Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Well, that was fun.

So, now you know all about me. Don't you feel complete now? I know I do.
I'm catching a bus in 10 minutes. Good day!

A good dose of Purple never hurt anybody

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

The World's Shortest Personality Test

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.

Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.

In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.

You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.

And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Yum Yum

You Are Thai Food

Trendy yet complex.
People seek you out - though they're not sure why.

That's deep, man.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a multi dimensional wonderland, with many layers.
You're the type that always has multiple streams of though going.
And you can keep these thoughts going at any time.
You're very likely to be engaged in deep thought - and deep conversation.

So I should!

You Should Get a MFA (Masters of Fine Arts)

You're a blooming artistic talent, even if you aren't quite convinced.
You'd make an incredible artist, photographer, or film maker.

I'm a Henna Gaijin. Didn't need Blogthings to know that!

You Are a Henna Gaijin!

You're not Japanese, but you wish you were!
You can use chopsticks with your eyes closed, and you've memorized hundreds of Kanji.
You even answer your phone "moshi moshi."
While the number of anime videos you've seen is way higher than the number of dates you've been on, there's hope.
Play the sexy, mysterous gaijin, and you'll have plenty of Japanese meat.

How True is THAT?

What Your Underwear Says About You

You tend to buy new underwear instead of doing laundry.

You're comfortable in your own skin - and don't care to impress anyone.

Hahaaa Ha, my worst career is?

Your Career Type: Artistic

You are expressive, original, and independent.
Your talents lie in your artistic abilities: creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art.

You would make an excellent:

Actor - Art Teacher - Book Editor
Clothes Designer - Comedian - Composer
Dancer - DJ - Graphic Designer
Illustrator - Musician - Sculptor

The worst career options for your are conventional careers, like bank teller or secretary.

I like rocking the boat

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

How Do I Live My Life?

How You Life Your Life

You are honest and direct. You tell it like it is.
You are always tactful and diplomatic. You let people down gently.
You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.
You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.

I'm a SuperHero!!!!

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Gorilla Liberator
Your Superpower is Kissing
Your Weakness is LiveJournal
Your Weapon is Your Foam Blade
Your Mode of Transportation is Horse

I like cold Apple Cider

You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

My Japanese Name

Your Japanese Name Is...

Yachi Matsuki

My Past Life.

In a Past Life...

You Were: A Lazy Beekeeper.

Where You Lived: Egypt.

How You Died: Suicide.

Does this make me an American?

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

My World View

Your World View

You are a fairly broadminded romantic and reasonably content.
You value kindness and try to live by your ideals.
You have strong need for security, which may be either emotional or material.

You respect truth and are flexible.
You like people, and they can readily make friends with you.
You are not very adventurous, but this does not bother you.

It has been confirmed, I'm 19.

You Are 19 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Rejected Crayon Am I?

You are

My "Blog Things" Religious Philosophy

You are a Self-Discoverer

You're not religious, but you've created your own kind of spirituality.
Introspective and thoughtful, you tend to look inward for the divine.
You are distrusting of all forms of organized religion.
You especially dislike religious gurus and leaders, who you feel are charlatans.

Oooh, SO much fun!!!

So, a friend sent a link to this fabulous "Blog things" site where you learn all sorts of nifty things about yourself. They give you the code to post the results on your blog. I must go through them all! I'm addicted!! Enjoy!

Who would have thought?

Your Birthdate: September 2
Your birth on the 2nd day of the month adds a degree of emotion, sensitivity, and intuition to your life. The 2 is a very social number allowing you to make friends easily and quickly. Yet you are apt to have a rather nervous air in the company of a large group.
You have a warmhearted nature and emotional understanding that constantly seeks affection. You are more prone than most to become depressed and moody, as emotions can turn inward and cause anxiety and mental turmoil. It can be hard for you to bounce back to reality when depression sets in.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm so gosh-darned proud of Jamie Oliver

Hi all,

Jamie Oliver made the front cover of today's "The Globe and Mail". He has successfully coaxed the British Education System to stop feeding school kids crap. Impressive!

Check it out:


I'm not sure how long the link to the "Will Canada nix nuggets and fries?" newspaper article will be valid but click here to read it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Return of the Blog

Here I am again. Did you miss me? I hear nothing. Whatever.

As some of you may know, my summer had its ups and downs. I never did blog about my trip to Nova Scotia. (Can I just say now that I LOVE my Jessica!!!!!!? She ROCKS! She is my sunshine.)
There were helicopters. Wine was imbibed. Sailors were had....er, wait, that's not it. Um, the Peggy's Cove post office is possessed by demons. Um, I didn't see Alex Colville and I'm still upset. I got clothes, clothes, and a few more clothes. I had GREAT yummy dishes. I had wonderful company! And I can't wait to go back!!!!!!

Let's see...the rest of the summer.... stuff happened. Shoganai.

Late summer...I giggled one day and realized my feelings hadn't changed at all. I had just let them get off the radar for awhile.

Then I turned 31. It was splendiferous!

Men confuse me but luckily I welcome the challenge. Bring it on, baby! BRING IT ON! ha!

Seriously, DID I miss the seminar that explained Men and their behaviours? Because I AM TRULY baffled. Sigh...

Butterflies. Blushing and a little HAzuKAshii! SUGOI NE!

That wasn't vague was it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

Sorry for my disappearing act! Life happens.
I meant to blog an event that took place at the end of June. A movie was being filmed here on campus. Some flick about a military scandal at West Point in the 50s. Fascinating stuff I'm sure. Actually, I'll probably watch it. But mostly so I can see places I recognize. Like the spot where they moved my favourite bench. I had to eat lunch somewhere else while they filmed and then the bench was never returned to the same spot. I need my shade, people!!!
The reason I felt the story was blogworthy is this. I didn't know a movie was being filmed. I arrived to work as usual one morning. I saw police tape and military vehicles. I wondered what could have happened. Then later I noticed that the flag on one of the main buildings had an American flag. Did the US really think that Ontario would become the next state? Had the process already begun? Were we under siege? OH MY GOD!
Of course it was shortly after that I realized it was just a movie. "Codebreakers" is the working title. Don't miss it.

Ok, I need to blog about my trip to Nova Scotia. So much to say. Unfortunately, I'm lazy and tired so it will have to wait. Hopefully I remember the details for yet another day.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Flurry of Words

Here is another story from my youth. The previous story (Grapes of Wrath) was written during my last weeks of high school back in 1993. This story was written in 1994 I believe. If I'm not mistaken, my friend and I had been reading a local independent magazine. A writer had a list of words and dared his readers to write a story including the entire vocabulary. There was nothing stating the words had to be used in proper context. That is when our story was born....

