“My parents expected brilliance” by Julia at the studio

Thursday July 5, 2018
9:16am
5 minutes
In Praise Of Incompetence
Lauren Slater

We started watching the new Ghostbusters movie last night. There have been some funny moments. My mother told me to watch it. She thought I should have been cast in it. She always says that when funny women are on-screen. It’s nice she thinks so highly of me. She saysI remind her of Julia Louis Dreyfus. This just goes to show that my mother doesn’t know much about Julia Louis Dreyfus. Or show business. Or what I have been busying myself with.
Ten years ago I decide to be an actor. I also decided to be famous and be interviewed by all the Jimmies. At the time there may have only been one, but whatever, it’s all the same.
I thought it was the only thing I could be doing. I hadn’t really lived yet. I know now that I wasn’t willing to put in the work. I know it, Jam knows it, and maybe my mother knows it, but she still thinks I’m destined for greatness. At Aunt Tina’s wedding on Sunday, there was a distant relative there who said she saw me on a commercial. Said it was really funny. My mother said, don’t you think she reminds you of Julia Louis Dreyfus? This woman had no idea who Julia Louis Dreyfus was. My mother beamed anyway.

“Angel texted” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 4, 2018
12:26pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

Angel texted, told me to look where I was going and to read while sitting down. It made sense. The text was very much related to a thing I was about to do carelessly. It came right on time.
Angel is always watching over me. I think she thinks she has to. She thinks she has to cause her name tells her she should. I tend to listen to what Angel has to say. If she tells me to wait until the next morning to make a hard decision, I listen. Angel knows how to get me right in the soft. She sent me an e-mail yesterday after waking up at the crack of dawn. She said the sky was “milk-blue” and it melted me. I love when milk is used to describe things, like the sky. I picture Angel knowing more about the sky than anywhere else. Maybe I think she’s from there and her name was given because her mother was a clairvoyant and there’s magic and stardust in her smile. I might name my kid Sunshine so she brightens up people wherever she goes and everyone thinks she’s ‘of the sun’ because her name makes them believe. I could name her Honesty so people are reminded to look inward. But that might be too heavy a burden to carry. What if there is shame? What if she reminds people they have lived in this life with secrets? Maybe she’d remind everyone that we have all lives our lives with secrets.

“in that beautiful mind” by Julia on her patio

Wednesday June 20, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
All Of Me
John Legend

I used to fantasize about making out with you. And kind of fucking you in the bathroom but never telling anyone about it. I have a feeling you would have preferred to be doing it than people thinking you were and I wouldn’t want anyone to know. Our bodies are too similar in size and maybe that’s part of why I like the idea of us and why there never was an us. I think you’d be good for the record, but you come off in groups like you don’t think you’d deserve it and be so afraid to just slap my ass or kiss me like you mean it. Maybe that’s what I told myself so I wouldn’t be tempted to flirt with you. You were an easy target in that way. Innocuous. Bug spray. I have thought about you seldom since because I’m not sure that I’m wrong. I want you to be bad. I guess that’s the fun of fantasies. You get to make a good one into a midnight mystery tour and be as bad as you think you are with someone who you believe would bend over backwards to sleep with you. Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you’d say no if I cornered you in the bathroom. I don’t think I’m wrong. But. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

“plush and pregnant into my palm” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, March 3, 2018
12:16am
5 minutes
Ode to a Desiccated Olive
James Cagney

I catch myself being more ready for the things I used to avoid
Motherhood
True Love
White Cheddar popcorn topping
In the span of a few months my chest has expanded:
my heart has grown three full sizes
I know you are to blame
as you always are for changing my mind
as you always are when you are the next thing in the room
I have never wanted you closer
Even after all the undecided books
or old tables put in new places
It is medicine when our worlds spin in the same direction
It is better this way
On the street you ask me if things are okay when they don’t feel okay
I tell you now before they turn into unswept corners, spiders crawling out

“I need a reader” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday February 20, 2017
11:05pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Sometimes my eyes get so tired, looking at the bright light of the screen, that I wish I had a reader. I don’t even think that I’m an auditory learner, but I do love being read to. I really do. I often ask N to read to me before bed and he usually says no because his voice is tired. He talks all day. I get it. But there’s something about that soothing sound of someone reading aloud that is ultimate comfort, hey? Maybe, if it was work related, it wouldn’t be so productive. Maybe I should stick to reading for myself.

