Friday, May 28, 2010

One Week: Purgatory, Chernobyl and Roti Thursday

At the end of today I will have worked my first week at TheBigNewspaper.

Here is what I have learned:

1. The subway is fun. The subway during rush hour is not. The subway during rush hour in a heat wave is what I imagine purgatory might be (as opposed to the "Lost" sideways world where we all realize we died through our emotional connections to each other, and time is relative, and we convene in a multi-faith church that has doors to heaven, and where the FUCK is Walt??). Just riding in circles, getting elbowed by pushy old chinese ladies with carts and men in business suits, sweating on everything, trying to decide whether or not to move out of the way to allow people to get off at their stops or just stand in the doorway like an asshole bouncer of the yonge line = the grand test.

2. Even if you only have to walk 4 blocks from where your streetcar drops you off, don't wear your high heels to work. My feet look like chernobyl. They look like cambodian killing fields. They look like leprosy. I'm now one of those women who carries my shoes in my purse and treks to work in flip flops (I couldn't stomach the runners, I just couldn't. Maybe when I'm 40). I have actual holes in the backs of my feet. Red, wet holes that ooze body fluids while I air them out at night and then I wake up with my heels stuck to my sheets and have to rip the sheets off my feet and scream like a little bitch and wake Cig when my alarm goes off at 6am and then I have fresh holes instead of scabbed holes like I would prefer. It takes 3 giant elbow bandaids on each foot just to whimper my way into appropriate office shoes in the downstairs bathroom at my work. I work on the second floor and have to climb a flight of stairs everytime I go to the bathroom or buy a coffee = 45 times/day. Conclusion = I will be a double amp by July. How poetic.

3. The office has Roti Thursday. Every Thursday they order Rotis from this roti place around the corner, and they all get pretty excited about it. The order emails start circulating Wednesday, and all anyone can talk about Thursday morning is the merits of mild versus medium and garlic versus yogurt. My trainer was teaching me how to crop photos for the web when someone told him that the roti place brought back the mint sauce. His eyes actually welled up with tears.

I still don't think I'm properly conveying how obsessed my office is with Roti Thursday. When I first moved to the department I'm currently in, I noticed that the walls were covered with movie posters. Each poster, oddly enough, had an image of a brown dude in a chef's hat photoshopped into it. I would later find out he is the chef. So, there's a Raiders of the Lost Ark full-sized movie poster on the wall, except it says 'Raiders of the Lost Roti' and Indiana Jones is a brown dude in a chef's hat. Now, superimpose this theme onto evey movie poster you can think of ("Breakfast at Roti's," "A Roti runs throught it," Dude, where's my Roti?") and that is my office decor.

Tragically, I missed the order deadline for Roti Thursday. So I had to eat a ham sandwich.

Ah, I see that I will now be late for work. Perhaps I should shower. I'll just go wrap my feet in plastic bags and limp into the bathroom.

I hope my screams don't wake cig.


Monday, May 24, 2010

I've been a bad girl

I’ve lived in TheBigCity for 24 days.

As a born and bred CapitalCity girl, I’m not supposed to like it here. We’re sworn hockey rivals, provincial versus national capital enemies, and god knows you can’t get a decent poutine anywhere in this sweltering cement jungle. Cheese curds, people! Cheese CURDS.

We’re told TheBigCity is impersonal, breeds stiletto-wearing snobs and men with douche-beards, and will rape you, shoot you, and leave your corpse encased in cement in a barrel in the bottom of the Queen’s Quay.

But I’ve always been a bit of a sadist.

I’m totally having a sordid, sexy, blow job in the bar bathroom affair with my sworn enemy. TheBigCity seduced me, sweet talked me into bed, and instead of feeling dirty I feel dizzy and maybe slightly drunk. There’s a lot of fucking patios here. My blood is now at least 30 per cent sangria.

I live right at ground zero. I trip over a passed-out homeless person every time I leave my 30-storey apartment building, there are hookers at one end of my block and a gaybourhood on the other, and I can spin in a circle and see at least seven cheap sushi restaurants on any given day. What’s not to love here?

I’m a ten minute walk from the most prestigious shopping district in the province (*credit card screams*), my jogging route takes me past one of the best skyline views in the city, and when I get sick of cement and exhaust fumes, a 30-minute streetcar ride east takes me to the beach or a 15 minute ride west takes me to the land of yuppies, farmer’s markets, and the heaven patio – where TheAmazon, BadInfluence and I baked in the sun last weekend and got hammered on beer and brunch. So what if I don’t remember going out for dinner that night, threw up on the subway, and was in bed by 9pm? Heaven. Patio.

Speaking of puking in public, I’ve also made my mark in a $5 martini bar in little italy after a romantical dinner with BadInfluence, and 3-storey bar inside a series of Victorian houses in the old student neighbourhood. I’m so classy, I’ll class the shit right out of you.

Speaking of BadInfluence, we had 3 weeks together in TheBigCity and we made the most of them, by which I mean I was drunk most days and I’ve eaten so many baskets of sweet potato fries that three people have asked me if I’m pregnant. Thanks, whores. Maybe after I finish this post I go for a little jog.

Yesterday BadInfluence left for his summer job on the other side of the country – literally the furthest point west he could possibly go. A mere 7 hour plane ride and 24-hour work schedule now separates us until September. Eff. It’s funny – FauxHawk and I were often separated because of his work, usually for months at a time, but this feels so much worse. Maybe because FauxHawk kept me at such a distance already that a geographical divide didn’t make much difference. Anyway, my point is my heart hurts. I miss my lumberjack and his beard. Non-douche beard, I should add.

