Monday, April 30, 2007

Kind of blog worthy

Nothing really happened this weekend. As I mentioned yesterday, it was gloomy. I read all afternoon yesterday and I am nearly through The DaVinci Code. I'll admit it is a page turner. I even read in bed before turning out the light. I haven't done that in years.

Yesterday morning, as spouse was taking a shower, I heard coins clang against porcelain and then the shout of spouse, "Hey, stop that!" Since I was in another room, I figured he was talking to himself. Ten minutes later, he came into the office and said, "Why did you throw quarters at me in the shower?"

"Um, I didn't throw any quarters at you honey."


"So why are you asking that?"

"Two quarters fell on the floor of the shower while I was in there, I guess they were in my crack."

I thought about it for a moment and remembered that he had fallen asleep on the couch Saturday night in his clothes and that in the morning there were coins strewn about.

Laughing, I said, "I think you must be right, they must have been stuck to you somewhere."

I don't think this has ever happened to me before. I couldn't help making cracks (ba-dum-bum) about spouse's own little coin purse. Snicker.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

That 'n this

It's such a dreary weekend around here. Non stop rain, drizzle and gray skies. This must be our penance for last weekend's perfection. Since we were huddled up inside, I went on a Priceline hunt for hotels in California for our annual summer visit there in July. I scored 8 nights for $52 a night at three different hotels. (Spouse and I are going to "get away" to Palm Springs for a few days during the visit) Once again, I'm thrilled with the Priceline way of securing hotel rooms. I failed to secure the rental car, but I will wait and bid again later in the week. On Priceline, you bid for rooms/cars and if there are any hotels/car companies willing to accept your price, you pay the price you state. You end up paying half the "guaranteed best internet rate" offered directly through the company websites. It's awesome. (The hotel we booked in New York for example we got for $157, and currently the "lowest" rate available for that hotel is $369 per night!)

The upcoming week is the last of the full-on weeks I have. My contracts are slowly coming to an end so that by June first they will all be completed. This is one of those times I want to blink my eyes and fast forward a month. Of course then I'd miss the fun we'll be having in New York City in two weeks. There is a little fly in the ointment. On the long range forecast, I was horrified to see SNOW possible the 12th of May. The day we go to New York. I can't believe snow is possible in May, but there you have it. I have to believe that that will change. It must!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

April photo dump

April was a changeable month. Most weather phenomena were represented.

It was sunny one minute,

and snowing the next.

When it finally did turn warm,

everyone went outside.

Serge rolls his eyes when I stop to take pictures of doors.

Speaking of Serge, lol. You can click on the pics for larger versions.

Friday, April 27, 2007


* Andy Rooney had a great line last week: "You can't be a writer without being a thinker. This is depressing for writers."

* I've figured out what I want to be when I grow up - retired.

* I've been showing "Transamerica" in class this week. Everyone has loved it. Great flick.

* In other movie news, I picked up the film "A Touch of Class" at the library. This was the first film that made me cry. It still does.

* Repackage "the power of positive thinking" and you've got "the Secret".

* I've started reading "The DaVinci Code". I know I'm behind on the times. The plot is very compelling, but I have issues with sentences such as these: He advanced, radiating a fiery clarity that forecast his reputation for unblinking severity in all matters. Christ, can't you just say he looked mean? I find sentences like that to be masturbatory and contrived.

* I used to want fame and fortune. Now I just want peace and fortune.

* The adage "practice makes perfect" is simply untrue. Talent plays a role as well.

* Serge surprised me yesterday when he came home sporting a new do.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dream colored reality

A long long time ago, my father said something to me that really stung at the time. I was trying to tell him about a dream I had had and he said, "Ricky, no one wants to hear about your dreams. They're boring for other people. They are only interesting to you." I took his words to heart, piercing as they were, and stopped myself from talking about my dreams. But other people continued, not having had this bit of insight from my father. And you know what? He was largely correct. That is not to say that there are not interesting dreams out there, nor is there a dearth of those willing to be interested in them. I've met people who think every dream is a puzzle, that they can "figure it out" if they only study it hard enough. But as I said, by and large, dreams are only interesting to ourselves.

Nevertheless, sometimes the influence of dreams is unavoidable. Yesterday, when Serge woke up, he came and joined me in the office, sat down with his coffee and said, "You're not leaving me for a woman." It wasn't a question, it was more a statement of reassurance to himself. I immediately gleaned that he had dreamt some such nonsense, but in my avoidance of hearing about dreams, I didn't ask any questions about it. Then spouse got the morning urge, right about at the 5th sip of coffee, and slipped off to the bathroom. I hadn't noticed this when I also got my morning urge, turned to go to the bathroom and discovered he had beat me there.

