Archives for the month of: June, 2010

Hearing steel drums while waiting for the train. Tickles my heart and teases my ears.

My imagination working overtime?

Musicians preparing for Caribana?

Not sure, but I’m loving it, makes my feet want to move and my voice burst forth into song.

Media savvy advice to a colleague yesterday: Smile. They can see you at any time. Smile and nod and act like you are paying attention. Don’t frown, don’t itch, don’t pick your nose. If you have to do any of those things, leave the room and come back, smile and nod. Seriously, smile and nod for the hour – we can be seen at any time.

Was it good advice? Yes!

Other colleague back today and said: We saw you for the hour – only you, no on else. And there you were – smiling and nodding, everyone was very impressed with your attentiveness.

What I learned: Sometimes I give pretty good advice.

What else I learned: The person who arranged this event doesn’t know how to show any of the participants at any time.

Taking it easier for climbing – too many options on the 5.7, so messed it up completely. Nothing left for the 5.10+, why did I try?

Why not. Right.

Happy Canada Day!

In celebration, we almost decided to climb again in the morning. I remind myself the body needs a break. Hike in the park instead! Haven’t been on a hike in the park in a long time, it will be fun.

I like fun.

Advertisements

Futurama is back!!!

“All hail hypnotoad!”

Feeling really dumb today, the brain is slow and plodding along through the problems.

I blame the mess of math. Even with the aid of a calculator…ok, two calculators – one conversion and one for numbers – my brain can’t keep up.

I guess some people’s brains are just wired like that? I’m going to have nightmares about gigabytes, I just know it.

Turns out that the law preventing people from 5 meters within the security fence, the one that said that police could search you and demand identification? wasn’t a law at all. They tell us to trust the police, but then they lie to us – yikes!

Fallout from the G20 is continuing.

Wednesday means it is back to climbing and it is about time. Missed Monday’s climb quite horribly, the muscles feel good, ready to go, if only the brain felt the same.

Wow, not firing on any cylinders.

I feel dumb.

Happy Pride!

Pride Toronto has reversed the decision and is now allowing the group “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” in the parade. Some people are really upset about this, claiming the group is spreading a “hateful message”.

I’m pretty dumb – I still don’t understand how being against apartheid is a “hateful message”.

Clean up of the G20 continues – shake my head at all the stories of “innocent bystanders” being arrested and journalists being beaten up. What the heck happened here? Good riddance G20!

Selfishly, I am happy they didn’t have at Exhibition grounds, this would have disrupted climbing.

Vacation is over and today was spend dealing with a horrid IT issue – no internet connectivity! – and wading through emails. You know I’m away, quit sending me emails! Quit asking me to follow-up on things before I have a chance to follow-up!

The World Cup conversation has shifted from vuvuzelas to linesmen, off-sides and missed goals.Yes, I do understand what that sentence means!

From Wikipedia:

“A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches, whereby individuals wear black clothing, scarfs, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding or other face-concealing items and often carry some sort of shields and truncheons.[1][2] The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity or creating a clear revolutionary presence.”

From dictionary.com:

“an·ar·chist

noun

1. a person who advocates or believes in anarchy or anarchism.

2. a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.

3. a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.”

Changing trains at Union Station, unaware of the events blocks away from me – the other side of the fence, police lining up along the platform.

“This is a bit intimidating.”

“Why did I bring this thing? I wasn’t even thinking!”

“This looks serious.”

My fellow train riders – worry and concern.

I smile, reassuringly I hope, at a younger girl, has she ever had to talk with police? Does she know what her Charter Rights are? Who will they stop and search? I will keep my eye on her, just in case.

Running through my rights quickly – I am inside the security perimeter. I don’t wish to cross. Stopping me violates my right to freedom of movement within Canada. I am on private property, but I am paying customer and as I have paid, I an permitted on the property for the agreed purpose of travel. I’m not stopping. I’m not crossing the perimeter. They have no right to ask for my ID or search my bag or search my person. If I were crossing, yesterday, today or Sunday, they would have. I’m not.

Breath deep. Be calm.

Don’t think about the guns strapped to their thighs. Don’t think that they can just stop you and ask you questions. Don’t think how quickly these change – turn of a dime. Don’t think of anything at all.

Eyes open. Breath.

Slowing down, the train finding the perfect placement, lining up door to door. Clustering around each door. Taking a quick look down the platform, through the windows – three to four police at every door.

Bullet proof vests. Guns strapped to their thighs. Mostly men. Bigger than me. And the girl.

Deep breath. Stand up straight. Quick look at my door-mates, train slowing, finding it’s mark.

Stopping.

Police repositioning.

Straightening back, shoulders back, jostling back pack for extra comfort. Gripping my shopping bag tighter, then loosening my hold. Tension is suspicious. Blank eyes – give nothing away. No fear.

It’s seven steps – through the line-up and one step up to the train.

