How I miss you, Canada

July 1, 2011

Or at least, I think I will when this post is published, and Canada day comes. I’m writing nearly a week in advance, setting up blog material for the Kansas trip so that I don’t need to worry about going online to update the Kelworth files in the middle of the CSSF workshop.

But I’m going to be away from Canada for July 1st, probably for the first time since I was five or so, as far as I can remember. (That was the first big family trip to England in my life.)

It’s hard to pin down quite what Canada means to me, other than a kind of vague and fuzzy sense of ‘home-ness’. In my travels, the only other two countries I’ve ever been to have been the UK and the USA – neither of which are quite like Canada, true, but neither of them are really very far apart from us either. The UK is where a lot of my roots are, as well as a lot of Canadian roots in general, and the USA is our nearest neighbor, the source of most of the television and movies that I watch, and a lot of the books that I read. (Though you can’t entirely count out the Irish authors!)

To me, Canada is a maple dip donut at Tim Horton’s, and laid-back political discussions about proroguing and the NDP. It’s the CN tower in the Toronto skyline, the GO trains and VIA rail, and the funny one-way streets in Hamilton.

PS: I’m logging in from Kansas to post this, but can’t think of anything to add. Happy 144th birthday, Canada. Thanks for being there for all of us, and may you prosper for hundreds of years more.

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Toronto

April 23, 2011

T is for…

Well, I’ve already dedicated H to my true hometown of Hamilton, but Toronto is sort of a half-adopted hometown, a place that’s also very dear to my heart. I didn’t really pay it that much attention for the first eighteen years plus of my life, except for a place to occasionally go to ride up the CN tower or see a baseball game or get government records, and really I suppose I was really ignorant of the benefits of living so close to such an amazing city. But then, I was young.

I moved to Toronto, to the suburban wilds of North York at least, for university, in the fall of 1995, and spent four years at York University, commuting back home to crash at my parent’s place every other weekend or so. (For some reason I still have dreams about finding my way across the big city on the TTC and looking for a new room to rent in Toronto.) I spent the first year, including the summer, in residence, and then spent the regular school term in rental places found on the housing board and summers back in Hamilton.

After seven months spent trying to find a job with only a bachelor’s degree and no work experience, during the consolidation days of the Y2K scare, I ended up going back to school in Toronto, taking the applied IT course at the Herzing institute in the Eaton center, and commuting into the city and back every day from Hamilton on GO transit – which would have been much more stressful, except that regular classes only lasted for four hours a day when I wasn’t doing teaching assistance or tutoring or grading for the school, so a lot of the time I could head back to Hamilton early. It was really a worthwhile experience, rounding out my university education with some more marketable skills, and also giving me a few useful connections, including the referral that led me to the job that I’m in now, (indirectly.)

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My Wizard World diary, day One

March 24, 2011

I wrote down most of these notes on Friday night, after getting back to the hotel after my first evening at Wizard World Toronto Comic Con, but they’ve been somewhat edited for clarity:

I’m starting to get the hang of planning my time for this convention stuff – remembering to anticipate plenty of time for getting from place to place and waiting in lines and so on is key.

I left from work around 2 in the afternoon, pulling my suitcase behind me down Fairview street to the GO train station. Got some editing done on the train, using the Aspire netbook, and when I got off the train, I headed over to the Via rail concourse, planning to grab a double burger at the Harvey’s.

Whoops. The Harvey’s location on the Via rail concourse has apparently closed forever. There was a little sign letting me know that their nearest location was only minutes away, but I didn’t bother looking for it – headed back to the GO concourse to grab a Big Mac, then headed off onto the CN Tower skywalk, and from there south to Queen’s Quay and checked into my hotel.

After taking a few minutes to unpack a few things from my gray laptop bag, (including the netbook,) it was off via streetcar to the Direct Energy center. Paid for the upgrade from an ordinary weekend ticket to Buffyfest VIP pass, got my fancy lithograph VIP souvenir, and out onto the convention floor.

I didn’t do that much wandering Read the rest of this entry »


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