Get a Grip


It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, my husband is off on a fishing trip, and I am sitting with a cup of coffee in the office.  Sunlight is pouring through the window.  Writing is the last thing on my mind. It’s a long weekend, and I am fortunate to have it free.  I am a girl in serious need of relaxation, rest and perspective. Recent developments has made me feel like a mid-air trapeze artist, in between bars, flying towards the next branch.  There is a blissful, yet terrifying moment –that space in between flight and falling.   Barreling through the air; aware that injury is possible, but that success is equally as probable.  Anything can happen.  All you have to do is to get a grip, and to latch on to the next bar.  No one else can do it for you.  It’s within reach; so release the doubt and accept that it’s all about staying calm when there’s nothing left to hold on to.


Images Courtesy of Google

Changing of the Guard

There was a visitor in the night.  Or at least, we heard foreign rustling sounds on the opposite end of the townhouse.  Naturally, Ben sends me first.  I flip the switch, illuminating the room. There wasn’t a burglar or a large tiger, so I listened intently, before shutting off the light.  Once in the warm sanctity of the bed, the noise returned.  It was the more like a tapping noise.  Ben wrenches the blanket off his body, and faces the noise with two important ingredients, a flashlight and a baseball bat.  He returns from the war unscathed, but with news of having seen…something.  Like a rat.  “Those bastards could chew your arm off”, he says.  “Well, yes, but I’m sure you’d have the proclivity to wrench it free from your arm before it did any damage”.  And then we laid in the dark, as the purple dawn of morning began to creep towards the windows.  We drift off.  The sound returns.  We explore the room together.


Ben loves this kind of thing.  His face is deadly serious as he explores dark corners with his flashlight.  This makes me think of “The Sound of Music”, when the von Trapp family are hiding from the Nazis.  I picture the mice hidden in their little mouse traveling clothes, holding their breath, waiting for the deathly light to skim past their shadows.


Wait…I guess that makes us the Nazis in this scenerio?

No matter, we search the house, Ben wielding the baseball bat, muttering under his breath, “where are you you bastard?” While Ben was refusing to give up on the mouse-hunting.  I was tired, and didn’t care quite are as much.  Ben reckoned that they were after my leftover Twizzlers in my purse from our night at the cinema.  And so, based on this hunch, he sacrificed the pack, by placing it in the middle of the floor with a wheat cracker placed on top.

We were awoken at nine a.m by a phone call.  We remembered the mysterious noises, and emerged from our bedroom together.  There is a large hutch in the living room that holds the radio/record player, as well as all our cocktails glasses and liquor bottles.  I keep all my records in this hutch.  Naturally, the mouse wants to hang in the coolest spot in the house, sandwiched between a variety of genres.

Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Cream of the Crop”…


Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”…


Barbra Streisand, “The Broadway Album”…


And the last record, a gift from my brother, was  Black Market’s “Changing of the Guard”.   Under this man’s face, was the mouse.  Which, according to my husband was the size of a small dog.


Ben, armed with his orange Home Depot bucket, a brush and shovel set, a flashlight, and a baseball bat, is ready to take on the mouse.  He exhales, and nods his head slowly.  “Okay, lift the record”.  I slide “Changing of the Guard”, and the mouse leaps towards freedom.  He darts this way and that, and dashes towards the tiny crack in the fireplace, presumably on his way to Switzerland. Ben decides that the only remedy was expandable foam.  And so he left me with the flashlight, to guard the fireplace “in case that son of a bitch comes back”.  He went to the shop, and I watched the fireplace, imagining the mouse in little lederhosen, trudging along the mountains, searching for a safer place to call home.

Sound 9 End
All Images Courtesy of Google

Tabloid Calendar

What’s a mid-life crisis called in your early thirties? What constitutes the crisis being ‘mid-life’?  For those who have been being reading this week, you’ve witnessed my sad little journey as I go through a non-menopausal ‘change of life’.  But you know what? I have been in this transitional place a ton of times. In fact it seems very much like historically speaking, this week in general is not my time to shine.  But first, allow me to explain that I am crap with recalling dates and years.  I don’t remember birthdays well, nor can I recall the dates of births, deaths, marriages, holidays, it’s all a blur.  How do I recall things? Of course, through pop culture happenings.  My friend Monica and Heath Ledger died in the same month, which incidentally was the same month I had gotten an IUD.


