Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Home For The Holidays


Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone had a great Christmas. The majority of my readers consist of family members, so I thought that I would dedicate this blog to family and the holidays. I would like to include a picture of my family but they have declined, which I understand, due to privacy issues. Plus, my family is ridiculously good looking so we would probably be bombarded with requests to appear in movies, magazines and advertisements. So, I have included a picture from "The Muppet Family Christmas" instead. Here is my Christmas poem:

It all started with a scenic drive through Clifton Hill
The sky was clear and the temperature was unseasonably mild
And then we arrived at the house where the meal would be served
At the home of my sister who is great with child.

My mom cooked up a storm while my nephew repeated "Mama working"
The food was abundant and the room was filled with mirth
There were grammar lessons about "declination", "pedigree schools" and "betrothal"
My sister laughed so hard that I worried she would give birth.

We discovered that it is difficult to write fridge magnet messages
When there is only one set of letters to be found
We opened the presents and were surrounded by Thomas the Tank Engine(s)
Building block sky rises were constructed and "Babyzilla" knocked them down.

Digital cameras clicked and flashed and memories were captured
There were pictures of my sis's baby bump and Grandpa in a mountain of toys
An assembly line formed for dishes to be washed, dried and put away
As we half-joked about women's work and the laziness of boys.

The food was packed away and I fantasized about leftovers
And was excited to score a package of jumbo Romaine hearts
But the eating was far from over as there were platters of desserts
We were full but still managed to ingest nanaimo bars, squares and tarts.

My brother and his family had a two hour drive ahead
So we hugged goodbye and I promised to see them soon
And then my mom, dad, bro-in-law and sis brought my nephew up to bed
And we watched as he read bedtime stories in his "big boy room".

My nephew did not want to go to bed and requested story after story
My brother-in-law read the words and my nephew mimed the actions
When he saw an illustration of a woman in a kitchen he pointed and said "Mama"
I held back the tears and was overcome with love and affection.

And then it was time for mom and dad to say "Good bye"
My mom is the tiniest woman but she has the strongest hugs
Every year our family grows but one thing remains the same
Christmas is always a time for vast amounts of food and even more love.

Merry Christmas to my family. I love you all very much! And Merry Christmas to all of the families in the world.

Love,
Cherry

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Driving Miss Cherry


I don't drive. Whenever I reveal that information to people for the first time, I always get the feeling that they are waiting for a tragic story to follow. Perhaps I lost my license due to drinking and driving or I was in a huge car accident and am now too afraid to drive. But the simple truth is, I have never had a car. Owning a car has never been a priority to me. I did not get my license until I was 20. While I was in university, everything that I needed was accessible by public transportation or within walking distance. After university, I worked in retail and couldn't afford a car. When I moved to Toronto, the subway system was amazing. For a mere $2.50 I could travel from one end of the city to the other, at amazing speed!

But, upon moving to Niagara, travel became quite inconvenient. At one point, I would take the Greyhound bus to work every day. The drivers became familiar with me and were very nice. One driver would allow me to ride for free from time to time. Another driver went out of his way to tell me that he was changing bus routes and that it had been a pleasure to have me as his passenger. He was actually my favourite driver as he would talk on a microphone and act as a tour guide while driving over the Skyway bridge. (It got to the point where I had his speech memorized). One warm day in March he told me that I looked like "Spring Incarnate" (I had to look that one up).

Now that I live closer to work, I walk every day. I must admit that the public transportation system here really sucks. I find that I can walk to most places in the amount of time that it would take me to take a bus (including waiting time). I have trained my body to walk for hours without growing tired. But as time goes by, I realize that I am beginning to need and want a car.

My sister tells me that I am an ideal passenger. I am definitely not a back seat driver. We could be in a near accident and I wouldn't even notice. I think that it is simply that I trust people when I am in their vehicle.

I am a bit frightened by the idea of driving. One thing that frightens me about cars is that they can kill people and animals. I sometimes have dreams in which I am suddenly behind the wheel and I don't know what to do. They are very similar to my dreams about writing an exam that I haven't prepared for. In both cases, I know that I would be okay if I just practised and studied.

Everyone tells me that my life will change once I get a car. I am told that I will experience an amazing sense of freedom and independence. I have made a New Year's resolution to get my finances in order and get to a point where I am actually able to save money. And when I save that money, I am going to blow it on a car! It wouldn't be a great car, I wouldn't care what it looked like. I wonder if people ever give away cars on freecycle.org....

