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the dream of walking

well i did say that i was going to try to get some writing done this week and i have, although not much.
i should have a little more time available to me in the not-too-distant november future. i did write this little fragment, which, while it reads like a recollection of a dream, is actually a recollection of something that really happened, or at least an apocryphal recollection of something that i used to do fairly regularly.

with all of the news about toronto mayor rob ford, his tribulations and his unwavering fans dubbed "ford nation", i was reminded of my experiences in the neighbourhood of etobicoke. it's considered his home base, but it's also an area where i used to work. much of etobicoke is quite well-to-do, but the area where i worked was a little strange. it had once been a suburb sitting on the city's western shoulder and it still bears those hallmarks: streets of postwar bungalows adjacent low-lying industrial properties, once state of the art, but now decidedly shabby.

as the city's population ballooned and suburban dwellers sought out more, larger, newer houses, this area of etobicoke was abandoned in favour of "better" neighbourhoods to the north and west, so there is forever an almost inexpressible gloom, like a heavy sigh, that hangs over the place. i could also never shake the feeling that there was something both resentful and sinister lurking there.

ironically, i've just written more about this piece than is contained in the piece, but here is my meandering recollection of lunch hours spent meandering through the neighbourhood around where i worked.


I’m still there, wandering those streets and trying simultaneously to find my way out of the heart of these postwar huts, thrown up to appease the masses of returning men, eager to claim the homesteads they’d fought for and the future that was theirs. I am weaving through them, then the residences of the country in action, now the refuge of the second and third generations of families left dazed when progress’s wave crashed over their heads and moved beyond them. They lean against the oldest of industrial patches, once a convenient geographical handshake- the engine of wealth and its workers, marching forward side by side. Now the only engines left are those broken or sputtering, a stink of seedy desperation hanging everywhere about them. And those houses once happy hide sheathed knives in their shadows.

I am walking over the paths, worn down by the stamp of increasingly heavy steps, past the dampened playground voices at schools that have failed and fallen and been forgotten out here in the hole in the city.  Strange plants point me everywhere but out and I spin in circles for an answer. Grey faces glance up from vigils on their squared lawns and see through me, a bird wing on their radar, crossing the screen and gone until another one, identical, flaps through and another after that. I awaken only their hostility to the wild which greys fast enough on my passing.

I want to see something new, or something reborn, something that whispers encouragement to my existence, but the sameness is suffocating and I feel my mind grow weak. This space hides its borders from me. I am lost.


as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…