Tag Archives: wii

Countdown To Disney – Cat Sitting


I hand over the apartment keys to my 18 yr old niece. She looks like she’s going to explode with excitement – more excited than I, now that we’re less than a day away from leaving. We’re giving her full run of our place (and a couple of her friends) the two weekends we’re away. She’s going to rock out on Guitar Hero and use the Wii Fit to measure …things.

“I’m more excited about cooking for myself!” She says.

People, get the nerdiest person you know to babysit your cat/apartment. I say that in love: she’s the coolest nerd person under 30 I know and I trust her judgment implacably. Listening to her pre-university stories makes me young again. Plus the stories aren’t littered with drinking or drug paraphernalia, so it’s all good.

It took us about 20 minutes to explain to her how to turn on the TV. Da, who is also going to come in from time to time to groom the cat, didn’t bother to listen in. Too many buttons.

Doors Open Season


Saturday! Woke early to go to the gym and and a breakfast burrito (yes, quite low fat thank you, when you build them yourself – more later). We grab a tea and make our way to CBC early for Open Doors Toronto 2009. We thought with all the layoffs the Ceeb is facing soon, it would probably be a great time to go have a gander at this government funded media bunker.

And bunker it was. Security was buzzing, trying to keep track of volunteer staff, who bitched and complained to each other on their headsets. I’m sure the level of security you would normally have to pass through is there to protect Peter Armstrong from marauding fans, and not to hide the somewhat extravagant hallway decorations placed there for the general public not to see… We were first for The Hour studio tour and had to endure some poor volunteer’s worker’s utter mental breakdown for lack of organization in her line. We were shunted to an elevator which ironically (?) the doors would not close due to overcrowding. With all of us explaining to the elevator operator that we needed to lose 2 people, the poor volunteer staffer was about shout “I’M JUST A VIDEO ARCHIVIST! I KNOW FUCK ALL ABOUT HOW TO OPERATE AN ELEVATOR!!” when two people volunteered to get the next one.

The studio was pretty flash, even though the seats looked “cheap wedding uncomfortable” so we know that the money going to the Ceeb isn’t going back into the public. No, it’s being spent on huge screen TVs to tart up talk shows only 1/3rd the Canadian public watches. Here Sharkboy and I are playing George Stroumboulopoulos and Jean Chretien:
Kylie Shows Up

We took the next tour of the radio department and had an interesting run of various sound proof rooms. Quite interesting.

After that we went to Osgoode Hall and wandered the dusty hallways of justice.
I'm Channelling Gregory Peck

We then tried to get to the Don Jail but they turned us away due to a 4 hour wait, which was too late past the closing time. I thought to myself “Who would wait four hours to see an old jail?” Disclaimer: I use to manage a traveller’s hostel in Ottawa that was converted from a 165 yr old jail.

We Arrive... Early?

Me apparently. Sunday we were back there at 945am and in line. Warned that the line was 4-5 hours long, we stuck it out. And stuck it out. And braved line-jumpers and fidgety kids.


Bored, in-line video:

The jail itself was probably not worth the 4 hours wait due to the state of the building. But it did remind me of the use to live in the jail/hostel I managed and it just brought back memories of impossible maintenance hoops our staff had to jump through every so often. Pipes bursting, kids falling off bunks, flooding, etc.
Stairs Up

After 5 hours in the sun, SharkBoy’s neck looks like an ad for an S&M Red Lobster outlet. Being red-green colourblind and able to see the shade should let you know how bad he got it across the back of his neck.

On the upside, my Wii is no longer calling me Obese. At 214lb, I have moved into the realm of Overweight. Yeah! I made my Disney weight goal with a few days to spare!

Last night I dreamed of O Boy’s Ribs on West Colonial Dr, Orlando. Oh yes, there will be binge and purging…

Full Flickr Set Here.

Full Circle

Personal Bits

The phone rings last night and it’s the Old Audio Dude (my third in line brother), he’s coming to Toronto with Heather and The Mop, my incredibly thick-haired nephew. No really, this kid’s hair is incredible considering he came from our gene pool of hairy backed, thin-on-top family. He can take solace (or sadness?) in knowing that no Mii editor, no Xbox avatar creator, no PS3 Home builder, will every be able to recreate his large, unruly mane.

I digress.

He’s here in town and to give Heather the day to herself, SharkBoy and I are going to treat him to a march down Queen West and a movie (Marley and Me). I think there might be robot shopping involved. Expect pictures. What makes me feel incredibly old and expectant, is the fact that he’s the exact age when I started to come with my Dad to Toronto on business trips and run around alone on the subway downtown (yeah, they use to let 13 year old kids wander the streets alone back in the 70s).

