Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Auto Show 2012

It was on a snowy, gross Friday that we headed down to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the Canadian International Auto Show. You have to be strategic with these things, if you show up on a weekend or “family day” (a relatively new holiday monday that coincides with America’s Presidents Day) you can say hello to a day filled with giving stink eye to idiot parents who think letting their toddler sit in the BMW’s drivers seat and hogging it for 20 minutes is adorable and reasonable. It isn’t.

One of the first things we ran into was free coffee at Buick’s display. I know nothing about high-end coffee (you can make it without a Tassimo machine? Interesting) and it looks like these baristas put some work into their product. Plus, look how adorable they are! That’s the Buick logo made out of chocolate shavings on top.

This would be the new compact Verano that we listened to a sales speech for while waiting for our free coffee. Fair trade-off. I wanted to get a good picture of the angry eyebrow-like chrome tail light accents, but I was juggling a parka, purse, camera bag, and delicious coffee at the time of taking this. That’s my excuse. 

There were some interesting concept cars, as always. This would be the Volkswagon Bulli, an obvious throwback to their beloved and iconic minibus. Some pages I’ve pulled up have estimated this will be on sale around 2014 or 2015. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing one of these pull up amidst a sea of ugly Dodge Caravans.


I’m not a huge BMW fan, but this was neat. Note the weird doors, I would love to see how they actually close, since it looks like there’s a few moving parts. 

The last concept I took note of was the beautiful Stingray. Classic Stingrays are one of the only cars my boyfriend will notice/admire, so obviously this concept made him a little less annoyed that I had dragged him to auto show. 

As always, there was an entire floor of beautiful classic cars. This year it was the Triumph, and I think I’ll save those pictures for another post because, well, they’re actually decent.

All in all, it was a good way to spend a Friday. This is the only event where I don’t feel too guilty shelling out $15 for a lemonade and a single slice of pizza. Not even those giant slices you get at your local Pizza Pizza, they’re like 1/3 smaller I swear. Nope. No guilt there.

Also, message to Ford: Chevy lets people sit in their Camaros. Audi lets people sit in their R8s worth over a hundred thousand dollars. WHY CAN’T I SIT IN YOUR MUSTANGS? WHY?

It's okay, you're still beautiful.

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The Best Thing About French TV

I’ve been spending a lot of my downtime passively watching Radio Canada while I’m doing other things (mostly looking at pictures of cute cats and wasting time, but that’s beside the point.)

Sometimes I pay attention and learn something, but lately I seem to be wishfully thinking that if I absorb enough French dialogue I’ll magically find myself bilingual the next time I try and order just coleslaw and wine at St-Hubert.

Occasionally I’ll look up, usually while my computer has decided to rainbow wheel during the loading of an adorable hedgehog video, and find something weird/awesome.

There is a game show called Privé de Sens which is kind of fun to follow. They’ll throw up a word on the screen and one person has to give a good enough one-word hint for his partner to guess what the word is. Simple, but a pretty good tool when you’re trying to learn the language.

And then there is this segment:

What I can only guess to be a giant bag of Saskatchewan cocaine.

Arguably the best thing on TV, the poor contestants dress up in ridiculous costumes and act out even more clues. I still can’t understand enough to know why they need costumes for these clues, but I feel like being kept in the dark makes it much funnier.

My trusty Yahoo Babel Fish translator is telling me that Privé de Sens literally means “deprived of direction.”  (Hm, sounds a little like this blog, am I right?)

My dream of fluency finally has a measurable goal:
Be a contestant on a Radio-Canada game show and win (or I can just understand an entire episode. That will work, too.)

Seriously though, does anyone know what that thing is supposed to be?Anyone?

Cars, Beautiful Cars

A little known fact about me (well, maybe not little-known to anyone who has ever had to wait for a cab with me outside a bar while I drunkenly call out car models that pass by) is that I love cars. I can identify car makes and models by the shape of their headlights, I think car shopping is one of the most interesting things in the world, and I once ended a relationship because the guy I was dating mixed up a Hummer and a Tahoe. It was more of a tipping point, you know, the “straw that broke the camel’s back” since I’m not that cold-hearted, but still.

