Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Dock on Queen St.

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Homey, if your home has a canoe hanging from the ceiling

Listen to the audio of this on Patreon. You really should, you know. It’s free and everything.

Nostalgic for the lakelands of cottage country? Wish you were sitting on the dock of the bay? Or perhaps you just want wood floors, wood tables, old-school wallpaper, comfy padded chairs, and a place that clearly has musical performances at the back some evenings and weekends? Obviously, you need to go to Queen East. There are plenty of coffice spaces in this stretch east of the tracks, and each one has its own variation. This one’s the cottage-style one. Its owners are from Sudbury. And you can sit in here and almost imagine you’re not in Toronto – just sit near the back and don’t look towards the window. Continue reading

galangal, galingale

How do you say galangal?

Why?

I say it with the stress on the first syllable. But that’s because I first saw it written as galingale. If you know nightingale and perhaps farthingale, the stress seems pretty obvious.

But why would anyone spell it galingale? Continue reading

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The sound of snawsmak

I have a series of word tastings that I’m doing exclusively for my Patreon subscribers – as little as $1 a month! And I am recording every one of my blog posts for my next-level subscribers – a whole $2 month! But as a little Christmas giftie (and an incentive to subscribe), I’ve made my reading of my latest subscribers-only post, on snawsmak, available to everyone. Click to hear it (and then you can subscribe while you’re there if you want):

Reading: snawsmak

 

 

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