Today’s Perfect Mantra

What is that old expression about a thousand monkeys typing at a thousand typewriters….they would eventually produce every single one of Shakespeare’s sonnets? I understand that the point is that something that could happen, statistically, probably, will eventually happen. I get it.

Today was one of those days.

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While randomly throwing darts in my basement while watching Alabama play football, I did something that I really didn’t think would happen.  I hit a 180.  (insert long callout by darts announcer here “one hundred and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighty!”)  I have seen some people at the Legion do it, even one of my teammates.  I had hoped it would happen, but figured it was a few years off.

Sadly it was in my basement with only my camera to record it, but still. I feel pretty pumped about it.  And  rather than downplay the whole thing, as I often sometimes do,  I am going to revel in it.  I know I did it.  I now know I can do it.  I also know something else that is important (important enough to put bold text on it and put it in the centre of this blog).

If I did it once, I can do it again.

If I did it once, I can do it again.

We’re calling that Today’s Perfect Mantra. I may have to get t-shirts made.


Posted in 180, achievement, ambition, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, darts, Perfection | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Catching a Late Bus

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It might be strange to call missing my bus Today’s Perfect Moment, but when you’re out with your best friends….things happen.

So, we had a few drinks at a rather poor excuse for a bar–so poor in fact that it won’t even be named here. Nor will I bother to go on Yelp and lambaste it.   We only met there because a friend was staying there while he is in town for meetings.

We then found ourselves at Hemmingway’s in Yorkville. I would say I like the place for the name itself, but actually the food is pretty good.  I also had a customer dance provocatively for me…but that was just random behaviour or a customer, rather than an actual chance to meet someone.

The evening progressed much as one would expect.

In the end, I found myself at the bus stop a little later than I would like. I also find myself at this keyboard a little later than I would like.  All I can say is that sometimes friendship requires sacrifice, and if that sacrifice is sleep, so be it.  Best friends are called best friends for a reason.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, beer, bus, commuting, drinks, entertainment, friends, friendship, public transportation, Toronto, transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fog, Philosophers and Fall

I did not consciously think of the alliterative title, but it certainly fits the disparate parts of my day….that now I wonder if they are indeed disparate at all.


When I left work, the whole area was encased in an eerie fog. It was mid afternoon and the world looked so different than usual.  It reminded me of a movie, but not the main movie.  It was more like the flashback scene that isn’t in black and white but is somewhat devoid of colour.  The sounds are cacophonous, but blend together in one messy symphony.  You walk through it without even seeing it.  You experience it but find it hard to recall in any detail.  Its greyness is etched upon you, but your mind is telling you just to let it go.


I have said it before, but it bears repeating. If I ever get into conversation with complete strangers, it is usually because of books.  Either I ask what they are reading or they ask me.  Today was slightly different.   On the bus platform, an employee of the company, and I cannot say in what capacity the man is employed, was staring hard at the book I am currently reading; The World Without Us.

I assumed he was interested and recommended the book. He said that he didn’t need to read anymore because he was “connected”.  In terms that I could better understand, I guess I would characterize it as “enlightened”.  He said that once you are connected you don’t need to read and that all the answers would present themselves.  He said that people are “too materialistic and need to know themselves” .  I can’t say that he is wrong and I listened with intent, rather than speak too much.

He went on to relate an experience he had in Japan the year I was born.  It was an interesting tale of philosophers and atheists and impromptu speeches and quiet meditations.

Sadly, my bus came and I was in danger of having to stand for the entire trip. I took my leave, but I wonder how long his words will echo in my ears.


Here is a glimpse of some of the colours adorning my neighbourhood. They make a nice contrast to the eerie fog that has only now lifted.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, Aurora, authentic, autumn, beauty, bus, commuting, constructions, philosophy, public transportation, seasons, Toronto, transportation, weather | Leave a comment

Some Korean Food


I had the opportunity to go our with some former students on Thursday. Having survived a gruelling test preparation course with me (and then embarking on an international relationship with each other),  I feel a strong bond of friendship and can easily enjoy a meal together.

We head out for one of Toronto’s predominantly Korean neighbourhoods for some food.  They were looking for spicy and I was just looking for sustenance.  It was a cool night and the walk from the station to the restaurant certainly increased our appetite. I think we all came away winners.

One of the things I like about Korea restaurants is the number of side dishes (called banchan) they serve with the meals.  The photo shows the four we finished with.  While they were refilled for free several times, each time one of the dishes changed.  I found that interesting and fun as I am very fond of variety.  For Today’s Perfect Moment, I just wanted to share a little bit of it with you.  Sorry for forgetting to take a picture of the main meal.


Posted in appreciation, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ethnic food, food, Korea, Korean, restaurant, students | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holding Onto Summer

In the past two days I have had a couple of wonder spottings….sightings.  I am sure one of those words is the correct one. (Microsoft Word is telling me it is the second one…..but somehow I like the first one better)


The first happened just before noon while I was pondering what to have for lunch. I spotted an ice cream truck making rounds of the business district near Yonge and Eglinton.  It struck me as odd because I don’t ever remember stopping at an ice cream truck in October.  As a child by the first week of October most parents had put their children on a “wait until Halloween” diet.  We didn’t get to make trips to the ice cream truck.  We had to figure a way of getting some of the Halloween candy before the actual day.

To be fair, Tuesday was a pretty nice day, though it started out cold in the morning. Maybe the ice cream truck owner was hoping for one last payday before autumn really took hold and the hot chocolate makers breathe a sigh of relief.


The other interesting find was this motorcycle with sidecar parked along the street as I was walking home. Had I not had to get home, I might have waited for the driver and begged for a ride in the sidecar.  It just seemed that cool to me.  It just seemed like we were holding onto summer.

