Friday, December 11, 2015

Onward And Upward (Some Pre-Winter, Pre-Moving Thoughts):

 ~Why did I spend $8 on a potato-chip chocolate bar at the bookstore when a bag of Lays and a Dairy Milk is probably $3? I'll tell you why: white privilege. That, or just regular, run-of-the-mill stupidity.

~It's humbling to realize that you just went well over your data plan because you spent all last month studying Phillip Bailey and Phil Collins' 'Easy Lover' in depth. On the real, though, those two look like they were having a fucking blast every single time they sang together.

~I sold my house! I hope the new owners like lonely, mentally ill neighbors that reek of stale smoke, and a very loud child with very Christian parents stomping above their head all fucking day. Actually, scratch that, I could care less if they like it here. My heart's not that big.

~I decided to join every other human under 74 in the country and cut off my home phone, which is awesome because I still have yet to figure out how to hold my iPhone in a way allows me to be audible to the human on the other end. I spend most of my conversations with the other person saying things like "speak up", or "are you holding the phone weird?", or "can you call me on your home phone?".

~I was given a free on-demand rental from the fine people at Shaw, and somehow convinced myself that the most worthy rental would be "Unaccompanied Minors". I'm not sure how to describe how I felt just after I pressed the 'rent' button on my remote. Shame, remorse, and genuine excitement to see how those kids get stuck in an airport over Christmas.

~Once again, I hired movers. Fuck your massage. Fuck your facials and manicures. There is no better way to pamper yourself than to watch a coupla dudes lug your boxes and suitcases and heavy Ikea book cases while you slam an eggnog latte and listen to the Dance Mix 1992 CD on the Discman you found while packing.

~I am going to be back in 1996 for two weeks. That is so say, I will be without internet while I set up my new, awesome life. See you in the new year, Zuckerberg.

~sarah p.

p.s. I love you guys! Happy 2016!

Jams Of The Week (Moving On Up Edition):


~sarah p.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The Five Best Things About New Jack Swing:

1. The Synchronized Dances.

There was always one member of the group that was significantly better at moving. You could always tell who this was, as they'd be front and center in every video. Most videos had several choreographed routines that followed a similar formula: Running Man, into some sort of mild popping motion, back to Running Man, some awkward pelvic grinding, and, you guessed it, finish out with some more Running Man.

2. The Clothes.

For the men, it was slightly over-sized matching suits in jewel-tones, collared shirts tucked into jeans, and so. many. fucking. vests. For the ladies? Crop tops, weird-ass velvet hats, and the biggest jeans you could find, cinched tightly with a belt.

3. The Sex Jams.

If there was one thing New Jack Swing was really trying to communicate to the world, it was that the world should be talking about fuckin' a hell of a lot more.

4. The Remixes.

 Did you know that SWV basically invented the remix album? It's truuueeeeeee!!!

5. The Sincerity.

There is not another musical style that so severely conveys deep feelings. When someone is singing about a breakup, they are not fucking around. Their heart is on the ground, in the dirt, and somebody has just trampled all over it. When they are growling out a sex jam, you can just tell they've got major bone. There was not a hint of sarcasm in the whole thing. Just pure, gut-wrenching feeling, and that's why I loved it so dearly.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (The Boys Edition):

~sarah p.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jams Of The Week: Runaway Edition

 ~sarah p.

Everybody Should Just Shut Up: A Very Short Essay

I've been thinking. I am a very firm believer in free speech, but I think now is the time that everyone should just shut up. The holidays are just around the corner, where idle chit-chat is at an all-time high and the sprinkling of wine and eggnog adds gusto to every ill-informed, loud-mouthed opinion in the world. It's time to take a step back and look at not causing waves around your grandpa's table on Christmas Eve for once. 

Mad about refugees coming into our country? That dead three-year-old is a horrible threat to national security, isn't he? Well, next time someone brings it up, why don't you try something new, and keep your damn mouth shut.

Are you pissed off because the Starbucks cups aren't the right color, of that the last time you said "Merry Christmas", someone shot you a smile and said "Happy Holidays" back instead? Jesus might be pissed. His followers might be pissed. I tell ya, that magical baby has made some powerful friends over the years. Here's the thing, though: nobody actually cares. People that do care need to keep themselves busier. Do everyone a favor, and don't bring it up at the next dinner party.

