Sunday, December 28, 2003

Get Ready My Darlinks

My mother who is not very into the social scene, has agreed to go over to my mother in laws house for a "Big People Party".
This may sound like not much, but my mother in law loves music, loves to dance, likes to have a drink or two and a smoke. In short, my mother in law likes to have fun.

My mother enjoys nothing listed above, least of all fun.
I'm going over there to help out with the food.

Originally, my mother wasn't going to go, but when she found out that I would be going anyway, she decided to come.
Yesterday my mother called in a panic and left this message on my answering machine:

"Sine, vat tim are ve goink? Vat does she drink? I hev to by a battle. Pa, don be dis vey...yu hev to tell me...yu no I don lik dis 'et da las minuta' tings...don be smart. Call me ODMA (right away)"

So, later today...I'm headed over there with my mother.
This should make good blogging material.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Dear Chesterfield,

So, there I was surfing around the other day, when I was stopped dead in my tracks!
There you were, kicking back at Erik's place!

I was shocked!
Haven't we been good to you?
Haven't we cleaned you semi-annually?
Didn't we buy you a matching loveseat for company?

I mean, we've been together since our days at the Balliol Street apartment.
That's what?
Eight, maybe nine years.
You're not going to throw all of that away are you?

Granted, you do look comfortable.
I see that you've got his blankets draped over you.


Yes, I saw that Erik has two computers and a lot of shelves to keep you company.
I saw that he even has a TV in the living that what you want?
A TV in the living room?
Human conversation isn't enough?

I know that both Christmas's are coming and there will be kids crawling all over you with sticky fingers and lots of asses putting pressure on you over the holidays at our place...and who knows, we might have to pull your bed out too...I know how you hate that.

He's got his Christmas tree up...granted.
But, we can get one this year too...I promise...this weekend...


We need you...

Please come home....

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Make Memories

While out walking, there is nothing I like to see more than fathers with their children.
I remember once seeing a man acting like a goofy ass with his child and then spontaneously lifting his child onto his shoulders and galloping off down the street with his child laughing in that hiccupping laugh that children get when they are beyond happy.
It brought a smile to my own face.

I love a man who loves his kids.
It says a lot about a mans' character.

The Mister, when his children were small used to do all kinds of things with his two sons. Catch, bike riding, blading, movies, monster truck rallies, baseball games, and on and on.
I used to love watching him with them.
I often thought:

“He’s making memories”

One thing that was a ritual with them was kite flying.
See, The Mister grew up in Guyana, and apparently in Guyana kite flying was a big deal in the springtime.

This was no “half-assed go to the toy store and buy a kite and fly it” endevour.
This was a “get some balsa wood, string, specialized paper, paint and a bunch of other stuff and make a kite” endevour.

Every March the kite creating would begin, always with a different theme every year.
Complete with elaborate tail and special cuts to make noise as the wind blows through it.

Then, during Easter long weekend, they would go out and take turns flying it down by the lake.

For some whose fathers were absent or didn’t have the time, inclination, or just didn’t make the effort to make memories with their children, making them with their own is of tantamount importance.

They get to have those memories.
They grab them and hold them through their own children.

So if your Dad made memories for you, I hope you look back on those times with fondness, because children who don’t know any different often don’t realize how lucky they are to have a father to make memories for them.

If you’re a father who makes memories, I raise a glass to you.
Because you help to make better people of us all, those of us who watch and those who have the privilege of the effort made by a man who loves his kids.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

How do you motivate someone to become a part of working society?
I read blogs every day.
Some of the bloggers I read are currently unemployed and frantically searching for work.
Others are working in jobs way below what they were educated to do while they search for jobs in their field.

That's why sometimes I get really pissed off in my job.

Let me explain.
The Centre I run is involved in many partnerships.
One of those partnerships is with Can.a.da. (thanks Kat for the "stop search" method). Cana.da has a program that allows people to gain work experience assisting in the field of their choice. This is either to encourage a return to school or possibly a job in the future if the person proves to be responsible and worth hiring to the employer who allows them to complete their placement in said employers business.
Basically, it's to help people get their foot in the door.
H.uma.n Cana.da. pays the participants $8.50 per hour, bus fare and childcare if the participant has children for a three month placement.

When I calculate this as a taxpayer, it's a lot of money.
Especially if the participant has absolutely NO interest in working.
I have 2 participants in this program "working" for me.
One of them is ok.
The other one (when she shows up) is late, inappropriate, and has an attitude of entitlement.
She takes liberties and has no social filter.
It's clear to me that she really has no interest in working and I suspect that she's only in this program because she's been threatened with losing her benefits.
When I spoke to her Caseworker yesterday I had trouble explaining to him in a politically correct way everything that was wrong with this woman's work ethic (or lack of it) and attitude. He finally told me to just "spit it out" and I told him that as a taxpayer, I would rather she stay home on welfare than waste everyones time and energy spinning our wheels to help someone who has no interest in helping herself.
I told him to open that placement up to someone who really wants a "leg up" into the working world.
Next week Friday I will sit down with the Caseworker and the woman/girl and tell her all the reasons that we will not continue her placement after only 3 weeks.

The reason this pisses me off so much is because I've seen people who really only need a little help to become productive members of society. People who are desperate to do anything (and do) to continue feeding their families without the help of welfare and they get passed over for these kinds of programs because they are not full time welfare recipients. Meanwhile, we're wasting our energy on lazy asses like the one I'm turfing next week.

I swear, the longer I'm in this job, the less sympathetic I'm becoming.

The woman I'm telling you about, told me that she just had a miscarriage (remember I said she had no filter?) the week before she started with the program.
I asked her if she was ok now, and she said yes...then she left my office..and it hit me...she was fucking pregnant again and she can't even drag her ass to a job that was dropped in her lap!

sometimes I feel like I'm turning into a Fascist.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I just came back from having lunch with my mother and her friend Dusanka who is visiting for 6 months from Serbia, and going back in a couple of weeks.

My mother is already consumed with Christmas issues.
She says:
“Evo Bozic, samo sto nije!”
Literal translation:
“Here’s Christmas, it’s just that it isn’t”

December 25th, not January 7th.
“Vat to by for Da Meester?”
“Vat to by for Baba? (The Mister’s mother)” and so on.
There is no convincing my mother that no one needs her to spend her money.
Dusanka has the right idea.
The problem is that Dusanka has the Serbian idea of Christmas.

Dusanka says:
“Go mit da big battle ov goot Konjak, an a nice cake”

My Mother says:
“Ma, yu kan doo det! Tis is no hou da Kanadian pepl do dis!”

That started a long diatribe on North American life.

See, Dusanka has been here for about 6 months.
She’s been observing and making comparisons, as visitors from other countries are wont to do.
Now, it’s natural to look for the negatives in the country you are visiting because, after all, you’re used to something different.

