i think we were all a bit tired last night.

we did exercises on character, switching gears from place, and i found it challenging for this reason:

“I think it’s easier for me to write about place than character in this neighbourhood because the hood is a character, and so full of real ones, that it’s hard to imagine one in.

Perhaps I should personify the tamarind balls that I forgot are for sale in that OG general store.”

and, so.

perhaps i was just too full of baked onion rings.

we’ll try again next week.


why why why

so, before i went in for the procedure yesterday, the nurse went through the rules about what not to do, and amongst them was not to douche.

it’s 2017-we haven’t learned this yet? who is still doing this?!


but then again, i have also read the following instructions:

1. unwrap
2. put in mouth
3. chew

on a gum wrapper as well, so perhaps we do still have work to do.

on all fronts.

storied truths

here are the stories that i heard from podcasts that keep swirling around my mind:

from death, sex and money: in one of the student loan episodes, a woman talks about how she had to default in her loans and her dad eventually committed suicide because he couldn’t handle her debt. now, as horrible as that is, i couldn’t help but wonder what their relationship was like, and maybe daddy was just looking for a way out, or he was super passive-aggressive and finally taught her a money lesson that she would never forget.

from love + radio: i was touched by how disgusting and petty people are-from the guy who clipped his toenails into his roommates’ food because they asked him not to eat it, or the girl who discovered masturbating with her dad’s electric toothbrush-“…and because he knew what a vagina smelled and tasted like….he finally discovered why the battery was always out”.


from open run: because the playoffs were so boring, jesse and stefan took to talking about what they’re watching on netflix and other news stories. i can’t get over the dood that sued his date for $17.31 (plus pizza) because she was texting during guardians of the galaxy 2, breaking the rules of the theatre, and, also civil society. but really, his fragile male ego was bruised because she left him stranded at the theatre because he told her to text outside.

37 years old and sounds like an amaaaaazing date. i don’t know why no one has snapped him out yet.

which leads me to the podcast that’s been everything to me the last couple of days-the heart.

i know i’m late, but i can’t stop. it started with aliya‘s interview with caitlin on the imposter, and then i had to see for myself, not just the no series, but every other episode.

consent. confronting abusers. inheritance. losing yourself in a relationship. what’s love got to do with it?

everything, i tell you. every last thing.


during one of my recent home inventories, i came across the following list of my 30 goals/promises for my 30th year of life. that was the year that i moved to toronto, and seven years later, let’s check it out:

1) NO LONG DISTANCE anything
2) at least 30 performances
3) 30 poems
4) all work writing related
5) learn to drive
6) only nice sleepwear
7) be in contact with (six strong women “mother” figures) on a regular basis
8) don’t gossip or complain
9) deal with student loan
10) pay at least $100 on debt/month
11) cook 75% of my meals
12) make a weekly reading day (at a different library)
13) keep my DREAM FUND
14) look into US visas
15) have a poetry anthology/tour
16) meditate twice daily
17) skip rope/skate/play squash
20) donate $30/month to organizations
21) learn how to use my computer more efficiently
22) dedicate and mail “30 things I love about you” every day of my year
24) learn haka
25) see raptors play
26) live on my own by 31
27) write the freakin’ smut (starting with Bust’s one-handed read)
28) animal crackers-perspective pieces
29) confessions of a hair bitch
30) hip hop sex column


-i missed entire numbers-18, 19, and 23 are completely not there so this is really 27 goals for 30, and that’s interesting (and i’m sure non-coincidental)
-the ones that are done/integrated into my life are: 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 (both in the sense that i did that and i’m done with that), 22 (even though i limited that to just 30 people overall), 25, 26 and 30 (and that’s 9 so once again…no coincidence there)
-the ones that i’ve moved on from: 29, 28 (i’m not really even sure what this means anymore), 6, 4, and 7-all of those women, i think, are exactly like my mother and thus are hard to keep relationships with

and so that leaves the rest, which i’m in some degree of intention with-either i’m doing it, but not regularly, i’ve started some kind of related project but i haven’t followed through, or i’ve momentarily forgotten that i want to do it (maybe not in the exact way).

here’s to reminders, especially since the beginning of the new year is just around the corner, and a new organizer is nigh.

since we’re here, here is this year’s dream list:

-make a workout calendar a la danette’s flossing one
-figure out a savings plan
-go to pacific mall
– read through holds lists and home books
– finish/start interviews
– contact every woman in the anthology
– cunty carols mixtape
– smut
– get fitted for sunglasses
– buy no more pens! or journals!
– apply for al purdy retreat or banff 2017
– plan mexico trip
– play the piano (hart house, carlton cinema, oakwood library, parkdale library, daniel’s spectrum)
– maybe switch out all jeans for yoga jeans
– high waisted underwear
– tap dancing/ASL

i don’t know why tap dancing and ASL is the same thought, because it would be very hard to do at the same time, but this shows that there is something behind writing things down and mind controlling ourselves….and it’s just reminders to intentions that we’ve already had.

