Love, Magazine Marketing, and Whole Foods

A friend of another me
Recently wrote words of sex and need
While I sipped hot coffee and relished in its burn.

We mirror the markets
SELL SELL SELL
I, you, he, she – we are the key to fruition.
You need sex (sells), he needs love, she needs a ring.
But me?
I need to rebrand.
The strategies of marketing myself to lovers and fighters and friends eludes me,
Like a tadpole in my hand before I grew,
and learned how to feel squeamish.

The five P’s don’t only apply to selling bodies to bodies.
They flourish
They fluctuate
They are forgotten and
Foregrounded in charm.
And me?
I am driven by a temptation to stop you in your tracks

A temptation to segment you
Until you fit oh-so-comfortably into my target market –
A market that hasn’t existed since you left.
It overrides.

Your need might still be there.
It must still be there.
That need, that hunger.
That need to gorge yourself on the organic nature
Of my devotion and repulsion.
This state that I live in when I think about you.
This state that applies to the dirt, sky and energy surrounding Eve.
But me?
The thought of it makes me gag. And yet…
I feel nourished.

But you?
Your needs fell victim to your wants long ago.
And what you wanted was to shop for love at No Frills instead.

Advertisements

The Only Student who Dressed Up for Class.

I wake up faking it; live a persistent dream that I am making it.
Creating a persona around personal persistence that is,
In reality,
A promise of perpetually repugnant personal pathos.
And an inappropriate overuse of alienating alliteration.

The grotesque bed spins inspired by having
Left your home-away-from-home,
Cannot be solved by a foot on the floor.
They will not be hushed by your foot in the door.
Inspiring an ostentatious acceptance of flaws,
And a flaunting falsity of exception.

Next comes treading water in pathetic falla-sea
Because the most heart-warming thing that’s happened to you in weeks
Is your high school boyfriend equating your neuroses with “cuteness.”
Thrashing in your own desolation and trashing yourself with the first light of every new morning,
The things that in the past gave you a sense of future liberation
Steadfastly darken your present presence.

Wandering the streets I am too tired to get to know,
Cursing Meg Jay for forcing me to face the waste that is becoming my “defining decade.”
Dragging my fingers on the social links that chain us to a
Quiet, fenced-in frustration that we’re not allowed to talk about.

After all, what have we got to be worried about?
We’re young and eligible at Yonge and Eglinton.
The Bard’s Pistol told me that the world is my oyster,
But completely omitted was the admission
That the oyster shell only has room for one.

Why I love Macklemore (A Rant).

I am not a rap kid. My good friend Jill, as well as a handful of friends with her, could very easily attest to that. Of course I love a good ODB song (in essence, I like that one song my first boyfriend in high school introduced me to, and yes, it is the same song all fake rap fans like), but for the most part, I am rap-illiterate. What’s good? What’s “hard?” Is “hard” even a word still used to describe rap, or just a Rihanna reference? I digress…

That said, up until early this summer, I could not spit the lyrics (yeah, I said it) to any rap song save for much of Ludacris’ anthology. It actually became a bit of a party trick, and one I enjoyed because it means I got attention for at least two minutes and 33 seconds: someone would put on Luda during a rousing game of YouTube karaoke, and first-time audiences would wonder at classic-rock Kayla rapping right beside our favourite midget-necklaced semi-badass. That was until I met Macklemore.

This post is uncool, because Macklemore was neat-o long enough ago that it’s dorky to be a new fan, but not long enough ago that it’s considered retro (like the aforementioned Ludacris love). And despite the groans I hear coming from a few choice haters in Ottawa (my friend Eric), I am proud to shout it: I fucking love Macklemore [and Ryan Lewis]. Nothing new, nothing new, but I feel the need to explain why I think he has opened my eyes to a true enjoyment of rap. Unlike other artists of the genre (I like to call them Gs), Macklemore’s [and Ryan Lewis’] fusion of rap and pop is just happy enough to appease my sing-in-the-shower side, but also deep enough to make me less embarrassed by this side of my personality.

