Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Not so frothed up

It is interesting to watch parallel corruption being revealed in the goverments of Canada and the United States. You would think that there could be little similarity given that Canada's government is controlled by the Liberals, though they don't have 50 % of the seats and thus they must team up with representatives from other parties (there are more than 2 in Canada) in order to get any meaningful business done. This is called a minority government. In the states, the government is nearly fully controlled by the conservati...er, Republicans. So, even though the power in the two countries is held by parties of greatly contrasting ideologies (ok, so it's not that contrasting) the evidence of the adage "power corrupts" is in plain view north and south of the border.

In Canada, there is a scandal in full swing, and a nasty judge probing for terrible details about the former administration's misappropriation of funds. (Think Ken Starr) In short, it goes like this: The liberals have controlled the government for over a decade. The government spends billions on advertising itself each year. Some of these publicity contracts never went to bid, were simply given to some companies who, surprise, surprise donated large sums of money to the liberal party (it's ugly, we're talking envelopes stuffed with cash - all unreported). The perception is that the government was using taxpayer dollars to keep the campaign funds flush, and of course thereby giving the liberals a better chance of retaining power. Now that they have a minority government, there are backroom deals, bribes and traitors being unearthed. Now, I am clearly liberal minded, but they need to be out.

In the states, we have an administration who spends as much time on its self image (and this is what propelled me to write this morning) as it does lying about, well nearly everything. See more on Em's blog about reprehensible behavior by your elected officials.

In both cases, the governments don't deserve the power they have, they are abusing it and are lying, cheating and stealing in order to preserve it.

I understand why many people ignore politics altogether. I could get frothed up and run all over researching on the internet to fuel my froth further (as I did leading up to the war) but then I just have an ugly defeated feeling in the pit of my stomach. So, what's in it for me? (I'm a true American, eh?) It certainly didn't feel good when Bush won a 2nd time, and frankly, the quality of my life doesn't seem to ever change based on what political party is in power, so in 2005 I have remained distanced, dispassionate and maybe a wee bit cynical.

Don't look forward to more political topics on the blog. I think I'd rather go for quirky, funny, and poetic than bitter. It's hard to be poetic about politics.

* * * * * * *

Yesterday afternoon, I had about 45 minutes to kill before my 3:30 lesson. As I sat outside smoking a cigarette, the clouds were thickening, threatening. The clouds were swirling but not moving in any uniform direction. Large quarter sized drops of rain began hitting the ground with juicy splat sounds. Darker and darker the sky became, and then, like there was some huge barrel in the sky being tilted, the rain came down and instantly turned the street to rivers, and spidery veins of lightning streaked across the sky. I took cover under a nearby awning and marveled at the amazing energy of the storm. I had no umbrella with me and I got soaked walking the block to my 3:30 lesson. It was still raining when I left the lesson at 4:30. I went down into the metro and popped out five miles away. It was bone dry. I asked someone if it had rained and they said "No, it looked like it was going to, but it didn't". Wow, I got to be right under a localized thunderstorm, it's too bad I didn't have a transparent umbrella.

Today, we have another chance for thunderstorms, but sadly I have a class from 2-4 inside a room with no windows. I'll take the camera along today though just in case. Ciao.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The sky and her late afternoon artistry. Posted by Hello

This is a shot I got by walking out my front door into the street, about 10 yards from my front door. There were thunderstorms around but none on top of us, it made for some beautiful sky shots.

Today's post, by necessity, will be short - I've got classes from 8 - 8 today and therefore little time this morning to get creative. I had wanted to go on another waiter rant, but there will be plenty more fodder for that throughout the summer. Instead, I thought I would publicly comment on private correspondence.

