"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

contest

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!

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CBC Canada Writes Competition: I made the Long-list!

I have been sitting on this news for A MONTH AND A HALF and haven’t been able to publicly speak about it until now! I’m really great at secret-keeping you guys. Anyway, waaaaaay back in January I submitted a short creative non-fiction piece to the CBC Canada Writes Non-fiction competition. It’s a piece about the time I spent in Sarajevo in 2008. I usually am not a big fan of entering writing contests because submission fees are usually beyond my means and competition is so stiff, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. But this submission fee I could afford, and 2015 has been the Year of Christine’s Hustle (aka I’ve busted my ass to get so many publications this year) so I decided to throw my hat in the ring. Really, my thought process of 2015 has pretty much been just, “Hey Chris, no guts, no glory. So just take a chance, dammit.” And  I am pleasantly surprised by how much the universe is willing to pay out if you just take chances. So imagine my surprise 7 months later when they contacted me to tell me I had made the long-list! They received over ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED submissions in the non-fiction category and I beat them out to land a place on the 32-person long-list!

cbc canada writes

I am so pleased! I’m so chuffed but also so humbled and obliged as well. I was sat in a café when I got the news and suddenly started saying OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD then silly-giddy laughing. Hipsters were staring. You don’t want to incur the wrath-stare of Café-Hipsters.

Later in September they will choose the finalists. If I recall correctly, five writers will receive cash prizes — 4 finalists will receive $1000 and the Grand Prize winner will get $6000 plus publication in enRoute Magazine plus a ten-day residency at The Banff Centre.

Those are pretty suh-weeeet prizes, and let’s not forget that the word-limit for non-fiction this year was only 1500. $6000 for 1500 words, people! That’s A LOT of money, that’s $4 a word! It’s a writer’s dream!

Like I mentioned above, I have busted my hump this year as a writer. I have been hustling and hustling and pitching and pitching and submitting and revising and editing and scrapping and trying and trying again and again. I think the impetus behind the hustle was the previous two years that I spent down-and-out, homeless, and wandering the streets of Europe with an empty bank account and  a bruised ego. It’s only when you have nothing that you realize the world owes you no favours, and you gotta change your situation pronto. The hustle has mostly paid off, and even if I don’t move forward in this competition, I am well-chuffed with the recognition. I’m so pleased I decided to just throw my hat in the ring and see what happens. And above all I’m pleased that the CBC supports the kind of writing I want to do. This recognition is most exciting.

AND, CBC is doing something different this year – they’re profiling all the long-listed writers on their website! They’ve never done that before (methinks?). I had to send them a head-shot and bio and the works! Check me out up in hurrrrrr!!

11892315_10102671560912800_6196360677508117376_o

So most gracious thanks to the CBC Canada Writes peeps for giving me a chance to raise my profile as a writer and for supporting my writing style and voice.  It’s such an honour!

In related news, I have FOUR forthcoming publications with different literary and commercial magazines that I sold earlier this year, so watch this space. I will of course blog the snot out of them when they hit the shelves 🙂

And don’t forget to check out my official website to peruse all of my published works and watch my performances!

NewWEbSite!


Leaving Las London

In two days, on May 1st, I am leaving London permanently. I’ve been living here on-and-off for the past seven years, and it’s finally time to move on. I will spend a couple days in my old stompin’ grounds of Brussels (SO EXCITED) and Amsterdam (ZOMG), and then will spend about a month in Copenhagen before settling in Berlin in June. This route is almost the EXACT same route I took in 2006 when I was backpacking around Europe (I’m skipping Luxembourg… because, ew).

Anyway, I’ve had quite the journey here in London in the last year, and here are my greatest hits! These are experiences that I couldn’t have had anywhere else in the world. They are unique to London, are very London-centric, and I am all the more richer for having been a part of them:

#1 Obviously, being cast in a TV show

I beat out over 14,000 other applicants from across the UK to appear in the massively-popular documentary series First Dates on Channel 4. I was featured in the premiere episode which millions of people tuned in to see, and was also in the commercial advert for the show:

Read my blog post about my experience here!

But here’s something I haven’t really talked about on here… I was cast in a movie too. I can’t give you any details, but here’s a jolly photograph of me in full costume.

I had to sit in the makeup chair every day for an hour. That’s not a wig, it’s my hair. They curled it, teased it, sprayed it and pinned it, and then had to stitch that hat to my hair. Also, I had to be sewn into that dress. 16th century MADNESS.

When it comes out next year, I’ll let you know.

