February just seemed to fly by in a whir of wintry weather, but we did manage to free up some time to share some individual firsts. Like in January, these are things that don’t qualify for our list, because one of us had done it before, but they were still well worth taking on!
For starters, I had my first real ski day! I went skiing for the very first time last year, for a half day, but this was my first (terrified) time hitting the slopes as a semi-skier, rather than a beginner. After many, many trips down the bunny hill, I graduated to the regular slopes and found out that I actually really like skiing! This was also my first time doing a kind of traditional family day – with A.’s family – because in previous years I’ve either worked or spent the day with friends, as my parents live halfway across the country in a province that still lacks the February holiday.
We also hit up the Danforth Bowl for the first time – my first five-pin bowling experience (spoiler alert: I’m a terrible bowler) and I also went to my first hot yoga class, which was a nice change for my often aching, endurance-loving muscles, and helped fend off some of that February chill.
We upped our mileage – with A. hitting new milestones each week, and celebrating the final training push with a post-run brunch at School Bakery, A.’s first time at the Liberty Village spot - and I got to share one of my favourite exercise classes with him. An early morning bootcamp saw us both flipping tires, hoisting sandbags and complaining of sore shoulders for days. It was awesome! And I took A. along for his first yoga class – a perfect, relaxing Sunday evening. In less healthy news – hey, we aren’t saints – I also got to share my favourite delivery pizza topping combo with him for the first time: jalapenos and pineapple. The sweet and spicy – it’s divine.
It was a good month for food, with us sampling goat cheese dusted with cocoa (amazing!) and learning to cook with wheat berries and rye flour, not to mention trying eggplant in pretty much every form we could think of. And I, without A., finally got to try the superb tacos at La Carnita, something I plan to repeat with him as soon as possible.
It was also a month where we started thinking about the big picture, and where we’d want to be this time next year – leading to some exploring of classes (both culinary and academic) and some big considerations. More news on that front soon.
I will be the first to admit I never thought I would take any advice – personal, professional or otherwise – from Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the rest of the Fast & Furious franchise crew. But, a recent New York Times story changed all that.
Turns out that not only do the movie and its stars have an impressive online following across multiple platforms, but the marketing team was smart enough to recognize it. To help fuel the buzz for Fast & Furious 6, they launched their trailer during the Super Bowl – with coordinated YouTube-directing tweets and Facebook posts from all of its stars. Not to mention an Instagram campaign and a real interest in what fans are saying online, even going so far as to let a poll decide the movie title. A worthy read if you like social media, fast cars or movie marketing.
The Globe has a great look at how OpenFile went from media darling to shuttered property:
Last January, J-Source, a project of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, named Mr. Dinnick its Canadian Newsperson of the Year. “Many said his idea was doomed to founder on the rocks of financing,” read his nomination. “Instead, it has spread to several cities, and while young, it promises a new way to think about news.”
And then last September, without warning, OpenFile shut its operations, evidently foundering on the rocks of financing.
Somewhere along the way, I became a runner. And not one of those fair-weather types, but rather, the kind of person who will wake up at 6 a.m. on a frigid January morning to log 10K in sub-zero temps. Some may call this crazy, but luckily, A. has learned to enjoy distance running, and even tolerate the early morning wake-ups. But, of course, an ordinary run – even a long one – is not in itself list-worthy. It’s a regular activity. But, we decided to ramp it up and challenge ourselves with a special route on a long run Friday.
The challenge? Run from our home, and our regular running territory, in the west to the east end, along the length of Queen St.
So, first we ran through High Park, down to the Queensway and the start of Queen St. W. Then we motored along through Parkdale, West Queen West, Queen West, Corktown, Leslieville, The Beach and everything in between, until we finally reached a dead end, way, way east.
From there, we ran on up through the Upper Beaches then back to Leslieville for a well-deserved brunch and warm-up at Lady Marmalade. It was a great morning – not just for the 25 kilometres logged, but also because Queen St. is such a great example of how Toronto really is a city of neighbourhoods. There’s nothing like hitting the sidewalk to make you feel like you know – and appreciate – a place.
This is a great read on an often-neglected platform:
To compete in this new world, news organizations must adopt a “mobile first” mindset and create sustainable mobile businesses. But many newsrooms believe that a “mobile, too” approach will be enough, as advocated by Business Insider’s Henry Blodget.