Monday, December 8, 2008

For Old Timer's Sake

I opened a Pandora's box. The other day I collected a couple things I had left at my friend's place after I moved away the first time. Inside were a bunch of photos and letters and buried memories. I ended up opening up everything and going for a stroll down Memory Lane. After a while, I just couldn't hack it anymore. Nostalgia and "what ifs" plagued my mind, and I needed to run away. The whole experience left me feeling somewhat numb.

It's weird how I've forgotten some things I swore I'd never forget. Or how I convinced myself that I wasn't going to be bothered by certain things anymore yet how easily that nagging feeling came back when I saw the mementos.

I sometimes find it hard to acknowledge how long life is. Sure it's short, and "they" always talk about how quickly it goes by and not to waste it. I agree, but when you stop and think about how much activity goes on in one person's life, how many people one meets, loves, hates, how many interactions and memories one person's life has, you'll understand what I mean. I used to regret when I lost touch with people or when relationships ended. I am the worst at letting go of dead relationships, constantly flogging that horse until I'm cranky and fatigued, but now I know better. I used to be very good at keeping in touch with people, but eventually it just got too exhausting to stay in touch with everyone. I have had luck reconnecting with people from my past, but there are still some that I haven't and wonder about. Opening that box only made me wonder more.

On a somewhat related note, Natasha sent me a link to Advanced Style, and I'm happily enjoying it. You gotta respect your elders, and these stylish seniors know what looks good. It's a relief to know that style doesn't have to go out the door as a person ages. Now what I really want to know is what kind of Pandora's boxes they have.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

T'is the season, dudes

I had to work this weekend, so I'm a grumposaurus. Aside from having to work, I find the nature of my work makes me kinda grouchy as well. I got a job writing news headlines for a website, and while it's journalism-related I'm not doing much of my own writing. But that's not the point I want to make. The point is the news is depressing. Well, duh.

Bad news is news. I've been feeling down all week, and aside from the usual things like winter and me throwing myself a pity party, I realized a lot of my down-in-the-dumps feelings were also because of what's been going on in the world. Shit hit the global fan and splattered everyone. From the Mumbai massacre and the Nigerian election-related clashes to the economy and the Canadian government on the verge of collapsing to shopping-related deaths in the States and the David Frost verdict, it's a wonder I've gotten out of bed. The thing is, there's not much I or one individual can do about it other watch/listen to the news and discuss with our friends about how fucked up the world is.

I'm a huge believer in the whole "when it rains, it pours" phenomenon. Past life lessons has taught me that either nothing happens or it all happens at once. I shudder to think about what'll happen next week. Thank God I get three days off, so preferably it'll all happen Wednesday onwards.

Oh yeah, The Acorn, a phenomenal band from Ottawa, should just change their name to Babetown. I was lucky enough to score a ticket to their sold out show on Thursday. The Rural Alberta Advantage and Obijou opened for them. I left the show thinking that all was all right with the world. Apparently not though. :(

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet...

Here is a list of people I would love to have as boyfriends. In no particular order:

-David Sedaris
-Ira Glass
-Chuck Klosterman
-Roald Dahl
-David Suzuki
-Oscar Wilde
-Jens Lekman
-Sook Yin Lee

That is all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'd like a ticket to Stylesville, please

At the risk of sounding horrifically materialistic and shallow, I got some sweet duds over the weekend, and I'm more than excited to show them off. House of Spy was having a fantastic sample sale, and I managed to score some key items as well as have the change room to myself! It's a communal change room and because it was pissing cats and dogs that day, it wasn't busy when I roll in soaking wet.

Anyway, all this ties in with my goal to change my wardrobe and develop a more "grown up" look. So far Operation Sophisticated Look has been a bust. I guess the not-getting-paid-until-recently thing was a big hindrance. I'd like to believe these purchases are send offs on the Grown-Up train en route to Stylishville, population: me.

