If my head could rotate 360° I’d have more important things to do than vomit. Like attaching rotor blades for efficient transportation.

It’s all of the hallows’ eve. A magical, wondrous, fantastical holiday full of splendiferous joy. I’m a fan. Obviously. Unless I’m being sarcastic right now. I could be, you know, it’s pretty difficult to tell through text communication. I’m not though. Seriously. I genuinely love Halloween. I love it so much that I’ve spent today floating away on cloud nine, as if I’m mainlining glee. It could also be the 2.5 hours of sleep I had last night, leaving me adorably dopey all day. I have no idea how I’m gonna tackle another party tonight. Well, I’m sure alcohol will play a large part, embalming me in my corpselike state. Oh alcohol, I can’t quit you. Wait, that was meant to be a flippant Brokeback Mountain reference, not a deep seated call for help. Just to clarify, I’m not being sarcastic here. Not. At. All. But actually not at all. Would I lie to you? Nah, no good reason to. Nothing eventful enough to lie about ever seems to happen to me. I live a pretty scandal free existence. Sorry guys, that’d make this a far more interesting read. Instead you’re just stuck here reading my inane babblings about Halloween and dumb costumes. That being said, last night’s costume actually kicked some kind of ass.

Well it kicked it half-assed style anyway. Having metal implements taped to my hands actually hurt a lot more than I thought it would. By the end of the night I had deep grooves pressed into the backs of my hands, fortunately alcohol worked as inoculation from the pain. Yay for alcohol! My flatmate taped the implements (recap: I went with a cheese slicer, cheese knife, melon baller, vegetable peeler, olive pitter and pickle fork as my claws) on, which predictably prevented me from removing my jacket. Watching me take my shoes off was indistinguishable from that crutches/keys scene from There’s Something About Mary. I could pet the dog though, which was vitally important, given that the dog present was excessively cuddly and fluffy. Priorities, yo.

Today at work I was possessed by Halloween spirits. An actual possession. My head turned 360° and I vomited on a small child. Wishful thinking. I did get to strap a bat mask to my hat (on my face it effectively limited my peripheral vision enough that I wouldn’t be able to see small children enough to vomit on them. We couldn’t have that), eat tootsie rolls and see dressed up passers by. One little kid was garbed as 007, looking pretty suave. He was probably only 007 years old, but dressed better than I ever have. Still, I’ll have the last laugh tonight. I have all the components assembled. I have a ladies’ flight suit, a waist coat, a top hat, my awful Amish beard and a Hitler stache (not my own hair. For some reason (probably the death of 6 million Jews) I couldn’t bring myself to shave my on facial hair to a Hitler stache. I don’t even feel comfortable wearing the stache until I’m right at the door. It’s weird how a symbol like that still holds too much hatred for me to brand my own body with it). It’s important to note that there will be zero swastikas in this costume. It looks a little something like this instead, but without all the fancy accompaniments. I’m hoping I can pull it off without majorly offending anyone. It’s not my intention to ruin this magical, wondrous, fantastical holiday that I truly love (again, no sarcasm. Me? Sarcastic? ‘Sif) for anyone else. I’m not that bad a person. I hope.

I don’t think assailing someone with a pickle fork was a childhood dream of mine.

My face. Wow. If you could see it right now you’d be rubbernecking. It’s not so much that it was an accident, because it was entirely intentional. It just looks like a train wreck. I’ll blame the beard. That’s fair, or at least you’d agree if you could see it. Going for my specific costume requires an Abraham Lincoln beard. I went for it and I’ve come out looking a tad Amish. I also look like if I were to procreate, my children would make blood sacrifices to save their crops. I don’t know that this is meant to be bigoted towards farmers or the Amish, just that I look nightmarish. It’s necessary, as I said. I’d rather do it tonight than take the time tomorrow. This also means I need to navigate work tomorrow looking like this. No moustache, just beard. My plan is to tell people I’m pre-empting Movember with Octobeard. It feels really weird looking back at myself sans moustache now, considering I’ve adapted to what I look like bearded. It’s become a staple of my identity almost, as if my coiffed facial hair defined my persona. There are people I know who’ve never seen me clean shaven. I can only imagine how I’ll appear to them in this frightening metamorphic state. It’d be like seeing your grandmother without makeup. I’m glad this interview I have is at the start of November rather than the end, otherwise my employability would drop severely, while my threat level would rise meteorically.

