Friday, April 30, 2004
ucch. not again.
I'm having one of my little emotional meltdowns today, come back another day when I will hopefully have something more intelligent to say (than "boohoo, woe is me!"). I've taken the day off work to wallow right-proper and hopefully do a little soul searching (and to hide in my cave, let's be honest). If anyone has any idea as to "what I can be when I grow up", I'm wide open to suggestions. Thanks for stopping by, and may I suggest you pick one of the blogs in my blogroll that you haven't tried before, for something new to read.

Thursday, April 29, 2004
a sudden shift in priorities
"Oh yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone"

Last night I got a call from one of my friends (who also happens to be my sponsee in AA) saying she needed to go to a meeting and wanted to talk to me. When you get a call like this it's never good, and usually means the person is in trouble (and we all know how hard it can be to ask for help). I dropped everything to meet up with her.

I met her in the parking lot outside the meeting to talk to her before we went in. She confessed that she had started drinking again, and that she should have told me when we hung out on Saturday. She broke down and cried and we talked it out. She was afraid that I would be mad that she didn't tell me sooner, and I told her that it was better late than never. There is guilt and shame that comes with admitting to drinking again and I understood why she didn't sooner. But now it was time to develop a plan of action to get her back onto the road to recovery before she derailed her whole life again. As her sponsor this creates a large responsibility for me, as I try to draw up a plan of action to help her; she's come to me for guidance afterall (which all feels weird since she's older than me, but I have almost 5 years sobriety, she sure doesn't).

First thing I did was get her to commit to going to meetings with me every night for the next while. I cleared the decks by cancelling all my plans for the next week or so (including Survivor with Princess Blondie tonight) in order to make sure I'm there to help her out. My cell phone stays on 24 hours a day and she is to call me before she picks up her next drink. I gave her a list of other things I wanted her to do and then we went into the meeting.

The problem is, I am terrified that I won't be much help to her. Yeah we're best of friends, but I haven't exactly been a stellar spokesperson for AA. Since losing Shane 3 years ago, my appearances at the meetings have been sporadic at best. But most of all I am terrified that I will lose her to alcoholism, a common fate in this program. I have buried a few alcoholic friends who just couldn't ever seem to stop, and paid the price. And let me tell was one of the worst moments of my life as I watched two young children weeping at the graveyard as people tossed dirt on top of their mother's casket. It is a horrible image I will never be able to erase from my memory, and it terrifies me to think this could happen to my sponsee.

At the end of last night's meeting I gave my friend a big big hug and told her that I was NOT going to lose her, so she better do what I say. And that's what makes this such a great's all about paying it forward. Someone did this for me once, and now I am doing it for my friend. It's one of the foundations of AA, and it works. We help each other, and love each other until we can once again love ourselves.

I was very upset after I left her last night, and cried out of great fear and worry. Today wasn't much better, as I was in a different world all day while I was at work. However, I just got back from another meeting with her tonight, and I'm feeling better. She is starting to feel better too and a little stronger already. She knows what she has to do and is willing to do it. We had a great time at the meeting tonight (our giggling was frowned upon) and I look forward to the next meeting. Maybe this was all part of the big plan....a way of getting ME back into the rooms that I have been avoiding since losing Shane. This could be very good for us both.

Speaking of which, at the meeting tonight I recognized one of the guys as a member of my group from a long time ago. We got talking about the girl who drove drunk and killed Shane, and he told me that she was acquitted on the charges. My blood boils just thinking about it, but sadly it doesn't surprise me. I'll have to take comfort in the idea that she is the one who will have to live with what she's done for the rest of her life. And she better look out, coz karma is an unforgiving bitch.

Anyway, I'm pretty bagged. I'm gonna get in my jammies, and get ready for E.R. (and if I can stay awake, I wanna watch Survivor before someone ruins it for me; I taped it).
Thanks for listening. :-)

"It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'.....

.....And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night"

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
happiness is conjugating verbs
So after my Hebrew class last night I felt all inspired to learn (as I always do, I have a great teacher) so I went out and dropped some coin on a book I have been looking at for a while now. I know, it's not everyone's idea of great reading, but I'm hoping it will help me on my quest to learn this friggin' impossible language.
While I was at the bookstore I also grabbed a program for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. It's very exciting, though I'm not sure how many movies I will be able to see. The one I really want to see, Hebrew Hammer (check it out, there are familiar actors in there! it looks hilarious!), conflicts with my Thursday night Survivor plans with the neighbour. We'll see, it depends on how badly I want to see it.

So, it should be known that I am a girl who is all about immediate gratification. When I want something, I want it NOW and once an idea is stuck in my head I obsess. Learning Hebrew is no exception. I get very frustrated because I just want to speak it NOW...none of this painfully slow learning crap; I'm far too impatient. I have daydreamed with a few friends about a fantastic future in which we would have memory slots, and you could put in language chips. I asked my friends which languages they would choose if they were only allowed five slots (and if you want English that takes up one of the slots, no freebies!!). I said I wanted English, Hebrew, French (loathe as I am to say it, but it's handy), Spanish and...some kind of Oriental language. I'd have to do more research before I specify. Japanese? Cantonese? Mandarin? I'd have to look into the matter. Which languages would you like to have?

Anyway, in my renewed obsession to learn Hebrew I have gone back to listening to the Hebrew language cd's in my car to and from work. That gives me about an hour a day, which is pretty good. And I am hoping I can exercise discipline and do at least an hour of homework every night, but I can be a lazy bastard sometimes so I'm not sure how long that will last. The way I look at it, an hour, if you do it *right* after work as dinner is cooking, shouldn't be that hard to manage. Just gotta muster that discipline that's so hard to come by.

I'd also like to get a bike ride in every night after work too, but I'm not sure how often THAT would actually happen. First problem is to get the bike from my parents home (gee, that might help). LOL. But I like bike riding, and don't even see it as exercise so much as a fun activity; the fact that it's good for you is just a bonus. I live in a neighbourhood that is much easier to get around in by bike than car, so it would give me a chance to explore areas and stores/shops I haven't seen yet. This is my spring and summer project.

I also bought some cookbooks last night when I was at the bookstore. They are my favourite kind...small little books with colour pictures on every page, and 6 steps to the recipe or less. Makes it all very manageable. I'm hoping to break out of my boring routine in which I have about 5 meals I make well, and cycle through them. In other words, I lack cooking imagination. Doesn't mean I don't like to cook, coz I do. I just don't have the imagination to dream up exciting ideas and recipes. So add that to my project list for this spring and summer. :-)

What are your plans for this summer? Making any changes?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Yom Ha'atzmaut
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ISRAEL!!!! Today Israel is 56! And what a country it has become...a beacon of democracy in a sea of chaos. It is the only country in the Middle East in which it's citizens have freedom of speech, freedom to be gay or straight and freedom to practice whatever religion they like. Try that in a country like Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Syria! Israel should be an example to those in the Middle East who would strive to control their citizens telling them who they should worship, how they should dress or how to treat their women. Why is Israel so hated by the Arab countries? Because it is everything they are not but secretly wish they could be. Israel has done all this and more and it is a mere baby in terms of it's age. In 56 years it has established itself within the world and made it a force to be reckoned with. It makes huge contributions in the medical and technological world, and continues to grow and shine. Want to break away from all the news of the conflict and see what Israel is REALLY about? Go read more on Israel 21C, a fantastic site that talks about all these wonderful advancements and discoveries. I *highly* recommend you at least take a peek. Humour me here, go have a look. :-) And I wanted to attend the Yom Ha'atzmaut walk that's happening tonight in my area, but I have Hebrew class. Apparently it'll be a special Yom Ha'atzmaut class, so I'm looking forward to it. *grin*

Here are some fantastic articles for Israel's Independence Day (ranging from "what Israel means to me" type of stories, to stories of those who have moved there and tried to fit in. very insightful and moving stuff!) Hat tip: Smooth Stone.
And you simply MUST see Imshin's tiny new kitten crawling across the Israeli flag. SO CUTE!!!! And for something amusing read this article "You know you're an Israeli when...". I was amused as I recognized many of these traits in my Israeli friends.