I've been rocking the This American Life podcast lately. Ira Glass is a god, and it is THE best pieces of radio work I have heard in a very long time. Without fail, every single time I listen to that podcast, I want to cry. But in a good way. It's storytelling stripped down to its bare bones. No fancy sound effects, no screeching voices, only the one voice, maybe an occasional interviewee and stories that move, haunt, delight, entertain, amuse and frustrate you. I can't get enough of it.

Oh, and I don't care what any of you have to say about this next statement, so I'm just gonna say it. Vice's Do's and Don'ts are awesome. I've been reading for years and they're always consistent little arses. The writing is bitchy, mean, sometimes sexist, often downright rude, but dammit, do I ever enjoy reading them. Some say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. I say, so be it. I'll be laughing all the way down.

Here's something else I've been reading obsessively (besides David Sedaris of course): Norman Yeung's blog. He's a local dude, artist, writer, actor, all-around talented man. I first read about him in Ricepaper and love his graffiti and artwork. Now that I've found his blog, all I do is read it compulsively and try not to weep with joy over how funny and utterly random he is. Check it, yo.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bah Halloweenbug

Well, I've started a new job. This was just week one, finished. It was intense. Lots to remember, faces to remember, names to remember, a cheery disposition to keep up even though all I wanted to do was scream or run to the bathroom and have a good cry. Ok, it's not that bad. Just another change in life and a transition to get used to.

So in addition to the whole job thing, I got thinking a lot about image and how it's so important to project "professional" once you enter the working world. All this translates to employability. I thought that it would be more lax in the dot com world, but at the end of the day, it's still a business and business casual reigns supreme.

It's not an easy transition for me since I'm pretty low-key and into comfort. I may also be stuck in a halfway point where I still enjoy youthful clothes, but I can't necessarily pull them off in my day-to-day work world. There's this girlness that I can't seem to shake, and maybe it's more about a mentality that needs to be shaken.

I used to have a shoe mantra that if I couldn't run in them, then I couldn't wear them, which is why I rarely own heels. I have never even tried on a pair of stilettos, yet they are the shoe that comes to mind when you mention the word "style". I don't think it's possible to be considered a style icon if you're someone who wears flats. It's kinda sad really, how there's only one kind of "style" but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

In all my years, I've owned four pairs of heels. One of which I bought this year. I think I'm going through an image anxiety transition. Clearly the jeans and t-shirts aren't going to cut it anymore yet I'm at a loss as to what is "professional" and still a personal style. As hokey as this is going to sound, What Not to Wear is exactly the kind of show that would be beneficial to someone like me. Ugh. I can't believe I just said that. Shoot me now.

Oh yeah, and I hate Halloween. I usually get costume performance anxiety. There's way too much pressure to come up with a costume, and I never do. I almost considered wearing a #11.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What the...?

Well, I guess it's good to get the kids involved and informed about politics at a young age.
Lion Brand Yarn has some free patterns on their website for the U.S. electoral candidates. My question is: Why is McCain smiling and why does Obama seem to be scowling?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pictures and blogs, oh my!

Lately I've been obsessed with a few photo blogs. There's something nice about having a strong visual to mull over while doing temp work. :) In no particular order:

The Sartorialist Maybe it's because it's starting to get cold, and I'm pulling out all those sweaters and sweaters for some reason always remind me of runways and fall collections, but I love this blog. What I like about Sart's work is that he 1) takes beautiful photographs and 2) he doesn't do it with any kind of pretention. He simply appreciates good fashion and beauty for what it is, not because it's trendy or hip or cool. He also has some thoughtful insights he adds from time to time, which leads me to believe that fashion isn't always bitchy.

Sleeveface "one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion." Brilliant idea by Carl Morris and John Rostron. People hold up album covers to their faces and dress accordingly to the album to match up their hair/clothes/environment to the album. I do believe they've launched a book as well! I think I've found my Halloween costume this year.

