It’s been a weird week. I was so sick that I didn’t go to work Monday. I probably shouldn’t have gone Tuesday either but I had a pile of meetings, and I really wanted to see Lindsay speak at an Akimbo event at 401 Richmond that night. I’m so glad I did — her presentation was so on, and it was really interesting to learn more about digital curation — but that plus dinner pretty much did me in.
Dinner, our last together for a week and a half, was at Byblos, which we loved our last time out, though it might have been a bit rich for 10pm:
- Lamb Ribs w/ dukkah + buttermilk sauce + carob molasses + red chili schug
- Tuna w/ jalapeño dressing + radish + squid ink chips + green schug + avocado
- Short Rib Kebab w/ chemen + truffle tatziki + pine nut dukkah + oregano
- Mejadra w/ lentil + hung yogurt + fried shallot
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ halloumi + tahini + yogurt
By the time I got home I was almost comatose, and my body regressed into a state of uberSick. I spent Wednesday in bed, and most of Thursday as well. Then Friday morning, as I was feeling better and getting ready for work, I pulled a muscle in my back. I sometimes strain my back when I stay in bed too long — like, say, when I’m sick — but it’s pretty rare that I actually hurt it like this. I spent Friday hobbling around work like an old man and then came home.
My back’s slowly getting better, as I’ve been trying to mix in some relaxation with intense work catch-up. During my downtime I’ve been watching the winter Olympics and catching up on TV shows and movies I know Lindsay wouldn’t care to see.
I knew Fargo: Season 2 (imdb | rotten tomatoes) featured completely different actors from season 1, but I didn’t know the thread of connection among two of the characters. Just as quirky and violent (moreso, probably) as the first season. Season 3: get in my Netflix queue!
I’d been told Thor: Ragnarok (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was a ton of fun, but from the trailers I couldn’t figure out what it was. It seemed to be about arena fighting but, y’know…Ragnarok. Norse Armageddon. Did not compute. Anyway, it makes sense now, and I laughed all the way through it. Thor’s such an absurd character that full-on humour was a great way to take things.
Speaking of Armageddon, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what Brawl In Cell Block 99 (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was going to be: pretty much what it said on the tin. I just didn’t expect…that. So much dry savagery. I really wish I’d seen it with a Midnight Madness audience at TIFF. That would have been something.
Another superhero movie that took a new tack, one I also liked, was Spider-Man: Homecoming (imdb | rotten tomatoes). A reboot of the reboot of the…original reboot, I guess, this one played for a generation that knew the Marvel movies, not the comics, and it worked nicely. Different pace, and much funnier than the Andrew Garfield version. (Also: no sooner do I finish watching Fargo than Mike Milligan shows up in Spider-Man.)
Between all of this, and a lot of work, I finished reading my uncle Jim’s book A Short History of the American Revolution (amazon). Back in November when I was in Philadelphia for work, I had a chance to tour the new Museum of the American Revolution. I was speaking there that night (on a totally unrelated topic…we just happened to be using the venue) and did a little research about my family’s history to share during my speech. I’d forgotten about this since I first read it years ago, but Jim summarized it himself in the book:
Today farmers who wrestle a living from the thin soil of Cumberland County in Nova Scotia trace their ancestors to New York State and the exodus when the British finally left the United States.
Of course, ancestry.ca didn’t exist when Jim wrote this book, so I was able to dig a little deeper into history. That digging, and hearing the museum’s director speak about misconceptions and hard truths about the revolution, sparked an interest to re-read Jim’s book, and re-educate myself about the war. There’s so much myth and legend built up around the revolution — being at the museum and re-reading the book reminded me how different the reality was. Also interesting: I’d never connected the dots before between the Cornwallis who famously surrendered at Yorktown to the Cornwallis famous — and more recently, infamous — in Halifax. The former was, I believe, the latter’s nephew.
I still have crazy amounts of work to do today, and my back’s definitely not back to normal yet, so the weekend continues to be weird. Seriously, all I want is a quiet week.
Cover photo by j.s. clark, used under Creative Commons license