Golden Age

It was so great getting out today under some much needed sunshine. My parents came into the city to treat John to a lovely birthday breakfast. We haven’t seen them since Christmas. Time goes so quickly. Anyway, we were trying to decide where to go. There’s a lot of great breakfast places in the city. Where in the city did we want to go? John suggested Golden Griddle! Wow, if you live in Ontario (I’m not sure about the rest of Canada) “The Griddle” was the go to breakfast place in the eighties and nineties before all of the other trendy places started popping up all over the place. In my heart of course, nothing can beat a mom and pop breakfast spot but if you’re going to do this corporate/franchise, it certainly was the place to go. There were several around the city for many years but they do seem to be disappearing. We happened by one today on Laird Avenue in the area known as Leaside. We were feeling so nostalgic! My dad turned the vehicle around and shazam, we were transported back in time when Madonna still wore bangles and there was a group of the same name. The buffet seemed as wonderfully displayed as I remembered and the place was bustling with patrons. The omelettes were freshly made right before our “hungry eyes” (another 80’s reference there). The coffee was still as perfect as I recall from years ago. The price for the buffet was $15.99 which I thought was reasonable for the selection. We chatted about the usual, the weather and that spring would be back soon. I also mentioned that I needed a birthday card for my grandmother who was well into her 90’s now. It was just a harmonious and relaxing environment even though it was packed. Everything was hot and our server was so old school. You know that kind of friendly that makes you feel like you’re visiting a small town eatery where everybody knows your name! We really enjoyed it. It felt like we stepped back to an easier time when blowing bubbles in your chocolate milk was still the highlife of your meal. The eighties weren’t exactly the golden age but it did give us the Golden Griddle! Thanks Mom and Pops, it was great seeing you! Let’s do that again sometime! John really enjoyed himself. It was simply lovely.

5 kisses out of 5

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Word from the editor:
I’m glad you got a chance to get out with your folks. I always enjoy seeing them.
Just a reminder that I am away for the next two weekends as we are headed south for our cruise.
XO
Mary Ellen

OMG! I’m so jealous right now! I’ll miss you! Damn who’s gonna fix all my spelling and punctuation mistakes?!?! 😩😉😘

Cheers Bruce.

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Badass BITC Beard #7

Hey Brucesters!

Please say Howdie to my latest Badass BITC Beard of the Week!!

kenneth! Tell us some fun facts about you!

I run a Massage business from home I like to watch movies, cook, outdoorsy things like camping hiking walking with my dog all the usual stuff. I am 37 and single as well!

Congrats and good luck on our February beard I’d the month contest!

B.I.T.C

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All in the name of Jesus!

The ice cream/coffee shop “Sweet Jesus” on Eglinton is the third spot in the city. The name kind of shocked me when passing by but then I thought maybe someone will open a shop called Sour Mohamed someday. Since being irreverent is no big deal anymore. The business is not without controversy. I think controversy can be a good thing. 
The place always seems to be pretty busy. It’s a trendy little spot. The lineups here are far more manageable than at the John Street location.
If the demand gets out of hand, you can always vent your frustrations at this snap chat booth where one can confess their ice cream sins or bitch about other stuff no one cares about. A rip off from the “Speaker’s Corner” days at Much Music.
The mornings at Sweet Jesus are all about the espressos. Did Jesus drink espresso? Anyway, then the afternoon they crank out several different ostentatious cones at sinful prices. As per usual, the SJ menu bills paletas in three signature flavours and one daily feature ($4), plus plain chocolate and vanilla soft serve in cones and cups ($4.95/$4.25). Seriously what happened to the $2 ice cream truck? Remember soft vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Who can forget that fast hardening dip? Anyway, now we go to signature ice cream places that gently scoff at a religious figure just for the fuck of it.
Just before you snap out of the hypnosis to over spend on two pretty thoughtless flavours, how much is it really to produce a cone of ice cream? 25 cents? 75 cents? They tempt you with the caramel and vegan peach options. They do affectionally name the twisted peach thing “Life’s A Peach!” just to add insult to injury. A full sized version is $6.50. You know you can go to the Carlton Cinema on Tuesday for $5. Just saying. Then they have these Mini Pimps ($4.95), they’re slightly smaller versions of the bigger cone. One can’t forget the Red Rapture. This treat starts with a peak of vanilla ice cream and is then rolled in red velvet cake and finished with cream cheese icing, raspberry puree, and meringue crumble. I’ve not tried that one but it does look sinful.
They seem very proud of their signature flavours such as the Birthday Cake with icing and rainbow sprinkles as well as the Cookies, Cookies, Cookies, & Cream cone dressed in cookie butter, cookie dough, and crushed Oreo, Fudgee-o and chocolate chip cookies. You know for me though, I just felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. And the staff was pretty dismissive and rude. What do I know? Maybe it’s vogue to be treated like a tool while your wallet is raped all in the name of Jesus. How wonderful! Oops, I just threw up a bit in my mouth and I gotta tell ya, it didn’t taste like like no $7 ice cream!

