Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Freaks Are Out!

Hip hop beats pour out the windows of a decrepid minivan, competing angrily with the steady pulse of 4/4 house songs streaming from the Honda Civic behind it. A fight breaks out between 3 homeless people. They tussle, a shirt pulled over the head, hockey style. Punches thrown. A rock sails through the air and hits the roof of a cab THUNK as he peals away, perhaps sensing the anxious energy in the air. Everyone stops to stare for a moment, distracted, then continues mindlessly on their way, looking into store windows, fresh displays of spring. Still, the chaos is palpable, the energy electric.

What is it about the first taste of spring that brings out the freak in people? Is it that we're so thirsty for the light after 4 months of darkness, that we lose our minds? Is it temporary insanity?

It's barely 10 degrees outside, yet people are already shedding their winter clothes like there's no tomorrow. Even though I'm wearing a thick cashmere sweater and a down-filled vest, the healthy wind is still able to cut though my layers and give me a chill. Yet everywhere I look, there are women walking around in short shorts, mini-skirts and sandals. They wait at traffic lights, arms crossed and shivering, their legs unprotected, shaking in the cold. I see a flash of belly fat, pale winter white, soft and vulnerable. I turn my head.

Why must I be subjected to such things so soon?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Smelly!

So many March birthdays!! Happy Birthday Smelanie.

You have courageously stepped onto the path of your destiny with all it's unexpected twists and turns. You're on the beautiful journey, my friend!

Love, light and blessings!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

People I Have Known

I bumped into someone from my sordid past on Friday night. I was shocked to run into him, but because of the location, not overly surprised either, if that makes sense. I always find it strangely sad that when you revisit your past, you find people you knew and interacted with, in the exact same place as they were, when you moved forward. It's like time froze, and their feet got stuck in the mud, while you were able to yank your feet out and run on. Five years ago, a glance from him was everything - he was a beautiful, wounded man with his whole life in front of him. Now, he looks hard. The years of partying have taken their toll. Now, it's just tragic. What a waste.

Of course, there are those that believe that time is an artificial concept anyways. And that everything actually happens at the same time. Deepak Chopra calls this the "nonlocal domain," the level of consciousness and intelligence. This is the place of universality and pure potential, and operates beyond the reaches of space and time. When you live your life on this level, you can access the magic of coincidence and synchrodestiny.

Oops! Off on a tangent there...sorreee...

It reminded me of all the people I have known in the past, and the strange ways they have of reappearing in your life. A friend of mine just moved into a new place in Little Italy with his girlfriend. A girl from his past - Krista - happens to live 4 doors down. Someone from his old advertising agency in Calgary lives in the neighbourhood too. How does this happen?? Unfinished business perhaps?

I coined this girl, Krista SS because of her affinity for wearing all manner of striped socks. Striped leotards too. In vivid colours of purple, green, red and blue running horizontally all the way up her legs. I'm sure she didn't have a single pair of black socks in her entire closet. Krista Striped Socks was very plain, with lank brown chin length hair and chubby cheeks. She did have a very nice figure though, and had long ago figured out how to use it to her advantage. Krista SS was profoundly insecure and sexually aggressive at the same time. In exactly the kind of way that made the feminist in you want to scream in agony. I didn't like Krista Striped Socks very much. She didn't like me much either. Which is fine I guess, since I'm not the one that keeps running into her...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Jany!

Happy birthday, my sweet friend!

You're such a sparkler. You light up every room you walk into with your positive energy, and your spirit always fills the space with fun. Hope you have an ever-more beautiful and fabulous year!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pomeranian Man

There's a faint jingling sound in the distance, like Santa approaching merrily in his sleigh. But it's almost April, so this can't be right. Christmas is long gone and the first buds of spring are on their way. The sound crescendos, the bells floating brightly through the crisp air.

I look up, just in time to see 7 unleashed baby pomeranian puppies turning the grimy city corner. The bells around their necks sing together, as they run around a tall, thin man. The Pied Piper of Pomeranians - The Pomeranian Man.

I know this man. I've seen him before. On subway platforms. In parks. Walking down the street. And always..always surrounded by his Pomeranians. The eye of a furry storm. I am constantly amazed by the fact that I keep seeing the same man over and over again in a city the size of Toronto. If you really think about it, the odds are pretty great. Five million people. Twenty-four hours in a day. Thousands of criss crossing streets. It's unreal actually. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. I'm sure there are other Torontonians who've met the Pomeranian Man.

