The Danger of Silence

(content warning for: rape, misogyny)

This is a hard post for me to write, because I am trying to “get it right”. This is not my story, but this is something that needs to be talked about.

My friend recently shared a post on Facebook that talked about the definitions of sexism & racism that was met with quite a few comments that challenged the definitions listed.  Challenging opinions is expected, because often times definitions in social justice go against the grain of what we have learned, and start what can be the very painful process of unlearning.

It is this pain that can sometimes be channeled into anger, hate, and various acts where the end goal is to silence what (or who) has caused this pain.

For my friend, she was met with abusive messages in her personal inbox, after the individual had made public comments on her post. Her inbox was transformed into shades of red hot anger by him.

“Get raped”

“You feminist piece of  [crap].”

There are words he used here that I can’t post here: Words that aim to hurt women (the c-word). Derogatory words that aim to shame women who have sex with women (starts with a ‘d’). These words are very specific acts of violence that aim to silence people.

So what happens when we publicly reject these words and hold people accountable for their words on social media (Facebook, in this case)? “community standards” happen.

“community standards”: a big title for something that only protects very specific narratives and very specific people that fit into the brand of Facebook.


Those people and narratives who do not fit within the “community” are silenced.

This is something that is so much bigger than this story, because this happens every day but is especially prevalent towards women, young children, LGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, and people of colour.  The narrative of the survivor of violence is silenced and is told to rejoin a society that profits off of rape culture (that being anything that normalizes rape/threats of rape/aids in silencing survivors).

I stand with my friend in this unimaginable time: where they have tried to take her voice, tried to kick her while she is down.  What they don’t know is that she is stronger than the walls and doors of silence, and together we can break down and rebuild these forces that try to silence the most important voices.

This Skin // This Voice // This Year


This Skin

Kindness to this skin I live in has been an overarching thought this year.  I’ve drifted beyond the question of popping the whitehead or not (spoiler alert: I usually pop it), and asked deeper questions: are the words I am saying sinking deeper beneath this skin? am I the best version of myself with the skin-covered beings that surrounds me? Am I hydrated? (if so, what by?) Could I have gone to bed three hours earlier last night?

How many milligrams of caffeine have I had today? Do I realistically have the stamina or the recovery time needed to pull an all-nighter? Am I reflecting on areas of possible growth without dwelling on my shortcoming?

Am I truly living in the present, or am I living in spite of my past?

I had an anxiety attack on Christmas that left me in a limbo of crying and shaking for hours.  I don’t understand my body sometimes, but anxiety is an unpaved freeway I am still learning to negotiate. It’s okay to cry, to have a reaction to everything around you.  It’s okay for the holidays to not be as joyous as the media has depicted them in holiday classics.

Kindness to this skin looks like mapping my anxiety and possible areas of crisis. Setting an alarm for when I need to get ready for bed, planning out meals, hydration, assignments, and giving time for the weather, the attractions, the friends, the foes along the way. (There’s really nothing like a text from your ex the night before a major term paper is due, which you just started.) I’ve learned that third year feels a lot like driving at night, in the heavy rain; knowing your destination but never knowing the roads that will lead there.


This Voice

Still with me? (This is a question more for me than you, honestly.)

I’m learning to be more intentional with my vocabulary, but with that comes a lighter tread in my voice sometimes. I have grown more conscious of the space that my voice takes up in certain spaces (white privilege, male privilege, settler privilege, socio-economic status based privilege, able-bodied privilege et cetera.) I am on a continuing learning journey of when to hold my tongue; when my voice does more harm to the conversation than good.

With that I find a certain passiveness has formed within myself, where it has now become easier to not say anything at all in most situations where perhaps I really should participate.  The result: I am somewhat resentful at myself for what has become my overarching silence.

This voice struggles to articulate thoughts, metaphors, creativity.  I think a lot of it stems from a pattern of self-deprecation as a certain style of writing that I ascribed to for a while (see: “How to Be a Hot Mess”).  While satisfying and easy to play off as a sort of satire, I find that this particular path became a sort of manifest destiny above anything else.

