Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mom Jr.

If I'm getting on the westbound bloor line, I always get in the front car of the train. After years of subway riding, I've finally gained that magic, stress-reducing transit rider's sixth sense: how to ensure you get on the train in the exact right spot to spit you out in front of the escalator at your destination station. Seriously, is there anything better than the doors opening and you're the closest to the escalator or stairs, thereby avoiding the aggravating crush of your fellow passengers? ANYWAY, I was at Christie Station earlier this evening, and I had to wait for the train. No biggie - gave me plenty of time to walk to my preferred end of the platform to await my ride. I had no book to read, my ipod batteries are dead, and I've yet to master knitting standing up, so I was basically just standing on the platform, spacing out. As you do.

So I'm standing there, dreaming of my apartment and the oh-so-cozy duvet that awaits me, and I gradually became aware of someone approaching my area. There wasn't another soul on either platform, except this slowly approaching dude, and myself. Not usually a problem, except this was a very strange dude. He came to a stop about 30 feet to my left, then began to stare at his feet and carefully side-step along the lines in the floor tile until he was about three feet directly behind me. I never thought I would curse my hard-earned transit sense, but there I was - alone and trapped at the end of Christie station with a....well, a possibly weird dude.

Thankfully, our train's headlight was now apparent at the far end of the station. And that's when I did the most ridiculous thing I've ever done. I suddenly had this overwhelming conviction that this person behind me was planning to push me off the platform into the path of the oncoming train. No idea why, but an honest-to-god sense of absolute, every-man-for-himself terror washed over me, and I grabbed my shopping bags and quickly did a side-step or two myself and walked until my back was touching the wall, where I stood, heart racing, until the possibly weird dude got on the train and the train departed.

Now before you write me off as a complete hoser, you have to realize something - my mother is the sort of woman who wears her purse strap over her shoulder and then clutches the purse in both hands and holds it directly beneath her boobs whenever she is in public. You know, just in case someone tries to grab it. The same woman who taught me to walk at night with my keys in the palm of my hand and stick the key's themselves between the cracks in my fingers like a sort of primitive set of brass knuckles. The same woman who can calculate in her head, within fifty cents, the exact price of her shopping cart full of groceries, including tax. The same woman who has every single piece of tupperware, spaghetti jar, or margarine container that has ever passed through her home because WHAT IF SHE NEEDS IT ONE DAY.

Tonight, standing alone on the westbound platform at Christie station, watching the tail lights of what should have been the train to reunite me with my duvet grow faint in the distance, I came to terms with the fact that I had just pulled a "mom". I came to the realization that I, too, will one day worry and call my child every single time I hear of something bad in the news that happened within 100km of their abode. I will save tupperware and clutch my purse and ask questions about the families of friends and boyfriends, and cut out job ads for company's that are close to my home town to entice my family to live nearer. I will teach them to stick keys between their knuckles and keep their head up when they're walking, and basically do everything in my power, no matter how crazy, to keep them safe.

The guy, the possibly weird guy on the platform tonight is most likely innocent of any malicious thoughts involving me and the oncoming train. I know that, you know that, even my mom knows that. But regardless, I have now officially turned into my mother...and to tell you the truth, I'm totally okay with that.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mix Challenge #1

A couple of very clever friends of mine emailed me with a challenge I couldn't resist: a mix cd challenge.

If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with making mix cd's for people. I love music, and I love telling people about excellent new music, and the challenge of making the perfect mix for any occasion is one I will always rise to.

But these friends (AaJe and SeMu) proposed something different from the usual exchange of great tunes. There are rules for this challenge.

Rule #1
The titles of every song must must tell a story, when they are read in order. The story must be one everyone is familiar with (ie. Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, etc.).

Rule #2
No maximum or minimum number of tracks - whatever you feel is necessary to properly tell your story.

Rule #3
No fair googling uber obscure (and quite possibly crappy) songs just because they have the perfect title. The songs must be songs you like and will listen to again.

Rule #4
We mail them to each other, and have to guess what stories people were trying to tell.

So, without further ado, I give you my contribution:

1. Parents Just Don't Understand (DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince)
2. Do the Whirlwind (Architecture in Helsinki)
3. When I Fall (Barenaked Ladies)
4. Ruby, My Dear (Thelonius Monk & John Coltrane)
5. Short People (Randy Newman)
6. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Tchiakovsky)
7. Brain Stew (Green Day)
8. Heartbeats (the Knife)
9. No Bravery (James Blunt)
10. The Flowers (Regina Spektor)
11. Sleep to Dream Her (Dave Matthews Band)
12. Wake Up (the Arcade Fire)
13. Pinball Wizard (the Who)
14. Monkey Baby (Scissor Sisters)
15. the Icicle Melts (the Cranberries)
16. Home Again (the Polyjesters)
17. Somebody Loved (the Weepies)

So, didja guess the story? I guess there might be a giveaway track or two...leave your guesses in the comments! And if you're interested in partaking in the next CD Mix Challenge, send me your address and we'll talk.