If anyone had walked in I would’ve literally been caught with my pants down.

A fair warning, I might be all over the place today. I woke up early today so my rhythm is a bit off. I might ramble a little bit for a change. With that said…

You know, there are some times that capitalism just works for me. It’s very far from a perfect system, but when you want something and don’t have the skills, time or inclination to make it happen yourself, it’s a blast to be able to offload that onto someone else. I’m not making this into a political thing, because it’s not where my head’s at right now.

I’ve got a date night with my girlfriend tonight and I was thinking you know what? Cooking a roast and playing house is all well and good, but what if we had some other way to play alongside that? I then thought of fun activities we could do. Maybe make cootie catchers, do some kind of madlibs thing, play some bananagrams. Then I realised something I hadn’t used in ages: Play Doh. We already had the pork to mitigate cravings, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat any of it. It was perfect. I know it’s possible to make Play Doh in the kitchen, but I’m fundamentally lazy or protective of my time. Why do in some larger amount of time than 5 minutes what I could accomplish in 5 minutes? Walk across the road to the Dollarama, pick a 4 pack of Play Doh, cave and grab some clay dinosaur moulds, pay $5 and walk back to the office. Convenient and easy. Date night is saved. I’m not a skilled artisan. I don’t have the wherewithal to construct plastic moulds and effectively make expert Play Doh with precision and speed. However many minutes I had to work in order to earn that $5 was well worth it. Now my kitchen can be filled with miniature dinosaurs. They even included an ankylosaurus mould. It doesn’t get better than that.

Then I decided that, seeing that I have no concrete Friday night plans, I should do trapeze tomorrow. So I internetted and found somewhere to make it happen. So provided that someone gets back to me, I could be flying, flipping and tricking the friendly skies tomorrow evening. Thanks capitalism. It kind of sucks giving the majority of my waking hours to the eponymous “Man”, but given that it’s something I don’t mind doing much and it enables me to engage in a host of experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have access to, I’m ok signing on at the moment. Oh humans, we’re so easy to pacify. Just give us a few trinkets to play with and we’re all yours. For an intelligent species, we can be pretty dumb at times.

So here’s a weird thing. I’ve engaged my benefits recently, which is great. Twice this week though, it’s meant I’ve been lying on a table with young women putting their hands around my “swimsuit areas”. I’m no prude, it’s odd, but non-concerning. Monday I went to the doctor to get a full physical check up (and some booster shots while I was at it. They were just giving them away). She took my height and weight, then told me to go into a room, strip down to my undies and lie down on the table, draping the paper towel over myself. I complied and waited for about 10 minutes while overhearing a couple in another room sing the Addams Family theme song to their infant. The doctor came in, she gave me my shot (with no lollipop. Scrooge) and started feeling around. She looked at some sunspots to check for anything cancerous (I’m fine guys) and listened to my heart/lungs. I’d asked for the total package, including STI tests, so she quietly asked me to remove my boxers so she could check. It was entirely non-sexual, but it still feels weird having a stranger checking your genitals. It probably would’ve felt less peculiar if she was much older or male, but I felt odd for making a gal my age have to touch some guy’s bits.

Then at physio the physiotherapist (dumb sentence) was working around my upper IT band and surrounding areas. For some reason I hadn’t really expected her to go the places she did. She pulled down my waistband and started digging her thumb into that area around my hip bone, which felt bizarrely ticklish and painful. Then she basically just pulled my pants down past my cheeks (I was covered in the front) and gave all that constricted gluteal fascia and musculature hell. Once again, it was in no way sexual (possibly one of the most painful things I’ve experienced in some time. She apologised for not having a “bit” for me to chomp on), but just kind of a surreal thing to happen so close to my workday. I’ve got a dental check up tomorrow. If my dentist asks me to take off my pants, I might begin to suspect something is up.

More of a social justice worrier.

