Monday, June 23, 2014


  I've never really been one to have a crush on celebrities before. In fact, I can name only two celebrity crushes that I've had in my entire 30+ years of life. My first crush happened when I was about six years old as I was watching an episode of Toronto Rocks on CityTV (this show ran in the '80s before MuchMusic was a thing). I used to run home from school every time this show would air.
  On this particular day they played a video by Olivia Newton John. From the first moment she appeared on the boob tube in my kitchen wearing that spandex, neon outfit, she had my heart! She was the perfect woman to me. She was beautiful, stylish, blonde, yet completely unobtainable - you know, being that she was famous and 20 years older than me. 
  I think I cried in my room for two days when I realized this.
  It was my first real heartbreak.
  My second celebrity crush occurred as teenager when I became obsessed with The X Files. Gillian Anderson had slowly fought her way into my heart while wearing those cute little power suits with that FBI badge that adorably hung from her left lapel that identified herself as "Dana Scully". She was beautiful, pragmatic, mothering and a little bit difficult. She had red hair, too, which showed that I had matured in some way and it signalled that I had moved on from blondes.
  In the summer of 1994 I decided to do what I'd never done before - and never have again. I picked up a pen and I wrote Gillian Anderson a letter and told her how much I admired her and that I had a bit of a crush on her. I never expected her to reciprocate my feelings, but at the very least I figured that I'd get some sort of response from her.
  A few weeks later a package arrived with the return address of 20th Century Fox in California. Could this have been what I was waiting for? Could this have been a special response from Dana Scully herself???
  I ran upstairs with the coveted package in hand and slammed my bedroom door shut as I sat down on my bunk bed. Feverishly, but with the precision of a brain surgeon, i opened the package. 
  Instead of Dana Scully, I actually received a signed photo of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder that read, "Christian - Thanks for watching - David Duchovny". Enclosed was a letter from his assistant that read, "David thought you'd like his autograph better". 
  I remember being super disappointed and sad. It took me some time to realize how cool this was, though. Fox Mulder actually pranked me. Out-foxed, as it were. It may not have been immediate, but Mr. Duchovny won me over that day. The original signed photo is below.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


  One thing I've learned in my 30+ years of life is that my love for McDonald's is only trumped by my love for a good road trip and free things. Recently, I combined all three of these amazing things by registering with a company called Toronto Drive-Away and flying to Florida to drive a retired couple's car back from Fort Lauderdale.

  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of "drive-away", it is a service for people who have driven their cars to various destinations in North America, yet they pay for someone to drive their vehicles back to Toronto for a variety of reasons. The two busiest seasons for this are spring (cars coming back to Toronto) and fall (cars going to Florida, Arizona, California, etc.) The idea is not new. In fact, I've done similar trips a handful of times over the past 15 years.

  Though there are a variety of drive-away companies in Toronto, the prerequisites for participating are slightly varied and so too is compensation. So please be aware that the breakdown in this post is for Toronto Drive-Away only, whose main requirements for driving are that you have a clean driver's license, are at least 30 years of age, and that you have no criminal record. The company also requires a $200 deposit from your credit card. Once the car is returned to the owner, the company will then reimburse your $200, all gas costs incurred, as well as a flat payment of $500.

  It sounds like a pretty sweet deal, and it is if you're interested in an adventure - which I was. Though, it's not a really ideal option if you're actually looking for relaxation and/or a vacation. First off, there are some catches to consider; Once the company receives your $200 deposit the only information they provide is the owner's contact information and where to drop the car off. You must also figure out how to get to where you need to go and either book a rental car or flight to get there. The cost of this comes out of the $500 you get at the conclusion of your trip. Additionally, you have only 72 hours to cross the border into Canada for cars coming back from Florida.
Somewhere over Montreal.

