6 January, 2007 • 10:05 pm 0
So maybe it’s the warm weather, maybe it’s the lack of feline friend, or maybe it’s my body’s lack of timezone compliance. Whatever the reason, I’ve been super busy in the apartment.
I’ve finally donated away all of the clothing that no longer fits me. I had been holding onto it, to wear once I’ve lost weight. But I’ve decided that I’ll deserve a shopping trip as reward for taking that weight off. And then, once I’d cleaned out the closets and shelves, I moved onto the rest of my pad.
Sadly, this included cleaning up the litter box, toys, and food bowls. (If anyone wants/needs bowls for their pets (plastic or ceramic), please let me know. Likewise, I have a somewhat used snail-shaped scratching post and random cat and dog toys. Let me know if you can use any of them, otherwise they’ll be donated to the SPCA later this week.)
I talked on the phone with my parents today, and they put me on speaker phone so that I could talk with Moishe Pumpkin. I made his “call” (a specific whistle, followed by a clicking noise) – when I make that call, he comes to my side, or will follow me around. So in Seattle, I would make that call and he would follow me downstairs, or would hop onto the bed to sleep next to me. Anyway, I made the call over the phone, and he started looking around for me. Deb held the phone down and I called Moishe Pumpkin again; Deb reported that he came up to the phone, nudged it then started licking it. Aww… I miss the li’l bugger. (Oh, and he’s totally better and healthy again. He’s roaming around the house, stalking Thomas and Pumpkin, playing with Thomas and Pumpkin, eating, and being a cute brat again. The vet will still run tests on his stool to see what caused the obstruction in the first place, but for the meantime, he’s better.)
Finally, for those of you who aren’t in Montreal, aren’t experiencing the weirdness first hand somewhere on the east coast, you’re missing out on some oddly mild winter weather. Today it was 12ºC! I went for a nice afternoon walk – wearing shorts! Shorts, in Montreal, in January? Madness!
25 December, 2006 • 6:12 pm 0
I’m about to sit down to Christmas dinner with my family – father, step-mother, and brother. It still feels weird to be doing Christmas, but such is life when one’s step-mother isn’t Jewish. And it’s mostly about the food anyway… Her tradition is to have goose on Christmas. And this year I cooked it, along with the side dishes, from recipes my parents picked out from The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York. Roast goose with apples (apples feature Berentzen’s Apfel Korn), mashed potatoes, carrots, and surrkol (a Norwegian red cabbage dish, not from this cookbook but from my step-mother’s family). And I’m happily drinking more Apfel Korn with gingerale – tasty!
Hope those of you who celebrate Christmas have/had a good one.
11 July, 2006 • 12:42 pm 0
In 1932, my paternal grandfather went on a hunting trip in the Laurentians with some of his friends. I’m not sure of all of the logistics, but I do know that it involved flying over the Laurentians in a small airplane. My grandfather, so the story goes, looked down at one of the many lakes and declared that he wanted it. So, after their hunting trip ended, he got in the car and drove around trying to find that one lake. He found a farmer and asked if he knew if there was a lake nearby. The farmer said there was only the big one a ways down the road, Lac Masson, or in the other direction Lac Des Îles. The farmer’s wife then reminded her husband that there was a lake, at the very back of their property, that they used to swim in as kids. The farmer never went back there, and had completely forgotten that there was a lake there. The farmer and his wife invited my grandfather and his friend to stay for a meal. My grandfather, who spoke French as his third language, but was raised with Yiddish and English, was asked about his accent, where in Quebec he was from. My grandfather said he lived in Montreal, but wasn’t Quebecois. He said he was Jewish. The farmer declared that it wasn’t possible – where were my grandfather’s horns?!
Fast forward a couple years, and my grandfather owns a good chunk of land to the north of Ste-Marguerite[-Du-Lac-Masson]. He built a few homes, put some docks on the lake’s shore, and made a road. My father learnt to swim there, as did most of his cousins. My father sold a good deal of the homes and land before I was born, but kept a couple homes for the family. I’ve been told we spent a bunch of time there when I was a kid, but I don’t remember. (I do remember the other homes our family had outside of Val-Morin, which is also where the family reunion was. As well as the home on Lac Robert, named after my father, though I can’t remember what town that’s near.)
Which brings us to Sunday, when I get an email from my first-cousin-once-removed, who lives up at one of those homes. He’s coming into Montreal on Thursday, and has invited me to join him for the ride back, to stay as long as I want. I asked my father about it since, well, I haven’t seen this guy since… my bar mitzvah? My memories of him are limited. I remember a stranger sitting in a car outside our Toronto home for hours. When I told my parents he was there, they weren’t surprised. A few weeks later, that same “stranger” presented my parent with a painting of our house, for her birthday. I remember that for my bar mitzvah I received a similar gift; a really detailed sketch of my bedroom, but the perspectives were intentionally skewed and warped. He taught architecture at Parsons. And then I remember that he worked as an escort on the Queen Elizabeth II, dancing away the winters with the women who cruised instead of snowbirding to Florida. (Tuxedo escort, the real meaning of “high class escort,” not someone you’d phone after finding their advertisement in the back of your city’s free weekly newspaper.)
So Thursday I’ll be going up there with him. I’m looking forward to swimming in the lake, relaxing, and catching up on some reading. I’ll either come back Friday in time for Shabbat, or Saturday night.