Thursday, December 10, 2009

lost and found

I woke up this morning, and I didn't know where I was. Just for a second. That's probably the most disquieting way to come out of a silent sleep; waking up, and not knowing where you are. Even just for a split second, only until the next time you blink and bring everything back into focus. I live in a city where, for all of us, no place is quite home. I've slept on a number of couches, in weather too cold, and nights too hot, when the walk feels like too much to bare. I have an address, though it goes mostly unused. Here at home, in a room where I've been falling asleep since I needed the light, in a bed that used to feel like an island, I just feel big, disoriented. I used to be swallowed, and now I just sink. Down. Too deep. So, I googled 'what's it called when you wake up and you don't know where you are' and all I came up with were some movie scripts and a Myley Cyrus song.

Monday, December 7, 2009


...Was honestly the best show I've seen all year. Surprised? Me too. But not really.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

man beats deer

This morning a deer was spotted downtown. Oh no, cried the city. A deer downtown! (Well, actually a doe, not a deer, a female deer...) So all the king's horses and all the kings's men went downtown to take care of the deer. Surely, Bambi's best interests were considered while they drugged and tasered her to the ground - in front of a billion cameras.

Here is a photo of the 'gentle' take-down.

man bites dog

Talk about a slow news day. Walking in this morning, five minutes early, as usual (athankyou), I’m met by a bit of chaos. A lot of standing, some fast talking. Something's cooking. I get a half-nod from across the way. Good morning to me.

I hear something about getting 'a camera down there'... Down where?

Down to the deer. The deer downtown. It was first spotted by Lakeshore. Perhaps it came in on the GO. Got out at Union. Wanted to see the big city before transit prices went up. Yes, there is a deer downtown and the press must be there. Not just the press. Half a dozen lit cruisers, a collection of able cops, the Toronto Emergency Task force and every news station in the GTA.

If someone doesn’t get shot today, tonight’s top story might be ‘Squirrel Gets Mashed By Car’.

Monday, November 23, 2009

is this it?

This morning, while exfoliating my face, I thought about New Years Eve. I’m not sure what made me think of it. But I did. Perhaps it was the remarkably sharp walnut scrub rasping against my bare, delicate skin. Either way. Once I patted dry, toned and moisturized, I sent a text homeward.

You know those people who somehow know the business and whereabouts of everyone, all the time, in the most inconspicuous of ways? A know-it-all who’s not the least bit meddlesome? A nosy parker in the most pleasant regard? Rare, but they do exist. And he’s one of them.

So, what’s the word?

“Ahhh. Good question,” he types back. “I have no idea. Whatever it is I’m sure it will be some crazy big deal, then turn out to be a big waste of time…”

I’d have sent the ‘shocked’ emoticon if I knew' how. This previously positive peg-city-party-enthusiast ("I'm sure it will be fun as long as we're all together!") had set sad sites set on the pending countdown celebration. Hearing him give up on New Years, a night filled with ridiculous plan making, limo rides, inevitable break-ups, elicit drugs and subsequent scandal (to discus over breakfast at Stella's) is like hearing Ghandi give up on world peace.

New Years is like a child that only a mother could love. Up until this morning, my texting partner was that mother. Every year we say it will be our last. The last time we spend $40.00 on a ticket. The last time we buy a new dress only to have it spilled on – or worse. The last time we’ll trek out in the thigh-high snow only to see that this party is not unlike every other party at any other time of year, just ten times more crowded. Every year we say it’s our last, and every new year we do it again.

But there was something in his tone (see: text formatting, selected spacing, drawn out punctuation etc.) that made me shiver in my bathrobe. Could this year truly be the year when the last year was actually our last? Could this really, finally, be it?

Secretly, or maybe not so secretly now that I've crafted an entire post about it, I'll admit that I truly, deeply, honestly hope not.

Friday, November 20, 2009

pretty ugly stuff

Here we are, lonely, lumpy, vainglorious members of a society so polluted with misconceptions about beauty. Love yourself as you are. You’re perfect as God made you. Sit here, young thing, and watch this Dove commercial. Bloom from within. Bloom, bloom!

I don't know, but this all smells like a big, buoyant turd to me.

Let me tell you, huge fake tits don't exist 'within the eye of the beholder'. They're found nestled in halters tops, bobbing along the Lakeshore and drinking vodka/sodas at Levack Block. Personally, I don't think pastic is all that appealing - but I bet I can head over to Gretsky's and find a few people who don't share my same position. That's not acumen either, I didn't read it on the back of a Starbucks cup. That, right there, is ice cold common sense. Sure, we can all embrace our stretch marks, but you can't continue to feed your loved ones spoonfuls of clichéd wisdom about that beholder's bloody eye.

