Belated Update: Saint Petersburg & Tallinn

Hi honey,  we are exhausted after our two days in St., Petersburg and then on to
Tallinn but we have recovered after a short nap (2 1/2 Hrs.).  We are now
getting ready for supper and then tomorrow we have an at sea day so we can
finally just down and relax at the jacuzzi and pool.  Hope It  doesn’t
Okay, that’s it for now.  Have  taken nots of pictures and even tried a
photo-stitch of a military cruiser that was docked beside us this morning.  Have
something else to learn.  Hope everything is going well at home.  Love

Take care, Mom

An update: Helsinki

Hi honey,  We had a great day today. visited helsinki and went to some ancient
fort.  It turned out it was closed due to a national holiday.  Oh, well. 
Yesterday, we were in Stockholm, Sweden,  It was gorgeous.
Just to let
you know that we will be docking tomorrow morning at St. Peterburg, Russia and
will be there until Sunday, late afternoon.  Hope the weather is good because it
poured all morning today. 
Have you received my e-mails.  Hope so. 
anyway, i am not staying on any longer,  my minutes get eaten too

Love ya, Mom

An update: Baltic sea

Hi honey,  I finally broke down and bought an internet package.  It’s $40 for 95
minutes only.   Any way, we got underway on Sunday.  It got really rough during
the night but your Dad and I were fine.  Unfortuntely, Nancy was sick the next
morning, but after a  back to bed nap of 4 hours, she recuperated and has been
fine since.  The weather yesterday was sunny but the wind was cold. 
Nevertheless, we found our way to the pool and jacuzzi.  Your Dad and I just sat
on the lounges and took life real easy.  Our legs were kind of tired from all
the walking we had done in Amsterdam.  The Meals are unbelievable.  Hope I don’t
gain took much weight.  Also, somehow, we managed to sleep in ’til 12:00 p.m.  I
guess we needed the extra sleep.
 Today, even though we had set the wake
up call, it didn’t work but we were up at 9:30.  Had breakfast and then browsed
the ship finding out where things were.  Then, off to our room to get our
bathing suits and up to the pool.  It is seawater and freezing (not heated).  We
all went into the jacuzzi and it helps my hips and legs – no bath in our cabin. 

There is a theater room onboard, and every night there are shows. 
These are very well done.
Tonight, before supper, there is a special
performance, supper in the dining room, then a rock and roll dance.  The sun
doesn’t set until about 10:15 and it’s not dark until about 11:00.  Different. 
Doesn’t matter in the cabin though because we have an inside
Tomorrow we land in Stockholm and will be running more rubber off
of our shoes.  Wish us luck.  Got to go now, I am supposed to meet everyone in
15 minutes and I keep getting lost on the ship, turning right when I am supposed
to be going left and finding myself on the wrong deck.

Take care,

P.S.  Know you are taking care of the dogs just fine.  Hope
and Corky aren’t crowding you too badly!

Poetry on the Way

Poetry On The Way has returned to the TTC once again. apparently this is the tenth year of the project. There have been so many that have grabbed my attention, and I always find myself without pen or paper to jot them down.

This one is entitled Escondido Nights by Jim Christy, who joins a
legion of poets whom I haven’t heard of until I stopped subway-flirting
long enough to look up…

The moon is the shape
Of this hidden cove
fishing boats are constellations
We floated through a heaven
that glittered phosphorescent
like plankton in tinfoil
And paused between a pair:
Aurorita and Viridiana, to thrash about like comets just
Let out of school.
And continued on a light year
later Moondust in my mouth
And all over your body

Repeats, free gas, downtown, old friends long since vanished, upcoming disasters

09h01 Friday

Weather : Sunny, with cloudy periods, cold

Playing : Corky


: Waking, thoughtful

I have no idea what’s been going on with the television viewing season as of late, but I wish it wasn’t stockpiled with repeats. Fine, so "NCAA March Madness" was CBS’ excuse for March, but what about the other broadcasters? Heck, what about now? Every channel I flip to seems to have something on from earlier this season, or the show that is supposed to be slotted isn’t the one playing. Advertisements for new episodes are playing, but then are not on the day indicated.

Maybe it has something to do with stuff being simulcast in Canada. The method that is used to insert Canadian content during commercial breaks, or if a show is being broadcast on one of our stations, our station takes precedence once it crosses the 49th parallel? I don’t know. What I do know is that when a new episode of CSI is said to be "next week on CBS/CTV", I expect it to be there.

