A quiet house

We’ve lost our Lyra, the tiny feline ragamuffin picked up with her kittens and sent to the pound to be euthanized. We’ve lost our Jones, one of those kittens and my familiar. (Or, I was her familiar; it amounts to the same.) In 2005, I was doing some volunteer research and writing for a Toronto cat…

The Sir Arthur T. Quiller-Couch Potato Society

July 8, 2022. The second Friday in July. One week after Canada Day. Four days into my new job. Four days after American Independence Day. 3.5 weeks till my birthday. The sun was shining that morning, and B. and I had enjoyed a fortifying bicycle ride in advance of sitting down in our home office…

Home

I feel too much the harmonious nearness of home to be able to brood over any sorrow. In the past I wept. I was so far away from my native country… (Robert Walser, Little Snow Landscape, trans. Tom Whalen) “Home” was a word that had no personal meaning for me for a very long time….

Insomnia reading redux

I spent a goodly portion of the latter half of my PhD staying up all night, every night storming through books fully unrelated to my dissertation. I’ve been dancing a weary turn with insomnia since 1986 or so, when TV ended every night at 1am and the internets were barely a gleam in William Gibson’s…

She was a tough old broad

Like her brother and best friend Jeoffy, Aoki came to us when she was about three weeks old. She was both the bravest and the most fearful beastie I’ve ever laid eyes and love upon; she headed straight for the front door when it opened onto our very busy street but would also scream in…

Look as long as you can at the friend you love

This post is four months, two days, and approximately three hours overdue. On July 9, we lost our beloved Jeoffy. We’d known for some time that his life was winding down; pancreatitis flare-ups were wearing him out; his increasingly severe arthritis was making getting around difficult, though he’d figured out how to let us know…

Something about pop music and how life isn’t normal anymore

A few good things about the pandemic (yes, there have been some): I’ve been getting to know Toronto the way I should have done when I moved here 15+ years ago; it’s a way cooler city than I’ve been giving it credit for; I’m becoming a not bad shot at left-handed recycling-bin basketball; I’ve become…

Bicycle accident(s)

I know Spring has really, finally arrived in Toronto because during a bicycle ride a few days ago, I became one of several moving hills upon which countless millions of gnats died. Runners and other cyclists shrieked their shocked way through these clouds as though this doesn’t happen literally every year (we’ve killed off many…