“Then we’d better be jolly, jolly sure” by Julia in Piazza del Francia

Thursday October 30, 2014
5 minutes
On Directing Film
David Mamet

Oh it had better be the best damn cake this side of the Atlantic has ever freaking seen! I don’t care if you have to call in that favour from your aunt Vanda that you said you never wanted to do. I get it. I don’t want you to either. But if you don’t find some way to make sure our son has the best damn cake in 1 year old birthday party history, I will make sure you never see the end of aunt Vanda and her favours! Am I making myself clear?! It needs the secret layer with the prize inside and it needs to be a surprise so we all can have a magical photo moment. Do not ruin this for me. I mean for him. You think he won’t even remember this but you’re dead wrong. Haven’t you ever heard of post traumatic stress??? He’ll get that if you fuck this up!

“Speeding through space…” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 29, 2014
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman

Like a rocket on fire and a mission to complete
You go straight for the chest
Exploding it open
Right through to the heart
Pumping life blood
Pumping patience
You stare at it with the first quietness you’ve ever had
You watch it thud
You watch it pulse
You fall in love with it
All its depth
And all its power
Your burning mission now over
Your new mission
To hold it
To help it
To protect it
To fix it
You put aside your invasive tools
You throw away your distraction manual
And you wait until it’s ready for you

“Speeding through space…” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 29, 2014
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman

There you are
Speeding through space
Reminding yourself of your favourite childhood mug
The one with the small red flowers and the round handle perfect for your thumb
There you go
Leaving again
Not looking back
All of your best things stored in boxes and taped with tape
Maybe dusty now
But who knows
There you are
Shaking hands with a man dressed in grey
Looking him in his eyes and trying to see if he’s telling the truth
He’s telling the truth?
There you are
Making jokes like you know the language here
Putting your hands in your pockets and feeling for change
Telling me that you’ve never been so in love
Whistling a song your father used to sing

“exit only” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 28, 2014
5 minutes
from the side of a tper bus

Megan and I are walking in the maze-like markets of Marrakech. “Hannah Montana!” “Blue eyes!” “Blue eyes Hannah Montana!” They shout. Men, shopkeepers. Eyes follow us like, glued. We are followed by three teenage boys, and a man in his sixties who, in broken English, invites us for mint tea, repeatedly. We wear loose-fitting clothing and are covered up to our necks. We speak quietly and try not to draw unnecessary attention to ourselves. We seek refuge in our hostel room, breathless, dizzy from getting lost. We buzz with all that is unknown here. We buzz in our bodies, the magnets, the prisons, the homes.

“thank you for your hate” by Sasha on her couch

Monday October 27, 2014
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I’m gonna be a caterpillar for Halloween. I’m going to be a caterpillar with a fuzzy body and a million legs. My babysitter Pho is going to make my costume and she used to be a seamstress in Cambodia so it’s going to be the best costume in the parade at school. I used to think, like, last week, that I wanted to be a sunflower, but I changed my mind. “Stop changing your mind!” Pho said, while she ironed Daddy’s blouses. Oh, no. I mean, shirts. Men do not wear blouses. At least, that’s what Pho says. So I made up a contract and I told Pho to sign it and I signed it and it says that I will not change my mind about being a caterpillar.

“in the passenger seat” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday October 26, 2014
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

He’s in the passenger and he adjusts the radio and you snap. “What the fuck?” He retracts his hand. He leaves it. He turns to you and starts to say something and then turns back, eyes on the dusty road. It’s Cat Stevens. Anyone who changes the station when it’s Cat Stevens isn’t invited. “I need to pee,” he says, twelve kilometres later. You sigh and he looks at his hands. He’s been biting his nails again. “No problem,” you soften. You need a Diet Coke, anyway. “Sorry, I’m just nervous,” you say. “Me too,” he says and then you feel worse than you felt when you heard the news.

“exit only” by Julia in Piazza del Francia

Tuesday October 28, 2014
5 minutes
from the side of a tper bus

He entered a room filled with mirrors. The instructions said he must look within before he could exit the game. He knew how this worked. A hundred minutes ripping apart all his flaws just to realize he was fine all along and didn’t need to inflict any self harm to find that out. So instead he tried to see what features he liked about himself; starting with the outside to make it easier when he got to the inside.

Decent enough eye shape. Not an almond. But almost. Long eyelashes-like a fawn, or a prostitute. Standard cheekbones (thankfully). One big bottom lip and one almost normal looking top lip. Straight teeth. Really straight. Should smile more. Will note that.

