Sweet Resignation


My new motto

My internship ends on Friday, I’m moving back to small-town Ontario on Saturday, my fabulous — albeit short — time in the city has drawn to a close, and I’m resigned to my fate. 

I’m not allowing myself to feel stressed out and depressed by the fact that I’m 24 (shhhhh–don’t tell anyone) and returning to the nest yet again. I’m trying not to get too frustrated by the job search process and being in this weird position of having a university degree and some experience, but not enough to land me the kind of job I want.

I had hoped that by the end of the internship I’d have something secured in the city and be able to live here independently (you know, with the cool neighbourhood, the pet, the apartment with exposed brick), but things don’t always work out the way you plan.  As my boyfriend always says, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” Or something along those lines. I’ve been very lucky thus far with two internships (one paid, one unpaid, but both providing amazing experiences) and a full-time summer job as a reporter for the local paper, straight out of university. I know that not many people get those chances, and I’m very grateful for them. I’m also prepared to work hard and not expect a job to just be handed to me, if that’s what it takes to achieve your dreams.

I’m remembering to keep calm and carry on.  

I’m sad to leave the city I love, the hustle and bustle and busyness and excitement, the convenience of the TTC, the cool places to shop, eat, and hang out, seeing my boyfriend every weekend, and the friends. In the small-town, the transportation situation is what you would expect of a small-town, there’s one cafe, a couple dive bars, and no one between the ages of 21-30 that isn’t married or knocked up (or both?) And it’s 120 minutes away from my boyfriend, which isn’t that far but still too far for me! 

At the same time, I’ll be moving home on the 19th — a week before Christmas.  I’m excited to sit by the Christmas tree with my dog, feeling merry and bright and relaxed. I’m excited to be with my family and see my baby nephew more often. I’m excited to sleep in my comfy Queen-sized bed and enjoy quiet times in my own room with all my books and things.

But I’m especially excited for Christmas. In the past few years, the hindrance of semester-end essays and exams, in addition to deaths in the family, drastically delayed when I felt the “Christmas spirit,” if at all. This year, I’ve been feeling Christmassy since mid-November and have been listening to Christmas music nonstop for the last three weeks. 

I may not know what the future holds, but I’m learning to enjoy every little moment in between and be thankful for every circumstance.

Every wall is a door — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Bad News Bears


Me, around 4:30 p.m. when I'm hungry

Last night I had the most vivid dreams about bears.  There were scary, murderous bears on the loose in Toronto that were eating people and otherwise roaming around public places in a threatening way.  For some reason, the police or animal control were not present.  I was supposed to meet my boyfriend at a mall and there was a bear at the entrance, looming ominously in a pool of blood and human heads. Gross, I know.  The overall feeling in the dream was one of dread, impending danger and slowly escalating fear, as though the bears stood for something larger than themselves.

It’s not often that I dream about bears.  Dolphins, whales, porpoises, and other sea life, but never bears.  I have recurring images in my dreams of staring out at a body of water, whether it be the ocean or Lake Ontario, and catching a glimpse of fins in the distance, thousands and thousands of these mysterious underwater creatures.  The feeling in these dreams is always surreal, exciting, and as though I’ve discovered some great secret.

I’m a huge animal lover, so it’s no surprise that they frequent my dreaming life.  I decided to look over at Dream Moods to see if they could offer any interpretations.

Here’s what they had to say about bears:

To see a bear in your dream, symbolizes independence, the cycle of life, death and renewal. It may signal a period of introspection and thinking. The dream may also be a pun on “bare.” Perhaps you need to bare your soul and let everything out into the open.

To dream that you are being pursued or attached by a bear, denotes aggression, overwhelming obstacles and competition. You may find yourself in a threatening situation.

Well, I’m going to be without a job pretty soon and am not sure what the New Year holds, so does that count as overwhelming obstacles? 

Nice tail, whale!

