before recently, i was completely clueless when it came to tire maintenance with my car. sure, i did have issues with a leaky tire earlier this year, but my dad helped me out quite a bit when that happened. still i didn't know anything about when to replace a tire, or even what size my tires were.
at my 80K oil change last thursday, the mechanic at the dealership told me that my tires were in severely bad shape and not safe. whoops, but i just drove to buffalo last sunday and everything was ok!?! (ciro and pasqua had a good laugh when i told them about this). no wonder i had virtually no traction on snow and ice!
so, this morning i got all four tires changed, for the low low price (alright, a not-entirely bargain basement price) of $701.50, which was more or less what i had expected to pay for decent tires. however, i now have the peace of mind knowing that i'm driving on brand new tires and that i won't have to worry about getting new ones for at least another 3 years.
afterwards, i had to find an alternate route to work, as finch avenue was STILL under construction between keele and jane due to the great august flood. i was able to approach the construction site as close as sentinel avenue from the east. from there, it's possible to see parts of the road being rebuilt, but other parts were covered in snow. when will the repairs be complete? it's been 4 months already!
yinzi and i decided to meet at dufferin mall today to work on our final project for our mandarin course. i went into the underground parking lot in front of the wal-mart and spent a good 10 minutes trying to find a spot. i finally found one, but unfortunately it was right in front of the ramp going down to the lower level of the parking lot. thus, the wall in front of me was angled towards me on the right. since my eyes were looking straight ahead, the front right end of my car went BAM! right into the concrete wall in front of me. now my front right bumper has an unsightly white scratch on it. <sigh>
i try to look at the bright side ... if i'm going to hit something with my car, better for it to be a concrete wall at a low speed, rather than a pedestrian at high speed. there! now i feel better.
at night we celebrated my cousin jimmy's 23rd b-day at ... you guessed it, the korean bbq grill house. not the usual place at midland and finch, but the one at commerce gate way up north. happy b-day jimmy!
the goods arrived in the mail today ... and i'm glad to say that my driver's license photo doesn't look bad at all. i don't have to live in embarrassment for the next 5 years! in fact, it looks much better than i expected. as time passes, i might even develop a greater fondness for this photo than the one i took at the age of 16 ...
yes ladies and gentlemen, 18 months after signing his purchase of agreement and sale to buy his condo, andrew has finally hired a real estate lawyer. i am such a procrastinator ... anyways, it was good to finally get that out of the way.
on another note, i noticed that my list of restaurants in last month's restaurant review didn't include any burger joints. i did manage to find a good one this week. even though it's not REALLY in the high park area, it's not too far away, so i'll put a short review here:
Burgers and Fries: Magoo's (4242 Dundas St W, east of Royal York) is just like lick's, but it's a locally owned establishment, and the fries are a lot better. i have yet to try their ice cream or chicken burger, but i'll definitely be back in the near future.
next on the to-do list: getting new tires for my car ...
just got off the phone with my mom, who delivered the bad news ... my parents' cat of 14 years, misty, passed away today at the vet's office. lately, misty lost his appetite, seemed to be interested only in drinking water, and was spending most of his time hiding under my parents' bed. my parents decided to take him to the vet's place, as a precautionary measure. at the vet's place, misty was found to have serious kidney problems (the poor guy had been hooked up on IV overnight). surgery would have been expensive and would have extended misty's life for only a few more months, so my parents made the difficult decision to put misty to "sleep".
i'm shocked because i saw misty only a few weeks ago, and he looked as frisky and as active as ever. he's never had any serious illnesses before and he's always been pretty healthy. however, he was starting to get old (he lived 15 years).
of my family members, i wasn't too emotionally affected by the news. not because i'm a cold-hearted bastard, but i've never been able to get along well with cats and dogs due to allergies. i just couldn't spend time around misty without developing the classic allergy symptoms - runny nose, watery eyes, and so on. in fact, misty was one of the reasons i moved out of my parents' place. i don't hate misty, but i was never too crazy about him.
my mom cried at the vet's office, but i think she'll be ok in a few days. she and misty did get along quite well.
yvonne still doesn't know yet. she was the one who "fetched" (or stole, snatched, kidnapped, etc., depending on your interpretation) misty off the street, back in 1991 when we used to live at kennedy and sheppard. i'd prefer not to be the one to break the news to her.
but i think my dad will take a very long time to get over misty's passing. he was the one who fed misty every day, cleaned up after him, and spent the most time with him. the feelings were mutual, too - misty followed my dad around more often than he would follow anyone else around. to me it seemed that, after yvonne and i moved out, dad treated misty as if misty were his son. i really hope he's feeling alright.
right now, i'm thinking of some of the pranks we used to pull on misty (yvonne masterminded most of them), and i'm starting to feel a little sad. we're all going to miss him, in our own way.
after hearing dalaperform at my high school reunion, ciro and i decided to attend one of their live performances in toronto. we went to a place called NOW lounge on church street. it was in a really quiet part of town. even though it was just east of the eaton centre, the streets were almost deserted at 9pm. having never attended a live band performance before, i was not sure what to expect.
interestingly, NOW lounge has this feature where anyone (yes, ANYONE) can walk up onto the stage and perform. since dala was the main feature, their performance was at 10pm, and the other performers filled the 8 to 10pm timeslot. there was this really neat guitar player who deliberately mistuned the strings on his guitar for one of his songs.
as for dala, they were great. ciro was thinking of buying their second CD (he bought their first one at the reunion, and had it autographed too!). not only is their music catchy, their songwriting is also great. i'd love to attend another of their performances sometime in the future.
traditionally, the end of november/start of december period is always a really busy time of the year for me, what with my choir's concert, my b-day, and christmas shopping/card-sending keeping me occupied. of course, this year's been no exception.
saw willem today before the concert started. however, his hair's starting to get rather long! it's great to see that he's happy with his current job and that he's content with the path he's chosen for himself.
on to the hh singers' concert. this concert was short and sweet - no intermission, but no major screw-ups either. i didn't have any solos, so i was able to take it nice and easy for the most part, hiding in the safety of the 4th row.
for the last song of the concert, i decided to try something that i had never done before ... i played one of the percussion parts which required the use of two hand-held percussion instruments. the first one was the claves, which is basically two wooden rods which make a nice pock sound when struck against each other. the second one were the maracas, which are two rattle-shaped clubs, filled with sand, which are meant to be shaken in a rhythmic manner. it seemed like everyone enjoyed the last song, even though i still feel that the composer went a little over the top when writing it.
well, yours truly turned 28 today. it was an otherwise unremarkable day, as i had already celebrated with my family yesterday.
apart from my 25th b-day, which was a great day (afternoon concert with the uwo choir followed by a evening of fun in downtown london, with lots of snow falling outside), and 24th b-day, which was absolutely miserable due to an eye infection, none of my b-days of the past 10 years really stands out in my memory.
i still believe in making b-day wishes. i do remember that my 26th b-day wish came true, but my 27th b-day wish did not, so i think i'm going to go off on a different tangent for this year's wish. of course, i can't tell you, or it won't come true!
at 5:30pm today i went downtown to ryerson. i just discovered (courtesy of mike) that ryerson offers mandarin language courses in the evenings (3 hours per week for 14 weeks), so i think i'm going to sign up starting in january. i did a brief placement test with the instructor there, and it seems like i'm at the right level for this course. i'm looking forward to it!
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