12/30/2015

saturday november 28

today i headed down to the bathroom at duffy’s and noticed as i was walking toward it that there appeared to be a new image on the door to the women’s bathroom at the end of the hall — one of those places where the pictures on the door are supposed to signify "men" or "women" rather than just telling you in normal written words. as i turned toward the men’s bathroom, i checked to see what was on its door now, and saw that it was the following image, cropped from the poster for the movie ted:


c'mon, duffy's.

friday november 27

today i entered my td branch and saw that, while there was a lineup of about four people waiting to use one of the two atm’s, there was no one in line for the two human tellers, who were talking to each other as they waited for customers. since i needed to speak to a teller anyway, this situation was rather fortuitous, but i couldn’t help but wonder why the last couple people in the atm line hadn’t just made their way over. even as someone who prefers interacting with machines to humans, i would have felt like an idiot standing there waiting for the atm if someone came in, conducted all their business with a teller, and left while i was still in line.

12/29/2015

thursday november 26

today i noticed that my girlfriend still had her friend’s copy of taboo, which we’d played with a larger group of her friends at a get-together earlier this month. i’d embarrassed myself so badly during the first round of that game that i insisted today that my girlfriend and i practice together to avoid it happening again. we went through a whole stack of cards and i picked up a lot of tricks and techniques to avoid getting stuck on a word. feeling pretty good about next time someone forces me to play taboo.

wednesday november 25

today i went to prepare breakfast at around 10:30am and realized that my fridge door was slightly ajar. although this was a little irritating, i assumed i'd left it open just a couple hours earlier when i woke up and poured myself a glass of water. however, after taking a bite or two of my yogurt, which had definitely been in a fridge with its door slightly open for more than two hours, i realized that i hadn’t actually gotten myself any water from the fridge yet today, which means i must’ve left the door open before going to bed last night. it’s fine. i’m sure all the food is fine.

tuesday november 24

today i finally "got" the double meaning in the title of the tv show transparent. i mean, it’s arguably the first meaning, it’s so obvious. i'd never really thought about it before, but i was still pretty embarrassed that it took me this long.

12/02/2015

monday november 23

today i was listening to the birds all day podcast and at one point heard them say blue jays pitcher marco estrada had "26 million reasons" to be happy with his new contract (which is worth $26 million). for the first time, it struck me what an odd saying this is. like, envisioning it in a literal sense makes me think of someone going, "a dollar? great! whoa, another dollar? fantastic!" over and over again 26 million times.

sunday november 22

today i was on the dundas streetcar heading west. while we were stopped at spadina, waiting for everyone to get on and the light to change, the driver came storming toward the back of the car and yelled at someone sitting a few seats away from me, shouting that he wanted him off his car. i had my headphones on and wasn’t able to pause my podcast fast enough to hear everything, but it sounded like the driver was upset about the guy having walked in front of the streetcar in a dangerous way? why he wouldn’t be allowed on because of that, i have no idea, but the driver was insistent. after they argued about it for 30 seconds or so, the driver said something to the effect of, "i’ll get someone to get you off if i have to," and walked back toward the front of the car, presumably to call ttc security.

it’s possible the security call was a bluff, but the passenger in question seemingly didn’t want to take any chances — he hesitated for a few seconds, then, realizing that he’d the streetcar wasn’t going anywhere until he got off, walked up to the front and delivered a few more choice words to the driver before he got off. "have a good day, sir!" the driver called, shutting the door behind him. pretty exciting stuff.

11/30/2015

saturday november 21

today i ran into a friend - arguably more of a friend of a friend or an acquaintance - who i hadn’t seen in a few months. after we said hi, she said "you look good," which briefly threw me for a loop. obviously, this is a thing people sometimes say when they see each other for the first time in a while, but i’ve only really ever heard it in movies or tv shows, and generally only if those characters haven’t seen each other in years. it had only been about three or four months in this case. was it really a surprise that i still looked okay? did i not look that good before? should i just accept the compliment and stop thinking about it?

friday november 20

today i was setting my fantasy basketball lineup for the coming week and realized there were 11 or 12 guys that i wanted to start, but only 10 available spots. as i agonized over the decision, i idly thought to myself, "it’d almost be better if someone got hurt to make my decision easier." obviously i didn’t actually want to see anyone get injured, but the fact that the thought briefly flickered across my mind clearly created some bad karma, because just a few hours later, jonas valanciunas - the only player on both my fantasy team and my favourite real-life team - broke his hand.

11/28/2015

thursday november 19

today i came across this 33,600-piece puzzle on amazon.com, one of the most ridiculous things i’ve ever seen. i consider myself a fan of puzzles, but the idea of putting this one together without, like, a 100-person team, is unfathomable. it says it’s for "ages 12 and up." imagine having a 12-year-old kid and giving him this puzzle. you’d have to hate him so much. "merry christmas, johnny, good luck finding the corner pieces, see you in september."

11/26/2015

wednesday november 18

today i was monitoring tweetdeck as usual during my work day, when i noticed three friends in one of my feeds talking about going to a comedy show at bad dog theatre in the evening — two of them, a couple, ultimately decided to go. although i wasn’t mentioned in the discussion thread, i was interested in the show they’d been talking about, and decided to buy a ticket for it. it wasn’t until about an hour before the show that i determined i should probably give them a heads-up that i’d be there as well, and even then, i was hesitant to do so, since it would’ve been much funnier if i’d surprised them at the venue itself, all like, "i’m here for date night!"

tuesday november 17

today i noticed two rats chasing each other around on the subway tracks at yonge station. while i’m typically a bit put off when i spot a single rat scurrying around down there, there was something endearing about seeing a pair of them, so much so that i almost smiled watching them.

11/25/2015

monday november 16

today i  was riding the subway along the bloor line, and when we got to the section between ossington and christie stations, an announcement informed us that we’d be going slowly for the next minute or two due to construction. typically these sorts of announcements are robotic and perfunctory, but i really enjoyed the way this guy was infusing some life and creativity into it. when we got through the construction zone and were about to start moving faster again, he announced, "hang on, we’re going to warp speed!"

sunday november 15

today i bought and used a bottle of drain cleaner on my bathroom sink. it was so thoroughly effective that it made me google "how does drain cleaner work" to get some sort of explanation for why it had been such a success in my pipes.

saturday november 14

today i was battling with a candy crush level that had stymied me for the last week, an unusually long amount of time for me to be stuck on a single level. after yet another failed attempt at beating it, the app suddenly closed without warning. assuming it had just crashed for some unknown reason, i re-opened it, and when i went to try the level again, it had been re-designed, with features added or subtracted to make it easier. as far as i can tell, these updates to levels happen periodically to make sure they aren’t too hard or too easy, but i liked the idea of someone from the company keeping an eye on me and being like, "damn, he flew through the first 1267 levels, and it’s taken him a week to beat this one? we gotta go back to the drawing board!"

friday november 13

today i refused to let my girlfriend take an instagram photo of a pizza i’d made because i was so embarrassed by how much room i’d left between the sauce and the edge of the crust. it looked ridiculous.

11/24/2015

thursday november 12

today i made a trip to no frills to buy a few groceries and to grab detergent, since i’d run out when i did my laundry earlier this week. after checking out all my items, the cashier picked up my detergent and asked, "do you need this today?" briefly thrown by the unusual question, i replied, "uh…." and before i could say yes or no, she went on to explain: "it’s going on sale tomorrow for $2.97!"

considering i was about to buy the detergent for $6.97, it seemed ridiculous not to wait until tomorrow to get it, especially since i wouldn’t need it for at least a week or two. on the other hand, it’s a pretty heavy thing, and i’d specifically targeted this no frills excursion to buy it, since i didn’t have many other items to carry back to my place — waiting until a future trip to buy it would be an inconvenience.

"ugh," i said after a couple seconds of deliberation. "i’ll just take it."

clearly disapproving of this decision, she muttered, "you could buy two for that price tomorrow" as  i went to pack up my full-price detergent like some sort of decadent king.

11/23/2015

wednesday november 11

today i saw a sign outside lansdowne brewery advertising "live music from james brown tomorrow." even though it was just written in chalk on a sandwich board, and there was no way to include a photo or anything, i still felt like this one should’ve been added somehow, just so there was no confusion:

11/21/2015

tuesday november 10

today i had a drink with my girlfriend at insomnia. when we received the bill, it looked for a second as if it was blank on both sides, and i briefly wondered if this empty piece of paper was the server’s subtle way of letting us know that - for some reason - our drinks were on the house. however, after looking a little closer at the bill, i realized that the ink was just extremely faded, to the point where it was barely legible. the total was actually more expensive than i thought.

monday november 9

today i spent upwards of five hours monitoring a fascinating discussion thread on the facebook event for a nathan for you q&a scheduled to take place tomorrow. the thread began with the event’s promoter announcing that id's would be checked at the door - even for people with hard-copy tickets - to make sure everyone’s names matched the buyers’ names — this, despite the fact that the wall of the facebook event had been dominated by people selling and trading tickets with one another for weeks, since there was no indication they were non-transferable.

i won’t have any problem with my own ticket to the event, which was bought directly from the source, rather than second-hand. still, i was completely engrossed with the conversation, which featured the promoter feigning ignorance about why this would possibly be a problem, insisting that this policy is in place "literally everywhere," and generally displaying such a level of tone-deafness and ineptitude that several people involved in the discussion suspected it must be some sort of nathan fielder scheme.

