Friday, April 18, 2008

Bus Trip to Montreal

Pumpkin and Genki enjoy the early hours outside

It's about 7:45am. I didn't really get any sleep (as you might see by the last blog entry). Every time I'd lie down, I'd remember something I forgot to pack. This happened for a few hours and by the time I actually went to sleep is was about 6:00am.

About an hour and a half later I was woken up by scratching at the door. It was Genki. Genki usually is the cat to scratch at the door while pumpkin just watches and takes in the fruits of the other cats labour. That would be me getting up and letting him out. Genki still shy of the outdoors made a bit of progress today in that he stepped right to the edge of the doorwar before being scared back in by a passing car.

Genki stands in the doorway

I fed the cats and left the house to make the 9:20 GO bus. Pumpkin tried to make a break for it but couldn't navigate all my luggage before I swooped down on him and shoved him back inside. By 10:15am I was in Hamilton. By 10:30 I was at the Plucker. My timing couldn't have been better as I arrived so did the sandwiches and fruit.

Breakfast at the Plucker

Waiting for the bus at the Plucker

The team bus

The plan was to have breakfast at the Plucker, then get on the bus and leave at noon. We left at 12:30, which wasn't too bad considering all the gear we had to load on. Food, Skate gear, DVDs to watch during the trip, even anti-stink fluid for the on board bathroom.

Ivy holding a jar of anti-stink fluid for the bus bathroom

Roller girls on a bus

The trip started like any other. People get seated, bus pulls away heading to the destination (Montreal), people starting to fall asleep. Then the beer made it's way out. Beer and energy drinks. According to people at the front of the bus nothing much happened. Carla ripped the panties off of danger mouse but that was about it. In the back however that was another story.

From a ref getting his pants pulled down at least three times to be ass grabbed, to that same ref being boob slapped in the face, to riots with little bags of funyuns, beer spillage, wrestling, fighting, throwing bus head rests at one another, and clambering to see who could get to the bathroom first. It was not a good place to be (in the back of the bus) should you want to sleep. As for taking action photos that's another story.

Scotty stays true to the image on the badge

smoke break

Funyuns - evil and mischief defined

Roller Girls + crammed bus = fight.

The roller girls at the Harvey's in Kingston

In Kingston the bus stopped for a rest break. Across the street there was a Harvey's. I don't think they knew what hit them. All I remember was one of the girls working there almost jumped when she heard Ivy enter the restaurant with her colourful banter. "Whoa! That's not necessary.", she said. I looked around at the other older ladies that worked behind the counter. The harsh use of language could actually be peeling the paint of the walls if Harvey's actually had paint on the walls.

Being around derby girls the use of the words "fuck", "bitches", "lick my nut sack" (yes, this saying also coming from a girl) are so commonly used it's like white noise to me. I sometimes forget that other people still get shocked when they hear a small girl saying these things. It didn't help that half the girls were wearing death row dames jackets. The Harvey's workers probably thought we got off a bus heading to a jail or something.

Matt Jelly sings WKRP

"Baby, if you ever wondered,
Wondered whatever became of me...
I'm living on the air in Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, WKRP.

Got kind of tired of packing and unpacking,
town to town, up and down the dial.
Maybe you and me were never meant to be,
Just maybe think of me once in a while,
I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati."

I managed to change seats when we got back on the bus. I moved to the front, the more quiet part of the bus wanting to sleep. I think I got a few minutes in before being woken up by Adam blabbing on the bus speaker. Still tired I didn't quite make any of it out only the part where he was introducing Matt Jelly and WKRP. While I wasn't sure why Matt was singing WKRP he did a pretty good rendition. Before long we were staopping for another smoke break.

By 8:30pm we were in Montreal, in front of the Quality Inn on Avenue du Parc and Rue Sherbrook Ouest. It was nutty. The hotel lobby was filled with half drunk and some completely drunk roller girls and refs all wanting to get checked in.

Danger Mouse gets squished by the elevator door

After Leah, Craig and I got a room, we started unpacking. A few minutes later our door opened with the bus driver. Whoops. He was given our room number by mistake and all our card keys were not valid anymore.