We'll start with Serge. Last night, after having met up with the Halifax men for a couple of beers on the rooftop patio of a Village bar, (Oh my God, the sky was incredible - nobody seemed to be noticing that though) Serge read my post with me sitting next to him. He had something to say about nearly each one. The two things that stick in my mind are #75, he scoffed at me for my "feelings" for plants and then he said, "I just think of it like, now I'm giving the little baby branches a chance to grow." I thought this was a healthy approach, and I'll try to adopt it. But number 40 was the best because he said"What, you don't like umbrellas?" You would think that anything even remotely related to rain would please me, but no, I said something like "Umbrellas are a pain in the ass, they are clunky to handle, messy, drippy, ill-made things that don't agree with wind. Plus, whenever you have an umbrella you have to give up one half of your available hands. This leaves one hand for everything else. I need two hands, and I find the umbrella uses too much of this resource." But then his eyes lit up and said, "No, you don't like umbrellas because you can't see the sky, what you need is a transparent umbrella." Oh my God, what? A transparent umbrella? Imagine, if you will, my eyes glazing over and the visions playing in my head with me trotting around town with my transparent umbrella and (maybe there was some singing and dancing) walking in the park during thunderstorms watching it unfold. (Yeah, I know thunderstorm - park - umbrella, I might be inviting instant death) As I imagined it, the umbrella handle might have been pink. I thought about how rain on the plastic would make it hard to see clearly through it, but then again it's the same thing when I'm plastered to the window during a storm. A broad smile crosses my face. "That's the best idea you've ever had!" I tell him. He responds, "Those are for girls, and anyway, they don't have those anymore." Well, quite honestly, I don't care if they are for girls, I will have a transparent umbrella, but it will only be used for going out in storms. Anybody know where I can get one?

Rebekah writes that her favorite line is "When life gives you lemons, I pretend that there are no lemons." I did think it up myself, but that doesn't mean that someone else hasn't thought it up already, unbeknownst to me. (I'm sure that's spelled wrong) Incidentally, Rebekah has a blog now too which you can see over here

My grandmother writes that she finds the blog "very interesting". I'm going to take this as a compliment. (Let's not mention that I can't help imagining her reading #30)

My mother tells me she hasn't had time to read the blog yet. Better get with it mom, there's some juicy stuff here.

Em points out that I have two number 30's and 31's, and I am mortified. Looks like it should have been titled 102 juicy details.

Dee writes that she too has paid for gas and then not put it into her car, but that she went back once she remembered. (I remembered when the car was on fumes and I had no choice but to pull into the nearest place and repurchase.)

My father says "I think you write well". Shucks, that's about the nicest thing you could say.

And as far as I know, that is my current audience. I've let a few others know about the blog, but have no idea if any of them have checked it out. But anyway, any audience greater than 1 is all I need to keep it up.

I'm filled with love for all of you precious audience members. Have a superlative day!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

100 juicy details, a writing exercise

1. I am turning 40 this year. I don't think it's important, but then again, it's number one.

2. I believe life is like a storybook with all the chapter titles done, but it's up to us to supply the plot.

3. I have a large affinity for dogs. Cats bore me.

4. Pretty much anything in moderation is ok by me.

5. I am moderately lazy.

6. I have three keys on my key ring: front door, back door and bike lock. I wish I had no keys.

7. At 35, I sold all of my posessions and moved from Los Angeles to Montreal. I regret selling my CDs.

8. Suburbia gives me the creeps.

9. I could live on avocados alone.

10. I wipe downward. Apparently this is unusual.

11. I have few friends, but they are of long duration.

12. Messiness feels cozy to me. Neatness makes me nervous. My house is usually messy.

13. My drugs of choice are caffeine, nicotine and pot. Not necessarily in that order.

14. I experience few benefits from drinking alcohol. But I do enjoy the taste of red wine.

15. I am a cloud watcher.

16. I am in love with any type of severe weather. One day I will go tornado chasing.

17. People are intimidated by me, and me by them. This is a problem.

18. I can count on one hand the number of times I have cleaned the bathroom in my life.

19. I've lived alone, once for 10 months. I didn't like it, but then again, I didn't have a dog either.

20. I don't adhere to any religion.

21. I do believe in thought energy. What you are reading is a result of it, even though science can't prove that.

22. I do not own a car. This pleases me endlessly.

23. I loathe shopping for clothes.

24. Whenever someone sneezes in the metro, I imagine the cloud of germs rapidly circulating in the car. This is a bad habit.