I’m prepping for my costume right now (well not right now, I’m writing at the moment, obviously). With three Halloween parties night after night, I’d feel weird wearing the same costume three times. So for tonight’s venture I’m trying to sort out some kind of “Toolverine” or “Utilverine” getup. I own a Wolverine mask that I bought from Dollarama purely because I’d always wanted one. No costume intentions. So to make childhood dreams come true (or as close as possible) I’m going for the el-cheapo version. Wearing a leather jacket and jeans, I’m taping a motley collection of single use kitchen utensils to my hands as claws. Right now I’ve got a cheese slicer, pickle fork, olive pitter, melon baller, ice cream scoop and vegetable peeler. If only I owned a bottle opener, I could be the handiest person at the party. As it stands, I’m prepared for at least 6 food related incidents that could occur. The Boy Scouts would be proud.

The issues that occur with a costume like this are manifold. Firstly, it means I’m stuck wearing a leather jacket. That bad boy isn’t coming off with the arsenal at the end of my arms. No matter how hot this party gets, I’m gonna be sweating in style. Secondly, I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to take off my shoes. I might need to phone a friend. Or wear slip on shoes. Going to the bathroom will be interesting. I’m sure knowing my luck I’ll somehow get tangled in a mass of selectively useful items while failing at unzipping. Will I even be able to shake hands with people? Or is it more likely their arms will get *snikt* with a pickle fork? How embarrassment. It’s a good thing I’ll be masked, so people won’t know my true identity. That way at least I’ll have some modicum of secrecy when I have to flee the scene or be arrested for causing grievous bodily harm. Then at worst I can shave the beard to escape identification.

And that’s how to get away with murder. With a pickle fork.


So sometimes things don’t work out. That’s life, right?

I didn’t get the job I really wanted. After a great interview and weekly follow up calls, today’s follow up call informed me that the position had been granted to someone else. The guy said I should’ve been emailed by HR right now and apologised. He did offer to be a character reference within the company for any other positions I applied for, so that’s some consolation. Really, it is. ‘Cause I kind of interviewed for another position within the company yesterday. It wasn’t my first interview for the position. I actually interviewed for the exact same role with the exact same interviewer in the exact same room exactly 11 months ago to the day. Uncanny. Consequently the interview went really well. Last time it transpired that while I was entirely qualified for the role, the company had a policy of taking internal hires. So this time when I walked into the interview room with the same interviewer and one of her fellow staff members, it took off a load of pressure.

She said that I knew what the job entailed and that she knew I was qualified for it. She just wanted me to explain my relevant experience to the other staff member. So we chatted, I got to talk about myself (and who doesn’t love that?) and get to know both of my interviewers. They seemed like engaging people who represented a pretty amicable team. They were looking for someone positive, a team player who understood the logistics of working between different departments and wasn’t afraid to get stuck in and learn some new systems. It appealed to me just as much as it did last time. So things went well and by the end of the interview they said they’d schedule me in with their boss for a follow up interview. That’s on Monday, and without the distraction of this other role in the back of my mind, I’m gonna walk in and get that job. Positivity, I’m owning it. The alternative is wallowing in my own self pity, which seems like a waste of time that I don’t have enough of otherwise.

I also got a new Facebook friend. Big whoop, right? Well this was a dude I befriended after an Arkham Horror meetup group that fell kind of flat. The host and his friend were weird, but this other dude that showed up was cool as shit. We took the long bus back home together and kept in infrequent touch. He came along to another board game day, we invited each other out to cool events that we unfortunately missed. That was about 6 months ago. After forgetting to invite him to my flatwarming, I realised I kept forgetting to invite him out because he wasn’t on Facebook, hence the friend request. He added me yesterday, which added a little more sugar to a day that was already sweet as. Just thought I’d mention it. Nice things are nice, right (though I guess nice” can be a euphemism for “boring” too)?

