I Need a Friend

A few weeks ago, I went to a pilates class at a studio by my place. It is small and cramped and over two floors. The first floor is the stair landing, a place to put your shoes, the welcome area, two small bathrooms and a hall leading to the main room where the pilates happens. The second floor is just the second studio, a small bathroom and a storage wall to get your balls and mats from. I often found myself in the hallway, waiting for a bathroom to open up so I could change and fill my water bottle in the sink. The hallway was usually filled with women, all already in their workout clothes, all already carrying filled water bottles or drinking from the communal water jug and small metal cups provided. 

I often felt out of place and like I couldn’t relate to any of the women waiting there even though they all looked like me, talked like me (although maybe quieter), and were all roughly within my age range. They all had jobs like mine from what I could tell from eavesdropping on their conversations. Some of them seemed new like me but most of them talked to each other like they had known each other since before they started pilates classes. It was intimidating and something I wasn’t prepared for in my adulthood. Making friends at workout classes has never been my goal but I’m open to it and would never turn someone away. Some of my most cherished moments at that studio come from when someone I don’t know speaks to me out of the blue or hands me their mat cleaning fluid before using it on their own mat first.

My most cherished moment, though, happened when I was feeling alone again. I had been there before and had either shown up so close to the class start time that all I had to do was take my coat off and rush in with the other stragglers or chilled in the hallway just nodding along to what other people were saying in their private conversations for five minutes. But this night after work, I found myself there with 20 minutes before the class doors even opened. After having wasted some time in the bathroom putting dry shampoo in my hair and changing, I realized I’d have to go outside for the remaining 15 minutes before the last class let out. I left the bathroom and immediately felt discomfort. Too many conversations were happening around me at once and I could see myself in none of them. The people weren’t excluding me, just continuing on their existing conversations with people they knew and liked and had some similar connections with. They looked happy and excited and I kept looking around like I was scared to be there. At the pilates studio. Where I had been before.

In my head, my most uncomfortable and complaining voice rang out: I need a friend. I need a friend. I need one friend? I need a friend. And like this sad, anxious voice had conjured her out of thin air, an old colleague turned the corner from the shoe landing. She’s tall and pretty and super smart and was already wearing her workout clothes. She has naturally blonde hair and is soft spoken and sweet. We never worked closely together at that job but she always laughed at my jokes and encouraged my learning. I could tell that the people who worked in her department loved her and that she was a great boss. She went out of her way to include everyone in conversations over lunch and was always a great listener. She has the best listening face where she holds eye contact and then looks away like she’s thinking hard about all the smart stuff you could be saying. She was the best. And she was there. 

My face got big and open when I saw her. She looked at me the same way. The immediate relief I felt was like the relief of finding a friend in a dark club after what feels like hours of searching. I didn’t know I could summon a friend out of nowhere like that. I thought that I wouldn’t abuse this skill again, even though I’ve tried once or twice in similarly awkward situations. These times did not work at all but I think I may have needed her at pilates the most. We chatted like the rest of the girls there, just two friends catching up at our workout class. She grabbed a mat for me and set hers up next to mine. I was so excited to be near her again that I kept looking at her throughout the instructions. She was a friend and she was right there.

How to Balance Having a Job

This year, alongside carrying my two enormous breasts around, I have also had to feed, clothe and house myself. In order to do this, I’ve gotten a job. While employment provides me with something to do during my waking hours and basic health care benefits that I need, it also sucks out any potential to work towards anything else in my life. Any hobbies I’ve had or wanted to try have gone out the window. I am annoyed by having to work out in my spare time and doing anything artistic feels so outlandish it’s almost funny. What spare time, honey?

So you, also, have succumbed to capitalism’s firm grip on society and need to work 40 waking hours a week to feed, clothe and house yourself? It’s okay. You do not need to panic because you will be fine. You just need to learn how to balance it all. You know, working, and having a job and being alive and buying stuff to help with working and living that will effectively help you buy more stuff to go with that stuff you just bought. Again, you don’t have to worry. With my guidance, you can learn to balance having a job and having a job. It’s not easy or worth it but it’s definitely required of you. 

Firstly, push all of your hobbies to the side. Unless they’re hobbies that will help you get promoted at work or allow you to make money ON the side. A much needed distraction from work that also pays the bills, like work does? Priceless. 

Second, invest in self care. And health care. Your work’s drug plan covers a certain amount of your premiums so you’re good to go there, but make sure you are seeking therapy and alternative forms of healthcare to deal with all the colds you’ve been catching by showing up to work via public transit every day. 

Third, invest in a brand new wardrobe for work. You can try to make it interchangeable with your personal wardrobe and style but it has to be more expensive and more time consuming to clean. Like having to pick up and drop off blazers to the dry cleaners on weekends will make you grateful that you aren’t at work but will ensure that you are still able to spend your hard earned work money on cleaning your work uniform. Everybody wins. 

You can go on vacation but be sure to check in with work regularly so you know everyone isn’t fucking shit up while you’re gone. Don’t be surprised when people are surprised when you’ve responded even though your out of office message has been on since Friday at 4:59pm. 

Take up a very expensive workout hobby like spin class to spend more of your money. Laugh at how naive you were to be shocked by the 28$ each class costs but then try to justify the price with the fact that they provide you with shoes and a towel and free ear plugs. You just have to show up, really, and accept the hot instructors yelling at you, trying to be heard through the EDM playlists on their little laptops. 

Only ever talk about work to your friends who you see maybe on weekends, maybe on Facetime when they call you on weekends. Weeknights are for calling your parents and responding to more work emails you didn’t get to during the day. If all you do is work, all you ever want to talk about is work, right? Forget that your friends have partners and lives and work of their own until the very last minute when you ask: “So what’s new with you? How’s work?”

Lessons in Pottery

I had always judged my sister’s pottery when she gifted it to us for Christmas. Weird, small, misshapen plates that you couldn’t even put shit on. The colours were splattered and random, the texture of the glassware was uneven. I remember once accidentally dropping a mug she had made on the floor at my parents’ cottage when I was reaching for a different mug because hers was small and couldn’t fit a sufficient amount of coffee in it. I looked at my dad like I had just killed our dog. He sort of shrugged and pointed to the other seven mugs of hers that had somehow made their way up there and said “Honestly, I think it’ll be okay.” We laughed and I cleaned up my mess. I felt nothing towards her pottery except this weird responsibility to preserve it and show it off because it was hers and she had made it with her hands. How did we not understand the gravity of her hard work?

