I’m not sure if I’ll get around to writing something else before the end of the year – it would appear I have great trouble updating even when there isn’t a big holiday coming up – so just in case I don’t sit down in front of the ol’ New Post screen again, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday season.
Best wishes – to those who deserve it, of course – and many happy returns in the coming year. It seems 2012 just flew right by, so I’m looking forward to the next 11 months and hopefully when December rolls around next year, I’ll be better prepared. I can’t promise there will be tons of blog posts though.
I’m Catholic so I’ll say Merry Christmas… whatever you’re celebrating, hopefully you have a merry one too.
The Evil Red Machine is no more in my house! I finally severed all my ties to Rogers and I am thrilled beyond thrilled that I’m no longer a slave to the Evil Empire anymore. And I don’t just mean with my cell phone. I squirmed my way out of that contract earlier this year and last month I had Bell come to my house and install FibeTV.
I know Bell is technically a massive media company too. And I know a lot of people have a hate-on for them the way I hate Rogers, but at least now I don’t have to feel as if I’m contributing to the “Let’s Re-Name the SkyDome” fund or pay for all that make-up Dina Pugliese smears on her face before she goes on Breakfast Television every day.
(Can you tell I really don’t give a shit about how many bridges I burn now?)
Yes, it’s quite liberating to be Rogers-free after so many years. No more bad customer service. No more crappy channel packages. No more of everything I so strongly disliked about them.
When I first moved into this townhouse, I had my Bell ExpressView dish, and while the service was alright, there were the days when it didn’t work. After a while, I gave in and got Rogers Digital Cable. I was reluctant to go back to Bell for TV — especially after a few friends who have had FibeTV for a while, complained about the blotchy signal. But it seems all of those problems have been worked out and Bell is fast-tracking a FibeTV roll-out in Toronto and Montreal. My neighborhood became available and as soon as you could say “I hate Rogers”, the Bell trucks were here and I’m one happy redhead.
Now, naturally compared to Verizon FiOS and Comcast Xfinity, television service in Canada sucks – and is way over-priced. But I’m still pleased with what I have and the bundle deal I got for putting all my services into one bill.
I know I said that last year I was going to finally add all the archived posts from 2003 onward, but I still haven’t gotten around to that. I will do it (one of these days) but it’s more time consuming that I thought it would be and of course there’s the issue of tracking down the old posts. I also wanted to put up the ones from 2001 and 2002, but I think those are lost for good. Not the end of the world, but disappointing.
My friend told me about a coupon offer from Red Lobster where I get $10 off two adult entrees. Having grown up in southern New Jersey and surrounded by seafood my whole life, I hadn’t given much thought to Red Lobster. In fact, I haven’t been into one of their restaurants in nine years. But a $10 coupon might persuade me to try it again.
And I did finally get around to seeing The Dark Knight Rises. Even with all the controversy surrounding the movie and what happened in Colorado, I wasn’t about to miss out on a comic book movie. Again, I found it to be less of a super hero film and more of a caper or crime drama (as these new Batman movies are) but it was clearly the best one of the three. Personally, I think they should stop the series now and if need be, reboot it in a few years.
Although I treat every weekend as a long weekend, so it makes no difference to me, I hope that those enjoying Simcoe Day Weekend have a happy and safe one.
You know what I did last week? Nothing. A big steaming pile of nothing. And do you know what? It felt great.
Truth be told it wasn’t completely ‘nothing’ as in sitting around the house or not getting up during daylight hours – both of which I have done too, by the way. My week of so-called ‘nothing’ consisted of some messages, late night drives to nowhere, a few stores visited just because I felt like I needed to buy something (which I didn’t end up doing) and a few beers enjoyed at a local bar. But other than that, I wouldn’t say it was my best week when it comes to contributing to society.
It was however, a reminder of 2002 when I was 27 instead of my ripe old age of 37. Days when I would be done writing before most people even took their morning shower and I would spend afternoons going to movies (that didn’t suck), walking through stores to see if there was anything cool or just pissing the day away.
Yet I also felt I should probably do more productive things and I certainly couldn’t see myself slipping into a sluggish routine, but if at all possible, it’s good to channel your inner sloth sometimes and just see where the day takes you.
And that’s what I did.
