A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘non blog

[NON BLOG] Hello from me, 21 times

I would like to say hello. I have been gone from here a long time, I think, the longest break I have ever taken from blogging.

What have I been doing all this time? In the main, I have been trying to live my strange new life this 2020 as best as I can. This includes thinking seriously about what I want to do with this space, and its neighbours. 2020 is many things, but one thing that it can be is a vital space to look back and reflect. (At least it can be those as fortunate as I to be able to use it so; I acknowledge my privilege.) This is going to be a year of transition.

In the meantime, I would like to share with you twenty-one selfies, taken by me in the course of my day-to-day life, at work and at play, all but one within the borders of the city of Toronto. (Oh, borders are things we have come to know too well.)

Me, after work #toronto #manulifecentre #me #selfie #mirror #instagay

Morning commute in blue #toronto #me #selfie #26dupont #instagay

Early evening selfie in blue #toronto #manulifecentre #me #selfie #mirror #blue #instagay

Green #toronto #blooryonge #ttc #subway #me #selfie #green #instagay

Red+blue #toronto #trc #subway #christiestation #me #selfie #red #blue #instagay

Selfie in green, against green #toronto #torontoislands #me #selfie #centreisland #green #instagay

College Park selfie #toronto #collegepark #me #selfie #mirror #reflection


Randy, feeling connected to the Moon #toronto #yorkdalemall #oldnavy #moon #tshirt #black #white

"There is hope. There is always hope." #toronto #me #selfie #uniqlo #tshirt #evangelion #neongenesisevangelion #kaworunagisa #tabris #anime #apocalypse

Black and white, Hayden Street #toronto #yongeandbloor #haydenstreet #blackandwhite #black #mask #me #selfie #instagay

26 Dupont bus selfie #toronto #me #selfie #ttc #buses #26dupont

Bloor-Yonge selfie #toronto #blooryonge #me #selfie #rainbowvapor #plaid #facemask

Selfie in green #toronto #churchandwellesley #churchstreet #barbarahallpark #the519 #me #selfie #green

Disappointed masked face #toronto #me #selfie #churchandwellesley #churchstreet #facemask

Mirrored and green #toronto #blooryonge #subway #mirror #me #selfie #green





My last selfie is an unmasked one. Resolution aside, I quite like the photo that my Echo Show 5 took of me.


Written by Randy McDonald

December 16, 2020 at 11:50 pm

[PHOTO] No rules

At least I can wear sandals all the time.

No rules #toronto #dovercourtvillage #sandals #spring

Written by Randy McDonald

May 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Non Blog, Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , , , , , ,

[PHOTO] Me at 22 (#meat20)

Me, at 22 #pei #charlottetown #Provincetown #me #latergram

Low-resolution as it is, I think that this photo’s flaws does a great job, if inadvertently, of exposing who I was at that time (September 2002) and in the years before. (I took this photo from my archived personal website, here.

I had only come out to myself in February of that year. That only came out at the end of a long process of very careful development that I did not recognize at the time. Me at 20 was 60 pounds heavier than me as of this picture (30 pounds heavier than I am now). I was hiding, from myself, from others within my carapace of flesh, to an extent that I was literally not capable of understanding.

There are certainly things that I wish I had done better; hindsight exists. Still: That me at 20 did as good a job as he could of surviving, and deserves credit for that. Me at 40 would not have existed without his efforts. I’m grateful for how I survived me at 20; I’m grateful to have been able to become me at 40.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 20, 2020 at 8:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] On the current #covid19 crisis (#coronavirustoronto)

One of the many things that has been bothering me about the COVID-19 crisis is the way that the city of Toronto around me has been shutting down. Work and those strictures have gone, of course, but so have almost all of the other events of life. Stores are shut down; neighbourhoods are almost always barren of people; the sorts of events that I normally partake in have been sensibly cancelled. (Jane’s Walk and TCAF are among the events that have been closed down, and I may never get a chance to see the Diane Arbus show at the AGO or the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at the ROM. I live in hope for the second category, and look forward to next year for the first.)

