The ‘ton

It’s been nearly five months since I got the Peloton. I mentioned a week after getting it that I was worried I’d get bored of it, but I haven’t yet.

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.

Cover photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

Another redhead comes west

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.


Cover photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

Cover photo by Dustin Tramel on Unsplash


This week saw more excursions, including our first visit to a patio — Chez Nous, to be specific. It was nice to finally sit outside, sip some cool wine, and…talk to people.

Let’s see, what else? Watched Midsommar (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which was weird and scary but beautiful and excellent. Had a sudden, happy memory of a mixed CD called This One’s Worth Saving given out by Dalhousie radio station CKDU in my third year of undergrad. Protested some police bullshit.


Cover photo by Dustin Tramel on Unsplash

Cover photo by Andre Mohamed on Unsplash

Baby steps

Slowly, I am re-entering the world outside the loft. Last Saturday we walked into the east to meet a friend and drink Rorschach beers in a (very brown) Woodbine Park. Two days ago I went to the dentist (a new one; no need to get on transit to visit my old one) after a long wait — my last appointment had been scheduled for March 14 but was obviously cancelled.

I still haven’t been on a patio. I think I’m ready, but Lindsay isn’t quite yet. No matter; we have plenty of wine to keep us company right here in the loft.

We’ve watched some rough documentaries over the past week: first the documentary series Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (imdb | rotten tomatoes), then Athlete A (imdb | rotten tomatoes). The latter was exceptional — just extremely well done, thoughtful, well-constructed, and responsible in execution and scope. Still, between that and occasionally dabbling in the Waco miniseries, we’ve needed some light palate-cleansers as well, tossing in episodes of New Girl and The Good Place here and there as needed.

Maybe once this crazy heat wave (which, as I type this, has been temporarily replaced with rain at last) subsides we might attempt a patio. Until then: baby steps.


Cover photo by Andre Mohamed on Unsplash

COVID-19: Part the Last (for now)

So yeah: not to jinx anything, but just as life is slowly returning to a semblance of normal, so shall my posts. Or at least my post titles.

Patios are opening in Toronto, though I haven’t been on one yet. Friends are coming over to hang out with Lindsay today. My family back in NS had a get-together last night to celebrate my niece’s graduation. People at work are thinking about going back to the office, though I’m not quite there yet. I grabbed takeout for lunch yesterday, a delicious fried chicken sandwich from The Cider House.

I don’t know if I’m feeling hopeful about this…but I guess I feel like we’re all a little better prepared? Lots of people still aren’t wearing masks when they ought to be, but I can’t control that. And social distancing seems to be taking hold: even the drunk guy ahead of me in line at the LCBO yesterday stayed 6 feet from everybody.

Fingers crossed, I guess.

COVID-19: Part the Fifteenth

Let’s see: what happened this week in my little box? I worked. We played more Pandemic: Legacy. I won a Lauren Pelc-McArthur painting. The Constantines released a new song; Bob Dylan released a whole album. It was my niece’s birthday back in NS.

We got outside and social-distance-drank in an alley with friends last night. I hadn’t been outside in a week. It was warm and exciting.

Also, this is very real: Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Post-Pandemic Wish Fulfillment Fantasies

From McSweeney’s

COVID-19: Part the Fourteenth

My mood and psyche were somewhat better this week. The news was no better, with what’s happening in the US and video of Indigenous people being murdered and clotheslined across Canada. (Since COVID broke out, there have been as many Indigenous people in New Brunswick killed by the police as total COVID deaths as of June 14.)

I feel like so much of this writing is happening from within the little bubble we’ve been told to hold, while the rest of the world percolates outside. Things are beginning to lift. Ontario is relaxing rules slowly, though not as much for the GTA just yet. My company is beginning to think about bringing a few people back to the office, on a voluntary basis. White Lily is doing takeout, thank god. Things are happening, but I still feel very cautious.

Yesterday, in a move that feels both timely and untoward, we began playing Pandemic: Legacy. We’d been fans of the original Pandemic, playing quite a bit before all this happened. Legacy is just as confusing as the original was at first; I’m hoping it feels a bit less daunting in the coming rounds. It does feel weird playing a game one-way (destroying things along the way; you can’t re-play it) but honestly it’s been so frustrating and tough so far I’m not sure we’ll want to go back to it once we’re done.

COVID-19: Part the Thirteenth

Hard week. Hard to focus on work, or deal with the work load. Hard to watch the news or read Twitter.

BUT. But. The part of me that gets excited about change is trying to instill some energy in the part of me that feels sand-blasted. I’m reading and donating and trying to watch the news through an historical lens. And I feel hopeful.

I want more of this.

COVID-19: Part the Twelfth

The week started with a upward turn — 2020 jumping straight from Winter to Summer in Toronto, though I’m sad that Spring 2020 seems never to have existed — but slid into an almost surreal spectacle of seething rage south of the border. It’s hard to focus on much else; recounting TV shows and virtual wine tastings and Peloton rides seems silly.

I read a Harvard Business Review article this week about regression among leaders working from home, especially as we’ve come out of “crisis management” mode and settled into simply managing once again. I know I’m feeling it. I’m feeling the cramped space as well, especially with Lindsay totally heads-down trying to finish papers. It’s not that I miss the office so much as I miss the separation of personal space and work space.

Still, as ever: these are minor things about which to worry, in the grand scheme of things.