  So without delay, here's a condensed version of my trip ...
 *Please note that I have three rules when travelling solo on U.S. road trips:  Initially carry no cash, go in blind without the use of a map of any kind (including those on my iPhone), and subsist purely on McDonald's*
   I spent three days trying to get in touch with the owner of the vehicle in Florida to make arrangements, only to find out that he'd died a few days previous. Bad omen? Owner's widow contacted me, letting me know 
The Floridian coast.
that I still needed to pick up the car. Thought of bussing to Buffalo to save money on the flight south. Quickly realized the pain in the ass it would have been just to save only $75. Flew out of Toronto's Billy Bishop instead. My 8am flight from Toronto to Montreal was delayed by one hour. My bags were searched by Customs, at "random" as they pointed out. Arrived in Montreal with only one hour to make my connection. It seemed an ample amount of time until I was ushered into the U.S. Customs office and told to strip down to my underwear. It was a "random" search, they noted (again). Luckily, there was no bum play. Made my connecting flight with no time to spare and eventually arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 3pm. It began to rain immediately upon landing. Couldn't find a bank machine in the airport. Also, couldn't find a bus to where I needed to go. Eventually paid a limo $20 to drop me off at the gated community of Coconut Creek. 

  Spent an hour trying to figure out where to pick up the keys to the car. The information I received said "Apt. 3", though I quickly realized all apartments were preceded by a letter which meant 26 different possibilities for so-called "Apt. 3". Was finally directed to the right one after being
The infamous Ford Fusion.
surrounded by three Jewish women who I could have sworn were the inspiration behind TV's "The Golden Girls". A Mrs. Snider ushered me into her apartment only to tell me that she "couldn't find the keys to the car". "Awesome", I thought. An hour later, said keys were found. Walked down to the car where I was disappointed to find a Ford Fusion waiting for me. I was definitely hoping for something on the higher end side for what should have been my 22-hour drive. Immediately started driving north. Instead of taking the I-95, I chose to take the scenic route 1 up the Floridian coast. Construction. Construction. And more construction. Stopped to eat McDonald's (first time in nearly one year), which is basically the equivalent of visiting an old friend when it comes to road trips of any kind. Continued driving for three hours until it got dark. Only then did I realize how exhausted I was. After all, it had already been a 15-hour day of travel. 
Got a $50 room at a motel on the side of the highway called "Budget Inn of Cocoa". I drank some beers in bed while a lizard stared at me from the wall behind the television set. He clung to the wall for hours and had this face on him that looked like he just told a joke and was waiting for my reaction.

The infamous "boob" mountain.
  Woke up at 6am and waited for the sun to rise. The bastard didn't actually rise until 7am. Started raining again. Continued driving up Hwy 1 and passed by Cape Canaveral, which up until this point I'd never visited in my life. Saw some interesting signs about astronauts and stuff. I laughed. Eventually, Hwy 1 merged with the I-95 as I saw the coast slowly disappear in my rearview mirror. Eventually made it out of Florida and into Georgia. The rain was finally behind me. Stopped at another McDonald's just outside of Savannah. Was told that my "mama raised me right", when the cashier noticed that I'd wiped my rain soaked shoes on the mat at the entrance. Drove 100 miles in the wrong direction through South Carolina on the I-95 when I should have merged with the I-77 back in Charleston. I only realized my error when I ended up at a place called "South of The Border" - a place I'd never seen before. Strange, considering I'd made this drive many times before. That being said, "South of The Border" blew my mind. Was the best error I've ever made.

South of The Border!!!
  Stopped at McDonald's again. Drove five hours west to correct my mistake. Endured a crazy monsoon-type storm that led me to pull over because I couldn't see more than two feet in front of me. Saw a mountain in the shape of a giant boob. I took a picture to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, because at that point I'd driven for nearly 13 hours straight. Got caught in a snowstorm in the Virginian mountains. Had to pull over and get a motel in a town called Fancy Gap. Funny, because I was so out of it after so many hours of continuous driving that I thought Fancy Gap was a euphemism for "vagina". 