I had a gig to review that night, This Will Destroy You. I’d signed up to review them because I remembered that I had their album. After getting the gig, I recalled that I’d never heard it. Listened to it yesterday for the first time and instantly took to it. Got excited for the gig. Loved the gig. While I was there, enjoying the set, a girl turned around and gave me a folded paper crane. It was the most charmingly Manic Pixie Dream Girl thing that’s ever happened to me. I put it in my hair like a rose and rocked out to the rest of the gig. My flatmate suggested unfolding the thing to see if there was a phone number inside, but given my non-existent origami skills, I fear things will turn out straight up Humpty Dumpty. Let’s not. I’m sure this is the day I finally become someone’s Craigslist missed connection, right? So it goes.

I turned around and started looking intently at this dude. Something seemed familiar about him, but I just couldn’t place it. Glitch in the matrix? No idea. He started staring back. For a split second it got really awkward, then we both realised we’d just become Facebook friends that day. Hadn’t seen this guy in over 6 months, then out of nowhere befriend and run into him in the same day? Toronto – Big city, small world. He showed me where he lives, really close to me. He said he plays all kinds of board games with pals most weekends. Awesome. New friend, new opportunities.

So sometimes things don’t work out. But sometimes they do.

Did you love that one I slipped in on the end? You can’t say I’m entirely without style.

I’m not normally an anxious person, but it does happen. I hear about things that give people anxiety, whether it’s public speaking, flirting with the opposite sex or working to tight deadlines in high pressure situations. Performance anxiety is a thing that many succumb to, whatever its form. When it strikes it can be utterly debilitating, taking apart your confidence piece by piece, leaving you a helpless puddle of goo on the floor. For most people, the aforementioned issues weigh heavily on their sense of contentment. For me, I have one defining weakness that causes my knees to shake, then crash to the ground. I’m terrible at clothes.

You’d think I’d indulged in a poor grammatical error, but the problem is too vast to cede to simple laws of written structure. I just can’t do clothes in any fashion. Pun wasn’t intended, but now I wish it was. I’m terrible at choosing clothes to purchase, owning suitable attire for specific situations, or mixing and matching in a complementary fashion. I don’t know how to compose an outfit, much less an outfit that’ll work for an intended outcome. Whenever I get someone to help me out, they’re disappointed in the lack of felicitous choices and my general sloven indifference. When shopping, my anxiety about being out of my element means I get quickly wound/fed up and need to find something with a minimum modicum of fuss, otherwise I lose my shit and sulk. If I walk into a store and don’t immediately see what I’m looking for, I’ll often just leave. If I have someone with me (usually a lady or gay gentleman, it’s an unfair stereotype, but they seem to have the fantastic fashion sense that I’m sorely lacking) they’ll drag me in and call me on my shit. Alone, I’m like a petulant child.

When it comes time to put things together, I fare no better. I reach the end of my tether often before even pulling things off their coat hangers. Everything seems too much effort and it throws me for a loop. What do you mean I need to iron this? A tie? Why would I own a tie? Of course I don’t own a blazer, can’t I just wear a leather jacket to the interview? I hate tucking in shirts, a) because I don’t have the flat figure for a good shirt tucking and b) because try as I might, even with my decent Google-fu, I can’t find a suitable way to tuck it in without having it billow out the side like the sail of a galleon. I mean, I find the right guides, but tucking things in comes under the general umbrella of “clothes”, which we’ve ascertained I’m incapable of doing.

