Thursday, November 20, 2008

I hate Toronto's new PVT

City hall apparently thinks that no one in Toronto needs a car. Most car-owners will effectively see their annual registration / licensing fees increase by 80%.* Bad car owners! Bad! Don't you know that the TTC will magically transport you anywhere you want to go, in a 100% stress-free environment? The TTC never goes on strike, and its operators are hardly ever unpleasant. BAD CAR OWNERS! BAD! And when you're not taking the TTC, you can walk. The weather is never inclement. Or hey, ride a bicycle! You won't be breathing in any pollution or particulate matter, because the public transit system is so efficient, hardly anyone drives! Heck, they're eventually going to rip down the rest of the Gardiner Expressway. We're on the verge of using matter-energy transport. Or flying carpets. Who needs cars? Bring on the $60 annual Personal Vehicle Tax! That'll learn them right-wing, conservative, car-drivin' rednecks up real nice! (They're probably from out west, anyway.)


* in southern Ontario, the current annual cost to renew licence plates with the province is $75. Adding the $60 municipal tax brings your real cost to $135.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There were leaves. I peeped.

...and snapped a couple of digital pictures.

Simcoe County, Ontario
October 12 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

summer holiday

It's an overdue post, but since I'm already up with insomnia, here is an update on my vacation to area code 807.

You know you're in northwestern Ontario when you start seeing Robin's Donuts stores. Here's a shot of my take-out Robin's coffee early in the morning of July 20th, on the Trans-Canada Highway just west of White River.

1800 km from Toronto, and this is far as Mrs. Viggen* can take me. My family's cabin is another few kilometres by boat. Note the gorgeous Red Pine. The sound of the wind flowing through its needles is beyond calming.

* my car's nickname

The Bald Eagle population is thriving.

The view from my bedroom window.

I had a great time. Unfortunately, when I came back to Toronto, there was a total shitstorm at work, and I've been trying to recover ever since. Increased dosages of anti-depressants are helping, as is a strong ethic of "I don't give a fuck."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

because I nearly hurled watching Iron Chef last night

It was some sort of disgusting cheese extravaganza. I watched a chef take a chunk of slimy, mouldy Gorgonzola, throw it in a food processor, and turn it into a vomitous slurry of utter puke-tacular horror. I gagged.

It reminded me that I haven't bitched about disgusting barf cheese lately. But it has been on my mind since reading this AFP story about a European cheese scam involving the reuse of cheese that was unfit for human consumption:
"The rotten cheese, containing mice droppings as well as residue from plastic wrapping and ink labels, was mixed with fresh cheese products and used to make cheeses such as mozzarella and gorgonzola."
No, I know. I'm the unsophisticated non-foodie who is disgusted by cheese that smells like a big puddle of sick. With mould.

In case anyone needs reminding of the science behind this:

- from Wikipedia

Monday, June 23, 2008

escape route

Let me state at the outset: I support the idea of a gay pride weekend. I used to participate. But I think it has become way too large.

Nearly 10 years ago, I moved to Church/Wellesley, thinking it would be great to be in the middle of it all &mdash including pride weekend.

The novelty wore off. I live at Pride Ground Zero; I'll own that. I have choices: I can participate, I can leave the city for the weekend, or I can move.

However, the letter sent to me by Pride Toronto made me chuckle. It's well-intentioned, and it's great to provide street closure information to the community. But there is some language that, to me, conjures up images of stress, combat, and violence.

It talks about traveling "the gauntlet of Church Street". Like running the gauntlet. Funny... that's exactly what a crushing crowd seems like to me if I'm not under the influence of intoxicants!

And there's a reference to passing "through the crosshairs of Church & Wellesley". Crosshairs! As in the telescopic sights of a gun!

Finally, it outlines plans for an "escape route" in case local residents need to arrive or depart by car.

This does not sound enjoyable. Not in the least.

Monday, June 09, 2008


I've come to the conclusion that people who enjoy hot, humid weather are part reptile. Please allow me to explain...

If you were on the southbound 6 Bay bus at 8:40 this morning, I was the guy in the aviators (wearing a shirt & tie) with rivulets of perspiration flowing down his forehead, nose, earlobes, and neck. I'm sorry. I was clean, and I was wearing anti-perspirant... but it was stuffy as Hell in the back of that bus, and for some reason, most of the windows were closed. The relative humidity this morning was well into the 60% range, and it was already near 30°C with the humidex.

(The bus was one of the old GM "fishbowls"... no air conditioning.)

I had grabbed the only available seat, next to a non-opening rear window.

I stared at a girl sitting in the back corner of the bus &mdash next to one of the closed windows &mdash and I couldn't figure out how she was surviving. Other people were starting to open windows, but the bus was stuck in traffic and there was no air flow. This girl just sat in the baking sun and stifling air, completely unaffected. In other words, like a lizard sunning herself on a rock.

(Making the ride even more torturous was the person next to me with an iPod, listening to some sort of caterwauling that I can only presume was Jordin Sparks.)

