Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Gaza demonstration / 1.10.2009

I joined the Free Gaza demonstration outside the Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor on Saturday.

A couple things stood out to me at the demo:

1. There were lots of young men and women(and I'm talking young men and women of colour! not just white, do-gooder activists!). It was so refreshing to see high-schoolers passionately yelling, "Free, free Palestine!" and "From Gaza to Iraq, occupation is a crime!" It was inspiring and so wonderful to be able to share demonstration space with people in their teens.

2. There were so many kaffiyehs! What was powerful was that most of the people, I'm sure, knew what they signified in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and dignity. It wasn't a parade of fashionable hipsters who simply thought the traditional patterns were "cool."


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can I help you look for books?

Honestly, people. The signs say "All course books are located upstairs, with the exception of Mandy Bonisteel's WOMN 2016, which is located in the Child Abuse section of the store." Please stop going up to the front desk staff with your syllabus and asking where your course books are. Clearly they already have a fucking huge line of people waiting to pay.

It doesn't matter how many signs I make for the store, students will just charge into the store and immediately ask for assistance from staff who are clearly already helping the self-righteous, useless idiot who came before they did.


Top 3 Most Ridiculous Interactions:

*student looks around the store like a lost child*
me: hi, can i help you look for your course books?
student: yah, i'm looking for the graduate history course.
me: ... "THE" graduate history course?...uhhh, do you know the course code?
student: ummm...nooooo...
me: do you know your professor's last name?
student: oh yah, i do! it's bergen.

note: "THE" history grad course? how self-righteous are you??? there is no such thing as "the" history grad course. how am i supposed to help you when disregard the fact that there are many, many other history grad courses at your institution? puh-lease. get your act together and THEN i will help you. oh but wait! if you HAD your act together, you probably could have helped yourself.

*fancy-looking woman in cream-coloured. floor-length fur coat, with matching winter hat*
student: excuse me, i just spent, like, 10 minutes looking for my course books and i still can't find them. (<--- clearly a lie. TEN MINUTES? i saw her walk up the stairs because she was so ridiculously dressed up and no, you were not up here for ten minutes. i hate exaggeraters)
me: oh no, are you looking for WGS 330?
student: yes
me: oh, your professor gave me a different course code, that's why you can't find it. sorry, it's actually under NEW 330. and it's right here *points to the section, which is right next to us*
student: oh. can you actually just grab all of my books for me?
me: ...umm it's just all right here *points to the shelf of her texts*
student: yah, but can you just pile them up for me?
me: ...it's just all of these books *runs palm across the book shelf*

the student, from what i could tell, was able to get the books herself. i could be totally wrong, but i highly doubt it. i wasn't about to get her books for her while she stood there watching me do it for her...so she eventually got her books herself with no difficulty.

[1] still waiting for it. it's bound to happen soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009


- can't remember. must find old planner and fill this in later

- kind of a bad, down month

- TCSA elections coverage was a fucking trip
- last issue of Arthur comes on the last day of March
- applied to a million jobs that i never heard back from
- marked lots of shitty first year papers

- marked lots of okay final exams
- made "Dykes & Their Hair" zine
- applied to work at the Toronto Women's Bookstore (TWB), got an interview, got the job

- moved to Toronto, into Little Portugal
- May 5: started working at the TWB
- Crystal, old friend from high school, visits me in TO!
- started writing for tasteto.com
- was enamored by Toronto. spent lots of time exploring the city
- went to my first pedestrian sunday in kensington, where i saw maracatu for the first time

- Pride (two highlights: Dyke March and the Funk Asia stage). wore the tiniest little dress all day Saturday. was shocked by the "real" world after the pride weekend. ew.
- drank a lot of cider
- spent one of the nicest days in the summer with Kam and Sarah, eating brunch, walking down Queen Street, reading and writing on Kam's porch...

- saw Basia Bulat for free at Harbourfront
- got really, really sick at work from eating rotten hummus
- finally bought a bike!
- random York Centre for Women and Trans People BBQ at Makeda Sivera's house...
- fun, relaxed BBQ at Kam's parents'. lots of sitting on the porch, drinking and talking
- extremely successful Ain't No Chick Flick film screening (believe that was The Aggressives...)

- worked many, many hours to prepare for the new school year. got really tired of looking at purple order cards
- delicious Italian food with favourite professor
- Sleazy Listening was fun
- summer loft party at Dahn's in Peterborough
- TaiwanFest at Harbourfront, where, oddly enough, I got to see a Taiwanese aboriginal percussion group perform whom I've wanted to see for the past 10 years
- TWB 35th Anniversary party. Success! Someone bought the shirt I reconstructed for $45 for the silent auction!
- got to see Michelle Tea read at Writing Outside the Margins
- hung out with John Cameron Mitchell (wtf???) and Sook-Yin Lee at a sushi restaurant. Props to Christopher Phillips for setting that up.
- went up to Peterborough to help Ariel and James with Issue Zero