  Woke up at 7am. Broke my own rule and bought a pocket map because I couldn't afford to mess up again and wanted to get back to Toronto that evening. Drove without pants for the next 5 hours through the rest of Virgina and West Virginia. Endured more crazy snowstorms, which sucked because it was only then that I realized the car I was driving did not have snow tires on it. Can you imagine driving through the mountains on a concrete road covered in snow without snow tires?  Stopped at a McDonald's again. Put pants on. Took pants off for the remaining drive through Pennsylvania and New York before stopping to pant-up just before the border. Why? Just because. Stopped at the Duty Free because as Kramer once sang, "I like to stop at the Duty Free shop". Crossed the border without incident. Couldn't have been happier to drive on a Canadian highway again as the Toronto skyline began to take shape in front of me. Though, it must be noted that I crossed two entire U.S. states in the time it took me to travel 10 km in Toronto. It was the only traffic I'd endured during my entire 2,361 km adventure. 
Outside Cape Canaveral.
Somewhere in South Carolina.

If you're still interested, here's some websites to visit:
Driving without pants is the best.
Some interesting accidents one sees.
Safety first on U.S. Interstates.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


People hate Nazis, but people seem to love cats.

So what happens when you combine the two?

The images below, taken during WWII of Nazi soldiers with cats, show a different perspective of the horrors of war. It's strange how these monsters of the Third Reich suddenly become humanized when accompanied by felines.

Paul McCartney once said, "You can tell a man's true nature by the way he treats his fellow animals."

Considering the atrocities committed by the Germans in WWII, that theory should probably be reconsidered ...

Waffen-SS officer holding two kitties.

"I don't want to be pet today, Mr. Wehrmact officer!"

Luftwaffe officer coddles tabby.

Wehrmact officer is helped with paperwork by a feline friend.

Wehrmact soldier resting and sharing rations with three cats.

Kitty takes a peek inside wehrmact soldier's ration tin.

Waffen-SS soldier from the Handschar division hanging out with a furry friend.

Double the pleasure, double the cute for these two wehrmact soldiers taking a break from battle.

Always remember that curiosity killed the cat.

A box full of cuteness for this wehrmact officer and his friend.

An Afrika Korps soldier poses with friends.

Luftwaffe officer sitting inside his cockpit with a lion cub.

Some notable photos of NAZIs with other cute animals.

Is that a bird on this Waffen-SS officer's shoulder and a fox in his pocket???

Dude, is that a squirrel on your shoulder?

How much does this blow your mind? Hitler. Adolf Hitler - as in the most evil man on the earth like ever - feeding Bambi.

Monday, February 24, 2014


  Is there anything more eye-gougingly annoying than when you meet someone for the first time at a party and their first question is to ask you what you do for a living? Now, just imagine how annoying this question becomes when you've recently become unemployed. The worst part is that you probably won't even attempt to change the subject. In fact, the very question about what you "do" presents the perfect opportunity to plant the idea that you're doing everything but being unemployed. You'll use myriad stock euphemisms like "in transition", "job market researcher", or, my personal favorite, "freelancer". Though, after five minutes of rambling on and on, you'll both come to the mutual understanding that you are, in fact, unemployed.

  I know this situation well because I am unemployed. Not only am I unemployed, but I'm also collecting Employment Insurance (EI). I know what you're thinking, "that sounds awesome!" Well, yeah. Who wouldn't think that? You get to do what you want when you want to do it. You even get to go to bed late and wake up whenever the hell you want. The best part is that you get to do all this while receiving a bi-monthly cheque from the government for 36 glorious weeks.

  It didn't used to be like this. I had a job, a full time one too. Much like many of you, I used to sit at a desk eight hours a day, five days a week while my brain cells slowly eroded away. I'd spend copious amounts of time on Facebook and YouTube in a vain attempt to cloud the sad reality of my day-to-day existence. I would often daydream about what other people were doing while I was imprisoned inside, toiling away for "the man". Not only would I pine for the world outside my office walls on a daily basis, but I'd habitually worry about whether today was the day my impending repetitive stress injury finally kicked in.

  I didn't hate my job, nor did I ever dread having to go to work. But I wasn't particularly happy to be working for a large corporate law firm, with lawyers whose ethics were as maleable as the law itself. Principles aside, I felt no sense of accomplishment from my work and the appreciation I received from those I worked for reflected that. Most of all, I disliked being forced to wear a stupid suit and tie every day in the firm's hardline policy that raped its employees of any semblance of individuality and/or personality.

  I wanted out for years. But as a monkey suit-wearing, corporate automaton, the firm paid me pretty damn well. After all, it's hard to walk away from comfort. If the sense of well-being and fat paycheque weren't enough to keep me around, the firm also showered me with gift cards and presents. And if those didn't skew my negative views of office life, the partners disarmed me with free booze at its monthly staff parties. It was a brilliantly manipulative tactic to keep me in line. In many ways, the firm was like an abusive spouse; ruthless and brutal, yet overly apologetic with its grand acts of kindness. I knew things wouldn't change, but I wanted to believe. So I stayed ... for yet another year.

  Then one day, everything changed. I had been unceremoniously let go "without cause" (their wording, not mine). And after almost four years of dedicated and loyal service, I found myself now a part of the unemployed 7% in Canada. I remember lingering around my office building for a couple of hours after it happened, not knowing exactly what to do next. After all, my crappy little world had suddenly been turned on its axis. Eventually, I made made my way home where I'd remain in a perpetual state of numbness for the next few days of my new unemployed life. For hours on end I'd lay on my couch and watch bad daytime TV, all the while attempting to process things: How did this happen? What do I do now? Most importantly, how the hell was I going to pay rent next month?

  My initial shock then beget relief, as I began to realize that I was actually free (also, it was nice to know I was eligible for EI due to the fact that I neither quit or was fired). Regardless, I was free of fluorescent lighting. I was free of my suit and tie. I was free of lawyers. I was free of my desk. I was free of paperwork. I was free of faxes and phone calls. I was free of corporate doublespeak and office politics. I was free of my PC. I was free of scanning, photocopying and pretending to care. Most of all, I had freed up 40 hours a week to do whatever the hell I wanted to do - and there were a lot of things in my life that I'd long neglected.

  I had big plans.

  I was going to purge my apartment. I was going to write a book. I was going to hit the gym every day and get totally buff. I was going to cook a nice meal for myself every night. I was going to start taking classes - any classes. I was going to practice guitar as much as I could. I was going to travel - anywhere. I was going to conquer that mountainous pile of laundry I'd neglected for weeks. I was going to sleep - oh lord, was I going to sleep. Last but not least, I was going to finally paint my bathroom - a bathroom I'd been meaning to re-paint for years. (*side note* my ex forced me to paint it "salmon"-coloured a couple of years back in a bid to save our relationship. I learned two very important things from this experience: Painting a bathroom will not save a relationship, and "salmon" is actually a man-friendly way of saying "pink".)

  Regardless, EI was going to buy me some much needed time. I was going to sort out the rest of my life before I really had to hunker down and look for another job. For some, collecting only 60% of a paycheque you'd received regularly for years may not seem sustainable, but for me it was enough (or so I thought). After all,  I had no real responsibilities other than paying rent and my phone bill. Ever more, I had no dependents.

  Even though EI may seem like heaven to those who've never had the opportunity to collect it, the reality is that it opens the gates of hell. You see, being unemployed is a festering cancer that pits you against all of your worst habits. It slowly eats away at your soul in a way that working for "the man" never quite did. Although there were a host of things I had been excited to accomplish with my newfound liberation, I soon realized that unbridled freedom itself is quite imprisoning.

  In the weeks that immediately followed my dismissal, I made a valiant attempt to wake up early every day and tackle the chores and goals on my "to-do" list. Though, when you have a predisposition for procrastination such as I, a life without structure is a recipe for disaster. My time management skills quickly began to erode. Even something as simple as doing laundry started to demand a large chunk of my day. Chores that seemed inconsequential when I was employed - such as making dinner, grocery shopping or even making my bed - suddenly became difficult. Within a month, I began waking up one-to-two hours later than I had been previously. And before I knew it, the biggest detriment to my life became the simple act of putting on pants.

  Without pants, I soon fell into a never-ending spiral of deeper procrastination, habitual napping, boredom, laziness, anxiety, masturbation, drinking, staying up way too late, and eventually depression. It didn't help my cause that unemployment happened to come in the dead of winter - which happened to be one of the worst winters in 50 years - either. Soon, I stopped leaving my apartment during the days and would sometimes go an entire week without seeing anyone. Although I tried my hardest to stay busy, the frustration at the reality of how unproductive I'd actually been that day left me prone in the fetal position on my couch. It was self-defeat at its ugliest. Although I'd managed to get a few things done in the early weeks of unemployment, the sustained disorder of my days left me standing in the bottom of a dark chasm (aka hell).

  It shouldn't have come to this. I really should have known better for no reason other than I had danced with the devil that is EI in the past. Though, collecting EI in my 20s had been a far different beast than collecting it in my 30s. From what I remember, everyone I knew back then had been unemployed, in school, or drunk - so we were all on the same level. You see, when you're in your 20s nobody expects anything from you. That, and everyone also seems to disregard the fact that you're an idiot. I assume this is because you have potential. You can still improve. It's funny, though, the slack people cut you comes to an immediate end once you reach the age of 30. Though the idea that we should all have our lives sorted out by our third decade of life is unrealistic, we somehow believe this as truth.

  As much as I've tried to distance myself from societal expectations, the truth is that I totally buy into it. Don't we all? More than anything, I despise the stigma of being unemployed. The sheer pressure to produce and sort myself out leaves me both stressed and with little time. After all, looking for jobs is, in itself, a full time job. The panic to re-join the world of the employed has been further heightened by the realization that EI has left me broke (because, let's face it, 60% of a paycheque doesn't go nearly as far as it did a decade ago).

 Though being in my 20s allowed me a certain amount of flexibility, I'm smarter now and I am blessed with 20/20 hindsight. When I was younger, I couldn't see the forest through the trees. But age and experience have taught me that a positive, life altering change is the result of a conglomerate of small actions. Though I'd allowed myself to slowly descend into the doldrums of unemployed life, I've come to see it for what it is. I have become acutely aware that I had to start doing things differently and become more proactive in my day-to-day life. After all, nothing good comes to those who wait (aka lying on a couch watching Dr. Phil all day).

  So one day, I put on a pair of shorts and started going to the gym. Sure, they weren't exactly pants, but this small action was a gateway to better things ahead. I started jogging and this seemed to kickstart my brain, which had taken a permanent vacation since I stopped working full time. With synapses firing, new ideas began to flow. And with these ideas I began to be productive once more.

  Though the exiguous act of going to "work out" may seem inconsequential, it's made all the difference in the world. My mental state quickly improved and a side effect of that is that I started to look better. Together, those things have helped me to regain the confidence I seemed to lose some months back. This positive flow of energy is infectious and soon I started to see that other people noticed me. I was no longer that dark, hunched figure people avoided eye contact with on the street. Strangers actually began to smile at me and this helped further perpetuate the idea that I was still relevant; a feeling that had disappeared the moment my job did.

  I've found my rhythm. It took a long time, but I've eventually found my way. Though I'm not out of the woods, I see a clearing in the distance. Sure, I still haven't exactly mastered the art of wearing pants for longer than a few hours in a day, nor have I become employed, but all of this will come in time. I think.

