tuesday april 21

today i went straight from work to lee’s palace, where i had tickets to see the wombats. i arrived about 5-10 minutes ahead of the person i was meeting there, and stood outside listening to the wombats play a couple songs until she arrived. as we went to walk inside, the bouncer inspected my bag and advised me that i couldn’t bring my half-empty bottle of water from work into the venue. he went to throw it out, but i stopped him and said, "actually i wouldn’t mind keeping the bottle. i’ll dump it out." while i emptied the contents of the bottle on the street, it occurred to me that i probably looked pretty ridiculous, a guy willing to stand outside for 10 minutes while the show he paid $20 for took place inside, but NOT willing to part with a plastic water bottle i could’ve replaced (w/ water!) for $1.

monday april 20

today i went to a friend’s place to watch the leaked second, third, and fourth episodes of game of thrones, arriving a little late since i’d already seen the second episode. as i sat there watching, i was aware that a friend of my friend had brought her one-year-old son over, and he was wandering around, occasionally watching the tv. eventually, he decided to stand about a foot away from the tv, watching the action taking place on screen. having already seen the episode, i knew there was a particularly brutal scene coming up, in which a guy gets a sword through the neck, and i wondered if i should say something. ultimately, i decided to stay quiet for the following reasons:

  1. i didn’t want to spoil what was about to happen
  2. if this one-year-old is allowed to be in a room of people watching game of thrones, he can probably handle it.
so, this happened:

and there was sort of a gasp throughout the room, not just a reactionary one, but an "oh this kid probably shouldn't be watching this" one. for his part, he stood there staring at the screen for a few more seconds before saying "uh oh!" and wandering away. could've been worse.

sunday april 19

today i was in line at no frills when the girl in front of me turned around and said "you can go ahead of me if you want." although she had maybe a few more groceries than me, the difference certainly wasn’t massive, so i politely declined. after waiting a beat, she said, "well, i want to go grab one more thing, so feel free to go ahead of me!" recognizing that the person in front of her in line would probably still be a couple minutes, i smiled and said, "sure, i will if you’re not back in time" and she took off in search of her final item. a minute later, she returned and as she put the item in her cart, she turned to me one last time and said, "you can still go ahead of me!" and i laughed and said, "that’s okay, i’m really in no rush!" never seen two people so reluctant to leave a no frills.

saturday april 18

today i was leaving my house when i saw that my upstairs neighbour connor was leaving his place at the same time. i raised my hand to him as i left and we both said "hi" and i figured that would be the end of it. as i turned the corner though - walking from the back of my house to the side of it and leaving his line of sight - i heard him add "how are things?" the logical thing for me to do at that point would’ve been to turn around and take a step or two back to answer him. what i did instead was keep holding my arm up behind me as i turned the corner so all he could see was a disembodied hand, and then yelled "pretty good!" from around the side of the house while i continued to walk away.

friday april 17

today i worked my usual 9-to-6 job, but for the first time all week, didn’t follow that up by working at the blue jays game as well. despite the fact that i’d worked 9+ hours and will have to wake up early tomorrow for the jays’ afternoon game, it still sort of felt like a day off, considering it was preceded by four consecutive 14-hour work days.

thursday april 16

today i participated in the "guess the attendance" game that a few people in the rogers centre press box play during blue jays games. when i was asked for my guess in the third inning, i was caught off guard, having forgotten to take a look at the crowd. i quickly glanced at my monitor and replied,
"uh, let’s say 14,433."

a few innings later, the guy who had initially asked for my guess returned and told me, incredulously, "you got it dead on." for a minute i thought he was messing with me, some sort of new-guy hazing ritual. but after he left, i looked it up, and he wasn’t lying -- the announced attendance was 14,433. somehow, on the very first time i participated in this contest, i became the first person (maybe not ever, but certainly the first this season) to make a perfect guess. it was the epitome of beginner’s luck, and i can only assume they all hate me now.

wednesday april 15

today i was taking the subway to the rogers centre when a guy sat down beside me and started talking to me. i pulled my headphones to the side in time to hear him ask me if i liked hip hop. while i do, in fact, like hip hop, i'm never really in the mood to talk to strangers on the ttc and i recognized that my best bet at shutting down this conversation quickly was to lie.

me: "nah, not really."
him: "not at all?"
me: "nope, just not my thing."
him: "how about r&b?"
me (shaking my head, feeling like a real traitor): "nope!"
him: "there’s gotta be at least one or two songs you like though, right?"
me (realizing he’s not gonna take no for an answer): "sure, i guess so."