Now, I look at my sister’s pottery with reverence. It is clean and the colours are complimentary. The mugs are all completely even and fit a perfect amount of tea in them. They are functional and beautiful.

When I signed up for pottery, I just wanted something to do every week and I had missed the deadline to apply for a woodworking class to make your own planter. I was disillusioned about pottery before I had even started. Starting pottery, as it turned out, did not help.

I immediately resented having to be somewhere for three hours without the ability to check my phone or answer emails. I physically couldn’t because my hands would be full of wet clay. I thought pottery would calm me down, and it did in a way, but I was still mad about it. I could only think about what I was missing from my life instead of what I was gaining.

I signed up with my roommate who, like me, wanted to try something new and thought pottery would fill our creative voids. Between us, the two lawyers who were on their fifth series of pottery classes, and two teachers who also signed up for the first time, we made a pretty one dimensional crew. The girls were lovely and we often chatted to each other about our lives and our jobs and our feelings about pottery. I loved being complimented on centering my clay because it was what I was worst at. We provided positive reinforcement constantly because we were so nervous and bad at doing pottery that it felt celebratory if we did something even remotely right. Only the lawyers could effectively apply what the teacher was telling us to do but they were experts at this point so it really was their world and we were just living in it. Above all else, pottery taught me to support and to accept support. Our group wasn’t tight but I remember each woman because they all took time out to give me advice on how to fix whatever project I was messing up and to encourage me when I was doing a good job. I returned the compliments when I saw them making something nice which was easy because it happened all the time.

Pottery also taught me that it was okay to be fucking up constantly. My roommate occasionally got flustered, mostly because she wasn’t mastering the art as quickly as she had hoped but also if anything ever went slightly wrong which it tended to do all the time. I didn’t understand because from the beginning I had resigned to my shittiness and leaned into my mistakes. My collapsed cup would become a plate. My collapsed bowl would also become a plate. Basically anything can just become a plate. This, I like to think, is a metaphor for life’s mistakes too. It was humbling to be fixing your mistakes by redirecting and making something that was still workable and pretty.

I also learned to be more patient with my projects. The most gruelling and frustrating process in pottery is centering your clay. If you do not centre your clay, there’s no point in making anything because it will be uneven and wrong and won’t be able to support any weight and the kiln will ruin it. This made me crazy. Centering your clay is not simple and straightforward. It’s not a cursory step that you do to begin your routine but a complicated, difficult, often easily messed up part of the entire process that requires your full attention. If you mess it up, no matter how close you’ve gotten to perfectly centred clay, you have to scrap the whole mound and restart. It can be annoying and stubborn and you can do the same actions each time and end up with a different product. I often overworked my clay in the centering process and made myself nuts by having to throw it into the recycled clay bin. By the end of my first few classes, I would have only made one or two pieces because of the number of times I was made to reset my clay. This slowly became normal for me and I actually felt grateful for the pieces that I did make. Even though they were not pretty, they felt hard won and like I had actually made an effort for them because of all the crap I had ruined by not being able to centre them within twenty minutes. It was okay to be constantly fucking up and I could still make some passably bad pottery.

Near the end of the last class, I learned that I was really good at one thing which everyone was good at because it was easy. I learned that to prevent each piece of pottery from sticking to the inside of the kiln, you had to gently remove the paint and glaze that covered the bottom. I did this with such tenderness and affection that our teacher, Heidi, complimented my patience. I said that it was probably what I was best at in the class and she agreed. While it is not difficult, it is important work and it’s especially important to not take it for granted. Pottery was full of rules and waiting that I didn’t understand and didn’t agree with because of my lack of understanding. You mostly had to trust that the instructor knew what was up and was steering you in the right direction. Along with being bad at pottery and being okay with that, I learned to let go. Being able to let go of the idea that I was there to learn a new skill and become a better person immediately reestablished my expectations and changed my perspective of my experience. My pottery turned out okay, and I would too.

Welcome to the Midnight Launderette

Every night, before falling into a deep and dreamless sleep, I listen to the Midnight Launderette sleepcast under the Sleep tab of Headspace. The narrator, a chill, American sounding guy, opens with a brief description of what’s about to take place. We’re going to relax, we’re going to do some short breathing exercises, and ultimately, we’re gonna go to sleep. He also describes the people who are in the midnight launderette: Astrid, a weirdo with a long skirt who reads your star sign, a man in a uniform who may be a mechanic who is washing his uniform and his daughter’s clothes, a chill cat named Albert who lives on the dryers and an aspiring actor who comes to the launderette to get away from his huge ass family at home.

 I have listened to it all the way through a few times but only because my sleep habits are not sound. Most nights I conk out after the first few minutes. Occasionally, I will wake up and he’ll still be chatting away about what’s been happening at the midnight launderette. I love the entire mood of the place and hearing the sound of the machines in the background. Each night is slightly different than the night prior which can throw me for a loop but I’m still wholeheartedly engaged. I love the people he is describing and as a laundromat user, I feel like I could be there. Compared to the other sleepcasts, it just feels more authentic. I like listening to the campfire one or the one in the Indigo gallery where the man is describing all these different shades of blue. But something about the launderette feels better and easier to listen to than the others. 

I’ve strayed, once or four times, to the Loch Dormant, where a Scottish man narrates another quiet night beside a campfire. It’s calming and funny and the picture header is of an otter sleeping in a river but it never quite satisfies me like the Midnight Launderette does. What I know about myself when it comes to sleepcasts is that I prefer the Midnight Launderette’s man’s voice. I don’t know why. I will put it on every night and fade off to sleep listening to the background noise of the launderette’s machines.

Every Night

The only thing I drink after 6pm is chamomile tea or hot water with lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar. I don’t feel strongly for either. I will try to limit my phone and blue screen use a couple of hours before bed and I typically have a boring book to read on my bedside table. It’s usually a memoir or novel. Nothing interesting enough to keep me awake.

I take a half full dropper of CBD oil an hour before bed. I also take Melatonin and my antidepressant which usually makes me drowsy. I try to take a shower wherein I wash my face so most of my makeup comes off. If I miss anything, I can get it right before I do my nighttime routine of putting oil everywhere and putting my pjs on.

I have a sleep mask, ear plugs and a sleepcast meditation playlist at the ready and my blinds are always shut so as not to let in any light in the morning. I close my door. I don’t do anything work related or anything that could be considered stressful right before bed. I avoid Instagram. I don’t nap during the day. I do everything short of having one of those little lavender pouches you put on your pillows to make them smell nice which would represent truly giving up the idea of an interrupted night of sleep. And still I’ll wake up at some point, open up my resting computer and add Facebook back to look at old pics. It doesn’t help.


Every time I take a Lyft is another opportunity for me to talk with and connect too quickly to someone who drives for them. Today was especially difficult for me. I waited outside my house with an Ikea bag full of laundry after having left work early to hang out with my nieces for dinner and putting them to bed.

I was tired and cranky and made a mental note to remain quiet for the ride. Armando was driving a white Jetta and had a 5 star rating. He was perfect. Because I’m negative by nature, I assumed it was because he was new. I hopped in the car and he offered to pop the trunk for my body bag full of old sheets. I said I was fine with it sitting in the back seat with me. He was adjusting the music on his phone so that it played louder then softer then louder again. It sounded like ambient sitar music. His car was stopped in the middle of the street. An impatient person behind us honked. Armando put his phone down and said: Let’s go, T. I looked at his beard and large, circular, dark framed glasses in the rearview mirror and nodded.

I stared at the window. Taking Lyfts is a luxury I will never get over. I could do my laundry at the laundromat near my house. Instead I choose to chat with Armando about our days while he drives me to visit my parents and use their house as a chore factory/fridge. He says that on Fridays he gets up early and drives for three hours for Lyft then goes to work from 10 to 6. Then he drives for three more hours and then goes dancing for one hour at a salsa lounge near my house and then continues on his Lyft routes until there are no more drunk people to drive home. This is usually around 3am. I ask him when he sleeps. He says that he loves to sleep but he prefers being up and doing real person activities.

I marvel at his energy and we talk about motivation and how to trick your body into getting out of bed to do stuff like go salsa dancing. I say that we have opposite problems: he has too little time and I have too little energy. He asks me about my feelings about the ending of Game of Thrones. We were both surprised by the finale and wanted more from the writers. He felt it more than I did but I understood his disappointment. As we neared my destination, he slowly crept up my parents’ street. He said he would see me again at the salsa lounge he goes to. I told him to enjoy his night and hopped out with my entire wardrobe of dirty clothes. We waved goodbye and I walked in the front door and up the stairs to the washing machine. I took my phone out and got a prompt to rate Armando’s ride. Five stars.

Then and Now: Buying Tickets to Shows


I wake up and look at my phone. There’s a reminder to buy tickets to a show I want to go to at 10 this morning. I get on the group chat and write: “Rise and grind, Friend Club. It’s D-day.” My friends ignore me and post pictures of their cats. They are, admittedly, pretty cute cats.

I go to work and set several alarms on my phone to remind myself to be at my desk before the sale goes live. I get a coffee and start heading over around 9:45. My friend, the intern, approaches my desk and I joke with him before promptly and rudely telling him I have serious person work to do. He doesn’t believe me but leaves anyway. I log onto Ticketmaster. There is a ten minute countdown. I scroll through a food critic’s Twitter feed and respond to emails in the interim.

My alarm goes off again five minutes before 10. I silence it. I write more emails. I have written forty emails this morning.

It’s 10:02. Darn. I refresh the page. You are 2,547th in line for Michelle Obama tickets. Fuck. I start mentally doing the math to determine the likelihood of getting three seats together in a large arena being the 2547th person in line. My friends text the group chat and are having the same issues. We don’t refresh our pages in case we lose our spots. Another friend texts me about her place in line. Her friend managed to buy two single seats that are not next to each other. Success.

After twenty minutes of slowly inching closer to number 2540, the page refreshes itself to an empty screen. They’ve sold out. But they’re sorry. I text my friends who have received these messages sooner than I have. We’ve lost and will not be able to go to this show now. I read Becoming again. It’s still perfect.

A week later I get an email from Bands In Town saying that Lizzo is playing in my town this summer. Two separate friends text me about going to see this concert. The cogs in my brain start to turn as we all look up three separate pre-sale codes: Live Nation, Spotify and American Express. My one friend with an American Express card taps in and the other who pays for her Spotify account has agreed to only listen to Lizzo on repeat for the next two weeks so that her algorithm is updated to be a super Lizzo fan or something. I opt for just googling “Lizzo Live Nation presale codes, please!!!” and adding myself to Lizzo’s mailing list until I find something that could possibly be this code then lose interest and call my parents instead. They remind me of a time when you had to buy concert tickets over the phone with Ticketmaster. Lol.

A week after a week later, my Spotify friend has received an email with the code given to people who were able to trick the system. I send this code to my other friend who wanted to go. We all buy GA tickets and celebrate in our group chats.


I’d just buy them.

To Be a Good Ex

You have to move away. You can’t exist in the same town anymore, it’s not helpful and the chance of running into you is too high when you still live within reach. Get fat. And not from the extra hot weight you carry around because you’ve successfully started hanging out with someone new and all you do is go out to eat and order takeout together. The twenty pounds that immediately makes you look unhealthy and like you don’t care about yourself anymore. A good ex never cares about themselves anymore because the relationship ending ruined their self esteem for life. However, if you’re able to lose so much weight from sadness that you’re able to fit into jeans you wore in high school, do this. Your well earned weak body will deter any new suitors. Continue to wear clothes that are way too big for you which will further exacerbate how skinny and unhealthy you are now. Your cheeks and eyes will start to sink into your face which helps as well.

Do not pursue any activities that will give you a higher sense of self and do not make any new friends, romantic or otherwise.

You also have to age worse than you would if you were still in the relationship with your ex. This is an absolute must. You can’t ever work on yourself mentally again and you can’t develop any new skills. Well you can, but they have to be very stupid and time consuming. Download Pokémon Go and become good at that. Don’t discover new music or art and don’t become knowledgeable in anything exciting or fun.

Don’t even think of becoming richer or getting a new job. It can’t be done if your goal is to be a great ex. Don’t learn a new language or how to be a scrum master or anything that would make you more marketable on a resume. Stagnate in your career.