Ultimately, I am my worst critic in all of this and I think the fear of judgment, of saying the wrong thing, of not reaching anyone and feeling alienated scares me as a writer, and living in that zone finds me producing nothing.


This Year

This year found me starting a relationship with myself: my health, my body, my pain, my tendencies, my wrongdoings.  It’s a hard shell to crack, and the majority of the time I didn’t like what I saw within.  For so long I had focused on the exterior; how I came off, how well I was liked/admired/respected, what my wardrobe choices said about me, what my resting face said about me, if I was pleasing to prospective romantic conquests. The interior is a whole other galaxy of planets, comets, meteors, lifeforms. It is the grey inside of a Lucky Charms rainbow marshmallow that I am learning to paint vivid colours this year.

Third Year: A Complicated Love Story


I’m struggling to write this. This is my first blog post in ten months.

I’m taking four courses, all in various areas of my major: Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ).  I never thought that would be my major when I arrived here, but there is no other department that has impacted me on a deeper level.

It is not a happy major, though, because the majority of my time is spent reading about various inequalities of the world: sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, nationalism, classism, et cetera.

I’ll see a movie now and point out the various points of wrongdoing throughout it, and I will very much be a “feminist killjoy”. It goes well beyond movies, though, most western media is a complete mess. (take for instance the media coverage of Paris, over that of the 147 killed at Garissa University in Kenya back in April — where was the Facebook filter for that? the tumblr logo changed? the YouTube homepage standing with Garissa?)

I’m struggling to write this. This is my first blog post in ten months.

I tried to blog about entering therapy over the Summer for my anxiety/depression/eating habits, but I thought it sounded too pretentious so I stopped. Therapy doesn’t work for a lot of people, and I’m very fortunate to have had a positive experience and to have the privilege to be able to get help.

I did try to write something during Thrive week, but I found it a little forced-sounded, so again I stopped.

I had a panic attack that lasted four hours this summer, and for me panic attacks feel like someone unexpectedly pulled my chair out from under me (that falling feeling on repeat). Needless to say I was not feeling very “Cool for the Summer” (I feel like that reference was really late to the party, but I’m in third year and I don’t have time to party.)

I have for many summers also neglected to eat regular meals. (One summer I would go on some cheerios and a kombucha for the day). So, eating disorder is perhaps a better way of filing this one, but I’m still in denial over it. My body is not represented in media, so I tried to look like what was around me for years.

I’m struggling to write this. This is my first blog post in ten months.

I’m trying not to censor myself, but it’s really difficult. Am I writing this right? Am I a writer yet?

I bought my first collection of poems called Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones about a year ago, and I really recommend it.

Can I tell you a secret? I applied to the BFA Creative Writing Program back in March, and I was rejected in May. It hurt a lot, as much as I tell myself it didn’t. Rejection was never part of “the plan”, and as much as I may exude a carefree energy, I am very much one for planning. The whole process was really invalidating as a writer.

I don’t know if I am doing this writing business properly. I am not published in enough places, and sometimes I freak out about that because what if I get rejected again? (Plot twist: I am applying again in March.)

I know someone who does a lot of slam poetry now, and I question if that’s what I should be doing. Isn’t that what writers do? I am not as good as the others. (picture me in a lapdog pool, versus them in a wave pool.) This self-sabotage must be part of being a writer?


I’m struggling to write this. This is my first blog post in ten months.

I’m struggling to write my research proposal that’s due tomorrow. I haven’t had to write one of those in two years, and I do feel rather out of my element.

There’s also a coupon for All Bran bars on my cabinet. (I forgot that when I went grocery shopping.)

Sometimes Academia is really scary and I don’t know if I’m cut out for this world. I have six papers left to write this term. Third year is a complicated love story of me and an institution, a major, a BFA application, my body, the jingle of “shouldn’t-i-have-applied-for-co-op?”, exchange, scholarships, should-i-be-considering-grad-school?, did I eat enough water soluble fibre today?

Third year is a not a rom-com, not a teen drama, does not carry the witty banter of an indie comedy, does not have time for the back and forth of a psychological thriller. Sometimes we don’t sleep in the same bed, sometimes I get mad about the duct tape on the walls, or the laundry comes out too wet and three hours pass in the dryer.

