July 2004 Archives

Just for Dina

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small gator

This afternoon we saw many alligators, and held a wee, foot-long gator in our hands.

This evening, I ate alligator in a creole sauce. And no, it does not taste like chicken. More like beef. I also had crawfish etouffee, which was really, really good.

We broke down and went for a buggy ride, which was a lot of fun - but we did do the $10 group ride, rather than spring for the whole shebang. Our mule's name was J-Lo, because, as Colin the Driver explained, she has a fat ass. Nice.

Now we're off to the Lobby Bar, to check out the competition. The National Scrabble tournament starts on Sunday, with registration tomorrow, so the lobby is currently filled with Scrabblers. Wheeeee.

Day 2

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Field report with more pictures

Yesterday, we walked all over the Quarter. We lunched on muffelattas at Napoleon House, walked the length of Bourbon Street, and shopped at the Riverwalk Centre.

We were disappointed to learn that the buggy rides are not $10, but in fact $50, which is way more expensive than the Montreal caleches. The $10 ride was per person, and required either a large party or a wait while the driver recruited six other passengers. So we passed.

We returned to the hotel, weary of foot and sweaty of body, showered and lounged for a while, then made our way to Bayona for a mouth-watering romantic dinner. I had peppered lamb with goat cheese, while Dr. T. had a wild mushroom quiche. Dessert was homemade white grasshopper pie ice cream, which should be x-rated.

Over dinner we managed to consume a cocktail each, a shared half-bottle of pinot noir, and a digestif. So we were already pretty tipsy by the time we got to Bourbon Street, which is a totally different place after dark. We bought a pair of hurricanes, and staggered back to the hotel somehow.

Yada, yada, yada.

Now we're off to tour the swamps.

N'awlins, Day 1

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Report of activities, with pictures

I've been wandering around the Quarter while Dr. T sleeps in - we're off to lunch at Napoleon's now. Hot, hot, hot so far, with a predictable spot of rain that didn't do a thing for the humidity. On the plus side, my hair is doing nice things.

Oh, and according to the road crew on Decatur Street, I'm lookin' fine, baby.

Dr. T, meanwhile, has just encountered the massive, well-lit hotel bathroom mirror, and isn't sure which is worse - discovering that he has noticeable nose hair, or that it's gray.

Yes, there was more catfish

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Strolled along Canal Street to the river.

Got on a genuine steamboat, cruised the mighty Mississip for a couple of hours, eating good food, having a beer or two, and drinking in the Dukes of Dixieland.

As Dr. T observed, this may only be the touristy New Orleans, but it feels damn good.

The Big Easy

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Nous voila.

We're in New Orleans, praising the gods of technology and cursing the checkin person at P.E.T. this morning, who gave us misinformation that made us way too close to late for the connecting flight at Pearson.

Impressions so far (after two hours) - kickass cocktail sauce, and melt-in-your-mouth catfish at the restaurant around the corner from the hotel... lush greenery juxtaposed against industrial steel roadways... a certain seedy sultry feeling, in the architecture, the heat, the abandoned buildings not a block from our fancy-schmancy hotel...

More later, with pictures.

Montreal Monkey

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July's monkey is "Describe your first impression of Montreal."

I'm not sure that I have a first impression of our fair city. I was born at the Royal Victoria hospital, and lived on the South Shore until we moved to the Eastern Townships when I was about 7 years old.

One thing I remember is being astounded at how many of my classmates in high school had never been to Montreal. Our school was in Cowansville, less than an hour outside Montreal.

A lasting impression for me is the city skyline - every time. When I drive home and cross the Champlain bridge my heart skips a beat - every time. We may not have the most impressive downtown core, but there's something about those majestic buildings standing against the forested mountain, with St. Joe's dome and the worst-lit cross on the planet, that speaks to me.

I guess a first impression must exist, but just as it's hard to remember my first impressions of my oldest friends, it's hard to remember how Montreal first struck me. What I enjoy now is watching my kids discover the city - this summer, we've gotten to know places like Westmount Park, not to mention the metro, part of Colin's obsession with all things cartographical.

I love Montreal - I love that we're an island, I love that we're bilingual and multicultural, I love that we can drive in the snow, I love that we have the Jazz fest and the comedy fest and fireworks and F1 and a guy on stilts playing the sax downtown. I love that we all, regardless of race, creed or whatever, hate potholes, yet they continue to infest the city. I love that we consider ourselves inherently superior to upstart metropolises like Toronto. I love that we don't go to work wearing power suits and running shoes - I met a tourist once who told me that we "all dress like it's New Year's Eve every day."

So, perhaps not a first impression, as such... sorry!

Someone get her a dictionary, dammit

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Late last night, while waiting for Dr. T to make my tea, I watched part of an extraordinarily long commercial for the Ultimate 70s Collection, brought to you by the people at Time-Life, like you needed to ask.

