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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.