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Archive for June, 2008

Just another day in the life of my transit commute…

Today I was running a few minutes late, as it was so very hard to get out of bed. It was one of those mornings where it literally aches to pry your eyes open, and takes every last bit of strength to roll out of bed. I felt like I could sleep for an entire week. Mmmm sleep. Enough about that, the point of being at work is to stay awake, right? Right.

So. I darted across the street and waited for the bus as I read the paper. I hopped on, and even though I was late today, my shadow rider Purple Shirt was still on the same bus. Literally. Everyday. Each way. No matter what time I leave. Jesus. I’m pretty sure I come off as a total asshole, but you know, I’m not the most fabulous morning person (at all, really) and it’s a lot of pressure to act semi-normal in general, let alone when you see the same person every day. I don’t know why I’m defending myself here, but you know, whatever.

Right, so anyways, at one of the stops a tall, lanky, spiffy dressed man gets on. How attractive is this? Buddy shows his MetroPass, and then attempts to adjust his goods one, two, three, four, five, SIX times as he shuffled down the aisle. I mean, seriously. He couldn’t have made it any more obvious. Oh, and believe me, it gets better. Then, he pulled up his fly and finished fastening his belt. Uhm….hello??? Did that just happen? Definitely way too early for my sleepy eyes to witness.

The subway was totally schmooshed today. Gotta love it when you get stuck on one of those older ones, where the air conditioner vents are broken, so the stale smell of sweat, coffee breath and cologne wafts into every possible corner, making it impossible to breathe. I didn’t have pole to hold onto today, so I had to trust my balancing skills. I could have had a pole though, if the little Twerp beside me wasn’t using it to hold up his paper. I mean, seriously. If you aren’t going to use it, then don’t block its use from others. I tried to reach around him a couple times and grab it from different angles, but he seemed to shift every time I did. I gave up on the pole holding, and did pretty well with the balancing for the bulk of the ride. I can thank my balance beam skills for that one.

Yep. That’s right.

Back in the day when I took gymnastics, the beam was my absolute fav. I was so good I won first place in a competition one year, even though I fell off. I can still remember that exact moment. I wobbled slightly as I was coming up from a cartwheel, and tried with all of my might to stay on the damn thing. Instead, I plopped ungracefully onto the mat below, and got back up there like the trooper I was, and finished my routine.

I know you’re thinking, ‘WOW, she must have been amazing! A fall and still finished first place.”

No actually, I’m pretty sure I was just average. It just so happened that the group they had me competing against was the clumsiest bunch of girls I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure I won all of my events that year. And that’s not saying much for the clumsy girls, because there were some things I royally stunk at, and still won. Go me, go. I ended up quitting, just like I quit everything else as a child (except for baseball and basketball). Seriously. I danced jazz and tap, I quit. I took gymnastics, I quit. I took swimming lessons, I quit. I took piano lessons, I quit (but after years and years, so I still rock at it). I bowled (yes, you read that right). My dad had me in a league when I was young. I actually enjoyed it, other than waking up super early on a Saturday morning and missing the all too important cartoons. I kicked butt at bowling. I think my highest game was in the 280’s. Then, I quit. I ran track and did hurdles, I quit. I played volleyball, I quit (although I still love it, it was more a scheduling thing, as it interfered with basketball). Uhm…. talk about patterns. Hrmmm. Does this explain a lot, or what?

So back to the subway. The train jolted quickly to the left and I felt myself lose the steady stance I was clinging onto for dear life. And watch out if I’m about to fall, because I just let my body take me where ever its little heart desires. That’s right. Dead weight all the way, baby. My elbow found its way into the middle of the shoulder blades of the Twerp using the pole to hold up his paper, and before he knew it, his cheek was pressed up against the slimy thing. Ewwwwww. Pole coodies!!! Haha, sucker. That’s what you get, Twerp, for hogging the pole. As a result of the collision, Twerp’s paper ripped in some places and made smudge marks on his crisp white dress shirt. Best of all, though, was the red line the pole left on his cheek. He looked at me, with his lip quivering slightly, and I shot back a look that said,

Sorry, but you were hogging the pole and maybe if you would have let me hold it, I wouldn’t have lost balance and rammed into you like a football player.’