Frustrated with the current government? Worried about our economical position as a province? Then get off your ass and do something about it, all while keeping your pie-hole firmly closed. Do you care a whole lot about bikes or the environment, or are particularly passionate about non-GMO food or unions? Do you want kids, and not understand how anyone couldn't, or don't want kids and don't know how anyone could? You know what to do. Tape it closed if you must.

It's not that people are not entitled to their own opinions, it's just that opening sassy lips just to make a point is growing tiring. We are a culture of over-sharers and social media addicts. We've lost the fine art of whimsical conversation because we're all too busy throwing opinions at each other at breakneck speed. So this holiday season, go against the grain, be the change, smile and nod, and keep your fucking mouth shut. It just may be the greatest gift you give anyone all season long.

~sarah p.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Five Things I Learned At My First Out-Of-Town Work Conference:

1. The following people will be at the conference without a doubt: dude that wears running shorts the whole time, free-swag hogs, married gentleman that is going to use this conference as a much-needed break from the wife, aggressive networkers, annoying office workers, and tons of people that take this shit way too seriously. Get yourself a partner-in-crime very, very early on. Mine was named Kira, and without her, I would have crumpled and died on the first day. 

2. You will either have, or be on the receiving end of, a conference crush. Due to the fact that I am in the greatest relationship of all-time, and hated pretty much everyone there, I was of the latter variety. I spent most of the conference refusing to give this dude my e-mail, or explaining for the fiftieth time why I couldn't go to his room for "just one drink".

3. Be incredibly keen on about two of the presentations, take a ton of notes, and make sure everyone sees your face, and you're pretty much home-free for the rest of the time. This means long breaks in the hotel pool, pretending to be fancy ladies at the hotel bar, wandering the hotel shops, and wearing fluffy hotel robes everywhere.

4. When you get busted taking full bottles of wine back to your room from the open bar, make sure you are especially vocal to the hotel staff about the true meaning of open bars.

5. The only way to make it enjoyable is to skip most of your seminars, get drunk every chance you get on free conference cocktails, and basically become the conference wild-child, but be aware, when you return to work on Monday, you are going to look like the work asshole for about a week.
~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week: I Heart Northern Soul Edition


~sarah p.

p.s. That last track is so intense, and easily my favorite song at this moment. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Jams Of The Week (Magic Edition):

 ~sarah p.

Deep, Dark Secrets: I Hate Magic.

I guess it's something about the glint in their eye after they pull off a particularly impressive trick. That "didn't I blow your mind" glimmer that's thrown into your face with every slight of hand, despite no affiliation with the Delphonics, or even the New Kids On The Fucking Block. Nope. To me, magicians are creepy dudes that spend all their time trying to shove the idea of the unseen down your throat at every turn. 

I can recall going to a birthday party as a child, where your run-of-the-mill birthday party magician pulled coins out of ears and fake rabbits out of fake hats. Children around me gasped in awe, but I was too busy trying to figure out which sleeve held that line of tied-up scarves that he was going to pretend to pull out of some orifice later. I knew it wasn't real, and to be honest, I was a little pissed that he was trying to pull our collective legs. Also, I'm kind-of convinced that all children's entertainers are less "smoke and mirrors", and more "toke and beers", if you get my drift. Like, none of them can be trusted. None of them. Not Sharon, Lois, or Bram.

Okay, okay. I hear what you're saying; when's the last time you were able to bend a spoon with your mind, or find someone's card in a deck, Parsons? Like, obviously never. However, every fucking year when David Blaine locks himself into a box and people act like they're surprised he gets out, I lose less and less respect for a profession that relies heavily on glitter and white tigers. Next time a magician looks you in the eye as he makes that coin disappear, give him a look that says "Not today, magic boy. Not today.", and if you're ever asked to volunteer to help with one of the tricks, you get on your feet and you run like hell.

~sarah p.

p.s. The NKOTB version of "Didn't I Blow Your Mind" always threw me off, because you can't tell me that Jonathan Knight or Joey McIntyre were blowing anyone's minds when that shit was recorded.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Some Thoughts After Accidentally Getting Caught In The Middle Of The Zombie Walk.

