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...

...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: