Category Archives: Field Trip

Mastering the Art of Living IRL (In Real Life, duh)

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It’s Springtime here in the Big Smoke, my pretties!  Except it’s still as cold and gross as the mysterious crusty smears on the sleeves of your parka that you need to get dry cleaned and thrown in the back of the closet. Like today. It’s your fault it’s still cold outside, you keep wearing that wretched thing and the weather complies. My friend from another village a five hour train-ride away came to visit last week and remarked, “Why is everyone here so fucking ugly?” That’s a good question and you can blame the wind and the baa-baaa black sheep wearing the same goddamned Canada Goose parkas but I think the ugly runs much deeper. It’s so metaphysical that it’s hard to pinpoint the exact root of the pustule but I’m sure it has something to do with mass sucking of The Man’s D (whoever that is) for the sake of obtaining granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Everybody in this sad town strives for the same thing while whistling the same tune, and it’s all so disparagingly mediocre.

I guess I’m ugly, too, since I live here. But! At least I stopped with the black parka and now I’m layering it up with a charcoal grey hoodie. Baby steps. It’s not THAT cold, pussies, we can keep warm if we huddle and stop ignoring each other. I’m staaaaarved for the human contact. I’m ready to step out of the hermit-mode and fraternize with the real flesh beings, those who enjoy eating fried chicken and actually bleed real blood when you stab them. As opposed to the tricky internet motherfuckers, the ones you meet from OkCupid and Tinder, who scurry into The Cloud (wherever that is) like veiled chameleons because they spook easily. Although,there’s a certain appeal to that, I must say, because when they go silent farting into the ether, they simply cease to exist. Or they become fodder for your screenplay.

I’ve officially decided that I finally had too much Internet over the winter. Not because of my OkCupid addiction, I’m still working on my own personal Kinsey Report, and it’s a never ending scroll of fascination for moi. I have some more wild oats to sow before I settle down with my collection of Magic Wand attachments. It turns out In Real Life (IRL from now on) my heart more resilient than I originally thought, so this is good Internet usage for my research, otherwise known as vagine fieldwork. Let me have this one vice and I’ll cut back on the Facebook, I can’t handle it all the poop anymore (more on that later).

No, there are 3 distinct things have made me realize I need to reduce the hours of screen time and snap that MacBook shut and here they are:

1. I knew how to make “Truffle Butter” without having to google it. It was like the knowledge had been implanted in my brain by osmosis. The song came out and I’m like  “Oh yeah, truffle butter,” and thought nothing of it, where everyone else was all “Ewwww, I just googled “truffle butter” and it’s nasty.” Whatevs. Now, don’t get excited, I have never made truffle butter IRL but if I did, I would doctor the recipe and add some low-fat Cool Whip to lighten the flavour, it’s less sticky than the other brands. Still, it’s a bit disturbing that I am a walking urban dictionary, and I long for the days of innocence of when a bible study was just a bible study. And did not involve so much liquified solid waste.

2. I have komplicated and konfusing feelings toward Kanye West. A good chunk of my Internet time is spent on celebrity gossip sites even though I am proud to say I still could not pick Ariana Grande or Rita Ora out of a line-up. But! When I see the name, Kanye West, my heart rate goes up. And I feel I am discharging some potent hormones from various pores. When Kanye West does or says something douchey and the whole world is tweeting “Kanye needs to be banned from the Grammy’s 4evah,” I nod my head in agreement but deep inside, I am thinking: “Oh, Kanye” like the way a mom is pretend-mad but secretly tickled when their toddler does something charming and Instagram-worthy like putting lipstick on the dog. Sometimes when I’m not on the Internet and out IRL, like at the grocery store or hanging out in a yoga pose that doesn’t hurt, I find my mind happily wandering and my thought path always ends up at Kanye’s doorstep. SIGH. I wonder what he’s doing, what’s he wearing, is he keeping warm? What did he have for breakfast? Does he wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom and apply cocoa butter hand lotion? They get so dry. Is he flossing? Did he remember to pick Kim’s flesh-coloured sausage casing from the dry cleaners? Is he reading “Goodnight Moon” to Nori? I think if I ever saw Kanye IRL, I would spontaneously lactate. What is this unconditional love I feel? Am I his mother? See, what I mean, isn’t this krazy? And embarrassing?

