Tuesday, November 30

day 10225: true selflessness…

What is true selflessness? At what point in our lives do we stop doing things for our own sake and start doing something only for the sake of others? (with absolutely no benefit to ourselves)

An old conversation with Unsanitary Man haunts me. His position is that people’s intrinsic purpose of self motivates all actions, including acts of charity - you get a tax receipt, it makes you feel better about yourself, you get the ego pump etc etc. I argue otherwise. I do things because people need it, because they can’t do it themselves and I can or simply because it makes other people happy.

“Do you feel good about it afterwards?”

“Well yes, but that’s not the point. Regardless of how I feel some type of joy or elation afterwards, I’ve still done something to help out my fellow being. It’s not about how I feel. It’s about how they feel.”

“But you do feel better about yourself afterwards. Then it’s an ego pump. You do things, you feel better, therefore you keep on doing it. If someone was to spit in your face and curse your name, would you continue doing it?”

I don’t know…

I guess it would depend on the situation. For family or friends, if it is to their benefit (whether they realize it or not) then yes, I probably would. I expect nothing in return. I care for them; therefore I would do anything for them.

But then am I appeasing my own sense of responsibility? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but if you don’t do it, then would you feel horrendously guilty about it? Do I do what I do so as to avoid suffering the long-lasting feelings of guilt? Or do I do for the sake of doing it just because it benefits them? I don’t know…

If a stranger, or, say a homeless person, then perhaps I wouldn’t. Sometimes interacting with the homeless scares me. Sometimes I avoid them, especially if they appear intoxicated-safety, afterall, should be considered seeing as how even a drunk investment banker can be risky at times. I am selective about who I give to and what I give. I offer food mostly, seldom money, but on the occasion, I will.

Do I expect anything back? No. I still have the bobble-head dog in my car because it reminds me of the unexpected. But do I feel good about it afterwards? Yes, it does feel good to see the toothless smile of someone I’ve just given my lunch to and to know that they won’t be hungry for a little while and that I can always go out and get another lunch. Ego boost? Not quite, but personal satisfaction boost… heck yeah.

So maybe he does have a point. We do things because of how it affects us. Perhaps, we are motivated by the intrinsic purpose of self and if it were not for that, we wouldn’t do anything at all.

Or perhaps not. The only thing I can come up with for any action that is truly selfless is for someone to push another out of the path of oncoming traffic only to be killed by said speeding vehicles…

What do you think?

Monday, November 29

day 10224: creations arising from a night of drunken debauchery... aka... binny's b-day bash

akash's eye-widening-mouth-watering-mix...

1 oz mango Malibu
pineapple juice

binny's mellow-yellow...

1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz Creme de Banane
1 1/2 oz Carolans or Baileys
1 1/2 oz Malibu coconut rum
shaken, not stirred, served over ice... makes two.

side note: 3L bottles of red wine are best to look at and not to drink... :)

Friday, November 26

day 10221 1/2: can I say it again? I LOVE MY MONKEYCO!!!

It's hard not to love work when the toughest thing I have to do today is figure out how to get a 3 Litre bottle of red wine home and one of the Directors is doing a bit of "housekeeping" because he has too many bottles of boozies on his display shelf...
day 10221: live every day like it's your last...

I don't think of my own mortality too often. It's not that I'm afraid to die. I'm just afraid of how I'm going to die. I've accepted that death is inevitable, and regardless of what I do to try to prolong my existence, sometimes, trying your best is not enough. I want to go quickly and hopefully painlessly, and definitely not accompanied by "ROCK!!" or "SPLAT!!"

(That would just be gross and messy and traumatizing to my climbing buddies. Ew.)

Should I one day go "SPLAT" or else cease to exist prematurely, no matter the cause, my funeral arrangements and wishes should be known. And seeing as how this is not a topic that one discusses with their parents-who-have-sensitive-emotions-at-the-moment, I am blogging my final wishes...

I know. How. Morbid.

I would like my organs to be donated if possible. Except my heart. That stays with me. One day, I will have to find my organ donation card and fill it in. Actually, it's already filled in. I just have to carry it around or send it in, or whatever I'm supposed to do with it.

I would like to be buried and not cremated seeing as how I have a horrible fear of being burnt alive that stems from being a pyro in a former life. Plus, it could be kind of cool if some archeologist dug up my dried up preserved remains 2000 years down the road and tried to imagine what a wierd lifestyle I led that I have one broken toe and a really painful, f.u.'d hip at the moment.

I want to be buried with a CD copy of this blog so that if I do get dug up, they'll know the person behind the body, and not just know the body. Plus, that will save them time from imagining wierd and wonderful things about me that are probably erroneous anyway!


