Archives

A new editor-in-chief, elation, and representation Nov 16
The decision to replace Graydon Carter with Radhika Jones at Vanity Fair is a momentous for many reasons, but minority representation in arts leadership is the reason that stands out most to me.

Two incredible years. Nov 08
Two years ago, I woke up in a hotel room overlooking the Aga Khan Park, walked immediately to the window, soaked in the sun, and smiled.

Learning about building better teams. Nov 03
I’ve been thinking a lot about building diverse and inclusive teams. I don’t have all the answers, but I am convinced that we all can be doing better than we are right now, no matter how far ahead we may think we may be.

Les djinns. Oct 31
Today, on Halloween, I can’t help but share this gorgeous poem by Victor Hugo.

Going for a jog. Oct 19
What motivates people to put on special shoes early in the morning on a cold day just to run in a circle and come home again?

I have forgotten how to write. Oct 16
Many of you have most likely noticed a decline in frequency, and quality, of my posts on this website and have been too kind to tell me. Thank you—trust me, I’ve noticed.

Changing times. Oct 13
Starting the work day at 5:30am may be unpleasant, but having afternoons free for exploration is delightful.

Mental illness and its intersections. Oct 06
Here’s what I know: my experience with mental illness is a privileged one.

Back on my medication. Sep 26
After almost a decade without them, I have recently gone back on my medications to treat depression.

Taking back control over my content. Sep 24
One of the first times I had lunch with James Shelley, he encouraged me to take back control over my web content.

Wouldn’t it be nice. Sep 22
There’s a certain charm in coming to something late, to discovering something wonderful decades after everyone has already relished in its marvel.

A lesson in pursuing your passions. Sep 14
In which Suresh Doss reminds me that the pursuit of passion is not something to be taken lightly.

These days, I don’t understand. Sep 13
As I’ve grown older, the world seems a lot more perplexing to me. Things that seem so evident, so obvious to me are often seen in the completely opposite way by others.

Depression is real, and Andrew Tate needs to shut up. Sep 08
No matter what Andrew Tate may say, depression is a medical circumstance that can’t just be willed away—just like cancer can’t be wished away.

Timing. Sep 07
I’m in the process of drafting some essays to share here, but in the meantime, here are some things I’ve been reading recently.

The other side of the wall. Sep 03
Reading James Baldwin’s “I Am Not Your Negro” was sobering and powerful. It will, without hyperbole, change the way you look at the world.

When I love I give them wings. Aug 31
There were times, while reading Milk and Honey, when I was tempted to tear out pages, snippets, and paste them on the wall next to me.

Names. Aug 30
For this quarter’s edition of The Mixtape Concern, I think about names, and how hearing your name in the voice of someone you love is like sweet music.

Looking to learn about employee experience. Aug 24
I’m looking to learn as much as I can about how to support people in large organizations, and need your help.

Moving a mountain. Aug 22
You don’t work in government because of the speed of the impact you will have. You do it because of the scale of the impact you can have.

Alone among the crowd. Aug 19
There are times to be alone, and then there are times to be together. Often, those times collide at just right moment.

Meanwhile, in Canada… Aug 12
Rubbing our differences in the faces of those struggling with threats to their lives does not help them, and nor does it help us.

I like the photos of your lunch. Aug 11
People find joy in so many different ways, and that joy, in whatever way it is found, should be celebrated.

Men are trash. Aug 10
Men are trash, and we need to listen to women when they flame us with the truth about ourselves.

A few changes. Aug 03
Planning a few changes around here, so I won’t be updating much in August. In the meantime, here’s a quick list of things that have caught my eye over the past few weeks.

Fifty books. Jul 31
Last year, I read forty books. This year, I finished fifty before the end of July.

São Bento Jun 26
A reflection on São Bento station in Portugal, and on art in public transit.

Everyone fumbles. Jun 07
That’s the kind of human I want to be: complicated, messy, open to change, willing to learn, ready to do better.

Cardigans. Jun 07
I am not afraid to admit that, even until this day, some of my sense of style has been stolen from Mr. Rogers.

Beeping. May 28
The part of a hospital that is easiest to forget once you’ve left is all the beeping.

Containers. May 14
The best podcast series released in 2017 so far is perhaps not what you would think it is.

Dance. Dance? Dance! May 13
For this quarter’s edition of The Mixtape Concern, I look at how dancing has played an integral role in my life.

Ode and Burgeonings. May 07
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading a collection of Pablo Neruda’s poems.

Who am I? May 04
Who am I? What space do I occupy in the world where I live? What does it mean for my identity to be defined—by others—in a certain way, and how does that change my own perception of myself?

Upside down. May 01
We need more reminders that things are not always what they seem if we just look at them in a slightly different way, in our lives.

Kedgeree. Apr 28
I’ve realized recently that a lot of the food I cook is similar: simple, tasty, not particularly visually-arresting. And that’s okay.

Ranked ballots and electoral reform. Apr 23
Electoral reform, though contentious, is a clear path towards better, more diverse representation.

Cleo + Prince. Apr 22
Prince died one year ago. On the same day, Cleo, our adorable kitten, was born.

Ball season. Apr 20
Baseball may be visibly mixed, but it is less-than-cosmopolitan.

Food and survival. Apr 07
A collection of links and ruminations about food and eating and culture.

Ketchup. Mar 30
Some reading about self-narrative, forced narrative, and an (over-a-decade-old) article about ketchup.

Ownership. Mar 26
If music is so closely tied to ownership and possession, then what does it mean to those who can’t afford the ownership?

Noticing. Mar 26
Paying attention is the only thing that guarantees insight. It is the only real weapon we have against power, too. You can’t fight things you can’t actually see.

Libraries are magical. Mar 26
“Just go to the goddamn library, you fool.”

Kaepernick. Mar 26
My problems with NCAA football are well-known and fairly obvious; my disdain for the NFL has been slower to percolate.

What does “our customers” really mean? Mar 19
If advocating for “our customers” is the reason you use to justify the elimination of bike lanes and transit, you are classist and racist, no matter how much you protest.

Johnny B. Goode Mar 19
Some thoughts about the passing of Chuck Berry.

So often the body becomes a distraction Mar 14
A poem by Kaveh Akbar, beautiful and resonant and worth sharing.

Weekend processing. Mar 10
I’ve learned an important truth about myself over the past few years: I need time to process.

Ask her. Mar 07
The governance of our cities, provinces, and countries needs to reflect the people who make up our communities, and not just the few who currently dominate political discourse.

Contradiction. Mar 06
My Canada has always been a place where the idea of white Anglophone superiority is driven home with consistent ferocity.

Timeline. Mar 05
I turned 35 years old a week ago.

Affleck. Feb 28
Separating "art from artist" would be a noble sentiment, if we regularly applied it to anyone other than white men.

Elements. Feb 26
For this quarter’s edition of The Mixtape Concern, I remember a very important gift I got from my fifth grade teacher.

Vacation reading. Feb 20
We returned from our vacation to Barbados late last night, and have spent the day unpacking, doing laundry, and getting settled back into our regular routine.

Day Nine: Homeward Feb 19
Moments captured from the final day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Eight: Turtles Feb 18
Moments captured from the eighth day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Seven: Fish Fry Feb 17
Moments captured from the seventh day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Six: Gardens Feb 16
Moments captured from the sixth day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Five: Signature Tasting Feb 15
Moments captured from the fifth day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Four: Valentine Feb 14
Moments captured from the fourth day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Three: Fish Cakes Feb 13
Moments captured from the third day of our trip to Barbados.

Day Two: Sundowners Feb 12
Moments captured from the second day of our trip to Barbados.

Day One: In Flight Feb 11
Moments captured from the first day of our trip to Barbados.

What would it take? Feb 08
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Marianne Schnall’s What Will It Take to Make A Woman President.

The world is too heavy. Feb 05
Today, the personal is political; identity politics is politics.

No need to be ashamed of tears. Feb 02
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

Not here. Not now. Not anywhere. Not ever. Jan 28
Not a single day goes by when I am not thankful for the opportunity to have come here, to make Canada my home, and to have the freedom to be myself and become the man I want to be.

Should we? Jan 27
I’ve been grappling with issues of what it means to be a Canadian, to be an activist, and to be a global citizen in these times.

Let’s talk. Jan 25
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking.

Last day. Jan 19
The world changes tomorrow. We might not feel the change immediately, but everything will be different.

Discomfort. Jan 07
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Paul Beatty’s The Sellout.

Aches and pains. Jan 06
A revelation: I am no longer young and agile like I was in my youth. I don't heal as quickly as I once did, and pain lingers, longer.

War, in all its glory. Jan 03
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Homer’s The Iliad.

The opposite of small. Dec 27
I assumed that moving to a new town, looking for a new job, finding a new home would be exercises in smallness. I was wrong.

Airplane reading. Dec 19
This morning, the movers came by and took all of our stuff from the old house and moved the unending stream of boxes into the new house.

A year in reading. Dec 06
This year has been a year marked by reading about the other, about experiences of those who are consciously excluded, who are made to feel different for no other reason than because they don't fit a narrow mould of how some people feel the world should look.

Catching up. Dec 02
I took a break from the internet (mostly) over the past few weeks, and now I have returned with a overwhelmingly-large reading list that I plan to enjoy over the Christmas holidays.

Sorry, not sorry. Nov 21
For this quarter’s edition of The Mixtape Concern, I remind people that I’m not sorry for being an immigrant.

Love thy neighbor. Nov 15
A sign on a church in Boston reminded me that there is still some good in the world.

Anniversary. Nov 08
One year ago today, I married the woman I love most in the world, the woman who inspires me, who brings me so much joy, who makes me want to be a better person.

On vacation. Nov 04
L and I have just returned from a mini-vacation, a trip to New Orleans during which we worked and played at the same time.

New Orleans. Nov 03
A list of places to eat, places to drink, and things to do when you’re in New Orleans.

Reasons to wander. Oct 21
We bought a house, just a few days ago. We don't move in for another couple of months, but the paperwork has been signed and the furniture shopping has already begun.

Devoured Oct 18
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Sophie Egan’s Devoured.

Mo’ Meta Blues Oct 17
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Questlovle’s Mo’ Meta Blues.

Throisma. Oct 14
During the autumn, I leave my earbuds in my backpack, and instead listen to the rustling of the leaves as the sun slowly appears through the tree branches.

Irreparable damage. Oct 07
I worry, sometimes, that the election is already lost. The votes in November may go one way or another, but the fomentation of hatred has begun, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Meditations. Sep 29
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

Diversions: Building Cities Sep 23
The driveway beside our house fits two cars. This is a marked difference from our home in Toronto, where we not only didn't have a garage or driveway, but didn't have any street access at all.

On the backs of the oppressed. Sep 21
At its core, the problem with efforts at inclusion in this city is that that they are always positioned us vs. them, even when the vs. is friendly.

The Apprentice Sep 18
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Jacques Pepin’s The Apprentice.

The Lonely City Sep 17
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Sep 16
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

On Criticism Sep 09
My destiny was not to be a critic, but instead to be a fan of criticism, to be swept up in the lyricism of an excellently-written review, the beauty of the dining experience captured in a few hundred words.

The Vegetarian Sep 08
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.

Skyward. Sep 07
Even when I’m supposed to be looking down, I can’t help but stare up at the sky.

Fates and Furies Sep 02
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies.

Passing observations from a morning at Costco. Aug 31
I spent a late-August morning in Costco and saw something beautiful.

The Goldfinch Aug 30
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

Friday Diversions: End of August Aug 26
Perhaps we all need to learn to fall in love with sleep, again.

Algorithms To Live By Aug 24
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths’ Algorithms To Live By.

Friday Diversions: Mid-August Aug 12
I love the place where we live because I live here with those I love.

Years. Aug 11
For this quarter’s edition of The Mixtape Concern, I go back in history and remember what I was like, years ago.

Infoshop. Aug 07
Occasionally, when the workload was light and I needed to escape the office, I would leave my desk at the main World Bank building and head across the street.

Goals. Aug 01
I've always found it hard to explain to people that instead of having a goal, I have an ethos: I want to do good work with good people, and make someone smile every day.

Friday Diversions: End of July Jul 29
It has always been hard for me to sit still when there is music playing, especially music with a danceable beat.

Digital. Jul 24
I believe that a connected world provides new opportunities to help others, to tackle big issues and solve big problems. What we once had to do in isolation, we can now do together.

Brown Jul 15
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Kamal Al-Solaylee’s Brown.

Friday Diversions: Mid-July Jul 15
The week has been heavy. The air has been dense, humid, unmoving, making it hard to breathe.

The Antidote Jul 05
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Oliver Burkeman’s The Antidote.

Friday Diversions: Canada Day Jul 01
Sometimes, a national holiday provides just the kind of perspective you need after a long, rough week.

Postal service. Jun 29
The Government of Canada is conducting an independent review of Canada Post to ensure Canadians receive quality postal services at a reasonable price. Naturally, I had things to say.

Friday Diversions: June 24 Jun 24
There's a certain realization that you get pretty quickly when you spend any time hunting for residential real estate in this city: everything is very, very spread apart.

The Speechwriter Jun 22
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Barton Swaim’s The Speechwriter.

Chuvalo. Jun 16
I have thrown punches (albeit small, tiny punches) with boxing legend George Chuvalo.

Friday Diversions: June 10 Jun 10
The day after Muhammad Ali died, I spent the morning watching clips of his bouts and his interviews with my dad.

The End of the Alphabet Jun 08
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading C.S. Richardson’s The End of the Alphabet.

Friday Diversions: June 3 Jun 03
Random, unrelated miscellany, gathered in short list form.

Transition. May 31
This has been the longest period of unemployment I've had in my adult life—even when I was in university, I was mostly engaged in part-time, if not full-time, work—and while the time has been restorative and rejuvenating, the anxiety associated with not having a job is starting to get worse.

Friday Diversions: May, Part Three May 27
Some random, unrelated miscellany, gathered in short list form.

Picnic. May 27
The best meal we had in France during our weekend trip there a couple of years ago wasn't at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Thinking about highways. May 24
While debates around rapid transit infrastructure talk about ridership and cost and disruption, they rarely address the real culprit: it's too cheap and easy to drive.

Sunday Diversions: May, Part Two May 22
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

Jacket Everyday May 16
As part of his Jacket Everyday project, Steve St. Pierre asked people to come up with a title and short description for their (real or imaginary) memoir.

Sunday Diversions: May, Part One May 15
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

Aspirational urbanism. May 04
It’s normal, I think, to think about the future when you’re in a period of transition: when you’re caught in the in-between, you try and figure out the present by dreaming about the future.

Hamilton: The Revolution Apr 27
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter’s Hamilton: The Revolution.

Let’s go crazy. Apr 25
Still coping, still healing, still trying to process it all.

Sunday Diversions: April, Part Two Apr 24
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

We could all die any day. I’d rather dance my life away. Apr 22
This has been a difficult 26 hours. I have alternated between crying on the couch, staring catatonically at the wall, and pretending that it didn't happen.

Mortality Apr 19
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality.

Sunday Diversions: April, Part One Apr 10
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

On steeping bags of tea, twice. Apr 07
Every morning, my grandmother takes a bag of orange pekoe out of the big blue box, steeps it in her mug full of boiling water, and then removes it and places it on a plate which she keeps on the counter until her early lunch hour.

Killing and Dying Apr 04
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Adrian Tomine’s Killing and Dying.

Last Days. Mar 31
This, in essence, is life: looking back with delight while always making sure to look forward with eager anticipation.

Americanah Mar 30
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.

What happens when you can’t wear sweaters anymore? Mar 21
I’ve gained a lot of weight over the past year. Needless to say, all the clothes I purchased when I was much smaller do not fit, and have not fit for quite some time.

Sunday Diversions: March, Part Two Mar 20
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

The Story of My Tits Mar 17
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Jennifer Hayden’s The Story of My Tits.

Modern Romance Mar 11
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance.

Sunday Diversions: March, Part One Mar 06
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

Thirty-four. Feb 29
The morning of my thirty-fourth birthday, I woke up almost three hours before sunrise, took a shower, and hopped in the rental car to drive from London to Toronto.

Sunday Diversions: February, Part Two Feb 21
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

Remember how the internet used to be good? Feb 17
I remember dialing into the internet using my CompuServe account and using IRC to talk to people on university campuses, more than twenty-five years ago.

Between the World and Me Feb 10
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.

The Soundtrack of Your Life Feb 09
For my inaugural edition of The Mixtape Concern, I look back at songs that reflect the cities where I’ve lived.

Sunday Diversions: February, Part One Feb 07
It’s Sunday, so here are a few things that have crossed my mind, as well as links to some things that piqued my interest.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost Jan 31
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

Friendship theory. Jan 30
There’s a question I ask myself, at least once or twice a year, that makes me pause and reflect.

Diversions: Late January Jan 29
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

Small. Jan 14
In January of every year, I pick a word to guide me through the year ahead. This year, that word is “small.”

Diversions: Early January Jan 12
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

How To Be Happy Jan 09
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Eleanor Davis’ How To Be Happy.

Missoula Jan 03
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Jon Krakauer’s Missoula.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed Jan 02
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

Breathing. Dec 30
This has been my mantra throughout the year: pause, take a deep breath, and then move forward from there. It is seemingly simple, but remarkably hard to consciously do.

This is good. Dec 27
Things that have been on my mind as we approach the end of the year: I would like to live a slower life, and I laugh more than I should.

Playlist: 2015 Dec 27
The most amusing part of pop culture is that nobody seems to agree on anything.

Diversions: December Dec 21
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

A year in reading. Dec 14
I read twenty-five books this year—I fell one short of my goal for twenty-six—along with approximately 1,600 articles in magazines, periodicals, or web publications.

Nuptials. Nov 30
In the weeks leading up to our wedding, we received a lot of advice from friends, family, colleagues, and well-wishing strangers.

Diversions: November Nov 29
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

The End of Absence. Nov 27
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Michael Harris’ The End of Absence.

Exactly one week. Nov 01
I get to marry the woman of my dreams in just one week.

Multiple sheets. Oct 31
I’ve been thinking about spreadsheets a lot, this month, as we’ve been deep in the minutiae of wedding planning.

Diversions: October Oct 30
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

Resource catalyst. Oct 06
I’d like to take a few minutes this morning and talk about one, really important part of social change and the work your organization does: people.

Cookies and fruit. Oct 01
We provide cookies (sometimes, fruit), sure, but what we’re really offering is a time and place for people to forget about the doldrums of the work day.

Diversions: September Sep 30
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

Escape. Sep 21
My grandmother, when feeling emotionally strong enough, will sometimes tell me the story of the day she lost her son, my father.

Hot and cool. Aug 30
This August has been one of fluctuating temperatures and fluctuating priorities; things that were once easy are now complex, once slow now moving at a breakneck speed.

Diversions: August Aug 30
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry Aug 23
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

Pool. Aug 09
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading JiHyeon Lee’s Pool.

Something new. Aug 08
A few weeks ago, I left an excellent job for something new.

Diversions: July Jul 30
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

Summer heat. Jul 30
Yesterday, over my lunch break, I decided to take a walk to the park and sit outside and do some reading.

Housekeeping. Jul 26
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.

Small ball, long rope. Jul 14
In third grade, I entered a speech competition in which we were encouraged to use “visual aids” during our presentation.

Canada’s racist problem. Jul 04
A cultural system that values a white voice more than a black one is a problematic system that must be fixed by those same white voices.

Re-read. Jul 03
I re-visit the books I love regularly; re-reading books, like re-watching movies and television shows, helps me appreciate the style and structure more than I could upon first re-read, when the plot drives my impression.

Diversions: June Jun 30
A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me these past few weeks.

Train travel. Jun 29
Passing observations from a morning ride on the train.

Hot Pink Jun 22
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Adam Levin’s Hot Pink.

Not Quite What I Was Planning / It All Changed In An Instant Jun 21
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading the two collections, Not Quite What I Was Planning, and It All Changed In An Instant.

Correa. Jun 18
The first thing I do when I walk into any new building is to look straight up.

Give a little. Jun 15
Brila is philosophy and creativity for children, but it is we as adults who benefit from the diversity of thought and discussion that comes when our younger generations are engaged in this kind of critical thinking.

Confidence. Jun 01
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Russell Smith’s Confidence.

Station Eleven May 29
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

Surfaces and Essences May 14
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander’s Surfaces and Essences.

Friday night fights. Apr 28
Soccer was my dad’s first love—arguably, field hockey and cricket followed behind that—but boxing is what he shared with me when I was young and we had first moved to Canada.

Sidewalk Flowers Apr 25
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading JonAmo Lawson and Sydney Smith’s Sidewalk Flowers.

Essays and Aphorisms Apr 21
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Arthur Schopenhauer’s Essays and Aphorisms.

March, Book Two Apr 12
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading the second book in John Lewis’ March series.

Birds singing outside the window. Mar 21
There are a group of people who believe the first day of spring is on March 20, and another group that think it’s the following day, the 21st.

Slow-walker. Mar 16
I am a self-professed, and deliberate, slow-walker. When I am walking to a destination, I amble.

Love Me Back Mar 07
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Merritt Tierce’s Love Me Back.

Achievement. Mar 04
I’ve been lucky and privileged to have had a pretty eventful—some would say, successful—career in the past decade or so since I graduated from university.

33. Feb 25
I spent the evening before my thirty-third birthday at home, on my own, listening to some Charlie Parker and writing letters to friends.

Dollars and Sex Feb 18
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Marina Adshade’s Dollars and Sex.

Healing. Feb 10
A short list of things I do when I am not feeling (emotionally) well.

Mudita. Feb 07
I get so excited when someone is able to take an idea, a dream, and turn it into reality.

Sleep. Feb 01
There was a time in my life when I could fall asleep standing up. (If you’re looking for a discount code for a Casper mattress, I’ve got one in here.)

Teacher. Jan 30
Here is a list of a few teachers, off the top of my head, that have made considerable impact on me and have been a large part of making me who I am.

Crosswalk. Jan 19
I’m getting better, slowly, and yesterday was just one moment that proved that I am.

Breathe. Jan 06
Every year, I pick a word to guide the year ahead. In 2015, I’m going to remind myself to breathe.

Back home. Jan 05
We are all different, every day; our daily experiences change us. It is still possible to know this and still be wary.

The Leftovers Jan 04
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers.

Pender Island. Jan 04
A rumination as we wait for our ferry to take us away from Pender Island after our short trip to the island to start the new year.

End. Begin. Dec 31
It is a common refrain today: how will you celebrate the end of the year?

Spending time with culture, 2014. Dec 27
A look back at the best books, movies, television shows, podcasts, and albums I enjoyed this year.

Creek. Silence. Dec 25
A reflection on a quiet, happy, lovely Christmas.

Fog. Adulthood. Dec 23
We hike through the Capilano Canyon and across the suspension bridge staring up at the sky and staring ahead at the multitude of lights everywhere.

Rain. Dec 21
You know that feeling when, after waking up in the morning in a bed that isn’t your own, it takes you a few seconds to remember exactly where you are?

Dear Committee Members Dec 17
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members.

Hungry. Nov 26
I’ve been thinking a lot about my eating habits recently, and I’ve realized that I use food as a way to fill gaps, as a way to address a lack.

A personal reflection on Ferguson. Nov 25
I know better, now. I know that this isn’t the way the world is supposed to be.

Travelogue: Sanur Nov 24
A few thoughts from our trip to Bali. In this edition, thoughts scribbled while in Sanur.

Travelogue: Gili Meno Nov 22
A few thoughts from our trip to Bali. In this edition, thoughts scribbled while in Gili Meno.

Travelogue: Gili Asahan Nov 20
A few thoughts from our trip to Bali. In this edition, thoughts scribbled while in Gili Asahan, Lombok.

Travelogue: Ubud Nov 17
A few thoughts from our trip to Bali. In this edition, thoughts scribbled while in Ubud, Bali.

How is your heart? Nov 14
How is your heart? How is my heart? Why don’t we ask these questions to ourselves more often?

Club Soccer 101 Nov 01
Miscellaneous notes, thoughts, and marginalia scribbled down while reading Luke Dempsey’s Club Soccer 101.

Younger self. Oct 28
What would you say to your younger self? It’s a harder question to answer than you’d think.

Remembering. Sep 22
My cousin, after a long battle with depression, took his life this past weekend.

Reasons. Sep 21
This week, at least six different people, in different contexts, on different occasions, remarked, “you’re looking really happy, comfortable, invigorated recently.”

Panipuri. Aug 25
This past Friday night, I tried panipuri for the first time in my life. I had no clue what to expect, despite having done a quick search on Wikipedia prior to ordering the dish.

Color commentary. Aug 18
One of the great things about going to high school with people from 60 different countries was that we were all forced to see things we all took for granted from different perspectives.

Swim. Aug 07
When I was thirteen, I signed up for swimming classes; everyone in my class was six years old, but I didn’t mind. I was determined to learn.

She said yes. Aug 04
I made the best decision of my life this past weekend.

Bowl. Jul 20
Yesterday was my first time ever lawn bowling; before we arrived, I actually asked L if lawn bowling involved knocking down pins.

