Monday, September 19, 2005

"I Can't Take This Shit Anymore!"
He Said Mistakenly.

When I was twenty, I couldn't imagine myself as fourty.
Frankly, I didn't think I'd live this long.
Fourty was old.

Now, I see things differently.
I wouldn't be twenty now for all the kobasa in Poland.
For truly, youth is wasted on the young.
The pain of youth molds our character and Mama used to say that the face you have at fourty, is the face you've earned.

There are older people who look bitter and then there are those who look sweet.
I imagine it depends on your outlook on life.
Are you a fixer or destroyer?
I've said before here that I believe that people, through their personal pain become either "fixers" who work to make their lives and the lives of others better.
Or, they become "destroyers" who are so bitter and angry with their own lot, that they work to make others miserable to prove their personal points...intentionally, or unintentionally.

In the end, it doesn't really matter does it?
We perceive what we perceive, and we do what we do.
"INAT", a word that doesn't exist in English, meaning:
"Whatever the consequences" is something that most of us subscribe to.

Who said that courage is not being fearless, but acting in the face of fear?
But, what is the act, but what we perceive to be right?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Adventures of Woolgatherers

On occasion, The Mister will lure me into one of those mens shops.
You know the kind...technical gadgets, stereo systems, invisible speaker systems, big screen TVs and the like.
I walk around behind him while he oohs and ahhs, and he asks me things like: "Do you hear the difference?" from one speaker to the next.
I nod appreciatively, but truth be long as I hear something with no crackling or interference, I'm ok with it.
The Mister obviously has hearing like a Gambian Epauleted Fruit Bat, and can hear sounds, and hisses that I am totally oblivious to.

We were walking through one of these stores, him walking ahead...and me doing an imitation of him in a Nine West Outlet, when the salesman walks over and asks if he can help us obviously thinking we're considering a big screen TV.
The Mister says, "Oh, we're just looking.." and I say, "It's not happening".

As we're walking out of the store, we hear him say...
" will. It will..."

That made me laugh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me...When I'm 64?

This morning at the coffee shop, I was stood behind a woman and her very elderly mother.
They ordered, collected their coffee and cinnamon twists, and the daughter gently and lovingly helped her mother to a table.
They sat and the daugther dotingly prepared everything for the elderly lady. Opening her cup for her, unwrapping her was lovely to watch.
Recently, someone asked me how I was going to manage getting older with no biological children of my own.

This is a good question, I guess.
A question that came to my mind as I watched this woman and her mother this morning.
But then, there is no guarantee that a child will take care of an aged parent anymore, is there?
Through programs that I have participated in, I have seen enough of the aged who have plenty of children, yet are still virtually abandoned in Seniors Homes, with only little children involved in intergenerational programs visiting them regularly.

It's sad and heartbreaking.

Parental abuse is on the rise, I hear.
This is something I cannot get my head around.
Regardless of how angry and hurt you are about your childhood, could you beat your parent?
How could you?

When you get old, can you give up?
Just give up life?

I think you can.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reci: "Zbogom"
Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
What feels like a hundred years ago, I left Toronto to pursue some sort of fantasy art life in NYC.
Everything was going swimmingly for the first little while.
My friends over there were spending time and taking me out...I had a sublet on E14th and 1st, on the top floor of a five flight walk up.
But then, friends went back to their normal lives and I was left to fend for myself for company.
For anyone who has moved away from home, you know that making friends can sometimes be difficult. Especially when you're not really working anywhere, per se.

One day, I was wandering around alone getting my bearings, I was homesick and lonely. For many years while growing up in Toronto, I went to great lengths to be Canadian.
I didn't like my mother speaking Serbian in public to me, I refused to listen to traditional music and made fun of it.
But, when I passed The Dubrovnik Restaurant at W20th and Avenue of the Americas, I couldn't resist the pull of something familiar.
I went in and sat at the bar and ordered a Turska Kafa.
I sat and listened to people talking and joking in a language that was familiar and was overwhelmed with a feeling of comfort.
Like home.
The lady behind the bar came over and started to chat with me.
Sanka and I talked for a long time.
Turns out that she was the wife of the owner "Ziggy".
Sanka offered me a job waitressing on weekends, and I took it.

