When I lived in Alberta, I hated winter. I hated waking up in darkness and leaving school or work in the black. I hated being wet of foot, dry of skin, and bone-chilled every time I came in from outside. I hated mushing around in heavy winds while snow accumulated on my forehead, melted its way down my face and glued my glasses to my nose.
I hated forty below for weeks on end and occasionally getting into cars that were iceboxes and shivering all the way across town in same, arriving–inevitably–five minutes after the crappy heaters had begun to pretend to kick in.
Here in Southern Ontario, we are reportedly having the worst winter in twenty or so years. It has snowed often. It has been twenty below three or four times.
Now, here, I have a warm feather-filled bag that covers me from crown to toe. I have sweaters, and thermal tights and toasty waterproof boots. Good stuff, none of which had to be bought by a parent who was weighing a certain amount of poverty against the general concept of Why buy quality for a kid who’ll outgrow this all in a year?
Even in the chill, it has been sunny, so sunny. The amount of light here is amazing. Hazy days seem few and far between.
And you may have noticed that I am nuts for icicles.
This isn’t a new thing. I would try to get good icicle pictures in Vancouver, or on our trips to the Prairies to see the kin. Opportunities were few and far between, but I tried. Here… ha! The old gutters on all these picturesque Victorian houses overflow, and ice over, and spill. Constantly! The resulting frozen structures are spectacular. They stay in place until the light’s good. You can get close to and atop them. You can get under.
Which would be how I’ve worked out that any patch of ground beneath a good series of icicles is also slippery as shit.
Anyway. It’s March. Nobody in Vancouver has sent me a crocus photo yet, though I did make a point of telling all my west coast loved ones that they should gloat. This winter, this unusually cold and terrible winter–as the locals would have it–I have been cold and miserable and sad to be outside all of twice.
It feels like I’ve gotten away with something.
I haven’t enjoyed everything. I am a bit tired of bundling up, which is a wearying chore. I have realized or remembered that the primary thing that I dislike about snow is the stage where it’s dirty and festooned in various types of dog waste.
I am also headed somewhere warm in a couple of weeks. And, in the meantime, here’s some ice for you all.
Yesterday we went with our real estate agent and Floor Man Rudy to the new apartment, to measure and choose floors, to figure out the depth and width of an all-important wall nook, and to generally look at all the things we were too excited to see back when we decided we wanted the joint.
Then we cleaned and cooked and prepped the old house for a very small gathering in honor of my upcoming birthday. In addition to the usual godlike carrot cake, Kelly had made sea salt and caramel-covered pecans.
People came, food was devoured, wine was drunk, fun was had.
Today the two of us got a day pass from the TTC–they’re an exceptionally good deal on weekends, as we can both ride on one–and schlepped out to Riverdale Park to admire the domesticated animals and enjoy the sunshine. When we left the house we found happy hockey fans circulating on King Street, celebrating the men’s gold medal, which would be just about the first we’d really heard of it. There were plenty of police around, but everything was peaceful enough.
We had pho for lunch and swung back home via Kensington Market, where we fortified ourselves with espresso. (Shocker, I know! But K needed fortificaton, because she’d fallen on the ice.) Finally, on our way home, we poked our noses into several of the places where we bought furniture last spring, after we moved here. Because, you know, wall nook.
It was strange to be in Rusteak again, and to not be in a state of OMG, I just threw out all my stuff and lurched across the country on a six-week timeline! It was also fun. Whatever we put in the nook, it will almost certainly come from there and almost certainly be gorgeous.
Kelly and I have officially locked into a deal to buy a new home!
When we came here last year, the idea was to rent a place for awhile and scope out Toronto’s many delightful neighborhoods. And some scoping did occur, though I admit we were far from meticulous. Being in the heart of downtown really works for us: Kelly’s commute from the current Chez Dua is 25 minutes, on foot, and we’re within easy walking distance from everything from Lake Ontario and the CN Tower to the subway, the yoga place, and the AGO.
The new digs are even closer to everything but the lake. We’ll be around the corner from the gallery, five minutes from the subway, fifteen minutes from Kelly’s current office, and just a hair nearer to all the things of downtown. We’re about to be nearer the Chinatown produce stores and the Kensington market.
