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Archive for May, 2011

Tuesday Business …

Courtesy: eeedwfff

I went to bed last night as the sun was coming up and the birdies were singing before I could get to sleep.  And it seemed as well, that the Seville construction site started up soon thereafter.

The Seville Project is the new condo expansion program just around the corner from here on Ste. Catherine’s Street, just a block up from our street. They are still in the foundation forming process which means they are driving piles into the ground from sun up till sun down. There is a huge crane on site that spins with precision accuracy over the site and the pile driver was in full swing today, all day.

I did not get a lot of sleep. It being the beginning of the month tomorrow, financial aide comes on the last day of the month, today. And since I was up with the birdies I decided to get as much done as I could this morning.

As soon as the grocery store opened I was off for a little supermarket safari. I like shopping in an empty store either in the morning or late at night, there isn’t usually a big crowd at either end of the day.

We’ve been eating very slim meals for the last five days, being the end of the month, money is still tight – we can’t seem to figure out how many bills to pay in order to keep prudent reserve in the bank for the end of the month. I no longer fear financial insecurity. I just roll with it nowadays. I got a few sundry items and came back home.

Then I decided that I should go take care of my Ram Q card renewal, since that came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Our health care cards here run for two years and they province sends us renewal forms in the mail prior to the card running out. Which meant I had to get photos taken and stamped. Everything is very official.

I headed down to Pharmaprix on Guy, because that’s where I got my photos taken the last time. I walked into the store and realized that when they revitalized the store they did away with the photo department. I wandered around a bit before I asked a clerk where the photo stop was now. The Post office (Canada Post) has branches in certain stores. That’s where the photo stop was. Official photos cost me $9.00 for two photos. I hate getting my picture taken. But it was ok.

Then I walked the photos and my renewal form to the CLSC Metro over at the Guy Metro that was painless. They said that my new card would come in 4 to 6 weeks. I have to drop labs in the next month and see the doc at the end of July around my birthday. I should have my card by my next doctors visit.

I came home and changed out. Have I mentioned that the weather has gotten progressively warmer over the last few days. The end of rain in the city has brought us warmer temps (it is 26c) at this hour. We don’t have AC in this apartment so trying to nap during the day is a task when it is balmy outside.

Not to mention how noisy it is during the day with a construction site next door to the building, a hotel delivery stop next door and the highway access just up the street. I attempted to nap for most of the afternoon but in the end I just listened to the BANG, BANG, BANG of the pile driver all afternoon.

I got out to the church a little earlier tonight because I needed to stop by another Pharmaprix to pick up my monthly meds haul on the way out. Since today was our business meeting, I needed to finish set up earlier than usual. it was a painless meeting with our new members which was nice to see.

We had a packed house for the meeting, we finished the chapter “to Wives” and had a lively discussion that went the entire period. We had 25 guests tonight which was good. We filled the kitty which was needed. We need to maintain prudent reserve in the bank for rent.

We have our topics selected for the next couple of weeks and one of our new members is going to make photo copies for the group for next week. The readings are still coming from the Big Book so it’s all good.

A very busy day was had by all. Hubby was in and out all day today running errands and taking care of his RA work with his prof at school. It’s good that he will have work over the summer to do, it will keep him busy.

Registration for summer classes isn’t until the 6th. I called today to inquire the specifics about registration because the academic office gave us post it notes that say my appointment is at 1:45 on the 6th, but doesn’t say where I am supposed to go, so in speaking to the registrars office they said there would be people at the school on that day to direct us where we are supposed to go. Summer registration is in person at the school, with immediate payment to be made at the time of registration.

For Fall and Winter, we can register online through the Dawson Portal from home and pay that way as well. I guess since there are few classes offered during the summer – they make you register in person to make sure you get your spot for term. I am only taking one class over the summer, a Mon/Wed Humanities class.

A good day was had by all.

Now some dinner and tv.

More to come, stay tuned…

Saturday Night Sundries …

Courtesy: Korybalski

The rain stayed away, at least for tonight, at this hour.

The week has been quiet. I got my final grades for the Winter term the other day. I at least made a good grade (80%) in my French studies for the major part of the final grade, although I did not fare well in my written and reading portion of the grade. I excelled in my final speaking interview which carried the bulk of the grade.

My prof said that she would except my grades in order to proceed to the next level for studies in the fall that being (008-009). So all in all this term was a great success.

We move on to Summer now and I will be taking a Humanities class on mon-Wed nights. Registration begins on the 6th. I am only taking one class over the summer. Yay !!!

