Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Word of the day: a-poc-a-lypse (noun) Great or total devastation; doom.

Sarah Palin has written her memoirs.  And I thought Dan Brown’s books were a waste of trees.

It’s titled Going Rogue, which makes sense.  Much like Rogue from X-Men, Sarah Palin manages to suck the life force out of anything she touches, leaving it a dead or dying shell of its former self.  But unlike Rogue from X-Men, I still don’t like her.  Sarah Palin I mean.

But really though, what the hell can she have to say that can take up 400 pages?  There are only so many chapters that can be devoted to stupid baby names.  Maybe there’s an extensive primer on how to get your teenage Christian daughter knocked up? I can see it now:

Chapter 32: Pregnancy

Abstinence doesn't work.

Or maybe she talks about what lipstick colour is best to differentiate hockey moms from pit bulls.  Or how she didn't seem to have a problem with rape victims in Wasilla having to pay for their own rape kits.  (But if there’s no hard evidence to charge a rapist, no charges can be laid, ergo crime rates go down.  So it makes sense, right?  I hate her.)  Or maybe she writes about how she’s an embarrassment to women in general and to women in politics specifically. 

Although anyone could fill 400 pages if they’re using a 72 pt font.

While I would never in a hundred-million-billion years ever spend money on this drivel, if a copy were to be within my reach I would feel compelled to pick it up and read a few pages.  Really, you can’t deny the entertainment value of a book like this. 

I sure hope she tries to run for President in 2012, if only for the sound bites and to guarantee Obama a second term.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Once more, with feeling

Word of the day: e-mo-tion (noun) An affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

I'm in a weird place, emotion-wise, right now.  The past few weeks have been filled with more peaks and valleys than I really care for and it is making me long for the days when my emotions were the equivalent of Saskatchewan.

I've always been a fairly emotional person and over the past decade or so I've gotten better at actually showing my emotions.  This means that I feel and exhibit both the good and bad things that happen in my life, which is great when there's something worth celebrating (full time job, anyone?) but really damn well stinks when something bad happens (extermination X far). 

I've also been dwelling a lot on my future too.  (Sigh - what else is new?)  I made a promise to myself when I turned 29 that if, at 30, there was nothing to hold me to Toronto I would leave.  Funny how things have worked out in the seven months since I turned 29, as I now have one already-solid reason for not leaving Toronto (hate the corporate world all you want, but I could [and plan to] build a very happy career at Rogers) and one steadily-firming reason to kick around (holy relationship Batman!).

I've got a job-cum-career, a fantabulous beaufriend (I like that better than "boyfriend"), a cute but tiny apartment in an apparently up-and-coming neighbourhood, enough debt to prove I have an education but probably too many clothes and some good, solid friendships with people I truly love. 

So why is is that instead of relishing in my borderline 20-something cliche-dom, I'm a jittery, bubbling, insecure meat sack of emotion?

I've been contemplating Halloween costumes recently and have been tossing around the idea of going as Medusa and that's pretty appropriate right now because it's like I have a head full of emotion snakes, slithering around, all tangled and messed up and wriggling to be sorted out and freed.  (Is it ironic that I just made a snake analogy even though I loath and detest snakes with every ounce of my being?  I'm a little disturbed I did this, but it works.  Ugh/sigh.)

I hate snakes and I hate my emotions so I really hate my emotion snakes and I just don't know what I need to do to sort them all out.  It all comes to a head when I'm trying to fall asleep and I have nothing to distract me from all the thoughts and feelings and doubt that I have running through my brain.  As I lie awake pondering them all, I think I come up with some answers but I know deep down that they're all temporary solutions that will only lead to more snaky emotions. 

You know what, screw the snakes.  It's more like a big castle slowly being covered in ivy and vines and prickly bushes, waiting for the brave knight to show up and rescue the trapped princess.  Yes, I like that one so much better.  The problem is, once the knight gets through all the suffocating flora, I don't know what kind of princess he's going to release. 

Whether snakes or ivy or castles or whatever, I'm more than a little sick of my emotional ways.  Eff you emotions!  Eff you and the horse you rode in on! 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stupid emotions

Sometimes being patient and optimistic and upbeat about things wears me down.

Sometimes I want to throw a big-ass temper tantrum.

Sometimes I want to scream and cry and throw things and swear and blame everyone else for every little thing that might have ever happened to me in my life that might have caused me even the slightest amount of grief.

Sometimes I want to be able to let my guard down and actually be vulnerable and let someone else take care of me.  I mean really take care of me.

Sometimes I don't want to have to think about what the next step is because someone else will take care of that for me.

Sometimes I don't want to find the silver lining to whatever crap has been dumped in my lap - even if it's not really crap but it feels like crap because my mind is set to interpret everything as crap.

Sometimes I want to put my feelings and wants and needs (or perceived needs) ahead of everyone else and be the central focus, even though, deep down, I hate being the centre of attention.

Sometimes I want someone else to make it all better.

Sometimes I want my whining and complaining to actually make things better.

Maybe that sometimes is now.

Maybe I won't get to do any of this because that's just not me.