11/20/2015

sunday november 8

today i was about to cross the street at college and brock when i was approached by a teenager asking for directions to dufferin mall. this initially seemed like a dream scenario for direction-giving, since the dufferin mall is one of my favourite and most frequently-visited places in my area. but as i pointed up brock street and said, "you walk up this way and turn, uh…", i realized i had no idea what the side streets off brock were called. after struggling for a couple seconds, i said, "actually, it’s probably easier to go down to dufferin and walk up from there."

"thanks," he said. "is it the next light?"

"uhh, two lights up," i said. it was the next light.

while i’m sure he found his way there eventually, i wasn't thrilled with my directions. on top of that, after he thanked me and we went our separate ways, i realized it was 5:50pm — 10 minutes until the mall closed. while i consoled myself by speculating that maybe he was just meeting someone there, or maybe he wanted to go to no frills (open until 8) or walmart (open until 9), i couldn’t help but also feel disappointed that i’d failed to mention the hours to him, just in case. i’ll be more prepared next time.

saturday november 7

today i attempted to take the ttc home from queen and yonge, and did the following things:
  • accidentally entered the queen station on the southbound side, rather than northbound, then was too lazy to switch over, opting instead to take it a couple extra stops to st. george instead of bloor-yonge.
  • remembered during the subway ride that there were shuttle buses running from st. george station, and decided i wanted to avoid them.
  • got off at st. patrick station, only to discover that dundas and university was a mess of construction (i don’t even know if the dundas streetcar was officially detouring, but it looked like it would have to be).
  • walked up to queen’s park and college to catch a westbound college streetcar home.
  • realized in retrospect that it would’ve been a much easier ride home if i’d looked anything up beforehand.

11/19/2015

friday november 6

today i arrived at descendant for an 8:00 pm reservation for me and seven other people. having arrived first, at almost the exact same time as one of my friends, i looked around the room while we waited for someone to serve us and said, "huh, i wonder where we’re supposed to sit." the small restaurant only sat about 20-25 people to begin with, and it seemed to be packed already, despite the fact that we’d arrived right on time for our reservation. as it turned out, for some reason, they’d taken our reservation down as being for two people, rather than eight, which seemed problematic in a place this small. in the end though, it actually turned out great, because we got to go to a bar down the street to have a drink while we waited to eat (secretly one of my favourite inconveniences, since it means doing one of my favourite things while i wait to do another of my favourite things), and they gave us dessert for free. five stars!

11/18/2015

thursday november 5

today i went to send a text message to a friend and noticed that i hadn’t sent or received a single text since monday afternoon. there was a time in my early- and mid-20s when i not only would have noticed this earlier, but i would have assumed my phone had stopped receiving messages altogether, and probably would have had to get a friend to text me just to make sure they were getting through. being 30 is great.

11/17/2015

wednesday november 4

today i was buying a handful of groceries and spent several seconds staring at two boxes of multi-grain cheerios, wondering why a 290g box and a 400g box were both listed at the same price, despite the fact that the bigger one didn’t appear to be on sale. the only discernible difference, as far as i could tell, was that the smaller box featured "ancient grains." i ended up opting for the bigger box, taking my chances on the present-day grains providing a better value.

tuesday november 3

today i was walking east along bloor street when i heard a shout from off to my left. i looked over and realized that a guy was asking me for money. he wasn’t standing or sitting on the sidewalk though — he was in the middle of the road, in the process of crossing the street, and wanted to get my attention before i passed by. even though i turned him down, i had to admire the hustle.

monday november 2

today i was working at home when my landlord and the previously-promised bank appraiser showed up at my place. the visit was pretty painless — they were only in my place for about two minutes. still, the appraiser took photos of every room of my place, which made me feel a little uneasy, even though i’m sure whoever ended up seeing those photos probably wouldn’t give nearly as much thought as i did to, for instance, the stuffed animal in my bedroom that i’d won at the ex.

11/15/2015

sunday november 1

today i arrived slightly late to the ossington for trivia, so by the time i looked at our image sheet (a collection of photos and other images you have to identify), my team had already filled in every answer. still, they were unsure about one, having guessed that the photo was a young evander holyfield. noticing that our sheet had gotten ripped in a way that tore off "evander"'s ear, i asked if that had been done on purpose to help identify him. apparently it had just been an accident, but we took it as a sign that we had the right answer. turns out it was mr. t though.

saturday october 31

today i received a text at 1:00 am from my brother, asking if troy tulowitzki and ben revere were free agents this winter. guy didn’t even watch baseball three months ago and here he is so engaged in a party conversation about the blue jays that it required an immediate 1:00 am text.

11/13/2015

friday october 30

today i cut through the alley next to three speed on my way home from dufferin mall, and - when i arrived on bloor street - ran into a friend who i hadn’t seen for a little while. we talked for a couple minutes, then said our goodbyes, since she was late to get to a friend’s place. of course, immediately after we hugged and said goodbye, we realized we were still heading in the same direction, always an awkward moment.

"should i just duck into this subway here?" i joked, gesturing to the subway restaurant a few doors down from three speed, suggesting that it would be a good way to avoid continuing our post-goodbye walk along bloor street. unfortunately this joke really failed to land when it turned out my friend was going to an apartment that was literally right next door to three speed, making me realize i hadn’t really needed to worry about the post-goodbye awkwardness at all. still, after we parted ways, having now put the idea into my own head, i decided to stop at subway anyway.

thursday october 29

today i went to ali baba’s for a shawarma platter and was shocked to see that they were packaging the platters in different containers than usual — the new containers were plastic and circular, rather than the square styrofoam ones. although i was initially put off by this change - as am i by almost any change to my normal routine - by the time i’d finished eating it, i’d become convinced that these containers actually held more food, and was hoping that they’d stick to the change going forward. i’m a quick convert.

wednesday october 28

today i discovered that i have free access to spotify premium as a result of making changes to my phone plan several weeks ago. gonna listen to so many hyper-specific playlists.

tuesday october 27

today i received an email from my landlord letting me know that an appraiser from the bank would be coming by sometime "this week or next week" to look at the house for "mortgage financing purposes." while i have no problem with the idea of this visit, the lack of specificity about the timing is worrisome. as someone who typically doesn’t exactly dress up while working from home from 9 to 5, this impending drop-in means that for the next week or so, i’ll have to wear pants during my workday, or at least have them nearby.

11/10/2015

monday october 26

today i went to harlem for dinner with my girlfriend. we’d made a reservation earlier in the day, despite the fact that we knew we probably didn’t need one on a monday. sure enough, when we arrived, more than half the tables in the place were empty, and when we mentioned that we had a reservation, the server waved a hand as if to say "well, that's not important" and told us to sit anywhere. the unnecessary reservation always makes me feel momentarily silly, like i put way too much effort into planning my night.

sunday october 25

today i saw multiple commercials for popeye’s while watching nfl football. these ads weren’t for the fast-food chicken restaurant, but were for a canadian-based company that sells "nutritional" supplements. still, every time i saw one of these ads, which talked about "transforming" your body, i got a bit of a craving for fried chicken, which probably transforms your body in its own way.

11/09/2015

saturday october 24

today i received a notification informing me that my mother has added me as a "trusted contact" on facebook. i think this means i take over her account when she dies?

friday october 23

today i ended up at a sports bar/cafe on dundas west called nossa casa to watch game 6 of the alcs. the place was more charming than i expected, the server was a real gem, and i got to see my friend take off his shirt and start chugging a pitcher of beer after jose bautista’s game-tying home run in the 8th inning. still, it’s hard to imagine ever being able to go back, since my main memory of the night - and, by extension, of the bar - is an overwhelming feeling of sadness as i watched the jays’ season end.

thursday october 22

today i started to get concerned about the fact that i hadn’t received any mail lately. as someone whose pay cheques arrive in the mail, this was a problem for me. however, i wasn’t exactly sure what to look for when i googled the issue — it’s not as if canada post has a ttc-style page of service alerts, as far as i can tell. i ended up trying to figure out if that door-to-door delivery stoppage i’d read about earlier this year had unexpectedly happened already, which led me to stories about canada post’s intentions to try to get the new liberal government to overturn that decision, which led me to other stories about other rulings and decisions the new government may overturn. anyway, no idea why i’m not getting my mail.

