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My latest freelance gig: I’m a Late Night TV Talk Show columnist

The life of a freelance writer is a precarious one. Most days we don’t know where our next paycheque is coming from, and we’re constantly chasing up money we are due from unresponsive accounts payable departments! It’s a lot of pitching, a lot of rejection, and trying over and over again. I’ve been lucky over the years to be able to live off of my writing whilst being awarded some generous artistic awards to keep me going in the lean months, but having a steady gig (short of becoming a staff writer) is the dream of every writer slugging it out in the fields.

Luck struck me a few weeks ago and I haven’t really said anything because it’s all still so new, but I recently signed the contract so I guess I can say a word or two here: I’m now a regular freelancer for eTalk! For those outside of Canada, eTalk is a massive entertainment news show that covers everything from the Oscars red carpet to movie premieres and everyday celebrity hot takes. They also have an online magazine named The Loop, and recently they took me on to be their new Late Night TV Talk Show columnist!

Yes, that means I get paid to watch lots of Late Night Talk Shows and write about all the fun, buzzworthy, wacky things that happen! Not too shabby. I officially can’t complain.

Even though I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, I’ve already amassed a massive catalogue of articles under my column, so it would be too much to link them all here. But you’re in luck – click here to visit my official dot com and view a scrolling gallery of all of my published pieces thus far AND to click on the ones you want to read!

So far I’ve been able to reveal breaking news about a possible Friends reunion, recap all of Kanye’s wacky antics, dish on ScarJo’s engagement party rules, watch Demi Moore dunk on Bruce Willis, and gasp at Jessica Biel throwing shade at *NSYNC.

Clicks are appreciated, so please follow me on Twitter to read my regular daily doses as they are published hot off the press.

Fanks for the support, munchkins! And as always, don’t forget to visit Christine Estima dot com to read more of all my published short stories, essays, op-ed, columns, and reportage!


The 2018 Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism: I’m A Nominee!

Today has been an interesting day to say the least.

I started the day with a heart-swell: my editor at The Globe and Mail forwarded me some delightful and lovely readers comments they had received on my essay that was published the other day. (Fanks for reading, everyone!) So that was a shot in the arm.

Then I received notification that I’ve been nominated for the 2018 Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism.

Wait . . . say that again? What?

WHAT!

The $10,000 prize celebrates the journalistic contributions by independent writers who have researched and examined some of the more pressing and timely issues of the day. And, apparently, this essay of mine that was published in The Walrus is the kind of stuff they’re jonesing for.

That piece — of which I am hugely proud, and was a joy to write (high-five to my editor!) —  detailed my experience of developing a roll of film I found on the curb and then searching for the lost photographer.

Cool, cool.

But have you seen the other 9 nominees for this award? THEY’RE JOURNALISTIC HEAVYWEIGHTS. We’ve got Justin Ling (I started reading every word he published when we were both writing for VICE), Stephen Marche (I loved his first novel, and even gushed to him about it at his book launch at Hart House . . . like a psychopath), Kamal Al-Solaylee (true story: I cited much of his stuff in my Masters thesis), and even the guy who won the award last year! I mean, come on! I am indeed in excellent company and I am huge fans of all the other nominee’s work. I’m honoured to be named amongst them!

They say it’s an honour just to be nominated.

Fam, lemme tell ya, I’m just honoured they even know who the hell I am. Do you know how many pieces The Walrus publishes each year? Scores! I have no idea how my wee lil’ longform essay struck their fancy above everything else the award committee had to consider, but I am eternally humbled, delighted, pleased, obliged, and I may or may not have happy-cried a few times (Don’t tell anyone, I have a reputation to keep).

I’ve never been nominated for an award that I didn’t apply for myself. So this is new territory for me. I’ve always felt like an outsider in the Canadian writing community (It’s full of white men, and I’m a woman and an ethno-cultural minority. Many doors were slammed in my face because editors didn’t think my stories would resonate with – you guessed it – white men). So to be recognised in this manner is hugely meaningful to me.

Maybe I’ll win, maybe I won’t. But lemme tell ya — ya homegirl already feels like a winner.

One final note – today ended on a high-note as well. After every joyful thing that transpired today, I went grocery shopping, and this guy walks up to me in the chocolate aisle (as you do) and asks, “Is your name Christine?”

“Yeahhhhh,” I said tentatively.

“I follow you on Twitter, I read all of your stuff.”

…Pause for the length of the Old Testament…

“Wait. Have we ever met before?”

“No, I just really like your stuff. I follow you on Twitter and Instagram and I read everything you write.”

Guys, if ever there was a day to feel sassy, today was that day.

Fanks for all the support, my munchkins. I will keep you updated as things develop!

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works!


