Wednesday, June 29

Toronto Diary - Day Three.

Monday, June 20

Waking up on a Monday morning without having to go to work is a welcome feeling, but it’s usually accompanied by going right back to bed. Not in this case, as we had to get going to two of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Toronto; The Royal Ontario Museum and Casa Loma. While brushing my teeth, I realized that my toothbrush got smashed in the suitcase somewhere along the way, misaligning all my bristles. It works much better now, honestly.

Driving to the Royal Ontario Museum took us straight into the very heart of Toronto. We parked our car just feet from the Eaton Centre, one of the largest shopping malls on the planet. We were just there to grab some cheap breakfast; shopping was for another day. I had never ate a veggie sub for breakfast before in an empty mall food court, but there's a first time for everything.

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So early into the vacation, and we were all in wretched moods. I was already burned out on the hours, the Missus was in a lot of pain because she hurt her leg at the Zoo the previous day, and Ben and Sherry were constantly at each other over navigating and driving. This was the day that it all came to a head.

It was good to get it out of the way early on, as to enjoy the rest of the trip. Before we get to the meltdown, however, here are some fun facts about Canadian Television.

What’s On TV? Canadian Television & You

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Canadian Television is basically the same crap that we have in the states; they just have a Canadian equivalent. We have MTV; they have Much Music, that sort of thing. The one thing they have that we certainly do NOT have is a French station that played nothing but terrifying children’s shows all morning. These French clowns would prance around, singing surreal songs and riding those old-fashioned bikes with the huge wheel in the front. Sometime in the evening, the children’s programming would cease in favor of soft-core porn. No thank you.

The morning programming was similar to ours, only their weathermen were simply never right. Every day, they predicted rain, and it never rained. In fact, the only time we saw a drop of rain was when we finally got back into Madison at the end of the trip. They did the traffic report, which was the same thing every morning:

Oh, looks like a lot of congestion on the 424. Good luck with all of that, ‘eh?

And now sports.

Back to business. The trouble started when Ben (or Sherry, it doesn’t matter who) misread the map. He claimed it was only “a few blocks” from our car to the Museum. Keep in mind that it was pushing 95 degrees that day, and the Missus was gimpy. A few blocks made all the difference.

In reality, a few blocks were about 20. The Museum was over two miles away.

As the Missus limped along with me, she said “I’d rather be at work”. I couldn’t blame her. When we finally got to the museum, the four of us split up as I tried to comfort the Missus, in tears because her leg hurt so much. When we all met back up towards the end of the Museum venture, things pretty much uncorked.

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For the sake of fair reporting, here’s where everyone went wrong.

Ben clearly misread the map, but he’s not to blame because he had a near-flawless record for 95% of the trip. He did a much better job than I ever could have, and I respect that immensely.

Sherry was a little sensitive because she had obviously worked very hard on planning out every day of this vacation. Criticizing things was like criticizing her. That being said, she was a masterful driver in the big city, and took on a task that I never could have done on my own. I respect her for that as well.

The Missus was sensitive because of a mixture of the blistering heat and her bum leg. She was really hurting, so any additional walking in the bowels of Toronto was quite hellish for anyone, especially her. She was quite furious, but was quick to apologize and fully understand the reality of the situation.

I was always the first to criticize everything. It would appear that I was never having fun, but I usually only open my mouth when I’m angry about something. Nonetheless, if I was truly angry about something, I’d do something about it. Apart from my crotchety old man routine, I felt as if I usually kept my logic and wits about me and made sure that nobody in the car killed me. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I brought anything useful to this trip besides my money.

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Looking back, I think we were all in bad moods for the same reason. We felt tiny. I mean, we are four intelligent, independent people who had absolutely no idea what they hell they were doing. Everything we did was done with hesitation. Every decision had to be voted upon. Simple tasks and directions were being swallowed whole by the city. We, as Americans, felt arrogant, pompous and quite loser-y. When a city backs you into a corner like that, it's only normal to start lashing out at each other. It's how us shaved apes keep order. If our petty little squabble was the worst thing that happened over the course of the week (and it probably was), then we all had a pretty good week.

Anyways, we came to the (simple) conclusion to take the subway back to our car. Had we been knowledgeable of the city to begin with, we would have done that right away and saved the headache. That boneheaded misstep was enough to put all of us back onto the same happy page again.

