Sunday, December 18, 2016




"You can afford it."


The ONLY person who should ever say that to you is your accountant and then only if you've specifically asked.


It infuriates me when I comment that a restaurant or a piece of clothing is expensive and someone tells me that I can afford it.  How the hell would they know and what business of theirs is it anyway?


How I choose to spend my money and what I choose to consider expensive is up to me and no one else.


The fact that paying for something is not going to mean I go without groceries does not mean that a restaurant does not have prices higher than I wish to pay or that an article of clothing is to me worth the price asked for it.


I often think friends are spending money very foolishly.   Maybe you need to have been really short of cash at least during one period in your life to appreciate having enough now and not want to waste it.


I also don't like to eat in very expensive restaurants or shop in very expensive clothing stores because I don't like to do anything that encourages them to continue to exist.   There is such inequality in the world and I don't want to be one of the people who consumes unnecessarily or excessively.



Saturday, December 17, 2016




Interesting how,


"I don't deserve the friends I have,"


has two totally different meanings.



Wednesday, December 7, 2016




"A world into which he increasingly did not fit".


That's a quote from someone but I can't remember whom and I got no hits when I searched on Google.  


Anyway, that's how I find myself feeling a lot lately.


Particularly after dealing with people.


Part of getting old I guess.



Sunday, December 4, 2016




Oh these people who pretend to be so so "nice" and yet use the "pretending not to hear" technique to get their own way and go ahead and do exactly what they want, when they want, how they want and to hell with everyone else.

And most of us, in order to keep the peace, let them get away with it.

Are they that conceited that they think that no one notices?

Can they conceivably not know that they are doing it?   Can anyone really be that self-involved?

Or are they so contemptuous of the people around them that they just do not care as long as they are getting their way?

And to top it off they expect to be treated as though they're wonderful people.








Friday, December 2, 2016




The neighbours around me in this building have been really annoying lately.   There just seem to constantly be clunks and bangs - daytime, evening, late evening, early morning (5:30 or even earlier) - it's like they just don't get it that they live in a condo building and not a detached house.


I've written before about all the places I've tried to live, all the moves I've made trying to find a bit of peace and quiet, and how now I just don't know where I can possibly move to find that.


I've been feeling lately that I just don't want to live anywhere.  I'm not saying that I'm prepared to go and live on the street but I can understand why someone would want to just live in hotel rooms where you can demand to be moved if there's noise or move to another building.  Terribly expensive of course and certainly beyond my budget.   And anytime I've stayed in hotel it hasn't actually been quiet.


White noise machines,  white noise computer aps,  music, TV, fans running, ear plugs, headphones.
Still no peace.


I just get so tired.






Tuesday, November 22, 2016




Anymore when I see a commercial where someone is nattering on about hair colour or makeup or hair replacement or designer clothing or crap for the home I just get such an urge to scream at them to shut their stupid vacuous mouths.



Sunday, November 13, 2016




I really am getting old.


When I watch a DVD,

I fast forward through the sex scenes.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016




Often when I read serious novels I find I don't understand at all why the characters do what they do or what they are carrying on about in their angst-filled inner dialogues.  Or even in their dialogues with other characters.


Perhaps I'm reading these novels in the first place because I'm trying to understand the same thing about real people.


I generally like the time I spend with close friends but I'm usually somewhat relieved when it's over and I can be on my own again.



Friday, October 21, 2016




It's happened again.


I bought something and it is wearable but just slightly too large so I decided to risk ignoring the cold wash / warm dryer instructions and run it thought the machines with hot water and full heat dry.


Not a sign of shrinkage.


Now.
If it had been just slightly small and I didn't want it too shrink at all I'm sure a cold water wash and hang dry would have resulted in shrinkage beyond usability.


Just the way the universe works I guess.



Sunday, October 16, 2016




The only way I seem to able to stand living in my condo with my neighbours almost constant dropping of things or banging of doors etc or dogs barking outside is to have white noise and fans and other noisy things running non-stop.


I rarely just listen to music anymore because I can't hear it over the (necessary) background noise.