* Zombies don't have selfie sticks, or Starbucks reusable cups, you guys.

* When someone in a zombie costume asked for my brain, I thought to myself "I spent all of last night hammering down weed candies. You don't want this brain, dude".

* Note to exactly 46% of zombie walk patrons: just because you're a zombie doesn't mean you're unable to shower. Your love for showers shouldn't die with your soul.

* A good amount of my time walking along side the crowd was spent with my eyes to the ground, trying to figure out of the blood stains on the ground outside of the sketchy convenience store are real or just that corn-syrupy fake stuff.

* The most entertaining part of the entire day? Watching straight-laced people try to figure out how to get around the masses without having a zombie roar at them.
~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Girls, Girls, Girls Edition):

~sarah p.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Deep, Dark Secrets: I Can't "Quit" Kanye.

It was the very early 2000s, and hip hop was full of puffy coats and boy bands and everything-Diddy. Timbaland and Timberlake ruled the airwaves, and everyone was cloaked in velour. "Phat" wasn't a bad thing, and a band-aid was a perfectly viable fashion accessory.

Everything in hip hop's world changed the day The Blueprint was released. It was an album full of clever loops and samples. Sure, Jay Z dropped beautiful strings of lyrics, but the focus of the album was truly on production. Namely, a largely-unknown producer by the name of Kanye West. His knowledge of soul and gospel music spanned far beyond his 24 years, and his balls, figuratively, were the biggest in the business.

By the time he crafted his own rap career, people were thirsty for what was to come, and in late 2002, after a bad car accident, he released 'Through The Wire', recorded while his jaw was wired shut. For a while I assumed that this was the type of determination that would carry through to a fruitful and unique career. He was driven, and clever, and openly spiritual, and built himself from the ground up. 'College Dropout' dropped, and the hip hop community collectively jizzed on anything and everything Kanye.

My first run-in with Kanye 2.0 happened while I was sitting on a couch in North Carolina. Hurricane Katrina had just touched down two states away, and TV was painting a sad picture of dreams washed away in an instant. The friendly faces of Mike Meyers and Kanye West popped up on the screen in a televised charity benefit. Mike Meyers had used his Austin Powers voice a few times, and was running out of steam. This is when Kanye stepped in, and, instead of words of hope or encouragement, stared coldly into the screen and calmly told the president he was a racist. Though he was 100% right, it was odd timing, particularly on a benefit event that he willingly attended, and a clear indicator of things to come.

Fast forward fifteen years, where the guy has yearly storm-outs on music award shows when he doesn't gets his way, has married into the most nails-on-a-chalkboard family of all time, and tries to bring back the "fashion skirt" on a fairly regular basis. I'm pretty sure he's trolling us ("us" being the entire world) on those last two, but we may never know. Like, the dude has a tour rider that looks like this, so you can't tell me that he's willing to put up with Kim Kardashian whining that there's too much salad dressing on her salad (actually a 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' plot-line, y'all).

Pair all of this stuff with super regular meltdowns about everything on the planet, and I have lost all bits of respect I have ever had for the guy, and yet...

As much as I want, out of principle alone, to cut all ties with Kanye, I just can't seem to stop. I love a Kanye love-ballad, even if it's about a fucking Kardashian. That Common album where he's on like every track? It almost makes you feel as if there's not a positive message crammed in there. I want to destroy all of the files on my computer. I want to scratch the shit out of my Def Jam's Rap Star disc, but instead I've got it cued up to the best part... "She said she want some Marvin Gaye...". He changed the face of hip hop, but is also the worst.

Fuck you, Kanye West. Also, please never leave my life.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Truth Hurts Edition):

~sarah p.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

A Few Thoughts On Fall 2015 Fashion:

*Try as you might, it's tough to command respect in a turtleneck.

*The first day of grade eleven, I wore knee socks, a button down shirt, and the shortest corduroy skirt on the planet. When I walked though the door, the pimp that went to my school told me I was "looking good". I felt pretty great about myself, until I realized that I probably owed him a favor now.

*How the fuck you gonna keep those fur boots clean, guys? Never go outside?

*Autumn is rearing it's ugly head around the corner, and it's tough to get the right jacket balance. It's either you under-do it and freeze your shit off, or you're sweating under six layered coats on like an old Asian lady on the bus. I used to error on the side of the former, but the latter becomes more attractive the older I get.

