Friday, August 31, 2012

A Blue Moon to End the Summer

The first drinks: Blue Moon martinis.
It was a Blue Moon tonight, the first since New Year's Eve, 2009, and the last until July of 2015. Neil Armstrong, who died last Saturday, was memorialized today in Ohio, his home state. There is no way it was a coincidence that this happened on a Blue Moon, let alone a full moon. Sarah and I did what we always do for this infrequent occasion (the Blue Moon, not the memorial service): we prepared some blue food and blue drinks, put on a quartet of CDs I made many years ago for a Blue Moon party we held together shortly after our relationship began, and settled in for the evening. We had blue pasta and chicken and I mixed us some Blue Moon martinis at first, then we switched to Blue Lagoon cocktails for the rest of the evening. The CDs are a wonderful collection of songs with either the word "Blue" or the word "Moon" in the title, heavily leaning toward the latter. There's "Harvest Moon", "Blue Moon of Kentucky", "Moondance", "Claire de Lune". The Waterboys are represented, as are Echo and the Bunnymen, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and King Harvest. I have, on one of the disks, something like 17 different versions of "Blue Moon" alone. I only get these CDs out on the occasion of a Blue Moon which keeps the compilation "fresh" for the most part.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ah Sey One

Part of a fantastic mural outside of the Harlem Restaurant
Last night Sarah and I went to a fantastic event, "Ah Sey One", organized by Sceneopolis and inTO, and held at the Harlem Restaurant on Richmond Street East. I won a "plus one" entry through a contest that The Grid ran on their Twitter feed last week, by answering the simple question: "What is your favourite song by The Sattalites?" I knew nothing about the event at that time, only that I really love The Sattalites (a long-standing Toronto Reggae band; only Rush is an older Canadian band right now) and that Sarah and I really needed an evening out. But it wasn't just a show by The Sattalites (whom I had seen several times in the past): it was an event which was all about the mood and the mingling. Food was included, as well as two drinks each, and the people at the Harlem Restaurant -- to which we'd never been but will definitely return -- were absolutely fantastic.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Must-See TV" is now Sunday Nights

Tinkerbell and Cinderella's castle
When I was a young lad, Sunday nights were "family nights" on television. Wholesome, uplifting or educational fare was to be found for the most part, with shows such as The Wonderful World of Disney, assorted National Geographic specials, The Ed Sullivan Show and other family-oriented programs airing on the Sundays of my youth. As a result, it seemed to me that Sunday night was where a television series -- whether it was drama, comedy or any other kind of "serial" show -- went to die. If I had a favourite show in the '70s or '80s and it was moved to Sunday night, I began to prepare myself for its inevitable cancellation. You may have had a different experience but that is how it was for me: the sight of a show I was fond of suddenly appearing on Sundays was an "oh no" moment every time.

Well, that was then. Things are radically different now.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong, Modern Pioneer

Neil Armstrong: First human on the moon

"Neil Armstrong was the spiritual repository of spacefaring dreams & ambitions. In death, a little bit of us all dies with him." *

My first hero died today at the age of 82.

As a little boy, all I ever wanted to be was an astronaut. I ravenously devoured every detail of every Apollo mission from Apollo 7 (the first manned mission) onward. When Apollo 8 orbited the moon at Christmastime, 1968, it was then -- and still is now -- one of the greatest thrills of my life and an uplifting end to an awful, awful year. I followed the docking mission of Apollo 9 and the oh-so-close orbit of Apollo 10, running home from school on many of those days to absorb as much of the dazzling story unfolding on my television as I could manage. And then came the summer of 1969.

"'Men Walk On Moon' - The only positive event in the last 50 yrs for which everyone remembers where they were when it happened."

Apollo 11 Mission Patch
As luck would have it, we were to be in the States that July, renting a cottage in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, for a couple of weeks beginning on the 19th. There was no television in that cottage, but fortunately my aunt and uncle and their daughters had rented another place not far from us with a tiny black and white t.v. in the living room. We were still in Toronto for the liftoff, on July 16, and I was glued to the television for much of that morning. The launch itself took place at 9:32 a.m. EDT, but I was watching hours earlier as Walter Cronkite described the mission particulars at great length. I simply could not get enough of that sort of thing back then. I followed the mission as best I could over the next day or so and then I was in a kind of "radio silence" as my family made the long trip to Maine by car. I picked up reports in dribs and drabs via whatever source was nearby until the afternoon of the 20th when we dropped in on my cousins to watch the actual landing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pardon my Absence

It feels like I can finally sit at a computer long enough to put out a blog piece again, after a very frustrating week and a half, as my neck issues seem to be easing off a bit. I had no idea how attached I was to this device until it was impossible to interact with it properly. Well, that's not really true: I had a pretty good idea how attached I am to it. Didn't make it any easier, though.

