Unscathed

fisherpricetelephoneSo, a couple of days ago, I got this email that said something to the effect that I owed my cell phone provider some money and that they would be turning this over to a collection agency and my cell phone service would be cut off. This was the first I heard of this, and I wondered why they hadn’t sent any mail before this.  I also wondered why a collection agency would work for such small potatoes.

I tried to tackle the problem when I first got the email, but my carrier doesn’t use traditional customer service reps. They would rather I fumble around with a touch tone menu and then text chat with a computer.  These things are hard enough on a normal day, but when you have to go back and forth to things that are stored on the phone…..frustration is not too strong a word.

I did manage to access my account balance and in a raspy computer generated voice, they informed me that I had paid this month’s bill. So, I forgot about it until today when someone reminded me that I still hadn’t dealt with the issue.  I could let you guess who that someone is, but obviously it was my girlfriend “looking out for” me.

I searched for an office for the carrier and found one located quite close to my work. I went in and after a few buttons pushed, it appears that my account was fine.  They then arranged for a customer service rep to contact me.  This was a novel idea that I took full advantage of.

So, somewhere between work and home, between the crossword and the Sudoku, I got the call. The bus was kind of noisy and not really the place to do any serious calls, but I didn’t want to get a call late in the night.  So, with the rain coming down in sheets, the bus hopping all over the place, and with my stop approaching, I took the call.

After much discussion, the previous information was confirmed. I didn’t owe anything.

My next thoughts were of obvious mistakes to espionage. Was someone trying to get my credit card information?  Was someone looking to steal my identity or my friends?  In time these thoughts faded.  Accidents happen and computers sometimes make mistakes.  That these “mistakes” happen so often in the telephone (land line or cellular) industry is not really a surprise to me either.

I am also keeping in mind that just because they said the problem was resolved, that it might not be. There’s a flaw in the system somewhere and it may come back to h aunt me again.

After reading this lengthy description, you are probably wondering what Today’s Perfect Moment is. Obviously, it is solving a problem and resolving a crisis.  It feels good to win one once in a while.

 

Posted in cell phone, expneses, money, perfect moment, spending money | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Perfect Moments Today

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Photo by gdtography on Pexels.com

Like the title says, there are two Perfect Moments today. In all honesty, I am not sure why I am picking two.  If I just chose one of them, you would be none the wiser.  I could even save one for another time and pretend like it was the Perfect Moment of that day.  I could do that, but I won’t.  I can’t.

The Book

If you read yesterday’s post, you probably know about the book I am reading. If you haven’t, I will make it easy for you and you can just click here.  I don’t want to write a negative review of a book.  After all, these are published authors.  While the writing was good, the story just wasn’t my cup of tea.  As a result, I was slogging my way through the book.  I enjoyed moments of it, but I wasn’t really into it the way you should be with books.  I probably should have quit reading, but after a certain number of pages (and I do not know what that certain number is–but I do know that I passed it) you’ve got to finish the book.

So today, on the subway ride home that is the first leg of my commute, I finished the book. Knowing it was the end, those last few pages sped up and I was able to concentrate enough to get it done before I got to Finch station.  I even had time to transfer my bookmark to the next book I am going to read.

I closed the book with a satisfying snap of the cover and didn’t look back. I didn’t even read the pages of acknowledgement–which I must admit I read more often than not.  I don’t know if it is relief exactly, but it felt good to be finished that slog.

The Walkway

I exited the subway concourse quite far from where I normally enter and exit. This is because I happened to catch a bus going into the station rather than walk to the pedestrian entrance.  This is possible because I have a transit pass and there is one bus stop around the corner from the subway.  I don’t mind walking, but I also don’t mind letting someone else drive me into the station.  The only thing is, the bus enters the south side of the station and I have to get to the north end.

