Dec 29, 2010

A Concert To Remember

On July 30th, 2003, I was lucky enough to attend one of the greatest, if not THE greatest concert, since Woodstock back in 1969.  

I was a part of the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert, or otherwise lovingly known as SARSStock.  This was a gathering of half a million people on a former military base in the North end of Toronto.  People who wanted to hear amazing music and support a good cause all came together on this scorching Summer day.

Because of the SARS pandemic alert issued by the WHO,  tourism in Toronto was WAY down.  And that's no good right?  So a concert to help boost the city's poor tourist numbers (and wallets) was put together very quickly, with the help of the members of The Rolling Stones.  Apparently they love our city, what with their tour rehearsals, arrests and trials being held out here, why wouldn't they?  They headlined the show, Dan Aykroyd hosted it and a number of amazing bands played.  Want to hear my experience of it?  You got it.

My sister, my friend John (he of the Tony Danza fame) and I arrived fairly early, around 11AM.  We were able to choose a good location.  Close enough to the stage to kind of see what was going on, but just far enough away that we were off to the side of a jumbo-tron, which helped us to see better the darker it became.

It was hot folks.  And when I say hot I mean I mean holy depths of hell hot.  It was a balmy 35 degrees (for those of you who like the fahrenheit, it was 95), but with the blasting sun and no shade around whatsoever, it felt more like 40.  

Look at all the people.

And another look.

People were THIS CLOSE to each other.  Brutal in the heat.

But despite the heat and the cramped conditions, the day was awesome.  Everyone was happy to be there, performers and concert-goers alike, and the vibe was like nothing I can describe.  HALF A MILLION PEOPLE yelling and happy is a GREAT thing.  I was squished and hot, and I didn't care...I was having a blast.  

The bathroom situation though, wasn't so hot.  I could see port-a-pottys in the distance.  The far distance. And to manoeuvre through all those people to get thanks.  My brilliant plan was to not drink too much water, and keep the food intake to a minimum.  Fucking kids right?  If I did that today I would be close to death within minutes.  I need to be a fully functioning bathroom user, food eater and water drinker to get through my day.  I cannot break from this, or I will DIE.  For real.

The concert opened in the afternoon with the Have Love Will Travel Revue (Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi!),  Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, La Chicane, The Tea Party, The Flaming Lips, Sass Jordan, The Isley Brothers and Blue Rodeo.  Later in the afternoon Justin Timberlake, The Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC and the Stones all took the stage.  The highlights for me were definitely Sam Roberts, The Flaming Lips, Blue Rodeo, The Guess Who, AC/DC and the Stones.  I remember that when the Guess Who took the stage, helicopters started flying overhead, and the sun was just starting to go down.  The first few notes of a song started playing and ALL 500,000 people were flashing the peace sign.  I handed my camera to a girl that was sitting on someone's shoulders and no lie...EVERYONE was flashing the peace sign.  It was a beautiful sight, and definitely one of the more magical moments of the show.  

I left feeling like I had been a part of something HUGE.  Something I would most likely never be a part of again.  I also left feeling sick from the lack of food, no water and all that sun.  I dry heaved into a half full bag of rice cakes on the subway, on the way home.  But I was smiling while I did it.  

My sister and I didn't make it home that night until almost 2AM.  We were bone tired, sore, dirty and HAPPY.  I was supposed to work the next morning (or in this case, later that morning), but I had to call in sick.  I had sunstroke, and I needed to nourish my poor body back to health.  When I got home that night and finally went to the washroom after not going for a full 15 hours, my pee was BROWN.  Think about that, because I am not going to elaborate.  Ok, maybe I will.  THICK AND BROWN.  Delicious, I know.  When I had a chance to study my war wounds from the previous day, I found that I was caked with dirt from head to toe.  Dirt mixed with sweat mixed with more dirt and sweat.  I found dirt in places where I am not sure how it even got there.  Dirt was caked in the creases of my elbows and in the corners of my eyes.  Needless to say, a shower was much needed and much appreciated.

Even with all the dirt, and gross pee and sweat, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Not quite like the 1969 Woodstock, but it's as close as I will get.  And it was amazing.

Dec 27, 2010

100 Things I Love: 2...Warm and Cozy

Happy Stuff

I know I am late, but I just wanted to say Happy Holidays to everyone!  I figured it was better late then never right?

I hope everyone is happy and healthy this holiday season.  I am both, which is always a good thing! I always seem to get sick at this time of year on account of being run down.  I always say 'yes' to so many things earlier on in the season and then they all start to pile up.  Not that I am complaining...too much.  

After my sisters' work Christmas party, I rushed home, worked all week, and rushed back to my parents house in time for Christmas Eve.  Gah.  Seriously, travelling by bus on Christmas Eve?  I must be mental.  But we made it in time for my sister to pick us up so we could go and eat some Chinese food.  YUM! Always a tradition in my family to eat Chinese food at some point during the holidays.  And after that, it was another busy weekend ahead.  Christmas night was nice: my sister made dinner while I built a fire.  A bottle of wine was consumed and much lying around like glutinous pigs was enjoyed by all.