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

I’ve been drawing daily self portraits
the mirror’s been lying again and
besides I want
to document my waxing and waning.

Yesterday I had a sun face
and my teeth were wide as open arms.

I don’t know anything about poetry
except that it feels like the only
way now.

I was never good at my time’s tables
always needed to count on my fingers
under my desk.

Today I’m a small black dot.

“They will be sent” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Cowichan Bay


Sunday January 1, 2017
8:30pm
5 minutes
A Google Drive notification

Viville smells like pine needles, bourbon, and the kisses that toddlers give to relatives they’ve just met. I arrive in the afternoon, via the back of a station wagon with wood panelling, driven by a man named Jacques. He picked me up three towns West. I hadn’t planned to hitchhike, especially on this leg of the journey, but the more I learn the more I don’t. Jacques asked if I wanted some coffee from his thermos, but I couldn’t sit up properly in the trunk and wasn’t sure how drinking something hot would go. Besides, maybe it wasn’t a good idea just in case there was dairy or drugs in there. When we arrived in Viville, Jacques asked where exactly I was staying and I said, “I’m not exactly sure yet,” so he dropped me off at the Seven Eleven.

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Sasha on the ferry heading home


Wednesday November 16, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I found the sweet spot in a twin bed in my father’s house
second floor of the Victorian brick house on the tree-lined street
Lying on my back thinking thinking seeing thinking wishing panting
parting spreading leaking oh oh say it yes sweet sweet sweet
There was not shame on the futon on the floor of the basement
of my mother’s house
first love like liquid gold between my legs
first love passion and clumsy hands and is it supposed to feel like
this?
I see these young ones
pups
I see these crying mothers
for their daughters in crop tops with eyes the basins of longing
Fill me up
Fill me up

“We talk all about our relationship” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 6, 2016
8:50pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

We talk all about our relationship until our tongues are heavy
and our hearts are downward dogging stretching
tailbones to the stars
You notice the curl of a lip too quick
the taste of salt on a throat kept tight tight
Fireflies lead us outside and we follow them
into the forest where the dreams of six months from now
call us quietly
by our names
We strip off our clothes and it’s cold but
we don’t mind
I don’t mind
We jump into the water and it’s so cold it’s hot
Takes breath like you do like I do
Takes courage
this
this
Early nights in the fall as the temperature drops

“It was really a labor of love” by Sasha at Studio 1965


Saturday November 5, 2016
1:53pm
5 minutes
An interview in Room Magazine with Deni Loubert

Making the home together. It’s a labor of love. I think about the beauty in the mundanity of dishwashing, of picking up socks, of picking up glasses off the floor, of picking up your acu-ball. I try to find the meditation, the sacred in hanging shirts on hangers on the drying rack. Motown helps. Dharma talks help. I found it yesterday, that unnamable sweet spot, stirring cayenne into the tomato sauce, chopping carrots and celery. I found it, and then it was gone – the creep of resentment in my gut, the spread of “what the fuck” up my teeth. It is a labor of love, this gorgeous, strange, domesticity. Pema Chodron telling me to breathe, breathe, breathe. Your keys in the lock and it’s present tense dinner-time, the daily dance.

“There’s a lot of blood in your lips” by Julia at JJ Bean on Main


Thursday November 3, 2016 at JJ Bean
7:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

I sucked her bottom lip slowly like I was trying to extract a stinger without disrupting the blood vessels. I wanted to taste her. I wanted to be gentle. In the hollowed buzz between us I could tell which breath belonged to her and which didn’t. I suddenly couldn’t stand the feeling of not sharing air. What had I been doing up until this point? Had I ever considered I had been hiding my truth somewhere deep in the shame of me–that tended to burrow underneath expectations and the holy grail of perfection? Had I even lived at all? We didn’t have anywhere else to be, no other versions of ourselves to uphold. I made a promise to only stop if she asked me to.

“the waiting room and the forms” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Friday October 28, 2016
12:15pm
5 minutes
A LENNY Interview with Amanda Nguyen

I am a good pretender. I still think about doing it professionally, actually, especially when I’m lonely or the season’s change or when it smells like mothballs and tequila. You all try to fool yourselves that it’s not pretending, that it’s truth-telling but everyone else is laughing like crows.

