Monday, October 26, 2009

Fright Night.

I've always been a huge fan of Halloween. I think I'll probably post a full list of my myriad breathtaking costumes later this week so you can get an idea of just how much I've always loved it. But I think my commitment to the holiday really came of age in my undergrad years. One of my dearest pals in the world became one of my dearets pals in the world when she knocked on my res room door dressed as a devil, bearing a bottle of vodka and asking if I wanted to do shots. It was a night that still lives in infamy. We all know that I love opportunities for nostalgia, and Halloween is great because it makes me nostalgic for being stinkin' drunk and totally giddy in public, which is a state I don't find myself in nearly as much as I'd like these days.

Anyway, I'm still trying to decide if I'm dressing up for Halloween this year. Part of my reluctance stems from a burgeoning relationship with someone who refuses to do anything more than "put on a hat" for a costume (and actually, he later withdrew even the hat offer). The guy once dressed up as Che Guevara, though, so I have leverage and precedent for getting him back into a costume, you know? I was discussing this extremely important issue with my best friend Freya (she of the vodka and devil suit of yesteryear) the other day, and she suggested pouring Captain No-Fun back into his Che suit. And to round it out? I should dress as Sexy Fidel Castro.

To fully appreciate this idea, I think you probably need to have gone to school with us back in the halcyon days of Sexy Devil, Sexy Village People, and Dirty Superhero to really get how important it was to really whore it up for parties at our college. This past weekend there was an article in the Globe and Mail about just how douchey the place was, and how this doucheyness leads to increased literacy, or perhaps just a lingering literary pomposity that translates into elevated sales at the college's annual book sale (at least, this was my interpretation). The article poked fun at the Brideshead-on-cheap-sherry foolishness that was and is our alma mater, just like every article about Trinity does. The college gets a lot of totally understandable flak in the national press. I think these journalists are all missing the mark, though. I think they should expose how buffoonishly skanky the place was. Red light parties and completely baseless cross-dressing nights are so much easier to target than a love of British aristocracy and a gown.

Come to think of it, when you stand back and think about the two solitudes of Trinity College (vomit-inducingly awkward sexual awareness, and vomit-inducing misguided sociopolitical opinions), I'm pretty sure Sexy Fidel Castro is the greatest costume a Trin party never forged. Maybe I'm just feeling nostalgic, or maybe this is most fitting tribute I could ever pay to Old Trinity. If anyone needs me, I'll be on my way to Michael's crafts for a Made In Cancer beard and a camo bikini.

I also briefly considered dressing up like Feist. Or maybe I didn't. Maybe I just wanted to post this song, because I am a terrible music fan and always about five years behind the eightball and I only just heard this for the first time tonight. Also, she's kind of pointy in the face. Witchy, right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

You can't go home again.

Sometimes you have these days where you feel like maybe you're a professional, you know? You sit at the same table as a blogger you really like (even just for like ten minutes) and he tells you he remembers seeing your blog (even if it's just because you linked to him) and you meet a GG-nominated author while you're at your friends' place for dinner and you read most of a book (This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper is possibly the greatest book ever written about siblings, infidelity, and the shivah-sitting experience, and excellent train station reading). You're on track. You're networking, You're doing your thing. You're alright.

Then, you take the train home to your parents' house and are forced to listen to three girls in the next row argue about their perfect wedding, their perfect wedding dress (VINTAGE! no, PRINCESS NECKLINE! of COURSE my fiance isn't coming with me! it's MY wedding, not his!) (I wish I were making that up.). It's pouring rain and the cute boy in the next row is reading The Hockey News, and you totally judge him for it even though you've got a shitty old VC Andrews paperback tucked in your purse in case you finish your public-consumption book too soon. You finally get home, and feeling alternately virtuous and guilty you decide to floss your teeth, and a chunk of your tooth falls out on the bathroom floor, and your mother picks it up and then loses it. And then all you can think about is the fact that it's a very thin line between you and the lady with no teeth with whom you got in an argument yesterday because Darryl took out videos on her library card even though she told him not to, and now they're overdue and it's as much your problem as it is hers. The wind is howling and your mother finds your tooth again and tells you it looks like a little pearl and you pretty much want to vomit.

At times like this there's only one thing you can really do: skulk on down to your basement bedroom, burrow into the single bed you slept in when you were a kid, pull out the copy of Catching Fire that fell into your lap earlier, when life was still worth living, and read till you pass out.

Mixed blessings, friends.

It's good to be home.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Guilt is the gap between belief and action." --mom/buddha

Maybe it's the sub-arctic weather we've been having lately, or maybe it's the changing of the seasons, or maybe the reading part of my brain has stopped working while the rest of my body works overtime to digest twelve pounds of pumpkin cheesecake, but lately, I haven't been able to get through a book to save my life. In the spirit of guilt-ridden slackerdom, here's an incomplete list of books I tried to read this week.

Suddenly--Bonnie Burnard. Call me crazy but I can't read anything where a character has cancer. It freaks me out! I start feeling lumps in places where there are no lumps! I become short of breath! I die!

Year of the Flood--Margaret Atwood. See above, but replace cancer with global warming. Come to think of it, I don't think I've read a new Atwood novel since Alias Grace. I think I can hear the citizenship cops coming to revoke mine.

Best Friends Forever--Jennifer Weiner. I love me some chick lit but I'm a little worried that ol' Weiner is a one-trick pony. Self esteem issues are awesome fodder but if she keeps writing books about overweight, partnerless women who do ridiculous things like solve mysteries or act as criminal accomplices I might hunt her down and punch her in the neck. (If you want to read her greatest work, though, check out her short story collection, The Guy not Taken. Funny and poignant chick writing at its best.)

What makes all this even sadder is that the only things I actually "read" this week were a back issue of House Beautiful magazine (there was a house inspired by The Big Chill! It was amazing!) and the audio version of The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. Three words: illiterate torture porn. Seriously. And the worst part is that every time I try to read one of her books I lose interest after the disgusting pivotal deed is done (highschool shooting, date rape, take your pick!). I don't know who's worse, her or me.

I'm in a literary shame spiral. Help.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I've got plenty to be thankful for.

In the twilight hours of the long weekend, in a hungover haze of food and wine and lit candles in the dark evening, I'm sitting here thinking about the things I should be thankful for. I have a lot of them, really. We all do.

Just to name a few...

Red wine. Homemade salsa. Afternoon spelunking trips through abandoned buildings in a town that has so quickly become home. Standing up twice in one year for two of my best friends. Mornings spent in bed with the Globe and Mail in one hand and the other one touching a sleeping giant. Yoga. Joel Plaskett. Brothers. Mothers. Fathers across the ocean. Walking home from the movies in the rain. Reading cookbooks and planning all the meals we still have to make. Breaking bread. Unbreaking hearts. You. And me. And you and me.

It's easy to fill your heart up when you really put your mind to it.

Happy thanksgiving.