11/08/2015

wednesday october 21

today i found 60 cents in change in a plastic walmart bag i’d left lying around the house. this was the second time this month that i’d unexpectedly found money in a walmart bag — i discovered a $5 bill in one last week. i have no idea why this keeps happening, unless i’ve briefly blacked out multiple times as i’m leaving walmart and have totally forgotten throwing my change into a bag. it’s like i have a personal tooth fairy, but instead of giving me money for teeth under my pillow, she gives me money for non-essential household items i buy and then don’t put away for weeks.

tuesday october 20

today i went to game 4 of the jays/royals series and scanned my season ticket holder’s card at the stadium entrance. typically, since i just have one ticket on my account, scanning my card results in a single receipt printing out for my single seat. however, today three receipts were printed out. having bought a couple extra pairs of tickets for the series to sell to friends and/or online, i immediately panicked, assuming that i’d left one of the extra pairs on my account/card after selling them, meaning that the pair of tickets i’d "sold" wouldn’t work at the gate. after looking at the receipts more closely though, i noticed that the two extra receipts were for two seats that i didn’t have for the championship series — i’d had them for the division series.

confused, i stopped by a customer service booth on my way to my seat in an effort to make sure that these seats weren’t still mistakenly on my account, and that someone who tried to buy them for this game wouldn’t get turned away at the entrance. the customer service guy had no answers for me, so i headed to my seat, fretting the whole time about whether or not it would be an issue. about 10 minutes later, my friend with a season ticket next to mine showed up, and when i told her the story, she said the exact same thing had happened to her at the gate — she got receipts for her old alds tickets, which shouldn’t be on her account anymore. this came as a real relief, making me relax and forget about the whole thing, since it sounded like the system was just glitchy all around, and no one could blame me for anything.

monday october 19

today i placed a delivery order with mother india at about 4:30pm. the confirmation email indicated that i could expect my food to arrive at 5:50pm, and while some places i order from consistently and easily beat their estimations, mother india isn’t necessarily one of them. since i needed to leave my house by 6:30, i decided to shower shortly after placing the order, rather than waiting until after i ate. by the time i finished showering and got out of the bathroom, it was 4:54pm, and i was getting a phone call from the delivery person, who was outside my door. as i frantically pulled on a shirt and pants before heading to meet her, i marvelled at how the most consistent and effective way to get my delivery orders to arrive in record time was to jump in the shower for a few minutes.

sunday october 18

today i went to the bay with the intention of buying a winter coat, which was something i’d been meaning to do for a long time. after browsing for a few minutes, there were only a handful of coats that i could see myself wearing, and one of them was so expensive that the price tag made me do sort of do a double-take. still, as i tried on other jackets, i couldn’t get that really expensive one out of my mind, sensing that maybe it was the perfect one for me. i was convinced that it was one of those scenarios where if i tried it on, i’d have to buy it, despite my better judgment, because it’d just be that good. when i finally decided to take a chance and go for it, i barely got the coat on before realizing that it was too bulky and had way too many zippers for my liking. i was glad i tried it though — would've haunted me if i'd bought another one without at least considering going really big.

11/06/2015

saturday october 17

today i bought some blueberries as part of a bigger grocery-shop at no frills. as i was checking out, the cashier rang the blueberries through, then sort of tossed them toward the little grocery conveyer belt in such a way that the lid flew open and blueberries went everywhere. i immediately made a noise of exclamation (like an "ah!") when i saw this happen, but the cashier didn’t hear me and - having somehow failed to notice what she’d done - continued ringing the rest of my groceries through. briefly unsure of how to react, i made a second noise that sounded embarrassingly similar to the groan tina from bob’s burgers makes when she’s anxious. i eventually pulled myself together and handled things like an adult, getting a new thing of blueberries, but it wasn’t my proudest moment up until that point.

friday october 16

today i had a dream that i was doing a stand-up comedy routine in a sort of high-school classroom setting. at one point, i performed a risky, progressive bit that required me to leave the room for 15-20 seconds, then return for the punchline. but when i came back, i discovered that the class had moved on to something else, seemingly having concluded that my set was finished. please don’t analyze my dreams.

thursday october 15

today i was so excited and amped up following the blue jays’ game 5 alds win that i didn’t go to bed until 1:45 am, then stayed awake another 30 minutes, unable to get to sleep, then woke up in the morning 20 minutes before my alarm went off.

11/04/2015

wednesday october 14

today i attended the best baseball game of my life.

tuesday october 13

today i was walking down lansdowne toward college when a girl ran by me in the opposite direction. as she passed me, she stopped, turned to me, and asked me something. not hearing her, i asked her to repeat herself, and she breathlessly asked, "is there a subway this way?" pointing toward bloor, i replied, "oh yeah, at the next light."

although i initially viewed this as another successful direction-giving moment for me, doubts began nagging at me as i continued my walk. she’d been so out of breath from running that i wasn’t 100% sure i’d heard her correctly even the second time, and if i had heard her correctly, who’s to say she hadn’t been referring to subway, the popular submarine sandwich shop? i hoped i’d steered her in the right direction, because when i gave my answer, she seemed dismayed that she still had to run so far. imagine how much worse she would’ve felt if she got to bloor and realized i’d given her directions to something entirely wrong.

monday october 12

today i was leaving my house to meet up with some friends to watch game 4 of the jays/rangers series when i ran into my next-door neighbour wayne and his friend john doing some yard work outside. we had a brief conversation about the series, which involved me mentioning that brett cecil was out with a torn calf. "he can’t still pitch?" john asked incredulously, apparently feeling that as long as a pitcher’s arm is fine, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to play. i briefly tried to explain why the legs are pretty important for a pitcher too, but he still seemed skeptical.

sunday october 11

today i went to the contender with a group of friends to watch game 3 of the jays/rangers series. i drank five beers over the course of the evening, then at the end of the night, i waited until everyone else had settled up, one or two at a time, before i paid for my share. by the time i paid, there was only one beer left on our bill, which i assume was the result of some shaky service throughout the night, rather than my friends overpaying. waiting until the end to pay your part of a big group bill is always a risk, but sometimes it really pays off to roll the dice, you know?

saturday october 10

today i went to my local polling station to cast my vote for the upcoming federal election. as i was getting set up to vote, the poll clerk pointed to my blue jays hat and started talking to me about the playoffs. we both agreed that the jays, despite being down 2-0 in the alds, could still come back and win it, though he was a little more certain than me that they would. by the time our conversation ended and i found myself in the voting station, i realized i’d been so distracted by the jays talk that i wasn’t sure whether to fill to cast my vote with an "x" or by filling in the entire circle. not wanting to pop back out and ask, i decided to hedge my bets by doing an x, then sort of shading in the entire circle behind the x. i’m sure it was fine.

11/03/2015

friday october 9

today i was approached by two different people on the street on my way home from the jays game to ask whether or not toronto had won, and had to deliver the bad news to both of them. as sad as i was, it made it even worse to have to pass that sadness on to others, watching their faces fall as i told them the score.

thursday october 8

today i briefly engaged in a conversation with an older woman as i took the elevator up to the 14th floor in my friend’s apartment building. she got off a couple floors before me, and when she did, she said "happy anniversary!" before kicking herself and saying "happy thanksgiving!" instead. having not even really considered that thanksgiving was around the corner, or that it was one of those holidays where people would tell you to have a "happy" one several days in advance, i had no idea what she’d even meant to say when she said "happy anniversary," so it was a truly baffling and wonderful two seconds before she corrected herself.

wednesday october 7

today i checked my mail and found my latest pay cheque from major league baseball there. for the first time all year, the cheque had been placed in the envelope in such a way that the amount was showing through the little window at the front, which bothered me a bit. even though it’s unlikely that they’d care, it seemed probable that my housemates had glanced at the envelope to determine who the mail was for and had seen the amount, and i didn’t want them jumping to any conclusions about my earnings based on a cheque from a part-time job.

11/02/2015

tuesday october 6

today i needed to grab a few groceries, but didn’t have time to get them and then get back home before meeting up with some friends at the derby. the only way i'd have time was if i made my grocery run on my way to the bar, which is what ultimately decided to do. while it felt a little weird to bring a grocery-filled backpack to a bar, i was glad i made sure not to buy anything that needed to be immediately refrigerated or frozen, lest i turn into mark in that one peep show episode.

monday october 5

today i was planning to go for a run, but - not being accustomed to running in seasons besides the summer - wasn’t sure how to dress for the cold weather. after agonizing over different combinations, i settled on one and headed out, only to have my run cut short about 10 minutes later because of increasingly troublesome shin splints. it was probably for the best — the clothes i’d worn were way too warm.

sunday october 4

today i realized that before i'd left my house for the night on saturday, i’d put leftover spring rolls from a thai-food order in the fridge, but hadn’t dug deeper into the takeout bag and grabbed the sauce for them as well, meaning the sauce had been sitting on my kitchen counter overnight. curious about whether this sweet thai sauce would "go bad" if it went unrefrigerated for that long, i spent some time on my way home googling it, and was satisfied to find that it probably wouldn’t matter. when i got home and went to eat the spring rolls though, i poked around in the bag and - after all that - found that the restaurant had neglected to give me the sauce anyway.

saturday october 3

today i was heading toward the subway when i saw a guy walking in the opposite direction veer into my path, as if he wanted to get my attention. while he didn’t look particularly sketchy, i was walking quickly and was in a hurry, so i put up my hand and shook my head when he started talking, as if i were turning down someone on the street asking for money. rather than asking for money though, he gestured to a nearby pal and said, "hey, my friend thinks you’re cute and wants your number," making my dismissive reaction sort of funny. still, i got the impression that this comment was his idea of a hilarious joke, since he and his friends - based on my snap judgment - seemed like the type of bros who still call each other "gay" as an insult, so i was glad that i’d had an "i don’t have time for this shit" response before even recognizing that.

10/27/2015

friday october 2

today i was talking about a friend’s engagement, and referred to her as "getting hitched." the way the phrase sounded coming out of my mouth made me immediately resolve to only ever say "getting married" from now on.

thursday october 1

today i made plans to meet a friend from out of town at get well. however, i misinterpreted a text message about her estimated eta, meaning by the time she was about five minutes away, i had yet to leave my house. while i’d initially been planning to walk over, my lateness prompted me to catch a bus down lansdowne to dundas, where i intended to catch a streetcar. however, the eastbound streetcar that was due next managed to get stuck at the corner of dundas and college, just a block away from me. i stood watching it sit there for several minutes, as ttc personnel worked to get it moving, and as another streetcar came up behind it, obviously unable to pass. finally, after waiting there for probably a good six or seven minutes, i threw up my hands and caught a cab down dundas, not wanting to make my friend wait any longer. by the time it was all said and done, i’d used a ttc token (on the lansdowne bus), spent about $10 on a cab, and still showed up very late.

