stories in two parts

photos courtesy of my boyfriend



Dudes, I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. There are these kids who scream outside my apartment window incessantly, and I'm scared that one of these days I'm gonna go outside, grab one by the shoulders, and tell them to seize the day like never before.

Seize this time when you don't need to worry about getting fat. Eat that extra chocolate bar, guilt free. Play tag or cops and robbers with your buds and just include the annoying kid why don't ya. Enjoy your immaculate flaxen hair. Appreciate your lack of stress-induced acne breakouts. Ask someone for a hug without wondering if that means you have 'issues'. Have issues! Pee your pants, because, why not? There are simply no consequences. JUST RUN TO FEEL THE WIND THROUGH YOUR HAIR AND ONLY THINK ABOUT THAT, DON'T ASK YOURSELF PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS YOU CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO ANSWER BUT INSTEAD LEAD YOU TO THE KIND OF DISORIENTING EXPERIENCE WHERE YOU WAKE UP IN YOUR WALK IN CLOSET AND WONDER WHY YOU WORK SEVEN DAYS A WEEK!

But uh, yes, here's to hoping I don't actually do that. Heh...heh...uh...oh God.

In other news my lovely friend Ali, who actually reads my blog TEN POINTS GIRL!, sent me a lovely gift. Yes, I just used a comma after an exclamation point so go ahead and sue me. I can't see out of my left eye right now because, well I don't even know why but all sources point to exhaustion, so I'm gonna go ahead and be reckless with punctuation.

Okay, bye bye for now guys. I have to pee and I haven't had time all day. Thanks Ali, you're a doll and brightened my day.


a series of breakfasts

Fruit with yogurt, turkish delight all the way from...Turkey, and oat pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup. I never promised it was healthy all the time.


you are incredible

Sorry that I haven't been posting much. Turns out all these super important 'high-up' types are interested in my CREATIVE WRITING degree. They hired me as a VIP which means so many things that I can't really tell you. Do you want to die this young? Then let's not go there.

They asked me in my interview if I could knit, I said yes.

They asked if I like cats, I said yes.

They asked if I like cheesecake and curly fries, and I said yes but not together.

They said, you can only do this job if you know how to count to ten in spanish. I said got it.

They warned me that the RIGHT candidate would have impressive origami skills, I said I'm already there.

Did you, er, win the grade seven science fair by any chance, they asked quickly. This, I thought, this might be a trick question. Creative writing job and a science question, who do they think they are?

Six and seven, I said.

Incredible, they said in unison, you are in credible. We want to pay you millions of dollars to write about cats and cheesecake and curly fries and elementary school science fairs.

Thank GOD I pulled those all-nighters in grade seven.


Do the Math!

I ate approximately six times as many chocolate covered strawberries as I took photos of. Does that sentence make sense? Trust me, I ate a lot. The rest are for a birthday girl and thank god, cause I can do a lot of damage.

Damage is a grown up word for cellulite. Just so you know.


I'm a suck

I don't know if it's because my boyfriend is a bazillion miles away in Turkey, or because I just graduated with a university degree and the CAFE I applied at hasn't called me back, or even because of plain ol' PMS, but I watched 'Away We Go' and totally loved it.

Based on my reaction to this movie, it's clear I would never make a very good film critic. I'm supposed to come down hard on John Krasinki's hipster stereotypical bumbling but sensitive character --the one already being called 'Zack Braff-esque'--and attack the recklessness of this pregnant couple. And I know that everyone loves to hate on Eggars because, well I don't even know why we're supposed to hate him anymore but I just don't. Have you ever read "The Only Meaning of Oil Wet Water"? It's an incredible story that makes me feel like a failure (well-written stories do this to me).

I think I even got something caught in my eye a few times during this film which is a TOTAL rarity for this ice queen. The last time that happened was probably during a sleepover in 1995 when we watched "Born to be Wild". Google that and tell me it wasn't heartbreaking. Gorilla movies get me every time.

Anyways, I don't really know what I'm rambling on about. I kind of want to be John Krasinki's girlfriend, and I miss my real boyfriend, and I can't get a job because:

a) it's a recession
b) I was stupid not to get an engineering or commerce degree (LIKE MY BROTHER!)
c) I'm unemployable?
d) destined to live off of stir-fried onions
e) followed my dreams
f) the universe is against me
g) the god I never believed in in the first place for sure does not exist
h) Ganesh only helps out Hindus

I'm stressed, what's new. Baby, come home.


