“then I had a boy.” By Julia at V, J, W, and A’s house

Sunday April 15, 2018
7:30pm
5 minutes
Devices on Standby
Kelly Ann Malone

I heard the words come out of my mouth like a broken record: MOVE just like my mother used to say. And it worked. That tone, that strength. She listened and she did. Then I hugged her. Because I didn’t want her to go to sleep right after being yelled at. So then I hugged him too because he was good the whole night and i didn’t want him to feel left out. And that is what I’m learning. That girls still need hugs after being told no. And boys still need hugs after being told yes.

I keep thinking, don’t let your kids grow to be unlikeable, if I don’t like them the world won’t like them and I want the world to like my kids. Send them to my parents house so they can see what listening feels like, what being a kid feels like. I want that for me and for my kids and for the grandparents my parents will turn into.

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Julia on the 98

Saturday March 31, 2018

6:10pm

5 minutes

A quote from Stephen Hawking

In the 4th grade I was a times tables genius. I won around the world so many times I had to give some of my suckers away. By the time I got to the 5th grade I became so deathly afraid of graphs that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom anytime we played games that required the use of them. By the 6th grade I stopped remembering math class as a place to learn and turned it into one where I could practice my stand up routine. I think that’s when I realized I was funny. When all the kids in my class were being tested for the special skills test, I was deeply saddened when they didn’t ask me to do it. They were going to decide if those kids needed an individual education plan and I had high grades and I felt smart, but it was not enough to get the fancy folder with my name on it. I wondered why they thought that numerical testing was the only way to determine if we were gifted.

“Let’s do choices” by Julia at 1st and Columbia


Tuesday July 25, 2017
5:51pm
5 minutes
The Home Depot ad

Mom chooses her body over every body else’s, she knows now what hers wants and what it sings for. I watch Mom turn into a butterfly after working so hard for so many years. I watch Mom leave the upstairs bathroom unfinished and the downstairs windows taped with green table cloth instead of curtains. Mom doesn’t wish for nicer things anymore. Mom doesn’t choose cheese over cheer. She doesn’t choose them over her. Mom tastes freedom these days with every “Fuck” and “Shit”. She doesn’t like when we laugh but we are not laughing at her. Mom didn’t know she was funny until five minutes ago. Mom makes the choice to keep learning. To keep educating all of us. To keep trying when she’s told she can’t. To keep growing out of her skin when she feels like it. To keep pushing out, rising up.

“a certain brand of peanut butter” by Julia at L and J’s Airbnb


Tuesday June 27, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Habit
Charles Duhigg


The first time J and I went to Costco we made some crucial errors. We have left the receipt tacked on to the fridge as a reminder that we cannot simply go to Costco. Even after we have run out of the giant tub of almond butter. We have to make sure we’re mentally prepared. Because last time we were not prepared. We were ruined.
We made some crucial errors.

1) It was a Saturday
2) we got high
3) we were hungry
4) we didn’t hang around the proper food sample tables
5) we didn’t make a real list
6) we tried to put a 900 pack of toilet paper in our cart
7) we didn’t know the prices of things at regular stores to compare

“compelled to live under difficult conditions” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday June 15, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World
The Dalai Lama


learn things the hard way:
make the same
mistake a million times
expect too much
drink too much
spend too much
return
return
return
avoid the telephone
avoid the woman who carried you in her body because she knows too well what you look like when you’re hiding
lie to the mirror
avoid the mirror
apply for msp
pay the wrong premiums
cry about it
forget to call the people about the help the people said they’d provide
avoid the telephone
avoid the truth
do not create anything
do not sleep
smoke too much
spend too much
binge too much
avoid the shower
avoid the fun
return
rip your hair from your head
from your eyebrows
from your lids
rip your hair from your crotch
one by one
until they’re all gone
be a girl after being a woman
avoid the mirror
avoid sex
avoid asking for what you need
resist the urge to be brave
let commercials steal your soul
spend too much
complain too much
return

“it won’t matter what house I move into” by Julia on her couch


Friday May 12, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton


under this roof you will
not lock the doors
under my roof you will not know something that I do not
do as I say, not as I do
do not correct my grammar
do not cry about every thing
do not forget that I would never let anything happen to you
do not raise your voicd to me
do not forget to mix vodka with orange juice
hi sweetie
Cut the garlic, fine
You’re going to be, fine
I love you

“periodic assessment” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday March 19, 2017
10:37am
5 minutes
Exclaim Magazine

The children will be assessed periodically in the following areas: mathematics, language, geography, biology, physics, public speaking and physical stamina. It is up to you, as their leaders, to make sure that they are ready. If they fail more than one assessment per term, they will be punished, and you will be penalized. Please do not ask for details at this present moment, as the penalization changes yearly. We have found that incentivizing the learning is highly beneficial. Our assessment success continues to increase, which is what has put our institution on the map. If you have concerns, write them on a piece of paper and set that piece of paper on fire. I don’t care for worry-warts, complainers or socialists.

