Sunday, October 31, 2004


Sometimes memories remind me of a burning cinder in my brain. Slowly smouldering, getting stronger everyday until you can’t stand it anymore and just have to write about it. This is one of those smouldering little cinders. I’m not so sure why I have been thinking about this for so long, but it keeps popping up at the strangest times without provocation; when I’m driving, in the shower, falling asleep, waking up, working, shopping, so I’m giving it it’s due, here and now so that my brain can move on to other more important things.

We’re going back in time to the mid 60’s. Probably around 1967 to 1969. For three or four summers from the age of 6 to 8 maybe even when I was nine and ten, my sister and I would spend a week or two with my Dad’s parents. Grandma and Grandpa Hudson. When I think of summer, I am immediately taken to their house (or garage, will explain more later). These are the memories of summer to me.

My grandparent’s lived in Toronto in the heart of the city on a narrow city street with lots of small brick bungalows that all looked the same. The garages were at the rear of the yard and a shared driveway ran between the two houses and led directly to them. If you stood in their backyard and looked in either direction all you could see was line after line of fresh, clean clothes billowing in the wind.

To get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, my grandparent’s used to go to their property in the country. This small piece of land, approx 3 acres was located in Pickering, which is just east of Toronto. It was north of Finch Ave on the east side of Liverpool Road North. There were very few houses on Liverpool Road North of Hwy 2 and fewer still north of Finch.

A dirt road sprayed with tar in the summer led to the driveway of the property. There was no house, just a cement block garage that my grandfather had built after the original house had burned down some years before. Inside the garage, there were four single beds along the one side, a table and chairs close to the side entrance door and a pot belly stove for cooking and some heat. It was rustic and sparse but it was an exciting place to be.

There was no electricity and life was simple. My grandparents had big water barrels situated at all corners of the garage to catch the rainwater and my sister and I were bathed in a tall field of grass in a large steel basin. The water was soft and warm. There was no need to heat it during those hot July days. I remember being a little shy about bathing outside naked but then my inhibitions would disappear at the sheer joy of feeling that soft warm water on my hot skin.

During the day my sister and I would play in the tall grasses, or watch grandpa building something in his woodshed. The smell of the wood, tools, and oil is still fresh in my mind. I had no idea what he was doing, but was always happy to just sit on the edge of a large can of something in the corner and watch his hands working with the wood. Creating either a wagon, or swing, or something wonderful for my sister and I to play with.

When the sun went down we would sit on chairs to enjoy the cool summer evening looking up at the blanket of stars. There were no street lights. Just pitch black with bright white lights in the sky for miles and miles. Crickets chirped loudly in the fields and other nocturnal animals would make their presence known.

Just before turning in for the night, we would head inside where my grandpa would play guitar or his harmonica and my sister and I would dance to his music, our shadows dancing along with us in the lamplight.

Once we were sufficiently tired from all the dancing, my grandma would tuck us into bed and give us a kiss goodnight. We would fall asleep listening to my grandparents sitting at the table playing cards or cribbage.

I remember trying to fall asleep to the quiet sounds of the countryside rather than the loud noises of the city. It was difficult at first, but before long the crickets would lull me to sleep and in the morning a distant rooster would wake us at dawn.

Life was easy. My sister and I amused ourselves with make believe games outside. We didn’t have a television to watch and there were no shopping malls to go and spend money. Our big treat was to make the long trek (or so it seemed to us) to Stella’s Country Store on the corner of Liverpool and Finch. It was an old stucco house that had a small store in the front. I can still smell the old wood floors and sweet candies that sat on the counter.

Stella always knew who we were and would ask after my grandparents even though we were only there in the summertime for a couple of weeks. We would shyly answer her questions and rush outside with our vanilla ice cream cones licking furiously before they would melt all over us.

To this day, the smell of a tar covered road in the summer takes me back to that time, 6 or 7 years old, walking with my sister, licking my ice cream cone without a care in the world, thinking of how lucky I was.

Now Playing - Hoochie Coochie Man, Allman Brothers Band

Friday, October 29, 2004

Repost Alberta Hunter Cooking at the Cookery and Shelly, Stumbling Down The Stairs

This was posted on another blog last December, but I'm posting it again because my good friend Debbie brought this up on the weekend and we had a good laugh. Hope you enjoy.

December 15, 2003

The title says it all. Well maybe not all, but certainly does highlight the events of my Saturday night.

It was another weekend with my good friends Debbie and Dennis. They finally made it to the big city to my apartment. I’ve been here for over two years now and we managed to nail down a weekend where they could stay at my place and we could partake in a culturally stimulating event as well.

What a better venue then the Bluma Appel Theatre to see the fabulous show Alberta Hunter, Cooking at the Cookery. I had noticed an ad for this show in the Toronto Life magazine back in September or October. Seems a long time ago now. I had mentioned it to Debbie because Alberta Hunter was a singer that I stumbled across when looking for some old blues tunes. I researched a little bit of her history on the internet and downloaded a song "Handy Man" that I was convinced, Debbie should add to her repertoire. Debbie is a jazz vocalist who loves to sing slow, moody tunes. We are always saying that she needs to add something a little different and when I heard this particular number I felt it was her.

Debbie said she would talk to Dennis about it and get back to me. I kind of forgot all about it when Debbie brought it up again in a phone call. She had heard the show was extended and we decided that I would see if I could get tickets. We were very lucky. They had some fabulous seats left for Sat December 13th and I grabbed them. They were right on the aisle where Dennis likes to sit! I suggested that they stay at my place and we could drive into the city from here.

It would be our visit for the Christmas season and a little something special for Debbie’s birthday which was on the 8th of December.

We ended up having quite an enjoyable visit before we left for the show, sampling some stinky cheeses, enjoying a glass of wine and listening to some music. Then we headed out. In spite of traffic bogged down on the QE/Gardiner I managed to bypass it with some quick detours to the Lakeshore and we arrived with 20 minutes to spare.

I had never been to this theatre so I had no expectations. It turned out to be a great spot! I had requested they mail the tickets to me rather than picking them up at the box office, which meant we were not stuck standing in a long lineup waiting to get in. We waltzed right past, the freezing people in line, checked our coats, pre-ordered some wine for intermission (to be picked up at the coat check rather than having to wait in another line at the bar) and had time to drink some of the lovely, cold, ice water from the jugs left out for the thirsty crowd. You could also grab a drink from the bar if something with a higher octane value was your preference.

I couldn’t believe our luck when we went to get our seats and the usher pointed them out. They were located very, very close to the stage. It was actually the perfect distance away. We didn’t have to sit with our heads bent up and yet it was like you could almost reach out and touch the cast.

The cast ended up being two people. A young, Alberta Hunter played by Montego Glover and the older Alberta Hunter depicted by Jackie Richardson, who also played her mother in a few of the scenes. The stage is very simply done with a metal stairway arch that stands over the band. On either side of the arch about 4 steps up is a landing that allows the actors to perform some of Alberta Hunter’s numbers.

I was so impressed by this play that I would love to see it again. The two actors tell Alberta’s life story by flashing back to when she was ten and then recounting different events of her life. The music was interspersed throughout to make the whole evening totally enjoyable.

At intermission we scrambled upstairs to get our wine, and laughed about a practical joke I had played on Debbie and Dennis when they first arrived. Not going to go into details of the joke, because you had to be there to think it was funny, and it was…because we were still laughing about it at intermission.

The bell rang to advise people to return to their seats and we finished our glasses of wine, allowing the bulk of people to go ahead. Still giggling we arrive at the top of the stairs and instead of walking down the right hand side (which is usual for me), I moved over to the left so that I could continue the conversation that I was having with Debbie and Dennis who were just ahead.

Somewhere around the midway point, my clog (yes a clog) slipped off and I tried to grab it by flexing my foot. This quick movement led to some other spontaneous, intricate footwork and I found myself starting to leap headfirst down the stairs. I don’t know how I managed to stop myself from hurtling into the air, but I did a quick roll, landed on my back and started to slide headfirst down the carpeted stairway towards the bottom.