The problem is that as I sat there listening, I recognized me, and my whole life as seen through her eyes.
My life and maybe yours too…

She said:
“Back home, we work to live. Here, you live to work.
I watch you, my daughter and the people here, running, running, running. You drive one hour in traffic to work, you work 8 hours, and then another hour in traffic to go home…that is 10 hours, then you cook and clean when you get home, another 2 hours. That’s 12 hours before you can sit down and even consider yourself human.
If you have children to take care of, not even then. Then you get up before dawn to run to the gym to exercise and do the whole thing again.
Then, Saturday comes and you spend Saturday and Sunday running to do the things that you didn’t have time to do the rest of the week.
Yes, maybe you have more things in your life, nicer things in your house, but when do you enjoy them?
Back home, we don’t live like this.
I get up like you, I work until 1pm and then I come home and lay down until 4 and then I work again until 8…not all this run, run, run…and I retired at 50 and collect my pension. Here, you can’t live long enough to collect the pension you pay in to all the years you work, and even if you do collect, it’s not enough for a human to live on.
If this is your Capitalism, Jebo te Kapitalisam (translated literally = Capitalism fucked you.) then you can call me a Communist!

But I am a Communist with a life.
You are a Capitalist with no life.”


Saturday, November 15, 2003

"Please Leave a Message After the Tone..."

All messages are one after the other.

Message #1
In Serbian:
"Sine, it's yu madder. I kal jas to hear yu voice. Kal yu madder ven yu get hom"CLICK

Message #2
"Ver ar yu so late? Yu hev a meetink? Kal me ven yu kam hom"CLICK

Message #3
"Ma, pfffffttt"

Message #4 (in English)
"My name isss Radmila, an my fon numbe iss for-van- seex-bla-bla-bla-bla. Taaaannkk yuuuuu, good-byyyyee"CLICK

I called her back.
Holy shit, Ok?

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I fired someone yesterday.

It's the first time that I let someone go and didn't feel the least bit badly about it.

Ok..Except for that idiot student last summer...I didn't feel bad about firing her arrogant little ass either.
But firing her at least gave me a little flinch.

This time it's different.
I fired a fucking idiot who put people in danger because of his irresponsible actions.

The Mister said that I'd get over that guilty feeling if I was making the right decision.

He's right.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Someone I was having a discussion with recently reminded me of some of the people I have come across in my life.

Not friends.
Not even acquaintances.

Just random people who have passed through my life and briefly renewed my faith in the human spirit.

A couple of years ago, my mother was in the hospital again.
She was ill and was in for a six week stay.
I took shifts with my uncle visiting her and keeping her company.
He took the afternoon shift because his schedule was flexible.
I took the evening shift, because mine wasn't.

At the time, I worked at Leslie & the 401.
At the corner of Nymark and Leslie, there is a strip mall.
In the strip mall is a little tiny Chinese Bakery that makes some awesome won ton soup.

I started to stop there in the evenings to pick up some Chinese buns and won ton soup on my way to the hospital to see my mother.

After about the third time, the sweet little lady with the kind smile asked:
"You going to school?"
(Seneca College is quite close)
"No", says I.
"My mother is in the hospital, and I stop here to pick up a snack for us".
We got into a little conversation about taking care of aging parents, and I went on my way.

The next night the sweet little Chinese lady with the kind smile refused to let me pay for the won ton soup.
She said:
"You are a good daughter. I help you to be a good daughter".

From that time on, until my mother was released from the hospital, the sweet little Chinese lady with the kind smile, always asked about my mothers' health and never, ever let me pay for won ton soup.

So, if you're ever at Nymark and Leslie and you're feeling a little peckish, stop by the little tiny Chinese Bakery in the strip mall and pick up a delicious bun or some won ton soup, and smile at the kind little lady behind the counter.

She's one of God's Sunflowers.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Know What I Love About This City?

I love the fact that I can be washing my hands in the bathroom of a local mall listening to an Asian woman, a Black woman and a White woman speaking Portuguese to each other.

That's what this city is made of, and I love it.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Cod Fish Balls with Scotch Bonnett & Chili Sauce

for a closer look...look here.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Ok....Piss Off Already...

image: Going Bridal via Reecie

Let me preface this by saying I'm not the world's biggest overdone wedding fan.
I didn't grow up fantasizing about walking down the isle of huge Cathedral wearing a gigantic blancmange, with 5 or 6 tortured girlfriends I've made spend large amounts of money for dresses they probably hate and will never, ever don again.

I think that a wedding should be a gathering that I invite you to, to celebrate a blessed event.

You shouldn't have to fork over hundreds of dollars to be a part of it.
Our wedding was a simple affair.
We put no pressure on our guests.
I find the new trend of "monetary gifts preferred" on invitations in bad taste.
I find it distasteful, and if you send that to me on an invitation, you probably won't see me there.

Having said all of this, I now introduce you to Bernadette Navarro & Marty Beaulieu.
They are asking for corporate sponsors for their wedding.
They are promising their benefactors advertising on their wedding invitations and maybe (if the donation is big enough) an area to set up a booth at the reception.
Now, when I go to a wedding...that's what I want to do, fight off fucking salespeople.
Especially after I've dropped a couple of hundred bucks to go to the wedding in the first place.

What I don't understand is why someone needs a $30,000 wedding in the first place.

Call me old fashioned.
Call me behind the times.

Bernadette ends the article with this:
"We haven't told our friends or relatives about the sponsorship yet," she says.

"I don't want to hear that our approach is tacky."

Too late for that.
Now everyone can think you're tacky.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Garlic Pork Update
For those of you who were following my recipe for Garlic Pork, here is my update:

Put pork in pot of water with some of the garlic and thyme from the jar.

Boil the pork until cooked. About 3-5 minutes at a rolling boil.

When pork is cooked, pat meat dry on paper towels.

Fry in olive oil, turning until meat is golden on both sides.

Finished was fabulous.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Meanwhile Back at the Asian Market

My husband and stepson love canned sugar cane (pictured above).
Don't ask.
His Jamaican friend recoils in horror at the thought of canned sugar cane.

Back to the story.
I buy sugar cane by the case.
When I first started buying sugar cane, before I started purchasing cases, I used to just clean the sugar cane off of the shelf. If there were 10 cans, I'd buy them.
If there were 20 cans on the shelf, I would buy them.
It was kind of funny, because I started noticing that the Market started carrying lots of different brands of sugar cane.
And lots of it.
When I started buying it by the case, it was a huge production number, complete with language barriers and price haggling.
I always managed to find the person who didn't know what the hell I was yammering about.

Finally, after a long time of buying a case every two weeks or so...they are finally with the program.

Today, the case was too high for me to reach.
I went to the closest guy I recognized and tapped him on the shoulder.
He didn't say anything.
He went straight down the sugar cane isle and pulled down the case for me, and put it in my cart.

I started to say how wonderful it was that I don't have to go through what I used to go through to get my case...when he interrupted me with:

"yah, sometime restaurant buy like dis...buh nah like you".

Don't you just love it?

Harmony Records

Image Credit

William from Garbage Thoughts gave me a memory recently which made me think of so many more kind people on Queen Street in the west end of Toronto.

Two doors west of my uncles' store, there used to be a record store called "Harmony Records".
It was run by two aged brothers whose names escape me.
The record store was old.
It had been there a very long time.
The floors were flat hardwood that squeaked when you walked on it.
On the far wall next to the cash register counter was a wall of '45's.
The wall of '45's was always in the order of the current "Chum Chart".
I used to go into the record store, and the brothers would always play whatever record I pulled off the wall.
I spent many hours sitting in the store, chatting with the brothers.
They would send me over to the Tennessee Restaurant 4 doors east of the store to get coffee or sandwiches for them, and in return, I had company and the liberty of listening to any current hit I wanted.