And then my dream came flooding back that I had had in the middle of the night. I had to go poo super bad. (What? Those are really the words I think.) I went to the bathroom to discover Serge peeing and said please hurry, it's an emergency, and he just stood there taunting me, a never-ending stream of urine squirting into the bowl. I leaned against the wall to "keep it in" but it didn't work and I stood there and shit my underwear, a big mud pie squished around my rump. I was furious, fiiiiiilllllllllllllllllled with hatred, as Serge continued to pee and cackle at me.

So that suddenly put me into a negative mood, "Hurry up, I have to go!" I barked at the closed bathroom door. "Okay!" he rather pitifully replied. We exchanged places shortly after and once done, remet in the office. It wouldn't be until the evening that Serge would detail his dream. By then I had forgotten all about it. He called around 7 from a local pub and asked if I had had a nice day, what was I doing, did I love him. "He's being awfully sweet," I thought, and told him I was going to cook a pizza. He said he would be home soon (which sometimes means "late") and he said he loved me again and we hung up. I figured he must have had a hard day or something. (If you know spouse, you know he's not mushy like that.) He came home an hour later. "I didn't expect to see you so soon! The pizza is still hot, there's some on the counter for you," I said when he walked in. He came right over and sat down beside me. And then he started.

"It was so bad. It was so real. You were leaving me, but I was the one who had to go. You said you were marrying a woman and that I had to move out." And then the dream got weird, something about his mother and a corpse and a stranger looking through the window and I don't know all what. But the terribleness of me leaving him to marry someone had really got to him. "So that's why he's acting so nice," I thought but did not say. It was so charming in a way. I liked that he had the weest bit of insecurity, something he would never ever reveal normally. This will keep my heart cozy and warm all week.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ND again

We had another encounter with Nude Dancer. He came over yesterday. I didn't think we'd hear from him so soon, but as he explained, he is having trouble cashing his welfare checks, and do we know where his driver's license is? This made me chuckle, "In there somewhere" as I gestured to the mountain of stuffed trashbags and boxes in the garage. He had brought a friend with him. He was scary looking but turned out to be rather simple. Nude Dancer carrried on and on about his guilt over having put us through this, and he seemed on the verge of tears much of the time. I don't think it was guilt though, I think he was afraid he wouldn't find his ID. We caught him in two lies, one of which was his proclamation that he only possessed one pair of pants, the ones he had on. Serge and I glanced at each other, since we had seen him just two days ago wearing other pants. Spouse was excellent. My heart tends to melt rather easily and the (I'm sure it was an act now) pathetic role he was playing really tugged at me. But Spouse was stoic, arms folded across his chest, and each time ND said, "I'm so sorry about the trouble I've caused you" (which he said many times) Spouse only replied, "Yes, you did cause us a lot of problems." And, "You're still causing us problems." No emotion, just a small sentence, delivered icily.
I was so proud.

Finally, with three sacks of stuff (about 5% of the total) ND thrust out his hand to shake, thanked us again, and promised to come back soon. Then Spouse became a hero and said, "Look, we'll make you a deal. You have thirty days to get your stuff out and pay us $500. We have this judgement for $1700 against you, but we don't expect you to be able to pay that. So 30 days from today you bring a truck and $500 or all your stuff gets donated." ND promised to comply and fled. I wonder if we'll see him again.

Incidentally, we were not wearing any of his garments. However, the TV was missing since we had put it in our bedroom. ND didn't mention a word.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Curse of the adult brain

I just finished the Harry Potter book. The first one. What a marvelous read. As I was reading, I kept lamenting that my adult brain inhibited my full enjoyment of it. If only Rowling had been writing when I was a kid. I can say without doubt that I would have would have eaten this up and lusted for more. But as an adult, the constant, overriding knowledge that wizards don't exist prevents me from losing myself, or letting go fully into the story. All the way through, I noted how excited this little bit, or that little bit would have made me as a boy.

Ah magic. Like most kids, it held me spellbound. The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Escape (and Return) to Witch Mountain, Freaky Friday and finally Star Wars all made a huge impact on me. Of course Bewitched was one of my all time fave shows. I used to try so hard, alone in my bedroom, to levitate things, I thought if I could just get the nose twitch right, I could do it.

I haven't shed all my belief in magic. In face, I still think there are a few undiscovered mysteries here on Earth. But a land of wizards and dragons and potions and spells?

