February 28, 2016
It’s been another day on planet Earth. And we did have a warm and pleasant morning and afternoon. Of course, it couldn’t have lasted. The wind has been gushing for the last three or four hours and, the last time I went out, fat drops of rain would fall.
Anyway, you have to enjoy it as long as it lasts and we did enjoy it. It was a good day for strolls and spending time in the yard with a coffee and good book in hand.
Because of the sudden high temperature, the soil cannot absorb all the water and at least a quarter of my yard turned into a pond. I am not exaggerating. It had only a few centimeters depth but it was a pond, a small one, I’ll give you that, but a pond nonetheless.
Rex managed to avoid that part of the yard while he ran outside. You could see he was happy not to shiver anymore. However, a brazen squirrel decided that it liked the tree in the corner of the yard, exactly by the pond and that drove him crazy. Pond or no pond, he chased her and barked in a fury.
That meant he was wet and muddy from the bottom of his little paws to the top of his head.
Cleaning Rex is no easy feat, I can tell you that. I am convinced now that I lack any skills in training a dog and I really don’t know how the others I had turned as well as they did.
Well, armed with two rags, I started cleaning him. I would manage to clean a bit before one rag was taken from my hand and then I had to use the second rag for a few seconds till he’d take that one away and I had to return to the first. Anyway, it seems a boring procedure in description but very consuming energy wise.
Being such a beautiful day, sunny and warm, no one came out, of course – either something is wrong with me and I cannot understand the world anymore or something is very wrong with people around.
If the weather is nice and invites to spend time outside, no one comes out. There’s no child out to play, even dogs are scarce. If the weather is bitter and the wind bites, you could see lots of dogs on the paths in the forest and even children sometimes playing in the interior court of the complex.
Anyway, I am stuck in my ways. When it is good weather, I prefer to spend it outside. Considering that my room turns into a green-house when the sun shines (no matter how low the temperature is outside), I do prefer to spend time in the yard or in the forest. If this is out-fashioned, I don’t care.
Anyway, it was an exciting day for me because I read two good books, not so exciting for you to read about it, though. So, let’s talk again tomorrow. It’s Monday. Things will change. There will be people to meet and talk to, trains to ride and so on.
Have a good day, wherever you are!
February 27, 2016
This Saturday has been a very interesting day. I have had a chance to mix with the world in various situations and I cannot say I had a moment of boredom.
I was very satisfied to see that one of the subjects that have been bothering me for a while found its way in Toronto Star (if I am not wrong).
I have been wondering for a while why people are so interested in taking selfies and especially in very strange situations. It seems that Toronto Star found the answer and I will not try to plagiarize them by repeating it. I am sure anyone can try a search on Internet and found the online edition of the newspaper.
When I started this blog I decided not to discuss any of the “Isms”, like racism, feminism, and so on. Today, though, I had the possibility to witness the reverse in the first “ism” and I really need to share it.
We were on the subway, which by the way looked exactly as it looks at rush hour on a workday. It was literally packed. I rode the train on weekends before and I never saw anything like this.
However, let’s not digress. We were standing and holding the bar and it was crowded. On the seats next to us, there was a young Asian girl and an Afro-American woman around thirty, maybe thirty-five. The young girl stood up and went to the door to get off the train and a Caucasian woman, around thirty as well sat on the spot that had just become available.
The Afro-American woman frowned, mumbled something under her breath and stood up trying to get away from the Caucasian woman, but, luck have it, she bumped into me and looked straight at me.
That didn’t go well. I’m Caucasian as well, and unfortunately my skin is extremely white and I am a blond. She frowned worse than before, pushed me brutally aside with an “Excuse me!” that sounded like a curse and tried to move away.
Intrigued, my eyes followed her way through the crowd and noticed that she finally stopped when she found a spot where three other Afro-American women were gathered.
It was interesting, I must say. In my mind, I call such a reaction as racism in reverse but I have to admit that being at the end of the stick isn’t too funny.
Today, I went to two info-sessions for two master degree programs as my daughter is interested in taking both of them.
At the beginning, I was quite concerned that she was taking her mom with her, although I was delighted to see what all of that was about. When we got there, though, I relaxed. I wasn’t the only mom in the audience. There were several. When I saw a guy with his mom as well, I started feeling like at home.
The only thing that marred the experience a little was the location for the first session. The session took place in a large hall designed with a sort of chairs moving on their axis, supported only by a small bar in the middle.
Besides the meager support – I am not a small woman and I have to admit that I pay close attention to the chairs I sit on, the chairs allowed very little movement and left only ten centimeters between the back of the chair and the desks.
Now, it was clear that the chairs were designed for very thin people – the fairy people as I heard my daughter call them, but unfortunately, even though Toronto has its share of fairy people, the percentage of such people in that room was about 10 or 15. And I haven’t taken into consideration the parents, especially the mothers. With one exception, all of us were quite big and those chairs were clearly not for us.
Everywhere you looked, people were trying to find a way to sit but the only possibility was to turn aside a bit and it was very uncomfortable. Plus, the manner in which the chairs were attached to that axis that provided movement to the chair, allowed a person to turn only in one direction, either left or right, depending on the position of the chair so some of the people coming to the session had to show their back to the speakers.
I imagined I wouldn’t be able to sit in such a position for two hours with no break and I went out to the organizers and asked for a real chair, which they provided with no problems. Besides a few young girls, I was the only one that had a very comfortable session.
The second session took place in a different room with real chairs. That was a blessing as there were more speakers and it lasted longer. Nevertheless, it was more interesting and informative than the first one.
Besides that, I had the chance to witness a paradox. Among the speakers, there were two female professors with at least twenty if not thirty years distance between them. The older professor had everything organized on her cell phone: agenda, key notes and so on. The younger one sported papers. She had notes on paper as professors used to have back in my days.
If the younger one had had everything on an electronic device, it wouldn’t have mattered - it would have seem normal, but to see such an unusual switch between generations, that was something to file away and think about.
The sessions, as I have already mentioned, were very informative and especially the second one was very well planned and organized.
There were speakers that almost put me to sleep – it always happens like that when someone drones away, reading monotonously from a piece of paper. No matter how precisely they utter the words, how clear and distinct they are, I cannot follow.
There were also some good ones and they managed to keep me interested in hearing them and then there were speakers that were excellent, showing not only knowledge but also showing the gift of sharing that knowledge with the others in a manner that not only keeps your interest on the topic but keeps you riveted on your chair wishing to hear more.
Those two hours passed very fast and I must confess that I didn’t even look at the time once – during the first session, I did and several times.
When we left home in the morning, I saw that my daughter took a rucksack with her and the respective bag was full. I asked her why, as I knew we would only go to listen to some people outlining some master programs. It seems she had some clothes – to change between the sessions, notebooks and only God knows what else because I didn’t probe anymore. It was something beyond my understanding.
Along the years, I learnt not to comment anymore even if something strikes me like being very unusual. As a parent, you learn to choose battles and to skip over things that don’t have too much importance. Right now, it was not really important to make a comment. It was not I the one that had to carry that thing through a bus and two trains. So, I kept my mouth shut.
When we got to university, I was quite happy I had done so. Everybody had a rucksack and that rucksack was full. Almost everybody changed between the sessions. It was like a bloody epidemic.
It seems it’s been quite a while I haven’t visited the university district to see what young people are up to.
Anyway, between the trip to downtown and back – about an hour and a half each way, the two sessions with an hour in between which we used to walk around a little, the usual chores at home and Rex and my reading, the day was quite full.
I will see you tomorrow again. Maybe. Till then, continue to have a nice weekend.
February 26, 2016
Friday is almost over. Sometimes I think: “Thank, God, the week is gone!” but other times I feel the inexorable passing of time and it’s like everything is going by very fast and nothing gets done.
Well, some things get done because one cannot live without, but it feels like it’s just mundane stuff.
Eh, I will admit that not everything can wear the stamp of something out of ordinary as life is made mostly of ordinary stuff that must be repeated over and over again, even if one would dream of extraordinary things and adventure.
I am one of those. I’d have loved to explore and to discover things.
I can’t say I haven’t had my part of exploration, though. I have had the chance to explore quite a lot in my youth and even after. I liked hiking and I doubt that there’s any mountain back home that I’ve never climbed. I liked exploring knowledge and I’ve read extensively. I liked making unusual friends and from all walks of life and I did.
However, I don’t want to get melancholic or philosophic tonight. The weekend is almost here and it will be busy enough to take my mind from another week of anodyne stuff.
I suppose this flu that is so persistent and refuses to go away after such a long time is also to blame for my mood but I cannot allow it to darken your mood as well.
It was downright cold today showing that spring, which was dangled before our eyes at the beginning of the week, was just an illusion.
That didn’t stop people mulling around though, and, unexpectedly, the children also appeared to play outside. I was sure I’d never see them playing around as they hide inside their houses playing video-games all day long, as they parents say, and it was very surprising they did so today when it was so cold but didn't get their noses out of the house when it was sunny and almost seventeen degrees over zero.
Do you remember the supermarket carts that ornate the walls of almost every other house in the compound? I've told you about. As I see, they are getting into fashion and not only in our complex. I saw people leaving other supermarkets with them. They come handy, though.
Well, the carts we see around here, in the complex, were turned into racing cars today and the noise was unbearable for over an hour.
That was enough to make me regret that the children abandoned their video-games and came outside to play. Rex barked like crazy and I couldn’t really blame him. It was like we were both in a barrel and someone was banging metal things over our heads. The noise was deafening.
The entire exercise exhausted him and he slept for the remaining of the afternoon. I do hope that his afternoon nap will not stop him to sleep during the night.
I’ve seen cats playing in the dark before. Well, cats are creatures that manage quite well in the dark, but this is the first dog I’ve ever had that can play at night with no light.
That’s not a blessing. Unfortunately I have very good hearing and very light sleep. Tonight I’d enjoy sleeping as I woke up very early after a night of tossing and sneezing and coughing and tomorrow I have to wake up early again. Even right now, I feel my eyes closing, which is quite out of ordinary as I usually do not feel like going to bed before midnight.
But sometimes, things out of ordinary happen. They might be big or small. The important thing is that they do happen and they tear through the monotony in a way or another.
I hope you’d have extraordinary things happen to you this weekend, and I do hope that they will bring you joy.
Why won’t you let me know if it is so? Drop a line, if you have time!
Have a nice weekend, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing!
February 25, 2016
I can’t say it’s been a good day because I’m sick like a dog (I wonder who invented this expression) but I can’t say it’s been a bad day because I actually had some fun.
Not so much fun when I called the doctor office to cancel my appointment tomorrow and after I rambled on and on to find out that I dialed the wrong number and I was giving my bank a very detailed report on my health.
However, my daughter managed to keep me entertained. She studies history of China right now and she is full of information.
The most interesting fact I found out was that in 1901, when the dowager empress declared simultaneously war to the greatest 11 powers in the world, the allied armies negotiated the night when they were supposed to invade Beijing.
They decided to start marching towards the city at four a.m. The Japanese, in the end, made the decision to leave at 3 a.m. to prove to the Europeans, which they thought inferior, that they were stronger and more powerful.
After a while, still marching they saw the British troops before them and they approached them angrily: “You are not honest,” the Japanese said, “you said 4 a.m.”. The English answered: “Never mind. The Germans are way ahead.”
It’s been over a century since then. However, that state of things rings true even today. It doesn’t seem that humankind learnt too much.
We flew to the Moon and we sent probes to research the Universe but we haven’t learnt to really collaborate one with the other. One must always prove that they are smarter and faster and more powerful. One must always come ahead. I think that, in the end, that’s the stamp of humankind, stripping humanity of the human beings.
At least thus, we know where we stand one with the other. As I know that Rex will always consider the moon and the stars his mortal enemies and he will never cease to furiously bark at them.
Constants in life might bring safety and balance in thinking but sometimes they hinder progress – or at least progress the way I see it.
