Sh…

November 30, 2009

Sometimes, I think too much. It gets so crowded in there.

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Ooooooo…. Wipe Out.

November 29, 2009

I com-poe-leeete-ly wiped out on my way home from work last night. One minute I’m walking, carefree, with a spring in my step, the next I’m pretty much laying gut to sidewalk in the middle of the King Street West. Nice… This made me think about a similar sidewalk sprawl out that occurred a few years back in Paris (France, not Ontario) on a stunningly beautiful day in February. I decided to take a long stroll along the spine of the Seine. I was on my own, my eyes were wide open and I was looking up taking it all in when all of a sudden I was flying through the air. Trés elegante. An incredibly handsome couple walking toward me saw what had happened and when I looked up at them with my half smile and shrug (the universal gesture for – oopsy daisy look at what a klutz I am. haha ) they sneered then stepped over my crumpled form on the cobblestone. And I’m not implying that was a French thing since a similar incident went down here in Toronto a few years back when I ended up face down the on the King Street sidewalk (again) on the other side of town. It might have been black ice that got me or some other snow related mishap. But the “gentleman”, a stranger, who happened to be walking next me when it occurred did not even adjust his gait to see if I was okay. He just kept walking, with me at his feet laid out flat like a sidewalk version of roadkill.

Falling is so disorienting. I had no warning with yesterday’s fall. I hadn’t tripped, there was no ice to speak of, not a puddle or banana peel in sight. Just the same sidewalk I pass over almost every day. I remember, just before it happened, I was watching this woman with a tripod and camera. I was thinking how much I love seeing people snapping shots around the city and that I need to start snapping a few more of my own. Then, I thought, am I falling? I threw one of the bags I was carrying into the air (which on a Saturday night would usually contain a bottle of California red but I decided to forgo it this weekend, thankfully) in an exaggerated gesture of I-don’t-know-what. My knee hit the ground a good thirty seconds before the bag completed its arc and made contact. And, I wanted to just stay there, on all fours, with this pain shooting into my kneecap and my wrist feeling like it had split in two. But this sweet gal stopped to help peel me off the pavement. She was laughing and was I, too, because with the bag toss it must have looked hilarious. And yes, my ego got a little bruised but it cleared up quickly. However, the one on my knee is going to take a little longer to fade. But, I can live with that.

Les Divas

November 28, 2009

Over the last two nights I started watching two movies from my long list of favourite French films. La Nuit Américaine (aka Day For Night) and Diva. Unfortunately, I fell asleep about a quarter of the way through each of them. Don’t for one moment think my premature slide into the land of my dreams had anything to do with either of these classics. I hit “play” too late in the day and had a feeling I wasn’t going to make it through to the end. No worries. I’ve seen both at least four times each and managed to catch a few choice scenes before sliding.

Check out this clip from the 1981 film, Diva, with Cynthia Hawkins, played by Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez, working her charms on a sold out audience at a performance the Catalani’s opera, La Wally. In this scene, it is mainly Jules (Frédéric Andréi), who is secretly taping her performance, that she has under her spell. Check her out near the end of the clip (at around 4:20) when she lifts those note up and out into the atmosphere. Her mouth is perfectly formed – open and relaxed (an unobstructed pathway to heaven) and a chill runs up my spine every time I watch it. Gorgeous.

Here’s another diva clip of sorts from Francois Truffaut’s 1973 film, La Nuit Americane. Day For Night is a film within a film and the director is played by the master, Truffaut, himself. In this scene, Severine, one of the leading actresses, played by Valentina Cortese, cannot remember her lines.

There are so many great moments in both of these films, that even though they are over 25 years old and somewhat dated, for me this is part of their charm. If you haven’t seen them yet I highly recommend both.

Sometimes…

November 27, 2009

 

Sometimes…

Through the fog and the fuzz and the blur and confusion,

and,

In the midst of the butterflies and hazy dreams and that I’m reaching out for but can’t quite grasp (I can almost feel it),

the words escape me.

But,

that doesn’t stop the sun from rising.

Pourquoi Pas?

November 26, 2009

Because I was forced to give up my blog’s handle in last night’s French class I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to mes amis dans la classe. I’m joking… I wasn’t really forced to share my cyber address (it’s not that kind of class) and I doubt any of them will even be able to find it because I had to spell it en Français (Mon Dieu, il y a beaucoup de lettres dans mon adresse!). Still, I’m going to tip my hat off to them because I feel like it. Et, pourquoi pas? What better reason is there.

