Monday, 18 February 2013

Notes from the Waiting Room

Let’s be rational here, I argued.  Do we really have to set the alarm for a Saturday morning? To say I was so far ahead of the game Friday night, I disappointed myself by shifting the alarm from 7:30 to 8 to 8:30 and finally to 9.    I felt buoyed.  Round II of the paintwork out of the way by Friday at 7 so managed to salvage the evening.
An encore of Q, with Ghomeshi championing Canadian books through the annual Canada Reads“How quietly Canadian,” he mused.  Surprise, still, after all these years at seeing the nation get excited over reading.  There was a comment from a US listener who said something to the effect of where but Canada can you find a Reality show about books?  So hopefully you’ve got all the titles on your reading To Do list?  At the very least the winner-February by Lisa Moore.
The Sisters Brothers is going well-enjoying that there’s room for men to pay attention to oral hygiene and dieting during Gold Rush times. Just tapping into the Stoppard.  The theatre tickets have arrived and I’m patiently waiting for the season to begin.

 A lineup presents the perfect people watching moment.  Noon hour on a Saturday at the Ministry offices are a hotbed of activity.  You have the whole of humanity laid out before you.  People watching does speed things along.

 A man stood sentry dressed in balaclava, fireman’s jacket and boots.  I thought he was promoting something but I think that due to the amount of clothing he couldn’t move his arms properly and had been patiently waiting for someone to open the door for him.  Cold temperatures were predicted but not for another fourteen hours.  He seemed a little over dressed.  Good to be prepared, I guess.

Children running amok bouncing up and down on the fragile perimeter heating; parents oblivious. Crowding of personal space; anything to have some semblance of movement.  Ear budded people looking serene. Couples canoodling.
A man kept checking the front of the line which meant he had to lean over the shoulder of the woman in front of him.  He was not familiar with the concept of the watched pot.  The woman toted a file folder teeming with paperwork and it looked as if she could do with a good night’s sleep.  Another man gave his hair a comb every ten minutes; the stress of the line-up manifesting itself as unruly hair.  Choice of ring tones varied from the call to prayer to guitar riffs to just a plain old ring which is rare these days.  What does your ring tone say about you?

It came as no surprise that the personal space invader was ill prepared for the transaction.  He was shocked to learn he had a parking fine from 2011. He selected savings instead of chequing.  (Is  there really any difference between the two anymore?  Interest rates being what they are.) He wasn’t sure if he wanted one or two year renewal and so on.  Patrons were getting restless. 
I focused on my thighs-yes, the thighs.  In the yoga sense.  I’ve been doing yoga for nigh on seven years now.  Take this tip for the next time you have a long wait.  Push down with your feet into the floor to engage the thigh muscles.  Do not slouch, do not lean against the counter, do not try to balance on one leg.  Works brilliantly.  I felt like breaking out into song at one point just to stir things up a bit.  A one woman Flash Mob.  I wanted to say to those complaining that it’s your own fault for getting there at noon on a Saturday.  The place has been open since 9AM.

I considered the last 24 hours.  Readers still upset at McKay’s editorial cartoon of the outgoing pope getting coffee and a muffin at Tim Horton’s.  I knew the second I saw it that there would be a flood of letters to the editor.  Relax people, it’s a cartoon; this is not an attack on your religion.

The asteroid (meteor).  I bet Putin was more concerned that this was going to land on his beloved Olympic park than anything else.  Am I wrong? The Sunday Edition closed with a piece on the Bolshoi.  Dangerous business running a ballet in the modern Russian age.  It’s still tinged with communist leanings.  The person to be publicly held responsible for the acid attack will not be the one who actually committed the crime.  The modern KGB is not actually investigating this which speaks volumes.

Bad news on the book front, Nicholas Hoare Books in Toronto are closing their doors     April 1.  One of those oldy-worldy shops.  Classical music and wooden floors-what’s not to love?  Now where do we pit stop on Front?  If you’re visiting the Hamilton area, try Bryan Prince Booksellers or A Different Drummer Books in Burlington.  (I coveted the Beatrix Potter box set that used to sit on the top floor.) Hoare will be retiring to a very comfortable estate in Nova Scotia so don't feel too badly for him. He intends to set up a library and vineyard amongst the three hundred or so acres.  What of his employees, though?

At the dealership earlier that day:  “And do you know your license plate number?”  What should have been said was just “What is your license plate number?” 

Shared a laugh with the clerk over the wait. We couldn’t help but listen in while others tried to make payments.  “This is why it takes so long,” she explained. 

I tackled a little more of Apartment Therapy. Is there anything more exhilarating than vacuuming and dusting into the late Saturday evening hours?  I predict no more clutter in the hallway.  You can’t give up newspapers, magazines and books but they do take up real estate.  I brought Spring Cleaning forward by two months and the sense of accomplishment feels good.  My soundtrack?  Rage Against The Machine, Joy Division, Tony Bennett (Lady Gaga has gone up in my estimation-Lady is a Tramp is a great duet), Martha Wainwright, Pearl Jam and The Tragically Hip.  Eclecticism never goes out of style. 

Forced a G & T.

The blue sky was a dead giveaway-Arctic conditions on a Sunday AM.  I saved myself a trip to the esthetician because several layers of skin had burned clear away with the cold when I eventually stepped outside. Bore witness to a rainbow in the West so that was something.  Another point for February (that’s three if anyone’s counting).

No holiday for The Widget Maker so was in full Sunday Evening Wind Down Mode.  Determined that Thursday at 10 PM is my point in the week when I go into weekend mode. It’s the last time you clock-watch for a few days. 

Cannot remember if an answer was given as to what exactly is Family Day.  For those of you at home with the family, enjoy.

Post Script

I'm still striving to rationalize a nine hour day on a Stat holiday.  One good thing to come out of it was lunch at August 8 on Wilson Stin Hamilton.  Excellent sushi.  $14.99 all you can eat menu that you don't have to line up at a buffet to participate in.  The usual suspects but the highlight (and purpose) of the trip was the pork dumplings. Will be returning.