You can, however, show them
this. Or, if they can't read, this.

There is no one in the world who thinks their body's a perfect body, and I'd challenge any person who says that they do (brrring on the anonymous comments). From where I stand, the myth of perfection is most often bought into by the people who least represent it. If you need a change - get a haircut, start eating bran buds. Don't pump gelatinous viles of Peruvian gang victims into your browline.

I'd like to say we're all beautiful in our own little ways, but I would be lying. The truth? Well, it hurts. It always has. But probably not as much as a cutaneous infection caused by microbactrium avium after an elective abdominoplasty. Not that I'd know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

cowards anonymous

Typically, I hate to sound like a broken record. But, please allow me to sk, sk, skip for a moment. Anonymous nay-sayers are so tremendously annoying. I have tried everything: disabling my anonymous commenting… retorting… ignoring… therapy… The truth is, there is nothing that can be done. To disable is to turtle, to retort is to act a child and to ignore is against my nature. So today, I will confront.

Yesterday, a grammatical wizard posted this in my comments:

You forgot about Winnipeg? It is a dump, but to think you actually forgot your roots makes me feel so bad for you. Did you actually need to drive through some small bumpkin town to remember the city you grew up in? hHve the bright, blinking big city lights honestly made you forget your childhood? Have all your skinny fashion friends made you forget your real friends back home? Thats sad. I will never forget where I came from. No matter how "chic" my shoulder pads are. Youre blog is too shallow to look at & your city doesnt want you back anyway.

Let us dissect: This is a full-bodied blend of bullshit. Mmm. Robust. I taste notes of personalization, with just the slightest hints of spite and resentment. Fair to assume that I know this person. Fair too assume that I’ve pissed in their cornflakes. I’d like to say that our beloved anon is a ‘pegger, and that the ‘dump’ reference was meant to throw me off their scent. D&G Light Blue, perhaps? Regarding my ‘skinny fashion friends’, I do believe Russless cracked that chestnut when he stated that most of the best dressed are Winnipeg-born. It’s also a fair conjecture that this person has Toronto and Las Vegas confused, or has watched too many Minnelli movies. ‘Bright, blinking city lights’? Please, save us the harebrained platitudes. Who are you? R.L. Stine?

I say to you, Anon, whatever I have done to offend you was certainly unintentional. I love Winnipeg. In fact, I feel like this entire blog is laden with positive, amorous peg city references. Perhaps you just can’t understand them. My friends, no matter where they live, Winnipeg, Toronto, London, Ottawa, San Diego, Arizona, they’re always special to me, if not one of my most valued treasures in life. I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything, and to forget where it is that I came from would be an utter impossibility. If what I’ve written bamboozles you, and it has if you think I'm forgetful, or worse, ungrateful for the people who have shaped me, then perhaps you should try reading picture books, or Archies, or something with a less layered appeal, and much shorter words. (And believe me, I’m not that deep). So, finally, let me do you a favor because I’ve always taken pride in helping those less fortunate than I. ‘You’re’ is an abbreviated form for you-are, and not a possessive. As in you’re a bloody idiot, and not your mother must be proud.

Monday, November 16, 2009

places we've been

I used to start the countdown much earlier, but now there’s just too much counting to be done that it’s hard to keep up. Hard to keep track. Countdown to lunch. Countdown to deadline. Countdown to air time. Countdown to bedtime. Countdown to morning. Countdown to Friday. So many shrinking numbers that the countdown to Winnipeg, to home sweet home, to holidays, to dog parks, to 204, and 874, to Mom etc., to hearty dinners and relics of heartache, to everything that has ever warranted counting, has been completely discounted. But never forgotten.

This weekend, on the way to the water, still 93 km (and counting), we drove through his hometown. The kind of hometown that can actually be called a town. The kind of hometown with street names like Meadow Grove and Ash Tree Way. The kind of hometown where you can go for blocks without encountering a traffic light or the blast of a city horn. The kind of hometown where the yellows on the roads are just dried leaves, not drawn lanes. The kind of hometown where the girl walking her dog was his first girlfriend, and where the schoolyard, that very one, is where he smoked his first cigarettes, where he played tag. That kind of hometown.

He points out the TCBY where he used to get samples, and dates with older women, and before that, along the four lane stretch of downtown, we pass the place where his mother’s candy shop once stood, and the pet store that employed him when his only reference was his paper route.