*I don't know when I became a jean-vest person, but boy, it is life-changing shit. It makes evvverything look sassy. Going through my closet, it's harder to find an outfit that it won't improve.
p.s. I totally do know when I became a jean vest person. It was Monday.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Dapper Gentleman Edition):

 ~sarah p.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jams Of The Week (Song Math Pt. 2 Edition):

~sarah p.

Deep, Dark Secrets: I Like HBO's 'Girls'.

How many times have I been sitting around for drinks, when someone mentions that they find Lena Dunham to be a deplorable human being, at the epicenter of the worst show on the entire planet: HBO's 'Girls'? I sit quietly and stare into my vodka/soda... I care if Hannah follows her dreams to become a writer. I want Marnie to find love within herself before trying to find comfort in men. Jessa? She needs to realize how much everyone just wants to help. And Shoshanna. She'll be fine. She's perfect. Yep, the fine folks at the ol' Home Box Office network has finally sucked me in. They've had shows about murders and drugs and gangs and dead people, and the one show that sucks me in is about some stupid rich, spoiled girls.

In some ways, Lena Dunham reminds me of myself. She tries a little too hard, and is only funny about 50% of the time, and anything even remotely controversial that she does causes major uproar. She's awkward and sometimes mildly annoying. However, I challenge you to find a millennial that is not kind-of aggravating, with the Tweets and selfies and faces buried into their phones all day. Yes, she's a kid that had parents with waaaay too much money. She had parents that allowed her to "follow her dreams". She was clearly told she was special on a daily basis. If she wasn't writing shows, she'd be painting or roasting coffee or knitting teeny hats for kittens and selling them on Etsy, and her family would be enthusiastically funding the whole damn thing. That being said, she's writing, and not only that, writing one of the most poignant shows of our time. It's an uncomfortable show to watch at times. It also hits sore spots so very, very hard. I was not a rich girl, but I did have breakups that shook my soul, and went to bad parties, and did things that would make me ashamed in my older years.

Also, not to mention the outfit ideas! The wide variety of body types portrayed!  The lack of diversity purposely righted by adding a black Republican! Actually, scratch that last one. That was weird.

As I sit around a table of girls whining about 'Girls', I picture Hannah and Shosh and Jessa and Marnie all slandering a similar show. "It's just not... Realistic", my friends say, and leave to go back to their family-funded downtown condo to text boys that are significantly too hot for them, and finish a painting and a full bottle of wine on a weeknight.

~sarah p.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jams Of The Week (Song Math Edition):


 ~sarah p.

The Birth Of My Skepticism.

I was not always a skeptic. In my childhood, in fact, I was the exact opposite. I believed in things with the very fiber of my soul. If you told me something, anything, with a straight face, I took it at face value. I guess it was a combination of stupidity, over-trust, and blind faith in the universe, but boy, was I ever raised in the wrong era. If I were growing up today, I would have easy points of reference. If someone told me something, I could just whip out my phone, Google that shit, and if they were wrong, I could shove it into their face until the end of time.

However, I was raised far away from the information age: in the early 80's. "Doing research" meant going to the library, and because I was an inner-city kid, that meant waiting for my parents to take me, finding books via Microfishe, and asking the librarian to photocopy the pages you needed (first page was always free, and 5 cents thereafter).
With a lack of nickels, two working parents, and a genuine bewilderment at the Dewey Decimal System, I turned to other sources; sources I had deemed trustworthy, such as teachers, comic books, and the almighty television.

Social causes were rampant in the 80's, and scare tactics were the preferred method of communication to young naive North Americans. Reagan's America taught me that a drug dealer was going to hold me down and force me to do cocaine (like the library photocopier, first one's for free, then you pay, but this time, it was with your life). Smokey The Bear taught me that I was going to have to save my entire family from my burning house, while simultaneously accidentally starting a whole forest on fire. The Zzzzzap Program said that there were live power lines down all over the city, and they were going to burn my arm off. Ambie The Ambulance (who comes up with this shit?) came to my school to remind me how to dial 911, because my teacher was probably going to drop in front of me in cardiac arrest. Oh! And did I tell you that I was probably getting AIDS? But, I was quick to remind myself and everyone around me, I would not be contagious unless I was having sex or bleeding.