Ziggy was a character if there ever was one.
Vitalis smeared hair, a gold eye tooth, a horseshoe pinky ring, and a suit...always a suit with pointy shoes.
Pravi "fraijer".
Above one of the booth seats was a painting of Ziggy, sitting in a boat off the coast of Dubrovnik, on the waves of the Adriatic with a fanned out deck of cards in one hand, and a pair of dice in the other.

This may sound like I'm making fun of Ziggy, but I'm not.
He and his wife were two of the kindest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
He was a proud American with a thick accent.
He often challenged us with questions like:
"Eef da Amerika hev da var veet YU, an vitch side yu gonna fight?"
And then we would all laugh at what a ridiculous idea that was!


Ziggy called me "Mala" (little one) the whole time I worked there.
Perhaps he just couldn't remember my name, but it was sweet just the same.

The Dubrovnik Restaurant was as diverse as the former YU was.
Employed at that restaurant there were Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Italians, and Puerto Ricans.
I used to sit sometimes in the dark booth at the back with all the other waiters, and they would talk about "back home", and politics..often shouting at each other one minute and hugging each other the next.
The Dubrovnik is where Guido, the maitre d' introduced me to Espresso with lemon peel around the rim and then dropped into the cup...trying to convince me that this was better than Turska Kafa.

My time at The Dubrovnik taught me a lot about myself.
It's not there anymore, and hasn' t been there for a long time.
But, I think about Sanka and Ziggy from time to time.

No matter how far you run....there you are.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mama's Take on Football

"Eh, I don no vai dey hev to fight for van ball...da CFL hev enough maney to buy everybady a ball!"

You have to love her.
Really, you do.

Monday, September 05, 2005

So, The Mister and I spent the weekend in the Poconos.
(Yes Kat, I too was surprised that there was NO "K" in Poconos)
It’s a beautiful place.
While we’re talking, I’d like to point out some differences between PA and Ontario.
You can smoke in places that you haven’t been able to smoke in Ontario for over a decade.


I was shocked to see cigarettes being sold in Pharmacies!
Not happening here in Ontario.
In fact, pretty soon it'll be illegal to smoke in your own home or car here in Ontario.
I imagine that eventually there will be Tobacco houses where smokers will have to go if they want to smoke.
Like the Opium Dens of days gone by, in the basements of shady establishments...anyhow, that's another post.

Also, we saw a lot of couples with small children who looked very close together in age (the children, I mean...not the adults).
Every couple seemed to have a minimum of 3 children.
The parents were looking perpetually pissed off, and the children were perpetually running wild.
It was actually kind of entertaining.

We stayed at The Shawnee Inn. Looks nice, huh?

The Mister booked a room on the net.
No fears of this since we found a fab bed and breakfast in Montreal this way a few years ago.
Well, we stayed in a room like the one pictured.
A real throwback to the 1970’s with the d├ęcor, no?

Now, The Mister is a little quirky when it comes to things, and he didn’t imagine Lucy and Ricky beds when he was booking the room.

This pissed him off.
The fact that this room wasn’t located in the main building pissed him off too.
See, the website is misleading.
When they do the bookings, they don’t tell you that there’s “The Big House” (as we got to calling it) and then there’s the “Slave Quarters” which is a little motel like structure far, far away from “The Big House”, named The Delaware somethingerother that smelled like a $65CD Bobcageon Motel room for $160AD.
Here’s the kicker…it cost just as much to stay in “The Big House”
This mightily pissed off The Mister, who was already pissed off.

So, we took the looooong walk up to “The Big House” to speak with the Manager on Duty.
Who was very apologetic and nice and suggested we speak with the Grand Fromage the next day.
The Shawnee Inn is a beautiful old building that has been in operation as a golf resort since 1912.
It's really pretty impressive.

There was a beautiful old elevator obviously from the 1920’s or so with a brass grill.

The view from The Big House was breathtakingly beautiful.

The view from The Slave Quarters, was not worth photographing.
It overlooked the 14th hole.

We took a drive over to Bushkill Falls where we took a steep hike to see the falls.

Very beautiful.

On the way back, while driving through Lackawanna or Cheektowaga, we passed a replica of the famous photo of workmen eating lunch on a beam during the construction of Rockefeller Center in NYC Remember that photo by Lewis Wickes Hine?

The hotel it was in front of was a little cheesy and overdone, but I really liked how they did that though.

Well, a grand time was had by tomorrow, and I'm off to bed...