Thursday, March 10, 2011

ThePeach is a good ambassador

We had an important guest speaker at work this week.

He was kind of a big deal, from a fairly major company, and our company was very excited to have him with us for a few days. We flew him in from Miami. He was Cuban, mid-30s, and wore expensive suits. He was to give us training sessions on topics of great importance.

I’m not sure who decided I should be in charge of his welfare. That was a mistake. But somehow, the big important guest speaker was left in the responsibilities of…ThePeach.

My job was simple enough. For the two days he was with us, I was in charge of his leavings. Help him find his coat. Help him clean up after his training. Get him through security. Get him a cab. Simple enough.

Day 1 went fine. I was a pro.

Here’s how Day 2 went.

After his session, he peeked his head into my office and said he was ready to go. I helped him clean up. I helped him find his coat. I got him through security. I called him a cab.

When it was time to say goodbye, he leaned in. He leaned in.

I was not expecting this.

So I did what any professional would do and gave him a giant hug.

“Ok! Great to meet you! Safe trip!” I said, still hugging the big shot presenter in the Armani suit. I patted his back jovially.

He pulled away and looked at me with horror. His eyes bulged and he shook his head back and forth, repeatedly.

“No, no. No, no.” he said, stepping backwards.

“I’m Cuban. In Latin culture we cheek-kiss when we say goodbye.” He pointed at his cheek, slowly, to make sure I understood.

He was going for the cheek-kiss.

And I gave him a giant bear hug, complete with back-pats.

I hugged our guest speaker. This will always be his final impression of our company – the awkward chick who hugged him in the lobby, beside the security guard.

I’m really not cut out for the corporate world.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Everyone in my family loves BadInfluence, which is great. My grandpa asks about him every time I call him – and how is your BI? – my Dad always asks when we’re coming to visit – you don’t even have to come. BI and I can hit the town ourselves – and my mother likes using him as an example of everything I did wrong in my romantic life before BI – isn’t it nice to have a man who actually enjoys being with you, Peach? It’s a big relief you found someone who likes you. Remember FauxHawk? Remember? I was so worried for five years. But I didn’t say anything, because that’s what mothers do. They support their children’s decisions. Even if they’re the wrong ones.

Ah, family.

This also means, now that I’m 28, the family makes no show of trying to hide how much they want to marry me off. They’ve probably already purchased and stabled two milking cows and a goat to give away as a dowry. The last time I had lunch with my mother and I suggested we go shopping, she asked if I wanted to try on wedding dresses – just to see if I like any. And while she was thinking of it, have BI and I ever talked about what kind of ceremony we would want, and would we use a pastor or a judge to wed us?

Let me interject at this point to add that, while BI and I have been friends for a long time, we’ve only been dating for, like, a year. And we’ve both only had jobs for 8 months, are drowning in debt, and I’m still afraid to open most of my bills. Basically, the family is encouraging us to join together in blissful bankruptcy.

TigerCat isn’t so bad. She’s very practical. She stands up for me when the family gets all crazy-like. Which is why our conversations on facebook chat the last few nights have really…disturbed me.


ThePeach: Wassup negro.
TigerCat: I’m looking at pictures of babies.
ThePeach:…I see.
TigerCat: Have you and BI talked about having children yet?
ThePeach: Um. Mostly we talk about how to prevent them.
TigerCat: But he wants them, right?
ThePeach: Eventually, I guess.
TigerCat: I want to be an auntie. Have a baby!
ThePeach: I’m drinking alone on a Monday night while I look at facebook. I want to say a baby is probably not a good idea at this point in my life.
ThePeach: Tell CockDoc you need a puppy.

And then, Tuesday:

ThePeach: Sup slut.
TigerCat: I’m looking at pictures of cribs.
ThePeach: How did that even happen??
TigerCat: Well, I started out looking at furniture for when we move and things kind of deteriorated from there.
ThePeach: Oh my god.
TigerCat: There are a variety of practical cribs out there at reasonable prices.
ThePeach: I am not having a baby!!!!
TigerCat: Just one?
ThePeach: NO BABIES.
TigerCat: Ok, fine. But you have to either get married in the next 6 months, before I move, or not for 2 years, because I need to be here to plan your wedding.
ThePeach: WHAT IS HAPPENING? I’m going to bed!
TigerCat: Ok, yes! Good! Go make me little nieces and nephews!
ThePeach: Tell CockDoc you need a puppy.
TigerCat: You might be right.



Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Part two: Rocco, the Caribbean grill-chef who unabashedly rapes me with his eyes

Rocco is a Caribbean grill-chef who unabashedly rapes me with his eyes.

He’s tall, in his late 40s, and he looks stoned, even at 8am. He mostly stands behind the grill and tries to convince people to buy the hot meals, guilting them when they sneak away with a coffee and a muffin.

“Heyyyy. Why do you want a muffin when you could have Rocco’s spicy jerk chicken ratatouille?”

I think Rocco only knows how to make one thing: spicy jerk chicken. So this becomes the base for every single special.

“Heyyyy. Why do you want cereal when you could have Rocco’s spicy jerk kung-po chicken?”

He doesn’t come out from behind the grill that often. He mostly does, from what I can tell, when I come into the caf.

“Heyyyy, beautiful. Why do you want coffee when you could have Rocco’s spicy jerk thai noodles?”

“I just want coffee, Rocco.”

And then – the swagger. He’ll swagger over to me, slowly look over my entire body with his bloodshot eyes, and try to make dirty small talk.

“You’re looking very tanned, beautiful.”

“Ya, I just got back from Cuba.”

“Mmmm. I bet you look gooooood in the sun.”


“I’m going on a pleasure cruise in the spring. *winks* Rocco likes the sun, too.”

“That’s…great. Wow, sounds fun. Ok, well I’m going to get back to work.”

*Rocco slowly runs his eyes over the curve of my ass*

“Don’t stay away too long, beautiful.”

“Ya, ok Rocco.”

And then I dart away, hips as straight as possible, because I know he’s watching my ass as I leave.

So, this happens pretty much every day. It’s not exactly comfortable for me, knowing that every time I grab a coffee a giant Caribbean man is probably dreaming of rolling me in jerk chicken seasoning and eating me alive, starting with the ass.

Now, you should understand that, because I work in a professional, extremely male-dominated environment, I make an effort to look asexual. I wear a lot of loose dress pants, and sweaters, and if the sweaters are tight then I put a scarf over top so that my jugs aren’t too prominent. I’m very careful.

But last week we had a snow day. Almost everyone in the news room planned to stay home. I knew I’d be one of the only people there, so I said fuck it and wore jeans.

Well, guess who else came in that day.

I went into the caf to grab a coffee, and Rocco was standing with Louise at the cash register. The two of them were discussing a roll of quarters when I came over to pay.

Rocco stopped talking to Louise and slowly ran his eyes over my ass, which was much more prominent in jeans. He put one hand on the counter and the other on his forehead.

“You….you look real nice, beautiful. You look REAL. NICE. TODAY.”

He slapped the counter and shook his head.

His eyes were still on my ass as I handed my toonie to Louise. She snatched it out of my hand with her jabby little fingers, glared at me, then turned and glared at Rocco.

“This guy and his compliments, eh?!”

Her scratchy voice broke Rocco’s ass hypnosis. He went back to the grill.

I went back to my desk and tried to sip the coffee so it would last me the rest of the day.

Obviously I failed. I was eye-raped two more times before I left.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Interim: ThePeach is sick; still a drunkard

Part two of my tales out of the cafeteria is coming soon. But first I want to whine about being sick.


I caught a bad cold from – where else – work. First I brought it home to BadInfluence, when I was just a carrier of disease instead of afflicted by disease. BadInfluence, like all men, morphed into a whiney child at the first sign of mild sniffles. Somehow, this behaviour evoked a strange pity and primal sense of duty somewhere deep in my brain. Big man is sick. Big man is weak. Woman must heal big man. Grunt.

So, even though I was coming down with the same bad cold, I didn’t notice. I was too busy running to the store to buy popsicles, zesting lemon into glasses of water and standing over the stove making a vat of homemade chicken soup.

