November 1, 2014: Settling in!

Well, it’s been about two weeks since the move to Toronto and I’m pleased to report we have more or less settled in.  We’ve met quite a few very nice people in that short time – also, a number of weirdoes.  But I suppose that’s to be expected. Toronto is a bigger city.  Also, unlike Vancouver, Akemi and I can’t simply live as recluses.  Necessity forces us to go out, encounter others and, in some instances, interact with them.  The fact that I’ll strike up a conversation with just about anybody helps (or hurts depending on the relative sanity of my impromptu conversation partner).

Jelly and Lulu, best of buds.
Jelly and Lulu, best of buds.

The dogs have also settled into a nice little routine that includes four daily visits to the local dog park where Jelly leaves her stroller to get in her short walks, Bubba does his best to avoid contact with other dogs, and Lulu stubbornly refuses to return home until she has visited the dog run where she too ignores the other pooches in favor of begging their owners for attention.

Dressed for the weather - Jelly in her Anna Suit ensemble
Dressed for the weather – Jelly in her Anna Suit ensemble

I do miss Darlene and the gang at The Book Warehouse in Toronto.  I’ve checked out  a couple of the local book stores and have left underwhelmed.  The sole exception is Bakka-Phoenix Books (84 Harbord Street), a terrific shop specializing in genre fiction.  I spent a good half hour chatting with the staff while Akemi sat patiently by, endlessly perusing an illustrated Miyazaki book.

After you!
After you!

Even though I vowed to stick to digital versions while here in Toronto, I couldn’t help myself and picked up a selection made up of staff member Leah’s recommendations and some titles that caught my eye:

Familiar with any of the above books?
Familiar with any of the above books?

Presently reading Norman Lear’s Even This I Get to Experience.  Just finished – and loved – the first volume of Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga, recommended to me by Prodigy Pictures Development Wunderkind Nat Cooper.  I swung by The Silver Snail and picked up volumes 2 and 3 yesterday.  And also brought home a bunch of other comic books and graphic novels Natalie sent me home with on Friday, among them Buzzkill by Donny Cates that I thought was pretty darn terrific as well. Speaking of comic book, it looks like it’ll be trade paperbacks only moving forward as Marvel has apparently wrapped up (canceled?) the only two single issue series I was collecting: The Thunderbolts and the awesome Superior Foes of Spiderman.  sad

The eating, meanwhile, has been good.  WAY to good.  Some of the highlights –


The crispy prawn rice rolls at Luckee in the Soho Met.  I don’t even like rice rolls but thought these were great.  I’m not a huge fan of some of the entrees, but their dim sum menu items are uniformly great.


The sautéed sweetbreads at Le Neuf Cafe (9 Clarence Square) which, by the way, makes the best desserts in town – everything from salted caramel eclairs to their tiny chouquettes that Akemi has become addicted to and now picks up on almost a daily basis.


Wahlburgers (A Mark Wahlberg burger joint, 46 Blue Jays Way) opened her recently and I checked out their promising-sounding Thanksgiving Burger.  The patty was flavorful but the stuffing and roasted butternut squash were decidedly not.  The side of sweet potato tots (Actually made from yams.  For some reason, people in Toronto don’t know the difference between a yam and a sweet potato) was disquietingly sweet.  Everyone else in line ordered the signature Our Burger. Maybe I’ll order that next time.  Or just go Burger’s Priest which I’ve been meaning to do.


After stocking up at the St. Lawrence Market this morning, we returned home where I made myself a bacon sandwich using two types of bacon (back bacon and peameal), Bourgogne cheese, and micro greens.

Tonight, we head out to a special event dinner at a local Italian eatery that is hosting a special guest chef from Vancouver: none other than our buddy Chef Robert Belcham (Fuel, Refuel, Fat Dragon, Camapagnolo, Campagnolo Roma).  I will, of course, report back.

July 22, 2012: Vote for The Greatest Season-ending Cliffhanger in Stargate History! The Evolution of Akemi at Starbucks! Back to the Kits Street Fest for Dinner!

A reminder to cast your vote for The Greatest Season-ending Cliffhanger in Stargate History for a chance to win a signed script and a nifty Stargate security badge –

Yes, winners will get their choice of security badge.

Head on over here, pick a cliffhanger, then leave a comment for a chance to win:

To whoever asked – yes, I’ll be continuing my trip down Atlantis memory lane, starting sometime in August to coincide with Gateworld’s Stargate: Atlantis season 3 rewatch. Speaking of Gateworld, head on over here (Atlantis Season Two Awards: Vote Now!) to vote for your favorites in the category of season 2’s: Best Episode, Best Sheppard Moment, Best McKay Moment, Best Weir Moment, Best Ronon Moment, Best Teyla Moment, Best Beckett Moment, Best Alien Race, Best Individual Individual Villain, Coolest Ancient Technology, Coolest Alien Technology, and Best Guest Star.

For some reason, Akemi’s name baffles most English speakers who seem incapable of pronouncing it correctly, often offering a variety of erroneous renditions: Acme, Kimmy, Akenny, Ankimo, etc.  Nowhere is this more frustrating than at Starbucks where the person at the counter not only mispronounces her name, but writes it down incorrectly as well.  But I’m pleased to report the Starbucks has gotten better.  Witness the evolution of the Akemi cappuccino…

A game effort and full marks for the smiley face. Sort of like A-Carl or A-Joe, it’s like she is one of numerous Kimmy’s in existence.
Aw, come on. You’re not even trying. Atmi? Really?
Ooooh. So close!
Finally! Success! It helps to be served by the Japanese counter person at the San Diego Airport Starbucks. The heart is greatly appreciated as well.

Lawren comes by today to discuss this season’s Fantasy Football League (my Snow Monkeys are defending champions, as if you didn’t know: December 27, 2011: Snow Monkeys are World Champions! Finally getting around to unwrapping those gifts!

And, tonight, I head out to dinner with my writing partner so that we can spin some new series ideas.  We’re heading down to L.A. the first week of August to pitch (is that NEXT week?!) and it would be nice to have something to talk about beside the weather.

Tomorrow, this blog resumes its originally scheduled programming when our Supermovie of the Week Club resumes with Cookie Monster’s review of Steel.