We can’t forget the horse porn. ESPECIALLY the horse porn

If anything, yesterday felt like a day for drinking, so drinking was done.

What a baffling, frustrating work week. Everything seemed Sisyphean. I’d finish work and immediately have to change it because of delayed deliverables. Just top to bottom nonsense. I was more than over it by 11am yesterday and still had hours yet to go. You know that old cowboy adage of (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘I’m falling out of my saddle and still have miles to go before I sleep’? That’s how I felt, but with alcohol. I needed an outlet, some drinks and dancing.

So I did what any delinquent would do and schemed a couple of Jack O’ Blast mixes. If I haven’t mentioned Jack O’ Blast before (I’m sure I have) it’s a seasonal Captain Morgan pumpkin spiced liqueur that tastes infinitely better than it has any right to. I don’t even like pumpkin as a sweet taste. To this day I’m unsure if I even like pumpkin pie, but for some reason Jack O’ Blast just works. There’s a clutch cinnamon hint on the back end that really ties the drink together. For some absurd reason it seems to go with most everything. I tried apple/lime juice, which worked like a charm and also gave me instant heartburn (because I’m over 30. That’s just life). Next up was gingerale and a splash of lime juice. Great, just great. I stacked up a bunch of drinks as I “pregamed” my intended dance party. Really, this just meant I got to stay home and be a menace on the internet. I referred to horse porn as “Hot Mane on Mane Action” and plastered inappropriate Bitmoji around Facebook. It was exactly what a Friday night needed to be.

Then I went out to dance. Goddamn what a carefree, vibrant energy that place had. Maybe I’d just sequenced my drinks right and found that perfect intoxication level, but I was having the time of my bloody life. I got there around 11.30pm and danced straight until I left just before 2am. Big bounce and some fancy footwork. I was more sweat than man, knowing full well just how overworked my body was gonna feel the following day. I had a bunch of friends on the dance floor and quickly made new ones. Some dude came over just to talk for a solid two minutes about how great my chest hair was. It was the nicest fucking compliment I could’ve gotten. When I stopped for water some guy came over to say how much he liked my dancing, and where did I get my “M” from? I told him I was unfortunately just drinking, but good luck. By the time I left I was dripping with sweat, totally exhausted and really bloody hungry. So I figured I’d give my body all the calories it’d lost.

Handily I was five minutes’ walk from my favourite Chinatown place, and of course it was still bustling at 2am. I ordered the usual: A bowl of wonton noodle soup with flat rice noodles and bbq pork on top. This place does unbelievable soup. I’ve heard that they employ someone just to tend the broth all day. It’s bursting with flavour and, with a dash of chilli and soy sauce, totally lifts the flavour profile of everything else in it. It was a decent, hearty meal with big ol’ squishy noodles. A total boon at 2am. Then after making my way up to Bloor and calling an Uber, I used the eight minute wait time to grab a slice of pizza just for extra packing. It was shitty pizza and it still perfectly fit the pizza shaped hole in my stomach.

There you have it. All the ingredients for an ideal Friday night.

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Fall for one and one for Fall.

Okay, okay. I’m here. I mean, I’m also not here. I’m typing and that counts for something. At the same time, my attention is on the other half of my screen. My favourite player is in the Magic Pro Tour semifinals and I’m rapt with the game. I’ve been tracking his progress all weekend and it’s really fulfilling seeing him dominate. He’s up two games, so he’s currently the forerunner in this match. Still, that could change on a dime. It’s all very exciting, isn’t it? ISN’T IT?

Well I think so.

Today’s a loose day. I went out to a rave style event last night and I’m suitably hungover/recovering. It was fucking great, exactly the kind of dance event I look for. Weirdly enough it was in a home and garden centre. If not for the sign above the bar, you wouldn’t have known. The party was themed after The Fall, both seasonal and biblical. Lots of autumnal wear, angels and demons and an absurd amount of glitter. So yeah, typical rave fare, I guess. It was a paid private party, so there were a bunch of stipulations. You needed a code to buy tickets, and only a certain number of people had codes to give out. This basically cut down on a lot of potential douchebags. Friends of friends, mostly, made it a great crowd. I swear, I entered the dancefloor and instantly saw someone I knew. Then I turned around and bumped into another friend. It was practically this ad infinitum for the rest of the evening.

