Oooh, there’s an awesome storm happening outside as I type this.
This whole weekend it’s been crazy in terms of weather. My body isn’t too happy… I’m a human barometer and the weather changes and storms have been causing me serious pain. I was laid up most of yesterday and into the night with an awful body-based migraine.
The rain isn’t the only thing that is crazy this weekend. On Saturday the weather was overcast but otherwise alright. It rained a little at the Taste of the Danforth (mmm I nommed loads of delish Greek food) but nothing spectacular.
This morning I woke up to a weird storm–it went as dark as night then started in with thunder and lightning. When it was right over my house there was a huuuuge CRACK!! of thunder, and all the car alarms in the neighbourhood went off! Incroyable!
After that passed, the retarded levels of heat and humidity moved in. I offer you the following evidence:
You see that little “feels like” section? Yeah. 42. That’s in celsius, my friends (108 Fahrenheit). Vancouver, I think we’ve got you matched for heat now!
While I was away at Spirits Fest I did a ceremonial sweat lodge. While not nearly as hot as the sweat lodge, it’s pretty fucking close outside right now. Like, the humidity/heat level of the lodge when you’re just getting into it and haven’t fully heated it up yet.
I plan to take a cold shower and sleep naked tonight with 3 fans pointed in my direction. That’s the only way I can bear it in my apartment. The A/C doesn’t reach all the way into my room.
For those of you that don’t know, Toronto is in the midst of a city workers union strike in which garbage pickup, city maintenance, summer camps, etc. have all been stopped by the striking union. More information.
This garbage strike is really getting me down lately. We’re into day 25 of it here with no end in sight. My neighbourhood is still relatively clean, but the area that I work in is disgusting. (The photos on BlogTO were taken in my work area. You see what I have to deal with every day!)
Everywhere I look, there are trashcans filled to overflowing. Litter lines the streets, floats in the air, is tangled in trees and gardens and otherwise makes itself a nuisance.
The smells are pretty bad, too. People are no longer sorting their organic materials out, and are just dumping it all wherever they please which makes everything doubly stinky. The streets and sidewalks are sticky, slippery and smelly and unpleasant to walk on.
People have now begun giving up on trying to find a proper trash receptacle. Now they’re just throwing things anywhere with no regard to the environment or other people. It breaks my heart to see my beloved city drowning in mounds of trash.
Granted, every city will have its various sanitation problems and Toronto is no exception. But with this city strike going on it is simply appalling.
I never really realized before this just how much trash we all produce. Sure, I see what I directly put out on the curb every 2 weeks, but to see that multiplied by 2.5 million people—astounding.
I suppose if I were to look on the bright side, I would hope that Torontonians would make the same observations that I did—quite simply, we are still producing too much trash. I have been making a conscious attempt to reduce my output, especially with this strike going on. It’s tough to do, but I’m making the effort.
I think that Toronto is slowly moving in the right direction, but we’ve got a long way to go.
I can’t wait for this strike to be over. Even with my limited trash output, I’ve run out of bins to store it all in.
“Gin-cident”: a negative experience with gin; usually as a result of inferior juniper berries used in the production of gin. Or by being a stupid teenager.
I’ve had one, and I’ll bet you’ve had one too.
I’ll admit it; a few weeks ago, I did not have a very good opinion of gin. I thought it tasted a lot like pinecones and made me want to yak. I was the victim of a gincident. So when I opened up my inbox to find an invitation to an exclusive Bombay Sapphire Gin event from their PR agency, I was a little skeptical.
However I like to think that I have an open mind, so I accepted the invitation in the hopes that I had matured enough to appreciate the unique flavour of this spirit. I love exploring alcohol and had done a tasting and review of Ketel One Vodka in the months previous; I was ready for another round. (Note to PR companies: Send me stuff or invite me out! You won’t be disappointed!)
The venue was the very well-appointed childhood home of Ted Rogers Sr., inventor of the Rogers Batteryless and founder of the Toronto radio station CFRB. We were treated to a variety of gin-based cocktails and tasty hors d’oeuvres by some friendly waitstaff as we mingled in the kitchen and backyard.
I brought my new friend Eve with me to this event, in an effort to bond with her over copious amounts of booze and also to introduce her to that glamourous ad world/blogger lifestyle I like to brag about so much (needless to say she was suitably impressed! hehe).
Once for a change I didn’t know anyone at this event, so I was able to start fresh and maintain my blogger anonymity! Errr… rather just keep my work life a social life separate, I suppose. Eve and I mostly stuck together that evening, but I made friends with the British mixologist and brand ambassador Merlin Griffiths, whom I had previously arranged via Twitter to do a cocktail demonstration with that evening. (That’s right! Ginger gettin’ up there and all famous in the house!)
Long story short, I sampled most of the cocktails on offer, which included my namesake, my favourite of the night, and the always-classy:
Sapphire (Tom) Collins
About an hour into the event we were ushered into the totally dope kitchen area for some cocktail-creation demonstrations, as well as some tips and tricks from a professional caterer on how to entertain at home.