10/26/2015

wednesday september 30

today i received a spam message on whatsapp. when i went to go delete it, i noticed that i had a pair of unread messages from a friend from nearly three weeks ago. they’d been sent when i was in new york, where i’d had inconsistent cell and wi-fi service, which probably explained why i never got a notification. anyway, the messages were pretty funny and they made me wonder if my friend had been fuming for the last 19 days, wondering how i could possibly have failed to acknowledge them.

tuesday september 29

today i rode a subway that was mostly empty, and found myself sitting near a group of boys who were probably 10 or 11 years old. they were entertaining themselves by hanging from the ceiling handles that run down the middle of the car, with some of them making fun of the others for not being able to reach that high.

at one point, a kid named jason said "save my spot" to one of his friends, then ran back to the other end of the subway car, where his parent/guardian(?) was sitting. before jason returned, another kid tried to grab the handrail where jason had been standing, and was told "hey, that’s jason’s spot," prompting him to dutifully let go and move to a new spot. his acceptance seemed pretty illogical to me, but i can only imagine he was thinking something like, "yeah, makes sense. we're probably gonna be doing this for the next half-hour, so i really should've made a reservation if i wanted that spot." kids are weird as hell, man.

monday september 28

today i called into td’s easyline to complain about the fact that i was suddenly unable to log in to my easyweb account, and to ask about the whereabouts of my new visa card. over the course of the conversation, the employee i was talking to became more and more friendly, literally talking to me as if we were friends -- he complained about the call he’d had before mine, with a customer in california, then commented on all the blue jays-related charges on my card recently.

while i suppose the conversation was a good one, i always find it a little unnerving when td or visa employees comment about specific charges on my credit card. i know they can see them, but i’d much rather believe that they can’t, since then i could pretend that they’re not judging me for all the just-eat.ca charges showing up on their screen.

10/25/2015

sunday september 27

today i went to starving artist for brunch with my brother. with the weather surprisingly warm and sunny for late-september, the front window of the restaurant was open, but there was no one sitting on the front patio. we were sitting at a table next to that front window, and as i was eating, i heard newly-arriving groups ask if they could sit on the patio, to which the server replied that there were too many bees hanging out there for it to be comfortable. this was probably true, but the fact that the front window was open meant that there were plenty of bees hanging out inside too. in fact, after i used my thing of maple syrup on my waffles, a group of bees gathered on it like it was toronto’s hottest club -- six or seven of them grinding up on each other, trying to suck out the last bits of sweet syrup from the bottom of the plastic container. i wasn’t really bothered by it, but if i were a couple waiting 15 minutes to sit at the table that my brother and i would eventually vacate, i’d be sort of annoyed at all the bees hovering around that table, as if it could’ve been any worse on the patio.

saturday september 26

today i went out to oliver and bonacini for dinner with my parents and my girlfriend. my girlfriend ordered the halloumi burger, and the server went out of his way to make sure she knew there was no meat in it, since apparently some people aren't aware of that, and get upset when their food arrives. this was, of course, fine, but when the server returned with our food a little while later, my parents and i received what we ordered, but my girlfriend was handed a half chicken.

it’s totally understandable that servers and restaurants won’t get every order right 100% of the time, but this mixup seemed particularly egregious and kind of hilarious -- after having thoroughly explained there would be no meat in her order, the server brought my girlfriend one of the meatiest things on the menu, and seemed to have entirely forgotten having the discussion we'd had 20 minutes earlier about the halloumi burger.

friday september 25

today i saw john mulaney at the sony centre. at one point during the show, a woman near the very front of the theatre got up and left to go to the bathroom, which mulaney made a couple jokes about. then, as soon as she left the room, he turned off his microphone to make sure he wouldn’t be heard out in the lobby, and explained to the crowd that at some point later in the show, in the middle of a bit, he’d say "well, you know what they say in toronto..." and we’d all yell, "we want pancakes!", presumably confusing the hell out of the woman who had been in the bathroom during this explanation. while i’m sure this is a bit he’s done before, it wasn’t one i’d ever seen at a comedy show, and i thoroughly enjoyed it, spending the majority of his set thinking things like, "i wonder when he’s gonna say it? maybe now? nope, not yet. soon though, i bet. i’d better keep thinking about it so that i don’t forget what to yell."

10/17/2015

thursday september 24

today i went to see rhys darby at the royal theatre, and ended up in an aisle seat. before the show began, i jokingly said, "i hope he doesn’t run down the aisle and try to high-five me!", suggesting that i’d probably find a way to screw it up. somewhat surprisingly, this is exactly what happened when the show got underway — he came running down my aisle, high-fiving everyone on my side, but when he got to the row in front of mine, he ran into a girl who was trying to get to her seat. they briefly tried to get around each other while also high-fiving, and then it turned into a full-fledged hug. all the while, i was sitting there with my hand up, waiting for my high five. starting to feel awkward, i put my hand down, at which point rhys darby got past the girl and continued his series of high-fives — i got my hand back up just in time.

wednesday september 23

today i worked my second-last blue jays game of the season. knowing that the dome would be incredibly busy before my last game on saturday, i resolved to hit the jays shop early today — i still had about $50 remaining on my season ticket holders’ benefit card, which came preloaded with $200 to start the year, and there was no way i’d use the rest of that money unless i bought myself something more than just food. for weeks, i’d been eyeing one of those new white-panel hats, but had been unable to find my size in stock, so i figured i’d have to go with another style. having resigned myself to this fate, i was very pleasantly surprised when i walked into one of the jays shops on the 100 level and immediately saw a wall full of those white-panel hats, featuring several in my size. this season has been special.

tuesday september 22

today i headed over to my girlfriend’s house, and had a couple moments on my way there where it felt like my face was fatter than usual. after saturday’s pants incident, my self-esteem wasn’t at a particularly high point, so i just assumed that a fat face was something i should start getting used to. it was actually sort of relief when i arrived at my girlfriend’s place and the first thing she said was "oh my god, what happened to your eye?" and i realized, upon looking in the mirror, that the area around my eye had inexplicably ballooned up well beyond its normal size within the last hour or so.

monday september 21

today i went to take a shower after work. after turning on the water and standing there waiting for a minute or so, it started to seem like no hot water was going to be coming out of the faucet. it was at this point that i remembered getting home late last night and noticing that no warm water was coming out of my kitchen or bathroom sinks. for some reason, rather than thinking "i should look into that" at the time, i thought "i’m sure that's a temporary issue that’ll fix itself" and then forgot about it. really paid the price for that negligence today with one of the worst showers of my life.

sunday september 20

today i was walking down lansdowne toward my house when i saw my next-door neighbour wayne walking toward me. as i approached him, i pulled off my headphones and stopped to talk to him for a minute. while i was standing there, a woman who had gotten off the subway at the same time as me at bloor and lansdowne - and had been walking behind me - passed by and said something, which i didn’t hear. i was still talking to wayne and assumed she had been addressing someone else, but when i said goodbye to wayne about 10 seconds later and turned to continue heading home, i realized that there was no one else in sight.

a couple seconds later, it occurred to me that the woman was actually a friend of mine who lives several doors down from me, and she’d said "hey buddy" to me as i passed by, which i didn’t acknowledge at all. fortunately i was able to catch up to her as she was about to enter her apartment and apologize for the cold shoulder, but i still felt a little bad for ignoring her all the way from the subway station, including when she spoke to me directly.

10/14/2015

saturday september 19

today i went to my girlfriend’s place to get changed before a friend’s wedding. armed with a new shirt and tie, i was feeling pretty good about my outfit until i went to put on my pants and couldn’t get both them done up. having last worn these dress pants in january, i didn’t think i’d put on that many pounds since then, but after fighting with them for about 10 or 15 minutes, it was clear i wasn’t getting them on.

with no backup pants to wear, i was tasked with either running out to buy a new pair before the wedding, or - the option i went with - relying on my girlfriend to call her parents, who live just a few minutes away, to ask if i could borrow her dad’s pants. although the fit wasn’t perfect, and i really heard it from my friends once they found out what happened, her dad’s pants really saved the day, allowing me to avoid what could have been a disastrous situation. it wasn’t until later in the day that i realized my dream from earlier this week had essentially been more of a prophetic vision, warning me of how this day would play out.

friday september 18

today i was having dinner at the whippoorwill when a loud, clearly inebriated girl stumbled in and attempted to sit at the bar. one of the bartenders quickly told her she couldn’t stay, at which point the girl explained that the reason she needed another drink was because a friend had dragged her from a car earlier in the day. bartender wasn’t swayed.

thursday september 17

today i witnessed a no-hitter thrown by a high-schooler at the t12 baseball tournament at rogers centre. i’m hoping that "mathieu deneault-gauthier" eventually turns into an mlb star so that i can say that i knew all along that he’d make it in the bigs.