My mother was an accountant, and I rarely played tag, and never while I was smoking. I never smoked. So many differences between his hometown and mine. His childhood and mine. Still so much the same that I'm sick for home. Never before sicker. The car pulls past all the places that I’ve never been, but have been many times, in my own way, in my own un-townlike hometown, and then away from his nostalgia and closer to mine.

I count how long it takes to get back on the highway. Four minutes. That's no record, it seems. And then my own countdown begins. Twenty-two down. Twenty-one to go.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

eat your feelings

Every news anchor, radio host and fat person has their XXL panties in a knot over Fillipa Hamilton getting canned. I haven’t been able to watch a stitch of my regular morning programming without seeing those eight paltry words flashing along the runner:

Ralph Lauren Model Fired For Being Too Big

Ahhh, the great weight debate. In light of recent concerns regarding feather-flimsy models, later aggravated by Lagerfeld's 'curvy woman' snafu, designers have tried putting chunky chicks on the runway. The reaction? Anything but favourable, or fashionable. An example: Mark Fast (the models, not the line itself). But still, does society put too much pressure on models' broad, boney shoulders to be skinny? How thin is too thin? Where should we draw the line? And, for Christ's sake, IS ANYONE THINKING OF THE CHILDREN!? So many (de)pressing questions.

So, here’s a new one. How about, who cares?

Big girls are beautiful too. I'm sure there's a bumper sticker for that. But modeling is a job reserved for people of specific qualifications, just like being a doctor, or a teacher, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, a sumo wrestler or Prima Donna. To be a model, you don't necessarily have to be smart, or politically minded, you don't need to blow your load on a four year degree, only to dig deeper into dept, just to grasp at a Masters before dropping out to deal with your QLC/AKA working on that non-existant "extended thesis". You don't even really need to know how to spell your own name. There is very little a model must do. Walk strait. Eat less. Be thin.

If being thin, and thin according to industry standards is anything between a 0-2, isn't exactly your forte – then why not train horses, build houses, open a bed and breakfast. The possibilities are endless! You don't see genuinely stupid people kicking and screaming because they didn't get into MENSA? Why not? Well, probably because they're off enjoying their job as a daycare attendant somewhere. But that's besides the point. It's really because there are things in life that shouldn’t be challenged, but rather accepted.

I'll never be Jourdan Dunn, and not just for the obvious reason that I'm 5'7, Jewish and white. I'm not a size 0. I never will be. And it's never bothered me. Instead of focusing on what I can't be, I focus on what I can be. And I would recommend that Ms. Hamilton do the same.

So, Fillipa, if you’re reading this, you're a beautiful, talented, skyscraper of a girl who simply outgrew the sample sizes. No need to fret, or cause a media geyser to erupt in your honour, and in the honour of other lowly size fours in the world. (P.S. cry me a freaking river). Don’t focus on what you can't do (anymore), and start thinking about what you can do!

And, what does an ex-model do when she's too cumbersome for the catwalk?

I've heard this works.

hi jeff

I am an American aquarium drinker,
I assassin down the avenue.
I'm hiding out in the big city blinking,
What was I thinking when I let go of you?

Let's forget bout the tongue-tied lightning,
Let's undress just like cross-eyed strangers.
This is not a joke, so please stop smiling,
What was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt?

I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming
Take it from the inside, baby hold on tight
You were so right when you said that I've been drinking
What was I thinking when we said goodnight?

- Wilco, live at Massey Hall, Oct. 14th 2009

Jeff Tweedy broke my heart last night, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't easy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

expectations surpassed


I suppose if you were to ask me what a Fever Ray concert looks like, I'd probably tell you that it's mostly like church, if church were for devil worship, and violent light shows, and antique lamps, and veteran ravers, and guys in capes. (true story)

If I were to tell you that, I would probably sound like every other person who's chronicled their experience, and I'd also be 100% right.

Although it was advertised as an all-ages event, I doubt there was a pre-pube in the joint. Karen Andersson stole the show in an oscar-worthy performance playing dual roles, first Jesus Christ, then the Golem, while the rest of the gang suited up and waved tribal prayer paraphernalia around the stage to engage the audience in group chants and evangelical-like hand shaking.

No dancebreaks. No encore. (But there was a merch stand?) Just lights out, lasers on, sound up. Way up. It was one of the most severe 40 minutes of my life.

