Nothing is easy

I’ve had the same digital box and remote forever. I’m in the “if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it” camp.

About a year ago, the on/off power button on the remote stopped working, but that didn’t bother me. It’s good to get off the couch once in a while. Then on Thursday night, the channel selector thingie stopped working. And that was a bridge too far for me.

Bright and early Friday morning I called my cable provider. I looked at my watch and it was 9:15 a.m. I got through to a customer service person (and I use the term loosely, more like customer torture) Continue reading

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Goodbye Marianne …

We’ve been having a heatwave in Toronto. I’m not complaining. I promised myself, during the endless deep freeze that was our winter of 2019, that I would not complain of the heat ever again, no matter how bad it is. So I’m merely stating a fact.

This past Saturday was particularly oppresssive, with not even the merest hint of a breeze. My apartment is air conditioned so I could have busied myself at home. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be out, doing something. “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself. This is a perfect day to go to a movie.

Much as I love movies, I tend not to see too many of them in summer, it’s too nice outside and we have Continue reading

Laughter really is the best medicine …

I can’t tell you how many times I ‘ve heard that over the course of my life and I’m pretty sure you’ve probably heard it more than a few times, too. Laughing has never been a problem for me, I’m blessed with a pretty good sense of humour and it’s stood me in good stead over the years.

Being able to laugh, especially at myself, has helped me get through the ups and downs that are part and parcel of all of our lives and I’m grateful for that. But it was when my mother passed away that I learned that it’s okay to smile and even chuckle during the most solemn of occasions.

After my mother’s funeral, the Rabbi came to the shiva to lead the evening prayer. When he was done, not Continue reading

A first time for everything …

I don’t have a sweet tooth, never have had, even as a child. Apparently, as far back as when I was two or three instead of reaching for the platter of brownies, I’d be reaching for the olives and pickles. Odd, because both my parents liked sweets.

My father was discriminating. Way back when there was what would now be described as an artisanal chocolatier in Montreal — Andrée Chocolate. They had a small store on Park Avenue, in an area of the city called The Plateau. I can still see their boxes. White, with “Andrée Chocolate” written in script, in black.

They only used dark chocolate and my father loved their almond bark, chocolate-covered ginger and Continue reading

Curiosities …

There’s nothing pressing on my mind I want to share at the moment. So here are some things I’ve been wondering about:

I just got off the phone with Rogers (my cable/internet/wireless provider). I was questioning something on my bill and when we were done the rep I was speaking with asked if I had a minute so he could go over my account and make sure I was getting the best deal possible. He soon came back on the line and said he could save me about $40 a month (for 24 months) — with no changes being made to the services I have Continue reading

If at first you don’t succeed …

There was a lovely story in Sunday’s New York Times. I laughed out loud when I got to the part where the author wrote, “my mother used to track me down in the event of my untimely murder; lord knows she has imagined plenty of gruesome ends for me. I can’t tell you the number of times that public safety officers showed up on my doorstep in college because I hadn’t returned her calls swiftly enough.”

She could have been writing about my mother.

While she never went so far as to call the police, she did manage to convince a friend of mine to become a search party of one. She (my mother) was convinced — because I’d been working late and was alone in the office — that I’d either been attacked, killed and shoved into the coat closet or was lying helpless, bloody and injured at the bottom of the elevator shaft, the result of an accident involving snapped cables. Yes, Continue reading

Who can relate?

I saw this in last Sunday’s New York Times. It made me laugh out loud and it was too good, and too funny, not to share. It was written by Julia Shiplett, who’s a comedian and writer. Tell me, how many of these excuses seem familiar. Come on, be honest.

The “Eating” illustration is by Rattle, available on Flickr, Continue reading

Can you remember your first kiss?

I ask because I have absolutely no recollection of mine, yet I hear so many people describe theirs minutely. Every little detail. Is it really that momentous an occasion?

Have I somehow failed at life because, at least on this particular subject, my mind is a total blank? Am I some kind of a misfit?

There’s no doubt in my mind that I had a first kiss, I had to — because there have been many kisses since that I do remember — so logic Continue reading

Losing it …

As you may have noticed (or maybe not), I am trying desperately to steer clear of writing about U.S. politics. Aside from the fact that it’s stressful and aggravating, there doesn’t seem to be any point to it. It changes nothing.

Hence all my recent trips down memory lane.

Sadly, though, even if I am trying my best to remain silent on the subject, no one else is.

There doesn’t seem to be any escaping “45”, his (insert swear word here) family, his cronies, his partners in crime, his sycophants, his tweets and  Continue reading

Beyond the pale

Last Tuesday Kathy Griffin (an American comedian) posted a video of herself holding a fake, bloodied, decapitated Donald Trump head. But much as I detest him (and his cohorts) and everything they’ve said, done and stand for, I did not find it at all amusing.

Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of hers. I don’t find her particular brand of humour even remotely funny. Definitely not my cup of tea.

With this video, however, she outdid herself; Continue reading