avrelia: (Divine)
Once my husband and I were walking on a cemetery...

I never get to finish this phrase: some starting falling on the ground laughing, some are gasping, some are having a heart attack.

and I can never understand what's wrong with walking at cemeteries in general. I am not particularly morbid, and I am not searching for cemeteries to walk there, but seriously? Why not to walk there if it's close to home, quiet, beautiful, and provides a more pleasant walk to the supermarket than the busy street? But, you know, some people are even getting concerned about the baby... ::insert the eye roll::

Anyway, I walked at many cemeteries throughout my childhood, and I am still quite sane. :)

By the way, once my husband and I were walking on a cemetery and we saw a family of large animals (probably groundhogs) looking for food among the graves. They looked very amusing.
avrelia: (The Rock - smacketh)
Lots of people are idiots. Toronto being a rather large city has its fair share of them. Here is the latest specimen I encountered.

I am riding the subway to work and back home. The ride is not long - four stations only, so I don't mind standing. Of course if there are any free seats available, I sit happily, but when people offer me their seats (moved by my giant protruding belly) I thank and usually refuse. I do need to find a good balance and stand firm though, so I prefer to stand at side of seats near the door - there I have some protection against sudden stops and moves. These sides are not very wide and usually they are all taken as well as the seats. Anyway.

yesterday I managed to find an empty side and situated myself comfortably as not to bother people entering and exiting the train, as the guy squeezed between me and the door. A guy about indeterminate age and look - between 40 and sixty, white, thin, slightly shabby. He apologized profusely and said that he was going to stand there if I don't mind. I answered that I mind because I already am standing there and he makes me uncomfortable. He said that he said that it's okay because he is going to stand there anyway, and it's only for couple of stops. I said that the train has plenty of space and he could go and stand anywhere he wants. He smiled humbly yet happily. For the next two stops we were silent. I was not very uncomfortable - there was my massive handbag between us and I had plenty of room, but I started to get VERY pissed (some work stuff didn't led to much happy feelings). So I decided to use my bag as a weapon and make him as uncomfortable as I could. Which has worked because he started mumbling that I am mean and all that. I answered that I have to make myself comfortable and find a good balance not to fall down and he can go stand anywhere he wants. he said he stays there and some other annoying stuff I don't remember. The train stopped and he did leave, thanking me for being so gracious. I told him to fuck himself and I felt much better that. When I walked home though I almost with I didn't make a scandal over that for all the train. But I would feel even more stupid for making a scandal. And he was just a random idiot you meet every day in a city.
avrelia: (Flying cat)
I like winter. Really. I missed it a lot when I lived in British Columbia. I find it is proper to have four seasons in a year, one of which is with snow and ice, cold weather and such. However, all in good time, and March is not a good time for -21C with windchill. Enough is enough, and where is that global warming people are talking about? Not in Toronto today. OF course, if we could save some extra cold now and use it in summer, when we will try to ward off the sauna heat without breaking conditioners... But no, now we have an excess of cold, and in four month we will have an excess of heat. On the plus side, We don't seem to have any hurricanes or earthquakes, of tornadoes, or crocodiles in the lake... small blessings.

My colleague is from Siberia, and she is freezing here much more than she used to there.

Where is spring? Or did we use all the spring weather in December?

Today I dreamt of Toronto. It looked very different from the one I see every day, but it still called itself Toronto and was a rather wacky city. and I was flying there. And it wasn't cold. Weird dream, sure, but not as weird as my other dreams lately and without babies.

Tomorrow I am to see my doctor again. I think they are supplying local vampires. Why else they need so much of my blood? Eh?
avrelia: (Sunpearl)
Why was not the weather this nice over the weekend? oh well. I still managed to do some jogging - not that it would make a difference. and I slept rather well - but later about that.