Maybe he's a critical link in the 6 degrees of separation chain?? Who knows?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The sun is shining, the skies are blue and it's getting warmer every day. Despite this, the homeless man has not appeared outside my office yet. We should've seen him by now.

He didn't look so good the last time I saw him. I think he passed away.

I hope he's in a better to his heart's content.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Morning After

The alarm next to her head sounded unreasonably far away to Lily, like it was ringing from a house buried deep beneath the sea. The beep continued to echo annoyingly through her small bachelor apartment, gradually rousing her out of sleep. Her ears were ringing. This static combined uncomfortably with the buzzing of her alarm clock into a cacophony of chaos in her brain. Lily sat up gingerly and surveyed the disaster of her apartment through half closed eyes. Yellow stained cigarette butts stared back at her from an overflowing ashtray. Mismatched piles of silvery CDs glinted in the morning sun, scattering brilliant beams of light left and right. A futon lay in the middle of the floor, a blanket thrown haphazardly on top of it. Half filled bottles of water and juice-tinged glasses littered the entire expanse of her floor.

Her friends had cleared out sometime between midnight and dawn, as she’d drifted painfully in and out of sleep. She wasn’t sure when. Lily's head was pounding, beats remembered from the night before pulsing and crashing rhythmically against the inside of her skull. She forced herself out of bed, carefully placing one foot and then the other onto the cold floor. She stood up slowly, testing her balance like a toddler taking her first steps. She was so lightheaded!

After taking a few moments to regain her strength, Lily stumbled her way to the bathroom, and examined her reflection in the mirror. She had a terrible taste in her mouth, and could barely gather enough saliva to swallow. She stuck out her tongue. It was greenish-grey, the tastebuds larger than she expected. She was dehydrated. Completely. Her hair was standing at attention in greasy spikes all over her head, and her eyes had the tired look of someone who had been squinting in front of a computer for 24 hours straight. She leaned into the mirror, swept her bangs off her face and rubbed at the faint lines on her forehead. She hadn’t showered all weekend, and the faintly chemical smell of club, smoke and drugs emanated disturbingly off her skin. She'd been afraid of washing off her high. It had made sense the day before, but in the inhospitable reality of Monday morning, it made Lily feel a little unhinged.

8:30. Where had the last half hour gone? Sometimes Lily felt as though she spent her whole life trying to outrun the clock. She took a deep breath, hoping that the fresh oxygen would help her concentrate. Her fingers were trembling slightly, reacting to the lack of food in her system. A hot shower. That would help. It would wake her up, she thought groggily. She dragged herself into the shower, and slowly turned on the taps.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


My sister drew this cartoon of a West Highland White Terrier in a Napoleon costume. I thought it was unbearably cute! Especially the epaulets. Nice attention to detail, sis.

I'm planning on getting my very own westie puppy in the near future. I'm naming him Napoleon Bonaparte, because as all westie owners know intimately, westies are the most demanding little dictators around!

Monday, March 13, 2006

5 Things I Learned From Dad

For my Piggy, who doesn't understand that he is the secure foundation that I build my life on.

1. That there is poetry and beauty in sadness, that the truest thing we have is authentic emotion.
2. To laugh loudly, from the gut and without reservation.
3. That breaking out into random acts of silliness is always a good thing. Um...Lee Family Song/Dance anyone?
4. The sacrifices that are possible for love.
5. That although life and the world can be scary, I am always safe.

I love you Dad!

Friday, March 10, 2006


I turn 33 today. My intention for this year is to live fearlessly and compassionately from the heart.

I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One.

We are all one when we live from the heart.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pole Dancing Class

"I'm taking a pole dancing class!" my good friend Sasha exclaims, smiling broadly.

I look at her with barely disguised shock, my eyes wide, "Wait a minute. Lemme get this straight. You're taking a pole dancing class?!"

My surprise is not unfounded. While you couldn't really accuse Sash of being uptight or prudish, she is a Capricorn Catholic accountant, so is quite conservative with regards to these matters.

"Yes," she says proudly, "I'm taking it with Molly. On Wednesday nights."

" haven't signed up already, ha...have you?" I sputter. I am still astonished. To say that this is out of character is an understatement. Sasha is very proper. "You know what pole dancing is, right?" I am still trying to reconcile what I know of her with this new information.