1 kiss out of 5

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #6

Here is the latest Badass Beard of the Week! Meet Dann!

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Wine with Erik!

Hey, everyone!
Was it just me or did January feel like forever? Well here’s hoping February will go by a bit faster and get some nicer weather going with a wonderful Zinfandel from California.

Liberty School Zinfandel 2012, California – $21.95

This is really a nice style of Zinfandel. Normally Zinfandel is very dark and spicy, but this style has really focused on bringing out all the juicy fruit notes and has some soft toasty notes that intertwine beautifully. There are aromas of plum, blackberry, cherry and some smoke. On the palate, the wine is dry with balancing tannins and acidity making the wine feel soft. I definitely recommend giving this wine a try, it comes to the LCBO every year and tends to sell out by summer so get on it! Enjoy it with pork tenderloin, burgers, or I had it with a pizza.

Thanks guys!

Erik Flemming for Bruce in the City

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Journey with Germani! The Breakfast Smoothie!

Hello BITC readers!

A month into a hopefully better year, many of us are trying to develop healthier relationships with food, and more healthful daily habits.

I’ve found it challenging. Last year, I felt a lot of stress at work and made the decision to go back to school. I love being in school, but it has challenges of it’s own. For me, keeping a healthy habit of eating regular meals at reasonable times of the day, with appropriate portions, is definitely a struggle.

I put off eating to work and complete tasks. I’m terrible at scheduling time to food prep, and most of all, make my health and well-being a priority.

And I am a breakfast skipper. I never make time for breakfast or even a coffee if I have to go to school or work early in the morning. And I’m a night owl, I can’t help but sleep in as much as possible in the mornings to make up for my lack of an early bedtime.

So when I put off eating a healthy meal until I feel like I can relax, sometimes I don’t have any food until 5pm or later. Which then leads to feeling overly hungry and deprived, and having larger portions in one sitting.

I don’t generally make resolutions for the new year, but since I decided to leave my job in August to go to school and make a change to how I was feeling, I’ve been trying to make improvements. Nothing too daunting. Just trying to add better habits to my daily life.

A friend from school was talking about how busy she was, and that smoothies saved her so much time. I was intrigued.

I would enjoy the occasional smoothie in the summer but they weren’t something I had often, and I could say that I actually had never made one before.

I felt a little daunted by choosing an expensive blender, and felt like I might not use it, that it might just sit there after the novelty had worn off. However, my friend introduced me to the idea of a hand blender.

It’s funny, because these must have been around for a while, I just wasn’t in the loop, and didn’t know that they were a great option. Especially if you don’t want to make too large portions, or have a small kitchen/little counter space.

And what was even nicer, my stepmom gifted me a really cool hand blender for Christmas after to talking to her about my interest in trying out having smoothies for breakfast.

