Sometimes, the best laid plans of mice and men are for the birds

Tom O’Neil passed away, as you might recall my mentioning, sometimes late last weekend. His family came and have cleaned house, and his dog Patsy will be going to a farm out in the Ottawa Valley somewhere, to spend the rest of her days in comfort.

We, the friends and residents of 250 Davenport were not invited to the funeral services. We’re still not quite certain if there were any (I’ve checked all the major online dailies and there’s no record of his death). Tom had allegedly been a Jesuit at one point, but had not attended a service in years, and no longer embraced religion, and had not wanted one, if you go by what some of his friends were saying.

Still, it was decided that we the residents and friends had to pay some form of recognition to a man who, no matter what people may have thought about him, had left an indelible mark here. Supposedly this was being done with the blessing of Tom’s family. They were even going to provide the flowers and priest.

So when Pamela called me to ask for help organizing a memorial service, I was quick to leap to her aid. Mary, who had been the originator of this idea, regretfully had to return to Guelph to attend to her daughter Brenda, who had just be released from the hospital for the umpteenth time, for varying reasons which will be left out of this article this time round.

The Memorial Luncheon was to be this coming Thursday, March 30th at 13h00. Pamela, has been working extremely hard on this since then, with my offering whatever aid I can. Although I have become one of the new Tenant Reps of my building, I’m still a relatively new resident and don’t have the connections she has. Suffice to say though, I’m really impressed at what was accomplished in such a short time.

We’ve got the cheeses, crackers, veggies, dips, coffee… I even threw in a 6.7 kg turkey, since donations were a tad thin. Pamela has told me that I will be reimbursed, but I’m not really interested in the money any longer.

The trouble started however when we got back from the grocer. Pamela’s mom, Tilly, was the first to mention that no one had any clear idea as to who had been responsible for this idea. I should have seen the writing on the wall then, so it wasn’t really a surprise when Pamela told me an hour later that no one had booked the rec room for the event, and that Justin, the building’s social worker was using it for a meeting.

Well, as tenant rep I figured we could work around this somehow, even if it meant using the library instead if things didn’t work out, but I wasn’t prepared when Pamela called me shortly thereafter to let me know that Tom’s family had bowed out completely, with no apologies, taking the priest, the flowers, and sandwiches with them. Seems they want to leave sooner, and our preparations and time be damned.

I can understand on one hand. No one likes stretching a death out, and some of these people have to get back to work, but why could they not let us know their intentions long before we had undertaken this project?

So, Pamela and I are going to muddle through this somehow. We have no idea now what kind of service we should have, since we don’t have a priest coming (although we do have a 3rd level wiccan high priestess), heck… we don’t even have a picture of the deceased, but neither one of us is going to let Tom’s death go unremarked.

Neither one of us however is going to get roped into something like this again either in the future. Let someone else handle it. We both already have far too much on our platters.

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Olivia Chow

What a wonderful day today was. Spring is definitely back, and I for one welcome it back with open arms.

Decided to get out and be political since today my local federal MP, Olivia Chow www.oliviachow.ca (NDP) opened her new Trinity/Spadina office down at 144 Augusta Avenue, just north of Dundas in Kensington Market http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensington_Market.

It was interesting. Lots of good food, a dragon ceremony to christen the new office, a chance to meet Ms. Chow, her husband Jack Layton, leader of the Federal NDP party http://www.ndp.ca/jack/ , and the deputy mayor of Toronto. I had the opportunity to listen to what her goals were for the next four years, should she actually have the chance and another snap election isn’t called by some party having a snit because they’re not getting their way.

Regretfully, some of the stuff Ms. Chow will be working on will have nothing to do with what’s dear to me. Sure, abolishing child poverty www.buildchildcare.ca and the head tax on Chinese immigrants are important, as is the revitalization of the waterfront of Toronto, but what happened to the NDP’s stand on subsidized housing for example?

The Liberals and the NDP worked out an agreement to improve public housing on a national basis, which regretfully died on the table, but there is no mention any longer of them picking up where they left off and trying to work out some deal with the Conservative government.

