Every Sunday, I update this /now page with a few things that have the majority of my time and attention right now.
Week of January 20, 2019:
- Working on creating governance documents for our CKX board.
- Teaching my MPS class.
- Going through the stack of papers I’ve left on my desk since early December.
- Re-organizing the kitchen pantry.
- Heading to Toronto for our yearly Talent Team priority-setting retreat.
- Heading to Peggy Sattler’s annual new year’s levée.
- TV: Game of Thrones
- TV: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Previously in 2019:
Going to the Glimmers of the Radiant Real opening reception at the McIntosh Gallery. Having friends from Toronto come and visit. Getting my first massage of the year. Checking out the Food & Wine Show. Sorting out my benefits and stuff like that. Teaching my first class as part of the MPS program at UWaterloo. Getting a manometry to help figure out why I’ve had swallowing issues for the past decade. Attending the “Beverages and Budgets” session to learn more about and discuss the new municipal budget. Going to an improv show and watching a couple of movies. Flying back home to start the new year with gusto and immense kindness. Fixing the punctured tire on my car. (Third one in six months!) Donating blood for the first time in 2019. TV: Barry
Here’s what I did in 2018:
Celebrating Christmas with family and loved ones at the foot of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Heading to Pender Island for a few days to hang out with family and enjoy the islands. Checking out The Wizard of Oz at East Van Panto with friends. Enjoying the Bacio Rosso dinner theatre and cabaret. Taking a trip to Seattle and checking out the Enchant Christmas market and light maze. Listening to Chor Leoni sing the Christmas classics. Holiday parties, fancy dinners, family brunches, and all kinds of revelry. Donating blood for the final time this year. Getting my pre-holiday haircut, manicure, pedicure, and massage. Flying out to the west coast for the holidays. Taking my love to Detroit to celebrate her birthday weekend with food and art and adventure. Attending the launch of One Book One London. Having my mid-year performance review at work. Attending and participating in the CKX team retreat in Montreal. Enjoying a wine tasting and cooking class at Jill’s Table. Heading back to the gym after a long vacation. Flying back home from our west coast adventure. Trying to get back into a regular routine after two weeks of sporadic sleep, decadent eating, and vacation living. Flying out to San Francisco and celebrating the wedding of some dear friends. Spending a few days in Big Sur, and a few more days in Napa. Exploring Muir Woods and a few other sights in Northern California. Celebrating our third wedding anniversary with dinner at The French Laundry. Facilitating a series of strategic planning workshops for the ODS Policy team. Hosting a meeting on civic tech and community engagement for the Urban League of London. Attending a lecture on the opioid crisis in Canada and in this city. Donating blood; my very small way of helping someone in these trying times. Enjoying a cider and food pairing cooking class at Jill’s Table. Checking out the London River Talks. Going to the Fanshawe College Harvest Dinner. Having harvest tea at the London Tea Lounge. Hosting three all-candidates meetings for the upcoming municipal election. Escaping to Niagara Wine Country for a weekend spent eating and drinking and exploring and enjoying the fall colors. Attending a talk on designing democracy by one of my heroes, Dana Chisnell. Getting our chimney and fireplaces cleaned and maintained in advance of the coming cold season, aka “spend evenings reading by the fire” season. Checking out Pee Wee Ellis and Jason Wilson perform at Hugh’s Room. Spending Thanksgiving Weekend with family in the city. Learning about students and the city at the monthly Urban League meeting. Watching The Tempest at the Stratford Festival. Attending the Anova AGM and panel on strategies to end gender-based violence. Visiting the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Going to a jam session in Newmarket. Hosting an all-candidates meeting for the upcoming municipal election. Attending the annual reception for the UWaterloo Masters of Public Service program. Heading to the Western Fair. Attending an “inclusion café“ to discuss issues of inclusion and equity in the workplace. Heading to Essex County for a family mini-reunion. Having the in-laws come visit and spend a few days with us. Spending a few days in New Orleans, eating and drinking and dancing and exploring. Attending a talk on Canadian mayors—part of my friend Kate’s PhD dissertation defense. Welcoming a new cohort of co-op students to our organization. Attending the wedding of some dear friends. Having friends from out of town come visit and stay with us for the long weekend. Learning more about outcome mapping and results based management. Quick trip into Toronto for meetings and to see a friend I haven’t seen in ages. Hosting friends throughout the week for dinners and drinks and revelry. Doing research on performance management and evaluation. Working on the course package for the new course I’ll be teaching this year. Eating at The Red Rabbit and watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Stratford. Having tea with Tanya Park. Picking up our copy of the Forest City Cookbook. Donating blood — my sixth donation since I started donating again. Enjoying a few days visiting the hot springs and watching whales—and eating delicious food—in and around Tofino. Relaxing and reading books on Pender Island. Traveling to Toronto for our first talent team retreat at work. Flying out to Victoria for a friend’s wedding. Having our first Urban League board meeting of the new League year. Celebrating Pride and marching in the parade. Checking out the Banksy exhibit. Going to see Janelle Monáe in concert! Having quite a few friends and family from out of town come visit and stay with us. Taking rowing classes to learn a new sport. Checking out Sunfest. Having tea at Eldon House. Participating in Positive Space Champion training. Enjoying another cooking class at Jill’s Table. Heading up to Muskoka for a weekend at the cottage. Watching Sign Painters as part of Urban Film Night. Starting taking rowing classes. Watching Come From Away. Donating blood, again. Eating our way through Toronto during a work trip. Doing mentor training for a new mentee I’m going to have.~ Rolling out a new performance planning process at work. Rolling our a new exit interview process and script at work. Hosting a staff retreat for our team, focused on empathy in service design. Voting in our provincial election. Going to a Latin American cooking class. Taking a “learn to ride” class so I can learn how to ride a bike. Watching West Side Story at the Huron Country Playhouse. Attending the True North conference. Attending the Building Trust in Government conference. Delivering a workshop on how to “embrace the chaos” in a corporate environment. Fixing our rooftop solar panels so we can finally heat the pool and start using it. Grappling with unusually high levels of anxiety over the past few days. Hosting a panel at RightsCon and attending interesting sessions about citizenship and human rights throughout the conference. Providing advice as part of an expert panel at a DiverseCity Fellows “Turning Ideas Into Action” session. Visiting family (and wineries) in Essex County for the Victoria Day long weekend. Sprint planning. Lots of sprint planning. Welcoming our new co-op students to the team. Spending the week in Vancouver, by the ocean and by the mountains, and being rejuvenated by the west coast air. (Also, eating good sushi and dim sum.) Trying out a bunch of new restaurants here in Vancouver that were recently featured in the the Canada’s 100 Best list. Strategic planning! Setting some six-month goals and priorities for our work in talent at the Ontario Digital Service, and coming up with a plan to get there. Chatting with the folks at Headspace about potentially getting Headspace for Work as part of our office mindfulness program. Helping on-board new staff to the Ontario Digital Service. Celebrating our first date anniversary. Hosting a public chat with David Chariandy about the themes in his book, Brother, and how they resonate at this time. Releasing the ODS Diversity Report. Hosting a discussion about David Chariandy’s Brother as part of the One Book One London initiative. Donating blood. Spending the week at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, participating in a retreat on reflective practice in social innovation. Conducting interviews for our new digital policy co-op placements. Attending the OpenON Event. Hosting the Speakers’ Salon series at the Policy Community Conference in Ottawa. Picking up my wonderful wife from the airport after her two-week long trip across the sea. Celebrating the new year. Having some meetings for my work with Urban League and and with CKX.
- ~~Reviewing some proposals on informal recognition systems for employees.
Checking out a show by the Huron Underground Dramatic Society. Attending campaign school. Being shot for a video on public service renewal and how to support employees in building a public sector for the future. Writing a brief on mindfulness in the ODS and creating a plan for how we can better support a mindfulness practice in the workplace. Joining in a discussion about Brother, the 1Book1London book for this year. Attending a lecture on The History, Criticisms, and Applications of ‘Social Inclusion’. Taking a short weekend trip to Boston to eat at places like Oleana, Loyal Nine, and Row 34. Joining the London Urban Beekeepers Alliance. Participating in the “Zero Bureaucracy” Unconference. Speaking at the Ranked Ballots Roadshow. Meeting some civic change makers at the Good Neighbourhood Conference. Judging a political speechwriting competition. Hosting a “mock election” to introduce community members to ranked ballots and how they will change the way we vote for our elected representatives in the next election. Taking a “walk on the wild side” and learning more about natural spaces in and around the city. Celebrating my birthday by taking a weekend trip to Langdon Hall. Taking a weekend trip to Detroit; especially excited to go back to the DIA. Donating blood for the first time in ages. Checking out a talk on human-designed urban space. Delivering a lunch n’ learn on digital leadership. Celebrating Valentine’s Day at TACOLANDIA. Watching the movie I’ve been waiting for all my life: Black Panther. Hosting the One Book One London launch event. Participating in a discussion about a public service mental health strategy. Having fun at a pre-Valentine’s date night cooking class at Jill’s Table. Enjoying Valentine’s Tea at the Tea Lounge. Presenting at a few sessions—and attending a few, too—at the OPS Leadership Development Program on innovation in the public service. Participating in the Urban League of London Civic Engagement Fair, bringing together representatives from various city departments to meet with citizens who want to be more engaged in city building and decision-making. Attending a discussion about drug policy in Canada. Dining at the “Whole Sturgeon” special dinner in support of Growing Chefs Ontario. Enjoying vegan dim sum day at The Tea Lounge. Receiving a community recognition award from MPP Peggy Satler and attending a small reception for it. Attending the Designing the Future of Work symposium. Watching Silence, a play about Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell written by Trina Davies, at the Grand Theatre. Enjoying a Spanish tapas cooking class at Jill’s Table. Fixing my broken teeth. Having preliminary conversations about the MINDS Lab project. Doing data analysis on our survey data in preparation for the release of the ODS diversity report. Hosting the Student Pathways Challenge final showcase. Having dinners and brunches with friends (and new babies!) we haven’t seen in months. Attending the first Byron Community Association meeting of the year. Supporting the recruitment efforts at work. Ushering in the new year with my incredible wife at the Wolfe of Wortley. Cleaning up, sorting things, getting settled after two weeks away. TV: Archer: Danger Island TV: Big Little Lies TV: Big Mouth TV: Black Mirror TV:: BoJack Horseman TV: Broadchurch TV: Brooklyn Nine-Nine TV: Castle Rock TV: Collateral TV: Evil Genius TV: GLOW TV: The Good Place TV: Homecoming TV: Jessica Jones TV: Killing Eve TV: The Little Drummer Girl TV: Nailed It! TV: Party Down TV: Queer Eye TV: Riverdale TV: RuPaul’s Drag Race TV: Salt Fat Acid Heat TV: This Is Us