Friday, March 16, 2007


Went downtown yesterday. (Had a meeting from 3–5.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet up with Andrea, after work, because she had a late meeting to attend. Figures; the one day I’m actually downtown, and our schedules don’t line up.

In fact, her meeting wasn’t going to end until 8:00 or so—and she was thinking they would go out for drinks, after—so I had to wait around for a few hours. Took advantage of the situation to stop off at the Eaton Centre, and get a bubble tea. Mmm, bubble tea.

Sat in the food court for a while, sipping my bubble tea, creating a diagram to capture what I’d talked about at my meeting, working on my “Basics of Excel” presentation, and reading a book I’d brought, on SOA.

Wandered around the Eaton Centre a while longer. There’s a Mrs. Fields there, but I didn’t really feel like anything too sweet. There’s a Dairy Queen there, too, and I love Skor Blizzards, but, as I said, I didn’t feel like anything sweet.

Ended up getting Popcorn Chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Bad idea. Terrible idea. I regretted this decision for the rest of the day, and well into the night.

Was carrying my backpack this entire time. It had my laptop in it, as well as a sheaf of papers a few inches thick, and the SOA book. The thick SOA book. (When you see the word “thick”, you can mentally translate that into “heavy.”)

Stopped by HMV, to see if there were any CDs or DVDs I wanted to buy. Found Casino Royale, and it was actually much cheaper than I’d been expecting, around $20, but they only had the full screen version, not the wide screen. I wandered through the DVD section some more, and found that they had a documentary section—which they called “General Interest” for some reason—and saw some that might be interesting, but didn’t buy any.

  • They had Why We Fight, which is a great documentary, but it was too expensive
  • They had The Corporation, but they only had the “standard” version, and I want to get the “extended” version
  • They had a couple of Noam Chomsky DVDs, but they were basically just talks that he had given. Which I’m sure would have been interesting, but I couldn’t bring myself to get excited enough to buy one.
I also took a look through the TV section, to see if they had the third and fourth seasons of Home Movies and Harvey Birdman, Vol 2. They did; they had Home Movies seasons 3 and 4, but they were both a bit too expensive. (And, for some bizarre reason, seasons 3 and 4 were priced differently.) I don’t know why they’re charging the same price for Home Movies—which is only about 9 episodes per season—as they are for The Simpsons, which is more like 22 or 23 episodes per season. Harvey Birdman Vol 2 was also a bit too expensive—which, in retrospect, is a very good thing, because as I’m typing this, I’m remembering that there is a good chance that I’ll be given this for my birthday!

So this didn’t pan out, but it did give me a mission: I would go to some other music/DVD stores, and see if there was anything to buy. Which I did, but the story was the same everywhere:
  • Apparently, all stores that sell DVDs have a “general interest” section, where they put the documentaries. Nobody else had The Corporation, most places had Why We Fight, but it was priced too high.
    • The really big HMV, at Dundas & Yonge, had a bigger “general interest” section, but it didn’t have any good documentaries in it.
  • Everywhere I went had Home Movies, priced a bit too high, and with seasons 3 and 4 priced differently. They all had Harvey Birdman, Vol 2, too, priced a bit too high. (Thankfully.)
  • Everybody had Casino Royale, but many of them were also sold out of the wide screen version. The ones that did have it had it priced too high for my liking. (Around $30–40, which is the standard price for DVDs, but I don’t like paying that much for my movies.)
The last place I went looking, out of desperation, was the World’s Biggest Bookstore. While I was there, I decided to look at computer books, but they didn’t have any that I found interesting. Decided to look at John le Carré books, but they didn’t have any that I don’t already have. Except for his newest book, which just came out, but it’s hard cover, and I don’t buy hard cover books, if I can avoid it. Stumbled on the Robert Ludlum section, but they didn’t have any I didn’t already have.

Went back to the Eaton Centre. Stopped by the bubble tea place, for another bubble tea, but they were out of tapioca, so I didn’t bother. Probably just as well; how much bubble tea can a person take in one day? (Answer to rhetorical question: as much as they can dole out, baby!) Sat there for a while, and read about SOA some more.

Got back up, and wandered around for a while, just going back and forth in the Eaton Centre, to see if any stores sparked my interest. None did. Wandered into Sears, to see if they had any winter coats, so that I could finally replace mine. They didn’t have any. Went to the unmentionables department, but they didn’t have what I was looking for there, either. Went to the appliance section—which involved taking escalators up to the 4th or 5th floor, which didn’t fill me with joy, since I was carrying around my hundred pound backpack—to look at dishwashers, and see how much they cost, these days. Ours might be on its last leg, so I wanted to see how much an energy efficient one would cost. (Answer: somewhere between $500 and $1,000, which is a big range, meaning that I’m not really any better off than I was before.)

Wandered back to the food court, and simply sat for a while. I couldn’t be bothered to read my SOA book, by this point, because my brain wasn’t prepared to take in the information, so I played Solitaire on my phone, instead. By this time, it was around 8:30, so I knew Andrea would be calling any minute, so I was just killing time.

She called, and I met up with her and her colleagues at a restaurant, so that I could eat, and they could dissect the meeting they’d just been at. (They ate, too, and I took part in the dissecting a bit, but mostly, I ate, and they dissected.)

I wasn’t actually intending this post to be a diary of the evening’s events—I just wanted to mention that I feel pretty run-down, today.