Move + socials

September 30, 2007

 ~ Tomorrow’s the big move. Well, medium-sized move. But long in distance (21 subway stops to be exact). We might be without intertubes for up to four business days. That’ll be a challenge.

~ Last night was the birthday celebration of one Jenn Scott (aka 

). After a terrifying elevator ride, there was some confusion about which door we were supposed to be knocking on. Behind door 66 there is an entirely different J. Scott. That was the wrong door to go to but thankfully fake J. Scott wasn’t home. We eventually figured out the proper door to knock on.  We drank drinks, ate cake, talked about pirates, sang Happy Birthday, and marveled at how Jenn and Matt‘s blender has a Slurpee-machine type spigot. It was good to get out and interact with some familiar faces since most of my social interaction of late involves me saying, “Yes,” to the query “Will that be all?” as I’m handing someone behind a counter money for goods. Occasionally I might get to add to the discourse the  assertion, “Debit,” when they are eying the card I’m holding in my hand to which they might say, ” Stripe towards you.” Not once last night did anyone in the room ask me if I had Airmiles.

~ Today the social interaction continued with the return of Big Al and Kate. When Nicole‘s friend Danielle asked why he didn’t have more wrinkles, Big Al said, “Black don’t crack.” He also told us how to take down a wolf with your bare hands. Kate gave Nicole a stuffed pug which I’m hoping will act as a surrogate and not an incitement for a real pug.

Star scrolls, wizards, Big Al, cassette attack + retail

September 29, 2007

 ~ Yesterday on the subway a pretty average looking middle-aged man was reading a Star Scroll horoscope. He’d read it and roll it up shaking his head. He looked worried. Then he’d unroll it again and frantically scan the words with his eyes again then roll it up and stare at the ceiling. 

~ We went back to the wool store to buy more wool for the scarf Nicole is knitting me. When Nicole put the balls, gold and red,  on the counter the mop-of-grey-haired woman said, “Wizard colours. What are you kids up to?” with an expression of rapt fascinated interest. We stood there a little stunned and she repeated, “You look like you’re up to something mischievous. I must know.” I explained it was a scarf and then she asked what we do. Turns out she used to be an at-risk youth worker and also a graphic designer. She also had similar glasses to ours. I was a little dismayed she recognized the Gryphendor colours right off the bat. I was hoping no-one would ever notice. Ever. Especially before the garment is even completed. I’m going to have Potterheads coming up to me on the streets all day.

~ The other night some of Nicole’s Victoria friends visited us.  Al, the husband, said to me while the girls were downstairs, something about Nicole having grit. I said, “Yes, I told her she was like a pirate the other day. She didn’t like it much.” Al said, “Naw, that’s a compliment. Yeah, to get by in this life you gotta be with someone who’s lived after dark.” As I was fighting back a shocked guffaw, he repeated sagely, “You gotta have lived after dark.” He then analyzed my handwriting. 

~ Walking down Queen I got tangled in a cassette-tape which was unraveled on the sidewalk. The wind suddenly gusted and it swarmed me in front of Rotate This which provided one of the employees (on a smoke break) some mild amusement while I began to panic and tangle myself further in my attempts to rip the attacking black twine from my feet and legs.

~ I went into this amazing design bookstore on Richmond Street West (477 to be exact) called Swipe which Nicole had been telling me about. It’s the kind of store you could drop about $500 dollars in if you were so inclined and so liquid with cash you were in danger of drowning in pennies. 

~ I has the seriously most glacially slow check-out person at Honest Ed’s yesterday. I think she may have been in a coma. I couldn’t decide if I should check for a pulse or grab my items out of her hands and stuff them in a bag myself. The only person more annoyed than me was probably the person behind me in line. Or perhaps the several people behind them. Each time I’ve gone to Honest Ed’s I’ve had an experience ranging from vaguely to acutely unpleasant. I may not return.

Bed + deaf

September 26, 2007

 ~ Today I bought our mattress set. When I walked in there was woman laying on one of the beds near the window. She was laying on her side cradling the pillow and she looked like either her son had just died or she’d seen how the world will end. It didn’t seem like anyone knew she was there. Turns out we missed the mix’n’match sale by one day but they guy gave the bed to us for the sale price and he “fast-tracked” the delivery for us. I suspect that was a little bit of the old salesman smoke-n-mirrors but who cares. We got the bed at the price we wanted and delivered within a day of when we need it. I did forget my umbrella there though. When I left the lady had decided the bed was very comfortable but she need to test a few more. I guess when you’re shopping for a bed to spend all day being miserable in, you really want to pick a good one.

~ I had to change the reservation on our moving van.  When I was waiting for the Budget dude behind the counter to get off the phone, a guy walked in and handed me a pen. It had a note attached to it that said, “I’m deaf, please give what you can.” When I looked up he had two fingers pointed in my face. He was either telling me off or suggesting a twoonie would be an adequate donation. I gave him back the pen. It wasn’t even a new pen.

