Thursday 28 June 2012

Midsummer, Fish, and Pent Up Rage

Sorry sorry sorry! I know, I haven't been very active, and thus, I am a terrible person.

Maybe not Hitler-level, but probably somewhere around the level of that kid who stole your milk money.

But wtf have I been doing over the past 14 days? Well first there was this scheme: I decided I had to learn how to fly fish. It started in Prince George, BC last summer, when I got stuck in a canoe for an afternoon with someone learning to fly fish...

In between ducking the fly and shielding my eyes from the hook of death, I thought to myself... "Hmm, you know...if I was wielding the hook of death, fly fishing might be pretty fun..."

I managed to find a fly fishing class that runs right near my cottage, and for $95 I managed to accomplish my longterm goal for fly fishing on the first day...CATCHING A STEELHEAD!

This is...a big fish.

Blub blub
DON'T WORRY MY VEGETARIAN FRIENDS! The hook was super small, we removed it, and let this lovely lady swim off a free fishy.

With one lifetime dream accomplished, it was time to prepare for Midsummer. A Swedish tradition that revolves around the return of the sun and warmth...and booze. As most Swedish traditions do. I decided to have some people over for fish and booze and strawberries, it went fairly well:

Hurr durr, flowers!

TTC flower-wreath extravaganza!

 So with all this fish and flowers and booze...why the pent up rage?


Which is to say, I know that the combination of: extreme heat warnings, broken AC at the office, working in 40C+ heat, nearly getting hit by taxis on the way to work, bills, Rob Ford, my career's stagnancy, being talked down to in sporting goods stores for being a girl, and...oh fuck it, I don't know...the economy let's say, all contributes into a ball of pent of rage deep in my soul.

It's the complete helplessness of the situation. I can't control taxis drivers who veer without thought or signals. I can't make my bosses give me a raise, or even value my existence. I can't yell at an AC unit to get its shit together and be cool...but I guess I can do that to myself...









Thursday 14 June 2012

The Poetic Ramblings of 9yr Old Me...

So I promised poems from 9yr old me, and I shall make good on that promise...for better or for worse (spoiler: it's for worse).

To bring these poems to you, I had to dig through boxes of pogs, action figures, comic books, and repressed you better enjoy it is what I'm saying...

I present to you, the beautiful 90s notebook for poetic ramblings of 9 yr old me:

Bask in that 90s goodness...

Those bright colours, those geometric shapes...mmmm, 90s. And now, 9yr old me:


Why did you put me in this fuzzy pink troll shirt? WHY?!

Fairly normal exterior...but what lurks in the heart of a 9 yr old Claire?

Sweet-ass drawings of dragons.
Sweet-ass drawings of kung fu pjs. 

 Ok, so we're dealing with some pretty high level artistic drawing ability...but what else?

Top secret legally binding documents

Alright, some super secret legal contracts ensuring the complete confidentially of the signatories...oops. Sorry guys...I guess you're entitled to giving me a "swirly"...although I'd prefer if you didn't to be honest.
Technical diagrams
A drawing that very clearly shows the difference between the initial design of the internet and the world wide web, which I was most definitely surfing (or crawling...remember webcrawler? OF COURSE NOT).

But what ELSE lurks in the soul of little Claire? ...Poetry. Sad, lonely little poems, that although terrible, make me feel really bad for 9 yr old me. Arguably even worse than I felt for myself when I was...myself? Fuck it, here's a poem about teasing:

Sweet baby jesus...where was zoloft for kids? Oh well, here's one about being embarrassed, or "ebarressed" as I wrote:

Good dog Mum & Dad... I don't remember being so miserable, but sheesh, I'm giving Morrissey a run for his money! Here's a double bill on sadness AND drunks! :D

What I'm so impressed/horrified by, is that I didn't know any alcoholics growing either I was paying WAY too much attention to hobos on Queen St West, or I had the most depressing imagination available to someone under 10 years of age...

Who was this kid?! I don't really look back on my childhood and feel miserable. Sure, there were difficult areas, but on the whole, I had a good time. But there are those poems that I know were written through tears by a little girl who felt like the whole world had abandoned her, and I feel like the only explanation is that you have to forget to move forward...

I will hug you forever Little Me...