But then, I suppose if you like Fever Ray, you'd probably tell me I shouldn't have been surprised. And you'd be 100% right.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

vote or die

You may recognize Brian Coulton from such things as:

- all of my broadcast assignments
- arts and living from the Metro newspaper
- Jet Fuel
- the radio (specifically CBC and CFRB)
- GTA's registered sex offenders print-out
- "vinyl fan" fame

One of these factoids is false, but I won't tell you which one. And if you can't identify Brian by any of his real accomplishments, we're going to try and change that.

I want YOU (and the rest of the world world) to remember Brain Coulton. Let's make Brain Coulton a household name. Let's promise to love him, and honour him, and cherish him as long as we all shall live. (I do.)

Click here to make history. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

a letter to those in cars

Dear Motorists,

Smarten up.
This girl is far too pretty for that neckbrace.


Her Concerned Friend/Your New Worst Enemy

P.S. Get well soon, little one.

Photo Cred: Merrill's Blackberry

Monday, September 28, 2009

fast breaker

positively atoned

I spent most of last night holed up in a steamy, stain-glass enclosed asylum, repenting and wiggling my skirt down. I had eaten far more than I should have in hopes that it would tide me over until 7:47 tonight, when what feels like the-slowest-fast-known-to-man will be called to a close, and I will gorge on whatever's closest. It's just about 5:00 pm, and I've broken my fast with an Americano and seven chocolate chips. Doesn't count. (Does it?)

Yes, Yom Kippur is supposed to be the holiest of holies, the one day where we get to say, 'shit, sorry about that, pal...' and all is forgotten. As a kid, it was a day off school. Now, taking the day off could mean a deadline missed or a mark forfeited. Like most things that take on greater significance as you get older, this tradition (I hesitate to say holiday) is no exception.

Without my family to force me, or grandparents to guilt me, I went to shul of my own accord - to take stock of my own actions, all for myself. In my most opaque tights, I stood for hours, and sat for seconds, in one of the most beautiful sanctuaries I've seen. And there, for the first time (because my mom wasn't there to whisper with me), I really, truly reflected on my many magnificent misdeeds.

Slighted my peers? Yes. Disrespected my parents? Yes. Lied? If I said no, I'd be guilty of that, too. Felt envy? Yes. Gossiped? Read on. Experienced a burning, fiery, insatiable need for revenge? Yes, yes, and yes. Eaten swine? Yes, once, but it didn't mean anything, I swear.

This list could go on, but I'll save the catharsis for my moleskine. I squeezed my eyes shut tight, ticking off an imaginary list of wrong-doings, and when I opened them, everyone around me continued to beat their chests with a closed, white-knuckled fist – in the symbolic Jewish customary way, not in the 'Celine Dion Live from Vegas' kinda way. It felt... important.

We are supposed to go to an open body of water and toss bits of bread into a moving stream. This is called Tashlich, and it's a practice that is supposed to represent a physical purging, releasing and then washing away of our sins. Today I put some stale melba toast into the toilet and flushed it. You can't be a good person all the time, but you can try.

It's been a big year. Big changes, with big achievements and disappointments to match. On (real) New Years, I made a few resolutions that I sort of bit the dick on. Lucky for me, I get a second go at a new beginning. I only hope that my complex-carb contraventions get lost in the sewage, and don't kill my plumbing.

'is this outfit...surrealist enough?'

As it turns out, dressing 'surrealist' is pretty dada-difficult. No one melted clocks to their clothing, but someone did carry a birdcage. At Salvador Darling we celebrated a darling of our very own in the most Man Ray kinda way, with bubbles and Brandy (songs) and whatever was left after the house red ran out, which was early, and for the first time, no fault of our own.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009


Jac+Gill Preview, September 3rd 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

long live the king

I knew it. It's only 29 seconds long, but it's all the proof I need.

Although no verification has yet been made, I'm fairly certain that the amateur video claiming to have captured Michael Jackson stepping out of the back of a coroner's truck in Los Angeles is.... quite legit.

I am basing this solely off of my belief in his super powers and my undying love for this man and his music.

"This video shows that Michael was still alive after his dead body was transported to the Los Angeles Dept. of Coroner," the video description states. "I checked the license plate number and it looks like the King of Pop is jumping out of the same van his dead body has been in."

Coincidence? Doubtful.

