Friday, May 26, 2006



Sam posted on her blog all the stuff that's on her desk and it got me to notice exactly how cluttered mine is. To list a few of the things:

A mug with the dregs of some mint tea
Two pen holders - one a ceramic made by my daughter and one a souvenier of Greece both holding numerous pens (many of which are not in working order) also a long, slim paint brush, hole punch.
A small cute ornament of a kid riding a bike with a dog in his bike basket.
Four boxes of floppies.
A tin of paper clips
Various note pads and post-it-notes
two packets of photos
an unused CD rom
a paper napkin and CD cleaner cloth
A small date book and an address book containing email addresses.
A used kleenex
3 pens (1 red for editing) and a box with a souvenier pen from Torrino Italy
I have 2 shelves both stacked with assorted small note books, pages of MSS, computer books, class phone numbers and emails, a 3-hole paper punch. Empty ink cartridge box. Lots of other stuff buried under the junk.
Also on the desk is a large lamp with a silver base.

Time to clean out the clutter (which I usually do at the beginning over each writing marathon. I find it distracting to work with too much junk around. Maybe that's why I haven't been getting so much done lately??

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



I chose this colour as it reminds me of the sea in Greece and I am having a major homesick attack for those lovely Aegaen shores. I love the beach and swimming. Yesterday I was amazed to watch that adorable little 7 year old boy swim from Alcatraz to the mainland shore, an outstanding feat for anyone and especially one so young. And such a lovely child. I was impressed by his self-assuredness in the interviews and his aspirations to swim the English Channel. Way to go, Kid! It's so refreshing to see young people (especially a youngster like him!) achieving such daunting goals.

As much as I have always loved to swim, I've never been a strong swimmer but a very buoyant one who can stay afloat for ages in the water. I long for the summer days when I can head downtown to the Second Beach pool (the water's this colour!) and float about like a cork, looking up at the clear blue sky and dreaming that I am actually floating in the sea off some Greek island.

This morning I went to waterfit. The Italian mermaids were absent so there wasn't the usual chit-chat and merry singing in the pool. It's always a good workout first thing in the morning, although the instructor we had last week is a far better instructor and the workout was much more strenuous. Afterwards I swim my usual four laps. I should push myself to increase the number but will as the season progresses and I get myself back into better shape. After the swim and the exercise, a soak in the hot-tub. Nice way to start the morning. I usually go twice a week but for now I am teaching Thursday mornings so much miss it. However, soon it will be beach weather here (when? I don't know it's raining again!) But, eventually...

I at least had some early beach time while I was in Malaysia, and lots of swims in the outdoor pools at the hotels there. On the June 2nd weekend I'll be on an island with my writer's group. Still too cold to swim in the sea but at least I'll be close to it, which I love.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


SUNDAY, May 21

If there's one thing I can't tolerate, it's arrogant, puffed-up big-mouthed macho men. And this seems to have been the week for those t ypes to show up, as a number of confrontations (not necessarily involving me) took place.

A new guy showed up at our Memoir group on Thursday. One of those types. Up til now we've had a dynamic group of women, so it was a rather rude intrusion into our merry little cliche. Not that we don't like to have men in the group, because we do. But this particular one is not the type who will fit in well -- unless perhaps he was so intimidated he was putting on a macho show. I think, in the end, he realized he was up against a force he couldn't reckon with with and I wonder if he'll return. Being the instructor I keep cool. I've had these blustering sergeant-majors in my classes before and have learned to calmly (bite your tongue, Ruthaki!) keep them in their place. But I could feel my hackles rise the minute this guy strutted into the room and it changed the tone of the whole morning.

Same thing happened the next two nights. On Friday I was meeting friends at the LQ. First thing that happened as soon as we arrived, my girlfriend had a confrontation with Mario the door guy and she ended up storming out. Then when my other friend was dancing, some lout sitting at a table that was half-crowded onto the tiny dance space got angry and attacked her (physically would have hurt her if one of the guys hadn't stepped in.) She was so shook up she was in tears and left. Lucky me managed to stay neutral and in the end the door -guy appologized and said my wine was on the house. These sorts of things don't usually happen at the LQ but that night there were definitely negative ions in the air.