I want to be buried wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Ideally one of the ones that say "J'aime qu'on m'aime" "I'm out of bed, what more do you want?" "I'd rather be skiing" or whatever funky saying shirt that I favour at that moment. I'd like a laminated picture of Toot. S'il vous plait. And a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. That's all. No jewelry except maybe the green rock necklace if it can still be found.

Oh, and no funeral please. I'd rather have a wake... one last party before I go into the wide blue yonder. An honest-to-goodness drinkfest where everyone I know is blissfully drunk and telling funny stories of yours-truly. Tears optional, but a good time mandatory. The alcohol and the food should flow freely, sappy-ass Pachebel Canon music should not be played. Turn up the volume, laugh with and laugh at... that's how I want to go. That's how I want to be remembered...

One more thing. I want to be there. Closed casket optional.

Thursday, November 25

day 10220: "worse buy" rant...

I usually have a lot of patience. Especially for those unfortunate enough to be inept at what they are paid to do. I am nice to the point of being too nice, my voice drips with honey rather than anger. I'd rather lead by example and help the poor idiot along rather than to lose my cool and make the poor fool even more flustered and even more incompetent.

Not today, though.

Alas, last week, my innocent, defenseless microwave (purchased after lining up at 4am on a cool, bitter Boxing Day) blew a prima-dona-fuse. I have no idea what happened. One moment, it was happily humming along, microwaving lasagna and the next moment, it refused to even beep at my meatballs. I had to heat up frozen swedish meatballs in a frying pan... defeats the purpose of frozen instant dinners, doesn't it? *grumble, grumble*

I miss my pizza pops...

So I called "worse buy" today to check up on the extended warranty that I may or may not have purchased (names have been changed to protect the guilty, but I'm sure all of you are smart enough to figure out which yellow-tag-mascot-store I'm referring to). And this is what I get.

Idiot Salesperson: I'm sorry, ma'am... I can only check back to purchases made within the last five months. You're going to have to come into the store to give me your information.
[note: store is in WOODBRIDGE... freakishly far away from downtown...]
J: What kind of information do you need? Can I give it to you over the phone?
IS: Well, name, telephone number, date of purchase... that kind of thing. Do you know the day you purchased the product?
J: Boxing day two years ago... 2002.
IS: So November 25, 2002.
J: No, Boxing day. December 26th.
IS: December 25th?
J: NO, December 26th.
IS: Ok, well can I have you name and telephone number please?
J: It's J... ###-###-#### or ###-###-####...
IS: I'll give this information to my supervisor and he'll call you back in three to four business days.

WTF? If I drove the 45 minutes to the store, gave him my information on the spot, would the supervisor have been able to tell me RIGHT AWAY what my warranty status was? Or would they have said "Thank you ma'am for coming in, we'll call you back in three to four business days."


I saw red, ground out a fierce "Thank you" and slammed the phone down. My cube wall revertebrated with the force of my lost patience...


Incompetent fools...

Wednesday, November 24

day 10219: $40 and two consecutive treatments later, i hope my teeth are whiter

I’m whitening my teeth. Right now, as a matter of fact. I’m not sure if it’s working yet. They kind of look a little whiter and a little brighter through the tape strip, but it could be my imagination. Or perhaps it’s just this morning’s coffee stains being bleached out by the foul tasting gel stuff that they coat these little pieces of tape with.

How cool. Whatever will they think of next?

Update: I am now experiencing vague chest and back pains. I'm not saying that it's because of the teeth whitening gel that I swallowed despite the warnings not to. (Yes, I swallow.) I actually suspect it has something to do with the funky stale-grease-tasting samosa I bought for lunch. Or the quarter of a powerbar I just ate because I'm craving chocolate. Whatever it is, I hope I live to see dinner at least... I'm having curry crab. yum.

Tuesday, November 23

day 10218: making the effort

Disturbing email just in:

I know its early but since some of you are either being poached or looking to jump ship (ahem, LENNY!!) we thought you'd be interested in the fate of the rubber duckies ....we were actually thinking of retiring the team this year, or at least go for an undefined hiatus period (do you really want us bossing you around for another summer??!! : ) ). Also, we were kinda getting the feeling that most of you, although enjoying the company of other duckies, were not particularly keen on dboating this year…

The Duckies have been together for three seasons.

We’ve never done particularly well in any of our races. We’ve won a few, lost more than we’ve won, and rammed another boat somewhere in between. But we’ve had a lot fun doing it.

We’ve become friends, surrogate families and some, even lovers. We’ve bonded, nurtured, and supported each other through trying times. We’ve drank together, sang together, slept en mass together (seeing as how we’re too cheap to spring for multiple hotel rooms). We’ve cross dressed, hula-hooped, boarded, and water-pistol whipped our way through Canada and the Eastern seaboard.

