The Redhead is coming!

The Redhead arrives tomorrow morning, and on New Year’s Day, we’ll be flying to attend the wedding of my friends Ashley and Chris out in Canmore, Alberta. This means that posting will be a little lighter than usual until Monday.

By the way, The Redhead figures quite prominently in this article that appears in the current issue of Harvard magazine. Please note that they got a crucial fact wrong: her personal blog is written in her spare time, not her work time.

It Happened to Me

This is just too cute!

My sister Eileen has no idea where her two-year old son Aidan learned the answer to the question “What comes after ‘dot’?” (62K QuickTime movie)

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Seen all over Queen Street West

I saw these posters on almost every lamppost and telephone pole on Queen Street West on Boxing Day:

Photo: Poster that reads 'Asian Speed Dating in a Bubble Tea Cafe'.

The Chinese glyph in the poster is for the word “love”.

“Asian Speed Dating in a Bubble Tea Cafe” sounds like a good title for an album or a novel, doesn’t it?


Carnival of the Canucks #3 — coming very soon!

This Tuesday’s Carnival of the Canucks will be hosted at Jim “BlogsCanada” Elve’s blog, Officially Unofficial. If you have any suggestions for what should go in, be sure to drop him a line!

For more details about what the Carnival, see this entry.

It Happened to Me

Sometimes it turns around

Richard at Just a Gwai Lo linked to my earlier entry about what makes a date a date and linked to an entry in the blog Oblivio which the author goes on a date only to discover that it isn’t a date.

Sometimes the opposite happens, and I offer this story as proof.

(I’ve also been told by a number of people that my Worst Date Ever stories have given them hope. If hope can spring from a train wreck, this story should inspire you to pick up the phone/fire up the instant messenger software and ask that guy or girl out.)

The scene: A cold clear night in November 1992 at Cafe Max, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Our protagonist is easing quite nicely into his second year in his second incarnation as an undergrad at Crazy Go Nuts University.

This was a friendly date. I’d asked to kiss her after the Hallowe’en party, but she had to politely decline. She had a boyfriend who went to another university and wanted to maintain the relationship despite the fact that he was all the way over there, I was right here, and probably smarter, more charming, better-looking and Crazy Go Nuts University’s best damn DJ, ever. In spite of this, she’d agreed to go out on a getting-to-know-you kind of dinner outing.

I paid for everything and expected nothing but pleasant conversation and a goodbye hug at her door at the end of the evening, which makes me either an old-fashioned gentleman, a complete sucker, or possibly both. I decided to take a pragmatic view of the whole affair:

  • A non-date with a pretty girl is better than an evening at home watching Star Trek:The Next Generation
  • If I impress her, perhaps she can introduce me to her friends (deVilla maxim #12: Cute girls have cute friends)
  • A non-date is still a good practice run for the “real thing”, where one can sharpen one’s skill without risk. Kind of like the holodeck from the aforementioned Star Trek:The Next Generation, at least when the safety protocols are working.

Things were going quite well. The “your back story first, then mine” conversation flowed freely with no uncomfortable silences and the food was excellent. If this were a real date, I thought, this would be the best date I’ve ever had..

After dinner, we took a nice long walk through Kingston’s quiet but quaint streets back to campus, where we descended into the basement pub known as Alfie’s to catch the Rheostatics show. We sat near the back, drinking in each performance and saving any conversation for lulls between numbers.

A few numbers into the first set, she leaned in and whispered into my ear: “I thought I should tell you that I’ve changed my mind. This isn’t a platonic date.”

It took a couple of seconds for this to register, and when it did, it was like a Bruce Lee kick to the head. In a good way, that is, if such a thing is possible.

Well, I’ll have to invite her to my birthday party, I thought, followed by Wait…birthday…what time is it?

I looked at my watch. 12:03 a.m.. November 5th.

“Hey,” I said. “I just turned twenty-five.”

“Happy birthday.”

She leaned in, and we had our first kiss.

Sometimes it turns around.


"A lot of you were jerks"

It reads like something straight out of John Hughes’ teen coming-of-age movies from the 80s: unpopular geek gets voted valedictorian as a joke and uses the opportunity to chastise his class.

From one high school nerd to another: Nicely done!


Defending Scrooge

Found via this MetaFilter post: In Defense of Scrooge, in which poor Ebenezer is viewed in a sympathetic, almost heroic, light: facing off againts freeloaders, advocate of population control, and victim of a home invasion — nay, terrorists! — from the spirit world. Funny stuff, and Canadian Content to boot!

My favourite part of the article is are this little aside about the difference between right and left:

During the night, our Mr Scrooge is taken hostage by three kitchen-poster terrorists (admittedly dead terrorists, but cutbacks are upon us and we all must make do, &tc). Two of them look suspiciously well-fed. Perennially Indignant Cappuccino Crusaders have been, it seems, always with us, which leads me to paraphrase a conversation between P.J O’Rourke and another journalist:

“How come whenever something upsets the Left you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas when something upsets the Right you see three letters in the National Post?

“We have jobs.”

“It’s funny,” as the mobsters on The Simpsons would say, “because it’s true.”

Equally amusing is this bit from the comments, in which a blog entry of a WTO protester is quoted. It mirrors the complaints that some of the liberal arts students at Crazy Go Nuts University, who saw themselves as progressives (especially those at the main paper, the Queen’s Journal had with the engineers, whom they saw as dangerous conservatives making serious inroads with student government, organizations and conferences:

that is a problem with the left, that while we have meeting after meeting to decide what we are going to meet about, the right wakes up, decides to screw over a bunch of poor people, does it, then goes to sizzler.