Where Have I Been?

I’ve been on a little jaunt for a few days. Did some stuff. Saw some things. Visited some family. Reconnected with people I haven’t seen in ages.  Here are some things I found out:

  • Seeing a one-armed man wearing a Pac-Man t-shirt that says “Eat Me” is the most hilarious thing XUP Jr. has ever seen.
  •  Some gourmet restaurants think that having no lights, really loud music and making customers waiting 80 minutes for their food makes them special. They learned that having no lights, really loud music and making customers wait 80 minutes for their food, makes “certain” customers really…um… “assertive”.
  •  Seeing people one hasn’t seen in decades can be both creepy and fun.
  •  Sometimes the thing you dread most can turn out to be great.
  •  When I’m away from home for a few days I really miss my cat and I hate myself for it.
  •  I don’t like living out of a suitcase. At all. Even for a short time.
  •  One baby screeching at the top of its lungs for almost two hours can turn a train-load of perfectly lovely people really ugly.
  •  There exists, in this very world,  veggie bacon that defies the laws of veggie-ism. 
  •  There are a lot of really, really nice people in Toronto despite their reputation to the contrary.
  •  XUP Jr. knows way too much about booze.

32 responses to “Where Have I Been?

  1. oh gads, music should be outlawed from restaurants entirely. too often it’s up so loud you can’t have a conversation over it. i guess that’s fine if your dinner company is your iPhone, but the rest of us might want to talk with our dinner companions. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO GO UP TO ELEVEN. turn that crap down!!

    why do you hate yourself for missing your cat? isn’t missing the living things who act as your companions a good sign, like you actually like each other?

    i’m surprised there are such improvements in the fake-meat world. none of the ones that were around when i was a veg-head were in any way distinct from the vegetable/grain products they were derived from.

    dude, the screaming baby phenomenon is why i (a) keep a ‘calm the baby’ playlist on my computer and crank eet when i hear the baby who is really beyond reasonable and needs a nap and (b) carry one of those little containers of wedding bubbles to distract the just-plain-unhappy ones. you’d think as a nanny i wouldn’t want to work off the clock like that, right? but hours. in the same train car? oh, it’s worth it. i consider it a public service.

    i know you’re supposed to ‘keep your music to yourself’ and all that jazz on trains, planes and buses, but i can tell you no one has complained directly to me so far. the live alison krauss album is a good starting point, if anyone wants my recommendation.

  2. also, @tom – please for the love of god, shut the fuck up.

    no, her kid has never been in anyone’s company but hers. that’s exactly the kind of abusive relationship we think they have. it’s always the parents. all right? this is so stale i told the dinosaur in my backyard and he didn’t laugh either.

  3. As I recall, the VOBPOD cartoon character XUP enjoyed her wine. All in good fun, eh?

    Anyway, knowledge is one thing, but does she drink it?

    As for Auntie Hell and “for the love of god, shut the fuck up”: You’d never say that to my face.


    Buy ya gotta love the `net. It`s like drivin`a car.

  4. Welcome back! You need to dish on the veggie bacon. I need to know where and how I can procure something that might closely resemble the one prepared meat I miss oh so much…

  5. So you had a Mom/Daughter trip too. I hope yours was as fun as mine was. I don’t mind suitcases, I never unpack even if I’m staying for a week, but I really HATE the sound of a screeching baby.

  6. One baby screeching at the top of its lungs for almost two hours can turn a train-load of perfectly lovely people really ugly.

    That is my idea of hell.

    And the one armed guy in the pac man shirt – that IS hilarious.

  7. Tom – Actually, she seems to have picked most of it up from her peers. I only drink wine and beer, and I don’t mind if she has one occasionally, but she seems to have the low down on all sorts of jazzy cooler things and revolting mixed drink combinations that only a teenager could love. I’m pretty sure she’s tried some of them. She IS almost 17. She seems pretty responsible about it though.

    Hallie – I’ll try to remember that. I don’t know what was wrong with that poor kiddie. She was wailing and screeching and screaming. The train guy looked ready to pitch her out the door. He actually said, “kids don’t belong on trains” which I thought was sort of contrary to their official advertising campaign.

    Charlene – Short but sweet.