3. Okay the third thing is the clincher, as if truffle butter and wanting to be Kanye’s mom wasn’t enough to send me to rehab. On the Facebook, I’m in a closed group that I don’t remember even joining. It’s all about my neighbourhood and the informative goings on that individual citizens post, like as examples: the Tim Hortons is closing down but a new one is opening up, a certain naturopathic doctor is a charlatan (umm, duh), lost dog, found dog, etc. Some people randomly post antiquated memes and that talking dog video from the middle ages. I figure these folks are lonely shut-ins and want to feel the gentle rush of “likes.” There’s nothing wrong with that, I can scroll by most of  those and enjoy that talking dog video for the billionth time because it never gets old. But then something happened on the page when the weather got (only somewhat) warmer and the snow started to melt/evaporate. The citizens began posting pictures of exposed dog shit that they found on the streets. Whoa.  One particularly righteous woman wrote about how she was walking down the street with her precious baby in a fucking stroller, and she saw countless dog turds as though she was the fecal police writing a report of the most heinous crime since Sandy Hook, she clearly needs to lock her stupid family up in a panic room until all the shit gets scooped up.  HELLO, BITCH,THIS IS HAS BEEN THE NATURAL PART OF THE FOULNESS OF SPRING SINCE WAAAAY BEFORE THE INTERNET, WE’VE ALL BEEN AROUND THIS BLOCK FOR GENERATIONS.  What kind of thought process makes someone go for a walk outside in the fresh air, get so incensed over some random dog poops that she comes home, gets her sleeping baby out of the stroller, goes in the house, shimmies the squirmy baby out of the snowsuit which takes approximately the better part of an hour, dumps the screaming baby in Neglecto-matic swing, stuffs a binky in its mouth, pours herself a glass of boxed Chardonnay, then hops on the Internet to express her outrage? Her outrage becomes my outrage, but for the opposite reason. The Internet is a sacred place for cute kittens and porn, and maybe some recipes, not a forum for a bitch’s whining over a few innocuous mounds of dog shit that will turn into green grassy splendour come May. It’s all biodegradable, you dumb twat, just shut the fuck up and stop complaining, I want to write on her post but I don’t, I shut my pie hole and blog about it instead. Which I realize is another big fat waste of interweb energy that I am foisting upon you and we are all a part of the never-ending circle of ridiculous Internet pettiness.. As an aside, just a quick life hack tip for dog owners: If your dog is on a raw food diet, and really why would you want to feed your beloved dog anything else? The turds are much more compact and dry up and then turn to innocuous white dust within days if you neglect to pick them up. Sweet. Anyway, I hate this neighbourhood mom with the same fucked up intensity and passion that I love Kanye West. And I know it’s crazy but the feelings are real. So yeah, that’s enough Internet for moi.

I think we all need to get outside and get lost in the wonder of living IRL. And look at each other straight in the face and stop letting our fingers do our communicating because things go awry so easily. Let’s use our actual voices. We should be like the girls on “Broad City” stand on top of the hill and yell out at the top of the lungs: “WANNA FOOOOOOOOOK?!” I double dog dare you. We can always run away.

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An Evening at The Gladstone

Gladstone’s 5th Anniversary Party as an “art hotel.”