I’m struggling to write this. This is my first blog post in ten months.

But sometimes the coffee is strong enough, and there’s enough sunlight in the day, and the leaves on the tree outside my window are so gold I feel like I live on top of a podium.

We are young and naïve still (third-year and I). We love to say “I love you” as much as “I hate you”, and we don’t cherish the people around us enough, but we are slowly learning this complicated cohabitation. I promise we’ll be better roommates soon.



Wait For Life

Hola frienditos. Let’s get some late night nachos or something, ya dig.

It’s a new term. It’s a new year. Not a whole lot has changed, but perhaps I didn’t really need some radical change in my life unless I was like running a marathon or something. (which I am not) (shoutout to that one time I did the SunRun and like pushed it to every social media network.) (seriously, banana stuffed french toast > training for a marathon)

(The Twisted Fork has this dish I have described above if you’re now craving it like I am.)

I feel like just recapping my 24 hours, like a snapchat would. let’s do it:


(last night)
– some gummies, some more gummies, fuzzy peaches, those really big sour keys that unlock the depths of my bitter heart (jk I’m not that bitter)
– a bag of Brookstone Pomegranate chocolate little river rock things. seriously they are small like river rocks. mmm
– some stream water
– I’m totally kidding, it was tap water
– seriously, did anyone see Wild. She can’t get water at one point, and it was a scary time in the movie #oscarcampaignforReese


– do I have time for coffee? nonono, I’m going to be late for meeting my prof
– this is the part where I would have a really sad photo with no coffee
– I eventually got coffee at like 12:30
– also an almond croissant
– for a moment I spelled almond like this: almold
– this is turning into a really raw, vulnerable blog post where I bring all of my insecurities to the top
– Thai tomato soup
– a sandwich with some roast beef, jalapeño havarti and banana peppers
– my working title for this blog post was banana pepper
– I totally lied it was just banana
– seriously I am getting so vulnerable right now, like I am the ocean and you can see right through me
– banana
– I seriously had a banana
– cinnamon toast crunch
– yeah, okay, sometimes I relive the childhood of sugary cereal that I never had whatever it’s my life (it’s now or never)
– candy, mmm


(last night)
– CRWR 301A:
– weow i’m so good at le poetry
– no but really I should’ve packed food

– GRSJ 224C:
– wow what a long article
– really, wow
– oh
– oh
– that’s what he meant
– re: I didn’t have time for coffee

CRWR 205:
– omg I am so good at le creative nonfiction
– wow prezi is so much better than powerpoint
– you know what’s cute,
-this almond croissant-



American Freak Show
-well, American Horror Story (colon) Freak Show
-seriously, don’t/even/bother finishing the season

Mindy Projéct
– the accent is for fun
– they went to Paris
– jk they went to San Fran
– San France
– now the accent makes sense
– au revoir

– Hannah is also in Paris
– she eats a lot of croissants
– we have a lot in common
– i’m kidding she’s in Iowa
– …
– … Iowa
– I’m sure the potatoes are sublime, though.
– wait
– wait
– that’s totally Idaho

– Shameless
– it’s summer in Illinois
– woo South Side
– Gentrification
– Starbucks Jokes
– Starbucks Lovers
– Taylor Swift “Blank Space”
– baby mama drama
– with the show, not Taylor


– Wait for Life – Emile Haynie ft. Lana Del Rey
– yeah, I titled the blog post after this
– shocker, right?

– Heart Beats Slow – Angus & Julia Stone
– I kind of forgot about them for a bit
– I missed them

– Roscoe – Midlake
– I heard it in a thrift store this one time
– yeah, cool it’s from like 2003 it’s basically vintage

– Lilies – Bat for Lashes
– We don’t really know where this came from
– I discovered her back in 2010
– then got curious
– curiosity killed the cat
– but satisfaction brought it back

– Hey Yo – Brooke Hogan ft. Colby O’Donis
– remember Brooke Knows Best Brooke Hogan
– remember the guy on “Just Dance” with Lady Gaga
– they made a song together!


