I thought I'd share with you an awesome thing that happened to me while I was walking. 

You see, in Montreal everyone has amazing style.  Except for me.  I have a "these clothes sorta fit and they keep the wind out" style.  Plus they were a really cheap bargain at the Sally Ann.  

Lately I have been casting jealous looks at all the ladies in their nice fall coats and tall boots.  I even thought to myself, "why don't I just walk into a real store and buy a nice coat?  A NEW coat."  But then I thought about my student loans.  And about paying for things like groceries.  And anyways, I have a jean jacket...

So I'm going to a elementary school to do some math tutoring and for once I happen to be early.  I start circling the block, wasting time, and I come across a big pile of street garbage.  There, hanging on top of the mound, is a beautiful black coat.  In perfect condition.  And it fits me.  And it's beautiful. 

It's practically like a present to me from fate.  Because fate wants me to stop looking like such a goober. 

So I look around.  I sort of feel like a cross between a robber and a homeless person.  I grab the coat and walk, in a quickish manner, away. 

I have a new coat!!  And it doesn't even smell bad!  Isn't that awesome?!

PS: I'm not really good at Math. Don't tell anyone.  I've only screwed up one kid, so that's not too bad.

So, perhaps you're like me and you find yourself looking for a new apartment.  Your ceiling has cracked a little too much and your roommates' cat has pooped on your bed just one too many times. You go on Craigs list and find some new digs (oh please let this roommate be sane), and you pack your bags.  But you are carless.  How do you move?!?

Have no fear!  I am here to help you!  If you follow my guide, you will be hanging up your Lady Gaga poster and kicking back in no time.  

How To Move When You Don't Own A Car

1. Think about moving your stuff, piece by piece, on the metro.  Decide that this is a stupid idea.  

2. Find a friend who has a car.  This won't be hard because mostly everyone has a car.  I know I'm encouraging people not to use cars, but apartment moving is a special occasion.  If the day comes and no one drives any more, I'm sure our amazingly smart human brains will think of new ways to move our stuff around.    

3. Ask that person very politely to help you.  At this point it would be smart to mention that you have an entire case of beer in your fridge.  And a tub of ice cream.

4. Have everything packed and ready so all your car friend has to do is open the door.  Also, print out a map to your new place.  As I found out, car directions are a lot different than walking directions because cars have to obey rules like "one way" and "pedestrians only". 

5. To maintain a festive atmosphere while you and your friend are stuck in traffic, play the harmonica and the ukulele.  Make up songs about how awesome your friend is.  In this way, you are tricking your friend into thinking it's fun to help someone move.  This is especially important when it's 25 degrees outside.

6. Dump your stuff in your new room and immediately take your friend out for beers.  Pay the gas money and thank them for their time.  Don't ask that friend for another car related favor for at least a year.  There you go!  Easy peasy.  

So there you have it; how to move in six easy steps.  And now, lets compare the costs:

1. Getting a friend to help you: 30$
2. Renting a car/Uhaul: $60
3. Owning a car so that in case you want to move at some point, you can do so: about $8000 a year.
Hey!  I've been off the map for a while now.  I've moved apartments and started school ... things are picking up from the "lazy" days of summer.  And by "lazy" I mean "intense tree planting".

I now live pretty far away from school.  It's a forty minute walk.  Everyone tells me that I should take transit, but I refuse!  At first the walk felt like forever.  "Why aren't I home yet.  I'm hungry.  It's raining".  But now that I'm getting used to it, it doesn't feel so long.  Also, if I skip the gym for the day, I don't feel guilty.  Plus now that I'm walking longer, more interesting things happen to me!  For example, last weekend a strange man started randomly yelling at me "WHEN YOU CUT YOUR FINGER, YOU MUST PUT IT IN VINEGAR!"  And then he laughed like an evil genius.  It was scary.        

So yeah, this forty minute commute is going to be awesome. 

I realize that sounded a bit sarcastic — and partly it is because I think sometimes it'll suck — but let me tell you, I would 200% prefer this then driving.  200%.   
Hey guys, take your gal on a walking date.  Grab her by her hand and say, "Hey baby, lets go on an adventure".  It'll be great!  Just make sure she's not wearing nice (aka, horribly uncomfortable) shoes.  Because then she'll hate you.  

