This weekend was the most glorious of all weekends in Toronto. It was the annual Woofstock festival, a delightful extravaganza for dogs and their owners. It is a meet and greet filled with vendors, contests, lots of bum sniffing, and barking. I was giddy and unperturbed by the crowds and the mob shuffle that usually makes me irritable and instantly looking for an escape route. I cooed at the dogs, watched the stupid pet tricks contest, which included a dog that sang along to a harmonica and a skateboarding bulldog, and felt like I had found my Nirvana.
Archive for the 'Toronto Dates' Category
My lovely cousin invited me to join her the other day at the Iyashi Bedrock Spa for an hour of sweaty bliss. She has been training for the Ottawa half marathon, running through blizzards and freezing rain, and had earned a little spa time. I had walked to two separate stores three blocks away from each other the other night when hunting for Cadbury’s Caramilk eggs, so I was feeling pretty virtuous and entitled to some spa time myself.
Rock bathing spas are popular in Japan and involve lying on heated stone slabs and sweating like a maniac. I plan to move into this spa next winter when I morph into a living popsicle. It was heavenly to feel like a lady of leisure rather than dealing with clients and having a breakdown over my taxes.
After the spa we stuffed ourselves on Pad Thai. She needs to carb load since she is going to run the Sporting Life ten kilometre run this weekend, “for fun”. I remember doing that run years ago. My only proof is a photo of me running, looking remarkably like Al Pacino wearing frameless sunglasses. I didn’t need to carb load, obviously, but I wanted to be supportive and I love Pad Thai. It was a lovely afternoon. I floated home damp, stuffed and delighted.
I am dusting off my mouth guard and getting ready to rumble. My friend is hosting a mega clothing swap in Leslieville tomorrow and I am sure the clothing sharks are already smelling the blood in the water. I am thrilled and terrified at the same time. I love a good clothing swap. I am always in the market for free goodies and now in the dead of winter I am really feeling the need for free pick me ups. I have enjoyed many a clothing swap with my girlfriends, but they have always been civilized affairs involving lots of wine, snacks and the ability to openly shame anyone who becomes too aggressive and greedy. I am apprehensive about dealing with crazed strangers in a fashion frenzy. I am a shy and retiring sort, definitely more of a lover than a fighter. Nonetheless, a girl has to pick her battles, and this is a noble fight. I will have to channel my winter angst and aggression to ensure that I walk away with an armful of free goodies and minimal bruises.
It is easy to get over-saturated with the sugary sweetness of Christmas. Sappy Christmas carols and twinkly lights are everywhere. I overload on shortbread and fudge and think nothing of accompanying my morning coffee with a plate of cookies. Everyone seems to be on cheery overdrive. Lovely and festive as it all is, every now and then I feel like I am drowning in a sea of saccharin goo. There are times I feel the need to balance out all the sparkles with a little darkness.
A couple of years ago The Sweetie and I went to hear John Waters’ reminiscences about Christmas and his fond memories of hanging out with delinquents and setting trees on fire. I enjoy reading David Sedaris’ memories of being a Macy’s department store elf and hating all the customers. This year’s antidote was powerhouse maniac musician Peaches, who performed her one woman rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar. I was in awe. It was refreshingly twisted and creative and served as a perfect foil for sugary Christmas pageants and sing-along Messiahs. It was a brilliant palette cleanser and has given me the strength to skip merrily through the rest of the season.
“There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
I am stepping from the sublime to the ridiculous today and plan to enjoy every minute of it. This afternoon I will be hearing the Dalai Lama speak about human approaches to world peace at the Rogers Centre. Considering he smacked me on the head in a dream last year and inspired me to take up meditation, the least I can do is attend his lecture.
I will follow his message of peace and love by attending a reading by John Waters, king of filth, at Harbourfront as part of their International Festival of Authors. I believe that I am still harbouring some low level trauma from seeing Polyester, when I was twelve, with my dad. It was a spontaneous father daughter outing to the local multiplex theatre at the mall. We were a Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, musical watching kind of family and had no idea what we were getting into. The film left my sheltered, unicorn-loving, twelve year old brain spinning. Over the years my love for John Waters’ films hasn’t developed, but my adoration for his outrageous, quirky personality, is through the roof.
I love the yin and yang of my day. It is all about balance after all.