So here I am trying to find something to wear for a job interview tomorrow. I thankfully accosted my lady friend to help me find pants after the last interview, but I pretty much only have one shirt (I think I left my purple one at my relatives’ house. Did you hear that? I was considering a purple shirt to be viable garb for an interview. I really don’t know how to clothes) and it’s charcoal coloured. I own a nice looking white shirt that I’d bought for a best man outfit, but it turns out the shirt is somewhat transparent. Shit. Oooh, I do own a plain white shirt that I bought for an Ace Ventura costume. Success! Oh wait, the neckline comes up so high that I’d need to hide it by sealing the top button. Well that looks silly. Oh what’s that you say flatmate? You have a tie I can borrow? That’s great! Oh, it really works with the shirt too. Wait, why are there no buttons on the arms? Can I get away with just folding up the sleeves? Not in an interview? Who makes these rules? Fuck. I might have some cuff links lying around here somewhere. Oh yeah, they’re at the bottom of this drawer. Oh wait, now the transparent arms look ridiculous with the short sleeved white shirt underneath. If only I had some kind of blazer to tie it all together. Do I have one? No. Fuck. I guess it’s back to the charcoal shirt. What about shoes? Oh, I’ve got that nice brown pair? Excellent. Oh yeah, the suede got ruined from winter salt last year. Consequent attempts to clean them have proven fruitless. So tomorrow I’ve gotta wear some shitty shoes on my way to the interview, stop off at a cheap shoe store and buy some $30 black leather shoes, then throw away the pair I walked in with? I mean, I can’t come to an interview carrying smelly old shoes.

If any of this stuff really mattered in the world, I’d be unbelievably fucked. What’s that Jemima? It does? Well I guess it’s orificial then.

The humour in getting free tickets to a charity gig hasn’t abated. I’m the worst.

I’ve been staring at my screen for the past 9 hours trying to write this. Every 10 minutes or so I’d procrastinate and distract myself , leading to something which could best be explained as a festering heap of worthless dung. Clichéd and poorly phrased, it’s not the kind of thing I’d want to put my name to. I think I gave up halfway through and kind of limped over the finishing line. I’ve been gigging too often and it’s draining rather than improving my creativity and expression. Next month is less loaded, thank shit:


I didn’t begin this entry craving burritos. How do I get burritos without leaving the bed?

It’s weird being at a gig where you just can’t connect. The music’s blaring, beats are flowing and bodies all around you are gyrating energetically to the performance. You, however, stand alone unmoving. I don’t know why it happens, but it’s one of the most isolating things I can think of. This disconnection feels jarring and you start to question what it is driving a wedge between you and the music. Is it a strange emotional or social variance causing this rift? Is it that the music just doesn’t resonate with your subconscious expectations? Did you just eat a shitty burrito that took you down a dark path? That couldn’t be it. I’ve never known burritos to be anything but delicious. A bad burrito is like bad pizza, there’s a certain benchmark that leaves even poor quality meals still acceptable at some level.

Mismatched gigs though, don’t work in the same way. If the music can’t reach you, what hope do you have of getting something out of it? With a “bad” burrito, you’ve still got the base ingredients that complement each other. Beans, cheese, salad, salsa and guacamole just harmonise. Regardless of the quality, they balance each other out, poor beans can be covered by a deliciously spicy salsa. If everything sucks, the cheese will carry it through. If the cheese is off, well spoiled cheese probably becomes just some other flavour of cheese. Blue, perhaps? A blue cheese burrito just sounds goddamn delicious. With a poor gig there can be one imperceptible factor that’s just not clicking and it can throw everything into turmoil. Yet again, the arrangement could be totally fine, but something in your internal make-up just means you’re gonna have a bad time.

I had The Glitch Mob tonight and by all affairs it was as I’ve said. I was keen going into the gig. I’d never listened to their recorded albums, but they’d done a tremendous The Weeknd glitch album. I do love my glitch music, crunchy little shattered remnants of songbites ground together. It’s like taking glass shards and honing them into a bottle, taking all those edges and finding ways to balance them out against each other, forming a new smooth shape from their seemingly haphazard former nature.