At first I thought I was just becoming crotchety at my ripe old age of 37, but then I did something I don’t normally do: I sat down and actually thought about something before going on a tirade about what was bugging me. Turns out, I’m justified in my thoughts. Movies suck these days.
I remember back in 2002 when I first moved here, I would frequent the local cinema sometimes as often as three times a week to see whatever was playing. Sure some of those gems included Welcome to Mooseport, Mr. Deeds and Pluto Nash, but much like pizza, even when movies are bad, they are good. Or at least passable.
For five bucks I could escape for a couple hours and enjoy a movie – something I will probably end up forgetting I saw years later when I catch it on MoviePix or see it in the discount DVD bin at the supermarket, but going to a movie during the day was a great pass-time and there were tons of films to choose from.
These days, in the era of the 100 million dollar movie, studios don’t seem to be so liberal with the green light any more and fewer silly films are being made in favor of films they hope will make a billion bucks and turn out to be big turds. (Larry Crowne, Mirror Mirror, Wrath of the Titans, Rock of Ages… the list goes on.)
I was so craving the days gone by when I would stroll into the theater and see something that looked half decent, that last summer that the only silly film I could muster up the strength to see during the day was The Smurfs. That’s right, I went to see the Smurfs. That’s how bad it has gotten.
Because every second piece of crap that comes out now is in 3D and every other film costs 60 to 100 million dollars, we aren’t going to see another Daddy Daycare or The Rundown or Four Brothers. So I know I’m not wrong when I say there aren’t as many good films out there these days… it’s true, there aren’t.
But I could also be growing crotchety, too.
It was just over ten years ago that I moved to Toronto and about the same amount of time since I moved into the house I’m in now. Hard to believe it, but it’s true. When I finally unpacked my boxes and bags (yes, I have interesting moving habits) I wondered just how long I would actually stay in what was at the time, my new home.
In the last 365,032 days (give or take a few) I’ve since done renovation ranging from new cabinets in the kitchen (truth be told it was the property management that handles the heavy lifting) to changing almost all the light fixtures. With the exception of my guest room (the infamous second bedroom) I’ve changed the furniture in every room (so once again the whole place looks like a modern IKEA showroom) and changed my wall art several times. I’ve also managed to clean out my storage room in my basement which was more than I bargained for.
It’s funny how a place I just happened upon all those years ago has become more than just my home. It has become the place I have lived in the longest while in Canada and the second longest since I was born. (My family home in Sea Isle City still holds that title.) It is a place where I have had some of the best memories of my life and learned some of the more upsetting and tragic news. It’s a place where I feel safe and a place where I feel creative. It’s my home – and from the looks of things, it will continue to be for quite a while.
Yes, it’s been months since I last wrote something here. And yes, I did go and change the site again. It doesn’t mean I’m getting into the whole blogging thing again and dedicating my life to being a social media douche-bag (there are already way too many of them out there) but it would be nice to have something to look back on. So ever so often, I may just pop up again and add something.
Subscribing would probably be a good idea, that way you’ll know if anything exciting happens.
I made some changes to my site (once again) and this time I feel I really nailed it. Those who have been reading my writings for the past ten years will remember the old site – the one where you came to the page and saw a welcome screen and then clicked the ‘Updates’ page to find out what was new in my life. Basically, a web site with a blog in its primal stages. Years later my site would become a full blown blog and now look at it: a decade later and we’re back to where we began.
I just felt that at this point in my life, it was time to make some changes. I’m not giving up my web based adventures, I’m just pulling back a bit. Feel free to come back and visit and see what I’m up to. And yes, for those who will be asking, the blog will be shelved under “archives” for old time’s sake.
The immature girl in me gave into temptation and as a result, I went to see American Reunion. While there was nothing really new about the movie, it was strikingly better than American Wedding and tied the first film as far as laughs and actual human emotion. Reunion reunited the original cast, brought up some 1999 nostalgia and captured how a lot of people deal with the now distant memory of a decade long gone.
But enough about that. Stifler pissed me off… yet again. Read the rest of this entry »
I figured I should probably write something, even though I’m missing a finger. Well, technically it’s not missing. It’s just been injured on account of a careless accident around my home. Doors, frames, you get the idea. I don’t feel too bad as there’s a lot of that going around these days (stupid accidents, I mean) but it’s still annoying considering that despite journalism training and all that jazz, I only use two fingers on each hand to type. (And can still manage to pull off 50 words per minute. So suck that, typing class!)
