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But wait, there's more.

There's just no polite way to say "Buy me things", is there?

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I'm baded and jitter. So are these people. (And why not follow the previous, next, or random links?)

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Doug vs. Japanese Snack Foods: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

rant is where the heart is

diaryland: sirilyan.diaryland.com: entry for 2002-09-18 (13:35)
In which our plucky young hero reflects on a trip well done.

Fragments, reassembled from memory, of my trip to Toronto:


I was peevish and short-tempered, having demonstrated that night that all my navigational faculties were slightly out of whack. I didn't know cross streets and I didn't know which way was north. Finally we got to a corner, and we knew only that we had to turn left or right. There it was. My redemption, my moment to shine.

"Well," I said, letting a bit of venom out, "I feel that left is the way we want to go. Deep in my heart, I know that if we turn left, we're going to end up at our destination."

I spin on my heels and almost break into a run.

"And that is why we're going right as quickly as we can."

The sad thing is that I turned out to be correct; right was the way to go. There's something deeply metaphorical, or perhaps it's more like a simile, about only being correct when you doubt you'll ever be correct.


Taro Bar and Grill. I've finished traipsing all over God's own creation, or at least the parts of it that are accessible via bus and subway, and I'm tired. Really tired. Where else would I go, but Taro?

"Hi, Doug."

"Hi, Cate. Vodka lemonade. Uh, make it a triple, please."

I don't have an apartment yet. I don't have a transit pass yet. I don't even have a favorite part of the city yet. But I have a favorite bar, where I know both of the bartenders and they know my favorite drink.

This is the wrong order, isn't it?


How the hell?

That's not the cross street I want. That's. That's. Wait, that's--

I'm going in the exact opposite direction I intended. Dammit.

I give up. This place is a maze. It's a goddamn maze, designed to trap and destroy me. North is south and south is north and east is ... east doesn't even exist in this blasted death trap.

You win, Toronto. I surrender. Eat me now, raw and bloody and lost and full of desperate, hopeless sinew.


"The thing. The thing to remember about Scientology is that they think Battlefield Earth is a documentary."

I'm in the bar on the third floor of the Second City. People are laughing at my jokes. I'm offering Valuable Insights into the human condition (see above). This is pretty much what my move to Toronto was supposed to precipitate - hanging out with clever people and making clever remarks.

I'm not sure where the seven-dollar cocktails fit into my plan, but I can always go drinking at Taro instead.


"Can I buy you a drink?"

She's cute. Short and blonde, in a denim skirt. I've been observing her all night, and now is the time to make what I decide will be a move. I'm in the Horseshoe Tavern, after watching one reasonably poor band and one reasonably good one. Funny how "okay, I'll give them one more song" turns into an entire set when you say it six or seven times.

"I'm sorry, but I'm done drinking for the night," she says. "I have to work in the morning."

"Oh, well. I had to try" -- and since I know I'm not going to get anywhere (and what would I do if I could, really?) I decide to switch to the backup personality, the funny guy -- "because you're incredibly beautiful, and I'm only visiting Toronto. So if you didn't like me, you'd never see me again, right?"

She turns to her friend with a can you believe this? smile, but she doesn't walk away. "Okay," she says.

"I'm Doug."

"Annalee. My friend's name is Isabella. So, where are you visiting from?"

We talk for about five minutes; she's friends with the last band that was on; yeah, Saskatchewan; the Horseshoe really is the place to be, I agree; oh, really, you drove through there once?; and then she's gone. And that's okay. I didn't really expect to get anything tonight. Just to prove that I'm not the antisocial little rat I always fear I am. The backup personality works just fine, thanks.

I'm sure that Annalee will never see this, and she's already forgotten who I am. But that's all part of the plan, really.

No harm, no foul.


King. Queen. Dundas. College. Wellesley. Bloor.

Knew I'd get it.


"Yeah, well, I've been using the only Toronto address I know to get FedEx rates for shipping my stuff out."

Her whole body winces when I continue:

"299 Queen Street West."

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