No, those beliefs died along with my youth. I miss that naivete.

Monday, April 23, 2007

When you least expect it

It was another ideal day for getting outside. There was a Canadian Warship in the old port yesterday, and we went down to have a look. The line to walk around inside was a half mile long, so we didn't tour it. We got the gist of it anyway. Big and steely.

We strode an hour down to the village where we took a spot on a restaurant patio to enjoy a beer and poutine. (We were feeling especially quebecer)

As we were sitting there enjoying the lovely summer-like afternoon, we saw someone walking down the street. "Is that? No, it couldn't be. Is it? Wait, no, but so similar looking. " Spouse and I were both running the same internal dialogue. The person in question was getting closer, "Wait a minute, I think it is, isn't it, it IS, shit, should I do something?" It was nude dancer. As Spouse and I sat there agape, paralyzed, nude dancer spotted us and came directly to our table.

The first thing he did was reach down into his pocket and pull out a 30 day CA chip. (cocaine anonymous) He rambled on in his traditional style, apologizing, and proclaiming his intentions to pay us and he feels really bad, blah, blah and then, "Do you still have my stuff?" I said that yes, it's in the garage, but not for long. I really didn't believe anything he said. But I also had no animosity. Under other circumstances, I would have congratulated him and offered encouragement, and maybe even help. But for him I have no emotions. None. It was nice to see that the intense hate I had held onto for so long had disappeared.

He left and then spouse turned to me and said, "You're wearing his shirt." I smiled, looked up at the sky and winked.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


One of my students amused me this week. We were reading a news story in class, each student taking a turn reading a paragraph aloud. When it was Nina's turn, she came to this sentence, "Three men were involved in the plot." The word "plot" sounds very much like a derogatory term for a vagina in Quebec French. So when she got to this word, she stopped and very carefully sounded out the word. With a very worried and concerned look on her face, "p--lll----ahhhhh---t?" I said, "Yes, plot! That's it." Titters all around the class. Then I made everyone say it all around the class. Plot, plot,plot,plot,plot. We were howling by the end of it. It was as if we were all saying bearded clam. The word came up a couple more times in the article which resulted in waves of laughter and by the end of it, we had all sprung tears.

You probably had to be there, but oh it's times like that that I love my job.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bye bye winter

It's here. The first nice weekend of the year. And by nice, I mean warm. This is the day every single person in this city is going to make a point of being outside. Yesterday, I got home at 2 and lounged outside in the sun for two hours. When spouse got home, he said, "Hey, you got color!" This really isn't hard since 7 months of dressing in 17 layers tends to render one's skin pasty and blindingly white. I know "tan" equals "skin damage", but sun also gives vitamin D, and I'm sure I'm lacking in that department given that I don't drink milk (which is fortified with D.)

It's strange seeing all the (still) bare trees with all this warmth and bright sunshine. The trees don't start leafing out until May, so shadow is hard to come by. So much the better! But I have a feeling that this weekend will jump start the flora and maybe coax the budding and leafing a bit earlier than normal.

This is the come alive weekend. The first real taste of the marvelous days to come. And then festival season. The collective rejoicing of millions of souls emerging from hibernation is one of my favorite phenomena of living in a northern clime. And it's here. It's now. I'm going outside.

Friday, April 20, 2007


* Unfortunately, ambition is often mistaken for ability.

* If perfection exists, it can be found everywhere, in everything. If it doesn't, why are we all trying so hard?

* I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" last night. Can you say BORING? It did confirm my suspicion that the current greed and manipulation of oil companies (along with our complicit dependence) are going to render our planet uninhabitable.

* It's like the red tide. When an algae bloom occurs, all other creatures perish. This is what we're doing to the planet. When our "red tide" occurs, it will be fast and devastating.

* Pantyhose is or are? I can't figure out which sounds right. I know garden hose is singular.

* I'm getting tired of the daily blogging grind. It's coming up on two years now. Maybe I'm out of stories to tell.

* Did you know that mixing ammonia plus bleach plus water makes a noxious gas? Truly, it could send you to the hospital. (Kids, do not try this!)

* Every time I go somewhere, it seems like the return trip takes less time. I don't understand why, but there it is.

* Question? Can anyone tell me which herbs are perennials? I'd like to grow some outside and bring them in for the winter.

* Did you know the act of smiling actually induces mood/hormone changes? Try some smiling exercises next time you're down in the dumps.

* I suspect frowning has the opposite effect.

* In Quebec, employers are forbidden to hire scabs during a strike. To me, this seems to give too much power to the employees.