I’m not struck by inspiration to write as we speak. There isn’t a lot growing at the top of my brain stem, no ripe fruit ready to pluck. I’m writing because I want to clear this out to keep my evening free. Treating my daily task as no more than detritus, inspiring stuff, no? If there’s anything inspiring me at the moment, it’s that some hapless reader stumbled upon this page by searching for an insane, arbitrary Coco Pops ad from 90s New Zealand television. If anything should make me feel good about both my reach and irreverence, that’s it. Almost as heart warming as all of the “marshmallow porn” searches that find my page. Did I accidentally create a fetish for someone? I never thought myself to be so seminal. Then again, there was that window when I thought I’d sculpted Cake and Cunnilingus Day from my own grey head putty. Google was quick to call me out. Thanks buddy.

It doesn’t worry me, but the sheer number of arcane unrelated terms that people could search to find this place is staggering. Judging by the recent blood-in-the-water reaction to Trevor Noah’s crappy tweets from years past, if I ever held a position of influence I’d topple before long. It’s scary, how things work these days. I’m a huge fan of trying to make this world more accepting, aware of the influence of their actions and words, but that doesn’t alleviate my small fear that I would be torn asunder if I was anyone who mattered. The sheer quantity of shitty problematic things I’ve said or written in what almost seems like a past life is gargantuan. If you looked through this writing project you wouldn’t even need a fine toothed comb to pick out all kinds of ticks that’ve gone unchecked. I’ve said oodles of stupid things. Most of us have. I don’t know what it is, but there’s some extension of activism that seeks to tear people asunder at even the smallest step aside from a virtuous path. Just letting you guys know that if and when the time comes that I’m in the public eye, I’ll be the largest target.

I can’t help but think if someone called me on something I’ve said, the only viable response would be “you’re probably right. I’ve said and probably do say dumb things. Let me know how I can be better and I’ll try.” What more can someone do? I regret knowing that I have the capacity to really hurt people and that in all honesty I probably have. I hope I’ve never done irreparable damage, but I’m aware it’s a possibility. You might not think it from my numerous crazed ravings, but I’ve got a big mouth to go with them big lungs. It sometimes talks faster than my brain can compute.

One thing I’ve never understood though, is absolute pride. How much power do you need to wield to make an apology remotely a big deal? I fuck up all the time. I do or say something that I realise affects someone in a negative fashion. I say sorry. If I realise I’ve made an arse of myself, I apologise. Because I want to be better, and acknowledging that is at least a step in the right direction. I was a loudmouthed asshole and at times still can be. As a teenager (and probably some time beyond that) I made countless jokes about rape, cancer, death, poverty, mental illness, sexuality and loads more. If something could affect or afflict someone, I’ve probably joked about it. Over time as perspective has sunk in, I’ve shied away from that kind of thing. I’m sure I still make jokes about affecting things, but I’d hope that at the very least I’ve learned about my audience and how I’d frame them. At the very least I’d hope that I’m able to understand the difference between humour at the expense of a victim and humour that exposes a problematic system’s structure.

I guess what I’m saying is, humans have the capacity to be very myopic. If you’ve always lived your life with tunnel vision, how would you be expected to see beyond that? We also have the capacity to be open to change. I don’t think I’m a bad person, but I’ve definitely had some problematic views in the past. Is it right for me to be burned alive over these things? Well that’s your choice. I’d hope that your first response would be to explain to me why it is the things I’ve said or done were an issue or how they made you feel, so that I could come to understand how to improve. It’s hard for me to open my eyes to new views if I’m having to shield my current one from assailants. I don’t need to get defensive if I’m not being attacked. Call me on my shit, but do it by helping me learn, not saying I’m shit.

Thank fuck I’m not on Tumblr…

There are sure to be rides, swings and play to be had, but not the type you’d expect.

Because this space is a free canvas for me to talk about whatever I feel like, I’m gonna use it to plug one of my friend’s projects (that also involves its fair share of plugs).

