Category Archives: Photos

A Story of Awkward Clumsiness: Subway Edition

As I had mentioned about a week ago, I got a contract position with a marketing company to distribute displays in small businesses. Literally “field marketing distributer,” which looks beautiful on a resume compared to “display hander-outer.” Again, it’s for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, so check it out!

Today was training and I headed down to the office at Richmond and Bathurst for 10am. For any of you who know the TTC well, this means I left at like 8:30. Whatever, not a big deal.

However, for some reason I wasn’t expecting to collect the marketing materials at that particular training session. I’m on board to distribute 500 units in 4 weeks at the very least, which is not a big deal. I took home 50 today, doesn’t sound like a lot, right? Each one has three separate cardboard pieces and a brochure to put in the top. They provide a little bundle buggy, but, well, here is where the fun begins!

After the 100lbs or so of material was loaded into the cart, I was set free upon the city to somehow make it back to Scarborough. Without the cart, this would have easily included a streetcar, a subway, and an RT without any hassle. With the cart, however, well..

I decided to skip the streetcar and try to find a subway where I could manage to get down the stairs. The streetcars are extremely narrow and there are three very steep steps to get on, so yeah, not a great idea. It probably would have been different if it hadn’t felt like the cart would implode every time I went over a subway track or bump in the road, or if I could actually pick up the front without it collapsing, but hey you can’t have everything, right?

I walked to University. So thirsty. All the Tim Hortons I passed were full, and the cart had no turning capabilities at all. Running over old ladies on the quest for an iced tea wasn’t on my priority list, so I skipped it.

And then I stumbled upon Osgoode. The most beautiful sight for my eyes. Is it…was it…could it be? A beautiful blue handicapped sign, meaning there would be an elevator? Yes, yes it was! For reference, here is the TTC subway map. Note the amount of handicapped-equipped stations vs. non handicapped. The fully-equipped ones have a little blue square beside their names. Depressing, isn’t it?

This was honestly the best map on google. I have no idea why.

After my little “praise the lord” moment that I had stumbled upon a station with an elevator, I managed to somehow get the thing on to the subway without taking out too many ankles.

I have to say I wasn’t too worried about the weird looks I was getting. If you’ve been in this city for longer than a week, you’ve seen much weirder than a girl pushing a granny cart full of pink pamphlets.


Yes, I am that creep who took your picture on the subway. Sorry.

I did enjoy how the elevators in St. George and Kennedy Stations are at the extreme opposite ends of the platform. Nothing like some good ol ‘exercise!


Beautiful saviour.

The majority of the buttons in all the elevators I took were completely rubbed off. And nonsensical. Apparently, in the TTC world “B” stands for bus aka ground, but NOT the exit. The star stands for the exit!


Wrong floor. Oops.

After TWO HOURS I had made it home, and now I faced the final frontier. I had  avoided all stairs up until this moment!



But it all turned out okay, because…



My thoughts:
I am really goddamn happy I didn’t take any downtown routes to distribute these. Thank god I have a car and it’s easy to find parking on Danforth east.

The TTC is sadly inaccessible if you, for whatever reason, have issues with stairs. The RT doors actually closed to someone’s shoulder because, due to the crowds, they couldn’t get off the car quick enough.

It’s a jungle out there.


The Burden of Houseplants

We recently moved from a large house with large rooms to a tiny bungalow (which, actually, cost $30 000 more than the large house. Oh, Toronto vs. outlying suburb housing prices, you so silly.) Admittedly, the large house was a little too large for the three of us who were used to living in doll-house like spaces, and the extra space was useless and left empty after my grandfather went to a home.

We’ve managed to rid the house of most of the superflous furniture, but there’s still one problem that’s become a bit of a hassle. The houseplants.

What do you do with them? There are only a certain amount of spaces in front of the window where they can thrive.

The ornamental orange was from a clipping my mom brought back from Florida over 20 years ago. The one on the bottom in the second picture was from a clipping another mother gave us when I was in first grade. The palm was one we picked up from Ikea to stage the old house.