* I haven't forgotten Daniel, Polt and Boy. You'll get your questions tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ack, no time

I don't know what I was thinking doing that meme yesterday. I spent all my free time dreaming up questions for others, and I still didn't get through them all. I'll get those done by this weekend. I am interested in the responses.

The sun is out! And we're supposed to be in the 20's this weekend (70'sF). Forgive me if I'm a little distracted.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

5 from Chunks

A kind of meme. I answer five questions and then if anyone wants to play along, I can ask YOU five questions that you can answer on YOUR blog.

1. Have you ever been in a relationship with a woman? If so, did you
know down deep that it wasn't for you or did you try to fake your way
through it? Who was she? Were there more than one? (Okay, this is way more than
one question, but I'm curious, so indulge me!)
The only time I got close to having "relations" with a woman was with Rebekah. We were teenagers, and though I knew I had sexual desires for men, I didn't see why I couldn't with a woman, after all, that would make life so much easier. I remember one night after going to dinner theatre (can't remember what, but I'm sure R will) actually being horny for her, driving home with a boner. Once at my house, the parents and brother asleep, we started getting hot and heavy in front of the fireplace. Then my 9 year old brother appeared on the stairway, "What are you doing?" And that killed it. That's the closest I ever got, unless you count the time (also with R) that we got some stinky fingers fooling around in my bedroom. Are you suitably indulged?

2. What is your favorite thing and least favorite thing about Serge? I'm sorry but that's TWO (loaded!) questions. It's hard to think of a favorite and a worst. It would probably depend on the day and time I'm asked this. I love that he's a lot of things I'm not : clean, disorganized, unpredictable, gregarious, artistic, and short. What I hate most is probably engaging in a conversation with him while he's drunk.

3. What is your favorite dessert to eat? Ooh, this is a tough one. But I'm gonna have to go with Banana Cream Pie. When Dairy Queen figured out how to make this into a Blizzard (shake type concoction), they made a customer for life.

4. Do you floss your teeth everyday? No, but I THINK about flossing them everyday. And then I feel guilty when I decide not to, and promise myself that I will the next day. See, I'm crazy like the rest of the world too.

5. Which blogger would you most like to meet and why? Oh gosh, I'd love to meet them all. I couldn't possibly select one for fear of disappointing others. (Yes I know it's codependant, what of it?) I will say that I am excited about the prospect of meeting Farmboy T. His writing has moved me like no other on the blogosphere. His archives are so full of good stuff, I challenge you to take a look and not get sucked in. (no pun intended) Choose one of his multi-part stories and get ready for a good read. He can paint the ugliest things with his words and make them beautiful. We may meet up when we go to New York.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dinner, detailed

I get home late on Mondays so spouse is in charge of the evening sustenance. I look forward to getting home and enjoying some of his creativity. It's usually a casserole of some kind, he likes to throw a bunch of things together and put it in the oven, and it's often tasty. What you see above is what he served last night. He pointed out that all the food groups were covered. Bread, meat, dairy, and veggie. I had to laugh. (It's a piece of cheese on the broccoli.)

I could only gag down one corndog, so spouse ended up consuming three.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I still remember the sting of this

The winds are howling outside. It looks like deep winter. After snowing all night, it is now sleeting which is making everything look like it's dipped in frosting. I was giddy all day yesterday about the impending storm, watching the clouds and wind gather to attend this party in the sky.

As a kid, I remember being giddy over the Eastertime showing of The Wizard of Oz. (Note to adults with children: an infatuation with this film may be a harbinger of future gaiety. ) It was one of the special programs I was permitted to watch even if it was aired on a school night. Every year, I looked forward to this magical film.

One year, I asked why Dorothy says, upon her return to Kansas, "You were there, and you were there and you were there." I hadn't noticed that it was the same actors playing the characters in Oz - except for Elmira Gulch. It was explained to me that it was all a dream, that's why."Don't you remember how Dorothy's head gets banged by the window blowing out during the tornado?" Now this was information I was not prepared to hear. It was right up there with there is no Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa Claus. I tried to process the revelation, "You mean there really is no magic? It's all in her head? No, that can't be." I remember such disappointment over the news. A year of crestfallenness until I could watch it again and maybe find a way to explain away this whole "dream" version of the film.

