I'M TAKING A TRIP NEXT WEEK...
...a drug trip.
Let me explain. On Wednesday, I went to a dental clinic on Carling near the Lincoln Fields Transitway stop for the consultation to remove the upper right back molar, because of the gaping huge hole at the back that is causing me great pain and headaches. The dentist took his sweet little time getting to the dental examination room, giving me ample time to snap a couple of "spy" photos of the room, though I shouldn't really complain because I got to the place about 15 minutes late, thinking erroneously that the office was on the same side of the Transitway stop as the Lincoln Fields shopping centre and I had to backtrack.
Here is the X-ray that they had taken several weeks before at the clinic on Merivale and Meadowlands. It's super-fuzzy... I should have used macro... but, if you look carefully at the tooth on the left, the one I'm having removed, even non-dental professionals should see a definite indentation, which I believe is where the crooked wisdom tooth I had there had grown into that one.
The actual visit with the dentist was mercifully short. Most of the the few minutes that he was actually there, he asked me about the medications that I had indicated that I use on the form I had filled out in the lobby, and any past dental surgery, and I had told him about my complicated (and painful) wisdon teeth extraction in September 2002
. (I forgot to tell him about the root canal that I had in 2003.)
He asked me about the anesthetic they had used, and I told him that they only froze my jaw, and it had only half-worked... I still felt plenty of what I wasn't supposed to feel. So he told me that they'll just put me completely under general anesthetic, that I'll remember the needle going in and not much else.
Damn, I'm nervous about that. The only previous time I had been put completely under general anesthetic was in 1979, when I had my undescended testical with a hernia re-positioned
, and, even though I was only 4½, I remember the lurid visions I had of the doctors with their faces covered in veins. I know they'd call it a "dream", since "halluciogenic" is too much of a loaded term especially when given to children, but, in retrospect, I'm damn sure that it was more of a eyes-half-open drug trip than it was a simple dream. And I'm still a bit terrified of thinking what I'll see this time around.
Also, they're using needles instead of gas, so I'm doubly-scared, thinking of all those routine-medical-procedures-gone-horribly-wrong horror stories you see on Dateline NBC
the other half of the time, when they're not doing "To Catch A Predator", usually involving a combination of needles and bacterial infections.
But I know it has to be done, so I'll put up with it. I'm just not looking forward to it.
After my consultation, I walked over to the nearby Lincoln Fields Wal-Mart, but, damn, the toy selection was pathetic compared to when I visited the same Wal-Mart location in July. A lot of the shelves were empty, or had toys that had lost their packaging on them. I'm pretty sure that what's happening is that they had cleared off a lot of the old toys to make room for the new ones, as, while the Christmas shopping season is still quite a ways away, 'tis is the season when the new autumn toys start hitting the store shelves in anticipation of the holidays. I didn't buy anything, though I did go to the in-store McDonald's, and, instead of just my usual Coke and fries snack, I had a small-sized lunch meal with the new McDonald's "Junior Chicken" burger, which is surprisingly tasty. The Jr. Chicken isn't a full-fledged spicy chicken burger, either in size or spiciness, but it is more spicy than their full-sized Crispy Chicken Deluxe burger, which I used to like but now find bland compared to the Wendy's Spicy Chicken burger or the Spicy Big Crunch at KFC.
After that, I took the 86 bus straight back home, as my mother wanted me to be there for 5 p.m. so that my brother, who was staying with us for the week for his first week of med school at University of Ottawa because he doesn't move into his apartment until today, wouldn't get locked out, except he came home earlier than anticipated, so, even though I got back at about 4:20 p.m., he was sitting on a chair in the front patio area. Fortunately, he had only been there five minutes or so.
Here are the vehicles I saw that day.
Here's a Fiat 500 (a.k.a. the Fiat Cinquecento) on Meadowlands turning on to Grant Carman in Nepean.
Another picture for fans of Pixar's Cars, this is the same type of car that Tony Shaloub voiced as "Luigi" in the recent film.
