• Groundhog Day

    • And just like that, December and January happened.
    • I managed to swing nearly three straight weeks off in December, and it was glorious. Next to the much-needed rest and relaxation, my personal highlight was taking a deep dive into Indian cuisine. I picked up a copy of Meera Sodha’s East cookbook in mid-December, and have been trying out several recipes since then. This time of year I crave hearty rice-based dishes with bright root vegetables, many of which start with delicious curry leaves, green chilli peppers and mustard seeds crackling in hot oil.
    • Finn the cat, who is now in his twelfth year, has been ill since mid-November. His vet suspects a chronic liver and/or gall bladder problem, which seems to be manifesting mainly as overnight puking. He’s as cuddly and energetic as ever, though.
    • Relatedly, I think I’m going to have to rip out all of the carpet in this house.
    • January was a blur, but my concerted effort to move more after a very sedentary holiday season was pretty successful. I managed 10,000+ steps on most days, and have also started using a bike trainer + Zwift to work out at home. It feels good to move.
    • I’ve just completed a four week introductory improv class at the Improv Embassy. Our little gang of 10-12 regular attendees got noticeably better and more comfortable with each other as the weeks progressed, and it was nice to spend at least one evening a week somewhere other than my couch.
    • For the next six weeks I’m participating in Synapcity’s Civics Boot Camp program, which brings participants together to explore issues with a municipal lens and develop skills to affect positive change in the community. I’ve served on my community association executive for a few years now, and have lots of opinions about municipal issues, so this is all very much in my wheelhouse.
  • Winnipeg

    • I spent some time this week on a work trip to Winnipeg. I arrived just in time for a delicious lunch at Clementine in the Exchange District, followed by some aimless wandering in and around the Millennium Library.
    • I now have a perfect green woolly jacket for woolly jacket season (which, given how quickly the leaves are turning, will be over in a couple of weeks).
    • Inspired by some of the room photos posted on r/amateurroomporn, especially this one, I set out on a mission today to find some cat-safe greenery for my living room. Home Depot came through, and I’m now enjoying having a big Parlour Palm in my space. The cat is enjoying the taste and mouthfeel of the Parlour Palm.
    • Made a colossal batch of chickpea and butternut tagine yesterday, marking my full transformation into Mr. Autumn Man.
  • Geranium optimism

    • If my weekend naps and early bedtimes are any indication, I’m worn out. Most of this stress comes from the feeling that I’ve been working with my head down through the summer and into the fall, jumping from project to project, meeting to meeting, without finding the time to pop my head up and take in the big picture. In this job, I really need to be able to take in the big picture.
    • Fortunately, the back-to-school chaos has given way to well-worn routines, and the feeling that everyone around me has found their groove. There’s something comforting about October.
    • I’m trialling an Apple One subscription this month, and enjoying some of the Apple TV+ shows while I’ve got access. Strange Planet is a standout and just what I needed.
    • Back in the spring, I bought a couple of hanging planters with salmon pink geraniums. I really enjoyed how they bloomed throughout the summer, so I’m going to see if I can keep them alive through winter. My track record with plants is iffy, but I’m willing to give it a try.
    • Swellgarfo’s Connections Archive is a much-needed public service.