Monthly Archives: July 2017
The other day I wrote how older men stare at me in the shower at the YMCA. Yesterday, a younger man stared at me. He looked like Frankenstein except he did not have the bolts in his neck and the green skin. He did not stare with lust in his eyes like the older men. He had that blank Frankenstein stare.
Frankenstein never moved his head. He followed me with his eyes. His face remained blank. When I looked at him he looked away. Then he would resume staring at me once I looked away. He stood motionless, with the shower water hitting his back, staring at me. His eyes followed me when I finished and walked to the towel-drying area. Again, he would look away when I looked back.
What the hell was Frankenstein thinking while he stared at me? Did I remind him of an electrical wire? A dark lightning bolt? A chocolate bar? Who knows?
It’s been a month of working out at the YMCA. I am slowly getting used to being naked with no privacy. I may never get used to being stared at while I am naked.
Almost every day, while I shower after a workout, some men will ogle me. The men who do this are older. I pretend that they aren’t there hoping that they will get the message that I am not interested in what their eyes are suggesting?
And there’s an older man who loves to talk while he is naked. Whether you are in the dressing room or in the shower, he will come up to you and start talking about how Donald Trump is ruining the world. I try not to say too much hoping that he will go away. Political discussions with naked men are not high on my list of things to do. They have only stared and never touched.
I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was with my body until I started going to the YMCA. I will be completely comfortable when I learn to love and accept myself.
When you are a nomad, and can’t shower every day, the three areas to keep clean are your armpits, your crotch, and your butt. You can get by without a shower if you wash these areas daily. The only problem with washing in public washrooms is dodging zealous security guards. These security guards want to make the Universe a better place.
“You can’t wash in here,” shouts the security guard.
“But it’s a washroom,” I say.
“That doesn’t mean you can wash in here,” says the security guard.
His logic escapes me, but then I never went to security-guard school.
I showered at a friend’s place on May 31. For the month of June, I washed in public washrooms. I must have smelled okay. I went to two social functions during June and none of my friends said anything. Were they being polite?
I longed for a shower, a nice long hot shower.
I started making some extra money and had enough money to join the YMCA. On Friday June 30, I joined. While I was filling out the paperwork I kept thinking, “Tomorrow, I’m going to have a shower! Tomorrow, I’m going to have a shower!”
I could not fall asleep Friday night because I was so excited about being able to have a shower. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve anticipating Christmas morning.
“I’m going to have a shower! I’m going to have a shower!”
I finally fell asleep, but was up early Saturday morning.
“I’m going to have a shower! I’m going to have a shower!”
I was so excited thinking about a shower, as I took the subway to the YMCA, that I wanted to run up to people on the subway and shout, “Hey Mister, I’m going to have a shower! Hey Lady, I’m going to have a shower! Hey World, I’m going to have a shower!” But I contained myself.
It’s a short walk from the subway to the YMCA. As soon as I saw the YMCA I thought, “That’s the building where I’m going to have a shower! That’s the building where I am going to have a shower!”
I went in. I worked out. And then? And then I had the longest shower in history. I soaped up and rinsed off a thousand times, and then I stood under the shower for a long time with the water bouncing off me. I was in Heaven!
Funny how such a simple thing like shower can bring such joy.
The library staff posted that sign at the entrance to the Northern District Library today.
The Northern District Library would not be the Northern District Library if it wasn’t for screaming children. Something is wrong when there aren’t children screaming. The Toddler Union rules do not allow a child to scream for more than 10 minutes. As soon as a child reaches the ten-minute limit of screaming, another child starts. And so it goes.
The sounds of screaming children blends with the cell-phone conversations, people laughing and talking, and more cell phone conversations, and more people laughing and talking. I keep looking for ear plugs, or muffs, that block out noise completely. No luck so far.
So now they say that on Thursday the noise level may be “louder than normal”? Impossible! The noise level at the Northern District Library cannot get any louder. But I could be wrong. I will find out Thursday.
PRIVATIZATION. No one uses this word to explain the obvious reason our electricity bills are so high in Ontario. Canadians in other provinces are paying less for electricity. Critics of the high bills blame “government incompetence” as the main reason for the high bills. No critics use the “P” word.
Paul Kahnert, a retired Toronto Hydro worker, has written several articles on the reason for Ontario’s high electrical bills. Two of the articles are linked below. He wrote the first article on June 9, 2014, before the provincial election on June 12. He wrote the second article on February 22, 2017. The second article says the same as the first, but goes into more detail.
According to Kahnert, Adam Beck pushed for publicly owned electricity in 1905. Beck was a Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament. Beck had the support of industry and business leaders who were tired of “being gouged by private power producers.”
Everything was fine until 1998 when Conservative Premier Mike Harris, promising lower electricity rates, started privatizing electricity. The Conservatives dodged the question, “How do you get lower rates when you add in profits to generators, profits to distributors, profits to retailers, dividends to investors and commissions to commodities brokers?”