That said, there is something else that his music offers that is primarily helpful to rap neophytes: he is so damn accessible. When my friends throw on Wu Tang or Shad, it sort of makes me feel dumb. It’s not that I don’t understand what they’re saying, and it’s not that I don’t appreciate their sound. It is, essentially, that I feel like I needed to be a fan from the early days in order to truly enjoy their music. It might be because Macklemore’s fame is newer than the other rappers I have been exposed to (and thus his anthology is smaller), but instead of feeling behind or like I’m not a true fan, I am just genuinely excited to hear Macklemore songs I’ve never heard before. There are a number of access points into his stuff (“Otherside” for the introspective, “Thrift Shop” for the goofs, “Can’t Hold Us” for the trend whores like myself). When I discuss his music with rap fans and other know-nothings alike, it doesn’t feel like a conversation or a competition to have the “right” reaction to a song. His songs span a pretty wide divide, and because of that, appeal to a number of different people while still, technically, being “rap.” That is, of course, unless the reaction is a refusal to even give his music a go/only listen to Thrift Shop and thereafter write him off. Then you’re wrong. (Happy hypocrisy!)

Oh, and to those reading this sitting there saying that I only love Macklemore because I don’t know rap, you’re the type of elitist people that inspire me to connect more with his music than that of “real” rap artists.

This entire post was essentially me jacking off about an artist I really like, but I just wanted to share the love with other people who feel like impostors when they listen to rap. There is a rap(esque) artist for EVERYONE. Also, as a side note, I am a lot better at behaving like an aggressive Torontonian when music from The Heist are bursting my ear drums on the subway.

Keeping with the lists, I now offer a collection of some of my favourite Macklemore lyrics. (I’m blog-spitting lines. Not to be confuse with blog-snorting lines. Which is just unrealistic). Hit me up with your feedback! Know any other rap artists who are just as accessible? Love him? Hate him? Wish I would just stop talking?

Image

Let’s go.

10. “Coppin’ it, washin’ it, ’bout to go and get some compliments
Passin’ up on those moccasins someone else’s been walkin’ in
Bummy and grungy, fuck it, man
I am stuntin’ and flossin’ and
Savin’ my money and I’m hella happy that’s a bargain, bitch.”
– Thrift Shop ft. Wanz, The Heist

9. “Lady, what you want me to say?
Foolish
The lies and deception
I tried to confess it
Committed, but I still wanna play.”
– Good for You ft Step Cousins, The Language of My World.

8. “Instead of staying the same
Because I see better days ahead of me
I paint them on the page
Then I save them for the rainy ones
When anger and the anguish want to hang around
I say em outloud and complain to them.”
– As Soon as I Wake Up, The Language of My World

7. “I wear war paint, fight to the casket
Too tired to apologize on this mattress
Emotional detachment – what’s the matter?
She’s learning that she never should have
Dated a rapper.”
– Thin Line ft. Buffalo Madonna, The Heist. 

6. “And they say, ‘Don’t forget where you come from
Don’t die holding on to your words
Cause you know you got a whole world to change
But understand who you got to change first.'”
– Victory Lap, The Heist.

5. “Truth to the youth so they know what’s up
Yup, and as a public school student
I learned from my teachers, but became through my music.”
– The Town, The Unplanned Mixtape.

4. “I got my city right behind me.
If I fall, they got me.
Learn from that failure gain humility,
And then we keep marching ourselves.”
– Can’t Hold Us ft. Ray Dalton, The Heist.

3. “Callin’ to the preacher, but it’s like the pastor isn’t talking
Until the store opens I can re-up on that doctrine
The people close to me say that I’m in need of a doctor
Think that I got a problem – but these are not apostles
This is the drink of the Lord, that’s according to my gospel.”
– Neon Cathedral ft. Allen Stone, The Heist.

2. “This is not Californication
There’s no way to glorify this pavement
Syrup, Percocet, and an eighth a day will leave you broke, depressed, and emotionally vacant
Despite how Lil Wayne lives
It’s not conducive to being creative.”
– Otherside, The Vs. Ep.

1. “See, I observed Escher,
I love Basquiat,
I watched Keith Haring,
You see I study art.
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great cause they paint a lot.”
– Ten Thousand Hours, The Heist. (Oh hey inspiring anthem magic).

An Ode to the Girl Crying on the Subway

On the tired and aching ride home from my second night serving on Front street tonight, I saw a girl crying. Though she looked half in the bag, I could very clearly see that she was embarrassed to be crying. She was wiping her eyes with her scarf, staring at the ceiling, fake yawning to try and staunch the flow (and yes, you can tell) and I felt instantly connected to her. It wasn’t out of pity, but the same kind of camaraderie that comes with seeing someone inexplicably knock over their beer at a bar; we’ve all been there.

So, as I transferred subways and trekked my ass home, I began thinking of all the times I’ve cried in inappropriate places. More specifically, all the times I’ve done so in the last short while. Thereafter, I compiled an honest list in order to show that girl on the subway that she isn’t the only one to let her emotions get the best of her in awkward settings (lawl, she’ll never see this).

