LONDON, ONTARIO - Delayed by a rotating pre-Christmas strike strategically timed to dampen what little confidence Canadians retain in their loathsome national mail service, those sadists at Canada Post just took three maddening weeks to deliver a much-anticipated package from north-eastern to south-western Ontario. Which is to say I finally got my mitts on my very own copy of Canadian Converts Volume II from Justin Press in Ottawa.
LONDON, ONTARIO – Of all literary forms, diaries are the most various and numerous. Almost everyone has tried to keep one for at least fifteen minutes and every diarist reinvents the form to fit his or her requirements. I kept mine pretty steadily from about the age of 16 to 35, erratically thereafter, and hardly at all since turning 50. The three main ways that diary-keeping has been helpful for me are in sorting out primary relationships, coming to terms with overarching questions about meaning and existence, and as a sort of literary workshop.
LONDON, ONTARIO – Through my 20s and early 30s while I was building up a network of editorial connections that would allow me to make a go of it full time as a writer (at least until my early 50s when the interwebs started to incrementally decimate the publishing world) I took on a number of supplementary jobs in unrelated fields to keep the wolf at bay. Because I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wasn’t looking to any of these strictly mercenary positions as potential careers. I was after grocery and rent money; not a personal challenge or an opportunity for growth and development. I was happy to give my best effort throughout a working shift but when quitting time arrived, I was going to be putting my mind elsewhere and didn’t intend to give one more second’s thought to any of these jobs until the beginning of my next shift.
LONDON, ONTARIO – So how about that Bill Armstrong? The long-serving, charisma-deficient London politician just got turfed from office following an unfathomable 24-year reign as Councillor for Ward 2. As they elected or re-elected him seven times in a row, I presume his constituents detected something in the man that they liked (or at least didn’t mind) but his wispy appeal never travelled as far as Ward 13 where I live. Admittedly, I’m not much of a political junkie at any jurisdictional level but I did cover City Hall quite extensively for the better part of 2010 when Jim Chapman had his Voice of London website up and running and I watched Armstrong just as closely as I could stand and never cracked the mystery of why he kept getting re-elected. Suffice it to say that “Armstrong Proposes Bold New Initiative” was not a headline that ever appeared on one of my dispatches.
THE AQUINAS LECTURE
G.K. CHESTERTON AND THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE
Monday, January 28
St. Peter's Seminary
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