“that mean i forgot better shit than you ever thought of” (forever ever)

i can’t find an uncensored version of the song, so i post no video here, but the sentiment is the same.

diamonds are forever.

falling in love again

“when you’re out here in the world, i’m still your girl”

yesterday i was heavy on my hibernating, as i need to do. having and making a home is important to me, because how else can we be in the world if we don’t have somewhere to retreat to?

i knew i wasn’t leaving when i whipped up a chicken and mushroom risotto so perfect that i fell in love with my damn self. there’s something so great about making things, but food, art, music and love? that’s the reason we’re here.

cleaning my bathroom with the soft scrubber i made, doing my laundry with the dryer sheets that i made, writing letters on the stationary that i made, updating my puzzle heart structure with the folds that i made, whipping coconut cream and getting it everywhere? ok, that one was a fail.

i almost didn’t make it out at all, but i had to take out the compost and recycling, and decided to get my parka on and head to the water to catch some crisp sunshine and marvel at how cobalt the moving water is, and how periwinkle the sky is, and how lapis lazuli the whole thing together is. with wu-tang in my ears, the vision of my next incarnation of ruth bader ginsberg costume came to me.

that brings me to a thought i’ve been having about millenial albums-due to my disc drive being busted in my computer, i’ve been listening to music in the old skool way of getting cds and bumping them over and over. i’ve found that i’ve fallen in love with albums in this way, but once they’re in the ipod, i’m just *meh. or they’re on a very slow burn. there’s no in-between-and perhaps this is a bigger statement on my relationship to relationships in general, and how i’ve always been lived in the moment, because i’ve been insecure of its disappearance. (sigh).

regardless, bj the chicago kid has been my obsession lately:

and so it would seem that jesus is still walking in chicago…..

family trouble (still)-edited by joy castro

“He possessed us with his unfulfilled dreams.” (138, A Spell Against Sorrow, Judith Ortiz Cofer)

this book has obviously resonated with me, as i am s l o w l y writing an autobiographical performance piece, one that i’m not exactly sure what to do about since a large part of the family element revolves around a person with whom i am cultivating a relationship with for the first time.

life is full and we are blessed. i have learned a lot the last two nights that i’ve gone out back to back-at night, after full days of work. i’ve learned a lot about how people are in the streets and on public transit.

two nights ago, i had dinner at doomie‘s with some co-workers, and didn’t realize how close to my house this was. i’ve only actually seen the obnoxious neon sign that reads “what vegans eat” when i pass by, but hadn’t registered that this was the new hipster hotspot.

i haven’t had an actual big mac in forever and eight years, but i have to say that their vegan one tastes pretty identical. the portions are large, the atmosphere is fried, and the propaganda is thick for the proselytizing. a sign at the bar reads, “mix drinks, not morals”. i mean, there’s gotta be something about a super judge-y movement that promotes vegetable fibres when nary a fresh vegetable graces the plates-i’m just saying-at least give me the option of a salad if you’re going to force your agenda down my throat. but i know, it’s a vegan junk food place. but it just reminds me of my college roommate who was all rah-rah vegetarianism but subsisted on a diet of coke, ramen noodles and oreos and drove around town in a vw bus, burning fossil fuels like a mug.

that location is interesting, as i have seen it be (and die) many restaurants, including a vegan sushi takeout place, complete with fake schrimps and fish, but i don’t recall it ever having a liquor license, so maybe that’s the difference. there’s a “new” guu across the street too, but looking at the menu, it feels like an imposter. things don’t usually trickle down from the west coast, but i think in this case…they did.

i also learned a thing or two about the 47 bus, as i walked my coworker to the queen and landsdowne stop that was on neither queen nor landsdowne. shoutout to the woman who helped us out, though i need to extend that to all the public transit angels that i’ve encountered lately-from the lady cyclist who told us as she passed that the king car was stopped on saturday morning and prompted a ragtag cab with my downstairs neighbor to meth boo last night, but more about her later.

