Friday, June 29, 2007

40 Years Ago Today

Jayne Mansfield was
scalped, decapitated or just thrown clear with massive head injuries and died.

Some say that her reincarnated ghost walks these streets still.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One Year Ago Tonight

Sheena was od'ing on shitty instant coffee in the morning, sipping on Pimm's and Lemonade in the evening, and now in June 2007 is having supreme difficulty eating at strip mall Chinese food buffets....

Dogs in Bars

Please people, no jokes about bitches or other women in the pub because I can most assuredly confirm that Sheena has run them all through her head and they were found wanting.

Sheena doesn't particularly care for dogs, yet dogs in bars are actually quite fun. Go figger.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


A few times a week Sheena takes the commuter bus service to and fro. Usually it is the same crowd. Some die hard daily recognize that you recognize. At some point the pressure to smile and acknowledge and nod politely kicks in. The Please God Please God don't actually try to make conversation or share a seat line in the sand etched across my face.

Then a faceless crowd of interchangeable archetypes: the bed head teenager, the DJ wanna be exchange student, the aging TA not yet getting considered for tenure track associate jobs, the speak no english relatives from the old country on their very last leg of travel.

And then on days like today, you get the deer in the headlights newbie. The guy who thinks taking a bus is beneath him, yet somehow circumstances have collided on this fine summer morning and bob's your uncle, he's among the unwashed that he fears.

Confusion over what part of the ticket to present. Utter bewilderment as to how to pick just the right aisle seat. Since the windows are long gone. And looking back ten times with a grimacing look at the driver who is still taking tickets is somehow not making people disappear in accordance with his desires.

Sit the fuck down you idiot.

Up again to put his briefcase up top. Sits.
Oh. He has a new model Blackberry. Better stand up to make sure the hot chick two rows behind notices me.
Up again to carefully fold the suit jacket and put it up top with the briefcase.
Where the fuck is the attendant to hang it up and take my drink order.

He probably showed up to his meeting sweaty and crumpled. Because the bus will do that to a guy.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hey Ossifer, Can You Give Me a Breastalyzer?

In police news today, Cop Not Guilty of Sexual Assault

HAMILTON – A Niagara Regional Police traffic cop, who engaged in a sexual act in the front seat of his cruiser with a woman he pulled during a routine traffic stop, has been found not guilty of sexual assault, but guilty on the second charge of breach of trust while on duty.

Const. Michael Moore, 39, who has worked for the NRP for more than 11 years, will return to the Superior Court of Justice in Hamilton on July 27, for sentencing.

Judge Thomas Lofchik said he was not convinced that the officer forced the complainant to perform oral sex on him or that he concocted a plan for sex.

“As the matters unfolded, there was a greater degree of spontaneity,” said Lofchik.
Now, I dunno about you guys, but this sort of on-duty behaviour amongst Ontario's finest is quite disturbing. One of Sheena's innerdnets compadres commented quite rightly...

"what a maroon, doesn't want his wife findin out he's pickin up hummers instead of donuts but he sends emails braggin about it to all his buddies"...

While Sheena concurs explicitly with the maroon observation, she cannot help but be made uncomfortable by the donuts comment. I confess I've always found the Boston Creme to be profoundly disturbing.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dourquey NASCAR Sponsorship

Ugh. Sheena has resisted commenting on this most unfortunate mix of good old fashioned fuel-burning and politics. She and her krewe of Beer Garden Queens [tm] have been avid enthusiasts of several of the top tier race series for years and years and years. I mean, what self respecting gal could ever resist the lures of nose-to-tail contact, roll-over protection, multi-entry teams, and Nomex underpants? Eh?

So the Conservative Party threw a few bucks at token Can Con driver Bourque for a few of the closed wheel races this year. Sheena does not particularly give a shit, but she does question the wisdom and optics of choosing the Nascar/Cascar league over the more well established Canadian fan bases in Champ Car, IRL and F1. At least Champ and IRL have active and successful Canadian drivers with a shot at Victory Lane.

Plus, I mean, like. OPTICS! you asshats.. OPTICS!

Race fans who like open wheel usually don't like NASCAR because it is BORING! Round and round and round all friggin day long.

And ironically - they can only turn left...

Ouch baby.

I don't know WHY I give away this shit for free. FCS.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Home" ... Or At Least As Close as it Gets These Days

New Baba's House:

New Baba was my great-grandmother. My Baba's mother. This is the last house she lived in before the whole family sold the farm, packed up and moved to the big city. Sheena was 10 when she died. I still have her hand made rag rugs all over my apartment. They are my most precious possessions. I spoke no Ukrainian and she spoke no English. But I loved her and looking up at her from the perspective of a six year old, her ears looked doughy and translucent just like perogies . When she baby sat us she would make a sourdough type of pancake. To this day no one else in the family can figure out the recipe. Nobody wrote it down before she died.