Since I posted the last time, I've got a wonderful and totally unexpected gift of two paid month! Thank you, dear anonymous and sorry I didn't get to post it earlier! /hugs the world with you in it

The autumn is getting even more beautiful in the last days. I was jogging at the cemetery and there was no one but me and squirrels seen around, the rain drizzled, and leaves were falling... mmm, pretty. I wanted to grab a camera and return today to make pictures, but then decided that going to cemetery today is lame, and stayed home having dinner instead.

I think I am getting to love Toronto. I liked it well enough before, but walking around on Sunday (and wasting my fresh salary on pretty clothes from Nepal) and felt all warm and fuzzy about the city... I still love Moscow the most, of course, but this is not a zero-sum game. I can love a lot of places.

Getting more up-to-date with my TV watching - finally caught an episode of Heroes. Spent most of the time figuring who is who and what is going on. Same with Veronica Mars - I mean, I watched the first two seasons, so I know most of it, but the problems at hand are confusing. Still, it's shiny.

I also have watched Torchwood. I enjoyed watching it, and though I have some problems with it, and some questions, I am going to watch it more and think and - it's been awhile since I wanted to discuss a TV show. I like this feeling.

Finally, I wish a very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] musing_mia!

Happy 2005!

Jan. 1st, 2005 02:34 pm
avrelia: (Default)
So, we have safely arrived into the New Year. It went rather well – I would say unexpectedly well, since I didn’t expect anything in particular.

We went to celebrate the New Year with a group of Russian-speaking MBA students&families – people that we don’t know enough to call friends, but interesting and pleasant guys.

Still – meeting New Year is always a risk. But this time it went very nice: the table was abundant with food and drink (our hosts having just returned from Cuba, there was a lot of rum), the conversations never died out leaping on strange and diverse topics such as cemeteries in Cuba and New Orleans, the might of China, and tanks T-34. the apogee of the night was, naturally, the midnight moment – and as many Russians note, in North America it lacks a certain something – the sound of chimes in the clock on the Spasskaya Tower in Moscow Kremlin. Now, of course, the New Year is coming with or without the bells, but it is a very nice bells, and, more importantly, we are so used to it that it gives the whole thing a new and poignant significance.

So, our hosts found and downloaded the chimes sound – and after it stroke twelve, we’ve heard the dearly familiar bells. In the instant everything felt right. After the bells we’ve had a surprise – an old USSR anthem played. We all remember it played at twelve – up to thirteen years ago, and everyone can sing the words we’ve learned at school (the music is again Russian anthem, but the words are different.) However, the words here were different – it was a really old variant, from the thirties, with Stalin mentions. The combination of it all produced a curious effect of ironic and slightly embarrassed joy. None of us misses the Soviet Union particularly, but listening to the old anthem has brought a kind of nostalgia to us. So we laughed and laughed some more. As a result we’ve met New Year with laughter, which I am very happy about.

Then there were dances with incredibly mish-mashed music, tea, and more talking. It was all good.

And now for something completely different:

A Korean song with cartoon for your listening pleasure. I have no idea what it is about, but it is fun:

http://kr.fun.kids.yahoo.com/comicsong/cs71/
avrelia: (kbsword by indilime)
The view from the window at work. The pictures are taken in October, now it is all bare and grey.

Read more... )

And this is from my window (early one morning...)

Read more... )

Here is the end of Toronto Autumn picspam. Next week tune in for Vancouver Nostalgia picspam. Because I miss shopping in Richmond. Two malls in walking distance! How I didn't appreciate it enough.

In other news, I have a lot of chocolate: got a package from Moscow.
avrelia: (Default)
Do you know what’s up with Italian wines in Toronto?

I bought already the fourth bottle of wine that is really cheap (around $7 Can., where the average would be $15), and it is good. Why don’t people buy it all the time? Of course, my understanding of a good wine is pretty much “it doesn’t suck”, but, well if it leads me to enjoy $7 wine, there is nothing wrong about this understanding.