"Summerchild you freak me wild," Paul cried. Then he crashed through the ice, the sharp edge dragging down his arm, a nasty laceration. "There's a world down here, Boffo! I'm crazy for you and this ice is just a test. Sing me latitudes of your memory. Longitude is the dogma of man's disguise." He looked at his reflection in the smooth surface above his head. His aura was grodie. He would have preferred purple, in fact he yearned for it. He lived for himself now. #!@* the seqraciousness required up there. HAIL HEDONISM! "A-EEL EDONEEESM!" the moon Paul wailed. "So hey, I was thinking, what colour is your aura?" Maren questioned Paul as she was ardent for Pauly-Poo and his enigmatic aura. Paul unaware that Maren had been sensing his thoughts screamed "B-R-O-W-N. Brown, like a pumpernickel cow pie. Are you happy now?" "As a matter of fact, I heart this nautical wonderland," Maren replied. "Golly," Paul said, gazing deep into her soul with the X-ray lenses he had pulled from underneath his tuque. "I want you. You are a math goddess. Not to be irreverent, but you are the umbrage of my universe. I pay homage to my umbrage. Tungsten is my tulip. Look at that kelp. It's to feed the wyvern I will give to you, my betrothed." Paul lay just below Maren's feet. "STEP ON MY HEAD!" he hollered, "because I want you". "I would take your panleukopenis," Maren said. "You, you, you, oh no, no, no....panleukopenis is not in either of your systems so stop your whining and thank me happily," Melanie demanded as she slid down the, once ballistic, now defunct, missile tube into the slippery underworld. She watched Maren as Paul inserted his tungsten into their beautiful first kiss. Melanie plugged it into a nearby eel. "BZZZZ," they went. "Wow, what a charge!" they shouted, running off to the nearest sea bed. Total beatitude. Melanie looked dazed. She was happy for them, but damn, she was lonely. Mr. McDonald, come on down!!!" She smiled slightly as he came zooming down with tremendous velocity."Boy," he mumbled, "this polyester sure is slippery, eh?" Melanie fell into his arms, but as she was wearing satin, they slid against one another and she fell into the current smacking her forehead on the ice. She was out cold. Maren, happily unaware of Melanie's fermenting sexual repression, was also not aware of the resulting 'fumbling towards ecstasy' accident. She was more concerned with Paul's cosmic mumbling. Paul was whispering "What do I say when it comes up? What do I do? I'm so scared. Oh my misfortunes!" "Beatify me," Maren responded. "Oh, I can't, I'm too scared!" "No, dodo, that's what YOU say!" "OH! Beatify me!" Pauliam said. She did. Meanwhile, back at the disco-auqa, Melanie had recovered consciousness, and was doing her best to reach her zenith through Mr.McDonald, without seeming like a yucky yenta. The sky was xanthrous, the world was panthrous and Melanie had something to say. "I'm tired. Let's go to sex-us texas." "Yeah, okay. I'm in a lone star state of mind and my wiley wiggins is ever ready." McDonald Man replied. "Unfortunately my batteries are dead so we'll have to swim." "Rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, star......," and they were off.VROOMMMMMmmmmm Maren and Paul had found their comet. It had been a cosmic day. "You're the Queen of my heart,"" he said. Melanie and Mister McD. were...occupied. They were making stew for the pretty horses. They had missed their lucky star and were forever now in the underwater dish world until the first day of spring, when the Shinook brought the Big Thaw. Since they were magnanimous, they made it. Maren and Paul had saved them a room in their mansion under a strip mall just outside of downtown London and were patiently awaiting their arrival. The loons had arrived in town and they were anxious to eat the rice and beans.
To be continued on some other boring day.....

A Blast From the Past

I found the following story on my old floppy disks. Enjoy...

As We'd Like to Imagine
written by Melanie Birdsey and Dana Vanzanten
with the help of occasional guest writers
(Maren Dick)

"I don't think Melanie would approve." This from Vincent, ever concerned about the welfare of lustful fans.
"Melanie who?" enquired Chris, the lustful yet sexually repressed drummer.
"You remember" said Kevin, "she's friends with Dana and Lee." Chris still looked blank and puzzled.
"The menage a sept, remember?" said Kevin, jokingly elbowing Chris.
"Geez, don't you remember June 12, 1992? I mean Dana, man, and you." replied Chris's younger brother Tom.
From around the door, peered Melanie's lovely face. Turning back to Dana she whispered "Did you hear him. He's making fun of us. Do you think he was?"
Dana rolled her doe-like misty eyes back into her head replying only to say " I guess we'll never know".
Melanie began to cry, a single pearl-like tear rolling down her cheek. Light reflecting from this tear nearly blinded Kevin. Dana didn't even see the tear because her eyes were stuck in her head. Suddenly Lee came to where they were lounging. She was not wearing her glasses as she stated that she was having a good sight day. She sat down beside Chris after tripping over a chair and falling into his lap. Chris, smiling like a dog, thrilled from this intrusion of his personal lap space, questioned "Who are you?"
"Lee. Don't you remember?"
"Oh yeah, that's right. Don't you usually wear glasses?"
Lee, offended that she had not been recognized without her glasses, shrieked "Can't you see I'm having a good sight day?"
Meanwhile, Tom was busy slapping the back of Dana's head, trying to get her eyes to roll back forward. Dana kept falling over and getting back up but it was no use. They'd just have to call her Whitey.
Melanie, apparently disappointed of the lack of attention being paid to her, walked over to Vincent, innocently said "Hello, what is your name Vincent?"
Confused, yet sexually aroused, he turned the question around. "Vincent. Hello, what is your name Melanie?" Apparently the two were destined to be together as no one else could possibly be on the same wave length.
At the same time, Dana was discovering similar feelings for Tom, who had succeeded in freeing one of her eyeballs. Although the other was still stuck, she could see that he was quite good looking. With concern, and great deal of lust, he asked if he should take her to the hospital. Dana replied, with an equal amount of lust, that she would love to go to the hospital with him. Just imagine, their own clinically sterile room. What could be more romantic?
Lee had begun to realize that she was not having that good of a sight day. She was also thinking that Chris was rather, well, sexually repressed so she went to find her spectacles, with Kevin in tow. After asking for his assistance, he gratefully accepted. However, Lee forgot to mention that the two would first get their noses pierced so that while in tow, she could attach a fine 24 karat gold chain from her nostril to his.
Chris was now alone -sad, sick, crying. "Damn sexual repression", he screamed, beating his fists on a chair, "my father couldn't bother to play the kind of role a child required. Instead of trying he retired."
Meanwhile, Melanie and Vincent were staring deeply into ... a bowl of cream of leek soup. They discovered that they had that in common too. Melanie suggested looking for their future in the soup. So far it was creamy, very creamy. Melanie, believing this was a premonition, took Vincent's hand. Staring at his palm, she announced "we're getting married. It says so. It's in your palm."
Vincent said passionately "Okay. I love... your sweater, Melanie. Is it old?"
"Heck, my La Bamba tape is older than this." Melanie replied, secretly happy that he had been so taken by it.