“thank you for your hate” by Julia in Piazza del Francia

Monday October 27, 2014
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I’ve received numerous letters from viewers this week and I wanted to share with you the major themes they all have in common. As you are well aware, we set the example for those at home and when those at home see you at work, they follow your actions without thinking and they do what you do. Now you may be thinking, Marlena, great stockings today, but how are we supposed to know which behaviour the viewers at home will want to emulate? How, Marlena, should we prepare ourselves for the randoms and for the sheep-like viewers? And to that I will respond with, Thank you, they’re from Barclay’s, and because you don’t know what they’ll do, you must always behave accordingly. Now the first thing I’m going to talk about is one that’s really inspired a different breed of human to participate. I am going to say this only once: WE DO NOT EAT OVER OUR CATS. Does anyone know why we don’t do this, aside from having to spend 2-3 minutes pulling the couscous from their fur while debating whether or not it can be washed off and still eaten??

“MADE IN ITALY” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 25, 2014
5 minutes
The back of a room spray

It’s late. The rain’s stopped but the moon’s to blame now. For this insatiable urge to eat gelato. I pull on shorts and a tank top. I’ve been naked because it’s so hot. There’s a gelato place three blocks from the room I’m renting. I see him and I recognize him but I’m not wearing a bra so I keep walking. “Hey!” He calls. I stop. I don’t want to be rude. Fucking Canadian. I stop. He runs towards me. I don’t know him well enough for him to run. My best friend didn’t even run towards me when I got home from China and she hadn’t seen me in two years. He smiles. “You look like you just woke up,” he says and I didn’t just wake up but I’m disheveled. I’m not wearing a bra. “Where’re you going?” His eyes dart to my nipples, then to my lips, then to my eyes. Too slow. “Home,” I say. “I’ll walk you,” he says. My mind races with options – how can I avoid him but get to the gelato but avoid him? “No thank you.” I say. “It’s not safe for you to walk alone right now… You know how it goes with the men here…” “I’m fine.” I say. His face eclipses. His face changes. He looks angry. He starts to say something and then stops. “I’ll see you around,” he says. I wait. I catch my breath. I close my eyes and I think about my first real boyfriend, who took my virginity, who cried when we had sex because he was so scared of hurting me. Where are you, Steve Levine? Where are you now?

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 26, 2014
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“MADE IN ITALY” by Julia in her bed

Saturday October 25, 2014
5 minutes
The back of a room spray

I’ve been feeling my roots being tugged deep down from within me. They reach reach into the ground and spread like a forrest fire on a mission. They dig and they wrap around the rocks below. They hold on tight so no one can pull them up. Not even magic can bring them to the surface, poking through the tops of the earth. I was born in this place many years ago. I know this because my heart sings when it hears the call of home. A singing heart is one thing to hope for in this life. Not all hearts sing. Some whisper. This one of mine likes a quiet hum to start it off, finishing with a lulling chant and a whoop every now and again. I was brought here once and made a promise to return. Threw my coins into the fountains, wished on bracelets and pizza crusts. It worked. I keep coming back. Like a cat through the window left open at night, crawling softly into the bed occupied by a lover.

“I don’t have any change,” by Julia at Colazione da Bianca

Friday October 24, 2014 at Colazione da Bianca
5 minutes
Overheard at 49th Parallel

It’s the second time someone has come up to me trying to sell me lazer beam lights as if I could really use a green lazer beam light for my every day activities. Yeah, I almost told the second guy, how much do I have to pay you to get my very own travelling discoteque? You know, in case I’d like to bust it out at my next lecture, or, hey, even while ordering an empty brioche at 8am on a Tuesday? But I get it, it’s a job. Gotta make money somehow in this town. But those guys you can say no to easier because, really buddy, lazers? I roll my eyes and they know they’re trying to sell the impossible if their audience is anyone over the age of 4. The harder ones to shake your head at are the ones who just need 50 cents to help buy a coffee or a pack of cigarettes. Those are the ones who hang around for 6 minutes after you’ve said no, hoping that you’ll change your mind.

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk

Thursday October 23, 2014
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez

saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“If you don’t have it” by Julia at Cultura Italiana

Wednesday October 22, 2014 at Cultura Italiana
5 minutes
A recipe for millet banana bread

crazy days were behind us
we saw the sun
and the sunset moon
it was something to dream about
didn’t want to dream alone
crazy breeze
inside the hope’s heart
with a candle left burning
if you don’t have it
you can’t miss it
when it’s gone
crazy days
were hidden tightly
inside the cracks of the bark
the old lived rings of
time past
we saw the sun
and the sunset moon
it was better
than the memory
in that little moment
that tiny one just for us
if you don’t have it
you can’t wish it
was something else
or something
for words
just pouring out of
fingertips, cut open
just like the blood
of the emotionless fight
it makes sense
because it doesn’t have to
and in a world without rules
it is the only thing
we can understand
and we try
and we listen
but we mostly try to keep
all the magic that we used to know
somewhere deep in the pockets
of time