Boing Boing had some excellent posts last week. One of my favourites was The Brokers with Hands on Their Faces Blog. It's quite a reflection of the times. If you're anything like me who doesn't know squat about economics or business or trading, it's kinda cool to see the "human" side of finances. It's not all just numbers and dollars and cents, I guess.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holy cats, Invisible Publishing is producing some most excellent work! The small press is focused on publishing emerging writers and has already published several collections of short stories and a few novels. They're based in Montreal and Halifax and feature writers such as Devon Code, Stephanie Domet, Anna Leventhal, Sue Carter Flinn and loads more. I read Homing by CBC broadcaster, Stephanie Domet as well as In Transit, which features a thwack of short stories about nomadism/travel. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Today, I just picked up Fear of Fighting by Stacey May Fowles and Marlena Zuber, and I love, love, LOVE it. It's kind of eerie how accurately it describes my life. In a nutshell, the main character, Marnie, is in her 20s and still trying to figure out her own identity while getting over a broken heart. It's spooky because at some parts, Marnie's words mirror my own paranoid/sad/depressed/self-actualizing thoughts. I'd definitely recommend this book and all of Invisible Publishing's delicious offerings to anyone who enjoys reading works from a cornucopia of talented, fresh and cheeky writers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Your throwup makes me throw up

Let me be the first to say, I will eat my own damn words. Toronto does dance. The proof was in the pudding. The pudding of last night's show at Lee's Palace. Edmontonian (represent!) Cadence Weapon rocked the house and ran, jumped, crawled and flailed on stage all the while egging on the audience with his hip hop beats---courtesy of the dj who's name I can't recall...Noah? Noel? His usual partner-in-crime, Dj Weez-l, wasn't with him this time around and the sound was a bit more mashed up and less scratch as it is with Weez-l.

The sound at Lee's was shit (as usual), so you could only partially hear what Cadence Weapon was rapping. And with an artist like Cadence Weapon, it's important to be able to hear his clever lyrics. I had a hard time catching his Edmonton references, and that was a crying shame. He did his shout outs to Juliann Wilding and Nik Kozub though, and at one point, perched himself on the shoulders of localster, Henri Faberge. Cadence Weapon was sporting the best outfit...white jeans, black runners and a white shirt with a gold image of Barack Obama and gold lettering that said, "Change. Yes, we can." Priceless.

Local electro duo darlings, Woodhands opened, and more than sufficiently got peeps moving and shaking.

Top off Cadence Weapon's set with some kind of weird impromptu shirtless mosh pit consisting of three dudes dancing like it's disco and a cover of the Stooges' I Need Somebody and call it a night. Gear!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So you think you can dance, Canada

Apparently not in Toronto. I went to see Stereolab at the Phoenix last night, and despite their most excellent pop-y sounds, only pockets of people were shaking their moneymakers. Toronto's notorious for having hard-to-please crowds, hipsters standing around like stern parents with arms crossed and slouching posture while bands jump, beg, and plead with music to implore us to move. Not happening.

The show was so, so, so good. Stereolab was really solid, and singer Laetitia Sadier was shimmying on stage, so there's really no reason why the crowd wasn't dancing either. At one point, Laetitia did this cool thing where she managed to maneuver her hair into a twist, and it stayed up for most of the song without any clips or elastic bands to hold it up. That girl oozes coolness with her sexy French accent and euro-awesomeness.

The set was solid, as they showcased more of their pop-iness. Each song was consistently good and mind-blowing. It's no wonder they've been around since 1991.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Adventures in Tempdom

I've been doing this temp thing for a while now. My first stint was over a year ago, and I ended up getting a three-month assignment at a medical organization. It was fine and dandy and really good to get a semi-steady paycheque, but I thought now that I'm done school and moved back to T-Dot, I should be able to find something in my field. Of course, with things like rent, food and student loans, I've resorted to temp work once again. This time around, I've taken on smaller assignments--gotta keep searching for that dream job, right? So far, it's been up and down.

For one thing, some places treat you like shit. Employees know you're not around for long, thus it translates to either a) you are invisible, and your existance calls for no recognition or b) you are expected to know who every single employee in the frickin' company is and memorize the thousands of permutations and combinations of extension numbers. Of course the other temp experience I've seen is c) people are so incredibly nice to you and realize you don't know anything that they tell you you're doing a great job even when you've transferred their calls to the wrong person. C's are few and far between the jungle of A's and B's.

