misslynx: (Me w/ Kiska (on couch))
First surreal moment of the day:

Where are we going, and why are we in this handcart? )

And this (among many other reasons) is why I should never become a bus driver. Because that would be me. Every single day.

. . .

Second surreal moment of the day:

The Hound of the Baskervilles... wants to be your friend )

. . .

In less surreal news, I am now coming to fully appreciate why cardigan sweaters are popular among middle-aged women. In particular, things like those "twin sets" of cardigan + camisole/tank-top. I think I need to get about a dozen of them.

Random perimenopausal grousing )
misslynx: (Aidan & me - w/ dandelion)
On the way back to [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen and [livejournal.com profile] optimystik's place earlier tonight to drop off the Smallest, I had a very... unusual encounter.

There were two scruffy-looking guys sitting in the doorway of a closed shop, drinking, and one of them called out something to me as a I passed that I initially misheard as asking for a dollar for his college fund. Thinking this was at least a cleverer than usual panhandling line, I declined, but politely -- smiled and said "Sorry, I can't right now."

But then he said "No, no, I want to give you a dollar for his college fund!" -- while pointing at Aidan.

I was a little startled, to say the least, and asked "Seriously?"

"Yeah!" he said, taking a loonie out of his pocket as he walked over to where I was, and then added with an impish smile "You know, it's amazing how many people won't stop, even when I'm offering them free money."

"I guess they just hear what they're expecting to hear," I said.

"Yep," he said, and handed me the loonie. "Now don't go spending that on beer, OK? It's for the kid!"

I laughed and assured him I wouldn't, and we bid each other good night.

It's times like this that make me think that we really do live in a strange and wonderful world sometimes...
misslynx: (Curtana Fairy)
misslynx: (Cat Attack)
Had a very weird experience walking Kiska earlier tonight. Just past the park I usually take her to, she was up on the lawn of a house sniffing at things, when I saw a small, long-haired ginger cat looking at us. Out of habit, I called to the cat, although I didn't really expect him to come near with Kiska there. But he did, though a little hesitantly, and came up and rubbed against my hand, though glancing warily at Kiska and making a few little warning "wrr-rrr-rrr" type sounds under his breath.

Kiska noticed the cat and came over closer, because Kiska is made of optimism where cats are concerned, and expects all strange cats to want to be her friend, despite the fact that in the five years I've had her, this has almost never been the case. I expected the cat to run away, but no -- he glared up and her, and then walked across the little wall he was standing on, directly in front of Kiska, who was only inches away. I had just started to compliment him on being fearless, when he suddenly turned around took a whack at her with his paw. She yelped and jumped back, then, giving him a wide berth, jumped down the sidewalk and stayed on the far side of me, glancing nervously at the cat, who by now I guess she was pretty certain was not her friend.

The cat, looking very pleased with himself, strolled back along the wall and rubbed up against me again -- and then jumped off the wall and went charging straight for Kiska. He got in one good swiped before she yelped and ran out into the street, and I got in between them and pushed him back.

Since this was now well beyond admirable fearlessness in a cat and into sheer thuggishness, I tried saying emphatically "NO! BAD kitty!" while keeping Kiska behind me and urging her to get moving, which at this point took very little urging. So we started off, only to look back and see that the cat was following us, with a look of determination in his eyes. The fact that Kiska outweighed him by about ten times didn't seem to deter him at all (nor did it reassure Kiska any -- she was definitely trying to put some distance between her and this cat).

I stopped and told him to go back, which being a cat he ignored completely. His body language didn't look aggressive, and he seemed to be looking at me more than at Kiska, so I thought maybe he'd just swiped at her because she was on his territory before, and he was now following us just because he was affection-starved or something. So I reached out to him, somewhat against my better judgment, and he came up and rubbed adorably on my hand looking all sweet and cute again -- and then, as soon as he had me off guard, darted past me and tried to attack Kiska again!

I intercepted him, just barely, and yelled "BAD kitty! GO HOME!", pointing back to the house where we'd found him, but he just kept trying to duck around me to get at Kiska again. So I nudge him back with one foot, and then took off with Kiska, not running, but walking very fast. Looked back: he was following us again.