We’ve become more than just friends. The Duckies has become part of our identities.

We are a team. The Duckies stick together and stick up for each other. When Malfoy and his beer-drinking-dboaters tried to besmirch our honour, we rose up en mass to defend the Duckie name. Oh, you should have seen the flurry of emails that went around that week. All capped quite nicely by PlBoy’s well-meant-but-badly-timed email “Dum di dum… like I said… a piece of crap on a stick.”

Many of the good things in my life can be attributed to the people I’ve met through the Rubber Duckies. I’ve become who I am today because of them – since the day I scraped my fat butt off the couch to go paddle with them on a freezing cold April morning. I would be hard-pressed to even begin expressing how much I love them. I do love them. Each and every one of them… and yes, even Triscuit though I know he doesn’t deserve it.

Everything in life is about making the effort. That one little action or word that lets the world know “Hey! I’m here! I miss you!” or “Thanks so much for doing everything and even though I don’t tell you every day, I love you!” Without it, we lose touch – with our friends, with our families, and even ourselves.

I am guilty of that. I was a participant, not a leader. I showed up for practice and magically expected everything to go smoothly. I organized picnics and parties and even those responsibilities on occasion were taken up by others. I forgot to thank my lovely captains every time I saw them, forgot to tell them how much I love them and how much I appreciate them.

I do love you guys, you know...

This is not just about Dragonboating or the Rubber Duckies. It’s about reaching out and touching the people that you care about. Finding them wherever they’ve gone, and renewing relationships and letting people know how much you appreciate them. It only takes a minute to make that phone call or send that email.

Is this the end of the Duckies? I sincerely hope not.

Stay tuned to find out… QUACK! QUACK!


Monday, November 22

day 10217: oh. my. god. i've been j-lo'd...

Shall we dance? Heck yeah!

I love going to movies where I have zero expectations when I walk through the door. If I expect nothing more than a two hour snooze-fest, I'm usually pleasantly surprised. Unless of course, it's a sequel and I've neglected to see the first movie and have no idea whatsoever about the going-ons (Innocence), in which case, please, please, please just shoot me. But I've digressed.

In the name of spending time with wonderful-accessory-buying-mother-who-just-returned-from-HK, I agreed to see the J.Lo & Richard Gere remake on Saturday night. Ballroom dancing, pretty-boy Richard Gere, and a booty-ful J.Lo who can't act... how exciting is that? My plan was to douse myself (and the maternal one) with a large fishbowl of Bellini (each) and catch up on some much needed Z's while supplying her with a big box of Goobers. That way, she's happy, I'm happy, everyone's happy.

But then the Bellini plan fell through, and I went to the theatre stone-cold-sober. And MAYBE I was PMS'ing or MAYBE I was just in a REALLY STRANGE EMOTIONAL STATE, but I LOVED IT! I loved the music. I loved the dancing. I loved Richard Gere... and maybe just an eensy-weensy bit, I loved J. Lo, too.

Crazy, I know.

So now I want to take ballroom dancing lessons. The grace, the style, the elegance of it all... but I want to do it competitively.

Me... the girl who can't walk in a straight line without tripping over her own two feet.

Me. Dancing. Sigh.

Ain't life grand!

Friday, November 19

day 10214: downtown observations log #5431478

entry #5431478: day in, it’s all the same

Ugh. Never noticed how clockwork I am in the mornings. Wake up. Shower. Get dressed. Do makeup. Walk dog. Say hi to the security guards. Drop off dog. Leave for work. Wish security guards a good day. Wave to the maintenance crew. Walk to work.

How strange. I see the same people day after day. There’s that pretty young blonde on the motorized scooter. She had these awesome black boots on the other day. I want to stop her and ask her where she got them, but she zooms away too quickly. Great pink pants… always smartly dressed. Funky hat.

Oh look, there’s the spiky hair dude crossing the street with his morning coffee. Always listening to his Ipod. Coffee from Timmy’s. Large. Always the same intersection. Weird. Wonder what’s he listening to? How does he take his coffee?

The Outreach guy won’t make eye contact with me anymore. I think he knows that I won’t stop. I think about buying him a coffee on my way up, and stopping for a chat and buying one of his newspapers, but I’m running late as usual. Tomorrow I’ll do it. I say that every day. He stands just up the street from the kid who writes the signs saying how hungry he is, and how he’s given up on life and wants to die. Funny, though... I offer to buy him food and try to give him granola bars but he always turns me down. He just wants money, he says. I give him whatever I have in my pocket.

8:40… the clock at the corner is 5 minutes fast. I cross the street pulling my zip card out of my knapsack pocket. Same routine every morning – zip in to get into the building, zip in to access the elevators, zip in to access my floor. I say hi to Kyle, turn on my computer and go make myself a coffee.

