June 28: Spell

1. The giggle fairy cast a spell upon me.
2. My brother helped me out in a big way.
3. There is a new, cute mailroom boy!

June 27: Confidence

1. Vote of Confidence I: Email. I received a very encouraging message from someone with my best interests in mind.

2. Vote of Confidence II: Groceries. Matthew and I pet a live lobster's ‘whiskers’ while Lukas proudly held up every fruit and vegetable: ‘Apple!’

3. Vote of Confidence III: Youth. A younger colleague invited me to join her in July at her VIP table next to a star DJ (who is ‘old, late 30s’... uh oh). I don't go clubbing, but I'm in!

June 26: Tannasaurus Rex

1. Having a nice chat with one of my dad's friends.
2. Continuing to read one of my unfinished books.
3. Enjoying even more sunshine. With only eight precious weeks of summer, I will be a Tannasaurus Rex!

June 25: Chorus

1. Tanned Canadian Bacon: Since summer officially arrived four days ago, I'm finally getting some colour on my white heiny.

2. Rustling: Midnight bike ride through the dark, windy 'burbs. All quiet but for the leaves in chorus and the quiet roar of the distant freeway (as opposed to the ocean rumbling off a Cuban beach).

3. Shalom! Voicemail from a long-lost Somebody. Or Nobody. I don't really know who he is... but everyone can have one international man of mystery to call their own, non? Oui?

June 24: In absentia

1. During our echoey conversation - spoken entirely into the swimming pool wall skimmer - my nephew told me I was pretty. (Talking into pipes, holes in walls, etc. is a variation on Darth Vader voices via the oscillating fan.)

2. I caught my wireless internet signal on the front porch. It was the perfect sunset home office setup (glass of wine included).

3. After I knocked all my red wine onto the white stone wall, Yee brainstormed with me over the phone how to tidy up the scene of the crime. We washed and sniffed that wall clean - she in absentia, I in presentia.

June 23: Gig

1. What: Successful interview with film people for a September gig.
2. Who: Starbucks guy watched my phone charge while I restroomed.
3. When: After spinning on this with my nephew, no dizzy-sickness!

June 22: Free

1. I received (yet another) free pair of heels from a company purporting to sell quality goods.

2. Jung and I abused our phone plans (she calls me for free; I receive incoming calls for free). It was a nice 75-minute chat in the hot afternoon sun.

3. A colleague did me an act of kindness, thereby freeing me to enjoy (versus suffer) my Friday evening.

June 21: Time

1. Time to enjoy Merlin's Lists of 5ives.
2. Time to post photos to 365 Degree View.
3. Time to catch up on email newsletters.

Bonus: e.e. cummings (ii)

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

June 20: Dino Dig!

Sweet things happened when I babysat two toddlers overnight and for the day:

1. 06:21 - ‘Good morning, Auntie Julia … Oh no! You had a bad dream? … Which kind was it? Dinosaurs, dragons or monsters?’

2. 08:00 - The kids wanted to watch Baby Mozart, so I got to sleep for 45 minutes.

3. 14:30 - I turned to TVO Kids, home to great Canadian children's programming, to find something interactive to do instead of watching TV. Matthew and I are huge new fans of Dino Dig!

June 19: Recipient

1. Oodles of string from dad, for cereal necklaces.
2. 10 minutes from my hairstylist to trim the ‘fringe’.
3. Spicy seafood wrap from one of my higher-ups.

June 18: Cannonball

Three great ways to wake up at mom and dad's house:

1. A powerful cup of tea, nearly 100-proof strong.
2. Creamy and chocolatey ‘exquisite Swiss biscuits.’
3. Cannonball into the pool, to show them you love it.

Bonus: e.e. cummings

I have cracked open the selected poems of e.e. cummings. Was there ever a sexier poet? When I join the afterlife, I will search out every corner of heaven to touch him.


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
-the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis


June 17: Matters

1. Lazy day poolside, discussing the pros and cons of sunscreen.
2. Viewing some great shorts at the Worldwide Short Film Fest.
3. Stirring. Happy that someone moved me on the inside. It doesn't matter if we never meet again. What matters is that even for the broken and the jaded, there is always hope in matters of the heart.

Bonus: Tėtė

1. Patient: teaching his grandchildren the differences between squares and rectangles.
2. Thoughtful: installing an air purifier in my room so I can breathe just a little bit easier.
3. Helpful: offering lots of money-saving tips - unsolicited, but undeniably useful, advice.

