The Mayor-Elect and the Inept Interview

Okay … so election day in Toronto was Monday.

And the man that polarized a lot of people in this city – Rob Ford – won the horse-race to people’s chagrin OR utter glee, depending on your feelings about the man.

Yesterday, the day after the election, one of CBC’s big radio programs, As It Happens, tried to interview him on the air for the show.

To say it didn’t go well would be, well, kind of an understatement.

In fact, you can find the transcript HERE.

Since then, it’s been the talk at the water cooler. And on the Radio. AND on Facebook.

And it didn’t take long to irk me.

When one of my friends wrote, “One day in, and already its crystal clear how little he actually cares. If he can’t even dedicate himself enough for a 3 minute interview, imagine the next 4 years….“, on her page …

The inner journalist in me had HAD it.

So if you’ll indulge me, here’s my Facebook rebuttal that comment:

“Okay … I’ve been hearing this make the rounds for about 24 hours now.

“And while I’m NO fan of Ford AT ALL (I’m extremely skeptical about him anyway), I’m finding the whole kerfuffle with yesterday’s As It Happens interview to be EXASPERATING.

“Why? Well, I’ll tell you.

“(1) Following the interview, Carol Off explained on air that the show called his handler and asked when a good time would be to talk to him. Whomever it was, thought that 3 p.m. would be a good time to call. Obviously it wasn’t. And no, maybe he shouldn’t have prioritized football over media requests. But while I don’t completely agree with how he handled it (I guess he figured a distracted interview was better than, “Sorry CBC, can’t today, sorry” … which might have made him look WORSE), in this case, I blame whomever sticklehandled the media request, more than anything.

“(2) I know what it’s like to interview a politician who’s done tonnes of interviews with CBC before and, under normal circumstances, are more than happy to because they want to get their message out … and then to interview them on an afternoon when they’ve got a packed schedule, and have them get a little impatient when I’ve got a question or two left and they’re like, “Is this going to take much longer? I’ve gotta be at ______ in 25 minutes.” It happens.

“(3) Did NO ONE listen to Metro Morning today? Matt Galloway interviewed Rob Ford at about 7:20 a.m. They had been trying to get an interview with him this week. Today happened to be the day. (And whomever works on that show, you can TOTALLY correct me, if in actual fact he’d been dodging your calls for 2 days, rather than actually being busy with election-related stuff.)

“Seriously, YES, a lot of us are upset this man is mayor. And I’m proof-positive I’m one of hundreds of thousands of residents who will be scrutinizing Mr Ford’s every move from here on in.

“But for the love of GOD, we GOTTA pick our battles. And this doesn’t quite qualify.”

There. I’ve said my piece. If you want to have at me, go right ahead. But I stand by this 100 percent.

I LOVE This!

I’ve been procrastinating on posting lately … but I won’t procrastinate on this.

I was at work watching CNN last weekend, when they mentioned this Sesame Street video among the  videos that had gone viral in the past week.

I hadn’t heard of it till then … but I’m glad I watched it.

Forget making little black girls feel better about themselves – it makes ME (a grown woman) feel good about MYSELF.

After this epic post from last year – expressing my annoyances, insecurities and all – it’s reminded me of why I shouldn’t care what others think.

Solve THIS Holey Problem

This isn’t really a post … so much as it is an open call for you guys to put on your thinking caps and help me brainstorm a solution for the following:

I have a bunch of over-loved pants (and a few shirts) with holes in them that are too big to bother fixing. Some pants I can no longer fit in to.

I also have a few bags (one knapsnack, one gym bag, and one “work” shoulder bag) that also have holes, or are downright ratty.

They need to go, ’cause they’re taking up space.

I was going to toss them, BUT, I’d rather not. I’d just be making yet another contribution to the world’s landfills. So that’s my absolute-last-resort option.

So, to those of you who are crafty/environmentally-aware:

Do any of you know of any people, places, organizations or companies (in Toronto, of course) that take in old holey clothes (or bags) for the purpose of:

(a) crafts involving fabrics/textiles OR

(b) repurposing the fabric to make new articles of clothing, handbags, etc.?

If you do, please comment! I’d love to hear from you.

The Subway That Hardens People

In recent weeks, I’ve had a few experiences on the subway that have kind of clouded my belief that people are, generally, nice and good.

It also has reminded me to (a) keep surrounding myself with the good moments in life and (b) remember to keep being nice to others.

Sunday, September 6. I was en route to my friend Angela’s place. She was holding a last-minute bridal shower for a mutual friend of ours. Going north on the subway line, I kind of noticed this middle-aged man get into my subway car. Scraggly beard, stringy hair. I didn’t really pay him any mind after he got on.

At St. Clair West station, I exited through one set of subway doors to make my way towards the streetcar platform upstairs. He also exited, but through the doors at the farther end of the car.

On the platform, we were walking in opposite directions. As we got closer, I noticed he seemed to be kind of walking towards me – but he wasn’t looking at me. It wasn’t until it was too late, that I noticed he was going to deliberately walk into me. I actually tried to avoid him, and said “Excuse me”.

But he obviously didn’t care, and smashed into my right shoulder, pushing me into the station wall. The oddest thing about it all was, there wasn’t really anyone on the platform.

I turned and momentarily stopped to look at him. The guy just kept on walking. Who knows? Maybe he was on drugs. Maybe he was angry at the world and thought trying to knock me over would make him feel better. But I didn’t have the time, nor the desire to run after him. I started to jogging over to the escalators,. gift bag in hand, so I could make the St. Clair streetcar.

But the exchange shook me a little, and I’m glad I was pushed against the wall and not off the platform.

Saturday Night. I had just finished work, and was hurrying along to meet my friend Lori for Nuit Blanche.

At St. Andrew Station, I whipped out my Metropass and prepare to enter one of the reversible turnstiles, just as this older woman and her companion were approaching. (While not overdressed, they looked like they were going to attend an evening at the symphony nearby.)

Apparently only one of us was aware of the “reverse” function.

The woman and I stopped in front of the same turnstile. I deferred, and stepped to one side to let her through.

I only expected her to pass through and mumble a perfunctory thank you.

Instead, she decided to say, “It says ‘exit'”, as she clicked through the turnstile.

This made me stop and say nothing for at least a couple seconds. I was thinking, This woman actually thinks I’m an idiot!

Instead I said, “It’s also ‘enter’,” swiped my Metropass and passed through the turnstile. I didn’t even look at her when she left my sightline, and chances are she wasn’t really paying attention after her oh-so-(not-so)-smart comment, either.

Later that evening, while travelling home, I was sitting in a two-seater, iPod cranked and head buried in a NOW Magazine, when someone sat down close beside me. Because it was after midnight and there was already one drunk guy in the subway car, I didn’t want to take any chances encouraging whomever was sitting beside me by looking at them.

Several stops later, the guy – who STILL hasn’t given me so much as a microscopic buffer zone – starts nudging me. I’m thinking, who on earth IS this? I pull my head out of the news paper and turn … only to stare into the face of my work-friend Errol … who, by now, is giggling because he’s found the whole scene hilarious. My subway game face gives way and I just start laughing – at my own ridiculous behaviour, and his response to it. We must’ve been laughing for about 4 or 5 subway stops, until he eventually got off at Main.

It’s just made me realize how cold the subway – and city – must sometimes be to people who come here from other places.

If a homegrown resident can see it, I can’t even imagine what a transplanted citizen must see.