Sitting in the waiting room, filling out the forms, picking egg yolk from my cuticle, rolling my eyes at the magazine selection. I’m pretending, Mistress of Disguise, clever clever. When the mouse behind the counter who tells everyone what to do but gets paid the least, when the mouse calls my name I smile. Liar. I smile and I hand in my form and I walk down the long hall.

“has been hurt on the job” by Sasha in her bed


Monday October 17, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

I’m not bitter. I wouldn’t say that. But Jeanie coming in here and saying, “Shit happens,” like she has no clue – … I just, it bugs me. It bugs me. I’m not gonna tell the story again and I’m not gonna whine but, like, you’re goin’ along, having a normal day, a regular Thursday, and then – BANG. Everything changes. Nothing will ever be the same. I don’t want pity! I really don’t. But I just don’t need some punk with attitude comin’ into my hospital room, actin’ like they know what’s up! Jeanie has no fucking clue!

“It isn’t worth missing any moment.” By Sasha at her desk


Saturday October 15, 2016
9:58pm
5 minutes
http://www.apracticalwedding.com

I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe that it’s going to be okay? But, that’s a bit of a white lie because I’m not actually sure if it’s going to be okay… Maybe that I love you? That usually feels good to hear, unless it’s someone professing something that you do not, in fact, reciprocate. Um… You’re going to do great. You’re going to be strong. You’re going to show this whole… situation… who is BOSS. You! You’re boss. I love you? It’s going to be okay? I don’t know. I’m bad when it comes to giving advice, I really am, I just… Here’s what I’ll say. You are probably the strongest human I have ever met. If anyone can face this, it’s you.

“Slack jawed” by Julia on the tub


Thursday October 13, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
from an email

Russell was really pleased with himself for finding a teddy bear with his own name etched in the ear tag. He believed this kind of thing was rare and meant to be and that he had some newfound super powers. Suddenly he believed he was where he was supposed to be. He had never believed that before. He attributed it to the bear finding and the sign receiving he was now very open to. He said thank you in a low whisper to his lucky stars and his Nanna Toni who was among his lucky stars but also acted in part as a guardian angel. She was a star angel. Russell liked to think of her twinkling in the sky and twirling in the wind. She never danced while she was alive but somehow afterward Russell felt like that was all she did. Aside from looking out for him. When the bear appeared to him, his face fell open in wonder and amazement for the possibilities he might get to find.

“Door To Hell” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, August 30, 2016
7:31am
5 minutes
aplus.com

it starts with a whisper with a promise to be better
when you don’t really mean it and you don’t really want to
commit to process
it’s opened then
when you say anything that doesn’t sound like truth and when you think
everybody only hears sincerity when you are wrong but don’t
want to believe that yet
a little crack further
and you keep far away from it because it’s calling you
it knows you by face and you pretend it’s a different you a different you with
the same name
coincidence
that each day a little bit less is tried
a little bit less is wagered
and the pit beyond grace is surrounded by old flames that
you ran from because you didn’t have the courage
to snuff them out
it starts with a whisper with the song of wandering souls
you fall each day
further off the track you triumph over
unfairly

“It languished in the vault” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, August 29, 2016
7:08am
5 minutes
rollingstone.com

I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.

“Get just the right pick-me-up” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday March 15, 2016
12:00am
5 minutes
pulpliterature.com

You go to sleep early because you’ve been up since 6:27am and you say that the mountains have made you tired again. I can hear you breathing from behind the living room wall. You sound like you’re trying to send me tiny signals as I stay up to paint my nails. I don’t like to go to sleep after you but it’s been happening more and more these days. I am racing against daylight and I can’t afford to take short cuts right now. I know your body’s heat by this time. I know that there’s a softness there in the curve of your back that fits most of my organs perfectly. I picture that spot while I think simultaneously about chicken thighs with preserved lemon or that surprise weekend getaway golden ticket you gave me for my birthday last June. You told me to pick wherever I wanted to go. I told you we could close our eyes, point on the map and go where our fingers land.