And then I woke up Friday morning completely and utterly diseased. Throat swollen, sinuses bursting, nose exploding, body wracked with fever. The mild cold that I gave BadInfluence had grown and festered inside me for two days, un-noticed, getting angrier and pricklier by the minute, until it finally emerged as the she-devil, mutated spawn of the original virus.

Death seemed both inviting and inevitable.

So I did the smart thing and went into work. When you work on contract, sick days aren’t really an option unless you’re hooked up to an IV bag and a catheter at the same time.

It was a long day. I immediately took to the couch in a fit of deliriums when I got home and let BadInfluence mother me. He rented a bunch of old movies, bought me some Dristan, pumped me full of neocitron, and picked up the snot rags that were piling up in a circle around my useless corpse.

The next day was much the same. But I had a goal: to heal by 10pm, get dressed and go to Spaz’s party. Spaz was throwing a big shindig for the journo-friends and damn if I was going to miss it. It didn’t matter if BadInfluence had to transport me there by air-ambulance – I was going.

But by 8pm I was still desperately ill. I’d laid perfectly still for 24 hours. I’d pumped my body with fluids and cold meds. I’d used so much Dristan that I’d dried out the front cortex of my brain. What else could I do?

The answer was right in front of me.

This is not a metaphor. There was a bottle of wine on the coffee table.

So, I drank a bottle of wine. Then I cried, passed out, woke up and sent BI to the convenience store to buy me some redbull because the wine? The wine was a mistake. Now I was sick, fevered, drunk and incredibly surly.

But I made it to the party. I kept up a steady dose of two parts redbull to one part vodka, repeated every 30 minutes. BadInfluence kept a close eye on me and stepped in whenever I started making surly comments to my coworkers or looked like I was about to fall over and have a seizure.

I toughed it out, like a good little trooper, until 2am. My fevered body could handle no more party. BI put me in a cab and half-carried me back into our sicky apartment. He thought I would just pass out, like a good little patient, and sleep peacefully.


This is when the redbull kicked in. I’m told I sang the entire soundtrack to Moulin Rouge while dancing topless in our living room. And then I tried to curl up and have a nap on the kitchen floor, and when BI tried to put me to bed I slipped out of his grip like a greased pig and sprinted around the living room – still topless, of course – waving my hands in the air and yell-singing “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE! ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE! ALL YOU NEED IS LOOOOOOOVE-LOVE!” And then I passed out face-down on the couch.

I’m not sure if this story has a lesson or a moral. I’m not going to tell you not to drink when you’re sick and have a fever, that’s for sure.

I had a great time.


Friday, February 04, 2011

ThePeach breaks her own rules, part 1

Ok, I’m going to break my rules already and blog about work.

Well, kind of. I’m going to blog about the cafeteria.

We have a cafeteria on the third floor of the building. It’s always quite busy, because journalists like to eat and most journalists don’t have time to prepare home-made meals. Plus the cafeteria serves (crappy, burned, stale) Starbucks coffee, which should speak for itself.

I go there a lot, mostly for coffee. I also went through a bacon sandwich and hash brown phase in the fall, but I quit that when my jeans stopped buttoning up and I kept getting these weird twinges in my left arm.

So, let’s say, on a typical shift, I’ll grab a coffee at 8am, 10:30am, wander in and eyeball the baked goods at 1pm but leave with a coffee and then go gnaw angrily on a carrot stick, and then grab another coffee around 3 or 4.

If you think that sounds like a lot of coffee (plus the two I need at home to get my ass out the door), I say you are WRONG. The fact that I get home from work after an 11 hour shift and collapse on the couch in a post-caffeine fit of tears and exhaustion is not a problem for my life at all. BI is really good at patting my knee consolingly and passing me my laptop so I can watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns and sniffle every time I see George. OH GOD GEORGE.

Not a problem at all.

It was even worse when I went through two months of starting at 7am, and immeasurably bad when I spent a week starting at 6am. I think I’m part of some kind of social experiment in my work place.


Suffice to say, I’ve spent a lot of time observing the cafeteria and the people who work there.