“Exile” By Julia on her bed


Monday February 13, 2017
10:30pm
5 minutes
from a business card

How do I forgive something so permanent?
made me miss my bus
made me take out the trash
made me clean out the coffee filter
made me apologize for something I’m not solely sorry for
made me dinner
made me eat breakfast before leaving
made me smile
made me laugh
made me feel bad for crying
made me feel stupid for trying
made me lose my train of thought
made me angry
made me demand more of myself
made me let go
made me better than I ever was going to be
made me question

“what he did before fame” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 18, 2017
6:30pm
5 minutes
from a Google search

He was selling used cars on his uncle’s lot
working the graveyard shift at Tim Horton’s
crossing his fingers
dotting his eyes
dressing up as a Smurf for a promotions company
working as a phone sex operator on his sister’s landline while she was at work
selling cannabis products at the dispensary near his house
raking leaves at the cemetery
hosting murder mystery dinners
taking photos of his feet and selling them on Craigslist
building radios
teaching creative writing to the elderly
selling lemonade on the side of the road for 25 cents a cup

“bring it with me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday January 17, 2017
9:19pm..
5 minutes
from an email

I don’t think I’d be able to leave it anywhere else. Not under the bed or in the closet. Not on the shelf or in the key house. I’d have to bring it with me because there is no place it belongs better than the place I’ve built. I carry it; the last thing you gave me. The world could shake me down till I were naked branch and still not be able to pry the light of you from me. I have stitched it on tight. I wear it when I cannot hold it. I wrap it when I need it bigger. I couldn’t leave that behind. Things already happen just so already…things already break too easy.

“I don’t have any change” by Julia on the 99


Monday January 16, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99″

I feel like I ask for help the way young me never could and so it comes out young me when I’m trying not to give away that I have lived but maybe just not out loud until now
I feel sorry that my vulnerability is showing through my tough smile and then when people guess my age they cant believe how many decades I’ve been alive because the kind of asking for help I produce suddenly weighs heavy like a lightening bolt
Splitting me and all my good sides into halves and then again and then again
My lightening is as heavy as my sorry is as heavy as my untapped rage, and all the revenge I’ve ever bled out over
Young me living through now me is so damn sweet it hurts
It really fucking does
When everyone looks at you like you’ve just shown them a new wound on your knee or bottom lip

“in a less than forgiving city” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday September 28, 2016
7:32am
5 minutes
vancouveractorsguide.com

I came to the place in myself I always worried I’d find. The part that doesn’t have patience for people who don’t pull their weight, the part that doesn’t feel good about having to remind a group of adult children how to get by. Maybe I should have signed up for this in advance. If I had chosen to help people maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much. If I worked in a place where my help was needed…

I am so disgusted with the hole in my chest that comes from resenting other people. I don’t want to admit it but I need help too. I guess that’s where the pain comes from.

When I was in elementary school, I was often ahead of the class and I cared about school and being great. I was always assigned to work in pairs with the students who didn’t understand any concepts, or who didn’t like being there. When I asked the teachers why I couldn’t be put with someone who was going to work hard and push me to be better, they all told me the same thing: You’re a strong student, you don’t need help as much as they do.
So when did anyone look down at me and think, well there’s some potential, why don’t we try to lift that one up? Why didn’t I ever hear, well she could use a mentor or an opportunity?

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

“Sitting in rapt attention” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 24, 2016
6:45am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
Issue No. 19

He was leading a seminar on punctuality and he showed up 6 minutes late. If he had turned it into some teachable moment, or made us realize how important life is sometimes and how maybe he’s the perfect one to lead this seminar because punctuality is still a human invention and so a human can still mess it up, we would have been more in his corner. Instead the whole time I thought he was a flake. How he couldn’t admit that he was wrong. That he was trying to save face in a crowd of ruthless college kids who were looking for reasons not to take him seriously. I thought about where he might be coming from. I thought about his life’s struggles and decided he probably had a bunch of them because we all do. I don’t know what everyone else was thinking but I was hoping he’d end his seminar early and rush off to tend to one of those life things so we would all have a little more compassion for him. I think that’s a good thing, that I would rather be compassionate. I guess the bad part is that I need to have a reason first before I want to be.

