seventy bucks (bag check)

so here’s the thing-i like to spend money. i’ve been debt-free for over two years now, always pay off my monthly balance, and earn an honest living. i also support artists, make donations to the library and worthy causes, and generally share liberally.

that being said, i’m sure that i could’ve spent some of my retail therapy on therapy therapy, but everyone self-medicates, right?

i worked a weird split shift today so that i wouldn’t have to go in on my day off tomorrow, and in between, i went up to nations. i wasn’t ready for the sensory overload, but how does one get ready for that?

i completely zoned out and rolled my cart through the aisles, grabbing ingredients to make every vietnamese dessert i know how to make.

here’s what $70 got me from nations:

-one sachet of dried guyabano
-one sachet of green tapioca pearls
-one sachet of dried phillippine mangoes
-one sleeve of glutinous rice pastry
-one pack of mung bean vermicelli
-one large chunk of pumpkin
-one generous bag of pea tips
-5 pack of sesame instant noodles
-one japanese matcha cake
-one bag of persimmons
-three purple sweet potatoes
-one sleeve of duck egg and lotus pastry
-one pack of frozen durian
-one pack of rice paper rolls
-one rum raisin and hazelnut ritter sport chocolate bar
-one bottle hoisin sauce
-one bottle of sesame oil
-one pack of bamboo shoots
-one can of bananas in syrup
-one can of grass jelly
-one can of nata de coco
-one can of palm seed

a few weeks ago, i blinked at sephora at sherway gardens and spent $70 on 8 mini lipsticks by kat von d.

i am living my best life, y’all.

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america, fuck yea.

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

it’s been a week since the height of our time in america on the slightly ridiculous roadtrip that we embarked on from toronto to detroit to chicago to toronto to montrill.

at this time one week ago, we were getting our lives in the gorgeous chicago opera house with emily king and the alabama shakes. dear music, there is only one brittany that matters. hands down. what a force to be reckoned with. all shade to the philistines who left during “over my head”, which became my new “adore”-the show wasn’t over for me until they played it, and indeed, even though i knew it would be the end of the encore (like “the seed” at the cody chestnutt/roots show or “touch the sky” at the glow in the dark tour), it was still amazing.

on our way there, i paid a dollar for a sweet tea at mcdonald’s-which was just as good as popeye’s, and i have to give it up for the fast food and junk food options south of the border-i really do.

i am completely puzzled as to why americans have not wised up to the toxins of styrofoam, though. i felt like the only one who was even concerned, and i feel like that’s a west coast thing. but then again, i am also very offensed by the screens everywhere and the continual broadcast of donald trump, including out of speakers at the gas pump-though that’s fitting, it’s a reminder at the very place of the very resource that people are dying for every day. i sang back “bitch don’t kill my vibe” into that speaker, and i hope that prayer will be answered.

although i went to the motown museum with an emcee last time, this was a totally different experience because i am actually so moved and great-full for the music of the two singer/songwriters that i went with this time. we all cried at different times, and me most at how current marvin gaye‘s “what’s going on” is. it just reminded me that there is a precedent for black and blue lives, though i’m not sure if either matter enough to learn from history at all-but i’ll say it again, we don’t have that many moves as humans. as we descended the stairs into studio a, we all felt the spirits, living and dead, who have breathed the air before us.

i entertained the car by reading aloud from usa today, and while i harboured no disillusion that that is a reputable paper (complimentary from the holiday inn), i had no idea it was that bad. i mean-multiple stories about pokemon, a terribly written expose on crack cocaine use in brazil (“crackolandia”) on the front page of the sports section, and kimye vs. taylor-it’s beginning to look a lot like the national enquirer….

i was glad for a few days in montrill just to kick it-cooking, smoking, shopping, sweetgrass sweeping and laying low to kick it with my sistars. shoutout to bota bota for being my new jumpoff every time i’m in the trill.

my final analysis on america is that their music has always been and will always be the answer to their continued assault on love. i have every hope in my heart for our mesmerizing and ridiculous southern cousins. may you get it together sooner rather than never.

i will continue loving you from afar-this realization made clear my fascination over the years. thank you? and you’re welcome.

thank-full

“diamonds (in the back) and pearls….”

a grown and sexy night of well-dressed adults witnessing commonwealth r&b royalty in a stunning venue uptown?

done.

every show henceforth will be a tribute to prince, as i don’t know/love any artists who are not directly inspired by Him. but that one was church 2 the dawn and we all needed to leave some things on the dancefloor.

shoutout to my co-parents who weren’t there because of the celebration that allowed me to wish “happy birthday, prince” in the morning before the show-it went verrry late and i wouldn’t have been able to babysit.

shoutout to all the lovelies (surprise and otherwise) who i was blessed to hold communion with, it was lovely to see you, and i am comforted to know that those who need to find their way somewhere, will.

to my new friend that i bonded with over cathy dennis-heeeey.

to my oldest and my coldest-i sat at the merch table for a sec, so i know you’re the only one who bought the ivana santilli double-vinyl.

to glenn lewis‘ backup singers-i love you. thank you for bringing the most joy to the stage from the pocket that i’ve seen since stephanie mills‘ back vocalists. i always have a special place in my heart for yous.

the walk up to the venue reminded me of broadway in vancity, and the vibe/venue reminded me of the king’s theatre in brooklyn, so i’m glad for the fact that i get to have all the aspects i love in a city that i really love for all of its own treasures.

i’m glad for the car ride home, not only because it was hellalate (i’ll gripe about the time breakdown of sets some other time), but mostly because of the singalongs and afterglow that is best witnessed together.

to amalia-thank you for telling me about secondhand sunday. i woke up a bit late and was moving a bit slow, and told the barista, “to go please, but i have my own coaster” but i made it to ward 21 and got a few classic albums on cd and the shelving set that will become my queen piece. you have an undeniably unique way of sharing.

i almost didn’t make it on this writing sunday, i’ve been feeling hermity and ate a bunch of random food today (including spicy salmon sushi, swiss cheese crackers, a cream soda and slurpee!, the aforementioned coffee, and a giant slab of lemon custard cake) but i’m just sliding in.

yessssss.

oh-i’m pretty sure lemonade is just foreshadowing another family tour, and my immediate reaction was to kiss my teeth when it was over. but, i was entranced the whole way through. (sigh).

doubles

me: “i failed all my tests!”

baby mama: “YAY! here’s to failing many more”

me: “or at least not buying any more papers from the internet!”

i suppose the universe sent me the distractions of having to put out all the fires at work to tide me over until i got the good news, and to set me up for the epic journey to sunnybrook hospital via ttc to support my girl as she held space for her mama, and let me deliver the joint present/and figure this out over a dinner that didn’t taste a thing like tea:

linds: “i don’t know why i’m so concerned about what to wear to coordinate the visits tomorrow..”

me: “well, it is your birthday…”

linds: “true..”

me: “but it’s not your quincinera. wait. IT’S YOUR DOUBLE QUINCINERA. we better go upstairs and see if you have any tulle.”

happy birthday to my dear, strong friend, and shoutout to the doorman with the mostest who not only waited for us after his shift was over, but leaft a note for the occasion on her car that he drew in blue highlighter.

it’s a dope world, if we make it.

bassets in glasses painting at the sunnybrook gift store-i’m coming for you. or at least am going to attempt watercolours to bootleg you. right after i start my official rebrand of the 30th bday as a double quincinera. i’m also counting down the 9 years that it is until my triple quincinera.

massages and congee

carrie brownstein says in her brilliant book (post forthcoming) something about wanting to shake things up and put herself in an unfamiliar situation to find comfort in adapting to that new situation, and finding home (i paraphrase to identify).

today’s post is a shoutout to two of my favourite little things that have become constants in my toronto life. the first is the sutherland-chan school of massage. i don’t even remember who told me about them, but i’ve been like the guys from high fidelity for at least three years-i just kept coming back. their $40 expert student massage is unbeatable, and now that i am so blessed to have such comprehensive benefits at work, i can at least go every month, and at any given time, i’m holding a free massage. the punch card is the truth-your fifth one is $5, your tenth one is free, and every time you refer someone, you get a stupid discount. jane is amazing, and it’s lovely to spread the love. the students learn so much that you can be confident that if you see them more than once, they’ve learned a multitude of things, and will adapt to your needs very quickly. every two weeks, i walk out of there grinning like a loon and massage-high. (also, if you’ve gone a really, really long time without getting laid, massage is a great way to experience non-sexual sensual touch).

the second is the preserved pork and thousand-year egg congee at gold stone. i don’t think i’ve gone two consecutive months in the past six years without eating this-it’s the ultimate comfort food. as noted tonight on my second date with horace grant, there are so many other things to eat at this cornerstone, but i always have to think twice, and 85% of the time, i end up getting this. the waitress with the leopard-print short hair is my favourite.

i am full and content, collected $13.25 and a perfectly-folded origami shirt out of my dream fund today, baby tate clearly said “i love you!”, and we won our exhibition game in the uk today.

overall a win over the mild disappointment that i think the spurs fan is a robot/catfish/14-year-old girl who never wants to meet up because they’re a sham-whomp whomp.

spotted this metrotextual (almost) week

-7.5 corgis

-a lady with a giant cart filled with churros on the a train

little lindsay for brunch at bareburger in astoria (is this what hanging out with TO people has come to?!)

-a community play that felt like someone answered the question, “what does nelson george think of feminism?”

the rockets making history (sorry cp3), and officially becoming my pick for nba champions-let’s hope it’s not like the oj year

-half of a questionable whitney biopic-where are we supposed to suppose these storylines came from? bobby brown?

-parks and trader joe’s and the first led-certified ny public library (battery park), oh my.

-proof that the nyc transit token used to be little like toronto’s-key words to take away-used to be

-church flea market, street art, the laundromat and a new coconut water espresso

-sunshine, humidity, and two dang spider bites in close proximity that became blisters-ouch.

reg is playing: mariah’s first album, the weeknd, alicia keys

duolingo status: portuguese level 17, translating an article about indonesia that taught me two english words (endemic and syncretic), 2952 lingots

red hook’d*

on the way back from picking up our car for the weekend, hobo ken, we went to the red hook ikea, and i will now recommend this to anyone coming to new york who wants to see the statue of liberty. there’s an excellent view from the restaurant and the food offerings in the restaurant and the supermarket are much more extensive-cheese and salmon and spinach lasagna in addition to the scrimps! also, to further kick our ikea’s ass, all the light fixtures i wanted were under $20 (though too awkward for me to take home on the plane) and there was a whole stationary section (again, rolls of wrapping paper just didn’t make sense) though i wanted all the ribbons and the bday place-settings and flags and the gift tags-but hey, i made up for it later on with the materials that i jacked from the brooklyn museum, which blows the AGO out of the water, btw. who knew that i would wake up on saturday morning to see tombs and mummies and ancient egyptian rock formations in the same building as basquait’s unknown notebooks? not me.

but before that, we stopped in the oft-described, never entered (to/by me) fairway foods and i was ecstatic to discover that vita coco cafe also comes in mocha and the merchandising defied what i’d previously thought was possibly shopable.

and we capped this food-shopping trifecta with our return to trader joe’s. (sigh).

my mind is blown, and i’m inspired by all that is simple and beauty-full. and yes, i am ever an easily amused only child.

*in no way is this appreciation pro-carmelo. or that horrible spike lee movie.