Meanwhile there are those out there in the world that thrive on chaos and wish to spread their hate wherever they go. Thankfully a huge Al Qaeda plot was foiled, and it is estimated it would have likely killed 80,000 people if it had succeeded. The targets were both U.S. and Jordanian interests, which I hope wakes the Arab world up to see that Al Qaeda doesn't protect their own Arab brethren, *everyone* is a target. Remember when the Arab world was cheering Al Qaeda's "success" on 9/11? Yeah, I doubt they'd be so enthusiastic if THEY were the target. Sadly, I think it's going to take an attack on them in order to have them get with the program on all this; it sure worked for the rest of us. Read Imshin's comparison between cancer and terrorism...I found it to be highly accurate.
Oh and despite Hamas efforts to hide the identity of their newly appointed leader, the IDF has identified him. I hope he knows how to dodge missiles.

Monday, April 26, 2004
Yom HaZiKaron
Today is Memorial Day in Israel, a time to mark those who have fallen in order to protect their country. From November 1947 to today a total of 21,782 soldiers have fallen (184 in the last year alone). Once again the siren was sounded across Israel, and everyone stopped what they were doing for a moment of silence. If not for those soldiers, Israel would not exist. To read about this day from an Israeli perspective check out Rinat, Allison, Israellycool, Gilly or Aaron.

Times are tough in Israel, with the political situation a chronic problem, the conflict always looming and economic woes evident (Israel reached an all-time high unemployment rate of 11% recently). But after mourning the loss of 6 million Jews last week, and their fallen soldiers this week, Israel really knows how to pull out of the sadness and wake up the country. Starting at sundown tonight (just as Memorial Day actually started at sundown last night), Israel celebrates Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Independence Day (Israel is a baby..only 56 years old!). And like any country celebrating it's birthday (and boasting a population of 6.8 million) , Israel comes alive with parties and barbeques and gatherings. All much needed release after a difficult week, and indeed, in the face of difficult times. I only wish I could be there to join the great celebrations. Israel has most certainly earned it, it's been a long hard road.

For those in the Toronto area, there will be a Yom Ha'atzmaut walk in celebration of Israel's birthday; details here if you are interested in joining. Also! The Toronto Jewish Film Festival starts May 1st. Info on that here.

But for today, let us remember those who had died in order to protect.

You may have noticed right away that there are NO pictures on my site at the moment. Ask me how much I loooooooooove my internet service provider right now? Yes, it seems that my pictures have allllll disappeared from my webspace, as provided by my isp, and I cannot access it using my ftp program to fix it. Seems there's a "glitch" of some sort. I was reduced to a multitude of swear words over the phone as I was filled with intense anger, and did my best to not take it out on the poor idiot who has to take my call. I am *extremely* irate at this very moment, as it pains me to no end to see my webpage a mess like this. It's killing my very anal personality and if ROGERS doesn't fix this problem soon I may need therapy to undo all the damage. Rotten fucking bastards, way to start my week off right.

If anyone has some suggestions as to how I may fix this, I am listening. Because the idea of going back into ALLLLL my posts that have pics and fixing the html tag for each and every fucking one of them because I've moved the pics elsewhere makes me want to run out and commit homicide. I HATE YOU ROGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: Seems the little rat bastards have fixed the problem. This only serves to remind me that I need to start looking at alternative sources (sort of like how one little virus reminds you that you should back up your hard drive more often). Mercifully my blood pressure can go down now. Whew.

Sunday, April 25, 2004
So I went to the Israeli Market set up for the day, conveniently just around the corner from my house. First of all, let me just say that I had this bizarre belief that I would be the only one; okay maybe not the ONLY one, but I thought it would be small. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was packed and it was chaos in the parking lot. Lots of honking, lots of angry Israelis, it was stress just trying to get INTO the market, nevermind fighting the crowds inside.

And of course, there was security at the door checking bags. I was stunned as a guard stopped me and asked to look in my bag....yeah I got used to it in Israel, but it hardly ever happens here in Canada. But whenever we Jews gather in large numbers we must take extra care, for there are always those lurking out there who seek to harm us. It's sad but true.

Anyway, once inside I was a very happy little camper. I love looking around at Israeli products, and I love hearing the sound of Hebrew all around me. There were people selling jewelry, candy, wine, dishes, shoes, flags, shirts, locks (?!), all kinds of Judaica-type items and there was even a woman belly dancing. It was wonderful, and the atmosphere just made me so happy I coulda cried right there (you think I joke!). I bought an Israeli Police t-shirt, a pin with the flags of Canada and Israel (gotta look closely in the's there. here's a better pic, if you're interested.) and a bumper sticker. I was eyeballing a necklace I liked, but I am still pining over that one I never bought on eBay, so I didn't get it. In the end I had great fun, I really wish there were more of those markets.

Moving right along, I'd like to talk about a little product called the Magic Bullet. After getting sucked into one of the most badly scripted infomercials I have ever seen, I soon found myself thinking that maybe they were right...maybe I really DID need a Magic Bullet for all my kitchen needs!! I didn't break down and buy it, but I am certainly finding myself watching the infomercial more and more. At first I started watching it for a LAUGH coz the acting is so excrutiatingly bad, but then...well, you know how these infomercials are. They target the weak-willed and sleep-deprived, and I am the first to admit I'm a marketing whore. I'll go for anything if it's shiny or cool. Anyway, do be sure to watch the infomercial if you see it.

I think I'm going to go grocery shopping now. I had me a loooong nap today and I'm feeling quite spunky. And I think I need to keep up this eating-like-a-real-human being habit I have recently developed, and that requires real food (versus pizza or frozen dinners). I like grocery shopping at odd times like this (no crowds), and couldn't have been happier when not one but TWO 24-hour grocery stores opened up in my area over the last year and a half. Life is good. Now if only I could get Wal-Mart to open 24-hours, I'd be in heaven.

Two last things. One: I can't watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" without crying. I just watched my first episode and wept like a bebe. If you didn't cry too, then you have no soul, because they took the home of this family that desperately needed help (a truck had driven into their home and wrecked it, and they couldn't afford to fix it) and gave them the most *stunning* home. I was fine until the lovely and obviously grateful woman started crying. It was nice to see such genuine appreciation, and these folks deserved it. *sniff* It was moving, I swear!!!

Ok, and once again, in closing, I'd like to say hi to the people who typed the following words into a search engine and found me:

"leg torso ratio child" (ok, I wrote a post on leg torso once, and this is now the SECOND person who has found me searching for info on leg/torso ratio. this makes me laugh on the inside in a big big way)

"I am feeling ignored" (oh man, how lame is your life that you would type that in a search engine?? hope things improve for you, my friend)

"girls shiny fillings in her back teeth" (I can't even make shit like this up, folks. this is for real.)

hope y'all had a great weekend!

pelican grease
Have you heard? The Dalai Lama is here in Toronto. I for one think that's pretty cool, and had I known ahead of time I might have made the effort to see him. :-/ Now if only we could get him to go to Israel to spread a little of those peace blessings.....
(side note: I had a dream last night that there was a HUGE bombing in an Israeli town. I was relieved when I got up and checked the news and saw everything was fine. sometimes I get a little freaky that way, or maybe all the news in Iraq is starting to get to me, who knows)

Last weekend I had my two little cousins (two boys, ages 8 & 10) staying overnight with me whilst the parents went off to a wedding. In my efforts to entertain them (which included glow-in-the-dark mini golf, pizza and junk food) I also rented some movies with them. I let the boys pick the movies because I had no idea what they had and had not seen before, and I was fairly confident that my idea of a good movie and THEIR idea of a good movie would likely be vastly different. Anyway, the movies selected for the evening were "Good Boy" and "School of Rock". Good Boy was about a boy and his dog (from outer space) and School of Rock is about a guy who teaches a group of kids how to rock (he creates a rock band with the kids).

