Tuesday, November 29, 2005

random act of kindness

ol'e next door had a surprize guest today. as i was waiting for a cab i noticed a fellow pull up in a truck with flowers in hand and ring her bell. he used to live in my house, in the basement apartment and thought he'd surprize her with a random act of kindness because he was in town and thinking about her. of course, ol'e is security aware so she doesn't answer the door unless she knows you're coming. so, i ran inside to call her to let her know to answer the door, a nice surprize was waiting. anyhow, just in case you though toronto was full of cold snobs. you're wrong!

bewitching hours

every night, between 4 and 6am my dreams are hit with a wave of restless, practical, worry-filled dreams. a sort of slow brooding venom. oh, sleep fairies -- please swoop in and kiss these black clouds away.

Monday, November 28, 2005

abandoned tv set

someone left a tv in our yard, next to our over flowing bin and hidden behind the tree. looks like a 30 inch, have no idea if it works or not. likely not.

our place is overflowing with wreckage. the bin delivery has been delayed because the cars are parked on the opposite side of the street until the 1st and the bin folks can't get in to replace it. dec 1st is when the switch happens.

we toured the house today and caught a glimpse of a few wet spots, one in the basement, one on the main floor. fingers crossed it's an easy fix. better for leaks to be exposed now, vs. when there's dry wall and hardwood to fret about.

it's looking like march will be move-in time. fingers crossed. ouija board tv to be broadcast from the tree later tonight. freaky voo-doo.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

a gem

my crazy grandmother called today. (crazy as in quirky and endearing, wildly unpredictable, prone to wearing sparky things, leopard print and leather) anyhow she was telling me about a trip she took to Switzerland in 1975. she won the trip for selling a lot of swiss watches (she used to work at Birks in yorkville) and was charmed by the deluxe chocolates they left on her pillow. She stayed 14 days and gained 10lbs. she also loved the sophisticated trains. you could escape to another country in a matter of hours. she is mailing me a map from that trip.

she offered up this gem from my youth. she told a story of when i was a baby and had not even learned how to use a spoon yet, but i insisted on feeding myself, fingers and all. cottage cheese was my meal of choice. apparently my mother would let me loose in my high chair; the cottage cheese suddenly became couture. she offered it up as proof that i have been an independent, feisty type for years. note to self.

Monday, November 21, 2005

backwards and inside out

raked my first 5 bags of leaves at the house on sunday. the orange bags are stacked along the fence, like awards. it was one of those days that felt like a blur. in my mind it was cold out. in reality it was warm. i wore a thick cream sweater and a toque and ended up having to buy a t while i was out, along with work gloves from mark's work warehouse. i am now officially outfitted for home renos. the yellow work gloves are the proof. after the rake-athon, went to shoppers to pick up a prescription. no dice, they hadn't even ordered it yet. then i went to the bank machine at the grocery store. used to be an rbc machine. now it's one of those shady ATM ones. anyhow, i left my card in the machine after i took my cash and had a panick attack when i realized it was missing half an hour later. we went back to the shady atm and it was no where to be found. not in the lost and found, no where.

the other backwards and inside out moment occurred at lunch at swiss chalet. i was about to order the chicken on a kaiser and asked about the sides. what are fresh vegetables? i asked...meaning what kind of fresh vegetables are included and how are they prepared? the waitress replied, they are fresh vegetables. duh. i nearly lost it. there are many kinds of vegetables and many ways to prepare them. anyhow. i guess it's one of those things, i supposed i would turn off my brain too if i was stuck working a sunday afternoon at swiss chalet.

anyhow, i am off to a big party tonight, details to follow tomorrow. hopefully it won't be a backwards and inside out night.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


an arctic chill swooped into the city today. bring on the mittens. the funny thing is that my mind is still set in summer if not fall. however, i had a flash forward moment last night when i stepped into the sun room and imagined our new street and the umbrella tree covered in white. we were stumbling thru the darkened house with the hvac guy, beaming the flashlights into the rafters, nooks, and crannies. we found evidence of old wallpaper. there were rooms filled with piles of rubble. when the snow has come and gone, our house will have walls filled in, all the fixings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

silver suitcase

the doorbell rang and a package arrived. a shiny silver suitcase filled with uncle rico time machine-esque gadgets and crazy instructions for the device inside. it's called an ion cleanse. not for the overly analytical or non believing types. the gift brought on spy antics and "give us the micro film, i will never give it up!" banter.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

freaky friday

it all began around 8:30am. i was trying to get somewhere, went to the wrong building. on the way in, i saw this crazy homeless man in a grey trench coat and red scarf. i went downstairs, this doesn't look right. maybe they redecorated. went back upstairs and onto the street. the crazy man said to me "can i help you? can i help you? can i help you?" spooky, surreal. so i ran back in the building, tried again. looked on the door, oh, they don't open until 9. thought i'd kill time at the starbucks on the corner. on my way there, i passed left over spagetti spilled out on the street, assorted clothes and a long piss stain on the side walk. the window at starbucks was all done up with christmas cheer and it's early enough in the season that it made me feel happy, not cynical and overwhelmed. ran into someone i knew who offered to buy me a coffee, i looked around for a place to sit and there he was again. "do you want this?" he asked and held out a napkin. he was making small talk about remembrance day with anyone who would listen but in general his entire vibe was twilight zone. anyhow, 9am rolled around and i ran back to the building only to realize i did in fact have the wrong office and i ventured up the street to find the right one. which was open at 8, and would have meant no crazy guy, coffee etc. had i just gone there in the first place. my mind was a blur in the rush of unproductive and oddly unsettling events. i jumped in a cab and headed for home.

