Monday weekend

Since I worked Saturday and Sunday, and am back at it tomorrow, today was an important one to get things done. Or at least enjoy at my leisure.

And I did.

I helped Cage move out of her apartment, she's off to Wolfville tomorrow for adventures untold in a Master's of English. I'm sorry we only started hanging out in the past month and a half, but she's already a mega friend, so I look forward to her triumphal return at some future point. Also, I should note that I saved her father...he was working to detach a rather heavy electronic piano from it's base by lying on his back beneath it and undoing screws. He succeeded! And luckily my reactions were fast enough to catch the thing, one armed I might add, before it crushed him. Hurray for me and my herculean strength!

The afternoon was spent in the park. I read and took notes (The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Campbell is great and I'm glad to finally be reading it), ate a bit too much candy, then feeling unwell ended up cocooned in my blanket, inadvertently napping. I think work exhaustion might have had as much to do with passing out as excess candy consumption of course.

Perfect nap regardless. And summer's coming to a close, after visiting us only briefly, so I'm glad every chance I get to be outdoors revelling in the splendour.

I'm at work for 8 tomorrow, and it's going to be a 40 minute bike ride, so to bed on time tonight. Even with my nap!

Painting lines on life

Well the weekend of painting was an absolute success. Saturday was in an underground garage for a new condo. The Sunday was a 530 am wake up so I could catch the Bathurst night bus at Dundas, which took me to Wilson (just north of the 401) and from there it was all the way to Warden and the 407 to do the lot below. 900 spaces they tell me.

This place was loads of fun, what with the clouds scudding across the sky and my sleep deprived brain contemplating what this land looked like 10, 20, 50 years ago. Undoubtedly some brilliant farmland swallowed up by development. And the spot on the map that is a brown field, just north of the parking lot, is now turning into condos. Wha? I guess some people like walking across a parking lot to work, or like the idea of being right on the edge of the 407 at all times. Not me, but some people just have to rocket to work. Once we finished there we drove clear across to Mississauga to do another condo lot, interesting in its own right because the smaller footprint of the building meant it had to go deeper to fit in all the parking spaces. Something I had never contemplated before.

At the outdoor site the breeze was nice, and the notion of weather added another novelty to the scene. Watching dark clouds looming from the west then moving over us without loosing more than a drop of water was a minor victory each time as we worked to get things done. And as you walk across a vast, empty parking lot, with nothing to see around you but a few buildings, some under construction, and a highway, it gives you time to contemplate what we, as a species, are doing.

The idea of the place is bad. Destroying farmland, sprawl, office parks and highway side condos all ring awful to me, but there was something...engrossing about the setting. Perhaps even enchanting. The buildings were nothing to be amazed by, rectangles of glass and steel, but their aesthetics combined in my mind with the geographic, historical, social and cultural of the place to become something vibrant and pleasant in its own right.

The to-ing and fro-ing as people came into work on a Sunday was another source of interest for me. Some were there before we arrived, leaving after noon, others pulled in and didn't leave, and a few popped by before disappearing 30 minutes later. Yes I was working too, but for me there was something especially unappealing about the idea of coming to this office, in the middle of nowhere, to work on whatever. Maybe if they could open their windows it wouldn't be so bad. It must, after all, be a nice view from the upper floors.

Eventually I'm going to write a few thoughts on the notion and specifics of painting cement. What a peach of a casual job!


And as if by magic...

Employment? Wah? Exciting!

Just as I was being questioned about such things an answer arises proving once again the universe has my back.

It's just for the weekend, maybe just tomorrow even, but dollars are a pleasant thought.

I'm going to be working in the underground parking garage of some Condos going up at Spadina and Lakeshore, so in doubly good news even if it is raining tomorrow I'm not involved! And I'm pretty excited because at some point, in a few years I will inevitably be chatting with someone and they're going to say, "Oh, I live in the tower at the bottom of Spadina."

"Down there?" I'll say. "I painted the parking lines in that garage." We will then stare into each other's eyes, slowly comprehending the depth and majesty that surrounds us. Our mouths will hang agape in astonished wonder until one of us starts crying. Then we will bind in a warm embrace, whispering "parking garage" between sobs until we part ways, promising to keep in touch but knowing the emotions are too strong to bear and we can never see one another again.

So, yeah. Up at 7 I guess. Which is cool because that's when I awoke this morning. Body knows where it's at.