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Bashful Corpse


I was introduced to www.postsecret.com by my blogger friend Hyacinths and Biscuits. It is a really interesting site in which people make postcards that reveal a secret that they have never told anyone. It is a bit voyeuristic, but also therapeutic. I really like the postcard that I have included above (I looked into the legalities of copying this image and it is fine as long as I include a link to the website). It reminds me of my own fears about death. Sometimes, when I am coming out of the shower, I am suddenly overcome by a fear that I will suddenly die and be found there, naked. I instantly panic and dry myself off and get dressed as quickly as possible. I know that this is completely irrational. I have watched enough episodes of "Six Feet Under" to know that when you die, people stick tubes in you, put make up on you and even make jokes while you are completely naked and there is nothing that you can do about it.

I once had an idea for a film where the main character dies in an embarrassing way and tries to go back in time to change the matter in which they died. They cannot change the fact that they are going to die, but they can try to alter the means of their demise. I know, it's a silly idea and that is why I don't care if someone steals it.

I really don't think about death that often. Actually, I sometimes forget that it is going to happen to me. I do believe that it is better to live your life than constantly worry about losing your life. But I do avoid taking showers during thunderstorms. You know, lightning + water + bathtub + naked = not a good thing.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This Charming Man


I came across this picture of Morrissey (my whole life I have been pronouncing it "Morri-say", but it has recently been brought to my attention that it is actually "Morri-see". Oops!) and I found it to be quite humorous. For some reason I just can't imagine him making it a priority to "work on his tan". It really is a great photograph though. His hair is strategically coiffed, but he doesn't look very comfortable. Wouldn't it hurt to lie on your face with sunglasses on? Yes, he was definitely a novice to the sunbathing ritual.

But all of that time in the sun has not led to any premature aging. I truly believe that Morrissey becomes more attractive as the years go by (I feel the same way about David Bowie). Morrissey was one of the first musicians that I ever listened to that made me think that it was cool to be melancholy. I will always remember that scene in "Pretty In Pink" where Jon Cryer (Duckie) is sitting on a mattress on the floor and "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" is playing softly in the background. I remember being influenced by the "Meat Is Murder" album. I also remember a photograph in my "Star Hits" magazine of Morrissey holding an emaciated looking kitten. In the article Morrissey discussed vegetarianism and how his kitten was a vegetarian as well (I don't think that felines thrive on a vegetarian diet). So, I stopped eating meat for a while (but I still ate bacon, because for some reason I thought that didn't count).

Morrissey was my first celebrity boyfriend. We had a lot in common because he was celibate and I was celibate too! (Okay, I wasn't celibate by choice, but by necessity. Remember, only the geeks asked me to dance at highschool dances). He was the only person that I knew of that looked cool when he wore his shirt unbuttoned and had necklaces gleaming against his alabaster skin. That is a difficult look to pull off.

Today Morrissey wears tailored suits and his perfectly styled hair has some silver in it. His music is a bit lighter but it still has that tongue-in-cheek quality. I'd love to see him in concert. I'd also love to hear some Christmas music by him...I've looked for some but haven't found any.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Don't Compare Her To Tori Amos


It seems that lately I can learn everything that I need to know by visiting Perez Hilton's website. Yesterday he posted about Regina Spektor's latest album. He included a video clip and I checked it out and really enjoyed her music. There was a link to her My Space (http://myspace.com/reginaspektor) where I found even more music and some really amazing videos. She is only in her mid 20's but she seems like an old soul. She lived in Moscow until the age of 9 and then her family moved to the Bronx. Her voice is charming and the camera loves her. Even her sadder songs have an air of optimism to them. Her lyrics are clever. Here are some that I really like (from the song "On The Radio"):

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

I read an interview with her and in the interview she was wearing a stethoscope. The interviewer asked her why and she said that it was given to her by a friend and sometimes she wears it so that she can listen to her heart if she has to make an important decision. She also stated that she does not like to be compared to Tori Amos.

If you get a chance, take a look at her My Space, or her website at www.reginaspektor.com. I really love the video for "Samson". It has some beautiful stop animation of intricate paper cut outs. She is also wearing a really cool dress from 1910. Of course, you can also find her on YouTube, but you will also find videos of sad Femo girls playing her songs on the piano. Just skip over those if you can.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"I like your sleeves. They're really big".


