final rebuttal- why falling in XO with TO should win

most people you asked about me would first say "she's incredibly competitive" followed by "she's cutthroat" and then "she'd throw you under the bus if she could get ahead".

rest assured, none of that has changed in my campaign to win the torontoist's new slogan contest.

so here's the deal.
as it is down to the wire (the contest closes Friday) i have decided to pull out the big guns and go ahead and call this a two horse race.

with Forever Yonge and i (Fall in XO with TO) playing a delicate first and second place dance, many of my arguments about why mine is better than the competition (i.e. this isnt the arena to promote the diversity of the city - here) don't necessarily apply to this particular contender...

in fact, determining which of these two choices would best serve the defined purpose (intriguing potential tourists to visit our fair city) is a pretty straightforward role-playing process. like so:

take a moment and put yourself into the shoes of a pedestrian, commuter, backpacker or any person of the world (just not a torontonian's shoes) and sit down at a bus stop somewhere outside of the GTA (ottawa, halifax, belleville, napanee, regina, etc). and then look up. there, in front of you stands a poster inviting you to fall in XO with TO. two seconds. you get it. its simple. you realize you havent been to toronto in awhile. you wonder whats new there. you realize that there could be things there to fall in love with. you decide to visit and stimulate the local economy promptly.

alternatively, in the same shoes at the same busstop, you look up and see "Forever Yonge". you think "Rod Stewart.. whats he doing these days?" oh wait, is that the street in Toronto? that really long street with all the dirty tshirt stores where the Sam the Record Man used to be? i think thats the street all my friends from Toronto always tell me to avoid when visiting the city. weird that it has a poster...

do the right thing.


xoTO is mine, yours and ours - and it works.

it's been a tough week for a girl who was excited about her slogan being a finalist for the torontoist TO slogan contest.

after being selected as a finalist the comments field on the FALL IN XO WITH TO page was filling up with both props and criticism. so i took to my blog to address the concerns of skeptics suggesting my phrase was not a viable candidate and i think i addressed most criticism. ( here)

turns out, that was just the beginning of the arduous defence process (#firstworldproblem). thanks to the city of toronto.

on saturday, this post at the torontoist revealed that the city of toronto was unveiling a surprise XOTO campaign to launch at nuit blanche and noted the similarity of their messaging to my submission. ugh, a slogan writer's battle is never ending.

as such, i feel the need to address this coincidence and explain why it is not "unfortunate" but should instead be complementary and only strengthen my campaign.
so in 3 points, here we go:

1. it's not the same idea - they complement each other. the XOTO idea is something that we can build on as a city and its residents. it is a sentiment that current TO inhabitants can engage in. FALL IN XO WITH TO is a complementary and natural extension of this. even Lauren Oneil, a popular toronto blogger @Lauren Out Loud, took note of the city's campaign and then used the poster of my submission in her post supporting the campaign.

2. i didn't steal it from them, they stole it from me! see my "you know what's the bomb? this city! that's right TO i'm talking to you" post from last february

3. it employs modern language. there has been some criticism around the use of "XO" when referring to "love", and "TO" for Toronto -some saying it is misleading. the reality is this texting, sexting, tweeting shorthand is the language of today. and toronto has a reputation for being "cutting edge"* so it just makes sense.

so that's it.
i feel a little silly spending so much time on this but i cant have you thinking i am slogan-plagiarizer (i clearly don't mind if you think that i can't spell)

for more reasons why i think FALL IN XO WITH TO is pretty great, see my original justification here

* "XO" is sooo cutting edge ;)


all the right Parts n Labour

so i ate at parts and labour awhile back with @sarahspower and then i wrote about how awesome the fish was. and how much i want to go there all the time.
then thesceneinto posted the review here


a Better Toronto Slogan: Fall in XO with TO

when i heard that the torontoist was looking for submissions for a new slogan for toronto tourism i had to share mine and, it turns out, some people liked it (obv - its genius).
but upon looking at the other contenders for the competition i feel i must legitimize my short and simple submission.

- firstly, our citys tagline needn't promote or highlight individual tourist destinations within this city. People know that the CN tower is here, and if they want to see it, they have to come here. we dont need to convince them.

- some of the other slogans highlight the multicultural nature and diverse population of this city - something i embrace, celebrate and take pride in as a torontonian and a reason to move here for some - but this is not something that tourists come to the city for.