“the triangle of pleasure” by Julia at Giardino Lavinia Fonanna Pittricce

Tuesday October 21, 2014
5 minutes
Massimo’s welcome speech

Oh it’s something magical
Something dolphin-like
No not dolphins
No not whale-like
Whatever’s better than whales
And it’s a feeling of incredible pressure
And pleasure
And not in those specific regions
Well, maybe
But not only
It’s like a diamond
No not diamonds
No not square-like
Whatever’s better than diamonds and squares
Because triangles make diamonds
And squares
And you tingle
Your arms
Your legs
Your what have you
You can say your triangles
Because men have them
And women have them
Think about it
It’s true
Triangles are the connected dots
If you see yourself made up
Of dots
That’s a possibility

“Sunset and the city” by Julia on her bed

Monday October 20, 2014
5 minutes
The front cover of a notebook

Babs calls me and she’s in such a tizzy. Her brain has sincerely exploded, and I’m putting it mildly here out of respect because she’s a dear friend of mine. But she calls, her words don’t make a bit of sense, which is, I suppose, if I’m being honest, and who doesn’t crave a little honesty in the mornings, isn’t so rare. She’s dear to me, I tell you this, but she’s a bit scattered. You know, her thoughts always seem to be half formed or a bit demented. You know, kind of like the human products of incest, you know, a little bit not very normal. Ah, it’s just the truth, I’m not trying to be, uh, insensitive. But you have to know about Babs in all her glory if you’re going to follow this story.
So anyway, she calls me, her brain is, put it this way, worse than usual, and she starts singing!

“Grazie e Arrivederci” by Julia at her kitchen table

Sunday October 19, 2014
5 minutes
From a receipt

I had my own news show for a year. I cut out square in a microwave box and propped it up on a music stand. I glued a stick to the back of it and held it like a puppet. It was a real masterpiece. My 8 year old self would have been very pleased. Back then I didn’t have such elegant props. I had to improvise a lot. I had to rely on my imagination for everything. It’s really hard to produce a watchable television program without proper equipment and the right quality of cardboard. Try getting viewers with sub-par materials! I’m telling you, it makes you look cheap and no one will take you seriously, even if you’re reporting on relevant or exciting events.

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Julia at her desk

Saturday October 18, 2014
5 minutes
from a comment on a photo on Facebook

I was tired from running around the house from my deranged mother. Turns out you tell her to shut up one time and it’s… I don’t know, over, I guess. I should have known better than to run from her. Should have just let her hit me right then and there. The more she runs the angrier she gets, which, makes sense, so it’s my fault. But she chased me up and down stairs, everywhere, everywhere. Finally, I thought, no, I cannot do this anymore, so I surrender. I just threw myself on the floor underneath the dining room table, and I gave up. I think she needed to catch me more than I needed to escape. So I let her hit me a couple times with her wooden spoon. It hurt. A lot. But I guess it was sort of a release for the both of us. Dad had only been gone for 3 days, but those three days without him really felt like more than enough. We both cried while she was whacking me. There was a moment before it ended where it actually felt okay. It felt like something was real again.

“I don’t have any change,” by Sasha at 49th Parallel on West 4th

Friday October 24, 2014 at 49th Parallel
5 minutes
Overheard at 49th Parallel

I don’t got no small coins
or cumulous clouds
or satisfaction (thank you for the permission to borrow that thought)
I don’t got no music for this shot
it’s quiet
it’s still
that scares me
Sorry lady I don’t have the change you’re looking for
I’ll blast you with cool air
air conditioner whipper snapper
I’ll sip my seven dollar iced coffee drink
I’ll ignore you and your suffering and your need
I’ll put a leaf in your hat and glare
Meanwhile rain’s started
I don’t got no recognition of what’s real
I’m floating above you
See me there?
I’m spinning “sorry” into worry
I don’t got no platform man
All I got is a piece of pavement and the colour of my eyes

“The realist canon” by Sasha on the 99 Bus

Thursday October 23, 2014
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez

She tells me that she knew there was something thick in that autumn air before he even asked her to stay late. She tells me that she could feel his eyes on her ass and her breasts, eyelashes to nipples to curve to skin. She tells me that she stayed late because she thought it might be about the deadline, the recent fire, the recent hire, or that she’d been sick last week. “Three days,” she said, twisting her ponytail. “Three whole days.” She tells me that when she went into his office, his tie was off and his shirt was unbuttoned. “Just past the collarbone.” She tells me that she felt that pit in her stomach sinking further into the earth, a Grand Canyon, an ocean, a Ground Zero.