#2 Getting to climb atop the O2 Arena for free and singing Christmas carols with an entire choir at the summit!

Normally, the “Up at the O2” climb is a pretty expensive adventure activity, but I was asked to do it by the organizers of a social media website, so I got to climb to the summit for free!  And the view of London from up there was spectacular! I felt like I was had literally just climbed on top of the world. I had to look down to see heaven. Read my blog post about that experience here!

#3 Speaking at the inaugural Best of Spark London live-storytelling event


(Up on stage at Spark London! I’m 3rd from the right.)

I was invited by the organizers of Spark London, a weekly event here in London where people tell true stories live in front of an audience, to speak at their very first Best of Spark London event! It was a huge honour and I was so glad to take part! You can listen to my story on their podcast of the night here. I’m the first speaker in the podcast, so you don’t have to scroll through the audio to find me! You can read my blog post about that event here.

#4 Seeing the London Symphony Orchestra perform live at Royal Albert Hall on New Years!

The Artist Live in Concert at Royal Albert Hall, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra from christine estima on Vimeo.

I won a contest (huzzah!), and was treated to tickets to see the amazing London Symphony Orchestra in concert as they performed the soundtrack to The Artist live as the film played in the background at the sumptuously-ornate institution of the Royal Albert Hall. Oh the things I get to do for free…. That crossed off three things on my bucket list: seeing the LSO in concert, attending a performance at the RAH, and doing something spectacular in London for New Years! Read my blog post about that incomparable experience here.

#5 Participating in the Inside/Out Project at Somerset House, and meeting street-art-superstar JR!

As you all know by now, street art is MY JAM. I love that shit. I eat that shit up. And I’ve been photographing the work of French artist-superstar JR for years around the world with his Inside-Out Project. So when I heard it was coming to Somerset House, I had to take part! I stood in line for 2 hours to get my photo taken, and it was then pasted down on the Somerset House grounds. When I noticed JR just chilling nearby, I went over, and we had a lovely chat. He was totally humble and cool!

Read my blog post about that experience here!

#6 Dining at the super-secret Gingerline nomadic restaurant!

Here’s something I haven’t talked about at all on here, because Gingerline is SO SUPER SECRETIVE that they ban you from talking about it on social media for at least a month after you have attended the experience. Well, I attended the Gingerline in February, so I think I’m good to go now.

So, last year I read on Londonist.com about the Gingerline, a dining experience that is so secretive, you don’t even really know what you get for the ticket price. All I knew was that they were fully booked for months, so I bought my ticket FIVE MONTHS in advance!

Here’s how it works: You buy a ticket, not knowing where the restaurant is or what you will experience when you get there. On the night of the event around 6pm, you have to make sure you are at one of the stations on the London Overground line (the name “Gingerline” refers to the Overground, as it is coloured ginger on the tube map). At 6pm, and not a minute before, they text you the location of the event. You have exactly one hour to hop on the Overground and get to the location, as they lock the doors at 7pm!

I got there on time, and this is what I walked in to…


This basement in a non-descript empty building in the Haggerston area had been transformed into a spaceship with super-sexy-1960s flight attendants with ginger hair from the planet Gingerline!

ZOMG BRAIN-SPLOSION.

There was a huge piece of ginger root in that centre display there. APROPOS.


My table looked like a Star Trek console!


Torture chamber?


Nah, it’s where the flight attendants would inject you with ALCOHOL.


TV panels advised us of our “flight status” and ‘takeoff’ and “landing” hahahah.


They handed us our meals through the port-holes above our heads!


Here was the awesome menu!


And of course, the whole experience had to be seen through 3D glasses.


I met some awesome people there too!


This was their take on the in-flight safety manual!

LOL at “interphalangial.”


Of course we started a conga-line… which involved a lot of “slut-dropping.” If you don’t know what a “slut-drop” is … just … never you mind.


You go girl.


The artificial gravity unit was operational for me, thank fuck.


Yes, Intergalactic Ginger Mom.

Anyway, it was a great experience, and even though the tickets were £50, which is really too rich for my blood (and out of my budget, ahh!), I decided that even poor lasses like me deserve some kind of quality of life. So this was my one and only splurge for February. I can live with that, and I feel like I got my money’s worth! Highly-recommended if you love the thrill of a surprise!

So there you have it, munchkins! My wonderful life in London is coming to a close, but I know that my adventures in Copenhagen and Berlin will be just as wonderful and splendid and exciting. Because life is unpredictable . . . and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are so many reasons to love London, but life is too short to spend it all in one place.

As one last parting glance at my London home, here is a short film that I made about London’s thrilling street art and graffiti scene.

