Monthly Archives: February 2016



I remained furious a long time after my encounter with the security guard at the North York Centre Food Court on  Sunday.  Over and over and over, I thought about the security guard telling me not to take up two seats in a food court with plenty of seats and no people to sit in them.  I thought writing  about it (yesterday’s blog)  would take away the anger, but it did not.

It did not help that the public transit (TTC) did not want me going anywhere, after I left the library, with its delays and buses going out of service.

A friend called early evening.  She had seen my blog and could not believe the absurdity of the situation.  And then she started to vent about a serious business problem she has.  She ranted and ranted and ranted and ranted.  I listened.  I have never heard her rant so much before.  Perhaps she has never had the chance because I often talk too much.

While I listened, I noticed my anger was going away.  I had been angry for over seven hours and it was going away.  By the time she finished her rant, my anger was gone!  How odd and wonderful that listening to someone rant would take away my anger and cause me to feel at peace.  I have never had this happen before, and have never heard of it happening to anyone else.

I told her what had happened when she finished her rant.

“I feel better, too,” she said.  “I needed to vent.  Thanks for listening.  I’m glad it took away your anger.”

The next time I get angry, I’m going to call her and ask whether she has anything she wants to rant about.





The North York Central Library does not open until 1:30 p.m. on Sundays.  I arrive early and sit in the North York Centre Food Court, minding my business, waiting for the library to open.  There are others, like me, who mind their business in the food court until the library opens.  On Sundays and most days, the food court is never crowded and there are lots of seats available.

A security guard came along while I was minding my business.  He stopped at where I was sitting.  I looked up at him and nodded.  He did not nod back.  I could tell from how he was looking at me that he wanted to nail me with something.

“You can’t take up two chairs with your bag and coat,” he said.  “Somebody might want to sit there.”

There were many, many vacant seats and NO people to sit in them.  That’s why I, and mostly everyone around me, was taking up two places with our belongings.

“But there are lots of seats available and no one to sit in them,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter.  Someone might want to sit there and you can’t take up two seats.”

I lost it.  I went into a rant about how security is ALWAYS around looking for minor stuff that does not matter, and NEVER around for major stuff that does matter.

“You have to move your belongings.  You can’t take up two chairs.  Somebody might want to sit there.”

I moved my things while looking around seeing that almost everybody was taking up two chairs with their belongings.  He only seemed to notice me and said nothing to anyone else.

The security guard no sooner left when a man came along and sat in one of the many, many empty seats.  This man did not have his mind with him.  He must have lost it somewhere.  He started to rant about Jewish people.

“The Jews are touching my head!  The Jews are killing the Palestinians!  The Jews are causing the bad economy!  The Jews this.  The Jews that …”

The Nutty Nazi carried on for about ten minutes before leaving.  Where was the security guard?  He was off somewhere making the Universe a better place.


In mom's footsteps: Dominic Zoffranieri; executive chef of the Delta Chelsea Inn and president of the Escoffier Society of Toronto; and his mother Yolanda; share a love of cooking. Dominic says his mother developed an attitude and respect for food. That attitude has been passed down to us.

No matter what our beliefs, none of us knows what happens after we die.  Domenic Zoffranieri found out today (February 27) just after 11:00 a.m.  He had been in palliative care at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ontario.

Domenic and I did time at Oakwood Collegiate Institute in Toronto way back when.  We kept in touch since getting out.

I saw Domenic yesterday at the hospital.  He was doped up on morphine, but had occasional lucid moments.   I told him to promise me that he would come to me, after he took off his body, and tell me a joke.  Nothing so far.  Perhaps he is still adjusting to his new surroundings, or lack of new surroundings.  Who knows?

Domenic was quite the joke-teller.  He always had a joke or five when I saw him.  He could tell me the same joke, forgetting that he had told me it before, and I would laugh anyway even though I knew the punchline.  It was the way he told it.  Domenic improved a joke by adding and subtracting stuff so it fit his own style.  The jokes weren’t original, but they were his by the way he told them.

When Domenic wasn’t telling jokes, he was cooking.  Domenic was a chef.  He was once the Executive Chef at the Delta Chelsea Inn.  He owned a consulting business, JDC Hospitality Incorporated, and was also a part-time cooking instructor.  At one time he owned his own restaurant.

I believe that after we die, we go to a giant Walmart in the sky.  This Walmart has lots of loving, bright white light and no sales tax.  Domenic is in the Walmart now trying to decide which joke book to buy so he can come back and tell me a joke.

“Domenic, buddy, it won’t matter which joke you select because I will laugh at the way you tell it.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you.  I’m also looking forward to when we will once again do time together, but this time at Walmart and not Oakwood.  Godspeed, my friend, Godspeed.”









Mrs. Holman was my piano teacher from when I was five until I turned fourteen.  Every Saturday morning Dad took me to The Royal Conservatory of Music for my piano lessons.  Sometimes I would feel guilty because I had not practiced as much as I was supposed to.  But Mrs. Holman would scold me in a gentle and encouraging way.  It’s an oxymoron.  How can one scold another in a gentle and encouraging way?  I don’t know, but she did.

For my mother, just getting a passing grade was good enough.  For Mrs. Holman, just getting a passing grade was not good enough.  She would encourage me to strive and strive and strive for excellence, and then strive some more.  If the examiner gave me 87 percent for a piano audition, Mrs. Holman would make me practice and do the audition again until I received a 95 percent or better.  She always encouraged her students to strive for better than perfect.

