Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I liked the mural on the side of the club called The Barn. I'm guessing that this part of town is hoping that Brokeback Mountain will do well at the Oscars. FYI: Sunday nights at The Barn are Men Only Underwear Dances.
The Building at the lower right is Maple Leaf Gardens, home to the Toronto Maple Leafs up until 1999. The plan for this building is to turn it into a Supermarket, and museum. (Because the two just naturally seem to go together?!)
Heading West, is Yonge Street which at 1,896 Kilometers (1178 miles) is the longest street in the world! Yonge and Dundas is also the heart of downtown Toronto. Top left pic is of a fairly new Olympic Spirit Museum which overlooks the new Dundas Square. In the summer, local bands host free concerts on weekends.
I really like the two bottom pics. It was snowing like crazy so the pictures look kind of nice. To the right of the Tourist Trolley is the Eaton's Centre Mall, to the left, Toronto's Hard Rock Cafe with a local Toronto Radio Station DJ Booth at the entrance. Just beyond HRC is one of Toronto's many Theatre's. The Canon began it's history in the 1920's as a Vaudeville Stage and Canada's largest motion picture theatre. Even in the '80's, I remember it as a movie theatre called The Imperial 6. In 1989 the building was revamped to it's former glory and had it's first live theatre production. Phantom of the Opera played there for years!
The top left pic is of Old City Hall (It's Haunted!) and the top right is of the New City Hall, opened in 1965. From the air, it resembles and eye between two eyelids.
Last, but not least, I wanted to point out The Hudson's Bay flagship store. The company started out in 1670 as a fur-trading post. This year, it sponsored the Winter Olympics. See the pic of the Official Coats of the Atheletes in the Opening Parade?! The coats really weren't that great looking, but damn! Our athletes were!
Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour. I know I had fun putting it together!
Next time, I think I'll head South, to the Waterfront. I might have to wait for a warmer day, though!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Poor Dutchie-poo is going for surgery tomorrow morning to get her rotten old snaggle-tooth removed. It's her first time under the knife since we've had her. Let's hope everything goes all right.
For more pics of beautiful kitties, check out Clare's place! But check her place out anyway, it's always a good stopover!
Four Jobs I've had in my Life:
1. Candy girl at the movies
2. Clerk at the Zoo Membership Office
3. ICU Nurse
4. Recovery Room Nurse
Four Movies I'd Watch Over and Over
1. Sound of Music
2. Wizard of Oz
3. Zoolander (it is beyond stoopid!)
4. The Breakfast Club
Four Places I've Lived:
1. Scarborough, Ontario
2. London, Ontario
3. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4. Toronto, Ontario
Four TV Shows I like to Watch
1. American Idol
2. Cold Case Files
3. The Young and the Restless
Four Favorite Places I've been on Vacation:
1. Kusadasi, Turkey
2. Dubai, UAE
3. Rhodes, Greece
4. Krakow, Poland
Four Web Sites I Visit Daily:
4. Kross-Eyed Kitty!
Four of my Favorite Foods:
1. Pizza. Whole wheat, thin crust.
2. Steak: medium/well
3. Anything with gorgonzola cheese in it
4. Eggs and bacon
Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. The trailer, drinking wine in front of the campfire
2. Traveling to destination Anywhere
3. In our new house (condo sold, belongings already moved!)
4. At the Opportunity Shop (thrift shop)
Four People I feel sorry for because they're getting tagged:
Anyone who wants to participate!
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
So...Part One of the Tour of My Neighbourhood includes the walk to and from the Supermarket. One block south from where I live is The St. James Cathedral. It is an Anglican Cathedral and has it's beginning from the 1880's when Toronto was still known as The Town of York.
On the left is a picture taken the other day, and on the right is a pic taken last summer from the ajoining garden.
As I crossed the street, I thought I would include the streetcar. Toronto is the only city in Canada that still uses electric streetcars as part of their public transportation. (Let me tell ya...it's a pain the ass when you are stuck behind them in your car, and can't get around them!)
