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Friday, November 24, 2006

anything to catch your eye

We took the back roads out of the city and drove to the small town where my grandparents live.

With my mom behind the wheel, I screamed the words to Free Falling and danced in my seat. We stopped for lunch at a small town diner. We drove for hours through the continuously changing scenery. There were patches of strip malls and discount stores, but they eventually faded into stretches of land, and smaller, more charming towns. The sun was golden and lit up farm houses, lettuce crops, backyards and the faces of kids playing in the streets.

We visited my brother in his small apartment, with his beautiful girlfriend who's cut her hair like Betty Boop, and his animated kitten who crawled around the room like crazy.

At my grandparents my Irish grandmother had a turkey in the oven. "I wasn't sure what you eat," she said, "but I know you love turkey." My enthusiasm at thanksgiving must have stuck with her. I left the next day armed with her Irish bread, raisin bread and banana bread. She feeds me well. My restless body even slept well in their large house, armed wall to wall with antiques, paintings, photographs and furniture.

I left my mother there and took the train back to Toronto in time for the elections for the school paper. Upstairs in the Imperial Pub I stood up with three young men, passed around a microphone, and fought for the spot of photo editor. Jack Daniels loosened my tongue, but my nerves were running through my body like the first time I thought I knew what love was.

I lost by three votes to a man with a beard and a history of writing for the paper. I'll still contribute what I can, but I won't be the man in charge I had planned on being. He'll be wearing the pants, and I'll still be strutting around in my skirts and boots, small digital camera in hand. What can I say? I guess his lens was bigger than mine.

mother daughter
father daughter
irish grandma
long way home
caught in a fever
golden moment

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Monday, November 20, 2006

they all lived happily ever after

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. Not only am I living in a neighborhood full of Polish delis that serve fresh cabbage rolls, pretzels and perogies by sturdy women speaking in accents thicker than gravy, but I'm living with two wonderful human beings.

Tall, dark haired and beautiful, my roomates are stunning in their intelligence and strong will. They work hard, and are only ever home long enough to fix their dinners and write their papers for school, but I'm always glad to see them. My mom is in town, crashing on our big floral couches, and it feels like one big happy home.

The yellow walls of our apartment are filled with laughter, the anguish of essay writing, food, wine, and a comfort I was afraid I would never find with my nomadic bones.

I'm up to my head in work right now, but all I feel is endearment.


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Thursday, November 16, 2006


She’s running everywhere:
To the corner store
For fruit and yoghurt,
And the smile of the man
Behind the counter.
“You look like a movie star,” he says,
She smiles and shakes her head.
She’s running to class,
Running to meet deadlines,
Because she’ll never let herself be late.
She's running in heels,
Down the four blocks
To the restaurant where she works:
“Can I seat you over here please?”
“And garlic bread with your order?”
She’s running for photo editor,
And putting her face up on walls.
She’s running in her sleep,
Even though the doctor gave her pills,
So she can close her eyes,
And still, her eyes are open,
Her legs are moving,
And she can’t stay lying down.
She’s running,
Not away from anything,
But towards everything:
To life,
To the everything she’s always wanted,
And nothing will slow her down.

plastic wrapped

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Monday, November 13, 2006


'The terrible fluidity of self-revelation.'
-Henry James, American author.

On my mind:

-Reading. How can I read half a French novel in time for my test tonight?
-An 8 page English essay. It's on the mother figure (I ooze sympathy as an ex-nanny).
-Mexican food stores in Kensington market. I want to make fajitas.
-My story for Feature Writing. It's about the day I was born.
-My mom. She is coming this week!
-My French presentation and essay (Parlez vous Francais? Oui, but I hate writing Francais).
-Work. How long can I play the role of the cheery hostess?
-Money, money, is due and the funds are low.
-Sleep! I have a doctors appointment so I can beg for drugs or something to help me live like a normal human being.
-Photoshoots. I keep agreeing to strike a pose for photo students. No, no money or nudity is involved.
-Pickles. I want to make my own pickles.
-Clothes. Always on my mind.
-Hair. I want to cut it off or go brunette. Do I dare?
-Writing! This poor blog has received little love or care lately.
-My photos. I must sell my photos, or get them up somewhere else. I am taking photos for a young rock band next week and my head is swimming with ideas. If it goes well, I want more jobs like this. I like bossing people around.
-Chuck Berry. The man makes me do the twist all around my bedroom..


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Saturday, November 11, 2006

drinking in the library

When I arrive, all the journalists are drinking beer in the library.

But this is a library for booze not books, and is actually the upstairs of the old Imperial Pub, probably named by a very clever student who was always telling his parents "Oh, I'm just going to the library again."

The large room looks like it was decorated in the early 60s and has a strong dusty smell. A jukebox plays oldies in the corner and has probably been playing the same songs for the past 40 years.

A man behind the bar, possibly the owner, looks older than the jukebox, and walks around the entire night adjusting things, his face a permanent frown of confusion.

We're gathered here to talk journalism. There are students from first to third year, and journalists working for the Toronto Star, NowToronto, The Lens, The National Post and CTV. They are here to inspire us, to teach us the truths as well as the tricks of the trade.

One journalist catches my attention in his introduction: "I dropped out of highschool when I was 16, and now I write features about everything." His name is Bill Taylor, and he writes features for the Toronto Star.

While the journalism students grab the proffesional journalists aside for advice, I wave Bill over to my table, where I sit with some other young journalism students. He stays there for the next two and a half hours. He tells stories, we ask questions, and I buy him a drink to make him stay around.

I still don't know if journalism is what I want to do, but I like the idea of writing about everything. In feature writing your always learning, constantly diving into subjects you know nothing about.

Bill tells us about travelling around the world in 30 days, about knocking on the door of a 70-year-old con artist, about eating kangaroo, and fills in the blanks with tips and his morbid sense of humour.

"I never research too much," he points out, "you get the best answers asking stupid questions."

I still don't know if this is what I want to do, but I'm curious enough to keep walking in this direction until I know if it's the right way or not.

If nothing else it will be like a good story, whether or not I'm happy with it in the end, I'll learn a thing or two along the way anyways.

put night for journalists

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

oqoqo mini photo show

The crowd was small, but the photo soirée happened, with beautiful people, French music, several beautiful cheeses, fresh grapes, Paris toasts and crunchy baguette.

The day leading up to it was a daydream. Toronto served itself to me on a silver platter. The sky was bright, and I trudged around happily in my boots, my jacket done up asymetrically (my friends pointed out, telling me they loved me) and my grin bigger than ever.

Kensington Market is the best place to be in the fall, with crates of fruit and autumn vegetables flowing out of stores in abundance. Rastafarians were laughing and jumping around in the steets. People were buying fresh bread and pastries, stopping for coffee, or perusing through the many vintage stores. Inside a cheese shop, I smiled feverishly with two other young blondes as we tasted everything in store, and left with a heavy armful of the best: double cream Brie, dill Havarti, hard goat cheese and more.

I walked back to class eating an apple the size of my head, vendors in Chinatown yelling out to me, loving the sight of long blonde hair.

In the evening I stood amongst photos, friends, beautiful organic clothing and the heavenly cheese selection.

It was a small step, a small photo show, but a leap towards something more. I know what I would do differently now, how I can improve, and what I can do in the future to keep working towards something better.

I'm young, and it feels good sometimes, just feeling my way through it all.

les femmes et le fromage
the photographers
french windows series
jeans and monsieur photo
photo by register
photos in the clothes
so many ways to wear a sweater