#100

I’ve never been a huge football fan generally, nor of the CFL specifically. I did support the Edmonton Eskimos as a kid — I distinctly remember them winning Grey Cup #75 back in 1987 — but was never obsessed with them the way I was (am) with hockey and the Montreal Canadiens.

However, when my friend CBJ asked us if we wanted to see the 100th Grey Cup right here in Toronto, well…how were we to pass that up? We let him do all the ticket-ordering work (and take in all the pre-game festivities in the days leading up) and met him for a little pre-game barbecue at Triple A in the quiet part of town on Sunday, before taking a slow streetcar to the Rogers Centre.

Thoughts on the game:

  • While I don’t generally back either Toronto or Calgary (the Edmonton bias still lingers), I was obviously pulling for the Argos because…well, home town.
  • The opening play from scrimmage was a Calgary interception, so it didn’t look good early on. But Toronto just put the pedal down in the first half and coasted from there. Calgary didn’t score a major until the final seconds, so the game wasn’t even as close as the 35-22 score suggested.
  • Chad Kackert was a monster. Jon Cornish was all but shut down.
  • It wasn’t a classic game, but any time you can see the 100th championship it’s pretty special. 

Thoughts about everything surrounding the game:

  • Seats at the Rogers Centre suck balls. Even the really expensive ones.
  • CFL fans are hardcore. This city was filled with people in BC jerseys, Edmonton jerseys, Montreal jerseys (okay, not many of those), Winnipeg Jerseys, Hamilton jerseys (okay, not many of those either) and Saskatchewan jerseys (TONS of those!), even though their teams weren’t in the Grey Cup. And the arena was filled with far more Riders fans than Stamps fans, even though Calgary was playing. Crazy.
  • Those same out-of-town fans, were scandalized, SCANDALIZED I tell you, by the price of beer. Obviously $9.75 for a tall boy of Bud is ridiculous, but we Torontonians are used to it, whereas it was a special sort of hell for all the prairie boys.
  • Also, one gentlemen I saw who was clearly from Hamilton seemed awfully concerned about all the “faggots” in Toronto, and made sure all of us in line knew that. I’m not sure why he thought all Torontonian faggots were at the Grey Cup, or why they were interested in accosting him in particular, but he seemed to have his reasons. My guess: insecurity and a terrible upbringing.
  • Strangest exchange of the night, with a man dressed/painted entirely in red, who spoke to me in the concourse on my way to buy a beer: HIM: “You look like a man on a mission! Are you looking for a pepperoni?!” ME: “Ummm…no.” HIM: “OK, I’ll help you!” ME: *slides quickly into nearest line* HIM: *Continues ranting about pepperoni all the way down the concourse, not noticing that I was no longer alongside him*
  • The entertainment was…well, embarrassing. Burton Cummings must have been wasted, because he fucked up “O Canada” twice and sang it over a clicky-beepy drum & bass line you expect to hear from a cheap Casio keyboard. Carly Rae Bieber Trench were a continuum of disgraceful lip-syncing over pre-recorded fluff; Bieber in particular got his ass booed but good. I know he was there for TV ratings, but they had to expect a CFL-football-loving crowd was not going to react well to that juvenile calliope. Thank goodness for Gordon Lightfoot, who actually SANG. And PLAYED. REAL. MUSIC. And REMEMBERED THE WORDS, Burton. Not one of these performers was from my era, but I can recognize the ones with an actual ability to perform live music.
  • Walking out of the Rogers Centre and through downtown Toronto with a lot of excited fans gave me a tiny, tiny taste of what would happen if the Leafs ever won the Stanley Cup. Fortunately, that will never happen.

Pics from the night:

Pre-game
Drunk Burton?
Small army of cheerleaders
Final moments of the game
Streaming onto the field
Celebration!

 

Photo by swirlspice, used under Creative Commons license

Oh, Nevada.

Last week I read about a trend in the results from the latest US election on Joey DeVilla’s blog (via HappyPlace, via Fox News, all ultimately via the US Census). Basically, the ten most educated states (in terms of percentage of college grads) voted Democrat, while nine of the ten least educated states voted Republican.

Pretty stark, no?

Anyway, the census data also provided average annual income, and I like to see these sorts of thing in visual formats, so I plotted all fifty states, plus DC:

 

Looks like a trend to me. And there’s clearly a correlation between education level and income, so the fact that the bottom end of the trend is virtually all Republican while the top end is virtually all Democrats runs counter to the Republican insinuation that Democrat policies are geared to welfare moochers.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about those outliers, the especially-highly-educated Democrats are in Delaware, and the very-highly-paid Republicans are in Alaska.

.:.

Photo by swirlspice, used under Creative Commons license

Photo by jercraigs, used under Creative Commons license

Morgans on the Danforth

Delivering some PEC wine to friends was a good excuse for us to try their new local, Morgans on the Danforth. Sandwiched in between The Only and Sarah’s, both beer places we’d been meaning to try, we’d not heard a lot about the place except what they’d recounted in tweets and such.

They had a very decent looking food menu, though we didn’t end up trying anything beyond a (very good) charcuterie board. Why we were really there, though, was the list of Canadian craft brews. I ended up having a Mad Tom IPA, a (shared) Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA, a Wellington Porter (on cask), a (shared) Hopfenstark saison, a Dieu du Ciel Dernière Volonté, and a Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel. It was my first crack at a Hopfenstark…very tasty.

Cool place. We’ll be back.

.:.

Photo by jercraigs, used under Creative Commons license

Photo by -eko-, used under Creative Commons license

Home #2

About seven weeks ago we put in an offer on a new condo. Same building, different floor, more space. We’d been looking for a while, then gave up, right before this one fell in our lap.

Today we took possession. We picked up the keys, popped a bottle of sparkling (13th Street 2008 Premier Cuvée; we opted to save our bottle of Moët for when the sale of our current place closes), and started planning.

Speaking of selling our current place, I’ll have a whole long blog post when that one’s officially in the books. Stay tuned.

.:.

Photo by -eko-, used under Creative Commons license

"Everybody loses the thing that made them. The brave men stay and watch it happen. They don't run."

One of the best parts about transatlantic flights is a chance to catch up on some movies. And for all the grief I give Air Canada, their in-flight entertainment and magazine are pretty good ways to kill long flights. On my recent flights to London and back I saw six new ones:

  • 12 Angry Men (imdb | rotten tomatoes), a classic I’d somehow managed not to see before. Deserving of the “classic” status.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was a waste of time. Emma Stone was the sole bright spot in this entirely unnecessary re(re?)boot.
  • Away We Go (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was better than I thought it was going to be. It always seemed like it was going to be too slow. It was certainly precious, but man, what cool leads. And there was a scene where I laughed so hard I scared the guy next to me.
  • Beasts Of The Southern Wild (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was an art piece, to be sure, but beautiful and somehow adorably  inspirational. Or inspirationally adorable. Not sure.
  • Safety Not Guaranteed (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was just fun. And I have a bigger crush on Aubrey Plaza than I thought.
  • Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (imdb | rotten tomatoes) carries a bad rating, and I guess I can see why, but I kind of liked it. I mean, based purely on the likeability of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, you smile at least a few times. So yeah, kind of a perfect airplane movie.

I also watched Casino Royale (imdb | rotten tomatoes) on the flight there, mainly because I will always always happily watch that movie.

.:.

Photo by thomas lieser, used under Creative Commons license