Award season 2013

As the alcohol sets in and the year ends, I thought I’d take a moment to consider the 2013 Randys, the seminal moments and/or people of the past year.

Every year is special but this was truly a year for the books (or Kindles/Kobos if you’re one of those people).

Most engaging conversation: Weekly meetings with friend, Agah Bahari

Friend, child of the universe and novel buddy (as in we're writing a novel) Agah

Friend, child of the universe and novel buddy (as in we’re writing a novel) Agah

Silliest playtime: Conversations with Kevin Scott, Marsha Mason, Nic Lemon

Just set the camera to reward and place a diaper on the furniture...there will be pee

Just set the camera to record and place a diaper on the furniture…there will be pee

Most raucous laughter: Monthly bonfires organized by Janine Short

Conversation runs the gamut from politics to coitus interruptus and everything in between

Conversation runs the gamut from politics to coitus interruptus and everything in between

Most head-spinning period: Austin Film Festival, both the sessions and attendees

Terry Rossio on AFF panel

Oddest friendship (tie): Virtual connection to blogger Ned Hickson; Duke #75, mascot of the Toronto Marlies

One is a pro hockey mascot and the other is a humorist (US spelling here)

One is a pro hockey mascot and the other is a humorist (US spelling here)

Most humbing moment: Little Joe’s Heart campaign and response

We lost a little fighter this year...he will not be forgotten

We lost a little fighter this year…he will not be forgotten

Friend of the year (tie): Leela Holliman, Nic Lemon, Marsha Mason

This is Leela...you met Nick and Marsha above

This is Leela…you met Nick and Marsha above

Dream come true: Travelling Costa Rica (bonus: with my brother, Shawn “Chongo” Solnik)

One of the few photos of my brother NOT flipping the bird...here he flips fish

One of the few photos of my brother NOT flipping the bird…here he flips fish

Greatest moment of the year: Photo with cast of PuppetUp!

I don't care if you're sick of hearing about these guys

I don’t care if you’re sick of hearing about these guys

Urban Christmas

And now for some downtown Toronto shots from my walkabout before Christmas dinner.

Naturally Christmas Day

As I headed off for my Christmas feast in downtown Toronto, I took a bit of time to photograph some of the natural and urban wonders of my city.

Attached, are some of the natural attractions as Toronto chips its way out of the latest ice storm.

Holiday Dinner at the Royal York

As much as it pains many people I know, for the last four years, I have spent my Christmas dinner at a local hotel, The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. The splendid buffet is held in the hotel’s Imperial Room, a small hall that once hosted musical legends (back in the day when you dressed up to go to a show).

For the first two years, I went with my wife Leela, whereas more recently, I have been sitting on my own (interestingly at the same table). That being said, when you’re surrounded by dozens of families, a troupe of carolers, a balloon artist and Santa Claus, are you truly alone?

The lesson I learned this year: Don’t watch people (adults as well as kids) use the chocolate fountain…you’re better off not knowing.

Special Delivery: A cautionary Christmas tale

A beautiful story from an amazing blogosphere mate! Happy holidays all.

Ned's Blog

A blogger friend named Randall recently posted a beautiful poem about taking time to recognize the magic in our lives. In his poem, he used snow as an analogy for the magic that is constantly swirling around us — and how, like snow, it can quickly melt away and go unnoticed unless we make an effort to see it. What follows is a Christmas tale based on a true-life experience. It’s a mixture of fact, whimsy, hope and my belief that a heartfelt wish is the cornerstone of life’s most important magical moments. That said, my thanks to all of you for sharing the magic every day…

image He looked very out of place sitting alone in the flight terminal, his arms folded over a Superman backpack, and large brown eyes peering out from beneath his baseball cap. A few seats away, a keyboard recital was being performed by a businessman…

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