Saturday, 31 May 2008
Thursday, 29 May 2008
We Canadians are a hearty bunch. We will endure weather extremes in order to enjoy our favourite entertainment options. Just look at the number of complete morons who will gather for an outdoor hockey game in February, or those same idiots who bare their chests for their hometown teams in frigid communities for the Grey Cup game in November. I will admit that when I planned to see the great "Slowhand" at the end of May at the Molson Amphitheater, I certainly did not anticipate temperatures in the mid single digits. The six of us were absolutely freezing our @#@$ off and that was with the winter gear and polar fleece blankets. Watching the almost 16,000 plus cram together in self-preservation while all the while sucking back Molson tall boys, was only half of the experience. The hot, unmistakeable sounds of Clapton's blues was the real draw and it was worth the mild frostbite. The husband and I were among the youngest in the crowd (with the clear exception of twin son's lovely XX who is responsible for the slightly distorted, but still viewable photos!) that was filled with aging Woodstock attendees and their progeny! The man can flat out play and when he pulled out an acoustic Martin dreadnought and a Martin twelve-string (very similar to my own) I was in heaven!! Turn on a bit of Eric and enjoy the photos!
The husband had a medical appointment scheduled for this morning at one of the downtown hospitals. Given the fact that he has spent the better part of this week shlepping back and forth between the downtown core, and due to the exorbitant price of gasoline, ($1.29 and climbing!!) he asked me to drop him off at the subway kiss and drop at Finch station. I have been making this trip every single morning for the past two years because younger son attends a mid-town school and the TTC is truly "The Better Way" in this case. (It is a bit ironic that I was even on the road today as I thought that I was going to have this morning off because younger son was home recuperating from last night's senior prom!) The kiss and drop and it's surrounding area has been a traffic nightmare since September. There is a high-rise office tower going in directly across the street and the construction has made for tricky driving at the Yonge/Hendon intersection. Not only that, TTC crews have been repairing Finch station both underground and above-ground so that further traffic chaos has become the norm. For the past two months, the extreme right hand lane has been shut down right after the Yonge Street entrance to the kiss and drop, reducing the morning rush hour to two tightly bunched lanes. Now, here is a further complication. Yonge Street is a carpool designated street between the hours of 7:00 am and 10:00 am every morning. The extreme right hand lane is solely for buses, taxis and cars carrying 3 or more passengers. I am and always have been a supporter of the idea of carpool lanes. It really does make sense to encourage people to carpool or take public transit. So every morning, as soon as I make my right hand turn onto Yonge Street, I dutifully enter the centre lane of traffic and head south towards Finch station.
Since the lane closure at Hendon, I have begun to make my lane change into the right a bit earlier than usual. After I cross Cummer, I usually move into the right in preparation for the upcoming right at the kiss and ride. The traffic on Yonge, as you can well imagine, is nightmarish in the morning, and any opportunity to make a safe lane change is taken. This morning this decision bit me in the ass. Toronto's finest, (who by the way have looked the other way on carpool lane infractions for over two years) chose this morning to make their stand! As the husband and I approached the kiss and drop, approximately about 300 metres from it's entrance in an office parking lot, sat perched 5 traffic cops. Yup! I was nailed! I tried to explain to the extraordinarily young and handsome officer (I am old enough to be his mother!! OY!!) that I was just dropping off the husband at the approaching subway station, and I asked him how was I to meander into the right hand lane with the congestion and lane closure creating an enormously dangerous driving situation. He told me that I was in the carpool lane for at least 300 metres before and that I am only allowed 150 metres of drive time in the carpool lane in order to make my right. I stopped arguing. What was the point? He had me nailed and he knew it. 80 bucks!!!!! No points because I didn't violate the Highway Act. This is only a municipal bylaw. In other words, David Miller needs more money to funnel into his municipal coffers, (which probably won't get used for things like ROAD REPAIRS!!!) so I along with dozens more, had our numbers come up this morning. I wasn't speeding, driving dangerously, impeding traffic, (which I would most certainly have done had I listened to Dudley Do-Right!) or running stops or reds. I simply made the lane change 150 metres too early. As we pulled away from the stop and back onto Yonge Street and back into the carpool lane, the husband said "Well that was really slimy!" It was an obvious quota-filling money grab and it reeked of insincerity. Where have these guys been for the past three years before the construction?