I started experimenting.

There are so many ways to make easy smoothies. I found I like to use almond milk or coconut beverage to create my breakfast drinks.

First smoothie I made consisted of vanilla almond milk, frozen blueberries, and a frozen summer fruit mix I had bought to use for sangria but forgot about.

And it turned out pretty good, didn’t have much almond milk to be honest, but it was like a yummy fruit slushy. Couldn’t complain. Now I just add a bit more liquid. I still don’t measure anything but as you practice, you know what works for you.

I’m still learning and trying new combinations. The best part, is that I’ve been able to incorporate my breakfast smoothies into my daily ritual. I usually make my smoothies at night (while I cook dinner), so that I can down a portion quickly before I run off to work in the morning. I’m trying to make this a healthy habit that still works for me.

A recent combination I tried was an apple and pear cut into small pieces, joined by a handful of frozen raspberries, coconut beverage, and a couple of slices of ginger.

I wanted to share my recent experience because I think we all have struggles incorporating healthy habits, and it can be hard to focus on spending time on taking care of ourselves.

I hope everyone is having a good year so far. Cheers to making small changes that can make a big difference in how we feel in the present, and hopefully the long run.

Sarah Germani for B.I.T.C

edited by Sarah Germani

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“Bruce” in the City STRONG!!!!

BRUCE” in the City STRONG!!!!

If you have been following Toronto news of late, no doubt, you will have heard that the “Gay Village” and the city of Toronto are contending with a major crisis unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It has shaken our community to the core.

The man who has reportedly murdered 5 men in the community (with possibly more to be announced) is named Bruce. This has led several followers of my blog, recently, to suggest that a name change, under the circumstances, may be desirable.

Here, and now, I am taking MY stand – there is NOT going to be a name change – just like I am not going to change MY name!!!! To hide my name because of what has happened is not the way we as human beings need to behave. Collectively, we need to confine what has happened to that person alone and not superimpose their conduct on others. If we don’t then the world would be deprived of people named “Paul” or “Peter” or “Robert” or “William” and so many others and not because of what they did wrong but because of an evil act committed by someone who just happens to bear the same name. Let me remind you, the name Bruce is a strong and beautiful Scottish name that means The Thicket; which according to the Cambridge Dictionary is “an area of trees and bushes growing closely together”. And with this “Bruce” you couldn’t ask for something better!!! Me and this blog have, for the last 8 years been bringing together all of you who faithfully or periodically follow my exploits into my little bit of the world to build closeness, compassion, laughter and most importantly support! Support, especially when in the world there are those times of ugliness, and we are in desperate need of finding beauty, peace and contentment.

Tonight is a service of remembrance for the 5 known victims is occurring to help people come together in this deeply troubling time. It will be at 7 pm at the Metropolitan Community Church. Unfortunately, I’m not able to be in attendance at the vigil tonight but my heart will be with everyone who is there. I’m certain many of my friends will be there. 

My heart goes out to all the families and friends who have lost a loved one to this murderer. I was a casual friend to one of the victims and remain in stunned disbelief that this has happened. My prayers are with all who have died and those that gather tonight to remember them. It’s never easy when a community is attacked no matter what group is affected. But we can never let those evil acts become the tag line to such a beautiful and loving community. We must remain strong and continue to see the beauty in humankind. What’s in a name? What you choose it to be. Never can we allow ourselves to become defined by a tragedy but by how we endure.

Sincerely

Bruce in the City

Edited by:

John P. Sigerson

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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #5

It’s February in the man cave and beards are out in full force. The January thaw is a distant memory and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here is another great beard to fall in love with!

I’m Marcel!
I recently moved to Toronto from Chicago. I’m a single guy.
A fun fact about me!?! I used to be a hand model lol.

Well I guess I should have asked for a hand shot instead! Thanks Marcel and welcome to Toronto! It does get warmer here. You are now entered in the draw for February!