Also I have a dream that I don’t have to go to work today. But then I woke up, and I do. Right now.

But you can look at pictures while I am working:

Read more... )
avrelia: (Default)
On Saturday we visisted our friends. The girl (photographer) had just come from the shoot, and was complaining about hardships of the profession. They (she and her business partner) got to shoot a really hot boy, and they had troubles concentrating on work, because the hotness of the boy was very distracting.

I've seen the pictures: yes, he is that hot.
avrelia: (Default)
I decided that I need to post some pictures I've made in the last month - mostly just Toronto here and there.

The first bunch would be from our trip to Toronto Islands on October 9th.

Here they are:

Read more... )

To add something to say, I am reading now The Time Traveler's Wife, and the only qualm I have about it is that it is too heavy and inconvenient to take with me everywhere.

I also don't like much my College English class, because I have to write essays there - and not just essays, but rigidly structured essays on silly topics. I found myself incapable of constucting a proper thesis statement.

I also found that I am leaving my work every day thinking: "One more day that I wasn't fired." So much for happy squee. /sigh
avrelia: (Default)
First thing: being a lawyer is an incurable disease. You can stop working; you can change careers, but if by any chance you start again, it is like slipping in the old favourite pair of jeans that you thought would be too small by now, but it is not, and after a couple of days you feel like you never stopped wearing them.

I feel like this. This is not to say that I don’t feel lost and confused, because I have no idea where everything is, and how it is working, and the Russian laws changed well enough in the last four years… There is a lot of stuff to do, but it is not as overwhelming as I feared. Yay!

Yesterday I picked up an old lady in the subway - a tiny, tiny, but lively old lady. She asked me when the St. George station is, I said I was going there and would show her, then I helped her to get to the Bloor line, then the train went off without us, and we were waiting for the next one and talking, talking, talking. Well, she did most of the talking. About that she is well after eighty, but independent. That she cannot recognize familiar places any longer, because her eyesight has changed and so are the places - with all the new high-rises and renaming the streets… that she doesn’t go to downtown often now, but when she comes she cannot find anything… that I don’t look my 28 at all, and if I keep it that way nobody would give 80 one day… that she worked as a nurse for 17 years, interpreting from six languages. I asked what languages. She said, “first of all, Russian…” I was surprised, really. She came long ago form Ukraine knowing only two words in English: “yes” and “no.” Anyway, when I had to get off the train, we were both very disappointed that I had to go. I kinda wanted to adopt her.

So, yes, I am working now. Have to write some stuff right now. Totally forgot how sleepy the reading of court documents makes me…
avrelia: (Default)
I love chance encounters – you meet people, share some bits of lives, have meaningful conversations, and then part your ways, possibly forever. I love making friends more, but there is a certain delight of having the small part of mosaic that makes up a person’s life.

Some guy I talked at a bus stop; a shoe master, repairing a heel on my friend’s shoe and talking about the purpose of the Universe while we were waiting; a lady from Ethiopia whose life was a reenactment of “Romeo and Juliet”, only with happier ending; a guy in RV who offered us hot coffee when we really needed it.

Yesterday it was a lady from Liverpool. We were going to see a friend – old for my husband, unknown yet for me. And we were to use GO train in the first time. We bought the tickets at the Union station, and were wondering at the customer service what should we do with them to get to Port Credit. At this moment this lady appeared (she overheard us), and said that she was going to Port Credit and would take us with her so we wouldn’t get lost. She brought us to the platform and into the train. Along the way we talked about Canada – in general, Ontario and BC, climate. We said that we are from Russia, she said she is from Liverpool; we said “Oh”; she said “Yes.” She elaborated that she did, indeed knew Beatles before they were famous and danced when they played in clubs. “Probably I should have grabbed one for myself when I could,” she mused, but then shrugged it off and said that she was quite happy to live in Canada since 1966, and having all her children and grandchildren here. We talked about working in a law firm, books, knitting (she was crocheting a fuzzy scarf in violet colours), and other stuff. Then we were at Port Credit, where her husband was waiting for her in a pickup truck. They decided that we would get lost unless they give us a lift, stuffed us in a truck, dropped us at our friend’s door, and disappeared.
avrelia: (Default)
A disadvantage of a big city: even if you leave home reasonably early, it doesn’t mean that you will be in time where you plan to be.