Self-esteem. Jul 15
Recently, I’ve had the struggle with self-esteem when you really don’t like yourself and don’t see how anyone else could like you either, even though every rational part of you is trying to convince you otherwise.

Love locks. Jun 18
Many years ago, I affixed a lock on the Pont Des Arts during a trip to Paris. The lock was unassuming — a simple Dudley padlock that we had taken off our luggage, if I remember well.

Geese. May 21
On my way to the gym today, I saw a small crowd assembling on Bloor Street. They were all looking at a group of baby geese that had somehow found their way onto the road, approaching the busy traffic of downtown Toronto.

Morning coffee. May 10
Early in the morning, when the majority of city dwellers are still snug under the covers, neighborhoods are empty, barren, quiet.

Self-portrait. May 03
The visual arts are not my forté. I was told this, repeatedly, from a young age until now, from teachers, parents, friends, strangers.

Occupations I have wanted through the years. Apr 07
A brief summary of occupations I have wanted since childhood, inspired by Christine.

Thirty-two. Mar 24
There is a time-travel kit on my desk. It was a gift, for my birthday last month, from a dear friend who knows me well.

Snowshoe. Feb 13
There’s a joke (a bad one) I often tell when people talk about winter sports. However I tell it, it comes down to this: “the only winter sport I play is football.”

Learn. Feb 03
When was a child, Monday was my favorite day of the week. This year, my word of the year is “learn.”

Two years. Jan 27
Two years ago, tonight, I went out for dinner and a movie and came home absolutely and completely crushed. What a difference two years make.

Two zero one three. Jan 02
If we all get to have one big epiphany every year, I had mine in the middle of July in a hotel in Dorchester.

Christmas. Dec 25
It is not snowing, but it feels like Christmas here, this morning.

Sidewalk chatter. Oct 15
We live in a house, now. This isn’t the norm, at least for me.

Offensive line. Sep 05
Even now, after my brief football days, I am, and always will be, in the business of protection.

Sleeping giant. Aug 12
A rumination on three separate visits to Thunder Bay, spanning fifteen years between them all.

Heal. Jul 15
She is not afraid of my scars, she loves me even on those nights when I collapse into her lap, my body broken into a thousand questions.

Awake. Jul 02
For most of my life, I could not stay awake on an airplane.

Raccoons. Jun 24
The last woman I loved once lived in a neighborhood where the raccoons were bigger than a medium-sized dog.

On finding happiness. Jun 05
A friend of mine recently sent me a text message asking me a rather difficult question: “How do you make your soul happy?”

Singing for fish. May 21
Sometimes we don’t succeed. Sometimes our efforts feel as futile as singing pop songs into the water in the hopes of attracting fish.

To and from. May 07
I’ve moved locations a lot (dozens of times) in my thirty-one years alive, and I’ve realized that every move can be sorted into two categories: moving to or moving from.

Clumsy. Apr 25
I’m not very eloquent around people who impress me, at least when I first meet them. I ramble, I slur my words. I am rendered silly in the face of the talent of others.

Saxa. Mar 14
Today, the Georgetown Hoyas won their first game of the Big East Tournament — the last Big East Tournament as we know it.

On loop. Mar 10
When you watch a one-hour loop of video over and over again, it loses its novelty.

Purple. Mar 07
Most people who know me know that Prince is my favorite musician, favorite celebrity — he’s probably my favorite person who isn’t directly one of my friends or family.

Thirty-one. Feb 23
There is a certain joy in singing in public, and an even greater joy in celebrating the the happiness of others.

Play. Feb 08
I’ve learned over the past ten years that the separation between work and play is a silly one.

Trust. Feb 01
Every year, I pick a word to guide the year ahead. This year, I’m going to start to trust again.

Fashion. Jan 21
When you feel good about what you wear, you feel good about how you look, and when you feel good about how you look, you feel good about who you are.

Compassion. Jan 01
On the first day of the year, an elderly man gave me a compliment and helped start the year off right.

Twentytwelve. Dec 31
All tragedies begin with hope and promise and end despair and destruction.

Control. Dec 06
If it was as easy to get a gun in Canada as it is in some other parts of the world, I would not be alive today.

Display. Dec 02
Every year, I make it a point to look into the Christmas windows, whether in Toronto, or Chicago, or New York, or wherever I may be that holiday season.

Four more. Nov 07
Here’s to four more years of working hard to make life, the country, and this world a little bit better.

Fall. Oct 23
Autumn has always been my favorite season: the air is crisper and the whole world seems to erupt in color around me.

Piano. Oct 12
I watched his fingers dance against the keys and smiled. Then, out of nowhere, I had the urge to sing.

Pivot. Sep 03
One of the things that has fascinated me over the past few months is the idea of the “pivot.”

Independence. Jul 04
Today, I received an email that devastated me, that destroyed me, that shattered me. It was an email that gave me my independence.

Nightmares. Mar 24
These past two months, my dreams have turned into nightmares.

Thirty. Feb 23
Despite how much I’m finding it hard to want to stay alive right now, I’m not letting go of the fact that I’m still here, no matter how hard it has been.