I quickly exited the subway building and found myself in the cavernous hallway that I would have to traverse to get to the bus stops for the YRT. Perhaps giddy from finishing the book, or perhaps just caught up in the moment, I looked at this hallway and started to smile.  I walked….no, I strode with magnificent steps.

It is hard to explain the feeling I had. I was content.  I was headed home.  I felt completely sure of myself.  I thought the space, though large, was so easy to overcome.  I felt …big.

The feeling didn’t last. By the time I got to the bend in the hallway, my second least favourite subway performer was butchering Guns n’ Roses Sweet Child of Mine and I broke into a run, either hoping to catch my bus or avoid the less than intricate guitar playing.

Posted in books, bus, commuting, library, perfect moment, reading, review, subway, TTC, Viva, walking, YRT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Special Blogger

special blogger award

Claudette over at Writer of Words, Etc. Blog awarded me the Special Blogger Award. I appreciate the thought, and I am going to do my best to live up to some of what she has asked.

Generally these things come with questions you have to answer and then they ask you to nominate other bloggers and ask them questions. While I like answering questions–partly because it gives me something to write about, and partly because I chose this platform for expression and expected to have to divulge some information about myself. However, I am not particularly successful at getting other people to answer my questions. I usually spend a lot of time writing, what I believe to be, deep questions and then do not get any responses.

Thank you again Cluadette, my fellow Canadian and resident of the GTA. I highly recommend anyone reading this to click on her name, or the name of her blog above to take a look at her blog. She writes some good stuff and she has lots to give.

Answers to the questions.

  1. Name the book you’re currently reading.

It is called “That’s What Frenemies are For.” By Sophie LIttlefield and Lauren Gershell. I picked it up from the library because outside of a few Lisa Jewell novels, I realized that I do not read enough female authors. I also liked the use of the word Frenemies. It is a term I have come to know well. frenemies

 

The book isn’t rocking my world, but I am more than halfway through–so that means I am going to finish it. I usually read on the bus, but either my attention span has gotten poor, or the bus is just too crowded. Either way, I am finding it hard to really put away some pages.

  1. What is the best/favourite time of day to write your blog posts?

I don’t have a favourite time of day to blog. I generally do it late at night and as a result, I make a number of typing mistakes. Thankfully my girlfriend reads my blog tirelessly and she will suggest some changes for me.

  1. If money and time was no object, where you would you like to go on your next vacation?

Where wouldn’t I want to go. I would probably like to visit Japan again. It has been a while since I have been there and I would like to see it again before I lose all the Japanese I leaned.

  1. They’re planning to send some people to Mars. Putting aside all the complications involved with this trip, would it interest you to be a part of that group, and if so, why or why not?

If they would take me, I would definitely go. The idea of being the explorer of the final frontier is amazing.

  1. Name a tv show or movie you really didn’t like but were compelled to keep watching anyway, and explain why.

I really hated the last episode of How I Met Your Mother, and I wish I hadn’t seen that. I guess that’s not what you meant.

When I lived in Japan, the TV only broadcast 4 shows in English every week. One of them was Full House. I didn’t really like the program, but I watched it for a few weeks because I wanted to watch a TV show in English. For the record the other shows were Picket Fences (a great show) Star Trek TNG, and Little House on the Prairie.

Another show that I watched somewhat religiously while the whole time wondering if I should be doing so, was English Teachers Taiwan (or Taipei Diaries). Maybe it is because I am an ESL teacher and I have been to Taiwan…or maybe it is because it was such a train wreck. Since it aired late at night, I used to tape it (yes VHS tapes) and bring it into work. We would watch it as a group and criticize their teaching and wonder why they decided to make a show of people who really had such difficulty living in Taiwan. The show featured a cast of people who went to Taiwan for a variety of reasons–few of which seemed like good ideas–and were mostly unprepared for what they would find. For the three seasons of the show, only two characters managed to appear in all three seasons. As for what happened to the cast, I really have no idea.