::kicks the transit::

I love studying grammar! Who would think? I don’t necessarily pick up all the right answers, but sometimes I get to convince native English speakers that I am right and they are not, which is very gratifying. I also turn into an annoying student who stays after the class and asks silly questions: why a ship is “she”? (for example)

Long gone the days when I was a normal kind of a student who sits quietly through the class and leaves as soon as it is over, answers direct questions and spends time happily doing about her own business (reading Agatha Christie, chatting, writing a long-winded poem about a prosecutor, etc.)

I also have a problem with one sentence. Could you help me?

Michael is one of the boys who like classical music.

Michael is one of the boys who likes classical music.

Are both of them right? Or only the second one? I stand by the opinion the first one is right, too. What do you think?
avrelia: (kbsword by indilime)
A question for anyone who knows Ontario: we are looking for a place to go for a day (half of a day, more likely).

Could you recommend something that
-is at a distance of around two hours drive from Toronto;
-is not a wilderness (ok, I am still thinking by BC standards)
-is pretty
-we could spend 4-6 hours (including dinner) there without being bored
-which means it has something to look at, walk, swim in, etc (swimming is optional, as it is an end of September)
-is not Niagara Falls

Thank you
avrelia: (Default)
I always use bicycle when I have to get to the Liquor Store to buy my vodka.

I am also seriously considering to do some damage to all the construction machines in our street.
avrelia: (Default)
Half of the yesterday we spent cycling and sitting in the park, reading books and looking at geese. Then, of course was the cycling back home, after which I felt not so dead as two weeks ago. Still, cannot go uphill if it is long and/or steep.

I continue reading The Woman in White, and find the evilness of sir Persival Glyde and Count Fosco very boring.

Recently we watched an X-files episode “Arcadia.” It’s season 6, and even though I usually have no idea about names of the episodes and their placement in seasons in X-files, we have s6 DVDs (a present from a friend). Anyway, to the episode: it has a very Jossverse feeling. With the first scene of a nice clean suburban neighbourhood, and I am thinking immediately: “Hell” – after the last season on AtS, and of course I am write, and the episode brings out the demonizing of real life experiences just like it, and Olaf the troll appears (Abraham Benrubi) and I am all Yay! And Mulder and Scully are playing the married couple, and Mulder is horrible at it, and I am Yay! again.

Unrelated to this: I found this article recently, and it was fun to read, but I cannot comment if it is true or not – both the overview of Russian LifeJournal (Russian in the sense of the language it is written in), and the reasons behind suggested common traits. May be one – saying that most of the other lj users have a dozen or two of friends tells me that he’s never seen fandom (any fandom) LJs.

http://www.zhurnal.ru/staff/gorny/english/rlj_aoir5_abstract.html
avrelia: (Default)
I returned from the interview, and sitting here trying to compose a nice and gracious thank you letter. I am trying to do something to increase my chances of getting this job. Can I sacrifice some goats? After long enough time of unemployment a confident professional (can you believe I was one once upon a time?) starts to doubt seriously why anyone would ire me.

People seen today (employment unrelated):
- a mounted Mountie
- a cute snuggly Muslim couple
- a pharmacist who is, probably, a lost twin of the head of the Rome office of W&H (Ilona?) – well, slightly less flamboyant and not evil, but the way she talks – intonations, accent, gestures…
avrelia: (Default)
Let’s see, this week was full of adventures and various stuff, and generally me being busy. It was good.
I had an interview today. With a temp agency, so no much hope for any results, but still fun. I tried to do my cheerful best, don’t know if it worked. I am the kind of person who has to remind oneself to smile on formal occasions. Will have to do some MS Office tests tomorrow, so probably I should stare at Excel a little bit.
I visited an allergist this morning, and left without much appreciation of modern allergy cures in Canada. Stay away from cats! Easy to say.

