Wednesday, April 26, 2006

At the bookstore

I was at Book City today to pick up a copy of the literary magazine, Kiss Machine in which my young talented friend Teri has written a short story titled: A secret handshake for the new world order. It's a touching story about growing up and relationships.

I checked some other books, thinking of how I sometimes like the quietness of bookstores, that sort of hushed religious silence and respect for the written word, but that it's also fun to have some distractions like observing or talking to quirky and interesting people who frequent bookstores. Then, the door flapped open with a waft of cool spring air. An entwined couple walked in. "Mmmhhh, it smells like books here," the young man said, taking a deep breath, his face on his girlfriend's hair. "What do you think, it's a bookstore," she said, pushing him away, cutting through the aisle with firm steps, hip hugging jeans and exposed midriff. They did bring a bit of fresh air in the store.

Monday, April 17, 2006


There they are, these harbingers of spring, peeking out, pert and pretty above the debris of previous fall.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


The light is crisper, brighter, the smell fresh and new. It's spring. The garden is glaring at me, its dried up plants screaming to be cut, its soil begging to be cleaned and aired out. The crocuses are peeking out, tiny yellow and purple petals of hope among desolate brown leaves and twigs. I cannot get myself to start because it's a full day's work. It's Easter anyway. Dinner with my sisters and their families. Going back to the garden, I don't connect to the soil like some friends do. I admire their gentle caring, their nimble fingers, the way their hands lovingly get into the dirt. To me, it's a vigorous, sweaty chore. I keep postponing until the forsaken garden hurts my vision so much that I rush on my knees, and hack away to expose all the healthy green growth, the perennials that will soon blossom into summer colours. The results of my labour: a garden lush with nature's wondrous gifts. Why do I wait so long? Same story every year.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

He's a lawyer, not a warrior

He tells me he wants to be in my short stories so he can read about himself in print one day. I haven’t had a need for a lawyer yet in my writing. But since B is a good friend of ours, here goes:

He has a relaxed posture, the kind made to lie down on a lounge chair by the swimming pool, to sip drinks with bright pink umbrellas floating in them. He smacks his lips with the appreciation of a connaisseur when he eats escargots à l'ail, drinks Pisse-dru, and looks at women in short skirts and cleavages. His navy suit builds up his thin frame into a slick package that speaks legal jargon with aplomb. Take the suit off and he’s so loose, you could fold him up neatly into a precious small bundle and put him inside your pocket. But you can't take him home. He's happily married. His young son, blue eyes ardent, innocent, adorable, says he wants to grow up to be a 'wawyer' like his dad. Your dad, a warrior? No, dear, he's a bon vivant.

B, go for it. Life is short.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

French movies

This week is the 9th annual celebration of International Francophone cinema held by Cinéfranco at the Ropyal Cinema in Toronto. What a treat if you can catch some of the 38 movies playing this week. All films are subtitled in English. I already saw Travaux (Housewarming). Carole Bouquet plays a lawyer who sympathizes with new immigrants including illegal ones whom she defends and befriends. She hires them to add a staircase to her house and it's a wild hilarious journey where bourgeoisie meets immigrés in a chaotic clash of cultures and a renovation nightmare. Bizarre at times with Carole Bouquet dancing on the judges's desk to win her cases, it's French comedy with empathy for the plight of immigrants.

I also saw Combien tu m'aimes? (How much do you love me?). Monica Bellucci plays a ravishing prostitute (Daniela) and Bernard Campan, a very infatuated Parisian (François). Great scenes in Paris and tons of funny situations and terrific lines. "Someone who is so loud when having sex is only faking it," says François' neighbour who can't stand Daniela's erotic screams. The sexy neighbour then proceeds to make the sounds she claims are more authentic, arousing François in the process.

I'm looking forward to see De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The beat that my heart skipped). It has won many awards in France. I wish I could watch many many more. It's so much fun indulging in French movies. It renews my enthusiasm for the language, the culture and I can't have enough.