Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 will be my year!

I have decided: the planet can not keep me out of the workforce much longer. This year, I sent out ...
...97 applications for general administrative or professional-level jobs
...20 applications for writing (or industry related) jobs from online postings
...3 applications for writing jobs from personal references
...15 queries to production companies for permission to submit my resume
...5 queries to agents for permission to submit my resume and writing (one said what the heck)
...6 queries to production companies for permission to submit my writing (none got back to me)

I just can't be unemployed any longer. It just can't happen.

I've also noticed that pigeons and pigeon antics comprise a large part of my blog. Which leads me to believe that the pigeon that kept flying into my parent's room in Waikiki was actually looking for me, having flown down to check on why I hadn't lept out of my balcony with a broom to scare off his friends back home in a while. (there was a tiny welcome-home basket waiting for me on my balcony when I got home, filled with worms and straw and bits of shiny string. -- they're pigeons. they're going to think this is what to leave in a welcome-home basket)

2011 will also hold one more resolution/surprise ... but you'll have to wait until 2011 to learn what that is.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Gaudy Holidays

My 2009 wreath has been upgraded to an actual wreath for 2010:(Sure, it's a fake pine/plastic wreath -- but given that last year's wreath was green tinsel rope wrapped around an embroidery ring, fake pine technically IS an "upgrade".)

And the ever present 3' tree upon an empty box wrapped like a present:


And a bonus upload:

Someone thinks that pigeons are dumber than they actually are. That pigeons would buy that (1) three owls would perch upon one rooftop during the day, and (2) would perch at awkward, drunken angles on said rooftops.
(I think the pigeon at the crest of the roof is actually laughing.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

*frowny face*

After putting my shot-glass-in-a-peanut-butter-jar terrarium on my windowsill for my clipping's daily dose of sunshine, my sleeve caught the jar and the terrarium plummeted to the floor. I think I can save the stalk, but the delicate, hard-fought-for three leaves are gone.


Friday, October 8, 2010

You can take the girl out of Edmonton...

... but when she knits a scarf, she'll still use industrial grade materials.

About four years ago, I picked up a beginner's knitting project from Zellers. It was supposed to be a kind of shawl/cape thing for cool winter evenings. But when it became apparent while following the pattern that I would need to follow the pattern, I unravelled it all and decided I'd use the yarn for an easier to knit insofar-as-you-just-keep-knitting-rows-until-you-unroll-it-one-day-to-discover-a scarf. I stuck with that plan for a year or two ... but at the end of that time all I had really managed to create was a ball of yarn that I had become quite attached to.

I have since unravelled that, and tried once more to get it to knit uniformly. And unravelled once more, to try yet once more.

Finally two weeks ago I unravelled it a fourth time and committed to knitting like gangbusters -- if in fact busters of gangs were to knit -- and darn if the blasted thing didn't just roll off my needles like it was knitting itself. Nothing says I'm unemployed like a 70" scarf.

Now my problem is that I don't think Toronto gets this cold. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My plant karma keeps me awake at night

It's an epidemic in my apartment. Remember this beauty?:


Dead within weeks, dead. By time I figured out that something was rotting its stem, it was too late to perform a rot-ectomy in a hail-mary move to salvage some tiny wisp of the thing.

I've also killed a grand total of three begonias since I moved here. I think it's the humidity. I just don't know how to water things that already have so much water in the air around it. They die die die, becoming mushy weak images of festering flora. Everytime I walk past a plant shop to admire the pretty pots of tempting treats, they almost imperceptibly lean away from my gaze as if they are already crying in cowering fear that I will purchase them thus sealing their fate forever by placing them in my care.

A few weeks ago, I managed to save one small piece of stem from the last begonia to go down in my apartment. So far so good. Figuring I had little to lose -- it already had a death sentence through association with me -- I put it in a shot glass full of potting soil.

Then I put the shot glass in an emptied out peanut butter container (yes, I enjoy the butter of peanuts in massive quantities, do you have something to say about it?) to form a terrarium that is not to be touched/watered/breathed upon by me. A plant iron-lung, if you will --

-- which seems to be working okay since the clipping I took was only one leaf about the size of the teeny tiny one hidden near the soil below the other three in the above pictures.

