New Thing #309: Crack an Egg One Handed



I fancy myself pretty handy in the kitchen, but there’s one thing that I’ve never really found the dexterity to properly do: crack an egg one handed. And as the photo shows, I still don’t quite know how to do it properly. I made quite a mess, but I did indeed crack it and open and split it without the use of any leftward extremeties. 

And although this might not seem like an exciting thing to most people, I feel like I really achieved something today. And the scrambled eggs were the perfect post New Year’s Eve chow-down.


New Thing #306: New Canadian $100 Bill



I’d forgotten that our new bank notes had started going into circulation last month until I saw one for myself today. While I was standing in line at Loblaws the lady infront of my some cash back after her purchase. The teller offered up one of the shiny new hundered dollar bills if she wanted it. And of course she did.

And showing our friendly, trustworthy nature as Canadians the woman then offered it up for the rest of us to take a look at. It’s pretty awesome. 

The clear polymer parts of the bill really stand out in a futuristic way while the design surrouding them feels traditional and ornate. It’s a really great blend of the old and the new from a design perspective.

I only wish I’d been able to touch it, but I thought it would be a little awkward to ask someone if I could gently stroke their money. 

New Thing #304: Drive With Snow Tires



When I was in high school I’d make sure to leave extra early for school on mornings where there was a fresh fall of snow on the ground. I wasn’t trying to beat the traffic or take it slow, I just really wanted to be the first and only car in the student parking lot so that I could do donuts in my parents’ 1976 Malibu Classic.

Now that I’m a little older and have trouble risking my life on a daily basis I thought it wise to finally invest in snow tires. After a bit of a debacle at Canadian Tire a month ago I’ve been waiting just as eagerly as my daughter for some damn snow on the ground.  

So tonight, with some gross, slippery, wet snow covering the car and the street I finally got my chance. After two decades of driving I now know what it feels like to have control in the snow and it feels amazing.

Sure, it’s not quite as much fun sliding around corners but now I can stop on a dime instead of sliding thirty feet, watching my life go by in slow motion. Incidently, the first time that ever happened I was driving my mother somewhere back in my home town. It remains the only time that I have ever dropped the F-bomb in front of here. We have not spoken of it to this day.

Now I wonder what they’re like on ice!

New Thing #292: Elementary School Christmas Concert


With my daughter in her first year of JK we were treated to our first ever school Christmas concert tonight. In what can only be described as an act of mercy, they split the event by grade so as not to, ahem, overwhelm the audience with the entire student body.

What we did get to see was our daughter recite five poems (some vaguely seasonal, some utterly nonsensensical), but fun none-the-less. It’s the type of thing no sane human being would enjoy if it weren’t for the fact that their kid is up there yelling their heart out. Almost in unison with the rest of the kids. Or in some cases, no where near it.

Really, the best you can hope for is that there’s no tears and no one wets themselves, so in that regard I think tonight was a complete success.

New Thing #285: Attend a Masquerade Ball



Every company holiday party at Proximity has a theme and this year it was a Masquerade Ball.

I’d like to say that it was it filled with anonymous people from stem to stern, but let’s face it most people pulled up their masks soon after arriving.

For the few of us who kept our masks on for a little while it was really fun having an anonymous conversation without really knowing who you were talking to.

For the rest of the night it was pretty god damned fun even if masks weren’t involved.

Sure it was no Eyes Wide Shut, but that would just be awkward at work tomorrow.

New Thing #279: Present at a Pitch Presentation


I’ve been involved in pitches from time-to-time in my career in advertising, but I’ve never actually been in the room to pitch the work when the the actual meeting took place.

Today I got that chance, and although I spent a lot of time rehearsing and fretting over it, it boiled down to the same thing I do in every presentation: know my shit. If you know what you’re talking about, there’s no reason to be nervous. It’s when you don’t that you have to watch out.

That’s not to say that I didn’t spend the night having dreams that I wouldn’t be able to find my pants in the morning, I was still nervous as hell leading up to things, but when it came down to it I think I did a pretty good job.

And then I ripped my shirt open on a stray nail in the boardroom as I retook my seat.

Yep, that sounds like about right.

