Advertisers are worse than the Catholic church.

Last week I went tanning (get over it) and as I took my sweater off, my hair did this flippy thing and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought… Damn. I look good.

2 seconds later I immediately felt guilty. Who am I to think I look good? There are billions of better looking people on this planet. And I’m fat. And I can’t run. And my shoes are dirty. And I’m lazy. And I have crow’s feet. And… the list goes on.

This is a sick, sick habit we have. In a world where everywhere we look we are force-fed images of people who are richer than us, happier than us, have better hair than us, have better clothes than us, and are having more sex than us, it’s hard to believe we have the courage to leave our beds at all.

I love creative advertising. I love clever advertising. I love powerful advertising. I do believe it serves a purpose when it’s done properly. It is the most effective way to make people aware of your brand or service or product. It’s a great way to promote charities and events. It helps create awareness about diseases or even politics. Like most things, it can be used for good.

Or evil.

The problem begins when the goal is to promote something that isn’t a necessity or even a GOOD product. That’s when advertisers have to rely on other methods to pique your interest. They need to make you feel as if you need this product more than the company needs you to buy it. And what’s the easiest way to do that? Exploit our insecurities.

The advertising industry relies on our insecurities to be profitable. If we were all self-assured, confident, people who were happy with WHO we are, the entire industry would cease to exist. They not only exploit our insecurities, but they make them 10 times worse by constantly bombarding us with images of false happiness. When you are told something over and over again, no matter how strong you are, eventually you start to believe it. That is how advertising works.

From the second we are old enough to understand the messages they are sending us, they enforce one thing: purchasing equals happiness. Happy Meals. Toys. Candy. We are raised to seek out happiness in material objects. We become addicted to the feelings we get when we get something we’ve been wanting. Instead of learning to love who we are on the inside, we learn to love brands we wear on the outside. We actually convince ourselves that how we dress has something to do with WHO we are (I’m sorry, but if you tell yourself that fashion is anything more than aesthetics and ego, you’ve got some soul searching to do). We live as slaves to brands, grateful that they’ve entered our lives to rid us of all the misery that comes from never being good enough. We want more and more and more. It’s never enough.

It’s sad. Really, really sad. People are getting ass implants, man. What are we saying as a society when people feel that their value as a human is in direct correlation to the size of their ass? The problem in chasing happiness through material objects is that it will never be enough. It’s like chasing a high. As long as you spend your time buying shit instead of developing as a PERSON, you will never be free… or truly happy.

And what happens the second we feel good about ourselves? Guilt. Shame. Second guessing ourselves. Like the Catholic Church, advertisers rely on us to feel these things in order to devote ourselves to them completely.

As ironic as it is that I’m about to reference a video that ended up being used in a Maxwell House commercial, I still think it’s a perfect example of how we should all start our days. Fuck the guilt. I’m amazing.

Now back to my job… at an advertising agency.

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Quick & Dirty

I sometimes have so many ideas or thoughts I complete none of them. I haven’t posted in 2 weeks! That’s horrible. I’m a bad person.

I’m trying to make this blog different than my Facebook page, ie., not random thoughts and questions and feelings that will pass within the hour. I want to keep this as somewhere I discuss or share things that have a little more depth than how much the guy next to me on the train smells. With that being said, I still have 400 ideas in my head right now so I thought I’d at least do a Quick & Dirty post, and maybe make it a monthly thing.. maybe even weekly. WHO KNOWS! So here are some random thoughts I’ve had within the last couple of weeks…

I equally love and hate old people.

I either look at old people the way I do babies and puppies or I look at them the way I do Rob Ford. There is no in between.

As much as I love them (or hate them), there are two separate lists in Vanessa’s world in reference to old people:

1. Things I will do for old people, always.

  • Give up my seat
  • Carry bags
  • Help them cross the street
  • Hold doors for them
  • Pick up things for them if they’ve dropped something
  • Respond when they speak to me even if I’m clearly occupied with a book or iPod or both
  • Generally act as gentle as I can in order to not scare them

2. Things I will not do for old people, ever.

  • Allow them to bully/guilt me into doing anything on list #1
  • Purposely be close enough to smell them
  • Let them use the washer and/or dryer ahead of me in the laundry room if I was there first

Clearly this thought came from my night doing laundry this weekend. As much as I enjoy having a nice, sweet conversation with you, Lil’ Old Lady from my hood, don’t think it’s going to get you in front of me to use one of the three dryers that are currently working out of five. Better start getting back to your roots, Abuelita.

