Saturday, 31 January 2009

"Jerry Springer - The Opera", Hart House, Toronto, ON

Gord and I saw Jerry Springer - The Opera tonight at the Hart House. We were in the second row ... very close.

Canadian audiences finally get the chance to experience the much talked about blockbuster and smash hit that took London's West End by storm for over 600 performances. Jerry Springer - The Opera has everything that one has come to expect from the Jerry Springer show including the world's worst sexual deviants in front of a bloodthirsty and carnivorous studio audience. From men in diapers, tap danicng Ku Klux Klan members, to Jesus, and Adam and Eve, the show is not for the faint of heart and has something that will offend and delight almost everyone at every turn.

It was crude and fun and wacky! I had no idea what to expect.

Byron Rouse was excellent as Jerry Springer!

There were a couple female singers who sang operatic ... and I have no idea what they were singing because their voices were so shrill.

If you get a chance to see it, you should ... especially if you are a fan of Jerry Springer. Be prepared, though, to hear the "F-word" and other such words many many times!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Mon and Mark's

Gord and I hung out at Monica and Mark's tonight. They were our next door neighbours and moved a couple years ago (they are about 15 minutes away).

They made a very yummy supper ... beef ribs in the slow cooker, BBQed chicken thighs, salad, roasted garlic potatoes and cookies.

Mon has started playing the piano again ... Chia Kitty was cheering her on.

Mark's cousin, Erica, was there too.

Mon and Mark:

Gord and Mon are fans of Battlestar Galactica and it was on. Look how enthralled they are!

Mon, Mark, Gord and I:

It was nice to see them again!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Parking ticket

Here's something you don't see very often.

Gord and I had a beer at the Gladstone this evening.

Looking out the window we saw a police officer on a horse.

She stopped in front of cab that was illegally parked and wrote a ticket.

The cabbie came out and freaked and tried to talk his way out of it.

No way!

The cabbie was not pleased!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Snowy yet again

We got more snow today ... about 15 cm.

I was teaching Word today and stayed inside all day. I could see the snow falling through the window.

I had a condo board meeting tonight and was going to catch the streetcar to the meeting. I waited for 15 minutes before finally hailing a cab. Lots of streetcars going in the opposite direction.

Here's our terrace and street when I got home.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Book ~ "Don't Take the Last Donut" (2007) Judith Bowman

From Amazon ~ Judith Bowman has written the definitive business etiquette guide. Not only has she covered everything from the nuances of business introductions (the name of the most senior executive is always said first) to which color to use in a handwritten note (blue for social correspondence, black for business), she also addresses networking, the sticky art of meeting people, making business contacts, and currying favor with strangers.

This looked like an interesting read and it was.

Though I found the author to be snooty and old-fashioned at times, I learned some things.

For example, when attending a meeting, try to get the seat that is facing the door as this is the "power" seat. Or when introducing people, ensure that the more senior person is on your right. Or instead of hanging your coat onto the back of your chair (which I would do), sit in the chair and then take your coat off (so you are sitting on it and fling it back).

I must say that for a book about etiquette, there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors. It seems like no one proofread it before it was published.

Birth order

I saw this over at That Grrl's ...

Like all firstborns, you enjoy taking charge. The nice thing about having younger brothers and sisters is that you work well with both men and women.

You excel in leadership roles both on the job and socially. Your friends look up to you for direction, and boy, do you love to give it! Sometimes they think you’re a little too bossy, so try to let them have some say in what you’re going to do.

When it comes to men, you love creative guys who can think outside the box. Your best match is a lastborn, especially if he has older sisters. Middleborns with older siblings close in age are also good matches because they’ll have the kind of fun-loving personality you need to balance your rather conservative, dominant, strict temperament. Firstborn guys pose more of a challenge because they’ll want to take control themselves, but you can make even these relationships succeed by working side by side with them on various projects, such as buying a house, planning a vacation or setting up a business.

I'm into birth order so found this interesting.

I had read that being with a last born was the best for me. I was and disagree ... I found him to be too laid back and it drove me nuts.

Gord is a first born and I think it works because, as first borns, we understand why we are as anal at times that we are. Ha!

Where are you in the birth order? Does your write-up describe you? Go check it out and let me know.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Snowshoeing at Crawford Lake

-14C today ... -24C with the windchill.

Rather than staying inside where it was warm, Gord and I went snowshoeing at Crawford Lake today. It was a Single Horizons event. Crawford Lake is about an hour NW of us on the other side of Milton.

