14) Apples and …

May 13, 2010

Not quite one Big Apple - but still...

I’m heading out to the Big Apple tomorrow and I can tell you this, I am very excited. I’ve been back on the job for a few weeks now so it seems like the perfect time to take a longish weekend and slide south across the border for a mini vackay to that place I have grown quite fond of over the last decade, or so. Yes… I had just turned 34 when I paid my first visit to New York. It was my first solo journey of that sort and I liked it. A lot. As much as I enjoy swirling in another persons vibe I’m equally pleased in my own company. Just like my first two jaunts to NYC, I will be staying on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, one of my favourite parts of town. This time, however, I will be absorbing the city with a very close friend of mine. She’ll be celebrating the big 4-0 in a few days (the second pal I’ll be sharing that honour with) and what better way to say good-bye to the good ole 30’s. Our visit will be brief so it will be important to stay calm and go with the flow. There’s so much going on there it will be impossible to take in even 1/8th of the galleries, shops, restaurants and neighborhoods I (or should I say we) would like to visit. I could spend the entire trip restaurant hopping alone and still not have gone to most of the places I’d like to check out before rolling to the airport to catch my/our flight home. I am definitely not complaining about having too many options. I’m feeling pretty fortunate for going on this trip to being with so mums the word on any whining. Even if the forecast calls for showers on Friday ain’t nobody’s gonna rain on my parade. Nuh-uh…

I’ll let you know how things turn out. In the meantime, here’s a list of some of the sights, sounds, tastes and vibes I hope to find myself in the midst of on my weekend adventure. Please, if there are any NYC related must-sees you feel I need to include in my bulging red note book, feel free to let me know. And join me in praying for a sunny Manhattan skyline and a temperature of 20 degrees celcuis (or a little higher) for the weekend. Doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

List 14Things I’d like to do in the Big Apple this weekend:

I wish I had about another week to take it all (or at least moreof it) in, that and somebody else’s bank account. Now, off to stuff the pile of clothes on my floor into my valise then off to work to help finance my adventure.


Some Daze…

May 12, 2010

Some days, like today, I don’t know where to begin.

I’m not saying it’s a bad day, it’s just a bit of a jumble, where confusion reigns and I’m not sure what bit off the heaping plate I ought to dig into first.

13) Mum’s the Word

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I have to say, I celebrate Mother’s Day on a daily basis. We don’t live in the same city, so don’t see each other as often as we’d like, but we try to communicate at least once a week. Still, I think about her all the time. I feel love for her in an unmeasurable proportion. Huge, gigantic, LARGE. We gift each other every moment of the day with the respect and love we toss back and forth between us. There is one gift I wish I could have given her but maybe I’ll talk about that another day.

Also, since my family tree has many glorious branches I send out a special Mother’s Day greeting to my step-mom. Big love flows in many directions.

I had a very nice moment at work, yesterday, speaking with a woman I had just met. After our transaction we wished each other Happy Mother’s Day. We both, I’m guessing, are hovering around our mid forties (I mention this only to paint the scene) and while neither of us has ever had a child, like her father always said, she told me in her lovely Brazilian lilt, “All women should be wished a Happy Mother’s Day since, whether or not they have had a child, they are often the ones taking care of the business.” Here, here… I’ll add to that by saying, even though some of us have remained childless for our myriad of reasons, we all most definitely have, or have had, a mom.

So today, whether you’re the one sitting on the queen’s throne or princess chair – or both…  Whether you are spending the day together or apart… Whether you are wishing you still had one, were on good terms with one, or long to be one… I salute you.

Here’s to our relations with (or as a) mom, in all their beautiful, messy (beautifully messy) and/or complicated forms.

Happy Mother’s Day.

List 13 – A very short list of some interest (and in most cases fictional) Moms.

