I had a dream last night and it fit me like a glove…
Too obscure a reference? Gotcha.
I had a dream last night that I was grocery shopping. The supermarket was a little dimly lit. Not sure why. As I shopped, I was being bothered by a man who kept trying to talk me, kept trying to be my friend.
The man was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
I tried my best to avoid him and continue with my shopping but he was just so damn aggressive with his “sucking up” to me. I repeatedly tried to brush him off with polite but forceful one-word answers. It did not work.
“Leave me alone. I hate politicians, got it? Especially you and your ilk.”
“But what do you have against me?” Justin Trudeau asked as if he was oblivious to how politicians can be hated.
Amazingly, Trudeau never stammered once in all his talking to me. That’s how you know this had to be a dream.
“You, you’ve never done anything to make me proud that you’re the leader of a nation. The one time you almost did something interesting and showed leadership, you screwed it up royally and then screwed up the apology. You said ‘um’ thirteen times. I COUNTED!”
“I try my best. But what’s that got to do with all the other politicians? If the country has been mislead and governed improperly, isn’t that the fault of your father’s generation?”
“MY FATHER’S GENERATION!!!”
I stormed off and woke up. The thoughts of the pot calling the kettle black reverberated through my mind.
Never had I dreamed something that I so desperately wanted to come true. This was better than those times I dreamed I was getting laid.
I was run into by a bicycle yesterday.
I was walking across a street, in line with the sidewalks. The bicycle hit me directly from behind. Front wheel ran right into my right heel as I walked.
“I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” said the bicyclist.
I waved it off. I wasn’t hurt.
The bicyclist rode off ahead of me on the sidewalk.
Six feet to my left lies a dedicated bicycle lane.
The bicyclist was so far from paying attention, the bike lane went unnoticed, and unused.
I was hanging out with this guy, a little bit older than me, who happened to be flipping through something on his smartphone when he remarked aloud “Three cops shot in Baton Rouge, yeah!”
“Dude, not a ‘yeah’ moment.”
Slightly humbled “Oh, right.”
Okay, this guy is a bit of an odd duck and is generally accepting of anarchy but it’s really easy for him to be that way. He’s thirty something and still living rent-free in his parents’ house. I’m sure the shooter in this tragedy had some perceived grievance against authority and some sort of severe mental and emotional issues. This guy I’m hanging out with, hasn’t quite grasped the difference between being a teenager and trying to be cool, and being an adult. People dying in the street is not a “yeah” moment.
I haven’t spoken to Bob in a week or so but I sent him the a text message on Sunday. This was the text conversation:
WIGSF: What was the name of that restaurant we went to in the city? This was several years ago. Probably Janet’s birfday. I sat in such a way to deliberately separate you and Bobette.
Bob: Remember the night and the burger but I am unsure of the name. Did it have “nature” in the name? Cafe?
WIGSF: Was wondering if it was Utopia?
Bob: Utopia cafe is the place I was thinking of
WIGSF: Thank you very much
I often wonder what’s going through Bob’s mind when he receives a random, out-of-the-blue text message like that from me. The following is my idea of Bob’s inner thoughts as that text message comes in:
Baseball, do-dododo-do, wife, do-dododo-do, family, do-dododo-do. Oh, phone beeped. Hmm. Wiggie asking about some restaurant downtown. Oh yeah. That was a good burger. I could sure go for a burger right about now. Wiggie, get the burger and tell me about the burger. I will it to be so.
I’m sure later today Bob will email me something about how I got the order of baseball, wife and family wrong in his train of thought.
I dislike going into the city with the frequency that I have done this year. It’s become too much of a headache. The whole process of getting there, being there and having to get away from there is too stressful on me. The transportation system in Toronto is stressful. There are too many people and not enough comfortable methods to move them all around. Then the actual being there has to be worth the stress of getting there. It ain’t. It was different when I was a teenager. Maybe the city has changed. Maybe I’ve changed. Maybe both. Regardless. Toronto is a place that’s not for me. I can only take it in small doses. This year, for various reasons, I’ve been downtown far too frequently. I need to give myself and Toronto some space. I clearly don’t like it and it sure enough don’t like me.