#NilsFrahm live in Toronto: A fangirl review


My beloved Berlin pianist Nils Frahm played a sold-out show in Toronto a few days ago, and I was lucky enough not only to grab a ticket, but after the first song Says, he invited us to sit on the stage with him, so I was literally sitting at his feet as he played, a mere metre away. This is the fifth time I’ve seen him live in just over a year, previously I’d seen him in Cologne, twice in Copenhagen, and also Berlin. When you watch him live, you become entranced by his fingers and his arm muscles which seem to be moving faster than your eyes or your camera lens can see. Notice in the pic above how my camera can’t even keep up with his hands. He plays three pianos at once and pulls this amazing orgasm face when he gets really into it.

You heard me.

Anyway, after the show, I told him it was my fifth time seeing him, and he was like, whaaaaaaaaaaaat? I told him I even saw him in that play he did in Copenhagen earlier this year. And he was like, you’re here now? I said I just returned a month ago, and he was like, you never said hello after the other shows! He was delightful and I was a total fan girl. He’s adorbs and I want to fold him up and take him with me everywhere in my pocket…. or something.

Anyway, enjoy my pics from the show. I WAS SO CLOSE, YOU GUYS.


The toilet brushes were the best part.


#FirstDates: That’s a wrap!


As I previously blogged, the second season of First Dates has come to an end, and the entire cast was on hand this past weekend to celebrate it in full-London style at Café de Paris in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. It was such a trip to have been cast in this television show. I found out recently that over 14,000 people applied to be on the show this year, and I was one of 50-some-odd people to make the final cast. That really is humbling. And also, a small source of pride:)

Here are some photos of me bonding with the rest of the cast from the omni-shambolic clusterfuck that was the all-night Wrap Party! In the above photo, it’s me and my harem of bearded men. Jonathan, Ralph, my date Paul, and Steve. I’m sure all of you have already seen my episode (the premiere episode, of course!), but if you want to see the rest of the series starring these lovely lads, be sure to watch them on 4oD!

Me and date Paul. You see, people? Despite what some audiences thought when they watched our date, Paul and I actually got on like gang-busters. We are great mates and we have nothing but love and high-fives for each other. I’m not gonna lie, throughout the wrap party, there may or may not have been some crotch-grabbing on our parts. YOU HEARD ME.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a party unless Paul and Steve rubbed their beards ALL UP IN MY GRILL.

Here’s Mo (who was also in the premiere episode with me) and Corinne, who was featured in 3 episodes and, memorably, was reduced to tears by the infamous Rajan. Mo is such a great guy, we had such a great time getting to know each other at the party. We’re both Middle Eastern so having this experience was important to us, to show that not all Arabs are terrorists! We can be LUVAS too, ya know. As for Corinne, there was a bit of drama at the party, which I won’t get into here, so that’s probably why in this and the below photo, she’s pulling quite odd and awkward faces.

Uh…. yeah.


Back to the party! There’s Chloe, who also was featured in the premiere episode with me. Remember her dog Bentley? Aw bless. The doggie stole the show.


And there’s Saniya. Who could ever forget her hilarious comment about Mo and, uh, spaghetti. I’m still not sure I understand it.

SNOGGING STEVE. My life is complete.

Sarah Jayne, as you’ll remember from the First Dates commercial, was looking for her Prince Charming. Jonathan, the Alan Carr doppleganger, was on the hunt for a more ‘seasoned’ lady. They were such fun at the party 🙂

And that’s a wrap, people! Thank you for watching and for your support! It was quite  an unforgettable experience, and it reminded me that life is always full of surprises, as long as you keep allowing them in. There is never, ever, any excuse in this life to be bored. This chapter is closed. Onto the next!

And let me tell you, from what I’ve got planned, the next chapter in my life is going to be something else.

Just you wait.


Calling all Feminists!

I decided to perform another spoken word piece at Spark London tonight. The theme was “fame” so I thought I’d speak about a lil’ reality TV show I once was cast in. Enjoy!

You might remember the last time I did a spoken word piece: that was much more sombre and solemn. This is more upbeat, if a tad on the “how pathetic, but I can laugh at myself” side.

Lots of people came up to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed my piece, and then the organizers of a curated spoken word event, also run by Spark London, invited me to speak at their next event! Which is so kind of them. Yay!

BectvlFIYAAB7ZI

In addition, I have more good news to report! I have been invited to lecture at the 5th Global Conference on Storytelling, to be held in May in Lisbon, Portugal! This is really exciting because almost all of the other lecturers invited to this event are affiliated with a university (Professors or PhD researchers). I am unaffiliated, I’m just a gal who wrote an academic paper that the organizers enjoyed. So if any of you little munchkins are planning on being in Lisbon (and you should, Lisbon in the month of May is quite delightful), please do come and watch me flex my academic vernacular as far as it can stretch.

I’m debating whether I should fly to Lisbon, or just take the train . . . or . . . ACADEMIC ROAD TRIP!

So many projects are in the works . . . fellowships, funding, publications, and some top-secret stuff that I really want to share with all of you but I’m sworn to secrecy! Can’t wait for these projects to come to fruition and I can finally talk about them! But, in the meantime, I send you fanks for all the support, my delicious munchkins.

Life is unfolding the way it should. It’s a my-future’s-so-bright-I-gotta-wear-shades type dealie. You better stand back, cuz the woman I’m going to be is something fierce.