I cannot seem to get this methane problem under control. It has been going on for months now. Sometimes better or worsening with no rythme or reason to allow me to deduce cause and effect. It’s making me very self conscious. I don’t want to go out, for fear that it will attract negative attention to myself in some way. I’ve been trying these 180 mg Simethicone softgel capsules called Ovol. Apparently, anything less than that amount is a waste of time. I’m also now taking that cherry flavoured Maalox. This combo seems to have reduced the impact my situation is causing, but I am still under some distress.

I am anxiously awaiting the chance to speak to Dr. Hailu about it on the 19th of this month.


and I are going into Montreal in an hour or so, to some frame shop near the Decarie expressway, to get the gilding on those wall hangings of Noreens touched up. No idea if that’s something that is done on the spot, but afterwards we’ll be going for luch at the Chalet BBQ. Used to be a regular thing we’d do, back when Nana lived on the corner of Sherbrooke East and Cavendish. Nana absolutely loved the place. She’s been going there since the restaurant opened fifty years ago. My friend Jason Collantonio’s dad used to work there, and sometimes we would walk in to find Jason helping out with the bussing. I’m hoping that will be the case today.

I don’t really know what’s become of any of my old companions anymore, although I do think of them all often. Since my parents move from Vincennes Avenue in Pointe-Claire, there’s really no way to find out, and it has been such a long time since my own move to the Dot back in Summer of ’98.


Weather : Cloudy

Playing : Breakout (Swingout Sister)

Mood : Smiling

Mom, Dad, Coleen and I got back a shot while ago. Didn’t find the rechargeable battery Mom needs for her Mikita cordless drill at Reno-Depot in Montreal l’Ouest, arrived at the U-Haul in Ville St. Pierre to return the unused boxes from Noreen’s move, only to discover that we had left the right receipt back at the house. With Gemz we were a little more succesful. The regilding of the wall hangings should be done in ten days or so.

It was cold walking over the Decarie on Sherbrooke to get to to Chalet BBQ restaurant, but it was worth it. Didn’t see Jason there, or anyone else I recognized either. It has been almost ten years, I need to keep reminding myself,

Still cold when we headed back to the van to drive back to Vaudreuil-Dorion to meet up with Coleen at the Wal-Mart. I wanted to start stocking up on some non-perishable food items for my return to the Dot. It would be a smart thing for to start doing. I have to admit that Wal-Mart seems to have a pretty good selection of food stuff. Admittedly, the selection will alternate from store to store, but I should make an effort to perhaps go to the one in the Dufferin Mall every once in a while.

10h55, Saturday

Weather : Overcast, light dusting of snow

Playing : Bizarro’s World (Superman TAS)

Mood : Chipper

Watched the eviro-film "An Inconvenient Truth" last night again. It’s incredibly concise and scary thinking that has been well laid out by almost former president of the United States, Al Gore. What people need to do now in NorthAM is to stop looking at the easy way out all the time, to stop letting lobbyist influence the vote. If the tobacco companies can be brought down, and they did have BIG monies padding peoples pockets, then really, the car and oil industries should rethink their position, and do something before they are brought down as well.

Coleen watched it with me, until she was taken up by an immense migraine that seemed to come out of nowhere. Mom, who asked us to record the film on the PVR, was busy doing the monthly finances until well after everyone else had gone to bed. I know this because I got up again at 00:30, thinking it was much later than that at the time, and could hear her printing paperwork of some sort out on the Epson.

On the road yet again, the search, granny’s, memories of famous times past

11h02: (Saturday)

The estimate came in just a little while ago, over the Brother fax-560 in the den at Mom and Dad’s house, from Meldrum the Movers. We were astonished to learn that the cost of just moving Noreen’s three drawer mahogony dresser, and her television cabiner was going to be around $450, not including the monthly storage costs.

Sadly, we, and more apropriately I mean Mom, have decided that really, it’s just not worth it.

Mom has no intentions of moving Noreen off the eighth floor, where she is currently residing, into a larger apartment should once become abailable eventually. There are too many reasons for her to stay up there, including the beautiful rotunda, which Noreen absolutely adores, and would never go up and visit again if she were moved to a different floor. Plus, once Noreen grows accustomed to her new room, and it doesn’t seem to be taking all that long, it would just be needless stress, for both Noreen and Mom, who is the primary care taker, to deal with.