Onward ho!

Goodbye London.

I hope I never fucking see you again.


don’t sit down ‘cos i’ve moved your chair

YOU STILL HAVE 3 DAYS to enter The Submarine Contest, sponsored by Alliance Films and The Spadina Monologues. Get a pass for you and a friend to attend the advanced screening of Submarine, and you could win a prize pack as well! clicky the poster for your chance to be a wiener winner.

* * *

i was invited to the Pepsi Throwback event in Toronto.

the weird thing about having a rising stock in the social media world is you get invited to so many events, it’s kinda redonkulous. i’ve always said that as a writer, were it not for twitter, i would have no social life. so i try to go out to as many events as possible. and i like the fact that after years of my crazy ramblings and musings, i have leveraged my online presence into something that provides a constant stream of super fun happy times at someone else’s dime. but at the same, i’m a bit of a jovial anarchist.

jovial in that, well, i’m a generally happy person with a penchant for the shits n’ giggles.

anarchist in that, well, i don’t believe in promoting brand-awareness, and my body is an advertisement-free zone. seriously. next time you see me, try and find a single brand on me.

i shop no-names exclusively, and if i do have a brand, i bought it second-hand for 50 cents.

but when you’re in social media, everybody is for sale, and brands want to buy you. everybody is willing to drink the brand kool-aid for the right price.

now, that’s not to say there’s something inherently wrong with that. everybody needs to eat, and if you can paid just on the popularity of your blog or twitter or tumblr or whatever, then more power to you.

but i think too many people follow the formula of CONSUME. STAY QUIET. DIE.

stop buying. start living.


regina won the best dressed female costume competition, and it was well deserved. hottie pulled a Filipino madonna, and she got game.

here’s reg and i dancing at the event. she is a normal dancer. i am a fembot.

raymi says, “me and christine. how far do we go back? since before twitter, her name is synonymous with spadina monologues i think she trickled in around the MG days? did you know christine also made her way onto a reality show on a tropical island to boss around men and it was broadcast in the uk or something? huge. ask her about it. maybe that’s why she does that british accent voice? (stop doing that sorry ilu but be you) anyway i love this broad and am proud she’s a lifer like me, it’s good to see her face in the scene.”

i swear if i do a brit accent, i’m not aware. SWEARSIES. i love you luh-ren THIS MUCH. raymbo gives me a grizzle in my vizzle tizzle fo’shizzle.

playing air-guitar-leg. i am so attractive. oh hai katie!

rannie takes the greatest photos. i look so happy and my hair is the stuff of Pantene commercials. i’m doing the running man here. either that, or the roger rabbit.  should i make this my FB profile photo? you tells me.

scott’s arms go on and on and on. like, if this photo’s proportions are to believed, scott must tuck his hands into his socks.

there’s nothing about sheldon that isn’t made of wizard juice.

photographers at this place weren’t on their game, they needed to sort their tech shit out, so i handed mr levy my blackberry and we busted out these hot shots, our hands were in inappropriate places, it was some sweet action.


some of the coolest people i know. raymi luh-ren, shawn, plankin-casie, scott, and my husband sheldon.


dan easily had the best 80s costume. he looks like van halen and miami vice just exploded all over him.


keshia chanté and madame stewart, cindy loo hoo?

i dunno what it is about scott, but his pepsi throwbacks bring all the boys to the yard.

i look awkwardly attractive here. most people know me as the gal with the curves, but here i look like my hips have teenaged-boy’d-out. wassup? where’s my crescent moon hips?  not even a hint of a bosom! my breasteses are big. pinky swear.


i really like kelly and i really like this photo. her and i were rocking the onesie and we’re giving each other a solid. her boyfriend mark took this photo, and from this photo’s POV, you get a sense of just how fricken tall he is!

he doesn’t like to be blogged about. but how can i not post a photo of that face?

you guys see this? it’s called being one smooth mother fucker.


*  *  *

for the past couple of weeks, i’ve been riding on the back of an electric scooter on the weekends, and have whizzed past this above awesome mural that’s on an underpass near the junction.

that is, until this happened

literally kicking myself that i didn’t take the opportunity to photograph it (like i always do) when i had the chance. i loved this mural. LOVED IT.

check out the artist’s website and show him some support.

some street art and graffiti that i’ve managed to photograph lately, more to come!


it’s that time of year again when i get to house-sit!
last year i house-sat 4 times, this year so far i’ve done it twice, and now a third on the horizon.

will be downtown with a couple of putty-tats in little italy, just a bike ride away from work and the people who make me feel special about a little guy i like to call ME.

the lovely june weather makes me feel like my body is a boat, and you are traveling in me.