– I’m using a perrier bottle as a water bottle
– is this pretentious or thrifty?
– I haven’t quite decided yet



“Finals, Man…”

‘Twas the night before a final, and I was kinda freaking out, kinda wanting to go binge-watch Homeland.

You see, Carrie Mathison gets something about finals. She gets the attitude I have towards the profs that push me to this point:


If only I could call them. If only.

Basically, here’s how the pre-final experience goes:

10:30AM: wake up, and roll over.

10:31AM: nick nack paddy wack, give a dog a SOCIAL SECURITY CHEQUE BECAUSE THE DOG CAN’T AFFORD A BONE ANYMORE what

10:32AM: i’m gonna go na-nights again.

11:30AM: hello world.

11:31AM: it is raining and I don’t appreciate this.

11:32AM: I should probably eat.

11:33AM: I should probably study.

11:34AM: I should probably get a haircut and call my mom.


12:00PM: Do I have any bananas left?

12:02PM: I do not.

12:05PM: [search through friends list and see who would bring me a banana if I paid them in smiles and mediocre hugs]

12:05PM: I am also out of cookie butter and this is really, really tragic for everyone (read: me, myself, and I).

12:10PM: what’s [insert a type of affection] got to do with it?

12:11PM: Homeland.

12:13PM: buffering.

12:15PM: hi. still buffering.

12:17PM: I feel like I should’ve been offered some sort of valet parking service for the amount of buffering going on here.

12:19PM: WHY UBC INTERNET>asdfjkl;

12:25PM: I ate a whole Toblerone last night and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

12:35PM: I’ve watched a 1/4 of the episode and the rest is still buffering

12:40PM: Discover High School USA!

12:41PM: This show really isn’t that funny, but here I am.

12:51PM: Wow, the episodes are only ten minutes long.

1:01PM: It really doesn’t get any better.

1:05PM: guyz, Homeland (kind of) loaded

1:06PM: Is anyone else craving a loaded baked potato right now or is that just me?

1:07PM: It is just me.

1:58PM: I finished Homeland. I feel like, really productive.

2:05PM: I’m really hungry and I should probably go eat.

2:06PM: Do you ever just count the holes on your wall and wonder how they got there?

2:06PM and-a-half: Do you think they happened during finals season?

2:07PM: Do you think penguins get lonely?

2:30PM: acquire food.

2:32PM: inhale food.

2:33PM: food mini coma

2:35PM: should I get a happy planet?



“Ate my dog, taste was good!”

2:38PM: Wow, I really should be getting more exercise.

2:40PM: What is exercise without the proper gear?

2:41PM: answer: an interpretative dance of the badly dressed

3:01PM: it is raining and I regret this decision. seriously.

3:45PM: I’m at Wreck Beach staring into the ocean.

3:47PM: [whispers into ocean] tell me the secret to my exam tomorrow

3:55PM: The ocean didn’t respond and I am feeling so attacked.


4:15PM: I do hate stairs. I hate this.


5:00PM: I’m feeling sexy and free like glitter is raining of me.


5:45PM: guyz, i called my mom finally.

6:03PM: I have arrived at the land of studies.

6:07PM: where do I sit.

6:10PM: seriously. where did all of these people come from????

6:20PM: I am back where I started and I need you all to know that this is not what I expected, I mean who are all these people, who do they think they are just paying tuition and using the library. NOT OKAY.

7:15PM: Oh, I didn’t see you there.  Why, yes, I’ve been studying and not researching Lindsay Lohan’s most recent antics. (she’s recording with her sister Ali and Duran Duran.)

7:17PM: Based on these comments, people are not super pleased with Duran Duran for this move.

7:25PM: You are really interrupting me, and I was studying so nicely.


7:40PM: and then I was all NO WAY.

7:45PM: and then she was all YES WAY.

7:50PM: basically I wish we were brushing each other’s hair at this point. That would be comforting before finals.


10:03PM: I want the record to show that some guy literally just asked me where the best place to poop was in Irving.

10:03PM and-a-half: is this a social experiment? am I being punk’d? Where is 2005 Ashton Kutcher?

10:04PM: he says he can’t make it to the fourth floor.

10:04PM and-a-half: he’s just going to “go for it.”

