Tuesday, July 08, 2008

One down, two to go

I got the written portion of the driving tests done, so I now have the G1. Hurray! It was easy; the tricky part was getting there. The now-privatized testing is done by a company called DriveTest, and they don't have any centres in downtown Toronto, so I spent two hours on TTC this morning getting to Vic Park to write the bloody thing. I have nothing to say about Victoria and Park and Lawrence.

But I'm excited about getting behind the wheel again; it's been about fifteen years! Pathetic, yes, but I'm rectifying this fuck-up. Next week I'll be at a cottage where I can practise on some country roads, but maybe I'll even get a chance to drive a bit tomorrow before hockey. Look out! Stay inside!

The best part of today's ordeal was starting to read Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden on the bus. I'd heard good things about it, and met him at the Wolfe Island Festival where he read from works-in-progress, a sequel to Three Day Road. I'm only a couple chapters in, but it's good so far - vivid, well-paced, tense, and I like the varying points of view structure. It's working for me so far.

I reckon I'll finish it at the cottage next week and then read Orhan Pamuk's Other Colors. I'm looking forward to that. And some trashy magazines, of the decorating and craft variety - that's my porn. Oh glossy pictures of light fixtures! Oh DIY projects I'll never complete! Oh tasty recipes I'll clip and make someday!

Okay, enough ignoring the open file of the novel chapter in need of revision.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I hate not being able to (legally) drive. I hate relying on others for a ride to hockey. I hate accidentally bashing someone in the head with my hockey stick on a crowded TTC bus (also unacceptable during a game, but then it's more fun). I hate not sharing the driving duties on a roadtrip, although I am a good navigator.

I really need to get my license.

Today I spent the afternoon and evening rereading the drivers' handbook, and quizzing myself, and doing online practise tests. I'm ready. I'm going to do the damn written test this week so I can get my license back.

Yes, back. Long long ago, when I lived in a small town with no 400-highways and only two stoplights, I could legally operate a motor vehicle. But then I moved to Toronto, and kind of forgot to renew it. For years. And years. And now I have to start again, with this laborious graduated licensing system.

Yeah, I suck. It's my most significant adult mistake. I've spent years berating myself for fucking that up, and now it's time to stop putting "Get License Back" on new years' resolution lists, and just deal with it.

I was a nervous, inexperienced driver for the brief year or two that I did drive, so I am literally starting from the beginning. Bring on the College Street traffic! Give me the DVP in rush hour! And um, some driving lessons.

This is a start though - next week I'll be in the country, and what better place to practise the basics than quiet country roads around Wingham. Look out, Alice Munro! Stay inside!

Maybe I'll go write the damn test tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I'm on a new hockey team this summer, called the Chimeras. We have a pretty cool logo and a very skilled and fun team. It's a women's team in the True North league at Rinx, which is a significantly higher level than at Bill Bolton arena, the only other women's league I've been in. That means that our passes don't meander off into nowhere, people play positions properly, and it's way more competitive and challenging. The Chimeras are in the middle of three divisions, and I love it. We're kicking ass too - lots of shutouts and only a couple of losses so far.

Except... I've developed the dreaded "skate bite," for the second time in my four short years of hockey playing. It's so painful! Basically, it's an infammation of the tendon at the front of my ankle, and there's a big angry lump of bruise that reddens and curses me every time I skate. So I've had to skip my two-hour Friday game for a couple weeks, and pad and wrap my ankle for the short Wednesday games. I know that skating on it is probably making it worse, but c'mon, once a week is as infrequent as I can get.

(I just heard a great line from a bluegrass song on the radio: "I don't drink as much as I want too...") Had to share that with you. Mmm this beer is good.

Other than Angry Ankle, playing with the Chimeras this summer has been great. I've had tonnes of assists and even a goal, and the gals on the team are great fun, going for pints afterward and even, I've heard, sneakin' in some j's. Nice moves! There's a certain amount of camaraderie on this team that I haven't always experienced elsewhere...

Other things that rock lately:

The Tottenham Bluegrass Festival
the moose in Algonquin
getting out of Toronto so often
seeing the novel's end in sight
The Wolfe Island Literary Festival
Alexandra moving back to Toronto

Of course, there are a lot of things that suck, but I won't subject you to that today. That list would be too long.