I came across this shot from "Napoleon Dynamite". I absolutely love that movie. There is such an innocence about it. This scene brings me back to my highschool years. I always got stuck dancing to "Stairway To Heaven" with the most undesirable boy in my class(there were many of them to choose from, so it wasn't always the same one). To this day, I can't hear that song without feeling a bit uncomfortable. But I still remember the excitement of the highschool dance. The smell of heavy cologne ("Polo" in those days and the occasional "Stetson"), the darkness of the gymnasium and the pounding in my chest when I thought that a highschool senior was walking up to me to ask me to dance.

Those were awkward days, but I can still identify with the person that I was. (Except that I don't see things the same way. For example, I can see out of my right eye now because I don't have long 80's bangs impeding my vision). Actually, when I write this blog, I am always reminded of the diary that I kept when I was 16. The next time that I visit my parents I am going to try to find that diary (I think that it is still in my old room). Maybe I will incorporate quotes from it in my blog. Me at 16 would shudder to imagine people reading my most personal thoughts. But I won't include the thoughts and fears that I can still identify with. But I am sure to find a lot of humour in those pages, as well as stories of highschool dances.

Shake Your Groove Thang!


Last night I went to my work Christmas Party. Whenever a danceable song came on, I wanted to get on the dance floor, but the girls at my table kept saying "I haven't had enough to drink. Maybe in a bit". There was a time when I needed to have a couple of drinks before I danced in public, but now, I rarely drink so I am quite accustom to making a fool of myself in a sober state. So, I kept sipping my water and waiting for my dance partners to gain some liquid courage. Finally we got up there and I was feelin' the music! (Okay, we were dancing to some cheesy Justin Timberlake song, but it didn't matter). My sister (who was sober as well as she is nine months pregnant) was working it, baby bump and all! I was impressed. She was impressed with my moves as well and I informed her that I have been watching a lot of Beyonce videos on YouTube. I'm trying to perfect my hip and butt shake.There was a huge video screen over the dance floor and a camera following people around. I looked up at the screen at one point and saw myself dancing. I was like a deer in the headlights. It was like when you hear your voice on a recording. You just can't believe that that is you (and not in a good way). I looked away from the screen and tried to continue to dance but whenever I looked up, I realized that the camera was still on me. I know that you are supposed to dance like no one is watching but I felt really self conscious at that moment. Once the camera was off of me, I was able to get in the groove again.

I guess I have always had a fear that I might be like Elaine on Seinfeld. She thought that she was a good dancer, but obviously she wasn't. I'll always remember her protesting "But I really like dancing". Maybe I should stop watching Beyonce videos and start watching the dance sequence from Napoleon Dynamite over and over again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Faces You Should Never Make


I was looking through some of my pictures and came across this one. My sister is on the left and I am on the right. My sister always looks good in pictures. I, on the other hand, not so much. This used to be my "mock modelling" face until I saw what it looked like. It is supposed to be a sultry pout, but it looks more like collagen injections gone wrong. Perez Hilton would have fun with this picture if I were a celebrity. He would probably draw stuff dripping out of my mouth and put a balloon over my sister and have her saying "I'm with FUG".

Perez Hilton rocks!

Can you tell that I didn't know what to post today?

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Song for A Creepy Winter's Evening


One of my favourite Christmas songs is "Baby It's Cold Outside". I also like the scene in the movie "Elf", where the shop girl finds herself in an unexpected duet with the Elf, singing "Baby It's Cold Outside". If you remember the movie, Zooey Deschanel's character is showering at work because her hot water has been shut off at her apartment. She is singing that song in the shower and Will Ferrell's character walks into the washroom and innocently sings along with her. She is rightfully creeped out by the whole situation (although the Elf is naive and means no harm). While listening closely to this song, I realized that there is a real creep factor to it. It is a song about a guy trying to talk a girl into staying at his house. She says that she will have half a drink more and he advises her to "put some records on while I pour". It appears that he does not want her to watch him pour her drink. Why? Well, the answer comes in the next verse when she asks "Say, what's in this drink?" and he responds "No cabs to be had out there". What did he put in her drink? Hmmmm.

She warms up to him a bit, but says "I wish I knew how to break this spell". She is probably referring to that groggy feeling. She then says "I ought to say 'No,no,no sir'. At least I'm gonna say that I tried". She is already planning to tell her friends that she tried to resist him. Oh, so maybe she isn't so innocent after all. Maybe she is welcoming his advances but plans to accuse him of taking advantage of her later on. Okay, so they are both creeps. At the end of the song the guy basically says that if she leaves, she might die. "If you caught pneumonia and died". Wow, that's desperate.

