Friday, September 15, 2006

Busy

...I have been, the last 7 days having included, but not being limited to, receiving guest from Iowa, groceries, receiving guests from Japan, and a surprise visit from a friend of theirs, unknown to us, from Albany; wandering around Old Montreal in the rain, a museum, with multimedia historical presentation, lunch with a bored and cranky child, more wandering, passing on more museum activities in attempt to assuage child's crankiness, whirlwind shopping excursion to find birthday gift for child's friend, barbecue, discussion of War and Peace and war and peace, scenic drive, stop at lookout to admire view of city, stop at other lookout, not nearly enough coffee, visit to botanical gardens, passing on tour of Olympic stadium and finding other means by which to entertain cranky child, contending with traffic jams and reroutes the likes of which I've never seen, due to marathon, birthday party in outer reaches of city for daycare friend of cranky child at community gym and with trampolines, which cranky child wanted no part of, but the cake was good, childcare arrangements for evening, dinner out, adults only, thank goodness, with conversation ranging across Japanese ceramics, Kansas school boards, and Polish cuisine, though I was alone in indulging in zubrowka ("It smells of freshly mown hay and spring flowers, of thyme and lavender, and it's so soft on the palate and so comfortable; it's like listening to music by moonlight." – W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge), wandering in the old town, wandering downtown, one church, another church, a clock, and a bank for its architectural interest, breakfasts, lunches, and coffees and chocolates, and shopping, more shopping, then J-F in the wee hours driving guests to the airport for an early morning flight; some laundry, one guest remaining in town and will stay with us a night, bribing Helena to give up her bed by letting her sleep in a tent in our room, assembling said tent, some semblance of normality returning (ignoring for the moment the tent in my bedroom), visits to parks, and more laundry (where did it all come from?), burgers for supper, movie rental (Why the boys chose a chick flick — Shopgirl — is beyond me. Verdict: sweet, even poignant, but lacking the novella's wit.) with popcorn, and sleep interrupted to move cars, and may as well say goodbye, at 5 in the morning, as the neighbourhood is cordoned off for the filming of "Nitro" (Keywords: transplant, race car, action hero. "Max leads a well-ordered life. He has a seven-year-old son, Théo, and a girlfriend, Alice, who lies in a hospital bed waiting for a new heart that never arrives. He gathers together all the money he has and contacts a gang of criminals, shady characters from his troubled past." Really.), though amid running errands the only shooting I see is the one I see on tv, our visitors will have something to talk about, we drove past the site in preceding days, and I think to myself the book I'm reading was purchased across the street, and phonecalls from my mother intended as a shared reaction to tragedy sound less like concern and more like blame for choosing this life, my life, in a godforsaken city so far from "home," and sleep, more laundry, more sleep; I think I'm coming down with something.
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