There were about 20 of us and Sarah and Sarah were our guides. We followed the yellow trail through the woods. It was about 2.5 kms and took us about an hour and a half.

Because the trails were frozen, we used the newer style of snowshoes since they had steel grips on the bottom so we could dig in. And I didn't fall once!

Here's Crawford Lake. Yes, it was as cold out as it looks. But as long as we kept moving, it was okay.

Here's Gord:

Here's me:

Here's Gord and me at the look off (look how rosy our cheeks are!):

Here's our group at the look off:

We came across some coyote skat. You can tell it's coyote because of the white bunny fur :(

Our guides, Sarah and Sarah:

Sarah, on the left, was a fabulous knowlegeable guide!

Back at the Visitor's Centre, LeeAnn had lunch waiting for us ... sandwiches, salads, water, oranges, cookies and chips/pretzels.

As much as I whine about the cold, it was a fun day to be outside!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Trailer Park Boys: The Ricky, Julian and Bubbles Community Service Variety Show

The Trailer Park Boys: The Ricky, Julian and Bubbles Community Service Variety Show was at Massey Hall tonight. We went with Angie and Rob.

Sunnyvale Trailer Park’s outrageous bad boys, Ricky, Bubbles and Julian, make good on their court-ordered community service obligation with a politically incorrect variety show on the dangers of alcohol and drugs – including audience participation and a puppet show!

For the most part, it was a funny show.

There were hecklers screaming for Mr. Lahey or songs ... that was annoying because I couldn't hear the Boys sometimes.

And I don't think they are used to doing live shows because their timing could have been better. They got a laugh about something, instead of waiting for the laughter to end, they would keep going so I couldn't hear what they said until the laughter stopped.

Gord, Chia Kitty and I enjoyed a glass of wine during the intermission.

The highpoints:

* Rob getting called to the stage to play an electric guitar. He looks the rocker part but, alas, can't play.
* Ricky "borrowed" Alex Lifeson of Rush again to play a song with Bubbles.
* J-Roc rapped a song twice ... they said it would be part of the TPB movie that is coming out in the fall.
* Bubbles singing Liquor and Whores.

Hooters, Toronto, ON

Gord and I met Angie and Rob at Hooters for supper tonight before the Trailer Park Boys: The Ricky, Julian and Bubbles Community Service Variety Show.

Before we had our meals (I had a burger and fries), we shared a plate of deep fried pickles ... yes, deep fried pickles. Surprisingly they weren't bad ... just different.

Leah, our waitress, and Chia Kitty seemed to get along well right away.

Here's Rob, Angie and Chia Kitty:

Here's Gord, Chia Kitty and I:

Here's Gord, Leah and Rob:

I've known Angie since the spring of 2001. She had started a women's social group called The Girls Night Out Club and I joined.

Robbie Burns Day celebration

Gord and I ran some errands this afternoon.

One of our stops was the Summerhill liquor store. Gord loves beer and they have an excellent selection.

While perusing the store, I was drawn to the sound of bagpipes.

They were celebrating Robbie Burns Day.

"Robbie Burns" merrily recited the Address to a Haggis.

There was free whisky.

We like the second one ($66/bottle) better ... the first one ($41/bottle) was too "peaty". I'd never tried whisky before.

There were Scottish dancers.

The haggis was served.

I passed because I knew what is in it ... sheep's "pluck" (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours.

Gord had some and liked it. He'd never tried it before.

The sampling room was next door and we tried some $95 merlot ($5/sample). Yum! I could get used to drinking it!

Gord has had his eye on the $110 21-year-old El Dorado dark rum and had a sample. He liked it!

The Summerhill liquor store is in the beautiful refurbished North Toronto Railway Station. The train station was originally opened on June 14, 1916. At 21,000 square feet, it is the largest liquor store in Ontario and boasts a beautiful 143 foot (43 meter) clock tower. For a little more history of the station, click here.

Friday, 23 January 2009

How Assertive Are You?

You Are Assertive

You assert yourself whenever it's necessary, but you're always polite and appropriate about it.

You're not a bully, a manipulator, or a nag. You just state what you need quickly and honestly.

You've been assertive for so long that it just comes naturally to you. You're definitely not shy.

People wonder why you get what you want in life. Well, it's because you ask for it!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Gord's the best husband ever!