10/11/2015

wednesday september 16

today i was blocked on twitter for the first time. tweeting from a blue-jays-only account that i share with a couple friends, i participated in a discussion about why the jays gave season ticket holders and flex pass holders two separate windows to buy playoff tickets. i suggested that season ticket holders and flex pass holders are generally among a team’s biggest supporters (ie. they spend the most money on the team — literally "supporting" it), and mentioned that often people share season tickets, meaning some of them may have been shut out during the first window. the guy i was chatting with conceded a couple of my points, retweeting one of my tweets, even though he didn’t fully agree, and we had a nice, civil little discussion about it.

it wasn’t until much later that i noticed someone i don’t follow had quoted one of my tweets and replied "so i’m not a big blue jays supporter because i’ve only been to one game this year?" he had then proceeded to have a lengthy discussion on the subject with someone else i don’t follow, which included him tweeting that he’d "had to block two people" today who said he can’t be a big jays fan if he’s not at every game. sure enough, by the time i went to reply to him, he had blocked me.

this was hilarious for a number of reasons. first of all, even if we assume that "supporters" and "fans" are synonymous (which i'd dispute), let’s say you were presented the phrase "season tickets holders and flex pass holders are generally among a team’s biggest supporters" and asked which of the following statements were true, based on this assertion:

a) all STHs and FPHs are big fans of the team
b) only STHs and FPHs can be big fans of the team; people who aren’t STHs or FPHs can’t be big fans of the team
c) a and b
d) none of the above

this guy who blocked me would’ve answered (c), apparently, when quite obviously the answer is (d). anyway, his irrational strawman argument was bad enough, but the idea that he “had” to block me for it was my favourite part. as if - despite the fact that i didn’t follow him and had never seen a tweet of his before - he’d be risking me tweeting at him during every game saying things like "why aren’t you at THIS one, ya fake fan!" if he didn’t block me.

10/10/2015

tuesday september 15

today i had a dream that i went to my friend’s wedding this saturday and was wearing a suit that was maybe two sizes too big for me, as if i was a kid wearing his dad’s clothes. everyone made fun of me. for some reason, my subconscious is more nervous for this wedding than my friend - the groom - is.

monday september 14

today i went to post a photo from my new york trip on instagram. before i could choose one and publish it though, i had one of those moments where you see something and then can’t unsee it. because i’d been wearing a hat when most of our pictures had been taken, and i’d had it sort of pushed back on my head, you couldn’t really tell where the brim ended and the rest of the hat began. if you weren’t looking at a high-def version of the photo, you could mistake the hat for a huge, afro-ish hair style. i mean, anyone who knows me at all wouldn't see it that way, but for some reason it still made me hold off posting any photos. like this one, outside of yankee stadium:


or this one, in times square:


sunday september 13

today i went to a show at the comedy cellar, where my girlfriend and i were seated across from another couple in a four-person booth. because we were turned to face the stage, which was off to our left, we barely even noticed the other couple for the majority of the show. however, about an hour in, during one comedian’s funniest bit, i felt something splash on my right arm, and looked over to discover that the guy sitting across from us had laughed so hard - and so unexpectedly - that he’d done a legitimate spit-take, and was in the midst of trying to clean up the mess he’d made on the table.

saturday september 12

today i went to yankee stadium to watch a doubleheader between the blue jays and yankees. during the first game, the yankees took an early lead, but the jays came back and tied it up on a two-run home run by edwin encarnacion, at which point the yankees fan sitting in front of me became infuriated. while i wasn’t able to catch the majority of his rant, he appeared to refer to the yankees as "mental midgets" for giving encarnacion anything to hit when cliff pennington was on deck. a little later in the game, when jose bautista hit a home run to make the score 5-4 for the jays in the 8th inning, this guy just got up and left, never to return, despite the fact that the yankees soon tied the game, and there was a whole second game still be played.

10/05/2015

friday september 11

today i flew from toronto to newark. early on in the flight, my girlfriend noticed a spider climbing on the back of the seat across the aisle from us. i'm not an arachnophobe or anything, but i have to admit this was a creepy-looking spider -- real thick legs. while the flight was a fairly brief one, wrapping up in less than 90 minutes, it also took place in the evening, meaning that shortly after we saw the spider, the cabin lights went off and there was no way to see if it would make its way across the aisle. still, any uneasiness i may have had about the whereabouts of the spider was alleviated significantly by how much enjoyment i got out of imagining it as a debonair jetsetter, probably first off the plane to pick up its tiny luggage when we landed.

thursday september 10

today i went to the mall to buy a new dress shirt and tie, having felt the need for some variety after wearing the same shirt-and-tie combo to the last few weddings and other formal events i'd attended. tasking a tip top tailors employee with helping me find the proper size and fit for my shirt, i listened as he described me as "broad-shouldered" and "barrel-chested," identifying the 'modern' fit as the one for me. when i asked him "will it accommodate this beer gut though?" and gestured to that gut, puffing it out a bit for emphasis, he didn't even chuckle in response. all business.

wednesday september 9

today i was in the bathroom at 3030, and after washing my hands, i noticed that my hair had gotten a little messy on my way over, so i ran my hand through it a couple times to fix it. as i was doing this, a guy walked in, saw my standing there looking at myself in the mirror and playing with my hair, and reassuringly exclaimed "you look beautiful!"

9/29/2015

tuesday september 8

today i was walking home from running errands while listening to the blue jays/red sox game, which had gone into extra innings. as the jays put a pair of batters on base in the 10th inning, i was rounding the corner at bloor and lansdowne, just a couple minutes away from my house, and happened to glance into the coffee time on the corner, which was showing the game on tv. with the red sox pitcher about to deliver a pitch, i stopped to see what happened, and watched as troy tulowitzki delivered a go-ahead single into left field. after watching the play for a few seconds, i noticed someone in the coffee time window giving me a weird look, and realized that, since his back was to the tv screen (which probably didn’t have any sound on), it probably looked to him like i had just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to stand there and stare at him.

monday september 7

today i received an email from one of my writers with the subject line "INVESTMENT PLAN," asking me to click on a google drive link called "LATEST INVESTMENT PLAN." recognizing immediately that this looked fishy, i trashed the email and sent him a new message with a screenshot of the email in question, letting him know that he probably had acquired some sort of spam-related virus or had been hacked or something. moments later, i received the following reply:

"Luke How are you? Yes, i sent it to you.. you maybe interested in the investment offer merrill Lynch is giving out.."

the response left me momentarily baffled. given the weird punctuation and wording, it obviously hadn’t been sent by my writer. but it also took about three minutes to arrive, meaning it wasn’t some sort of spam auto-reply. was a hacker just hanging out in his newly-conquered gmail inbox, doubling down on the original spam email by trying to encourage skeptics to click on it? i don't know how any of this works.

sunday september 6

today i placed a domino’s order that included parmesan bites. normally i wouldn’t throw in such an extravagant side on a solo order, but i decided to treat myself today, knowing that they’d probably keep in the fridge for 24 hours. a half-hour after i submitted my order, i was met with maybe the friendliest delivery guy i’d ever encountered. he was incredibly smiley and enthusiastic, and when he handed me my parmesan bites, he asked me i’d had them before, and then asked if i’d had marinara sauce/dip with them before. it was at this point it occurred to me that i’d forgotten to include marinara sauce in my order, which was a bummer, since it’s a really great complement to the parmesan bites.

"oh yeah, i have had the marinara sauce with them before," i said, probably sounding disappointed as i realized i’d forgotten it this time.

"well… i brought one just in case, free of charge, for you to try," he replied, unveiling a cup of marinara sauce and handing it to me.

it was probably a more exciting reveal than it should have been, making me feel like i was on a game show and i’d just been told i won an additional prize, and it really cemented this guy as my favourite delivery guy ever. thought about him with every parmesan-bite dip.

9/21/2015

saturday september 5

today i was walking along bloor street near jane when someone coming in the opposite direction passed by me on roller blades. before i even had time to think about how unusual it was to see someone roller blading down bloor in 2015, i heard a middle-aged guy who was walking past me say to his friend, "i should really get my blades out."

friday september 4

today i noticed a "for rent" sign in the window of the coffee time at bloor and lansdowne as i walked by, and i had a moment of real concern where i thought that the neighbourhood landmark was being replaced. fortunately, the sign was just for an apartment above the coffee time.

thursday september 3

today i missed a phone call for the second time this week. i typically don’t get many phone calls at all from friends, so whenever one happens, i assume it’s some sort of emergency, or at least an important and pressing question that requires an immediate answer. in the case of this week’s calls, the two important, pressing questions i missed related to:

  1. grammar
  2. the home-field rules for the american league division series, which is still more than a month away.