Same thing every morning.

entry #5431479: happiness is… marineland…

Yoga at lunchtime makes me happy.

Telling me that the crunchy thing I found in my poutine yesterday was a fingernail does not.

Cocktail attire downtown means different things from cocktail attire uptown. I’m not prepared for cocktail attire downtown. Me thinks it’s time to go shopping again.

I’m bartending next weekend for Binny’s b-day bash. I only know how to make sapphire and tonic doubles with extra lime. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 18

day 10213: last night

It began with a kiss and a fierce hug the moment I walked through the door.

“It’s been so long… I’ve missed you.” Eyes meet mine. Searching for differences, searching for a sign that no matter how much time passes, some things don’t change. Like the twinkle in your eye or the mischievous grin on their face. Or the feelings that you have for them that you sometimes forget when you don’t see them as often as you used to.

“You look good. Have you lost weight again?”

“No,” I flash a I’m-glad-you-think-so-but-regretfully-not-smile “But I think I’m a little more toned now… all that climbing, you know. Or it could have been the body wrap I did in Cali.” I take off my coat and scarf, hang them on the back of the chair and start rummaging through the fridge. It’s late, traffic was bad and I’m hungry. There is a comfortable silence, the one that comes with “just being.”

It’s been six weeks. Six weeks of occasional phone calls, words spoken in haste and hurry and nothing more. Time passes quickly when you don’t pay attention.

“How was your trip, Ma? What did you get me?” And so it began.

She fed me soup, chicken and veggies. The kids from downstairs came up to play with the dog. I gave her back her shoes Sista brought back from Cali last time she came to visit. She wouldn’t need them in HK, she had said. No wonder, since she bought five pairs of new shoes and chortled with delight as she told me how little they cost. This pair cost $5 Cdn, this one $6… ooohhh these were expensive, they cost $15. Oh, how I covet the red and black ones. They look like Spiderman climbing shoes. If only they were half a size bigger. If only. If only…

I tried on my new Jacob pants for her - the wool ones with the cute pink ribbon on the inside. She pinned them up to hem for me and said that I could pick them up on Friday before hockey. I asked her if my butt looked cute in them. She gave me a blank stare and asked me why the waistband was so big and did I want her put elastic in them so they wouldn’t look so loose. No thanks, I’ll just wear a belt.

We went upstairs so she could show me everything that she bought.

“Sparkles are so in, now,” she said as she gave me the new shirts… Mickey-Mantle-New-York with a pink, sparkly sequined Mickey Mouse on it and other writing that doesn’t quite make sense (typical HK), and then another strange looking number that I can’t really explain. Both were huge on me.

“They fit!” We both ooohhed and ahhhhed. I know secretly that I’d probably never wear them, but I love her for the thought and for the fact that she’s so ecstatically happy that something she’s bought for me while on vacation has finally fit.

“I’ve become a little more girlie-girl” I told her. And told her stories of how Sista and I would preen in front of the mirror doing our makeup and playing with our hair before going to the shopping mall or the bookstore. How we constantly check ourselves in the rear-view mirrors at every light looking for smudged eyes or windblown hair. “I wear makeup everyday now!”

“It’s about time,” she said and pulls out more shopping bags… and purses… and ACCESSORIES!

Scarves, belts, necklaces, bracelets… scarves that can double as belts, belts that can double as necklaces… I’m in heaven! And all for MEEEEEEEEEEE!

Oops. And the Sista. You don’t know how much restraint it took for me to leave some of the “good stuff” behind. It was a lot of “I know she’ll like this one…and ohhh I like this, but she’ll love it, so maybe I’ll just borrow it later…” Oh, the will power. Oh, the agony!

“Try this!” She pulled out a small gold box. Cream made from crushed pearls. “Engrish” words that don’t make sense. “This is the real stuff! I got it from the factory.” She took a tiny spoon and scooped out a little white dot of pearl and smoothed it on my face… OMFG… my skin was softer, smoother than a baby’s bottom. I couldn’t stop touching myself. I must have this! And this, and this, and this!

Much later, after everything was pawed through and combed over, clothes proudly displayed and deals flaunted, we laid on her bed the way we used to when I was young. My head pillowed on her arm, drowsy, comfy, happy… smiling, content.

“You’ve become such a girl.” She whispered. “I’m so proud of you…”

Wednesday, November 17

day 10212: i’m not going to lie to you, because then what would be the point of all this?

Can I talk about Crush again? I know two entries in a row about a guy I barely know seems a little excessive, but hey, this is my blog, right? You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to… no one’s making you. You control your actions, you control your life, and you control your destiny. Kind of.