“We hopped on bikes with banana seats” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday August 23, 2016
7:04am
5 minutes
parent.co

It might have been 40 degrees out. It felt like we had already sweat off most of our top skin anyway. The trees were dense with moisture. Heavy like they were holding in all of the rain we hadn’t seen. Jessie and I ate kiwis while we waited for Reid and Lucia to hurry up. Lucia told us we’d hear the owl signal and know we should take off on our bikes to go meet them. Jessie didn’t want to move. She said her thighs were rubbing. We sat beside the shed while we finished eating, kiwi juice dripping down into our shirts. I didn’t want to ask Jessie to do much else. I was glad she finally came with us for once. Usually she’d have an excuse why she couldn’t come. She even used “blow-drying her hair” one time and missed out on one of the best nights of our lives. We spent that summer in the cemetery conjuring spirits and memories of loved ones we had never met.

“You close?” by Julia on her couch


Monday August 22, 2016
10:09pm
5 minutes
from a text

I wish he had asked that without his mouth full of Subway. I almost instinctively said “Well not anymore I won’t be” but restrained myself. I swear sometimes Lance only does gross shit to provoke me. To test me into seeing how much I can take. How grimy he could be and get away with it.
“I have to lock up first.”
“Nobody’s going to want to break into your dad’s shed. Trust me.”
“I told them I would watch their place while they were away.”
“Yeah but what do they expect for you to lock each room before you leave the house too?”
“get away from me with your tzatziki breath. I’ll be two seconds you can wait in the car.”
We were going on an adventure. Lance made me do it, told me it would be fun and we would remember it always.

“The secret of remaining young” By Julia on Lindsay’s Couch


Saturday August 13, 2016
7:12am
5 minutes
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde


Mom calls me to tell me about her trip tells me all about the seaside
And how people don’t care
That North America has judgments about women’s bodies and women’s
Minds
She tells me that she bought
Her first bikini
In 15 years
And that she loves it
And that she’s decided
She no longer cares
About the rules
Either
Mom tells me about her trip
How she listened to her body
Instead of punishing it
How she gave her skin a chance
How she smiled more than before
How people told her how good
She looked
And how shocking that
Was
And how nice that is
And how maybe she has
Finally
Let herself believe them
Because they are right
Because she has put the hard work in
Because she has unlocked her heart
And freed her inner child
Mom tells me about he trip
About her journey to find
peace
And how on the way
She found a whole lot more
Inside herself
Than she meant to

“enables you to become the master” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 13, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Curl Keeper Bottle

I think it has to deal with inside learning. You know what I mean when I say that? Inside learning? The act of getting to know yourself from the inside out. It sounds a bit out in left field but it is quite an easy concept if you just put it into your own words. I’ll try to explain myself: you look at a mirror every single day right? You know where your eyes are on your face, you know where your nose is. You know how your hair frames your forehead. But you don’t know what emotions are friends inside yourself. You don’t know how hate likes to attach itself to confidence and how love is always being eaten by fear. We need to understand how these feelings connect inside us. So we can become a master of ourselves. So we can learn truths on our own. So we can keep studying our souls with the intensity of learning a new language. That’s all it is, really. Learning how to speak our internal language.

“Let’s discover our” by Julia on the 7


Saturday May 7, 2016
7:39pm
5 minutes
from a chef magazine

Let’s discover our soft spots
Our unwants
Our don’t touches
Our yes love this
Let’s discover our truth’s truth
Our hard lost youth
Our who’s who
Tell me about your day dreams
I’ll tell you about my nightmares
Tell me about your battle wounds
I’ll tell you about my big scares
Your scars
My empty jars
Your hopes
My nopes
Your yeses
My catch this
Let’s discover the good and the bad
The moments we never had
The memories that make us sad
The language that holds us together

“How did you recognize him?” by Julia at her dining table


Thursay April 21, 2016
6:18pm
5 minutes
overheard in the car

I wrote a poem about your laugh when I was 17 and in love with you. I compared it to Santa. I didn’t know anything about you, or love, or poetry then. Maybe I still don’t. I felt proud reading it in front of my class and thinking of you secretly as I shared some of my truest, most ridiculous metaphors about you. I told them about your laugh, about how you were so inclusive and even laughed at people’s bad jokes to make them feel good. I remember thinking you were generous. And I think I was right because a few months later I found out that you were trading kisses with other girls and going out with whichever ones you thought you would be able to sleep with. Maybe I was the generous one for sharing you! I was crushed. I could pull you off of a busy street with my eyes closed if I could hear your laugh. These days I don’t hear it as much as I used to. We don’t live in the same place. We live worlds away.

“American singer-songwriter” by Julia on her couch


Friday April 15, 2016
8:55pm
5 minutes
from a Lenny Kravitz Google search

Performing in the bar, local bar, playing to crowds who love it, come back each week, bring their friends, become family. That’s what I really want. I don’t need stadium. I just want to entertain and share my music. I don’t care if I’m not rich. I’ll have artistic needs being met. I’ll get to share an experience, make people happy, help the bar make a bit more cash that night, drink for free. That’s it. I’m far from it. I’m not a flake or anything; I know that I’ve got a long road ahead of me before I can be that ready. I’m not delusional. It’s the dream though. I don’t necessarily envision it with a band or just me and my guitar. I don’t play the guitar yet. Doesn’t mean I can’t learn. Never too old to learn something new.

