My New Student

Today I was introduced to a new student at my volunteer gig in the libary.  She’s in kindergarten which makes her about 5 years old I think.  Her mom told me she doesn’t read well and which stops her from reading to her daughter.  She wants her daughter to do well.  I looked down at her with her bright eyes and big smile.  She was carrying a Paw Patrol knapsack.  Thanks to a past student, I kinda know who they are.  I asked her who her favorite was.  With a big smile, she said “Rocky!”.

I walked with her to the stacks and she grabbed four books.  I had no idea what she could read.  She was a bit quiet when I read to her.  She didn’t want to read by herself.  She seemed more interested in the other students.  Eventually she started to follow me as I read to her.   was on a page where a bird was trying to eat a worm.  Then she whispered to me she has a worm too.  She had rolled her chewing gum into something resembling a white worm.  Then she put it back in her mouth.

Hmm… I didn’t really react but made a mental note that this little girl is gonna keep me on my toes.  The other notable part of my first hour with her was that I  sung a verse of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and even remembered to open my palms like a star twinkling.  I also sang a couple of lines of Rock a Bye Baby.  It’s a good thing I’m anonymous here.  My tough guy image would not survive.

It’s tough working with kids.



Winter Blahs

I’m feeling a bit weird lately.  Maybe it’s just from the lack of sleep although I’m slowly recovering from that.  I feel so emotionally vulnerable.  It’s as if I’m 17 again and so frigging vulnerable.  Sometimes just seeing stuff on social media, or something on TV will trigger it.  Weird.  The only thing I can do right now is acknowledge the feelings and set them aside.  I’ll have to process these later.

I had a weird dream last night.  I was in some sort of refugee or prison camp.  It was in a dungeon like place.   I was lying down with others and I realized my mom was beside me.  I was trying to process what was going on when someone in front of us (sorry for this…) emptied their bowels.  We both covered our noses, turned away and I woke up.

On another note, I was sad to find out my cousin broke up with his bf around Christmas.  They were going to move in together but a lot of things didn’t work out.  I just feel so badly for my cousin.  He’s dealt with so many challenges in his life already and has other things to worry about.  But he’s also strong and tough.  I know he’ll get through this somehow.

I hope everyone is feeling better. 2020 is moving fast, I can’t believe we’re in February already.

Attacking My Sleep

I’m on my 3rd night of meds (7.5g zoplicone).  It seemed to worked better last night.  I took it about an hour before my bedtime.   I read a bit and must have fallen asleep around 1:30 with the lights on.  I didn’t hear the alarm ring.  It was almost 8:30 when I woke up.  I felt  a bit groggy still.  Most of it went away after my morning shower and coffee.  I might do it for one more night just so I can get back to a regular sleep cycle.

Enough about me. How are you folks doing?  Eating ok?  Sleeping well?  How’s work?  Anything I can help you with?

Sleep Is Gold

I had a tough day yesterday.  My insomnia had kicked in for several days.  I woke up around 9:30 after sleeping for about 5 or 6 hours.  The entire day was just in a fog.  I didn’t leave my condo.  I didn’t even say a word to anyone all day.  The only thing I thought of as I headed into bed was how much I wasted the day.  Time is precious and I wasted it.  I felt even more disappointed in myself.  I knew it would be a long night trying to sleep.  I set my sleep app but 45 minutes of listening to waves and rain just kept me awake.  I got annoyed at my pillows, my blankets, my phone and the book I was reading.  I debated whether it would just make more sense to stay up.  It would be almost 4 AM before I got to sleep.

This morning I woke up around 8:30.  After a long debate with myself, I managed to head out for a walk.  The sun encouraged my legs to keep moving.  After 30 minutes, I grabbed a quick bite.  I felt better and decided to continue walking.  I also managed to take some pictures.  But I’m still hesitant to take pictures of people walking in the street.

It’s almost midnight.  I’ll take some meds to sleep.  I could use a clone who is not insomniac.  I can take the night shift, while he just does whatever I tell him to do during the days.

The Alchemist

I arrived at the library 10 minutes early for my volunteer gig.  Then I got a text from the mom of my student that they were running late.  With the extra time, I decided to borrow a book.  I walked up and down the aisles looking at the variety of books.  Some were familiar but I didn’t grab them.  As my time was winding down, I saw a book with an orange cover sticking out of the shelves.  It wasn’t filed neatly so it jutted out.  It was  “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

I had no idea what the book was about but vaguely remembered the title.  I did recognize the author but didn’t realize he wrote this book.


I thought the book was a medieval fantasy.   But it was more along the lines following your dreams and battling fear, being persistent, focusing on your journey and always taking action.  It hit me at the right place in the right time as I need a bit of an awakening.  A lot of what the author wrote resonated deeply with me.  I really enjoyed it and made a mental note to purchase this book as I want to reread it again.

The week after, I went back to the same shelf but couldn’t find any of his other books.  Then I realized the shelf where I found his book was for authors with names starting with F, G, H.  I was positive this was the shelf because of the display at the front of the shelf.  I walked to the shelf with Cs and found another of his book and borrowed that.

But I couldn’t help think how odd that I found a book that was misfiled and was poking out a bit so I would see it.  Coehlo also wrote about omens in the book and we should pay attention to them.

Here’s a link to his blog about the >  lessons in his book. <


Car problems

My 20+ year old car started to act weird today as I was driving to my sister’s place.  The engine light came on, and when I was driving in low gear, the car would surge and run very roughly.  I had just gotten off the highway and it was normal.  I was close to my sister’s place and left it there.  I’ll have to call the garage tomorrow and see what time I can bring it in.

I hope it’s nothing serious.  I’ve got over 330,000 kilometers on this car since I drive mostly on weekends.  I hope it’s nothing major.  If it is, I’ll probably have to determine how much longer I can keep this car.  I really hate to spend big dollars on a car now.  I don’t have a lot of trust in used cars.  Maybe I’m just am too skeptical.  I’ve driven compact cars and would like to get a CUV or small SUV because it’s easier to get into and I can better see the road.  But because they are in such high demand, their prices are higher.

Or maybe I just go for a Zipcar where I can pay a monthly fee and then rent a car (rates depend on the type of car and duration of use).

Some Pics and Some Words

I took this photo on a bitterly cold night.  I was inspired by some other photographers who were taking some very interesting photos at night.  There was this one guy in England who stays out all night looking for interesting images.  This building was built in 1891 (Levack Block).  It’s currently a bar / restaurant.

Version 2

The front windows at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St. West. It’s now a boutique art hotel with a lively bar / restaurant.  It was built in 1889 across a train station at then the western edge of the city.

Version 2

A bit of snow from a recent snow squall.  This was taken on a busy street and the plant was on a sidewalk planter.


I have no idea what this year will be like.  I just want to focus on 2 areas that I enjoy – photography and writing.  I just want to develop them as best as I can.  I’ve come across a lot of talented local photographers.  It’s a bit intimidating seeing how well they have developed their talent.

It’s too bad procrastination isn’t a skill I can make monetize.  I may not be world class but I think I’ve mastered this quite well.

Have a great week everyone.