Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Trashbag Collective

What's this? After less than 3 days back in Toronto, I somehow made my way onto a scenester events photo site. How is this even possible? Can I revert back to this life that easily?

All interesting questions, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

After getting back to Toronto, I moved into a period of limbo at fan-favourite 518, home of the The Party Formely Known as the September 11th Party, the (not for) Chinese New Year's Party, the Manic Titanic Party, and the most noteably, the place where I met Alex Dodd. (We walked these very halls for the first nearly exactly a year ago!)

I'll be moving into my own new place on Friday, just down the street, but it's obvious that my week at 518 was just meant to be. Julia (Jules) gave me the use of her empty room, and after Dayn took to the door with a can of spray paint, it became mine for the week.

Dayn and I have been walking around without our shirts on in the 30 degree plus humidity. It's fun.

On Saturday, after a summer of sobriety, SmAshley, R2Rose and Klo-wee came together in what I fondly refer to as the Trashbag Collective. Our mission for the night? Fake prom 2007: An Enchanted Evening.

It was time for pre-drinks at my temporary home, with the temporary roomates:


The Trashbag Collective, which is something I mean only in the fondest of terms. I pick friends solely based upon their trashbaginess, in fact.

On the way to the Palais Royal, Ashley started screaming, "I love the Police!" to which the cab driver skeptically told her, "You're too young to even know who they are." "I just saw them play!" said Ash, defending herself. She spent the rest of the cab ride convincing him that she has serious old school music cred.

She managed to win him over in the end, and they sang together. Ashley reached over lovingly and pulled his ball cap to the side, gangsta style. They shared a laugh. It was a special moment in time. We gave him a huge tip.

Stumbling out of the cab, there was only one problem: Rebecca didn't have a ticket. "I'm sure you can buy one at the door," we all assured her on the ride there. But as soon as we pulled up to the curb, a security guard stopped us. "They sold out an hour and a half ago," he said, "so I hope you all have tickets."

Rebecca's face fell. What were we going to do?

At the same time, another cab pulled up, and overheard our woes. "My friend has an extra ticket," this guy told us. Bingo! Problem solved! It was already turning out to be a magical and enchanted evening, indeed.

Ashley practiced posing for the inevitable photographers within while we waited for Rebecca's ticket to arrive.

I never truly got to have a "prom" myself. Instead, we dressed up in $400 dresses, went to the same place in town where they hold rodeos and auction cattles, ate some lumpy potatoes and wilted lettuce, took some pictures and called it a day. No dancing. None. (Okay. Actually, there was ONE song during the entire affair, but no dance floor was cleared, so I dance with my Dad in between all the long tables. I don't think this counts.) I've been to three high school graduations as an escort, but I have never been to a prom, persay.

But I do know that this is what prom pictures look like. . .

. . .and that this is what prom pictures should look like.

And again: the typical prom snapshot.

And what dates are probably really thinking about whenever they stand under balloon archways.

Fake Prom Band.
Some romantic dancing.

Some romantic standing.

It was romance and enchantment around. But the night quickly drew to an end and we feared turning into pumpkins, or worse, true trashbags. I managed to dance enough to make up for the 3 proms that I never had, until I couldn't walk anymore.

We did some good work, ladies.

And then we went home in our golden carriage (look who it is!)--maybe not to Prince Charming, but home to temporary homes filled with people who care about us and thoughts of fairies and sugarplums in our heads, happily ever after.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Julia was right

Julia was right.

Now that I've ridden a Segway, I'm pretty sure my life can just end right now, and I'd be happy.

I also now truly believe that Segways are the way of the future. If only I had an extra $60 per month to spare. . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Death by Scenester

Hit the ground running. It's a favourite j-school phrase. As in, hit the ground, lithe like a cat, ready for action. But if you're like me, you're more likely to hit the ground face first, with road rash on your knees and gravel pitted into your cheeks. You'll be bloody and raw.

I hit the sidewalks walking full speed today, every siren making my head whip around, the mounted police making me cower a little and every scenester making me feel like a slob.

Heard at the corner of Queen and Bathurst, slumped on the sidewalk, cigarette being passed over torn jeans to waiting hands: "Fuck, you won't even sell your soul to me? What kind of a day is this?"

It's culture shock at its finest. Maybe Queen Street West wasn't the place to land. I'm aching for the quiet and slow convenience of Cabbagetown.

I'm aching for rooftop beers and my lofted ceiling and my Brie in the next room.

But this isn't just temporary. This is my new neighbourhood. Queen Street West. The shock will fade.

The heels of my feet are sore from hitting the ground. In small-town Alberta, we drive 3 blocks because we can.

In downtown Toronto, we walk for an hour without batting an eye, and call it a short distance.

Finding food took me well over an hour. What time do things close in Toronto? How do you find a hardware store? How do you react when men on the sidewalk patios invite you to join them for a beer?

I'm anonymous, but no longer invisible here.

I think I'm going to hide inside until the world outside slows down. Or at least until I've perfected my form-perfect rotation in the air, slow-motion like a sixth-grade science video, feet and legs poised and ready.

The Forecast

I always like to check the weather forecast before I fly somewhere, so I can dress accordingly on the day of my journey.