9/15/2015

wednesday september 2

today i went to input a password that i use for three or four major online accounts, and stopped halfway through typing it, realizing that i'd forgotten it. typically when i have to enter this password, i do so on my laptop, typing it without even thinking about it, so the fact that i was entering it on my phone this time clearly slowed me down and threw me off. still, it was alarming that this password, which i’ve probably used for a year now, wasn't coming to me at all. the password is a long string of words and numbers, and i remembered all but one word.

finally, two hours later, when i’d successfully pushed it out of my head and stopped obsessing over it, i went back to enter it again and let my fingers do the work while i shut my brain off. it was a very weird experience, watching myself type the missing word and being like, "oh yeah, that's what it was," as if someone else had typed it for me.

tuesday september 1

today i was sitting next to a coworker at the rogers centre, killing time while we waited for the jays game to start. i was browsing through my phone and noticed that the contact info for my girlfriend didn’t include a photo like many of my other contacts did, so i decided to put one in. after i found one in my phone that i liked, i was in the middle of cropping it when my coworker turned to face me. instinctively, i jerked my phone away so that she couldn’t see the screen, which created an embarrassing moment -- either she saw the screen and assumed i’d just been sitting there staring at a photo of my girlfriend, or she didn’t see it, and assumed by my weird furtiveness that i'd been doing something much worse.

monday august 31

today i was waiting to cross the street at bloor and lansdowne when a cyclist came riding down bloor street past me on the sidewalk. even though i'm always annoyed when cyclists use the sidewalk, i never say anything about it, since i'm always worried about the scenario where i tell them to get on the road and then it turns out they were just pulling onto the sidewalk because their house is right there or whatever. anyway, a guy standing behind me started yelling, "sidewalk! sidewalk!", which i thought was a pretty effective way of telling off the cyclist without going over the top about it.

sunday august 30

today i left the rogers centre after the blue jays game and was walking up bremner toward spadina when a woman in front of me lost her balance, stumbled for a couple steps, and then fell over onto the pavement. it was a bizarre fall, since she hadn’t really even been walking -- just standing there. as the only person in the immediate area, i ran up and asked if she was alright, and she just seemed embarrassed, insisting she was fine and exclaiming, "i don’t know what happened!" i replied, "a strong gust of wind maybe?" and we both had a good laugh.

about two seconds after i had started walking toward spadina again, a baseball rolled toward me from off to my right, ending up at my feet. a kid had missed it during a game of catch with his dad, so i tossed it back to him and he thanked me.

maybe five seconds later, after i turned down a panhandler’s request for money, he said to me, "have a great day, man!" in a tone so friendly and genuine that you’d think we were pals who just parted ways.

three encounters with strangers in the span of 150 feet is a much higher incident rate than i’d ever want to experience on a regular basis, but i have to admit it could’ve gone much worse.

9/11/2015

saturday august 29

today i headed down to the detroit tigers’ production truck before the tigers/blue jays game to check in to see if my graphics for their broadcast looked okay. whenever i enter a visiting team’s truck, i never know right away who i should be talking to, so i was happy when the first person i spoke to introduced himself as joe -- the producer i’d been looking for. it wasn’t until about 15 seconds later, as we were discussing the tigers’ broadcast preferences, that it occurred to me our conversation had started off like this:

me: "hey, i’m here from pitch f/x."
him: "hey, how's it going? i’m joe."
me (relieved that i was talking to the right person): "oh, great! hey joe."

for the next 45 seconds or so, i wondered if i ought to double back and mention my own name, which i rudely hadn’t done at the start of the conversation. ultimately, it seemed like it’d be way too awkward to do it, and i didn’t expect to talk to joe or see him again for the rest of the day - or the season - so i decided against it.

friday august 28

today i was leaving the rogers centre's field level concourse on my way to the elevator when i saw a guy who said he was david price’s brother talking to security. i had no reason to think he was lying, and as i got on the elevator, it looked like he was being directed to where players’ families go after the game. still, my immediate reaction was "that’s david price’s brother?" and it wasn’t until i stumbled across a three-year-old feature on price in the tampa bay times that i figured out why it didn't seem to add up.


thursday august 27

today i signed up to do a 5k run.

9/09/2015

wednesday august 26

today i went to the bathroom at the cne, and while i was washing my hands, i noticed a sign posted on the wall that advised only washing your hands with warm water. these instructions, while fine under normal circumstances, came across like a joke in this case, since none of the sinks had any temperature control, and it sure seemed as if cold water was coming out of all of them.

tuesday august 25

today i returned to the laundromat to get my clothes out of the dryer, and had to maneuver my way around an old man on my way in. he appeared to have been standing at the entrance of the laundromat, smoking, blowing the smoke toward the sidewalk while he technically stood inside the laundromat. on its own, that seemed rude enough, but when i entered the laundromat itself and headed for my dryer, it became clear that he must have been smoking inside the building itself — the place smelled so strongly of smoke that it physically hurt my lungs and made my eyes water. fortunately, my clothes, having been in the closed-off dryer, were unaffected by the smoky smell, but it still seemed like a pretty brazen act of rudeness, particularly given the "thank you for not smoking" sign prominently displayed on the wall.

9/08/2015

monday august 24

today i walked past a man who was engaged in a heated argument on his phone. as i went by him, i heard him yell, "if you wanna have fuckin’ courts and lawyers up my ass, we can do it that way. or you can fuckin’ delete that shit!"

sunday august 23

today i walked to three speed for brunch, passing the various vendors that were setting up on bloor street as part of the big on bloor festival. the most entertaining contrast between businesses happened at the corner of bloor and margueretta, where a kiosk advertising free family photos sat directly in front of the house of lancaster. wish i had a family photo with that place in the background.

saturday august 22

today i played in a pickup game of baseball on ward’s island as part of a friend’s day-long bachelor party. it’s been over 15 years since i was on a baseball team, and i haven’t played much in the interim, but getting back out there was a lot of fun, and while the competition wasn’t exactly fierce, it felt like i’ve "still got it" — i went 4-for-4 with a long triple and some nice plays on defense, including an unassisted double play.

however, with the game tied heading into the last inning, i had a one-hopper lined right at me at second base and couldn’t make the play, letting it deflect off my glove into the outfield for a hit. it was a difficult play - the ball took such a crazy hop that it nearly bounced over my head - and the final score of the game meant virtually nothing. but i was still a little disappointed when that run eventually turned into the game-winner. the whole experience reminded me of everything i loved about playing baseball (the good parts) and also why i stopped playing it when i did (obsessing over the bad parts).

9/01/2015

friday august 21

today i was at the flatiron watching the blue jays game when a guy outside casually walked up and started peeing right outside the window, next to the building. at first i thought he was just peeing on a wall, in a corner, but he was actually doing it right on the bar’s sandwich-board sign outside. people are disgusting.

thursday august 20

today i was in line at no frills behind a mother whose two young sons were waiting for her while she paid for their groceries. one of the two kids was at the end of the little grocery conveyor belt, holding a nutella snack pack that he was very anxious to eat. however, his morals were so strong that he couldn’t open it until he saw that it was paid for. "not yet... not yeeeeeeetttttt," he said as his mom punched in the numbers for her debit card. when she finally completed the transaction and got the receipt from the cashier, he yelled "now!", opened the packaging, and started chowing down.

8/28/2015

wednesday august 19

today i arrived at christie pits shortly before the maple leafs’ playoff game against the barrie baycats got underway. having stopped on the way to the park at brock sandwich, i was excited to pull out my crispy chicken sandwich and eat it as soon as i sat down on the hill, but before i could take a bite, a voice over the loudspeaker encouraged everyone to stand up and take off their hats for the national anthem. normally for the playing of "oh canada," i’d stand up and put my hat over my heart, but in this case, the fact that i was holding my sandwich complicated matters. not wanting to risk dropping the sandwich, i put my hat on the ground and stood up with my sandwich over my heart instead. felt real patriotic.

tuesday august 18

today i was washing my hands in my bathroom when i looked in the mirror and noticed a little spider hovering just to the left of my head. i slowly moved my head to the right, and sure enough, it moved right along with me, suggesting that i’d walked into a web. while there may have been more logical ways to react to this, the reaction i chose to have was to karate chop the air between my head and the spider. somehow, this worked perfectly, knocking the spider harmlessly down to the floor, where i was able to dispose of it.

monday august 17

today i had a dream that one of my longtime friends was running for political office and i had to decide whether it made sense to try to delete all of our past correspondence from the internet and my hard drive in case there was something incriminating in there that might cost him votes.

sunday august 16

today i was eating lunch with a few co-workers in the press box at rogers centre before the blue jays game, when the subject of dodgeball came up. a couple of my co-workers - including one who is a phys-ed teacher during the school year - told some amusing anecdotes about the dangers of dodgeball, while i sat back, smugly, waiting until they were done so i could flash my arm scar and deliver the trump card of dodgeball stories. after i did, one of those co-workers thanked me for waiting until after he told his story to tell mine, since his dodgeball-related injury seemed pretty paltry by comparison.

8/27/2015

saturday august 15

today i threw a couple burgers on the grill and ducked in and out of my house, checking periodically on the burgers while i got everything else ready inside. when the burgers were almost done, i brought out the buns to toast them on the barbecue, and while i was standing there waiting for them to finish, my next-door-neighbour wayne popped up a few feet away from me, on his side of the fence.

"hey luke," he said. "you want some tomatoes for those burgers?"

this question caught me off guard, not only because i didn’t see him coming before he started talking, but also because i was confused about how he knew i was cooking burgers. i guess the smell probably gave them away, but i was distracted by the idea that he’d been peering over the fence to try to get a look at what was on the grill. when i was finally able to process the question, i didn’t want to say yes, since him getting me a tomato might not happen quickly, and the burgers were literally about 20 seconds away from being ready. i didn’t want to stand around waiting for tomatoes — i wanted to bring my burgers inside as soon as possible so i could start watching an episode of catastrophe while i ate dinner.