Films: All About My Mother, The Grifters, Secrets and Lies, Antonia’s Line, One True Thing, Lovely and Amazing, The Winter’s Guest, Little Voice, Postcards From the Edge, Bébé(s) (haven’t seen this documentary yet but it looks very interesting).

Television: I’m only going to mention one (although I’m sure there are many others) Six Feet Under. Frances Conroy was amazng.

Books: From Harvey River, by Lorna Goodison, The Liars Club, by Mary Karr, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

I might add to this later. Feel free to include some of your own suggetsions.

Here’s a Thought…

May 8, 2010

The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. The deed develops into habit. And the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from here, born out of concern for all beings.   – Buddha


May 6, 2010

Bread and Water

Those are not my smokes.

Getting more blurry as the evening rolls on. Good wine.

Recently, my sister and I got together with a friend of ours we hadn’t seen in eighteen years. Eighteen years… How did that happen? An added bonus, to the already amazingly satisfying reunion, occurred later in the evening, when another long lost pal suddenly breezed through the restaurant door (as secretly arranged by friend #1). I love that… when I reconnect with someone after a long while and it feels as though no time has passed at all. Sure things have changed. A couple of us need reading glasses now when perusing the wine list, a parent or two have passed away, hearts have been broken, mended and/or revived (you know… life moves on), but still, after all these years, I feel safe. At home. Welcome. The conversation picks up where it ended and it flows as naturally as taking a breath.

And that, regardless of how blessed I am to have been in this position on more than one occasion, is a very special thing.

Daily Specials

Making Contact

May 2, 2010

A shot of the Allen Lambet Galleria

I went to Brookfield Place yesterday before work to check out the Doyon-Rivest exhibit, Le siècle des lumières, in the Allen Lambert Galleria as part of the Contact Festival of Photography. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it. Maybe it had to do with the way the light hits the 18 metre high window at the Galleria’s entrance (at least I think that’s where it is) but with my unrealistic time restrictions (50 minutes until my work shift started with about an hour and ten minutes worth of stuff to do) I decided to leave it for another day.

Congo on the Wire

I did manage to scoot over to the Barbara Frum Atrium, at the CBC Building, on my lunch break to check out Finbarr O’Reilly’s heartbreaking, tear-inducing, beautifully shot  installation, Congo on the Wire. Here is an excerpt of the description one reads as they enter the mini maze of photographs arranged in the centre of the atrium:

Finbarr O’Reilly spent two years in the Congo and neighbouring Rwanda from 2002 to 2004, covering the region as a writer for Reuters. In October 2008, a fresh upsurge of violence brought him back to the Congo, this time as a photographer.

O’Reilly wanted to explore not only the country’s experience of loss and misery, but also the strength and perseverance of the Congolese people.

He does an amazing job. If I had the makeshift gallery walls to myself I would have surely been standing in a puddle of my own tears. It is difficult to be left unaffected by the images and it is in my opinion that we should be affected. I couldn’t help thinking, as my eyes swept over the photographs, of the many ways in a day I whine or complain about petty inconveniences, looking at clips of the Congolese people living their lives while being deeply affect by war.  It’s all relative we say. I know… I know… But every once in a while we need a good slap in the face to pull us outside of ourselves and into the lives of others. I’m not an incredibly political person and admit to a certain amount of ignorance in matters concerning current affairs. Maybe there is an explanation to this madness I can’t see. I know about corruption and greed and one-side-against-the-other but to devalue a life (Lives. Millions have died) to such a degree… It’s happens in different ways, in too many places.  We need to regain our dignity. Globally. This earth we are all wandering, whatever side you’re on, we are all on it together. We are all in it together. We are. We. Just. Are.

To gain a better understanding of the situation than I can give, check out this six minute media clip narrated by O’Reilly, here. And remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all wondering how to lend a hand, consider making a donation to organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders Canada or The Red Cross among others. Every penny can make a difference. And so can those healing, loving vibes.

If you’re in the area I hope you go see O’Reilly’s exhibit. If not, you can check him out, here.