Asparagus season May 23
There is an asparagus farm a stone’s throw away from our house, and every spring, I’m so thankful that it’s there.

On poetry May 08
Some time ago, someone asked me why I share poems on my website and newsletter when poetry is so easily accessible everywhere else.

Media Diet: March and April Apr 29
A quick look at the movies, television shows, and books that have captured my attention over the past two months.

There are mountains Apr 17
We can see the snowy peaks of mountains rising up above the buildings, providing a majestic backdrop to the city that can't be ignored.

Grieving over what was lost Apr 04
These past few weeks, I’ve been grieving. With a stroke of a pen, the Ontario Digital Service, an organization I helped conceive of and build from scratch, was effectively erased from existence.

Things I learned these past few months Mar 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned over the past few months.

Visiting the alpacas Mar 14
Every year since Zoya was born, we’ve gone to visit the alpacas.

Distraction-free Mar 07
It can be daunting to be bored (though I’d argue that being alone with your ruminations is anything but boring) in a world engineered to keep us distracted and busy.

Omakase (forty-two) Feb 28
In an omakase, every course is one bite, and in that bite, an opportunity to not only wow you with the quality of the fish and the flavors of the composition, but also to impress you with the immense mastery of craft needed to create a piece that is delicious, intricate, and visually stunning.

Media Diet: January and February Feb 28
A quick look at the movies, television shows, and books that have captured my attention over the past two months.

Recoding America Feb 22
Reading Jennifer Pahlka’s Recoding America was a perfect reminder of why I do the work I do. Pahlka provides a number of examples of how thinking differently about the way we deliver services leads to better outcomes for people, and how thinking differently requires having digital talent inside government.

Podcasting and the open web Feb 08
I have long been awed by an amazing thing: podcasting doesn’t belong to anyone. Anyone can start a podcast, anyone can share a podcast, anyone can subscribe to a podcast. Podcasts are for everyone, without consideration of platform or application.

No skips Jan 27
Albums I listen to regularly with no skips because they are perfect.

Remember Jan 17
I laugh and tell people that I have a bad memory, but perhaps I am not working hard enough at remembering.

In the snow Jan 12
I didn’t grow up with an appreciation for winter. Ever since I was a child, I found it too cold, too uncomfortable, too desolate of a season.

Things I learned these past few months Dec 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned over the past few months.

A year ending with nothing left to say Dec 15
Life has been too busy, too hectic, too scattered to get my thoughts together and write something.

Eight years ago Nov 08
Eight years ago, if you were to have asked me what my life would look like in eight years, there are very few things I would have guessed right.

Things I learned these past few months Sep 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned over the past few months.

The change of the seasons Sep 28
Autumn has arrived. Change is on its way.

Sounds of summer Jul 20
More and more these days, I’m making it a point to take out my AirPods and listen to the world as it rushes by.

Things I learned these past few months Jun 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in over the past few months.

Fat Talk Jun 21
Fat Talk is the book I needed to read, not just as a parent, but as someone who is fat.

Tell your friends you love them Jun 07
Tell your friends you love them when you can. You never know when you may not be able to say it again.

When ChatGPT takes my job May 08
As someone who does a lot of writing for work, whether that be in briefing notes or presentation decks or memos or just in Slack, I’ve long thought about what it would mean if a machine could do my writing better than I could.

Looking for delight Apr 04
Every day, I look for the little moments of joy, the little bits of delight that cross my path.

Things I learned these past few months Apr 02
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in over the past few months.

How To Be Perfect Mar 28
The pursuit of perfection is an impossible one, and that’s something How To Be Perfect acknowledges: no matter how we strive for it, we will never achieve perfection.

The Banshees of Inisherin Mar 28
The question I’ve been asking myself recently has been: am I the Pádraic Súilleabháin in this friendship?

Forty-one Mar 02
Forty-one is about gaining an understanding of what it means to be entering the middle of your life. It is a year when you stop marvelling at the milestone and instead start thinking about what is yet to be unveiled—and start preparing for what life will look like in the coming years.

Dining at restaurants with children Feb 17
Taking our daughter to a restaurant is not only an opportunity for her to learn what it like to live with others, but also to have collective, social experiences that enrich her life.

What We Do In The Shadows Feb 13
What will my daughter remember from her childhood? Will she remember the nights spent rocking her when she couldn’t sleep? Will she remember the swimming classes and the dance classes and all the activities we took her to through the week?

How will you afford to spend your final years of life? Feb 12
Dying at home has become a luxury not many can afford: it often requires the kind of round-the-clock care that is not possible for immediate family members and their life situations, and can be extremely expensive when outside help is brought in.

Stop and pause Feb 10
Whatever happened to the “stop” button for audio/video?

Tennis lesson Feb 02
During our recent vacation, I decided to take a beginner’s tennis lesson. I had taken a tennis lesson years before, when I was younger and spryer, but everything I learned in that lesson had already left me. I was starting fresh and anew.

Everything Everywhere All At Once Feb 01
Everything Everywhere All At Once, aside from being an entertaining (and really strange and quirky) film, is a great jumping off point to start asking these questions about our choices.

Wednesday Jan 20
The standout moment of Wednesday comes when, at the school dance, Wednesday Addams starts dancing.

When We Were Sisters Jan 11
My brother and I know that no matter what the circumstance, we can lean on each other to persevere, to grow, and to thrive.

Thinking a little bit about snow Jan 09
These days, when I think of the snow, I think of snowdrifts and slush. Perhaps I need to find a tray and go sledding; perhaps I need to get in a snowsuit and make snow angels.

The answer to what’s next is in what once was Nov 30
The internet as we know it is dying; the internet as we once knew it may be coming back.

