gridlockjoe: (Default)
Pray for me... I'm connecting at O'Hare...

Heading off to my annual Canadian trip shortly. Don't burn the Internet down while I'm gone!
gridlockjoe: (Default)
About to head out to the airport for my annual vacation in Toronto! Woot!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Then I suppose I should post about my vacation and all the excitement afterwards. )
gridlockjoe: (Default)
Because it's [livejournal.com profile] smart_ted's birthday!

Hope it's happy!
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] tea_cantata!
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Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] chillit!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Saturday was shopping day. We first went to Honest Ed's, where I bought a souvenir for 99ยข, making it the least expensive stop of the day. Then over to Sonic Boom, a very nice new/used CD/DVD store, where I found season 4 of All Creatures Great and Small and a music DVD from Scissor Sisters.

Then it was over to Eaton Centre for lunch and meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] jaala. Upstairs was the next stop, to the new Best Buy that's connected to Eaton Centre. Fortunately we were inside when the thunderstorm passed through. More shopping ensued at HMV (but not Sam the Record Man (RIP)); we did not have time to continue to the World's Biggest Bookstore. Back to Eaton Centre to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] jeffyb1 for dinner at Mr. Greenjeans, and a quick subway ride later we were at the Bad Dog Theatre for Theatresports. After Theatresports we went to Caffe Demetre for dessert, and back to the Bad Dog for the Late Late Horror Show. Then we rode the bus back to Fairview Mall to pick up our cars, and back to [livejournal.com profile] adc14's.

Sunday was for more shopping. Started at Yonge & Eglinton for stops at another used DVD store (Gamerama, not worth the trip) and for [livejournal.com profile] ladycrim to pick up some cupcakes. Then we went to the Bad Dog to park and ride the subway back to Eaton Centre for lunch, and more shopping, this time picking up the WBBS we didn't have time for Saturday.

And then we rode back to the Bad Dog for Whoser improv! We were improved in some games and need more practice in others, but that's what next year is for. At this point, [livejournal.com profile] jaala and [livejournal.com profile] lynnita left for their families (Thanksgiving, yaknow). After this, a drive to Wayne Grezsky's for dinner (verdict: now too upscale and pricey for us, so this will be the last year for them) and the Second City revue "Facebook of Revelations" (line from title song: "Jesus has tagged a picture of you!"). Lots of fun.

Back to [livejournal.com profile] adc14's for Whoser Scrabble and bed.

Monday, [livejournal.com profile] fapiece, [livejournal.com profile] ladycrim and I crossed the border for my flight back from BUF to IAH. On my inbound flight, my CLE-BUF flight departed from a real gate with a jetway and everything. On this leg, my BUF-CLE flight arrived in Siberia, with stairs down from the plane, stairs up to concourse D, an escalator down to the connecting tunnel to concourse C, a broken escalator up into concourse C... By the time I got to my departure gate, my flight to IAH had just started boarding.

And here I am back home. I look forward to my trip to Toronto more and more each year, partly because of the Whosers and partly because I just like Toronto! See you guys next year, if not before! Thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] adc14 for putting up with us!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
I am in Toronto, my adopted home. I cannot tell you how different it feels being up here. Besides the temperatures, the strong Canadian dollar ($1.02 US last time I checked), and the whole more relaxed nature of things, it feels like home. One day, I shall move here.

Wednesday: the flight from IAH-CLE was uneventful. The flight from CLE-BUF (35 minutes normally) was delayed leaving because the plane was late arriving from LOU. Then we were stuck on the runway in CLE for most of an hour because of a mechanical problem. We finally arrived in BUF an hour late. My Priceline'd rental car was supposed to be a full size. It was more than that -- I got a freakin' Ford Expedition for $30 for a one-day rental.

So I drove the behemoth to Niagara Falls NY for some sightseeing on the American side of the Falls. Pictures will ensue when I have access to a card reader.

I then drove down to Springville, a quiet small town about 20 miles south of Buffalo, and stayed the night.

Thursday: Got up and drove the backroads back to BUF, where [livejournal.com profile] fapiece and [livejournal.com profile] ladycrim were going to pick me up on their way up from where [livejournal.com profile] fapiece picked up [livejournal.com profile] ladycrim from her flight from SJO. I arrived at the designated pickup point just as they were pulling up. We crossed the border with no difficulties, ate at Harvey's, and stopped at an ABM for me to get my Canadian cash.