“If you don’t have it” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 22, 2014
5 minutes
A recipe for millet banana bread

When we met, Timothy knew nothing about Rembrandt. Not that I judged him. He just didn’t. He was taking an Intro to Art History class. I knew nothing about how to make a fluffy omelette, so… We taught each other. More than just about art and breakfast. We taught each other about love.

When we met, Timothy was wearing round, John Lennon glasses, a page-boy cap and a tweed blazer with corduroy elbow patches. He smelled like pipe smoke and cilantro. He asked me if I liked beer and I said, “Yes,” and he asked me if I might like to drink some. Together. I said, “Yes…”

When we met, Timothy hadn’t come out yet, but I knew that he was gay. I’m never wrong about that. He thought that perhaps I’d become his tutor, or, at least he could pick my brain about things.

“the triangle of pleasure” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 21, 2014
5 minutes
Massimo’s welcome speech

Ladies. Thank you for joining me. Show of hands, how many of you had to found childcare in order to be here today? Wow. Wow. That’s at least three quarters of you! Show of hands, how many of you had to travel for over an hour to be here today? YES! Wow. Yes… Wonderful. Thank you. Show of hands, how many of you have been to a workshop of mine before? Incredible! We are about half and half. Newbies and vetrans! How exciting! Okay. I’d like you to turn to the woman beside you and introduce yourself. Wait, not quite yet! I need to finish giving the instructions! Eager beavers! Okay, so tell her your name, where you’re from and one thing that brings you great pleasure. We’re here to manifest more pleasure in our lives. Let’s start with what we have. We have so much, even when we feel like we don’t. Tell you sister beside you something that brings you pleasure in your life. Okay… You have six minutes!

“Sunset and the city” by Sasha on her couch

Monday October 20, 2014
5 minutes
The front cover of a notebook

Aw yeah, I was totally “catfish-ed”, man… I mean, I don’t wanna like, over share or anything, but I totally had my heartbroken. I met this woman online, like three years ago and we talked every night on the MSN Messenger. She said she was in Burnaby, but we worked opposite shifts. She worked at a hospital and I work in a factory so, like, we couldn’t really easily, like meet up, you know? And everyone says, “You were stupid about it,” and I wasn’t, I mean, I felt something for this person. I felt more for her than I felt for my ex of ten years… That’s not even a lie. And, so was Asian right, Chinese and she sent me a picture, like, there wasn’t even a photo on her profile, it was just her words that really got me, and she sent me a picture and I was totally like “Holy shit,” because she was a knockout. And we’d have these five hour conversations, I’d stay up all night, and I was, I was falling in love with her. And then I showed her picture to my friend Tony and Tony is Chinese too and he was like, she looks familiar. And I was like, oh shit! Maybe you know her or something… Turns out the picture was of a pretty famous Chinese actress. You ever heard of Li Bingbing? Yeah…

“Grazie e Arrivederci” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday October 19, 2014
5 minutes
From a receipt

A: I’m curious about your accent. Where are you from?
B: Rome.
A: I’ve never been to Italy, but it’s on my bucket list.
B: “Bucket list?”
A: Yeah, you know that list you keep of all the things you wanna do before you die?
B: I don’t have that list…
A: What?
B: I don’t have that “bucket”…
A: No, I mean, come on, everyone has a list, even if it’s just in their head, of the things they want to do before they –
B: Nope. Not me…
A: Bullshit.
B: Pardon?
A: I call “bullshit”!
B (laughs) You’re a very strange girl.
A: I’m not a girl.
B: Oh?
A: I’m a woman.
B: Excuse me.
A: So, you’re saying that you don’t want to see the Great Wall of China? Or, fly in a hot air balloon? Or, go on “The Maid of the Mists”? Or… see a volcano? Or, even, like, eat haggis or something?
B: I’ve seen the Great Wall of China –
A: Really?
B: Yes… My ex-wife did business in China so I went frequently in the early nineties.
A: Wow…

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 18, 2014
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi

“Alan! Get your ass over here!!!” Bernie has one of those voices you hope you’ll never have to hear at seven ten in the God damn morning. “Do you have to shriek like that? It’s early…” I want to kick Leonard. Bernie takes a long pause and then rises from his desk. “What did you just say to me?” “I just, ah…” Leonard shrinks into his sweater vest like a fucking turtle. “I’ll talk however I want, Leonard, because guess what?! I’M THE FUCKING BOSS HERE! I’M THE BOSS! So, shut up, drink your orange juice and get to WORK!” Poor Lisbeth is plugging her ears. I think there’s a tear forming in her eye… If she cries, I might. It’s that bad. Alan’s made his way to Bernie’s desk and he’s waiting, shaking. Poor guy’s wife just gave birth to a stillborn. He does not look good. I try to catch his eye to wink at him or something, but his gaze is fixed on the floor.

