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"I can still actually feel that smell..."

~ ~


i hit my first crush in the face with a tetherball.
then held his hand all the way to the nurse's office.

are you going far?

~ ~
Inspired by the best.homage.to.public.transport.ever. three of us decided to see just how far a TTC pass can get you. I've been in this city about a year and a half now, in cities in general my whole life so the 'burbs have always been a scary, mom-jeaned, angsty teen malled, lawn dotted place I rarely venture into. So, on a rainy Sunday we mapped out a route, gathered our bearings and were Steeles bound. We were glaringly obvious fish out of water, lost and found quickly, clutching transfers as reminders of where we came from. Having spent a maximum of eight minutes on a single subway car in the past, the nearly 20 minute stint was enough to start up suppressed childhood claustrophobia that was only further agitated on the solid half-hour bus ride. We peered through misty windows at identical dwellings, cubed into neighborhoods between expanses of basically nothing.

The mall itself was a different experience altogether. Personal boundaries were tested by people strolling arm in arm through narrow walkways, and babies reaching out of buggies for various shiny baubles on easy-access shelves. The sensory overload was immediate, expected and welcome after we spent thrity minutes amusing ourselves with funny sounding bus stops (Waggoner's Wells Lane was especially mirthful in our haze of ennui). We were carried by the flow of the crowd, ducking into the occasional shoe-box sized boutique and revelling at the sheer, miniscule and fuzzy. One shop in particular had me at hello (Kitty) as it was filled with plush or plastic renderings of the Japanese cartoons that were dubbed over at home and helped me learn Arabic.
Soon after I rediscovered the deliciousness of strawberry cream-coated biscuits in stick form, we acquiesced to the flashing, eardrum-shattering call of the enormous arcade. We were immediately enveloped by the scent of prespiring teens, who had their eyes trained on fleeting symbols that rained down the screens in front of them, expressions grave with concentration. Naturally we only debated joining in for about three seconds before the thought of obliterating zombies with machine guns had us battling tweens for turns and rematches.

The main reason for our Markham jaunt, the search for DVDs priced in package deals and sold on the DL, was seemingly in vain at first. One of the shopkeeps we'd asked, led us away from her other customers and, leaning in conspiratorially, informed us that the summer's seige/cop crackdown had left an impression on those that once openly sold bootlegged copies and that they had all but stopped completely. Her tone was grim and bordering on ominous, but the message was clear: keep looking. Somewhere between bubble teas, pointing at strange things in jars and wandering aimlessly (while debating returning to the addictive arcade for "just one more!") a flutter of loose leaf printer paper caught our collecive gaze. Knowing what it was immediately we stopped in front of the store, poised to pounce if we saw it again. Ever since the DVD crackdown certain stores have had to keep secret lists of the movies they had (but couldn't display) that one could order and come back for after a certain amount of time.

We may or may not have entered the store, huddled around that piece of paper, made three selections and listened to a surreptitious phone call in Mandarin. We also may or may not have stalled by eating sushi, wondered what the quality would be like (i.e. heads in the way of hand-held cams vs. FOR PROMOTION ONLY warnings) and returned 30 minutes later with a ripped piece of paper marked "30" in lieu of a receipt.

We may or may not have felt slightly badass on the way home.

would you like some fries with that ploy?

~ ~

I have a love hate relationship with Burger King. I abhor their fries, but I like their junior Whoppers. I dislike eating in their "restaurants", but I enjoy that they don't charge me for extra sauces. I hated this marketing strategy, but love this one.

Enter Burger King's "Flame". Obviously nobody's asking the public to genuinely wish to smell like "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat". The very idea of reeking of beef is enough to turn ones stomach, and yet there have been reports that the wee bottles of meaty seduction are selling out. That's because the big thinkers behind BK's adevertising realized that it would take a lot more than paper crowns and a king with a giant head to sink a certain special-sauce encrusted ship- especially with their urban-friendly, coolhunted, internationally-reaching endorsements. Can we say Tim-ber-lake between bites?

