Bonus: Sweetness

The April 29 passage is taken from Sweetness in the Belly by the talented, terrific Camilla Gibb. Her work is quite an experience.

April 30: Mocha x3

1. Mocha: Chocolate bar on the subway.
2. Mocha: Chocolate bar at work (yes, I am woman enough to admit it).
3. Mocha: An email today from someone who has written a book. Are men really like mocha lattes? I guess we'll have to read it to find out. Good for you, Lisa!

Good thing or I might have had another chocolate bar.

April 29: Passage

1. Women who email: Instructions enabling domain configuration.
2. Women who bond: Downtime on our shift today at the film festival.
3. Women who write! See passage below from a book I am reading. I'll post the reference tomorrow.

‘He released my finger from his mouth and leaned into me, his mouth at my neck. His lips searched my face, grazed my cheek, my eyebrows, my forehead as if he was touching the raised letters of an old gravestone, trying to read the story of a life from its beginning. He wrote the future onto my face with his lips.’

Bonus: Soulumination

Soulumination, founded by Lynette Johnson, celebrates the lives of children facing life threatening illnesses by providing professional photographs—free of charge—of these children and their families.’

A short film about this woman was created as part of The International Documentary Challenge. It was one of twelve moving stories selected as finalists. To view the short films created by last year's winners, click here.

April 28: Kumbaya

1. Banana Soy: Someone I work with was nice enough to surprise me with muffins, which functioned as breakfast.
2. Comatose: I toiled all day on onerous tasks. But I did not suffer alone! It was a kumbaya work-all-day love-in with W, my partner in pain.
3. Sisters: I met an Eastern European kindred spirit. Actually, I spent the whole evening meeting really cool women, all of whom were literally running the show(s).

Sticky: Elton John's ‘Daniel’ was playing at the restaurant where I picked up lunch. It stuck. Almost as much as ‘Kumbaya, my Lord’. Those two battled it out all day in my head like an out-of-step 70s mix.

April 27: Democracy

Today's good things were wrapped up in a big, creative bundle, infused with ideas and punctuated with beautiful mystery men. I'd like to share:

1. Democracy: get it, watch it and make it!
2. Check out Bravo! Fact and Shorts in Motion here or here.
3. Sample and participate: Current TV.

April 26: Okonomi

1. Continuing education: I learned a lot about Russia today.
2. Bacon and scallop ‘pancakes’, topped with tasty sauces. Starving and wet from the cold rain, a friend and I filled up at Okonomi, a downtown Japanese family restaurant (one without sushi).
3. Stop the press! My dad has asked me for advice.

Gift: Chester

It turns out that Charlie's name is actually Chester (oops).

I arrived home late last night to find Chester in his wheelchair in the hallway of our condo building. Frightened, he told me of three men who had brought him back from a hospital and ‘drugged the two children’ sleeping in the bedroom. The elderly are vulnerable; who was I not to believe him?

I took a deep breath and walked in to find only an immaculate, sparsely appointed apartment. When I broke it to him that no one was there, he reacted in horror, jaw dropping, raising both hands to cup his cheeks. Eyes watering, ‘The poor children!’

We sat together in the middle of the night, looking west, repeating the same conversation over and over, his memory constantly lapsing (his family assured us everyone was fine). This man's independence looked an awful lot like loneliness.

His daughter called me his guardian angel - untrue. But even though his name is Chester, I suspect I wouldn't mind being, as Yee put it, ‘Charlie's Angel.’

April 25: Value

1. Values: sexy, articulate, creative men everywhere.
2. Valuable insight and inspiration at industry events.
3. An email offering work, making me feel valued.

And Charlie, my sweetheart elderly neighbour. I will write a separate post for him tomorrow. Right now, a cold beer in the freezer and good night . . .

April 24: Giggles

1. Lunch reception: A four-and-a-half-month-delayed birthday lunch in the company of good women. It was so delicious, the thought of licking clean the tiramisu plate actually crossed my mind.

2. Guest reception: An off-hours siesta in a quiet room in a downtown high-rise. Just as I was closing my eyes in sweet darkness, someone else entered, with the exact same idea. I'd call it a dream-like sequence, except she happened to be a friend of mine who scared the daylights out of me and I out of her. Fumbling for our glasses and footsteps, respectively, we exploded into fits and giggles, she all the while shaking her head, repeating, ‘you kill me, you know, you just kill me!’