CNE me!

Last night was a trip to the fair!

Well, I'm sure the organizers of the CNE would consider it something more than that, perhaps THE fair. Calling it the Canadian National Exhibition puts at least a touch of grandiosity on the event. My expectation was the Owen Sound fall fair writ large and I was not disappointed.

The rides were bigger and there were more of them than back home, although The Zipper was there, as was the Gravitron 2000, renamed Spaceship 4000 just so they could get ahead of a few millennia. We rode some sort of spinning device, whose name eludes me, that spun us around and around, forwards and back, and best of all Cheese partook and did not barf. Later, after dark, we rocked the ferris wheel.

Food was not only plentiful but varied beyond belief. Could have had a 99 cent cup of spaghetti, but didn't. Eaten by the crew were; fries, perogies, corn dogs, waffle-ice cream sandwiches, hot dogs, dried sausages, bacon sandwiches and British chocolate...I think that's all. And all that barely scratched the surface. We didn't even try the chocolate covered bacon, but I guess you always have to save something for next year!

And of course there were way more games as well. There was some mightily intense mole whacking going on, along with rings that bounced off bottles and our one win of the night in the birth month/age/weight contest. Moggster took that one down and earned Barack Obama for her troubles. So many more games could have been played of course, but there was only so much money to be wasted and over sized animals to not be won.

Our last stop before departing was a beer garden, featuring ridiculously priced beverages for some and a 4 piece band playing whatever they were feeling. Jake on keys rocked and had our appreciation screamed at him periodically. I suppose that counts as us seeing a show at The Ex; apparently there are lots, just not when you go for the discounted evening rate.

So that's the CNE. Bigger and more varied than the fall fairs of my kiddydom and lacking the agricultural aspect, which I suppose is what the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November is all about.



Let's see how this game called late night, exhausted blog posts goes.

Just returned from Inglorious Basterds and I must say I approve. I have no problem with the casting that some others have mentioned, and it flowed much better than I had expected. Not the rip roaring violent ride I might have expected going in, but given my sense of time while in the place they must have been doing something right.

Great dialogue as expected (if you like Tarantino dialogue of course, which in general I do) and some wonderful little bait and switch tricks that were available because the film was done in English, French and German. I really appreciated that the farmers at the start of the film were mumbling away in patois. Solid.

In the end many were dead, and there was some icky uncomfortable bits that were indeed graphic, but overall it felt more toned down than some other stuff. I'll admit it has been a while since I have watched a Tarantino film, but I trust my vague recollections.

And I should mention as well, yesterday on the island was a fun day. Whiling away an afternoon with Mr. Mission and Cage turns out to be a mighty fine time. What with waving at the tourist tram, periodic sprinting and general chat abouts the time just flew. And then I topped it all off with a jump off the pier that was only mildly tut tutted by those they call lifeguards.


brief summation of the weekend

This weekend thanks to a Manitoban-architect-babe (who I was going to call Barn but someone else already has so she has no nickname yet - Drive Shed? heh) I have discovered the joys of casual coffee on a bench at Ella's. {ed. I've since settled on The Golden Girl}

And by coffee I mean London fog or some other tea goodness. No coffee for this kitten. On Saturday I had a splendid sit and chat, then today I had a splendid solo sit and read. Even spoke with a nice lady about her dog. Keen gear!

I also finished my 100 level improv course this weekend. Starting 200 with Bad Dog shortly and I'm looking forward to it. I think I have a general grasp of what's going on and the whole letting it all hang loose and going for it is great. Undoubtedly closely related to my dancing style.

Serious this time. Bed. Now!

Dakota. Dancing. Face. Off.

Well, what more beyond the title needs to be said? The Beauties were on stage at the Dakota, the tunes were good and once I'd elbowed out a bit of space, there was even room enough on the dance floor.

And Sam Neill was there, as in Jurrasic Park Sam Neill.

I was bopping constantly, and had put in 2 solid, if brief, intense sessions already, just 30 second jobbies during the latter parts of songs. Just enough to get a sweat up, warm up my legs and get people wanting more.


I was beginning to tire and was thinking one last song. I have no idea what it was and at first I didn't think it would be ideal for my particular brand of rock out. I was wrong. Danced so very hard. I don't think I have ever been more aggressive. I really felt like I was dancing to get rid of something. Something more than excess energy. Spooky.