- and i have to say that i think its a stretch to say that toronto speaks your language. i challenge anyone to find a restaurant in the downtown core with one staff member who speaks french.

my suggestion (seen here on right) gets right to the point:
we (me and the people i talk to at dog parks, coffee shops and on the streets around this city) XO TO

but take one step outside of the 416/905/647 and venture north, east, south and particularly west in this country and its another tune all together.
remember the anti-toronto campaigns of years past?! they hate us!

and if you ask why the root of every answer is just that they dont know what this city has to offer.
rather than checking out the St.Lawrence Market, High Park, any number of parks along the waterfront, our new AGO, grabbing a bite in little italy or heading to the beaches for an ice cream on the beach, these outsiders fly into pearson, take a cab to the delta on gerrard and spend the rest of their weekend taxing between the CN tower, the ACC and the Eaton Centre.
of course they hate this city!

what XO TO does is opens their eyes to the chance that there is something to love about this city. a reason why more than 5 million people call it there home.
so put that in your pipe and smoke it...
or just vote on Oct 6th.

i posted a defence part II here XOTO is mine yours and ours and it works

you can see the post on torontoist here

holy moley! they're back!

i have GREAT news.... better than christmas news...
honeycrisp is back!!

A homegrown delicacy, these crisp pommes are in your neighbourhood grocer again for their short season.
So stop doing whatever you are doing, and get thee to a metro and change your life.

In honour of their annual appearance, I encourage you to read my "ode to the honeycrisp" from 09


first world problems

as everyone i know, myself included, endlessly evaluates their choices made thus far, and seeks answers about the present and more importantly the future, this particular hashtag really strikes a cord (...the title of this post was a recent twittosphere trending topic...)

products of a generation where self-esteem building and confidence were emphasized and strengthend during our primitive years, we (the "can do anything we put our minds to" generation) appear to be overwhelmed by the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead.

entitled to all things and capable of anything, the list of prospective career and life paths is daunting and terrifying.
this is indeed a #firstworldproblem.

do you think that the kids growing up in zimbabwe or in other struggling/developing parts of the world are asking themselves: should i stick it out in my cushy government pursue my passion for creating art out of old fans OR should i go to law school?

i'm so creative...
i'm not intellectually satisfied by my friends / partner...
i don't find my work challenging...

as a coping mechanism, we deem ourselves deserving of a reward for making it through our trying and stressful weekly existence, in the form of a THURS, FRI and/ or SATURDAY night escaping into the bottom of a bottle of moderately priced vodka or a magnum of local organic wine with a clever label.

the funny thing is, all that this "earned indulgence" does is add hangover to our never-ending list of problems.


it has happened again and i cannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnot

i found myself staring (for what seemed like an unnecessary and inappropriate amount of time given what had occurred) at my glistening white blackberry sitting in the bottom of the toilet.
i assure you it was seconds...SECONDS! before i was elbow deep in toilet water and retrieved it. but those mere seconds were long enough.
she's gone.

i cannnnnnnnnnnnn't!

i cannot go through this again:
- the frustration with the warranty i purchased that doesnt cover being addicted to your blackberry so much so that you must bring it into the washroom with you every single time you go and thus the inevitable porcelain swims it takes (being a water/ tea/coffee addict - these trips are ridiculously frequent)
- the thought of buying from craigslist without a warranty
- the temporary loss of contact and fear that some contacts may be lost forever
- the actual expense, like the multi-hundred dollar transaction that will inevitably happen in the next 6 hours.
- the nightmare of going to a rogers store and explaining to the 9 year old at the counter that i bought my phone on craigslist cause i'm cheap and that i need him to make everything work again because he is smarter than me
- re-requesting all my bbm friends (like 3)

and then, following the brilliant advice found on most shampoo botttles (rinse and repeat), doing this all again in 3 months when i take my new phone into the bathroom to see what @badbanana is tweeting about at 3am.


soooo longboarding...

in an effort to help michael understand skateboarding - and by understand i mean stop barking like a maniac and trying to take down every skateboarder he sees - i am taking up longboarding.
stay tuned for news of cuts, bruises, and eventual success, or more likely, failure.

boring isn't an excuse anymore, exercise is officially awesome.

