oncecolourful asked: What grocery store chain do you find the least disgusting? I have A LOT of problems with metro but I have to take ttc for a loblaws sobeys isn't bad, pretty pricey but metro has actually ruined my life
100% with you. Metro sucks. No Frills is my favourite, as I love PC products and No Name is pretty good too. The No Frills near me shut down a few months ago, so I’ve been left with only Loblaws or Rabba as real options, which is great for quality of food, but way more expensive than it needs to be.
Sobey’s is good too, but I’ve never lived closest to one, and they don’t have PC products.
Metro is absolutely the worst though. I would NEVER or produce there, it’s almost always awful and really expensive. I resent them for all the years I spent being a student in the Annex and getting ripped off. And they don’t have a low cost brand, the way Loblaws does with No Name. But they do ship in St. Viateur Bagels from Montreal, which actually makes them one of the better places to get bagels in the city, sadly.
I did the grocery shopping while I lived in a student co-op with 11 other people. Ask me a question about grocery stores, I will have a passionate answer.
Craft the Pain Away…
The past few months, I’ve really tried to get myself into hobbies. Things that I have no interest in making money off of, but that I can get better at and feel proud of. A stress relief tool.
These mittens are my 4th real, usable project. I made crocheted some fingerless mitts, to use at work, knit a hot water bottle cozy and of course, I made the Dr. Who Scarf as a Christmas gift for Anna. I’m definitely getting better, even with a long way to go.
I’m on Ravelry now, finding new patterns there and posting the ones I’m working on. These mittens were made using this, fairly easy, pattern. I’m still thinking about what my next project will be. I’m thinking a hot pink, Pussy Riot style Balaclava, but I’m not sure.
Right now I’m really being affected by the death of Phillip Seymore Hoffman. More than I thought I was able to be affected by a celebrity death. He’s played so many roles in movies that are so important to me. I’m a bit heartbroken.
New York City
If you’d told Anna and I, in November, that a few days before christmas there would be an ice storm and massive blackout across most of Toronto, the fallout of which would take up most of our winter holiday and then asked us if we wanted to take a 3 days trip to New York with the last 5 days of our “vacation”* that would end with us getting back to the Toronto Bus Terminal at 7am, to get us both to work/school by 9/10 am… I think we would have stayed home. And we were feeling that through the entire trip. It was great to be in New York, because it’s always great to be in New York, but geez, what a fucked-up holiday. We got back to work/school more tired than when we’d left.
But we were in New York, and no matter the circumstances we still saw new things (like Brooklyn) and stood in front of great art and laughed at what Americans think cold enough to shut down public schools (-10 Celsius.)
We stayed of the upper East Side this time, and we found the huskie sculpture from Six Degrees of Separation. We saw Sleep No More (more on that later) which was amazing as an immersive art installation experience, but dance will never be my thing.
Anyway, as stressful as the trip (and bus ride!) was, it was still a great way to start 2014. We’re hoping to do some more traveling in the Spring, if we can swing it. And I so hope we can.
Photos, from the top.
1 - A street off Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. It looked like where the Huxtable’s lived and made me happy :)
2 - A statue in front of 30 Rock. She must be cold.
3 - A fire escape on the Upper East Side, 62nd and Madison-ish.
4 - The Sculpture of Balto in Central Park, made famous (to my family anyway) in Six Degrees of Separation
5 - A painting from the Met, the children pictured are brother and sister and are dressed exactly the same. Because both girls and boys wore dresses back then.
6 - Children Tobogganing in Central Park (the 5 inches of snow and -10C temperatures apparently necessitated a snow day)
7 - The children’s lit exhibit at the New York Public Library
8 - Anna and I in our Sleep No More masks
We made Binx a window star. Deciding that we would have traditional, 8-pointed, window stars to represent the people living here, and 5 pointed stars to represent the non-human animals.
And then the humidifier promptly decided to try and destroy all of the stars with condensation.
Anna in the finished Dr. Who scarf that I made her from Christmas :)
We now have a cat!
His name is Binx and he’s about 8 Months old. We adopted him from Forever Home Cat Rescue in Toronto. He’s very snuggly and he pretty much walked into our apartment like he owned the place.
I’ve been getting used to cat smells vs. rat smells, but I’m excited for this guy to be in our lives for the next decade and more. It feels really nice to have a creature in the apartment again, because I’ve been missing the rats so.
