- by Alyson Shane
I didn't used to be. I feel like I'm developing an affinity for mornings as I get older though.
During the week we wake up at 7:30 AM but if I could manage waking up earlier and not be a giant grouch who hates her life I'd get up at like 6 AM or even 5 AM if I could.
I do my best work in the morning when my mind is clear and every time we travel or I find myself randomly up super early in the morning, even if I'm tired I still start my day feeling like
yeah, I got ahead of all that shit I had to do today.
I've been up for about an hour and have already snugged John and Toulouse in bed, fed the cats, took a photo of the street because I love quiet winter mornings
and made a cup of tea which is also something I've started doing as I've gotten older.
We really do become our parents in weird ways.
My mom is from England but she moved to Canada when she was 18, probably to get as far away from her mother as possible, which is also the reason I moved to Ontario when I was a the same age.
She's British in the ways you expect British people to be British:
she has a gap between her two front teeth, which I also have
she subscribes to a "know your place" and a "stiff upper lip" attitude when it comes to work and talking about your feelings
and she drinks tea like water.
My mom used to drink Tetley Orange Pekoe tea, and there was a whole area of the kitchen dedicated to the cups and plates and sugar containers and other paraphernalia needed to make it.
I don't remember if she took sugar and cream, but I do.
It seems like the older we get, the more we search for things that take us back to the feeling of safety we had when we were kids. Maybe that's why I drink so much tea these days.
It makes me feel safe and the smell has an old familiarity to it. Like a well-read book or an old leather jacket or a hug from your favourite uncle.
Tea was for the times in-between fighting. When my mom and I would watch Star Trek or some HGTV show together, or sit on the deck while she did crossword puzzles.
Sometimes I dream about her. I'm not sure if it's a memory, or just something I've dreamed enough times that it's real.
I'm sitting at the dining room table and my mom is looking out the kitchen window in our old house on Murray Avenue. It must be early morning because the air feels filled with light. She's wearing a long housecoat in a soft colour, and the kitchen smells like orange pekoe.
It's so vivid that it feels like I can reach out and touch it, but it's just a dream. A memory. Some whisper from a long time ago.
I think about her when I make the same tea during these early mornings by myself.
It's like a ritual; an homage to the parts of my mother that aren't stained by her words or behaviour.
I wish I could go back through time to that golden morning and talk to her. Ask her questions over the old, heavy dining room table over multiple cups of orange pekoe.
Who are you, Mom?
Why are you so angry all the time?
What are you so afraid of?
I've spent so much time asking myself those same questions, but I don't think I'll ever know what her answers are.
Most of the time it feels like the closest I can get is making myself a cup of tea in the early morning light
thinking about all the ways we're so different, and the small, quiet ways that we're the same
and how maybe that's enough.
- by Alyson Shane
I don't know but whatever it is, it's been a weird few weeks and it's not just me. Everyone seems to be going through one thing or another.
There's a weird crackle in the air, bad juju, bad luck, weird happenstance, odd off-putting stuff going on it seems. A conflict. A misunderstanding. Health issues. Mental problems.
Everything feels fucked in one way or another and it's hard not to let it eat at you. Wear you down. Make you feel like what's the fucking point
of anything at all.
Between politics and the planet and interpersonal bullshit I swear every person I know is struggling somehow and I'm not sure if this is what adulthood is supposed to be like
or if this is just the new normal we all get to deal with
or if this is just how we get to feel if we take the time to be a #wokebae in today's messed-up, backwards-slipping world
but whatever it is, it sucks.
And I'm ready for a break.
But being a #wokebae (which is a joke, you guys) is realizing that - goddamn it - if nobody gives a meaningful shit then nothing will get better.
So you wake up and swallow yr feelings and slap a smile on yr face and pretend like, yeah everything's great I'm just overwhelmed because a major world power just elected a guy who committed sexual assault to the highest court in the land
and yeah the president of that same country made fun of victims of sexual assault and people thought that was OK
and the planet continues to be fucked and we're making it worse and what am I supposed to tell my future child about how we messed the planet up for them
and yeah people in this city can't vote "yes" on what should be an easy "yes" and essentially a non-issue
and people continue to be the versions of themselves that they are instead of the ones you wish they were
and all the other ways I and so many other people around me have felt like we're failing ourselves, or others, or both. And pretend like
yeah it's fine.