Bird on a Wire

Adam invited me to his concert with his band A Winged Victory for the Sullen in London last night.

During their set, I started weeping like the moron that I am.

SCHEXY.

Douglas Dare was the opener. I saw him live this summer and fell in love with the song Scars, which I recorded live last night (see above video).

He’s just a kid, like 22 years old or something like that, but his talent leaves no room for childlike comparisons.

Adam introduced the new music. Humbly thanking the sold-out crowd for coming, he then apologized for their rusty live set. D’aww.


Looking goooood, Dustin.

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m living back in London now?

 


A Symphony Pathetique

A testament to how strange and wonderfully sync’d life can be sometimes:

Remember last month when I asked if anyone could put me in touch with the band A Winged Victory For The Sullen? (Read that blog post here). Well, as these pictures can attest to, currently playing an aria on my piano is none other than Sir Adam Wiltzie of A Winged Victory For The Sullen.

The band makes house calls!

We exchanged music for a dip in the pool. Hence the reason he’s shirtless and in swimming trunks.

I lead a charmed/strange life.


Set your faces to stun

20121105-232234.jpg

I can feel LaForge.

(Ps follow me on twitter, he does.)


The Madonna Tour of New York

Among many of my things to-do whilst in New York, one of them was The Madonna Tour of New York. This isn’t something that is organized and run by official tour guides. This is something I fashioned myself using Google. I’ve always been really inspired by Madonna’s life. Her music, I can take it or leave it, but I find her struggle for success really inspiring. Unlike most celebrities today who are famous through nepotism or for nefarious acts, Madonna made her own life. She arrived in New York with no money, knowing next to no one, and was even sexually assaulted. She squatted in buildings and barely scraped by for 5 years in New York, until she finally got that record deal in the early 1980s. So I’m not particularly interested in the Madonna of now, more of the Madonna from the late 70s. Every year or so, I reread Andrew Morton’s biography about her (which I bought 10 years ago in a second-hand bookstore for $3) and it really gives me a kick in the pants to do more with my life. To be more ambitious and driven.

Anyway, Morton’s book is so detailed about the places and people in her life in the late 70s that I realized I could actually (probably) find these places and meet these people whilst there. So after scouring the book once more for precise details, I set about fashioning my own Madonna tour of New York… one that visited most of the places that were a part of her tapestry. I also contacted one very important person from her life at that time (more on that later…)

First stop, the synagogue in Queens.


In the late 70s, Madonna met the Gilroy brothers, Dan and Ed. They were musicians in a band and she was still a dancer at this point. She began a relationship with Dan and promptly moved in with him and Ed. Dan and Ed at the time were living in this above synagogue deep in the heart of Corona, Queens.

You can tell just by looking at it’s size and architecture that it was built sometime in the early 1900s and was converted into a house probably in the 1960s after falling into disrepair and disuse by the Jewish community.

Ed Gilroy and his wife still live in this synagogue actually, but weren’t there when I visited, so I left a lil’ hello note in their mailbox. When Andrew Morton visited this synagogue, Ed took him down to the basement where 30 years prior, Dan had taught Madonna how to play the drums. She had been a drummer in their band The Breakfast Club before becoming the guitarist…. and finally wanting to take the front position. Also, in the basement, are reel-to-reel recordings they made back then of Madonna singing and playing, of her chatting with Dan and Ed playfully …. it’s like a time machine back to the 70s and of her unfamous life, Morton wrote.

Standing here, I was imagining a young black-haired skinny Madonna, younger than I am now, bounding down these steps and heading for the subway to go into Manhattan, taking the exact same steps I had taken to get there by subway….. it was a pretty connecting and exciting thought.

Next stop …. The Russian Tea Room in Manhattan

When Madonna first arrived in New York in the late 70s and was still a dancer, her dancing instructor (Pearl Lang) worried about how thin she was and how she was getting by, so she got Madonna a job at The Russian Tea Room on 57th. Now from all the sources I have read, she was a “hat check” girl there in the late 70s before getting fired. But I walked inside the TRTR and asked the hostess, and she said Madonna was a “coat check” girl in the early 80s. So I’m not sure which is correct, but either way, the hostess confirmed that yes, Madonna worked there.

Next stop …. The Music Building on the shitty west side.

The Music Building is an infamous shitty building on 8th avenue in the shitty “Minnesota Strip” part of Manhattan that, in the early 80s, must have been 100x worse. Drugs, violence, crime, and then this towering inferno, floor after floor, of disgusting sweaty, smelly wannabe rock n’ roll superstars jamming all hours into the night, spilling out into the street.

This is also where Madonna recorded her first demos and met her first manager, Camille Barbone.

Madonna used to actually squat illegally in the music building and wash herself in the ladies loo. Fab Five Freddy once said that when he met Madonna, she smelled so bad and it seemed like she was the type to get around, hahaha. Anyway, I tried to go inside but the doors were locked (you need a fob key to get in) and I didn’t have an appointment (which you also need if you want to look around).