Dennis grabbed my arm and stopped me before the momentum took Debbie out of the picture. When I stopped moving I quickly rolled over to get up before too many people saw what happened. I’m still trying not to turn red just thinking about it. There was a lady behind us who rescued my shoe and was showing great concern while Debbie, Dennis and I howled ourselves silly. Debbie and Dennis were concerned for about two or three seconds, but as soon as they assessed that I was still breathing, nothing broken, the three of us went into hysterics.

Dennis, pretending he was an announcer of a new Olympic sport, Stair Stumbling, kept recanting the scene over and over again throughout the evening, describing my descent in the most unflattering details. We were amazed about how clean a fall it was, no dust on my clothes, hair perfectly in place, nothing lost from my pockets and not even a nail broken. We were still laughing when we got home.

The next morning I could hear Debbie and Dennis giggling in the bedroom about the great show they had seen the night before, Alberta Hunter, Cooking at the Cookery and Shelly, Stumbling Down the Stairs. I always knew, deep down in my heart, that ONE day I would be famous!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Wrong Charge?

I was infuriated this morning when I read this story in the Toronto Star. If you read through the whole story you will find that the charge laid against "the unnamed perp" was dangerous driving.

I would think that when you purposely hit the gas and point your car towards someone with the intent of running them over, then continue to drive at a high rate of speed, attempt to get on a multi-lane highway with your victim still on the hood, that is more like attempted murder, rather than dangerous driving.

Why wasn't this middle aged man named? I'm sure they aren't trying to protect the identity of the victim, because the victim is named. Why is it that some people get their names plastered all through the news when they are accused of doing something wrong (prior to court and no eye witnesses) and other people, like this guy, are provided anonymity? Just doesn't seem right somehow.


Change of venue, back to my place where my widdle kitty cat is recouperating. Here is a picture that shows her lovely, new, pink leg.

You will be happy to know that she is managing quite nicely with her "peg leg" and the only downside seems to be that she cannot sneak up on anyone. It always sounds like a pirate coming down the hall, thump, thump, thump.

She's back to her old shenanigans though; banging my dresser door to wake me up. My dresser has two doors that open to a little compartment. Molly has decided that this is a good way to wake me up in the morning. She puts her nails underneath the bottom of the door, pulls and lets it bang shut. This is very loud at 6:30ish in the morning. I am trying to convey to her that with my new shift I can sleep in.

Perhaps this is a job for the Pet Whisperer, aka Mom.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


From: "D:ick Gro:wth " Add to Address Book
Subject: Bi:gP:en:ises
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 14:54:37 -0800

At:tention Men: You h:ave Not:hing to Lo:se and
In:ches to G:ain..


Ok enough is enough. First, this is NOT my email address. Second, I am NOT a man, and although a large penis may be desired, it needs to already be attached to someone. I don't think that this link will help me.

Do you think that I should be refining my wish list before I say my prayers at night? ;o)

Pictures of Autumn

Here are a couple of pics my daughter took a couple of weekends ago in the ravine beside our apartment building.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Time Traveller

I spent my weekend in my car. Or so it seems. Saturday morning I got up early and headed to Keswick, where my friend Michelle lives. It's about an hour and a half from my place. She graciously offered to help me pick up another piece of furniture from my ex boyfriend's in Collingwood.

From Keswick we drove to Collingwood, another hour and a half drive. We picked up the pine buffet, went to lunch at my favourite restaurant in Collingwood, Duncan's Cafe and then headed back to my place in Mississauga, yes another hour and a half trip.

I was amazed at how adept we were at putting the pine buffet into her van, getting it out and managing to set it upright on the dolly and then navigating it up to my apartment and gently setting it in place without one cross word, or injury. We were lucky to have my daughter helping at this end and the help of a friend of my ex's in Collingwood.

The fall colours on the trees were beautiful, although I think the peak for that would have been the weekend before, but still it was a lovely sunny day for a drive.

After we deposited the buffet at my place, we headed back to Keswick, had dinner out and I left at 9:30 pm to come home, a full 12 hours after I left my place in the morning.

According to my Rand McNally Tripmaker program the total trip was 189 miles or 304 kilometers. Map below outlines the journey. **Correction I forgot to add the miles to return to Keswick pick up my car and then drive home again, so the actual total was another 122 miles which works out to 311 miles or 500 km.

I had intended on going out for some fun and frivolity after my travels Sat night. Thinking that I could manage to fit in some pleasure with pain. Unfortunately, or fortunately however you choose to look at things, my intended source of pleasure had made other plans by the time I was able to make a connection by cell phone at 7:30 pm. In a way, I was relieved. I hadn't calculated the time that I would be spending in a vehicle accurately when I made my "fun" plans earlier in the week.

This seems to be one of my problems. Not really a problem to me, but it really bugs people that are involved with me, because I am invariably late for engagements or just can't attend because I'm too exhausted from all the other stuff I've piled on my plate earlier in the day.

You would think that by this age, I would have figured that sort of thing out.

In fairness to him though, he did offer to change his plans if I still wanted to get together, but I decided that it was a sign for me to go home and get some rest. I had already made a committment to take my mother out to my grandparent's on Sunday. Yes, another hour and a half drive. :o)

Mom and I left for my grandparent's a little later than we had planned and I would have to take full blame for that. It seems that all my time spent driving around Southern Ontario on Saturday did make me tired. I could not pull myself out of bed even though I tried to pry my eyes open several times.

My grandparent's were still happy to see us no matter what. In fact, I am very lucky to still have both my mother's parent's. My grandpa is 90 and my grandmother is 86. My grandfather is in very good shape for his age; he recently passed his written exam for his driver's license. Quite a feat that he is very proud of. Yes he is still driving around.

My grandmother's mind is not what it used to be and that is a shame. She was one of the brightest women I have ever known. She's read hundred's of books and up to just a couple of years ago, she was still doing daily crossword puzzles in the newspaper. She has since changed to word jumbles, because the crossword puzzles are too difficult for her now. I am impressed though. I still can't do crossword puzzles, so the fact that she has been doing them for years and just now finds them difficult is something that she can be proud of. Not to forget that she had to quit school after only a year in high school because like many women of her age, she had to go out to work to help support her family.

The most noticeable slippage is with her memory. It would appear to be mostly short term but now even her long term memory is not always there.

We were having a conversation about her grandmother and grandfather. Her grandfather was Scottish and her grandmother Irish. I was asking about their names, when they came to Canada etc. and she was trying to recall her grandfather's nickname when a knock came to the door.

One of their neighbours, Milly was stopping by to check up on them. My mother told her to come in for a visit and Milly, my mom, grandfather and I all started to talk. My grandmother was still standing near her chair with a concentrated look on her face. Occasionally she walked over to some packages that were to go home with us and started to look through one of the boxes. My mother kept telling her to leave it alone until after Milly left and to relax and enjoy the visit.

Finally my grandmother sat down and appeared to be listening to what everyone was talking about. I must add here that her hearing is really bad and she rarely wears her hearing aids. They bother her ears. We never know if she has them on. Seeing them in her ears is no indication that they are turned on or that she hears what you are saying.

I sat down in a chair opposite my grandmother. My grandfather and Milly were deep in conversation about some occurrence from the 40's or earlier and my mother had stepped out onto the balcony for a cigarette.

Suddenly my grandmother shouted "Honkey! That was his nickname! I have no idea what it meant, it's some sort of Irish slang."

Milly and my grandfather stopped talking briefly, looked in her direction and then continued on without missing a beat. I looked towards my mother on the balcony and we both burst out laughing.

All I could think of was that my great, great grandfather must have been working with a bunch of black men, because Honkey is a slang for white people.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Growing Old, Graciously

My mother often says that she loves being this age (64), because with age comes the ability to speak your mind. You don’t worry as much about what other people think. She loves to yell at other cars and wave her hands when they are not driving in the manner that she thinks is appropriate.

I secretly yearn for the good ol’ days when she was more reserved and cared about what other’s thought.

The other morning I took her shopping to pick up a few items at the grocery store.