When I asked my mom about dreaming of dolphins and whales, she mentioned something about spirituality. Dream Moods confirms this:

To see a whale in your dream, represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tune to your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, it indicates a relationship or business project that is too enormous to handle. You may be feeling overwhelmed. The dream may also be a pun on “wailing” and a desire to cry out about something.

To see a dolphin in your dream, symbolizes spiritual guidance, your intellect, mental attributes and emotional trust. Utilize your mind to its capacity and you will move upward in life. Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and unconscious aspects of yourself. Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions.

To see an ocean in your dream, represents the state of your emotions and feelings. It is indicative of some spiritual refreshment, tranquility and renewal.

I also have recurring dreams of being pursued by someone in a huge house or mansion. They’re always so close to catching me, but as I run through the house, I can lucid dream and create secret doors, rooms, and escapes. There’s a sense of danger to these dreams, but also a sense of thrill. 

To dream that you are being chased, signifies that you are avoiding a situation that you do not think is conquerable. It is often a metaphor for some form of insecurity.

I’m a firm believer in the power of dreams and what they have to say about our waking lives.  Some can even be prophetic.  While some dreams can be what we called in Psychology 101 “pizza dreams,” (ie. they have more to do with what you ate before you fell asleep than your subsconscious mind), most of my dreams are too vivid to ignore.

How about you?  Do you have any recurring dreams that you’ve always wanted to interpret?

Snarky Artists

Oh, the Missed Connections on Craigslist.  I love reading these.  I’d be interested in finding out if people have actually ever hooked up as a result of reading a Missed Connection.  “Wait a minute … I was wearing a long pea coat and orange scarf on the GO Train headed to Oakville from Union Station last Thursday night, reading a copy of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar!  And I totally made flirty eye contact with a guy in a plaid jacket who was reading Wired magazine!  Who knew that he was falling in love with me?”  

And then, budda-boom budda-bing, dates, love, marriage, and a litter of puppies.

Anyway, my sister drew my attention to this one in particular, which is less a Missed Connection and more a reaction to an unpleasant experience at an art store on Spadina.  It’s just too rich not to share in its entirety (PS: there’s some swearing, but I wanted to repost it here without any alterations):

To the prissy bitch who said I was from Cobourg – w4m – 22 (Art Supply Store, Spadina)

So yesterday I was just perusing the stores on Spadina in Toronto when I walked into your little art supply store. After a bit of browsing I decided to buy a new pen. 
Then suddenly, your exaggerated effeminate squeak startled me from behind a row of paintbrushes: “Wow! You came all the way from Cobourg to buy a pen!” *snicker*”. I can only assume that you were referring to my rustic attire that day. Yes, I was wearing an old coat and a scarf and hat that I knitted myself, but need I remind you that it’s FREEZING out? And this economy?? 
I do get the impression however, that you don’t mind hypothermia as long as you get to wow the world with your form-fitting Prada pea coat in chartreuse! Usually I would have let you have it right there in the store, but for one thing, lucky for you I didn’t want the boy I was with to witness the wrath I am capable of, and also your polite meanness made it difficult for me to determine whether you were a bitch or just really stupid. I have determined now that you are both. 

Yes, my coat is several years old and No, I do not plan on getting a new one. I’m a student you see, paying tuition and rent does not leave much freedom to be stylish. But I suppose it’s hard for you to remember what it was like being young, seeing as you are now a bitter, mean old man. 
I will admit- the fit of your black shirt and jeans made you look positively prim, and I’m sure you’re saving the world one cute outfit at a time! But I beg you to respect the fact that many of us are doing the same in different, more effective ways; like you know, for example, not being a mass-consumerist whore! 
What is this? The 16th century? Turning your nose up at peasants? Fuck you! Just because you have no goals in life other than to work at a little art store and use words like “pomo” and “appropriation of modernist perspective” and wear lots of black to make yourself feel like an artist, doesn’t mean you have to take it out on those of us who still have real goals. 
By the way, I am NOT from Coburgh, I was born and raised in Toronto. Although I’ve never been there, I’m sure Cobourg is a lovely place and the people there would be very offended at the way in which you associated their great people with my crusty old jacket. 
I hope you and your highlighted hair, slip in your alligator, pointed toe boots on a pile of your own bullshit and tear a rhinestone off your leather pants! 
Go eat a fist. 