*Fingers crossed* (not half so crossed as this little guy is keeping his leaves, though, I assure you.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TIFF: Day Eleven (Last)

(sorry. I've been doing a lot of decompressing. of my vertibrae)

Celebrities spotted: None. Next year, I should volunteer at different theatres.

Duties While Volunteering: Play traffic cop in the middle of the hall orchestrating human flow. Rip patrons' tickets as they enter the theatre. Sit outside theatre waiting for movie to end while watching the tumbleweeds roll by.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None.

Something else you should know: (1) Working the last shifts of the day is like guarding a penny on a floor. Sure, it is within the realm of possibilities that you'll be called into action ... but even so, is it worth it? (2) "Easy A" and "Casino Jack" were clear winners. "Beginner" and "Jucy" were a good time. I didn't get the draw of "Stone". "Henry's Crime" was quite who cares. "John Carpenter's The Ward" was a good scare.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TIFF: Day Ten

Celebrities spotted: None. Yup. Wrong theatres.

Duties While Volunteering: Sit outside theatre waiting for movie to end. Get approached by patron who has "lost" his girlfriend. She left to go to the bathroom and never came back. Wonder if he ever found her. Stand inside the theatre watching people watch movies. Try to ignore back pain. Not all that easy.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None.

Something else you should know: Got to go home early because all shows ended prior to shift end. Thankful because back is now preventing me from walking right and sitting down is torture. Coughs from cold feel like my back is going to snap in half. Hobbled home like 90 year old woman. Discovered transit drivers are pretty patient if they think you are disabled. Fear the words "strike the theatre" overhead by staff in reference to tomorrow's end of the festival shift. (editor's note: "strike" anything in reference to a production means take down anything that has been put up, and move out anything that has been moved in. Basically, the manual-est of labours. Will have to beg off lifting and carrying, and will look like a lazy ass.)

TIFF: Day Nine

Celebrities spotted: None. Apparently I volunteer and see movies at the "wrong" theatres.

Duties While Volunteering: Didn't volunteer today.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Easy A" -- easily watchable)

Something else you should know: Back hurt so much when I got up today, I wasn't sure I could even get to the theatre to see the movie. It was slow and painful going. I think the heels I wore on Wednesday after a week of standing around did me in.

TIFF: Day Eight

Celebrities spotted: None.

Duties While Volunteering: Sat in the volunteer room and sat and sat and sat while awaiting something to do. Got an assignment at one theatre, but was false alarm and was sent back to the volunteer room to wait some more. Considered switching the rest of my shifts to a different time of day. Finally told to go downstairs and hold door open for exiting patrons. Ended up having to deal with the drunk university students in line outside the building waiting to get into the nearby bar's toga party. Snotty snockered sluts in stillettos try to slink past me into the theatre, and almost convulse in shock when I stand in front of them to prevent their entry. Do I not see they are hot and barely dressed? Do I not understand the hot and barely dressed have carte blanche in life and allowed wherever they wish to be? Yeah, back it up, little girl. I'm tired, I'm bored, and I didn't suffer pushy drunk university students when I was one of them so you can just reverse that caboose and move it on out.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Henry's Crime") The alarm rang for the first one, and I just hit the snooze button.

Something else you should know: Starting to look forward to the festival being over. Wouldn't want to be an usher as a career choice.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TIFF: Day Seven

Celebrities spotted: None.

Duties While Volunteering: Didn't volunteer today.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None.

Something else you should know: Today was the Women in Film and Television reception for TIFF ... a hotly sought after ticket. It was okay. I think I was overdressed, which hardly ever happens, but I can't blame myself because when you hear "reception for TIFF" you think high heels with stockings and little black dresses and chunky statement jewelry and gauzy shawls. How was I supposed to know that hardly anyone else thinks that? They're so obviously wrong. Tried some cold medicine -- made me feel even heavier. Which is why I was late for the reception and left "early". Could sleep in because not volunteering tomorrow until late, but two movies I have been looking forward to seeing all week are on tomorrow. Will see how I feel when my alarm rings.

TIFF: Day Six

Celebrities spotted: None.