On Thursday I had my phone shift at the general service office. It was a quiet day all around. I only got a handful of calls. A very uneventful day overall.

Tonight (Saturday) Rick decided that we would go to Laval for a meeting. It seems quite far to go for an hours time. We heard an old timer speak about service and love. Paying it forwards and remembering where we came from. It was good to get out of the city for the night.

Other than that there is not much else to report. Just gonna chill tonight and watch some tv.

More to come, stay tuned…


Tuesday Thoughts …

Courtesy: AllthatIam/Josh Stewart Photography

It was a good day. The rain stayed away, but it poured over night in the city. Lots to do today and everything happened at the same time, so it seemed. I had to get my appointment for summer school registration, thank God I left early because I waited in line to see an adviser for more than twenty minutes. We only had an hour this evening to get in and get a slip from the advisers department.

I got to the desk and checked in with my ID and I have my appointment for the 6th of June. Classes start on the 7th, so it will be a quick register and pay at the same time. As I was leaving the office the line was all the way down the hall from the main lobby area on the second floor down to the advisers desk. There must have been at least a hundred people waiting for their turn. This all was taking place from 5 o’clock to 6:30.

I left early because I usually get to the church around 5:30 to set up. I got there a little late today because of school. It was a quick set up, and I got to look through the class schedule and I am not pleased with the choices of class times over the summer.

Damned that the French course I need to take is a Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs class from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. SHIT !!!! The Humanities class I want to take is on Mon-Wed from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. It doesn’t look like there is any other way around this fucked up schedule.

This sucks …

We had a good showing for the meeting. I set out more tables and chairs and more seats on the sidebar and every seat was taken up. It was all well and good. We talked about “To Wives.” The discussion was good, we went the entire period.

I need to eat some dinner and chill out.

More to come, stay tuned …

Looking Out …

Courtesy: Thriller

I went to bed very early this morning, it is still night here. I went to bed as the sun was coming up in the East. After listening to the radio and hearing people getting prepared for the coming apocalypse. I have to say, I was waiting for some sign from God that something was going to happen, some tell tale sign that the end was really coming.

We had an eruption of a volcano in Iceland, nothing much there.

But I wondered how many people were waiting for the end to come? Millions of dollars spent bill boarding, tracking, preaching, people uprooting themselves from their lives in opt to move somewhere spectacular to wait out the last day with loved ones. People who are now homeless and penniless because they sold their houses, gave up all their money and quit their jobs because some “KOOK”  in a suit and a radio station made the end call for today. He’s 0 for 2.

I am waiting at this hour to see how many people become suicidal and those who are on the edge after giving up all they had for God to take them, there are surely a disenfranchised group of people out there tonight shaking their heads probably saying to themselves “how stupid was I to follow this man?”

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” – Mark 13:32-33

There will be time for explanations coming forth over the next few days and weeks. But for me and my house, we are still here. The end did not come, and another evangelical preacher is wiping egg off his face. I just pray for the people who fell for his teaching and followed him to the end of the earth who now have nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Religion is a double edged sword. Be careful the voices you follow. Because unless they have the 1-800 number directly to God, no one I know speaks with God’s voice or knows his bidding. Millions of people have been duped once again by a preacher reading the same bible I read. And he was WRONG AGAIN !!!

The last nap …

So, if we are being realistic, this afternoon I took my last power nap. Seeing tomorrow we are all gonna die, some of us have first class seats on the rapture express to heaven, and then the rest of us will be stuck here to live in hell until the end of the world in October.

I had only one thing on the table for tonight, and that was a meeting. I got up earlier today and farted around, I am not one for usual daytime tv, since I am a night person. So I checked my mail, did some surfing on the web and decided to take a three hour nap before having to get up and prepare to go out this evening.

I must have been channeling the apocalypse because I had this very vivid dream which I know I was dreaming because I brought it out into the waking state and it is still in the front of my brain at this hour.

I was on this planet and everything was laid wasted and I was on this continuum of movement. I was on this train of movement. And things around us were in flux and the more I moved forwards the more things were changing, being destroyed and being recreated at the same time. Everything around me was moving.

As we moved forwards I could see things being built again from scratch and forming here and there as I moved through this “space” then I was on the shore of the ocean and a bridge went up and we were building the bridge. Then we were back on land and pictures of things were passing us by. I could see the pictures and what they were, people and places. Then I was in this huge crafting room and watching markers and paints pass by and as they did, I could collect some of them for myself, I don’t know why I was collecting them, but I did.

The continuum kept moving forwards and I was on this moving platform. Then we moved through this manufacturing building making ovens and ice cream makers, I knew what they were because I once worked in an ice cream shop as a teen-ager.