Luckily, I caught an air-conditioned 97 Yonge bus home. I saw more lizards at Yonge-Dundas Square, where a cosmetics company was touching up people's makeup for the Luminato festival. I laughed out loud: where would you start? The frizzy hair, or the makeup sliding down people's faces in the muggy late afternoon heat?

These people should be studied.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My Eddie Bauer catalogue arrived in the mail today.

On a related note, I'm being evicted for touching myself inappropriately in the mailroom of my building.*

*(just kidding)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

rich Corinthian leather

It's laundry night, and I found another treasure in the laundry room of my apartment building: an ad for the 1984 Chrysler New Yorker in the March 1984 issue of Architectural Digest. Check out Ricardo Montalbán!

I remember these cars. There was an electronic voice alert that would tell you "the door is ajar" and other things the driver of a car should already have an innate awareness of. The seats — whether they were upholstered in velour or "rich leather" — were extremely soft and cushioned like a sofa.

In the eleventh grade, my friend Barb and I bombed around one snowy winter night in her mom's New Yorker. More on that later.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I don't understand Windows Media Player 11

I don't remember how long I've had a copy of "Let it Snow" by Harry Connick Jr. I can say with confidence that in previous versions of Windows Media Player, I had the song categorized as Christmas or holiday -- but not ethnic. I'm pretty anal about how I categorize my digital music files.

I fought with this program for most of last Sunday, trying to burn a couple of mixed CDs. It was a frustrating experience. I lost playlists on several occasions -- after thinking that I had properly saved them.

And I find it annoying that I can't deactivate the setting that displays little CD icons for all of the album artwork. It's too much.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

my day

06:30 a.m. - up
08:15 a.m. - ultrasound at Sunnybrook
09:05 a.m. - another tech comes into room for advice, leaving door open
09:06 a.m. - people in hall walk by and see me in my underwear / hospital gown
09:07 a.m. - get up from gurney and close door, loudly
09:15 a.m. - wipe up lube, dress, head to lab for bloodwork
09:30 a.m. - leave hospital, drive south on Bayview
09:40 a.m. - massive traffic jam, due to closure of Bayview extension
09:55 a.m. - after doubling back up to Eglinton Ave. East, drive to DVP
10:05 a.m. - cut off by burgundy Jeep Liberty refusing to let me merge onto DVP
10:06 a.m. - watch Jeep Liberty make illegal lane change, southbound at Don Mills
10:07 a.m. - watch Jeep Liberty change lanes again while cutting off bus
10:08 a.m. - get caught behind a light blue Jaguar driving way underneath limit
10:09 a.m. - pass Jaguar, notice driver is reading newspaper
10:20 a.m. - arrive at work to "start" my day!
09:20 p.m. - find out I didn't get awesome government job I applied for in January

Monday, February 25, 2008

Marion? Edith? Mitzzee?

Several times during the telecast of the Academy Awards, I turned to Jason and said, "I can't believe how much Marion Cotillard looks like Mitzzee."

Mitz, you must dress up as Édith Piaf for Hallowe'en.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

fall down go w00t!

Presented for your amusement: a funny "wet floor" sign:

OMG I'm falling down! WHEEEEEE-E-E-E-E-E!!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the funniest FSA in Canada

I'm still obsessed with LOLcats. I fight the urge to use kitty pigdin in every e-mail I send. In conversation, I find myself using "LOL" in situations where I want to convey something funny. It's completely out of hand.

My embrace of anarchy is limited to the LOLcat grammatical kind. In most other aspects of life, I am a rule follower -- for instance, postal codes. Most of my American friends had never heard of the + 4 before I came along -- and I'm Canadian. As for my Canadian friends, I drive some of them crazy with my insistence upon the proper usage of the Canadian postal code. Did you know that hyphenating a postal code can interfere with scanning equipment, and possibly delay the delivery of mail? It's true. Punctuation should be avoided. Fixed-width fonts should be used. And never use the # sign. NEVER!

This brings me to the FSA (forward sortation area) of the Canadian postal code. I want to live here, because it just might be the funniest area of Canada:

Of course, the FSA for that area of Ontario is L0L (L zero L), not LOL. But... it's pretty close, eh?


Saturday, January 19, 2008


This week, I saw the Neville Park "mini-ravine" for the first time. I was driving down Victoria Park Avenue to meet a friend in the Beaches neighbourhood. Vic Park gets very quiet and residential down by the lake. It jogs slightly to the east at Bracken Avenue... and that's where I had to stop and take a look.

In front of me was a landscape I had never seen before, yet it was strangely familiar. I've had a recurring dream about an almost exact replica of this beautiful, south-facing, tree-lined ravine.

The light was poor, but I took a photo anyway. You can see Lake Ontario in the background.

On my way back home, I got this shot of downtown Toronto on Kingston Road, just east of Woodbine. Again... not the best light. I shot several, but my hands were freezing and the best vantage point was in the middle of the road.

Once home, I did this:

It's basically the same thing I've done with this blog. I haven't quit or bailed on it for Facebook, but I needed to unplug for a while. I've been getting used to some management changes at work. I'm also getting used to a new régime of anti-depressants. Let's hope the third SSRI's the charm!