Most kids would have brushed this off, but me? Nope, it wasn't if I was going to kidnapped and have to escape from a van, it was when. My parents daily told me I was over-reacting, and I would just think to myself "We'll see who's over-reacting when I'm saving your ass from getting your face blown off in a convenience store robbery, fools".

The year before I entered junior high, the race riots happened in Los Angeles. I prepared myself to get shot in a violent drive-by shooting, but the summer came and went without incident. I started into the dating world, where sorting through reality and bullshit becomes downright survival. I worked on a fine balance through my early teen years, and I am thankful I did.
By the time Tupac got shot in 1996, I had just enough skepticism to wonder if we were getting the full story on his murder, and just enough reality to know that OJ probably (definitely) did it.

~sarah p.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

That Time We (Almost) Went To A Hip Hop Festival.

Calgary did it. We had our very first hip hop festival, and where were we? Eating cro-nuts, defeated, in my basement apartment.

For the record, we tried. We really, really tried. We secured a spot on the guest list months ahead of time. I laid out an outfit. I packed a bag. The weather forecast wasn't in our favor, but dammit, Calgary was having a hip hop festival, and we needed to be there.

 My heart sank when Saturday rolled around, and for once, the forecast was right. It was pouring, but we bundled up, packed our umbrellas, and left to fill our stomachs before braving the festival. Pre-eating prior to drinking, while in your thirties, is just as important as pre-gaming in your twenties. While sitting and having burgers, staring out the window, we said it for the first time of the day: "We are being such troopers right now".

We finished eating, and went back to my place to add layers of clothing and get bigger umbrellas. I think we knew we were in over our heads, but still, we trooper-ed on. We went in search for a cab, and for the first time in two years, couldn't find one willing to pick us up. After trudging seven blocks in the storm, we reached a giant mass of people, peppered with snapbacks and Nikes and beanies. This was the lineup, and the lineup was insane at the best of moments.

 We huddled ourselves into the masses, and the phrase of the day became a steady mantra in my head: "Troooooopers... We're being troopers". My feet were soaked, and we were freezing and tired. Dexter, in a strike of a total genius, had brought a giant umbrella, and booze-breathed, not-so-genius, hipsters used their heavy self-entitlement to insert themselves under the umbrella with the two of us, un-invited. In the distance, we could hear Raekwon echoing through the crowd.

With FOMO at an all-time high, we champion-ed on. We were cold and annoyed and had been waiting two hours. I looked back at Dex, and, with some bitch's feet continuously stamping on mine, and some stranger's dick in the small of my back, said through gritted teeth, "We are being such. fucking. troopers". Wale took the stage as we hit the front of the line. That is to say, we thought we had hit the front of the line. Prepped for the mandatory pat-down that comes with all rap shows, we told the ticket-taker that we were on the guest list. She looked at us with furious concern. "You didn't go get your tickets at the box office first?",  she said, and directed us to the other side of the field.

We looked at each other. Our hearts were in our feet by this point.  We searched for the box office for a minute, before our age and patience got the best of us. We slinked back home to cover ourselves in one million blankets. We bought a box of cro-nuts, and ate our disappointment. Calgary had a hip hop festival, and we missed it. Well, we didn't miss it, we just spent it in a line-up, starting at wet sneakers and asses. We were feeling really sorry for ourselves, until we realized that we were there, and those damp shoes and stupid entitled asses were there, supporting rap music on a large scale, and that this whole city, for one day, were troopers in the name of hip hop.

~sarah p. 

Jams Of The Week (By Your Side Edition):

 ~sarah p.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sex, Lies, and Real Estate.

 On Friday, my condo goes up on the market. It's real, it's happening, and I'm finally saying it out loud.
To be honest, I avoided the sale for a while. Last time I moved in with someone, it was a disaster in the purest sense. I was with someone who was not only a poor romantic match for me, but also, despite only being four years old at the time, may have been the inspiration behind the Thompson Twins' 1983 smash hit "Lies". However, after careful deliberation, and a stark realization that, outside and inside our relationship, my current partner is one of the most kind, wise, thoughtful, helpful, and wonderful humans to grace this earth, I snapped on a pair of rubber gloves, started "putting lipstick" on the pig that is my apartment, and called Remax. Here's a quick and dirty guide to getting your house ready for sale:

*Most realtors are akin to used car salesman, except they smell a whole better.