I might be wrong, though, and getting philosophical at midnight might prove less helpful in the long run. Sometimes pondering too much upon some topics may lead only to migraines and stress and will require more effort to regain balance in the end.
Anyway, Rex has already drunk his milk before bed and prepared for bed. I will take the lead from him as tomorrow I start working earlier than usually. And maybe, just maybe, tomorrow I’ll feel better and be able to offer you something more to chew.
See you again and be well, wherever you are!
February 24, 2016
It’s been an interesting day, I must say although I started this day half asleep. I needed more time than usually to be aware of what was going around or what I was doing.
Poor Rex had to wait for me to finish my coffee before paying any attention to him. I can’t say I could see too much as my eyes refused to open wide.
The snow storm, advertised everywhere with so much fanfare, consisted in a few hours of snowfall and a chilly wind but turned into a real flood afterwards.
It rained like the end of the world would come and not for an hour or two, but since the final hours of the morning to the beginning of the night. The rain combined with the snow and there was a serious layer of water everywhere.
I had to go to the store in the afternoon and my boots were so wet after not even three meters that it didn’t matter where I stepped afterwards. The only thing that kept my mood high was the fact that I bought them on sale and I paid only half the price. Had I paid the full $150, I would have been pissed off. I had a little pool inside each boot and my feet were simply swimming in water and I was frozen to the bones. That was exactly what I needed as I had been fighting a flu for some time now.
As a matter of fact, even now the boots are not dry. I hope that they get dry till Friday morning as I do have to go out that morning.
I can walk around the complex in shoes but I wouldn’t risk of going too far. I ruined a pair of shoes last year because the snow started and the layer was quite thick when I had to come back home.
So, let’s get back to the subject at hand – if there is one. I was saying that I had to go to the store and the weather was awful. Nevertheless, I marched forward and braved the pavement that had turned into a mini-pond.
Of course, when I got back home I had to take off not only the boots but also the coat and hat right there in the door. I didn’t feel like wiping the floors after I had brought the deluge inside.
Rex refused to go out at noon or at four. He considered it would have been smarter to wait it out and not to brave the rain. Even the balcony turned into the forbidden realm. He didn’t bother to come at the door when I opened it. It was enough that he could still hear the rain coming down angrily so, he stayed inside and waited for me to come back from outside and then requested his treats as he had behaved.
Well, I couldn’t say no, even if he hadn’t actually been outside. He had behaved: no barking, no jumping and no tantrums.
In the evening though, he couldn’t wait anymore so he ran out, raced to the first tree, then to the first patch of grass and then again back home. It was enough.
He was wet and expressed his dissatisfaction by shaking the water off his fur all over the entry hall. So, in the end, I still had to wipe the floors.
On such a rainy day, the only thing you could do is either sleep or read. Now, considering that I also had to work, sleeping was out of question.
I could have slept, don’t take me wrong, the desire was there, but I am pretty sure my manager wouldn’t have liked it. So, I got stuck with reading whenever I had a chance. And I did have a chance because it was not a too busy day at work.
It’s already past midnight. I had to work on the review and that took more time that I expected. You could see the result of the essay competition if you go on our online magazine: www.scarletleafreview.com. You can even let us know what you think.
See you tomorrow again!
February 23, 2016
It’s been a beautiful spring day although it’s still February. I even heard the cuckoo singing accompanied by several other feathered beings which, I’m ashamed to say, I don’t really know what they are named.
I was really happy and I was thinking that, finally, the spring was there, just in touch, when Maria sent me a message in the afternoon to tell me that tomorrow there would be a snow storm. Hope crashed and died. My mental plans of putting the winter clothes away got swept under the rug.
I don’t know if it was her message or not (persuasion has a lot of power, after all) but my cold, which had seemed to go away, came back in force, this time also with fever and real aches in my throat and also with sniffles not only with the lack of voice.
However, there’s the night to contend with and I do hope that by morning I will be much better than I am now. If not, then I am doomed.
I had only a few free hours today when I could decide what to do without being bound by a schedule and I simply enjoyed my spare time in the yard with a cup of coffee and a book.
That doesn’t mean that I was completely alone or that I enjoyed too much peace. Of course, Rex had to be present as always – he’s like March in lent, and he had to chase after all the squirrels that dared to come close to his trees and all the birds that were giving a concert around.
However, this was one of those days when I didn’t care. He barked and ran and made a lot of noise and I simply didn’t pay any attention at all.
It’s not like he’s the only dog in the neighborhood making a racket all the time. There are at least two others that keep people up at all hours of the day. On Sunday, I even saw a neighbor practicing target with them throwing snowballs because she was exasperated.
It seems that I chose correctly. Not paying attention to him made him stop and simply run around without the additional noise.
Being Tuesday and as I’m a bit superstitious and have the feeling that nothing can be solved on a Tuesday, I saved the day for introspection and for laziness. I didn’t do anything important besides my work, of course. My employer doesn’t care for my superstitions. Tuesday is a day of work so I have to work, which intellectually I understand perfectly. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop me to dream of a world where I can do whatever I want and when I want.
In such a world, I’d certainly do nothing. I’d get lost in my woolgathering or in my books. I would plot the novel that would win the Nobel Prize one day without actually writing it. Everybody around would go hungry because I wouldn’t bother to do any kind of usual chores and the house would be in shambles.
No, the house wouldn’t be in shambles. I am too afraid about rodents and other pests to let it go in shambles, especially after I saw a dead rat on one of the paths of the complex a few days ago. It actually lay there for a few days till someone thought of taking it away.
It is not a very expensive complex but it is not cheap either. I’d have expected a little more attention to such details but sometimes, expecting too much brings too much disappointment so I learnt not to dwell on such things. I simply avoided the area when I walked Rex, after I checked from afar that the area was still contaminated.
I know it is an exaggeration but that’s how the great plague started (if I am not wrong, because right now, I cannot be sure of anything – with the high fever I have, I’m probably able to invent big chunks of history).
I think I’d better try my hand at writing tomorrow. Today, it seems like a futile exercise. I am too restrained to write anything – I wouldn’t like to read God knows what tomorrow. Who knows what thoughts lurk in my brain right now and once put in writing, it is difficult to take it back.
That’s why I never kept a diary, not even when I was too young and impressionable. At least, that was one thing in which I showed wisdom even at a tender age.
And right now I’m thinking: what is this blog if not a sort of diary? Wow, I simply forgot the golden rule: never put anything in writing that you might come to regret later. That’s something I have to think about tomorrow, for sure.
Till then, have a good day, wherever you are.
February 22, 2016
I am pretty sure I’ve said it before but I actually have to say it again: it’s been a very, very long day and it seems that it’s not over yet.
It doesn’t sound good especially if you feel tired and you have the image of a cozy bed in your head, does it? However, before fulfilling this wish, I still have a few things to do and one of them is to annoy you again with a post.
I imagine it would feel good to let it go for one evening – even for you it would feel good, but I know myself, skipping it once will make it okay to do it a second time and then a third and then I will be thinking: why to bother anymore?
Anyway, let me lead through the tribulations of my day, which started extremely early as I had to be at work early in the morning.
Before being able to go to work, I have lots of things to do and maybe the most stressing of all, considering it is still winter, it is walking the dog first thing in the morning.
As you already know because I told you so, during the last few days, we had spring weather: sunny, temperature in the higher range, around seventeen degrees, even, but everything came to a sharp halt yesterday afternoon, when suddenly the temperature went seriously down. Right now it is minus two.
Imagine, it is not so delightful to go out in the morning air to walk the dog, especially if your eyes are not completely open. All right, the crisp air will do that for you: after two minutes outside, I’m awake – better than coffee.
As it was Monday today, TTC decided to play with the customers, even though the beginning of the trip was quite good.
The bus came unexpectedly fast – actually there were four of them coming the same time so there was plenty of room inside. I don’t know how the people coming to the bus stop afterwards fared, but, as we people are sometimes selfish enough, I felt good for myself. Not only I could breathe but I even got a seat.
Now the subway was a real challenge for Torontonians today. At first, line 1 was stopped – but completely. There was no train between Spadina and Bloor Station. I understand it lasted about half an hour – I don’t know first-hand because I don’t use that side of the line. Then, line two went down for a while and then, when line two went back into operation, line one went down, this time on my side of the line.
That meant we spent some time in the tunnel before St.-Clair station and when we finally started moving, we made it only into the tunnel before Sumerhill, where we spent some time as well.
Imagine a train full of people, most of them standing in positions that might seem inconceivable until you try them, just waiting, being uncomfortable, for the train to start running again.
Anyway, I finally got to work, of course, with a considerable delay. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. There were others like me as almost everybody needs the subway to get to work.
When I left there in the evening, I found myself in a subway station so packed with people that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into the first train and I was right. I couldn’t get into the second train either.
In the end, a trip that should have taken me an hour tops, took me about an hour and forty-five minutes, after traveling on a train so packed that I couldn’t find a spot to put my left foot down.
What I find interesting is the fact that people still find ways to entertain themselves even in such conditions.
I had the possibility to partake in the conversation of two ladies. One was on my left side, holding the bar next to me - she was lucky because most people have to balance themselves without the possibility to find an anchor of any kind and of course, when the train takes a curve, people are smashed one into another. That’s not too much damage because they cannot go far as there is no room for that.
Anyway, the second lady involved in the conversation with the first one was somewhere across the alley on the right, holding another bar (she was lucky as well).
They couldn’t see each other, but they could converse, though. The fact that there were at least six if not more people between them didn’t detract them from filling the time.
Next to me, it was a young girl who, for seven stops, didn’t do anything else but analyzing her picture on her TTC card. I understand to be so absorbed in your own picture for ten minutes, maybe fifteen but not more. I looked at the picture as well (being so cozy one next to the other, it was not too difficult to look): nothing out of the ordinary, just her face. However, perspectives may differ. Who knows what she could see there.
Opposite to me, there was a young man who kept arranging his hair in the glass of the door and now and then raising his arms (how he managed such a feat, I don’t know, considering the narrowness of the space) and flexing his muscles. He was looking straight in my direction, but I am pretty sure he was actually aiming at the young girl with the photo. Alas, she was too busy to pay any attention to him.
The people around did pay attention, though, because they had to wave this way and that way to be sure that he wouldn’t hit them accidentally while flexing his muscles.
I’ve seen lots of things in the subway or on buses along the time. After all, it’s been over eight years since I started enjoying the delights of the public transport service in Toronto.
I had the possibility to see once a young man pushing hard an old lady who wanted the seat next to me so that he could take the seat. I saw young people elbowing their way on a bus so that they could reach a seat before the old people would get there.
What I haven’t seen before tonight was an old lady elbowing her way.
I got off the train and crossed the tunnel to get to the escalator leading to buses. Exactly when I got on the platform, I saw an express bus coming and I rushed towards the stop for the express. The same time, five other people noticed the bus as well and decided that they’d prefer the express as well. Now it depended on who would walk faster to get in the line or to form the line as there wasn’t one at that moment.
I managed to be the second in line. However, it was a very shortly lived victory. An old woman - much older than I but with a lot of strength (probably she visits the gym every day, not like me), simply pushed me forcibly aside and took my place. Then she turned to me and flashed me with a victorious smile.
Considering her age, I didn’t say anything. Anyway, I had been bumped on the third place only, so I doubted I couldn’t find a seat (it is a long ride and I usually carry the laptop with me and it can get heavy after a while if I have to stand).
The interesting thing was that when she got onto the bus she ran to a seat, then changed her mind and ran to another and changed her mind again and so on and so on. By the time she decided, all seats were taken.
She was taken aback for a moment, but then she went with determination to the young girl sitting in front and told her to move away because she wanted the seat. The girl looked at her with indifference, took some earplugs from her bag and started listening to music closing her eyes. The woman got furious and started mouthing the girl but this one was oblivious to everything. Finally, another young girl offered her a seat and she calmed down a bit.