once he saw his opening, he - predictably - handed me a copy of his new ep, describing his sound and explaining that obviously he wasn’t just giving this away for free. it was at this point that we arrived at my stop and i had to interrupt his spiel. it looked very much like i was just trying to make a getaway, which made me feel a little bad, so i promised i’d check him out online, and i held up my end of the bargain. here’s one of his songs. it's pretty good.

tuesday april 14

today i went to use my iron on a shirt that i planned to wear to my new job. as i got the iron out of my closet, i realized that it was still in its original, unopened box, which is where it had been since i bought it last august. it's not too often that i worry about wrinkles in my shirts.


monday april 13

today i arrived at work for my first blue jays game at the rogers centre and the first thing that one of my co-workers said to me was "nice lanyard."

sunday april 12

today i went shopping for a lanyard in advance of the first real day of my job at rogers centre tomorrow. by the time i left the house and got to the mall, nearly everything except walmart was closed, but i figured that was probably fine -- if anywhere had lanyards for sale, walmart seemed like it would be the place. however, i became less certain of that fact after asking three different employees what section they might be in. not only were they not sure where i'd find a lanyard, but many of them weren't even sure what a lanyard was. at one point, i found myself halfway through an awkward and unclear explanation of what it was when i realized that the walmart employee i was talking to was, in fact, wearing a lanyard around her own neck.

anyway, eventually i found the one style of lanyard walmart was apparently carrying. it featured a playing-card-themed design, adorned with clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades. i stood there looking at it for a good 60 seconds or so debating whether or not i should buy it, knowing that i had to get something and it was my only option, but also recognizing that i'd really just wanted a plain black design and this was much flashier than i'd been hoping for.

saturday april 11

today i updated ios to the latest version on my phone and tried using one of the new skin-tones on an emoji. however, i immediately regretted sending a black smiley face to a white friend, since something about it felt pretty racist. i either need to learn skin-tone emoji etiquette or - more realistically - just stick to the cartoonish yellow ones.

friday april 10

today i was at the rogers centre and was on the field working to set up and calibrate the pitch fx system for the coming season. while we were working on that, pa announcer tim langton and the camera guys were rehearsing various scenarios, including between-inning promos and batter introductions. at one point, langton introduced a hypothetical batter and the camera man panned from the on-deck circle to the plate, where i happened to be standing at the time, showing up on the jumbotron as if i were the batter. if you'd told me when i was eight years old that this scenario would play out, i think i would've been pretty excited about it, even knowing that it would happen in a mostly-empty stadium as i held a measuring tape in my hands rather than a baseball bat.

thursday april 9

today i went to the swan to watch the blue jays game. the bar was just a couple doors down from the kennedy, where i'd watched a raptors game recently, and i ended up sitting at the exact same spot in the bar i'd been in at the kennedy. it was all so familiar that i tried to order a tankhouse, and when i was informed they didn't have tankhouse on tap, i nearly replied, "oh, you did a couple weeks ago!" because i was convinced i was at the same place.

wednesday april 8

today i received an email from a friend telling me that she had a belated birthday gift for me, asking what my house number was. since i typically work in my pyjama pants during the day, i stressed that she should let me know if and when she was stopping by so that i could look presentable. a few hours later, there was a knock at my door and as i walked to answer it, i was shaking my head at the fact that she hadn’t given me any warning.

as it turned out though, when i opened the door, it wasn’t my friend, but was instead a ups delivery guy. if he was phased by my pyjama-pants look, he didn’t show it -- guy was a pro. "luke?" he asked when i answered the door, and when i said yes, he said "your neighbour was right!" guessing my old pal wayne pointed him in the right direction toward my back basement entrance.


tuesday april 7

today i went to my first toronto marlies game. about 30 seconds into the first period, a stadium employee approached me and my friends looking for a pair of participants for an in-arena promotional contest related to the molson canadian $5 beer night. against my will, my friends volunteered me to participate in this contest, which involved "sport stacking," apparently a real thing that people take seriously. we had to dismantle a stack of 15 plastic cups, restack them, then dismantle them again -- whichever of us finished (and yelled "i love five dollars beers!") first would win.

having been hoping to just watch the marlies continue their run for a playoff spot, and maybe see william nylander score a goal, i instead spent most of the first period practicing my sport stacking, meeting and getting advice from stadium employees, and preparing to be on the jumbotron at the first timeout after the 10-minute mark of the period.

finally, the big moment arrived, and the in-arena host introduced me and my friend before giving us the go-ahead to start stacking. while i had a steadier hand than i anticipated (we were being filmed in the concourse and shown on the jumbotron in the arena, so there wasn't as much pressure as if we'd been in the middle of the ice or something), i still felt like i was focusing more on not screwing up too badly, rather than really trying to race through as fast as i could.