for those with limited attention spans and incurable curiosity, the 'new exercise' revolution is here for you!

it seems that sometime in the 90s people began to bore of the 'bike ride' and a run around the block and since then the world of exercise has transformed.
from dodgeball (YES i am aware that this isn't breaking news. but remember when this game was reserved for 5th period PE?) to playing with swords, the new exercise is all about having fun.

plain old spinning on stationary bikes is a thing of the past. new revolutionary RealRyder bikes (seen at places like CYKL) offer THE most intense spin workouts possible in a stationary setting where participants maneuver their bikes back and forth simulating a real outdoor cycling experience.

hybrid spots like "SPYNGA" have also cropped up. not developing new fun forms of exercise, but combining individually popular programs (in this case spinning and yoga) for a split and full body workout.

for the slightly braver, and hydro-brave, there is kayakexercise. i shouldnt have to explain this but i will. basically you head down to the waterfront, pay some fit, tanned guy $25 and then do an intense 15 minutes of crunches and pushups before hopping into your speedy vessel. next steps: learn how to kayak while trying not to tip over into gooby lake ontario. the on water session lasts for about 1.5hrs which will get you over to the island and back with some tinkering about.

then there's stripping. oh sorry "pole dancing". one of the most difficult of the newer trends (both physically and rationally) taking to the pole to tone up the core and legs has become near cult-ish in popularity extending well beyond the occasional bachleorette party visit.

and most recently samurai in japan. this sounds awesome. its exactly what you think it is, and apparently (much to the surprise of the programs founder) it is almost entirely women signing up. WORD.
i CANNOT WAIT for this to make it to the big city and to get ninja-like-trained.

all this to say: you haven't an excuse in the world to be lazy.
exercise now = playtime.


it's cussin' hot

although the recent heat wave has lifted slightly, the heat is still on here in da big city and i can't help but notice that my theory about seasonal tolerance for vulgarity appears to apply when the mercury is rising as well.

it was on one of those 35plus degree days last week (about a million with the humidex) when @michaelthepooch and i were in the dog park that this became glaringly obvious.

i was sitting on a picnic table in the shade, my head in my hands, sweating. just living and sweating.
i looked around at the other puppy-parents scattered on tables under trees throughout the pit doing the same. our eyes would meet and slowly our gazes would fade back to the ground between our feet. unable to muster the energy required to engage in polite chit chat to pass the time.

a moment later a newfoundlander (k9 not human) came stumbling into the park. his owner following lowly a few paces behind in an obvious b-line trajectory to the one remaining free picnic table.
as he approached he glanced back and forth at the other humans taking refuge in the shade with desperation in his eyes.

finally, he dropped to the bench next to me with a reverberating thump.
and without a seconds pause, looking straight out into the sun drenched plain, he simply said "fuck".

any other day, this kind of remark would prompt disapproving glances or raised eyebrows among the sheepishly polite park parents. but that day, and on these damn hot days, when that word so perfectly captures the difficulty of simply existing, it was met with a wave of nodding heads.

continued quest for the answers

it turns out i am not the only one looking for the answers.

recent research shows that all of my twenty and thirty something comrades are on this same search and so far, all have come up empty handed.

although each is looking for answers to a unique kind of query, there is consensus around what the book would contain.

quite simply: the answers to all of lifes questions.
- impulse purchase decisions
- matters of the heart
- suicide

like an easy reference coffee table book to reach for in those moments when you are tempted to utter the words "i just don't know what to do".

if any of you have, or know where i could find such a book, please advise.


G20 post-mortem. blame who? and for what?

It has been two weeks since the wall came down. The G2O fences have been shipped out the city and the leaders are long gone. But the polarizing and frenetic debate about who to blame shows no signs of packing up with it.

Mud slings across our national headlines daily asking who can be held responsible and how the G20 cloud can be lifted for life return to the Canada we know and love.
As Margaret Atwood pointed out in Globe, the list of unanswered questions to which the public, media and politicians alike are seeking answers is endless. But her thesis is concise: these kinds of protest illustrate the desire by Canadians to be present but PASSIVE in the decision making process and that the outrage and demand for inquiry is connected to our egos and fear of tainted perceptions rather than our genuine distaste for the actions of either party.