“Who wrote those poems?” by Sasha at Kafka’s

Friday October 17,2014
12:18pm at Kafka’s Coffee
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi

Who even wrote these stupid poems? These asshole poems in my notebook in my fucking handwriting? Who wrote this one about losing their sanity, and their youth, and their feeble attempts at fitness? WHO WROTE THESE IDIOT POEMS!? I’m gonna just go ahead and rip out these pages because this is BULLSHIT. I’ve been impersonated. Someone has pretty much pretended to be me, gone into my private notebook (where I write private things like, my grocery list, and notes for, like, school and occasional rants about a certain messy desk in my apartment that does not belong to me) and written shitty poems? What, is this a joke? Not funny. No one is laughing. Oh… You’re laughing? Well, you have a sick-ass sense of humour. Screw you. STOP LAUGHING. Who wrote these nasty poems?!

“ADDICTED?” By Sasha at Trees Organic Coffee

Thursday October 16,2014 at Trees Organic Coffee
5 minutes
from a Sandwich board at ITIT

Addicted to the thrill of the spotlight, or, the stoplight, changing from red to green and you’re off. Maybe it’s the same thing – spotlight and stoplight – maybe it’s the same glow that gets you tingly and feeling the most alive.

I’m quieter and slower and more partial to slow cooker soup and candlelight. I get a thrill from finding the most incredible recipe for stewed peaches, and I’m excited by the fact that I’m going to have to wait until next August, when peaches are in season again, to make it. You’ve stopped rolling your eyes at this part of me, you’ve started putting your arms around it, and breathing in it’s caramel smell.

“I remember needing nothing” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 15, 2014
5 minutes
Minute Eternity
David Whyte

When I awake, you’re gone. When you’re gone, I’m dangerous. When I’m dangerous, I’m snooping. When I’m snooping, I’m full of shame. When I’m full of shame, I’m in the dark. When I’m in the dark, I’m still. When I’m still, I’m wondering when you’ll back. When you’re back, I’ll be shy. When I’m shy, I smile. When I smile, you see what I don’t know. When you see what I don’t know, you lean in. When you lean in, it’s beautiful.

It’s beautiful when I’m alone in your basement apartment, my underwear in a ball in my back pocket, opening your medicine cabinet and trying to decipher if you’re more or less crazy than I am.

“And I have been in Heaven” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 14,2014
5 minutes
from a quote from Isaac Asimov

I’ve been to heaven in the shape of knowing what I want.
I’ve been in the sky when the ground is moving and I’ve stayed up up up.
I’ve been to hell (not yours)
It looked like the sheen of a toilet bowl and smelled like a stiff neck
I’ve been there
Just as you have
I don’t know your place and you don’t know mine but we find the space between
The one that’s catching wind and slides across the floor like a domino

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca

Friday October 17,2014
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi

I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“ADDICTED?” By Julia at ITIT Il Sandwich Shop

Thursday October 16,2014 at ITIT Il Sandwich Shop
5 minutes
from a Sandwich board at ITIT




“I remember needing nothing” By Julia at her desk in Bologna

Wednesday October 15, 2014
5 minutes
Minute Eternity
David Whyte

I called him up after, I don’t know, maybe it was forever. Who’s counting, maybe he is. I’m not. I’m not counting anymore. I called him up after a year, could have been two, and I did it so I could hear the way his breath sounds. That’s all I wanted. Nothing more, and I swear it to you because I’m already spilling my guts here so you can trust that all of this is true. I was counting the days, crossing them off on a list like someone who gives themselves a gold star for every cookie they don’t eat, or a chocolate for every day until Christmas. I wasn’t eating my feelings this time because that didn’t interest me. It didn’t feel good to order two pizzas and finish them both without even a single flinch. That was the thing I knew I didn’t need anymore. But I was obsessed with trying to convince myself that I could keep going, one day at a time, without thinking of him. I was in withdrawal, or something equally as lame, and I had a problem. Either I would call him up and tell him all the things I shouldn’t, or count the days that I didn’t but wanted to.

“And I have been in Heaven” By Julia at Piccolo & Sumblime

Tuesday October 14,2014 at Piccolo & Sublime
5 minutes
from a quote from Isaac Asimov

I have been to a place of permanent happiness.
I’ve seen the sun rise and fall while wearing a tutu and performing for the world; a perfect dance, to which no applause follows.
I’ve laughed until my ribs ached, till my belly quaked, till my eyes were blurry, and my face wet.
I’ve kissed a pair of incomparable lips that I want to share with everybody just so I can say I did something good for this sorry world.
I’ve tasted the sea and the earth after a night of their hot and sweaty love-making.
I’ve licked the ocean off my lips and hummed a tune under the water until my heart and the pulse of the waves traded places.
I’ve danced body on body while my youth stayed up late–just so it could pretend that nothing else in this life even mattered.