Alliance Films & The Spadina Monologues present The Submarine Movie Contest!


I made this poster myself, can I get a whut-whut up in dis hurr bitch?

Create myspace graphic with Gickr

Alliance Films is proud to present the upcoming release of their new film Submarine, a dramatic comedy about a 15-year-old named Oliver Tate. Oliver has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. Submarine is produced by Ben Stiller and features some rockin’ tunes from Alex Turner, lead singer of mega-rock-band Arctic Monkeys (personal fav, download their new song “don’t sit down cos i’ve moved your chair,” it’s made of wizard juice)!

Alliance has partnered with The Spadina Monologues to give you a chance to win passes to the advanced screening of Submarine on Thursday, June 9th, before the rest of the planet gets a glimpse. As a film critic, I’m always talking about what it’s like to attend press screenings, advanced screenings, and reviewing films. Now is your chance to have the film critic experience. Oh, and did I mention that I will also be at this advanced screening with you? You can tell everyone you’re on a date with me. I won’t deny it. Swearsies.

How To Enter:

I have 19 double passes (yes, that means you AND a friend) to give away. All you have to do comment in the comments section below, and tell me why you want to see this film. But be sure to be creative, because 4 lucky winners who impress me the most with their mad-comment-skillz will also get a copy of the novel Submarine by Joe Dunthorne, which the Independent Review calls, “the sharpest, funniest, rudest account of a periodically troubled male teenager’s coing of age since The Catcher in The Rye.” That’s a pretty glowing review. I never give such high praise (I’m a tough book critic as well). Make sure in your entry to include either/or/both your email address and your Twitter handle so I can notify my lucky winners!

Details and Contest Rules:

Contest closes Wednesday June 8th at noon. All entries must be received by then. No duplicates will be accepted. Imma be tough up in hurrr.

The advanced screening is Thursday, June 9th at Cineplex Odeon Varsity & VIP Cinemas in Toronto (55 Bloor Street West in the Manulife centre). Prize does not include transportation to the venue. The screening begins at 7pm sharp and no latecomers are admitted (overbooked to ensure capacity, and all that). I will be at the cinema for 6pm to hand out the passes and prize packs, but will only stick around until 6:30pm (I wanna get a seat too, ya know). So arrive early!

3SGJ1q on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Enter now, movie munchkins!


New York Dolls

being a blogger has its perks. a bunch of lovely lady bloggers were invited to Miik clothing’s HQ to sample their fine dresses made of eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo (i know, braingasm!). head honcho Michael and co. were totally hospitable and fun, and let us gals run riots through their racks, trying on all the dresses we could squeeze our bodacious tatas into. 
(l-r) nat, moi, marie, simone, val, wendy, and natasa aka Toronto Blogatronics Femme Force. notice the absence of blondes? yeah, i was pretty chuffed about that.
this was my final choice dress, but as you can see below, we tried on so many different styles
face palm. look at my legs and toes. i was biking all day yesterday, and had my lululemons, leg warmers, and chuck taylors on! so not conducive to proper dress-fancy-photos.
do Chucks and leg warmers go with the dress?
this grey dress i tried on was more work-suitable than party-fun
great wears, eh?! Miik will be at  the green living show next weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at the Fashion Takes Action booth 129.

 also, you should visit and “LIKE” the Miik Facebook page for your chance to win a dress of your own! uber simple, just “like” the page and comment on one of the pics of us in the dresses (once they’re uploaded). 

you’re welcome, ladies. 

you can repay me in sexual favours.
wait, what? 
hahaha, totally kidding (not kidding). i’ve been totally lezzing it up lately. at this event, Val saw my pubes, Marie saw my bum-bum & everyone saw my boobs. although, after making out with Allegra a few weeks ago, i’ve decided i’d make a bad lezzer. women are competitive with each other (it sucks and i hate it, but it’s true) and if a gal and i were going to town on each other, i’d just keep thinking “shit, is she better at this than me? i hate her, the show-off!”
BRUNETTES HAVE MORE FUN
blondes have more fungus
back to our new york related programming:
i seriously cannot fathom the level of ingenious and clever street art that abounds in NYC. toronto has some amazing graffiti spots (queen/spadina alley for starters) but we really pale in comparison.
such great socially-conscious graffiti, this time from Williamsburg, pretty much on North 6th between Kent and Wythe
what colour does a smurf turn when you choke it?
this is not an indian
how incredible is this? it’s by brilliant street artist Roa
and it’s massive
public art is always the most democratic, untamed art. it’s livable.
guerilla knitting ninja‘s strike again under the brooklyn bridge!!
speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge, next time you walk across it, i want you to pay CLOSE attention to the bridge itself and not the view from it….
…i’ve walked/cycled across the bridge several times in life, and this time i noticed just how many padlocks had been attached to it. turns out New York’s young lovertines like to engrave their initials on the padlocks, attach them to the bridge, and then throw the keys into the river below.
the lovers of new york are forever commemorated on this epic bridge…
one day my true love and i will do this on some bridge somewhere in the world….but not today.
the plaques on the brooklyn bridge, which indicate what you’re looking at on the horizon, need to be updated….they’ve had 10 fucking years, come on NYC.
someone carved RIP over the WTC…but just looking at this was upsetting to me.

