Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I Have Been Challenged to a Duel...

In reading Linda's blog "What doesn't kill us will make us stonger," she stated her "fear" of youngest sister Kate. Now Kate talks big, but she's rather a sissy - unless you get her talking about politics, religion, anonymous comments on her blog, head lice, the overly-friendly checker at Albertsons, her boss, her co-workers, her neighbor Ted, or her ex-husband's new girlfriend. But other than that, she is definately a sissy - and I told her so.

So the sissy-sister has challenged me to a duel - at sunrise on September 15 - the morning of Linda's wedding - on the beach at Rockaway, Oregon. She has said she shall go by the name "Puss-n-Boots" (see, even the name she picked out is sissy...) I accept your challenge Kate, and I shall be known as "Twisted Sister" or "Nasty Nancy the Dueling Natzi" - I haven't decided yet. But leave your cotton candy at home - for we shall leg wrestle - on the beach at Rockaway, Oregon - at sunrise - on the day of Linda's wedding - September 15.

And I shall kick your sorry butt...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Third and Final Installment - Toronto Oddities...

Had to save the best for last - I just hope I can explain them...

First came the homeless cyclist. The longer I stayed in Toronto, the more "aware" I became of all that went on around me. While standing on the corner on Day 4, waiting for the trolley to take me back to the hotel, a man came riding by on the street right in front of where I stood. He rode VERY slowly on his very old rickety bicycle. As he passed VERY slowly, he carefully eyed the few of us standing and waiting for the trolley. It creeped me out, but he rode by and then he was gone. After maybe 2 minutes, he came again, from the opposite direction, VERY slowly riding by within a few feet of us - eyeing us again. Holy crap, what's going on here? I was standing on one side of the little trolley stop and couldn't see where he went after he passed by - of course, had I leaned around the stop, I could have watched, but he was gone and I was glad.

ZOOM! Within seconds, he came back from around the trolley stop - only this time, right beside him, he directed a new bicycle with one hand while steering his rickety old one as fast as his 70s tire would go.

What the hell????

Suddenly it dawned on me that he had obviously spied an unattended bike, checked (several times) to see if anyone at the trolley stop was paying attention to it and when he realized we didn't seem to notice it, he stole it as fast as he could peddle. These people never ceased to amaze me!

But the best one was the last one I saw. He was AWESOME! I think Steve would be his best friend...

The day before we left, mom and I decided to ride the ferry across the water to the Toronto Islands. Irene had told us about a great resturant there. We really enjoyed the ferry ride and the island was beautiful. Lots of people board the ferry with their bicycles and from what we heard, one island had a nude beach!

We had gotten off the ferry back on the mainland and needed to call the hotel to see if they could send a car for us. I noticed a phone booth (rememeber those?) and went to call. As it turned out, the phone booth was a "double" and they were both glassed in. I dialed the number while mom stood in the doorway of the booth talking to me. I heard someone talking in the next booth and didn't pay much attention until I heard something about "Hurry up Batman!". I turned to look at the voice and noticed a little guy naked from the waist down, changing from his swimming suit back to his pants. "Hurry up Batman! We gotta go!" "No more Batman!" Uncontrollable laughter. "Batman, get on your bike - we gotta go!"

What the hell?

With big eyes, I caught mom's attention and rolled my eye's toward "Batman" trying to tell her to look. We looked back at eachother trying not to laugh out loud and enjoyed "Batman's" show until he finally got his britches on, hopped on his bicycle, and rode off up the hill, all the while yelling to himself - "Batman" - about how he needed to hurry up and get out of there.

I dunno, maybe you just had to be there!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Fingerless Begger

After meeting boy/girl on the trolley on day 1, I started looking a little more closely at the people who got off and on the trolley and even those we passed on the streets. Homeless people abound in Toronto but live freely among the business people and those we consider "normal". Every day, somewhere, right in the middle of the sidewalk, I would notice as we drove by, people sleeping. Not off to the side of the sidewalk, next to a building or in a stairway, but right in the middle of where people walked. I also noticed, that most people didn't pay them much attention. Hmm, interesting.

On day 2, on my way back to the hotel, I thought I was a goner. A man who seemed homeless, was getting off the streetcar and walked up to the driver and said:

"I need a transfer, I lost mine" (it costs extra to get a transfer)
"You know I'm not gonna' give you a transfer"
"Look, I lost my transfer, give me one."
"Look buddy, I'm not givin' you a transfer. Now get off."

Homeless man stands in the doorway staring at the driver. Holy crap, I know a gun is gonna come out and I'm freakin' dead.

"You stupid asshole."
"I may be an asshole, but I'm not the one who's got to pay for the transfer am I? Now get off ."

Thank God homeless man didn't have enough money to buy a gun...

Also on this same day while I was working with Irene, we had been visiting and I asked her how she got started in the business of "breast prosthesis." She told me that she had gone to school for a fine arts degree, got bored with that, and started working in medical arts at a hospital. She was doing facial prosthesis and noticed the need for what she's doing now. As we talked and worked I noticed a "finger" in her drawer.

"Can I touch it?" She said "sure" so I picked it up and couldn't believe how REAL it looked! It was amazing! It was an index finger from the middle knuckle down. We talked about it for a minute and she showed me how she had a second finger in her drawer as well. Hmm, interesting.

After getting off the trolley that night, I was walking back the three blocks to the hotel when I passed a young man about 25 sitting on the sidewalk with an empty Starbucks cup held out. The first thing I noticed was that he was missing his index finger! I'm not shittin' ya!

"Can you give me some change?" (They all want change). "I'm trying to raise enough money to get me a new finger." I'm not shittin' ya - he REALLY said that! I swear I laughed the rest of the way to the hotel (and no, I didn't give him any money).

The next day, I told Irene about the fingerless beggar and we both had a good laugh - what are the odds? I did see him again a few more times while we were there and chuckled every time I walked by him.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the bike thief and Batman.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Toronto Oddities...

Well, I thought when I came back from Toronto, I'd be telling you about the shopping, sights - all the fun I'd had. Instead, I spent every day - all day with Irene (she's cool). So I didn't get to do much of anything except ride the trolley to Irene's and back then out to dinner with mom. However, those 30 minutes on the trolley each way, each day were so fascinating. So, I'll spend the next few days telling you about Toronto's oddities and how much fun a hick girl from Idaho had with the street people in a city of over 2 million.

One day 1, I found my way up the 3 blocks to the trolley stop where I would get on to ride the approximately 20 blocks to Irene's shop. I'm sitting on my little seat looking out the window when I hear laughter from across the aisle. I turn to see a boy/girl shaking his head and laughing out loud. I didn't want to stare, so out of the corner of my eye, I notice he's wearing bright green flip flops with sequins over the top. By this time, he's quit laughing and turned his head to look out the window so now it's safe to stare...

He's got on a red net shirt (you know what they look like) and bright orange shorts. He has beautiful rings on each finger - the BIG fake diamond ones. He turns to look back my way, so I smiled at him. He mumbles something to himself and laughs out loud again. This went on all the way to where he got off. I thought to myself, it must in a way, be nice to be blissfully happy in a world all your own. I also thought about how fun it was for me to be so easily entertained! Little did I know, that he was to be the most sane of those I would meet as the week went on. It was a FASCINATING trip and I can't wait to tell you about "Batman", "Mouse" man, and the fingerless begger!