Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dressed for Success

I begin every work day with the same routine. Repeatedly hit the clanging alarm, drag myself out of bed, stumble to the washroom, have a shower, stumble back to my room and then stand before my closet waiting for inspiration or divine intervention to hit me. Every morning I stand there with the knowledge that I have exactly 34.5 seconds to decide on what to wear and figure out if my choice of clothing is (a) washed (b) Out of the dryer (c) moderately unwrinkled (d) still fits me before I will start to fall behind on my schedule and inevitably be – late and running for the train.

When (note, no “ifs”) I’m terribly rich and moderately famous, I shall have a personal shopper and personal dresser. I shall then look as wonderfully turned out as some of the uber glamour chicks I see each day on the subway. At 7 am, when even the sun is still struggling to shine, these freaks of nature are well dressed, perfectly matched, prudently manicured, carefully coiffed and primed and pruned so that they look like they’ve just stepped out of a runway catalogue and onto the platform. They never run for trains (primarily coz they’d break their leg running in 4 inch overpriced shoes) and they never smudge their lip gloss as they serenely sip coffee and flip the pages of their newspaper. I also suspect that there’s actually no coffee in their overpriced flask – it just happened to match with the day’s ensemble.

Regardless, one day I will look just like them – in larger size clothing of course. And then even though I don’t need to take the subway to work anymore I will get onto a 7 am train looking just as coiffed and well groomed as they do, ‘cept I’ll be sipping on actual coffee of course!

Friday, July 27, 2007


The weekend is almost upon us and I have just 2 hrs and a bit until I'm OUTTA HERE. Woohoo for Summer flex time and half days every other Friday!

Lots of plans for this weekend are bouncing around trying to get my attention right now. Topmost on the list are of course my hair session and pedicure this afternoon. There will be some MAJOR primping happening - hopefully all with great results!

Other plans include:
  • Meeting H and Chudley this evening to check out the Yonge/ Dundas festival. Highlights include a set by comedian Russell Peters.
  • Checking out the HipHop festival at the Harbourfront Centre.
  • Browsing through the H&M sale while waiting for H and Chuds - who are perennially late.
  • Checking out the newest additions to the BMV outlet at Yonge/ Dundas. Have vowed to keep myself to a 3 book purchase limit. OK, maybe 4.

Rain is in the forecast for later today, so actual plans might turn out:

  • Get primped
  • Check out BMV
  • Browse at H&M
  • Meet H and Chuds
  • Find pub
  • Chat & drink & catch up!

Which are also perfectly lovely things to look forward to!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happily Ever After?

A sunny afternoon, downtown in the city. A girl walks down the street sipping on a cool summer drink. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a big brown dog jumps up at her and her drink goes flying.

Frazzled, she looks around for the mutt and instead finds herself gazing into the most beautiful pair of melting brown eyes – and no it wasn’t the dog. Nice Eyes has a smile to match as well. She notices that his lips are moving, but she’s too intent in trying not to let her jaw (visibly) drop, so it’s about a minute later that she realizes that he’s asked a question and is waiting for a reply. Damn… what was the question? She opts for a laugh and a mumbled “Sure” hoping that it’s the right answer!

Apparently it does, coz Nice Eyes steers her towards the nearest coffee shop and gallantly buys her a new drink. All the while the puppy has been licking her drink sticky fingers. As he apologizes once again she realizes where she’s seen him before. On the baseball field at the stadium down the road pitching for the home team. And oh yeah – he’s married!

She smiles back at him, says thanks and trips away down the street. So close.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Last Word in Magic

In the end, it was all about Love.

For 10 years now, J.K Rowling’s masterpiece books about the boy wizard and his magical world have had many a lesson in morality and ethics, friendship and loyalty, truth and courage, loss and laughter crafted within the stories and the characters of the 7 novels. But the one theme that turned out to be more important that any magic spell or mystical article or powerful weapon was – LOVE. Simple, undying, beautiful, eternal Love.

The concept of Love has played a central theme throughout all the books. It was Love that first stayed the hand of death to the infant Harry through his mother’s sacrifice of her life and 6 years later it was once again Love that showed Harry the way to his fulfilling his destiny and to his ultimate sacrifice.

It was friendship – tried and true – that helped Harry overcome many arduous challenges over the years. And what is friendship if not a version of Love?

For someone who has always been cynical of this particular four letter word and more so of late, the message hit home harder than ever.

