Saturday, March 31, 2007

Harbinger of Spring #2

I was walking on campus today when I spotted these poking up through the underbrush....The little crocus is usually the first thing to bloom in Spring, and there they are... Yahoo! So in honour of this little harbinger of spring, here's my haiku to the crocus:

Oh lowly crocus
Disguised within your smallness
Are promises GRAND....

new life, new love, fresh beginnings, fresh fruit/vegetables, warmer winds, warmer spirits..... may the new growing season be productive for you, whether you're growing fruits or vegetables, or your knowledge, or your skills, or your body, or your health, or your heart, or your soul.... good luck, Godspeed, Cheers!



Ahhhhh WATER...... This is definitely where I 'd rather be right now....

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It was taken at Hidden Valley Springs in Alaminos, Laguna, Philippines. The springs are warmed by a nearby dormant volcano. One of my most favourite places in the world....

I've been getting over a case of cabin fever lately, and the next picture, which was supposed to be my entry for last week's EMPTY should explain it.....This is the scene that I have been coming home to for the past few months.... an empty parking lot covered in snow.... as I traverse the snow to my lonely car near the lamp post, I imagine the rest of the people that were parked here in the morning, all warm at home, probably finished dinner and relaxing together with their families, or even already in bed.... while I'm still just making my way home.... depressing eh? Oh well, Spring is here, let's leave the Seasonal Affective Disorder behind!

Happy Photohunting Folks!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Ed. #11

Thirteen more random stuff from my past few weeks:
  1. My life is so boring lately, I haven't had 13 things to share in a while!
  2. The most exciting thing that happened to me was that I Rolled Up the Rim...
  3. ....and won a free coffee!
  4. When I claimed my prize I asked for an Extra-Large double double! Yahoo! It kept me going for most of the day...
  5. Spring is in the air! The temperature climbed to 21C, and it was kind of humid the other day...
  6. It got chilly again, but at least we're in the positive numbers now....
  7. I rrrrolled up another rim and won another coffee... yahoo!
  8. I'm gonna get another extra-large double double tommorrow!
  9. Next time, I intend to win a new car....
  10. or a plasma t.v....
  11. or some cash....
  12. wish me luck :)
  13. and please do not litter/respectez l'environment.....
Happy Thursday Thirteeners!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I love Aruba I love Greenland I love Lesotho I love Burundi

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Nermal!

Last Thursday, March 22, Nermal turned 5 years old! The cake was really for the humans, but I put some cat treats in a little bowl on top of the cake for Nermal. Initially, the cake was interesting for him, until he burned a couple of whiskers, whereupon Nermal wanted nothing more to do with said cake.... I try to keep his birthdays happy for the humans in his life, but for myself, Nermal birthdays ceased to be happy occasions last year, when I realized that they are just a count-down to Nermal's inevitable passing. I'm sorry if that sounds depressing, but it really depresses me to think of how short life is on this earth, and even more so for a beloved pet. I can't even imagine that in another 5, 6, or if I'm extremely lucky, 10 years, I may not have Nermal running to the door to greet me when I come home, or wake me every morning with his incessant purring and face touching.... but such is life..... and while I have him I will make the most of our time.... The cat treats I got him reminded me of that Purina dog food commercial, where the dog jumps up on his human's desk and inspires the human to make dog food in the shape of hearts.... does anybody know that commercial? I've searched YouTube, so I could show it to y'all, but I couldn't find it. The song in the background goes: "There's nothing I wouldn't do to prove my love for you..." So I would like to dedicate that song to my littlest and bestest buddy Nermal on his 5th birthday:

There's nothing I wouldn't do to prove my love for you
You've shown me how much better four legs are than two
So I looooove you!

... I wonder if he even understands.... Happy Birthday little buddy!
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Scenes Through a Dirty Window

I've written a lot about the interesting happenings on the subway right?... Well, since I started taking the GO train/bus (GO=Government of Ontario), I was hoping to maybe share some of the interesting things that happen there.... but nothing interesting EVER happens there... okay, maybe one or two things were pretty interesting... the majority of the riders are your typical suburbanite, usually quiet, mostly friendly and polite, and mostly keeping to themselves or talking amongst their own little regular rider cliques..... really nothing to write about.... I really tried to be extra vigilant and observant in case anything blog worthy should happen, but nothing.... so instead, I've been going camera crazy....

I'd like to share with you some end of the season wintery scenes from my daily ride from Meadowvale Station to Union Station, through the dirty windows of the GO bus.... so hop on board.... and enjoy the scenery coz it's all melting away.....Approaching the city from the highway.....See the Canada Geese?..... See the seagulls?.... Sunnyside Beach Pavilion.... should be opening again in a few months.... The building on the right is where my friend Christine wants to live.... Christine is one of my oldest and dearest friends, we've known each other since we were in grade 9! and this is Christine speeding by my bus.... Doesn't she look cool on her cell phone in her black Acura NSX!Inukshuk.... "so the people will know we were here"...... The Princes' Gate.....There's the downtown core from the Gardiner Expressway.....Welcome to Toronto, where the snow is finally melting....

Welcome to the Union Station Bus Terminal.....and welcome to Union Station..... No complimentary poem to accompany these scenes, but a quote that comes from the back of the Canadian $5 bill.....

Les hivers de mon enfance
étaint des saisons longues, longues.
Nous vivons en trois lieux:
l'école, l'église et la patinoire, mais
la vraie vie était sur la patinoire.