This website won’t be updated for a while Jun 28
I shut down my blog (and newsletter) a few months ago. When you go to my website, it now has a disclaimer that the site is no longer updated.

I don’t have any hobbies Nov 18
I’ve been thinking a lot about my hobby of collecting stamps recently because I’ve realized that I don’t have any hobbies, anymore.

A few things I learned these past two months Jul 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in June and July, 2021.

New beginnings, new returns Jun 25
After almost a year away, I return to work next week. Zoya will be starting daycare early in the week, and both L and I start work shortly after that.

No ideas to explore May 30
I’ve been sitting on this list of links for weeks now, waiting for inspiration to strike so I can write a nice preamble before posting the links, but I’ve come up empty. I have nothing to say.

A few things I learned these past two months May 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in April and May, 2021.

Five nice things Apr 23
Five nice things that passed through my mind this morning as I sat in front of my iPad and started to type.

People are getting vaccinated Apr 09
Depending on where they live, friends and family are starting to receive their COVID vaccines, and I couldn't be happier for them. The faster we all get vaccinated, the closer we all are to resuming some kind of life where in-person social interaction isn't verboten.

The legacy of Manny Apr 09
Manny used to own the convenience store across the street from my high school. I'd go and visit him almost every single day.

A few things I learned these past two months Mar 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in February and March, 2021.

An inbox of newsletters Mar 12
At some point in the past few years, everyone started having a newsletter, and personal sites and blogs started to disappear.

Thirty-nine Feb 23
A few weeks ago, I looked in the mirror and realized that I was old.

Sparkles in the snow Feb 19
Some nights, when we look outside onto the front yard as part of Z's bedtime routine, the snow shimmers in the moonlight, as if someone had dropped a jar of sparkles all over the yard.

Every day is not the same Feb 05
While the big patterns of the day never change, while we do the same things over and over again, the little things are different, and are important.

A few things I learned this month Jan 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in December, 2020 and January, 2021.

Uni uni rotli ne karela nu saak Jan 08
There's one lullaby in particular that I sing to Zoya every day; it is in Gujarati, and I'm almost sure I don't pronounce all the words right. All I know is that it is soothing to our little one, and it is soothing to me, too.

A cup of chai in the afternoon Dec 04
L makes chai most afternoons when we are home together. She uses the recipe for quick chai that my mom showed her some months ago, and the resulting cup is warm and milky and delicious.

A few things I learned this month Nov 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in November, 2020.

A name as a reminder of who we can be Oct 23
I've been thinking a lot about names recently, probably mostly because many people have asked us why we chose Zoya for the name of our child.

Going for walks with podcasts Oct 12
When Zoya won’t settle, or when she needs a change of pace, we walk.

Not wanting to live when you have everything to live for Sep 17
I have learned a lot since becoming a father, but one of the things that has been most painful to learn is that men can get postpartum depression too.

Introducing Zoya Aug 01
Lise and I are overjoyed to welcome Zoya Elizabeth Bondy Vasta to the world. She was born last week, weighing 6lbs 13oz, with a head full of hair and a bevy of adorable facial expressions that make us smile.

A few things I learned this month Jul 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in July, 2020.

Self-doubt before the grand adventure Jul 19
Over the past few weeks I've had terrible self-doubt surrounding the arrival of our daughter. Have I done enough? Have I bought the right things? Have I read the right books or taken the right classes?

A few things I learned this month Jun 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in June, 2020.

A collision, a reminder Jun 26
Sometimes, the world leads you down a path that departs from what you had envisioned; unforeseen changes of plans force you to look at things with a different perspective, make decisions you hadn't thought of making before, and express gratitude for small graces that are often forgotten.

Taking some time off Jun 11
Taking some time to relax, reflect, and reinvigorate ourselves is exceedingly important in a world that constantly tells us that we're not doing enough; taking a vacation is one way to carve out that time intentionally and with purpose.

“The limits to your ambition were thus expected to be settled.” Jun 05
A few words from the pen of James Baldwin.

A few things I learned this month May 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in May, 2020.

The joy of… May 28
Inspired by the series of "The Joy Of" articles published in the New York Times last week, I've been thinking a little bit about the things that are bringing me joy over the past few months.

Out too early? May 22
I can't help but wonder what many things would look like if I stopped taking them out, or pushing them out, too early.

Forgiving myself for not being able to focus May 15
Over the past few weeks, my ability to focus has completely disappeared. I set my timer for 25 minutes and then stare at it, not doing work, for minutes at a time. I do a burst of work and realize only six minutes have passed.

Wednesday afternoon coffee breaks May 08
I think I'd like to try something, and need your help in figuring out if it's a good idea.

Quarantine essentials May 06
A non-comprehensive list of few things that I've been relying on quite a lot since the pandemic and quarantine began.

The cities and towns we have around us May 01
In many ways, quarantine living has put our cities on an equal level. When we spend most of our days in our home, when we cook instead of going out to eat, when we interact with people through the screen instead of in shops, when poetry readings are done online instead of in a bookshop, it almost doesn't matter what city you call home.

A few things I learned this month Apr 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in April, 2020.

Asking myself some questions Apr 27
Earlier this week, Amit shared a list of questions posted on Quartz that they recommended we ask instead of "how are you doing right now." He then went on to answer some of those questions, and I thought that would be an excellent exercise to get me thinking about how I really feel right now.

Either is fine. Apr 26
There are moments in the day when I realize that I have spent several minutes staring out the window mindlessly at the birds in our backyard, or just lost in my thoughts with no real focus to my thinking.

Words are how I understand how I feel Apr 24
I don't make things with my hands, that often. Apart from the time I spend in the kitchen crafting meals, I'm not really someone who "makes" things, especially tactile things, when I have time to spare. What I do, however, is write.