Naysayers argue that the van's plate isn't actually visible in the video, and then some dickhead web-downer posted below the clip that "Michael Jackson, Elvis, 2Pac, and Biggie are all hanging out together on some island making music." He then went on to further say that he'd get a video of the make-believe jam sesh and post it later that day. Pfft. (Although, that'd be quite the video, no?)

and you know

it's so hard to write without you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

in glorious comparison

"She told me I'm, like, the Diane Kruger character," the pale-eyed blonde one said, sitting on a picnic bench in Parkdale. Ankles crossed. "I think she said I'm supposed to be Brad Pitt, or whatever," he'll say. Ah, the 'or whatever". The audible shrug, as if to allude to some shame in accepting due compliment… all the while insisting that you know it was due.
If she's Kruger, and he's Pitt (like it, love it, or "not").... am I Roth?

"You're a lovely, erm, feminine Eli Roth," I'm told, once inside and dressed. Typecasted. Jew on Jew. Roth on Rothman. Which is oddly (albeit undoubtedly) a relief. Considering the artistic direction in the way of my hair, I could have been a stand in for someone else.
And Zaida would not have been pleased. Nine, nine, nine. He would not have been pleased.
So I take what I'm given, and I guess it's really not that bad.

"Dressd to Kill (Nazis)" EyeWeekly, August 20th, 2009

Styling: Duh, SNP


Remember when you actually had to WALK the dog to pick up chicks?
Lose the leash; get a camera phone. It's that easy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

canada in the (head)lines

While everyone gripes and moans about the dismal state of our poor, poor economy, a new study shows that our low, low dollar is actually higher than we thought. (Cheap puns are all I can afford right now.) This week, multiple Canadian news sources reported that 9 out of every 10 Canadian banknotes, analyzed by an American research firm, contained trace amounts of cocaine.

Bubbie sends you a twenty tucked into a greeting card, and tells you not to blow it all in one place. Bubbie obviously doesn’t see the irony in her counsel.

27 bills, in all denominations, taken mostly from the GTA, were swabbed and studied. A staggering 85% of the canuck bucks were laced with cocaine. According to reports, the amount of coke found on the banknotes ranged from 2.4 micrograms to upwards of 2,530 micrograms -- approximately 100 grains of sand. Not exactly a bender, but enough to sound the alarms.

Have we really become this wasteful, Canada? What happened to the good old days? Back when we knew the meaning of a dollar, and we spent three minutes scraping the sides desperately, while making hopeless conversation with the only other loser left in the afterhours bathroom at 4 AM, "eh"? What about the needy kids in Africa who don’t even have coke?

All insensitivities aside, this looks bad. Real bad. We already have a pot smoking reputation of Cheech and Chong proportions. We don’t need to add Tony Montana to the drug culture reference roster. So, to all you shady/trendy 20-somethings congregating in dimly lit shitters, rolling up your allowance and getting chatty and sticky-lipped, try to use some discretion. And by discretion, I mean your bike lock keys.

** DISCLAIMER: The author does not endorse or encourage the use of any drugs. Stay in school. (Hi Bubbie!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

we all scream

"It's summer in the city and it's so hot out that the air is getting wavy. You run with the rest of the kids down the block, chasing the ice cream truck, only to find some alien stand-in, some horrific usurper, offering you eco-carob with ginger artisan acai pommegranate, at only uhh... five dollars a scoop... Sprinkles, motherfucker, have you heard of them?
Shit, McDonald's has soft serve for a buck.

It's going to be a hot one. Finally.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


a·nom·a·ly (-nm-l)
n. pl. a·nom·a·lies
1. Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule.
2. One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify: "Both men are anomalies: they have . . . likable personalities but each has made his reputation as a heavy" (David Pauly).
3. Astronomy The angular deviation, as observed from the sun, of a planet from its perihelion.
4. Lindsay Lohan; zero talent, zero credits, zero calories, "99.9%" perfect?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

for pick up

My city has spent the last 36 days wading through rotting garbage, mouldy food rewarmed by what sun we ever get, putrid smelling, soaking wet copies of The Metro, and raccoon droppings left behind by the most wretched of God's scavengers.

Today, it's all over. Victorious we rise from heaps of steaming, reeking waste – and all in time to take on another pending challenge.

Two weeks ago, my mother phoned. I was walking to work, and remarked, just barely, about a garbage receptacle that had busted open, spewing remnants of the neighbouring Pizza Pizza onto the pavement, like a first year student.

"I swear, Carli, I will cancel my trip if that strike is not over by the time I'm supposed to come…" My mother can't stand a used kleenex left on the counter, let alone a month's worth of garbage decorating every city curb within a 10 block radius of my downtown front door.

My mother is a demanding woman. That's putting it mildly. I've learned that she always gets what she wants. (Or maybe I've just learned to always give in.) Either way, Caron Rothman is a woman of her word. If the strike didn't end, her flight wouldn't land.