This is what you're used to anyway, lady.

Someone really needs to punch Rihanna in the face… again.

RiRi is someone that makes me very scared to have my own children. The chick gets beat by her man, spends the next year (or two?) slowly turning into a prostitute, and then, yesterday, releases a remix with same dude. If this is the type of person my children will have to look up to, said children will never exist.

Round Two *ding ding ding*


I really think they put crack in McDonald’s food

For the last 3 weeks I’ve been exercising, bringing a lunch to work, cooking at home, avoiding fast food, and trying not to drink [as much]. I’ve lost 4 lbs in two weeks and I feel healthier and more energetic already.

But man, I can’t stop thinking about McDonald’s.

This is serious. I work across the street from a McDonald’s. McDonald’s is one of our clients at work. The dude who sits across from me has a golden Big Mac that I longingly ogle all day, every day.

I love all fast food – Taco Bell, McDonald’s, any type of greasy Chinese food, Wendy’s, and my opinion is that the greasier the pizza is, the better it tastes.

But I don’t sit at my desk praying to the Scale Gods to keep me out of a pizza joint or a Taco Bell. I don’t imagine eating a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s. McDonald’s is the only food I get real, almost physical, cravings for. So obviously the only logical explanation is that they sprinkle each menu item with crack. Not enough for anyone to ever take legal action, but enough that after only 3 weeks avoiding it (including one cheat day when I was literally forced to be INSIDE a McDonald’s all day for work and eventually gave in to a McChicken, fries and Fruitopia) I am still thinking about it at least a few times a day. A. DAY.

Crack is wack… unless it’s in a Big Mac.

The bane of my existence

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I can’t listen to Dilla’s music anymore.

Relax. Before you start huffing and puffing, let me explain.

I will always love James Yancey, I just can’t tell you the last time I actually listened to any of his shit (besides now, as I write this). That’s sad, considering Fantastic Vol. 2 is my favourite album of all time and Climax is my favourite song of all time. It’s the only album I can say is the reason behind an 11-year friendship. I would ask DJ Law to play Slum Village every Friday and/or Saturday night at Beat Junkie at the end of the night, he always obliged, and a friendship was born. I was obsessed with SV and Dilla for a long time. I lost that feeling at some point and it’s never come back.

I’m not sure when it happened, but I think it was about a year after he died. Around the time the second wave of Dilla tributes flooded our city. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. Let me start from the beginning, at the top of the list…

I am not one of those people who remember the first album they ever bought or the first time they heard this track or that album (although I do remember getting a bunch of cassettes one year for Christmas when I was about 10, which included U2, The Black Crowes, and Kriss Kross). I don’t remember the first time I heard Slum Village or how I even came across them. Before I even knew who Dilla actually was or what else he had already produced, I was hooked on his sound.

I had grown up listening to classic rock, Brit pop, and alternative music because of my mom, my aunts had me listening to old school RnB (which wasn’t old school at the time), and I had an uncle who introduced me to classic house (again, it wasn’t ‘classic’ yet). The only hip hop I remember being in my uncle’s vinyl collection was Candyman (I was singing along to ‘Knockin’ Boots’ before I knew what the term meant) and De La Soul’s ‘3 Feet High & Rising.’ He could have had more, but that’s all I can remember. It wasn’t until I was 14 and discovered CIUT, CKLN and CHIN that I really started getting into shit I had never listened to before; punk, ska, drum’n’bass, jungle, and hip hop. Hip hop is the only one that lasted.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic. I was all about SV. I remember reviewing the J-88 album when I was writing for Chart Magazine (I just tried to find the review online but couldn’t). I can’t say I was at the legendary show at the Comfort Zone, but I was there when Dilla was spinning at Roxy Blu (although I remember thinking it wasn’t as good as ?uestlove’s performance for the same Doin’ It series). I was also at every Slum Village show in Toronto after that, but by then I don’t think Jay Dee was performing with them anymore. I put a lot of people onto Dilla and SV, and I even had my first (and only) groupie moment because of him; I once gave my number to Frank (or Dank?) because I was hoping I would be able to meet Dilla through him. Every time he would ask me to go out, I would wait to see if he would throw in “Oh, it’s no big deal. Just dinner with me and this dude I work with, producer cat named Jay Dee.” Unfortunately that never happened (and I therefore stopped picking up his calls).