The title character from the Monkey Punch manga and anime Lupin III also drove a Fiat 500.
The owner of this Fiat 500 put a Ferrari logo on the back.
This is City of Ottawa Fire Department Heavy Rescue Vehicle.
A Rescue 1 Walk Around
Spartan, manufactured by PL Custom Emergency Vehicles
. A heavy rescue vehicle is essentially just a giant-sized toolbox for firefighters.
This was parked at the Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre. There was no signs of an emergency.
And this is an OC Transpo Orion VI bus with a full-body ad for an Ottawa Tourism website, spotted at the Lincoln Fields Transitway stop.
It's promoting the Ottawa Tourism
website, which, aside from English and French, is also available in Chinese
As a bonus, here are three shots of a Maisto 1/24 scale Ferrari 550 Maranello, Ferrari 430 Berlinetta, and Ferrari Enzo die-cast "Assembly Line" kits model cars on the table on our front patio area.
Everyone smiles as they drift past the flowers that grow so incredibly high. (I like the contrast between the red cars, the green table, and the yellow flowers.)
YOKOHAMA KAIDASHI KIKOU (Ottawa Shopping Log)
On Friday afternoon, I had an appointment with the psychologist I see occasionally, though this was just basically a status report type of appointment.
As usual, I brought the Ricoh Caplio camera with me.
After I got off the 86 bus on Holland at Carling, the medical clinic is a few minutes walk west along Carling. On the way, I spotted this souped-up late 1960s or early 1970s Ford Falcon. It's got a hood scoop and side vents that look like gills. And the checkered flag design reminds me of a big Hot Wheels car.
Incidentally, this is the same street corner, with Civic Pharmacy, as seen in this photo of the rear of an OC Transpo New Flyer Invero bus, and the girl who probably thought that I was taking a covert photo of her
, just taken from almost exactly the opposite angle.
The appointment was a very quick in-and-out affair. I spent a lot more time reading a Time
magazine article about Mumbai (Bombay) and India's emergence as an emerging economic superpower than I did talking to the psychologist himself. I pretty much just said that I was feeling a bit better and getting out more, partially because of the Citalopram, but also because our financial situation has improved over the past month.
After, I decided to cross the street to the Westgate Mall... uhh... since it was there.
Not much there worth snapping a picture of, though I did take this photo of the Blockbuster Video at the side of the mall, for my collection
. This particular Blockbuster, tucked away in the back corner along with Pet Valu, is pretty well-hidden from Carling, though it does have a presence on the main Westgate Mall sign.
Ooh, a spiffy-looking Corvette!
Then I decided to take the long march west, all of the way to Carlingwood Mall, just to see what I could see on the way there.
My first stop was PlayValue Toys
, one of those toy stores that generally focuses on educational toys, stuffed toys, and construction toys, but not the sort of toy lines that generally get mass promotion and cartoon tie-ins on YTV and Teletoon. I was hoping that they might stock the 1/24 scale Maisto "Assembly Line" models, because I kind of wanted to see if I could find the Ferrari Enzo one that I hadn't yet been able to find at Zellers, Wal-Mart, or the Bay. Nope... they actually did have a licensed Ferrari Enzo toy there, but it was in Lego format, and that's something I might just consider buying for my collection had it been around the same price as the Maisto "Assembly Line" kits, but it was $60 Canadian (though it's a big Lego set with hundreds of pieces, many of them unique to the set).
There were several Ottawa police cars cruising on Carling or parked at locations on Carling between about Boyd and Maitland on Friday. I don't know if there was some kind of major police operation going down.
This Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was parked at the Shell station at the corner of Carling and Boyd.
Another classic Ford car that reminds me somewhat of a giant Hot Wheel spotted on the same day as the Ford Falcon
This 1930s Ford Model B was parked in front of Bob's Auto Body on Boyd. I think it's there to have the flaming paint job sanded off to be repainted.