The great machineries of life of Toronto, human and mechanical, are grinding down. When will they start up again? What will be the background against which this revival will happen? What loss and suffering will there be in the background of this? More importantly, from my particular perspective, what loss and suffering will there be among the people I know, here in Toronto and around the world? I have some fears for myself, but more fears for others both known and unknown. (I am not fond of living in a situation where fatalities from a pandemic really can amount to low single-digit percentages of the global, and local, population.)

I cannot help but feel a sort of anticipatory grief at seeing my dear cosmopolis of Toronto shutting down. It is a cause of grief in itself, and it is a symbol of worse yet to come. I can also extrapolate easily enough from the specific case of Toronto to all the other great machines out there in the world, places I’ve lived in and places I’ve only visited and places I have yet to visit and the many many places I will never see. The pictures I saw earlier this week from Venice, that great first prototype of the cosmopolis, felt so wrong. One March, you have a living city; one March, you have a city clamped down on account of mass death. There are things Toronto can pick up from Venice, but I would prefer this not be one. But this isn’t really under anyone’s control, is it?

I am–I believe–keeping things in perspective. There will still be a world after this crisis is done, whenever it is done, one that will be recognizable. I just find it distressing that a proper perspective is not all that comforting. How, exactly, will things be skewed? This uncertainty is something that I do not like. Ending my 12-month Metropass, on account of the certainty that I will not be travelling much at all in April, at least, feels significant. How much more will my lived world shrink?

These past few days, I have been thinking of the classic song “Sous le ciel de Paris”, a hymn of love to that metropolis written and performed just a few years after Paris risked destruction in the Second World War. Has a similar song been written for Toronto?

Written by Randy McDonald

March 22, 2020 at 1:25 pm

[PHOTO] No rules (?) (#coronavirustoronto)

No rules #toronto #cereal #eggo #eggocereal #maplesyrup

I joked yesterday, eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Eggo cereal with Maple Syrup, that there were no rules now.

There are, of course. It is just a matter of figuring out what, exactly, these rules are.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 20, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , , , , ,

[CAT] On Shakespeare

Shakespeare passed, peacefully and quickly, at 7:20 pm at the Bloorcourt Veterinary Clinic.

I was the better for him, and I think he was the better for me. I began to miss him the moment he passed, and the world around me somehow no longer seems to fit the way it should.

Still: Shakespeare had a good death, at the end of a good day spent mostly at home in comfort with people who loved and cared for him, and he had a better life. I would like to think I was good for him, and I know he was good for me; our voyage together from September 2008 on is one I would repeat.

(One major exception to this: I would make sure this time to expose him to Caitians, including M’Ress, at an earlier date. Positive role models matter.)

I grieve him, but I celebrate his life.

I am very deeply moved by the way that you have responded, celebrating with me his life in the past and supporting me and him in this hard time. The staff at the Clinic helped make this terrible thing bearable. I would also like to thank particularly Jim for supporting me at the Clinic, and Paul for managing today’s costs, across the Atlantic even. There are so many others who helped, in private chat and comments, that I fear the SHIFT-2 combination on my laptop keyboard would give out. I am grateful to you all.

I will be thinking of a way to appropriately commemorate his life. More info will come later.

Even after this sad day, I consider myself lucky. Thank you all.


I was lucky.

Shakespeare as a kitten

Written by Randy McDonald

February 27, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , , , ,

[PHOTO] Blurred but aligned

I’m waiting for things to come into resolution.

