Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chapter 2. Inflammable populists

“Your husband is literally starving to death,” the emergency room doctor said. She looked almost exactly like the doctor emoji on an iPhone, blonde female version, right down to the stethoscope hanging like a fox fur stole. “When was the last time he ate?”

“Last night!” Cathryn said. “And I swear, he was f—ing fine, he was f—ing healthy… argh, no, I don’t swear, but he was fine, he was healthy, and suddenly he was like this.”

“This doesn’t happen suddenly,” the doctor said, in that medical-professional-patiently-levelling-with-you way that is probably a one-credit course all of its own in med school. “This is the result of a long period of not eating properly. Or at all.” Continue reading

Dingle, Daingean

I make an audio version of each one of my blog posts for my $2-a-month subscribers on Patreon. I’m giving everyone this audio version for free so you can hear how the Irish words sound – and to entice you into subscribing. Listen to it (and subscribe) at patreon.com/posts/22182846

You know you’re in Ireland. You’re on a shoulderless one-lane road pasted to the side of the greenest cliff you’ve ever seen and somehow you’re still driving on the left. And the signs (such as the one telling large vehicles “TURN BACK NOW”) are in Irish first (“Cas Siar Anois” – for the curious, you say that like “cuss sheer a nish”), and you know you’re in the Gaeltacht (the Irish-speaking region) because some of the signs are in Irish only. Which can be a bit of an uphill struggle for some people, especially when it’s the only way to get by. Continue reading

The Carafted Bean

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We’re at the corner of art and more art

Listen along with this on Patreon while you look at the pictures below.

There are many places in Toronto to observe how badly Toronto drivers suck, but the corner view from the Carafted Bean at Dundas and McCaul truly reveals what an absolute art they make of sucking. In any half hour, you have sixty occasions to see appallingly stupid decisions made by drivers at a really quite simple intersection. And don’t blame the streetcars or buses – they’re the only kind of vehicle guaranteed to behave predictably and in full accordance with the law.

Let it not, therefore, be said that the Carafted Bean is without its entertainment. But the dickheads in shiny metal boxes aren’t the only good viewing. There are people walking past on the sidewalks, interesting people, artistic people even. After all, the Art Gallery of Ontario is directly kitty-corner and OCAD University’s big lofty pencil-box building is just south of it. Across McCaul is the Village Idiot Pub, probably not named after the drivers but there you are. Continue reading

Goldstruck

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This way to the brew bar!

Listen to the audio version of this coffice space article on Patreon, for free. Then subscribe to get more wordy goodness!

I am in a basement in the heart of money and fashion. Continue reading

You know you want more!

Psst. Hey. Want something extra special?

Since 2008, I’ve posted more than 2,400 articles for free on Sesquiotica; more than a million visitors have come to read them, and more than 17,500 people have subscribed for free. They include word tasting notes, articles on grammar, serialized fiction, and my new series on coffee joints to sit and work in. I’ve also been making videos such as my pronunciation tips, which you can find here and on YouTube. But why stop at that? Continue reading

Balzac’s (Ryerson)

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(Mac)book, coffee, view.

Listen to this coffice space review (complete with ambient noise from the actual place) on Patreon.

Balzac’s is a local chain of coffee joints. They’re very popular and they make good coffee in all its wondrous forms. They have delicious snacks, too – I recommend the big peanut-butter parallelepipeds. And their locations are all nice looking, each in its own way. There are at least three of their outposts in walking distance from me, depending on what you consider walking distance. But I don’t often go to them to sit and work – especially not to the two nearest me. Continue reading

descript

“Stunning but nondescript.”

That’s how, fifteen years ago, Aina summed up several hours of Icelandic scenery along the road from Reykjavík to Akureyri: incessant mountains and dales and hills and valleys and nary a tree in sight, every bit of it scraped from the primeval earth by the palette knife of a beardless flat-haired Bob Ross. For the first hour or two you are in awe. Eventually you are still in awe but also in “aw, come on.” It is all breathtaking but there is nothing that makes any particular bit of it stand out. It is not really descript. Continue reading