Over the years I often thought about Mrs. Holman.  I wondered whether she was still alive.  Today, while reading her husband’s death notice, I found out that Mrs. Holman died July 10, 2011.  I started to cry.

Thank you, Mrs. Holman, thank you.  Thank you for encouraging me to be the best I can be, and then some.



Some of us won’t admit it, but we hear voices in our heads.  These voices can be our own thoughts, auditory hallucinations, or supernatural beings.  Who knows?

What about cats?  Do cats hear voices?  Do they hear voices in their heads say,

“Don’t lie on the couch in the morning.  Sit in the window.  Save the couch for the afternoon.”

“Give that human a thrill by allowing it to pet you.”

Stop!  Lick yourself.   Stop!   Stare into space . . .   Stop staring and walk away as if you know where you’re going.”

Look down on humans.  Remember that you are doing them a favor by living in their homes.”

Perhaps cats don’t hear voices.  Perhaps cats hear meows in their heads.  Do these meows make sense?  Does this explain all cats’ aloof, distant expressions?  Are cats devoting most of their attention to trying to understand the meows they hear in their heads?




This afternoon when I should have been writing, I read from a book about Samuel Taylor Coleridge  (October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834).  The book is a brief introduction to his work and life.  I read that he procrastinated with his writing and would often use reading books as an excuse.  Oh, the irony!  Of course his opium addiction did not help.  His procrastination caused him to leave a lot of his literary work unfinished.

Coleridge is not the only writer to put off writing.  Douglas Adams,  Margaret Atwood,  Victor Hugo,  Samuel Johnson, Herman Melville are a few.  There are more.

I don’t like it when people make comments about writing not being work.  “When are you going to get a real job?” they say.  Writing is work, hard emotional work.  When you write you have to face yourself and go to those deep dark places of your psyche.  They are hard to face, and that is one of the reasons for procrastination.  I feel good when I finally face them, and write about them.  Writing is therapy, and I have masochistic tendencies.

There are still dark places that I am not ready to face.  Sometimes I have tried, when I wasn’t ready, and felt overwhelmed.  I had to stop.  But I know I will face them eventually.

Now to get back to reading . . .


“Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.”
– Ellen DeGeneres



Why do I put off writing when I love writing so much?  What joy once I stop thinking about writing and actually write!  It does not make sense.  You would think that if something gives you so much pleasure, you would not procrastinate about doing it.  That’s what you would think.  But I am human and my behavior is subject inconsistencies.

“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

Mary Heaton Vorse

Once I have applied the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair and start writing,  I think, “What fun!  Why did it take me so long to do this?  I’ll never put off writing again.”  But the very next time it is time to write, I put off writing knowing that I will not feel good if I don’t write.   Such odd behavior!

Oh well, I’m only human.



I’m in love!  I’m in love with a woman who understands me.  I’m in love with a woman who knows when I’m joking, and does not get offended by my humor.  I’m in love with a woman who loves to make me laugh.  I’m in love with a woman who never scolds me for acting silly, and goes along with my silliness.  She loves to act silly herself.  I’m in love with a woman who has never lost her little-girl energy for creativity, curiosity and play.  I’m in love with a woman who energizes me when we’re together.

There is only one problem with this woman-child, this love of my life—I have yet to meet her.



I have been to several funerals where the loved one had left specific instructions that his or her funeral was to be a happy occasion, a celebration with joy and laughter and No Tears Allowed.  What a strain these instructions put on family and friends!  They had to fight hard to hold back tears so they could honor the wishes of the dead.

At one time I, too, thought how I wanted no tears at my funeral.  I wanted only laughter, jokes and joy.  Seeing the pressure this wish puts on people has made me change my mind.  Telling people that they should feel a certain way is not right.  What is right is for people to feel how they feel no matter what the occasion.

When my body becomes a corpse and I am elsewhere celebrating my Lightness of Being, it is okay for people to cry at my funeral.  It is also okay for people to laugh and joke and do silly things.  Anything goes.  People can do whatever they have to do to cope with their feelings.

As for the service?  I have no religious affiliations.  I believe in a God far beyond the violent, vengeful, jealous character in The Bible.  God loves unconditionally, and there isn’t a place in the Universe where God is not.   How arrogant for the clergy to feel they have to perform certain rights and ask God to accept a person’s soul otherwise the soul is lost.  Why would God need to accept what was always part of God and always will be?   (Imagine a person dies on a Monday, and the funeral is on the following Friday.  What is God going to say to this person on Monday, “Sorry, I can’t accept you until Friday when Father O’ Fitzinfarter conducts the service.”?)

The service can be whatever my friends and relatives want.  Again, anything goes.  If they want to give me an Orthodox Jewish funeral because I am circumcised, then so be it.  I won’t care and it won’t matter.   Death will slow down my reaction time.  Several centuries will pass by the time I realize that someone said or did something I did not like.

I am not planning on going soon.  But when I do go, I hope all enjoy my FUNeral.




I sat down to write today

And then I fell asleep

Sleep’s my way of dealing

With feelings that are deep

Subconscious has another way

An odd way it seems

It mixes up my deep feelings

And turns them into dreams