Category Archives: local

Investing in a Vespa?

Anyone who lives in the Greater Toronto Area is probably now aware that the TTC did a sneak attack and went on strike at 12am this morning, leaving people at bars and clubs in the city stranded.

It has caused our city to come to a grinding halt and inconvenienced thousands upon thousands of riders who depend on the TTC to get them around.

This includes me.

This weekend, I *gasp!* actually had some social plans (I know! It’s crazy! Hermit Ginger actually having social plans?! Unbelievable.), so of course they had to go on strike. Of course they did.

That means 3 friendly outings today alone were botched, and my shopping plans for Sunday, too. I’m not too thrilled, as you can imagine.

But I guess I shouldn’t really complain too much. After all, it is the weekend and all neccessities such as grocery stores, pharmacy and laundromat are all within walking distance to me. I’ll be fine on that front, but it’s just injustice of the situation… I was finally going to be social and work on not being so awkward and the TTC had to ruin it. Thank gods I wasn’t clubbing last night.

This ridiculous strike has forced me to reevaluate my transportation options. Currently there is no possible way I can afford to either a) move closer to my workplace, b) walk or ride my bike to work (too far), nor c) afford a car.

So what else can I do when the TTC is on strike or having one of its many mechanical failures?

Coincidentally, when I received my May Metropass in the mail yesterday (on the discount plan) there was a coupon offering a membership with AutoShare for only $75 (AutoShare is a service that loans out cars for hours or days to its members, similar to ZipCars). This might actually be doable, it’s cheaper than ZipCars and there is a parking lot right by my house so I could certainly use it. It would cost me about $9.50/hour to rent a car, plus an annual fee of $35. That’s reasonable.

However, I’m not sure how easy it would be to reserve a vehicle during a strike. Hmmm. It would certainly make groceries easier though.

My other option, which I am seriously considering is purchasing a scooter. The Vespa brand definitely has the cutest, but they’re also the most expensive, so I’ve looked up some other brands and they’re much more affordable.

My dad has given me his blessing to get one, and is going to check to see how much it would cost to insure a scooter. I would have to get my M license but as I understand it I would be able to ride my scooter right away as long as it’s during daylight hours in the city.

I’ve googled a couple of shops in the area and I plan to go in and ask questions about the different types and brands, associated costs and the pros and cons of owning a scooter. I hope that the sales staff will be able to help me find the right scooter for my needs. I would love one that fits 2 people and has the luggage box on the back.

So far what I have learned is that it is economical and also less impactful on the environment to ride a scooter. It would give me more freedom and flexibility in terms of personal transportation, and I could use one for at least 6 months out of the year.

If I buy a used scooter I can get them for less than $3000, and most will only cost $4-10 per tank of gas. If I get a new scooter the pricetag would be much higher, but I would stay under $4000.

So now the hunt begins. Wish me luck!

Click here for the AutoShare discount for TTC MDP members.

Evil Dead Reprised

So last night I went to see Evil Dead: The Musical again (!!!).

Only this time it was for an ad event. Metro newspaper was celebrating the re-launch of its website, so they bought the entire Diesel Playhouse out so they could offer us the tickets. We also got free food and Steamwhistle beer. Yumm!

You know the weird thing is, I couldn’t find ANYONE that wanted to come and see the show with me? Un-fucking-believable. Especially after my ravings on how great the show was. Erm… maybe I was too enthusiastic?

Anyway, I ended up inviting my mom who is quite possibly an even more rabid Fan o’ Freebies than me. I knew she couldn’t pass this up. I lucked out with the tickets, too. I stopped by the playhouse early and sweet-talked this really really cute guy into giving me the best seats in the house– primo Splatter Zone seats smack dab in the centre. It was pretty awesome.

I didn’t get as much blood on me this time, but was still artfully splattered. I also got a marginally better view of the production, and got to sit and chat with some of my pals from previous agencies.

We got a craptastic goody bag on our way out, and mom drove me home. Not too bad of a night.

In other ad-related news, I have a rep lunch tomorrow which should prove exciting, as well as a YouTube event going on at Tattoo Rock Parlour in the evening. If it’s worth mentioning maybe I’ll do a post on it later.

In other-other news, I’m doing better on my diet now. After a sinful week of indulgences I didn’t lose any weight, but I didn’t gain any, either. If I can get back on track this week I should be able to drop another 1.5 lbs. Wish me luck!

TTC Strike!

It’s as I feared, the TTC will be going on strike on Monday. Again.

I’m pretty much screwed in terms of getting to work as I am totally dependant on the TTC to get me around. I am trying to see if V will be able to pick me up on Monday and drop me off, too. But I don’t know if it’s really out of her way to stop by my place or not.

Fingers crossed that this is over with soon!

Anyone with some interesting transit strike stories out there?

Product Review: Cake Milk Made Hand Creme

I’m on a roll, folks!

Here’s a review of one of the other products I was pleasantly surprised by: Milk Made Hand Creme by Cake.

I first received this as a gift from the W Network about a year ago. I had no idea what it was and had never heard of the brand before (apparently it’s some sort of upscale trendy brand?? And it’s Canadian!) but decided to give it a go.

Boy, was I surprised! This hand cream is absolutely divine. It feels creamy and very smooth, and spreads easily on your hands. It absorbs within a reasonable amount of time and doesn’t leave that gross greasy residue.

This cream gets big points on the moisture factor: it leaves your hands supple and soft; I particularly like using it on my cuticles and areas of my hand that get the most dry. It is quite simply a pleasure to use.

So what are the major drawbacks?

