“That’s what I was thinking” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 19, 2017
12:35am
5 minutes
overheard on West Broadway

Some days add up to zero
the hole of the afternoon
the cave of mid morning
post-its have been scribbled on
and posted but the glue is wrong
and everything flutters to
the ground eventually

Tomorrow’s list has been started
wake up is the hard thing
every other item can be done
if there is enough time

Some days add up to something o’clock
and not enough sleep
too many hours spent wondering how
to believe in scotch tape
and purple marker
instead of the looming possibility
of avoiding it all

“A failure to be my best self” by Julia on her bed


Sunday January 15, 2017
12:32pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Things to do
What to eat
When to do them
How to eat it
All the tiny boxes either checked or unchecked
Waiting or finished
Day’s beginning turning into day’s middle then day’s end before the joints become lubricated enough to sustain it all
Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Who to write to
What my dreams were
What my dreams meant
Who I want to be today
Who I plan to be today
Who I end up being today
I have not scheduled in silence
Or stillness
Or sunshine
I have expected all to come when necessary
When called
When unavoidable
I have not promised to love myself in case I can’t quite get to it
I meant to reduce tasks and expectations and heartbreak and time travel of any kind
But I keep adding to the list without breathing first info what it feels like to be alive on a perfect day of perfect opportunity to give thanks

“Night night” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday, April 7, 2016
12:08am
5 minutes
From a text

The rules are:
No giving up
No giving in
No praying to Jesus before sleeping because he steals all your dreams and sells them to God who then turns your worst nightmares into movies written by OTHER PEOPLE
No lying
No lying down
No drinking KFC gravy from the container (ANYMORE)
No baby talk to babies
No baby talk to adults
No wishing on stars
No more fucking in cars
No tattoos of things you can’t pronounce
No backpack logos
No Popsicles before July

“Won’t you please please help me” by Julia on the 99


Thursday, March 31, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
From the Beatles song


If I knew what to say to you I would already have a book filled with writing that’s beautiful
poetry that looks like you
I would have pockets filled with love notes and kitchen drawers overflowing with to do lists that have your name scrawled all over them
to love: you
to touch: you
to kiss: you
to be grateful for: you
If I knew what words to string together I would have yard after yard
like a decorative threaded popcorn line at Christmas
I would wrap you up in it
I would fill the day metaphors of you

“She didn’t need to tell me.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 30, 2015
11:04am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail – Facts and Arguments
Monday, December 28, 2015
Yasmin Halfnight


Obsessions:
Avocado
Miranda July
My phone (ICK)
Anticipating working out
Alkaline foods/Acid foods
Quiet
What she didn’t tell me
Soft things
Orange/clove aromatherapy incense
Blue skies
Thinking about babies
Beeswax
Thinking about meditating more
Fire
Cedar
“Tap water is pure acid”
Money
Practise
Coffee

“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!

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“It is impossible to live without failing” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at Higher Grounds
1:07pm
5 minutes
A quote by J.K. Rowling

The last time I saw you I didn’t recognize you, which is funny because I came from your body so one would think that that’s the find of recognition that just sort of, happens.

In class, my writing teacher is preoccupied by “Obsessions”. He makes us list them and recite them and feel them on our tongues. I hate it. I find myself writing the same obsessions every class and feel as though I’m boring everyone. I’m boring myself.

Failure
Mother
Mother
Mother
Failure
Orphans
Mother
Drugs
Cancer
Mother
Mother
Failure
Mother
Mother
Mother
Drugs
Orphans

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“Done and done!” by Julia on the 45 going north


Friday, April 24, 2015
8:28am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I said May 1st and I said that to myself, my boyfriend, my therapist, and my roommate’s dog. I told so many people I was waiting for May 1st it felt like I had to uphold the expectation. I have never been good at starting something in the middle of the month, or the week, or basically any time that doesn’t fall on the very first day of something. Usually months. I’m great at starting things at the beginnings of months. So I made a list, with lots of columns and categories. I wanted to be able to check things off and keep on task from that moment forward. No more waiting for the next month. It would have to be this beginning and not the one after. Some of the things on there were: Start Exercising Daily (as of May 1st), Try to call my mom once a week, Ask for help (starting May 1st), Stop Apologizing for my opinions, Refrain from buying dollar store chocolate, Stop waiting for the new month to get my life together, Work on false promises (even in list format), Eat more apples, No more feeling sorry for myself.