so okay, i’m back in Toronto after the worst clusterfuck bus ride back from Port Authority. I decided to take the midnight bus instead of taking the bus that left in the morning which would essentially rob me of an entire day. so i had dinner with Randeep at Ella Cafe in Williamsburg, packed my shit up quicker than a bread truck hauls mafia-hit-bodies across the FDR, then booked it to Port Authority.

of course, none of the screens at Port Authority (which in theory would tell travelers which gate they’re departing from) were functioning. also, all the information booths were completely un-manned. i don’t know who’s running Port Authority, but if this was Toronto, these people would be out of a job. what a shit hole.

after lining up at the wrong gate, i finally found my proper gate where a massive line-up for this bus awaited me. it was kinda stupid, everybody and their mother was on the toronto-bound greyhound that only holds 44 people. in addition, the bus was essentially a milk truck (read: it makes stops at every single shit hole hamlet along the way….like a milk truck woulda done back in the day) so people who were just going to fucking syracuse or some other town-that-time-forgot were also queuing up.

anyway, because of the massive line, they asked all us El-Toro’s and barfahole-ers to step aside and take another bus. essentially, this other bus that they lined up for us would head straight for barfahole-buffalo and then El-Toro-toronto, bypassing the other bus which was stopping everywhere, and arriving earlier than expected.

but waiting for this fucking second bus to arrive meant we only left Port Authority at 1:40am! and when we boarded it, we realized it was one of the older shit greyhound buses with no electrical outlets, no wifi, and no refuse bins.

we did arrive at Barfahole earlier than the other bus, about 90 minutes ahead of schedule. at which point we were told to get the fuck off the bus and wait 90 minutes for the first bus to arrive so we could board it. our bus was now decommissioned. fuck you greyhound.

finally got on the bus i was supposed to be on 9 hours earlier, where a man who smelled worse than the bus-loo’s had boarded it without a ticket, hoping to sneak across to Canada. the bus driver ejected him, and i watched from the bus as he wandered aimlessly around the barfahole bus terminal looking for another bus to stow-away on, presumably to run away from his sad life. he was either indigent, homeless, underemployed, or all of the above.

finally made it to toronto where the sun was shining and the customs officers didn’t give me a shit-kicking.

i start my new job this week. i am going to refrain from publicly naming them in any online forum, but as i’ve said in previous posts, i am employed as a staff writer by a woman-run, woman-directed publication and i’m very excited to be joining the team:)

OH AND I WON THIS CONTEST

WATCH OUT INCANS AND PERUVIANS ALIKE, I’M A-COMING!

i love how adventure-travel opportunities always find a way to factor into my life. i have been traveling since 2005 and not a year goes by that i don’t use my passport. it says in my little bio in the left margin that i’m an explorer, and that moniker encompasses everything i do in life….backpacking, writing, performing….everything. i love being able to exercise that title to its maximum effort, to keep trying new things, meeting new people, and experiencing all that it has to offer, disasters and triumphs alike. this planet is too incredible to stay in one place your entire life, and life is way too short.

life is either a great adventure…..or nothing at all.


