Far from it, in fact. I’m closing in on two hundred rides. My average outputs keep climbing, and I keep breaking my own personal records. I’m by no means elite level — I can usually only just crack the top decile on the toughest rides — but I can feel myself getting stronger.
I do need a padded bike seat for those 45+ minute rides though, Lord have mercy.
For the first time in nineteen years, I did not take part in TIFF this year. I considered doing a digital screening, but being there in person is one of the real reasons for doing it at this point. I’m hoping to restart the streak next year and put an asterisk next to 2020.
Not long ago a shuffle play served up an old Damien Jurado song called Paper Wings. It’s an excellent song. Listen for yourself:
I first downloaded it twenty years ago, a time when I was probably using Audiogalaxy to download MP3s, and the version I have is a demo with Jurado introducing it himself, to promote his new album. We hear his son Miles, probably sitting on his lap.
I know I should blow away the old MP3 from my library and get a clean one, but at this point — nearly twenty years after first downloading it, I feel some affection for this version. Some nostalgia. It reminds me of 2002.
Last night, for our first dinner out since COVID hit Canada, we sat on a makeshift patio (read: the right lane of Queen Street) outside ēst restaurant. It was weird to eat with Queen Street foot traffic wandering by, and a streetcar whizzing by my head every few minutes, but still: it felt great to be out, and enjoy a nice meal.
We had sweet & sour tofu w/ fermented red pepper aioi and scallon, and a beautiful tender pork secreto with fish sauce caramel, and glasses of Lambrusco. Then came aged black angus prime rib eye w/ shishito peppers and dusted dried smoked beef heart, and smoked potato w/ confit garlic, parmesan, and truffle oil, paired with a bottle of 2011 Chateau Chantelune Margaux.
We had no room for dessert but they brought us some housemade Amaro, which was delicious.
All in all, a pretty solid re-entry to dining out again. Maybe our only outing, since all indications are that we’re headed for a second wave.
After a brutal 7-game series against Boston (who kind of had the Raps’ number all season, including in the bubble) the Raptors are out of the playoffs in the second round. They could have — should have, maybe, with 18 turnovers — won game 7, but overall the team vastly outperformed in a season where everyone wrote them off. They weren’t supposed to be this good without Kawhi Leonard. They played themselves into a 2-seed and looked poised to run deep. Despite being blown out in a couple of games the Raps had some magical moments in the series, like OG’s buzzer beating 3, and Kyle’s turnaround jumper to seal game six, so it felt like there was some still some magic. But game seven was a disaster.
Had even three of the five starters played well last night they would have gone on to play Miami in the next round. Despite Miami’s dispatch of Milwaukee, I would have like Toronto’s chances to reach the finals…and then who knows?
Anyway, it was a longer and more enjoyable season than most, including myself, would have guessed. And the fact that we had basketball at all was a gift. Thanks fellas. Can’t wait for next season.
I’m writing this from a substandard hotel room in Oshawa. (So, saying “substandard” might have been redundant.) We’re here helping my niece move in to her new school.
After some seriously confusing airport-COVID adjustments at Pearson she found us. We sucked down some Jack Astor’s lunch and were on our way, with the Google directions lady helping us nimbly sidestep some serious traffic. Before long we were in Oshawa, pulling off an incredibly efficient (and therefore only minimally terrifying) Walmart visit before visiting her campus, doing some more shopping, hanging out on the quad (memories!), grabbing another meal at Baxter’s Landing, and finally getting her set up in her room. We let her get settled in and headed to our room for the night, getting here just in time to watch the Raptors tie the series up at 2-2.
We’ll be here a little longer today, to gather up some more things for her room and stuff her full of more food before heading back.