So, did I miss much? Let's see, there was our buffoon of a mayor ignoring all the signs that clearly were not meant for him and walking into the Calgary Stampeders' dressing room while he was at a football game. Nothing really new there. Also this week came the news that Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger are engaged. The only possible good that could ever come out of such an unholy union as this one is the chance that Lavigne might "pull a Yoko" and break up Nickelback. If that were to happen, she has my vote to appear on the next $100 bill. Unless she's too "ethnic". Hey, you never know.

Then there is the story of the high school valedictorian in Oklahoma, about to enter college on a full scholarship except for one small issue: her school refuses to give her her high school diploma (which she obtained with straight-As, I might add) because she used the word "hell" in her speech. Never mind that she was actually quoting a movie that is very popular among her demographic; never mind that she didn't intend to quote it directly, but I guess it just happened that way; never mind that a valedictory address isn't supposed to be for anyone else but her classmates who gave her that honour. No, her school won't give her the diploma unless she apologizes. Here's hoping she doesn't. Oklahoma, seriously, I think you have other, more pressing things to worry about. But let's look at the bright side here: at least Oklahoma isn't Missouri, located right next door. Because Missouri, at the moment, is home to one of the dumbest, most despicable men to hold any power in the States right now. Missouri is home to Todd Akin.

Friday, August 17, 2012

An "Angry News" Week

Sea lions Sandy and Baker
It's too bad my neck's been so sore the past few days that I've barely been at my keyboard, because it's been one hell of a week for awful news and I feel like I've missed the chance to have some pretty important discussions. I've already posted about Toronto's ignoramus of a mayor thinking it's ok to drive while reading a speech (although we may have found him a new driver, if he'll be crazy enough to move here from Edmonton). I made a short, passing mention of the horrific goings-on at Marineland (former trainer Phil Demers has put together a short video which also was featured on the Star's website; now comes news that the Niagara Falls Humane Society will be inspecting Marineland and even singer Suzie McNeil wants her jingle pulled from their ads). I know I need to write a much larger piece on this story, but I haven't had the stamina to pull everything together this week. It's coming, trust me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Post Again Tonight....

...that pinched nerve or whatever it is seems to be affecting the blood flow to my head and I've had vertigo all day long. I haven't been able to sit at the keyboard for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a stretch. Hopefully it will pass soon and I can get this blog back on the rails. My favourite masseuse in the world tried to alleviate my discomfort after she got home from work and it seemed to help a little bit, but I clearly wasn't the one who got the most out of the activity tonight:

Even after the battery eventually ran down Addie still wouldn't let Sarah put the wand away without a fight:

Huh. Would you look at that. There seems to be a small post tonight after all, thanks once again to my magical cat. What would I do without her?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pinched Neck = Low Productivity

For some strange reason my neck has been bugging me for the past couple of weeks. It has done this before, but usually it has something to do with straining it playing sports. Since that's not even a thing for me this summer, I don't know what's going on... but I do know I hate it. This morning I woke up and could barely move my head and arms, so I decided to take a bit of a sabbatical from the keyboard. I'm just going to be at my desk long enough to post a short blog piece then I think I am going to have to get a heating pad on it. If it keeps up, I could have a real problem. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Happy kitty outside her fort
Because my buddy has kept me company all day while I've been suffering, I've decided to dedicate yet another blog to her - although some of these pictures were from yesterday. Last week Sarah made Addie a "kitty fort" out of her two tunnels (one large and one small) and a fleecy blanket. Addie loves her tunnels and the addition of the blanket has sent her over the moon, because she loves being covered up. Yesterday she spent some time on the floor outside of the fort, though, at first rolling around just clear of the blanket as you can see and then settling down on the carpet right in front of where I was sitting on the couch. This put her directly in the air flow of the window a/c, however, and eventually she got too cold to stay there. I thought this would have made her get back under the blanket, but Addie took a different tack toward solving the problem.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ford's At It Again

Did you commute to work or anywhere else today? Did you take the car? If so, did you at any point resemble the clod in this picture?