My mother knew them.
My uncle knew them, and it was always ok to be there.
Occasionally, my mother would chastise me..
"leave dos poor peopl alon! I'm shur dey don vant yu der baddering dem every day!"
If it bothered them, they certainly never showed it.

What they gave me was a gift.
They gave me an early love of music.
All kinds of music.

I bought my first record from Harmony Records.
Wilson Pickett's "Soft Soul Boogie".
It wasn't even on the Chum Hit List.
It was one of the many blues albums they played for me during my visits.

I guess that it's partially because of them that I love the Blues.

Friday, September 26, 2003

He Got My Goat!

Yesterday while I was buying pork at the Asian Market, for my Garlic Pork I decided that I would buy some goat too...for curried goat this weekend.
While I was there, there was a man trying to decide which oxtail he wanted the butcher to cut up.
He kept pointing out one oxtail after another and having the butcher weigh it for him...then he would choose another and it went on like that for a while.
The other butcher came to me (finally), and I asked him for 4lbs of goat meat.
My butcher went off to get my goat meat.
In the meantime, the gentleman who was fatiguing the other butcher with his oxtail demands had finally decided upon one tail in particular and his butcher went off to cut his meat.
In the meantime, my butcher put my bag of goat meat on the counter.
The oxtail connoisseur grabbed my bag of goat meat and walked away.
The butcher looked at me and blinked.

He said "He got your goat!"

I started to laugh.
I mean really laugh.
The butcher didn't get the joke.

The moral of the story:Sometimes when you're being really picky, you still don't get what you want

How To Make Garlic Pork
(An Amerindian Recipe from Guyana)

You start with fresh pork (cut relatively thin), lots of salt, lots of vinegar, lots of sliced garlic, and lots of fresh thyme.

You need a large clean glass jar (this one was $12cdn @ IKEA and used exclusively for garlic pork).

Start with lots of salt (don't be stingy), lots of sliced garlic, and lots of thyme on the bottom of the jar.
Lay pork chops on top. Then you start to layer.

Salt, garlic, thyme. Lots of all three. Keep layering until you get to 3/4 of a full jar.

Last layer should be salt, garlic and thyme.
Fill jar with vinegar and push meat down to make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in between.

Cover top with plastic wrap to seal, and put lid on.

Leave on your counter for 4 to 5 days.
Every day open the jar and and lift pork around the outside to make sure that the vinegar is getting in between the chops. You will absolutely love the aroma.

On the 4th or 5th day, boil a few pieces (to take the salt out) with a bit of the thyme (from the jar) and garlic in water until cooked.
Pat dry and fry in olive oil.

I promise will kiss bacon for breakfast good-bye.

That's all.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Elections Ontario has (in my opinion) put forth a brilliant and effective ad campaign to encourage non-voters to vote.

If you live in Ontario, you've seen the ads.
Large photos of people of all different ages and cultures with a ripped photo of someone else's mouth pasted on top of the persons' mouth, with the slogan:
"Don't Let Someone Else Speak for You".
It's brilliant.
The TV ads are also brilliant.
For example, one of the TV ads shows a number of people in a Board Room. The "Boss" announces that there is a new "project starting up that would require the person who takes it on to work long hours and weekends for a rather long stretch of time".
There is silence for a moment and then one of the men in the room says:
"Yes, I volunteer Miller for that job"
Miller looks stunned.
The "Boss" says:
"Great then...He can start this weekend".
Then the slogan..."Don't let someone else speak for you....Vote in the coming elections".

Well, I understand that there is a group protesting the ad campaign.
They are saying that the ads are outraging seniors groups in the province because Elections Ontario are "pitting age groups against each other" and making seniors appear "mean and miserable".

It's always easy to find things that offend.
It's easier to see things in a completely literal way, than to use the grey matter that is filling up your cranial cavity and think about what someone is trying to convey in a very interesting way.
I am soooooooo sick of assholes in this society who sit around on their haunches just waiting for something to spring up and bitch, moan and be offended about.

I've seen these ads.
In my opinion, they're clever.
I like the real peoples' faces they use.
They're the people we see on the bus and in the street, all cultures....not those fucking pasty faced, overfed politician types.
Not the model types.
Real people.
Unfortunately the site doesn't convey the ads I've seen, but with every click, you get a new face. Each and every one of them representing the population of this province.

These groups that are protesting need to ssssshhhhhaaaaaaddddaaaaappppp, and go back to their Bingo games.

On another note:
I talked to Reecie on IM today....she's so great!
Go over there and visit her.

And to Crabby, operation "Garlic Pork" is in it's beginning stages. I think I'll post the pictures here tomorrow...if anyone cares...well, tough...even if they don't.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Message on Answering Machine. 6:30pm

"Leessen,'s yur madder. I gadda letter from Tetka Ankica an Jovica. She say det she iss so heppy mid da presents yu sen to everybady bek hom.

Vat did yu sen?

Yu didn tell me yu sen samting to dem. She say dey cry bekas yu remembe dem mid so nice da presents....vat did yu sen?

Ver are yu so late?
You hev a meetink?
Ay yay yay...yu workink too mach.
Yu need to tek da tim for yuself too yu no....

Anyvay, phone me.
Tell me vat yu sen.

bye. Aye...don forget to fon. Bye"