25. I am shy.

26. I enjoy puttering around the house. This contributes sizably to # 12.

27. I dress poorly. (See # 23 above and #48 below)

28. I make lists constantly. They are comforting. I usually forget where I put them and this is annoying in the market.

29. Latin flavored jazz is my favorite music. Wind is my favorite sound.

30. Though I'm gay, anal sex doesn't interest me. This is not as unusual as you might think.

31. I eat a sesame bagel with cream cheese every morning.

30. Though I think fear is useless, I fear the doctor.

31. I was an only child, then after a divorce and a marriage, I had two stepbrothers. I see them at Christmas time.

32. Yardwork is more appealing than housework.

33. Travel is my favorite activity, I would go nearly anywhere.

34. I am an ESL teacher. I also practice the craft of food service. Sometimes, I write.

35. If I had unlimited time and funds, I would be traveling the world in search of knowing other cultures and taking pictures of storms.

36. When life gives me lemons, I pretend that there are no lemons.

37. I can viciously hate you while smiling. (Ritz Carlton practice)

38. I buy based on need, not want.

39. I recycle, but I don't believe it all really gets recycled.

40. I don't like umbrellas.

41. The more I know, the less I'm sure of it.

42. Sometimes playing is more important than eating.

43. I enjoy sitting in the same seat: on the bus, in the metro, at the cafe.

44. I speak two languages.

45. I play the piano. (I'm not very good, but I know the chords)

46. I love ice cream. I don't digest ice cream well and this is a long standing conflict in my life. I don't anticipate any kind of satisfactory resolution.

47. I am married to Serge and we have a dog, Sara, and some plants.

48. I'm attracted to anything priced at under a dollar.

49. I have never had an out of body experience, but I have tried.

50. I had a cell phone once, but I will never have one again and you can't make me.

51. One of the key senses to cultivate is wonder.

52. When I owned a car, I paid for gas and then left without putting it into my car. Twice.

53. I used to daydream so profoundly that I would miss my off-ramp, now I miss my stop.

54. My belly button is both an innie, and an outie.

55. I can wiggle my ears.

56. I make myself laugh by making faces in the mirror. Alone. I know, scary.

57. I sometimes dream that I am talking to God. I can never remember what is said.

58. When someone falls down, I don't think it's funny. But sometimes I laugh anyway. This perplexes me and others.

59. Being in the library is like being in the womb of knowledge.

60. I adore maps, any kind of map. I don't know why.

61. I think open mindedness and intelligence are intrinsically linked.

62. I enjoy bringing up taboo topics. This might be classified as sadistic, I know.

63. My goal is to love everyone and everything (including the *bad* things) even if it takes a thousand years.

64. If I were a cloud, I would be mammatus.

65. I have exercised regularly for 16 years. It has never gotten easier nor more enjoyable.

66. I drink my coffee black, and I put ketchup on scrambled eggs.

67. Runny yolks are vile.

68. I've never been in a submarine.

69. Spelunking is both a cool sport and word.

70. I look at eyes and hands. I never look at shoes.

71. Sometimes I think this is a life of slavery, albeit with perks.

72. Witnessing birth is one of the most magical sights one can be privy to.

73. Winter gives you permission to stay home. I like winter.

74. If I had to kill the animals myself, I would be a vegetarian.

75. I feel guilty when I hack off branches of things in the name of "trimming".

76. All the wild places I played when I was a kid have been covered with housing. They exist only in my mind now.

77. Aren't pelicans the most fascinating creatures? Two words: beak bag

78. I can't sing, but I do it anyway.

79. I have no tatoos. I view tatoos as badges of insecurity.

80. I have sat on a jury, twice.

81. Beauty is worthy of tears.

82. Learning French was the hardest thing I've ever done.

83. I think people should work for 5 years before going to University. I think it is unrealistic to plan one's future at 18.