The only way I can listen to music or watch a movie is by wearing headphones.


I wear earplugs at times but they're not all that effective and after a couple of days my ear canals get sore.


I know buying a house is not an answer.  I've owned three houses and a cottage in the country and at all of them I've be bothered by inconsiderate neighbours.


I try to just recognize the fact that I'm never going to have peace and quiet in my life but sometimes it just gets to me and I wonder how I'm going to go on.



Monday, October 3, 2016




What is it about people that makes them want to get together in groups and make a lot of very loud noise?



Sunday, October 2, 2016




I wonder if speaking loudly to be heard on  cell phones has lead to people generally talking more loudly.


Certainly I seem to overhear (not by choice) many conversations where people are screeching at each other for no apparent reason.



Saturday, October 1, 2016




Sometimes when I stand under the shower for a long time I never want to get out.  I just want to stay there forever with the warm water running over me and no one bothering me and no sound other than the water getting through to me.


I don't believe in an afterlife but if I did that might be how I would want to spend it.  Suspended in the warm solitude with no sense of time.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016




Never buy anyone a pet as a surprise gift.


(Except perhaps someone you live with, or your own child.)



Tuesday, September 13, 2016




I used to love dogs.


I grew up with a Shetland Collie as a pet as she was a wonderful creature, a wonderful friend and I loved her dearly.


But living in downtown Toronto I have been so annoyed and harassed by dogs ---

   barking in the lawn area outside my window,
   barking inside the building (especially during weekdays when people are away at work)
   barking in general
   dog faeces left on sidewalks and occasionally in a building hallway
   dogs whose leashes are stretched across the sidewalk
   seeing dogs using maiboxes, fences, bicycle racks and other people's yards as bathrooms

---(and these are all things that are the fault of the dog owners)---

---that I now find that I don't even like any dog anymore,  I don't want them anywhere near me.


So thank you so much dog owners for totally destroying my love of dogs.



Sunday, September 11, 2016




People walking down the street on their cell phones - talking, talking, talking.



Talking.



I am so sick of the sound of human voices droning on and on and on.




Monday, September 5, 2016




Why do people keep referring to the 2008 Financial Crisis as though it's over?



My savings account pays less that 0.5% interest.



For the ordinary citizen saving for or living in retirement this is not a crisis?????





Sunday, August 28, 2016




I have to admit that when I'm reading a descriptive passage in fiction, unless it is very succinct, I usually just skim it.


Very few authors seem to be able to do description well and clearly.



Friday, August 26, 2016



Many years ago I had a friend who said to me,  "If you want to continue this friendship that's fine with me but you're going to have to be the one who calls and arranges to get together."



And for a while I did that.



And then I actually thought about what I was accepting and doing and stopped calling.



Monday, August 8, 2016




When I was young I used to look at old men who dressed in clothing that I considered out of fashion and I thought, "I'm NEVER going to do that."

Now that I'm old myself I understand.  I just don't give a shit if I'm in fashion or not.



Tuesday, August 2, 2016




Sometimes I think there are two kinds of people in the world.

Those who don't say very much and those who never shut up.





Saturday, July 9, 2016




Looking back over the years I wish I'd understood sooner that not being particularly ambitious is not a terrible thing or a character flaw or the mark of a failure.



Friday, June 24, 2016




Blue light.

So, three time this week I have exposed my lack of knowledge about the physics of light in everyday things.

1)  The blood in veins is NOT blue.  I was taught this in public school and never questioned it.  In spite of the fact that I was a science major and worked as a medical tech for many years and drew blood samples.  Blood in veins does not turn blue because the oxygen has been used up.  Blood does not "immediately oxidise" when exposed to the atmosphere.

2) Swimming pools do not appear blue/turquoise because the pools are painted that colour.  That is the colour of large amounts of water.

3) Ice bergs do not have those beautiful blue areas because of Rayleigh scattering.  That explains why the sky is blue but not why ice is.

