that S word

In grade school, I was a gypsy several years in a row. Some years I called myself peasant girl. Same frumpy blouse, kerchief, skirt. Every year, the same girls would dress as punkrockers -- slutty punkrockers, only at the time, I had no idea how to describe them because I did not know that S word. I just knew they did it as an excuse to wear off-the-shoulder tops when they were normally discouraged throughout the year. No wait, it first started with little Madonnas. With the fingerless gloves, lace hairbands, fishnets stockings. THEN came the punkrockers (same outfit, only with more rubber bangles and colourful spiky hair). Nowadays, people will unabashedly say they're being slutty somethings for Halloween -- so common that it has become redundant to even mention the S word, since, depending on the female, it is pretty much a given.

While waiting for the College streetcar tonight, I observed the lack of creativity in costumes. Slutty versions of vampires, nurses, bunnies, nuns, schoolgirls. Some weren't even trying to be slutty anything. Just plain slutty.
"That's what Hallowe'en is for -- the chance to dress slutty without judgment"
"Oh I judge. Believe you me, I judge." These gals still dress the same way they'd normally dress on a Saturday night, only without the wings or bunny ears.

"Why a slutty costume? Why not be chunky?"
"Because slutty is fun!"
Fun, I suppose, for those who crave male attention.

Halloween is that time of year, when boys dress like girls and girls dress like slutty girls. A guy can put on a wig, makeup and a pair of fake boobs, and not worry about people calling him queer -- because big boobs are funny, and hey, male costumes are often funny. A girl will pull her skirt up to her ass, cake on the makeup and glitter, strap on some heels/cutesy wings/ears/tail/rifle and I will find that funny -- because she's just trying too hard.



Perhaps I should have just stayed home to recuperate instead of going to see Tziganes for the third time yesterday (after succeeding in getting the brunch shift off).

Perhaps I should have just gone straight to bed after the show on Saturday night, instead of filling my empty belly with red wine, bouncing around the small studio to a fabulously mixed CD of danceclub hits of the 80s and 90s, stumbling into the Gladstone at midnight with my wonderful roommates with the giddy with the anticipation of singing/swaying backup to Fabio's karaoke moment (which never came -- boo-urn!), drinking a little more wine, eating icky pizza, taking it to the Matador where we bounced around some more with losers defeated contestants of the recent Rock Paper Scissors World Championships and passing out on the coffee table shortly before 6AM.

Then my cold wouldn't have gotten so bad.

Hell no.

It's kind of nice to be home, having called in sick, eating mom's soup (minced wintermelon and pork and crab and mushrooms! nummers!) Looking for in-grown hairs out of my brother's face. Responding to work e-mail in my sweatpants. Barking at someone over MSN and disinviting him from our PunkinParty because he's too cool to read Evites and thinks his "general statements are totally true." Feeling Brie purr in my lap as I type.

I should abuse myself more often when I'm sick :) Hurray for sick days!



Of course i know who you are. But I didn't realize it was you until I asked you for your name after Sebastian introduced me to you. Your baby's head was blocking your face, and all I could see were some pretty funky glasses. Gosh you have pretty eyes.
"Cute kid! And what's your (oh wait, I know who you are) name?"
"Why yes, of course" I say as I shake her hand. Why yes, of course? What's that supposed to mean?
in the green room
"So did you see who was sitting in the second row today, with the little girl?"
"Nelly Furtado"
"Get the FUCK outta here –- that was her with Sebastian!?!"
"Yeh. She's purdy"
"With the glasses?"
"Hah! I can't believe I asked her "Who ARE you?" I never ask that!"
"Why didn't he tell us she was coming? Introduce us to her?"
"Maybe cuz we were making fun of her last week..."
"Ah. That'll do it."
"I'm like a bird, I'll only fly awa-ay..."
"Get off the table, you'll spill the wine."