I heard once a saying about running after more rabbits the same time… I think it would have been appropriate here.
Anyway, the important thing is that I got home and I had only to hear that woman rambling for only one stop, because she got off the bus.
Home usually means walking the dog – he had already been waiting for me on top of the stairs as my daughter had made the mistake to tell him that I was on my way home. He had been there on top of the stairs for one hour and forty-five minutes, patiently waiting to hear the front door opening.
And then, la piece de résistance: pancakes. I always keep my word and I promised my daughter yesterday that I would make pancakes – a mistake, that’s true. I didn’t think that I’d be so tired this evening, but a promise is a promise and when you have only your own word, you have to keep it.
Finally, it’s almost midnight and I still have to go through some papers so I will leave you alone. I think you deserve it after patiently reading through all of this. See you soon!
February 21, 2016
I’ve decided to write my post earlier as tomorrow I have to leave the house very early in the morning and I am quite tired.
I started the day very early today and I don’t think that there was any reason for that. However, I woke up earlier than usually and Rex decided that he wanted his stroll at that ungodly hour anyway, so out we went and, as the weather was pleasant, the walk lasted longer.
On our way back, we met a nice old man with his little dog who showed more determination than any other dog I’ve ever seen. She, because it was a she, didn’t even care for Rex’s growls and theatrics – he pretended he wanted to maul her. Her mind was set: she wanted to play with him, and that was that. He had no chance. After trying to make her retreat, befuddled, he gave up and in spite of his antisocial streak, he played with her.
It was fun, I must say. It wasn’t fun when we got back home. I am pretty sure I have already mentioned that I hate housework. That’s what I did.
I decided to set the kitchen to its rights and to make it shine. I don’t know what came over me that I made such a decision. I hated every single moment but I also have a problem: if I start something, I have to finish no matter how much I loathe an activity.
So, that’s how my morning went by: slaving on the altar of cleanliness. And to think it wasn’t a mess to begin with, but when you start such a thing you have to go all the nine yards, from top to bottom.
Anyway, it’s behind and that’s all that matters.
In the afternoon, I met with friends and that restored my mood a little bit.
The only thing that went awry was the weather. It duped me. It lolled me into believing it would go on being warm and nice and, in the end, not even half an hour after I left home, the temperature went down at least ten degrees and a bitter wind started sweeping the streets.
Of course, I had left home dressed for a spring day. I got back impersonating an iceberg. I couldn’t even feel my ears or my hands.
If one lives in Toronto, then they might have to travel long distances to meet someone. I, for instance, had to take three buses each way.
Not too glamorous on Sundays. The TTC is not very prompt during the week but on Sundays, even the sporadic promptness flows out of the window.
The first bus I had to take was packed and not only with humans: there were also strollers and trolleys and suitcases. Every square centimeter was used at maximum.
Of course, as always, there was another bus behind and empty, although in service, but it didn’t stop because this one had already done it. I am pretty sure a few choice words ran through my head for the other driver.
At the first traffic lights, the two buses aligned and I could hear our driver telling the other one that he should start taking passengers because there was no space in his bus anymore. However, the second driver decided to do so only at Don Mills and that’s where I had to get off so I cannot say that I had any advantage in that.
Buses, as well as any other public transport means, are places where you can say you’ve probably seen everything. You can see people reading or eating or knitting or fixing their make up or even dancing. There are people having phone conversations for the benefit of an entire bus for instance.
I remember a few days ago, on the subway, at rush hour, when people can’t hope to find a seat but hope to find a spot where they could stand, I saw a lady lounging on two seats and looking at everybody meanly, to warn them away in case someone would point out that she’d need only one seat.
Now, I’ve seen women putting make up on the bus or train before. Today, I saw one putting make up on while driving. She was taking a left with one hand on the wheel and with the other hand was applying powder on her face, intently looking at herself in the mirror. I was very happy I hadn’t started to cross the street yet because I’d intended to do so as there was green for pedestrians.
However, that didn’t mean my entire crossing street activity was without danger.
Usually, young people are in a rush and mostly young men with sports cars – or at least, that’s the general opinion.
Today, though, I saw a lady, at least seventy, taking a left at high speed, narrowly avoiding me. I had the bad luck to be already at the middle of the crossing when she passed by. More interesting, she frowned at me as if I’d been in the wrong. Yes, I suppose I dared too much crossing the street when the light turned green.
So, a new week will start tomorrow with the dreaded Monday looming around the corner. This thought erased any other thought in my head, so, I will leave this post like this.
See you soon, I hope!
February 20, 2016
Saturday is almost gone and thinking that tomorrow it is Sunday doesn’t make me feel overjoyed. I never liked Sundays. They are always saying: your weekend ended. Get ready to start work!
Strange though! It’s not like I mind working or that I stop entirely working during the weekend but only the thought that the week starts all over again makes me morose.
Plus there’s that feeling that time passes too fast and you do too little. It’s like days get crowded together and there’s nothing you can use as a proof that you’ve actually lived them.
It’s been a lazy Saturday here in my house, especially in the morning. I spent a lot of time with my coffee – all right, I actually drank two mugs, so I needed a little more time than I usually do when I start the day with only one mug.
Suddenly the weather improved: it was a huge jump in the temperature today and my cell phone even showed plus seventeen degrees at noon. That made spending a leisure morning in the yard extremely pleasant.
Not so pleasant for Rex, I am sure. The leap in degrees made the snow melt fast and the entire yard was saturated with water and mud. Trying to run through the yard meant sliding through the mud and getting his paws wet. However, he showed a lot of fortitude and determination and didn’t let such paltry things stop him from having fun.
Only after spending about an hour in the yard, we went for our walk, which wasn’t without adventures. When I tried to do my civic duty and clean after my dog, my phone slipped out of my pocket without my noticing and only after about half an hour I realized that I had lost it.
I imagined exactly where I might have lost it and went back. Luckily, no one had passed by before our going back and my phone was there, in the grass (or what’s left of the grass right now).
The afternoon wasn’t so peaceful though. Being too warm in the house even though I set the thermostat to a lower temperature, I had to leave the balcony door open.
It was like there was no air to breathe. I think that's due to my windows facing South. All the time, the sun shines in my windows and even when it is cold outside it creates a greenhouse ambiance inside. I am actually terrified thinking about summer. It would be horrible and like it or not, I will have to use an air conditioner.
However, I wanted to say something else. It seems that some young guys moved in the row of houses across from us and they are the noisy type.
They like to congregate in front of the house and speak loudly, either considering that their conversations are too interesting not to be overheard by everyone around or simply disregarding anyone else.
As result, Rex barked most of the afternoon with short breaks now and then when I would manage to make him shut up.
Considering that enough was enough (believe me, when a migraine brews, then it is enough), I decided that going out for a longer walk wouldn’t be too bad and I took the entire gang with me, inclusively the dog.
Unfortunately, the beautiful weather put the idea in other people’s heads too and we encountered lots of people which made Rex getting very nervous.
I don’t understand people sometimes: either they lack any kind of self-preservation or they simply can’t see past a cute face (the latter might be the reason, because I see it day after day in daily life).
Before trying to pat an unknown dog, you should ask if the dog is friendly, no matter how cute you think the dog is. Nevertheless, most people don’t do it and Rex has such a pretty face and seems such an angel that attracts people all the time.
Worse, he doesn’t show his true colors before someone is close enough to bite. All the time I have to be alert when I go out in public with him.
He’s the most antisocial dog I’ve ever seen but the same time one of the cutest possible. Sometimes, I can read on people’s faces that they don’t believe me when I say he’s not friendly. They think I lie because I don’t want them to touch my dog.
Anyway, as I always try to explain to Rex (not that he’d understand that – I can see he’s confused because he keeps tilting his little head this way and that), I don’t want that both of us get arrested because he bites somebody. To convey my point better, I also told him that we’d be put in different jails. That makes him behave for just about five minutes. After that, his nature cannot be contained anymore.
Saturday is officially over right now and I think this post should be over as well. See you again, some other time.
February 19, 2016
I had lots of ideas for my blog along the day but ten minutes ago, I realized that everything had disappeared, just vanished out of my mind.
Suddenly, my brain decided to take a vacation without asking me if I was okay with that. I must say I am very disappointed, especially because I am looking at this blank page and besides work it seems that I’ve done nothing today.
I remember though that I sent my daughter to buy bread and milk this afternoon and she came back home with oranges and milk. That’s at least half of the order, so it is fine.
It is not so fine though when after eleven at night you hear that people want to eat, and not a sandwich or a salad or an omelet, but real food that takes time cooking. Anyway, I said no, and that’s it. My brain might be on vacation but I still have enough wits not to start such a project at this hour.
Oh, yes, and I remember that during the morning walk, someone wanted to pat Rex because he is so cute and then the lady realized that he was a real devil and ran away.
Unfortunately, yes, he is antisocial, paranoid and with a little bipolar thrown in between. Anyway, I have to live with him so it is no use to complain.
Isn’t it a sad state of affairs when beside work you can’t think of anything that was worth doing?
And to think that even weather hasn’t cooperated today to help me write this blog. Nothing out of the ordinary if it weren’t for the warm mass of air that came after nine in the evening and brought rain and stormy wind. I can’t even go out on the balcony to refresh my memory. I tried, but I got wet in an instant and I considered it was enough.
Disappointing, I know, but it doesn’t seem a day worth mentioning or remembering.
Probably, because today I had to write lots of rejections for the submissions we received for the magazine. I hate writing rejections!
However, there’s no way around that. My editorial team refused to do it, so it was just poor me (I know it is not grammatically correct but it does sound better than the grammatical form).
It will be a long night. A piece of chocolate fell from my desk on the floor and Rex ran away with it. Chocolate is not good for him anyway but at the hour, it is bad, very bad. Suddenly, he has a lot of energy and I am wiped out. Not a good match, isn’t it?
I told him to go to sleep and he looked at me like I’d have lost my minds. Interesting! Even the dog thinks that my brain took a short vacation.
I won’t bother you anymore. After all, there’s another day tomorrow and why make you waste your time? Have you ever heard of the writer’s block? It seems I’ve got it and I won’t make anyone pay for it.
So, good-bye, and see you tomorrow. Hopefully, my brain will decide to come back to real life.
February 18, 2016
Another day erased in the calendar! And to think that I found out only this afternoon that tomorrow it is Friday! Well, at least I have something to look forward to: the weekend.
It seems the weekend will be welcomed with lower temperatures, as the weather seems extremely changeable.
I knew that spring was supposed to be changeable but it seems that winter decided that it had been constant long enough and that it would love to play a few tricks on the poor mortals that have no means to control it.
As I don’t want to be too boring talking incessantly about the weather, I will mention only the fact that it is terribly unpleasant to saunter here and there when the wind is chipping the skin.
I had to go out today and I must say that I was just a little bit put out by the thought of going out and having to wait for the bus. I shouldn’t have worried.
The bus came soon enough and in meantime two teenagers entertained everybody at the stop listening to a rap song. Actually, everybody had to listen to it as they played the song on one of their cell phones and at maximum.
I suppose they didn’t want the people from the building behind the bus stop feel neglected or like they were missing out.
Considering the mean looks they were throwing around, no one dared to say a thing, although an older couple seemed quite put out with the musical choice.
Luckily, three buses came the same time – it seems that they consider it is safer to travel in group, and I chose the third one, to be sure I wouldn’t have to listen to the guys’ music for over twenty minutes.
Luckily, they took the first bus. Unluckily, in the bus I chose, there were two young girls that regaled everyone with an extensive list of attributes of a guy named Nick.
Either they thought the information was too hot not to be shared with the entire bus or one of them had a hearing problem, but we had to listen to their enthusiastic chatter for the entire trip.