“Did you send the message?” by Julia on her couch


Friday, April 1, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

Connie has her overnight bag packed. She laughs every time she thinks of Alison calling it her “satchel”. Alison’s mom always teaches her to use the correct word for things, which is good because Connie can learn from that too. She thinks about her own mother falling asleep with a cigarette in her mouth while watching Wheel of Fortune every night after work. Once she solved a puzzle with only two letters revealed and Connie thought she was faking. She never hears words like “satchel” or “rotunda” or “enigmatic” so Connie didn’t think her mom was even fully watching her word shows. Connie goes into the living room to kiss her mother goodbye. She’s already asleep. Connie covers her in the red afghan and turns off the TV.

“you may feel strong emotion” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Wednesday January 27, 2016 at 49th Parallel
5:25pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


You have this scratch attack down your back
Spine tingling mind ringing
It’s running deep
Like a scar
Chopped off finger
Sewn on crooked
Iguana tail
Caught
Detached
Traumatized there after
I am swooping deep inside myself
Seeing inside myself
Healing inside myself
I don’t have room to take you with me
So when you feel it
You can recognize the shape
The shape of this madness
It’s itchy, attention licking
It’s unending, epiphany pending
If it’s new
Then it’s hard
And you will want nothing of this thing
I ask that you try
Just in case it gets better soon
Just in case it’s better than not having it
Experience will shape this
I am thinking of you
When I slide down further in
I take you with me
So I can keep an eye on you
Smile when I’m able
So you know you’re not alone
So you know you’re not forgotten

“I can never escape” by Julia on Amanda’s floor


Thursday, January 7, 2016
1:25am
5 minutes
The Reaper
Dan Fraser


There was a time I wouldn’t have thought to ask questions. I had questions. I had a lot of them. But in my history there was a time where I wasn’t comfortable giving them a voice out of fear that they might betray me; reveal me for the inposter I was, or the shaman, or the child. I couldn’t have anyone knowing what truly went on in my mind–I wasn’t about to give away a map to my soul and all my secret feelings. So I stayed quiet but I wrote them all out thinking no one would ever find them or be able to read them if I wrote messily enough. I couldn’t risk someone using them against me…but I guess I couldn’t hide myself from myself because looking back on those protected journals, all I see is the same curious heart I was then. And I’m still asking those same questions.

“Cookie duty” by Julia on her brother’s old bed


Wednesday, January 6, 2016
1:35am
5 minutes
Overheard at Platform Seven

Marta was busy teaching herself Spanish on her new audio learning app. She had her headphones in at all hours of the day and out of nowhere she’d blurt out a “Donde esta el banio?” or a “buenas noches!” even if she was in the middle of a conversation or an activity that did not require Spanish. Marta’s little sister, Leah, had asked her to help her make cookies for her bake sale and Marta told her “me gustaria help you”. Marta pictured herself making cookies for Ambrosio, the ridiculously hot life guard at the community pool who was the reason for her Spanish lessons in the first place.

“Wanna be able to” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Monday, January 4, 2016
1:46am
5 minutes
Overheard at R2 Cafe

There’s a dream I keep having that feels like a lesson I’m supposed to be learning but it is hard to remember in full detail. I wanna be able to recall all the events but it’s like my subconscious is making it hard for me on purpose. Then I get to wondering why my subconscious would wanna make it take so long for a lesson to be learned if it’s important enough to be learned at all in all this intricacy. This dream is even more difficult to understand because it’s in black and white and none of my dreams are in black and white. How confusing. Sometimes I think this dream could just be for entertainment purposes and I’m really not meant to do anything about it but enjoy it. But then there is a code, or what I think is a code, and new letters are revealed each time, and it’s not very enjoyable as I’m always under a lot of pressure to solve the puzzle with the clues that keep changing and I’m really never able to lay back and just watch. So then I wonder if maybe I’ve already figured it out and the recurring part is just a way for me to check my intel.

“you can’t resist” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, October 21, 2015
12:34am
5 minutes
Pinterest

I can’t resist, a list, a timely grouping of newly learned learnings. Here they are, laid bare, and left flat to dry. The wind might pick one up and knock it around, some of them might cling strong to the earth and grow. Who knows? Whatever whatever:

1-You can’t wait for the best thought to come before you think out loud. It’ll never happen. You’ll only confuse yourself if you let them all stay locked in tight.
2-Drying racks are a thing of the organized
3-James Franco has branded himself almost flawlessly.
4-Just because you’re lying doesn’t mean you’re not telling the truth.
5-James Franco’s younger brother does not want to be James Franco.
6-Talking about writing is fear’s way of making sure the truth doesn’t get out.
7-If you write down your ideas exactly when you have them, you’ll train yourself to trust your gut that it’s something worth putting down on paper. You have to build a relationship with yourself before you attack the page: it’s nice to have an ally if going into battle.