The future. 

A hearty Amen from the silent, nearly invisible masses of students/recent-grads/propagators of infinite debt, who cannot afford to keep up with the revolving doors of fashion as displayed by those with steady jobs and family money!

Wonderful Quote Wednesday

The weather in Toronto today is definitely frightful. Getting ready this morning, I listened to an eclectic mix of Christmas music to put me in the holiday spirit: Nat King Cole, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and The Vince Guaraldi Trio. I was pleasantly surprised to see some snow on the ground this morning (I only like snow for the Christmas season, and then it can melt), a merry feeling which quickly disappeared once I trudged through ankle-deep slush in my pretty new Aldo boots and braved the rain and — wait for it — thunder and lightning?  Seriously, Mother Nature?  Must you be so cruel?

Anyway, these three random quotes on my Google home page helped to make my day just a little bit brighter.  Enjoy them, along with the photos provided by Google image search!

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult — Rita Rudner

Stay away from the Kool-Aid ...


Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he’s buying — Fran Lebowitz

photo courtesy of google image search

You'll eat what I tell you to, spawn of Satan!


The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think — Horace Walpole 

Monkey see, monkey do

You’re Smart, Funny, and Beautiful

“You’re smart, funny, and beautiful,” said the creepy middle-aged man, speaking into his headset loud enough that the quiet, half-asleep, Monday Morning streetcar crowd could hear his every word.

He said little else but announce each stop to whomever was at the other end of the phone call.

“We’re at Tecumseh.”




“Spadina … no, Spadina, not– … No, no one makes fun of the name Spadina. No, you’re a naughty girl.  No. No. Nooooooooo … I’m going to …”

Fortunately, there were no children within earshot, or they would have been getting their first lesson in BDSM.

Silence, and a pretty, well-dressed girl gets on at University, talking on her cellphone as loudly as middle-aged perv, discussing how pathetic men are.

The woman on the other end probably asks, “Why do you love me?” or “Why are you with me?”  I picture her in a ratty bathrobe covered in cat hair, intermittently petting Fluffy sprawled on her lap whilst taking long, practiced drags from a cigarette. Hair in curlers.  Eyelids painted blue, heavy lines around her mouth.

“Well, because you’re smart, funny, and beautiful.”

Smart, funny, and beautiful. The three adjectives most often used when describing your special someone.

“Why did you fall for so-and-so?”

“Because he’s smart, funny, and …” Well, handsome in this case, but the two are interchangeable.

I try to avoid these ill-used cliches, telling my boyfriend I love him because he’s confident, caring, sweet, optimistic, silly, responsible … the list goes on.  Not everyone is smart.  I know this for a fact, because I’m a snob.  Not everyone is funny. Some people are just lame and have no sense of humour whatsoever.  As for beautiful … that’s debatable.  Beauty is purely subjective.

But then, I suppose, so is intelligence and funniness.

Again I picture the woman on the other line, and wonder if she’s book smart or street smart, what her sense of humour is like, how he finds her beautiful in her curlers and bathrobe.

More silence.

I wonder if he’s speaking to himself …

Freaky Friday

Is there a full moon tonight?

Today there seems to be a touch of crazy to it, something driven by the moon and its waxing and waning.

To start my day, a couple of sketchbags had a tussle in the middle of the street, which was kind of amusing but also kind of sad in a way because it was between a large woman and a scrawny man.  I was wondering if I should yell something or call the police, but it was just basically sloppy wrestling with no punches being thrown, and no one else waiting for the streetcar seemed to care all that much.  Sometimes apathy is safer than concern.

