Wednesday September 5, 2018
The Experimental Boy
I refuse to believe that the internet is evil. Think about all of the political movements that were propelled forward through hashtags and blogs and twitter? Think about #metoo alone. Groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Literally changing the world and how we know it. If it weren’t for the internet, knowledge wouldn’t be shared with a click, opinions wouldn’t be batted back and forth across borders! You might look at me and think, “that old hippy dude probably thinks that we were better off without smartphones, Alexa, Google, whatever… In some ways, maybe. When we let the internet rule us – we’re in big trouble. When we are at the hand of capitalism, when our only identity is “consumer” – we are in big trouble. But, I do not fundamentally believe that all of us are lost at sea without a paddle, on a melting iceberg.
Wednesday September 14, 2016
from a tweet
Did you know that if you can think it, it already exists somewhere on the internet? Because it’s a dark and twisted jungle and some people don’t know how to find their way home after getting lost in it. Anything you can think of at all. Sure, it would take a little digging. You’d have to be good at searching. But for every good thought you’ve ever had, someone has beat you to one like it somewhere online. And for every bad thought you’ve ever had, someone has beat you to 10. At least. The ratios do not lie. We’re more alike in this life than we’d ever like to admit. My bad thoughts, fleeing, your bad thoughts breeding and burying their eggs all over the web. It’s the only place where there always exists someone more hurt than you.
Thursday March 19, 2015
from a slide in lecture
So I’ve been meeting with this guy for coffee every two weeks because on a whim, I put an ad on the internet offering my tutoring services. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting anyone to respond but this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation every week and a half, was looking to improve his Italian and so he sent me a message. The first day I showed up with all my books and my notes and an Italian flag lapel pin my mom found for me at a garage sale (which I regret, but still wore) because I was ready to teach; To exchange a service. But this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation and casual sex every week ended up being ridiculously hot. Like stupid hot. And he wanted to improve his Italian so I was like, WHAT? YES? YES.
Monday October 20, 2014
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…
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I sit in the Internet cafe. My heart buzzes. My feet are cold. The man, Boris, who runs this place, tells me to be careful. “Yes,” I say. And I will be. As best I can. I will be. So much of that is out of my hands, though. So much of that is beyond me, beyond my brother or my father, beyond him. I’ve been corresponding with a man named Beau. He lives in New York. He’s forty seven. He’s never been married. He has a twenty year old son who is in the army. He tells me that I’m beautiful and that he’ll love me just as I am. He tells me that he wants a wife to look after, to look after him. He doesn’t speak Russian and my English is not the greatest so… We try our best. I use Google Translate. He probably does, too. Sometimes he says something and it doesn’t make sense. It probably makes sense in English. I laugh and Boris shakes his head. He tells me that he’s going to send me a plane ticket. He tells me that New York is gorgeous in September. I wonder what it’s like to fly.
Sunday May 25, 2014
A sign on Queen St. West
HI, my name is HOLLY and I will be your PERSONAL ROBOT. I’m a robot I’m a GIRL ROBOT.
Just kidding. I hate robots. Like hate hate hate.
I just thought it would be a cute joke, you know, those kinds that you tell over the internet when someone e-mails you and begs for your help and you’re like, what am I a freaking computer? What is this, New Years?
That’s something my boyfriend says. What is this, New Years? I stole it, whatever. No big D.
Taryn asked me to help her do her taxes and I’ve been doing her taxes since 2009 and I’m pissed about it because it would cost her $50 freaking dollars to go to H & R Block but she’s my sister and she has a pouty face and insecurity issues and inferiority issues and self-esteem issues so I help her because I would really rather she didn’t use not knowing how to do her own taxes as a personal excuse to stop living.
Like not in a suicidal way—she’s not depressed. Not that I know of. Not that everyone who is depressed offs themselves, but like, you know what I’m saying. Whatever I’m tired, I’ve been sitting at this computer for far too long and all the words are crumbling or disappearing and I’m on my way to sleep land anyway.
I don’t know when Taryn’s going to finally just do herself a favour and open the internet to research how to do this. It’s not like she has to read a book or anything.
Thursday May 1, 2014
The Q Podcast
When my brother, Wallace, told me that he was getting the whole family together for breakfast because he had something to tell us, I never coulda guessed. I mean, he’s a strange guy, like, he refuses to wear socks, for example, and he really likes My Little Pony. But, I love him. A lot. And he does wonderful things like make peach cobbler every Sunday and he speaks five languages pretty darn well (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin). He’s crazy smart, like, probably the smartest person you’ve ever met. So, Tasha comes in from the city and Mom and Vince are drinking their coffee, and Lucie forgets and so I go and wake her up. Wallace went and got pastries from the bakery. He doesn’t even look nervous. He looks calm. Once we all settle he says, “I gathered you all here today because I have some important news for you. I think I’ve mentioned my girlfriend Mary, who I met online? Well, we’re getting married – ” And then Mom says, “You’ve never even met her, Wallace!” And Vince says, “Wally, just take it one step at a time – ” And then before I can even get a bite of my blueberry danish, we hear a pitter patter of feet down the stairs and there she is. Mary.
Monday April 14, 2014
April 10-16, 2014
When Jon got here, he looked nervous. Most people do. He was how I expected him to be, in some ways, but in other ways he surprised me. I didn’t expect the lisp. Or the combed hair, to be honest. He had light blue eyes… Almost like that actor that played Jesus in that Mel Gibson film. You know that guy? I don’t remember his name. Anyway, he sat down, stiff, like, he wouldn’t even lean back against the couch. I asked him the usual questions… The questions I always ask a new client. “You come very highly recommended…” he said. “By whom?” I asked. There was a long pause. “I can’t say,” Jon looked at the carpet and I wondered when I’d last vacuumed. “Alright…” I sipped my green tea, I think. I said, “What brings you here, Jon?” He remained very quiet for quite some time and I wondered who it was who might’ve recommended me to him. “It was Larry Pickford,” Jon said, his voice louder. “I met Larry in a chatroom. On the Internet. A special support group…” He stopped speaking and left the room. I called him a few hours later and left him a voicemail, asking him to come the following week. It took him a month to call me back. I know what you’re thinking…
Sunday March 9, 2014
overheard on the 72 pape bus
Those dark corners of our relationships where we’d rather not look? Where we’re happy to let dust settle and rarely vacuum? I learned that that’s not such a good idea in the long run. Sam is surfing Buzzfeed like a real animal these days. Right now. He’s on it. I know it’s bad that I look in the window reflection to see what’s on his screen. He doesn’t need to know the “10 Best Study Snacks”! He’s not studying for anything! “Read a book!” I shout. He laughs. So. Here’s the latest. I think Sam’s addicted to the Internet. Not in a funny/cute way, in a ‘Are you okay?” way. The other day, I get home from work, arms full of groceries and library books. He’s on the floor, sitting with his back against the couch and he’s reading a blog about an Axe throwing league. “Whatchu doin’?” I ask. Nonchalant. Totally cool girlfriend. “Looking into an exercise program so I can lose my gut,” he says, eyes glued to the screen.
Sunday February March 2 2014
The Murder Room
He had heard on the phone that there was a snowmobiler who had gotten shot out on the lake. Marti told him that where he was living was just not safe anymore if people are out on the lake just enjoying themselves, and minding their own business, and getting shot. He told her not to worry about him because he wasn’t a snowmobiler nor was he a targeted individual. Marti told him right then and there that the man who was shot, was not targeted either. He was the victim of a careless person, wielding a shot gun, and attempting to take a “cool” photo for the “internet”. He wasn’t happy with that news because all his life he had felt safe on that lake, felt secure in that little town knowing that the neighbours were kind, and willing to help at any chance they could. He did not see his home turning into a place for kids running around with a God complex trying to shoot things for the sheer fun of it all. Marti told him he should build a fence to help with all the shooters. He told her that there had been only one incident so far, and that it would be the very last one. Marti was not convinced and told him that if he didn’t want to listen to reason, he would be the next victim and to not come crying to her when he had a bullet lodged in his brain.
Saturday February 8, 2014
Savvy had wanted to be one of those YouTube singing sensations. She had picked a new name and everything. She was going to get followers and fans and a music deal and a drug addiction. She was going about it all in the right way. She had followed other YouTube phenomenons to see how they had done it exactly. What surprised her were the videos themselves. Well edited and creative and at times using so many other individuals. Savvy wondered how she would get that fame if she were always competing for smiles with her friends and the extras she paid to be in her music videos for a cover she was singing of a band that every other YouTuber had done a cover for. She did not like the idea of learning to use a software. Not after spending so much time perfecting her singing face and learning which angle her nose looked best in. Savvy’s only M.O was to become a star, to be in an Us Weekly magazine and to maybe start her own perfume line.
Sunday January 5, 2014
Suzuki GS 500 Haynes Manual
CARLA: I don’t know what that means. I really don’t. I’ve looked it up, and I mean, it’s on the internet cause everything is, but I still don’t get it. Which then makes me feel stupid and sad. Because I know I’m neither of those things but then I’m made to feel like I’m both of them and there’s no getting out. It’s weird, it’s like, saying “I don’t know” and truly not knowing is completely unacceptable to people. Why do I have to pretend to know everything, and look it all up before I send my response? To keep you guessing, to keep you thinking that I’m intelligent. Some people are just not word people, you know? Some people are really good at reading HUMAN BEINGS and THEIR BEHAVIOUR and might be legally illiterate. Is that so bad? Those people get away with not knowing and nobody says ANYTHING to them. And nobody should. Nobody should say anything to the people are “supposed” to be smart and just don’t know all the things that ever existed either, but they do. Higher standards apply to those people. The same way when a skinny person puts on even just a tiny bit of weight, everybody notices and now they get called ‘fat’. Can we do a couple things this year? Like banish the words “stupid” and “fat” because they are relative and they’re just not helping anyone? I can’t be the only one who thinks this. I’m going to look it up on the internet.