From the Vineyards to the Spice rack: The Saga Continues

After the wedding, Melanie and Vincent rushed straight to the hospital. Dana had just had eye surgery and the prognosis wasn't good. It seems that her eyes had focused on her frontal lobe. When the doctors' had operated it became apparent that there was no visible reason for her eyes to remain stuck in her head other than that they were curious of her mind. Vincent was preoccupied by Melanie's newly developed habit of shoving mini marshmallows up her nose. Apparently, she had already set a province-wide record for jumbo marshmallows and was anxious to challenge Dana, when she was feeling up to it. It was apparent now that Dana was forever doomed only to see her brain. The government was now interested in using her for intensive psychological studies. Tom was crying, heartbroken. He had dreamt of the day when Dana would unroll her eyes and gaze longingly into his. He had especially hoped that day would be today as his complexion was very clear. He realized that Dana's regained sight was not a reality so he consoled her. He whispered quietly in her ear "I'll be there and I will care. Sometimes it's like I'm not but I am here".
A nurse, who strangely looked like Eleanor Roosevelt entered the room. She said to Tom, "Hey don't you work drive-through Fridays at McDonalds?"
"Actually, I had to change to Thursdays. We've been playing a lot on Fridays."
"Playing?" said Eleanor. "Who are you?"
Tom ignored her. One of Dana's eyeballs had begun to flutter. A hush fell over the room. Staring at Dana's batting eyelashes, their eyes made contact with Dana's. Miraculously, they had become unstuck. Her eyes slowly began to focus. Unfortunately for Tom, they focused past him, at the small table where her dinner lay.
"Ginger! There's ginger on my poached salmon! I love Ginger!"
Everyone clapped. At the same time Kevin reentered the room as he had excused himself moments earlier to relieve himself. Crushed that he had missed this monumental miracle, he ran out of the room in shame never to return. As he ran through the hospitals corridors his singing was heard, "memories kill me reminding me of you, reminding me of you". Their happiness over Dana's recovery dimmed. Kevin was gone. Their babe appeal was now diminished by 25%. "What's happened?" sobbed Melanie. "Has Dana gained sight only to witness destruction?" She fell weeping into Vincent's arms.
"No, my love. We will rise from the ashes like the mighty phoenix." He leapt to his feet, tossing Melanie aside. Silence fell again.
"We shall be ... GINGER!!!!"
Dana was experiencing eye strain and Tom wanted to be left alone with his love as he had heard that eye contact can strengthen relationships. Lee had already left in search of Kevin. She too never returned. Melanie and Vincent gave Dana and Tom congratulatory winks as they left for their honeymoon. The day had been a success. Dana and Tom decided to get married so they could join Melanie and Vincent on a joint honeymoon before Ginger became a reality. They decided to tour Canada in a Comfort Cruiser, beginning in St. Thomas and ending in Penticton. They were hoping to run into their old friend Shawn and his wife Deb. It had been rumoured that Shawn was Chris's long-lost twin, as well as being an excellent drummer.
After the first day of driving, they arrived in Stoney Point, Ontario. The locals had been very kind in sharing it's history. Melanie, abhorrent that the government had changed the spelling of Stony to Stoney, wrote a letter to Ottawa addressing the problem. Unfortunately, she did not double check her spelling and she accidentally misspelled Stony anyway.
With a glance upwards into the moonlit sky, Dana cried out "I' m not inspired!"
"Not inspired? With this moonlit night , these starry skies?", Tom cried.
"Dammit," Dana screamed 'BUGS!"
"I'll save you my love" cried Tom, flyswatter in one hand and a can of bug spray in the other.
"Melanie, are you all right?", cried Vince. A swarm of bugs had gathered around her.
"Oh, don't be silly. I was a camp counsellor. Insects are your friends. We have bonded." Melanie chortled. "Don't look so squirmish. They'll go away." Putting her arm around Vincent, she suggested, "Let's put out the porch light."
Vincent, fond of being in the dark with his true love, reached over to the red brick to turn out the light. Unfortunately, the wall was incredibly far away and he missed his goal. He and Melanie fell backwards out of their chair, violently striking their heads. Once again, a trip to the hospital seemed imminent. But no, Tom was studying to be a doctor and was ready to save his afflicted friends. Pediatrics was his dream, his goal. Melanie and Vincent, much like children, would serve him well.
"I'll take it from here," Tom said, pushing Dana aside. "Where does it hurt, bubba wubba?" Tom cooed.
"Nowhere!", Melanie and Vince cried in unison, leaping to their feet." We're fine. It's a miracle." they said softly, gazing into each other's eyes. This collision of the minds had brought them closer together. Not only were they married by spirit but also by the mental. Mentality is always the closest bond. After setting the chair back up, Melanie and Vince, decided to go look for the Dickee Dee boy. Since the asparagus truck had gone under, Dickee Dee was all that was left. [I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus. thank you Gary Larson]
Ringing his bell, Chris yelled out "Space Jets! Drumsticks! Fudgesicles! All under a dollar!" As he yelled he saw Vincent and Melanie walking hand in hand towards him on the small dirt path.
"Vince, Mel!" he cried, all the while beating himself, as he inwardly thought "Damn sexual repression!"
"Chris!"they cried. [What's with this speaking in unison thing anyway?]
"Hey, guys want a free fudgsicle?"
"Hmm." they bent over the well-stocked cart.
"Honey, what do you want?"
They barely noticed a stick-thin figure coming down the street. But Chris's heart was fluttering. This could be it . As the figure walked closer, Chris nervously checked his hair in the reflection of the bell and wiped his sweating palms on his jeans. The young man, Jean-Paul (according to his name tag) asked Chris if he had any gum.
"What do you think I am, a convenience store?"
"Yeah, that's what they all say."
Jean-Paul stared at Chris as if he were a piece of chewing gum. "I didn't mean to offend but man you are a little high strung"
"No, REALLY, I'm not. My instruments are finely tuned. I'm more a travelling one-man band." With this, Chris disengaged the bell from the cart and pulled a foot-operated drum from the freezer. From his back pocket he produced a kazoo and a beanie with a propeller on top.
"Do you know how to play 'Au Claire de la Lune'?
"But of course" and with this Chris rocked into an utterly amazing techno/grunge/disco version of 'Au Claire de la Lune'. Jean-Paul clasped his hands in glee at this newly updated tune. Then sighing, he leaned on the Dickee Dee cart, closed his eyes and listened intently to the ethereal music. Vincent and Melanie began dancing, slowly at first, and then Melanie, began gyrating around Vincent, thrashing herself, in time to the kazoo. Vincent did too. Melanie wildly flung her Birkenstocks off, binging Jean-Paul off the head, whereby he fell backwards, lodging himself in the Dickie Dee cart.
"Tom!!", they all cried.
Dana, back at the bed and breakfast inn, heard their cries. With the hearing of a rabbit, she was able to hear up to a mile away. Nudging Tom, she dropped dead. Oh, no. Oops, typo. Let's continue.
Nudging Tom, she said, "Our friends are in danger. We must rush to their aid."
Tom's eyes glowed. "I'll bring the Children's Tylenol. They're now easier to swallow." He darted purposefully into the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Melanie, sitting on the grass beside Vincent, had a vision of a long lost love. He was hot and he was cycling, but deep in her heart she knew Vincent was the only man for her. Reaching for Vincent's hand, she reassured herself of her love for him.
Vince, feeling the death grip on his hand, came back from his vision too. He only thought he saw his mentor Elvis. But feeling the grip he remembered he hated Elvis. He turned and looked blankly into Melanie's eyes.
"Elv... Mel?"
She turned away, her doe-like eyes cast downward. Vince felt a lump in his throat and turned away. The moment was gone.
But a new one had just begun as they were interrupted by the running footsteps of Tom followed by Dana.
"What happened? Where does it hurt?" Tom asked, his eyes searching Melanie and Vincent for visible injuries.
"It's not us. It's him" Melanie and Vincent chorused, pointing to Jean-Paul, twisted and tormented in the spokes of the front wheel. The bell was still dinging, the bike handles swaying in the night.
"Ooh, look. Fudgsicles only 59c. Can't beat that now, can you?" Dana said, opening the cart and helping herself, unaware of Jean-Paul's mangled body.
Tom, seeing Jean-Paul, crouched down on his knees to get a closer look. "Seems that you've gotten yourself a little boo-boo."
Reaching in to his pocket, he pulled out a sucker. "Green lime. How'd ya like a little candy. It'll make the pain go away."
How's that for an unresolved situation? Well to tell the truth it won't do. Yes, we'll carry on, much to everyone's delight. Now where were we? Oh, yes ...Gladstone, Manitoba.
"Let's go to a movie" said Tom.
"Oh, yes I LOVE local culture!" said Vincent.
"Yay!" said Melanie and Dana, clapping their hands in glee. It was unanimous. Movies it would be. But first the four of them would go out for dinner at the local chinese restaurant. But which restaurant to choose? They decided to stroll around and decide. Chinese Buffet of Fu Lam City? No, too trendy. Trends suck. Once you get in them you just can't get out. Hmm. China Town. No ... too Oriental. Lucky Gardens. Well ... NO-LOOK_IT'S ...THE CHINERY! YES!YES!YES! The Chinery it would be. Yes, destiny was calling. It was saying "Table for four?
Melanie replied "Yes, but leave room for our spiritual friends. HA!HA!HA! (spirited laughter)"
The hostess eyed Melanie assuming that she was truly insane. The other three merely laughed. They understand Melanie and accept her for who she is.
to be continued at a later date
Future plot
In a small quiet village, Melanie spots her mentor, a Canadian author. She is a recluse. She wrote a meaningful teen angst novel and is now living in a cabin in the woods. She has a strict lentil, whole wheat, sprouts, etc. diet. Buddhism is her thing. Melanie runs up to her and she turns to her and says "I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE" in a slight accent. She is wearing a purple scarf on her head and cat rim sunglasses. Chris is also in this village and he is fascinated with famous people. He has spotted the author and knows where she lives. Due to his identity complex, he has become a peeping Tom. Gripping Chris by the shoulders, Tom shakes him, yelling "You're not Tom. You can't be me. You're Chris. You are a peeping Chris." Anyway, that's the gist of what we've planned for you as of yet.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
 Posted by Hello

