Category: Personal

2020, Personal, Society

Journal of the Plague Year: Blood on Their Hands

If you had asked someone in Autumn 2019 which country would be best equipped to handle a pandemic, they might have answered “The United States”. They have the most resources of any country in the world. Of course, given who is in power, they might have expressed doubt. But ask the question in Autumn 2015, …

2020, Personal, Society

Diary of the Pandemic Year: Nobody Follows the Rules

“Nobody is following the rules!” That is what literally everyone is saying. So many people are saying it that some of the people who are saying it must also not be following rules. As Jenn put it, each of us thinks we are following the rules better than everyone else. And we want everyone else …

2020, Personal, Society

Diary of the Pandemic Year: It’s Oh So Quiet

Time has lost all meaning. Weekdays feel like weekends and weekends feel like weekdays. The only thing that lets me figure it out is consciously thinking about it. I have a weekday work schedule, which helps too. But I still have to think to myself “This is a weekday” in order to start it. So …

2020, Personal, Society

A Journal of the Pandemic Year: Day 37

Continued from Day 36 I think one reason I don’t have much to say about our pandemic is because I have been putting my faith in the experts, to a much greater degree than I normally do. From the beginning, my girlfriend was paying far more attention than I was and was more informed. And …

2020, Personal, Society

A Journal of the Pandemic Year: Day 36

The WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11th. On March 12th my province extended the upcoming March Break for an additional week. On March 14th, my country recommended against international travel. On March 17th, my province declared a State of Emergency. (The day before, my girlfriend’s office instructed them to work from home.) On …

2020, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to North Carolina Day 4: Charlotte Monday March 2, 2020

We had a lazy morning this morning, because we didn’t really have any fixed plans this day. Eventually we packed, checked out, got the hotel to store our luggage and walked back to near the stadium.

2020, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to North Carolina Day 3: Asheville to Charlotte Sunday March 1, 2020

We had to get up early because the car was due back 48 hours from when we rented it, which meant we had to drive from Asheville to Charlotte before noon.

2020, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to North Carolina Day 2: Asheville Saturday February 29, 2020

We had big plans for this morning. Or rather, I should say, I had big plans. To go hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had looked up a bunch of “winter” hikes, which would be accessible at any time of the year. The night before our shuttle driver recommended heading up to Mount Mitchell …

2020, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to North Carolina Day 1: Charlotte to Asheville, February 28, 2020

We went to Asheville, North Carolina this weekend. A lot of people, both in Toronto and in North Carolina, have asked me why. My answer is usually “beer”.

2019, Personal

On Trying to Publish My Fourth Book

I published my first book in 2011. I worked for five years on it and made a lot of stupid decisions, particularly with regard to the publisher. But in the next couple years I pumped out two other books, on some kind of crazy roll. All three were basically self-published, though my first book was …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Returns From Vietnam Day 21: Friday October 11, 2019 The Longest Day

In my mind, I had it that our flight was in the early afternoon. But it was in the morning. So we had to wake up early in Hanoi for the first time since we got to this hotel. It was a good thing because a large, inevitably noisy, Chinese family had joined us on …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 20: Hanoi Thursday October 10, 2019

In addition to the buffet this morning I had some pho. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t the best. My general experience with the Vietnamese food at these buffets is that it isn’t as good as on the street, but I was still very glad it was an option.

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 19: Hanoi Wednesday October 9, 2019

For some reason I wrote that breakfast wasn’t as good today. I think it must have been the non-buffet part of it. This might have been the day I ordered French Toast, which wasn’t good. (Also, no maple syrup or peanut butter. Sad face emoji.)

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 18: Hanoi Tuesday October 8, 2019

The hotel we were staying at in Hanoi was very, very nice, though perhaps not quite as nice as its “sister” hotel that we stayed at before the Ha Long cruise. But the one weird thing about it was that our room had no windows. Technically there was a window, but it was to an …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 16: Ha Long Bay Sunday October 16, 2019

I think this is as good a time as ever to mention that the A/C in hotels in Vietnam is totally insane. Each room has its own, just like here, only the temperature on the A/C appears to have no relation to the temperature in the room. (This was particularly true in the first hotel …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 15: Ha Long Bay Saturday October 5, 2019

We woke up super early this morning but apparently not early enough. As we were getting ready we were told that our ride was there. But before that we had the breakfast buffet, which was smaller but the staff at this hotel were extremely attentive, more so than basically any hotel I’ve ever been to …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 12: Hue Wednesday October 2, 2019

Breakfast this morning was a cross between a buffet and a meal, as they prepared food for you but there was also a continental-style buffet. If I didn’t mention before, this was among the nicest hotels we stayed at, the only thing wrong with it being there was no pool. It certainly had the best …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 10: Hoi An Monday September 30, 2019

The night before was the first night I slept through the night. This past night I slept through the night again. With just one dose of the medication I already started to feel better, which could have something to do with the fact that I was taking three pills, two of which (at minimum) would …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 9: Hoi An Sunday September 29, 2019

If I didn’t mention it, our hotel in Cambodia was one of only two we stayed at which didn’t have a breakfast buffet, though I just ate up that congee. Well this hotel had a pretty large buffet and it was once again quite good. One of the things we appreciated about the hotel breakfast …

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 8: Riley Goes Back to Vietnam from Cambodia Saturday September 28, 2019

I might have slept even worse this night as I woke up at 2 or 3, I think, and never went back to sleep. Fortunately once again I was able to eat congee for breakfast, which seems like basically the best thing to eat when you don’t sleep and you have a cold.

2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Cambodia Day 2 (Vietnam Trip Day 7): Angkor Wat Friday September 27, 2019

I slept horribly. I think I was up at 2 or 3 but I didn’t check. My cold was in full force by this point and I think I even worried I had a fever at some point. I didn’t manage to get back to sleep and I felt better once Jenn woke up, but …