I went to Krispy Kreme on Sunday. I bought two dozen original glazed and one cherry pie doughnut. I ate the cherry pie doughnut in the store and took the two dozen glazed to-go. It’s been more than twenty four hours and the first dozen are gone. The second are waiting in the freezer. Of that first dozen, I did not eat all twelve. I’m not sure how many I ate of those twelve but it was definitely no more than five. I shared. I’m very proud of myself.
On Saturday, I was at somebody’s house for a birthday of a seventy-five year old woman. I parked across the street from the house so I could leave as I pleased without having to wait for others to move their cars. Turns out, the people across the street were having a seventieth birthday party for somebody (maybe I have to stop hanging around senior citizens so much) and my car was blocked by two cars double-parked around me. I left the person’s home to see the street had become a parking lot.
I don’t want to claim that I’ve invented a new food, or even innovated food. What I did has probably been done before, but it certainly hasn’t been spread around the world as much as it should. This food needs to be known worldwide because it’s awesome. I had served to me a dish best described as chicken shawarma poutine. That’s french fries and chicken shawarma smothered in tahina and garlic sauce. It was quite good. Also served to me was a fresh pita bread. (Side note: is there anything better in this world than fresh bread?) I took the fries and shawarma, dripping in goo created from stirring around the two sauces and stuffed them into the pita. Then I gobbled it all up. I ate that thing knowing full well I’ve got Krispy Kremes waiting for me. Most of the items in this dish are easily sourced. The trickiest thing to find is the fresh pita. Generally, anyplace serving fresh pita will serve chicken shawarma and have a ready supply of tahina and garlic sauce. And I’ve never seen a shawarma place that doesn’t serve french fries. So, if they won’t make it for you, just order the components and build it yourself. Where I was, Paramount Fine Foods, they’ve got the shawarma poutine on the menu. It’s called the yalla special. Order that. That’s it. The fresh pita bread is served to every table. Take ’em both. Open the pita bread, when fresh it’s pocket is easily accessible but full of steam so watch out. Use a spoon or fork and just start shoveling the fries into the pita. Now shut up and eat!
I went to my favourite local burrito place for lunch and found it closed. Boo! Now I need to find a new lunch spot close to work. Those burritos were perfect. Reasonably inexpensive, reasonably quick, always good. I would get a chicken or pork burrito with no cheese and no sauce but it was still moist, never dry. It was the healthiest option around with sacrificing flavour. I lost fifty pounds without removing those burritos from my diet. Now what am I gonna eat? Oh wait. I’ve got a dozen Krispy Kremes at home.
After work, I met some people at this vegetarian Indian buffet. I know what you’re thinking. I hated it. I hated it because it was vegetarian. Well, let me tell you something. I hated it. I’m not saying some butter chicken would have saved it. I’m just saying that buffet kinda sucks. Especially around these parts. Even in high turn-over buffet restaurants, the food is always crap. This place just gets to use the “we don’t serve meat” as a crutch for their suckage.
So, if this place is so obviously crap, why was I there? I’m open-minded. Yeah, that’s it. I’m open-minded. You know who’s not? The person who said “Let’s go to this Indian place.” Why this place? “It’s the only Indian place I’ll eat at.” Why? “Because I’ve eaten there before.” There are other Indian restaurants in town. Some closer, some nicer. “But I know this place.” I’ve eaten all over the place, I could have recommended a place. “I can’t eat at that place you like.” Why? “Because I don’t know that place.” Okay, you enjoy your closed-off little world.
I went to the movies with a friend and her children. We saw Finding Dory. I don’t particularly enjoy Pixar films. This movie was no different from the rest. The two children, both boys, I gave them a bag of my old Transformers. “OPTIMUS PRIME!!!!!”
