Month: March 2009

the girl is back in town

Back in Toronto after a fun-filled weekend in Buffalo.  Yeah, I know some people have a hard time imagining that, but it’s true.  Some times it’s nice just to get away.  And this was one of those weekends.

I did some shopping – which I equate to doing my part to help stimulate the economy – and relaxed for three days.  Honestly, the grind of living in Toronto gets to me.  Be it the career, the people, the daily stress. Whatever you want to call it. (And I know you get that in any town.) It’s a great city, but I feel the need to get away every once in a while.

And is it wrong that I’m already planning my next weekend getaway?  Actually, I’m planning two of them.  One to Buffalo (probably towards the end of April) and another little excursion that I’ll fill in the details in the next week or so.

So no sooner than I unpack my bags, I’m already thinking about what I’ll be putting in them next time.

checking in

Normally when I spend the weekend in Buffalo, I stay at one of those cost-effective motels – which I did do last night on account of pulling into town late. Not the motels you see on the news where the reporter says “well Tom, they found the hooker in the bathtub after the bullets starting flying…” but rather one the “economy” motels where you don’t have to spend too much.

The reason for that is because it doesn’t make sense to do Stateside shopping and then blow all the money you save on a hotel. But this time, I decided to splurge a little.

But it’s been a good month financially for me so I figured I would treat myself. On PR Marissa’s glowing recommendation, I booked a room at the Indigo Hotel in Amherst. Turns out the Indigo properties are owned by the folks at IHG who also own Holiday Inn, Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza and are something of a new age/spa concept hotel chain.

outside

The lack of a bathtub was a little upsetting — I like to soak in a tub each night — but the indoor pool, on-site cafe, business center and fitness center more than made up for it.

tub

Not to mention the room.

bed1

Ohhh… the room is wonderful. The pillows are a little too soft for my liking (I’m a “extra firm” type of girl) so I may have to take a stroll down to the front desk afterward and inquire about getting something. But everything else is bang-on amazing.

I’m off to explore more of the hotel — and of course to do some shopping.

in early

I strongly considered it and finally followed through. I left this evening and arrived in Buffalo – or rather the greater Buffalo area – a day earlier than I had planned. Yes folks, my long weekend just got longer!

Because of that, the hotel I had made reservations at didn’t have any rooms for tonight, so I’m hanging my hat in a surprisingly decent Motel 6. I remember staying here once or twice when it was a Marriott Fairfield Inn in a former life. It’s still a nice place.

The friend’s I’m traveling with – (they decided to come down for a weekend and I decided to tag along, but in my own car and room) – managed to get the room they wanted at “the other hotel” where I’ll be tomorrow night. (Except a blog post about that as I seem to be in the social media mood these days.)

My first thought, which turned out to be more of a pipe dream, was to hit up the Anchor Bar for some Buffalo wings. But sadly, by the time I would have driven all the way downtown they would be closing. (They’re only open late on weekends it turns out.)

The other downside to getting in late is that most large stores (such as Target and BestBuy) close at either 10pm or 11pm. So those places, like the mountain of Buffalo wings I’ve been craving, will have to wait until tomorrow. But the Walmart Supercenter on Transit Road is open 24 hours. And as luck would have it, that’s right down the road from here.

cp24 breakfast: what a train-wreck!

I’m sitting at my desk, watching a videotape (yes, people still use ’em) of the new CP24 morning show, imaginatively titled CP24 Breakfast. It competes directly against CityTV’s increasingly awful Breakfast Television and the national Canada AM (The Canadian equivalent to the Today show.)

This new “Breakfast” is downright terrible. Okay, maybe not terrible. But it needs some work.

cp24-breakfastMelissa Grelo, who has potential, seems nervous and off her mark.  But I’m sure there’s room for improvement. (She has demonstrated in the past she’s a professional so I’m sure it’s just first day jitters.)  It’s nice to see Nalini Sharma back in the mornings doing weather. (The woman always looks fabulous.  I don’t know what her secret is, but I wish I rolled out of bed looking that good.) And of course Ann Rohmer is a constant professional in everything she does.  It’s also nice to see her back in the morning. (She was host of Breakfast Television before Liza Fromer.)

But cheese n’ crackers, man… what were the suits at CP24 thinking when they chose Matte Babel has co-host of their new show? The guy looks and sounds unprofessional.  (What’s the deal with that hat? Thanks for dressing up, Matte.) He was never that great on MuchMusic and he’s even more puzzling as morning show host.

And we’re not talking Conan O’Brien circa 1993 bad when folks said “Oh give him time and he’ll get better.”  No. That’s not going to happen.  Babel has been on TV for years now and still hasn’t hit his stride. I doubt that suddenly something profound is going to happen and he’s going to turn into Kevin Frankish overnight.