"Yes," she says, her smile faltering a little. Is that hesitation I sense?

"What is it then?" I say, a smirk already forming at the corner of my mouth.

She pauses. Is that a blush I see colouring her cheeks? Sasha blinks as though collecting her thoughts, and says innocently, "It's a baton twirling class, isn't it? You know where you spin that stick around?"

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I explode into hysterical laughter, my stomach clenching and tears running uncontrollably down my cheeks.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Holy Bible, Holy Crap!

So I am officially a full-time civil servant. A permanant employee of the Ontario Provincial Government, with all the bells and whistles that go along with that vaunted position. I can look forward to full benefits, a pension, union dues, and a life chained behind a desk - all in anticipation of the blessed day of my retirement 35 years in the future. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

At the induction interview, it took all of my willpower not to run out of the room, screaming and beating my chest. The permanence of this whole thing is rather daunting. Who wants to think about a day 35 years into the future? I am just starting my life for godsakes! Contemplating the endless days of red tape drudgery, makes me go a little crazy in my head.

Fortunately, I realize that since things are only as fixed as you make them, I can quit whenever I need to, and I must admit, that the stability is comforting in it's own bureaucratic way.

No. In all honesty, what really made me uncomfortable was the black book sitting on the corner of the table. Big gold letters stared back at me, proclaiming "Holy Bible." Would you believe I had to swear an oath on the Holy Bible before I could be inducted into the civil service? It didn't really mean anything to me...I am essentially a-religious - as in I'm neither for or against it - so I put my hand right on God's book and took the oath. What difference did it make to me? None whatsoever.

But what of those individuals who believe strongly in the Koran or some other religious text? What if the Bible completely contradicts what you believe? Should you be forced to swear on the Bible to retain your job? There are real consequences to not taking the oath. If you are fired or let go, and you didn't take the oath, severance package for you, even if you gave 35 years of your life in service to the government!

Section 2 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms constitutionally guarantees fundamental freedoms, like freedom of expression, thought, association and religion. The last time I checked, Ontario was still a part of Canada. If that's the case, how can this oath swearing business be legal? As far as I'm concerned, this is in direct contradiction to your fundamental rights as a Canadian citizen.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


"She's been using the same battery in her clock radio for 13 years. When it dies, she just pops it out, and charges it between her fingers," my meditation instructor says matter of factly.

I am a little stunned by this. This is not a friend of a friend of a friend story. This is someone he knows intimately and directly - 1 degree of separation.

He tells us that every cell in the human body has 1.71 volts of electricity running through it and that quantum physics is theorizing that humans are actually 99.9% electricity. We just appear solid because we're vibrating so quickly.

Now, I'm not overly cynical about these types of things. I believe in fate, destiny, magical thinking, auras and the like. In fact, I prefer to live in a world dictated in these terms. But still...this seems a little too Celestine Prophesy. Even for me. That is...until I learn how to conduct my own electricity.

Try this out:

1. Sit in a chair and plant both feet on the ground.
2. Put your arms straight out in front of you, open your hands, and turn one palm upwards facing the ceiling, and one palm downwards facing the ground.
3. Open and close both hands as quickly as possible, 20 or 30 times.
4. Immediately flip your hands over, so that the opposite palms are facing up or down.
5. Open and close them 20 or 30 times again.
6. Now quickly, place your palms facing each other in front of you, about 1 inch apart.
7. Feel anything?

I sure did. I felt my palms were two magnets pushing against each other. Little sparks of electricity running between my fingers.

Am I crazy? My tribal identity tells me that this is a little nutty - that most people would dismiss this as kooky. So, do I ascribe to mainstream beliefs about what is "truth?" or do I follow my gut, my instincts?

I realize it's not so black and white. We thought the world was flat until Socrates encouraged the questioning of known "truths", and Copernicus, Bruno and Galileo proved otherwise. Were they kooky back then? For sure.

Socrates was sentenced to death, and famously drank the poison, hemlock. Bruno was charged with blasphemy and burned at the stake. Galileo, under the threat of death and torture, was forced to renounce his beliefs and sentenced to imprisonment for the rest of his life.

Fortunately, I will never drink hemlock or get burned at the stake for my beliefs. Fortunately, I can believe whatever I want.

And I know what I felt.