Archives for posts with tag: interesting news

Ok, so second date – he contacted me Friday night, after dinner and asked if I wanted to do something on Sunday. I replied in the affirmative and, after receiving a list of suggested activities, suggested my own – checking out an exhibit at the AGO. He obviously checked it out and asked if I was talking about the Basquiat exhibit and said that he would be interested in seeing it, so we agreed on a time, he offered to drive and I took him up on that offer.

Fun times, this guy is everything that I should want. Funny, thoughtful, excellent driver (you know how some people say they are good drivers? This guy really is, so safe, so considerate that I actually even commented “You are a really good driver!” Not overly aggressive, decisive and safe.), sense of humour, intelligent, nice, good father, good storyteller etc.

I’m a worrier, so when he touched the frame of one of the pieces, I got a bit freaked out. I asked him not to touch the pieces as I didn’t want to get kicked out, he shrugged and said then we would kicked out. Only thing is, I go to the AGO a lot, I don’t want to get kicked out.

The size difference between us (him at 6’3 and me at 5’2) made for some interesting moments while we were trying to see the pieces – I also kept thinking I was going to lose him. In spite of his size, he doesn’t actually stick-out, he has an uncanny knack of blending.

He said, once again that he wanted to touch my hair. I, once again, said “Please don’t touch my hair.” And. He touched my hair. Ack!

What is going on here?

He collects fridge magnets so picked the one of the pic we both liked most, he offered to get me one, which I declined and then accepted as he seemed insistent.

We went over the Henry Moore gallery and he touched one of the plasters. I said to him “Your profile did not mention that you have a trouble making streak.” He said “Some things you have to keep a surprise.”

After the Moore gallery we ambled towards the exit, he invited me to dinner which I declined, citing a need to get ready for the week, he took it graciously. He asked to sit for a bit before we drove back.

He chose to sit at one of the stations where people can get some paper and draw something. He handed me a piece and took a piece for himself. We both started folding.

He made a paper airplane and was done before me.

Then he started to guess what I was making. “A fortune-telling device?” “A hat?” He listed all manner of things and I kept telling “I don’t know, we will see what it is when I’m done.”

He went to the washroom and I finished.

I set the origami crane up by his paper airplane.

When he came back he looked at it and said “Oh cool! I didn’t know you could do origami – your profile didn’t say you did origami!” I said “Some things you have to keep a surprise.” He said that it needed a name and I wrote “Basquiat” and the date on one of the wings and gave it to him.

He was thrilled.

We collected our coats and he wanted a pic of us. So we took one in front one of the posters for the exhibit. I’m not clear what the whole “Let’s take a pic of ourselves on a date!” thing is.  So the pic was us, the crane with Basquiat in the background. Cute pic.

We had a good talk on the drive back. He told me about raising his kids and a bit about the breakdown of his marriage (only a bit though) which was complimentary to him telling me about his work history and personal history that he shared with me on the way to the AGO.

And then he said something that threw me off. He asked about my recent relationship and said “You said it ended suddenly. Sorry, the way you said it, did he die?”

Wow.

I was thrown off for a moment and said “No. But it was sudden. The relationship died. After a weekend together he stopped communicating and then texted me that it was over.”

He commented “Sounds kind of passive aggressive.”

“Completely passive aggressive.”

We chatted a bit more about it and he said that he thought it was really too bad. I said how it was so surprising and that it only showed how the guy wasn’t a good communicator and that it showed me that I was ready to be in a relationship with someone.

We agreed to keep getting to know each other and then he dropped me off at home.

I got out of the car and went into my house.

Took off my coat and boots.

Went to my room.

And.

Really missed that guy who just broke up with me.

What kind of person I am that I want someone who hurt me so deeply, who obviously doesn’t want to be with me and isn’t available for a relationship?

It makes no sense and I’m upset about it.

I want my heart to be logical and my body to understand it should welcome touches from people who are kind and nice and gentle. They both rebel and do their own things, like they have their own opinions just to cause me confusion.

I wish I could be neater.

 

I got a speeding ticket!

It is my first, so although I’m not sure how to feel about that, I am deeply, deeply mortified by it.

When I finally arrived at my friend’s place last night (hi! do you still read my posts – look i’m writing about you – again!) I told her and she laughed and said “Of all people – you?!”

‘cuz she knows I don’t speed. Usually.

I admit, it was late, it was dark and I had just figured out the proper gear for the car and thought I was on the highway. I wasn’t on the highway. I mean, I was, just in the slow section of the highway.

Go figure.

For the record, I got lost 3 times getting here – all right towards the end and all times I realized it right away, turned around and went back. There is an up-side to arriving places super late – not a lot of traffic, so when I need to quickly turn and go back, I can!

See, there really is an up-side to everything…if you just know how to shift your perspective.

There is something incredibly comforting about being in the home of a dear friend who knows you well, isn`t thereÉ

Last night when I arrived, my friend put on all the lights in her place, like a beacon, so I wouldn`t miss it and drive by.  I did miss it and drive by, but that is very much beside the point. She offered to bet her boyfriend that I would get lost getting here and he declines saying it sounded like too much a sure thing…She showed me the essentials before getting back to bed – here is water, here is bread, toaster, glasses etc. Here is the bathroom, that is a shower etc. And gave me the run-down on the doggie.

I woke up this morning, yes I slept in, everyone was gone to work and on the counter – she left out tea and a book called “I am Scrooge – A Zombie Story for Christmas“. See – tea and zombies, I`m totally at home and comforted.

If only I can straighten out where to return this rental car – wish me luck!

 

 

I am up and out at a decent enough time – catch the morning yoga and the stretch feels soooo gooooood. Plenty of spine twists and deep breathing, the instructor does some more work on the Sun Salutation and I do my best to “work the edge”. I don’t know if this whole “edge” thing is a yoga term or not, but I have heard plenty of people say it.

So, yeah, I “work the edge”.

Muscles feel like the fluids are flowing again.

Yes, I offer my excuses for not making Sunday’s class. I will do better this week.

After the class, it is 45 min on the elliptical trainer and watch some funny shows to amuse my mind while working the body.

Look, I realize that shows about debt reduction and money management aren’t amusing, but I enjoy them. So there.

After, it is back home for me and find something for lunch.

And what a lunch it is!

I find a bagel, toast it, put some tomato and that super tasty cheese my friends gave to me – white cheddar marbled with hot mustard, basil and…I forget the other tasty! I shove the whole thing under the broiler of the toaster over and melt the cheese, oh, this is heaven for lunch. I thought the cheese was excellent yesterday, melted it is even more incredible. I find part of an avocado and add a banana. A yummy and excellent lunch.

More resumes out as the job search continues.

Great kind of day.

On with the news!

Elephants

Did you hear that The Toronto Zoo is getting of the elephants?

Being a big fan of elephants, I have been following this story, the 3 elephants we have are getting old and the cost of renovating is way, way up there and the zoo can’t afford to do the upgrade.

Hey, Canada is a cold country and this weather is no way to treat elephants, you know? So now they are trying to figure out where the elephants will go – another zoo that is appropriate or an elephant sanctuary. It looks like the elephants will be going to another zoo, but as far as I know nothing has been determined.

Libraries

One of the Catholic school boards in my province has decided to get rid of libraries in schools and lay off all but 4 of the teacher-librarians they employ.

Apparently, they are going to replace the library with Wi-Fi hubs in the schools.

Look, I’m all for new technology and making sure that students/kids have access to the latest and greatest. A school without a library? Without somewhere kids can go and borrow books and read? A place to learn about how to research using books and papers and journals? A place to find out about the latest novels? Another person to learn from?

Really?

Really?!

This decision makes me sick and sad.  Books bring us so much and to have easy access to books to borrow for free is a privilege and joy.

Poor decision, guys, poor decision.

Lets just hope this is not the beginning of a trend for schools.

Windmills

Sometimes, around the house, dad keeps a strange radio station on and today there was a phone-in show about windmills.

Right now in the province, there is a very strange conversation happening – people are trying to stop the building of windmills due to health concerns.

Huh.

They are calling for more studies to be completely before any more are built and are claiming that windmills are making people ill, so building should cease until more studies…well, you get the picture, right?

I don’t know much about this whole theory that windmills make people ill…but, I like windmills better than nuclear power plants. Ok?

And that is pretty much what had been on my mind today.

Slept in on Sunday and the weather upon waking was cold and rainy, again – Welcome May, Happy May Day! – and stayed that way.

3 power failures – one a flicker, the next 10 minutes, final one 45 minutes. Quiet, still, dusk, dim lighting, weak sunlight getting weaker and fading into night.

Can’t find my reading light – it is somewhere, safe, packed away for the next trip, so I call it an earlier night. Power comes back on just as I’m tucking into bed.

Federal Election today in Canada.

Up at a near-normal time, plenty to do, almost make it all the way through that yoga DVD that I mostly use and actually let it run to the end, ‘cuz Tuesday am, I’m doing the whole thing. I’ve never done the whole thing before and I’m excited about it.

Continuing effort to conserve on gas and case usage, I walk over to my polling station, I’m missing my voter card, though, not sure why it didn’t arrive, so check out my polling station online. Hmm, I’m voting at my old primary school, cool.

Raining again, but my jacket has a hood, so whatever and cooler again, so pull my boots on.

Air is damp, rain drop in my hair and bracing.

Pass by another polling station 5 houses from me, so I check it out, just in case. Nope, not voting here. Soooo, Elections Canada, what is up with that? I’m a three-minute walk from this polling station and instead I have to go to another polling station that is a 15min walk away? Not great organizational skills.

No worries, not like it is storming or such and whatnot.

Vote, vote, vote.

Polling station isn’t busy, but I’m…concerned. I give over my ID and am told which table to go to for my ballot. I give over my ID again and the next step is for the worker to find my name and cross it off the list. Not sure what is going here, she is looking and starts spelling my name out loud…”bex”…umm, nope, last name, please, we arrange our voters list by last name. I let her know as soon as I cotton on to what she is doing – checking my first name…huh. Her pen stops working as I’m standing there too and I joke that she better get a new one, the day has just begun!

You know, for a country that is supposedly civilized we still have some pretty backward voting practices – for example, we don’t have online voting, we still have present ID and some polling station workers don’t know that there are 3 different ways of proofing identity.

Rest of the day is job search and applications – 7 jobs today, keep holding good thoughts for me!

Right now just watching the election results roll in – this is actually illegal, polling stations are still open in some parts of Canada (time zone thingy) and the station I’m watching is carried right across Canada – it is National! If someone complains the station could get charged with reporting election results before all polling stations are closed.

Haha – looks like they are now doing a story on people tweeting illegally about election results and errors in the results and pollsters getting things right and wrong.

So far – NDP makes some gains, Liberals are down, Conservatives are up too and Bloc is way, way down. Umm, look I’m not linking to the Conservatives or Bloc – I’m not crazy about parties that are socially Conservative or whose sole purpose is to break up the country. And won’t provide links to a party who has an evil robot as leader.

Nervous though, Conservatives are doing well…yeah, my fingers are crossed for a minority. And not a Conservative minority.

You know, it was really odd for me for vote on election day, usually I’m at the advanced polls, but not having my voter card meant that I didn’t know where the advanced poll was. Funny how a bit of info on a piece of paper can influence behaviour.

And yes, the voter card arrived, dad didn’t tell me, put it somewhere safe and when I got back from the polling station, he gave it to me so I could go and vote. Thanks dad, perfect timing as always. Only 4 people asked to see this at the polling station…

Wow – we are seeing history here, right now the NDP are in second place, which would make them the official opposition party – this has never happened before, they have never held an official position in government, whoa.

Still struggling with the “shared space” thing – we are all on own schedules, our own wants, needs, timelines etc. and we aren’t always aware of what others are going through.

Up an hour earlier and 45min of yoga – today I put the DVD away and went back to self-directed practice, so mostly sun salutations and modified sun salutations, hamstrings needed a pull, stretch and some extra work. Felt great. There is something about self-directed practice, putting the instructor and the DVD away that is invigorating, a different kind of exercise and excitement. It is about looking in and listening to the body – what it wants, where it wants and directing it that way. The poses are different when alone too, they take more time, more breath and they go deeper.

After lunch it was do the online assessment tools in support of one of the job applications from yesterday. What will happen? Who knows, but just sitting down and doing it made me feel like that, yes, I am making progress on the job search front.

Today was also bill payment day, which I probably shouldn’t enjoy as much as I do. Seriously, there is something gratifying about making sure things are paid off and renewed and set for the future. At least, I find it gratifying.

Social justice issue of the day: if you have any interest in social justice, human rights and freedom to love those we love, then check out today’s post by Richard Metzger o Dangerous Minds.

I’m a bit confused why FB believes that an image of two, fully clothed, men kissing is offense in any way when it insists on posting ads of barley dressed women when I’m on…but, then I never claimed to understand these things. If you are on FB and want to join in on the “Kiss for Equality” event happening on Friday, then check out the FB page and join in.  This could be your Niemoller moment.

(with apologies to Robert Herrick)

Finding friends everywhere in the past few weeks and months.

I am a really lucky person.

It blows my mind to know that you are out there, reading me and thinking about these things that slip into my brain, out my fingers and onto screen. That time, space and distance flatten, lose their relevance, when we share this head-space.