Ok? Now then, my point in all this is that I noticed an interesting phenomena....both movies had very subtle gay characters in them. In Good Boy it was really very subtle, as the next door neighbours to the boy were two men. I understood it to be a gentle and subconscious way to maybe get the next generation comfortable with the idea, and that by showing the scenario in a movie (ever-so-subtly) it would teach them that this is perfectly normal. I thought it was a good thing, though it was so damn subtle that I don't think the two boys even picked up on it.
In School of Rock it was far less subtle, as one boy is made out to be clearly gay, as they focus on his artistic talent for fashion and give him a very slight lisp. Many a joke ensue as he designs the costumes for the bands, and he confesses to liking Liza Minelli. In other words, they make him "stereotypically gay". And because of that it was NOT missed by the two boys I was watching it with. During the movie one of the boys piped up and said to me that he didn't like "that one kid". I asked which one, and he said "the kid that talks funny". Knowing exactly which kid he was referring to I asked him why, as I was interested in knowing if he understood why he didn't like the kid. He said he didn't know, just that he didn't like the kid. I found this extremely interesting. They already don't like the kid coz they know he's different, but they aren't old enough or have been exposed to enough, to understand the jokes or what the character is meant to be.
What does all that mean? I have no idea, but it had me mildly concerned, though curious at the same time. *shrug* Who knows.....I guess we'll see how their values develop as they get older.

Anyway, I had more to write, but I gotta get moving. I have family in town, and I'm supposed to have 'brunch' with them in an hour or so. Later on I am going to an Israeli Market that's set up just for today. I like to go and shop around, as they sell everything from jewelry to housewares to food, and I like to spend a little in support of Israel (for those in Toronto, if you wish to do the same it's at Beit Rayim Synagogue (9711 Bayview Ave) from 1 - 5pm.
Maybe I'll come back tonight and finish my thoughts...

Friday, April 23, 2004
Yom Shishi
First of all, let me thank everyone for your fabulous support yesterday; I am truly blessed to have such wonderful readers. It was a hard post to write, as I went from smiles to tears as I told his story. I thank you all for taking the time to read it (I know it was rather lengthy), but I felt it was important to share. It's my way of keeping Shane's story alive and well, and maybe making a difference in someone else's life. I believe he can touch lives even now, in his absence.

I'd also like to thank my bestest friend and neighbour- across- the- hall, Princess Blondie for helping me forget my blues (this IS the same girl who gave me flowers on Sunday when I was sick, afterall). I walked over to her apartment last night for our usual Thursday night ritual of watching Survivor together, and we decided to slather on a mud mask. We girls do things like this, y'see. :-) Admittedly it felt like it was burning my face off for the first five minutes, but Princess Blondie managed to talk me through it ("fan your face! FAN YOUR FACE!!!"). LOL. It was a ton of fun and I admit, my face felt *amazing* afterwards. Thanks, neighbour!!! (more pictures here, here, here and here)

Some things about Israel (come on, you knew I'd have to talk about Israel soon or later, didn't you? *wink*).
First, I am happy to hear that The Passion of the Christ will be screened in Israel afterall. This is good, I think it's only fair that those Jews who wish to see what they are up against in the media hype have the option of seeing it if they want to (or did we forget that Israel is the ONLY democracy in the Middle East?). Let people choose to watch it or boycott it. Either way, let them choose.
Second, Israellycool has found a very interesting slide show on the cause and effect of terror. Many people have the impression that Israel has always been a warzone, but this presentation outlines how that simply isn't the case. Though you now have to have your bags checked when entering a mall or restaurant in Israel, it wasn't always that way. Only in the last 4 years has this happened. Why? Because of terror. Remember when lineups at the airport weren't 4 hours long? That would be before 9/11. Check out the slide show called "It's the terror, stupid!" to get a better understanding.

And that's about it, except for a few things. I'd like to say hi to the chap from Norway who found my site by typing "car and ladies ond sex" into a search engine. It offered a great source of amusement for me.
Also, check out this little site, JBox, as it is full of Japanese goodness. You can buy all kinds of wacky things like SOCK GLUE to hold your socks up!!! Where was THAT the other day when my socks were falling down!?!? Anyway, if you want to kill some time I *highly* recommend this site. Be sure to check out the t-shirts; you can get shirts that make it look like you have full sleeve tattoos or ones with prints of actual signs in Japan, like the "Beware of Pervert" sign!!

hope everyone has a great weekend!
Shabat Shalom

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Today I'd like to tell y'all a tale about a guy I once knew, named Shane. It's a story about a happy-go-lucky guy who overcame some tough stuff in his life to come out on top. A guy who taught me that friendship absolutely can make all the difference in the world, and maybe even save your life. This is a journey about a guy with a heart of gold.

Shane grew up as what many would call a "bad" or "troubled" kid. He got into fights, he got into all sorts of trouble and he got into drugs and alcohol. By age 13 he was addicted to everything from cocaine to booze, and was even selling cocaine to pay for his own habits. He was out of control by anyone's measure, and his parents didn't know what to do with him. Several overdoses later he had decided it was time to make some changes. At age 15 he decided to check into a rehab in Texas.

When he was done his time there he came back to Toronto with a new and driven will to live. He threw himself into the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program and got involved in every aspect. He went to conventions all over North America, he joined the board for the home group in his area, he sponsored countless addicts (in the program you get a sponsor, someone you mentor under and go to for help, questions, and someone to speak to in confidence), he helped at treatment centres and the head office for AA in Toronto and he travelled to highschools to speak to students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Speaking to kids was a particularly important part of his life, for he felt he could really help other kids by telling them his story in the hopes that they wouldn't make the same mistakes he did. His influence worked well, as the kids identified well with him, because of his young age. Shane lived, breathed and ate AA, and it became his salvation from his addiction. It would also be instrumental in him maintaining his sobriety when his mother died of cancer. He is an inspiration to me and many others.

I met Shane in January 2000 when I walked into the rooms of AA looking to make some changes in my own life (there's something new you just learned about me! but today isn't about me, so perhaps I'll tell MY story another day); after nearly a year on my own I couldn't go on without help. He was an angel, and I was thrilled to find someone my age in a sea of middle aged men and women. I latched onto him immediately and we quickly became fast friends (no, it never went beyond that). We spent endless hours in coffee shops talking, or walking around, or at meetings together. Sometimes I would take him to see his mom's grave. At one time he even lived on my living room floor when he was "between homes". Shane was happy despite having no money, no job and often no home (his home life was broken because of his past, never to be repaired). He had his sobriety and that's all he needed. And when it came time for me to celebrate my first year of sobriety I chose him to host my evening with our AA group and to give me my medallion. We had a bond that transcended your average friendship...we were friends born out of a need to find someone who understood us for the addicted misfits that we were. We were friends in the best of times, and partners in the worst. Shane was my friend, my support system and my lifeline.

Three years ago today Shane was killed by a drunk driver on his way home from an AA meeting. It was a Sunday night, about 9:30pm, when a 19 year old girl plowed her dad's car into the side of the car carrying Shane and our friend Andy, who was giving him a ride home. The girl who ran the red light got out without so much as a scratch and blew far beyond the legal limits for drinking (something absurd, like 4x the amount). She and her friend didn't even know what had happened. Meanwhile, Andy had sustained life threatening injuries and Shane was killed instantly (unfortunately I saw the wreck on the news that morning, a sight I will never forget). The irony was not lost on us.....killed on his way home from an AA meeting, by a drunk driver? Unbelievable. By a girl, about the age he often talks to at these schools (and likely DID talk at her school)? Unreal.
And tragic, to be sure.

I got the call the next morning from my sponsor. I don't remember much after that, it was all a terrible blur. My mother came from work after I called her in a completely hysterical state. Soon after I went to my sponsor's house, as did more than 50 others, as we all converged and tried to understand what happened. One woman, one of the "moms" of the group who knew Shane for over 10 years, gave me a big hug and said "You know that Shane had a terrible crush on you, don't you?". No actually, I had no idea. I broke down. I called a friend on a trip overseas to break the news, something I never want to have to do again. My sponsor and I met with Shane's family and the Rabbi that afternoon to make funeral arrangements (don't even get me started on his family). It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you are in shock.