It was all very colorful and weird at the same time. It just kept going on and on, and I was roped into my place on the line and I could see people I knew moving past me on other lines. It was all very strange.

Things were changing and moving. People were coming and going. I couldn’t stop people on their trains, as I could not stop mine. And as things were destroyed and recreated the colors were amazing – I kept noticing things that I recognized as I moved from here to there.

It was almost an astral projection. And maybe it could have been. I don’t usually bring forth technicolor dreams like this, I usually forget them quickly after waking. Maybe because the world is fixated on the end of the world, the dream stayed present.

*** *** *** ***

I got up when the alarm went off and I got in the shower and prepped to go.

I made all my connections and got to the meeting at half past eight. It was a good meeting. Tonight’s speaker was the fiance of the young man who spoke last Friday night at that same meeting. Just a couple years sober, her story was all over the place. It was insane. Listening to newbies speak is painful, add to that the fact that she is a slipper and is fresh in the program and she is telling her story and I was stuck there in this spot identifying with her on many topics that she brought up.

It all came out in the laundry. I did some of the same things she did in early sobriety. Some of those things are not recommended, but for some it works out. Hopefully this is the last time for her to get sober, she might not make it back again. And wouldn’t that be terrible since she is marrying a member in just a few months time.

Oh well, we hopes and prays for them.

That was my day.

More to come, stay tuned…

The End is Nigh …

What is Happiness ???

Photo Courtesy: Written Inc. My Friend Carmi – Noah Blue

This Academic Essay may not be copied, used or reproduced without permission of the author and is protected by Creative Commons License.

This was my final project in my World Views Class this term.

What does it mean to be happy? If you polled a hundred people with that question, you would get a hundred different answers. Every person in the world has a specific definition of what happiness means to them. There are a multitude of factors that come into play, and those factors also depend on the place each person lives. Different people and different cultures around the world place varying degrees of significance on the concept itself. Do we ever find true happiness or do we ask the real question ‘can happiness ever truly be achieved?’

In my worldview, I am content with my life as it has unfolded and I am as happy as I can be at the moment, the caveat here is ‘but there is always room for improvement.’ And I think that most people would say they are relatively happy. In any case, there are many ways to find happiness, and in some cultures, ways to cultivate happiness. Values differ from culture to culture when it comes to topics such as these, because the world is so vast and for every region of the world there are millions upon millions of people who strive every day to be happy, in one way or another.

Growing up in the United States I learned that only hard work and perseverance and the collection of things; cars, homes, objects and money over a lifetime would maybe result in a life of happiness. The painstaking trail of growing up, getting an education and finding ones place in the workforce was the way to guarantee a modicum of happiness. And if you found a partner along the way that would be a happy benefit. I spent thirty years in that grind of a life, moving from one economic bracket to another and in the end happiness eluded me.

Living with a terminal illness and facing my own mortality has taught me a few things about happiness. Most normal people in the world do not get this kind of in your face lessons for life so in a way, I am on a totally different journey than my healthy counterparts. I did not find that happy dream of a life in the U.S. so I closed up shop and came to Canada.

I began again that long journey to find a new definition of happiness. Over the last ten years I have cultivated, in my estimation, a happy life. I am seventeen years into a life sentence and I have never been happier with my life as it has unfolded over the last decade.

But what is true happiness? A life well lived, one day at a time, with people I love and friends that I adore. Happiness is a state of mind for me, contingent on my spiritual condition on any given day. Happiness is not in what objects I have collected or how much money I have in the bank. I have left behind that materialistic way of finding happiness for a much more simple way of living. And I think that is one of the biggest differences between my way of life and the lives of many I have met over my lifetime.

I have had to contend with a less than productive work life, in opt for a life of educating myself on my passions and I am still cultivating that life today. I have achieved many good things in my life thus far, and I am still on that journey to find ultimate happiness. At this point I don’t know if I will ever get to the magical ultimate destination of true happiness, so I must do with what I have and be happy with that. And I think that a majority of people would identify with this thought for themselves.

In every life, you reach a point that one tires of the ‘hunt for happiness,’ that every day slog through the motions trying to find ‘it’ whatever that ‘it’ may be. People who never learn the lessons about life they need to in one way or another will find themselves on a never ending rut of hunting and never finding.

Aristotle has a particular view on happiness. Stevenson and Haberman write, “There is an end to which we all seek for its own sake, and that is happiness. But how do we define happiness?” (Stevenson & Haberman, 2009, p. 98). For Aristotle that training to become good and virtuous people should begin at home in the early stages of life so that children are ‘trained up’ to become those people.