"oh that’s okay, i actually have some tomatoes inside," i replied, probably unconvincingly, since it was a lie. still, i think i saved face when i added that the tomatoes he was growing in his backyard were starting to look pretty good, and i was able to pull away from the conversation and take my burgers inside within 60 seconds or so, which i also viewed as a win. probably will have to try those tomatoes at some point though.

friday august 14

today i received an email from a friend with the subject line "hi i had to lie for the sake of my integrity."

thursday august 13

today i was hanging out with a co-worker before the blue jays game, chatting and keeping an eye on the jumbotron, which was showing a bunch of photographs of fans who had tagged their pics with jays-related hashtags. in the middle of saying something to my co-worker, i abruptly stopped mid-sentence, interrupting myself to point to the jumbotron and say, "that… looks like me." it wasn’t me, of course, but the guy whose selfie was on the jumbotron was such a dead ringer for me that even i could recognize and acknowledge it, and i’m usually the last to agree that anyone looks like me. "wow, he really does," my co-worker replied, before the next photo popped up on the screen. we resumed our previous conversation as if nothing had happened, but i was a little unnerved, knowing that my doppleganger would be somewhere in the stadium for the next three hours.

8/26/2015

wednesday august 12

today i decided, after some deliberation, to watch the true detective season 2 finale, even though i had next to no interest in finding out what happened in it -- i’m often a completist to a fault when it comes to watching seasons of tv. about 20 minutes into the episode, i checked to see how much time was left and let out a literal scream of frustration when i saw that the episode was a ridiculous and absolutely unnecessary 87 minutes long and i still had more than an hour of it to get through.

tuesday august 11

today i had a dream in which i’d mistakenly typed "tarp" instead of "turd" in consecutive tweets. obviously, this seems like an implausible typo or autocorrect change, and who knows why i’d be tweeting about turds so much, but that’s how dreams go. anyway, this dream was interrupted by the sound of my phone receiving a text message. since the text arrived just a minute or two before my alarm was scheduled to go off, i got up and checked the message, which was from a friend, offering a correction on a typo in a previous 'one thing i did today' blog entry. the fact that i was having a dream about making typos immediately before receiving an actual typo correction suggests that either my dreams are prophetic, i’d somehow been subconsciously plagued by the real typo, or - the most unlikely scenario - it was just a coincidence.

monday august 10

today i went out for brunch to au pain perdu in montreal for the second consecutive day. my girlfriend and i had made an effort to go to a different restaurant down the street, but the lineup there was too long to wait out. although we both recognized that we should probably be trying a variety of places, since we were only in town for 48 hours, we also both agreed that we’d seen several things on the menu yesterday at au pain perdu that we would gladly have eaten. that observation led us back there, and i think it was the right call -- not only did i make an even better choice of order the second time around, but i got the added bonus of spending a few minutes trying to figure out if the server recognized us.

8/24/2015

sunday august 9

today i saw a father and son walking down the street wearing matching slipknot tour t-shirts.

saturday august 8

today i was about an hour into a train ride from toronto to montreal when i heard a child a couple rows behind me declare that it was the "worst train ride ever!" it seemed like it may have been a disappointed reaction to the food selection, but i still thought he was being a little dramatic.

friday august 7

today i wanted to tighten the handles on one of my pots, but couldn’t find a screwdriver to do so. it took me a few minutes - plus a confirmation text message - to remember that i’d lent both of my screwdrivers to a friend several weeks ago. heck, it may have even been months ago. i barely recalled doing it, and there’s no way i ever would’ve remembered doing it until i’d actually needed to use a screwdriver. luckily this wasn’t a screwdriver emergency, but i don’t want to let it get to the point where i’m really worried about those pot handles, since i know the risks there.

thursday august 6

today i was rushing to get to bloor cinema after the jays game and somehow managed to take the bloor subway the wrong direction for a stop, from st. george station to bay station. i’m still not sure how i did it. i was tired, in a hurry, and didn’t look at the signs at st. george, but it still really felt like i was on the right side. oh well, it’s not like i’ve lived in toronto for seven years or anything.

8/21/2015

wednesday august 5

today i had to stop at the 24-hour metro at college and ossington on my way home from the jays game to buy groceries, since it was my only real opportunity to restock this week. i bought maybe eight or nine things, and when i was asked by the cashier if i needed any plastic bags, i said that i'd just need one, and i could put the rest of the items in my half-full backpack. however, when he actually started bagging things, he did it all wrong, handing me mostly lighter items for my backpack and using two plastic bags for the rest of my groceries, including one bag that only had a loaf of bread in it. i had to rearrange everything in the parking lot after leaving the store.

tuesday august 4

today i was walking up lansdowne when i saw a car that was second in line in the left-hand turn lane at bloor and lansdowne aggressively pull out into the wrong side of the road to turn left past the car that was first in line. the car that was first in line was a driving-school vehicle, which made me think that the other driver’s move had been really disrespectful — when i encounter those driving-school cars on the road, i generally try not to do anything that will confuse or startle them. on the other hand, maybe this aggressive driver was teaching a valuable lesson about the number of maniacs you’ll encounter when you start driving around in toronto.

monday august 3

today i asked the server at a bar i went to if they had any drink specials for the day. they didn’t, but after i ordered a tall can, she made sure to put a paper cocktail-umbrella in my beer before handing it to me. real special.

sunday august 2

today i met up with my girlfriend after working a blue jays game that featured players and coaches being ejected, the benches emptying, tons of trash-talking, and a dramatic jays win. the game got my adrenaline going so much that when i started telling my girlfriend about it, an hour after it ended, it took me about 10 minutes to realize that i’d been excitedly rambling on like a seven-year-old talking about his favourite movie or something. it was a really good game though.

saturday august 1

today i was working my job at the rogers centre and was asked by the kansas city royals’ production truck before the game to put a sponsor’s ad on their "foxtrax" strike zone graphic after the third inning, then to take it down after the sixth inning. when the third inning ended, i dutifully put up the ad, and about 20 seconds later, got a thank you over my headset from the royals’ truck. "no problem!" i replied. for some reason, something about the way i’d said "no problem" really gnawed at me for the next little while, and i resolved to say "you got it!" after the sixth inning when they thanked me for taking down the sponsor. when the time finally came, i took down the ad and waited, listening to silence on my headset and waiting for them to thank me so that i could say "you got it!" — they never said anything.

friday july 31

today i had the first real conversation with my main-floor housemate connor that i’d had in several weeks — maybe even months. during our discussion, he asked about the temperature in my downstairs apartment, since he controls the air conditioning for the house. after i initially suggested that maybe it was a couple degrees cooler than i’d like, he asked if he should turn the a/c down a little, and i - not wanting to upset any sort of status quo in the house - insisted he should keep it where it was, as long as everyone else was happy with it. it wasn’t until after we spoke that i remembered i’d had my vents mostly closed for the majority of the summer, meaning that the a/c was probably really blasting and i'd definitely be justified in asking him to turn it down.

thursday july 30

today i was talking to someone at a bar and the subject of hometowns came up. i said i was from london, ontario, and he said he was from paris, ontario. "i guess we’ve both had to say ‘no, not that one’ a lot," i said, but his reaction to this comment suggested he either hadn’t heard or understood it (i admittedly delivered it kind of weirdly). as the conversation continued, i recognized that i couldn’t circle back and make this observation again, which was sort of disappointing, since i thought it was - if not hilarious - at least a sort of clever thing to say.

8/19/2015

wednesday july 29

today i was walking up lansdowne toward bloor when a motorcycle flew by me so fast that it caused everyone in the area to turn and look at it. on a city street, particularly as a pedestrian, it’s hard to tell exactly how fast someone is driving. at the time though, as i watched him swerve onto the other side of the street to pass a car that was driving at a normal speed, i thought that he couldn’t have taken more than 15 seconds to go from college to bloor. a google search later revealed that this distance spanned 850 meters, meaning the motorcycle would have had to have been traveling 204 km/h for my estimate to be accurate. this seemed like it was probably off, but maybe not by that much. he really was going irresponsibly fast.

tuesday july 28

today i was asked by someone who has worked with me a couple times at the rogers centre if i was sick, forcing me to explain that no, this is just what my voice sounds like all the time.

monday july 27

today i tried to pay with cash and then with a credit card at no frills, only to be informed that i’d somehow ended up in a line that was debit-only. which was fine, i didn’t mind using my debit card, but it wasn’t something i’d ever encountered before.