Rob Ford on the Gardiner Expressway
credit: @ryanhaughton/Twitter

No, of course you didn't. That's because, unlike the mayor of Toronto, you are not a selfish, insensitive jackass with the social acumen of a turnip. Yes, the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was photographed this morning reading a speech while on his commute into work on the Gardiner Expressway.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Canada's Closing Ceremonies Flag Bearer

Christine Sinclair, Canadian women's soccer team captain
credit:Getty Images
The headlines are screaming at us from all corners of the internet. Well, all Canadian corners, that is. "Christine Sinclair for flag bearer," says coach John Herdman. "#SinclairForFlagBearer" is the hashtag of a Twitter campaign that has a lot of supporters. A lot of them. "Christine Sinclair selected as Sun Media's flag bearer," declares Québecor Média, who then pronounce the matter closed. Well, I guess that's settled it then, right? Who am I to argue with the Toronto Sun?

Except that hasn't settled it. Not by a long shot. Not for me and hopefully not for the people who are actually in charge of such decisions.

I am not saying that Christine Sinclair should not be part of the discussion. She was the leading scorer in a soccer tournament that resulted in Canada's first medal in a "traditional" team sport at the Summer Olympics since 1936. She was captain of our women's soccer team, an inspirational leader and a role model, especially now, for many little girls all over this country. But if she hadn't been a soccer player and had performed many of the same feats, would she be such an overwhelming choice for everyone? If Christine Sinclair had chosen to play, say, volleyball and been the leading point-getter on a bronze-medal winning team, would there be a similar Twitter campaign with so many followers? I sincerely doubt it. Many of you who know me are aware of my intense dislike of the sport of soccer and I will admit it may be colouring my judgment here; but then that is exactly what I am accusing it of doing to millions of Canadians who are so convinced that Sinclair should be the flag-bearer on Sunday night that they refuse to even discuss it. This is one of the reasons I really dislike soccer: its unfathomable hold on so many otherwise rational people the world over. But I don't wish this post to devolve into another of my rants about soccer; rather, I wish to discuss the many other excellent athletes who should be mentioned in equal measures as flag-bearer hopefuls.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Open Letter to the Soccer Mom We Encountered on King Edward Ave. Today

Sarah and I couldn't put it off any longer: we had to do laundry today. So we took our heavy load down to a great little place on Danforth near Main that I have had a really good experience with in the past. While our clothes were in the wash, we sauntered over to Popeye's Chicken for lunch; while they were in the dryer we browsed through the nearby Canadian Tire and then grabbed a coffee and doughnut at the Timmy's just down the street. We loaded up the clean clothes, dropped by Sobey's to pick up a great dinner deal they offered today (the kids are with us later on), then headed home relaxed and happy with the afternoon. The light changed against us at Danforth and Gledhill so we turned north to drive through the back streets to our apartment. There are speed bumps on Gledhill; I decided to swing over to King Edward to avoid them. And that's where it all began.

Here is my open letter to the Mom who, with kids in tow, stepped briefly (I hope) out of her right mind today in the middle of King Edward Ave.


Artistic recreation of our experience
Hi, Mom. How are you doing now? Is your blood pressure back to normal? Should we be worried about your health or that of your kids? The display you put on for our benefit today left us more than a little rattled and concerned that you might get worse before you get better. I get that your road is under construction and likely has been for a long while. I get that the new garbage services - privatized under the gloating countenance of our idiot mayor - leave quite a bit to be desired. I get that you might be tired of having your two school-aged kids underfoot all summer long, especially a summer that's been this hot. I can relate to all of that. I've had bad days, too, many more than I could ever count. But you know what? You having a bad day is never, ever a good catalyst for losing all concept of reason and civility in front of your kids.