Good teaching as youths brings about the necessary changes that will insure that goodness and virtuosity continue on through the generations. In simple terms we can agree on the thought that in the end happiness can be translated in a word “fulfillment” (p. 98). But there are required processes to bring about this fulfillment.

The authors write about Aristotle, “(a) human fulfillment consists in activity, namely the exercise of our faculties, not in mere passive enjoyment; (b) that it must involve the use of our distinctively human rational capacity; (c) that this activity should be conducted “well and finely,” displaying the best, most complete kind of ‘excellence’ or virtue; and (d) that it should last over an extended lifetime” (p. 99).

Aristotle speaks about virtues, which are important in the actions of men and women. The finding of the means between two extremes. Too much in any one direction of the spectrum is not good in ‘less than’ or in ‘excess of’ the median. Aristotle mediates the extremes with virtue. A middle way, so to speak. Just the right amount of particular stress on what is right and good. We should mention some of the virtues Aristotle finds necessary in life.

They are prudence, temperance, courage and justice, open handedness and mildness. In Greek times, Aristotle was apt to add a few other virtues within his society of ancient Athens and they would be greatness of soul, munificence and finally littleness of soul (Stevenson & Haberman, 2009, pp. 100-101). Everything in a tremulous balance and not a drop overflowing. Finding this middle way is the route to fulfillment and in the end one will find happiness.

As a major in religious studies in university I have studied world religions across the board and I found that eastern religions bring a totally different take on practice, dogma and teaching. Unlike monotheistic religions eastern religions bring together many paths to achieving ultimate freedom from the shackles of life that keep us rooted to the spot, in a never ending cycle/drama of pain, suffering and loss.

Buddhist teachings tell us that there is a path to rid ourselves of suffering, a way to get off the cycle of pain and karma by purging ourselves of those things that keep us tied to the earth in the fashion that we find ourselves in. And for many, the purging of practices which keep us in this cycle of suffering and pain, is daunting.

Western cultures tend not to pay much attention to Eastern ways of thinking, if ever they think of them at all. Buddhism offers us that path, nonetheless. It may not be called the route to happiness, perse, but in ridding ourselves of unnecessary pain and suffering, the evidential end point could be called happiness. For the enlightened man and woman this end would be called nirvana.

In  Kindness, Clarity & Insight, the Dalai Lama writes about the four noble truths:

The four truths are two groups of effect and cause: suffering and their sources; and cessations of sufferings and the paths for actualizing those cessations. Suffering like an illness; the external and internal conditions that bring about the illness are the sources of suffering. The state of cure from the illness is the cessation of suffering and of its causes. The medicine that cures the disease is true paths.

(Gyatso, 2006, p. 30)

The virtues in Aristotle’s discussion and the eightfold path for Buddhism are similar. Finding the means between the extremes and finding the right path to live are common. Both processes involve years of training and practice. If you follow Aristotle’s middle way and find the ‘good’ path to live you will find fulfillment and happiness.

If in Buddhist terms you accept and learn the teachings of the Buddha one can free themselves of the chains that bind them. Aristotle finds the middle way to live, yet the Buddhist goes much further to bring about a spiritual transformation that encompasses an entire life. One path teaches us how to live, but doesn’t address suffering and pain, while the second gives us solutions to what ails the common man.

I believe that the Buddhist path to enlightenment and freedom is what appeals to me. I have studied this tradition over the years and find it very amenable to my life. I can follow the teachings and aptly apply those lessons to my life on a daily basis. I have learned how to navigate the middle way in my life. I am not tied to the cycle of pain any longer and the better I stay away from that cycle the closer I get to remaining happy and one day will evidentially find enlightenment.


Gyatso, Tenzin, the 14th Dalai Lama. (2006). Kindness, Clarity & Insight. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion.

Stevenson, Leslie, & Haberman, David L. (2009). Ten Theories of Human Nature. New York: Oxford University Press.

Totally Awesome Tuesday …

Courtesy: Flickr-Neamoscou

The rain stayed away, however, cloudy it has been and add to that it is cold outside, cold enough for coats. Just blustery, cold and wet as of late.

This photo is great for today’s topic. A group of nuns walking through St. Peter’s Square in Rome, at the Vatican. Today’s topic is all about women.

Sunday night I passed on a meeting in opt for staying at home and watching “Becoming Chaz” on the OWN network which was great. Then afterwards the Rosie O’Donnel interview with the cast and crew from the documentary.