Communing with the Japanese

I walked around campus at lunch for lack of anything better to do. The heat was bumping into me and hugging me. I didn't mind. I compared it to Japanese summer which is stifling to a degree I care not to remember. Today's heat is no where near that extreme.

I checked out the price of educational versions of web designing software. Checked out the Japanese textbooks in the Used Book store. I'm still deciding whether or not to take a course in the fall. What do you think I should do? I worry there is no point in learning a language I have no real need to know. How useful is it? When would I get the chance to practice the language? I left the shop, and wandered over to a cafeteria in another building to get an iced cappucino. Everyone deserves a delicious treat once in a while! I got there and the Japanese fast food counter was full of you guessed it, Japanese people. There was one white guy, remarkably similar to a young Steve Martin, tagging behind them. I asked if he was with them. He was and confirmed that they were from Japan. I asked if he was too. Funny thing to ask, but I was serious. Turns out he is from Korea. Why he was with them, I am unsure. I think I was making this guy nervous. Maybe he thought i was trying to pick him up. Ha, I wasn't. I told him the only Korean word I know is kimchee. He laughed. I'm funny.

He left to pay for his food. I decided to order some rice with teriyaki sauce. I took a tray at the end of the line. Just then a Japanese man comes up and I realize I've taken his tray. I apologize and slide it over to him. I say "dozo". In english, he asks me if I speak Japanese. I assure him that I do not. Then I say "sukoshi" which means "a little". The rest of the people in line laugh. I continue having a conversation with him. He reminds me of one of my student's from the local government where I taught in Japan. He's been to Matsuyama (where I lived for a year) three times. We discussed the hot springs, Dogo Onsen. Then we parted ways as our food was ready.

Was this a sign that I should take the Japanese course? Or just a pleasant interlude between morning and afternoon?

It has been a long time, hasn't it?

The weather is hot. I'm the only one not complaining. I love it! Bring it on!

Today, I finished up everything at work. Imagine that! So, I'm enjoying this brief respite. I organized my cookbook (photocopies of recipes I like). I looked up vegetarian marshmallow & gelatin recipe info. I made a list of things to do at home (what an on-going mess!).

Yesterday, I was enjoying the greenness of June and heat of summer as I walked home. The scents and the memories they evoke were making me nostalgic for my childhood. I think it is true when some people say that many people desire to have children to relive their childhood. It is usually said as a negative thing. Why is that, really? I can't really explain the desire I have to become a mother. Is it just a mix of biological longing, maternal instinct, desire to love someone, and posterity? What about a person's need to make peace with or relive their own childhood through their children? Is that one of my motivations?

I'm not sure if I want to relive my childhood but I do believe I would love to have a rekindled appreciation for a simpler life. I want to shell peas, hang laundry on the line, and make sand art with my children. I want to see their delight in exploring the lawn for grasshoppers and toads. I want to captivated by the pattern of clouds in a sky. I want to be distracted by laughter rather than a ringing cell phone.

Which brings me to a whole other topic. I love having information at my fingertips. It's great being able to find out what Amber Tambyln's thoughts are on the demise of "Joan of Arcadia", to find an obscure recipe for Vegetarian Marshmallows, or to trace my genealogy. Marvelous!
However, the overwhelming and unsolicited barrage of media is exhausting me. The expectation that I answer every phone call, every instant message, every email, and keep up-to-date with all these contacts is paralyzing. Depressing really. No longer is a friendly phone call, or an unexpected letter always a pleasure. Instant answers are demanded. I want to hide. When did "media" become a bad word?

I'm babbling.

My point is that I'd like to return to a time, or place in my life, where I am free to enjoy the silence, to feel the breeze without having that constant nagging pressure to respond to the demands of this frenzied media world we live in.

That's all for now. And yes, I do see the irony in my using a blog to discuss my concerns. Hilarious... just hilarious.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Yes, Mr. Coupland, it IS all about me.

Yesterday I attended Douglas Coupland’s reading from "Hey Nostradamus". I admit it. I haven’t read the book but I will. I own a few of his books and have read a couple others. I’ve come across his articles in magazines over the past decade or so. The books I have read resonated with my soul. That much is true. So, of course I want to meet the man behind the words.

Douglas is a funny man. On stage, he spoke of many things. Many things that made me laugh inside. Many things that I cannot tell you about as they have already been forgotten. Now that I’m 30 my memory isn’t as good as it used to be. Perhaps my bad back is a contributing factor (Chronic back pain can result in a loss of 10% of grey matter. Did you know that?). Or maybe I think too much about nothing and my brain has purged the useful information. Or maybe I live in a world of constant media motion and my thoughts don’t have enough time to latch onto memory. All quite plausible.