The Smell: It has marshmallow extract in it, which makes it smell like some sort of super-sweet, somehow creamy vanilla marshmallow. Totally eatable. If you’re into smelling like candy and/or baked goods, then you’ll probably love this to bits. I, however, prefer a less noticeable scent. Though I must admit that I’ve gotten used to it now, and the benefits still outweigh this minor detail.

The Price: At $18 a pop for a small tube, it is definitely an indulgence. I have received 3 tubes in succession as Ad Gifts therefore never having to purchase it myself. Will I buy it again once I run out? Possibly. Though I would definitely check for sales, discounts or trades on Makeup Alley, etc. first, and avoid paying full cost if possible.

So where can you get this?

I’ve seen the line at certain Bay stores. I’ll bet its at the nicer Sears locations (Eaton Centre) as well. Oh, what the hell. Here’s a link to their locations.

Overall I think this is a great product and would recommend it to anyone who’s not afraid to splurge from time to time. I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried this product, and what they thought of it!

…I sure hope I get some more as gifts!!!

Swag Update

According to the poll I had a little while ago, most of you want me to write more about the advertising world. Since I got such a great response on my posts about all the swag I get, I thought I’d dish what I got this week!

Surprise gift: We’re running a test campaign with a new supplier. I got an email from the CEO saying he’d sent my colleague and I each a small gift. We haven’t received them yet, but I’ll bet its good… this was the guy who gave us both $100 gift certificates to Oasis Spa for Christmas, when we weren’t even clients of his yet!

Laptop tote & spa-style terry robe: A newspaper came in this week to present some new readership data. They had a draw for a few prizes, and I walked away with this really classy lady’s laptop case (that actually fits my widescreen laptop, hallelujah!) that looks like a leather purse. It was stuffed with this oh-so-soft cotton terry-cloth white robe. “Newspaper Name” was stitched on the front in silver, but it still looks awesome and is very comfy. They also threw in a little keychain that is a digital frame. You can load 18 digital pictures onto it and display them whenever you want. On a keychain of all things!

VIP Movie tickets: Cineplex came in today and not only fed us lunch, but the interactive rep and I got in a conversation about movies and how I never go anymore. Apparently some theatres now have VIP sections with huge leather chairs, an age limit, and waiters to bring you your snacks. Also no line-ups. These are available to the public at extra cost and have to be reserved. He offered to give me some tickets to try it out! 😉 Way cool. I wonder if he was trying to pick me up though? That happens to us females from time to time… oh well. I’ll still go!

Evil Dead: The Musical Tickets: O. M. G. You guys know how I love this musical! A girl at work passed on an invite to Metro News’ relaunch party next week, and they’re hosting it at the Diesel Playhouse and we get to see the show, too! *squeals* I’m excited! I’ve requested Splatter Zone tickets but I’ll just be happy to go again!

Random food: Several lunches and breakfasts were brought in for us this week, and a box of cookies, too!

LOULOU Shopping Event: Tomorrow I’m off to an exclusive LOULOU Magazine event with Dermalogica. Again, this was offered to the public in their most recent issue. I’m not sure if it qualifies as swag since we each have to pay $10 to get in… but we were invited to it first? And we’ll get goodie bags there, too. Will have to post about that when I get home tomorrow.

So that’s what I scooped up this week, folks. Next week is fairly low-key other than the Evil Dead event and YouTube is coming in (that may prove interesting!). There are always new things being added to my calendar, though. Spring/summer is popular for hosting parties and all the TV upfronts will start to happen, so hopefully I will have more to post about!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your glimpse into my world…just remember, it’s not all glam and free stuff, I work like a slave, too!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up soon, so I’ve been thinking of what I can get mummy dearest for her special day.
In the past I’ve gotten her spa packages, pedicures, manis, etc. but it’s getting a bit old in my opinion. And also now that I’m on Jenny Craig I just can’t afford that much anymore.
I feel kind of bad that I can’t get her what she wants–she’s already told me she wants the 2-person package at our fave spa so that we can go together and do the mother and daughter thing. It’s really nice with an infra red sauna treatment, aromatherapy massages and customized facials, but it’s also $250.
That’s $125 a person and normally I would be ok with that, but I am seriously strapped for cash. It’s kind of irritating. Now I know how people in debt feel! ugh!
So I’ve been thinking of nice alternatives that cost less money… so far I’ve come up with high/afternoon tea at one of the hotels in Toronto. I know she’s a fan of the whole ceremony with scones and cream and such, so maybe a fancy one would be nice? I’m currently considering taking her to the Windsor Arms Hotel since I’ve read some good reviews on it, and the atmosphere looks classic and nice (That’s a pic of the actual room, btw). It will also only run me about $30/person.
Has anyone ever experienced Afternoon Tea in Toronto? I’d be interested to hear what others think, and any recommendations they have.
Also, if I can’t do the High Tea, anyone have any other cost-effective suggestions for a Mother’s Day treat? What are you doing for Mother’s Day, readers?

Carnivorous Cravings: T.O.’s Best Burger

I am an unapologetic carnivore. I like my meat and I like it delicious. One of my favourite forms is in the delightfully humble Hamburger.

I came across this wicked post on Blog T.O. today about the best burgers in the city. I am SO going to check some of these places out.

So far I’ve been to Apache burger because it’s old skool, yo. My dad used to take my little bro and I there for the onion rings, and I’ve had a burger, too. It really is scrumptious.

Mmmmm, I wish I could eat one right now! Damn you, Jenny Craig!

Check it out, peeps!