Saturday, September 13, 2003

My Grandfather

When the summer starts to wane, my mind always drifts to my Grandfather (I called him Deda).
It is at this time in September when he passed away.
My Deda was a gentle man, at least he was as I remember him.
I am told that he was hard and tough, and had a temper unrivaled.
I never knew the man that they described in that way.
My Deda was one of the most non-judgmental people I have ever known.
I never heard him say an unkind thing about anyone.
He used to carry me around on his shoulders making clucking noises, stick his finger in sugar and then in my mouth, when I was very little.
He was gentle and silly with me.
I knew that he had suffered in his life.
He spent time in a Hungarian work camp because his brother who was a big Communist fingered him as anti.
I know that he spent time in the Dachau Concentration Camp.
Story tells that he was in the Pijaca (open market) during WWII when a snipers bullet killed a German and at that time, the Nazis took 100 for every 1 German.
My Grandfather was one of the one hundred they rounded up and took to Dachau.
He survived.
He never, ever talked about his experience in the Camp to anyone.
I know.
I’ve asked.
However, he did say that when he came home, he came home a different person.
From a man of 95kilo to a man of 44kilo, he called it the “Nazis Jewish Diet”.
He said that the Russians dropped him at the New Yugoslavian border at the end of the war, and he walked the hundreds of miles home. When he reached that same old gray house that I hold as my life touchstone, he wouldn’t enter it.
He (and Majka (Grandmother)) said that he went straight out to the field at the back of the house, Majka prepared a lye solution, he buried his clothes and shaved his body and used the lye solution to kill the lice and other things crawling over his body before he touched anyone in the household.
He said that bodies were floating in the Tisa River, coming downstream from wherever they were murdered and dumped.
I was told that the Tisa River is still considered the river of the dead.
I cannot argue with that.
My mother almost drowned in that river when she was a young girl, and I saw my first dead body on the grass by the banks of that river when I was 11 years old.
A young man had drowned when he was caught in the current.
I stood fascinated by his young blank face and blue pallor…thinking to myself over and over again “he’s dead”. I couldn’t come to grips with the idea that someone so young could die.
When I was 21 and visiting, the whole town attended the funeral of a young man who had waded into the river and shot himself in the head from sadness or depression.
People said that the river holds the memory of many suicides, because the people who chose to kill themselves preferred to go and “be with their ancestors”.
But, I digress…
When I was a young girl visiting one summer, a man came looking for my Grandfather. When he passed the window of the pantry, I thought it was Deda back from the field…it wasn’t.
It was his brother.
A brother that I didn’t know existed.
He visited for a few minutes, and said he would be back.
I hounded Deda to tell me why I never knew that this brother of his existed.
Deda told me that they (he and his brother) hadn’t spoken in over two decades.
“Why” I asked over and over….I was relentless.
Finally, he told me:
He said that his brother was in love with a Hungarian woman before the war.
He (his brother) was also in Dachau because he was one of the 100 for 1, picked up on the same day in the same market as my Grandfather.
However, over the two years that Deda and his brother were in Dachau, they were separated.
When Deda returned to Petrovo Selo, he regularly went to the Post Office to check the lists of the dead to look for his brothers name, and one day, he saw it.
After a few days, he went to the woman that his brother loved and told her.
She hung herself.
A few months after, his brother returned….and never forgave him.
Deda held that.
As irrational as it sounds, he understood that.
When I think about what the people of their generation endured, my heart swells.
Deda’s stories, and a million others.
When I hear memories and stories like these, I understand why Serbians have such a heavy spirit.
Why during the bombing of Serbia, Serbs held hands over bridges and sang while NATO bombs fell.
Why they stood up, even though they knew they didn’t have a chance.
Why there is such a word as “Inat” (meaning “whatever the consequences”).
Why people were partying in the streets while bombs fell. My Uja Lazar said, “if it’s going to be our last night on earth, let’s celebrate and not die like dogs cowering in the corners of our homes”.
I understand that.
And I miss sitting on Deda’s little bench in front of the house, with my head on his shoulder smelling the mixture of hay and rakija on his sweater, listening to him talk.
Rest in Peace.

Friday, September 12, 2003


My bank account @ 9:00am

My bank account @ 9:45am

Why can't I be rich?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Thank Goodness!

For those of you that remember Relaxing Aromatherapy Dishwashing Liquid
If you've over done the "Relaxing Aromatherapy" while doing the dishes, I would like to introduce you to:

"Invigorating Dishwashing Liquid, with Passion Flower Scent".

Just when you thought that the original was stupid enough.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

The Long Walk Home

The summers that my mother sent me "back home" to my grandparents are some of the best memories I have.
My grandparents home was always the same.

All my life.

No matter how many times my mother and I moved, whenever I went "back home", it was thankfully always the same.
That gray house, with the walls that were three feet thick, with the outdoor hallway that led to the cold storage and the kitchen, the kapija (very large gate) that squeaked when you opened it...was my touchstone.
There have been times when I've passed a farm, and I smell the familiar smell of cornhusks shoots me back to my childhood on my grandparents farm.

My grandmother was a hardworking woman.
She was never to be seen just sitting around, and she didn't like to see anyone else just sitting around either.
They used to say that she could find something to keep every member of the Yugoslavian army busy, and I believed that it was true.
She used to wake me up at the crack of dawn (she had already been up from 4:30am) by pulling the huge feather comforter off of me and slinging it over the open window ledge, to "air" it out, and then she'd say, "you didn't still want to sleep did you?".

I know that she rose at 4:30am because I once asked if I could see her hair (she always wore a kerchief).
I had to get up at that time to watch her comb her waist length hair and pin it in a bun, and cover it with a kerchief for the day of work to come.

One afternoon, I was helping (along with a number of other family members) pick cucumbers and pepper corns.
I hadn't taken gloves, and much to my city slicker surprise.....they've got pricks sticking out of them...and they freakin' hurt!
Well, I whined about that.
I imagine a whined just about enough for my grandmother, because she sent my whiney ass home.
I walked all the way back to town from the field.
It was miles.
She didn't tolerate my whiney, sucky attitude, and showed me so.
Hmmm...I think that (and many others)experience might have something to do with my lack of tolerance for the sucky and whiney.

PS. Did you know that peppercorns grow in a pomegranite type of plant, only the texture of the surface is like the outside of a wasp's nest?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Telephone rings...

Job Seeker: "Hi, I'm wondering if you're hiring".

Me: "Well, not at the moment, but if you'd like to send me your resume, I can give you our fax number".

Job Seeker: "I have experience. I was a teacher in my home country".

Me: "Oh, where was that?"

Job Seeker: "You know Ethiopia?"

Me: "Yes."

Job Seeker: "Not there"

Friday, August 29, 2003

Dear Asshole Neighbour:

If I wasn't such a considerate neighbour, I would drag our lawn mower around the corner and down your street, and start it under your bedroom window at 5:35am.

I would do this because this is the approximate time that your dog starts barking.

Do you not hear your dog?
Is your dog speaking to you?
Are you getting the pearls of wisdom from your dog to get your day started?
The whole fucking neighbourhood hears your dog.
But, the rest of us only hear loud, annoying, incessant, baying at the crack of dawn.

I have a news flash for you buddy, not everyone needs to get up when the sun starts peeking over the urban horizon

If you're not going to let your dog into the house, so that he doesn't wake up the whole fucking neighbourhood, I suggest:

Because if I wanted to listen to a dog barking for two hours straight at the first sign of daylight, I would have purchased a dog myself.


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Tuesday 9:15pm

Mom: "Ya, tank Got dat ven Uja, me an Teta Ljuba are gon, you, Tanja an Deja vil hev each odder".

Me: "Yeah Ma, thank God".

Mom: "Don forget, I don vant a big deal fo mai funeral. Just don burn me."

Me: "ok, Ma".

I'm not doing the protest thing anymore.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

I'm Going to Explode

Image by Diane Arbus (1963)

What does a kid have to do to be removed from a restaurant by a parent?

Last night, my Stepson and I were at a local Chinese Buffet getting take out.
While sitting on the bankettes waiting for our food, we observed little "Ethan" and his sister terrorizing the entrance area.

Right by the door, there is a little pond with live beautiful fish and the obligatory bridge.
Little Ethan kept running back and forth, and jumping on the bridge, with his sister right behind him.
Clearly, Ethan was leading the charge.
Occasionally, he would attempt to push patrons out of the way as he ran back and forth across the little bridge.
I could see the employees were watching him, but not sure what to do.

Not a parent in sight.

This went on for a while when I turned to my Stepson and said:
"Someone needs to get that child and sit his ass at the table. I'll never understand why people don't consider others when they let their children run wild in restaurants. The other patrons are not getting their meals for free to have to put up with that shit".

Suddenly, a parent appeared.
Dad said "Ethan! come over here..." He went directly to Ethan and took him by the hand.
Ethan clearly was not finished rearranging the mints and menus, and protested quite loudly.
When that had no effect on Dad, Ethan continuously slapped him as they passed us.
I heard Dad say, "If you're not going to listen, you'll have to sit in the van".

I was totally down with the van idea.

It seems that they were sitting directly on the other side of the screen that was separating the waiting area from the Dining Room.

I think Dad might have heard my comment.

About 30 seconds later, there was Ethan again at his post at the front door, once again pushing patrons out of the way as he ran back and forth across the little bridge at the front door.

When we left Dad was going to sit in the van with little Ethan.
Is this assbackwards, or what?

What would you have done?

I'll tell you what I would have done.
I would have excused myself (it looked like an extended family dinner), told my wife to call me when she was ready to be picked up, and put Ethan's hungry little ass in the van and taken him home, and put him in his room.
Next time we went out for dinner, little Ethan wouldn't be coming.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Rolling Blackouts

Power out since yesterday at about 4:15pm.
Back on 1/2 an hour ago.
Big annual BBQ tomorrow.
No water since 9:30am.

Last night was a beautiful night.
I haven't seen so many stars since I was a child. The moon was bright and Mars was visible.
Candles on the front stoop, a couple of glasses of red wine, BBQ, and the company of neighbours.
We weren't exactly roughing it.

I was freaking a bit because of the BBQ tomorrow and all the shifting of food I've been doing to save it from spoiling.

Now frankly, I've resolved "to go with the flow".
I've done more reading in the past day than I have in months.
I finally started "Family Matters", Rohinton Mistry's most recent book that has been waiting for the past two months for me to flip open its covers.
He's got me hooked....I love Rohinton Mistry's style of writing.

Sometimes God forces you to stop.
I fought it, but in the end, it is a good thing.

Still no water.
But, as I remember reading once at Linea's (and it's now posted behind my desk at work):

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for today's worries are enough for today"

Saturday, August 09, 2003

I Vant to be Alone

I vant to be lyink on da chaise longue, an smoke da cigarettes.
I vant to boz mai manservant aroun an mek him bring me da bon bons, an bekaz I am lyink down...I vill vear dis shoes.
I vanna ver da silk kimono, mit mai hair an mekap to be perfekt.

I don vanna go to da Valmart, an da grocery stor.
I don vanna clean da hous, an kook da dinne.
I don vanna run yu say.....errands.
I vanna hev, how yu say...."peopl" to do dis for me.

I vanna say "fack aff, responsibilities!", "Kiss mai ess, obligatshons! Go avay! Leave me alon!"

I vanna bi like Greta an Marlena touday.

Monday, August 04, 2003

There Goes Another Landmark

As I get older, more and more of the landmarks of my life are disappearing.
Wellesley Hospital (pictured above) is one of them.
The summer I turned 14, I worked in the Midway at the Canadian National Exhibition.
That September, I started high school and got a job in the kitchen of Wellesley Hospital after school.
From 4pm until 9pm, I worked on the "belt" filling whatever was for dinner into the thermal trays, collected them from the floors after dinner, then worked in the steamy, smelly, disgusting dishroom to clean the trays, along with a lot of other high school students just like me.
When I got my paycheque every two weeks, I handed half of it immediately to my mother to help her with the bills and groceries (something that is unheard of amongst todays working teenagers).
I learned so much from that job.
There were so many "firsts" for me at that hospital.
I once stood in the hallway of 4N, with tears streaming down my face as I watched a nurse feed a man who looked to be around 40 years old, but flapped his arms and wiggled around in his bibbed chair like an infant.
It was the first time I had ever seen what the misfortune of nature could do to a human.
I used to sit with a man in 3W during my breaks so that he could smoke a cigarette in his room (the nurses didn't have the time to sit with him, and yes, back then you could smoke in a hospital). He was blind and his legs had been amputated.
Albert always recognized my footsteps as I approached his room...I knew he waited for me.
"Dear, is that you, dear...." he would say as he heard my footsteps.

Wellesley Hospital was were I learned to be responisible.
I became an adult working there.
I learned about humanity, benignity, and that money had to be worked for....hard.

Now, the Wellesley Hospital building is hollowed out and shortly will no longer be there.
One more part of the history of our city, and my life to be referred to in pictures and memories.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

It's Our Anniversary
I know it sounds kind of cliche, but my husband and I were married in Niagara on the Lake, just a few minutes drive from Niagara Falls.

We recently took a drive over there to have a look at the Chapel we were married in.

As I said previously in my 100 Things #41 & 42, the Chapel seats 4.
It was nice to see that the Chapel is still standing after all these years and that there is still a guest book that hosts the signatures of vistors from around the world.

On another note:
Reecie's Birthday. Go on over there and wish her a happy one.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

My Sister in Law
I have spent a lot of time writing about my immediate family on this blog, so I thought that when stepping over to the other side of my family, the perfect person to start with would be my sister in law Karen.
One thing I have always said is that if you don’t like Karen, there’s something wrong with you.
Karen is someone who is so personable and loving that within a few minutes of meeting her, she makes you feel like you’ve known her all your life.
This quality is a gift from God…and Karen has it.
I have never seen my uncle dance.
At our wedding, I turned to see Karen waltzing around the room with him!?!
It’s a memory I will never forget…it’s Karen’s power to make people feel at ease.

I have previously written that for those of us who have had trying childhoods, we become either “fixers” or “destroyers”.
Karen is a fixer.
She wants everyone to be happy and goes to great lengths to do this.
Karen organized our "Family Mother’s Day” and made sure that all extended family were included.
She works to bring people together and if anyone does it successfully, she does.
She never forgets to include my family, and calls my mother “Mama Mila” lovingly.
I appreciate that.
She’s very social and loves a good time.
I admire the way that Karen and her husband Curtis parent their children.
Karen and her husband Curtis make sure that their children experience all the things that a child should experience.
They make memories with their children, and I know that Karen makes sure that she and Curtis provide all the things that Karen had.... and lacked in her childhood.
And two beautiful girls they have raised!
In case you haven’t noticed,
I love Karen…like a sister.
I think everyone should know.
I bet you wish you had her.
You don’t.
We do.
Na na na boo boo.

Oh...and did I mention that she's beautiful?
Inside and out.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

The Ballad of Cynthia & Debbie

You know how sometimes Cashiers at check out counters talk over to each other as though customers are not there?
Well, today while I was at the check out at a local grocery store I overheard this conversation between Debbie & Cynthia....who both looked to be about 17.

Debbie: Have you seen the guy who works in the back? I think his name is Devon, he's hot.
Cynthia: No. I don't know half the guys who work here yet.
Debbie: He dresses really nice.
Cynthia: Yeah, my boyfriend has nice clothes, but he likes that "skater boy" look. I wish he'd wear his nice clothes more often.
Debbie: Yeah, my boyfriend is like that too. They're all like that. Guys!

No conversation for a moment.

Cynthia: How old is he, Debbie?

It seemed like Debbie didn't hear her and didn't answer.
I lean over to Debbie and say:

"How old is he, Debbie?"

Debbie turned around and saw me. The look on her face is priceless!

"The rest of us want to know too!"

Cynthia started laughing, customers started laughing, and then Debbie did too.

Friday, July 18, 2003


I love flowers.
Every so often, my husband brings me a big bouquet of flowers.
He’s good that way.
Flowers in the house always make me feel good just looking at them.

It’s true.

Years ago, when I was fighting an ongoing illness, and depression about the illness and my failed relationship at the time (see #12 on my 100 Things).
My friend Sonja used to bring me fresh flowers every few days.
It always made me feel better.
Fresh flowers and plants reminded me of the beauty of nature and creation
and life.

I don’t have what it takes to be a gardener, and I know it.
My husband is the gardener in our house
....I'm the "Minister of the Interior".

I tell you this because....

Years ago I had a beautiful cactus.

I got it when it was small, and I had it for 17 years.
By that time it was over three feet tall, and I loved that plant.

As I stated previously, I can’t grow plants.

While I was ill, I had a deal with my cactus.
If that cactus didn’t die…neither would I.

Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?

But, I don’t think you can understand how much it helped me to see that plant thriving, and to have Sonja bringing fresh flowers every few days.
It’s life,
and living things and the beauty of them.
It helped a lot.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Radmila's Mom on Football

"Da CFL hev latsa maney. Dey hev enuf maney to buy everbady a baall, so dey don hev to fight for van baall"

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Shopping: Serbian Style

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I promised myself I would stop by The North American Distribution Centre which is located inside The 747 Travel Agency.

Yes, I admit to a weakness for YU movies, no matter how cheesy.

Now, I know that the name "North Amercian Distribution Centre" makes it sound like it's some huge warehouse full of stuff that needs to be distributed.

In fact, it's a Travel Agency with a little place, in fact, a tiny little corner dedicated to Serbian Music and Videos (I didn't see any DVDs).

So, it's about 6:10pm and I park right in front of 747 . The door is wide open and I walk in.
One of the things I absolutely love about this city, is that I can walk into any ethnic store or restaurant, and whoever approaches me will greet me in that language.
It doesn't matter, Serbian, Italian, Portuguese, Greek....ok...
not all, but many.
I really love that about this city.

I go directly to the little corner and look through the stuff, I pick out 2 movies and ask the older gentleman (who appears to be at least 7 feet tall) to recommend a couple of movies for my mother.
He picks out 2.
One is a comedy and the other is a historical saga type thing.
When he tallies everything up, it appears that I am about 20 bucks short in cash.
I ask about debit:
However, I guessed that from the circa 1965 cash register on the counter.

"Cheque" he says.
"Cheque?" I ask.
"Ma,...Cheeeeeque" he says as if I'm the one that's behind the times.

I write a cheque, and start fumbling through my wallet for my ID.
It's been years since I've written a cheque in a store.

"Vat?" asks he, with brows furrowed and a quick little chin up gesture.
The univeral Mediterranean/Slav gesture for "what the fuck are you doing?"

Me: "My Drivers License, for ID"

Him: "No ID. Our peepl don cheat each odder".


Him (in very polite formal Serbian): "Van da future...I close at da 6 o'clock"

Me: "Oh, the door was open"

Him: "Yes...bat I vas close"

Could have fooled me.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Handicapped? In What Way?

Wow! How eventful can a week be?
This morning I went to Costco to pick up a few things and while I was loading my car, another car pulled up behind me and appeared to be waiting for my parking space. Seeing that the parking lot was full, I hurried to load my car and when I had finished I proceeded to take the cart back when the man in the car honked. I assumed that he wanted my cart.
Well, actually, he didn't want my cart or my space.
He wanted the handicapped spot next to mine.
He didn't roll down his window to let me know or honk prior to this point.
He didn't even try to get my attention by gesticulating in any way or form.
When I realized that he wanted the spot next to mine, I felt like an ass.
I waited for him to get out of his car and then, I immediately started to apologize profusely.
He cut me off by yelling obscenities.
He called me an F'ing bitch, F'ing blind, F'ing selfish and and so on.
Well, this really shocked me and for a moment I stood in stunned silence and just watched him.
However when he got to F'ing C***t, I blew a gasket.
I started yelling at him in the parking lot, not swearing at him..but asking him why he didn't make his need known to me (he replied to this by telling me that I was a blind F'ing bitch if I couldn't see the sticker on his car).
I can't remember everything that I said, except for:
"Do you think that because you have a handicapped sticker on your car, you can just treat people like shit?"
I asked him if he thought that the entire planet revolved around him because he had a minor handicap.
I really did lose it.
When I calmed down, I realized that I just had a fight with a handicapped person!
Ok, no...not really.
The only thing that was handicapped about him was his ability to treat people with courtesy.
It made me think of this entry over at Cicada.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Turkish Coffee

Girlyshit posted a recipe for Turkish Coffee.
It made me think about it.

I love Turkish Coffee.
Turkish Coffee when I was a kid had a ritual.
When ladies came to visit, it was immediate that my mother would get out the mlin and start grinding coffee. The mlin (or mill) was tubular and usually made of brass. The cups were small and the Jezva was ready.
All the items looked like this:

My mother's mlin, (one of two) I now have in my kitchen, had little scantily clad harem girls holding trays of steaming coffee carved into it, with men in turbans waiting cross legged on mats to be served.
It's actually quite beautiful. Maybe I'll photograph it and post it later.

The ladies would chat and gossip and I would be sent out of the room as soon as the ladies finished fawning over how big I was getting, how pretty I was becoming, how much I looked like so and so.
They were always loving and warm and called me sweet endearments.

Little did they know that I often hid under the dining room table with the long tablecloth hiding me, and listened to the gossip and girl talk.
I heard all kinds of things while the ladies enjoyed their coffee.
I heard curse words (my mother? Can you imagine?) and about pregnancy and sex.
Betrayal and husbands who were suspected of cheating. Women who were having affairs.
Listen, it was better than TV!

While the ladies chatted, there would usually be one lady who knew how to "read".
The women would finish their coffee and swish the grounds around in their cups and then turn them over like this:

My Tetka Ljuba used to do some reading, but you had to convince her.
She would deny that she knew anything...
"no...I don no natink...", she would say with both her hands in the air...then....just when you were about to give up....
"ok...let me just look" ,and then she would tell your fortune by looking at this:

There were always letters coming, gifts coming, someone whose name starts with a certain letter that will come in to your life, good news or bad news coming, and so on.

I loved these times.
I learned so much listening to those ladies.
Girlyshit reminded me of wonderful memories.
How appropriate, because those ladies were all about girly shit.

P.S. Don't tell my mom about the tablecloth thing, ok?

