Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Suicide Hearthrobs

So it's like this, y'all:

My boyfriend moved to Toronto. Although it's probably not the primary activity of choice for couples who have been seperated for over a year, we're on the couch nonstop, watching Planet Earth. (Although Alex and I both admit that apart from the awesome time lapses that Planet Earth offers up, Attenborough's Life On Earth from 1979 is far superior. If you're a Planet Earth fan, download this series NOW and actually learn something rather than being subjected to the same dry narration about wildebeests migrating.)

Planet Earth marathons are interspered by three hour interviews with conspiracy theorists, meetings on display copy and some more solid time in the lab. (Lab time= "Heath Ledger died!" "Wow, it feels like a real newsroom in here. Well, that is if the real news room in question was Dose." And then we all put dead teenage hearthrobs on our computer desktops. Mine features Jonathan Brandis. Canice opted for River Phoenix. Nothing like suicidal hearthrobs to get your through the day. Hmmm...I wonder if I can get away with Owen Wilson?)

I'll emerge from the depths soon enough.

In the meantime, my rocking '60s outfit made it into She Does the City's Costume Cupboard.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Blasts from the Past

If you were paying attention, last night was the McClung's launch party. Even better, if you were a good friend, you were there.

Good times were had. There were burnt bras, a vibrator was raffled off and Canice wore a dress. Who says that feminists can't be fun?

J2Webb is half of the creative forces behind the dance party that was 1963.

Sarah Nicole is the other half. These ladies know how to throw a party. I was also grateful for their insistance that the deejays be women.

Partially because one half of Camp So Chill is Vanessa, who I used to hang out with back in the day. Also random: Vanessa and Natty were roomates at one point. Weird. It was a blast from the past.

And then Jessex showed up! I also haven't seen her in forever. I would reference her further in a back-post link, but considering she is every other post for about a year, I don't think it's necessary.

Dance party! Seen in the background: Jen of, McClung's winter issue sponsor.

Aren't you just a little sad that you missed this rare occurrence? C'mon now. Don't deny it. (Quote of the night. "Where's Canice?" "I think she just walked in." "Is that her? No, that girl's wearing a dress. It can't be Canice.")

That's right. We burn bras. Unfortunatly, synthetics don't burn that well.

The roomates with the guy who kept hitting on me and Hayley.

In conclusion, this is why we're the bosses.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Launch Squared

Just in time for the McClung's launch party (which is TONIGHT, 9 PM @ The SOCIAL) the new McClung's website has been launch. Some tweaking still needs to be done, but the Spring 2007 issue is online. (The Winter 2008 issue, which is what we are launching tonight, will be online soon.) McClung's, as a commenter on the Torontoist site said is "one of the very few feathers in Ryerson's cap." Awww. Come to the party. I'll be there, minus menorah, plus beehive.


It's not that Judaism, as a religion, kind of makes sense to me.

It's not that I may or may not have at one point fallen in love with an Israeli soldier who wore thong underwear and fought over me with another guy in Hebrew. (Swoon, I know.)

And it's not that apart from highland dance, my own upbringing and heritage seems so culturally devoid.

More or less, it's that I'm obsessed with the fact that Jewish young adults get to go on the Birthright trip to Israel. (Although, I have been obsessed with Judaism for the last two years or so. If not as a religion, then I'm definitely obsessed with it as a culture. Unfortunatly, while you can convert your religion to Judaism, you cannot convert your heritage. Damn.)

I mean, you get to go to Israel for 10 days on an all-expenses paid trip where you learn cultural stuff. It's not even specifically a religious trip (trust me--I've looked into this.) I can't possibly be the only person plotting ways to become Jewish so I can go on the birthright trip?

My neighbour just came back from the birthright trip last week. When I told him about my obsession, he told me, as I've been told a dozen times before, that I could easily fake it.

"What's your last name?" he asked me.

"That's the problem," I sighed, "it's [insert absurdly obvious Scottish last name here]."

"The red hair isn't exactly helping your out either," interjected my other neighbour. Even though I'm something like seventh generation Canadian, I'm quite obviously of Scottish or Irish background.

There's only one solution:

They'll never question me once I successfully grow curly ques. Nobody questions a Hassidic Jewish man.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I can see clearly now, the game is on.

Last night, I went up to the Victory Cafe for Dan's slow march to death (otherwise known as his twenty-seven birthday celebration). The two questions of the night were: "Are you from Edmonton?" and "Are you in j-school at Ryerson?" You can't avoid either factor, wherever you go.

But, by far, the most awkward question of the night was, "How do you know Dan?"

"Well, it's a long story. We're both at Ryerson."

"Do you know him from Edmonton? Or from Ryerson?"

"Well. Neither. I know Dan from the Internet, sort of. It's a long story . ."

