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Sunday Sundries – Paris, People, and the End of Provigo

parisThe sanctity of life has once again, been forgotten.

When a group of well organized jihadists scheme, plan, and execute an attack on innocent people, they further prove that men of radical bent, will kill with impunity, with No regards to human life, No religion, and No creed.

They are killing in the name of corrupt ideology.

They are not killing in the name of Islam.

And they surely are not killing in the name of the Prophet, Peace be upon Him.

I kept my counsel until now, because I wanted to watch how the rest of the world framed this atrocity on human life. To see if there would be a backlash on Muslim people, and what kind of repercussions would take place.

One mosque in Ontario was burnt to the ground over the weekend.

I’ve relied mostly on European new agencies for news so that I would not get the taint that Western media tends to spin on any given subject.

The questions have been posed. Who did this, Why, Who funded them, and how did they plan and execute human atrocity and nobody was none the wiser. It did not blip on any radar, no security services had been alerted before hand.

And I read that the French Security services HAD dropped the ball.

The odd parking ticket, left at the club, where almost a hundred lost their lives, led to a hot bed of Jihadi men. Someone is going to pay, dearly.

The nationalities of the victims are coming to light, which then invites international scrutiny and investigations, in addition to the French authorities and French Security Services.

If the war had not been ramped up yet, it will now.

Here in Canada, the official Conservative opposition party, has put a motion forwards to our young rookie Prime Minister, to change his tack, and instead of pulling our air fighters from the Syrian theatre, to keep them there to assist in the destruction of Is.

The world is interconnected. We are one human family. We cannot say that we are not sad, or that we are unmoved.

We must speak up as One People and say “Je Suis Paris …”

Here in Montreal there has been an outpouring of sadness and solidarity over the weekend. Our community has marched in the streets, gathered at the French Consulate, and have spoken out as one in saying that we feel for Paris, and that we are here.

Canada is not immune to terrorism. But we are oceans and miles away from the center of action. And I guess that somewhat insulates us from the broader conflict. But does not make us immune to that “one off” lone wolf attack.

People still go about their business. But I sense that our community is a bit more aware of their surroundings, when out and about. You never know when the next hit is going to come, or from where.

We send all of our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris and to France at large.

You are never alone. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

The scourge of jihadi terrorism will not win. We will find you and we will kill you.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

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

It was an uneventful weekend here. I am still in rest mode. I did what I had to do over the weekend. I spent time with friends, went to a few meetings, and rested in between.

Tonight was a big night in Montreal Sobriety.

Our humble Sunday Niters Group celebrated 52 years of being a meeting tonight.

In time speak, we are one of just a handful of meetings in the city that are so old. We have an illustrious history, and many old timers who were part of earlier incarnations of our meeting came tonight to celebrate with us.

14 years ago, Sunday Niters was located in a grand church names Saint Jame United, which is on the East end of town near Place Des Arts. The room had vaulted ceilings and a large kitchen with double ovens and counter space. Back in the day we had two meetings. One, a Step Discussion meeting, and Two, a Speaker meeting.

The holiday’s were the best back then, because we cooked massive Christmas Feasts and we fed hundreds of people, in the meeting and off the streets. It WAS the place to be at Christmas.

In 2009, we moved from the East end to our present location, St. Leon’s Church in Westmount, which is just shyly west, of Downtown Montreal. I am just a fifteen minute walk away.

We carried two meetings for a while, until numbers dropped off to far, and we dropped our speaker meeting opting for our single Literature Discussion.

One of our elder men spoke, then we discussed the Home Group. Afterwards there was a feast of food and drink and cake.

It was the first time in my memory that we had this big a turn out.

A good time was had by all.

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

There has been a rumor running around our neighborhood for the past few weeks. On the way out to a meeting one Thursday night, we met up with a friend who worked in our Provigo, just downstairs.

I had commented to her that (over Thanksgiving) that the selection of good had changed to no name brands across the store. I had noticed that many of the name brands I purchase on a regular basis, had been phased out, for yellow box, no name same.

Her reply was, “they are going to close the store.”