Now, Burger King has decided to take the more facetious, playful route and created a product that is so repellent and unexpected that it's just aching to be a hit. And cheap! At only around $4 a bottle you can buy the perfect gag gift or stocking stuffer for some dude in your life who'll actually get the joke.

And if even one person is tempted to sink their teeth into the real thing (beef, I mean, not a guy friend) and pop over to their nearest drive-thru, then "Flame" might just reignite BK's fire.

the shortest day.

~ ~

We're all orphans this year.

Not in the depressing Twist/Copperfield kind of way, thankfully, but in more ways than we expected. Some are stranded, with family so far that staticky phone calls blur messages of love. Some have parents with reverse empty-nest syndrome that escape to foriegn islands leaving their chicks behind. Some have obligations to friends that demand they witness ceremonies that only happen once (ideally). And some have chosen paths that isolate and yet complete them in the way only a close friend can understand.

So when a good friend decided to hold her very first solo Winter Solstice dinner, we all gathered like bits and bobs from a shop of oddities, bringing with us the overflowing feelings we can't offer to our individual families this year. We broke bread (literally, as grain is key to good fortune), laughed and basked in our post-gorge glow. Terrible weather was easily forgotten, life stresses put on hold, anecdotes cordially drowned out by bursts of cassette tape nostalgia.

We rediscovered that friends can be like family- I even banished my ever-cynical ways as we made jokes about the impending year knowing that if in 2009, we found ourselves abandoned, marooned or deserted, we would find a way to one another again.

As our collective For-Solstice adopted Papa says, "Health, abundance, happiness and all the best for the new cycle."

F. Baz Fitzlurhmann.

~ ~

I love me some Luhrmann but ack?!

I won't even get started on the seemingly neverending, poorly written, cattle-heavy Aussie romp that made me wish I was at a screening for anything else- even this (because at least with that there would've been zero expectations, and at least three rows of squeeing teens to laugh at).

Fitzgerald is sacred, and lord knows Baz is capable of better, so if he so much as dreams of making this the last installment of a Luhrmann-Kidman* trio so help me...

* She's way too old to play Daisy, right? Too plastic?

hello, my name is...

~ ~

Corporate Cannibal

Now that I've (somewhat) gotten over my endoplasmic embloism, I bring you Grace MF-ing Jones. She's back with a MF-ing vengenace with her in-your-face, creepy brilliance and shows the cookie-cutter music industry who's boss. She will bite your MF-ing head off and lay an egg-case of sheer genius that only those that survive will be able to sample. Men are afraid of her. Women are afraid of fearing her.

Her new album Hurricane (her first after a nearly 20 year self-imposed hiatus/exile) is so her it practically slaps you in the face and says "I'm Grace Jones, bitch".

Also, yes, those are gratuitous chocolate MF-ing Grace Jones heads on the cover art.

Can we just talk for a moment about how she's old enough to be a grandmother and still sometimes wears only thongs to perform? I'm pretty sure she's actually an extraterrestrial.

shut up Piglet.

~ ~
I know it's really meta to blog about a blog but I just love coming across people with the kind of humour grandmothers across the universe would never attest to- rage against all things cute and furry.

Par example:

"What. The. Fuck. I don't even know what to say, Platypus. YOU MAKE NO SENSE. You're like some kind of anti-drug message, designed to make high people totally freak the fuck out. You are so weird, Platypus, that they don't even have a universally agreed-upon word for the plural form of you. That's because if you see two of these animals(?) together, the fabric of space and time will literally tear apart. Remind me to never close my eyes again, Platypus, you duck-billed asshole."



Because sometimes even the adorable need to be put in their place.

Hmmm, I wonder if the doily crocheting, Beanie Baby collecting, Thomas the Tank Engine watchers over at this hellish aberration are aware.

pinching Bennies.

~ ~

Ah, schadenfreude.