But I looked up and knew that inside one of those windows was the studio where Madonna and Steven Bray put the finishing touches on Everybody…

Next stop, 30 West 21st street, which now is a very gentrified and beautiful area, but 30 years ago it was …

…where Danceteria used to be. Danceteria was the club where Madonna passed her demo tape to Mark Kamins (the DJ there, and sometime A & R rep, who briefly became her boyfriend) who then passed it on to Seymour Stein, head of Sire Records, who was laid up in the hospital after heart surgery and told Kamins to bring Madonna to him in the ward. Danceteria is also where Madonna had her first live performance of Everybody, and where she recorded her very first music video (Everybody).

Next two stops were the former locations of Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s, where Madonna and her early band Emmy played some of their first gigs. Emmy was actually Madonna’s nickname when she was younger so the band adopted it as their name. I have found some of Emmy’s recordings online, and I think my favourite is “Little Boy Lost.” It’s very punk-influenced and Madonna’s voice is so pure in it. She strains to hit some notes, but that’s what I love about it, she’s putting so much heart into it. Now they’d auto-tune out all her strain, which really is a sad thing. On “Little Boy Lost” you get to hear her voice unfiltered by subsequent technique and lessons. She had a lovely voice then, now it kind of sucks. When the critics in the 80s called her voice like “Minnie Mouse on helium” I think that really struck a chord with her and she has since tried to lower her octave (listen how deep she goes on “Papa Don’t Preach.”). But I kind of miss her spritely, natural voice.

CBGBs only officially closed in 2006…. and I made my first ever NYC visit in 2007 so I missed it completely, but luckily the dude who took over the space and turned it into a shop kept most of the memorabillia around.

The walls were never painted over. This wall and space was almost right behind the former bar.

Now, as promised, here’s the story of the person I contacted …..

Through a lot of online digging and sleuthing, I found the mailing address of Dan Gilroy, Madonna’s former boyfriend (mentioned above in the synagogue section), and also the man who taught her how to play the drums and guitar…. and basically how to make music.

So I wrote him a hand-written letter a few weeks before I arrived in NYC, basically asking him if he would be okay meeting up with me for a cuppa and a chat.

I figured that by the time he got my snail-mail letter, I’d already be in NYC, so I gave him my email address as a reply method, and kept my fingers crossed.

Whilst in NYC, I received an email from him! He said he was now living in Texas (my letter had been forwarded to him there, so the mailing address I had found was technically wrong) so we couldn’t meet. I won’t include all of his letter here, for privacy reasons of course, but here are some select lines:

“… i enjoyed your letter. you’re a smart and upbeat writer. smarts and upbeatedness don’t get together all that often. ….
i really don’t get asked much about way back when (ed’s note, he means his time with madonna); i don’t mind when i am but unless something like the r&r hall of fame induction happens, where she made a nice personal reference to back then ( ed’s note: when she was inducted in the rock and roll hall of fame, she thanked him and ed gilroy), or the super bowl show and all the fanfare and attendant curiosity, it’s fairly here and now around here...
 
       …I’m guessing i don’t have to tell you to have a great and fun trip. keep that writing thing happening, Christine   -dan  “

He’s so kind!!! His letter was so generous and giving, he didn’t even have to write me back at all, so I was so grateful for his response. If that man wasn’t like 60 years old, I’d be all up in his grill.

So there you have it, that was my own personal Madonna tour of New York.

I would highly recommend it:)

Madonna once said that what you do in life, and how far you go, depends on how hungry you are.

I’m starving.


It’s a Twitter Miracle! Starring Eric McCormack & Christine Estima as herself

i should have known those two would be friends! ah LeVar, every time we interact, it gives me a lil tingle on the inside.

And this, my friends, is why you should all be on Twitter.

New York is such an amazing place. One where you can have lame Adrian Grenier hang times one week, and then amazing Eric McCormack hang times the next week.

Alright, I am officially celebrity-hang-timed-out. Leave me alone, famous people. NO PICTURES!

*CoughYeahRightNeverLeaveMeCough*


I hung out with Adrian Grenier last night and he is lame. The Full Story:

I am no stranger to meeting celebrities. When I was a music critic, I had to interview them constantly. And it is not unknown for one or two notable personalities to float amongst my social circle back in Toronto. So meeting celebs never fazes me. However, last night I had an experience which is probably on par with my worst celeb encounter ever  (the awful day of Jared Leto back in 2005 which you can read about here …. fuck I’ve been blogging for a long time). Last night I met Adrian Grenier who (unlike the celebs I know who are kind and gracious and giving) was incredibly lame and a boner-killer.

You heard it here first.

Adrian Grenier: When horses are this lame, they shoot ’em.

Me and my friend Sidonie* (*not her real name, obviously. Changed to protect her privacy) were walking down East Houston Street last night around 11pm when we turn a corner and come face to face with Adrian Grenier who flashes us his brilliant smile. I recognize him immediately. Sidonie does not. We keep walking a few paces, but I quickly turn on my heel and call out to him before he disappears around a corner, “I love Entourage!”

