Wednesday, October 31, 2007


One of several tiny country churches in the region; they are much the same in style and size, and many are closed permanently. Since my childhood, when we explored an ancient, rambling "haunted" house in the city where I was born, I've had the urge to break into abandoned buildings and look around.

I'm sure there's nothing much to see in the churches. Most of these 100-year+ houses of worship didn't even have stained glass windows.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Retail clerk = bartender

On a particular day last week, we had three ladies come in, browse through the racks, and talk about their recent cold/flu/infection/pneumonia/operation/hospital stay.

I am told this happens frequently.

I've also heard about ongoing battles with diets and weight loss, a generalized hatred of turtleneck sweaters, grief for a defunct parent, frustration in the confines of an old-age residence and complaints about middle-age bulges.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Afraid to fly, can't drive

One of the ladies I work with has never had a vacation beyond the borders of our province. Never even taken a road trip to, say, Vermont or Maine or NYC.

I hope to be able to say that sometime before I die I will make it overseas (carrot sticks and Nicorette gum willing). I think it's sad that someone's fear of airplanes and inability to drive has kept her from experiencing a different place.

Mind you, this is the same person who's been working for minimum wage for 7 years. I suspect "change" isn't a big word in her vocabulary.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My butt hurts

Must be something about working on one's feet.

Here's another guy I love to bits, next to Brooce and Prince.

Let the thing play. Guy's a guitar genius.

Friday, October 12, 2007


He was younger then, and so was I.

I remember seeing Springsteen in concert, a long long time ago. Four hours of insane showmanship.

He's got a new album out, Magic.

Through the magic of the internet, I have a couple tunes from his new disk. It's an album worth owning. Just as soon as I have the $21 required to buy it at the local store, I will support Broooce!

*(I recall wondering why the crowd seemed to be booing him. Then I was told they were chanting his name.)

Name that drug dot com

I failed at #3... how will you do?

(found at the blog of handsome devil Markiss; been calling him <---- that for years now, not that he's noticed...)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

About blogging friendships

Stolen from a commenter on another site:

Oh the comfort,
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out, just as they are
chaff and grain together
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.

Rehab, the non-famous kind

I don't feel sorry for celebrities who have substance abuse problems (unless they are named Owen Wilson).

I don't feel that they are suffering much when they pay thousands of dollars for a place overlooking the ocean and get access to massages, manicures, pedicures, canoeing, hiking, roller-blading as this little poptart (photo, above) had until she tested positive for cocaine and left her expensive haven.

Louise had a snippet on her blog about this: Watching the Snapple Lady cry on Celebrity Fit Club, and trying to figure out how come if they’re in drug rehab, certain celebrities (not the ones on my beloved Fit Club, that’s for sure) are still able to get massages and manicures/pedicures.

Rehab might be nice if you have the money to pay for a 5-star place with French cuisine, lounge with fireplace, canopies over cushy beds. I remember writing about such a place for PayPerPost sometime earlier this year.

Real rehab is dingy. No-frills. Quite institutional, really.

It's about not going outside at all, except in the fenced strip of backyard facing a grungy alleyway in the most vibrant centre of a cosmopolitan city. Or at the front door (this was the second rehab) where you really could walk away if you chose to.

Watching the even lesser grunge of humanity walk down the alley or parking lot and stare at you like an animal in a zoo, 'cuz you have that bracelet on your wrist that brands you as an "inmate."

It's about wire mesh on windows and windows that don't open more than a foot wide, lest you slip out. Like you couldn't walk out any time you wanted.

It's about no lock on your bedroom or bathroom door.

It's about pre-fab food made by some organization that couldn't muster even the quality to land the contract with Air Canada's food services. When even first-class airline food is borderline in the edibility department, rehab is more along the lines of hospital food. Predictable, bland, without a smidgen of humanity or imagination.

It's about feeling so low and so removed from the rest of the world that you are grateful even for the food, the free tea, the ability to smoke cigarettes, to swear, cry or shout.

I never shouted, mind you.

It's about being treated like a child with a disability. Being talked to slowly and clearly, as though you were deaf, dumb, or demented. Or just old and infirm.

It's about looking at the downtown skyline at night and wishing you were normal enough to share the real world with everyone else who somehow, magically, doesn't have your crippling disease. Listening to morning traffic and snatches of conversation as people walk past the building. Feeling invisible to the world, shut away.

It's about walking out a week or a month later and feeling dizzy from the sudden wide-openness. Feeling like you might just fall down because of those muscles you didn't use in any meaningful way except for a 12-metre hallway from bedroom to office to kitchen to smoking lounge. Feeling the scariness of complete freedom after willingly checking yourself into prison. Knowing you'll most likely fail again. Wishing you could just turn around and go back in for another week, where you know at least somebody's watching out for you. But you have to pay your rent, so you walk out, free.

The Lindsays of this world have no idea how good they really have it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Midweek odds & ends

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

Dunno about the "expert" part...

