Cat’s Away …

When I left Toronto I lived in a poorer area of the city, albeit extremely colourful. It’s called Parkdale, for those of you who know, one of the older sections of the city, it boasts big old mansions, some of them converted in to halfway houses and old funky building, but a lot of poverty, drugs, crime.  My last year or more there it saw the influx of the dreaded hipsters. Guys with one sleeve tattoos and fedora hats while the women went everywhere with a yoga mat and matching pants. Twats.

It’s interesting to see poverty butted right up against opulence, a man begging on the street right beside an obscenely expensive car. That car parked in front of some pretentious little shit hole of a restaurant that served only five different things, charged an obscene amount of money for it and all of the aforementioned hipsters lined up to get in. Ridiculous.

Here, in the Dominican Republic it has the same elements. Where I first lived in Sosua, you see most Dominicans and Haitians in poverty and the ‘gringos’ living in wealth. The reason I moved here was due to me being past the ideal hiring age, despite years of experience and thousands thrown into higher education. My family inheritance wouldn’t have lasted anywhere near this long in Parkdale.

My first taste of money vs not was when I was going to Spanish class in Sosua.  Non Dominican people hired Dominicans or Haitians to clean, garden. At least the large number of expats there from Quebec hired Haitians, due to them speaking French, which was a small consolation for them. The Haitians I mean. Not the French Canadians.

The family who ran the school were nice enough but they were considered well-off. The school was in their home and I’m guessing they did alright. They taught Spanish, English, Russian and maybe more. They had this lovely Dominican woman who worked there, cleaning, cooking, laundry. I remember going up one morning to use the washroom and the door to my instructors bedroom was open. He had crawled out of his bed and just left it a mess, as if to say he was above making it. He was a lovely young lad, about twenty or so, studying to be a lawyer, but come on!

The woman asked me every morning if I wanted something but I always refused. I brought my own water with me and she was so lovely, she would burn a piece of egg carton underneath the picnic table where we sat to repel the mosquitoes.

This building I live in, the area here in Santo Domingo is kind of like that. My building is very nice, next door is a mansion where often times when someone is there there is an armed guard standing at the gate in army fatigues.  Around the corner is a calmato, or corner store where people can buy things, grab a cold beer and drink on the way home, maybe a hairdresser or plumber shop but the people there live there, upstairs or behind within.

My apartment has a ‘room service’, so advertised in the ads but translated really means service room, or servant’s room. I use mine as a ‘cat box’ room, but I can see young women in other apartments wearing uniforms, up early in the morning, starting breakfast, who live in the cat box room. Perhaps a better life but, still.

The people next door to me, to my left (because that clears it up), the women likes to sit on the balcony at night and scream down her cellphone. Sometimes her and her husband like to sit outside and chat. She also likes to call to the security/cleaner man who works here, almost lives in our parking lot all day. She and others call him to get their garbage, which they simply toss down to him off their balcony, which just shocks me to the core, maybe they ask him to stop the fruit truck and get them something, or just go run errands. I hate the sound of them screaming his name all day, but I’m guessing no where near as much as he hates it.

He often hides on the rooftop, likely just napping or playing on his phone or chatting to family and friends. Who can blame him. The class difference is shocking to me, I really don’t like it. I love the apartment I have but people assume I’m stupid rich because it’s a big place, I’m here alone and that I’m overweight with tattoos. That bothers me. I am moving to a different area in the new year. My rent is cheap compared to Toronto prices (I still pay less than my last place in Crackville) but it’s very expensive in terms of what I can do here.

Lately one of the real pleasures I get is when I see the cleaning lady early in the morning for Shouty-Cell Phone Lady sitting peacefully on their balcony while they are away. I hope she has a cup of tea, lunch and drops a massive deuce, as well.

Yeah, I got your class distinction right here.thebaglady

Like, Not.


Sometime, or a lot, I wake up early and if it seems I can’t get to sleep, I inevitably grab my phone and start scrolling Facebook, email, my daily puzzles. Applications, so they call them.

The Facebook lately has been getting on my last nerve. It sounds like this:

Oh, shut up

You did not!

Another selfie, Christ on a cracker

Oh, your food, again. *Hide post* *See less*

Fuck off!

Ooh, a celebrity died!

Aw, kittens! *like*

Not another one! Get a life!

Shut it! *Hide post* *See less*

Fishing trip much? *don’t like to make a point*


Thought I unfriended you… *unfriend*

You only put that up for the compliments.

Right, you are the only one who had someone die. It’s been six years, moving on. Hide post. See waaay less.

Recipe. *watch video*

Bragging about a Facebook quiz. *fuck sakes*

Looks at “On This Day”

Looks for birthday’s.

Sees horrendous post of injured animal. *Unfriend*

Like fuck you did! *Hide post* * See less*

Wow, a picture of you in the mirror with your phone. So. Lame.

Meme: this is so me! *It would be if you actually thought it up first, not just shared some meme that 4.5k people have shared and all claimed it to be ‘me’. *hide post* *see waaayyy less*

*Posts birthday card on friend’s wall* *freaks out when people piggy back on said card to express their birthday wishes*.

Debates losing half of Facebook ‘friends’

Has Coffee.


Always A bridesmaid…



Were you always picked last for the team or were you the captain, the one in charge of inflicting your power?

A friend of mine sent me a message the other day about the anniversary of our high school friend who had died young. She was very athletic, the one who passed. She lived in the country and she would jog to school. It was probably around ten miles. Run. To. School. But, it got me thinking about her, I went to school with her for twelve years and we were friends past that.

I wasn’t very athletic, nor did I want to be. I blossomed pretty early, I got my training bra going in to grade five and was well grown out of it before Halloween. I had no need to run around the ball field. I had boobs. Plus, I was funny so that was plenty to get by on.

But gym class was a horror show for me. I wasn’t completely useless, but I was far from athletic and prone to fat. So, when picking teams came around, it was rather mortifying, not just for me but several of us. I tried to hide it but depending on how competitive the captain was, or how much they hated me, it was the long last basketball walk of shame to the already full team. I even wanted to rejoice when I wasn’t picked absolutely last, but I knew too well how it feels, and could never bring my self to be smug.

I wonder now, why would they subject kids to this kind of torture? Did they think, the gym teachers of the time, that shaming us would make us work harder so we would want to get picked first? I didn’t want to. I wanted to be picked early but wasn’t willing to learn how to run or bounce a basketball to do it. It’s like wanting the dancers body but who has that much discipline? I think about exercise but I have high speed internet now so why would I? I look for a video to dance to on youtube and then it’s 1 am.

Our athletic friend was often made captain and she would pick me first. I can’t tell you how much joy it gave me. I would actually try! I would because I didn’t want to let her down. I didn’t even care if it was a pity-pick, I ran and sweat and chase that ball for all I was worth.

For the record I still fight my weight and have been a runner on and off for the past 20 years or so, this being one of the off years, but I get it now. Fitness and all that.

But really, I just wanted to say thanks to my friend for picking me first. It meant the world.