|41st Birthday Weekend
||[Jul. 24th, 2012|12:09 am]
I took a day off work on either side of this past weekend, to allow time for Jody to come visit me on my 41st birthday. Previous visits have covered most of the obvious 'touristy' sites, so we used Friday to just hang out downtown for a while. Since this will likely be the last chance Jody will have to see it before it closes, I took her to the World's Biggest Bookstore. But first we grabbed lunch at the Panera right around the corner. Then we popped into the Lush in the Eaton Centre to purchase a couple of gifts. From there, we drove over to the Distillery District. I had taken Jody there on her first trip to Toronto back in 2009, but on a cool and blustery day when there weren't many people around. This time it was busier, which makes it a more inviting place. More gifts were obtained at the Soma chocolate shop. Our shopping excursion ended with a trip to the Loblaws store at Maple Leaf Gardens, where provisions for the next night's dinner were obtained. |
Jody and I met up with Karen for dinner, at a Korean BBQ restaurant in North York. Meaty deliciousness ensued. Then we just headed back to our place in Brampton to rest.
Saturday involved a road trip to Detroit Michigan (or, more specifically, Novi Michigan), for a meeting of Strangeways Radio DJs and listeners. Jody and I have gotten to know these folks in the station chat room, but this was the first chance we'd had to meet in person. And both of us felt totally at home. Initially, I though we'd all meet at a restaurant and then go out to a club...but instead, Strangeways Radio head honcho Michael Foster offered to host a potluck dinner at his house. This was a way better outcome. We were able to talk, circulate...and enjoy the obscene amount of food that wound up being brought over. I brought Cards Against Humanity with me, and it was a hit with the group, since we're all a bunch of filthy perverts. So many laughs were had! I totally enjoyed meeting everyone (especially jenifoto), and hope I can do so again before too long.
Michael also offered to let Jody and I crash at his place, which was so great. It was for our hosts that Jody and I were buying thank you gifts at Lush and Soma on Friday.
Now, I had not made a big deal out of the fact that it was my birthday, but Michaels' partner Carolyn found out...and took it upon herself to get a card for me (I don't know whether she had it lying around, or went out to a 24 hr drug store to get it), and set up a cupcake with candles, which I found when I came downstairs in the morning. What a sweetheart! Both were such gracious hosts. Alas, Jody and I had to hit the road by 10:30 at the absolute latest, because we had to get back to Toronto in time for a 3:40 showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Carolyn is not a morning person, and was not awake at the time we had to leave. But we thanked her through Mikey, and went on our way.
We made it to the theatre with about 10 minutes to spare. Cineplex offered assigned seating in its new AVX theatres, which is a wonderful feature. It means being assured that your party will get seats together, and not having to show up 40 minutes early to get a decent spot.
As for the movie itself....I thought it was okay. I did not find it to be as successful as many reviews that I'd read had led me to believe it would be. The motivation of the villains was unclear to me....is it to bring down 'The 1%', or just to kill a bunch of people for no special reason? I could say quite a bit about the film and its politics, but it'll have to wait for another occasion, when I have more time. Performances were good, cinematography was first rate, but by the end I was not gripped by a 'I wanna see that again' feeling - which is my usual standard of cinematic success.
The film was interrupted just as the fight scene between Batman and Bane was beginning. The projector shut off, and the house lights came up. Initally it was unclear if we'd get the rest of the film. But the film was rewound, and nothing got missed. For our trouble, the theatre handed out free movie vouchers to everyone in the theatre while we were exiting - which was a nice gesture.
We walked over to the Pickle Barrel restaurant in the mall, where we met 10 friends and family members who were unable to make it for the film. It was a big group, and I wasn't able to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked. The food was decent, but service was a bit spotty. And in the end, they wound up messing up our orders on the split bills. I guess there's not much incentive to do things well when the tip is mandatory (on large groups). No matter, it was fun. I was particularly happy that Ria could make it. I reconnected with Ria on LinkedIn and met her for dinner a few weeks ago, but Karen hadn't seen her since around 2005.
Speaking of re-connecting, I found an old high school penpal of mine last week, courtesy of Facebook. I look forward to hearing what she has been up to for the last 15+ years! I almost had a chance to meet her on Saturday, since she lives outside of Leamington - which is en route between Toronto and Windsor....but in the end, there wasn't time.
Tonight, Jody and I just bummed around the house with Karen until it was time to head out to the airport. It was a busy weekend, and the downtime was enjoyable.