Morning conversation:
Him: I don't know what to eat this morning.
Me: Make hot cereal. It's a cold day.
Him: Meh. I don't feel like making it.
Me: Well, don't look at me.
Him: What should I eat?
Me: How 'bout ham & eggs?
Him: Only if you make it.
Me: Sorry, not today.
Him: I'll just have yogurt.
Me: You'll be nauseous with hunger and cranky by lunchtime.
Him: Yeah, whatever.
Me (relenting): At least take a couple of granola bars to school.
Him: Good idea.

Little things make me happy. Like a new tube of Colgate Total (who says advertising doesn't get ya?) and a honking big bottle of Listerine (which, at approx. $8, is actually a luxury item in this house.) Oh, and a new blow dryer.

Is it just me, or does Jake look like Son of Frankenstein in this picture? Or possibly the offspring of Frankenstein and Mel Gibson?

Here's a product for women that I can't imagine was invented by a woman. Then again, there were tampons I tried once that were apparently designed by a female obgyn, and I hated them.

Would YOU use the Diva Cup?

Unintentionally funny, a testimonial from an alleged user:
"Truly the best invention since sliced bread (...)!!!!

First off, I am not a gusher; it’s just not an aspect of my personality, BUT...Oh My God! I L-O-V-E my new Diva cup!!"

Not a gusher? Considering the product she was writing about, she should have reread her email before hitting Send.

Monday, October 8, 2007

And thanks were given

I made a Thanksgiving dinner that involved slightly more than my usual hasty sprinkling of herbes de Provence on fowl or my amazing one-hour chili™ or something equally quick and mindless.

I was cooking for the Teen and a guest, and not only was it a painless meal to prepare and cook, it was also well-received and conversation was fun.

It makes me feel the urge to have guests more often, even though our tiny kitchen table only seats 4... (not to mention just 4 chairs.)

I received the gift of a beautiful, thick, deep-blue carpet today, a rather large one that will fit pretty perfectly on the living room floor. It was donated, via a friend, by a wealthy lady who has too much stuff. She would have thrown it in the garbage. Because that's how the rich are.

The carpet, which is in pristine condition, is most welcome, because when we moved into this apartment in April the floating floor was cold. Made me wonder what winter would be like. Now winter's right around the corner and the timing of this plushy floor covering is good.

My landlady gave me the warm fuzzies, too, yesterday, while I was on my last day at Hotel Hell. She dropped by and left two large sample bottles of Tres Semme hair "Hair Thrive Color Block" product given to her by a friend. Funny how people can be so nice when you least expect it.

I actually enjoyed my first day of unemployment from the hotel job. I had several leisurely chores to do, time to chat with some neighbours, do my groceries, make and enjoy dinner, and even look over old pictures of my kid when he was young -- pictures of himself and friends he'd not seen in ages.

All in all, it was a Thanksgiving with much for which to be grateful.

P.S. The pumpkin pie, with filling from a can but with an added whole egg and evaporated milk, was scrumptious. With vanilla ice cream. Or at least, so I was told; I had only one bite of pie filling, strictly for quality-control purposes.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday and I have the dubious pleasure of working. I need to inquire with the labour standards commission if I am supposed to be paid time-and-a-half, but I doubt that will be the case since I've only been on the job 2 full weeks and am, technically, still on "probation."

I was a little dismayed at the prospect of having to work, but then I remembered
various siblings who've worked Christmases and other holidays... and while they didn't love it, they didn't complain much. You gotta do what you gotta do, and they managed, so I'm sucking it up.

Fortunately, the Teen and I can still do Thanksgiving dinner together, and I'll ask him if maybe he has a friend or two who'd like to join us. I work until 3 PM that day, which leaves me time to cook (although not a whole turkey!) and enjoy a meal. Although, basically, I could feed the Teen pumpkin pie with whipped cream and nothing else, and he would be thrilled.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Amazing! This is the first day in 2.5 weeks that I have felt completely rested upon awakening.

However, I have a full day of translation ahead of me, so who knows how I'll feel by the time I am supposed to go out for dinner with a friend. I already know I'd rather stay home and veg out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cause for severe embarrassment

Ya'll know I've been working two jobs for a couple of week now, and am pretty much always tired and short on leisure time. That includes housework, which has suffered to some extent, although I do try to keep up appearances.

Yesterday (and, I admit, for at least two days prior to that) I'd noticed the toilet bowl was getting, shall we say, grungy.

To my amazement last night, when I went in to clean it, I found it had already been done! I thought to myself, "Gol-ly! The Teen actually cleaned the toilet without being asked!" This would have been a first in his lifetime.

Today, he and his buddy "Dark" (we are not permitted to call him by his real name, but must use the infinitely cooler nickname) came home for lunch and I happened to mention to Alex that I was happy that he'd taken the initiative in the bathroom. But Alex looked at me oddly and said, "I didn't do it." Then Dark raised his hand.

I really don't know what else I can say on this matter.