Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Toronto!

We arrived in Toronto yesterday afternoon. The weather is pleasantly sunny and a little drier after humid New York. One thing we noticed immediately (well, apart from the incredible incompetence at the Hertz office at the airport) was how friendly everyone was.

Seriously, I was too scared to ask for help at the Foot Locker in Times Square, or indeed most shops in NY, because if I dared to approach a salesperson they would give me the glare of death from underneath their eyebrows. However, everyone in Toronto is really, really nice.

(Sidenote: Apart from the sales staff in New York, most New Yorkers are pretty friendly when you run into them on the subway or in cafes.)

Arriving in Toronto reminded me of that scene in Due South, where Benton takes his Chicagoan police partner, Ray, to Canada, and when they arrive Ray looks around suspiciously and says, "Hm, this place is clean. Too clean."

We went to the top of the Toronto CN Tower today. James found out that entry to tower is $25 and you have to wait in a long queue, whereas if you go to the revolving restaurant (it's called 360), and have a main, entry is free and you don't have to wait in line. So we all went to the top and had chilled potato and leek soup with truffle shavings, grilled Atlantic salmon with spinach and potatoes in a pepita and lime jus, and peach crumble for $47 (Canadian). It was a fine dining atmosphere but luckily no dress code. The view was magnificent and you could see all the way to the other side of Lake Ontario.

At the moment we're trying to see Evil Dead the Musical, which is running at the Diesel Playhouse in Blue Jays Way until September 4th. Chances are slim because we've missed tonight's show, tomorrow we're going to Niagara Falls, and on Thursday we'll be on our way to Ottawa, but we'll see how we go.

Oh yes, by the way, MFC and I are very annoyed because our timing in Toronto is not the best. MFC just missed some metal gigs that were just on, and we're here too early for Fan Expo 2007, that's going to have guests like George Romero, Malcolm McDowell, Hayden Panetierre, Jonathan Frakes, Adam West, John Romita Snr and so forth. Waaaaaaah!

Oh well, our fault for not doing our research ...

Oh, and Juliness, on our last night in New York we went to the Sushi Samba (the one on Park Avenue South) for dinner and the food is great! Cute waiters too :) The service was a little slow, but there were only two chefs on duty that night. Mmm, Watermelon Mojo mocktail.

We also went to Chinatown for dim sum, and ended up at Grand Harmony Restaurant on the corner of Canal and Mott Streets. This place boasted the best dim sum in Chinatown, and it was full of Chinese people (which is my barometer when checking out Chinese restaurants), but guys, I'm sorry, dim sum at Joy Garden or Northbridge Chinese in Perth beats it hands down.

Later that night we got a kick out of watching 16 Blocks and squealing, "We were just there!" as Bruce Willis runs across New York and they're looking for him on Canal Street. Ahhh, tourists eh?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New York

Hey guys,

I've read your comments but unfortunately don't have time to reply to them - I'm on a timed Internet connection and I can see it ticking down as I type. Thank you so much for all your kind wishes, I'm having a great time, love this city, love the humidity, love the way total strangers feel completely at ease commenting on what you're doing at the time or just talking to you (well, the non-creepy ones that is). Most New Yorkers seem quite friendly and polite, and the ones that aren't, well, I'm enough of a tourist to chalk it up to novelty. Why, just the other day a guy I bumped into rasped, "Watch where you're goin'!" in a genuine Queens accent :p And a pregnant woman that I offered to help just glared at me. Que sera sera.

Last night, after the ferry past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we went to a new comedy club on the corner of 9th Avenue and West 14th, I think it's called Comix. The line-up was awesome, with friendly heckling, since we were in the front row. If any of you guys are looking for a night out, I highly recommend it. You can get half-price drinks during happy hour (M-F, 5.30 to 7.30) and if you choose to have dinner there the food is pretty good, although the service is a little slow. And the comic line-up we had was pretty first class, they were all funny, and some well-known names like Ted Alexandro, who MFC and I knew quite well from Comedy Channel. (BTW, I have an enormous crush on him especially after he singled me out when making some Asian jokes - but funny friendly ones - and shared OCD :)

All this holiday eating is definitely starting to harden my arteries though, but it all tastes so good! Example: I had a crispy chicken sandwich last night and I thought just the chicken would be fried, but the bread was too. Whoa.

Dang, 44 seconds left. Byeeee!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Away on holiday - not long now!

Hey everybody,

In a few hours I’ll be on a plane to Sydney, and then, on a plane to New York! Woo!

I’m looking forward to it, but not to the packing (yes, a little bit of last-minute packing to do, accompanied by last-minute what have I forgotten now-itis), the flight or legendary New York customs (where my cousin was forced to drink 500ml of water in one go to prove it wasn't poisoned, and submit to about an hour of questioning because she had an Asian passport).

So many tiny bottles and clear plastic bags to comply with anti-terrorism what-not. The long hours on the plane, where surly flight attendants bring you a small cup of water every three hours … If only there was some way to contract temporary tsetse fly sickness and
fall asleep at will.

But it will all be worth it when I get there :)

I hope to do a little catching up from Internet cafes and people’s houses, but if not, I’ll see you all in early September!