I present: “All the minor events that have recently brought me to tears (in inappropriate places).”

– I recently cried in the shower because I ran out of conditioner and didn’t throw out the empty bottle.
– I pulled something trying to hold back my tears while doing my final cash out in the back room at the Georgetown because, despite its often tiring characteristics, I was leaving a place I had worked at for over two years. And a place where it took me over two years to finally gain the respect of my superiors.
– I was brought to tears in the middle of a Content Management lecture because all the postings for bar jobs required multiple photographs with all applications.
– I bawled like a baby while sitting on the floor of a hallway at Centennial because I was watching the episode of The Office when Pam and Jim get married.
– I cried myself to hiccoughs in the U-Haul while driving down the 417 away from one life and towards another.
– I simultaneously sobbed and chain-smoked after my friend Megan took the time out of her own busy life to come over and make me dinner, drink wine and listen to me stress about paying rent. The tears were primarily inspired by that last bourbon, and having someone give me their undivided attention for the first time in what felt like ages. (Thanks Meegs.)
– I let it all out in the middle of a living room full of my extended family when I was supposed to stay strong during my mother’s speech about my very sick step-father.
– I had a mashup of weeping and hysterical laughing outside St. Andrew station after I accidentally photo-bombed a romantic photo-shoot between my ex and the girl he moved to Toronto with. (I was on the subway, they were posing on the platform. They didn’t see me at the time, but I like to think my raised-eyebrow and thumbs up made a cameo later when they were going through the shots).
– I opened the flood gates on the walk home from a particularly stress-relieving workout. I frightened a child.
– I silently spilled over during the credits of a movie (in the theatre) because I had absentmindedly bitten the nails I had spent two months growing (my 8th time trying to kick the habit).
– I dehydrated myself via my tear ducts in a grocery store because The Goo Goo Dolls’ song Iris came on Slacker and it reminded me of the time my first love silently broke my heart in the back seat of a car while the song was playing on Rock 95. This one of particularly pathetic as it was almost seven years ago. Yup.

So, there you have it. Cards on the table, this window into the powder-keg of emotions that has been my life in the past few months is brought to you by a girl code of empathy and understanding. This is my plea to the girl going north on the Yonge line to not let the shame of crying in an inappropriate place follow her past the doors of the subway station. We’ve all been there, some more than others. It doesn’t make you weak or pathetic, but rather makes your body (and how it deals with stress) a bit of an asshole.

Until next time, keep with the weeping!

I am not dead.

Oh, hey there.

I am a horrid blogger, obviously. It has been far too long since I’ve posted on this blog – not to mention that blog I started but have yet to actually post to… This post was inspired by the most exciting thing that has happened to me in the last few weeks: I recently had a friend of a friend call me clever. It has done far too many wonders for my ego. That said, here are the updates (in an attempt to, as my grad instructors put it, “create an online brand” for myself):

– I graduated university. Huzzah! I actually awkwardly walked the convocation isle, despite the more rational expectations of my extended family and my biology professor (why did I take biology, again?)
– I spent a wonderful/super lame last summer in Ottawa working more than full-time and partying the appropriate amount for a person at least eight years older at heart than I am in real life.
– I failed at accomplishing my summer goals (writing a thesis, beating Zelda: Ocarina of Time).
– I overstressed about apartment hunting in Toronto, but managed to find a one bedroom apartment off the Danforth with the help of my patient mother and her co-signature.
– I said goodbye to the few amazing friends I maintained throughout my four years in Ottawa, and packed up all the goodies I shouldn’t have bought in the first place in order to…
– Move(d) to Toronto! Here I am, a month and a half in, finally employed (sweet Jesus, job hunting is difficult when you move to a new city), and in grad school at Centennial College for Book and Magazine Publishing. The program is an interesting change from the four years I spent contemplating what I was learning instead of learning genuine “hard” skills. I’m writing, editing, creating and manipulating publishing contracts, creating budgets (the bane of my existence) and using my upward mobility as an excuse to (mostly unsuccessfully) shmooze at industry events.

The big smoke is finally starting to feel a little more like home, but there is plenty I still need to learn (e.g. children on the streetcar will not move unless you physically move them, the cost of transit does NOT last for an allotted amount of time, but rather one complete ride, and even though the cars are stopped, cyclists in the city will continue to make your morning trek dangerous). In the meantime, while I learn these small, intricate ways to navigate living in a city bigger than I ever have before, I plan to go back to prose about the more boring (but I hope clever) aspects of my life in order to share my personality with would-be networks and complimentary strangers.