Tonight, on the way out, I had to get some soda for the celebration. Now, I know all the cashiers on first name basis. And as I cashed out, she said to me, “will you miss us?” And I asked her why, and she replied, “they are closing the store on January 6th.”

I was like W.T,F.???

The stores lease is up and the Toyota dealership that owns the building, is taking over the space. There is a car dealership, just across the street from the Provigo. Upstairs, above the grocery store is the Toyota service center.

There is going to be a massive move of sites, and the other speculation is that condos are going to be built above the 4 story building that sits on that corner.

There are 4 grocery stores that serve our neighborhood. The IGA which is in the Alexis Nihon shopping mall, 3 blocks down. There is Adonis, which opened on the ground floor of the Seville Condo Project, which is two blocks down. And finally, P.A. grocery store which is a boutique store (which is directly across the street from Provigo, up the block, above Ste. Catherine’s street), with a butcher shop, fine foods, fruits and vegetables. (I don’t consider them a proper grocery store because I don’t shop there except for specialty items I can’t get anywhere else).

It is said that since Adonis opened a year ago, the Provigo sales have slumped enough that closing the store was the only option. I shop at Adonis, well, I shopped at Adonis for a while, and it looks like they are going to become our go to grocery store, because it is closer.

The Alexis Nihon Commission spent millions of dollars over the last year in renovating and retrofitting the mall to bring it up to spec. The IGA footprint was expanded to double its original footprint, and they offer a great shopping experience. However, carrying bags of groceries from the mall – home is going to be a real pain in the ass.

I might have to invest in a roller cart.

Christmas Decorations are up at the mall, and on the way home, I noticed that workers have begun framing out the new occupant (read: Canadian Tire) in the defunct Target space. A wall is being framed in front of the original frontage wall, which has a huge panel of windows to one side that rise to the second floor of the mall. We shall see what direction they take the new store.

The Big Switch is going to take place. The Old Canadian Tire is located on the floor above the ground floor, on the mezzanine. They are going to move it downstairs. Which opens up another store for new occupants. Winners is stuck between the Second and third floor (read: Parking) and they will stay where they are.

The old Target space is a larger footprint than the old Canadian Tire upstairs.

But, their car detail department won’t have a bay on the ground floor, so I am not sure how they are going to work that out. In the building proper, there is a massive car wash, a car service center for Canadian Tire, several business buildings (read: Towers) and many residential buildings (also towers) (read; Westmount Square), all incorporated into the original structure.

On the local scene, Le Square Condo project, just this week, raised its 20 story building crane onsite, that condo project is moving faster along, than Le Catherine, which is just a few spots down the street from home. Le Square, is on Cabot Square. Le Catherine, is on Ste. Catherine’s Street, just across the street from the new Starbucks that opened with the Seville Project last year.

With the loss of Provigo, and the addition of two MORE condo projects going up, the local shopping scene is going to change. Prices are either going to moderate in the existing stores, or they will go through the roof.

We will either Feast or Starve …

Time will only tell how the neighborhood is going to fare with loosing an anchor grocery store.

There are only 41 shopping days until Christmas …

Ho Ho Ho !!!!

More to come, stay tuned …

Thursday … Hell IN the Hallway

tumblr_npcrtajLBQ1rkbqteo1_500 whffboxCourtesy: Whffbox – There is a theme to this post …

Mother nature has been very good to us, as of late. The past few days have been stellar, tomorrow it will rain, then hopefully it will clear out for Montreal’s Marquis Event of the summer, and that event would be … drum roll please … “THE GRAND PRIX WEEKEND.”

This is the one weekend of the summer where everybody in the hospitality industry will make money hand over fist. Hotel bookings are up, there are thousands of people running between the track and Crescent Street where pit row is set up for folks to experience the cars and the race excitement, not to mention people watching along the various restos and bars.

Sunday is Race Day and as things are looking up, people will be flocking in for the race.

Montreal tourism rakes in the cash as visitor numbers bump up for the four day event.

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

Since the weather has been looking up, that has facilitated changes in our wardrobe from the every day jeans to more exciting fare. I don’t own a great deal of sporty clothing that one can throw on and everything matches easily.