The next year was terrible watching the film. Not only was the dream version confirmed, but it then ruined the rest of that year's watching. So, all Dorothy had to do was wake up, which she had the power to do all along. The ruby slippers, a figment of her imagination. Traumatizing.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Long and fluffy

(Really, it is. I've just read it again, and though I am going to push on the publish button, let me just say there's really nothing of interest today. I suggest you move along instead. )

Looks like we're in the bullseye for the big noreaster snowstorm. Some are saying we'll get a foot of snow overnight. I know I've been whining about snow for a while now, but it would really be something if this ended up being the biggest snowstorm of the year. It only took two days to melt the six inches we got Thursday, so it won't stick around long.

In other news, I've finalized our traveling plans for the year. The folks fly us out to visit twice a year, and I've been watching ticket prices to see if I can jump on any drop in fares. Friday evening I was pleasantly surprised to see a 20% drop, so I booked our July trip and January 2008 trip. But there was this weird thing. If I wanted to fly nonstop to Los Angeles, it was over $650, but if I flew in/out of the Orange County airport, it was $540, connecting to the LA nonstop. Okay, the drive between these two airports is under an hour, but they have a little puddle jumper flying between the two. How does this make sense to sell the ticket cheaper while providing extra flights? The LA - Montreal leg is the same on both bookings so this just didn't make financial sense. I chose a different option, connecting through Chicago instead.

Isn't this fascinating? This is why I didn't post yesterday. Just a bunch of fluff these days. Ooh ooh ooh, I forgot to tell you, I got tickets for the new Cirque de Soleil yesterday. Their new shows always start here (breathes on fingernails, rubs them, extends them and admires them) and we never go, the tickets are always gone so quickly and they're expensive too. Well, I was following a link from a metblog post and found they had two seats left together for the special 30% discount rate, I couldn't believe it, so I started ordering the tickets. The whole time there was a countdown timer to complete the transaction, or I would lose the tickets. I managed to secure them with only a minute left on the timer. A considerable amount of adrenaline was released during the process, but it was worth it, $100 for the two of us, going in a couple weeks.

Friday, April 13, 2007


*Here's what it looked like before I went to work. Beautiful sunrise, all the snow melted.

* I tweaked my back. How? Putting on my socks. What next, spraining my shoulder raising the cup of coffee to my lips?

* It's Friday the 13th. I don't believe in the unlucky bit. Both the day and date are imaginary names we agree on for organizational purposes. Since they are imaginary, luck has nothing to do with it.

* If you put any cow substances into my coffee, I will not drink it.

* Here's why you shouldn't send restaurant food back simply because you don't like it. You waste food ( the sent back plate must be thrown away, by law) people's time (the server and cook's) and money. (The restaurant serves two plates but is only remunerated for one.) So. If you order something that you've never tried before and you don't like it, the only person who should pay for that journey into "self discovery" is you.

* If they could put diesel exhaust as an incense, I'd buy it. I love that smell.

* How is toilet paper like the Starship Enterprise? It rings Uranus in search of Klingons. (remember that one?)

* Snow. Splendid Nuggets Of Winter or Spring's Nasty Offensive Waste. (I'm lame at reverse acronyms)

* Here's what it looked like when I got home from work.

(And it is still snowing this morning. 5-6 inches, sigh)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don't eat with your mouth open

More blank screen staring. This is getting ridiculous. Must grit teeth, hunker down and endure it. Push through the pain. Hello Muse? Hi, you might not remember me. Tornwordo's the name. What's that? Something about an apology? No, no, no apologies necessary. Ohhhh, I'm supposed to apologize. May I ask for what infraction? Oh my, did I really call you the c word? Well, truly, I am deeply sorry. Penance? What do you mean? Oh you mean like community service instead of jail? I'm hip, I'm game. ...

My penance is Thursday Thirteen. Another list. Oh boy.

13 Modern Rules of Courtesy

1. Bear right. This is North America. We drive on the right and we pass each other in the hall on the right. The same goes for stairs, escalators, and busy subway corridors.

2. We do not gun the vehicle when the light turns yellow. This jeopardizes the safety of others. As does tailgating. Stop it.

3. When a new line at the market opens, you acknowledge the presence of others also waiting. You do not dash, refusing to look at others in order to be first.

4. In restaurants, you do not send your food back because "you don't like it". You may only send the food back if the server or chef made a mistake. Even then, the polite thing to do is eat it and shut up.

5. When ordering food, one should remain polite. May I have, Can I have are fine. Gimme, not so much.

6. Pick that up. Even if you didn't drop it. Why don't we get it. If we all just picked up one piece of litter a day, think how much cleaner everything would be.

7. That ipod music you're listening to on your bus/train ride to work? Yeah. I don't want to hear it. Turn the volume down. We can hear it.

