"Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate."

It’s been too nice to blog this weekend (as that would mean sitting inside), so here’s the point form version:

Friday night CBGB, Nellie and I went to Harlem, a place right around the corner from us that we’d just never made it to. We’re bad at that. Anyway, it was pretty fantastic. The starters (chicken lafayette, bourbon baby back ribs and seafood fondue) were all good, and while my main (jambalaya) and Nellie’s (barbecue chicken) were pretty good, everyone agreed that CBGB’s fried chicken was the winner. I ignored the giant cocktail list and drank Red Stripe all night. We book-ended dinner with drinks on the balcony. Awesome night.

Saturday was a day to get stuff done. I returned two ill-advised purchases: one at MEC (which I traded in for a pair of shorts) and another at Harry Rosen: a dress shirt that I somehow exchanged for two Etro shirts, which were on sale but would normally each be more expensive than the shirt I was returning, and still had a $60 credit left over! I considered this quite a coup, but my guy at Harry pointed out the downside: that I could now be developing a taste for very expensive shirts. After all that we set to the painstaking task of sitting on the Bier Markt patio and drinking cold, cold beer. I enjoyed my Weihenstephan so much we popped by the LCBO on the way home and picked up some more.

Today was movie day. We saw Funny People, which was good-not-great, and  500 Days Of Summer, which was fantastic. We then came home and watched Burn After Reading, which was mildly amusing (mainly for Brad Pitt) but not that impressive for the Coen brothers.

No work tomorrow. Thanks, obscurely named civic holiday!

My father's day memory can beat up your father's day memory

Men’s clothing store Harry Rosen is currently having a father’s day contest (the name of which is written above) in which they call for stories from clients about their fathers. I submitted mine a few minutes ago, and thought I’d share it here. Those of you who were there will know that I might have taken a teeeeensy bit of creative license, but it’s harmless and doesn’t affect the main thrust of the story.

My dad rarely wears a suit. He’s a farmer. He spends his days up to his elbows in tractor parts and soil samples and power saws. Suits are for weddings, funerals and Sunday service…anything in a church, basically. But when he does wear a suit, he wears it well. He’s easier in a suit than he should be, this farmer, probably something to do with his years in college when you still had to wear a jacket and tie to dinner. And suits seems to bring something out in him. The rascal. No, wait, rascal’s the wrong word for him. The scamp. It brings out the scamp.

My wedding, for instance. Very casual, held in the winter at a small private club (I’m not a member, we just talked our way in) with close friends and family. We have cocktails beforehand in the lounge. My brothers and I stand near the piano, drinking our drinks, talking the talk that older brothers give the last to get married. About to set down our drinks, we notice a small sign that reads, “Please don’t put glasses on the piano.” My dad, standing nearby, quietly says “I’ll show them.” He takes out his reading glasses and sets them on the table in raw defiance of the letter, if not the spirit, of the sign. He doesn’t wait for a laugh. He doesn’t even really expect us to notice. He just says it for the joy of dry wit and goofy rebellion. Of being a scamp with his boys. As we begin to laugh he sticks his farm-weathered hand in his pocket, turns and strolls away. Goddamn if his suit doesn’t look even better on him than it did a minute ago.

That’s cool. That’s style.

Now, I enjoyed writing that, so if that’s as far as it goes, fine. But if I win a $2500 Harry Rosen gift card for that entry, well, then so be it.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there goes the paycheque

Oh yes, this is just what I need: unfettered access to Canali.

Just a few years ago, Harry Rosen Inc. found that consumers weren’t ready to buy its luxury men’s wear online. They worried about using credit cards on the Internet, and didn’t like to purchase clothes without trying them on first.

Lately, however, the retailer’s research has found attitudes have come around, so by next April the chain plans on finally launching an e-commerce site. One factor working in the company’s favour is that new, younger customers are already comfortable purchasing online and they’re at ease buying shoes and jeans, items that used to be a hard sell owing to sizing standards. Perhaps the most compelling thing Harry Rosen’s research came up with was that it could generate up to 10-per-cent more business with an e-shopping site.

That last sentence has a mistake in it. It should read ‘…it could generate up to 10-per-cent more business from a single IP address in downtown Toronto with an e-shopping site.’

Oh, and…’e-shopping’? What is this, 1996? Maybe Marina Strauss should’ve mentioned how Harry Rosen plans to get on the information superhighway.

Don't judge me. It felt like hand-stitched butter.

I needed to ease out of the work week and into the long weekend in tasty fashion last night, so we had some dinner and a couple of drinks at Volo with CBGB. A little veggie pasta, a Black Kat stout and a Mill Race and the unwinding was underway. We couldn’t muster much more energy than that, though, and with a busy weekend ahead of us we decided we’d better relax and catch up a TV backlog. And so we did.

This morning we got up and had breakfast at Eggstasy. Poor Nellie, she just can’t seem to get servers to understand the following:

The Toronto definition of eggs “over hard” does not equal the consistency to which she wants her eggs cooked, which is best described as “shoe leather.”

She asked for “fried, over really hard, nothing runny, no liquid whatsoever, completely cooked all the way through” and the server wrote down “over hard.” Of course, they came back all runny inside; she sent them back and when they returned they were still too runny. Now, granted, she’s very fussy about her eggs, but given the painstaking and blunt description she applies each and every time, I’d expect at least one cook in 10 to get it right. Sadly, it never, ever works. Anyway.

Our purpose today was shopping, so after a quick stop to look at some Herman Miller chairs (I want!) we went to Harry Rosen. I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say when I left 90 minutes later picking up my credit card required oven mitts. It’s official…I have a weakness for two things: chocolate and nice clothes. I’m kind of worried; now that I’ve tried on a Canali suit I can’t go back. From this day on it’s a descent into Brioni territory, and that way lies madness. Anyway, it’s all stuff I needed (or at least wanted a lot) and I’m considering it an advance on my bonus. I hope.

We got home and ran a few more errands (finally getting a frame for the art we bought from a Parisien wine bar, picking up some wine & snacks, etc.) in preparation for tomorrow’s work. We figure it’s time to finish painting the joint, now that all the repairs are complete (hurrah!), and we’ve enlisted GB’s expertise to get us over the goal line. Wish us luck.

[tags]bar volo, eggstasy, herman miller, harry rosen, canali, brioni[/tags]