Sick 2 + Busted Nut

September 25, 2007

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Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

~ I definitely am sick today. Only not very much. I do have a few more symptoms than yesterday which makes me feel more justified in watching various Star Trek episodes and drawing bloodshot eyes. In case anyone was wondering, people violated the prime directive in yesterday’s Enterprise just as I predicted. Today the prime directive made it through three episodes unscathed. Of course there were two episodes that involved mind-control. Quentin Tarantino is on Alias right now.

~ I took Nico‘s guitar in to get repaired because it has a busted nut. Turns out the guy who works there grew up in Qualicum too. Anyway, he told me to take it home and crazy-glue it back together. Which was fine except then I was burdened with this guitar when I’d planned to do a bunch of other stuff downtown while they worked on it. So I went home. I guess I’ll get that other stuff done tomorrow. Like buy that mattress set so we won’t be sleeping on the floor in our new apartment next week. 
Fish’n’Chips for dinner tonight! Yum!

Sick, Sci-Fi + Nostalgic

September 24, 2007

decorative study 05
Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

~ I’m sick today. Or possibly not sick. certainly fatigued with burning eyes. You might be able to call that sick. WebMD seems to call it lyme disease. Whenever I use WebMD to check my symptoms, I have some terrible, life-threatening illnesses. Only I never actually have them.

~ Since I had no energy I watched some TV this morning. Clark Kent was challenged by the Green Arrow to get off his ass and start being a hero. Lt. Worf’s brother (Paul Sorvino? How does that work?) violated the prime directive (because that never happens in any given episode). Right now Kirk and Spock are on that Nazi planet where some guy was violating the prime directive. I turned it off as I’ve seen that one a few times. I might watch Enterprise at 4pm though. I bet someone violates the prime directive. Posting this seems to be sapping my energy. I’m practically nodding off as I type this. This illness would be a lot more rewarding if I actually felt sick.

~ All the photos at various internet repositories of the Newcastle Racoon Fest thing have made me a little homesick. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me.

IKEA part 2 + Hippies

September 23, 2007

decorative study 04
Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

~ Today we went to IKEA with roommate/landlord Jeff. Jeff has a car. Other than going to IKEA, you don’t really need a car in Toronto. But for going to IKEA, having a car is pretty much essential. We bought our table/chairs set and our dresser. Our new apartment is going to have a couch, dresser and a table and pretty much nothing else. Not even a bed at this point. Oh, and a whole bunch of my paintings.

~ We ate at Mocha Mocha today and then bought groceries at The Big Carrot. Now I know where all the smug bourgeois hippies hang out in Toronto. And where to sell these hippie-ass paintings of sad people hiding behind plants. 

Customer Service + Dog

September 22, 2007

 ~ I managed to pick one of the muggier days in the past few weeks for an extensive walking tour of downtown record, book and paper stores. First I had lunch with Kat. When I arrived in front of her office, she said, ‘Do you like pho?” and I though she said, “faux.” I was wondering what faux-cuisine might be. That sounded intriguing. But instead it turned out she meant vietnamese. It was pretty good but the best part was the insanely snarly woman at the till. I think she actually had antipathy for people giving her money. It made me realize something about Toronto that had been at the back of my mind for a while. It’s that Toronto knows cock-all about customer service. I guess because it’s so big you don’t need to be nice or helpful at all. After that I walked down to Soundscapes which turns out to be a pretty good store. When I asked if Too Pure were reissuing the other Seefeel album as well, the dude gave me enough record-store snob attitude to kill a horse. Maybe a horse, its rider and anyone who happened to be riding by on the same street. It was kind of rad. The local cassette and CD-R section was impressive though. After that, and several bookstores with fair to middling customer service, I went to the Japanese paper store (which might be called Paper Store) on Queen but it wasn’t as good as when I went in June. The clerk barely even talked to me when I paid. Type, a bookstore a few doors down, I fell in love with though. But perhaps because the guy (who was so much like a young Greg Patton, it was freaky) was friendly and helpful and this somewhat softened my views on Toronto customer service. Then I met Nicole and we went to an insanely full wool store because she’s knitting me a custom dream-scarf. After looking at rows of books and CDs all day, floor to ceiling stacks of coloured yarn almost gave me a seizure. The customer service was decent there. We ate dinner at a cuban restaurant where the guacamole was so amazingly delicious you almost believed it was actually the snot of Jesus. Thing is they wouldn’t give us five more chips to finish it off, they wanted to make us buy a whole extra bowl of chips. In the same breath the server asked me if I wanted another beer. This reaffirmed my conviction Toronto knows dick-all about customer service.

~ Animal control got called in regards to the dog running free and snapping at neighborhood children today. An italian man came after her with a shovel apparently. 

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