Just three reasons (of three to the power of n) why we love Tėtė. Happy Father's Day to you and your daddy-units.

June 16: Wonderful

1. My nephew, my brother and I reworked the lyrics to ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ in all kinds of strange and wonderful ways.

2. I learned about the strange and wonderful ways of squids and that even though they may look angry, they are sad - and beautiful.

3. A neighbour at the grocery store directed me to some strange and wonderful frozen soy desserts (in lieu of ice cream).

June 15: Nature

1. My mom gave me a lift, bright and early, to the subway at 8:00 a.m. It almost helped transform my night-owl nature.

2. Double-whammy: I met a wonderful woman who is willing to meet with me to explain the nature of her business. Then I got educated in a high-end boutique. I appreciate great design and I really appreciate staff who are willing to tell me about the nature of their handbags.

3. Kevin good-naturedly told me a hilarious massage story set in a bath house in Turkey. ‘His naked was touching my naked.’

June 14: Lessons

1. If you tell a national airline that they are a national embarassment, you may be marked for extra security checks. Wear nice underwear!

2. After I was felt up by a rather jolly woman who told good jokes, I watched my rubber thong sandals get molested. It is official: my Havaianas are harmless.

3. It is never a good idea to wear a skirt while riding a bicycle. (Duh.) But if you do, wear nice underwear!

June 13: Beaches

1. Daiva took me on a full-day city bike tour. We biked it all, bottom to top. It was fabulous.

2. There is South Beach - and there is North Beach! And then some. And they are clean! Chicago is one of the world's most beautiful lakefront cities.

3. We rested at a Lincoln Park lookout point. Ice cream, ice cones, sunshine, text messaging and camera phones.

Funny, I wore a t-shirt all day that read ‘C-L-E-V-E-L-A-N-D’ . . .

June 12: Cyndi

1. Fashion: I met several local boutique owners. One sized me up perfectly and sent me home with a great French t-shirt.

1a. Reason: I had to pass on a silver handbag I fell in love with. A beautiful discovery. But also beautiful was the discovery that I possess the voice of reason (telling me to pay my bills instead).

2. 80s: A party of three old camp friends reunited and hit up the True Colors Tour at the beautiful Auditorium Theatre.

2a. Cassette: The cab driver shared our enthusiasm: he popped in an 80s music mix on tape so we could all sing to Men at Work's ‘Land Down Under.’

3. Cyndi Lauper: What a great performer! After a lineup of incredible musical acts and special guests, a perfect finish.

June 11: Milwaukee

1. Dodo: I love these restaurant names. I had been describing okonomi pancakes on the way there. Well, lo and behold! Okonomi pancakes.

2. South Side: Dinner and cheap champagne with friends and family at Grand Duke's Restaurant. Mmm, cepelinai!

3. Oasis: We didn't feel like heading to bed, so we headed to Milwaukee. Daiva was a much better negotiator, scoring us a $189 room for $109. Despite her highly effective skills, we decided to return to Chicago overnight, pausing at a rest stop over the freeway to dine on the world's hottest, freshest Filet-o-Fish and fries. We *will* return to Milwaukee!

June 10: Ferris

Did you think I meant Ferris Bueller?

1. Actually, I meant the ferris wheel on Navy Pier. Along with jazz music, onion rings, fried shrimp and sunshine.

2. Walking, walking, walking. And a saleslady at Macy's running, running, running to fulfill my special request.

3. More walking. Photo shoots. Hookah bar. Baba ghanouj!

June 9: Chicago

Good afternoon, Chicago!

1. A pleasurable flight shared with a sparkling, spirited gentleman. Do you ever notice that special, mysterious Him or Her pacing or lulling near the airport gate? I did. And that someone was my seatmate and inspiration all the way to the Windy City.

2. Daiva picked me up at the airport and took me for a delicious lunch at a restaurant called Earwax.

3. Cycling through the city streets, all marked with bike lanes. Painting white lines can't be that hard! Those bikes took us to the Wells Street Art Festival, followed by a night out in Wicker Park in very good company.

Good night, Chicago!

When: 3:30 a.m. Who: An otherwise nice guy. Where: On my stomach. What: Bouncing. This was a first. Funny and flabbergasting. Oddly charming. I still chuckle at the memory. It was nothing compared to the dogs snoring.

Bonus: Anaïs Nin

‘And the time came when the pain to remain tight in the bud became greater than the risk it took to blossom.’

