This comes perhaps a little later than some people will have posted their reviews of 2018. My reason for the late posting – today (January 17) is also the anniversary of arriving in Toronto.
The start of January was spent by packing up the old place in Maple Ridge, and working on getting it ready for a change in ownership. The sale was in process, but I had to get some work repairing the garage ceiling done first. It was also early on in January when I moved Otter and Cylia over to be looked after by Sydney Roo and his brother. Had a farewell dinner with some folks, and then on Jan 12 I left BC and went down to Seattle. There, another farewell dinner with some more people, and then left on the Big Drive on Jan 13. The drive was long, but fortunately uneventful, and I arrived in Toronto on Jan 17. Stayed with Babs for a little bit while I looked for a place to buy, and found somewhere maybe a week later. Then moved to an AirBnB for a few weeks until the purchase of a condo was completed. I started working on Jan 29th.
Moved into the new condo on Feb 15th. Got all my stuff on the 17th. The cats arrived from BC (by air) on the 18th. My little family was complete again.
Attended my 2nd Furnal Equinox. The previous year when I attended I had no idea that this one I would be living here for.
Broke the 1000 follower ceiling in Twitter … yay. This would come to be of benefit a couple of months later at AnthroCon, as it would get me a free taco at the place across from the Westin.
There was the attack by a guy in a van in North York – two subway stops north from where I work. A number of people killed as they were run down.
Smirked as the Maple Leafs got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Though I don’t live there any more, the San Jose Sharks are still my team.
Otter made it to be 18 years old!
Did a couple of fursuit outings – a walk in a park, and also an event on Victoria Day on Toronto’s Centre Island.
Went out to the Doors Open Toronto event, and got to see Bay Lower subway station, the old Toronto City Hall and the new Toronto City Hall.
Went down to attend the Niagara Falls Comic Con, bringing Drogon out there. Mistakingly ate at an Outback Steakhouse there, unaware of the massive tourist markup they charge. It wasn’t even that good of a meal either!
Cylia’s had her 9th birthday!
Visited Ottawa for the first time, and wandered the Parliament Hill grounds in the evening and a bit of downtown. The next day, went out to a Renaissance Faire near there. Originally had intended to costume, but it wasn’t great for that since it was on a government owned property, and governments are No Fun.
Went to the theatre to see Phantom of the Opera! While I remembered the music, I was surprised at how much of the story itself I had forgotten.
Visited the Raptor Sanctuary at Mountsberg, a place which I hadn’t been to since March 2008.
Aeto came over to visit right before July 1 (technically he arrived June 30). We went down to Niagara Falls on July 1 (roads were so busy!) and then got back with what we thought was enough time to see the fireworks back in Toronto. Except traffic was a mess and transit couldn’t get us to where the fireworks were when it started. Saw some of them from a number of blocks away, but left somewhat early to avoid traffic. Drove down to Anthrocon – the first one that either of us had been to in years – on July 4. Debuted my new Khajiit costume, Athra, and had perhaps the best con I’d had in ages.
At the end of July, I tripped over a weirdly placed curb and suffered a bad foot injury. While I’m mostly recovered, the effects still linger. I doubt that I’ll be back to the state that I was before, though.
Intended to go to CanFurence, but because of the injury just a week before, ended up missing it. Also because of trying to recover from the injury, I really didn’t do much this month. For a large part of it, I was working from home as I really couldn’t comfortably make it into the office.
Technically this started in August, but I went to the Toronto Fan Expo. Once again, I took Drogon there, and also Athra. Still liking that lots of people actually recognize him for being a Khajiit.
While I never made it to the Gilroy Garlic Festival while I was living in the San Jose Bay Area, I made it out to the Toronto Garlic Festival this year.
Right at the beginning of their season, I ‘challenged’ the Blue Jays that if they won the World Series I’d stop mocking them. They didn’t even make the playoffs. The mocking will continue.
Went out to the Michigan Renaissance Faire. This was the first Faire I’d been to which had permanent buildings. Wow. This blew even the California Faires (which were my current high bar) out of the water. Again, brought Athra out, and he was quite the hit.
My parents came out around the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, prior to them going down to Florida. Again, went down to Niagara Falls (3rd time this year), and managed to find other things to do as well to keep them occupied.
Went to the Hamilton Comic Con. Met Caroll Spinney (who used to play Sesame Street’s Big Bird), and brought Athra out again.
While playing Pokémon Go out in a park one Sunday afternoon, I saw my first real blue jay. Eh. Not at all as impressive as Steller’s Jays!
I decided to bring in Phijardni to work for Hallowe’en, and won ‘scariest’ at the work Hallowe’en contest.
Went to Furnal Solstice, which is Furnal Equinox’s winter holiday party. Brought out Tatonga for that one, since he does his best to fake being a reindeer occasionally.
Then towards the end of the month, things started to decline. Stuff happened that caused my mental health and happiness level to start rapidly going down. Then the day I was going to leave for MFF, my workplace decided to terminate the employment of one person in my team, and a few people in the neighbouring team to me. I knew that I was okay, but these thoughts stuck with me while I was heading to the convention.
Continuing on from the end of November, things just got worse. Lots of little things that kept going wrong just compounded, and I ended up having the worst convention experience I’ve had for years. By Saturday afternoon, I was almost ready to try and get an early flight home. While it’s not the fault of the convention, I think that I will not be back to MFF for some time.
Right in the middle of December is my birthday – 45 years old now. To celebrate it, went out with a couple of people to see Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo show. After that, walked over to a BBQ place and had good food.
This year, I was heading back to the UK for Christmas. I had the Friday before I left off work, and that was fortunate, because while I was going to take Otter to the vet for boarding, he appeared rather unwell during the day. I took him down earlier in the day instead. He was dehydrated, and there were a few tests that we were going to get done. He was in the best place to be for the next week, at least.
The time in the UK was decent, and I managed to avoid political arguments while there. Went and did the Crystal Maze Live Experience in London with my brother, which was a lot of fun. On Christmas Day, met my nephew for the first time, as well as my aunt’s new dog. Thursday, went and saw the Disney stage show of Aladdin, which was okay except for that they made Iago to be a human henchman to Jafar instead of a parrot – so that nagged at me the whole show.
But the year closed out on a bad note. Once I got back home, Otter was not in good shape at all when I picked him up from the vet. He was now barely able to walk, couldn’t make it into the litter box, and was hardly eating. On New Year’s Eve, I took him back down to the vets for the last time and said good bye to a friend that I’d had for almost 18 years. 🙁
Looking ahead to 2019
When this journal is posted, I’ll have been in Toronto for a whole year. It’s had highs and lows. It’s starting low now because of the loss of Otter, but I’m hoping for it to get better. The plans for this year include:
- Furnal Equinox in March, where I’m staffing it as Business Director
- Heading to Florida in April for my Dad’s 80th birthday
- AnthroCon in July
- Fan Expo in August
- DragonCon – my first time going to that one – in September
- More Renaissance Faires – I want to go back to the one in Michigan, as well as others in that state. Also, want to try and get to the NY Faire. Depending if someone (not me) gets a particular Khajiit costume, I may try to make it down to the NC Faire too.