>New York Dolls

>

being a blogger has its perks. a bunch of lovely lady bloggers were invited to Miik clothing’s HQ to sample their fine dresses made of eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo (i know, braingasm!). head honcho Michael and co. were totally hospitable and fun, and let us gals run riots through their racks, trying on all the dresses we could squeeze our bodacious tatas into. 
(l-r) nat, moi, marie, simone, val, wendy, and natasa aka Toronto Blogatronics Femme Force. notice the absence of blondes? yeah, i was pretty chuffed about that.
this was my final choice dress, but as you can see below, we tried on so many different styles

face palm. look at my legs and toes. i was biking all day yesterday, and had my lululemons, leg warmers, and chuck taylors on! so not conducive to proper dress-fancy-photos.
do Chucks and leg warmers go with the dress?

this grey dress i tried on was more work-suitable than party-fun

great wears, eh?! Miik will be at  the green living show next weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at the Fashion Takes Action booth 129.

 also, you should visit and “LIKE” the Miik Facebook page for your chance to win a dress of your own! uber simple, just “like” the page and comment on one of the pics of us in the dresses (once they’re uploaded). 

you’re welcome, ladies. 

you can repay me in sexual favours.
wait, what? 
hahaha, totally kidding (not kidding). i’ve been totally lezzing it up lately. at this event, Val saw my pubes, Marie saw my bum-bum & everyone saw my boobs. although, after making out with Allegra a few weeks ago, i’ve decided i’d make a bad lezzer. women are competitive with each other (it sucks and i hate it, but it’s true) and if a gal and i were going to town on each other, i’d just keep thinking “shit, is she better at this than me? i hate her, the show-off!”
BRUNETTES HAVE MORE FUN
blondes have more fungus

back to our new york related programming:

i seriously cannot fathom the level of ingenious and clever street art that abounds in NYC. toronto has some amazing graffiti spots (queen/spadina alley for starters) but we really pale in comparison.
such great socially-conscious graffiti, this time from Williamsburg, pretty much on North 6th between Kent and Wythe

what colour does a smurf turn when you choke it?
this is not an indian
how incredible is this?
and it’s massive

public art is always the most democratic, untamed art. it’s livable.
guerilla knitting ninja‘s strike again under the brooklyn bridge!!

speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge, next time you walk across it, i want you to pay CLOSE attention to the bridge itself and not the view from it….

…i’ve walked/cycled across the bridge several times in life, and this time i noticed just how many padlocks had been attached to it. turns out New York’s young lovertines like to engrave their initials on the padlocks, attach them to the bridge, and then throw the keys into the river below.

the lovers of new york are forever commemorated on this epic bridge…

one day my true love and i will do this on some bridge somewhere in the world….but not today.

the plaques on the brooklyn bridge, which indicate what you’re looking at on the horizon, need to be updated….they’ve had 10 fucking years, come on NYC.
someone carved RIP over the WTC…but just looking at this was upsetting to me.

so okay, i’m back in Toronto after the worst clusterfuck bus ride back from Port Authority. I decided to take the midnight bus instead of taking the bus that left in the morning which would essentially rob me of an entire day. so i had dinner with Randeep at Ella Cafe in Williamsburg, packed my shit up quicker than a bread truck hauls mafia-hit-bodies across the FDR, then booked it to Port Authority.

of course, none of the screens at Port Authority (which in theory would tell travelers which gate they’re departing from) were functioning. also, all the information booths were completely un-manned. i don’t know who’s running Port Authority, but if this was Toronto, these people would be out of a job. what a shit hole.

after lining up at the wrong gate, i finally found my proper gate where a massive line-up for this bus awaited me. it was kinda stupid, everybody and their mother was on the toronto-bound greyhound that only holds 44 people. in addition, the bus was essentially a milk truck (read: it makes stops at every single shit hole hamlet along the way….like a milk truck woulda done back in the day) so people who were just going to fucking syracuse or some other town-that-time-forgot were also queuing up.

anyway, because of the massive line, they asked all us El-Toro’s and barfahole-ers to step aside and take another bus. essentially, this other bus that they lined up for us would head straight for barfahole-buffalo and then El-Toro-toronto, bypassing the other bus which was stopping everywhere, and arriving earlier than expected.

but waiting for this fucking second bus to arrive meant we only left Port Authority at 1:40am! and when we boarded it, we realized it was one of the older shit greyhound buses with no electrical outlets, no wifi, and no refuse bins.

we did arrive at Barfahole earlier than the other bus, about 90 minutes ahead of schedule. at which point we were told to get the fuck off the bus and wait 90 minutes for the first bus to arrive so we could board it. our bus was now decommissioned. fuck you greyhound.

finally got on the bus i was supposed to be on 9 hours earlier, where a man who smelled worse than the bus-loo’s had boarded it without a ticket, hoping to sneak across to Canada. the bus driver ejected him, and i watched from the bus as he wandered aimlessly around the barfahole bus terminal looking for another bus to stow-away on, presumably to run away from his sad life. he was either indigent, homeless, underemployed, or all of the above.

finally made it to toronto where the sun was shining and the customs officers didn’t give me a shit-kicking.

