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?