*If you are a pot smoker, be prepared to take your beloved stash on a casual walk every day, because people can, and will, be looking in your cupboards. Also, the smell of weed probably won't help the place show well, unless the potential buyers are super fucking cool.

*You won't be able to cook or prepare meals in your kitchen anymore, for fear of messing up the shiny surfaces, so you'll probably be taking your life in your own hands trying to see what this lobster sandwich at Subway is all about.

*The disgusting, hacking cough that rolls in after days and days of sweeping dust from behind forgotten shelves to get the house ready for showing is going to afford you some extra room on the bus. Enjoy it while it lasts.

*Nights that you used to spend casually lounging around your apartment will temporarily be spent lounging outside your apartment, trying to send subliminal messages to potential buyers to please take this craphole off your hands.

Like the Thompson Twins said back in '83, the true backbone of selling your place is lies, lies, lies. Did the kitchen leak a little during a terrible hail storm a few weeks ago? Helllllll no. Are all of your immediate neighbours noisey, nosy, or lonely alchoholics? No dice. Did you ever catch a homeless dude jacking off in your window? That's a big nope. Point is, with the right smoke and mirrors, a decent realtor, and a life-altering commitment to cleanliness, you are going to eventually sell your home. It may be annoying, but it's totally, totally worth it. Let's do this shit.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Restless Edition):

 ~sarah p.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jams Of The Week (Subliminal Simulation Edition):


 ~sarah p.

Appreciate, Not Appropriate.

Hip hop is for everybody. All ages, shapes, and colors of people. It is a wide art form with many levels of devotees,  and we all come together in clubs and at shows to appreciate beats and lyrics. That being said, as white folks, hip hop is not historically our art form. It's important to respect, and not appropriate, the culture.  As somebody that works Monday-Friday in a field where cultural appropriation is a daily discussion, I often question how shit like hip hop karaoke is culturally sensitive. Even if you avoid shit like the 'n' word, the margin of error is so large up on that mic that it's just better to avoid it all together. Having said that, there are artists that are Caucasian, and are able to pay respectful, careful homage to hip hop's roots. Writers, musicians, b-boys, DJs, and graffiti artists of all races, ages, and backgrounds share a love of urban art. Here how to keep your respect of hip hop AND respect the inventors and the creators.

1. You do not have a "hood pass". Ever. Not even once.

2. You can use the slang, but know what it means, use it correctly, and you are 100% not allowed to adopt a "black-ccent" if you didn't have one the day you started speaking.

3. You might understand part of "the struggle", but not all of it. You can sympathize, but never empathize, so maybe stop trying.

4. White girls. No cornrows/braids. Instead of looking fresh, you look like you just got back from Cancun.

5. White dudes. Stop scream-rapping the following tracks at the club: Dead Prez's 'Hip Hop', The Pharcyde's 'Passin' Me By', Mobb Deep's 'Shook Ones', and obviously, Biggie's 'Juicy'. We get it, you know the lyrics. So does everyone in the room.

No matter who you are, you can love and respect hip hop so long as you all remember: Miley Cyrus did not invent twerking, it's never okay to paint your face a darker color to emulate anyone (even someone that you like or respect), you are only allowed to tell racist jokes about your OWN culture (What's the scariest thing about a white man in prison? You know he did it.), and Iggy Izalea should probably just return those VMAs and keep her damn mouth shut.

~sarah p.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Jams Of The Week (Say, Say, Say Edition):


 ~sarah p.


Have you ever met someone who is the same age as you, but seems to be at a totally different space in their life? At thirty three, I am starting to be in the minority when it comes to my youthful ways. People my age have kids. Marriages. Watch dramas on TV. Wear sensible clothing. Don't get stoned and go to the zoo at least once a year. I've had a bit of a personal journey over the last few months. Rectifying my age with my lifestyle, so to speak.