Don't get me wrong, temp work can be great if you're in between gigs or have something else that is your main passion on the go. There are certainly good opportunities to network and keep busy. In my case though, I'm networking in the wrong fields, and despite the money, it's sucking my soul and regurgitating back a cynical, negative puke experience. Barf.

The pic is from Marty Gordon, and his blog is

Monday, October 6, 2008

YouTube: I love you

Oh my freakin' god. I may be appreciating this waaaaay too late considering this video was made a while ago, but damn!

Kid Koala got his distant cousin, Monkmus to do this video, and I am floored by the end product. The song's called "Fender Bender" and it's from Kid Koala's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome album. The music is tight, the illustration is tight with just the right amount of humour and emotion. Hurray for Monkmus! I just learned about him from the latest copy of Giant Robot, where there's an interview with Monkmus. It's great art like this that makes me think all is well with the world.

Here's another amazing animation I found. A friend posted this up on his Facebook page ages ago, and I fell in love with Yuri Norshtein's work. Even the voice of the mole is comforting. Now I know the world will be okay.

And finally this little gem my roomie and I found on Bravo the other day. Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow and Richard Pryor as The Wiz. Need I say more?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Moshi moshi

Is Shampoo Your Mullet not the most hilarious blog name? Can't say I care much for the blog, but the name is gear!

Sooo, I'm trying to get a landline for my house, and everyone I tell this too wonders why the hell I would want to do that. I just don't want a cellphone anymore. I'm on a pay-as-you-go cellie right now, and it drains my money like nobody's business. I also refuse to be locked into a contract for two to five years. I like the affordability of a landline and the fact that I can't always be reachable. Hell, I even want a rotary phone if possible. Call me a Luddite, but I like the idea of a home phone. It's not like people have to constantly be able to get a hold of me, and I can chat for as long as I want and not be dependent on the time of day. Plus I'm home a lot, so it's not a huge problem to just call me there. Owning a landline is not like owning a cellphone. To me having a landline is like owning furniture or having a car. There's a permanence that goes along with it. The phone is set up in my home, my abode where some of my most prized possessions live. People lose cellphones all the time, but how often do you lose a landline?

Apparently getting a landline has proven to be quite a challenge. I've hit a few roadblocks on this bumpy communication highway. First off, I can't find a phonejack anywhere in my place despite the Bell guy telling me there's at least two. Yes, I've got glasses but my eyesight can't possibly be that bad so as to not notice a jack in the wall. I don't understand how this can be. My landlady lives downstairs but chatting with her is delphic since she doesn't speak much English so I don't know if they just had jacks and did renovations and removed them or whether these jacks are hiding in secret holes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Oh Toronto. Whenever I feel like breaking up with you and going back to my old lover, the east coast, you always do whimsical little things to show me how much fun we could have together. Don't get me wrong. The east coast will probably be my reliable spouse, holding my hair back when I puke or reminding me to invest in an RRSP or handing me a glass of water to go with the multivitamin. But for the time being, Toronto, you, city of arrogance and finance and exuberance, you show up at my door at 2 a.m. with a bottle of whiskey and a game of Scrabble or egg me on to have that late night snack in Chinatown or race me to run a red light on my bicycle. You sure are damn fun despite my reservations. I can't help but enjoy all your badass goodness. And for the time being, you'll have to do, with your mischievous ways and dashing wayward smile.


I started thinking about what I enjoy about Toronto, and like the most recent issue of Spacing (The People Issue) I realized what I love and hate most about the city is the people. I hate the throngs of commuters and drivers who negligently swing open their doors and step out onto the road. I hate the pushing and shoving on the subway, the squeezing into a train. I hate the lineups at the grocery stores and the glares you get from people when you are coming from opposite ends but seem to move in the same direction despite attempts to avoid collision. I hate the meandering pace of some folks on the already crowded, vendor-filled spaces on Spadina.

But what I also love are the many projects people are currently working on (music, arts or urban planning related). I love the different languages you hear on the streets, like I'm turning the dial on a radio. I love the multitude of cuisines you can find in the city. Guyanese anyone? And I sometimes love the weaving in between people on Spadina.