A turning point, of sorts Apr 14
Today is the day that the fog finally lifted.

Pandemic-related reading Apr 13
A sporadically-updated list of things I’m reading that are related to COVID19 or the coronavirus.

Third places after the pandemic Apr 10
One of the questions that comes up often when we're having video chats, either at work or in our personal lives, is about the first place where we will go once the world returns to some semblance of normal.

Pandemic journal Apr 08
Miscellaneous, disjointed thoughts, from the pages of my journal to here, an entry in my blog.

The sounds of the tea kettle Apr 03
I have taken to listening, with conscious intention, to the sound of the kettle as I make my tea.

A few things I learned this month Mar 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in March, 2020.

Finding it hard to write Mar 27
During these pandemic times, not only have I not been able to write for public consumption, my writing in general has stopped.

My two most important work-from-home tips Mar 14
As someone who has been working from home every day for the past four years, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me recently about getting some tips for remote work.

Pandemic panic Mar 13
It's hard not to panic when the state of the world is changing by the minute.

A few things I learned this month Feb 29
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in February, 2020.

To quiet the racing mind Feb 28
There are so many things flying through my head this morning; what is it about some mornings that the mind just won’t quiet down, allow you to focus?

Thirty-eight Feb 26
It’s easy, at this age and especially with what I have in my life, to rest a little bit on one’s laurels, to be content with the way life is going and not necessarily feel the need to do much more.

Remember Feb 19
The year will be filled with many wonderful things that I do not want to forget. I am choosing to remember, and more importantly, to remember to remember, as the weeks go by and life is filled with so many things that deserve to be remembered.

Finding the things that you love Feb 14
It's hard for me, sometimes, to say that I love this city, but I do, and events like last week's supper club remind me that I need to voice that love, express that gratitude, more often.

My daily journaling practice Feb 11
One of the things I've found most helpful as I've been navigating my mental illness—and especially the relapse I had a year ago—has been the practice of journaling.

How to Be an Antiracist Feb 06
There is no neutrality in racism. We are either racist or antiracist; "not racist" is a statelessness that does not actually exist.

That’s okay Jan 31
Some days, you have so much on your mind and can't figure out how to get it all out in a way that makes sense. And that's okay.

A few things I learned this month Jan 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in January, 2020.

An orchestra outside Jan 17
I'm not sure when I became someone who wears headphones over his ears every time he ventures out of the house.

Three films in the new year Jan 12
We've watched three movies over the past two week and each one has been incredible and memorable and almost-perfect in very, very different ways.

She Said Jan 12
She Said—simple, direct, detailed, and weighty—can be hard to read because the subject matter is so horrific. It is, however, important to read because of the truth it unveils.

Ferry breakfast Jan 03
Today, on the third day of the new year, I woke up thinking of ferry breakfast.

A year in reading, 2019 Dec 30
I've always prided myself in being mindful in most things I do; mindful reading is something that I have to work on.

A few things I learned this month Dec 27
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in December, 2019.

Slowing down at the end of the year Dec 13
I'm going into the next few weeks feeling a little more settled, a little less scrambled. I'm hoping to enter 2020 not wheezing, but breathing deeply.

A few hastily-scribbled thoughts on making less money as the years go on Dec 09
The common narrative is that you make more money as your career progresses. It’s not a narrative that applies to everyone.

A few things I learned this month Nov 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in November, 2019.

Falling in love with London, Ontario: a list of things to do Nov 25
In an effort to get to know and love my town a bit more, a few weeks ago, I asked people on Twitter what I should do in London, Ontario over the next year to really fall in love with the city.

A haircut, and a chance Nov 22
We all need someone to take a chance on us in order for us to grow and learn and become who we want to be.

The physical design of our neighbourhood acts against the creation of community Nov 08
We didn't have any trick-or-treaters come to our door last week for Halloween, so I've taken on the formidable task of eating all these chocolate bars myself.

Four years, together Nov 08
Today, I celebrate four years of being married to the best woman I know, and look forward to a whole life ahead of togetherness, and all the adventure that togetherness brings.

A few things I learned this month Oct 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in October, 2019.

Soundless dance Oct 28
It sat there, surroundedby other rocks just like it, not quite different, not quite the same.

An abundance of apples Oct 25
Every year, by mid-October, our home is filled with an abundance of apples.

A few passing thoughts from our recent trip to Portugal Oct 20
Originally shared on Twitter, a few passing thoughts and some photos from our trip to Portugal.

We didn’t have a TV set, but I still had Sesame Street Oct 11
We didn't have a TV set when I was really young, but I still got to watch some television. More accurately: I watched Sesame Street.

The sounds of the summer go silent Oct 01
Today, on a day where the feels-like temperature surpassed 100°, the pool company came by to close our backyard swimming pool.

A few things I learned this month Sep 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in September, 2019.

Conversations, thoughts, and hope Sep 27
A few disparate, unrelated, unedited and unrevised reflections from the past two weeks, and a whole lot of links.

Expectations met, and surpassed Sep 15
Ivanopoblano is located in a trailer in the parking lot of 1016 Oxford St E, in London, Ontario. (It will be moving in October 2019.) The menu features the best chilaquiles you've ever had.

On being okay with fading slowly into the blur of the background Sep 14
A few disparate, loosely-connected, unedited and unrevised thoughts on being okay with fading slowly into the blur of the background.

First responder Sep 06
Cleo, our cat, has become my first responder when I am feeling the onset of a panic attack.

We must love one another or die Sep 01
I haven't read this poem in years, but I found it as I was digging through some folders this morning, and thought the timing—and the content—was apt for me to share it here, exactly eighty years since the titular date.

A few things I learned this month Aug 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in August, 2019.

A mile in someone else’s shoes Aug 30
That the world looks and feels different when you walk in someone else's shoes—metaphorically or literally—is a reminder I give to myself often these days.

Suspended at the top of the world Aug 16
At the top of Scex Rouge, as part of the Glacier 3000 experience, there's a suspension bridge between two peaks that sits 9,800 feet above sea level.

You—each and every one of you—have my endless gratitude Aug 02
Thank you all for the immensity and enormity of your love, kindness, care, and compassion. It means so much to me.

A few things I learned this month Jul 31
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in July, 2019.

Reminding myself that I’m not alone Jul 30
If there's one thing I've been lucky to learn over the past fifteen years of living with my bipolar diagnosis and my anxiety disorder, it's that I'm able to see, a few days in advance, when a relapse is coming.

Severed cable Jul 19
Our internet connection at home went out earlier this week, a byproduct of the work being done on our driveway and some severed cable lines that really weren't supposed to be cut.

Train tracks across the city Jul 12
Several rail tracks run across our city, running through the core of town and even crossing main thoroughfares and arteries at ground level.

On the sun deck Jul 05
Upon leaving the ferry terminal, the motion of the boat is barely perceptible when you are on the vessel, and the expanse of sea in front of you feels endless.

A few things I learned this month Jun 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in June, 2019.

Slowing to a crawl Jun 28
Here's something I had forgotten since the last time I had a major relapse of my depression and my anxiety at the same time: my cognitive function suffers, and continues to suffer months after I've re-set my medication and have started to feel better.

A promise kept Jun 14
The Raptors title win wasn't just a celebration of a sporting achievement, but a celebration of a community that found their identity in a team that really saw them.

Measuring music by time Jun 08
With the discontinuation of iTunes this past week, I’m reminded of the time when, years ago, we measured music collections in units of time.

Autonomy in a world of restriction May 31
Earlier this week, I had my final appointment with my psychiatrist before he moved to a new city.

A few things I learned this month May 31
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in May, 2019.

The hopefulness of the bloom May 24
The magnolia tree in our front yard burst into gorgeous flowers about two weeks ago.

Prompted, noticing, grateful May 10
Some days, even when I feel like writing, I am at a loss for things to say. It's on those days I turn to writing prompts, finding little questions that help me find my voice.

Getting loud to help those in silence May 06
Our identities are multi-faceted and intersectional; it’s at those intersections that our perspectives and interactions with the world are shaped.

A few things I learned this month Apr 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in April, 2019.

To lie on the table is to be vulnerable Apr 26
To allow someone to have access to your body is to be vulnerable, whether that access comes from someone giving you a massage, someone pushing your body to go further as you lift that barbell, or any other circumstance.

What should a public servant look like? Apr 18
Remarks made to DPI-670 class at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in April 2019.

Government in a Digital Era: Module 8 Apr 15
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 8, we talk about public engagement, public consultation, and service delivery.

Capturing memories Apr 12
When I travel anywhere, I'm always torn between the desire to snap photos of everything interesting I see, and to put my camera away and just experience the moment for what it is.

More marginalia on more books Apr 09
I’ve been reading a few books recently, so here are some notes I scribbled in my virtual margins as I read them.

Reading, a quarterly update Apr 05
As part of my commitment to reflection, I’m looking back at some of the books I've read over the past three months.

Government in a Digital Era: Module 7 Apr 04
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 7, we talk about public engagement, public consultation, and service delivery.

A few things I learned this month Mar 30
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in March, 2019.

How will you invest your dollar? Mar 27
If you had one dollar in your hand and had to invest it for the future, what would you do?

Government in a Digital Era: Module 6 Mar 26
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 6, we talk about data and decision-making.

Making room for joy Mar 25
Making room for joy is something I am much more conscious of these days, and I must remind myself that this joy is ever-present if I just look for it, or if I let it come to me.

A new, new year Mar 22
This year, more than most, I'm looking at Nowruz, the Persian New Year, as my real beginning to the year.

Some marginalia on some books Mar 19
I’ve been reading a few books recently, so here are some notes I scribbled in my virtual margins as I read them.

Government in a Digital Era: Module 5 Mar 18
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 5, we talk about regulating the digital economy.

إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون Mar 15
How do you grapple with the fact that though you are shocked, you are not surprised: the world has been spreading its hatred of people like you for so long that you knew it would come to this?

Government in a Digital Era: Module 4 Mar 11
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 4, we talk about technology and platforms.

The kindness of strangers Mar 08
I have been the recipient of so much kindness from strangers; I will never take that kindness for granted.

Letters of note, letters as acts of faith, letters as our truest selves Mar 05
I have been thinking a lot about why I love to send correspondence in the post, and why this has been the one habit of mine I have kept going since my childhood.

In praise of eating in airports Mar 01
The airport restaurant is a funny beast: they know they have a captive audience, so there is no reason to wow their diners, but so many of them do.

Who killed the weekend? Mar 01
What did my weekends look like when I was younger? What do they look like right now? What do I want them to look like?

A few things I learned this month Feb 28
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in February, 2019.

A few passages on solitude Feb 27
If there's one message I took away from reading Michael Harris' Solitude, it's that the things we do to bring us into solitude are actually the things we do to best connect: with the world, with others, and with ourselves.

Atlas, carrying the world Feb 25
Atlas was condemned to hold up the sky on his shoulders by Zeus after the Titanomachy. Since then, Atlas has borne the weight of the heavens, has endured the heaviness of the world without letting up, even once.

Quietly, thirty-seven Feb 23
When I woke up this morning, I had completed thirty-seven rotations around the sun.

