Monday, June 30, 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, June 29, 2008

Book ~ "Con Ed" (2007) Matthew Klein

From Amazon.com ~ 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, June 28, 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 Chapters.Indigo.ca ~ 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, June 27, 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, June 26, 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).


Byron

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, June 25, 2008

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

From Amazon.com ~ The 20th Kinsey Millhone crime novel (after 2005's S Is for Silence), a gripping, if depressing, tale of identify theft and elder abuse, displays bestseller Grafton's storytelling gifts. By default, Millhone, a private investigator in the small Southern California town of Santa Teresa, assumes responsibility for the well-being of an old neighbor, Gus Vronsky, injured in a fall. After Vronsky's great-niece arranges to hire a home aide, Solana Rojas, Millhone begins to suspect that Rojas is not all that she seems. Since the reader knows from the start that an unscrupulous master manipulator has stolen the Rojas persona, the plot focuses not on whodunit but on the battle of wits Millhone wages with an unconventional and formidable adversary. Grafton's mastery of dialogue and her portrayal of the limits of good intentions make this one of the series' high points, even if two violent scenes near the end tidy up the pieces a little too neatly.

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Only pretty people need apply

There's an article in today's Toronto Star called Only pretty people need apply.

It's about BeautifulPeople.net.

BeautifulPeople.net is an elite and exclusively beautiful online community, founded for the purpose of creating personal and professional relationships between people who stand out from the majority because of their attractive appearance and personal qualities.

BeautifulPeople Network (BP) is the first online Dating and Networking community of its kind. To become a member of BeautifulPeople, applicants are required to be voted in by existing members of the opposite sex. Over a three day period existing members rate all new applicants based on whether or not members find each profile "'attractive enough". Should applicants secure enough positive votes from the members, they will be granted membership to the most exclusive and Beautiful Network in the world. The vote is fair and democratic; BP does not define beauty it simply gives an accurate representation of what Canadian society's ideal of beauty is.


The Canadian version is being launched this week. Canada is the 16th country to pull together the prettiest so they can date, chat, hang and hook up with only one another.

The cost? About $25 a month.

What do you think?

Good-buy, teacher!

There's an article in today's Toronto Star called Good-buy, teacher!. It's about what to buy your child's teacher as a thank you gift at the end of the year.

I went to school in Nova Scotia (I graduated from high school in 1980) and I never gave my teachers anything at the end of the year. I never thought about it. My mother never bought anything to give to them ... she probably never thought about it either. And I don't remember any of my classmates giving teachers anything either. Maybe they did and I missed it??

Younger students give their teachers a gift on TV shows. And there's the McDonald's commercial where the two boys enthusiastically give their teacher half-eaten Chicken McNuggets.

Apparently in real life, all grades, from kindergarten to high school, give their teachers thank you gifts.

And I don't think it's a bad idea.

Did you give your teacher thank you gifts when you were in school? Do/did your children?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

REJCTD: License plates we won't see


From today's Toronto Star

Some of the 1,442 personalized licence-plate applications rejected by the Ministry of Transportation between January and mid-December of last year:

2DAMFAST

2EVIL4U

666.KIDS

ALMIGHTY

ARCHBSHP

BUDWISER

DRTYGRRL

DRUNKARD

EVLMUNKY

F.INFAST

FINEWINE

FOODGASM

GANGBOSS

GETSTUFD

GOTFAITH

GTO.HELL

HABSSTINK

HDMYBEER

HELZBELL

HYOFFICR

I8BAMBI

ILSMACKU

J3RK

LEAFSUCK

MOONSHNR

MOVEOVRR

MYVIAGRA

NOLICNSE

OUTLAWD

PADIWAGN

PUPLHAZE

PRSE.GOD

RDRGE

RDWARROR

S.COMFRT

TOO.EVIL

TRMN8OR

UNDRADAR

ZUUUUUM

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.

Most pierced woman

I read in today's Toronto Star a snippet about Elaine Davidson of Edinburgh so I Googled her.


According to Wikipedia ...

Elaine Davidson is the "Most Pierced Woman" according to the Guinness World Records. When examined by a Guinness World Record official in May 2000, Davidson had 462 piercings, with 192 in her face alone. By August 2001, when she was re-examined she was found to have 720 piercings. Performing at the Edinburgh Festival in 2005, the Guardian reported that she now had 3,920 body piercings. She has more piercings in her genitalia than in any other part of the body - 500 in all, externally and internally. The total weight of her jewelry is estimated to be about 3 kilograms. As of May 2008, Davidson's piercings total 5,920. She was born in Brazil in 1965 and is a nurse by trade. She claims she does not drink or use drugs. She is now residing in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Why?!

I have my ears pierced (two holes in one ear and four in the other) and two tattoos. That's enough for me!

Green Thumb Sunday


It's Green Thumb Sunday !

We've had some wacky weather this month.

I got a lot of cherry tomatoes from this plant but I think it's done.


But my peppermint is doing really well.


And I have another sweet pepper popping up.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

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

From Amazon.com ~ 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.