Monday, March 28, 2005

Customer Service

If you call Tropicana's 1-800 number on Good Friday and leave a message telling them you dig the taste, someone will call you back on Easter Monday and thank you for your comments.

If you call
Buckley's 1-800 number on Good Friday and leave a message telling them you dislike the taste, no one will call you back. However, if you call them and leave a message telling them that you disagree with your roommate, and that you rather like the taste, as well as the tingling sensation it leaves in your throat, someone will call you back on Easter Monday and thank you for your comments.

If you call
Kraft's 1-800 number on Good Friday, the answering machine will tell you to call back during regular office hours. They have no voicemail. No one will call you back.

If you call
Baileys' 1-800 number on Good Friday to tell them you dig the taste and would love some recipes, you will get to speak to a real live Irish person who did not get the day off in Ireland.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Timotei Girl

I remember when we first met, you had beautiful blondey blonde Timotei hair. Way way back in Grade 3. You didn't know me then – but I wanted your hair.
Brass was boss because of you. Poor Mr. Mucklechuckles.
Lunch at Ben's was always a good time. That's where you showed me my first porno. The woman with the big blonde hair had even bigger sunglasses on. Sitting in the back of the limo, she pulled a diamond bracelet out of the flaps of her womanhood. Because of you, every time someone says "That's hot" or "I'm hot" or "<Anyone>'s hot" -- I say in my head "HOT WAX!" Brandy & the Brainhooks, jamming in the garage. I wish I knew where I'd kept the videotape.
I was with you when I had my first racial slur thrown at me. Right at Dufferin Station. Shaggy-haired weathered-looking dude with a cane, asking for change on the landing. He blamed me and my kind for his current situation. I was speechless. You said "OK buddy." Then we went to the Ex. Now that I am living near Dufferin I use that station often and I think of him every time I cross that landing. How long did he last?
Now here you are, all grown-up and getting married. Let's go get some tasty tripe soon!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Check it out

Who's got spirit?! Who's got sass! You non-whiteboard houses are left high and dry! Get spirit, get attitude!

What's that? You don't have any spirit yet? Well what are you waiting for - a Château Nîce 'LobsterJam' all-you-can-eat-seafood party?

(That's really what you want, isn't it! You happy pigs! Eh? A LobsterJam? You roll around in it don't you! That's right scallywags, I said LobsterJam!)

LobsterJam! What an idea. Brilliance and boldness combined! We'll get back to you on that one!

(ps LobsterJam rawks! For serious!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Last day in DC

So what if my bowels are irritable -- I'm on vacation! I started the day at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl with a steaming serving of chili con carne and side of potato salad. This was all washed down with a thick creamy chocolate milkshake. I figured that if I didn't think too much about the impending pain, cold sweat and desire for a sharp knife with which I can slit my belly open and pull my guts out to make the hurting go away, I would be OK. Ben's is located in the heart of what was once known as Black Broadway in the early part of the century -- where the real renaissance of African-American art and culture began. It is not uncommon to think that it all started in Harlem, but according to Hari, Harlem was singled out because the big New York publishers liked the sound of something local far better than a city so far away from its market.
Two hours later, I was feeling peckish again. After visiting the wonderful new exhibit of Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre at the National Gallery of Art (my favourite place in DC), I headed up to Au Bon Pain for a sweet cheese croissant and some bubbly fruity drink. Oh boy how I wish we could trade all of our Michel's Baguettes for their Au Bon Pains! The sweet cheese croissant is so tasty, EVEN when it's a couple hours stale!
For my last night in DC, Chainsaw had put us on the waiting list for David & Greggory's Aphrodisiac Bacon Dinner. But we did not get in. So she tried to get us into Roberto Donna's Laboratorio del Galileo for a cooking class -- but the class could only accommodate one more participant. Determined to give me the ultimate DC dining experience, my lovely hostess settled on what I thought was the perfect ending to a fabulous trip: the Bethesda Crab House! Each armed with a mallet and knife, we pounded away through a dozen crabs -- by the end, we were too sated to care about the huge mess of shells on the tables, the crab gunk in our hair. We waddled out of the crab shack, relieved that we did not order the dozen jumbo shrimp.
As I finish this entry, I polish off the last bit of moist flourless chocolate hazelnut cake and cookies 'n cream ice cream. I feel gross, but I ate good -- and that's all that really matters. Should I get an explosive attack tomorrow, it will be worth it. I just hope it doesn't happen on the plane.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Flat Stanley & Ladybug