- worked so many hours
- Peterborough Pride
- got trashed at Kate Taylor's housewarming party
- Masia One's album release party at Revival
- LAL at The Boat
- Ladyfest (including Asian Freedom Schoolers, Rae Spoon)
- Take Back the Night
- saw Naomi Klein. we brought over 400 copies of The Shock Doctrine. Only sold 35 copies because we were set up in a shitty area and had to clear out of the space at 9:30.
- started seeing a naturopath

- wonderful new roomie, Anita, moves in with me
- started attending Freedom School workshops. good decision, Teresa
- Jessy, Mason and Kate Killoran birthday party. so much smoke in the attic. so much drama. so much yelling.
- organized my first academic event for the bookstore. success!
- 2nd Annual Coming Out Party at Kira's. I was a kickass DJ. so much dancing.
- TWB field trip to Canada's Wonderland!
- the fucking election was a huge disappointment
- let go from my tasteto gig
- back to the Motherland (Oct. 17 to Nov. 9) ! came out. gardened with Baba a lot. went to Hong Kong for a few days. hung out with Aidan and Diana. reconnected with Fancy, an old family friend. followed the US elections. an emotional rollercoaster ride with my parents.

- Peter fucking MacLean visits me in Toronto! so much nostalgia. so much ranting about high school
- attended a Writing for Comics 101 workshop with Mariko Tamaki
- County Boys at The Pig's Ear. What the fuck was I doing there???
- Meg visits for two nights. Sneaky Dee's with Bryn. Aunties & Uncles. shopping down Ossington. Nazareth's. I miss you, Meggie.
- drinks at the Gladstone with Trevor, Ale, Scott and Naja
- Morgan's housewarming/Julia's goodbye party
- made the biggest purchase of my life - my macbook. hands were so sweaty when I was paying for it
- started therapist/counsellor shopping aka. counselling consultation appointments
- super nice dinner with Julia, Morgan, Carmen and Carmelle at Julia's
- had one of the worst weeks of my life...
- Granny Boots with Rae Spoon! Hump Day Bump! Felt like allllllllll of the homos were there that night

- partied and went out a lot this month
- helped Corrie with frontlist buying from Random House. I want to be able to do a full sales rep appointment myself soon
- started to make a lot more art (drawing, writing, making prints)
- amazing No One is Illegal LAL show at Wrongbar
- started to hang out with Alejandra a lot
- saw Tafelmusik for free
- worked the book table for the In Honour of Barbara Godard symposium. haha...what a weird night. i love seeing academics in their natural drunken state
- scandalous Granny Boots/Hump Day Bump night for my friends
- Maria and I broke up...
- Colour Me Dragg was fucking fabulous
- City of Craft was cute and fun
- met a lot of people from Maracatu
- launch of T & B Toronto Firsts
- was and still am on a Pedro Almodovar kick (watched Todo Sobre Mi Madre, La Mala Educacion and Volver in the span of a week and a half)
- awesome Christmas Eve party at Ale's mama's place. delicious food. fun people. raphi plays MIA's paper planes on the accordian. met more fun people
- Ruth comes for a couple of days. good times with my little sister, as always
- Christmas Day dinner at Kam's parents' with Muna and Ruth. delicious food and chocolate. met Aman, the big bro!
- homemade croissants at Hanae's with Maracatu people. fun! lounged around on Hanae's bed and ate chocolate-filled croissants
- bloody brilliant Maracatu show at Lula Lounge. I danced so hard.
- New Year's Eve party at 336 Delaware. danced a lot, as usual

The last three months of 2008 were incredibly intense, for good and for bad. Lots of emotions and change. Overall, 2008 was a good year for me. There were some really fucking shitty times throughout it, but in general, I can say that it was a good one. It's been a good year because of so many changes I've had to face. I don't do changes very well, but it seemed like I did a pretty good job this year. I don't know how I feel about 2009. A little scared, perhaps. I'm not sure why exactly because, really, it's just another day upon another day upon another day. A new four-numbered number isn't going to make a difference in the quality of my days.

These are the things I want in my life in the new year:
- to make more art
- to get serious and involved in magazine work
- to join the Monday nights Maracatu workshops
- to exercise regularly. fuuuuuuck.
- to get out of the city more often. Toronto Island? Orillia or Barrie for cross-country skiing? Peterborough? Montreal? Quebec City? Cuba? Mexico?

I spent the first day of 2009 doing absolutely nothing. woke up at 11am. used the internet. watched tv shows on the internet. two or three seperate naps. ate junk food. went to bed at 10:30pm. way to go, teresa!

Over and out.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


- the different neighbourhoods
- Chinatown, baby (supermarkets, fruit stores with hawkers, being able to hear Cantonese and Mandarin, the atmosphere)
- the Dundas/Spadina old women who sell their homegrown produce on the streets, on top of milk crates
- Kensington
- small independently-owned grocery stores
- Asian Freedom School
- so many creative people from different backgrounds and experiences. so inspiring.
- cheap phone cards from Chinese women who sell from holes in the wall
- there is something to do everyday, if you so wish to do them
- $2.25 to get the airport
- ummm...food, obviously.
- streetcars, but mainly in the summer. it's nice to go down a street slowly in a tin box, absorbing the surroundings
- the parks. ahhhh i miss summer!
- the parkettes. same deal.