So, here's the long and awkward story that I ended up reluctantly reciting about 5 times to people with raised eyebrows:

Back in 2003, when I went to the U of A, I stalked members of The Gateway (the U of A's student newspaper) via their unofficial blog. Each became a character to me, but I was most fascinated by David Berry. The school year ended, I decided university wasn't for me (humorous considering that I'm now completing year six) and moved back to Cold Lake. Dave, at this same point in time, left for Europe and started a travel blog, which I started leaving anonymous tips and recommendations on. Dave was curious who I was, so our relationship escalated to an e-mail friendship. My best friend Chloe (of calendar fame) then began working at the Gateway, where a copy of the infamous calendar somehow made its way into David Berry's hands, which is probably the first time Dan heard of me.

Dan and I officially met in January of 2006 (I believe) but I knew of him well before this, and he thought I was funny: the first time we met was right after I declared 2006 Year of the Beard, and Dan had a beard. We didn't talk much, but were at the same jazz bar on the same night. Dan then began stalking me (his words, not mine) on the Internet and became a regular reader of this blog. Then we became Facebook friends, without ever leaving each other messages. So, technically, after 6 years of knowing of Dan, I only just really met Dan this year, in Toronto. In September, I bumped into in the hallway at school and recruited him for McClung's. The End.

Why this story is embarassing and too long to explain: Dan and I are technically digital or Internet friends, who have tons of mutual "real life" or analog friends. Factoring in explaining about "the" calendar and Year of the Beard just makes the story that much long. And really, when it comes down to it, kind of boring. (But it proves that you too, can be my friend!)

Dan holding the "no" birthday beer: the last beer of the night, that someone handed him, that he knew he shouldn't drink. Somehow, he found the willpower to resist and said no to the last three quarters of the "no" beer.

I got my new glasses (first pair of new frames in 8 years). Slipping them on, I immediately had to call Alex Dodd. "Is this what real people see like?" I asked him. "I can read signs that are like two blocks away clearly! And I can see hard lines and shapes! I feel like I have super human vision! Is this really what normal people see like?"

It turns out that I have been living life with much less than 20/20 vision for a long time now. It's crazy. I can even see my computer screen in front of me. Now there's no reason to lose at Spider Solitare.

In other news, I tried to watch the Notebook last night just to kill time before I went out. I figured it decided another chance, since it's gotten so much gushing praise from every female I know ever. The Notebook, however, is possibly almost as boring as Sarah Michelle Gellar's forgotten flop Simply Irresistable (a movie that included a magical crab as part of the winning plotline). I like Rachel McAdams, but the movie is so monumentally boring that I started fast-forwarding it to the "interesting" parts. Only problem? There are none.

Seriously, how did this movie get dubbed the greatest love story ever? Even Dirty Dancing has a more entertaining plot. And the fact that they are the old people? How were people surprised by that? I mean, seriously? (And am I the only one who can only see geeky Shaun of Breaker High when I look at Canadian alleged "heart-throb" Ryan Gosling?)

This concludes another lesson in why I'm bad at being a girl.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Every story has a conclusion. Sort of.

Even though I really don't feel like talking about it, I do feel that since you, my devoted readers, have endured my incessant whining about my eyes for the last 4 months now, I owe you a conclusion to the story.

Many people have commented recently that my eyes look better. True, but false. That was all the work of a handy little anti-inflammatory, which took care of the symptoms, but not the mysterious problem. So, 6 days ago I stop taking the anti-inflammatory drops in preparation for my visit to a specialist. Yes, that's right. I somehow got in to see a specialist.

Today, I headed up to North York to sit in the office of a Harvard Medical School grad amongst 65-year-old Chinese cataract surgery candidates for an inordinately long period of time. After paying an equally inordinately large sum of money (since I don't have OHIP, the current price of my eyes in recent months is well exceeding a grand) to have a topographical scan of my eyes done, I saw the doctor.

"You're having a severe allergic reaction to something," he initially told me. But to what?

And then somehow, the topic of my facial eczema came up. Oh, right. Now I remember--because I brought it up. Waaaay back in October, when I was obsessively googling eye disorders on a daily basis, I came across blepharitis, a condition that is linked to allergies and eczema. Ever since then, I've made sure to mention my eczema to every doctor I've seen, without mentioning blepharitis directly. (Even before I came across this particular connection, I asked the second doctor that I saw, back in September, if the scales and eczema on my eyelids had anything to do with it. "This is an eye condition," she told me, "it had nothing to do with your skin.") I don't want to be one of those people who Internet googles and self-diagnoses and argues with doctors. I don't want to come across as a hypochrondriac. It's not my style.

After discussing my eczema and my history in tropical countries briefly, the doctor ran off to see another patiern, my pupils were dilated with eyedrops and I was sent back to the waiting room for 1/2 hour (where my eyes began to feel like heavy globs in my head) before I was called back into his office.

He examined my eyes again and wrote me a mega prescription for two new eye drops, plus another antibiotic without saying a word (apart from telling me that my severe astigmatism can result in corneal diseases. Cool, hey?)

"Your eyelids are waxy," he finally said. "You'll have to put hot compresses on your eyes every morning and every night for 10 minutes to loosen the wax."

"For how long?"

"For the rest of your life. This condition is chronic."

"And what is this condition?" I asked him.

