Friday, March 26, 2010


... my strawberry thinks it's Batman.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fates' Catnip Toy

Yesterday was supposed to be gorgeous out, so I decided somewhat late in the morning that I would go see a movie that just opened that day. I think the Fates were bored yesterday and plopped that thought into my head just for fun.

I stand in my front room debating whether or not I have time to make it to the theatre for the first showing. Yes. No. Maybe. Okay, just go! I decide. A quick toothbrushing session, clothes upon my back and I rush out to the bus stop.

Ooh, but I don't have any money in my wallet. I need to stop by an ATM. If I catch the bus here, I can't get money until I get to the theatre, assuming there is a bank or ATM near the theatre, because while there is a bank near the transit station I'd have to pay another fare if I leave the station to go to the bank. I do not know. Maybe I should walk to the bank right now. But would that mean I'll miss the streetcar I ultimately need to catch in order to make the movie on time? Ach, I need money. So I start walking to the bank -- then the bus comes. Okay, I'll hop on the bus.

At the transit station: The streetcar I need isn't here. I wonder how long I'll have to wait. I should have gone to the bank first. Bet ya I would have been here before the -- ooh! Here's the streetcar!

Tick tock. Tick tock. The streetcar is making okay time. I may make it to the movie. Oh, right. Have to get money first. May still happen. Oh crap. Some idiot steps onto the car to drill the driver on what route the streetcar takes, and what other route would he be able to take? Just get off, would you? Some of us are tick tocking here -- phew. Bye bye idiot. I may still make my movie.

What is there right at my stop? Yes -- the bank I need! Ooh, thank you Fates. Quick look to my watch --- ooh thank you Fates! Time enough to get money AND go to a convenience store to pick up some snacks that won't cost me $12.95 for a pop and chocolate bar.

At the theatre box office with five minutes to spare, I open my mouth to ask for my ticket ... until I see my movie isn't listed behind the cashier. Oh. No. I open my bag to see the movie times I had written down ... and I wrote down the times for the wrong movie!! The movie I want isn't playing at this theatre!

Why would all these little things go right for me in order to conspire to get me to the wrong theatre on time?!

A quick check of my newspaper, and I see the movie I want is playing in twenty minutes down the street ... about a half hour down the street ... at a second theatre that charges over twice as much as the first theatre I am currently standing in. I could run to catch it. Or I could just throw in the towel on the early showing. The next showing at the second theatre is in three and a half hours. Fine. I'll go to that.

So I have three and a half hours to kill. Well, three hours; I'll need half an hour to get to the second theatre. So I check out the farmer's market. And I window shop on streets I haven't already walked a dozen times while roaming downtown to get to know the city.

After about 40 minutes, I realize something -- the point of seeing the movie I had endeavoured to see this afternoon was that it was playing at a cheap theatre. If I'm going to pay over twice as much someplace else, I'm going to see something else. Something I want to see more.

I remember that a movie I want to see more is playing at a theatre not quite so far away. A quick check of my newspaper - hey, the theatre isn't listed. I have no idea when the movie I want is playing. Did I just waste 40 minutes that I should have spent getting to the third theatre?

Off to the third planned theatre. It is out of the way of the second theatre, but that doesn't matter: if this doesn't work out I am just going to throw my hands up to the Fates, call it a day and go home wondering why my life is a catnip toy for them to bat around for their amusement.

I walk up to the box office at the third theatre, not holding out much hope as I check out the listings -- oh you are kidding me! The movie is playing in two minutes! Yes! Up I go to the theatre, and down I sit in a perfect seat right in the middle of the theatre. And the unexpected joy does not stop there: did you know the arms of these theatre seats swing up and out of the way if you want? I took off my shoes, pushed one seat arm out of the way, and lounged to the side with my legs stretched out across the seats. Ah. That was a good movie.

Do the Fates hate me enough to make sure I get to the wrong theatre on time? Or do they like me enough to let my third choice work so deliciously perfectly? Catnip never knows if it is catnip. It just is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Springfield, Springfield!

Much of this past weekend was spent singing Bart Simpson's rendition of "New York, New York" (from On the Town), appropriately titled "Springfield, Springfield." I don't know why. It just seemed appropriate.

I met up with a few friends to spend the weekend walking around New York. And walking. And walking. And walking, walking walking. I spent half of the money I brought for mad money on bandaids for my protesting feet. But still we walked.