Walking dates are the tops.  Think about all the nice hand holding you can do.  And conversation is just magically more interesting when you're walking.  For example, one of my favorite dates ever involved a walk and a conversation about making a horror movie featuring aborted baby fetuses.  We were an awesome couple.     

Walking dates are WAY better than driving dates.  If a fella said to me "Hey baby, lets drive around for a while", I would probably give him a frown (because I'm passive aggressive).  In a car, you're just sitting there.  You can't escape.  You have to "talk" not "do".  Pish, walking is way better and much more romantic.

So take my advise fellas.  I'm not trying to push my walking life on you, I'm just trying to help you get laid.           
I was walking behind a beautiful woman yesterday.  She was the kind of lady that would make anyone stop and stare.  But she wasn't a 19 year old fashion model.  No, she was much more stunning.  Do you agree with my opinion that older women can be the most gorgeous of all people?

This particular lady was trim and fit.  She had long gray hair, which she kept in a loose ponytail, and she wore comfortable yet stylish looking clothing.  She had clean, happily wrinkled skin, and clear polish on her nails.  She walked with perfect posture, and it was obvious that she possessed the kind of strength and confidence most people dream about.  

I tried to imagine what her life was like.  I saw her as someone who bought cut flowers every week.  She was probably a dancer and it was very likely that she walked everywhere (of course I would imagine this).  She most definitely went on weekend hikes.  She had lots of friends and was famous for her parties (which could sometimes get a little bit crazy when everyone brought a bottle of wine).

I think that older women can be so gorgeous because it's clear that they have worked for their beauty.  They have kept themselves in shape, worn sunscreen, kept stress at bay, and ate healthy foods.  Years of good choices have shaped them into the kind of person that everyone looks at and goes "wow".   

Well anyways, I'm crossing my fingers that all of my walking will be to my benefit in the future.  We shall see!                 

I heard that there was going to be a shooting star bonanza in the sky two nights ago.  What a gold-mine of wishing opportunities!  So of course I got all excited and decided to go on an adventure to see them.    

I figured that the best place to watch shooting stars would be from the top of Mount Royal.  So I hiked all the way from my house to Beaver Lake.  I must say, it was beautiful up there.  The sun set, colouring the sky with gold and pink, and the moon was a huge silver toenail near the horizon.  Some children played nearby and a nice family had a picnic.  Line dancing music was coming from the chalet across the water, giving the whole scene a festive feel.  

I counted 21 stars.  Geeze louise, it's hard to see stars in Montreal.  But I was not going to give up!  I laid on my back in the grass and refused to leave until I saw at least one shooting star.  I wanted to have a wish, gosh darn it.        

It got cold.  And the families were all leaving.  And some strange man in black "creepy stranger" glasses was lying near me.  

I knew I had to go.  So, I wished upon a satellite.  Do you think a satellite wish can come true?  The magic of the satellite?  I hope so.  I wished for what everyone wishes for - a little bit of love.  And in my mind I could hear the satellite going, "God, not another one.  Love?  What do these humans think I am?  Cupid?  I'm a satellite for fucks sake!"

And then it came time for me to come home.  I took one look down the trail and was like, "Oh shit".  The daytime normal, happy, green, friendly path had turned into a nighttime monster hole of pitch black.  The kind of black where every single bad guy in Montreal is most likely hiding out in.  I walked down the trial for five minutes, wimped out, and then turned back to be under the lamp posts of Beaver Lake.  

I am not proud of what I did next.  

I knew I had to get home somehow.  I figured that there had to be another way off the mountain that didn't involve going down the freaky path.  So I walked around until I found a couple moseying about.  And then I followed them.  

I tried to keep my distance, I really did.  I tried to be a stealthy like a spy so that they wouldn't be creeped out by me.  When one of them turned around, I pretended to be going in a different direction.  When they slowed down, I tied my shoes.  But despite all of my stealth, I could tell that the girl was wondering why some strange lady was trailing them.  She kept giving me "who do you think you are"  looks.  I returned her looks with my innocent "what?  I just happen to be going the exact same direction as you" face.  She probably thought I was CIA or something.  Or maybe an ex-girlfriend of the guy she was with.  And then I got worried that she might try to claw my eyes out. 

Thankfully, they led me to a street.  I quickly turned in the very opposite direction of the couple and hurried away.  I was still a bit lost though, but a nice lady pointed me in the right direction (including a shortcut through a hospital, which weirded me out a little).