Then, I was approached by a nice-enough crazy person on the streetcar, whom I made the mistake of listening to during a barely comprehensible ramble about Jesus, “fags with poodles” (his words, not mine), his “dangerous lawyer” and how he is a paralegal who graduated from UofT (sure, sure). He decided I was going to be his best buddy, leaning all over me, rubbing my shoulder, kissing my hand, and spilling hot coffee all over my shoes. It was embarrassing, mostly because the rest of the streetcar was silent and I was the only one naive and smalltownie enough to smile and nod at the crazy guy’s babbling. I told him my name was Alice when he asked, and when he asked me if I was married, I lied and hid my left hand in my coat pocket, to which he responded, “That’s a shame because you’re blond.”  

He informed me that if a guy ever tried to grope my breasts “or any other part of my anatomy,” I should use my cell phone to call the police (thanks for the advice, homie).  When he started to get ready to get off at Ossington (surprise, surprise), I pretended that my phone was ringing and “took a call” while he screamed across the whole streetcar: “Alice! Alice! Say a prayer for me, sweetheart! It was lovely meeting you, Alice! Aliiiiiiiice! Aaaaaaaaaaaalliiiiiiiiiceeeeeeee!”



I wish I wasn’t so damn approachable.  I think I have a stamp on my forehead that reads: HEY CRAZIES, PLEASE COME TALK TO ME!  I guess I have to work on my unapproachable streetwise scowl, which will be difficult coming from a place where everyone you see on the street smiles and says hello to you.

Anyway, one hyper-caffeinated mocha from Starbucks later, I started browsing through my Google Reader at work and stumbled across a couple things that can definitely fit into the Odd and Bizarre categories.  I love crazy things that aren’t in my face, kissing my hand and spilling coffee on my shoes.

First of all, this website.  Apparently, people from all across the world dream about the exact same man.  Some theorize that he’s Jesus, and anything he tells you to do in a dream, you should do (wack-o alert!)  Others believe he is an archetypal image based on Jung’s psychoanalytical theory. According to their website:

From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moskow etc. 

At the moment there is no ascertained relation or common trait among the people that have dreamed of seeing this man. Moreover, no living man has ever been recognized as resembling the man of the portrait by the people who have seen this man in their dreams. 

Reality or hoax?  In a world of grilled-cheese Jesus faces and little boys supposedly in balloons, who knows?

Speaking of Jesus, some little church in backwater North Carolina is planning a Halloween Bible burning.  I’m not lying. This stuff exists.  In 2009.  According to the church pastor, members will be burning any version of the Bible that isn’t the first King James version as well as the books of “Satanic” authors such as Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Donald Miller, Benny Hinn, etc.

This story has been spreading like wildfire these past few days (LOL!), once again proving that the crazy Christian fundamentalists are the ones who get all the press, giving the rest of us a bad name.  And a good laugh.  Followed by tears and bashing one’s head against a brick wall.

Moondust in my mouth

This morning, as I was waiting for the streetcar to stop at Victoria, I turned around long enough to read this beautiful, breathtaking poem for Poetry On The Way. 

Usually, I find that the poems featured on the walls of subways and streetcars are too folksy or opaque. Maybe it was my mood this morning, maybe it was the absorbing new book I’m reading, maybe it was seeing two babies sleeping as the streetcar ambled on, maybe it was the feeling in my stomach as I watched a man pick up a cigarette butt and light it between his shaking fingers, but this poem just got to me.  It’s called “Escondido Nights” by Jim Christy.

The moon is the shape
Of this hidden cove
fishing boats are constellations
We floated through a heaven
that glittered phosphorescent
like plankton in tinfoil
And paused between a pair:
Aurorita and Viridiana, to thrash about like comets just
Let out of school.
And continued on a light year
later Moondust in my mouth
And all over your body