So I'm sitting on a pub patio tonight, taking it easy, enjoying a lazy Wednesday night watching the world pass by on Jarvis Street. Then I realize that the world might literally be passing by had Toronto won their bid to host the 2008 Olympics. With all of the hype about Beijing over the last year (well, more like eight years), it's hard to remember that Toronto was actually really close to getting the Games themselves. Who knows how things would be different? For one, I might not even be living here --- my roommate/landlady might well have thought ahead and rented out her spare room to, say, travelers from Denmark or something. Toronto would have a giant-ass new stadium for the opening ceremonies since the Sk....Sky.....Rogers Centre just isn't big enough. On the bright side, the city would just do what Atlanta did after its Olympics and convert its giant stadium into a smaller ballpark for the Braves. The Jays could use a nice, more baseballish sort of park. Still with a retractable roof, however. A stadium without a roof in Toronto would lead to more canceled games than when Scrabulous was shut down. I literally can't believe that the Twins' new stadium doesn't have a retractable roof. It's a baseball team in Minneapolis, for pete's sake. Do they just plan on not having any home games in April? Or ever playing any October baseball? I mean, I realize October baseball isn't a factor for the Blue Jays, but the Twins are actually a competent club.
Amazingly, at the pub, I ordered a chicken sandwich and not my patented hamburger. My friends have teased me for years about the fact that at pretty much any restaurant I go to, I'll order a hamburger. If I went to Gordon Ramsey's finest eatery, I'd order the beef consomme, hold the consomme and if Gordon would be nice enough to grill the beef and put it into a bun, that would be great. Sure, in Ramsey's case he'd probably out of the kitchen and personally kick my ass, but hey man, a brother's gotta have his burger.
I think my love of burgers stemmed from reading Archie Comics as a kid. My favourite character was Jughead, that burger-eatin', skinny-nosed son of a bitch. Of the three major things I could've adopted from Jughead, however, eating burgers is probably the most positive. It's a lot better than wearing a silly crown at all times or disdaining women. See, Jughead was single by choice, whereas I'm single by....um, the request of every woman in the southern Ontario area. I think the black guy from Chasing Amy was onto something when he claimed Jughead was gay ("that's why Jughead wears that crown-looking hat all the time. He the king of queen Archie's world"). Maybe the hamburgers were a manifestation of his latest homosexuality --- c'mon, he lusted after a piece of meat between two buns. Do I have to draw you a diagram?
I'm turning into a bit of a burger snob, however. I can't eat McDonald's burgers any more. Whoppers I never really got into. The only fast food ones I can still tolerate are Wendy's, mostly because Wendy's always seemed like a classier version of fast food restaurant. That Dave Thomas seemed like such a nice guy. My pal Kyle once wrote a hilarious letter printed in the London Free Press about how an obituary for Thomas was titled something like "Burger king missed by many." Kyle pointed out the incongruity of including one of Thomas' biggest rivals in his obit title, and compared it to a headline of "Penny saver passes away" if a thrifty Freeps editor died.
Perhaps as part of this growing negative attitude towards fast food, there is a surprisingly large number of major Toronto fast food outlets that I've never eaten at. The McDonald's at Spadina/Queen, the Pizza Pizza at Bathurst/Queen, any of the downtown Swiss Chalets....man, am I starting to eat healthy? Good lord. That goes against everything I stand for. Between this and my building's swimming pool, I'm going to end up in shape. Actually, the swimming has been curtailed a bit as of late due to all of the kids home from school. It's tough to do laps in a pool filled with a bunch of six-year-olds with water wings and their parents. That sentence wasn't written very well; I meant the parents of the children, not the parents of the water wings. Water wings reproduce asexually --- everyone knows that.
Speaking of water and asexual reproduction, the reason I was downtown tonight was to see Encounters At The End Of The World, Werner Herzog's documentary about Antarctica and, more specifically, the people who are compelled to explore it and live down there. It was pretty fascinating. I love how Herzog, who specializes in films about people driven to strange obsessions, began as a fiction filmmaker, but has gradually shifted to documentaries after realizing that there were already plenty of weirdly obsessed people in real life. Oddly enough, I've seen three movies in my life at Carlton Cinemas and two of them involved Werner Herzog. He was also in The Grand, that poker comedy I reviewed a few months ago. The other movie I've seen at the Carlton was Sleuth, which in a way is sort of like Herzog's Grizzly Man. Both involve dealing with wild animals (bears, British society), both involve a bunch of dead people at the end, I think there was a scene in Sleuth where Michael Caine was searching through a pile of feces...wait....
Doesn't Dane Cook seem like the kind of guy who would wear a lot of Axe body spray? Like, he'd pretty much hose himself down every time he went outside. If you opened his closet, the stench of second-hand Axe lingering on all of his clothes would just emerge and overwhelm you like the fog in Stephen King's The Fog.
Cab drivers are fucking awful. I was thinking of doing one of my Colbert-esque 'On Notice' posts about my driving pet peeves, but then I realized that I hate cabbies more than the rest (trucks, cyclists, clueless pedestrians, etc.) put together. There aren't a more ignorant, reckless, atrocious bunch of drivers on the road than cabbies. It's just disgraceful. And the worst part is, then you're actually in a cab, the cabbie suddenly goes from driving like Jason Statham in the Transporter movies to driving like my grandmother. They make no aggressive moves to get around slow-moving traffic, they stop not just at yellows but at stale greens....and really, why should they? They've got you in the taxi and they're getting paid more the longer you're in there.
Man, cabbies aggravate me. It makes me want to invest in my pal Dave's plan to start an executive car service. It would be called Lincoln Park since, y'know, the cars would all be Lincolns. If this idea sounds much like the dream of Jamie Foxx's character in Collateral....yeah, Dave loves that movie. Though his personal touch is to add a helicopter service as well for those businessmen whose douchiness just can't be contained by a land-bound vehicle. This is my same friend Dave who does a mean Schwarzenegger impression, so I think Dave just wants the chance to yell, "Get to de choppah!" on a regular basis.
Tonight's iTunes playlist.....
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1, the Flaming Lips
Solitary Man, Johnny Cash
Crown of Love, Arcade Fire (this one disappointed me, not because it's a bad song or anything, but because it busted up the nice streak of title tracks I had going)
Love Me, Elvis
Losing My Touch, the Rolling Stones
PJ & Rooster, Outkast