‘Tis dark times for us all, yes, and as the convenience store owner at the spot I frequent pointed out to me “we still gotta work, less money is still money”. Word. Normally, I would be swept into a depression akin to that of those sloshing around in the wintery haze clutching mall procured shopping bags (some surreptitiously hidden in designer bags brought from home- Bloor West I’m looking at you), but I can’t help but find these tidbits amusing beyond belief.

I promise I’m not an asshole. I will not attempt to justify why I find these articles so funny solely because they speak for themselves. The recession has become in my mind the kind of Robin Hood that would exist outside utopic fiction- robbing from the rich and giving to no one. I have nothing against those that have garnered enormous piles of Scrooge McDuck-like riches through the sweat of their own merit, but I indifferently detest those heirs/esses that were born with diamond-encrusted rhodium shovels in their mouths and whine about it.

Remember this?

Giving up lavish massages or one of multiple vacation homes hardly counts as “slumming it”. I’m not judging though. I’m too busy laughing my way to the nearest temp agency.

tell me a story.

~ ~
I'm just going to respond to the recent kerfuffles the best way I know how.

In the form of a children's story.

Yes, y'heard right.

The Little Brown Frog

Once upon a time there lived a little brown frog named Boggy. He was born and raised in a large pond commune in a wide forest filled with all kinds of creatures. The frogs in his commune were all very important. Each had a specific role in the upkeep of their individual homes, as well as the pond at large. Boggy’s own parents were very responsible and his siblings already had their lillypad stations all picked out for when they were old enough to leave the family’s pad. As the youngest Boggy still had a lot of time to figure out what kind of role he would play in the community, whether it was to catch flies or croak warnings in times of danger. His classmates all knew what they wanted to do, but Boggy still wasn’t sure. He didn’t quite fit in at school and was often teased because of one very obvious thing. Boggy was the only brown frog in the whole forest. His peers often called him strange and his family often worried about where he would end up.
“He’s just so different,” His father would croak. His mother could only hide her concern with a smile.
“Maybe he’ll grow out of it.”
Boggy learned to have fun by himself. He made up his own games, went on his own adventures and sang his own songs (as best a frog could). One day a little green frog from his second period Jumping class overheard Boggy singing and playing on his own.
“Well that’s a different game,” She said looking angry.
“It is,” Boggy said carrying on and hoping she would leave him be. Instead his classmate watched and watched until finally he invited her to join. She was hesitant at first, wondering what all the other green frogs would think if she joined in his strange game. But when she realized how much fun Boggy was having she decided to give it a go. Pretty soon more little green frogs from the neighbourhood began to join in against the wishes of their parents.
“Those games are dangerous!” They would warn, when they just didn’t recognize them.
Boggy soon had a small club of friends who all liked his games and began to create their own versions that he would join in. They began covering their green bodies in brown mud hoping to look more like Boggy and began to question if they really wanted to be fly-catchers and guard-frogs. The small club grew and grew and grew until most of the young, even some tadpoles, had joined. They were all so overjoyed and finding new ways to have fun!
Boggy was thrilled to finally have friends and began to throw parties to celebrate. One party in particular was especially grand because almost the entire school was invited. They had to keep it a secret because all the parents and some of the other young were not too happy about what they called ‘Boggy’s Influence’. Boggy sang songs, his friends danced and hip-hopped. Before the end of the party Boggy was surprised to discover that someone from the Amphibian Media had been to the party and left. This was sad news because it meant that their very secret location was going to be made public. The news was sadder still because Boggy was going to end up grounded.
Sure enough the next morning, photos of the party emerged on the cover of one of the smaller news weeklies under the headline ‘Do you know where your spawn are?’ The article called Boggy and his friends ‘Bogsters’ and said they would amount to nothing. His mother was distraught and his father banned him from ever having another Boggy Bash again.
But Boggy couldn’t. He had never had as much fun as he did at those parties and continued to have them. The guest lists grew smaller and the locations more hidden away. These parties lasted for a long time without anyone finding out about them and Boggy started to grow tired of them. The kids that did end up coming to the party weren’t really his closest friends anymore and the games they played were really becoming dangerous because they knew they could get away with it.
Worried, Boggy left one of his bashes early and started to hop home thinking about what to do next. He missed just hanging out with his good friend from Jumping class and even missed being the only brown frog. Most of the little frogs at the party had fashioned brown outfits from twigs, and leaves that they had found around the off-limits swamp.
Boggy hopped and hopped, lost in his thoughts until he saw a twinkling light. Right before his eyes the light grew and grew until it was a glowing fairy carrying a tiny wand.
“Well hello, grumble-pants!” She said cheerily.
Boggy could only stare. “Who are you?”
“Your fairy godmother of course!” She chirped. “I noticed you’re back to being lonely and sad again, Boggy. Did you have a fight with your new friends?”
Boggy explained that he no longer felt like they were his friends and that his original games and songs were turned into something completely different. “They don’t feel like they used to,” He said sadly.
“Well of course not Boggy! Things change all the time! Look at you for example- you went from being a tiny egg, to a tadpole to a bright young frog!” His fairy godmother pointed out. “Wasn’t one of your dreams to have friends to play with?”
“Yes,” Boggy replied.
“And that you wanted to be just like all the other little green frogs?”
“Then I don’t see what you have to be grumbly about grumble-pants!”
Boggy considered what she said for a moment. He had wished for friends and he was grateful to have had them, but as for being like everyone else…
“I like coming up with games to play,” Boggy decided out loud. “I like singing my own songs. I like meeting new people.”
“And?” His fairy godmother asked.
“I like being a little brown frog!”
At this declaration Boggy fairy godmother disappeared with a little *pop*.
He knew what he had to do.