We looked around at the Halloween Candy first and then headed over to where the napkins and lunch bags would be.

She pulled her list out and started to rhyme off other important things that she needed and as we walked through the store. I pushed the cart and kept my eyes open for these things so that with any luck we would be able to navigate from one side of the store to the other, gathering our items along the way and finish at the checkout, without meandering back and forth in a zig zag fashion, as per the usual.

We got to one aisle and stood looking for some Poise (bladder control pads) and as she spotted the right ones and reached up to grab them, a gentleman her age, rounded the corner and glanced to see what she was reaching for.

I started to snigger and stayed well back pretending to be looking for toothpaste.

The man stopped right in front of the toothpaste section and pretended to be looking for something also, but kept an eye on my mother as she deposited the Poise into the basket.

My mother then reached past this man to grab a box of Polident tablets for her dentures and was gushing about how relieved she was to finally remember to buy it as she had run out a couple of weeks ago. I watched as the old guy actually turned to watch her put the Polident in the basket before he started to move away.

I looked at my mom and said, "You know what he’s thinking don’t you?"

"No, I haven’t got a clue, what?"

"Wow, there’s a catch! She’s losing her teeth, wetting her pants and has trouble remembering things, I wonder if I should ask her out?"

My mom then noticed him in the aisle. Apparently, she never paid any attention or didn’t notice him there before, in spite the fact, she had reached almost in front of him for the Polident.

I guess she’s right. It is great to grow old and not care anymore.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's Watski's Fault

It's not that I like to place blame or not accept responsibility for my own actions, but it really is Watski's fault for my new obsession. After reading his post about his stat counter, I decided to add the same one to my page.

I then noticed the same thing that he had. There are a lot of views that are 0 seconds. I do think the stat counter may be defective. I decided to test it out. I went to Watski's blog, read several of his posts, then looked at his stat counter to see how long I was on there for. It showed 0 seconds when in fact I had been on his blog for over 10 min. I haven't figured out why it does that, but at least I know that particular part of it is not accurate.

Then I noticed that he also had a nifty thing at the bottom of his page that indicates the sites that have visited. So I followed the link and added that to mine as well.

So now I have become obsessed by these things. Comparing the data to see if it matches or if it is remotely similar. Why? I have absolutely no fucking idea. That's just the way I am sometimes. I can become so mesmerized by something that I can't stop playing with it. Such as this. Which, by the way, has eaten up some of my blogging time. I missed blogging today and last night by checking stats out, trying to figure out who was here and where did they come from. Do I know them personally, or is it a random next blog visit.

It really doesn't matter. I write because I enjoy it. I write what happens to be on my mind, not because I really believe that anyone else particularly wants to read it. I also do it as an alternative to writing a ton of individual emails to my out of town friends. This way they can catch up with my exciting life, yeah right, at their own leisure. Apparently many of my friends do just that. Which is complimentary when they give you shit for not updating more or saying that they miss reading because they've been too busy etc.

The tricky part is that when you finally get together in person, it's hard to know what they know and what they don't. I hate to start telling a story because I'm not sure if it will be old news or not. This may be the beginning of the end of chatty Shelly. Which, depending on your point of view could be a good thing.

Well enough of that. I'll try to keep my obsession with stats and referring sites under control so that it doesn't interfere too much with my enjoyment of reading other people's blogs and updating my own.

On another note, I have been amazed at another one of my Mother's skills and just have to comment on it. I'm considering writing a screenplay and seeing if I can get a movie made. I'm sure it will be a box office hit. Not sure who will play the lead but it has to be someone like Maxine, because she really epitomizes my Mother.

I'm thinking of calling it The Animal Whisperer. You've heard about the Horse Whisperer, well my Mother has the ability to communicate with different kinds of animals, not just horses.

Just the other day I heard her having a conversation with our dog, Sammy.

"Yes, yes ok Sammy. Just a minute. I told you that I need to finish my cigarette first. Then I'll take you out. Don't bother looking at her for a treat, you know that one won't give you anything. I'll get you something as soon as we get back in."

Two seconds later, the sliding door is pushed open and my Mother comes back inside from her smoking room (the balcony).

"Ok boy, you're so good to wait for your Nana. Yes I'm getting my coat. Settle down, you know your legs aren't that good on these damn hardwood floors. What is wrong? Don't you want to go out? Oh you want a piece of cheese. Of course, why didn't I know that. There you go boy. He's such a good boy for his Nana. Now come on, we'll go outside before it gets dark. I know you don't like to be out there when the big pitbulls might be around. Maybe if we ask nicely, your real Mother will come outside with us."

Other conversations take place with the cats, but I'm sure she would be able to converse with just about any species. It's a gift. It's a special gift that might just make me a load of money one day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


I really really hate yahoo sometimes.  Unfortunately it's better than MSN. So what are you gonna do?

This and That

I made it home in good time tonight. Flew along the 401 at an average of 135 km/hr which is impossible during rush hour. I'm really enjoying going to work and coming home at odd hours.

The best part about it is that I hardly even notice that I am missing out on anything. I mean I work when it gets dark outside, and I'm still home by 11:00pm. I get to sleep later in the morning, get up and have a leisurely coffee, decide if I feel like depressing myself by reading the newspaper or not and just saunter around getting myself ready for work.

It's such a change from my old routine.

- Alarm shouts out favourite radio station at 5:30am
- Make it part of great dream and continue sleeping to the radio
- Pry open eyes at intervals of 10 to 15 minutes and tell myself that I still have time
- Force self out of bed at 6:20am, stumble into shower
- walk back into bedroom and frantically dry hair, find clothes, iron clothes get dressed and walk out of door no later than 7:00am.
- exit parking garage of building by 7:10am after waiting for elevator and then drive frantically to work dodging assholes from all sides
- arrive at work, usually on time but occasionally 5 to 10 min late, exasperated, flushed and tired.

Which would you prefer?

Molly is not getting around too well with her leg attached to that stick. It looks so inhumane, her not being able to bend it and all. I hope she gets the hang of it soon. It's heartbreaking to see her flopping around as she tries to navigate somewhere. I know there are lots of people that do not have pets, do not like animals and do not understand it when someone treats them like their children, but I cannot understand a life without them.

My pets are starting to age and I have told myself that I am not going to get another cat or dog when they pass on. I most likely will though. I've never been petless. From my earliest memories there was a pet of some sort living in our house. The first that I remember were our four turtles. Ranging in size from tiny to big, we aptly named them Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Moe.

We've also had a budgie bird, many aquariums, a salamander, guinea pig, and the usual dogs and cats. I think that having a pet as a child teaches you responsibility, compassion and how to nurture. My sister currently has an aquarium, pond in her backyard and 5 rescued cats. I have two rescued cats and a rescued dog. I gave up my aquarium several years ago when my African Cichlids insisted on eating one another while I tried to eat my breakfast. My queasy stomach couldn't handle it.

What kind of person are you? Animal lover or Animal hater?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Double Decker Frogs

When I was 6 we moved from Toronto to Collingwood.
I had already visited Collingwood a couple of times, during summers when we stayed atWasaga Beach. So I already knew what a great place it was and was quite happy to leave the concrete jungle for fun in a small town.

Well, it probably wasn't exactly like that, but I was excited about moving to a new town and a new house. We arrived in the summer before school started and my sister and I spent much of the summer playing together because we had not made any new friends yet.

It was a large, brick, two storey home, complete with an attic and pocket doors. I used to imagine that I was a grand lady with full billowing gowns whenever I walked down the staircase.

The basement was the best place to play during the hot summer days. It was cool, damp and dark, complete with a dirt floor. There was also a doorway with stairs that led to the side yard. My sister and I enjoyed this added bonus, because we were able to sneak in there without my Father seeing us.

Not long after we arrived, I found the cutest little creature in the yard. It was a toad on a toad, but I thought it was a frog on a frog, otherwise referred to as double decker frogs. I wanted to keep it as a pet so I put it in the basement. My sister was upset that I had a pet and she didn't, so we found one for her. I think we decided to put a couple more down there, just to keep them company.