In 2003, when he was elected, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty promised to reverse what Mike Harris had started. Premier McGuinty broke his promise and continued the privatization process. And Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is still continuing to the privatization process.
So now we are once again “being gouged by private power producers.” Paul Kahnert is the only one I have seen use the “P” word as the reason for the gouging. The mainstream media and politicians don’t mention the “P” word as the reason. Why?
We always hear how privatization will lower costs, yet it hasn’t so far. The public always ends up paying more when something is privatized.
Hold onto your wallets when you see the “P” word.
I saw a young man and woman fighting at the bus level of the Sheppard-Yonge Station. She was screaming, “He’s attacking me! He’s attacking me!” There were about 20 to 30 people in the station watching. There was also a TTC bus driver on an 84 Sheppard West bus loading passengers from the station. No one was doing anything. The man stopped approaching the women when I blocked his path. I shouted to the bus driver to call the police. The passengers on the bus were watching. It’s hard to believe that the driver did not hear me shouting to call the police, or the woman screaming. He kept looking straight ahead. And then he drove away.
Although I had stopped the man from approaching the woman, the woman did not stop from running around me to punch and kick the man all the while screaming, “He’s attacking me! He’s attacking me!” I gave up trying to keep them apart after she did this a second time.
Naturally, the TTC Enforcement Officers weren’t around. But there are lots of posters of TTC Enforcement Officers on the walls of trains and all the subway stations. The posters state how the officers are concerned about our safety.
The woman tried to stop the man from leaving the station on his bicycle, but he got away. She continued screaming and kicking at the doors at the station after the man left. These doors are washrooms for the drivers or rooms for cleaning supplies and equipment. She was angry no one from the TTC helped her. I had dialed 911 from a nearby payphone and handed the phone to her when she stopped kicking the doors.
Another TTC driver went into a washroom when the woman wasn’t looking. She saw him when he came out and screamed and swore at him for not coming to her aid. I explained to him what had happened, and he explained to her that he wasn’t in the washroom when she needed help. He stayed with her waiting for the police. I left my name and number with him in case the police wanted to ask me questions.
I received a phone call from a police officer an hour after I had left. I thought police interview witnesses by saying, “Tell me what happened, and please talk slowly because I am writing this down.” The officer did not say this. Before I said anything he said, “I want you to tell me what you saw and NOT what you think. Don’t tell me what you think. Tell me only what you saw.” Then he proceeded to grill me with questions. I felt as if I was a suspect and not a witness. The officer had his mind made up about what had happened, and wanted me to confirm it. His questions seemed to want to get me to say that I saw the man attacking the woman, but that’s not exactly what I saw. And his questions and stern tone, as if I was a child, threw off my concentration. I didn’t get a chance to tell everything because he kept interrupting me with questions. And he wasn’t interested in the TTC driver who drove away as a possible witness.
This incident happened Wednesday, July 19. It’s taken me three days to be able to write about it coherently. When I tried to write about it on Thursday and Friday, clumps of words would come and then I would get upset and have to stop. I didn’t realize that I was so upset.
Why was I upset?
- A woman was screaming for help. I was scared, but I was the only one who went to her aid, and then call the police. In doing so, I missed two buses which made me late for where I had to go.
- I didn’t get hurt, but I could have when I blocked the man’s path.
- A TTC bus driver ignored my request to call the police.
- Seeing a woman go berserk screaming and kicking doors because no one from the TTC had helped her.
- The police questioning me as if I was a suspect and not a witness.
I feel a little better now that I have written about it. The passage of time will take away the remaining bad feelings.
Do you think the 84 Sheppard West bus driver has any bad feelings, and can look at himself in the mirror when he shaves?
In today’s Toronto Sun, Sue-Ann Levy wrote about Adi Astl, a 73-year-old man who built steps down an embankment in Tom Riley Park. Astl was concerned for the safety of people using the embankment. Several people had already fallen. Astl found out from his city councilor that it would cost anywhere from $65,000.00 to $150,000.00 to build the steps. With some of his own money and contributions, Astl and another man took 12 hours to build 8 steps for $550.00. City bureaucrats were not impressed.
Why so much money to build 8 steps? I have no proof for what you are about to read. It is speculation.
The reason city bureaucrats were not impressed has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with favors owed and greasy palms.
Steve owns ABC Step Builders. Steve makes contributions to city councilors campaigns, and has done work for city bureaucrats at little or no cost. What a coincidence that Steve’s company gets all the City’s contracts to build steps in the parks.
Steve also owes favors so he hires his friends to help him build steps in the parks. What took 2 people 12 hours to build will take 8 people a week, or so, to build. Steve also knows a land surveyor who has to check out the embankment before Steve can build the steps. The land surveyor charges double his fee because it is a City contract.
Steve uses inferior materials, but charges the City for superior materials. Steve also greases the palm of the step inspector to overlook the inferior work.
Favors are returned, palms greased and no one cares because it’s a City contract. And that is why what can be done for under $1000.00 will cost anywhere from $65,000.00 to $150,000.00.