Down at the front desk we found we weren't the only ones to be given the same room as someone else. This was the bus drivers second try. Eventually it was all sorted out and we made our way back to our room to get ready to go to the registration and film showing of "Hell on Wheels".

It was good seeing all the Montreal derby people who I've gotten to know only through other encounters in other cities and on facebook. Susan Moss, a photographer based in Montreal was selling a nifty hard cover book called Roller Girls for $25. I picked up a copy. To see more of the Montreal derby league (click here) and maybe even pick up a copy of Susan's great derby book from the online store (click here)

Alyssa Kwasny hands out wrist bands

Leah and I get food at a Thai place just east of St. Laurent on St. Catherines.

Proctoring and Fast Food Logic

One of Kyoko's plants taken with extension tubes

Just to change things up a bit I went to the backyard as soon as I got up and took some photos of the plant life. Yes, plant life. As opposed to the furry creatures known as the cats. You might think the blog was being over run by them.

Just in case you weren't caught up on the blog the owners of Pumpkin and Genki (the two cats under my domain and care) are gone away to Japan. So in their owners absence, I've been blogging the cats so the owners can see that the cats are doing well. Okay I'll post a cat photo for consistency...

Genki almost outside

Today I made my way out to York University. It's located on the North West tip of Toronto. I was to help a professor friend proctor an exam (and no Laine, that has nothing to do with proctology - unless you're over seeing an exam of certain med students, then maybe). To proctor an exam is basically to oversee an exam, hand out blank booklets, answer questions, and escort students to the bathroom (so they don't "find" hidden notes or talk to people).

The job of proctoring does not entail much other than observation of the students, however it does get pretty boring sometimes as you're there for the length of the exam not doing too much. In this case it was three hours.

The route map to York U

Professor Woolrich I presume?

Fast Food Logic

After the exam was done and we doubled checked the exams handed in matched the students taking the exam we ended up going to Wendy's. We parked the car and went in to find out that the restaurant (the Wendy's part) was closed. The Tim Horton's side was open. We found a loop hole in that the drive through to Wendy's was still open.

So we hopping back in the car ordered food from the drive through. Parked the car where we were parked before the drive through then walked back into the dinning area which was still open. My question is...

Why doesn't the restaurant just stay open for that extra hour while the drive through is open?

Thinking things through a bit we figured it had something to do with employing people. If you close the dining room earlier you can have someone clean it but you can still sell food at the drive thru. Since the inding room was open for Tim's this idea kind of went through the window.

Does anyone out there know?

Wendy's is closed

Pick up window open until 11pm

Dining room open until 10pm

Back at home the cats greeted me with the usual "Meow", translating to something like "Where's are food burger breath?".

Genki and Pumpkin eat dinner

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cat Alert

Darryl and Neil at the Only Cafe

Next stop the across the street to 7-11

Next stop McDonalds... Hey, the Angus Burgers are coming!

I got home after having drinks at the Only Cafe on Danforth with Darryl and Neil. Darryl dropped by to see the Geometry Wars game ont the Wii. I carried Pumpkin inside. He came running up to the sound of my jingly keys. When Darryl left I went to see where Pumpkin was. For some reason whenever I opened a door to the outside, front or back door, Genki tried to bolt out. He was stopped by my quicker foot. "It's after midnight. I don't think so."

As it was past midnight and Pumpkin didn't show up for my calls I was a little worried. I even tried shaking the can of cat food. "Where the heck is he?" I went down to the basement to see if he was sleeping on the cat bed near the window. Genki followed. Nothing! Maybe he was under the bed. I didn't want to crawl under to look so I thought of the ultimate lure, the cat nip jar.

From just the sound of the tinny lid opening the furry crack addict would come out of hiding and race toward the jar thinking he was getting another fix. I slowly twisted the jar of crack goodness open... Nothing. Now I was really getting worried. I called Darryl who hadn't gotten home yet and left an urgent message with his roommate.

