Trial of 2 former London jailors ends with acquittal, mistrial


After two days of deliberations a London jury has acquitted former Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre operations manager Stephen Jurkus in the 2013 murder of Adam Kargus, who was beaten to death by his cellmate Anthony George. 

While Jurkus was able to walk away a free man on Tuesday night, the jury was deadlocked over the fate of former guard Leslie Lonsbary, ending the proceeding with the declaration of a mistrial. 

The dramatic ending follows three weeks of testimony that heard from jail guards, inmates and law enforcement officials inside London’s notorious jail. 

Kargus, who was serving a 90-day sentence for fraud, was beaten to death on October 31, 2013 by George, who was serving time for aggravated assault and had a long history of violence, most of it triggered by alcohol. 

Former guard thought Anthony George was ‘drunk’

Fomer EMDC guard Greg Langford seen here leaving the London, Ont. courthouse on Jan. 17, 2019 is a key Crown witness. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

Lonsbary was the guard on-duty the night Kargus was killed and was responsible for cell three in unit six left, where the two men were locked in a cell together overnight. 

Greg Langford, who was the guard Lonsbary was relieving that night, testified in court that just before he went home for the night he had warned both accused that there may have been alcohol in the men’s shared cell that night. 

Langford was originally charged with Jurkus and Lonsbary, but the charges were dropped after a preliminary hearing in 2015. 

During the preliminary hearing Langford said he thought George was « drunk » but later recanted in front of the jury, saying he couldn’t be sure. 

Langford testified in front of the jury that he wrote « possible brew » on a white board inside the office where Lonsbary worked that night while saying it out loud before he went to inform a supervisor. 

A brew, the court heard, is an improvised alcoholic concoction created by inmates using fermented fruit, bread and sugar that can be quite potent.   

Langford told the court he told Jurkus, who responded that there was no room segregation and George would « have to sleep it off. » 

William McVeigh, a provincial corrections investigator testified that jailhouse records show Jurkus was wrong. There was room in segregation on Halloween and had been since 10 a.m. that morning. 

Frenzy of violence

Adam Kargus, 29, was beaten to death by his cellmate Anthony George after they were locked in a cell together on Halloween in 2013. The jail’s guard and nurse suspected George was impaired that night. (Deb Abrams)

The jury also heard from inmates who were serving time at the jail that Kargus pleaded and screamed for his life as George beat him in a frenzy of violence inside their locked cell. 

Robert Graham, an inmate who was in the cell on the floor below, testified through tears that it was unlike anything he’d ever heard. 

He described the audible sounds of someone screaming for their life and told the jury he could feel the vibrations from the pounding from the floor below. 

Graham said while he had no access to a clock from his cell, he would guess that the pandemonium on the floor above lasted about an hour and waxed and waned a number of times throughout. 

Graham testified he knew the beating was over when he heard moaning and groaning coming from the cell above as if someone was being sexually gratified. 

The jury watched surveillance video that showed Lonsbary stayed in a small office and never did his security sweeps until the beating was over, which provincial regulations require about every half hour. 

Guards unable to revive Kargus

William McVeigh is an Inspector with Ontario’s department of corrections. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

The only time he left his office, the video showed, was to briefly look out into the hallway before he closed his office door. 

Guards didn’t discover Kargus’ broken body until almost 10 a.m. the next day, after George had wrapped it in a bed sheet and dragged it, along with a mattress into the section of the jail’s communal shower.

Guards were unable to revive him.  

The court heard how the pathologist who examined Kargus’ body identified more than one possible deadly injury on the 29-year-old’s body and that had Kargus survived, he surely « would have been in a vegetative state. » 

Neither Jurkus nor Lonsbary testified in court and their defence lawyers called no evidence in the case. 

Instead their lawyers argued that their clients didn’t have enough information about what was happening that night, with Lonsbary’s lawyers arguing he wasn’t aware of the presence of alcohol and that he didn’t hear the beating inside the office. 

Case raises more questions about EMDC

Anthony George spoke with The Fifth Estate after he pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of fellow inmate Adam Kargus. (CBC)

Jurkus’ defense team acknowledged while he was told there may be a « possible brew, » Adam Kargus was never mentioned and Jurkus believed George was alone in the cell that night. 