Yeah. I guess we are.


Posted in adventure, appreciation, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, authentic, autumn, beauty, breathtaking, epiphany, missed opportunity, randomness, seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Thankful


I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. For those not celebrating this week, you’ve still got turkey to look forward to.

Thanksgiving is aptly named and I must admit that I have a decent amount of things to be thankful for. They are as follows:

  • Good health and a roof over my head
  • A wonderful, large and caring family
  • Awesome friends
  • A friendly (to me) cat
  • Full time employment (and some interesting and inspiring students)
  • A loyal following for this blog with a few readers/writers that I feel a special kinship with
  • Access to a good library full of books to help me through my commute
  • The start of fall colours
  • Low mortgage rates
  • The Blue Jays in the American League Championship series
  • The start of hockey season–Go Leafs
Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, food, holidays, occasions, thanks, thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments



Today’s Perfect Moment comes via food.

I was a little sick today.  Actually, I am still a little sick and earlier today I was really sick.  Surprisingly the students said I didn’t look too bad.

As a treat for surviving the day, I visited the Asian grocery store which is close to my house.  It was late, but I managed to get my hands on some inarizushi.  I picked up the last one in fact.

This is one of those simple Japanese foods that I love.  It’s just fried tofu pockets stuffed with sweet rice, but it is simply delicious.  I used to buy them from my grocery store when I lived in Japan.  I was always disappointed when I got there and they were gone.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, delicious, ethnic food, food, food shopping, Japan | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

When Breakfast Fails to Deliver

A student of mine once told me that the secret to maintaining a good weight was in this simple maxim.

  • Eat breakfast like a king.
  • Eat lunch like a prince.
  • Eat supper like a poor person.

I have to admit that I see the logic in this idea. Eating less before going to bed is probably a good idea.  Eating a lot for breakfast just reminds me of Christmas Day.

Today I managed some coffee and a bowl of Vector Cereal with a banana thrown in.

Having all this in mind really didn’t prepare me for my students breakfast choices this morning. I have to share a few photographs to get the idea across.

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The sandwich and the grapes and cheese seem…relatively benign.  I just wasn’t sure about the Pringles.


I couldn’t decided if this was an inspired choice, spoke of some kind of weird addiction, or just didn’t meet with my idea of breakfast.

Sadly, this student was not to be outdone.


Yeah.  Cigarettes and an Ice Cap.

Again, inspired choice or complete lunacy.

I would love to know what most of you have for breakfast.  Please reply in the comment section below.  I know there are quite a few healthy people who follow my blog and I really want to hear what get their hearts pumping in the morning.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, breakfast, cigarettes, diet, food, ice cap, smoking, Tim Hortons, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Not Only One…But Many

Today’s Perfect Moment is simply the day it was. Highlights include:

  • Hearing Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here on the radio.
  • Lots of sunshine that shone even as the rain fell.


  • A delicious dinner meal.
  • Finding some books at the library.


  • Getting some washing done.
  • Watching some videos on YouTube.
  • Reading a few new blogs.
  • The Jays winning their last regular season game–Let’s go Wild Card.
  • My cat wanting to snuggle –I guess it is cold enough.
  • Several good cups of coffee with breakfast.
  • My first fallen leaf.


  • A few quiet moments.

Add it all up and you’ve got a pretty good day.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, atmosphere, Aurora, autumn, baseball, beauty, Blue Jays, books, library | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Momentary Reverie


Perhaps it is no coincidence that Proust started his famous work with a memory triggered by the aroma of fresh baked bread. (I could be mistaken because, despite my literary bent, I have not tackled the book yet. I am going to have to someday because I made a promise to my French teacher….)

Back to triggering memories because today, at the end of a long day of tests, a moment in the subway triggered a whole cascade of memories of my early twenties. Let me explain.

I took occupancy of a space near the left had door. It gave a good view of most of the train car and was one of the few places available as other commuters had taken up the seats.  I was buried in my latest book, making no eye contact.

As I said, I became aware of two passengers having what appeared to be a very polite conversation. I am not sure whether I keyed in on the visual or the audio first.  I suspect it was the visual because I could barely hear them.  They were speaking in low tones that could only barely rise above the rattle and hum of the subway making its way home to a northern terminus.

One of the women was wearing a traditional Japanese Kimono and lugging around a large case. I immediately suspected a musical instrument of some kind.  The other lady was dressed in elegant clothes befitting her age.  I heard Japanese words and phrases come tumbling out of their mouths and instantly I was back in Japan.

I was back there on the platform of Hashimoto station waiting for the train to Osaka.  The tiny platform kiosk offered interesting snacks and drinks.  The people were reading newspaper headlines that were unknown to me.  The station announcements elusively giving information that I couldn’t understand at first but grew to understand in my time there.

I remember the bakeries, the vending machines, the sound of the kindergarten kids walking in my neighbourhood, the sound of the pachinko parlours, the clop of the waterfall at the Japanese garden. I remember the sushi aisle in the supermarket.  I remember driving on the left hand side of the road.  I remember the sticker of the radio station Funky802 that adorned my car.  I remember the quiet and loud moments that made up my existence. I remember my students struggling with English and I remember their triumphs.

My reverie was cut short when we pulled into the station. I let the ladies exit first, automatically saying どうぞ  (“douzo” :Japanese for please go ahead).  It seemed normal to her and she didn’t even do a double take.  Secretly, I am hoping it hit her later on in the evening and either made her ponder or smile.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, commuting, ESL, Japan, Japanese, memory, public address, public transportation, subway, vending machine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments