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!

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.

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.

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.

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?

Monday 19 January 2009

Finally stopped snowing

It snowed on and off for about 24 hours.

We've got a lot again.

But at least we've getting warmer temperatures!

Sunday 11 January 2009

Book ~ "ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income" (2008) Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

From ~ is where bloggers worldwide go for advice and information on enhancing their blogs presence. Whether you're just starting out or have been blogging for years, these two professional bloggers show you how to turn your passion for blogging into extra revenue. This practical guide to creating and marketing a blog with the potential for generating a six-figure income shows you how to choose subject matter that works for you, handle technical issues, and evaluate your blogs success so that you can use your blog to generate income indirectly.

I've been blogging for 2.5 years and I still find the blogging phenomenon fascinating.

So when I come across books about blogging, I read them.

I have no dreams or ambitions about making a six-figure income by blogging (wouldn't that be nice, though?).

But it's interesting to read about someone's theory on how to do it.

The first part of this book was more of a how-to-blog, a lot of which I know but was interesting nonetheless. The second half actually got into the details of the different ways of making money from blogging.

Belly dancing workshop

I went to a belly dancing workshop this afternoon at Arabesque Academy this afternoon. It was a Single Horizons event.

There were twelve of us and Sarah was our fabulous instructor.

We learned lots of moves including shimmies (top and bottom), figure eights, ribcage circles, belly rolls and hip thrusts. It was a fun workshop but my body doesn't move that way. Ha!

Chia Kitty was there too. His body doesn't move that way either.

Sarah showed us afterwards what a pro looks like.

Sarah and Chia Kitty got acquainted after the class.

Saturday 10 January 2009

Chris Frolic Hypnotist Show

Gord and I attended a Singles Horizons event tonight ... the Chris Frolic Hypnosis Show. It's the third year we've gone to it.

Here's LeeAnn, the owner of Single Horizons, and Chia Kitty:

Have you ever been hypnotised? I haven't ... I'm nervous of what I would say and do. Ha! I listened to Chris' weight loss CD last Sunday, though ... I bought it a couple years ago and find it very effective.

It's hilarious to sit back and watch the volunteers.

Chris and Chia Kitty got along okay.

Chia Kitty didn't want to be hypnotised either (for the same reasons as me!).

Gord bought Chris' Beat Stress Now CD.

Here's LeeAnn, Chia Kitty and Teena:

Here's Gord, Teena, Chia Kitty and LeeAnn:

On the way home (in yet another snowstorm!), we stopped at the Cock and Tail, a pub in our 'hood. It was packed!

Chia Kitty had a hard time deciding which draught to have.