I was looking for the lyrics to the song and I found these. For some reason, I don't think that they are accurate:

my maidins anuts mind is fecouis
(GOSH ur lips are delicous)

theres boud to be talk 2 morrow
(think of my life long sorrow!)
atleast there be plenty of invised!
(if U caught PHONEUA and DIED!!)

For real! That is what I found on one site. But I also discovered some interesting facts about the song. It was originally performed by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton in the film "Neptune's Daughter". It won the Academy Award for best song in 1949.

That is the end of this lengthy post. I haven't posted in a few days so I guess I had a lot to say!

ps. I still like that song...even if it is creepy!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lost In Translation

Today I was walking down Victoria Ave. in Niagara Falls and I saw four sweet Asian ladies huddling together on the sidewalk. They were probably in their late forties. One of the women approached me and asked me if I speak Japanese. I said that I did not. She then said "Ou est le Seven Eleven?" (I guess she thought that I would speak French for some reason). I told her that it would be a bit of a walk, but to keep walking straight ahead and it would be on their right. I walked with them for a bit since that was the direction that I was going, but eventually I had to cross the street to start heading home. After I had crossed the street and walked a couple of blocks, I turned around and noticed that the four women were following me. They had taken a wrong turn and were way off course for the Seven Eleven (I also wondered why they wanted Seven Eleven. We had passed a couple of generic convenience stores. Maybe they were craving some tasty taquitos. I can't blame them!) They were too far away for me to yell to them that they were going the wrong way and I was too tired (and wearing way too uncomfortable shoes) to walk in their direction to redirect them. I walked home and half expected them to knock on my door within five minutes but it didn't happen.

I felt responsible for them. I had been a horrible Ambassador. It was raining and they didn't even have umbrellas. I thought about it for quite a while (I am still thinking about it now obviously) and all that I can hope is that they found someone that could speak Japanese (or French?).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What A Classy Broad!


It appears that Britney Spears has been revealing her private parts quite often lately. (Like, I think about 3 times in five days!). It is rumoured that it is a ploy for media attention, but I have a different theory. It's quite simple really. She has been spending a lot of time with Paris Hilton and maybe she didn't pack enough underwear. All I know is, if I had a choice between going commando or borrowing a pair of Paris Hilton's underwear, I would have to go without underwear. Even if they had been washed in boiling hot water, bleach and then perused under a microscope by a biologist!

Or maybe Britney was stopped on her way home from the laundromat and someone offered her $10 for a pair of her underwear and she sold them all. No, I don't think that she needs the money. But I am sure that K-Fed would gladly sell some of his boxers for some extra cash.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hair Tattoos


I had this strange idea today and I'm not worried about telling people because I don't think that anyone will want to steal it. I got the idea when I was on the bus and I saw a salon that advertised "Body Tattoos". I thought "Duh, where else would you put a tattoo?" and then, it came to me...the Hair Tattoo!

It would work best on longer hair. The hair would be permanently marked with a tattoo needle and ink. The beauty of it would be that you would not experience any pain. When you grew tired of the hair art, you could cut it off and even frame it to keep as a memento of your BAD ASS days. People with darker hair would have to use very bright colours, or simply white designs. I googled "Hair Tattoos" and so far all that I have been able to find are crimping techniques or glitter.

Then I thought about Teeth Tattoos. That would be interesting. I could also branch out into the "temporary" versions of this art for those who would like a change, but wouldn't want anything permanent. Of course, hair does grow so these tattoos would never be permanent.

I am trying to be creative with my images here, but I admit that I need some help. The picture above simply serves as a representation of this "invention". Bionic Buddha! Help me!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Summer Memories



I once worked with a girl named Summer and she was truly the epitome of her name. She had golden hair and sea blue eyes and she was always radiant. She was very shy at first and her mouth was always in a natural downwards pout, so it was difficult to read her. I shared an office with her and one day I was feeling really down and she sent me an E-card with dancing cats on it. We hadn't really opened up to each other yet, but once I received that card, I felt that this was someone that I could trust. She had a wicked sense of humour and wasn't afraid to make fun of herself. She also had an incredible singing voice and crazy dance moves. She would get nervous if she had to speak in front of people and her face would turn red. I will always remember sitting on a bench with her in front of the St. Lawrence Market. A man had asked us to watch his dog while he went inside. When he disappeared for over twenty minutes, we didn't know what to do. Our lunch hour was over, so we returned to our office and watched from the window for him to return. (Luckily our building was right beside the St. Lawrence Market). We exchanged nervous glances and both breathed a sigh of relief when the owner finally approached the bench to fetch his pet. When we would talk about boys, she always stressed the importance of self-respect and to never settle for someone who didn't treat you the way that you deserved to be treated.