It’s not like I grew up in a world of antique car shows or even a world where my parents bought more than one car every 15 years. My friends’ parents all drove Sunfires and Corollas.

I’m sure it all spawned from listening to the dinner table talk, where my autobody-shop-working dad told stories of hilarity about rich people who kept wrapping their Corvettes around poles and whatnot. Do you even know how much paint costs for  a Bentley?!? Here’s a hint: Watch out for poles when backing your 150 thousand dollar car up.

So I took a passive interest in cars. It’s not like I sat there with flash cards every night trying to memorize the slight differences between a Blazer and a Jimmy, but I still knew that your parents drove a Ford Winstar, not a Dodge Caravan you idiot.

I even had my own dream car growing up! A very specific one, too:

Although, I would have to update those rims.

I remember almost crying when we got a flyer in the mail advertising the new 5th gen Mustang. The front grill! What did they do? Oh my god!!

Crying over pictures of cars? Normal 12 year old girl behaviour, right?

I learned to accept it eventually.

Although I can out-do, or at least keep up with, any of my macho guy friends when they talk about cars, sometimes my knowledge makes for an embarrassing moment.

Every industry has its own slang, I presume. Sometimes you don’t realize that maybe not everyone grew up learning about cars from a blue-collar father who worked in a body shop. Not everyone.

In grade 11, I rolled into my math exam looking extra frazzled, I suppose. There is a certain amount of frazzled-ness appropriate for writing an exam on advanced functions, but I guess I surpassed that because everyone was asking me what happened.

“My tranny died,” I replied.

The night before my car had broken down (at 11:30 pm, no less. I didn’t do so well on that exam.) Apparently the radiator went bust and the transmission seized since it was getting no fluid. I pulled over quickly so the transmission turned out to be okay, but at this point I was still under the impression I was going to have to pay 3 grand to fix a car that was purchased 3 weeks before.

My curious friends looked at me with blank stares on their faces and said nothing.

And that’s when I realized that to the minds of 17 year olds with bankers as parents, a “tranny” is not a transmission.

Oops.

—-

I’m looking forward to the Canadian International Auto Show this week. There’s something about shiny new cars that I’m able to sit in that makes me so happy. It’s the small things in life, isn’t it?

If I can somehow spin a post about the CIAS without making it some boring bueller-like “look at this car, now this one, this one, this one is black, this one is pretty” post, you’ll be seeing that soon.

A Big Thank You

Thursday was an odd day for me. I had just admitted defeat and quit something I thought I’d be good at. This included moving 200 pounds of material downtown in my tiny little car. I thought I’d take a “shortcut” and wound up getting lost (I’m from the east side! Forgive me if the Gardiner is confusing) and going around in circles because of that damn new condo construction everywhere. It wasn’t a morning full of confidence and awesomeness, oddly enough.

When I finally made it back home and logged into WordPress, the main page came up. The first Freshly Pressed post I glanced at had a name quite familiar to something I’d written, I had actually thought to myself “goddamn, someone stole my idea!” before I realized that it was my post.

What? My post was on Freshly Pressed? I didn’t even edit it that well! It wasn’t even that good! Oh my god.

It was a nice surprise after I realized that people actually liked it!

I just want to say this:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, comment, like or follow. The WordPress community is one of the most supportive, positive online communities I have ever been a part of.  Thank you.

For your support, here is a picture of an awesome kitten I found on pinterest. I promise a real post is coming soon! (The after-FP post is a little nerve wracking, forgive me.)

Grey Days of February

Today was a nice, freezing rain kind of day. I couldn’t get anything done on my route today, so I thought why not go down to the Scarborough Bluffs and take some pictures?

Bluffer’s Park holds a lot of my childhood memories, and more recently memories of me failing at taking up jogging (ugh, long story).

Here they are, as I tried to make light of the most disgusting day of the month so far.