On a similar note, do not become more educated. Don’t apply for your Masters and don’t practice an instrument more. Don’t listen to classical music or read another book. Don’t even hang around people that are smarter than you so that their intelligence rubs off on you by osmosis. In fact, actively try to be dumber by forgetting everything you learned through school and experience thus far. Never invest in stocks, robot or not. Spend all your money on makeup at Sephora and never wear any of it. This way you will be more broke and not any hotter.

Never move on. Don’t go on dating apps. Don’t see any of your other exes that you still harbour secret feelings for. Don’t even hang out with friends or family who want the best for you and who encourage you to move on. Gross.

Develop new addictions. Not exercising or veganism but harmful to your health things. Expensive skincare. Smoking. Binge drinking alcohol and coffee. Try new drugs. You have to act like your body is worthless now so anything that hurts it will contribute to becoming the best ex you can be. Don’t be good to the environment and don’t recycle. This will make you more desirable to your exes which is not an option if you want to be remembered as a good one.

Go cold on social media. This means no pictures of you at the beach on your vacation and absolutely no pictures of you at parties having fun. No life updates. You are, however, welcome to send cryptically vague messages through captions on Insta or subtweet people on Twitter to confuse and delight every person who has ever dated you. Could this be directed towards them? They definitely don’t care.

Listen to a lot of Billie Eilish and Lorde. If a seventeen year old girl makes music, listen to it. Identify with it. Your problems are as real and as serious. Learn from it and develop but not so much that you become more emotionally sound or stable. Try to ask your doctor for a prescription of Xanax.

Listen to Elton John. Listen to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, then Someone Saved My Life Tonight and finally listen to Daniel. If you play these three songs on repeat, in this order, you will unlock all of your best ex qualities and also develop a new appreciation for Elton John (who was a good ex). Become gay or straight if you’re feeling that. It cannot hurt your best ex status to develop an entirely new sexuality to further become a distant memory of the past to your exes. However, and this is crucial, do not post about your new sexuality or partners on social media. You are an enigma now and any updates to the internet will undo all the hard work you’ve done in becoming the greatest ex. Ideally, they should only hear about you in passing at a party from a mutual friend you no longer keep up with.

In Defence of Macklemore

To be real, there is no defence of Macklemore. He’s indefensible. He is insufferable. He screenshot a text he sent to Kendrick Lamar apologizing to him after his album won Best Rap Album at the Grammy’s over To Pimp a Butterfly that one year and then he posted this screenshot to Instagram as if that would address the obvious racial bias towards him.

He makes ridiculous music that is technically rapping but made just palatable enough to be played by dads for their eleven year olds to listen to in the car on the way to Wendy’s. His success is based on overproduced beats and insane lyrics. They make very little sense on a good day.

But I like his music and listen to it. I include it in my playlists that I broadcast publicly sometimes. Every Macklemore song that I eventually grew to love and repeat on my phone, I hated on first listen. It was like an affront to my life whenever his songs would come on in the car or at a grocery store, where they come on frequently. I also have very weird memory connections to his first successful album that came out in 2012, when Thrift Shop became as popular as it did. My sister encouraged me to listen to the full album while I lived away from home and it just so happened to coincide with a particularly hurtful breakup I experienced. Between listening to very depressing songs about betrayal and hurt, I would put on “Gold” and “Cowboy Boots” and laugh at how dumb and random they were. It was a bizarre time in my life and listening to that album makes me relive memories in a good and weird way.

Though, I still resent that he was given way more credit than was due for singing about “Same Love”, where he insists that love is love like it’s a very new concept to radio listeners and that he wins awards undeservedly. He takes pretty lukewarm stances on American issues but acts revolutionary and brave about them. His stakes are low, though, and these stances are never so far fetched that they would actually threaten his listener-ship. He is annoying. He’s an overtly socially conscious white rapper who raps about white guilt. He is aware of how he is perceived and addresses it regularly. He has a song that is literally called “White Privilege II” about how bad he feels about being a white man in rap while also blaming other white artists for appropriating black culture which he definitely also does. It’s well intentioned but almost always misses the mark. This is what makes it so increasingly difficult to like Macklemore. Being a fan is an ongoing process of being ashamed of the artist but loving his music without irony.

Beyond the hopeful nostalgia that I have arbitrarily connected to his older stuff, I have also enjoyed his new music. I think what I appreciate most are the stupid ones that are on the surface about nothing but that he manages to stretch into long ass songs (Downtown, Thrift Shop, Corner Store, Let’s Eat). I also really love his hopeful brand of life celebrating songs (Glorious, White Walls, Gold) for when I’m really kidding myself. I can even get along with his slow, ballad-like ones that are about remembering the past, his daughter or his opioid addiction (Need to Know, Growing Up, Good Old Days, Cowboy Boots). Both of his latest albums (This Unruly Mess I’ve Made and Gemini) have features on every song which I think is great because he either has friends in the industry or he and his producers are owed a lot of favours.

“Downtown” was wild the first time I heard it in the car with my siblings. I definitely forgot it existed until a year later when I got Apple Music. After listening to it in its entirety on my earphones and being overwhelmed but enraptured by the wall of sound created by the horns and Eric Nally’s vocals, I left it on repeat for weeks. The fact that he’s rapping about buying a moped is trivial but always so funny to me. He takes himself too seriously and not at all seriously depending on the day/song. He just wants to make music and have a good time.

While I missed the boat with “Dance Off” (and I love Idris Elba), I can appreciate the lightheartedness to most of his discography. He is able to work with many artists across fields (Chance the Rapper, Ed Sheeran, Kesha) and the variety in his music is exemplified in his openness to learn and appreciate others’. He attempts to give homage to his rap heroes often which is admirable but iffy when you take into account the white privilege stuff. He gets helped often and I don’t have the energy to hate him for it or any of the other dumb stuff that makes him successful. But to be real again, he will still be successful and wealthy whether he has my reluctant support or not. He deserves it, I guess.

In Like Spin

Everyone is in the lobby and waiting for the last class to finish. The music is loud outside, where I am, but louder inside the closed off room. I lock my stuff into a closet and step over a few people trying to avoid eye contact. I am getting second thoughts. The last time I was here, I was hungover and thought I could manage because the room is dark. The front desk person told me that I couldn’t go back inside after puking in their bathroom which was presumptuous of him. I hate it every time I go, just like I hated hot yoga but the feeling you get afterwards makes it worth it. That’s what everybody says.