84. When I was young, there were ashtrays at the end of the aisles in the market.

85. Sometimes I rent movies that look interesting on the back jacket, then it turns out I've already seen them.

86. I tend to forget negative experiences; I end up renting lots of bad movies, twice.

87. Having photos gives me pleasure, taking pictures - not so much.

88. Scrabble is the perfect game. I hate anything to do with football.

89. Clean fingernails are important to me.

90. I am so grateful to have someone who can tolerate living with me.

91. I enjoy dancing alone in the house.

92. Hope is really just fear said another way.

93. I am 6'3" and I weigh 175 pounds.

94. I'm ok with Rick, Richard and Ricky. Being called Rich or Richy bugs me.

95. I think there is a relationship between stinginess and wealthiness.

96. When I die, I would like my body burned and sprinkled into the clouds from a plane.

97. I live in a hundred year old building.

98. In the summer, I don't wear underwear.

99. Lightning makes me giddy.

100. I am bad at keeping secrets. Very, very bad.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

High dirt tolerance

Saturday morning, my day off, it's rainy still and my brain feels thick, maybe waterlogged. Not a good sign for writing. Last night, as expected we went out with the guys from Halifax, having a drink in their room, then in a bar, then at the restaurant and finally at the nude dancer place . Ok, so I had 2 drinks at the restaurant. And maybe there was a second one at the strip club, that part is a little fuzzy. For me that's a lot of alcohol, but for the people I was with, that was nothing and they easily consumed double what I did. It's true, I'm a lightweight, I get tired early (went home at 10:15) and am often accused of being a "casse le party" as they say here (ruin the party). What can I say, except that I marvel at drinkers' self-pickling abilities, and willingness to poison tomorrow, I am mystified at the way it transforms personalities and seems to energize them (makes me want to go to bed) and I'm a little scared of the way alcohol can simply obliterate memories of ones actions and words. So why don't I have a coke at the bar instead? That's a fine question and let's just say that by then my judgement was ever so slightly impaired. So with cobwebs in my mind, I dutifully post. (Imagine my puffy bloodshot eyes and my hand over my heart)

Later today, the gentlemen will come to our house to prepare dinner. This has become a sort of tradition, Jack is an amazing chef and I always learn great things from him, like how to make the most incredible caesar salad from scratch, including the croutons. I managed to pick up and move the vacuum to a highly visible location, and now it sits there chiding me inspiring a kind of well, hatred, frankly and I have no escape with company coming and all. The only hope I have now is that Serge will somehow do it before I get the chance. (not that I would ever, ever try to manipulate him into that) Yesterday I did the dishes and the laundry but I will get no credit for that, since he wasn't here when I did it (viewing the chores being done is very important around here), but I'm sure I will get the "you never clean the toilet" line at some point from him today. True, as all my former housemates can attest, I'm least likely to find the toilet dirty enough to clean. This has caused all sorts of resentment in others, and you know, like SO WHAT if there is a skidmark, it's under the water for chrissakes, it's not going to jump out and hurt you. I know no one will be on my side on this one, but I just like to think of it as, I have a high dirt tolerance. Did you know, for example, that well over a billion people on this planet live in houses with floors made out of, yes, you guessed it, dirt? So, I say, it can't be all that bad now can it?

You would think there that I was on a roll, but no I have reached my creative limit for today. I'm hoping the sun will pop out later - we may well hit 70 degrees today. And a chance of thunderstorms in the evening. You know how I feel about that!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Definitions are unimportant

Did you know that there are quite a few vowelless words in the English language. This is very handy information if you're, say, playing Scrabble and the tile gods are being stingy with the vowels. I learned these words (and lots of others with only vowels) while playing Boggle on-line for several years. When you play boggle on-line, you always get to see what words were found by other players once the round is finished. So I always studied the list in order to improve my boggle score. Facts I'm not proud of include the 3500 hours I spent playing that game before my computer hiccuped and wouldn't let me play anymore (this was last year) and the 600 hours I have devoted to Scrabble just this year alone. Turns out that all that useless word knowledge made me look like a cheater on Scrabble, everyone demanding to know what the word cwm meant or insisting that I was anagramming when I played a word like naoi. When I am unable to convince them that I am on the up and up (I confess to them that I don't know what the words mean as it is irrelevant in Scrabble, and anyway I learned them playing boggle where the definitions are also unimportant) they often let out a string of epithets and quit the game. Lovely charming things like "you fucking asshole cheater, I'd slit your throat if I could dickhead". Hyperbole? No. This and many like it have been actual things said. I try to laugh, but it's a bit scary the hysteria within people (and the incorrent judgements made so unabashedly.) Did I mention that I memorized the 96 two letter words in the English language and the 873 three letter words ? Such a remarkable use of my mental talents don't you think? I have grown quite fond of the vowelless words (how could you not, they include cwm, psst, tsk, pht, brrr, hmm, shh) and everyone at least knows what they mean ( cwm means "a steep walled semicircular basin sometimes containing a lake" so now you know) and they are really helpful in Scrabble. My father writes that I must want to be a writer since I'm devoting so much time to it, when in reality, I'm just cutting down on my addiction, or as I like to think of it, hobby. I haven't played since I started this blog, and also maybe cleaning duties have suffered (remember how last Saturday vacuuming was a must? Still not done.) but it's nice to see a concrete result of my efforts. Did I mention that I am already a paid writer? Have been for two years now writing a weekly piece of bullshit, er I mean public relations for my old employer Spaghettini. Titled "Lifestyles", I get to write about the owners travels as they seek out new and exciting culinary hotspots and spas, hotels, and other vacation destinations while also plugging the restaurant (this week, I get to write about Father's Day brunch, please, won't you help restrain my excitement.) This blog thing is much better, though there is no monetary incentive.