The company that we worked for downsized and we began to work for different companies. In the last email that I received from her she informed me that she had met a great guy. They were spending the summer weekends at his family's cottage. She spoke of midnight swims and talks by the fire. I was very happy for her. That was six years ago.

I recently received an email from a coworker from that company. I asked for an update of our old friends. He informed me that Summer had passed away two years ago. She had cancer. My heart sunk. She was younger than me. She was the epitome of youth and beauty. Summer had crossed my mind over the years and it was confusing and painful to discover that she had been gone for the last two years. She hadn't been experiencing the things that I had hoped and imagined for her, such as marriage and motherhood.

I will always remember that E-card and her own personal message: "I'm sorry that you are sad. If you don't want to talk about it, that's okay. I just want you to know that I am here if you need me". That simple gesture from across a cubicle, a message sent to a person that she barely knew, that is how I will always remember Summer.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mice In The Aisles


There is a store that I frequent in order to procure staple items such as soap, paper towels, orange juice and cat food. I will not name the establishment as I do not want to be sued for writing this. I made a disturbing discovery there today. Firstly, whenever I walk down aisle 14, I smell the most horrific odour. At first I blamed it on the occasional scummy-num in the store, but I realized that there can't always be a smelly person in aisle 14. It is the smell of decay and rot. I have grown accustom to this odour so I just hold my breath and grab my can of tuna or soup (as this is the canned goods aisle). Today I was looking at a bag of pasta in another aisle. I was hesitant about buying this product as the bag had a film on it. Then I realized that the shelf was covered in rodent droppings.

I notified the stock boy about my discovery. I also told him that aisle 14 always has the smell of death in it. He replied "Oh, that's probably just a regular smell". I said "No, I think that something has died and is rotting, maybe a mouse?" He said "Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me. Thanks for letting me know" and walked away. I later saw him flirting with the girl at the cash register. She was asking him how much he made as a stock boy. He proudly stated "$10.40 an hour".

Actually, that's more than I thought he would make. I guess at that rate of pay, it may be beneath him to clean up mouse droppings and rodent corpses.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Baby It's Warm Outside


Today was a gorgeous day. I walked down to the Falls, for the first time since I have moved here. I saw people who had travelled from other countries to view this great marvel and I realized that I can come here whenever I want. I take the Falls for granted, almost like I would a bird bath in my back yard. But, it really is amazing.

On a different note, I had a really strange dream this morning. I find that my strangest dreams occur when I wake up in the morning and then decide to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I dreamt that I was visiting my parents and I went to their bedroom to use the washroom. Their bedroom had two double beds in it like you would see in a hotel room. The bedspreads were verigated, accordian-like satin. I pulled the sheets back and ,built into the mattress, was a toilet. I knew that it would be there, but I remember thinking, this can't be a good idea...Who wants to sleep where people relieve themselves?

And then I woke up.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Computers Give You Pimples!

I have had my computer for about a month and I find that I have had the worst complexion since I got it. It is like I am turning into a stereotypical computer nerd! My beauty regime hasn't changed. My diet hasn't changed (Oh, except for the daily dose of mini chocolate bars I had for the week after Hallowe'en). I don't know what's going on....

W.W.R.D.? (What Would Rojelio Do?)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Babooshka


I was born in Canada and so were my parents, but my last name is Hungarian, so I consider my heritage to be Hungarian (I am actually half Hungarian, a quarter Belgian and a quarter Scottish). All things Hungarian comfort me...the food, the language and the music. It reminds me of spending time with my grandparents. My grandfather would make his own wine and he encouraged my sister and I to take a shot of it (I remember this when I was 9 years old). It was very strong and I secretly held it in my mouth and went outside to spit it out so as not to offend my grandpa. When I hear people speaking Hungarian I am reminded of feeling sleepy at family gatherings and resting my eyes as I sat on the couch while the adults spoke. I can not speak Hungarian. I took lessons when I was eight and then again when I was sixteen, but it never stuck. It is a very difficult language to learn. My old Russian landlord (strange, he has come to mind twice in my blogs so far) could speak eight languages and he said that Hungarian was the most difficult for him to learn. I remember some songs, but when I sing them for Hungarian people, no one understands what I am saying.

