We had a great last day here in Toronto, which continues after the break, but now the day has become sadder for me and happier for Nefarious’s mom, as she leaves on a six week vacation to Los Angeles… Yesterday we prepared a dozen envelopes — two a week — decorating them with stamps and heart stickers, which I’ll use to send her stories and letters while she’s away.
You never know if you’re going to get hit by a bus or be thrown into a communist gulag (I am off to Cuba in a couple days), so it was important to me that we have fun. Nefarious’s friend Cassie took the day off school so they could have a last playdate. We started at the top section of High Park and ate some fries, a very hungry squirrel stealing all that were dropped.
vultures gulls go crazy around anyone that’s eating. I know you’re not supposed to encourage them because it just attracts more of them and the problem snowballs, but it’s so much fun to watch them freak out… When I couldn’t eat any more I put my tray down and a swarm descended and they frantically devoured the remnants. To environmentally make up for my bird feeding sins, I spent ten minutes picking up garbage — it’s really disgusting how many people think it’s OK to throw bits of plastic wrappers and so on onto the ground, especially given that there’s both a garbage and a recycling bin every fifty feet.
Later on we headed down to the lake to play on the climbing structures, and discovered an enormous flock of geese on the beach, as well as lots of swans. We also watched a half dozen loons diving and then drying their wings on the breakwater. Cassie is of a First Nations background, and I know lots of First Nations stories, so I told them all the old myths I could remember while we walked — origin stories are some of my favorite tales.
Perhaps it’s not particulary smart as a game, but the swans were so relaxed that we thought we’d see just how close we could get before they’d waddle off. Here’s Nefarious testing that theory, or maybe playing a game titled, “PLEASE BITE ME!”
Swans are actually kind of gross when they’re sleeping on the beach. On one hand it’s cute seeing these big beautiful white birds all curled up with their heads tucked under their wings, but then a moment later you notice the enormous (and growing) greenish-brown wet mountain of feces behind their tails. Goose turd is bad enough, but at least it’s fairly solid, and not particularly huge. Swans are significantly more disgusting when it comes to that aspect of their lives. They do however go through a cute ritual of wing extension — their morning stretch — when they are woken up.
And then we stopped by Nefarious’s old school so she could show her friend, and say hi to her teachers before leaving on vacation. Then, a brief stop for slushies, and we headed home to get ready to leave… I sure will miss her!
…and then my internet cut out. Which wouldn’t be too big a deal, but the tech support guy told me there were no outages and that I should go swap my modem. So I headed out and did that, having to wait a while because there was some iPhone release today causing long lines and slow databases. And then when I get home, still offline. When I call back, the guy was like “oh, don’t worry about it, there’s an outage in your area.”
“Just wait an hour and it’ll be back online,” he tells me, and asks, “is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Yeah,” I say. “I need you to look up who took my previous call, walk over to his cubicle, and punch him in the throat.”