Take Louise, the register lady. Louise is, for lack of a better word, grizzled and hateful. She’s probably in her mid-60s, she’s small and scrappy – like a Mexican street dog – and she has a grating, nasal voice and beady little eyes. When I hand her a toonie each morning I’m not sure if I’m getting my change or if I’m about to get punched in the throat.

Every day that I interact with her is like Russian Roulette. Some mornings – rare, beautiful mornings - she calls me ‘dear’ and gives me a disconcerting grin. But most mornings she glares at me with those beady eyes and snatches change out of my hand like a New Delhi street-child.

The other thing you need to know about the cafeteria is that they have great tunes. They play a classic adult contemporary station up there.

I went to the cafeteria for my 3pm coffee one day last week. Marvin Gaye’s “Heard it through the grapevine” was pumping through the speakers. This is one of my favourite soul classics, so I did a little groove-thang while I poured splenda in my coffee. No one else was there except Louise, who glared at me, as per usual, from the register.

Also as per usual, when I went to pay she was missing from her station. I looked around, expecting her to pop up from behind the salad bar or scoot across the floor with her arms full of milk cartons.

She was nowhere to be seen, so I knew she was in the elusive back room of the cafeteria – the area behind the grill where the workers slap together sandwiches and de-clog the deep-fryer. It could also be the portal to a parallel universe for all I know.

I waited. God help you if you ever think ringing the service bell is a good idea. And that’s when I heard it: Louise’s grating, nasal, angry voice – SINGING.

“Heard it through the graaaape vine.”

It was more like a grunt, really, or the clearing of phlegm.

I left my toonie on the register.

She could keep the quarter.


Join me later for part 2, where I describe the Caribbean grill-chef who unabashedly rapes me with his eyes.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

ThePeach vs. The Bitch

My eyes were immediately drawn to a wine label when I was in a restaurant this weekend.

The wine was called “Bitch.”

The waiter said it was red, with fruity notes, and smooth on the palate, or at least I think that’s what he said but mostly I wasn’t listening because he had me at “Bitch.”

It was like god gave me a little gift.

ThePeach: I’ll have the bitch.
Waiter: Very good. The bitch is very smooth.
ThePeach: Can you hold off until after appetizers? I’d like the bitch with dinner.
Waiter: Very good. I’ll just leave the bitch on the table.

And it was the gift that kept on giving.

ThePeach: I think it’s time to crack open the bitch.
Waiter: Very good. Would you like to be the one to taste the bitch?
ThePeach: I would very much like to taste the bitch.
Waiter: *opens wine, puts one hand behind back, pours wine in glass.*
ThePeach: *gulps the bitch*
Waiter: And?
ThePeach: This bitch is excellent. You may pass the bitch around the table.

After dinner, the waiter came back for the bills.

Waiter: And how would you like to split the bitch?
ThePeach: I think we’d better split the bitch four ways.
Waiter: Very good.

The best part was that my bill then said “1/4 bitch.” You hear that, world? I’m only a quarter bitch.

After our grownup, fancy dinner, my friends and I rented “Ain’t Twilight Eclipse: A Porn Parody” and got hammered on redbull and gin while cheering like football fans as Jacob nailed some chick on the rez.

Just another classy night for ThePeach.


Friday, January 28, 2011

And in the spirit of honesty

I have to admit that after I got up from my computer last night, I made the grave tactical error of deciding to put my wet clothes into the dryer before going to see BadInfluence.

And putting my clothes in the dryer reminded me that I really ought to pack for my weekend visit with TheHippie (love!!!!), since I would be leaving straight from work the next day, so then I quickly threw some underwear and gin in a backpack.

And then, only when that was done, did I visit BadInfluence in his office (a.k.a. my den. Ok. Our den.)

And by then it was 10:30 and I worked a solid 11 hours that day so when I sat on his lap I mostly fell asleep with my head on his desk. BadInfluence told me not to worry about it.

So I put on my pjs. Since all of my clothes were in the dryer, my only options were my grandma-flannel bottoms (with pink snowflakes on them) and a lacy see-through lingerie top.

