Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr. Mop and the Sushi Man

What's new in the world of this bride turned bridesmaid?

Well, the Engineer and I just moved to Toronto.


And I am trying to be super duper positive about it.  Unfortunately, I am not doing so well.

Firstly, it's not New York.

My new neighbourhood is not Brooklyn.

And it does not help when people say 'Oh, but you're so close to New York!'.  Right.  What part of "I was in New York" don't they get?

Secondly, it's not Rainy City.  That even though had lots of rain and sometimes was No-Fun-Couver it is still the prettiest city in the entire world.  It really really is.

So here we are. In this new place.  Called Toronto.

At least the furballs are feeling at home.  I am so proud of their adaptable little brains that seem to love everywhere I force them.  Each new home is not without it's challenges however.

In Vancouver if my phone rings and I press '9' the duo immediately start barking because they know a guest is on their way up.  In Brooklyn, if our buzzer went off the two would go crazy.  But in these two spaces we were all in the same room/level and it was easy for me to get them to stop barking.  AKA spray water on them.

Here in Toronto we have a new set of problems.  We live on the second floor of a house.  Our entrance is therefore located on the first floor.  And our front door is a window.  Just one big window that shows every passing school kid, mailman, squirrel or blowing leaf off to my excitable mutts.

Brooklyn has taken to sleeping on the stairs - he is the pillar of guard dog.  Too bad he weighs nine pounds and isn't fooling anyone.  It doesn't help that the house below isn't finished yet and there have been problems with our own home which means contractors stomping in and out all day long.

The Engineer and I are getting a baby gate.

On our second day here, the boys and I were in our front yard (bonus!  I have a front yard).  Mop was so good and just wandered around within a five-foot radius.  Brooklyn is always bad so he was being carried.

All was fine UNTIL Mop spotted our neighbour.  A hairless cat.

Hell broke loose.  Mop would not respond to 'come' or 'stop that' or 'don't hurt that cat' or 'bad dog'.  He had a mind of his own and that cat was fast. Mop chased it up the street, then down the street, then into a backyard.

All the while with me on his tail and Brooklyn having a freak fest in my arms.

I managed to wrangle him in some strange person's, ie. my new neighbours, yard where he was barking at the cat.  Except it was a new cat.  Great.  The new hood is crawling with felines.

Mr. Mop got into trouble and was sentenced to solitary confinement in the bathroom where he promptly threw up and then scratched at the door so much one paw started to bleed.


Lesson here?  Always on a leash and buy neighbours some flowers.

I am used to them barking at whatever man is at the door and usually if I let them out, they sniff the feet of said man and then pee on the grass and march back into the house.

Last night when we had sushi delivered I expected the same behaviour.

What I wasn't prepared for was Sushi Man's fear of dogs.

After grabbing the sushi and asking for change, Mr. Mop managed to bound past me and proceed to bark at Mr. Sushi.  I told him to be quiet but due to the fear Mr. Sushi had of Mop, the barking continued.  Mr. Mop proceeded to nip at Sushi's feet which made Mr. Sushi hop from one foot to another.  I told Mr. Sushi that Mop wouldn't hurt him but this did not quell his fear and he proceeded to do a funky dance until I could grab Mop.

Mr. Sushi had to go back to his car for change.  In this time, Mr. Mop was brought inside, told to 'down' and the 'no noise' command was obeyed.

But there was something about Mr. Sushi that Mr. Mop simply did not like.  When I held out my hand for change, Mop escaped again and proceeded to bark earnestly at the dancing Japanese guy.  Now instead of staying still like I told him to, Mr.  Sushi darted for the yard with Mop on his heels.  I threw down the sushi and raced after them.  Unfortunately I forgot to close the door so Brooklyn was out in a shot.

Mr. Sushi ran across the street in fear for his life from 15 pounds of white fur and started to hide behind the fence.  I managed to grab Mop but Brooklyn was still on the loose and barking in circles around Mr. Sushi.  Sushi man was terrified. TERRIFIED.  Of Brooklyn.

If I wasn't so mad at my dogs and clearly embarrassed I would have laughed my ass off.  Mr. Sushi looked more like Mr. Sumo so I have no idea why a 9 pound Yorkie could send him into such a state of distress.

By this time, there are cars on the street stopped to (a) watch the ruckus and (b) not hit Brooklyn.

I shouted my apologies at Mr. Sushi who darted for his car as soon as both dogs had been wrangled and headed back inside.  My head held in shame.

At this point, the Engineer finally came downstairs to see what all the commotion was about.  Nice timing.

The sushi turned out to be terrible. So at least I don't have to order from there ever again.

I still need to get the neighbours some flowers though.  I feel like we are that family with brats that moves onto a street and everyone hates.  Ugh.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Last of NYC Food: Cheese

From dieting right back to food - I think I see my problem here . . .