It took me a while to get used to scrapping plants at work. We only sell the “best quality” product, so if a plant is wilting a little or maybe just needs a repotting or a little TLC, we usually just wind up throwing them out if no one’s buying. I hated it at first. We scrapped 50 potted Ranunculus in the spring, I remember. The leaves we a little yellow and they were getting scraggly, but still, give them a chance. Maybe I’m just a too much of a softie. (I’ve personally adopted two orchids that had already lost their flowers and two scraggly burning bushes that were brought back by perfectionist customers.)

What do you do with unwanted houseplants? Throw them out? Give them away? Sell them at garage sales? (I actually vividly remember my mom doing this as a kid. Damn spider plants, can’t stop them!) Stores don’t take them.

But, at home, these plants have been a mainstay in our home for as along as I can remember. After seeing so many houseplant returns and customers’ complete failures at maintaining them, I have to respect the skill my mom must have put into getting some of these to thrive for so long.

Maybe tripping over the jungle of houseplants once and a while isn’t so bad. It could be worse. My mom could be trying to over-winter a $2 geranium and some mums in ugly, half-dead states. Oh, wait. She is.


Toronto’s Nuit Blanche

This gallery contains 15 photos.

It’s the 12 hour, 7pm to 7am (or shall I say 6:59, like all the posters. 7 is just too mainstream) downtown contemporary art extravaganza. Yonge street is shut down and the TTC runs all night. People flood the city … Continue reading

The Ups and Downs of Fall: Part 2

I apologize, this isn’t going to be an “Ups” of Fall post. Not yet, at least.

We’ve been unseasonably warm. There’s no crisp air, no chilly breezes, no need for fall jackets.
There’s still plenty of customers commenting on how hot the store is.

“How do you guys work in here?” they ask while fanning their faces.

We always have to laugh and shrug it off, while thinking to ourselves,
“We don’t have a goddamn choice.”

The vegetable garden is on its last legs. We’ve already ripped out most of the tomatos and cucumbers, leaving a sad empty box left.

We’ve still got some jalapenos to harvest! Although on this particular plant (there are 4), it looks like the peppers are getting scorched by the sun or something. Oh well. When you yield 500 peppers, losing a few is no big deal.

The  herbs! My occasional foodie tendencies cannot be satisfied without the use of fresh herbs. This year I had basil, chives, and curled parsley. I moved some of them inside and either dried or left the rest to self-seed. Hopefully I won’t have to replace the basil yet again this year. That stuff dies too often (totally my fault.)

Why I love old houses: Windowsills like these.

The curled parsley didn’t taste very good fresh, and of course this was the crop that grew the most. I’ve got about 12 bundles of it hanging to dry in the shed. Hopefully no one needs to use the ladder over the next few months (or they’ll have fun untying these all).

I pulled these guys up and they were huge. I didn’t touch them all summer. Nothing got dead headed, cleaned out, or picked. But still I had enough to sell at the farmer’s market, if I wanted to.

Now why couldn’t the basil be that way?


The Ups and Downs of Fall: Part 1

Bittersweet. Summer is over. The days of Birkenstocks, short shorts, and freedom from snow, sleet, and ice are gone.
Fall brings dark evenings and ugly Christmas decorations way too early. (I’m not lying when I say that where I work
has had old Christmas decorations for sale since the end of August)

To sum up my summer as quickly as possible:


Took the ferry to Toronto Island


Fed some goats in Waterloo


Saw the falls for the first time in a few years. Super-tourist mode!


Tried to be artsy waiting for my super-delayed flight at the Montreal airport.


And then, PEI!


Drove home from PEI. This is on the Confederation Bridge looking towards New Brunswick.


The Blink 182 Concert at Molson. Amazing fun.


Gluttony at the CNE

…and now, it’s Fall. And it’s raining.


I don’t think I can bring myself to write an “Up” part to Fall just yet, hence the “Part 1” of this post.

But, I promise, the next crisp, beautiful Fall day, “Part 2” will appear.

RIP Summer 2011. You were awesome.