As Canadians, we expect civility and peace, but such is not the nature of the G20 beast. Protest is inevitable when heads of state from the most powerful countries in the world gather. Under the headline “Police attack on G20 protests condemned across Canada”, the CUPE (written by G.Dunkel) accused the police of denying civil rights to those attending the protest in peace.

But how can the officers protect us when beyond the predictable patchouli scented protestors yielding two-fingered symbols illustrating their intentions, there are those who tag along? e.g. the Black Block.

To quote Mayor Miller, from David Riders piece in the Star Council Commends Outstanding Police G20 Work, the police were put in an “impossible situation”.

Yes, the apparent marshall law seems extreme on the surface (sometimes yielding unfortunate casualties like John Pruyn, the man identified in the MACLEANS piece titled ”G20 police seized man’s prosthetic leg, called it a weapon" no explanation needed) but without these powers things could have gotten a lot worse.

The point being neglected in the post-G2O discussion is: Wasn't this about as good as it could be?
As if in an effort to help me make this point, CBC quoted McGuinty reacting to the devastation this city suffered firmly stating “ there was some pretty serious property damage”. I will repeat. Property damage.
In fact, when juxtaposed against the 1999 G2O meeting in Seattle, later coined the Battle in Seattle, police ended up showering the crowds of protestors in tear gas before the true destruction began, our officers on duty could be said to have exercised restraint.

The fact that this whole event went over relatively seamlessly, with minimal civilian injuries and no large scale terrorist attacks seems to be overshadowed by the increasingly vocal forces demanding retribution and reconciliation. Our media outlets cant blog or tweet fast enough to keep up with the op-eds, media experts, lobbyists and activists insisting that someone take responsibility and that our reputation be absolved.

But we needn't look further than outside our borders for evidence that we are blowing this out of proportion. Trying to find coverage of the aftermath of the G20 here in Toronto on American or European news services is near impossible. There is no shred of evidence that the event was anything out of the ordinary on the NYtimes landing page or within their top 25 most read today. Apparently the rest of the world simply moved on as if the whole event went exactly as they expected.

If I were David Miller, Stephen Harper or Dalton MacGuinty I would say “I'll take your blame for now. You can thank me later”.


#darkTO and where have all the people gone

the AC clicked off. odd.
the radio went silent. unusual.
why is the light off in the fridge?... perhaps we blew a fuse.

anyone who was in TO during the #darkTO power failure last week can relate to the feeling of sheer terror that shot across the downtown core as memories of blackouts passed quickly flooded our minds.

what i found especially disturbing slash hilarious was where my fear lay. (see emphasis in type treatment above).

yup, i'm going to boil to death in this #heatwave.

no more anna-maria tremonti - i'll get over it.

all the foods going to rot. i'll starve.

OH MY GOD THE INTERNET ISN'T WORKING!!!!!!!!!! - i might die.

within seconds of coming to this realization both my roommate and i were on our bberrys checking into the twittersphere to see what was happening and more importantly what would be done to ensure that we would be reconnected asap.

how would we ever find out about the yet-to-be-released mel gibson tapes?

without discussion we packed up our most valuable possessions (bberrys and computers and their associated accessories) and took to the streets to find the answers (the never-ending quest) and plan next steps.

there we found store owners on the streets unloading ice-cream to passersby, strangers looking quizzically at each other and at the sky for some kind of sign or feedback.
somehow, as more and more people poured out of their shoeboxes (condos and offices) and into the streets, it felt like the city were moving at a slower pace.

luckily the loss was short-lived. we didnt make it two blocks before being reassured via text, sext, facebook, and twitter that all had returned to normal and that we wouldn't have to experience what life would be like without those lifelines.

ironically, we did not confirm this news with any human beings while out. we simply took the interwebs and telecommunications messages at their word and went home to log in.

isn't that disgusting?


oooooh you just have to be ABLE TO SEE to read this braille...

well done tim hortons... photocopy the washroom sign! that way the braille is legible...

When you go to catch SATC2, bring a book to keep you busy...

Well it’s official: the Sex and The City franchise has run its course. The one-time hit HBO series with record-breaking ratings that defined style for thirty-somethings for a decade has run out of story to tell.

Leading up to the Sex and the City 2 screening I read the initial reactions to the movie, calling it “clothes porn” and a “two and a half hour commercial,” but dismissed such criticisms with the understanding and acceptance that this is the nature of SATC and part of the reason that it has grown to such acclaim.