“create and manage an expense” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Saturday October 3, 2015 at 49th Parallel
3:35pm
5 minutes
A financial website

It’s about weighing the pros and cons, making a full spreadsheet of all the good and the bad and deciding if, after all that, it’s worth it or not. In the past I have made some critical errors when deciding major things. I didn’t use all of my resources the way I should have and I refused to consult a professional. BECAUSE I WAS BEING CHEAP. Cheap with my time and with my money and with my investments because I wasn’t treating my investments as investments but as burdens, WHICH THEY WERE NOT. So that’s the short of it, whether you do it or not is up to you. I can give you a couple examples. Of course I can. This information is not mine to have, it’s ours to share, it’s what makes the world go round, ETC. ETC. Okay so in a column you could put PROS: QUITTING MY JOB and in the one next to it you could put CONS: QUITTING MY JOB. You don’t have to write both titles twice, but for the sake of clarity, now you can understand that you’re COMPARING and CONTRASTING here. That’s very important. So. Quitting. Tell me one reason why that would be a negative thing. Always start with the negatives. It’s better, because if you notice yourself struggling to come up with them, then you’ve probably already made your decision. Then, less work!

“A boy in my algebra class nicknamed me “terrorist”” by Julia at English Bay Beach


Saturday September 12, 2015
8:01pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/life-as-a-hairy-muslim-girl-after-911

I think Luke heard it from his dad or something. Luke is always coming into class with his big words and his big hate and it sounds like stuff his dad says. My dad says that Luke’s dad is a vessel of pure sadness. I don’t get how he thinks he’s sad, cause Luke’s dad is always yelling and screaming and swearing and stuff and that seems like he’s pretty angry to me. Sad is when you cry and when your nose leaks and your stomach gets that empty feeling. How do you get that sad empty feeling when you’re always filling your stomach with cans of beer?
Luke is always saying things to me or to Ruby about our skin and about our voices. He laughs and his face goes all red when he holds my arms behind my back and calls me a “terrorist.”

“your mother’s sewing machine” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Thursday September 10, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

My mother didn’t know how to sew so I’d spend hours at my Aunt Winnie’s house watching her hem skirts, and braid old mops to use as hair for the dolls she’d give out at Christmas. Aunt Winnie liked to talk to herself while she worked, mumbling “Okay Win, this time, straight lines, straight straight lines.” Or, “One thread, two thread, three thread, four.” I would watch Aunt Winnie get herself over any hump, or out from any rock she found herself under. And if clothes got ruined she could fix them! The most self-sustaining thing I ever knew to be in my family was having the ability to sew. She would show me on her sewing machine, sit me on her lap so I could watch up close how to install the bobbin.

“how to be a parent” By Julia on her couch


Wednesday, August 5, 2015
12:40am
5 minutes
from Harper’s at a kiosk at the airport

Didn’t trust myself with Audrey. I didn’t know what I would do to her if I got mad and she said the wrong thing. I didn’t have the breaks for something like that. Some people, you know, they can stop on a dime, but not me. For me it’s 0-100 and there’s no taking back after that. Audrey, you know, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She always was. And the first time I realized I wasn’t safe for her was the last time. I snapped. I just…leapt out of my skin and I was a monster. Truly. At the time it was her or me. Feeding Audrey or feeding the monster. Only one of them could eat at a time and I used to make sure that I knew the difference. That wasn’t easy.

“Feed your creative juices” By Julia on her bed


Tuesday, August 4, 2015
1:05am
5 minutes
from a pencil case

Lana blotted the excess lipstick off with a square of toilet paper, remembering how her aunt Kathy showed her while she was living with her. Apparently Aunt Kathy was only supposed to stay for a couple weeks-a month tops- but things got complicated and before they all knew it, it had already been 4 years. Lana used to hear Aunt Kathy in the early morning when she would get up to shower and get herself ready for her receptionist job. When the water would stop, Lana would crawl out of bed and go sit beside the bathroom door, tapping on it quietly. Aunt Kathy would open the door, scoop her up and sit Lana down on the toilet seat while she did her makeup. Lana would have been two years old. She didn’t say a word, but she watched Aunt Kathy’s every move from the blush to the spacing out of her mascaraed eyelashes with the tip of a safety pin. On some days, Aunt Kathy would even put a little eye shadow on Lana, or let her taste a bit of her vanilla lip gloss.

