Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Road

Can't wait for this film to be released. Brad and I both read the book this fall. It's by Cormac McCarthy, the same guy who wrote No Country for Old Men and others. It stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the son. It's very dark and intense, much like the book. It opens on Friday, November 27. Here's a sneak preview...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yup. That's me. 48 years old today. Approaching the big milestone, but not quite there yet! I've had a lot of calls, e-mails, and cards from friends and family - Thanks guys and gals! No big plans for today. We're going out to see Paranormal Activity tomorrow with Shaun and Mary and are having dinner on Friday evening with Paul and Ron. Hopefully a quiet weekend to relax and savour my dotage!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good News Sunday

Hey all... We had a bit of good news regarding my brother a few days ago. The chemotherapy seems to have done what it was supposed to and the docs are very pleased and optimistic. That is not to say that he is out of the woods just yet, but thus far, the progress has been as good as it can be. I talked to Earl for a few minutes yesterday on the phone and he was tired and quite weak, but that is certainly to be expected. Hopefully we'll know more next week and hopefully the news will continue to be good.

It's been a rainy, dreary day here. We caught the tail end of tropical depression Ida, I think. It rained like a a son-of-a-gun when I was driving down to mom's this morning, but now it's tapered down to just a bit of drizzle and fog. The warm temps that come along with it are nice. And it's supposed to be sunny all week here with temperatures in the high single digits Celcius. Not bad at all for November here.

Which reminds me, happy birthday Marlene! Her birthday was on Nov. 13. And mine is just around the corner on the 18th. The big 4-8 for me this year... Where oh where does the time go?

I leave you with a couple of teaser pics from Brad's bike trip... One day next week, I am going to hand him the keys to the blog and get him to do a post about his trip from Ottawa back home... Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hey all! We made it back safe and sound from the beautiful city of Montréal. We flew up Friday at suppertime, caught a taxi to our hotel, checked in, and then caught another taxi to Milos on Parc Street. It was our first time there and we had a delicious meal. It's a little pricey, but worth every penny. We both started with the crab cakes, which were very yummy, full of crab meat and little else. Then we both also had the grilled halibut as a main, which was also cooked to perfection and very tasty. For dessert, I had the Galaktoboureko, and Brad ordered the Loukoumades. I have to say that Brad's dessert was incredible! Lightly fried greek dough balls drenched in honey - thyme honey from Crete. They were spectacular. (If we hadn't recently bought 12 jars of honey from Don and Marlene, we would have picked up a botle at the restaurant - $60 a pop!) I also ordered a glass of greek dessert wine and Brad had a port to finish off the evening. The service was very good as well, as we were served by very sexy Kostas, a Greek guy in his early twenties with a smile and a bottom to die for! After our great meal, we walked to the nearest metro station and rode back downtown and headed to one of the strip bars for which Montréal is famous. We stayed well into the early hours and spent too much money - well, I spent too much money on the boyz... But what the heck. It's a once a year thing!

Next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, which is included in the price, and then we took the metro to the Atwater Market - a terrific spot with lots of different food shops. I picked up some Israeli couscous and a bottle of olive oil from Spain. Across the street was one of the bigger SAQ liquor stores, so we popped in there and picked up a few bottles that are hard to find at home, including a white port. We then made out way back to the hotel and dropped off our purchases before heading out on foot to meet good friend Maurice for lunch at L'Evidence. It, too, was a great spot and it was good to sit down and catch up with Maurice. After lunch, we hopped in Maurice's car and drove to a Middle Eastern bakery and then to a Greek bakery. This was Brad's wannado, and he picked up lots of yummy pastries, some of which we are still eating! We then went to the Jean-Talon market, which is similar to Atwater, only bigger and, in my opinion, better! The weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm. Maurice then dropped us off at the hotel, where we changed for dinner at Le Piedmontais, a cozy French/Italian resto very close to where we were staying. After another good meal, we made our way to Place des Arts where we saw Mozart's The Magic Flute opera. It too was very good. It finished around 11:00 p.m., and we were both too tired to do anything except head back to the hotel and get a good night's sleep.

The following morning, we again had breakfast at the hotel and then checked out and headed over to our friend Lynn's, who lives in Westmount. After tea and a chat, we went with him to an open house to look at a condo he was thinking of purchasing downtown. We then wandered all over downtown and the Le Plateau district on another sunny and warm fall afternoon. We made a reservation along the way at La Prunelle, a cosy bring-your-own-wine spot. After walking around and shopping a bit more, we found a liquor store and picked up a couple of bottles of wine to have with dinner. Another fine meal later, we were back on the street and headed for the strip club once again - hey, I had to bid my boyz adieu! Sunday was women's night at the place, and it was a completely different atmosphere with all the squeeling gals.. We didn't stay that long and soon caught the metro back to Westmount, where we retired for another good night's sleep.

We had breakfast at Lynn's the next morning - November 9 - our 19th anniversary as a couple! Brad and I then went out and did some shopping in the 'hood. I picked up a new backback - mostly to carry all of our purchases back home in, some soap from my fave Westmount shop, and a new cookbook. All and all, a productive morning. We also picked up some kalamata olive bread and a loaf of sun-dried tomato bread to bring home with us as well as a couple of sandwiches to eat at the airport. Our flight home was uneventful and pleasant, except for this very loud gal from France who was seated directly behind us and who did not shut up for the entire 1 hour 10 minute flight! Man, I wanted to slap her!

So that was our weekend. I had yesterday off and got a lot done around the house and a lot of errands done about town. Today is a statutory holiday in Canada (except for Québec), so tomorrow will be my first day back to work. It has been a great little break. And a 2-day week, I think I can handle at this point. It's been another gorgeous fall day here and we've both been busy outside raking and bagging leaves and I cut down the old raspberry canes and fertilized the patch.... Will no doubt be sore tomorrow!

Nothing new with respect to my brother. He's finished his chemotherapy and it's now wait and see if is normal blood cells make a rebound.

Been a while, so here are some fellas!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

One Crow Sorrow

A little poem I concocted mostly on my bus ride to work this morning. It's based loosly on an experience I had in junior high or high school. Fortunately, in my case, time stopped. For just a split second.

One Crow Sorrow

Gobbled down
Too fast.

She was about to ask
if he wanted seconds
But distraction intervened

A bird flew by
Very quickly, too close
Outside the window
Cawing an avian warning:
Slow down.

Though no one spoke Crow.

She looked back
but he was gone
The screen door slammed
signaling his exit.

He flew down the driveway
onto the road
Peddling without thinking
Biking by rote.

He really didn't see it
The pulp truck
Coming out of no where
Too fast.

And time continued
No nano intercession; skull cracked.
Temporal reality ending
Dislodged; repealed.

He could have eaten more
His legs were hollow, or so they said
But he wanted to get to practice
Too fast.

Maybe next time; next life
He'd know better.
Learn Crow. Realize...
Seconds matter.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Quick update

Hey guys, just wanted you all to know that we got down to see my brother yesterday. He looked not all that bad at all (much better than I thought he would) and he seems to be in fairly good spirits. I think he's holding up better than I would be in his shoes. He was in a large private room, but another brother e-mailed me today saying that he had been moved into another room, which I doubt is private... By Wednesday, I think he will have received all of the chemo and it will no doubt start to take its toll. In the meantime, we are all hoping and praying for the best. After our visit, we just came home. The restaurant we were going to have lunch at did not open until 4:00 p.m.

We'll be in Montréal this coming weekend... So Maurice, if you are reading this, we hope to hook up with you for lunch on Saturday.

Take care, guys.