Thursday, November 24, 2011
I've been in Toronto for five years and lived in four different buildings...all within a two kilometre radius. Suffice to say that I am a sucker for convenience. Not only do I like being close to work, but I like living downtown. Living at Yonge & Dundas Square means that practically everything is at my doorstep - the LCBO (I swear that wasn't the deal breaker for my latest move! Ok maybe it was), the Eaton Centre, awesome restaurants like Milestones, Jack Astors and Joeys, les Trois Brasseurs (and other less awesome bars), Goodlife Fitness, a ginormous movie theatre, several grocery stores, Shoppers Drug Mart (the most marvelous place besides the LCBO), one billion food courts, every Bank that exists, Tutti Frutti candy store and last but not least, there are FIVE Starbucks, each no more than two blocks from me. No joke. There is one IN my building, one across the street, one in the movie theatre, one in the mall and one one block east of me...and somehow le Blog du Rob was smart enough to start a bet with me on who could reach Starbucks Gold card status faster. FYI Rob, there is one pitiful, lonesome Starbucks in all of Guelph. And five within two minutes of me. I thought you were a smart dude, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps this is the real reason you are making so many trips to Toronto?
Anyway, I reached Gold Status four days ago. That's right, I am now officially a Starbucks Gold member! Holler. You may win the odd party le Rob but I beat you to gold sucka! Yea. Not sure what this will really do for me, however, as I never get any of the syrups or flavour shots that I could now get for free. And I don't have a coffee maker for deals on coffee grinds. And I don't stay inside the Starbucks long enough to get a free re-fill. But at least I get a free cuppa joe every two weeks? The important thing, people, is that I am a Gold member, and therefore a superior member of society. That makes me feel pretty cool.
I was not intending on writing this blog about coffee, but somehow my dialogue about the convenience of my condo has brought me to the topic. Downtown condominium living has other quirks and perks, however. Like concierges. They are a unique bunch. They must see a lot of weird stuff since they basically sit at the front desk for 8-12 hours and watch people come in and out - all day or overnight. I would assume the night shifts are pretty boring unless you are working on a weekend, in which you could probably witness some pretty remarkable transformations. Like one night, when I had a lab party and left my place in an innocent collared shirt and black pants with my computer strapped to my back. I got changed at the lab and went to the party in one of my typical risque Jane outfits, which I obviously had to match with a reckless drinking style. The last thing I remember was taking shots to the song 'Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots, shots, shots!' Not surprisingly, it wasn't long before I was passed out in the washroom practically dead. When my labmates found me, I vehemently claimed that the floor was the most comfortable bed there was and that I would be sleeping in the stall that night. The next morning I woke up in my own bed, and was perplexed by how I ended up there. Apparently my labmates carried me home, through the front door and up the elevator, my arms hanging around each of these dudes' necks. Now THAT is classy. I wonder what the concierge thought seeing that come through the door? Who is that, who are they and where is her computer?!
In reality, I got along well with the concierges in my last building and they always said a kind hello when I was leaving or entering the building. The only time they made comments was when I showed up downstairs dressed like I was ready to rob a bank at 5am, waiting to meet the Angels for an early morning run. 'I can't believe you are running in this weather. In the dark. You are nuts!' they would always comment. Once I came down dressed in my usual sexy way and the concierge yelled to me 'It's only -8 today! It's only -8!!! Do you want to leave your neckwarmer here?!' It was pretty funny how excited they were that I would be able to run without coming back frostbitten, as they so often witnessed when I was unable to open any doors or retrieve keys or fobs from my pockets because my hands were completely frozen. Good times.
