I am back home again. Whew! What a whirlwind! Last night I slept in the spare room, mostly because I was too lazy to clean off my bed which I left in a shambles of last minute packing scramble. But I also wanted to sleep someplace where I wouldn’t be able to wake up and see a clock, so I could just stay in bed until my body said it was time to get up, because if I wake and see the clock blinking morning I will get up. As a result I stayed in bed until after 11, so I must’ve needed the rest.
Monday afternoon I ventured downtown on my own to attend a taping of The Hour. I took a bus east to the St. Clair W subway station then rode south all the way to Union Station where I exited onto Front Street and started walking west. By this time I was kind of hungry so I figured I’d grab a bite somewhere along the way. I thought about treating myself by going into the Royal York in search of eats but by that time I had gone past and would have had to backtrack. I considered REALLY treating myself by lunching at Azure where Stacy and I got the most incredible eggs benny ever on the last trip, but I just wasn’t feeling very fancy, and it was so freaking hot, I just wanted to disappear underground into a dark nook or cranny. And then I remembered! I was heading right toward the Canyon Creek Chophouse where Stacy and I had enjoyed steaks and garlic bread and rich desserts. I had said I wouldn’t go without her … but … damn! I was hungry and it was RIGHT there! So I went in and opted to sit in the bar area in a cute little 2-person booth. I had a really nice California cab. I did not order the amazing garlic bread but just had regular bread with maple butter. I ordered the lunch prime rib which came with creamy mashed potatoes and crispy onions. It was okay but a little underdone for me. Then I had an espresso and the pecan pie for dessert. I couldn’t remember anything about the pie from before, just that it was rich. I totally forgot that it was freaking huge and a meal in itself. Nevertheless I sucked back half of it and by the time I was done lunching it was time to go to the CBC.
I went into the CBC store and looked around but didn’t see anything I wanted to buy, or should I say I saw nothing that I wanted to carry for the rest of the day and back to New Brunswick. Have I mentioned that it was over 34 degrees with humidity pushing the temperature much higher setting new records for Toronto? I found my way to the right entrance for The Hour on John Street and entered air conditioning just in the nick of time before I died of complete heat exhaustion.
I was a little early and not sure where I was supposed to be so I went up to the security desk to inquire. I’m standing there waiting when I hear a familiar voice. I turn and Brian Dennehy is standing right beside me barking into his phone. His handler or agent or what have you was the girl being helped in front of me. Kinda cool. I was one of the first people to arrive so I went to stand along the wall and wait to check in. While I was standing there George walked by about a half dozen times always pausing to say hello and high-five people, thanking us for coming. Again, kinda cool. Also while I waited in line, Salman Rushdie came in with his agent or manager or what have you and was introduced to CBC staff right in front of me. Nobody else in the line seemed to recognize him or something and I must’ve had an oh-my-god-it’s-rushdie look on my face because when he went to go up to the studio he looked at me and nodded and we said hello. Very cool.
They took us upstairs in small groups of around 25 people. I was in the first group. Once upstairs we were offered snacks of Sun Chips and corralled in four lines. George was still running all around. They had a big tv set up outside the studio and hooked up to Guitar Hero. Anyone who wanted to could play to try and win comfy seats on the leather couch for them and their guests. I’ve never played before so I didn’t try. The guy who won was an addict anyway, so nobody could have beat him, but it didn’t matter I ended up with a better seat than the couch anyway. You don’t get to choose your seat, they have a guy who seats you, and he put me in the front row right beside George’s chair directly facing the guest. Best damn seat in the house! Seriously!
George talks to the audience during commercials answering questions and requesting feedback. They also give away prizes. They had several copies of Rushdie’s book, gift certificates for massages, cosmetic prize packs, a funky looking vacuum and a bunch of other stuff. I didn’t win anything, but I didn’t care, less stuff to carry you know, and I was just happy to be there.
It felt like Rushdie was speaking directly to me throughout his interview, he seemed to be looking right at me. Of course I was sitting right beside the camera, so I’m sure that’s what he was really looking at. Dennehy was really entertaining. And we had an extra special treat because they pre-taped an interview with Muhammad Yunus that will air on tonight’s show. So look for me in the audience tonight as well. After the show I waited around and met George and got my picture taken with him. If I can ever figure out how to get it off my camera, I’ll post it on Facebook or something. I watched the show later and saw myself in the audience several times. If you go to The Hour website you can watch the interviews and look for me.
When I came out from the studio into the heat I saw it had rained recently but it hadn’t cooled off the city any. I walked back to Union and took the subway up to St. Clair West where I promptly lost my head to humidity and jumped on a streetcar heading east … it didn’t take long for me to realize I was going the wrong way so I got a transfer and switched. By the time I arrived at Taia and Ian’s I was an addled wilted mush brain. Yes, stupid with the heat. It happens. But I cooled down eventually and we spent the evening reading, watching a movie and then The Hour. We went to bed kind of late amidst a terrible thunder storm. Wicked. I think something close by must have gotten struck by lightning. At one point everything went dark for a couple of seconds. I did manage to get some sleep though. I had the alarm set for 4:45 am but woke up on my own at 4:20 and just got up rather than bear the sound of the alarm first thing. Taia got up and wished me a good trip. I showered and packed and was waiting on the front porch when the airport taxi arrived around 5:30.
I had absolutely no problems at Pearson whatsoever. Security were in better spirits than the guys in Moncton had been. Westjet gates were right there and my flight clearly labeled. People were lined up forever to get into the Tim Horton’s, so I opted for the much shorter (one person in front of me) line at an independent coffee shop, where the coffee was perfectly fine. I got a coffee, apple juice and bagel with cream cheese and settled in to wait. Our flight was delayed by 10 minutes. I later learned this was because they were waiting on a connecting flight from out west, which was eventually diverted to Hamilton and we ended up leaving without those passengers anyway. One minute we had sunshine outside the wall of windows and the next there was nothing but black with the clouds seeming to press right in on us to the point where you couldn’t even see to the end of the gates where the planes waited for boarding. Rain lashing the windows. Lightning brightening everything. And our flight delayed by another 10 minutes. Not that I wanted to fly out in that storm. Tornado was definitely a concern. But the weather lifted and we eventually started to board. Now my main concern was arriving in Moncton in time to catch the bus to Miramichi.
The captain spoke with us at the beginning of the flight to calm anyone’s nerves about the delays and the weather. It worked. At least on me. I was sitting in seat 13F, window seat, but right on the wing, which kind of sucked for looking straight down when there was a break in the clouds and you could see the ground. The flight was uneventful. I watched a little tv and enjoyed the world outside my window. I wanted to strangle the guy sitting next to me who used his cellphone during the flight, but I figured it can’t be THAT dangerous or else they’d ban the damn things rather than trust people (idiots) not to use them … right? They would, right? Anyway, that’s how I kept myself from freaking out on his arrogant ass. Because by this time I was starting to get really tired and cranky. We made good time to Moncton flying higher (44,000 feet) and faster (560 mph) than we had on the flight to Toronto. I didn’t have any bags checked so once we were on the ground I just exited and grabbed a cab to the bus station downtown arriving in lots of time to catch my bus.
I dozed in and out most of the bus ride. In Miramichi for some strange reason there were no cabs waiting, so I called one and then shared it with an older lady going to Chatham. Yesterday afternoon I mostly just chilled and watched Sex and the City episodes, stumbling to bed pretty early, where as I’ve said I slept very well. Today, I feel a bit like I’ve been hit by a truck. Sore. Tired around the eyes. Needing to clean up and get back into the routine.
Listening To: i’m deranged, david bowie