This is the community centre in Arran, SK. Arran is where the farmer lived who sponsored my grandparents, mother and uncle to come to Canada. They were what were called "DPs" back in the late 40s. Refugees, basically. Baba and Gido got married in a forced labour camp. And that's where Sheena's mom was born.

The Arran farmer had to sign an X because he couldn't write, and have a notary seal his statement that he would not let my family be a burden on the Government of Canada. I saw that document for the first time last winter. And it made Sheena cry.

So far so good. Knock wood.

Roberts on Roncey

Last Tuesday night went over to Gate 403 on Roncesvalles to see Donné Roberts and his jazzy/bluesy compadres. A very talented musician with a pretty kick ass mastery of a wide range of genres.

Had a bite to eat. Had a couple of martinis. Because that is what one does when listening to live jazz, I guess.

My favourite was the John Deere Martini.

Muffins For Granny

Sheena's flick pic for this weekend (or next...) for her Toronto readership.

Camera Bar at 1028 Queen W (near Ossington) is showing a real treat for the next couple of Saturdays at 3pm. El Chaperone and I were lucky enough to get a personal invitation to the first full screening of this debut documentary from smart, pretty, funny and passionate film maker Nadia McLaren, who lives in the 'hood.

An eye opener. She treats a difficult subject with warmth and humour and respect and Sheena was almost in tears a couple of times. GO SEE IT. Just be careful of those friggin chairs...

Muffins For Granny (88 mins)

A documentary by Nadia McLaren, 2007

“Muffins For Granny is a remarkably layered, emotionally complex story of personal and cultural survival. McLaren tells the story of her own grandmother by combining precious home movie fragments with the stories of seven elders dramatically affected by their experiences in residential schools. McLaren uses animation with a painterly visual approach to move the audience between the darkness of memory and the reality that these charismatic survivors live in today.”

Link to CBC Radio interview on Wednesday with Nadia (Need Real Audio installed)

I think it is a free screening, but suppose you could call ahead to be sure...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Better Read than Dead, I Suppose...

Congrats to The Star's Madame Zerbisias on the debut of her new gig as "Living Columnist". Sheena is not sure what that says about the other Star columnists, but je digress.

Here it is! Enjoy!

Sheena particularly enjoyed "#1". A little footnote might not be such a bad thing next time. Grr....

Whether we're talking the Prime Minister's Office, the corner office or a dark corner of the globe, it's a man's world.

But imagine the impact if the Pope kept his umbraculum away from our uteri, or if girls stayed in school until 16, instead of having babies at 14.

Alas, I am not Queen of the Planet – although I will accept your votes. So, until my coronation, here are 10 things, some serious, some not-so-much, that would improve life for women here:

1. No matter how much learning a girl gets, her earnings never match a boy's. Statistics Canada reports that the wage gap for young women with university degrees has barely shrunk.

In 1991, they earned 20 per cent less than their male peers. In 2001, 18 per cent. Maybe women gravitate to jobs that pay less, in the nurturing professions, for example. Maybe they take jobs that allow them to have families instead of going for killer careers.

Either way, they make a contribution that has no monetary value.

So, unless you think an investment banker who deals in e-blips is worth more than a teacher who works with troubled kids, you should not be okay with the disparity.

Then why not some tax breaks?

Start with tampons. The NDP has repeatedly proposed that the GST on them be eliminated.

With "feminine protection" a billion-dollar industry, that's $60 million a year padding the federal coffers, all from women who don't exactly have a choice. (There is no PST on this in Ontario.)

"Padding the federal coffers". INDEED BEEAYTCH!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Training Meals

Some people I know close to the situation roll their eyes at Sheena when she expresses moderate affection for the food on Via Rail. First class that is. Come on, now.

While it's no Jamie Kennedy, it sure as hell is better than anything encountered on any North American commercial airline in the last 5 years.

Three trips in the last week, had the same menu twice. Went for the cold plate both dinners after a little freshening up with the microwaved hot towels.

Cheese and fruit plate to start (including dried apricot and figs...)
Beef tenderloin on bed of celeraic slaw, with blue cheese and artichokes.
Fresh fruit for dessert

Oh yeah and a digestif.

But it's all just warm up for the inevitable swoon: the Via Rail chocolate. Still thinking about filing an ATIP request to find the manufacturer. (Once Crown Corps are actually covered by ATIP.. that is...)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chair of Death

The chairs along the bar at artsy flickster hangout Camera Bar on Queen W look very nice but two of us nearly cracked our heads open because of this big foot rest in the front of the chair which makes them precariously unbalanced.