For, to give up on Love is to loose out on life itself.

Love not only takes us to the dizzying heights of joy and happiness, but also grounds us, keeps us safe and comforts us in our time of despair; brings out the humanity in us all. It is Love that shows us the way when all exits seem have been barred and Love that promises us the dawn of a new day when the night seems everlasting and endless. To neglect such a strong emotion from our lives would be akin to splitting one’s soul and thereby tarnishing one’s being.

Do I think the books were perfect? By all means no, there were many gaps in the story that never got answered and many characters and sub plot that were loosely woven at best. I loved the roller coaster effect of the final book, with the twists and turns when you least expected it. I’m not all that fussed about the brief epilogue provided, but I also understand that Rowling felt like she had to have more than just an imagined “Happily Ever After”. I guess she wanted us, the fans to KNOW that there was an ever after, not just hope that it happened.

I am now filled with a relief that the wait is finally over, but also a deep sense of sadness in that this is the end – no more stories to come. But as long as I am able, I will read. And as long as I read, I will dream.

So although the world of Hogwarts has been closed, I know another world – just as spectacular – is waiting for me as I reach for my next book.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


It's past noon now and my Harry Potter book has yet to arrive.

I've been sitting out on my front steps since 10:30, and every time a car/ van/ bicycle drove by, I jumped up in hope.

After 1.5 hours of hopeless jumping I'm back indoors.

What's the point of the pre order if you have to WAIT this long????



New book FINALLY received at 3:54 pm.
It's now 11:15 and I'm done reading it.

J.K Rowling, you are a genius!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Shout Out!

As a follow up to my tribute to my Blog posse, I really DO need to do a formal “Shout Out” to one of my most dedicated Blog readers – Penguin Pal. Come rain or shine, PP reads my mental excrement and is with me on my highest highs and supporting me in my lowest lows.

Just when I feel like this blog is a complete waste of time, energy and resources she posts a comment that let’s me know that at least ONE person out there is with me on this roller coaster that is my life. Her comments always hit the right spot and give me a nice warm fuzzy feeling about myself!

I also know that I have a few closet fans! There’s a few other folks who I suspect read the blog, but never post comments and never let on that they read it unless they’re drunk and they happen to reference a previous post in conversation!

To those shadowy figures out there – COMMENT! And you too shall be rewarded with a “Shout Out”

Now, because you are reading this expecting some sort of an actual post, here's my very own version of "Overheard....." for you, my dedicated fan(s).

At Union Station, waiting for friends.

Man: Excuse me Miss, are you Natasha?
Me: No.
5 minute interval.
Man: Excuse me, would you like to be Natasha?

In public washroom at Harbourfront Centre.

Little Girl: I can’t use this washroom, it’s all messy and ick.
Mother: (peering into the stall). Don’t be silly, it’s just fine [insert little girl name]. Life is ick. Hurry up now!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Babies Blooming

Just back from lunch with one of my ex colleagues from the Jays where he broke the news to me that he and his wife are expecting a baby around mid January next year. Am totally kicked by this news and HUGE Congratulations to the both of them!

I did have a nagging feeling that she was in the baking mode when we met 2 weeks ago, but held my tongue as the only indicator I was going by was a gut feeling and the fact that she was bigger than I had ever seen in the 5 years I've known her; and she's normally tres petite. I didn't quite want to confront her just based on that!!

This brings the total of “expected babies” up to a whopping 7, averaging at one every month from this September to next January!

Aunty Nix prolly needs to begin shopping wholesale for baby booties and buntings!

Blog Buddies

Over the past 2 years of my blogging history, I’d like to say that I have gathered a nice blogging posse. I know I don’t have a long blogroll, but I’d rather go for the quality over quantity!

My buddy list consists of 4 current Tokyo residents, who were the original inspiration for my trip to the Land of Sake and Sochu. If not for their vivid description of life in Japan, I’d prolly never have traveled there, and would have forever missed out meeting 4 of the nicest virtual friends a gal could have!

Another on the list is an ex colleague who I’m happy to also call a friend and the remaining two are bloggers I discovered randomly off another blog list.

And finally, the newest addition – an old college friend from Bombay and also probably the only other person from our graduating year who is just as clueless as I am (or more) when it comes to relationships, and also the only other person left who isn’t married and spitting out babies! A warm welcome to Curly Girlie and I’m much grateful that she has finally made the move over to Blogger as following her antics on msn was painfully difficult. Besides, I could never post comments on her spewage as I didn’t have the required passwords and couldn’t be a*sed to get ‘em!