“tenaciously committed” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday February 10, 2015
7:15pm
5 minutes
Howlround.com

“It’s okay,” he says. “You aren’t expected to understand this. It’s very advanced…” In his gentle knowing, it’s as though he hopes we might get there, at least before he leaves. “When do you go to Berlin?” Marta asks. He smiles. “Ten days.” “And we are supposed to learn everything from you before you leave?!” Henry looks emotional. He smiles again. “Of course not… It would be impossible. Relax, all of you, I’m feeling tense and you know what happens when I feel tense…” We wait, breath caught in our throats. “I lose my train of thought more easily! I become highly forgetful!” His accent makes his “f” sounds like waves. He looks at his watch. “We’re already over time, if you have someplace to be, please don’t be late on my account.” None of us move a muscle. “Well, in that case,” he raises an eyebrow, “let’s move on to the concerto…” He raises his violin to his shoulder.

“heated rivalry and the jealousy” by Julia on her bed


Friday February 6, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
http://www.mtv.ca

Karma’s a straight up bitch. Man, I’ve been saying that for as long as I can remember..like to other people, cause, hey, that’s what you say. But today I actually feel the bitter truth of it coursing through my veins like a sour drug. It fills me up so high my head pops off and my brains shoot out. It’s this epic battle between knowing that it’s deserved, and feeling one hundred percent blind-sided. I have realized, maybe for the first time ever, that I never want to be on Karma’s crazy bad side ever again. Cause right now, I’m at the lowest I’ve ever been. I don’t want to talk about why I’m at the bottom of the barrel because it feels like it gives my behaviour more power than it should have. On the other hand, I know avoiding it is cheap and cowardly, and I don’t want to be either of those things. So I guess what I’m saying is, I did it. I started the rumours about Tia because I was so jealous about her and Jay I couldn’t even see straight.

“Sunday’s paper still lies flat open from earlier” by Julia a St. Vital Curling Club


Sunday January 25, 2015
2:36pm
5 minutes
adult-mag.com

Sunday’s paper still lies flat open from earlier. Hard not to have a glance at it. Even harder not to read it. But that’s what I’ve done. Walked past an open Sunday paper. Ignored the headlines and the information. Pretended like the words were part of a big print painting. An impressionist’s grand masterpiece. And that’s what I’ve done. Avoidance. It was big in my family so I have half a mind to blame it on them. Sitting pretty in an airtight bubble of blissful ignorance. We talk about movie stars and phone bills, garlic powder and cobwebs. The time for learning is now and it haunts me. If I passed by my sister’s journal, lying flat open on the kitchen table, would I steal 3 minutes just to read it? Or would I ignore that too?

“a little bit of this” by Julia on the overground


Friday January 2, 2015
6:34pm
5 minutes
from a St. Germaine song

A little bit of this reflective thing going on. Thinking about my year and how I’m a bigger person in every sense of the word now. A little bit of this inward gazing thing happening. Wondering about the me I was last year and how I would have written a list of resolutions and lists and things to myself so I would remember everything. Now I don’t tell myself what I’ve done, I apply it. I practise what I’ve learned by living in my real life and being true to myself moment by moment. A little bit of this active curiosity thing going on. Pressing myself and all my experiences into each page of every notebook I fill, like a soft flower being realized forever by its imprint. I have blossomed and discovered and challenged and overcome. It was what I had been waiting for my entire life.

“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Tuesday December 9, 2014
12:20am
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.

“These days it’s hard to get a decent haircut” by Julia in Venice


Friday December 5, 2014
10:54pm
5 minutes
Kinfolk Volume 13

Man sits beside me. Smells like the hair shampoo my best friend Natasha used to use. We’re not best friends anymore. She tried drugs and became best friends with the guys who sold them instead. She told me once, here use my bra. I’m too big for it. Borrow it or just take it cause it’s too small. I said, thanks so much. My mom won’t let be buy one. Says I don’t need it yet. Says a sports bra is fine. But hers never fit me. Turns out she never had anything to fit inside them in the first place. Turns out I did, just I didn’t know it. I was slow to know myself. I was slow to question anyone. Guess it’s cause I believed in people. I trusted in someone’s word. Shouldn’t have. Didn’t need to. Guess it was just a life lesson learned like don’t leave your window open at night without the screen down, or don’t eat a brownie if your friend gives it to you while smuggling a bit of laughter cause she really found it on the ground and now you’re the butt of everyone’s joke. So I look to the man. I say, have you always smelled this way? He crosses his arms and looks in the other direction. Then I know I know how to distract people from the truth. I learned by distracting myself.

“I don’t know how that works” by Julia at her desk


Thursday December 4, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
1:33am
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee

I have realized too late in my life that I will never know enough. I’m too old to change who I am. I’m beyond the point of learning now. I woke up one day and I was dumb. I am only smart because I know I’m dumb. That is the way I get by. By knowing what I am and admitting it to myself when I have the opportunity. People don’t think I’m stupid because I figured out how to trick everybody. Even myself for a very long time. But now I cannot hide from this fact. I am good at very few things. I have very little knowledge of even the things I do well, let alone the things I don’t. I will never be able to explain facts of the world, geography, history. I will die knowing almost nothing, except for the knowing that I know almost nothing.