I guess part of what makes Toronto manageable is when you meet a great, warm and friendly person in the city. At times, it feels like such people are few and far between, but when you do, you're reminded that such folks are what makes the city real, not just a pulsing mass of bodies. Toronto has provided an endless source of amusement for me. Sometimes the crazies are so outrageous, all I can do is laugh and file away the interaction for later when an entertaining story needs to be told.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Just a test to see if I can embed stuff.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Holy shit. It's been too long since I've updated, but here goes. Summer was glorious. After finishing school I stayed in Halifax and spent the summer being broke but also biking around and swimming in lakes. I also got a nice group of friends going so Halifax has been wonderful.

Alas, the call of earning money finally beckoned, and here I am back in Toronto. It's been about five days since I rolled into this city, and I must admit, I'm settling in quite nicely. My room is mostly furnished thanks to all the scavenging and going through other people's trash and finding milk crates. Thanks Nick for helping me haul up that desk!

But the biggest, happiest, shiniest news was that I got to meet Sook-Yin Lee, who has been a hero of mine ever since I started watching TV. And I got a little sound bite on her next DNTO show on crowds, so I'm pretty stoked.

Toronto...this city keeps on surprising me. I was pretty hesitant to move back and for the first day or two, I absolutely hated it. Loathed its smell, it's air quality, the bitchy people, the crowdedness, but TO's showing me some love. A couple set backs. One step back, two steps forwards kind of thing. Now all I need is a job I like.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mayo Chips

A. and I were shooting the shit the other day as we were munching on a bag of ketchup chips. We talked about how many chip flavours were based on condiments. Ketchup, salt-and-vinegar, honey mustard/dijon, black pepper, even Worcestershire-flavoured crisps in Britain and wasabi in Asian countries. So why isn't there a mayo chip? Many European folks enjoy dipping their fries into mayo, and apparently in Russia, mayo is more popular than ketchup. They even have different flavours of mayo. Mayo! So why hasn't there been an egg-y mayonnaise-flavoured chip yet?

I speculated with another friend, Kai, who wondered whether there was such a thing as mayo powder. I guess that's important in the chip-flavouring world. You've got be able to coat those thin potato roasties in some kind of powder, keeping them crisp instead of pouring some thick mixture of them. But if they can create ketchup powder to go on chips, why not mayo? This led to further speculation on whether mayo chips would even be that good. The taste of mayo is kind of subtle, so maybe as a chip flavour, it would be sort of bland. If there ever was a chip flavour, its catch phrase should be, "Heyo, it's Mayo! Chips"

Yesterday I went to an island near the city to help with a beach clean up. McNabs Island always had some mysterious allure about it. There's access to it if you rent/have a boat or if you go with a boating company, but I guess for whatever reason, not many people think of going there other than staring at it dreamily from Point Pleasant Park.

The island is pretty cool. There's some camping and people do come by to have picnics and such, but for the most part, it hasn't been too overrun by businesses. People used to have cottages there, but there are no shops or cafes or much phone reception for that matter.

The clean up was not what I had anticipated. On the boat ride over, I expected there to be lots of hippies and hardcore environmentalists. Instead there was a multitude of different kinds of people including couples, corporate folks, a few families and even some hipsters. Now, I'll admit, I'm not hardcore. I sometimes don't even compost, but I had dreams about conversing with others about how there were so many tampon applicators littered the beach. That didn't happen. Instead I talked to people about their fish oil selling business or teaching in China. Important things and interesting things to chit chat about, but not at all what I expected.

Then at the end of the outing, when we all piled onto the boat, after spending hours picking up trash and plastics, people rushed to the bar to buy drinks in plastic cups. What?! I don't get it. I'm now convinced plastic is evil after seeing it floating around the water and washed up onto the beaches. That shit doesn't decompose for years if at all. I guess people weren't throwing the cups overboard, but still. We spent our Saturday afternoon picking up waste only to add to it at the end of the day?! There's some pretty interesting things you can find. Aside from the gazillion tampon applicators, lobster traps, bottles and rope, I found a key and a duck decoy.