Over the past 2 years reading about their lives has become an integral part of my life! Even before I met the 4 in Tokyo, I felt like I knew who they were, and what they were all about. How couldn’t I when I was reading about their day to day living and basically getting a little peep into their worlds?

Looking at their blogs has become part of my morning routine, as important as my cuppa coffee and my bowl of cereal. It’s great to know that friendships are not restricted by physical boundaries and spatial distances. It’s nice to know that I can count on these folks for support, encouragement and random advice. It’s nice to know that my opinions and advice matter – some!

It’s nice knowing you my blog buddies!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In Need of Hairapy

Two months ago as I was wandering down University Ave, I was approached by a young man. Instead of the usual plea for money, he offered me an amazing promotion with a local salon. For a mere $46, I would receive a coupon that entitled me to 4 visits for (1) hair wash, cut and style (2) manicure (3) mini pedicure and polish (4) follow up hair treatment.

I bought 2 coupons before the guy had even finished with the pitch!

Almost immediately, I experienced oodles of guilt as going to someone else for a haircut was tantamount to cheating on Connie who’s been my amazing stylist for the past year. Before that I went to a tres expensive salon in Yorkville and when I finally made the break and “took up” with Connie, I felt like a dirty cheating ho.

What IS it about hairdressers that make you SO guilty when you want to go somewhere else?

Full of shame for my durrrty durrty deeds, I called Connie and made a full confession. Only after I had procured her blessings to go to another hairdresser, did I start to feel better about the whole situation.

Anyway, have made me an appointment for Friday, July 27th. Hope it works out as I have a summer partay to attend the next day where I’m hoping my new locks will make a favourable and lasting impression on a certain someone.

Or, things can go horribly wrong and I will be severely punished for even attempting to cheat on my beloved Connie and will have to attend said party wearing concealing scarf on head.

My new nightly prayer: Hair Angels, be gentle with me. I have had many trials of late and would not withstand an attack on my luscious locks. Thanks very much, Amen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again - and trying to hang on!

Almost all of the post break up advise that I’ve been receiving includes the tried and true “To hell with the F*ckwad, get back in the game and see other guys again.”

While this is charming and endearing advice, I’m not too sure I able to actually follow up on it. It’s been 4. 5 years since I’ve been on a date. A real date. A go-out-for-coffee/drinks/dinner-combined-with-general-light-banter date. And the few dates I DID go on pre Andy were utter disasters. The kind where one orders the smallest item on the menu and then feigns having to run off for a class mid way through the meal.

Andy and I never dated. He hung around me and my friends for 3 months, got threatened by one to “either ask her out or get lost”, continued to hang around and finally got tricked into taking me out by another friend.

I really should have seen the end coming right there!

In the 4 years we were together, we never went to a romantic dinner for two, never held hands at the movies and never took long walks on the beach together. True we did a lot of far more fun and interesting stuff together, but the point is, if I had to follow the regular “dating” pattern, I wouldn’t know to even begin!

Which brings me back to the question: How DOES one “procure" a date?

Does one smile sexily at the cute guy on the subway? He could be a psycho, follow you home and murder you and your family.
Does one make eye contact with the hottie standing in line at the food court? He could be a psycho, follow you back and murder you and your colleagues.
Does one drop a hanky/ folder/ handbag/ keys in a public place and wait for random cute guy to chance to pass by and pick it up? He could think YOU are a psycho and avoid you like the plague.

It all seems just a tad dodgy to me, but then again I have seen first hand that some of the most bizarre pickup lines DO work. Case in point my very first “pub night” at York U, a friend of a friend stopped by a particularly cute guy and asked him – Are you Polish? He was, and they proceeded to date for 2 years and then get married. Go Figure.

I take comfort in the fact that millions of people out in the wide world are dating. Obviously it works on some level. I’d love to attend a “How to…” workshop or even receive a mail order “Operational Procedures” manual. Having a set of rules to work with will definitely take the pressure off me having to self analyze the guy’s every move while on the date. It shouldn’t have to stress about whether I’m being too forward or not enough, too smiley or too serious or Heaven forbid – too ME!