Letters to the Past

Talking to yourself in the future has already been attempted, so today I'm gonna take a time out to send this time machine backwards. I'm pretty sure this is a therapy-esque exercise but hey, who isn't a little emotionally unsound. I live in a first world country, I've got nothing but time to worry about being unhappy.

Dear 12 year old Carmen,

Stop using the word 'bummer'. Maybe starting this letter off with a 'don't' is harsh, but I think you can handle it. Bummer won't last long and it sounds kind of lame. Really lame actually. When my 47 year old self writes a letter to my 22 year old self, she/I will tell me/her to stop using the word 'lame'.

Anyways, the more important tip for you is this: Do not, and I mean DO NOT get on the honour roll. This sort of 'achievement' will make you feel entitled to certain ridiculous things --success namely-- that aren't going to happen for you unless you get a degree in engineering. PS, over here in the future you sure as hell did not get one of those. When your teachers tell you that those assignments matter they are lying. Another good thing NOT to do would be to pull all-nighters in grade seven. Again, if your life had involved that trusty engineering degree by now we might not be writing this here condescending letter.

Sure, some of those kids who were on the honour roll will go on to do good things, things like not sitting in their apartment watching the food network 24/7 practicing their impression of Paula Deen. Y'ALL LIKE BUTTA? See, we're good at that -but I digress. In a few years you will decide to take a shop class, woodshop specifically, and during an afternoon with the ol' radial arm saw (that you will be scared of) a classmate will call you and a friend into the back section. The back section is where all the extra wood is stored, kind of a private area, though this is not that important. The kid that called you back there will make a confession, embarrassedly, that he has grown a nipple hair and isn't that distressing? You don't really know, you haven't been close enough to a boy yet to think about nipple hair, but when he asks for help you will be sympathetic. He will ask you to tweeze the hair with an industrial grade woodshop pair of plyers, and you will do just that.

Now here's the good part. That kid, 'Nipple Hair' we'll call him, will go on to have a good job in trades. Sure, a bit wonky in the head, but NEVER on the honour roll. He now makes a lot of money.

Really now, I'm not too sure why I'm writing this or how much we can change, but we've seen Terminator and understand the power of time travel. Visiting yourself in the past can be a fruitful vacay. Maybe one day you'll be the governor of California. Maybe one day you'll be a world famous male body builder. The world is your oyster, Carmen, a cynical, small pearl producing oyster.

I will add that in the future your sweet boyfriend gives you a Hello Kitty waffle maker, so, that's something to look forward to. Please, act surprised when he gives it to you. The waffles taste like magic and fireworks and peace signs in pictures. It's okay if that doesn't make sense yet.

I won't be narcissistic and say that I love you, but you're a good little kid. Also, good job on not doing drugs. In the future you will have an apartment with lots of crackheads outside and they are most certainly uncool. One night, when the smell of dirty burning crack wafting into your apartment gets too overwhelming you will call the cops. They will arrest the man on your front lawn hitting his crack pipe every five seconds and you will feel a bit guilty. Sorry about that (to both past self and the unsuspecting crackhead).

Sincerely, your 22 year old self.

PS -- Turns out you never get big boobs, sorry. I know [we] hoped for that quite intensely but it just wasn't in the cards. C'est la vie kiddo.


Turbo Magic Tornado Blitz Kitchen Helper

I don't know if you're busy wasting your time going to work and getting stuff done, but I have been putting in the real hours watching informercials. Sure, you're an engineer, a doctor, a youth worker --but I think it's clear who's really hitting the ol' grindstone.

Obviously these commercials follow a template, and now, for your enjoyment I have compiled the essential elements for you to enjoy. Please, read on if you have the patience of a monk!

1. The Bumbling Idiot -- This guy waltzes on to the scene with a bad attitude and lacking skills. He just wants to watch the game, NOT cook lame dinner. The camera pans to him as he attempts to cut a tomato with a REGULAR knife, and he proceeds to chop off a finger and then stare at the camera in frustration. "This whole back and forth method has got me drowning! There must be an answer."