Now, I began this little rant by admitting my guilt. It is true--I did it! What galls me is the hoops that the city is making us jump through to get anywhere in this city due to road work and construction site, and now they have found a way of making us pay for the privilege as well. Both sons have said that I should fight the ticket, but I really don't have the time to spend in traffic court in the middle of town. The question becomes whether or not my time is worth $80.00! I will give it some thought, but right now, my inclination is to pay the f@#%ing thing!! Your thoughts?
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
1. I plan on reading voraciously for pure pleasure. I love to read, but rarely find the time when I am at home. The winter home is a different story. When we are south, I consume books. Here-not so much. So I am vowing to finish as many of the 9 or so books that are sitting on my bedroom nightstand as possible. This includes the trashy along with the erudite!!
2. I plan on frequenting the local theatre scene. Toronto has some of the finest local theatre in the world and we take it for granted. Not to mention that we are within spitting distance of both Stratford's and Shaw's festivals. There are several shows on my radar, some big and some small. I am hoping that Luminato will kick it off, but if not I know that there are a plethora of choices. (The husband already knows that this is on the radar, but is sort of hoping that they are not all musicals!)
3. I plan on walking in the evenings with my friend. My dear friend has suddenly found a new-found penchant for exercise. (Ok-the reality is that she wants her clothes to fit better, but who cares about the motivation-she is willing to move!!!!) I love summer walks and while this probably won't replace my own workout regime, I am so happy to be outside at night without a jacket, (please GOD!!) that I am more than happy to help her in her quest for a trimmer physique. Anybody want to join us? the more the merrier.
4. I plan on not stressing too much about the High Holidays. (All of you who know me well, I command you to stop chuckling now!!) I know that my type A personality probably will not allow me to fulfill this goal, but I am going to give it a try. I have been doing High Holidays at various congregations for 20 years now. It is time that I accepted that maybe, just maybe, I know how to sing Kol Nidre. I figure that since the holidays are later in September this year, I can afford the luxury of enjoying my summer.
5. I plan on floating at least once a day, weather permitting. I really do love the pool. I just hate being cold. If the weather will cooperate, I plan on laying on my back in the water and float for an extended period of time to contemplate life, love and why I find this blogging thing so engrossing.
6. I plan on staying in touch with my boys while they are on their yearly sojourn to the midwest, but I also plan to not obsess if they don't call or email. I think that I can take the hit! (They better remember their father on his birthday, though if they want me to acknowledge their existences at a later date!)
7. I plan on closing the kitchen, but still eat healthy. I used to steal a line from my mother about summer cooking. "The only pots on the stove were flower pots!" With just the husband and myself to feed, I know that we can do it easily, nutritiously and cheaply. I simply refuse to order in, eat out and buy prepared foods everyday. I am on my monthly diet and as such can ill afford the extra calories. Our new kitchen will be used, just differently. When I fully figure out how, I will let you know.
8. I plan on taking a road trip with my girlfriends! Hopefully we now have a date and a place that we can all live with. 48 hours of shopping, laughing and eating (P.F. Chang's here we come!!!) sounds pretty damn good to me.
9. I plan on spending Labour Day weekend in the heart of the midwest with old friends to celebrate 50 years of Goldman Union Camp! There will be several posts about this as it approaches, but suffice it to say, I am so excited I could plotz! (or is that Klotz?)
10. I plan on sleeping in past 7:00am every morning. This could be a challenge in that I am truly sleep deprived and one of the millions who suffer from insomnia, but damn it, I deserve it and I want to sleep in. Frankly I will take 7:30am, but I am aiming for 8:00!!!