Tomorrow I start my job at the big newspaper, and I’m already shitting my pants. I’m currently surrounded by news magazines and newspapers, trying desperately to come up with story ideas that won’t get me laughed out of the board room and lead me to take a long walk off the pier. But, like, what do you suggest to the editor in chief of the biggest national newspaper in Canada? Oh hey, have you thought about Afghanistan? Maybe we should do a story on the oil spill in the gulf. I hear something happened in Haiti a while ago. Oh my god, I need some immodium.

And luckily for my one remaining reader, my panic = the return to blogging. You’re welcome, loyal fan.

I’ll leave you with this anecdote. We’re having a heat wave today, and my 30-storey cement block is reminiscent of the oven chambers at Auschwitz, so I ventured to my neighbourhood starbucks for some relief. There are four starbucks within a five minute walk of my door, and I only had to visit three before I found a spot to sit. Ah, population. Anyway, I spent a lovely two hours sipping my pike’s place and reading about world events as I watched people cross one of the city’s biggest intersections outside my window. It was heavenly.

And then I heard a splat and something cold and slimy hit my bare back.

I looked to my left – a brown guy on his laptop was blinking his eyes, covered in tufts of whipped cream. Behind him, a blonde poptart in a black halter shirt put down her blackberry and wiped a dollop of whipped cream off her face. I looked to my right. A red-faced girl stood over what was once a frappuccino – from the taste of my back, it was mocha – and an explosion of whipped cream and frothy calories surrounded her. The floor, the walls, and the half of the surly Starbucks patrons were covered in her disaster. I left before things got ugly, quickly crossing the street to my apartment. When I got in the elevator, I saw that my hair was also covered in frapp. No wonder the homeless dude with the guitar did a double take.

I love this place.

Don't tell CapitalCity. He's sensitive.


Monday, May 03, 2010

ThePeach undergoes life changes; not menopause

Herro. It’s been a while.

Here is a list of life happenings that have occurred since we last spoke:

1. I finished journalism school
I have a master’s degree now. No big deal.

2. I finished my thesis
This nearly killed me. There were a good two months where I didn’t go out, and a solid 5 weeks where I didn’t leave my apartment once. I stopped changing my clothes, preferring to don my “apartment uniform:” grungy old lulus and a baggy green sweatshirt. I stopped styling my hair, preferring to don my “haggard mom” wet bun hairdo. I stopped wearing makeup, preferring to don my “vampire hobo” natural beauty.

Add to this that I started living off a diet that consisted solely of microwave popcorn, asian noodles, spiral kraft dinner, coffee, and redbull. Not even sugar free redbull, as my liver had learned to metabolize this too quickly, but the full sugar, 10 million calorie, jolt your heart, can’t blink, motherfucking red to the bull.

And then I stopped communicating with the outside world. No phone calls, no msn convos, no emails. I even stopped checking my snail mail. I hope those bills can pay themselves.

All in all, I failed at humanity for over a month. But I wrote a 12,000 word thesis. On time. I have an eye twitch that may turn out to be permanent, I forget how to communicate and might have developed autistic tendencies, and BadInfluence may never touch me again (was I supposed to take off the apartment uniform after I handed in my thesis? I want to be buried in it), but my god I wrote a damn good article that is too long to freelance and about a topic that interests me and about three other people.

So worth it.

3. I moved to TheBigCity
Four days after I handed in my thesis, I woke up in a bedroom a five hour drive from my old home. This involved three days of manic packing, several teary goodbyes, and one tow truck to pull BadInfluence’s car off the side of the 401.

Yes, I am writing to you live from TheBigCity. I’m currently hiding in my bedroom on the 21st floor of a highrise in the thick of downtown, listening to ambulances scream by and hobos yell at pedestrians. I start my new job at the big newspaper in a month, my lease in CapitalCity ran out, so here I am.

It’s been slightly overwhelming. Good, but a lot to take in. I… I’m sure I’ll have lots more to say about this later. Right now I’m still trying to get over the shock of moving. I will admit that I already like TheBigCity a lot more than I thought I would, and I’m getting used to the noise, the ethnic people, and my roommate.

4. I have a roommate
Let’s call her Cig. Cig is 20 years old and works at La Senza. She’s south-asian and has “reincarnation” tattooed over her left tit. She told me that she had a fish named “Cigarette the Fish,” but I haven’t seen him yet, so I fear she may have killed it.

I’d lived here for all of an hour before she lit her first bowl.

Cig, as it turns out, is a massive pot head. The pot smoke wafts out from under her door all day, and from the balcony all night. I suppose it could be worse. She could be a coke head. And I do enjoy the pots, as you know. Just maybe not at 10am, when we share a wall, and I can hear her sucking on her bong. She enjoys the wake and bake.

From what I can tell, here is a typical day in the life of Cig:
10am: wake up. Light bong.
10am-10:15am: Suck on bong. Cough. Loudly.
10:15am: Fry a pan of bacon. Take it to bedroom.
10:25am: Eat bacon in room, watch episode of Dexter. Loudly.
11:15am: Offer ThePeach some pot. Peach declines.
11:20am-12:30pm: lie in bed. Loudly.
12:30pm: Shower. Put on a slutty dress.
1:00pm: Go to La Senza. Sell mesh thongs and fluorescent pink bras to preteens.
9:00pm: Come home, go to room.
9:01pm: Light bong. Suck on bong. Cough. Loudly.

And so forth.

I’m going for a drink with her tonight after her 9pm session. I’m looking forward to getting to know the inner workings of Cig. Does she have deep thoughts? Dreams and ambitions beyond working at La Senza? Can she tell me where the garbage chute and/or laundry room is?

Stay tuned.