8. Do not make meme thingies with more than five questions. Too long. Even this is too long.

9. Do not engage in any business that counts on you selling your friends and family on things. Just say no to candle parties, mlm schemes, and especially Herbalife.

10. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. With respect.

11. Wear deodorant. I thought this was common knowledge. Again, this is North America.

12. No spitting. It's not going to kill you to swallow it. I promise. The only exception is the toilet, or if a bug flies into your mouth. But that's it.

13. Please and Thank You should be staples in your vocabulary. Please use Please and Thank you for saying Thank You.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nothing much

I'm drawing a blank this morning. I could talk about American Idol, but what is there to say except that they should just cut the show short and crown Melinda Doolittle the winner. Oh and wasn't Paula a mess last night? Something was wrong with her makeup and it made her upper lip disappear. They should just replace her with a gushing robot.

I could talk about how we finally notified the tenants upstairs about the acceptable hours of doing the laundry. I wrote a small note, something like "Hi, please refrain from doing laundry after 10pm as it causes too much noise. Thank you for your cooperation." Serge thought that I was very curt and beastly with the letter, so he wrote a big paragraph that tippy toes up to the point. And then he still felt guilty about it. I tried to explain that setting boundaries is nothing to feel guilty about, if anyone should feel guilty, it's the disrespectful tenants! (Even though I believe that guilt isn't really a useful emotion in any circumstance.)

I could talk about the weather, how it's finally warming up, and that today should see the death of the snow around our house. I could lament how it's such a slow news day, or detail the fish we had for dinner. I suppose I could ramble on about anything. But I'm not. Bear with me, this is off the top of my head at 6am.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Everyone was dressed in white

After I turned in the PT Cruiser yesterday, I had an hour to kill so I decided to grab a coffee at the convention center where the annual "Bal en Blanc" was winding down. I could still hear the pounding dance floor(s) beat inside as I watched the party-goers emerge from an all night dance party, likely augmented with favorite pharmaceuticals.

Spouse and I haven't been to a circuit party in a decade, though we did go to an all night club in New York back in 2000. And as I watched the people come out, I saw the "ecstasy gaze" and the "tooth-grinding look", everyone shining from the sheen of sweat that comes from dancing all night. I grinned helplessly at everyone, most younger than I, and felt glad that I hadn't stayed up all night too. I guess those days are behind us. I sure don't miss the week-long recovery.

Circuit party moments I can remember:

* At the Black & Blue party, a man in the middle of the dance floor held a cocktail tray with a dozen different substances for purchase, "Party favors," he cried while snaking through the dancing crowd.

* Witnessing oral sex on the dance floor. Oh and the guy who walked around showing his Prince Albert to everyone.

* The line that worked wonders that one time, "Can I bum a bump off you?"

* At the White Party in Palm Springs, when paramedics came to the hotel to collect an OD victim in a bodybag. (That put a damper on the festivites.)

* The "apex" moment, where the crowd and DJ become one animal, everyone dancing, glowing, the tribal bond inducing communal ecstasy. Of all the nonsense surrounding circuit parties, this is the one genuine payoff. To be a part of that "connected oneness" with other human beings. Though I have little desire to attend another such party, I'm glad to have experienced that.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Photo funny

We had a lovely Easter lunch at MIL's house. We were feeling a little puffy in the morning. Luckily, Serge is a whiz with the Photoshop, and he was able to retouch the photograph to make us look a little better. Now if Photoshop just came as a tube of cream.....

Back to work this morning. Wah, wah. Hope y'all had a good weekend.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ever done an Easter egg hunt in the snow?

It must be a no-brainer. Unless you didn't dye the eggs. lol.

It's still butt-cold here. Colder than it was at Christmas. In fact, it looks very Christmassy outside. We took the PT Cruiser up to Mont Royal park. (The park is a 1000 foot muffin in the middle of the city.) From the parking area, we walked out to the lookout. People were cross country skiing still!

We reached the lookout point, the winds whipping us relentlessly. But the visibility was fabulous. A snow shower descended shortly after this and then we went into the lodge for a hot chocolate. It was quite possibly the best hot chocolate I've ever had.

Today we're off to MIL's house for Easter face-stuffing. I'm hoping for pig's feet, MIL makes a mean plate of those. Tomorrow, I've got to give the car back, and the long weekend will be over.

