Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I've Been Drinking

When I was 18, my boyfriend cheated on me. You know this. Well, you know this is you knew me when I was 18 and lived in Cold Lake.

Anyways, continuing with the story, when I was 18, my boyfriend cheated on me. I found out he was living with his other girlfriend (!) but I wasn't surprised. As a result, I pushed him down a flight of stairs. (Sadly, there were only 3 stairs in the flight, since it was actually just my front stoop. Nonetheless, the thought was there.)

In retaliation, he decided to learn how to skateboard to win my heart back.

Just to clarify, my boyfriend when I was 18 lived on the reserve, and thought he was black. ("You know you're not black and living in Harlem, right?" I asked him once, with a raised eyebrow. "I'm as close to be black as it gets," he told me, in defense. I guess he was right, since Cold Lake only really has white people and Native people.)

Anyways, he called me up one day.
"What do you want?" I asked him bitterly.
"To talk to you."
"I've been working on something, and I want to show it to you, but not yet."
"What is that?"
"I can't tell you yet."
"Okay, that's nice. Bye."
I hung up on him.

Two weeks later, Helka and I were driving when we spotted him skateboarding down the bike trail.

Our laughter was uncontrollable.

The End.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Summer Never Comes

I'm growing weary.

There's too much. There's a man yelling at me, "Hey princess! Merry Christmas!" He's wearing a Santa hat and little else. It's the end of March.

There's a dead cat on the neighbour's front stoop in the morning. It hasn't died of natural causes, and a grey wifebeater covers its lifeless face.

There's internships and jobs and paycheques and beer and billboards.

There are too many words, and when there is finally silence, the clock ticks much too loudly and the sirens are deafening.

I want to be someplace completely absent of concrete, even if it's just for a few moments.

(How long is one moment though?)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Breaking the Dave Cave Hiatus

It's incrediably hard being the star of a CD-ROM that is going to be distributed to roughly 7,000 new students at Ryerson with their orientation packages. (I actually mean this in complete sincerity. I was exhausted after spending all day yesterday regurgitating the same lines, all of which ended with an exclaimation mark.)

So I made myself a rye and coke. I was grumpy and had no intentions of going out. I tried to convince myself that staying home was the sensible option, and asked myself, "C'mon Jess, do you really think that the nightlife in Toronto can't survive without you?"

Well, it probably will. But I'm always sure that if I don't leave the house, something exciting will happen in my absence.

So I went to the store to get some Red Bull, which I have only ever had once before. I'm not a huge fan.

After drinking some more rye and the Red Bull, I took a surplus of pictures of myself.

And of Katrina, who demonstrated all the ways she posed nude in Richard's studio yesterday.

I took a brief break from taking pictures of myself for a short session of arts and crafts.

Because I really don't trust myself.

Katrina and her friend Caitlin.

First, we went to the Velvet Underground, where the bouncer took his job way too seriously. "How many drinks have you had?" he grilled Katrina, "I'm going to have to talk to my supervisor before I left you in." (The ridiculous part was that Katrina wasn't drunk.)

I quickly got annoyed with the DJ and his erratic choices, so we jumped into a cab.

We couldn't figure out why our cab driver wouldn't let us take pictures of him.

That is until Katrina noticed something odd. "Hey, why don't you have your picture and your cab registration on display? Isn't that illegal?"

He seemed more than happy to drop us off at Dance Cave. Caitlin got on the phone with one of her friends, and tried to convince him to come out, by telling him who was out, most of whom were fictional people.

"Everyone's here! Andrew's here, Katrina's here, Jess is here! Uh, Bobbi Sue is here! Ummm....Guido is here!"

". . .and, uh, what's your name?"


"Chris is here! I'll let you talk to Chris!"

Even though our new friend Chris already had a stamp to get in, he seemed all too willing to wait outside in the line with us. I have no idea why though.

Caitlin and I.

In my two-month long absence, it seems like I haven't missed much at Dance Cave. Although, apparently they finally got their November issue of Spin, because they're now playing Tom Vek. I'm glad that they got that memo. (Or maybe they just watched the O.C. two weeks ago. Either way, I'm annoyed. . .and probably a bit of a music snob.)