His funeral was the next day, and I can safely say it was the biggest funeral I have ever attended in my life. It was packed and eventually became standing room only. People squeezed in wherever they could, and those who couldn't fit inside stood outside. And the reason the funeral was so packed despite having next to no family in attendance, was because his AA family was there, and there were MANY. But what made me absolutely break down was the sight of all the kids that showed up, hundreds of them, to pay their respects to the guy who came into their schools to tell them that they didn't have to take the path he did. Kids of all ages came, one after another, to show their love. If Shane only knew how many lives he touched....oh, if he only knew.
At his gravesite, as the Rabbi read his eulogy and prayers and earth was thrown on top of his grave, I tossed in my one year medallion on top of his coffin. Without him, I could not have accomplished it, and I wanted him to know I owed my success, in great part, to him.

Shane was just 26 years old when he died, and months away from celebrating 10 years of sobriety. He was buried just steps away from his mom, just like he wanted.

Meanwhile Andy, the driver, had a long struggle of his own. He had to fight long and hard for his life, and he was not expected to live. It would be days before he would regain consciousness, and weeks before he could move. He had extensive damage to his brain, kidneys, lungs and just about everything else. This of course, is only half the damage. The emotional toll it has taken has yet to heal, and probably never will. He rarely comes to meetings anymore.

I, for one, think of Shane each and every day. I miss his goofy laugh and most of all I miss his hugs; whenever he hugged me his arms would envelop me and I would get swallowed in his embrace. His hugs were the best, they always made me feel safe and warm. And I too struggled with going back to the meetings, since they were never the same without him. I expected to see him around the corner, or to get up and say something that reminded me of why I needed to stay focused in my own life. Not a day goes by that he doesn't cross my mind, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I will not forget him. If you wish to see his tribute page on the website for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) click here. For an article written about him in the paper (his story made many of the local papers) click here.

Do I really need to remind everyone why drinking and driving is bad? It ruins lives. It has a ripple effect, and affects hundreds of people. If you need help or know someone who does, then DO something. And if you see someone who is about to drive when they shouldn't, do whatever you have to in order to stop them. Please.

Below I have included a quote I put near Shane's grave, as I felt it was eerily appropriate. The picture you see in this post is of us outside an AA meeting about a month before he died (yes, you can have fun at those meetings!). In the picture you can see me yelling at him for having a cigarette hanging out of his mouth (unlit) for the picture when I was trying to get a nice pic of us together (that's his smoke in my hand, as I pulled it out and yelled at him). Behold the shit-disturbing grin on his face while I nag him. The picture after that one, the less-than-candid one where we posed just like I wanted, did not turn out. Those would be the only pictures I ever got of us together, and the last ones ever taken of him.).

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to put flowers on his grave, and light a candle for him.

"It may be that he is not famous. It may be that he never will be. It may be that when his life at last comes to an end he will leave no more trace of his sojourn on earth than a stone thrown into a river leaves on the surface of the water......

But it may be that the way of life that he has chosen for himself and the strength and sweetness of his character may have an ever growing influence over his fellow men so that, long after his death perhaps, it may be realized that there lived in this age a very remarkable creature."
- W. Somerset Maugham "The Razor's Edge"

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
spring has sprung
And how do I know spring has sprung? Because the birds have been waking me up as early as 4:48am, that's how. God help me, I hope they find a mate quickly and shut the hell up, I don't sleep well with earplugs. Stay tuned, you'll hear me bitch more and more about this as spring progresses. They get *quite* loud at very early hours. Mercifully they put a cork in it once they find a mate and get on with the business of making babies; wouldn't want to give away the location of the nest afterall. However, in a nice turn of spring events I took a picture of some wildflowers just outside my apartment this morning. I have no idea what kind they are, I was just happy to see them. Purty, hunh? :-)

Exciting!! I just got invited to sign up for the beta version of Google's new e-mail system, Gmail!!! Wheeeee!!! I know, I know, I've heard some scary things about it, but I don't care. I doubt I'll be writing anything of dire importance using this e-mail anyway. Hurray!! I'm so excited for some reason...perhaps because I got the name I wanted since so few people (relative to say, Hotmail) have an account yet. Still some good names left. celestialblue (at) for me! Anyone else who uses Blogger should have gotten a notice too... check out your sign-in page after you've logged in.
Speaking of Blogger users, K-Dogg has defected over to Blogdrive; check out his fancy shmancy new blog.

Also, I'd like everyone to know that I am in love with Triple Berry Cheerios and think that you all should try it. It has strawberries, blueberries AND raspberries. I'm in heaven with each and every spoonful in the morning. Apparently they have come out with a banana and strawberry version but I'm not so sure I want to try that one. The Banana Corn Flakes were disgusting and put me off the concept of freeze dried bananas in cereal. We'll see, I'm a sucker for marketing and will likely try it anyway. lol Have I mentioned my love affair with cereal? I love it so.

My Hebrew class went very well last night and all is right in my world again. I knew this was the case when I caught myself singing at the top of my lungs and bopping along to some music in my car on the way home from class. While this is not unusual behaviour in my car, I did notice that it had a certain energy to it. It was obvious that I was riding a high that comes from doing something you love. I am glad to be back in class and learning what *I* want to learn.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the stupid hockey playoffs. For those of us who couldn't give a rat's ass about it, it's annoying as all shit. I was forced to put in earplugs when going to bed last night in order to drown out the sounds of hockey morons honking their horns while driving up and down Yonge Street (the main drag/street here in Toronto that runs up past the city centre and into the northern area where I am). The Toronto Maple Leafs moved on to the next round of the playoffs and the whole town was gonna know about it. And while I am mildly annoyed with the grammatical error right in the NAME of the team (the plural for leaf is "leaves", folks. not "leafs") I am secretly enjoying the fact that we squashed the Ottawa Senators in order to move on to the next round (for those who need a little more info, Ottawa is out nations capital). There has been a long-standing rivalry and for a moment I enjoyed the fact that we beat them. I'm not sure what it is with Canadians and hockey...but the stereotype is alive and well at the moment in Toronto. Next, it's Philadelphia tomorrow night. Go Leafs Go!

Oh, and I'd like to point out that I had one friggin' scary dream about a tornado last night and woke up to find out that Illinois has been ravaged by a tornado, and other States are on tornado watch for the day. My mother, currently in Chicago, was not impressed by the tornado a mere 90 miles (145 km) away. She can't wait to come home. lol (talking to my friend on the phone at this moment and he suggested that my mother take shelter in a Wal-Mart saying: "those things are built like forts!!". I laughed till I choked. I love my friend, Phil.)

And lastly, I'd like to say hi to the person who found my page by typing in "I am your Grandma" into the Yahoo search engine. Once again, I'd love to know what the person was thinking.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
a new day
Okay, I think it's time for a nice light post about random stuff in my life since yesterday's post was a little heavy.

First of all, I'm happy to report that after 2+ weeks I have finally done some laundry. I was forced to give in after having to wear socks that kept falling down, all day yesterday. I have now learned that it's one of my greatest peeves (socks that don't stay up) and that it's a fantastic motivator for doing laundry. I am a much happier camper today, my socks are staying up. Sounds dumb, but if one is not comfortable, one cannot focus on things like work (good lord, did I just blame my socks for my lack of accomplishment at work??).

Last night I went to my friend's screening of her movie (she goes to York University and is a film student there). I must say, I was very impressed! I had to sit through the rest of the student's films too...some were good, some were excrutiating. I'm wondering if I just lack a general appreciatation for the arts.

I have had two dreams (more like nightmares) involving the friend I started writing that letter to on Saturday. I think I better hurry up and finish it before I have a nervous breakdown.

