Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I should have gone to Dufferin Mall

So I had my wallet stolen at the Eaton Centre yesterday. Fun times. It happened within the space of less than twenty minutes, so let's have a big round of applause for the thief or thieves. Well done.

Here's what happened:

I bought a pair of work-pants at Old Navy (for $20 marked down from $40 - score!) and paid for them with my debit card. As I was zipping my wallet back into my backpack, some people got in line behind me, and instead of doing a quick and half-assed zip-up job, as I often do when I feel like I'm holding up the line, I moved to an empty cash register to make sure everything was stowed away securely.

I am positive somebody was watching me at this point.

I left the store, and browsed very quickly at RW, Bentley's (I was looking for a purse, how ironic!), Smart Set, and Reitman, before deciding to refuel with a coffee at Starbucks.

I got into line for my coffee, and thought to myself, "Hmmm, let's just check out the cash situation, see if I have any small bills to pay for this coffee" (I know, what was I thinking - small bills at Starbucks? Please!).

I shrugged my backpack off, went to unzip the compartment where I keep my wallet - and was greeted with the gaping, unzipped maw of a pocket containing three mini-Kleenex packs, a digital camera, a gift card for "Milestone's Restaurant", a roll of film, an elastic for my hair, thirteen cents in change, and no wallet.

In retrospect, I'm glad I checked for my wallet before I ordered the coffee, because it would have been terribly embarassing to have discovered its absence after the coffee had been served. "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't pay for this - SOME FUCKHEAD JUST STOLE MY WALLET."

And so to the Information Desk on the main floor of the Eaton Centre, where a very nice clerk gave me all the phone numbers I would need to cancel my credit card (I only use and carry the one, and I hadn't used it in over two months), and my three client card for the two banks I use, one of them for The Bank (i.e. my employer) and two for the Royal Bank (RBC), with whom I will no longer be doing business, for the following reasons:

a) every time I inquired about getting one card for the two accounts so I wouldn't have to carry around two cards, they told me that this would only be possible if I closed my RBC Gold Savings Account or whatever the hell it's called, and this would be bad because RBC phased that type of account out in the early 90s and I would be stupid to give it up because it was better than the new savings account they would have to open for me. When the bank's employees are telling you that the product they're offering you is inferior to the product it replaces, it's time to start banking somewhere else.

b) when I called the Personal Banking people yesterday, in tears, to say that my wallet had been stolen and that I wanted to cancel my two client cards, the Customer Service Representative told me that this wouldn't be necessary because they were both password protected. What?!?!? I don't fucking care - I want to cancel the cards, and when a client says, "I want to cancel my cards because my wallet has been stolen", the appropriate reaction from the Customer Service Representative goes something like this: "Oh, I'm so sorry. Are you OK? Let me take care of this for you. Your new cards will be delivered in five business days."

c) I work for the competition, and I can bank for free with them.

Anyway. So the joyful tasks of cancelling credit cards and bank cards and talking to Toronto Eaton Centre security and the Toronto Police accomplished, I was free to leave. Fortunately, Phabulous Phil was able to come and get me, and took me out for nachos and vodka-based drinks, so all was not lost.

I hope the thieves had a blast with $115 of my honestly-earned money, my cancelled MasterCard, my expired Bloor Cinema membership, my Toronto Public Library card, my FIS copy card, my parents' business cards, my OHIP card, and my Special Libraries Association membership. Bravo.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Across the Pond

So it looks like I'll be in London in January, on vacation. I know, it's crazy, I should go somewhere warm and sunny and not somewhere dark and rainy, but I've wanted to go to London for years, and I'd rather do something that I've always wanted to do and something...authentic.... than one of those fake, whitey-tighty all-inclusive resort things, where you have no or very little sense of how the locals live their daily lives.

Mostly I just want to shake the dust of Toronto off of my mukluks for awhile. I need a change of scene. I need to get out of my comfort zone. I briefly considered going to the US - New York or LA or San Francisco or even Miami (they have great Art Deco down there, even if it is God's waiting room), but I don't want to go to any of those places nearly as badly as I want to go to the UK. Also, the US is too familiar. I've been to the States dozens of times (although not since Clinton was in the White House). So I thought, Well, what the hell. I 'll go to England.

I will be going alone, which feels a little surreal. Phil can't get the time off, but it's just as well, because I have a whole list of places I want to see - neighbourhoods mostly. If I go by myself, I can set the agenda.

What fun!

Thursday, 12 July 2012


I've been sick with a cold since Friday night. It's one of those annoying colds that just kind of sucks the life out of you.

It started on Friday afternoon at about 2PM with a twinge on the roof of my mouth. Up to that moment, I was pretty much fine. OK, so I was a little tired, but I chalked that up to having stayed up late the night before. And the night before that. But with that twinge, I knew my weekend was in the toilet. I know myself, and I know how it is when I get sick. So I cancelled Friday's plans (going to Clinton's to hear a friend play).

The next day, my throat was sore, and I was really tired and feverish. I cancelled Saturday's plans (work - am I a workaholic yet?) and stayed at home. By the end of the day, the sneezing phase had started.

The day after that, my throat was more sore and my nose was running like a leaky tap. Ewww. By this point, I'd given up making plans and spent all day at home, sneezing and ripping handfuls of kleenex out of the box and rubbing sanitizer into my hands. I ventured forth in the evening to take the cats to my parents' house, where they will be spending the week while I'm on vacation.

Today: I stayed home again. My thinking was, I've got to rest and give my body a chance to fight this thing off. So I stayed in all day.

At 5.30PM, I decided fresh air and a little bit of exercise was in order. So I went to the library to pick up this week's reading material. I got a good haul - two biographies, one about the creators of the Joy of Cooking (which, by the way, is a great read both inside and outside of the kitchen) and one about two antiquarian booksellers and best friends who discovered some of Louisa May Alcott's anonymous early work; and two novels.

And now, at this writing, my throat is scratchy and my head is all stuffed up. This means I'm getting better, right? Right? I can't believe I'm going on vacation on Wednesday - I am not in a vacation place right now.