Chris, Katrina and I.

While we were there, I spotted Roger who hosts Scrabble in the City.

Caitlin with Chris, and another one of our new friends, whom I'm going to call Peter, because I don't remember his name.

Erica, Elizabeth and Kat.

Erica and Elizabeth.

At this point in the evening, I hadn't seen Katrina and Caitlin in nearly an hour. I thought there might be a chance that they were still at the bar, so I decided to tough it out by myself until they reappeared. I quickly made new friends:Laura and Matt.

Laura said, "Your friends aren't here? That's okay, we'll adopt you!"

I'm not sure if they decided to adopt me because they liked me, or if they just felt bad for me.

They even shared their flask with me. (I'm the luckiest orphan ever!)

A really creepy looking Roger.

Peter, and another new friend, who we'll call Elijah.

Laura is actually an RTA student at Ryerson, so we share the same building at school. I'm sure I'll bump into her again.

Laura, Matt, Roger and I parted ways early in the morning. I was grateful that I made new friends so quickly.

With no money in my pocket, and left alone, I wasn't sure what to do. So I went to Brunswick. They didn't answer the door. I was taking pictures of myself being sad on their porch while I planned my next move, when I heard this voice ask, "What are you doing?!"

Brendan answered the door in his bathrobe. He got dressed, but within 5 minutes told me, "I'm slightly drunk, and have to meet my Dad tomorrow. I'm so sorry, but I have to crash."

Pierre entertained me for five minutes though, while I dumped out the contents of my purse, looking for streetcar change.

I ended up walking down to College, but as per usual, there were no streetcars in sight, so I walked the majority of the way home alone, again, in a short skirt and knee high boots. (A winning combination for walking by yourself in the middle of the night, really.)

Sometimes I wish I wasn't so stubborn.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Vampires and Binary Code

The week is almost over.

Brie, Mark and I. (Mark's voice, which had been reduced to nothing than ones and zeros over the telephone line, was being reproduced electronically so that Brie could hear it on her end of the phone. The wonders on binary code never cease to amaze me.)

For once, Katrina legitimately had an excuse to walk around the house naked last night. She coated her face and chest with white makeup, put fangs in, and practiced rolling her eyes into the back of her head. (Which is actually totally typical Katrina behaviour, but again, it was justified last night.)

Richard (a friend of ours who is in Image Arts) came over, and they went to take pictures of her topless in the park, posing as a vampire.

(It was so cold outside that she didn't need a "nipple tweaker," as Alice would say.)

Sadly, I wasn't there to witness Katrina in all her glory posing up by the Necropolis, because I was tucked away in my room, hunched over my computer, perpetuating my back problem and developing carpel tunnel syndrome, writing my application for my journalism stream. . .

. . .I've applied to Magazine Journalism, with Broadcast Journalism as my second choice. I'm not even sure I want to go into magazine, but it's the hardest stream to get into, so I figure that I might as well create a challenge for myself, if nothing else.

Today, as soon as I get dressed, I'm headed to school to start filming this DVD for Ryerson Student Services. I've been selected to be the "personality" on it. Yes, that's right! I'm going to be one of those irritating tour guides on those informational videos that ends every sentence with an exclaimation mark! (We all knew it was coming down to this sooner or later!)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Country Alien, City Alien

I imagine there's probably two different basic schools of thought when you are the commander of an alien spacecraft:**

1) To Fly Your Ship Over Rural Areas

PROS: There are less people to spot you

CONS: There aren't very many interesting things to look at in rural areas (which probably results in lots of cows being mutilated out of boredom) and you are more visible because of the reduced lights.

2) To Fly Your Ship Over Urban Areas

PROS: More interesting things to look at and investigate, your ship is less visible because of all the lights and the chance to blend in with airplanes

CONS: There are more people to spot you, you may get in the way of airplanes

After examining the evidence and weighing the pros and cons carefully, it's beyond me why most commanders of alien spaceships opt to fly their ships over rural areas. Or maybe more UFOs are spotted in rural areas, when really they are more prevelant in city areas, we just don't notice them?

