Yesterday we went with our real estate agent and Floor Man Rudy to the new apartment, to measure and choose floors, to figure out the depth and width of an all-important wall nook, and to generally look at all the things we were too excited to see back when we decided we wanted the joint.
Then we cleaned and cooked and prepped the old house for a very small gathering in honor of my upcoming birthday. In addition to the usual godlike carrot cake, Kelly had made sea salt and caramel-covered pecans.
People came, food was devoured, wine was drunk, fun was had.
Today the two of us got a day pass from the TTC–they’re an exceptionally good deal on weekends, as we can both ride on one–and schlepped out to Riverdale Park to admire the domesticated animals and enjoy the sunshine. When we left the house we found happy hockey fans circulating on King Street, celebrating the men’s gold medal, which would be just about the first we’d really heard of it. There were plenty of police around, but everything was peaceful enough.
We had pho for lunch and swung back home via Kensington Market, where we fortified ourselves with espresso. (Shocker, I know! But K needed fortificaton, because she’d fallen on the ice.) Finally, on our way home, we poked our noses into several of the places where we bought furniture last spring, after we moved here. Because, you know, wall nook.
It was strange to be in Rusteak again, and to not be in a state of OMG, I just threw out all my stuff and lurched across the country on a six-week timeline! It was also fun. Whatever we put in the nook, it will almost certainly come from there and almost certainly be gorgeous.
Kelly and I have officially locked into a deal to buy a new home!
When we came here last year, the idea was to rent a place for awhile and scope out Toronto’s many delightful neighborhoods. And some scoping did occur, though I admit we were far from meticulous. Being in the heart of downtown really works for us: Kelly’s commute from the current Chez Dua is 25 minutes, on foot, and we’re within easy walking distance from everything from Lake Ontario and the CN Tower to the subway, the yoga place, and the AGO.
The new digs are even closer to everything but the lake. We’ll be around the corner from the gallery, five minutes from the subway, fifteen minutes from Kelly’s current office, and just a hair nearer to all the things of downtown. We’re about to be nearer the Chinatown produce stores and the Kensington market.
As many of you know, there is a riff whereby Canadians located elsewhere have it that Torontonians view their home patch as the center of the universe. Since we’ll be even more smack in the middle of Toronto, we have decided the official title of the new Chez Dua will be: The Center of the Center of the Universe. DuaCentral, for short.
Also… it’s a nice little place. Very cute, very us, very nicely laid out.
Needless to say, we are insanely excited.
Moving will commence in the spring, sometime between mid-April and May.
I want to get back into a more regular habit of updating you all about things going on in my life, but Life has been thwarty. Much of what I might write here, if I could, would be storytelling about other people: “I did X with person Y, and they did this unusual thing, and I felt this way about it!”
I cannot help but think the answer is to get back into taking pictures. This all but stopped when I got into the busiest part of my teaching quarter, but I will take it up again as I move into the last weeks of Novel 1.
In the meantime, a few things you may or may not know:
Self-care: I took an Intro to Self Massage from David Bruni at Downward Dog Yoga Studio, and it was pretty damned glorious.
Entertainment: Kelly and I saw Eddie Izzard live at Massey Hall with a bunch of friends. It was our third time seeing him, and he was hysterically funny.
House Plants: Though we have in the past eschewed all holiday decorating, I bought a small Norfolk pine and hung some brass-colored holiday balls on it. It came with a red bird on a stick; I don’t know why. I then posted the photo on Instagram, as is my wont:
We also bought a string of LED lights for our deck.
I characterized this burst of seasonal activity to a friend, thusly: “For us, this is like normal people stepping up from the usual holiday decorating and going Full-on Martha.”
Anyway. A week or so after the sad little Chuckie Brown tree photo went out to the Intertubes, one of my favorite students sent our little red bird a mate. (The gold blob is the new bird.) You know who you are, and we thank you!
I spent this past weekend at SF Contario, a small and very writing-centered convention (as opposed to game-y or costume-y) at a hotel just on the edge of the Ryerson Campus. There was much hanging out with writers, and shop talk, and delightful analysis of the fiction we all love. And, of course, the conversation wandered into other kinds of stories: TV shows and films ranging from Battlestar Galactica to Veronica Mars to the little-known Eastwick with Paul Gross.
I also learned that GoH Seanan McGuire‘s favorite book is Stephen King’s IT, and we got to talk about why, and chew through some of the issues I raised with the book in my recent(ish) reread of the novel, “Grownups are the Enemy” for Tor.com.
Kelly and I also headed into Cabbagetown for what was really the first time, in search of an Italian restaurant we’d heard was the real deal. And Oh Emm Gee. If you’re ever in town and want to go to F’Amelia, I am so there. Two words: beet risotto. K, I think, got pictures. I was far too busy stuffing my face.
My day counting app also informs me that it has been 696 days since Kelly and I left for Italy. Man, I want to go back! It has even been just shy of a year (321 days, to be precise) since our last real vacation, a family gathering in Reno.
It feels like a year since Christmas. It’s a bit cold today, and the forecast gives us a 1 in 3 chance of snow. But apparently Toronto is like Vancouver in that the closer you are to downtown and the water, the less likely it is to give forth with what K calls the space lice. Even so, Glenn Gould is setting his cap against the wind:
A recent post by Snuffy about strategies for battling the blues (my phrase, not hers, and an oversimplification at that) heightened my awareness that there has been a lot of dull monastic virtue going on in the Dua household of late. We’re eating right and flossing and going to yoga. Early to bed, early to rise. With lots of work in between. I’ve gotten the copy-edits finished. I sent a story off yesterday. I’m about to embark on fifteen critiques for the current Novel I class.
This is the sort of lifestyle that leads to shit getting done but also sometimes, a general feelings of being unfabulous.
But tonight we’re going to partake, for good or ill, of Thor: The Dark World. Tomorrow there’s a Met in HD opera, Wednesday there’s the monthly ChiSeries reading, and next week we’re seeing Eddie Izzard.