On Friday, the Gladstone Hotel had a big party to celebrate its 5 years of being so hip it hurts.  It’s the oldest hotel in Toronto, built in 1889, and named after Prime Minister William Gladstone (who knew?).  5 years ago, it transformed into an art hotel, “a social and cultural incubator for art, culture, community, and cuisine.”  It’s also in the west end, where hipsters tend to run rampant, waving their freak flags ironically.  Most westerners don’t know anything about Toronto’s east habitat so when you meet one, you can make stuff up like we still have Pop Shoppes in our strip malls.  Anyway my friend Diana at Flohaus invited me to this gala and I gleefully went because it sounded like fun and!  free booze.  I know what you’re thinking if you’ve been reading this blog this month, isn’t she on a Hooch-free January?  Yes, but there is a loop-hole the austerity rule and that is free booze doesn’t count as booze, it is a gift and it is rude not to accept it.  So what fun we had.  There was music, women dressed as drag queens performing burlesque….meaning I thought they were men dressed as women but they weren’t, they were actual ladies, very confusing until out came the pasties, then again they could have been mighty moobs.  The highlight was the hotel had some of their rooms open for viewing.  Each of the 37 guest rooms are decorated in themes by local artists.  Check the website here for details.  I had a few favourites, one room was a 1970s teen dream with collages of the Tiger Beat regulars like Rob Lowe, Rick Springfield, Kristy MacNichol.  I should not have mixed the red and the white together (literally) because my pictures turned out badly but oh well, it was really fun!

Shower in the Blue Line Room

Hipsters “chillaxing”

An interactive installation of light and colour for weirdos to express themselves

A lady ordering a drink…or is it?  Is it a man dressed as a lady?  or a lady dressed as a man dressed as a lady?

More About Cheese

 

No, I haven’t gotten too lazy to post but I did go on a little vacation back to my hometown of Montreal.  Funnest vacay EVER!  The point of the trip was my high school reunion so my best buddy from Grade 6 (!) and I took the train.  We took first class, of course, because we are ladies of a certain age and have requirements.  I thought they were going to kick us off at Belleville though, we were laughing and snorting so hard.  There is a reason were always separated by our high school teachers.  We stayed at my brother and his wife’s house in the heart of it all, where crack meets trend, Sherbrooke and St. Hubert.  Except they were still away on vacation for the entire month but their twentysomething sons were home so we were basically two LOCAs in a frat house.  Never a dull moment or a clean towel and we had to hide our food stash under our beds.  I think they were even eating coffee grounds.  There is a lot to say about Montreal I guess but I will say my Montreal does NOT involve smoked meat or those colon clogging glue bagels.  I got my Coco Rico Portuguese chicken fix and my cheese curds from the Depanneur.  Here is something I know but I always forget:  the magical cheese curds from real Quebec poutine are waxy in texture and squeak on your teeth.  I have found some in Ontario but it was from a vendor at Beer Fest ’09 and they claim that the texture is because they are not refrigerated.  Whatever.  If I have a bag of cheese curds I do not have to bother with the whole enchilada, ie. fries and gravy.  I’m happy keeping it simple.  And  the highlight of my Montreal eating was Mike’s homemade burgers…he made them square shaped to match the bun!  I’m still dreaming about them!

Back home and speaking of cheese, I met my friend for lunch.  She is a LOCA but has even more mojo than me and acts it out,  therefore she has the best stories.  I am only proud because I can out-eat her.  We went to Queen Margherita on Queen St. East at Vancouver (east of Greenwood).

Queen Margherita  Queen St East, just east of Greenwood

As far as I’m concerned, you can have too many coffee shops, but you can never have too many pizzerias.  Queen Margherita holds its own on the genre and it is a really cool airy, lofty space.  I ordered the Napoletana, which is anchovies and black olives.  Do you know it was so salty good that I had finished half of the pie before I realized there was no cheese involved?  Of course real Italian pizza doesn’t require cheese….I know that but I am not a carb bunny.  My friend ordered the Diavola which had some cheese on it and spicy meat.  But mine was so good I wasn’t even jealous.  Pizza *sans fromage* on dough, who knew it could be so good?