Fast forward through years of me requesting Climax anytime I was anywhere Law or P-Plus were djing to February 10, 2006. I was waiting for the bus at Christie station, sitting on the bench next to the phone booth when I got a text message from J Class telling me Dilla had died. I was shocked. I had no idea he had been sick. I sat there alone on a bench, surrounded by strangers, and cried. It was the first and only time the death of any person I hadn’t known personally made me react that way.

The tribute parties began shortly after. The first one I remember was at Fez Batik. To this day, I have never seen a longer line to get in anywhere for a local DJ. This wasn’t a concert and there was no big name headliner. It was local DJs playing Dilla’s music and the place was PACKED. It was one of the best Dilla parties I have ever been to. It was the first time I realized though that listening to his music was making me sad. I remember feeling like I was going to cry a few times throughout the party. I attended party after party and the feeling wasn’t going away – this bittersweet feeling had become an uninvited guest that wouldn’t leave. It always started with me wondering why I hadn’t listened to this song or that song in a while. Remembering the amazing feelings his music used to give me. Telling myself I gotta pull out all his albums when I got home. Then it would hit me – he’s gone. Dilla’s gone forever. There will be no new music from him again. I’ll never see him live again. It’s over.

Enter the sadness.

Maybe in this situation I’m just being a pessimist. A Negative Nancy. Sure. I guess I am. But no matter what the same thing happens. Even as I’ve been writing this post, listening to his entire catalogue on shuffle, I went from happy and nostalgic to melancholy. His music has become for me what love letters from ex boyfriends are – great to read once in a while and go back to that moment where everything was tulips and rainbows… until you realize that time is over forever and you get sad.

I still attend Dilla parties every February, but I never find myself listening to his music at home anymore. It just makes me sad.  And I don’t want an abundance of sad memories to ever replace the years of good ones he brought into my life.

Stealin' street posters since '07/'08

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Apparently my little brother reads my blog…

…He’s 13.

While this makes me slightly uncomfortable, I appreciate the support nonetheless.

HI NOAH!

Love you.

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Baby Daddies – to bone or not to bone?

We all have our non-negotiable requirements when it comes to dating. Some women won’t date a guy that lives at home, others have salary requirements, some won’t date certain races, and some types even have size requirements… and I’m not talking about height.

As a 29-year-old woman who is in no rush to wed or make babies anytime soon, I have become quite the picky dater. I have been compared more than once [this week] to Jerry Seinfeld. It’s not intentional, I’ve just always been comfortable being single and that allowed me to ‘find myself’ much sooner than most women my age.  Because having a man has never been the be all and end all for me, I’ve learned through dating (and lots of it) what I want and, more importantly, what I sure as fuck do not want. A man with kids can find himself in the latter category.

I’ve tried to be more understanding. Yes, people make mistakes and yes, people and situations change throughout the course of our very long lives. At some point though you have to ask yourself if being ‘understanding’ about someone else’s situation is starting to actually become ‘settling’ in your own situation. Call me selfish or too picky if you like, but I call it having standards. Standards are completely subjective, but best believe if you want to be happy you better have some.

There are 3 reasons I won’t date guys with kids ever again.

I’m a princess.

And when it comes to dating, I expect to be treated like one. Not in the way some women expect; I don’t want to be showered with gifts or compliments (unless you’re telling me how hilarious I am) or public displays of affection (vomit). Fuck, I’m the girl who usually insists on splitting the cheque on the first date. No, I’m not typical in most regards but I am in at least one big one – I like attention, and lots of it. I want to be your number one priority. I want to be the last person you think about when you go to sleep and the first person you think about when you wake up. I want to be able to vacation and party and have loud sex whenever I want. If I’m actually committing to you, best believe I expect that shit. I don’t want to plan my life around finding a babysitter or a pair of earplugs for someone else’s brat.

If you already have a kid when we meet, I won’t be number one. Ever. (And if I am you’re a bad father which is a reason in itself I wouldn’t date you.) Should I decide to have children with you one day, I know at that point our children will become our top priority. But until that day, I want to be the only person who makes you cry on a regular basis.

I’m also a corny romantic.

Again, I’m still undecided on the whole mini-me thing but if one day I decide being a mother is something I might enjoy, I will be nervous as shit. I will be scared. I will worry I won’t be good enough to raise a child. I will be going through all of this for the first time and guess what? I want the father of Cletus the Fetus to be right there with me. I want you to be nervous about being a new father. I want you to be excited the first time you feel our unborn child kick. You know, all that corny stuff you see on TV. When I’ve dated guys with kids, I’ve actually imagined the following situation:

Pregnant me: Omgomgomg honey, my water broke! Quick, get the bag! Omg. What do I do? Omg this is fucked up. Why did we get so drunk that night? Ok. Too late for that now. Omg. WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!!