After talking to another woman in my class (who in turn spoke to the teacher) I am starting back into my Hebrew class tonight. I have mixed feelings about this, as I feel things are going to be above my head and I will feel discouraged. On top of that, thanks to my pout over this whole fiasco, I haven't touched any of my Hebrew studies for a month and I fear I have forgotten a lot of it. In fact I had a dream a few weeks ago that I couldn't even write out the alphabet. Now I feel overwhelmed and won't even touch my homework, basically pulling an ostrich move over it. Anyway, I have brought my homework with me to work today and am hoping to get a grip on myself and go over some of my work before class tonight. I would really like to rekindle that fire in my life, because I truly loved the class and learning the language. I'll let you know how it goes.

Lastly, no one has offered one single opinion either way on whether or not I should keep the tagboard. Thanks for nothing, you rotten punks! Also, I put up some more pictures on my photoblog "Captured Dreams". Feel free to check them out. It includes a pic of the lovely flowers my neighbour Princess Blondie gave me on Sunday coz I was sick. She's just the sweetest thing ever! And of course, there are pics of Princess Blondie's puppy, Carmella, because that pup is just so darn cute. In turn I have posted a pic here that Princess Blondie took of me last week; she caught me on the way out the door to work. Yup, that's me outside my apartment (I'm numbah one! I'm numbah ONE!!).

Monday, April 19, 2004
Yom HaShoah

Today Jews all over the world will stop and recall the great tragedy known as the Holocaust. In Israel, millions stop and observe a moment of silence as sirens wail across the country, while others around the world hold their own remembrance ceremonies. Many ceremonies include the lighting of six for each of the million lost (and if you think you can stomach the pictures, here is a site that will drive the point home. This one made me cry, as did a few others.).
I have a hard time not playing the "what if?" game on a day like this. What if somebody had assassinated Hitler, and none of this had ever happened? What a different world it would be....

I had a conversation with a friend once, who is a school teacher and herself a Jew (we went to highschool together). I remarked to her one time when discussing the Holocaust that I couldn't recall ever learning about the Holocaust in school. She quickly pointed out that it is not in the school curriculum, elementary or highschool. I was stunned! I could not believe that such a pivotal moment in history is NOT taught in schools. How is that NOT a prime example of how hate can destroy? How is this NOT used as an example of why we must teach tolerance?? How is that Jews are the only ones who learn about the Holocaust?? Why is this topic avoided? And DON'T even get me started on Holocaust deniers.

But I digress. The point is.....I hope that everyone takes a moment today to reflect on what happens when hate goes unchecked. For more insight check out the Yad Vashem site. If you wish to watch a movie that will help you understand and feel it, try any of these films here. For something different I encourage you to look at this list of famous Jews, and just think how different this world would be if Hitler's plan had succeeded and Jews were wiped off the face of the earth.
Today, as always, I will remember.

Sunday, April 18, 2004
sick and tired of being sick and tired
I'm tired, I'm cranky and I'm fairly sure my brain is cooking in my skull. Just when I thought I was feeling better, I have in fact gotten worse. I feel like complete and utter crap. *pout* Make this fever go away!!

I had a great time with my little cousins visiting, and they were total angels. Really great kids.
And I went to a toy show today with my friends and did my best to not buy a 18" Hellboy toy. Man oh man, did I want it. Haven't wanted something like this since that damn necklace I saw on eBay. Once again, I showed great restraint and reminded myself I don't have money to burn. *sigh*

I just finished puppy sitting for my neighbour, Princess Blondie. This puppy (Carmella) is masterful at trying my patience. It serves as a perfect reminder as to why I don't want a puppy or baby of my own. Mercifully, she's back in her own home now. AND! Princess Blondie and Bruno were sweet enough to bring me flowers when they came home, to help make me feel better!! Can you believe it?? *grin*

Ok anyway, I really don't feel well, so I'm gonna try and sleep.

Saturday, April 17, 2004
"holy shit!"
Okay, I tried to leave it alone and not blog about this until tomorrow in an attempt to spend a day away from Israeli news... but I can't. It seems that Israeli Defense Forces have killed Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the newest leader of the terrorist group Hamas. For those not in the know or need a refresher, he replaced the founding leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israeli forces last month. I, like many, was skeptical it would help, but after they have now killed his replacement too, I ask you this: would YOU wanna be next in line? You want the glory of stepping up to bat and maybe dying? Ah, who am I kidding, these are terrorists who live to promote terror and thirst for the notoriety of being a martyr.

And before I hear any outcry that targeted killings are wrong I'd like it to be noted that this assassination came on the heels of yet ANOTHER suicide bomber who set himself off Saturday afternoon, killing one and wounding three others. Israel has said it before and is saying it again: Arafat, if you won't reign in the terror, we'll do it for you.

I can't believe this all happened in the two hours I spent trying to write a letter and clean my apartment for guests. See what happens when I stop monitoring the news for just a second!?!? Hat tip to Allison...I heard it on her blog first.

taking a deep breath
I could cry right now. I am in a crazy place in my life, right at this moment, at 9am on a Saturday morning. I have decided I am finally ready to take step towards dealing with my feelings about someone in my past that will hopefully allow me to let go of a lot of hurt (and no, this isn't about some jaded past with a boyfriend, this is about the most influential friendship I have ever had). I have a lot of rage, hurt and love for this person and I have been putting off dealing with it all for a very long time now. But things have a way of coming back and nagging you until you deal with them. Finally this morning I began to write a letter to this person, which may not seem like a life altering event to all of you, but it will be to me. I have been putting off writing this letter for about 6 months because it requires me to relive past events and feel the pain all over again in order to purge my feelings on the matter. I was not ready, but now I think I am. Just before this post I began writing it because suddenly the first paragraph came to my head easily and it just felt right to write it down. So I have now written the first 4 paragraphs of this letter, but to finish it may well take days. Letters like this often take me many hours....I like to make sure I put great thought into every word, as it's important that it accurately reflects how I feel. I like to choose my words *very* carefully.

Writing this will be very painful, but I think I am ready to go through the range of emotions and will be able to stand strong afterwards, not melt into a puddle on the floor. And then the big question will I send the letter or not? If just writing it will be enough, I would love to leave at that. Why? Well, I don't want to set myself up for disappointment by thinking this letter will move the intended reader at all. What if the person I send it to doesn't respond at all, which is entirely possible (maybe even probable!). Would the anticipation of a response leave me hanging? Would the wonderment of what s/he is thinking make me even crazier as I try to guess what the reaction was? I might even get angry that I put so much painstaking thought and feeling into it only to have it seemingly ignored. All these are very real possibilities given our past interactions.

For now I will continue to write the letter over the next while. I will go back to it as thoughts call me to, and I will laugh and I will cry as I go through the past 2 years and express how they made me feel then and now. And if I can truly be prepared for no reaction or even an unfavourable reaction, then I will send it. The big big question is....what is it I am trying to achieve? Do I want this person to say that s/he is sorry? Because if I do, I am doing this for all the wrong reasons. I should be doing it for ME, not for a specific reaction that I would like from the person (and chances are I won't get an apology, trust me). I have to be doing this for me and only for me, and to be honest enough with myself to know if I am doing it for some other reason. It is meant to be a release, nothing more. And it should be written out of love, not hate.
We shall see when I am done......

Anyway, I went to see Kill Bill 2 last night. Fantastic!!!!!! I absolutely loved it! And for those who bellyache that it's too bloody or whatever, I assure you that this one is much less so. It still had it's moments of course, but it was awesome. And some of the dialogue was friggin' PRIMO. Tarantino has a way of writing these well thought out monologues for characters that bring seemingly brilliant insight to everyday things (ie: cheesebrugers in Pulp Fiction. lol). This time it was Superman, and being the geek that I am, I loved it. And since I went to see it with my geek friends we of course talked about it at great length in a coffee shop after the movie. *grin* We had so much fun last night.