I’m slightly weirded out that this is how the legacy is passed on – trips to the Silver Snail with $20 in his pocket, a ticket to a movie and popcorn, chased down with big gulps of sugar water. That arcade is closed so I can’t show him that – he’s voiced his desire to plug into our PS3/Wii/Xbox combo until his eyes bleed, anyway. If I had more time I’d take him to the Science Centre but that’s too late. Oh well, we’ll teach him the fine art of shopping. Every young lad should learn that early.

Holiday DMZ


Weeee!Welcome to that zone between holiday events where a weird calm truce exists between the stress of Xmas and the drunken powder keg of New Years.

Since I’ve been unimpressed with my workplace with a layoff a week before the holidays and the arrival of a new gaming system at Casa RoboShark, (We’re “deadrobot” and “sharkboytoronto” respectively on the Sony network), I haven’t been in the mood to sit in front of a monitor for the last couple days. Judging by my RSS feed and various other outlets, not much of you netizens did either.

Sharkboy has been documenting most of Xmas this year. I recommend the “Switcheroo” post where, as usual, he proves that he is the utter master in gift giving surprises. I got punk’d and good. I’ve said before that I give bad gift. I can’t keep a surprise, I get the wrong thing, etc. Like all good overlords, SharkBoy preyed upon this weakness of mine and got me good.

Xmas dinner with Da, The Brother Playwright, Sharkboy and myself was perfect. We had Turkey-in-a-box that was delicious and more food than you could shake a stick at. Again, SharkBoy has pictures of our disastrous first attempt at a bear cake here. The rest of evening was punctuated with digesting and good deeds. On the way home we helped a slightly inebriated woman get to her home after she fell three times on the ice. Merry Xmas, titanium hip!

Speaking of gifts, I plugged in the Wii Fit we got for ourselves and the fucking thing tells me I’m obese. Back under the TV credenza it goes. Fuck you, fucking Wii Fuck Fit.

Boxing day we were up with the dawn for illegal boxing day sales (non-Canadians should know that it’s ironically illegal for a store to be open on Dec 26 unless in a designated “tourist area”, like… uh… a city) and the twinge in my back I felt starting all last week was growing to a rumbling pain, exasperated by quick slips on sidewalk ices. You know the graceful, one foot, Brian Orser style “WOOP” you do when you let your guard down as you walk one of Toronto’s many unshoveled or de-iced sidewalks. My back pain grew steadily. Regardless, we were in HMV/Futureshop/BestBuy well before 9am on Boxing day (weird side note: HMV at 830am was like a Bear411.com reunion. I saw so many live profiles it was weird…) and judging by the consumerist frenzy, there is NO economic strife. I’m convinced it’s a media manufactured myth: At BestBuy there was a man dragging a 42″ HDTV, PS3, armload of games and Home theatre set up to the cash.

At this point I would like to point out that Blu Ray movies on a 50″ TV is like angels coming down and spitting heavenly mana into your eyes. And I have not experienced a WOW moment with a home gaming system in a long time since Donkey Kong for the N64. Of course, I’m talking about Little Big Planet. Who isn’t?

Yesterday I spent the entire day in pain. At one point I couldnt get myself upright in bed. With tears running down my face, I managed to stand and move around a bit. SharkBoy tore himself away from the PS3 long enough to make dinner and help out but by bed, I was high on back pain meds and slept on my stomach all night. To my surprise, in the morning, I had very little pain. Knock wood it stays away today.

We’re going brave the rain (remember folks, it’s not global warming, there’s always a thaw just before the new year cold snap!) and go see a real movie before we go house-squirrely. Meanwhile, why not peruse some of my Xmas shots here?

Halloween 2008

Jedis By RodTO

Jedis By RodTO

Halloween on Church Street. You will never find a more retched hive of scum and villainy.

The evening started out good with a group of us getting together at Casa RoboShark, slapping on layers of makeup while we sucked back beers during rounds of Guitar Hero and Mario Kart Wii. It sounds very involved but it was pretty relaxed. I wound up doing Dollar Store cuts on a few guys but the wax wounds didn’t last too long after leaving the apartment… I blame sweat and not having a proper sealant to make it stick. That and they wrinkled their faces too much. NO LAUGHING!

Here’s where I apologize for not taking any pictures this year. My lightsabre for my Jedi costume was a two hander. RodTO (Photog 2) took some amazing shots, as usual. Go see them and praise him highly.