Toronto has an unfair share of enticing conferences, gatherings and conventions. If there’s something important to you there’s a high likelihood it’ll be important to others. If it’s important enough to others, someone might hire a hall, hotel or convention centre to share their love of the thing they adore. In this case, I’m talking about something often important to many types of love itself. I’m talking about the Playground Conference.

It’s about intercourse, sex, play, fucking and finding pleasure in all the best NSFW ways, but that’s hardly all it’s about. It’s about ethically navigating consent, discussions around gender, sexuality and the fluidity within those spectrums. It’s about engaging in kink in an aware, supportive space. It’s about examining and reconsidering potentially problematic issues within the media you consume and the life you lead. It’s about showcasing sexual preferences you may never have heard about, but are all types of fascinating. It’s about learning more about what makes you tick, what makes you hard, what makes you wet, what makes you yearn, what makes you drool.

Playground is all of these things and more (and if you call in the next 10 minutes…). Playground is a well curated, excellent space for understanding the things that resonate with you, or those you’ve never understood that resonate with others. It’s a superb place to meet people who are conscious and considerate of the feelings of others. It’s rare for any “othering” behaviour to be a mainstay and if it is, people would be quick to apologise and correct their actions. Playground offers grounds for those outside the mainstream to have their voices heard, considered and respected.

Also there are a shit ton of sexy things and people. Experts in their field (some might use the term “sexperts”, but it’s one of the rare portmanteaux I’m not a fan of) or just enthusiasts. There are international authors, speakers, porn stars, advocates and those who simply want to learn more all under one roof.

I feel like saying most of this would be enough to put most “ordinary” or “normal” people off. Fuck that, nobody is ordinary or normal, we all have our little weirdnesses, eccentricities and isms that make us exceptional in every sense of the word. I met and befriended a ton of lovely people last year. People who I don’t define by their sexuality, but applaud for their openness. I’m sure to most people it sounds like a bunch of sex freaks all trying to fuck each other. It’s not. It’s a showcase of the diversity within a very human activity and interest. I had many of my views expanded, boundaries challenged and pushed, none of which I regret. Nobody is there to force anybody into anything they’re not into. It’s a supportive safe space. There’s respect and affection permeating the conference. It’s engrossing to learn about a multitude of activities and preferences you may not have even known to exist. Moreover, it’s fun as fuck.

To give a hint at the kind of programming and diversity you may expect at something like this, cast your eyes over last year’s schedule.

There’s a lot of love, time and money that goes into putting on something of this scale. It’s something that’s of unfathomable benefit to a humming sex positive community like Toronto. It’s no large corporate entity, but a grassroots operation that spares no attention to detail. Knowing the organiser personally, it’s something she does at a lot of personal expense of every kind. That care and attention reverberates throughout the event. I felt just a little bit tingly to be surrounded by the types of people I met. People who all felt so fortunate that something like this existed. Especially feeling the absence of the Feminist Porn Conference this year, Playground 2015 is one of the big red dots on my calendar I can’t wait to attend.

Also, if you call in the next 10 minutes (for real this time)- or two days, rather- you can get in on the ground floor. Super duper early bird tickets for $50+bf are available, with a growing cost as the event looms closer. I’ve already got my ticket. Am I gonna see you there?

My gospel has already been written. Just google TV Tropes.

Just when I thought I was out…

Did I really think that I’d dropped Mad Men though? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Not even in a box, accompanied by a fox. The show is just too fucking intoxicating. Having not watched an episode since June 2013, I’d forgotten so much of what drew me into the show. When you watch something this good it pulls you in. You’re pulled closer to the characters, the intimately chosen shot selection putting you right where you need to be. You’ve seen these actors grow into their characters and, by season 7, infuse them with the life these roles need to breathe. At this point does anyone even remember little Sally Draper before she became the emotional power house that soaks up any scene she’s in? Seeing shades of Don we’ve never before been exposed to, watching Peggy step further and further into his shadow the more she seeks to move away. Watching dynamics of status and control exchanged like currency, actions betrayed by motivations, feelings, failings. Soaking in these impossibly beautiful people, echoing the golden days of an era long past. Instilling in me this undeniable Midnight in Paris style desire, knowing full well how much I’d hate it there. How the hell did I put this show off for so long? At this point I’m finding it hard not to skip sleep in lieu of catching up. Do I really have to be an adult tonight?