“clearly in the context of the show” by Julia at her desk


Monday November 3, 2014
12:35am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I find myself penciling in ideas and then crossing them out before they’ve been fully developed. I don’t use the eraser because I like the way it looks when I’ve had a thought and there’s a line through it indicating that I knew I was wrong and I moved forward anyway. That’s real bravery, isn’t it? I don’t rub out my mistakes, I let them fester there on the page and the challenge is not to let them infect the words not yet written just by being there. The trick is to avoid thinking about it at all, not in a dismissive way pretending that it doesn’t exist, but to accept that it’s a part of the process and to carry on without being discouraged. The same can be done with a pen although it is, for some strange reason, a million times more distracting. In pen it looks like I was one hundred percent certain about what I was writing, only to find out later that it was wrong. That the ideas were not formed fully, that there was thoughtlessness involved. I don’t like thinking I’m thoughtless because the opposite is true. I am careful for the most part, but even being careful won’t dismiss the fact that I am human and I must always move forward.

“How many yaks could a yak pack pack” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 2, 2014
12:27am
5 minutes
Tongue Twisters at Americanfolklore.net

Casey was trying to write a bunch of rhymes about penguins for her 5th grade poetry assignment. She was having a hard time because nothing really easy rhymes with “penguin”. She didn’t even know why she chose penguins in the first place. She could have picked anything, like leaves, or malls, or berries. She thought that maybe because she did her first major school project on penguins, she’d have some more luck. Only her mom did it all for her cause Casey didn’t know how to research anything yet. She wondered if she could use some of the information from the bulletin board her mom made and turn it into a poem. So far she had “dressed in tuxedos and loving the sky, penguins are classy but don’t know how to fly.” Casey had already crumpled up six sheets of paper cause the other rhymes were a bit lame. She wanted to ask her mom what she thought but that would make two whole projects on penguins that Casey hadn’t done on her own.

“Power protects power” by Julia at her desk


Saturday November 1, 2014
3:13am
5 minutes
From the program notes for Saint Joan at the Arts Club

sometimes you don’t want to do anything. you just want to put on red lipstick, dance around in your walk in closet, and tie your hair up in funny ribbons. you don’t want to do anything good I mean. In that you don’t want to do anything that might further your life, or your learning. but we all do it, I think. we all need a little break from our objectives and from our own minds. we need to know that there’s something to come back to, but we wouldn’t know that if we never left. so sometimes it’s not a bad thing at all to put on 6 shades of eyeshadow just cause you don’t have plans on a Friday night. or to sit watching clips of Jake Gyllenhaal kissing beautiful women on youtube. nobody can judge it because nobody can say that they aren’t guilty of the alone behaviour that keeps them sane, or if nothing else, amused. because uniqueness breeds uniqueness, and power protects power. and if those things are true, then magic alone time inspires magic alone time. maybe that last one doesn’t make sense. sometimes you just don’t feel like making sense.

“Last date to withdraw” by Julia at The Common


Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at The Common
5:18pm
5 minutes
The UBC student services handbook

You can look inward and find the buttons. Press the buttons and look inward. Something there you want? Something there you don’t recognize?
Press the buttons.
Look inward.
You know how to play the game already. You don’t need to relearn anything. Maybe you went away too long and now there’s nothing left to know. Maybe what was inward travelled onward and outward and maybe there’s no room left for what was there and for what is there now.
Is that so horrible a thing to believe?
That time changes inside?
That time changes insides?
And if you go away too long you need to think of what you’ll find to replace what you had because otherwise there’s a lot of empty space and it doesn’t do well there inside. Emptiness is meant for the bottom of a picnic basket after a successful day at the park. That kind of emptiness will do just fine.
But inside yourself, looking inward, you must fill that space with something that you love.
Otherwise you will miss your before you and you will not learn to love your new you.

“The Psych Ward” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East


Sunday, July 20, 2014
5:12pm
5 minutes
from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program


When I made it to the edge I let me legs flop over.
It was a far drop down.
It was a far drop down.
When I made it to the edge I imagined jumping…
But I didn’t.
Don’t worry.
I didn’t.
The sun was starting to set,
which is always a magical time,
which is always when I don’t feel lonely.

When I sit there at the edge,
I am tired.
I am tired from a lifetime of wishing I was someone that I’m not.
Do you do that too?
I am a master of pretending.
I am a master of trying too hard.
I’m a professional poser.
And now,
I’m sitting at the edge and I’m wondering.
I’m leaning too far forward,
Catching myself…
Leaning back.

