Cover photo by Chris Riebschlager, used under Creative Commons license


Last night I, and the rest of Toronto, watched the Jays beat the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the 10th inning, in just about the most dramatic and poetic way possible. That the winning run was scored on a throwing error by Rougned Odor, infamous for punching out Jose Bautista earlier this year (in retaliation for a hard slide into second, but really for the bat flip in last year’s playoffs), was just about the best possible way for the Jays to complete their first-ever series sweep.

Bring on Cleveland. Or Boston. Or whoever.


Cover photo by Chris Riebschlager, used under Creative Commons license

Chimps Batch Jays Owen

That was a busy-ass week. Fun too.

On Tuesday we grabbed some dinner at Wine Bar and then went to see a talk by one of Nellie’s heroes, Jane Goodall. Such an impressive human being, and her final story of the night (shown below) pretty much says it all.

On Wednesday we grabbed dinner at Batch with our buddy GB, visiting for the week.

On Thursday I met my buddy Joe at the new Bar Hop (my first visit, believe it or not) where I had an excellent Burdock session saison and then availed myself of one of his Jays tickets, with which we watched the Jays beat the Yankees. Labatt’s acquisition of Mill Street at least meant I could have a 100th Meridian to go with this view:

Last night we went over to our friends A+A’s place and had a seemingly Dan-tailored evening: grilled meat and charcuterie, stellar beer (including a Gueuze Tilquin they brought back from Brussels, bless their little hearts), cool music that made me want to start collecting LPs again, and a cat named Owen who blithely tolerated my attention. We turned into pumpkins on their couch. It was, after all, a busy-ass week.

Cover photo by Loaded Dog, used under Creative Commons

What a week-ish

It’s been a busy 8 days, considering I haven’t been traveling or anything. The mother in law visited for about a week. We had a huge dinner at Jacobs & Co. I spent Saturday, including a Fieramosca dinner, involved in a work conference. Good Jays games and bad Jays games. Absolutely insane amounts of work.

I spent tonight eating dinner at Hawthorne with Nellie, planning my attack on Cask Days tomorrow, and watching the Jays’ season end in game 6 against the Royals, in a game they probably could (should) have won. But hey, at least the Habs are 8-0 to start the season. So there’s that.


Cover photo by Loaded Dog, used under Creative Commons


I have an emotional hangover. I sportsed too hard last night.

Plenty of ink has already been spilled about the Blue Jays game 5 win over Texas to advance to the American League Championship series. (Cathal Kelly’s story in the Globe was the best, I thought.) All I can say is that it was definitely one of the highlights of my sports-fan life…to go from so low to so high, to sprout a profuse belief in the sporting gods, all in the space of a single epic inning of baseball, was mildly profound. I can’t imagine actually being at the Rogers Centre Skydome for the game, as some of my friends were.

We’d had tickets for the Toronto FC game last night, but given how long the Jays game ran over we really didn’t think we’d make it over to BMO Field. But after Jose’s bat flip we figured we’d make a break for it: we assumed the Jays would win, and if they relinquished the lead, I didn’t want to watch it. So in the middle of the 8th we jumped in a cab and beat it west before the mayhem began. As it turned out, the mayhem began at the corner of Queens Quay and Bathurst, when every car around us at the traffic light began honking wildly.

Despite it being freezing cold, we’re glad we made it to the TFC game. They clinched the first playoff berth in team history last night, on a highlight-reel goal from the incomparable Giovinco, who’d gotten off a plane from Italy just a few hours before. For at least this one night the sports gods were on Toronto’s side.

All in all, a pretty good evening. Oh, and as I type this, the Canadiens are about to win their fifth straight game to start the NHL season, the first (!) time in their storied history that’s happened.


Happy birthday, country

Twenty-four hours into my mini-vacation and it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I’m off work. I think it’ll occur to me tomorrow morning when I don’t have to get up and stumble in to the office.

So yes, I decided to take a five-day weekend. No big plans (as we’ll be taking off to Nova Scotia soon enough), just down-home relaxation. It kicked off last night with a nice little dinner on the patio at Mercatto. Today, to celebrate Canada Day we took in a Jays game (they beat Tampa Bay handily, 5-0, and we finally got to see some home runs) in the beautiful sunshine with the dome open…no rain in sight, despite the forecast.

We kept the sunshine-loving going by camping out on the Bier Markt patio after the game. Neither of us had been there in nine (!) years, even though we live just minutes away. Either the beer selection has improved over the years, or my tastes have developed to the point where I appreciate having half a dozen frosty cold weissbiers from which to choose on a warm summer day. I went Erdinger-Denison’s (in a fit of patriotism)-Weihenstephan. Nellie started with a KLB Raspberry Wheat and then got into the Koningshoeven Tripel. Did I mention it was frosty cold? It was.

Right now I’m listening to A.C. Newman and Elliot Brood and watching Canada Day fireworks bubble and scrape across the city skyline, thanking fate and random circumstance for plopping me down in the greatest country on earth.

Glorious? Check.

Free? Check.

Happy birthday, Canada.

"Hey Dye, rumour is you suck!"

Yesterday was all kinds of great. I got up early and ran three miles. I went to my first Jays game ever, and a pretty good one at that. Rookie pitcher Robert Ray looked like he was going to take a 1-0 loss to the White Sox, but the Jays scored two in the bottom of the 8th and won it for him. It was fun, especially since we were clearly sitting in the rowdy section, taunting poor Jermaine Dye half to death. The low point was when some sadist decided to play a dance version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and send all the 30-somethings into fits of righteous indignation. High point: ballpark dog. Yum.

After a quick stop back at home to freshen up, we were off to meet CBGB and assorted family members, first for a drink at the Duke of York (where there was some unfortunate karaoke) followed by dinner at Fieramosca. I’ve had countless great meals there, but this one goes in the hall of fame. All three apps (gamberi, antipasti and prosciutto) were great, all the mains got rave reviews (especially the ones featuring pancetta…including mine), the desserts that showed up were wonderful as always, and the wine went perfectly. The service was, of course, wonderful. We all left feeling very full and very happy.

Unless Nellie buys the ~$49 million lottery ticket while she’s out, I think today’s gonna be a letdown.