“Writing is so difficult” by Julia on her bed

Monday October 13,2014
5 minutes
A quote by Jessamyn West

It’s like opening every vein in your body but not at the entry points that doctors use to administer needles. You have to dig around in all the uncomfortable spots where the vein isn’t prominent, and then open it up from the inside and let the blood pour out. It needs to gush and splatter inside first before you’re allowed to open your skin–unfold every layer, peel it back, the old and the new, and let it fill whatever canvas is closest. And you have to do it vein by vein, one by one. And you have to do it by yourself because no on else knows where these soft spots live like you do, and you have to do it every time you want to express something real, communicate your feelings, and go to bed feeling like a positive change has taken place. It’s not easy. It is so difficult. But the more you do it, the more you know you must keep doing it. You must.

“Writing is so difficult” by Sasha on her couch

Monday October 13,2014
5 minutes
A quote by Jessamyn West

Writing is so difficult
Writing smells like burnt toast
Writing is messy and ugly and breakable
Writing makes me scream
Writing hugs me
Writing disgusts me
Writing is my tide
My moon
My “other” man
Writing tastes like burnt coffee
(Burning seems to be a theme)
Writing is the fire in my belly
Writing is home
Writing is my architecture
My party
My drug
My (good) bad habit
Writing is terrible
Writing is lonely
Writing is freedom
Writing is sisterhood
Writing is the dog bone (over-chewed, on the floor of the kitchen)
Writing is my legacy
Writing is my birthday
Writing is my death
Writing is never and always
Writing is water
Water is flowing
Writing is flowing
Writing is a best friend
A sister
Writing is the chandelier crashing to the floor
The lone monk on the highest mountain

“WANTED” By Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry

Sunday October 12,2014
5 minutes
from a gelato advertisement

Her skin is breaking out and she’s blaming it on the Chinese take-out. “What the fuck, Evan! We need to start eating vegetables!” “There are vegetables in Chow Mein!” Evan doesn’t know what to say. He’s doing his best. She resents his hat, his asshole hat. She resents his bad breath, and his hair loss, and his teeth, and his Facebook habit. “I’m going to get some spinach. We’ll eat spinach every meal of the day, honey…” She gazes at a zit the size of Olympus (to her, to you or I, it’s the size of an ant body). She looks herself in the eyes. Back to the zit. Back to her eyes. It’s a strange thing, gazing in your own eyes. It’s a strange thing, gazing into the eyes of a man you think you know, named Evan, who secretly pulls out his eyelashes and eats them.

“Missing a beautiful sunset” by Sasha at The Angel’s Nest on Salt Spring Island

Saturday October 11, 2014
5 minutes
from Julia’s notebook

Please answer the following questions and return them to me at your earliest convenience. Thanx.
Do you hold tension in your jaw?
Do you clench your teeth?
Do you drink enough water?
Do you eat too much sugar?
What are your thoughts on Yerba Mate?
Do you smoke?
Are you breathing all the way to your anus?
Are you having enough sex?
Do you pop your pimples?
Are you scared of the forest at night?
Are you lonely?
Do you steal?
Have you called your oldest friend on her birthday?
Are you making enough money?
Why do you make what you make?
Do enough people know who you are?
Are you good at what you do?
Are you on the right path?
Are you on any path?
Is there a path?
How much does the book you need most cost?
Are you spiritual?
Are you partial to pens or pencils?
Is there a flagpole you could raise a flag on?
What would your flag say?

“Deerskin or moose hide” by Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry

Friday October 10, 2014
5 minutes
from firstpeopleofcanada.com

I ride my bike to the ocean
Into the ocean
Into a wave that should be surfed but is rolled on and rolled over
I see the starfish that you spoke of
We nod in mutual understanding
(She doesn’t pretend to know)
I’m pedalling like there’s a hill
But there isn’t
There’s salt
There’s coral
There’s a frequency of whale song
But the whale is hundreds of miles away

The biggest predicament is when I can next walk barefoot

“A lot of new clients” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday October 9, 2014
5 minutes
from Million Dollar Critic premiere episode

It’s okay, Little Tweet, it’s okay to have those nightmares. I heard you cryin’. I heard you banging those sticks together, Little Tweet! Oh, I wanted to come an’ see you and tell you it’s okay but… Oh, Little Tweetie… Lemme hold your hand. Let me hold that little seashell hand. It’s okay, sweet one, baby, little tiny Little Tweetie. I’m gonna tell you a secret that I learned from a woman on a Vision Quest… That’s not what they called it at the time but it’s what I’m going to call it now. Because you’ll understand that. It’s about names. It’s about changing your name. I’m not saying that you should change your name, Little Tweet, it’s that you have options… See… I used to be Barbara. I ever told you that? On my Quest the woman said that I appeared to her to be Talahena. So. You know me as Talahena. And it may change. It may change. Now, your Papa gave you Little Tweet but I don’t know if that’s who you are anymore!

