Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Book ~ "All the Beautiful Lies" (2018) Peter Swanson

From Goodreads ~ On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father. 

But who really is Alice, his father's much younger second wife? In a brilliant split narrative, Peter Swanson teases out the stories and damage that lie in her past. And as her story entwines with Harry's in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening - will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through his own confused feelings?

Harry is just about to graduate from college when Alice, his stepmother, calls him to tell him that his father has passed away.  He was out on a walk and must have slipped or something.  Harry heads home for the summer to be with his stepmother and help run his father's used bookstore.  Then the police determine his father had been murdered.  A mysterious young woman shows up around town and though he is drawn to her, Harry wonders how she knew her father and whether she was involved in his murder.

I thought this story was okay.  It bounced back and forth from the past to the present.  We get to know Alice, who grew up with an alcoholic mother who passed away when she was a teenager, and she was then raised by her stepfather, Jake.  It is written in third person perspective, depending on where the action was.  As a head's up, there is swearing, pedophilia and violence.

OEB Breakfast Co., Toronto, ON

OEB Breakfast Co. opened a couple months ago in Liberty Village.  We’ve been wanting to check it out but it’s jammed on the weekends. I’m on vacation this week so we went for brunch today.

On the bathroom doors

Since I’m on vacation, I ordered a mimosa. It was yummy and made with fresh orange juice.


Gord ordered traditional Eggs Benedict with Canadian back bacon.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Port Credit, ON

It was a nice sunny day so Gord and I took the GO Train to Port Credit (about 20 minutes west of us).

We started off at St. Lawrence Park.


Then we walked towards the downtown core.

The Pump House Grille Co., Port Credit, ON

Gord and I had a late lunch today on the patio of the Pump House Grille Co. in Port Credit.


He had chicken tacos.


I had wings that were deep-fried then grilled with medium sauce. 

Monday, 27 June 2022

Pancho Y Emiliano, Toronto, ON

I had supper this evening with my pals, Trish and Yvette, at Pancho Y Emiliano in Kensington Market.


Trish and Yvette started with mashed avocado seasoned and topped with pico de gallo and served with fresh corn tortillas.


Trish ordered Tamal Vegan (corn masa steamed in a corn husk, filled with spinach and corn) and Chilaquiles Vegan (bowl of crunchy tortilla chips with sauteed sweet peppers, onion and mushrooms in a zesty green tomatillo sauce, garnished with sour cream, fresh cheese and onion; refried beans on the top).


I ordered a sangria and Choriqueso (melted cheese with chorizo; served with four flour tortillas).

Book ~ "We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story" (2022) Simu Liu

From Goodreads ~ Marvel's newest recruit shares his own inspiring and unexpected origin story, from China to the bright lights of Hollywood. An immigrant who battles everything from parental expectations to cultural stereotypes, Simu Liu struggles to forge a path for himself, rising from the ashes of a failed accounting career (yes, you read that right) to become Shang-Chi.

Our story begins in the city of Harbin, where Simu's parents have left him in the care of his grandparents while they seek to build a future for themselves in Canada. One day, a mysterious stranger shows up at the door; it's Simu's father, who whisks him away from the only home he had ever known and to the land of opportunity and maple syrup.

Life in the new world, however, is not all that it was cracked up to be; Simu's new guardians lack the gentle touch of his grandparents, resulting in harsh words and hurt feelings. His parents, on the other hand, find their new son emotionally distant and difficult to relate to - although they are related by blood, they are separated by culture, language, and values.

As Simu grows up, he plays the part of the pious son well; he gets A's, crushes national math competitions and makes his parents proud. But as time goes on, he grows increasingly disillusioned with the expectations placed on his shoulders, and finds it harder and harder to keep up the charade.

Barely a year out of college, his life hits rock bottom when he is laid off from his first job as an accountant. Unemployed, riddled with shame and with nothing left to lose, Simu finds an ad on Craigslist that will send him on a wildly unexpected journey, into the mysterious world of show business.

Through a swath of rejections and comical mishaps, it is ultimately Simu's determination to carve out a path for himself that leads him to not only succeed as an actor, but also open the door to reconciling with his parents. After all, the courage to pursue his ambitions at all costs is something that he inherited from his parents, who themselves defied impossible odds in order to come to Canada.

