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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004 - 2:28 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

Ganesha God of Obstacles Considers Moving to Verdun

**before starting this rather long entry, please quicly read about Houdini the wild boar. Thankyou. We'll wait til you get back**

Mmm, it is LOVELY! Yogagirl seems to be sleeping out tonight... I came home at suppertime and the lights were on and her laundry was in the clothesdryer, so I know she was here... she has either been abducted by aliens, went into the back yard or basement and collapsed and I have not discovered her prostate body yet, or she has gone to have a romantic rendezvous with her former lover and now friend who lives nearby... that is whose house she proposes to stay at while my father is here. Dang! I just realized it is 2:30 am, ie 11:30 pm on the west coast, and thus too late to once again discuss with Dad the fine details of his arrival.


Oh well. tomorrow tomorrow...

I took Yogagirl's laundry out of the dryer to reduce wrinkles and stumbled across this lovely Ganesha on a tshirt... (yeah, this is the closest I get to copyright violation, bad bad me)... We'll just consider I took a photo of Yogagirl wearing it and photoshopped her out ok?

Oh, I didn't mention WHY it is lovely that Yogagirl is sleeping out. I have the music up at a normal volume. I have my studio door open. I have my running shoes on instead of slippers. All is well. I fear I kept her awake last night talking to my mom on the phone... my mom was like "why are you talking all hush hush??" and I was "um, Yogagirl is a light sleeper"...

I wonder why light sleepers turn off ALL the noise-making stuff in the house. Makes no sense to me.

You know the saying "so quiet you could hear a pin drop"?? Well, can you normally hear a pin drop? maybe. unlikely. Because when there is background noise, it covers other noises. If all is deathly quiet, you will hear someone in stocking feet tippytoeing down the hallway, and every breath they take. If the radio is on low, and the computer, the dehumidifier, and the window open with street noise, you will probably NOT hear someone breathing in the next room. AACK. I come home every evening to find EVERYTHING turned off. Putting my keys down on the counter sounds like the percussion section of the orchestra. Taking my shoes off sounds like the recycling truck unloading. When I turn the tap on, it sounds like the rushing of a huge river. When I close a door so I am quiet behind it, it sounds like a construction zone. AAAGH!!

So it is lovely.

Please please remember to ask if people are light sleepers if they have to be up at 7:30 am every day.

Anyways, I spent like 5 hours plus yesterday on that damn political entry yesterday about tax cuts. Dang. It takes SOOO long to google facts, and then check them. Even then there are so many differing facts and opinions. But some you can see are just hopeful obfuscation and some you can see are ranting propaganda and some you can see are actual data, which can be read in different ways. I try to go for the latter.

So, I will now report on my day, which I had no time left to do, when I got to bed at 8am after finishing that darn entry. I had a great day. I got up early (ie 12:30 pm) and walked doggies, then went to Verdun which is sort of the south shore of the actual island of Montreal... it is right along the St-Laurence Seaway... just a couple subway stops from Atwater market, and four stops from downtown... about 40 minutes from my house including getting to the subway on my end.

My friend L'Ecrivaine lives about three blocks from the subway on her end. I remember being close to the subway station and it is a stupendously great thing. Here where I ended up living, it is 20 minutes on the bus in traffic (or 6 minutes not in traffic, but maybe 20 minutes waiting for it to arrive... since it comes quote often at high volume times of day... when there is ALSO traffic, and it comes less often at low volume times of day, when the lack of traffic speeds up the actual trip). She also lives about a block from a shopping artery, exactly like me. And two blocks from the Seaway waterfront, exactly unlike me.

I had scarcely arrived and she said "want to move to Verdun? My next door neighbor is selling and I'd love to have a friend move in!!" ACK! So much for my relaxing Sunday. I spent the next 5 hours always considering in the back of my mind: "what is this neighborhood like? How much space do I need? How much would it cost to move? Do I want to get rid of my fiveplex and stop being a landlord? Would I make enough selling the house to get off my tax/ renovation debt treadmill?.

We went for "brunch"... ie I wanted to eat and she had a cappuccino... but on the way she pointed out the features of the neighborhood and the shopping street... It is much like St-Laurent St on the Plateau used to be... there are many low-income sort of shops, many shops owned by immigrants and minorities and patronised by immigrants and minorities. St-Laurent has gone yuppy and upscale. Mont-Royal street which is near my place is getting there too. The half closest to St-Laurent and St-Denis streets to the west IS yuppy. The half near where I live (east) still has some reasonable rents so there are things like the fairtrade cafe/ thrift shop I frequent, and other small enterprises.

But this shopping street in Verdun totally appealed to me. It was a real mixture of people. Working class French Canadian, anglophone students and dykes, Middle Eastern and Asian people, Blacks and Muslims. Quite a mix, and the stores reflect that. L'Ecrivaine showed me the "health food " (ie bulk food) store she frequents... she has gotten them to get in our fave Nature Clean brands. I also noticed they have the cardamom coffee from Lebanon (Najjar brand)that I love (which I bought in Dearborn MI) and hookah charcoal as well as my fave brand of fair trade organic chocolate. It is hard to resist that.. Even the brand of organic stoneground bread I use. All in an arab shop with friendly staff.

Dang, L'Ecrivaine knows how to strike a hard bargain. Then she took me to some of her fave coffeeshops/ restaurants. I wouldn't miss having the restos I have here on the plateau since those were very artsy plateau type of places... espresso machines and vegetarian food, mexican food and croques. mmmm.

