I hesitate to say this out loud, but …

… increasingly, when it comes to Toronto I’ve got a case of the blahs. I’m sorry, I know a lot of you are fans and staunch supporters — which I certainly have been — but I’ve got to be honest.

While I do believe that Toronto has tons of potential I also feel that too much of it is still untapped. And yeah, it frustrates and disappoints me.

I moved here from Montreal 32 years ago (wow, time sure does fly). As North American cities go, Continue reading

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I’m having one of those days …

… when I’ve got a bunch of disparate thoughts running around in my head. They’re all unrelated, but they are on my mind; and you know me, I love to share. So here goes:

A friend of mine recently wanted to change her communications provider. It should have been simple — two phone calls at most. One to the current provider, cancelling her services and one to the other provider, setting them up.

Turns out she was without email or voice mail for several Continue reading

The days of eloquence, elegance and civility are now officially over …

A friend sent me a very interesting New York times article (How to Listen to Donald Trump passengers Every Day for Years) on the weekend. It was written by John McWhorter, who is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia.

He talked about Trump’s “choppy, rambling, self-expression” and went on to explain that it’s Continue reading

Whatever happened to love at first sight?

I love reading the Sunday New York Times.  I look forward to it all week.  Sometimes it takes me the better part of the week to tiffany'sget through it all, but I read it from cover to cover.  Every section.  Well that’s not entirely true.  I don’t read the sports section. Occasionally I skim it, but I don’t even do that all the time.

What I never miss, though, are the wedding announcements.  Why, God only knows.  I don’t know any of the brides and grooms.  So why should I give a toss that they’re getting married, where they’re getting married, who their parents are or what any of
them do for a living.

But I do, it seems.

Does this mean I’m a real nosy parker?  A hopeless romantic?  Someone who needs a

Continue reading

Day 127. Unexpected ‘Friendships’

A headline on the front page of the Styles section in this past Sunday New York Times caught my attention:  “Forging A Bond In Mud And Guts”.  It was a story aboutfriendship “Tough Mudder”.  Which is, as Joshua David Stein (the writer) explains, “an extreme obstacle course that is becoming the macho sport of choice for Type A men (and some women) who find marathons too easy and triathlons meh”.

My interest in the story had nothing to do with any desire, on my part, to roll around in the mud.  Not even with some hunky ‘warrior’ type.  I was intrigued by the pulling together, the teamwork and the camaraderie between these guys.  And also by the encouragement they gave each other.  Even though, for the most part, they’d entered the event as strangers.

They were bonding.  It was instinctive.  Primal.  In this case, it was happening because of the gruelling Continue reading

Day 63. The Obits

You’re going to think I’m twisted when I tell you.  I read the obits.  I read them everyday in the Toronto Globe & Mail; and once a week in the Sunday New York Times.  I’ve been doing it for years.

I don’t do it to check to see if there’s anyone in there I know.  That’s the last thing I want to find.  I read them because they’re interesting, even if they don’t say much, which most of them don’t.  They’re quite expensive, so most people are very careful about how many words they use.  But even at their most minimal, they acknowledge that this person lived, had a life.

You see their age, and whether or not they were married.  Whether or not they had children and grandchildren.  And great grandchildren.  Nieces or nephews.  Sisters or brothers.  Who their parents were.  Where they were born.  Where they went to school, where they worked, and why they died.  From what.  Sometimes they include hobbies and interests.  And, because of donation requests, they often tell you what causes and charities were Continue reading

Day 40. Too Impatient?

I love books.  Always have, even as a child.  I love holding them, feeling their weight in my hands.  I love how they smell.  I love the texture of the paper.  I love turning the pages.  And mostly, I love seeing them around.  I have books everywhere.  In every room.  Stacked on every surface.  On the floor, on tables, on shelves, in bookcases.

When the first Kindle was introduced to the market, I swore I’d never buy one.  A friend of mine extolled its virtues from the get-go.  You could have thousands of books loaded and ready-to-read, right at your fingertips.  And how great would that be for vacations?  It was so lightweight; and again, how perfect is that when you’re travelling?  You could have it with you, all the time, in your handbag or briefcase; and you’d always have something to read.  Always.

All good and valid points.  But.  It just wouldn’t be the same as reading a book.  Not for me.  And for the longest time, I stuck to my guns.

Then iPad 1 was released.  This same friend bought one.  In fact a lot of people I know bought one; and they all loved, loved, loved them.  I was unmoved.  Mildly curious, but resolute.  Didn’t need one.  Wouldn’t read on it.  And while I admired all the other stuff it offered, between my MacBook Air and my iPhone I had it covered. Continue reading

Day 20. Love Sundays

When you freelance, like I do, weekends don’t seem to take on the same importance as they do when you have a full time job.

As long as I make my deadlines, I can do all the chores usually reserved for Saturdays and Sundays, any day of the week I please.  As long as I make all my deadlines, I can go for a walk, do pilates, visit with a friend, have a manicure or read a book at any time during the day.  Unless I have a client meeting, I never have to ‘dress for success’.  I can work in jeans, sweats and, for that matter, my jammies.  But despite all the freedom I have, I do look forward to Sundays; and my delivery of the Sunday New York Times.

My parents had it delivered, so it’s a ‘ritual’ I grew up with.

In winter, when I become a recluse, there’s nothing I like better than collecting it from the mat outside my door and getting back into bed — where I stay for hours — with a huge mug of tea (don’t make coffee at home) and the entire newspaper, spread out all around me.  Not the easiest thing to do when you have cats, mind you.  They don’t like being ignored — even when they’re ignoring Continue reading

Day 1. Fifty Shades

Trust me when I tell you that I’ve not led a sheltered life.  Far from it.  But never, in my wildest imagination, would I have ever thought that we’d be discussing BDSM as openly and casually as we are.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve got to be living under a rock.

Okay, for the three of you who have been in a cave for the past year or so, BDSM is a sexual practice that involves bondage, dominance and submission, to give you a few examples.  And the reason it’s on everyone’s lips is because of a trilogy of erotic novels (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed respectively) written by a former UK television executive, E.L. James.

According to Wikipedia, as of this month the series has sold 40 million copies worldwide, with book rights having been sold in 37 countries; and it’s set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series.  It’s being read by young women.  Middle aged women.  White haired ladies.  Sophisticated women.  Wealthy women.  Executives.  Professionals.  Stay-at-home moms.  Grandmothers.  University students.  City dwellers.  Suburban housewives.

Husbands are buying the books for their wives.  It’s on book club reading lists.  It’s being discussed on Facebook and Twitter and in mainstream media like The New Continue reading