Less-than-enthustatic torch

Posted on December 17th, 2009 8 great comments. Room for one more!

So now that we’ve had our first, proper winter cold, I’m starting to feel a little better. It was getting close to minus ten (14 Fahr.) this evening, but I had a good pace going and my bits were all looking like they wouldn’t be falling off. It helped that it wasn’t windy – the body can maintain a pretty good micro-climate around the skin as long as it’s not constantly being ripped away. The micro-climate, I mean. Well, the skin too, I suppose. Winter storms can be a bit rippy. It’s mostly the millions of tiny, razor-sharp ice shards being blasted against your skin at high velocity that does the trick. They momentarily melt as they slide (you have to imagine this in slo-mo), tiny rivulets of water running across your exposed cheek and, just before being lifted aloft again by the incessant wind, freezing; microscopic icicles suddenly snapping and being borne aloft in the frenzy of the beastly rush.

Except that didn’t happen tonight. I was just saying it could (and at some point will) happen.

street corner, king street west, st. andrews's church, simcoe street, toronto, city, life

But as everyone around here seems to be so keen on saying, that’s what a Toronto winter is. Bam! And you take your licks whether you drive, bike (hahaha!), walk, ride the rails, or none of the above. Everyone gets equally abused during the dark months. And the current one’s still getting darker. Ouch.

So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a bit less than enthusiastic about the Olympic torch passing through town. I mean, there are worse things to cheer for than people striving for physical limits, this I know, but I like watching televised events that take me to exotic locales, not another view of winter. Makes me feel like, you know, maybe I should be out there doing that too. A little cross-city skiing or something. There are many occasions when that’s actually not unreasonable, it all depends on the fickle snow. After all, it was ten years ago that MC Mayor Melly-Mel Noooooobody! Lastman (in hindsight, the most entertaining mayor of them all), called in the troops to help with the snow. That spring I shook my fist out the window as my plane took off for the east. Far east. For a while.

Now I have a new perspective :). But perspective doesn’t keep you warm. So standing around waiting for some dude with a flaming stick to run by … meh, I prefer to keep my fingers. But I did catch the rehearsals for the City Hall torch ceremony the day before. Ah, balmier times.


olympic torch ceremony, performance, aboriginal, old city hall, nathan phillips square, queen street west, bay street, toronto, city, life

The performance was prime Canadiana, an aboriginal woman booting around front-and-centre surrounded by various immigrants all doing their own thing to a busy Latin beat. And in keeping with the abundant symbolism, a Caucasian cripple wheeled around in her wheelchair in the background during the performance (you can see the obscured wheels in the photo above).

The other thing that dampens my zeal for the Winter Olympics is that they’re happening in Vancouver. This is the second time that the games have been hosted out west, presumably because of their proximity to mountains. Montreal hosted the summer Olympics and Formula 1 racing will be returning there next year. The best that Toronto could muster is the Pan Am Games, and if this is causing you to ask “whuzza?”, you’re not the only one. If it wasn’t for Toronto’s bid (and win), my knowledge of the Games would be limited to being vaguely aware of the name.

I hung around for one more performance of assorted ethnic stomping but I could actually feel the temperature dropping as I stood there:

olympic torch ceremony, performance, aboriginal, old city hall, nathan phillips square, queen street west, bay street, toronto, city, life

The Winter Olympics will be a hard sell in about a month’s time. By that point, the novelty of the snow will have worn off and people will be in coping mode. As for me, I’m working on acclimatizing myself, but at some point it won’t really make much difference — it’s either stay indoors or savour a case of frostbite. Watching other people on TV mucking about in the same outdoor mess I’ve just extricated myself from is just not a priority. Sure I can now stroll around in sub-zero temperatures like it’s nobody’s business, but I’d still rather enjoy it from in front of a roaring fire (or heating element — I’m not picky). And if I’m gonna be indoors, I’d rather download a good movie instead.

8 Comments on “ Less-than-enthustatic torch ”

  • Margaret
    December 18th, 2009 1:19 pm

    I realize the grass is always greener blah blah blah, but sometimes I wish it would snow here where I live, but we're lucky to see it once every 20 years or so for about 5 minutes. On the other hand, I wouldn't want feet and feet of it. Instead I complain about the ghastly heat during the summer here in Sacramento where it's over 100 degrees (Fahr) and often. I hate it, but I don't know if I'd rather have snow. I guess I can hop in my car and take right off without having to shovel the driveway when it's hot. So, there's that.


    Read more from Margaret at: http://www.nannygoatsinpanties.com
  • Patrick
    December 18th, 2009 2:17 pm

    Well, Margaret, I've done the tropical Christmas more than once and, of course, I've done the standard northern Christmas with snow too. For the holidays, I can say without hesitation that I love snow. Usually in December it's not that cold yet so a white blanket over everything is really quite lovely. Come late January, however … bah-freakin'-humbug; gimme a shady tree, hammock, and a fancy drink with a little umbrella in it. In about a month's time, I'll be envying you something fierce.


  • richarie
    December 18th, 2009 7:09 pm

    Patrick, I have question, pls help if you know the answer. I wonder…is Entrecard and CMF is "friend" with Google adsense? I mean…we know Google adsense have many rules. Moreover, I do not know if is allowed to put CMF or Entrecard in same page blog. I am sorry for asking this in you blog. I will wait your respond. Thank you so much


    Read more from richarie at: http://www.chibifest.com
  • Patrick
    December 21st, 2009 7:58 am

    I don't know of any rules for CMF or EntreCard stating that you must not combine them with other ad networks, RichaRie. If that were the case, there would have to be a very compelling reason for excluding other networks (e.g. really high traffic). Even Google can't limit what you put on your page — the privacy policy they require is based on the fact that they use cookies (and collect personally-identifying information), and you can't misrepresent the advertisers (as sponsors, for example) — but what else you have on your blog is none of their beeswax.


  • The Mind of a Mom
    December 18th, 2009 8:35 pm

    We'll have the torch coming on by on Sunday am. but don't come to my blog to look for picture because it will be a/ too cold and b/ too darn early in the am for me! http://www.torontocitylife.com/wp-content/plugins
    I'll catch it on the local news from the warmth of my family room.


    Read more from The Mind of a Mom at: http://meonlydifferent.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    December 21st, 2009 7:59 am

    That's the best way to enjoy it, Mom :) Avoid the protesters while you're at it!


  • Kato
    December 19th, 2009 11:54 pm

    Unfortunately, I am behind you, standing close in order to steal your body heat, on this post.

    In the winter I hide from the outside as much as possible, but smile and tell everyone how much I love it (and I kind of do) so that I am not one of the millions who complains about it.

    Stay warm!


    Read more from Kato at: http://www.pandorahsbox.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    December 21st, 2009 8:00 am

    Haha! I don't have that much body heat to steal, Kato. But you have the right idea ;)


What's on your mind?