New Thing #276: Ride a New TTC Train



I’ve been trying to hitch a ride on the new TTC subway trains since the day they threw one onto the Yonge Line months ago  As much as I tried though, there was never one waiting at the precise times I’d make it to the platform. There were a couple of instances where I could have caught one if I ran around and over to the opposite platform, but it would have been dicey. 

Lucky for me though, there happened to be one waiting for me when I got off the Bloor Line this morning. I sprinted past a few folks just in time for the gleaming silver doors to close behind me. I stared in amazement at the brightness, cleanliness and roominess that these new cars had to offer. 

I walked the length of the train: if only because I could. Removing the barriers between the trains is brilliant and allowed me to walk as far as I needed to find a comfortable place to sit. The LED signs that tell you what your next stop is are ideal for those times I nod off on the way home. 

Everywhere I turned there seemed to be some pole or handle to grab onto and I never knew how quiet a subway ride could be before. Nary a squeak nor squeal came from the brakes a single time during my ride.  

When I had to remove myself and board an old train back to work it was overwhelming just how poorly lit and showing their age the old fleet is. The noise alone is was enough to make me long for the a full rollout of the new cars. 

They just can’t get more of these trains on the track fast enough for me. At the very least they need to get some running on the Bloor Line so I have more chances to take advantage of this luxury.


New Thing #274: Take My Family To The Movies



Although Shauna has taken our little girl off to the movies a couple of times, and we watched Monsters Inc. in the gym at her school, I haven’t actually sat and watched a film together with them in an honest-to-goodness theatre before. Lucky for us, The Muppets came to town.

I’ve been pretty excited to see our fuzzy friends ever since I heard another Muppet movie was in the works. I’ve been more excited to share it with Audrey though.

The Muppet Show was one of my favourite things to look forward to when I was a kid and I was hoping some of that magic might rub off on Audrey.

And I think it did.

Every so often my gaze would drift to the that little body lost in the oversized seat she was sitting in. And every time she’d be popping back a bit of popcorn or sipping on an oversized straw with her eyes locked on Kermit or Miss Piggy. When she got restless she sat on my lap a bit and we watched together. And she laughed at the chickens, so she’s definitely my kid.

All in all, a pretty wonderful experience. And yeah, if you ever liked The Muppets go see this movie, it’ll make you happy.

New Thing #267: Toronto Santa Claus Parade



I’ve been living in Toronto for going on 14 years and this is the first time I’ve ever made it to the annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

It helps that I have a little girl bursting with Christmas cheer to get me out into the cold November air on a Sunday afternoon. It also helps that it was extrememly warm by November standards this year, hitting 14??C while we were out.

Armed with a latte (boosted by some concealed Kahlua that was magically revealed from inside a friend’s bag) I was ready for the three hour parade.

It was spectacular. Marching bands, floats, costumed children, clowns, clowns and more clowns made their way through the street. There was a dinosaur float featuring my favourite dinosaur (the parasaurolophus pictured above) AND a video game float with Ratchet and Clank. It’s like they knew I was coming.

Santa finally made his appearance preceded by the good old Mounties and then we made our way back up the street home. And any chance I get to walk on a street usually teaming with cars and trucks just makes my day.

I can’t wait until next year.

New Thing #247: Trick Or Treat With My Daughter



Spoiler alert: there were no tricks tonight, but there sure were a heck of a lot of treats. 

You’d think by now that I would have taken my daughter out on Hallowe’en, but I’ve always been the one to stay home and man the front door. My wife always wanders the neighbourhood with my little one and since it’s usually pretty cold out, I don’t really mind.

But I love Hallowe’en, and some of my best memories of being a kid are walking half way across Grimsby filling up a pillowcase full of candy with my friends. But in Toronto there’s about four houses for every one there was in my home town. And they’re set back about a quarter of the distance from the curb. 

Within an hour we’d amassed about as much candy as I’d have gotten in an entire night back home. Plus our street is full of people happilly partaking in a bottle of wine on their porch while they catch up with all their friends that go by. 

It’s funny that our neighbourhood comes the most alive the night we celebrate the dead. And I’m happy to say that the knife jutting out of my head didn’t traumatize any of the little ones this year. Well, not many at least.

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