So then I made my way to the LCBO (Liqour Control Board of Ontario) to buy my sweetie-pie a really, really excellent bottle of wine. We had bought this bottle on V-day and it was absolutely, fabulously delicious! I'm hoping that you can all read the label, but if not, it is an Evans and Tate 2002 Shiraz from the Margaret Valley in Australia. It tastes like blackberry juice, and cherries, and chocolate, and vanilla and licorice....and....and...oh!!!!! IT'S JUST SOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!! (Ok, I realize that it's not a pic of the neighbourhood...but it might make the trip more fun!)
Across from the LCBO is the Farmer's market...which is closed everyday except Saturday. I like shopping there. Check out the mural...and then the historical marker... if you can't enlarge it, it basically says that the market was started in 1803 as a place for merchants to sell their produce and livestock
Beside the LCBO (which, btw, other than the Wine Rack, is the only place where us Ontarioans can by booze) is the St. Lawrence Market (pic was taken last summer, just in case you're thinking its tropical here and have planned a winter getaway!)
On my way home..I took a few more pics: Maybe you can see the CN Tower peeking out from behind the skycraper which is behind the Flatiron Building.
I turned North after I bought my groceries, and this was the view: From where I live, the church seems to be in almost all of the scenery. On Sundays, we like to open the window and we get to hear the bells, from theSt. James Cathedral to the south of us, from The Metropolitan United Church one block north, also from St. Michael's Cathedral two blocks north. It is quite the symphony!
A little futher on, and I was almost home again.
The site of my building (behind the sign!) is also an historical site. (*Note the streetlady in the photo. I swear that she stopped to see what I was doing, contemplated my groceries, but then settled on the stray hat that was lying on the ground.) The site once belonged to the York Mechanics' Institute who was part of the Industrial Revolution (anybody remember Grade 9 Canadian history?!)
So that's it...except I can tell you one more thing. On the main floor of my building is one of the yummiest Thai restaurants in the city...and they have take out!
OK. That is the 5 minute radius of my home. I hope it was a little bit interesting?
Next Part...I think I'll move West.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I got up. (Cats wanted to be fed)
I checked my e-mail. (Checked Blog.)
Made coffee. Wrote boring Blog entry. (Bitched about work)
Talked on the phone. (Talk, talk, talk.)
Went to The Bay and bought Greg's B-day present (with leftover wedding gift certificates.)
Cleaned Condo. (Laughed with my mom because I realized that it is cheaper to clean the apartment and get drunk on a bottle of wine, than it is to hire a cleaning lady.)
Made dinner (and shared it with Mao)
It's been a while since I've had a Saturday to myself.
I miss my hubby. (He's involved with the Nickleback tour this W/E)
Am I pathetic, or what?
Last Saturday night I worked in the Recovery Room. On weekends, there is only 1 nurse working and basically the only OR's that run, are the Trauma rooms. I had just gotten to work, there was a patient just waking up from surgery, and the Anaesthetist wanted to bring a patient up from the ER to put in an epidural block. I refused to allow him to do this because a) I was the only nurse and wouldn't be able to help him because I already had a patient b) he is notorious for not being able to put the catheters in quickly...the last time it took him 4 hours c) once a patient leaves Emerg, there is no way that they are going to accept that patient back again, they are way to busy, d) there were 3 stabbing victims and a gun-shot wound being assessed in Emerg and e) the Recovery Room is not meant to be a Procedures Room.
After I had refused him, a few hours later he came back into the Recovery Room and jokingly said that he didn't know I could be such a bitch! Hello?! He may have said it jokingly, but underneath the jokes, he wasn't joking.
So, I mentioned it to my manager, and she asked me to write a letter, which I did. The focus of my letter was basically to clarify whether we were to proceed with Special Procedures on non-surgical patients on the Off-shift hours. I never mentioned that he had called me a bitch. Well, this letter has now been forwarded to 5 different physicians, and I have this awful, sinking feeling that I'm going to marked as a shit-disturber. Which, I'm not!
Second uncomfortable incident is with regards to a nurse I worked with in Critical Care who applied for a full-time position in the Recovery Room. She didn't get hired because her interview went badly. But, now she has gone to the Union and Human Resources and apparently my name has come up in her grievance in that she states I have been bad-mouthing her! WTF?!?!?!