Unfortunately, dismiss I cannot. After the screening, the only impression left on me is that my wardrobe needs a makeover and my credit card is lucky the mall was closed when I got out.

The overwhelming theme, focus and purpose of the sequel (and likely last) SATC film is the clothes. Every scene, and seemingly every sentence, cuing a wardrobe change to reveal an outfit more outrageous, extravagant, and in some cases, more ridiculous than the previous (peaking in one scene when the foursome come climbing over a sand dune dressed as what looks like a rodeo clown, a cowgirl, a princess and a colourblind fortune teller).

To Warner Brothers’ credit, wardrobe is key to character identification and development and has been throughout this series. But clothes cannot carry a film. Typically audiences will expect more than what they would get sitting and watching the summer/ fall collections at fashion week. With this film, they won’t get that.

The "plot" follows a logical and predictable progression throughout the movie just barely weaving the scenes together. Without introducing new characters, there is only so much history and only so many men for the writers to revisit. I won’t spoil, but any SATC fan can predict the return of a special someone whose ends were never firmly tied.

One specific disappointment was the music. The opening credits displayed over the NYC cityscape were nicely accompanied by Alicia Keys and Jay Z’s oh-so-hot-right-now Empire State of Mind, but the soundtrack dwindled from there.

Although this whole account sounds harsh, I am not upset, and to be honest, I don’t think I am disappointed. Was there really any story left to tell? Did you have any outstanding questions? Perhaps the fault lies in the hands of the original movie for having left no rock unturned.

This sequel simply plays out the lives we expected these characters to be living based on where we left them and they left us. They just happen to be doing that in the very finest and most expensive wardrobe of any film to date.

Put on some heels, grab some girlfriends and make sure you make a pit stop on the way in.

Then watch it for the clothes and the clothes alone and stick to Suzanne Somers for the tangible life lessons.*

* You’ll get it once you see it. ;)

This review is also posted on thesceneinto


Coffee in TO

Putting together a 5 part guide to coffee in TO. Part 1 (DUNDAS) of 5 posted on thesceneinto


dearest blackerry,

just a shell of what you once were.
please, show me a sign.
a glimmer of an intention to return to the technological wingman you once were.
your fogged up screen and these occasional flashes of your red beacon are foreshadowing something more like a slow and deceitful affair... like you have chosen another (the bberry-afterlife or bafterlife)...
say it ain't so.

remember when i needed you and you were there?
like every minute that i have been awake since we were connected?
and even when i have been asleep? like a guardian angel.
you: the gatekeeper to my communications in all of its various tricky little forms.
you would take these emails, texts, bbms, updates and inquiries and file them away for safekeeping while i shut-eyed with the security of knowing you were storing the worlds communications for me until the next business day?
remember when i became obsessed with foursquare two days ago? checking in periodically in an effort to start a series of mini-mayoral campaigns. beaming my gps from your little hard-drive to the world. our exact location pinpointed and broadcasted through your connection to the satellites so far off in space. that was teamwork. you and me and the ever-evolving-social-network-innovators.

yes i realize that going to spice route was a bad decision.

but you and i and foursquare know that that is not something i do often. and, in fact, shouldn't that be a feature of yours to send me a note, knowing where i am, that says
"sarah, out of character decision, bad idea, please divert to WIDE OPEN on spadina"

but where were you then? you're always there with the "convenient" alarms when i am late for an appointment and reminders of unpleasant obligations, but never a preemptive suggestion like that.

one that would have likely resulted in a few too many stiff vodka sodas and a slightly longer walk home BUT with you safely nestled in my pocket.
staring at you lying still at the bottom of the basin...
deep in the porcelain abyss in that dark boutique-bathroom stall, i sensed the end was near.
and now look where we are...

i will buy you a new skin.
i will charge you nightly and not let you run into the red zone where your precious lil'light turns green begging to be plugged in.
it could be just you and me.
like old times!
what do you say?


flying refined is an understatement

i realize that winkreative (the AOR for porter airlines) is trying to be modest. meek. classy.
but the understated nature of this whole "flying refined" messaging blows my mind. they really could skew blatantly arrogant and no one would contest. a la:

"the best airline"