“please take my advice” by Sasha on the 99 Bus

Wednesday October 8, 2014
5 minutes
from a man’s t-shirt

The tree outside my house is on fire
Glowing sunshine and change
The squirrel followed me here
This new (not so new) place
The squirrel stops and looks and runs and looks
The arbutus shakes my spirit like a tambourine
The arbutus sheds her bark like I wish I knew how
It’s cold in the morning
You light a fire
You flick the switch
You fill the kettle with water and I wait for it to boil
I curl my toes
Like bark
I breathe a sigh of relief that time is here
That now is here
That it’s October and sometimes I see familiar faces
You make my tea and you bring it to me while I try to meditate on the grey cushion
The tree outside my house teaches me about letting go
And the sage I burn teaches me about smoke
and longing
And you teach me about love
Every day
Every autumn
Our third one
We fall in Fall and in falling we open and in opening we live our fullest beauty.

“WANTED” By Julia at her desk in Bologna

Sunday October 12,2014
5 minutes
from a gelato advertisement

past. it was then that i saw it. i was afraid. i breathed one breath at a time out of fear of waking it. him. the beast. horror. it was a film. it was made up of my own worst nightmares. i asked my head to stop. to please. it didn’t know how. it had gone too far. present. i am sitting in a cave. the night is loud with silence. i am shivering. i am empty faced, heavy hearted. you only get one try. one attempt to flee. he was growling deep inside himself. it made me awake in every part of me. my bones. quaking. my skin soaked. future. he will eat my softness. he will wound my earth. i will fight to bind him. i will hunt to be unhunted.

“Missing a beautiful sunset” by Julia at Casa Gandolfi

Saturday October 11, 2014
5 minutes
from Julia’s notebook

Is like being in another country while your best friend celebrates his birthday without you.
Is like following a baby around hoping that you’ll be able to catch her first steps and then finding out she did it the moment you went to the bathroom.
Is like holding in a sneeze and then never being able to let it out.
Is like showing up to a surprise party after the guest of honour.
Is like traveling across the world just to watch TV all day.
Is like wishing on a plane that you thought was a shooting star.
Is like having a dietary restriction and a thoughtful friend who brings something you can eat to the potluck and then not even getting a chance to eat it because the other party guests got to it first as there wasn’t a pretentious sign keeping them away.
Is like vowing to not set an alarm for Sunday morning but being woken up by a real life rooster instead. And earlier.

“Deerskin or moose hide” by Julia at Casa Gandolfi

Friday October 10, 2014
5 minutes
from firstpeopleofcanada.com

I was looking for new boots cause my old ones got all chewed up last winter in the storm of 2012. You know how it is, trekking through blizzards and trying not to die. I had had those boots for 16 years, so that should give you an idea of the quality of the soles, the durability of the interior, and of course the classic style of the timeless design. Now that also gives you an idea of how bad that winter truly was. How could a storm ruin a pair of perfectly made boots? Well it did, and I have the proof. You can’t just sit indoors because it’s snowing outside. Oh no. You have to keep on living; go to the grocery store, save a small child from freezing to death in an ice fishing hole, pick up the mail. The world doesn’t stop just cause your custom made quality winter boots with a life time warranty get all torn to bits. That’s not what’s important anyway. The point is, I was looking for new ones to replace the old ones cause I never stopped thinking that the winters to come would be just as bad if not worse. Boy did I want to be prepared.

“A lot of new clients” by Julia at Casa Gandolfi

Thursday October 9, 2014
5 minutes
from Million Dollar Critic premiere episode

Ester was dreaming of the day she could open up her own business. She was told all her life how great she’d be at “hotel services” or “hospitality”. She knew her life’s passion was in hosting people and making them feel welcome, comfortable, and at home. So Ester planned to start a B&B and call it “Heart and Home” (a play on the saying “Home is where the heart is”). Her days began to fill up with colour swatches, linen options, soundproofing materials (for the honeymoon suite, of course) and what light and subtle jazz would be playing upon first entry. It was all very important to figure out, but Ester couldn’t afford to do it. She was too proud to ask for help from her widowed mother who had no reason to say no, and she was too embarrassed to tell any of her current co-workers that she planned to one day leave the Tim Hortons and become the talk of the town.