Simu Liu is a Canadian actor, author and stuntman.  He was born in China in 1989.  His parents left him with his grandparents to move to Kingston, Ontario, so they could continue their education.  He moved to be with them when he was five.  His parents had a dream for him to be smart and successful and did all they could for him to realize this dream ... but their dream wasn't his dream and this caused issues.  

He didn't do as well as they had hoped but did land a job as an accountant but was fired within a year.  Though his parents weren't happy, this gave him the opportunity to pursue his dream of being an actor.  It was a long road for him but he eventually landed the part of Jung Kim in the CBC's Kim's Convenience and the superhero Shang-Chi in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

While I'm not a fan of Marvel-type movies and only occasionally watched Kim's Convenience, I like reading bios/autobios and was interested in this one because he is Canadian.  I liked the writing style ... I found it casual and honest.  It was a bit heartbreaking, though, to read how abusive his parents were when he was growing up ... cold and actually beating him.  Yes, they had high expectations given all they'd gone through to give him everything they never had but that's no excuse for the way they treated him.  I found it hard to believe that he has forgiven them and they are still a big part of his life ... it's like a couple chapters are missing from the book to let us know how he was able to put all that behind him and how they can be so accepting of him now while they treated him so badly in the past.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens. They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Saturday, 25 June 2022

The Craft Brasserie & Grille, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at The Craft Brasserie & Grille in Liberty Village.  There is lots going on in the area and the place was jammed so we sat at the bar.


Gord ordered beer batter fish tacos.

Toronto Craft Beer Festival, Ontario Place, Toronto, ON

The Toronto Craft Beer Festival is happening this weekend at Ontario Place and Gord and I went this afternoon.  It was fun to be back at a beer festival again ... it's been almost 2.5 years since the last one I attended.

Here’s the lower level of the Toronto Craft Beer Festival at Ontario Place. The band was good and played cover songs. It was hot and sunny, though, and there should have been more umbrellas.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Happy Gotcha Day, Muffin!

It was five years ago today that Gord and I adopted Muffin from Annex Cat Rescue at an adopt-a-thon.

At Pet Uno when we adopted her

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Book ~ "The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor - the Truth and the Turmoil" (2022) Tina Brown

From Goodreads ~ The gripping inside story of the British royal family’s battle to overcome the dramas of the Diana years - only to confront new, twenty-first-century crises

“Never again” became Queen Elizabeth II’s mantra shortly after Princess Diana’s tragic death. More specifically, there could never be “another Diana” - a member of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone and posed an existential threat to the British monarchy.

Picking up where Tina Brown’s "The Diana Chronicles" left off, The "Palace Papers" reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet.

Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey through the scandals, love affairs, power plays and betrayals that have buffeted the monarchy over the last twenty-five years. We see the Queen’s stoic resolve after the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and Prince Philip, her partner for seven decades, and how she triumphs in her Jubilee years even as family troubles rage around her. Brown explores Prince Charles’s determination to make Camilla Parker Bowles his wife, the tension between William and Harry on “different paths,” the ascendance of Kate Middleton, the downfall of Prince Andrew, and Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to step back as senior royals. Despite the fragile monarchy’s best efforts, “never again” seems fast approaching.


This book is a behind-the-scenes peek into the royal family and covers everyone including the queen, her sister, her husband, her children and their spouses, her grandchildren and their spouses, her great grandchildren, etc.

It was an interesting book but I think you have to take it with a grain of salt because it doesn't sound like the author actually spoke with anyone in the royal family ... she spoke with people who know the royal family and people who know people who know them.  She doesn't really have anything positive to say about anyone so you get the scoop on everyone from the author's point of view and bias.  But it was a fun read.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Chuckwagon Chili Mix, Mitchell’s Soup Company, Aylmer, ON

I made Chuckwagon Chili for supper this evening from a mix from Mitchell’s Soup Company (they are in Aylmer, ON). 


Almost everything is in the kit.  All I had to add was browned ground beef, an onion and a can of diced tomatoes.  I got it started around 12:30pm and let it simmer all afternoon (we ate about 5:30pm).


Ta-da!  I ate it over rice.  It was really good and hearty!  I've ordered it before and I'd order it again.


There's lots for leftovers so you know what I'll be having for my lunches this week!

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Beertown Public House, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Beertown Public House (Wellington Street/University Avenue) after the Blue Jays game.


Gord ordered wings and a pretzel.


I ordered Southern Fried Chicken and fries (minus the coleslaw) ... there were two big pieces of boneless chicken!