Happy Easter (or other label) Sunday! Enjoy yourselves.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Using the weekend car

I reserved a car for the long weekend, and the first thing we did after picking it up was to track down the first Taco Bell to open in the Montreal area. Prior to this, the closest one was a two hour drive. As it was, we had to drive a half an hour into the depths of suburbia to find it. It shares the counter with KFC (which is PFK up here, pronounced Pay-eff-kah) but no matter, an actual fast food mexican joint exists here. It wasn't very good, but then it isn't trying to be, it's Taco Bell after all. What does Pepsi know about tacos? Anyway, here I am at 11am in the parking lot just as they opened. You can see the reflection of the PT Cruiser we rented in the window.
As it turned out, we were very near the neighborhood where spouse grew up. He wanted to check out the old house. As we wound our way through the neighborhood, he pointed out places. "In that garage, I put my finger into a girl's vagina." "That's the depanneur we stole from." " Here's the school I went to, I hated this school." Etcetera. I was laughing because there were two houses with the finger comment. Perhaps these events were traumatic for him. lol.

Then, reminded of the nature park nearby where spouse's Aunt Bean lived (thus named for her proclivity to eat beans, serve beans, beans, beans, beans) and since spouse knows that nature gives me the biggest hard-on, we were off to explore. We were the sole car in the parking area and we set off for an hour stroll in the freezing forest and marsh. We came out onto a promontory where the river opens up into a wide knot, and got this shot. Sure doesn't look like April, does it?
After nearly freezing to death, we headed over to Costco. The only remarkable thing about the visit was that we didn't buy anything. Each time we picked something up, we pondered the hideous snarling lines at the cashiers and decided it wasn't worth it. Where will we go in our PT Cruiser today?

Friday, April 06, 2007


When I was a kid, I longed endlessly to be a grown up. To make my own decisions and to do what I wanted instead of always the bidding of others became an obsession. Since my parents were inclined to "raise me properly", I was forbidden to watch television during the work week (even in summer), and had to earn my own money to procure the things I wished for. I think both of those decisions made a big impact on who I am today. TV, I can pretty much take it or leave it now, though I do enjoy watching. And boy do I know the value of a dollar. By 15, I was gainfully employed while going to high school. In the summers, I worked two jobs, had a car at 15, my license on my 16th birthday, and moved out on my 18th. I'm chuckling at myself now, what was I in such a rush for?

The bulk of adult life is DOING THE BIDDING OF OTHERS. I could have read the signs. I could have noted my parents working full time, which is why I was stuck at school every day until 5 or 6 (supervised, of course), and I could have seen their various career pursuits and hobbies, each one following on the heels of another.

There was the pet goat we had, the tortoise, cat, dogs, and parrot. There was the boat we had, the medical school Dad enrolled in in the evenings, the real estate school Mom enrolled in in the evenings. The vacations, the nightly family dinners, the swimming lessons, piano lessons, my God they were busy. But no, I didn't notice any of that. I only noticed that they got to call all the shots. And I lusted after such power over one's own destiny.

And now here I am, with the said power over my own destiny, and I can't for the life of me think of anything I want to do, except retire. Ridiculous! I will never slow down. I'm what you might call antsy. I'm pretty sure Mom passed that gene down to me. But in retirement, I won't have to constantly do the bidding of others. Only my own. I see my mother, now retired, filled with joy with every moment. Getting to do whatever her heart desires (which strangely enough, is deep sea fishing) and living life to the max. Sigh. Can't wait til I get there.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Damn snow

I'm looking outside at the snow falling. It really is pretty. But the sun, traversing high in the April sky, keeps it from accumulating much on the pavement. They're playing Christmas carols on the radio this morning as a kind of joke. I imagine the whole town laughing the laugh of hate, damn snow, damn cold, it's Easter for crying out loud. I'm trying to see the beauty in it, but oh how we are all aching for spring. Crap snow's supposed to pester us all weekend.

I know the days will come when I can't even imagine there being snow on the ground, can't even fathom "chill". There will come days when I curse the heat, and huddle inside the air conditioned bedroom. And then the falling leaves, the briskness of autumn, and the first flakes will once again pierce the air above. And it will be magical.

Today though, is today. April frickin 5th. Enough! Here is what I woke up to this morning:

Oh joy, more shoveling. Feh.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This n that

I've got a new morning delight. The newspaper is delivered to my door every morning. An English newspaper too, which is not even sold in my neighborhood. Blogging edged out my news junkiness some time ago, and since I don't have internet access during my work day, my news intake was limited to the free French paper in the metro. Now I have something to take with me each day, to read during breaks, and more Sudoku puzzles. I've started up doing the crossword again, a long ago infatuation that I'm revisiting. I hate myself for having forgotten those crossword words, you know, like "Oman port city" or " Ezekial's son". Words you don't need to know unless you're completing the crossword. I used to pride myself on being able to finish the New York Times weekend crossword, but now, humbled, I can't. Give me a few months.