Felt good though, being an angry thrashing body in the midst of all those people. Perhaps I was a spectacle but I was more about revelling in my own movement than anything else. Pleasant.

Dave tells me I was scaring an attractive blond who was trying to dance with me, but thought better of it when my uber aggression kicked in toward the end of the song. Oh well. Maybe next time I'll pay attention to such things.

In the meantime, bed.


post storm

I just enjoyed the rain, lightning and wind during the storm, so no pictures of that.

But here's the setting sun chasing all the clouds away. Just lovely.


District 9-some

District 9! Woot.

Great flick. Lots of cool visuals, amazing effects and another confirmation that WETA is destroying anything ILM tries to dream up. That's right, they are so good they are actually entering dreams and wreaking havoc.

Story was good, there were some unique structural elements that I enjoyed and there were even a few issues and themes that (gasp!) might make you think. Apartheid = bad. Check.

I saw it with Slippers, Alex and Mr. Mission and all seemed impressed. Mission presented a slightly dissenting opinion immediately after the film, but we badgered him until he changed his mind.

And as if that wasn't enough good times I had a delicious banana popsicle afterwards before we retreated to the park and bocci! I even won the first game. OUTSTANDING.


Bro Niece

The biggest brother and my niece were nice enough to come pick me up after my improv class for supper. Bad Dog is on the Danforth so Greek was the obvious choice and after thinking for about 10 seconds...souvlaki time! Meat, rice and potatoes with a salad on the side and tzaziki sauce of course. So simple and so yums! Filled me up so I didn't even want ice cream afterwards.

It was great to see Jacqueline and Duncan and now that I'm in the city I'll be able to see a lot more of them. I was even invited out for a sleepover that night, but I had to turn it down. I was already booked in to see a rock AND roll show at the Tranzac. Dwight Schenk rocking the show and me dancing (albeit from my chair).

After dinner as we perambulated along the Danforth, enjoying the evening and the hostesses outside certain restaurants I decided that it was time to be awesome. I was feeling good so though I'd flash a few smiles. Unfortunately I was sucking on an after dinner mint and when I went to flash that trademark smile I had the mint between my front lip and lower gum. Also I think I was mid suck, so my charming grin was anything but.

Oh well! Even if she'd smiled back she might have just being trying to sell me food.

Saturday afternoon dating scene in Toronto

Friday weddings, one week and a day later lead to Saturday afternoon dates.

Why the afternoon? Because there was a lot of pressure on me and I didn't know what else to say.

After polling various people in the park Victory Cafe was the location of choice and I rolled up there at 1, exactly one hour before the place was scheduled to open. Good start.

I then electrocuted myself three times while waiting. Excellent.

No need for boring details on the date but we chatted and ate and drank and then walked. I'd never been to the island before so we walked from one end all the way to the other. That was a long walk. And I didn't even have my sun hat. Needless to say by the end of things, what with the sun and the lack of sleep I was pooped.

And therefore, no salacious details! Too bad pervs.


another night another pool party

Finally! Thursday night, sleep, perfect.

All I needed was another round of the good stuff on Friday night so I'd be ready for the big date on Saturday, but inevitably Andy rolled in from Chicago and the blackout party was on, so out we went.

But I was good.

Sooooo good.

Only some wine and some beer, and I was going to go home, but didn't. Then the bar closed, so of course we went SWIMMING!

The Alexandra Park pool was closed but that didn't stop us and about 30 other people from getting wet. It turns out splashing around in a pool with a bunch of young people in their underwear is a good thing. Wish I hadn't been wearing my white underpants, but it's nothing that thousands haven't already seen so no big deal.

And there were other lovelies there who chose white as the fabric colour of choice. Good people.

End result was stumbling home finally around 4am and lying in bed with that wicked pure exhaustion pure jittery sensation. Hurray for life.



I've been living here for just over a month and aside from the recent heat everything has been great.

But the heat has also made me notice a few things.

The unfortunate carpet I have in my room for instance. Everywhere else in the house the floors are hardwood, but my room is covered in a brownish-beige monstrosity with loads of stains and a mild smell about it when the humidity gets up there. Unfortunate. But when I mentioned it to The Pope she was open to put it on her list of things that might happen to the house in the future.

The idea I didn't mention but would giggle with glee over if it ever happened involves putting a hole in the wall. What better way to counteract heat?