As ususal for young children, our attentions turned elsewhere and we soon forgot all about our pet "frogs".

Some time later, perhaps weeks, we heard our Father screaming for us to get downstairs right away.

I was afraid to go down because I could tell from the tone of his voice that he had found our pet "frogs". But I knew that I had to face the music and so did my sister. We decided to act stupid. It was always the best defence.

"What Daddy?"

"Come here for a minute, both of you, NOW."

"Yes Daddy?"

"Did either of you bring a frog into the basement?"

In unison, "No."

"Don't lie to me."

"We didn't. Why?"

"Jesus Christ, you two look at the floor and you tell me why I'm asking you? I know that I didn't bring any frogs into the basement and I know for sure your goddamn Mother didn't."

My sister and I looked down at the floor, trying to focus in the dim light so that we could see what the fuss was about. My guess was that he found either my pet or my sisters.

When my eyes finally adjusted I was ecstatic with happiness. There had to be *hundreds, in my mind* of frogs hopping happily about the dreary cellar. Our double-decker frogs had disembarked and now we had tons of little single frogs.

I immediately started to cry when I realized that my lie had been found out, this was the second best defence when dealing with my Father. If he wasn't too angry, this would soften him up so that he would totally not be angry anymore.

He did soften a little, but he still made us pick up all the frogs and take them back outside. Meanie.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

3-1-1 Pet Emergency

We need a special number for pet emergencies. Perhaps 3-1-1, since they are about 1/3 the average size of an adult.

My kitty, Molly, the beautiful, zany girlie in the picture with the lampshade on her head, had an accident this morning acting like a cat.

She fell off my dresser and her back leg got caught in my drawer pull and she fractured her foot. Xrays show that she has two bones that are completely fractured and a third one that was cracked half way through.

The pet hospital is keeping her overnight and putting a splint on her leg in the morning, after which I will be able to bring her home.

I can still hear her god awful cry and I am so thankful that she will be ok. The vet said it will take approximately 8 weeks for her to completely heal.

So this weekend, has been the most emotional one that I have had in a long time. Can't wait for the frivolity to return.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


16/10/04 10:05 PM

It didn’t end 2 ½ years ago
when you told me about her
or 2 months later,
full boxes, frozen smile, empty shell
running from the memories

It was still alive
untouched or scathed
by the tears and shattered dreams

Shoved deep in a corner, with no light or hope
2 ½ years later, absolutely no fear
that the love I once held, would not be there
when I faced you, today, my dear

I held it down tight,
as I gathered the few loose ends
choking the breath of it out
with all my strength, certain I could win

But then you opened your soul,
and let me gaze in
for those precious fleeting seconds
eyes locked, souls merged, life stopped
we were one, once again

I met with my exboyfriend earlier today to gather a few remaining things prior to his move to his new girlfriend's house. I was surprised by the wave of emotions and the sadness that I am feeling, but tried to express it above. I just need to wallow for a moment or two.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Investigative Reports

It's a good thing I came home. I scoured the news stations last night for an update on our strike and found nothing.

Woke up this morning and lay in bed listening to the radio news broadcasts, nothing.

Pulled myself out of bed to see if Mom Columbo had picked up the scent of any newsmaking on the strike front and nada.

Checked in on concerned daughter, again zippo.

What should I do? I don't start work until 2:30pm. Will they call me later and tell me we're back to work? What if we were back to work on Wednesday and I didn't know because I was playing?

Ahhh, the internet. The place at my fingertips that holds all the answers to any question you could ever think of.

First stop was to see what the newest news was, the results page only offered updates from 11 and 13 hours ago. There had to be something more recent.

I decided to go directly to the PSAC web site. This page took forever to load but when it finally did arrive on my monitor I was horrified to find that Tables 1 (mine) and 3 were returning to work today as a tenative agreement is expected to be received at 11:00am. We are still in a strike position and if it's not accepted then we could be out again.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy to be returning to work, but what was horrifying to me is that I may not have found out that we were back. It's 9:56 am at this moment and I have yet to hear from anyone telling me that we are going back.

I took it upon myself to call a friend who works in the daytime and she was called this morning at 7:00am.

Nice eh? Good thing I wasn't depending on the news to advise of the status of our strike. That would be such a novel idea, to actually keep the public informed of the negotiations of one of the countries largest employers with it's employees.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


The Government has settled with CCRA and a couple of other departments and it looks promising for us, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it ends soon.

I hate to even admit this, but I have avoided picketing so far. I have not crossed the picket line but I have not gone out there either.

I had made previous plans to take the day off on Tuesday and go out of town overnight. When I was called and informed that we were out on strike, I decided that it wouldn't matter if I didn't show up for a couple of days. I ended up staying an extra night and came home too late today to make it for my duty.

Tomorrow's Friday, and I'm thinking what the hell, might as well make it a clean start and if we are still out on Monday then I'll join the troupes. I'm not sure if I will be welcome or not. I've only had one experience where I was out on picket duty and that was September 2001. We were doing rotating strikes so it wasn't an all out one like this.

The previous contract was negotiated without a strike and the one before that I was a designated worker, so I had to be inside working in spite of it. In a way, I still feel like a newbie even though I've been with the department for 13 years.

Funny how two days of relaxing at a cottage on a lake can render you thoughtless. I have absolutely nothing else that I can think of to write about today. Lucky you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Hitting the bricks!

So the Union has apparently led us down a path, so to speak, a path that has us walking the streets at this moment.

Months ago, when we cast our strike vote, we were told that it would never come to that. The Government would be jolted into action with our strong unified voice. Seems that the Government is either deaf or doesn't give a damn, because I received a call this morning to tell me the time and place for picketing.

I hate strikes, I also admit that I am not a strong union supporter, but I will do what I have to do.

So I'm off. Think of me out on the chilly pavement, cold wind ringing in my ears as you are sitting comfortably at your computer reading, writing or playing (or whatever it is that you do on your computer).

Monday, October 11, 2004

"Swiff it Good, la la la laaaaaaaaaaaa"

I think I might be gullible. People that know me, are certain of it. Today was a day of rest. I worked my ass off yesterday, rearranging house, unpacking some more crap and then cooking Thanksgiving Turkey dinner. So today, I did nothing.

Nothing except watch a ton of television. Now I have the Swiffer jingle that is sung to the Devo "Whip It" song running through my head with thoughts of going to purchase one.

My Mother will not be swayed. She thinks they are far too expensive, and do not do the job that she can. So no Swiffer for me.

Yesterday's rearranging of furniture was fun though. I think the House Doctor would be proud of the end result. When we moved in the furniture was just placed in the room without much thought and it was driving me crazy. Now it feels more like home and balanced. That's important. When you are not balanced in the mind, you require balance in your surroundings.

Well, enough of that, there are more pressing things to write about. I didn't hear from my strike captain today, so I'm assuming we will be at work as usual tomorrow. Our plans to strike last Thursday and tomorrow have been called off as the negotiating team returned to the table on the weekend. I am hoping that we get an offer without having to strike. You never get enough money to make up for the lost wages when you walk off the job and besides, I cannot afford to sit at home without an income. If I could, then I wouldn't go to work everyday. I would opt to stay at home!

I laughed when I read about PPQ's blind date and it reminded me of a pseudo date that I went on earlier this summer. There is a fellow that lives in my building and we have become friendly, going on walks on a Sunday afternoon or playing a game of pool.

I was in a position to help him out with something and he mentioned taking me out to dinner to repay me. I wasn't expecting to be repaid but realized that it would be rude to decline, so I said that sounded like a good idea. He made it a concrete offer by suggesting the following weekend and I agreed.

"Hi Shelly, just thought I would call to see if you're still on for tonight."

"Oh hi there, sure, tonight is good for me."

"Good. Did you hear about the special offer at Mandarin?"

"No I don't think I have." (I lied here, because I had but did not want to go near the place).

"Well, make sure you bring your birth certificate, we'll swing by and if it's not too busy I thought we could go there. They are giving a free meal to all Canadian Citizens."