Honestly, if you watched this train wreck and actually thought it was good and that everything flowed perfectly, then you’re probably the type of person who was inspired by your high school gym teacher.

I don’t like to be too critical of media folks because I know how hard it is to work in that profession.  But really, couldn’t CP24 have done things differently?

After watching this, unless some changes happen, it’s a safe bet that “Breakfast” is one meal I’ll be more than happy to miss.

iThink that iMight get an iPhone

I was wrong, okay?  Let’s just save the “I Told You So” Dance and let me explain.

iphoneWhen the Apple iPhone launched in Canada in 2008, I was one of the folks who got to see it up close and personal.  I was even offered an introductory deal on it if I wanted to keep it.  But I passed.

Sure, it’s a neat little device. And with all the applications (called “apps” by the cool kids) and features and ability to take notes like a Blackberry, the iPhone truly is an “everything phone”.

But one of the things that turned me off of the iPhone when it came out (both in the U.S. and Canada) was the fact that everyone had to have it.  Including Kevin Smith and Lindsay Lohan.  (Although the latter is good enough reason not to get one.) Sure, it does a lot of things, but would you really line up for hours outside just to get it?

Now, nearly a year later, I’ll be the first to admit I may have been wrong about a few things. When my friend insisted that I try an iPhone again before I passed final judgment on it, I realized that maybe I had been a tad harsh on it. But I’m a PC girl and I don’t like Rogers Communications — two things that stand in the way of my getting my own iPhone. (It was then pointed out to me that Fido also offers an iPhone package and while Fido is owned by Rogers, it wouldn’t say Rogers on my monthly bill, so that’s little peace of mind.)

Thing is, now I’ve done a 180 degree turn and would consider getting an iPhone of my own,I have a year and a half left on my current cell phone plan before I can either upgrade or leave the provider all together.   I’m currently with Bell Mobility and am the proud owner of a Samsung Instinct — known in some circles as an Apple Eater or iPhone Killer.

I guess it’s good because it gives me 18 months to really think about it.

teena would be proud

shoesTeena, of the blog It’s All About Me, has often written about being healthy.  Be it cooking sensible meals, walking to work or having the commitment to go to the gym.  Me, I blog about eating Buffalo wings and how tight my skirt feels.

However, as of late I’ve been having a change of heart.  While I still enjoy the idea of blogging about what meals I’ll eat, it doesn’t hurt to do something that’s good for me as well.

So I’ve been walking.  A lot.

I have somehow forced myself to plan out smart meals for the week and to go on walks every night when I get home.  Sometimes I’ll even surprise myself and take a half-hour walk around lunch too.

That of course means investing in a good pair of running shoes.  Sadly, my “sneaks” (or whatever the cool kids call them these days) aren’t up to scratch.  I’ve been using the same pair for years.  But before you turn up your nose in disgust, keep in mind that they really don’t see the light of day that much.  In fact, for the longest time one shoe was used to hold things in place (similar to the way a Mötley Crüe greatest hits CD is simply used to even out unbalanced table legs) while the other shoe was used for hitting things.

But now the time has finally come to try the healthy road instead of the “exra mayo and large order of fries” road that has been a very comfortable and well traveled path for me.

have friends, will travel

People who follow me on Twitter have already seen mentions of my so-called “upcoming North American tour” that is supposed to go down this spring.

I’ve mentioned such bustling cities as Ottawa and Montreal with the possibility of New York City and of course a return home to Jersey being tossed in too.

In fact, my road trippin’ adventures get underway this weekend as I plan to shove off to Buffalo for a few days of somewhat work-related mirth and merriment.  But that’s only one of the stops on my so-called North American Tour.

I’ve been rather ambiguous about where else I’ll be going — hinting only that there are three “surprise cities” being added to my travel itinerary.  Truth is, I wanted to wait until I was 100% sure of what’s going on.

And now, I know. (And knowing is half the battle.)

Thanks largely in part to my ability to be a third wheel when it comes to friends who travel, I’ve latched myself on to a very exciting opportunity.  Two close friends are heading out this spring and I’m lucky enough to go along for ride. Nailing three places that I’ve always wanted to go to, but never had the chance — until now.

So where will I go?  How long will I be away?  Will I pack enough clean socks for my trip?

Here’s the skinny: (which when you consider one of the places I’m going, is a rather ironic word to use.)

  • All three cities are close enough to drive to (but not from Toronto)
  • They are all Wrestlemania host cities
  • All three are the biggest cities for their respective states
  • So yes, I will be visiting three separate states too

I guess you could say I’m still being a little vague about where I’m going, but I figure I’ll tease the idea for a little while longer before I officially make the announcement.  (You can also guess by leaving a comment.)

And yes, I will blog and “tweet” from the road.