It is now Monday night.  I am sitting on my couch, wrapped in a cozy blanket,  FINALLY relaxing after almost an entire month of running here and there and everywhere.  Needless to say, I am content.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 21, 2010

The Party Committee Who Stole My Christmas Fun...AKA The Party Grinch

As she does every year, my beautiful sister invited me to her work Christmas party.  Since I chose not to attend mine this year, I was looking forward to hers.  It's a chance to get all dressed up, drink fancy drinks, and take your heels off to dance the night away.  Right?  No.  See photo evidence below:

 Before the night really got underway.  Smiles!

No.  No fun.

We got dressed up all pretty, got our hair did and all that kind of stuff, only to attend a barn dance.  You heard me.  A barn dance.  

The party was in a swanky hotel, the room was gorgeous.  Everyone looked lovely and ready to have a great night.  Dinner was served, it was all good.  Drinks were being consumed by all, even though they were a whopping $7 a drink, and they were PRE-MIXED.  Uh no.  No way.  If I have to pay $7 for a tiny drink, I want to be able to see exactly how much, or how little, alcohol you are putting into it.  Needless to say, the seven dollar cranberry juice was healthy and tasty, but not worth the price.  Give me the alcohol part too, then maybe.  Sigh.

Also, my sister 'neglected' to tell me that there was going to be karaoke at this company Christmas party.  The reason why she neglected to tell me this is because she knew I wouldn't come.  Because I don't like karaoke.  It's one thing to sit in a room with a few friends and drunkenly butcher some songs all  in good fun, but it's another thing to subject a large group of people to your horrible, terrifying version of Love Shack.  The DJ being 80-years-old, was having a great time.  Whenever someone didn't feel like taking the reigns to torture us all with a sexified Christmas song, the DJ stepped up and sang us a few diddies of his own.  While he sat behind his 1989 computer monitor/ DJ booth.  Every song that my sister requested, (which were current, popular songs), he did not have.  His version of 'current' was the Spice Girls' If You Wanna Be My Lover.  Good lord, where was my Christmas miracle?

All in all, the company at our table was good.  We all were feeling the same sense of disdain and wastefulness and were hamming it up for each others' benefits.  I am glad that I got to spend some quality time with my sister though, who I love, even if it was at a barn dance. 

I texted Dave at one point in the night to let him know how it was all going down.  He called me a Toronto snob.  I disagree.  I am more of a 'wont-wear-heels-unless-I-have-to' kind of snob.  If I had known it was going to be a hoedown, I wouldn't have bothered to break these babies in.

Dec 20, 2010

As Promised

So...without further ado, here are some of the pictures from my birthday celebration. 

I am a little shy, as it's the beginning of the night.

Presents were accepted.

Cake was enjoyed by all.

Good friends were there to love.

I believe this is when the drinks began to catch up with us.

Go away.  Thanks.

This day started crazy and ended crazy.  Let me tell you.  I made sure to wake up SUPER early so that I could get my house clean, as I was expecting an over night guest.  My friend Shaun, from my last post, if you remember.  And whenever I am expecting people, I get a little anxious and worried that everything is not perfect.  Again with the OCD, I know.  I just want people to feel comfortable, OK!!?? 

So Dave and I get up early and we clean the entire apartment from top to bottom.  The tree is up, there is extra food in the fridge and we are ready.  At this point I am being made aware from those pesky weather people on t.v, of a huge snowstorm that is supposed to hit Toronto later that night and continue on through the next day.  I am texting my friend and asking him if he still feels like driving all that way if a huge storm was on it's way.  No answer for hours.  Finally when I am REALLY starting to panic, he answers that yeah, it's not worth it to drive that far.  Cool.  I completely understand.  What I don't understand is WHY THE UNIVERSE HATES ME.  Three seconds after I get that text from Shaun (which I was disappointed over but hey, his safety is more important) my phone vibrates again.  I read that another one of my good friends isn't able to make it because they aren't feeling well.  And then half a second after that text, I get another from another good friend saying the same thing.  Sigh.  Now, I have never been one to get upset about that kind of thing, but Universe, did you have to have PERFECT TIMING and send them all at once?  What a shit parade.

But other then all my friends bailing on me not being able to make it, it was a fun night.  I shared my celebration with an old friend who is also turning 31 (on Christmas Day! Blows!), hence the candles that say we are 62, and it was a lot of fun. 

The real craziness though, started when we were on the bus, on the way home.  It was almost 2AM and everyone on the bus was subdued and pretty quiet.  I was looking through all the pictures I took that night and I came upon one of Dave taking a bite of cake.  The picture struck me as hilarious.  So I laughed.  Like a hyena.  On a quiet bus.  And the more I thought about how hard and obnoxiously I was laughing, the harder and louder I would laugh.  Man, sometimes you just have laugh attacks and you can't stop.  That's why it's called an attack.  So all in all it was a good night.  Presents, cake, drinks, friends, and laugh attacks.  What more could you ask for?

