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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.