A: Finding things that don’t require me to stare at a screen are great – so we went for a walk. A photo walk; sauntering around Church-Wellesly Village and over to some bookstores on Yonge. I also got a bunch of M&Ms because there was a promo code inside to get 2 free movie tickets. Worth it!
Spending time in the bookstore was awesome. B and I picked up a couple books – I got some pulpy syfy from the 40’s and another Bradbury book which was recommended. B got a haiku book and a Richter coffee table book. I smiled like a goof when he told me his book choices. He’s basically a dream of mine. I mean, a haiku book. Swoon.
B: A adorably worked out the cost of these bags of M &Ms and how many you would have to buy to get the 2 movie ticket deal vs the cost of 2 movie tickets and determined it was worth buying the M&Ms. I was worried about all the sugar and also that A can’t eat M&Ms because of her teeth being broken…which meant I would probably eat them all.
We went though and she was super happy. It was cute.
I love being in bookstores. I love being surrounded by all that knowledge. I can’t wait to have my own book of poetry in there. It terrifies me and that means I must do it. I bought a book of Haikus by Masaoka Shiki (I think) and I book of paintings from Gerhardt Richter (one of my favourites).
Date #316 – Monday, June 16, 2014
B: We woke up the next day in Whitby and worked on some random projects. I’m probably updating this blog in that photo (meta!).
We took the train back to Toronto and when we arrived A got some bad news about her family. It was the extreme shift from happy-times to crisis-times. A was so calm I didn’t know how bad things were. I simply asked “what do you need me to do?” I was ready to do anything.
Looking back I feel really lucky to have found that – someone who I don’t question dropping everything for. While crisis moments can really suck, they help you understand what is really important and what you really value.
A: B’s referring to my Grandmother’s health. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a couple years ago and, since moving to Toronto in 2011, I try my best to spend as much time with her as possible. When my grandfather passed, I was travelling and living around the world and never took the time to come home because I had so much hate for the city. I avoided it all together. I’m so close to home now that I’m making my grandmother a priority. I went to stay with her at her apartment for a couple days and I can’t even believe B’s response was, “Want me to go with you?” It warmed my heart. And my grandmother’s.
Father’s Day in Whitby
Date #315 – Sunday, June 15, 2014
B: I love my Dad. We used to have a pretty rocky relationship, but now we’re really close. You could say we have always been close, but I fought it hard when I was young. He is very adamant on family time and I admire how much love he has to share.
I’m happy he so willingly and joyfully shares that with A too. I know he was super happy that she came to Whitby to spend the day with us. We all went out on my parents sail boat and then played Ticket to Ride together.
It was a really fun day and at the end my Dad kept going on about how we should do it again. I know A has a different relationship with her Father and I’m happy she can experience this new kind of relationship with my Dad. I read this amazing article she wrote and I learned so much more about her.
I am super grateful to have such a balanced male role-model in my life and I try to tell him that as much as possible.
A: I love B’s dad too. He’s fun and funny and is super creative so it’s neat to see him and B interact. He also has a wicked Irish accent and it makes me nostalgic for those travelling days and inspires me to get out there more. B’s family is very international, actually, and they’re incredibly active and busy people – fitness, music, food… They’re all very cultured and sweet about it.
B’s dad let me sail the boat then crawled to the other side and said he was having a nap. It was just B and I was all, “Aaaaaah!” but it was fine. I didn’t tip the boat!
(B linked to an article that I’ve temporarily put on hold due to some personal roadblocks – but it’ll be back soon!)
A day full of waterfalls!
Date #314 – Saturday, June 14, 2014
B: I’m so happy A and I got to go on this autoshare trip and bring some friends. I heard a lot about the over 100 waterfalls in the Hamilton area (yes, over 100!) and really wanted to go.
When one of our friends brought a waterfall book she has had since childhood, I just knew this trip would be perfect. At our first waterfall, Webster’s Falls, we snuck under the fence and scaled down the very sketchy stairs to the base of the fall (the camera was getting soaked in that pic). I was super happy with everyone’s adventurous spirit. I then read the very romantic poem Na-Go-She-Onong as a way to set the rest of our trip off on the right tone.
We went on to see the second-largest waterfall in Ontario (Niagara is the first…obv) – Tews Falls and a few others. After seeing Punch Bowl Falls we went to the market and found a tone of goodies, including the best butter tart and strawberry-rhubarb pie I’ve ever had. We also found the Detour Café, a café run by one of my favourite coffee roasters.
Before heading home we found my favourite waterfall – Albion Falls. The falls are super accessible and we were able to climb on their multiple layers and take a bunch of photos. Our friends wanted some photos of them kissing under the falls and I’m so happy A and I were able to deliver this to them. I had such a blast hanging with other people and travelling around.
A: This was the perfect day trip and the one that really sealed the deal for me. Autoshare is awesome. The fact that you can take a car for $100 and drive around without a worry – all day – I mean, this was a 12 hour trip and it felt like 2. The other shocking fact was that all these beautiful trails and sights were AN HOUR away from where we live in downtown Toronto. That is nuts! I have a new love for Southern Ontario and all it has to offer. I actually keep resisting liking it so much but I can’t help it! It’s beautiful! And it’s basically our backyard!