Oh wow, LSV takes the win, three games in a row. Onto the finals.

The other perk of the private party thing was the bar. It was all based around a shared economy. You could buy drinks as per normal, or you could bring an unopened bottle with you to donate and drink for free all evening (plus tipping your bartenders, of course). I had a bottle of moonshine I happened to buy last week, so I figured it was ideal. I mean, moonshine is fun to drink now and again. I feel, I dunno, kind of filthy when I have it. Which I mean only in a positive manner. At the same time, it’s not the kind of thing I want to down all night. Donating it to the bar was the perfect compromise. Everyone was told to bring a refillable cup with them to cut down on rubbish. I had my faithful sippy cup, Dr Tipples. PHD. Faithful she was. There were no spills on the dancefloor and she was tactile enough to keep hold of. So easy that even a baby could’ve been mess free. In other words, perfect for me.

Ticket codes aside, it was fucking packed. The event sold out and it showed. The dance floor was rammed. I oscillated between dancing and being a human thoroughfare. When space opened up I took advantage and moved into it. I tried to stay together with friends, but dance floor traffic kept shifting us apart. As time passed and I drank more, I stopped caring and just danced on my own, relishing the selection of ace DJs. The gig started at 10pm and went all the way to 6am. I’ve got this thing where I don’t really like seeing the sunrise on a night out. I danced for hours, intermittently going upstairs to relax in the plounge (pillow lounge. It’s a thing) and chat with friends. By the time 5am rolled around, I decided to take the long hard journey home. Psyche, it was a five minute walk to my front door. What a goddamn great night.

And with the finals starting, it’s time for me to GTFO.

Fuck my deep seated insecurities

It’s time for the weekend.

Look, it’s not “technically” the weekend yet, but it’s the weekend. My boss said we could go home when we finished our work, but I finished over an hour ago. I’ve kind of been idling, ’cause I realised we had a coaching session booked in and she’s on vacation next week. She was graceful enough to push it forward by an hour, so instead of just twiddling my thumbs, I thought I’d twiddle my fingers on this keyboard and get my daily writing done.

I bought a new computer chair today. It’s one of the most spontaneous things I’ve done. To be clear, this was not a cheap purchase. Altogether I spent about $160 on it. I haven’t tried the chair out to see how I like it. None of that nonsense, just spur of the moment decision. A friend posted that Staples was having their 50% off office chair sale and recommended one he’d loved to bits. I’ve been low key looking for a chair for a year or two now and I’ve been constantly too indecisive to pull the trigger. I went from reading my friend’s comment to buying a $160 chair in under two minutes. It’ll arrive at my house by Monday. While this may seem very foolish, I know myself well enough to almost see it as a smart decision.

I spend a lot of time in my computer chair at home. It’s a weird old thing I bought from a thrift store for $20. It’s big, made of dense cotton and rubberised plastic. I carried it on my head to the subway, then transported it on the train/bus to get it home. I’ve had several years worth of use from it. The adjustable toggles have been broken the entire time. It’s not supportive for my posture. It was just cheap. Whenever I’ve looked at chairs in the past I’ve waffled on the decision. I’ve hummed and hawed and ultimately done nothing. This time around I figure if I just shoot from the hip and get a $300 chair for $160, chances are it’s probably a decent chair. I won’t even think about that $160 in a week or two, but I’ll probably benefit from a good quality chair for years to come. Seems like a quality investment overall.

Keep in mind that I’m also the kind of person to seriously consider whether or not to spend the extra $2 for cheese at brunch. This is kind of a big deal.

For some reason a memory popped into my head today. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but the fun thing about getting old is being able to repeat yourself without getting prosecuted for it, and I’m basically a centenarian. So it was my birthday or something. I think. I was having a party, nonetheless, and I was very drunk. I think I was dressed in a onesie or something. These people turned up at the door so I welcomed them in. Look, I don’t always know everyone who comes to my parties, but it’s nice to meet new folks. I brought them down the hall, told them to make themselves comfortable, offered them drinks and stuff. Y’know, like a good host should. I was also drunk and jubilant, so they could hardly get a word in. I asked them who they knew/invited them. Finally given a break to talk, it became swiftly apparent that they were door to door salespeople and I’d made a huge mistake. So I asked them to kindly leave my house.