Foxley Lady

Saturday was a nine hour romp all over the Queen & Ossington corridor. Dinner - at the half way point was at the new tapas-style place Foxley. Sheena's had it on her to-do list since it opened and pushed it to the top of the list after reading this Toronto Life review and saw the picture of the duck liver mousse parfait. (Dammit, didn't see it on the menu yesterday... grr...)

Fun wine list and on a hot summer night a whole whack of Rosés by the glass was a nice treat. Started with the blue crab and avocado salad. It was gorgeous. El Chaperone thought it was a little heavy on the cilantro, but Sheena loved it. Also tried some lamb and duck dumplings that were OK, nice sauce, but not nearly as spectacular as the crab salad.

We split two main courses - the tomatillo grilled flank steak and the tea-smoked quails. El Chaperone was gaga for the quails. I let him have the extra piece and polished off the heirloom tomato salad that accompanied it.

Pretty limited dessert offerings for now (still working on it) so we ended our meal with a port and an amontillado. Not a cask, just a glass.

Foxley in Toronto

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Meebs 'N' Quarts - More Ottawa Fast Food Tradition

Up in the Nation's Capital yesterday just for the day and by 11:00 the team was throwing lunch ideas around.

"NO". Sheena said.

"I'm only here for one day and I miss The Prescott.

"OK". They said

Friday lunch at the Prescott Hotel on Preston, right in Little Italy, is something any visitor to Ottawa must experience. It's the same menu any other day, but there is something special about the Friday lunch. It is not unlike those African savannah watering holes where species of all sizes, makes and models come together - warily, carefully - to drink the same cooling waters. The Prescott is also one of the last holdouts in Ottawa still serving quart bottles. Usually it's a Quebec thing. Nice to order a communal beer and share, or just feel classy like you're drinking wine and just pour a few ounces into the miniature draft glasses in front of you.

The propeller heads sit at the tables next to the government middle managers. And sometimes the head snaps are audible as they endeavour to keep corporate secrets from their customers 2 feet away. The blue collar dirty fingernail staple clientele mix readily with the suits and ties, all eyes together as one on the big screen watching highlights of last night's game.

The old guys often sit solo. They got there at 11. Working on their second quart, little glass half full. They'll be there on Monday too.

Sheena recalls seeing a menu once, and there is usually a great range of daily specials, but when my time is limited, I default to the comfort zone. Most people rave about the square pizzas, which are good, but not my thing.

My thing? The Meatball Platter with Cheese. I usually only get through about 10% of the fries, and never eat the cole slaw, but the Meebs are divine. One of the very few sandwiches actually best eaten with a spoon.

Ode to Ottawa Fast Food

O wild Marroush, thou breath of garlic's being,
Thou, from whose counter presence the lettuce chopped
Is wrapped, like babes in swaddling clothes,
Browned, and spiced, and lean,
and spicy red,
Marinated-chicken magnificence:
O thou, Who carefully peels the tinfoil from its prey
The pickled seeds, where they lie cold and pink,
Each like a ruby within the ore,
until Thine twisted sister of the 'Peg shall blow chunks
Her clarion o'er the beersoaked earth, and fill
(Driving a borrowed rental car like hell down Elgin feet in air)
With living hues and odors strong and real:
Wild Shawarma, which art dripping everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; another to go!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Idiotlogue Whirld....A Sooey Says Exclusive

Sheena does not often stray into topics political, because well, frankly, she deems it to be beneath her, but today I am compelled to link to my original blogmother over at Sooey Says because she's on fire today.

And because she has spectacular breasts and wonderful taste in necklaces.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Secret World of Airplane Bathrooms

That little guy walking towards the toilet looks like he couldn't wait. Or was super overexcited about something.

Sheena likes Air Canada bathrooms best because they have the yummiest Fruits and Passions hand soap. I love the way they smell. Miss the Molton & Brown that Canadian used to have, but I'll live.

The person before me clearly did not. I did not touch the dirty snot rag.

Sheena always feels awful when she opens the door and hits a crew member. I try to remember to open slowly and make a lot of clanging noise as a heads up.
I have been lucky to have never experienced first hand some of the well known horror stories about long haul flights or hours long ground delays that push the delicate systems to the limit. The preferred approach, however, is to hold it. Which is why wine is preferable to beer as the go-to travel beverage.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sheena's Guide to Free Tampons #4

Winnipeg Maple Leaf Lounge. Clearly NOT run by Toronto bean-counters. But those who respect the quiet dignified suffering of the modern Canadian woman.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Best Burger in the 204

Consistently ranked Winnipeg's Best Burger ever: VJ's Drive In has been a beacon of greasy light to the hungry, tired and wobbly since 1958.