But, though I was ignorant of these things I am not anymore.  And that's good.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016




Sometimes I look at little tiny yappy dogs,

and I think,

we, human beings,

took

wolves,

and turned them into,

that.



Friday, June 3, 2016




This morning I decided I would make the effort and go shopping for clothes.  This is not an activity I in any way enjoy.

I went into several stores, even tried some things on, but no luck.

One problem of course is that I don't like the current men's fashions.  (Yes, OK, I'm old.)

I also don't like the colours.   This is at least the second summer when almost everything is in tones of blue, black or grey with the occasional dash of pink or coral.   One of my decisions in working toward a minimalist wardrobe has been to buy/wear only clothes in the beige, brown, green and (subdued) yellow pallet.   Shirts in those tones are pretty much non-existent on the shelves.

Another issue for me is the smarmy pushy sales clerks in so many stores.   Especially the ones who want to give you "advice".   Anytime I've listened to a sales clerk about what to purchase I've come to regret it - often those are the items that end up going to Goodwill after a year or two of not being worn.

Fortunately, as a senior citizen, no one actually cares what you wear because they don't even notice that you exist.   (Often now people walk straight at me on the sidewalk as though I'm invisible - it's like they expect they will be able to walk right through me like I'm mist).

Nowadays I wear clothes until they're frayed and give up on them only when they actually develop one or more holes that are beyond stitching up.

But eventually I'm going to run out of things to wear and have to find something new to buy.



Thursday, June 2, 2016




Today I watched this guy driving downtown in heavy traffic with this woman scrunched up against him in the front seat shoving food in his mouth while he was trying to make a turn through a crowd of pedestrians.

Stupid.

Even as a teenager I used to think it looked so cheap and silly when girls rode around glued to some guy trying to drive.




Wednesday, June 1, 2016




What is it with people who think it's just fine to bang the door of their condo unit?
Not even to just let it bang shut, but to actively pull it so it bangs.


It's a lifetime of dealing with this sort of self-centered self-involved ignorance that leads to old people being crabby.



Saturday, May 28, 2016




When I was growing up and when I was in university and for many years when I was working for a living I spent a huge amount of time wondering and worrying about what I was doing and what I could or should be doing and where I might have made the wrong decision about such things.


Now when I look back over my life I realize that in despite all this fussing most of the turning points in my life have been quite accidental.  A possibility opened up and I accepted it.  


And at times I decided to do something not because it was logical (or even sensible) but because at at that particular moment is was simply what I wanted to do.  


And maybe too often because there was something I wanted to get away from.






Tuesday, May 24, 2016




I understand that living in a condo that there are sometimes going to be noises from the neighbouring units.  At least in any apartment type building I have ever lived in.


But.


When you hear the same noises at essentially the same times every single day that is just someone being an inconsiderate shit.






Friday, May 20, 2016




The coating on my pizza pan has started peeling off so I decided to replace it.

I found one with holes which I did not want.

I finally found one at a reasonable price but it was 12 AND A HALF inches instead of 12.

Why would anyone decide to make a pizza pan 12 AND A HALF inches instead of 12.  I could see doing a 13 inch pan but 12 AND A HALF ?!!

It will just have to do.

But so often I find, in this world almost overwhelmed with retail choice,  that I can't get what I actually want and have to compromise in order to have something that "will do".



Friday, May 13, 2016



Today I rearranged all sorts of furniture.


Then I put it all back the way it was when I started.



Thursday, April 28, 2016




For more than ten years I have worn the same pair of eye glasses.   There were changes in my prescription but they were minor and I was happy with the quality of my vision.  This year the doctor felt I really should update so in February I got new glasses.


It's more than two months now and I'm still very unhappy with them.  The distance part of the progressive lens works fine but I cannot clearly see the items on the grocery shelf or the computer screen with any part of the lenses.   I never wear my glasses for reading anyway so I don't know why I bother with the (expensive) progressive lenses.   The result is that I wear the new glasses when I'm leaving home but around the apartment I wear my old glasses.