  1. Describe the most challenging part of a relationship (current or past). Could be with anyone (family, friend, professional etc.)

Listening is always difficult. We say we are listening, but are we really? It has taken me a long time to understand this.

  1. Which politician today do you find most entertaining?

Sadly, no one is entertaining me. We elect people to work on our behalf, but most of them, if not all, seem to forget that we employ them. Without us, they would have no job. Also, there are some fundamental things that they should realize would be for the benefit of all of us. Why can’t they get some of that done?

  1. What is the most irksome thing you’ve come across in recent days?

I ride the bus to work, and the irksome behaviour is rampant. Feet, wet and dirty from snow, are put on the seats. Elderly people are not given seats. People drop there empty coffee cups on the bus floor. Basically, people not giving a rat’s ass for anyone but themselves. Irksome is a great word, but I would probably add a few expletives to give it a bit more strength.

  1. If someone placed two bowls of nuts in front of you, one with shells and a nutcracker, one without shells, which bowl would you choose to eat?

I suppose the ones without shells. I’ve been cracking walnuts at Christmas for so long that I would gladly take a break.

  1. What’s the first word that pops into your mind when you hear the word Toronto?

Multicultural. Also Maple Leafs…but that’s two words.

Bloggers for you to check out

Below is a list of bloggers you could take a look at. I’m not going to write anything about them, partly because I should be in bed, but you don’t need my take on them. Your first reaction should be your first reaction.

It should also be noted that I am not nominating them for this award. They can have it if they want, but I just want you to check them out.

Observations of an Oddity

The Intrepid Arkasawyer

Some Kind of 50  

Retro Dee

 Now to sleep.

Posted in answers, award, perfect moment, perspective, Q&A, questions, television, TV | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Grey Cup

DeVier Posey

Today’s Perfect Moment is the simple joy of watching football with my family. Today was the 107th Grey Cup–that is the championship for Canadian, 3-down, football.  As is often the case, I spent it with my father and brother watching the game and commenting on things familiar and farther afield.

Our team is the Toronto Argonauts, but they had been eliminated from contention since pretty much the first game of the season. While that is technically not true, I had not expected to be cheering for them on this day since they were dismal from the start.  Instead we watched the Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the Hamilton Tiger-cats.  While Hamilton is geographically closer, they have been a Toronto rival for too long to ever let me root for them.  So, in its most superficial way, I was rooting for the Blue Bombers.

This lack of team engagement meant that the male members of the family could engage in conversation….or yelling–sometimes those two things are one in the same in my family. It doesn’t seem to matter how many of us are together in the same room, the volume always seems to get raised.

grey cup

The game itself was mildly exciting, and the nods to CFL history were good. If only there had been snow on the field.

Don’t you wish big sporting events were held on Saturday’s to allow for a bit more recovery?

Posted in Canada, family, football, Grey Cup, perfect moment, sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Raking the Leaves

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There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do all the things I need to do. The chores, the creative endeavours, and work seem to be piling up.  I am not losing sleep over it, but there just seems to be a general feeling of incompleteness.

This morning, in a rare moment of exuberance, I managed to get outside and tackle the first wave of fallen leaves. I would like to wait until they have all fallen, but since we’ve already had one good week of snow, I thought I had better do it before they get covered in white powder once again.  With a few late working nights, I can easily see that happening.  Snow rarely waits for the weekends.

It was nice to get outside, rummage around for the rake and work gloves. It was less nice to wrestle the leaves into the leaf bags.  It’s amazing how stubborn fallen leaves can be.  You’d think they’d want to get into that bag and party with the rest of their fallen comrades.

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The temperature was warm and the exercise allowed me to justify, in my own mind at least, the pizza I had before the Notre Dame game. It also got me thinking of those days as a child at the family cottage when we jumped into leaf piles.  The leaves that my tree drops are mostly hard pod like things that would most certainly take out an eye or two rather than provide a soft landing for a child’s body.