Sheena cannot leave the YWG without her usual: Burger with Just Chili with Fries in a Box. VJ's is known for the Special, but I have my own needs and do not stray from what works for me. Since Sheena's first visit in 1984 they have only fucked up my order one time. And it was still good.

Always order the Fries in a box. Not a bag. They are always right out of the fryer, so it is the blast of cold air that makes them crunchy. Fries get soggy when they don't get proper airing out after getting scooped out of the hot oil. It's a fact.

Milkshakes, if I recall back to those heady crazy days when Sheena lived in a basement suite with a sunroof down the block from VJ's, are great, but lactose sensitivities and my respect for my fellow human make me reluctant to indulge these days.

A Sikh guy I used to know was convinced that the special ingredient that makes the VJ burger so good is garam masala. Sheena has no idea if it is true.

Eat outside at the picnic table, or in the car if it is raining. Cash Only.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I REALLY Wanted the Lamb, But When I Yelled "Duck! Breasts!"...

...Sheena ended up with the Confit....

An emo moment this week as Sheena and The Beast were reunited for an evening of sloshingly good jogs down mammary lane, while supping on some of the Best The 'Peg Has To Offer (tm) in the form of Scotty McTaggart's Fusion Grill
550 Academy Road at Lanark
fusion grill supports Manitoba producers and Canadian wine makers

Seeing the one person who has been able to know Sheena's teenage secrets and still live (true story) PLUS being graciously served by the Master of Bon Vivantry was a highlight of my 2007. So far.

What evil genius could inflict the carbohydrate nirvana of the White Truffle Perogy? The Pickerel Cheeks with toothpick sized frites and dilled aioli?

We each had a glass of fave Niagara VQA Malivoire Pinot Gris with appetizers.

The mains were sublime: Duck with the Wild Rice pancake for moi. The Beast indulged in the Dijon and sunflower seed crusted lamb chop.

Argued a bit over wine with the main courses. My Ontario chauvinism reared its ugly head, but was talked down off the pedestal with a compelling argument to go for the Reserve Pinot Noir from Quail's Gate. When Scotty said his mum lived down the road from Quail's Gate, I folded like a lawnchair after the Canada Day fireworks in Hull.

Loved every moment, and kicking myself still that it's taken me so many years to get my ass over there.

Thanks Scott. Too long. Happy to catch up.

Thanks Beast. Too long. Hey... has anyone ever said that you look just like Jamie Lee Curtis?

My Old Office is now a Fire Pit: Dining at Pasta La Vista

Many many years ago when the earth still bubbled molten red and black, Sheena did office shit at a restaurant long gone but now replaced by the semi-fabulous Pasta La Vista. Part of me is always looking to trip the place up, but let's face it. They do good quality Italian food, fresh pasta with quality ingredients and clearly somebody is having fun with the wine list.

Ate there twice last week - The Black & White Pasta with Chicken was fantastic. Al dente fettucine, obviously freshly made. Another time had the "Magic Mushrooms". No really... it was wild mushroom ravioli.

If you are downtown Wpg, worth a shot.

Sign of the Apocalypse #4

Wine On Tap.

The Jackson-Triggs Chardonnay. Ruining the airport bar experience from coast to coast since 1994, the ubiquitous white now finds itself in a more suitable surrounding, next to the piss of the Rockies, Coors Lite.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Though coulda been a CFL promo gone wrong...

Sitting at dinner on Tuesday night and the phone rings.

"Where did you say you were on Sunday night"? The Tavern United patio downtown in the CTV building, why?" OMG!

Turns out there was a bomb threat at the Winnipeg CTV station while Sheena was 2 blocks away but missed the whole thing.

The Tavern United was a real treat. It didn't exist when Sheena was a full time 'Pegger. The building last I recall was some half abandoned parking garage. Now it is a multi-level pub/restaurant/sports bar with a kick-ass patio that feels like it belongs in another city. Great view of the south part of downtown, especially if you squinted your eyes in the sunset and pretended not to see the rubbies and homeless guys. Made me hopeful.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Day at the Trashcona High Neighbour Festival

Sheena turned to Evita the Girl Dictator and said, "So, can you tell you're not in Kanata anymore?" She turned a bit pale and her eyes widened. Soaking in sub-species not frequently seen in Ottawa suburbs. The Skullet. The CN'R. The Emotionally Crippled Jets Fan. More tats and mullets per square inch than any other postal code. Where you are what you drove in 1988.

And yes God does exist, because in Transcona He manifests Himself through the goodness and wonder that is the Perogy Pizza