I suppose it’s the custom that I begin these annual report posts with a rundown of how many movies I saw (65) and how many albums I bought (20) and how many books I read (just 3) this year, and how that compares to last year (54, 14, and 4 respectively). It also raises the question of what conclusions can be drawn from those numbers, if any. I’m leading toward none, other than that I’m prone to over-quantifying things. And in that spirit, I considered figuring out how many TV shows I consumed, but that would be beside the point: it’s the quality of what I watched this year that was so outstanding, not the quantity.
I do enjoy going back through the year, though, and recounting the things we did, like events in and around Toronto: a Game Of Thrones exhibit, a Leafs game where I got to see Sidney Crosby play live, another Leafs game which I saw live with my dad (his first live game in 49 years), a few Hot Docs screenings, Woofstock, the 3rd annual Session beer festival, Canada Day / Pride weekend, the city’s massive summer rainstorm, the Roundhouse craft beer fest, a special screening of Jaws at the Lightbox, our 12th consecutive TIFF, Nuit Blanche, a Thanksgiving feast, the ice storm, and of course the ongoing saga of our idiot mayor.
We also tried a number of TO dining establishments for the first time: Richmond Station, Bellwoods Brewery, Le Paradis, Woods, Carisma, Monk’s Table, Bar Isabel, Hawthorne, and George. Richmond Station has since become a favourite, and I felt Bar Isabel earned it’s reputation among the top new restaurants in Canada. We did manage to host a few events at our place too, naturally centered around food and drink, like Bachelderannalia, a visit from the Thirphy girls, and a big dinner with our friends Matt & Kaylea (and assorted others).
We busted out of the city quite a lot this year too: Niagara-on-the-Lake twice and Grimsby twice, with winery visits part of all four trips. We also had a memorable dinner at Eigensinn Farm in Singhampton, and made three trips to Minden: Bat Lake twice, and Matt & Kaylea’s epic wedding weekend in September.
We didn’t do as many weekend trips out of the province/country as last year, but we did visit Boston for the first time, and Nova Scotia for a week, before making the big trip to Africa. That the Africa excursion was probably our best trip ever made up for the lack of other small side trips. Of course, I did still take a few trips for work, notably Phoenix, Chicago, San Francisco, and two more hops to Boston.
But all of that is really the same as last year, with slight variations in frequency or destination. Perhaps the three things which defined this year more than any other were the slight adjustments in our lives:
- Getting used to our new condo. By New Year’s Eve last year we’d barely settled in to the new place, and hadn’t gotten around to many of the enhancements we’d planned. We still haven’t gotten around to many of them, but it at least now feels like home in that unfinished way that everybody’s first real adult home does.
- Sonny’s passing. When a 20-pound ball of medication and affection who demands constant attention for ten straight years isn’t there one morning, it changes the atmosphere in your home. Five months later we’re all still adjusting.
- I left my company after 14 years, and started a new job. Two months in, I’m still getting used to this latest shift. It was a good move for me, and still roughly the same work rather than a career overhaul…but it’s definitely an adjustment.
There were other, more subtle things. I just realized this week that I haven’t been out to see live music all year, the first time that’s happened since I moved to Toronto. I also realized that my social networking contributions have slowed to a crawl, maybe out of overload, maybe out of lack of interest. I’ve already begun turning off a bunch of it and reconnecting with physical things, like books and outside air. The start of next year’s trend, maybe?
Cover photo by Kai Chan Vong, used under Creative Commons license