ultimately, this approach at least kept me in the running -- i trailed slightly heading into the home stretch, but my friend knocked a bunch of his cups off his table right near the finish. for a split second, i thought i was headed for a dramatic comeback victory. however, one of the nearby employees unexpectedly returned his fallen cups to him without missing a beat and i panicked as i tried to finish stacking mine, knocking mine off the table and handing him the win.

it was a bitter pill to swallow, but at least they ended up giving both of us the "prize." this has been a sponsored post.

monday april 6

today i went to opera bob's at 1:00pm to watch the blue jays' opening day game. one bartender was making the rounds throughout the bar as if she were a ballpark vendor, serving $5 beers and $2 hot dogs, and after ordering one of each and paying with a $10 bill, i mistakenly took my $3 in change back from her. not wanting to be the guy who doesn't tip, i kept a toonie on the table in front of me until about 20 minutes later when one of my other friends ordered something from her, at which point i gave her the toonie. unsurprisingly, my explanation of "that's for before" wasn't entirely clear and she thought i was ordering another hot dog, but eventually we got things sorted out and i think it was worth it.

sunday april 5

today i placed an online delivery with domino’s and then jumped into the shower, assuming i’d be done and dressed in plenty of time to answer the door when my pizza arrived. however, i had just gotten out of the shower and was in the process of buttoning up my shirt when i thought i heard something at the door. i poked my head out of the bathroom, not really expecting there to be anyone there, but sure enough, i could make out the shape of a human standing outside. i quickly finished with my shirt buttons, answered the door, got the pizza, and checked my clock: 5:12. i looked back at the confirmation email sent instantly when i placed my order: 4:57. damn, domino’s, that’s fast.

saturday april 4

today i celebrated my 30th birthday with my family. my mom made me a cake that had a chocolate "30" on it, and in the photo below i'm also making a "30" with my hands. one other "30" in the photo that you might initially overlook is the partially obscured one in the background past my left shoulder -- a collage featuring photos of me organized in the shape of a 30.


friday april 3

today i took the bus from toronto to belleville on a trip that would take three hours and 15 minutes, according to the greyhound schedule. in the past, the trip had been allotted a cool two and a half hours, so i assumed the bus would make an extra stop or two this time around. instead, the route played out as it always does, right up until we arrived in trenton (about 20 minutes away from belleville), where the driver announced we’d be sitting at the station (which is actually just a variety store) for the next 45 minutes. it didn’t even make sense to get out and wander around a little because what the heck it there to even do in trenton?

thursday april 2

today i went to the whippoorwill for dinner. most of the time when i eat there, i order their hamburger, one of my favourites in the city. this time around though, i opted to try something new, declaring "you only live once!" when i made the decision not to get the burger. of course, it turned out that i actively disliked the dish i did order, which showed why you have to be careful about how you use "you only live once." my line of thinking should have been: you only live once, so why risk paying $20 for something that you’re not sure you’ll love?

wednesday april 1

today i received a phone call from an unknown number at around 1:00 pm. the conversation, to the best of my memory, went something like this:

me: "hello?"
him: "hi, who’s this?"
me: "uh, this is luke."
him: [unintelligible]
me (assuming he just said he has the wrong number and waiting to see if he’s gonna ask me to confirm my number or anything): "ah…."
me: "… sorry, did you say you had the wrong number?"
him: "no, i had a missed call from you."
me (wracking my brain trying to think of the last time i made a phone call and coming up empty): "oh, that’s weird. definitely don’t think i called you."
him: "oh, okay… this isn’t cool hand luke, is it?"
me (unsure if he’s making a joke or if he actually knows someone that goes by this nickname): "haha, no."
him: "alright, bye."

tuesday march 31

today i got into a cab, and after telling him where i wanted to go, he rattled off the route he planned on taking, asking if that was all right. usually when this happens, i’ll pretend to think for a minute, then say something like, "yeah, that’s probably the best way to go" as if i know what i’m talking about. in this case though, i decided to just give it to him straight, and said with a laugh, "you probably know better than i do, go for it!"

monday march 30

today i was crossing the intersection at bloor and lansdowne when i was nearly hit by a car. a driver in the right-hand lane on bloor came zooming up to the corner on the red light and while i expected her to stop short of me, she didn’t brake until the very last second, getting so close that i instinctively put up my right hand to brace myself as if that would help at all if she had slammed into me. right after she stopped, i turned to look at her, and she raised a hand in my direction, looking very apologetic. someone with a hotter temper than me probably would’ve yelled at her -- maybe given her a middle finger. but i’m such a chill guy that i just laughed and shook my head as i walked away.

sunday march 29

today i realized that i’m the sort of person who will say it’s "such a nice day out" if the sun is shining and the temperature is anywhere between maybe -15 and +30 degrees celsius.