So, for my first post back in the blogger game (don’t h8 the player…) I present to you, the fruits of my wine-buzzed bus-riding mind:

The Top 10 Things No One Tells You About Living Alone.

1. You only wash the dishes to make new dishes. This isn’t because of a lack of actual flatware, but primarily because your sink is too small to accommodate both your breakfast and your lunch dishes. Poor first-world-problems you (and me).

2. Everyone talks about the magical feeling that comes with walking around your apartment in your underwear. It isn’t this common skivvy-strut so much as it is shuffling from your “I’m finally home!” pee with your pants/tights around your ankles to your pyjama pants still on the floor from seven hours ago when you got in the shower.

3. There is no need to try and hide/apologize for your feet smelling after walking around all day in flats. Even when they’re on the coffee table. Embrace it.

4. The rearranging of coffee cups and morning toast plates on your vanity instead of taking them to the kitchen becomes an art.

5. You are still inclined to turn down the volume when watching porn. Even if you can hear your upstairs neighbours banging three out of seven nights a week. Heaven forbid they hear the sad reality of your singledom.

6. Drunken solo dance parties almost always lead to bruising your knees on various pointy edges and/or picture messages to friends of the opposite sex about how badly you need a drunken dance partner.

7. Friends whose replies you are too drunkenly passed out to respond to. But it’s okay, because usually your grammar and pouty “come dance with me bro” captioned pictures inform them that they need not expect a repeat performance (that night, anyways… Sorry, Jason).

8. You thought you belted it in the shower while living with your roommates? You have no idea how talented you (think you) are until you live alone.

9. There is a strange sense of pride when you walk into your gnarly, messy, shabbily decorated basement apartment because it’s all you.

10. But sometimes, you WILL miss getting day drunk and sleeping through the night while trying to have a successful synchronized-power-nap to rally for the night session.

That’s all for now, but I promise more wittily and wickedly self-deprecating prose to follow!

It’s a new season, time for a new blog!

Hello/Ola/Bonjour/Buon Giorno!

Happy summer(ish) everyone! I am just writing this post (I promise I will try to post something more substantial about my attempts at real life soon!) in order to direct the attention of those interested in a new blog venture I’m working on.

Here is the quoted introduction post to give you an idea of what my new blog, Letters to Heroines, will feature:

“As a young woman on the verge of a (hopefully successful!) career in book publishing, I’ve decided that after 22 years of heroes and heroines speaking to me through the literature of their lives, it’s time to speak back.

I’ve created this blog to host what I hope will be a popular venture amongst literature lovers like myself. Each post will be inspired by a novel I’ve read with an interesting/infuriating/invigorating protagonist – most likely a female protagonists, for the moment.

I am currently working on my first few submissions, but until I find them witty and entertaining enough (by my own, rather low, standards), I welcome you on the adventure!”

I hope everyone can give it a look or two as I work on posting my letters to heroines – I would love to even inspire some letters of your own!

Take it easy and make good choices,

Kayla

NaPoWriMo – Beyond behind. Speaking of behinds…

Today’s poem (which I am actually calling April 17th, just because) was inspired by an amalgamation of events transpiring with some men I know. Two in particular. They are both lovely human beings, but the objectification of women is often times deep-seeded in their loveliness – sexually and emotionally. No girl will deny the wonderful confidence boost of getting this type of attention (that might be a generalization – this girl won’t deny it, though), but the boost is always followed by a plummet into self-awareness about the kind of person you are, and the kind of person you want to be seen as. I actually quite like this one, so I hope any readers feel the same about it!

Note: The phrase “rack ’em up” is a hilarious one I heard from a friend recently who was referencing the move some girls (myself, mostly) do in order to adjust their cleavage to maximum glory.

April 17th

It isn’t “crassness,” or classless,
It’s just an exchange of knowledge.
My knowing what’s in your heart,
Your knowing my levels of desperation.
Right? Right.
It has to be right
To avoid feeling wrong.

Doing my best,
Racking up my chest
In order to gain a little knowledge,
and gain a little insight.

In sight of your revelation;
About me and the knowledge I bestow.
Followed by the reminder that
I’m not the best in show.
But making you miss me
is the same as sending him nudes in exchange for free books.
I’ll argue “knowledge!”
We both know it’s “attention!”

It’s all fun and games
Until someone loses the “I.”
Until you’re written off,
Only the written word and the “unsaid, unheard” to keep you company.