"Oh I bet you won't get near the place."

"Ok, well I have another idea if it's too busy."

I hung up the phone and was confused. Should I feel slighted that he wanted to repay his so-called debt with a free meal, or should I be amused by his obvious frugalness?

I opted for the latter and enjoyed a good chuckle about it. It seemed to cement my notion that I do attract the wrong kind of men.

In the end he took me to a Greek restaurant for my favourite, Soulvaki dinner and we had a pleasant time. The relationship has never progressed past the friend stage and in my heart, that is all I believe we were meant to be.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


It's our Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada. The weather started out rainy and very windy this morning. In fact, I woke up a mere four hours after going to bed with the wind howling as loudly as what I can only imagine a hurricane would sound like.

I forced my eyes open to see my windows were rain splattered and the force of wind through the crack of my window was actually blowing the hair off my face. It was grey, cold and very bleak. I rolled over to look at the clock and was relieved that it was only 7:00am. I could still sleep a few more hours before forcing myself to get up.

The next time I looked at the time, it was 10:30am, the sun was filling my room and my daughter was standing at my bedside reminding me that I had asked her the night before not to let me sleep in.

What was it I wanted to do today? What day is it? Why is she waking me up? Do I have to go to work?

Then I remembered. It is Saturday, the day before Thanksgiving and I have to go grocery shopping to buy a Turkey and everything else we want to pig out on as well as take my daughter downtown to a mall that contained a unique store that sold the only jeans that fit her.

She had asked if I would take her shopping last night. She knows that I hate shopping. I really hate clothes shopping and I really, really detest malls. I wanted to say no, but I understand that she has had difficulty finding a pair of jeans that fits properly and I also understand it would take her forever to get there by transit. She only gets one day a week off where I am not working so I said yes. It would give us a little mother/daughter time alone.

The plan last night when she said goodnight was that I would get up early, go do the grocery shopping with my mother, then take her out when I returned.

That was before I stayed up until 3:00am reading blogs and goofing around on the computer. I wondered if it would be received well if I tried to back out of the clothes shopping trip now. Then I remembered how our plans for some time together was interrupted last weekend and I didn't have the heart to try and back out of it.

I was slightly behind my original schedule but I managed to fit it all in anyway. The shopping trip wasn't as bad as I originally thought it would be. When my daughter sensed that I was in pain standing in the store while she looked each article over thoroughly, she suggested that I wait for her outside the store. That suited me perfectly. I found a nice spot to sit, right outside the store where I could do one of my favourite things; watch people.

There are so many interesting things that you can assume about people by the way they walk, talk and dress. I often amuse myself by making up little stories about who they are, what they are doing etc. For instance, one couple that walked past were a couple of crack heads that had just rolled out of bed and were searching for their next score of dope. They've been on a neverending party for the past week and have just now run out. She had not seen a shower in days, but in spite of that, walked like she was the Queen of Sheba. He was an unemployed, older than he looked has been. Cool, confident, con artist. They met a week ago at a party and have not parted since. The carefree week was coming to an end as desparation to get some more dope was beginning to take over.

My reverie was broken with my daughter signalling for me to join her in the store again. I pretended not to notice her at first but she was persistent. I then decided that perhaps the shopping trip would end quicker if I went into the store to see what she wanted. I was right. She wanted my opinion on another article of clothing and as soon as I gave it, she was ready to leave.

The sun remained out for the entire day and it was fairly warm, reaching a temperature of 21 degrees celcius.

I stayed in tonight and we all enjoyed a raucous game of monopoly. My mother, daughter, her boyfriend and myself. At the end of three hours when we were all tired, we declared her boyfriend the victor as he clearly held the most property with the most houses, yielding the highest rents.

I did notice an interesting thing about the game that can probably be compared with real life and that is when I was really short on money, it never failed but I would fall on the spots that held the highest rents causing me great stress, yet when I was rolling in the dough, I usually landed on chance cards that ended up being gifts of more money. The more money I had, the more successful I was at the game; the less money I had, the stupid moves escalated resulting in loss of more money. Interesting.

Now to bed and tomorrow we have our Rockwellian Thanksgiving Dinner!

Saturday, October 09, 2004


I thought about my frustration yesterday at work, and went in with a new resolve to beat the problem. Maybe it wasn't my language skills or their lack of, perhaps it had more to do with the form that we were using.

When asked what the different fields were for, I had to admit more than once that we don't actually use that one, no, not that one either, noooo nothing there. So I decided to replace the form with a far simpler one.

One that has built in reminders about when to put the file number on, and when not to. I handed the new form out tonight and only had to explain it several times to one lady. Yes, the same lady that got the one on one and the multiple explanations.

Funny thing about her is that just when I think that she hasn't got a damn clue what I'm talking about, she will show me her work and it is absolutely perfect, meticulous and right on.

Anyway, they all smiled when I showed them the new streamlined, easy to read form.

It was a far better evening tonight!

********* On another note********

I think my mother has missed her calling as a detective. She was sitting on the balcony having a cigarette tonight when she noticed a car enter the parking area and park facing the adjacent street. The gentleman in the car did not immediately exit, but stayed inside for quite sometime.

This perked my Mother's curiousity. Like a pro, she slunk down onto the bench swing so that she could still see him through the plexiglass insert in the balcony wall, but he would not notice her as her head was hidden.

Mother reports that he did finally exit the vehicle, moved to the trunk, opened it up and looked around for something for a little while. He then closed the trunk and got back into the car. A few minutes later he repeated the process. The whole time he kept looking towards the adjacent street which meant he had his back to our building and also his back to the driveway leading into the parking lot. Most people waiting in their cars to pick up someone from the building would be looking the other way.

He was spotted putting on an overcoat and stuffing his hands in the pockets again as if he was looking for something.

About 2 minutes before Detective Momsy entered our unit, a horn was heard loudly bleeping from the street. Shortly thereafter a large gentleman ambled through the gardens from the street into the parking lot, carrying a rather large bag. As soon as the suspect noticed this man, he backed his vehicle out of its spot and slowly drove away in the opposite direction.

Detective Momsy quickly entered our unit and hastefully went to her bedroom to turn her TV to the security camera channel for our lobby.

Sure enough, shortly thereafter, two gentlemen could be seen entering the building carrying that same rather large bag.

And that gentlemen is how you get the job done! What job that is, I'm not sure, but I am sure of this, that whole episode kept my Mother very busy for quite sometime, which meant that I was able to catch most of Law and Order uninterrupted.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Continuing Saga of "The Date" - The End

Again this is a repost of a piece from another blog, part two of yesterdays post.

07/03/04 1:50 PM
The Ending

I’ve been meaning to update all week to fill you all in on what happened with mystery man when I ignored all those (flags) and went out with him anyway.

Let’s just say that my (flagging) system works very well.

He had said he would call me on the following Sunday, and I had told him I would be out of town, but he could call because I always have my cell with me. I was leaving my friends place at around 7:30pm and he had left me a voice mail message. I didn’t hear my phone ringing. I thought that was a good sign that he actually called when he said he would. I called him back and he asked if I was at home. I said no that I was just leaving Cambridge. He then told me he had already called my house 3 times and then left a message on my cell (flag). We then decided to continue the conversation when I got home. Later when we talked we made plans to get together on Wednesday night. I told him that I would be finished work at 6:30pm. He said he would call my cell. I really expected to have a message from him when I got off work. There was no message so I called him. He didn’t answer his cell, so I just left a message saying I was wondering what was up. He didn’t call me back until 8:20pm. I didn’t answer the phone. I let him leave a message and then called him back an hour later because my curiosity got the better of me. We made plans to get together Saturday night.

I told him that I was working overtime and he was to call me after 3:00pm. It’s funny because at the last minute on Friday, I decided to go into work when everyone else was at 6:00am so that I would be done at 1:30 and then could go home for a nap and be rested for Sat night. He called me at 2:00pm, which I thought was odd, because as far as he knew I would still be working. He told me that he was up in Wasaga Beach, working and would be back in the city around 7 or 8. He would call. I was ready for 8:00pm and never heard from him until after 11:00pm.