The other issue I have is with the transitional lenses.   They told me they no longer make clip on sunglasses to match the frames so I agreed to the transitional lenses since I did not want to have an entirely separate pair of prescription sun glasses.   They're OK for outside but when I go inside they take a very long time to go clear again and I find that so very annoying.  Aside from seeing clearly I think people look stupid wearing dark glasses when they're inside.


So many hundreds of dollars later I have new glasses that I don't like.


This seems to happen to me a lot lately.  I buy something new and I'm disappointed in it and it is less functional than what I bought it to replace.


Or maybe I'm just old.



Monday, April 25, 2016




Sometimes, when I was still willing to sit in an audience, before the playing started at the symphony I would sit and contemplate what it had required for that to happen.

Music was created/refined.
Instruments were created/refined.
Music notation was devised.
Architecture and acoustic science and building techniques and materials were developed to be able to build the concert hall.

Composers studied and learned and were creative enough to write the music I was going to hear.

Each and every musician in the orchestra and learned and studied and practiced (and continued to do so) for hour and hours for years and years to become good enough to get a position in the orchestra.

People somewhere in the world were working to provide the power for lighting and air control.

All this massive amount of human time and effort to come to this point where I could sit for a few hours and enjoy beautiful music.



Sunday, April 24, 2016




At the grocery store this morning the musack was a disco-ized version of the famous aria from Madame Butterfly.

As a classical music lover this sort of thing annoys me no end.

I find myself thinking, "Be original, write your own music, don't borrow."

But then I recall that this is an issue in popular music between contemporary musicians - what is "borrowing" and what is "stealing" ?

I don't pay attention to popular music so I suppose what I'm feeling is that I don't care what they do to each other, I just want them to leave classical music alone.

I also often find it grating when someone arranges a piece of classical music for a different instrument than it was written for.  Or orchestrates music that was not written for an orchestra.  To me it almost never works.



Friday, April 22, 2016




As I age I find I have less and less tolerance for "experimental" writing.
 
Yes, I am saying that I can no longer be bothered with novels and stories that require me to think deeply and make obscure connections.

I like a good story.  I like interesting characters.

I have never been a fan of long descriptions of setting so my tendency to skim over such passages is nothing new.

Like many seniors mysteries have become my favourite reading material.





Friday, April 8, 2016




What is this strange thing with petty thefts at weddings?

I once had my thank you gift from the bride and groom for being a groomsman pilfered.

At another wedding I had the gift that was at each place setting snitched by the end of the evening.

At one a friend won the floral centre piece at her table in a contest but when she was ready to leave it was gone.

At a recent wedding the maid of honour's bouquet was stolen from the head table.

I am told by friends this sort of thing is quite common at weddings.

What goes on in people's head that they somehow convince themselves that it's OK to steal at a wedding?





Wednesday, March 30, 2016




Oh my.  The weekdays have been quiet here for a little while, and I knew that wouldn't last, but I had hoped for a little more time off from noise.

But someone's renovating again.

It's the same sound as when the dentist is drilling a tooth.  Except that it doesn't stop.

So I'm off in my usual mental circle of where/how/when can I move even though I've done that so many times before and never come up with a potential solution that I haven't already tried in one form or another.






Tuesday, March 29, 2016




So, today I was at the dollar store and picked up a few small things.

I had to wait quite a while for someone to show up to check me out and then they had problems with the cash register.  They ended up having to pull everything out of the bag and then ring me up again, and that still didn't work so they had to run it through again at the next station.

Not an issue.   But when I got home and unpacked the bag I found that the highest priced item was missing.  I'm sure it wasn't intentional and that in the kerfuffle it just got missed.

But.

It's left me with a bad feeling about that store and since there are several branches of the same chain within easy walking distance I probably will go to one of them and not go back to that branch.

It is so very easy to lose a customer.



Saturday, March 26, 2016




If you invite me to your home for 6:00 I will arrive at 6:00.
Don't assume that I'll take that to mean 6:15 or 6:30.
If you want me to arrive at 6:15 tell me to arrive at 6:15.