Today I am running around and cleaning up my apartment; I am having overnight guests! My cousins are dropping off their two boys to spend the night with me while they go to a wedding. will I keep an 8 and 10 year old busy for the night? I think it'll be glow-in-the-dark mini golf, pizza and a few rented movies for us. These kids are easily impressed, so I'm sure by the end of this I'll seem like the coolest cousin ever. lol!

And then it's up bright and early to see my guests off and then head out with my geek friends for a toy show. Woot woot! Geek fun! What's not to love??
Have a great weekend everyone..

Friday, April 16, 2004
brain melt
So all the other management is out of the office for the next week or so, leaving me in charge. I don't think you understand what a joke that is. Now, to be fair, we have a tiny office so it's not like I am shouldering a great responsibility. All I'm really in charge of at this point is the phones. We do have staff in the warehouse of our building (as opposed to the office portion that I'm in) but they have someone to watch over them and tell them what to do. I occasionally go back to make sure they aren't 'fucking the dog' but that's about the extent of it. They have their own little leader back there to give them direction and to keep an eye on them. I'm here to open and close the place and to answer phones.

Anyway, I came to work with a splitting headache this morning. I finally relented and choked down some tylenol with codeine since I have plans with friends tonight to see the movie Kill Bill 2 and I don't want to have to bail because I'm not feeling well. So now I pretty much have rid myself of the headache, but an unfortunate side effect of these drugs is drowsiness. At one point I put my head down on my desk here and took a 5 minute nap. Problem was I kept waking up, afraid that someone from the warehouse would find me like this; I suspect the boss might frown upon sleeping on the job. These things don't reflect well on the boss or the sleeper.

Eventually I began making plans to move to the floor under my desk. I figured out how I could create a make-shift pillow and what excuse/lie I could use if I suddenly appeared after someone had been looking for me to no avail. I'm not a good liar, so if I am going to attempt to pull off a lie I have to have it well planned out and rehearsed. So just as I had set up my little pillow and was preparing myself for the nap, someone from the warehouse came into my office. Immediately I was relieved I hadn't already slipped under my desk for the snooze. She asked if wanted a coffee, as she was going up the street to Tim Horton's (practically a religion for Canadians..I mean come on, the coffee place is named after a hockey player! we managed to combine two of our favourite things!). Not being the biggest of coffee drinkers I pondered it for a minute....and then decided to put in my order for a large coffee. If you can't grab sleep, ensure you don't feel the need to, I always say! So now I have a big coffee here on my desk and I'm finally starting to perk up again. Hell, I'm just happy the headache is gone, it was gearing up to be a doozy.

But now I am bored. So I decided to look for something to entertain me. First I went to Playsite and played a game of euchre. However, I lost the game since I had a stupid partner so I gave up after one game. I really have no patience for stupid people. Then I decided to type "bored" into Google and see what site I could find to entertain me. I took great solace in the fact that I was obviously not alone as there are many sites designed to combat boredom. All good stuff, plenty to keep a person busy. Perhaps you'd like to make note of them in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Then I decided to be like the weirdos who finds MY site by typing strange things into a search engine. First I typed in "chapstick dragon treats" and found this article about worms, on a Wicca site. Not terribly exciting, though perplexing as to why my search would take me there. Then I typed "the other day I saw a guy upside down in the rain" and got some page that a woman had written about rescuing Australian long-necked turtles that insist on crossing a road frequently used by coal trucks. And do you know what I learned after these two lame-ass searches (and a decidedly boring experiment on my part)? That sometimes things are just so crazy that they can't be made up. Real life is often stranger then fiction, and I just can't dream up searches as wacky as those others have come up with when they came to my site.

Here, go check out Dr. Frank's cool picture of a giraffe. It's damn cool, and so strange it could be real. *wink*

Thursday, April 15, 2004
a little from column A, a little from column B
Well.....things have been interesting with U.S. President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon meeting this week, haven't they now? And while I don't like Bush in the least bit I am pleased to see his support for Israel (and before you wacky Bush supporters start spamming me, just know that most Canadians don't like Bush. Deal with it. lol). It should be very interesting to see how this helps Sharon who is battling for support himself back at home. I guess we'll see when his "plan for unilateral disengagement" is revealed. Frankly I hope he gets on with it; enough mucking around and trying to reason with murderers. Bush is of the same mind when it comes to negotiating with terrorists (thus the whole Iraq war) and thus his support on the matter. Time will tell.
In the meantime the Palestinians are busy doing what they do best; a woman was caught with a 25 kilo (55 lb) bomb as she made her way towards Ariel. It seems she was only meant to deliver it to someone else who was supposed to set it off, but in my books that makes her just as guilty. Nice try, there's no talking your way out of that one.

To balance out all this badness I'd like to point out that the blogosphere's effort to drop a Googlebomb to have an anti-semitic site dropped from top ranking and replaced with an educational site has not only been a successful campaign, but a newsworthy one (another article on it here and Google's official response here). A big thanks to those who helped out. See? Together we can achieve. Huzzah!!

What else? How about some random mentionables.....some stuff that has amused me while stuck at home sick the last two days:

Kikkoman: Show me! Show you! (just try and get this out of your head after watching it. Best of luck.)

Banana & Shrimp Showtime: foolish monsters! (they wish to see the demise of our hero, Kikkoman! tell me the bass line in this doesn't kick ass!)

Here's an article about stupid people in the Netherlands who have taken to having little hearts and moons inserted into their eyes as some kind of strange form of jewelry. *shrug* I dunno, you tell me. Personally, I don't want *anything* inserted in my eye. Have they not seen A Clockwork Orange??

Here's a game for you called Mad Shark (this one's for you, Rat!). You are a big angry shark and you go around eating hapless scuba divers as they swim along. But be careful! those fools have knives! So you gotta bite their arms off first. Awesome! Just TRY and play it only once.

And here be an article about a guy who died from eating too many coins. Yes, his belly was quite full, check out the x-ray.

And to conclude, I'd like to send a special hi to those who found my website by typing the following words into a search engine (spelling mistakes and all):

"am scared i need like a some nice dreams of D so i dunno its like i feel mechanical destruction is the way and maybe what socuiety deemed me for MUahhaha" (I think I was most disturbed by the maniacal laugh at the end......oh, and the fact that this string of madness lead to ME)

"mr clean "magic eraser" "made out of" (yes, it IS a mystery, isn't it? "I'll never tell....")

"blondie turkey" (say WHAT??? I don't think I wanna be doing Thanksgiving at this guy's house)

"when i went to europe, i am bore with car" (seriously, what goes through people's head when they type in shit like this??)

"what does my dream mean if i pulled of my friends finger" (is that supposed to be "pulled one of" or "pulled off" ?? either way, it's not right, my friend. lol)

And with that I bid you goodnight. I have already come and gone from Princess Blondie's apartment to watch Survivor, and now I think it's a hot bath and bedtime for me.

Oh, and I'm thinking of finally scrapping the tagboard, what do you think? Has it become more trouble than it's worth or should I drop the $7.50 US a year to keep it?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
look me in the EYE and tell me you hate me, you cowards!!!!!!!!!
It makes me sick to my stomach. Meryl's synagogue has been vandalized, in yet another act of anti-semitism. The problem is growing, folks, and it's making me nervous. And angry. These cowardly acts are so pathetic and passive-aggressive that it does nothing more than demonstrate how ignorant the people are that we are dealing with here. It has to stop, and I'm not sure what to do to help stop it. I'm wide open to suggestions.....

And while children here may collect Scooby-Doo stickers and baseball cards, Palestinian children collect stickers depicting bloody scenes of violence and the 'martyrs' behind such acts (hat tip: Israellycool). And we wonder why there will never be peace in the Middle East? Palestinian children are taught at a young age that violence and Jew killing is the way to go, and that you will be rewarded justly. This is quite a different approach from the one Israel takes in which their version of Sesame Street teaches that Jews and Arabs can get along....and even be friends! Just one more sign showing which side wants peace...and which really doesn't.