The court also heard from the defence through cross-examination of many of the Crown’s witnesses with the suggestion that the standard of care at the London jail is extremely low, with little training for guards, who often improvise their daily job duties instead of following provincial regulations. 

The case raises more questions about the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, which has been nicknamed « the Devil’s Playground » and has one of the highest death rates among inmates in the country.

A number of families of inmates who died the jail and watched the three-week trial unfold say they’ll continue to push for reforms and justice for the inmates who’ve died while behind bars. 


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Will Toronto see fewer killings in 2019? A violent year ends with record totals — and questions


On Dec. 21 at 9 p.m., three men were shot in Etobicoke. Two were found in a bullet-riddled BMW. One, Cimran Farah, 20, died in the hospital six days later.

Farah’s death was the 96th homicide in Toronto in 2018 — the latest, as of Monday afternoon, in a year in which the city surpassed its previous record of 90, from 1991, by mid-November.

July 1: Toronto police block Queen Street W. the morning after a triple shooting that left one woman injured and killed Ernest (Kosi) Modekwe, 28, and Matthew Lidster, 29.
July 1: Toronto police block Queen Street W. the morning after a triple shooting that left one woman injured and killed Ernest (Kosi) Modekwe, 28, and Matthew Lidster, 29.  (Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star)

The youngest victim was a 3-week-old baby girl, one of ten minors killed this year.

The oldest was 94-year-old Betty Forsyth, who was killed in April along with nine others in the Yonge St. van attack.

Forty-six of those killed — just under half — were under the age of 30. Seventy-five were men and boys. Twenty-one were women and girls. By the Star’s count, police have neither arrested nor issued a warrant for arrest in 33 of these killings, excluding one apparent murder-suicide.

In a year-end press conference this week, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders called 2018 a “unique” year marked by increases in gun violence and two exceptional mass casualty events. Looking ahead to the new year, Saunders was optimistic that homicide numbers will decline — a pattern the city has seen before, following the previous record-high year 1991 and another spike between 2005 and 2007.

Read more:

The 96 victims of Toronto’s record year in homicide

What Toronto’s homicide record means — and what we can do about it

Every Toronto homicide in the past 15 years — mapped

But, as criminologist Scot Wortley notes, without better understanding why shooting and gang-related violence has increased, it is difficult to know if this year was an outlier or a sign of a larger trend.

The year began with the Jan. 29 arrest of an alleged serial killer who is accused of targeting men connected to Toronto’s Gay Village since 2010. Bruce McArthur now faces eight charges of first-degree murder.

Then came the April van attack that left 10 dead and 16 injured and in July the Danforth shooting in which 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon were killed and 13 injured.

Even without the 12 deaths from these two tragedies, Toronto’s homicide numbers for 2018 are high — significantly higher than in 2017, which saw 65 homicides, 2016, which was 75 and 2015, which saw 59.

March 18: An officer with the Toronto police Forensic Identification Services works at the scene of a double shooting at a crowded North York bowling alley. The shooting killed Thanh Tien Ngo, 32, and Ruma Amar, 29, a bystander.
March 18: An officer with the Toronto police Forensic Identification Services works at the scene of a double shooting at a crowded North York bowling alley. The shooting killed Thanh Tien Ngo, 32, and Ruma Amar, 29, a bystander.  (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star)
June 15: The Scarborough playground where two girls, ages 5 and 9, were seriously injured while playing after a gunman opened fire at another man.
June 15: The Scarborough playground where two girls, ages 5 and 9, were seriously injured while playing after a gunman opened fire at another man.  (Anne-Marie Jackson/Toronto Star)
July 25: People gather for a vigil on the Danforth three days after a gunman opened fire in the neighbourhood, shooting 15, killing 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Juliana Kozis.
July 25: People gather for a vigil on the Danforth three days after a gunman opened fire in the neighbourhood, shooting 15, killing 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Juliana Kozis.  (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star)

More than half of Toronto homicides this year, 51, were fatal shootings, just two less than 2005, the city’s infamous “Year of the Gun.”

The victims include 22-year-old Yohannes Brhanu, found dead after a gun battle on a residential street in a car surrounded by bullet casings and shattered glass; 29-year-old Ruma Amar, shot in the back of the head in a hail of gunfire meant for someone else as she, her husband and sister were leaving a North York bowling alley; and 31-year old Jenas Nyarko, a shelter worker killed in a drive-by shooting while sitting in a car outside her apartment with friends after attending a funeral.

