Tuesday was Saint Patrick’s Day, but that’s also my cousin C.’s birthday. The Carlton Cards outlet at Scotia Square had “Birthday on St. Patrick’s Day” cards, so that made card-shopping easy – they had “Cousin’s Birthday” cards, too, but I think it would have been a stretch to expect “Second Cousin’s Birthday on St. Patrick’s Day” cards. I’m sure they’re working on that, though. Incidentally, I got lucky (in a strictly ordinary sense) because C. alternates the parties between strictly-birthday years and acknowledge-that-it’s-St.-Patrick’s-Day years, and I just happened to hit the latter.
We ate at the Citadel Inn and even topped up at Boston Pizza later. I think I spent a pretty obscene amount of money on myself, but I guess I got my money’s worth because I had a pretty good go of things. In the big picture, I foolishly went from beer to vodka to vodka with lemonade to beer to wine to beer. Kids, don't try this at home. C. let me and a friend of hers from Truro crash for the night. That was pretty cool.
The next day, though? Well, I put up a brave face, but the truth is that the bus ride home was spent fighting off nausea. I could barely even bear to glance at the schedule to figure out when my connecting bus would be. Man alive. I shouldn’t have spent that hour on C.’s floor reading her book of Far Side cartoons.
Somewhat later on Wednesday I took Paul out for groceries. A quick stop at family friend H.’s to drop off maple syrup became me helping him move a mattress (happy to oblige) and then sitting in the cold van with the blower on while they chatted… of course, the van hadn’t been running much at all while I’d been in PEI, and so when I went to start it up again all I heard were clicks. Man. So there was more standing out in the cold while H. tested the battery (I had to roll my eyes internally a bit at this) and then kindly used his Eliminator powerbox which we boosted off of to get the van started again. He encouraged us to take it with us, just in case we needed it again – fortunately, we were OK. So yeah, I guess the moral of the story is to be careful not to run your accessories for too long. Why can’t there be a gauge or something that lets you know the power level remaining in the battery?
On Thursday I went out with S. We went to the Roadhouse down in Bedford, but tiring of that “scene” we rolled into town. I’ll put this politely: I should have gone before we left. We saw D. (K.’s ex) on the bus, which was fortuitous because I needed all the conversational distraction I could get as I swung my left leg back and forth in the aisle, not giving a shit who saw. I negotiated a premature bolt at a penultimate block, and dashed into the Tim Hortons.
I guess I’d left it for so long (not to mention that I’d run across a parking lot, car wash, and drive thru at a straining, breakneck speed) that I didn’t feel that characteristic “Aaah” moment. Instead, I nearly doubled over with pain. It took me some minutes to get myself back together.
And you know what? I’d misread the bus schedule – we’d gone out too late to get the bus we wanted, and quite early for the one we got. I’d had plenty of time at that bus stop at Mill Cove – I could have walked up to the Dairy Queen and back, easily.
So we walk the last couple of blocks and reach Gus’ Pub. There’s an interesting crowd there. My type of progressive seediness. V.’s even bartending – I hadn’t seen him in many a year.
You know that sinking feeling when some sketchy fellow leeches onto you, or more to the point, the girl you came with? V., bartending, remarked wryly: "I didn't not notice that."
Like, if you went to UPEI, you should be able to tell me the year you graduated. This guy had supposedly gone to UPEI, and he also said that he'd lived in Toronto, but he couldn’t name names or cite specifics. I just – I dunno, I just kinda felt rubbed the wrong way. On the Toronto basis alone S. figured he was lying too, but decided he was harmless, which I couldn’t disagree with, except that I personally find dishonesty of this kind profoundly disturbing. I had the misfortune of running smack between two pathological liars in my last semester at SMU. Hey, I’ll have to tell T. that we met another whats-his-face. (Private joke concerning a congenital parasite of our acquaintance.)
