Last night, on my plane back from Toronto, the pilot's name was George Clinton. It kept me entertained, although I think I was the only one. Hey, I'm an easy audience.
So the radio silence over the past couple of days has two root causes:
1) My computer got hit by a massive virus, causing it to go into a shame spiral and render itself useless. Which meant it had to be replaced (and don't me started on how I have to reconfigure the damn settings).
2) The timing was pretty fortuitous as I had an overnight work trip to Toronto planned. So, off I went. Just in time to leave DC when it was in the 60s.
It was a surreal visit, as I was flown up to Toronto to speak at a meeting that was being beamed to people in DC. Why didn't I just stay at home and speak live? The world may never know. I'm never one to turn down a free trip, though.
I'd never been to Toronto before. It's a very cool city - literally and figuratively. The area around my hotel had a ton of cool lil boutiques and le sex shoppes. Plus all sorts of different kinds of foods. Loved all the (art deco?) architecture, too. And Canadians really ARE nicer than the average bear.
What I couldn't wrap my head around was the cold. No, check that: I couldn't wrap my head around the way the locals were handling it. The first night I got there, an arctic wind was blowing off the lake and it was drizzling slightly. I went out in search of food. I passed a donut shop that had an outdoor patio. Keep in mind it's damp and dark and icy out. There were not one but two groups of people shooting the shit at the outdoor tables. I thought maybe they were homeless or had dogs or something. Nope.
And then yesterday, when it was in the teens but had a windchill far below that, I was of course all bundled up. I noticed that no one else was wearing a hat, and in fact many people didn't even have their jackets buttoned up. What the fuck?
Btw: I don't subscribe to the theory that cold weather builds character. Yeah, that's something you cold climate people tell yourself. Me, I'd rather be shallow and warm.
All in all, I'd like to go back when I have more time. I wish, however, that there could be some way of doing that without visiting the airport. Everyone kept telling me how atrociously arranged Toronto's airport was and to give myself plenty of time to get through all its security hoops. Everyone always says that about their airport - it's like how everyone always brags about how their city's drivers are the worst - so I didn't take those warnings seriously. I should have. Oh dear god. What a clusterfuck of an airport. SEATAC, I humbly apologize. You are not indeed the worst airport in the world.
And I don't know if saying this will ensure me a beat-down from the Royal Mounties, but Molson beer? Not the life-altering experience I'd expected, based on the way my Canadian friends have rhapsodized about it. I didn't go to Tim Horton's for that exact reason: I figured I didn't want to burst too many fantasies in one trip.