Monday, April 11, 2022

A Certain Loss of Grace 

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Early spring in Toronto is a wretched sight. The snow has melted and muddied the soggy parks. The puddled pathways are dirty with mashed litter pressed into every crevice. The city's trees, still dormant, are barren, brown and lifeless. Any green on the grass is but a stain. The hems of buildings are splattered dark with damp and mildew. Every grey building is smudged into the grey sky. Toronto looks like a place that was once affluent, but is now down on its luck, exhaling "a certain loss of grace" as Italo Calvino* might say. It's as though the wet of the season has washed all the colours away. The wealthy have left behind their mansions, long since converted to boarding houses, so sub-divided and mean, that their inner smallness bursts down slanted stairs, past improvised doors and out cracked windows. The coldness of the air is the only thing suppressing the earthy rot from blooming. Gusts of wind whip around corners carrying a confetti of garbage and a skitter of empty plastic bottles.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Seen in March 

David Bowie as the most believable alien ever.

In like a lion, out like a lamb, past the Ides of March and beyond. My time was stolen by work, podcasts and Wordle, but I did find the time to watch some classics, a cult classic, maybe a new classic and a few duds.

Amazon Prime
Semi-entertaining is more like it. This movie about a struggling American Basketball team fighting for a chance to be one of the four teams to join the NBA feels like a string of seven-minute sketches strung together on the off chance it may make a story, but it does not. It's also a Will Ferrell vehicle where he plays the team owner, player-coach who is sensational promoter of a sub-par on-court product. I suppose there are some chuckles seeing Ferrell flail between being a nightclub impresario in platform shoes to an out of shape 1970s basketball player but not enough. Woody Harrelson is brought into the story as a secondary narrative of redemption or something but there's not much here to redeem.

The Righteous Gemstones S02
The second season of Danny McBride's HBO comedy about a roguish family who operate a successful evangelist church does not disappoint.

Tiffany Hadish crosses the line to catch a killer.

The Afterparty
Apple TV+
This eight episode mini-series murder-mystery-comedy is packed to the rafters with comedic talent and is a lot of fun as a sort of "Rashomon-like" take on those Agatha Christie murder mysteries. In each episode the lead detective, played by Tiffany Hadish, listens to a suspect tell their version of the events that led to the death of the party's host, Xavier, a Beiber-esque pop star played by Dave Franco. As Hadish's character says, everybody is the star of their own movie.

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Friday, April 01, 2022


I'm not sure what the Rites of Spring are but I'm sure this woman does.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020, and on March 11, 2020, declared it a pandemic.

On March 13, 2020, my company ordered working from home as mandatory.

The 2022 Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurred at 11:33 a.m. on Sunday, March 20.

As of March 21, 2022, but only until April 27, 2022, masking will continue to be mandatory in the following settings:
  • Public transit;
  • Health care settings;
  • Retirement homes;
  • Long-term care homes; and
  • Congregate care and living settings.

It seems almost poetic that the lifting of pandemic restrictions, just over two years after it began, happened very near the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. Like a new beginning. Here in Toronto, we've seen a pretty mixed winter with mostly crummy weather but also some surprisingly sunny days. Recently, on a sunny Sunday morning, the air had that febrile mix of wetness, warmness, freshness and mildew like a sweaty animal on a breezy day. This was followed by a freezing northwesterly wind that brought rain, snow and ice pellets, which dashed all of our hopes and dreams.

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