Monday was just another day. Since I am on vacation for the next few weeks, I don’t have to worry about being anywhere on any given day. I got my grades for my World Views class and I did quite well. I got high marks on the final exam and as well on my final essay on “Happiness.”

Today I got all my errands done on the way to the church. I was running a bit late because I had to stop to buy coffee on the way and the checkout lines at Zeller’s were packed. Too bad they don’t have an express lane for 8 items or less.

And wouldn’t you know it, I get to the church and go into the cabinet and realize that we had an extra container of coffee in the back. I forgot to look last week before I came home, because I finished one container last week.

So we have more than enough coffee for the next couple of months.

Set up took me 45 minutes, and I hung out out front. And wasn’t I pleasantly surprised to see 23 people show up for the meeting, and over three quarters of those people were women. It is all very exciting. Tonight we had our best showing of guests. The room was packed, I will have to set out more tables and chairs next week to accommodate more people.

We finished the chapter “Working with others.” The discussion was really great, we all laughed and had a good time. At the end of the meeting I was counting up the kitty and I was surprised to have two of our guests asked to join the group. We gained two more members tonight, both of them women. This is a big deal since we haven’t had a woman on board with our group in a number of years. It was all very exciting. Now we are up to five members, then end of the month is a couple of weeks away, we can put people to work immediately.

I will need to find something good to read for next week. Hopefully this uptrend will maintain itself. That’s what we need. A core group of people to show up every week, so that we can keep the doors open and the rent paid.

That’s about all I have for the moment.

More to come, stay tuned…

Neon Trees …

Courtesy: Fakeblood

Have you seen that car commercial, the one with the catchy tune, the one that goes like this … “Oh Oh I want some more, Oh Oh what are you waiting for, take a bite of my heart tonight …”

This (car) commercial plays quite frequently here in Canada and it gets stuck inside your brain and goes on repeat. So I Googled that one phrase from the jingle and came up with Neon Trees and the song is called “Animal” from the album titled “Habits.”

Mystery solved …

I went online and found a copy of the album and downloaded it and now it rests nicely in my phone. A well placed piece of music can be music to the ears of any band who wants to get noticed.

The album is quite an upbeat set of tracks and fits nicely in my collection of odd, off the wall music. Since my phone goes everywhere with me a good portion of music sits on the replay queue.

Another night of what to do took me to Verdun for tonight’s meeting.

This little backwater meeting is small. No more than 20 people show up for the meeting on any given Saturday night, and hence, the pool of speakers is pretty small. People tend to stay where they live and go to meetings in the same area and communities usually don’t cross pollinate. So you don’t see many people from IN the City – go Out of the City to hit a meeting.

It is raining as I write, at almost 4 am. It has been raining for 24 hours and there is more on the way for the next six days. There is still a rainfall warning in effect for the city and surrounding areas. Rain is something that is not needed in many places like the South Shore.

I made some calls earlier to see who was traveling, Rick was staying home again tonight, kitty is still alive. So I got Dave on the line and we arranged to meet at the meeting earlier tonight.

Like I said, the meeting was small. I got to read. And we settled in for the main event, a speaker chosen by the chair. People in Verdun are simple folks. They live simple lives in simple houses or apartments and everybody in the area knows each other.

The speaker was a simple man, with a story of utter insanity, that went on and on and on. You know when someone gets up there if they have spoken before or ever for that matter. That’s what’s good about hitting these small backwater meetings because you get to hear stories that you wouldn’t get in a Big City meeting like in NDG or the East End.

After the meeting I got back on the train and came home.

*** *** *** ***

Not much else to report tonight, I am headed to bed shortly to read a bit before bed.

Oh, have you heard that Jesus is coming on the 21st. The countdown to the rapture is upon us. Dave told me tonight at the meeting that he saw cars and winnebagos decorated with rapture signs on them driving through the city.

Have I given my life to Jesus recently? Will I meet my maker next week ???

That’s the question. What will all these people do when rapture comes and nothing happens. All that wasted time and money. Let’s just say that a lot of people will have some explaining to do next Monday when they have to go back to work and face their peers.

I haven’t heard from God about this rapture coming, so who knows.

If the rapture comes, will you be ready??? Better get that last will and testament written and notarized soon.

Ok, I’m off. more tomorrow.

I missed my stop …

Courtesy: Guysnsocks

They say it’s gonna rain, and rain and rain some more. There is a severe rain warning in effect for the next 24 hours…

The weather seems to be cooperating at this time though.

Last night I headed over to St. Matthias for a meeting and the crowd was sparse and the message came from a newbie only a few months sober. I remember what it was like to be all over the place.

