greetings from Mongolia

I arrived Ulaanbaatar this morning at 6:30AM and came to work immediately. Today is Monday, Feb.27. The London airport was crazy ..... old and messy, Moscow was the same shit ..... the Russians do not like Asians very much. The Mongolian Airline was nice, the girls were pretty.

Ulaabaatar is bare like the Prairies. People are generally poor. I'll take some pictures of this place for your guys.

Mom, you better send me your shopping list soon. I only have a few minutes of internet time everyday because every minute costs the company money.

Hasta luego,
I hope he's warm enough. It wasn't until the day before leaving when he realized that he'd given away his big parka years ago.


You got beef?

Wow. So horrible. Yet so watchable.

Lyrics included.

Cuz the minute you talk, you get machetes to the chest.


Busboys & Poets


Happy Valentine's Day

It's us single kids and independent kids who are most vocal about how Valentine's Day is just a commercial ploy and we insist that we never make a big deal out of it.
And yet, by making those claims, we do make a big deal out of it. I wonder how far back I can remember all my Valentine's Days...
2006: Washington DC. Dinner with Voula, Biddy and my doppelganger, laughing at how stupid boys can be sometimes.
2005: Chateau Nice. Dinner with the roomies and our beaus at the time. One year later, we were all single. But I wouldn't blame this event. A more interesting gathering we had was in December of 2004, when we had an Italian girls send-off/tree-trimming party. All of the couple present then are no longer couples today.
2004: Toronto. Met the aspiring paramedic at Smokeless Joe's, where we chatted over beer and mussels before sharing crepes down the street. Up until this point, things had been pretty G-rated with this guy. It was my last night in Toronto before moving to St. Catharines to serve a six-month term. Nothing ever happened with the paramedic. He quickly lost interest and I slept with a 34-year-old who still lived with his parents in Stoney Creek a month later.
2003: Taipei. My first night there but my relatives were at their Valentine's parties. So Ruthie and I spent many hours going though my aunt's closets trying on all of her shoes.
2002: New York City. Weeks after meeting the New York businessman off Lavalife phone, he bought me a plane ticket to go visit him in Manhattan. He greeted me at the aiport with red gerber daisies. I love daisies.
2001: Kingston. Sebi and I went to our weekly salsa class (neither of us had any clue), then got our $0.99 Whoppers at the BK on Princess.
2000: Kingston. Jon and Linda, both single at the time, invited me to join them at Megalo's for dinner. Jon swore there was sexual tension between the two of us -- but he was the kind of guy who would think that of any girl who talked to him. A few months later at our staff party, a friend of mine went into her boyfriend's room, only to catch Jon and his new girlfriend (now wife) having sex on the bed that was clearly not their own -- my friend was not amused.
1999: Toronto. The man told me he that the pipes had burst in one of his buildings and that he had to fix the problem. So I waited at his studio for five hours. I figured he wasn't fixing pipes when his ex-girlfriend called to gloat. He'd been at her home, trying to reach some kind of closure. Nothing was reached. He made it up to me by getting us a room at the SkyDome Hotel -- quite the treat from the usual motel room at Lakeshore and Parklawn.
1998: Montreal. Reading Week with Young, Isaac, and the boy who wanted to marry me. Young and Isaac are now married in Rochester. The other boy was dumped in June -- he seems to be much happier now, living in Portrero Hill with his girlfriend and cat named Kathleen.
1997: Kingston. Dinner at Greco's with the boy from California. He gave up the sun to live in K-town with me for two months. I punched him hard in the arm once, for eating all of my Peek Freans fruit creme. This was one of his annoying little tendencies: To stuff himself non-stop if he liked something -- and to not save even a crumb for me.
1996: Kingston. Not quite sure here, but 90% sure that I was sitting alone in the cafeteria, eating my second bowl of ice cream. Frosh 15? Hah. More like Frosh 20.


Eastbound King car, 11 am

Three boys were hanging out at the back of the streetcar. I sat down beside one of them, the smallest one. He looked like he weighed about 70 pounds -- the size of a seven-year old. But he could have been ten. His friends were in their teens, three times his size; they made crank calls on their cellphones (handsfree so everyone can hear), talked about "fucking that girl" and threatened to "beat the shit" out of the little one.
The little boy with the little face didn't react. Slumped listlessly into his seat, big brown eyes with even bigger dark circles underneath them. His buddies cackled away, he just sat there.
It pained me to see the child devoid of energy. But who was I to do anything about it? Just some nosey lady on the streetcar.
"Are you OK?"
He nodded.
He nodded again. Of course he would. I'm a total stranger. Why would he tell me anything? For all I know, he could have been perfectly fine. The bigger teen saw me talking to the little one and got up to stand over him, glaring. The child didn't say a thing, just closed his eyes. The teen went back to his seat.

I took one last look at the boy before I got off, tempted to slip him my business card. His eyes were still closed. What could I have done?


stupid stupid stupid

I was so hungry I thought I was going to vomit. Sated my intense craving for sugar with a caramel cookie -- and a brownie.
The cookie: inhaled within seconds.
The raspberry cheesecake brownie: scooped into my face with a spoon, this dense little square that was more fudge-like and less cake-like. Couldn't stop chewing and all of a sudden my head hurt. I couldn't finish it. My hands are now shaking and I have this weird feeling all over. Numb. Too much saliva building up inside my mouth and I can't swallow fast enough.


64 steps

After attending this month's Doc Soup screening of Czech Dream, J-Lo and I headed down to 1164 Queen West for the opening reception of an installation exhibit -- cuz you know, we're like fuckin' cultured and shit.

The gallery wasn't hard to spot (looked for the crowd of smokers with asymmetrical haircuts/hemlines). Was not surprised to see someone who had previously visited the Chateau -- though she didn't stick around long enough for me to invite her over for ambrosia salad.

There were three works on display, but I was there to see the one in the backroom. Visual art/dance/whatever -- I don't try to understand it (learning all those big words would just confuzzle me!) I go by how it makes me feel (Does my breathing pattern change? Am I really looking? Or just staring?) I either like it or I don't -- you will never get a deep answer from me. Lisa's chandeliers were eerie and beautiful. Calming, despite the creepiness of the houseflies -- dead, stunned and alive.

This exhibit at 64 Steps closes on February 18. Do see it if it you're in the area -- make that trip if you're not.


Starbucks confessions

L: I feel as if I have to do something bad before I turn 30. Like pierce something. Or sell something.
S: How about a tattoo?
L: You mean another one?
S: I stole something once.
L: Really?
S: A clarinet.
L: Do tell.
S: I was broke. I needed the money. I just finished Grade 12 and had moved out. I sold the clarinet.
L: How much did you get for it?
S: 80 bucks. I still remember the exact amount.
L: What was the first thing you bought?
S: Probably beer.
L: When I was 11 I stole a couple bucks in quarters from Unicef... and gave it to the Girl Guides.
S: Like Robin Hood!
L: Yeh, only I wish it was the other way around. The Girl Guides were a bunch of suburban princesses.
S: The Girl Guides used to camp out on the lawn at our farm.
L: I remember those days. I bet they all got their CAMPING badges for really roughing it out on your front lawn.
S: Yeh. They were so lame.


a good reason to move to the UK?

My reason for not owning an MP3 player is that there are too many other things I'd rather spend on.

However, I think I may reconsider -- I just came across this amazing product. It's a real shame that they don't ship overseas.

So if anyone's planning a visit to the UK anytime soon, let me know. I may have a small favour to ask of you.