Monday, January 7, 2008

Part 3: We Saved Diabetes

A Kegger for Diabetes was the name of New Years Party I went to in beautiful Toronto. I had decided in early December, kindof like I did last year, that I wasn’t going to spend New Years in St. Thomas. It’s becoming a theme, and a good one in my opinion. I see my friends and party with them in St. Thomas, but New Years provides an opportunity to see all sorts of people whom I don’t see regularly. I have many friends around the GTA and other parts of Ontario and Canada that it’s an excuse to go see some of them, especially since some graduated last year and I haven’t seen them in eight months.

This New Years I headed right into the heart of Toronto, to see my friend Heather, who used to be a neighbor for a week when I moved in early May. We met through a series of people and circumstances and she invited me up for New Years and I jumped at the chance.

(Sidenote: Switched busses, and am now outside the Air Canada Centre: They have lights on, I assume a game must be scheduled for tonight.)

So on New Years Eve my Uncle gave me a ride to the bus station after taking me out to lunch. We chatter and discussed all manner of things like a Nephew and Uncle do. I then boarded the bus and high-tailed it to Toronto. I’ll admit that I’m normally not a fan of Toronto. Side effect of growing up so near it. You either love it or hate it. I fell more in love with Quebec City and Halifax while Toronto always felt more cold. But at this juncture I really didn’t mind it. I arrived fifteen minutes early and she arrived fifteen minutes late but it all worked out in the end. We met up and rode the good ol’ TTC back to her place.

I got to meet her family who are absolutely wonderful people. Her father actually builds amps. They accepted me into their home, and as luck would have it, Heather’s brother is a vegetarian as well, so my dietary restrictions weren’t an issue. They had a fabulous vegetarian lasagna – which provided a new finding: I like eggplant. At least in lasagna’s.

And so Heather and I got to visit for a good amount of time, watching Planet Earth and adding our own commentary. David Attenborough is now one of my Heroes. With his pronunciations of Harems and words like disorientated he provided hours of amusement while learning at the same time. I would suggest anyone and everyone see this documentary series in HD. It is absolutely breath-taking.

And so we spent a good deal of time under blankets on the couch eating trail mix and petting cats (her cats fell in love with me and I couldn’t get rid of them), but finally we had to get ready. We were going to a casual event and so casual clothes – basically an outfit completely given to me at Christmas. Heather donned a stunning simple, yet elegant jeans and top combo and we were off to wow the city folk (She doesn’t want me to say stunning, but I thought she was stunning so its staying in).

And so we wind up at this house party. Top two floors of the house are the apartment for the party and it was really quite beautiful. This is where I met those I would be mingling with for the rest of the night. The theme of the party was a fundraiser for Diabetes. My understanding is that the host had lost someone to Diabetese recently and all funds were going to toward research.

And so we got drinks and began mingling. I was introduced to Larissa, Heather’s best friend, who is quite a bright and funny woman. Also met several people with whom she works with in ‘the Biz’ aka entertainment. Film, TV, etc. Writing I think. We all had a great time and, as Heather pointed out several times, “This is like a real New Years Eve Party!” And it was. There were finger foods, all sorts of dips, some absolutely delicious Bruschetta and at midnight we toasted the evening with Champagne.

New Years kisses were had all around (including the only one I really wanted)

Some antics that transpired over the night (I’m not always good at writing my blogs in chronological order).

  1. The Balcony: As is my style, I occasionally just go for a stroll on my own: get the lay of the land, check things out. There was a balcony and I decided I should check it out. So I headed outside, took a few breaths of cold air, checked out the surrounding back yards including a man pulling his car in behind a gate, and then went to go back inside when I saw the CN Tower completely lit up. I admit, I then stereotyped as a typical small-town guy as I simply stared quietly for a few minutes at the giant structure that is so famous in the Toronto skyline.
  2. The Foam Hat: aka El Presidente. A giant green foam cowboy hat that everybody wore at some point. I got stuck with it for a long time before letting it sit on a chair.
  3. The Futon: Where myself and my compatriots took up residence. It’s always important to set up your base of operations. Most of us new very few people. The zone of safety revolved around the futon. Except for Heather I was meeting everyone for the first time, but I’m quite social and just kindof dive in. Those of us on the futon had that added level of familiar comfort though.
  4. The Stiletto: A painful memory. Heather (a different Heather) at one point was straddling Larissa (furthermore to be known as Larry), Heather and I. Don’t ask me why or if I enjoyed it. It simply was. Anyway, when she went to get off, her boot (which was quite the female pirate boot with stiletto heel) landed right on my baby toe and of course, having had one too many, didn’t notice and put her full weight on it. Thankfully nothing broke, I was just sore for a while.
  5. The Couch: At one point we all migrated to a white couch and had a few pile-ons with pictures (At this point my battery died and now I’m back home in London). Some more fun than others. Come to think of it – this may have been where the stiletto incident took place

The Post-New Years was nice. Heather and I made it home, watched some more Planet Earth. Deserts I believe. Very educational. The next day the poor girl crashed and slept away most of the day. I myself had to pack up and head out as Toronto was a stop on the way to seeing my Dad up north on Manitoulin Island.

However, this is the first time this has happened: I missed my bus. According to the internet I could catch the 1 PM out of Toronto to Sudbury and from there I would make a connection to Espanola where my Aunt and Uncle would pick me up as they live nearby and then the next day I’d head to Providence Bay.

This did not transpire. As it turns out, the bus I needed to be on left at 12:45 and I missed it. The driver of the bus I wanted to be on actually said “I can’t let you on this bus.” Embarrassing for me. So I head back into the terminal, hook up to the internet terminal and find my dad’s phone number. I get my step-mom and explain the situation. I then had a choice. Call back to Heather’s and explain myself embarrassingly or find another friend in the GTA. After a minute of hesitation I decided to call Heather’s place and head there for another day. We had wanted another day to visit anyway, so it kindof all worked out

And for those naysayers out there, who might surmise that I purposefully sabotaged my trip for an extra day, let me say this: My travel record up to this point is flawless. I never missed a flight, bus or train without some sort of situation stopping me like a burst pipe in an airplane (2nd year Christmas, was stuck in Ottawa overnight) or a blizzard stranding me at an airport (4th Year Spring Break stuck in Halifax while heading to St. John’s). I will put out this warning though: Never trust the Greyhound website. Call the bus depot ahead of time to get the actual times. Every step of the way this Christmas the buses have left fifteen minutes before I supposed. Luckily I always arrive as early as possible.

Anyway, back to getting back to Heather’s. Thankfully, having taken the TTC the day before I had a working knowledge of how to use the trains and street cars. To get back to Heather’s I needed only the subway. I got on, did all the necessary flips and changes and all that fun stuff before arriving back to very understanding parents and a still-sleeping and bewildered Heather.

We spent the evening watching some more Planet Earth, I got to see a fully working amp and her Dad made a fantastic soup, the likes of which I wish I still had because I’m kindof hungry for soup. We also watched XXX (the movie with Vin Diesel, not porn you sick people) and Heather divulged on how she thinks Mr. Diesel is sexy, while her mother and I are iffy on the situation.

It was then bedtime as we all had to be off the next morning. She to Pearson to fly back to Ottawa, myself to the bus station to try getting up north again. This time we were both successful (sad for us both). I then headed up North, which will be covered in Part Four of our Four Part series.

No comments: