40 Drinks.


A thought came to me on my 40th birthday, or more like a question. How can I own this? How can I make it fun? Subtext: how can I slow this down and stay young as long as I can? Well the first thing to do is start a tumblr - obvs (that’s what the youthz say, yes?). 

The truth is I don’t really feel old. 40 is a scary number but it feels more like a party trick at this point. “YOU are 40!!??” If others don’t see me as old, I don’t have to either. But “old” or not, 40 does represent something to me. I am undeniably an adult. 

Then I read this article in the NYT (adult paper) and it got me thinking. I am not going to let “adulthood” stand in the way of good times and good friendships. Besides a steal of a house and a pretty great job, my friends are all I’ve got in this city. My friends are my adult family. 

So here I am launching “40 Drinks”. I’m setting out to have 40 one on one drinks with 40 different people until I am 40 no longer (July 12, 2013). They don’t have to be alcoholic (the drinks not the friends) and they certainly don’t have to be “dates”. This is about solidifying bonds and hopefully creating some new ones. I will document each meeting here with text and photos. 

It won’t be as easy as I’m making it sound. Truth be told I’m actually quite shy. But maybe there’s no room for shyness in my 40s. Putting it on the internet means I have to do it. Are you free for a drink?

Drink #41 (if reading for the first time, start at #1!)

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Well I had to do it. I had to pour myself a glass of rosé (thanks random birthday party attendee) and have a drink with myself. A 41st drink… ‘cause I’m 41. You with me? 

It’s reflection time. First of all, a big thanks to everyone who participated in  40 Drinks, or LordyLordy, I seem to have given this project two names. The buy-in of participation is not lost on me. There has to be a level of trust to speak candidly for a couple of hours and then let the chips fall where they may, in this case the internet. I did my very best to be honest, respectful, flattering (yes I did) and exercise discretion when it was called for.  It was often called for. Pretty much every conversation included the words “don’t put this part in.” 

I had to edit some posts after the fact, send some for pre-approvals, explain what I meant by certain things, apologize for others. Some people I haven’t spoken to since our drink, others have become a surprisingly big part of my life. Over the course of the year two drink subjects got married (to each other),  an engagement proposal was made, two babies were born and one is popping out any second now. There were some break ups and some moves to other towns, a house was bought and a job was lost. So basically life happened. 

As for me, my life is quite unchanged from this time last year in that my “stats” are the same. There’s a couple ways to look at that but tonight I’m choosing to be happy. I have my health and my home and a lot of even more solid friendships. I lost a dear cat this year which I think I was too sad to write about at the time but thankfully beyond that, those in my life are healthy too. 

I’ve rediscovered my love of writing and also, though only using a point-and-shoot, photographing people. I know some of you think you look too drunk. Well suck it up, you were. Anyhoo, I’m quite eager to start up something else to keep my creative juices flowing (excuse the disgusting visual). Ideas welcome. In fact your comments are welcome too. I’ve had some great supporters during this process when at times I wasn’t sure if anyone was reading. Side note, Google Analytics tells me a have an avid follower in Japan. Shout out to Japan!!

So, thank you again for your time and interest and for some, participation. See you at 50.

XO Cat

Drink #40

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It’s fitting that Tania is my last drink date of this series and it’s fitting that we drank at this legendary Queen street establishment where we have been drinking together for 12 years now. Like for many people in this country, I can say Tania is largely responsible for what my life looks like right now.  For better or for worse, she gave me my first television job in this city. Without tooting my own horn, I’ll say she has a real eye for talent and a generosity in giving people chances.  Her judgement is good and that is the type of person you want to learn from. 

We haven’t always worked together though we do now. We have mostly always lived a few blocks apart and our favourite haunt is equidistant from both homes. We’ve been through a lot of changes over the years and always find ourselves here pouring over our decisions, regretting our choices and celebrating our victories.

On this night, she had just returned from an amazing trip. Tania doesn’t  vacation, she ventures. If a destination is easy, she won’t go. If the native population is thriving, she’s not interested. If the road is most travelled, she will not be walking down it. So against her better judgement, she had just spent a string of carefree days at a gorgeous Italian villa with multiple terraces, and pool AND ocean front property. It was a break she very much deserved. 

As our night went on and her anecdotes made me more and more jealous, a strange thing happened.  Almost like the closing scene in a female driven comedy (chick flick) an older woman (our future?) stopped at our table and offered to take our picture. Though we declined she insisted and told us her life is strange (an omen?). She then caught up with her friend and the two ladies disappeared into the night. That WILL be Tania and I one day. Maybe I’ll be updating our journey in a “NiftyFifty” tumblr in 10 years. Will they still have the internet then?

Drink #39

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Arianne is married. I think that’s how our mutual friend introduces her in order to stave off potential suitors. She’s a catch for sure. In fact she’s one of those girls other girls would hate if she wasn’t so damn nice. I have found this out recently through a brief work stint together, a fun day to night festival and a peculiar wedding celebration. She’s a good date. 

She’s also very private, like me, which is making this entry tricky to write. But we actually did talk about our mutual inwardness in relation to a project she just completed which required strangers to anonymously reveal their personal stories about love (not necessarily love stories). I said I would never do this. I think she agreed but now that I think back, she may have kept that opinion to herself. 

She’s filled with other secrets too, which I coaxed out of her on an increasingly crowded back patio, like that she made a film, and then went on TV to talk about it. Oh and she has a Masters in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies.  She’s done extensive work with Doctors Without Borders and is currently co-producing a play. Also she is looking for work. Talk about criminal. 

It’s when I spend time with people like Arianne that I realize how insanely lucky I am to have had steady employment in television for 15 years, and even weirdo retail and service industry jobs for years before that. Not that she couldn’t get some sort of job in a second, it’s a job deserving of her which is the challenge (my thoughts not hers of course.)

But steady work also doesn’t afford one the time, opportunity or motivation to do those other kind of projects that feel so rewarding. It does pay for leaky basement repairs though. Or a percentage of it. Stay tuned on that one.

Drink #38

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Amil basically told me my blog is boring and that I need to step it up. With challenge accepted she laid out a plan to kidnap me for one of my few remaining spots and take me to interesting and unknown places around to Toronto while photographing our adventure.

None of that happened.

As I already know, it takes effort and planning to be spontaneous. With my unusually busy week and her impeding two month move to LA we couldn’t even keep our original date let alone plan. But that’s all ok. We do what we can do. So this night we just met at a very fine rooftop with a legendary/misleading name

Amil and I work in the same building for the same corporation but I see her more at parties than in the elevator. And though we did tell some gossipy elevator stories, work really didn’t come up that much over our excessive school night drinking. Instead we enjoyed some hours of story swapping.  Talking to someone who doesn’t already know your deal is like having a hangout handicap (the golf kind, not the other). It’s just easier to win. Perhaps this sports analogy ends here.

Amil’s got good stories under her own woven belt and I heard some doozies. She’s one of those people who goes along for the adventure, probably storing all of life’s weirdness in her brain for the down-the-road tell-all we all imagine we’ll one day write. The difference is she might actually do it.

She is taking a break from life in the aforementioned elevators to tackle the land of cars and sunshine. Many of my drink conversations over this last year have been Los Angeles heavy. There’s a definite pull in many Torontonian hearts right now. I too was there only two weeks ago. Is there a solid reason to go to LA to do what you can be doing here? No. Is it better just to do it there anyway? Probably. 

Amil can report back in two months.


Drink #37

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There’s a reason Grant was wearing a cowboy hat. I’m not entirely sure what it was but it had to do with his job or his corporate duty or something. He’s one busy guy so we literally drank a beer each with luggage under the table ready to accompany him back to Vancouver. 

Grant is as West Coast as I am East Coast, but unlike me, he still calls his home home. And never was there a bigger champion of that home. Grant is to mountains and mooses as maple syrup is to pancakes. And when it comes to CanCon, he’s the Don. You may have heard him over the airwaves, read his book or seen his old band. If not, you are not very Canadian. 

I think I first met Grant through Drink #21 who introduced him as the funniest/mean-funny person he knows (a compliment). But it wasn’t until he hooked up with Drink #7 that we became close. Now they are about to have a baby which is also why he was so eager to get home. We sat down as he was wrapping up a cross country tour driving a car and talking to musicians. But strangely we barely talked about it. Instead we compared opinions on a recent scandalous article EVERYBODY was talking about (no link necessary . We also discussed the future of our common workplace.

The end of our drink was crashed by Drink #21 and the conversation turned to fatherhood and advice from a two timer to a-soon-be. Well maybe less advice than a good luck and have fun with that. It’s almost like having kids is hard or something. Grants informed us he wants four. Good luck with that. 

Drink #36

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This is a very exciting time for Rob, or as his fiance (Drink #19) calls him, Robbie. He’s about to embark on a journey I think everyone assumes they will partake in when they are very young. He is getting married. And here, a few weeks out, he was as cool as a cucumber soju. I guess that’s how you feel in life when you are sure of what you are doing. It’s an unfamiliar state amongst my friends. 

When Rob and I met up at a new bar in my hood he said, being a bartender himself, he always wonders why people go out for drinks. I told him it’s what adults do. So we ordered our cocktails (W.A.D.) and settled in. There is never a shortage of things to talk about with Rob. He’s an amazing drummer playing with one of the most amazing musicians I know. He is (was?) the drummer in my (former?) band. Neither one of us knows what’s going on there and we didn’t spend much time talking about it. We did however talk about music. A Lot. During band practices we’d have very technical discussions about music, rhythm and cadence. I don’t think I know anyone who thinks more about music than Rob. He doesn’t really like pop but that didn’t stop him from arguing with me that Rihanna is better than Beyonce. I told him about a really cool vocal mix I found on the internet of an 80s mega hit and we agreed that Neil Young is only listenable on about four records - which are amazing

Rob’s bride to be is a sometimes musician too and fittingly they asked all guests to submit five songs to the wedding play list. Talk about Under Pressure. I sweated my list for days and ended up giving them ten. I guess I think about music a lot too. Creating with Rob and the other girls in the band definitely has stirred that part of my brain though I think my whole life has had an accompanying soundtrack (ironically a soundtrack is currently playing as I write). 

I’m really looking forward to dancing at the wedding to the sounds created and chosen by some of the city’s most talented and interesting people. Rob’s pretty up there on that list himself.

Drink #35

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Manny and I have probably hung out together over 200 times but this was my first Mano-a-Manny. We’re part of a pretty solid gang (Drinks #5 and #15 included) who worked together back in the old dayz. Manny’s still in that job and we talked a lot about if, when and why he’d ever get out. At 33 he’s asking himself the same questions I did at 29, 33 and 39 - is it time to make a big change. For me that meant changing jobs but there are other ways to mix things up in life obviously.

Once we settled in at the bar (after three failed attempts at other locations. Tuesday on Dundas, who knew?) we got heavy into TV talk. Not about shows we watch though one in particular did come up a few times, but about the industry of television and the future of our livelihoods. Could Netflix kill network television? Yes. Do we love Netflix? Yes. We also got into philosophical banter about technology, like what’s the best way to end a text conversation and the difference between Grinder and Tinder. There’s a big one by the way.

Manny’s always good for a giggle. In fact his nickname has long been Giggle Boots though he argues it’s Giggle Muffin. The girls love him because he’s the kind of guy who walks you to your door no matter what. The guys love him because he can out nerd them in matters of sneakers, video games, sci-fi and hip hop. I’ve never seen him mad except when he is defending a friend. When I told him a guy harassed me on the way to work recently, he found him, followed him, called the cops and got him arrested. I kid you not, Manny is gold.

So in true stand up guy fashion, when it came time to pay up, he insisted on footing the bill. Unfortunately the bar didn’t take VISA and his debit was defected. I happily paid to his discomfort. Now here’s the kicker. He texted me in the morning to arrange an email transfer. He’ll kill me that I told that story but now is as good as any time to start my new campain. Manny for Mayor!

Drinks #34

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Lauren’s five month old son still sleeps through the night so it was actually me who had to call our drink come midnight on a Monday. She may be a mother but I’m 40 goddammit. Anyway, up to that point we had a lovely time.

I first met Lauren when we were both newish to Toronto and acclimatizing to the city at a time when it was developing an exciting little pocket. Coming from Halifax, I had left the nest of a healthy ‘scene' for lack of a better word. My community was made of musicians and artists and zine makers, directors, designers and the like. Strangely, I always hesitated to move to Toronto because I feared it didn't have that in place. But in the early 2000s all that changed. It was a thriving time of firsts and both Lauren and I were there to share in the excitement.

But as life goes we never really got to know each other. We’d chat at shows, parties, on the street and in her store but it takes a proper sit down to get deep into issues of childhood bullying, romantic near misses and post pregnancy underwear (hypothetically).

On this night, at a bar I really should go to more, Lauren never checked the time or worried about the situation at home. And her new baby far from dominated the conversation which as any non parent has to admit, is refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies and I’m happy for everyone who has them but it’s hard sometimes to have a two way conversation. The cat owning comparisons only go so far. Yup, motherhood suits this one and as I learned, her pregnancy was one of the clearest phases of her life. Her clarity from where I sat has continued into motherhood and that is interesting to me.

Drink #33

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Tomaz and I have the best story. We met through an old boyfriend of mine about eight years ago. We sat drinking one night talking about our mutual knowledge of Jamaica as said boyfriend and I were heading there for my family reunion. He knew the country well because his mother was from there. So was my father. See where this is going? No sooner did I hit the beach with the extended fam did I find out my dad and his mom were related, making Tomaz and I second cousins. Crazy! We had no idea.

On this night we met at the very same bar that that initial Jamaica conversation started years ago. And of course our intertwining heritage dominated the conversation. There’s even a book about how our two families came together, so the least we could do several generations later is have a drink in downtown Toronto.  It’s ridiculous that we hadn’t really done that yet.

We stirred up each other’s deepest memories of weird relatives and exaggerated folklore. But we also share an even stronger bond. Our respective Jamaican parents both died when they, and we, were too young. And be it nature or nurture, we live with it in similar ways. 

I wonder also if it can be attributed to our shared blood line that we ended up in the same city, living blocks apart, with similar interests and more than a handfull of mutual friends. I think about John Stockhausen and Evelyn Clerk hanging out together in 1950s Jamaica maybe talking about the kind of kids they’d hope to one day have. Meanwhile here tonight, Tomaz and I discuss a future of dinner plans, summer vacations and scoring concert tickets. I think our young, cousin parents would be pretty happy about that. 

Drink #32

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Randy loves news and sports. In which order depends on the day. When we used to work together my attention would always be grabbed by dramatic gasps. I would turn around and ask, “news or sports?”. The gasps were absolutely non discernable even between outrage, joy or disbelief. I miss those sounds and I actually miss our conversations about hockey. Randy has a way of explaining a bad draft pick or salary dispute that’s actually interesting. 

So I was honoured to have him as my date to watch Game 3 of Toronto’s first round face-off with Boston in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Apparently it’s the team’s first time at the table since the cave man days. A litmus test for friendship in my books is someone you feel comfortable watching TV with and don’t feel you have to keep talking with or entertain. You can sit in silence and be mutually distracted. This was my first attempt with Randy and he passed! (side note: this friendship test makes me sound like a lame couch potato. I don’t often watch TV with friends except when they come to watch Game of Thrones at my house because I have HBO). 

Randy and I met at my regular (yes I have to find a new place) and got the best seats in the house by an open window, sun pouring in, beers in hand, game projected in HD. So great. Then the Leafs lost. Oh well. Randy was upset but in a true gentlemanly way, he nodded his head and accepted that the better team on this night won. This is the class act that is Randy. We first met when I came to work at my current job and I was immediately impressed by his passion in an argument (he gets Rangry) but also his ability to see the other side. This is why he was made to work in news and why we lost him to the other side not long ago. But I know he’s an ex-coworker that happily passed into the friend zone. 

Drink #31

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I had so much fun with Yael, I made this one a two parter. Also part one was cut short and we both knew there was so much more to talk about.

I was happy to introduce someone so cultured, connected and embedded in Toronto to a place she hadn’t been. We met at my favourite haunt at 6:45 sharp on a work day, as busy people tend to do. On top of a crazy successful career Yael is also a mother, so our window was small and we made the most of our time. 

Yael is a name I have heard for years. “You don’t know Yael?”, “You and Yael have to meet?”, “You’re like the east coast version of Yael.” We did end up meeting about a year ago and she’s one of the first people I “asked out” for this project. Nine months in, it happened. And truly our paths are so similar it’s like we just picked up from assumed prior knowledge and went from there. Of course we both had college radio shows. Of course we dated musicians. Of course we’ve struggled with the commercial nature of our art. Of course we’re viewed as strong women in in the work place but feel completely helpless in other life areas. Done, moving on. What we really decided we wanted to do together, is dance. Over the date part two. 

This night we met up in a small, loud, overcrowded bar on a saturday on the warmest night of the year so far. Needless to say we didn’t get into too deep a discussion about anything. We just danced and had fun as evidenced from above (tall can not pictured) . That’s sometimes what you have to do when everything else seems really hard. 

Drink #30

photo IMG_0857_zps21026909.jpgLezlie and I met on the first day of high school. I can’t remember what drew us to each other but it likely had to do with pointy shoes or The Cure.  For the next three years we started to develop our adult taste together discovering David Lynch, Woody Allen, Kids In The Hall, Robertson Davies, REM, Husker Du also self ripped jeans, rat tails and henna tattoos. 

After high school we stayed in each other lives though or paths diverted. We grew independently with biweekly or so check ins until I moved to Toronto. A year later we would spend 9/11 together during my visit back to Halifax to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. The next ten years of visits home unveiled the birth and growth or her two daughters, construction on her only-on-the-east coast huge amazing homes and the evolution of her interest in writing into an amazing teaching job

Now I see her three to four times a year when she comes to Toronto for conferences. We discuss things like grey hair and ‘kids these days’. This time we talked a lot about family and responsibility and mortality. Also sadness. Her cat died last year. My cat had died the day before. We both got them from the same shelter in Dartmouth thirteen years ago and knew each others’ well. The guilt in having to put an animal down can only be soothed by someone who has had to do the same thing. The sadness however just has to play itself out. I think it’s going to be with me a very long time. 

We said our goodbyes and until next times. And more than with anyone else I know, I know there will be next times forever. She is the friend I’ve known the longest and the only person I even still know from high school. We were two peas in a pod back then with our pointy shoes and weird music. Long Live Us

Drink #29

photo IMG_0822_zps8970c420.jpg Jannie and I have been playing life tag for the past year since she moved to NYC. I’ve been there twice since but she was in LA. When I was in LA she was in New York. So on this unseasonably cold night in Toronto we braved the elements to embrace our same-citiness and eat some Mexican food, naturally. 

Our fifteen year friendship can be credited to yet another city, Halifax, though in truth we didn’t know each when we both lived there. But there’s that thing where we are all tied by either mutual friendships or relationships and experiences. Jannie and I go deep through all of the above. But I think it’s another bond that has kept us together. We’re cut from a very similar cloth, both good and bad. We can share in our struggles as well as our successes in an easy way which allows for year long breaks without missing a beat.

That all said, Jannie has a special thing I will never have.  And in meeting, everything I remember and love falls into place. She always has a fabulous handbag. The kind you don’t just admire visually, you need to understand it. Her drink orders are always specialized and she asks bartenders a lot of questions.  Her day has always been filled up with appointments I don’t understand and purchases I’ve never heard of in areas of town I’ve never been to. She knows what she likes and what she wants. Her taste is absolute and never wavers. It sounds simple but it’s quite rare in my experience.

So somewhere between her custom ordered Micheladas and knowledgeably selected Mascel we caught up on our lives. She told me she is finally doing exactly what she wants to be doing. Uprooting her life, selling her house and moving to New York to basically get paid for her taste was the right choice. I can’t stress how thrilling that news is. I always part ways with Jannie feeling a little bit more challenged and it sounds like in her new life she’s found that challenge too. Yay. 

Drink #28

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Meeting Sarah for a drink was like completing some sort of Toronto Bermuda triangle. I’d been hearing about this girl for so many years that it literally blew my mind to find out she lives across the street from me. Like, literally. She hadn’t always of course.Years ago she used to be roommates with Drink #15 which was I guess the beginning of the triangle. 

I love knowing someone on my street. I makes me feel like Toronto is truly my home, not just where I’ve been living for the last 13 years. It reminds me of childhood, of neighbourhood community. I love that people walking by know the names of my pets and comment on the progress of my garden.

So it was fitting that we met at the bar around the corner. She is the only patron who could possibly live any closer than me. We talked with our friendly neighbourhood bar owner (Drink #1) about community developments and the future of our block. Sarah is a writer/ journalist who knows more about these matters than I do so I ask a lot of questions. We actually talked at length about the art of interviewing. I don’t do it so much anymore but I went through many years of talking to celebs of all sizes about whatever they were around spewing. I don’t know if I was particularly good at it but I think asking questions is a very valuable life skill no matter who you are talking to - second only to actually listening to what people are telling you. I currently work with one of the best interviewers out there and I’m so intrigued by the process. When done right, a subject opens up like they’re lying on their therapist’s couch, probably regretting everything they say later. Oh well!

When we left the bar, Sarah came home with me to pick up my spare key so she could check in on my sick cat during the week. Now that’s a good neighbour.

Drink #27

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James and I work in the same building yet it’s taken nine months for us to meet next door for an after work drink. James is the probably the latest in the food chain of people who know people who know people who get people jobs in television. He may have been shown the in door but he walked through it on his own merit and has been killing it not without notice.

We sat down at the swanky five star lobby bar and ordered two ‘Pin-Up Girl’ cocktails which after a few James was calling ‘Girls Gone Wild’. He’s allergic to fish and I don’t eat red meat so we were pretty much stuck with sharing a cheese plate which we devoured while watching Geddy Lee throw out the first pitch at the Jays season opener. James didn’t know who that was which reminded me of our age gap. 

At 40 you can find yourself in situations where you share company with people who could literally be your children, biologically anyway. Emotionally James and I aren’t that far apart. I don’t know if that says more about him or me. Career wise James is just beginning so I have that on him, but we both are stuck on the question of how to advance in television and if television even has anywhere to advance within. We both also do photography on the side. Again he more than I but at his age I was fully enthralled. In fact the genesis for this particular date was, besides this blog, James photographing me and I supplying him with alcohol. Instead we went dutch and I’m going to photograph him back. 

Every time I pick up a camera I remember it’s something that gives me pleasure. Maybe it’s because I inherently just want to please people and who doesn’t want a good photograph of themselves. I always joke that there are no good photos of me because I can’t take them.  So my session with James was both fun and functional. I also feel I’ve shot so so many people over the past twenty years that I know what the camera likes. Chin down, smile with your eyes but don’t squint, 3/4 angles are flattering, shade is your friend.

Speaking of friends, after a number of girlie cocktails our night was reduced to recounting favourite moments from Friends. I will defend that show til the end and never turn off a rerun no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I told James about my recent discovery of Friends blooper reels on youtube. Enjoy

Drink #26

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Ivan is like no one I’ve ever met, and not just because I’ve never met anyone from Colombia. He’s a self described vagabond who, even though English is only one of his five languages, speaks more eloquently than anyone I know. Could be that latino accent I suppose. Or it could be the fact that he’s a citizen of the world who has lived in more countries than I have apartments. That narrative earns him an outlook and understanding few can share. His lack of peers in the field must leave him for want of a little empathy. Showing up in a new country with no home or job has got to be tough, even if he won’t let himself admit it.

I’ve only moved to another country once, twice if you take into account being born in Italy but for these purposes I will not. I moved to Boston when I was 21 to do a semester at a Fine Art school there. I cried every night for at least a week. I don’t really remember why specifically but breaking a safe tie is jarring. I cried when I moved to Toronto too and this was the safest place I could have ever landed. I guess it’s fear of the unknown, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of being alone. Ivan has made a life of voluntarily existing in this state of anxiety or as he calls it  - anguish. And that is where we found our common ground. We’re a couple of nervous wrecks from opposite Americas.

Our other common ground is of course our one mutual friend who met Ivan when he lived in Mexico City, then again when they both lived in New York. She connected us through email suggesting ”you guys are mythical with your names and stature”. No pressure. I’ve been trying to show him a good time including this Sunday afternoon coffee . After two weeks he’s gotten a job, a place to live and is already running into new friends on the street. He’s going to be just fine. 


Drink #25

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Marnie is charmed. She experiences a life the 99% could only hope to know and the 1% wouldn’t know what to do with. Marnie lives outside the norm, floating around the world, perfecting her crafts, drawing people to her and enriching the lives of those around her. She is a gypsy, a bohemian, a not for want vagabond.

Marnie is also cursed. She was born with a heart so big and open it often lets her down. It literally stops working. As checks and balances go she’d probably trade it in for normal heart with a normal life, but maybe not. 

This week’s ebb and flow brought Marnie back to Toronto where we first met almost three years ago. She was new in town and we made fast friends, then she was gone. This night, in from LA with no winter clothes to speak of, she met me at the cool bar de jour for a much needed catch up. Everything she told me was exciting and my envy battled my admiration.  But it’s hard not to get caught up in her future prospects. Thrills by proximity. Marnie’s been making a long overdue record which I can not wait to hear. Her voice has a vulnerability that reminds me of a young sad Dolly Parton. We sang a Stevie Nicks song together once for a room full of people and I don’t know how it sounded but it just felt so good. It’s the power of Marnie.

Over our drink we gave each other optimistic advise on our universal problems, compared the progress of our hair growth/cuts, caught up on the LA/TO gossip and discovered a new beer which I for one will be having more of (it tastes like coffee). Our good time made me realize I really missed her and her troubled, beautiful heart. 

Drink #24

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When Noah and I met up at a so-hip-it’s-packed-at-9:30 bar we tried to figure out when and if we’d ever met before. We must have, we deduced but neither could remember when or how. It could have been in the 90s, it could have been at a party over Christmas. But we’re facebook friends so that happened at some point for some reason. Social media can really make you feel like you know a person. I don’t remember life before you could find out what a person likes, who a person knows, where they went to school, their sign, their relationship status, their photographic abilities and where they will be on a given night - in a matter of seconds.  As for Noah, I knew he was a dad and a good writer. I also knew he mastered records because he did so for my band some time ago, but we didn’t even meet then. 

By the time we got to our second location (hip bar = too loud) Noah filled me with terrible tales of online dating mishaps of which he’s had his fair share. I love hearing these story as it serves as ammunition for people who hound me to sign up. It’s just not happening. 

After leaving location number two due to the sound assault of live music - ugh - we found ourselves at a private members club with even worse music. But the conversation was good. Topics discussed included cultural jews vs religious jews, nihilism, how long is too long to grieve a dead pet and dry shampoo. We also filled in the blanks on mutual friends and situations which made it even more inconceivable that we never had met before this night. I’m sure glad we did though. Transition from facebook to reality achieved. 

Drink #23

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During my drink with Andrea she quoted Freud. Not in a pretentious way, she was just making a point. That’s a hard thing to pull off and just one reason why Andrea is the best.

I was so so very happy to meet up with her on my resent trip home to Halifax. It’s actually been years since we’ve seen each other and years more before that that we were really a part of each others’ lives. Many moons ago, after I had already graduated from art school (twice) it was Andrea who actually taught me about creativity. She championed my ideas, encouraged my development and physically shot my first short film. I would link to it but it is purposefully not on the internet. I will however link to Andrea’s first feature film because I will never stop loving it. She has done amazing work since and was even nominated for an Emmy, but it was seeing that first film and watching her realize it that inspired me to put heart into art. There is nothing ironic or cynical about what Andrea does. In the 90s that was new territory. 

So it was no surprise to find that sitting across from her, she has not changed a bit. Her words of support for everything I’m doing and plan to do were warm and familiar and welcome. She really makes me want to work and that’s how we got onto Freud. He said "Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness." I guess Andrea then is the most human human I know. She found this hole in the system where she gets a partner without marriage and gets to mother but not be a mother and can bury herself in guilt free work on her own schedule without giving anything up. Kudos. As a result she gets to travel to Africa to document the injustices imposed upon young Kenyan women then return home to the bosom of family without missing a beat. Love and work. That Freud guy was on to something.