Movies & Tough Walk
Date #312 – Wednesday, June 11, 2014
B: Sometimes I don’t want to admit my limits. Today was one of those days. I just finished an intense physical-therapy session (I was hit by a car) and really wanted to just lie beside A. I know she wanted to see me too. I also had her DVD screeners for the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) and so I knew if I made it to her place we would get to watch foreign cinema together.
I was so lethargic that, when I set out to walk to her place, I was moving at 1/4 my standard pace. I called A and I could tell she had no idea how to handle my complaining. I also was barely making sound, so I’m not even sure she knew what I was going through. I was in-pain and maybe should have stayed home. Or not. I’m not sure. I just know that I need to make a decision and stick with it and not complain.
A: After talking to B I got on my bike and biked in the direction he’d be walking. When I found him hobbling (okay, he doesn’t like that word, sorry) along slowly with his purple keep cup I could tell it was one of those days for him. I think the best thing you can do when someone’s experiencing these sorts of feelings is to listen to them and be there for them. So that’s what I tried.
Date #311- Tuesday, June 10, 2014
A: Scott Harris who directed and starred in Being Ginger (pictured above) made this totally heartwarming film about trying to find love in Scotland/in general while being a red head. I should preface with a fact and a memory. The fact: 2% of the world’s population is red-headed, and of that 2%, 98% live in Ireland or Scotland. The memory: when I was in Scotland, I got heckled to the nines by random passerbys in Scottish accents, most of the words I didn’t understand (I’m bad at accents) unless it included “ginga!” That’s how I knew it was directed at me. So when Harris goes to school in Edinburgh (the same city I went to), I could totally sympathize with people telling him they’d never date gingers.
Despite him openly being picky and superficial, he comes around (in the doc) and the film was actually cute. A good first feature. The Bloor also let all gingers in for free which was awesome…. Though B and I used to work there so we’re usually granted access to un-busy shows (The Bloor is awesome…!).
B: It was really great watching this film. I knew the screening was important to A, so I made sure to show up. I didn’t know things were so bad in Scotland and I still don’t understand why people saying comments like that is funny.
I was really impressed with Scott’s honesty and vulnerability on camera, especially considering that he directed the film. The movie was really about being comfortable with yourself and has a very universal message.
Short film meeting & Double Date!
Date #294 – Monday, May 26, 2014
A:We worked on the film again with the people who will be shooting it and ended up getting dinner at this Chinese restaurant on Spadina which was pretty delicious. I never would’ve went in there because it’s the place with all the dead animals in the window (*tear*) and so it was cool to step beyond that, I guess. It was pretty affordable too!
B: Do you ever have that moment where you hang out with people you’ve known for awhile but feel like you just hung out with them for the first time…in a good way?? Despite that A and I’ve known the lead Editor and her Partner for almost a year, this was a totally new experience with them.
The restaurant was amazing and we got this huge plate filled with various Chinese mushrooms and other vegetables for under $10. I love living in a city where I can experience different cultures. The Editor told us all about living in Sri Lanka and other places and when she first met her partner. It was all so new and beautiful and I’m happy I got to share it with A.
Learning to farm!
Date #289 – Wednesday, May 21, 2014
A: Day 2 of our curated trip was awesome, especially since my friend joined us. We headed out to Everdale Farm which is an all organic farm where we got to pick eggs right out of the chicken nest and pick asparagus and eat it right out of the ground. We even got to have lunch with the team there and it was so awesome. After we headed to their partner farm at Jane and Sheppard (near Jane and Finch) and it was so neat to see such an epic use of land right in the city. I would love to have chicken and my own garden in the back. Be self sustainable, or at least as much as possible. I don’t think you’re allowed to have chicken in the city, though…. We will have to work on have farm friends. These past two days have really made me want to eat only LOCAL and REAL food.
B: I’m so happy we got to visit a farm on one of our #discoverON trips. I am really interested in food and farming and I think it is important for everyone to visit a farm to understand where their food comes from. Everdale is a teaching farm, so they are used to giving tours and even having interns and WWOOFers (work exchange on organic and sustainable farms) staying there to learn how to farm. The lead farmer, Mark, was incredible and hilarious. He has so much passion and knowledge and it was a real treat to hear him explain the crops and the importance of not using pesticides or GMO seeds.
After our amazing lunch with some of the Interns we went to the Black Creek city farm. This farm is located on 6 acres in the middle of one of Toronto’s most troubled neighbourhoods. The land is on loan from a conservation area and driving to the farm you wouldn’t even believe so much land is available right next to apartment buildings and strip malls. I love how easy it is in Ontario to be in an urban centre then immediately in nature. I also found it amazing to see such a diverse group of people learning about farming and planting their own crops. There were retired people, students, and others all clearing the land and discussing crops together. So amazing.
Oh, A’s good friend came with us on the whole trip and it was a blast to have her along. She brought a completely new energy to this second part of our trip.