Duties While Volunteering: Manually shuffle and deal incoming patrons to appropriate theatre line ups. Take quiet satisfaction in discovering that some people who barrelled past ignoring me were in fact in the wrong building and had they allowed me to help them they may not have ended up being too late to make it to the right building. Draw freehand sketch of Martin Scorsese from a nearby poster on a discarded ticket sleeve to pass the time while sitting quietly outside a theatre waiting to collect completed ballots from exiting patrons.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Beginners" ... my favourite so far. Ewan MacGregor with a dog who gets his own subtitles)

Something else you should know: I'm fighting off a cold. A wake up in the middle of the night with a dry sore throat, feel lethargic and 750 pounds heavier during waking hours, coughs and sneezes that threaten to turn your insides into your outsides, and stare at food wondering if anything on the planet is appetizing, cold. I obviously picked something up from someone. Stupid humans. (Just have to hold out for five more days.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TIFF: Day Five

Celebrities spotted: Three plus a bunch of horror movie chicks basically in their underwear and spiked heels (Hayden Christensen, Tandie Newton and Danielle Panabaker -- who technically was one of the horror movie chicks in her underwear and spiked heels, but she has done other things as well)

Duties While Volunteering: Once again, stare at people from the front of the theatre while they are minding their own business watching a movie. Show people into an empty theatre that is standing in for a line-up, where you sit down in the order in which you arrive, thereby being "in line" but being able to sit down while you wait ... a concept that was not as welcome to others as it would have been to me if I were told that instead of standing in line I may sit in a cushy theatre seat. Hand out ballots for audience voting.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("The Ward" ... thus the horror movie chicks in their underwear)

Something else you should know: The theatre I worked at today lets volunteers bring their own vessels, which concession staff shall fill with popcorn and pop (in separate vessels, unless requested otherwise) for free. Nice. And while I waited in the rush line for tonight's movie, a line volunteer asked if anyone in line was on their own. I was the first in the line to be on my own -- so I got a free ticket for reasons that I do not know. I was also allowed to just bypass the ticket holders' line to enter the theatre directly, for reasons that I do not know. Then on the bus home, I found a copy of Entertainment Weekly. Good day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TIFF: Day Four

Celebrities spotted: None

Duties While Volunteering: Watch more people watching more movies. Shine flashlight at bottom steps for mid-movie-movers to reduce incidence of them landing flat on their faces.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: Two. ("Casino Jack" and "Jucy")

Something else you should know: It was a looong day. One of the perks of volunteering is you get vouchers that you can exchange for tickets for public showings OR you can stand in the Rush line for Press and Industry screenings. Because the P&I screenings aren't open to the public, in general there are fewer people at each showing (except for movies with huge buzz where every press and industry person climb over one another to get in), so by sheer logistics you have a better chance of getting in with less hassle (as opposed to standing in the box office line for 90 minutes only to discover the show is sold out, or rushing the public screening of the movie with every other Tom Dick and Harriet). So today I went to two P&I rush movies in a row, starting at 11:00 a.m. ... then had approximately four hours to kill until my shift at the theatre started. First I roamed around the block party being thrown by TIFF's new and permanent facility, but then I just had to check out Wayne Gretzky's. Had the most marvelous dessert -- the "99 Double Chocolate Hockey Puck": a chocolate cookie crust puck filled with chocolate cream, served next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mmm mm mm mm mmm!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TIFF: Day Three

Celebrities spotted: One (I don't know his name, but I could pick him out of a lineup. I just don't know where/how I know him. We exchanged smiles, though)

Duties While Volunteering: Stand at the top of the escalator repeating over and over "LittleWhiteLiesTheatreOneLittleWhiteLies TheatreOneLittleWhiteLiesTheatreOne..." Stand in a dark theatre watching the people who are watching the movie to make sure a UFC grudge match doesn't break out in the darkness. Stand at the front of a line outside the theatre explaining to people that I am very sorry that a scheduled film has been moved back 90 minutes and that standing nose to nose with me waving your ticket and calling me stupid just can not change my answer from that I am very sorry that a scheduled film has been moved back 90 minutes. [It can, however, serve to summon my nearby supervisor to lead you politely out of line while telling you that he too is very sorry that a scheduled film has been moved back 90 minutes]

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None. Other than the one I wasn't watching while I was watching those watching it. An Australian superhero movie. Sounded okay.

