Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Todd!

Todd is celebrating his birthday in Germany today, with Julia. The two of them went to celebrate his cousin's wedding. Unfortunately, because of work and other commitments, I had to stay at home, but Kate and I have had a fun week here together. Happily, Todd is spending his birthday enjoying good food and drink and surrounded by lots of extended family members. The photo above is from our visit to the Ex. At age 43, he's still young at heart!

Today's a special day for a couple more reasons. Joe and Jill are celebrating their anniversary today, and my friend Don, who was Todd's roommate way back in university residence, is a year older today too. Best wishes to all of you!

Sunday Craft Update - September 21

The box of yarn I bought in April now looks like this. The blanket is about two-thirds done. It's made up of a combination of wool, cotton, alpaca and mohair yarns, and the photo just doesn't convey how very soft and light it is.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Loss to the Literary World

I was saddened to read that David Foster Wallace had died, at the age of 46. I'd read a number of his essays years ago, when I subscribed to Harper's Magazine. (That was before I had kids, when I actually had the attention span to read 20-page magazine articles.) I was amazed by how he could explore every facet of a seemingly mundane topic and draw me into that fascinating world. After reading his essay on cruise ships, "Shipping Out", in my formative years, I'm not sure I'll ever truly enjoy a cruise. (Well, OK, I did go on a cruise with my family. Once. And I enjoyed it ... sort of. Maybe I need to read Wallace again.) Harper's has collected his essays here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dining in Toronto

In the past month, Todd and I had the opportunity to go into Toronto a couple of times and while there, we enjoyed some good food and drink. We are fortunate to have a reasonable variety of dining options here, but whenever I visit Toronto, I'm reminded that I really do live out in the boonies. In some Toronto city blocks, I can find as many sushi restaurants as I can in all of Waterloo.

While the kids were at camp, we wandered around Toronto's Distillery District, a trendy, artsy area with good beer. Here is Todd with his favourite beverage at the Mill St. Brewery. We also had an excellent meal of oysters and tuna at the Pure Spirits Oyster Bar and Grill. We saw some lovely pieces in the many artists' studios there, but several of them left us simply perplexed. One studio was left completely unattended while we were there, and after a brief visit, we understood why security would be considered optional.

After the kids returned, we paid another visit to Toronto, this time to spend a fun-filled weekend, that included visiting the Canadian National Exhibition, with my cousins from Montreal. (More on this later. I'm still working on the backlog of family news stories.)

A dining experience worth mentioning was a visit to Musa. (The Martini Boys give a review and location info here.) This visit was memorable in that it featured the worst service I'd received in a long time. Even so, I would readily go back for another meal, as the food was terrific and the prices were surprisingly low, especially in contrast to the inflated numbers at the touristy Distillery District. From the brunch menu, I had the Tropicana, a generous serving of scrambled eggs, avocado, sausage, grilled fruits (papaya, mango and plantain), potatoes and toast. Gotta love a restaurant that serves whole-wheat toast as the default and that garnishes the plates with longan fruit. Do go to Musa for the wonderful brunch, but don't go if you have to be somewhere right after or if being ignored annoys you. I will have to pay another visit to my cousin, who lives nearby, so that I can try a dinner at this place.