In the evening, I went to Juice’s to babysit Juicebox. That little guy tuckered me out something fierce. We played basketball on the deck with one of those Fisher Price or Little Tikes or generic Wal-Mart brand kiddie basketball nets. We did use an actual mini-basketball. Not a sponge ball or anything lame and safe like that. Oh hell, I was tired from trying to teach Juicebox how to put on his shoes. After ten minutes “Mommy do it.” I think he legitimately thought I was going to put his shoes on for him.
I woke up, got showered and made sure my car was ready for a road trip. A distant almost-relative is visiting Toronto from the motherland. You know what that means. Everybody takes a turn showing the visitor around town. Sunday was my turn. We went to Niagara Falls.
A nice time was had by all. At least I hope. We dined at IHOP. I love IHOP. I love any place that serves good pancakes. The falls are the falls. Wow, that’s a lot of water going over those cliffs. Yes, they’re big but there are bigger falls. Somewhere in Wyoming is the continent’s biggest waterfall but Wyoming is kinda far from any place many people would visit. Niagara is an under two hour drive from Toronto. And Niagara, at least it use to be, is a vacation destination, it’s the honeymoon place. Yeah, back in the days when people would honeymoon in Niagara. I’m sorry. I just don’t see it. It’s such a hokey touristy crap kind of place. “Yeah, we’re married. Let’s go to Niagara Falls, watch water fall over a cliff then go to that haunted house underneath that statue of Frankenstein’s monster eating a BK Whopper. That’s so romantic.” Yes, I understand the history of Niagara Falls as a honeymoon destination. But things were different two hundred years ago. Disneyworld didn’t exist yet and traveling around the world was much more difficult. And consider the following, the woman who invented the honeymoon in Niagara Falls died at sea at 29 years old.
The day, the weekend as a whole was just so tiring for me. When I got home, I ate some dinner then tried to watch TV. But there was nothing good on. So I decided to take a nap instead. That nap turned into pretty much a deep sleep. I emerged only for a glass of water and a pee break. Otherwise, I slept straight through to Monday morning.
Goodbye old friend. I’m sorry to see you go but fear not, I shall raise your baby as my own.
Yes, I’m talking about a car.
Last Thursday, I received a quote of a substantial sum of money to keep my car from not dying any day now. For the past year, it had been burning oil. The burning oil, I believe was causing issues in other parts. The alternator was about to go. The water pump was about to go. The transmission was having some issues which were generally causing my car to shake violently. The transmission could be fixed. The alternator and water pump could be replaced. The burning oil could not be fixed. It was just going to get worse and worse and cause other system failures going forward. I knew that. I just really wanted to see my car go past 300,000 km. Hell. I really thought I could get 400,000 out of it. 287,500. That’s what it done. (178,644 miles for y’all ‘mericans.)
Tuesday, I spoke to a trustworthy mechanic. “Get a new car. Go see these guys two towns away. It’ll be worth it.” I drove two towns away even though the car brand has a dealership 500 m from my office. (I did go there first. I didn’t like the salesman I spoke to.) I took a test drive. Told the salesman I need to sleep on it but you’ll hear from me tomorrow.
On the drive home from the dealership two towns away, two kilometers from my house. The car lost power. All the electrical shut off, the engine powered down, I coasted into the right lane and then into a bus stop. Time to finally use that auto-club membership I been paying for dutifully.
Wednesday, I borrowed Carmine’s evenings and weekends car and drove back to that dealership two towns away and signed the fancy paper.
Yesterday, I bought me a shiny new car.
The Japanese-assembled 2008 silver Toyota RAV4 AWD Limited has been towed to the great scrap heap in the sky (or wherever, I traded it in and got some value for it). In it’s place in my driveway now rests a locally-assembled 2016 silver Toyota RAV4 AWD LE.
