Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Jacquie, hides behind the cash register

While filming The Strain in Hamilton, during lunch I made a quick visit to see my friend Jacquie. One sugar, double cream, medium coffee. I hardly see these roller derby girls any more. It's always great to visit.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Go west (to LA)

As with any great adventure it all begins and revolves around a girl, a hair brained idea, and maybe a bit of spontaneity.  Let me bring you up to speed.  Here are the facts...

  1. I have a crush on this girl.
  2. She's dating someone else.  (insert the booing here)
  3. We have a week off work due to a scheduled hiatus.
  4. I have friends in LA.

These were the main ingredients for the trip.  When I say crush I mean SUPER crush.  It had gotten to the point that I couldn't stop thinking about her.  When I  first asked her out she was single and there's a whole story behind that so I won't get into it and focus more on what's been happening recently.

The nice thing about working is that I've been able to focus on something other than the girl, doing actual work in the fear of getting fired for not doing my job.  Still work can only do so much and eventually while on my way home thoughts of the girl seep back in.

Logic would dictate that longing for someone in a relationship is unrealistic and perhaps even unhealthy.  I get it.  Knowing this didn't make me think of her less.  It's because of this obsession that I knew that during hiatus with nothing else to do I would succumb to the thoughts of the girl permeating my brain.  I needed to think about other things, do things to take the girl out of my primary thoughts.  That's when the idea of travelling came to mind.

Okay, so why Los Angeles?  Part of the decision was that Rollercon in Las Vegas had just ended and I didn't go.  I could have gone had  I taken two days off of work but a props person told me I should not give up the two days of work seeing as we're going to be done the season soon.  While I ended up earning the money for those two days, in the back of my mind I regretted not going to Vegas.  After all there were a lot of friends (skaters) that went and they showed up from all around the globe.  It would have been good to see everyone in one fell swoop.

Photos started to appear on facebook.  The bouts, the hijinks, the black and blue ball and a bunch of other fun rollercon stuff.  Someone even posted something about eating at an IN N OUT burger.  A burger place I missed going to during the last four visits.  I could still travel to Vegas but it wouldn't be the same without all the skaters and people I knew.

The travel seed was planted though.  West Coast visiting and for some reason the IN N OUT burger.  I had to have a burger from that place.  I had asked the guys that worked on R.I.P.D. what they were doing that week not really knowing at the time how everything would gel together.

As it turned out Chau had a couch waiting for me.  I bought tickets for the week and off I went.

It should be noted that I didn't know I was being photo bombed at the time.  The guys behind me are awesome.

18:18 Eastern standard time

No idea where we are.  I'm on a Westjet boeing 737-800 plane somewhere in the air between Toronto and Calgary.  I've got an aisle seat.  Traveling in economy class.  Walking on the plane I knew there would be trouble as I counted six baby strollers in a pile before getting to the plane entrance.  Add to that the flight booking computer put me in seat B.  seat A is next to a window, seat C next to the aisle.  It meant I would be sitting in between two people.

As it turns out the two people weren't cute single women and luckily were  not two fat smelly people either.  I was seated between two parents.  They picked A and C in the hopes that if the plane wasn't full seat B could be used to hold their little girl.  A small baby.  I would think she's around two (but she could be older, I'm no baby expert).

At one point in the flight, 18:00, the other babies decided to start crying in turns.  It was like a crying smack down where one baby would stop and tag the next baby to start.  I don't think more than two babies were going at once.  But there was one baby who just outdid them all.  Not so much the loudness, all the babies cried at about the same volume.  No with this kid it was duration and the number of family members it took to quiet the kid down.  I counted four family members.  Mother, grandmother, father, aunt (I'm guessing at the relation of these people).  I inwardly laughed thinking that this family would have a mamma's boy in about ten years.

It was more of a nervous laugh.  Another dependent adult in the world that can't think for themselves probably sucking the energy from everyone around them.

Getting back to the parents I was sandwiched between.  The dad offered to switch seats so I was in seat C next tot the aisle.  Their girl almost started to cry when offered some apple juice but quickly started drinking and remained silent.  This prompted the dad to give her a thumbs up.  "Yeah kid, don't give into peer pressure.", I thought.

If I ever have the luck to snag a girl and become a parent I would want a kid like this.

Mamma's boy is activated.  I'm not sure if someone stubbed the kid's toe or accidentally sat on him but he's wailing and going for the record for the decibel levels of a piglet under duress (which is louder than a jet engine by the way).