I'm in the attic and therefore live under a slope, but on the other side of the slope is a flat roof (over the second floor kitchen and bathroom). My thinking is bash a hole and build a deck on the flat bit. How perfect is that? So perfect it hurts I'm willing to wager.

I would be hyper willing to give up some privacy to have that, sleep outside when it's really hot just like I did in Syria, basically double the outdoor lounging space and have more room to grow things. Oh what a fantastic fantasy I'm envisioning. Too bad I don't own the house.


Oh me oh my this big city life is keeping me up late.

Maybe it's the excitement and possibility that permeates urban living getting inside my brain and rattling about so forcefully that I am unable to turn off my brain until the excitement dies down or exhaustion simply becomes greater and overcomes?

Tonight it might be in part that my room is bleeding hot. (more on this in the next post)

Certain intoxicants enter my system from time to time and they might have some sway in the way things go towards bed time.

But most of all, I've fallen into a bad pattern. I'm waking up towards 11 every day and that just won't cut it. So tonight I have the alarm set for 9. I'll get up. I'll actually do it and I'll get on with my day. And what might that day (this day) entail? Let's find out:

-Air Canada Centre job posts that expire tomorrow (check 'em and submit as needed)

-investigate a (discounted) membership at the YMCA (so far I've been running and push-upping and hanging about off tree branches but I'm investigating all my options)

-see about a TPL book bag. I've been told the old ones have been discontinued and I want to get one before they disappear forever.

And that's it. Hopefully get some reading and writing done as well...without falling asleep.


Group of Seven

I don't know how many of you are familiar with Group of Seven, but you should be.

And if you aren't now's the perfect time to find out all about him. Canuck is available right now for free download. What a price.

The album is a rumination on Canada and Canadianess and the elementary education so many of us went through. If you grew up in Ontario during the 80s and 90s that is.

Black Creek perhaps?


Yeah, that old story. I haven't been looking super hard yet but I have been making calls and doing research to see where I want to work and who might have me. So far nothing.

And until today there hasn't been anything listed in my most desired area of interest, namely historical interpretation. Until today.

Yesterday I was chatting with a super helpful fellow at Fort York who told me they didn't have any jobs on offer, but they do come up from time to time. That got me excited. He also suggested a few alternatives and today while tidying I found the note I was writing while he talked...Black Creek Pioneer Village eh? Why not.

BCPV is run by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and on their site, number two on the list of job openings HISTORICAL INTERPRETER. HOLY SMOKES!

But then...

Please apply by last Sunday. Eeeeeeek. Not fair. But I quickly put together a letter and resume and sent them off. I'm pretty much perfect in every way for this job.

Every way.

So fingers crossed they won't mind 2 days late when it comes to receiving a resume from the perfect candidate.


wedding bells are ringing on a Friday!

Tremendous! I've never been to a Friday do, but given my current schedule Friday suits me as well as any other day to get gussied up and celebrate love.

Congratulations are due of course to Paul and Teresa. May they be battered by happiness from here until the end of time.

My one comment - I would have had a bit more colour in the decor. Although the black and white everything made my shirt even more awesome. Well done Paul and Teresa.

It's at this moment I am a bit harrumphed not to have any pictures of myself. I received some kind words on my general appearance and grooming. Not a common occurence and so something that needs to be signalled.

This picture will have to do and I'll leave you to puff it out and make it look dashing in your respective minds (feel free to look back at the haircut post)...

Oh that is such a lame thing to do. But I think I'll leave the photo up purely for the ridiculousness. It's the only suit I have with me right now, so chances are there might be another chance for snaps. If you want to see me dressed to the 9s be quick and invite me to your next shindig!

The meal was also good, if amusing. No chicken or beef choice here, just one big steak and one big piece of chicken. I of course foolishly consumed all felt rather full and as a result, well if anyone reading this has seen me besuited and at a wedding, guess what happens next. Hint: it involves my face and a lot of sweat.

So much dancing!!! So good. A bit sore later but well worth it.

And if you were wondering just how good I looked in the suit and how exceptional my dancing was, she is a lawyer at BMO.

Chinese and the Moon

The other day I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit with two old school chums. We all worked at a humour paper together back at the alma mater, or they worked and I dropped by to chat and steal food. Really an all around winning situation.

B suggested a Chinese restaurant which was excellent and the conversation was both lively and stimulating, ranging from politics to the philosophy of mathematics to a documentary being filmed with post-Tito Slovenian photocopiers (???) to general hilarity. Really we covered all the bases.