"choosing to fly another airline could mean you're a masochist"

"our staff is the best looking in the sky"

i understand the tone and personality they are going for, but it's completely unnecessary.
anyone who has ever worked in advertising knows this is a very rare and fortunate position to be in. when you are far and above a category leader that you needn't worry about the legalities of making such kinds of claims.

and anyone who has ever traveled porter knows its true.
especially people traveling from toronto where pearson is the alternative.

lets run through the experience briefly:
the airport is conveniently located right downtown. walking distance for some. 10$ cab for most. free shuttle if you like. FREE.
once there you take the comfortable and short (2min) ferry ride to the terminal where your line to check in will likely be 5 minutes from arrival to completion. you and the 4-10 other people checking in will go through security with the same speed and within minutes you will be sipping free cappucinos, nibbling on shortbread and enjoying free wireless in the cozy lounge as you await boarding.

because of the capacity of the planes, boarding is quick and painless and you are in the air within 30-45 minutes of having arrived at the porter ferry dock on the mainland.

once in the air you are offered a variety of complimentary refreshments from water, coffee and tea, to wine and locally brewed steamwhistle. Sandwiches, chips, cookies and other treats are also offered at no charge.

the rest of the flight pretty much goes as you would expect. clean up. trays up. sometimes the landing is a little abrupt, but they're small planes so that's TBE.

and then you're there and 9 times out of 10, your luggage is waiting for you on the carousel when you get there as if to say "what took you so long? i flew porter, did you come with air canada?"

they do it right. and i say it every single time i travel with them.
point being - i seriously think they should consider saying it more themselves.


why wasn't ski ballet at VAN2010?

i loved VAN2010 like nobody's biz, but where was SKI BALLET (proper terminology = ACROSKI)?

remember this? .... wise choice VANOC. (highlights at 1:35, 8:40)


farewell rings... but not good bye

what a games.
having been fortunate enough to attend these olympiad in beautiful BC i have to say, as i sit in the sparsely populated terminal (contrary to predictions of mayhem) about to board my chair in the sky back to the centre of the universe, my heart aches a little.

when the sun rose over vancouver this morning it brought with it eerie and lonely silence signifying the sad reality that the olympics are over.

what a games.
walking through the streets of van today, as the echoes of weeks of escalating cheering and honking fades in my ears, memories of the crowds of red plaid blanketing the city from the shores of the pacific across to the false creek inlet bring about some nostalgia for an energy that was impossible to contain not 24 hours ago.

there are few experiences that i have had in my life where i felt so connected to strangers and neighbours alike.

but what a games it was. canada you rocked the hizouse and we are so proud.

the medal count, the records broken, and personal bests aside, these games represented so much more than simply the importance of high performance sport, they let us show off our canada.
and to some it seems that this exhibit of national pride was not appreciated. this article boils my blood.(this one too)
of course it was about canada and why shouldn't it be?
the olympic games are a celebration of sport AND culture, awarded to world class cities in countries to showcase their athletes but more importantly to welcome the world into their identity. and that's exactly what we did.

we apologized as things went wrong (unnecessarily).
we stood behind our athletes as they won medals, broke records, expressed disappointment and exhibited excellence (especially in the face of adversity and criticism from the media - but that's a whole other story)
but most importantly we cheered.
and we cried.

we showed the world that we may be dispersed longitudinally but we are united when it comes to the important stuff.

since feb12th it has been impossible to find a seat at any bar in this city, walking two city blocks in any direction from granville and georgia was a joke, and you couldn't turn your head 90 degrees without seeing a roots or HBC toque.

the sun rose this morning and revealed the pavement now diffused of the crowds that once flowed over it. and as i walked through these seemingly vast corridors of the city, i was met with thousands of teal-clad VANOC volunteers with that vacant boxing day look on their faces. that disbelief that after all of that, it's over, and life goes back to normal.

it took 25 000 of these passionate volunteers, 2 600 world-class high-calibre athletes and the patience and hospitality of a city with a population of 600 000+ to pull this off.
so, to you 627 600 plus individuals, from lil ol me, i say thanks.
i will never forget it and i don't think anyone will.
so bye bye for now rings....you have given us memories to last a lifetime. let's do it again sometime.

