Every Sunday, I update this /now page with a few things that have the majority of my time and attention right now.
Week of December 8, 2019:
- Week five of my work residency.
- Going to see the God is a Scottish Drag Queen holiday show.
- Holiday dinners and brunches with friends and family.
- Celebrating Salgirah Khushiali with the family and community
- TV: Watchmen
Previously in 2019:
Celebrating the birthday of the woman I love with a trip to Detroit. Going to see Mary Poppins at the Grand Theatre. Hosting and moderating a panel on what it means to work in the open and why that’s important. Attending the Minds of London-Middlesex convening. Seeing Dan Mangan in concert. Going to the IDCP Christmas party. Starting my new residency at work. Visiting some family in Essex County. Celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary with a weekend trip to Langdon Hall. Hosting the City Symposium at the Wolf Performance Hall. Putting winter tires on the cars. Taking a cooking class at Jill’s Table. Spending some days in Vancouver for our CKX Annual General Meeting and board retreat. Celebrating Halloween with friends. Catching up on all the work and emails and messages I’ve missed while away and disconnected in Portugal. (So many meetings coming up!) Going to the POZitivity: Slay Stigma Drag Tour with Trinity K Bonet. Preparing for, and having, an interview for a digital residency. Spending a few days in Lisbon before heading to the Douro Valley to visit quintas and drink good wine and just forget about the world for a few days. Celebrating my Dad’s 64th birthday. Helping launch a few new project teams at work. Going to see Othello at the Stratford Festival. Participating in the Place Matters Conferenceand enjoying the Urban League 50th Anniversary party. Launching the Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age project. Adding my voice to the quarterly OPS Inclusion Reference Group meeting. Facilitating a team retreat at work. Going to see Carly Rae Jepsen in concert at London Music Hall! Checking out the Esmaa Mohamoud exhibit at Museum London. Finally installing the new door for my office. Working on the plan for my new pivot in my role at work. Attending the quarterly CKX board meeting. Heading to Toronto to host and facilitate a team-building retreat. Taking a road trip through parts of the Midwest and culminating in a stay in Washington DC. Recommiting to my meditation and journaling practice as I work through my recent relapse of my anxiety disorder and depression. Making a concerted effort to sleep for a minimum of seven hours a night to see if it helps me feel better. Doing an inventory of my eating habits to see what small changes I can make to help me feel better. Heading home after a wonderful European escape. Going to Toronto for our annual Talent Team retreat at work. Heading up to Muskoka to spend the weekend at L’s family cottage. Road tripping through France and Switzerland, including champagne tastings in Reims and culminating in the Fête des Vignerons in Vevey. Having lunch at Pearl Morissette and then going to see Queen in concert. Jumping on the intermittent fasting craze and trying it out for a couple of weeks to see how it feels. Taking a quick trip to Niagara Wine Country. Going to see Billy Elliott at the Stratford Festival. Going to see a drag show featuring the Queen of the North herself, Brooke Lynn Hytes. Going to see Carly Rae Jepsen in concert in Detroit. Checking out The Taming of the Shrew at Bard on the Beach. Celebrating Canada Day with friends in BC. Spending a few days on Galiano Island, relaxing, hiking, and having dinner at Pilgrimme. Enjoying a family wedding on Pender Island. Getting a haircut, manicure, pedicure, and just cleaning myself up before our trip out west. Having my first private “learn how to ride a bike” class. Going to see the new Army of Sass show. Flying out to Vancouver for a ten-day escape to the Lower Mainland and the Gulf Islands. Hosting a session on ethics in digital government as part of the onboarding for the new cohort of Code for Canada fellows. Attending the True North conference. Throwing a party to celebrate the graduation of one of our closest friends from nursing school. Going to a bourbon tasting class at Jill’s Table. Having some friends from Toronto come visit us for a few days. Participating in a symposium of people who teach digital government courses in academic centers around the world at the Harvard Kennedy School. Traveling to Toronto for work meetings and “ODS in the Park” day. Going to Stratford to watch Little Shop of Horrors and have dinner at the Red Rabbit. Delivering a keynote address at the MISA Ontario conference. Checking out a few shows as part of the London Fringe Festival. Participating in a summit on teaching government in a digital era hosted by the University of Toronto. Going to a vegan Thai dinner party hosted by one of our favorite local chefs. Having my last appointment with my psychiatrist before he moves away to a different