The best aspect of our time at the restaurant, however, had to be the discussion surrounding the bill. There was a line on it we couldn't figure out, or a few lines. We knew one was tax, thought one was for a coke but then there was another mystery line which I would have guessed was Coke related...confusion during ordering, etc. Anywho, B asked the lady what a line was and she said tax, B then asked what another line was and she said tax, without really paying attention to the fact he was pointing at a new line. "No, this one." "Tax!"

She thought she wasn't being understood so wrote, on the table cloth and in pen, TAX in 8 inch tall letters before circling it! Then in much smaller font beside it '13%', just to let us know. On the table cloth! and the way she did it, it didn't look like a first time thing. But we sorted it all out, wandered out on the street and someone suggested a movie. Since we're all entertainment movers and shakers it was a no brainer.

Went to see Funny People although AJ had seen it he said he wouldn't mind another run, but then somehow Moon came up and Brendan was really excited about seeing it again so it was along Dundas to Moon instead, buying tickets an hour early so back along Dundas to Spadina for frozen treats (raspberry milk shake), then back for the film. The teatre on Dundas Square is great. In the upper florrs of the building, after miles of escalators. As Brendan said, this is what living in the 21st century is meant to be like.

And Moon, I enjoyed it. Not amazing but nice. Easy to ignore then discuss later certain amusing leaps of logic. An interesting change in the pacing of movies as there was no big reveal, summation and explanation towards the end. The 'surprise!' came earlier and the thrilling conclusion was a bit more low key. I will say this, when the thing-that-I-won't-mention happens, I thought the actor just HAD to be Sam Rockwell. No one else is going to be able to pull off that thing.

Whatever it was.


Senhor da Pedra from my window

Man, these Catholics sure know how to party. The bandstand is rocking, and the sainted sounds of squeezebox are wafting across the rooftops.

currency trading

I am the absolute worst at this.


I haven't been here long, but there is something tremendously satisfying about being asked by someone where a street is and I know and can direct them there quickly and simply.

Since I've moved down it has only been Ossington twice, but mercy have I ever done a great job of saying, "Next major street this way," and pointing west. It's like I'm an old pro.

And it is certainly better than the disastrous effort I made directing someone to the DVP and 401 interchange when I was visiting a month or so ago. That was a rambler. Hopefully the people didn't end up in the lake.

No Frills


I do my shopping in Kensington and in grocery stores. Up until now it's been one of those richy places, no free advertising on here but I'll say it's at College and Shaw. And although I run past it whenever I go jogging, for some reason up until now I have never gone into the No Frills at Dundas and Landsdowne.

Well tonight I got on my bike and pedalled myself up there and WHAMO! So good. Everything is so much cheaper, over a dollar on the same brands of frozen pizza for instance. More than I would actually expect in a lot of instances. Maybe I've been away from the discount brands for too long or just not paid real attention before. Whatever the case, amazing. And I don't mind mentioning No Frills because it's No Frills. If you're shopping there it's because it's No Frills and that's awesome.

It's interstingly like my life in Kingston. VERY INTERESTING.

I lived in an apartment directly across from - as in a road and a parking lot across from - a 24 hour A&P but I would do very little shopping there. Instead, once a week I would write a long list, throw on my back pack and walk down to the Food Basics and do most of my buying there. And now that I know No Frills is there, same deal.

Too great for words. Except for all the ones above.



Great news everyone! The main character in my new novel is called Sound.

No longer Thomas, which while a perfectly reasonable name didn't seem to do anything special for the character.

Sound on the other hand is unique, represents that the character is a sounding board for me currently (arty, no?) and perhaps best of all the word has all sorts of meanings that I will get to play with throughout the story. Sound in the aural sense, sounding board, a sound idea and of course a sound. It's like a bay but it's a sound, and being from where I'm from that's another little nod to me.

Of course I want to finish this one (third novel started in a significant manner for those counting), and I want it to be good, but I'm also happy to acknowledge that it is in large part about me and sorting things out along with the character. It's not autobiography but close enough that I feel a direct nod to me with such a name is good.

Eleanor is going to stay Eleanor. I don't know why other than it was the first name I thought of after the airplane incident and it seems to fit the lady who I ascribed it to. If I come up with something better I'll change it, but for the time being she's the beauty.