I was out shopping last week, and I found some sporty stuff at the Sports Experts and on Wednesday, while I was out shopping for books and stuff, (more on the later) I hit their other store downtown. (There is a store right up the street from home). I did not find what I was looking for, the trip was not wasted because Indigo is right across the street, so I had to have the final two volumes in the Temperance Brennan series, set here in Montreal.

I am reading “Deadly Decision” right now and as the story has unfolded, we are amid Biker Gang wars, who are they, what are they, where did they come from? And one of the main characters who has been a main character through all of the books, one certain detective, has been arrested for possession of stolen goods and drug offenses, he is currently in jail … as Temperance is trying to figure out why he is in jail, if he is guilty, and how that affects their on again off again relationship status. (read: not there yet in the read to get the answers).

I came home and went to the next best thing, if you can’t find it in a brick and mortar store, you go to Ebay to find it. I love the internet, because I have bookmarked several sites that I plan on shopping at soon. I hit pay dirt with the sporty stuff I was looking for. I had to find a way around the drab grey and white choices, and Ebay provided. I found a seller that had clothing in primary colors and a few others, which was a big hit.

When you live in a four season location, one must always take into consideration, the fact that seasonal clothing is nice while it lasts, but seasons change and your wardrobe should, if not always, be able to be worn throughout the year, that saves on having to buy more seasonal clothing when it gets cold. I made sure that whatever I buy, is useful all year long.

I got three pairs of pants, in primary colors. Then I had to find shirts, to match said primary color pants, that were year round wearable. I was two for two. I got three cotton long sleeve shirts to match said pants, and a Yankees shirt I bought as well. Sadly, it is coming from Korea … I was not diligent in making sure all my sellers were in North America. Since Ebay has opened up worldwide shopping on one page, like I explained a few days ago/

Half my order is already on its way and the rest, I think will be shipped soon.

This evening we departed for St. Matthias. I am alternating between Primary Purpose in NDG and St. Matthias on Thursday nights. It was our regular Thursday meeting. And our speaker was just a few months in, having been restored to life by our local community rehab, that he lucked into due to the ministrations of his grandmother, who convinced the rehab to take him, regardless of the ability to pay the price. Our man is sober tonight.

But it was something his sponsor said during the thank that I had never heard before.

Hell IN the Hallway …

There comes a time in our drinking/using life that things get really bad. And we hit that invisible wall that usually comes up as we are speeding towards it. We either stop and decide to get help, or we keep going.

If we decide we want to stop drinking/using, and we decide to shut the door of abuse, opting to have the next door open (that would be recovery) Where one door shuts, usually another door opens, it is our choice then to walk towards the door, and through it.

Hence, Hell in the hallway … The period of time (and space) that sits between the closing of one door, and the time it takes for you to decide to walk through the next door is

(The HELL in the hallway).

Things just don’t change overnight. One has to work towards betterment and sobriety.

The sooner you decide to walk through the new open door, dictates just how much HELL you are going to experience. Our man, as we heard tonight, is still in transition.

One day at a time.

That was my take away from tonight.

Tomorrow is the Best night of the week. And the Best Meeting of the week.

I’m opening and chairing the Monday night M.A. meeting. I was nominated by a friend, who is himself, now in South Africa for the summer. Many of our M.A. guys will be leaving for summer jobs in other places as the month progresses, so that leaves very few people to open/chair/run the meetings and keep the door open for the summer.

More to come, stay tuned …

Thursday … Marco & Mario and Everything Good !

maro mario 2Marco Reus and Mario Gotze – Borussia Dortmund

Mario Gotze played for Borussia Dortmund (#10 jersey) And Marco with (#11 jersey) both played on the German National Team, winning the World Cup against Argentina. A Goal, Gotze “hopes people will remember for a long time.” Marco’s Number (#11 jersey) may become very popular in the near future if my bets are correct. Mario now carries (#19 jersey) for F.C. Bayern Munich.

“Who wanted to see Marco Reus in a Bayern Munich kit? Sadly that scenario is all but dashed for the next 3-5 years as today Marco Reus signed a new contract with Borussia Dortmund that will see him stay in yellow and black through the end of the 2018/2019 season.

