Cover photo from LeslievilleMural.com. Mural by Elicser Elliot.

Riverside → Leslieville

A couple months ago I wrote about buying a house. It had a sixty day close, so the math says we’re moving this week.

The sale officially closed Monday, and I picked up the keys that night. People are coming tomorrow to pack our stuff, and the movers come Friday. At some point we’ll have to move Kramer. We’re dreading that.

The loft we’re in now was a perfect fit when I bought it back in 2017. I’d always wanted a hard loft, and it was in an exciting new (to me) part of the city. But now, in COVID times, with no return-to-the-office seeming imminent, the openness that once made the loft charming now makes it stifling, as does the lack of outdoor space. That said, I like the loft and the building so much I’ve decided to hold on to it and rent it out — a pain in the ass I do not need, but I was loathe to part with the place, especially in this market.

I remain very excited (if a little apprehensive) about the house. It has four bedrooms, which — after having only an open loft with no walls for 3.5 years, might have been an over-vector — and a beautiful back yard. It’s on a street which has always been one of my favourites in the city. It’s only ten minutes’ walk from where we live now (though if Google Maps is to be believed, once one crosses East under the train tracks, one lives in Leslieville) which means many of our neighbourhood favourites — I’m looking at you, Chez Nous and Boxcar Social — will remain.

Wish us luck over the next few days. Especially with Kramer.

.:.

Cover photo from LeslievilleMural.com. Mural by Elicser Elliot.

The Lower Don

Three years after it re-opened (and us living practically next door to it) we finally walked part of the Lower Don River trail today. We Uber’d to the Brickworks, mistakenly thinking the trail was accessible from there, then walked the ~15 mins to the access point. What was meant to be a ~0:50 walk turned into ~1:20, but it was really nice. Even with the cars grinding down the DVP just out of sight, it felt nice to be surrounded by trees and water and scurrying wildlife.

We walked south under the Bayview exit, then under the Bloor viaduct, under Gerrard, and under Dundas, before climbing up the stairs to Queen Street. It immediately felt super-weird to be back in that kind of density.

It probably felt the least like Toronto of any place in Toronto I’ve been, but also made me feel more connected to the city than I have in months. I’m glad we snuck this in the week before we move to more than a stone’s throw from the Don.

lower don river trail
Image from BlogTO

.:.

Cover photo from the City of Toronto site

Cover photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Outstanding, Miller.

The latest TV kick has been British crime dramas. Lindsay started Broadchurch (imdb | rotten tomatoes) before I did, but I caught up and we finished the whole thing. It’s just so good. All the hype, lived up to.

Then we binged The Stranger (imdb) and Safe (imdb | rotten tomatoes), both written by someone named Harlan Coben, whom I’d never heard of, but I take to be a mystery writer of some kind. Anyway, The Stranger was pretty entertaining, but Safe suffered from Michael C. Hall’s presence in the lead role. I’m sure his dialect coach was trying very hard, but my goodness. No.

Now, with some recommendations from a friend, we’ve set our sights on Retribution and Line of Duty.

.:.

Cover photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

UTI

A few weeks ago our cute boy Kramer started peeing on our stuff, sometimes just in little drops. That’s usually a sign of a UTI in male cats, so we hurriedly procured some over-the-counter urinary tract health drops (and a few natural cures, just in case) to help him pee. It helped for a couple of days, but then a week later things got bad again. Real bad.

We knew it could get much worse too — left untreated in males it could turn into a deadly blockage. After calling around to some vets, we tried — for the very first time — to get him into a carrier so we could bring him in to a vet. It…did not go well. The poor little still-kinda-feral guy was fighting for his life, kicking and scratching and hissing and spitting. I think he thought he was being taken away from us. 😦 Anyway, we just couldn’t get him in the bag.

One of the vets had recommended Toronto Mobile Veterinary Services, so we called them. They turned out to be a godsend. Within a few hours (we were lucky they had an opening, and were nearby) they came, got Kramer into the bathroom, gave him some shots, drew some blood for testing, and even trimmed his nails. They left us with a bunch of meds which, within a few days, seemed to have him healthy again. It wasn’t cheap (COVID has made things really difficult for them) but the vet who came — her name was Dr. Tina — simply could not have been more helpful, sweet, encouraging, or calming. Eight hours after being in a state of total panic, we felt such relief. She followed up with us in the days after to make sure Kramer was okay, and even gave us advice for how to manage his move at the end of the month.

After our clumsy transportation attempt + his medical ordeal we thought it would take weeks for Kramer to forgive us, but a few hours after the vet left he was asking us for attention and scratches. This past week he seemed totally back to normal. The only downside? From now on we have to feed him wet canned cat food, which makes me BARF.

.:.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

RIP, Eddie

I did, in my youth, go through a pretty solid Van Halen phase. It petered out around the second Sammy Hagar album, but I knew all the DLR albums inside and out. Because I was a drummer the Van Halen brother I was most interested in was Alex, but I recognized the genius of Eddie Van Halen. He was the band, really.

The band has long since faded from my musical rotation, but hearing that Eddie passed away last week still felt like I’d lost something important to me as a kid.

Also, it was only after he passed away that I learned something I’d always wondered as a kid: did Eddie Van Halen really play the guitar on that tape in Back To The Future? Turns out: yes.