11. My brother told me that he plans to spend the summer making pies! (He is a computer executive who really wishes he were a chef, hence the need to bake pies!) He plans on making the perfect pie crust with every filling imaginable. I hope he gets there, but I will not spend the summer making pies. I would like to spend some of my time brushing up on my Spanish. I have 4 years of high school Spanish, but it is very rusty. (I don't think there is much call for this: "Esta Susana en casa? Si, Esta con una amiga! Translated as: "Is Susana in the house? Yes, she is with a friend!) I bought a Berlitz program for my computer this year that has barely had a run. I plan to be able to say a heck of a lot more by the summer's end. (At the very least, I hope to be able to figure out what our former temple president and his wife are saying to each other!! I wonder if it is personal?)
12. I plan to enjoy the city this summer. I would like to visit the various street festivals and landmarks that makes the city great fun. Besides, with gas close to a $1.30, who can afford to go anywhere else?
13. I plan on doing at least one thing this summer that is totally out of character. For this, I am willing to take suggestions. Please do not encourage me to skydive or bungee jump or some such nonsense. That far out of character, I cannot travel, but I am willing to listen to other thoughts.
That is all for now. Please feel free to share your own summer plans. If it sounds promising, I am not above thievery. Enjoy!!
Monday, 26 May 2008
Sunday, 25 May 2008
I love this song!! I am a casual fan of Grey's Anatomy, but when I heard this song on the finale, I went searching for it. Love the music, lyrics and especially the voice of Bryn Christopher. I am a tough audience and am rarely this effusive about something new. Thanks to the friend who pointed me in this direction. Enjoy
Saturday, 24 May 2008
The most disgusting of things just happened! The male progeny are in the throes of camp preparations. Usually this entails the mundane task of underwear shopping (as previously posted), finding a new swimsuit or two and a run to Shopper's for essential grooming articles. This year, the husband and I decided that we would go through the old camp duffle bags to weed out the broken and decrepit, and repair and/or purchase new. Older son particularly has been on our collective cases about this, as he was convinced that his duffle had a broken zipper and would not tolerate yet another bout with American Airline's baggage handlers!! The husband dutifully made his way down to the storage closet to sift through our mismatched sets of luggage, when all of a sudden he lets out a "geshrie" the likes of which has rarely been heard!!! "Oh My God", husband cries out! I honestly thought that he found a nest of spiders. (the husband has a bit of phobic behaviour when it comes to insects!) I think that I would have preferred the spiders. As he is going through the litany of duffles, he came across older son's bag. Inside one of the end pockets, was a stash of camp clothes that had been sitting since last August. Several t-shirts, a few pairs of boxers and two pairs of moldy socks that have dutifully maintained that lovely camp odour all winter long!! I carefully removed the toxic waste with several plastic shopping bags and immediately threw them in the hottest wash that they could stand! Even if I choose to toss all of the items in the garbage later, the smell was too nauseating even for the trash! They may be salvageable, but I will not know until a few more times through the wash cycles! I placed an hysterical call to older son and found him enjoying the spring weather at the Blue Jay game.
"You won't believe this", I screamed hysterically.
"I emptied it all", he pleaded in complete denial.
"Obviously not, dumbass", I replied.
He apologized profusely and mumbled something about thanks for looking after the crud. The crazy part of all of this is, that older son is usually the meticulous of the two. It is younger son's room and possessions that have always concerned me. I always worried about mold and food stuff growing from his walls and if anyone had told me that one of the boys would leave moldy clothes in a duffle for a full calendar year, I would have guessed the younger. It just shows you, never presume and never assume. But I am starting to wonder if I have raised a crop of dillweeds!!!!
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
1. Why is it okay for television programs to publicize "ripped from the headline" shows and then deny that they have any basis in fact? (Law and Order-Are you listening? Ba Bum!!)
2. Why would anybody attempt to place a phone-in vote for American Idol or Dancing with the Stars for upwards of three hours, but neglect to vote in a federal election?
3. Why would anyone believe that high calorie foods eaten in small amounts contain more calories than low calorie foods eaten in much larger amounts? Over half of Americans believe just that!!
4. Why is a movie trailer at the beginning of a film? Doesn't a trailer, by definition, belong at the end?
5. Why does the dry cleaner charge markedly more to clean a woman's white blouse as opposed to a man's white shirt? Do we sweat more and create more staining?