Saturday, May 03, 2003

My 100 things

1. Born in Novi Sad, Vojvodina, The Former Yugoslavia
2. Lived with my grandparents until my parents sent for me to come to Canada.
I was brought to Germany to meet them by Uja Lazar.
3. I didn’t recognize them when I was brought to them.
4. I called my Grandmother “Majka” (mother) all my life and didn’t find out for years that others didn’t do the same.
5. A teacher gave me an English name that stuck with me until I tried to get a Social
Insurance Number with it.
I then went back to my birth name.
6. I was named after my father because my mother got mad at the registry office because
they wouldn’t let her name me Tanja. They told her (in a typically Socialist way)that she
could call me that at home, but that the legal name had to be the formal “Tatijana”.
She told them, “Screw you, name her after her father then.” And they did, and they wouldn’t let her change it afterwards.
7. I have two birth certificates with two different dates on them (another incompetent Socialist glitch)
8. I was a Bartender for 5 years.
9. I worked at I.B.M. for 2 years.
10. I would not have met my husband if I didn’t take that job.
11. I almost didn’t take that job because it was too far from my home and I didn’t drive at the time.
12. I narrowly missed marrying an idiot a mere year before I met my husband.
13. The idiot went back to New York.
14. I learned to drive when I was 29.
15. I lived in New York City for 2 years.
16. I was robbed twice in New York.
17. I saw my first and only real gun in New York.
18. I am a smoker (get over it)
19. I am a quirky smoker. I don’t smoke at work, in my car (and you can’t either)or anywhere in
my house except the dining room.
20. I have a half brother. He lives in California.
21. I have a half sister that I have never met. She lives in the same city as me.
22. I am estranged from my father (for a good reason)
23. I am a very forgiving person and will eat a lot of shit from someone I love. But, when I cut
you off, I cut you off forever. Sometimes, the person won’t see it coming because they have
gotten away with bigger things in the past and something small has triggered me finally
say “enough”.
24. I hate ice cream and strawberries (together or individually).
25. I hate milk.
26. I have nice fingernails anyway.
27. I love the Blues.
28. I love languages and the traditions of other cultures.
29. I should have been an Anthropologist.
30. I was not supposed to amount to anything.
31. I surprised a lot of people by doing better than people I was compared to as a kid.
32. I am known to family and friends, as “The Carpet Nazi”.
33. I am a stepmother to two boys (now men)
34. My astrological sign is Cancer.
35. My sister in law and I share the same birthday.
36. I am an experimental cook and will try to cook anything from any culture.
37. I make excellent Sushi
38. I love the colour red.
39. I look good in the colour red.
40. I wanted to be an Artist (See: #13)
41. I got married in a small Chapel on a private estate in Niagara on the Lake (the snotty part of
Niagara Falls)
42. The Chapel only had 4 pews and seated only 4 people.
43. Our wedding party was photographed by 30 Japanese tourists (I have the video to prove it)
44. I witnessed Tropical Storm Dean in St. Maartin.
45. I am fascinated by storms.
46. I was almost sucked out of a moving vehicle when the door flew open when I was 8 years old.
47. I love children.
48. I am outspoken and it is often perceived as abrupt or insensitive.
49. I am an uncomplicated person and am happy with simple things.
50. I don’t like knick knacks or girly, girly type things.
51. I hate clutter.
52. I love paper and pens. It’s the only thing that excited my about the first day of school when
I was a kid.
53. My first job was in the Midway at The Canadian National Exhibition.
54. I was 14 years old.
55. I love to read.
56. I don’t have time to read that much anymore.
57. I spend more time reading on the computer now.
58. I listen to books on tape in my car.
59. I love Mounties.
60. My favourite movie is “To Sir With Love”
61. I really loved my Grandfather and think about him often.
62. The last time I saw him, I knew I’d never see him again.
63. I hate winter.
64. I once accidentally killed a chicken by throwing a snowball.
65. My family ate it for dinner. I couldn’t.
66. I once cornered a Turkey and found out that Turkeys are mean animals.
67. I once stared at a gypsy woman breastfeeding her child in front of a colourful caravan in the
Pijaca (open market) in Petrovo Selo and got slapped in the head by my grandmother for
doing it.
68. I had a tobacco case that my grandfather had with him while he was in a concentration
camp and couldn’t keep it when I saw how my uncle held it when I showed it to him.
69. I always try to do the right thing. Even if it makes me look bad or it’s easier not to.
70. I am a Big Sister.
71. I have learned more from my Little Sister than she has from me.
72. I once gave blood for a Leukemia victim and really hoped that I would be a match.
73. I was on television donating that blood sample.
74. I was sick with an ongoing illness for over 8 years.
75. I hid that illness from almost everyone.
76. I hate sucks and whiners.
77. I won’t get into a public pool.
78. I have no feeling in my right hand ring finger.
79. I prefer salty things to sweets.
80. I love fried food.
81. I love East Indian food because they even fry their desserts.
82. I am in an interracial marriage (He’s not East Indian in case my love for Indian food and Sari
fabric has you misled).
83. I didn’t tell my uncle about my husband until 2 weeks before the wedding.
84. My uncle didn’t know about my stepchildren until the reception.
85. My husband has many of my uncle’s qualities.
86. I can sew.
87. I would rather sew an entire outfit than alter a pair of pants.
88. Tetka Ljuba taught me how to sew, but she doesn’t know it. When I tell her that she did,
she denies it.
89. I love food.
90. I love food from other cultures.
91. I am freaked out about getting fat.
92. I fluctuate between a size 7 and 10.
93. My shoe size is 7 ½
94. I wear a toe ring in the summer.
95. I dye my hair…but not blond.
96. I am losing my first language.
97. I speak Serbian with a Canadian accent.
98. I have the 4C’s hanging from my rearview.
99. I prefer gold to silver.
100. I feel naked without my crucifix.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Today, 3:00pm

The phone rings at work.
It's Teta Ljuba.

Me: "Hi Tetka Ljuba"

Tetka Ljuba: "Hi...lissen...mama call me to sei dat (husband's name) iss vorkink an Sanday. I tink maybe mama is confus. He vork an Saturday...nat Sanday."

Me: "No, he's working just in the morning on Sunday. We'll be there. Maybe a little late, but we'll be there.

Tetka Ljuba: "So, mama is no confus."

Me: "No".

Tetka Ljuba: " buy da chokolat or da flowers for da Easter. Don brink"

Me: "Ok, Tetka Ljuba"

Tetka Ljuba: "NO...LISSEN TO brink...I'm an da dieta"

Me: "Ok, Tetka Ljuba"


Tetka Ljuba: "Don mekka me med..."

Me: "Ok, Tetka Ljuba"

I'ma gonna brink da flowers and da chokolat....anyvay...heh heh.

Lunch With Mom

My mother came to meet me for lunch yesterday.
We met at the usual place and talked about the usual things.

This is a few days before Orthodox Easter.
We go to my Uncle and Aunt's house every Easter.

This conversation happened:

Me: "Ma, when do you want us to pick you up on Sunday for Easter Lunch at Uja's?"

Mom: "Uja's?" with this surprised look on her face.

Me: "Yeah, ma...for Easter Lunch.

Mom: With an indignant look on her face, "I don no...nobady invite me..."

Me: "Ma, we go there every year for Easter. You know that!

Mom: "I don body invite me. I no invite. I no go"

Me: "Oh for God's sake!"

I stopped by my Uncle's store on the way home to drop off some stuff and tell him to please call his sister and invite her to Easter lunch on Sunday.

Uja: "Oh for God's sake!".

He called her right away....and get this....he had to convince her!


On an Engrish note:
I was talking to Uja a couple of weeks ago and he was telling me about some billionaire he read about in the newspaper.
He referred to this Billionaire as a Big Typhoon

You have got to love him!

Monday, April 07, 2003


The phone rings and I see on the call display that it's my mother.
I was expecting this call because there is 5 to 15cm of snow headed our way after the ice storm of a couple of days ago.

Me: Hi, Ma.

Mom: Sine (child), vy don yu leave early today. Da sno is gonna be too mach...I'm vorried for your drivink. Yu ar da bass...yu ken leave early.