My grandmother was an amazing cook. Everything she made was very heavy and greasy, but it was wonderful. Sometimes my sister and I would go to my grandparents' house after school. It would be 3:00pm and she would have a six course meal waiting for us. I am pretty sure that she thought that we weren't allowed to eat at school. I ate everything that she gave me to the point of vomition. I will always remember getting to the sixth course (chocolate cake) and suddenly getting up from the table to run to the bathroom to be sick. She stopped me and cupped her hands in front of herself and said "In my hands child". I didn't know what to do, so I regurgitated chocolate cake into her hands. Strange memories, but true.

I have never been to Hungary, but I would like to go. First I would like to learn how to speak the language, as at this time, all that I know are a few swear words, "please", "thank you", "come here", "little" and some songs that I thought were about butterflies.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Are Vintage Fur Coats Cruel?


I have a weakness for vintage coats. I love the quality of the wool, the unique buttons and the cursive writing on the huge satiny labels that are sewn in the coat. I have a really cool red suede coat with dome closures. I also have a black wool coat with a mink collar ("male mink" as my old Russian landlord once pointed out to me. He claimed that the male minks have the most beautiful fur). I also have an alpaca coat with a llama fur collar. I would never purchase a brand new fur coat, but I have always been able to rationalize a vintage fur coat. The way that I look at it is, I am not investing in the fur trade. The first owner bought the coat from a furrier, not I. Also, it is not fresh animal hide that I am wearing. Some of my coats are probably older than I am! And I am saving the environment by ensuring that these coats do not end up in a landfill.

I can see how I am in the wrong by wearing these coats. Perhaps when people admire the coats that I am wearing, it encourages them to purchase a brand new fur coat. That would make me sad.

I would like to hear your opinions on this matter. Maybe Rojelio could provide her ideas about this topic!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Gilberto Alfonso Ribiero

This is the story of Gilberto Alfonso Ribiero. Most people know him as Gilbert. He is a tabby cat that I rescued from an alley about a year and a half ago. There is an alley near my office where someone has set up a feeding station for stray cats. There are boxes lined with carpet and bowls of food and water. I am told that a woman fills those bowls every morning. I always knew that this place existed, but I tried not visit, as I worried that I would grow attached to one of these felines and feel compelled to bring one, or three, home with me. One day I decided to bring some soft canned food to these creatures, as a treat. It was then that I met Gilbert. He was the only cat that was tame enough to approach me. His one eye was sealed shut with puss and he coughed constantly. But he loved to be pet. I began to visit him every day, on the way to work and on the way home. Some days he would just lie there while I pet him. He didn't have the energy to stand. I decided to call the Humane Society in the hope that he could be rescued. They informed me that since he was ill, they would euthanize him. They would come and take him but I would have to be there to restrain him as they will not take free roaming cats. I then called the vet and explained his condition. They informed me that he would probably need some antibiotics but his chances of survival were good.

I continued to visit him every day. Some days his condition improved. He began to try to follow me to work. One morning, on my way to the alley, I saw Gilbert happily approach a man on the street. I saw the man move him out of the way with his boot. It was then that I decided that Gilbert couldn't live on the street anymore. A coworker saw me carrying him towards a cab, and she offered to give me a ride to the vet. The technicians were amazed at how friendly this stray cat was. They ran blood tests, gave him a flea treatment, prescribed antibiotics for his eye and chest infection and watched him overnight. The next day I was informed that I could bring him home. He had a speedy recovery in a warm apartment. A week later I brought him back for a follow up examination and the vet informed me that he had made a 100% recovery. He also told me that Gilbert appeared to be part Belgian tabby.

I wrote a letter to the woman that feeds the cats. I left it under a food bowl in the alley. In the letter I thanked her for her kindness and informed her that the friendly tabby with the infected eye and cough had a new home and was a wonderful pet. I returned to the alley and found the letter unopened beside the bowl. She had been there to fill the bowls, but she didn't take the letter (I even addressed it to "The person that feeds the cats"). I never returned to the alley. Sometimes I walk past it and remember the days when Gilbert would be standing there, waiting for me.