When in Australia, they were covering the fourth anniversary of Ledger’s death, and all I could think was…”I really miss my friend…and I’ve only got another year left of birth control”.  I remember going on a  road-trip through the Southern United States, and seeing a magazine cover with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes when they first got together in 2005.  And that’s how I remember the year I explored the Bible Belt, it  was in the same year that Cruise scared the great jumping Jesus out of Oprah by getting his shoes all over her leather sofa.  It’s not the greatest system for remembering dates, but it’s just how my brain works.

tom couch

This week marked the fourth anniversary of Micheal Jackson’s death.  When I first heard about his demise, my wedding had already been cancelled, and I was house sitting at my aunt’s ranch-house, where the wedding was meant to take place.  I was obsessing about the end of my engagement in the exact same way that CNN was focusing on Jackson’s death.  There were only so many details that one can elaborate on, “In case you’re just joining us, Jackson is still dead, he used to be super talented, influential and black, then things got weird…


“It was not always this baby dangling kind of madness, he was once just a talented boy in a jaunty hat”


“It all started with a military jacket and a monkey named Bubbles”.


“He then married married Elvis’s daughter, proving his heterosexuality once and for all”.


“But then things took a bad turn about ten minutes later. Which is such a shame as they photographed beautifully together”.


“He dabbled in plastic surgery in the same way an empty-nester might throw themselves in into a major home renovation project. The kids are off to college, might as well go for the whole hog.  Anything you ever wished was different would be replaced by the best materials.  The thing will plastic surgery is…if you don’t like the final result you can’t just move to a new house. Can’t build a palace on quicksand, that’s just science”.


Jackson had children, gave them strange names and surgical masks to wear in public; wore pajama pants to his child molestation trail, and eventually became the creepiest white man ever.  Next up: let’s forget all that and talk to Liza Minnelli and Usher to discuss his finer qualities”.   As for me, I was busy running over the fabric of my own failure, feeling for snags, and holes in the material.  Sadly,  Larry King was too busy dealing with the Jackson tragedy to come round and ask searing questions, “Alicia, what happened, where did you go wrong?”


Boy oh boy would Larry King have gotten an earful, it would have been too much emotion and information for one man to handle, and so he’d be forced to bring in back up…someone who listens, cares and really understands women.


Who wouldn’t want to be the meat in that conversation sandwich? All that cigar smoke and suspenders, damp salt and pepper hair, fogged up glasses.  Larry King has been married more that Elizabeth Taylor, I can see how the old coot does it, he’s the thinking woman’s Hugh Hefner.

hugh-hefner-photos_1Furthermore, this week also marks the first anniversary of writer Nora Ephron‘s death.

Nora Ephron dead at 71.

When I heard about this, I was back in Canada, once again I was living out of a suitcase in my parent’s basement, after nearly three years of living in New Zealand and Australia.  Jackson’s death was hardly a surprise, but this was a major blow to me.  I love her writing. She wrote Heartburn a comic novel about adultery and divorce, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. Julie & Julia, which she adapted, wrote and directed, is my all time favorite film.


The summer of Jackson’s death I was hanging on a spider web thin thread, and my parents came into town for lunch and that movie.  That film was like a bright light. New beginnings. Perseverance. Personal Growth. Food. Paris. New York. Writing. Stanley Tucci as the greatest movie husband ever. Julie & Julia saved me a little bit–or at the very least put the gentlest breeze in my droopy sails.  Since her passing I’ve gone over Ephron’s writing with a fine tooth comb; after reading four of her books in succession, I started my blog.  She wrote one piece called “My Life as an Heiress”, about the impending death of a wealthy uncle, and the rumors that swirled amongst her father and sisters about the fortune that would be left to them.  At the time, Ephron was struggling with a screenplay, and imagined what the kind of expected wealth could bring.  She wouldn’t have to finish the script, she could just live off her inheritance.  In the end, it turned out that most of the money was lost in bad investments, and once split different ways, it was enough for a willow tree in the backyard.  Ephron went back to writing her script, which was When Harry Met Sally…, one of her finest writing achievements.