Actually, I’m not going to talk about my crush on Crush. It is, after all, just a crush. It makes me happy, but without reciprocation, it’s meaningless in the big, grand scheme of things. However, in the small, itty-bitty spectrum of “me”, it is one of the most significant occurrences of my life. How melodramatic, I know. But what Crush represents is huge…

It’s freedom.

Emotional freedom.

Freedom from Triscuit, and freedom from the past. The fact that I have a crush on Crush means that I am finally, unequivocally over Triscuit and rebuilding the shattered pieces of my bruised and battered heart, non?

I spent most of my time in San Diego lost in thoughts of what once was. I don’t deny thinking about Triscuit. A lot. Everywhere I went there was a memory; a fragment of a sliver of the happiness that existed almost 6 months ago to the day. Try as I did to redirect my thoughts to other things, images of our last trip to SD would inevitably slip through the cracks… Del Mar picking up black pebbles and tiny shells off the beach, the glorious sunset at La Jolla Cove, where we sat on a ledge holding hands, each lost in the beauty of the moment - watching the seals, watching the surfers, watching the children’s shoes get washed out with the tide, and then much later, watching the stars come out one by one winking down upon us – or even Fashion Valley where we spent oodles of dollars and tons of time wandering from Abercrombie to Abercrombie and back to Abercrombie… memories that will never be shared with him again; a past that no longer exists except in our minds. Things that will never be spoken about - not by him, not by me… not even by the pictures I have yet to develop.

Then thoughts of Crush would filter in here and there. Odd, since I didn’t know him and had only met him once before. I thought I had dismissed him and would never again have given him another thought. He was just another friendly person in the gym - a stranger still. But he snuck into my subconscious and I haven’t been able to shake him loose.

I am excited. I am elated. I am enthusiastically happy that I am free of the constraints of my past and that now I can look into the future with clear, unclouded eyes.

Yes Crush, no Crush… It matters not. If things happen, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. I’m finally free.

Tuesday, November 16

day 10211: let’s call him crush…

I have a crush. *sigh… eyelashes a-flutter and everything* Shhh… it’s a secret. Ok, so it’s really not a secret, because I, in all my happy glory that I’m finally “in like” with someone else other than Triscuit, have been blabbing it to the world. Non-stop. Serious.

Let’s call him Crush. For now, until I can think of a better nickname for him…

And as for details, I have none. Not really. He works for the government. He’s into adventure racing. He goes to my gym Monday nights and isn’t a very good climber, though he’ll get better with practice. He dressed up as a cheerleader for Halloween along with 4 other buddies and they did the whole drinking-bus-club-tour thing and had a very nice time. He’s nice, seems pretty cool, eats 5000 calories a day, hates McDonalds because it makes him sick, likes all-you-can-eat sushi, thinks I’m little… looks to be in his twenties somewhere. And he’s hot. Oh, so very, very cute.


He (and his friend) came to have wings and beer with us last night after the gym... cuz I asked them to. Yay.

Oh, and I blogged about him last week and haven't been able to get him off my mind since.

I don't think I've ever felt this way before... about a complete stranger.

Monday, November 15

day 10210: green with envy

Well, I’m back. Not necessarily by choice, mind you, but I’m back nonetheless, and for how long, I refuse to say.

I’d love to talk about how glorious the weather was, how warm the sunny beaches, how idealistic the life of leisure I led for all of five whole days. But I won’t. I don’t want to make you jealous. I don’t want to “rub it in” as the Sista puts it. Yes, she feels as guilty as I did that she’s basking in the sun-filled glory of SoCal, while the rest of us are chilled to the bones in TO. As she should (just joking babe).

I’d love to talk about the shopping deals, and the amazing strength of the Canadian dollar that let me buy endless goodies without feeling the slightest twinge of guilt, or how I bought these amazing nine west black boots for less than $100US, comfy jeans, and funky cool shirts etcetera etcetera. But I won’t. I don’t want to make you jealous.

I’d love to talk about the food we ate – Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s, Jakes, Oishi Sushi, and a whole bunch of other places I’ve forgotten the names of - narrate for you bite by eye-closing-wondrous-bite the taste of the last succulent piece of crab, the bite of the chili, the sweetness of the passion fruit mojitos. But I won’t. I don’t want to make you jealous.

Because you should be.


I am and I was there.

Thursday, November 11

day 10206: remembrance

For twenty six years Remembrance Day meant nothing to me. November 11, a day for poppies, a day of school assemblies, a day with a moment of silence for a war I did not understand. A war I never really cared to understand.

And why should I? I didn't know anyone who had fought in it. I barely knew anyone who had lived through it. Only vague stories from my grandmother hinting at battle with the Japanese. But nothing ever confirmed. Nothing bad ever spoken of - ever.