8/18/2015

sunday july 26

today i was on my way to christie pits for the afternoon’s maple leafs game when i ran into a friend on the subway. i was only taking the subway for a couple stops, but sat down next to her anyway to chat. when i sat down, she gestured to the big bag in her lap, one of a couple she was carrying with her, and said something to explain why she had so much stuff. i thought i’d heard what she said, but when i followed up by asking "so, where you headed?" she looked at me like i was an idiot and said "the beach." it was at this point that i realized her initial comment, which i thought i'd heard, had been "i’m going to the beach!" — it had not, as i'd first thought, been "i’ve got a quiche!"

saturday july 25

today i played tennis against my dad, having already played my brother earlier in the day. after i fell behind by two games, my dad asked if my surgically-repaired arm was hurting at all, to which i replied, "no." in fact, my arm was so sore that i could barely hit a forehand shot, but i didn’t want to reveal that, for at least one of the following reasons:

  • i didn’t want my dad to suggest stopping the match out of concern my arm, especially since he was ahead.
  • i didn’t want him to take advantage of my sore arm by constantly making me hit forehand shots.

i’m not exactly sure which scenario i viewed as more likely or troublesome (probably the former), but it ultimately didn’t matter, as i managed to fight through the pain and improbably came back to win the set. this was my flu game, probably.

friday july 24

today i decided to work my usual shift, despite the fact that i was visiting my parents in belleville. my thinking was that it would make sense to save one of my increasingly rare vacation days, then hang out with them tonight and tomorrow. as it turns out, while i may have saved a few hours of vacation time, it's hard to imagine i'll use them on a more vacation-appropriate day, considering this was the view from my mom's office, where i spent all morning and afternoon:


8/14/2015

thursday july 23

today i went to the greyhound station to take a bus to belleville. when i picked up my ticket at the will-call window, i asked the guy working there which gate my bus would be at, and he told me gate 7. i thanked him and started walking away, only to hear him a few seconds later call after me and yell "gate 9!" i gave him a thumbs-up as thanks for the correction and headed out to gate 9, where the lineup of people waiting for the bus seemed unusually small. after standing in line for a minute or so, i asked the woman in front of me where she was headed, and discovered that i was, in fact, in the wrong line -- i was meant to be in gate 7 after all. thanks for nothing, guy at the will-call window.

wednesday july 22

today i received two facetime requests from my mom. i was in the shower when the first one came, and in line at the bank when the second one showed up, so i didn’t answer either call. but even if i’d been available, i’m not sure i would’ve answered, since my mom has never once talked to me using facetime in the post. suspicious, i sent a text message asking her if she was trying to facetime me, and why. a short time later, I received a text from her that read "i’m on my way." "on your way?" i asked, confused. no response.

several hours later, she sent me an email saying that a pocket dial was responsible for the facetime calls, and not addressing the text message at all. when i asked her about that, it was the first she’d heard of it, suggesting that she somehow managed to reply to my text accidentally using… what, the voice technology? and then sent it? none of it made sense, but i was glad she wasn’t really "on her way" because i was working by then and couldn’t hang out with her or whatever.

tuesday july 21

today i was rinsing out a bowl in my kitchen sink when suddenly the faucet sputtered loudly, as if the house’s water had just been turned back on after it had been off for a while. the sudden noise gave me such a shock that i literally jumped into the air a little, flinging the water that had been in my bowl all over the kitchen counter. took three paper towels to clean it all up.

8/12/2015

monday july 20

today i went to no frills, and found there were no baskets at the spot near the entrance where they’re usually piled up. moving toward the checkout lines, i noticed a guy in the express checkout had just emptied his basket and was putting it on the ground, so i quickly stepped in and snatched it up just a second later. for a moment after picking up the basket, i had a crazy urge to say to him, "ooh, handle’s still warm!" (it was). obviously i didn’t say this, but the idea that i might have said it was enough to make me have to stifle a laugh on my way to the produce section.

sunday july 19

today i went to the contender to grab some food before i headed to trivia at the ossington. they had a $4 beer special, and the food was good, so i didn’t regret going, but there was such a dearth of sports happening when i was there that i had to alternate between watching an nba summer league game and a concacaf gold cup soccer game -- i tried to get into the soccer game, but ended up leaving right before the shootout started, so i guess i wasn’t very invested. in truth, the best entertainment of my hour there came from watching a middle-aged lady at the end of the bar who had come in because she "knew this place was new and wanted to check out the trivia." the bartender and one of the regulars played along with her, but she wiped the floor with them. should have invited her with me to my trivia night, to be honest.

saturday july 18

today i went to a sam simmons comedy show that opened with him pouring breakfast cereal on himself, then crushing some up and appearing to snort it.

8/11/2015

friday july 17

today i took the subway to queen station and was heading up the escalator toward the exit when someone behind me said something. assuming he was talking to someone else, i kept walking up the escalator, then heard him call, "sir??" from the bottom of the escalator. startled, thinking i might’ve dropped something, i turned around in time to hear him say, "you ever do that? look back when you leave the bank machine?" as he gestured toward the atm nearby. baffled, i replied, "uh… why?" and he said, "you know, see if you missed anything?" by this point, i'd reached the top of the escalator while he had just stepped on at the bottom, but for some reason he was intent on continuing this conversation despite the fact that we were practically yelling to each other. determined to shut it down, i replied, "yeah… i guess, sometimes," stepping off the escalator and making a beeline for the exit.

as i walked down queen street, it occurred to me that the first thing he had said - the thing i initially hadn't heard - was "you ever do that?" in a tone so casual that it sounded like he was talking to a friend, not a stranger who wasn’t even looking at him.

thursday july 16

today i went to bar neon with a friend, and after initially sitting at a table indoors, we moved out to the patio when a spot out there opened up. however, as people came and went over the course of the night, we ended up moving around to multiple spots on the patio and were never quite satisfied with them -- at one, the table was too low to the ground; at another, the people next to us were talking distractingly loud. eventually, we ended up moving back to the table inside the bar that we'd been originally been sitting at, and to be honest i sort of regretted not just staying there. sometimes the patio isn't the right choice.

wednesday july 15

today i woke up and entered my living room to find my front door wide open to the outside world. my "front" door, of course, is at the back of my house, and my basement entrance is so out of the way that it’s unlikely anyone even noticed it was open. still, the fact that it had presumably been open for most of the night after not having been locked properly was disconcerting, and made me do a quick sweep of the house just to make sure no raccoons or any other wild animals had wandered in.

tuesday july 14

today i met a few friends at the dock ellis to watch the mlb all-star game. typically, when we meet to watch baseball, we arrive for the first pitch, but with so many pregame ceremonies involved in all-star games, it's hard to figure out when exactly the first pitch is going to happen. most websites listed today's start time at 7:00pm, but i was able to find at least one site listing the scheduled first pitch for 8:15pm, so i was feeling pretty smug when i arrived at 8:10 and some of my friends had already been waiting at the bar for upwards of an hour. that smugness quickly evaporated, however, when i ended up waiting too -- the game didn't start until 8:35.

monday july 13

today i read the kathryn schulz story in the new yorker about the earthquake that will one day decimate the pacific northwest, and was distracted the rest of the day thinking about it and asking everyone i talked to, "did you read the earthquake story?"

sunday july 12

today i participated in the "showdown" round at the ossington's trivia night after our team tied for second place. the one-on-one round, which involves slapping the bar before the other team's player does, is very pressure-packed, and i felt the full brunt of that pressure during my turn, when i was tasked with identifying the artist of a song clip. the clip was from a rolling stones song that i didn't know, and when neither me nor my opponent slapped the bar after the song had played for about 15 seconds, i heard someone across the bar yell "you guys suck!" and i basically turned into a human version of the sad-face emoji for the rest of the night.

7/28/2015

saturday july 11

today i was playing basketball at st. cecilia elementary school with a friend when we were joined by a shy eight-year-old boy named ace. ace didn’t have much to say, but he loved jacking up jump shots, and took particularly delight in the moments when both of our basketballs bounced toward him and he tried to keep them away from us by running away dribbling one with each hand.

after we'd been shooting around for a while, a pair of college-age guys came by and suggested playing a game of two-on-two. not wanting to just tell ace to get lost, my friend and i suggested he play on our team. of course, this made the numbers uneven, giving us a 3-on-2 advantage, but ace had no interest in playing defense or dribbling or passing -- he was just here to shoot, and based on his middling performance during our shootaround, we figured his one-dimensional game wouldn’t give us a real leg up. so you can imagine our surprise then when he started hitting nearly every shot he took, scoring all but one of our team’s baskets en route to an easy victory. "get this kid outta here," our opponents complained as ace headed home after the game with a huge grin on his face.

friday july 10

today i went to pauper’s with my girlfriend and her friends. while the rest of us were drinking beers, my girlfriend was just doing ginger ales. this made it a little confusing when the server came back with our drinks, handed out the beers, then concluded by saying "aaaand, the ginge," because it wasn’t clear if she was referring to the ginger ale or my redheaded girlfriend herself.

7/27/2015

thursday july 9

today i received a text message from a friend telling me that she had laughed out loud at a recent entry on this blog. "you still got it!" she said in her text. this was clearly intended as a nice compliment - and it was - but her assertion that i’ve "still got it" made me consider for the first time that there might be people who don't think i’ve still got it, and might say things like "your blog's okay now, but nowhere near as good as it was in 2010," or "i like early one thing i did today better."

wednesday july 8

today i decided to use the port-a-potty at christie pits during the maple leafs game, since it was just a short walk from my spot on the hill, whereas the full-service public washroom beyond the fence in center field was a longer trek. like most people, i assume, i'm not a real fan of port-a-pottys -- the smell; the lack of a real hand-washing option when you need it most; the irrational but always-nagging fear of having it tip over. there's a lot not to like. in this case, i was able to add another gripe to my list of them, when i entered the port-a-potty, thought i'd locked the door, then had someone open it on me 20 seconds later. apparently i turned the bizarre circular lock the wrong way and couldn't tell in the dark. port-a-pottys are the worst.

tuesday july 7

today i was adding together some nfl salary figures for a story i was writing, and put the salaries into the search bar in firefox just as a placeholder. to my surprise, when i put the numbers into the search bar, with a plus sign in between them, firefox actually showed the sum right there, like so:


in addition to catching me totally off guard, this function actually turned out to be pretty useful, saving me the hassle of going back and forth between firefox and the mac calculator. thanks, search bar!!