Now I am living in a new building with new concierges. There are four regulars who each have quite a unique disposition. The first is Frank. Frank is a funny guy. I am not sure where he is from but he has one of the strangest accents I have ever heard. I can hardly ever understand what he is saying. Furthermore, his tone is extremely high pitched such that he actually sounds like a young girl when he speaks. A young girl with a weird European accent...who is in reality a grown, chubby man with thinning hair. Frank has taken a particular interest in my running (and lack thereof). After I had been off running for a few weeks, I came home from work one day and he randomly called out 'Are you going running now? Running in the morning, running at night, you are ALWAYS running!!!' At this point I had to tell him that in fact I was not running at all and I had been injured for the past three weeks. At this point, the second awesome concierge Sam (I will get to him in a moment) jumped up and screamed: 'My angel is INJURED!!! What? What can I do? What happened? WHERE ARE YOU HURT MY ANGEL?!' as if I had just been hit by a car and was about to die. After I appeased Sam's concerns and told them it was just a torn muscle in my shin, Frank sighed 'Oh that's nothing, you'll be fine! A few days, ya?' his voice squeaking with each inflection. 'Hmmmmm' I wondered, 'How is a torn muscle not something to be concerned about?!' I was perplexed by their opposing and wildly inaccurate assessments of my injury, but just rolled with it. 'Errr ya I'm sure it will heal soon. No reason to be too concerned!' 'But I don't understand why you need to run,' Frank continued, 'You are so skinny! You don't need to run. Why do you have to run?' at which point I informed him that I had actually lost weight after I stopped running, another fact that he was incapable to comprehend. 'How is that possible? Jane, you need to eat more! Eat! Eat!' I told them that I likely would gain weight eventually, since I was already developing some pretty legit biceps from all the swimming I was doing. Frank liked hearing this and now every day he asks 'Did you swim today? You must go for your swim!' I am waiting for him to ask me to show him my awesome biceps, but so far no such luck.
Sam is just as much of a hoot as Frank, if not moreso. He is a large, black fellow who always has a giant smile on his face. The first time he spoke to me he declared that I was an Angel and that he saw a heavenly glow around me whenever I entered the building. I am pretty sure that was followed by an awkward silence since I had absolutely no idea how to respond. 'Thank you? 'Same to you?' Nothing I could think of on the spot seemed to make any kind of sense. But then again, his comment didn't either. Every day it's something different: 'You bring happiness to the world with your Angelic face, my Angel,' or 'Ah! I did not smile today because I hadn't seen my Angel yet!' However entertaining his comments are, I am very flattered that I am able to bring him such joy by my mere presence. If anything, he is the one bringing happiness into the lives of others with his warm, open and endearing personality!
What Sam sees?
Still kind of a badass Angel...
One day I went to pick up a package (sent from the awesome peeps at Adidas) and he asked the resident standing next to me if he thought I looked like an Angel too. Another awkward exchange. 'Umm...ok, you are pretty smooth dude,' was all the guy said to Sam. I think Sam was confused by this answer since I am sure he wasn't trying to be smooth at all, and does in fact believe that I am an Angel. He then turned to me and asked why I always received such mysterious parcels in the mail (maybe he thought they were from God?). His direction suddenly switched: 'Do you buy dresses online?' he then asked. I reminded him that I was a runner and that I was actually sponsored by Adidas. 'These are running clothes from Adidas!' I said, 'I don't have to buy them, it's great!' A few days later when I walked by the desk he bellowed 'I can't wait to see you in your winter dresses, my Angel!' I was bewildered by this statement, until I figured that he still believed that I actually ordered dresses online (and more specifically, 'winter dresses' - whatever that entails). I guess he doesn't buy the whole 'serious runner' gig I have going. The other day, he continued on his winter-themed comments, which only seem to get even more indecipherable: 'The winter time makes you look very special, my Angel' he smiled brightly. 'Wear your winter dresses soon!' Then there was the day it rained and I came home soaking wet, looking like a drowned rat (seriously). He immediately jumped from his chair and exclaimed 'My Angel! You look like a Goddess emerging from the ocean today! Have a nice evening!' WTF? If his comments continue on their current path of weirdness, I wonder what kind of things he will be saying in the New Year...
Another one of the concierges, whose name I don't yet know, thinks I am just as innocent (and perhaps Angelic?) as the other two. He is often there late at night and was shocked when I returned home late one night in a party Jane gettup that included a skirt and heels. 'WOW you went OUT TONIGHT!!!! Good for you!' Oh, if only they knew that I didn't need to be congratulated for getting out of the apartment. I laughed at his tone and wondered what these three would do if they saw party Jane in action. Perhaps one day, I will have to invite them out for vodka chez Jane. Though that might shock them into silence, and I am wayyyy too entertained by them on a daily basis to let my cover slide.
What the rest of the world sees. Sigh.
So for now, I live under the guise of Angel Jane, domestically and athletically. But those who really know me know that party Jane and G.I. Jane are the real deal. Just sayin'.
Angel Jane or Satan???