Guy who has already had a kid: * Yawn* Can you get in the car? I want to be back for the hockey game.

Okay, maybe I’m being irrational. That situation would never happen. I would never be with a guy who liked hockey.

But the point I’m making here is if I choose to share my life with you, chances are I want to share all the big moments with you too. Those first time moments that you can never redo. I don’t want to experience them alone and gosh darnit I shouldn’t have to.

And finally, I’m immature, yo.

Maybe the idea of having a child is so foreign to me that I’ve made it much more serious than it is. But… probably not. I mean, you created a LIFE. You’re like God, dude. How could anything I ever do over the course of our relationship compare even remotely to the fact that you and some skank before me created a human being? It can’t! Or at least in my head it can’t.

My brain is a powerful (and insane) thing. I was talking to a guy with kids for a couple of weeks. We were in my room, laying on my bed, watching Anchorman. Do you know what I was thinking about? While my favourite movie of all time is on, out of nowhere, I’m suddenly picturing this guy in scrubs in a delivery room holding his newborn baby. This guy had to buy diapers and baby food and pay for daycare, and I am waiting to clear some space on my credit card so I can go party for 3 straight days in Vegas. How could this ever work? Needless to say I haven’t seen him since.

I don’t judge people who have had children by mistake, or on purpose, or mistakenly on purpose. I think they deserve to date and have a second or third or ninth chance at falling in love just like never-married, never-babied people like me.

I just won’t be the one dating them.

I have this tattooed on my vagina.

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TTC Offender #4 – Anxioussholes

 

Look at this Eastern Euro douche rushing you.

Street Name: O.F.R.O. (Only Fools Rush Out)

Description: I am impatient. It’s one of my biggest flaws and something I struggle with constantly. I’m impatient when it comes to training my new puppy. I’m impatient while watching dumb families play ‘Fast Money’ on Family Feud. I’m impatient when my mother is trying to tell me a story that involves far too many details to be completed during anything less than a 6-hour phone call. I get flustered walking behind slow families of 18 who walk side-by-side in a mall, preventing anyone from getting through without Red Rover’ing it. I’m impatient in any situation involving me driving a vehicle if anyone else is on the road (if I ever buy a car, I’m also going to buy my own roads).

I’m not impatient when it comes to everyday routines and circumstances. Wait, that sentence is misleading. What I mean is, while being impatient is one of my worst flaws, logic is one of my best virtues. When they are head-to-head, logic usually wins. This means that in a situation like, let’s say, exiting a bus, I want to scream to everyone “HURRY THE EFF UP, YOU LAZY BASTARDS” but I realize that won’t get me off the bus any faster. Instead I sit and wait until the bus has emptied and then I calmly exit. Sure, I’ve lost 0.006 seconds of my life, but I don’t have a headache and I’m not being arrested for physically attacking anyone either. I do the same thing when boarding a flight. It is my #1 traveling pet peeve when I am traveling with people who want to get up and start lining up as soon as the plane begins to board. Why stand? The plane isn’t going anywhere without you. So while everyone is crowding around waiting for their row to be called so they can wait in line to wait in line to get on the plane and then wait in line still before they can actually sit down, I am the one sitting comfortably doing a crossword, waiting for the aforementioned waiters to be gone.  Then I stroll onto that plane like I own it, bitch.

Crime: Whether breathing down your neck while you try to purchase tokens at a booth or making you wonder whether you’re on a date by their proximity to your rear when getting out of your seat, these people are a constant reminder of society’s obsession with needing to rush through life. They rush onto trains before people have exited. They run past you to grab one of the 30 available seats. They cut ahead of you in line. O.F.R.O.s live in a state of perpetual scurrying. I was once sitting next to a woman who was so eager to rush off the bus that she started standing (and trying to force me to do so also because she was on the inside seat) before the bus was even close to being at a full stop at the last stop. It was the LAST STOP. Everyone had to get off. But instead of waiting 2 seconds, she actually pushed my arm to get me up. I don’t think I would be able to reenact the glare I gave her if I tried, but I very bitchily said with it, “We’re ALL getting off here. Relax.” I may have also purposely let everyone behind us exit before I left my seat.

Punishment: The best punishment for these people is to force them to wait. Block their way. Tie your shoe in front of them. Drop something. Pretend to sleep. Fake a seizure. Do whatever you can to ensure they are forced to waste seconds of their precious time, which apparently is more important than everyone else’s.

