Wednesday, March 28, 2012

City of Wonder 

This bookshop window display seen in Covent Garden, London, March 2012

Whenever I'm in a city such as London, I think ashamedly, Toronto should just give up now before it embarrasses itself any further. I'm not sure if they are being polite or genuine, but I certainly meet English folks who say, "I like Toronto" or more often, they'll sigh, "Canada… Vancouver looks beautiful."

Though the thing that really comes to mind is how often T.O. touts itself as wonderfully diverse. Girlfriend. You don't know diverse compared to a city the size and breadth and age of London. We may joke how the British absolutely refuse to pronounce French names correctly (Antoine becomes Anton) or their fear of anything foreign is based primarily on not being able to get a decent cup of tea (um, a foreign drink as I recall) but London doesn't a pretty good job of keeping a stiff upper lip as "British" increasing becomes a minority in this city of a myriad of cultures all mingling, mashing and partly "anglicizing".

When, I saw this Marian Bantjes designed (inspired?) window display it crossed my mind of my pride in the international success and recognition of this Canadian-born designer with a Dutch name. She may very well represent the sort of "diversity" and/or hybrid Canadian we love to brag about in the Canadian mosaic, but simultaneously I thought Toronto's diversity, while an important part of its identity, should not be solely its identity. That kind of diversity and pluralisal should not be exceptional but be expected of any contemporary city and democracy.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Number Nine 

Oh, I'm sorry, was I sadly chuckling at the misfortune of an earless rabbit? I should not have done that. Tonight I came home and thought to check one of my more popular mouse traps. It was missing. Whisky Tango Foxtrot?! I looked around a bit thinking maybe I'd accidentally nudged or kicked it. No sign of it at all. Did someone come in here and take it? Once again my suspicions and groundless accusations came to the fore. So, the building super is coming into my apartment unannounced! Or maybe, the sprung trap sprang so violently it jumped behind the file cabinet or may… Holy mother of pearl!

There it was. Some seven feet from its original location with a live mouse trapped in it. Number Nine, as I'll call him, had been captured by the hind leg and dragged himself some six or seven feet, still attached to the trap, until he'd become tangled in the computer cables beneath my desk and could go no further. What an incredible feat of desperate survival, I thought as I rolled an advertising flyer and thwacked the furry little bastard over the head. It was done. Or was it? Again, he squirmed and stirred and attempted to drag himself homeward. Down came the flyer with a mighty tap. The tail flailed again. One more time I cracked its tiny noggin. This time, for the last time. My girlish yelp ended with a satisfied sigh (that sounded wrong but I'm sure that's what happened). I dumped the body in a bag and said, "It's time to take out the trash." Daddy needed a drink, so I went straight to the fridge and opened a new bottle of white wine. My work was done — for now.

Nine mice in eleven weeks, but this one gave me the creeps.

The Downtrodden 

Image via
“…he didn't suffer. It was a direct hit. No one could have foreseen this. Everyone here is upset. The cameraman was distraught.”
Lately, work has been somewhat stressful. Late nights at the office; home late only to have a microwaved leftovers for supper; missing workouts; drinking slightly more heavily. Not that it's so unusual, but there was a particular project causing more headaches than it should have. Then there was a day when as one person put it, "it's all going pear-shaped", which I took to mean, everything that could go wrong went wrong. I was unjustly, in my view, blamed for non-deliverables (already delivered, but let's not squabble over details) and e-mail after e-mail was just another slight against an already battered armour.

Of course, this leads to loosening of ties, if you ever wore ties anyway, and wiping of brows and downing of brews, and you think to yourself, "That was a bad day at the office."

You would think that until you read about a bunny, in a German zoo, who in preparation for its introductory press conference to the adoring public, had been trod upon by a clumsy German cameraman.

Is it possible to feel absolutely horrible whilst laughing through tears? Apparently so. My condolences to his family, but many thanks to the man who let me know there are people having much worse days at the office than I am. Cheers to you.

By the way, Easter has been cancelled.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I Don't Like These Numbers 

I'm still undecided about the number. 44. Forty-four. Double Trouble. 44 Magnum. Two score and 4 years? I've never been uncomfortable about telling people my age until now. Maybe that was because I didn't feel my age. Now I'm starting to. Thinning on top, thickening in the middle, and grey and fuzzy all around – and that's just my head. Persistant aches and pains and other assorted complaints certainly contribute to the feeling. What's more, I recently starting carrying the epitome of old-man accoutrements; a handkercheif. Not a pocket square. A hanky. Mind you, they are handsewn Japanese printed cotton and I do use them exclusively to wipe my glasses, but a day may come when it touches my nose or when I wipe the sweat from my brow and on that day the onset of age will have corrupted my very soul. Which is a problem because generally, my soul is the only young thing I've got left.
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Friday, March 02, 2012

Seen in February 

Gina Carano in Haywire, image via the A.V. Club

This month was all about the ladies. The crazy, crazy ladies. Beyoncé may have sang, "if you liked it you should've put a ring on it", but for some of these gals, "someone liked it and wanted to put a bullet in it." But any film about a crazy lady is also a little bit about the men that done 'em wrong. Both sides are represented. You decide who won.
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