Friday, February 14, 2014


  I love my exes ... and I'm not even lying.

  In fact, I consider these ladies to be some of my best friends in the world (even if I haven't spoken to one of them in years). 

  They know me better than anyone else. Hell, they know me better than my own parents do.

  They've seen me at my best. Most importantly, they've seen me at my absolute worst. 

  They've supported me through hard times and celebrated the good.
 We've gotten drunk together and helped nurse each other's hangovers.

  We've laughed together and we've even cried together.

  Most of all, these ladies have always been brutally honest with me while others would prefer to treat me with kid gloves.

  They've never been afraid to tell me that I'm being an idiot, nor have they been too shy to remind me that I'm not nearly as awesome as I think I am.

  These are the kind of people I prefer to keep around. Because of these reasons, I'd take a bullet for every last one of them.

  Sure we broke up, but who cares? The only things that really change due to a break-up are sex and arguments - meaning, these two things no longer happen anymore.

 Though staying friends with someone you were in a long term romantic relationship may not be easy, it's totally worth it. After all, the only loving relationship that is truly a waste of time is the one that you didn't work on maintaining ... even if the dynamic and title of that particular relationship have changed.

  Relationships with your exes take a lot of work, but what worthwhile thing in life doesn't require hard work? 

  So, a big heartfelt happy Valentine's Day to to all of my wonderful exes! xo

Monday, February 10, 2014


  I have one major prerequisite when dating someone for an extended period of time - there must be a cool story about how we met. An idealistic bonus is that my partner has a really cool name: Lucie, Joya, Tia, Anita, Altaira, Veronique, and Elisa are all acceptable examples.

  My expectations aren't even that high for what would qualify as a cool story. In fact, I've set the bar so low that "cool story" just means that I met you randomly in real life and not online. This could mean anything from meeting you at a bar or at a party, on the bus or on the street, at the laundromat or even at the grocery store. It's not totally unreasonable to want this, right? I mean, my grandparents didn't meet during WWII by mindlessly "swiping" right on each other's photos. They met like normal people do; in real life and in a real life situation. This is only one of the many reasons that exist for why internet dating will never work for someone like me.

  Oh, I've tried. Believe me, I've tried. In fact, I'm what some would consider a "veteran"; an expert at all things e-dating. I'm stubborn as all hell and that's the only reason I still dabble in it after all this time.

  I've gone on well over 60 dates over the past decade, all of which were the result of messages I'd either sent or received courtesy of Plenty Of Fish, OKCupid or Tinder. I've made sure to give my "dates" a fair amount of time and attention, regardless of attraction. I even have a self-imposed rule of ordering myself at least two beers per date. If I'm enjoying myself, I'll have more. Though I'm no mathematician, in my summation I've probably spent no less than 150 hours drinking 150 pints of beer on dates that went absolutely nowhere. To put this feat in perspective, I'd have to spend an entire week, dating 24 hours a day, just to equal the amount of time I've given to girls I've met online.
  How's that for dedication?

  The sheer numbers alone are quite impressive when you consider that I've only been single for less than one year in total over that entire 10-year period. The reason I've had so many dates in such a small timeframe is that I don't dawdle online. If I think you're cute and you have some semblance of being normal, I will ask you to go out almost immediately. I mean, why the hell would I want to talk to a stranger I've met online for an entire month just to realize I'm not sexually attracted to them the moment we meet in person? Let's not split hairs on this thing, because sex is what drives us and what ultimately causes us to fall in love in the first place. The fact that you like the same bands, eat the same foods, or like the same movies I do is just a bonus.

  In many ways, joining an internet dating site sounds like the best idea in the world ever. In fact, it's such a great idea you'd think that the Germans or Swedes invented the concept. Take a moment to really think about it. I mean, you can actually "meet" people and plan dates without ever having to leave your apartment. Hell, you don't even have to put pants on. How crazy is that? I know what you're thinking; "where do I sign up?" But not so fast, horny human. Though it may seem like simple, one-stop shopping for love and sex, internet dating actually sucks.

