Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Examples of self-hate

I have heard it remarked that Jews who own Volkswagens are self-hating. I would like to add to the controversial list of self-haters with two more recent entries:
  • M. Night Shyamalan - You are an Asian American director who has chosen to bring to the big screen a well-loved animated series that bases itself on Asian culture. The obvious answer is to cast Asian actors, but no, you choose white actors for every major role with the exception of the villain.
  • Geeks who enjoy "The Big Bang Theory" - Geekdom is finally cool because geeks like Joss Whedon and Sam Raimi are in control. Yet, you choose to watch a sitcom that depicts geeks as socially awkward caricatures. Sure, the characters make geeky references but why not watch a comedy that makes references that only you would understand and respects you in the process? Try "Chuck" or "The IT Crowd".

Friday, May 14, 2010

Whatever works

Since taking on a vegetable and fruit binge regiment, our household seems to be hardier. However, nothing lasts forever, and Joe brought home some sort of illness from work last week. He had aches and chills, then a cold and cough combination. About a week later, my body gave up and decided to join in on the fun.

As usual, neither of us have any intention of visiting a doctor. Joe's ailing enters its second week and he relies solely on our single box of Contac Complete, of which, only the limited supply of Nighttime pills provide any relief.

I have decided to take the opportunity to explore alternative methods of self healing.

Alcohol - I, once, successfully made a cold disappear after an evening of beer drinking. Ever since that single occurence, I have been unable to duplicate the results. Mostly, when I drink alcohol, my cold gets worse because I become dehydrated, but in an alcohol induced haze, at least I become indifferent to how terrible I feel.

Junk Food - Greasy food definitely makes any illness worse by adding vomiting and diarrhea to the list of symptoms. But, what about sweets? I stuffed myself with turkish delights (from Turkey) and a few chocolate chip cookies last night. This morning, no improvement. Bonus: no weight gain either; my sweets binge appears to have made up for whatever weight loss I might have suffered otherwise...in back fat.

Echinacea - I have read various reports debunking echinacea as a natural cold remedy, which I am prone to believe because herbal remedies don't go with my wardrobe. However, when my co-worker offered me echinacea tea, I couldn't resist. As of this moment, it appears to have worked. My throat no longer feels scratchy, sore or flemy, and my nose is no longer runny. Admittedly, my cold symptoms were just beginning, so my immune system might just have rallied itself. Until the results can be duplicated, consider them unscientific...then generalize that assessment to this entire exercise.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lost opportunity at Spadina and Dundas

A new repertory movie theatre is coming to town: Toronto Underground Cinema will take over the long defunct Golden Harvest Chinese cinema at 186 Spadina Ave. Only love can drive the guys behind the Cinema to enter this volatile market, lovingly refurbishing such an inconspicuous venue in the same neighbourhood as that corporate branded multiplex at Richmond and John, and the new TIFF venue at King and John.

When I first heard that a repertory theatre was being unveiled in the Spadina and Dundas area, I instantly pictured the initial site of the Golden Harvest cinema, located on the north-east corner of the intersection. This was where my parents brought me to see Jackie Chan movies, and for a child, the venue's stadium seating was preferable to the subtle incline that dominated cinema design in the 1980s. It was clear that the seats were original to the venue as they were upholstered but made of wood and painted bright orange. Orange seating aside, it was easy to see that this was once a grand venue with chandelier lighting and a huge domed ceiling.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I have since learned that the Golden Harvest cinema was originally the Standard Theatre. It started out as a Yiddish theatre, then a burlesque theatre, before becoming the theatre of my childhood. The theatre was boarded up when Golden Harvest moved to 186 Spadina Ave. and a dollar store now takes up the stairs and former lobby.

I've entered the dollar store once and stared at that wall that barred even a peek into the theatre, wondering about the state of the orange seats and the chandeliers. I would have paid full admission regularly to revisit the cinema of my childhood.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sporting Life 10K post-mortem

So, I actually succeeded in meeting my Sporting Life 10K goal, stumbling past the finish line in just under one hour. However, my elation ended when records revealed that this was my slowest Sporting Life 10K ever.

Otherwise, the race was a good experience with ideal weather conditions (16C and overcast) and staggered start times, which prevented the congestion that plagued previous events. If only the event organizers would improve the look of their dri-fit t-shirts.

The short-lived afterglow smothered by disappointment has, in turn, been consumed by a nagging need to prove myself. The Toronto Challenge 5K is a favourite of mine because, at $20, it is so affordable. My personal best on the course is also my fastest 5K finishing time: 24:20. I will attempt to beat this time on June 13, 2010. As in a mid-life crisis, the fitting response to a new low is an outrageous new high.