It really is over. I've just been too busy to let it sink in. Hearing about my friend's break-up with her partner of five years and about my roommate's yearning for closure (and blowtorch) with her own best friend, looking out the living room window to a wet street strewn with soggy leaves, still bright orange though not for very much longer. Crying when your nose is packed with snot sure doesn't make it any easier to breathe.


a nice feeling

Several factors:
1) discovering further examples of negligence displayed by a recently departed colleague. We had exchanged a few angry emails in the past few days -- I'd felt a teensy bit badly for giving her such a hard time. That feeling completely dissolved today when I found out that she had not followed certain procedures during this transition -- procedures which had been stressed as highly important. You'd think that once you decided to leave a company -- even if you were doing some work for them on a contract basis, you would cancel your signing privileges AND remove yourself from the company insurance policy. She forgot -- and still took it upon herself to sign cheques on behalf of the company. My first inclination was to e-mail her and tell her she'd fucked up (once again) but decided she hated me enough already, so I was better off gloating in silence. Although this made my resentment/frustration toward her seem all the more justified, it sure makes me sound like a horrible person, doesn't it?

2) receiving a call from someone who thought I was "wonderful person" and would make a "terrific candidate" for the position of General Manager for a cutting-edge contemporary dance company. She asked if I would be interested in interviewing for the job. I was flattered -- this was a company that had given me my first real taste of contemporary dance and I really do admire the work they do -- but I love Dancemakers and have committed myself to sticking around until the end of the season. I thanked her and told her I'd check back with them in the spring.

3) being taken out to dinner by our Artistic Director. We went to
Batifole on Gerrard, one of Serge's favourite French restaurants. He thanked me and told me he was moved by my work ethic and passion for the company -- the kind of passion that artists would normally have for their work. It made me warm and fuzzy to hear him equate my loyalty to the company, to that of the artists. I really do feel that way, and as an arts administrator who's still figuring out whether this is the right career path, this kind of recognition means alot to me. How likely would this have happened if I worked for larger organization?

4) having two, yes TWO, comfortable poops in a day.


Animals, Optimists and Pornogaphers

Attended Toronto Dance Theatre's Four at the Winch on Friday night. It's kind of embarrassing that I hardly saw any dance performances last year (five, not including our own shows) so I am making an effort this season to see as much as my culture budget will allow me this year. The Winchester Theatre was packed, which is great for TDT. The review in the Globe & Mail, positive. It was an evening program of four works by four different choreographers. The last one, Louis Laberge-Côté's The Carnival of Animals, was the easiest to like. And I did. Set to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns, the piece featured most of TDT's ensemble members and they really looked like they had fun with it. It also could have seemed that way because the work's tone was much lighter, more playful, compared to the second and third pieces of the evening. There was also a smattering of dance-community in-jokes in the narration which I would have completely missed had I seen this a year ago.

One of the things I'll miss when I eventually leave the dance world is the initial reaction I get from everyone who's ever asked me what I did for a living.
"I work for a contemporary dance company."
"Wow. Are you a dancer?"
Well I'm flattered that you'd even think that -- but "No."

I remember someone saying to me once, "I can't watch contemporary dance. I'm not smart enough to get it." You don't have to get it. You either like it or you don't. But to dislike the entire form is silly, since the great thing about contemporary dance is that it's cooler than ballet. Unfortunately, many people/corporations with money, prefer Classical Ballet, because they figure it's the easiest form to understand -- the ongoing challenge of fundraising for contemporary dance.

My second splurge of the season: a subscription for Tarragon Theatre. I caught the matinee for The Optimists yesterday afternoon -- the lone 20-something in a sea of grey/white hair. I rather like matinees. The 2:30 show will allow you plenty of time for a leisurely brunch before, and will still give you time to head to Kensington after, pick up some produce and cook up a vat of chili for yourself. There were a couple of familiar faces in The Optimists. One of the actors, Randy Hughson, had starred in the 2003 Blyth Festival production of The Perilous Pirate's Daughter. The musical told the story of the Legendary Bill Johnson, Canada's Pirate of Lake Ontario who sailed from Niagara to the St. Lawrence, stealing from the rich and helping the poor. A very silly musical -- as silly as musicals get. OK, it was pretty stupid -- which is a shame because it's 100% Canadian and I so want to be supportive. Of course the feisty young Kate falls for some soldier dude. They share a "Somewhere Out There" moment, fake snow and everything. If I hadn't eaten so much ambrosia salad (extra marshmallows) at the church dinner before the show, I wouldn't have felt too sluggish to guffaw.