I have even considered going the Britney Spears way and letting my clothes do the talking. A new range of T shirts could then act as my social status indicator when I’m in public. This way, I don’t really have to say or do anything, and if anyone wants to act on the message, they can go right ahead. This said, I would be committing all sorts of fashion faux pas that Perez Hilton would slay me for, but since I’ve never been a fashioneesta kinda gal, I’m going ahead with my idea.

Some potential tees could read:

Hello, I’m: SINGLE
Wanted: Boyfriend Type of Guy – Apply Within
Me Single; You Available?

Now although the above makes it seem like any and all applicants are welcome, I do have some base stipulations:

(1) He must be taller than me by at least 4 inches. I’m a mere 5ft5” so this will hardly be tough for all those North American tallies out there. Having dated a majority of short(ish) guys, I find that wearing heels around them makes for an awkward photograph.
(2) He must be well built enough to match me and I am a WHOLE LOTTA woman – if you get my drift!
(3) Looks don’t really count, but he must not be too handsome. I would prefer to be the prettier one – thank you very much. (For reference see past relationships)
(4) He must not take longer than me to get dressed. Any man who spends longer than 2 mins in front of a mirror is to be avoided at all costs.
(5) He must be gainfully employed. I would like to be on the receiving end of several “tokens of love”.

And finally, even if all over the above do not match,
(6) Love is not the answer. I'm looking for worship. Without reservation, without condition.

If wishes were horses, I’d be dating right now! Chances are, some internet weirdo will read this list and post some freaky comment that I will have to delete and then go back to lamenting about the lack of decent men in the world.

Men really ARE like toilets – either they are taken, or they’re full of shit.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me

Today is the anniversary of my arrival to Canada. Exactly 6 years ago to the day, I arrived into Toronto’s Union station at 9:15 pm en route from Dorval airport together with my family and 11 pieces of luggage. At first glance we looked rather like the Von Trapps (minus a few kids) as our luggage contained among other things – 2 guitar cases and 1 electronic piano. The porters were NOT impressed.

Over the past 6 years much has changed for everyone in my family. We’ve had some good times and then some bad; we’ve made new friends and lived new experiences. Both my parents have jobs in a new field of work and my brother has passed though elementary and high school and is now in university.

I have put in my time as a student, and worked at a variety of jobs. From babysitting and retail to Radio Programmer and Corporate Sales – I’ve done it all.

On October 25th 2005 we all stood before a judge and swore allegiance to our new country and to the Queen thereby becoming Canadian. Suddenly, air travel became just about tolerable again and I no longer braced myself for “random” checks at immigration!

Life has changed a lot and many times over the past 6 years. It’s kept me guessing and wondering about the years to come. Check back with me in 2011 – year 10!

Friday, July 13, 2007


**If you haven’t watched the 5th Harry Potter Movie, DO NOT read this!**

Brilliant casting – Imelda Staunton was the Umbridge of my imagination come to life! Kudos to the art/ costume team for nailing the details in her office and her wardrobe was perfection itself! As well, Evanna Lynch made a terrific Luna Lovegood with just the right mix of batty and endearing.

Excellent set design – as always, the sets were spectacular making our journey further into the world of Witchcraft and Wizardry even more exciting than before. New sets include The Ministry of Magic, The Hogwats train station and of course Number 12, Grimmauld Place.

Shakey Extras – The marginal characters and extras were mediocre actors – at best. Quite a number of scenes were consequently spoiled (for me at least) as I was paying more attention to the hamming than to the entire situation. I wonder if this has to do with originally casting kids who are charming and lovely at 11, but by 16 have the emotional range of teaspoon and are unable to act out the emotion that the line calls for. Which brings me to…….

GREAT British one liners – mostly delivered by a member of the Weasley family. For the love of Mike, I cannot remember a single one right now, but I know I laughed out loud during the movie!

More of Snape – if you ask me, it’s about bloody time! He’s an integral part of the overall story line and so far his appearances in the movie have been scant and random. I LOVE Allan Rickman and once again I think that whoever cast him as Severus Snape deserves a life-time supply of Chocolate Frogs!

Missed wishes – I wish there had been more emphasis on the mystery surrounding the Prophecy and Neville’s role in the equation. Folks who have not read the books (inconceivable, but true) will not get the full implication of why Harry has connection he has with Voldermort.
Also, all references to Quidditch are sadly missing. I understand that it’s impossible to get the entire book into the movie, but I DO think that shutting out all references altogether makes it seem like something huge is missing from the story.