So, I had a good brunch of bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon and we then went riding along the waterfront on bikes. Lovely. There is a small marina (no yachts, mostly tiny little boats that would be rowboats if they didn't have the little motors on the back), and I saw someone canoeing. The shore on the other side is undeveloped and wild, which is very appealing to me. TWO blocks away from where she lives. This is like where Hotsauce lives (but he lives 30-40 minutes out of town). I will admit there were TOO many midges or whatever them little swarms of fly things are. We were all sputtering and riding with our eyes closed. pthpththtttt pthhtpththttt!!!

When we got back I took a tour of the house next door to hers.. a cottage (ie one house on two floors... not apartments like mine).. but it was all renovated (not to my taste... quite dark) so quite expensive. $179,000. I admit I bought this fiveplex (albeit needing work) for $210,000. So it seems quite expensive. Esp for Verdun which is not really a hoity area, and esp not that street. All the rooms were closed, ie no double rooms like l'Ecrivaine's place, which is open and airy. And the windows very small. So no go on buying the house next door.

BUT it is tempting to have a complete change of scene. To NOT be a landlady. Not have to worry about a huge 3 floor house sinking into the clay of the Plateau squoosh squoosh (costs about 30,000$ to 70,000$ depending on the work to be done to get pilons sunk into the ground to stabilize these buildings in the mud that is the land here). Not have to worry about tenants. Make a profit on the building, and be able to put a large downpayment on a single house so the mortgage is low. Pay off my debts. And then I'll be able to happily continue on a pared down work schedule.

When I was making three times the income I am now, it seemed fun to have the building to do renovation projects, to take care of it etc. But I also worked my health into the ground. And had to deal with that New York agent.mmmm......

I just spoke to Hotsauce and HE is thinking of selling HIS house and moving to Verdun. I suggested that if we find a duplex we should go together to buy it. That might be a good idea. I get along swimmingly with Hotsauce. I don't in fact think we have ever had an argument or a fight. Not in 5 years. Disagreements yes, differences of opinions, yes, but no arguments or fights. And we are both slobs. Well, we like to work on things ourselves renovation wise. We like to cook and have friends for a meal. But we tend to only manage cleaning deep down and getting rid of the clutter in about three rooms at a time. hehe. So he and I are unlikely to get on eachother's case about not trimming the lawn, or leaving a canoe in the wrong place. hmm. More to think about.

However I will admit that despite not minding leaving the neighborhood, (though I will give up my claim to having a building in one of the cities "desirable hots spots"), I will miss the space I have in this apartment, where all the rooms have large 5' tall windows. Where you can see through many rooms at once and they are all interconnected so no claustrophobia. Huge kitchen, wide hallway, huge studio. Tiny bathroom but I live alone, heck.

I will maybe look for a place in Verdun that has lots of light and high ceilings. hmmm. It is a thought it is a thought.

I admit that living in a place that is new and foreign to me is appealing. Like I was willing to spend much of my time in another city / country with ob.... it feeds me. Wakes up my curiousity. Takes me out of routine. Makes dull errands into forays into new territory. mmmm. I think I am stagnating in this neighborhood a wee bit.

Oh! I saw an article in the paper today how Montreal is one of the friendliest cities to "modern gypsies"!! Ob would've loved that. They interviewed people (several families with small children) who live in vans/ fitted out buses.... and park on the street, mostly near the large Parc Lafontaine. As long as they move their parking spot every 24 hours (that is how long you are really allowed to leave a car to sit anywheres without moving it) they are not hassled by the authorities. The interviewed gypsies said that mostly the police are friendly and helpful. And the city's inhabitants too... mostly curious and asking about their lifestyle, and even asking for hints on how to do such a thing... for a summer, a year, a couple years... (eventually they'll settle down when the kids go to school unless they homeschool)... it is a cool thing and I am happy to live in a gypsy-friendly city.

Last "news" of the day: I went to my first cardioboxe class tonight. Yowza. The guy is sort of a gay muscleman version of my army torture-interrogator box instructor i had a couple years ago. He starts out by saying he is impatient, so will not repeat instructions. If you don't hear him, follow along. He is not a doctor, so don't tell him or ask him about your aches and pains. He is a sports instructor, and this is not an aerobics class so don't do any of that dance move shit. hehe.

And then we proceeded to do massively quick punching kicking, jogging and jumping sorts of moves in rapid succession for like 50 minutes to pounding techno sort of dance music if it could be called that. Boom boom boom boom go go go go. More fighting music than dancing music. No real warmup, no stretching, no explanation of the moves (just "one high kick, one knee up, one right jab, one left punch, repeat") or doing them slowly to point out the correct (non-ruining your body) way to do it. It was exhausting. Everyone looked stunned. They shut up and jumped and kicked and sweated. And rushed for the water bottles and continues. Some did it badly. Some limped. Some did it halfheartedly. We mostly all did it totally a mess, trying to copy him. And then we had a five or ten minute cooldown to rather nice African vocal with drums music.

I DID stop hopping on one leg sometimes and keep my feet flat on the ground when my knees threatened to give out. I sweated so much you could wring out my shirt. My face looked like it had been slapped for half an hour it was so red and hot. And once I cooled down at home, I hurt in all sorts of places. I wish i could say it was good muscle hurt, but some spots are more like "moved this while twisting madly too quickly" hurt. dang. well, he is not a doctor, don't tell him.

I guess I'll keep going. Sort of a shock treatment for my body. Dang.

I sort of miss flamenco and the discipline of doing things properly.

Well, there, a super long entry about my life. No politics. Just for you, Radiogurl!!


Me, wenchie.

Here is my horoscope for Monday, September 27:
Stop worrying about evacuating the immediate area. Even if you're smoldering mad, you can handle it without injuring any innocent bystanders. Simply locate the person responsible and ask for a moment alone.
Who knows what that means?!!! :D But I DID get paid today for work I forgot wasn't paid yet. A surprise check in the mail is always a wonderful thing! tah! anyways, no smoldering mad. none at all. tah!

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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