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…

Have more sugar; these feelings aren’t going to eat themselves!

This will be the first of, one hopes (for obvious reasons), a series of dispatches from Toronto, or what I’m now affectionately referring to as Quarentown. No, we are absolutely not all in full lock-down like poor Italy. This morning, the premier declared a state of emergency, Parks Canada is closed, libraries are closed, we’re…

Hibernation

Winter has its charms, at least for those who’ve acquired a taste for it, but it must be acknowledged that, in spite of its lovely parts (the crunching and cracking of snow underfoot and the blintering* of the stars above on clear nights), winter also makes life more complicated. It takes a long time and…

A “right good-will draught” to end the year

It was the best, most, and first of times. 2017 was other adjectival things too, but I’ll stick to the good bits. Best reads (in alphabetical order by author surname) Grand Hotel, Vicki Baum A Favourite of the Gods, Sybille Bedford Notes from a Dead House, Fyodor Dostoevsky Old Filth, Jane Gardam Hild, Nicola Griffith…

Summer gothic

Everyone becomes unhinged, to some degree, during summer in Toronto, and this has been a particularly bad one. Most of the summer, but especially July and August, were made up of endless, blurring weeks during which the windows could not be opened and the A/C was never turned off; even so, it was often still too…

An open letter to Toronto City Council

Hey guys, Tough week, hey? We all knew Mayor Ford was trouble, but the last few days have really highlighted just how much trouble–although I suspect, and I know you suspect, that more will soon be revealed. (I’m not even going to bother linking to anything here; THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS, AND IS TALKING ABOUT,…

Humiliation fatigue: thoughts on the mayor of my adopted city

Last night, both Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel took aim at my city’s mayor, Rob Ford–for a video in which he’s apparently seen to be smoking crack. This morning, local news outlets are having shit fits and claiming, among other things, that Ford is ruining Toronto’s reputation–and ruining it for the long run. I don’t…