Inconsiderate drivers are everywhere
Because I think it's entirely possible that you had a blackout and cannot remember the events, here's what happened: we turned onto King Edward -- the street you live on, at number 75 -- at the very south end and slowly proceeded north. You stopped your car in the dead centre of the street, nearly a full block ahead of us, facing south and fully able to see and comprehend that we were approaching your car. This didn't faze you in the slightest as you stepped out of your van and left the driver's door wide open so that no vehicles would be able to pass you from either direction, with no indicators of any kind flashing as a warning. You then walked (and not quickly) a short distance away, stepping over the curb, and proceeded to perform some kind of task that we could not really see from where we were. As we came upon your car, still in the middle of the street, still impassable, we saw that you were shuffling some garbage bins around. We drew to a halt - we had no choice - and waited while you finished your machinations and returned to your car, finally closing your door as you did so. Why you were handling those garbage bins was anyone's guess; my thought was that they could have been in the middle of the road and in your way so you had stepped out to clear the path for everyone. Apparently, though, I gave you too much credit. After you closed your door I proceeded to continue up the street and go around you, having been stopped for several seconds already. As we drew even with your car, you suddenly put your left-turn indicator on and only at that point - and certainly no sooner - did it become clear that you were trying to pull into your driveway, which I can only imagine had been blocked by the empty bins a few moments earlier. By then we were already past the point of no return and had to continue to pass you; however, as we did so I heard you screaming at your closed window (mine was open) and gesticulating wildly. For a moment I thought you were warning us about imminent danger ahead, but I could not make out what you were saying to me. So when I saw you leap out of your car in your driveway and wave your arms at me I pulled over a little further up the street and stepped out of the car to give you a chance to pass along whatever information you thought was so important that you had to scream it at me in front of your kids. (Despite your apparent rage I couldn't be 100% sure there wasn't some sort of emergency, so I thought I should stop and find out.) When you repeated your muffled words for me, it turned out to be the rather mundane and rhetorical question, "You couldn't have waited for me?" At that point, wishing I had simply kept going and not stopped to check on your well-being, I calmly informed you that I had already waited for you for several seconds and had you given any indication - such as your turn signal - before I had drawn even with your car that you were trying to go into that driveway then there was a very good chance we would have let you pass before continuing on our way, well-mannered citizens that we are. I have no idea whether you heard any of this, though, as you shouted over top of my words the entire time I was speaking. Then you dismissively made some rather rude gestures with your hands and turned your attention to your children, who had witnessed the whole exchange. At some point you gave my partner and me the finger in front of them. I know you swore more than once and your arms virtually never stopped moving maniacally as you shouted. Your meltdown would have been appalling enough had you been standing there alone; to act the way you did in front of your children is far beyond egregious. I'm not particularly proud of my own role in this incident; however, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself for yours.

Speaks for itself, no?
Now, because you clearly need some help with this concept, here is what should have happened. Perhaps you can read this section to your children so that they don't perpetuate your rudeness and ignorance into their own adulthoods. In the first place, even if you were frustrated with the garbage bins blocking your path and even though you own a home on a certain street, you do not have the right to completely block said street just because you feel like it. This may be the hardest concept for you of all, because unfortunately this city in which we live has come down with a wicked case of "Sense of Entitlement" over the past many years and it seems to be a tough thing to fix. But let me be clear about this point, again: you do not have the right to block an entire roadway simply because you yourself are being inconvenienced in some way. Your car should have been all the way over to the right-hand side of the road and your door should not have been left open, forcing us to come to a halt. If you had done these things properly in the first place, then we would have been long past you by the time you returned to your car and there would have been no need for your little fit that followed. However, you did jump out of your car in the middle of the road and forgot to close your door behind you, but there was still time to recover from that oversight. At that point, the moment you saw us coming toward you you should have either gone back to the car and moved it out of our way or worked at double-time to perform the tasks at hand: namely, moving the bins out of your path. You also should have given us some sort of indication of what was happening: leaving your left-turn indicator on or, better still, some sort of sheepish and apologetic wave to us in acknowledgment of the fact that you were now inconveniencing us for absolutely no reason whatsoever other than your own abject selfishness.

Might be buying this from Zazzle
But let's assume you had a momentary lapse of judgment because you were angry with the garbage collectors. Let's assume you had already held us up with your inconsiderate actions and had returned to your car and closed your door. There was still time to salvage a little bit of civility from the moment: you could have motioned for us to pass and waved your thanks for us having waited for you in the first place. At the very least, you could have just kept your mouth shut while we drove past and perhaps at that point your poor kids would not even have known anything was wrong in the first place. (And speaking of your kids, you left them in the middle of the street in a car with the engine running and no indicators going while you stepped out of that car and moved away from it. I think you had already relinquished any claim to "Mom of the Year" at that very moment.) But you did not keep your mouth shut, choosing instead to draw attention to your selfish lack of respect for anyone else on the planet and, worse still, indicating to your children that this was the right thing to do and somehow we were in the wrong here. Let me assure you, unequivocally: there wasn't a thing you did during the whole time we were on your street that can be considered as "the right thing to do". Not one thing.