Meanwhile I am at home busy being sick. My throat is on fire and I can't seem to put it out. Last night I watched a movie called Devil's Backbone and it was pretty good. It's a Spanish film by the same director who just brought Hellboy to the theatre. If you don't mind subtitles, check it out. It's a spooky movie set in Spain in the 1930's, about a ghost in an orphanage. Ooooo...chilly scary! :-) Anyway, I still have some movies to keep me busy today while I find some way to tackle these cooties. And maybe I'll check back here a bit later...

Oh, and for real amusement go read the best opinion/editorial piece I have ever read, by an American giving a view on Canadians.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
seeing red
I am full of an old rage that has been rekindled and stoked. Something I buried just came up and tapped me on the shoulder, and I am NOT happy about it. Tell me, why is it that I can never say no to someone? Why is it someone else is sent in to do the dirty work to ensure I can't say no to THAT person since my problem isn't with them?
I just love it when people only call when they want something. Makes me feel all KINDS of good.

Fuck. Now I'm so angry I have lost my focus on the work I was doing (yes I was *actually* doing work at work!). GRRRRRRRRR!!!! I feel so friggin' used. USED!! Ucch. Thanks for pretending like you care long enough to ask a favour of me!

Bitter. I am very bitter at this moment. And on top of that my throat feels like I had been gargling razor blades in my sleep last night. I'm getting sick and now I'm full of grumpiness too. Bah. I'm going to need to find a way to let this go. ALL of it.

And on happier note (heh).... I wanna wish my neighbour across the hall..BRUNO...a very Happy Birthday today!!!! I LOVE YOU, BRUNO!!! No matter how mean you are to me. :-P

And now..I'm gonna go home. I'm sick, I'm grumpy, and my boss doesn't want me spreading my cooties around the office (told me to stay home tomorrow too! woo hoo!). I'm gonna go curl up with some movies and take something to break this fever. ciao!

Monday, April 12, 2004
the savta epiphany
I've just made a decision. This comes after a weekend spent mostly alone in my "I need some time to think about things" cave, along with a 4 hour car ride yesterday to spend time with the family and have a big dinner together.

I have decided I am going to quit my diving job (no, this doesn't mean I'll give up diving). First of all, last week I didn't work at all at my second job, and ya know what? I was happy. I was thrilled that when I got home from work, I didn't have to go off to another job. I could stay home and relax. Or go out with friends. I could do whatever I felt like. Last week I didn't call to find out when my boss wanted me to come in (he kinda flies by the seat of his pants and doesn't really make up schedules) and he didn't bother to call me either. So I didn't work.

But most importantly, I have decided to quit because this weekend has opened my eyes to what my priorities should be right now. As I mentioned before, my grandmother spent some time in the hospital this weekend. She was told that she had some water on her lungs, resulting from her heart not being strong enough to circulate blood (and therefore air) properly. She's feeling better now, but this is clearly not a problem that is going to go away. Her heart is not strong, and has been getting weaker. She's old, these things happen. And she's been told by several doctors that her heart has had some damage over the years (likely from a few undetected heart attacks) and that repair was out of the question. So, to be realistic, I have to acknowledge the fact that my grandmother is not going to be around forever, like I'd like to believe she will.

So. Do I want to spend this summer working my ass off in a retail store (diving gets much busier during the summer, afterall) or do I want to spend all the time I can with my beloved grandmother? See, my grandma lives in a wonderful house, right beside a lake. And in the summer I go up there for a few weekends and spend some time with her, get away from it all and to This woman LOVES to go fishing. So we get up at the crack of dawn and hop in the boat to go catch some dinner. This is one activity that brings her complete and total joy. She talks and dreams of it all winter, and then does it all summer. However, she's getting older (she's 84 this year) and it's getting harder for her to negotiate it all; getting in and out of the boat, starting the boat, reeling in a big fish when she's hooked one...etc. This past Christmas my parents bought her a new boat (named Snooks, a nickname her dad used to call her)....a little power boat that she can just step into and turn the key to start. Less difficult for her to manage, but now she'll be more inclined to go out in the boat alone...something we are worried about, *especially* with the growing heart problems.

Anyway, I love my grandma heart and soul. And I am not going to waste this summer by being stuck in a store trying to sell stuff to people when I could be with someone who has taken care of me and loved me with complete abandon. It's time to give it back and make her happy. It's lonely living up north (two hours away) from me and my family, and she really looks forward to visits from us, so I intend to get up there as often as I can this summer, damnit.
This will the summer of grandma. The bestest grandma in the world!

How was everyone else's weekend? *grin*

Saturday, April 10, 2004
support Israel! shop here!

I have been meaning to bring attention to this website for a while now, and Meryl reminded me of it today; it is a website put together by Muslims that aims at boycotting companies that support Israel (either directly or indirectly).

Cleverly, Meryl has turned this around and used it as a source for getting information about companies that support Israel so we may buy their products, not boycott them, and therefore further support Israel. Every little bit helps, kiddies! Amusingly Meryl has taken all the company logos that the Muslims put up on their site in protest, and put together one big graphic so we have something to refer to when looking to shop in support of Israel. I have borrowed her pic to put up here. So remember with these fine companies! :-D

Friday, April 09, 2004
Pesach and Easter
First of all, I'd like to wish a Happy Easter, to those celebrating. It has always been a good holiday for me and I hope you all have happy celebrations and feasts with your families. Best wishes to you and yours!

My friend's seder on Tuesday night was fun; a great way to celebrate the second night of Passover. I love the food, the singing, and the activities. A wonderful celebration if shared with the right people.

Last night was packed with time spent with friends and family. I went out to dinner straight after work with a friend I haven't seen in weeks; she's been busy in school and finally got a break. Then I raced home to catch Survivor with Princess Blondie and Bruno over in their apartment across the hall. When that ended there was a buzz at her door and it was my DAD surprising me with a visit, and we went out to see a movie. Apparently my mom didn't feel like "coming out to play" after work and he did, so we spent some time together. It was really nice. We went and saw Starsky & Hutch and then had a coffee afterwards. The movie wasn't bad, so long as you don't expect too much from it. It's good for some laughs, but don't think you're going to get some great and deep plotline. Just some dumb fun, exactly what we wanted. :-)

Today I went over to another friend's house to have her look over my taxes again; I'm starting to get some scary letters in the mail. LOL. So she told me what they meant (my ignorance on such matters meant I had no clue what some of the SIX letters were about) and told me what to mail off to Revenue Canada to get them off my back. After that we sat and talked and had a truly nice visit. It was a great way to start off my day.
Then I stopped by my parents home to help my mom get online and set up her new computer. *yAWn* Then it was on to Blockbuster to rent a bunch of movies to hole up in my apartment with this weekend.

I'm not sure why I'm in this weird mood, but I'm feeling a bit anti-social this weekend. I had a nap this afternoon (it was hard work visiting my friend and then my mom today. LOL) and now I just feel like vegging all night and not doing much. I just feel like being alone, ya know? And my mom called me to tell me that my grandmother has gone to the hospital with chest pains. My grandma doesn't have the best of hearts and has long suspected she may have had mild heart attacks here and there. Today she's apparently had enough pain to warrant a trip to the emergency room, so my (83 year old!) grandma drove herself to the hospital. My mom and dad are on their way up north (she lives 2 hours away) to go be with her. I think she may have over done it a bit with Easter dinner preparations; the family is getting together on Sunday, and she's putting on a feast. I told my mom to get her ass up there to go take that stress off her because she's the type to fuss over the dinner when she should be focusing on herself. I hope everything is ok, my grandma means the world to me......

And that's about it. Hope that wasn't too boring for you all. :-) What are you guys doing this weekend?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004
I never wear white, so take note of this...
Well I'm glad to hear that Passover has started without too many problems (ie: a suicide bomber in Israel, unlike a previous Passover). I still find it sad, however, that anyone in Israel who is a licensed gun holder has been asked to carry their arms with them over the holidays. Security is in the hands of ALL Israel's citizens, not just the army and police; such a different world than here in Canada..............