3. Email reception: I opened an email from a dying, single, childless widower who has decided to donate a part of his wealth - GBP£2,895,700 - to yours truly. He doesn't know me and has never met me but his mind tells him to do this.

April 23: Miles

1. I learned that I have just enough miles left in my points program to go hang out in Chicago.
2. I received an unexpected phone call from my grade two best friend.
3. Perfect timing as J and I left our homes/offices, hopped in a cab and caught the 1145pm screening of King Corn. I don't want to plug too many films, but if you eat food in North America, you owe it to yourself to see this.

April 22: Helvetica

1. The true highlight today was getting into a sold-out film titled Helvetica. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, people lined up around a city block, hours in advance, to get into a movie about a font. Was it worth it? Yes!
2. Having tea with J and B in the middle of Yorkville, watching all the puppies, followed by chit chat on a sunny bench in an old square at University of Toronto campus (watching all the puppies).
3. Ending the night with a screening of an excellent film titled The Protagonist. Like the earlier film, the director was there to answer all kinds of questions.

April 21: Another Lift

1. Warm weather: For the first time this year (in Canada), I was able to eat lunch outside.
2. Warmer people: I am volunteering at a film festival and it is lots of fun. HotDocs is one of Toronto's finest and friendliest.
3. Warming up to the idea: I watched the world premiere of a Latvian documentary set in an elevator.

April 20: Lift

1. The words, ‘we're waiting for you’ from friends on a patio on a warm spring night in the city.
2. Sharon let me use her cell phone to check my voicemail.
3. Izzy gave me a lift home at the end of the night.

April 19: Faux-hawk

Another day of spoken and texted treasures:

1. -‘My daughter's boyfriend is ugly-hot.’
2. -‘Hot young guys working in the bank. One has a limp! So cute!’ [-‘The guy with the funny hair? That's called a faux-hawk.’]

. . . and my favourite (drum roll, please) -
3. -‘Life is better lived in jogging pants.’

April 18: Brilliant

1. Hip! Yee did my dishes for me tonight (gracias).
2. Hip! My dad's lightbulb replacements are brilliant.
3. Hooray! Well, thank goodness I do not have lupus.

April 17: Heir

1. My dad sat me down and attempted to teach me about business taxes: oh-so-useful.
2. I figured out how to postpone a much-needed haircut: my curls are now oh-so-straight.
3. I came face to face with a media heir who is actually much better-looking than he appears in the papers: oh-so-HOT.

April 16: Asiago

A free meal is always a good thing because I love to eat. Sometimes there is such a thing as a free lunch!

Today is dedicated to food, one of the three best good things in life.

3. Chomping away on spinach-and-cheese-stuffed chicken breasts over a bed of rice, garnished with roasted peppers and an orange cut into the shape of a flower.
2. Crunching into the aged asiago cheese crackers Jean gave me on the weekend.
1. The very happy memory - the memory alone will do - of the wafting sweet smell of cookies outside the cookie factory in East York on Saturday afternoon.

April 15: Concierge

In Toronto today:

1. A concierge at a downtown hotel let a tired and frustrated young woman check the internet using the hotel computer.
2. A taxi driver suggested the hungry woman get a falafel sandwich for take-out, which could not have been more perfect.
3. The woman's brother dropped some quality content onto a DVD for her to take home and enjoy.

April 14: Eejit

It was a colourful day full of colourful language.

Each of the three utterances below gave me a belly full of laughter at some point today (though none as much as the story of my nephew, who took off his diaper on his parents' bed and smeared everything with - even offering to share - his own soft, warm chocolate brownie dough).

1. Confliction
2. Love-pants
3. Eejit

April 13: Honky-Tonk

1. Free samples: gel masks, pineapples scrubs and tingly rubs.
2. Hope among the pages: downtime to read several newspapers.
3. Chillin' in a local honky-tonk bar: a pint of goodbye with my sister.

Friday the 13th - No bad luck!

April 12: Chocolates

It appears to be snowing outside. No wonder I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone.

1. Afternoon: met some nice peeps from HotDocs.
2. Evening: got some great advice on a flat iron. Yes, I am still dreaming of straightening my hair (maybe it's hormonal).
3. Overnight: took my time strolling through a 24hr drugstore. All the Easter chocolates were half price.

I hope one of these three will snap me out of the Zone.

April 11: TTC

I love public transit! Why?

1. Incredibly good use of time: sleeping, reading, writing, texting, relaxing, gearing up, winding down...

2. Rich and sometimes wildly entertaining material: visual and aural candy, stimulation, stories, ideas...

3. Bumping into old friends, neighbours, acquaintances: even if it's not welcome, you deal with it (or get off at the next stop).

