Saturday, May 24, 2014

This One's for Margaret

   On any given Saturday morning you can find me sitting on the couch in my robe, clutching a cup of fresh coffee and chatting away with one of my favourite people. Her name is Margaret and she is pretty much the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for.

I first met Margaret not as his girlfriend, but as a classmate of Sean's. I remember when I shook her hand that I felt the moment of our meeting was very special and that for some reason it was very important that she like me. Just over a month later, I had dinner at their home as Sean's girlfriend and she made me so comfortable and welcome that by the end of evening I knew I'd found my second family.

But that's Margaret. She's just one of those people that makes  you feel like everything in your life that is good is worth celebrating. Whether you've just gotten a new pair of shoes that you're totally jazzed about because not only are they pretty, they are also comfortable or you've just landed a job you really wanted, Margaret is your champion. A few weeks ago I was telling a friend of mine about how enthusiastic Margaret is and said to my friend that even if you'd done something as simple as switch breakfast cereals, but it was a change that you made you a happier person, she'd be the one to share this news with because she'd be right there with you and happy that you found something good about breakfast.

The opposite is also true. Cut off in traffic? She's got some curse words to add to your story that you may not have thought of! Publicly embarrassed yourself in a way that makes you want to go live out the rest of your days in a cave on a remote island? She'll empathize with a tale of her own. Had pretty much the worst day of your life? Margaret will offer you genuine sympathy even though her own personal and present story could knock you sideways.

To call Margaret a story teller is an understatement. She's a story teller and keeper of tales. Not just of her own but of her, but of the history of her family and many friends. When she talks of her parents, her sisters, and growing up in Weston, ON. you live the events with her. The house she grew up in becomes your house. The memories she shares become your own.

And, Margaret loves to hear your stories too. Often when she calls I will say to her, "Oh! I have an awesome story for you!" and she will usually say, "Oh good!" and settle in. She'll listen with her usual enthusiasm and laugh at all the right parts, but you know you've told a really good story when you get to the climax of the tale and from the receiver you hear…nothing. This silence is actually the sound of Margaret laughing so hard that there is no noise coming out of her. This could go on for a few seconds and is followed by a gasp and more laughter as she remembers to breathe. It's a beautiful sound.

She is an incredibly thoughtful person. It doesn't seem to matter what she is going through, she will remember to call you to wish you good luck on the first day of your new job, or to wish good luck to a grandchild on a the first day of school or school play. Birthday's are filled with many happy greetings and a song. And more often then not, the phone calls are simply because she is thinking of you and wants to know how you are.

Family and good friends mean everything to her. She's a ferociously devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and all other titles she proudly wears. To be part of her inner circle is to be a part of a very special relationship. For good or ill, you know where you stand with Margaret. Be true and honest with her and you will have no better friend. However, wrong her or hurt someone dear to her and you may find yourself looking into the circle you were once a part of.

Margaret is also never a person to keep a positive observation to herself. If she likes the shirt your wearing, or your new hair cut, or she just in general thinks you look nice, or that you've done something worthy of mentioning, she will tell you. For those of us who know her, we know that compliments back to Margaret are not always taken seriously. But, Margaret is beautiful. She is more beautiful than I know she will ever allow herself to believe. We all see it even if she doesn't. She says that my daughter's eyes dance, that Sorcha's soul lives right there on the surface of them for all to see. Well that trait, and one of Sorcha's most wonderful, is something she inherited from Margaret. Her is soul is always there, watching you. It's not hidden. It's never in darkness.

Life is complex, deliciously amazing and scary, and at times deeply sad. We often question the cruel state of things, shout into the deep chasm of what seems unforgiving and pound our fits on the wall that sometimes blocks all hope. We question why over and over even though we know that there is no answer or no reason.

However, to Margaret there is always a silver lining. She said to me not long ago, "You have to dance, Cin. You dance when you can."

So, I will. No matter how hard things get I will dance.

And in the silence, I will hear her laughter.

Margaret, I love you and this is for you.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cindy's Cover Ups featuring "Faith" by good ol' George Michael

Hello All

And welcome to another: Cindy's Cover Ups!