“Welcome visitors from Denmark” by Julia on the 47 going north


Saturday April 4, 2015
12:09am
5 minutes
from a school sign

What do we do, children? Yes very good, children. Rise to greet them, children. Yes very very good. Everybody is equal, aren’t they, children? Yes, of course they are. Yes, yes. How do we receive them, children? Yes, children, very good. With open hearts and a friendly smile, right, children? Yes, very, very very, good. What don’t we do, children? What are the things we must never do, children? Yes, remember well, children. All together now, children. Let’s recite them all together. Pretend like we don’t hear them. Yes, excellent remembering, children. What else, children? Let them hug you without returning the action. Yes. No one-sided embraces, children. None at all, children.

“Feathers and flowers” by Sasha at Nirvana Restaurant


Friday January 16, 2015 at Nirvana
5:32pm
5 minutes
from a 2015 calendar

Biggest fear? Mediocrity.
Likes? Snapping (although I’m useless at it). Bacon. Fire. Bob Dylan.
Birthday? Nope.
Coffee or tea? Water.
Cigarettes or blow? Pretentious ass.
Shoe size? Nine.
God? Yes! Please!
Bath or shower? Shower.
Train or plane? Bus. (The grimier the better).
Knife or fork? FORK.
Black and white or colour? Colour. Especially green.
Dislikes? Cold. Entitlement. Beer. The Beatles.
Car? Ha.
Breakfast? Toast and jam.

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


Wednesday October 15, 2014
11:33pm
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.

“Total Control” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Thursday August 28, 2014
10:44pm
5 minutes
The bottle of curl keeper

I am making a list so I can check off everything. It’s nothing new because I’m the kind of person who likes to reiterate the things I do, consistently, without fail, because I’m really just a control freak. There, I said it. I know who I am. I’m this thing or that and it’s not a big deal so can everyone just get over everything already? As if I’m the only person in the entire world who wants to control everything all the time and have things go exactly her way. I’m not the only person, because I have friends who are similar because I want to make sure that there are no variables. I controlled my friendship circle to the point that I didn’t have any fun people left in the group, and certainly no comedy, and certainly no spontaneity. You can’t trust those laid back people who leave things to the last minute and throw caution to the wind. Those are the kind of people who wear the same pair of underwear two days in a row. I know this because I used to know those people and those people never got anything done ever. So. I am making a list now about the people I kicked out of my life and I would like to see if any of them have changed all the easy-going things on which I based my decision to cut ties, and identify if any, with those life changes, have the proper amount of fun still left in them because I could use some.

Why do I write? by Julia at the t5m: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday May 18, 2014
1:16pm
5 minutes
from a writing prompt by Natalie Goldberg

1.I write because if I didn’t I would burst.
2.I write because the dream doesn’t sound real when it’s not on paper.
3.I write because my pores need release and I’m never getting enough of that.
4.I write because I like the way my mind looks in ink.
5.I write because I’m dying to be heard.
6.I write because I’m dying to be understood.
7.I write because I tell myself I must.
8.I write because I enjoy painting with words.
9.I write because I hope someone will rescue me.
10.I write because I hope someone will find my thoughts and fall in love with them.
11.I write because I love telling stories.
12.I write because I hate being interrupted.
13.I write because I can’t lie to myself with a pen in my hand.
14.I write because life is fast and I’m trying to remember the best version of myself.
15.I write because in a world filled with stimuli, my only refuge is my word.
16.I write because I want to be quoted.
17.I write because if I didn’t I’d watch too much TV.
18.I write because I think my personality is better on paper.

