Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where Happiness Really Comes From

I know this to be true. 

Except when it comes to shoes. 

Then it's a big fat lie.

Happiness comes from appreciating what we have, not getting something we don't have.

Pretty simple, really.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

1954 in 2 Minutes and 49 Seconds

My parents just celebrated 58 years of marriage. My brother Glen put together this beautiful video after he found an old 8 mm film in a drawer. This is their wedding day, in Toronto, on May 14th, 1954.  Both sets of grandparents are there, as are some of my aunts and uncles. The house you see is in The Beach area of Toronto. My grandfather built that house in 1929 and when I was little, it still had a cobblestone road out front. My mom and dad were babies when they got married, the same age as my youngest kids! But they're still together, and that's saying something these days. Well done, Glen!  And happy (albeit belated) anniversary Mom and Dad.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spring has sprung

Um...a confession. While spring has sprung all around me...

The buds are budding,
Pansies are blooming,

Poppies are popping,
Irises are unfolding,
This blue purply thing is peeking through the black mat I put down to keep the weeds out,
The forget-me-nots are not making it easy to remember them by hiding under hellebores,
The birdies is 'a singin'...

And I?

I still have snow tires on my car.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Schnebly Hill AKA Sedona

I've been fighting a nasty cold, and trying to get the house in order so we can sell it and make our way downtown. But last weekend I ended up booting it 7,000 feet up a mountain on the old Flagstaff Road in Sedona Arizona in a neon green Hummer with Alex the orthopedic surgeon and Chuck the driver. Chuck was a delight, one of those perpetually affable fellows who can find joy in the simplest things. And Chuck loved me because I clearly loved everything Chuck loves - the orange red sandstone mountains of Sedona. I'm still shaking dust out of my hair and my spine hasn't forgiven me.

This looks like a natural amphitheater. First Nations People have long considered this a sacred site. The guide called the lower rock formations "cow patties" which seems apt.
I think this is around six thousand feet.
This rock formation is called The Carousel. You can see the limestone ring from a old seabed.
This one is called The Congress. If you listen closely, you can hear them babbling.
Gives you an idea how far up we climbed. (In a Hummer, not on foot, people.) You can make out some trucks on the distant highway to give you some perspective.
See that rock in the bottom right corner? I stood on that rock, right at the edge of a very steep drop. Chuck was suitably impressed. The orthopedic surgeon not so much. If you lean over, you can not only see a car wreck far below, but you can make everyone around you suck in their breath at the same time.
The Hummer was quite...bouncy. I think I lost a few fillings. However, it was still quite civilized. A driver in a passing jeep stopped and said, "Have you got any Grey Poupon?"
I had to include this shot. Care to guess who owns this house?
Famous comedienne.
Yup. Lucille Ball lived in this house. And the family still owns it. If you zoom in, you'll see a woman waving on the porch.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Where beauty comes from

That's it, really.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Open letter to Chipotle Mexican Grill

When are you coming to Montreal? I hate to point out the obvious, but Toronto already has three Chipotle locations, and Montreal? Zip. Nada. Nothing. Most importantly, we love our food here in Montreal, nay, we embrace it with a passion bordering on obsession. Toronto? Let's just say I once sat beside a woman who ordered a non-fat non-caf latte and a bagel with low-fat cream cheese. As I sat sipping my full fat, bold, 100% fully caffeinated cup of joe (THE WAY GOD INTENDED COFFEE TO BE ENJOYED) she proceeded to cut the bagel in half, then used her fingernails like a miniature frontloader to scrape the soft doughy interior out of the bagel and on to her plate. She seemed to take it as a personal challenge to see how much dough she could gouge out while leaving the exterior intact. She paused every so often in her quest to remove bits of bagel guts from under her manicured claws, and didn't stop until that hapless bagel was fully eviscerated, a literal hollow shell of its former self. She then used a smidgen of low-fat cream cheese on the bagel crust and ate it as though it might bite her back. Here in Montreal? We drink half the night away with friends then stagger out looking for sustenance to get us home - poutine, smoked meat, souvlaki, or over to Fairmount or St.-Viateur to grab a bag of hot, hand-rolled bagels out of the wood-fired oven along with some smoked salmon and cream cheese. So come on, Chipotle. Do you not see how welcome you would be here in La Belle Province? Don't make me go to the U.S. or back to Toronto to get my fix. Give a girl a break. And a burrito with a side of guac.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Junk Mail Confusion

My junk mail has increased ten-fold lately so I figure it's time to update my security system. What confuses me is why the bots send me certain types of mail. Presumably it's based on where I've been browsing, but none of this makes sense. Well, maybe the replacement china but the rest? Everyone gets the Nigerian Prince Inheritance scheme letters, right? But why am I getting male enhancement pitches? If they're using spyware, I haven't been to any sites featuring man bits, big or small. Not that I can remember. Just today, I got these pitches for or from the following - American Association of Retired People (uh, Canadian!) cheap auto insurance, a photography course from Canon (I have a Nikon, thank you), health insurance (I live in CA-NA-DA), invitation for a culinary arts degree so I can "become a chef and make your dreams a reality!" (believe me, my dreams do not include more cooking), credit scores, used cars, life insurance, a job offer on an offshore Chinese rig (ah, yes, where dreams do come true), shop for engagement rings (too late, by 27 years), take Zoloft, sue the manufacturers for taking Zoloft, get replacement china (small c china), Viagra (always the Viagra), and my favourite today, an link to a site explaining the difference between harmful vs proper bowel cleansing. Oh, spam, why do you torment me so?