6. Why is the husband so pleased at the thought of beating his mother to a pulp at scrabbulous? He positively glows when the game is in hand. Is this any way for a son to treat his mother?
7. Paris Hilton? Explain!!
8. Why is our favourite sports team called the Maple Leafs and not the Maple Leaves?
9. Why do men need someone to blame when something in the house breaks? Case in point: "You opened the door wrong and that is why the knob came off!" I didn't realize that there was a right way and a wrong way to twist a knob and open a door!
10. What do the numbers on Lost really mean?
11. What exactly is a Hoosier? (This one has bothered me for 30 years!)
12. Customer service? An oxymoron for the new millennium!
13. Why are we having November weather in May? Does this mean we will get May weather in November or does this mean we will have November forever and ever?
14. How is it that Harrison Ford and Sylvester Stallone can make action movies while collecting social security, but women actresses in Hollywood can't get hired over the age of 35?
15. Stupidity defined? 249km/hr on the 400!
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Friday, 16 May 2008
I haven't just had to endure this shit from the husband over the years, he managed to pass this nonsense on down to his sons. When they were small it was easy. I bought the clothes and they wore the clothes. The only time I needed them with me was to try on shoes. I should have realized my fate way back then. Older son was a nightmare. After dismissing every pair in the store, we finally managed to squeeze something onto his feet, only to have him constantly whine about the toes, heels, laces or colour. No shoes were ever comfortable enough or soft enough. He used to wear his shoes literally off of his feet, before we would venture back for round 2! To his credit, younger son is more like his grandfather, in that he cares what is on his back, but he has no regard for price! I was thrilled when they started shopping for themselves, so that I didn't have to endure the traumas. Today, I re-entered the lion's den. Both boys had the day off and were in desperate need of a few essentials for the summer. Since the bank of mom is much deeper than either of their accounts, I was invited along. I discovered fairly quickly that the shopping window was finite and that we better get to our tasks immediately or nobody would buy even a sock! Neither dipstick knew their jean size!! How is that possible? Doesn't everybody have a notion of their jean size? Granted it may be off a bit due to make and fit, but not even an inkling? Store number one was eventually a success and we were off to obtain (gasp!!) shoes for older son. After making few quiet suggestions, I chose self-preservation and left him to his own devices. I wandered off and miraculously he left the store with a brand-spanking new pair of size 10s. (as an aside-given that both boys attend camp in the States, I usually like to buy them an updated Canadian t-shirt or shorts to show off their patriotism. In Olympic years, this purchase is usually a snap, but not this year. I have never seen such ugly and hideous wear as are being foisted upon the Canadian consumer this year by the Bay! Garish doesn't even come close to describing this crap. It is cheap feeling and truly nauseating to look at, but it is expensive! I felt a great sense of relief when both guys felt as I did!) We were on a roll now, but I knew that time was not an ally, attention was wandering (they were going into the video and gaming stores!) and that they still needed (ugh!) underwear!! Trying to determine the size of your adult male children's underwear is not something I would wish on any of you. Older son made it crystal clear from the beginning, that while this is something that he desperately requires, he would not even entertain the possibility of buying it while with his mother. (smart boy that one!!!) Younger son, always the pragmatist, and lazier in that he didn't want to put himself through another shopping trip, put his embarrassment aside and dove right in. He is now set for the summer. Hopefully older son will get it together before he leaves and will not be forced to wear his old stuff. Frankly, it is not my problem. As the husband said, men should not shop for underwear with their mothers, they should do it with their wives and girlfriends!! Ok sons!! The next move is yours!!!
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Monday, 12 May 2008
I have seen Tom Paxton in concert many times over the years, and every single time I think that I have seen the best. The man never fails to entertain, stimulate, entrance and provoke. He is simultaneously timely and timeless-not an easy feat! The pictures are not the best given that they were taken with a cell phone cam, but I appreciate the efforts of my friend who has bigger and brassier ones than I ever could hope to possess, in pursuit of the photos. BTW-if you are ever in the Toronto area, I urge you to visit Hugh's Room, one of the finest folk clubs around. Ladies and gentlemen-Mr Tom Paxton!!!
