Way back in Kingston, I lived with a lovely young gal named Lilian. Total sweetheart. We worked together, trekked many blocks to do our laundry together, smoked cigarettes together. She was the first to ever throw me a surprise birthday party. A writer, a dreamer, blessed with a sultry, soothing voice. Every time I listen to the Sundays, I think of Lil.

If I could change anything about the year we lived together, I would have been nicer.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone reading this that I am not the easiest person to live with. I've actually gotten better over the years, if you can believe it. Perhaps it was her kindness, her idealism, her ability to find hope in everything that made me want to hurt her, to wake her up. I was at my ugliest then, and I am sorry she bore the brunt of it. A rough year of roommates, it must have been for her: Crazy Glen, Anal-Retentive and Petty Kim, Bitchy me. Why she didn't end up smothering any of us in our sleep, I don't know. Oh, I do know. She's a good person, that's why.

A few months ago, we reconnected. I miss her, but I'm glad we've stayed in touch. She's living in Victoria now, a journalist. So who knows when we'll see each other again? But when we do, I will be sure to give her the biggest hug, so that she will know how sorry I am that she had to know me when she did.



"What are your thoughts about this trip tomorrow? Our first trip together in a really long time..."

"It should be fun... we haven't done this since Myrtle Beach. 1994?"

"I am so relieved that Dad changed his mind about driving to Calgary -- and back. I love you guys, but that's way too many hours in the car together."

"You know, it's been a week since I've returned from China. And I've only showered four times."

"Like I said, I am so relieved that Dad changed his mind about driving to Calgary."

"Smell me, I smell fine."


good night, coalie

"I put Coal down this past Saturday."

I met Tim and Coal in the summer of 1999, just outside St. George station. Tim and I had connected on one of the chatlines and I remember him raving about his pets: Coal, Rocky and Shine. We agreed to meet and take Coal for a walk. She was neither big, nor small. Black fur with patches of white and soulful brown eyes. She was very gentle and got along with the two cats famously.

I was back in the GTA for the summer, involved in a messed-up relationship with a 40-year-old child with BDSM proclivities. Living in the suburbs sans driver's license while working full-time downtown, I didn't have many friends to hang out with. My relationship with the parents was tense, so I was never in a hurry to go home.

Hence, I dated for sport. Tim was one of the players, but at the same time, we were friends. There were times, while Tim was at work, when I'd take Coal for a walk around the Annex or up to Casa Loma. She'd watch me play on the swings, I'd watch her sniff other dogs. Then we'd go back to Tim's apartment and take a little nap. Rocky would climb onto the bed and sleep on my chest; Coal, on the floor, beside me. Rocky helped me discover the cat person in me.

That fall, I went back to Kingston. Tim bought a house in Brampton. I acquired a cat of my own. Our e-mails/phonecalls became sporadic. We reconnected few years later; I was sad to find out that Rocky had died. Tim had cut off his mullet and was volunteering regularly with the Humane Society. That was the last time I'd seen him: in his car, parked outside my office on Lombard Street. A few months ago, he heard my voice on the chatline and once again, we reconnected. He'd mentioned that Coalie was getting weaker by the day, and suggested that we get together one day to walk her, like the old days. Coal's vet was located at Bloor and Dufferin, so we could always take her to the Grove after a visit with Dr. Jack.

Of course I should have called, but we all put things off.

He called me this afternoon. The moment I heard his voice, I knew.

"I'm kicking myself because I'd suggested that we meet up to take her for a walk. Now it's too late. I really thought she'd have at least another six months. I know how fond you were of her. That's why I had to tell you. And I know you're a bit mushy."

This is the first animal friend that I've cried over. And of course, it won't be the last.

It pained me to hear him try his best to not break down over the phone. "I've cried more this past weekend than I have in the past 20 years." Boys and their dearly departed dogs. Sad how I've encountered so many guys these past two years, mourning the end of what may be their longest relationships ever.

Coalie-polie is currently resting peacefully in a freezer just up the street. I hope Tim will be OK.


note to self: stop leaning back on your office chair

I fell off my chair, landed on my elbow and experienced five long minutes of nausea.

It wasn't until hours later when I realized how close I had come to cracking my skull open on my boss' desk, had I not instinctively pulled my chair forward the moment I felt it topple backwards. Sure, the job search would have been put on permanent hold, but I would have missed Jon's wedding -- which would have sucked, since I just bought a pretty dress for the occasion. Fewf.