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We drove to Casa Loma, which had a nice free parking lot. This place was way more interesting and beautiful than I thought it would be. It also featured the scariest basement ever.

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The courtyard was amazing, and the views of the city were impressive. This brightened all of our spirits, and we eventually participated in a group tickle fight (I may have dreamed that last part. You should probably ignore it.).

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I purchased an iced tea in the outdoor beverage area, while Ben & Sherry split a Spongebob Squarepants popcicle.

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This was a long day, and we wrapped everything up with a dinner from the hotel across the street from us. It was there that I consumed the single greatest veggie burger ever made. It took us a full three minutes to even determine if it was meat or not, that’s how good it was. I swear to you, burger technology is really moving onward and upward in leaps and bounds. A perfect ending to a rocky and important day.

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TOMORROW - DAY FOUR.

(Questions, comments or concerns about day three? Sound off in the comments section.)

Comments:
So many photos have I seen with you flailing your arms in joy or scorn...
 
I'm a bit of a flailer. I talk with my hands, like a lunatic.

Usually, when words just don't cut it, I let my fists do the talking.
 
I do that too. I draw little eyes and lips on my forefinger and thumb, and the thumb becomes the jaw.
 
That basement sure doesn't look creepier than the room in my basement. I don't believe I knew about it last time you guys were up here. There's a door in the laundry room that was always closed...then one day it was open and there was a light on. The room was totally creepy, and I didn't even know it was there...so I pretended I didn't see it, threw my clothes in the washer and ran upstairs. Took me a week to work up the courage to go in there and check it out.

The floor in the room is dirt and it's all dug up in places; there are shovels and things leaning on the walls...broken cinder blocks and stuff scattered on the ground. It's a small and oddly-shaped room, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were dead bodies buried in there somewhere. In fact, if I had a body to bury, that's where I'd put it.
 
Great, now I'll have to find a NEW corpse-hidin' spot....
 
(Talking high-pitched out the side of my mouth)

"Hello, I'm Ryan's fist. Do you have a problem?"

Wow Aaron, you've got to show me your corpse-hatch. I've been puttin' corpses in my concrete storage unit, so some fresh dirt would be ideal for me.

Speaking of corpses, "Lost" last night was amazing. I taped it...with my new DVR! Woot! I'll never miss another show again!
 
Well when are you guys going to be in the area next? We can play some drunken Scrabble and then kill a homeless man and bury him in my basement. Just like the old days.

That and I'm trying to put together my website portfolio and I need that M@B cd-r back. The coffee shop site should be up soon...and let me tell you, it is one sexy website.

So yeah. When are you coming to A-town? Soon? Ever? Three day weekend coming up...eh? Eh?
 
We're not coming up this weekend, but you should consider coming down. Celia was having a couple friends over to get new tattoos, and I'm pretty sure that Ben's tagging along.

We're also having a pretty world-famous fireworks thing this weekend in Madison as well, so give me a call tonight or tomorrow and we can go over the details. I have a Scrabble board, so that helps.
 
I might have to do that...I'm not sure what's going on for me this weekend. I thought that I had plans but it seems like things may have changed. So I guess I'll let you know when I know.

Is Ben getting a tattoo? I've been seriously thinking about getting one (and then probably more).

If I come down I'll just have to pack up my creepy basement and bring it with to show you.
 
I don't know if Ben's coming or not...I never told Sherry to tell him, so she may not have. I hope he's coming though so you don't have to be all alone!!!!!
 
Ooh, a creepy basement roadshow! Is Lara Spencer coming with?

Ben's not getting a tattoo, as we normally reserve unnecessary pain for the ladies of the house. Maybe someday, but certainly not this weekend for me.

Someone's gotta come down and keep me company. I can't just spend the weekend as the only guy surrounded by pretty ladies with sparkling personalities. Don't you know how bored I'd get?

Hey, I managed to shoot myself in the foot in every above paragraph. Good for me.
 
OK, so when is this stuff going down? It looks like I'm free Friday and Saturday for sure. Not sure about Sunday, but Monday I've got plans (kind of).
 
The girls are coming over at 2:00-ish on Saturday, so that's when Ryan will need a playmate.
 
Ben's coming! I actually told him this time!
 