George W Told The Nation
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Mom-Thank you for allowing me the freedom to be myself and not a younger version of you. While I know that you hated the torn jeans and sneakers, you never forced me into a frilly lace dress just because I was "the daughter"! You allowed me the freedom to be myself, even when that included playing hockey instead of Barbies, and talking football instead of fashion.
Mom-Thank you for instilling in me the importance of family ties. While the little bro and I still cannot fathom how we both emerged from the same womb, we were raised to understand that the sibling relationship is amongst the strongest and most enduring. You have demonstrated this time and again through the involvement with your own family (even when it wasn't always easy to do so) and have shown us that family ties truly bind! (sometimes like a noose-but we get the point!!!)
Mom-Thank you for the cookie recipes. I know that you hate the idea that you are exclusively known for your baking, (as you have mentioned many times in that I am not allowed to mention it in your eulogy!) but it needs to be shouted from the highest points on earth: "MRS. C-YOU MAKE GREAT COOKIES!!!!" I am certain that I have many friends who have maintained their relationships with me simply due to the cookies. For that, mere thanks will never be enough.
Mom-Thank you for demonstrative love. I love that you and Dad still hold hands and are affection with one another in public without care or fear of embarrassment. Your grandchildren never fail to hug and kiss whenever they see you and that is because you have shown them that public affection is one of the best signals of love. You go girl!!
Mom-Thank you for being the organizer, planner, computer doctor, TIVO fixer, glasses finder, telephone locator, trip group leader, purse GPS, airplane reservation desk and directional navigator. It always amazes me all of the things that you can do, but honestly, if Dad doesn't kiss your feet every time you have bailed him out of shit, then he really doesn't know a good thing when he has it staring him in the face.
Mom-Thank you for the inheritance of lactose intolerance, all around stomach ailments, arthritic joints, big breasts, small feet, short stature, cyclical acne, and a gag reflex that kicks in when stuff gets too syrupy. (Yanni and Khalil Gibran comes quickly to mind!!) Thank you also for the inheritance of style, design sense, a love of beauty and a need for cleanliness that is so close to God it is frightening!
Other Mom-You thought that I would forget you! Thank you for sharing her with the little bro and me. Nobody will ever be able to truly understand the bond that the two of you share and we were just happy to be able to a part of it. Thank you for being there when Mom A was unavailable and thank you for never ever believing that you only had 2 kids when we all knew that you had 4! The term Aunt is far too benign a word for what you truly are!!!
Mom-Thank you for knowing when to offer opinions and when to stay silent. (OK- so the silent part took you a bit longer to master!) You allowed me to make my own decisions and mistakes even when you wholeheartedly disagreed with my choices. As a parent myself, it is only now that I am beginning to understand how truly difficult this is.
Mom-Thank you for knowing when to be a parent and when to be a friend. You instinctively understood when the parenting ended and the friendship kicked in. You are the type of friend who tells me the truth, holds a mirror to my face and kicks me in the ass when I need it. I truly enjoy spending time with you because you are the only person in my life who will tell the truth when I ask "Does this make me look fat?"
Mom-Thank you for accepting my choice of life partner and accepting him as one of your own from the beginning. We all know that it took him a while to warm up, but after 23 years I think that he is finally beginning to understand our family with all of it's baggage, bullshit and nareshkiet. (Maybe?)
Finally, Mom-Thank you for being my number one fan. You supported me, cheered for me, sat in the front row at every service, concert and play. You supported my endeavours no matter how odd and jumped in with both feet when asked. (Are you gagging yet-because there's more!) You bragged about me and nagged me when I needed it. You are truly my best friend over the age of retirement!!! For all of this and so much more, I wish you a very Happy Women for Peace and Disarmament Day!
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
The Shithole was FINALLY here yesterday. Fixed the deck on the same day that the pool was opened. I hope to never ever see this moron again. If I didn't think there were liability issues I would publish his name, address, phone number and company name to warn you all away from him. Caveat Emptor!!!
Check out the new blog site away from facebook!!
This blogging thing is stimulating and creative!!