Sure, I watched the old black and white films, learned about it somewhat in history class. Understood that yes, there was a war, but who cared, no big deal, wars happen all the time... people die but life goes on with or without them. Very callous, I know. I watched the parades, saw the pictures in the newspapers of the veterans. Didn't give them a second glance before I turned to the comics or the social studies column. I didn't like war... I didn't want to know about it. I didn't care to know about it.

Until last year. France. Juno Beach. Dieppe war museum.

Sobering rainy day on Juno Beach where the Canadian contingents landed on D-Day so many years ago to play their part in liberating the world from the forces of evil. We walked the steps of the soldiers who had gone before us. Tracing the paths of the fallen, imagining the blood that ran deep into the sands.

Bo and Unsanitary Man had printed out passages for us to read while on the beach. And though, I initially though it somewhat hokey, I played along. The mist turned into rain and blended with my tears as the reality of the past sank in. Our sheets of paper melted away into unrecognizable clumps of pulp and fiber. And still we stood there in the pouring rain. Imagining what the fate of the world would have been had they not fought for freedom.

Moments of silence. Moments of remembrance.

The waves came in gently on the sand. The tide rose washing away the footprints we left behind, and still we stood there, each going our separate ways. Lost in thought. Lost in remembrance. Soaked to the skin. Rain and tears dripping down our faces.

On our way to the car, I picked up a pebble. No bigger than a walnut. It was brown and clear and had the glossy sheen of glass. I dropped it on another rock and it smashed open into three pieces... easily. The beach was littered with them... little pieces of rock that broke as easy as glass. Almost as if the forces of man, and the impact of war, the bombs on the beach had turned the grains of sand into glass. I put the pieces into my pocket and brought them home with me... and remember every time I fit the pieces together...

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~ Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

Remember, my friends, remember.

Wednesday, November 10

day 10205: can i move here?

I've always wondered what it would take for me to make a complete life altering decision. One that would involve making large sacrifices, leaving friends and family for parts unknown... for new adventures, and new beginnings. A new life. A new me.

And no matter how much I thought about it and how many times I've said "that's it! I'm moving," it's never happened. Not yet.

Last year, I was all gung-ho about moving to Vancouver; finding a job, beginning and rebuilding life anew in a familiar, yet unfamiliar place. But then things happened and dreams got put aside and eventually disappeared adn life went on as it often tends to do when one refuses to pay attention to it - living only for the now.

I lie here on the beach, watching dogs romp in the surf, chasing the white sandpipers with their blur-speed-stick legs, I think once again that I want a change. People walk by in their sweaters and their hoodies looking at me oddly like I shouldn't be here lounging around in shorts and a bikini. It is after all, 20 degrees Celsius... beautiful, gorgeous blue skies, no clouds in sight and a slight, salty breeze coming off the ocean - a beautiful glorious day, that had I been home, no one would be working and everyone would be playing hookey. And I yearn for this to be my every day... that somehow fortune would smile down upon me and I could life the life that I see around here.

The sun glistens and reflects off the water in the distance. Surfers line the waves waiting a little impatiently for that one perfect wave - getting up, falling down, swimming out and getting up again and again. Joggers run by - Ipods and mp3 players elasticed to their upper arms - feet keepign time with the beat. Couples walk the shores stopping on the occasion to pick up a shell or a pebble that catches their eye.

And it is to this I keep on returning. This place, this life beckons me, and calls out to me. I dream of happier days. Of days where I can live in a cottage by teh waterfront. But how, with whyat means. With who.

I think sometimes tha tthe ultimate sacrifice can be made for the sake of a peaceful existence with just nature and beauty. The sounds of waves crashing on the sand, the whisper of the breeze as it lifts the fronds of the palm trees are like lullabies to my soul.

And I feel like I'm finally home.

Tuesday, November 9

day 10204: ass…

The ex-car-pool buddy has decided suddenly that he would like to car-pool again on a regular basis and has gone so far as to actually make a commitment plunge (surprise, surprise – the boy actually made an actual commitment) and get a membership to the car-pooling place a.k.a. the climbing gym.

Uh-oh. That has its goods and its bads…

Goods… There are enough people in the gym that I don’t necessarily have to climb with him all the time. An occasional belay maybe, but not all the time.

Bads… I now have to see him on a regular basis, Mondays and Thursdays. I’m not sure I want to see that much of him.

Goods… I have realized that I can be the bigger person and be civil, albeit, not necessarily friendly.

Bads… I now have to see him on a regular basis.

Goods… He wants to take the lead course with me. I don’t have a partner, and they can’t find me one at the gym. If it’s a means to the end… well, it’s a means to the end. But that remains to be seen.

Bads… He expected to be my regular climbing partner. I think I’ve managed to persuade him otherwise.