A couple thoughts that I vaguely recall:

Cell phones ring long after the owner’s bodies are cold: A cacophony of sound attempting to contact the dead.

There is no need for pretension. I paid five dollars to see Douglas Coupland be himself and that is exactly what I got. Now that is strength of character (on his part, not mine). Much better than a tenured professor who likes to play around with his own intonation, and preen himself into an image of David Crosby while attempting to impress the audience and himself (while really only making an impression on my gag reflex). No, I’m not judgmental.

So, Douglas told funny stories. He related to themes in his book. He read from it. Then a local TV newscaster asked him some questions. Listening to him talk comforted me because he had to think about the answers. Sometimes he stumbled, jumped from one thought to another or lost his train of thought completely. I like that in a person. It’s a mirror of me. It makes me feel less stupid. Not everyone can be eloquent. Not all eloquent people can be interesting. There’s hope for me… unless I’m neither.

After a few questions from the audience, we shuffled our way over to the signing area. I get nervous when I meet people I admire. My poor friend had to endure my incessant chatter. Not pleasant for the guy ahead of us in line either, I’m sure.

The local TV station was filming the line up and interviewing people willing to speak their minds about Dougie. The aforementioned guy ahead of us in line was interviewed. My friend fled in a panic. She’s not into stardom or celluloid recognition. Hmm, guess they don’t use celluloid anymore, right? I digress. "I digress" is a pretentious sounding and overused expression. Once again, I digress. I noticed the guy being interviewed had ever-so-slightly trembling fingers and a small nervous twitch below his lip. Ah, he was nervous. How endearing! Next, the newscaster asked if I had something to say. I emphatically said NO.

Finally, we’re in front of Mr.Coupland. He shook my hand. I said "Hi, I’m Melanie. Just like on this piece of paper", and then shoved my books toward him with the little slip of paper with my name spelled correctly on it (A man went down the line earlier handing out these papers so we could speed up the process). The books are Girlfriend in a Coma and Microserfs. I requested him to personalize GIAC as it is such a "freaky cosmic" book. As he went to sign the page, he realized his name was already on there. "Did you buy it that way?" he asked. I nodded. He said he’d better sign it again a couple of times to prove that it is his signature. He then signed Microserfs and pointed to the back photo and said something about the photo being taken 12 years ago, how young he was, and how old he is now. I told him he’s distinguished or something similar. He counter offered the word "haggard". I didn’t know what to say. He went on to say something about being old, the passing of time and how he’s 43. I told him how I recently turned 30 and have noticed the passing of time as well. He asserted that 30 is the best age to be. He loved 30 to 34. Life is good…you're done with your thirties, your parents like you, you have energy or something (ok, i can't remember if he said that or not). It's when you hit 40 and it all falls apart (again, I'm paraphrasing) . I asked him if he had advice for me to prepare for 40. He told me to live in the moment and enjoy now. I said I would remember his words and maybe at 40 I’ll be okay because I had his warning. I wish I could remember this. It was a good little conversation we were having. I even asked a couple good questions. Give ME a camera and a microphone! More than that, I wanted to sit with him in my friend’s living room. Even better, I wanted him to be part of one of my board game parties. He would fit right in. After all, he is just "one of us".

He said hello to my friend and attempted to shake her hand. I think maybe she didn’t extend her hand or the timing was off because they had to do a little handshake dance before connecting. It was humorous. Douglas was amused. He asked my friend if her name was Irish. She said it was Norwegian (??). I butt in and said "what? I thought it was Irish too." She said "no, my family is Irish. The name isn’t." I’m shocked. Truly. I can’t remember what else they talked about.

I knew our time was up but I had one more thing to say. I told him how Girlfriend in a Coma is particularly interesting for me because two of the characters are born on my birthday which is September 2nd. The birthday also belongs to Keanu Reeves. The characters in the book are Megan and Karen. Same initials as Keanu and I have. Spooky (I don’t tell him about all the other weirdness I found in the book). He is surprised and questions me. "Really, that is Keanu’s birthday?" he asked. Yup, it is. I concur. He then said "well, really, it is all about you". I countered "thank you for confirming that. That's what I thought". After all, I do think it is all about me! That book is freaky! Well, ok… not ALL about me (or is that not AT all) …but there are some things that make me believe in an universal conscience.

We smiled and parted ways. I’m pleased I had the chance to meet Douglas finally after all this passing of time. And it’s always an eye-opener to have someone whom you admire tell you completely objectively that you’re overly self-involved. Ha, no kidding. Funny thing, the truth doesn’t hurt when it comes from Douglas Coupland.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

At One with Nature

I'm not a religious person. However, I do believe that humans have a limited scope of the universe's reality. Therefore, I do believe in a power larger than myself. A power larger than anything my little brain can comprehend.

I am selfish enough to think that sometimes there are little signs in daily life that are meant just for me.

Today, I think I needed to see the "bigger" picture and so the universe showed me some of its highlights. I got off the bus and began the walk up the hill towards my workplace. A healthy looking robin greeted me from his branch on the tree to my left. Ahead on top of a short street lamp a very plump hawk was perched. How rare of a morning greeting is that? How auspicious! I slowed down to admire the presence and beauty of such a creature. I don't recall ever being so close to a live hawk before. I slowly crept closer and she flew to the grassy lawn on the right. I was lucky enough to see her full wing span. Again I got closer and she flew to 2 more locations before flying back to her trees. In the field towards her home I saw a groundhog frolicing around. I love groundhogs. Especially when they're warm and fuzzy.

Thanks universe for letting me see some of your beauty!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Going Uphill

I'm leery, I'm weary, get used to it!

I made it in to work this morning despite my feeling icky...very very icky. Definitely sick day material. But I don't want to take a sick day! I have deadlines. I have duties. I have my pride. So, here I am... cottonbrained and bleary-eyed, slumped at my desk and ready to face the day. I took my vitamin B. I've prepared my Maple tea. I've sorted through my emails. 2 hours until Tuesday coffee time. Free donut, free bagel, free muffin...take your pick!

I'm so proud of myself for dragging my sorry butt in to work today. You really have no idea! The good news is that I had one of those mornings where the minutes on my alarm clock moved slowly like molasses. I hate and dread the mornings where I hit my snooze button and in a blink of an eye 20 minutes can pass. Once in a while the Universe's Divine Will blesses me with the elongation of time and I get to laze in its sweet splendour.

Now I must format a manuscript and edit a PowerPoint presentation. Reality does indeed bite.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Falling All Over The Place

It has happened again. I fell while running to catch the bus. This time it happened on the sidewalk on the hill outside my building. I was just slightly ahead of a half dozen or so students. I made a very nice demonstration of how to fall in an embarrassing manner. The contents of my bag scattered. My body was splayed out across the cement. I could feel the shock of my fall in the people behind me. I could envision their reactions... surprise, open mouths, concern, and even amusement. A kind girl asked if I was alright. I replied "oh yeah, I'm fine. This happens to me a lot". She looked confused. Ha! I rubbed my ankle and then started to get up. I began to gather the scattered items. A boy coming up the hill saw me and asked if I was alright. Again I said I was. This time I left out the part about the frequency of my falls.