As I log on to my browser this morning to check her arrival time, the block lettered words flash across my homepage:


And her flight? Of course it's on time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

all that redbull

The last text reads: Let me know how it is, and the feasibility of me being able to buy a ticket if I come later…

The time is 11:38 PM. Later seems too late. But not tonight. Tonight, there's nothing but time, most literally, because Time Festival (too easy) is staying open until sun rise, for those who have the energy, or other means, to last.

Never in my life have I seen a venue this big, this full. I turn to a guy and say that back home, the only place this big is a Costco, and it's never open this late. He doesn't really laugh, but thinking back, it wasn't actually that funny.

You know you're at a super-cool Toronto party when:
Crystal Castles takes the stage, and we watch from a blocked off area, safe from a heaving crowd, but not at all from the pushing. Even very important people push. Her mic isn't on and I wonder if that's a mistake. Probably not. She flicks a lit cigarette into the crowd before drinking directly from a bottle of Jack Daniels, and beautifully tripping her step. I think we're supposed to be impressed. (Look, a rockstar.) Instead, I'm searching the audience for the poor sucker who certainly got burned. He won't feel it until tomorrow, when he's really feeling all of it. He probably won't even remember how he was burned, which is too bad, cause that might be a good story. Burned by a real rockstar. At Time Festival. Or it might not.

I'm told the music outlasted the darkness, and Sunday morning saw thousands of girls flag cabs with one hand, while holding their shoes in the other.

The first text reads: That was fun for one time. I don't think I'll do it again though. I'm going to eat some waffles now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

patience tastes better

Ever since New York, where I had these, I have been dying to do this.
For fear of fires, severe injury, grafting followed by insurance claims, I didn't.
Instead, I waited for:

Can you guess where I am?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the best things in life are ______

If I scratch your back, I'm told you'll scratch mine. Truth be told, this city is full of itchy people who all have a skill to share, a talent to showcase, a face to sell, and not a penny in their pocket. Everyone talks about 'these recessionary times' as if it were the end of days. For some, it might be. For most, who noticed? Like any period of (what we're told is) change, we can figure new ways to survive, adjust, amend. Like adaptation. Now, we're told that we're a nation, no, an entire civilization learning to live with less, forced to ditch the frills and snip along the dotted lines for super savings. But while the economy dips and dives, and slips below the leisure line, everyone I know (see: no portfolio, part-time workers, full-time dreamers) can't hardly feel a quake.

In crisis, everyone comes together, comes to rely on everyone else, and in turn be relied upon. No money, no problem. Near paucity makes people want to be nicer, or at least more helpful. Why? Because where there is someone who wants, there is also someone who needs.

Example: Designer friend knows writer/stylist friend. Writer/stylist friend is on a deadline. Designer friend wants exposure, writer/stylist needs per-word paycheck. A match made in haggling heaven. Throw a beautiful ginger girlfriend into the mix, and what do you get?

A happy designer, a compensated writer/stylist, a stunning photo, a spread in Eye Weekly, and proof that although the best things in life might not be free, some pretty great stuff can happen when everyone you know is habitually down and out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

carli m.i.a.

It's been so long since I have written anything (that I'd proudly or freely share), or blogged, or composed anything more than an e-mail or restaurant listing or a "10 Hot New Ways to (who the fuck cares)", or so it seems, at least. Abandoning a blog is like going a while without calling an old friend. The longer you go, the more there is to tell and ask, but having to rehash life over the absent days, weeks, or months will take time in itself. Time that I don't always have. So another day, or week, or sometimes (so horribly) a month will go past until I have the time. But by then, there is even more to tell and ask. It's exhausting, and off-putting, and probably makes me sound like a lousy friend. And by using the intended parallel, a lousy blogger.

I'm so bad at playing catch-up so lets skip the pretence, and move on. Let's act like it never happened, while everything was happening, and wake up tomorrow like yesterday didn't come. And I'll try to be a better friend. I promise. I'll blog about you everyday.

From now on. Starting tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

forget regrets

'People in the Annex are really serious about their houses,' I'm told today. Oh, ambiguous. It's one of those blanket statements that she'll sometimes make when she's only listening enough to know that I want advice - but not listening enough to give it.

Odd as it is, though, her non-advice is always the best.

I was running late for work, and walking (when I should have actually been running) with a leaf of paper flapping in my hand. A letter from a landlord that's not mine, presumably addressed to me: dear house-sitter.