20:49 EST (16:49 Calgary time)

Traveler tip:  allocate enough time at Calgary airport if you're doing a connecting flight and need to go through US customs.  You will have to pick up your bag from the carousel (located on the way to customs/US connecting flights).

It didn't seem very good that a guy before me from a flight from Edmonton had been waiting an hour and a half for his luggage to appear.  Eventually it did and he made his flight.  One of the workers told me it takes an average of 20 minutes for the luggage to make it's way from the plane to the carousel.  That would give me 25 minutes to go through US customs, the x-ray machine, and find my departure gate.

Traveler tip:  check the departure gates (usually there is a screen with all the departing flights) when you arrive at the airport.  Even though you may get a boarding pass with a gate number on it (in my case gate C32 issued in Toronto) the gate number may change while you're on your way.  My gate changed to C33.

19:15 EST (17:15 Calgary time)

Now on a Boeing 737-600/700.   "Let's get this Boeing going!" one of the flight attendants bellows.

Hey!  It's Chau!  And she has a luggage cart.  She said she didn't have to pay for one and I joked that there was an old lady wandering around looking for the cart she "misplaced".

01:17 EST

IN And OUT burgers.  I ordered (actually Chau did the ordering) a double double (double patty and double slices of cheese) and a chocolate milkshake.  It was quite yummy and pretty reasonably priced.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kensington: Land of photo rich opportunities

It wasn't my intention to wander around Kensington market.  I was actually walking through to get to the usual dim sum place that I've been going to since visiting the AGO back in April.   I would order some congee and lose myself in thought while drinking Coke out of a glass bottle.  Not really sure what started that weekend pilgrimage.  The food is okay.  The prices are a little more expensive but I think the thing I like about the restaurant is that there is always a seat free.

I didn't have any plans for the weekend.  Specifically I didn't have any plans for today.  Peppy, my hamster, died last night. Kind of sad actually.  I wanted to be doing something, anything, to get my mind off the dead rodent in my fridge.  When I arrived home last night rigor mortis had set in and Peppy's body was stinking up the cage.  I put the body in a small milk carton, then into a ziplock bag, and carefully placed her above the fruit section of my refrigerator.  Ideally I'd like to bury her next to Captain Hill.

In Kensington on the way to dim sum I bumped into Dave one of the photographers and shortly after we bumped into Vicki another photographer from the toronto photo walks group.

We ended up all going to Kim Moon bakery.  Ate, talked, and then returned to the market to get some photos.  It was a nice distraction.  Below are some of the photos I took while in the area.

The Hippie Van

Small Dog

I like these clouds for photography

Happy Dog

Vicki with a sock puppet

The Sock Guy

A unicycle and FIRE!

Avoiding the jerk with a phone camera putting his arm right in front of my camera

Dave posing before leaving

Hole in a tree for telephone cables

Coconut Shrimp at the Thai Lime

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patty's Day at Sanjay's

Nothing says drunk better than wearing crazy glasses

I thought to myself "The party starts at 2 in the afternoon? Wow, how drunk are we supposed to get?". Granted being Sunday you can't really drink into the night especially if you have to work on Monday morning. So I suppose that an early start might actually be in order.

A series of delays made my punctual arrival at 2pm not happen. Bad planning on my part to leave the house early enough combined with construction nuttiness down by the harborfront were to blame. I ended up arriving at almost 3pm.

Only two people had shown up before me, then as the day progressed more people arrived. Sanjay had gone all out making a rum punch, preordering samosas and chicken wraps. It was an interesting crowd as well and the topics of conversation went from archery, to government intervention, to traffic congestion, to how people knew each other (the usual party banter I suppose).

At some point in the evening the Wii was turned on and the Michael Jackson experience was booted up. While the girls that played the game did pretty well with the dance moves my goal was to try to score as many points by doing as little movement as possible. A) I just wanted to see if I could do it, B) I was feeling lazy, C) the Wii doesn't actually know what the rest of your body is doing, just your hand.

I was hoping that "Blame it on the Boogie" was one of the songs available but alas it wasn't on the list.

Sanjay snorting/laughing

the Shamrock Shake

I left the party around 10pm. With work the next day I'd have to get out of bed by 5:00am. I needed to get as much sleep as possible. The Dundas West subway station has a McDonalds take out restaurant in it and it was there I managed to grab a Shamrock Shake. It tasted more chemically then I remembered. It was also a darker shade of green then past shakes I've had there. I was disappointed.