But maybe I will.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Word of the day: fair (adjective) 1. Free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice. 2. Neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good.

I read an article in the Globe and Mail today that really irritated me. It’s about a study that found out girls study more and study better than guys; therefore they get better grades; therefore universities should cut guys some slack because they won’t do as well as girls.

Pardon me?

Sure, let guys get into university with lower grades because they can’t seem to get their shit together enough to actually earn an A. Then, when they get into the workforce and are working with women, since they didn’t work as hard to get there, they don’t get paid as much.


Perhaps this is the answer to the pay equity issues that still exist in the working world. Equal pay for equal work, right?

Monday, September 21, 2009

A conversation with my blog

Word of the day:  gim-mick (noun) An ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, esp. one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.

“Hello, Blog.  How are you today?”

“I’m doing very well, thanks.  And you?”

“I’m well, thanks for asking.  I apologize for neglecting you for the past little while.  Things remain chaotic in my life and, unfortunately, it’s the same buggy reason.  So while I could update you, I would just be updating on the same things I’ve written on more than once already.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.  Don’t worry, I understand why you haven’t been posting.  I can’t say I blame you.  After all, who wants to read the same whiny stuff about bugs over and over again?”

“Too true.  Although it’s a little depressing that I don’t have anything else going on in my life that I can write about.  I really am that boring.”

“No, don’t say that Jen.  You’re not boring.  Why, I bet there are plenty of interesting things you’ve done since your last post that you could tell me about.”

“While I appreciate your optimism, there really isn’t much.  But for the sake of argument, I’ll try and tell you about what I’ve been up to.

“Let’s hear it.”

“Well, yesterday I went to a baby shower for my beau’s sister-in-law.  She’s expecting twins in November and she’s huge!  But she looks great and the shower was fun.  It’s always fun to see cute little baby things.  I’m often amazed at just how tiny the clothes are!  Of course, they’re meant for tiny little humans so it’s understandable and necessary.  But still…the stuff was damn cute.”

“There you go!  See, you are doing fun things.  What else, what else?”

“Um, well, I dressed up as a saloon girl for a friend’s birthday party.  I danced around in a black bustier and red-and-black striped bloomers, and I had elbow-length black gloves and a feather in my hair and lots of beaded necklaces.  Oh, and fishnets.  It was…an experience, that’s for sure.”

“Wow, I’m sorry I missed that!  Pictures?”

“No dice.”

“C’mon, please?  I promise I won’t show anyone!”

“Er, you’re a blog.  You’re on the internets.  You can’t help but show people.”

“Valid point.  So I’ll show everyone.  Can I still see a picture?”

“Well…just a small one…”

“Ooh, saucy!”

“It’s something, that’s for sure.  But enough of that.  On Labour Day weekend, my cousin got married.  It was a really beautiful wedding.  I cried.  It’s a little weird for me to see my younger cousins getting married.  I mean, I remember Craig when he was an annoying kid and now he’s all grown up and married with a house and he’s a cop…it makes me feel old.  And I’m still too young to feel old.”

“Save the feeling old until you turn 30.”

“Thanks for that.  Jerk.”

“Just want to keep you grounded.”

“Mm-hm.  So that’s about all I’ve got so I’m going to leave it there.  It was nice chatting with you.  And you’re not a jerk.  Well, not always a jerk.”

“I’ll take that.  It was nice to have you back for a bit.  Do visit again soon, won’t you?”

“Sure thing, Mr. Rogers.”

“Now you’re being a jerk.  You should go before this gets worse.”

“Will do.  Bye for now!”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And now for some good news

Word of the day: good (adjective) Right; proper; fit.

You know when a bunch of crappy things happen and it just sucks the life right out of you?  And you feel yourself being dragged down into a black hole of awfulness?  And just when you think things are getting better - KABLAMO! - things get even worse?  And all you need is one, just one, good thing to happen to buoy you enough to get out of that black hole?

Well, my friends, that good thing has happened to me.

I've been working contract for just over a year now and, watching the economy and magazine industry get hit hard, I've been more than a little worried about my employment status.  But today I received my offer letter for full time employment.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

10 years later

Word of the day:  dec-ade (noun) A period of ten years

On my way home from work today, I happened to land on a subway car full of froshies. At first I was a little annoyed at their constant yelling and stomping and cheering, then it hit me - that was me. Ten years ago. That's right, 10. Ten years ago this month, I moved from my teensy home town to the big bad city. (Okay, so I only moved to York University campus, but to a girl from a town of 6,500, a campus [CAMPUS!] of 50,000 is like a big bad city.)

I almost can't believe that it's been 10 years since I came to Toronto.  A lot has happened in that time: the schooling, the apartments, the roommates, the jobs, the schooling (again), the friends, the boyfriends, the career.  The career is the important part because that is what's most likely to keep me here for a few more years, at least.

I never thought I'd end up moving to Toronto for school and especially never thought I'd end up living here.  In high school, I wanted to go anywhere but the T-dot.  I ended up here mainly out of spite; my mom wanted me to be a journalist and, despite getting accepted to Carleton, I didn't really want to be a journalist.  I could have gone to Guelph and lived with my aunt but I didn't want to do just an English degree.   Now - what do you know? - York has a concurrent education I'm going to be a teacher!  So I went to York.

I'm not a teacher now.  I will never be a teacher.  During Reading Week in first year, I started filling out my concurrent ed application and the first question was, "Why do you want to teach?"  I spent the entire bus ride to Parry Sound thinking about this and never did have an answer at the end.  And so ended my teaching aspirations.

Despite graduating with a B.A. in History (history? really?) I opted to stay in the city and work a few different jobs that a B.A. in History qualified me for: call centre, retail, receptionist, serving.  When I finally discovered that I could parlay my love of books and magazines into a career, I was back in school and suddenly staying in Toronto.  All the good publishing jobs are here, don't you know.  (Okay, maybe not all the good jobs, but definitely the lion's share of the publishing jobs.  And a girl's got to start somewhere.)

So even though I not only never wanted to live in Toronto but specifically said (in my teenage  years) that I never would live in Toronto, here I am.  And I really don't know where the past 10 years went.  But this kind of retrospective is good for me, as I've been overreacting lately about my lack of accomplishments and not being where I want to be in my life.  I've done some pretty fun/cool/interesting/random/ridiculous/flat out stupid things in the past decade and I wouldn't change any of it because all those things have made me who I am today, brought me to where I am today, filled my life with the people I know today and created a fantastic base to help me build who I'll be tomorrow.  (That sounds a little more Oprah then I'd like, but I'm going to go with it.)

Ten years since I wore bright orange coveralls and tramped my way across Toronto, chanting and singing and discovering myself.  Ten years since I was fascinated at the tininess of TTC tokens.  Ten years since I really started nurturing my love of coffee.  Ten years since I bought my first couch - it was pink and inflatable.

I wonder what the next ten years will bring.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A vicious cycle

Word of the day: cul-pa-ble (adjective) Deserving blame or censure; blameworthy.

By now, I’m sure everyone not living under a rock has heard something about the Michael Bryant-Darcy Allan Sheppard incident earlier this week.  It’s a horrible tragedy for sure.  And, of course, it has led to the inevitable outcry from the cycling community for better bike lanes in the city.
I’m not a cyclist (because biking in this city terrifies me) but bike lanes are needed.  Here’s what I’m curious about: why is it, every time there is an accident involving cars and bikes, that it’s only cyclists who demand better bike lanes?  Why don’t motorists want them too?  Is it because they don’t want to share the streets with cyclists?  If so, I’ve got news for you: bikes aren’t going anywhere.  Whether it’s for transportation, exercise or employment, cyclists are here to stay.  So shouldn’t all sides want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get around? 
As a pedestrian, I sure as hell want better bike lanes because I want cyclists off my sidewalks (see, they’re called sideWALKS not sideRIDES – get on the street). 
Maybe there are motorists out there who are advocating bike lanes; I guess it’s just because the media rarely/never highlights their arguments.  I suppose it makes for better news to pit cars against bikes in the battle for asphalt. 
Regarding battles – to go back to the Bryan/Sheppard tragedy – what kind of outcome can be expected when the victim isn’t so victim-y?  Depending on where you get your information, Sheppard was more than a bit of a jerk and was as antagonistic (if not more) than Bryant.  Unfortunately, Sheppard’s death makes it impossible to ever know what really happened between them and it’s hard to say both parties are guilty when one lost his life. 
I’m not trying to say Michael Bryant isn’t guilty because he pretty clearly is.  It’s just that Darcy Allan Sheppard isn’t the martyr some people would like to make him out to be and there’s more to this than a bad ol’ car taking out a poor innocent bike. 
Of course, people will fight and point fingers and try to lay blame instead of accepting responsibility where they should and then moving on to work towards a solution. 
Oh, and I’m pretty tired of hearing that Michael Bryant got special treatment when he was arrested and released and such.  Of course he got special treatment.  He’s a former politician and Attorney General; therefore he gets special treatment.  If you haven’t realized that’s the kind of society we live in, you really do need to come out from under your rock a little more frequently. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Word of the day: help-less (adjective) Unable to help oneself; weak or dependent.

I am frustrated and overtired and annoyed and bummed out and irritated and anxious and worried and stressed.

But most of all, I feel completely, totally, utterly helpless.  And I damn well HATE feeling helpless.

I really thought that by this time I would be done with those effing bed bugs.  I really, truly did.  But alas, I am not.  I will be exterminated again on Friday, which is good, but in the meantime there is nothing I can do.  They should be gone after a second treatment (ha, should) and I really hope they are.  I really would like to put my life back in order, get back on a regular sleeping schedule (hell, just get back to sleeping in my bed), get back to a regular eating schedule (no more dinners that consist of spoonfuls of peanut butter, straight from the jar), get back to the gym so I feel human again.

And I'd really like to stop dreaming about bugs.  I'm sleeping poorly enough as it is, I don't need to have my dream world invaded by bugginess that only causes additional restlessness.

Most of all, I just want my home back.  Sigh.