    Maven – We had it for breakfast in a veggie diner called Sadie’s Diner. She has a MySpace page. I did try to ask her where she got it and she gave me some long, convoluted description of a place in Kensington Market where she got it, but he got it from somewhere else, blah, blah. We did go to Kensington, but couldn’t find it. Believe me, my mission from hereon in is to find the source of that amazing bacon and get a crate shipped to Ottawa asap. I’ll keep you informed.

    Dr. Monkey – I know! It was hilarious. We passed the guy and I noticed the missing arm, of course, but not the t-shirt because Jr was turning beet red trying not to laugh right in the guy’s face. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her until she told me after the guy was out of ear shot.

    Geewits – If I’m staying on one place for more than a couple of nights I usually unpack. This was a multi-leg trip, so I never really unpacked and I packed in a big rush to begin with so I didn’t do a very good job. Oh well. It was a fun few days anyhow.

    J – Thanks! Did I miss anything?

    Jazz – I totally agree about the t-shirt and the kid was both annoying and worrying. She finally passed out after just over 2 hours of straight screaming. Freaky.

  8. How do you know the veggie bacon wasn’t bacon? Was it so similar in touch, taste, and smell that made it so good, or was it even better than the real thing? Perhaps it was the real thing.

  9. “There are a lot of really, really nice people in Toronto despite their reputation to the contrary.”

    I agree(and not just because my brother lives there). TO does have some really nice, great people. I just wish there were more of them and not as many arrogant jerks who think their city is the center of the universe! LOL

    I want some of that veggie bacon too! There has to be more to life than just Yves products! 🙂

  10. We’ve been back from traveling in our Westy for *over a year* and I’m STILL living out of a suitcase. I never thought I’d be the kind of person who could do that, but I seem to be just that.

    I love this sentence:

    Sometimes the thing you dread most can turn out to be great.

    Welcome home.

  11. Perhaps we were on the same train. I took VIA from Cobourg to Ottawa on Weds and there was a feral toddler on the train, screaming at the top of her lungs. The rest of the train was ready to toss her out the window, but mostly I was disgusted with the obese trailer-trash “mother” who let the kid scream continuously. The screams had everyone upset, including other babies that started to howl… it was a solid hour of misery for everyone until the mother left the train. I’m pretty sure she got off at a stop that wasn’t hers… I’m not sure if she was encouraged to do so by VIA or not.
    I don’t think there’s a person on that train who would have complained had she been told to get off. We were praying for it.

  12. I MUST LEARN THE IDENTITY OF THE VEGGIE BACON! As I’m deep into my six weeks so far as a vegetarian. By the way the olive oil from Temicula arrived awhile back. The original is very tasty and olive oily, but I especially liked the Roasted Garlic.

  13. i hope you complained after you got your food – i’m always scared to become “assertive” prior to my food leaving the kitchen, if you know what i mean.

    i remember flying home from barbados and an approx. 18 month -2 year old was seated behind me with her parents. i was dreading it, but the kid slept the whole time. i made a comment to the parents about what a wonderful traveller their little girl was and they grinned and said they doped her with cold medicine. it really was nice a quiet.

  14. Ah yes, there are nice people here in Toronto 🙂 Strange that you couldn’t find the veggie bacon in Kensington Market, from what I heard it’s THE place to get everything vegetarian…

    I once remember a friend of mine tell me that they used to spike their kids drink before boarding a plane, put them to sleep and they were very quiet. Anyone thinking that the rest of the world will forgive them their monster of a toddler who screams/screech for any length of time is either totally naive or stupid.

    I miss my beast (yes, the one who hisses at me if I give her one too many kisses on her forehead even though we had such a lovey dovey 10 minute session just a short while ago) when I go away for a few days. And you know what? she misses me too! lol

    And I also don’t like living in a suitcase; very uncivilized 🙂

  15. Tom – Believe me, that was the first thing I thought of too. It just seemed too good to be true. But I’ve done some investigation and it comes from a very reputable vegan place. Now I just have to figure out how to get some sent to Ottawa.

    Hannah – I’m on the trail of the elusive lovely veggie bacon. If I can persuade them to ship to Ottawa, I’ll get a crate of it and sell it in dark allies to all my veggie bacon junkies.

    Ellie – Thanks. You’re probably anticipating dashing off any minute to some exotic locale. You don’t seem to sit still for long even when you are, ostensibly, not travelling.

