ANOTHER TRIP TO MONGOLIAN VILLAGE.
It was my mother's birthday on Saturday (yep, our family has birthdays in clusters), so, on Friday evening (since my father was going to be working on Saturday evening), my parents and I returned to the Mongolian Village restaurant on Robertson in Bells Corners in the extreme western end of Nepean, along with my sister, her boyfriend, and their baby, and my University of Ottawa med school brother, Nick, the only one in our party other than Gen, who was a few days away from being born at the time, whom had never eaten at the Mongolian Village before.
I won't describe the Mongolian Village dining experience, which I've already outlined in detail in July
, again, other than giving you a brief refresher that you put all the menu items you want from the long buffet into a large metal bowl, hand it to the chef, who weighs the bowl and hands you a ticket with the price and the order number and then he barbecues/stir-fries it and puts it all on a plate. I chose pretty much the same menu items as last time, though I put a few more squid on this time now that the queasiness has subsided. I avoided the ones that looked like mini-octopuses, though. And, speaking of octopii, one thing that somehow ended up in my supper that I don't remember having last time and certainly don't remember choosing from the buffet were calamari rings... were those included with the squid?
I just wanted to show off a few pictures.
There's Nick at the buffet. I think he's choosing mock crab.
The sneeze-guard is blocking my sister and father's faces. You can clearly see my mother, though.
Have you been wondering what my niece Genevieve looks like now, since I haven't shown any pictures of her here recently?
She was asleep for most of the meal itself.
While I'd generally prefer to leave the restaurant as soon as everyone's finished eating the main course, my family tends to linger as most of my family are better conversationalists than I am, and Gen woke up and Alison (whose birthday is also today, though she's three years younger than I am) fed her from the bottle. She's over two-and-a-half months old now, but she looks a little older (possibly because she was in the "oven" about two weeks longer than normal), and, from what my sister says, she can already clearly focus on people at the other side of a room, and Alison says that some women in the waiting room of the doctor's office were astonished to find out that Gen was just a little over two months old because she seems a lot more aware of other people than most babies that young.
Gen was quiet for most of the evening, she only began bawling as we were leaving, possibly because she already recognized her grandparents (and maybe even her uncles?) and didn't want to see them go.
One more photo:
Yeah, that's me and Nick. And, while, to paraphrase Hurley from Lost
, I'm not someone you'd want to be giving piggyback rides to anytime soon, compared to some photos of me taken earlier this year, the weight loss is at least a tiny bit visible.
On the odd chance you're wondering, the pins are of Kiyone from Tenchi Muyo
and Peorth from Oh/Ah My Goddess!
For my own birthday dinner this evening, since both my parents are working today, I'll just order KFC. We might have another restaurant meal sometime this week to celebrate both my own and my sister's birthday, though.
NOT THE BEST SATURDAY THAT I'VE EVER HAD...
Today, I wanted to go to the first meeting of the University of Ottawa Anime club
of the season, especially since they were showing the first (1/2/3)
and second (1/2/3)
episodes of the second season of the Ah! My Goddess
(Aa Megami-sama/ああっ女神さまっ) TV series, which finally get around to introducing the hottest (literal) goddess of all, and easily one of my top 5 manga/anime babes, Peorth
, who, prior to the most recent Ah My Goddess
TV series, had only been animated in what was essentially a glorified cameo in the 2000 Ah! My Goddess theatrical movie
But, as is the case with most Saturdays that I have anime club meetings, I felt guilty for not blogging enough the past week and opted to finish the September Ottawa Photos
entry that I had actually started on Wednesday, just so this past week wouldn't be another "one entry wonder". (I used to think that the amount I blogged was directly correlated to how happy I felt, but my personal situation has greatly improved over what things were like even just half a year ago yet the energy I have to daily blog still isn't what it used to be before I moved to Ontario.) And, even though a lot of the text for the pictures was copied n' pasted directly from the Flickr descriptions (for those pictures that I had uploaded to Flickr), I put in so many photos that it still took me a couple of hours to finish.
So, I didn't get out of the house until after 4:30, and, since Ah My Goddess
was scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and since the 86 bus takes usually around 35 to 40 minutes to get to the Campus station, it was clear that I would miss a large chunk out of the first episode, at the very least.
