Saturday night.

Well, 2021 officially sucks. My local Tim Hortons ran out of bacon. That’s it, folks. Total loss. Absolute waste of a year. Completely irredeemable garbage, is what I’m saying. I’m just gonna climb into a freezer – defrost me when it’s 2022, eh.

To their credit, when I tweeted this out, even without tagging them, Tim Hortons reached out to me for details. My consolation prize is a voucher for one free hot beverage: since I’m mostly a “large black coffee” guy, I’ll have to get downright creative about maximizing that thing’s value.

I’ve moved another batch of crap to my studio, and spent an hour stuffing more things into those amazing 18-gallon plastic crates that you typically see in hardware stores or when college students move in or out of their dorms. Those things are amazing, and I can’t sing enough praises in their honour. They’re compact, easy to lift, even easier to stack inside a car, and you can always dump things out and bring the crates back to reload them again. I got a little carried away with packing… It was odd: the detritus of nearly a year.

I’ll really, really have to downsize: not just my buckets of shiny rocks but also the book hoard I’ve been lugging around the continent (about 100 or so – they add up fast.), and remnants of unsuccessful hobbies. I have an entire crate filled with electronics components, how-to books, and kits: those things managed to distract me and keep me relatively sane during a particularly bad time at work years ago, but it never went anywhere. They’ll make some electronics enthusiast very happy soon, I think.

It’s funny: when I made the long drive from Seattle to Toronto in March 2019, I’d managed to fit everything I owned (that I hadn’t given away or sold) inside my relatively small 2013 Kia Rio. It was a little crowded there, and I did drive solo, but it worked out fine. Now, after less than two years in Canada, I have acquired luxuries that would keep me from repeating that maneuver. (Things like an office chair, a roll-up Ikea mattress, a medium-sized bookshelf, etc.) When I picked up the studio keys from the guy that subleased it to me, he said he was hopping on a bus back to Quebec. (I didn’t pry.) All he had with him was a backpack and a large travel bag. I admire that simplicity and want to get to that point someday… Definitely not going to happen what with my collections of shiny rocks and local art and antique cameras, but hey, it’s good to have aspirations, right?

Speaking of which… I think I wrote earlier that the search&rescue crews back in Washington state started offering covid vaccines to their rescuers. My younger brother is still there, still an active rescuer (proud of you, little bro!), and will get his first shot within a few weeks. If I really wanted to, I could end my wait right here and now: hop on a plane, bring my work laptop with me, spend a month in Seattle to get both of my shots through the search&rescue organization (I still pay my membership dues), and then fly back to Canada. As you’ve already noticed, that wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve done. (Probably not even in the top-5.) It would be achievable, and fast, and above all, it would be so easy. See the sights, spend time with my family, hang out (from afar) with my friends, see if my favourite pizzeria is still open (damn it, I’ve just checked and they’ve gone out of business), enjoy the artisanal cider Seattle is known for. It would be so, so easy – but it’d also be wrong. As tempting as that sounds (and it’s really damn tempting), I’d be taking away a dose of the precious vaccine from someone else who’d have to wait a little longer. There’s never a good way to know how that butterfly effect plays out, who lives or dies due to a distant echo of your choices, but nonetheless, it’d be a net negative if I were to fly and get the vaccine allocated for active rescuers.

Sometimes I wonder how much easier my life would be if I just didn’t care about things like that. If I could shamelessly do the unethical things that would objectively (and greatly) benefit me. If I didn’t develop sentimental attachments for my employer or coworkers, and could job-hop between companies like all the cool kids. If I could just jump ship without any regard for other people’s feelings. Oh well. Gotta play the cards you’ve been dealt. I suppose those shark-eyed sociopaths I wonder about also don’t have any deep friendships and relationships, so I’ve got that going for me, eh.

In covid news… Good news: Ontario’s finance minister Rod Phillips has resigned, though he didn’t do that willingly. He went out kicking and screaming, making excuses and providing lame explanations, even going so far as to claim that his pre-scheduled social media pictures and videos (which made it look like he was still in Ontario) were standard industry practice and not, you know, a blatant lie. It didn’t make things better when people found that Doug Ford (Ontario’s premier) had known about Phillips’s vacation but didn’t do anything about it. So, that’s one hypocrite that’s out.

Bad news: turns out, there’s a whole lot more of them. Other government VIPs from all over Canada got caught traveling to Mexico, Greece, California, Hawaii, Peru (classy!), etc. As far as I can tell, every major party (there are three of them here) has egg on their face now. What I’m really curious about is if they’ll a) resign, and b) actually follow the two-week quarantine guidance. If any of them get caught outside their house… Well, there’ll be even more outrage. And hell, I get it. Canada is dark and cold and absolutely miserable in the winter. It gets remarkably sad and gloomy here. I can see why someone would want to fly someplace sunny, especially if they do that every year. But come on, people, did you really think you’d get away with that? Other countries have their own hypocrites, I’m sure, but that right there was remarkably un-Canadian, eh. (I have to use up my “eh” quota every day, or they won’t let me become a citizen in 2023. True story.)

If you haven’t blatantly broken any travel regulations, kudos to you! And if you have… well, do try to follow the rules, would you?