Tonight though, those shards just failed to take shape for me. Everyone else seemed to be having a great time. I found a lack of music glitch/breakbeat stuff, erring instead towards Pendulum style heavy electronic riffs and slower bass driven beats. I thought I was down with this whole “wait for the drop” thing, but there was an unknown element missing for me. A certain je ne sais quoi (man, I do feel wanky as shit getting to throw out that term, especially when I’m essentially just rephrasing the same sentence in a different language). It just didn’t hit me, I needed something harsher, more aggressive.

I feel that music, like art, seems to hit you with a sudden connection. I don’t know much about art, but I know that when something appeals to me there’s a massive jolt of recognition. I realise that I’m experiencing something I’ve missed in my life and didn’t know it existed till that moment. When music gives me that jolt it moves me both physically and emotionally. My body moves almost of its own accord. Hell, I love dance music but sometimes it just fails to make its mark. I’m not saying The Glitch Mob did anything wrong, but whatever it was, they failed to grip me and shake my shoulders, hips or arse.

At least a burrito would’ve put a little toot in my booty.

My beard bears my bare bearings.

Now that I’ve discovered these extra 2 hours in my day during my commute, I feel like I’ve found one of life’s cheat codes. IDKFA straight up in this bitch. I now have something to do that doesn’t involve refusing to pick up a Metro paper, then craning my neck to read one over someone’s shoulder. Godawful paper, it’s like advertising and clickbait had an ugly baby who keeps eating all of your fancy soaps. Don’t ask me where that metaphor went, it’s the morning. I’m not used to having to be functional for another hour. If course I see the irony in giving Metro shit for lazy writing when I’m throwing out worthless wordplay myself. Then again, they’re a professional outlet and I’ve never professed to be anything of the sort.

Can we talk about something? How about the karmic justice of gloating about my conflict free existence, then having an intense stress attack brought on by a lack of sleep and deadlines. As it’d be easy to see, I’ve had a bit to do over the past few days. This week has a pretty heavy work load of gigs, having had We Were Promised Jetpacks on Sunday, some observational research at Oasis on Monday (observational research he says…) and Angus & Julia Stone on Tuesday. It doesn’t let up much, with Glitch Mob Friday, the Dream Serenade benefit (which hilariously finds me gaining free access to an expensive charity gig) in Saturday, then We Will Destroy You on Tuesday. Lots of stuff on and it’s great that I’m busy. I might have overloaded myself, but in the end they’re just reviews that I’m doing for experience, not pay. My editor’s pretty good about letting me push out deadlines if need be and it’s nice that he’s got my back. Still, making sure that I get everything done without having time to blow off steam really dug me into a hole. I started getting this weird muscle contraction in my arm, rapid heartbeat and got uncharacteristically emotional. Thoughts receded to dark places, negative outlook throwing a pall over everything. All because I had a few things to write?

Of course it was more than that. It always is. They say that when someone is drowning, it never looks like how we imagine drowning to be. We expect to see frantically waving arms, to hear them loudly yelling for help. In reality people just kind of quietly bob up and down while inside they’re screaming. Okay, that’s how you do a metaphor. When I get stressed, I pointedly act overly cheerful and falsely energetic to compensate. The last thing I want is someone catching on. The thought that I was trying to push my burden onto someone else would only send me into a deeper spiral of negativity and self-loathing.

So what brought it on? The usual suspects: self-defeating attitudes about irresponsible consumption habits, lack of physical activity, consistent failure to rein in fleeting desires in favour of being accountable to myself, a general lack of willpower and personal respect, relationship issues and not taking time to rest. I’ve been disappointed in myself, which has led to repeated bludgeoning of my self confidence, curbstomping my belief in my own abilities. If you stop believing in what you’re capable of, it’s rare that you’ll go on to achieve it.

So I guess the take away is that even when times seem to press down and crush your spirits, it’s pretty important to stop, take a breath and survey your surroundings. With perspective comes understanding and understanding allows you to take things apart, piece by piece and make them manageable. Sometimes managing is just enough to get you over that last big hill where things level out, where you can at least relax and find equilibrium. I can’t really do stress right now. I have facial hair, I’m not looking for that to go grey.