So that's my shooting star story.  I'll keep you posted on the satellite wish and if it works or not.  Wishing upon satellites could be very convenient.       

I did not see this. I got this photo at http://queenaudy.blogspot.com/
From http://montreal.metblogs.com/2008/02/18/montreal-like-youve-never-seen-it-before
Only in Montreal can you (in one night) stumble upon a fashion show in the middle of the street.  Then you find an outdoor showing of Nanook of the North complete with a live band and opera singers.  While there, you meet a nice old gentleman.  He's walking in the same direction as you, so together you find Old Port and watch some fireworks. And then you and the nice old gentleman try to gatecrash a reggae concert.

And then you try to think up creative ways to ditch the nice old gentleman after he reveals his not so innocent intentions. Then you get invited to a random techno party by a guy on the street. And finally, you wander home and your roommate gives you brownies.

And you drink tea out of a measuring cup because you've run out of mugs.

So yah, that was my night last night.  It was an adventure.
I discovered "ride sharing" this week.  It was quite exciting.  Because I'm a student (aka, cheap/poor), I did not want to pay the $60ish dollars that it takes to get the bus from Montreal to Ottawa and back.  But I really wanted to go to Ottawa. 

My friend told me about ride shares.  She said, "Google it, and you can find someone who's also going to Ottawa and get a ride with them."  I thought that seemed kind of strange, but I googled, and sure enough there were a couple of ads on Kijiji about rides to Ottawa.  It's kind of like hitchhiking except you use the internet instead of your thumb and you pay gas money. 

I thought, well okay, I'll call the guy and I'll know, by the sound of his voice, if he's creepy or not.  I dialed his number, my "creep" detector on high intensity.  He said normal people things, and didn't slurp or gargle or make monster noises.  So that was a good sign. 

I was a bit nervous in meeting up.  I was also hoping that he was a hot student.  You know, best case scenario.  It turned out that he was an older man.  He was quiet, but he seemed nice.  There was also another girl getting a ride, so that made me feel more relaxed.

The only hitch in the whole deal came when I went to put my stuff in the back of his minivan.  It turned out that it wasn't just me and the other girl getting a ride - two dead sheep and half of a cow we coming along as well. 

"Um, so, er, what's with the dead animals?" I asked.

He was transporting them to a butcher.  Well okay, that seemed ... normal.  Sure, why not? 

The ride turned out to be perfectly fine.  Actually, the man is getting his PHD and researching drugs for ovarian cancer.   On the ride back I went with a bunch of students, and that was pretty fun.  All in all, I'd say that ride sharing is a pretty sweet deal.  I saved $30.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a new shirt. 

It's "Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie..
I got this cool idea (which I might have ripped off a friend) to do a "Flashback Friday" and reminisce about past walking stories.  I was so totally going to do one on friday, but then, you know, I went shopping and got my hair cut and...

So it's not technically friday.  But I wanted to write something, and nothing really interesting has happened this weekend (except for being mistaken as a hooker while downtown at night (Maybe it was my new haircut?)).   

I thought I'd write about last year, when I worked at a museum.  The museum was about a 30 minute walk from my home.  I had three speeds: walk, the walkrun, and Rollerblade.  As I am rather slow to leave the house in the morning, I often resorted to Rollerblade speed.  

Rollerblade speed is dangerous in many ways.  

1) I can never figure out how to stop.
2) I can never figure out how to turn.
3) Little kids can rollerblade faster than me.
4) I'm always carrying heavy bags of stuff.   
5) I nearly die every time I go down a hill.   
6) I forget to pack shoes and have to work the entire day in socks.  

So I preferred to walk.

I really grew to enjoy the trip.  It helped me wake up, get my thoughts together, and it gave me a little exercise.  I usually listened to music, and I saw neat animals like foxes and deer.  Old friends would tip their hat as I passed and say "top of the morning to ya".  The air smelled like gingerbread and rainbows would shine merrily by my side... Was that too much?  Do you get the picture or should I move on?   

Once I house-sat for a couple who lived next to the museum.  I actually missed the walk so much that I'd leave for work 45 minutes early and wander town until work started.  

When I met new people, I usually got the comment, "You're the girl I always see walking everywhere". Which made me happy.  Mostly because they weren't saying, "Oh, you're the girl I always see crashing into lamp posts on her rollerblades".