Sunday, June 29, 2008

España España

Rainy grey Sunday afternoon. Spanish guitar, I’ve raised the bar on gourmet Kraft dinner. Spain over Germany 1-0 to take the Euro. The neighbourhood is quietly listening in through the deluge. My roof leaks in several places. The mind moves slowly, lazily through into evening. Lovely, Lonely, Lazy, and me. Breakfast with Rebe. Plants need watering; seems an odd concept in the rain. House looks good, clean. A few things yet to do. Not so much in the mood. Think I might find a movie. Maybe. A good book would be better. That's all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

gnocchi nights

Mmmmmmhm not so bad for a late night snacking session. I have beginners luck...

the neglegent gardener

more here

Monday, June 16, 2008

Leftovers from Il Pomadoro, red wine, and Alejandro Sanz

Monday night, after an uneventful day at work, I ease into a relaxing evening of writing and music with some good wine and leftover pizza. I’m not sure how far I can run with this; writing isn’t one of those things that ever comes easy. The wine doesn’t hurt though, and this bottle needs a little help along.

A friend lent me a disc of Alejandro Sanz, which is currently turned up reasonably high enough to rouse the neighbourhood. Were getting a little funky here as we ease into the second half of the disc... oooof, there it is, this track just hurts to listen to. I’m going to take a minute, be right back.

I’m just about set on this new roommate. Jakob moves out at the end of the month. My first impressions after sifting through too many emails and strange interviews are that this new one might work out well. At the very least it should be interesting. The guy is the online editor for and as a reluctant news junky, we may find some common ground. On top of that he is too old to party the way he seems to which means he must forgive my own relentless denial/embracing of early 30’s life/rock stardom.

The music is moving me, the wine is making my eyes heavy, and my mind is wandering towards the “Cunning Man”, that Robertson Davies novel I found at 7th Street Books in excellent rabbit eared condition. Reading it makes me yearn for summertime in T.O, afternoons on the islands, wasting away on the Black Bull patio, or margaritas upstairs at... Margaritas. I had the death of a crush on the waitress, the daughter I think, back before my latinaphilia became a recognized addiction. I wonder really where it came from.

Toronto, emerging culture, the role of the mind in health, and the shaping of an individual are the themes I can jump to right off in the novel, not that I know much of themes and the like. It is however riveting, and a great return from a long respite from a good read. That is all, good night.

the road

Sunday, June 15, 2008

misty mountain top

What is it about those evenings, when darkness wraps the world like a blanket, the cold seems to fade away, and a wave of contentment seems to wash over the world? I have always associated this feeling with Christmas holidays, soft snow, trees wreathed in light, and family or friends. How is it then that on occasion, these evenings manifest on rain soaked July nights in the tropics?

I was invited to join some friends for lunch at their house up in the mountains above Granadilla. A curtain of rain and mist had long obliterated the volcanic peaks and jungle tapestries up above, bringing nights fall without even ever acknowledging the passing of the day. The rain fell soft and unrelenting, yet standing out back overlooking the smudged lights of the city, that cocoon of comfort enveloped my being. Of course, recognizing it, and with associations of Christmas drifting through my consciousness, my question surfaced, and remained, even as I enjoyed the moment of ease.

I am in no way about to attempt to answer my self imposed question here and now. Rather, I simply hope to gather in the ingredients, so to speak, and bear witness to a moment of gladness.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter has passed, here in the Latin world, Semana Santa, where the whole city disappears to the seashore for the week, leaving the city a ghost town. It passed with me locked in my house for a week, bed ridden with some unnamed tropical illness.

I’m edgy, can’t sleep, haven’t gone to work in ten days; the table is covered in crumbs and dust, the chair I’m sitting in has only three legs on the floor, and there are cobwebs in the windows. I’m chain smoking my roommate’s cigarettes and drinking instant coffee. I’m sick of network television, I can’t read for more than five minutes without drifting off, and I don’t have the concentration to remember what I was about to type after the last comma.

It came back to me. There are three prints of African wildlife my old roommate left sitting propped against the wall beside me and I don’t have any hooks to hang them.

All is not right with the world. I’m about to light another smoke, just because I still have a half cup of the instant, even though I’ve done nothing else since 11am when I crawled out of bed. I should really go back to work sometime soon, seeing as I’m going to be skipping a pay check in the next month due to this pent up vacation.