Personally, I know that if I was the commander of an alien spacecraft, it'd be a pretty tough call to make.

*Speaking of "Country Mouse, City Mouse" we have mice in our house. Just thought I'd let y'all know.

**I think the most disturbing thing about this post is that I just woke up, and this is the first thing that popped into my head and perplexed me. It's especially absurd considering I'm not an alien fantatic, nor do I ever think about extraterrestrial life, well, ever. I don't really believe in aliens, although I think it would be ridiculous to presume we are the only life in the universe. (On that note, does the microbiotic bacteria that they found on Mars, or wherever they found it, count as an alien life form? I think it does.)

Although, I did see a UFO once. But that's another story.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Petty Thefts

During the spring of my 13th year, it was all the rage to walk to Mac’s at lunch and steal chocolate bars. In eighth grade, the phrase “five finger discount” was the epitome of trendy and cool.

However, I was never trendy or cool. (I know this fact may come as a shock to some, but it’s true. Feel free to take a minute to let this information soak in, and rest assured, because at least I'm surpassing my cool quotient at this period in my life.) And in turn, I never stole anything.


That is, until yesterday.

Canice and I walked out of Value Village* and I triumphantly pulled a Harlequin Romance novel out of my bag and handed it to her, which she placed in her bag with her stolen doilies.**

I was giddy with the thrill of the crime, until I realized that theft has become such an abstract act that I probably do it on a regular basis. So, it was time to write a list.

Things I Stole This Week:

1) 20 minutes of time at work (I showed up 10 minutes late to work and left 10 minutes early, but did not adjust my time sheets accordingly. I’m underpaid as it is.)

2) Margarine from Katrina, Sasha & Court’s fridge (It’s okay though, because I left something in return: crumbs from my toast in the margarine. Seems to be a fair trade to me.)

3) Free long distance from the university (I called this guy in California for an interview.)

4) Mark’s Spin magazine (although I intend to give it back to him soon, because it’s a shoddy piece of writing as it is, but I still feel inclined to read it for some reason.)

5) TTC fare (Canice and I both shoved through the turnstile at once on her Metropass)

6) $72.64 from my Dad’s credit card (but only because my own credit card expired and my Dad lost not one, but both of my new credit cards) to pay for a computer part

7) $37.50 charged to Dad’s credit card for a therapeutic massage

8) Two one-cent stamps from a card Katrina’s grandma mailed to her (Canada Post failed to stamp the stamps).

9) A surplus of illegal downloads

10) And something really abstract (electronic, in fact) that I actually feel really guilty about stealing, and I’m worried that someone will find out.

So, on top of being exceedingly trendy and cool, I'm also a badass now.

It's just too bad I'm not 13 anymore.

*I don’t feel guilty stealing from Value Village, because for the every time I moved, over the last 4 years, I donated my old clothes to them, under the assumption they were a non-profit organization. After discovering that, in fact, they have been selling all my old stuff for profit, I’ve come to the conclusion that they owe me. So really, stealing the novel was more like a trade for all the stuff that I’ve given to them over the years.

**We weren’t indiscriminately stealing doilies and Harlequins, just to clarify. It was for a website Canice is working on for our online journalism class.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

she dreams a champagne dream

Time is subjective.

Nine years ago, I was born.

Five years and fifteen minutes ago, my Grandma and I collected wild strawberries from the lawn in front of the cabin. I ate them out of a styrofoam cup, mixing them with Orange Crush pop. My grandfather unboarded the cabin windows, and pointed the intricacies of spider webs out to me. I helped him cut up worms to feed to a bird he had saved. I sang and played the piano and helped my Grandma plant sweet peas.

A school year later, I painted my nails with black nail polish. “That’s disgusting,” my best friend told me. She was destined for popularity, and eventually a child and a husband. I was destined to wear fishnets and go to university. My mom told me that boys liked the best friend better, because she was prettier than me. It made me cry, but it was the truth.