Good luck mate!

B.I.T.C

edited by

Bruce Christopher

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Badass Beard Winner for January

Congrats James! You are the Badass BITC Beard of January! Looks like your beard was the baddest!
You have won a $20 Tim Hortons coffee card!

B.I.T.C

 

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BJ Cinema… Our reviews will blow you away! “Call me by your name.”

Finally John and I were able to get out of our cocoon of flu to review another movie for you guys. It’s a weird time of year for reviews because the year is just beginning and many of the movies have either been nominated or ignored by the academy. This one is up for some of those golden boys and I guess I need to decide how I feel about that. Call me by your name. It’s difficult reviewing a movie that you really want to love. I’d have to say I liked it. It was good. Is it Oscar worthy? I’m not sure, in my opinion, that it’s worthy. Who doesn’t love a good gay love story but it felt to me like the plot on this one was lacking something. I’m not sure it was because the actual relationship finally began deep into the movie that by the time the events played out I almost felt like yelling at the screen oh for god sakes get over him he’s not all that you silly boy. Not too mention the ease in which the parents went with this whole situation. I mean doesn’t anyone care that this story is about an under age guy struggling with his sexuality? I’m just not completely comfortable with this subject matter considering Hollywood has a serious problem in this regard. The other thing that bothered me was all the unnecessary crotch shots. Don’t get me wrong I like me some good tantalizing crotch shots but not when under the assumption that I’m being directed to catch a glimpse of a minor who is clearly before his best date. Not to mention it never really played into the story line at all. It was clearly angle tricks to tempt the eyes and make us all feel a little bad that we want to look at this young dudes junk. I mean if the main character caught a glimpse and it was torturing him inside or something then I’d get it but we the audience didn’t need that to enhance this story line. The music was the glue for sure helping to pull on our heart strings. Let’s not be mistaken. This is not a gay love story. This is a story about a man who allows himself to become physical with a boy of 17. I just don’t know if this is subject matter to be celebrated. What’s your thoughts John? I’m giving this film….

2 cosmos out of 5

Well if our previous movie review, “The Shape of Water” reminded me of the Sunday afternoon movies I got to see in my pre-teen years, today’s movie, “Call Me By Your Name” took me back in time, 34 years, to 1983 to a period when life appeared to be much less complicated than what we contend with currently.

From all the previews I had seen I absolutely wanted to see this movie. It had all the right ingredients for me, a dominant theme I could relate to, beautiful scenery and actors who had me curious as to how they would make this story work. So off to the cinema Bruce and I went to enjoy an afternoon’s viewing.

The script for this experience was written by James Ivory, of Merchant & Ivory fame – how many of you remember “A Room With A View” or “Howards End”? – I do!!! – who directed “Maurice” (the three movies being based on novels by E.M. Forster) which was a story with some parallels to the feature of the day. So I was even more excited to be transported into this world of the past.

“Call Me By Your Name” ‘s cinematography is wonderful with the colours of a Northern Italy in 1983 made to feel totally believable. Then we get to the story……

A 24 year old American university student comes for a six week visit to Italy to live with a Professor of archaeology and his family while assisting with cataloguing of the Professor’s accumulated paperwork and stuff. During the course of the visit the Professor’s seventeen year old son has to unwillingly giving up his bedroom to this guest, tolerate his presence, like and fall in love with him. Sounds good so far!!

The trouble is that this has to happen in 2 hours and 12 minutes!!!! I would be curious to see what the directors original four hour cut was like and see if it allowed the story to develop with a clearer sense of the time line. The movie in its current form would have been better served by drawing more attention to the calendar countdown in order to facilitate audience angst with relation to the events the characters experience. You never get a sense of the progress of the boys emotional journey. To be honest. I was left feeling unsatisfied. I decided to buy the book to see if the original text better supported the passing of time.

I’ll let you know if the book is any better.

2.5 cosmos out of 5

 

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