I covered the Toronto International Film Festival for the third year in a row. It was a lighter work load for me this time around because I didn’t really have to see any movies. That also left me feeling terrible inside because all I had to do was cover a few red carpets (three this year, compared to 12 in 2012) and five parties rather than reporting on the films themselves. That meant just acting like a spaz with a microphone and afterwards bumping elbows with everyone from Harvey Weinstein and friends (including Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor) to Ralph Fiennes, Michael Fassbender and Zac Efron. You don’t pay for food or drinks, which temporarily does something to the size of your head. You definitely don’t belong. And when you come out on the other end, you feel rotten about the world, yourself included.
On the festival’s opening night, I got home at 3:00 a.m. to find the Beast asleep on the couch with Sweet Cheeks, a childhood stuffed animal that he found buried away in some closet, and then dressed up in a pair of underwear and eye glasses.
I don’t know what it meant. But it made me very happy.
The weekend after TIFF, the Roncesvalles Polish festival was on, which sort of takes over our neighbourhood. We saw traditional Polish dancers and ate sausages on buns and took a ride on a ferris wheel.
We also saw lots of buskers surrounded by large crowds of people. Most of them were performing with fire.
Foodie: I can’t believe that so many people wait around for 20 minutes to see the climax of these things. I get so impatient.
Beast: Me too. Look at this guy.
The guy pulled out a whip and when he cracked it, it would shoot fire out at the end. He kept asking the audience what the whip was called and the Beast kept saying to me, “A fire whip. A fire whip. It’s a fire whip.” Then the guy yelled to the audience, “It’s a fire whip.”
For some reason, this made us laugh all day. “Fire whip. Fire whip. It’s a fire whip.”
Foodie: I really want to have pirogies.
Foodie: There are so many stalls to choose from. Let’s find the most authentic one.
Foodie: I think the stall by the church will do. The line-up is pretty long and also look at the women selling them. That’s what I call authentic!
Beast: I’m fine with waiting in line but you realize we have authentic pirogies available to us every day of the week, right? We live around the corner from Little Poland.
Foodie: [Pause] That’s an excellent point. But it just feels right to have them in this moment, don’t you think?
By the time we were served our pirogies, they’d run out of the cheese-and-potato-filled ones, which were the exact sort I’d been craving. So I had a bite of a cabbage-stuffed one and the Beast, wearing what I thought looked like “dad pants,” ate the rest standing on the street corner while I picked up a basket of seedless Concord grapes.
I wanted to make this cake.
While I baked, the Beast decided he wanted to vacuum the entire house. At one point I went upstairs and found the Beast in the bedroom staring at some sort of centipede-like creature that was on my pillow! The vacuum was running and the Beast held the long dusting attachment in his hands. He looked at me, eyes wide, and then sucked the bug off the pillow and into the vacuum. Then he held the vacuum attachment in his hands as though it were a microphone and screamed into it, “FUCK YOU!!!”
This struck us both as incredibly funny. All week, we just needed to whisper “Fire whip, fire whip, it’s a fire whip” or yell “FUCK YOU” into a fake microphone, in order to have a good laugh.
Last night after getting home from work, the Beast invited me into the kitchen to show me some plates he bought for us.
He told me that their design epitomized us, as a couple.
The eccentric pattern, which includes birds, sail boats, flowers and trees, might seem slightly kitschy at first. But it turns out they’re actually 130-year-old hand-painted British-made plates.
“Just like us,” I said, not knowing exactly what that meant.