He still likes to be outside, but he knows when it is time for breakfast and always comes home. I have to call him, and I have to call him by his full name or he doesn't respond. "Gilberto Alfonso Ribiero!" Sometimes you just have to follow your heart...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Luvin' the Laundromat

So, I have moved to a new city and I am adjusting to things. So far, I like my apartment but I'm not too fond of the city. But, I'm luvin' the laundromat!

I'll tell you a bit about it. There are a couple of salt water aquariums and some tropical birds. There is a Beretta style bird (sorry, I am not sure of what they are called) and his name is Kiki and he always flirts with me. I also like the love bird named Georgie. There is a parrot too, but I think that he has some psychological problems because all that he ever does is squawk and hide his head behind his mirror. The television is always playing a movie that you would watch on a lazy Sunday. The owner is charismatic. Today he asked me"What's up, what's new, what's goin' on?" He does not tolerate it when people leave their laundry unattended. If your washer or dryer stops and you aren't there to claim it in 5 minutes, he takes it out so that other people can use it. The dryers are set high which is great (I wanted to compliment the owner on that, but I am afraid that he will realize that he could make more money if he turned them down a bit).

The clientele are pretty friendly too. I have only been grossed out by a couple of them, which is good, since I can be grossed out quite easily. Yes, this laundromat is much better than the one that I frequented in St. Catharines. At that laundromat I had some creepy guy steal my undergarments from the dryer. I didn't realize that it was happening until another customer pointed it out to me. At that moment, it all began to make sense as I remembered his face from another occasion where he actually followed me home from the laundromat and asked me, at the stoplight, if he could buy a pair of my underwear for $10.00. I ran all the way home and he disappeared.When I think about it, that guy probably owes me about $50.00!

Yes, there are a lot of creeps in this world. But if you can find a laundromat that you like, all seems right with the world.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Couch Coupling

At first I thought that it was just my imagination, but, on my way to work in the mornings, I have noticed a couch by the sidewalk in front of a building. The strange thing about it is that the couch changes. One day it will have a green fabric, the next it will be stripped down to its stuffing and the next day, it will have floral upholstery. It appears as though someone is throwing it out. Now, how many couches can these people have? And why is it a different one every few days?

Now, today, I witnessed the strangest phenomenon. As I approached the same building, I saw the couch....and a loveseat. They were not a match, they had different upholstery. It was more like one was the mother and one was the child. I think that deep in the night, another couch came along and impregnated the first couch. I kid you not!! I will start taking pictures, (not of the couches fornicating) and then you will believe me.

I don't even believe it....Perhaps I am going insane.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Water Parks & Swiss Chalet

There are two things in life that people get really excited about that I will never understand...Swiss Chalet and Water Parks! I really don't get it. You might as well just soak in a cess pool of germs with some crazy "special sauce".

G-ross, as a friend of mine would say;)

Is That What I Look Like?

Today, I was walking to work, deep in thought. When suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone making movements in a doorway. I looked and it was a little Asian man, laughing and marching on the spot, stiffly, like Frankenstein. He looked at me and said "I sorry...I be you. hee. hee". I said, "That's okay" and smiled and kept walking. But, inside, I was mortified. He was imitating me and was that what I really looked like? I'll admit that I wasn't wearing my most comfortable shoes....

This little experience reminds me of one of my drama classes in university. I was playing a character who was suppose to enter the room, sexily. The director stopped the scene and said "I'm sorry, but you walk like a farmer". I responded in the only way that I could, "That's because I am a farmer".

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's Your Handle?

In case you were wondering, Cherry is short for Cherry Blossom, my first CB handle. I grew up in rural Ontario in the 70's and CB's were our cell phones. My dad was Big Wheels, my mom was Flower Child, my sister was J-Bug and my brother was Little Wheels.

My brother was a teenager then and my parents never had to worry about him tying up the phone line, because he was able to talk to all of his friends, simultaneously, on the CB. My dad always would get a good laugh out of me arranging to meet truckers at the local drinking hole. (I was only eight). I would put on a southern drawl and say"This is Cherry Blossom here. I'll meet you at the Courtland Hotel at 7:30 and I'll be the pretty little thing in the pink sweater".

Of course, I never met with the truckers...it was all in good fun. Then, I'd go back to making shot gun bullets for my dad. Ah, the memories of growing up in a small town.