Then yesterday, I went with Jude to the Cottage to hear my son's band play. That's always a fun afternoon. When we got there, though, this work colleague of hers had showed up. I've met this guy once before and wasn't impressed. He's weird! He is so arrogant and self-absorbed he doesn't even have the courtesy to acknowledge my presence even though I sat next to him. (not that I care!) I think he only comes to harass and badger Jude (who is married and who he keeps harping at, insisting she's 'unhappy'). That's all he ever does is badger her - no 'real' conversation. To me, it's harassment.

Maybe it's the tug of the moon or something? Why did all these similar characters come out the last few days creating tension and negativity? I kept hoping yesterday that my Havana Buddy would show up for a little positive respite from the bad vibes, but he was busy doing a radio show and didn't make it.

Let's hope tonight is better when I go to meet him and the gals at a local venue to hear a fado singer. Meanwhile, I will stay protected in my little comfy apartment and get some writing and other stuff accomplished!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006



Wow! The weather is finally hot! And I promised God I wouldn't complain if it was too hot, because we've had so many months of cold wet weather. It's such a relief to feel the sun on one's body and know that perhaps now summer will eventually arrive. Enough, already, with the rain!

My bird is happy. He's out on the balcony calling to his wild bird friends. I'm getting him used to more cage time (he so spoiled!) and it's good for him to be outdoors.

Life is good. I just won another trip: a plane trip for two to NY City plus city tours. This was again the door prize at the travel writer's seminar on Saturday. I was so shocked at winning, I still find it hard to believe. I asked my friend who went to the gala with me if she'd like to go so today we talked about possible dates, looking at the first week in September. It will be a short trip, just to take in some shows and see the sights. It's been years since I was in N.Y. and I never dreamed I'd return there. This trip is a bonus, because I had just booked my flights to Chile a few days before that. So it's turning into a busy year of travel. But that's okay as it suits my gypsy soul!

Only thing is, I'll have to conjur up some extra work during the summer to save up some spending money for my adventures. So I'm going to try having a private workshop for a few weeks in summer and hopefully might land some daycare work too. Also must get busy writing more articles and sending them out. I'm terrifically inspired right now and feel like I'm on a roll. Maybe I need to go out and buy some lottery tickets!

Saturday, May 06, 2006



Another wet, cold Spring morning here on the Coast. I headed off early for my second Weight Watchers meeting across town. Aside from having the drag myself out of bed so early and the fairly long bus ride it's interesting to explore that particular area with it's posh shops and different kinds of people than we have in the East End where I live.

This morning as I trudged along feeling somewhat miserable because of the weather, I hear the sound of singing. A middle-age man was walking toward me singing, in the most resonant, clear tenor, an operatic aria (in Italian). His voice was so strong and beautiful that people actually came to their shop doors to look out and see who was providing the lovely rainy-day concert. I could still hear his voice as he continued on his way down the street, singing at full volumn as if he was performing on stage. An usual and beautiful touch on this particular gloomy Saturday morning. Undoubtedly, as it did for me, it brought smiles to people's faces to hear him sing.

My mood lifted even more when I went for my weigh-in and found I'd lost all but half a pound of what I'd aimed for this week. (And if I hadn't over-imbibed on all that wine I'd likely have met my goal.) So it made the trek across town in the rain all the more worthwhile.

Afterwards I went back to my neighbourhood, the Drive, and stopped at my favorite Italian coffee shop for lunch. (They always play Italian music there so the early morning opera concert had set the tone for the rest of the morning.) If I'd had the sense to wear proper shoes this morning instead of sandals, so my feet would have kept warmer, I possible would have been singing myself as I wended my way home with my groceries. But just then the rain (which had ceased for awhile) turned into a deluge soaking me through despite my umbrella so I was in no mood for singing as I walked home. I did buy a big bouquet of daffodils though, just to remind myself that it actually IS springtime!

So now, in the quiet warmth of my apartment, I'm listening to Saturday afternoon at the opera.
A nice way to relax and put me in the mood for singing along out of the rain!