Goods… I have a belay “slave” if I want to do laps. Take last night, everyone took off early for burritos. I wasn’t pumped out yet, and had barely broken a sweat… neither had he, so we kept on climbing, and I got in another 8 ½ routes in half an hour.

Bads… When the really cute, really friendly, really yummily-built adventure racing guy sitting next to you starts chatting with you, he feels “threatened” and says something stupid hinting at your past and makes you want to kick him in the ass, thereby wrecking friendly-flirtatious banter and causing weird awkward uncomfortable silences. How the heck am I supposed to pick up at the gym if the ex is literally hanging around all the time? Boo Triscuit. You suck.

On another suck ass note... I got sat on TWICE at the gym last night. Once when I was belaying the boy and looking up to give beta, the girl on the wall next to us fell off the first move and sat on my head. The other time when I was standing by the door waiting for a climb, the belayer for the climb above me didn't give me a heads up and lowered his buddy right on my shoulder... UGH! Talk about ultimate rudeness.

Oy, and I almost forgot the time where I was being lowered off the crumb-bum 10c and the guy next to me decides to lower his swinging partner right into me... I had to put a hand up so he wouldn't ass me in the face, but I'm not 100% sure if he was facing me, or if he was facing the wall. Needless to say, I washed my hands until they bled.

Can you see the trend of the night? Ass, ass and nothing but ass...

P… I’m off to Cali again to visit the Sista… have a good week, guys!

Monday, November 8

day 10203: i can fly, i can fly, i can flyyyyy...

I flew a plane yesterday. A teeny-tiny, blue and white two-seater Cessna registered C-F00U. It was no bigger than a Smart car. Actually, it was much smaller. There was just enough room in it for Instructor-Phil, yours-truly, and a plastic bag... "just in case the Gravol doesn't do it's job."

Armed with instructions of "See that panel... if we go down, and I can't get to it, tear down that panel and flip the switch for the emergency locator... Don't worry, you'll be highly motivated to get the panel off..." we were off.

I taxied haphazardly down the runway looking like a drunken clown trying to walk a tightrope, pushed a button here, pulled a lever there, read the altimeter, flipped a switch and took off... or rather, Instructor-Phil did the whole acceleration bit, and I got to pull back on the which-a-ma-callit-steering-wheelie-thing to get us off the ground.

We banked left, we banked right. I learned how to turn, how to gain altitude, how to "dive" and how to straighten out the plane. I learned what cruising altitude was, learned not to bank too steeply... whoops... and learned that flying is very much like driving a car.

Except that you can go anywhere you want.

Oh, and except that I have no idea where I'm going, and that I can't see the other planes coming towards us until they're almost completely below us.

At the end of the session of "circle over this town", and "head towards that swamp", and "follow that road home... no, not that road"... Instructor Phil took over the controls and landed us safe and sound, just so I could taxi back to the airport, all drunken clown like...

Thursday, November 4

important public service announcement #1...

Oh faithful readers, remember when I blogged about the demise of a legend? Turns out we were wrong. We were all wrong.

LZ and I finally dragged our lazy butts across the street and joy of joys and a whole bunch of hallelujah choruses later, we discovered that King's Noodles is only temporarily closed for renovations.

My prayers have been answered. I must give thanks to the good gods of congee.

day 10199: beep-a-beep-a-beep... ding-a-ding-a-ding...

Crossing Queen St. on my way home along with a billion other downtown clones, the light changes from red to green. Before any of us can step foot off the curb, we hear a voice calling out.

"Beep-a-beep-a-beep!" A leather and chain clad green mohawk comes roaring around the corner on a red banana seat bike.

No sooner had he rounded the corner...

"Ding-a-ding-a-ding!" Blue mohawk on a green bike. Both happy as can be, riding west into the sunset.

I wish I had my camera...

Wednesday, November 3

day 10198: 365 days

Strange how a particular moment stays in you head. It means nothing - another day, another hour, another second. A moment in time passed long ago; second glance, look back not required. Not necessary. It didn’t mean anything.

365 days of nothingness. 52 weeks that should not have been. 8760 hours passed that cannot be relived. Another year. Wasted time. Time that should have been spent doing something else. Something better, something productive.

If only I knew what.

525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year?


On a stranger note, I just found some guy's number in my knapsack scrawled on the back of one of those taxi-business-card-receipts. I hope it was the taxi driver, because I sure don't remember sharing a cab on Saturday. Oops.

Tuesday, November 2

day 10197: submission… second annual b-day request…

LZ – do not read until TOMORROW at MIDNIGHT!

This is the poem that’s going to win me yet another of LZ’s infamous b-day story/joke requests, of which the prize last year was a brunch of procuitto and spinach egg benedict … WHICH I HAD TO COOK!!! MYSELF!!!

