2010 annual report: expansion

Dear stakeholders, I present herein the report on my progress for the year 2010. Please, hold your questions until the end.

The highlight of the whole year may well have been our excellent trip to California where we visited San Francisco and the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Trips to Nova Scotia for our friend Karen’s wedding (in the spring) and to see our families (at Christmas) were great too, especially since being away from Toronto during the G20 meant we managed to avoid that whole clusterfuck. We even went camping in Algonquin. All in all a good year for travel.

Of course, we enjoyed ourselves closer to home as well. We were mesmerized by the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and celebrated the men’s hockey gold in Dundas Square just like the rest of the city. We saw a Habs/Leafs game, our second in three months after not seeing one in the previous 12 years we lived here. We did new Toronto-y things like dragon boating and a harbour cruise and biking around the islands and seeing a concert (Iggy & The Stooges) live in Dundas Square. We also did annual pilgrimages to Hot Docs and TIFF.

We explored a few new local restaurants like Origin (twice) and Duggan’s (many, many times) and ate an utterly decadent meal at MoRoCo in our first venture past the truffle bar out front. Most of our new restaurants discoveries came during our travels, and I’d need all day to list them all. Really, the biggest change this year might have been Nellie’s emerging talent in the kitchen, preparing incredible meals for Valentine’s Day (as is her custom) or various dinner parties.

I watched 71 new movies, bought 19 albums and ten DVDs, and read nine books. That’s right, only nine; I blame it on the fact that I’ve been reading Postwar by Tony Judt since January and I’m 2/3 of the way through the goddamn 830-page thing. Believe me, reading 560 pages of Judt is like reading 5 normal books, so I have to keep taking breaks and reading something else. In 2010 I read Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges, Enterprise 2.0 by Andrew McAfee, Liar’s Poker and The Big Short by Michael Lewis, The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, Blood Meridian and No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy and Ill Fares The Land, also by Tony Judt.

Lots of good things happened in 2010, like when I won the Oscar pool, or when we won some art at auction during a charity event, or when I finally settled on my favourite albums of the past ten years, or when my team and I volunteered at Ronald McDonald House. I got to watch my Canadiens make a run deep into the NHL playoffs, and maybe best of all was that Nellie’s favourite team won the cup, and she helped her dad celebrate that win. Of course, there was a lot that troubled us too: some small (a Rogers fiasco, the earthquake which I suppose was more fun than troubling from my perspective) and some big (the afore-mentioned G20 debacle and — perhaps most importantly — Chris Farley somehow being elected mayor).

Most of all, though, I think the biggest development of 2010 was my expanded interest in wine and beer, especially local wine and beer. We finally took advantage of the two main wine regions near Toronto, making two trips to Niagara, one to Prince Edward County and one to the AGO for a wine tasting event called TasteOntario. learning that there really is great Ontario wine out there. I then decided to take that local streak and apply it to beer, starting a little endeavour called Project FiftyBrew.

There’s a large portion of my life which I don’t discuss here, and that’s what I do for a living. Last year I said developments at work were the biggest source of change in my life; this year I’d say that change has become the status quo, to the point where everything else (watching movies, listening to music, watching TV, reading books, and certainly blogging) falls by the wayside. Know what else stops when work is like this? Exercise. I haven’t run in months, and at present I weigh more than I ever have before in my life. Obviously, I’m hoping that my 2011 annual report will contain news of how I turned that around. To that end I did one last thing in 2010 to get that underway: I signed myself up for the Harry Rosen Spring Runoff 5k.

So it seems the two most noticeable elements of my 2010 were my expanded interest in wine & beer, and my expanding waistline. As I write this, it occurs to me the two may not be unrelated.

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