I might only have spent an hour outside, but the physical exercise, the mental time to wander, and the complete difference from anything else I had done in the past couple of weeks made it Today’s Perfect Moment.

Posted in autumn, hard work, perfect moment, seasons, time, yardwork | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Company for the Ride

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For the record, I am not one someone that jumps at ever chance to make a long drive. However, I have made a few in my life…. okay, probably more than a few.  They can be gruelling, but they can show parts of the country you haven’t seen before.

Yesterday, I was anticipating a moderate drive, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had had a long day at work, a horrible bus commute home, and I just didn’t relish the idea of the drive ahead–even though I was sure I had to do it.

In a spark of brilliance, I asked my girlfriend to come with me. I expected her to say no as she had also had a long week and an almost equally brutal commute.  To my surprise, she agreed and we started making plans.

Luckily, the situation evolved and a long drive was not required. However, she still tagged along for the short-ish drive.  Perhaps she was looking forward to learning some colourful language by watching me cursing out drivers and construction crews.

It got me to thinking, on a long drive, there really isn’t anything better than company. Of course, a close second is a fantastic playlist–but that’s the subject of another blog.

Have you ever made a long drive? Where did you go and who did you go with?

Posted in cars, driving, music, perfect moment, travel, travel writing | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

From Where I am Standing

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My current classroom has a few drawbacks. It’s size is larger than we need, so some students are too far away.  There also aren’t enough seating spaces for the students.  I suppose this is because the room is too narrow.  Or maybe someone didn’t do their math.  The room also has weird temperature fluctuations making it hot when I want it cool, and cool when I want it hot.

The one advantage the room has is that it is a corner room with an interesting urban view. Today, while I gave my students a mock test, I got another chance to appreciate that.  While they struggled with the material, I had the opportunity to look outside and wonder.

Had my students all passed the test with flying colours, then that would be Today’s Perfect Moment. Instead, this view will have to do.

Posted in adversity, ESL, perfect moment, teaching | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Travel Planning (A good commute….finally)

20191120_092919My evening commute, which currently is often ruined by construction delays, suffers even more in winter because the darkness that neither the streetlights nor the car headlights can penetrate, robs me of the much-needed visual distraction the scenery provides.  On a bright morning or summer evening, I can while away lots of time looking out the window.

Yesterday’s commute home was made better by a stop I made on my way to work.  I’ve been planning—or at least trying to plan a January getaway for some time.  My budget is modest and despite my independent streak, do not want to do the hostel backpacking thing or be alone all the time.  So, I’ve been looking at various companies that I have travelled with before.  Thanks to the internet, this is relatively easily done on any number of devices.  All the information is there, and booking can be done without even talking to another human being with just a couple of mouse clicks and some back finger pecking typing.  The thing is, the wonder of the whole enterprise seems a little lost that way.

Maybe it is because I am old school (hopefully not too much emphasis on old) but I prefer to look at brochures or catalogues.  I know this doesn’t bode well for the trees, but I can’t help it.  Seeing it all in front of me—the pictures, the maps, the schedules, –is somewhat akin to looking through the catalogues of my childhood.  I am full of wonder and awe.

A quick aside about catalogues.  I remember making a detailed list of all the camping equipment I was going to buy from Canadian Tire.  I scoured the catalogue, totalling up prices and adding the tax.  The catalogue was mostly black and white and relied on artist illustrations for everything except a few full-colour photograph supplemented pages.  Despite that, I loved it and devoted many hours to the task.

Getting back to yesterday.  Realizing that my brochures/catalogues were almost out of date, I decided to stop by a travel agency to get some new ones.  The last time I was at this agency, they seemed to be rationing the things and only gave me a couple and were a little difficult about it.  They gave me some regional ones—which I thought were the only things the companies issued.  I asked for several regions (Asia, Central and South America, and Australia and New Zealand.  Without prodding, she brought me out the catalogue for the whole world.  Sadly, it was not a new one, but it did make me wonder why they hadn’t given me that in the first place.