Luis. Feb 01
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work, no matter how much you want something, some things just never were meant to be.

Move. Jan 28
It is not easy, loving someone that does not love you.

Transit. Jan 06
Compared to the sun, Venus is tiny. The fact that millions of people around the world gathered to watch a tiny ball create a shadow on a massive ball of gas is impressive.

Measured. Dec 28
Life is more than a sum of its parts, but sometimes breaking down the parts helps us to understand the whole.

Juicy. Feb 12
Apart from on television, the only times I had ever seen a juicer being used were in juice shops like Booster Juice or Jugo Juice.

Toga. Jan 28
In 2005, we held a toga party at Guangzhou University.

Courtesy. Jan 24
I’ve been writing a few op-eds for the past few months, and I’m constantly baffled by the amount of vitriol that appears in the comments of these op-ed pieces.

Reginald. Jan 21
Reginald is a perfect name for a squirrel, but aiming to prolong the conversation, I was contrarian and said that we could do better.

Snow day. Jan 09
When I moved to DC two years ago, I thought I had left the snow behind me in Toronto.

Salud. Jan 06
My word for the year for 2011 is “health”, a word that will hopefully have long-lasting impact in my life.

In a year. Dec 28
Looking back at the year that just passed is an interesting exercise.

Written. Dec 22
ding list? Almost entirely non-fiction. I read a few short stories from time to time, but I very rarely pick up a novel. When I do, it is only

Mixtape. Dec 06
mmer before 6th grade, my mom and dad took me shopping for new school clothes. For many people, clothes-shopping before the new school year was a

Pick and choose. Dec 01
d mornings, I make oatmeal for breakfast. My oatmeal is usually simple: sprinkled with honey and some brown sugar, and sometimes featuring a dollop

Picnic table. Oct 26
after me: On my honor, I promise to do my best, To love and serve God, my Queen, My country, and my fellow man, And to live by the Scout Law. The

Nerves. Oct 22
y before my first performance at Roy Thomson Hall, some seventeen years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I was nervous. I hadn’t thought about

Red. Oct 21
has always been my favorite season. Something about the crisp and redolent air invigorates me, makes me feel more alive after the hot sluggishness

Vapor. Sep 20
d a devotional song — a hymn, of sorts — when I went to jamatkhana on Friday. Before reciting the song, they read out a summary of its meaning (it

Dixon. Aug 31
nferences I attend often blur into a single memory of panels and lectures and workshops. Sometimes, one will stand out because of a single person —

Market Square. Aug 20
oss-Canada tour, almost a decade ago, kicked off at Market Square in Victoria. We were raising money to build a school in Ecuador, and had decided

Anthropology class. Aug 10
h school, the anthropology classroom shared the same building as the visual art studio. I was never really interested in creating visual art, but I

Security blanket. Jul 14
st roommate was my brother. He moved in just after my tenth birthday, when he was old enough to sleep alone on the bottom bunk of the bunk-bed we

Listen. Jun 01
ou hear that?” He grabbed my arm so tightly that I was forced to stop and look at him inquisitively. “Hear what?” “The laughter. The happy

Broadcast booth. May 05
Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, there’s an exhibit where you get to record play-by-play commentary for a few seconds of a hockey game. Once you’ve

Lost and found. May 03
handed her the cone of soft-serve — vanilla and chocolate twist, of course — the man in the ice cream truck looked at her companion and snarkily

Fearless. Apr 15
standing at the side of a bridge somewhere in the middle of nowhere on Vancouver Island, staring down at the water. The river felt like it was a few

Empty nest. Apr 14
ad become expert empty-nesters. He realized this when he returned home to find his room full of electronics, books, movies, clothes — none of them

Road trip. Mar 28
mile road trip is not as crazy as it may sound. Ten years ago, I took a 5,000-mile road trip from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s,

Twenty-eight. Mar 01
morning of my 18th birthday, I woke up to find four strangers sleeping on the floor of my room. My other roommates were unperturbed by the sleeping

Welcoming. Feb 20
many years ago, I was the chubby kid from another country wearing too-large glasses and a hand-me-down parka, stepping apprehensively on to the

Meaning. Jan 11
g>Chicago, Illinois. January 1, 2010. I woke up next to the woman I love with a smile on my face (after the best New Year’s Eve celebration I’ve

Christmas wish. Dec 24
It’s not uncommon for me to be told that I should stop “pretending” to care about how other feel.

Orange juice. Dec 16
I met Wes on my first day volunteering at the local soup kitchen earlier this year. He was friendly, sometimes boisterous, and everyone loved him.

Seat 2A. May 20
The young woman in seat 2A stared out the window like it was her first time flying. In seat 2C, I sat next to her, intrigued.

One more chance. May 12
It’s easy to form quick first impressions, especially when those impressions are based on mistakes or slips in character. It’s harder to give someone the benefit of the doubt: to give them a second chance.

The return. May 06
I came home from work last night to find a small UPS package waiting for me at my apartment. In it, a plush toy and a two-page letter.

Settled. Apr 28
What makes your place feel like home? When did you feel like the place where you live right now was truly home?

Release. Apr 03
An admission: I have a stuffed toy—Winnie the Pooh—that I take with me everywhere. Two weeks ago, I gave him away.