You cannot imagine how macho this Nick could be and how daring and how handsome! He seems to be a cross between Stratham and Brad Pitt, or something like that, with some traits of one of Bond guys thrown in.
When I got off the bus, my eyes were crossed and I had a full blown migraine. I wondered if I had been like this at their age but I can’t remember. Nevertheless, I know for sure I never spoke so loud in a public place.
Oh, God, I sound like the old lady who was leaving at the corner of the street when I was a child. She would come out and shout at us for disturbing the piece by playing the ball in the street – it was a very quiet street. Cars were very rare and no one was afraid that something would happen. That lady was a harpy and she loathed children. I didn’t like her and now I am almost turning into her! So, we’d better forget about the lively youths.
Considering that I saw a really grown-up woman behaving the same way on my way back, I don’t think such behavior is a matter of age.
This lady simply accosted a young man and tried and succeeded to make him converse with her. What was extremely puzzling was her effort to make him meet another guy that turned out she didn’t know too well but she mostly knew about him and his going through a rough divorce, thus in need of entertainment with someone that would take him drinking and spilling his guts and, I quote, “make him a person again”, as if he had ceased being a person by having the blues.
It was an entertaining conversation. She kept repeating that the young guy really needed to meet this non-person and finally he accepted the phone number only to be left alone.
In the end though, she pried other things out of him: where he came from, what he was doing for a living, what his people back home were doing, and that at the top of her lungs.
So, everyone on the bus (and it was quite a packed bus) found out the poor guy’s country of origin, the fact that he was a lawyer (although I had the impression that lawyers looked a bit differently, but let’s not be too snobbish) and that his entire family back home, as well as all his friends were lawyers.
For a fleeting moment, I wondered how that country survived, especially when he said that everyone back home was a lawyer. If only one was thinking, to create lawyers they needed people to build schools and to maintain the buildings, teachers to teach the future lawyers, and so on. Besides, if everyone was a lawyer, who would cook in that country? Were there no restaurants, or fast foods at least? Who would work in the fast-foods? The lawyers?
It was an impressive and absurd discussion which ended only three stops before mine. The lawyer left the bus and the lady was left alone. However, she wasn’t alone for long.
She found another gentleman and started a discussion with him.
For the lawyer she used the cinnamon buns he was holding in his hand for introduction. The gentleman didn’t have buns, but he had bought some tomatoes and I think a cucumber and some lettuce. Thus she started a discussion about diets.
I didn’t learn too much during the three stops but I learnt that the lady was dieting consciously and she was jogging every day and went to the gym three times if not four times a week.
All these conversations took place somehow beside me. I could see the male part in the conversation; however I couldn’t see the female who was sitting right behind me.
Of course, I was dying of curiosity to see that paragon. I was thinking that a woman dieting daily for years, with no faux pas, and who was jogging every day and went to the gym at least three times a week, should look amazing. I for one don’t have so much willpower. It’s been a while since I tried a diet, I cannot jog – my knees protest deeply when I try it, and I hate going to the gym.
As curiosity was very strong, when I stood up to go to the door, I maneuvered in such a way that I could take a good look at the talkative lady.
For a moment there, I simply froze. I was stunned. She was a woman around sixty or seventy (who said that voices are the last to get old was right) and she didn’t seem to have dieted a day in her life.
Honestly, if my knees protest when I try to jog, hers must declare war.
Don’t misunderstand! I wasn’t stunned that she was old and unfit. I am not a beauty and I am not springy anymore. I wouldn’t dare to cast the stone. I was only stunned that she spoke with such conviction as if she had known perfectly what she was talking about.
I was also stunned because she had behaved like such a ninny with that lawyer guy. I could have sworn she was around maximum twenty-five.
You can never judge a situation from what you hear. Like when you hear a huge commotion outside and you’re filled with dread because what you hear makes you think that something horrible happens but if you go and look outside you might see that it was a group of youngsters just having fun.
It happened to me in the past and I should have learnt my lesson. It seems that sometimes there are some lessons that we have to learn all over again.
Anyway, I think I will tell you tomorrow about the lady who was in front of me in the queue at the Western Union, if I don’t forget. She was remarkable!
For now, though, I will say good-bye.
February 17, 2016
Finally, the weather seems to start following a normal pattern, at least according to what I know. Today, it was warmer during the day and it got colder and colder nearing to the dusk. That’s something I can understand.
However, that also meant that the snow melt during the day and now, with temperatures under zero, everything started to turn into ice.
My balcony boasts a nice skating-rink which didn’t make Rex too happy and he has ways to express dissatisfaction, sometimes quite radical ones.
I can understand him, though. How could anyone be happy when rushing out only to find himself sliding towards a concrete wall?
Like it wasn’t enough that he was taunted by the huge moon he could see above his little wrinkled head and the stars that lately have seemed to get closer and bigger! He does have reasons to complain.
Anyway, after two failed attempts of rushing out on the balcony, he learnt his lesson: now he’s going out in a more demure manner and only once he got to the edge of the balcony, he stands on two paws and bellows at the moon and the stars.
I am pretty sure that all this performance of his produces a real delight in the hearts of the people around, first of all because it is night and especially because an entire chorus starts.
As I said before, almost every house has a dog at least, and I know of two small ones that are noisy anyway, and they don’t really need someone to cue them into barking. Eh, well, what can you do? They stop after a while.
What bemuses me is the fact that once the others start barking, Rex suddenly stops. He becomes this very well-behaved little dog, just wandering around with no worries in the world.
Of course, once we get inside, he also expects to be rewarded for his nice behavior. He jumps onto the bed and sits waiting patiently to get his treats. It wasn’t like he had made any noise at all. There were others making the noise, weren’t there?
It seems the weather also attacked the traffic lights in front of the complex this morning.
It wasn’t such a bad surprise, after all. Usually, you have to wait for a while for the lights to turn green for pedestrians and that leads to missing a bus and waiting for another one to come, which isn’t a very pleasant endeavor especially when it is very windy and cold.
Today, though, there was a policeman stationed there and any time a pedestrian wanted to cross the street, he’d see the person to the other side without waiting. So, no missed buses, no waiting in the wind (which was quite absent till evening, by the way) and no frustration waiting for a light to turn green for more than five or even ten minutes.
It seems the respective policeman was also quite handsome – that is what I heard, I didn’t see for myself, as I didn’t go out at that time.
Nevertheless, I heard a few ladies talking next to my window. It seems they had found a reason to cross the street in both senses twice, only to benefit from his help and his presence.
That should have pleased the drivers of the cars that had to stop for the ladies’ leisure crossing. After all, they only wanted to be in the presence of such an accomplished male. Their conversation aimed to devising new reasons to cross the street again.
Do you remember Lydia from “Pride and Prejudice” with her reply: “Officers!”? I did remember her hearing the conversation beneath my balcony. And who said that the clothes don’t make the man? I am pretty sure I said it in the past but it seems now that I might not be entirely right. A uniform is a uniform, in the end.
I remember there were a few saying in some regions of my natal country referring to men in uniform, especially when it came to very feisty women. For instance, in the east side of the country, they were invited to visit the fire station.
Anyway, I am pretty sure you’re not so interested in all those things and it is already over midnight and I do have a couple of other things to do.
So, see you tomorrow.
February 16, 2016
I could say this has been a dull day but it’s been too full of everything and it wouldn’t seem right to label it like this.
It is not so cold anymore, the lowest was zero degrees but we got a lot of snow.
Toronto and snow do not make a good match. People here haven’t learnt yet how to solve the problem of too much snow but I think I’ve already touched on this topic in one of my previous posts.
On a particular note, I must mention that today, snow caused a lot of problems in the complex where I live.
There was an attempt to clean the paths at about five a.m., but, alas, it wasn’t successful. They stopped after half an hour, probably because it was still snowing.
Nevertheless, the noise was enough to wake us up and it is not so funny to wake up at five when you went to bed at around two. Anyway, I should have woken up at seven so two hours earlier might not seem like a big deal.
The things did not stop here. They came back in the evening, at around six this time, but not just with their snow blowers, but with an entire arsenal. They brought the big diggers – I have never seen anyone cleaning snow using such heavy equipment. As far as I know, they’re used to dig the ground for foundations or for ditches or something similar.
Now, the noise passed over any expectations. Considering I was still during my work program, I can say it was a real problem.
Moreover, the heavy equipment made everything shake – it was like we were in the middle of an endless earthquake (it was over only after a couple of hours and they returned a few more times, definitively leaving only after eleven).
I don’t even know how the house kept standing when they finished. It felt like the floors would give in and the walls would collapse.
Imagine what the animals did! Rex barked like crazy – my work was totally compromised, and he was running all over the house scared witless. The cat found shelter in her little tent and waited everything out.
Nevertheless, I shouldn’t complain. I had to go downtown in the afternoon and even the main arteries were still covered in snow. I had to cross through inches of snow to get to my destination.
Yes, I had a medical appointment today. The appointment was made over six months ago because here, to get to see a specialist (any kind of specialist) it takes months.
When I was reminded about this appointment on Friday, I couldn’t even remember why my family doctor had made it. I wasn’t very sure till the specialist explained me the symptoms I had showed when the appointment was made and that shook my memory a little. It was like a wake-up call.
I wonder what happens if someone is in a critical condition – I suppose it depends on their luck or their fate or whatever.
Anyway, all over the world there are wonders and everywhere something must seem weird or ill-planned.
I had a couple of things stored in my mind to tell you about but I find myself too exhausted right now and I really want to finish the book I’m reading before going to bed. It’s already over twelve and by seven tomorrow I have to be up.
So, maybe next time. See you!
February 15, 2016
It’s getting warm here in Toronto. Right now, we have even minus three which is a serious improvement considering that we reached minus thirty before.
What keeps puzzling me – and I am sure I am right to be puzzled, it is the fact that at night it is always warmer than during the day. Shouldn’t be the opposite? Nights are supposed to be cooler regardless the season.
Maybe I’ve forgotten everything I learnt and I’m simply clinging to notions that are far from reality, who knows? Anyway, I don’t feel like going through a refresher course on meteorology or climatology.
Anyway, something else is important: the change in weather opened new avenues to spend time – not that I’ve had too much to spend, though, as I went to bed long after five in the morning and woke up at seven only to see that there was still work to do on the magazine as the site has its own mind and likes changing things over night.
You know what you put in: order, format etc., and you open the computer, go on internet and find a completely new version before your eyes. Isn’t it thrilling not to know what to expect ever?
I don’t know, it might be the season or it might be little things that add up, but this second issue of the magazine didn’t bring me too much joy.
I actually worked much more on the first issue, as I had to blunder much more through the mysteries of building a site, but even through the fog of tiredness and frustration, I still could find in me the joy of having put something together, something that would bring joy to the writers and the readers the same time.
Not this time. I was thoroughly disappointed, if that is possible. It seemed a futile effort and I really can’t explain to myself why.
Therefore, I turned to something else: I decided upon an impromptu party. It was nothing like the parties I used to have in my youth but it was good enough to take my mind away from the reality for a few hours.
Don’t you love it when the music churns everything away and makes you
feel much more than you could have expected? Especially when it is eclectic and reaches out to all genres offering the possibility to wallow in all sorts of emotions, I think.
It was a novelty for my little dog, though. If he was a bit overwhelmed at the beginning, he decided that a good sleep would be just the thing. When he’d wake up, everything would be over and he could get back to his normal life in his little world, doing normal things like trampling through the shallow layer of snow that peppered the paths in the complex.
It is just the thing to hear snow crunching underneath the soles of your shoes (sorry, I don’t bother with boots just to walk the dog – too much trouble for too little time).
The sound of the snow crunching under my steps reminds me of the childhood, when the snow was crisp, especially at dusk and when we’d go downtown to watch the winter dances that would take place in the square right in the middle of the little town where I used to spend vacations during my childhood but also during my youth. Later on, we’d go even to dance not only to watch – those were the days.
