Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Want, Need, Must

I need help. I have no idea what I want for Christmas.

Here's what I've got on the list so far:

1. Record Player

2. New computer so I can start freelancing (difficult to do when I can barely open Microsoft Word, let alone try and write one blog entry without my computer imploding). New MacBook? Yes, please!

3. Trip to Peru with Chloe in April

4. A banjo

5. Debt Relief

6. Yoga Booty Ballet. (It's the only natural progression after six months of turbojamming. I am now a diehard fan of informercial workouts.)

7. French lessons

Since I'm clearly not going to get any of these things, I'm not going to ask for them. Therefore, can someone out there please tell me what I want for Christmas? What I absolutely must have? (And while you're at it, any brilliant gift ideas for the parents?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Tonight, a good four years after I first moved to Toronto, I went into Honest Ed's for the first time ever.

To be quite honest, it was somewhat anti-climatic.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I can't grow a moustache. But Andrew can.

I can, however, unthaw my credit card from the freezer and donate to a good cause on Andrew's behalf. C'mon kids--only $20 more and Andrew gets a free ticket to the gala, where maybe he'll meet some sweet ladies who are into the 'stache. Can you think of a better cause?

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I flipped through the pages of my journals tonight, looking for the foreshadows. But it's as though March and everything outside of the lab didn't exist.

It leaves me wondering what's in the margins right now? Who am I not writing about now that I should be? What am I not documenting that will be evidence for the court down the road?

The way Tony that the organic food store downstairs knows me by name? The amount of cream I put in my coffee in the mornings? The book that I read two weeks ago? Someone that I passed on the street? A movie I rented? A noise I heard through the wall? An email you sent me?

It's the mundane details that were lost somewhere along the way--and suddenly they matter. I want to cling on to them, to hold them close to me. I don't want my memory of the memories to pass.

I'm running out of space to write. I want to transcribe every moment as it happens.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I could just die now

Last night was a night that will go down in history as a perfect fall evening: I was challenged to not one, not two, but three games of Scrabble--all while watching the polls come in. I wasn't worrying about money, because I found out earlier in the day that I won a scholarship for "student who wrote extensively on women's issues. (Apparently writing about menstrual blood's capacity to fertilize household plants qualifies me for this. Realistically speaking though, it was the only award they could give me--there is no award for "student who wrote most extensively about conspiracy theorists and/or sex.") And it gets better--I made a baked cranberry and pecan brie puff pastry, which Natty and I devoured in one sitting. (Three weeks worth of turbojamming can't even begin to counteract that kind of gluttony.) I even discovered that GAYDAR is a playable word, according to the Scrabble dictionary.

And then, to top it all off, there was Obama. We're a continent in awe. Good times are coming.

(Although, I have to admit, I'm tempted to go down to Conspiracy Culture today to hear what the truthers are saying post-election.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Only a Matter of Time

I've been a bad blogger lately. I have no excuses. The only one I can think of is that I'm afraid to write lately, because I'm afraid it will become too personal.

It's a strange thing this--keeping a personal blog, without revealing too much about my personal life. It's a precarious balance, but I think I've done relatively well in the last 4 years and I intend to keep it that way.

So here's what I've been up to (the edited version, of course): the token fashion week after-party. (If only for the gift bag.)

(And if only for the excuse to wear one of my favourite winter dresses.)

As for not blogging lately, autumn and I are duking it out to see who comes out on top. I'm filling up my time with volunteer commitments--some that make complete sense (Journalists for Human Rights) and some that make no sense at all (Limmud). Autumn, on the other hand, is tempting me with warm beds, cups of tea and syndicated peasant-vision television sitcoms.

Natty and I somehow managed to dress as the polar opposites of one another for Halloween--Playboy Bunny and bird lady. (Creating the least sexy Halloween costume ever? Success. What you can't see are my pants tucked into my socks and my awesome circa 1998 Reebok grass-stained running shoes. I didn't even wash my Value Village sweater after I bought it, because I wanted it to retain that authentic bird lady smell.)