When Harry Met Sally

She credited losing that inheritance to finishing the work, which catapulted her into a completely new level of success. Ephron knew how to write about her pain, divorce, death, displacement with this crackly, dry salty sense of humor.  The worse the story is, the better it is. More often than not, she counted her failures as avenues to success.  Ephron always said:

header 1Every struggle is a story.  Jackson’s death is now in the hall of fame for legendary downward spirals. Having it all–the talent, the money, the exposure, the fame, the awards, the bejeweled gloves, the monkey business.  Yet, for years the media closely followed an unraveling mortal creature in PJ pants still trying to sit atop the throne next to the gods.  And then one day in June, amid preparation for his ironically titled comeback tour, he took his last Oxycontin. And that, as they say, was that.

MJ 2012 This Is It sign

At my mother’s house, the TV set on high-alert, helicopter footage waiting for a glimpse of Jackson’s body strapped to a gurney under a crisp white sheet. The press were wrigning their hands–wondering just where Jackson had gone wrong.  It’s a Motown Greek Tragedy, it’s in the stars, it’s as unchangeable as nature. Some are fated to fail. Few are lucky enough to shine for even a second–and to remember it clearly at the bitter end.   On Ephron’s deathbed, she told her vigil-holding son to “take notes”, which is something her own writer mother had told her to do in her last days.  Ephron told him to take notes because he’s going to want to remember the very thing he wishes he could forget.

581690_601042283253694_98557284_nAll Images Courtesy of Google

The Safety of Plastic

My life is changing, the sky is falling.  After my wonderful weekend, many particles of my humble existence have taken a nose-dive.  I am to reevaluate everything.  I’m feeling a bit like bruised fruit, ripening to the point of rotten.  I spent this morning editing someone else’s assignments, adding notes here and there, elaborating on arguments when necessary.  There was an analysis to be done on Anwar Khan’s “The Pose”, about a young woman in India who sneaks into a shop window and pretends to be a mannequin.  She watches passersby, unfettered and unnoticed.  Or else, when she is noticed, it is for her beauty and well-crafted parts.  In being considered plastic, there is comfort to be derived in being a silent entity.  After the work was done, when the time came to write my own blog entry, I felt emptied out of ideas.  I turned to my trusty notebook.  I flipped through the ideas, with a pouty, “Argh, do I have to?” kind of sneer.  Writing is sometimes like exercise.  It’s seems daunting until you’ve actually done it.  You always feel better after you’ve written. Like Gloria Steinem says:

I do not like to write – I like to have written.

makers-02_steinemms Sometimes it is the act of writing, the words flying out of fingers, effortless connections being made, and it feels like there is no where else you’d rather be, than at the desk, pouring your heart out.  Steinem also touches on that sentiment as well:

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.


Then again, I’m sure Steinem never came across “Bruce Jenner/Andy Warhol” scribbled in one of her note books.  Now where was I going with that?

Bruce Jenner…


plus Andy Warhol…


Equals what? What was I thinking here?  This scribble is a metaphor for the current status of my life, a poorly told joke that I don’t have a punchline for.  A little internet re-con leads me to this comment made by Warhol.

“I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re so beautiful. Everything’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”

Well there’s the connection, if Warhol, who had coined the phrase “fifteen minutes of fame”,  had lived, he would have eventually morphed into Bruce Jenner.

Phew, fuck I’m good  at deciphering my own work.

But really, I’m making it up as I go along.  Aren’t we all?

The mash-up of ideas, of “The Pose”, Bruce Jenner and his Kardashian connection and Andy’s Warhol’s artistic vision and of his life and legacy has made me think about plastic.  It also led me to read about Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist writer, who famously shot Warhol at his studio “The Factory”.  Before she wrote a play called “Up Your Ass” she wrote the SCUM Manifesto which urged women to “overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex”, which are all perfectly reasonable goals.  When not trying to eliminate the male gender, she was trying to get Warhol to produce her delightfully titled play.  He then lost the script, and when she tried to retrieve it, she was met by his indifference.

paperYou know, call me crazy, but one would not dare carelessly misplace the only copy of a script written by a woman who wrote a book like this…


Seriously? You don’t need a man for anything? Who’s going to do the heavy lifting? What if your car broke down? Is that pickle jar going to open itself?

Solanas wasn’t going to take Warhol’s dismissive crap, she felt he had too much power over her life, and just she wasn’t going to stand by and let him grow gracefully into his transformative twilight years where he’d finally become Bruce Jenner.  She fired three shots, hitting Warhol once, and then promptly turned herself into the police.  Warhol was never the same.  The Factory was no longer easily accessible, and many hangers-on reckoned that the 1968 shooting indicated an end of a particular era.

 Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there—I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television—you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.

And others that spoke of Warhol said that he was suddenly untouchable, that he wished to be made of plastic or cardboard, that this attack on his life caused a spiritual death.  He lived another twenty years, but never fully recovered from the shock.


I think once more of the woman in “The Pose”, standing behind glass, watching the world pass by, allowing people to believe that she was plastic, safely swaddled in synthetic value,  immortal and unbreakable.  A beautiful construction.   Wanting to return to the crush of bodies in the marketplace, to be thought of as flesh and blood once more, she  eventually slips back into the crowd.  To be human again, no matter the cost.


All Images Courtesy of Google

Baby in the Corner

Darlings, it’s a perfectly puffy-eyed situation happening over here.  Last night I sat outside and basked in the warm evening sunlight, and stared up into the tree that hangs over the patio.  I could see patches of sky-blue through all the leafy green, wondered how far through the forest I would have to trudge to see a glimmer of success.  It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a contest, it’s just disappointment.  My husband has gently pointed out that perhaps it is not the contest, but that it is a deeper issue.  I’m not in a satisfying career, strike action is taking place in Immigration sectors, and we have no idea what the future holds.  And mostly, that I have so much to offer;  a heart that is about to burst from wanting so much, but it feels like like few things are possible at this juncture.    I’ve received some lovely emails, and comforting shout-outs, and I really appreciate it. What I’d like to do is print my competitive piece here.  It’s not everyone’s cup, but I’m proud of it. And after all, nobody puts Baby in the corner…


It’s the middle of the week, I’m eight years old, I’m wearing a second-hand Brownie uniform, and my mother has just invited me to watch the last ten minutes of Dirty Dancing.  Sitting on the sofa, crossing my legs like a lady, I recognized this as a rite of passage.  If ever my parents brought a film into the house, it was promptly previewed with scrutinizing eyes.  Many were considered unacceptable for viewing.  Nonetheless, my mother decided the final dance sequence of this film passed the test.  And I didn’t blame her.  I had no idea what was happening, but I knew one thing: this couple had charisma.  Their energy was so infectious that the only cure was for everyone to dance.  I had so many questions.  Who are these people? Why are they dancing? How did the homely girl come to be in the corner? And just who is this Johnny Castle character?  All questions melted away as the scene progressed to its climax.  Baby in her pink skirt, leaping into Johnny’s muscular arms and being lifted up into the lights, her arms stretched out, her heart open wide My pulse was racing.   Patrick Swayze was the most magnificent creature I had ever seen. It was then I made a silent declaration: that one day I would experience the entirety of this movie. 

The following summer my Grandmother visited from Wales.  She was a strange creature from the Old World, with a thick indecipherable accent.  Alone with her one afternoon I seized an opportunity.  “Do you like movies Grandma?”  “Oh, I like Coronation Street”, her Welsh accent a musical swing-set, swaying up and down as she spoke.  “Have you ever seen Dirty Dancing?” “Can’t say that I have”.  “Really? Wow… it’s pretty much my favourite movie”.  “What’s it about then?” “It’s…um, it’s about…dancing…that is dirty?” “I don’t know if I’d like that”, her frown line deepened.  “No! Not “dirty” I’m not describing it properly”, I’m panicked, sweating.  “Maybe we should take a stroll to the corner shop and look for it”.  I knew there was a copy at Bob’s Mini Mart; whenever my parents went there to buy cigarettes or milk, I’d spot it on the shelf.  I’d clutch the display case in my pudgy fingers, rubbing my thumb over Patrick’s face.  Now with my grandmother in tow, anything was possible.  Who was I to deny her an authentic North American experience? She had come all the way from the United Kingdom to stay a month in this sleepy little town, with few amenities beyond gas stations and grocery stores.  She had never even heard of Patrick Swayze.  Poor dear.  We were both in need of an education. 