And don't give me the "around six" or "sixish" nonsense.
Do that and I'll still arrive at 6:00.

Say what you mean.



Friday, March 25, 2016




Many people seem to think that if they're running late they just have to call and let you know and that's OK.

Being late happens to everyone sometimes but it's the people who do it chronically that I'm thinking about.

Like it's fine to leave you waiting around for them because they've informed you they're "running late".

It's still extremely rude.
If they do it regularly they're clearly indicating that they think your time has no value.





Thursday, March 24, 2016




If you say the meeting starts at a certain time,

START THE MEETING AT THAT TIME!

Don't delay waiting for stragglers.

If you start on time chances are they'll be on time for the next meeting.


Delaying is also really inconsiderate of the people who were on time -- basically you're saying that their time doesn't matter,  that they have nothing better to do than sit and wait.



Thursday, March 17, 2016




I was reading and something about the story reminded me of an incident when I was small child and my father showed me how to use the middle pedal to brake the car if it started rolling.

This is something I have not thought of in years, it feels like a memory I have almost forgotten.

But now that I'm old, when a memory out of my past comes to me I wonder if anything will ever call it up for me again.  If this is perhaps the last time in my live I will think of that particular event.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016




As I was out walking today I was thinking about why I find that so many women look artificial and odd and I realized it's because they're not dressed so much as they are decorated.  The excess in clothing, makeup, jewelry has taken over - the things have become more important than the idea that they are accessories used to present the best version of the person.

They're not wearing the clothes, the clothes are wearing them.

They're no wearing makeup, scent, jewelry - those things are wearing them.

That's why they seem so non-human and unreal.



Tuesday, March 15, 2016




It's 49 years since I finished high school and I still shudder whenever I recall gym class.



Sunday, March 13, 2016




Pockets.  What wonderful things.

Women are at such a disadvantage not always having pockets in their clothes.  They have to rely on purses which they have to hang on to or find someplace safe to leave them.

I often carry a bag of some sort but I always have my wallet and keys in my pants.  I can move at a moment's notice from wherever I am and have my keys, cash and identification with me - without having to stop and think about it or spend time retrieving them.





Saturday, March 12, 2016



Never wear shoes that you can't run in if you need to.



Saturday, March 5, 2016




Some authors can write a 500 to 600 or even 700 page book and it's gripping.


For most who do though it tends to be a lot of overwritten filler.



Thursday, March 3, 2016




"They'll tell you that the most destructive force in the world is hate.  

Don't you believe it, lad.  

It's love."

P. D.  James



Wednesday, March 2, 2016



I understand that people in a condo are occasionally going to drop something, or bang a door or otherwise make a noise that carries.   I occasionally slip up and do this myself.

I don't expect people to be perfect.

But when you hear the same noise, over and over, day after day, that's someone who just doesn't give a damn if they disturb other people.



Sunday, February 28, 2016



So it's Sunday afternoon.
The condo rules clearly state, and reminder notices were posted recently, that there is to be no construction noise, reno work etc on weekends or holidays.

Yet once again someone is hammering.

Clearly their need to hammer on a Sunday is more important that the peace and quiet of all the human beings in all the units in this building who have to listen to it.

Human beings.
It's a wonder the species has survived this long.



Thursday, February 25, 2016



Remember when you bought a DVD of a movie and it went immediately to the main menu?


Then they started adding  previews and even ads to the beginning.


I just had my first one where you could neither fast forward through the previews or go to the menu.


Marketing types can ruin just about anything.








Thursday, February 18, 2016



Dentist today.

They keep wanting me to wear goggles while they work on my mouth.

That's OK but I really don't think they sterilize them between patients.

I tend to get rashes etc on my face and I wonder if they're getting transferred from me to other patients.

It also seems like a great way to spread cold and 'flu germs.

But as usual in my life,  I try to avoid conflict and just go along with them and wear the damn things.



Tuesday, February 16, 2016



So the renovations have moved into their fifth week.   How can there be anything left in that unit to drill and hammer?   After four weeks how can they not be down to bare concrete?