Sliding open, I’m the first one off.

How you get through a police line? Through four men with bullet proof vests and guns? With calculating eyes and the willingness to follow orders?

I don’t know how you do it.

I step out the door, off the stair, down to the platform and in front of the police line:

“Excuse me.”

Two move aside to let me pass. My door-mates follow me through and we all get on the other train. None of us stopped.

Good manners go a long way.

Turning the radio on when I’m back at my car: Protest turns violent.

Police cars set on fire.

Downtown Toronto in lock-down – a state of emergency.

Questions I have:

If police removed all the street furniture – mailboxes, benches, litter and recycling bins, bus shelters – why did they leave two abandoned police cars right in the path of protesters?

Why did the protest split into factions and how did the violent faction find those police cars?

Why smash the windows of independent stores and largely leave “international institutions of evil” alone?

Why bring an international conference to a city and then build a fortress around parts of the city? Is there no way to have these meetings a low-key kind of way? Or maybe use one of those “new” technologies some of us have heard about – Skype, videoconference?

Why leave the police car burning?

If you are protesting – why cover your face? If your face is covered we can’t see who you are and you could be…anyone.

If you are showing up to commit a crime – why attend a protest?

If you are for peace – why are you expressing yourself in a violent way?

I think dictionary.com is wrong. I think that the term “anarchist” is used as a catch-all term to describe a group of people when the aim or the beliefs aren’t fully understood. Just because anarchists don’t believe in large, centralized governments doesn’t mean that they are violent. One does not follow they other. Most of the anarchists I know are very peaceful – angry, but peaceful.

These people give anarchy a bad name.

That makes me angry.

Part of democratic responsibility is to protest – and revolt against and overthrow – an elected government when they do things the people disagree with. It is our right to protest and revolt against our own elected government when they do things that we disagree with. It is our right and responsibility to dispose of government when we disagree with them. Most of these people probably aren’t anarchists – few people understand the concept and what it entails – and most of these people are peaceful.

Who are these people being violent?

Is this for fun?

Or are they there to incite because they are responsible to incite?

Who gains by the incitement, but this violence and property damage?

Not us – our taxes pay for some of this property damage.

Not them – our sympathies go to the people whose property gets damaged and their protests dismissed and disregarded by their violent/destructive actions.

So, to whom does the benefit go?

Late on these – Tuesday was busy.

Spa Review: Shizen Spa

Spa day! Ended up at Shizen at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Found a killed package at a killer price – 3.5 hours breaks down: 1 hour massage, 1 hour facial, lunch, manicure and pedicure. Very nice.

Decor was lovely, calming with a psedo-Zen Buddhist theme.

I like the clean lines, portable waterfall and dim lighting with the rocks edging the walls on the floor. Very calming.

Massage therapist bawled me out – no, I don’t stretch enough after climbing, yes, I am overdue for a massage, yes, everything does hurt, no, I haven’t seriously thought of getting massage once a month, yes, I am hard on my body and should take better care of it. My body was a challenge for her – she used her elbows and I have a few bruises from where I was worked over. Oh, and we only dealt with the physical stuff, none of the emotional stuff so I didn’t cry.

Ok, I will spend more time stretching.

And she is going to try climbing.

The esthetician shook her head at my hands and feet but understood – she climbs too!

We traded stories about climbing and The World Cup and managed to choose a nail colour that is completely silly on me – fancy, shiny and almost the colour of crushed berries. On someone else, a non-climber, it is lovely. On me – smudged.

One of the things that I always look for in a spa is how well they handle problems – I’m something of a problem in and of myself as with all the climbing my body is a bit messed up, there is tension and pain and I have to remember to warn them off my still healing foot. The bruises too are sometimes something to be reckoned with as is the ticklishness. But, everything was a-ok.

The problem that happened on Tuesday was a mix-up with my lunch. Some how the kitchen got confused about my lunch. I was relaxed and blissed-out after the massage and facial, but the Spa Manager came over to me about five minutes after I was told my lunch would be right in. She explained about the mix up and gave me an estimate of when it would arrive. She offered to have it served to me either where I was – by the whirlpool or while getting my pedicure. I said I didn’t really mind and there was no worries – I was all good and whatever suited them best and kept them to their schedule was a-ok by me.

She thanked me and right after one of her colleagues came in with fresh pastries and muffins and offered me something. By this time, I was hungry, so had a lovely blueberry muffin – second breakfast.

I was very impressed with how the problem was handled, presented to me and that once I expressed that I didn’t feel strongly either way, they simply choose for me – I ate wear I was sitting by the whirlpool and they just waited until I was done. The schedule was on track for all of us. Bravo. Problems will happen at some point and it is key that problems are handled calmly, professionally and in a way that keeps your clients happy.  I was happy.

Would I return?