Kaydi and Geoff had the best costumes of my life. Mainly because if I ran into Geoff in a back alley, I'm pretty sure I would be terrified.

What actually terrified me on Halloween is this--some dude actually hit on me on my way home from Chloe's party. This was scary because what dude in his right mind would hit on a chick in torn pajama pants and a North Reflections sweater when there are eight dozen trollops in naughty [insert blue collar occupation here] costumes drunkenly running around? A dude who's NOT in his right mind, that's who.

Oh, and did I mention as of November 1st, I'm officially an Ontarion? The thing is, I have a sneaking suspicion Alberta is glad to be rid of me. (That's right Ontario--this sexy bird lady is all yours.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of what?!

On Day 6 of our tropical vacation, we went on a day-long tour. After spending two hours on a bus driving through the Dominican Republic (for the second time that week, no less, due to inclimate weather), we arrived at a marina where we boarded this catamaran.

The weather was beautiful and perfect for sailing to a tropical island.

All throughout the week, everyone had been approaching our group with questions.

To Ashleigh: "Hey Blondie!" and "Are you Norweigan?"

To Nancy: "Are you Russian? No? Then you must be Polish!"

To Katherine: "You're cousins with her? We thought you were Latina!"

But on the day of the cruise, I finally was asked my very own special question: With a bottle of rum in hand, one of the tour guides approached our group. Mid-pour into my outreached cup, he looked at me inquisitively and stopped pouring. "Baby?" he said with a concerned tone of voice.

At first I didn't get it. "What?"

"Oh..." he trailed off, and continued to pour.

There you have it folks. A dude thought I was pregnant. And I was wearing a bikini at the time. True story.

No amount of turbojam can undo that kind of hurt.

But then I got a coconut and all was well in the world again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Katherine is My Hero

Vacation Fun Fact #2: Okay, okay. I guess I can reveal one of the reasons Katherine is my hero:

On our last night in Punta Cana, Katherine sat rapt in fascination by the dudes throwing pizza. "You really want to throw a pizza in the air, don't you?" I teased her. "You'll be my hero if you go back there and ask if you can toss a pizza. In fact, you'll be my hero for a year and one month."

So she did.

Look at that precision! Look at that grace! (And yes, she caught the pizza after this picture was taken.) In all honesty, I think Katherine may have missed her true calling.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Keeping It in the Family: South of the Border

Punta Cana Vacation Fact #1: I am the cribbage master.

Every day on vacation, Katherine and I played crib. I won 5-2.

However, Katherine is my hero for reasons that are best left in between the pages of my diary. After all, certain things should stay in the family.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Chromeo may be "soooo last year" [insert eye roll here] but I'm still listening to Skee-lo, DMX and the Corrs.

Fact: A dance party is a dance party.


There's nothing better than getting home, well aware that you have to work at 9 a.m., stripping off a sweat-soaked dress, kicking off worn-down heels, trying to defy the Red Bull in your system and resting complete in the the knowledge that you shook your ass tonight--and you shook it well.

And next week? This dance party is headed to the Dominican Republic.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Oh RRJ Lab, how I miss you!

I'm at work on Saturday. This is how excited I am to be here.

Okay. I admit it. That was a lie. Although I am here by choice. Sort of.

Working on a 24-page annual report reminds me of weekends in the magazine lab. I'm signing off on each page as I go. Only difference? I went into journalism because it didn't involve crunching numbers. And that calculator I'm holding? It's well used. Let's leave it at that.

(Although I do have to admit that I'm somewhat excited to play around with iPhoto as a five minute break. In my six months of working here, I had yet to take a single photo of myself using my Mac. Which is pretty incredibly considering what a camera whore I am.)

Wanna cheer me up? Swing by for the Arts & Crafts Nuit Blanche party at my home tonight.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

i probably miss you

There's something comforting about the quiet, slow, dull ache of carrying heartache around. It becomes a mantra, a way to get through the days. And it's strange how that comfort can very much feels like falling in love.

