Wrapped Up In Books

A blog whilst waiting for my flight to Heathrow

My visit home was a whirlwind. Two and a bit weeks flew by so much faster than I anticipated or wanted it to.

My sweetheart of a mother took two weeks vacation to hang out with me, and I spent the majority of my time with her (and not on my thesis).

Major highlights were meeting my new dog, Ella, getting to see R and my grandma a lot, seeing S after we both took our respective exoduses from Toronto, playing our baby grand again, and seeing The Weakerthans. Of course, I was so glad to see the people (Torontonians and Ancastrians alike) whose schedules converged with mine, too.

Ancaster is a bit of a soulsuck to live in. The diversity is minimal and I fear that the people who haven’t yet moved away may be prone to live their entire lives in that monotony (n.b.: it’s what I perceive as monotony; I’m sure it’s just fine for other people and I don’t mean to come across as being offensive). People pontificate about ‘losers on welfare’ at the main gym (Phoenix Fitness – there really isn’t anything more Ancaster than that) and offend apparently nobody. There is just one pub that doesn’t bore me to tears (The Coach and Lantern) and another that I avoid at all costs (The Brassie) because it’s a perpetual high school reunion there, and it’s too much of a mixed bag for me. It still has its upsides; the beautiful Bruce Trail has terrific hiking, and the absence of homelessness and prolificness of in-ground pools should earn the town a moniker of ‘a Shangri-La for Surburbia’.

Going back to Toronto opened the floodgates of emotion for me. It felt as if I’d never left. Sushi for dinner, brunch at Grapefruit Moon, strolling through Kensington for my weird vegan ingredients (nutritional yeast flakes), drinking on a back patio in near-freezing temperatures, going to a random art gallery opening and meeting a childhood acquaintance who I last saw at our mutual friend’s bat mitzvah nearly 12 years ago. This is just an average weekend though it stretched to extraordinary lengths when so many of my friends from undergrad were able to reunite for (a veg(etari)an) dinner at Fresh and we dined by candlelight for Earth Hour.

I can’t wait to move back.

Ella and Sam, aka, Salmonella

Ella and Sam, aka, Salmonella

Of course, a visit to nearly-springtime southern Ontario wouldn’t be complete without one last snowfall, as seen from my front door.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

The Great White North

I’m now home in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, and am finally resetting my circadian rhythms to better sync up with that of the Eastern Standard.  Getting here was quite the labour; I woke up at 4am GMT on Friday to catch my 6.30am flight to London Heathrow, then had a layover (with a fellow Canadian, a Newfie) until noon.  I popped a couple sleeping pills which did little to alleviate the sounds of the phlegmy jerk who was sitting in the seat behind mine on the plane to Toronto (I decided, after he snorted snot for the tenth time, to tell him that if he needed a tissue, he should please ask for one.  Literally a minute later, he taps me on the shoulder and offers me the tissue; I tell him ‘no, it’s YOU who needs it.’ For this effort, two Francophone women gave me looks of admiration and a quick thumbs-up).

The flight is daylight the entire ride over, and all my meals consisted of something+beans (beans+rice, chickpeas+hummus in a tiny pita, some kind of beanish snack, and a crappy UK-style soy pudding) which made me feel not great. I’d only slept about 2 hours before going out as I went to a gig the night before with my friend, M, who is due for surgery in a few hours. He’ll be convalescing in Birmingham for a month after this, so it’ll be awhile before I see him again. Needless to say, my baseline wasn’t brilliant.

After landing a half-hour early at Pearson International (or, in lazy terms, YYZ), I stood in line for Customs for 45 minutes while pondering whether I’d claimed the correct amount for gifts I’d brought in (a massive underestimate, I realised later), and well, I’ll be more observant of liquor allowances in the future so I don’t have to go for truthiness over truth.

Both of my parents were working on Friday until 5pm, so I offered to take a really long route home to make it a little more convenient for them. I’d been traveling for 14 hours by this point (and awake for 16) and figured that a few more hours wouldn’t kill me. So I took the shuttle bus to the subway, then rode from Kipling station to Union, where I waited for 30 minutes for a train to Hamilton. I met my dad in the station there at 7.30pm EST and nearly cried because I was so g-d tired.

I went to my Grandma’s house (where she had picked up cider for me – what a dear – but I was beyond wanting to drink), then went home and crashed at 10pm (3am GMT).

I think I’m back on schedule now, and in the next few days I’ll get my act together to update the blog about St Paddy’s in Dublin, being home, and so forth.  So stay tuned, amigas and amigos.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

I hate it when people think they’re being clever when they call me Pokaroo.
January 13, 2009, 4:24 pm
Filed under: A, youtube of the day | Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Nota bene:  Unless you were raised in Ontario, you will probably not understand this context.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

Since ‘Shortbus’ I can’t look at Sook-Yin Lee the same way.

“When am I going to see you again?”
“I don’t know, I’m like Pokaroo.”
“Who’s Pokaroo?”

I would see this in a heartbeat.  Something to fill the Toronto-shaped void in my heart.

Copyright © 2008 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.