There was no such thing like seasonal depression (not that I could be sure that seasonal depression really exists – it must be an accumulation of factors, I think. I am not an expert so I’d better keep my mouth shut).
Anyway, considering how little sleep I had over the last few nights, I’d better stop babbling and get some sleep. It’s a workday tomorrow and it’s Tuesday! Have I told you Tuesdays are not lucky days for me? I’ll just have not to think about that and brazen out.
February 14, 2016
I am in the middle of formatting the new issue of the Scarlet Leaf Review and simply have no time to write my blog!
So, unfortunately, you will suffer through one of my writings again.
I know, it is dreadful!
So, here it is: Looking Out!
The terrace was lively and noisy although the temperature of the air was quite high. It was too warm for that period of the year but, regardless that, all the tables were taken.
Despite the hot day, people seemed to enjoy the beginning of the summer over a glass of beer or soda. Merry colours were shown off and the dresses of the women made the atmosphere festive and careless making everything smell and sound and look like holiday. It seemed as if everyone was talking the same time and laughter filled the air.
Suddenly, a loud noise made glasses on the table break and women screamed sharply and a shiver of anxiety went through all the people at the tables.
Finally, people remained almost speechless, and a few of them gasped. Turning to the area were the blow came, they could see the smoke embracing the high building at the end of the square, a hundred feet away. The smoke was black and everyone could say that it was bringing bad news.
Then, a second blast, louder than the first one, made them stand up hastily and run in the opposite direction, regardless of the curiosity that might have felt. For the moment, it seemed wiser to read about everything in the journals next day or watch over on the news. What mattered was to be out of the place without scratches and in one piece if possible. Survival came first, consciousness hadn’t woken up yet.
Only one man, a tall and dark one, dressed in casual summer trousers and short-sleeve shirt, stayed put and, narrowing his eyes, watched the huge mass of smoke and thin ashes flowing into the air.
His face betrayed nothing, as if he had not perceived yet the entire tragedy unfolding in front of his eyes. He kept his position for a few more seconds, and then, as hit by the urge of a thought, he started running in the inverse direction than the others, directly to the building which was already licked by hungry flames, with the top in a huge cloud of black and grey smoke.
From now, the air was filled with the sour taste of something similar to carbide and smoke started hurting his eyes. He could also here the sirens of the police car somewhere remote, getting closer, though, and he also saw a few people coming out of the building, puzzled, scared, horrified, but, the most important, covered with ashes and blood.
He stopped the first man he could grab and asked him something. This one had a cut across his cheek and chin, and blood, actually blood and dust, all over his sleeve. He seemed to have used it to clean up the blood on his face. The wounded man watched him for a few seconds and answered nothing. He only watched his lips moving without hearing or perceiving the words. He nodded, although he was not sure he understood the man having stopped him, and then, he passed by the tall, dark man and with huge steps he ran across the street, and then further along the street, as if he had no specific place in his mind. He ran only to seize a sense of safety and fresh air.
The tall man turned towards others coming out of the building and suddenly he became aware of the screams inside and a constant whining somewhere close. His heart started overwhelmed by the painful weeping which seemed to belong to a woman, and he followed it to discover who was there.
He found a small young woman, all covered in blood, holding tight the body of an older woman that seemed motionless. He realised she was actually dead, and most of the blood around and on the suit of the young woman belonged to the dead one.
He got closer and tried to pull the young woman up but this one was clinging onto her friend – or maybe relative, really hard. The man tried to speak to her, but she did not seem to hear him or to pay attention to him. He tried to look into her eyes, to make an eye contact and to calm her down afterwards, but he found no sparkle there. Her eyes were glassy and somehow foggy. She was not quite aware of his presence and she kept mourning over the dead body, without being aware of the still present danger.
He bent over her and grabbed her waist, pulling her strongly on her feet. That moment she realized she was not alone and she started to scream at him, trying to get rid of his strong hands:
“Let me go! Let me go!”
“I wish I could”, he answered softly, trying to bring some comfort in her pain, even though he doubted there had been a slight chance for that. “She’s dead, but you seem to be still alive. If want to stay like this, I advise you to come with me now.”
“I know she’s dead, you, bastard!”
“And you’re aware it’s been an explosion. The building might collapse anytime now. We cannot know what is actually hit” he continued, but rush penetrated his voice. He was on the verge of losing any patience, and he was known to be a quite impatient man.
“But I can’t leave her here, not like that”, the woman struggled with him.
“Yes, you can. I’m sure she’d have wanted you to run away from here, to live. You’d have felt the same thing for her, wouldn’t you?”
“No more arguments, young lady! You come with me, and now!” he said, pulling her after him.
For one moment, she tried to fight back, but she was too tired, too emptied emotionally, and she missed the force to make her point. She followed him, actually almost carried away by the strong arms that did not let her go, but tears were running along her cheeks, and she wiped them out with a dirty hand.
He became aware of her giving up and slowed down, trying to match her steps. However, after a few steps, he felt her falling down, and he stopped to raise her up. He noticed she fainted and he sighed bitterly. He bent over her and lifted her in his arms, and then he realised she was badly wounded at her right leg. Swearing in his beard, he headed to the ambulances that started to appear and he shouted to a young man that had just got off one of the cars.
“Hey, you! I have a wounded woman here”.
“Only one? There are wounded people everywhere”, answered the man back, already tired seeing the warlike image in front of his eyes. He was thinking seriously of trying a new job. He was sick of seeing so many disasters. The other day it was a chain accident on the highway, and last month, that stupid accident at the airport. He could not deal with all of these anymore. He had to stop doing it because things were eating him up. It looked as if there had been only dead people everywhere, every day, wherever he turned his head.
His tired and emotionless answered made the other man frown and, with an ugly grimace in the corner of his mouth, he said stressing every word:
“Till you get the others, you will take care of this one, you hear me?”
The menace was clear in his voice, too calm for the circumstances. The young man felt the acid of the words and the threat behind them and he almost started. He nodded without adding anything more and prepared to take care of the young woman, who was still unconscious.
“Where are you taking her?”
“To Bellevue, for the moment.”
The man nodded and then went towards the police cars. He spotted the policeman in charge and headed to him. This one glanced at him but seeing he was relatively in one peace and he did not seem to need emergency help turned back and shouted some orders to his men. The tall, dark man frowned again, fed up with people’s inconsideration, and with a very rough voice, he said a few words to the policeman, showing the same time a small ID. The words vanished into the noise and madness around, but the policeman caught enough to look better at him and at his ID.
Policeman’s look was cold and disdain was badly masked in his eyes. A sparkle came into his eyes, but he was not bold enough to send him to take a walk as if he had wanted. He nodded to acknowledge that he understood who he was and asked coldly:
“How can I assist you, sir?”
“Where exactly was the hit?”
“We’re not very sure, but it looks like it was meant for the first floor, somewhere in the middle of the corridor on the right”.
The eyes of his interlocutor told the policeman that probably that was the answer the man expected, even though he did not like it very much. He did not comment for a few seconds and then he said abruptly to the policeman.
“I have to get there and now”.
The policeman nodded catching the urgent note of his tone and thought: “I would have imagined you’d wanted. Otherwise you wouldn’t have shown me that”. However he shouted loudly:
A young, fair-haired policeman turned to him and said: “Yes, sir!”
“This man is going in, with no restrictions”.
The officer looked a bit amazed but only said: “Yes, sir! Would you come with me, please?”
He met her in a nice spring day when they attended a picnic to Mrs. Redman’s house. It was for the first time in his lifetime when he had laid eyes on something so fresh and beautiful and wit.
Nothing had warned him about the punch he felt in his heart. Something knocked him down on spot. He couldn’t take his eyes from her reddish and golden hair, with the sun playing in it or from the green eyes, covered with long lashes, covering the most beautiful look he had ever seen.
He didn’t dare to speak to her at first but he tried to be next to her all the time, to hear her, to see her reactions at people’s words and to let her laughter fill his heart with joy. Somehow, in the end, he found the courage to approach her and to try to make sure that the smile having won his heart would be on his side.
He finally managed to talk her out and to convince her to accept a short walk in the park near her house for the next day. He didn’t know how he could have taken a refuse, but he was the happiest man in the world at the moment.
All night he could not sleep because he was thinking only of her.
However, morning came and the grey light of the dawn tricked his eyes and wake him up. He had forgotten to pull the curtains the night before and only because of too much thinking of her.
He smiled at once and forgetting about the sudden waking up and about the early hour of the morning, he almost jumped out of bed and whistling a nice and witty melody went to the bathroom to start the routine of the day. Nevertheless, it was such an important day! He had to convince the angel with her reddish-golden hair that she belonged to him, that, actually, they belonged together.
The hours of the morning seemed to pass with some difficulty, but, however, he kept feeling an acute sense of joy and happiness filling his soul and mind and therefore, nothing seemed too difficult or too boring, even the presence of his aunt Mary, the old scrooge, that kept nagging everyone and no one in particular.
There were days when he considered her a real pain in the ass, and he could be sure that those days were not gone but that some day soon he would have the same feeling, but for the moment, he was able to forget and forgive and the day seemed brighter and brighter.
The afternoon finally came and with it, the promise of a nice and peaceful walk with the person he had fallen in love with at first sight.
He headed to the park and to the exact spot where they had decided to meet and he stopped on the bank of the small lake, looking promisingly at the distance to see her coming. The sun
He checked his watch and nodded. It wasn’t too late for what he had in his mind. He could even try to find what he was seeking for and even succeed.
He left his hotel room and headed towards the center of the little town lying in the middle of a valley lit by the sun. Sometimes, at least in the middle of summer, the sun was so bright that one could feel each fiber inside hurting because of the heat.
. He had been walking for several minutes when he finally spotted the lights in the most imposing building of the town.
Looking at it, everyone could have said at once that the building in question should have been the exact building he was looking for because only someone with the brains of his target and with his lust and greed could have ever built something like that in the middle of nowhere, because, if he was not wrong, he was exactly in the middle of nowhere.
The little town was hardly found on the map, on any map. Nothing important had ever taken place here and it was not like if it had ever been going to take place. Events had stopped appearing for a long time. He had hardly managed to spot the bloody town on the map of the region.
He stopped across the street and for a few minutes, however, quite long minutes, he kept watching the windows of the monstrous building lying before his eyes.
No taste could have been revealed in the lines of the awful construction rising straight before him. It seemed as if the owner was interested more in showing off opulence than in living in a place with warmth and finesse.
One couldn’t say the architecture was missing. There was one, even though a very disturbing one. No healthy person could have imagined something like that.
The grey of the building matched just fine the lack of lines and only robustness could be considered an appealing characteristic. It looked like the ugliest citadel he had ever seen.
A grimace made his lips arch but the sarcasm did not pass over the boundary of his thoughts. Although he would have liked to burst into laughter, he knew this was not the time or the place to do it.
He checked carefully the front side of the building and he finally reached the conclusion that no one was inside at the hour.
That meant that his information turned out perfectly accurate. He was told that the owner was somewhere in the mountains, he could see somewhere at a distance, fulfilling another of his multiple wishes: killing.
Actually he used to go hunting quite often in the past and nothing could have stopped him to do so, unless maybe an emergency in his line of work, if anyone could have named his job like this.
It was not the case. He had almost fulfilled all his purposes and all his targets had been taken out in a way or another. It was as if he could have afforded a holiday, doing what he liked the most: watching life departing from bleeding corpses, light of the eyes smoothly fading away.
The thought brought a bitter smile on the lips of the hunter in front of the house and he thought that irony of life was far from being understood. One could be either the hunter or the prey but sometimes roles changed and only people’s actions could decide which side of the riffle they’d be.
It was unlikely that anyone would come back during the night so he could have some time to accomplish his purposes, but he knew quite well that there was still someone inside, actually more than one.