The goal isn’t to lose weight, it’s to be a part of a weird, cult-like atmosphere where someone is yelling to you through a microphone in a dark room with very loud music playing. The music is so so loud. It’s overwhelming. Or I’m old. I sometimes have a hard time hearing the instructor because it’s so loud but the point is mainly to pedal and not necessarily follow along with the rest of the class. So long as you are moving, your purpose is fulfilled. I get lost often. My rhythm is off. Nothing makes me feel more rhythmless than being offbeat in a room full of toned, athletic bodies that are moving in sync to a remixed Taylor Swift song. Some of these people are definitely not good dancers.

Some people cheer, some people close their eyes and wave their white towels, surrendering to the instructors’ prompts to “Celebrate yourself! You made it here today and that is EVERYTHING!” My friend, an avid spin person, smacks her handlebars in time with the music. It’s wild and unprompted for her but I can’t stop thinking about it until much after the class is finished.

I wish I loved my workouts as much as my friends like spin class. I wish I wasn’t so averse to the over stimulation of the music and the under stimulation of the lights being lowered to almost pitch blackness save for a few candles. It is the most bizarrely nuanced and ridiculous workout I’ve ever done and I still buy packages regularly. I have lost no weight. I just like the feeling of being there and the feeling I get right after I’ve left.

Do You Have Milk?

Since my sister bought me a Nespresso machine and changed my life, I’ve been enjoying the wonders of coffee every day. Religiously, like three times a day. With this much coffee and frothed milk consumption, I fear what it’s done to my body is not good for it. Three fulls cups of milk a day hardly seems right so I’ve tried alternating between milk alternatives to add some variety and hopefully healthier habits to my life. Below are my rankings:

1. Straight cow’s milk:

It’s better in taste and consistency. It’s important that I highlight this fact now so you don’t think I’m some insane person who prefers something like oat milk to the real thing. It’s okay to admit that the original is better especially when the others provide an elevated sense of self importance for trying to do the healthier bit. Milk is 10/10. It froths the best and tastes the best and provides the chance for your espresso to really be successful. It’s also the cheapest so…..I like it better.

2.  Coconut milk:

Coconut milk’s pretty good. It sometimes has floating pieces of white in it. It’s the most watery out of all of these other milk types but it’s also the best tasting that isn’t milk. It’s sweet but not overpowering and again the taste of coconuts pairs well with coffee. Like blue cheese and Riesling. But with espresso and coconut. Also coconut milk is cheap.

3.    Oat milk:

It tastes like liquefied oatmeal so essentially nothing but its consistency is thicker and better than water which is more than what these other girls can say. It does not take anything away from your latte but it also isn’t doing much for it. It froths great. I also wonder if this has an unfair advantage of being newer and thus less likely to have studies done about it that disprove all of its advantages but who can trust anything you read anyway? Another gift my sister gave me is the observation that anyone can prove anything with a long enough Netflix documentary.

4. Almond milk/Cashew milk:

These are so annoyingly similar. Like what was the point of creating cashew milk if almond milk exists? Allergies. Okay, that’s a pretty fair argument. Their consistencies can be watery except maybe the cashew milk has a slightly creamier leg up over almond milk but it’s so insignificant it feels weird to point it out. Their tastes are even more basic than oat milk which is saying something and they’re expensive for small cartons. They’re more readily available at the store and at coffee shops than oat milk but I figure this is because oat milk is warming up to its popularity, at least where I live. Almond milk tastes like almonds and cashew milk tastes like cashews. Riveting. I bet you’re glad you came. Oh, they both come in sweetened flavours but it’s not worth it.

5. Hemp milk:


What It Means to Meditate

I’m okay with meditation. It’s strange for me hearing people complain about their inability to meditate because they think too much or too quickly to benefit from meditation. It’s a bit of a humble brag. There’s just too much going on up there. I guess thinking a lot of thoughts doesn’t mean they’re all smart and good. All our thoughts can’t be winners. Which is why meditation is useful. Meditation is for those people who overthink.

If I’m getting this right, put simply, it is actually thinking of nothing. Or trying to. Sometimes. But there’s also some body scan work being done and visualization which involves thinking of people you love (and eventually people you hate) enjoying themselves and experiencing a sunny beach or something. This is supposed to give us inner peace and calm and teach us to handle frustrating situations with grace.

I started my meditation journey (barf) when my mom wouldn’t stop telling us about hers. She listened to calming music and closed the door to her room for an hour a day. When I lived with my parents, it always made me laugh when I would barge in demanding to talk to her about something trivial and she would be sitting very still in her meditation/reading chair with her eyes closed and she would say so quietly “I’m meditating.” I’d always be like “Fine. Cool. Sorry.” and walk out like I wasn’t impressed and I didn’t just interrupt her but I was and I had. She wasn’t bothered though. That’s what meditation does for her. Here she was on a Saturday just becoming a Zen master and what was I doing? Probably nothing of value.

When she wasn’t meditating in her room, she would show us her ding dong tapes (just one or two half hour tapes of bells ringing that she had on her ipod mini). She’d encourage us to lay on the couch and listen and try to just think of the tolling of the bells. It was boring. It wasn’t fun but occasionally I’d fall asleep to them and this is what started a weird education on how to meditate myself.

Meditating has never been easy for me or anyone I know who has tried it. I feel like I have told myself that my stream of consciousness is too erratic while also being physically too tired to sit in silence and think of nothing without falling asleep. While I can appreciate my own smart excuses for not taking time to myself for meditation, I have had to educate myself on what exactly it means and discipline myself in doing it regularly to fully feel its benefits. Again, it has not been easy. But it’s helped to know more about what it means to meditate.

First off, I disservice myself and others by presenting meditation like it’s thinking of nothing because that’s so boring? It isn’t. It’s trying to think of nothing, acknowledging that that probably isn’t going to happen because we still have to function and like, walk around every day, and then quietly greeting our thoughts and feelings respectfully and letting them go away in favour of focusing on something more tangible. Like our breath. Or our steps. Or what we’re looking at or what we’re feeling in our hands at the moment or the food we’re eating. The goal isn’t to stop thought completely but to avoid resisting bad thoughts and feelings. They come to us, they happen often, and it’s alright. We mostly have to keep moving and try to be present. As ridiculous as being present sounds, (because how could you be in any other time besides the present?) it’s essentially just not thinking of the past and how stupid you used to be or the future and how stupid you’re about to be.