The notorious Canadian Goose.

These bright red berries really stand out on such a drab day.

Looking west out to the little man-made thing where I previously attempted to go jogging, HA. 

And east, towards to the marina

It hasn’t really been that cold, but the ice still won’t let the rocks go.

A spot to take in the silly ducks who put up with the super-choppy waters of today.

And a few steps back

The houseboats of Bluffer’s Park. I’ve never known what exactly attracts people to live in “floating houses” (not really boats since they don’t go anywhere) but hey, at least they have some cool geese to look at. 

For those wondering, those would be the “bluffs” in the background. For some reason I didn’t get any pictures of the actual bluffs. Go figure. 

An empty, frozen marina

Completely deserted

You would not believe the amount of people just sitting in their cars in the parking lot. Are they waiting for a drug deal? Just drove down to think? I have no idea. 

I spent so much time here in the summer as a kid, but it’s something completely different to come and walk around when everything is covered in ice. Try it sometime. 

The Grammys & Twitter: Do I Laugh or Cry?

I’m sure you have seen by now the screenshots of the idiotic remarks on twitter last night. One batch was about girls, children, who tweeted crap like “Chris Brown is so hot I wish he’d beat me!” and other things they’re just too ignorant and immature to understand the offensiveness of. I’m not going to get into that, because that would be one hell of a blog post.

No,  I’m talking about this phenomenon of idiots who are resistant to Google, for whatever reason.
Apparently “just Google it” has turned into “just ask on twitter and wait for someone else to Google it for you.” Anyone who has ever been on Yahoo Answers will attest to this, as your physical urge to punch someone/something rises with every post read. Don’t ever go on Yahoo Answers. Just don’t.

Look at this.

I have nothing left to say. I bet they try and CTRL+F textbooks.

It’s not even a Paul McCartney-specific thing. How many times have you posted something like “Yeah I love this new song by the Sexy Tigercats*” and someone asks “whut r they a band”

*Fake band-name, aka my future girl group I dreamed up as a delusional child. I would advise against Googling that. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For those of you who think like me, take note of http://lmgtfy.com/ and http://justfuckinggoogleit.com/, the most beautifully useful websites ever.

I will never understand this. Here is my totally lame cartoon that was funnier in my head (my graphic design-studying boyfriend left his adobe-[legitimately]-equipped-laptop at home, and I couldn’t resist). Missing are various Justin Beiber CDs, as I couldn’t put myself through drawing those on this trackpad.

Enjoy.

I can now use Illustrator, be warned.

The Worst Condiment

I have never liked it on anything except fries, and even that is a stretch.

Ketchup. Ugh. There is nothing better to ruin a good hot dog or hamburger (or veggie dog/burger, pour moi) than an overzealous friend who puts ketchup on it for you while you save them a seat. It’s like someone handed you the original Mona Lisa, in all its glory, and you decided to silk-screen Kim Kardashian’s face overtop.

The crazy Heinz green and purple ketchup almost got me to come around as a child, but the discontinued it before I could make a second trip to the hot dog stand outside Canadian Tire

Pretty impressive ketchup-applying skills, kid.

My distaste of ketchup solidified when I started dating a guy who loved it, and was a horrible house keeper. He also didn’t know how much ketchup he’d need, and always overestimated. This resulted in, you guessed it, dirty plates with little puddles of ketchup on them sitting around. Have you ever smelt ketchup in that context? Say goodbye to your appetite.

I am a mustard supporter. Mustard 4 eva. Dijon, honey, whatever. As long as it’s got that nice bite to it and it’s not red, I’m down.

"Beautiful mustard" according to Google Images

There is this restaurant in Summerside, PEI that serves the most delicious chipotle mayo-type sauce (I have no idea) with its beautiful, crispy fries. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. With so many delicious alternatives, why ketchup?!

"You know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?" "What?" "Mayonnaise." "Yuck!"

Pulp Fiction may mock it but I’m just waiting for IcelandAir to offer me a good deal. TTYL, Ketchup-fiends!