After the stabilizing year that was 2018, 2019 continued in much the same vein…for the first half, at least. Things got bumpy in July. First Lindsay fell down our stairs and broke her ankle in three places. She spent the next several weeks in bed, while I played caretaker. Around the same time, I was reading texts and emails through sleep-deprived eyes about one of my oldest friends who died suddenly back home, and then about the sudden death of my cousin’s wife. It was a swirling haze for a month or so, followed by Lindsay starting her PhD program and me enduring an insanely busy work period through Thanksgiving and right into December. It’s only recently gotten back to some semblance of normalcy.
We did have to forego two trips — one back home to see family in August, the other a planned weekend trip to Niagara — due to the injury, but managed to fit in some good getaways in the first half of the year, like London for a work conference, a trip to Ottawa to testify before the senate, a drive to Ithaca to check out the Cornell campus, a long weekend in Washington DC built around a speaking gig for Lindsay, a long multi-city trip to Copenhagen, The Hague, and Amsterdam, and a serene & beautiful visit to Tofino and Vancouver. Once Lindsay was recovered enough for me to leave for a few days at a time I did squeeze in quick trips to Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal for work, and Banff/Calgary for work, before Lindsay’s ankle got good enough to do a long weekend in Chicago and to go home to Nova Scotia at Christmas.
We did plenty back in Toronto too, like a gallery opening, an Anderson .Paak concert, two regular-season Raptors games, an epic Raptors playoff game six against Milwaukee, two TIFF films, a Sasha Velour show at the Danforth, and a Stars concert/play. There were great meals at new places in town too, like Wynona, Kojin, the revamped Carisma, Aloette, and ēst. And we got to hang out with friends a bunch, including Maeg & Britt, two wine tastings with Laura, a long weekend hangout with Lindsay’s brother, a weekend at Mike & Heather’s cottage, drinks with CBJ, dinner at Wynona with CBGB visiting from Ottawa, a meal with our friend Sarah at Ruby Watchco, and a bunch of others I didn’t think to write about. We even got some friend meetup time in Copenhagen with Tess, and with Maeg & Immony in Vancouver.
In between all that fun I observed a few consumption-related switches:
- I leaned away from movies (26 this year, way down from 36 last year) in favour of TV (finishing 26 seasons this year, way up from 12 last year);
- I’ve cut way back on beer in favour of wine, leading me to sign up for my first (and probably not last) wine course at George Brown;
- My reading continues to shift to online & bite-size (still in RSS form, but increasingly podcasts too) as I finished only one book this year versus seven last year;
- I am re-discovering my pursuit of music, buying 13 new albums this year vs. 11 last year, with quite a few more to follow based on the backlog in my “to-listen” playlist.
One other big shift: Kramer. Last year he tolerated us but was pretty standoffish and mostly hissed at us. Now he constantly wants to play, and has taken to rubbing affectionately on our legs — especially Lindsay’s. Still no petting per se, but he’s getting some contact, and we can feel his fuzzy little body from time to time, so we’re happy.
So 2019 was a tale of two half-years, more or less, different for reasons almost too numerous to catalog. In the end, though, I remain as lucky and privileged to be writing this I was twelve months ago.
Annual reports from past years:
- 2018: Stabilization
- 2017: Fallout
- 2016: Antipodal
- 2015: Hyper-focus
- 2014: Focus
- 2013: Adjustments
- 2012: Mobile
- 2011: Evolution
- 2010: Expansion
- 2009: Steady
- 2008: Lassitude
[Cover photo by Dylan Nolte via Unsplash]