Me (sarcastically): Oh sure Ma, I'll just drop everything right now. I'll cancel all my appointments and leave in a few minutes.

Mom: Finally! yu lissen to yor mader! Call mi ven yu get home.


I've found the answer.
Don't argue, just say you're going to do it.
Who knew the answer was so simple?

And here I was all concerned about telling her the truth and trying to explain how things in the working world work.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Don Ekt Stoopit

It's been a really hectic week for me and I haven't even thought about blogging.
Ok, I've thought about it, it's just that I haven't had the time or the mind.

First things first.
On Plastic Surgeon's visit and the chemical injections (6 to be exact) in my left leg.
It didn't really hurt, but I have an irrational fear of needles.
Now, to say that you would you think that I might howl and wail like a woman in labour?
However, my reaction is physical.
The stress level is really high for me, but to look at me, you would never know.
I asked the Doctor to please turn his back to me while he was filling the needle and he obliged.
I told him about my fear, he didn't make me wait and he did it as quickly as he could.
I was thankful.
It was over quickly.

Years ago, when I was having one of many surgeries for an ongoing illness that we (God and I) finally beat,
I was waiting to go in for surgery for 1:00pm.
I was irrationally scared of this surgery and had been prepped and ready to go.
However, at 12:55pm another patient started wailing and crying about some minor procedure she was having done.

They put her in my spot and that was when I lost my ever-fuckin'-lovin' mind.
Squeaky wheels really do get the grease.
That is, if you squeak first.

See, I'm of the belief that you shut the fuck up and get it over with as soon as possible.
I'm not a big whiney, sissy, crybaby type.
I hate those types.
Especially when I have to listen to them while I'm stressing out about something bigger than what they are having done.
I fucking hate sucks.

Even in my job,
I am apt to give more attention to a child that shows some sort of attempt at control than to a child that is wailing away for no good reason.
I can't help it.
I was raised not to be a suck.

I just about jumped off the gurney and pulled that woman's ovaries out in my unreasoning anger.
The Nurse seemed shocked by my reaction.
She said that I seemed to be "handling everything so well".
"Well, I'm NOT" I barked.
Know what?
I still had to wait over two hours.

So much for my Mother's teachings of "stegni se" in other words, "be stronk", "don mekka big deal..don ekt stooopit".

The moral of the story?
Ekt stoopid first!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Just Call Me Ivana...Daaaaalink

Ha Ha, I'll bet you all thought I was looking into getting Botox or Lip "enhancement".

I actually am going in to finally have some sort of chemical injected into my leg to rid myself of one emerging vericose vein.

I was the first one in the waiting room this morning and I filled out all the forms asking about my health and allergies and so on.
Running down the list of "do you have one of the following" questions, I found this one particularly interesting:

"Are you mentally ill".
If I was, would I answer "yes"?
Would I even think that I was "mentally ill" if I was mentally ill?

Either way,
as I was sitting in the waiting room I watched people coming in.
I have never seen so many high maintenance women congregated in one place in my entire life.

They were broken up into two groups:
High Maintenance Cell Phone Hugging Business Woman (Group One)
Stripper Past Her Prime but Struggling to Stay Successfully Young if it's Dark Enough (Group Two)

The men I saw this morning were broken up into two groups:
What the Hell is he Here for?/Can't See Anything Wrong (Group One)
Transexuals (Group Two)

As I have said before, I am a people watcher, so I was in my glory this morning.
I was almost disappointed when my name was called to see the Doctor.

You know what else I noticed?
That when you are paying for your treatment, the Doctor actually takes time to explain everything to you in detail.
I like that very much.
Now, let's see if I can get my Insurance Company to reinburse me...yeah sure.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Charity? or Begging?

I have a pet peeve to pick today.

Ok so, I am not a selfish person and I donate both my time and money to worthy causes.
However, am I the only one who would like to make this decision on my own without being harangued by a Cashier or by some person standing at the exit of a store like a Union Picketer?

This really irritates me.
What ever happened to the donation box by the cash register?
Why is the Cashier obligated to ask me, "Would you like to donate to (large company's pet charity) today?".
"No, would (Large Company) like to donate on my behalf?"

It's not enough that there are sometimes two or three people stationed at the exits of large stores soliciting donations, but I have to dodge those kids stalking me in any mall parking lot to buy their chocolates!

This is the truth.
One Saturday afternoon, I counted 12 different people that approached me for a donation as I ran my errands.
I saw one kid twice!
I said to him..."Didn't I see you in front of Scotiabank two hours ago?"
He got this constipated look on his face and said, "no".
I know it was the same kid.

It's enough already.

Fully one third of my income goes to Federal taxes straight off of my paycheque.
A lot of this money is filtered into special interest groups and programs that I wouldn't support, but hey, who's asking me?
Then, everything I buy has PST and GST which equals 15% tax.
Don't forget that I live in Canada...
that means, social programs galore, dontcha know.

If I want to donate, I'll put my money in that little box by the cash register or send it to MY favourite charity and get a tax receipt.

Stop nickel and diming me every time I run some errands!

Maybe I should start my own charity like this or this.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Friday 2:50pm

The phone rings at work and I answer it, seeing the call display number, but still ignoring the phychological shield.

It's my mother

I have people in my office, but I answer anyway.
Speaking in Serbian...but I'll do the accent, like they do in the movies when someone is really speaking another language:

Mom: "Sine (child), vat ar yu doink?"

Me: "I'm working, Ma"

Mom: "Lissen, I call to tell yu dat Dragica nos about a Doctor dat cud help yu to hev a baby".


Me: "Thank you, Ma, but I'm done. My stepchildren are just now old enough that we don't have to deal with all the "little child" stuff. I can't start all over now.

Mom: "I vant to be a grandma".

Me: "I'm sorry, Ma. I just can't imagine starting from the beginning now. I'm tired".

Mom: "Bat, tis Doctor maybe kud help yu...he's Chinese Doctor. He fixing tings mit da hurbs. Dragica say he's very goot"

Me: "Ma, I'm at work."

Mom: "I no. I just tellink yu"

Me: "Thanks Ma, I'll call you later"

Mom: "I vant to be a Grandma"

Me: "I know, Ma".


Gimme a fucking break.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Why Serbians Can't Be Terrorists

Branka over at Lachesis put me in mind of this joke someone sent to me a couple of months ago.

Branka's Serbian version of "T'was The Night Before Christmas", was lifted from one of my own regular haunts The Serbian Cafe.

For those of you even remotely interested, there is an English discussion board called: Speaker's Corner

Anyhow, she put me in mind of the following joke:
"Why Serbians Could Never Be Terrorists"

10. 8:45am is too early for us to be up.

9. We could never co-ordinate all the flights, there would be an argument
about who goes first, who thought of the idea and the reasoning behind it.
In the end no one would do anything because none of the "terrorists" would
be on speaking terms with the others.

8. Good-looking women on the plane distract us.

7. We would talk loudly and bring attention to ourselves.

6. If there were free food and drinks were on the plane, we'd postpone the plan.

5. We talk with our hands, we would have put our weapons down.

4. We would all want to fly the plane.

3. We would argue and start a fight in the plane.

2. We would have put the Serbian flag on the windshield.

1. We would have bragged to everyone a week before doing it.