When we crossed the street diagonally to our block, he stayed on the corner, and began mewing piteously, as thought to say "Wait! Wait! Why are you leaving? Look at me! I am cute and adorable! How could you possibly abandon me like this? Don't you realize that I have not been petted or given attention EVER?"

Not about to be fooled at this point, I left him there, and when I eventually couldn't hear the mewing any more, glanced back just to be sure -- and the damn cat had crossed the street and was heading after us again. So for the remaining long block down to our building Kiska and I played Dodge The Ginger Avenger, with me running interference when necessary -- and the cat nearly always trying to get friendly with me in between bouts of trying to assassinate my dog.

At one point we passed another pedestrian, and the cat seemed to get distracted, looking up at the new person with the same "Love me! Love me NOW!" sort of look that he had tried on me, but apparently got nowhere. I glanced back hopefully and saw no sign of the cat, and thought momentarily that we had escaped -- only to suddenly have him dart out from behind a hedge and go after Kiska again.

We picked up the pace and soon seemed to have lost him again, and finally made it home with no sign of the cat -- until suddenly he appeared from behind a parked car and tried to chase Kiska right into the building.

I got Kiska inside and closed the door, trying to figure out what to do about the cat, who promptly strolled over onto the patio of the Italian restaurant I live above. My apartment is right on the corner of a busy street, and psycho or not, I didn't want the cat to get run over. But on the other hand, given his apparent volatility, I wasn't sure I wanted to try and carry him back to his home -- Kiska may be up to date on her vaccinations, but I'm not! Not to mention that I didn't know if the house where we first saw him even was his home. He didn't have a collar on, though he clearly wasn't a stray -- long-haired cats get matted very quickly if they're not groomed regularly, and his coat was perfectly silky and tangle-free.

Eventually, I lost sight of him and went inside to soothe Kiska's frazzled nerves, leaving Ninja Kitty to find his own way home, though I felt kind of bad about it. I suppose it's weird to be concerned with the well-being of a canicidal and possibly insane stalker cat who seems to have devoted himself to the downfall of my dog, but I do hope he gets home OK.

But I think I may be a little warier of befriending strange cats in the future, because some are clearly stranger than others.

Salsified

Jul. 12th, 2008 04:46 pm
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
Well... I have discovered one interesting side-effect of my new location.

As most of us that live in Toronto, and some who don't, are aware, this is a very, very multicultural city. Also, a city that is very big on street festivals: one of the world's largest Pride celebrations, plus Caribana (a Caribbean festival), Taste of the Danforth (Greek), Corso Italia Festival (Italian, obviously), and a whole bunch of others I can't think of offhand, most notably including the Salsa on St. Clair festival -- a Latin American festival.

Which takes place this weekend. On St. Clair West, between Christie and Winona.

We all recall that I live a block west of Christie, right?

So yes: there is a Salsa festival going on directly outside my apartment. Crowds, booths of Latin American good and merchandise of various sorts, sound stages with live music, dance areas (one of them being the very intersection I live at the corner of), etc. The dance area right outside my apartment is one where they are giving lessons, so the music I have been hearing all day has been frequently been accompanied by an announcer's voice calling out things like "Right! Left! Right! Left! Now, forward! Cha cha cha!"

Despite the fact that this is an annual event, and there are posters up everywhere, I had somehow managed to completely forget about it until last night.

On the bright side, I do not need to bother to play any music in my apartment this weekend, as that would be quite redundant.

On the less bright side, if I want to listen to any other sort of music this weekend apart from Salsa, I am out of luck.

Anyone who phones me this weekend should probably bear in mind that I will not be able to hear the phone unless I am sitting right next to it. And even if I am, hearing you on the other end may be slightly challenging.

Were I inclined to feel like a cranky misanthropist at this particular point in my life, I would probably be finding this all highly annoying. Instead, I have opted to find it entertaining, and I think I will now go out and check it all out from closer up. I have to go get cat food anyway, and that means going straight through three blocks of the festival to get to the pet supply store, so I might as well check it out along the way.

However, we will see how entertaining I still find it by the end of the weekend. This may be a test of my ability to maintain a positive attitude in the face of all things, including unexpected Salsa festivals.