Manners: not just for children
So congratulations, Mom: you are today's poster child for why I despair for the future of the human race. You are competent enough to own a driver's license and a car; you have produced a minimum of two offspring and are raising them in your image; you apparently own property in the most expensive city in Canada; and yet not only is your gut instinct to be uncivil and selfish and ill-mannered but you appear to be incapable of recognizing this as a fault when the opportunity arises to make amends. Instead of yelling at us that we "could have waited" for you - which we most certainly did do - you should have first of all not made us wait for you at all unless it was our choice to do so; failing that, you should have been sincerely and manifestly grateful that we did wait for you after you inconvenienced us so unnecessarily. Let me make this part perfectly clear: it was not the wait that we minded, not at all; rather, it was the assumption that your needs superseded ours and that we should wait for you, and do so without question and with no need of acknowledgment.

It is that assumption that I cannot let pass without comment. For it is that assumption that is at the root of myriad other problems that plague our city and make me want to scream most days I travel about within it. We are all in this together and if you can't innately understand that then perhaps you might at least figure out a way to teach it to your kids. That is the very least you should do, because your kids looked terribly embarrassed by your actions today and, therefore, I think there might still be hope for them.

It's sure worth a try and, more than that, you owe it to them to do so. Best of luck.


That's it for the letter. You know, I thought I would feel better at this point, but I really don't. Sigh. Well, thanks for reading, at least.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sarah's Vacation is Winding Down

We've been very busy while Sarah's been off work, at least by my own recent standards. Her vacation has been quite relaxing for her, but I am going to have to rest up once she returns to work next week. In the meantime, we spent a day just decompressing around the apartment today, which was fine because it was kind of miserable outside and really not worthy of getting out into the world.

The bronze-medal-winning women's soccer team
credit: Paul Hackett/Reuters
I watched quite a bit of the Olympics today for the first time in several days and it was at times quite invigorating but was frustrating, mainly due to the erratic (to put it kindly) coverage of the CTV-headed consortium this year. I did manage to suck it up and watch the last half hour or so of the the bronze medal game in Women's Soccer, so I got to enjoy the amazing finish when Diana Matheson scored the match's only goal with a few seconds left in extra time. I also watched Tonya Verbeek come away with a silver in Freestyle Wrestling in the early afternoon; the odd thing about this is that the bronze medal, even though I really hate soccer, felt so much better than the silver because Canada had to win their last game to get the bronze whereas Verbeek had to lose in the finals to gain the silver. Sometimes sports can be extraordinarily cruel in this way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You'll Never Guess Where We Went Today*

*...actually, yes, you will.

The Eurasia section is closed until next May when the pandas arrive!
We went to the Zoo! See? I knew you'd guess where we went today. I was being ironic in the title. Sarah is nearing the end of her, her holidays in which we don't leave the city, and I promised that we would go to the Zoo together before she returned to work. When we got up this morning we checked the weather for the rest of the week and realized that the window was rapidly closing for me to keep my promise, so late this morning we headed up to the Rouge Valley...with the obligatory stop at Timmy's first, of course. It was a sweltering day and I wondered if it might cause some of the animals to be having a "siesta" once we got there. I needn't have worried, apparently. I wonder if they've just had time to get used to the extreme heat because it has been omnipresent since about May this year.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Big Day for The Grumpy Penguin

Not an optical illusion: the sign Sarah made for my "office"
This won't be a long post tonight because I have spent pretty much this entire day creating content (and much of it about myself) and I really am just about out of energy. But I didn't want to miss the chance to mark this very auspicious occasion in my life and the life of the new company known as The Grumpy Penguin. At about 4:30 p.m. today my business website went "live" and I'm pretty jazzed about it, let me tell you. I am expecting an article to come out in the Career section of the Toronto Sun tomorrow and I really wanted to have a visible presence on the web (other than this blog) before that happened. With the help of Paul Chato and his crack staff at Your Web Department, the past few weeks of tinkering and creating and tweaking and worrying became a really fine website within mere minutes of telling them "let's do it". They even set up the web domain for me in that time; it was really very, very impressive indeed. (Even having Paul call the site "The Rusty Ookpik" was a nice touch: it gave me a chance to take a breath and remember that this is supposed to be fun, this "legacy career".)

Sarah at our celebratory dinner tonight
I owe a great deal of thanks to Lisa Taylor at the Challenge Factory (and Karen Siwak for some of the content currently on the site and more still to come). There are a great many friends and family members that have been yelling encouragement all along this path, too many to name here but I hope they know I greatly appreciate their support and good thoughts. But there is one person without whom this endeavour would never have been more than a gleam in my eye: my partner, my love, the incredible Sarah Gledhill. Her beautiful graphics are what brings life to the website; she spent hours lovingly creating my logo and background images, as well as helping to make The Grumpy Penguin to be visually appealing (at least from the early accounts of the first visitors). However things turn out from here for my business it has to be said that it never would have stood a chance without her unconditional love and support. Tonight after the site went online for the first time we took off for a celebratory dinner and actually relaxed over our food for the first time in weeks.