The landlord pointed out, in hardly-legible script, that the trash is removed on Tuesday morning. It's Wednesday. And it's still here, like I will be - until Sunday. As it turns out, I forgot about garbage day, like I have been forgetting about many other things. Sarah has a theory on why this is, but I forget that too. Not really, but admitting omission is worse, right? (Oops?)

On Sunday, I forgot something more important than garbage pick-up. I've been feeling rotten about it ever since Monday, when I was reminded: dear friend. This time in an email, and not a note taped to someone else's front door. Without fingering blame, he offered me the benefit of the doubt, acknowledging that there 'must have been a reason' that I missed his big night.

Truth is, there wasn't. At least not a good one. Forgetting really only applies to the geriatric.

Today I see photos of what I missed. It just twists the knife, a bit. And, still, someone else is going to have to deal with this garbage. I'll need to make it up to you, and to you, 'not my' landlord.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

hbd gmb

I remember standing, ankles crossed, knees bent, bouncing in the bathroom line at the Pyramid. It was a Thursday, a Mod Night, and the wait to get in was impossible. Once inside, the lines were much worse. As usual.

'I just need to use the mirror!'

And suddenly, a wing of blonde hair flutters by, moving past me into the bathroom. The place that I so longed to be. That bitch, I thought. I can see her leaning over the sink and correcting her lipgloss, which needed no correction at all, I'm sure. Her outfit was spot on, her heels were high, and her voice even higher.

My bladder, how it throbs. I vowed then and there to never cut in line for a pee, or a primp, and of course, to never offer even the slightest of smiles, not even a nod to the girl who surely was causing me kidney damage. Could have been principle, maybe just jealousy, but most likely a merger of both.

Two years later, in another city, in what feels like a different universe, and in a dark, crowded wrong(choice)bar, I wait in line. Equally as pained as the last time. There are about four people ahead of me, and two people in each stall. It might take a while. And I wait.

'We just need to use the mirror!'

And suddenly, I'm hand in hand with the blonde, passing the people one by one, until in front of the mirror I stand. Her lipgloss is still perfect, her heels much higher than mine, and her voice, well, perhaps you've heard mine and you know she wins there as well.

Had you told me three years ago, while still bound in a smalltown social web, so tangled and complex; a hierarchical community ruled by kilts versus street clothes, who-slept-with-whom's, and age before everything, I would have never believed you. As she grows one year older today, and we all grow up decades daily, I'm one friend richer, and so much happier. And I never wait in bathroom lines anymore. At all.

Happy birthday to you; my line-cutting, gloss-loving, heel-stomping, high pitched, 'bitch' and facebook bride.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Art mimics Life imitating Art mocking Life

Have you ever experienced a moment of intuitive clarity where you think you can see someone as they will look in twenty years? When the light catches them just right? Or they make a certain face? Sigh a certain sigh? When someone is standing in front of you, and for just one minute, you can imagine what they'll look like behind the wheel of a mini-van, carting their offspring off to hockey practice, or for those who will take offense to this liable generalization, sitting behind their mahogany topped CEO's desk in their executive office, without a man or children at home, wearing power heels and rimless glasses?

I had that moment on Saturday night, but instead of seeing her from a certain angle, I saw her through a pane of glass. No, not her, but a painted portrait of what I envision her to look like in fifteen-or-so-years. In a gallery west of Ossington, just after midnight, I walked past the well lit window front and halted a dead stop. The likeness was eerie, and beautiful – as beautiful as the subject on canvass, and the girl I compare her to.

I won't say who I think this is, or rather, who this will someday be, but I welcome guesses.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hi ma. Hi pa.

my act...

… also known as my schtick (among my more yiddy associates): It's an all encompassing, definitive summary of who I am (or propose, or appear to be), based on the things I say, the way I dress, the places I go, the music I like, and my overall behaviour in relation to my surroundings. Everyone has one, apparently. I hesitate to say 'apparently' as I'm pretty sure I've always known this, but only recently have I been called out on my 'act', and conversely, asked to recognize the 'acts' of others.

It's a strange categorical phenomenon. It's like having a type. I'm not sure if I have a type, but if all of the character variables and physical features are compared between relations past and present, I'm sure a 'type' could be discerned. I digress.

What's my act? I'm growing to understand that an 'act' is both important and superfluous. Important, because everyone weighs on them; superfluous, because they're indefinite. Charles Cooley penned the term Looking Glass Self, which sounds painfully vain, but it's more, uhh, sad and true? The whole theory is rooted in the idea that we see ourselves as we feel others see us (...and he thought of this before, talk about prophetic). My 'act', although it's my own, is completely out of my hands. You determine my 'act', and I can act however I like, even if I'm not really acting, and there is nothing I can do to control your assessment. So, however you evaluate me, that's who I am to you, and maybe even to myself, eventually.