Hm. This is an interesting concern. I choose Shizen because it offered a package that was in my price point, accepted wayspa.com certificates and was easy for me to find. The reviews were also very good. It was a treat. I don’t go to spas often and my preference for spas are ones that use products that are not sourced from animals. Currently, I am much more in a mode to try some new spa until I find one that really suits me.

I have to admit a bias here too – the first spa that I ever went to was a vegan spa in Toronto – I loved and would have happily returned and become a regular customer. I like that their products were all non-animal sourced and they weren’t shy about stating that clearly and honestly. Unfortunately, the spa changed hands and they lost their good reputation and they closed.

If someone knows of any good vegan spa in TO now, I would be happy to try them out.

I would recommend Shizen to others looking for a lovely day. I think a package would be the way to go here – make a day of it!

Movie review: Micmacs

Love this movie.

Love the anti-war theme.

Love the saturated colour.

Love the director.

I can’t capture in words the brilliance of this movie. Very cool to see it in a theatre with other fans of the director.

Book review: Freakanomics

Finally I got around to reading this book.

Loved it. Love all the talk about stats and love that I understand stats! Most people have already read this book, so I will refrain from droning on about it.

I especially loved the fact that although they refrained from entering the abortion debate, they made a really excellent case, the best actually, to why there should be access to safe, legal abortions. Take that all you people who believe in getting tough on crime!

What an awesome day.

Earthquake in TO at 1:43 pm today. 5 to 10 seconds long.

Friend in Brampton felt it – so it may have been bigger than we thought.

Added some viewing excitement to the re-play of the US vs Algeria game.

Scary stuff. Hope everyone is ok.

Indulged in the new Jeunet today – “Micmacs”.

Is there anything so wonderful as seeing saturated colour on-screen?

Obviously, I thought of you.

Found myself turning to the left to whisper a comment, share a glance, a smile, a nod.

The seat beside me is empty.

Jeunet makes my heart soar – what did I do before you introduced us? Who was I before knowing this genus?

Audio memory tearing into the fleshiest bit of my heart, reaching out to take your hand.

The seat beside me is empty.

Thoughts about cannibalism rush in and must make a mental note to mention this to a friend, if it comes up again. It seems lately, cannibalism is always on my mind.

The colour, hyper reality, even the most sordid bits look like heaven.

The humour is furious, fast, subtle, skewering, poetic and romantic. This was a beautiful story of revenge.

Thoughts of you and me – “I’m just a sensitive soul in a flexible body.” That I should have such amazing lines! That the script writer to my own personal drama would write such things for me! Alas! Alack and alas again!

Thinking back to those pink knitted land mines – do you remember? Do you recall? How terrible! How horrifying! We must have talked and talked in front of them for an hour with that woman. I never knew that about knitting!

I get carried away.

I haven’t even asked how you are?

How are you?

I haven’t even written a proper greeting.

Dearest —-

I am out of time.

Want to say —

It was a great movie, let me know what you think.

Loved the post card – thank you!

Moments of panic and confusion this morning before remembering: there are no such things as fire-breathing penguins.

Dragons help make Sapporo?  Some birds that look like penguins in Cape Town? See my confusion?

Windows 7 is using zombies in their ad campaign. I mean, they are referring to a game with zombies – this commercial is the funniest I’ve seen in the current campaign. Mostly for the fact that it features part of a “zombie documentary”. Hilarious.

Zombies to sell something that turns you into a zombie – sheer brilliance and I admire the lack of subtlety. And the truth in advertising.

I’m on vacation.

It is slowly sinking in, into my mind, into my aching muscles.

Rest of the day involves – a walk? reading? and climbing this evening. The body is a bit sore around the edges – legs, mostly backs and sides of thighs, biceps and triceps. And calf muscles. Yee-ouch.

But, they feel strong. Stretched. Ready for more

Trying to figure out how I feel about the recent job on my eyebrows. I can’t tell if they look ok or if they are just boring.  I fee like the arch isn’t “arched” enough. Is this a valid observation? How much is too arched in a brow? Who cares?

No one should. It just…kind of doesn’t look like my face.

So, whose face is it?

What I learned today: Oddly, shorter shorts look better on me than longer ones. I hate shorter shorts. I’m only wearing these stupid ones now ‘cuz i’m not out in public and I don’t want to wear pjs while watching the game. I always hated wearing shorts ‘cuz they never looked any good – now I find out it is because they were too long.

Hanging laundry to soak up the sun between halves and matches. What a day! Nothing really dried – even the clothes line gets overloaded. Everything smells like sunshine. Looking forward to crawling into bed.

I’m on vacation!

Stayed up too late last night and got up too early, my body is languid and sleepy. Caught all the matches and the tension is almost killing me. Brazil is in!

Kaka is out?!

I’m angry, upset by it – replay shows the truth. Rescind the decision. Re-instate. And throw Keita out.

Didn’t get any reading done today, so I’m already behind on my schedule…

Off to bed. Match to catch in the morning.