I have never seen an episode of Entourage in my life.

The only thing I’ve ever seen him in is that fantastically manufactured movie from the 90s with Melissa Joan Hart, and the subsequent Britney Spears music video that accompanied.

He motions me and Sidonie over, holds up a 6-pack of Buds, and says, “We’re going to drink these and celebrate 4th of July on a rooftop, wanna join us?”

I say back, “I ain’t gonna say no!”

 

He introduces us to his two friends with him, John and Noah. They all went to high school together, and they all live in New York, but for whatever reason, they never see each other. Probably because Grenier travels a lot for work. He said he was just in Michigan and before that Ohio. I am blown over by the glitz and glamour.

We walk back down Houston to the Red Square building. That’s exactly what it’s called. Sidonie and I had walked by it earlier and I had commented that, with a name like that, it must be like living in Communist Russia.

We get to the roof, and there’s a huge statue of Lenin up there. So yeah…. Russian.

Sidonie asks to use the loo, and by using such terminology, it makes Grenier comment that “his lady” is also British and he has had to get used to British-isms.

And that is the most he said all night. He is completely out of it, and, we later realize, absolutely stoned. John and Noah tell us about their night at some bar where a naked woman fed them cheese (that’s definitely a stoned story), and then they whip out a bong and each take a hit. Both Sidonie and I decline the bong, especially after all three of them cough and hack like it’s the strongest shit ever.

We start to talk about Canada, about living in New York, about travelling, about Asians (don’t ask), and we start to see some fireworks out in the distance from Brooklyn to which we oooh and ahhhh. Sidonie and I are driving the conversation forward each time, throwing our best gems at them all night, trying to get them to at least talk to us. John and Noah, bless ’em, were very obliging and entertaining.

Grenier is not. He doesn’t really engage us in conversation, apart from the odd remark. He can barely make eye contact. He plays a song from his phone so that we have background noise, but other than shifting from one foot to the other, really doesn’t say much. John and Noah do all the entertaining, and frankly, are more deserving of any fanfare  that Grenier garners.

It’s really windy on the roof, which I am enjoying after the sweltering day on the streets of Greenpoint photographing graffiti. But Grenier is totally not feeling it. He comments several times how he doesn’t like the wind because it’s messing his shaggy hair, nor does he like the roof because there is no seating up there. (It’s literally just a rooftop with a railing …. and Lenin).

So Sidonie, John, Noah and I push on with our conversation. We are laughing a lot and slowly getting to know these guys. They are teachers and playwrights, and occasionally direct shows for HBO with Grenier.  I’m actually beginning to forget Grenier is even there. But after 45 minutes of pleasantries and chatting amongst ourselves, Grenier suddenly opens his mouth to speak. We collectively hold our breath, waiting for the wisdom and gems to fall from his lips like rain, and wash down upon us in a shimmering glow of enlightenment:

“I want tacos.”

Thanks you, Obi Wan.

At that, we follow him back down to street level and walk across Houston and into Soho to a place called Taquiera on Orchard street. The place is rammed and we feel like a two groupie sheep following this hungry, stoned boy into a joint to satisfy his munchies.

It’s painfully obvious by this point that Grenier only invited us along in the first place because he wanted filler for his (pardon the pun) entourage.

Sidonie and I quickly decide this isn’t for us, and we walk over to him to say our goodbyes. We thank him for a lovely encounter (lie), and congratulate him on his success. He says he is currently making a movie right now but isn’t at liberty to say which one (that’s great, but no one asked). He makes mention that he would love to work with Natalie Portman one day (um. okay.) Sidonie then asks innocently if she can take a photo with him.

He replies, “I’d rather not because I’m really stoned.”

Cue eyeroll.

We each give him an insincere hug, then make a swift exit, leaving him and his stoner entourage to find some other brown-nosers for ego-inflation.

Back out on Houston, Sidonie and I just look at each like we need a defibrillator.

Maybe it’s because we’re Canadian… maybe it’s because we are accustomed to the celebs we know to be gracious and kind …. maybe it’s because it’s exciting New York …. for any/ all of these reasons, we were simply unmoved by the whole experience.  A great reminder that celebrities, like other humans, are just as prone to being uninteresting and boring as the rest of us.

An epiphany that is only to be found in a place like New York.


Justin Bieber and I are doing the nasty


i stupidly tweeted this on saturday night.


which resulted in this guy (the one with over 21,000,000 followers) retweeting me.


see?

(click to enlarge)

….and because of this, it resulted in me being bombarded by those fucking Beliebers. I could not keep up with the thousands of Belieber tweets, RTs, favourites, and follows being directed my way PER SECOND, that STILL hasn’t properly let up yet. Now my twitter feed stinks of the most horrifying thing in the world — puberty. I wouldn’t wish this kind of attention on any other 31 year old woman.  He’s a 16 year old boy! What the fuck does he know about anything, other than X-box and masturbation? So why do SO MANY Beliebers treat him like a religious experience? He looks like a moderately powerful pokemon. He’s only famous because he repeated the word BABY more than any other human being in a 3 minute period…. like an autistic child in a maternity ward. That’s not musical talent, that’s a mental illness.