All that being said, I figured I should post something as the last thing that was up before this (assuming that I will finish writing this and click “publish” without losing the use of any more fingers) was my rant about the need for subways in this city and how certain people don’t actually listen to what the citizens of this city really want.
Before hobbling my index finger, I spent the last week helping a friend put up wallpaper (yes, I’m shocked people still use wallpaper in the 21st century) and planning out the next stage of my career. As you may have guessed, I didn’t end up going to Atlantic City for the opening of the new Revel Casino. I figure I’ll just see it this summer when I go down to visit my family.
It’s days like this that I’m ashamed of working in the media. As much as most news organizations claim to be non biased, that’s clearly not the case — especially when Mayor Rob Ford is running the show. Certain news programs seem to take great pleasure in reporting the Mayor’s failures, incluidng this whole subway vs. LRT debacle that is unfolding today.
The real problem is none of the news outlets are listening to the people. Instead they are pushing their anti-Ford agenda. This is amusing considering a great number of their viewers rely on public transit and would prefer subways. I’m personally agreeing with the pro-subway folks. In a city of this size, underground transit makes sense. It’s a smarter long-term investment.
What I found interesting is that both CityNews and CP24 had on-line polls up today asking people what they really want. The results are clear. Read the rest of this entry »
Does anyone remember that abortion of a TV show called Canadian Idol? I’m betting that most people have either forgotten about it or are trying their best to pretend that it never happened. But the other day, while enjoying a latte at my new favorite coffee spots in the city, a friend asked me if I remembered who Zack Werner was.
For those fortunate enough to have blocked the whole Canadian Idol thing from their minds, you’re even less likely to remember this douchebag. And if you look at that picture, you might think he’s that guy who stands on Bloor Street, yelling about how he will trade sexual favors for money. But just as a refresher, Werner was the Simon Cowell wannabe judge on the show. He’s also the guy who had penises drawn on his face on virtually every bus shelter ad in the city when CTV was promoting the show.
He was — and I’m assuming, still is — a loud mouth jerkweed, who for some reason, thought behaving like Cowell was going to make him a star. Honestly, on the seemingly never-ending list of reasons why Canadian Idol sucked, I’m wagering a bet that his name was right near the top. (I’m also betting that Ben Mulroney was at the top of that list too, but that’s something for another day.)
Thankfully, once CTV put a bullet in the show, Werner vanished from the public eye. I heard he had a short-lived job on a radio station a while after, but that didn’t pan out very well. (I guess a few people remembered what a tool he was.)
So to answer my friend’s question; yes, I remember Zack — and I would just assume forget about him like the rest of Canada has being trying to do.
A lot of people don’t know this about me, but for the past few months, I’ve been seeing a therapist. And when I say “seeing” I don’t mean in a romantic way. I mean in a “lie on the couch and tell me about your life” kind of way. The reason? I’m depressed.
Now, ask anyone who has ever had even the slightest bit of disappointment in their lives, and more often than not, they will proclaim “I’m depressed” without actually knowing what the word even really means. Most times, saying you’re depressed because of the weather, or you hate your co-workers, or the Leafs lost, doesn’t even begin to cover depression. Truth is, depression is a scary thing, and if not treated, can only get worse over time.
When I started to notice a few of the signs of depression (Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, Sleeping more or less, Lack of energy and fatigue) I figured I should probably do something about it. I’ve decided to hold off on anything to do with taking medication – at least for the time being. Talking to someone certainly helps and finding interesting things to do that help me get out of the house and feel animated.
Last night I met up with a few friends and we went for a sushi dinner at this restaurant I hadn’t been to in years. It was nice to get out of the house and do something that didn’t involve pacing back and forth and wondering what the next chapter of my life will hold in store. And I do feel more positive about myself after talking with someone, both on a friendship level as well as a professional level.
While who gets the title of “worst show of the year” could be closely battled out between Are You There, Chelsea? and Whitney, it’s only fair to add to that list the overly-hyped and underwhelming turd known as Canada’s Got Talent.