a tip of the hat and a wag of the finger - the legacy the rings leave behind

as much as i would like to avoid tagging colbert to these games any more than he already is, i must adopt his TIP/WAG system for a moment as i offer a most genuine tip of my hat to our athletes who knocked VAN2010 outta the park and to our friends in countries around the world who were such gracious guests, embracing our culture, our silly songs, our love of plaid and beavers, and all the while cheered as loud as they could.

alternatively, i assign a stern and pointed wag of my finger at the eager media and the opportunistic and trigger happy sports funding critics who became deafeningly vocal with criticism of the OWN THE PODIUM program only a few short days into the games.
the glory of the first few medal wins overshadowed by this preemptive and unjustified smear campaign.

before they even hit the slopes or took to the ice, while our athletes struggled with the already immense pressures of performing on the world stage on home turf, they were forced to bear witness to this mushrooming multimedia debate questioning the ROI of the minor funding they currently receive and the validity of the programs assigned name. not to mention suggestion of prospective cuts to that funding based on predictions of meager and unimpressive results in the athletic endeavors that they had not yet embarked upon!!! for shame.

unfortunately, the preemptive apology for predictions of PODIUM OWNING seems typical of the cndn persona. that we would apologize (to whom?) for setting such high hopes before the results are in. wag. wag. wag.
well, i hope that it has taught us a lesson.

certain media personalities should be applauded for avoiding the discourse and opting out of conversation altogether; recognizing that the discussion was both unnecessary and disrespectful at that juncture.

after the most successful games of any host nation ever, where are the critics now? oh, applauding our athletic accomplishments and assigning credit to the financial support of the own the podium initiative? what a short memory you have.

i am the first to say that we need to be accountable to our taxpayers and ensure that money is being spent effectively and on results driven programs.
but if these games have taught us anything, it's that we have an incredibly talented roster of athletes on whom we should be spending more money for training and services and paying better attention. we should be fostering communities where sport and recreation are celebrated and encouraged all at levels fostering a breeding ground for capable and champion athletes.

so once again i say, bye bye les rings.... here's hoping you leave behind a legacy of renewed and active appreciation of athleticism and lessons in not speaking too soon.


blogto - how can you snub SWAN on this list?

blogto - we are usually on the same wavelength but how can you snub SWAN on this list?
their huevos coupled dirty dark potatoes and their hangover murdering java is definitely worthy of company listed on your best rancheros of TO... http://bit.ly/dBbKVF


you know whats the bomb? this city! that's right TO, i'm talking to you!

i may have been born and raised in our nations capital, but its the provinces capital that has my heart.

TO i love you.
as a token of my affection and in an effort to continuously fuel this lovefire, i have a weekly ritual/ date with this city booked into my calendar.
every saturday when i awake to a full weekend on my plate i GMST and head out to the st lawrence market.

(meat shop picture)
beyond the obvious need for local produce and all things tasty, this trip, 45 minutes on hoof in each direction, is primarily an excuse to see whats new on the streets of my favourite ville.
i call it "checking it out with a weekly check in"

a key component of the weekly check in is route variance.
every saturday a new maze is woven across the core of the city as i meander eastward.
no matter the route, there is one consistency:
the evidence of 905ers gone by mark the cityblocks from bathurst to university on every avenue from queen south.
the silence they have left behind fills with smiling locals. urbanites taking back their city for the daylight hours before the next swarm funnel off the gardiner and DVP.

eventually i merge into the denser pedestrian traffic radiating in all directions from the market.
the buzz of those recently fed and watered at a handful of local brunching venues as they excitedly scurry into the market building makes me smile.
we dont need to come here for our produce. we dont need to pay more (sometimes double) for our olives and antipasti.
we come here because we can. because this city offers us tourist-like entertainment and services every day. because the st lawrence market and nathans phillips square, high park and little italy, kensington market, trinity bellwoods, the danforth and queen west, queen east, and the beaches are gifts our city keeps giving and we use our precious spare time to take them in.

an hour later i emerge onto front st. arms weighed down by overpriced produce and an unnecessary load of jams and jellies (considering i dont really eat bread) i sigh with satisfaction.

on the walk home i pass a woman preaching about the end of days and daring armageddon to "just try". but as i approach her preaching slows and stops. as she falls asleep standing up.
and it warms my heart.