Tonight, the New Pornographers are playing at the Phoenix. Super excited. I've got all of their albums. I haven't been this excited since the Waltons played at the Danforth Music Hall when I was in Grade 10. I feel like I'm 15 again -- except now I have schmeebs. I wish I'd taken the time to memorize a few
lyrics, so that I could sing my little heart out at the concert tonight. But instead, I ate lots of chili, watched the American version of The Office (not horrible, but not spanktacular either), worked a brunch shift and blogged. Now it is too late -- in fact, I am running late.

Not sure if I can afford to take a three-day weekend. I think I will work. Meh, we'll see how ambitious I'm feeling tomorrow morning.


Ozark Crescent

I was prepared to go home and mope on Thursday night, but then our Artistic Director invited me to his house for dinner, along with the rest of the company. It was a farewell potluck dinner in honour of our guest pilates instructor. Serge lives in an adorable little house on Ozark Crescent, right around the corner from Broadview Station. There was a write-up about it on the cover of the Real Estate (or some special Home-y) section of the Globe & Mail last spring -- one of those features on 'celebrity' homes. The house had the exact same layout as my old house on Donlands, only this one felt cozier. Perhaps it was because the walls were painted in warm orangey tones or maybe Serge's whimsical paintings adorning the walls or maybe the Frenchness of it all (from the rustic-looking furniture to the dried herbs and flowers hanging from the ceiling, to the pretty little soaps in his bathroom). With his plan to resign from the company having recently been announced, there's been speculation that he's moving back to the West Coast, where he'd first arrived from France in the 1980s. I wonder if I'll have saved enough for a down payment on his house by springtime.

Am I at all worried that just last week, a burglar snuck into his house in the wee hours of the morning and took off with his briefcase and favourite pair of pants? (Who steals pants from a house? That's almost as pesky as stealing, say, someone's barbecue lid!) Nah, I'm not worried at all. Before taking off, the thief did manage to extract Serge's underwear from the pants and leave them in his backyard. All this time, my boss and his dog were sound asleep. So it could have been worse. The thief could have taken his underwear as well. Now imagine some stranger wearing your underwear. That would be creepy.


The Boys of Baraka

One of my splurges of the season: a subscription to Hot Docs' Doc Soup series.

The Boys of Baraka, the first film of the series, was screened at the Bloor Cinema last night to a packed house. Statistics show that 75% African-American boys in Baltimore do not graduate from high school. Each year, twenty at-risk youth in Baltimore (12- and 13 years of age) are selected to attend the Baraka School in Kenya for two years, with hopes that they will return to the United States, instilled with the confidence to lead better lives, away from the ghetto.

I have never seen a film that has kept me on the brink of tears for its entire length -- tears of happiness alternating with tears of sadness. Or maybe it wasn't really that sad and I was just weepy in light of recent events in my personal life. I am fairly certain that this was one of my favourite films this year -- and I really hope it gets some kind of commercial release in Toronto. I am really looking forward to the next installment in the Doc Soup series, Cowboy del amor.


sometimes you just want to lie in bed all day. not to sleep. just to lie there.
deep down, you tell yourself it was for the best.


Oasis on College

The last time i saw him was mid-November 2004. After five or six dates, I think he finally got the hint that we weren't dating, nor would we ever -- we were just hanging out. A really nice guy. He was kind, cute and we seemed to have similar interests and quite a lot to talk about. The boyfriend potential was evident, but there was something missing. Things didn't end badly. They just ended.

It was ers' 27th birthday gathering tonight at Oasis on College. When I got there, he was there. It was nice to see him. He introduced me to a woman, who I was sure was his girlfriend.

"Oh, I completely forgot you knew each other!" Ers said. It wasn't awkward, and for some reason, I got the feeling from her that it should have been. "I didn't even think to tell you that he was going to be here. Are you OK with that?"

"Of course -- it's good to see him. Is that his girlfriend?"

"Actually, it's his fiancée!"

He seemed slightly embarrassed when I congratulated him. I'm very happy for him, because I know what a great guys he is. Even though we had plenty of things in common, I am not at all sad that things didn't turn lovey-dovey between us. I am utterly smitten with an oddball -- the kind of guy people who know me might say "I would have never pegged him as your type." But even though we constantly find things about each other (mainly our differences) that drive us insane, I get these feelings of blissiness when I think of him, because that something is there.