“That was a nice film wasn’t it?” my grandmother smiled, satisfied as the credits rolled.  I drifted featherweight back to reality.  Nice didn’t even begin to cover it—this film was spectacular.   As a family of six we didn’t travel much.  Resorts that employed tough, yet tender dance instructors to teach lessons about life and love was beyond reach.  That was a real concern for me; if I never went anywhere, how would my true love find me? At school I had few friends and was unpopular with boys—I had thick eyebrows, chubby thighs and an overbite; I was socially incapable and totally uncool.  Often overcome with loneliness, I retreated into a cinematic fantasy world, yearning for love and adventure.  Staring out the window onto the trailer park lot, I’d imagine Johnny Castle rescuing me from my unhappy corner of the world.  How I wanted my very own musical montage, dancing to Hungry Eyes with a sweaty Swayze all up in my mix.  He’d write She’s like the Wind about me, and nobody would blame him.  I wanted to run, leap and be lifted overhead, light as air, my pink ballerina skirt floating angelically.  I wanted to be raised up and swept away.

Twenty years later, I met my husband in New Zealand.  In amidst a music festival crowd I saw Benjamin and knew that I was home.  Our partnership was immediately tempered by deadlines, departure dates and other logistical elements of our different birth rights.  We married eight months after meeting, and fuelled by temporary working visas we travelled for two years before settling in Canada.  We were finally faced with the dreaded immigration process, which pressed on a visceral, adolescent nerve.  Johnny and Baby didn’t want to be separated either.  They were divided briefly; the conservative type at Kellerman’s couldn’t accept their attachment. But in the end, Johnny came back for her and much dancing ensued.  But would they really have stayed together after the summer in the Catskills?  Would Baby not attend Mount Holyoke College or join the Peace Corps as planned? Would they just ‘promise to keep in touch’? Somehow I can’t imagine Johnny Castle being your pen to paper, stamp to envelope kind of guy; he’s a lover not a writer. 

When is a summer romance really worth fighting for?  How do you know that you have truly found ‘the one’?  When you are willing to fill out the paperwork?  The permanent residency process is a totally unromantic yet completely necessary venture, and an excellent device to weed out the weak.  The fine folks at Immigration in Vegreville, Alberta need to know everything about you and your partner.  To prove that our marriage was a genuine, conjugal relationship a paper trail was required. We provided forms, financial documents and supplemental appendixes, with references, letters, photographs and old bills addressed to both parties.    This lengthy task combined two fears: not finding a common country with my husband, and really complicated paperwork.  We were happy to confirm that we had not desecrated churches, partaken in genocide or organized any political uprisings. We had confidence in the evidence that supported the legitimacy of our marriage.  For us, the medical exam was the greatest cause for concern.  “What if they find something and I have to leave the country… I’d have tuberculosis and you’d be on the other side of the world”.  Benjamin whispered as he squeezed my hand in the waiting room. “You’ll be just fine…there’s nothing wrong with you” I assured him. Of course I don’t know that, I’m not a doctor; I don’t even watch enough Grey’s Anatomy to peg a guess.  But his nervousness planted a seed of doubt inside my mind: what if something was wrong?  In life and in health, nothing is certain.  Patrick Swayze, once physically fit, athletic, healthy and gorgeous, died at 57.  It’s as if Johnny Castle is the immortal girlhood fantasy, but Swayze represents the crushing weight of reality.  There are no certainties, the universe is not fair; my existence is not the exception, nor is the life of the man that I love.

During Benjamin’s medical I waited in the reception area, tucked in the corner with a magazine, a noose of anxiety tightening around my neck.  The reading material was limited so I lingered over the calorie-wise recipes and parenting tips in the lone issue of Canadian Living.  An elderly couple appeared at the desk and were discussing the woman’s upcoming surgery with a doctor.  The doctor answered her questions with a smile, offering support and information.  She blurted out, her voice quivering: “I’m really scared. Will I be alright?” Yikes.  The doctor didn’t respond with absolute certainty, he simply offered wishes for a surgery well done.  Being an empathetic eavesdropper, her vulnerability made my heart swell with sadness.  The doctor excused himself. The couple, stooped and weathered, slowly shuffled to the exit.  He was holding her small beige handbag in his left hand.  On his right his wife lifted her tiny arm and linked herself to the crook in his elbow.  They exchanged a familiar glance, leaned closely together, passed a corridor and disappeared from sight.

Tears strained against my eyes like a storm front against a window pane.  I held my breath to cease the impending waterworks.  I wondered if they remembered being young and in love and just starting out, whether their relationship grew from flimsy childish illusions about romance to a solid refuge of sustenance and care.  I wondered if any of their past struggles and sacrifices even mattered anymore as they edged out of the clinic and closer to the end of their lives.  Sitting in the stillness of the clinic waiting for my husband to return, I thought about what happens after young love. After summer sunshine when autumn leaves fall and frigid winter sets in, when it is harder, when we are older, is when love burns its brightest.  It is when you are backed into a corner and somebody who loves you pulls you out of the shadows and lifts you up into the light.