The weather was excellent though, and despite my smugness of never burning, I burned. Sort of. I guess browned would be a more accurate description. Like all that garbage that had time to brown on the beach.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oi. My throat kills. I think my body has finally had a few days to catch up to the stress of my life lately, and as a result my immune system is saying, "Screw this, we're taking a vacation!" I have a runny nose and I can't bear to swallow anything other than tea and soup.

The move went relatively well. Moving piece by piece on foot is not pleasant though. After several days of walking things over, my legs and arms were actually looking kind of toned. Now they've gone back to their feeble state.

The other day, some friends and I were talking about animals we look like. It was decided that Denis was a goat. Margaret a dog, Shawn a badger, Sadiya an elephant, Kevin a bear and Kate an owl. I got a bird, which is the strangest thing. Not any specific bird, just the generic bird. I couldn't wrap my head around why. I don't exactly have a beak-like nose---on the contrary, I'd say it's rather small and button-ish. I'm not peckish or exactly flighty. Maybe somewhat scattered and bird-brained at times. I guess I like nesting, maybe ruffling feathers on occasion and flying around from place to place. But I'm still puzzled.

It's been lazy days for me for the past little while. Moving, settling and now my biggest task at hand is to job-hunt. One of my most despised activities. I've written about this several times before, relentlessly, much like my efforts to find a job I like. The quest seems futile, and despite having a journalism degree under my belt, I'm still back at square one. Journalism is a field where you have to work you way up, paying your dues and praying to the journalism gods to smile and take pity on you. While I'm definitely not a hard-hitting newsie type, I do enjoy writing and when I got into it, I realized it's a hard living.

I'm convinced that there are a few lucky souls out there who are smart enough to land a job that will allow them to climb the ladder quickly while the rest of us poor sods will have to take part-time jobs calling people, trying to manipulate them into buying something or serving java just to make ends meet while waiting for the world to recognize our hidden genius and talent.

It's the finding a job to pay the bills that is giving me a hard time. I'm selective (to a fault, ahem) and would not want a job that will make me want to gouge out my own eyes or pull out my own hair (follicles included). As a result, job-hunting has been less than fruitful. I've had a couple interviews and rejections, which does little to help my pathetic state as is. Sooner or later, I'm going to have to waltz into a coffee shop or call centre, drop off my resume, boast my credentials and grovel for shifts. The thing is, I feel like I'm too old for this. How long can I keep working jobs I hate? Yes, there's the idea from my parents' generation that work is work, you're not supposed to enjoy it. And maybe I'm coming from a spoiled Generation X, where dot commers learned to go for it themselves and the notion that work can be what you want, and telling the boss to shove it was commonplace. Sadly I don't have the gumption to go it alone. Even this brief sojourn into freelancing is proving to be challenging. I have a somewhat hazy idea of what I want to do but I'm not quite sure how to go about getting there. If only I had a little birdie to tell me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Phew. It's been a while. Between visits from my parents and going on a mini road trip to Cape Breton, a deadline looming and now moving, I've had little time to think of anything else other than stress and worry.

Over the weekend, I went with my friend Denis and Gina to the Cabot Trail. The weather was crappy for the first couple days but it cleared up the last day and we got to canoodle on a couple beaches. I can now happily say I've dipped my toes in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. We also hiked the Skyline Trail, saw a moose, two coyotes and a baby black bear. The great thing about road trips is the bonding, and Denis is a hilarious person. He says the most outrageous things, and Gina and I got to know him much more than we cared to. There was a ridiculous comment about foreskin, but I won't bother to repeat what was said.

I also visited a WWOOF (World-wide opportunities on organic farms) farmer and his family in Cape Breton. I'm currently working on an article about WWOOFing, and it's interesting to meet people who do this sort of thing, both as volunteers and as hosts. The idea is you pay a small fee and sign up either to work on an organic farm or to have volunteers come and work on your farm in exchange for food and board. I've heard about mixed experiences but on the whole it seems like the people who do it, love it.