It was very, very funny.

In any case, I’ve now procrastinated long enough that my coaching session is about to begin. Should I mention my good time management to my boss?

I’m perturbed there was never a distinct Beach Boys haircut called the Kokombover

Weird dreams last night. Must’ve been the Jack O’Blast.

So in my first dream I was a metaphorical fly on the wall while the Beach Boys were recording “Kokomo”. Thing is, I have no idea beyond Brian Wilson of who the Beach Boys consisted of. I know “Kokomo” was done with some new guy, and in my dream one of the other members was Seann William Scott A.K.A. Stifler from American Pie. The new guy seemed to be a nice dude, really excited about his song and to be working with the Beach Boys, but SWS wasn’t sold. They’d be recording and Stifler was all “this song is terrible. Kokomo isn’t even a real place. These lines have nothing to do with one another.” And I was thinking well, Stifler’s kinda right, but he doesn’t have to be such a dick about it.

So they recorded a bunch and Seann was obviously agitated. They laid down a bunch of tracks and new guy was like “oh guys, my mum’s here to pick me up. Anyone want a ride?” SWS was enraged and started aggressively walking towards new guy while new guy backed up towards the front door. Seann was all “OH, so you think you can just coast on the legacy of one of America’s most influential pop bands? What are people gonna think of this shit? Our first song in like 20 years and it’s this?” And as he walked, he started shrinking into this freaky doll thing. You know those ones with soft bodies and firm plastic heads? But he had these huge eyes like Christopher Lloyd at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? And new guy kept backing up and tried slamming Doll Stifler’s creepy doll head into the ground to get away. It made this foreboding heavy thump and SWS kept advancing. Seann Doll got right up close till all I could see were those eyes, then I bolted awake.

And worse, I had “Kokomo” stuck in my head.

The cat was meowing and I kind of had to pee, but I was determined to get back to sleep and have my last hour or so of rest.

I must’ve managed, because I found myself in a familiar but all new location. Friends of mine who live together were moving out. They decided to have a massive party to bid the place adieu. Thing is, while they do all live together in real life, the place in the dream didn’t resemble their IRL flat whatsoever. This one was out in the country. It was a sprawling, three building property. The houses themselves were totally dilapidated. They didn’t all have walls, and there were large chunks of exposed brick jutting out from the open field surrounding them. Like they’d inhabited a former war ruin. It was such a big party that some of my friends from New Zealand were there. Food was all over, tons of pizza boxes, Halloween candy and a friend dumped a trough full of capsicums, onion and sausage into a barbecue. Yes, into. You know where the charcoal usually goes? It all went in there.

In the dream I really had to pee, so I went to the bathroom. Thing was, the bathroom was in this odd L-shaped room with three toilets on different walls. Not urinals, full on seated toilets all in the same room not separated by doors. So I just got in there with other dudes and started my process. We all chatted about how great the party was, and I complained how slow my stream was coming. One of the other dudes patted me on the back reassuringly, telling me that good things took time. After what seemed like half an hour, I finished peeing and rejoined the party.

There was a huge rugby game going on in the field, with people dodging around other players and the large concrete chunks. Other partygoers were sitting around in deck chairs drinking Coronas. Turns out it took so long for me to pee that the weird barbecue sausage mélange was finished. Also, it was goddamn delicious. I took a couple of shots off an ice luge and helped my friends pack things into boxes. By the time the sun went down, everything was packed, we were all exhausted and tucked ourselves into the copious bunk beds around the property.

Slightly odd but totally benign. Kind of like me, I guess.

Did I just disappoint everyone who doesn’t live in Toronto? Don’t worry, I’ve disappointed most everyone in Toronto at least once too

I’ve been procrastinating over writing this for maybe the past 50 minutes. That shit has to stop. I have nothing salient on my mind and by gawd it’s gonna end up on this page.