Being present is only allowing yourself to be worried about what is currently happening in front of you at this moment. This leads you to focus more on the task at hand and where you are. I used to think that meditation was the solution that spiritual healers came up with as an alternative to how terrible people had become. They were like “okay, we can’t ask them to do good things because they’re hopeless and selfish and we’re way beyond that being a viable outcome now. Let’s just ask them to do nothing and to think of nothing. This has to be an improvement.” And I still kind of believe that.

What I don’t love about the practice is that everything I’ve ever read or researched about it suggests it’s a cover all. In a way, it is, because it’s free and anyone can do it when they’re not busy. But there are many apps and subscriptions that cost money and businesses that have cropped up in cities that essentially charge you to sit in a beautiful room and to listen to a hot woman guide you through a meditation. When I asked my mom how she felt about the meditation-for-profit business model, she said she was less concerned about the businesses being evil and capitalizing on a self-help trend and more concerned about people who think they have to spend money to get guided meditations. What a Zen master response. She told me about a bunch of church basements that she goes to where people sit in a circle and someone puts on a tape and they just meditate together like that. And it’s free. I’m not there yet. Obviously. But meditation doesn’t feel like the answer to every problem even though it sometimes presents itself that way.

The positive outcomes of regular meditation for me have been that sometimes I sleep better. There is typically a wider window between when someone tells me something and when I react to it. Which can be useful because this break in time gives me the power to just forget about what they’ve told me in the first place so I never have the chance to react to it. It makes me more compassionate for people who bug me on the subway. It makes me more aware of my surroundings when I’m walking home late at night. It makes insurmountable tasks feel less daunting and it makes me feel less alone somehow. It also makes me go slower in my breakfast making and getting ready in the morning. Which is a bonus, I guess.

The negative outcomes are wild and varied. I told my therapist once that I didn’t think meditation worked for me because I kept thinking about the possibility of my ex starting to play basketball and joining a professional team. She was like “Why does that even matter?” and as far as I knew, he didn’t even like basketball that much. When I can’t sleep and I listen to three sleep meditation sessions in a row, it makes me feel like a failure. It can also feel incredibly lonely to listen to one of those at 4am when you know your roommates and everyone else on your street are sleeping. One time, when I went to visit my friend and her boyfriend, he suggested we listen to a productivity themed meditation. When done, he left the house to go to work and I sat and watched a marathon of Catfish. I only left the house to go to the local soup place which was five minutes away. So it’s not always 100% effective.

From what I gather speaking to people about meditation who regularly do it, you’re supposed to look forward to it. It’s not supposed to feel like a chore and for a while, for me, it did. Now it’s something that I get to a few times a week hoping that it will make me feel relaxed and clear-headed and hopefully make me a better person if all goes to plan. I like the visualizations on kindness and imagining that my body is shooting out laser beams of sunshine. I always think of the second last scene in Shrek (before the Shrek in the swamp karaoke and credits) when Fiona has true love’s first kiss and takes true love’s form and then all the light beams shoot out of her body and all the windows break in the church. And then she’s like “I’m supposed to be beautiful” and Shrek is like “but you ARE beautiful.” That’s what meditation is like for me.

The Most Positive Place on the Internet

Besides Queer Eye on Netflix, Genius lyrics and videos of Gerard Butler’s performance in the Phantom of the Opera (2004), my favourite place to go on the internet when I’m sad is Vogue’s YouTube channel. Specifically the series of videos where women talk about and recreate their makeup routines.

The first I had ever seen was Rihanna’s, which is great:


Then I went on a bit of a hole.


My favourites are the French women who casually apply their very minimal and natural looking makeup while drinking coffee and eating croissants. Being their hot French selves. So French:



I love the young models who know now more about skincare than I will know in my entire lifetime. Their knowledge and beauty are limitless:











The videos themselves are funny and each have at least a million views (50 of these are from me). They mostly feature models. Models always know about the best beauty products. The videos’ stars ensure that their tones are all completely different, much like their makeup routines, but the common thread between them is that they’re all gorgeous. Like hard to compute beautiful. Their beginning look before they put on cream or makeup already looks as though they’ve been sitting in a chair being done up by a professional for an hour. It’s inspirational.




The premise is simple: they speak directly into the camera which doubles as a mirror, making jokes about themselves and narrating what they’re doing to their faces. Sometimes they’re getting ready for a red carpet, sometimes they’re going out dancing with friends, sometimes they’re doing a press line. All of it is amazing and adorable. They’re so different. They’re kind of weird. Some use lip gloss as eyeshadow because it’s longer lasting and more pigmented. This is great time and money saving advice. They’re all so smart and crafty and their videos are practical and applicable and it all varies hugely by each person. A makeup routine is fascinating to watch as it feels completely unique to the individual doing themselves up.

My favourite is Halima whose jokes, sweet voice and overtly chill confidence make her compulsively watchable. I love her. The comments on her video are truly the most positive and encouraging I’ve ever read on the internet. These are the reasons why I go here for respite from my daily life.


I want to always live in a world where people are celebrating these people’s makeup routines. Something mundane and repetitive is made to feel new and relevant in each video and I am 1000% in line. Every time a new episode airs, I get excited to be educated again by Vogue and its Youtube channel.

Night Time Yoga


I like Adriene because she’s nice to me. She encourages me. She makes yoga videos for people with back pain and people who want to do month long challenges for the new year. She’s not judgmental and she’s helpful even though she can’t actually adjust your body like the teachers do in a regular yoga class.

I think I found her Youtube channel accidentally and then just watched the same two videos repeatedly. One in the morning and one at night. Her house looks well organized and clean but also lived in and like she enjoys working out of it. Her videos are free and she must sell something or be sponsored but I never feel too full of her or bombarded by her presence. Sometimes I’ll just watch her videos instead of going through the actual yoga poses with her.

She sometimes tries to joke, which I can appreciate, because the attempt is there but I really just enjoy her voice and her tips and her encouragement. She just seems glad that you’re trying. Also that Radarte shirt is great.

Swedish Chocolate Cake


This is one of those recipes that I’m still shocked exists. Easily, one of my most made cakes and I say easily both because I’ve made it a million times and because it is extremely easy to make. Double word meaning. I take this to parties and to my parents’ house when they invite us over for dinner and gloat about how I’ve contributed more than my siblings when really I’ve done less than ten minutes of prep work and just less than ten minutes of baking which isn’t even work it’s just sitting by the stove on my phone and making sure it won’t burn. I’ve spent more time talking about this cake than I have actually making it. This is a testament both to how annoying I can be and how great this cake is.