“do not expose” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 6, 2014
12:14am
5 minutes
from the back of a pack of gum

Ok so I’m
Sorry about two things
I’ll tell you
But first know that I’m
Sorry
Ok so
In order if I have to?
Number 1)
I should not have taken your blue scarf out of the car
I thought you wouldn’t notice
Now I’m sorry
For more than two things
I won’t say anything
but apologies
From here on out
Sorry for
Stealing your blue scarf from your car
Sorry for thinking
You wouldn’t even
Miss it
Sorry for believing
You were a
Fool
Sorry for not giving
You enough
credit
Because you deserve
All the credit
In the whole world
Sorry for then
wearing
Your blue scarf
To
Mark and Tracy’s wedding
And getting vomit on it
And getting shrimp
cocktail sauce
on it
Sorry for not asking
Sorry for not telling
Sorry for being careless
Sorry
For
Everything
Number 2)
Sorry for letting your plant die

“we are responsible” by Julia at Lit on College


Monday, October 28, 2013 at Lit Espresso Bar
5:10pm
5 minutes
“Real life and other tall stories”
The Wednesday Review


For calling our mothers
for teaching our brothers
for truthing to others
for admitting our druthers

for waiting in lines
for talking in rhymes
for singing in time
for drinking with limes

for laughing at jokes
for helping out folks
for ignoring pokes
for avoiding mean blokes

for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers

for cuddling the wee ones
for including the shunned ones
for smiling at the sad ones
for hoping for the worst ones

for asking good asks
for doing good tasks
for not wearing masks
for stocking the flasks

for reading books
for cautionary looks
for challenging crooks
for cleaning the nooks

for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers

(an image from National Geographic) by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday October 23, 2013
10:41am
5 minutes
National Geographic Photo Issue
October 2013


Oh dear, I seem to have misplaced my board. It has all the things I’m supposed to do on it on one side and on the other there’s a really cute picture of a boy with a helmet on, standing in the middle of the beach. My to do list: I like to rotate it off my board so I can keep that picture constant. I made a slip for the paper to slide in and it’s protected by a thin plastic layer–much like you’d see during an overhead presentation at school, when one of the classmates was responsible for teaching the others something about grammar that week. I can’t start my day without writing the list–and then also looking at that picture.

I don’t like to tell many people, but it’s not just the image that’s important to me, it’s the boy.
He is mine, actually.
I really don’t let on that he is, but it’s true. He has his front two teeth missing and that’s the last day I ever saw him because I left him there, at the beach. It was an accident. He was supposed to be in the car with his Aunt Roe.

“Make a list” by Sasha on the subway east


Tuesday October 22, 2013
9:14am
5 minutes
Writing Down the Bones
Natalie Goldberg


1. Learn to drive.
2. Read (or re-read) the “Classics”.
3. Quit Facebook.
4. Two words. Core. Strength.
5. Write an old fashioned letter.
6. Publish.
7. Teach.
8. Learn an array of poetry by heart.
9. Have a dinner party.
10. Travel frequently.
11. Learn the New York subway system.
12. Document the recipes in my head.
13. Join a choir.

“Cashier: Diana” by Julia on her couch


Thursday October 17, 2013
11:22pm
5 minutes
a receipt from Qi Natural Foods

Orange smock. Check. Green scrunchie. Check. Green scrunchie with extra elastic. Check. Keys. Check. Keys to store on lanyard. Check. Banana muffin for breakfast. Check. Locket of Ray’s hair. Just kidding. He’d never part with it. Good joke to tell family at Christmas. Double check.

If all mornings could start like this one.
If all good things ended but got recycled.
If all afternoons began with his laughter.
I. Would. Want. It. All.

Terri cloth knapsack. Check. Home style chili from Tim Horton’s. Check. Windex refill. Check. Tiny salted almond slivers. Check. Porno DVD that Steven snuck into my bag last Friday. Check. Rubber rat to get him back. Check. Post it notes. Check.

“when her man got bagged” by Julia on her parents’ deck in Baden


Sunday, May 19, 2013
1:59pm
5 minutes
DECODED
Jay-Z


A hundred things were floating in her head, I guess you could say, about the crash, or the garden. She was lost in her own list-making at the time when she heard. Avery told her he was coming home for dinner and Alice made a point about being late because things never start on time there anyway. Lydia was in shambles and making lists about which pieces she was going to glue back together inside her brain first. When Avery didn’t show up at all, and Alice came an hour late to prove something or other, Lydia started to do the shaking thing that happened to her left hand when she felt God talking to her. She was listening, setting the vibrations, getting ready for the bad news to come. She knew about it before it even happened, it’s safe to say. Alice arrived and didn’t even know something was the matter. She was wrapped up in making everyone around her notice her and her new blonde hair do. Avery never misses dinner, Alice finally noticed. But Lydia had already started with the list making. She went outside to pick a few sprigs of rosemary, Alice trailing behind talking about some new scissors she wanted, when she saw it. There in the garden, with boulders holding down his hands and feet.

