Monthly Archives: June 2009

The Secret Garden

As I’ve mentioned here before, one of my favourite in-town getaways is the nearby but somehow remote Tommy Thompson park, which sits at the far end of the ports district and the Toronto Islands chain. Nefarious and I went there today in the mist of the rain, having just eaten a sushi lunch inside a giant wooden pirate ship at a park near the docks. We were pleasantly surprised not just with thousands of snails who were up and off of the wet earth, but by a beautiful sculpture garden full of hobo inuksuks, shrines, crosses, and walled gardens with thousands of flowers, cacti, and berry bushes carefully planted throughout, having been built up from the rubble that litters the rocky beach.

There is so much beauty tucked away in the nooks and crannies of our planet, and sometimes it is seen by the world, and sometimes only a few sets of eyes ever appreciate it or even discover it. My thanks go to the wild people who created this.

Lots of big pictures…


My day started out a little rough with a doctor’s visit — today they took a lot of blood, way more than usual with a broad suite of tests being done. As I mentioned, for some reason my muscle tissue is breaking down, and now some of my organs seem to be affected as well, so right now I’m stuck in a medical mystery of sorts. Woo House. I’ve lost 25-30 pounds in the last month, which on one hand is great because I’m remarkably chubby, but on the other hand, it’s not particularly healthy.

But then I took Nefarious and a friend of hers to High Park, and today was definitely a great day to go. As well as plenty of playing (this was her friend’s first time at High Park that she could recall), it was a good moment for animals, with the normal cadre of squirrels, chipmunks, ducks, geese, swans, and so on, as well as the many frogs that Nefarious caught when we walked in the forest, cackling with glee as they peed in terror. We also saw a ton of tadpoles, most of them the little tiny sort about 3/4″ long, but a few of them were three or four inch long monsters with heads about the size of ping-pong balls! Ack, what sort of frog will these beasts become? There was also a mother duck with eight little ducklings. A massive improvement in my day to be sure!

Boy is it hot though… Toronto is literally the hottest place I’ve ever lived — way hotter than desert climates like when we lived in Mexico. Nefarious’s friend that moved here from Zimbabwe also agreed, saying that the Southern Ontario summer is miserable in comparison to the much gentler heat in Africa. I think Caitlin and I will definitely have to splurge and spend the $200 or so it’ll take to recharge the freon in the industrial A/C unit that cools this space. Luckily electricity is included in our rent, so we can run it all we want — it just has to be charged up first.



Best thing ever

Last time Nefarious flew the airline gave her a bunch of stuff to do including this dot-to-dot puzzle. Even with some convincing, she had difficulty believing me that it was probably supposed to be an airplane. Young people see the world in a very special way and we need to be vigilante that we not lose this quality as we age.


Free Cirque du Soleil Show

Cirque du Soleil put on a free show down on the Harbourfront today, so we braved the traffic and crowds (both excessive) and went down for the performance — more pictures of it continue after the break. He’s been catching some flack over “wasting” money, but I’m pretty vicariously excited that the Cirque founder has decided to take a trip on the space station. I’m actually surprised that there aren’t more rich folks lined up for space tourism — in terms of profound experiences, I can’t imagine there’s much that compares to looking down at the Earth from orbit.

Every time I walk down by the water I think about what it would take to tough it out and live year round on a boat here in Toronto — there are people doing it — until I can make it somewhere warmer. I really feel life’s clock ticking and have this terrible worry that there will be far too many dreams unfulfilled when time runs out for me.



Turtles sunning themselves

Nefarious’s graduation ceremony was today. When I was a kid finishing kindergarten, I did not have a graduation ceremony (my first being in grade eight). Of course, for me, the achievements of kindergarten were in the realm of memorizing a seven digit phone number and, I don’t know, not peeing my pants I guess. Nefarious however can nearly read at an adult level and can do math that I don’t think we did until grade three or four, so I’m very proud of her.

It was actually a remarkably full day today, with the aforementioned graduation ceremony first thing in the morning, and then we spent the day at Ontario Place with a friend (which is when the photo below was taken) — a good day because of the nice weather and lack of visitors because it’s still a school day for most schools — then off to another friend’s birthday party, and when she gets back, we’ll stop by a party being held (until 5AM, oh no) in our building for which our next door neighbour is doing an aerial performance on silks.

Then tomorrow she’s headed over to the Toronto Islands with her grandmother during the day, and a wedding reception in the evening… I guess we’ll try and thoroughly fill up the few days until she leaves on summer vacation!


In my own news, I’m chugging along on my “memoirs” and am trying to write a few short (900 – 2,000 words) chapters ever day. I was wondering if writers of memoirs ever do “extended remixes” or anything like that, because I know that there will be many stories that I will write down that don’t actually make the final cut. Other than that, it remains a struggle with my doctors — scheduling issues with the one set, and for the other, they’re having trouble tracking down a doctor (seems odd to me) to do the specialized sort of muscle biopsy they want to do to try and start figuring out why my body is breaking down muscle tissue for no apparent reason. I think I might see about getting a “handicapped” tag for my truck because walking has become quite painful. I’m probably too stubborn, but I do wonder how much longer before I prefer to get around by wheelchair.

My forehead skin hurts, so I think I must have managed to give myself a sunburn today. I had lots of fun at Ontario Place as well as the kids did and even though I wasn’t dressed for it — just regular summer street clothes — I did join the girls for a few rides down the big water slides. It is quite tiring having to carry two giant two-person tubes all the way to the top of that slide structure (since Nefarious and her friend were too little to safely carry it on the stairs).