Today was a quiet day. I have been burning the late night oil it seems, I sit here on the web for hours every night doing odd things here and there. Farmville has been keeping us busy for the last few days with the release of several new buildings and quests.

I spoke to my sponsor earlier in the day – socks is still hanging on, Rick has decided to get a second and third opinion about his medical issues. Tomorrow he sees another vet to see if there is a future for socks or else should he be put down.

I took a trip to NDG this evening for a meeting at Friday West End. I usually stand up front on the bus so as not to miss the stop at Hingston, but I got to the line up too late and the bus was packed so I was far in the back of the bus.

We took off from Vendome and I was paying attention to the buildings on Sherbrooke and at one point I thought that we’d gone a bit too far down the line and that I missed my stop. So at that point I got off the bus at a stop and looked around, it wasn’t familiar to me so I got back on the bus and swiped my card and decided to ask the driver if we passed Hingston, and she was less than helpful. most bus drivers don’t know their own routes well enough to say where they were at any given moment on the drive.

I surmised that I was a few blocks down from where I needed to be so I started walking back up Sherbrooke to Hingston. There is an SAQ (liquor store) and a Dunkin doughnuts on that specific corner and a T.D. bank.

I usually spot the stop on the way down, however it was darker than usual out because of the weather. I was about 4 blocks off and so I walked back up. i’ve been having issues with my legs here and there, with pain like fire when I walk sometimes. It happened again tonight. I had to stop every few hundred feet to let the fire go away it was nerve racking.

I finally got to the church and saw some folks I knew. I left with plenty of time to get there reasonably early, even with missing my stop and such. It was a packed house. All the chairs were used tonight.

The speaker was a couple years sober and his message was great. He is getting married in July so it was all exciting to hear the good news. At the end of the meeting two members took cakes. One 14 years and the other 19 years. There is a lot of sobriety in that room.

I didn’t stay for cake. I got back down to the bus stop and there were people waiting for the bus. It would not come for another 20 minutes. Several people hailed a cab, choosing not to wait for the bus.

I got back to Vendome and caught the train back into town and changed trains at Lionel Groulx. We were on the orange line coming in and there was a green line train waiting on the opposite track with doors open. So we all ran across the platform only to hear those dreadful three tones which meant that there was a stop in place on the green line.

The train sat for a few minutes and then got underway. I got home around 11:15 from the trip.

It was an ok night, a little wet on the way back, but no downpour.

That’s all for now, more to come, stay tuned…

Lost in Translation …

Courtesy: Ministry of Pleasure

It is a mixed bag today. It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Last night I had my final interview for my final grade in French. The prof gave us the work sheet well in advance to work on our translations and story telling abilities. We had to bring photos of a vacation that we enjoyed in the past. We then had to answer questions regarding the trip itself. A second topic was about our daily habits and what we did during our days and nights. The last topic was questions about our health situation.

My skills at writing are less than acceptable, my speaking skills are better than my written skills, even a year in, I favor my speaking ability. And the prof says that stuff like this happens when studying a language.

I’ve been making good use of Google Translate to work on my skills. In stead of breaking my back trying to translate my English into French, I use a computer program. On Sunday night I wrote up my script, it was a page long. I had hubby check my translation for mistakes or language errors. He amended my script for me because the program isn’t perfect translation.

I studied that script like a madman, trying to memorize what I had written, and I even went as far as to write flash cards with short notes that I could look at during the interview.

My appointment was for 7 o’clock last night. So I went to school 45 minutes early to sit and read, re-read such and so forth. Some of my classmates were there studying themselves.

I went into the interview with my vacation photos and sat down. I had my script with me which I placed face down on the desk, and it started. The prof started asking me questions which I answered in French, that was working for me so she kept going. The more questions she asked me the easier it got for me to talk to her. And so it went like that for almost fifteen minutes. Script be damned – I did not look at it or my notes once. So much for studying.

She went through all the topics from the sheet, including the health questions, which I really did not want to have to discuss. How do you explain AIDS in French? I tread lightly on the topic of HIV and she looked saddened when I said the words. That passed rather quickly.

She said I did very well and that she was happy with my progress. I had a few speaking issues like past and present verbs – I can never get them right all the time. But I got through alright.

So classes are over for me now. I have a few weeks off before the summer term beings at the end of May. I have to make an appointment to register for summer.I was very pleased with this term. It went much better than the last term, and I enjoyed my classes much better as well.

*** *** *** ***

I set off for the meeting around 5 tonight. It was nice out so I took the overland route up to the church. I had plenty of time to set up and pick what readings we were going to study tonight.

