Monday, April 18, 2011

Loner Week - Day 1: Jaundiced Swan Lake

I have a week off. I'm doing daily Loner Tours of different parts of the city. Today is Day 1.

First up was brunch at Tequila Bookworm. Smoked salmon platter with cream cheese and a Montreal bagel. Apparently so good that my fat ass forgot to photograph it. Here are the remnants.

Next, I stopped by my old building to see if the bike I had left U-Locked to a pole outside the local Montessori school last July was still there. Admittedly, not on the official Eye Weekly tour, but bygones. Not surprisingly, the bike had been removed, to which I say: Fuck you, Montessori. Fuck you and the humanistic instruction horse you rode in on. You don't know me. You don't know my life.

On to the Lakeshore condominium district, where one developer had built a park and within it an art instillation paying homage to Canadian literary hero, Douglas Coupland. I have no answers for you on this point.

From here I started my trek to Union Station, but got distracted by the gorgeous misty lake and the wouldn't-you-know-it schooner and tugboat sitting in its harbour. As if this wasn't picturesque enough, as I was taking the photo a swan swam up. Yep. A motherfucking swan, motherfuckers. True fact about swans: they are the size of pigmy rhinos. No foolin'. They could fuck your shit up if they wanted to.

From the lake, I wandered to the financial district and attempted to find the PATH. These letters stand for something but I don't care what that something is. Essentially, the PATH is a series of underground tunnels and shops that connect the downtown area bordering between Front and Lakeshore (N-S) and Yonge and York (E-W). For non-Torontonians, it's a lot of goddamn space, ayit? Also, move to Toronto. Also, I got lost a lot and it took nearly one and a half adventurous hours to get from Union Station to Old City Hall. Kinda fun. Kinda old-person-power-walking-in-a-mall.

Next on my list was to buy Spanx at The Bay. Do I need Spanx? Did I just buy tight Calvin Klein undershirts instead? Maybe. Was my entire plan a disaster when I got home later and realized I'd grabbed the large size by mistake? Yes, yes it was.

At this point I was nearly passed out from all the walking. This *points to self in drag queen-esque manner* is not meant for physical exercise. I got a burrito. It was awesome. Then I went to my next checkpoint, which was the National Film Board of Canada, where you can watch a movie in a private booth and NOT slip on semen. Aces. Not aces? The fact that they were closed. Fuck you, Can-con, I'm-a go watch Rango. Again.

I did this thing for Luminato a few weeks back and they'd given me a $10 gift card to Kiehls. Way to treat a boy right, Luminato. I bought a bar of soap for $17 and regret nothing. Plus the counter chick was really sweet and gave me tons of free samples, and they had a wicked backsplash.

Then I went to hipster favourite, The Dark Horse Espresso Bar. Actually, no. They just opened a second location so you know those hipsters ain't havin' it no mo'. Still, maybe the best capp I've ever had. And the wait staff is pretty as was my driiiiiiiiiiiiink! And yes, that is a chocolate pecan butter tart. Hate the playa.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unicorns can suck it

Let's not even pretend to discuss how long it's been. Just suck it, okay? And here we go...

My eyes fly awake. Not literally. That would be disgusting (seriously, what's wrong with you?). It is 5am. My natural inclination in these situations is to curse whatever god I'm diggin' that week and try to go back to sleep.

"No," a voice inside tells me, "You are awake. Do not force it. Embrace the morn."

"But it's still dark out," I say.

"You shut your stupid mouth," the voice replies.

So I get out of bed. Not drowsy in the least, I head downstairs, throw out the day-old coffee I had planned on reheating and boiled water for a fresh batch. I sauteed some garlic and spinach, beat some eggs, crumbled some chevre and made an omelet. Such an indulgence on a morning with classes starting at 8:30. I took the omelet and steamy cup of coffee to my room, watched some Rachel Maddow on youtube and chilled my non-sleepy ass out.

This day was good and it had yet to really begin.

At around 6:30, I was still so totally blissed out on the dawn that I decided to be a sport and preorder a couple grab-n-go Starbucks tetrapacks for the morning class. As previously mentioned, my instructor (Big Fat Greek Mama) had lost her own Big Fat Greek Mama in October and on New Year's Day, Big Fat Greek Papa joined her. Greeks...what a bunch of fuckin' drama queens. In light of this and the multitude of assignments raining down upon us with every passing day, I decided that we needed a treat and that my hasn't-worked-in-6-months ass would be the one to buy it.

I left the house at about 7:15 in order to make my 8:00 pick-up at da' Bucks. As I rode the streetcar to the subway station, my mind was filled with unicorns and rainbows and all sorts of uncharacteristic optimism as represented by elements in a Precious Memories greeting card. I arrived at Starbucks ten minutes early (!) and patiently waited as the bariste (that's 'barista' plural, bitches. Italian-lawyered.) prepared enough coffee to require a pack mule. Fortunately, my natural gate is somewhat of a clop and so I am the perfect substitute.

I imagined what they must think of me. Clearly this was an up and coming professional that worked on upwards of the 25th floor of some office tower and was putting in his dues, picking up coffee for the morning meeting. So dapper in his coat and tasteful yet elegant scarf. So clean-shaven. So ballin'.

Messenger bag on back, one tetrapack in each hand, I cantered my way back down into the subway, smoothly navigating the turnstiles and finding a sweet-ass spot leaning against a pole. I enjoy being pole adjacent. The school being only two stops away, I got there in a jiffy (8:10!) and strode confidently out of the car, a stranger shoulder-bumping me upon the exit. I was unharmed (start breathing again, devoted reader) but noticed that one of the two side pouches on the left tetrapack had been near completely torn off in the kerfuffle. Man of calm and reason I, I simply switched its contents (spare cups, various sweetening agents) to the other side and made my way up the stairs, reaching the 10th step before the other side broke off, fell to the floor and sent two full venti cups of milk and cream crashing to the ground, forming a harormonious, roughly combined 7% stream of dairy cascading down the steps of St. George Station.

I would love to tell you that in this moment of faith-testing I kept my cool in did not proffer an F bomb so vociferous as to send unborn children on the platform into immediate prenatal therapy, but this was not so.

Rebuking the offers of aid from the bum who'd been sleeping on the stairs (it shows a real strength of character for a homeless person to wake up, feel his bum all creamy and to offer help to the bloke the creamed all over him), I noticed a classmate staring at me, shoved the remaining tetrapack in her arms and ran off with the other one in search of the nearest Starbucks. And by ran I mean jogged. And by jogged I mean walked ever so slightly quicker than I normally do. Omigawd, are you seriously gonna keep going with this? I'm in the middle of a story here! JEEZ. So rude.

As I walked ever so slightly quicker than I normally do, I fantasized about how I would lay into the barista just in case she should happen to give me some guff upon my arrival. I was gonna be all "Faulty products!" and "Customer satisfaction!" and "You can't handle the truth!" but then she was all sweet and gave me exactly what I wanted so bitch di'in needed 2 be cut 2day.

I got to class five minutes late which was perfect timing to be all, "Oh, me? Yes, I brought coffee. Oh no, I need no thanks. No, please, stop applauding."

I hate rainbows, unicorns can suck it, and the next time I am unceremoniously awakened at 5:30, I am becoming an atheist, I swear to G-... WELL, SOMETHING. I DUNNO. I HAVEN'T FIGURED IT ALL OUT YET. DO NOT TEST ME! DO NOT TEST MEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!