Cheery Cherry Trees

There are a few places in Toronto with cherry trees and they are finally blooming.  The crowds can get pretty big sometimes.  We haven’t had a lot of bright sunny days and the last couple of days have been a bit windy.  There are the usual idiots in the crowd.  They pull the branches around themselves – seriously?   Some wear skimpy clothes, smile when the camera is on them and then quickly put on their jackets afterwards.

But enough complaining.  They only blooms for a short period of time.



I like daffodils too.



I Need a Tune Up

I took my car in to change my winter tires, get a tune up and do some other maintenance.  For a 20 yr old car, it’s still in decent shape and I only drive it on the weekends.  I thought I had to change the timing belt but my mechanic checked and said it wasn’t due yet.  All this work already cost me a few hundred dollars so I’m glad I didn’t have to do it yet. My mechanic is a Vietnamese Canadian and partly owns the garage.  He knows my ‘hood and the pho places here. He’s got a bit of an old school approach.  In addition to the computerized records of my car’s maintenance, he also writes them on the engine compartment (e.g. tranny flush at 225K).  I still have my annual rust proofing to do and I will get that done before the end of the month.

When I picked up my car, my mechanic said it’s in great shape.  I told him the paint isn’t that shiny anymore and it has a few scratches and dents.  But he said the engine, brakes, transmission, tires and clutch are still in good shape.  I joked that the car is in better shape than I’m in.

That actually isn’t too far from the truth.  I’m looking for a physiotherapist to help my body heal. I think I need more than my chiropractor.  I have ongoing problems with my ankle (from that sprain in January), back and arm.  It’s a bit confusing trying to find one.  I want someone within walking distance (if I’m in pain, I need to be able to get there), competitively priced and of course, qualified.  I probably need to put everything on a spreadsheet.  And some of these therapists are hot Asian guys and I it will make me feel so inferior and self conscious.


The 2 dragons represent my inner demons battling for my soul.  LCBO is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the government managed liquor store.  I’m drinking to dull the reality of my situation.  (j/k… I don’t do that)


I’m Sure I Heard Something

So the other night, I was lying on top of my blankets getting ready to sleep.  But I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.  I started to close my eyes.  I took of my reading glasses and placed it on my night table along with my phone.  My night table is a small, metal filing cabinet. I closed my eyes and I could feel myself starting to drift off.  I remember thinking I really should brush my teeth.  Then I heard my glasses being dragged across the filing cabinet.

I turned and my glasses were on top of my phone.  I never put my glasses on top of my phone in case I need to reach for my phone.  I was wide awake now and trying to make sense out of this.  Maybe I was already in that half sleep / half awake state and my subconscious mind was just interacting with my conscious mind.  Maybe I did leave my glasses on top of my phone. Well – I decided to watch some TV instead since I was wide awake.

By 3 or 4, I got back to bed and left the lights on.  When I woke up, the lights were off.  I never look forward to bedtime.

A Bit of An Update

So it’s been interesting since my last update.  I’ve started to write a bit.  I took a writing course a couple of years ago and there was one assignment that has stuck on me.  It’s about family relationships.  So I decided to look at it again and started to edit it.  I feel so lost but it’s fun.  There’s another longer story that I was hacking away at some time ago and I want to work on that one too.  But I think that one needs a complete rewrite.  I’m going to dig up my notes too.  And maybe take another course.

Here are some recent photos.

My orchids are blooming!


I took some night photos.  Part of me wanted to add 2028 after Brooklyn (inside joke for someone…).


I liked the condensation on the inside of the glass.  I wanted the colours to be  bit deeper and richer though.


I liked the red glow here.


It was interesting taking pictures at night.  I need a lot more practice though.





I was torn whether to post this or not.  It feels so much like a cop out.  I have not been in a good state of mind these past few months.  As weird as this sounds, I’m taking a break from job hunting.  I wasn’t that productive and wasn’t putting in the work when I got discouraged.  It felt like life was just speeding past me.  I stopped caring. I knew I was in trouble when reading to 7 year old kids became the highlight of my week.

