I could do the usual Thanksgiving day post about how glad I am to tick boxes in the upper half of Maslow’s hierarchy, but since I’m currently reading The Hot Zone (amazon | kobo) I think I’ll just be thankful that I don’t have Ebola. I mean, sure, it’s entered North America, but to live in a place where it can (hopefully) be contained and isn’t a virtual death sentence is a stroke of luck and happy circumstance that doesn’t escape me.

Photo by Doug Kerr, used under Creative Commons license

“Not since Hall and Oates has there been such a team.”

I thought about doing a whole long sappy blog post about how thankful I am for this and that, but figured the whole fact that I can write a blog post while the place smells like turkey pretty much denotes how good my life is. So I’ll just point out the highlights of our weekend so far:

First of all, it’s always a good weekend when your colleague starts it off with a gift of some 1er Cru burgundy:

We took it easy Friday night, sneaking a spot at Richmond Station’s bar for some excellent food. Nellie had oysters and flank steak; I had beet salad and crispy duck. A bottle of Norm Hardie Cab Franc went perfectly with it all. We then just watched The Sessions (imdb | rotten tomatoes) at home, which was excellent. Lots of ex-Deadwood representation too.

Saturday morning we got up early and gathered all we needed from St. Lawrence Market for Thanksgiving dinner, traded in some old speakers for a pair of outdoor Sonance speakers that look like fake rocks, picked up some interesting beer, then walked to Volo where we enjoyed some pumpkin beer and ploughman’s lunch and quite possibly the last hot, sunny patio day of the year.

After that we picked up our Thanksgiving turkey (who we named Carl, in honor of The Walking Dead re-starting tonight) at Cumbrae’s, then watched The Place Beyond The Pines (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which I’m still having a bit of trouble sorting out and a hockey game (mostly me).

Sunday was a day-long exercise in relaxing and cooking, then eating, Carl.

We also slammed through half the first season of Orange Is The New Black, which is pretty good. We’ll likely finish it today, along with the rest of Carl.

It was a perfect, relaxing weekend — just what I needed with the week I have coming up.


Photo by Doug Kerr, used under Creative Commons license

Seasonal beer and '60s nostalgia, just like the pilgrims

It’s been three weeks since I blogged about anything but the France trip. Ahem. Sorry about that.

Not that I could have managed much original thought in the past week anyway. We’ve been scrambling since we got back, trying to catch up, and Nellie’s been sick at the end of the last week. So this weekend couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s been a relaxing one, this Thanksgiving holiday, filled with nothing but massive amounts of turkey and Mad Men.

Yes, Mad Men. For years we’ve been hearing how good it is, so we loaded the first season onto my laptop and took it with us to France. We’d watch an episode here or there while waiting for something or before going to bed, and eventually knocked off the entire season. We watched the entire second season this weekend, and now have to catch up on season three. It goes without saying that I want both the suits and the in-office bars of business men in the 60s.

As for turkey, we had ours last night: a small organic local one from Cumbrae’s. It was a little shocking to have one with actual taste, as opposed to the store-bought ones I’m used to which just taste like…uh, like steroids, I guess. Nellie made all the usual Thanksgiving suspects too, and we made a point of sampling some Canadian wine while doing so: a bottle of Henry of Pelham Sibling Rivalry white during the prep, a bottle of Moulin Rouge from Grand Pre with the turkey and Muir Murray’s Solstice Vidal ice wine with the pumpkin pie. Oh, and a Great Lakes pumpkin ale thrown in there somewhere as well.

So, on top of all the other things I have to be thankful for: premium Canadian booze. Cheers!

Yes, we use maple syrup like most people use ketchup

This is one of the reasons I like living up so high.


Some people don’t seem to believe that I could get as stuffed as I claimed to be last night without having any turkey. Let’s just recap what I consumed:

  • Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale
  • mixed greens with apple, pear, candied pecans, goat cheese and a maple vinaigrette
  • mashed potatoes
  • maple-glazed carrots
  • peas
  • half an acorn squash stuffed with…well, stuffing
  • fresh rolls
  • 2004 Tatone Montepulciano
  • pumpkin pie

Quantities of food consumed: let’s just assume “copious” to be safe. Nellie outdid herself, and I paid for it with a distended (more than usual) belly.

Squeak. Thump.

I love me some long weekends. Since we’re going away next week we didn’t really plan anything for Thanksgiving, save getting a bunch of stuff done, having a nice big turkey-less meal on Monday, relaxing and enjoying the abnormally beautiful (for mid-October) weather.

After shaking off the work week at Smokeless Joe last night and sleeping in this morning, we bought enormous amounts of produce and other groceries, dropped a bunch of stuff at Goodwill, had a beer and a bite to eat on the wonderfully sunny Volo patio, ran a few errands, bought a few things, and came home. After a quick nap Nellie was fired up to do some cleaning, and when it involves throwing stuff out I always get excited, so we did that right up until the hockey game started.

Watching the Canadiens manhandle the Leafs 6-1 (in their home rink, no less) was like watching my old cat torture mice in the yard, just swatting at them as they cowered and shook, until I went outside and killed them with a shovel. I almost felt bad for them, right up until I heard Don Cherry giving Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau shit after the game for having the gall to play his usual power play units late in the game. I watched the game. They weren’t even trying, and they still almost scored, but apparently Cherry knows some unwritten rule that used to matter 30 years ago, and this had him angry. It made me wish Montreal had scored five more goals.

More relaxation and patio-sitting to come tomorrow. Yep, I do love me some long weekends.