Friday, December 28, 2007


In the many, many days since I last posted both much has happened and little has happened. I've been very busy, but little is particularly post-worthy.

I have, however, encountered some interesting individuals in my travels.

Encounter #1: Chatty O'Chatterson

Whist in a fine dining establishment known by the initials A and W, I found myself in line beside a fine fellow whom I have dubbed Chatty O'Chatterson. He found it necessary to expound upon the trials that the young woman behind the counter must be enduring having two trainees working under her tutelage. Of course, this sympathetic observation of his was truly a segue to mentioning that he'd been training individuals at work and that he was "looking forward to getting back to regular work at the computer". In truth, given how often and how intensely he persisted in discussing how "it's hard being the boss and in charge sometimes", methinks he was really quite taken with being asked to train others. My response: courteous levels of mild interest and periodic pleasant but non-committal responses.

Encounter #2: Divulging Donna

Shortly thereafter I found myself -- following yet another incident involving a non-dinging door, headlights, and the CAA -- I was patronizing a patriotic tire (and more) store, and found myself in line after a couple of young people (yes, I'm old enough to talk about being in line behind young peopl), shortly to be served by a young woman who clearly knew those before me. When I did work my way up to the aforementioned cashier with my booster cables, she proceeded -- without prompting, might I add -- to tell me about the awkward experience she had just had serving those youngsters since she used to date one of their member's brothers. My response: pay for the booster cables and supply courteous levels of mild interest and periodic pleasant but non-committal responses.

[Maybe I just have one of those faces that says, "Go ahead. Tell me all about it."]

Encounter #3: Dashing Donald and Smitten Sue

While awaiting service at yet another posh restaurant where they serve food -- though not burgers, mind you; they're very clear that they don't sell burgers -- in paper bags, I observed a funny little exchange between a fellow I've dubbed "Dashing Donald" and the server, "Smitten Sue" (though, to be fair, at the beginning of the exchange, she was merely "Soon-to-be-Smitten Sue"). It started when Donald kicked off the conversation with, "This is my first time here." WHAT? Who says that? "This is my first time here?" Maybe if you're visiting another country, a groovy and fashionable new nightclub, perhaps, but when visiting a fast-food restaurant? Well, have no fear, dear reader, for Sue quickly responded with a flashing smile and, "Then welcome to ****'s!" Then, just to show everyone else in the place up, Donald, whose Dashing qualities were quickly to reveal themselves, proceeded to order and inquire about the healthier options for his meal, right down to the low-fat dressings on the salad and milk to drink. Sue, who was approaching Smitten at the speed of light, was thrilled to engage in the conversation a little longer with the tall, wavy-haired stranger, listing options and *oops!* suggesting balsamic vinaigrette dressing which they don't actually have. "I guess I said it because it's my favourite! Teehee!" Subtext: "Wouldn't you like to get together sometime and enjoy a salad with balsamic vinaigrette with me? Maybe Friday night?" Much cuteness ensued until his meal was served ("Oh, I should have told you you could have also had your sandwich on a whole-wheat wrap!"). My response: I went and ordered my 5000 calorie, fat-filled lunch maybe just to spite them.

Oh, I also went and visited John and Ted, and it was lovely. They make me laugh, because they seem to be on "best bahaviour" when I'm visiting. I was very mellow and really quite dull, so I think they felt a lot of pressure to keep me entertained, but they surely should know that just hanging out and chatting with them is swell indeed.

IN OTHER NEWS, Keltie has inspired me... Watch for new developments starting January 1.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Unrelated Items

In a pleasant week of theatre going (which helped to reduce the likelihood of "post show blues" settling in), I was off last night to see Seussical: The Musical in Hamilton. What a great, fun production! The cast is strong, the design of the show is brilliant, and it was a great romp all around. Even the unexpected guest appearance by the fire curtain couldn't detract from the fun! If you're anywhere near Hamilton and want a fun night out (with the kids or without), I'd certainly recommend Seussical. [And so does this reviewer.]