I have to leave the country in the next 10 days. I was thinking about taking a trip down to Bocas Del Toro, in Panama. Here goes with that next cigarette. It’s either that or Managua to go visit that friend of Richards. Either way, I can hardly afford this after the past ten days off can I? It has to be done. I must admit, I am more than a little nervous about crossing the border. It remains a little unsettling to be an illegal.

This instant coffee gives an instant caffeine shot. It doesn’t help to have enough nicotine to kill a horse in my veins. Its 2:30pm, in the afternoon, is that redundant? I have to get out, go to the bank to get some cash to get my laundry, get some groceries, and maybe find the Racsa office to get my internet reconnected.

I took a moment to upload the pictures from my camera. It should be done in a moment. This document is now saved as “Tuesday”. Does the quotation mark go inside or outside the period?

After a quick browse through my pictures from the last three months I have come to some initial conclusions. Canada is cold. My high school was a magical place. I love my family. I like having visitors. I get a stupid grin on my face when surrounded by pretty girls. I’m not twenty anymore. I seem to have a drink in my hand most of the time. I have had some good times.

As I light yet another cigarette, I am left feeling slightly better about the little picture. Perhaps it’s time to move on to the bigger one.


Senor Baillie,
I knew sometime soon this day would arrive where plans would fall into place and dates would be set. You are the first of us to take the plunge, to step up to a commitment I know you will enter with all your heart, bringing all of the honour and integrity that makes me proud to know you and have you as one of my closest friends. I salute you for it, and I will, of course, be at your side on this day of days.

I am writing you this from an outdoor café, mountains all around, with a soft rain falling and the sun creeping in and out through the clouds. It’s about cool enough for flip-flops, shorts, and a light sweater. I feel a slight twinge of guilt writing this, knowing the climate situation in southern Ontario; however I too feel a slight twinge of home sickness hearing Christmas carols playing in shops as I walk past. This year I will not be home for Christmas, but have a ticket for two weeks in Toronto, January 10th to the 25th. I very much look forward to seeing all of you. We have a commitment at Utopia that week for a Steam Whistle or two and all of the mayonnaise we can smother. I hope things are well; if you see Erik on his birthday, sucker him for me. Like wise for Mr. Ballah, who yes, is it true, will soon be one of Canada’s finest?

What more to write. My work keeps me engaged, my Spanish continues to frustrate even the most patient, and I continue to fall in love most every day. You think a man could learn, but then again, from your position why would he want to. Love is that one thing you can give up anything else for, and what rewards and happiness lie therein.

Take care, my love to Phon. Write soon, with details on the life of Brent. These are the things that keep me going.

Your Friend,

more letter unsent

Wow. My blood was pumping by the end of that literary experience. By the last line I realized I had read it through at about 1000 milliseconds per word. It reminded me of my first beat poet experience, reading captivated, and frightened, falling back breathless and exhausted from the near sensation of intergalactic space flight. You have a powerful weight of personality, even at 2000 miles out. I hope you enjoy reading this as I do writing it, for what can I say, this renewed correspondence has me enthralled.

We do leave a lot unsaid, in our letters, in any situation. Here writing, I have to pick a direction, find a tangent to go with, choose my next words. Even face to face, often all the things one wants to say fall by the wayside, as one gets caught up in the eyes of another, or something causes one to bite ones tongue so as not to dispel the mystery of not knowing the others reaction to a thought. Is that fear? Do I fear that my words might be too bold and cause you to avoid my inbox? That if I allow my guard down memories and emotions might come crashing back in? If we were face to face how would that be different?

The last time I saw you, you were so guarded, that it was somewhat easier to choose my words, to control my physical being. I don’t think I ventured close to anything on my mind that evening. I could stay my hand from reaching out to touch your cheek, keep my eyes from straying down your curves, only because you demanded it. I think I heard half of what was said that night for the drumming in my veins. I asked you to stay the night, as if to test your guard, to see what lay behind it. You told me you had somewhere to be the next evening, someone to see, like you wanted me to see that you had moved on. You would come to the city to see me once more before I flew. I think I argued feebly, but you were sure and I wanted that so badly. So I waited that night, with my closest friends, my mind elsewhere. But you didn’t come. I guessed whatever you had moved on to kept your mind turned.

