Friday, January 30, 2004

Commuting With Crabby

Oh my heavens it's snowing again. So much snow, nowhere to put it. The City in all its wisdom has announced that people who shovel their snow onto the street will be subjected to a $100 fine. Normally, I totally support this. You would also be fined if you don't clear your sidewalk within 12 hours of a snowfall (I think it should be six hours, but I'm Crabby). This week, however, we should be exempted from these rules. Here's my dilemma. I'm short. The snowbanks are tall. I have nowhere to put the snow, except into the street. The height of our front lawn now exceeds the range of my snow-hurling abilities. Of course I'd be willing to grow five inches taller just to please The City, but I might get fined for exceeding the zoning bylaws in my area.

Really, I hardly ever shovel the snow. It's a blue job in my household. My physiotherapist told me that there are two activities that I should never do if I want to live a pain-free life. One is painting walls, and the other is shovelling snow. I will love that man 'til the day I die. But I digress.

Sometimes, my commute to work on public transit is trying, even in excellent weather. This morning, though, was very, very trying. A car got stuck trying to back out of a driveway. The car's bum was sticking out far enough to cover the streetcar tracks. Hence, no streetcar could pass by. I was sitting right up front (nerds do this) and could see that their driveway was covered with the 18 inches of snow that we have received this week. There they were, standing in their driveway, staring at their stuck car, looking sheepish because now two streetcars were backed up waiting for clear passage.

It took about three seconds before a handful of men stood up and asked the driver if they should go push the car out of the way. "You want to get to work that badly, be my guest," she said, and let them out. Well, they made tidy work of it, and were applauded back in their seats in less than 30 seconds. Off we went.

The moral of this story? I'm short and Crabby, and I know there's a lot of snow, but if you get in my way I've got four guys over here who know what to do.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

This makes up for the plastic crown.

A colleague of mine has just given me a poster of Lisa Simpson to hang in my office. The caption on the poster says "It's my room and I can do what I want." I love this.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Some fun from Sugarmama

Here are some places I've visited or passed through (had to be awake and set foot in), and in italics, some places I've lived at least three contingent months in... and in no particular order.

1) Ottawa, Ontario 2) Toronto, Ontario 3) Victoria, British Columbia 4) Comox, B.C. 5) Courtenay, B.C. 6) Montreal, Québec 7) Prague, Czech Republic 8) Brussels, Belguim 9) Brugges, Belguim 10) Paris, France 11) Winnipeg, Manitoba 12) Chatham, Ontario 13) Jasper, Alberta 14) Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan 15) Portage La Prairie, Manitoba 16) Charlettown, Prince Edward Island 17) St. John, New Brunswick 18) Shediac, New Brunswick 19) Québec City, Québec 20) Trois Rivieres, Québec 22) Lake Placid, New York 23) Saranac Lake, New York 24) Shenandoah Valley, Virginia 25) Washington, D.C. 26) Virginia Beach, Virginia 27) St. Petersburg, Florida 28) Anaheim, California 29) Miami, Florida 30) Williamsburg, Pensylvannia 31) Vancouver, British Columbia 32) Seattle, Washington 33) Windsor, Ontario 34) Detroit, Michigan 35) Sarnia, Ontario 36) Kingston, Ontario 37) St. Bruno, Québec 38) Someplace in Georgia 39) Cape Cod, Massachusetts 40) Chicago, Illinois 41) Thunder Bay, Ontario 42) Marathon, Ontario 43) Kenora, Ontario 44) Glencoe, Ontario 45) Erieau, Ontario 46) Brussels, Ontario 47) Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario 48) St. Catharines, Ontario 49) Arnprior, Ontario 50) Goderich Ontario (plus about 75 other small towns in Ontario but I'll stop here) 51) Someplace in North Carolina 51) Deluth, Minnesota 52) Richmond, Virginnia 53) Gettysburg, Pennyslvania

What about you? Where you bin at?

Toronto Blackout, The Sequel
Once again, I was trying to navigate my way through an Excel spreadsheet when "CLICK" everything went dark. Once again, I broke the no-cussing-in-the-workplace rule, because of course I hadn't used the magic "control s" function in twenty minutes. To make a long story short, it wasn't as bad as the blackout in August. We knew this by peering out the boardroom window to see the streetcars streaming by. "At least we can get home," says the brooding bedroom-eyed policy analyst. "What about my yoga class?" moans the willowy sociologist. "Nobody's going anywhere," Crabby says, moving into Manager Mode. "Let's give it an hour."

In that hour, I got to know some of our newer staff members a little better. A book club was formed by our librarian - we'll focus on Canadian fiction to start, at least. I caught up on my filing. Somehow, I agreed to a Boggle tournament to be set at a later date.

When one of my favourite colleagues, my fellow Montrealer, asked for the flashlight to take to the loo, I said "Make sure to wipe it off, eh?" And we all shared a big guffaw.

When the office started getting a little cold, we tromped down nine flights of stairs, caravan-style, with the flashlight-holder in the middle. I stopped off at the grocery store for a beautifully-marbled hunk of roast beast to make for dinner, and bought a $15 Liz Clairborne suit at the neighbouring consignment store (the power is thankfully working in my neighbourhood).

Now, I'm about to curl up with a gin and tonic and my suggestion for our book club's inaugural endeavor. "Rough life," Mr. Crabby snarked at me over the phone. Yeah, (yawn and stretch), it's rough. The sidewalk is shoveled, the laundry is drying, and the house smells of heavenly pot roast. Sweet dreams!

Monday, January 26, 2004

I love a good awards show.

"I don't watch very much television," my new friend told me on Sunday. A number of people have said this to me recently, in fact. Either everyone I know is too erudite for the warm, comforting glow of the TV, or they lie like rugs. Is TV out of fashion? I hope not. I love television. I watch a lot of it. I confess to loving the Idol franchise, American or Canadian. I'm still addicted to Survivor, while growing increasingly bored with it at the same time. The second thing I do each morning is turn the dial (now that is old fashioned) to CNN. I'll watch just about anything on A&E or on HGTV. And, I'm a sucker for awards shows. There. I've finally confessed. It's out there. I like awards shows.

Last night I watched the Golden Globes. That's my favourite awards show, because a) it is free of the interpretive dance crap that lengthens the Oscars, and b) no Joan Rivers. With the exception of suddenly frumpy Meryl Streep and bedraggled, hobbitish Peter Jackson, everyone looked absolutely breathtaking last night. Many acceptance speeches were thoughtful, humble, and sweet. It was a great show.

Some people cannot resist the temptation of chocolate. Put a starlet in an elegant gown with a statue in front of me, and I'm a goner.