Boyd "dead-ends" just before the Queensway (Highway 417), so I stuck the camera zoom through the fence to get a freeway picture.
Ooh, a truck and a... uh... I think it's a Ford Taurus station wagon.
The background kind of reminds me of that along Highway 20 in Lachine just before the Mercier interchange.
At Maitland, I came across a McDonald's, and, while it wasn't too hot a day, I didn't have breakfast or any kind of small lunch before leaving the house, so I stopped in for a Coke and fries.
I have to say that this is the most generic McDonald's I've found so far in Ottawa... not in a bad way, just in that it's very "typical" of McDonald's everywhere, like how, for example, pretty much the first thing you see after you get in through the doors are the baby high-chairs with the same McDonaldland picture of Ronald McDonald, Grimace, and Birdy on the back that I've remembered seeing at McDonald's everywhere I've been throughout my 28 years or so of McDonald's memories.
They're doing extensive work on the eastbound lane of Carling in front of the Carlingwood mall, closing most of the lane off including the sidewalk.
Of course, I didn't see a warning sign that the sidewalk would be blocked off at the previous set of traffic lights, which was some way back, so I had to make a crossing across the portion of the lane that wasn't blocked off, and it was a blind crossing to oncoming drivers because of visual obstructions, so they wouldn't have had time to brake if I had crossed when there was a car coming. And then I had to walk along the grassy median until the traffic lights.
Here's Carlingwood Mall, which is somewhere between being a large neighbourhood shopping centre and a real "destination" shopping centre like Bayshore. It's like Bayshore Jr. It's very comparable to Dorval Gardens shopping centre in Montreal's West Island in that it does have one major department store (Sears for Carlingwood and The Bay for Dorval Gardens), but it's just a 10 minute or so drive from a true destination shopping centre that is a much bigger draw for customers all over the region (Bayshore for Carlingwood and Fairview Pointe-Claire for Dorval Gardens) so most of the customers would be from within a mile or two.
The Sears didn't have any of the Maisto "Assembly Line" kits, but I did spot something with a model Ferrari Enzo.You mean I have to buy the overpriced stinkwater just to get the car?
Sears, like most other Ottawa area department stores and toy stores, doesn't seem to sell 1/43 scale model Ferraris anymore. The closest thing you can get to 1/43 scale Ferrari models at most mainstream stores these days are the medium-sized Ferrari "Assembly Line" screw together diecast kits from Maisto, but those are too large, usually between 1/36 and 1/39 scale, to fit in properly when I take photographs along with 1/43 scale cars.
But here's one exception that I spotted at the Sears in the Carlingwood shopping centre in western Ottawa: a somewhat detailed 1/43 scale Enzo (and I spotted a 1/43 scale 360 Modena the other week at the Rideau Centre Sears, but I didn't get a good shot of it). The thing is that you can only buy it in a gift set along with a, I think, 4.2 oz bottle of Ferrari Red Eau de Toilette for Men by Benetton.
I just don't see the need to spend so much money, some $75 to $80 Canadian on a small bottle of Eau de Toilette. I mean, I wash frequently and I think I smell okay. And, on those rare occasions that I want to add a scent to myself beyind the regular Gillette Series shaving gel, aftershave lotion gel, and underarm deodorant smells, I have AXE body spray, which comes in a much larger spray can and costs 1/10th of the amount of just a little Ferrari-branded Eau de Toilette.
Oh, how I wish I could be able to buy good-quality 1/43 scale Ferrari models the way that I could half a decade ago, when Mattel was still selling Ferrari models of that scale through mainstream retail outlets like Zellers, Wal-Mart, and Toys R' Us.