Anyhoo, now that I am no longer a part-time resident of the city that never sleeps, I can no longer report on fabulous food from the Big Apple.  I can only share my memories of some great eats.

My last week there I piled on the calories like you wouldn't believe.  Eating food so good that it's a good thing we moved.

Murray's Cheese is the focus of this entry.  I knew about Murray's from the first day I arrived in New York.  It's pretty famous and therefore hard not to know about.

For those who don't know, Murray's Cheese is owned by Rob (not Murray - the original Murray died a very long time ago and is no relation to Rob) and is the Village's answer the speciality cheeses, meats, olives, pastas, oils . . . . pretty much anything that is delicious.   Just stepping inside to smell the cheese air will make your tastebuds dance with joy.

It's like my mother ship.

The store is stocked high with every type of cheese you can imagine.  I had sampled the cheese for two years.  But I never had the cheese on a sandwich.  Melted. Until this past August.

My friend and I were walking past the store when I noticed a couple eating what looked like the most incredible grilled cheese sandwich I had ever seen. I immediately stopped and asked very loudly "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?".  With a full mouth and a look of ecstasy, the husband pointed over his shoulder to Murray's.

In we went.

The choice for a grilled cheese is endless but I opted for the original Murray's blend on white bread (don't lie to yourself, grilled cheese tastes best on white.  And at this point you may as well go whole hog.)

I knew it would be good.

I just didn't know it would be THIS good.  I drooled.  I actually drooled while eating my dripping, gooey, cheesy goodness that was a Murray Grilled Cheese. I went back to the man who made it, complimenting his chef/cheese skills and I was tempted to make out with him.  Or the cheese. It was a tough decision.

I am just glad I didn't know about Murray's grilled cheese until it was too late otherwise I would definitely have developped some strange grilled cheese habit that might see me hospitalized for clogged arteries or crazed cheese visions.

They also serve Murray's Melts which are to die for panini's.  It's all good.  It's all melted cheese.


Cheaters Anonymous

I recently joined Weight Watchers in an attempt to have skinny arms for my wedding.  That, and my doctor told me I had to lose weight!  HA!  I am not fat, but I have started to find that my size 8 is a bit tighter than it used to be.

Therefore, on the advice of Jennifer Hudson and the Duchess of York, I turned to the fool proof plan of Weight Watchers.  It really is idiot-proof.  All you do is plug in what you eat, it gives you food points and if you go above your daily allocation of 24 points then you will be fat.

I highly enjoy the activity points because you can swap them for fun food points.  Ate a boston cream donut?  No problem!  Swap an hour's worth of training for donut points!  Hurrah!  It's like shopping and swapping money for fun things.

I did great in my first week.  I piled on those activity points like no one's business.  I also stayed within the allocated 24 points. Mostly. 

Now, five weeks into the program, I seem to fall off the wagon a teeny bit more often.

One thing I happily discovered is that I can eat 60 Goldfish crackers at 3 points.  PERFECT.  I love those cheesy things.  I carry them in zippie bags for my purse and my glove compartment when hunger strikes.

Quite proud of myself actually.

Until the other day when I was with my friend and her two-year old.  The two-year old also gets a zippie of goldfish crackers.  We took her to the park where I noticed a four year old with a zippie of goldfish crackers too.  Apparently I am a toddler.

There is another thing wrong with eating goldfish crackers.

I can eat a whole bunch of these suckers for 3 points BUT salmon sashimi is 8 points?  What the what?  8 points is a third of my daily intake?!?!?!  And isn't salmon sashimi good for you? It's ACTUAL fish.  Not cheddar rendered crispy things.

I feel I should be encouraged to eat healthy and nutritious food - not empty calories.

I have also started lying to Weight Watchers.  AKA myself.

For example, the Engineer was craving a cake the other day. So I baked one.  When I discovered that a piece of chocolate cake was a whopping 16 points (confusion here:  Boston Cream Donut = 6 points, Cinnamon Bun = 7 points, Butter Croissant:  6 points - HOW is a piece of cake worth 16?  And how is salmon worth 8?) I may or may not have (a) chosen the point value of a weight watchers brand frozen dessert at 3 points and (b) not told weight watchers that I had two pieces.

Then we had salmon for dinner.  A serving of salmon is 10 points.  WHAT THE WHAT?  So I told Weight Watchers I ate halibut.

Basically, on Weight Watchers I could technically eat a Boston Cream Donut for breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire year but still come in at 24 points a day.

The point of this story?

Diets make liars and cheaters of us all.  I am going back to my life of eating healthy, nutritious food that may have high points value but is good for my body.  And I will go back to thinking I can only have one donut or cinnamon bun every two weeks instead of everyday.

The Duchess of York is shady. I should have known.