I don't want to live here.  I just can't think where I can live and have some peace and quiet.

I wish I were one of the people who can go and live in a van.  Of course that would be very difficult in this climate.  Not to mention the fact that I don't like driving and only do it if I absolutely have to.  Well, actually I do like driving, it's the other people on the road that I don't like.  And I'd no doubt feel very exposed and insecure trying to sleep in a van.

I think many people are so used to noise that don't even register it anymore.  I wish I could do that.  I wish I could just detach myself and ignore it all.

I have multiple noisy things running and I'm going to put on some restful music and listen to that through noise-cancelling headphones and hope that will keep me reasonably calm.






Thursday, February 11, 2016



Still here.
Still stressed.
I have six different sources of sound running to block out the sounds from the building.

Yet I still hear clunks and bangs.

This is no way to live.

But where can I go that it will be quiet.

I've lived in the country.
Snow mobiles, ATV's, hunters, dogs barking, chain saws, humans partying - and believe me, recorded or live music carries very long distances in the open air.

The same applied when I tried to live in a cottage by a small lake but add in skidoos, motorboats, drunken teenagers having parties at their parent's cottage and screaming children.

Nor do I want all the work involved in maintaining a place outside a city or town.  There's a lot more involved than for an urban home.

At one of my houses in Toronto the neighbour next door had a year-round hot tub (with non-stop pump and heater) plus outdoor speakers.

(And what inconsiderate sadist thought up outdoor speakers in the first place?)

Another had a woman who sat out every evening all summer long drinking and yapping with friends. On her deck.  Which was right outside my kitchen window.

Then there was the teenager who blared the radio for hours while working on his car.

In two places there were guys who did projects, with power tools, in their garages, with the door open,  in the evenings and on weekends.






Wednesday, February 10, 2016



I am having a really bad day.

I know that I'm more sensitive to noise than most people and it's been a problem for me all my life.

I've owned three houses and four condominiums in Toronto and every time I've moved the reason has been not being able to tolerate any longer noise produced by other people.

Someone has been renovating in this condo building and this is now the fourth week of drilling and banging and I feel as though I'm nearing the end of my rope.  Even though they're limited to 9-5 on weekdays, when that noise is combined with the noises I hear at other hours I feel like I'm never allowed a moment's quiet.

The neighbour across the hall seems to incapable of closing his door without banging, certainly he's incapable of remembering to try not to do it.  

During the evening I hear various clunks and bangs and starting around 5:30 in the morning someone is up and again I hear sounds until around 7 to 7:30 when presumably they leave for work.   Saturday the sounds start a little later and on Sunday I think they sleep in.

The last few days I've been woken up at least once during the night but a really loud bang - it sounds like someone has dropped a concrete block on the floor.

Then there's the dog down the hall that goes into a yipping frenzy whenever they open their door.  There's no place in my condo where I don't hear it.

I run the fan on the heating unit non-stop. I have white noise machines, I have white noise software on my computer, I have different kinds of earplugs, I have noise-cancelling headphones.  None of them totally work.  Even when I use them all together.

I just don't know what to do.  Or where to go.

I know most of the people in this world live with far bigger problems than this.

But I'm exhausted and harassed and lacking sleep and I just don't know what to do or how I am going to go on.


Saturday, January 23, 2016



I keep seeing robins around downtown Toronto.

I guess they didn't feel the impetus to migrate this year.

And they're all plump.

So they're not having trouble finding food.

I wonder how this affects the species that don't migrate but don't usually face competition for food from robins?



Friday, January 22, 2016



I love gumdrops.

I hardly ever buy them because they're so rarely fresh.
(Even slightly stale gumdrops are too hard and too chewy.)


Maybe that's a good thing.




Thursday, January 21, 2016



Oh, how I wish they would not put glitter on greeting cards.



Wednesday, January 20, 2016



Having a tattoo is not exactly minimalist now,  is it.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016




Yesterday I bought some beautiful luscious bright red tomatoes.

They have no taste.

Just texture.

It's like eating styrofoam.