Sunday, March 9, 2008

Snowy Saturday

7:30 am: Wake up. Huh, what do you know? It's snowing.

10:30 am: Go meet my friend Zach for brunch. Wow, it's really coming down.

I walk to the subway station through ankle-deep snow. It's pretty, so white and quiet. There are hardly any cars on the streets. I enjoy the tingling cold of snowflakes on my face.

11:00 ish (OK, so I was a little late) to 1:20 ish: Brunch with Zach at the Pickle Barrel.

Just so you know, Zach is awesome. We've been friends since high school. In my tenth grade yearbook, he glowers at the camera from behind a curtain of hair. He signed it: "When I rule the world, I won't enslave you."

Zach made these guys for me many years ago. They are: Red Squid, Oonis, and Sammy the Snake. Oonis has a hole in the top of his head and so doubles as a pen holder.

Yes, Ken is cool with us being friends. He trusts me. The value and rarity of this kind of trust is not lost on me.

You'd think that at a restaurant called "The Pickle Barrel", you'd find the best quality pickles available. It may only be a garnish by the side of the plate, but it's also their corporate emblem. Zach and I agreed that in fact, these were the WORST pickles we'd ever had. They tasted like they'd been bottled in flavourless oil, instead of brine. Slimey and tasteless. Feh!

2:00 ish: Meet Ken at the bookstore. Take the subway downtown to the Eaton Centre Mall. It's still snowing, but I don't care much because I've been indoors since I got on the subway at 10:45 am. I love malls that are attached to subway stations.

2:30 to 4:00 ish: Bum around the mall. At one point, we ventured outside, but the wind threw such a flurry of cold, wet snow into our faces that we turned around and went right back in.

4:00 pm: Take the escalators up 8 floors in The Bay department store to the Cityview Cafe.

This is a quiet cafeteria with enormous plate-glass windows that look down onto the historical building that used to be City Hall. You can also see Queen St. (a main thoroughfare) and the skating rink at Nathan Philips square.

We chose a plastic-wrapped slice of pumpkin pie to share, and sat by the plate-glass windows, watching snow pour down heavily from an undifferentiable sky. A few brave souls were skating, although the snow must have been pretty thick on the ice. We watched traffic creep along. Tourists stopped to take photos of each other in front of Old City Hall. A pack of skinny teenagers waiting for the streetcar tried to have a snowball fight, but the snow was as packable as dry flour. They threw handfuls of it at each other, and it just blew away on the wind.

5:00 pm: Take the escalators down 8 floors. Bum around the mall some more.

6:00 pm: Take the subway to Yonge and Bloor. The shoe store I wanted to look around in was "Closed Due to Extreme Weather. Sorry for the Inconvenience." We went to Ginger for dinner.

Ginger is a Vietnamese, cafeteria-style restaurant. We sat at a table for two pushed up against a wall papered with a mural of a tropical beach. As we ate, the wind picked up outside and snow blew in a furious dance outside the windows. Whenever the front door opened, the wind gusted in so aggressively that it blew snow right onto my dinner plate, as I shivered under the image of a paper palm tree on a sunny beach.

6:30 ish: Time to get going. Outside it's snowing so hard that I laugh in disbelief. There are so few cars on the road that it feels more like 4:00 am on a weekday than Saturday night at the heart of the city.

7:00 ish: Walk home from the subway through calf-deep snow. The wind won't let up, and it's blowing a constant stream of cold, wet snow in my face. I am so over the snow by now. I am not enjoying the sensation, no sir, not one bit. Not the stinging of snowflakes landing directly on my eyeballs, nor the cold melt-water that's trickling down my neck.

10:15 pm: Draft a blog post about my day in the snow. It's STILL freakin' snowing!!


Warped Mind of Ron said...

What's with all this snow? Where's all that Global Warming I was promised?

whatigotsofar said...

Not only is the pickle barrel sorely lacking in quality pickles, it's not a gay bar. That name promises hot guys and plenty of 'em. I was very disappointed in The Pickle Barrel.

They do have some nice french toast on their all day breakfast menu though.

unsigned said...

Oonis must be the coolest name ever. I googled Oonis and I got a My Space video of some guy doing a rap called Oonis Boonis. We need more Oonis!

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: We must not be producing enough carbon emissions yet. Go outside and drive your truck around for no reason all day. That should help.

Whatigotsofar: The Yonge/Eglinton location is straight family central. I'm suprised that we were allowed in without at least one child to accompany us. However, it's true that the name does have certain implications... Maybe they're planning to open a branch at Church and Wellesley.

Unsigned: Are you feeling tempted to change your online identity? I doubt that there's anyone called Oonis on the blog scene.

PixieVonAzia said...

This winter weather is making one to depressed. Then when summer is here, everyone will complain that's it's too hot! =) It needs to just be perfect weather at maybe 70 =)

Nicole said...

I'm getting cold just reading about it, bbbrrr......

But I'm glad you had a good day out :)!!

Aurora said...

I guess snow has to be wet to pack into snowballs? The snow the other day was really dry... kind of like laundry soap. Wonder what that means. It sure is pretty today!

Sparkling Red said...

Pixie Von Azia: You can be certain that I'll be complaining about the heat in a few months. I do best at 23 degrees Celcius or 74 degrees Farehheit. Anything more or less, I might start to whine.

Nicole: Yes, you can read it and shiver, and then run right back to the beach, you lucky girl, you! Could you mail me a tan, at least? Size small. Thanks.

Aurora: The snow looked fake to me, and I realized that's because I'm not used to seeing so much pure white snow. Sunday was beautiful - parts of the city were still like an untouched tundra.

jameil1922 said...

snow sucks.

Jenski said...

As much as I LOVE snow and I love professing that I LOVE snow, there are some things I do NOT love about snow. For instance, take the wind whipping the snow around so much that it gets through all the layers, right to your skin. Zach sounds like a cool guy!
[And the scientist in me has to say that global warming means more severe weather all around, not necessarily warmer weather all around. Sorry.]