The Beginning of the End

Date Night at the CNE

The more things change, the more they remain the same.  The CNE isn’t what it used to be, so I’m told.  There is no free ride and I paid 7 Dollalhares for a hotdog…yes, a hot dog (more on that later).  The bearded lady is gone….or is she?  Maybe she just went to the the Shoppers Bazaar in Building A just right of the Prince’s Gates and got herself a honey ginger hair removal system and now she walks among us, flying her freak flag at half mast.  There is still some pretty good people watching (it’s free and see picture above, zoom in wherever) and there is some good things to eat.  Take my hotdog:  I got it in Building A:  a kobe beef weiner (shhh), with wasabi mayo, Japanese curry, and a hovering of deep fried julienned onions smattered on top.  Seriously, the best hot dog ever.  Seven dollars.  And so what?  I got a foot massage for a quarter and a pair of Doc Martens for 60 bucks, I am so way ahead.  I also had another lunch of a vegetarian Middle East platter  from the actual foode court:

Falafel balls!!!! This one is for Scotty

But the best part, of course is the rides, of which I am too old, too chicken, and too incontinent to partake, but Claire did:

The Scary Drop Zone

I’d rather have a hot dog, same sort of thing.  And another big buddy Budweiser, I’ll be back before it all ends.

I is for Inspired

Julia Roberts having a relationship with her pizza in “Eat, Pray, Love”

A couple of days ago my oldest sister called and said, “Let me take you out to lunch for your birthday.  I know this great pizza place on Ossington.”  “Sure!”  I said.  I didn’t tell her my birthday was in May, I just figured she was confusing me with our other sister whose birthday is in August and I am not one to say no to a free lunch.  I brought my daughter, Evangeline, as a diversionary tactic so we could forget whose birthday is whose and the more the merrier.  We met at Pizzeria Libretto, 221 Ossington Avenue, just south of Dundas St West.  Ossington is a happening street, Evangeline and I had been there the week before to check out the Top Shop in Jonathan and Olivia just down the street from Libretto’s.  Oh how we love Top Shop in London where you can shop, eat, and get your nails done, why bother seeing Buckingham Palace?  Anyway, Libretto’s pizza is just like the pizza in Naples.  The crust is thin and soft, and cooked for 90 seconds in a super-duper hot oven.  I ordered sausage with chili oil and upon my first bite, I thought I was eating Indian foode, because the dough was similar to naan bread and then there was the mixture of flavour of fennel and chili.  It was a marriage made in heaven, and y’all know how I love Indian foode.  The others had the classic margherita pizza with an arugula salad and chocolate gelato for dessert.  I am dying to go back now!   That’s the thing about great pizza, more is better.  Then afterwards, Evangeline and I went to see Eat, Pray, Love.  Say nothing, I’m blocking my ears, I don’t want to hear your mocking taunts.  A couple of years ago, when I was part of a book club, one of the books we had to read was EPL and I loved it.  For one, it was easy to read because it was like a magazine article.  Also I had admiration for someone who could leave their life and go travel for a year.  “She’s so self-indulgent!” one of the ladies said.  In case you’ve been on another planet, this book (and now movie) is about a woman, Elizabeth Gilbert, from New York who dumps her husband, screws an actor, then decides to go on a trip for a year:  first to Italy to stuff her face and enjoy eating without having to worry about a muffin top, then to India to pray and find focus and coming to realize that ADD is part of God’s plan, and then to Indonesia to learn to love without losing herself in a man and then ending up in a book club.  And Javier Bardem is hot, hot, hot, hot, hot:

And why do I keep forgetting this?  Oh yes, because he is married to Sea Biscuit.  Meow.  Anyway, I loved the movie.  And Libretto’s.  And so maybe I won’t be going to Italy, India, and Indonesia for an entire year but in a single day I can eat pizza, take a yoga class, and troll the internet on ChatRoulette.  Life is good wherever you are.

Lust Actually

Rafael Nadal’s quirky habit….it’s charming!