  First off, let me clarify some things for all of you. Though I may not be Brad Pitt, I am certainly no Danny DeVito. I'm more like Serge Gainsbourg, just less sleazy. I'm intelligent, charming, witty, funny, disarming, and thoughtful (other peoples' words to describe me, not my own). I reactivate my online dating profiles every time I'm suddenly single not because I'm socially inept or incapable of meeting new people. I'm on dating websites because I'm lazy and it just happens to be winter whenever I'm single. I am not an anomaly. In fact, there are many reasons people troll sites like OKCupid. Below is a basic list of why you are probably online:
  1. You're too busy to meet people (aka: your job as an astronaut has you stationed on the International Space Station for the next 10 months). 
  2. You're desperate (aka: you've abandoned all hope and standards for the chance to meet somebody ... anybody). Before internet dating existed, you'd probably have been one of those people who wrote letters to convicted killers in prison just for a chance at love.
  3. You're moving, or have moved, to a new city and you want to meet people.
  4. You're a complete creep and/or are incapable of interacting with people in social situations (ladies know better than anyone else that dating websites are a breeding ground for predators, shirtless douchebags and guys who just can't wait to send you dick-tures).
  5. You're recently out of a long-term relationship and you don't know any better (Though, you figure out really quickly the inherent problems and horrors of internet dating - see #4. You're on here briefly and disappear back into the real world as fast you left it.
  6. You're lazy (aka: me).
  The harsh truth about internet dating is that it really shows you just how incompatible you are with most people. Although 98% of the people I've gone out with turned out to be nothing short of weird and/or utterly insane, that doesn't necessarily mean I haven't met some really good people. In fact, I've forged some really worthwhile friendships via the internet. But they have never morphed into anything more than that. I suppose there's just something so unromantic about going on a date with someone I've met online that it actually sullies the entire idea of being with that person at all. Going out with someone you've met on the internet is probably the most unnatural thing I've ever done. And after an illustrious history of internet dating, that uncomfortable feeling has never really waned.

  I don't truly understood why things have never gone anywhere with the people I've met online even though the majority of them have been attractive. Though, a recent experience finally made me see the inherent, underlying problem for what it is. A few months back, I met someone at a house party. I noticed her immediately from the moment I walked in the room. She was like the sun, a radiance that my eyes could not ignore. She glowed and her draw was both vexing and exciting. A mutual friend eventually introduced us and the rest of the night her and I were lost in a world of our own; talking in hushed tones and flirting with each other. I walked her home a few hours later. We held hands. It was innocent and beautiful. Most of all, I was happy and relieved to know that my heart was still capable of being captured.

  Although there was an instant connection between us, something nagged at me. Her face was recognizable, though there's no way we'd ever met previous to that night considering she was new to the city. It perplexed me enough that I eventually reactivated my OKCupid account. I hastily leafed through some old messages. And then I finally found what I'd suspected. It turns out that I'd actually messaged this very girl some six weeks earlier. She never responded, yet here we were so inexplicably drawn to each other. We ended up dating for a couple months. Though, I truly believe that had she answered my initial message we wouldn't have made it to a second date.

  The answer to this is simple. Our attraction to each other at that party was guided by the most basic of human instincts - pheromones. This is something a computer algorithm can never and will never be able to calculate. Although attraction is shallow and easily identified, chemistry is far more complicated than simply looking at a photo of someone. Attraction is fleeting, while good chemistry based on pheromones is the difference between a one-night stand and lasting love.