“cultural and community differences” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Sunday March 13, 2016
3:46pm
5 minutes
From a sample CV

In the moments of stillness
In between where you left and you loved me
I can count the number of breaths I have taken
On one hand
Maybe one and a half
The song I made you write for me plays
It never stops
It doesn’t know how
I don’t know how
I’m embarrassed that you didn’t want to do it
On your own
I could have asked
But I demanded
I could have invited
But I fought
I guess I was under the impression that
We do things for people
When we know it makes them feel good
I am sorry I put you in that category
Of people who care about people
Of people who give because they can
Not because they are tallying points
I am wrong too
I am happy to be so wrong
I am learning in the space between wrong and never right
You taught me that

“what you can expect” by Sasha at Harvest Community Foods


Monday, January 18, 2016 at Harvest
5:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I wouldn’t say no to you becoming a seagull and riding a wind pattern West. Because that’s what you need. Because your wings are achy from underuse.

I would kiss your feathery cheek and whisper, “be safe.”

I would watch as a feather fell into the water and I would strip off my clothes and run in even though it’s cold out now and I would catch the feather in my teeth and carry it to shore.

I would wonder when I saw other seagulls in the weeks to follow if perhaps it was you or a new friend.

“Let’s have a toast to our goodbyes” by Julia in on her couch


Thursday, January 14, 2016
6:53pm
5 minutes
I’m Out
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj


I have this idea one snowy morning memory clouded but it feels like a good one so I let myself wake up to it. I’m not quite ready for my life. This idea is supposed to help. I want to make a list of all the things I’m saying goodbye to, or goodbye for. I have made a lot of lists about saying hello or, a bunch of arbitrary ‘shoulds’ chosen from the parts of my body that don’t get enough of my positive attention. This one is different. It’s a goodbye list but not for negative things or habits or hurts or harms. It’s all about harnessing inner truth and guidance. I want to be ready for my life.
Someone close to me once told me that we need to thank our enemies. Enemies can mean anything, so I like to think of them as hard bits that have been let in at one time or another, but will be sent off in a joyful way. I think these are the things that go on a goodbye list when I am toasting to all the bad things that have ever grown me shaped me helped me shown me.

“Imagine having fantastic sex with him or her” by Julia in her bed


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
11:58pm
5 minutes
Instant Enlightenment
David Deida


I am giving couple’s counselling to my parents. Well to my mother. My father is in the other room and we are pretending he doesn’t hear us or know that his kid and his wife are “discussing” him. This is partially on purpose. If he thinks we think he can’t hear us he might listen harder and think to himself, “hmm, I’d like to try that so when I do, it will seem like my idea and things will be better without needing to talk about it.” It is also so it looks like the advice is being given to my mother alone, when really my father can take from it what he needs, even if he doesn’t act on it. My mother nods her head and says, “You’re right, you’re right” a lot. I am not having this conversation so I can be right, and usually when someone says that it means they just don’t like the response they were given. But she is still listening and I am still talking so either way, we’re having this conversation whether things change or not. I am inside my head and well outside my body at the same time. I am separating myself from being her daughter and talking to her like I would my patients. Or my would-be patients. I am practicing my skills on someone who is not paying me yet, because I need to get good at telling all kinds of people to “imagine having fantastic sex with him or her.” So far I have said, “love is your only objective,” which seems to be working.

“You have to love” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

If it’s in you to give, give it. I’m talking money, magic, moral support, listening, love, loyalty, life, kindness, time, patience, understanding, food, empathy, encouragement, hope.
That’s all we can do, give it when we have it, receive it when we don’t.
And that’s how the world goes round. Or that’s how the world wants to go round. It wants us to need each other and help each other. Its ON button is the scratched out CARE button. But we forget that sometimes because it’s not always easy to care, or to give, or to help, or to wait. We want what we don’t have now and we want to give what we have later. But I’m telling you, it’s not worth it. Immediacy is our biggest killer. We need to play the long game with ourselves and with each other. Giving chances and getting them.

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“A small suitcase” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


He left a note in the front pocket of her smaller suitcase. It was full of all the stuff he didn’t know how to say in her language without a translator just in case he sounded like an idiot. He of course used google translate but agreed to bite the bullet about the 40% that would unavoidably lead to miscommunication. He wrote the note as patiently as he could, careful to say how he felt and not just what she expected him to say.

“inappropriate conduct” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, January 9, 2016
12:31am
5 minutes
from a waiver at Moksha Yoga Vancouver

Gregory was amping himself up to call in sick while Elise stared at him from behind her book.
“I don’t think you should do it this time, Greg. It’s too soon.”
“What? You’re talking shit.”
“Okay fine. Do it then.”
“I am doing it. I don’t owe them anything.”
“I’m actually more concerned about your integrity.”
“It’s work, babe, it’s not like it matters.”
“Oh my GOD. Well…do you have to pick the most dangerous excuses? People worry about stuff like that, you know?”