We made it to downtown Toronto in plenty of time for the 3:30 ticket line opening for Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader?, and met up with [livejournal.com profile] adc14 and [livejournal.com profile] ejumean at the CBC. Unfortunately, the previous taping was running long (and they had 500 kids in the audience!), and the crew had no idea when we would be let in to the studio, and no idea whether we would get to be in on an actual episode or just pickups (tapings of audience reactions etc.), so we were given options to see The Hour with George Stromboulopoulous or the Thursday rehearsal for Air Farce Live. We decided to stick with 5th Grader and went to the snack shop to snack, to the CBC Shop to shop, and the CBC Museum to muse.

Eventually back to the taping ticket line, where it had grown out the door onto Wellington Street. We did make it in to the studio, and it turns out we only got to do pickups. The kids look like a good bunch of Grade 5s. We got to see Colin briefly afterwards. I hadn't seen him in 9 years, and he looks awfully distinguished in a full suit and tie, with his now silver hair (and less of it!).

I told Colin he was one of my inspirations to get into improv. He said "I'm sorry." :)

Afterward, we had planned to go to the top of the CN Tower, but fog would have kept us from seeing anything. So it was off to [livejournal.com profile] adc14's for gabbiness and playing Scene It?.

Yesterday was spent hanging out, relaxing, and waiting for [livejournal.com profile] lynnita and [livejournal.com profile] jeffyb1. Dinner was at a fairly decent Mexican restaurant, The Willow, and the first show at the Bad Dog Theatre.

[livejournal.com profile] jaala will join us today at Eaton Centre, and we'll be off to go shopping in 90 minutes. I guess I should make sure everyone else is up.
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Tomorrow morning, I'll be on my way to Toronto to meet up with the Whosers! See you all Thursday!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
From Wikipedia:

The pronunciation of 'bagel' varies between communities. In Canada, for instance, Torontonians and people from Montreal, pronounce it like bay, the correct Yiddish pronunciation, whereas people from the smaller towns of Northern Ontario and the East coast of Canada tend to pronounce the first syllable as bag, like in shopping bag.
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] smart_ted!!!
gridlockjoe: (Default)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] fapiece!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] banditprincess!
gridlockjoe: (Default)
First, happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] jaala!

It's been a surprisingly unproductive weekend for me. Went to see Children of Men on Saturday. I highly recommend it. It's quite dark and depressing, but ends on a hopeful note. Sunday was a Browncoat shindig for [livejournal.com profile] wyrdfae's birthday (which is Tuesday).

As the weather has turned dreary, and as we're supposed to get a taste of the ice storm which has hit elsewhere in the state, I may hang close to the house today.

Thank goodness for a 3-day weekend.
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] ashab!
gridlockjoe: (Default)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] chriscwej!
gridlockjoe: (Default)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] chillit!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Lots of bullet points inside )

Total new counties: 26 in 3 states (MI, OH, IN).
Finished state: 1 (Ohio).
Time spent with my best friends: Priceless.
gridlockjoe: (Rear View)
I'll be landing in Buffalo later today, then roadtripping through Ohio and Indiana, then returning to Buffalo to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] fapiece and [livejournal.com profile] ladycrim, then heading to London to see [livejournal.com profile] jjloa, then to Toronto to see the whole Whoser gang!

Don't break anything while I'm gone!
gridlockjoe: (Twiglet Zone)
Especially when you save all your daily change for a year, roll it up and take it to the bank for folding money. In the past year, I saved $180 in change, which will come in handy next week on my road trip to Ohio and Indiana, and Whoser Weekend in Toronto.

I may be faced with leaving Houston at dark-thirty on Monday to make a 2-1/2 hour drive to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for a 7:30 am flight. I would ordinarily stay with my sister and her family in Round Rock, and leave my car at their place for the week. However, I have been unable to make contact with her via e-mail or phone over the past week. I'm guessing that they're on vacation. Oh well. It's not like I haven't gotten up and on the road at 3:30 a.m. before.

P.S. Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] caindog!

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