A Day in the Life of ...
Yesterday wasn’t typical, wasn’t average, or there again, perhaps it was. I had what I call a Good Day yesterday, and here’s why I call it a Good day:-
(1) Built cover and body for Poems Of Passion
I rose around six and made my first cup of coffee, then settled down to build the Microsoft Word document that will be the cover (with coloured photograph!) of my foray into self-publishing. I completed the body of the book on Friday, so now I am ready to phone the publisher and make an appointment.
The book is nothing special, is rather simple. I am using it as a vehicle to work through the steps of self-publishing – have I set up the Microsoft Word documents correctly, am I generating the PDF file correctly, and so on.
It being Saturday I waited until eight before heading off to Ryerson University for the Saturday edition of The Toronto Star. I like this early-morning walk; it takes about twenty minutes and I usually eat an apple on the way down, and listen to news podcasts in Spanish.
Too, as happened this morning, I often enough get to help orient a stranger or visitor (“Can I help you?”) to find a bank branch or a store, and that means I’ve established contact with a complete stranger, a goal for each day since I moved downtown nearly four years ago.
(3) NF(H) “Lost envelope”
After breakfast (oatmeal and molasses) I set off with my orange shoulder-bag to the No Frills supermarket on Huntley street.
I popped into the local Royal Bank and withdrew seven crisp one-hundred dollar bills. My profit for the month.
As I crossed Isabella I spotted an envelope on the footpath, picked it up, and noticed that while it was addressed to Ottawa, the return address was on Isabella street, so I trotted off down Isabella Street and telephoned the superintendent. Voice-mail! I left a messages asking home to call me and continued my walk to No Frills.
But a young guy walking in the opposite direction stopped me to ask about the envelope; it had dropped out of his pocket just a few minutes ago. He said it contained his taxation papers and a transit pass so he was happy, and so I was happy – because I’d made someone happy.
(4) 2x100w Halogens for living-room.
And so into Dudley’s Hardware on the way home to buy a 150w globe for my floor lamp. I like Dudley’s. The two chaps behind the counter are cheerful and helpful. I prefer to ask questions instead of wandering up and down aisle 67 wondering which tube, or nut, or gasket is the right one for me.
Dudley’s didn’t have a 150W globe, but they had 100watters in both regular and halogen, so I paid $7+ for two halogen bulbs and brought them home. The floor lamp throws light upwards to bounce off the ceiling, so a powerful globe illuminates my reading and typing areas quite well.
One of my favorites, and a quickie to boot: Spaghetti and meat sauce. The spaghetti is ready in under fifteen minutes, and the meat sauce I make myself from a can of tomato sauce, ground beef, onions and spices.
I bottle it in one-pound jam jars and microwave about a third of a jar to add to the pasta. On a chilly day after a walk out and back (about an hour) it’s a satisfying lunch.
And since I planned to head out immediately after lunch, I figure that that walk will help me to digest the carbohydrates, proteins, sugars and fats.
So straight after lunch (well, first I washed my dishes so the kitchen would be clean on my return) I set off up Bay Street and into the local BMO to deposit my ill-gotten gains. It always feels good to slide $700 into a high-interest savings account, and will feel even better next month when I slide it into a higher-interest account.
All grist for the vacation mill!
(7) YPL (book & ABBA)
And so to Yorkville Public Library to drop off two of the seven books I’d collected yesterday (I’m a fast reader) and pick up another book and a CD I had ordered. Also a swift session using the internet.
I am now (9 p.m.) half-way through Michael Pollan’s exposé of the Organic vs. Industrial food debate.
(8) Spadina House, but ice-industry lady
And then a thirty-minute walk to Spadina House. I had a free pass (courtesy of Toronto Public Library) to visit one of seven museums, and I chose this one because I knew nothing about it.
I laboured up the many steps from Spadina Road, and at the top He is taking a photo of Her against the backdrop of the City of Toronto and Lake Ontario. “Wait!” I call out, and offer to take a photo of the two of them. I took two photos, one in Portrait mode, one in Landscape mode. They thanked me and I felt all warm and gooey. Young Lovers!.
I was a tad peeved that I had to go on a scheduled tour, so spent my twenty minutes drifting through the basement reading the texts and looking at the photos. Good thing I did because it turns out the basement wasn’t part of the tour.
When I am ticked off I cheer myself up by asking awkward questions, which I did, up to the point of correcting the guide who described the refrigerator as “this is what they used back then; they didn’t have electricity”. So, I said, it’s an ice-box right? Not a refrigerator? Oh yes, sorry. I hadn’t realised that.
On the table was a photo of men harvesting ice from a lake. Probably Lake Wingham. I should know because I read the book “The frozen water trade” just last week and recognized the photo. I commented on this and the sweet young thing next to me chirped up that she had listened to the podcast just last week.
I just love it when tour members gang up on the guide, and I immediately felt better.
(9) Two young ladies at foot of 101 steps
Out into the crisp winter air, and gingerly down the steps to Spadina Road and Davenport, counting as I went, because I’d forgotten to count them on the way up.
You know how it goes – you count nine and then hang fire across a small landing, then start again at ten and get to twenty-one at the next landing, and wonder if you doubled-up somewhere. I reached one hundred on the penultimate step and just stood there doubting myself. Would the builders really have made it a hundred-and-one instead of an even hundred?
I voiced my doubts to two curious joggers who were wondering, I suppose, if I were some sort of weird broad-daylight axe-murderer. Once I voiced my predicament they burst out laughing. They had been wondering how many steps there were, so I was suddenly Mister Angel Statistician in their eyes.
“I could be wrong”, I supposed. “Why don’t you count them on the way up?”. They turned to each other and one said “We could do a slow one up”. Great, I said, when you get to the top, if it is a hundred and one, please give me a thumbs-up so I’ll know I’m right” and as they jogged (!) up the stairs I dashed across the street to be in sight when they crested the, well, the crest.
Which they did. And gave me a thumbs-up. I raised both my arms in a salute of triumph, and they jogged away.
And as I type up these notes a thought crosses my mind: If they were about to jog up anyway, why would they be wondering about the count? Wouldn’t they just count as they went up. They must have already jogged DOWN the steps and then wished that they had counted.
And I sent them all the way back up. They’ll never forgive me for that. Mister Devil Statistician in their eyes.
(10) treated myself to an awful breakfast
And so south along Spadina to Dupont and the avant-garde Dupont station and I thought “What the hell” and decided to treat myself to a coffee, and wouldn’t you know it the first place I came to was a greasy diner with a taped-up broken-glass door that serves all-day breakfast, so what could I do but order two eggs, bacon, sausage and a pot of tea (with a refill) while I started reading Michael Pollan’s book.
(11) subway home from Dupont.
And after this pleasant half-hour sit-down, I popped out and treated myself to a ride home on the Toronto Transit Commission from Dupont and around the U-bend to College Subway Station and home in time for ...
(12) Cuppa by 5pm
A nice cup of tea by 5pm.
If I can’t call that a Good day, then at least I can call it a Full Day.