For the rest of the ride, he worked hard at trying to remove newspaper smudge from his shirt and rubbed his cheek every now and then.

Ahh, Karma, you really are a bitch. Many thanks.

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Wow, so, two posts in one day. I’m slightly energetic today. Maybe it was the Booster Juice smoothie I had, or maybe it’s this crazy weather:

Partly sunny, partly cloudy, partly rainy, partly windy, partly humid, partly dry, partly hot, partly cold, partly partly.

Bleh.

Okay. Buddy across the hall is so loud and so intense, that I basically know the entire low-down, major players and details of his organization. Not purposely either, because trust me, I could care less. Even with my door shut I can hear his phone conversations. Sometimes when he talks to his assistants he randomly switches to French. I still haven’t figured out if that’s on purpose, or a twitch. Hrmmm. Maybe both?

I would imitate if I could, but I royally suck at French. Well, not ALL of French. I kick butt at the grammar part. And I can sort of understand it when it’s spoken to me and even more when I read it. But never, ever, ever ever ask me to speak it. I sound like some kind of computerized nimrod. That’s right. Nimrod. I can not rrrrroll my R’s, or make that bizarre sound from my esophagus that translates into an accent.

Why, you ask?

Well, let’s see. I was blessed with a wonderful gene from my dad’s side of the family called, stubbornness. Oh yes, indeed. My stubbornness is only heightened by my only-childitis. Oh, what a combo!!

When I was super little, my Nana tried to teach me her native tongue, Lithuanian. She bought books, little games, and barely spoke English around me (for years). I was such a stubborn little <fill in the blank> that I never learned.

Still to this day, my Nana, Papa, and Mum speak Lithuanian around me and I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Okay, that’s a lie. I do know some words (Like hello, thank you, milk, as a matter of fact, girl, and this – that’s the bulk of it, really. Two of those words sound like swear words in English – if it weren’t for that I probably wouldn’t know them either) and occasionally some English words are thrown in and I can gather what the conversation is about. But really. I’m not going to embarrass myself (like I haven’t already) by telling you how many years this has gone on for.

So, how does this relate to French?

Well, if I would have been smart and learned Lithuanian, French would have come much easier (or so they say). I did alright in grade school, until grade 7 and 8, where my French teacher thought the best way to learn a language, was to colour and learn dance routines. No joke here. I’m pretty sure the song we danced to was called, “Strike it Up” and we had to preform it in front of the entire school. Her name was Madame Murphy and she had a thick, crimped, blonde, side pony tail and fed us stale popcorn. Need I say more?

When she didn’t show up, which was often, we had supply teachers. They generally lasted a day or so, some would stick it through an entire week. I specifically remember my class cutting up erasers, sticking pins in them, placing them all strategically ontop of the ceiling fans, and telling the supply teacher it was hot in there. I also have random memories of my class chucking footballs indoors and breaking the clock, throwing apples at the chalkboard, stuffing someone in a garbage can and then in a closet, which utimately resulted in the breaking of a teacher’s car keys, breaking and screeching of our teacher’s hearing aid, stealing of goodies from the store and stuffing them in our jackets, throwing snowballs at kids and blaming them for it, and so on and so forth. Fun times.

Then I got to high school. My first year was normal. Second year, I got the Drill Sargent of all teachers and that was the end of it. I hated him, he hated me. I purposely got detentions to piss him off, he purposely gave me detentions when I didn’t deserve them (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), to piss me off. He charged us money if we chewed gum in his class. I would sit at the back of the class and blow bubbles, money in hand. I’m pretty sure he got a hefty chunk of change from me by the end of the semester.

I remember getting detentions from him when I wasn’t even in his class anymore. One time it was for having a corner of my shirt untucked. Really. A corner. He made me get an out of uniform slip (yes, I went to a Catholic school, oh the joy) and I was so pissed that I threw it at him. He gave me a detention, and then I got busted for being late for my other class, because I was busy tucking in my shirt corner. Ah, those were the days. I wish a untucked shirt corner was all I had to worry about now.

Anyhoo, that’s my story about French and why I suck at it. I suppose I could attempt to learn it now, but I have a small amount of faith in my pronunciation skills, and contrary to popular belief, I still suffer from only-childitis and I am still just as much of a stubborn little <fill in the blank> as I was when I was small.

