Archive for August, 2006

Top 10 Cities

August 30, 2006

Check out the list of Ten Best Cities in the world accoring to Travel + Leisure. Pay special attention to #9. It’s just so sad. The article accessible by the link was written in January 2004. You think they might have considered revising the list in light of recent events.

I can pick it myself!?!?

August 30, 2006

I was checking bus schedules for when I’m in Spain in a few weeks. This is from the english version of a Spanish site. Nothing like a nice literal translation to come up with something to make me smile.

No Deal

August 28, 2006

Howie Mandel and his “briefcase babes” are doing some bit on the Emmy’s right now and it reminded me of something that’s really been bothering me for a while.

Now apparently a whole ton of people just love “Deal or No Deal” and a while back I actually attempted to watch it to see what all the fuss was about, but had to change the channel because I couldn’t believe what I saw. Having mute women dressed in identical outfits smiling and pointing is something that The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune can get away with because they both started the practice well before it was objectionable. I was under the assumption that blatantly using women as objects on a primetime television show on a major network was something that I would never have to witness in my adult life. But lo and behold, a smiling entourage of breasts and legs all marched out carrying briefcases and America is loving it.

The worst part is that no one seems to see the problem! Have you read anything in the blogosphere or in the news that might indicate that something is wrong here? Am I just being overly sensitive about this? I’ve had to deal with the fact that people take one look at me and assume that there’s no way I could possibly be intelligent. Couple it with the fact that my personality isn’t in line with most people’s expectations of what a smart, capable woman’s would be (read: bitch) I fight with this stereotype on a regular basis. I’m tired of hearing people say “Are you for real?” every time I say that I studied computer science or that I’m a developer. Deal or No Deal just reinforces the Beautiful=Dumb stereotype that so many women are working hard to get away from.

If you’re sitting there reading this thinking that I’m a raging feminist bitch, you’re probably exactly the type of asshole that watches this show and makes life difficult for women like me. Why don’t you pick #10, she’s got a degree in Biochemistry.

Dooce

August 27, 2006

I don’t know how I haven’t run across this before. I just spent the last hour trying to stay upright while laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants. Check it out.

All work and no play makes Jenny a dull girl

August 21, 2006

Clearly my other blog is where the action is right now because that’s all I’ve been doing. Getting all sorts of Toronto content is a crazy and very time-consuming job, but it’s giving me some nice legs, a good tan and a ridiculous knowledge of the city.

I did however manage to squeeze in a trip to Buffalo on the weekend to hit up a wedding for some free food and booze. Yes, I did go with Chris, and I am not answering ANY questions about why I went to a wedding with my ex-boyfriend, so don’t even bother asking.

Anyway, so we almost missed the ceremony because the bridge traffic was backed up onto the QEW in Fort Erie, so I ended up coming in almost 2 hours late. That was after just barely meeting all my ttc connections that got me to the bus station with 15 minutes to spare only to walk into the station to see a ticket line from here to next year. I jumped on the bus just as it was almost about to pull away, so imagine my despair seeing the ridiculous line to get into the States. Thankfully I was a quick thinker and snuck up to the front of the bus so i was first in line for customs. When I told them I had to get to a wedding in 15 minutes, they let me right through and Chris picked me up at the border.

So it turns out that even though we got to the church at 2:35, when the wedding started at 2, we only missed the first 5 minutes of the ceremony because the car the bride was in broke down on Grand Island and was being pushed by a couple of men in tuxes. I have no idea how they made it to the church.

The reception was lovely, set on the steps of the Buffalo historical society, with its grand marble pillars, facing onto a large pond with a Japanese garden. We were seated with 4 girls that were friends with the bride in college and started out the evening a complete riot. Turns out they were so ridiculously funny because they were loaded before dinner even started. It went downhill from there, including innapropriate jokes about our waiter’s…ahem…um…size. While he was standing there.

The band was wonderful, the food was delicious, the venue was beautiful, and aside from the odd complaints about the heat inside (the building wasn’t air conditioned and it was hot) it was a great wedding.

New blog

August 13, 2006

I’ve decided to split up the blog entries into those simply about the city (because there’s a damn huge amount to write about) and those just about my personal life and experiences. The Toronto stuff can be found here. Hopefully you’ll find some really useful/interesting stuff about Toronto, maybe some ideas for stuff to do with out of town guests, or planning your next trip to the city. There’s tons of stuff going on during the weekends, and there’s a summary of some of the events on my squidoo lens about Toronto.