Incidentally, for any fake blog spam robots who might be scanning this blog in order to harvest whole paragraphs of what I write to repost without my permission, just because I have written a certain concentration of words like "model cars", "toy cars", "Ferrari", "Corvette", "Shelby Cobra", "Porsche Carrera", "Mattel", "Hot Wheels", "Maisto", "Kyosho", "Jada", "diecast", "model kit", "1/18 scale", "1/24 scale", "1/64 scale", "collectors", "Ferrari logo", "paint", and so on, fuck you
. And, to anyone looking for "model car information" (or maybe "model car info") who might come across these words in a disjointed paragraph, avoid the model car retailers linked from any such page and don't give them your online shopping business because any such model car dealer associated with spam blogs like that is a spurious wanker
with a short penis
who is probably a rip-off artist
for the same "model cars" you could get at Wal-Mart for 1/3rd of the price with their "Everyday Low Prices".
There wasn't much else for me to see at Carlingwood, so I took the 85 bus to Bayshore shopping centre.
Wow, there's another Blockbuster Video on Carling. I'm sure you find that fact exciting.
Oh, I've been to this McDonald's, in the wedge between Carling and Richmond, a couple of times. The architecture with that small tower reminds me of a Via station.
I troddled around Bayshore, first going to The Bay, forgetting that they had no toy section whatsoever, and then I went to the Bayshore Zellers, but I didn't see anything there that they didn't have last month, when I bought the "Assembly Line" Ferrari 550 Maranello kit.
Here's a side-shot of the three-storey escalator in Bayshore Shopping Centre. I took this photo because some girl in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
really liked it when I posted this other photo of the same three-storey escalator at Bayshore Shopping Centre
in my Flickr account
because it reminds her of the three-storey escalator at Pasar Baru Bandung
Just the skylight at Bayshore Shopping Centre... and a little bit of the food court in the background.
I went to the HMV in hopes that they might have the first volume of the Ichigo Mashimaro
anime, but it seems to be way too niche an anime for the mall locations to have in stock. I bet the downtown Montreal HMV superstore has it.
I took another photo of the three-storey escalator at Bayshore shopping centre, this time from ON the escalator
, looking down.
I was surprised to see how the escalator looked from that angle... looks more like a ramp.
Fortunately for me, nobody got on the escalator behind me, not that I mind getting strangers in my photos, but I didn't want to be asked why I was taking photos of them without their permission.
I was finished at Bayshore for the day, but I still didn't want to go home, so I took the 96 bus all of the way west to the Kanata Centrum.AMC 24 Kanata Centrum movie theatre (stock photo)
I took this photo a few days prior to Friday... it wasn't nighttime when I got there, it was only about 4 p.m., so I could still get in for a little cheaper by buying a matinee ticket.
The movie I saw was Little Miss Sunshine
, one of those barely-independent "indie" comedies distributed by Fox Searchlight (which also distributed such "mainstream indie" comedies as Sideways
and Napoleon Dynamite
). I don't think anything starring Steve Carell (The Office
(U.S.), The Forty-Year Old Virgin
) and Greg Kinnear (As Good as it Gets
, The Matador
, and currently also co-starring in Disney's Invincible
) can truly be called "indie" anymore with a straight face. It's basically like a studio comedy about a dysfunctional New Mexico family going on a road trip (with one strong parallel to National Lampoon's Vacation
) to California to enter their girl in a beauty pageant, but with a couple of more mature elements thrown into the mix, like how Steve Carell's character is recovering from a suicide attempt due to him being on the losing end of a gay love triangle, where the winner of the love triangle is a rival academic supermind who is getting all of the fame and glory that Carell's character feels he deserves, as well as a couple of hardcore porn magazines, two straight and one gay, used as a plot device, and some frank encouragement by a grandfather to his teenage grandson to have sex with jailbait while he's still young enough to not get thrown in jail for it. Some people may find the climax at the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant, which I think was trying to make a point about the pervasive but subtle sexualization of young girls that is a strong undertone at these kinds of events by making it a little more obvious to the (mostly) shocked pageant audience, quite shocking and creepy, especially in light of the videos of young JonBenet Ramsey as a sultry cowgirl that we've seen replayed on the news channels in light of the notoriety-seeking lying attention whore John Mark Karr