I am a really lucky person.

I’ve been thinking about “everything happens for a reason” and “meeting the people who you are supposed to meet” a lot.

I think that the first “everything happens for  a reason” to be mostly bunk. Even if we lack the perspective of the universe and can’t fathom it’s reasons, that there are reasons implies a “reasoner”, which doesn’t jive with me.

I think that we see reasons in retrospect – I agree with the author of “The Black Swan” on this. If I tell you a series of events and then the conclusion, you will create a narrative to help both us understand how I got to the end. Problem is that I don’t live my life, you don’t live your life, in retrospect.  We can link things together, if I tell you these things, but they don’t occur in narrative, we only see them once we get to the conclusion.

The second “you meet the people you are supposed to meet”, I suggest be replaced with “you meet the people you are lucky enough to meet and make the most of” – I meet and connect with the most amazing, interesting people everywhere I go, no matter what I do.

Sometimes I make fun of myself and tell me “This person was just waiting for you! You were meant to meet! You are meant to great friends! Enjoy!!” And this makes me laugh – I love to kid myself.

I am so happy.

If you told me 7 years ago that my heart would have the capacity to feel such joy – I never would have believed you.

The things that happen in my life, the people I meet,we shape each other as we meet and connect and as things happen. We, I, make decisions about whether to pursue somethings/someones and let others fall away. The process, I think, is active. In my life it is active.

It is happening now.

I’m going to cheat and not tell you the people and decisions that brought me here.  You can imagine those things, fill in those blanks, those people and events that may or may not have brought me here. You can imagine me a better fiction than the reality.

I’m putting in a leave of absence request at work to take a year off and visit my excellent friend Phranque in South Korea. I’m going to spend some time and explore that part of the world, see things and meet people.

I am going to change.

I’m also going to stay right here and keep writing, so you will know how The Next Great Adventure is going.

Target date for The Journey Begins: February 1, 2011.

 

 

(with apologies to Yusuf Islam)

The best office I ever worked in was this place where everything single thing needed an MSDS.

When I was first shown the binder where they were kept, I would flip to a random page, read out the item and note all the different ways someone could get hurt or injured using it.

Stapler was the best – you could throw it, trip on it if it was on the floor, have staples shot at you, staple different parts of you body…in that office, the stapler was a thing you practically needed to sign a waiver to use.

Yesterday, I learned all about why offices have MSDS sheets for such mundane items. The envelope sliced into my finger while being sealed and started bleeding everywhere. I was careful – didn’t get any on the envelope. Found the first aid kit and bandaged myself up. If we only had MSDS for envelopes I would have been aware of the peril that awaited!

In other news, Rob Ford is now the mayor of TO. Don Cherry introduced him in a flurry of bright pink and got off a brief rant about “left-wing pinkos”.

Thanks, Mr. Cherry, for always having intelligent, thoughtful comments and helping set a tone of inclusion and tolerance for the city under our new mayor.  We can only hope that Mayor Ford’s reign will live up to your promises and colourful-ness.

If you think he is going to be such a great mayor, why don’t you move here?

Thinking about potential – that moment before you make a decision, before you open the box to see if the cat is alive or dead, where the cat could be either and neither at the same time, the moment of infinite possibilities. Where anything could happen.

That moment, right there, makes my mouth water.

Hope rises from the ashes.

Heaps of sympathy piling on me when sharing the news this morning – “Paris = booked solid!”

Sulking, coming back into the office and hear one of my fabu colleagues having a very loud phone conversation. Waving me over, I know who she is talking too. I know what she is talking about!

So.

One conversation later and I emerge with a list of reasonably priced rental apartments in…Paris. Along with a personal contact and referral.

And a link to a tour company that is suggested.

Early afternoon – same colleague forwarding me an email from another colleague who is currently…in Paris. Stranded. She offers to chat with me when she is back in town and give me some tips about my visit.

During the videoconference, same colleague, notes “If we put this off until that person gets back, then three weeks later bex has to go to Paris.”

Well.

Well?

Well!

I gave up too quickly, didn’t I?

In other news: volunteered for some increased responsibility during that videoconference. Which I figure is all good – better to volunteer before someones suggests you. At least I think. That is probably a bexism.

What I learned today: When other people believe in your desires, it totally rocks.

What I re-learned today: Sometimes you have to say what you want out loud, for the universe and the people in your life to hear, loud and clear, and then, stuff can happen. Like in a good way.

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?