So come over Saturday afternoon, Aaron. Me and Ben will be sitting around the house, holding our spouses' purses like fools while they go and get inked. We'll play Mortal Kombat in the rumpus room.
 
Sweet. Maybe I can even hitch a ride with Ben and Sherry. Driving that far by myself is not so much fun.
 
When I drive by myself, I sing real loud and attempt to rip the steering wheel outta the column. I enjoy it, but I know what you're talking aboot.

See you Saturday!
 
I constantly look into my rearview, for fear that the Burger King guy is in my backseat...
 
The new Burger King campaign is completely out of hand, but I love them dearly. Even more so now that I know Billy Vera does the voice-overs for them.

That's right, I said Billy Vera.
 
Aaron, we could probably give you a ride. Is there any way that we could pick you up from your parents' house? We are planning on visiting our parents in the morning on Saturday. If you're at your parents', then we wouldn't have to drive back up to Appleton. Just an idea...
 
I am glad that the Burger King has assumed his rightful place on the burger throne once again. I don't mind being a burger peasant.

The other weird commercial I like is the Starburst one where the guy says it's like a fiesta in his mouth, and they show a mariachi band inside his mouth playing music, and they all start fighting for their lives when he bites down and the saliva starts flooding his mouth.
 
I just saw that Starburst commercial for the first time last night. I, personally, found it very unsettling...
 
Now you're just being Judging.
 
Was there a joke in there somewhere because of the capital "J" on "judging"? If so, I don't get it.

I don't get Jokes.
 
Capitalization is very funny in Europe, you know. Very cutting edge.

Sherry, that would probably work. I'll give you or Ben a call tonight to figure it all out.
 
It was a Myers Briggs personality test joke. J is for Judging. It's probably not funny unless you read my last comment on Day 2. Even then, it may still not be funny.

If there's a bad Myers Briggs joke, I haven't heard it.
 
You are quite advanced at joke telling to tie all those elements together...I applaud thee!
 
It was a good joke, along with the "Burger Peasant". I laughed.

Day Four is on the way. I just had to take Thursday off to avoid a breakdown. I was getting tired of rehashing stuff I wrote in my journal while in Toronto, and the writing started to reflect that. I always try to stay at my creative peak when I write all this stuff for no pay whatsoever.

I'll see you kids tomorrow.

Oh, if I had to choose my favorite commercial on TV right now, I would say the Vonage "People do Stupid Things" campaign. I've seen all those home videos before, but when that woman does the dizzy bat and runs into the shed, I lose it every time.

The Starburst and Burger King ads are wonderfully surreal.
 
If we are talking commercials, Tony Little's Geico ad was one of the best I have seen in quite some time. However, I've only caught the ad once and am not quite sure how they can be sitting on such marketing gold.

-Andrew
 
Yup. I knew that Tony Little was comedy gold years ago (he's been a feature on here a few times). In this day and age, I strongly feel that I could make a comfortable living writing commercials.
 
How would you like to own a custom-built house at a 42% to 100% discount? Find out how today by visiting Get-A-Free-House.com
 
Hello fellow fisherman,

Did you know that 16% of the U.S. population goes fishing at least 16 days a year?

Did you also know that over 75% of the nations fishermen do not fish during "prime time"; fish feeding hours?

Those precious few moments before twilight can be absolutely magical. Even up until 11pm at night, the largest predators of any species feed ravenously.

Don't believe me? Check out Daniel Eggertsen's story, and a picture of a couple of his catches here : "Evening Secrets plus more"

I want you to do me a favor and try it out so I can see what you think of it, and if it works for you as well as it did for me.

You will be one of the first to try it out.

Gone Fishin',

Neil
 
A friend just showed me this neat website full of bad joke
I cant believe the quantity an quality of humerous bad joke it contains
Heres one of the jokes i found on it:
Bob brought some friends home to his apartment one night after they had been out painting the town. One friend noticed a big brass gong in Bobs bedroom and asked about it."Thats not a gong" Bob replied "thats a talking clock. Watch this!"
Bob struck the gong and sure enough a voice on the other side of the wall screamed "Hey your jerk its 3 o'clock in the morning!"
 
LOL I found some good stuff here: click right here
 
A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
Stewart Alsop- Posters.
 
Hi thanks for your blog, I liked it! I also have a blog/site about triad car loans
that covers triad car loans
related stuff. Please feel free to visit.
 

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