So there.

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Milkin’ it…

So I figure I can milk the whole Dear…. for one more entry, because, well, it’s fun, and I’m lazy.

I’ll blame Monday on my laziness, since it sounds better than blaming myself.

Alright y’all, here we go again….

************

Dear Summer,

Could you do me a favour?

Stay here all year, and I promise I’ll be your bestest friend. Forever and ever, babe.

Love,

The Cold Blooded Girl

**********

Dear Woman on the Subway,

Who told you it was okay to wear socks with flip flops?

You look like an idiot.

I mean, socks and sandals are bad enough, but socks and flip flops?

Really, that’s wrong on so many levels.

Love,

The Girl Who Laughed at You

********

Dear Uneducated People in this Photo,

Why am I not surprised?

You did re-elect the biggest dumb ass of a president there ever was.

Love,

The Girl Who Judges Your Bad Grammar

***********

Dear Time,

You are going by too slowly today. Please hurry. I want to go home, pronto and it’s only 9:06 a.m.

Love,

The Girl Who’s Leaving Work Early

**********

Dear Larry David,

I wish I knew you in real life.

Brilliant.

Love,

The Girl Who Needs a Show

*********

Dear People Who Walk Their Children on the Sidewalk in Strollers,

Just because you have a child, and a stroller, does not make you king/queen of the universe.

Obey the rules of the sidewalk like everyone else, or there will be hell to pay.

Love,

The Girl Whose Foot You Steamrolled Over.

*********

Dear People in My Office,

Have some courtesy and shut your damn door if you are speaker phone. It’s annoying.

Love,

That Girl in the Storage Closet

P.S. Guy across the hall – you are so intense, sometimes I think you will implode. Chill out.

**********

Dear Bacon,

You are so very yummy. I love you with all of my heart.

Love,

Your Mistress

*********

Dear Purple Shirt,

Okay ya, seriously. Stop being all Twilight Zonish <queue music> or it’s over.

Love,

The Girl Who Is Apparently on the Exact Same Schedule.

***********

Dear Women Who Wear Yoga Pants with High Heels,

Seriously?

No, really.

SERIOUSLY?

If you had real friends they wouldn’t let you out in public like that.

Love,

The Girl Who Wonders What The Hell Possessed You To Make That Decision.

***********

Dear People Who Argue with Me About Stupid Things That I Have No Control Over,

Stop.

I’m smarter, therefore, I win.

Love,

The Champ

***********

Dear Creepy Dude That Felt the Need to Interrupt a Perfectly Good Night,

1. Introducing yourself with your FORD Car Salesman business card is not attractive.

2. Your Sammy Davis Jr. hairstyle is sooo outdated and looks ridiculous on you.

3. You were pretty much the biggest A-hole I’ve met in a long time – and so was your loser friend.

4. ‘You have nice eyebrows’ is not a good pick-up line.

5. I don’t give a shite that no girls ever call you back, and now I know why.

6. You annoyed us so much that we actually went to another bar so we didn’t have to be reminded by your complete assholeness. Good job, buddy. High Five.

6. YOU FAIL in every possible way.

Love,

The Girl With the Nice Eyebrows

*************

Dear Toronto,

See above letter.

It has to get better than that.

Come on. This is ridiculous. For real.

I’m not asking for much here. Jesus.

Love,

The Girl Who Wonders Where All of the Normal People Are Hiding (and by normal I mean like me).

************

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Okay, so I totally swiped this idea from mamatulip… because, well, it’s brilliant, I love it, and want to try it out for myself. So here we go!

Arightly. To start it off, in honour of brilliance:

Dear Mamatulip,

You rock my socks!

Love,

Your Schnast Sistah!

****

Dear Gross Man on Subway,

Watching you rub your butt on the pole up and down and side to side made me throw up in my mouth a little. Try a rub and tug or a back scratcher and call it a day.

Love,

That Girl Who Looks Disgusted Sitting Behind You.

*****

Dear Patios and Beer,

Stop tempting me. You only get me into trouble.

Love,

Your Best Customer.