True, I don't particularly think this person is a great nurse, but I have never said anything about her to my manager, and certainly had nothing to do with her interview or the fact that she wasn't hired. The only thing I can think of, is that one of the other nurses and I were talking about the two nurses who had applied for the job (one of whom had already been working in the Recovery Room in a part-time position) and I had said that I hoped so-and-so would get the job because the other so-and-so probably wouldn't fit in as well.
So, all I can surmise is that there is a spy amongst the group who went and told the nurse who didn't get the job what I what I said. And now my name is Mud.
Is it true that you have to watch Every Single Thing That Comes Out of Your Mouth These Days?!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Anyway, it turned out fabulous, and really, was quite easy to make. The only changes I made to the recipe was that I did not keep the meringue in the oven overnight, and I grated some Fererro Rocher chocolates over top for decor.
It was the perfect Valentine's Day dessert. Thanks Christine, for the inspiration!
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Hi Ramona, Remember when the limo
driver tried to
bring us to visit the King in Riyadh? I woke up thinking about
evening and thought you might get a laugh remembering it also.KD
- 11:51 am #
KD left me this message in my comments section today. She woke up thinking about this funny story, and since I am working nights, I also had the pleasure of waking up this afternoon to this funny memory. I'll try to recall it to the best of my ability.
Jump back to oh, I don't know, the year 1992. KD and I were working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the Eye Hospital. This picture of Riyadh (c.1999) was taken from an INCREDIBLE family website I found, please, check it out: www.theamblerfamily.com The memory I have of the city at that time is similar. Nowadays, it has, and still is, going through an incredible growth spurt, and looks like this:
But back to 1992. KD and I had already been in Saudi for a couple of years, and back then, there really was not a whole lot to choose from as far as the 'Comfort' foods from back home was concerned. "Comfort" foods, of course, being Fast Food. Sure, there was Ladies Windows we could go to at the Baskin Robbins, or at the local Shawarma Joint, but in the early 90's it was still pretty basic.
Then, came Burger King! It was the talk of the town and everyone was excited about it! There was only one clincher, and that was that single women were not allowed inside the restaurant. Women, however, were allowed to go through the drive-through with their Limo driver (aka taxi driver who does not speak english.)
So one afternoon, KD, myself, and this hilarious friend from the UK, named Elaine, decided that we were going to go to Burger King to get ourselves a Whopper. Now Elaine has a very heavy British accent, and to be fair, there were times that I had a bit of difficulty understanding her. We jumped into the back of the Limo, and Elaine asked the driver if he knew where Burger King was, and if he could take us there. "Yes, mum" was his answer. Now, we knew that the restaurant was towards the city centre, but really didn't know where EXACTLY it was. So we're sitting in the back, chatting away, being silly, and after about 15 minutes we realize that we are heading in the wrong direction. Elaine asks again "you are taking us to Burger King?" "Yes, mum" the driver replied. More driving. Again, this time I asked (or maybe it was KD) "You ARE taking us to Burger King?" This time, the driver, looking quite nervous, responded "yes, mum....but why you want to see the King?"
Fits of hysteria, I tell you!!! He was taking us to the Royal Palace thinking we wanted to visit King Fahad!!!
This was the general area he was driving to, just outside the Diplomatic Quarter. We never did get to Burger King that day, or to speak to the King for that matter!
A few days later, our mouths still watering with the thoughts of a Whopper, we took someone along for the Limo ride who had already checked out Burger King. This is actually another funny story (or, lets just call it the completion of the story)
As luck would have it, we once again got into a Limo with a driver who spoke very little english. By this time, having spent a couple of years in Saudi we knew a few basic words. 'Alatool' meaning straight ahead and 'khalass' meaning stop.
Our driver was about 60 years old, and looked like he had just crawled out of the desert. I was fairly sure that we'd be going to visit the King again, but actually, this time we really did manage to find the restaurant. The problem was, the driver had never before in his life gone through a drive-through! He was rather confused as to what our plans were, but to give him credit he just went along with the crazy Amrikee's (pretty much all western women were assumed to be american.)