Most of the ingredients are stuff that people already have in their kitchens (I’m guessing). Sugar. Eggs. Vanilla. If you don’t, then go buy some sugar and eggs. The weirdest thing that it asks you for is sifted cake flour. Before making this cake, I never used to have cake flour but I bought it once so now I’m good to go because this recipe only asks you to use 1 cup of it. It’s reasonable. I’ve since learned that cake flour is more finely milled flour that contains more protein than regular all purpose flour. This cake has taught me things.

I feel a bit pissed that no one I know ever told me about this cake and that I had to find it deep on someone’s instagram and then the internet and it wasn’t in the same urgent way that I tell my friends they have to make this cake every time I go over to theirs (holding them by their shoulders and looking deep into their eyes because I care about them) but instead in a very lazy and neutral suggestive way like “I guess you can make this cake easily. If you feel like it.” I am too generous to not share the wealth. So far, only my sister has made it and it’s because she got tired of my bragging about being so good at baking. She now makes a point to underline how easy it is and that it’s not impressive that I’ve made this ten times for my mom and dad.

The recipe is impossible to mess up and like the sifting the cake flour, all the heavy lifting happens in the beginning of the preparation. It’s one of those steps that feels tedious and pedantic at first but once done, you realize is not at all time consuming or physically demanding. If this cake wants sifted cake flour, then I’m willing to go there for it.

It’s also one of those rare gems of recipes in baking or cooking when you can actually prepare what goes into the oven in the time it takes to preheat. Miraculous. To be honest, I’ve never been able to prepare something so elaborate, particularly not when baking, in the time it takes to get to 350° or 375°, or even 425°. This cakes cooks at a reasonable 400° and doesn’t force you to awkwardly rush through the last steps of your prep so as to avoid the wasted energy of having a fully blasted oven going with nothing inside. The first time I made this, I finished before the beep went off. I looked up at the oven and was like “surely it must have already beeped” but it hadn’t and it just went off when I was thinking that and I felt like Ina Garten. Convenience is so valued these days. Mind you, on very rare occasions, I don’t make the preheat time but you can’t always be Ina Garten.

It requires that you chill it for an hour, which can mess up your day if you start too late but I don’t count leaving something in the fridge as demanding work. Once I was going over to my friend’s place to meet her boyfriend for the first time and made this and didn’t leave the required hour long wait period but figured it would be fine. It wasn’t and it melted on the way there and then wouldn’t retain its shape once we cooled it in her fridge so her boyfriend and I had to power through eating almost liquid cake with canned whipped cream so I wouldn’t feel bad about my mistake in ignoring the very simple guidelines. It worked out because it still tasted good, just was messy and gross and now I really like her boyfriend because what a cool guy.

I watched a Chef’s Table episode (Volume 1, Episode 1 on Netflix) with Magnus Nilsson (the inventor of this recipe) and he’s basically a genius who never leaves home and whose idea of a good dessert is making jam from boiled glacier water, wild gooseberries and like naturally occurring sugar that he harvests in his backyard. His outlook is pretty refreshing and low maintenance which is reflected in his cooking. His recipes share a lot of similar qualities in that they require few ingredients (many of which are staples) and then the odd one or two random ones that you’d have to venture out to a specialty food store to find. I bought white peppercorns because of him. I owe him a lot. Someone who can take a bunch of simple ingredients with an equally simple set of instructions make me feel that baking and cooking are that much more accessible for people who have mobility issues or time sensitive schedules. That the food is universally well liked by my friends and family is just the whipped cream on top of the Swedish chocolate cake. Honestly, what an uncomplicated but smart idea. Jesus.


6:30am: Wake up after getting a perfect amount of sleep. Depending on what article you’ve read, this is either 8-10 hours, 7-9 hours, or more recently due to overextending people beyond belief, 6-8 hours.

6:30am-6:50am: Meditate. Because you’re self-actualized like that.

6:50am-7:10am: Make breakfast and coffee for yourself. Also do 100 sit ups. And make your bed you piece of shit.

7:10am-7:15am: Clean up any and all mess you’ve made making breakfast. Also clean your bathroom because you have to do that once a week.

7:15am-7:30am: You’re supposed to be at work at 8 so brush your teeth, put on makeup, do your hair and choose an appropriate outfit for work and put on all your outdoor gear in time to jog lightly to the bus stop where you timed your arrival perfectly for the arrival of the bus. Find a seat in the back and listen to a podcast on Finance while reading a book for your book club.

7:30am-8am: Be on time for work.

8am-12:30pm: Work while updating the group chat with pics, maintaining your personal admin like updating your calendar for the week and grocery shopping lists.

12:30pm-1:30pm: Get lunch with your coworkers at the mall. Also go shopping.

1:30pm-5pm: Work still.

5pm-6pm: More sitting on the bus but occasionally stopping and getting off to pick up wine for your friend’s dinner and any other miscellaneous gifts you forgot you needed for this week.

6pm: Get home. Do anything you like but also finish homework, clean up more, purge your wardrobe, pick up dry cleaning, go grocery shopping, work out with your trainer, take a shower, change your sheets, do laundry and talk to your parents on the phone.

6:30pm-6:50pm: Journal about your day. Also your dreams, what you’re grateful for, your goals for the next day, week, month, year, your strengths and weaknesses, habits you want to break and your feelings if there’s time.

6:50pm-7:00pm: Do a nighttime routine which includes lighting candles, cleaning, toning, moisturizing and applying serums to your face and hair. Then to your body. This is really time for yourself, time to just chill.

7:00pm-7:30pm: Read.

7:30pm-8:00pm: Do nighttime yoga with Adriene to wind down.

8:00pm-9:30pm: Have you eaten yet? Make yourself food, clean up after you’ve made yourself food because you don’t have a dishwasher. This recipe says it takes 30 minutes total with 10 minutes of prep work and 20 minutes of cooking but it’s been an hour and a half and there is no end in sight. Why would they lie about this? Vacuum while it cooks, also clean up as you go.

9:30pm-10pm: Work on personal projects. This is your time. If not today, then when?

10:00pm-10:05pm: Cry.

