Taking measure of things and touring Toronto

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised  to see a nice number looking back at me on my Walmart-purchased digital scale. It was only 3 lb. away from the weight I’d been in 2010 and a whopping 8 lb. less than I’d been just a week before.

I don’t recall trying to lose weight, especially because I’ve been on vacation for the last three weeks. “Well,” I thought, “I guess I have been eating healthy lunches, not to mention going for morning runs,” as I ripped the wrapper off my second Reece peanut butter cup of the day. “Maybe it’s true what those annoying people say: just don’t think about it so much and watch the pounds drip off.”

I’d also been invited out for dinner to a few friends’ places and I always eat half of what I would at home when I’m a guest, out of fear of appearing too gluttonous.

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Photography by @smgorama

About a week later I went for my morning run (about four kilometres in 30 minutes, which you could almost call a brisk walk). I passed the Sunnyside public pool and noticed that they’d just filled it up with water. So when I got home I though, “Well, before you shower why not try on your bathing suit? No, not the one-piece, silly: let’s slip into that new string bikini bottom you bought for $7.99 at Walmart!”

“Not bad!” I thought, as I turned this way and that in front of the mirror, like a stout, slightly chubby peacock. “Just as long as you cover up this middle part, which means either putting on that one-piece or wearing a tank top and saying you’re concerned about the sun, you’re pool party ready!”

Feeling pretty good, I thought, “Well, why not weigh yourself, kiddo, and see how many more dozens of pounds you’ve dropped.”

So, precisely six days after my last time on the scale, I stepped back on it.

“Get the fuck out of town.”

I moved the scale off the carpet and onto the solid wood floor.

“This can’t fucking be.”

I moved the scale from one part of the wood floor to another part, about three inches over.

“Unbelievable.”

In six days, I’d gained 9 lb.

I was certain the scale was broken. So when the Beast got home I asked him to weigh himself. He did. And he weighed exactly what he always does, which is what I practically weighed. (We can share pants, which is actually great because the Beast owns better pants than I do.)

Foodie: I don’t think it’s scientifically possible to gain that much weight in less than a week, especially because I’ve been eating so healthy.

Beast: Well, what have you been eating since you last weighed yourself?

Foodie: Today, for example, I had a smoothie for breakfast (banana, a handful each of frozen peaches and spinach, two teaspoons of ground flax and some water), and for lunch, let’s see…I took half a baguette, smothered it in olive oil, feta, red peppers, red onion and cucumber and then there was a little baguette left over so I ate that with hot peppers and more olive oil. For dessert I had a peanut butter cup and a plum. Dinner was definitely light: I fried up a little wild sole…actually a lot of wild sole,like enough for two people, in a little butter and olive oil and lots of herbs and served it on a big bed of arugula. Then I had a peanut butter cup for dessert. Maybe two. Oh, and strawberries, Ontario strawberries of course, and ice cream.  Oh, and two or three of those chocolate chip cookies I made. Oh and I might have had cheese and crackers and olives as a snack. And I put butter on the crackers. And about 3/4 of a bottle of wine. And a Campari and soda somewhere in there.

Maybe it is possible to gain 9 lb. in six days.

Without the structure of work–where I routinely eat only vegan salads for lunch and never snack–perhaps I lost sight of the number of calories I’d been consuming.

Good thing I’ll be getting back into that routine. With one more day off, we decided to live it up a bit. Inspired by our recent trip to New York, we explored the food offerings of our own city, like we were tourists.

We started in Chinatown with lunch at Chinese Traditional Bun, where we devoured a green onion pancake, pork and chive dumplings and a bowl of spicy Dan Dan noodles.

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Next, we headed to Kensington Market to visit the Beast’s little brother, who is the barista at a new and adorable Swedish coffee shop called Fika.

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The Beast took the TTC home while I biked to Sud Forno, the new bakery that opened up just a few doors east of the Terroni on Queen Street. I picked up a variety of Italian pastries.