Friday, September 10, 2010

TIFF: Day Two

Celebrities spotted: Five (George Strombolupagus [not pictured, duh], Frances Conroy, Milla Jovovich, Edward Norton, Robert DeNiro)

Duties While Volunteering: Stand at the top of the escalator, startling people with "May I help you?" when they are not looking. Stand outside and open doors for patrons with a cheery "Welcome to TIFF" -- reserving the cheeriest for those who are on their cellphones without a glance to the door that mysteriously opened in their path without any human assistance.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Stone") But it wasn't easy. Stood in line for an hour and forty five minutes to get in the theatre ... finally got in fifty-five minutes after the movie was slated to start.

Something Else You Should Know: My feet hurt. And my posture is nothing to boast about.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

TIFF: Day One

Celebrities spotted: One (Roger Ebert)

Duties While Volunteering: Ask people who are exiting the theatre mid-movie "Are you coming back, sir/madam?" If the answer is in the affirmative, hand them a small ticket to hand back to me when they return, thus ensuring we do not count them twice when determining the head count for the movie.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None. But ticket for one on Friday purchased.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guess what I'm doing next month?

[editor's note: TIFF = Toronto International Film Festival]

While I am getting kinda tired of the "V" word, if it wasn't for that, I'd have nothing to do and no one to hang out with in this city.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another one bites the dust

Okay, so I didn't get the job I had applied for. I'm sensing a pattern here ... and it is not flattering.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A perfect birthday, indeed ...

When I discovered that Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition started on my birthday, I knew what I would do to celebrate. That, or I was going to go see the new movie, Piranha 3D. But then I did a little web research and discovered that the CNE's neighbouring amusement centre, Ontario Place, offered a special where admission was free on your birthday. Bingo. Free day. I'm in.

Keep in mind, Ontario Place is kinda sorta adjoining the CNE, so admission to one gets you into the other -- two for the price of one. And that price is free. Did I say Bingo yet?

I set my alarm nice and early. Then when it rang in the morning, I told myself it was my birthday; alarm clocks have no place on birthdays. (really, alarm clocks have little place in my life lately; I simply chose to blame my birthday on Friday) So, a little later than my plan had planned, I was off for the day.

[Aside: I had to forcibly keep my cheery nature while on the street car, because a blind woman got on but the (insert expletives here) who were sitting in the prefered seating section didn't move, didn't rise to move, didn't even speak to the woman to say "hey, someone is sitting here." And they weren't even teenagers. They were two middle aged men and one middle aged woman. And the street car wasn't even full. There were many other non-prefered seats for where these people could relocate their asses. After the blind woman felt for, and touched, the third person sitting where they shouldn't, I blurted out "Someone give her a seat, my god!" Then one of the lazy asses, the woman, did jump up, but I'm pretty sure it was from being startled by my exclamation, not out of an intention to give the blind woman a seat. I told myself not to let it colour the day I was determined would be fun.]

What I discovered, though, is if I take the street car right to the CNE stop, there is no walking around the CNE as I had planned, to get to Ontario Place. You have to walk through the CNE. Which yes, had a discounted admission price because it was opening day, but discounted is not the same as free. (have I discussed that I am a cheapskate -- I mean financially prudent?)

After determining that I couldn't go around to the east, I tried the west -- and discovered that when I walked on the road by a sign that said "Exit", I was suddenly on the fairgrounds without having paid admission. ?! "Frugal" as I may be, I wasn't looking to be a gate crasher (even though technically, what I was was a Road Walker).

So, in order to be as un-illegal as possible, I stuck to the very edges of the grounds, where there was no fun or cotton candy to be had, and circled around to where I could see the entrance to Ontario Place ... and found myself nose to chain link with a large fence erected to make sure people who haven't paid for the CNE can't get in. What's the rule about scaling a fence, when you haven't paid, so you can get out?

At that point, I saw a security guard watching me, so I walked up to her. She asked if she could see my ticket, and I quite honestly said "I don't have one -- I just want to get to Ontario Place." The confused look on her face quite rightly reflected that I shouldn't have been able to get to where I was if I didn't have a ticket ... but perhaps she was thrown off by my own look of general confusion.

I got the same confused look when I followed the guard's direction and found myself at a desk at Ontario Place -- how did I get here without a CNE ticket? Again, I was honest: "Really, I don't know either. I made a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up where I shouldn't have been. Can I get my free pass now?"

