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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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A fine weekend

Started off the weekend going to the Diner's on Friday. A bunch of people went off after dinner to see Ultraviolet but I (wisely it seems) decided not to. Ended up at Just Desserts with a few others to do the Geist magazine cryptic crossword. I generally suck at these, but managed to get a few. My brother did better.

Saturday got up early (9:30 AM) to get my hair cut. My friend Paul recommended an actual professional a while back to me, who you actually have to make an appointment to see (I know, high fashion), and Saturday at 11 AM was what I could get. But she does a great job. Wandered down Queen. Stopped into Bakka and picked up Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson. I'm a third of the way into it now and I'm enjoying it immensely, it's right up there with Chronliths (his best book) and we'll see by the end if it tops it.

At HMV got on the "3 for $30" rack Sum of All Fears (a superior thriller), Donnie Darko, and 28 Days Later. I find it almost impossible to pay full price for DVDs these days, unless it's something that's unlikely to end up discounted, Studio Ghlibi's Whisper of the Heart, which is out this week with Howl's Moving Castle. A word of warning. While Whisper of the Heart is a wonderful movie (coming of age story, and a lament on our increasing disconnect with nature) the back of the box (which I saw in a rental place) makes it sound like a fantasy. It's not. There's a hint of the fantastic in it, but just a hint. The bulk of the movie resolutely keeps its feet planted in the Earth, and it's certainly none the worst for it.

In the evening went over to Irwin and Lisa's for one of their regular get-togethers. Irwin BBQ'ed, and I got to see the first three "restored" episodes of the Doctor Who story The Celestial Toymaker. The existing video for these episodes is so degraded what was done was use the sound track (which survived in much better condition) in conjunction with salvaged still frames and the occasional scrolling text on the bottom of the screen which described the action. Works better than you would think.

Sunday I got up early again ( 8:30 AM this time) so I could make the Fighting Arts Collective class at 10 AM. It was a grappling/fighting class, and my first one where I get to spar with others. This is starting to turn into exercise now, which is good.

Afterwards I wandered down Bloor then Yonge, and picked up a used copy of American Gods for the SF book club this month. In the process I ran into Janet Jones about three times, as she was putting out flyers for Ad Astra at the end of the month and so kept going into the same places I was.

Heading back along College, it was so nice with the sun shining I found a park bench to sit on and read some more of Spin (and eat the orange I happened to have in my knapsack). Then Janet Embury came along, on her way to check out a $779,000 house for sale in the neighbourhood, just to see what a $779,000 house looked like, and I tagged along.

Neither of us would have ended up paying $779,000 for the place. While it certainly has good features (5 bedrooms, 4 baths, nice porches on the second floor AND on the roof) it felt like there were too many small rooms on the place. Fewer, bigger rooms would have worked better. But there were a surprising number of antique telephones and clocks present.

I meant to devote time to cleaning my place up on Sunday evening (wasn't interested in the Oscars) but I felt so beat by the time I got home I just had dinner, did some reading, and turned in.

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A $779,000 looks exactly like a $150,000 house, but in the heart of downtown in a big city (as opposed to in the suburbs of a small city).

Houses are crazy-expensive here. They are building townhouses in Etobicoke (a longish walk or very short bus ride from Islington subway) that start at $379,000. For a townhouse. In Etobicoke.

I went to a diner's meet on Friday too! Except we didn't start at A...

I cheered at the slap near the end...

I haven't seen Whisper of the Heart, but I hope you'll do your readers a favor and warn them about I Can Hear the Sea when it inevitably gets released. Worst taste in girls ever.

Re: I cheered at the slap near the end...

Haven't seen I can Hear the Sea. Probably won't rush to now.

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