Sucked In

I can walk by tourist crap without a second glance. Fridge magnets, plastic fans, and I Heart T-shirts don’t do it for me.

But, give me a story. Throw in a bit of history, polish it with the patina of time and romance. Tell me something is rare and I’m reaching for my credit card.

Sucked in.

There’s a small vineyard in Mazzorbo, Venice.

Don’t go.

The sales presentation is flawless; crisp white linen and crystal wine glasses. The story is exquisite; a grape thought lost to history, a wine the Venetian Doges drank. The wine bottles themselves are works of art, the glass made in Murano, and the label wrought from paper-thin gold leaf.

Did I mention the bottles are numbered by hand, and the wine comes in the cutest little wood crate?

Was I aware I was being taken in by a fantastic sales pitch? Vaguely, but— Wine the Doges drank!

Was the wine even good?

You’re asking the wrong person. I don’t like wine.

Suckered in. Hook, line, and sinker 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Shared Moment, Shared Hope

On a Sunday, two weeks ago, eight hundred people took part in a rare moment of hope at the U.S.-Mexico border. Two groups of singers, one in San Diego, one in Tijuana, raised their voices as one. In Spanish, and in English, they sang The Beatles song, With a Little Help From my Friends , across the barbed wire between them.

Choir! Choir! Choir! a Toronto-based choral group staged the cross-border performance, teaching the song’s arrangements to audience participants.

Will this binational sing-a-long make a difference?

We can hope…


Aimer at Amazon

Gadgets and Gizmos

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m not always on the best of terms with my Google Home speaker. My television remote isn’t exactly my best friend either. I’m not even going to mention my frustrating relationship with Android Auto.

I’m beginning to think it isn’t them…it’s me.

Despite my dismal track record with all things tech, I’ve become seduced by—a mug. A magical mug that keeps my coffee hot no matter how slowly I drink it.

Fortunately for me, this thing is as easy to use as a toaster. Plug it in, charge it up, and you’ll never have to wince at tea gone too cool again. Never have to traipse over to the microwave to zap your coffee back to an acceptable temperature.

Is this gadget an absolute necessity?

I don’t know, define necessity 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Shelf Life

I find myself living in a house with a lot of built-in display space. Previous residences having been heavy on bare walls and light on decorative touches, this is the first time I’ve had to sooth empty shelves and glass fronted cabinets crying out to be filled.

In response to the uncomfortably naked shelves, I set about rounding up various trinkets that had been hidden in cupboards and closets for so long I was surprised to see them.

A vase here, a photo album there, and me being me, a couple of stuffed animals and I was done. Bits and pieces of a life laid out before me. A pastiche of family, and trips, and time.

Each object holds a memory, a story. Most of them G-rated except for one small glass dish, edged in blue. Entirely unexceptional unless, like me, you happen to remember the hour preceding its purchase 🙂

One item though, doesn’t have a story.

I don’t know where it came from or when. It was just always there, a doorstop in my parent’s house. I look at it now and I wonder…

But there’s no one to ask. Not any more.

Aimer at Amazon

Too Close For Comfort

Built in 1915, Vancouver’s Heritage Hall has watched over Main Street for more than a century.

A landmark building known for its clock tower and red tile roof, this example of Beaux Arts Classicism was originally home to Postal Station C, but these days she sees more wedding cake than mail as the newly married pose for pictures on her red marble staircase.

The staircase isn’t the only feature that has survived the years. Lurking in the basement men’s room is an oddity that comes as quite a surprise to male guests—a twin urinal.

Ben Nelms/CBC

The double-sided design of the urinal forces strangers to stand opposite each other while nature takes its course. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” reported one of the wedding guests. “You’re standing next to someone you’ve never met and you have to look him in the eyes.”

Too close for comfort?

That would be a yes.

Aimer at Amazon

Capturing Time

In his post, How Not to Kill Time, Hugh got me to thinking about our perception of time and how that changes with…well, time.

Hugh uses the analogy of a toilet roll, the nearer you get to the end, the quicker it runs out. With more years behind me than in front of me, I find that to be true. Summer afternoons that used to last forever are a blur now. Days bleed into each other until I find myself asking Google for the date because I’ve lost track of what month it is.

I spent my youth wishing time would move faster, waiting for the next holiday or birthday. I wanted to kick time into high gear when my kids were little, longing to be me again and not mom.

Now, when my kids have kids of their own and I can see my end date looming on the horizon, I want to slow time down. I want to stop it altogether. So many lives I haven’t lived while I was busy living mine. So many things I haven’t done …

I can’t stop time, of course. None of us can. The best we can do is treasure the moments. Sunshine on water, or trickling through the leaves of a tree. A hand holding yours. Shared laughter. A smile.

What is life, but a string of moments?

Aimer at Amazon

Ikea: Love it or Leave it?

Granted, I didn’t have to stand in a horrendous line at checkout the way I did back when Ikea first came to Canada. Like every model citizen of the twenty-first century, I ordered online.

And was presented with the option of delivery or instore pickup

Please, that’s a question? I’m sixty-four years old and at 4’10” I’m about the size of your average Smurf. My days of hauling boxes off a warehouse shelf and trundling them around Ikea are long gone.

Assembly? Yes, please.

Just as I was congratulating myself on a job well done, a notice popped up on my screen.

We apologize, but we do not provide assembly for your item.

You don’t provide assembly for a bookcase—with shelves, lots of shelves???

Okay, not good, but I own a Phillips screwdriver and a hammer. How hard can it be?

Not hard at all.

Frustrating, yes, especially when you get the damn thing together only to realize you’ve put one of the shelves in upside down. Frustrating, but not difficult.

Even more frustrating?

In Canadian Tire today…

I found a much nicer bookcase—ON SALE 🙂

Aimer at Amazon