Government in a Digital Era: Module 3 Feb 20
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 3, we talk about service design and design thinking.

Government in a Digital Era: Module 2 Feb 19
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 2, we talk about user needs and user research.

It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed. Feb 17
I am reading poetry, now, after many years away. I am not writing it just yet, but I am told by friends that it is inevitable that the more I read, the more I will be besieged by the desire to write.

A list of small solace Feb 15
As a small coping mechanism, my doctor has suggested that I make a list of the things I have done in the past month that have brought me some solace when I was feeling at my worst.

I have been holding my breath for too long Feb 11
After twenty years of always having something to say, I have recently forgotten the concept of blogging as exhale, the notion of using this space as a place to breathe ideas and thoughts into existence.

On being bursty Feb 08
I spend all my time sitting at the starting line of the race, and only leave the blocks once I'm ready to sprint—when most people are already halfway down the track.

We are all made up of many Feb 02
What does it mean to be made up of many? How do we reconcile the multitudes that live within us, that many selves that make up our self?

A distortion of reality Feb 01
How do we reconcile the fact that my reality may not match yours? What does it mean when the reality I've constructed ends up harming you?

A few things I learned this month Jan 31
A quick roundup of a few of the things I learned in January, 2019.

Listening to the voices we need to hear Jan 30
Whose voices are included when decisions are made? Whose voices are listened to when we think about how to serve the people around us, the world around us?

Government in a Digital Era: Module 1 Jan 29
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course at the University of Waterloo. In Module 1, we introduce the idea of digital government.

A reminder of last year’s resolutions Jan 27
The days are slipping through my fingers, and I need a reminder to relish in the delights of life.

The paralysis of being overwhelmed Jan 25
There is a feeling that often overcomes me, a feeling of having so much to say but being completely unable to say anything.

So many things change over a decade Jan 21
This morning, I woke up and realized that ten years ago, exactly to this day, I moved to Washington DC.

Government in a Digital Era: Course Overview Jan 21
From January to April 2019, I'm teaching the "Government in a Digital Era" course as part of the Masters of Public Service program at the University of Waterloo.

Everything is too loud Jan 18
Everything is too loud. Because of this, I have lost the ability to really listen: to listen to what is good, to listen to what is right, to listen to what is necessary, and to listen to myself.

Becoming Jan 07
More than just a reminder of the goodness we miss, _Becoming_ is a story of adaptation, learning, change, and growth. It is, as Mrs. Obama mentions often, a book about "swerve."

Choosing the right word Jan 04
I have spent the past four days heavily contemplating what my guiding word for the year ahead would be, and still have not settled on a single one.

A year of kindness Dec 31
Looking back at the year gone by, I realized I had made an effort, a concerted and conscious effort, to be kind every single day; more importantly, I was also grateful for the kindness that others had shown me.

Sounds of the season Dec 21
Early in the mornings, a few hours before sunrise when everything is completely dark and the mountains are invisible in the windows, I listen to the world around me and feel at peace.

A year in popular culture Dec 17
Movies, music, television, and podcasts all bring me immense joy and fill my idle moments with entertainment.

Joy is not made to be a crumb Dec 14
There's a solace in reminding ourselves that no matter how many times we slip up, everyone else around struggles with wisdom and kindness, as well.

A year in reading: letting the pile grow Dec 11
My year in reading has been marked by reflection on who I am and who I aspire to be, but mostly, it has been marked by a realization that I am okay, that even though I can be better, it's also okay to be who I am.

Surprising our future selves Dec 07
What are you doing to surprise yourself, minutes, hours, or days from now?

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations Dec 05
My submission for The Mixtape Concern this month is mainly made up of falsetto performances that inspire and excite me, and that make me long for the days when I used to sing too.

My publishing workflow Dec 04
Last week, a community member asked a question about using Shortcuts and Drafts to publish blog posts and I was encouraged to share my workflow.

Predisposed towards kindness Nov 29
I believe that we all are predisposed towards kindness; some days we just need a little nudge to find our heart and humanity that can be easy to forget.

Some poetry to share Nov 29
One of my goals for 2019 is to read a lot more poetry. I’ve read some good pieces recently that I’d love to share here.

Clothing optional Nov 16
When it comes to exposing our vulnerabilities—both in the clothing sense, or in any other analogous way—we are left to decide from among an array of options as to what level of comfort we have to be who we truly are in front of others.

In sickness and in health Nov 10
As we grow in our relationship, we also grow older, together: our bodies change, our circumstances evolve, we age and we adapt to the consequences of that aging.

Thoughts on healthcare data and access to information as a driver towards equity Nov 06
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being interviewed by the folks at DotHealth about some of my interests in the area of healthcare, access, data, and equity.

A few podcasts to recommend Nov 02
Here are a few podcasts that I’ve been listening to recently that I heartily recommend checking out if you haven’t already.

Free Churro Oct 29
In an odd coincidence, I watched the “Free Churro” episode of BoJack Horseman—the one where he delivers a eulogy at his mother’s funeral—on the same day as my mother’s birthday.

A few days late, and that’s okay. Oct 28
Today, I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to need time, to allow myself to listen to my body and mind instead of always adhering to self-enforced timelines.

Ethics and equity: unstructured notes Oct 26
Earlier this week, I had the honor or chatting with the current cohort of Code for Canada fellows about ethics and equity in the design of government digital services.

Electoral reform has its day Oct 22
This is not an ordinary Election Day. Today is the first time a municipality in Canada will be electing its mayor and city council using some kind of system other than first-past-the-post.

The unbearable sadness of home Oct 12
There have been two instances in the past year where I have seriously questioned whether or not we chose the right neighbourhood in which to live.