Highlight: the perky blonde who, I'm sorry, was in no imaginable way alive in the 1970s, says of an Elton John song "now that's one of those timeless classics that truly defines the 70s."

timeless classic, defines the 70s

Riiiiiight.

The Bourne Supremacy

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Great movie - true to the feel of the book series, very Cold War era in its atmosphere and so on.

BUT...

Fer G/d's sake, use a steadicam. The handheld shots are very exciting initially, very movement oriented and edgy, but...

Dr. T and I arrived five minutes before the 9:15 show, and ended up in the 6th row centre - bad move. We walked out after half an hour, exchanged our tickets for the 10:15, and sat in the last row. Much better - although the constant barrage of exciting handheld cam shots eventually gets to the strongest stomach, even way back in the last row.

Recommendation: definitely see this film, but take some Gravol first.

Ahhhhhh

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From the waist down, I'm very happy.*

I set out today, with the world's greatest mother-in-law in tow, to find a pair of really good walking sandals for the upcoming trip to New Orleans.** Prior to departure (to the shoe stores) I did some research into good walking sandals, then off we went.

Well, I tried on North Face sandals. I tried on Rockport sandals. I tried on Ecco sandals. I tried on Merrell sandals. I tried on Mephisto sandals - and man, if I were a rich man... but I'm not.

Then I went to Winner's and bought myself a pair of men's boxer briefs. They're the antidote to the flippy skirt thong. I went into the mall toilet, changed, and continued shopping.

Eventually, I found a great pair of sandals from Merrell - they look kinda like this, but not quite. I knew they were the right pair when I put them on and immediately felt better. I nearly kissed the sales guy. My feet are happy.

Better yet, the underwear is amazing. The waist is comfortable, the leg is comfortable and doesn't cut into my thigh, and nothing rides up! This is the perfect underwear to wear under skirts, and I'm betting it'll keep my butt a little warmer in deepest winter, too. So from now on, thongs or men's boxer briefs, and nothing else.

*Actually, I'm pretty happy from the waist up, too, given that the world's greatest m-in-l has just handed me my second spiced rum 'n' Coke.

**What? I didn't mention the trip to New Orleans? oops! Nutshell: Dr. T., me, New Orleans, 10 days, leaving July 28, NO KIDS, bring on the blackened fish and the swamp tour, baby!

An Evening at Eve’s Tavern

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Just for Laughs Festival, July 21, 2004

In keeping with our annual tradition, my Mum and I went to the all-female JFL show, this year bringing along Irene, Kate, and Jeannine, a.k.a. the world’s greatest mother-in-law.

The 2004 edition of Eve’s was at Kola Note, which was, once upon a time, Club Soda, so the show was returning to its birthplace. Mum and Kate and I seem to agree that we liked this year better than last. The theme, if there was one, was the futility of dieting – we’ve noticed that the show tends toward an unannounced, unintentional theme topic that coincidentally appears in some form in most of the sets. Two years ago the theme was peeing… last year, motherhood in various guises was popular, as was the female orgasm (no kidding).

Burning Bush

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Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's is still working to expose Bush - the most recent form of protest is "a 3.7 metre-tall effigy of ...Bush with fake flames shooting out of the pants."

As in 'liar, liar pants on fire.'

You can even sign up to drive the Pants on Fire mobile, or provide parking while the effigy is in your town.

Modern times

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According to the Chicago Public Library, the tenth anniversary is traditionally the tin or aluminum anniversary.

In modern times, the appropriate gift is diamonds.

This seems a little pessimistic - are we to assume that modern marriages have no chance of lasting 60 years (traditionally, the 60th is the Diamond Anniversary)?

Well, Dr. T., if we live another 50 years, we'll get diamonds. Today, we can line up a bunch of tin cans on the fence and throw rocks or something.

Happy anniversary. (K)

Atonement

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Ian McEwan

This is the first McEwan I’ve read (although I have owned Amsterdam for a long time without reading it. I enjoyed Atonement enough to root through my home library and find Amsterdam, but not so much that I’ll do it any time soon.

Census

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Current population of our house:

1 4-year old boy (human (reportedly))
1 6-year old boy (human)
1 adult male (human)
3 adult females (one maggie, one mother-in-law, one aunt-in-law, all more or less human)
1 nursing female with 4 babies (raccoon)

To the left of the mother, look closely - two heads
Well, at least some one's using the upstairs balcony

Things I've learned while biking

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1. "Clunk" is almost never a good sound.
2. If you pull over on the road to adjust something using a screwdriver, make sure you're not stopped directly over a sewer grate.*
3. If you pull over, chances are that at least one person will stop to offer help - and really mean it. The lovely woman who helped me get my chain sorted out this morning even offered me her rag to clean my hands.

*On a related note, if anyone finds a red-handled Phillips floating in the toilet bowl, please let me know.

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