Guard dogs were in the premises and he knew their kind very well. It would not be a fairy welcome. It could have bet on it. Actually, he had to think of serious measures to get inside and to get outside afterwards and this in one piece, if possible.
February 13, 2016
We’ve had a very, very cold day here in Toronto today. It was so cold that every breath hurt and the air almost peeled the skin on my face. I started understanding better the people I saw during the last few days going around town with masks on their mouths and noses.
Going out with Rex meant we’d rush fast to the first tree and then he’d simply freeze with one paw in the air and big and pained eyes. That meant that I had to take him up and rush back inside.
I didn’t feel like going out. I was getting tired only thinking of how many clothes I’d have to put on and that squashed any thought of leaving the house. I simply spent the time doing a little reading, a little work and, what I detest most of all, a little cleaning.
I’ve been thinking a lot of my childhood days when during such days we would spend time next to the stove and say stories. I used to be good at weaving a good story and my grandparents were very proud I had good imagination.
They weren’t so proud when such imagination led to problems with the neighbors, like when I invented the detective game and we’d trail the subjects of investigation all day long.
I remember we settled on a married woman who seemed to have a lover – although, at the time, we really didn’t understand what was going on. However, our trailing her made her abandon her affairs for a while and she got extremely angry for being pushed into not seeing her lover and had a big row with our grandmother because she didn’t mind us properly so that she could see of her dalliances. Worse though, her yelling reached her husband ears and you could imagine the result was not a very happy one.
But let’s forget about my childhood’s misdeeds! Some things worth remembering, others don’t. This one isn’t one I like to dwell on, even though it must be one of the things that had a certain part in creating the present “me”.
It’s been a quiet day and being so quiet had a strange effect on me: I am extremely tired. It’s like I’d have done a lot of physical work when the most physical thing I’ve done was to sweep the floors and wash them, and that a few hours ago.
Anyway, tomorrow, I have to work on the magazine again and I still have to fix some things, so I’d better say good night now and I’ll see you again tomorrow.
February 12, 2016
The winter has come in force and I understand this is just the beginning. There are all sorts of alerts and the temperature should reach minus thirty according to the long messages my daughter kept forwarding to me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known – I never check the weather. I like surprises.
Anyway, considering how the weather front evolves, I will have another chance to hear people saying that they’d better move up North.
And that might not be a bad idea. There are certain advantages, I understand, and the only disadvantage would be isolation. But how much isolation could there be? I am sure there are still people there, and, besides, there might be other compensation, and I am not referring here at the bonus given by the government for living up North or for the isolation. I am talking about the wonders of the nature. All right, that works only if you are a fanatic for nature. If you’re the urban type, then the North would mean a silent and prolonged death after wandering through the wonderful world of depression first.
But let’s get back to the subject at hand, whichever that might be.
In fact, I was just complaining about the weather. I haven’t been out too much today as the weather has already singed me, but for the little while I had to go out, I had to cover every inch of my body and not only with one layer of clothes.
I discovered that It might get just a little uncomfortable to walk around like a giant mummy.
And to run around like a mummy is certainly something to be seen.
Because of the chill in the air (and that is a very mild term for what it felt like), Rex did everything in a hurry and to cover as much ground as possible, we had to dash here and there in a very undignified manner.
I am pretty sure the very few onlookers had a great show. It’s not like I haven’t noticed the smiles and head shakes. It would have been hard to miss. At least, we’ve made our civic duty today and offered a few moments of fun to the community.
I am pretty sure that is very little meaning in this post today. The mutt has just eaten and now is running all over my bedroom with his little teddy-bear in his teeth and whimpering as if all the plagues of the world had befallen him. The last few minutes he discovered he can lengthen the race if he passes through the bathroom and also jumps all over the bed. So excuse me, but my thoughts have flown out of the window.
My only hope is that he’d finish in an hour or so. I am very tired and I’d really love to sleep tonight. If not, there’s a little light at the end of the tunnel. We have a long weekend which means three days of vacation. Monday is not a workday next week. Good for us, hmmm!
I am sorry I don’t have any dashing adventures to regale you with, but I spent my day in silence mostly. I cannot talk. I tried. I went to buy some things from a little shop nearby and it was a very trying experience. I could hear me talking but the clerk didn’t. It was a very painful shopping trip. I tried to call my mother but I couldn’t stay on the phone even one minute. I didn’t even bother to call my manager but I sent her a message to let her know I couldn’t perform any duties and therefore I’d take a sick day.
The worse was in the morning, though. The cat got into my bedroom when I was out with Rex and hid under the bed.
I don’t know what happened between the two of them when we moved into this house in October, but from the beginning the cat is not allowed into my bedroom and he is not allowed into my daughter’s – that hadn’t happened before. They used to live in a certain harmony with squabbles now and then but now, there’s always a mighty show when one discovers the other in the forbidden territory. The cat growls like a dog, the dog barks, and they don’t calm down too soon.
Given the new status of cohabitation, this morning hell broke loose when Rex discovered Zoey under the bed and I couldn’t even make anyone listen to me as I couldn’t even try to shout at that moment.
I solved the situation differently: I opened the balcony door, which was a clear sign for Rex that he can go out and verify if any enemy would pass by and of course it worked.
He went out, I closed the door after him (yes, it was mean, I know, considering how cold it was outside) but that was all it took for Zoey to come out from her hiding place and saunter out of the room. I closed the door after her immediately and then let the mutt inside.
It was simple and without much trouble. And to think at first I tried to make them hear me! When I barely could say a thing! Sometimes it is difficult to think straight when there’s too much noise around.
Anyway, I am going to end this post here. There’s really nothing more to say although I pondered on various things today as I had the time. I should really go to bed because the next two days I have to format the new issue of the magazine and from the previous experience, I do need a clear head and a lot of patience.
So, see you again. Hopefully in much a better mood! You should be in a good mood, though, as weekend has already started. Have a nice weekend, wherever you are, and have fun for me too.
February 11, 2016
Have you ever had a day that went from bad to worse, hour after hour?
Well, I have had one of those today.
It started quite undecided, meaning that I managed to wake up earlier than usually without too much effort, although my eyelids seemed a bit glued and I had problems with the morning rituals, especially with making the coffee and preparing the food for Rex.
I made a very interesting combination for coffee, and I will not bother you with the details, I will only say that I drank the most exotic cup of coffee ever. I really don’t know how I could put nutmeg in it, considering that I usually avoid even spices like cinnamon in coffee. Anyway, I drank it. Not the best taste in the world but it unglued my eyes a little and, in the end, that’s the purpose of a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
Even Rex’s food was a bit of a challenge. And to think that in the morning his food preparation consists only in boiling a chicken drum! Three times I had to return it to the pot: it was not done.
We went for our usual walk and it was considerably cold. We mostly jogged not walked. And then it hit me: I’d forgotten the bag. Who goes out with a dog and not a bag? Definitely, not me, but today I did, which meant that after our morning jog, I had to go back with the missing bag.
I didn’t worry too much though. I thought it was just the morning, it was too early and I wasn’t awake yet.
However, the slide wasn’t done. I was supposed to work from home. After two hours, I found myself disconnected. I thought my connection with the work network simply failed and I could reconnect, but no. It was not that. My home internet was down.
I did what every Canadian knows to do when such a thing happens: I unplugged the modem, counted slowly to 30 (you know that thing: one Mississippi, two Mississippi…. Thirty Mississippi) and plugged it again. I got only three blinking lights. The others were missing.
That was the moment when I decided that more determined actions should be taken: I called the provider.
The wait on the line was of about 9 minutes according to the automated answering machine. I persevered and waited. Then the automated answering machine graciously offered to call me back when my turn would come promising I wouldn’t lose my spot in the queue. I chose to believe it. I was not wrong. It called me back in about 15 minutes.
I went through two agents, the second one being the worst customer service agent I’ve ever heard; however, he promised that in forty-five minutes, everything would be fine.
My manager, though, doubted the answer but she gave me more time, around an hour and fifteen minutes, and if Internet was not back, then I would have had to go to office.
Reasonable, in my opinion as I couldn’t do anything from home but unpleasant, considering the extremely low temperatures outside and the fact that I had no metropass as I had given it to my daughter in the morning, no tokens for the bus and no cash to pay a fare.
Buses or the trains here do not accept debit or credit cards. The closest store was a few bus stops away, though, and, believe me, I didn’t feel the urge to go out in that freezing air and walk so many stops with a laptop in my hand.
So, I waited. When I saw that the deadline approached I called the provider again and again I had to wait a lot. This time, I was informed again that the entire area had no connection and the problem would be solved in three hours and twenty-five minutes.
The precision at level of minutes impressed me but not enough to render me speechless. Understanding doomed on me and I realized there was no way I would could skirt my way around going to office and that made me turn into a shrew and had a few goings to the poor agent.
My consciousness was appeased only by the fact that he was repeating the same sentences over and over, as if he hadn’t had one thought he could have called his.
Luckily, after a hunt in the house and a few SMS exchanged with my daughter, I managed to put my fingers on two tokens and then I braved the world outside.
It was so cold that even if I took every care not to open my mouth and breathe only through the nose, my throat was frozen. When I got to work, I barely could speak and it is somehow difficult to argue your way in anything when your voice doesn’t help. Considering my role is usually to argue in favor of something, I can say I have done a very poor job today getting more and more frustrated before my work hours ended.
And then it got worse: there was a problem on line one (my subway line) but in the sense opposite to mine. That puzzled me a lot. The problem was on the other side; however, train after train would go that way. I counted around eleven. No train came this other way.
By the time the eleventh train had passed in the opposite way, the platform on my side was almost seven rows deep with people trying to get closer to the edge of the platform to be sure they’d get on the train when this one would arrive.
This is the era of young and strong males, for sure. They are always the first to get on the train. A young boy (considering he was clearly under twenty, I can call him a young boy), simply pushed his shoulder into me to throw me away and make more space for himself.
In spite of the platform full of people who were watching the trains passing by on the wrong side of tracks, we managed to keep a good mood and that only due to the man behind the platform, a performer, who managed to offer a rendition of Guantanamera in a very powerful interpretation, the same time inviting people to dance and telling them all the time that he’d sing the song again as the train had not arrived.
His good mood was catching: instead of seeing frowns and hearing swearing words and so on, people were smiling and some even started to dance in the rhythm of the music.
In a train station there’s little to do but reading the ads on the walls and watching the people around. The ads are not changed so often that you’d read them every day, but people do, so I prefer to watch the people.
Tonight, watching around, I’ve realized that I could see all kinds: the aloof and cool Greta Garbo, reincarnated into a tall willowy blond, who simply raised a perfectly manicured brow when the singer invited people to dance; the pixie, with a mop of pink hair which, I don’t know why, reminded me of Tinker Bell, although if I remember correctly, Tinker was a blond as well; the family man, reminding me of the role Nicholas Cage played in an older movie; this one was middle-aged and tired – the week has taken a toll on him. There was also the tough guy, surveying people around and flexing his jaws whenever someone tried to get closer to the yellow line – he was clearly afraid someone would try to cut in front of him and he was not disposed to be left behind when the first train would come; and even the punk who would sneak around.
For a moment, I realized that it was quite entertaining: the world in its complexity on a train platform: all types, all races, all ages and all types of education. It was enlightening. A writer would find there all the characters he or she would need.
Of course, I didn’t get on the first train or the second. It would have been impossible. However, I got on the third. It took me only about two hours and a half to get home. Usually, it takes half that time.
Anyway, it’s been a long day and it seems it’s getting longer as Rex is quite peeved because I had to leave today and now he gets angry for the slightest noise. On the other hand the cat is very playful this evening and likes to make noise. So it is no win situation.
I have to cheer up though: tomorrow is the last day of the week and then there’s the long weekend. Yes, you have read correctly: Monday is free! Cheers! See you tomorrow again!
February 10, 2016
I’m pretty sure I’ve never written my daily post so early and that might surprise some of you, especially considering how late I was in posting during the last few days.