How do you know when someone needs help? Oct 05
How do we know when someone is spiralling when they do a good job of disguising their descent?

A note of thanks to The Taster Oct 03
I did not fall in love with food, with dining, with the culinary arts because I had access to fine dining, but instead because I had access to the library.

Preparing for the fall. Sep 28
More than dates on a calendar, there are certain pieces of life that mark the end of the summer and the arrival of autumn.

Reminders hidden in bug bites Sep 17
I woke up multiple times last night because of the mosquito bites.

The cicada’s dry monotony Sep 14
This past Monday, I was on the Micro Monday podcast talking about, civility in online communities, and the massive potential of online spaces that are focused on building civic discourse rather than simply growth.

New Orleans. Sep 12
A list of places to eat, places to drink, and things to do when you’re in New Orleans.

The violence of language Sep 07
Have you spent your whole life being told to ignore those who work hard to make sure you don’t matter?

Summer cold Aug 31
It took until the last day of August, but I have finally succumbed to the dreaded summer cold.

Home Fire Aug 28
What does it mean to share the name, the blood of someone whom you disavow, discredit? What does it mean to want to distance yourself from the generations who were supposed to know better, but obviously didn’t?

The leavers, and the left behind Aug 27
What happens when your parent leaves, without explanation or even saying goodbye, and you're left to piece together the answers to questions you never should have been faced to have?

A few recommendations Aug 22
Here are a few recommendations on what to do if you ever find yourself on Vancouver Island or any of the southern Gulf Islands.

A poem for a rainy morning Aug 21
The rain this morning is steady, unrelenting. I drink my morning coffee, read the newspaper, and enjoy the pattering of the drops against the window.

What’s in a name? Aug 19
One of the biggest honors—and responsibilities—I’ve had in my life was to lead the naming of my brother.

On a stick Aug 14
Some years ago, I went to the Wisconsin State Fair. I was excited and a little bit nervous, mostly because I had no clue what to expect.

A moral imperative Aug 03
This is, after all, what I feel we should all be doing: making life better for those around us, and paying forward the grace we have received in our own journey through life.

The Map of Salt and Stars Jul 28
What is mapmaking but the telling of stories of the lands where we have travelled and the places that have shaped us?

Please won’t you be my neighbor. Jul 23
I knew I’d be in tears while watching Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor, but I didn’t quite realize just how much it would affect me.

I don’t say I love you as often as I should. Jul 20
When was the last time you told someone that you love them? Not a family member or a partner, but someone you work with, or a friend?

Electric lady Jul 19
There was no question that I would go see Janelle Monáe when I heard she was coming to town.

Even more marginalia Jul 12
As I’ve mentioned before, I used to be much better at sharing my marginalia from the books I read. I’ve fallen out of the habit, but I am working on re-introducing the habit, now.

Backyard birdwatching Jul 10
I don’t know much about birds, but I’ve always known our backyard is filled with them.

Some marginalia Jul 08
In the past, I was better about sharing my marginalia from the books I read. In the past, I was better at scribbling in the margins.

Fireflies in the garden Jul 06
Unlike stars, who remain fixed in the sky as I float in the pool in the middle of the night, the lights of the fireflies are fleeting, transient.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night Jul 04
When the night sky is completely dark, and the lights in the neighborhood start to flicker off as people go to sleep, I head into our backyard and slip into the pool.

Cottage country sunrise Jul 02
When at the cottage, I always wake up before the sunrise, no matter how early it may be.

Beacons of virtual proximity Jun 29
In an era where our closest friends don’t live on our street, much less our city or country, the little, oft-overlooked and sometimes-subtle markers of proximity are small lifesavers.

Sunday puzzle Jun 27
We have taken to completing the crossword puzzle on Sunday evenings.

Verses Jun 25
Just to pass the time, here are some verses of poetry I’ve been reading and re-reading recently. They are each evocative and beautiful and striking in their own way.

Teetering on the brink. Jun 24
This is a short post to say I am okay, but I am not okay.

Two decades of blogging. Jun 19
My first blog, then called “Vasta’s Daily,” was launched on June 19, 1998—twenty years ago today.

Where to find more? Jun 15
Without a stream of links, shared by friends, appearing constantly on the phone screen, where do people find things to read and explore?

Remembering Bourdain Jun 09
Bourdain and Spade brought joy and light and brilliance; we didn’t see the darkness that sat behind that luminescence.

The 29% Jun 08
It’s sobering to realize that almost a third of the people who live around you don’t believe you have the right to exist, or at least to have access to basic human decency.

A place where we belong May 25
Making people feel like they belong is one of the most important things we can do, in no matter what context.

I was dreaming when I wrote this May 18
For this edition of The Mixtape Concern, I’m listening to songs about dreams and dreaming.

Go back to your country May 11
If I had a camera with me every time I was told to go back to my country, I’d have enough footage for a very long feature film.

Carrying all of my stuff Apr 30
Over the past month, I’ve had a few people ask me about bags. One particular person specifically remarked that it seemed like I had a different bag every single time I saw her.

Six years ago Apr 27
Six years ago, I met a young woman at a wine bar for a drink. When we parted ways, I was certain I wanted to spend so much more time with that incredible woman.

because white men can’t police their imagination Apr 24
Black bodies have always been criminalized just for existing in public spaces, and the Starbucks situation is part of a broader systemic racism that is bigger than just one individual.

Thinking about sunk costs Apr 20
Because of the sunk cost fallacy, too many of us sit through movies we don’t enjoy, complete reading books we find uninteresting, finish eating meals we find the opposite of delicious.