Last Seen: Whenever you last forced them to wait. Otherwise, they’re too fast to be seen.

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Just touch it.

Based on the feedback I’ve gotten about my vampire diaries, it seems as though a lot of you find pleasure in my pain. This works out well because I’ve got dates-gone-wrong stories for days. But please let it be known you’re all still assholes.

So this dude – we’ll call him Pervy McPerverson – I actually met on PlentyOfFreaks. He was reallllllll cute. Yummy, even. He was from Scarborough (vomit) and knew my ex (projectile vomit), and yet I still gave him a go. It was sometime last year and Insidious had just come out. I really wanted to see it so I suggested that. Now let me explain something – I live for horror movies. I don’t just tell that to boys so I can grab their arms and jump into their laps when I’m scared (usually it’s the other way around, anyway). I actually want to watch a movie if I go to the movie theatre. I know, crazy right? Apparently Pervy McP didn’t understand that concept.

We’re about halfway through the movie and he starts staring at me. I’m still watching the movie but I can feel his dirty Scarborough eyes on me, just waiting for me to turn around so we can share that awkward moment and he can force his mouth onto mine. First of all, I’m a grown ass woman. I don’t need to make out with you in a movie theatre. I haven’t lived with my mom for almost a decade and I know it sounds crazy but if I wanted to make out with you on our first date I would have invited you to my place and, you know, made out with you. Second of all, how lame are you? If you’re 31 and still trying to force a kiss out of someone by making awkward eye contact, you may wanna think about stepping your game up. Do you yawn-stretch-one-two-combo to put your arms around a girl, too? I should have known at this point this guy probably still dated 17-year-old girls.

After a while, I can’t take it anymore. He’s starting to get on my nerves and he keeps interrupting the movie by trying to kiss me. I’m not sure what set me off but I finally turned to him and said as politely (rudely) as I could “Can you stop? I actually want to watch the movie.”

I swear to God, his face said he was going to get up and leave me there. I immediately began to imagine my next move; would I stay in the theatre and finish the movie alone? I mean, I’ve never gone to the movies alone but does it count when your date leaves you? Would I go to the front desk and tell them I just got ditched and hope they give me a free movie pass or two because they can’t understand how any sane man could possibly leave someone as sweet as me? Would I chase him out of the theater, cussing and emasculating him in a public display of rejection? Eventually I realize I am wasting my time daydreaming because he’s still sitting next to me.

The movie ends (it was pretty shit) and he drives me home. Now as annoying as he was, he was still hot. I decided if I hadn’t scared him out of trying to rape my face by now, I would allow him one goodnight kiss on my way out of his truck. As expected, he goes in for the kill. I oblige. Before I’ve even had time to decide how long I was going to kiss him, before my brain even has had time to register what his lips feel like or if I’m into it, before I could have even blinked if I was one of those weirdoes who keeps their eyes open, Pervy McP grabs my hand and PUTS. IT. ON. HIS. CROTCH.

You would have thought his crotch was on fire with the speed that I jumped back, shocked, confused and maybe even slightly offended. Now, I don’t get offended easily, but WHO DID THIS GUY THINK HE WAS? Dude, I wouldn’t even kiss you without deciding for myself whether or not I was into it, and you think I’m going to be persuaded to feel you up, or better yet, give you a handjob in front of my home, in your truck, on our first date, because you placed my hand on your lap? And not just that, it was like half a second after he kissed me. GTFOH. For real. I could only laugh (seems to be the way I react to everything) as I jumped out of his massive truck and slammed the door behind me.

He texts me 5 minutes later telling me he had a good time and couldn’t wait to see me again. The fuck? Was this guy on the same date I had been on? I told him he should stick to dating 17-year-olds who might fall for his pathetic game. I also informed him that if I had any desire to put my hand anywhere on him I would have done so myself (except it was said in a much angrier and more vulgar way). His response was that he was really sorry and was “just so attracted to me he couldn’t help it.” I spent the next week laughing at not only him, but the type of girl who would fall for a line like that.

My favourite part of this story actually happens days later when I’m telling my friends about it. It’s Wednesday night and we’re, of course, at Toby’s. DJ Law is playing and I’m telling a couple of people about my date with a rapist. I’m about 30 seconds from the moment his crotch enters the story and Law, with no idea what is being discussed 10 feet away from him, drops the song I’ve posted below.

This is my life.

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