However, tomorrow I will have to be up much earlier than usually and I thought I’d compensate with sleep now, if, of course, it is possible, because it might be a failed endeavor.
It’s been snowing for a few hours and that means that the snow cleaning crew might make an appearance again around two a.m. and that certainly will throw Rex in one of his fits. That’s another reason to try to go to bed early.
I’m pretty sure most of you have already guessed that my going out on the balcony means I have a bad habit – I do smoke. However, as I have no other vices (I hope that you remember I’m a very modest person), I think I should be allowed one, hence the smoking.
Well, going out on the balcony, and sometimes finding myself in the impossibility of reading as I don’t think my tablet would be too satisfied with rain pouring over it or with snow, I had nothing else to do but look around. Do you know that sometimes that makes me feel like a peeping Tom?
Yes, it does, but as I’ve never been able to just stare into space and be oblivious to the surrounding environment, I can’t stop myself from looking around. And people that live in glass houses, surely invite the scrutiny, even if one might try hard not to see.
I’m always puzzled by the kitchen of the guy (or better said guys) living in the house at the corner. Even after a strenuous polishing, mine doesn’t look like theirs. And it is not like they don’t use it. I’ve seen at least one of them (not that I am able to make a difference between them) cooking. It seems that he likes to bring home a new girl every two nights and show off with his culinary skills. One can guess she’s a new one every single time. There’s always a noticeably different posture and different behavior when a relationship has more than one day behind.’
Anyway, the topic of discussion was the kitchen. Every time I see it (and it is quite a warm one, with accents in décor), I think that later in life, if any one of them would decide to have a permanent relationship and live together with a woman, his manner in keeping the kitchen and measured gestures (yes, I’ve noticed that too) would make that woman think twice. It can be a bit disconcerting to have to measure up to such standards.
One of the three guys also smokes (or maybe all of them, I can’t be sure, because I’ve never looked at their faces), and strange enough after barking at him a few nights in the row when we moved in, Rex looks at him dispassionately now.
He’s not so dispassionate about the people living in the house across. Ironically, he also had the occasion to interact with them as he played with their dog a few times. Nevertheless, every time they come out to smoke, he is possessed by the evil forces. Sometimes I’d love to know what thoughts cross his mind because it seems daunting at times.
I think that the family next to the people with the dog is extremely interesting. They don’t have any kind of curtains or blinds at their living room and thus there is a perfect view inside.
One can see that every single evening, their TV is on, they are spread all over the room (and living rooms here are quite large) and try to have no contact one with the other.
I’m talking about a couple in their forties and a teenager. So, the TV is on, they are in their own corner with their cell phones and they’re very busy clicking there on the phone keyboard.
It might happen only during publicity, but no matter at what time I go out, that’s what they’re doing.
I have to admit though that publicity here is extremely long. A film that normally is about an hour and forty minutes long can take about four or four hours and a half. Actually, that’s the reason I stopped my cable contract about six years ago.
I use the TV-set only to watch DVDs because I have no patience to sit for four hours at least to see a movie. Maybe I’m too impatient, I don’t really know, but it seems like a waste of time and even money considering how much one pays for a subscription.
It is much more comfortable to watch a movie on a DVD. You can stop it when you need – and you can even see a part today and another one tomorrow if you want. Moreover, if there is something that you really like, you can go back to the respective scene and see it again.
Of course, there are also movies that you don’t want to see ever again and you barely can stay through the entire film.
But I digress. Actually, I’ve digressed a lot. I don’t even remember where I started. That’s a sign that I should let you go and end this post. Too much and too bad don’t make happy readers. That’s a concern. So, see you next time.
Have a good night or morning or evening, wherever you are! The wonders of telecommunications never cease to amaze me. Who’d have thought fifty years ago that someone would write something now and in a few instants the words would reach the corners of the world? Amazing, really! But I was leaving myself! See you.
February 9, 2016
Every single evening I open a new document in Word and for a few moments I ask myself: what could I write about?
Do you know what a writer experiences while facing a blank page? Well, I couldn’t put it in words. What I can say is that the feeling is not something one would wish to have.
And here I am again: page almost blank. I have just written a first paragraph (three if I want to be exact, although one of them is not a paragraph at all) but that doesn’t help me at all to move on.
It might be because I can still feel the strain of the day: it’s been a long one as we get closer to the magazine publishing in February or it might be because I didn’t enjoy my sleep last night.
As there was quite a bit of snow last night, the crews were sent to clean the paths in the complex and they started work around two a.m. and ended at around 3:45. That offered Rex the occasion to show how nice he could bark and with all that racket, no one could have slept on a radius of about 20 meters at least, I suppose.
However, I was the direct recipient of the show and nothing I tried, from treats to threats, didn’t deter him from showing his displeasure at the noises he could hear from outside.
Anyway, the day is almost gone, there are only eight minutes left and it seems the night will be a little similar to the previous one.
My daughter has just passed by to say “Good night!”, which actually happens every night, but Rex, who was already sleeping, took exception to that and he started protesting and he’s been doing that for a few minutes already.
This must be the weirdest dog in the galaxy, in my opinion. There’s little that satisfies him and he is not shy in expressing his displeasure.
It’s been a day of surprises, and not really pleasant ones. I was sick in January for about two weeks, and I have even missed work for a few days, and it seems that I have also missed answering to emails. I simply continued with the ones coming afterwards.
Today, organizing the email box (actually, I was looking for a specific email, which of course I haven’t found), I realized that there have been people (and not one or two, but quite a good number of them) still waiting for answers that have never come from me.
It’s been embarrassing and unprofessional and I do hate it when I’m in the wrong. Moreover, I never know how to apologize properly: sometimes it seems too much and other times too little, but I never find the middle line.
I find solace in the fact that it was Tuesday.
I might be broad-minded (I don’t miss modesty, as you can see) but I still have a few superstitions and I cling onto them.
Tuesdays are never good days for me. If something must go wrong, then a Tuesday is the perfect day for that. Now, Fridays and the 13th are perfect. I have a lot of luck. This month, there’s not so much luck, as Friday will be the 12th.
However, the year of the monkey started and everyone says it would be a great year. Didn’t they say the same about last year and the year before?
Nevertheless, every year can be great if you know what to make out of things. Even the negative ones may have a positive and lasting effect in the end. That’s my opinion only and you shouldn’t count too much on it.
I think that enough is enough. I have spent the day mostly in front of the computer and besides some bizarre dreams I had while I fell asleep for about an hour in the afternoon, nothing special happened. The only thing I could tell you it is that a bus was involved, as well as a very strange attire inappropriate when one is waiting for a bus and a very interesting message coming on my cell phone.
But let’s not get into details. Each of you have had bizarre dreams, I’m sure. You can fill in the blanks without my help.
Better yet, I’ll say goodbye and see you soon. Maybe, who knows?
February 8, 2016
Hello, everyone again! Yes, I am back again.
I am sure you wonder with what I am going to annoy you today.
Well, there’s the weather. Yes, Maria, the weather befuddled me today.
It was a bit chilly in the morning but all right. Rex and I were quite happy with our stroll. We could walk for at least forty-five minutes and didn’t feel like coming back home. Hadn’t I had to go to work, we’d have continued walking for a while.
It was quite nice when I left for work. I had the feeling I put too many clothes on, though.
The bus was on time and the train too. Quite a good morning!
Then, in the afternoon, it started raining a bit. Not too much, not too annoying, just a little rain – nothing to be concerned about.
I came back home in the evening – not so nice on the train, it was quite a squeeze. The bus was a little late, which is understandable – who cares when people get back home? Wasn’t it enough that they got to work in the morning?
Anyway, the weather was all right. I took Rex out and we had a lot of fun running this way and that.
Well, scarcely had I got inside, that my daughter shouted at me to look outside: it was snowing and the wind started to howl. It hadn’t been even five minutes! The change was radical. My balcony is already full of snow and I can’t take my tablet outside anymore. All right, I can, but that doesn’t mean it will work after being thoroughly wetted by snow.
And to think I was talking to a colleague today and both agreed that we had had a fine weather this winter! It wasn’t like we’d had winter at all. He was just telling me he would go camping over the weekend. I am curious if he still does. As I know him, he might.
I haven’t ever camped in winter. I went camping in summer or spring.
I remember once we were a group of eight and had three tents. There were five Germans – two couples and a lone guy, and three of us: my sister, my cousin and I.
After climbing the mountain during the day, we got to a cottage in the evening and we drew lots how to share the tents.
I think I was seventeen at the time. I landed in the tent with the lone guy. My cousin was a bit concerned and kept coming to make sure that everything was fine. In the end, the guy asked what was going on. I explained to him my cousin’s concerns and he swore he wouldn’t touch me. Unfortunately, that meant he would stay on the far end of the tent.
It was a very cold night. It started raining with cats and dogs and the temperature dropped dramatically. He was a very big guy. I am sure he would have provided good body heat but… He stayed on a side of the tent so that no one could complain.
After midnight, we three, my sister, my cousin and I couldn’t stay in tents anymore. There was water everywhere and we were chilled to the bones so we decided to go to the cottage. Arrived there, we found lots of people.
Everybody had abandoned their tents and retreated inside to stay near the fire and to drink something to get warm. Only the Germans guys had no problems. They slept in the tents and in the morning, they went to the creek and washed in the cold water.
Everybody was watching them like they were crazy. They became the main attraction of the morning. However, you had to admire their fortitude.
Afterwards, fog fell all over the mountain. We left in the fog and believe me it was a real trial. One couldn’t see at ten steps before themselves. We slipped in the mud a few times and when we got to the city we looked like we’d have swum in the mud.
No matter what, it was a great trip. We had fun, we laughed like crazy and we remained friends for years to come.
I don’t know what my colleague will do over the weekend, if he goes camping or not. I am sure in the North, where he wants to go, it must be much worse than here in Toronto, but I wish him luck.
And to be a little honest, I envy him for that outing. It’s been a while for me and I’d love to try camping again. Halas, my daughter is not the camping type. Anyway, a girl can always dream, can’t she?
I’ll leave you now and see you tomorrow.
February 7, 2016
It’s been a fine day for winter not too cold and not too windy. I understand that within a week we should expect minus twenty-five degrees but for the time being it is not so bad.
In spite of the good weather – and lately we’ve had quite a few good days, I can’t say I saw children playing outside. I know that there are children in the complex. I see them when they are dragged to school, at least the three from the house next to mine must be dragged every morning.
I sometimes wonder if the constant smell of beer coming from their house is not due to their behavior. Their mother is driven crazy every single morning. Anyone would start drinking having to go through that every single day.
Anyway, the point is that almost every single house around sports at least one child but most have more than two. However, I can see those children in the morning during the week and in the afternoon when they come back home from school but never later or during the weekends.
For instance, I saw only one yesterday when his father took him shopping to Basic Foods. He put the child in the cart he had already procured from the store and he’d been keeping in front of his house and went shopping. But I have never seen that child going out before.
People take out their dogs for walks and runs in the forest but the children are kept inside. Considering that the children and the dogs belong to the same families, they could go out together. The children could walk the same time as the dogs and enjoy a bit of a fresh air. I am sure no harm would come to them.
My neighbor told me hers would play video-games but I can’t believe that’s the only thing their doing all day long. Children should be playing with other children and clearly should be taking some fresh air now and then.
At least, that’s my opinion. I am an older generation – we used to run around like loons at that age and had our parents or grandparents calling us in the evening when we wouldn’t come back home before seven.
On the other hand, here it is quiet. Most of the time you hear only the wind slashing through the branches of the trees nearby and lately the birds singing in the morning.
I can’t say I don’t enjoy the quietness. I can spend more time with my own thoughts. Today, though, my thoughts ran towards the children in the neighborhood and that’s the reason of bothering you with that now.