I got a call from my sponsor saying that he would not be coming to the meeting tonight because one of his cat’s are very sick and he is going to put him down tomorrow afternoon. Very sad indeed.

So it was Dave and I to run the meeting and break down afterwards. It was looking thin on the ground as 7 o’clock was coming quickly and eventually about a dozen people came in at the last minute. We read from the Big Book, chapter 7, Working with Others. It was a lively meeting with lively discussion. One of the members brought a loaf of banana bread for people to snack on and baked goods always go over well.

After the meeting everyone pitched in, in helping me break down the hall so I got home just about 9. I called my sponsor when I got home and we chatted for a bit about kitties and anniversaries. Hopefully he will be up for the party that we are supposed to attend tomorrow night. We’ll see tomorrow.

Classes are over and I am officially on vacation, Yay …

I got a friend request tonight from a friend I haven’t seen or heard from in over 25 years. It seems that my family (what’s left of it) is coming together on Facebook. It is quite a treat to see people from my childhood. My extended family is growing from friends I grew up with to include some of the adults that raised kids the same age I was once. It’s all good.

 That’s all for tonight.

More to come, stay tuned…

Saturday Night …

Courtesy: Guysnsocks

It was a good day. Lots of sun a little breezy and thankfully, no rain. Rivers on the south shore are beginning to recede but the army is still sandbagging and helping residents cope with high water levels.

The gang of three got out to Verdun Saturday night tonight. It’s a small meeting and the cast of characters are always fun. The artist was on tap to speak again tonight, he did a good job. It was good to get out and see friends.

A good night was had by all.

Tomorrow I need to work on my script for Monday night.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned. more to come.

Friday Night …

Courtesy: FYTattoos

The clouds blew through earlier tonight, but it did not rain. This is what Montreal and the South Shore need right now. Hundreds of homes are flooded out and the army is sandbagging all over the south shore tonight.

It was a good day. I got my registration letter for school today they say that we can register for fall in early August. I need to find out when summer school registration starts or if it starts at all. I don’t know what I would do if I had the entire summer off, that would be a first in more than eight years of studies.

None of the gang of three was available for a meeting tonight, and I was going to pass on a meeting myself but hubby is on a down and being miserable lump so I decided to hit Friday West End in NDG tonight.

It was a 9 o’clock start which gave me plenty of time to get there with time to spare. The place was packed as usual. I got to read How it Works and that is always fun to read something at a meeting.

The speaker was a very tall man who was a couple of years sober, but he had a great share. We all laughed and had a good time. At the end of the meeting two members took their cakes. One of the women at the meeting took a twenty year cake that coincided with her 50th birthday. She got up there and started off strong and ended in a hail of tears and tissues. The other woman was sober much longer, she was taking a 38 year cake. Through the thick of sobriety and hard times you can always count on the community to support you. It was a great night with lots of cake and conversation.

I saw some old friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. That was good. A good night was had by all, after cake and coffee I came home for a late dinner. Tomorrow maybe I will go shopping, we’ll see.

More to come, stay tuned…

Cramming …

Courtesy: MindState

On my phone – Listening to Keane Hopes and Fears …
Somewhere only we know…

It’s 3 a.m. and I am sitting here … I watched all my You Tube videos that were new, I tumbled a hundred pages and found nothing that moved me to post. I have watched all the shows I want to watch tonight. A little Discovery and a little BIO – Celebrity Ghost Stories.

So I opened up this page and I thought I’d write something before I went to bed. It was a good day, albeit it is raining – lots of rain and more rain.

This is the last week of classes for me, YAY !!!

I had a 1500 word essay due and a final exam earlier tonight in World Views. My essay was on “What is happiness – Aristotle and Buddhism” I cranked that paper out in less than two days. I had to make sure that I did not screw up this paper like I screwed up my last long paper and failed hugely …

Most of the paper was free written. I only used a few quotes from the textbook and from Kindness, Clarity and Insight by the Dalai Lama. I think I did ok.

I printed up the final exam study sheet the other day but I never looked at it until Monday night. I did not start working on it until Tuesday night, which left me only a couple of days to study it correctly. I don’t recommend that you follow that example. But last night and today I crammed up the ass for the exam that I wrote earlier.

I got up today with plenty of time to study, if I was doing it right. I wasn’t terribly concerned with the exam, because most of the questions on this sheet were the same as the last mid term exam, so I had already done the study sheet so that took the edge off.

