Stroll to Work, part ii – and the inner sanctum of Brouhaha…

Hi all:

When last we met with our intrepid heroine (to wit, me) she was on her way to work and was just about to cross Spadina. But you must bear with me for a brief craftual pause.

She then mysteriously got transported to The 49th Dimension, where she was able to finish (finally!) this blanket:

Another stashbusting project – the Ugly Argyle Repurposed Sweater Blankie. It started life as an argyle sweater in progress. An argyle sweater, mind you, with entrelace seed stitch and stockingnette stitch panels. What the hell was I thinking! I hated this knit from minute one – to top it off for some reason it ended up looking like about five sizes too big… so I shoved it into a box where it stayed lo these many years (at least five or six).

I rediscovered it recently, and decided to start a log cabin border. This got tiresome very quickly so I decided to crochet the rest instead. Finished size approximately 36″x36}! I can’t remember what brand of yarn it was – probably Zellers Finest 100% acrylic. The crocheted part is formed of various worsted weight half-balls of wool, cotton, etc from the stash. I don’t remember who came up with the pattern.

But where was I? Oh yeah – at Spadina and King. So, I continued along my less than merry way to work – wearing my magic newsboy cap!Extra, extra – read all about it!!

Stop digressing, Kristina! SIGH. When crossing Spadina westward toward my office, this is the first thing I see:

Another ad for a proposed condo building. Quelle surprise. What a high falutin’ name for a condo complex, though….

But check out the young woman in the ad sipping her latte! She surely has no recollection of the days of austerity heralded by the “V sign” (neither do I, mind you, but I can read a history book…). Lady – are you looking for a condo here? If so, all those soldiers fighting all those wars have finally made it possible for you to enjoy the lifestyle you’d like to become accustomed to in a unit half the size of this guy’s suit closet:


You’ve come a long way, baby!!!

But hark – I see my office!!!

Oops, wrong office. That would be the “one Friday afternoon every month boardroom” where the tenant advocates meet and discuss highly pressing and sensitive legal issues…

The tenant advocates used to have a different boardroom on the odd Friday afternoon. It was a pub known as Toad in the Hole, and featured a pool table, dart boards, and a quiet, nicely shabby ambiance that spoke of many pleasures past. Now it looks like this:

A condo development in waiting, no doubt.

This stretch of King Street West is a part of our fair city in transition. Thus, you see neighbourhood one-of-a-kind businesses like this:

… within 1/2 block of high falutin’ chain shops like this:

If you’re looking for a leather jacket, you can probably save yourself $500 by picking one of them. Guess which one?

Having said that, Perfect Leather does not feature these photos of fabulous people with (presumably) very fancy lifestyles in its windows:

I imagine they’re all set to move into the Victory condos when they get built three years from now.

(And yes, this is the same place as the Hide House. It used to be called Acton Leather and the first shop was in Acton, Ontario, a sleepy little place northwest of Toronto. Someone must have clued them in along the way that in order to have credibility in Condoland one must rid oneself of any homey type names. But they forgot to remove the logos on the side of the store… which is next door to a Cooper Mini dealership, by the by.)

This “gentrification” (but I prefer the term “condofication” in this area of town, at least) has also affected the character of coffee joints in my work ‘hood. In this regard, I’m reminded of one of JJs favourite tunes, Loch Lomond (as performed by Runrig – and highly recommended they are by me as well!). To paraphrase:

Ye’ll take the high road…

… and ah’ll tek the low…

… and ah’ll be a’ the Smoke Shop afore ye!

(wi’ an extra loonie or so which will pay for mah mid mornin’ Diet Coke…)
Guess which coffee shop I frequent?

And, here is another (welcome, to me, anyway) sign that this neighbourhood still retains its less than salubrious characteristics:

A peeler bar!!!

(Ahem, excuse me, a very high end “gentlemen’s club”… just ask the Toronto police officer who had recently been alleged of assaulting a dancer there and threatening her with a gun. He had a good reason to be there, mind you. According to both him and his lawyer, they carry delicious chicken wings. I’ll never find out, given the $10 cover and $10.00 per bottle of beer… so who am I to judge? The judge and jury must enjoy wings – he was acquitted yesterday.)

Having said that, I see they have an apartment for rent above the club – maybe I should consider moving closer to work!

Then again, maybe not. I only hope that when I return to my Duty Counsel (aka Lawyer of Last Resort) gig at the Landlord and Tenant Board next year that I do not actually wind up seeing the tenant who actually takes this apartment there for an eviction hearing. Here is my speculation on how that conversation would go:

Kristina: So, the landlord says you owe $3,000 rent. Do you?

Tenant: Well, yes… but…

Evil Kristina: But me no buts!!!

Tenant: Eh?

Kristina: Oh, never mind. Why did you fall behind in the rent?

Tenant: Well, there’s way too much noise there. The music goes on until four in the morning. I can’t sleep. The landlord doesn’t care. So, in fact, I don’t owe anything at all. My only question is, do I have to pay the $150 filing fee for the landlord’s application?

Kristina: Well, it’s not as simple as that….(while Evil Kristina whispers, nay… shouts!… “You moved in above a strip club! What the #)($*@#)$(*@)#$(@#* do you expect?!?!?!?”…

And so forth for another 20 minutes or so.

Anyway, time to get to work. I think I’ve mentioned that, being a very important legal researcher at present controlling lots of highly confidential information, I work in a very high security environment. Even the kitchen is a locked fortress!!

I managed to remember the code to get in (no small feat as it is different from the code to the main entrance… how do you think I keep my girlish figure???) – only to find this on the whiteboard:


Not only had it not been erased since Hallowe’en when the original tribute to my Hallowe’en costume was posted, but there have been embellishments! As you can see, I was so touched that my hands were trembling when I took the above photo. I tried again and got this detail shot:

Hmm. Do you think that this is actually a tribute, or a passive aggressive comment by an anonymous co-worker on my lunacy?

Well, it was then time to stop the analysis and get to work. Off to the Inner Sanctum:

(This sign actually should read “ATTENTION!!!! DO NOT POUND ON THE DOOR MULTIPLE TIMES AS IT DISRUPTS AND FRIGHTENS THE SUPPORT STAFF. YOU WILL BE MADE TO SUFFER VERY DRASTIC AND UNSPEAKABLE TORTURES IF YOU DO NOT SIMPLY RING THIS BELL (ONCE ONLY, PLEASE) INSTEAD” for all the effect the current version of the sign has. Sometimes we Canajans are just way too polite).

By some miracle I remembered the code and got in. And, I can’t help but breach our high-level security protocols to give you a peek as to the sign you first see when coming into the office:

NB: for those people south of the 49th or across the Atlantic or Pacific, “L.L.B.O.” is Canajan for “Booze Sold Here”. I think it’s some weird holdback from the days of the British Empire…)

And now you know the real reason that I love coming to work every day!!!

In signing off, here is another picture of the Cabled Newsboy Cap I made a couple of years back (and as you will see, it’s not really sepia coloured, although sometimes I certainly look to be so!)I can’t remember what brand of wool it was – something soft and non-scratchy. Pattern found in one of the Debbie Stoller books. It was fun and quick to knit.

Oh – and happy birthday, Jamie Lee Curtis! Doesn’t she look fab! She doesn’t need a newsboy cap to cover her rat’s nest… er, hair.


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