10:05PM: concluding statement to the conversation from him: “finals, man.”

10:07PM: oh no the end of the world as we know it

10:08PM: my phone is at 2%

10:09PM: WHAT EVER WILL I DO???????

10:11PM: welp, time to pack up. this was really solid.

10:16PM: you know, this studying thing is so good. I should do it more often.










the last week.

Hello. My deepest apologies for being so absent. Sometimes the only time I get to write personally is like 1 a.m. Anyway, it’s the last week of classes / the week before exams. It’s not exactly the most positive time of year, and today the only thing that got me out of bed was coffee. This goes out to anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed, under appreciated, stressed, sad, or all of the above:


I Know

I know there are days when you will walk through the sand and only come home with rocks in your shoes, and your feet will be blistered and they will bleed like you just removed the deepest knife from your spine.

I know people will have expectations of you, but I need you to know that it is okay to just be the drop of water in a bucket.  It is okay to disappear and to be forgotten.

I know there are days where you don’t want to get out of bed, and it’s not because of a nosebleed, or a headache, it is because you simply can’t take the world sometimes.

I know that walking away from people who don’t care about you is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.

I know that there are dark places in this world, and there are people that will make you feel like a mistake.

I know that sometimes that B- on your paper makes you feel like a B-.

I know that sometimes the most heartfelt apologies come out as a bitter “fuck you.”

I know that what you meant to say is “I love you.”

I know that sometimes you end up tripping over the leaves that were supposed to bring colour to your life and you start to question almost everything.

but I know

I know that if you run for long enough in the dark you will get to a bonfire of people that will light you up, and make you feel like you have something to offer the world.  I promise that if you run for long enough that fire can live inside of your heart. No matter how many bubble sheets you have to fill-in to prove to the world that you deserve to be here.

I know that you can do this.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 12.42.05 AM

A Day in the Lyfe

8:30AM: wake up majestically to “Brooklyn Baby” by Lana Del Rey

8:35AM: second alarm goes off and I’m starting to hate Lana. She is no longer queen. Where is snooze?

8:40AM: third alarm. I really hate her.

8:41AM: groan/yawn/put it music to attempt to wake up

8:43AM: discover that not syncing your playlist since like July affects your quality of life and all the old songs are really terrible.

9:26AM: oh god, i have a meeting at 10.

9:27AM: it’s by Gage

9:28AM: why

9:32AM: yesterday’s jeans are okay, right?

9:33AM: I’ll take the bird that just flew by my window as a sign that, yes, that is okay with the universe.

9:45AM: la dee doo. gettin’ ready to leave, i might be on time zomg

9:46AM: notice resident’s alarm clock going off three doors down.

9:47AM: scream internally

9:48AM: go deal with said alarm clock

9:56AM: why did that take so long?

9:57AM: ooh, maybe community shuttle

9:59AM: -see community shuttle drive by me-

10:00AM: lol gonna be late h8rs

10:21AM: walk into great dane and apologize profusely. i look fashionable late, right?

10:21AM and-a-half: sort of, but not really.

11:47AM: leave meeting for class

12:00PM: prof makes awkward joke

12:07PM: prof makes really awkward joke

12:10PM: prof is now role-playing

12:10PM and-a-half: he just jumped. wut.

12:12PM: this prof may be the next supreme and i am scared for the future

12:30PM: I wish I had brought food

12:32PM: regret not stealing prof’s diet coke that one day. i could’ve saved it for today.

12:45PM: prof talks about handing exam back

12:45PM and-a-half: lol if i failed that exam lol lol lol such joke much return of doge

1:00PM: walk out with slight hesitation of which door to use (but the one on the left has less people ugh but it’s far)

1:15PM: meet up with ella and end up going to totem for lunch

2:07PM: ella’s wrap fell apart. it’s the beginning of the apocalypse. run.

2:30PM: try to find TAs email for crwr (with ella in tow)

2:45PM: go to menchies

3:02PM: acquire menchies. with pumpkin pie froyo. ’tis the season.

3:15PM: walk back, holla back

4:01PM: arrive to 4 o’clock meeting.