Having spent a good part of the day hanging out with Flat Stanley & Ladybug at the Eastern Market, we got ourselves back to the Blue House on V, where we gorged ourselves on cheese, cheese and more cheese. What a lovely Sunday. Brunch at Jimmy T's was quite good: Combo#6 included one piece of french toast, two strips of lovely soft bacon and one egg over medium. Does not sound like a whole lot of food, but it was definitely enough as it left plenty of room for sweet potato tart and cheese samples.
Now I wish I'd ordered the scrapple and eggs. Scrapple is an ambrosial compound of pig scraps (who would have thought that rectum could be so tasty!) ground up and cooked with cornmeal, cooled and hardened into a loaf -- the sexy cousin of the haggis, you might call it. Sliced thinly and fried up in oil -- there really is nothing quite like it. There are, of course, many other ways to serve up this delectable comestible. I saw some for sale at the market, and had felt the urge to bring some of it back to Chateau Nice, to contribute it to the next brunch party -- but then the law-abiding international traveller that I am remembered the whole customs issue about bringing food across the border. Perhaps I should go back tomorrow and get me a brick of it anyway. Because even if they end up confiscating it at the airport, at least an officer will be able to go home with the amusing story of some crazy Canadian who tried to smuggle some of that mouth-watering Pennsylvanian delicacy out of the country.
Maybe I should just learn how to make my own.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Chinatown in DC

DC's Chinatown, like Toronto's, is pretty much made up of two intersecting streets. That is where the similarities end. Sure they've got an impressive gate, but that's it, really. Their idea of Chinatown is having all the signs in both English and Chinese for all retailers -- 10% of these businesses are actually Chinese-run and 95% of these are eateries. The rest of them? Well they've got Starbucks, McDonald's, Ruby Tuesday's, Legal Seafoods, Urban Outfitters, Benetton, Hooters and a ginormous Irish pub called Fado -- all with Chinese signs -- but I couldn't find one single place that sold HK Style Tea. And the food, from the looks of the hand-written signs and recurrence of Egg Foo Yung on every single menu stuck to the windows with decade-old tape, sure made me crave an enchilada.
Toronto, you make me proud. We don't need no steenkin' gate.

happy st. patty's day from DC

feels a lot like st. patty's day in toronto... and st. catharines -- except that smoking is still allowed in bars here...
just when i thought i'd rid my body of the morning's bingo stench, a visit to the rooster pub has me smelling once again like mlle sabourin's car in grade 6. she would roll up her windows and smoke in the winter. she kept the windows up in the summer to keep the A/C on as she enjoyed her nicotine breakfasts... when smoking was allowed in the teachers' lounge, they made her and mr. stensrud have their cigarettes in the supplies room, so that arts & crafts period was always a stinky time for all... she was in her early 50s, still single... she was probably a gorgeous redhead in her youth... her fiancé went away for some war and he died there, she moved to ajax, kept teaching, stayed single... i wonder where she is now... i still remember her yellow silk blouse... grade 6 was the year i wrote my prize-winning poem, Dare to Dream -- i won a $25 gift certificate from markville mall, with which i purchased a set of banana clips and a rather disappointing issue of MAD. when i read the poem now i cringe because it rhymes...

Monday, March 14, 2005

from the trenches of Delta Bingo

Dear Avon Lady,
No I was not chewing on my lips, but biting down on them so that I could stifle my giggles as you apologized for running out of Bust-Sculpt. "Exclusive Virtual Bra Technology that forms an invisible network for additional support to the bust area to firm, sculpt, and improve your curves." Indeed. For a purveyor of beauty products, your moustache could have used a little combing. But you know what? Your eyeliner really brings out the whites of your eyes. Nicely done.
I am a horrible little girl.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Driving through Parkdale, the things you see...

FYI: if you ever need DVDs (or anything else, it would seem), a can't-miss spot on College just west of Dufferin: Thang Hang Wang Bo Hut Chak Tong & DVD(sp?)*

DVDs? What more could the store have possibly offered?

*Back at the Château, in an attempt to find out the precise name of the store:

"Hi there, can you tell me the full name of your store?"
"Thuy NGA Ltd."
"Aren't there more words?"
"Oh yeh, that's in Vietnamese"
"Can you tell me the whole name of the store so that I can write it down?"
"Uh it's too difficult. What is it for?"
"Um, it's for a school project. We're cataloguing all the stores in our neighbourhood."
This was a lie.
"You can't write it. It's too difficult for you -- because of all the Vietnamese words..."
"Can't you just say it to me once and I'll write it down?"
"It means Vietnamese Video Store."
"But it's too hard and you can't just tell me the store name?"
"You'd better come by and see the sign for yourself."

And so we did.

Some great signs here in the West end!

Sugarpuss O'Shea: "I love a well-ventilated bathroom."

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Now that's loyalty and dedication. Where can we find some of that passion/support for modern dance?

BTW, congratulations TEAM SMUG! I look forward to seeing the photos...