...But don't be sad!  It ain't all terrible...! I still drew pretty awesome panthers (?):

What I'm saying is...

"Dear, 9 year old me, I promise things will get better everyday.

...until one day when you have to pay taxes, and as bad as Liam the bully seems now, your gross boss at Second Cup who hits on everyone and sleeps with the Romanian girl in the storage room will be that much worse, because he writes the schedule and pays you. .

...Hmm, that didn't sound too good... I guess what I'm saying is, uh...oh fuck I don't know, get a band together and capitalise on that ennui."

Monday 11 June 2012


Well this makes my soul hurt. ...I'll get back to it.

In other news, Lena Dunham, you need to respond to my tweets. For reals, yo. You are one of 2 celebrities that I have tweeted to, and Neil Gaiman responded. Mostly because he is lovely, but mainly because we both like The Magnetic Fields.

For those of you who don't watch Girls (Mum, I am glaring at you through the internets), or for those of you who haven't watched last night's episode (#9, "Leave Me Alone") was good. Really good. Like, so painfully reflective of some of my own friendships that I felt found out.

Which brings me to what I want to talk about today...Frenemies.

Yes, Frenemies. We all have them (or have had them if you want to lie to yourselves). Those people that you logically have no reason to be around, aside from inertia (screw you Newton).

In this week's episode of Girls, we meet Hannah's frenemy (although they cheap out and call her a nemesis), but let's be honest folks, a nemesis implies a mutual jealousy. Whereas frenemies (in my experience) belie a lopsided jealousy. Usually where one person decides the other has undeserved accomplishments.

In the episode, aspiring writer Hannah goes to the book launch of her frenemy from university. A girl who has just published a book which Hannah decides is garbage. The banter between the characters is played up for comedy, but the situation hit uncomfortably close to home.

Glaring at frenemy Tally Schifrin: shitty writer.
What does it say about us as people when we have frenemies? I'm not going to wank around and say that we shouldn't begrudge people for ill-gotten or undeserved success... that shit is annoying at best, heartbreaking at worst, and we should curse them from the bottom of our black, bitter hearts.

I do not wish you continued success.
I wish you mild inconvenience, like missing the bus, or stubbing your toe.

But honestly...what DOES the frenemy concept say about us as a generation...? Well...let's scroll back up to that first comic... (fuck it, scrolling is hard, here it is again:)

Life is hard right now. Despite what our parents say, life is harder for young people now than it was for our parents. Science-fact. Maybe we just don't have room for well-wishing when all we can see is missed opportunity...?

We all know people whose parents bought them a condo, or pay their rent, or who still live at home...they're lucky, and they're getting an easy way out of reality. When those same people succeed at something we aspire to, whether that success was merited, or purchased by mummy and trivializes the sacrifices we've made. And when you're living in a dank basement apartment, picking pennies off the street to pay bus fare...deep down you feel like "it's okay, because it's all gonna pay off soon!"

Unfortunately, the universe doesn't work that way. People struggle, and sacrifice, and sometimes they end up with nothing. Shit happens, c'est la vie, *insert 3rd cliché here*.

...and raising our generation via the Disney channel means that we lack the coping skills to deal with defeat and setbacks. Our parents didn't fight wars, kids didn't die, and everyone made it to home plate before the pitch.

The Occupy movement, the student rallies in Quebec, frenemies... it's a symptom of a larger issue. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR LIFE TO BE UNFAIR. And it doesn't help that things are more unfair for us than they ever were for our parents...

Good job Claire, you're a fucking sociological genius... now, what the hell do you suggest we do to fix things?!

The boomers ARE screwing us over and loading us with debt (both personal and national) that we will never be able to climb out from under. They are working longer, and demanding that we take unpaid internships to extend their own careers. They are trivializing the issues that we are facing by calling us "spoiled" and "entitled". Well, I don't think it's entitled to want the same quality of life that they had at our age...

So, we man up, and develop empathy or at least respect for each other's accomplishments... if ONLY so we become a unified force with a clear message. As long as we nitpick each other's accomplishments, and fight to tear our frenemies down, we'll never be seen as legitimate adults...unfair as that may be.

Because, when you break frenemies down, it's just human-fucking-nature.