5:00PM: finish meeting

5:07PM: go lie on bed. i am dog. woof

6:17PM: go acquire dinner. there’s a baked pasta thing?

6:18PM: it’s more like baked vegetables with a side of pasta?

6:48PM: depart and run to sub for blank vinyl project event

6:57PM: meet sofia. hi sofia.

7:09PM: arrive fashionably(?) late

7:09PM and-a-half: yeah, okay, i AM wearing the same outfit. will i ever be fashionably late?

7:13PM: acquire cocoa moo with marshmallows

7:16PM: try to look cool

7:18PM: schmooze

7:24PM: work the room

7:32PM: work it girl

7:45PM: say my goodbyes

7:47PM: wave like the queen

7:47PM and-a-half: might be late

7:55PM: sprint

7:59PM: stroll into totem commons for RA sign-in

8:05PM: play it cool

8:07PM: ice ice baby

8:15PM: arrive back in room

8:30PM: maybe i should do work?

8:45PM: hahahahahahahahhaha what

9:00PM: say hi to sarah from 6th floor

9:12PM: start writing a break-up poem

9:14PM: deliberate word choice, enjambment, overall emotions

9:15PM: consider crying

9:16PM: nah existential crisis

9:35PM: lol

9:59PM: emotions are weird

10:07PM: begin 10 o’clock rounds

10:15PM: why are you playing sam smith? i don’t need this.

10:32PM: return to room

10:35PM: my peppermint tea is cold

10:36PM: i didn’t take my multi-vitamin

10:39PM: consider blogging

11:01PM: yeah maaaaaybe

11:55PM: goodnight, internet.






hi, welcome to thursday night // friday morning

sometimes when my poetry prof gives us a prompt and i’m just sitting there in my chair as stiff as one of those brushes you use to wash dishes, she notes it and says: “just write.”

that’s kind of what i’m doing right now. welcome to my stream of consciousness.

i haven’t changed my profile picture in a couple of months and i’m like wow i should really do that but i also should do the wreck beach stairs. hahahahahaha. i ate a bag of skittles and linkz last week. not meal shaming or anything. junk food is G R E A T for the soul, but then i just end of lying there like a dead fish with a mouth and i’m just like:

these flex dollars on my meal plan are really not a good idea. i mean they just enable me to buy all this junk food. FREEDOM OF CHOICE WAS BAD I AM NOT READY. SOMEONE PLEASE BRING ME VEGETABLES BEFORE I TURN INTO A SOUR PATCH KID.


academics wise:

i dropped two courses and picked up one. five course would’ve sent me packing i swear.

i was gonna blog about this whole ordeal and title it ‘drop it like it’s hot’ and how i had an epiphany about the whole thing about how this is my degree and i should really do it the way i want to, but alas, that idea kind of fell out of the canoe.

i was in a canoe once. with my parents. it tipped. let’s all picture that.

and i guess what’s on my mind *most* this year, is trying to be a tad more academic than I was last year. by which i really mean a lot more than a tad. but again, this place is just one big learning game in life and we’re going to have those days where we (read: I) end up slipping up and not prioritizing so well.

like last night when I was watching New Girl (which got good again btws. finally. wtf) and The Mindy Project (it was always good) and was supposed to be doing some reflection. hahahahahah. priorities.

this has all been a learning experience in time management for me.

to end this stream of consciousness let me say:

-my water bottle is purple

– i have a whistle on my keys

– yes i’m starting to put spaces after the bullet point, and the first one doesn’t have one. SUE ME.

-sometimes i’m too lazy to go get breakfast so i just make oatmeal with my kettle

– i have a kettle

– i should sleep more

-Viola Davis is on TV now. everyone should watch her wow. yes.

– i haven’t actually watched that show yet. it’s called ‘How to get away with murder’ which sounds like it teaches some useful things(?)

-my cookies are in a crate and barrel jar

– my candle is amber scented wow wow wow

-alt-j launched an new album this week and lights and perfume genius. i suggest all of them. cool. cool.


