Category Musings

Winter break reads: From the literary to the feel-good

The weather’s warming up – but it’s still cold enough outside to spend a weekend curled up with a book. Here are three I’ve read recently – click on the links below for the full reviews: My Life in Middlemarch is one for those who want a literary meal. It’s written by New Yorker writer […]

Rob Ford, it’s not about ‘sexual preference’

So Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wants the rainbow flag – the Pride flag that represents the gay community – taken down from city hall. Earlier this week it was flown up the flagpole – by order of the city’s Protocol Chief –  at the request of a Toronto group to show solidarity for Russia’s gays […]

Rob Ford taught my kid a lesson

I never thought the mayor of Toronto would give me the grist I need for a frank talk with my 9-year-old kid about the perils of smoking crack cocaine. It was during one of our dinner table talks. We’ve been making a point lately of sitting down and chatting about issues of the day – […]

Transit City: The lady with the gold ring

Here, the first of the “subway people” I mentioned in my last post: I made it through the subway doors just before they clamped shut behind me and sat down in the first seat I saw – right next to the door, facing the inside of the car. I sat straight, hands folded tightly around […]

A reason to take public transit

The Toronto Transit Commission used to be touted as the best public transit system North America. Not any more. The joke is that TTC stands for “Take The Car.” And that’s exactly what I do most days. I can bypass the centre of the city, taking main arterial roads and highways, and get to work […]

Bloggers: A lesson from Roddy Doyle and Stompin’ Tom Connors

Books really can cause a stir. Particularly when the authors are Roddy Doyle and Stompin’ Tom Connors – you know, rock star, party-worthy types. Both came to mind this week – Stompin’ Tom because he passed away on Wednesday; Roddy Doyle because I came upon an article he wrote about writing. They’re both cultural giants, […]

Grown-ups can play piano, too

There are few things that say home like the sound of a kid playing piano. The sound of stilted scales drifting through open windows and into the spring or summer air, the floating notes representing what the kid wished her spirit could do while she had to stay inside, practicing. I didn’t understand that feeling, […]

When Toy Story makes for a freaky Friday

Today I walked out the front door of the house with my lunchbox in hand. My daughter had skipped out before me. She spied a friend of hers and her mother walking up the street. When she can, she dumps me and the car ride to school in favour of a leisurely walk, and today’s […]

Finding my lost Kobo – and inspiration

Since writing this blog entry in October I’ve found my Kobo – and a renewed appreciation for my wall of bookshelves. My bookshelves are, once again, spilling over. *** I can’t find my Kobo. It’s not the end of the world – the dozens of books I’ve got stored on it are also stored on my computer. But […]

Role models: This time it’s political

Kathleen Wynne, you’ve given an 8-year-old girl a reason to hope. She was watching the televised province of Ontario Liberal leadership convention on Saturday and was at least partially engaged in what was playing out on the screen. Early on, she commented: “There are two women running this time. In the last election there was only […]

Slaying ennui with Graham Greene and bored games

“I’m bored.” Those were the first words out of my daughter’s mouth after I picked her up from the babysitter. I can understand the feeling. It’s -25C outside with the wind chill factor. “Everyone else at school was hyper – I was grumpy,” she started off with a grouch. She was on the edge of […]

What’s for dinner vs. the joy of cooking

The shiny, black Kitchen Aid mixer mocked me with its clean slick lines, its promise of culinary wizardry. It stood, unused, on my kitchen counter for years. Every time I looked at its sturdy curved engineering – cleverly hiding a powerful motor that could mix just about anything – it said to me: you are […]

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