Here’s the big difference between the two. The Limited was the all-the-bells-and-whistles edition with the leather seats and the sky roof and fog lights and the upgraded audio system with the built-in sat-nav and the power driver seat. The LE is the base model. So, no leather. Don’t care about leather. I’m fine with fabric. I only ever use the sun roof when I’m hauling things that are longer than ten feet which I run up through the open sun roof because I’m too lazy to tie it to the roof rack. The fog lights, I never used. They don’t make a difference in the fog and I live in a foggy area. The sat-nav was woefully out-of-date ($250 to update the map disc) and with current smart phone technology, rendered obsolete. Being the only driver of the car, I don’t need to adjust the seat all that often so I’m willing to use the manual pump to adjust the height of the seat and the release lever to adjust it’s placement. The bells-and-whistles I like and probably need are all standard on pretty much every car on the market today. I need automatic transmission. Good luck finding standard on anything that isn’t a sports car. I really like power steering because when it died on the old car on Tuesday, changing lanes was surprisingly difficult. ABS very useful when you’re not used to anything but. Power windows are nice because I don’t use the A/C and don’t want to have to reach over and manually open all four windows. But if I want conditioned air, it’s standard.
The one thing I did get was the upgrade package. It contains a rear-view camera, a touch-screen audio system, Bluetooth connectivity for my smart phone, a tonneau cover and heated front seats. I don’t care about the camera. I’d rather drive properly using mirrors and be a good driver, not a video game driver. The concept of a touch screen I don’t really like even though everything today has one. It was fun when it was a new technology but it doesn’t make sense to me. When my finger and hand is in front of a touch screen, I can’t see what I’m touching. I am capable of typing without looking at the keys and therefore there are very few fingerprints on my computer screen. The Bluetooth is useful. I’m on my phone a lot for work and I drive a lot for work. Being able to communicate hands-free will help me from getting those pricey tickets from the local constabulary. (Carmine got one on Wednesday. Yikes, them things is pricey.) I actually use the tonneau cover regularly. I don’t like people peering into trunk space of the car. The heated front seats are the one thing my passengers complain about when I give them free rides. (Yes I know, “You can always walk?”) Every time I would drive my mother somewhere in the winter, the first thing she’d do when she sat down in the car would be to reach for where the butt-warmer button would be but isn’t. “I keep forgetting. Your car doesn’t have butt warmers.”
It’s probably going to take a week or so before this car feels like it’s mine. It still feels like I’m driving a rental car. The new car smell is pretty strong. The tires are still shiny. The steering wheel and driver seat haven’t molded to my hands and buttocks yet.
Here’s the downside to this new car. The spare tire is underneath the trunk not on the back door so the interior storage space which is supposed to be greater is actually less because the tire is using up so much of it. I would actually use that stow-away storage space below the trunk for things like my hard hat, work boots, work gloves, fold-up dolly, snow brush, jumper cables and the ropes and cables and things to tie stuff to the roof rack. There’s no good place for space change. The old car has this handy little pocket left of the steering wheel which was the best thing ever for spare change. When I hit the drive-through for some coffee or something, the change was right there. It was probably the most intuitive feature I’ve ever seen in any car. The cup holders in this new car don’t have a removable lining. The old car had these rubber pockets that fit in the cup holders. They had some give to them to snuggley hug most any cup or bottle and because they were removable, cleaning was much easier. I would pop out the rubber liner, wash it in the kitchen sink then put it back. Now, if something gets in the cup holder, I have to get in there and scrub it clean.
Okay, seriously Toyota. Bring back that spare change pocket. That thing was the best thing ever.
Going through some old stuff, I mean old stuff. I found…
My Grade One report card!
In the program “We Belong to God,” WIGSF has become aware that it is through the life of the Spirit within us and among us that we learn to live as Jesus lived.
In languages, he has developed a broad reading vocabulary. He is able to formulate personal viewpoints about ideas and concepts in print and visual materials. He attends well during listening experiences. He is showing the beginning use of organizational patterns in story writing.
In mathematics, WIGSF is able to classify and to sort according to common characteristics. He identifies triangles, squares, circles and rectangles. He copies and continues patterns and makes designs. He completes and interprets bar graphs.
WIGSF has displayed an eager interest in the unit on dinosaurs. He has completed assignments enthusiatically.
WIGSF has made good progress this year. It has been a pleasure teaching him.
There you have it folks. I was promoted to Grade Two.