Truth be told I don’t really know this group of people very well and if they are at all like me I’m probably only getting a minute fraction of their stories. It can be tricky attempting to cobble together answers to various questions with our limited amount of French language expertise. Mais, courage, tout le monde, as Monsieur Professuer tells us. The way things are going, if we keep at it (if I keep at it. I pray I keep at it), it will come, non? The class, at least for me, is challenging and inspiring and to be honest with you (what else can I be?), definitely at times, nerve wracking. But, I am thoroughly enjoying it. I look forward to it. We all seem so different in ways but in it together and I like that. There is a supportive vibe swirling around us filled with patience and humour (a winning combination) all in the language I adore. C’est commence avec Monsieur (merci, merci, merci!!!) à chacun de ses étudiants (merci, merci, merci à vous aussi!!!). Vous êtes un cadeau.

So there – I said it. Et, pourquoi pas? I could have kept those thoughts to myself but why bother hoarding the good stuff.

(Excusez-moi si j’ai fait des erreurs. Sentez-vous libre pour me corriger.)

I Must Remember This…

November 24, 2009

I must remember,

In my life

Always

I am doing this…

(I sweep my arms out in a grand gesture)

For me.

All the rest is just, I pray, the most delicious icing.

Keep On Shining

November 21, 2009

Yesterday, I was all set to publish a post but when I clicked on the button to slap it up here the system seemed to have crashed. I’m not exactly sure what happened here at WordPress but it didn’t seem to last for long. Admittedly, a mini surge of the oh no vibe flared in my gut like a firecracker while I imagined the various possibilities of what might have gone wrong. For a minute or two, I pictured my entire blog evapourating in a puff and everything I had written over the last six months vanishing. Phtttt… I knew it wasn’t just me because I immediately checked out a few of the other WP blogs I have bookmarked, so I didn’t taking it personally. Thankfully, by the time I got home after work last night and was able to check in, everything was up and running. (Thank you WordPress for saving the post I was working even though after I reread it realized it wasn’t very good.)

Funny thing and kinda related… at work the other day, after about twenty years with the same handle (yes, as in 20. Two-Oh! 2-0) my computer login would not allow me to sign in. Yeah. Due to some unknown technical what-have-you that has not affected anyone else I work with, the system simply refused to accept the same old characters I’ve been using for all these years. And I liked my handle. It has become a nickname of sorts. So, when they told me I would have to give up my login name I felt the outside of my lips turning downward on their own accord. After a few minutes I figured – what can I do? Zip. Nadda. No-Thing. What’s the point in fretting about something I can’t change. I can tell you that doesn’t always stop me but what a gigantic waste of much needed energy. After my mini pout lifted I actually felt good about the change, thinking, maybe this is a sign from the cyber-based universe cluing me in that it’s time for something new.

We’ll see.

What I was going to write about yesterday was what a great morning I was having. I left the house a few minutes past 7:00. The sun was still struggling its way up. Joni was on my Pod singing a Song For Sharon which continues to send shivers up my spine despite the numerous (numerous!) times I’ve listened to it. Like when she sings… and the power of reason and the flowers of deep feelings seem to serve me only to deceive me. Fantastic. It’s off the Hejira album and its beautiful and perfect. Listen to it here. Listen to her back up vocals and her guitar work. And… and… and… But I digress. More about Joni some other day. So, I was listening to that perfect song on my way to the pool. And I gave and received unsolicited smiles from anonymous dog walkers. And my feet, as they swept through the left over puddles from the day before, felt light and alive. I felt truly happy. Even when I got home and spent all that time trying to get that post up before I left for work and the system would not allow me to, I just didn’t care. My morning yesterday was kinda like the weather in that, as much as it seemed like the clouds were trying to prevent it, the sun kept shining through. Nice.

Warm And Cozy

November 19, 2009

With the various holidays hovering over us like a credit card statement about to burst it might be the time to think of other ways to honour the season. I had planned to bring this to your attention a lot sooner but it has always been my way to leave things to the last minute. Sorry. I can assure you this is not always the best way to go about things especially when there are deadlines involved.

That being said, a friend of mine started an amazing project a few years ago, called Project Warmth. Project Warmth is “a Toronto based, grassroots organizations that helps families in need by creating beautifully designed gift baskets for children and mom’s.”

