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.