The number of shootings in the city this year also appears to have broken a record: In the latest police numbers published Monday, 2018 had seen 424 shootings, more than 2016’s year-end total of 407, which is the largest tally in any year since 2004, according to police data.

Saunders has attributed the gun violence to increased street gang activity and pointed to similar trends across North America. And while he outlined enforcement challenges for police that come with arresting and charging gang members — including witnesses with justifiable fears of retribution, poor community relationships with police, and a “team sport” mentality in gangs that means individual arrests of gang members have limited impact — he emphasized the need for solutions that go beyond policing at his year-end press conference.

“The enforcement piece plays an important part. I’m not here to say that it’s softer policing. I’m here to say that it’s smarter policing. There have to be agencies at the front end that prevent these young boys from shooting others. There’s a lot of funding that needs to be put in. Not grant funding; core funding, into the communities. Nobody’s ever, that I know of, born saying ‘I want to be a street gang member,’” Saunders said.

“To think we can arrest our way out of this is a falsehood.”

August 22: The Danforth is closed again the morning after another shooting at a sports bar killed Danny Morales, 35.
August 22: The Danforth is closed again the morning after another shooting at a sports bar killed Danny Morales, 35.  (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star)
Sept. 8: A sign at the Toronto Weston Flea Market as police investigate the shooting of Rocco Scavetta, 65, who was killed during a robbery attempt, police said.
Sept. 8: A sign at the Toronto Weston Flea Market as police investigate the shooting of Rocco Scavetta, 65, who was killed during a robbery attempt, police said.  (Steve Russell/Toronto Star)

In mid-December, the federal government announced Toronto will get $6.76 million in Public Safety funding over a five-year period for a program called the Community Healing Project. Police will also get up to $400,000 over two years to enhance the Neighbourhood Officers Program in eight priority neighbourhoods. Consultations about a handgun and ammunition ban are ongoing.

In the same month, the province announced cuts to after-school programming for at-risk youth that included part-time employment opportunities and tutoring for struggling elementary school children.

Wortley, who has researched gangs and gang violence in Toronto and Ontario, noted that while Toronto did have a record high number of homicides in 2018, the population of the city and the GTA overall has also grown rapidly since the previous record was set in 1991.

Accounting for population, the city has had a homicide rate of approximately 3.5 per 100,000 in 2018 — a number which does not account for the frequent movement of people into Toronto from the GTA on a daily basis.

In 1991, there were 3.8 killings per 100,000, the highest in city records. It would take 111 homicides in 2018 to reach the same rate. The long-term average in Toronto is about 2.4 homicides per 100,000, though it has risen above 3.0 in recent years.

Wortley said it does appear some of the spike in homicides this year are the result of gang-related activity, as well as neigbourhood conflicts that may be intensified through social media. Gang violence seems to have a “cyclical quality,” he said, but without knowing what’s causing the increase, it’s hard to predict whether it will relent.

One potential short-term cause for the increase may stem from the legalization of marijuana, he said, though it remains to be seen to what extent the violence reflects gangs trying to reposition themselves in a shrinking drug market, and trying to move into meth, opioids or cocaine, or into other crimes such as robberies.

However, a longer-term area of concern lies in “disturbing social patterns” that have emerged in Toronto in part due to affordability, he said.

There has been a decline in the quality and availability of affordable housing, an entrenchment of very poor areas in the city, increasing barriers to social mobility and a growing divide between rich and poor as well as a shrinking middle class, Wortley said. It is also important to consider the psychological impact of frequent shootings and violence on communities.

“To what extent is social inequality contributing to higher rates of violence?” Wortley said.

And if it continues, will Toronto begin to see more violence stemming from hopelessness and alienation?

Wortley agreed with Saunders on the need for long-term investment into non-policing solutions but noted that some of the most effective interventions — like early childhood programs — take a long time to show results which makes political support difficult to maintain.

“Do we have the patience to continue to fund those programs so that we can see the benefits of that investment?” he said.