In conclusion, an altogether enjoyable experience and a great set up for book 7.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Talking About Transit

I use the TTC every day. So do about a million others. And more than 75% of them are total commuter morons!

Like on escalators – stand right; walk left. It’s a simple concept, but may as well be quantum physics by the way people are completely unable to comprehend these basic instructions. And of course when one tries to enforce it, well, that’s crazy talk!

Or when a train pulls into the station and everyone rushes to the doors nearest the stairs or the elevator. HELLO….. There are about 50 doors on the train – ALL OPEN. How about you try another compartment instead of trying to quash yourself into a space that Tinkerbell would find tight and in the process holding up the train coz your oversize overpriced Louis Vomiton bag is blocking the doorway.

Or how about when the folks get into a compartment or a bus and promptly stop just past the doors, making it impossible for other people to comfortably and not to mention safely get on board. And even when the driver yells “Back of the bus please”, they move a fraction of an inch and look as if they’ve done the world the biggest favour. A close relative of the above kind of the people are the ones who don’t have to get off the bus or train, but still persist in blocking the doorway so that people are forced to walk in/ out around them. And God forbid someone accidentally bumps into them – it’s the prelude to the Armageddon!

Or the person with a 100 bags who thinks that it’s ok to deny others a seat because their bag of groceries and their shopping bags have had a tougher day than the rest of the folks on the train. And when asked to move the bags usually makes disgruntle noises and annoyed faces. Like it’s not THEIR fault you don’t have a seat!

Or the douchbag masquerading as human who thinks that as a member of the male species it’s ok for him to sit with spayed legs and thus restrict MY sitting space to a minimum. If this is an attempt to let the world know that you have big balls, it’s not working. All it says about you is – “I’m an inconsiderate TOOL”

I could go on. But I can feel my blood pressure rising. I will instead go out and buy a smoothie. It won’t solve the problem of moronic fellow commuters, but it WILL make my tongue go blue… and that’s better than my face going purple!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Very Vexing!

No matter how much I try, I CANNOT get Flickr back onto my blog.

Terribly troublesome as I have a whole new lot of lovely pics to display and no means to do so!

Can someone out there in bloggerland help me?

Nix the technically defunked Pix

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pottering Around

10 days 11 hours 12 mins 58 secs to the release of book 7 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Preparations to receive this book complete. All previous 6 books have been reread. Old notes from prior readings have been consulted. Few more theories added to the mix.

Harry Potter Movie 5 – Order of the Phoenix releases at midnight tonight. As much as I’d have loved to watch it then, getting up for work the next day would be torture. H, C and I have therefore settled for seeing it tomorrow. IMAX 3 D version of course! As with the book, preparations for the movie were made by watching the previous 4 over the past week.

Parents and bro get back from their vaykay this evening. Just when I was getting used to the peace and quite. I REALLY need to save up and get my own place. But that would mean curtailing my traveling, and I’m not sure I can do that!

Alarming observation:
I spent a few days trying to figure out who my new CEO reminds me of, and it struck me this morning – it’s my old VP from my previous job. The resemblance is uncanny – they could be siblings! They both have big personalities, but new CEO actually is a NICE person, doesn’t merely appear to be so, doesn’t treat me with casual indifference and doesn’t call me “Dar’lin” – thankfully.

Monday, July 09, 2007

MasterCard - take heed

Merchant of Venice tickets $23.00
VIA rail train tickets $75.00
Hotel cancellation fee $20.00

Weekend with the ex’s parents PRICELESS

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Comedy of Errors

Back during the cottage weekend, Lofi and her bf had mentioned that they’d like to go to Stratford to see a play sometime. After some initial investigation it was decided that we’d go see Merchant of Venice this Sunday, July 8th. The plan was to go there on Saturday to take in the sights and sounds of Stratford, spend the night, see the play and then drive back home Sunday evening. Lofi and I must have exchanged about 20 emails finalizing all of this!

All was going well until this morning when I called Lofi to ask what time she’ll be picking me up tomorrow. Her answer – “But aren’t we going on the 21st?”


Turns out she’d gotten the dates mixed up, and there was no way she or her bf could make it this weekend. This left me with a ticket booked, and a hotel reservation made but no way of getting to and from Stratford. Fortunately, a quick peek on VIA rail let me know that the train would take me in on Sunday and back to Toronto on Monday morning right in time for work! With a few clicks and my trusty AMEX, I was back in bizz.