On an unrelated note, know what bugs me? "Plump, juicy raisins." I remember even as a youngster being annoyed by Post Cereal's commercials, which promised "plump, juicy raisins".

Listen here, and listen closely: If I wanted plump and juicy, I'd eat grapes.

That's right. Grapes.

Because that's what grapes are: plump and juicy. What do you get when you take the plump and the juicy out of grapes? You've got it! Raisins. If you say you've got plump, juicy raisins, it's like you're saying you've done a shoddy job of making raisins out of grapes.

"Yeah, we just didn't bother completing the raisinification of the grapes. We figured we could save a couple of hours by leaving them plump and juicy."

Next thing you know, they'll be advertising for soft, moist toast.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

City on Fire

At long last, I was off to see Sweeney Todd on stage in Toronto.

Oh my amazing.

It's the National Tour of the Broadway production, which is innovative, to say the least. The most obvious step outside of the norm is that the actors are also the musicians on stage. Sometimes they sat on either side of the set (which is brilliantly simple in itself), flanking the action, but most of the time the instruments became part of their characters within the action. Wow.

Seated next to me was a group of women who seemed to be on a "ladies' night out" and I'm not sure they were quite prepared for Sweeney. At the end, they were trying to find a way to consider it a happy ending, and one was not very amused when I said, "Oh, oh. They're looking for a happy ending at Sweeney Todd."

I'm now looking forward to the movie which comes out ater this month, of course. It will be radically different from the production I just saw, but the show and music itself is strong to begin with, and with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, and Tim Burton all involved ... well ... me likey the prospects.

Now, if only I could convince someone around here to mount the show so I could play the Demon Barber of Fleet Street...

Edited to add: Why would someone do this? Do they know what Sweeney's all about?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Justifiable Paranoia

I returned to the scene of the crime (See "Near Death Experiences and Bad Spelling", perhaps against my better judgement.

I'll give you the short version.

They're out to get me.

After choosing to try a further pared down version of the ill-fated sandwich I tried to enjoy last time. This time I was excruciatingly clear, requesting no tabulae, tabbouleh, and specifically no onions or tomato. (It sounds like a dull sandwich at this point, I'm sure, but I'm fine with it.)

I ordered it with a salad. Healthy, healthy me.

So I started eating.

Mmmmm. Tasty salad goodness.

Mmmmm. Nice sandwich without onions or tomatoes. Or wood, for that matter.

Then I kept eating.

And paused, mid-chew.

I paused mid-chew with a forkful of salad in my mouth.

A forkful of salad and hair.

That's right, I said "hair".

Of course I did that, "STOP CHEWING! DON'T DO ANYTHING THAT MIGHT CAUSE YOU TO SWALLOW THE HAIR!" thing that a person does, trying to get it out of one's mouth with the tip of the tongue, all the while MORTIFIED that the tip of one's tongue is on a stranger's hair!

Those around me were dutifully mortified as I drew it from betwixt my lips.

But wait.

It ain't over yet.

Feeling the need to leave my salad behind, I went back to my sandwich which was, up to this point, quite promising.

A few bites later, all of that came to an end.

I bit down and crunched through something.


Would the pita crunch? No.

Would the chicken crunch? No.

Would the feta crunch? I certianly hope not.

Would the tzatziki crunch. No.

Then what had crunched, you wonder?

Oh, I'll tell you what crunched.

An onion.

That's right. Upon unravelling my wrap, I discovered that there, in the bottom half of the wrap ... LITERALLY in only the bottom half of the wrap ... there were onions. Lots and lots of onions.

Go back up there and see what I'd requested. Remember how I was very specific about what should not be found in my food? That's right. Onions were clearly on that list of banned produce.

I've decided it's time for me to take a long hiatus from visiting that restaurant, even if they DO have the most delicious herbed goat's cheese ever. Sorry, but I just can't do it any more.

They're clearly out to get me.