8.16 Killing Me Slowly
I equally dislike bikers, pedestrians and drivers. Let me explain and agree with me or not, I don’t really care. Primarily, I get around the city by bike, my feet or car. I’ve seen bikers blast through stop signs without even looking. Pedestrians with strollers jaywalk across streetcar track laden roads in front of buses. Cars? Too many things to include just one dumb example. So, when I’m biking, I hate pedestrians and drivers. When walking, I can’t stand bikers and drivers. When driving, I lose my mind with pedestrians and bikers.
Full disclosure: I was technically wrong in this situation and I take responsibility for that, but give me the space to regale you with a story. A few weeks ago, I went out for my first long bike ride of the season. Biking along the waterfront is one of my favourite things to do. No cars, (mostly) separate paths for bikers and pedestrians. Sure, even though there is a perfect trail SPECIFICALLY for pedestrians, they still insist on walking down the middle of the bike lane, but this is neither here nor there. I apologize for that digression.
8.14 The Kodak Building
I started telling stories in front of audiences a few years ago. The first one was for a talent show at the Centre for Social Innovation. I was a wreck, but I think it went okay. People laughed where they were supposed to laugh, silent where they were supposed to be silent.
A lot has changed since then. I was privileged to find some other like-minded people and together we started Stories We Don’t Tell, a show with deeply personal stories that take place in different apartments and houses in Toronto. That was three years ago and at the time, I dived right into the vibrant storytelling scene in the city.
Dived in a bit too soon.
8.13 Confident Jeff
I received this phone message last week: "Hello, someone called me from this number saying I won a contest. I see that this is not you, but they are using your phone number. I just wanted to make you aware of this. They said to come to this address in order to claim my prize: 888 Yonge Street."
This sounds relatively innocuous, right? Actually, sounds kind of nice that this person took the time to let me know of a potential scam operating under my number. I mean, they could be calling all sorts of people and giving out my number - does this make me an accomplice? Can you be an accomplice in a crime you had no idea was happening? Would my unwillful ignorance standup in court?
8.12 Don't Go In There
When I walk into an airport, I am a different person. I don't mean in a metaphorical or existential sense, I mean technically. My official name on my passport is Jeffrey Paul Dore and so when I am checking in, going through security or customs, I must remember to answer to Jeffrey. With all our technological advancements, computers are still not able to parse out names. When booking tickets, you usually have to include both your names and for some reason, every time, my name spits out as jeffreypaul Dore. Checking in beforehand online or through the machines at the airport are deemed unusable by me. The machines can't determine that my name is not jeffreypaul and reject me each time.
So, we certainly don't have to worry about machines taking over Terminator 2 style anytime soon. One of the last times I traveled south of the border, upon checking in to a real actual person, she said, "Oh, good luck with making that flight." I mean, okay, if I wasn't going to make it that's on me, but I certainly didn't need to additional anxiety.
Queen Street in downtown Toronto is probably my favorite strip of city. I walk it almost everyday to get to my office. I'll sometimes go out of my way to just walk down Queen Street. There's always something going down and interesting people hanging around at all hours of the day and night. And you never know what could happen. I've seen Spider-Man skateboarding down the street, bumped into artists from Berlin, people shouting at no one and all manner of music, both pouring out of bars or from some random person singing a cappella.
I was walking to my office in the early afternoon and approaching Queen Street West and Augusta Avenue. Almost at the intersection, a man passed me. Normal-looking guy, probably mid-30s, dressed somewhat 'preppy', as the kids might say. As he walked by me, he made eye contact but did not stop walking. He made a motion that usually symbolizes don't go in there. He lifted his hand, palm open and furiously moved it perpendicular across his neck.
8.10 Get Out
This all makes me uncomfortable. But you’re supposed to take risks, right? Get out of your comfort zone. Whatever. I’m talking about this new podcast I’m doing called Storytime with Paul Dore. I put my name in the title to intentionally make myself uncomfortable.
Let me explain.
8.8 True Detectives
So, let's just get this out of the way first. This entry is going to be all about how much of a grumpy old man I am becoming. I get it, I'm aware, let's just move on.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the movie Get Out. I don't have to go on and on about how great this movie was, there are many other outlets that have expressed this opinion and I agree with them all. Go read about the movie somewhere else. Maybe HERE.
No, what I'd like to discuss is going to the movie theatre. There was a point in my life when I went to see a movie in the theatre at least once a week. Often, I went by myself, which I had no problem doing. I was - and still am - a single person, we need to participate in cultural experiences any way we can. Get over it.
8.7 DJ Pauly D
Next week, I’m heading to Finland. I must say that I am excited, but not for the reasons you may expect. You see, I’ve become pretty obsessed with all the seemingly endless supply of European detective shows being dumped on Netflix. I’ve written about this already HERE, but this entry is focused on a pattern that has emerged after watching too many of these shows.
Consider this a handy list of the common factors in most of these programs. This probably won’t mean anything to anyone except me, but you might find it useful. Or, you could take these points, put them into a spreadsheet and a drinking game. Whenever one of these appears in a show, you gotta drink. If you are planning on doing this, please be responsible and don’t binge watch all at once. That won’t be good for anyone.
Yes, I’ve gone through shows like River, The Bridge, Luther and Marcella. Although some of the points below show up in those shows, I’m mainly referring to Broadchurch, Shetland, Hinterland, Happy Valley, The Break, Wallander and Trapped, among others.
8.6 The Couple
After living in my current residence for almost two years, I'd finally had it. When I moved in here, the place was left in a mess. Don't get me wrong, I love living here, but even after all this time, I still find dirt hidden away in cracks and crevices. It makes me wonder how some people live.
My place is two floors and has a wooden staircase upstairs. The corners of all the stairs have been chipped away and the centre of the steps are extremely worn. It's like someone took a file and tried to crudely sand away the step corners at irregular angles. There's a crack in the tub, like not enough that it leaks, but enough THAT IT IS CRACKED. I mean, how do you crack a tub? The sink also has a loonie-sized chip in it. You'd have to literally drop a rock in the sink to chip it like this. You don't even want to know what a plumber pulled out of the drain in the tub. I finally got the dryer professionally cleaned because the insides were so full of some type of unidentifiable fur objects or UFOs for short.
I can go on, but I'll stop there. You get the idea. For a long time, I had wondered about who this person was that lived here before me.
Except for the first two paragraphs, none of this actually happened. But perhaps maybe in another multiverse, it all happened exactly like this.
A few weeks ago, I was waiting in the check out line at the grocery store. Ahead of me was an old couple buying a lot of things. Too many things, really. She was definitely in charge, pointing and instructing him on how to bag their food. She paid while he bagged. It seemed to be working for them. They did take a little while to get through, but it was almost like this was some kind of dance that they had performed, in some capacity or another, their entire lives together.
Unpacking my groceries at home a short time later, I came across a bag of three fruits that were definitely not mine. I knew they were definitely not mine because I had no idea what they were. I didn't event know if they were fruits or vegetables. For identification purposes, I included a photograph here. As you can see, they resemble tomatoes, but are not. The only clue I had was a sticker that read 'kosher'. What I put together was this: during the confusion at the checkout line and dancing elderly couple, these fruits (or vegetables) must have gotten mixed up with my groceries. That poor old guy left behind these unidentifiable fruit object (or UFO for short) and in my fury of getting the line moving again, I unknowingly tossed them into one of my bags.