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Friday, January 8, 2016
12:06am
5 minutes
A Facebook status

I usually don’t, but sometimes when the light is right I feel like I should apologize for all the prosciutto I used to steal from the very first restaurant I worked at. I know there are worse things to steal and I like to tell myself that I had my reasons but even justifying it makes me sort of wish I had chosen a different way to rebel. I mainly remember sneaking the expensive and coveted cured meat for the following reasons:
1. I was trying to punish my boss for making me work every brunch by myself
2. I was trying to punish my boss for never having enough cash to pay me in full
3. I was trying to punish my boss for hating women
4. I was trying to punish my boss for only offering to feed me at midnight

“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.

“You mustn’t lose it.” By Julia on Hugo Street


Tuesday August 12, 2014
4:49pm
5 minutes
a quote from Robin Williams

He said it matter-of-factly as he gripped his miniature hand over my closed fist. This was a gift from a tiny god and I was being entrusted with it. He made sure I was looking him in the eyes when I promised him I would keep it safe. And never give it to any one else? Of course not. And never drop it on the ground that doesn’t have carpet? Never ever. And never forget where you last put it? Not on my life. And with that he scampered off getting distracted by the grass that he in that moment just had to bend down to dig up. I watched him playing in the earth with my fist still tightly closed. The magic of this gift was fuelling me from my hands and seeping into my bones trough my troubled skin. He didn’t even say what it was. I suppose he didn’t have to. I had believed in the importance of it by virtue of his stern instructions. He didn’t make me promise not to open it until he was gone. I didn’t have to open it to know that it was ours.

“Awesome job!” by Julia on her bed


Sunday August 10, 2014
8:28pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

According to Raymond everyone could hear us in the bathroom, but I’ve learned not to trust Raymond because he gets off on lying and making people believe every thing he says. I always told him he should be an actor because he was so good at messing with people; people he loves, mostly. Part of me wanted to believe that he was just doing that to me this time and that he didn’t even know what Carter and I were doing in the bathroom. Hell, we didn’t even know what was going on. It was just nice to see him; to feel him again. I wanted to be reserved and respectful of his wife. I wanted that and then suddenly there he was, and there I was tangled up in him on the bathroom sink. I wanted so badly for Raymond to be testing me. I employed my best actor smile and told him “we have nothing to hide.” I learned that you don’t ever admit something without having a direct question asked about it first. I learned that hard and fast one night in August-like a baseball coming straight for my face without the reflexes to catch it before destroying my nose, or knocking out a tooth. As I walked back into the crowded room I took a deep breath and looked around.

“Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph” by Julia in her bed


Friday Aug 8, 2014
2:05am
5 minutes
http://www.taste.com

I had been waiting for Gina’s response for over three weeks. It was her idea to keep sending lovely hand-written letters to each other once a week but she was getting really bad at it. Her first letters were so open and raw and I could see her mouthing the words as I read them because they just felt so honest. Then they started getting shorter, she’d stop responding to my questions in a way that reminded me of unrequited love by means of questionless text messages. She started signing all her letters with a lipstick kiss, something I always hated having to return due to the inadequate, small, pursed shape my kiss marks made (not the luscious kind you think is the only kind that creates a desirable or kissable mouth when you’re young). By this point Gina was signing her letters with a modest “G” and that was it. Surely she was busy or distracted, or had found a new friend to spend all her time writing quirky opinions to. But what bothered me most was the waiting for her response. I was busy too, or so I liked to believe, and I was always able to write to her.

“with MOSS FOLK” by Julia at Kawaii Crepe


Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
8:38pm
5 minutes
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket


I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…

“wrongfully convicted of murder” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday August 6, 2014
11:39pm
5 minutes
Blog TO

I think you’ve made a mistake. Surely you could take a minute and think about what you’re doing here? What your “conclusions” will mean for someone. Someone other than you. Buddy wouldn’t have done something like that. I know him, he just wouldn’t have. He wasn’t mean to animals while we were growing up. He’s a bit…special…I know that, but he’s not a murderer.
He was framed. I’m telling you right now that has to be it. Buddy is a good person. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t…be able to. I’m not saying he wouldn’t be capable of killing someone, no, I mean if I’m being honest I think we all are capable aren’t we? I mean he wouldn’t be able to leave someone just lying in the street, bleeding to death. He has compassion, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. It’s not like he’s on the hunt for something twisted like that to give him pleasure. He gets pleasure out of collecting flat rocks that sparkle in the sun. Please. I’m begging you, don’t just throw someone’s life away on a hunch. Innocent until proven guilty. You have to at least give him that. All I’m asking is you consider the possibility outside your “irrefutable evidence”. Isn’t that your job’s sole purpose in the first place?