Nuptials

August 13, 2006

Friday night, right after work I had to rush up to Markham to get to a wedding reception. My uncle had gotten married earlier in the week to a very very nice and sweet lady named Daisy. Daisy’s background is Chinese, so for luck, they decided to get married on the 8th day of the 8th month, which happened to fall on a Tuesday (and please refrain from the “they should have gotten married in 2008” comments, I’ve heard it already). So aside from the trek up there, which was made in a formal dress and heels, carrying a duffel bag, laptop bag and my big shoulder purse all on the streetcar and subway (and NO ONE offered me help or even a seat when I was clearly struggling and exhausted) the night did turn out to be quite a nice one.

The reception was at the Radisson in Markham and for the first time (that I remember) I got to meet all of my grandmother’s sisters, who live in various places around the united states. Of course there are the requisite questions and comments like “now, which one are you?” because for some reason no one can ever remember which sister I am, and “I haven’t seen you since you were thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big!!”.

My favourite questions though were always “so where’s your boyfriend?” After which everyone give me the sympathy look when I tell them that we broke up and I am there sans date. This photo pretty much sums up my sentiments about the dateless evening. My mom was taking pictures of myself and my two sisters and wanted the dates to get in on the photo taking action and since I didn’t have one I felt I needed to make up for it. *Sigh*. C’est la vie.

The single life

August 8, 2006

Being a single girl in the city is not always easy. In the past few weeks I’ve had a whole bunch of guys that I am absolutely not interested in ask me out or for my phone number. Now being new at this, the first time I did actually give out my real number having no intention of ever picking up the phone when the guy called (I panicked and figured I would just screen), only to later forget, pick up the phone and have to make up a lie as to why I didn’t want to go out with him. It would be so much easier if it was just socially acceptable to say “are you joking?” and laugh in their face.

I recently came across http://www.rejectionline.com. If you live in the New York City area, you can give out the number 212-479-7990, and it’ll reject people FOR YOU!!! I swear if Toronto had one of these I’d print it out on cards. Until then, I’m just going to have to carry around a baseball bat.

The Streetcar

August 8, 2006

Anyone who rides the streetcar in Toronto on streets that don’t have dedicated lanes like Spadina is aware of the fact that you’re pretty much putting your life on the line every time you step down off the streetcar and into oncoming traffic. Generally, motorists observe the fact that you’re supposed to stop when the streetcar stops and not hit the squishy little pedestrians, however you always get the occasional asshole that is either chatting on their cellphone, drinking their coffee or just isn’t familiar with the rules about streetcars, that nearly runs you and other transit riders over. This morning I almost had a seriously bad encounter with one of those people.

I was coming off the streetcar at Peter and Queen, like I usually do and just as the doors are swinging open and I’m about to step into the street an enormous black SUV comes barreling by, not slowing down a bit. It’s a good thing I always look to the right, or I would have gotten hit. But the best part was that the dumb woman on her cell phone in her big, bad suv was promptly pulled over by the big, bad cop on his bicycle.

Aaaaaaah, isn’t it wonderful when people get what’s coming to them. And better yet, when you get to witness it?

Fez Batik

August 7, 2006

Friday was Kurtis’ last day at VFM, so to send him off in drunken style a bunch of people all went out for drinks at Fez Batik. Fez has a pretty sizable patio right on the corner of Peter and Richmond, which would make it an ideal location for after-work drinks. After the service on Friday night, I’m now remembering why we usually take our business elsewhere.

First of all, they ask that if you’re sitting on the patio that you pay for your drinks in cash right when they bring them to you, and if you want to start a tab (this is my favourite part) they ask that you put a major credit card behind the bar. At this point the customer is saying “whaaaaaa??” Apparently they’ve had some people walk out on their tab when sitting on the patio. Well, um, I’m sorry but isn’t that a liability in ANY establishment? You’re sort of relying on your customers not to walk out, and you hire people that are competent enough to not let that happen 99% of the time. Ok, whatever, just take my card.

So of course, our waitress isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, she doesn’t do anything seriously bad, but simple stuff like asking if a customer is 1. done with their drink, and 2. wants another, while taking their almost empty glass away is just basic service etiquette.

The point at which we ended up leaving was when we asked for a menu and received a sheet of paper inside a plastic sleeve that had on it the options of hot dog, hamburger, shish kabob or pizza.

So by this time Johan is sufficiently sauced (see picture to left) and is inviting us all back to “Reinders Towers” and somehow, against my better judgment I end up jammed in the back of Carl’s BMW something-or-other (I don’t know cars, all I know is I’m 5’2″ and my legs were in pain) and riding up to the Annex. So we hung out at Johan’s for a while, played with his dog, cringed while he tried to play vinyl records and horribly scratched them up, and generally hoped that his wife wouldn’t divorce him for coming home drunk and bringing a bunch of other drunks with him. It was a great night.