Post Covid: Scary

Now that the vaccines are out and about, and we’re impatiently awaiting the end of pandemic restrictions, have you put any thought into a post-Covid world, and what that might look like?

I’ve wondered if masks might become a permanent part of my wardrobe, if the Western handshake will be replaced by the Eastern bow, if my poor neglected passport will ever escape the drawer its imprisoned in, but that’s as far as it went.

Until today.

In the kitchen, baking cookies I had no business baking, I saw it—our post-Covid world.

You’ve seen it too, in all its HD clarity.

Touchstone Pictures 2009

It’s been awhile since 2009 so you might not remember, but the movie ends with people stumbling out of their houses, blinking in the daylight most of them haven’t seen in years. Unshaven, unwashed, wrapped in bathrobes, they’re lost in a world they’re no longer familiar with.

Scary?

OMG, Yes! Have you seen my robe?

FYI, the cookies came out pretty well 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Late Night

Joel worked late, the desks outside the glass walls of his office empty. The lights on the floor low, but…he flicked a glance at the corner of his screen…not for long.

He read through the report he’d been working on, checked the numbers again, and hit save. His eyes on the outer office door, he leaned back in his chair, stretched his legs out under his desk, and waited.

The frosted glass door, the company name and logo etched front and centre, swung open. The lights came up, and a cleaning cart bumped over the threshold.

The orange vest was hideous. You would think, after all these weeks, Joel would be inured to its repellant neon sheen, but no. Too long, too wide, it hung on the man wearing it. Granted, the damn thing was probably one size fits all, and the guy wasn’t big.

Tell-tale white plastic hanging out of his ears, head bopping to music only he could hear, the man pushed the cart to the first desk. Black hair pulled into an undercut ponytail hung past the guy’s shoulders as he grabbed a spray bottle and cloth.

Desk cleaned, computer wiped down, and waste basket emptied, man and cart moved to the next cubicle. After almost two months of watching this man work, Joel had the routine down. The outer office first, desk to desk, cubicle to cubicle. Next, the vacuum cleaner mowed under chairs, and between desks. Joel’s office, the only enclosed space on the floor, was tackled last.

A knock on his open office door, a nod of greeting, and green eyes smiled in at him. Joel never got used to that smile either. He shut his laptop down, grabbed his suit jacket off the back of his chair, and got out of the guy’s way.

Same routine, desk, laptop, wastebasket. The vacuum cleaner whirred and was hooked back into place on the rolling cart. Joel, leaning against a desk in the cubicle outside his office, watched and waited. The earbuds disappeared into the guy’s pocket. The neon vest dropped onto the collection of cleaning supplies.

Hand on his cart, the man turned, tossed a smile at Joel. “Good to go?”

Aimer at Amazon

Camera Shy

Not everyone is. Some people don’t hide in the back row of a group picture, or obsess over the fact that the camera sees everything.

Certainly not this guy…

Oh, sorry. You probably don’t recognize him—with his clothes on.

Will Amos, federal Liberal MP for Pontiac, Quebec got caught with his pants down on Zoom.

What? You don’t strip down in your office after a jog?

Doesn’t everyone?

Probably not while participating in a video meeting with colleagues.

Vive La Belle Province!

Amazon.ca

Aimer at Amazon

Third Time’s the Charm

While I’m not a big believer in proverbs and folk wisdom, I hope the above saying is true.

After a year of bad and worse news, we could all use a little luck.

Heading into the third wave of Crippling Covid, and yet another lockdown here in Ontario, I have to say I’m feeling a little hopeless, and helpless, and tired.

Yes, the vaccines are rolling out, and the news broadcasts report light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m wondering …

When the storm is over, just how big and bright is that rainbow going to be?

Aimer at Amazon

NO FEAR

My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I can say with absolute certainty that I wasn’t zipping down any ski hills at three years old. I’m guessing most of us weren’t at that age, but…

Adia Leidums is.

Picture taken by Eric Leidums

The three-year-old from Fernie, British Columbia started skiing in her front yard last fall, then graduated to the real slopes at Fernie Alpine Resort this past winter.

Aida’s father, wondering what his daughter was thinking as she maneuvered her way down the slopes, decided to mic her up. In the video he posted to his YouTube channel, Adia can be heard monitoring her progress out loud, and giving herself instructions as she navigates curves and bumps on her tiny toddler skis.