When I was talking with Gord this afternoon, he said that he got me something that would keep me busy tonight and I'd have fun with it.


He gave it to me when he got home ... an Umbra digital frame.

Very cool!

I used a USB memory stick, which can be plugged into the frame, and loaded a ton of pictures onto it.

Very cool!

If you haven't seen one before, it's a picture frame that constantly changes pictures.

I rarely dig out my many photo albums or look at pictures on my laptop so this is a nice constant flash of memories :)

Thanks, my hunny!

20 Minutes to Kill

From guest blogger, Gord:

I had 20 minutes to kill after work before going to the chiro for a good old back cracking and decided that the best way to use this time was to make a stop at The Bier Markt.

Being in a place with such variety, I wanted something that I had not tasted before. It couldn’t be hit or miss as I only had time for one and run. I asked for something hoppy and the bartender recommended a Brooklyn Lager from, of course, Brooklyn Brewery in, of course, New York.

I told him that I am not really a lager fan and wanted something with bite so he grabbed a tasting glass, poured me some and told me that I would be surprised. I had a taste and I was surprised and quite pleasantly too.

It was smooth and light but with a bitter bite to it and finished well with pleasant aftertaste. Turns out that this is a kind of a cross. The malt content is on a Vienna style lager but extra hops are added after the beer is brewed in a process called dry hopping, which is usually done with ales.

According to Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery, “We took an Austrian style and used a British technique and got an American beer.”

Well done too!!

I didn't get the bartenders name but he was a very engaging and knowledgeable chap, explaining all of what they had in bottles and on tap. While I was sipping on my Brooklyn Lager, I really wished I had time for another. He gave me a sample of Stiegl from Austria and showed me how the bottom of Strongbow glass was etched in order to hold the head on the beer.

It was an enjoyable way to spend twenty minutes.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Book ~ "The Fattening of America: How The Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What To Do About It" (2008) Eric A. Finkelstein & Laurie Zuckerman

From ~ Everyone knows Americans are growing fatter but health economist Finkelstein crunches the economic figures behind the nation's obesity epidemic and the results aren't pretty. Along with health-care writer Zuckerman, researcher Finkelstein delves into how modern technology reduces the cost of producing higher-calorie processed goods, decreases our activity level and puts our health in danger. Finkelstein debunks myths about the long-range cost of food production and consumption and scrutinizes the impact of genetics and U.S. fiscal policy on the nation's waistline, frequently using economics metrics in his analysis. Generous with summaries of major points, Finkelstein simplifies current stats to explain how the country's thunderous weight gain is straining Medicare and Medicaid and hurting our military readiness. The only positive effect he sees from the obesity epidemic is the creation of the ObesEconomy— a market sustained by gyms, diet drugs and other products and services designed to curb weight gain. Horrified by studies that reveal that obese children have a quality of life similar to children with cancer, the investigatory economist even throws in some health tips on dropping pounds. Despite a frequent reliance on economic tools and indicators, this combination study/motivational guide makes for a pleasant educational read, comparable to a vegetable puree snuck into a dessert.

I find books about weight loss interesting.

Though I found Finkelstein to be an arrogant ass, there was some interesting info.

It didn't preach how to lose weight and offer a new and improved diet plan.

It was more about why we are becoming overweight ... junk food is cheap and available, healthy nutritious foods are more expensive, we are working more so don't have time to exercise, etc.

Is the fact that we have medical plans that take care of us encouraging us to not lose weight? We pop pills to make us well.

Should governments impose "fat taxes" on foods that contain lots of sugar and fat like they do with cigarettes and alcohol?

If parents have allow their children to be overweight, is it child abuse?

What do you think?

Halloween apples!

Writing about Christmas apples last night reminded me of Halloween apples.

What are Halloween apples, you ask?

I spent grade 7 and half of grade 8 in Edmonton, AB.

Halloween came 'round. Where I came from (Nova Scotia), we knocked on doors and yelled "Trick or treat!".

In Edmonton, the kids yelled "Halloween apples!".


I just googled Halloween apples and this is what I found here:

In parts of Canada, children are more likely to say "Halloween apples" instead of "trick or treat." This probably originated when the toffee apple was a popular type of candy. However, there are some children today who say "Halloween apples" instead of "Trick or treat" because sometimes if the latter was said, the person at the door would take it as a question (i.e trick or treat?) and ask them to perform a trick instead of giving them a treat.

Have you ever heard of Halloween apples?