The End

dear hiring manager.

~ ~
I'm just saying... I'm available.

Career Objective: To secure a placement in the field of blaque communications that will challenge my community relations skills, as well as give me the essential experience and tools needed to succeed in the field of interracial hobnobbing.


1) At 5 ft nothing I would, even in heels, be suitably below eye-level for all those who think Tom Cruise is statuesque.
2) I’ve been told I eat like a bird so I’ll keep my pesky hands off the ors d’oeuvres (not making the same promise for attractive waiters).
3) I have seen most Spike Lee movies so I can help with references and/or catch phrases.
4) I’m ESL (Ebonics as a Second Language) so I can act as a deciphering liaison between you and other bl-accessories.
5) I have had years of tokenism experience* and can easily adapt to high-paced, multi-tasking environments.

* References available upon request.

motha fucka I'm ill

~ ~

Why are parental units capable of being so ominous?

It took a 5 minute convo with pater, who attempted to scare me into getting my flu shot (which fell onto very deaf and now very ringing ears) for me to end up getting it? Full force mind you. I woke up the morning after the celebrated return of one of my faves only to realize that the old wives tale about wet hair in below zero weather was probably true. Throw in a complete lack of scarf and a semblance of pants and you're pretty much begging to be smitten with the nouveau plague.

Had a new Shopper's not literally sprouted up under my building, I would've probably resorted to chewing garlic and sucking on lemons because I'll be damned if I even attempt to engage in that thing called "winter" just for meds.

I have spent the last three days indoors to the point of delirium. I've had heavily self-medicated conversations with my cat (who knows nothing about the coalition apparently), yell-croaked at lame commercials on T.V. and won a hazy game of Clue which I haven't played since I was in fifth grade or so.

The one perk of this phlegmy unpleasantness is that I've surprisingly been inspired to write more. I guess there's something very Dickensian about feeling like you're on your death bed that inspries maudlin, and usually contrite prose. I won't share what I've written lest it be a far cry from what I currently think it is (Poe meets Sedaris), and will reconsider it when my eyes are no longer half-cast and my viens aren't filled with cough syrup.