In the bleak midwinter

The rumours about a Toronto NFL team have started up again. I don’t really care; I have little use for football. However, it would end this city’s slightly creepy obsession with the Buffalo Bills. It’s like an aunt having a crush on her ugly niece’s boyfriend.

Anyway, if Toronto ultimately gets a team it would make them the 11th city in North America to have one team in each of the four major sports leagues. By my reckoning the others are Atlanta, Boston (if you consider the Patriots a Boston team), Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Minnesota, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.


I’m really nervous when I pick up copies of Now Magazine these days. They quite often have American Apparel ads on the back cover, which sometimes border on the profane. Today it was a page filled with this picture. Awwwwwwwkward.


We got our first xmas card in the mail today.

It’s not even December yet, people.

Seriously, this whole holiday season thing is getting out of hand. The decorations went up November 1st. TV commercials, sales and outdoor trees followed soon after. At this point, 1/6 of the year is now christmas season.

[tags]toronto nfl team, now magazine, american apparel, christmas overkill[/tags]

Suck it up and buy a vacuum

Most Canadians prefer fake christmas trees to real ones. Therefore, most Canadians are nimrods. The most annoying thing about artificial tree makers? They now insist on calling their products “everlasting” instead.


I just got some dark chocolate in the mail, courtesy of Stanzi. Nothin’ beats mail chocolate.


Also courtesy of Stanzi (sort of) we got our first shipment from Green Earth Organics today. After she posted a picture of their produce on her blog we signed up…not that I have any particular desire for organic food, but because I have to admit to myself that I’ll be much more likely to eat good produce if it’s brought to my door than if I’m left to buy it. We’re not sold on the quality yet though; the greens seemed pretty slimy. Maybe it’s a one-time thing, or maybe it’s just what you live with when you buy organic. We’ll give it a few weeks and, if it doesn’t get better, figure out a plan B.


Canadiens goaltender Cristobal Huet has the best SV% and GAA in the NHL, but he was left off the all-star ballot. Surely that must’ve stung a bit, but what does he do? He gets a shutout in his next start. Suck it, NHL.


The tories are finally putting the same-sex marriage debate back in the house. Good. Let’s get it over with and move on already.

[tags]dark chocolate, green earth organics, cristobal huet, canadiens, same-sex marriage debate, fake christmas trees[/tags]

No help for Parrsboro after all

It looks like the employment optimism that took over my hometown a few months ago has come crashing to the ground. It all sounded pretty fishy from the start — adding 1500 jobs to a town of 1300 people? — but I still hoped for the best.

Sadly, for the past few days I’ve been reading about the apparent collapse of the deal on (former elementary schoolmate and now reporter) Andrew Wagstaff’s blog, and now the story’s showing up on the CBC site as well. It’s too bad, but I can’t say I’m surprised; this guy Kerry Martens sounded like he had more style than substance. I’ve dealt with enough “visionary sales” guys to know that 90% of what they say is horse shit.

That town’s in such dire need of jobs…I think it was even crueler to dangle this in front of them and walk away than to never have mentioned it in the first place.

[tags]parrsboro, headz games, griddly headz, andrew wagstaff, kerry martens[/tags]

I'll just have to find some other trappist ale

We had dinner at Volo tonight with my university friend Farmboy and his wife. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…pasta n’ beer. I’m sad, though; they no longer carry the delirium tremens.


Kristen Bell: even hotter in high definition. Hooray for technology.


It would seem that …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead might be self-destructing. I’m glad I saw them when I had the chance.
[tags]bar volo, kristen bell, and you will know us by the trail of dead[/tags]

You don't have to be alive to be helpful.

From YesButNoButYes comes this Bravia ad send-up. Brilliant.


We finally got to see Casino Royale (imdb | rotten tomatoes) yesterday. In short: best Bond movie ever. I say this because it’s the one Bond movie that I would actually classify as a good film. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bond flicks. I have a soft spot for them, and owned them all as a teenager (as a gift my Mom got me every videotape up to The Living Daylights), so it’s not like I haven’t watched Thunderball or For Your Eyes Only a dozen times. But I always liked them for what they were, and top-notch cinema isn’t how I’d describe them.

Casino Royale, however, was very good. Not Oscar-caliber, mind you, but far better than most other action movies you see. Daniel Craig…bravo. Eva Green: hotttt. The parkour scene at the beginning: kickass. Welcome back, Bond franchise.