- it's fucking expensive to live in this city
- so many Torontonians don't dance! wtf, man.
- the subway. 
- streetcars. especially in the winter. being packed inside a stuffy metal box with other cranky people is not my idea of a good time
- winter in this city can sometimes be cold in every sense possible
- the queer world is still small as ever. or at least it seems so...
- this place makes me want to run away sometimes
- there are so many cyclists in this city, yet drivers are still fucking douches and don't watch out for them

Oh, Toronto. I love you, but I want to leave you for a little while. Just a week and a half. That's all. I am going to leave you for Mexico or Cuba. Just a week and a half.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maracatu and Aline Morales Band at Lula Lounge - 12/26/08

I went to the Maracatu Nunca Antes show last night at Lula Lounge. The Aline Morales Band opened.

It was an amazing night. I danced so hard. My neck was dripping with sweat. I was right up at the front of the stage, holding the dancing down. It was so good to have gone. Exhilarating!

There were so, so many alfaias on stage. The sound was brilliant. It was great to see Alejandra, Ana Maria, Hanae, Angelica and Mari play. They are so obviously in love with the music and play with everything they have, which makes for a great performance, great music and awesome times. The stage was small, but they managed to fit so many players on there.

I payed homage to Maracatu and wore my "where's waldo" cardigan. Representin' the red.

If anyone reading this has the chance to see Maracatu live...please do it. The youtube video clips do not do them justice whatsoever.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We're so over, AA

I am proud to say that I no longer crave shopping at American Apparel. There, I said it. It has been so difficult, this summer, to resist the bold colours and soft t-shirts, not to mention moving to the big city and feeling like I needed to be up to par with all the fashionable and stylish.

I'm not exactly sure how my secret AA obsession plateaued. It probably actually has to do with the fact that 1) I dropped a big load on the incredibly beautiful laptop I am currently typing on and 2) therefore, cannot be spending $35 on a t-shirt. On top of that, all the relationship drama I have had in my life in the past month has kept my mind off of what purchase to make next. Oh...and I've met too many irritating AA-clad queers in the past seven months to put me off of their merchandise for a while.

This isn't to say I will never purchase anything from the store again. I do still find myself wanting to snag a few items. I can make AA my "own," right?....Right? I would like to think so. My wardrobe isn't made up entirely of their clothing. My outfits are usually made up of a mix of an expensive, durable piece (which usually means my lezzie Blundstones), some sort of reconstructed piece I made myself, buttons made by someone I know, shitty jeans I've been wearing for years and something from a popular retail store (H&M...American Apparel...god, even Suzy Shier sometimes).

My desire to buy hasn't died though. And I don't know if it ever will. I have been craving Salvation Army, Value Village and 69 By the Pound for the past two weeks. Someone come with me! Please!?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dundas, between Gladstone and Sheridan

My neighbourhood is evolving. In the span of seven months, which is how long I have lived here for, I have seen new businesses pop up that I don't think serves the majority of those who actually live in the area. I live on Dufferin, just south of Dundas, bordering Parkdale, in the Portuguese neighbourhood.

The Dundas strip, between Gladstone and Sheridan, is, in my opinion, rapidly transforming. The strip I'm talking about is a mere two blocks. 

When I moved to my place, West Side Stories, the lezzies-run video rental store, was already in business and had been for a while. Within the last seven months, the following businesses opened up on the strip:
1. Multiple Organics - organic grocer
2. Henhouse - restaurant and bar (owned by Katie Sketch and Jenny Smyth, band members of now defunct band, The Organ)
3. Zoot's Cafe - ...cafe

Now, all of these businesses are small and independent (and run by some pretty awesome people!), but I can't help but wonder who these businesses are serving. From my highly reliable and empirical study of my neighbourhood, I can say that the majority of the people who live here are elderly people and families with three generations under one roof, many of whom are immigrants. I highly doubt my Christmas decoration-loving neighbours are likely to visit the Henhouse for a Thursday night drink. 

And then there's "us," the alcohol-guzzling, art-making hooligans in their twenties and early thirties. This definitely includes me. I rent videos at West Side Stories. I drink cappucinos and use wireless at Zoot's. I've had several rounds at Henhouse. I've purchased organic avocados at Multiple Organics. It's an age-old conundrum of being critical and aware of a certain issue but, at the same time, participating in the exact problem. I obviously don't have any answers. 

Oh and it's really quite something to see these nicely packaged businesses next to run-down storefronts with "for rent" signs in their shit 'n spit-covered windows. I haven't immersed myself long enough in this neighbourhood to know what used to occupy those spaces (or I'm just too busy visiting the exact places I'm writing about to learn). What a sight.

Basically, it's just astonishing how quickly the small two blocks have changed in such a short period of time. What it comes down to is me feeling weird about all of these hip places opening up, yet being a regular at all of them. But that weird feeling dissolves quickly after a few round at the Henhouse. Ha.