It starts to sound ridiculous when I recount the events like this. I must admit that I am embarrassed for how I handled this situation and can only hope that the next time (not with him, but with whomever) I will remember this and react differently. When he called I did not immediately express my irritation for sitting for 3 hours waiting. He was talking really fast, jumping from one subject to the next with all of his apologies, probably hoping that he would not have to listen to what I had to say. Before I knew what was happening I had agreed to meet him on Sunday for coffee. We planned to meet at 12:30pm in the infamous Dominion parking lot and he was emphatic that he would BE there.

I did call him back before I went to bed a couple of hours later and told him how rude he had been and that it did make me angry. Then continued to firm up plans to meet on Sunday. I know, weird. I should have used that precious moment to tell him to jump off a ledge somewhere.
Sunday at 12:40pm, I pull into the parking lot at Dominion. He is nowhere to be found. The weather is perfect. Sunny and warm. My car looks like it’s just been through a desert storm, the black is covered with salt sludge that makes it appear grey. A nice afternoon at the car wash is really what I would have preferred to be doing. I seriously consider calling him and cancelling if he is still far away. I call him to see where he is and he tells me he is at Dominion. Asks me where I am. I say Dominion and then he said, well I’m at the traffic light, I’ll be right there. So he was lying when I asked him where he was. I cannot stand liars.

He arrives, again apologizes for the evening before and asks me where Alice Fazoolis restaurant is because that is where he is taking me to lunch. I suggest that he come with me in my car and he is hesitant about leaving his van at the parking lot. I then tell him to follow me so he can park at my building. I know that was stupid. In fact, there is so much stupidity of mine in this story it’s almost like I was a victim of some UFO body snatching scheme.

The alien and mystery man drive to the restaurant. He uses this time, not to talk or get to know the alien better but to make business calls on his cell phone. As irritating as this can be, it’s a great way to learn some other fascinating things about somebody. Listening to one half of a telephone conversation can sometimes tell you more about that person then they would ever admit to you personally. I know, you want to know like what? Well, sometimes the information is not fully realized until later, which is the case here. So I’ll leave this until I get to the moment of realization and revisit what I already knew about him because I had listened to his phone calls.

We go into the restaurant and just like the first time, he had to choose a different table to sit at. Not satisfied with the Hostess’s choice. He maintains that they are not good at reading their customer’s and determining where that person would like to sit. I say, they don’t care what the customer’s want, they just want to seat them in the area where the next waiter/waitress is supposed to get the customer. I can tell he has never worked as a waiter/waitress. I have. I used to hate customer’s like him.

We order salads, which I may add was a big ordeal and required lots of concerted brain effort to make the decision on his part. I already had decided that I was not hungry for a heavy meal and the Cajun Chicken Caesar sounded perfect. He opted for the Baby Bocconcini Salad. Naturally I had made the better choice. He knew it too when our salads arrived, but that’s what happens when you don’t listen to a more experienced Alice Fazooli diner’s recommendations.

He ordered a bottle of red wine, which was very nice. Ok so he did one thing right. :o) To be honest, the lunch was nice. Except for the interruptions of his cell phone. We had good food, good wine and the conversation was great. I was perplexed at how somebody could be so engaging one minute and infuriating the next. He certainly was mysterious or rather curious.

An hour and a half later, we walked out into the bright sunshine again, and I asked him directly if he had other plans, needed to be going somewhere or what was on his agenda. He said he had no plans whatsoever for the whole day. So I suggested a little browse in the bookstore. He seemed ok with that until we were in there and I could tell that he was not in the least bit interested looking at all the glorious books. It’s my idea of a perfect hour or two. I love looking around music stores and book stores. Feeling his boredom, I suggested we leave. We were just outside the door and he said "I have to find a computer with internet access by 2:30pm." I said, well, you could go to the public library. That was not suitable. Apparently the library Internet would not have the site he required. He asked if I had high speed internet and a microphone. I said yes. Then he asked if I would let him use my computer and he promised he would leave when he was finished. I hesitated and then said I guess so.

In the back of my mind I thought it was work related. Pertaining to the business calls he had taken during lunch.

Anyway, it turned out that he wanted to voice chat on my computer, which he did. In his own language, I might add, for friggin 3 hours. The whole time I thought it was business. When he finally shut it off and said "Ok, I’m done", I asked him if that was all business. He said in a kind of incredulous tone of voice, "No, that was a social chat."

Let’s just say my blood pressure rose dramatically and quickly. I was stunned speechless and then he sat down in the chair opposite me and asked what I wanted to do next. I told him that I was going to visit my mother. Showed him the door and to myself said, Goodbye and good riddance.

No, I have not heard from him since. If he is smart he will lose my number. I am still furious just thinking about it.

Ok, so to back track and let you know what I learned from listening to his calls. He had promised one person to call back in half an hour and arrange a time to meet so he could pick up some product that he required. He never called back. Another person called and needed him to activate a phone. He sells cell phones, phone cards etc. to businesses. His promise to that person was five minutes. He never called them back either. The entire time he was at my place his phone went off every other minute incessantly and he neither turned it off or answered it. Finally the person gave up.

The person he had promised to activate the phone for was the reason I thought he needed to use my computer. I really thought in my mind that he had to activate it via a computer connection to the internet. He never told me what he needed my computer for, and really led me to believe it was work related. Especially with the urgency that he was expressing.

So his phone calls showed me that he is an unethical business man. A person that is unethical in business is not likely to be any different in personal relationships and not the type of person that I want to associate with. In retrospect, it certainly has made me nervous about what was being discussed during that voice chat and with whom. His rudeness and arrogance makes the possibilities of what that chat entailed even more scary.
It took me two hours Monday night to uninstall the voice chat platform and all of it’s little spyware crap that it had put onto my system.

I am fed up and finished with the dating game. My new theory is that I am going to enjoy this time of ‘singleness’ to spend time with my family and friends and that is good enough.

The Date (regurgitated from another blog)

Just to preface, I wrote this in February and posted it on another blog. Thought you may find it humourous so I'm doing a repost. If it's old news to some, I apologize!

22/02/04 2:33 AM

The Date

Dating as an adult certainly differs from those teen dates that we all endured. I’m not sure what the game plan is anymore. I should be used to it by now, considering that I’ve been on my own for 11 years.

When I was a young teenager, I never really knew what that "only thing was" that guys wanted. I heard that so many times from my mother, but she neglected to tell me in plain english what IT was. So I naively went out on date after date, falling in love only to be dumped usually around the three month mark. I now understand why that was. A man can only take so much and then he is going to move onto greener pastures right? Or at the very least to a pasture that yields to his desires more easily.

In spite of my naiveté, I did fall in love at 16 and married him when I was 18. We remained married for 14 years, most of which were miserable, but that’s another story. I was reluctant to re-enter the dating world. How could I? I didn’t know the rules anymore and besides, those rules are certainly different after childbirth. I’m not that naïve virgin anymore, I do know what men want, and they know that I know. It creates a whole new set of problems.

The majority of women in my age group, that are single and dating or married and living vicariously through the single and dating, are divided on the best course to follow. Half are devout believer’s in saving the sex until much later, and the other half are of the belief that it is better to find out at the get go if you are compatible rather than wasting precious time on someone that isn’t. Let’s face it, most of us feel that we have already probably wasted the better half of our life with someone that was not compatible.

So I toss between one belief to the other. Never sure if I’m doing the right thing. Always believing when a ‘potential’ new relationship ends before it starts that I must have made the wrong choice.

I remember hearing a relationship specialist on a radio talk show one day say that when you meet someone new, if you are capable of really listening to what is said, rather than being distracted by your own thoughts while they are speaking, you can learn all that you need to know about them in about 5 minutes.

That seems a little extreme to me, but I decided that I would try this out while I ventured out on yet another first date last night.

The way we met was pretty unique. Seemed to me to be an obvious signal that this could be something special. I was shopping at Dominion and the man in the checkout in front of me, made a point of speaking to me and then once outside, introduced himself, gave me his business card and asked me to call him. Oh yeah, and mentioned how attractive he found me.