In other news, I'm moving this week, and because I don't have a car, it's been super stressful. There's so much to organize and for some reason or another, I've accumulated a crapload of, well, crap. I have lots of books and crafts and crafting materials I can't seem to part with. You'd think that after moving around so much, I'd be used to not accumulating so much stuff!

Finally, I found this awesome project Shawn Feeney is doing. It's called the BFF Project.
He takes photos of people who are best friends and draws a portrait of what they would look like if they were one person. It's pretty impressive, and the end result is he is going to amalgamate all 164 portraits into one!

Monday, May 19, 2008


Yum...with all the obsessing I've been doing about bentos lately, I finally had a chance to give making them a try when my friends had a Japanese-themed potluck.
The top ones are just normal sushi rice, the ones in the middle are wasabi flavoured and the green ones are with peas.
This is a colourful tofu and carrot salad with a sesame dressing. The sushi rice separates it from the flower tomatoes I cut up. Now that I've learned how to do it, everything that needs cutting up looks like a flower.
Those vein-y, eyeball things are marbled tea eggs.
And this is what it looks like all assembled together in my make-shift bento box.

Finally, this was the marvelous table of goodies. So much food. Tempura, sushi, kimchee, and it was all vegetarian!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm exhausted, and stuffed. Graduation was today, so my day consisted of me only having some measly cheese and crackers, then shuffling off to the ceremony in shoes that hurt after 20 minutes of wear, standing around waiting for 45 minutes followed by 2.5 more hours of sitting, standing and listening to hymns and other speeches about how our futures are going to be so bright. 

Call me bitter and/or cynical, but this is my second go-around at a "future." My first degree also promised an optimistic future full of adventure and life-long connections. I think I have a handful of friends from school that I've actually kept in touch with. I wanted to say to all these young'uns who were all dolled up and looking wide-eyed/bushy tailed to just wait until you go back to university for further schooling. Then this "future" speech will seem like a steaming pile of kaka. That is unless you've done a) business b) engineering or c) law degree. Then the world is your oyster.

In other news, I'm about to write my first "I" piece for a print publication. As a journalist--and I can say that now since I'm a graduate--I often write about other people instead of about myself. Sure I've written personal stories for zines but nothing that's widely distributed across North America. This'll be interesting. At least the topic will be on DIY--something I actually know about. And the publication is awesome enough to not do much editing, so I'm sure it'll be good. Looks like my freelancing career is off to a good start.

Oh, and some wonderful links I just had to share: 

This gives a whole new meaning to Dancing Cossacks!

And thanks Sadiya for this delish tidbit.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

When it rains, it pours

Holy, I'm swamped. And somewhat fucked. The place I was going to sublet for June 1st has already been subletted. The landlord didn't tell me until I called them today to follow up on my application. So now it's back to apartment hunting. I've quickly learned that it's my second most hated activity. After job hunting, of course. 

My parental units are in town. We had a nice dinner but not after being reminded of why I enjoy not living in the same city as them. They're in town for graduation, which I can't say I'm looking forward to. Lots of sitting around uncomfortably in robes with real fur trims, listening to "inspirational" speeches, when in reality, I know I'm screwed. 

On the bright side of grad, my brother got me an iPod nano. I'm sooo stoked as I haven't had a portable music player in years. Not even a sad CD player for this gal. I've finally joined the technological ranks of a normal person. I mean I own a Mac, shouldn't I also have an iPod and a cellphone that's smaller than a brick? I'm one step closer...

In some other non-grad related news, I've been obsessed with Japanese bento boxes lately. Lunch has always been my favourite meal. Probably because it straddles between breakfast, which I never find is savoury enough, and dinner, which is usually reserved for leftovers. Plus, midday is when your body needs the most energy, and hence, lunch is the prime pig out meal. 

There's something super wicked about lunches that are packed with care and creativity. I love looking at something that is visually appealing especially when I'm about to devour it and know that it'll be swimming around in my tummy. 

There's an abundance of pictures of the delicious packed lunches on Flickr. Just to name a few:

Great, now I'm hungry. 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows...

So Max told me the tone of my blog was too sad. I thought the first couple were rather pissy, but okay. I get it. It's too negative and depressing maybe. Maybe. 