one of the things my dad always said was that he would “enjoy his life later”, as he was nothing but miserable, resent-full and tired of his job while he was working. it inspired me not to defer happiness and pursuing/supporting dreams, and also wish that he would get there, because there are no guarantees. i’m happy to report that he seems to be enjoying life after retirement.

on a related note, i started my jfl 42 with maria bamford last night. the evening started strong with a bonus jackie kashian, and lots of fascinating topics were discussed, but my favourite quotes of the set were:

“are people still doing that? THE WAR IS OVER! there’s plenty of pantyhose for everyone!”

“she’s like an old baby”

i was feeling tired around 1pm, but inspired by a coworker’s desk construction in the hallway and my friend brian‘s house of dead animals to stroke (latre) so i motored on to orisha lemanja‘s equinox art exhibit.

i got a bit lost on the way, as i discovered the difference between weston road and old weston road-shit! i knew i should’ve listened more closely to the drake song!

anyways, after some walking and wandering, i was saved by a woman with four teeth and braces.

visualize that for a second-four teeth, and braces. (yup, i’ll wait). she was so sweet and pulled out her phone to help me solve the mystery, and it’s a good thing that i still have my text messages from two christmases ago, because that’s when i figured it out, and she re-routed me and i gave up to go home, so boarded the 168 going to dundas west station with her.

but as i started to recognize my surroundings, and heard more of meth boo’s story, i realized that i had come too far to quit, so i walked across st.clair to keele and boarded the 89.

i heard a lot of interesting conversations on the assorted buses and streetcars i was riding including:

“he texted me that when i came home next i should give him head”

“ally-i thought you broke that off?”

“well, i was planning on ghosting him, but now he’s texting me this and i don’t know how to respond”

“i don’t think there is a response”

“well, i didn’t, then he texted me jk and monkey face and….”

huh. so that’s the proper usage of the monkey face emoji?! who knew.

on the pitch black and humid first day of fall, i left the bus victorious as church ladies were singing the high praises and mans was boarding with an arm-full of pomeranians. it was worth the trek to see the artist, her stunner of a mother, her gorgeous son, and her pieces lining the deck and yard. i picked out the one i wanted, not knowing that it wasn’t a piece that was available, so cast my net in for prints of that one, and bought an available piece instead.

i got a smile from baby boy, which was priceless.

my ride home was smooth sailing (since i knew where i was going), i just wasn’t expecting so many folks to be tore up on a thursday night on the bus. but hey-it’s a rollicking place, this town.

there’s a new popeye‘s at st.clair and dufferin, which means the library is flanked by popeye’s and church’s, which is a metaphor for my life on the east/west coast if i ever saw one.

my bed is going to feel so good after a long day of being someone who says what she does and does what she says, and dammit, am i ever great-full. for all of it.

(more) family trouble-edited joy castro

“At the end of the day I tell myself that I learned from my brother and my father, both lovers of music: that rest is the name for a particularly useful form of silence that comes between notes. Without the rest, music becomes an exercise in endurance. Without the music, there will be no rest.” (156, pre-ibid)

“I wanted my story to be one worth saving.” (150, Things We Don’t Talk About, Aaron Raz Link)

this was the quote in the collection that made me rethink this whole blog and how i’ve been cataloguing other people’s words for the past few years now. it made me want to tip the ratios and balances.

it’s how we go along until we go a different way.

my dear friend nadia said once that there’s only so long that we can watch other people do badly what we do well before we have to step up to the plate.

but how long can we witness other people doing what we do well before we’re inspired to do the same?

well, that shit could be our whole lives.

i know that in my personal case-i’ve never rushed a book or a poem or a performance because i have seen so many shitty poems and performances (the book is king, and there are so many great ones out there) that i try not to subject others to any of that mess.

i want to be a teacher in a few years when i’ve lived some more life and have something to teach. that being said, i teach every day and i don’t need a dais to do it because i never stop learning.

my apartment is a mess and i’m kind of proud that i’m writing my way out of procrastination, or perhaps power because i know that very quickly, i could transform it-i’m just wielding this “power” not to. just because.

but these are the little ways that we are shifting the focus in our own stories at every moment to create meaning or understand our narratives and get closer to the person we are at all times.

but especially when no one is paying any attention.