I just don’t get it

Last week I saw a Levi’s commercial urging Americans to vote. It’s a great spot and bravo to them for doing it, but that they should have to, makes me crazy. Theirs is the only commercial I’ve seen — at least so far. But apparently, they’re just one of many companies doing it.

The Skimm has also been pounding away at trying to get people to vote. For those of you unfamiliar with it, The Skimm is a quick and easy-to-read daily digest of news stories.

They’re so concerned about low voter turnout among female Millennials, for months leading up to voter registration for the upcoming US midterm election, they launched a “no-excuses” campaign, with daily tips, apps, info and even a link to register.

For the life of me, I will never understand why people are so ambivalent about voting, how they have no compunction Continue reading

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Let them eat cake and plenty of it …

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I wish the photo was that recent, but both she and her twin sister, with whom she is celebrating, have both passed.

In fact, it goes back quite a while, because my mom moved to Toronto in 2000, after my aunt died. And when this was taken, she still lived in Montreal.

Clearly, they were surprised and happy. They loved birthday parties, everyone’s parties, and particularly their own. And most of all, they loved birthday cake. So I fully expect they had plenty of cake yesterday. And, if my Continue reading

One week later …

This past Sunday I decided, on the spur of the moment, to visit The Danforth, otherwise known as Greektown in Toronto. It was warm and sunny, glorious really, the kind of day that always attracts locals, visitors from throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and tourists to the Danforth in droves. Not surprising with its abundance of boutiques and family-friendly restaurants and cafes — most with terraces and patios.

But of course, this wasn’t just another summer Sunday on The Danforth. One week earlier, on a beautiful summer night, this lovely, lively, friendly, family-oriented, safe, beloved neighbourhood was the scene of a horrific crime.

As seniors and twenty-somethings and students on summer break and parents with children talked and laughed and ate and sipped and licked dripping ice cream cones, shots suddenly rang out. And Continue reading

Portugal, India, New York and Oslo in a week

I can see you, sitting there, staring at my headline, saying to yourselves, “that’s not possible, and even if it was, who’d be crazy enough to do it?” Relax, I have no intention of trying it. But my week did include bits of all of them.

It began last Wednesday night when I had dinner with a friend. I don’t know if you’re the same, but I tend to always end up in the same neighborhood when I go out to eat — the one I live in. Why we tend to fall back on what’s familiar I don’t know, but it sure does get boring after a while.

So we decided to venture further afield and go to a little family-run Portuguese restaurant she’s been to before. It’s called Rush Hour and it’s in the west end of Toronto, on Dufferin.

No, I don’t know how a Portuguese restaurant ended up with that Continue reading

Good old days …

Amid all the ugliness last week, I did get some glimpses of sunshine; and I’m not talking about the  weather. Twice, I spent time with people I haven’t seen in years, and I do mean years, reminiscing about all the good times we shared.

The last several years I lived in Montreal I was doing advertising and PR in the fashion industry; and, after a couple of years at a tiny agency that specialized in the fur industry, I ended up working for a manufacturer and Continue reading

I surrender …

I’ve always been a news and political junkie; and, when I moved to Toronto from Montreal, I instantly became addicted to CNN and its 24 hour news cycle. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven.

Now it’s more like being in hell.

Am I the only one struggling to find something positive on the news?

Not that I’m an escapist. I’ve never been one to bury my head in the sand, avoid reality or run away from it — even Continue reading

Ahhhhh … bliss …

I’m just publishing this now, but I wrote it a week ago this past Sunday. I delayed it because a day later tragedy struck Toronto; and at the time it just didn’t feel right to talk about trivialities 24 hours after 10 innocent people were killed and 14 others injured when a disturbed man, who allegedly was angry because he was spurned by women, purposely drove his rented van right into them.

The Sunday this was written I was sitting on a patio — at long last — at my local Starbucks, savouring both the beautiful weather and a tall Pike Place (medium roast coffee). This past Sunday — a mere week later — I awoke to snow. Yes, snow, at the end of April. You’ll be happy to know, today it’s expected to hit 23 celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit), so all is right with the world again — at least in terms of the weather.

Writing a post celebrating being able to sit on a patio may not seem Continue reading

Not today

Senseless tragedy hit Toronto yesterday when a 25-year old man plowed a rented van into innocent people for no reason — 10 people have lost their lives and 15 are injured. There is currently no evidence to suggest terrorism, but that changes nothing for those who died, those who are fighting for their lives in hospitals and their families. See you next week.

Back in the saddle again (sort of) …

I’ve always been a movie lover and for years I attended TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). It was something I always looked forward to — even the endless lining up.

Those 10 days every September were sacrosanct, I booked them off almost a year in advance and honestly, short of a disaster there was nothing  — and I do mean nothing — that would have caused me to change my plans.

You’ll think I am totally crazy, but I used to buy the 50-movie pass. Yeah, I’d see five to six movies everyday, for 10 straight Continue reading

My very own pussy riot …

HERE’S THE COMPLETE ARTICLE I MISTAKENLY PUBLISHED  LAST WEEKEND.

It’s been close to 40 years since I’ve lived without a cat in my life and I’m shocked at how “still” and lifeless my apartment is.

Eerily, uncomfortably so, to be honest. I’m amazed at the energy these little critters bring. For a while now I’ve said — to myself mostly — that Bartlett (my last to go, just last Wednesday, pictured here) would be it for me.

But now I’m not so sure.

In my early years I wanted a dog and while it took my dad and me quite a while to convince my mother, I did finally get my wish, although truth be told, Tosca’s heart belonged to her. He liked us well Continue reading