And then, cue the fun. Most of Ontario Place is a family amusement centre, full of entertainment for rugrats not in my possession. But it is right on the lakefront, so there was much sitting and watching the water on my part ...

... with some friends ...

... and my best friend of all ...

... and a bit of a show off ...

I did go on two rides that were adult friendly, but mostly just walked around and took in the atmosphere and the lovely weather -- not all that hot, but not all that cloudy. It was Goldilocks weather: juust right.

After a few hours, I returned to the CNE, this time with proper hand stamp and ticket. There is little of photo-note there. One exhibition is largely the same as another across this great country of ours. Again, just roamed around, saw a few performances at a couple of pavillions...

... picked up a few old friends ...

The ride home took me a little over an hour, what with traffic and stops for all the people stuffed on the streetcar and then subway. It occurred to me that in that time I could have gone from Pincher to Lethbridge. Odd that.

(I still had some old friends left over this morning ... for breakfast)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy tears!

Edmonton wildlife rehab group moves to new digs

I'm particularly fond of the quote "...the society has a sterling reputation."

Leaving WRSE behind was one of the hardest parts of my decision to move, probably because it may have been the one thing in Edmonton that I really put my heart and soul into. Knowing how bright its future will be makes me so proud, but the fact that I won't be a part of it makes me pretty sad.

It's like I released a rehab shelter that I helped back into the world, and now have to let it thrive without me. I'm happy for it ... and sad for me.

Spontaneously, I chose to be impetuous.

Yesterday I had a job interview for a job I really want -- so I pulled on my "it's 27 degrees outside with 76 percent humidity" interview outfit (a hot pink cotton shirt with white cotton pants and grape-purple gladiator sandals bought specifically for Lynn's wedding last week but capable of doing double duty nicely). After the interview (that I think went well -- it was a first interview, used to narrow down the talent pool to decide who they want to ask back for the "actual" interview sometime in the coming weeks) I had intended to finally check out the much ballyhooed Kensington Market along with the Art Gallery of Ontario (they are in relatively the same area -- and the AGO is free on Wednesdays after 6 p.m.) ... but as attractive as grape-purple gladiator sandals are within the context of weddings and job interviews, they fall remarkably short in the context of walking about town in sticky hot weather. Still, the social event for an online writers group I was going to attend wasn't for a few hours, so time needed to be killed. What kills time better than Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore? (yes, that was rhetorical). And I can sit when pursuing that option.

After the movie and onto the bar where the meet is to take place, I discover that I am an hour early. Was I given the wrong time, or did I write down the wrong time? Turns out it mattered little to me since I wasn't married to the idea of meeting up with people who -- last time I met up with them -- were insufferable boors who would certainly find no amusement in my being witness to K. Galore's revenge. I intended that to be the end of my day, but after buying a token for the subway, I found myself physically incapable of bringing myself to drop it in the turnstile. I decided to wait out the boors just for something to do.

Across the street from the bar, though, I got distracted by this:

An inflatable movie screen! I had heard about these! An outdoor movie screening at random parks in the city. What movie? How should I know (- were you not following that I hadn't planned to see this?) But years ago, a friend and I used to revel in an evening of arriving at a repertory theatre on time to see a show without knowing anything about what was playing (okay, we knew the title. it was hard to not know the title, given it was on the marquee when we entered the theatre). It was fun to be surprised. So now, with the sun on its way off its perch, sitting outside in a park with a breeze watching a surprise movie seemed most pleasant indeed. Sadly, it wasn't to start for 90 minutes -- but aha! I had some of my writing with me from a failed attempt to go to the library and write in an air conditioned location earlier in the week. Out it came, and so ticked away the minutes.

A lady in a hot pink sweater and white pants ended up sitting next to me, saying she didn't want to sit in the grass with her friends at the other end of the park, then laughed that we would only look like bookends if she did anyway. I liked this lady. She told me that we were about to see Cairo Time, which I had heard very good things about and thought was a lovely choice for an summer eve screening in the park. Turned out, I was right. It was a beautifully understated movie, and Jane (or did she say her name was Jan?) was a delightful benchmate. We exchanged humourous comments sporadically throughout the movie, but mostly sat silently and enjoyed.