Three weeks ago, a tattoo artist with a lazy eye was injecting black ink into my hip, while my disapproving brother waited in the other room. The tattoo artist kept one eye on me, and the other on the pulsating needle. I was barely 18, and had driven four hours into Edmonton on a whim in Kyle’s 1984 Ford Tempo, for the sole purpose of getting tattoos before Helka went back to Finland. We got lost on the way home, singing along loudly with the Juliana Theory, Sublime and pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas.

Five minutes pass, the scab is gone and the star’s lines are wavering. We eat meals of bread and processed cheese, and bread and Nutella. The shower curtains have mold, and we’re lost every other day. I write Devon long letters and send Mike postcards. I hold my guilt tight to my chest, drink beer for the first time, and calmly watch people snort lines of cocaine.

After breakfast, Chloe and I drive across the province. With the Kidney Thieves blaring from my car’s speakers, we try to put up our tent in the pouring rain, but get frustrated and open our beer instead. Within moments, two guys come along and put up our tent for us. We smile triumphantly, as that was our plan all along.

Later that afternoon, I’m surrounded by thick salty air. I’m 21, in the blistering heat on a desolate beach crowded with crab carcasses. The tide is out, and a little girl tells Naomi and me how to tell the difference between the males and females. Most of the dead are female. I can feel the skin on the back of my neck scorch and die.

The sun sets and rises again, and I’m sitting on a Toronto rooftop, scribbling furiously into my journal. I don’t feel clich├ęd. I feel strangely settled, alive, and on the verge of something.

Tomorrow, I’m writing this for you.

And when the next season passes, I’m dead.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I hate lines, but I love Sasha.

I really think the resolution I should have made this year was to not stand in any more line-ups.

The first line we stood in last night was at Mick E. Fynn's. However, after 1/2 hour of freezing in the cold, we decided to ditch. I couldn't leave without my camera (Sarah, who was inside the bar, had borrowed it) and was excessively grumpy, so Katrina valiently took one for the team, jumped the fence, went inside and got my camera for me.

We went to the Imperial Pub, where Sasha conned some guy into buying her this pitcher of beer.

Katrina wasn't feeling it. Sasha was dancing in her chair. I felt really sick and antisocial. The guy in the glasses to the left of Katrina in this picture kept staring at me.

Mark and Brie.

After drinking the free beer, we headed to Ram in the Rye, just so we could stand in another massive line-up in the freezing cold.

While the girls stood in line, Katrina and I went to Dominion to get snacks. Katrina got some sushi.

I really wanted potato wedges to improve my excessively grumpy mood, but they all came packaged with meat. (Speaking of which, I keep dreaming about eating meat. Like, almost every night.)

Katrina and Sasha tried to keep warm while we stood in line.

Finally, after spending half the night in lines, we got into the bar. Adam was there. "I saw you taking pictures in line, and I made this face for you. Look at your pictures tomorrow morning and you'll see!"

Yup, there we go.

Court explaining to Chris the story of how she cut her knuckle off on her sewing shears earlier in the day. (I came home to find her ashen faced, holding a bloody tissue to her hand. "What did you do?" I asked. "I cut my finger," she pouted. I looked at her shears to discover that a huge chunk of her knuckle was still on them. It was gross. The End.)

Brent once told Court and I that we are "like a pair of socks" and that one of us is never seen without the other.

My mood was gradually starting to improve (I had felt pretty sick earlier in the night) and the fact that Jack was actually using a pay phone made me happier.

When was the last time you actually saw someone using a pay phone? At a bar, no less?

Troy was the man of the night, getting us past the massive line-up at the bar for beer.

Troy and Court.

Sasha and her cousin, Robbie.

Sasha's pitcher of beer, which is solely responsible for the following pictures:

We took a cab home, because we knew she wouldn't make it under any other condition.

And I tried to get a picture of her looking really trashed.

But everytime I pressed the shutter button, she miraculously managed to look somewhat, well, still holding herself together.

But when we got home, she couldn't hide her lack of sobriety any longer.

The stairs were a challenge for her.

(To say the least.)

Sasha triumphantly conquered them at last, though.

Then she made herself some popcorn.

Which she burnt.

How funny is this?

It was so funny that in the process of laughing at Sasha, I knocked over a huge glass of water.

Seriously though, the bottom line is that I hate lines.