Whoa...

Nov. 14th, 2007 02:04 am
misslynx: (In tree)
According to a recent Globe & Mail poll, nationwide, the Green Party is now ahead of the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois, making them Canada's third most popular party.

Whether or not this will translate to them actually getting any seats in the next election, who knows... Having 13% of the public's support may not translate into 13% of the actual vote, due to people engaging in strategic voting (choosing the least evil party they think has an actual shot at winning, as opposed to the party the actually support), and even if they got 13% of the popular vote, that wouldn't win them any seats if it was spread out fairly evenly among all the ridings instead of being concentrated in a few.

But still... Pretty cool! And also a damn good illustration of why we need proportional representation in some form, if you can be the third most popular party and still never win any damn seats, while the fourth and fifth most popular do.
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
You know, I was all set to vote NDP. I told myself that given that we did not have MMP yet, it was the logical, sensible thing to do, as a vote for the Green Party really wouldn't mean much under the current system, whereas in my riding the NDP candidate just might have a shot at defeating the incumbent do-nothing Liberal.

And given that (a) the province in general does not seem to Conservatively inclined at the moment, and (b) my riding in particular has not elected a Conservative since maybe the late Paleolithic era, I wasn't really worried about taking votes away from the Liberals by voting NDP and thus inadvertently getting a Tory elected. Side note: I think the Tories only choose people they really don't like to run in Davenport. Like the Irkans sending Invader Zim to Earth - it's kind of a way of getting rid of them while looking like you're doing them a favour: "Here, we have a special assignment for you: go run in this riding where the population is more likely to all simultaneously contract 24-hour Ebola than elect you! Run along now!"

But when I actually got my ballot -- after dealing with the referendum first, as I was far more strongly opinionated about that than about the actual choice of candidate -- I saw that the Green candidate in my riding was none other than Frank de Jong, the leader of the Ontario Green Party. I had actually seen his name on signs around the area, and wondered vaguely why the signs all listed the party leader instead of the local candidate. Duh! The party leader is the local candidate!

For a brief moment I tried to resist the magnetism drawing my pencil-clutching hand further up the ballot than I had intended. Party leader or no, voting Green just doesn't make sense in this stupid FPTP* system, I told myself. Vote strategically! You know you should!

And then I thought "Fuck strategic voting," and put my X next to the name of Frank de Jong.

Really, what could I do? Green Party leader! Plus he is Dutch, which is always a bonus. (Hint: those of you who know my last name can reverse-engineer it by turning the double-E back into a double-A.)

Anyway: in the long run I doubt it made any difference, as the results in thus far point to a whopping Liberal majority, and the aforementioned do-nothing incumbent appears to have already gotten twice as many votes as Ferreira and de Jong combined. Oh well.

Too soon to know for sure how the referendum is doing... At present, the percentage of the popular vote seems to be getting nicely up there, but the percentage of overall ridings which it apparently also has to win (I didn't know about that part) is not good. Kind of ironic: it's mirroring the exact situation the MMP system is supposed to correct! Grrr.

ETA (several hours later): Referendum soundly defeated. Poo. No chance of my votes ever actually making a difference, I guess.


* "First Past The Post", as the current system is usually called.
misslynx: (Cat Attack)
Received from Amazon.ca:
We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated The Book of Results by Ray Sherwin have also purchased Mystical Dragon Magick: Teachings of the Five Inner Rings by D.J. Conway. For this reason, you might like to know that Mystical Dragon Magick: Teachings of the Five Inner Rings will be released on October 1, 2007...
*blinks*

Er... Surely you jest.

I don't know which is more brain-explodey, the idea of chaos magicians ordering DJ Conway books, or the fact that they appear to have done it before the book actually became available.

Perhaps I will try and reassure myself that, if this correlation actually did somehow happen, it was only done as an experiment in time travel and not with the intent of actually reading the book.

I should probably cross-post this to [livejournal.com profile] dot_pagan_snark...
misslynx: (Aidan newborn)
[livejournal.com profile] kettunainen, [livejournal.com profile] optimystik and I are delighted to announce the birth of

AIDAN SEBASTIAN WARNER-LANDSTREET

Born at 4:40 am, Thursday, July 26, 2007
At St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
8 pounds, 8 ounces.

Baby, both moms and dad are all doing fine, if somewhat exhausted.

Pictures )

And now, in answer to the two questions almost everyone who knows us is sure to ask:

1. One baby? But I thought you were expecting twins... )

2. Hospital? But I thought you were planning a home birth... )
misslynx: (In tree)
In the future, when contemplating a possible shortcut in a neighbourhood with which I am not overly familiar, I shall try and remember the following:
  1. The Path Less Travelled may make all the difference, but it is not necessarily an efficient means of getting where you thought you were going.

  2. In order for something to be considered a short cut, it needs to, in fact, be short.

  3. Because a path appears to wind in a generally southward direction does not mean it will continue to do so along its whole length.

  4. Even if said path does eventually intersect with the street you were trying to get to, it will not necessarily enable you to get up to said street, if its mode of intersection is by passing under it at the bottom of a huge ravine.

  5. You are not a mountain goat.

  6. If you pass under what you think might have been Bloor St, and continue on a fair distance because there is no good way out of the ravine for people who do not happen to be mountain goats, and eventually you hear another street that sounds extremely busy, where by your calculations no extremely busy street should be, it may be that not only did you not pass under Bloor St after all but perhaps you are not even heading south at all.

  7. The laws of time and space work differently in ravines. They're kind of like Faerie that way.

  8. If the eventual route you find out of the ravine involves the path doubling back on itself up the other side of a river, chances are good it will eventually let you out somewhere almost exactly back where you started.

  9. So, overall, when faced with a choice between two blocks of what I have come to think of as the Mount Pleasant Death March*, on a hot summer day, and a shady tree-lined path into an unknown park, your choice may be obvious, but do not expect to get home at a reasonable hour.
On the bright side, there was a butterfly meadow. So really, it was all good, except for the part about all the stores I needed to go to for errands being closed by the time I found my back to the mortal world.

* Explanatory note to non-Torontonians: Mount Pleasant Road does not involve a mountain, nor is it in any way pleasant. In the area to which I am referring, it is a four-lane highway, every inch of which is blasted by intense sun, contains not a single speck of shade anywhere in its entire length, and I would be willing to swear that it really does run uphill both ways.

ETA: for the curious, the ravine in question was this one. Entered at Mt. Pleasant and Roxborough, went nearly to Bayview before the path went around a storm water thing and back up the other side, came out at approximately Glen Road and South Drive. So the bridge I went under was likely Glen Road rather than Bloor, which I in fact was nowhere near, though I did eventually find my way to Sherbourne and Bloor some while later.
misslynx: (red)
Had a good time at Savage tonight - many people there. Let's see if I can remember them all: [livejournal.com profile] moondaytosunday, [livejournal.com profile] darkmoon31, [livejournal.com profile] annikka, [livejournal.com profile] nikosw, [livejournal.com profile] justindecent and his roommate [livejournal.com profile] shrugmaggot (who normally never leaves the house), [livejournal.com profile] vomitus, [livejournal.com profile] kat_o_9, [livejournal.com profile] velvetmasque, [livejournal.com profile] angeladdams, [livejournal.com profile] axequeen, and of course a few non-LJ regulars like Margaret and Annie.

Ironic - last Saturday Nikos and I took one of the members of our Runequest group and her partner to Savage and there was almost no one there that we knew. Tonight the whole world was there. It's feast or famine, it seems. Anyway, lots of fun and much extreme silliness.

But the really wonderful thing - I was mentioning to a friend (who prefers to remain anonymous) that I was hoping [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane would be able to come up for Valentine's Day and that we just had to do some careful budgeting and sort out if we could afford it, and the friend in question offered to make a substantial donation to the plane ticket fund! I was quite awestruck and could barely manage to get the words out to say thank you. S/he just smiled and said that s/he believed in true love.

And... when I returned to the booth where several other friends were sitting and managed to stammer out what had just happened, while not naming any names, another friend offered to make a donation as well!

Really, I am just about speechless, which is a rare condition for me. :-) My friends are the best in the world. Thank you so much - you know who you are!

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