I couldn't go directly to the club either. I also had an assignment to pick up monthly OC Transpo transit passes for both me and my mother at the OC Transpo desk at the Rideau Centre. When I got to the Mackenzie King Bridge station, which is directly outside the Sears end of the Rideau Centre, I saw two OC Transpo security vehicles parked outside the mall entrance, so I wondered what was going on. It was about 5:20 p.m. when I got inside the mall to line-up for my pass. There was a line-up, though it wasn't nearly as long as the one in the photo which I used to illustrate this anecdote. (I took that one at the end of June.) There were maybe 15 people or so waiting in the line, and, behind the last person in line, there were three OC Transpo security personnel talking to a fourth man. I was wondering if it was some kind of bus, since a few recent incidents on OC Transpo buses
have set driver's nerves on edge, but it just seemed to be a normal chat.
Anyway, I got in line only to have one of the security guys tell me that the person in line whom they were standing behind was the last person they were letting into the line that day and I'd have to come back on Sunday, when my September pass would be useless, Sunday being the first day of October, and I would have to use a pair of tickets just to get there. That's even though the Rideau Centre OC Transpo desk is open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays
and it was only about 5:25 p.m. and there was no way that it would take them until after 6 p.m. to serve the remaining people in line. I can understand cutting off the line at 5:45 p.m. for a 6 p.m. closure, but doing it over half an hour before closing time when there weren't an abnormal amount of people still waiting seems ridiculous. If that's the policy they use every Saturday, then advertise on the goddamned website that you won't let people in to the line past 5:15 p.m. or whenever it was that the security guys arrived. And why did they need three security guys just to close off a line? Did they think a riot would break out if it was just one security guy? Or, if the civic government employees don't want to face the risk of dealing with the general public even just a minute or two after the official closing time, why not do what the Société de transport de Montréal/Montreal Transit Commission does and let certain retail locations, like Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, sell the monthly passes so I don't have to worry about closing times at all?
It's annoying because, while I don't particularly need the bus pass for tomorrow as I don't really have any plans other than savouring the sweet anticipation of the birthday presents that I will receive on Monday, both my parents are working on Sunday and my father's taking the car so my mother will have to take the bus.
I did what any angry and aggravated man would do in the situation: I muttered "damn it" under my breath and walked away meekly to Chapters thinking I'd write a blog entry about it a few hours later.
I thought that, by the time I'd get to the anime club, it would be 6 p.m., when the club has a one hour break, so I didn't go directly to the club after Chapters, I walked around, taking photos of the city, mostly around Parliament (and, this time, I walked right up to the access road just in front of the Peace Tower, which I haven't done in years, so I got some really dramatic low-angle shots). Those photos aren't here because I was using my expensive Nikon F65 film camera instead of my mother's cheap Ricoh Caplio digital snapshot camera that I ususally use to take pictures around town, so I won't have anything to show you for another week at the minimum. (I had just spent over $30 replacing the lithium batteries that power the camera functions and the flash, so I was eager to take some more film photos instead of digital so that the big bucks I spent on the batteries was worthwhile.)
The second annoyance of the day was that I got to the Montpetit building at the University of Ottawa a little after 7 p.m., so that, even though I missed the showing of Ah My Goddess
, I could still watch some of the other stuff they had scheduled, like Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles
, the fantasy series starring alternate universe versions of characters from Cardcaptor Sakura
and some characters from other CLAMP manga. I walked up to room 201, the main video screening room where the anime club meetings are usually held, and I could hear the audio from the anime coming from inside the classroom, I just couldn't get inside. The University of Ottawa had evidently replaced the locks on all three doors of the room with high-tech keycard locks, like the ones used on the main doors of the computer section of College Inter-Dec, the place where I was studying computer animation until I ran out of money, and I, not being a student of UofO, do not have such a keycard. My brother, who is now a med school student at UofO, could probably get in, but I doubt he'd let me borrow his keycard and, in any event, he wasn't around.
I am too shy to make a scene by knocking on the door, so I sat and read a chapter of the first volume of Barasui's Strawberry Marshmallow
) manga, which had finally arrived at the The Comic Book Shoppe's Anime Stop store on Wednesday, but no one came out, so I thought I'd just cut my losses and go home (via McDonald's, of course) and complain about the door situation on the club's message board.
I got what, unless the settings on my camera were horribly wrong, are probably some great photos of downtown Ottawa, so the day wasn't a complete loss, but I'm still disappointed with the way things in general seemed to go for me that day (which is my mother's birthday... happy birthday to her).