i start my new job this week. i am going to refrain from publicly naming them in any online forum, but as i’ve said in previous posts, i am employed as a staff writer by a woman-run, woman-directed publication and i’m very excited to be joining the team:)

OH AND I WON THIS CONTEST

WATCH OUT INCANS AND PERUVIANS ALIKE, I’M A-COMING!

i love how adventure-travel opportunities always find a way to factor into my life. i have been traveling since 2005 and not a year goes by that i don’t use my passport. it says in my little bio in the left margin that i’m an explorer, and that moniker encompasses everything i do in life….backpacking, writing, performing….everything. i love being able to exercise that title to its maximum effort, to keep trying new things, meeting new people, and experiencing all that it has to offer, disasters and triumphs alike. this planet is too incredible to stay in one place your entire life, and life is way too short.

life is either a great adventure…..or nothing at all.


you are created on the bubbles at night, i’m chasing around, trying to pop them all the time

 myself and nat at the #GenYTO social media dancegasmphoto by dan levy, photobomb by sacha (fucker)

so the big news that i referenced in my last post can now be officially announced:
i am a finalist in the Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition!
HELLYEAHFUCKYEAH
this particular short story of mine was submitted to several literary journals and magazines last year and rejected across the board, but i KNEW it was a fucking good story, so i was like “fuck ya’ll, i’ll enter it in a contest,” and lo-and-behold, out of 525 entries, and a long-list of 114, i make the short-list of only 12 other writers….and i’m the only finalist from Toronto.
YA SEE?
i talk to so many writers and failed novelists who gave up their dreams after receiving a stack of rejection letters higher than the day is long. i receive rejection letters (sometimes personalized, but mostly form-letters, and often cheap emails) all the time but i mostly disregard those letters with a scoff because i KNOW my writing is made of awesomesauce. i know i’m talented and just because my story didn’t make it past some intern at a magazine screening stories for keywords or themes, doesn’t negate the amazerbeams emanating from my chutzpambition.
(disclaimer: i don’t use these faux-words in my short stories. but i should)
ANYWAY (hello tangent), reading this competition’s press release also reminds me that my story was read and chosen by LITERARY POWERHOUSES sharon pollock, tarek fatah, and K.V. Johansen.
brainjaculation.
although i haven’t won the competition, the Writers Union of Canada will be submitting the story on my behalf to some literary journals and magazines for publication. Fingers crossed, with the WUC seal of approval next to it, it’ll get published.
god gawwwwwd, chrissy needs to eat.
my last short story publication was 2009, so i could really use another creative writing credit to my name (this would be my fifth short story published).
anyway, if you’d like to congratulate me, form an orderly queue, ‘natch.
 photo by casie stewart
i’m also extra happy this week because A) Reg gave me a tear-jerking shout-out on her tumblr B) i’m house-sitting AGAIN in parkdale which makes me wanna lick the homeless (in a good way) C) Boy-surfin with Raymi at Sofi’s Valentine’s Day singles mixer was mega-giggles, and D) I totally made out with someone at that mixer that I don’t even think I like (in fact, i kind loathe him). I’ll hafta fend him off and ignore his texts now…but ugly kissing is always hot.

oh sheldon, my husband, how you strike a pose just so. 
photo by casie stewart

Highway 63 is a play currently running at Theatre Passe Muraille. I saw it last night with Amanda. I may be biased because the show’s creator Layne is one of my best friends ever, but i LOVE-LOVE-LOVED IT! it’s funny! it’s cleverly staged! it’s fast-paced and witty and poignant and heart-warming and unabashedly-Canadian….and i loved that dude who plays Chad, he has a talent brimming with so much staggering genius, when he’s doing something huge like driving a forklift, or something little like miming a TV remote control, you’re captivated. i have a theatre-crush on him. this happens quite often. i see a guy on stage in a play whom i don’t even know and fancy his character. so i project that onto him and then get all googly-eyed. it won’t last, surely (altho my theatre crushes on geoffrey tyler and ryan hollyman haven’t dissipated yet….dammit. any day now).
that being said, SEE THIS PLAY. 
i went to the press screening of Four Lions this morn, which has been out on DVD in the UK for a year but is only opening in Canada now. we’re behind on so many things. the humour in this black-comedy is so refreshingly different from north american comedy, you can’t help but love it while it subtly presents its message as well. of course, because i lived in the UK for years, i got many of the references, allusions, and inside-gags. i think Canadian audiences may or may not balk at this if they don’t get it. that being said, i think it’s deffo worth a whirl! watch the trailer here:

i scored a reviewer pass to tonight’s Biffy Clyro concert. last month it was White Lies, now this.