We also watched a little Canadian noir film last night, 7 Times Lucky (imdb | rotten tomatoes). It wasn’t very good. Truth be told I only watched it ’cause Liane Balaban was in it, so…yeah. Avoid it (if you’ve even heard of it).

[tags]bunny hopping, bravia ad, casino royale, james bond, daniel craig, 7 times lucky[/tags]

November rain moderate temperatures

Canadian weather is severely messed up at the moment. It’s 12 degrees in Toronto — going up to 15 tomorrow and 17 Wednesday, according to forecasts — while it snows in Vancouver. Poor Vancity…so much rain they were expecting an ark, and instead they got a blizzard.

17 degrees on the 2nd-to-last day of November…something not right about that.

[tags]toronto weather, vancouver snowfall, vancouver rain[/tags]

I hope you take a chit, 'cause a chit is what you're getting

Last night I went out with two university friends (who happen to constitute 2/3 of the market*) and their wives to Cava, the new tapas restaurant run by Chris McDonald, formerly of Avalon. While I still have a bit of a mental barrier to tapas — some part of my brain refuses to feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth unless I leave the restaurant in stomach pain — I really enjoyed the meal. Some of the things that sounded really tasty are now verboten to me, like the chorizo sausage and the venison, we had plenty of delicious things: the watercress & roasted beet salad, the duck portion of the charcuteria, the sablefish, the swiss chard w/ pine nuts, and especially the boneless roasted quail stuffed with spiced chicken. The desserts were amazing as well, two warm ybarra chocolate cakes and a vanilla & orange sundae with pine nuts & candied violets(!).

We left full, but not in pain, which was kind of a nice feeling. You also don’t drink nearly as much at tapas (when it’s done right) because there’s constantly new bits of food coming at you, so that helped. The service was great too.

Because of some technical issues (*cough* Bell sucks *cough*) we weren’t able to get in touch with friends for drinks afterward, but we’re heading out in the next few minutes to have brunch with them, so…all’s well.

*it would take way too long to explain that, and I’m not sure I understand it myself.

[tags]cava, chris mcdonald, tapas[/tags]

In this archdiocese, God don't run the bingo.

We saw The Departed (imdb | rotten tomatoes) last night. I really, really liked it. I’ve never really understood the whole Scorsese love affair, but this one was primo shit. I didn’t feel ripped off at all that — once again — Casino Royale was sold out. Thoughts:

  • The cast was so talented — and so plentiful — that it bordered on unfair. When you have actors as good as Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Anderson in supporting bit parts, you’re set.
  • Based on what I’d heard about Jack Nicholson’s performance I was prepared for scenery-chewing on a cosmic scale, but it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t even Pacino-in-Devil’sAdvocate bad.
  • DiCaprio’s finally growing on me again. At long last he might be shedding the Titanic/Beach odor. Anyway, a few more Scorsese movies should do it.
  • I believe Hollywood has finally perfected the head shot blood spatter effect. We got plenty of supporting evidence last night.

Highly recommended, unless you don’t like violence. CB, I’m looking at you; I’d tell you to watch it and just turn away when you think somebody might get shot, but really…you wouldn’t see much of the film.


I got home last night in time to see the third period of the Canadiens game. I saw Saku Koivu tie it up in the 3rd, and I saw Sheldon Souray score with 1 second left in OT to steal one from the Sabres.

As surprisingly well as the Leafs have been playing, Montreal’s one point behind them in the standings with three games in hand. Buffalo’s still dominating the division, and now that Ottawa seems to have turned it around, the Northeast division is suddenly a powerhouse. Even Boston, the worst team in the division, has a .500 record.

[tags]the departed, canadiens, sabres, northeast division[/tags]

Bring on the downtime

Since I’ve gotten ahead on my reading & assignments, I’ve decided not to do any school work at all until Tuesday. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

It’s a busy weekend anyway; we have dinner at Cava tomorrow night with friends and dinner with other friends on Monday. That leaves tonight and Sunday for going to movies, catching up on Deadwood (I watched 3 episodes last night) and generally lazing about.

More good news: it’s supposed to be 11 degrees tomorrow too, and my cold seems to be on the way out. Huzzah.


Spoke to my friend the constable last night. She’s loving her new job, maintaining law & order in the far north. Well…”far” is a relative word, I guess; while she’s not in Melville Island or Inuvik or even Deline, she’s further north than most people ever go. She’s certainly further north than I’ve ever been, by about 800 km. Anyway, she loves it there and she loves what she’s doing, and she’s even adopted a dog, so good for her.

[tags]slacking, the great white north[/tags]