So the furniture will be left behind at Residence Place Moritz, either to be used by the next occupant of Noreen’s former apartment, or perhaps to one of the staff if the management of Place Moritz allow such things.

Either way, it will not be ours, and again, when I say ours I mean Mom’s, problem.


Coleen is heading out the door shortly. She’s heading out to her daughter Michelle and boyfriend Kirk’s apartment in Rigaud, and then together, they will all drove over to the house they’re buying to meet up with the building inspector, so that he can give it a once over, to ensure that they’re getting the best deal. They will all walk the house together, and the inspector will make them aware of any flaws or faults that will need dealing with, and could alter therefore the buying price


Mom and I are heading out shortly as well, it seems.

Mom wants to stop by Reno Depot, to look for storage shelves to install in Noreen’s one and only closet, to make better use of its space. Afterwards, it’s off to Place Moritz, to go through some of the packed up boxes remaining there, to cull what’s inside them so as to make whatever arrives once everything is moved early next week that much simpler.


Took a bit longer than I thought, but we got the apartment all packed up and done. Meldrum the Movers will be coming on Tuesday morning, sometime around 8h30. We dropped by Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and Home Depot instead of Reno, all in the quest to find this clothes bar that hooks over the existing one, dropping 3 feet and adding another bar which to hang clothes off. No such luck though in finding it.

Suggested that Mom use the idea she had worked with last year, when she was trying to install some stuff to hang clothes from in the laundry room. Because there were no studs in the walls of the laundry room where she needed them to be, she eventually installed some cable eyelets in the ceiling ones instead. Theh, with the usage some thin steel cable, she threaded the cable through the clothes bar and hung it from between. Essentially, it’s a free standing.

09h32 (Sunday)

We went out for dinner last night. This time it was Mom’s treat. It was late for Dad to be calling for a reservation at Mon Village, but we got one for 20h00. My parents have been going there for several years now, and are well known by all the staff. You could see that the restaurant was going to be very busy as we pulled in to the parking lot. Cars everywhere. Up to this point, I had not even even aware that there was a second lot ot be used, in case of overflow.

Mon Village attracts clientelle from all over. It has an excellent reputation, and despite there also being a liquor bar, and there not being many in the area, most of the people are there because of the food.

I enjoy crowds occasionally. Despite getting overwhelmed by them when I am outdoors, sometimes to the point of panic, if I am inside, sitting comfortably, I find them to be quite the placebo for television. Here, playing out in front of you, are all your multi-cultural channels come to life at once, playing a wide range of genres. Enough to satisfy any sort of voyeur.
It can also be quite wearing too, mentally and emotionally. If I had not been tired before going in, I was definitely so by the time we got out. Managed to stay awake and sit with Mom long enough to watch the episode of "Holmes on Homes" we had recorded on the Mom’s Bell ExpressVu PVR from earlier this week on HGTV Canada, then crawled into bed.


Forgot that it was Darcy Malley’s birthday today.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. I had deleted the original reminder I had received from BirthdayAlarm on purpose and then, when I received my email today, decided that it wouldn’t kill me to send him an eCard through Yahoo

My parents and I have been out most of the day, visiting grandparents one again. I don’t think I have one day since I got to QC that I have not been on the road doing something for one of them. But I knew that when I got here. I owe so much, thanks to my parents kindness, that really, to balk would seem so disrespectful.

So today we started off with Nana over at the Montreal Association for the Blind, in Montreal West.

We had a nice lunch there and left sometime around 14h00 to head back to the West Island, where we dropped Mom off at le Vivalis so she could check in with Noreen, who wasn’t feeling very well today, while Dad and I headed over to Zellers at the Centre Terrarium Pointe-Claire to see if we could find that darn hanging bar I mention above somewhere.

I worked at this Zellers, many years ago. This mall is going through an evolution too right now. Gone now is the Famous Players 8 Cinemas, having been closed down when Famous Players merged with Cineplex Odeon last year some time. Torn down now to make room for a Home Depot. Rockquest, a bar my friends and I used to go to on the odd occasion is gone, replaced by Penningtons. CIBC has closed it’s branch, which had been there since the stripmall had been built and K-Mart was the flagship store.

In fact, the only thing that’s still exactly where it was when I last left it is the Tim Horton’s.