city. Checking out the Camp exhibit at the Met and the launch of the Whitney Biennial. Participating in the Curious Public Book Club to discuss the book Bullshit Jobs. Hosting the City Symposium on sustainable cities. Going to the Breakfast of Champions with Mark Lukach. Opening our pool for the season. Welcoming our new co-ops students at work. Picking up our new car. Enjoying the Mother‘s Day tea service at the Tea Lounge. Supporting A Taste for Life by having dinner with friends. Checking out the Impressionism exhibit at the AGO. Hosting this year’s GO-Open Data conference. Spending a few days in Toronto eating at new and delicious restaurants. Launching a big change management project at work. Going to a friend’s place whom we haven’t visited since they moved. Making a whole lot of strawberry jam. Participating in the CKX Questions dialogue on leading with love. Attending the Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness’ 9th annual UPwithART party and silent art auction. Attending the opening gala for Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care‘s 27th Annual Conference. Donating blood plasma for the third time. Many dinners, many nights, with friends new and old. Grading! Going to spend a few weeks deep in grading the excellent work of all my students. Participating in the CKX Questions digital dialogue on building decolonial solidarity. Going to see Cabaret at the Grand Theatre. Guest lecturing a course at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Having meetings with my Diversity Career Champion and with the Chief Talent Officer to help me guide my next steps of my career. Heading to Toronto for work meetings and catching up with my team. Celebrating Easter weekend and our first-date-iversary by taking a trip to Niagara Wine Country and having meals at Pearl Morissette and The Inn on the Twenty. Getting a massage, checking in with my psychiatrist, and other important personal health stuff. Checking out the annual Clissold Lecture on journalism in an era of shrinking newsrooms. Going to an “Around the World Vegan” tea pairing dinner. Visiting the sugar bush to eat some pancakes and fresh maple syrup. Attending the opening of the Rotary Reading Garden at the public library. Continuing my Indigenous Cultural Competency Training at work. Spending a few days exploring and eating our way through Ottawa. Going to see August Wilson’s Fences at the Grand Theatre. Having my first appointment with my new therapist. Participating in my year-end performance conversation with my boss. Checking out a free jazz concert at the public library. Teaching my MPS class. Attending the MPS end-of-year gala. Donating blood plasma for the second time. Having a few delicious meals in Toronto. Celebrating Navroz. Hosting the first City Symposium. Heading to Toronto to facilitate a few workshops. Getting everything sorted out to send to my accountant for tax season. Heading to Essex County to have lunch at the Oxley, visit wineries, and spend some time with family. Checking in with my psychiatrist, getting a massage, starting a new meditation practice, and just doing more things to take care of myself because I’ve been struggling recently. Starting my Indigenous Cultural Competency Training at work. Having friends visit and stay with us for a few days. Donating blood plasma for the very first time. Eating at some fun restaurants on our short, four-day jaunt in Seattle. Participating in a workshop on Indigenous treaties in Canada. Attending an “Accessibility 101” workshop. Attending a book discussion on The Marrow Thieves at the public library. Checking in with my psychiatrist so I can make sure I start feeling better soon. Flying to Seattle for a short west coast escape. Welcoming my love back home from her vacation. Attending a workshop on building inclusive, anti-racist workplaces. Celebrating my 37th birthday. Going through the stack of papers I’ve left on my desk since early December. Re-organizing the kitchen pantry. Helping my love pack her bags for her upcoming two week vacation to Cyprus. Working on creating governance documents for our CKX board. Having a lovely weekend where family is coming to visit. Attending the Black History Month Opening Celebration. Heading to Toronto for our yearly Talent Team priority-setting retreat. Heading to Peggy Sattler’s annual new year’s levée. 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: A Black Lady Sketch Show TV: The Americans TV: Barry TV: Bodyguard TV: BoJack Horseman TV: Brooklyn Nine-Nine TV: Chernobyl TV: Desus & Mero TV: Fleabag TV: Game of Thrones TV: Euphoria TV: Killing Eve TV: Maniac TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel TV: Mindhunter TV: Pose TV: Queer Eye TV: RuPaul’s Drag Race TV: RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars TV: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK TV: Russian Doll TV: Schitt’s Creek TV: Stranger Things TV: True Detective TV: Undone TV: When They See Us
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