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Then we met on Roncesvalles to get groceries for dinner. We picked up a dozen East coast Beausoleil oysters from de la mer, beef fillets from Rowe farms and little potatoes and Boston leaf lettuce from our corner green grocer. The only thing that dampened my spirits was hearing about a little run-in the Beast had walking south on Roncesvalles to meet me: a mean man on a mountain bike passed him and said, “Nice shorts.” (They were red-and-white seersuckers.)

At home we started with tequila cocktails (two ounces of tequila, muddled basil, lemon, agave syrup and a splash of soda.)

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Then I shucked those oysters while the Beast looked on, squealing with delight. We enjoyed them with a bottle of this Sancerre.

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Then we traded wallets: I’ve had my eyes on the Beast’s special anniversary edition Gucci wallet. It’s a woman’s wallet. He agreed to gift it to me on the condition that I replace it with a much more masculine money holder, a whale-themed little number from Brooks Brothers to be precise, which was on sale.

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Then I cooked the steaks and potatoes on the barbecue and made a bernaise sauce from a package. The Beast washed the lettuce for me. And then, after a perfect day, we settled into the living room, ate our feast and watched An Officer and a Gentlemen.

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Foodie: I still can’t believe that jack ass made fun of you. I wish I’d known what he was wearing so I could get him as he biked south down the street.

Beast: He had on camouflage cargo shorts.

Foodie: Of course he had on camouflage cargo shorts.

Beast: I wasn’t mad or anything. I thought it was funny.

Foodie: I don’t care. The idea of anyone being mean to you or making fun of you makes me just want to get them. I wish I saw him and screamed, “Hey bro! NICE SHORTS!” That would have got him thinking.

Beast: Did I tell you what happened when I picked up the wine from the LCBO?

Foodie: Was someone else mean to you?

Beast: No! A young Asian man, really nicely dressed, asked me what sort of product I put in my hair.

Foodie: What did you tell him?

Beast: I told him all the products that I use: Dry shampoo, Redken Satinwear, Tresemme Keratin Smoother, Lanolin Booster. But then I admitted my hair was actually just dirty.

Foodie: Your hair does look fabulous today.

Beast: And then he asked me about my fashion.

Foodie: Excuse me?

Beast: Well, he said, “Your look, it’s very…classic?”  And I said, “Yes, yes it is.” And he said, “It is classic….on purpose?” And I said, “Yes, on purpose.” Then he said he liked it very much and was on his way.

It was like the universe made things right again for our perfect day together. And for men’s fashion, everywhere.

6 responses to “Taking measure of things and touring Toronto

  1. mary lou francoeur

    I love reading about foodie and the beast, looking forward to the next one x0

  2. My shorts were cranberry coloured seersucker. Not red.

  3. Oh gosh, I keep thinking about that lovely concluding exchange. It’s just … perfect.

  4. First off, those so-called “camouflage cargo shorts” I was wearing are actually pretty one-of-a-kind shants by Martin Margiela that he assembled by deconstructing vintage fatigues from all the countries that had finalists in the 1998 Eurovision contest–each patch is a different army. It’s an homage. But whatever. I meant it when I said, “Nice shorts!”–just one fashion-forward dude complimenting another, even if one of them is just ripping looks from the Preppy Handbook. That was totally my bible for a while, too, until I started figuring out my own style and working with more challenging artists.

    Second off, I believe that image of Sunnyside Pool is an uncredited @smgorama original. You will be hearing from his lawyers.

    • The photo credit has been added. I regret the error, probably as much as you regret wearing camouflage cargo shorts, regardless of their provenance.

  5. Frequent Commenter

    Third off, this was brilliant. It’s like A Moveable Feast, 2013 edition, complete with the requisite cutting in the street by jealous rivals and a brace of oysters and a bottle of Sancerre to ease the affront. I think Hemingway once wrote that you shouldn’t fret about your weight as long as you can still see your genitals, but I bet if he hadn’t blown his head off and had enjoyed a second crack at that thought he would probably have said, “Fuck it. As long as someone else can *find* my genitals, what do I care?”. Or maybe it was Jim Harrison. Either, or.

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