We signed a lease for the apartment yesterday. The lease doesn't start until July, but we found a tenant within 24 hours of posting the ad on Craigslist. When the new tenant came to sign the lease, spouse was sure to point out that laundry is not to be done after 10. "Of course," he replied rolling his eyes, "everybody knows that". I piped in, "Well your future next door neighbor doesn't seem to." I'm reluctant to bitch at the girl who doesn't seem to know what everybody knows because we want her to stay for another year. She's still deciding if she's going to move in July, but she pays rack rate for her apartment, and she lives alone and is hardly home. My kind of upstairs neighbor - except for the late night laundry doing. When she decides whether or not she's staying is when I'll mention it to her. It was better last night, she finished her laundry at 10:45. I sound old being cranky about noise at 10:45. So be it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Because a list is easier than prose

Things on my mind these days:

* How spring is getting squashed back. Three snowy days coming up this week.

* Wondering if I should quit smoking before or after New York in May.

* Running numbers to get through the summer on projected revenue. (Running numbers is a sickness, I recommend that you don't get started)

* Thinking about what I'd do if I win tomorrow's 38 million dollar lottery. It's this part that's worth the price of the ticket.

* Show the dog love everyday. I keep reminding myself that her time here is short. The downside is she's getting fat.

* Global warming, spouse's work woes, subway etiquette.

* The blog. What to do. What to write about.

* Trying to stop dreaming about the weekend and really experience the present.

* The damn bitch upstairs that ran her laundry at 11 last night.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The flat place

I've noticed a disturbing trend here at the blog. There seems to be more and more detailing of dinners eaten and chores done than "real" events. My first impression is that this is bad. Very, very bad. But then I think, hey, real life is a bunch of ups and downs and flat places. There's nothing wrong with the flat places really, it's just that they do not provide interesting writing opportunities. Or do they?

Maybe the flat places are fertile ground for growth. It's the time to ponder the ups and downs and how to engage in their dance the next time they arrive. It's a time to get calm, centered, grounded, and whatever other word that implies getting "bien dans sa peau". And that's what I'm trying to do.

The last year has been a trying one, at times I thought I had taken a wrong turn in this road of life, but sitting here on the flat place, the perspective is different. Wow, I was so low back in November, and here it is April and all of that is behind me. In front of me, I have the summer beckoning with its tendrils of warmth and play, and I have decided not to seek interim employment for this period.

Even nature is in a holding pattern right now. Little flashes of spring have brightened up the days, but the trees know better, the bare branches showing only the first signs of budding. The snow has all melted, uncovering the accumulated filth of 100 city days. To see the earth again grounds me. She is in that flat place too, hunkered down in a crack between hibernation and wakefulness.

There's snow in the forecast this week, so I'm just going to hang out here, treading water, enjoying the holding pattern. Off to work!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Another this and that

I just got back from the bathroom. Success! The last time I had success was Friday morning, so you can imagine the relief I'm feeling. Ahhhh. Obviously, I avoided pizza yesterday. Instead, I whipped up a batch of Gyoza, or dumplings for dinner. Actually, whipped up is misleading. It took a couple of hours and then I had to plead spouse to help me finish closing them up. I use a fork to close the dumplings into half moons, and spouse reminded me as he always does that there is a tool for this, like a pizza cutter. I tell him I know that, but we don't have one. I made eighty of the things and got a blister from pressing on the fork. I should probably go buy that tool. Anyway, I cooked them up and served with peanut sauce (equal parts peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce with a little hot water) and asparagus. But wait, there's more to our exciting Saturday night.

I had arranged to go upstairs and take pics of the interior of the apartment that will be vacated at the end of June. At five pm, I posted the ad on craigslist. At 5:18, we received our first call. We decided to let everyone leave messages and I'd call back today. We had dozens of calls but only 6 messages. I say only, but don't you think that's a lot when the place isn't even available until July? A strange thing about Montreal. All the leases are done July to July, so July first is known as Moving Day up here, an annual clusterfuck unlike anything I've ever seen. I figure we'll have a signed lease by the end of the week for the place.

While the phone ran off the hook, we ate our gyoza and watched Transgeneration, a documentary series from the Sundance channel that follows four college students through their journey to becoming the other sex. Fascinating.