AND his voice sounds like a fox fucking a bagpipe.

Those Beliebers are TERRIFYING! They look like the sort of people you’d find in a Maury Povich holding pen. I betcha if Justin told them to go fuck themselves, they’d give it a shot.

Now from what the Beliebers tell me, there are millions of girls who would kill to get an RT from Justin…. like I should be grateful that I was noticed by a boy who was a ZYGOTE when i was in junior high. If that’s true, then millions of girls need to aspire to greater things in life.

Look Justin, fanks for the RT and all, but you have cursed me with the burden of your crazy hormonal tween fans who would kick the face off a badger to get your attention …  and by extension, now my attention.

I will never buy your music, nor will I go to one of your concerts. The only thing that would ruin a Justin Bieber concert would be if my gun jammed.


Shepard Fairey thinks I have Klout!

i’ve never been sure how much stock to put into Klout. if you’re not aware, Klout measures your online influence. how do they measure it? ….errm…. well that’s part of Klout’s controversy. no one can really figure out what they’re basing it on (some secret algorithm), and when people’s Klout score suddenly drops 20 points, their measuring system can be seen as rather arbitrary.

i don’t take my score too seriously, but i do enjoy it since Klout has awarded me some free perks, and because of it i ended up being named one of Toronto’s Top Tweeters.

but anyhoo, i log in to my klout account yesterday to find that DA MAN
aka Obey
aka Andre The Giant Has A Posse
aka Shepard Fairey
aka Obama HOPE poster
aka Exit Through The Gift Shop/Kwik-E Mart
aka dude who got punched out in Denmark for promoting peace
…..yeah, that AMAZEBALLS DUDE that i’ve profiled on this blog so often he has his own dedicated category,

had given ME a +K in GRAFFITI on klout!!!!!!!!

somebody change my shorts.

if you don’t understand the terminology, “+K” is a fun awarding system Klout has set up to allow users to give their peers and people who influence them “klout-points” in a topic the person in knowledgeable about. for example, most people give me +K in the topics of graffiti, toronto, and social media.

as you can see, the +K came from the verified account of Mr Fairey.

i am extremely honoured and humbled to be noticed by one of my favourite street artists. every time i find one of his pieces, i get all giddy and start jumping up and down like a school girl. when i first found one of his Obey stickers on Houston Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan near Alphabet City, I literally started jumping up and down and photographed the sticker a bajillion times. I would later find much more of his work around Manhattan and Brooklyn, and even a few impeccably-untouched and preserved stickers around Toronto!

Anyway, fanks sir!

Ps I’d just like to point out that, currently, my Klout score is higher than Shepard Fairey’s …. that can’t be right. See what I mean about that tricky algorithm?!

Check out my Shepard Fairey category to see more of his work that I’ve photographed!


have a happy birfday MOTHER FUCKER

my birfday clusterfuck was a success! first, it started off with this:

LeVar has always been my homeboy, love that man to bits. Such a nice man and so supportive.

After receiving a whopping 200+ facebook well-wishes and 100+ twitter well-wishes (you guys are the apple of my eye), it was time to make my milkshake bring all the boys to the yard.

aw yeeeeah. blue steel.

andrew is great because he knew next to nobody at this party other than me and quickly became the life of it. he’s pretty chill when it comes to working a room and making everyone lurve him.

i honestly don’t mind getting older, in fact, i rather enjoy it. Life feels more immediate. I’m taking nothing for granted, and i don’t sweat the small stuff.

Yaw is another one of those characters that everyone quickly and easily loves. And he is, as my friend teresa would say, a “4 B.” What’s a 4 B?

NEVER YOU MIND.

I think I am more nervous than I care to admit, because right before the party, I was having a little hissy-girly-wank-fest-fit. I became all cranky and moody because I received like 20 messages from people saying they were bailing on my party. I really need to grow thicker skin and a stiff upper lip. As soon as the room filled with my lovelies, all those ornery thoughts were shoved out of the way.

rob, dave, and trevor are the NEW charlie’s angels … rob can be farrah fawcett. HA!

shasheena brought me a gorgeous orchid! i was in awe of its beauty. i am notoriously horrid with plant-care, i never know how much light or water to give them, but i am going to put in my grade-A effort to keep this wild orchid reaching for the sky.

oh for the love of…

i adore my wife SO HARD. she’s so kind and so giving and so selfless.

and she’s got a butt that won’t quit.

hashtag WINNING.

sacha was clearly looking in the wrong direction when this photo was taken.

aw bless.

i can’t remember exactly what was being said here that i found so hilarious …. but it was clearly hella-funny. maybe we were talking about how my child-bearing years are now over. FUNNY. oh hai brennan!

chris is such a good photographer because he butters you up right before he snaps your photo, and makes you feel beautiful even if you have chocolate cake in your teeth and eye-makeup-goop in the corner of your eye. right before he snapped my pic, he said “christine you don’t have a bad angle, i never have to retouch your photos.” aw shucks, what a manufactured lie, but i will believe anything you tell me as long as it’s a compliment!

go team!

teresa is one of the few people still in my life from high school, i shaved the rest of ’em out years ago. she makes the cut because she’s kind and brave and sweet and is too nice for her own good. her laugh is infectious and she never has a mean thing to say about the people she loves. oh and because she’s known me for so long, not only has she seen me change, she has LET me change. that’s the greatest thing a friend can do.

palm to palm is holy palmers kiss.

andrew and sofi are now each other’s back-up. in ten years time, expect to see little PapDonalds running around.

woah dave! was this taken at my party, or is it your official headshot for Ocean’s 14?

