first couple chapters but I'm glad I didn't as I enjoyed it.

It was interesting to watch the con unfold, though I wasn't crazy about the ending, but I suspected it was coming.

Definitely worth checking out.

Saturday 28 June 2008

Pride, Toronto, ON

It's Pride Week here in Toronto.

I've lived in Toronto for 21 years and have never been. Neither has Gord. So we went tonight.

We saw the end of Skin Tight Outta Sight, a burlesque troupe.

There was lots of stuff sold in booths ... like this one:

There were lots of people walking up and down Church Street.

We had a beer at Statlers. There's Gord!

These guys were dancing on the balcony above Statlers. They drew quite a crowd!

We had a beer at a beer garden that was cranking techno music. The security guard asked us for our IDs ... I hugged her!

Would I go back to Pride again? Probably not. The bars had line-ups. I was expecting the bars to have their patios extended onto the street like the Taste of Little Italy a couple weeks ago. Church Street is closed to cars from Bloor E to Carlton so there's no reason why they couldn't.

Book ~ "Headline Murder" (2008) April Lindgren

From ~ How far will a reporter go to get her story? And will she be putting her life at risk or just her heart? For years, Pia Keyne was the senior political columnist at a daily newspaper until her sideline as a mystery writer took over her life. But now, with the murder of a high-profile cabinet minister right in the heart of the legislature buildings, she can't help but be drawn back into political intrigue. What starts out as a simple headline story - and possible idea for her next book - quickly turns into something more dangerous as the killings continue and Pia's investigative skills lead her into the world of Nazi art theft, forgery, drugs and homicide. Having spent years trying to overcome the painful secrets of her own past, Pia Keyne must now choose who to trust, who to love and who to track down as a possible source - for her story and for murder.

This book is set in Toronto, which drew my interest. And is a mystery, which I enjoy.

The writing style was okay, though the author is very descriptive ... she tries too hard at times.

Pia jumped to a conclusion very quickly about who the murderer is and I'm not sure what substantiated this.

Would I recommend this book? It wasn't a bad story, but it wasn't a great one either.

Friday 27 June 2008

Get 'em while you can!

We love tingly mint shampoo but it's hard to find.

H20+ has a mint ice shampoo that we like.

I stopped in this afternoon to get some. We haven't had any for a while.

The bad news: it's been discontinued

The good news: they are selling off what's left.

It's usually $22.50 and on sale for $7.99. What a deal! So I bought four.

There's a lot of other stuff on sale, up to 60% off, so go check 'em out!

Thursday 26 June 2008

Free Book by Suze Orman

Do you want a free copy of Suze Orman's book, Women & Money?

Money maven Suze Orman's latest book, Women & Money, addresses the complicated (and often dysfunctional) relationship women have with personal finance. Orman's direct, non-condescending style is perfect for this subject matter - she begins with the premise that "Women can invest, save, and handle debt as well and skillfully as any man" and then tackles the important question "So why don't they?" Designed to educate and inspire, Women & Money also offers a "Save Yourself Plan," a five-month program that "delivers genuine long-term financial security." Want to know more? Watch a video message from Suze below, and take a gander at the first chapter of Women & Money - you'll be "controlling your destiny" in no time.

You can download it from Oprah's website until tomorrow (June 27) evening.

Look who is in Byron's spot!

Byron finally moved ... to the back of the couch ... so I was able to finally finish making the bed.

Morgan is there now, which is an unusual spot for him.

But doesn't he look content?!

CAMH's celebration

Join CAMH in celebrating our 10th anniversary and the Grand Opening of the first phase of the Queen Street redevelopment project with a street fair on White Squirrel Way, on the western edge of the 1001 Queen Street West site.

CAMH staff will welcome you along with other dignitaries, clients, community partners and the neighbourhood, providing entertainment, food and a variety of vendors and displays.

On our walk this morning, KC and I discovered the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) festivities.

There were tables set up selling lots of stuff.

Though they looked delicious, I resisted the chocolate pizzas by Sweetiepies.

I ran into Helene, who I had met earlier this week. She is the case worker responsible for the gardens on the grounds. The clients of CAMH take care of it. They had a table selling veggies and herbs from their garden.

There is a BBQ at noon.

The Parkdale Drummers were really good. They played reggae, calypso and finished off with "Hot! Hot! Hot!".

KC isn't a friendly dog but this guy became her new best friend ... cuz he was feeding her a hamburger (I didn't notice at first).