Stories. Stories have this power. Channelling our desires to quest beyond the tedium into lives so far removed from our own. Oh the places I’d go if dreams could manifest in reality. If life could mirror our thirst for adventure, our cravings to be something, everything we’re not. To live these tales simply because we haven’t. We fear conflict in our own lives, but in stories we drift to it like moths to flame. Survival instincts tell us to keep our head down, but what would happen if we stood up instead? In the map of infinite possibility there’s a timeline where we cast off the trappings of society and make our lives echo our desires. We envision where we could be if not for those shackles holding us fast. Fear. Fear for safety, security. We seek to ameliorate the hurt that happenstance throws our way by steeling ourselves. We so rarely look beyond our obstacles, instead finding ways to go around or avoid them. It’s usually only when we seek to go through them that we achieve something. We make ourselves proud by combating opposition. In doing so, we become the stories.

So often we don’t. We stay back, look for reasons to justify our lack of commitment, our refusal of the call to adventure. So somebody else accepts the journey instead. They face the unfamiliar and adapt to it. They find what they wanted and pay the price. They return having changed. We listen, having not. We worry for what we could achieve because of what we may not. Fear steals our words, our courage, our future. So that timeline winks out of existence. The story disappears. We seek out the stories of others for fear of our own potential. We all have stories to tell and so rarely we do. What story lies in front of you if only you choose to follow it? What obstacles do you face and what course of action could take you through them? What future casts you in the lead, striding forward with head held up instead of bowed? What do you need to do in order to become the person you want to be? To write a story you can be proud of? You’ve got a lifetime. Why not use it?

Also when the hell did I become some knockoff televangelist? Have I got time to write a new ending?

I mean, I can fit my fist in my mouth. Am I really looking to swallow anything larger than that?

So… I’m naked on the internet now. I’m sure mum’s super proud. It was done on my own terms, with my consent. It’s not a remotely sexual thing and the only motivation for me was to work on accepting myself, working through those body issues I mentioned in passing recently. This link is exactly what it sounds like. If you’ve got no interest in seeing me naked, then don’t click it. It’s as simple as that. The idea is to be accountable to myself and start to pick apart these issues in whatever capacity I’m capable of. Here goes.

I’m naked on the internet.

The shot wasn’t a pose, it just happened to catch me mid-movement. I mentioned the Body Pride (NSFW warning. More nudity) event I went to recently, an intimate event involving a handful of people naked in a circle. Wine and snacks were on hand and we went around the circle talking about our experiences with our bodies, childhoods, sexuality and relationships with others. It was a chance to unburden ourselves of issues in a supportive, welcoming environment. Reflecting on our own troubles while hearing those of others was a humbling way to gain perspective on our own hardships. Commonalities emerged, while helping to trace potential roots of deeply held concerns and insecurities. The event sought to encourage a sense of appreciation for oneself and one’s body, backed by the knowledge that others were listening with good intentions. Stacks of warm fuzzies and laughs were shared and I think everyone’s heart grew three sizes that day. Then after hours of talking, we had a naked dance party photoshoot to keep those warm fuzzies flowing. If you’re in Toronto and feel like it’d help you, get in touch. The next session (sans cis-men) is on Friday May 22nd.

So, did it help? Well it didn’t fix everything, but I certainly didn’t expect it to. I think I’m still processing how it’s made me feel. At the moment I look at myself naked and just think ok, that’s what I look like. I still see all the things I don’t like, the parts I want to change. I see bits that are thicker than I’d like, but I don’t know that I’m seeing them with the same urgency. I think I can look at myself and acknowledge hey, I don’t look that bad. I’m not at a place yet that I like what I see, but I don’t actively loathe what I see. I’d chalk that up as progress.