Thursday, November 28, 2013 at El Cafecito
I’ve been on a particular website, I won’t name names cause I’m embarrassed, but for maybe hours now. I haven’t eaten one single solitary thing all day, because you can’t count a decaf latte, and I don’t even feel the hunger anymore. It’s like my drive kicked in and all I need is to watch…those…videos….no, not videos! Just the “featured products” on the site….not videos! That’s stupid! There’s nothing worth talking about with regards to the videos. In fact, what videos? Ha! I’ll tell you they’d just be the regular type if they were being watched at all! I’d just have to say that the “products” being “featured” are really addictive. Sort of in a way that makes you feel satisfied and content without having to do anything yourself. And I mean, just looking at them, not watching them, because they’re not videos. Above all else I feel relief. Just a lot of relief and excitement about my next coming hours, not necessarily revolving around the same thing, but just knowing I saw them….knowing I witnessed them in some form, not in a moving picture form, I told you, just…Oh I wish I could tell you. I wish you would understand, but you won’t. You won’t and then things will only be medium good. I’ll be thinking about how you don’t understand and I won’t be able to enjoy it the same way at all.
Sunday February 3, 2013
Not Wanted on the Voyage
It’s been 18 minutes and 34 seconds. And counting. And wasting. 19 minutes that I’ve been on hold. Do people even wait this long anymore? The terrible music is on loop, it’s blurry, and for the love of god, it’s starting to grow on me. I don’t feel like dancing yet, but for crying out loud, I think I’ve gone crazy cause I’m not too far off. Every time it stops, I think a real human being is going to join me on the phone and engage in this problem that I’ve been so desperately trying to resolve. I’ve been patient, oh have I. I put it on speaker phone. Best damn idea I’ve ever had. Hands free. Still able to peruse the interweb, which, I’ll have you know, is exciting when there’s the thrill of someone interrupting. Not like that. Just retail stores online, that’s all I’m saying. Wouldn’t mind checking out Macy’s. Wouldn’t mind telling my brother to let me spend some of his cash points on a new scarf or something. I even managed to do a load of laundry. Now that’s commitment! I wonder if people are just hanging out across the telephone wires with their co-workers, just sort of keeping me on the line cause they know I’ll wait. Hell, I haven’t hung up yet. I get worried that they’re over there playing Strip Poker or Gin Rummy or, you know, I think about Twister! Are they all twisted up, half naked and tangled, smoking cigars and just having the times of their lives while I sit here surfing online trying to keep myself from dancing to this horrible music? I suppose I could get the pasta water boiling. Emmet said he’d be home soon, but I bet not before I die of boredom.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
the bag of pistachios
Every time I write my address I have to pinch myself, you know. It’s a figure of speech but for me it’s real. I pinch the same place, on my forearm, to remind myself that this is real and I made this happen and as a bit of an “in your face” to all the people that said I couldn’t and it wouldn’t. There’s no “How To” book. I mean, I put myself on tape and got a few amateur videos on-line. I got the hits up by live chatting with my followers, by doing the things that they wanted to do on webcam, by allowing them to buy me gifts and stuff. Then, I sent in the links (I have over six thousand views, okay,) and they, the Producers, they got really excited because… there aren’t a lot of girls like me.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
The Gluten-Free Vegan
We were practicing our kissing face in the mirror. He was getting mad at me because I kept opening my eyes to watch us do it. Sorry! I said, but if I don’t see it, I’ll never know what we’re doing wrong. Marisha and Tan cannot have a better kissing photo than us, do you understand? THIS IS SERIOUS!
He was getting annoyed. I could tell because he started twisting his beard the way he did when he was annoyed. It was a pretty obvious signal. But I was hell-bent so his twisty ways were going to have to wait. Let’s try again, I said, but this time, let’s do it like we’re alone, like no one’s watching. YOU’RE WATCHING! He said. You’re making me self-conscious and I don’t give a flying fuck if our photo is just ‘sub-par’. DO NOT SAY SUB-PAR to me. THAT IS NOT AN OPTION, JEREMY. He rolled his eyes at me, but I didn’t care. Marisha was broadcasting her cuteness all over the internet by now and if we didn’t have one to mock up the date stamp, then we would just look like second place because she did hers first. LET’S PRACTICE WITH THE WEB CAM! I squealed. We could video tape it and watch it from a couple of angles, and this way I could keep my eyes closed and he would feel a little more at ease. No. He said. This is fucking stupid. I’M DOING THIS FOR YOU, JEREMY! GODDAMMIT!