I had brunch with a friend today. It was stellar. We went to The Gem, a local dive bar here in Toronto. I’ve talked up The Gem on here and I’m gonna briefly do so again, because you just *don’t* understand. The Gem is a dive bar, but really it’s the patron saint of dive bars. It’s the bowl of KD macaroni that’s on the box, but any attempt you make to recreate it pales in comparison. It’s the proto dive bar, entirely unpretentious. It’s less than “not fancy”, it doesn’t want to impress you in the least. It has decent prices and good portions of enjoyably cooked food. Their Sunday brunch runs from 11-4 and it’s a perfect way to do Sunday afternoon. Their pulled pork eggs benny is $7.95. That’s stupid cheap. It’s not like the pulled pork is dry and bland either, it’s probably like you’d cook at home. The atmosphere is ideal. It’s never densely populated, there’s old rockabilly music quietly playing in the background. Their chairs and cutlery are all mismatched. There’s a dog (with a skull possibly bigger than a human’s) lounging and walking freely around the place. The staff are nice and also just plain don’t bother you. They’ll give a cursory check in once or twice, but if you’re going to The Gem usually it’s cause you want some comfort food and to be left alone. The Gem is exactly what The Gem wants to be and if you want that, you should be there.

Anyway, after brunch my friend and I parted ways. I went off to the mall that time forgot, Dufferin Grove, to buy some zippers so I could get my winter coat fixed. I ran into my friend who I’d just brunched with. She had an armful of cat food and Captain Jack Pumpkin Liqueur. The first made sense, the latter sounded obscene. I knew another friend liked it, but still it didn’t make a ton of sense to me. She said she’d thought that, then after she tried it she couldn’t believe how great it was. The mall is gonna be paved for condos, so most stores have been doing liquidation sales. The liquor store was no exception. My friend had bought a couple of bottles of this seasonal beverage since it was around $10 off. I figured I’d pop in and see what they had. I decided to take a chance on the pumpkin liqueur (and a bottle of moonshine. It just makes me feel comfortably dirty, y’know?). Thing is, once I got home I tried it. It’s actually as good as my friends had said. Baffling, but delicious.

I was still in the mall and noticed I could get my free flu shot from the pharmacy. I figured that was a pretty good price, so I went in to get one. After filling out a form and a short wait, I was taken by a quiet man to a small consultation room. The door was wide open and I was looking out into the store. Two young women looked back and I think we were both confused as to why they were able to watch someone about to plunge a needle into my arm. The employee seemed a little nervous and unsure of himself, two qualities I hope to avoid in anyone about to fill my body with a compound of chemicals. He reached into a fridge and pulled out three small bottles. He looked at them for about ten seconds, as if trying to make his mind up. He put two of them to the side, and hesitantly filled up a syringe with the remaining one. He slowly moved towards me, but in a way that seemed like he was terrified of making physical contact. It was mildly alarming. I looked away as he put in the needle and slowly injected the vaccine over a period of 10-15 seconds.

Man oh man I hope he gave me the right one.

Hey, that’s a good name for my autobiography

Don’t worry, I had nachos.

Not only did I have nachos, but I did something I rarely ever do. I went to a local dive bar by myself and just hung out. To clarify, I didn’t socialise. I found a comfy corner table, ordered a large platter (read: too many nachos) and watched a couple of episodes of BoJack I’d downloaded with headphones on. It was bliss. The nachos were fucking great. To circumvent the sour cream dilemma I mentioned yesterday, they had little rammekins filled with toppings. Aside from a massive dollop of guac, that is. Servings of salsa, sour cream and dill dressing flanked a humongous pile of chips, cheese, beans and jalapeños. Honestly, for $14, it was an impressive serving. They even made the effort of layering, sprinkling an almost uncomfortable (hah, as if that exists) amount of cheese between chips and accoutrements. With the power to serve toppings as I wanted, I made concentric circles of the aforementioned sauces. The chips were crunchy, not laden with sogginess from ingredient overload. I was almost jealous. Instead I gorged myself way past the point of necessity and ate every single chip out of a feeling of completionism. Don’t say I never finish anything. A 3 speed lager on the side was refreshingly crisp, while the environs were warm and comfortably laconic. Hell, why wouldn’t I shill for them? If you’re in the area, check out Toronto’s The Gem Bar & Grill. If you go for Sunday brunch there’s often a massive friendly hound hanging out on the floor. You’ll like it or you won’t. There’s not much room for middle ground.