So, we gave him directions to go to the first window so we could order: "Alatool,alatool,alatool...KHALASS!!!" We ordered our Whoppers, fries and diet cokes. And, I think we ordered a whopper for our driver too. Next window so we could pay "Alatool, alatool, alatool...KHALASS!!!" The driver is shaking his head in utter amazement. By the time we were headed to the pick-up window, he knew the ropes, and needed no further direction!
And that is the story of our visit to the King (of Burgers)
A year later, McDonald's opened. I remember the night it opened it looked like a car rally in the parking lot! There was a line-up to get into the restaurant that must taken over an hour to get in. Of course, it was only men allowed in. In the first month of the opening, even during the day-time, there were Bouncer's prohibiting women from entering! The second month, they allowed single women into the family section during the daytime. I remember walking in and being greeted by 10 Phillipino men all colour co-ordinated in their uniforms. Peach-purple-peach-purple-peach-purple all down the line. In unison, they all welcomed us: "Hello! Can we take your order?!" My friends and I were the only one's in the restaurant, and again, it was TOO funny!
Somehow, the wait was all worth it.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I didn't really mean to bring up something so sad, especially since my mom and I had such a nice day, and that was what I had wanted to write about.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Nat has what in hospital-lingo is known as 'sun-down syndrome.' He sleeps during the day, and is up all night, wandering around, getting himself into trouble. Betty is exhausted trying to keep an eye on him.
Anyway, we got Nat all fixed up, and I stayed to chat for a little bit. Now, Alzheimers really is not funny. It is terribly sad. But in the time that I have known Nat, has said some pretty sweet things. And, sometimes I've had to try not to laugh.
As I was heading out their door, Nat asked if I had seen a picture of Betty's mother. "She is a lovely woman, you really must see the photographs that we have of her." Not wanting to be rude, I told him that I would love to see them. He shuffled off, shuffled back, and showed me two lovely photo's of...none other, than Queen Elizabeth II! Betty was rolling her eyes (it's funny to see a 78 year old woman roll her eyes!) but Nat was quite serious and asked if I saw the resemblance of these stunning woman. Surprisingly, when I took a closer look, Betty really DOES look like the Queen of England! Hmmm...I wonder...Betty...Elizabeth...could it be?! The resemblance is uncanny.
Monday, February 06, 2006
The recipe makes about two dozen cookies, is relatively low-fat, and is so delicious that Greg, who normally does not like sweets, ate so many I thought he was going to be sick! Before he could devour them all, however, I did send over a plate of these delicious little treats to my neighbour.
"Meringes A la Pez"
2 egg whites at room temperature
1/8 tsp creme of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Beat egg whites in Mixer until foamy. Add creme of tartar and salt. Keep beating until peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Add vanilla. When glossy and stiff, stop and fold in chocolate chips. Drop tablespoons on to cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper so they don't stick) 1 inch apart. (This is where I improvised and added the extra chip to the top of each cookie)
Bake at 250 degrees F x 40 minutes. Cool completely.
Take pictures. Eat.
Today, I found out that the Amaryllis is toxic to cats! Who'da known?! Thankfully, the kitties did not eat the flowers and thus, I did not inadvertently murder them.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
My first entry, Superbowl Sunday was a shortie, and had to do with my mom and how critical she is of me. Some things never change. But lately, things are a little bit better.
Over the winter months, we worked hard to make the condo look right for selling. We painted, put in pot lights, cleared out our crap. Then, when we were all done, we had a heart to heart, discussed our future with/without children, decided that we still liked the place, and that we would stay. Fast forward to one year later...
We had Greg's friend come over the other night who is also a real estate agent. We have decided that THIS is the year that we want to sell! Since we did all the fixing-up last year, the condo is basically ready to be put on the market. We have in mind to buy a small house with a basement and a garden, not too deep into the suburbs, as close to the city as we can afford.
Last April, Pez, Banana and I headed to Las Vegas to celebrate turning 40. We had a great time, little did I know that seven months later I'd be returning to celebrate our Wedding and Honeymoon.