Sept. 26: A memorial for Mackai Jackson, who was shot dead in Regent Park. The boy had days earlier celebrated his 15th birthday.
Sept. 26: A memorial for Mackai Jackson, who was shot dead in Regent Park. The boy had days earlier celebrated his 15th birthday.  (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star)
Dec. 19: A bullet hole on King St. hours after Edwin (Chris) Humberto Velasquez, 34, was shot dead in a double shooting.
Dec. 19: A bullet hole on King St. hours after Edwin (Chris) Humberto Velasquez, 34, was shot dead in a double shooting.  (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star)

With files from Wendy Gillis, Jim Rankin, May Warren and Star Staff

Alyshah Hasham is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and court. Follow her on Twitter: @alysanmati


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Trudeau’s meeting with party leaders on French-language rights ends without results


The leaders of the four main federal opposition parties met today with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss how to better support francophones outside of Quebec in the wake of cuts to French languages services in Ontario.

The half-hour meeting — the first of its kind since Trudeau became prime minister — ended without delivering any concrete results, although those who attended the meeting said it was friendly, open and non-partisan.

Getting the party leaders together is « a useful symbolic statement to governments that might not think that there is support right around the political spectrum for protecting the rights of both languages, and protecting the francophone minority in Ontario, » Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said following the meeting.

« Did anything new come out of it, any ground breaking news? No. »

In its fall economic update, Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government announced it would be cancelling a plan to build a long-awaited French-language university in Toronto and abolishing the position of the French language services commissioner.

Last week, after widespread criticism, Ford backed down to a degree, sticking to his decision to cancel the French-language university but restoring the French language services commissioner’s position under the province’s ombudsman.

He also named Attorney General Caroline Mulroney as a new minister of francophone affairs and said he would hire a senior policy adviser responsible for francophone affairs.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, who faced criticism for not immediately condemning the cuts or demanding that Ford reverse them, asked for the meeting Monday in a letter to Trudeau.

Provincial domain

According to a senior Conservative official speaking on background, Scheer suggested that an unused, federally owned building in Ontario could be re-purposed for the university if it goes ahead.

Scheer, who did not speak to reporters after the meeting, has said there’s a limit to what he can do to pressure a provincial government on an issue that falls under its jurisdiction.

May agreed that federal leaders’ hands are tied to an extent.

« When you’re talking about what you do when you have a province that’s doing things that are seriously eroding the protections of the rights of any population, if it’s in provincial domain there is only so much the federal government can do, » said May. « But they can increase the funding for programs within their jurisdiction. »

May also said that while the the party leaders expressed support for pushing ahead on building a French-language university, it can’t happen without the province on board.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the meeting was cordial and friendly and he was encouraged to see all the main federal party leaders on the same side of an issue. He added, however, that he was disappointed with the lack of hard results.

« I wanted to see a concrete measure on the table to save this university in Toronto, » he said. « There wasn’t concrete proposition. The government said that they would be open to investing and being partners but I think we need to actually propose something concrete to put more pressure on the provincial government. »

The meeting was also called to address the concerns of francophones in other provinces — including New Brunswick, Canada’s only official bilingual province, where the new Progressive Conservative government has just one elected francophone member.


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Ottawa will bankroll some climate change programs left after Ford ends Ontario’s cap-and-trade


Ottawa is stepping into the breach to bankroll some of the climate change programs left after Premier Doug Ford ended Ontario’s cap-and-trade environmental alliance with Quebec and California.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna on Thursday announced that small- and medium-sized Ontario businesses as well as community organizations and non-profit groups will soon be able to apply directly for funding.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna says schools, communities, and hospitals were left ‘in a lurch’ after Doug Ford scrapped Ontario’s cap-and-trade.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna says schools, communities, and hospitals were left ‘in a lurch’ after Doug Ford scrapped Ontario’s cap-and-trade.  (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“Schools, communities, and hospitals are all committed to climate action and now they’re left in a lurch so we’ve said we’re willing to work with them directly now with this money,” McKenna said in an interview.

“Of course we would have liked to work with the provincial government both on fighting pollution and tackling climate change,” the minister said.

“They took a different path — they made pollution free; they cancelled hundreds of projects in communities across Ontario,” she said.

“They’re clearly not committed to climate action, but Ontarians are.”

The federal money, which comes from a national $1.4-billion “low carbon leadership fund,” will help pay for some of the programs that were scrapped after Ford’s government abandoned the cap-and-trade accord with Quebec and California.