Xo Angie

Monday, August 06, 2007

I need to stop myself!

Five nights straight of sleeping with a night-light and waking up bleary-eyed; enough is enough - no more Fatal Frame II for Angie.

Also, my mother offered to come sleep in my room. Really Ma, I'm a grown-up, I CAN SLEEP IN THE DARK BY MYSELF.

Except I can't, but I'm working up to it!

New card: Panda Love Extreme

I like pandas too, but perhaps not as much as Gary ...


Now available as a card from RedBubble!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wake-up screaming

AAAAAAAAAAAAHH! That alarm clock Mum gave me is so horribly LOUD.

I think I shall give it back to her and suggest that she set up a defibrillator with a timer and strap the pads to my chest instead. It would be much kinder.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another surprise

My mother has just left my room. She came to give me an alarm clock from Asia (only $4.00!) that plays a strange door-chime version of "Colours of the Wind" from Pocahontas.

How delightfully random!

Hello and see ya

Warning: much geekery and talk of video games! And also, a little SURPRISE, oh, OK, a BIG SURPRISE at the end.

Hey guys,

I apologise for my absence. Truthfully, when the urge for drawing comes upon me, my writing tends to suffer a bit. And vice versa.

But if you've seen my RedBubble portfolio, it is clear that I haven't drawn anything new since The Wrong Unicorn, which I love so much that it is UNBEARABLE that I can't have it on a dark t-shirt. But RedBubble are working on getting a white ink printer so that I can make designs for dark t-shirts, so .. soon, my pretty, very soon.

Anyway, clearly I have not been burning the creative candle at either end, so, what have I been doing?

WELL ... I have rediscovered the delights of my PlayStation 2, and have been playing Fatal Frame II and Katamari Damacy in my free time.

Let me describe said delights to you.

I briefly touched on the Fatal Frame series in this post. And, well, I never learn, because I started playing it soon after.

In the game, you have a special camera that is your only weapon against the demon ghosts that keep trying to throttle you. Taking pictures of them drains their essence, and of course, there are lots of tricks and skills you learn so that you can knock them out faster. One of these is the "Fatal Frame" shot, where you wait for them to almost attack, or get up really close, before you take the shot, and this maximises the points you can earn.

Last night, my little brother, Glen was sitting next to me, egging me on to be bolder, because I kept taking weak shots from far away. My chicken-hearted tactic was to wear them out little by little, from a distance, whereas he prefers to dispose of them in one magnificent burst of glory.

Or something.

Glen: Just wait! Let them get closer! Then you can get more points!
an9ie: But then they're closer and they scare me!
an9ie: More.

My character walks into a cellar which has a well in it, and of course, a lady starts crawling out of it à la Sadako in The Ring. Gah.

Glen: OK, don't do anything yet ...
an9ie: Waaaah! I don't want it to come any closer!
Glen: No no, just wait ..
an9ie: Now? (Nervously looks at crawly thing approaching with hair all over its face.)
Glen: Just a little more.
an9ie: Now? (She's so close I can see dandruff.)
Glen: Just a little ...
(Ghost leaps up and her EYELESS FACE fills the whole SCREEN.)
an9ie and Glen: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
(an9ie smacks Glen with the controller.)
an9ie: *&@*&;$*&$@*&$*&! GLEN! THAT IS THE LAST TIME I TAKE ADVICE FROM YOU! @#$@&*! GET OUT!

When I've scared myself enough that I plan to sleep with all the lights on and a giant crucifix clutched to my chest, then I start playing some Katamari Damacy.

Apart from a king with a disturbingly large bulge in his pants, Katamari Damacy is a charming game where the goal is to roll up things until they reach a certain size, or you collect a certain number of objects, e.g., fish, crabs, women (whose squeals and flailing limbs are extremely satisfying).

You see, the king went on a bender and made all the stars in the sky disappear. So now you need to go to earth and roll up things, which will be launched into space to make new stars and constellations.

...

...

Of course. It makes PERFECT sense.

I've spent the last three evenings trying to roll up enough to make Ursa Major, and when I finally got me a polar bear last night I felt an immense sense of quiet achievement.

I know everyone out there is thinking, Wow, those long winter evenings must just FLY past.

And they do, my chickadees, they do.

Now, in other news, I will try to update a few more times before I go on holiday next week. Yes! Whee! HO-LEEEE- DAY!

I'll be gone for about three and a half weeks, back in Australia at the beginning of September. So expect posts to be, at worst, non-existent, or at best, extremely erratic. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But think of all the cool stories and photos I'll come back with!

Where am I going?

North America baby, North America.

A lightning fast tour of New York, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vegas, and Los Angeles, as well as a trip to Niagara Falls and a few other "little" stops. I'll be travelling with MFC and two other friends, Razer and James, who often leave comments on this blog.

Not surprisingly, all my must-sees and dos are food-related: IHOP (I hear angels singing!), Taco Bell, dim sum in every Chinatown, Japanese, Mexican, Red Vines ... MFC is quite disgusted with me, I can tell you.

Now, do any of you lovely people have any recommendations?