“By a man’s fingernails,” by Julia on her “deck” steps


Tuesday August 5, 2014
9:54pm
5 minutes
a quote by Sherlock Holmes

It was unnecessary, really, for them to be so curt with their neighbours. They had, the neighbours that is, up until that point, made sure to smile each time they saw them and to greet them with a tiny wave-usually the small female neighbour did the hand gestures; the small male neighbour liked to nod his head ever so slightly. They hadn’t come over with a casserole or any baked goods out of kindness or welcoming. They simply said hello with their body language and were probably a little too hopeful that they would eventually be met with a similar greeting by the new couple who had moved in just down the hall. They did, after all, share a kitchen wall and a parking lot. When they saw the small female neighbour pacing back and forth in front of her kitchen door, they could tell she was distraught. A hello wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway. They knew exactly what had happened between her and the small male neighbour just moments before. Their shared kitchen wall was anything but thick. She had yelled at him because she had burnt her hand on the hot pan straight from the oven. She had already been having a bad day, and they assumed that was the straw that broke it. She looked up from her puffy eyes, sensing the newly arrived couple’s presence. Hopeful. Always hopeful.

“the endless sky of Manitoba” by Julia at The Cabin Coffee in Bemidji, MN


Monday Aug 4, 2014 at The Cabin Coffee
11:18am
5 minutes
a quote from Joe Lawther


Oh I know I’m far from home
And I’ve got a long way to go
But I’ve been here a while and I say the same thing
There is so much to see
Endless possibilities
I have held on to the limitless feeling
Oh I’m under under under
Looking up to something bigger than me
Oh I’m under under under
Can’t keep my eyes on anything but
The endless skies of Manitoba
I can’t think straight
I just dream all day
I’ve been here for a while and I say the same thing
My whole life is this
Reaching for its bliss
I have held on to the limitless feeling
Oh I’m under under under
Looking up to something bigger than me
Oh I’m under under under
Can’t keep my heart on anything but
The endless skies of Manitoba
The endless skies of Manitoba
Stretched as far as I can go
looking each and every way and I can’t find my soul
Lost in some vast field under the bright calm blue
I’m far away from home but I’ve found my truth

“Detour 23” by Julia in a park in Lowertown, St Paul, MN


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.

“be this comfortable” by Julia on the river walk in Minneapolis


Saturday Aug 2, 2014
4:27pm
5 minutes
dipped from Joe’s wallet

Hannah and her teddy bear were stranded on the side of the highway, holding a rescue seance and trying really hard not to cry. Somehow Mom and Dirk thought it was a good idea to leave the Walmart without first checking if she was with them. Hannah and her teddy bear were playing house in aisle 19 and she had accidentally fallen asleep while pretending to sleep on one of the mattress. Usually she heard when someone is coming and “wakes up” right as they walk past her, but today wasn’t very busy at Walmart and Hannah had been laying with her eyes closed, so comfortable clutching her teddy bear close to her body for a long time and eventually she was having real night dreams while Mom and Dirk looked at hunting equipment. When Hannah finally woke up for real, she couldn’t figure out where she was.

“experience learn hear” by Julia in the car


Friday Aug 1, 2014
11:34am
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

According to my brother, who can’t see out of his left eye and carries a knife everywhere he goes, you “really gotta listen to people and their body language.” That’s what he says when he’s trying to explain how to read people and how to protect yourself against “predators” or “criminally insane”. He knows these tricks because he’s been in a ton of fights with other people who also carry knives around. You’ve got to make sure “your eyes are open, your heart is calm, and your fingers are nimble.” Probably in case someone comes at you. But if you’re reading their postures before hand, you can avoid a brawl. That’s what he says. You can avoid getting into trouble if you’re just listening and hearing all the possible signs and all the signals that someone is giving out. My brother says that most people don’t even want the confrontation they seem to be inviting. He says it’s because deep down they’re looking for someone to stop them. He says that “deep down, they don’t want to do it.” So if you can understand the motives before you act on impulse, you could be saving yourself a lot of grief. You could be saving yourself a lost eye too.