And what was it? Let's say it altogether now:


Let this be a lesson to you all. In the wonders of the Internet age, self-diagnosis is a handy tool. Don't be afraid to be one of those assholes who takes a print-off into a doctor's office. It might save you a lot of time and money.

As for the conclusion: I'm sure it's not a major condition, but it right now it feels like a death sentence. The days of shooting every male in sight saucy looks with confidence and might are gone. The days of glasses, nights in and no makeup seem here to stay.

Fuck. You might as well stop reading my blog now.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Another list

Dear Faithful Readers,

Today, your gentle* heroine was a beacon of all things productive.

I got up at 8:30 a.m. after not many hours of sleep (my cute neighbour to the left has a penchant for playing punk music at 2:30 a.m.--something that would anger me under difficult circumstances, but he has facial hair of choice, and always obligingly turns down the racket when I hammer on the wall) and went to school.

I participated in class.

I bought the next book I have to read.

I took my shoes to the cobbler.

I got new glasses. (After losing a fifth game of Spider Solitare in a row last night, for nothing more than the sheer reason that I couldn't see the cards, I knew I had to bite the bullet. Not being able to see my computer screen in front of me is a sad state of affairs.)

I bought new lightbulbs, in anticipation of my own lights being replaced.

I got a new debit card.

I feel good. It's been a good day. Productivity. I'm going to reward myself now. A game or two of spider solitare is in order.


*Okay, so I couldn't think of another adjective to describe myself at the moment.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Rock for Humanity

On Friday night, Court and I decided to take advantage of our one last true weekend of freedom (cue George Michael- FREEDOM!) and we headed to Lee's Palace to watch a friend's band play.

Nothing says "Rock for Humanity" like a band with two singers, neither of whom actually sing, persay.

But on a screaming level of things, they were actually pretty decent. That, and the 18-year-old versions of Court and I were definitely swooning over one of the "singers." New Year's does that to people--makes them nostalgic for the days of bygone bad taste and rebellion. It made us nostalgic enough to discuss whether Court and I would have been friends in high school. Survey says. . .yes. We would have bonded over trying to maintain the perfect shade of pink hair and the merits of dating band guys. Court, however, likely wouldn't have been into my straight edge goody-goody goth girl angle, but hey, you never know.

Afterwards, we went upstairs to the Dance Cave.

Ryan came to join us for the dance party. Misplaced frat boys (in the background here) stared at us. A random South American guy got his girlfriend to come over and ask if I had a boyfriend.

And then drama ensued. It was very OC-esque, complete with a drink thrown. I'll leave it at that.

Both the heels on my shoes broke (the rubber bottoms fell off, leaving me to dance the night away on nothing more than metal spikes). I just thought I was being really clumsy.

And maybe I was. I woke up this morning to discover that my debit card is missing (I've never lost my debit card before). But when I called the bank to report the card lost, my cell phone decided to die. I went to charge it, but then the charger broke. Then I went to the closest Rogers Wireless, but it was closed. So I had to go all the way to the Eaton Centre just to buy a new charger so I could report my debit card lost.

Oh, and our bathroom sink is clogged. Drain declogger isn't working. The lights in my room are still burnt out, contributing to perma-mood lighting. While romantic, it isn't condusive to applying for jobs/editing front-of-book stories, or reading another 200 pages of a book for tomorrow.

Yup, it was definitely the last night of freedom.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lights Out

I can't even believe it myself, but it's true: my lightbulbs are burnt out AGAIN.

There is a lot of dark profanity coming out of my mouth. (Get it? Dark. Hahaha. Oh. . . .)

And so this post isn't entirely depressing, here's a picture of one of the deer my dad is feeding in our backyard.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Good Year

New Year's is the only time of year this dress ever comes out of the closet. The last time I wore it was two years ago.

Actually, the last time I wore this winning combination, I woke up with a broken toe. I left the house vowing not to make the night a repetition of two years prior.

As soon as I got to Brie & Mark's place, Brie took one look at my outfit and told me, "Jess, you're not going to fall down any stairs, are you? I think those shoes are cursed." Then she handed me a glass, making me promise not to break it. It's always good to be pegged at the klutzy one at the house party.

Happy New Year!

I feel like ever since the 2006 Year of the Rash resolution (also known as Year of the Beard) there's a lot of pressure on me to come up with original resolutions.

So I've decided that that 2008 will be year of the recreational drug use.

Haha. Just joking. Don't get your panties in a knot. I've actually decided it's going to be a year of achievable resolutions, and recreational drug use is counter-productive to many of my actual resolutions.

I hereby resolve to start highland dancing again, to graduate from university and to get a somewhat meaningful or enjoyable, decent-paying job in the next year.

This was a patented Tristan dance. This photo was taken right around 1 a.m., which is when the dance party broke out.

Brie exchanged footwear for ultimate dancing comfort--something you can't get any with at a club.

And Court started spilling her drinks everywhere.

She claimed it wasn't her. But we saw her do it.

Do I really look like this when I dance? I'm a little scared.

Last picture of the night: Court spilling more stuff.
It's going to be a good year.