UK music trumps your tastes.

this quote is kinda apropos for the work i’m doing on my novel-edits. not just in its message, but also in the fact that it’s an Andy Warhol quote…..my novel’s protagonist is a visual artist. book-readers will either love that, or they just won’t “get” it.
writing a novel is like trying to walk up a long staircase on your knees.

>you are created on the bubbles at night, i’m chasing around, trying to pop them all the time

>

 myself and nat at the #GenYTO social media dancegasmphoto by dan levy, photobomb by sacha (fucker)

so the big news that i referenced in my last post can now be officially announced:
i am a finalist in the Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition!
HELLYEAHFUCKYEAH
this particular short story of mine was submitted to several literary journals and magazines last year and rejected across the board, but i KNEW it was a fucking good story, so i was like “fuck ya’ll, i’ll enter it in a contest,” and lo-and-behold, out of 525 entries, and a long-list of 114, i make the short-list of only 12 other writers….and i’m the only finalist from Toronto.
YA SEE?
i talk to so many writers and failed novelists who gave up their dreams after receiving a stack of rejection letters higher than the day is long. i receive rejection letters (sometimes personalized, but mostly form-letters, and often cheap emails) all the time but i mostly disregard those letters with a scoff because i KNOW my writing is made of awesomesauce. i know i’m talented and just because my story didn’t make it past some intern at a magazine screening stories for keywords or themes, doesn’t negate the amazerbeams emanating from my chutzpambition.
(disclaimer: i don’t use these faux-words in my short stories. but i should)
ANYWAY (hello tangent), reading this competition’s press release also reminds me that my story was read and chosen by LITERARY POWERHOUSES sharon pollock, tarek fatah, and K.V. Johansen.
brainjaculation.
although i haven’t won the competition, the Writers Union of Canada will be submitting the story on my behalf to some literary journals and magazines for publication. Fingers crossed, with the WUC seal of approval next to it, it’ll get published.
god gawwwwwd, chrissy needs to eat.
my last short story publication was 2009, so i could really use another creative writing credit to my name (this would be my fifth short story published).
anyway, if you’d like to congratulate me, form an orderly queue, ‘natch.
 photo by casie stewart
i’m also extra happy this week because A) Reg gave me a tear-jerking shout-out on her tumblr B) i’m house-sitting AGAIN in parkdale which makes me wanna lick the homeless (in a good way) C) Boy-surfin with Raymi at Sofi’s Valentine’s Day singles mixer was mega-giggles, and D) I totally made out with someone at that mixer that I don’t even think I like (in fact, i kind loathe him). I’ll hafta fend him off and ignore his texts now…but ugly kissing is always hot.

oh sheldon, my husband, how you strike a pose just so. 
photo by casie stewart

Highway 63 is a play currently running at Theatre Passe Muraille. I saw it last night with Amanda. I may be biased because the show’s creator Layne is one of my best friends ever, but i LOVE-LOVE-LOVED IT! it’s funny! it’s cleverly staged! it’s fast-paced and witty and poignant and heart-warming and unabashedly-Canadian….and i loved that dude who plays Chad, he has a talent brimming with so much staggering genius, when he’s doing something huge like driving a forklift, or something little like miming a TV remote control, you’re captivated. i have a theatre-crush on him. this happens quite often. i see a guy on stage in a play whom i don’t even know and fancy his character. so i project that onto him and then get all googly-eyed. it won’t last, surely (altho my theatre crushes on geoffrey tyler and ryan hollyman haven’t dissipated yet….dammit. any day now).
that being said, SEE THIS PLAY. 
i went to the press screening of Four Lions this morn, which has been out on DVD in the UK for a year but is only opening in Canada now. we’re behind on so many things. the humour in this black-comedy is so refreshingly different from north american comedy, you can’t help but love it while it subtly presents its message as well. of course, because i lived in the UK for years, i got many of the references, allusions, and inside-gags. i think Canadian audiences may or may not balk at this if they don’t get it. that being said, i think it’s deffo worth a whirl! watch the trailer here:

i scored a reviewer pass to tonight’s Biffy Clyro concert. last month it was White Lies, now this.

UK music trumps your tastes.

this quote is kinda apropos for the work i’m doing on my novel-edits. not just in its message, but also in the fact that it’s an Andy Warhol quote…..my novel’s protagonist is a visual artist. book-readers will either love that, or they just won’t “get” it.
writing a novel is like trying to walk up a long staircase on your knees.