This would include $100 million for retrofitting schools to make them more energy efficient and a similar $64 million initiative for hospitals.

McKenna said details of Ottawa’s plan are still being finalized.

“There was an agreement with the Ontario government that was cancelled so we will be announcing soon how folks can apply,” she said.

“The government of Ontario cancelled projects that were helping individuals, universities, colleges, communities and businesses reduce pollution, improve energy efficiency and save money.”

Ford, who has banded together with other provincial premiers and federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, has panned the federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a “carbon tax.”

By axing cap-and-trade, which generated $1.9 billion into provincial coffers for environmental programs, the new premier noted gasoline prices and natural gas bills are lower.

“The carbon tax (is) the worst tax ever,” Ford said two weeks ago as he stepped up his attacks on the federal Liberal government.

“There’s only one way — one way — we’re going to get rid of the carbon tax and that is by getting rid of Justin Trudeau,” he said at the time.


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Daylight Saving Time 2018 ends this weekend. Here’s what you need to know – National


Starting at 2 a.m. Sunday, clocks roll back one hour in most of Canada as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end for this year.

Daylight Saving Time, which begins in March every year, is a relatively recent invention: northern Ontario’s Port Arthur was the first town in Canada to start changing its clocks twice a year in 1908.

9 things you didn’t know about DST around the world

The concept was originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, but he’s widely thought to have been kidding. The idea came up again in the 1890s and started to pick up steam.

Germany was the first country to implement Daylight Saving Time, starting in 1916. It made the change as a way to cut back on coal costs. Daylight Saving wasn’t widely implemented in North America until 1966, when it was standardized in the U.S. through the Uniform Time Act.

What you should do:

Clocks go back one hour starting at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. When you get up Sunday morning, make sure to change your clocks — and especially your alarms.

Places that don’t have Daylight Saving Time:

Of course, don’t change your clocks if you’re in one of the various parts of Canada that doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time, which include:

  • Most of the province of Saskatchewan
  • Peace River Regional District, B.C.
  • Fort Nelson, B.C.
  • Creston, B.C.
  • Pickle Lake, Ont.
  • New Osnaburgh, Ont.
  • Atikokan, Ont.
  • Quebec’s north shore

These places aren’t that unique, either — much of the world doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Most African and Asian nations don’t have it, and even the European Union is currently considering abandoning the practice. That would leave it as an almost entirely North American quirk.

What the time change might do to you:

An extra hour of sleep sounds great, right? Unfortunately, like all time changes, it’s likely to have an impact on you.

A Global News analysis of 10 years of car accident data found that nine more pedestrians, on average, are hurt or killed in Toronto during the week following the time change. Various research studies in the U.S. suggest that this is linked to the evening rush hour suddenly going dark.

More pedestrians hit in the week after fall time change

Getting an extra hour of sleep could also trigger headaches in people who are already prone to them, according to the Canadian Headache Society. The time transition has also been linked to a slight increase in diagnoses of depression and the rate of strokes.

Slowly adjusting your bedtime over a few days, rather than all at once, can help to mitigate the negative effects of a time change, according to Stuart Fogel, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa.

—With files from Patrick Cain, Kyle Benning, Patricia Kozicka and Dani-Elle Dubé

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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SIU ends probe of Parry Sound man’s death – Barrie


Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has terminated its investigation into the death of a 61-year-old man in Parry Sound.

According to the SIU, on Sept. 22 at around 11:45 a.m., an officer was flagged down by two citizens after a man went into medical distress in front of a business on James Street and Seguin Street in Parry Sound.

According to the SIU, one of the citizens told officers the man had just exited a nearby treatment centre.

The SIU says the officer began delivering CPR to the man and administered Narcan nasal spray to him.

The SIU says paramedics arrived and took over first aid and took the man to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

SIU probing death of Parry Sound man

The SIU had been conducting an investigation into the incident, which has now been terminated.

“Based on the medical evidence, the man appears to have suffered a major cardiac event which led to his death,” SIU director Tony Loparco said in a statement. “While the officer appropriately assessed the situation and administered naloxone in an effort to resuscitate the man, the administration of naloxone was ultimately harmless to the man. As such, I have terminated the investigation into this incident.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Leslie Diuguid Ends the Night With Surprise Ice Cream and a Good Stretch | Healthyish


In ‘Going to Bed with…’ we talk to the people we’re crushing on about how they wind down before going to sleep.

