Thursday, August 30, 2012


Last night was a very weird sail.

We set out, 10 boats, in reasonable wind. Slowly through the first half of the race, the wind diminished.

As we set into the fourth and final leg, the wind finally gave up and died. For around 15-20 minutes we bobbed, unable to move. There were five of us that still hadn’t finished, and we were all bobbing helplessly about 100m from the finish line. We were sitting frustrated, dreaming of the cold beer and barbecued hamburgers that waited for our return.

Suddenly a plane flew overhead, coming in to land at Billy Bishop Airport. Through our entirely-by-luck position near the back/port of the 5 sailboats, we felt the gust of the airplane’s backwash. And nobody else did, since our sails were in the way of theirs.

Slowly, our boat started moving forward. The shocked look on the crews face froze in place, as we were afraid to move or speak in case we countered the motion. Slowly, ever so slowly, we passed the other racers, enjoying the frustrated looks on their faces. The momentum of the one lucky gust slowly pushed us all the way to the finish line!

Aside from the joy of beating the other teams, the really impressive aspect for me was how a simple little gust of wind, barely enough to feel, had pushed a 4000lb sailboat. We went from a dead stop to a slow magical coast as if by magic.

And THAT’s why I’m so hooked on this sport.

[edit:]   Reading this, and remembering how we felt, I can really understand why sailors were such a religious and superstitious bunch.  It did feel like someone/something had just put a giant hand behind our transom and nudged us along.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Last night was weird.  I skipped sailing as the wind was too powerful for me to manipulate with a damaged hand.
Instead I stayed home and watched a movie in the bedroom while Wife had a friend visiting.  I fell asleep at around 8pm, woke briefly for Wife to undress me and chastise me for putting my feet on her pillow, and then didn’t wake again until 7am.
I must have needed the sleep!

Tonight:  Sailing, wind or no wind, hand or no hand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Smashing Hands and Mystery Helicopters

Yesterday I decided to open a bottle of wine when I got home. 
The Pelee Island Pinot Grigio in the fridge had a screw top, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t open it.  I could spin the cap through 360 degrees, but it wouldn’t detach from the label below the ridges, so it just went round and round.  I tried cutting the breakaway bit, but that didn’t help.  I decided to get a couple of wrenches from the basement, to pry them apart.  I was getting desperate…
Running up the 2 flights of stairs from the basement to the kitchen, I slipped.  My left hand slid quickly into the 3” gap between the bannister and the wall, and bent.  Painfully.  I yelled, I swore, I picked up the wrenches and returned to the wine bottle.  Unable to use my left hand, I gripped the bottle under my arm and pried the cap off.  Without using the wrench.  Then I picked out a cigar, poured the first of 4 glasses of wine, and headed outside to relax.  Poking and squeezing at my hand, I don’t think it’s broken.  Just badly, badly, bruised.

At around 2:30 this morning, I awoke to the thunderous sound of a low-flying helicopter.  To my surprise, it wasn’t getting louder or quieter.  It must have been hovering very close to my house.  After a couple of minutes, I climbed around Wife and looked out the window, assuming that it must be the police searching for someone.  I didn’t see anything moving, but the deafening noise and wind were getting tiresome.  I grabbed a pair of shorts, and in a moment of paranoia made sure that all our doors were locked.  After ten minutes or so, the helicopter flew away.  I haven’t seen anything in the news about this, but that’s not abnormal for police issues in my neighbourhood.

Then I realized that I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I sat in the living room for an hour reading.  Wife slept through the entire thing, she questions whether it was an elaborate dream or not.  But really she just sleeps the sleep of the dead.  Except for the snoring.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Return to the Good Habit

I went to the gym today for the first time in two weeks.
I’ve been really lazy and worn out, so I’ve been skipping the usually-tedious routine.  Also, a friend died a week ago, and friends, coworkers, and I have had a tough time with it.

So I got off my fattening butt and went for a 30 minute run.  And DAMN I feel good.  I’m energized, re-showered, and back at my desk pretending to work.  And smiling.  I should probably stop that before the boss gets suspicious.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Feeling nostalgic today.

Here's the first place I lived when I moved to Toronto, February 9, 1996.
1027 Bathurst Street.

This rooming house was where I shared my kitchen and bathroom with:
a) friendly drug dealer who became my friend and beat up the racist, homophobic homeless guy that stole my girlfriend at my 22nd birthday party.
b) the sketchy "refugee" that used to tell me stories about fighting the war in his home...
land as a teenager.
c) the junkie that dated "One-Eyed June." He used to leave 1/2-eaten hamburgers behind the toilet, and ... didn't wipe.
There was no insulation in the outside wall, and the house was overrun with rodents and cockroaches.  The infestation was so bad that I'd go to sleep every morning hearing the mouse claws scratching at my (thankfully) metal futon frame, unable to climb up.

