Monday, October 31, 2005

Impressions of Monday (so far):

- They said it wouldn’t rain until tonight and even then only a 30% chance. It’s now drizzly and cold and dark. I've never seen trick-or-treaters in rubber boots.

- I’ve just warmed up with a bowl of the v. good bean and tomato soup that Trevor made last night.

- On a day when I was only expecting bills, I got a package in the mail. A real letter from a friend and a book, Sappho’s Leap by Erica Jong.

- We saw Capote on the weekend. It was a good movie in every way.

- A She-Demon went to a party with Don Vito Corleone on Friday night. Fun was had by all, though I did hit one person (accidentally) with my trident and snagged no less than three door jams with my prosthetic horns.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Typical Friday

Kiwi-the-cat is yelling at me because he wants me to move the CD shelf so he can get the mouse that got away. Charlie's sitting on the couch watching the proceedings, her ball in her mouth and a puddle of drool soaking into the fabric. Meanwhile, I'm not moving from my perch on my office chair.

I live and work in a f*cking zoo.

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This Week

- I hired a new Researcher two provinces away. He just emailed me a picture of himself because the virtual boss-employee thing was too weird.

- I finished Confederacy of Dunces and started Anansi Boys. These were both books I really liked by the first paragraph.

- Charlie had an incident where her tear duct? Polyp? Cancerous tumor? bulged out from under her eyeball. In a panic, and moaning about the cost of taking her to the vet again, I tore apart the medicine cupboard looking for some old drops from the last infection. Upon finding them, I turned back to her and she was sitting there, staring at me quizzically, her eye perfectly normal. A brief examination of the area on her and around her revealed no clues. I still expect to vacuum up a small tumor this weekend.

- Coronation Street is getting good this week. We know because we cheated and looked at the UK websites, where ‘Corrie’ is almost a half year ahead of us.

- Trevor reminded me I’m in serious danger of entering ‘panic mode’ on my sister’s wedding video, which we’re supposed to have assembled by mid-December. He’s right – panic is how I usually finish important projects. Trevor doesn’t do things that way and since he’s heavily involved in the editing process, in that he’s doing it, I decided to start getting around to it.

- I dug into a closet I haven’t looked at since I arrived in TO almost two years ago. Out came a pair of jeans that were brand new 2 ½ years ago, presumably the last time I could possibly have worn them. I’ve grown in so many ways. Should I tape them to the wall beside the mirror or just let them go?

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mrs. A----, I presume?

It's funny how I'm fine being Mrs. A---- in the dog park but when tele-marketers call, Mrs. A---- no longer exists, nor does a 'lady of the house'. I become the "I don't really live here" girl.

This Trevor A--- bloke has a helluva lotta one night stands, all who happen to know he prefers the Toronto Star.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dog Park Soapbox

Trev had a run in with “the Mayor” today at the dog park. I’ve heard of this guy before. He’s becoming one of the park’s legends.

We all generally try to be good dog owners. But sometimes by the time you get to the spot you can't find the turd in the pile of brown leaves and detritus. Sometimes a chase goes so far so quickly that suddenly you can’t see them anymore. You stuff your pockets with treats and balls hoping that this time, this one goddamn time that goddamn dog will actually come when you call. But I’ve seen the best dogs get distracted, especially when ’pack brain’ kicks in.

Just last week a guy got his hand chomped by his Golden Retriever because he reached in to pull it out of a fight. My own dog got beat up by one much larger than her, then turned around and almost choked out a smaller dog with a twist of the collar. This is why we have a dog park. It’s a place where everyone who comes is generally forgiving because these situations arise constantly. We’re mostly ready for it. We’ve got each other’s backs. We’ll step in with a leash and a baggy and extra hands when the need arises.

Many people think of that area as no different from any other place in the park but it is different. Very different. It is a legal place for dogs to be off leash and that privilege comes with many uncertainties. We are trying to be good owners - most of us are in the process of training our pups. But if you come flying through that part of the park on your bike, FORMER MAYOR OF TORONTO, expect that you might be chased. In their little minds, you are charging into a pack territory, not human territory. It’s a space where human patience proves most fruitful.

I think there should be a fence. Sure, it would keep the dogs in. It would also keep out the humans who aren’t quite prepared to handle the situation.

There, now that it's said perhaps I can focus on work?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Muscles located in the Lost and Found

I finally did it. I found a great school. Actually, my Naturopath told me about it so the discovery came kind of easily. But it took two years to meet Dr. S, so it’s been a long, long road.

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, that came later. It was lovely early evening. I found the modest storefront on Queen E., walked through a door and found myself in a hallway. So I backed out and found the proper door on the other side of the storefront, which led to a foyer overlooking two classrooms. One was full of spinning bikes the other full of Asian-Canadian girls lifting weights. The teacher, a rather nice looking man, waved me in and I shyly sat on the edge of the couch and took in the action. All the movements looked v. familiar. Some of the girls were complaining good-naturedly but the class is obviously effective, if muscle definition is any indication. Holy crap.

Soon I was in the converted garage taking my first ever Muay Thai Fitness class. I quickly got a sense of the deterioration of my fitness level. I struggled to ‘climb the mountain’ and during the skipping part, I thought my whole body was going to jiggle up out of the neck of my t-shirt. Oh, it’s been a long, long time.