*****

Dear Rude Man on Transit,

How dare you grab my shoulder, pull me back, cut in front of me and watch the door slam in my face instead of taking one split second of your precious time to be a decent person and hold it for me. It was rude and don’t pretend like you didn’t notice that both of my hands were full.

Congratulations, *DING! DING! DING!* you have won a gold medal for today’s biggest asshole. Your parents would be proud.

Love,

The Girl Who Hates You.

*****

Dear Sanity,

Where are you?

Love,

Silentorchestra

*****

Dear Hot Man in My Office Building,

Sorry I’m such a dork. You are quite intimidating.

Love,

The Dork

*****

Dear Left Foot,

Anytime you want to stop swelling up would be fabulous and greatly appreciated.

Love,

The Post Surgery Girl.

*****

Dear Future Employers,

Hire Me! My job ends soon.

Love,

The Girl who Needs a Job, Pronto.

*****

Dear Procrastination,

You are my closest friend.

Love,

(I’ll fill this in later)

*****

Dear Work That I Don’t Finish,

See above letter.

Love,

The Procrastinator

*****

Dear Popsicles,

I wish you lasted longer.

Love,

The Girl Who Devours You

*****

Dear Girl Who Lives Above Me,

Please stop singing. Please. I beg you. Stop. Or tone it down a notch. I can’t take it anymore. This is not American Idol, nor a soundproof apartment building.

Love,

The Girl Who Thinks You Need Singing Lessons.

*****

Dear Barbados,

I miss you immensely and will see you next month. Save me a sweet spot on Accra Beach. Don’t forget my rum and coke, flying fish and macaroni pie. Yummers.

Love,

Your Biggest Fan

*****

Dear Hot Guy on My Transit Route Home,

Where the hell have you been hiding? Yes, I did a double-take. Yes, I followed you to the second bus. Yes, I checked your ring finger. Yes, I checked what book you were reading. Yes, I turned and checked which building you went in when we got off at the same stop. And finally, YES: I’m bored and have nothing better to do.

Love,

Your New Friend

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Last weekend, my mum took me to the prestigious Barbados Charity Ball (unfortunately in Toronto and not Barbados, but amazing none the less). Wow, did it ever make me miss the place. Seriously. By the end of the night my acquired Bajan accent came shining through. I believe the rum and cokes (don’t forget the lime!) helped with that. Overall, the night was awesome, and was a taste of systematic randomness at it’s best.

It was an underwater theme where people were totally decked out in the fanciest of gowns, and spiffiest of suits, swarming the massive silent auction, fish cake appetizers and rum punch cocktails. I looove silent auctions (I’ve been known to sneakily guard my bid, and/or convince someone else to guard it for me – I can also thank rum for that one) and ended up winning a sweet piece of art (and then got another piece for free…go me go!).

My mum let me bid on a piece that I recognized as ‘that phone booth in the middle of nowhere near Bathsheba.’ I ended up meeting the artist, who just happened to have some Lithuanian heritage like us, and he gave me another piece of his work pro bono. I was hoping for the awesome kite surfer shot in mid-flip …but instead got the monkey shot. It’s a white and grey monkey, standing on a turtle, eating a nut or something of the sort. It’s a fantastic shot, yet slightly creepy at the same time. But you know, what was I supposed to say?

‘Ya, sorry, despite your kindheartedness, I want that one.’

That would have been a major only-child-itis remark.

So back to the monkeys. Oh, the monkeys. It reminds me of those days at Kent House, when a family of monkeys would come out and harass the neighbour’s dogs behind the chain linked fence. If you have ever wondered where the term, ‘monkey face’ has come from, then this is it for sure. They would literally come up to the fence of annoying barking dogs, make faces, jump up and down, spin round and round and then run back into the sugar cane fields. Monkeys roam Barbados like squirrels and raccoons roam Ontario. Monkeys trump squirrels and raccoons, always. Awesome. Oh Barbados, how I miss thee.

Alrighty. Less reminiscing and back to the Ball…

There were live auction items that included an autographed Paul McCartney guitar, and some other things that I really didn’t notice after I saw the guitar. Definitely super cool, and no where near a fraction of something I could afford. I have this obsession with wanting to touch nice things. Luckily, I was able to suppress those urges…for a short while anyways.