Meanwhile, here in Canada there has been more anti-semitic activity, this time in Montreal not Toronto (no big surprise really, anti-semitism has long been a problem there). In this incident a library of a Jewish school was set on fire; luckily the school was empty because of the holidays (duh for the bad guys).

Other than all that, the week is going well for me. I am going to a friend's house tonight for her seder (Passover dinner; outside of Israel there is a seder on the first and second night). I look forward to gathering with her family and seeing her and her baby; I haven't seen her for quite some time so I was honoured to be invited. What a wonderful way to celebrate a holiday that symbolizes freedom!

How is everyone else's week going? K-Dogg was getting his ass kicked by work, si was enjoying a little recognition at school and Rat was ranting about the incompetence of his co-workers. And it's only Tuesday! Hang in there, gang...

Monday, April 05, 2004
Erev Pesach
This evening marks the beginning of one of the most important holidays for Jews, known as Pesach (or Passover). This occasion celebrates the Exodus from Egypt after years and years of slavery. Many Jews who don't even consider themselves all that religious will take the time out to acknowledge this important event. It is one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) of all recorded holidays in any religion, and like so many other holidays for the Jews, it celebrates another time in which we have overcome great odds and great foes who sought our demise. For Jews it is most important to remember the past in order to remain strong in the future; we didn't fight this long and this hard just to give up now. Even as some continue to seek our destruction we will gather, and find strength and love in each other. Jews will continue to survive, now and forever.

If you'd like to learn more about the seder plate you see in the picture, click here for an explanation.
For more information concerning my use of the word/link combination everytime I said Jew, go see Michele's post. Many bloggers have banded together to create a Googlebomb to help educate. Got ya curious? Go read her post for more info. If you want to help I ask you join in and show a little lovin'.
Have you hugged a Jew today??

search engine madness
Here are some of the creative ways people have found my blog; these are actual searches people typed into a search engine...and found ME.

"hummer car headoffice" (in the Swedish version of Google I somehow came up #1 for this. *shrug*)

"sitting in my t-shirt" (what would possess someone to look this up? what were you searching for?!)

"humourous misconceptions about Canadians" (this one just makes me proud, but it's safe to say by the spelling of humourous [vs. humorous] that it wasn't an American looking it up.)

"turkey dream pics of mosques" (once again ranked number one for this for some reason, in the Australian Google)

"dream nightclub pic" (must have been a disappointment to find me ranting about Israel instead of a pic of a nightclub)

"migraine necklaces Canada" (what?? )

"hydro poles cancer" (was only #13 in this one [and the last one too] and am alarmed the person found ME when searching. lol)

"my seething hate for you" (two problems here. 1. what is SO wrong in your life that you would type this into a search engine? 2. why was *I* in the results of that search??)

"leg torso ratio" (yes, I wrote a post about that. good to see others are wondering about it too. LOL)

""hesitate" kia problems sephia" (number five in a Yahoo search. I wonder if s/he bought the car after reading my blog?)

and my personal favourite...

"the trouble that blue crabs have" (WTF?!?!)

Sunday, April 04, 2004
Once again I opted not to post for a couple of days because I just didn't really have anything intelligent to say. I've been keeping busy catching up with friends and taking care of obligations.

Friday I hung out with my neighbours across the hall, Princess Blondie and Bruno. We watched Survivor (I taped it the night before for us) and then watched the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. We snacked on crackers and finger food and played with her new puppy all night, it was fun. :-)

Yesterday I went with my mom to take my cat Abbey to the vet for a check-up. She's an older cat (15 years!) and had some suspicious lumps we wanted the vet to look at. Anyway, all was well and they took some blood just to be sure. I'm glad we went I was getting a bit worried. We've had this cat for a long time and I love her to bits.

Last night I got together with 4 other friends and we went to see a movie together. I really liked Hellboy, but I knew I would. I am familiar with the comic and like the character, and they did an excellent job with the movie. After that my friends and I sat down in a coffeeshop and talked for a few hours. *sigh* I love the simple things in life; good movies, good friends, good times. :-)

And it's been snowing! Not a lot or anything, but a slight dusting of it last night, and even a bit now. Odd considering we have had a week straight of rain; we pretty much figured we were done with snow (we fall for this every year, we seem to forget). I don't mind, as usual.

I was just over at Princess Blondie's apartment to inspect the water damage she has going on from the apartment above her. That's just what we need...more fights with the landlord! The damage is pretty extensive, and he's gonna freak out. I am secretly enjoying the idea of him freaking out...serves him right for all the grief he's been giving me over my dumb leaking tap. Guess he'll find out about Blondie's new puppy too....something else that's going to freak him out. Oh well, they are moving out in July, he can just deal with it. And God help me, I hope I can move out one day soon.....

Hope everyone had a good weekend, and to those who will be celebrating Pesach (Passover) this week...Chag Sameach!

Thursday, April 01, 2004
Calgon, take me away!
My week has gone horribly awry. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have a new car, but things went downhill after that.

First of all, I found out yesterday that one of my oldest and dearest friends is moving to Florida. Why must my friends keep moving away?!?! It's giving me a serious complex, and it makes me very sad. I did well to put on my "I'm so happy for you" voice on the phone, but really I had to struggle not to cry. She was one of my first bestest girlfriend's who really looked out for me and kept me out of trouble in highschool. Anyway, she's hit a hard time in her life and her marriage is being dissolved. I commend her for being brave and packing up her 2 year old daughter to start a new life somewhere else.... I don't know that I could. Boy, I'm really going to miss her...

Also, I am ready to kill my landlord. The hot water tap in my bathtub has, over the course of a week or so, gone from a drip to just all out running. This causes a number of problems; first, my apartment feels much like a sauna or deep jungle. Warm and humid. Really lovely to come home to. Also, it means that it is constantly draining the hot water tank for the whole building, so often I end up with the tailend of my shower being ice cold. Or sometimes I have to wash my dishes in cold water. Ick.

I had left a message or two for my landlord, but he seemed in no hurry to return them. In fact, it was becoming clear that he was away...perhaps on vacation. Yesterday he finally called my house just as I was leaving for work, to see what the problem was. An argument ensued as he was trying to lay blame on me (for apparently not calling him sooner, though I had been trying for a week). He said that since he was nowhere near (yeah, I'd say Texas is nowhere near here) he would have to send somebody in to fix it. Not particularly pleased with the idea of a stranger in my place I unhappily agreed. The thing needed to be fixed, what could I do? I'm working two jobs, and wouldn't be home before 9:30pm the rest of the week.

So last night I came home after my first job to change clothes and head to the second job. When I entered my apartment, I noticed it was quiet....... no sound of running water! "Hurray!" I's fixed. However, when I went to wash my hands I quickly discovered that in wasn't fixed. The hot water had simply been shut my WHOLE apartment. Sure, I had cold water, but now I had no hot water whatsoever. Livid, I called and left a message for my landlord to fucking well fix it since I couldn't even take a shower in the morning before work.

I arrived home from my second job, tired and hoping to find hot water in which to soak my aching body (I hurt my back at work, and wanted to have a nice relaxing bath). No such luck. So I was forced to call my parents and pack an overnight bag...and I stayed there for the night. I had a nice hot bath before bed, and a nice hot shower when I got up. But can I tell you what a huge pain in the ass it is to not be able to home to my OWN place?? That I PAY for???
Angry doesn't even begin to cover it. That sonofabitch better be on a plane right now. And he must be kidding if he thinks he's getting a rent cheque today. I'll be making deductions.

Anyway! On to happier things. My bestest buddy and neighbour, Princess Blondie, has a new puppy!!! Her name is Carmella, and she's only 7 weeks old. She's a pomeranian/poodle mix, which normally isn't my kind of dog, but this thing is too cute. So tiny!!!

I'll be posting pics of my new car and of Carmella after I finish this post. You can check it out on my photoblog.

Oh, and one last thing..... they caught the stupid kids who caused the anti-semitic vandalism in the Toronto area. Hurray for the cops!!