I’m really starting to dislike the month of March. For the past three years, including this one, at my last three jobs, including this one, every company would have a series of layoffs. Today was no different. At lunch time, the whispers began, and around 3 I was called by my boss. Salut la visite! At least they were nice enough to give me a taxi voucher home.
Of course, all is not lost: I guess this means I’m once again available for my yearly climbing road trip.
Outside magazine this month has a beautiful photo gallery section devoted to some of the more illustrious Sherpas who have guided Himalayan expeditions. Full portraits of these porter/climbers, their faces ravaged by the weather conditions thrown at them on the peaks of Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Everest–deep wrinkles, frost bite scars, frost-bite amputated fingers, send shivers down my spine. Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who summited Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953 (50 years ago!) isn’t in the pictoral, having passed away in 1986, but his son Jamling Tenzing Norgay, whom I was fortunate enough to meet and interview a few years ago (shameless name-dropping here) is photographed along with his family. What’s striking about this latter photo is that Norgay was considered an icon among his people, royalty really, and while every other Sherpa bears age-worn looks, JTN is strangely clear-skinned.
Unfortunately, there are some Maoist insurgencies occuring in Nepal at the moment, tourism is down, less foreign money is coming through that country, resulting in continued hardships for that country’s people.
Got home last night to find a notice from the post office, telling me that a package was waiting for me at the local outlet. Yeeha, my DVD player has arrived. I hear that they’re a great new addition to the “home theatre experience.” Gosh, I don’t know. I’m not even sure we can yet rent movies in DVD format. Am I wrong?
I can’t believe I’ve just been duped with one of the oldest jokes in the world:
Moi: How’s the snow in Toronto?
Elle: It’s white, cold, and melts when you touch it! How about the snow in Mtl.?
No one can tell me that the CBC doesn’t hire the wittiest around.
Coming back from a cross-country ski trip this weekend, I planned on making rabbit caccitore, nothing better after a day or two in the “semi” cold. Get into town, and my friend and I decide that a bottle of red wine would be in order. Head over to the SAQ express on Mont-Royal, too late to buy a baguette anywhere but in a grocery store (sawdust packed in a crust, really), and then head next door to the liquor store.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we got there: there was an actual line-up of folks waiting to get in, along with a security guard cum bouncer at the door, letting only a certain number of people in at a time. I flashed back to news reports of Soviet Russia, where those fine citizens would wait for hours for their vodka, pair of shoes, bread, etc. Regardless, got home, made the rabbit–which was excellent, btw–and spent the rest of the evening sprawled in front of videos of my latest fixation, Buffy.
Note to self: When it’s -40 degrees outdoors with the wind-chill factor, it’s probably not the best time to dress commando style.