Tomorrow's going to be an interesting one: after boarding the plane at 8 a.m. in Edmonton at about 10 degrees celcius, I'll get off the plane around 2 p.m. to the possibility of a thunderstorm and +39 degree (on the humidex) weather.

I don't know which is worse. All I know is that I'm definitely not going to bother showering before my flight, because the sweatiness of Toronto will take care of that for me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Roadkill Kitten

After packing (a process that involved trying to cram way too many pairs of shoes in way too small a bag) and, for the last time this year, driving the 300 kilometer journey down the mind-numbingly boring, straighter-than-your-mom straight roads of Alberta, I was back in Edmonton.

I spent most of my weekend at the Fringe, wandering through the Farmer's Market with flowers in hand, gluttenously smelling wafts of mini-donuts and seriously considering a lifestyle of hawking shit to tourists at festivals world-wide. (Alex agrees this is a solid plan. While he sells spray-paintings, I plan on starting up "Revoluntianari-teas" or "Solidari-teas," a knock-off on the Solidari-tees booth I saw at the Fringe this weekend. As per suggested by Danny O'Leary and David Berry, popular teas would include "Chai Gueverra" and "Benito Mussolintea." This brilliant idea is trademarked, by the way, so don't try to steal it.)

Since Alex had Sunday off work, we headed down to the festival grounds, where soon after sitting down, he was voluntold to participate in one of the shows.

I was not impressed when the street performer chose to ride on a bicycle while juggling swords, thus possibly endangering my boyfriend's pretty face.

Making it off the stage alive, we decided that we should celebrate life by taking a day trip to Drumheller.

Except Alex decided to not only endanger his pretty face again, he also decided to endanger *my* life. "Do you want to climb to the top?" I asked him enthusiastically. "Not really," he told me, "but we can if you want to." "I want to." Alex's enthusiasm picked up though, when he spotted the trail.

"Look Jess, we can go up there," he said, pointing to a very steep nearly non-path up the side of the bluff, "and avoid all the tourists."

I was game. Until we started climbing that is. The sheer vertical incline combined with the loose muddy sand was terrifying, and the only reason I kept going up was because I couldn't safely climb down. I nearly gave up at one point, until some old guy at the bottom yelled, "Keep going!" and started taking pictures of our sheer insanity.

Alex Dodd: the face of a killer. (Granted, a pretty face at that.)

I moped in a cave for a bit.

After our hike (aka our impromptu death-defying climb) we drove to the Tyrell Museum and ate a picnic lunch of left-overs.

The museum was awesome, considering we had just watched a docu-series on the evolution of lizards to dinosaurs the night before, but I didn't take any pictures inside (since I was just there a year ago with Brie and Court on our cross-Alberta road-trip last April). However, this picture not only sums up our trip, but it's awesome for one key reason. (Anyone want to take a guess? And just for the record, this picture was taken before we went to the museum or wandered through the giftshop.)

And I only get to see this pretty face for about another 48 hours.

Friday, August 17, 2007


As predicted, not much has happened, apart from some stuff. I have no excuses for not blogging, apart from a general lack of wit and exciting occurrences.

Fall came predictably early to Cold Lake, oh, right around, August long weekend. There are still some die-hards claiming that it will warm up again, but I've got my moccassins on, and my tube tops packed and ready for the tropics of Toronto.

I finished job #1, packed up and closed down our office for the season, and drove to Edmonton to spend the weekend before driving back to finish my last two waitressing shifts at the restaurant.

It's kind of the end of an era. I started working there when I was 14, washing dishes for weddings and functions. I spent the summer I was 16 serving breakfasts and cleaning rooms, before I started cooking in the kitchen in the evenings (which is when I honed my cheesecake skills). That was short-lived though, since I suck at cooking, so I started waitressing, bartending and barista-ing.

It's been 9 years. It's been possibly the longest relationship I've ever had. It will be shutting down at the end of August.

One of the few things I'll miss about Cold Lake when I'm back in my concrete jungle is the wildlife--the fawns on the back road by my house, or seeing things like the huge black bear we spotted tonight when we were driving home.

Other than that, it's been same ol', same ol'. The Danger Dodd let me give him a tattoo. He requested a dinosaur since he knows they're my speciality.

So I drew him two.

"Do you like it?" I asked eagerly, upon the completion of my masterpiece.

"I didn't know it was going to be so big."

He liked it. I'm sure of it.

This week, Naomi asked me how my summer has been.

"I honestly don't know how to answer that," I told her. We sat in silence together for a few moments, reflecting upon the past 4 months. "Actually, now that I think about it," I confessed, "I'm probably just grumpy because I don't feel like I got to go swimming in the lake enough this year."

Naomi grinned in agreement. "Me too." We're Cold Lakers, born and raised.

My whole room is in shambles as I type this. Tomorrow, it's Edmonton for Fringe Festival and friends, and then next Thursday it's back to the humidity and my ever-active social calendar.

What's up next? Fake Prom and V-Fest, not to mention a new apartment, a new neighbourhood and a new smokin' hot roomate.

Toronto, are you ready for me?

(Because I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for you.)