I called, and from there plans were made to go out to dinner on Friday night. He called when he got to my end of the city and was parked in the parking lot where we met. We still had not decided exactly where we would go but I was pretty confident of a restaurant I enjoy, Snug Harbour. I drove to the parking lot and from there he joined me in my car. I was originally going to get him to follow me in his vehicle but I decided that driving together would give more time for conversation and interviewing so I offered to drive there and he accepted.

It started out very nicely. He had bought me a small bouquet of flowers. Nice touch. He was dressed sharply and smelled nice. We had no trouble conversing with one another and before I knew it we were at the restaurant.

I kept reminding myself not to get distracted by him but to pay attention to everything, the smallest of details so that I could analyse the data later and make a rational decision about whether there would be a date number two.

First small flag to me was when he objected to where the hostess had seated us. It was at a small table in close proximity to the bar. He was vehemently opposed to sitting near the bar and the way he said it made me think that he was a non drinker. I had already planned to have a glass of wine with my meal prior to this, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do after we were seated at our new table, situated as far from the offending ‘bar’ as possible.

I started out by asking him outright if he drinks. "Yes, only red wine though. What do you drink?" "I like red wine too, and white and other things." He wanted to know what other things, so along with beer, and rum, I mentioned vodka. The waitress comes along to see if we would like to order a drink and he perused the wine list. I wasn’t sure if the prices were unattractive or not but he decided that he didn’t like any of the wines on the list and he ordered a vodka on the rocks. (flag) Confused again, I decided to get ice water until I had time to think about what I really wanted.

When our meals came (both Louisiana Catfish), I ordered a glass of red wine. He ordered the same kind shortly after and then another. (flag)

We had great conversation and I cannot remember it all in detail but he did speak often about the differences between men and women in relationships. Men are rational and think with their brains whereas women are emotional and rule by their hearts or feelings. I could not disagree but of course I was wondering why he was telling me this and another flag went up.

I decided to delve into his past. I asked if we was married. No, he wasn’t and had never been married. He seemed a little proud of that statement. (flag). He talked a little about how difficult it is dating. Meeting lots of ‘empty’ people and the fact that all of his sister’s marriages seem loveless, so he decided he didn’t want that.

He continued to talk about the male/female thing for quite some time and his preferences or more so, his dislikes. I found out that he doesn’t like women who hang out at bars. He loves to dance and will dance with women at bars but that’s it, he would never date one. (flag) I told him that I used to generalise like that all the time too until one day I realised that I am one of those ‘all right’ people that occasionally frequents a bar. I wouldn’t like it if people looked at me that way.

I was telling him about a funny thing I heard on the radio the other morning and I asked him if he listened to Q107 (a local, classic rock station). He said no he listens to another station (I forget the name, but a much more subdued one) and then he suggested that perhaps I shouldn’t listen to Q107 because it’s more for young people. (flag) I quickly told him that I quite like it and that I do not consider myself, nor feel like an old person. He then agreed that I appear much younger than my age. By the way, he is only 2 years older than me.

It also became quite apparent that he did not approve of a sexually promiscuous woman. Although, he did mention a couple of times that it is more accepted for a man to behave that way. (flag). Don’t get me wrong here when I mention flags. It doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, just something that needs to be looked at a little closer.

I relaxed somewhat after he revealed that he was not the type of guy that is only after sex. He feels very strongly that a person should really know their partner before they become intimate. Whew, no pressures here.

He was very attentive throughout the evening, mentioning every now and again about how pretty I am, how I have beautiful eyes and a face full of expression. He told me a story of being at a friends for dinner and how there just happened to be an extra Filipino girl there. She was sitting beside him and made a comment that he must be gay because he wasn’t coming onto her. He quickly told her that if she was the only person left in the world then he would most certainly be gay, because he did not like what he saw. (flag) He smiled at me, touched my hand and said, but don’t you worry, you are good.

He mentioned more than once how great the meal was, how wonderful the conversation was and overall what a great time he had. He told me that I am a wonderful, good person. I wondered why it is that I am alone, if I am so wonderful. Or why it is that men never stay with wonderful me. I’ve been told that the reason is because I always fall for the wrong type of guy.

The evening ended quickly, or so it felt, but we had been dining for over two hours when he asked for the check.

The waitress brought it and he complimented her on her wonderful service. After she walked away, he examined the check thoroughly (flag). I offered to split the bill. He quickly declined my offer. That was a nice and welcome surprise. He said that he just likes to make sure that it is correctly tallied, and it wasn’t the amount that had him staring at it for so long. I of course, am thinking to myself that this is the reason why I am always broke…I never study the checks long enough.

Finally the cash finds it’s way out of his wallet and onto the little tray and we leave. He helps me on with my coat and we are outside in the cold winter air once again. It’s a miserable, rainy, snowy night. I mention probably for the tenth time that I hate the winter and he agrees.

We get to the car and I unlock his door, turn around and all of a sudden his arms are around me and he is kissing me very intensely (flag).

I pull away, not really forcefully or indignantly but purposefully and I walk over to my side of the car and get in. I drive back to the parking lot where I picked him up and he kisses me once more before he gets out. He mentions that I should try to kiss him with some fire…and kisses me once more. I am unable to muster up any fire at all, because I am totally confused. I thought he was looking for a virginal, conservative person that he could get to know slowly before he tested the fire. Now I’m not sure what the whole point of that conversation was. Was it to see what my reaction was?

He gets out, walks towards his van and I realise he is talking to me, so I open my window and he leans in for yet another kiss. He then asks me if I will have my cell phone turned on, on Sat and Sun. I say yes, and he said he will call me on Sunday. I tell him that I am going to go to Cambridge to get my computer fixed and he again answers me with ‘I’ll call you on Sunday.’ (flag)

Now I’m thinking about the whole evening and really trying to focus on those flags to figure out what they mean to me. When I was actually in the date, the flags were not huge, just tiny little ones popping up every now and again. For the most part, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. It was fun to be out with a man, having dinner, talking, and listening to music (small band was playing). I am attracted to him. He is quite handsome and sometimes that can get in the way of ‘rational’ thinking.

It’s much easier the next day when you are alone. This is what I have come up with. I think he is someone that fears commitment, wants a virgin that will jump into bed with him, is very stubborn, frugal, not totally honest, either on purpose or he isn’t honest with himself either and a male chauvinist with a tendency to be controlling.

What do I want? I want someone that can and will treat me with respect, view me as an intelligent equal and has a desire to get to know everything they can about me. I do not want another meaningless relationship where I feel like an afterthought. Do I think he is the one? No, I don’t. Will I go out with him again? Maybe, just to tell him that I don’t think we are after the same thing or perhaps he won’t bother to call and I won’t have to say a thing. And so the dating story goes round and round and I’m getting dizzy by it all.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Journey Home Part Two

Continued from yesterday's post...

Ahhh, safe. I guess. I sunk into my seat and quickly locked the door.

Oh my god, it’s only 12:25? How could all of that only have taken 10 minutes. Geez. Maybe he’ll get here faster than 45 minutes. Or maybe he’ll take longer. What do you think the odds are in your case? Yeah right. I’ll be here all fucking night. I know it.

Within 10 minutes or less a tow truck stopped in the driveway on the other side of that grass and ditch that I had ventured across earlier. The driver was out of the truck, waving to me and yelling something.

Shit, here I go again. I wonder if it’s my guy already? Why is he over there. Oh well, I’ve got nothing to lose by walking over there to see what he has to say.

"What’s the problem with your car?"

"Flat tire."

"Did you call someone?"

"Yes I did, the fellow in the gas station gave me a card."

"Who did you call?"

"I don’t know, it was a funny name. Stoehar? Stollar? Stoecar? I have no idea."

"Oh I know who you’re talking about, he’ll be on his way. Don’t worry. I was heading north and saw your car so I swung around to see if you needed help."

"Thank you very much. I hope he comes soon. Bye."