When we first contacted the shelter, we put it out there that we were really interested in a black cat, because we’d heard that they are the last ones to be adopted. But they suggested this guy (originally named George) to us because of his personality and the proximity of his foster home to us, since we don’t have a car.
We decided to name him Binx (after the cat in Hocus Pocus) because we felt it still suited him, even though he wasn’t a black cat. His full name is Thackery George Binx Miller-Garvin-Standish.
We’ve been watching a lot of My Cat from Hell and Jackson Galaxy’s YouTube channel, for tips on how to make our apartment/life as cat friendly as possible. One of the fun things about pets is that they’re a friend and hobby all in one. Stay tuned for many cat pictures, I’m sure I’ll have lots to post.
Tales from the Bus to New York.
I can never sleep on the night bus, so I end up just looking into the dark for 13 hours. On the trip there, anna and I waited in line, in the cold, for 2 hours to get the top, front window seats. Only to have the defroster be broken, so we couldn’t see out and it was freezing cold because there was literal ice 2 feet from our faces.
On the way back we got there an hour and a half early and there were a TON of people in line to go to Toronto. It was confusing. I’ve never seen people line up for the bus more than half an hour before in my life.
Then I got very minorly scammed. A woman in front of us had two kids with her and a bunch of rolling suitcases (i.e. more than her regular allotment) Just as we were coming up to the bus, to put our bags in, one of her suitcases slipped from her hands and she turned to me and asked if I could grab it for her. Something seemed weird, but she was holding a baby in her arms and I felt bad, so I picked it up, only to look up and see that she had gotten onto the bus really fast and I suddenly had a Megabus employee yelling at me because I was only allowed one bag. The guy didn’t want to let me suitcase on the bus because he had grabbed the one belonging to the other one first, assuming it was mine. I started freaking out, right there on 34th street and yelling that it didn’t belong to me and there was some lady on the bus who he needed to talk to, until one of the other employees just grabbed my bag and forced the baggage guy to put it in the bus. Once I got on the bus, the woman came up and asked me how it went, as if I was her accomplice or something. I told her that they had yelled at me and acted really annoyed until she left.
As far as scams go, it was nothing. But I still feel stupid. I knew something was weird when she asked me to get her suitcase, but I went against my gut. I’m just lucky I didn’t get bamboozled into something worse.
We were on the bottom level on the way back. Through the freezing rain and wind, all through New York State back to Canada. A baby in front of us was mostly good, but every time the lights would turn on, he would cry until he figured out he could spy on us.
I’ve said nothing yet of our actual trip to New York, which was lucky but we felt kind of sad not to be in Toronto since we had been so stressed out with the Ice Storm etc. during what was supposed to be the home portion of our Winter Holidays.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada & Blackfish
At the beginning of November, Anna and I went to the new Aquarium in Toronto. The Aquarium has been a long time coming and throughout my childhood in this city we’ve been promised an aquarium several times.
It was fun.
Even though most of the time it looked like this:
And then I had insomnia and watched the documentary Blackfish twice in one night. The documentary explores the life of Tilikum, one of Seaworld’s Orcas, who’s killed 3 people while in captivity. The film ends up talking about the upsetting life of whales at Seaworld and basically makes the case that Killer Whales shouldn’t be in captivity at all. I definitely found that it was manipulating me a bit (they were really bad about telling you who was talking and everyone who was talking definitely had a bias) however if you look at just the basic facts: Really intelligent, REALLY large animals that normally has a range of the entire world, kept in a tank and made to do circus tricks… you know that these guys shouldn’t be in captivity at all.
This made me think about the aquarium. I am totally against wild animals in performance settings, circuses, Seaworld, Marineland (oh dear god, Marineland) etc. But I definitely still plan on going to the Toronto Zoo. I think animals in captivity can hold a place in society without it being abusive and unfortunately captivity may be the only way we can conserve some of these species.
But what about the aquarium? I don’t like that they captured wild sharks… and I don’t think that the Ontario government should allow them to have these animals on display. I would have had just as great a time at the aquarium without the sharks. There’s word that the government will be bringing in regulations/licensing for Zoos and Aquariums and I just wonder what took them so long.
I’m not against the aquarium, but I hope that more will be done at a government level to make sure these animals aren’t being abused.