The new contract will reportedly pay Reus €10M per season which is in line with most of the upper end salaries at Bayern Munich. According to Kicker, Reus even turned down a nearly double wage offer from Real Madrid to stay with his hometown club. The new contract will also remove what was a €25/30/35M (reports range wildly) buy-out clause from the German international’s contract ensuring that die Schwarzgelben can retain last season’s German Footballer of the Year for the next 4-and-a-half seasons.” Bavarian Football Works

Borussia Dortmund, is the team that brings together great football players to make them shine, some of them stay, and some of them have moved up to F.C. Bayern Munich. The German teams are filled with powerhouse players, that participated on the German National Team at the last World Cup.

Marco Reus is the newest “It Guy.” Signing a multi-million Euro contract for Borussia. His star is on the rise, and his stock will just get better. So it was that today I invested in Borussia Dortmund gear from the U.K. I bet, not far from now, his gear will become as popular as Mario’s did playing for Germany and now Bayern Munich.

I got a great deal for gear that was on sale, I’m not sure Marco’s new contract news is making waves to sell out gear, just yet. But I am sure that is not far off.

Since we get a channel called GOL TV, I get to watch live matches from Europe right here in my living room. Not to mention subscribing to Bavarian Football Works on Facebook, I get all the latest news.

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

The week was supposed to kick off on Wednesday, but the bank system has a mind of its own. Today was the kick off for this fiscal session. Early on, I thought about sleeping in late, but I had things to do and I needed the afternoon to do them. I was up and around early I had a fact finding mission to take care of for my friend out in N.L. (read:New Foundland). She is coming back in the spring and we are working to line up daycare for her daughter and a new home for both of them.

It takes a village to raise a child. And Our little “village that could” is no different.

Thank God for technology and the internet.

I just scan all the paperwork into my system, and load it into an email, and in a flash it is already there for tomorrow morning. No having to travel between here and there to get things done.

I pondered the thought of a trip into The Village for a visit to my favorite store. I left the CLSC (read: Community Service Center), and went down into the Metro next door. I tried to load my card from the ticket machine, (I never do that because it always fucks with my card) and why would this time be any different? It fucked with my bank card, which meant I had to leave the metro and walk down to Jean Coutu, to load my card correctly.

It was a To and From Priape journey that took less than an hour, and I also got to talk to my favorite sexy salesman at the shop. Really, the only reason I shop there is because of this sexy man. What you can’t get here on this end of town, you can get there. Yes, the prices are higher, and I could have shopped online, but the exchange rate is really shit right now.

I did some supermarket Safari because we needed food and drink. We have what is called a P.C. Plus card that accrues points for things you buy at the market. It gives you points based on items it chooses from the things you buy often. It usually takes about two to three weeks for that shop information to make it into points. It is tailored for every shopper, based on their shopping habits.

This month has been particularly good. All of my usual items made it to the card and this weeks selection was even better. I get points for spending money, and I get points for buying food as well.

At 20,000 points you get $20.00 off your grocery bill. That usually takes a month.

It is a WIn Win…

It has been snowing on and off for the past three days. And it is getting chilly as well. Temps will be falling over the weekend again. We have two full weeks left in this month, then it is March.

Let Us Pray for an Early Spring …

I really don’t want to have Winter go as far as May again.

How do you know Spring is here ? When temps rise and remain above 10c for a week, that is when we open the windows for the first time since last Fall. That happens occasionally, then temps drop below and rise again. The first month of Spring is usually hit and miss.

When we left for the meeting tonight, it was snowing. And it was cold.

We listened to another young person share her story. It was a great meeting.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …

Thursday … Let’s Start with this …

tumblr_lcxi09wRjw1qzizdco1_500Right now it is (-3c with a wind chill of -11c) … And it was bitterly windy and cold outside tonight.

It is a momentous day today. And it was a very productive day today.

I was up very early this morning, with a plan in mind to get many things done early and have the afternoon free to fart around. I made one phone call to make a hair appointment, that I wanted in the morning, because, like I said, I was up already. What I got was a 2 p.m. appointment, which shifted my morning into the afternoon, because I wanted to make one trip and not several.