until next week... XO XO TO


its all on your head

approximately 25 years of voluntary hat trying on is enough.
it has just occurred to me that this is a potentially life altering experience.

sitting in front of one of those canadiana scratchy wool toque kiosks and the fourth person has just picked up the (evidently popular) navahoe patterned hat and put it on their head.

there is something especially intimate about the hat trying on experience that gloves and shoes test runs do not provide (and i am not referring to the unique kinds of fun that a head can leave behind - dandruff, lice, and other things miniscule and near undetectable..)

i am thinking about the hair.
a single straggler left behind for the next unsuspecting wearer.
each one of those last three people may have walked away with a strand of that first womans locks.
and its now a part of their life.
coincidentally this new addition came into their life at the same time that they had been entertaining some suspicions that their partner was sneaking around. one misplaced hair in this kind of testy water could lead to potential disaster.

how does one explain a hair they have never seen other than complete denial?
and how does one, already suspicious of infidelity, take blatant denial as a valid response to a straggling ringlet of gorgeous red hair on the floor of the closet or lying on a bedroom pillow?

all of this could be avoided by simply avoiding the hat in the first place.
so in the interest of keeping thing uncomplicated.
i don't try on hats anymore.

that or i give up monogamy....
stay tuned there.

the best things

it has come to my attention that we are getting really good at getting really good at things. as we have exhausted nearly all of the options in terms of genuine invention completely original design* (*i am referring more to goods and services versus scientific invention - a la nanotube space elevators, etc.) efforts are seemingly focused on honing and perfecting the goods and services we currently have access to.

maybe the age of genuine and original invention is coming to a close?

this consistent focus on enhancement and improvement in design and experience has led to unequivocal perfection in some product categories.
as i notice these perfections more and more i have decided to keep an ongoing list.

i will call it the best things.

to give you an understanding of the parameters of the list, let me refer to the first time i really noticed this evolution in the quality of goods.
the release of 5 gum.
gum that does not lose its flavour.
gum that the chewer tires of well before the flavour dissipates.
my first piece ejected into the poubelle long not because it had adopted the flavour of my tongue, or the texture and density of plastercine. only because my jaw was sore.
it was obvious: we have figured out gum. this works best. its done.
trident, excel, etc, it was fun, but now you have only two options:
either copy this exactly or get out of the game.

the ipod is also a pretty good example. have you ever heard anyone say "i really got get my hands on an iriver 250mbg mp3 player" no. because we all recognize that apple has perfected the user operated mp3 player experience. other players try as they may, but its a losing battle.
i will not put the ipod on the best list, because it goes without saying (and for some reason their competition isnt really getting the message).
the point of the best list is to keep you up to date about whats the best and what you might already have thats not the best and what you should upgrade to. it should also serve as a point of reference for owners of companies like iriver and Juicy Fruit that their jig is up.

this will be an ongoing bobasaccord posting - and i looking for input here - so please submit your thoughts on goods and services that we have mastered

GUM - five - WAVE flavour
BREAD - dynamite baguette - OTTAWA
APPLES - honeycrisp

welcome to 2010

oh yes, and happy new years tutts.
its going to be a blowout for the bobasaccord.
so hold on to your bandhas.

its effin cold

it is possible that as canucks we have a seasonal cycle of tolerance to the vulgarity of the word fuck?
it has come to my attention that as the mercury drops it seems so do our sensitivities around its peppering into everyday discourse.

what other word would so accurately expresses the sentiment of living in these months?
its almost as if we are saying it to ourselves "idiot! why do you live here??!!"

as i rounded a downtown corner the other day i was met by more than just the usual faceful of freezing wind and airborne snow pellets but also a man who was surprised to meet my eyes whilst exclaiming "FUCK" followed by a muttering of "its so fucking cold" as he turned the corner. i simply nodded in agreement and continued.
it wasn't even noon and that was the third time i heard a stranger swear.

as i walked away the irony of our polite reputation occurred to me.
but the reality is that its not that we are rude.
and the term is not being used maliciously or with cruel intention but simply to recognize that everything is harder when it is minus 20.
life is significantly harder when it is minus twenty.
and we all know it.
perhaps that is why we let the occasional effbomb slide by without the scowl it would usually trigger in warmer months.
either way.
i say use it sparingly, but when you use it, do it like you mean it.
and you will likely be forgiven.
until the snow melts.