2685_5Images Courtesy of Google

The Golden Ticket

The long list for a contest I entered, and so badly wanted to be nominated for came out this morning.  I started my shift at five am, I thought it best to not not look until after the ten hour shift.  I sent the piece off in January, before I started my blog, before I wrote everyday.  As time has passed, I began to meditate on how much I wanted to be considered, to have a shot at platform-building prizes.  What it would mean to see my name on that list.

My name was not on the list.

In fact, the alphabetical list started on “C” (I could think of another c-word, if pressed hard enough).  My husband reckons it is not my writing, it is that this national contest is prejudiced against “A” names.   At least, that’s what I think he said, I was blubbering and making this sad little sound that sounded like the airplane noise you make when trying to entice a toddler into eating cold pea mash.

Needless to say, there are little mountains of sopping wet tissues all over the house.  These formations have colonized the house, starting in the living room, and trailing to the office, the bedroom and everywhere in between.

This is why I didn’t check at work, this kind of blow is not what you want to receive in gumboots and an apron.  But I thought about it. What it could mean.  I thought about Charlie Bucket and the golden ticket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory“.  I kept thinking about when Charlie’s family hears on the news that the final ticket was found.  His Grandpa says, ‘let’s not wake him, lets let him have one more dream’.  But then the camera cuts to Charlie, wide awake and well aware.


So essentially old Chuck Bucket was my inspiration for waiting. He’s a poor bastard anyhow, he’s such a sad, goony kid who wears nerdy turtlenecks and has all four grandparents sleeping in the same bed.  It’s like “Bob & Carol &Ted & Alice“, but with arthritis and bedsores.

Poster - Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice_04He doesn’t fit in, has no social networks.  There’s no money for sweets, and he has no pleasure in his life.  What this kid needs is a better hair cut and an opportunity to shine.  A golden ticket.

charlie bucket candy

Obviously, there was a misunderstanding with Charlie, and he eventually gains access to Willy Wonka‘s delicious fortress, and learns of the many riches and quirks of the Chocolate Factory.  No matter, this prize is clearly the Robert Redford to my Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa“. It was not mine.


Yes I’m mixing movie metaphors, I’m delirious with grief over here.  This is also why I most likely don’t win contests.

There’s a line to be drawn, a balance between hope and reality.  I hope I look like Heidi Klum, but in reality I look like Snooki without the hair and makeup.  Hoping to win is not the same as winning.  But you also want to have an open heart, believe that these things are possible, and not fall apart when things don’t work out.  Like I always say about Mick Jagger, and what he always says, “You can’t always get what you want,  but you get what you need”.

Yeah, I guess Mick. If you say so.  But for now, I’m just going to have a good cry.

audry h cryingAll Images Courtesy of Google

Thug Lite

My epic weekend has been followed by long days of work.  Well, so far just two days. I’m not toiling away in a sweltering cotton field, but you know how it is.  Aren’t we all more fabulous while not at work?

So…the writing feels a bit like a homemade airplane, sputtering and failing to reach great heights. Mostly it sort of hovers over the runway with the same kind of awkward rigidity of a teenaged boy getting a girl’s bra off for the first time.  Fumbling like fuck.

But fear not bitches, it can only get better from here.

Can I call you “bitches”? Are we friends like that? I don’t know. YouTube recommended Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack to the film”Super Fly” to me, which I feel is the website’s way of saying “I respect the hell out of your taste, here’s something groovy for you while you don’t write your blog”.


Funnily enough, I also have a plan to “stick it to the man”, so that’s just another thing that Super Fly and I have in common.  Otherwise it’s nothing but guns, drugs and hos.  Or is it ho’s? Or hoes like in gardening?  I can’t remember I missed that day of Pimp School.   I also missed the course of pimp ultimatums, when Fat Freddie doesn’t have his money, up and coming drug kingpin Priest warns him that either he is going to get his money by robbing someone or he will put his wife out on “whore’s row”.  Now that is one hell of a threat.. in fact, it’s kind of a lose/lose situation. I bet Fat Freddie never thought, “Could I get a full time job and pay you back in weekly installments?” He’s like “Honey? You still got that dress you wore for Halloween last year?”   Don’t worry, there’s a song on the album “Freddie’s Dead”, so you just know that someone popped a cap in his ass.