Blurred but aligned #toronto #ttc #yellow #warning

Written by Randy McDonald

November 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , , ,

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • At anthro{dendum}, Amarilys Estrella writes about the aftermath of a car accident she experienced while doing fieldwork.
  • Architectuul notes at a tour of Berlin looking at highlights from an innovative year for architecture in West Berlin back in 1987.
  • Bad Astronomer notes that interstellar comet 2/Borisov is behaving surprisingly normally.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes briefly about the difficulty, and the importance, of being authentic.
  • Centauri Dreams shares some of the recent findings of Voyager 2 from the edge of interstellar space.
  • Crooked Timber shares a photo of a courtyard in Montpellier.
  • D-Brief notes a study of the genetics of ancient Rome revealing that the city once was quite cosmopolitan, but that this cosmopolitanism passed, too.
  • Dangerous Minds notes a 1972 single where Marvin Gaye played the Moog.
  • Cody Delistraty looks at Degas and the opera.
  • Bruce Dorminey makes a case, scientific and otherwise, against sending animals into space.
  • Far Outliers looks at a 1801 clash between the American navy and Tripoli pirates.
  • Gizmodo notes a theory that ancient primates learned to walk upright in trees.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the Cayman Islands overturned a court ruling calling for marriage equality.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the experience of women under Reconstruction.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional multilingualism of the Qing empire.
  • Language Log looks at circumstances where the Roman alphabet is used in contemporary China.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the forced resignation of Evo Morales in Bolivia, and calls for readers to take care with their readings on the crisis and the country.
  • Marginal Revolution considers a new sociological theory suggesting that the medieval Christian church enacted policy which made the nuclear family, not the extended family, the main structure in Europe and its offshoots.
  • Sean Marshall takes a look at GO Transit fare structures, noting how users of the Kitchener line may pay more than their share.
  • Neuroskeptic takes a look at the contradictions between self-reported brain activity and what brain scanners record.
  • Alex Hutchinson writes at the NYR Daily about human beings and their relationship with wilderness.
  • Jim Belshaw at Personal Reflections considers the impact of drought in Australia’s New England, and about the need for balances.
  • The Planetary Society Blog offers advice for people interested in seeing today’s transit of Mercury across the Sun.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests Argentines may not have cared about their national elections as much as polls suggested.
  • Peter Rukavina shares an image of an ancient Charlottetown traffic light, at Prince and King.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the significant convergence, and remaining differences, between East and West Germany.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at some of the backstory to the Big Bang.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy suggests the Paris Accords were never a good way to deal with climate change.
  • Window on Eurasia shares someone arguing the policies of Putin are simple unoriginal Bonapartism.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Economy makes the case that slow economic recoveries are deep economic recoveries.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at how the failure of the media to serve as effective critics of politics has helped lead, in the UK of Brexit, to substantial political change.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers the idea, first expressed in comics, of Russian sardines.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a study suggesting the Milky Way Galaxy took many of its current satellite galaxies from another, smaller one.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks of the importance of having dreams.
  • Centauri Dreams shares a study explaining how the debris polluting the atmospheres of white dwarfs reveals much about exoplanet chemistry.
  • D-Brief notes that the intense radiation of Jupiter would not destroy potential traces of subsurface life on the surface of Europa.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at the strange musical career of Vader Abraham, fan of the Smurfs and of the Weepuls.
  • Aneesa Bodiat at JSTOR Daily writes about how the early Muslim woman of Haajar inspires her as a Muslim.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how an influx of American guns destabilizes Mexico.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the American abandonment of the Kurds of Syria.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how many mass protests are driven by consumer complaints.
  • The NYR Daily has an interview with EU chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, on the future of sovereignty.
  • Strange Company looks at the Dead Pig War between the US and the UK on San Juan Island in 1859.
  • Towleroad features the defense of Frank Ocean of his PrEP+ club night and the release of his new music.
  • Understanding Society looks at the sociology of norms.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia and Ukraine each have an interest in the Donbass being a frozen conflict.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the weird masculinity of the pink jock.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Architectuul reports on the critical walking tours of Istanbul offered by Nazlı Tümerdem.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest post from Alex Tolley considering the biotic potential of the subsurface ocean of Enceladus.
  • The Crux reports on how paleontologist Susie Maidment tries to precisely date dinosaur sediments.
  • D-Brief notes the success of a recent project aiming to map the far side of the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Cody Delistraty considers the relationship between the One Percent and magicians.
  • Todd Schoepflin writes at the Everyday Sociology Blog about different sociological facts in time for the new school year.
  • Gizmodo shares a lovely extended cartoon imagining what life on Europa, and other worlds with subsurface worlds, might look like.
  • io9 features an interview with Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders on the intersection between science fiction writing and science writing.
  • JSTOR Daily briefly considers the pros and cons of seabed mining.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that a stagnant economy could be seen as a sign of success, as the result of the exploitation of all potential for growth.
  • The NYR Daily reports on the photographs of John Edmonds, a photographer specializing in images of queer black men.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps shares a map of murders in Denmark, and an analysis of the facts behind this crime there.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on an anti-Putin shaman in Buryatia.
  • Arnold Zwicky reports on dreams of going back to school, NSFW and otherwise.