I left to catch the last bus; S. decided to stay on. On parting, we embraced. That was kind of hot. =)
Friday! I make a run to the library and pick up the Sloan tickets at Dalhousie. OK, online information on this concert is scant, so I’m filling in: It’s a club performance, basically – they’re playing the Grawood next Friday (the 27th), and tickets are limited. They had less than 100 left when I picked up a pair for S. and myself today. (I have tickets #165 and 166 out of a total 250.) J. and his girlfriend might be coming, too – that would be neat, I think.
From my understanding, you don’t have to be a Dal student to attend this concert, unless you’re under 19, in which case you’ll definitely need your Dal ID. (It’s wet / dry, but you can see why they don’t want to have to deal with minors who aren’t connected with Dal.) There’s also no way to get tickets online or by telephone – you yourself have to schlep on over to the info desk at Dal’s Student Union Building and plunk down the cash ($15 each).
I’m pretty excited about this – it’s my first rock show, basically.
Also on Friday, I went to see the B.s – mostly to drop off a book that I’d borrowed and held onto for two years (I’d better not let on that I didn’t read it), but I ended up staying for quite a while and even coming back again (this time by invitation) after my voice lesson with C.
Dr. B showed me this terrific homely little sanctuary he made in his basement – he calls it his Mecca. This is a Hajj that one can perform with household slippers. Anyway, it’s just so perfect and awesome. It’s a nerd cave of the best kind. Even the path there is lined with numbered, neatly stacked boxes, and there’s a ton of charming kitsch all around. Man. I rarely feel genuinely impressed and enthused (and envious!) about what people are trying to show me, but I sure felt it then.
And my voice lesson, as it happens, was pretty great. Mostly we did things related to posture and breathing. It wasn’t at all like going to the dentist, I assure you. =) And I was starkly astonished at some of the little things she told me about – honestly, I really had no idea what a diaphragm even was, though a few drama teachers and such faintly alluded to them. And C. has cool ways of explaining things, too. I’m pretty excited for next week.
Ah, fun fun fun! Thanks to the 89 bus, my life is ten times easier. (Having a clothes dryer here is a big help, too – I love having my clothes free of unsightly lint pills.)
As far as that bus goes, it doesn’t really help me get in and out of town faster, but it does make the trip easier and more convenient. The one downside, though, is that with the 25-minute walk to the 80 came some flexibility. If I was running a little late, I could run down the hills and gain five minutes. If I was really late, I could run up and down the hills and shave off nearly ten. I’d be a sweaty mess, but I’d make it. With the 5-minute walk, there isn’t nearly so much flexibility – I have to stay on my toes, because there’s less room to make a mistake.
Funny, there are no stops on the actual Hammonds Plains Road near my house – I have to walk to and from the foot of Bluewater Road. It’s not bad, but it’s curious. Well, as I stood up at the front of the bus to keep an eye on the stops while we rolled down the hill in the dark just after midnight (I was the only passenger), the driver asked me where I was getting off. It was super late and there wasn’t any traffic, so he was in the mood to make a request stop. So I told him where I’d ordinarily get off, but also where I would like to get off.
He said he’d take a look, and we let a car go by, leaving the HPR empty. And here’s the surprise: The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works specifically forbade Metro Transit from erecting stops on that stretch of the HPR, and Transit in turn instructed their drivers not to stop there! If you’ve ever driven there, you’ll know why – I think it has a lot to do with the wicked blind crest that they’ll be lowering and widening this summer. After that gets finished I could see there being stops – at least I hope there will be!
“I won’t tell anyone,” I laughed as he pulled over. (Whoops, I guess that turned out to be a lie.)
“Just don’t get run over when you cross the road,” he rejoined.
Anyway, that was nice of him, but I won’t ask to be let off there again, because it kind of puts the drivers in an awkward position. Oh, and in my experience Metro Transit drivers are pretty OK. There’s been a cluster of funny things in the news lately that give people pause, but I have to go back nearly a decade to reach my last really bad experience with a driver, and if I had been more educated for my own part it wouldn’t have happened.
I apologize to those concerned for having been a little gossipy with this post. =) Catch you later!