As a rip-off to America’s Got Talent, itself a rip-off of the British show of the same name, Rogers Communications dug deep into their heavily cash-lined pockets and tapped the talents of Martin Short as a judge and spent (presumably) millions more on adverting, sets and promotion so Citytv could get into the homegrown reality show market – and along the way, further inflate Dina Pugliese’s ego. (It would have probably been cheaper to film the so-called “talent search” inside SkyDome seeing as 1) Rogers already owns it, and 2) it’s the only building in Toronto that is big enough to fit Dina’s ego.)
Let’s kick the ballistics; Canada’s Got Talent blows. Of course you wouldn’t know that from watching any programs (or newscasts) on Citytv as they have been promoting the show and talking about it as if it was the Second Coming. And don’t get me wrong… Canada does in fact have talent. It’s just that none of it, with the exception of Mr. Short, are involved with this show.
One of my editors actually wanted me to watch the first two episodes and review it. I refused. It wasn’t as if there weren’t already 1,000 reasons not to watch. (It sucks, it’s crap, I’ve seen more ‘talent” in homeless people who pee against the wall of a subway stations, etc) but I had better things to do. In case you’re even entertaining the idea of watching, here is a short list of things that are better, more productive and more interesting than watching Canada’s Got Talent.
1) Shave your underarms
2) Help your dog groom himself
3) Write that letter to Penthouse you’ve been meaning to write
5) Drink any leftover fluids found under your sink
6) Read to your goldfish
7) Pick your teeth
8) Compare zit-popping stories with friends
9) See just how many licks it does in fact take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
10) Re-write Star Wars Episode I so that it doesn’t completely suck
11) Learn a new language
12) Date a serial killer
13) Find new and interesting ways to touch yourself
14) Count, organize and name the socks in your sock drawer
15) Re-enact the 1967 Stanley Cup finals (all six games) with your stuffed animals
16) Have a one-hour conversation with your friends, using only Simpsons quotes
17) Wash your car’s headlight using your tongue
18) Pee onto the electrified third rail of the subway tracks
19) Fill out expired and out-dated customer satisfaction surveys
20) See how many other Pink Floyd albums sync up to old movies
21) Read this
22) Go for a walk
23) Attempt to build your own time machine, realize it’s completely impossible, feel sorry for wasting so much of your time and then realize that you were still having a better time than you would have had if you had watched Canada’s Got Talent
24) Sharpen crayons with you teeth
25) Pray that Canada’s Got Talent goes the way of other American-inspired Canadian crap-fests like Canadian Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, Canada.
It’s that time of year again. Time for Atlantic City Restaurant Week. For all my peeps down in the Garden State, this is an awesome time, especially if you’re into the whole restaurant and culinary experience. Similar to Winterlicious (and its summer counterpart, Summerlicious) here in Toronto and of course New York Restaurant Week, participating restaurants in and around Atlantic City offer special menus at special prices in the hopes of showcasing what they have to offer – and maybe earning a few new regular patrons along the way.
My only problem with Atlantic City Restaurant Week is… it’s only one week. And yes, I’m also 500 miles away from it right now. But even if I was down there (which I am certainly planning to be for next year’s event) seven days is not nearly enough time to sample all of the amazing places that are on the list. Even if you did one restaurant for lunch and another for dinner, you can’t possibly try them all. Might I suggest to the folks down at the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority that they add a second restaurant week, perhaps in the fall?
I really love things like this, coupled with the fact that it takes place in a city that is near and dear to me. It’s good for the hospitality industry and the city’s tourism.
Atlantic City Restaurant Week runs from March 4 until March 10.
Even though I seem to be watching less and less TV these days, I’m happy to see one of the shows I really like, Community, is coming back mere weeks after NBC put it on hiatus. The prolonged break was so that the Peacock Network could welcome back 30 Rock, which for some inexplicable reason, is still on the air.
I wasn’t into Community at first. Several things turned me off it. One being “why would I watch a show with Chevy Chase on it”. (That proved to be one of the best things about the series) and two, in Canada it’s on Citytv, which means no other network wanted to touch it. (Occasionally though they do get a hit show.)
Anyway, I’m glad to see Community will be coming back to the prime-time line up. Now if only NBC could do the right thing and cancel the worst sitcom in history, Whitney.