Yesterday I had a wonderful walk with Jonesie, but she’s already told all important points.

I have started to knit a pullover for myself recently. Wonder, how long will it take me to finish it? The last thing I knitted, a turtleneck for my husband, took me three years of work (I am serious, of course, there were interactions and stuff, but still)

Finally, convinced my husband to watch “Pirates of the Caribbean”. He liked it. Yay! I found myself again fascinated with the world of pirates and adventurers, and beautiful tall ships. But not with the characters, oddly.

Tomorrow the Olympics start. Hurray! The main hope of mine for these games – less scandals. Scandals kill for me all the fun and spirit I love the Games for.
avrelia: (Default)
I spent this week generally feeling tired or running like crazy around Toronto, looking for a job. The job keeps hiding from me. I decided to try and apply for a job in a bookstore, and went through most of the Chapters/Indigo/Coles in Toronto trying to engage in a meaningful conversation with managers about Life, The Universe, and my possible employment. Most of the times I actually managed to do it. That’s not to say I’ve got a job as a result. I guess, my complete lack of retail experience is a hindrance here. But may be it will still work out – some of the stores will be hiring in a month, and I told that I will remind about myself at the time.

But what do I do next?

Anyway, by this afternoon I felt very dead and had a headache. Slept couple of hours, got up without waking up and tried to write a cover letter for a position I really like. Do you want to know my painful secret? I suck at writing cover letters. Really bad. They turn out too clichéd, trite, and formal, or flippant and silly. No wonder I am unemployed – I cannot convince anyone to hire me. With all the useful job-searching stuff I forgot about writing. I have to write how many things? A lot. A while ago I finished a short story I was writing since May. Sent it to some friends for reviews and beta-editing. Some are still replying, but I already know what has to be changed – and am I editing it? Nope. Btw, it is in Russian, so I can seriously offer it to read only to a very small part of my flist.

Writing stories are so much more pleasurable activity than writing cover letters, yet I spent more time with the latter. ::sigh::

Apparently trying to catch up all Writercon reports is positively impossible, as well as commenting on all of those that I did catch up. Generally, I’ve got an impression of a happy blur with some minor annoyances.
avrelia: (kbwater by teh_indy)
Instead of finishing my Moscow stories, or anything else useful, I want to tell you lots of unnecessary information about my life.

The cable people came and disconnected cable from our apartment – not more TV. It doesn’t surprise me, since we didn’t pay for the cable services – we moved in, turned the TV on, it worked. It showed most of the channels, anyway. Now it doesn’t. ::sigh:: Whatever. Not going to pay 80 CAD for the privilege to watch five channels two-three hours a day (amount of what we were watching). Not now, or any time soon, in any case. I wanted to watch Olympic games, of course, but… May be, we’ll think of something.

In the computer news: we have a lot of computers at home now. As many as tables. ;) My computer has gone back to Windows. Which is weird again. It took me not a little effort to get used to Linux environment, and now I don’t want to lose it, and it feels cool to use Linux, and it has lots of cool unnecessary things – free things beside. I loved The Tea Cooker, and Moon Phases, and the Sky Map, and all the games…

But the truth is – the applications that I actually use – need Windows. So, I am back. Not sure for how long. I feel now with my computer like with a hotel room - may be I’ll move tomorrow, may be I’ll stay for two more month. Strange feelings towards computer.

Pigeons on our balcony have two baby pigeons now. How are they called? I am dreading the moment they grow up and become noisy – but we cannot throw them away now. So we are stuck with pigeons. Great. I cannot use my balcony.

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