Maybe I should have gotten him to fix it. No, that wouldn’t be nice. The other guy will be on his way. Be patient. Wait.

Time crept slowly by as my thoughts flashed over the good day I had enjoyed. Earlier I was reunited with old co-workers for a baby shower. The baby was so cute and cuddly. The mom was glowing and happy. It was great to get the chance to catch up with each other.

I wasn’t ready to go home when it was over at 5:00pm. My friend Trudy lives in Barrie and I decided it would be a good chance to visit with her. I started my new evening shift on Monday so I didn’t have to get up early. I could live a little on this Sunday evening. I reminded myself that it was only an hour or so from home, so even if I left Trudy’s at 10:00pm, I could be home by 11:00.

I did have a good visit with Trudy and that was why I was on the highway so late. I never left her house until after 11:00pm.

Just as I was beginning to worry that my tow truck would never appear, a truck signalled off the highway and came to a stop right behind. I waited for him to get out of his truck, but he wasn’t moving. Looking at my watch I could see that I had now been waiting an hour. It was 1:15 am.

It must be him. Oh shit, I guess he wants me to get out first. This is weird. I hope I don’t get hit by a passing vehicle.

"What’s the problem?"

Damn, another strange tow truck looking for business.

I told him that I had called another truck and he wanted to know who. I went through the same problem as before, trying to pronounce the foreign name as well as remember what it was. He said he knew of that man, and that the guy was a crook.

"He’s not coming. You’ll sit here all night waiting for that guy. I can fix it if you want. It’s up to you."

"Sure. Fix it. I need to get home and I think I’ve been patient enough. I hope I have a spare because to be honest with you, I don’t ever remember seeing one in my car."

I chuckled at my own ineptness and expected a little smile from my white knight but his face remained stony as he hopped out of his truck and waited for me to dump all my belongings onto the side of the road and search for the spare.

"Ahh, I DO have a spare tire. Thank god!"

Still no response from Mr. Personality. He quickly grabbed the donut, jack and tire wrench and started the process of switching tires.

In approximately 10 minutes and $45.00 less in my wallet, I was back on the highway heading home.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

My heart jumped as I grabbed my cell phone. It couldn’t be the tow truck driver, could it?

Private number, private caller.

I’m not answering it. What will I say? Sorry to drag your ass out in the middle of the night for nothing. Sucks to be you? I don’t believe it. Why is this happening?

I listened to the message and yes it was my original driver that I had called. He was apparently where I was supposed to be and he was wondering where I had gone to. Did I fix my tire?

I was debating on what to do about it when he called for the second time.

Might as well answer it, he’s just going to keep calling. Play dumb. It’s easier that way and no hard feelings. I hope.


"Hello, where is your car? I drove out here middle night and you are gone. You fix tire?"

"No, I didn’t but a tow truck came and the man fixed my tire. Didn’t you send him?"

"No it wasn’t me. Why you not call me? Why you should not call when you call me first?"

"I’m really sorry. I waited over an hour and when this truck came I thought it was you or you had sent him to fix my tire. I couldn’t call you because I didn’t have your number. The man in the service centre gave me your card. I called you and then gave him back the card. I didn’t know who I had called. I really apologize for this."

"Oh ok, that’s alright then. Bye."

You are going to hell. You know that don’t you? Liar!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Journey Home

Part One The Journey Home

Oh so you want to play do ya? Fine, you stupid ass. Why else are you speeding by, then pulling in front and slowing down. Well, I like a good game of cat and mouse too. Here we go.

I pulled out into the passing lane and smiled at the blackened windows of the car that had just streaked by. After passing me, he pulled in front of my car, then slowed down to a speed slower than I had been travelling, only moments before. I knew that this was an invitation for a diversionary game of Cat and Mouse.

I passed him easily and returned to the middle lane. Seconds later he was back in front. Soon a third car joined in the fun. The first car and I were neck in neck with the newcomer close on his tail.

Cat and mouse chase on the 400 South, late on a Sunday night is just what was needed to break the monotony momentarily. Momentarily because just as the third car entered the game; me in the passing lane, they in the middle, I heard a familiar sound of rubber flopping madly against asphalt and I knew that I was out of the race.

Shit, fucking flat tire. Damn. Oh no, I'm too late to get into that Service Centre. Fuck. Oh well, this is better than miles from anything. At least I'm close enough to walk to it. I wonder if I still have that emergency road protection. Probably not dummy. How long was it good for anyway? Have you seen a bill from them in the past two or three years? You asshole. Fucking midnight on a Sunday night and here you are stuck on the side of the highway. You are so lucky that tire went down slowly like it did and you didn't lose control of the fucking car at those speeds. You need your head read. Why didn't you just go home after the baby shower at 5:00 pm. That would have been the smart thing to do. You would be all snuggly in bed right now, instead of sitting here like an idiot. Ok, what do I do? Who do I phone? Shit, where's the information on the emergency it is. There's the number. I'll just call and see what they say.

"Toyota Canada, please press 2 for Francais. Press 1 for English"

Friggin cell phone, where is the 1, why does the light on the fucking key pad turn off so quick?

"I'm sorry that was an incorrect selection. Please try again. Press 2 for Francais, press 1 for English."

Yeah, yeah, geez at this rate I'll be here at daybreak waiting to talk to someone. I'm glad it's not an emergency.

"I'm sorry to say but your coverage expired in April 2003."

"Oh it did? Hmmm, well uhmmm, I don't know what to do or who to call. I'm sitting on the side of the highway, without a phone book in my hand."

"I could call you a tow truck, but because you are no longer covered, you would have to pay a flat rate, however, if you call someone yourself, you would be able to negotiate a price.

I turned to look over my shoulder at the Service Centre.

It isn't really that far. What's involved here? Let's see, I would have to climb across that grassy hill, and I'm not sure if there's a ditch between the grass and the driveway but well, what else are you going to do?

"Ok, thank you for your help. I'll call someone on my own."

I know, I'll call Mom and she can look up tow trucks on the internet or something. Shit where exactly am I anyway?

"...Ok Mom, calm down. I'm ok. I'm close to a Service Centre. Lots of people around. I'll just walk over to it and see if they can give me a number for a towing company. No, I'll be fine. Well, yes I do have to get out of the car and walk somewhere to get to the gas station. Stay on the phone with me then. I'll talk to you until I reach the door."

Why the hell did you call her? You are a moron.

"Alright, I'm at the door, I'll call you back when I know something."

I glanced at my watch. 12:15am. The voice on the other end of the line speaking to me in broken English was telling me to stay put that he would be able to fix my tire but it would take him 45 minutes to arrive.

What else are you going to do? You're stuck!

"Ok, thank you, I'll be waiting in my car. It will be the black Toyota with the four way flashers going off. You can't miss it!"

The gentleman working at the gas bar took the card back and put it with the other towing company cards that were stashed beside the cash register.

"45 minutes to wait eh?"

"Yeah well, thank you, I guess I'll go sit in the car."

"No, that's too long to sit down there. Why don't you go inside to the Service Centre and grab a coffee at Tim Hortons there. You might as well sit there for awhile."

I turned to look towards the other building that housed several different restaurants, all closed except the Tim Hortons, and decided he was right. It would be far safer sitting in there where there were people around.

I sat at one of the many deserted tables in the big room with glass on all walls and realized that I was very alone. I was the only person sitting in this huge room, on display for every motorist that stopped for gas. The other thing that was very apparent was that although there were occasional customers entering for coffee, none of them were female. They were all men.

Maybe the car is a better place to be. Nobody can see me inside the car. It's dark and the windows are tinted. I can just sit there with the doors locked and wait. Yes, that's what I'll do. Christ, now I have to walk through that ditch again, and down the hill. Why didn't my tire blow even two minutes earlier? I could have been parked right here in the parking lot. Ok, suck it up and get out there. Look at those two sleazy looking guys. Are they doing a drug deal? Don't look at them. Walk by, head high, like you are just going over to one of those cars. Just try to screw with me and you'll be sorry. I'm not in the mood for any more bullshit.

...tune in tomorrow for Part Two.