I continued on my way down the hill. My only really nice pair of shoes were scuffed, and my pants had a large scuff mark. Hopefully it is just cement dust and will come out in the wash.
Both my palms were scratched. Both ankles are sore and slightly twisted. My whole right side hurts from foot to shoulder.

I get to the bus stop (I blame the bus for all of these falls... I can never tell if the bus will be five minutes early or five minutes late so I rush just in case. This has got to stop!). I wait for my friend to meet me as we're riding home together. She arrives and I relay the story to her. She laughs. I tell a funny story. I should be a comedian. I told her that I wasn't even embarrassed about falling because it happens so often. Infact, my lack of embarrassment is embarrassing. I'm pathetic. She later tells me that a guy at the bus stop was totally amused by my story. She said while he was on the bus he would people watch and whenever he got to me he would get a small smile on his face as if remembering my story. I also suspect he was behind me on the hill when I fell.

So, what did I learn from this experience? First, buses suck. Second, never run. Third, I need to wear a helmet. Fourth, I can make a difference in others' lives. I amused that guy at the bus stop, didn't I?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

In Highschool and at Shawn's Wedding Posted by Hello

Shawn Still Hearts My Scarf

What a pleasant surprise!

Every morning I connect to one of three buses going past my workplace. On this particular morning I make my connection to the University bus. I sit my disheveled self down on a seat behind the driver. I'm feeling grumpy and unbeautiful as I had run out of the door with wet hair and no makeup (I usually curl my hair at work which takes all of 2 minutes. The makeup I apply at the bus stop and today there was no time...Yes, I'm total high maintenance hahahaha). I notice a guy across from me. He looks remarkably similar to a high school friend I once knew. Infact, just over a year ago I attended his wedding. His baseball cap is blocking a clear view of his face so I decide to move across the aisle to sit next to him. And so I do...

Indeed, it was him. I stared him straight on. He looked up. I smiled. He recognized. We caught up on the going ons in our lives. His wife is expecting!!!! How exciting!!!! I'm very happy for him!
We realized we work on the same campus! Who knew? I didn't.

We exchanged phone numbers. I told him my last name was still the same... for now. I wish I had taken the time to look at what he had written before I put the paper away. I didn't read it until I got into my office. It said "Shawn (he heart's your scarf!)" beside his phone number. There was a drawing of a heart rather than the word. That made me smile. You see, when I was in high school I had a mad crush on this fine friend. He was the sensitive, tortured, left-handed drummer poet boy. He would leave the province for months or years at a time. When I went off to college, he was away in British Columbia. We would exchange letters from time to time. Infact, I do believe he called me after my first day of school. An auspicious day as that was also the day I met my best friend, Jessica and my ex-boyfriend, Mike. A couple months into the college year (and greatly into the pining for Shawn) I sent a letter with a photocopy of a photo taken of me in photography class. I was wearing a scarf that I knitted in my last year of high school. I was quite fond of saying that I hearted my scarf. Which is not a fallacy as I do indeed have great love for this scarf! To be completely honest, I do look particularly attractive in this photo (I will try to remember to upload a copy of the photo to here). I think on the photo copy I had written "I heart my scarf".
Sadly (at the time), the story from my youth had a somewhat unhappy ending. Shawn was just not that into me. I didn't float his boat. I didn't make his heart go a-flutter. He did visit me once the following fall. Then we lost track until his wedding last year (I attended as a guest of his friend). Oh, and I saw him once or twice at the store where I was working at the time. And of course, we had to have a hug as that was our high school specialty!

And so I am pleased that I saw Shawn today and that he remembered how much I heart my scarf! He is a fine fine soul! :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

It’s a Sunshine Day!

All is well in the world. Love. Life. Sun. Food. Drink. Health.

I bought a California Mix salad (Mixed greens topped with trail mix, shredded carrot, cheddar cheese,garnished with mandarin oranges and served with our kiwi-mandarin orange dressing), a beverage (non-alcoholic…I’m working…geez!) and found a sunny spot on the grass near my building. While I ate, I read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”. It’s a very appropriate book to read at this point in my life. Well, maybe it is always appropriate…whatever!
Now I’m back from lunch and there is work to be done. Later Aligator!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Computer crashes and Houston vacations

Howdy y'all! I can only leave this short post for now but soon I'll leave a HUGE one! My home computer crashed over a week ago so I've been virtually absent from this virtual world. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry... I know how you all hang on my every word! HA!

I'm going to Houston for Easter. I'll post when I get back. Bye!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

River Phoenix: Pointillism with Ink, 1993-1994 Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

something i came across today and thought i'd like to share Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


That's all I seem to notice today... the snow on trees. Each branch must be covered with atleast 2 inches of snow. How do the trees not collapse in exhaustion?

So sleepy... that's me on this Wintery day.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Snow Snow Go Away

Winter can go now. I'm done with it.

Luckily, a friend has brought sunshine back into my life. Perhaps I can keep the clouds at bay.

That's all I have to say.

I'm sure I have many things to expound upon, however I choose not to. The thoughts in my head need time to become acquainted. My heart needs time to feel its own beat. My soul needs time to breathe.

I fear if I speak too much I will lose the magic I've found.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

What day is it?

It happened again. This is the second occurence in the past week or so. Tonight I had a nap at 5:45pm. I set my snooze button to go off at 7:45 so I could watch "Survivor" with my best friend in her apartment. The next thing I know the alarm is going off and I'm completely disoriented. I look at the clock and groan thinking how I'm much to tired to get up for work. My second concern is that it is 7:45 and I start work at 7:55. But why is it so dark, I wonder. Then I realize... it is not the next morning. It's just the end of my nap. I was so completely deep in sleep I had no recollection of napping. I was out for the count.

Luckily, I snapped out of it and joined my friend for Survivor. Now I will read a bit before I resume sleeping. I've GOT to get a life!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I wrote a letter to my old love

I just emailed an old friend. An old love really. I guess I could call him that. All day (well, all week, month, year, decade... if you want to get technical) I've been in a rather grumpy and depressive mood. Such is life! I felt like crying on the bus ride home. That's always a warning sign that maybe I'm slipping into depression. I was hopeful that it is just my weariness with feeling sick, work stuff, my parents being away on vacation, my overwhelming lack of companionship, and winter. Crying might actually be therapeutic, I considered.

I came home, got into comfy clothes (lounge wear as I like to call it), fed my cat before she disrupted my neighbours with her meowing, and made my dinner. I settled in to watch a movie I've been waiting FOREVER to see. By forever I mean two things: 1) a decade since the first movie and 2) a year since i heard about this sequel. The first movie was Before Sunrise. The second movie is Before Sunset. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go view them. Then come back and talk to me.

I watched the movie... through tears.

I finished watching the movie and called my friend to say it was now my favourite movie.

I still felt the need to reach out and acknowledge my own past. Naturally I reached out to the person whom I met because of the movie. That is a story for a different day.

Anyway, this is the gist of what I emailed to him:

Hi (i put his name here... imagine that) ,

Long time...