First on the menu: Ginger & Merlin demonstrating the art of the Sapphire Collins! Yes my friends, I got up there like the attention whore I am and showed the world how to do it right, with Merlin guiding me along. I even squeezed the lemon myself! (The photo is Merlin showing us the right and wrong way of making a gin martini)
Ha! You thought you’d actually see me, eh? Maybe in the future, but not this time, my friends! however that is a great little instructional video I will be using to jog my memory for all the BBQ’s I’m going to host this summer…
Anyway, the night went along swimmingly with the help of some more Sapphire Collins’ and the good company of my fellow Toronto bloggers. We learned how to make a bunch of drinks that night, as well as a few cool centrepieces and quick meals for dinner parties. Below you’ll see a half-eaten (so classy, I know) charcuterie plate and a delicious Sapphire Collins.
I think by this point you’ve realized that I have started to actually enjoy gin–when applied properly, of course! I’m really glad I got out to this event; not only did I have a great time with Eve, I also learned a lot about gin and met some of the local Toronto bloggers! Bombay Sapphire gin is definitely on my list for booze-I-need-to-purchase, especially now that I know how to use it. And because it has cool “botanicals” in it (top photo). I like herb-y things!
I was a bit of the odd-man-out however, as I did not possess any business cards! Anyone wanna hook me up with some of those free ones uPrinting.com has been giving away? If I keep going to more of these events I might as well advertise my site, right? It’s a bit weird mingling In Real Life though, I’ve got to admit! I’m not sure how I feel about people who have actually met me reading this blog… none of my friends or family know where it is or what I write about!
Speaking of other bloggers, I would like to thank Andrew Louis of Hyfen.net and Raymi of Raymitheminx.com for use of their photos! I meant to bring my camera but forgot at the last minute!
As an end to the night and an end to this post, Eve and I stayed and socialized with ppl until the bitter end, they were practically kicking us out, but it wasn’t even 9pm yet! We scored some killer loot bags and a couple of cab chits on our way out, so I chilled at Eve’s place a bit before heading home. I still haven’t broken out my mad cocktail-making skillz yet, but rest assured they will be well-used in the coming summer months!
Here’s a peek of what we got that will leave you salivating:
If you wanna learn some stuff about Bombay Sapphire Gin or how to make some great gin cocktails, here are some resources for you:
I went to the Jameson 360 party at the Great Hall on Saturday. It was essentially a pre-Paddy’s Day party that was being held in several locations around the world. It was cool since they were showing you live broadcasts of all the other parties going on while you were at yours. It was a free event but you had to get tickets, which I got through work connections.
The bands were really good this year, too. It was The Dunes followed by Never Ending White Lights and they did really well I thought. Better than last year’s anyway. There was supposed to be free Jameson & Ginger handed out at this event however I never saw any. I had to buy drink tickets instead. The only redeeming factor is that a Jameson drink only cost $5 and I didn’t have to tip! My night cost me under $20!
The only sad part about the night was that I couldn’t hear a single thing when the bands were playing. My ears were ringing so much that all day yesterday and even today I can still hear/feel it. This is especially sad because two guys actually came up and started talking to me and my friend! I think they might have been interested! I talked for a few seconds with them in the lull between songs; long enough for guy #1 to introduce me to guy #2 who was kinda cute. Unfortunately guy #2 kept trying to talk to me about something (which was good!) but I couldn’t hear ANYTHING!
I tried to tell him that I couldn’t hear him, tapping my ear and looking apologetic and all that, and then he just sort of left! And never came back!
I don’t get it. I mean, I couldn’t hear him, but if we wanted to talk couldn’t he wait until the song was over?
Did I do something wrong in this situation? Should I have pretended I could hear him? I mean, what do you do when you’re at a loud concert and can’t hear the other person? It’s kind of embarrassing. I really would have liked to have chatted with this guy, I mean how often do I ever get guys talking to me? The one time they do I can’t hear them and I guess it turns them off!
I just don’t get it.
Ladies, should I have done something different? Guys, would you walk away from a girl if she couldn’t hear you during a loud concert?
I’m a member of the Toronto edition of ChickAdvisor.com; which is a really great review site for my area (and now across North America, too!). I love going there to scope out reviews on restaraunts, spas, salons, products, you name it! I also contribute by writing some reviews of my own. (Check it out! My username is gingercorsair)
Anyhoodle, Chick Advisor held a Shopoholic event last night at the Varsity theatre in TO that me and my friend MR went to. It was my birthday present to her
For 20 bucks we got a ticket to the show, a cocktail of our choice and a really nice swag bag. Y’all know how much I love my swag! I thought it was a pretty good deal.
It was a pretty good bag, even in comparison to some of the ad-event bags that I get. I totally dig that there were no ad-sales pitches included 😉
I was going to take a photo of my bag but it’s exactly the same as Lowe’s of cocoandlowe.com, who I had the pleasure of meeting last night. So I’m using her photo. Hope she doesn’t mind!
For your viewing pleasure:
What you’re looking at there is:
Clorox disinfecting wipes in a super-cute dispenser!