Around 4 I thought, I was a little tired, so I went to take a nap for an hour to gather my thoughts and rest my brain. I got up and got ready to go which left me with about half an hour before class to look over my study sheet before the exam.

When Brian walked into class and started handing out the exam, he said that there would be no surprises and that it was easier than the last exam. I sat back and waited for my packet.

It was a few pages deep. Multiple choice, short answer, a few short essay questions and three major essay questions of 250-300 words a piece.

I cranked through the exam faster than I had imagined. The short essay questions were a little tougher – I’m not sure how I did on those. Then it came to the three major essay questions and we got to choose two of the three to answer.

I wrote as much as I could on the two topics. About a page each single spaced, I noticed that two people got up and handed in their exams before I finished mine and I was like, whoa – that was quick. I was third person up to hand in my exam. It was easier than the last exam. I am sure I did ok.

It was like 7:20 when I left the college and I was out of Alexis Nihon by 7:30 and I thought maybe I would hit St. Matthias, but it was raining and I did not want to walk all the way back in the other direction and up the hill in Westmount, so I continued on the way home.

We had subway for dinner. Nom Nom Nom…

So I’ve been chilling out here all night, Thursday night is hubby’s tv night to watch all his silly sitcoms. While I just sit here and dawdle on the computer.

Now I have one more project to finish for the 9th in French. I have to write up my script and gather my photos for the final French interview. We had a writing test the other night which I am sure I bombed, even though I did my best. We had too  many exams in this session of French.

For the most part I am done with this semester. It went much better than the last semester. I enjoyed these classes better than last term. Now I am waiting for the summer schedule to come out because the government makes you take summer school in order for them to pay out for the next calendar year beginning in September. UGH !!! Kill me now …

There is one more French class I need to take in this series then I can move into mainstream classes in regular community. These  introductory classes are for new speakers, I am two in with one more to go.

So that was my day.

Hopefully this weekend I can get out and do some impulse shopping at Indigo, I need some new books to read. So what are all you reading this summer? I’ve got a list of books to buy from my friend Will who is doing a summer 15 read again this year. It took him a year to read the last 15 books on his read list. I don’t have that kind of money to go out and buy 15 books in one clip. I usually buy mine two a trip. We’ll see if they carry the books on my read list.

More to come, stay tuned…

Trudeau ‘undecided’ about Liberal leadership

Courtesy: CBC.ca

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau says he’s undecided about whether he wants to replace Michael Ignatieff as leader of their party following its historic defeat in Monday’s federal election.

The party’s disastrous results, which saw Prime Minister Stephen Harper secure a majority government and installed the NDP as the Official Opposition, cost Ignatieff his job.

Trudeau, one of only 34 re-elected Liberal MPs, said in an interview Wednesday on CBC News Network that the results were difficult to watch, but not entirely surprising. He said the Liberal party “has been in trouble for a number of years,” because it hasn’t been able to connect with Canadians.

“We saw this coming, although not this bad,” Trudeau said.

After being reduced from 77 to 34 seats, Ignatieff announced Tuesday that he is resigning as leader of the party. Ignatieff lost his seat in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. The Liberals will meet as a caucus next week and choose an interim leader to head the party until a leadership convention is held.

When asked if he’s interested in the job, Trudeau responded that he wants to see the Liberal party get strong again. “I’m undecided, to be bluntly honest. I don’t know whether me being leader is the answer,” he said.

Trudeau said that because of his name and the legacy associated with it through his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, “a lot of people are turning to me,” and that it “concerns” him.

“Because the work that needs to be done is work on the ground. It’s not going to be fixed by picking a cute leader or the right leader or whatever. It’s going to happen by us putting our nose to the grindstone and really, really leaning into it, and right now I’ve committed and I am committed to making sure that the Liberal Party does those things,” said Trudeau, who was first elected in 2008.

“I honestly don’t know if me as leader is something that would help the party or the country,” he said.

Trudeau said that with two young children, he would have to take his family into consideration when making any decision about going for the leadership.

“I’m not sure that I can be the leader I want to be and be the father I want to be at the same time at this point in my life,” he said.

Trudeau said among the challenges that lie ahead in rebuilding the Liberal party is fundraising, and he acknowledged that the Conservatives are far better at it than Liberals.

Rebuilding the party is going to be even more challenging with fewer MPs on Parliament Hill, he added. He also said that knowing 43 of his colleagues won’t be returning to Ottawa with him was one of the most difficult parts of Monday night.

He called their defeats a “collective failure.”

“We all failed together in making sure that our values, our vision for this country, which I know is shared by an awful lot of Canadians, but wasn’t chosen on election night,” he said.