For my commute home, from the minute I sat down, I was engrossed and started dreaming of trips far and wide.  I devoured the information and virtually went page by page, cover to cover.  I considered and reconsidered so many times that my head is still spinning.  I didn’t look up until I heard the announcement for my stop.  What a great way to spend a commute.  It was so good that it was Yesterday’s Perfect Moment.

Posted in airplanes, brochure, bus, catalogue, commuting, perfect moment, plans, reading, travel, travel tips, vacation, Viva, YRT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When You Need a Break

20191118_221158.jpgIt was a day that saw me rise from an uneven sleep that featured a few too many visits from a restless cat to be considered effective. It was a day that saw me eat the heels of the bread as my toast because no one else in the house would.

It started out strongly as I managed to finish reading a biography on Van Halen–pretty decent, but not a lot of depth. If you want to hear about relentless touring, drugs and alcohol, and sex with groupies, this book is for you.  I haven’t had a great year of reading on the bus, but lately, things have been picking up in that regard.

Sleep deprived or not, I had a long day of teaching. I did an okay job, but I was definitely fighting the effects for most of the day.  I certainly didn’t mail it in, but I am not sure if I was at my absolute best.

Then I had a long commute home with a mucus cough guy in front of me that also thought the bus floor was a good place for his disgusting germ laden coffee cup. He also proved to be a bit of an obstacle as my girlfriend tried to exit the bus.  The look she gave him (death glare does not do it justice) was incredible.

I got home and had some dinner. For dessert, I decided to have a dark chocolate kitkat.   I took in a few moments of silence before devouring the bar.  .I consider this Today’s Perfect Moment

Posted in chocolate, ESL, kit kat, perfect moment, snacks, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Shawarma Sunday

IMG-20191117-WA0000I am not sure why the Shawarma has eluded me until today. I am a pretty adventurous eater and I have ventured beyond my shores many times.  Somehow, and someway, this delicious morsel has never found its way onto my plate.

If this was a secret to anyone, the post credit scene from the Avengers certainly did away with that. I have to admit it was a cool scene–not worth sitting through endless credits for, but certainly worth fast forwarding to when I inevitably purchased the Blu-ray.

I also cannot claim any kind of difficulty as these restaurants are all over the place. On my commute home from work there must be more than twenty of them.  I have just never stopped at any of them.

Needing sustenance, but not desiring to make a big deal out of it, we found ourselves at a placed called Tasty Shawarma. While the name sounds inviting, I am not sure it is memorable or likely to spawn a chain.  It was easy enough to spot last week when we were walking through the area, though.  I guess that is what made it today’s choice.  Knowing conclusively where something is usually means you aren’t going to be driving around in circles, spouting phrases like, “It’s around here someplace.” or “I could have sworn it was in this plaza.”  Also, if you happen to be out for a walk on a cold Autumn (though with the snow you would think it was winter) day, you’d like to feel confident that you won’t freeze.

After ordering, I have to admit that it was rather tasty and didn’t leave me so full that I was going to struggle to get home. Luckily for me, my girlfriend ordered the beef when I ordered the chicken.  This allowed us to share a few bites and gave me information to order the next time–yes, there will be another time–we go there.

The location was decently decorated and featured quite a few booths to sit in. I have to admit, I really like sitting in a booth rather than chairs.  Sadly, the place was rather chilly.  I don’t know why, but it seemed colder than it was outdoors.  This is definitely something unappealing as we close in on true winter conditions.

So, Today’s Perfect Moment is not merely the Shwarma, but food adventures for everyone.

Is there a food you’ve been meaning to try, but just haven’t gotten around to yet?

Posted in comfort food, dating, eating, ethnic food, food, food blogging, perfect moment, recommendations, restaurant, review, taking chances | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments