The Humanoids: Back To T.O.

I consider it an event whenever I get to go to the big city. When you live in a city of some 70,000 people and you go to a city of some 6 million people, I think it qualifies as an event. Granted, I was just there about three weeks ago so maybe a return visit to Toronto isn’t as special this time around. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take another look at Canada’s biggest city which we derogatorily call “the center of the universe.”

Cost of Living
The main reason I could never move down to or live in Toronto is because there’s no way in hell that I could afford it. Granted, if I was to take the same position I work in my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie in Toronto, I’d make at least $10,000 more a year. But I can’t afford to live on my own in the Soo on what I currently make. Either the cost of living in the Soo is disproportionately high compared to Toronto and I could afford to live in TO with the increased salary or I can’t afford to live in Toronto. And somehow I don’t think I can afford the risk to find out if I’m worse off living in the Soo or TO.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Well, we’ve had a few years off from the Leafs’s annual run for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. It was nice to see a return to the JFJ era to tease Leafs fans into thinking that they had a shot this season. Over Twitter, I had a brief discussion with our boy Scott about the Leafs. The Coles Notes version of the Leafs’s problems: Burke doesn’t know what he’s trying to do. Giguere and Gustafsson getting hurt and Kessel getting laughed at by Ovi were the best things that could have happened to the Leafs. Optimus Riem and post-All-Star Game Kessel were things that Burke has lucked into. Hell, even Lupul is better than anyone could have expected.

AMA Monster Energy Supercross comes to the Rogers Centre this weekend. I don’t really watch much in the way of supercross apart from the odd race when nothing else is on and the highlights on the Speed Report and Wind Tunnel. But what gets me is that tickets are pretty cheap. Without fees, tickets top out at only $40. For an evening’s racing and entertainment, that’s better than going to a NASCAR Nationwide Series race. (Well, that’s if you only go to the race and not the rest of the day’s running.) Not to mention that Supercross is slightly underground cool. It’s not mainstream enough for most people to pass judgement. It’s big but I think it’s at pre-X-Games 5 levels of mainstream popularity. It’s a big event where it’s being held but doesn’t have that wide base of national popularity quite yet. That all being said, $40 for three hours of entertainment in Toronto is probably the best deal in town.

The 3 Brewers
I went to four or five different bars the last time I was in Toronto but this was my favourite. I’ve always been fond of brew pubs but this one might have been the best one I’ve visited. Strong, flavourful beer combined with a pleasant atmosphere at the bar makes for the sort of place that I like. Drinking, eating and chatting are all essential parts of my bar experience (explains why I don’t do many pub crawls). The 3 Brewers is one of the best places I’ve found for that anywhere. It’s just too bad it’s so damn busy. Otherwise I’d go there more often just for a quiet drink… But who goes to a bar alone anyway?

Air Canada
For the next month and a bit, Air Canada holds a monopoly on air travel from Sault Ste. Marie to Toronto. Then Porter shows up with cheaper flights (though far less often) than AC. In the mean time, Air Canada would like to remind you that they still own you with four figure prices for flights and inexplicable delays at Pearson International. The only plus side to having Air Canada is the free pretzels and a free non-alcoholic beverage as an in-flight snack. With Porter being  cheaper for a round-trip, that means that those AC pretzels and drinks are worth roughly $500. I really should get a free pass to the Air Canada Lounge at Pearson for having to pay that much over what Porter says they’ll charge. That’s why I got the Aeroplan card. Maybe I got enough points for booking this flight to earn a ticket to the Maple Leaf Lounge. Well, if I have to buy a MLL pass, it’s only about $30 per person. That’s only like three drinks at airport prices. I can pull that off.

Unofficial Class Reunions
Well, I suppose there’s no such thing as an “unofficial” class reunion if it has been meticulously organized by the unofficial social committee. However, my alma mater, the Richard Ivey School Business, does have their official class reunion weekends every five years following graduation. Anyway, next week is my Ivey class’s reunion in Toronto. Do I really want to drop $1,000 for a flight and more for accommodations, food and drink? And to make matters worse for me, I get to see all the fun stories and pictures on my new Facebook afterwards. I knew that registering for that god forsaken thing was a mistake. So the 14th thing I’ve learned about Facebook is that I’m still missing out on shit by living in the Soo.

NHL Power Rankings
You know why The Humanoids is becoming an increasingly rare feature here on the blog? It’s because I can cover all of the random topics not worth its own post in the Power Rankings. It’s a good way of avoiding having to make up 30 paragraphs of hockey analysis by including all those random topics that used to be covered here in The Humanoids. When you add in the time that goes into your average NHL Power Rankings post, there isn’t much in the way of time or topics to talk about in a weekly edition of The Humanoids. Don’t worry, though, I’ll still be around somewhere doing my usual ranting and complaining.

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