Unfortunately, the last day to drop off donations is this weekend on November 21. Please don’t let the rapidly approaching deadline (or my tardiness) scare you. If you are in the Toronto area and have some items that fit the bill below please contact Project Warm directly (see info below) to see how you can help out.

Project Warmth welcomes:

  • Children’s clothes and shoes (for ages 0 – 10) in good condition;
  • Children’s toys, puzzles, books and video;
  • Gift items for moms;
  • Your time to help sort, prep, wrap gift packages on November 28 and 29th, 9am – 5pm (greatly needed);
  • Help moving donated items from their storage facility to where the baskets will be made, Friday, November 27th from 7-9pm (for the move, they are also looking for people with a van, SUV or truck sized vehicle).;
  • Financial donations to help with purchasing;
  • Coffee and snacks for the wrapping volunteers;
  • Or, anything else you can think of.

If you are interested in helping in anyway, or want to more details or information, please contact Ali at alison@projectwarmth.ca or Angie at projectwarmthvolunteer@gmail.com.

What better way to feel warm and cozy inside?

That Was A Blur

November 17, 2009

I had the day “off” yesterday. That seemed to go by in a blur. There’s always so much to get done in a day, no? I think some times, though, I can make things a little more complicated and full than necessary. Still, Sunday blurred by, as well, what with the parade and all. To be honest with you, the parade seemed to drag on a bit too long for me. Maybe a half hour longer than need be. And Sheeee-it, digging back to my wonder years (I vaguely remember going to the S.C.D. Parade in Winnipeg but that may have been a dream?) I cannot recall so many frickin’ avderts on the parade route as there are these days. Every float seemed to have some company’s banner dangling off of it, not to mention all those clowns (literally) pushing wheel-fitted signs, ranging from pizza ads to reminders that it’s flu season (duh… as if we need to be reminded). Geez, can we not have one effin day off from hearing (or reading) about the fucking flu?I know it’s important to be aware and all and before I go any further, I’d like to send out an early seasonal wish to ALL of us to stay as healthy as possible this season (and always, actually) both mentally and physically. But sheee-it (again), I cannot tell you how sick I’m getting of hearing about the flu (one type in particular). If I was scientifically inclined, I’d create a vaccine to ward the sickening feeling one gets from hearing about the various illnesses and overly discussed (disgust?) topics in the news. I’m sure I could become a bah-gillionaire. I’m not even going to  flip the names of some of these over manipulated topics on my blog for fear of contamination. We all know what I’m referring to. Anyway…. back to the parade. Each float seemed to hover in front of us for a bit too long. I felt bad for some of the floatees and street walkers (ho ho ho indeed) – marching band members types, crowd wavers, clowns, etc – who had to inhale the fumes emitting off of some of the float-toting flatbed trucks. I wish Santa’s flatbed would have slowed down a bit though. Holy blur. We blinked and he was gone. Check out the reindeer’s neck in today’s photo snapping back from the speed of it all. The wee ones seemed to dig it though, which realy was the reason I was there. I say, let them enjoy it while they can, since the time does fly and before they know it they’ll be the ones complaining.

Ho Ho Ho?

November 15, 2009

I’m off to my sister’s for her annual Santa Claus Day Parade Soirée. Neither she nor I have any wee ones to drag down to Bloor Steet (sorry Mom) but we do happen to have the most excellent friends with the most awesome kids on the planet – two of whom will be joining us on the sidelines. I whipped up a batch of rice and peas that I make from time to time for the after-parade luncheon. It’s a very appropriate dish inspired by my half Jamaican side that my sister requested I make. Irie, man. You can find the recipe here. Very yummy. I woke up at 7 to cook it up and my house spells all spicy and delicious. Mmmmm…..

It always seems too early, for me, to bring Santa into the mix so close on the heels of Halloween but I guess the card companies need something to fill the gap (argh). And, in Canada, it’s not such a bad idea having the parade early, what with the (usual) frigid temperatures and all. Really, who wants to freeze their butt off in mid December, anyway? Today the temp’s supposed to climb to 15 anyway (with variable clouds) so I ain’t complaining. To be honest with you, instinctively I run as far away from these events as possible. Crowds don’t thrill me and all the fumes from flat bed trucks carrying the floats can be a drag. But, it is great to see my friends, who I don’t see often enough, and sharing the excitement of parade with the youngin’ is fabulous. So really, I wouldn’t want to miss it.

Ho… Ho… Holy crap look at the time. This girl’s gotta roll.