Some yummy drinks and flying fish later, we sat and listened to the long list of speeches from many, including the Prime Minister of Barbados (who just happened to talk about the little wee town my mom grew up in, and the other little wee town my Uncle, Aunt and cousins live in). I mean, what are the odds that his first trip to Canada was to Welland and Port Colborne Ontario. Seriously bizarre.

I texted some of my friends the happenings as they happened. For future reference, drinking and texting is just like drinking and dialing…. impossible to understand and just wrong. Yep. Technology made me do it. I swear. Well, technology, rum and wine. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I vaguely remember being on the dance floor with my mom at some point dancing to a song entitled, Sexallent. Ahhh, gotta love it. Where else could you possibly be where a room full of beautifully dressed schmoozers wine it up on the dance floor?

So there I am, strolling around with a huge picture of a monkey and a phone booth and we stop and say hello to Austin Clarke, a renowned Bajan author. Heard of him? Seriously. This dude is cool. He’s taught at Yale, Duke and many more, produced for CBC, and won Giller and Commonwealth awards, among many others I’m sure. His bio is a novel in itself. Anyhoo, he invited mama and I back for a drink, and of course, I was intrigued. So we took a taxi to his place and while we were sitting there I felt a little intimidated but shook it off once we arrived to his amazing house downtown.

I must say, his house and book collection blew my mind. We went outside and shot the shit, while my mom went back inside as apparently the humidity that night was not enough for her. He pulled out a shiny gold cigarette case, and although I knew I shouldn’t, I couldn’t resist. I bummed a smoke and we talked about Toronto, Barbados, Dollarama, dogs, society and the like. Once we were back inside, he let me choose a nice bottle of red and offered me some yummy Bajan sweet cake. Mmmmm. Again, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the enormousness of his book collection. So jealous. Seriously.

Ever since I can remember I have always dreamt of my own room filled floor to ceiling with bookshelves (and a must have: the attached wooden ladder), a big ass arm chair, a cool little reading lamp and a sweet side table to place my glass of vino on. This place had it all, minus the attached wooden ladder. There was in fact a ladder, but it wasn’t wooden, or attached, and I’m pretty sure I was foolish enough to point that out. Leave it to me to make inappropriate remarks. Right.

So back to the house… The first 2 floors were floor to ceiling book shelves, arm chairs, photos, and memorabilia. This guy has original Rudyard Kipling books from the 1880’s. The pages were thick and jagged at the end. I opened the book, ran my hand over the page, and wondered how many people had touched it before me. The only thing I could blurt out was, ‘Uh..Wow.’

Brilliant. So I marveled over the collection, and couldn’t help my urges to pull out random books. He showed me his daughter’s old art studio downstairs and her paintings, and told me to check out upstairs. I took the glass of red, yummy sweet cake and myself upstairs to check out various books from the shelves. Some of them had christmas cards from 70’s, old concert stubs, plane tickets, notes, and letters from publishing companies stuffed in random pages. I glared at all of the photos surrounding the millions of books. The history in this house was so overwhelming that the only photo I can remember, probably among hundreds, is that of Nelson Mandela. I read about four chapters of one of Clarke’s own books, ‘Growing Up Stupid Under The Union Jack’ which is totally hilarious and captivating, especially if you have frequented Barbados. As I sat there, I recognized the Bajan tune on the record player, repeating over, and over and over, and sang it to myself while I continued to read.

Suddenly I realized, ‘Hey, I’m still alone up here’ and heard many voices coming from the main floor. Apparently this was where the party was at, y’all. I recognized people from earlier that evening, but was so overwhelmed, drinky and tired that I could no longer trust myself in a social situation. I headed down and strolled into the crowded room in a red wine induced shuffle. I told my mom it was past her bedtime, and we bounced out of there. I don’t remember saying goodbye, but I hope it was somewhat intelligent sounding on my part, if anything. I mean, this guy is the last person I want to slip one of my random phrases of absurdity to.

Ahh, what a night. I’ve ‘accidentally’ left out some classic moments of embarrassment (on my part of course), because, well, there’s no way to get around it with out making me seem like a complete dork. So, in the name of self preservation, those special moments are my little secret (and anyone else that managed to witness them). Shhhh.

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