At work lately, I’ve started trying something new. Often when someone I barely know asks “how’s it going?” or “how’re things?” I’ve begun answering honestly. “Still hate my job” or “things are kind of a low level meh most of the time” are some of my go-tos. My first assumption was that this kind of response would breed unsure side-eye or a wholly negative attitude. You know how sometimes you’ll say something slightly out of the ordinary and people don’t know how to process it (since it’s not in their response Rolodex)? Then they’ll be sorta awkward or standoffish? Hasn’t happened as much as I thought. A lot of the time people will balk for a second, think about it and say something like “actually, me too”. They’ll talk about things in their life that aren’t quite going as they expected or desired. They’ll unload a little and we’ll share. It’s peculiar, but cathartic. As I said, I expected that people would shit the bed a little and treat me like a bad smell. I was worried about loading up (essentially) strangers with emotional baggage, but it’s been more comforting and collaborative than that. On most occasions I’ve found that both of us have walked away from the engagement a little bit closer than we were, but perhaps feeling understood.

I don’t know that it’s worth being a new auto-response, but it has reminded me that people can have the capacity to surprise you if you let them.

I think that’s me for today. Food and sadness.

Get this man a platter or there’ll be Hellapeños to pay

I’m feeling relatively fragile after my first all nighter in yonks. Be gentle, or something?

Goddamn if Halloween isn’t the fucking best time of year. Weirdo’s Christmas seems like the confluence of all my favourite things. It’s creativity and goodwill in abundance. People showing off the hard work they put into costumes, or even just the last minute hail Mary’s others luck into. The Internet becomes a nexus of inspiration and alley-ooping. Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, it’s awesome costume after awesome costume. Friends, friends of friends and complete strangers harnessing inspiration to cobble together something neat. Does it sound like I’m waffling and really saying nothing here? You’re probably right and I don’t give a damn. Here are some cool things about Halloween.

  • Candy Corn. Fuck you, Candy Corn is the shit. It’s got this bizarre dense softness to it that’s utterly pleasing. Also as a kid I just thought they were three coloured monster fangs.
  • Public transit gets better. When else do you get to see headless dudes and wraiths riding alongside disgruntled yuppies whose eternal mood is “busy”?
  • FOMO all the way down. Every night for a week or two there are awesome parties, quizzes, cult film screenings and seasonal drinks. There’s too much to do, which is among the best problems to have.
  • Feeling like a lazy piece of trash after excessive partying. It feels earned.
  • Nachos are appropriate for every meal. Breakfast? Breakfast nachos with eggs and baked beans. Lunch nachos? I dunno, some kind of nacho sandwich. Dinner nachos? Cook a steak and rest it on a bed of chips/beans.
  • Look, I kind of just want nachos now.
  • Has anyone ever tossed beef and cheese atop corn on the cob for deconstructed nachos?
  • Because I care, I’m gonna be honest. I’ve made the typo “nachoes” too many times in the past minute or two to accept that I really know how to spell it.
  • Are cookies covered in ice cream and sprinkles dessert nachos? You could even scatter candy corn around for extra festive flair.
  • Do I really have to wait another half hour for the local dive bar to open so I can get mediocre nachos and a beer? That is pretty spooky.
  • I feel like I drifted off topic a little, but hey. I promised you nothing right off the top.
  • Speaking of which, the sour cream dump on nachos always feels like a trap. Take one dip and you’ve lost all your toppings. The sour cream becomes a thick morass of salsa streaks and lost olives. I have used smooth cottage cheese instead and it’s 1000% better.
  • There’s a 0000% chance I don’t eat nachos after this post. Which I’m saying only in the hopes that I stay accountable to myself. Because if that isn’t self-care, I don’t know what is.
  • There’s a possibility that I just don’t know what self-care is. If it means nachos tonight though, I’m diving in with both hands.
  • Primarily because using cutlery for nachos is practically treason.
  • I’m starting to question the value of this bullet point format, but it does make it look like I have lots of things to say.
  • Seriously, if you looked at this page without reading closely, I’m sure you’d think I had a bunch of impassioned points to make. Turns out I’m just jonesing for some low down tortilla.
  • In summation, Halloween is great but also nachos are too? Get that cheddar!

I think my work here is done.