Two hours later, I was a flat on the ground, drenched, lungs somewhere back there under the hanging bag kind of DONE. I hung around to talk to the instructor. I told him my Naturopath sent me. "Dr. S!" He said, "how is she doing? Did she tell you we went to highschool together?"
We had a great conversation and I got a sense of their teaching philosphy and class structure. He and his wife are incredibly fit and talented fighters and teachers, but really down to earth. They want to run the business like a cooperative. No ego, just a genuine love for what they do. I can see why Dr. S said she felt like she was sharing one of Toronto's best kept secrets.

As I stepped out into the now dark and stormy night to catch my bus, I just knew I'd be back tomorrow. Provided I could walk.

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Monday, October 17, 2005


This weekend we went to a party at a friend’s warehouse-suite (more warehouse than suite if you ask me). He had gone all out with the candles and the DJ station and the hors D’oeuvres. He’d had friends bring in their art work for decoration. He had spent countless hours finishing his 35mm short film and adding a score just so he could show it.
“You brought beer? You really didn’t need to,” he said when he opened the door, dressed as the sophisticated, urban kind of single guy who would throw a great party.

But I think we, his guests, failed him somewhat. The energy was pleasant enough but remained low throughout the evening. Everyone made polite chit chat but really you could tell most people were thinking about their couches and DVDs back home. I was one of them. I didn’t have a single witty or intelligent thing to say. Intermittently, couples eased their way to the door. I’d like to say this is unusual, but lately it seems that almost every party I’ve ever been to as an adult unfolds this way (exception: solstice party at a farm with that unfortunate hash brownie incident).

Have parties gone so far out of fashion that we’ve forgotten how to party? And I don’t mean get-trashed-and-fight-on-the-lawn keggers, though I’m sure those are alive and well (just the thought makes me exhausted). I mean more the kind of party where you slur, “holy Christ, that was a great party!” as you stumble and fumble your way into a cab. Time flew, you drank a bit more than you should have and for weeks the inside party jokes have you giggling over the dishes.

It seems to me that parties are well executed – most hosts know how to throw the technical party. Gone are the days of the cocktail weenie, thank God. But why don’t we know how to have crazy fun anymore, even sans alcohol? To be exciting, energetic guests? Where is the guy with the lampshade on his head? Did he even ever exist?

I know – at anytime I could have leapt to my feet and started the sequence of mad gyrations I like to think of as dancing. Trev wouldn’t have left me to dance alone. In fact, I’m sorry I didn’t think of it before now, 10 AM on Monday morning. Drinks or no drinks, I could have been Lamshade Guy. I think I failed the party.

This leaves me with a feeling of doom when considering hosting one myself. Would anyone come? Would anyone have fun? How do you really get things going? I would want at least 5 to 10 people wake up the next morning and go “do NOT tell me I did what I think I did last night.” I’m not talking Roman-gorging orgies. More like… “The Party” with Peter Sellers, only less property damage and fewer bubbles. Though bubbles would be really great…. Anyone know the effect of bubbles on hardwood?

Well, at the very least I’m going to work on being a better guest. Here’s my question – what was the last great party you’ve ever been to and what made it great?

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Dog For Sale. Cheap.

Yesterday I saw the most brilliant, complete rainbow I’ve ever seen. I was at the dog park with Charlie. It must have been like the twilight zone to the dogs – all of the humans suddenly stopped, mid-chuck, facing the same direction to gaze up at the sky. I don’t think dogs’ll even care if aliens suddenly appear. But if an alien tries to get Charlie’s ball… Well, she’d probably give it to them. Because my dog is a ball slut. She’s giving it to anyone but me these days.

I also found a flea on her today after she rolled on the couch. And she just farted twice in my vicinity, enough to make me reconsider pausing here to write this entry.

In other news, it’s cold, windy and damp. I truly love these evenings.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

That Mean Lady Tried to Sell Me Stuff

I was actually shaking when I sat down at my computer desk this morning. And close to tears. I was so upset I blew bubbles into my Earl Grey (decaf) when I tried to take a sip.

Death in the family? Fatal disease? Dog run over by a car? Nope. An infomercial.

I was flipping channels and landed on one for something called “Blast Body Jam” or something. Hey, I thought, that looks kind of neat. It’s like the stuff I used to teach. I miss the stuff I used to teach. I could order it and recreate my old classes in my living room, I thought excitedly. Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do!

I flew through the name, address and credit card info. But 10 minutes later the lady with the American accent at the other end of the universe, by the sounds of it, had offered me the 4th consecutive ‘extra feature that you simply need for this work out to be 100% effective.’
‘Er, how much is that going to cost me in total?’
‘4 easy payments of only $63.95. Plus the initial $19.95, of course.’
‘Yes, and we’re sending you a month’s worth of supplements for only a dollar. You will continue to receive these supplements for only $30 a month unless you call to cancel within 30 days.’
‘Oh my, ' I said, realizing I was getting suckered by an infomercial racket.
‘So I’ll just process this,' she said quickly.
‘Wait, can you do me a favour?’
‘I’m sorry?’
‘Can you cancel my order?’ My voice wobbled.
‘The whole thing?’
‘But why?’ she actually whined.
‘Because all I wanted was a simple DVD and this is just… too much…,’ I trailed off. I sounded like a little old lady who just realized she sent her life savings to Nigeria.
‘But we were almost done!’
‘I just… no.’
‘Okay, well call us back if you change your mind.’
‘Yeah,’ I say, but I’d already hung up.

See? This is why I should never get out of bed. "Just stop watching morning TV!" you say.

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