Brooke and I ate at a great little restaurant last night. It’s called Nothing in Common, and it has about 6 tables downstairs (they have a smoking section upstairs but I expect it’s about the same size). The decor was great. Lots of kitsch on the walls, boxes of Trivial Pursuit questions on the tables, and the legs of our table ended in rubber boots. Great food, too, by the way. Funny thing was that because it’s so small, you can hear everyone else’s conversation. There was a couple there who were obviously on their first date, and I wondered what sort of a person would ask someone to a restaurant called “Nothing in Common” for a date…
Thanks to Elise for the link. My reaction to the article, though, is “Who cares?” I guess I’m well past being cool, and I’ve never been someone who worries about their fashion sense. What I like is that there’s a HUGE selection of CHEAP clothes for MEN, and that’s a rare combination. Well, I guess, not so rare, now. By the way, the first Old Navy store in Toronto will open in the spring of next year. And I’m baffled by the writer’s assumption that “conformity” is a terrible evil to be avoided. Certainly conformity of thought is not healthy, but where I buy my clothes and furniture? Come on. Most people I know who shop at Old Navy and/or IKEA do it because, in reality, those external things don’t mean that much to them.
Yesterday, Heather told a story about her childhood. It reminded me of a story from mine. As a toddler, I used to sleep in the same room as my parents, and I remember that I couldn’t fall asleep unless I was holding onto my mother’s hand. I would stretch my arm out between the bars of the crib, and reach for mom’s hand. As I got older, and slept in a bed in my own room, the habit remained, only I would reach up and hold the bedpost until I fell asleep. I rationalized it as I grew into a 6 or 7 year old, thinking that if any bad men tried to kidnap me while I slept, they wouldn’t be able to pry my hand from the bed, and therefore, I’d be safe. It was during a family trip to Ireland when I was just turning 9 that I decided to “put away childish things,” forsaking both the bedpost and my nightlight. It is the first memory I have of consciously deciding to “grow up.”
Speaking of trips to Ireland, last March when I was in Dublin visiting family, I discovered two neat things about my family history:
- My great grandmother O’Keeffe owned a house in Howth, just north of Dublin, and this house was a gift to her from Michael Collins’ mother. She (my great grandmother) was quite involved in Ireland’s struggle for independence, at various times sheltering Michael Collins and Eamon DeValera in her house in London, when she lived there.
- I am related to Irish writer Brendan Behan, through marriage.
It’s probably not that unusual. Ireland is a small country.
Lately, I’ve been feeling especially close to the centre of things. If that makes no sense, I’ll give an example. About a year ago, while working at a computer store, I talked to a fellow named Avi Lewis, who is a television music journalist here in Toronto. He was buying a computer for his wife, and was out of town, so phoned me. He paid, and said his wife Naomi would be coming to pick up her new computer in an hour or so. When she arrived, I realized she was Naomi Klein, a fairly well known journalist. I think it came out that she was writing a book. A few months ago, her book No Logo came out to very good reviews. I admit I haven’t read the book, but apparently Thom Yorke of Radiohead did, and stated it was a huge influence on the writing and recording of Kid A. So, although it’s absurd to think that I had any influence on Radiohead, in a small way, I was involved. Like six degrees of separation was somehow reduced to two degrees.