So then I went back into the "office" and told BI to look: I was a hooker up top and a grandma down below. BI was aroused and confused. He managed to stay focused on the top half, until I gleefully pointed out that my grandma-pj-pants also had a hole in the crotch.

He did not like my suggestion that this was for easy access. I was put to bed. Sleep bed, not sexy bed.

I just thought I should be honest.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

An honest note on writing and love

Here’s the thing. I know I’ve been a terrible blogger, and I probably have zero readers left, and for that I apologize (to…no one?). But it’s been hard to blog lately. Really hard, and on a few levels.

First, I don’t know what to write about. I don’t want to write about work, because I will get caught writing about work and then I will be fired from work and then I will have no work. And then I will have to find work in the service industry, except I hate doing things for others and I hate most people so really, who am I kidding? I’ll have to become a whore.

And I don’t do much other than work. For real. The other stuff mostly involves watching Grey’s Anatomy and trying to figure out if I can finance a bigger mattress, because BadInfluence is really fucking tall, and a restless sleeper, and therefore I haven’t slept in months and I figure the only solution is a sleeping arrangement whereby we don’t have to touch each other. He rejected the separate beds idea, so now we have to buy a bigger bed.

Second, I’m boring now. Sad but true, bitches. I guess you probably got that idea from reading about the mattress, but I really have become so incredibly boring. I rent a lot of movies. BadInfluence cooks for me. We buy a lot of wine. Sometimes we have the sex, but it’s mostly love-making and who wants to read about how we look into each other’s eyes and grasp hands while doing it on the couch?

No one.

Third, and perhaps worst, I think…I’ve lost it. The writing ‘it.’ The it where I can see something on the street – a funny dog in booties, a woman struggling with her bags - and imagine the words to describe it. The it where I roll a phrase around in my mouth, moulding it and smoothing out the edges with my tongue, until it’s perfect, until the words make you forget they’re words at all, but become a place, a feeling, a story.

I’ve just felt so…uninspired. At work, I’m creative in different ways – directing readers to stories, writing headlines that make people want to read something, choosing art that can tell a story on its own. But writing stories of my own? I can’t. I don’t know how anymore.

This is not meant to be despairing. Just explanatory.

And, perhaps, hopeful. Because I’ve come to the realization that this cannot continue, and I must write even if it’s terrible and no one reads it. So, by god, I will attempt to keep writing in this blarg of mine, even if it takes a panic attack, three glasses of wine and half a McCain cake to get something onto paper.

I need the practice. Probably not so much the cake.

Update: Tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy is another GODDAMN REPEAT, so I will keep going.

Update 2: Now with microwave-melted McCain cake and a third refill of red wine.

Ok, here goes.

As I said, my life is boring. And, as I do most things, I blame BadInfluence.

Why? Because contented, undramatic love makes you boring. Why did I blog so much the five years I was dating FauxHawk? Because I was, for the most part, unhappy. He treated me like ass, and therefore I was bitter and I expressed this bitterness via words.

We had sex once every two months = blog post.

He found any excuse to push me out of his life, including making me keep my toothbrush hidden in a drawer after two. years. of. dating. = blog post!

Breakups 1, 2, 3 = blog post, blog post, blog post.

My trampages, as a result of breakups = blog NOVEL.

But now? Well, fuck me, bitches, but I am happy.

Every day, happy. Happy to come home, sit in his lap and kiss his cute little face. Happy to spend an entire day walking around the city holding hands, exploring coffee shops, hunting for houseplants and trying new wines with dinner in random restaurants we find.

Happy to get sloppy-hammered off new wines, take a cab home, accidentally tip the cabbie $27, and then fuck BadInfluence on the window ledge while creepy no-pants guy in the other building probably videotapes us. Whatever.

The point is, happiness does not lend itself to good writing. Look at all the really, really great writers through time. Most of them stuck their heads in ovens or waded into deep water with rocks in their pockets. And the rest drank themselves to death.

So what’s a bitch to do?

I can’t say just yet, but I can say that all this red wine and talk of window ledges has made me loving, so I’m going to go see what BadInfluence is doing, and worry about my writing crisis tomorrow.

Aren’t you happy I’m still a whore?