“In all times and all countries,” by Julia at her kitchen table

Monday, April 8, 2013
5:32pm
5 minutes
The Three Muskateers
Alexandre Dumas


Someone’s laughing
Someone’s crying
Someone’s holding someone’s hand
Someone’s being born
Someone’s dying
Someone’s asking for help
Someone’s waiting to speak
Someone’s getting dressed
Someone’s answering a phone
Someone’s accusing someone
Someone’s celebrating something
Someone’s killing something…small…and with antennae
Someone’s swearing
Someone’s promising
Someone’s lying
Someone’s hoping
Someone’s yelling
Someone’s sleeping
Someone’s listening
Someone’s writing
Someone’s eating
Someone’s making lists
Someone’s remembering
Someone’s forgetting
Someone’s falling in love
Someone’s drinking
Someone’s needing forgiveness
Someone’s playing the whole day back in their minds
Someone’s creating

“What should I do with my life?” by Julia at R Squared


Monday March 18, 2013 at R Squared
11:09am
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


I’ve got all these plans, all these super duper big–WOAH– and cool plans! I’m gonna–I’m gonna–I’m gonna make a boat. TUT TUT TUT. And teach goldfish how to S.I.N.G. (That’s sing.)
That’s SUNG!
Oh great! Today is a blank cheque. But my life? You want to know? Okay, I’ll get serious:
Write a book, a novel, a collection of short stories, a collection of micro-stories–tiny ones–like speckles, like stars! Check! Not blank cheque. Check mark! Great.
A collection of one-liners, a coffee table book with witty retorts…
A song, an album, a musical, a play, a stage-play, a radio-play, a screenplay, a memoir, an article, an essay, a promise.
Oh, Should. Not Want. I get it.
I’ve got all these plans.
Learn to bake, learn to do simple math, learn to eat bananas before they go bad so I don’t feel guilty when I have 60 stacked in the freezer and still don’t want to make banana bread.
Should. SHOULD.
Be happy? Hoity-toity bitches gonna judge me for that? It’s the best answer you hoity-toity bitches.
Be honest. Don’t judge.
Be Real. Don’t judge.
Be Bad. Don’t judge.
Be brave. Don’t judge.

“But time is short.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 17, 2013
2:12am
5 minutes
To The Actor
Michael Chekhov


A lot of things are great. Want to hear a list? I’m good at making lists. It’s all about the punctuation…
Just kidding.
Great Things.
A List by Addie Pierce
Number 1) Elbow joints!
Number 2) Surprises!
Number 3) Collective sighs..
Number 4) Family bbqs!
Number 5) 20 extra dollars!
Number 6) The boneless chicken bites from KFC!
Number 7) When young people marry old people and then their house have to be post modern.
Number 8) Peanut butter sandwiches with the crust cut off and a note in my lunch! Or a lunch in general!
Number 9) Counting to 10!
Number 10) Wishing that it took less time to think of some really really great list items.

“I detested him for other reasons” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 8, 2013
1:28am
5 minutes
Possible Side Effects
Augusten Burroughs


If you think about what things keep you from living, you might come up with a short list. It might be wonderfully accurate and appropriate for everyone, but chances are, it’s only a good one for you. It might have some things about “not drinking enough water” on it, or perhaps, “exercising too seldom”. It might say “horrible boss, horrible job, unhappy”. It’s not up to you to judge your own list. Everyone knows you’re already unhappy. That’s why you’re making the list in the first place. On mine, for example, there is nothing about my job. I didn’t say I love my job. I just don’t want to write it down in words because then it’s more official: not doing what I want to do. However, instead of saying “I hate my job”, I say “lacking ability to decide when it’s worth it to stop trying here.” This is terribly ambiguous. It allows it to apply to more than one thing without hating and worrying more than one has to. More than I have to. On your list, it might say “fear of going outside.” Mine says “Fear of going to sleep.” That keeps me from truly living. Truly. Living. Like the two words don’t even go together the way they should. I should also mention that dry hands may or may not be on my list. Some lists are longer than others. I tend to save the long lists for things I need to accomplish that day. This way, I can include “waking up”, “eat lunch”, “hug someone” and it doesn’t seem that hard.