mercredi, mai 25, 2005

packing up

Whilst packing stuff to haul back to the land of wine, gainful employment and a shared bathroom, I realized that I am the owner of 2 potato mashers.

And I have never actually made smashed potatoes while living in this city.

Once again, my life is being whittled down to fit into my luggage requirements. I am not totally sure how I feel about it: like any middle class north american girl who shops at the Gap, I LIKE to have nice things. Not necessarily in abundance, but certainly-much to my chagrin- STUFF is important to me. I remember when I was moving into the apartment where I now live and the idea that I would have to acquire such trappings as a bed, table, chairs, bookshelves, and, God help me, side tables, made me slightly nauseated. Now getting rid of them feels like the first sharp tugs on the stem of a plant that is about to be forcibly transplanted, roots dangling in the air, none of the cozy protective dirt to insulate the shock.

(that was a really bad simile, almost would have been acceptable in grade nine poetry... but hey, let's cut the woman some slack: she's obviously in an advanced state of grief over the imminent loss of the physical embodiment of an ikea catalogue. No more happy Swedish existence, whatever will she do?)

The tactic so far has been to adopt the personae of the housewares fairy. I show up unannounced at my friends' doors and bestow upon them my excess stuff. The significance of a freely given slotted spoon should not be taken lightly.

samedi, mai 21, 2005

pass the salt.... bermuda??

It's funny when you think you know someone quite well and then they come out with something completely divergent from what you think you know about them.

Like that my father went to Bermuda. Twice. In the 70's. And came back with a fleet of sailboats, one of which he shipped accross Canada on the train for $75.

He's visiting for a few days before heading back to BC and putting a motorcycle together. I think I convinced him that fixing the little Honda 180 in the basement and teaching me to drive it would be a great project for the summer. I guess the Hastings side is finally rising within me...

Today's adventure: how much gin to buy to facilitate our G&Ts for the next 3 days... Realistically, can there ever be too much?

In other news, I figured out how to post pictures on here, and I am deciding if I like it. Mostly due to my technical ineptitude and general laziness I haven't really tinkered around with pictures, preferring to let my garbled sentences be the window to my soul. And I have this feeling that if I got used to posting pictures I would drop the writing all together. Which would further the laziness. ho hum. Any thoughts?

les souliers des filles Posted by Hello

mercredi, mai 18, 2005

mini golf and water towers

We left Boston around 8 on Friday night, the culmination of a day filled with route planning, meeting his sister, coffee with neasa, moving boxes, packing the car, a tour of Boston with MIT electrical engineers. Driving out of the city with my feet on the dash board and a 480 mile blast to Salisbury Maryland ahead, I could not have been more excited.

I think it is the movement between fixed points that does it for me. So exhilarating to start in one city and end up in another one... the time between punctuated by music, rambling conversation, consumption of gummy bears and animal crackers. Or just quiet, the contented silence between two people who have reached the point where not everything needs to be said. Restful.

The coast of North Carolina and the sand dunes...houses on stilts for no particular purpose. Finally, standing by the Atlantic for the first time in 4 years. We took out the motorcycle and sped around Nag's Head, ending up at a lighthouse in the middle of a marsh. The light was spectacular. Riding back, the setting sun filtered through the trees and into my helmet and it was as though I was in the middle of Vivaldi's mind when he was writing the autumn movement of the 4 seasons.

Charleston, SC: a sudden departure from America. We couldn't figure out where it felt like we were, but certainly NOT the States. The coffee house put our coffee into plain white paper cups... art galleries with quite blues playing... public gardens...cobbled streets. Shutters and little ally ways. Plans to go back.