Maybelline eye makeup including a liner, 2 mini-palettes and a single shadow in a lovely purple
Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto mascara (read my concise review here)
Maybelline lipstick & lipgloss
Dermalogica sample pack (with my fave microfoliant!)
Not a bad haul, eh? I traded the lipstick, liner and mascara with MR since I already have those items and she wanted them for her sister. Now I just have to find someone to give the Maybelline stuff to… I’ve already got all the colours in higher-end products so I don’t really need them. I guess the only things I’m keeping are the microfoliants from the Dermalogica kits and the Clorox wipes! Oh well, you can’t win them all!
Another nice feature at this event was the Dermalogica skin bar. I went to get a little skin consultation. The girl was great and very knowledgeable, but since I’m a beauty junkie already I didn’t really learn anything new.
As for the Shopaholic movie itself?
I thought it was cute
It was totally different from the books, but I think the same spirit was there. Of course its just as frustrating as the books; I wanted to reach through the screen and shake some sense into Becky Bloomwood; but overall it was a nice, enjoyable chickflick–perfect for my girl’s night out!
Well, I had a good time of it, so if they do another one you’ll probably catch me there! Who knows, maybe one day you might even bump into me!
Whew! This week so far has been a little more interesting than my normal weeks!
Usually I like my work-weeks to be fairly tame–I stick to a routine, go to bed at the same time and try to keep things quiet.
On Monday I deviated from the usual by going out with my friend ML (I know, I have a LOT of friends with M-names) after kung fu. She was feeling guilty about flaking out on me for my birthday so I thought I’d let her get it out of her system.
On Tuesday my roomie and I had plans to go see He’s Just Not That Into You, so I invited ML along, too. The early showing we went to ended up being packed and ML was running late so unfortunately we all couldn’t sit together. But after the movie (It was cute, BTW) ML and her sister (didn’t know she was coming!) invited us out to Loki Lounge to see a friend of theirs play.
Yet another late night! But it was really nice, I like her sister and it turns out that all of us (including my roomie!) know the same people. Small, small world! Roomie and I didn’t have any cash on us so ML offered to pay for our cover and even bought us a drink. I’ll have to repay her somehow soon.
Wednesday I was feeling pretty tired (busy days & late nights will take their toll) so I just stayed home, and tonight I’m forgoing the kung fu and may possibly visit this awesome plus-size boutique, Maximum Woman.
I’ve only been there once before but I thought it was cute and I liked the idea behind the shop– all the clothes are handpicked by the owners (who are plus sized-themselves) and are made specifically for larger, curvier bodies. They’re different from what you get at Pennington’s or Addition-Elle and are priced very competitively as well. They’ve even been on the show Dragon’s Den! It was definitely a proud moment for me, I love the store.
Last time I was there I bought some of those tummy-flattening jeans and they were pretty awesome. I’m not sure what I’ll get this time around but I thought I’d check out the styles, etc. It’s so nice to have an affordable option–AE/Penningtons/Reitmans are all the same company and virtually the only providers of plus sized clothing in Canada, and they keep getting more expensive every day.
Ok that was a huge tangent…!
I’m going to finish up the gossip related to this in another post… In the meantime, check out the Maximum Woman site if you’re big like me–they even do online ordering!
In an earlier post I showcased some of my work in my intro to silversmithing class. Well, it’s time for an update!
I took a second class at the studio called lost wax casting.
The way it works is, you get hunks of hard wax and use little files and gouging tools to shape the object that you want. You can make really awesome 3D pieces with this, and any type of jewellery (rings, earrings, necklaces, etc.).
You carve the wax exactly how you want it, because every single detail including mistakes! is going to be cast in silver later.
Once you’re happy with your piece, you attach it to a “button” of extra wax on the bottom of a flask. It sticks up in the air and looks like a lollipop! This is then sealed in a cylinder called a flask, and filled with a plaster substance. The wax melts out in a kiln leaving a perfect impression, a mold behind.
Next you melt your silver down in a crucible with your torch, then pour it into the mold you created over a special vacuum. After it cools a little you get to do the really cool *pshhhhh!* quench in the water!
Then you have to finish your piece. It’s usually ugly and covered in black tarnish, casting skin, and sometimes firescale if something went funny in the casting process. I had all of the above on my pieces.
I cut the pieces off the button, then filed and polished all the crappy bits away. For the two skull pendants I made for me and my brother; I used a oxidizing acid in the recessed areas to darken the silver permanently for effect.
Check it out!:
I carved each of those skulls individually, and boy! was it hard! It’s very difficult to work in 3D like that for me. There is no adding, only subtracting. If you slip up or go too deep, that’s it, your piece is garbage. I think with practice it would become easier to do, but I found it very challenging this first time around!
I also made this ring:
I did a super-high polish and if you look close enough you can see my hands and the camera reflected in the silver!
So those three pieces conclude my foray into the world of silversmithing for the moment. I’ve signed myself up for a clay silkscreening class that starts in April that I’m totally stoked about. I will probably go back and take the next level of silversmithing at a later date because right now I’m just tired of inhaling silverdust all the time! hehehe
…So, did any of you take my advice and find something fun and creative to do during the dull doldrums of winter??