Since I’d have an entire evening free in Stratford, I decided to call Jibblet’s parents who live just 20 minutes away and ask them if they’d like to meet up. His mum had left me a message just the night before and it was a good time to call back and check in with them. In the course of conversation, she proposed that she join me for the play and then we meet up with Jiblett’s dad and brother after the show and have dinner together and that I went back to the farm with them for that night. Ecstatic that things were working out great for me after all, I agreed and proceeded to cancel my hotel booking and book the train tickets.

Not even 10 minutes later, I get an email from Jibblett saying he was taking his new girlfriend to visit the parents on Sunday, and guess they’ll have to wait around till his mum got back from the play.

To which I replied – “Um… did they not mention that I was spending the night there?”

Jibblet: No. Oh! This might be a problem.

Me: Duh!

Jibblet: Can’t you stay in Stratford?

Me: Nope. Just cancelled the bookings and there’s nothing else (affordable) available for this short notice.

Jibblet: Can you take the train/ bus home on Sunday night itself?

Me: Nope. The play won’t be finished in time.

Jibblet and Me: THIS IS NOT GOOD.

Well, long story short, we went though all the options. Bus, train, other bus….. None of which were terribly viable. Cancelling my train and play tickets would be just too expensive for me, and besides I didn’t see why I had to have a busted weekend AND bear the costs as well! True Jibblet didn’t have to ask permission to go to his parents’ house, but if taking his new girlfriend there was that important he should have at least MENTIONED it to them! When his mum invited me over at 9 am this morning – no one had any inkling of Jibblet showing up for a visit!

So there we were at loggerheads, neither of us blaming the other, but neither wanted to budge at the same time.

And then, the unthinkable happened.

Jibblet emailed me and said that his mum had called him and told him not to come this weekend!!! She said that she’d made plans with me and that he and his gf could come visit another day.

I couldn’t believe it! Jibblet said he felt like a bear cub whose mum had swatted him away and taken in a fox or badger instead; or perhaps a tiger cub since I am Indian!

I swear, it was not the outcome I’d expected and I cannot believe that I was to have a weekend away after all! If I ever write my best seller, this episode will be recorded under the chapter “My boyfriend broke up with me, but I’m still dating his parents”

In the words of the Bard himself; “All’s Well that End’s well”

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Adventure of the Runaway GO Train

Since parents are away on vaykay right now, the rest of the family is currently feeling sorry for me. Why, I’m not too sure as I only just got back to working after being off for 8 months, 4 of which were spent gallivanting around the world! Still, sympathy is good when it includes invites to BBQ dinners! Sure beats the sandwich I’d have made for myself!

Yesterday, at 5:15 as I’m almost out the door, my VP decides to strike up a conversation about how she feels that I’m a great fit, how much she loves me yada yada….. Normally I would LOVE to stick around for a conversation that revolves around how wonderful I am, but I’d planned to meet Ann at Union station for 5:25 pm to catch the 5:33 home – and she didn’t look like she was going to end soon. I finally manage to escape and stumble into Union only to find the 5:33 pulling out!


Lined up to purchase a ticket. It’s the start of the month, so every other GO commuter is also in line to buy/extend passes etc. The next train is at 5:53. Get ticket, run to platform get on train, collapse into seat. Announcement – “This is an Express train”. Jump out of seat and run towards doors. Doors close as I approach.

Damn. Damn. Double Damn.

Much perturbed now, as my ticket is valid only until the last stop in Toronto, and the train’s first stop is Pickering – outside that fare zone. Getting caught would mean an instant fine of $200!!

OH Damn.

Fellow passengers are all making socially appropriate sympathetic noises and bestowing pitying looks towards me. I settled into my seat knowing that there’s nothing I can do now. A few minutes later, nice, kind (and cute) guy leans over and tells me that there’s a train Toronto bound leaving Pickering at 6:25, so if I run I might just make it.

Feeling slightly better now, I make myself more comfortable and keep reading.

Announcement – “Arriving at Pickering”

I stand at the doorway ready to fly toward the other platform. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I see the guard heading towards the compartment. He’s at the connecting doors and will soon be at the door to check tickets.


A fellow passenger sees what I see. Out of the corner of her mouth she mumbles “Go to the other door”. As nonchalantly as I can manage I move through the carriage towards the other doors. My heart is pounding so loud that I’m sure the guard can hear me and any minute he will call out “You…. STOP!”