I have no idea who Whitney Cummings has naked pictures of (probably the same ones Tracey Morgan has) but they must be good. Because that piece of crap show she calls “comedy” is still on the air. And as much as I love Chelsea Handler (gotta give props to a fellow Jersey Girl) her sitcom “Are You There Chelsea” also needs to have a bullet put in it. I tried watching a few minutes of it, and it was so bad it made me want to read a Rebecca Eckler book just to cleanse my pallet.
And people wonder why I don’t watch hours of TV anymore.
Hard to believe it’s been seven years since Rogers Communications ruined a Toronto landmark by purchasing SkyDome and changing its name. Granted, if I spent $25 million on a stadium, I’d want my name all over it too. But did they have to incorporate the word “Centre” after their own name? It makes the once-great Dome sound like a strip mall anchored by a video store. (interestingly enough, there is a Rogers Plus store attached to the south side of the stadium now. I’m not sure if they rent videos.)
It was often said that the reason Rogers didn’t call it RogersDome was because they were worried that people would drop “Rogers” from the name when talking about and simply call it The Dome. And like I said, for $25 million, you want to make sure they say your name.
I remember the cry that went up from not only fans, but also the media about how ridiculous the name change was. Funny how the folks at Citytv – themselves bought over by Rogers in 2007 – no longer have anything to say about that. I, like most people, hate the new name and refuse to use it.
It will always be SkyDome to me, or simply The Dome. Still to this day I call it that when telling people where I’m going to watch a ballgame or identifying the second most recognizable landmark in the city. When I first came here in 1997 it was one of my favorite places in the city, and not just because it hosted WrestleMania. There was just something simple, yet impressive about it.
And the name, as we all know by now, was great too.
I was never really a huge soap opera fan, although when I did watch, I always seem drawn to General Hospital. And of all the characters on the show, I liked Robin Scorpio. But all that is over now as I discovered upon reviewing my PVRed shows from this week. (Yes, I felt like doing some catching up with the folks from Port Charles. Don’t judge me.) It turns out that Robin Scorpio is dead.
In grand soap opera fashion, Robin was blown up following a gas leak at the hospital. She is survived by her husband Patrick, her mother Anna and her daughter Emma. She was also the only soap opera character to have been diagnosed and living with HIV.
In the real world, Kimberly McCullough decided to leave General Hospital to follow her life-long dream of being a director. Depending how that works out for her, as we all know in the soap operas, there’s always a chance that she could return in a dream, a flashback, as a ghost or even have found a way to survive the explosion. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that happened.
I normally don’t pay attention to the CityNews polls on their web site, usually because they are most always something sophomoric aimed at their viewers – you know, the same people who actually line up overnight for Viewer Appreciation Day. (I wish I was making that up.) But the featured on Friday, February 24 was the best poll question they’ve had in recent memory. And the results that had come in so far were also awesome.
The question is simple: Is it time for the Leafs to fire Ron Wilson?
In the wake of losing seven of their last games, I would say YOU BET YOUR SISTER’S SWEET ASS IT’S TIME TO FIRE HIM. (Except that wasn’t an option… so I had to vote “YES”.)
One has to wonder if Rogers (owners of Citytv and co-owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Bell) are putting their feelers out to Leafs Nation to see what people think. Fans must wonder how can the most profitable hockey team in the entire NHL can let this continue.
After 45 years of not winning the cup and having their last playoff appearance be in 2004, you’d better believe it’s time to clean house. And not just with Ron Wilson. General Manager Brian Burke needs to go too. Maybe the G.M.’s view isn’t so good from way up in the Gondola above the Air Canada Centre, but the view (and the stench) from ice level is pretty bad. Something needs to be done.
No more contract extensions, no more excuses, just bring down the axe and bring it down hard.
Like most social media trends, I was resisting Pinterest for as long as possible (it’s been around for almost two years) but I figured I would finally give it a shot. Because after all, it’s yet another tool where I can talk, post things and let people know about my favorite subject: me.
Actually, those who really know me, know that I’m quite reserved when it comes to that and I am much more open about my life on-line than I am in person. So I guess when you look at it that way, it makes sense that I got myself a Pintrest page.
So yes, now you can see a whole bunch of things that I like, pinned to my virtual pin board in various categories. As I get more comfortable with it, I’ll add and change things. But for now, it’s another awesome time-waster and a chance to share all kinds of things you probably didn’t need to know about me.