Toronto #21

I don’t know whether having a journal is helping or not, but this past week, I’ve definitely felt more motivated to get out more, so there’s a little bit extra to write about for the blog this week when it actually comes to Toronto.

On Monday night, I headed down to a brand new part of the city that I had never been to before. While I had initially thought that it could be a night of getting drunk and potential dancing, it turned out to be a quiet night out, instead. Sometimes, when that happens, it’s can be a bad thing, but on that night, it felt completely right.

After checking out a new poutinerie (I’m not gonna lie – I’m currently making it something of a mission to try out as much poutine as I reasonably can while I’m here), I came across a cool little place called the Red Light. It’s a great little lounge that seems to specialize in serving great whiskeys and spirit drinks. As it turned out, I didn’t feel like having any alcohol that night, so I just had a coke while sitting down and just soaking up the atmosphere. The barman was kind enough to not even charge me for the coke, so I made sure to give him a tip before I left. I definitely plan on heading down there again sometime, especially if I fancy a quiet drink.

One thing I’m learning about living here is that, not only do I love exploring the city, but I’m also loving the long journeys. Strange, I know, but I just love how it just gives me time to read or listen to an audio story without distract myself too much. Spending a lot of time reading Hearts in Atlantis that night was a real bonus. I might have a quiet night out more often.

On Tuesday, I had quite possibly one of the best Valentine’s Days that I’ve ever had. Considering it was mainly heading down to watch a film after work, that might sound like an exaggeration (or alternatively, a rather sad comment on my dating life), but the whole experience was great. At the Royal, I got to see the original My Bloody Valentine on the big screen as part of a large audience. Not only was it a great 80s slasher, but it was a gloriously Canadian slasher, too. I wouldn’t say if it was a better Canadian horror than Black Christmas, (which remains one of my favourite examples of the genre, along with Halloween,) but it was, with its stronger accents and mentions of poutine, a more obviously Canadian film. It was a really great watch.

I was also glad that I had waited so long to see it, too. In the UK, the only cut on DVD was the theatrical cut (at least, since the last time I checked). What we watched on Tuesday was, thankfully, the director’s cut. Because the reinserted footage was of a noticeably lower quality than the rest of the film, it was obvious exactly where it had been originally cut, too. And all I could think afterwards was how much of a shame that so much had been cut in the first place.

Not just because the effects work was brilliant, and that it must have been disappointing for people who had worked on it so hard to see all of it completely cut out, but because it was clear that the film wouldn’t have made half as much sense without so many crucial scenes.

Seriously, half the time I was seeing the cut footage, along with, “Whoa, that death was nasty!”, I was also thinking, “Wait, what must have the audiences thought when they were watching the cut version?!?” The edits would have definitely created more than a few plot holes, so it’s a real shame they were made in the first place. I’m super glad that my first viewing of the film was something much closer to an actual director’s cut.

But the real highlight of the night was the fact that the director, producer and one of the actors from the film themselves were at the screening. Not only was it really cool that they got to tell some stories about the making of the film before we watched it, but I actually got to say hello to them afterwards and tell them how fantastic the film was.

The producer was even kind enough to tell me of what footage hadn’t even made it to the director’s cut, which sounded even gloriously nastier than what I actually saw. Overall, getting to see My Bloody Valentine on the big screen was super great, and I’m glad I waited this long to see the best possible cut of the film.

Friday was pretty cool, as I got to meet one of my mates from the Dark Tower message boards that I regularly post on. Out of all the fandoms I know, the Dark Tower community has definitely been the best and most welcoming, especially the people of thedarktower.org. I’ve met many friends from there already, and it was great to meet one more. Especially a fellow writer who’s actually gotten round to completing a couple of novels. It was good to talk about writing and books while at a second hand book store, I must say.

Saturday was mostly quiet, but I got to introduce one of my housemates to the brilliance that is Shaun of the Dead, not just one of my favourite British comedies but still one of my favourite British films period. Any excuse to watch that film is a good one, and getting someone to watch it for the first time is definitely a perfect excuse.

Last week, I made a personal aim of getting out more and trying to gain more experiences. I think I’ve achieved that somewhat this week, and I hope I can find a way of continuing that this week, too. But I’ve also noticed something else lately – I don’t take nearly enough photos. I don’t know why, it’s more a lack of a habit or simply allowing someone else to take them, but that’s something I definitely need to work on while I’m here. While I’m not quite up to living here 6 months just yet, it’ll be getting there very soon, and by the time I head back home next year, I really want to have as much to remember of these two years as possible. I’ll see if I can work on posting some pics for next week.

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