I came across my love of tennis kind of by accident, when I was approaching my Cougarhood.  My friend, JHo, had been encouraging me for years to take up “Welcome to Tennis” at the Mayfair Raquet Club.  “When we’re old ladies, we will play tennis in the morning and drink gin in the afternoon,” she explained.  I didn’t really like gin at the time so this did not appeal to me at all.  “Vodka then, who cares?”  So finally I signed up but it wasn’t because of the boozey apres-match afternoons, it was the little outfit in the window of the Pro Shop.  Stupid Stacey and Clinton from “What Not To Wear” had brainwashed me into thinking that women over the age of 30 cannot wear mini skirts.  Damn them!  My legs are my crowning glory since my hair is not.  I’ve been known to sit with my legs over my head, even my passport photo has a thigh in it.  Tennis skirts are the civilized answer and they barely cover the bum:  No problem, a few more deadlifts and yoga.  So I got the outfit, took the lessons, and the rest is history.  I am a bad player, though, because my optometrist says I have problems perceiving depth of field.  My tennis instructor, however, said I was distracted by the boys, hence the *special* remedial lessons after class.  I don`t play so much anymore, but I love to watch.  I send Freddy to tennis camp every year at Kew Gardens, check out their website here:

Kew Gardens Tennis Clubs

And of course, the highlight of the tennis year is The Rogers Cup at the Rexall Centre at York University.  The men and women alternate between Toronto and Montreal and this year, we have the men.  Last night, my friend, Lorraine and I got to see Rafael Nadal play Stanislas Wawrinka.  Rafa was hot, I noticed he`s not quite as muscle-y as he once was but he still has the best high water booty in all of men`s tennis.  I think this is why he is always digging in the back of his shorts, his high power glutes make them wedge up.  Sigh, I love him.  And what is love… I ponder both in life and in tennis.  Apparently, in tennis, love is l’oeuf which is an egg in French that looks like a zero.  Love means nothing, which is Tennis Canada`s website, click here to find out more.  And in life, love means finding quirky habits like constant ass-picking charming. 

Also what I love about the Rogers Cup is the actual event, you know how I love crowds of people, little freakshows.  Here are some of the sights:

A porn star/tennis player

Inside the VIP tent where the perfect Pimm’s cocktail is made….Pimm’s (a gin-based hooch) with Sprite served on ice with a sprig of mint and you have a “Number One Cup”

And this lady in front of us, who I’m sure drinks a lot of gin in the afternoons has a 30 year old lover!!!  If this is the future of being a tennis lady, I’m in!

And Rafael Nadal:

Isn’t he pretty (hot) in pink?

And post butt-pick:

Bye, bye, Rafa…..see you in two years!

Blood, Sweat, and Crabgrass

crabgrass, in case you were wondering

Last night my neighbours, The Chore Family, came back from a 10 day holiday.  Yes, I watered their plants on the front porch but I also watched their lawn go from perfectly evened shards of straight up grass (with a ratio of 5 to 1 clover) to something chaotic as though their lawn developed tumours with cowlicks on them.  “Sorry, sorry,” I said, ” I don’t know what happened!”  

“No worries, Peterson,”  they replied, “That’s crabgrass.  Thanks for watering our plants,  here’s a bottle of Tequila!”  And by the next morning, when I got up to walk  Betty, the “crap grass”  was already pulled up and a new day had begun.  I started pulling up some of it  in my garden but I had no gloves and the roots are so deep.  Maybe with the right tools?  Still, Chore Family seems to use their hands.  Or maybe weeding and whatnot is just not the nitpicking habit I have.  So far this summer, I have irrigated my ears twice, all that pool swimming causes blockage.  Also I booked an appointment to donate blood.  I like to do this regularly because it’s refreshing, I think it gets the system in gear, and therefore the mojo rumbling.  Although the last couple of times I was refused because hemoglobin levels were low which says a lot about my dating life.  Yes, it’s *iron* I am lacking.  Anyway, the Manulife Centre is where I went, thay have a permanent clinic and will validate your parking for two hours.  And!  Starbucks donates their apres-bleeding treats which, along with the usual Peakfreens biscuits, is worth the trip if you are a foode whore.  You know, it took less than half an hour, in and out, so there’s no excuse not to give, go here and find out how.