After the movie, I decided to pop into the bar to see if the writers were still lingering. They were. They also were neither welcoming nor inclusive so I stayed exactly 45 seconds before deciding that life is too short and I choose to take away from my night a random encounter with a stranger on a park bench watching a movie in the night air instead of a lingering taste of boor in my mouth. Schmoozing? Not tonight dear, I have an aversion to haught.

Still, I was in the mood for something ... else. I decided I'd go towards home and stop off at a 24 hour McDonalds by my place to continue some of the writing I had done earlier in the night. But on my way to the subway, I was once again distracted by fate's surprises:

It was eleven o'clock on a Wednesday night, for propriety's sake! People were just hanging out, watching a few random street dancers, reading, talking, relaxing and people-watching in Dundas Square. So I found a table in one corner of the square and hauled out my writing once more. I ended up between two groups of young men -- the left group was engaged in an African dialect of some fashion, while my right ear was treated to the insistent tones of excited Arabic chatter. Which was exactly what I wanted since I couldn't understand a word anyone was saying. I am least creative in a quiet environment, and have always studied with my radio or the tv on, but the balance between what is background noise and what is distracting is a constant struggle. Energetic conversations in two foreign languages -- perfect!

At midnight, my increasingly constrictive grape-purple gladiator shoes decided that my day simply must come to an end NOW. That, and I just could no longer pretend that I was not aware of how sticky and salty I had become over the course of a humid August afternoon in downtown Toronto. When your inner elbows smack together and peel apart every time you move your arms, it is time to retreat to your own shower for a quick hose-down.

Midnight on a Wednesday. This is Dundas Square at midnight on a Wednesday:

On a closing note: If you could put your love for another human being in the form of a monetary sum, and that sum happened to add up to $4,000, I know what would make a certain birthday girl very happy next week:

(Course you'd have to buy her a new apartment, too. There's no way this painting can be displayed in anything less than a lakefront condo with floor to ceiling windows and an open concept design.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

One Year Down...

So, one year ago today I pulled up in Trawna with a moving van to transfer my life. To honour the occasion, I chose to take a free shuttle to a large shopping mall north of the city to find a dress to wear to my friend's wedding at the end of the month. I chose a good day to be away from home and in an air conditioned shuttle/mall ... with the humidex it hit 43 degrees today.

Thankfully the pick up spot was in the shade, opposite the Fairmont Royal York hotel (where the Queen would sup hours later)

If you look closely, you can see the much-ballyhoed Arboreal Cabbies nesting at the foot of the trees in front of the hotel.

The bus picks you up at 1 p.m., drops you off at the mall (approx. 45 minutes later), then swings back around at 6 p.m. to take you back to Toronto. Four hours is just too much for me in a shopping mall (-- and I didn't even find a dress! --) so I found a spot that I think was meant for the men who have been dragged to a shopping mall by their ladies ... it had really comfy recliners that tipped you back at the perfect angle to watch sports from the circle of televisions overhead.
I don't care who it was created for -- it was where I was going to take a load off for about half an hour, to get my second wind and check out more stores before the bus comes to take me home.

Apparently there was a blackout throughout much of Toronto today, making a gong show out of rush hour time downtown, and the subway home quite busy.

I looked over and noticed that the lady next to me had obviously been a casualty of the chaos. Her toes were amputated and she had had her shoes sutured up over them.

I've seen some goofy footwear in my day ... but these just brought out the clandestine photog in me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I am. You know I am.

I am Canadian.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And how a day can turn around

After coming home from what I thought was to be quite the lovely Saturday, I spent much of the rest of the weekend alternating between watching disturbing footage of what was happening a short distance away from my apartment, and turning the channel in disgust at what was happening a short distance away from my apartment.

What bothered me the most, actually, was the vast number of people who stood around or took pictures/video of the vandals as if they have no stake in what they are witnessing.

Watch the above video closely. Black Hoodie Punk bumps into Brown Shirted Dude while exiting the display video. Punk actually reaches out, and says "Sorry" to the guy he just bumped into. Brown Shirt is at first annoyed at being bumped into, then realizes the store is "open for business". Brown Shirt steps into the store, ready to do some looting of his own, until Black Hoodie is tackled by Decent Citizen, and his bounty tossed back into the store. Then Brown Shirt is on his way as well, now that he sees what happens to looters in this crowd.