It was a terrible place to have to live, but i survived it for 7 months until I could afford something cleaner/ nicer/ private.  It was a hell of a learning experience, acclimatizing me to city life very quickly.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Behaving Alone

Last night was good, and relatively well-behaved.

Sailing ended early as there was no wind.  We were all tired of bobbing in the middle of Toronto Harbour.  That meant that dinner and drinks started early. There were also a bunch of us together that have booked a Caribbean sailboat charter in the winter.  We went over broad details and suggestions.  None of us like to cook, so that might be an issue.  We’ll have to see if we can pay locals to run McDonalds take-aways out to us in their dingys.

Luckily I decided to leave the club early, there’s always the danger of looking at my watch and realizing that “it’s only 11pm – I can stick around for a few more!”  Then I stagger home in the middle of the night stinking drunk.

So I left early, came home, and went straight to bed.  As a good boy should.  What about tonight?  I’ll tell ya later.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Weird Week

I’m back!  I’ve figured out how I can still blog even though these are now blocked from my office.  They may be a little late, but they’re hopefully just as (ir)relevant as they were when originally written hours before.

Wife has been away for a few days, visiting family and getting a much-needed break from the city.  This has left me to my own devices, and so far it’s been an interesting week.

Monday night I was home watching TV.  I decided to go outside for a cigar and a beer.  As I reached for to the humidor, I realized that there was a couple outside having an argument.  After choosing my cigar, and getting 2 bottles of beer from the fridge (40-minute cigar, 20-minute beers, works well), I headed to my front door.  As I opened the door, I realized that my neighbours were on our shared stoop having their “domestic.”
Having no shame, I walked out and lit my cigar while mumbling “hope I’m not intruding…”  They didn’t seem to care.  They stopped momentarily in surprise when a cute 20-ish girl in minishorts and a bikini top walked up our lane and climbed the stairs.  She turned to the 3rd door and knocked.  “Hi, I’m Vanessa” she said.  The prostitute was quickly ushered inside, and the door closed behind her.

Apparently there is NO privacy in this townhouse complex.

A few minutes later, the police arrived.  They had been called by another neighbour who was upset by the argument, and had accused the husband of making threats (that I don’t recall him actually saying).  By this time there were a couple other neighbours sitting on the front steps chatting, drinking, and basically enjoying the show.  This went on quite late, and I only got a few hours’ sleep before having to get up for work the following morning.

Then, last night I went sailing.  That 2-beer plan went out the window at the 4th or 5th bottle, and I got home shortly before 2am.  I had a great time, but felt like crap this morning.

The plan tonight is to head home relatively early, but we’ll see if that sticks.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Signing Off

My office sent out a memo a few days ago, banning the access of social media on business equipment.  It specifies blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.
Since I really only have time to blog while at work, the likelihood of this site being updated isn't hopeful.  I sometimes get the feeling that they're just looking for a reason to let me go, and don't want to give them the ammo.

For anyone that knows my real identity, look me up on Facebook - i'll at least be checking that AFTER work...

For the rest of you, this is probably Adios.

And as a goodbye, here's a song i'm currently fascinated with:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last Night I Killed A Man

Last night I dreamt that I killed a friend from my past.

Tyrone (in reality) was a good friend until I came out, then literally turned his back on me.  No loss, I haven’t missed him for a moment in the last 15 years.

Tyrone (in dreamland) was at a party I was throwing.  I’m not sure how I killed him, but he was in the kitchen making a drink when I realized there were no witnesses around.  So I did whatever I did, and stuffed his corpse into the pantry.
Trying to dispose of the body was complicated.  I tried shoving him out the window into the compost bin, but he was too bulky and heavy.  I tried chopping him into bits and walking him out in shopping bags, but I buy crap kitchen knives – they were too dull.
After that, escape seemed to occupy the time.  How could I get away?  When was the last time anyone saw him?  My answer was going to be that he’d wandered away from the party plastered, after I wouldn’t let him drive home drunk.  What, he didn’t turn up at home?  “Gosh officer, I have no idea what could have happened.”  There was a lot of time spent in the dream performing risk assessments.  If I do this, how can I explain it?  If I say this, how can it be countered?  The more I investigated, the clearer my answers and alibis would be.

Funny, morality never entered my mind.

At one point, I woke up to get a blanket.  I told Wife that I’d dreamt of killing someone.  She casually mumbled something like “don’t do that honey.”  Gotta love a woman that doesn’t judge!