Amazing, isn’t it?

What we can do before the world tells us we can’t.

Aimer at Amazon

Who Needs Shoes?

You show me a frozen lake and I’ll show you how fast I can curl up in a comfy chair by the fireplace, book in hand, latte by my side.

The very words, frozen lake, make me shiver. They call up images of fir trees and ice skating rinks, red cheeks and hot chocolate.

But that’s me, to Karim El Hayani, a frozen lake is the ideal place to run a half-marathon—barefoot…

CBC News

Earlier this month, on March 3, EL Hayani ran 21.1 kilometres on Lac Beauport in -15C. He set a Guinness World Record for the fastest, barefoot half-marathon on snow or ice, finishing the distance in 1 hr, 38 mins with frozen, blistered feet.

An incredible accomplishment for anyone, but considering that El Hayani is a recent transplant to Canada, and that he spent most of his 27 years running barefoot in shorts, in the heat of Spain, a truly impressive feat.

Congratulations. Respect, but…

Why?

Aimer at Amazon

A Covid Barbie?

Barbie’s been around forever. Constantly changing, ever evolving, and still sitting right there on the shelf in your local toy store.

From 1959

To 2020

For 2021, there’s a new release of our favourite doll, but don’t bother hitting up Amazon. You won’t find it there.

The creative mind of Gunnar Montana—not Mattel—brings you…

@gunnarmontana

With the help of some friends, the Philadelphia-based dancer and performance artist, built a seven-foot-tall Barbie box, selected the accessories to go inside it, and turned himself into the life-sized doll.

The latest in a variety of projects designed to keep the artist active during the endless restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19, Super Gay Barbie pokes fun at gender norms with humour and style.

You can find Gunnar Montana and his art on Instagram and at Facebook.

Super Gay Barbie will not be coming to a store near you anytime soon.

Aimer at Amazon

Taxes and Other Truths

It’s that time of year again. When KDP sends me an email asking if I want to view my tax forms.

I don’t actually.

I don’t want to know that a book it took me two years to write, edit, and publish is languishing unseen, unsold, and unread. I especially don’t want to know that the three books I’ve written have met the same fate.

Truths I avoid like Covid the rest of the year are ready and waiting for me now. Nice and neat, gift wrapped for me by the Internal Revenue Service.

I don’t have to look. Except, of course, I do. How can I not?

Hope springs eternal for the deluded, a.k.a self-published authors. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be so many of us out there.

The question is how much power do I allow these 1042-S forms to wield? Do I let my lacklustre sales determine whether I finish the book I’m working on now? Do I say, “Hey, I’m no J.K. Rowling. Let’s pack this dream up and call it a day?”

I could.

And I would, except for the fact that I’m stubborn or, as I prefer to think of it, determined—to finish this last book. And maybe, just maybe…

There I go with that annoying hope again.

Aimer at Amazon

New Shoes

Canadian traditions?

You’re thinking maple syrup, poutine, maybe beaver tails—I’m thinking shoes.

Back in 1955, Finance Minister Walter Harris wore new shoes to present the budget and a Canadian parliamentary tradition was born. What started as a coincidence has become a quirky comment on the economy and what the government intends to do about it.

In 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver wore New Balance running shoes to brag on the fact that his government was presenting a balanced budget.

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews presented his 2021 budget wearing made-in-Alberta boots because “economic recovery is key to digging ourselves out of the hole we’re in.” 

In 2020, Northwest Territories Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek tabled her first budget wearing seal fur shoes made by ENB artisan from Iqaliut, Nunavut.

In 2006, British Columbia’s Finance Minister Carole Taylor got a lot of flak for presenting her budget in Gucci shoes.

Some finance ministers have elected to present their budgets in something other…

Finance Minister John Crosbie walked a different path, presenting his budget in mukluks.

Finance Minister Paul Martin laced up work boots in 1994.

In Alberta, Stockwell Day presented budgets in 1999 wearing inline skates and a helmet “to represent the speed at which Alberta could adapt to a changing economy.”

Apparently, finance ministers across Canada have adopted the adage If the shoe fits, wear it.

Aimer at Amazon