This post features a video of yours truly taking a popular song and either butchering it or maybe, making it...well, not better, but very different from the original.

Today's song is "Faith" by George Michael and is a tie in to my last blog post which featured, in recaptured memoratic glory, actual documented fact that I went to see good ol' George many a moon ago. 

After I linked my Facebook to my blog post, my friend Wendy declared for all my 100ish friends to see that she was not a George Michael fan. She said his music makes her angry? Is that what she said? I suppose I could go back and check her comment, but that smacks of effort.

So, without further ramblings, I give you my version of "Faith".

And see you next time, on The Blog of Cindy Rule.


A fine good day to you all,


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Random Passage Tuesday: You Gotta Have Faith

Hello there folks

Today is a very special day. It's "Random Passage Tuesday"; a new feature on my blog in which I will pick a "Random Passage" from one of the diaries I chronicled my teenage angst in and share it with you for your empathy or sympathy or general amusement. (or perhaps a combination of all three).

First up, I'm going to give a taste of my first time. No, no...not THAT first time. My first concert! On Aug. 25/88, my good friend Cyn and I braved the crowds and the pouring rain at the Ottawa-EX to partake in the event that was "The Faith Tour". OH yes. We got our screams ready, our loins hot and our blinders on for the wonder that was George Michael in a leather jacket, mirrored sunglasses, black cowboy boots with silver tips, and tight, tight jeans. Because it was my first concert and because I never forget it, I wrote a six page, crammed up writing diary entry detailing everything I could remember about that night.

And today, I'd like to share just a few passages with you which will be brought to you verbatim and in full, blushing, cringing memory, along with all the horrendous grammatical/spelling errors that I managed to produce.


Aug, 25/88 

Back then, I thought this look was HOT!
Hello Diary! Today was great! Cynthia and I went shopping and then to the X, went on loads of rides & had loads of fun! (We went on the carosel twice and this one guy obviously thought we were idiots.) But today didn't compare to tonight, no tonight had to be the most exciting, superb, awesomest, coolest, narliest, (And every other word to describe how great a person's night could possibly be) night of my entire life!! The George Michael concert was the reason!! It was great! I had the time of my life! He is sooo gorgeous, sooo sexy, a great singer, cool dancer (I especially liked the pelvic thrusts and from the reaction of about 95% of the crowd, they did too!) and an all round awesome entertainer and he has such a cool deep english accent! I love it when he asked if we were having a great time, when he said "Excuse me if I fall on my ass a few times during the performence tonight, but it's as wet here as it is up there.", the way he said "dance" and "dancers, and I loved it when he gave a nice big wave to the people in the stands. I especially loved it when He looked up at section B and waved!

And it goes on and on for a few pages...let's skip to the middle.

At the concert there were some boring people who just stood there or plugged there ears or gave us dirty looks because were were screaming! But I didn't care! Nope all you have to do is listen to my voice! In fact practically the only time Cynthia and I weren't screaming or cheering (not during the slow songs) was when he asked how many people played the guitar! All we did was turned and look at each other and say not me!

And now, for the ending...

Should I buy it...again?

I bought a T-shirt ($23) with a picture of him on it and with these symbols on it  It's a great picture of him on it! And Cynthia bough at $15 book with lots of pictures of him in it which she is going to photo copy for me! After he sang his second to last song HE said Thanks-you very much, goodnight and the kept us waiting for what seemed like forever before he came back out and did his encore. But anyways, I had the best time of my life tonight  ("A good time! A great time!") and the memories of this probably once in a life time experience are sure to stay with me...forever!

And there you go. Your first "Random Passage Tuesday" featuring snippets from my George Michael concert experience. "Now Cin, " you may be asking yourself, "did your good friend Cynthia actually photocopy pictures out that concert book for you?" Damn right she did and those marvelous pictures of G.M. hung in my grade 10 locker all year! And we're still friends, right Cyn? Unless...after this she's pretending she doesn't know me...

And you may also be asking "Hey Cin, so did the memories of this, your first concert, indeed stay with you?" Why yes, dear reader, they did...sort of. I remember being drenched because of the rain and too hot in my black jeans and purple sweater. I remember screaming a lot and getting laryngitis. I remember the wave he gave to our section and how special he made Cyn and I feel and I remember thinking that life really couldn't get better than this. Reading the entry certainly helped fill the memory gaps, but honestly, the essence of that night, the thrill of being there at that show has never left me and every time I go to a concert I think of that concert. After all, it was my first and you never forget your first.

Until next "Random Passage Tuesday",

I ask, do any of you have dusty, teenage diaries lurking in a storage box somewhere??


Friday, May 2, 2014

Theft at an Air Canada Checkpoint in Puerto Vallarta

Hello All

This post is very different than my usual posts in that it deals with something real, serious, annoying and very unprofessional.

On April 10th, upon returning from a trip to Mexico, my parents had their Net Book Computer and the transformer that attaches to the charger for the computer stolen from their luggage AFTER they had checked in. They have put in a complaint and a claim to Air Canada with absolutely no resolution in sight.

The flight was AC (Air Canada) 1819, leaving from Puerto Vallarta at 15:45 hours direct to Toronto.

Below is the outline of the event.

Upon arrival to the airport, they were required to bring their 4 pieces of luggage to an Air Canada Checkpoint. This check point table for Air Canada was a mandatory check point and everyone is required to pass through it to have their luggage thoroughly inspected before actually having their baggage weighed and checked in at the Air Canada desk.

Two workers opened all the suitcases in front of my parents and went through everything. Then my mother put a zap strap on each of the suitcase zipper pulls after each piece of luggage had been looked through. Before my mother put a zap strap the large suitcase that contained their Net Book Computer (which was being kept in a soft sided zipped case and my parents watched them check as well) she stopped the worker who was closing the suitcase so that she could do up the inside straps to hold her pillow the the rest on the contents of the suitcase in place. The worker helped my mother do up the inside straps securing her pillow and the other items in the suitcase and then let her put the zap strap on the zipper pulls on the outside of the suitcase.  Just as a side note and to be very clear, when my parents use these zap straps they are securing the zipper pulls together. Even if were to somehow able to get the zipper open, because the zipper pulls are strapped together, the only way to do the zipper back up would be to cut the zap strap off.

After the Air Canada Checkpoint inspection was complete they then checked in their luggage at the Air Canada desk.

After they arrived in Toronto and checked into their hotel for the night, my mother noticed that the zap strap on the large suitcase that contained the Net Book Computer was gone; it had been cut off. When she opened her suitcase, the straps INSIDE THE SUITCASE that the worker had helped my mother fasten were undone and the contents were a mess.

The next morning, while putting the pillow back and rearranging the contents of the large suitcase, my father found the soft sided case that held the Net Book Computer, unzipped and the Net Book Computer missing.

They reported this theft immediately to Air Canada Security Baggage Department in Toronto and were told to report the incident to Baggage Security again when they arrived in Moncton, NB. They did this and got a claim going.

When my parents arrived home and unpacked, they noticed the transformer (the part you attach the cord to for re-charging) was also gone. It had been in a inside, zipped pocket of the large suitcase along with the extension cord needed for re-charging the computer and the Mouse. These two items were still in the suitcase.

It is clear that the person who stole these items knew exactly what he was looking for and was most likely involved at the Air Canada Checkpoint at the airport in Puerto Vallarta.

As I said, they have put a claim in, but because they didn't witness this theft and no one filmed the event, Air Canada has, as of yet, done nothing. My parents are looking for anyone else who may have experienced something similar at this or any airport involving Air Canada. They are looking, obviously, to get compensation from Air Canada in order to replace their Net Book computer and a formal apology.

Yes, it is a risk to not carry your valuable items on the plane with you, but  as we've recently discovered in the news, Air Canada doesn't always let you bring them on the plane and does not ensure that they will be protected should they need to be stored elsewhere.

Please use the comment box to relate any stories or solutions regarding theft and Air Canada in the comment box below this post and PLEASE, share, share, share this post around.

Thanks for your time everyone,