In other news, Jack and Mark have arrived for a week of frolicking in Montreal. This couple in their 50's is from Halifax and both have wives and children and hold respected postions in the community. Their families have been close for a long time and the men have been carrying on together behind the scenes for 15 years. They manage to get away together once a year under various ruses to their families. If I don't work at the restaurant tonight (it's cold and cloudy now, so it's possible) I'll be visiting with them in the Village. They are like two little kids who have just got out of school for the summer, drinking buckets of alcohol and submerging themselves in the gay scene as fervently as possible before they go back to their double lives. I find it fascinating, repellant, and a bit pitiful and it makes me grateful for my life. It is difficult matching their enthusiasm for gay clubs (last time I went out in the Village was last summer) but it's fun to see their childlike energy. There's certain to be more on them, so I wanted to set that up now. They are in town until Tuesday.

Today's post is not so wry, nor humorous, but heh, that's where I'm at this morning.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Beacon and cheese square

My spouse as you may or may not have figured out, is Serge. That's right, we have the marriage licence to prove it. Ours has been a long if not overly stable relationship that began nearly 12 years ago. While my disposition is often described as sunny and cheerful (a ruse, I assure you) Serge is often looked on as a cynical, sarcastic and even offensive man. This is part of his eventual charm once you get to know him, though that could take a while since his particular blend of Frenglish is often cryptic and biting. I'll show you what I mean. Here is a letter he sent me when I was in California and he stayed home in 2004. (I just went and looked in his email sent file and there were plenty of biting emails tee-hee but then I fell upon this one, and it's so unique.)

Slitly concerned. Posted by Hello

If you click on the photo I took of the email ( Oh, why don't you just paste the text into the box you might be thinking, well that wouldn't work. I swear I tried two things and spent 90 seconds trying. Thus I decided to take a picture of it on the screen. Clever huh?) you will see the flourish of Serge's communication skills. Aside from the obvious questions like " what are oacks?" and in what language can we use past, present and future in the same sentence as in " If there is a bag when I walked the dog I will probably call the police" (No, I still don't know what that means either) one has to be charmed at the effort, the apt mood description and the loving touch at the end when his finger was froosen. At least I was. And yesterday when I caught up with him in the evening, I told him about Sara getting into the garden and I asked him how she could get into the garden in the first place and he said "I don't know" but not just any "I don't know" (master of nuanced language that he is, no really) no, this "I don't know" was rife with implication and I understood at once that he meant that it had happened to him too when he let the dog out and was just as perplexed as I was (and am) about it. Incidentally, one of the lettuces is dead now, I replanted it, but then a cat came through and dug it up again (in the aftermath of defecation I imagine) so now it is dried up and dead. Luckily, it looks like that's the only casualty so far.

The sun is shielded again today and a passing morning shower watered all the lush spring growth. People have some beautiful flower gardens in the neighborhood and the tulips are incredible this year, big splashy colors up and down the streets orange, yellow, red pow, pow, pow! The post is a bit late today due to my early morning class (which to my incredible delight was at the weather center for Environment Canada - can't wait for a tour!) but I have a bit of time now until I teach the kids after school.

Finally, I just love this quote from a book I'm reading (from the huge new national library here) by Edward Hoegland:

Yoga for some is primarily athletic, for some contemplative, for others therapeutic. But light takes only a second to bounce from the moon to here.