Eventually Darryl called back. "Did you let or see the cat go out of the house when you left?", I asked. "No. Did the cat come in?". "Of course the cat came in. I carried him in. Don't you remember?". I told Darryl I'd check outside just in case. Pumpkin not coming to the sound of food is like... me... not coming to the sound of food.

I called out onto the now empty, dark street, "Pumpkin!". Looked in another direction "Pumpkin!". Shaking the can of food. Nothing. I was now offically worried. Where can he be? Was he lying under the bed dying? I crawled under the bed to look. Nothing. Then it hit me. Maybe he snuck upstairs to my apartment. The door to the apartment was closed but I was running out of options.

When I got upstairs...

Crafty cat. Some how Pumpkin managed to do a Houdini and was drinking out of the toilet bowl. Why do I even bother filling up bowls with fresh water?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cat Chronicles

"I'm not falling for that old bowl trick."

In an effort to get Genki outside today I placed the bowl of food just outside the door. It was a battle of wills. In the end I caved in and placed the bowl back inside. The cat seemed paranoid of any noise coming from the back yard even after I brought the bowl back in.

Genki still looks spaced out from the bowl being outside

Kyoko's backyard plant life

Genki observes from a safe distance

"eh? What?"

"You still here? Move along. I am bored of you."

"It's not spring until the cars change sides of the street"

See previous photo

Genki is still on alert

Genki is curious as to what is going on outside

"Hey, up there. Let me in."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who needs an alarm clock when you have two cats?

Pumpkin at 1:40am lying behind my head

I was up until about 3:00am watching more of the Fugitive. I went to sleep then around 5:45am was woken up by Genki meowing and scratching the apartment door. I don't remember him meowing so much. Although I may have just slept through previous cat moaning.

It was just as well as I had to take out the recycling. Holy cow, the sun wasn't even in the sky yet. It was still very blue out, the cross between evening and day. Made for some interesting photos.

While going to the back of the house to get the recycling bin, Pumpkin came out to sit on the road. There wasn't any traffic, who would be up this early anyway? As it turns out there were actually other neighbours doing the same thing, rolling out the new recycle bins to the curb. I wonder if they have cats too?

Once the recycling was out it was back to sleep for me.

5:50am Pumpkin looks down the road

The new recycle bin with the handle out for easier access

Genki looks outside from the safety of the doorway

Genki trying to sneak upstairs while I grab some cans for recycling

I like this photo of Genki, it reminds of of the old Trek episodes when they put a light on Kirk's eyes to put emphasis on his character.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Scaredy Cat

Genki at the front door

While taking a break from play Geometry Wars (a new Wii game I picked up) I let out the cats. At least I tried letting out the cats. Pumpkin went outside as soon as I opened the door. Genki on the other hand would just sit in the doorway.

I tired both the front and back doors to see if Genki felt any better about going out either portal. Not really. The cat was content to sit and watch Pumpkin wander around. Genki is still pretty skittish about any noises coming from the outside. He even runs in when I aim the camera at him about 50% of the time.

Genki has gotten used to me to know to come out when there's food rattling. Usually from the sounds of Pumpkin eating.

Genki at the back door

Pumpkin looking at squirrels

Genki looking outside from the back door

Genki looking out the second floor door to the deck

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday lunch at King's Cafe

Some street cat on the way to King's Cafe

Maybe it's because I've been taking photos of cats now for the last few weeks, when I saw this little guy I couldn't resist pulling out the camera to take a quick photo. I was on my way into the Kensington Market. On Augusta there's the King's Cafe (192 Augusta avenue). It's been a while since I was last there. It's also been a while since I saw Laer, Vesna, Melissa and Alan.

If you ever get a chance to eat at King's Cafe (it's a vegetarian restaurant by the way), I highly recommend the teriyaki mushroom cutlets. They are a very meaty mushroom and taste phenomenal. I must have been hungry because I didn't take photos of the dish.

King's Cafe

Lime in your water

Vesna with her new bike helmet

Alan and Melissa

Alan at the Blue Banana (pottery section)