I get to the other doors and wait. It’s just about 30 seconds till the doors open, but it feels like an eternity. As the doors open and I’m about to step out, I glance over and see that the guard is standing where I was before. If I had stayed put, he would have caught me!

I’m out of the train, but not out of danger – yet.

I run full speed towards the other platform and hop onto the train with mere seconds to spare. The train going into Toronto is empty so if there’s a ticket collector here, I have no chance of escape. For the 7 minute ride between Pickering and Rouge Hill, I sit at the edge of my seat gripping my bag. I’ve given up trying to look calm and collected. All I can think of is getting OFF the damn train and onto safe, neutral, unregulated ground!

And finally I’m at Rouge Hill. Just 20 minutes later than I should have been and only slightly worse the wear from my adventure.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

O Canada - Happy 140th!

This past weekend was the Canada Day long weekend and as Canada celebrated her 140th birthday, I partied along with friends and family.

Started off on Friday with a BBQ at the de Lima house where all family members ‘cept for the Mendoncas were in attendance. By midnight all the kids had fallen asleep in various places around the house while the “grown-ups” were still going strong. It was almost 2:30 am when we finally got home! Received a wake up call from Menace bright and early (too damn early) on Saturday and had to force myself out of a beautiful dream about me on a carpet ride with Josh Duhamel. Drove to Oakville with Menace and The Beer Baron to pick up The Beer Baron's new bike – a BMW F 800 S (God, I hope I got that right!) and basically embarrassed him silly by being crazy groupie/ paparazzi girl taking 100s of pics and making loud comments on all and sundry. The sales guy was most happy to see us leave.

Paid a quick visit to Roopa and fly, and ended up hanging out for the rest of the afternoon with them and lunching in Burlington by the lake. Saw some of the swankiest houses ever on lakeshore in the Oakville/ Burlington area that had security gate houses that were bigger than my house! Made mental note to come back some day and canvass for “eligible bachelors” – there’s bound to be a few lonely souls out there, and I could be just the person for them to spend their millions on. Who wouldn’t want a cute, vivacious, super fun, charming ‘lil brown girl around? That too one with GREAT hair! ;)

In spite of having heaps o fun on Saturday, was feeling rather gloomy with self Sunday morn as realized that the past 4 years have been utterly misspent both in view of relationship as well as career. Cheered up greatly when Menace took me to the Bay where we tried on a multitude of hats and sunglasses and other random accessories. Ended up buying a hat as well as it was too dinky for words and only $10 after some mega discounts! Wore said hat for rest of afternoon and evening and felt wonderful about life. (It’s sad, but I’m SO easily amused!)

The Blonde One joined us at Menace's in the evening for our “mixed drinks” extravaganza. Beer Baron also showed up later after having ridden the length and breadth of the Golden Horseshoe area all day long. Weather did NOT cooperate and allow us to enjoy the outdoors, so had to make do with watching fireworks through the window. While sipping on concoctions like Mango Madness, Strawberry Surprise and Lime n Lemon fantasia, we discussed the upcoming Harry Potter book and movie thoroughly and also my views on “Buffy” with Blondie who was very happy to hear of my new found commitment to fluff TV. Discovered a revolutionary idea in dessert called “Angel Food Cake” which has all the yummy goodness taste of a regular sponge cake sans the icky fat/calories factor! Talk about an awakening! Rounded up the night by watched the original “Die Hard” movie from waaaay back in 1988 (wow, I was just 7 when that came out!) and marveled at how many ciggies Bruce Willis lit up during the 2.5 hrs it took him to overcome the baddies.

Met up with parents on Monday morning and drove to Wild Water Kingdom where we spent a lovely day with the Patels and the Pochas swimming in the wave pool, sliding down crazy water slides, floating along the “lazy river” on tubes and generally having a good time. Thankfully the weather was better than Sunday’s and I am now officially berry brown and lovin’ it!

The family was off for a vacation to Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City this morning, so its home alone for me over the next week. Planning a trip to Stratford for next weekend with Loretta and Dale to see either “Merchant of Venice” or “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The Ex and I went to see Henry VIII two summers ago, but looking forward to spending some time exploring Stratford itself. Also, the last time I spent half the play explaining to Andy what was going on, so not terribly enjoyable for me! Not too keen on having to shell out almost $100 for a room, but I don’t have anyone to share with… so tough noogies! Thankfully the tickets are super cheap as compared to most other professional theatre prices, and with Loretta and Dale along, it’s sure to be a fun weekend!

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