– I use colgate total rn if anyone’s wondering

– a bieber gif is really a good note to end on

The Deep End

hello, and welcome back to (oh wait I have a new name! Can I still say welcome back?) DAY-OLD MOONSHINE

Lemme start off by giving some background on this name.  It’s been something that has been in the back of my head since I last blogged (lol that was July). There was something that the Possibility Wasteland did not quite fit anymore.

‘The Possibility Wasteland’ was coined by me in grade eleven as the title to a Writing 12 assignment on Procrastination.  The idea behind procrastination is really one of masochism, and so in re-titling my blog, it’s also an attempt at new found respect that I’m trying to have for myself.

‘Day-Old Moonshine’ stems in the idea of something memorable happening in the past, for me.  It may not have been the happiest, or most responsible of times, but within it there lies a truth.  Honesty has always been at the forefront of my beliefs, but I believe this new title breeds an honesty within myself.  It’s looking at my reflection in the moonshine and writing an honest recollection of an event, a story, a thought etc.

Tangent: they totally had moonshine at this one party I went to when I was like 17. I left early because people started almost projectile vomiting after it. GOOD TIIIIIMES.

Anyway, rolling with this post. Hi. Welcome. First week is almost over.  Alas, those AMS first week wristbands will be thrown away. WHAT A SHAME.

I’d like to highlight the time at which I am writing this btws.  It is: 2:31AM.

I can safely say my mom will call me tomorrow expressing deep concern for my overall well-being, so this is my shoutout to her: Hi, I love you.

Someone tampered with the fire alarm on my floor and it made a really awesome chirping sound that woke up my whole floor. Of course it was my job to get up and go deal with this. (insert painting nails emoji here, or something else to express my passive aggression for whoever did this…)

Anyway, I was lying awake and I could’t sleep and well, my laptop was close, and my brain has been doing hoola-hoops since the alarm started chirping.

We’re going to get to my point before this whole post ends up being one giant ramble.  It’s titled ‘The Deep End’ because:
a) it’s an awesome Hannah Georgas’ track
b) that’s kind of how I’m feeling. (Like I’ve been thrown in the deep end)

I’ve been running with this analogy for my life since I walked into my Sociology 312 today and was welcomed by the prof that was NOT the one I was expecting. The one who was supposed to be teaching it was my favourite prof ever.

It’s like expecting a heated pool, but being thrown in the ocean.  Even the taste is a little bit different.

The reason I’m writing this, though, is to extend an arm out to anyone else feeling thrown into the deep end right now. It’s a cold place that we might not have expected, but we are still able to swim.

And, with that thought, I’m going to TRY to go to bed. I wish you all sweet dreams, sweet mornings, sweet afternoons, sweet evenings, and sweet twilights. (Or if sweets aren’t your thing, then I wish you salty or acidic or whatever taste you prefer). We will chat more soon.


New York Realities

June 18th

It’s sometime past 6:30AM, and my sister wakes me with a soft knock on the dark wooden door.

Perhaps my reaction is a tad delayed in the fact that I am in fact going into New York city today, as I lie in bed for another five minutes or so, something I do when I’m at home and avoiding the moral call to get ready for work.

I shower with a bar of Aveda soap, and a travel-sized tube of St. Ives apricot scrub.  It’s not until after I get out of the shower that I realize that I didn’t wash my armpits.  The second round in the shower makes me confront my excitement for the day ahead.

I eat a bowl of multigrain cheerios in what is the immaculate kitchen of this Katonah, NY dream house.  I’m a far cry from the still of Breakfast at Tiffany’s I have on my bedroom wall at home, but perhaps that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I sip a coffee that seems a tad better than the one Miss Golightly holds.

We enter White Plains, NY and I’m greeted by the greatest mall in the area: Westchester Mall. It’s a Wednesday morning, and arriving upon opening brings me stares from the mall employees. I always hate the first customers of the day, too.

It’s a cornucopia of American stores: Gap, Banana Republic, American Eagle, American Apparel, Starbucks, Urban Outfitters. It’s like I’m home again.

Urban Outfitters ends up being my only place of success, which is something of a surprise to me, but perhaps my high-standards are somewhat lowered in the face of two-dollar Girls calendars and ten-dollar BDG hoodies.

In my two hours, I’ve tried on more clothes than I have in a whole year, across the mall.  I never try things on, but in the spirit of killing time, I indulge myself.