It's been a really good year, all in all. I've met some really interesting, and like-minded friends through the blogosphere like Kristi and Alisha and Amanda and Maria and Donna. Recently, Mar and Mitey Mite have also come by and extended their friendship. As I spend a significant amount of time cat-blogging, it is only natural that I visit other feline-friendly sites such as DMouse, and Clare's Weekend Cat Blogging. For exquisite photos I check out the very talented J Star and Farm Girl. I must admit, that I do my fair share of blog-stalking and on a daily basis I like to visit Crazy Aunt Purl, Monty, and Deni.
I've met most of these folks, and many more, through Michele's wonderfully fun and interactive site.
Last, but certainly not least, a HUGE thank-you goes to Pez
for introducing me to the world of Blog, and helping me out along the way with all my computer questions.
Happy Birthday Kross-Eyed Kitty. It's been a fun year!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
INDEPTH: GROUNDHOG DAY What Wiarton Willie sees:
Wiarton Willie It's always been a pack of lies, of course, but it's fun, and we need fun if we are to survive another Canadian February.
Groundhog Day was inspired by an old Scottish couplet:"If Candlemas Day is bright and clear/ There'll be two winters in the year."
How groundhogs got a reputation for predicting weather patterns is a mystery, because they are not the least bit interested in their shadows or the number of winter weeks remaining. The only reason they come out of hibernation is for food and sex.
The original Wiarton Willie, an albino groundhog said to be 22 years old, died during hibernation during the winter of 1998-99. The good burghers of Wiarton discovered this to their horror just before Groundhog Day 1999. Willie's death made headlines around the world.On Groundhog Day, they put Wiarton Willie face-up in a small pine casket, bright pennies over his eyes, paws clutching a raw carrot. But it was a fake! Turns out the real Wiarton Willie was so disgustingly decomposed he couldn't be put on display, so they found a stuffed facsimile and laid it in the casket."We didn't try to hide the fact that he was stuffed," said Tom Ashman of Wiarton Willie's publicity team. "If the media had been doing their job they would have seen the stitches on the belly."But, why fake it?"People needed closure," Ashman explained.Groundhogs are woodchucks, members of the squirrel family, marmots, sometimes called "whistle-pigs." They are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. When nervous, they emit a high-pitched squeal, which might as well be an embossed dinner invitation to predators who follow the squeal until they find and eat the groundhog.
So how did they gain a reputation for predicting weather? Fact is, they aren't very good at it. The people of Wiarton insist their Willie was accurate 90 per cent of the time, but what do you expect them to say when the Groundhog Festival attracts 20,000 free-spending tourists to the town every February? Scientific studies show groundhogs are accurate only 37 per cent of the time, which means you'd do better flipping one of the pennies that covered ol' Wiarton Willie's eyes.Loyalists insist that Wiarton Willie possessed an uncanny ability to predict because he was born exactly on the 45th parallel, midway between the Equator and the North Pole. Wiarton is a pretty town of 2,300 on the Bruce Peninsula between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.The legend of Willie Wiarton began in 1956, with many groundhogs taking their star turn as Willie. Other jurisdictions have their favourite winter-predicting groundhogs, the second most famous - after Wiarton Willie - being Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. There is a Brandon Bob in Manitoba, a Staten Island Chuck in New York, a Balzac Billy in Alberta, and a Gary the Groundhog in Kleinburg, Ontario.Wiarton Willie's successor is Wee Willie, another albino groundhog. Actually there are two Wee Willies - Wee Willie and Wee Willie-2 - just to be safe. An Ottawa man captured them after Wiarton Willie died. He sent them to Wiarton for the big show.
And a big show it is, with hockey tournaments, curling bonspiels, dances, parades, pancake breakfasts, a Monte Carlo Night, a dart tournament, snooker tournament, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a mammoth fish fry and a circus.Enough to make a groundhog squeal. Oops.
It's been such a mild winter so far, I'm guessing we're in for 6 more weeks of winter. Sooner or later the blizzards, snow sqalls and cold alerts have to start. Right?
Have a great day!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Jill's package included the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" which quite clearly informed me that I was peri-menopausal, a few packages of Pre-seed (the sperm-friendly lube that costs an arm and a leg, but still didn't help us make a baby) and a jar of folic acid that will last another 2 years. I've replaced it with an army-sized jar of Calcium.
I decided to keep the fertility thermometer as it might come in handy if we get the flu.