Scarbage high school girls unite! And we bring the street cred. The only people who spend FIVE YEARS in a Scarborough high school and make it out ALIVE are the tough-as-nails ones.

Andrew and Allegra are the new A-team.

see what I did there?

Shannon‘s a talented lass, she is.

Yaw can’t stop attracting da laydeez.

maybe when the timing is right, ashley and yaw will get married and their children will run the country on a platform of red-lipped smiles and huge biceps for everyone.

*this* close to seeing up allegra’s skirt. dammit.

laugh now, but one day, we’ll be in charge.

this photo is all lips and locks.

yes, it’s true. i gave in to peer pressure and took a sip of champagne.

EVERYBODY SHIT THEMSELVES.

This is probably my favourite photo of the night.

i refuse to have a party without hot men peppering the crowd.

“so i says to mable, i says…”

two men and a lil’ lady.

 i supplied my own birfday cake and that sounds kinda sad, but i was rather chuffed with the results. choco cake with almond-milk frosting! i do good work.

reg was so funny. she’s lighting the candles, and  because the match burns her skin, she ends up dropping the candle aflame onto the cake. so to prevent the cake from catching fire, she blows out all the candles. WIFEY STOLE MY BIRFDAY CANDLE WISH!

Porno for pyros.

“happy birfday to meee!”

as many of you know, i am full of hot air.

my mouth is huge.

hey fellas! use your imagination!

one year older, one year wiser.

I had a divine birfday weekend, fanks to all my lovely friends for coming out and blessing me with your presence!

You are the people i admire, i appreciate, i adore, i love …. and that i would (separately, at one time or another) like to smack the shit out of.

see you at next year’s birfday piss-up!

(additional photography by Chris Lukhardt, fanks guy!)


this is what’ll happen if you ain’t giving your girl what she needs

i’ve known phil for a few years now, and his joie-de-vivre never ceases to amaze me! his dancing youtube videos are a testiment to his passion for life (it’s also given him a rockin’ bod!). a few weeks ago, he posted this video in response to ellen degeneres’ dancing challenge. it has since made the rounds around the toronto webernet, everywhere from Spinner to Fuck Yeah Toronto has covered it.

oh, and he got the attention of ELLEN! look, he made it onto her show! BIG PHILLY STYLES!!

of course, phil dancing on the subway is my all-time favourite video of his. sure, he’s danced with ke$ha and what not, but ke$ha’s voice sounds like a fox fucking a bagpipe. Kylie is way more fun.

enjoy phil ville! not only will you laugh your sillies out, you’ll be left with nothing but a warm heart.


SOLD!

The Love A Heart event was a massive success! As I blogged about before, I was asked by the wonder-woman event organizer if I’d like to be auctioned off on a date to the highest bidder, with all the money going to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Naturally I said yes, but as the event approached, I slowly began to pass a kidney stone of sheer terror. It’s petrifying asking a crowd of 500-plus people to put a dollar value on your debatable-hotness! Bussey had blogged a few weeks ago that I would, in all likelihood, sell for $170 which I thought was extremely generous.

So how much did I sell for?

$300!!!

If I had been wearing underwear that night, they would have needed changing. (Undies are for quitters).

And who was my top bidder?


Dis guy.

Although technically he shares me with my wifey, but that goes without saying.

Now please enjoy this photogasm which accurately depicts the depravity and kickassery of the night.

No comment.

me, ashley, and sofi shall henceforth be known as the “boob troop.”

shannon and i have devil eyes!

was nice to see george again. we had a quick catch-up. he sold for $800, which i assumed would have been the top bid of the night. out of nowhere, ryan-gosling-esque Kerry pulls a $1025!! bless his heart, he then matched the bid.

if only all the hosers we knew in highschool back in scarbage could see us now

OMG IS THAT LEN?!! that’s what i was thinking the entire night, dude never comes out! it takes a lot to get him excited about events. he was also my saviour, basically talking me off a ledge for the past two weeks. i was genuinely shitting myself for this event, but he was coo’ing in my BBM ear to just have a laugh and remember it’s for charity (with extra shits n’ giggles). totally worked!

although after i got off stage, my adrenaline suddenly drained, and vicki needed to haul me outside for a quick breather, as i had a wee lil’ panic attack.