A nice little shiner is starting to form around the cut on my right elbow. I don't recall walking into anything recently, but a sizable bruise has appeared on my left shin. Balance. The waitress at the Canary was quick to point out -- suspiciously -- the bruise on my arm a few months ago. All I could do was shrug. This tumour of mine, keeps me from remembering every corresponding bump to my purple boo-boos.

The only incident (aside from this recent funny bone mishap) I can remember clearly, happened way back in Kingston, when Annie was just a kitten and we were living on Princess above the Goat. The cokehead of a temporary roommate of mine had this habit of propping my kitchen window open so that he could smoke on the roof. The last time he did that, my cat wandered out and got lost on someone's rooftop, crying until she was found. The little pads on her paws were all scratched up. Her rescuers didn't have any cat food so they offered her marble cheese. She had swirly poops for the next few days.

When I saw that the dumdum had left the window open again, I rushed to close it, pulling the splintered piece of wood away. I sensed Annie scamper over. I don't know how it happened, but I recall seeing the heavy window sliding down in slow motion, landing on my upturned forearms. There was no one around to hear me scream. I am pretty sure I didn't. But I did get quite the pair of bruises.

Most memorable comment came from a regular at the Star Diner while I poured his coffee.
"What happened to your arms?"
"I kind of let the window shut down on my arms. By accident."
"Oh yeah? Tell your boyfriend not to tie you up so tight next time."
This, from one of Kingston's finest.


That's my Mama!

"There's nothing quite as satisfying as letting out that sneeze after it's been tickling your nose to get out!"

"I suppose..."

"Wait, let me rephrase that. There's nothing quite as satisfying as sneezing AND taking a nice dump!* It feels like you've just cleared your system; you feel so much lighter!"

"Aw Ma, now you're speaking my language..."

* Not exactly her words, as we were having this conversation in Mandarin -- but the jist is there.


idyllic Saturday morning

Home alone again :)

Started my day with a walk through the

Cranked up the
tunes and made myself a little brekkie.

Sean, Lucia and Anne just dropped by for a surprise visit.

There's a lovely breeze coming in through the windows. Someone across the street is mowing their lawn.

Current state: Beyond contentment.

Did I mention the Baby Bear of BMs? ^_^


Friday at the Radisson

M & K
My only beef with poolside fun: tanlines.


beach bums

The great thing about being partially employed is that when it's 36C and sunny with 0% POP, you don't have to be in the office ^_^ The best place to be if you're stuck in the city? Hanlan's Point!

The lake was unbelievably warm yesterday -- highest water quality downtown Toronto. T and I let the waves push us around until our hands got pruney. We slathered on more sunblock, lay on our towels and got caught up on some much-needed girl talk. Then back in the water!

On this visit, we decided to be a little more strategic about where to plant ourselves. In the past, we'd set our towels down on the far east end of the beach, bordering the clothing-mandatory side, close to the shore. On each occasion (except for the time I went with a dude), men would come and chat us up. Just because we are scantily/barely/un-clad women on the beach, it doesn't mean that we want to engage in long conversations with you. This time, T and I chose a nice little pocket in the sea of predominantly gay men, a little further back from the water. No disturbances this time, just friendly "hello"s and "feels like bath water!" from passers-by. I did spot a handful of people from previous trips to Hanlan's Point. (how many more visits until I attain Frequent Nudist status?)

T & me

SIGHTING: I am almost sad that I only saw this guy just as we were getting off the ferry to go home. He is a bit of a celebrity on Toronto's Craigslist -- at least for those of us who troll the personals section frequently. He is constantly offering massages to women (specifically "not big women" because he only knows how to massage slim and pretty ladies well). Lately he's been looking for women to join him at Hanlan's Point. His choice of photos made me wonder if he was actually serious, and not some weirdo posting as a joke. Images of women/bottoms being massaged; of himself with a cast on his arm in a cluttered bedroom; of a stethoscope on a stained office chair; of his face looking like it had just received a punch or three; of a beach umbrella with his e-mail address and home phone number stencilled/written on it; of himself lying on a massage table in a hotel room, wearing nothing but a bow tie, silk cuffs and a matching jockstrap; But this guy is for real. It was the sign on his bicycle which I'd noticed first: "Massage for Females. Low cost or Free." I wonder if he had any luck.

I hope to see him again -- not for the free massage (though it could be tempting since I'm not working much these days), but to hear his voice. His spelling is atrocious, as is his grammar. His writing almost seems slurred. I want to ask him about his approach, whether it has been met with any success. People on CL slam him all the time, offering constructive criticism, but publish it on CL for everyone else to read. How many helpful CL-ers actually email him directly?

I suppose I could do just that. E-mail him. But some things never translate well electronically. And maybe he smells really nice.