As you know in the past, I've have problems making the bed.

One of Byron's favourite spots is on my side of the bed. I have to be quick in the mornings to make the bed before he gets settled in.

Today he beat me to it!

I made the bed around him ... which was fine with him. He just settled in more.

And there's Morgan in the left bottom corner of the picture. If someone else is getting attention, he's right there! Me! Me! Me!

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Book ~ "T is for Trespass" (2007) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ A miser and a hoarder, Gus Vronsky is so crotchety that after he takes a bad fall, his only living relative is anxious to find him some hired help and get back home as soon as she can. 

In an effort to help, Gus's neighbor, private investigator Kinsey Millhone, runs a check on an applicant for the job, Solana Rojas. Social Security, driver's license, nursing certification: It all checks out. And it sounds like she did a good job for her former employers. So Kinsey gives her the thumbs-up, figuring Gus will be the ideal assignment for this diligent, experienced caregiver. And the real Solana Rojas was indeed an excellent caregiver. But the woman who has stolen her identity is not, and for her, Gus will be the ideal victim.

It's been a while since I've read a Kinsey Millhone story (because there haven't been any since 2005) so it was good to read "T".

There's a lot I liked about this book. It was interesting to read two "voices" ... Kinsey's and Solana's. It worked for me. The main story was a bit extreme at times but I enjoyed it.

There was a subplot that could have had a different slant rather than the heavy child molestation. Some of the characters were very convenient.

All in all, I'd recommend this book.

Divorce cakes' tiers of joy

From today's Toronto Star

Sunday 22 June 2008

Liberty Village Farmers' Market

Gord, KC and I took a walk over to the Liberty Village Farmers' Market this morning.

Lots of fresh fruits, veggies, herbs and baked goods.

Gord bought some bison burgers ... bison is a lot healthier than even chicken.

Saturday 21 June 2008

Book ~ "Befriend and Betray" (2008) Alex Caine

From ~ The Hells Angels. The Bandidos. Asian triads. Russian mobsters and corrupt cops. Even the KKK. Just part of a day's work for Alex Caine, an undercover agent who has seen it all. Alex Caine started life as a working-class boy from Quebec who always thought he'd end up in a blue-collar job. But after a tour in Vietnam and a stretch in prison on marijuana-possession charges, he fell into the cloak-and-dagger world of a contracted agent: infiltrating criminal groups that cops across North America and around the globe were unable to penetrate themselves. Thanks to his quick-wittedness and his tough but unthreatening demeanour, Caine could fit into whatever unsavoury situation he found himself. Over twenty-five years, his assignments ran the gamut from bad-ass bikers to triad toughs. When a job was over, he'd slip away to a new part of the continent or world, where he would assume a new identity and then go back to work on another group of bad guys. Told with page-turning immediacy, Befriend and Betray gives a candid look behind the scenes at some familiar police operations and blows the lid off others that law enforcement would much prefer to keep hidden. And it offers an unvarnished account of the toll such a life takes, one that often left Caine to wonder who he really was, behind those decades of assumed identities. Or whether justice was ever truly served.

Excellent book!

I enjoy bios and this one sounded interesting, especially since he was Canadian.

The writing style was fast-paced and the stories riveting. There was even an experience here in Toronto.

Toronto FC 0, Kansas City Wizards 0

I've been wanting to check out a Toronto FC soccer game but tickets are always sold out. They play just south of us at BMO Field so we can hear the fans.

Gord's friend, Malcolm, has seasons' tickets. He is out of town this weekend so gave Gord and I his tickets. The FC were playing host to the Kansas City Wizards.

The game ended with no score.

Though I don't know much about the rules, it was a fun experience! The fans really get into the game ... they are continuously loud and wear red.

The only annoyance was that people are up and down, up and down, up and down heading to the washroom, getting food, etc. So we were constantly standing up to let people by (we were on the aisle) or having people stand up in front of us getting out.

Friday 20 June 2008

The Beaches

I hung out with Trish in her 'hood in the Beaches this evening. I live in the west end of Toronto so going to the east end was quite the adventure (a 45 minute streetcar ride).

We walked along Queen Street E.

Our first stop was Castro's Lounge for a couple drinks.

Teena and Trish


We had supper at Bow Thai Restaurant. I had green curried chicken and rice (which was delish!) and Trish, who is a vegetarian, had the Purple Garden (stir-fried eggplant with onion, chili, sweet pepper, onion).


We then went to Captain Jack's for a couple drinks before heading home.