In retrospect, the 4 days are a series of snapshots in my mind. click: carrying boxes in the elevator of his building in Boston. click: stopping on the bridge over the Delaware Bay at 3 am to look at the stars. click: running down dunes to escape being told off by the park ranger for the second time. click: sitting in the car watching the rain come down in the middle of nowhere, Georgia. click: smoking cigars and singing to nirvana on the radio.

perspective, which I have been sorely lacking, was restored this past weekend. And laughter... so much laughter.

jeudi, mai 12, 2005

midnight train

to georgia.

or rather, a long drive. But really, when am I ever going to get to go to Georgia again? Leaving tonight for Boston, then to Atlanta...

to the flying boy: safe travels, godspeed. I cried all the way home.

lundi, mai 09, 2005


I am sure that somewhere along the line, I realized that, to transform myself in to an adult, I would have to begin to be able to let go of things. Given the choice, I would make like a packrat and save everything I could get my hands on. Stuffed toys from my babyhood? Ok! Costume jewelry from grandmother? Sure! Grade four art project? Why not...

Over time I have managed to pare down my deep carnal longing to put things in boxes and just KEEP them. My closet is regularly cleaned out. I give old books to charity or to friends whom I think will like them. I don't let left-overs languish in my fridge. Until 2 years ago my worldly possessions could fit into standard luggage requirements. I value my portability.

What is harder for me to let go of are the intangibles. Relationships, places, experiences. You know that teeshirt that says "If you leave me, I am going with you"?...

And now I am leaving Montreal for good in less than a month. And I have to give up my apartment. And I really, really, REALLY, don't want to. I feel a bit like a dog in the manger, but this apartment should be MINE FOREVER.

So much for maturity.

dimanche, mai 08, 2005

further juxtaposition

Friday night: la cousine et moi head to Thompson House, the graduate student's house. An old stone mansion on the edge of Mount Royal that was donated to the University, it is now a fantastic place to go, drink, talk, and eat. Being the grad student's house, it is constantly filled with grad students: extremely intelligent, funny, articulate people that I adore. The walls are all wood paneled or papered with distinguished paper, and there is fantastic art all over the walls. Beer is cheap, a snooker table is upstairs, and the view of Montreal is unparalleled. Every time I walk through the door I feel like I should be wearing tweed and tortoise shell glasses.

Saturday night: la cousine et moi head to a techno show. Miss Kitten is playing. The cavernous hall is filled with beautiful, sweaty people gyrating to a heavy bass and random electronic noise. There are video screens hung on the walls showing digital collages of Japanese animation, exercise videos, and soft porn. There is a lot of dyed black hair, piercings and tattoos. And tall people, I am constantly dwarfed by dancing giants. Strobe lights blind me and the smell of pot in the air bring back the memory of the last concert I was at, which ended badly in a un-planned introduction to the public health care system. We leave around 3, la cousine having given her (read, my) phone number to about 4 different people. I am now really wishing for call display...

Bizarre. We are so different, we two... and yet, so similar in other ways. Apparently we look alike: who knew?

jeudi, mai 05, 2005


it seems that I am surrounded by women these days. Which isn't really a suprise, given that my gender makes up 1/2 the population, but suddenly there are these really strong, smart, funny and beautiful women in my life. I'm not sure how to cope.

Some people (and you know who you are) would not EVER see a sudden onset of women to be a problem. I don't either, it's just funny. All my close friends have mostly been guys. Apart from two rather fraught and disasterous friendships in the highschool years, I haven't ever had close female friends.

You know, girlfriends. The ones you call at 2pm having just woken up with a hangover to plaintively ask if she has any idea how your clothes could have possibly ended up in the kitchen... the ones who you can spend 24 hours in the company of and not want to kill them or set them on fire. The ones who remember the names and identifying characterisitics of all your former men without the use of polaroids or name tags.

Yesterday, in the company of two of these women, I laughed so hard my stomach ached for hours. Bent double sitting on the curb, my breath coming out in short gasps as I tried to both laugh and talk a the same time.

I have no idea what set us off... does it matter?


today, the first warm day in ages, sees me running errands on St Laurent: cutting keys, fixing my watch, dropping the cousin off to have her hair chopped and chemically altered. It's sunny and for the first time in months I am enjoying the feeling of the sun on my back.

as I am leaving the city soon, I've been noticing more and more the things about it that I am going to miss.

and today I realized that I will miss most horribly the cultural juxtapositioning of a city caught between the Seine and the rough and tumble new world.

there was a man on the sidewalk busking in the most franco of ways: the accordian.

and he was dressed as a cowboy.