Thursday night. New lockdown hobby: trying to get my coworkers used to saying “Happy Thor’s Day.” It’ll be pretty funny if I actually manage to get a new meme up and running.

Today had some good news, for once. As of today, the stock portfolio I put together back in May is up by 80.1%. I celebrate every 10% gain with a bottle of champagne: today, I uncorked the fancy $80 bottle I bought a while back, but it didn’t taste all that different from the cheap $20 stuff. (Maybe slightly less acidic but not enough so to justify the 300% price spike.) So it goes. There’s probably some deep metaphor there, but frankly, I’m a bit too buzzed to care.

It’s strange to me. I feel some weird Soviet proletarian guilt over making so much money for doing nothing. Years ago, when I was a manual labourer (or laborer, back then) working at warehouses, it would’ve taken me six months of extreme frugality to save as much money as I’ve just made in the past six weeks simply by letting my portfolio grow. It feels so very alien to just imagine my pile of money growing all on its own, occasionally hitting yet another goalpost. And seeing as all of those stocks are still 30-50% below their previous 52-week high, they still have an awful lot of room to grow. I keep reminding myself that this is fine, and that I deserve these profits, and that I’d sacrificed an entire decade of my life to being a workaholic drone just to get to this point, but it still feels odd. (You can take a boy out of the Soviet Union… Heh.) It might get easier with time.

I ventured out for a 30-minute walk during my lunch break today. I deliberately did not take my phone out of my pocket and just tried to pay attention to the things around me. It was refreshing. I had no idea that just a few blocks away, there was a small park dedicated to Gwendolyn MacEwen, a famous Canadian poet. I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of her before I came across that park, but this poem excerpt inscribed on her bust is beautiful:
“But it is never over,
nothing ends until we want it to.
Look, in shattered midnights,
On black ice, under silver trees,
We are still dancing, dancing.”

In covid news, Ontario has officially entered what’s supposed to be a strict lockdown. In reality, no one is quite sure what the rules are (aside from all the big stores closing at 8pm), which means no one can really enforce them. There are 29 separate exceptions to the official “stay at home” guideline. That is not an exaggeration: 29 exceptions. Frankly, it would’ve been easier for them to explain what precisely is not allowed, rather than provide so many exceptions to their own weird rules. In theory, folks are supposed to stay home unless they’re going outside for some exercise, for groceries, to a pharmacy, or to work. In reality, when journalists asked Ford to clarify his rules, he just said people should use their best judgement.

In other words, those who exercised caution will continue to do so. Those who didn’t care will continue not to care. Without specific ironclad rules (ideally with far fewer than 29 exceptions), there’s no way to enforce this province-wide shutdown, and that means more absurdity like the BBQ-Anon demonstration a while back, where none of the maskless protesters received any penalties for being a giant public health hazard. On social media, folks are mighty pissed off. Also, I didn’t know that until just today, but Doug Ford, our fearless premier, never actually finished college. He dropped out after just two months. That explains a lot about his hostile anti-science attitude and inability to foresee the consequences of his shortsighted actions, even when his own advisors try to guide him in the right direction. He won’t be up for reelection for another 18 months or so, so I guess Ontarians are stuck with him for the duration of the pandemic. Still, it’s a bit better to be stuck here with him than, say, in Florida. So it goes, eh?

Happy Thor’s Day, y’all, and to y’all a good night.