My plan is to spend some time on writing and photography.  These are 2 activities that make me happy.  I also need to focus more on my health – both physical and mental.  Hopefully I can reenter my job hunt in a better frame of mind.  I didn’t think it would take this long to find another job.  I do understand that I alone am responsible for the lack of progress and also my own happiness.






“Good Morning Viet Mom”

I saw a one man show called  “Good Morning Viet Mom“. It was one of the most powerful shows I’ve ever seen.  It’s written and performed by Franco Nguyen.

good morning viet mom dk

(photo credit:  Dahlia Katz)

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Arts website had this write up along with a short video.  The set was sparse.  As soon as Franco came onstage, he quickly got us on his side with a bit of humour (I didn’t know he was a comedian).  He gave an energetic performance that had humor, insight and raw emotion.  It was heartbreaking and touching.  It was so well written and delivered.  I had no idea how he memorized the dialogue (just over an hour).

gmvm 2

(photo credit:  Dahlia Katz)

His parents were refugees from Vietnam who met at a refugee camp in Malaysia.  He was born in Winnipeg but moved to Toronto when he was less than a year old.  He grew up speaking English while his parents spoke Vietnamese.  His parents had marital issues which led to their separation when he was young. It was tough on his mom who suffered spousal abuse.  Resources for here weren’t widely available back then and she didn’t speak English that well.  I can’t imagine how this affected Franco when he grew up.


(photo credit:  Dahlia Katz)

Since he spoke English, he took on the role of the translator at an early age.  He would translate documents such as insurance forms and rental agreements.  With both generation and language gaps, he and his mom seldom communicated.  The play is about the relationship with his mom and how it changed when they went to Vietnam.  It would be his mom’s first trip in 28 years and his first.  His mom was finally reunited with her mom but sadly her mom was already ill.

gmvm 3

(photo credit:  Dahlia Katz)

The trip provided Franco with a very different perspective on his mom.  He began to understand his mom, her upbringing and started to understand how she expressed her love to him in ways he couldn’t see, hear or understand when he was growing up.  The play is his homage to his mom.

gmvm 4

(photo credit:  Dahlia Katz)

It’s a great show and I hope to see it pops up again.  I’ll have to keep a closer eye on the theatre scene here.

Smelling My Fear

I was early for my meeting at the library with a fellow job hunter.  Standing in front of one of the meeting rooms was a heavy set Asian guy.  He had stringy, grey hair that matched his beard and disheveled clothes.  He had a large cart which had an old black case and several plastic bags tied on top.  I passed by him and his body odor was overwhelming.

Once I sat down,  I looked out the glass walls in my meeting room.  He was still standing outside the adjacent room looking around.  At first I couldn’t figure out why he was looking around.  The library lets a lot of people in as long as they don’t cause trouble.  Some homeless folks need the library because they can access computers.  Sometimes I see people wandering around and talking to themselves.

Then he gathered his cart and headed inside the meeting room.  I think he wanted to see if anyone was going to use it.  I think he just wanted to use the room to sleep.  After a few minutes one guy came by, saw him in the meeting room and walked away.  A couple more people showed up, paused by the door but eventually one of them went in and said something.  A few minutes later, the homeless guy pushed his cart out and walked to a nearby space.

The people went into the room and quickly came out.  One guy grimaced as held his nose.  I guess the body odor in the room was pretty bad.  The homeless guy quickly went back in when he saw them abandoned the room.  But a library staff came by shortly afterwards and told the man to leave the room.

They had to leave the door open room to air the room out.  The group hung around for a bit and decided to find another spot.  I felt bad for the homeless guy and wondered what he was thinking.  Sometimes I wonder what goes on in their lives and how they ended up like this.   And sometimes, I have this irrational fear that I’ll end up as one of them.