Am I saying that right? Pop a cap? Like am I actually shooting him in the butt, or is ass a general term?  Are people still getting jiggy with it? Is that still a thing?

I’m not even going to lie to you, when I came here tonight, feeling like one major blah-ger, I was going to write about James Spader in Pretty in Pink.

JamesSpader_4209Don’t you just want to knock that ashtray right off his knee into his smug face in the same way you’d like to sweep an arm across a cluttered desk to make out with him on top of it.  “Pretty in Pink” James Spader confuses me.

tumblr_lu2ev4qhap1qzoaqi“I can’t do this right now James Spader, I’ve got a blog to finish”.

It’s 8:30 at night, and this is not usually my style to post so late.  I actually just received a phone call from my mother, demanding the whereabouts of said blog.  “Mom–I’m writing about pimps, R&B concept albums, and I cannot figure out out to spell ‘ho’ –just back off!”  And then I talked to her for twenty minutes while surfing the internet for pictures of various pimps and thugs…and young James Spader.


But that’s the beauty of blogging, sometimes you think you are going to write about Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “Bonnie and Clyde ’03″…


And you write about “The Shining” instead…


You think it’s scary when you read my edited thoughts, you should see what it looks like inside my head…


You better believe that’s not alphabetized.

The disorganization and time wasting is all part of my plan for sticking it to the man.

tumblr_m4610cmJCS1rn4ypvo1_500All Images Courtesy of Google

Dance All Night

You know when you are working towards a goal, a date, a time–graduation, marriage, holiday, and it takes forever to get there, and then it happens and suddenly passes? It all goes by so quickly, doesn’t it?  This weekend has come and gone and it was wonderful.  I was participating in two improv shows and a festival at the university.  I was prepared, I was excited, I was…perfectly terrified.

sad hep

What if…I choked?

audrey-hepburn marbles

In the end, ll was perfectly successful, which absolutely lifted my spirits. Home late last night, watching “Pretty in Pink” at midnight,  I felt like Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”.  Undressing after the ball, when all the hard work paid off, and no one recognized her as the cockney flower girl she really was and totally bought her as a fictional aristocrat.  When she got home, she was singing “I Could Have Danced All Night”, and mooning dreamily all over the bedroom.  Those poor maids were hard pressed to get her ready for bed with her dancing all around, and admonished her: “It’s after three now/Don’t you agree now/She ought to be in bed”.

If my maids clucked about me swooping around my four post bed about my fantastic weekend, they would hear about it.   I can go from zero to sixty on the diva scale (which zero being Audrey Hepburn, sixty being Naomi Campbell) in ten seconds flat.


I’d shriek, “I don’t pay you to hold me back when I’m celebrating my fabulous good fortune through the majesty of song“.  And then I’d throw whatever was within reach at the offending servants before commencing with my song about loving the shit out of my life.


Don’t worry, I pay them handsomely.


I’m sort of basking in the glow of knowing so many good people.  I feel blessed. I feel reconnected to this feeling I’d thought I’d lost, a sort of existential emptiness with which you could not identity the source.  Turns out…having a stone-cold pack of theatre weirdos back in my life is what was lacking. My heart is bursting with happiness.

Cheers for the love everyone.  You know who you are.

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Good Intentions

This weekend is crazy busy, two shows and a festival, so while I will not be writing today, I am going to leave you with a short film from friends of mine have made, “Bar-Intender”. It’s sweet and very funny. Enjoy, and I’ll be seeing you soon!

Take This Job/Shove It

Amongst the ubiquitous job interview questions, “What are your pay expectations?” is my favorite.  What I’d like to earn and what you are willing to pay are two entirely different things.  “I want a diamond tiara, a million bucks and a fucking pony”.  Just once, I want someone to answer “yes” to that question, instead of being escorted out of the office by security.  You ask me an honest question, I’ll give you an honest answer.  I wasn’t kidding about the tiara, and you best believe I don’t joke around about ponies.  They are majestic creatures, and they knit a mean sweater.