I'm not advocating tackling looters. But if other decent citizens had only stepped up, had said no to the looters, had exerted any societal pressure in their crowds rather than tacit acceptance of the destruction and the mayhem, we would have had less destruction and mayhem. Humans are pack animals. When the pack doesn't allow punks or punk behaviour in its midst, would-be punks like Brown Shirt are nipped in the bud and established punks like Black Hoodie are put in their place. Except the Decent Citizen didn't even have the pack behind him. He stepped up, without the support of anyone around him, and did what he knew was right. He's the guy I want in my society. Everyone else seen in the video (except perhaps for Red Sweater Hips, who did finally step up to help Decent Citizen after the fact) can rot in the burned down, vandalized world they have helped create.

All that evil needs to flourish is for good men and women to do nothing in the face of it. This weekend proved that when many (perhaps good) people had a chance to make a difference, all they did was make a video. The fact this one video caught a Decent Citizen taking a stand was purely coincidental.

This globe is your and my community. Whoever sets fire to the neighbourhood is burning down OUR neighbourhood. When are people going to step out of spectator mode, and enter the human race? Let Black Hoodies know that they don't belong, and make the Brown Shirts think twice.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Saturday!

On Saturday morning (or afternoon, more often) I walk about 20 minutes to a corner store that sells the Saturday Toronto Star for a dollar less than anywhere else around my place. Maybe I'm cheap, maybe I just want an excuse for a walk, but I will go out of my way for a buck. So sue me.

But this morning -- okay, afternoon! -- I first had to stop by the library to pick up a book I had put on hold. There was a line up at the counter, so I did a quick lap around the stacks to kill some time ... and found Dan Brown's new book up for grabs. Yoink! [ed. note: "Yoink!: a sound effect; usually associated with snatching something up with enthusiasm; often accompanied with nefarious moustache twirling."]

Then on my way to the cheap newspaper, I detoured into a lovely garden centre that was in my path. It's a really beautifully set up oasis in the midst of many small, "jack of all trades, master of none" mom n' pop shops that populate the neighbourhood.

Walking around in the outdoor display area felt like I was far from any city indeed.
Just as I was going to enter the city once more, I saw her! She had to be mine! I rushed out to buy my newspaper, then hurried back to the oasis to pick her up before anyone else could get to her first. I spirited her back to my home, cackling maniacally all the way:
Look at her flowers!
Really adds something to my apartment, only the floor of which you can see in the pictures, eh?

I had many more things in my hands upon returning to my apartment than I had intended ... but what a lovely lovely Saturday for me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm a little worried...

I haven't seen my next door neighbour in a while ...

Friday, June 11, 2010

On a scale of one to ten...

Hung out at the bus stop today and chatted with a lovely lady about the neighbourhood and the transit system while we awaited the arrival of the bus.

Then I took the streetcar downtown to see the A-Team, but the streetcar didn't quite make it to the stop I needed because of an accident that shut down its lane, so I ended up having to get off the car and high-tail it to the theatre about 1/2 an hour away to catch the showing I wanted to see.

Made it in enough time to quickly visit the ladies room before settling into my seat. I love seeing movies on weekdays where most others are at work or school. Its like my own private showing. I was getting happier by the moment once the movie started cuz it was really so very fun. About half an hour into it, suddenly we were at the end and the mission was almost all done. The movie had skipped about an hour. So I and a handful of others walked out and management gave us two free passes AND let us into another showing of the movie where we could watch the movie almost from the start all over again. Another quick trip to the ladies room (my bladder doesn't play well with others), and I settled into the second theatre to watch the movie a second time.

Happy once more. Not even all that bothered by the inconvenience. Then, as I rearrange my position in the seat, I feel something on the edge of my shirt. What is this ... the tag? Why's the cleaning instruction tag on the outside of my -- OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD MY SHIRT IS ON INSIDE OUT! My shirt with the embroidery on the chest has been clearly showing the wrong side of the pattern, complete with random thread ends, in addition to the wrong side of the seams, and the large pattern stamp with material details on the back of the collar. All day. While chatting with the lady at the bus stop. While sitting on the street car. While walking to the theatre complex. While buying a ticket and while mingling with others when the movie messed up, back to customer service to exchange my ticket for a different theatre and TWO trips to the ladies room -- which yes, have mirrors!