I am at the edge,
I am looking over and seeing clouds, mountains, seagull wings, whispers of the changing seasons, phone numbers, mailboxes, a jeep, my mother’s engagement ring.

“we dare be brave” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
Touched by an Angel
Maya Angelou


We dare to be brave
me writing this in front of you
me exposing my skin
me going in for a kiss when you might not kiss back
We dare
oh we’ve seen it
on subways
on bilboards
on front yards of your neighbours, your sisters, your dentist’s boss
we dare to
with passion
with ease
with openness
we dare to be brave
me letting you hear one of my songs
me laughing so hard while wearing the worst socks
me burning the chicken the second night in a row
we have to. we have to dare to dare.
that’s where the truly beautiful parts hide.
that’s where the honest, raw, and flawed thing lives.
We want her to feel safe. We want to let her out.

“Develop the skills needed” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday May 14, 2014
1:04am
5 minutes
A centennial college poster

I suppose it comes from reading a book in a way that you don’t actually ever read it because you’re too busy writing down the quotable quotes in a little notepad that sits beside your bed.
When you see all the answers to life’s great questions and you think, yeah, I have to write this down or I’ll never remember it and I’ll never be free.
Free of what, the unknowing? Because now that you know, you can’t unknow, but you can forget and that’s worse. Worse because you have the taste in your mouth but you can’t recall the flavour. It loses its power. So that’s why you spend hours writing down your favourite words in sequence. Even though you told yourself you’d reread them every now and again…you don’t because life gets busy. But at least you wanted to better yourself and learn something new and develop the skills needed to survive as a human in this day and age.
That’s the kind of rainy Sunday you tell yourself you’ll have only after you’ve made it. But when the light from the kitchen beams into your bedroom and tries to trick you into doing something else, you’ll have to find those quotes again and then instead of just absorb them, you’ll have to use them as a springboard. Focus.
Focus now.
Focus always.
And then the rest of the words you knew once will resurface, and you’ll find them popping up in your memoirs, and your poems, and your love letters, and your address book or contact list.

“a wise man” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Tuesday April 22, 2014
1:22am
5 minutes
A plaque beside a photograph

A wise man once told me to never drink vodka without a mixer, a chaser, a plan to get home, and parental supervision.
That wise man did tell me that when I was living under his roof, and after the first time my parents needed to lecture me about safe drinking. He was very nice about it. Thankfully. He was joking around thinking I had gotten enough punishment from the sheer fact that I woke up in somebody else’s clothes with part of my left tooth chipped, a busted nose, and a hangover to rival some of my university days. He was right. It wasn’t exactly my proudest moment. But neither was being 15 and not knowing what being drunk felt like. When you’re 15, even though your parents think you won’t be a problem, you have a bunch of stupid ideas and you scoop them all up in one handful and you make stupid choices. Then you suffer the consequences. And you live the rest of your life remembering how disappointed your mother was when you walked into the kitchen after realizing you couldn’t remember 80% of Lindsey’s party, and then remembering that your father was just slightly okay with giving that life lesson in such a capacity.

“36 000 residents” by Julia on the plane to Toronto


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:08pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I’m happy to report that I’m leaving. I’m leaving this town. I’m leaving my job. I’m leaving my life. I’m leaving my rotten running shoes. I’m leaving my favourite tree in the city. I’m going. I’m going to a new place. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to start over. I’m going to find a human I can love more than myself. I’m going to dye my hair the colour of autumn.
I’m learning. I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m committing. I’m living.
It took a long time for me to decide.
Mostly because I hate flying. I hate waiting. I hate the pressure building in my sinuses. I hate the people who bring their uncomfortable babies. I hate the idea of having to sit in an aisle seat and get my elbows bashed in by someone named Darla or Emmanuel.

“The play you are about to see” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 24, 2014
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Laramie Project
Moises Kaufman


full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. opens her heart, her legs, her life. there he goes, skipping across the landscape of her body. does he notice her there yet? does he see that she isn’t present, not even a little bit? she shuts it off, shuts him in, and leaves him for dead in all that exploring. all that discovering. full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. little boy, he’s a little boy. he runs back and forth without a destination. he doesn’t care if there or here is the prize. his prize is in the running. and when he doesn’t know any better? he runs even faster. didn’t know what it would feel like. didn’t understand what it would mean. if she up and left her body there, took her mind, but left her body there. left him behind, didn’t ask if he wanted to come. didn’t seem like she wanted him to go with her anyway. when he notices, then it will be a day of hardship. when he recognizes what she did, he’ll fall a little inside his own body and wish so bad that he was not left alone there. those thoughts, too grown up for him to deal with. those dreams, too shattered for him to reassemble them all. full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. both of them started out that way. opens her heart, her legs, her life. both of them started there too.

“That’s the point.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 27, 2014
7:11pm
5 minutes
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014

If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”