What the Eff!

2011-03-29
written by LaWeez

Who would win? Who would you place your money on?

I’m certain the lady driving the SUV pictured here had no idea she’d ever have to ponder such a question. But I guess, the longer you live in Toronto and hear about all the wankery that takes place WHILE drivers are in control of their vehicles, nothing should really come as too much of a surprise.

For some reason the driver of our streetcar completely missed the fact that there was, in fact, a vehicle ahead of him when he came to the lights at the King & Portland intersection.

Seriously? How do you miss that? It was rush hour. It’s not like there weren’t SCADS of other vehicles around. And it’s not like she came out of nowhere (her vehicle was clearly arse -ended… no tell-tale swipes that would’ve happened had she appeared from nowhere and cut him off.)

Thankfully, nobody seemed to be hurt. To be quite honest, I was near the back of the streetcar reading when it happened. I just assumed that the sudden jerkiness was just keeping with the habit most King Streetcar drivers have of riding the brakes for the entire length of the route. Of course, the loud clank noise that punctuated the final jolt probably should have alerted me to the fact that something was amiss.

The sheepish “uhm – due to the collision, this car is now out of service” announcement clued me in pretty quickly, however.

Yep. Good times.

Although, since I had to walk up to hop on the Queen Streetcar, at least I didn’t get short-turned halfway to my destination. So I guess that’s something.

Miss SUV Driver? I hope you didn’t get into trouble for being late to work. And I hope the TTC has to buy you a nice shiny brand new vehicle. And a vacation. And some sexy new designer luggage for said vacation.

Just sayin’.

2011-03-23
written by LaWeez

Today is not my best day ever. I started it at roughly 3am when the convenience store sandwich wrap I treated myself to for dinner last night decided it was going to make a repeat performance. Yep. Awesome treat. Nothing like praying to the Great Porcelain God to get your day off to a rip-roarin’ start.

I know.

Lesson learned.

And, as if that wasn’t special enough, it seems the world around me has decided to spiral back a season.

Now, I know this is Canada. And winter is just one of those unfortunate circumstances with which we deal. It’s a small price to pay, really, when you think of all the wonderful benefits to living here.

But COME ON, EILEEN! We ushered in the beginning of Spring this Sunday past. Birdies were chirping, puppies were yapping, children were singing. Okay, perhaps  I’m speaking in a wee bit too much hyperbole.

But I ask you: does this look like the first week of Spring to you?

 

2011-03-06
written by LaWeez

To my friends & family who witnessed my gleeful boasting during my week-long sojourn in the sun… here’s a wee bit of Schadenfreude in which you can happily bask.

No vacation would be perfect without, at least, one minor hiccup in the proceedings. And ours was no exception to that rule.

The day had been perfect. We’d just spent six-plus hours trekking around the Kennedy Space Center, witnessing some of mankind’s most exciting moments in history and we were looking forward to relaxing in what we had been led to believe would be a charmingly, lovely resort-type hotel on Cocoa Beach.

We’d taken a chance and used Hotwire. We’d heard, first-hand, from others who’d done likewise and had great results. So, we figured we’d give it a whirl ourselves. We selected the amenities that were important. We chose the location we thought would be fun. And we made sure to select nothing below a 3-star option.

But something went wrong. So very wrong.

We’re not sure if it was the excitement of knowing that we were going to get to personally witness history the next day in the 39th & final launching of the Space Shuttle: Discovery. Or maybe it was simply the thought of sipping Mai Tais at a balmy beach bar that caused us to lose our usual attention to detail. Either way, we clearly missed the fact that Hotwire had insidiously decided to somewhat alter our search parameters. Because of the shortage of the room calibre we’d selected (due, likely, to the fact that about a kajillion others were also going to be in town that night for the shuttle launch the next day), the Hotwire search engine unilaterally decided to throw in a few 2-star choices to our results page. I know.

Welcome to The International Palms Resort Cocoa Beach. The name drums up some pretty swanky, luxurious mental pictures doesn’t it? Yeah. Not so much.

We stayed in, bar none, the ugliest, tiniest hotel room either of us had ever seen. In fairness, the last hotel we stayed at was on our honeymoon. And it was the Bellagio in Las Vegas. But, whatever. So not the point.

Despite our having been checked into a double room (I guess they figured we wanted separate beds), this place was so small that the bathroom sink… wasn’t even in the bathroom. The vanity & sink were, for some reason, located in the room proper. Lovely.

And the tiny wee (broken) coffee pot was also proudly situated on that very same vanity. Oh, but you couldn’t actually turn it on and brew that half pot of rank Maxwell House java. No, you see the only electrical outlet available in this room was in such a position that, in order to use said (broken) coffee pot you had to sit it on the floor & balance the broken basket on top of the carafe. Oh, how I wish I were kidding.

Oh! Did I mention that when we turned off the AC (that had been set to stun), the room affected a charmingly musty smell by morning? Yep. Pretty awesome.

Despite it’s charming Eau de Basement scent, the place was clean. I’ll give them that. And it did come with free reading material (courtesy the Gideons) in the bedside stand. Singular. There was one; two (wobbly & uncomfortable) beds – but only one bedside stand. Oy vey.

The International Palms Resort was just… sad. Oh, so sad. So very, very sad.  Oddly, though? Free Wi-Fi. I know.  I don’t get it, either.

We were determined, nevertheless, to salvage the rest of the night and make the most of it. And, just when we thought all was lost, a light shone out. A bright beacon from within a dark & dingy window glimmered out to greet us.  It wasn’t quite a choir of angels we heard, but it was enough to take our dreary night and turn it right around – all thanks to three magical little words…
 
#1. Cheap.
 
#2. Beer.
 
#3. Karaoke.
 

2011-01-30
written by LaWeez

When you hear the word Amish, would you more quickly associate the word ‘rural’ or ‘urban’? Exactly. We’ve all seen Witness. We (okay, I’ll admit it – I) have preconceived ideas about bonnets and wagons and barn raisings.

According to Wikipedia (yes, the most reliable source of information, to be sure): the Amish, sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology.

The Old Order Amish, who live in rural communities in North America and are famous for their plain dress and limited use of technology.

The New Order Amish (formed 1966), are the least restrictive Amish group. They permit the use of electricity in the home and do not practice shunning.

Urban means “related to cities.” Cities generally have advanced systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, and transportation.

Based on these generalizations, one would assume that even the most progressive of Amish orders would hardly be racing to start a business in downtown Toronto, right? I know, I know – I’m assuming a lot based  on common conceptions, so you’ll forgive my perplexed reaction to this:

They even have a website. And a YouTube Channel. And a Facebook page. When did the leap from “allowing electricity” to “maintaining a web presence” happen?

I’m just curious. Now you are, too.  Admit it.

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