“This one time, in Hong Kong, there was a monastery. They served vegetarian food.”

Alas, poor Linda, I knew her well.
A better tale, she could not tell.
Ah, how she tried, oh how she tried
But her listeners, oh how they cried.

“What wit, what wisdom” they did not say.
Instead, “Oh God, please spare us for another day!”
They begged, they pleaded for her to stop
In vain, with bribes of cherry lollipop.

The days, the years, the seasons change
And still, poor Linda, the words she could not arrange.
To make the people hear the things in her heart.
When all they did was tear her stories apart.

Remember the fifty percent rule, they used to shout
Laughing and pointing at the girl who could only pout
As she began and said, “This one time in Hong Kong…”
They interrupted… “Please don’t make this one so long”

She persevered, she persisted, she had something to say!
She didn’t care what they thought, aye or nay.
“Hilarious…” she would declare and begin a new tale.
O’er the phone, in person, mattered not…even by e-mail.

Eventually, her voice grew dim, her stories still sucked
“Oh crap,” she thought… ”Boy, am I ever fcuked.”
“I have things to say, I want them to hear…
But how, oh how when they run when I near…”

"I must have an idea, I need to develop a plan
Like that Little Engine that Could… I think I can, I think I can…
But what to say, what to do…
Crap! I need a break, I need to do a number two."

And so she thought and thought upon her stately throne
‘Til the fat lady sang, the pigs flew and the cows came home.
And still, poor Linda, she didn’t have a clue,
Of what to say, or even what she could do.

The seconds ticked, the minutes passed
Rodin’s sculpture “TheThinker” was way outclassed.
Until all of a sudden, in a flash of inspiration,
“Eureka! I’ve got it!” she yelled with determination.

Alas, poor Linda, I knew her well.
A better tale, she could not tell.
But she discovered her voice within her soul,
Instead of talking, she’s taking pictures roll upon roll.

Happy B-day LZ. May all your dreams and wishes come true… You know what I’m talking about! :)

Monday, November 1

day 10196: dog-capades and other scooby snacks


My darling tootsie-wootsie-cutie-petootie-puppy-wuppy was a very, very, very, very bad wittle-doggie. While I was at yoga, she jumped onto the coffee table, proceeded to knock off almost everything formerly-on-the-table (picture half-empty juice glasses perched precariously on the edge, clean laundry scattered across the floor), and THEN mangled and devoured a bag of Pepperidge Farm Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I came home to find pieces of the bag everywhere, cookie and chocolate crumbs in my bed, and one smug little puppy wagging her tail happy as can be.

dogs + chocolate = bad news

We rushed to the vet for an emergency stomach pump. Waited for an hour and half to be seen by an annoying-baby-talking-doggie-doctor who told me to leave the dog and come back in 3 hours.

[ed. note: I don’t understand why people insist on using baby talk with dogs… especially the high-pitched whiny voice kind that just grates on your nerves and makes you shudder at the thought. And then uses the same voice with people… e.g. “Your puppy-wuppy was a very bad-wittle-doggie…” *gag*]

Three and a half hours later, $255 poorer, and a lesson learned that it’s better to pay the $1 for parking than to get a $20 parking ticket, miserable tootsie-wootsie-cutie-petootie-puppy-wuppy decided to show me how upset she was at having to go to the vet by leaving me a little liquid surprise while I was in the shower. And while I yelled and cursed and ran around half nekkid trying to clean up the mess before it stained my one and only carpet, she jumped onto the couch, unearthed yet another buried chocolate chip cookie and munched on it, all delicately and lady-like, while glaring at me with much, much hatred in her eyes.

She hated me that much more when I tackled her and dug the offending cookie mush out of her mouth.

scooby snacks…

~ I don’t like tequila anymore.
~ When the yoga instructor says “do a downward dog up against the wall, and see, you’re halfway to a handstand…” don’t believe her.
~ I still don’t know what a “bundi” is.
~ Hissy fits = pffffttttt…
~ Flying a kite is fun! A 2 meter kite can drag you along the ground if the wind is strong enough
~ “Oh-oh! Let’s go make friends with them, maybe they’ll let us try their mountain boards…”
~ I have no idea what club I went to on Saturday night. Stop asking.
~ “Dude… you know better that to fall for a girl who has a fcuk-friend… everyone knows that.”
~ “How long do I have to wait before I can leave… fifteen minutes? Good, I’ve already been here ten. Five more minutes and I’m going home to bed. What? ANOTHER fifteen. Damn.”
~ ten minutes later, in the caves of Oasis… “Zzzzzzzzz”
~ I don’t like tequila anymore.
~ I don’t like dog anymore.
~ I'm poor again. And chocolate-chip-cookie-less. Damn dog.