Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When the extra rent of a nice building is worth it (an illustrated guide)

(1) When a large fissure in your ceiling forms and starts to leak water into the hall.

(2) When enough water drips from said fissure to fill your largest mixing bowl.

(3) When the damage spreads to your roommate's bedroom wall, the bathroom ceiling, and the living room ceiling.

(4) And when a large portion of the wall experiences separation anxiety.

The maintenance people were super-prompt, and have been really polite and great about fixing everything. The upstairs neighbours... not so much.

And (5) They're putting in a gym. That we can use for *free*. Hurray!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sometimes life *is* like Sex and the City

You know the end of the opening sequence to Sex and the City? When Carrie is walking down the street all stylish and then a BUS comes out of NOWHERE and splashes her and her tutu with water?

Picture that, but with icky Montreal slush, a bigger wave of it, and no tutu.

At least my coat is semi-waterproof.

This occurred on my way to go skating at the old Port. It was a fun afternoon, even though I took a spill and landed on my knees. I thought it was fine, it only hurt a little. Then I woke up this morning:Notice how the left knee is visibly larger and purple-er than the right knee. Ouch!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Montreal in the Winter

Here are some city pictures that I took during a brief spell of good weather.

I love my walk home.

This is the balcony for the building where I work. It's symmetrical on the other side. There are picnic tables hidden under all the snow.

The cityscape as viewed from walking down Atwater.

Still Atwater, but in this shot you can see my two favourite Tudor-style buildings.

Is there psychotherapy for cats?

.. or maybe just drugs?

I think Twiggy has gone off the deep end.

She's been running up and down the hallway for the last 20 minutes. She just snuck into my room to spy on me. If I hadn't caught her disappearing black tail and heard the telltale thrumming of tiny paws on hardwood flooring, her stealth probably would have been complete.

Earlier this morning, she scared the pants off me. She snuck into my room while I was dutifully working on my papers (and NOT reading about submitting novels to Harlequin Presents) and I turned around to find her sitting on my rug. Staring at me.

I snapped the following pictures, because even though it was scary and she was covered in dust she looked pretty cute. She actually tolerated the camera in her face for a few minutes before running off. Something is definitely wrong with her.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reasons that public transit shouldn't run early in the winter

#1: If you miss it (as you are liable to do), you're sitting out in the cold until the next one

#2: If the margin of "it could be early" is more than five minutes before it's supposed to come, you're sitting out in the cold for long enough to get cranky and frostbitten. 

#3: If you happen to be almost early enough, you can't run for it because the sidewalks are covered with ice so even a slow walk is perilous

#4: If the bus in question runs less frequently than every 15 minutes, this escalates from being annoying to being a reason to go home and get back in bed.

If the city wants to encourage more people to take public transit, make it less of a trial. I know they can do it. 

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fashion Memo #1

Dear people of Montreal,

I've noticed an embarrassing trend in the winter months. It's the winter athletics version of walking into work on Monday with bar stamps all over the backs of your hands:

Stylish (or at least warm): Ski jacket

Tacky: Ski jacket + ancient lift pass hanging from pocket

Rule of Thumb: If the ticket is no longer useful, it has to go.



Thursday, March 6, 2008

Myths of City Living

Since reading "Bright lights, big ass" I've been thinking a lot about how the glamourous city life is often so so far from reality. And not just because I can't afford a single pair of designer shoes.

This morning, for example. It was excellent until I left the house (early!). I'd done my makeup, flat-ironed my hair, was rocking a super-cute outfit, life was good. I was at the bus stop (early!) and waited around for the bus, until it arrived on time.... but packed. Even though I was one of the first people waiting, I ended up at the back of the line to get on. Everyone boarded, and then I was holding out my pass and the bus driver closed the doors. Seriously. He drove off, leaving me standing there in a snowbank. First of all, I'm not that big. I'm pretty sure I would have fit. Second of all - I was there FIVE MINUTES EARLY. The people who show up late should be the ones who have to stand out in the cold another 15 minutes.

Needing something to life my spirits, I decided to spend my 15 minutes wisely and grab a comfort latte at Starbucks. I was standing waiting for the drink at the bar when I saw the next bus pass by, almost empty, FIVE MINUTES EARLY. I got my drink, resigned to going to the subway station a block south to wait for the next one somewhere warm. Once outside, I noticed the bus that had passed was very delayed at the stop half a block north. There was a giant snow bank between the people area and the road. Little old ladies can be slow climbing snowbanks. I was pretty sure I could make it, so I hustled, sloshing latte all over my gloves as I ran. Then, the second bus within touching distance pulled away from me without letting me board. Time to kill another 15 minutes.

I spent them cold and in the bus shelter.

When I got off the bus (not too crowded, but I'd still had to stand), snow clearance was going on in earnest. My commute ended with me running up a packed snow hill away from a fast approaching snow plow.

Observation #1- I'm never making fun of tractors in rural places again.

Observation #2 - I'd like to see any of the sex and the city girls OR jen lancaster pull that off in cute heels.

Observation #3- When it takes an hour to pull off a 10-15 minute commute, you have a problem.