did i mention i stayed in a hotel that night? look at me, i’m adult-y.

view of the ROM. years and years ago, i worked as a tour guide on those hop-on-hop-off double decker buses for tourists, and when we’d drive by the ROM (which was still under reconstruction at the time), i used to say this joke to squeeze more tips outta the gullible americans:

and now we’re going by the Royal Ontario Museum, or the ROM as we like to call it. now as you can see, it’s still under reconstruction, but as you all know… ROM wasn’t built in a day.”

wocka wocka wocka.

i also once worked at the Royal Conservatory of Music….. for one day. i quit that job by the stroke of 5pm.

they were filming some movie or tv show at Varsity Stadium. probably one of those crap canadian tv shows like Being Erica or Flashpoint. (ps sorry to all my actor/director/writer friends who are employed on said-shows. i wuv yoos guise).

annnnnd…. scene.


a massive erection


golden globes, sag awards, oscars… it will never end. if celebrities stop publicly congratulating each other, then the earth wins.

now let’s take a solemn moment to remember some of the stars of showbiz who sadly ARE STILL WITH US.

… and the award for special effects goes to the team behind Stephen Harper’s smile.


Just Lucky I Guess

Click the above image to read the latest column by SexyTypewriter (who happens to be one of my besties!) in The Toronto Sun. She gives me a wee shout-out in the middle of it.

“My friend Christine has a can’t-miss retort. When asked why she’s still single, she sweetly responds with, “Just lucky, I guess.”

LIKE A BOSS.


Rapist Hipster Glasses!

my first night back in New York Shitty, and before i even have time to unpack, change clothes, or scream at the taxi cabs “heyyyy! i’m walkin’ here!” i get invited to a house party in williamsburg, brooklyn. my reputation precedes me!

many of you know that williamsburg is basically where hipsters go to die, and you would be correct. it’s like a breeding ground for nihilistic but stylish pretentious hosers who love their pabst blue ribbon, ironic ugly sweaters, and dub-step remixes of Foster The People.

I FELT RIGHT AT HOME.

my british husband (even though he doesn’t know it yet) Pete tweeted me last night, “Williamsburg: easily my favourite place ever. Like never-never land, but with fewer grown ups and more sailor tats.” Again, harsh but oh-so accurate.

But I think my favourite hipster attribute has to be the rapist glasses.

of course, i would never dream of saying that to a hipsters face. but i would, instead, rip those suckers right offa them and try them on myself.

ME! A SEXUAL PREDATOR! ME!!!!!


Exhibit A was taken off of a guy who looked like he had eczema and a problem with prema-ejac. i made a judgement call.

Exhibit B was taken off of the MOST DAPPER HIPSTER EVER whom i’ll introduce you to in a sec. Black, squarish rims with a dash of disdain for popular masculinity.

Exhibit C is probably the best example of Rapist glasses, but I couldn’t get a good angle on them, ’cause this pleasant but all-together smashed dude from Belarus kept clinging to me. Aw. Bless.

Exhibit D for Damn that shit’s nasty as fuck

Exhibit E are just basic reading glasses but I took them off a white guy with JewFro and freckles whom I bet just lovvvves Led Zepplin and reading Aldous Huxley.

That’s my friend Jared on the left. He’s the one who invited me to the party. Interesting story on how we met. Basically, when I was in Brooklyn this past Spring, I made a Couchsurfing request at this girl Miranda’s house. She said yes, but later had to decline because her plans changed and she couldn’t host me anymore. Months later, I get a Facebook message from Jared. He tells me that he lives in Miranda’s house, that he was there when she got my Couchsurfing request and saw my message, and thought that I seemed wicked cool (the man has taste). Anyway, he was bummed when I couldn’t stay there, so he messaged me, ‘Let’s be friends!” and I was all, “Done.” Then when I decided to return to Brooklyn for December, I messaged him and said, “Let’s hang!” and he was all, “Done.”

Instant friends!

Thank you webernet.

That’s Ryan, he’s a concert photographer for Spin Magazine…. As you do. Blame Williamsburg!

Here is the Most Dapper Hipster Ever I mentioned above. Dude is killing me with awesome! The glasses, the horizontal striped tie, the sweet body forming suit. You shoulda seen his shoes. Ironic wing tips with FIRE ENGINE RED SHOE LACES.

and let’s not forget the huge ass bottle of whiskey he’s chugging all to his self.

Okay, I promised you New York graffiti and street art, and that is what I shall photograph next. SWEARSIES.

Off to go find some!! Enjoy the day, guys, they’re now getting longer, so there’s more sunlight to illuminate the hipsters upon your path.


rachel weisz must die

the two of us cannot exist in the same space and time.

I MUST SEEK YOU OUT AND DESTROY YOU.

but look at that face of yours. it’s my face! how can i stay mad at you?

le sigh.

c’mere, gimme lovvvvvvvvvvve.

(ps, your husband shares the same birfday at me. it’s KISMET.)

i once said in a film review that rachel weisz is my personal jesus, and i wasn’t kidding. mostly because i was talking about myself.