At this stage my uphill hike starts with trying to build up confidence around myself and how I look. I can objectively see there’s nothing physically wrong with me, but it’s a much harder concept to grok. Self-acceptance isn’t merely skin deep, It lies in the pound of flesh closest to my heart. I’ve got a supportive partner and a great community of loving people around me. Maybe if I listen to them and- as a friend suggested- try actually believing that my friends and loved ones mean what they say, I might be able to come to terms with the way I look and actively come to like it. Stranger things have happened. Did you see the snake devouring that crocodile a few weeks back? If that can happen, feeling comfortable and confident in the “me” I put out there isn’t unfathomable. Like the snake, it may just involve digesting something quite hard to swallow. Then unburdening. Because who would I be if I didn’t end on a poop joke?

Could I be a cat that’s simultaneously in the hat and the box, but not?

Is it a sign of adulthood when you wake up just before your alarm would be set to go off, except it’s a weekend?

I swear sometimes your brain is just trying to mess with you at the behest of your best intentions. That last sentence had some badass assonance. Just sayin’. It’s now about the time I wanted to get up, except I’ve been awake for 2 hours. On one hand I’m impressed that I’ve taken the time that would’ve been spent frivolously wasting the day away. Instead I’ve frivolously wasted it catching up on TV and the internet. Concurrently my eyes feel heavy. I’m doing nothing to shift the bags under my eyes, something that I’m resigned to admit are probably here to stay, despite best efforts to aim for 8 hours sleep a day.

BORING. For fuck’s sake, surely I’ve got more going on here than insipid mundanity.  What’s on my mind? I just need something to latch onto…

Okay. Someone just posted a comment on my previous entry. Passionate! #Thetrainer. Am I an asshole? Or is this meaningless drivel that some dude or algorithm has written in an attempt to drive traffic to his site? I don’t get it. Well I do, but I don’t. I understand why it was done, but I can’t empathise with these motives. From what I do understand (and that’s very little), wordpress seems to be a mélange of personal blogging and SEO/SEM driven clickbait. People either want to Google bomb, express themselves or somehow hit the big time and go viral. Hitting the big time is finding a way to make this a viable income stream. Going viral seems akin to being an actor and getting plucked for a major film/TV role out of nowhere. It’s unexpected, but can lead to untold exposure and rewards. It’s that rainbow coloured pot o’ gold that everyone seeks, but few find.

That’s hard though and that success seems to be contingent on a confluence of talent, timing and luck. Those things are hard to come by and the great unwashed on here will likely never come by them. Myself included. It’s not a big deal to me. I never started this looking for exposure. It’s nice having a repository for errant thoughts, a font for festering creativity and failing anything, somewhere to vent about shit. Sometimes literally. Yes, that was a poop joke. Because most people on here, like the many actor/waitstaff in LA, know they’re probably not gonna hit the big time, they try to hedge their bets. There’s a community on here, but one gelled together by attempted social climbing and leveraging peoples desire for validation into personal exposure. People like other people’s posts, follow others in an attempt to drive traffic back their way. I might be entirely wrong, but so much of this site seems to be unflinchingly insincere. I’ve had a few neat conversations in the comments section, but they’re the exception proving that I rule. Dumb. This is clearly why no humans follow me.

It’s a bummer, that’s all. I’ve never aimed to be part of the community (I just don’t have the time or inclination. We’ll save that for once I finally accomplish my New Years’ resolution and finish Seinfeld. I haven’t watched in 3 months. That‘s how well it’s going), but from what I’ve seen I don’t really want to. The romantic part of me would hope that there’s genuine compassion and desire to see people succeed, to congratulate people on their work and foster a well-meaning sense of genial support. But people will ever be people and people will ever be driven by selfish motivations, questing for validation and craving people to tell them they’re worth a damn in this world. It’s hard to offer that in a faceless message delivered on a computer screen with total sincerity. If your motives can’t be seen, it only seems to encourage this kind of mentality.