's false confessions, but, aside from that, this is a light movie that is fun and funny, but nothing too substantial. I mainly saw it because I've seen it compared to The Royal Tenenbaums
, one of my all-time favourite movies, and, while it is not nearly on the level of greatness as Wes Anderson's first three films (Bottle Rocket
, and The Royal Tenenbaums
), I did enjoy it more than the previous two movies I saw because of comparisons to The Royal Tenenbaums
, the mind-muddling I Heart Huckabees
, and the great-acting-but-only-felt-like-two-thirds-of-a-movie The Squid and the Whale
After the movie was over, I walked over to the Kanata Centrum Chapters bookstore, but they didn't have Barasui's Ichigo Mashimaro
manga in either the Teen Manga section or the adult Graphic Novels section (two English manga sections at Chapters? Just a couple of years ago, you'd have been hard-pressed to find more than a few volumes of manga tucked in a shelf in the sci-fi section, not counting the French manga sections at Chapters serving areas with large French-Canadian communities). I did find the Helen McCarthy book, 500 Manga Heroes and Villains
, and I decided to leaf through it, to see if she said anything about one of my favourite manga heroines, Ran Kotobuki, from Mihona Fujii's Gals
manga (and the anime adaptation Super Gals!
), and Ran did rate an entry. Unfortunately, McCarthy wrote that Ran was a kogal who enjoys, amongst other things, "paid dates" (subsidized dating). Ms. McCarthy couldn't be more wrong about that: not only does Ran have a strong moral streak against such shady activities, the whole first chapter in the manga (and the first episode of the anime) was about Ran trying to convince Aya Hoshino to stop accepting money from an older man for dates when it was about to cross the line to prostitution. It's like Ms. McCarthy was reading the first volume of Gals!
from "Bizarro World" or something. Bottom line, America, Ran Kotobuki should sue Helen McCarthy for libel.
After Chapters, I went to the Kanata Centrum Wal-Mart, which, for some reason, I forgot to take a picture of, to see if they had the Maisto 1/24 scale "Assembly Line" Ferrari Enzo model car kit. They didn't have it on the regular shelves, but I spotted six of the "Assembly Line" boxes on the "please ask an employee for assistance" top of the shelves, arranged two high and three deep. The Enzo wasn't in the first two, so I really stretched, and could barely move the front boxes with my fingers. The Enzo wasn't behind those. But, there were still two boxes, far out of my reach, left to check. I went around to the aisle on the other side of the shelves, to see if I could see the back of the boxes, but there were boxes for other toys blocking my view. So, I had to improvise some kind of box-moving implement, and I used an Amaray case for one of those rip-off kiddie toy video unit formats that give you far less programming content than on a DVD for a higher price than a DVD, and I moved the second row of boxes just enough to see... yes... a box with the distinctive protruding snout of the Enzo on it. But it was well out of reach, even if I stood on the bottom shelf, so I had to swallow my pride and find a tall and lanky young Wal-Mart clerk to grab it down for me.
And the best part is that I think Wal-Mart was having some kind of unannounced sale, or maybe an announced-but-I-didn't-notice-the-signs sale, on toys, because, while the price sticker on the box said $12.96 Canadian, the price when it was scanned was only $10.96. I don't know if that was an error or not, but I'm not disputing it. I also picked up two pairs of black jeans while I was there, one of the cheapie Levi's numbers and a stretchy pair of Wranglers.
That's pretty much everything worth mentioning (okay, and a lot of boring filler). I took the 96 bus to the OC Transpo Lincoln Fields, where I switched to the 86 to get home, though, on the way out, I took a picture of the Kanata Centrum sign and its distinctive fake "main street". The part of the Kanata Centrum with Loblaws, Chapters, Wal-Mart and the like is just an ordinary L-shaped strip mall, but some stores and restaurants are arranged around the AMC theatre like it's some kind of pedestrian shopping district in a village.
Also, the lettering in that sign reminds me of a creepy amusement park sign from some kind of hokey horror movie.