So much to think about with two sentences. One day I want to be a real writer like that.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sara, the garden and the crow

This morning has started badly. The dog began harumphing about 5:30 prodding me out of bed so she could go outside. Then I made coffeee and waited for it to brew while checking the morning email. When I returned to the kitchen, I glanced outside to see Sara in the garden digging! As far as I could tell, there was no way for Sara to get into the garden because it is (or so I thought) securely surrounded by a wrought iron fence. I opened the door and called her out of the garden. She couldn't get out though because, as I said, it's fenced. So, rather hysterically I might add, I charged into the yard in my robe and slippers to remove a piece of the fence to let her out. It was then that I saw that she had not only left an enormous turd in my garden (though I noted its uniform consistency) but had also dug up two of the lettuces and a tomato plant. So there I am cursing the dog, and she is just so excited, jumping up and down, and I just can't stay mad at her. So, once I get dressed, I'll have to go out and see if I can salvage the lives of the vegetables.

While out and about yesterday, I came across a lone crow in a tree. The tree may be dead or just procrastinating as it hadn't leafed out yet. There were two small birds loudly protesting the crows presence and dive bombing him. The crow held his branch and yawned. I walked up to the tree and took the picture below. I have a thing for crows, so it was like a gift at the end of my day. (I had just finished my last lesson of the day)

Off to work, I must go - I'll be back tomorrow.

A sloitary crow basking in the late afternoon sun. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Dutiful post

It has occurred to me that writing a blog is like buying a plant. There is some kind of understood responsibility that you will keep it alive, whatever your future feelings on the matter. This week, I started this blog and a garden. I planted romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onions and red peppers. And as it has rained considerably over the past three days, my duties have been limited in the "keeping them alive" category. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as blog-rain to alleviate my responsibilities here.

I was pleased to see this morning that my good friend Em has started a blog too, you can see her first post ever over here. (I would make that "here" clickable to her blog, but since I am the definition of ineptness, you'll have to copy and paste this: http://bloodmysteries.blogspot.com )

The sun is out this morning making the first appearance in 3 days. I haven't talked much on the sky since it has been overcast and rainy all weekend. It seems the blocked low has moved south a bit but may wobble back up in a couple days. Anytime we have the sun out and we're in the vicinity of low pressure, we can have convection. So, I'll take the camera with today in case I catch a good cloud.

Pay attention to everything, it's spring!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Head Cheese

A not so tempting offer. Posted by Hello

So when I arrived yesterday from work, tired, cranky and famished, Serge was in the kitchen making a new electrical box housing for the electric meter and fuse box. This happens to be in the kitchen so everything was a mess and access was limited to the food stuffs. I whined about being hungry and Serge lit up and said, "Oh, you can open the fridge a little and get the head cheese, God it is so good." Uh, was that head cheese? Is that what I think it is? Ground up head? "Really, try it - you'll like it" he says and so I take the small tub of brown sludge out of the fridge and grab the camera to show you how appealing this substance is. First of all the title - Head Cheese with Gelatine (from girl horse hooves I suppose) is stunningly unappealing. "Country style pate" would have been far better, but at least they didn't call it "Dog food for people" which would in fact, be accurate. (I'm fairly sure of this as Sara, our dog, loves it.)

Having eaten only a bagel and having slung hash all day, I still could not introduce this matter to my lips. Serge got more and more insistent and then opened it up to show me how to eat it. You can see in the picture below how much of the tub he ate, just spooned that out, yum. Notice also the rather thick white layer at the top of the tub. That is the fat that separated out of the concoction. Serge ate this with relish. (the attitude, not the condiment) He really stands by his convictions and will likely consume said tub by the end of today.