Twenty-seven. Feb 23
In my early teenage years, I would often imagine what life would be like in my late twenties.

You’re welcome. Feb 18
This afternoon, on my way back from work, I ran into a young lady staring at a map of Washington DC, obviously confused.

Little joys. Feb 02
I have a splinter stuck in the palm of my left hand, and I don’t mind.

Promise. Jan 21
This week, I keep my promise and move into a new apartment in Washington DC.

Economics. Jan 14
I’m no economist. I just know a lot of good parents.

Create. Jan 01
Today is the first day of 2009, which reminds me of a beautiful and inspiring quotation by my favorite poet.

With thanks. Dec 31
ot Thanksgiving, but it is the end of a year during which I’ve had the chance to do new things and meet new people and live life fully. And for

Mindful. Dec 08
years ago, I was sitting by a tree in Trinity-Bellwoods park, taking some time to contemplate and observe the world around me, when a scowling young

Grown up. Dec 08
e my window, snowflakes tiptoe across gusts of wind before parachuting to the ground. Fifteen stories below my window, a young boy reaches down to

The Bill Murray Effect. Dec 03
most of my money as a consultant to various clients who need a bit of advice when it comes to online communications and social media. I’ll admit

Rubbish. Dec 02
8, Alexander Fleming found some blue-green mold in his lab at St. Mary’s Hospital. That discovery ended up being the basis for the discovery of

Play that funky music. Nov 27
ften than not, a good DJ can make or break your party. Great DJs don’t just play music — they dictate the pulse of the night,

Remember. Nov 11
t have any family members that have ever served in any kind of military force. I don’t know anyone that fought or died in any of the major World

Go big. Nov 10
eople ask me how I’ve been relatively lucky when it comes to my career and the opportunities I’ve had, I always tell them it’s because I’ve got

Paris, je t’aime. Oct 06
ved in Paris this past Friday morning tired, cold, and rained on. I had just gotten off the bus and was walking towards my hotel, luggage in tow,

Won’t you be my neighbor? Aug 13
g up, Fred Rogers was my best friend. I wasn’t the biggest fan of television back when I was growing up in Queens (mostly because we didn’t own one

Simply lovely. Jun 30
are love stories, and then there’s Wall·E. Wall·E is clearly the best film I have seen in 2008, and perhaps not surprisingly, it is also one of the

Tonight’s party is hosted by your local public library. Jun 28
was studying at Georgetown University, our euphemism for going to the library to study was to go “out to party at Club Lauinger.” Sure, we were

The librarian is dead. Long live the librarian. Jun 23
f my most vivid memories from my childhood involve spending summer mornings in the library, discovering new books and great VHS tapes along with

I’m too tired to go out tonight. Jun 18
:30 in the morning, and I’m staring at a computer screen. Now, some of you may be thinking that this behavior is unhealthy. Those of you that are

I call my mom every day. May 11
t even going to pretend otherwise: I’m a momma’s boy, to the core. If you knew my mom, you wouldn’t blame me. She’s one of the kindest, smartest,

No one hears you when you say you’re sick of traveling. Mar 25
h school, I’d hear stories of jet-setters who would be traveling non-stop for work, hopping from city to city, hotel to hotel, never staying still

Obama and history. Mar 19
s point in the US presidential race, it doesn’t really matter who wins. What matters is that Barack Obama has managed to reinvigorate Americans to

Love Letter Writers Anonymous Feb 14
e is Sameer Vasta, and I’m addicted to writing love letters. My addiction, like that of many others, was borne of desperation and necessity: as a

One day, Heath Ledger made me smile. Jan 23
I have a lot to talk about. Today, I could talk about the Oscar nominations. I could talk about how Madame Tutli-Putli is an absolute lock to win

Are Toronto students afraid to go to school? Jan 12
esterday afternoon, I had the chance to leaf through a 1,000-page document released by the Toronto School Community Safety Panel that outlined

Essayist. Dec 24
I recently finished reading Alain de Botton’s Essays In Love, and was reflecting upon the perfect choice de Botton made in using the word “essays” in his title.

The little hater. Dec 22
How do I stop that circle of self-doubt that prevents me from getting work done, and worst of all, prevents me from being confident enough that the work I do is good enough?

A message of thanks to Abdul. Nov 22
I arrived in London, and everything went wrong. Luckily, a stranger named Abdul was my hero.

Key to happiness. Aug 27
The whole concept of happiness is problematic: attempting to create a measurable metric for something that is not only completely unquantifiable, but also entirely subjective, is close to impossible.

First aid in French. Apr 21
Something happened yesterday afternoon that made all my French skills come rushing back.

Overheard at Heathrow. Mar 01
While waiting for my return flight to Toronto yesterday, I decided to grab a snack and sit down at a table in the main lounge and observe people.

Twenty-five. Feb 23
I turned twenty-five years old. A quarter of a century. To put that into context, I went and found what a few other people in history had accomplished by the time they were my age.

Cheap trip to Venice. Mar 31
A few years ago for Valentine’s Day, I decided to go out on a limb and take someone special to Venice on a very limited budget.

1967. Jan 30
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life.