For all I know though, I’m just the eerie curmudgeon literally and figuratively masturbating in the corner. “The yooves” have their clique and I refuse to be a part of a community that isn’t effortless to be a part of. I can’t tell if I sound more like a grumpy centenarian or entitled child right now. Tell me Schroedinger, which will it be?

To be interesting you should be interested in what’s happening around you. As I proved, there are limits.

Another day, more work food. I’m surprised nobody’s pulled a muscle patting themselves on the back but hey, I can’t argue with the results. People here know how to put on a spread. There was a small shindig for our new department head who, I’m to understand, is a dauntlessly hardworking woman and thus won herself an award for the aforementioned things. To celebrate, a host of cheese platters, mounds of dessert and plates stacked with wine were arranged in the kitchen. Our team dug in, despite the host of publicity/PR people showing stalwart discipline over their food intake. It’s an image-centric industry, sucks for them that they don’t want to/feel like they can’t eat. Greeeat for us.

It’s been a good, breezy day all things considered. I’d worked ahead to give myself a bit of Friday room to breathe. Consequently I felt no qualms taking an hour off to go across the road for physio. Thanks to work benefits I’ve got regular restorative personal training sessions and frankly it’s nice to be able to use my lunch working out. Because benefits are paying the cost. That aspect seems almost farcical. Benefits afford us unlimited physio, so all of this training is on the house. Checking my benefits billing, I can see that each session costs $108. Holy shit, that’s obscene. If it wasn’t inclusive there’s no way I’d ever pay it. Still, while someone else is footing the bill I don’t have any qualms. It’s a nice fusion of professional muscle stretching, TRX and balance stuff, lots of core. It doesn’t work me nearly as hard as the crossfit stuff has been, but it’s swell to be saving a bit of money on the side while getting my long-standing knee injury looked at.

Fuck, ok. I’m getting bored writing this, I can’t imagine how taxing it must be to sit there wasting your precious time on this drivel. Good news, there’s plenty more writing out there, either on this very page or dispersed upon the manifold pages of the internet. You can go read that, because everything that’s preceded this sentence has been lacklustre to say the least. Then again, what happens if you skip out now and it gets way better. I understand your qualms. I’ve been obstinate enough to begrudgingly finish my fair share of texts purely because I started them. What’s with that mentality? You’ve invested time in something and it’s not working out for you. You don’t really enjoy where it’s leading but you feel like not finishing it would invalidate the time you spent consuming it. So your answer is to spend more time consuming that thing you’re not enjoying. Isn’t that just wasting more time on the off chance it turns out well?

Then again, I’ve had a bunch of things that felt like a waste of time and resulted in something I aggressively enjoyed. Bojack Horseman was a show I just couldn’t enjoy for the first 5 or 6 episodes. It felt bland, with milquetoast Hollywood humour that seemed like it wanted too hard to grab the mantle of good Adult Swim shows. Problem was, it felt like it wasn’t remotely as subversive as it thought it was. I heard an endless refrain from friends extolling its virtues. I stuck with it and, maybe 6 or 7 episodes in, shit got dark. It became enthralling and enticed me to stick with it, resulting in a show I really love. Mad Men seemed like insipid pumpkin pie american domestic sphere bollocks. It took me 7 episodes, but I fell for it and fell hard. The Malazan Books of the Fallen and I have an existing love/hate relationship, but I can’t say I regretted my time and energy spent. For everything I find that I couldn’t stand about that series, there was something affecting to counteract it.

That being said, these are the outliers. It’s also hugely dependant on what rings your bell, what makes you tick. Maybe the last two paragraphs actually appealed to someone out there and they weren’t considered a colossal waste of time. If you’ve gotten this far, it’s also entirely possible that you wish you still had those 2-5 minutes. Just think of how many Buzzfeed articles you could’ve read in that time. Now try not to lose yourself to regret.