   Another reason her and I wouldn't have gone out again is that I've never actually gone into an online date hoping for the best. In fact, I flat out expect the worst. And if you look for the worst, you will surely find it. Always. You may ask be asking yourselves why pheromones don't play a part when I go on these internet dates. Well, truth be told, my anxiety level trumps any animal instincts I may have. My senses are numb and my guard is up. I wasn't nervous when I met that girl at the party that night because I had no expectations of who she was as a person. In my mind, she was a beautiful blank canvas and I was excited to discover for myself who she was rather than being told what she was.

  The reason for this anxiety and trepidation when meeting someone on the internet is well-founded, considering that the woman I meet in person is rarely the person she's built herself up as online. Although I'd like to believe that people don't intentionally lie when they describe themselves on the internet, we are mostly incapable of describing our flaws. If we did, who the hell would date us? Add to this the fact that most of us have a warped perception of ourselves. Just imagine the surprising reality that sits across from you when you do finally meet in person.

 This "surprising reality" has included, but is not limited to, girls who describe themselves as "fit" online, yet are pushing 300lbs in real life. It's also why guys often describe themselves as 6'0" when they are actually only 5'5" in person. It's why people post a photo of themselves from a decade ago under the guise of it being a current likeness. It's why humourless people use the catch phrase "loves to laugh" and why uptight people describe themselves as "down-to-earth" or "easy going". In their eyes, this is truth. Maybe it's not that they think this who they are, rather it's who they hope they are. It's almost as if writing it down will make it so. This is why internet dating isn't as simple as it seems and it makes you truly understand why the Germans and Swedes didn't invent the concept in the first place - because it just doesn't make sense.

  That being said, I do know people who've had a different experience than the one I've had with internet dating. In fact, I have friends who've met their significant other in cyberspace and some have even gotten married. So, in the end, maybe the problem is not the internet. Maybe the problem is me? God forbid.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

R-awwwwwwwww-B FORD

  Rob Ford. 

 Have two words ever elicited such a strong negative reaction from Torontonians? Probably not, considering that this is a city full of hipsters more concerned with their "fixies" and avoiding eye contact with strangers than with actually voicing their discontent about something as intimidating (*gulp*) as city politics.

  Yes, there are a great many things to dislike about Toronto's mayor. He's a crack smoking, homophobic, foul-mouthed alcoholic, and all-around vile beast. In most cities around the world, just one of those adjectives would have been grounds enough for termination or at least elicit a dishonorable resignation. But not in Toronto. In many ways, the Rob Ford effect will affect real change as the city is forced to review the existing rules which prevent us from impeaching such an elected official. Though, that's another topic for another time.

  Sure, it's been nice to see the entire downtown core come together to hate on a mayor who has been one-part farce and one-part performance art. But maybe it's time we tried to see another side of Rob Ford - the cute side. After all, he's not going anywhere for at least another nine months.

  Here are seven adorably perfect moments frozen in time that best exemplify the cuddly doughboy they call Rob Ford:

That time he had to hold his sippy cup with two hands at a council meeting. (It must be noted that this happens often).

Bonus cute points for the milk moustache!

Two handing not just sippy cups, but pretty much anything. In this case, a glass stein full of ice? Awwwwww!

And when he's exerted himself too much from holding drinks, he opts for something far less physically taxing: a straw. Adorbs!

Oh, look at this. The mayor's being tickled by budget chief Frank Di Giorgio. Look at the glee in the jolly fat man's face. Soooooo cute.

Remember that time Rob Ford dressed up as a bellicose Canon Doll for the COC's performance of The Nutcracker? If this image doesn't make your heart melt, I don't know what will.

This photo makes me both happy and sad. There he is in the background, looking all dejected and left out. I mean, what sort of monster would leave Rob Ford off their Red Rover team? Everyone gets to have fun but our mayor. It's NOT FAIR. This photo fills me with an insatiable need to hold him, brush his little blond eyebrows and tell him that everything will be OK.

OK. This isn't really a photo of Rob Ford. That being said, whoever tatted the mayor smoking crack on their arm is really giving that girl with the "Drake" tattoo across her forehead a run for her money.