I just watched Before Sunset finally. It made me cry. It wasn't a movie...it was life. Y'know? I feel old. I feel. Ah, that movie captured so much of what I am feeling about my own life. "Before Sunrise" captured the feelings of my youth...so hopeful, so full of pretense, and yet so sincere at the same time...that is how one is at 20. too wanting to be accepted, too wanting to live to the fullest, too wanting to be different. Then at 30 one feels so much more at ease with themselves. they can let go of the pretense. being liked isn't quite so important. just living is exhausting....somehow you can be more honest. Yet there is such an undercurrent of sadness... of disappointment, of loss... the hopeful exuberance of youth is all but gone. There is a pervading numbness. The movie made me cry. Where has my life lead me? I'm so sad.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I chose to email you because the movie is what brought us together... even though our friendship has faded. It's funny... if I told people that the movie reminds me of you, they'd think the storyline is the reminder. But I don't relate "our" story to that one at all! Ha, not at all! Ours is a funny story...but not a love story! Not that kind of love anyway. Our story only relates to the movie because of how we met. Didn't I first email you on the bh90210 list because you were from Vienna and i had just seen Before Sunrise? I think so.

I have no story like in that movie. My story lies with the feelings they have about life ...but not with the love story. It makes me sad. But I guess the movie should give me hope. I've always wondered how they ended up in the movie. Now I know. It wasn't what I expected...it was better. I didn't know what to expect really. They made it very human.

Monday, February 21, 2005

One Thought At A Time

I'm feeling overwhelmed. I have that drowning feeling. It's small and manageable for now. I keep telling myself "one thought at a time".

I have a good life. I'm blessed with a wonderful family, some good friends, a good job, a more than adequate standard of living (clean water, heat, shelter, worries over gaining weight rather than malnourishment), a comfortable living space, and relatively good health. There isn't much more I can ask for.

Yet, I am overwhelmed with being overwhelmed. It tires me. A pervasive sadness grabs me when I'm least expecting it. I am trying so hard to become less sensitive and to strengthen my will. I am a work in progress.

My parents are on vacation for two weeks. I'm happy that they are able to take vacations. Nothing pleases me more than their happiness. However, I hate these times when they're gone. For one thing, I am way too dependant on their existence. I look forward to talking with my Mom daily. It doesn't matter what we discuss as I just enjoy her company, and find comfort in her voice. When they are away, I am aware of their absence and my loneliness increases. I remind myself that they will return and I find other ways to fill my time.

However, these absences remind me of my parents' mortality. They won't be here forever. I worry that something bad could happen to them while they are away and I might never see them again. Of course, that could happen any time on any day when they're only living 20 minutes away. More so, I am forced to acknowledge my dependency to them and realize that someday the absence will be permanent. These occasional weeks will become the rest of my life. How will I find the strength to continue in a world where they are not within my reach? It is that thought that makes their being away so difficult. I know when the time comes I will survive. I just question what kind of existence it will be.

Ok, next post I'll try to be more positive.

The Art of War

Last week is over. Thank goodness! No one ever said the truth wasn't painful. I'd rather know the truth than be led through the world blindfolded. Now I can see the beauty where it belongs, and steer away from the dangers that were previously hidden from view.

This week I will make peace with my new outlook.

As Sun Tzu once said:

Knowing the other and knowing oneself,
in one hundred battles no danger
Not knowing the other, knowing oneself,
One victory, one loss
Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself,
in every battle certain defeat.
- the Art of War

I am disappointed to find out who my enemies are but value the new found knowledge. They are fools for underestimating my intelligence and inner strength. I might seem timid, mild, and insecure at the best of times but I like myself and know myself well. I'm just not good at promoting myself to others. This sometimes puts me in the shadows. That doesn't mean I'm not intelligent or talented. I'm just overlooked and others don't always notice my strengths.

I will work on making it clear that I am quite capable and strong. How else will I survive?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Quote of the Day

"I can doubt everything, except one thing, and that is the very fact that I doubt." -- Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650)

Monday, February 14, 2005

So Sweet I have to see the dentist

Yet again, I haven't much to say. I'm a bad bad bad blogger!
Today is Valentine's Day. It's a non-event day if you ask me. No, I don't hear anyone asking. I never get anything from admirers. I've gotten gifts & cards from family and from students. So, I don't want to talk about this special day.

I'm going to the dentist tonight to get my first EVER cavities filled. I have no idea what is involved in the filling process. Drills, bleeding, yelling, crying? I doubt it. I've had braces. This can't be worse than the sadistic torture performed regularly by orthodontists everywhere!

Why do I have cavities? Because I'm just so gosh darn sweet!

So, have a sweet Valentine's day everyone! Don't forget to brush!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Monday, February 07, 2005

"The Senator" Posted by Hello

Left Feet & Maple Tea

Saturday Feb.5, 2005. This is how it went down.

8:10am - Foggy, mild.
Song - Dog on Wheels (Belle & Sebastian)
Location - Train 70 (Via Rail) - London to Toronto

What is going through my head?
My mom thinks I'm too old for knee socks. I think knee socks are keen. I cannot be stopped!

I knew a dog on wheels once. His name was Spike. He belonged to my next door neighbour. Poor doggy! I'd hate to be a doggy on wheels.

Song - Spill the Wine (The Animals)

Close call -
While waiting in the train station I spotted a co-worker whom I find extremely annoying. My greatest fear loomed ahead. If she saw me, would she try to sit next to me on the two hour train ride? The danger of traveling alone! Maybe she was going to Niagara Falls and would have to board a different car. Maybe she finds me as annoying as I find her! I could only hope.
Upon boarding, I chose two empty seats. I sat in the one closest to the aisle with my back to the aisle pretending to fumble through my bag in search of something. Stealing glances at the boarding passengers, I continued to rummage. Peeking behind me I saw that the co-worker had seated herself a few rows behind. I had succeeded in avoiding her and managed to snag myself an extra seat all to myself! Sweet victory!

Song - Euphoria (Firefly) - Delirium
Location - near Woodstock

The girl in the seat across the aisle next to me just leaned over and discarded her paper napkin into the little bag in the netting on the back of the seat ahead of me where I'm keeping my juice. If you had garbage, wouldn't you put it in your OWN space? Or wouldn't you either ask first, or even ask to have the bag and keep it in your own area? I would. I'll never understand human behaviour.


My life is coming out of it's own grey fog. I've been enveloped for the past few years.

10:50 - The Senator (near Dundas and Yonge)

I'm waiting for my friend to arrive. I haven't seen him in three years. I expect we'll have an enjoyable and entertaining time. Toronto makes me a little sad still. C'est la vie! My friend will cheer me up. The Senator is the oldest restaurant in Toronto, or so I hear. It opened in 1890. I don't think that was the original name. It is very retro. I feel like I should be meeting with a famous person for an interview. It's that kind of place. Looks like a greasy spoon right from the 1950s. There is a cabinet by the cash full of old salt & pepper shaker sets. Coca Cola signs hang in various spots. A vintage Kelloggs cereal display hangs from the wall. I like it here.

I order an Earl Grey. I want the hot cider listed on their menu but they don't have any. My friend arrives. He orders Earl Grey. We laugh about the synchronicity of it all. I tell him I like his shirt and will take a photo. I grimace and make fun of myself for taking photos of everything. He understands and says he has brought his camera too. We laugh. He brings out his camera. We both have the same exact model of camera. Spookiness ensues. I do believe I heard Twilight Zone music. Perhaps not.