Sitting in my mother's bathtub today, biding time on a (sadly) frigid Manitoba afternoon, I tried my best to imagine what my 'act' is from someone else's perspective. Only a few nights ago, I wore a short sleeved, white, men's shirt and a cream coloured blazer. Very Ben Gurion. I was told this outfit was part of my 'act'. I'm still trying desperately to understand what this means. My mom stands over a pile of magazines and clothes on the coffee table and says, 'Carli, you've only been home for three days and you're already starting your schtick…' My 'schtick', in this case, is leaving clutter and making messes. The funny thing is that back in Toronto, I keep my schtick in good order. I've got the cleanest schtick around. It's so clean, you could eat off my schtick. At a formal event on Tuesday, every pantsuit wearing Bubbie and Zaida in town approached me to pinch my cheeks and ask me about my present 'shpeal' (see: act, schtick)

Presently? Well, I dress in men's clothing, leave clutter wherever I go, and blog from the bathtub while I should be doing real work...

Although the term 'act' is a new one for me, the concept is anything but novel. Today, I'm told that I should start writing about 'the act', as it's a "great term" and everyone's got one. So, now, I can add something to my former character précis:

Presently? Well, I dress in men's clothing, leave clutter wherever I go, blog from the bathtub while I should be doing real work, and take simple text messages and turn them into longwinded, self-reflective web manifestos. So, that's my act. At present...

Like it or leave it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

a 30-45 minute wait

You can talk a million times a day, but it isn't until you actually sit down, just the two of you, and really talk, that you comprehend just how long it's actually been. In a room too crowded to care, we shout above everyone else - and we know no ones listening. She's been without phone, and I time. She's been away, and I've been busy, and it feels like neither of us has eaten in days – when really, it's only been hours. We share stories, and a pizza, and a bottle of wine – and decide not to share a cab at the end of the night. She goes west, and I go east, and I go to bed satisfied from dinner, starving for sleep, and dreaming of a summer filled with (more) cream-filling and two forks to match.

Monday, May 4, 2009

nevermind the twit(ter)

Growing up, I was both fiercely and frequently reminded that to be a follower was to fall behind.

"No one likes a follower," my mother informed me as I stomped my foot over a hooded Roxy sweatshirt that would never be mine. Apparently, Fruit of The Loom was somehow much more indicative of freethinking, and it was in a basic white crew-neck that I learned to embrace individuality. Ironic, I know.

Today, the first day at a new job. Wearing a new (old) blazer, in a new neighbourhood, I was asked to try and see 'following' in, yes, a new light.

"You've gotta just follow more people," I'm told. Pouring over a much heavier, much slower laptop than the rest of them, I quickly, nervously agree to follow as many people as my mouseless hand can click at. Of course, I am speaking of Twitter: the be-all-end-all of social media networking, and the death of normative interaction.

Twitpic, Twibes, Tags, RSS, Technorati, and then suddenly I’m 'Digging' for something. (Perhaps meaning?) A cyclone of cyber jargon whips around the beautiful room. The only thing blowing harder is the air conditioner. And still, I'm sweating, cross-legged on a gorgeous suede chair, wearing my glasses. I wore my glasses all day at my new job, as if to say ‘Yeah, I love the internet’, and heels, as if to say ‘Ok, maybe I just like to blog...’

My task is a little less html-intensive than the rest of the gang. A semi-sigh of relief. Occasionally, though, I must twit...tweet...? So, I sit. And I tap away at my keys, composing and erasing, trying to think of something that I can say, and also something someone else might care to read. The curser blinks.

I type. I am sitting here, in a room, wearing a new blazer, and my glasses, drinking a diet coke, trying to...twat? Backspace.

I don't really get it. Twitter is to me, as dancing is to the town's people in Footloose (1984). Nevermind.

Eventually this will all make more sense. Right? I'm sure of it. Sort of. Good Expensive education. Moderate to considerable confidence (on most days). Eager to learn. Happy to write. Then why do I feel so, I don’t know, out of touch? Inadequate?

I hear no one uses ICQ anymore. 'Uh Oh!'

Thursday, April 30, 2009

feel so good

"Today could be a wonderful day for many reasons:
We might get mail from the postman, or, we might just get a song from Mase..."