But it's not fucking fine, is it?
(Tell me it isn't.)
- by Alyson Shane
When I was a kid one of my summertime jobs was to wrangle all the kids that my mom babysat and walk them to the end of the street so we could all hang out at the playground for a few hours while the little kids had a nap.
I liked that job because I got to be in charge. Because this was pre-internet times I had a fancy watch on a leather strap that gave me the worst tan lines because I only ever took it off to go swimming.
I liked being the one in charge, even though it stressed me out sometimes when a kid would wander away from the playground toward the road or someone got hurt or some kids got into a dumb playground fight.
I liked knowing what was going on. When we needed to be there, when we needed to go back. How much candy and water were left from the backpack I'd bring along. Who needed to go to the bathroom.
Even though kids can be little shits and hate listening to anyone generally everything worked out just fine. A few bumps and scrapes, a few tears over unfair games of Tag and Grounders
(which is a game where everyone tries to stay off the ground while also avoiding whoever is 'It' who's walking around with their eyes closed. Super safe.)
but generally nothing a band-aid and a little talking-to couldn't resolve.
Adult problems are more difficult.
Adults have to hold down jobs and pay taxes and watch out for yr bad knee or yr bad back and drive to the store and save for the future and pay student debt and this, that, and the other thing.
Life comes at you full-tilt and let me tell you it doesn't stop anytime soon, friend.
Sometimes I feel like being an adult is like steering a ship through choppy, unsafe waters. You're navigating the best you can but who knows if there's a big swell coming or a rainstorm or if that damn iceberg is actually way bigger on the underside than you thought it was and now your whole ship is sinking into the ocean and now over 1,500 people have died.
Okay, maybe not quite that bad.
But my point is that most of the adults I talk to feel like we're just trying to steer our boats around whatever unforeseen calamity comes next. Whatever is hidden beneath the waves on a night that looks calm.
The same summer that I was in charge of the kids at the playground was also around the same time that the movie Titanic came out, and my brothers became obsessed with it. They just about memorized the 'Inside The Titanic' book at the library and would list off facts at the dinner table to the point where I would tell them to shut up about it, already.
Did you know that the Titanic was originally was designed to carry 64 lifeboats, but they were so worried about appearances and the deck looking cluttered that they only brought 20?
Did you know that the Titanic's lookout wasn't equipped with binoculars to see icebergs in time to avoid hitting the iceberg?
Did you know that the Titanic held no passenger lifeboat drills to prepare passengers for an emergency evacuation?
Did you know that the final SOS position the Titanic sent out was incorrect?
As a kid all these facts annoyed me because it seemed as though a bunch of stupid mistakes and oversight and hubris led to the sinking of an "unsinkable" ship and a huge and tragic loss of life.
"Why didn't they plan better?" I'd think "why didn't anyone speak up, or think critically, or assess all the potential ways this could have gone wrong so that it didn't happen?"
Which goes to show you how little kids understand about how the world works.
- by Alyson Shane
If there's anything better in this world than being a well-loved house pet, I don't know what that is.
Yes as a human of course you get to eat amazing things. Mussels and oysters and lobster and sushi. Garlic toast and fresh sourdough and croissants. Spaghetti and meat balls. Fresh doughnuts.
And you get to drink coffee and beer and rum out of a coconut. You can make iced tea on a hot day or have a cup of Chai on a cold day. You can make hot toddies when you get sick.
As a human you get to ride your bike and marvel at the big trees in your neighbourhood. Or go fro a car ride and listen to Leonard Cohen on the radio. Or sit next to a big dam and watch the sun set and listen to the water roaring by.
You also get to read books and blogs and literature and if you're lucky you have a wifi connection thanks to the computer in your pocket that lets you look up any dang thing you want.
We have Wikipedia, for chrissakes!
But if I believed in reincarnation
(which I don't, but y'know)
I'd try to come back as a well-loved house pet.
Because food and alcohol and literature and adventure are great and all.
But on-demand belly rubs just can't be beat.
- by Alyson Shane
I'm bad at rushing through my workday.