So I returned to where I write from, cold, and yes, to answer your hypothetical question, I began seeing people after a while. I don’t feel a thing. Love is something I wish for on everyone. Who knows how to make love stay? Tom Robbins? I live immersed in a culture where lovers cheat, husbands stray, wives find comfort, and everyone smiles at one another the next day. I don’t know how they do it. Yet they seem happy, I hear them laugh a lot. Its honest laughter, that great euphoric kind which make your troubles melt away. Yet they also shoot you for messing with their girl, something that always makes me think twice when I catch some sultry Spanish eyes looking my way.

So there you have it. Those things unsaid. Do I dare send this like it is? I meander back to where I began and smile at those first lines. “…choose my next words”. Or, we can just let them pour out and see where we end up.

Perhaps I too belong to multiple personalities with emotional flashbacks, fears, and dreams.

looking back at sundays

Today is Sunday. I spent the morning in bed, dragging myself out at the last minute to greet the day. Coffee, a tasty breakfast bagel, and a quick hot shower later, I stepped out to meet Anthony for the hair trim I was so badly in need of. Of course the phone rang off the hook as people realized that I wouldn’t be in to work today. The hair cut out of the way, I realized that staying clear of work would be impossible, and so stepped in for a few minutes to forward the weekend plan and lay out dialing strategy. I had plans and had already pushed them back, and was in a hurry to get downtown. Do you remember that girl who used to take me salsa dancing every Saturday? Well, yes I had got back in contact with her, and we have plans to spend the afternoon together.

So I head down on the bus and its hot out. I’m wearing jeans, sharp shoes, and a sweatshirt. Plans are to meet in the Plaza de la Democracia, and I have some time. I take a walk around a shoe store and one of the clerks strikes up a little conversation. I lose interest in the shoes. I step out and pull out my hard pack but its empty; its tough to find cigarettes on the street down here. I see a sign for a cigar shop upstairs, hesitate, and go up. It’s an internet café, with a cigar shop in the corner. I ask for a pack of Derby Suave and hand the girl 10000. “Tiene mas menudo?” She asks. I have dollar bills and hand two over forgetting one is an old Canadian one dollar bill. “eso es canadiense, no es moneda aqui” and gives me the change for the ten. I wonder how she knew, and so I asked and it turns out that her father is Canadian. I need to get out more; this has been an interesting day. I have to get to the square to meet my friend. The day is getting hotter and I’m over dressed but the sun feels good and I find a bench. She calls to tell me she lost track of time and is going to be a little late. I wander a bit, there is a musician from Peru playing the pan flutes in the shade, with lovely mothers and there kids listening. I head back to my bench and smoke and watch the kids play. It’s hot, but the sun feels nice on my face. An hour passed, though I hardly notice, before she shows up, just as beautiful as I remembered.

I had never seen her in the day light. I wanted to spin her around and pull her in right then and there. Her family is from Heredia and so we walked to catch a bus to Paseo de los Flores to catch a movie. It was getting cooler by now, with a breeze. I had never been to Paseo de los Flores before, and was starving. I was having fun keeping the conversation going in Spanish, and she made it seem as if I was doing really well.

Monday, June 09, 2008

strange ramblings on a saturday afteroon

Strange ramblings on Saturday afternoons. I have had beer deliveries, server emergencies, and queesh so far today. My coffee maker being broken left me no recourse but to resort to improvisation of extreme measure. The aperatus involves left over chinese take out containers and paper towel, which to my delight produces quite a paletable cup of coffee.

Now with my beer delivery come and gone, and the french girls hijacking the television set, I find myself drawn to a little creative writing. There was a small emergency at work involving the server acting strangely. Truthfully I have no idea whatsoever of what that means but with a few phone calls and some light investigation of my own I think the issue has at least been documented to the point of credibility. The queesh, leftovers from some cultural engagement of the french, was delicious, complimenting the coffee well.

An interesting documentary was playing earlier focusing on an individual who had suffered complete amnesia and on awakening began to document his experiences interacting with a life of which everything was completely new. Que interesante. How do you spell queesh? It just doesn’t look right. I’m avoiding my girl; not really sure why. I was supposed to attend a BBQ up in Ebais de Granadilla but the rain may have put a halt to that plan. It’s cold enough here, never mind up on the mountain.

So maybe the beer delivery has loosened my tongue. In my mind thoughts swirl… can I publish this to the blogosphere and still run for office one day? Paranoia? Perhaps it was the 12 hours of sleep from last night. Perhaps it was the queesh. How do you spell that? I’m really upset at my Breakfast posting which refuses to take page breaks or proper spacing. I have edited that thing over and over in hopes that magically it will come to its senses, but no. I’ll keep you posted.