But what about this extravagant $28 bag of candy Andrew bought tonight? Surely that says hyped up joy and jubilance, right? Gloriously stuffed with sour keys, sour watermelon slices, strawberries, mandarin orange slices, gummy worms, Coke bottles, gummy bears, and sour grapefruit slices, how can it go wrong, you say? Oh, but it can. And it did with its sugary "goodness". It brought upon us expensive cavities and persistent tummy ache. Ow. At least my inner child was satisfied. I guess I never learned to say 'when' when it came to candy.

Pre-gorging on les bonbons, I went to a temp agency earlier today. I've used one before, but I always hate the process you have to go to when you sign up with one. Much like the doctor's office, you sit in a waiting room full of People magazines, uncomfortably eyeing everyone else there, wondering about what is ailing their professional futures. The worst is watching some happy-go-lucky go-getter whistle and bounce out of the temp agency, satisfied and eagerly on their way to their next assignment, all while you're scowling and smoothing out your own crinkled dress pants and ill-fitted blouse trying desperately not to feel self-conscious. 

Then there's the skills testing. The outcome usually determines the mood for the rest of the day. "Oh, I got 44% on the advanced Office program exam? My future as a super temp has no hope. I might as well have that cheeseburger and milkshake to drown my sorrows while filling out the application form for pouring coffee." 

In other delightful news, I may have found an apartment for next month. The place is literally down the street from where I am now, so location is awesome. Rent is a bit more expensive, but whatever. I'm going to be a working gal soon enough. Um, yeah... Regardless of this important factor called work, I hope things will work out because then I won't have to move far, and I'll get to live in a place called Prince Matthew's Palace. There's even a fancy mosaic on the floor of the letters PMP. Maybe when I move out, I'll etch the letter 'I' somewhere in there.

Oh, such felicity.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Le sigh.

I didn't get the job I applied for in Edmonton. The reason being they wanted someone who was already in the city. That was crushing to find out that was the only reason why they didn't hire me. 

Looks like I'm back to hustling for work. Being a freelancer is great if you can make a living at it. Otherwise it's just anxiety and worry. Right now, I'm at the stage where it's anxiety and worry. I don't know if I can necessarily do it. It takes way too much discipline, and I have none of that right now. Every interesting conversation I have with someone turns into, "Can I turn that into a story to pitch?" I don't want to be that annoying person who is constantly egging people to tell me more or to ask a series of questions. I don't want to be a story whore. 

In other news, I stopped by the Argyle Fine Art gallery and dropped off some of my vinyl cardholders. There are a bunch of these foodie ones along with some passport holders and a couple pencil cases/eyeglasses cases. That was fun. I also took a vinyl record from the gallery to decorate for their upcoming show Vinylview, which will showcase artwork done on records and album sleeves. I guess there'll be stuff to look forward to in the summer here. Not all hope is lost. 

Oh, and I have a couple other vinyl wallets/card holders up on my Etsy site. Please take a gander.

My friend Simon posted this link about an advice booth that cost one pound on his Facebook page. It's an interesting idea and I bet they get to meet some wacky people. Check it out.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Well, I've buckled.

I've gone and gotten a blog. I had one before, but I didn't update it nearly enough. So what makes me think that this one will be any different?

Maybe it won't and the blog will be left to wither and die like the old one. 

But I'm hoping the fear from finishing j-school and having some time to actually write will encourage me to try to keep the blog updated. That and the scary potential that I may begin a $12,000/year freelancing career. Apparently that's what I have to look forward to as a new freelancer. That, and a lot of anxiety. Joy.

Moving along, my motivation has been nil since school finished. I'm waiting to hear back about the one job I applied for. I almost feel like because the interview went well-ish and I want the job, I won't get it. That's the law of my life. If I'm confident and want it, I probably won't get it. At least I'll find out soon enough and life can move along again.

And what's with having to pay close to $100 to renew my passport? Is it just me or is that crazy? I can't believe the passport office charged me an extra $10 to PICK UP my own damn passport. There's no hope in hell of saving any money post-graduating, now is there?