2. Foreign Host -- Whether you favour Dr. Ho and his Chinese accent, or the OxyClean dude's meth high screaming, these hosts are not your average joe. My favourite hosts are always the guys from poor suburbs of London who say "bread crooombs" instead of bread crumbs when demonstrating how to chop, dice, mix, and wash the Turbo Jet Blending Miracle Whipper.

3. Crotchety Woman -- This actress is always 70+ and just angry at life. Food!? Fuck food I'm trying to keep breathing! You think I got time to chop? She is inevitably stuck in tradition, completely unwilling to accept the new invention. "I like my crockpot, asshole!"

4. The Gracious Couple -- This young pair looks exasperated and forlorn. Their marriage is in the dumpster because they don't have the new invention. The young wife looks to the host and admits, embarrassedly, that her husband loves steak but she's rooting for the chicken team. HOW WILL THEY EVER RECONCILE THEIR DIFFERENCES?! The host reveals suddenly that you can cook both at the same time, "Just poot them in the pan like so!"

By the end of the informercial every stereotype is on board. The racial minority has been accommodated with some patronizing recipe for Kung Pow chicken, and granny suddenly has a new vigor for life. Perhaps what's most depressing is that, as I watch this garbage I have only one (overwhelming) thought.

Damn, I wish I was writing this.


what up my recent graduates!

(I don't know what's on my mirror. Perhaps it is my laziness?)

I done gone gots ma hair did. For some reason I always get disappointed when I look at my new hairstyle and it's not longer. What? But I wanted to have hair down to my ass!

Meanwhile, I have been taking part in the soul-sucking process of searching for jobs...on craigslist. There has to be a better way. I know half the postings are scams, while the other half expect you to have 7+ years experience, knowledge of every computer program known to man, flexible hours, a headshot, patience to perform medial tasks...all for $9 an hour. Nine dollars? Is that one buckaroo more than minimum wage? THANK YOU! I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE PANINIS!

I think I'm going to start a Recession Support Group. We will bond over generic macaroni and cheese (go somewhere else if you can afford KD asshole!) and gourmet PBRs.

Er, PS -- Here is a requisite photo of me in a grad sombrero. Everyday of my unemployed life I will just peer at this pic and remember how successful I am.

Job schmob! I was on the mofo'n honour roll.


Recipe for Nostalgia

1. Get born in the 80's.

2. Go to highschool.

3. Listen to the radio and whatever your older brother says is cool*.

4. Fast forward to 2009 (the future).

5. Listen to this.

6. Tell yourself you didn't waste your youth. Tell yourself, hey, I'm not even really an adult yet. Think about rent payments, about jobs, about the past.

You'll get stuck on the past.

*This song is not cool.



Okay actually this is the pic I wanted to post:

Yummy! Let me go set the table!
~Carmen's Mom
Last week (or was it the week before? I’m not sure. My life’s been such a blur lately) I was charged with the onerous task of posting to Carmen’s blog while she was away in Cuba. Well, I failed miserably. I was sent her travel itinerary, but nevertheless, I wasn’t sure when she was going to return and I was preparing to post to this blog one evening, only to discover that she’d already returned from her holiday!

So, perhaps better late than never …

I wondered what Carmen would expect from me.

Perhaps she thought I might post about Martin Luther and how he initiated a spiritual and cultural movement that transcended the boundaries of Europe and permanently altered the structure of the Christian world.

Maybe she thought I’d post a screen shot of my high score in online pool.

What madness possessed her when she made the decision to give ME her password? If she had given her decision the time it deserved, would she not have figured out that I, her mother could only post one thing?

Ta da!!

Isn't she ADORABLE???!!!

I've decided my new favourite food is no longer sashimi. It's babies.

Carmen's Mom



My pants and I have traveled to Montreal because of a promise I made to my parents many years ago. I refused to go to my highschool graduation and this refusal was only accepted based on the agreement that I would attend my university convocation. So here I am. Gradgamating.

Driving into Montreal, past my old campus was very odd today. For one thing, there was no snow and I was not frozen. Another thing, and this one is more important, I didn't have a sinking feeling about that essay that was due or that homework I'd been putting off.

No homework, old campus, square hat, gown. I think I'm being sucked into a black hole.