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…

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…

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…

Epic naps of the apocalypse

I’m sleepy; are you sleepy? So sleepy. I’ve been working from home for over a month now because of COVID-19. Alongside obsessive hand-washing, only going outside to either exercise or buy groceries, eating a lot of comforting peanut butter toast, reading very little (sigh), texting and emailing and calling my friends all the durn time,…

Read as I say, don’t read as I read

I saw something somewhere, pretty recently I think, about how COVID-19 has changed and will continue to change our lives a lot, and that all the things people have lost are making them grieve. (My thesis supervisor, if she ever reads this, will die 17 times in succession and then come back from the dead…

On not drowning silently

I am very much in favour of using my own words to describe my own experiences; I have this belief, supportable or not, that the more widely a catchy phrase is adopted, the less meaning it comes to hold until it’s eventually just a mess of sounds unrelated to anything recognizable. Some such commonplaces (e.g.,…

Working out in the time of cholera

I saw on the news this morning that Ontario provincial parks are closing because of COVID-19…and I didn’t freak out at all. I got all my hysterical adjusting done in my previous post; but I think this is a good time to point out how wrong Thoreau was when he claimed, “The mass of men…