We also have a neat little tradition in Toronto, as I see it. Some call it litter, but I emphatically disagree. We leave our newspapers behind for the next person (we even ask each other for certain sections, in rare moments of communication). I can't bear to toss printed material - I like to see people reading!

April 10: Liquefecation

1. Free lunch: Delicious sandwich waiting for me in a boardroom.
2. Un-Facebook: A former classmate recognized and stopped me at Union Station; earlier, a former colleague and I met briefly.
3. Poetry: I got up from my seat on the subway car and turned around. On the advertising space above was a poem, part of an ongoing series, that made me smile. I scribbled it down:

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, methinks how sweetly flows
That liquefecation of her clothes.
Next, when I cast mine eye and see
That brave vibration, each way free,
O, how that glittering taketh me!

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

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April 9: The Book

1. In 1982, I met Greg in Miss Bleskie's class; in 2007, I met him again on Facebook.
2. In 1989, Stevie and I sat beside each other on a school bus from Toronto to Quebec City; in 2007, we sat beside each other on Facebook.
3. In 1998, Julie and I shared a life drawing class; in 2007, we shared profiles on Facebook.

April 8: Mama

1. Mama made us a beautiful lunch.
2. Mama offered me a key compromise.
3. Mama bought me a case of Perrier.

Bonus: Note

(slipped under my bedroom door)

‘For your blog - saw it in a coffee shop today:

‘The three grand essentials for happiness in life are: (1) something to do, (2) something to love, and (3) something to hope for.’

April 7: Chick Flick

1. Love letters: The post office was open, where I shed 10kg of mail and $56 of postage.
2. Like a baton: In a sunny suburban parking lot, one friend with a car handed me off to another.
3. 49 minutes: I bet Tommy we could find a movie at Blockbuster in 15 minutes. He swore his record was 3hrs and that this would be impossible. It was under an hour only because I caved. That came with my warning that The Warrior (Chinese) would be a chick flick, disguised. He didn't believe me and bought me an Easter Creme Egg.

April 6: Mangoes

1. My uncle came over and helped me sort through our family's antique book collection.
2. My phone did not ring once. I felt a twinge of isolation, but got over it quickly and enjoyed my silent Friday.
3. Unable to buy groceries, I consumed my fruit quota in the form of dried, sweetened mangoes.

‘Being alone is not the same as being lonely.’

April 5: Senegal

1. A colleague offered me a sympathetic ear.
2. Tea with Emily, listening to her stories of life and travel in Africa. Senegal, land of art and music, sounds like a must-see.
3. Email from a long-lost friend now living in New York. Thanks, Facebook!

April 4: Olive

1. Pyjama-clad partner answered my cry for help from the brisk cold and took me in for Chai tea with honey.
2. Two college profs did me the honour of lunch, offering their insights and assistance.
3. I was inspired by Olive, the star in Little Miss Sunshine.

April 3: Timing

1. Hello: Somewhere in a shopping mall in Athens, there is a phone booth, sponsored by a phone company, that allows unlimited free phone calls to anywhere in the world. From that phone booth, I received a call from a friend who thought of me.
2. Perfect timing: Fresh pizza, right out of the oven, at the Italian bakery. I've never had a more comforting slice.
3. Support: Daiva, for her email and this quote:

‘When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.’ — Unknown

April 2: Laughter

1. Leftover apple pie and vanilla ice cream for breakfast.
2. My dad helped me out big-time by making a phone call.
3. Chuckling my way through hilarious high-school photos featuring my dearest Ursula, The Guardian Angel of Laughter.

These were my silver linings today.

April 1: Played

I'm just not feeling it today.

1. Shopped, cleaned, cooked, cleaned - and finally rested. So very grateful for the help of my roommate as my guests colonized.
2. My brother offered me music and movies. Gael Garcia Bernal can certainly brighten up any evening of mine.
3. Listening to music, had a healthy little cry and played with some new photos. See 87 and 89 on 365 Degree View.

Time for that movie!

March 31: Higher Power

3. A higher power gave me a terrific compliment.
2. A higher power gave me the strength to work all day.
1. A higher power gave me her turkey sandwich.

March 30: The Day After

1. My friend worked ‘from home’. We had a nice, long lunch!
2. Mini art class reunion at a show on West Queen West.
3. Inspired (as always) by Paul: the ‘destruction of normality’ is necessary for creative progress.