Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Memories of a Child

After my parents had Kelly and Graham they had me. The five of us lived in the city. There were block wide games of cops and robbers, street hockey, and kick the can. I was queen of my red wood sandbox. Every year the spring brought the rain and the rain brought the worms. One year the spring brought Travis, my younger brother. When I realized the worms needed to be transported from the gutters to the tub in my backyard it wasn’t a problem that the little pink babies were the only ones I could hold without shrieking; Curtis lived next door and he carried the big juicy ones for me.

It was summer in my kingdom. Curtis and I were bringing large rocks in from the ally. We carried them together in the upturned lid from the garbage can. Suddenly the rock came tumbling out of control and landed on the big toe of my right foot. I’m sure it hurt, I must have cried.

I remember sitting in the brown truck, we each got popsicles from the ice cream man before driving away to the ‘big house’ in the suburbs. There was dirt where there should have been grass and show homes instead of other children. The ice cream man never came that far out of the way. Sometimes I would go into the city so I could play with Curtis. Once I peeked over his fence and saw a tall red compost bin. I didn’t see my sandbox.

 Grass was laid and a family moved in next door. I made friends with the boy named Daniel. We played Lego and built cushion forts in his basement; he was king. One day in the new house I looked down at my feet. My toenail had turned black and was hanging by a thread. I showed it to my dad, he pulled it off and threw it in the garbage.  It didn’t hurt at all.

***I handed this in today for my Life Writing class. The assignment was to write an excerpt of our autobiography....we were limited to one page which made it dificult to include all the details i wanted but i think i got the effect i was going for.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trash Fashion

 ***Re-posted from DesignAWEAR

white trash gets stung

Okay...so i'm not sure how to start this post without verbal diarrhea containing 101 personal opinions regarding fast trash fashion boutiques. You know the ones, racks upon racks inexpensive clothes that hit the store before the ink has dried on the latest street trend photos. It's no secret that many most of these rapidly produced ultra trendy garments are of poor fit and worse quality.  Yet the majority of the population continues to flock to these stores like a sheep, recently shorn and in need of a good coat. But instead of a good coat they end up with a shitty one that they'll throw out by next season along with a few sparkly shirts, some cheap tights, and a handful crappy plastic jewelry. We've all been there, emptying our closet into boxes and bags meant for the nearest goodwill. "The belt loops ripped the first time i put them on; i wore this shirt once but it got all twisty after i put it through the wash; i haven't EVEN worn this!; uhg what was i thinking?; etc etc etc." We sigh at the x amount of dollars wasted and try to comfort ourselves with the thought of someone with less dough who will find the article on the next 50% off day at the thrift store. But lets be honest, that top wont last anyone more than a year before it falls to threads. And dont even get me started on the community of talented designers who all have to compete for the tiny market of conscious shoppers while the rest of the fashion savvy refuse to pay for good quality creative design that actually costs what its worth, fits well, and is made to last.

I am aware that there are many people who study fashion with the hope of job security in the form of a product development position in a large corporate chain. And there are even more who's first thought for next weekend's outfit leads them right to the corner of Yonge and Dundas (or the nearest sale rack at the mall). I generally try to bite my tounge and lead by example. But after reading this article in the New York Times the angst has turned into a ball of rage sitting in the pit of my stomache. This is what happens when clothing is produced at such a rapid pace that theres not enough time to sell half of whats made before the next trend takes over. As if these giants arent moving things to the end of the product lifecycle quickly enough, countless stores are skipping the consumer all together and heading straight for the dumpster. All in the name of brand scarcity i suppose. Read the article and form your own oppinion but please think about what your supporting when you spend your hard earned cash on the 'perfect outfit' for your date next friday.

Love Forever,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Matters

A friend* and I were recently discussing the concept of a 'normal' family. There is this peculiar belief held by most of society that this ideal exists; a group of individuals tied together by blood and/or marriage who get together for holidays and Sunday dinners without incident**. In these homes the Christmas tree never falls down, birthday gifts are always thoughtful, and everyone agrees that the meal is delicious. When the topic of politics or religion does come up the debate rarely becomes heated because as we all know, those of a feather always have similar values and beliefs and fall generally close to one another on the political spectrum....or something like that.

What i want to know is where did this belief come from? I don't know a single person who would describe their own family as "normal". Sure some folks do a pretty good job for the duration of a meal or a birthday party but i assure you that as soon as the guests leave the masks come off. Take my family for example; theres an uncle who's trans-gendered, at least one person who's done time, and a cousin who's currently being brainwashed by a cult. And thats just on my fathers side. At any given family dinner you are sure to meet a left wing artist-of-sorts, an ultra conservative ideal of middle class manhood, and a closeted homosexual. To me, THIS is normal. Whats a few days at the parents house without too many empty bottles of wine, some tears, and a good laugh (probably at someone else's expense). As my older brother*** used to declare at the peak of an argument "We put the FUN in dysfunctional!"

Love Forever,

*sister wife
**yelling, fighting, crying, hurt feelings, drunk uncle/aunt/brother/mother, general disappointment, etc...
***comic relief

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This year i refused the ritual of resolutions.

Plan i will not, but speculate i may. My horoscope says that Sagittarius has moved out of Virgo and I say thank -insert deity of choice- for that. Although, I'm hoping it isn't moving into Scorpio (these days i'm feeling like a brick and there's a certain stinging insect i wouldn't mind drowning slowly.) So here we are, approximately two years and eleven months away from the end of the world and what has the new year brought? Well for me - and a few others i know - there is the evidence that we are not children any more. I gave out midnight kisses while drinking water with lemon and would have been home in bed by one if i could have only got a cab; a rock band at the jam caused me to send telekinetic messages to the sound guy asking him to please turn it down; and on a mid afternoon car ride a (recently engaged) girlfriend and i discussed the strip malls popping up over what was the farmland of our youth. So here I am; looking into the eyes of adulthood without blinking. 'Bring it on.' I say. Here's to life where money really doesn't grow on trees and certain actions have legitimate consequences. Although...could someone please prorogue the start of the semester for a few months? I have some business to take care of.

Love Forever,