As many of you know, there is a riff whereby Canadians located elsewhere have it that Torontonians view their home patch as the center of the universe. Since we’ll be even more smack in the middle of Toronto, we have decided the official title of the new Chez Dua will be: The Center of the Center of the Universe. DuaCentral, for short.
Also… it’s a nice little place. Very cute, very us, very nicely laid out.
Needless to say, we are insanely excited.
Moving will commence in the spring, sometime between mid-April and May.
Debra DiGiovanni – The Winter Garden was a trippy and cool place to see a show. As for the woman herself, she was… okay. A lot of her best material was stuff I’d seen in a 2006 Youtube video when I was checking her out. Her delivery has improved since then, but her timing remains a little rushed. Her openers were good and great, though. Good was Graham Chittenden. Great was Nile Séguin. It was a perfectly lovely evening, but we’d be more likely to go see one of the guys on his own than to try DD again.
London Road – This was stunning. Awesome, thought-provoking, and musically intriguing. Playwright Alecky Blythe recorded interviews with London Road residents about the discovery that one of their neighbors was a multiple murderer. The interviews were played for actors in a sort of aural script which they memorized sound for sound. And then, yeah, they set it to music. There was class stuff, and gender stuff, and all kinds of feminist politic all over this thing, and I am so glad I went.
Body Blitz – Taking the waters? Wow. I am kind of surprised that security guards aren’t even now trying to peel us out of the salt pool. Or the steam room. Or the sauna. Well, you get what I’m saying. Several of the women there were obviously regulars, and were soaking by themselves in the company of a good book.
It was a swanky week, with many of the delights you’d get in an actual trip out of town, but the added bonuses of 1) not missing the cat; 2) sleeping in your own bed. I love how much there is to do here.
I am back at work today, after five glorious anniversary staycation days with Kelly. We had so many lovely and celebratory experiences, and I hope to blog about them in days to come, but for now I’ll just say:
1) Yes, I’m back.
2) I’m a little behind, naturally, so if you’re waiting to hear from me, sorry. Just a little longer, okay?
3) Buffy Rewatch! “The Killer In Me.” Enjoy!
Yesterday I went prowling through our tickets and realized that I had not, in fact, bought tickets to see London Road on Saturday. No! I had bought them for Friday, which is also the evening of Debra DiGiovanni’s Late Bloomer performance.
The horrors! I hyperventilated for about an hour before I remembered that probably if I just phoned Canadian Stage and asked to change the theater tickets, they’d say yes. (Because, OMG, alyx, calm down.)
And in fact that’s just what we did. They were supernice about it, of course. The Canadian Stage guys, in case you’re all wondering, seem to have excellent customer service. One gets off the phone feeling as if you could ask them to swing by with a juggler, a pony, a dance troupe, Ian McKellan and someone to wash your windows and they’d be all: “Sure! Can we do anything else for you?”
Drama over drama aside, the anniversary staycation is coming along nicely. We had a stunning meal out Wednesday night, and we’re going back to AGO this morning to take in the Guggenheim exhibit again. Tonight is the stand-up comedienne, tomorrow the matinee, and after that I’m doing a photo shoot at the aquarium with the Instagram crowd.
As for Sunday, we’re going to the Royal Ontario Museum with one of our oldest friends and then hanging out with her all day. To cherry that sundae, we’re going to book a spa thing for Monday: it’s a “taking the waters” type bath circuit at Body Blitz.
We got married at a pub event at the University of Lethbridge on January 21, 1989. The pub was hosted by the local NDP club, which meant all of our friends were pretty much in attendance by default, and said club was screening the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The lovely and much-missed Mirella Zappone conducted the service just before the RHPS wedding scene, and the attendees pelted us with rice.
Also, I fell into the men’s room in my wedding dress when trying to avoid a (water)gunfight.
The celebrating starts in earnest tomorrow night–tonight, we’re going to yoga. But it’s all so very exciting that I nearly forgot to post about the latest Buffy essay, “Wouldn’t you like to be a Slayer, too?”
Instagrams, a set on Flickr.
An ice storm, Riverdale Farm, and an assortment of things from the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
All captioned, as usual, for the folks who missed them on Twitter and FB. Enjoy!