“please take my advice” by Julia in Giardino Grazella Lava

Wednesday October 8, 2014
5 minutes
from a man’s t-shirt

There are a couple things you could learn about dating life. You can listen to these ideas or not and either way, nothing will fucking matter. So I guess choose or not choose wisely.
1) when a man let’s his stupid fucking friends hang out with him at work, and behind the counter just to stare at clients who are requesting a service, either never ever date him, or find a way to take a shit on any of his belongings.
2) when a man invites you to a movie and takes too long to buy a ticket, whether it’s yours or his (even though legend has it that it should be both), never ever date him again, or do, but just go prepared with safety pins so you can shove them slowly into his pants while his lazy ass legs sit around doing nothing.

“I’m in Bali. I was greeted by a rat.” by julia on a bench near the racetrack

Tuesday October 7 2014
5 minutes
from a text from Bec

It’s the catch 22 the win win lose
The 2 steps forward the two steps you choose
Then the backward dance where the skies don’t last
And you can’t keep moving cause the learning’s in the back
Which one do you need
Trick question no such thing
Can’t have one without the other though the warnings surely heed
Go to Bali!
There are weddings!
And there are rats who chew your feelings
So it’s beautiful and magic but you can’t seem to shave that panic
Cause what you know you have taken
All those years your bones were shaking
That’s the melody of lives lived
And so you take the small with the big
The bad with the good cause you should
You should
Ain’t a God without it anyway
Relative storms to make you love the other days
If you let it it gets let
All the money waged and bet
To throw away for better things
And still your dice addiction clings
Can’t let go and still hold on
We’re humans
We don’t trade
We pawn

“I’m in Bali! I was greeted by a rat.” By Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital

Tuesday October 7,2014
5 minutes
From a text from Bec

Dear Mom,

I’m in Bali! I was greeted by a rat. Normally that would really freak me out, but I was charmed by it! It was actually kinda cute! Monica and I are getting along okay… I might travel on my own for a bit, though. I’m good, don’t worry. I’m healthy. I haven’t been bitten by any snakes. Monica’s “seeing” this guy, Felix, he’s from Australia and he smells like that weird massage lady that used to come to the house… He’s a huge mooch, he tags along everywhere and he doesn’t pay for anything! I don’t get it because Monica made a huge deal when we left New Zealand that she was on a budget and no more eating out and we had to get jobs and… Felix is an ass. I’m sorry but he is. The most awful part is that we have to share a room. The three of us. I feel so gross. They make out until I put my earplugs in and I’m sighing so loud and, like, it doesn’t seem like she is getting the hint! Who knows what they do then. Sorry if this is TMI. I’m really losing it. I want to come home. I don’t know how I thought I could do this for a whole year. My backpack is falling apart. My feet have the nastiest, like, infected blisters… I need a haircut so bad.

“Castorland Puzzle” by Sasha at her kitchen tabl

Monday October 6,2014
5 minutes
from the Castorland Puzzle box

Castorland Puzzle was something I never wanted to do, okay. I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. It seemed easy enough, but I’m not even into that kind of thing. Crystal said that it would be “easy” and that I didn’t need to be nervous or anything. What the fuck, Crystal? I mean, you know that I drive myself crazy with mistakes? So, we did it. That isn’t me admitting anything. That’s me warming up. Got any hot dogs? I could really go for some grainy mustard… Look. You’re an attractive woman. You know how it goes. You know how disappointing these things can be. Am I even making any sense? Long story short, the Puzzle was the biggest failure of my career. Crystal? She left me for a chef with tattoos of fucking fish. Fish. Can you fucking believe that?

“study and travel” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday October 5,2014
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

She chose her own name and she chose “Alibi”. She heard her father say it, something about his work, something about people with scars on their wrists and tired tongues. She chose her birthday and she chose today. Crisp, like a Gala apple. Blue sky like the birds soaring. She sang only in the forest because she found the trees to be the most receptive audience. She found the trees to listen with their whole being, not like people, not like us, arms crossed, teeth gripped like we’re afraid our own voice might escape.

“Basta!” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 4, 2014
5 minutes
Overheard in Piazza Bellini

I’m writing you a letter. This isn’t it. It’s on the kind of fancy paper your grandmother might give you, with flowers in the corners. It’s written in blue fountain pen ink and stamped on the envelope with gold stars. I’m writing you a letter because I have something to tell you that’s too hard to say with a voice. It must be said with a pen, with blue ink, on fancy paper.

Remember when you dreamed in colour? Remember when you know the recipe for chocolate cake without looking at the card, dotted with batter, from previous summers? Remember when you drank iced tea by the mug?