The Smiling Spaniard

Egnatius, because he has bright white teeth,
always smiles: If someone comes to the defendant's
bench, when the speaker arouses weeping,
he grins; If there is weeping at the funeral pyre of
a dutiful son, when the bereaved mother laments her only son,
he grins. Whatever it is, wherever he is,
whatever he is doing, he grins: he has this disease,
neither elegant, as I think, nor refined.
Therefore I must warn you, my good Egnatius.
If you were a city man or a Sabine or a Tiburnan
or a thrifty Umbrian or a fat Etruscan
or a swarthy or toothy Lanuvian or
a Transpadane, to touch on my own people as well,
or anyone you like who cleans his teeth with clean water,
I still should not want you to smile on all occasions:
for nothing is more silly than a silly smile.
Now you are a Celtiberian: in the land of Celtiberia,
whatever each man has urinated, with this he is accustomed
in the morning to rub his teeth and gums until they are red,
so that the more polished those teeth of yours are,
the more urine they proclaim you to have drunk

Tuesday 5 June 2012

My Dreams are Satirizing Me...

This morning I awoke from a dream...well, let's be honest, a nightmare. As I struggled to remove one of the cats from my face, I replayed the dream in my head, and I am forced to arrive at the conclusion that my dreams are satirizing my life...

Don't you love us Mummy?
If it fits, I sits...ENJOY NOT BREATHING HU-MAN!


So, anyways, I replay the dream in my head... It's a zombie apocalypse (HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEWS?!!!), and my folks and I are trying to escape the house, naturally.

Go on...
We argue about whether or not to fortify the house or just to flee. We argue about which weapons to acquire. We argue about what foodstuffs to pack. We argue about wasting time arguing... Are you seeing a pattern here?

My mind is being blown!

Those who know me, know of my...history... with the zombie genre. The "zomre" if you will (how droll). I even met my husband when we were both extras in a Romero zombie film (u jelly?)


Heck yes.
My brain tormenting me with poorly written zombie-dreams is cruel, if appropriate.

So there I am in my dream, arguing with my father about which baseball bat to take as a weapon. I mean, really getting into the minuta of heft & swings-per-minute vs muscle fatigue. A smarmy reinterpretation of my trip this Sunday to Grand Bend's batting cages...

Red pants? $15?! I know u jelly.

But the dream takes a turn... we decide that the house is ultimately undefendable, so I pop out the screen from my old bedroom window and plan an escape route to the car. Someone suggests that we should bring food with us...this seems to be a good idea. TO THE KITCHEN!

I spend the rest of the dream alternating between arguing which dried bean soup mix to pack, and yelling at my mother to get off the internet and get in the car.

...I wish I was joking.

The fantasy-icing on the dream-cake of mockery, was a message written in red lipstick on the inside of my dream closet (thanks Freud) in the style of the recent Canadian Psycho, Luka Magnotta.

The lipstick message scrawled in my dream closet?

It is too late for me, not too late for you.


oh god whyyyy?

Welp. Time for some therapy!

Monday 4 June 2012

I Got Better...?


We all get them. We say something unbelievably stupid, reflect, then feel like complete idiots.

Total. Genius.
I think Louis CK makes a very good example here:

So...this morning, I had one of those moments...

I have had glasses since the age of 7. My eyes are bad. Really bad. Bad enough that it's illegal for me to drive without corrective lenses. Bad enough that I won't recognize people until they are under 6" from my face without my glasses on.

I woke up this morning and I could see...clearly.

so. many. things. in . focus.
I lay in bed for a full minute or two, blinking, rubbing my eyes, and full-on thinking... "My eyes got better...I can see!"

A joy welled up in me that I have never felt before. I assume it is what people feel when they hold a newborn baby. Or maybe when you reach nirvana or something.


Then I noticed that my eyes were very itchy.


Then I touched my cornea, and wiggled the contact lens that had been sitting in my eye for upwards of 24hrs. My eyes had not miraculously fixed themselves. My brain had become momentarily retarded.

Ladies and gents, may I present...THE DOG PHONE! IN FULL 20/20 VISION!!!!

I flew too close to the sun dream of 20/20 vision, and my overtired wax wings eyes paid the price.

the burning...!