Today it’s been so quiet that you could think you’re completely in a deserted town. Even Rex slept all day long and started playing and moving around only in the evening. It was like everyone disappeared. Only during our stroll in the morning we met two guys with their dogs and Rex had his share of barking but otherwise no one came in sight.
Sometimes it feels like living in a bubble far from the world. And sometimes, that’s a great feeling. I am attracted to action and noise but not always. Days like this one are necessary to recharge my batteries.
The word of the day was laziness. On all fronts for the entire house! And it felt good. Considering that a very busy week will come, this peaceful day was welcome.
Well, it was great for me but not for you, as you had to listen to my introspection. At least it is short. Tomorrow, things will change. See you tomorrow!
February 6, 2016
Imagine I was about to skip the blog today! I was just about to get into the bed when I realized I had forgotten completely about it. Knowing myself as I know, once would lead to twice and then to three times till I’d forget about it on a permanent basis, not that it would be a great loss for the humankind. It’s not like I’m attacking major problems or bringing something that next generation would ponder about.
Anyway, I have made a commitment to myself and usually I like to keep my word.
I know that most of the time nothing happens which is perfectly normal. I am sure that everyone has days when nothing earthshattering takes place. Most my days are like that.
Weekend for me is a time when I indulge myself. That doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing or that I don’t do any kind of work at all but it means that I do everything at a leisured pace.
I may start on working on something and leave it aside for a while so that I could read a book or take a stroll.
I’m always befuddled when I think about my mother, for instance, who on Saturday would start cleaning the house and wouldn’t stop till she finished. I am not the same. I do everything like I have all the time in the world.
In a way, it is not important that the chores are done at once in a timely manner but that they are done in the end. So if I start the housekeeping in the morning and I finish at night, peppering everything with other things in between, who would hold me responsible to that? No one – I have to respond only to myself and considering that I finish in the end, I don’t really bother to ponder on the matter.
Sometimes though there is a nagging thought: time passes by and there are weekend days when I wouldn’t be able to recall what I’ve actually done.
Today, for instance, I know for sure I had a longer stroll in the morning with Rex. He really enjoyed the weather – the air was just a bit nipping, but it doesn’t feel like winter. (No, Maria, I won’t talk about the weather).
I was about to slide on the soft ground as the snow melted and it rendered it too moist now but fortunately, I managed to keep my footing.
I also remember I wasted some time at the computer without achieving anything and I finished a book and started a second one.
We went shopping with Rex, which usually means running in zig-zag like crazy, chasing after buses and making a nuisance for the people passing by. Rex and I waited outside until my daughter did the shopping and I can remember clearly that the wind turned to being vicious but probably because we were in an open area.
Nature has its own means to prettify things and put nice ribbons on them. The most beautiful mushrooms with vivid colors are poisonous as well as some of the plants one might admire. Well, nature gave Rex a cute little head and everybody is drawn to him immediately and feels a need to pat such a cute and sweet little dog. The impression is shattered though when he starts growling and shows his little teeth that actually can do enough damage. Every time I remember about that saying that outside the fence is painted and inside the leopard lies in waiting. All the time I have to caution people that they cannot touch him because he bites and he always turns into a nightmare that erases any cuteness someone could have seen in him.
Today I put aside snatches of time to clean the house and I managed to finish before ten o’clock. It takes a lot of time as the house is not little and I would stop for reading a little and even I took a nap in the afternoon. After all there was no contest and no one would verify when I’ve finished and what I’ve done.
I am not a fun of Sundays as after Sunday is over Monday comes, but Sunday always follows Saturday – it is like clockwork. I am pretty sure I will survive the Sunday as well. I can’t change the week so there’s no point in dragging my feet in living through Sunday. And I am sure I will survive Monday too.
Meanwhile, I am not so sure I’ll survive writing this post. Days sometimes blend one into another and I don’t know if I am not repeating myself. For your sake – the ones still reading these posts, I hope not. No one should be punished so badly.
I will end this post here and have my daughter turn the sound down at the new movie she found.
Astonishing, after hearing of so many continuation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and so many recounts from various points of view, finally they made a movie with “Pride and Prejudice” with zombies. I understand that at least in this version Lydia is more interesting and less stupid and Jane is less decorative but more pro-active. Regardless, I won’t see this movie. I am pretty sure I can find something else more appealing.
So, see you again tomorrow, if you still have the strength to go through another post like this one.
February 5, 2016
The first week of February is almost gone and luckily that’s only the weekend to look forward to.
It’s been quite a week with a lot of interesting developments and looking back I can’t even choose the good from the bad as they were tightly twined together.
If up to now, the week has sported nice spring weather – it seems we even had a few historical maximum temperatures, now it’s getting colder by the hour and I find myself wearing a cap while going out with Rex. I understand that tomorrow it will be bitterly cold as the temperature will go down under zero. And here, I will stop talking about the weather, Maria. It’s like I’m hearing your voice in my head, saying: “enough with the weather already”.
Every single day, I think I made a poor choice when we moved in this area. It seems we are on the way of most air paths and Rex developed a keen hatred for the planes that dare to slash across the sky and at a quite low altitude sometimes even though we’re quite far from the airport. All right, the distance is nothing for an airliner but for us, simple mortals, it is quite something. It would take me about an hour and a half to get to the airport.
I don’t know why but it seems that most of the flights take place after eight in the evening and he’s driving me crazy with his incessant barking if he happens to be outside when an airplane flies by. Sometimes, there’s flight after flight and he builds a real frenzy and not even the treats I have always at the ready can make him stop.
At night, the sounds are more acute and I sometimes feel my ears ringing and I think all the time that my neighbors might draw a real delight hearing him woofing at all the hours at night.
Luckily, there are two other small dogs in a house across the path from us and they are as noisy as he is. So, there’s some compensation, I think. Plus, most of the time, when he hears them, he lets them make the scandal and he starts playing with one of his toys. He’s smart, I’ll give him that. He preserves his energy.
At least, right now, there’s peace in the house. The cat got a little tent tonight and she fell instantly in love with it and the dog got a little tiger and he’s going everywhere with it stuck in his mouth. Only my daughter’s laughing like a loon over some show she’s watching on the computer and I am trying to write my today’s post.
Maybe you’ve noticed that I like observing people around, especially in the public transport means and in the street. Being spectator might have disadvantages sometimes but it also helps acquiring a lot of experience and helps filing away characters and snapshots of life.
Today I noticed the guy on the escalator at the York Mills Station carrying a bunny in a box. It was the most courageous bunny I’d ever seen. It kept its little head up, staring at people directly in the eye, not even once trembling to show that it was afraid of the sea of people moving around.
On the train, I also noticed the guy pretending to read a book, all the while looking from under his lashes at a young girl standing near the door. She had noticed him all right. She kept moving this way and that, to give him a better view of her legs - yes, she had reason: she was nicely built for such a young girl.
The Catholic schools here have a very interesting uniform for girls: very short skirts that stop right at the middle of the thigh or even much above. In summer, the uniform must be an asset but I can’t understand how the girls can wear those skirts in winter not even wearing a pantyhose. Of course, they’re legs are most of the time red like a lobster and I don’t even want to think how their skin feels. Last week, even with blue-jeans on me and I felt like the skin on my legs was peeled off because of the cold.
I saw an interesting video today and it reminded me of the multitude of young girls and older women I kept seeing on the bus or on the train wearing wigs and extensions.
The video showed a young bride and groom reaching their hotel room for the wedding night. The bride was extremely beautiful, quite exquisite and the guy was bursting with pride and happiness.
They got inside the room and he sat on the bed waiting for her to prepare herself for the wedding night. First she took off her eyelashes – he only blinked. Then she took off her wig – he blanched. Then she took off her make up – he got quite pale. Well, when she took off her teeth, he fainted.
I asked myself then: is it worth playing a role you cannot continue playing in intimacy? What’s the point in misleading in such matters? The guy will wake up from his swooning and will go out of the door, I’m almost sure. Only if he’d felt a huge responsibility towards his bride he’d have continued the charade, but what’s the point?
I remember I saw a comedy from the era of Stan and Bran movies. It was also a movie about a wedding, but I think it was an Italian one (it’s been quite a while since I saw the film, so I am sorry for the inaccuracy).
The bride was a willowy woman, just perfect – the prototype of the most desirable woman. Well, the religious service ended, the reception began and everybody froze: the bride started eating and eating.
She ate all the hors-d’oeuvres. Then she made her way through the main and second courses with second and even third helpings. Then she started on the desserts and ate the wedding cake all by herself. All the while, everybody was watching without touching a piece of bread.
Of course, being a comedy, it showed her waist getting bigger and bigger and bigger and the audience was watching with saucer-eyes how she was making her way through the tons of food presented for the reception. The groom was melting away watching his beautiful bride turning into a mountain.
It was an exaggeration of course (no one could change within a few hours) but I wonder (and with good cause, because I met such people) how many people play on appearances in order to reach a goal and then show their real character? And how disturbing is it for the people around when the real self asserts itself?
Anyway, it is Friday night, no one wants to think of such serious matters and actually I mentioned the two movies here just for a smile not to start a debate. However, if you want to debate, please debate away. Far from me to say no to any kind of pleasure.
I think I have taken enough of your time – it is weekend after all and I am sure you have other things – probably more interesting things, to do. So, till the next post comes out, have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are and with whoever you are.
February 4, 2016
Hello there, everyone!
I am always very sorry to disappoint but I have the feeling that this will be the shortest post in the history of blogging, I think. Better short than having nothing to say. And besides the fact that it’s been a busy day and talk about how stupid I felt when I saw how easy it is to change a filter for the furnace, I have my mind filled only with my anger at Facebook.
After almost a month of living with a noisy furnace, now, we have a much more peaceful environment. It was so easy to change it, that I almost groaned when I realized how stupid I must have looked to the man I called over to take care of this task. Who said that men are very useful only to kill bugs was very wrong. I find they are quite resourceful and their usefulness extends much more beyond killing bugs, especially when you are dim-wit like me.
It’s been a day with lots of things to do so I cannot complain that I got bored. However, I can complain that I have had very little time to read the book I chose for myself because otherwise, I’ve read a lot. We’ve had so many submissions for the magazine in January that we’re almost close to the second issue of the magazine and we haven’t finished choosing everything we’d want to publish this month. Not to mention, how frustrating it is to discover all the time new and new mistakes I made. Don’t you hate to see that you made mistakes? I do. I know no one can be perfect, but at least for the first issue, there shouldn’t have been mistakes.
Anyway, the purpose of this blog wasn’t to make you listen to complains. There are therapists for that – and thank God, I am not at that point yet!
One thing, though: I can say that I am very happy it is Friday tomorrow. It’s been a long week and even though I know I will have to do a lot of things over the weekend, just the idea that it is the weekend, makes me feel almost relaxed. I am pretty sure that Rex also expects the weekend impatiently because he felt too restricted this week. However, I love the fact that now it is enough to put my finger before my lips and he stops barking immediately. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’d listen to me in other things.
Just a few moments ago, the package of a chocolate fell on the floor and made noise and he immediately jumped from his spot on the bed where he was sleeping and came to protect me. Now, he doesn’t want to leave me anymore. I think he fell asleep leaning on my leg, because I can feel he’s slouching more and more. Surely, when I go to bed he’ll start his ritual with the teddy bear and for an hour I’ll have to listen at his paws running all over the bedroom and his whimpering. Yesterday night, he also added a bone and a biscuit – I really don’t know how everything fits in his mouth – it doesn’t seem so big.
Anyway, I’m going to shower and to bed. Hopefully, he’ll let me sleep. And you, maybe I will talk to you tomorrow night, if you still come back on the website after this completely mind-numbing account I’ve written here.
Born sometime in the past century, living in the 21st century.
Sometimes I have good ideas... (what do you think?)
Sometimes fascinating guests!
(that for sure!)
Sometimes I have to share some of my frustrations,..
(not too tempting, huh!)
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