I try like hell to sit and sip my coffee, read the news, catch up on some articles, etc, before I start my actual workday, but even when it's stuff relating to my business or industry I still have a hard time sitting still in the AM.
There are emails to respond to. Profiles to update. Trello checklists to check-off. Copy to write, review, publish. Tasks upon tasks upon tasks.
Y'know, regular workday stuff.
I'm my most productive in the mornings and it often feels like I'm "wasting" my time taking things slowly in the AM.
Which is why it's nice to force myself to slow down for real, sometimes.
If I need to dive headfirst into work stuff in the morning I try and take a breath at lunch. Come up for air, peel away from my desk, go into the kitchen and make myself some lunch.
I try not to listen to anything; no music, no podcasts. Nada.
Just spend some time alone, clearing my thoughts, making something tasty.
Most days I just make a smoothie or a snack plate or leftovers so I can get back into the swing of things and eat as I work (told you I have a problem)
but some days I eat soup.
And soup days are the best days
because you have to eat soup slowly.
You can't rush soup or you'll burn the roof of your mouth, which means taking a little extra time to sit and enjoy it. Take slow sips. Wait for it to cool. Dig out the noodles or veggies or other goodies. Gauge overall heat. Repeat until done.
No music. No work.
Just me, my thoughts, and a bowl of soup.
Oh, and toast for dipping because I'm clearly not messing around.
- by admin
which makes me happy because it means that he's been around for another entire 365 days doing weird collabs, answering AMA's on Reddit, and otherwise continuing to ingrain himself in popular culture like nobody else.
To celebrate, here are some of my favourite Snoop gifs:
Snoop hanging with the yout
Snoop droppin' it like it's hot:
Snoop brushin' it off
Snoop channeling the power of the Lord
Snoop keeping the ladies in check:
Snoop and his crew:
Snoop on parole:
Snoop on The Price is Right:
and my personal favourite
Snoop Dogg evolving into Snoop Lion:
- by admin
is a song by Jaguar Knight that plays on CBC Radio 3 approximately every hour and a half
which I love despite how often I hear it and the weird video that reminds me of the visuals my ex used to make.
Because how could you not love an artist that describes themselves thusly:
For ten years, I was known as "A\V" and toured around Canada with a shopping cart full of synthesizers.
Then I got abducted by a horse flying a UFO and the horse made me change my name to "Jaguar Knight"
and posts YouTube videos of their tracks with artwork like this:
- by adminI first saw you on Albert and McDermot
while Tyrone was taking photos of the storefronts of Rhymes with Orange and Tiny Feast
and I was standing by holding his papers and humming a song by The Weakerthans.
You were walking up the street in a tiny dress and a blazer
holding your phone in one hand
and a glass full of some sort of drink in the other
my hunch is a long island tea, but it's anyone's guess.
You walked by and kept stumbling on the cobblestone streets
and I felt compelled to say something to you
but I didn't because mostly we're taught to keep to ourselves
lest we bring trouble or interfere.
as I watched you stumble away down the block
and then across McDermot
almost falling twice
I thought "fuck convention" and started to run after you.
By the time I reached you, you were already a block away
by King and Notre Dame
and I sprinted around the corner and shouted EXCUSE ME at you.
I think I scared you but you stopped.
I asked if you were okay and you drunkenly said you were
even though your dress was half-tucked up and you'd lost that glass somewhere and I could smell the booze on you
and I thought to myself
that you would have looked really professional if your dress wasn't so short & your little boots were so high.
But that's besides the point.
I asked if you wanted me to call you a cab and you said no
so you said you would call your boyfriend and I said I'd wait with you and you said I didn't have to
but I did
and when he didn't pick up you got up and straightened out your skirt and said
I AM TOTALLY OKAY
and sprinted across the intersection and through an empty parking lot before I knew what was happening.
I yelled after you
where are you going?
and you said
I hope you made it back okay
to wherever your home is
because I'm still worried about you
dashing around by yourself in your high heels in the cold.
So if you read this, please let me know you're all right.
- by admin
from his place
to the movies
to dinner somewhere
to the park
to our minimum-wage jobs
and we'd listen to bands like this
not because we were unhappy
but because we weren't.
Weird listening to it now.
It feels like a lifetime ago.