    Susan – Different train, but maybe the same kid. Although my train kid’s mother wasn’t obese trailer trash. VIA could maybe set up a small play area for little ones somewhere out of earshot of the oldies. They do it for the overnight type trains – why not for the shorter runs? Even an hour is a long time for a kid.

    LoLa – Ah, thanks for the olive oil update. That took a long time to arrive?? I will let you know when I trace the bacon back to its source. It may only be available in Canada, though I understand there is a Morningstar brand in the US that isn’t bad?

    Meanie – Naw, I risked pre-meal assertiveness. Mainly because I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get a meal. The whole thing was a disaster from beginning to end. I’m planning to post about it actually..maybe…

    Elaine – Nothing really. Those critters sure grow on you. When I say I hate myself for it I mean that part of me can’t fully enjoy my time away because in the back of my mind I’m always wondering if poor Bazel is lonely or is wondering if we deserted him, etc., etc. and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really give a crap. We have a perfectly lovely cat lady come in to feed him and hang out with him several times a day and he’s just as belligerent as always when we get home, so I reckon as long as he’s fed and someone jollies him along for a few minutes every day and his litter is clean and he still gets to roam around his house at will, he’s fine. I think dogs are much different. They pine.

    UA – Ah ha!! Yes, it’s apparently available at the King’s Café in Kensington, but we were sort of on our way home and didn’t have a lot of time to try and find the place. I’ve sent them an email because I’m sure they don’t make it themselves and must have a supplier somewhere. If I don’t hear back from them, I may beg you to see if you can sniff something out next time you’re in Kensington. I have a desperate group of veggies here who would love to get their hands on that stuff

  16. My almost teen knows WAY MORE than i do about booze… and I’m, uh, pretty knowlegable!

    Good 2 c u back… u r as much a part of my daily reading as the G&M…

    Don’t let that go to yer head, hear?

  17. I am glad that you are back safely and found righteous fake bacon.

    Tom…chicks appear to really dig you.

  18. Elizabeth – Thanks and thanks.

    Trashee – It’s totally gone to my head. I can’t help it. If you get up early enough you’ll even be able to catch some inside info on the bus!!

    Cedar – I’m on the floor laughing my tits off. You kill me, you really do — but in a good, non-death way

  19. @tom – “You’d never say that to my face.”

    it wouldn’t matter if i did, you’d still walk away an aggressive, maladjusted fuckwit who mistakes bullying for legitimate social intercourse.

  20. Now all you nice ladies should stop picking on Tom.
    He’s obviously a very scary and dangerous guy.
    I am certainly afraid to call him a fuckwit or tell him to shut up.
    I have to go hide now.

  21. Thanks, will try the morningstar version. The olive oil arrived shortly after your olive oil post, but didn’t open it until I finished the other bottles I had opened. They shipped promptly, not their fault I’m only now telling you about it.

  22. Sounds like fun, except the screaming baby part. I went to one high school class reunion many years ago and vowed never to go again. It was very strange.

  23. XUP, no problem, I may head out there soon just to see if it’s available. I will keep you posted.

  24. I’ve had that fake bacon – totally awesome.

    My cat just ignores me until she needs a head scratch when I get home from a trip – like this past weekend. I miss her sleeping with me until she gets over the feeling of abandonment.

  25. Hallie/Bandobras – Excuse me if I sit this one out, won’t you?

    LoLa – I’ve never had Morningstar, so I can’t vouch for it, but please let us know what you think, if you find it, okay?

    Linda – It IS really strange, but kind of fun, too. I’d go again.

    UA – Thank you. I still haven’t heard back from King’s Cafe, so you might have to be my supplier of illicit veggie bacon — me and all the other desparate Ottawa vegetarians! Hee hee

    Violetsky – Really? Where? When? How? I need info and lots of it. Can you get your hands on more??

  26. I just got back myself! And I read your review of the veggie place and had to commiserate. I planned to blog EACH day but internet access was spotty at best and I didn’t leave enough time for anything, much less writing. But if you go to the blog we made for the trip ( http://california-sweet.blogspot.com/ ) and are patient, entries will appear. And I will be blogging about Incanto and Chez Panisse! THEY were worth every minute to get there and every penny we spent.