A shame really. But what should I have expected of someone who basically sat on the board of the TCHC and did nothing while she was a city councillor, except collect her paycheque? Sure that may seem harsh, but there’s still something wrong with an MP who ignores one section of her constituency, while catering to others, such as the Chinese and Portuguese. We are all equally important.

I hope eventually she remembers us, and not just because there’s another election coming up. In the meanwhile, I’m going to continue dropping by her office to make certain that she does.

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Tom O’Neil R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that I report that Tom O’Neil, the previous tenant rep and long time resident and friend of 250 Davenport, passed away this weekend. His long time bout with illness finally caught him, and although his body was only discovered on Monday, his best friend Patsy stood vigil over him. He will be missed greatly by one and all.

I have yet to determine when or if there will be a service, as nothing has been posted as of yet in any of the major dailies online, but I will let you know when I do.

Update

Haven’t wrote here recently, although I’ve added a few other things. Mostly books and movie’s though.

So, to bring y’all up to date on the sordid details of my life, I’ll have to refer back to my previous entry, called “Voices”. They seem to have stopped for now. I think they may have been the result of over exhaustion and traces of crack psychosis left over from a few days earlier. I need to make certain in the future that if I’m going to have a slip every now and then, to make certain that I keep to a stricter sleep pattern, as well as taking my vitamins.

My sister Laura and her husband Jon took me with them to the Ontario Science Center to go see the Body Worlds 2 exhibit (http://www.koerperwelten.de/en/pages/home.asp).  Through a process called “Plasticisation” and long and tedious hours of work, scientists are now able to retain the biological matter that would normally decompose and be lost after death. This means you can now see all the organs, nerves, muscles, etc….What a fascinating, sick and yet respectful way t show us the magic that makes up the human body, as well as some other creatures, the most impressive being this camel and it’s foal (couldn’t find a pic of it, sorry.)

I finished my 2 years of probation at the Riverdale Probation Office on the 24th of February finally, although I still will be going for another year on an unofficial basis. Hazel Galatti, my probation officer, has offered he services as a counsellor to try and help me get past some of my other issues.

Been hanging around a lot with my friend Pamela almost daily. What a wonderful woman. Her beloved companion Bailey celebrated her 9th birthday on the 25th.

Renee, another friend that I have made around the building, has been busy with a few of art and crafts sales over at CAMH’s College Street facility.

My 2nd cousin Emma celebrated her 1st birthday on Valentine’s Day, and apparently her mother Debbie and husband Matt are expecting another addition to their family sometime this fall, as is my cousin Michael and his wife Beth.

I’m going to be starting to paint my apartment soon. This is a big step for me, as I’ve never really felt comfortable enough in any of my other places to really want to do so. Guess this means I’ve decided to settle down here for a while. When the project is completed, I’ll try to convince my mother to bring her digital camera so I can post some photos.

That’s all I can think of for now. Take care until the next time.

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March

Almost finished painting my apartment. As usual, I was at least one can short of completion (figures). I’ll ask Laura or Jon to drive me up to Home-Depot if they have time later this week, or will just go up by TTC.

My Uncle Doug’s mother Lois passed away last weekend. She was staying at a senior’s residence for Alzheimer’s patients and had a massive stroke last Sunday. She wasn’t expected to last long after that, but held on for another week before leaving this world while she was asleep. She was a lovely woman and will be missed.

My parents drove down on Tuesday, the day of Birthday (I’ll be 35 <sigh>). this wasn’t the way i wanted to spend it, but things don’t always go the way you choose.

My friend Pamela, who was staying just east of the Manitoba border at a friends, just got back. She and one of her close friends had managed to do an intervention on a friend suffering from alcoholism convinced her to check herself into a detox center. It’s a long trip from there on the road to recovery and I wish Pamela‚Äôs suffering friend well.

Thursday was the funeral ceremony, it was lovely.

That’s about a wrap for now.

I’ll be back soon.