Monday to Friday, I wake up at 6:00 am to a shrieking alarm clock. Fortunately, I am a smart person who unpacked the alarm clock and placed it on the Fiery One's bedside table when we first took up residence together, so he gets to be the one who is abruptly startled and has to flail at tiny, indistinct buttons in the dark. I have been accused of having a lack of foresight, but I think this proves otherwise.

On rare occasion, so rare as to be neighbours with never, I am able to make it from one end of my morning routine to the other with deodorant in both armpits, my teeth brushed, and matching socks and still have several minutes to spare before catching my bus. I had such a rare occasion on Monday. It only seemed fitting to document the event, for that is what the extra five minutes I had to dawdle to the bus stop felt like, and so I grabbed my camera.

It was overcast, and ever since I was a little kid, when it's overcast with weak sunlight straining through, I imagine that I am in England. This type of semi-cool, tepidly lit outdoor setting became a stereotype of England for me after I was exposed to "Coronation Street" and "Fawlty Towers" and "Upstairs, Downstairs". If the characters weren't wearing coats, the quality of the light in the outdoor shots always made me wonder if perhaps they didn't need them. When I was seven, I felt very motherly toward all the cold British people on the television.

The following photograph is of a building that I pass everyday on my way to there from here, unless there is in the other direction. The sky was solidly overcast behind the apartment building, but the sun was just working its way through the clouds on the eastern horizon, illuminating the face of it. Weakly. Very British.


I normally stand around under a tree next to the bus shelter and smoke on the way to work in the morning, because it keeps my fellow travellers from hanging around too near to me. I am pensive in the mornings and would rather not make nicey-nice with the isn't-it-warm-out and the where-do-you-work. On Monday morning, there was no one inside the bus shelter when I arrived, so I took a picture of what I would see if I were to ever actually use the shelter and not spend my time lookng dour and polluting myself while trying to recall what snippets remain from last night's dreams.

bus shelter

A few seconds later, I pointed the camera directly at the sky across the street while the sun rose, and I found out that pointing it at a ginormous ball of burning gas makes the rest of the photograph come out really dark. It also hurts the eyes, and I am guessing that it's not so good for the camera, either. I made a mental note not to take pictures of the sun anymore.

morning sky across the street

In Cityville, people will stare at you unwaveringly from a block away and across the street if they think you've got a camera you might use. I don't know if they want to be caught on film or if they are wary of having their souls stolen, but I never feel more conspicuous than when I've got my camera slung across my shoulder.

My favourite thing, and I mean my absolute favourite, is when someone I don't know points at it and says with a flat, Saskatchewan-farm affect so, you take many pictures with that thing? No, I bought this thing so that I could take three pictures and three pictures only, and now I'm going to throw it out.

So, I am normally all covert about it when I take the camera out to snap a picture. I broke out of my own mould on Monday morning, though, and pulled it out on the bus. As you would imagine if you were invested enough to bother, it is difficult to get candid people shots around here. Luckily, these people were all facing the other way and half asleep.

bus ride

And that's how things look in spring in Cityville at 7:30 in the morning when I go to work, except that everything's in colour and my eyes make better sense of the sun in the sky than the camera does.

I have no good last sentence to throw in here, so I will borrow from the Fiery One, who just woke up and gave me these two sentences off the top of his shiny, bald head:
You can't beat a nice slab of pork.
Ferocious betrayals accompanied the creation of Cab Calloway.

There has on occasion been some confusion about my identity. For the three of you who have asked whether I am this or that individual from some other corner of the internet, the following list should clear things up a bit:

I am not a twenty-six-year-old female from Singapore on MySpace.

I am not a lapsed Denver Broncos freak.

I am not a member of a newsgroup devoted to The Sims.

I am not this cat.

I am not the Schmutzie who wrote a review for self-tanning mousse or a mediterranean cruise or whatever else he/she/it used/travelled to/looked at and then reviewed on Ciao.

I am not any one of the Schmutzie spaces on the "Let's Save Our Earth" board game.

I am not Gracie (aka Schmutzie), a ten-year-old cat with its own weblog.

I am not the überprecious Schmutzie Putzie.

I am not the Schmutzie who posted this image on Frappr.

I am not the Schmutzie listed in the Zatte Vrienden Punt NL forum index.

The Haircut

"Dance, Monkeys, Dance" - Ernest Cline