When I moved to Toronto, the damp that filled the air in autumn was what shocked me most. I never felt dry. I walked with french braided hair through Port Elgin, admiring giant pumpkins and longing with the dry cold snap of Alberta. Everything about fall in Cold Lake is crisp: the sound of the leaves, the way the air hurts when it hits your lungs, the sound when the furnace clicks on for the first time. It's those sharp inhalations of air that I miss most. It's definitive. You know that the frost settles every night and that your breath will condense when it hits the air in the morning.

Autumn in northern Alberta is an ugly, harsh time. The colours aren't vibrant. Instead, everything just dies. It curls and turns brown and dries until there's nothing but carcasses of seasons past littering the ground.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Democracy 250

I hadn't been to a "youth conference" in nearly 8 years, so I had no idea what to expect when I stepped through the hotel room door and put my bags down. I can tell you what I wasn't expecting, though--a 16-year-old roomate, doodling "ill Scarlet" all over the hotel stationary, with her two teenage friends in tow.

They didn't guess my age, though. I had dressed for the part, complete with dinosaur t-shirt, jeans and Converse sneakers.

My roomate, Ginger, was originally from a fly-in reserve north of Thunder Bay. "What's Toronto like?" she asked me, eyes big in awe. The TV in our room was always tuned to MuchMusic, she shared songs with me on her iPod and I knew that she couldn't possibly understand me when I told her that she was going to miss Thunder Bay someday--someday long after she gets out. (And I hope she gets out.)

So what's the point here? There really isn't one. There isn't a romantic story of how Ginger reminded me of my past self. (She didn't.) There isn't a story of personal elightenment or self-discovery here to share. (I got drunk, made politically incorrect jokes and forced guys in striped shirts to do cartwheels.) This isn't the tale of what a stone cold fox the Governor General is. (She is.)

Instead, there's this: In the last federal election, 1.2 million Canadian youth didn't vote.

That's appalling.

(Seriously, does it take that much effort to at least go and spoil your ballot? I voted in my first federal election when I was 16, not realizing at the time that it was a felony. I voted because I could, because of some glitch in the system. I voted because the ability to do so seemed like the greatest power. And although I barely believe in our democractic electoral system now, I still exercise that right because I have it.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Apathy IS boring.

This is my new friend Maya. I met Maya at a youth conference in Halifax this weekend. Maya and I quickly discovered that we have two key things in common: we both give in easily to peer pressure, and we both like to pressure our peers.

To quote Danny, "When I saw you sitting in between David and Maya during the dialogue, I thought, 'That's trouble.'" I'll admit, we were a dangerous combination.

The night started off like any other. We discussed what a stone cold fox the Governor General is (seriously, I want to have her babies) and admired the empty nature of the Dal "bar."

"I really wish I knew how to do cartwheels," I told Maya. "If I did, I'd do one in the bar right now." "I'll teach you," she offered. The result? Three very pathetic attempts caught on video. (If you're interested, I'll put one of them up.)

Turns out that we weren't the only ones interested in cartwheeling in the bar.

Around this point in time, Maya and I noticed that drunks guys wearing blue striped shirts really liked doing cartwheels. (I really liked this guy, who was definitely rocking some serious grey hair.)

In between harassing people to do cartwheels, we saw this bluegrass band. They didn't do cartwheels, but they agreed to vote in the federal election. (More on this later.)

In total, we got no less than 9 drunk guys in blue striped shirts to do cartwheels for us.

Seriously, how could one not love this girl?

But more importantly, how could one not love Nova Scotia? We woke up in the morning to wander downtown to find brunch. First though, we found free coffee and cinnamon buns which we consumed in the public gardens.

Then we found these free hugs.

And then we found some free love. . .

. . .in the shape and form of about 40 greyhounds in one tiny little park.

I told the lead singer of the bluegrass band that I was going to move to Nova Scotia. He sincerely believed me. "I'm actually kind of surprised you're not a Nova Scotian," he told me when I gushed about earth sheltered homes and cheap islands. "I think you'll fit right in."