Memory is the muscle sting of now Apr 15
Chariandy’s tale of growing up in Scarborough is song as memory. It is a lyrical, melodious, melancholic reverie passing through time to evoke memory through stories.

summer, somewhere Apr 15
Today, as hail falls from the sky and the ground is covered in a sheet of ice, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few small excerpts from Danez Smith’s beautiful poem.

Taking pride in my work Apr 10
Of all the projects I’ve had the opportunity to lead in my new role at work, I’m most proud of two, one of which launched today: our inclusion pledge and our diversity report.

All are welcome. Apr 06
I spent the past few days in Treaty Seven territory, on the side of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain, at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Not so young anymore Mar 31
The transition from “young and excited public servant” to “mid-career public servant who tries to empower, enable, and mentor young and excited public servants” happens slowly, then all at once.

Yangjin’s boardinghouse Mar 27
I though of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko quite a bit as I ruminated on the idea of boarding houses offering independence to those who would not normally be able to afford that agency.

The world offers itself to your imagination Mar 22
A friend of mine sent me a poem by Mary Oliver last week, and I have been thinking about it for a few days now.

Unearned redemption outside Ebbing, Missouri Mar 18
It does not matter how entertaining a film may be when at the end, it reduces people of color to props upon which white characters “find themselves.”

A short drive away from the Lakes Mar 18
I was never really aware of the Great Lakes when we lived steps away from Lake Ontario, in Toronto, but I have never been more conscious of the role of the Lakes in our province’s ecosystem than I am now that we live in southwestern Ontario.

I am just so tired Mar 16
Next week, perhaps I won’t be so gosh darn tired. Until then, forgive me for sleepwalking through the day.

Without imperfection, you or I would not exist Mar 14
Stephen Hawking may have changed the world with his science, but he changed my life by helping me find my voice to challenge the system and speak the truth.

Not easy to answer Mar 06
What can I learn from the experiences I have had, the privilege I have been given, over and over again, while my Black friends have been systemically denied those same opportunities?

If it is broke, fix it Mar 02
Electoral reform says something to systemically marginalized communities across the country: we know the system isn’t good for you right now, and we’re not going to turn a blind eye to that anymore.

Staring at the cosmic canvas Mar 02
I’m lucky to live in a part of town where I can see stars every night from our window.

A reading list for February Feb 28
Every day during the month of February, I shared a book recommendation on Twitter in recognition and celebration of Black History Month.

“Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.” Feb 25
Unsurprisingly, I’ve been doing a ton of reading about Black Panther and Wakanda recently, and I wanted share some of the best things I’ve read on the subject so far.

Tomorrow feels like a day of quiet Feb 22
Tomorrow, I will reflect on what it means to be thirty-six years old, and think about what I’d like my next thirty-six to look like.

Riding the endless hills Feb 20
On days I am feeling anxious, I open Alto’s Adventure, flip it to zen mode, put in my earphones, and just ride the endless hills.

In color and in chrome Feb 16
Rarely do we see Africa presented as a place of splendor and brilliance: a place where great people do great things, a place where a multitude of histories and heritages weave into a majestic, multicultural tapestry.

Early morning celebration at the train station Feb 13
There are few things that bring people, often complete strangers, together than cheering for the same team (national or otherwise).

Maybe I haven’t gotten wiser as I’ve gotten older Feb 09
Maybe I haven’t gotten wiser as I’ve gotten older, but instead I’ve just found new spaces in which to exist.

Staring into the fireplace as the credits roll by Feb 04
A scene in Call Me By Your Name reminds me that there is happiness hidden in all anguish, and that we must give ourselves time to rediscover those joys as we grieve.

Déjà vu. Jan 31
For this edition of The Mixtape Concern, I’m looking back at the songs that influenced the music I listen to now.

Strength in the darkest of times Jan 29
A year ago, six Muslims were murdered in a mosque in Quebec City, just as they were emerging from prayer. This was a sobering reminder that, even here, we are not always welcome.

Finding the right place, becoming a regular Jan 26
Being a regular is a wonderful feeling: finding an external space where you can be you, your whole self, and be recognized and relished for that, is liberating.

Such high hopes, so much possibility, to fall short. Jan 24
Have I lived up to the hopes and dreams of my parents when they first left their home country to come here? They will say yes, but honestly and truly, can any of us ever live up to the hardships they suffered, no matter what we do?

Everything is quiet and nothing is silent Jan 24
There is no such thing as absolute silence in this house, or anywhere, really. The house is quiet, the world can become quiet, but it is never silent.

Public transportation is more than just getting to a destination Jan 19
In light of the new investment by the provincial government in London’s proposed new rapid transit system, I’ve been reflecting upon how the transit systems have shaped my favourite cities in the world.

Be kind Jan 15
As I age, I think a lot about legacy, and what I’d like to leave behind. I am unwavering in my answer: I would like to leave a legacy of kindness, to know that I have been as kind as possible, and to hope that I have inspired kindness in others.

Parents, sacrifice, and cinema Jan 07
I wonder what it says about me that the lasting sensations from the past three movies I’ve watched have all been about family. Perhaps I’m growing nostalgic as I age.

It’s easy to complain about the cold Jan 05
It’s easy to complain about the cold: talking about the weather, especially extreme weather, makes conversation less awkward, more relatable.

New Year’s Resolutions Jan 01
A few things to remember to do in 2018, and every year.

A year of resilience and belonging. Dec 31
I began the year telling myself that I would not be guided—or constrained—by a word or a mantra, but when I look back at 2017, there are two themes that emerge quite clearly: resilience and belonging.

A year in reading: a sentence or two on 95 books. Dec 28
I read 95 books in 2017. (I will read far fewer next year.) Here is a sentence or two about each and every single one of them.