On a scale of one to ten, I'd say the embarrassment was a six. Because people had to have noticed. But no one mentioned it to me, so maybe they didn't notice. Or if they did notice, they thought I did it on purpose; like I was one of the ladies in Cosmo that does random nutso things in public in order to report in the next issue on how people reacted.

Yeah ... yeah that's what I was doing. A sociological experiment. For a widely-read woman's magazine. Oh, you all failed by the way.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You know that commercial ...

... where the teens are at the beach talking about their new fancy phone app where they can check their social network sites to see what their buddy is doing (and he's stuffing his face full o' fries)? So, instead of risking any physical activity whatsoever - such as turning their head to look to see what their friend is doing for themselves - they glue their eyeballs to their phones?

Well, I was taking a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood yesterday ... and obviously this chick didn't want anything like a lovely summer day on her porch to ruin her phone app obsession either:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When the world revolves around you...'re liable to get a little dizzy.

[re: "BP CEO on need to stop oil spill: 'I want my life back.' "]

Let's just hold BP to the standards it set out for itself:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summertime...

What's a girl to do?

Make herself an awning that will divert the sun from coming to visit, that's what:

I can rig it over the railing to create a cooler(er) nook to sit and get some air without the sun. Or, lower it down against the window which, combined with the fan I bought last week for 1/2 off, makes my apartment not that bad in 30 degree weather.

Ahhh. Not that bad. I aspire to so little, so I can feel fulfilled.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Uh ... Mommy?

So you and your child are browsing the local Coles Bookstore. Ooh! A table with $5 books! Let's look there, honey, you say. So you and your child check out The Book of Love, Dream Cars, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur, Rock N' Roll Pop Quiz Book, Incredibly Easy Weeknight Meals, Easy Stirfries, Fashion Model, Great Canadian Speeches, My Cool World in Photos and ...

Suddenly, your child gets very quiet. You know you're staring down the business end of a heart to heart instead of storytime tonight.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Same stuff, different day.

Nothing to see here. Except maybe:
I don't know if there weren't pretty trees like this in Edmonton, or I just never noticed them before. But spring in Toronto has been very eye-catching around here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Yeah, I'm alive

I just haven't really been doing much worth sharing lately. I could take a picture of my television if you really want a pictorial representation of how I've spent my days for the past few weeks.

First, a clarification. The Batman Strawberry may have confused some. Check out the logo on the Batman Collector cup. That's what I meant:

A few weeks back I went to a screenwriting seminar and found myself in Dundas Square during Earth Hour. Got my picture taken with the World Wildlife Fund mascot. That was kinda fun, in a Who Care Cuz It's Not Like Anyone Knows Me Here kinda way:

So, what's next? Oh yes. I had an interview a few weeks ago for Toronto Wildlife Centre, which would have been a really efficient job to have insofar as I always intended to volunteer with TWC once I got a job ... so if my job was with TWC, that would be frosting two cakes with one can of icing (I'm trying out different phrases to replace "killing two birds with one stone" ... which is particular inappropriate in this context)

If I got the job, I was supposed to hear by this past Friday. Nada. And my references weren't contacted to sing my praises. I'm a quick chick. I didn't get the job.

But on the way home from the interview, I saw some friends. This guy, who I don't know:
And then there was this goose -- who I watched quietly for about five minutes while he snuck up on this bus. Don't know why. But he slowly and stealthily advanced on it. Finally I got bored and moved on myself. (I've been scanning the news headlines, however, for a homicide on a bus that stumps the police, perhaps because all they found was tiny webbed footprints in blood leading away from the scene.)

These guys were clever! The dude in the foreground was the dude ... who placed himself where he was so that I wouldn't notice his gal on her nest in the upper left hand corner of the field. To complete the illusion, his gal lay down against the ground. Unfortunately, I was onto their tricks, and saw both anyway.

Which brings our little story to today. Some pretty folliage out by my place lately:

(See the guy under the tree? I took about five pictures of this tree, just to be sure I got a really nice angle. This guy moved with me so that he would always be in the shot. Idiot.)

Thus concludes a day in my life, avoiding the picture of the television.