Summer and the city

It’s been an odd summer.

Actually, Summer, maybe it’s not you. I think it’s me.

I feel restless, aimless, and have a hard time focusing. It could be work anxiety. It could be the headlines. It could be that I’m itching to get away but can’t decide where I want to go.  It could be that time is ticking and one day I will be dead. On top of this, my beloved Thoreau keychain broke, which feels symbolic.

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Costco, home, and hands

Driving west on the 401 to London, Ont., to see my mom on Saturday morning:

Beast: That’s a nice Lincoln you just passed. You know, if I drove a Lincoln I wouldn’t stop doing Matthew McConaughey impressions the whole time.

Foodie: It’s probably for the best that we drive a VW.

Beast: Whoa! Did you see that?

Foodie: What? Where?

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Skyline, and second thoughts

Walking to Skyline Restaurant, a much-loved Parkdale diner recently under new management, on Friday night:

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Beast: You met Maggie at the Lemon Tree House writing retreat, right?

Foodie: Sort of. We actually met years ago when she was a bartender at The Paddock and the old Terroni crew would go in after our shift for last call. Then she went on to open the Dakota Tavern, and then The Ace. Last time I saw Maggie, she told me she was really interested in hearing your thoughts on Skyline once she got it up and running, on account of what you said about The Ace.

Beast: What did I say?

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Activating the Death Grip at the Cottage

Driving to the cottage on Friday night: 

Beast: Hypothetical question: If you could be a little waterfall, a big waterfall, a stream or a babbling brook, what would you be?

Foodie: [Silence]

Beast: Take your time on this one. I really want you to think about it.

Foodie: We are going to eat like kings this weekend! I think we’ll do up the sausages tonight and then have the macaroni and cheese tomorrow night. You should see the wine I got. I don’t even care that it’s supposed to rain all weekend.

Beast: Have you thought about it?

Foodie: Yes. I’d be a stream so that I was always moving and discovering new things.

Beast: Interesting choice. I’d choose the big waterfall because then I’d be huge.

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You can’t say that, plus cocktails

Sipping something approximating a Manhattan the other night, but with cardamom bitters and star anise, for cocktail hour:  

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Foodie: What’s that playing?

Beast: Kanye’s new album. A lot of people are shitting on it but it’s great.

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New Orleans: Just the Tips

In the sunroom, the day before leaving for New Orleans, where we were meeting Nick and Erinn for a three-day-long adventure:

Beast: There are three museums I want to go to.

Foodie: I didn’t have any museums on my radar. Don’t you just want to walk around and explore?

Beast: Not if it means missing out on seeing Sidney Bechet’s soprano sax, or Louis Armstrong’s first cornet that he learned to play jazz on at reformatory school.

Foodie: [Silence]

Beast: Do you think I should bring my clarinet?

Foodie: Maybe next time.

Beast: I really want to see some of those incredible Mardi Gras Indian costumes that get worn in the parades. They’re so beautiful!

Foodie: I don’t know, man. Isn’t seeing that sort of thing in books enough? We only have three days and I don’t want to spend them cooped up in museums!

Beast: Did you check us in for the flight yet?

Foodie: Yeah, why?

Because: Because I think you better log back in and check your privilege.

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Eau de Taco Bell and wardrobe worries

Last Tuesday was a long one. I was up at 5:00 a.m. putting the finishing touches on my Metro column, I co-hosted the show, which means 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. is a bit of a blur, then I was lucky enough to conduct a 45-minute-long Q&A with Michael Bonacini in front of some 800 people at the Carlu, and from there, I went straight to the Canadian Screen Awards.

I wore the same dress all day. I don’t know if it was the material or my nerves–or perhaps a combination of both–but my pits wouldn’t stop perspiring.  I was shoving tissue under them all day, like I used to do in Grade 8 when this problem first presented itself. There was a moment, when I was seated between my two bosses at the CSA dinner, that I could smell myself. It made me so anxious that I started to sweat even more.

When I got home I found the Beast on the couch and an empty Pizza Hut box on the coffee table. He gave me a hug and then said, “Wow!”

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