I thought about going back to bed, but thought better. Today is our tenth wedding anniversary, and I wanted to do something special, since tonight and tomorrow night I am busy.

I trashed an old monitor that’s been sitting in the living room gathering dust. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, since it is electronic, so I dumped it in the basement for the super to take care of. Then I cleaned up the apartment, and decided that I would put the Christmas Tree up.

I un-crated the tree and put it up, and loaded it up with lots of lights. We usually wait until the first snow to put the tree up. And it’s not so much a bother really, so that is a thing…

I went and did my grocery shopping early on.

I had to fill a few hours of time, I usually loathe daytime television. And I am finding that the massive amount of “stupid news” in the news is beginning to get on my nerves. I wish there was another page I could assign as my homepage instead of Yahoo or Bing or BBC. UGH !!!

My take on the news is this … If it ain’t Canadian, It’s not my bother… And most of that shit news is coming from all points south. But the Canadian Yahoo picks up every stupid news story that comes across the wire on any given day.

I mean really, people are being denied marriage rights in the states and with the push of marriage equality coming to South Carolina, we’ve broken into the RED south. And as of a few days ago, Charles Manson, was given a fucking marriage license to marry some tart who is trying to exonerate a killer who is in prison for life, and some say she is “smart???”

Let’s deny marriage rights to gays, yet let’s give a murderer a marriage license !!!

The world is seriously coming to an end me thinks …

I got prepped to go early, I really did not have a plan in mind, besides getting my hair cut. So I headed out to the mall with plenty of time. My favorite card store was having a sale on Christmas Cards, and I needed a card for hubby, so that was stop one. This year I was smart, I bought regular sized cards, and not those micro cards that aren’t mailable.

I saw a commercial on tv for this great little griller from T-Fal. It would make a great little Christmas present. So stop two was Canadian Tire. I was terribly disappointed to see that that little gift was running a whopping $300.00 !!! Certainly out of my price range.

I went and looked at decorations, like we need more? We have a huge box of baubles that we have collected over the years and we really don’t have any extra room for another storage box for more baubles.

I went and had some lunch. My one guilty pleasure, fatty, fast food. It was good !!!

Finally I made my hair appointment. It was pretty cut and dry. High and tight, just like Papi !!!

I’ve seen many variations on this haircut, and it seems to be the most popular cut as of late.

I made my way home with a couple hours to waste before my evening departure.

When the sun went down, the temp’s plummeted. But it wasn’t as cold, early on, as it was on the way home. They have rerouted sidewalk traffic up the block, because workers have dug up the entire walkway in front of the Forum, and they created a pedestrian lane counter traffic with big cement barricades.

I got to the church. There is a nice blanket of snow on the yard. I am sure this will be a good first layer of snow, that will now pile up over the winter. The shrubbery by the main door is covered in snow.
We sat a small group. And the writing is on the wall. We won’t be going into December. I now have both keys, to turn in for their deposits, $25.00 a head. And I am slowly redirecting supplies to other meetings, since others can use them so we don’t have to bring them home and store them.

We don’t have very much in the way of supplies, but we do have a $65.00 coffee urn that will go into storage. And the literature as well. I might just donate it to the other house meetings. They will go to good use.

We talked about self acceptance, which lead back around to page 417.

Acceptance is the KEY to ALL my problems.

It was a nice little discussion. We walked home, and it was bitter.

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

evils-wedding-13So monumental day today… Ten years ago today, hubby and I were married in front of family and friends, at the Loyola Chapel on the Loyola Campus of Concordia University. It was the most responsible decision I have ever made in my life. We made a good choice. Marriage is a good thing.

I don’t see why some people in America can’t support marriage equality for every one. But like I said above, it ain’t Canadian, so why bother? Another great reason I left the U.S. when I did, because I have certainly more rights and privileges and a better life than had I stayed down there.

Life is beautiful, Marriage is beautiful. Family is beautiful. I could not have asked for more.

That was the day as it happened.

More to come, stay tuned …