June 8: ‘Off with her hair!’

1. Izzy met me at lunch, and agreed to deliver a CD to a friend of ours.
2. Alligators! Aardvarks! I spent time at the ROM with my nephews.
3. ‘Off with her hair!’ Another successful haircut, after waiting too long.

I am taking off to the States for a few days and will not be posting again until mid-week next week. Adventures from the Midwest coming soon.

P-Units, I: Environment

Staying with my parents is foreign, but Good:

1. My urban fear has always been that of getting bike tires caught in streetcar tracks. Much worse is my suburban fear of getting lost in cul-de-sacs. This isn't the area I grew up in - it is foreign. The Good: I'm getting over it.

2. I wake up every morning in a hot pink, psychedelic bedroom. It's very B-52s-meets-Paris Hilton. This isn't the house I grew up in - it is foreign. The Good: It is cozy and inviting. It even delivers a warm pink reflection in my laptop.

3. My parents are environmental drill sergeants. That definitely isn't foreign! The Good: I am recycling and composting everything. Soon, I may even be carrying a water jug on my head. You know, to appreciate the value of water.

June 7: Service

1. Apple: provided me wireless support for Windows.
2. Kaner's: delivered another better-than-new shoe repair.
3. Parents: served me a scrumptious, barbequed pork chop.

They rock, they rule!

June 6: Motivation

1. This didn't happen to me, but I am thrilled it happened to someone else: Word Imperfect, a blog I love, has become a Blog of Note.

2. My nephew taught me that there are 35 ‘dots’ (found in small case letters, plus one ellipsis) in Each Peach Pear Plum. 38 if you count the back cover.

3. The gift of motivation was bestowed upon me, unbeknownst to its providers.

June 5: L

L1: ‘Labas rytas’ - ‘good morning’ from tėtė (Lithuanian).
L2: lowercase L, a recent Blog of Note (English).
L3: I arrived to a free Lunch at the bureau (French).

Speaking of L: In language learning theory, the first language acquired is referred to as L1, the second language learned is known as L2, etc. As a sometime teacher, I must remember to refrain from discouraging people in public from using their L1 (if they wish to improve their English, that is). Yee called this an occupational hazard.

Until today, I was completely unaware of the lowercase L error. To now, I have only been irritatingly aware of illegal apostrophe's.

Today has brought to you by the letter L (and the number 3, of course).

June 4: Help

1. Help! Sister's husband returned my forgotten laptop cord.
2. Help! Partner sent my info to an associate on my behalf.
3. Help! Cleaning lady at work vaccuumed all the ick away.

June 3: Complimentary

1. I scored free tickets to a Luminato event and was able to offer three friends a complimentary night out.

2. I finished my shift early, just as they exited the show, so we went for a nightcap (cherry beer, along with a complimentary sample of coffee beer).

3. I got a lift home. Completely mesmerized by the GPS system, I almost forgot that the vehicle was talking to me. First waste receptacles, now automobiles. All in such complimentary fashion, of course.

June 2: ‘Copy that’

1. Izzy helped me babysit the nephews: ‘Un, deux, trois...’

2. ‘This is Julia. Do you copy?’ I succeeded in my first-ever walkie-talkie-equipped job.

3. I met a really nice girl from Japan. Her company has sent her to Canada on a cultural expedition. ‘For nine months, I have to stay busy, have fun and send them an email once a week.’ Nice!

I worked that gig at Luminato, Toronto's newest Festival of Arts & Creativity (June 1-10). If you're nearby, come check it out!

June 1: Habibis

Saliva is upon me!

1. Nephews: The darlings have arrived from Vancouver. Auntie Julia swings into action.

2. Pottery: Lukas (the one who likes to play with his chocolate cookie dough) giggles when we ask him repeatedly if he's going to make pottery when he grows up.

3. Language: Matthew, in his Brooklyn accent, shows me the new frogs. ‘Zibbit!’

Speaking of language, now that children are around: ‘Oh, shiiTAKE MUSHROOMS!’

May 31: Dad

I am moving! I am a little freaked (and so are my parents, who haven't had me home in *many* years). It's temporary. Not ‘temporary’ - really, just temporary. Yea... so we're all a bit nervous about the arrangement.

1. My dad helped me unclog the sink at my place.
2. My dad helped me re-assemble furniture at his place.
3. My dad offered me a hard-boiled egg for brekkie.

Summer adventures with the Parental Units on the way...