I will wind this post up here as we still have vacation-type things to do with the rest of this week and I don't want to be lagging behind Sarah at the Zoo. But I just want to say, without further ado: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Grumpy Penguin. Please check it out and let me know what you think; I will greatly appreciate any comments whether positive, negative, constructive or just plain "meh". Everything helps at this point.

And thanks for being along for this ride so far. If it wasn't for this blog, there would be no website.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Getting the Most out of Simcoe Day Weekend

I think this is a scene from Superman 2
Sorry for the "cone of silence" this weekend, but Sarah and I have been really busy...relaxing. We've been visiting or hanging out with a lot of different friends (and yet it still seems as if we missed seeing so many) and have hardly been home together since Friday night. In no way should you construe this as complaining; rather, I'm merely explaining my absence from this blog for a couple of days. On Saturday we went to a barbecue at the home of our friends James and Karen, with whom we have gone camping in July for several years in a row until the streak came to an end this summer. This was our opportunity to catch up with them because these chances do not come along every day in these busy summer months. James built a tree fort or tree house or clubhouse or some such thing (I'll get it wrong no matter what so let's just say it's one of those) and Susan and Jason decided to pay it a visit while James was grilling the meat. Then, if this picture is an accurate portrayal of events, apparently Jason became trapped in the glass of the fort, never to be heard from again. He looked for all the world like Han Solo frozen in carbonite, or perhaps more like General Zod, banished to the Phantom Zone in Superman 2. Or, um, perhaps something less geeky. Either way, here's Jason in the clubhouse. Or whatever it is. Time to move on....

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Morning at the AGO

My "discovery" of Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, 25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973.

Sarah at the entrance to the Picasso exhibition
The Art Gallery of Ontario has a fabulous exhibition of Picasso's works which opened in May and runs until August 26th. Today Sarah and I finally went to see it, choosing an early morning timed entry on the advice of a very smart man on the phone when we called about tickets earlier in the week. Because we are members at the AGO the exhibition was free for us; we've waited this long so we could go on a weekday while Sarah was on holidays, so it would be less crowded. The pieces are out on tour right now (Toronto is the only Canadian "stop") because the Musée National Picasso, Paris is closed temporarily for renovations and we were very lucky to get to see some of these works. I had never been that much of a fan of Picasso's work (and Sarah is definitely not) but this was a tremendous opportunity to view the progression of his style and learn more about his life and how it affected his work.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

♪Walkin' on in the Beaches...♫

...♫lookin' at the peaches...♪

Hey! That's mine!
It's Day Two of Sarah's "Staycation" (I (shudder) really hate that word). After a yummy lunch and some Olympic spectating we decided to head down to "The Beach" (do not call it "The Beaches" as they get quite irate) for a treat from Ed's Real Scoop near Beech and Queen (om nom nom) and a walk along the boardwalk. We each grabbed a waffle cone; Sarah filled hers with raspberry fro-yo and I chose raspberry with white chocolate ice cream. In retrospect, at least one of us should have had something with peach in it, I suppose, to really make the song above have relevance here. Oh well, maybe next time. Thank goodness I grabbed a couple of extra serviettes on the way out the door because my ice cream melted pretty quickly, but Sarah's yogurt was practically a leaky faucet by the time we got down to the Balmy Beach Club.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's Already August?

Addie enjoying some rare fresh air
Even though the heat of this summer has been nearly unbearable for me - and I spend so little of my day outside, but this computer room is crazy hot - it still seems incredible to me that it's going by so fast. It feels like the fireworks of Canada Day just happened! The truly odd thing is that, even though the air in Toronto has been stifling this summer, we've still managed to open the windows for Addie a couple of times each day, which is something we really didn't do last summer even though it was quite a bit cooler. Odder still, though, is the fact that Addie has recently shown signs of staying away from the open windows because it's too hot even for her. Tonight while I was out at a meeting, Sarah took Addie back out on the balcony to get some wind on her fur (Addie's, I mean) and let her walk around on the harness and leash for a while. We call this a "picnic" in homage to a wonderful Whiskas commercial of a year or so ago:

I love that it's a guy in that commercial with his cat; this is not a common theme for advertising and, as you can imagine, I can't get enough of this sort of thing.

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