We left the house at 9 and got to the street in full swing. It was busy as usual. SharkBoy felt there were too many drunk Ryerson students, but I thought it was a typical Halloween night: packed, pictures everywhere. Our outfits weren’t as attention grabbing as last year’s Luchadores, but with the Force FX sabres, we were well lit and did get into some photos. Here’s where I mention that lucha masks were out in force this year. We’re trendsetters.

We met up with Da, the Xbox Boys, FrankenSteve (nice fairies!) and got to do one circuit of up and down the strip before going home. Some of the costumes were amazing, some were the usual “Throw on a boa and I’m done” kind of WTF kind of effort. In all, I would say that a lot more people are getting into the spirit of dressing up, even if it’s just a dollar store jumpsuit with a cheap plastic lead-based mask. I say “bravo” for trying!

The thing that did mar the evening for me: I verbally abused a drunk asshole in a rather (un)Jedi like manner. We were walking in the crowd and came upon a small pocket, empty of people and I had stopped to wait for the other guys to catch up. As I did, a drunk guy came pushing out of the crowd, past me, screaming like a 9 year old child. “No! NO!” he was hollering. Chasing him was another drunk partyer who was making noises like he was going to catch him. Upon seeing my lightsabre, he lunged at me and yelled he needed it to “get that faggot.”

“Uh no,” I said and turned slightly from him.

He drunkenly clawed at the toy. (okay, the $130 toy, none the less)

“Fuck off!” I said. I was shocked: I don’t say this lightly in public, to strangers. But his total disregard for my personal space and property was appalling.

“Oh chill,” he said and tried to go for it again.

“Fuck. Off.” I said, stronger. And the surreal part was that I had my hand out, pointing a finger at his face. Like the Force was going to save me.

Exit drunk queen, muttering something, trying to catch up to “that faggot”.

Gay Jedi

Gay Jedi

There were other extremely drunken exchanges that bewildered me, like the 60-some year old woman wordlessly trying to grab SharkBoy’s lightsabre by the tube and me yelling “Lady! YOU DON’T TOUCH A JEDI’S STICK!” (yeah I said “stick” but she muttered “dick” back). Or the three Ryerson tarts wanting to play with the sabres for themselves and when we refused, asked for a kiss. Wha?

I love Halloween, but I was kind of cheesed off by the overly rowdy drunks. We were out pretty late and the worst of it did happen well after 11pm so I shouldn’t be surprised, really.

Next year, more thoughtful planning, I should think. Something not so attention grabbing, yet attention grabbing.

Bad Gifting

Personal Bits

I’m a horrible gift giver. I’ve mentioned before that I buy things I want to get, which is subconsciously greedy, I know. But if I manage to get things the receiver actually wants (usually through HEAVY hinting and suggestion), I always manage to destroy the act of surprise.

I drop too many cautionary suggestions (“You know those underwear you liked? I think you should just forget about buying them.”); or I ask too many questions (“That camera you looked at last week. Did it have a serial number you can remember off the top of your head?”); or in the case of home-made, hear felt gifts, I execute their creation waaay too early (“You may want to wear this now – it’s a scarf I made you!”); or I just leave the damn things lying around without trying to hide them (“What’s this Charlie’s Angels Season One doing here?”), all resulting in the most anti-climactic surprise for the recipient.

So when I finished wrapping the gifts last night for someone’s impending birthday, this someone systematically picked them up and one by one and identified nearly each gift:

(Fondle) “That book I wanted.”
(Shake) “Socks. Probably green.”
(Lift, bend) “That t-shirt I said I liked.”
(Hold, weigh) “Not sure.”
(Hold, poke) “Not sure.”
(Passing to side) “Charlie’s Angels.”
(Passing to side) “Charlie’s Angels.”
(Lift, bend) “Padded CD case?”

Damn it!

My own fault, really. I can’t go up against the master. He had my iPhone sitting beside my bed (hardly hidden) for at least 3 weeks before my birthday with not one mention or hint to me about it. Subsequently I was blindsided, twice (he got me a decoy gift which he also didn’t let on, but gave to me early – the Wii). Cool as a cucumber, he sat on these gifts for a long time without hint of their impending coolness.

Me? I think in terms of the happiness. I’m bursting to see the payoff, but I get disappointed when the recipient makes the all too easy connection: “Want to see what I got you? No? Darn! It’s really cool! It makes toast and is toaster-like! What? No. It’s not a toaster! Fttt!”