Oh and that storm?  It never came.  Bastard.

Dec 10, 2010

Crazy Fun Weekend

This weekend marks the second of my crazy December weekends.  But what a fun one it will be!! We are all going out to celebrate my birthday on Saturday (it's on the 22nd for anyone feeling extra generous this holiday season), and I ACTUALLY created a Facebook event for it this year.  Yes, me.  Not only did I create a birthday event for MYSELF, but I did it on Facebook.  Shoot me now.  

My good friend Shaun is also coming over to hang out and crash at my place this weekend.  I have promised a fantastic breakfast on Sunday morning because last time we hung out and he slept over, he spent an hour standing outside my bedroom, knocking and trying to wake me up while I quietly locked the door and prayed he would go away.  Poor guy just wanted to go for a cup of coffee, I just wanted to die in my own bed.  Of course that was the Saturday night where a bottle of Crown was consumed, multicolored shots in test tubes were downed with colorful abandon, and girls painted in silver stood frozen in strange poses (of which Shaun poked one in the stomach.  I can't recall if she broke her pose or not).  And I locked my door on my friend I was supposed to be entertaining.  

Good lord.  So I owe him a better time.  OR...I can create a replay of the last time and and say I am reliving a fond memory?  We'll see.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Don't worry, many pictures will follow of this night of my 31st birthday celebration!

Dec 6, 2010

Snow Watch Over

This is what I woke up to this morning....

I took this while walking to work this morning.  It was snowing gently, and my boots were making crunching noises in the snow, and I was grinning like a fool.  Unfortunately it won't stay like this all Winter.  It will get a million degrees colder, and that gently falling snow will be blowing so hard that it stings your face.  And this is all ok, albeit a bit of an annoyance...this is Canada, and we are known for our winters!

On another exciting note, Dave and I put up our tree tomorrow. If you have any idea how excited I am at all to do this, then please know that when I mentioned it (for the thousandth time) to Dave this evening I also ran over to the radio, turned it on, and proceeded to dance a full song version of Feliz Navidad, to the point where I couldn't stop laughing at my own ridiculousness.  It's a pretty repetitive song, but my dance moves were varied and brilliant folks.

On another, absolutely non-holiday note....

Dave and I were eating dinner tonight when he found something unsatisfactory in his food.  Now, let me just say that the amount of time Dave spends quietly inspecting his plate is annoying endearing.  I am always saying things such as, "Oh Dave, there is nothing there", or "Just leave it! It's SUPPOSED to be there!".  

So today he spent eons trying to disengage a speck of something from an egg yolk that belonged in the egg yolk.  He laboured over this thing for what felt like the entire dinner .  Of course I rolled my eyes, who wouldn't?  OCD ANYONE!!!??? I can say that because I love him and I have tons of  no OCD myself.

The part that made me laugh though? As he was clearing the dishes he looks solemnly down at his plate, sighs and says,

"The kicker is that I spent so much time picking that speck out and placing it off to the side, and I still ate it by accident".

And you LIVED to tell the story??? UNHEARD of!!!

Dec 2, 2010


I love December.  It is both relaxing and insane.  I am not sure why my social calendar becomes jam-packed in December only, but I do love that it does.  All I have to do is remember to breathe, and not look at the month as a whole or I will begin to question when I will have a chance to blink and that WILL drive me insane! 

My good friend C was smart when she called me on a hot day in August and asked me if I was busy at the start of the holiday season.  Of course in August, I had no plans for the beginning of December, so I accepted her offer of a weekend visit at her cozy abode, trimming the tree and sipping hot cocoa with the kiddies.  Who can say no to that?  But I tell you, she is a smart cookie for nabbing me then.  

On top of that big day where some say a dude named Jesus was born, it is also my birthday three days before the big C.  And because all of my friends are awesome, they feel the need to treat me extra special on and around my birthday so a party (or three) is thrown and I am made to feel like the most important girl in the world.  Or maybe it is just pity....hey, I will take their pity party any day, just show me the free drinks!

But the part of this month that I love the most is when the winds change to the cold, biting winds of Winter.  The kind of cold where you don't think you are going to survive the trek home and the only thing keeping you alive is the thought of the warm glow of lights in an open window.  A cup of hot tea made for you by someone you love.  Knowing that there is a warm place for you to sleep, snuggled in the depths of your blankets where for 8 hours your sleeping brain believes that you never have to leave your comfortable nest.  

As I have said before, I become akin to a hibernating bear in the Winter, and December is my busy foraging time before holing up in a corner of my comfortable couch for January and February (and March, and April, and the beginning of May...).  A time to visit and socialize and get it all out before my body begins to slow down for the season.  To eat fattening foods (oh butter how I love you!) and pile on the sweaters and long-johns.  To wait for the warmer winds of Spring.  

What does December look like for you?