At the end of the year, we slow down Dec 22
It snowed in North Vancouver this week, reminding us that perhaps it was the time of the year to slow down, just a little.

Raj Kapuri nights Dec 13
When I was young, some nights after the Friday evening prayers, my uncle would drive me from Etobicoke to the Donlands and we’d go together to Raj Kapuri Paan & Snacks.

We were never really welcome. Dec 08
The travel ban reminds us that exclusion is not new to America, and that in the end, we never really were welcome here at all.

Emotion. Nov 30
For this edition of The Mixtape Concern, I’m gushing about my love for Carly Rae Jepsen’s music.

Leaders who shape us Nov 24
However you define leadership, it’s clear that good leaders possess a je ne sais quoi that is often elusive.

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.

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.

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
Most of all, I love books that are collections of letters. I am not usually a fan of the memoir or the biography; the letter collection is different.

Mixtape. Dec 06
By then, many kids had moved on from owning Walkmans and instead were carrying Discmans, but I was proud of my Koss cassette player. It had large purple buttons on its silver body, a fancy auto-reverse function so you never had to flip your tape, and most importantly, it was mine.

Pick and choose. Dec 01
On cold mornings, I make oatmeal for breakfast. My oatmeal is usually simple: sprinkled with honey and some brown sugar, and sometimes featuring a dollop of strawberry jelly or cranberry sauce.

Picnic table. Oct 26
The Scout promise has changed a bit since the days I first joined as a Wolf Cub, but the essence is the same: work hard and be good to the people and places around you.

Nerves. Oct 22
The day before my first performance at Roy Thomson Hall, some seventeen years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I was nervous.

Red. Oct 21
I’ve been on the lookout for red leaves, and have been seeing them everywhere. And not just any old red: vibrant, bright reds full of life and spirit.

Vapor. Sep 20
It is possible to have a friendship so intense, to love someone so dearly, that you’d be willing to turn to vapor to make sure that person didn’t burn.

Dixon. Aug 31
I don’t quite remember the name of the conference where I met Libaan. It was in DC, about eight years ago, and had something to do with international diplomacy, but that’s all I can really remember about the conference itself.

Market Square. Aug 20
Our cross-Canada tour, almost a decade ago, kicked off at Market Square in Victoria.

Anthropology class. Aug 10
In high school, the anthropology classroom shared the same building as the visual art studio.

Security blanket. Jul 14
My first 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 shared in our small family apartment.

Listen. Jun 01
He grabbed my arm so tightly that I was forced to stop and look at him inquisitively.

Broadcast booth. May 05
At the 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.

Lost and found. May 03
She was perfect — an almost impossible find, standing there next to him, staring at her ice cream cone, white dress fluttering in the wind.

Fearless. Apr 15
As I fell head first towards the murky river, my heartbeat quickened and the light breeze felt like a cold blanket across my body.

Empty nest. Apr 14
They had become expert empty-nesters. He realized this when he returned home to find his room full of electronics, books, movies, clothes — none of them his own — and a simple mattress on the ground instead of a bed.

Road trip. Mar 28
Ten years ago, I took a 5,000-mile road trip from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland — from mile zero to mile zero on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Twenty-eight. Mar 01
On the morning of my 18th birthday, I woke up to find four strangers sleeping on the floor of my room.

Welcoming. Feb 20
Many, 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 yellow school bus.

Meaning. Jan 11
For a few years now, I’ve been choosing a word that would guide my actions and thoughts throughout the next 365 days.

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
It’s not 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.

Mindful. Dec 08
The prompt: write a post telling your readers five things you do that help keep you mentally well.

Grown up. Dec 08
Outside my window, snowflakes tiptoe across gusts of wind before parachuting to the ground.

The Bill Murray Effect. Dec 03
Many consultants make lots of money on their consulting gigs so they can devote their time and resources (often for free or for cost-recovery) to projects that are near and dear to their heart.

Rubbish. Dec 02
There are tons of examples of serendipitous discoveries, but what’s often forgotten in those reports is that the people that made the discoveries decided to explore anomalies instead of just throwing them away.

Play that funky music. Nov 27
More often than not, a good DJ can make or break your party.

Remember. Nov 11
Today, while I remember the sacrifices of those that fought in the past, I also pray for the safety for the men and women who are on the front lines right now.

Go big. Nov 10
When people 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 great people around me and because of the law of large numbers.

Paris, je t’aime. Oct 06
I arrived in Paris this past Friday morning tired, cold, and rained on.

Won’t you be my neighbor? Aug 13
Growing up, Fred Rogers was my best friend.

Simply lovely. Jun 30
Why is the love story between EVE and Wall·E so effective?

Tonight’s party is hosted by your local public library. Jun 28
The library needs to go from a place where you access collections to a place where you access connections.

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

I’m too tired to go out tonight. Jun 18
It’s 6:30 in the morning, and I’m staring at a computer screen.

I call my mom every day. May 11
I’m not even going to pretend otherwise: I’m a momma’s boy, to the core.

No one hears you when you say you’re sick of traveling. Mar 25
In high 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 and living the fast-paced life.

Obama and history. Mar 19
Barack Obama has managed to reinvigorate Americans to look at politics as a system for change instead of simply an exercise in power.

Love Letter Writers Anonymous Feb 14
My name is Sameer Vasta, and I’m addicted to writing love letters.

One day, Heath Ledger made me smile. Jan 23
In 2006, Ledger was in Toronto for the North American premiere of the film Candy, and I ran into him in Yorkville.

Are Toronto students afraid to go to school? Jan 12
Yesterday afternoon, I had the chance to leaf through a 1,000-page document released by the Toronto School Community Safety Panel that outlined several recommendations on [ow to make Toronto public schools safer environments.

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.