Roch Carrier

The winters of my childhood were
long, long seasons. We lived in
three places - the school, the church,
and the skating rink - but our real life
was on the skating rink.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Harbinger of Spring #1

A Happy Vernal Equinox to everyone! Yesterday I saw the first concrete sign that Spring is finally here....A Robin Redbreast visited my backyard, just in time for the first day of Spring.... a Happy New Year to our Persian friends as well!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Some More Scenes From the Subway

I haven't written about the subway in a long time! The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, ever since I started taking the GO train/bus, my travel time in the subway has been cut by more than half, thereby decreasing my exposure to the interesting happenings and characters that dwell there. Secondly, I think I've been exposed to these interesting happenings and characters enough, that nothing that goes on there even phases me anymore.... Except maybe for the following:

After a long day, I'm feeling really sleepy, so I close my eyes and try to sleep as the subway train jerks and squeals and screeches along.... the train stops at Spadina station and the doors open... I open my eyes to see a man come in with an obvious movement disorder.... he displays random, uncontrolled, jerky, and rapid movements.... the proper term in chorea, but I'm too tired to verify it with the files in my head, and much too tired to think of a diagnosis, so I close me eyes and try to sleep again... this way, I won't appear to be staring at him since he decide to sit right in front of me..... all of a sudden the train comes to a screeching halt in the middle of the tunnel and stays motionless for several minutes.... man with movement disorder jumps up suddenly and starts yelling!! I can't make out what he's saying, but he's yelling and flailing his arms around 30 cm from me!! The whole subway car turns to look in our direction.... What do I do?... I pretend not to be phased and I pretend to sleep again.... Huntington's Disease I think to myself.... there can be cognitive and psychiatric sequelae late in the disorder I think.... I keep my eyes slightly open to make sure he doesn't hit me.... the train starts up again, and he calms down.... I'm wide awake at this point, but I keep my eyes closed....

I realize that I'm in youngin country from St. George to Queen's Park stations, coz a lot of the conversations I hear go something like this: "like oh my god! could you believe blah blah blahed blah blah blah? Like what the heck is that, like doesn't blah blah blah like blah blah blah?! Like come on, like that's like crazy!! blah blah blah like blah blah like blah"... okay, do these girls actually go to the University of Toronto?!.... scary thing is that I understood what they said.....

It's the last day of the month, and like the excellent procrastinator that I am, I have left buying a new subway monthly pass to the last day.... needless to say the line-up at the Union Station ticket booth is long.... as I wait patiently in line I observe a little old man with the whitest of hair trying to purchase some subway tokens from the automated machine.... the machine doesn't seem to be working, so the little old man walks away.... he looks so frail and pale as he shuffles along.... he walks around to the other machines, I'm pretty sure those work, but he doesn't seem to get his tokens.... then he walks to the turn-style, what is he looking for.... he seems disoriented and continually fidgets with his wallet in his back pocket.... I suddenly realize that he may be short of cash, he's been trying to put a toonie ($2 coin) in the machine, but it think a token costs $2.25?.... realizing that I will miss my bus to suburbia if I continue to wait in line, I walk over the old gentleman, who at this point is watching other passengers buy tokens from the automated machine.... "excuse me sir" I say as I tap him on the shoulder "would you like to have my metropass, it's still good for one day".... he looks at me surprised, "oh thank you".... "you're welcome, take care now".... I run to catch my bus to suburbia....

While on the bus to suburbia, I think about the old gentleman, and hope he got home safe and sound... I think about my own parents as well, who themselves are getting older.... as the eldest offspring, it is my responsibility to ensure that my parents will be well taken care of, so they will never be short of cash, or will never have to wander around in the chaos of the subway.... I worry about them more and more, as their health fails them.... time has a disturbing way of flying by.... I remember the little old gentleman with the whitest of hair, and my own parents, as I read this poem:

A Dead Rose
O Rose! who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet;
But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat, -
Kept seven years in a drawer-thy titles shame thee.

The breeze that used to blow thee
Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away
An odour up the lane to last all day, -
If breathing now, - unsweetened would forego thee.

The sun that used to smite thee,
And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn,
Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn, -
If shining now, - with not a hue would light thee.

The dew that used to wet thee,
And, white first, grow incarnadined, because
It lay upon thee where the crimson was, -
If dropping now, - would darken where it met thee.

The fly that lit upon thee,
To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet,
Along thy leaf's pure edges, after heat, -
If lighting now, - would coldly overrun thee.

The bee that once did suck thee,
And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive, -
If passing now, - would blindly overlook thee.

The heart doth recognise thee,
Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet,
Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete, -
Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee.

Yes, and the heart doth owe thee
More love, dead rose! than to such roses bold
As Julia wears at dances, smiling cold! -
Lie still upon this heart-which breaks below thee!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nermal Takes a Bath

I had two reasons for giving Nermal a bath.

  1. I've been sneezing and my nose has been all congested, it's too early for spring allergies..... on close inspection of Nermal's back, I noticed some dandruff... No wonder I've been waking up in the middle of the night sneezing!
  2. The weather on the weekend was so nice that we went outside for a quick walk. It has been so long since Nermal's been outside.... The first and only place he decided to hang out was his catnip patch, which was all dried up and muddy.... he decided to roll around in it...
So here are some pics of Nermal taking a bath. He wanted to provide all the captions for y'all, so I turn it over to Nermal......

Nermal: What's this place? I think I have bad memories from here?
WAT THA! Is that running water?!It IS running water!!! Get me out of here!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Oh woe is me..... This is me plotting my escape..... You said it wasn't gonna take long!!! I hate shampoo! Where did my tail go? It looks so small.... Are we done yet? Yes!! Finally I'm all rinsed off.... Get me outta here! Oh my Cat!... you gotta be kidding me.... I thought we were done.... I hate that hairdryer thing, don't get too close or I'll swat that thing! Do my belly too... All done! Check out my fur, it's growing back again.... I think I look gooooood, and I smell even better.... maybe there IS something to this bathing thing.....
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