Or maybe, the interviewer would stare at me with an unintelligible expression, lean in to the telecom as I steel myself for the brusque handling of the security guards.  “Angela…do we have any more of those ponies? This girl needs a ride to her new office”.  He would commend me for my refreshing honesty, and call Tiffany’s personally to look into that tiara.


Ah, dare to dream.

“Why should we hire you?”

“Because I’m a god-damned delight, that’s why…also I’ve got a lot of gambling debt”.

“Why do you want this job?”

“Because I love folding sweaters for eight hours/because I need to feel the weight of a tray in my hands/because I want to wear a head set and apron at a bubble bath and candle chain/because I think I look great in hairnets/because I can’t seem to sort out a career for myself/because I have bills to pay, and I don’t have the figure to be an exotic dancer”.

The last job interview I went to was degrading at best. We were interviewed the day before, and told to come back the following day.  I was interviewed with another fellow, and we were asked the exact same questions from the day before–minus the one question that I’d never been asked but personally enjoyed.

“Who are people you admire?”

“Tina Fey and Audrey Hepburn, because they’re never above working hard, and both women are fabulous”.


But, as we all know, what I really want is to be professionally fabulous/being paid to write at home in yoga pants, listening to CBC 2 all day long.

It’s not an unreasonable request.

Two young men come in the room…and I mean young men, I could have babysat them when I was in high school.  The main interviewer was wearing running shoes, unhemmed trousers, a wrinkled, untucked dress shirt and a fedora.  His goatee was scraggly and disheveled.  His associate was wearing a brown leisure suit, had a pimply,crater face and wore a pink alien ring on his wedding finger.

Needless to say, I didn’t mean for the threesome to happen, but when surrounded by such animal charisma, and classic good looks, a lady simply cannot be tamed.

In truth, I kept my trench coat tightly fastened, and kept my purse on my lap, clutching it like an elderly woman surrounded by gang members on the subway.


How’s that for intimidating?

The office is filled with boxes and piles of paperwork.  Not a single picture hangs on the wall.  The job posting described a ‘marketing position’, these sons-of-bitches were talking above getting out there and knocking on doors.  The fedora wearing gentleman, who kept promising  ample opportunities, that he has only been there seven weeks, and already he was conducting second interviews. “Eventually, you could be like me”, he smirks, which made me grip my purse tighter.  He grabbed on of the many loose sheets of paper and drew a crude pyramid-like design of how the job worked, how the pay scheme worked.  “Don’t think of it as $10 an hour, think of it as $80 a day”.  Plus commission.  Oh, the bounty to behold if you actually knock on someone’s door, bother them at home, and attempt to sell them something they already have.

Where do I sign up?

Once the interviews were conducted, both men left the room. The man other interviewee and I looked at each other, and burst out laughing?

“Is this for real?”, I ask.

“I was thinking the same thing, kept wondering where the cameras were”.

When the first interviewer returned, he rubbed his hands together as if at  some Hawaiian pig roast.  “So, what d’ya think?”

He looked at the man first, who shook his head before speaking.  “I have never seen this level of unprofessionalism, those kids were condescending, and I’m embarrassed to even be sitting here”.

My jaw dropped, and the interviewer blanched.  “Well the company is throwing us a party today, it’s a pretty big deal, so that’s why some of us are dressed casually.  But I won’t waste any of your time, thanks for coming in”.

The man leaves, and I am amazed…wishing I had the guts to say it like it is in an interview.  To say, “I want to be paid fairly, I want to be treated with respect, you want me because I’m the best, I want to work for you because I had my pick of the lot…but what it comes down to is you need me just as much as I need you”. But I say nothing, still gripping my purse.  The interviewer starts shuffling the papers around him, not once looking at me.  “So…you interested?”


But I politely ask a few more questions,  take a business card, and try to leave calmly and casually, not bolt as if being freed from a kidnapper.  Once outside, I see my fellow interviewer smoking a cigarette, and clearly waiting for me.  He tries to get my number and explains how he knows people, and that I could get in on the ground floor of a few shading sounding business opportunities.  I politely give him the email address of an unused account, and hustle to the car, where I promptly burst into tears.  How promising the job sounded, an oasis in a vast desert of job postings.  I drove home, back to sanctity of my office, to my unpaid position as writer in residence.  They say, “Do what you love, and the money will follow”, but that just sounds like another scam.  Another pyramid built by slaves, creating an empire they have no rights to.

Pyramids on the beach

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