“Pure Life” by Julia in the car


Thursday July 31, 2014
8:44pm
5 minutes
the nestle water bottle

She was PURE LIFE. PURE JOY. I held her for the first time and I DIED. I MELTED. I wanted to stay seated on that wicker rocking chair that didn’t rock anymore FOREVER. FOR HER. She was honestly the best moment of my life. She was PURE LOVE. PURE HAPPINESS. I wanted to build a bubble of warmth and love around her fuzzy little head and hold her until she was too big to want that. That way I could pour all of my undying love into her bubble and feed her with is so she would know how special and worth it and truly unequivocally loved she was. This little thing without opinions of the world yet, without the sadness, the jaded crispiness that comes from getting left behind, or getting told you’re ugly, or getting felt up by a stranger at a sleazy hot dog stand one stupid night in Sacramento. This little thing without pain, and without anger, and without wanting so much that the world seems so unwilling to give. I would have shown her that all she needed to do was sleep there and giggle sometimes and hold my finger. I would have loved her the way I needed to be loved.

“BAM” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday July 30, 2014
7:32pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Trinity Bellwoods park

My mother used to work for Pasquale. Did you know that? I could have sworn I mentioned that around the first or second date. You know, the way things about your family comes up? That was my thing. That was my party trick! You were talking about béchamel sauce which I internally corrected you as “Beshamella” because if it’s not pronounced in Italian I don’t even want to pretend to care. But she wrote out his cookbooks. He spoke to her in Italian, she transcribed them, and BAM! I am now the sole owner of Pasquale’s perfect lasagna recipe which when I make, is an absolute show stopper. I mean, I could have sworn I mentioned it when we went to eat at Neve Sole and you ordered the bruschetta but you pronounced it “brushetta” and I almost lost my mind about it because how many lame Italian cliche jokes do you need to hear before you actually just NEVER pronounce it in a mangia-cake way?

“any kind of company” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday July 29, 2014
4:37pm
5 minutes
wikipedia.org

She swept the living room floor for the third time that morning. She somehow kept stepping in sand, which she thought she had fully cleaned the day before. She put on The Dirty Projectors and made sure to press repeat every time Impregnable Question came on. It felt like the perfect song to listen as she was feeling alone, yet didn’t want to fall too far into a problematic state. This was after eating the raw cookie dough from the tube and drawing a sketch of a bat wearing a clown nose. Every time her phone rang, she leapt from her sprawled out on the floor position to see who it could be. Telemarketing usually. The occasional scam rewards program from Cruises R Us. She was desperate for any kind of company. Any kind that would require a conversation, the outpouring of her emotions and her opinions, and perhaps a hug that would last at least six seconds to ensure a proper connection was established.

“She looked like anything but a winner” by Julia at R Squared Cafe


Monday, March 10 2014 at R Squared Cafe
4:55pm
5 minutes
The Bookman’s Wake
John Dunning


had the soles of her feet scratched up from the running
from the running with no shoes, no socks, no protection
just a little thing
not a lot to protect, small feet, but not a lot
had the lashes of her eyes all stuck together from the mud
from the mud rubbed into her face, from the falling down into the forests,
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the running from herself to find herself
from the running from herself to find something that looked like home
had the tips of her fingers all bloody and bruised from the snatching
from the snatching of little bits of food from glass cases
from the snatching of little bits of hope sprinkled generously on all the tops of every barbed wire fence
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the days that seemed warm but chilled her to the bones
had the dream of a future splattered across her face
from the running
from the running

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


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


“Remember when you forgot your own postal code? That was soooo funny!” Lukas laughs. “Remember when you put all those sticky notes everywhere? With all those reminders? That was hillllarious!” He picks at a chicken pock scab on his forehead. “How many days til Christmas?” He asks. The scab is bleeding. He holds his finger to it and then tastes. “My blood tastes like perfume!” He holds out his finger to me, “Wanna try?” I pause. I nod. How can I ever say no to this boy? He squeezes his forehead and a red droplet appears. He extends his finger to me again. I take it into my mouth and suck, gently. Rose and lilac, lavender and mandarin. “That tickles! Grandma! That tickles!” I bite down and he squeals.