Jun. 8th, 2009

shoebox_dw: (hp snape get off me)
OK! So now that we've established that I vanish from people's thoughts the instant they take their eyes off the page...

Seriously, I'm not particularly bothered. The first and only question was probably going to be 'why do you keep asking for feedback when you manifestly aren't doing anything lately to deserve it?' and then I'd have to pull out the  'awww, pity poor me, I got a cold on my vacation and am sitting here sniffling as we type' card, and nahhh..

So, moving on now.

I did just get back from a weekend in Montreal. Sniffling all the way, but it was still so totally worth it. It was originally supposed to be a four-girls-together deal with Shoemom and the -sisses, but - as usual with our plans - things started crumbling with all the uncanny precision of a mathematical formula. Do we all want to go? Well, if we can't decide on that, maybe we should all stay around here and do something exciting - get tickets to a show, and dinner afterward? Whoops, we've been dithering about seat prices too long, show's out. How about we make appointments for a manicure? Oh, maybe that should happen a bit closer to the assembly...

The rewards of experience: very early on in this process I grabbed my stake and held on to it, through accusations of selfishness, unreasonableness and being anti-family, and the net result was that I spent a fab weekend roaming around drinking mochas in open-air cafes, visiting art museums and eating filet-mignon panini sandwiches, while everybody else...visited the local zoo with the nephews. I'm still debating whether to tell the one sister what a find the cheap little hotel she discovered turned out to be.

Not that I realised this while hiking up to it with my pack on my back, reading the billboard on the club down the way: Hommage a Metallica Aux Alcoholica. Rough translation: Oh, man, what the Hell have I got myself into?

It got better, though. A lot better. If Toronto is the civic equivalent of a marriage - quiet, conscientious, dignified - then Montreal is the random fling; life lived right out to the hilt, scruffy and exuberant and quite incredibly sophisticated. To the Quebecois mind there are just so many more interesting things ahead of caring about details like...oh...wearing a bra, for instance. Beautiful black woman coming down the street towards me at one point, tall, angular, dressed impeccably in a blue business suit with the jacket open to show her tight sweater...like something out of Matisse by way of Gauguin.

You cannot be shocked - or rather you can, but there's no point, because caring about your shock is even further down on the list. So your best bet is to just go with it, to learn to appreciate the myriad ways that joie de vivre is worked into everyday living. I don't know if I could handle it on a continual basis, what with being a deep-dyed Anglo-Saxon and all, but as a weekend fantasia it was splendid. How is it possible that we should ever want to lose a place in which, having purchased a box of chocolates, the salesgirl casually mentions that the boxes are all hand-painted by 'the artist we're currently showing'  - gesturing at the walls, whose abstract prints do indeed match the one on your box?

Thus the weekend, and also some really great chocolate. Thing is, here I am now at home, the last day of the hols, meant to be a space in which I regroup and gear up for the eleventy-billion emails I'm facing tomorrow (at least ten billion of which will be 'Why didn't you handle this incredibly important thing before you left?!?)...and I'm feeling more like I could use another week. I just can't get untracked, somehow. I'm still sniffling, it's gray and drizzly outside, and the apartment's still a bare disorganised mess, and...and...grumblemopegrrrmuffleschmff.

I think I need some more chocolate.

shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
Another Bob & Ray transcript, mostly because I'm desperate for amusement today. Also it may entertain the UK readership - I wouldn’t have thought the birth of Prince Charles would’ve inspired so much excitement among the republicans, especially not ones broadcasting so close to Bunker Hill monument, but there you go.

After exhausting the baby’s sex, weight and ‘last name’ as discussion topics (“…but Philip’s not a Windsor, is he?”) the November 15th, 1948 Matinee episode segues into a mock program lineup for the BBC, complete with painstaking Professor Higgins-style diction. Which I can't duplicate on the printed page, unfortunately, but as an artifact of inter-allied relations, it’s still…well, it’s something.

Ray: Oh, I say, this is the overseas service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Cheerio!

Bob: We’ll have talk at twenty-one hundred hours.

Ray: Talk on the new prince, bless his 'eart.

Bob: Gramophone recordings from twenty-two hundred hours.

Ray: There’ll be a nature talk by Sir Cyril Bludd at thirteen-thirty hours.

Bob: Then we’ll have a program called ‘English for the Morons’ at one hundred – er – oh-one…hundred…[trails off, grumbling]

Ray: Sir Chauncey Dimwit will play the oboe for a half-hour.

Bob: Right. Basil Brain and the BBC Trio will give out with sparkling rhythms from the cinemas at oh-four hundred hours.

[Break for Fatima cigarettes commercial - a real one - starring Basil Rathbone.]

Bob: And now to continue with our program roundup for the North African Service…

Ray: Oh, I say, are we still rounding up, and all that sort of thing?

Bob: Yes, yes, still rounding…[trails off, grumbling] We’ll have gramophone recordings at oh-two-hundred hours.

Ray: Oh, I say, that’s jolly.

Bob: Yes, a jolly program.

Ray: Followed by a five-minute roundup of the weather.

Bob: And then we'll have the highly interesting ‘Fun With Algebra’ program.

Ray: Followed by a five-minute review of the weather.

Bob: Then we’ll have talk.

Ray: And gramophone recordings.

Bob: Followed by more talk.

Ray: A rock-garden talk.


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