Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Violated by Toronto















I've totally just been molested by the city. Didn't think it was possible to be violated by a whole town, did you? Well, my friend, let me tell you: it's so awesome.

I left about 2.5 hours ago to go meet Dave, Alana and the Muckers for drinks. A walk to the subway, a subway south, another subway west and a bus ride back up a little North and, suddenly, I'm in Stabtown, population me! In front of me is a big concrete bridge that looks like the edge of the world, to the left a street full of sketchy and to the right a long row of boarded up store fronts. "That rules!" I think to myself, daring to walk about a block in each direction before realizing I've totally gotten off at the wrong stop.

So, it's off to the payphone (I live in 1996 where people don't have cellphones), where I look for Dave's number in my purse only to be interrupted by a bald -- yet somehow still greasy looking -- man in a beat up oldsmobile. He asks me how much, mistaking me for a hooker. I die a little on the inside. This is when I decide it's time to vacate stab town and head back to the bus stop, but sadly, no bus appears and after 10min Stabtown is not growing on me as a crazy guy walks past, yelling things to himself and carrying on an argument with what I like to think was God. Oh, and a stumbling Jamaican man also felt the need to say hello and call me sexy. I die a little more on the inside.

This is when the adventure goes from awesome to wicked-awesome and I start walking back towards the subway stop as it seems even the cabbies don't hang out on the corner I'm on -- and we all know, if it's too sleazy for cabbies, you'll probably lose your kidneys there. The walk is long, my shoes disastrously impractical and the sites – some fucked-up church run by mental patients and streets deserted aside from really sketchy-looking types – leave something to be desired (i.e. everything). I’m not really sure where I’m going as I wasn’t paying much attention on the bus. Finally, I find Bloor, see Jesus, get harassed about 5 more times, get on a subway (where a crazy homeless woman with no shoes is screaming about how she needs food, runs between cars, shoving people and asking for money) and head for home. A subway ride east, another subway north, a walk back home and I’m ready to punch Toronto in the soul.

Stupid city. Why have you turned on me so? Haven’t we been good to one another? I know we’ve had our differences, but, lately, we’ve been doing so well and I though we really had a chances. I’d break up with you if you weren’t so damn connected.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

IF you just wish hard enough, on a burning pile of AIDS...

Yes, well. It's been two weeks and a half since my last confession.
Father, I must admit, I did indeed spell the names of the deceased and her mother incorrectly. And yes, it did go to print in My Daily Newspaper. And the family's pain may have multiplied because of my foolishness.
But am I to be fired for this crime? Am I to be let loose, after 18 months of tireless Saturday work, or treated like a criminal?

Listen up, you young pups. I've been working at newspapers for 10 years this year. I don't fuck up out of the blue. And I will not become part of a managing editor's plan to "clean up" his newsroom by firing everyone who makes more than $27,000 a year. Not that I make anything near that...

That's basically the situation, though. Last week, I fucked up the name of one of the young girls who died in a severe all-terrain vehicle accident out here, and the name of the other girl's mother, in a story about the funeral of one of the girls. The media was asked to stay away, so we went anyway. It was one of the saddest funerals I've ever been to. The piece I wrote... let me find it. "Hundreds mourn 'brightest light'". Search it in infomart. My lede has been replaced by a tacked-in correction. So my fuck-up is permanent. But it doesn't mention that that article is the first time that someone spelled the name of the other dead girl correctly. Nor does it mention that I went to the scene of the accident, completely out of the way, to see if there was anything there for my story. There was. It's called "atmosphere." The Daily Newspaper don't usually concern itself with it. The copy editor read my little bit of "atmosphere," labeled it "the birds chirping part" and cut it out immediately. I don't think it mentioned birds.

Copy editors at that newspaper are a little bit of a misnomer. They obviously don't edit copy, since they had my story at least four hours before deadline. They couldn't note that the name of that girl was spelled wrong, even though the newspaper had been entirely FILLED with news about that accident fat he past week, with up to 4 pages of coverage at times. Something slipped there. I know it should have been spelled right in the first place, but they're supposed to be able to catch things like that. And the mother's name was just wrong. My fault. No question.

But is this a firing offence? Should I be removed?

And, within the bigger picture, bigger questions:
Do I even LIKE writing for newspapers? Not really. Not for news, anyway.
Do I want a career likely to kill me of a heart attack and leave me divorced, or better yet, unmarried? Not really.
Do I like using the internet at the library? I don't know. It might be worth it to get the internet at home, since these punk kids think it's damn funny to shoot a kid beside me in the face with an elastic.

I need a job, too. If anyone sees anything nice, let me know, too. I'm not picky. Just unemployed.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Depressasaurus Us!

So wow, did we ever pick the wrong time to start this group blog, huh? Seems like everyone's got a little sadness in their hearts these days, and frankly, I've been no exception. I know that almost two weeks ago now I promised an update about our trip to Montreal, but you know, every time I think about sitting down to write it, I just kinda found something else to do, of which there are several in my life at the moment. (Plus, I've got to write the thing for Rue Morgue anyhow, so why would I do it up twice? I imagine RM would feel a little ripped if I gave them a dressed up version of a blog account. If you want to read it, by the magazine, you cheapasses, when the story runs next October. Don't worry, I'll remind you.)

Rest assured, however, that a good time full of terrified little kids, creepy French theatrics, pounding Ministry songs and, unbeknownst to me at the time, fake blood dripping off my chin all over my rented "costume" (which consisted of a frilly white shirt and an ill-fitting sport jacket that I rented for $40, but could have easily bought for $10 at VV before I left), causing the rental place to get all poopy and say they might have bill me. But the jokes of them, you see, because I don't live in Quebec, and also I don't care. Seriously, Joseph Ponton's Costume Shoppe; if Club Fit wasn't able to pry the $200 I "owed" them out of me in two years of trying, there's no fucking way I'm going to write you a $5 cheque for the dry-cleaning. Ha! Eat it, Frenchlords!

Anyhow, things have been less than awesome lately, mostly due to my suddenly realizing that my boss has no problem with stepping in and telling me exactly what to run and how wide I should smile while I'm doing it, despite the fact that he's always talking about how every newspaper in the CanWest world is evil because they tell their writers what to write. The difference, as far as I can tell, is... well, hmm. At least CanWest doesn't bother pretending they don't? Whatever. The point is, I'm extremely tired to caring about the things I'm supposed to care about as an editor of an "alt weekly," which I've come to learn is really just a fancy way to describe a wad of local ads stuffed into the same space as a bunch of stories about whatever the ads say, and as such want out.

Where to go from here, though, is as of yet unclear. I'd like to stay in Edmonton for the next few months if possible, but I guess I wouldn't rule out moving to Toronto earlier than I thought if I found a decent-sounding job. Which also means that I should start seriously looking; a difficult and time-consuming task when you currently have a job, it turns out. If anyone has a line on something awesome (that for some reason you yourself aren't interested in), feel free to let me know. I'm realistic about this, of course—I don't mind being a shill; I just want to be told that that's what I am.

At any rate, wah wah wah. In the meantime, please enjoy this painting of a unicorn, presumably chasing Tron.