Friday, November 11, 2005

blue light special

woke up at 4am and decided to have a glass of water. as i downed the glass, a strange blue light blinked at me. seemed to be coming from the tap itself. was it a sign? i must have imagined it. just as i was about to turn around again, it flashed again. freaky voo doo. maybe there was a prankster in our alleyway beaming spy cams into the place. turns out that light goes off when the filter needs to be changed. perfectly logical. and here i was thinking aliens were sending me a message.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

happy new year

snapshot: romantic dinner by flashlight on a makeshift table, in front of the vintage fireplace surrounded by the bare bones of our house. we wandered around and marveled at the new structural beams holding our house up high. when you see the place this undone you really feel the magnitude of the project. this is a big job.

this week has been a bit of a wake up call on many fronts. i went to a workshop on business development on monday and learned a few things.

apparently, there are two types of people in this world, those that stay in bed and those that get out there and put their oars in the water and row. (sounds ridiculous now but it will make sense when you read the next part)

everyday you have to make a choice about whether you want to live above the line or below it.

O - Ownership
A - Action.
R - Responsibility

B - Blame
E - Excuses
D - Deny

it's new year's eve a little early. time to pick up those oars and row, baby.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

proof of work: lean green t

made this t one for turtle boy, age 2. actual t size: age 3-4.

Monday, November 07, 2005

leaves like gold

the umbrella tree out front of our new house has dark leaves. almost black. all the trees on the street have been turning golden shades of autumn bliss for weeks but our tree remained steadfast. we thought we had a mutant on our hands. as i turned the corner up the walk on sunday, i galloped with glee. our tree finally came around and shined a golden smile. a smattering of gold, carmel and pumpkin leaves splashed across the lawn and from above. skipping thru and kicking up leaves, celebration ensued. one wing in heaven is definately done up in this shade.

neighbours: the drama continues

after the mad camera incident, the drama continued. gretchen and thom made things difficult for the workers by making it clear that not one drop of dirt was to fall onto their property as the work continued. this meant the workers had to go to extra lengths to accommodate, making the whole process more arduous and time consuming. every time the workers were even close to a tree on the other side or the property line, gretchen exploded out from her log cabin to yell at the workers. hassle city.

in the meantime, the garage on dN's parents lot went up as planned. this caused a new source of anxiety. under the cover of darkness, gretchen and thom hired their own team of workers to build a 10ft high fence behind the garage. (the average fence height is 6 or 7ft) i guess they thought they would sneak it in. dN's mum happened to be onsite early that day and noticed the commotion of foreign workers tromping across her lot, dirt flung on side. apparently the same rules don't apply.

dN's mum decided to investigate. she spoke with gretchen and thom's construction manager and told them this was the first she'd heard about a fence and had not authorized their workers to come onto her property to do the work. she said that ordinarily it would have been no problem, but that gretchen and thom gave them such a hard time when they were doing construction recently that it didn't seem fair not to impose the same restrictions.

outraged, the construction manager confronted thom, saying "what are you doing?" he demanded payment immediately for work done and ordered his workers off the job until further notice. he was mad because he didn't want to be sued. usually neighbours need an agreement before work on shared property can begin. he told thom that if he was to build the fence they wanted, without going on the other property he would have to move the fence two feet in and remove a half dozen trees in the process.

now, gretchen and thom were in the mood for compromise. they called for a meeting. dN's dad took to referring to the fence as "your Berlin Wall". he even mentioned adding another storey above the garage next year. dN's mum said ideally she would like to plant trees instead of a fence between the two houses.

who knows what will happen next? stay tuned...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

bin #3

nov 1, the day after fairies and spider men tromped thru the neighbourhood in search of loot, bin #3 arrived. i waited on the stoop for 45 minutes, watching the golden leaves from across the street swoop to the grass below. i probably looked like a bizarre remnant of halloween sitting on the porch dressed in black, with my rock and roll hat pulled low, like a kid from the hood. anyhow, the bin was going to be late so i left a cheque in the mailbox in a borrowed envelope. it was a slow 45 minutes, nothing to read, no one to talk to, nothing to do but wait and listen, watch. inside the wires and boards hung like skeletons in a haunted house. a murky cloud of dust erupting from the place as workers smashed. most of the electricity has been turned off. looking into the sky from the porch, i tried to muster the power to see into the future. imagining the place one year from now. signs point to good.