After brunch we head over to the Eaton Centre for some shopping. Not my favourite place, but I'm in search of something only to be found there. The store is gone. We move on to our next item on the itinerary: Kensington Market in Chinatown. I want to go to a Chinese Vegetarian grocery store in the back of a restaurant. I've brought along a cooler to keep the frozen foods solid. We arrive and I insist I treat my friend to a drink & snack. We decide we're hungry enough for a meal and veto our spaghetti dinner plans. He doesn't mind that all the food is vegetarian. We order won ton soup, dumplings, sweet & sour oyster mushrooms (OH I LOVE THESE!), spring rolls, and california rolls (the kind with avocado inside). I eye the Coke cooler but resist. I am determined to quit the Coca-Cola habit for good. I MUST!

Next, we go to a store that I've never seen before. It must have recently opened (although I haven't been in Kensington Market since June). It is called "Little Toyko" and features a variety of things Japanese. Anything from pottery to bath salts, Japanese videos & books, to foods of all kinds. I don't think my friend has ever seen me so excited. I must look at everything. I notice the bath salts first. They are called "ofuro salts" as ofuro means bath in Japanese. They sell three brands. I recognize the one brand that has Kanji characters and a picture of a Famous bath house called "Dogo Onsen". Onsen means "bath house" in Japanese. I am estatic!!! Dogo Onsen is in the city where I lived in Japan. Whenever my friend from Japan visits, she brings these salts to me. They are such a luxury item to me! I decide to buy two packets.

I end up making three separate purchases there throughout the afternoon. The owner woman is very happy with me. More because I am so excited than anything. She even starts to speak a little Japanese to me. I am honoured! My goods purchased: Bath salts, Wasabi rice snacks, yam flour to make Okonomiyaki with (and the owner gives me a recipe), frozen Edamame (soy beans in their pods), and a candy treat shaped like an ice cream cone.

We head over to a candy store located on the corner of Baldwin and Augusta (I think). I find maple tea there. I'm delighted! My friend says he would never have known there was a store hiding in the small space. I'm happy I'm showing him something new.

A childhood friend has recently opened up a store in this neighbourhood. The store sells shoes for Vegetarians. It is called "Left feet". I had forgotten the address but I know it is close by. We ask a pretty young woman dressed in a shaggy multi-coloured vest if she knows of the store. She perks up when we said they sell veggie shoes. She suggests we check the next corner. As we approach a series of store fronts I vibe that we're getting closer. Sure enough, the store is just steps ahead. Unfortunately, the window is covered in paper saying "Left Feet. Coming soon". I am disappointed. I could have used some new shoes! So I leave my business card for the owner with a message that says "I want shoes. Open up". I hope he gets it.

I have 2 hours to catch my train home. We are both feeling mellow and haven't any ideas about where to go. We're sick of paying for parking. I am usually a pedestrian in Toronto so this is quite a foreign concept to me. We decide to spend the next hour or so at Chapter's Bookstore. We browse separately .

My friend drops me off at the train station. My journey is over. I'm ready to go back home.

Stay tuned for photos...

Friday, February 04, 2005

Heart of Gold

Friday. Today is a friday. What a wonderful way to end a week! I really haven't much to say but I've been accused of infrequent blogging. Soooo...... I guess I had better think of something to say.
I was listening to my mini-disc today. Here are few of my favourite songs that I listened to:
Neil Young - Heart of gold
Daft Punk - Around the world
Dana Lyons - Song for River Phoenix
Joan Baez - Don't think twice, it's alright
Sam Cooke - What a wonderful world
Belle & Sebastian - forget the name.... has the line about getting hit with a full can of coke (which by the way is no joke)

That's all for now.

Peace out!

Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday Morning Report on Monday Mornings

Monday mornings are an act of cruelty. Ok, maybe that is an overstatement. Everything feels overstated on a Monday. I woke up to my alarm but must have dozed off. Luckily my cat made an unusually stinky deposit in her litter which woke me up. I had only slept for 5 minutes. Thank you stinky kitty!
I race to get ready as I have a bus to catch. A bus that waits for no one whether it is early or on time.
I have to feed the cat. Done. Where did I put my eye glasses? Searching ensues. Found. Oh no, I left my hat at my parent's house. I know I have one somewhere in here. Located. Race out the door. Lock the door. Look at my feet. I've put on my running shoes instead of my work shoes. What is wrong with me?
I run wheezing and out of breath to the bus stop. My scarf is unwinding itself. Somehow, nothing short of a miracle, I make it in time for the bus. I get a good seat. Or so I think. When I stand up later I realize some evil being has deposited their gum on it. Why do people do this?
I'm now at my office. Something is making a horrible buzzing noise. It could possibly drive me insane. I've made a request to have it looked at. Next September is looking good. If they can fit it in. Again, an overstatement on my part.

And that my friends, is a Monday Morning.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

This is the title page for my "book of me" scrapbook. Stay tuned for more layouts from the life of Me. Posted by Hello

Old Man and the Potato Peeler

I was shopping for a present today in The Bay. An old man was carefully choosing the right potato peeler. For some reason, I found the whole scene rather endearing. A salesgirl (I say girl because she was a girl) came over to help him but he seemed to have found what he was looking for. She offered another style but he claimed the one he chose would be better suited for him as he is the potato peeler in his household. Again, I found him endearing. He asked how much it was. She said $10. He began fretting as he had brought that much with him. In a resigned but kindly way he said had come all this way for nothing. The sales girl just stood there as she had no cheaper potato peelers to offer. I decided I could spare a couple dollars to cover the taxes when I remembered the 20% off sign I had seen above the wares. I said to the sales girl "isn't that 20% off"? She agreed that it was and apologized for not noticing as the sale had just started today. She went off to check the price and found that he could indeed purchase the peeler. He was a happy man and went off on his way. I later saw him getting off of my bus. I hadn't noticed that we got on together.

It's funny how strangers can sometimes pull your heart strings for no particular reason. It is these rare moments that make me happy to be a part of life. I wish I had them more.

Blog Blog Blog

I just like the sound of that word. Blog. Makes me feel like a frog. Or some kind of aquatic creature. Now the idea of blogging is nothing new, but is the name? I've only become familiar with the word "blog" in the last year or so.
I've been distressed by my lack of writing over the past few years. I experience things that I'd like to remember but I end up telling them to my family & friends over the phone or on an email. I don't touch my diary anymore. Maybe blogging is the answer. Let's find out!
So, I'll make an entry whenever I have something to share. Nothing more. Nothing less. Maybe I'll talk about a dream I had, a book I read, or a hope I'd like to realize.
If you're wondering about why I chose "Tapping the dream tree" as the name for my blog journal it is really quite simple. It comes from the title of a Charles DeLint book. He's my favourite author. Check him out! Anyone who can come up with some catchy title like that deserves to be read, dontcha think? I like the idea of dreams being some tangible substance that flows through living beings.

Cya on the flip side! Ok, that doesn't really apply to anything but I've always wanted to say that.