Serge proudly sporting the tub of head cheese. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Runny and Hot, not Tepid

Another Sunday brunch under my belt. True, I have stated on several occasions in the past that "this is the last Sunday brunch I will ever work" and also true that the stepchild of any schedule is the brunch shift, yet here I am delivering eggs again - I wouldn't believe it if my feet didn't hurt so much. Working brunch is like working in a blender, a constant whirlwind of coffee, more coffee, cream, and every once in a while a shouting match with the chef, and profuse apologies to the customer who asked for eggs sunny side up, but the whites well done and the yellow runny and hot, not tepid. (uh, we're not magicians here) Of all the meal periods, people have the most idiosyncracies with their morning nutrition. It is not uncommon for me to write a paragraph of special requests under the item "ham and cheese omelet". And everyone is simply married to their coffee condiments. ( I once ran out of milk about 20 years ago, and since then I've drunk it black.) I've had customers get up and leave because we ran out of wheat bread. But here's the thing - the restaurant is not there so that you can be king or queen for the day and have someone be a slave to your every psychotic disfunctional whim, no; it is there as an opportunity for you to taste the pride of the chefs' work, relax and bask in the friendliness of your hosts and enjoy the hard efforts made in order to deliver it to you. In fact, the intelligent people, of which there are startlingly few, ask straight away my opinion, and ask what is popular, what the restaurant is known for etc. Trust me, they get a great meal every time. So next time you go out, leave your pathetic controlling baggage at home, and try to relax for God's sake.

This may turn into a weekly topic, so stay tuned for next week's "Waiters are pieces of shit"...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saturday post

Once again, I was saved the misery of working last night - as the afternoon wore on the sky clouded over and the wind kicked up so for the 4th consecutive week, no Friday night. In fact, we've had inclement skies for the past four weekends. Sure we hit the 70's - on Tuesday when everyone is chained to their desk inside. Last weekend's Festival of Outdoor Enthusiasts was washed out, the grounds dotted with shivering vendors and mud, mud everywhere. Ah, such is the nature of spring, the constantly changing atmospheric dynamic means all the seasons can be expressed, even in a single day. The trees have blossomed and are leafing out, and I am anxiously awaiting the mayflies (who sometimes debut in June here) which will likely make their fecund explosion the next time we hit 80 degrees causing us to inadvertantly taste their writhing bodies as we walk to the bus stop. I'll keep you posted.

Today is wide open with possibilities. Possible activities: shopping for plants and pants, seeing Revenge of the Sith (though it's probably sold out given the slate gray sky today), dinner at Daniel's house, bike riding, sky watching (always) vacuuming (this is a must)

Todays' mood analysis: butterscotch and feathers and melting ice

Friday, May 20, 2005

Fair weather cumulus

2pm in the backyard, doesn't look impressive yet but the radar shows a batch of showers coming our way. Posted by Hello

And it can do so none too soon. I'm on call at the restaurant tonight to work on the patio. If we can get something going in the sky I'll be off the hook. I only went back to this job (a summer job) to practice my French. Teaching English the rest of the year doesn't give me much chance to practice, and a few extra bucks never hurt anybody.

To date, noone has read my little blog and if it stays that way, that's just fine with me. Trying to get into the habit of writing without all the editorial BS that clangs around my head when I usually do so. Just write what comes and here and there I may come up with a nugget or two of witty insight but mostly I'm challenging myself to keep a journal and of course honor the sky and her moods every day, gulp, week.

Keepin' an eye to the sky -

looking northeast Posted by Hello


So we had a little bit of instability yesterday and even a few sprinkles but no downpours. There's another small chance today so I'll keep the camera handy. Took me a while to figure out how to post a picture by downloading Picasa and Hello, and then got sidetracked a bit when the Picasa cateloged all my pics and videos, I was surprised by how many pics I've got and also a little alarmed at the quantity of nudes among them.

My outrage for things was freshly renewed after reading this diatribe this morning:

It reminds me I'm doing the right thing - becoming a Canadian Citizen.

Instability in the sky, the world, our lives - and out of the chaos is beauty born.

Gotta go biking now- later.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Popping up again!

Another day of boiling and roiling in the sky. Yesterday featured a spectacular mid-afternoon cloudburst and a chance of same today. Electric giddiness.

Major weather geek here, but there's more to life than the climate. At least that's what I tell people here when they find out I moved from Los Angeles to Montreal. I hope to pepper this journal with shots of the sky from my trusty Olympus digital camera. And on other days, whine endlessly about unimportant matters, take off on unintended tirades, or detail recent metaphysical events.

That said, I'm off to teach the french kids a little English and when I get back, perhaps we'll have a few pennies from heaven.