10:05pm-10:30pm: Pick an outfit out for tomorrow. Fold your laundry, watch a show, do oil pulling for twenty minutes to whiten your teeth and get ready for bed.

10:30pm-6:25am: Listen to your sleep meditation playlist. Get up a couple of times even though you’re wearing ear plugs and a sleep mask and listened to a mediation playlist before falling asleep. Have a dream about your friends from high school.

A Slack Conversation with my Coworker

Coworker: fml lol
I had a dream that a guy came in to interview for the position I applied for and you and I ripped up his resume
at our desks so secretly
T: are you sure it was a dream and not a memory that you refuse to acknowledge?
Coworker: it was so realistic
I remember it really well
the texture and weight of the paper was really heavy and then he had nothing to give Jeremy and made a bad impression
T: we’re like not only are we not hiring for this position but you need to leave immediately
you won’t be needing your resume
give it to us
Coworker: this is not where you applied are you high
we do not accept solicitors
we have called the police I suggest you leave the premises
T: i saw you smoking pot outside
Coworker: there is a warrant out for your arrest
T: the cops are here
Coworker: they are at every exit in plain clothes
leave now
T: im a cop
get out now
im serious
they gave me a gun
Coworker: get out with your hands up
T: im not well trained
Coworker: i am really underpaid
T: you cant leave without giving us your resume
Coworker: and have zero motivation
please hand over your cv
T: and you also have to promise to never apply to a job here again
cops rules
Coworker: we’ll know
if you do
we’re on linkedin
Coworker: cops can be on linkedin
T: dont ask our supervisors
Coworker: what you think we dont have linkedin?
you think we dont need it?
T: thats prejudice
we do still need it
Coworker: i will be reporting this
we update it every day
T: we took a picture of your face
Coworker: its like a journal
T: so we’ll know if you come in here with a fake moustache
Coworker: or a tophat
T: ya
we see through your disguises
Coworker: we have cameras and retinal scans
T: we know your fingerprints
I got it from the door earlier
no you cant have a glass of water!
get out of here
Coworker: do not have a seat
these chairs are for cops only
T: that guy over there is not the CEO
Coworker: you think we dont need to sit?
T: hes a cop
hes head cop
Coworker: he is head cop of the city
he wants you dead or alive
i suggest you leave alive
T: or dead? cause we’ll kill ya
Coworker: I will I have a gun with bullets
T: im not gonna show you
but i have it
on my person
Coworker: its behind me
and it’s loaded
T: i’ll show it to you....when i use it...on you
Coworker: we have a sniper you cant see
but he can see you
T: see what im trying to say?
ya with an invisible red lazer
Coworker: leave your resume
T: only we can see it
its on your forehead
Coworker: and this will all be over soon
T: now its on your dick
back to your forehead
do you feel lucky?
how badly do you want this job?
Coworker: except there is no job
as i stated
T: the job posting is fake news
Coworker: also you are not qualified
it was a ruse
to lure you here
and you fell for it
T: haha
ur dumb
Coworker: this was a test and you failed
you will not be getting this job
T: ya to pass the test you need to light your resume on fire and back away from it slowly
Coworker: this job is about passing tests
not failing tests

Coworker: im so excited
this saturday
is the first saturday im not working in like MONTHS

Cold Gel

To distract myself from not saving a ton of money and from the meaninglessness of working, I have tried a random assortment of what I can only think of as extracurricular activities. They’re normally pretty expensive and just weird enough that they make me seem like a more interesting person when I talk about them at parties.

I’ve tried a donut making class, baking bread at home, French classes and saying yes when my friends invite me to parties in the east end. Most recently, I have taken to this expensive ass cold gel laser facial. I first read about it on Lainey Gossip when she raved about how great her skin felt weeks after getting this facial. She mentioned celebrities who do it as an alternative for plastic surgery. Great, I’m in. The first time serves as a consultation when they ask about what you’re trying to get out of the whole process and why you’re willing to drop rent money on having your face prodded around with a laser with cold gel on the end of it.

Their office is located in a loft type deal which you access through a side door in an alley. It sounds sketchier than it is. It’s fancy when you get in there. Both the front desk person and the facialist had great skin. There were a lot of windows and natural light and their front desk area was sparsely decorated.

When brought into the facial room, the lady asked me to sit on the table and go through a couple questions. When I confirmed that I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t have epilepsy, she moved onto more general questions about the state of my skin. It was a positive conversation focusing on ideals and my skin wish list as opposed to talking about problem areas that needed fixing. The whole procedure is about improving what’s there already. Though, she did talk about acne scarring and rosacea and how the cold gel helps with both.

At one point, I said that I felt like I looked great and had good skin but that I had no real way of knowing beyond the surface level and just looking at myself in the mirror regularly to corroborate. She immediately agreed and said that my skin was great. I was proud and admittedly relieved that they were confident enough in their product to know that they wouldn’t have to exaggerate problems in my face to sell me something. I’m looking at you, Clarisonic salesperson at Holts.

She put on a relaxing playlist and I leaned back on the table and tuned out what she was doing even though she was explaining her process. At one point, I fell asleep because I felt so calm. She mentioned doing microdermasions on my skin to loosen the dirt and oil that accumulated from living in a big city and then after this step, she put a hot towel on my face and started the cold gel laser part. From what I could tell, there is a wand looking deal that is dipped in this green cold gel (where it gets its name) that she moves in a circular motion all over your face. The gel smells herbal and like a forest and it feels very cool to the touch. At the end of it, you have it all over your face and she wipes that off with another hot towel. The whole process takes about 45 minutes and you leave with a poreless, brightened face.

It’s $226 for your first time (all in, I inquired about how to add a tip and the lady gave me a look that made it seem that she thought my asking was gauche) and $200 for subsequent trips for maintenance. I plan on getting my sister her first for Christmas. This is why I’m broke. I, at least, look great.

Who I Texted Today (November 5th)

  • A friend from my current job, still at my current job

  • A friend from high school

  • A different friend from my current job

  • My sister

  • My other sister

  • My trainer

  • Another different friend from my current job

  • A group chat with my sister and her boyfriend

  • My friend from elementary school

  • Two recruiters

  • My dad

  • A friend from my current job who recently got a new job

  • A friend from an old job who recently got a new job

  • A friend from middle school

  • A guy I hooked up with a year ago

  • A friend from university