We stayed at this quite nice hotel in the middle of Midtown East, where everything seemed to be -- well, within walking distance. The rooms were about the size of closets:But I could lie down on the top bunk and watch tv with the screen inches away from my face -- EXCELLENT! (When I put my feet up at the end of the day, to try to draw some blood from my feet down to my torso, my feet touched the ceiling):The hotel did have a very nice rooftop patio, though:St. Patrick's Cathedral was a few blocks away. My friends were enthralled with it -- but I thought it looked evil. Like it had broke through the earth straight up from the depths of hell itself:Naturally Times Square was one of our destinations: We saw Wicked one night. It was okay. My friends bought $18 drinks at intermission. Should have gotten a pic of that!I went up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Not quite as expensive as the CN Tower, and a bit more worth it (looking from above a city is a bit more interesting than looking from overtop of it, if you know what I mean):The Supreme Court building. Very impressive. We went to the trouble of going through security (oh good gravies, close to everything we wanted to see had such security!) so that we could use the bathroom. Perhaps a less than impressive use for the building ... but an important one nonetheless:Unimpressive picture of the Brooklyn Bridge:My friend's brother pointed out how appropo it was that the stock exchange overlooks a cemetary:It seemed to be pretty popular to swipe your credit card along the bull on Wall Street's butt crack. I don't know why:
This is exactly what I thought I would see everywhere in New York:
Near as we could figure, these two were guarding a relatively empty street. Kitty-corner to the New York Stock Exchange, sure, but I think they were just showing a presence, cuz we were there for about 20 minutes, and these two just lingered by the open truck door the whole time. I didn't know if they approve of their picture being taken though. Neither did my friends, so when I said I was going to take the picture, they encouraged me to do so but retreated three paces away from me. When the officer whose back is to the camera came towards me after I took the picture (for what it turned out to be an unrelated reason), I nearly soiled by jeans.

We took the ferry to Liberty Island / Ellis Island. (then walked through the Financial District - seen above - past Chinatown, through Soho, and up to Greenwich Village ... but that is another torturous story of which I have little photographic proof, but scarred foot soles). The kid in the green foam crown sells this pic:
I have more pics of this lady than I would have thought I would ever take. Truthfully, I didn't really ever care if I saw it or not. But when someone stands so still, so dramatically, for so long in front of you, your camera kind of makes its way to your eye automatically and clicks itself. (the day was actually crystal clear out -- I accidentally was holding my white camera cover over half the lens ... it came out looking kinda cool, I think):
We saw the Chrysler Building in the distance when we were at the U.N. the first night. So we walked over to get a closer look. Actually, we walked right past it, and had to double back. It is extremely not impressive from the ground (well, the lobby is really really cool) and extremely easy to miss. As we were heading back to the hotel, though, I turned and took a pic once we were sufficiently far from it once more:
This statue has little significance ... I was just tickled how comfy the pigeon on the right had made himself:
Thus ends a peek into my New York experience. All told, Thursday night we walked to the U.N., Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building. On Friday, it was the subway to the tip of the island to cruise to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, then back to land to walk to the NYSE, World Trade Centre site, City Hall, Brooklyn Bridge, Supreme Court Building, Canal Street, through Soho, past NYU to have dinner somewhere in Greenwich Village before taking the subway back to Midtown East and walk over to Broadway to see Wicked, after which (or, after witch, as the case may be) we walked home past the Theater District and Midtown East to the hotel in Midtown West. Saturday we seemed to be really rambling, walking from the hotel to Grand Central Station again, the New York Public Library, Bryant Park, Penn Station/Madison Square Garden, Macy's, Times Square, Rockerfeller Centre and back to the hotel before (mercifully) taking a cab back to the Theater District to a comedy club.

Despite the fact my feet will never speak to me again, and are weeping as I type, it was fun. I intend to go back sometime to see Central Park, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Using a cab or subway at every opportunity!

Monday, March 1, 2010

█ ♥ █ CANADA! █ ♥ █

The Olympic Sport for Day Seventeen/Final Day:

Men's Cross Country
-- psych! Men's Hockey, people! Pshhh!

The Olympic Athlete for Day Seventeen/Final Day:

Team Can-a-da

Their Moment:

Fourteenth gold medal for Canada ... most gold medals of any country in 2010 ... most gold medals of any host country in history ... most gold medals of any country period. These guys really have good timing.

Course, I had to switch the channel in overtime to watch the game in Mandarin -- being able to understand the commentary had been too stressful for me. (In case you're wondering, no, there didn't seem to be an equivalent for "He shoots - he scores!" in Mandarin. I switched back to the English channel within seconds of the goal light flaring) Sure, winning by scoring is a lot more exciting than winning by keeping the other guys from scoring -- still, I would have happily taken the "less" exciting 2-1 win in three periods.

Final Thoughts:

Of course Vancouver/Whistler rocked like no other host city: Demographically, its populace is likely younger, more socially driven and most likely drunker/higher than any other host country's populace.

Of course Canadians broke out into our national anthem at every opportunity: somebody had to show the globe how it's done when ungrateful singers who shall heretofore remain unnamed would rather feed their own ego than pay tribute to their country. We'll accept the honour when those who didn't deserve it in the first place thumb their nose at it. (no, I don't suspect this will be something I let go of for quite some time ...)

Thus concludes my Olympic Commentary. You may now return to enjoying your regularly scheduled life.

█ ♥ █ !