I walk up to my sister’s hair salon, and arrive a tad early. I’m greeted by her colourist, who informs me that I must go to “The Village.” I nod my head like he has just told me the secret to happiness, but inside my head there’s not a whole lot going on. The only village I know of is this really try-hard section of Park Royal with a Whole Foods and a Tommy Bahama’s.


We drive into the city, and I try to capture moments of the George Washington bridge as we drive by it.  Sadly, there’s a lot of dashboard in these shots.


Ultraviolence plays the whole way into the city, with “Brooklyn Baby” played on repeat a couple of times.  I don’t think I’ll ever be this close to Brooklyn with the lyrics of Lana this fresh in my head.

The day seems like a dream.

We park somewhere in a garage somewhere down an avenue that is in the forties. I watch the silver Jeep go up a lift, before I enter the humidity and hostility that is the air of New York City.

If there’s something to be said about this city, it’s that it’s alive. There is life every single place you look, there are people every single place you look. I can’t stop looking around as we dart through the people, only stopping when the light is truly red. It’s lunch time now, and the line-ups for food trucks are as big as they seem on The Food Network.  My mind is on so many things, except where our end point could be.

Stop. We’re going the wrong way.

Turn around, dart faster, faster.

DangI am never doing NYC with a triathlon runner again,  I think.

She darts into a building about five minutes later, and I chase after her striped dress, the door almost hitting me on the way in.

We’re at a show. The show has just started, but they still give us tickets. We rush up flights of stairs to our seats. It all starts to hit me that this is all really happening, and I’m about to see Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, and Marisa Tomei in about thirty seconds. My sister remembered me briefly mentioning it, and totally surprised me! The show, The Realistic Joneses, takes just over an hour, critiquing human socialization, with a dark comedic edge.


It was one of the coolest shows I’ve seen, mostly because I haven’t watched anything like it before.

We’re ushered down the opposite spiral staircase to the street, and I sheepishly sneak my way back in to find a ‘restroom’ as the American’s call it.

We wander through Times Square, and I’m greeted by what is the biggest H&M I have ever seen, and a Gap that had a lot of the same stuff that my store had at home (ah, corporations.)


By this time, we’re reminded that our last substance was a package of mini-biscotti-esque cookies, and a lukewarm bottle of water.

We head to an area called Hell’s Kitchen, and head into a place called Mercato, as recommended by her colourist. It’s all very hip, and cute, with some patrons fawning over the World Cup near the bar. I don’t really taste the food as I shovel it down, but perhaps the point of this meal is the presence of my sister’s smile across the table from me.

We head towards Greenwich Village, taking the Subway.  It’s a far-cry from the Canada Line, as their turnstiles actually work.  Getting off near NYU, we walk to the Village, which falls short of the shopping I was promised.  I see various stalls with vendors, a Chipotle, and a schwack of piercing places on the same block. Although tempting to add to my body mods while I’m away, I decide to save a sweet sixteen-esque, impulse piercing for another day.


We head for SoHo, walking by cool stores like Rag & Bone, and Brooklyn Industries on the way.  In SoHo, I’m greeted by familiar stores like Zara, and Converse.  Dean & DeLuca catches my eye, and I’m reminded of that moment in The Devil Wears Prada where they name-drop D&D for their pricetag of almost $8 per strawberry.

We subway back to somewhere near the forty-something avenue where the Jeep is, as it’s starting to hit dusk, and we’re both tired.

It’s been quite the day for me, walking through this city of dreams and dashed stars.  I get to play Lana in the dark, as my sister drives back up-state.

You’re crazy for me, croons Lana in the outro to “Cruel World,” and honestly that couldn’t sum up my feelings for this city more. I am crazy for it.


I say a quick goodnight to my sister, and brother-in-law, once we arrive, and hear the echo of my patter on the hardwood, as I walk to my room.

I shut the dark hardwood door softly and wince in pain for a moment, as I look down at my right foot.

A small blister has decided to emerge on my pinkie toe after the day’s events.

There it is: my crown.

Derrick Gravener: Honorary New Yorker, for a day.