Leslie Diuguid is an artist who appreciates the art of process. The Brooklyn-based screenprinter crafts original work that feels not only indispensable but immune to the digital age’s insatiable appetite for newer, faster, and shinier things. “I think it’s really important in this economy, but also in the age that we live in, to focus on and cherish things we can still make with our hands, in quality settings and under fine art conditions,” she says.

Under the tutelage of silkscreen printing luminary Alexander Heinrici, whose expertise has been sought by artists such as Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol, Diuguid has spent the better part of a year producing large scale editions. A typical day consists of cleaning and loading screens, “keeping a hawk eye on quality control and large scale paper handling,” and tending to her screenprinting business Du-Good Press, named for her grandfather, Lincoln I. Diuguid, who founded a company called Du-Good Chemical Laboratories & Manufacturers in the 1940s.

To deal with the physically grueling aspects of the job, like standing hours at a time and stretching to reach every level of a five-foot-tall drying rack without harming the paper, Diuguid has cultivated a solid routine before bed. Here, Diuguid shares how she repurposes childhood memories into a wind-down for bed and the importance of finding and cultivating the self-care habits that work best for you.

healthyish leslie 1

Photo by Emma Fishman

Diuguid stretching out before bed.

A special stretch twice a day

When I was 13, I started noticing all of these changes happening in my body. I felt awkward and uncomfortable with myself and wanted to have control over some aspect of my physical growth. So I started doing a stretching routine I learned from a combination of watching my mom work out to pilates videos as a kid, track exercises, and my take on what I thought yoga was. It starts with the butterfly stretch, moves into one-leg-out stretches, and you end up in a split position eventually. I also roll on my back a bit for some reason—it made sense at the time [laughs] Doing this every day gets me to relax, and it’s a good way to transition toward bed.

Some hair TLC

It’s taken a lifetime for me to learn how to take care of myself, especially when it comes to my hair. I love having a big afro during the day, but in the summertime it’s too hot so I’ll usually just braid it back. I don’t mess with my hair every day if I don’t have to: That’s a stressful thing that actually ends up hurting it. My hair care routine changes with my hairstyle, but I always make time for a weekly Sunday spa day to meditate and reflect. I wash my hair, braid it down, keep it there for the whole week, and I’ll wear a silk scarf to bed if anything at all.

Netflix + ice cream

I tend to fall asleep while watching Netflix, and my boyfriend gets mad that we have to go back all the time. Lately I’ve been so addicted to the HBO show Animals. It’s hilarious and similar to BoJack Horseman in that it’s about personified animals, except here it’s New York City rats, cats, dogs, and birds living like humans. After falling asleep to that, I usually wake up with the thought, “What if we went and got ice cream?!” I’m addicted to Cool Haus. Before bed sometimes my boyfriend and I will go on bodega missions for their ice cream sandwiches.

healthyish leslie 3

Photo by Emma Fishman

Halo Top for dessert.

Beating restless energy with chores…or wine

I get pretty tired after being so energetic throughout the day so when I crash I usually crash hard, and I’m a very hard sleeper. I’m prone to falling asleep in funny places too: I’ve dozed off in the middle of my boyfriend giving me a stick-and-poke tattoo. He’s a painter so I told him early on in our relationship that he could tattoo anything anywhere on me and he chose a drawing of Starlite (Rainbow Brite’s horse) on my shoulder. If I do have trouble sleeping, sometimes I’ll clean the bathtub and do other chores. Or why not have a glass of wine? A glass of wine to knock yourself out, then surprise yourself awake and get ice cream, then it’s really bedtime.

Sticking to the plan

Part of my best self-care practice, because I’m so tactile and energetic, is to use routines to keep myself in check. That’s how I balance a lot of my life, just having a structure that lets me repeat something. As a printmaker, it helps with establishing steps along the way that keep me occupied and focused. A lot of my routines come from observing my parents, like my stretching practice. My dad tends to be practical in his diet and exercise. So far, I haven’t mastered that level of discipline, but his meticulous record-keeping has proven to be a good skill I’ve picked-up and held tight to. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I’m good at my routines and to keep with them. Bodies change constantly; you’re never fully grown. Your routines and how you care for yourself will change with your age; none of it is set in forever.


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