The baby-face and lack of stature are mostly to blame, but I hear it at least twice a week. You are NOT in your thirties, they say. Yet, here I am. I have a mortgage and pets that are well provided for. I have had the same high-stress job for almost ten years. When I'm submitting payment for my phone bill, you better believe I feel like a grown up. And yet, I give exactly one million fucks about the fact that they replaced all solid Cracker Jack prizes with paper puzzles and stickers (maaaaan, funk that).

There have been some things from my younger years I have learned to release. My teenybopper ways took a sharp nose-dive as soon as I learned Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a pro-lifer. Ain't no bigger boner-killer than being starkly against a woman's right to choose. My Tiger Beats went out the window with my dream journals and wishing stones. What didn't go out the window were my sneaker collection, my penchant for cookies with a sassy bear on the label, my adoration of blue freeze pops, and my first-name basis with the clerk at the candy store.

Sure, I may still go out drinking until all hours of the night, pick the black jellybeans out of the candy dish, watch almost exclusively cartoons, and run through sprinklers, but I'm growing up on MY terms over here, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

~sarah p.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


My grandfather was a simple man. Like many members of my family, he loved three things: booze, cigarettes, and weed. He was a trucker by trade, and his last wish was to have his ashes scattered over the Coquihalla highway. This summer, we lit a cigarette, a joint, and cracked a beer, and watched his ashes roll down the hot asphalt while giant rigs sped by. We also took an amazing road trip. I explored corners of the country I had never seen, and some I hoped I would never see again. There were moments when I stared out the window of the car and marveled at the rarity of the opportunity to explore BC with my family as an adult. I can only hope my final journey is one that is one-tenth as inspiring, humbling, fun, funny, and stunningly beautiful. RIP Grandpa.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Slum Type-A Way Edition):

 ~sarah p. 

p.s. Slum Village's 'Yes' album and Pete Rock's 'PeteStrumentals 2' being released within a week of each other still has my head spinning. Yo, I'm going nuuuuuts over here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jams Of The Week (Beautifullest Thing Edition):

 ~sarah p.

The Artist And The Ego.

I caught the last half of '8 Mile' on Friday night. My Netflix was broken, and I panicked and furiously searched through the channels for something that wasn't 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives' or 'Friends' reruns. I was only a few minutes into 8 Mile, the tough-as-nails with a heart-of-gold protagonist that will stop at nothing to become a musician, before I realized that Eminem's 2002 film debut may be the biggest wank-piece of all time.

I guess you may be asking yourself, what, exactly, do I mean by 'wank-piece'? I mean that there may has well been a '8 Mile' DVD commentary of Eminem just jacking it for two hours straight to his hard-knocks, against-all-odds biographical piece.

Then, it started to become clear in my head. 50 Cent did it in 'Get Rich Or Die Trying' , considerably worse than Em, but he did it. We watched Weezy kick it documentary-style with 'The Carter', where the word 'genius' was thrown around every third sentence. Outside of the film world, we have watched Robert Frank document his travels through the southern US in 'The Americans' with striking black and white photos, the delightful David Sedaris poke fun at life's foibles in his yearly publishing of essays, and parents that call up the news because they are sure that their child is the next Picasso. That is to say, I think that all art is built on a solid foundation of ego and insecurity. 

The very nature of publicly-released art, to put it in different terms, is to create something and to think it is so amazing and wonderful and special that the whole world must see it. Tacking a painting on the wall, or publishing a blog post, or keeping a carefully curated Instagram is a way of shouting to the world "I matter! There are many works of art on the world, but mine is important! Please think mine is important! Please?"

I recall the first time anyone ever told me I was a good writer. We had been tasked to write a short story about Halloween in second grade. I spent a weekend crafting a picture book about a bunch of missing pumpkins. When I got to school on Monday, I watched the rest of the class hand in single-page stories. I walked my hand-bound book to the front of the class, and watched the sparkle in the teacher's eye as I placed it into the pile. I could've just thrown together a quick Halloween tale, but I spent the entire weekend buried in homework, and why? Because I wanted to feel important. I wanted to hear that this was my calling. I wanted to impress someone, everyone. 

The creative mind is held at high regard in our culture. Take for example, most musicians nowadays are also filmmakers, modern artists, or actors, and we just accept this, because they are good at one aspect of creativity, and must be good at others. It is a rat-race to be the most influential, the most profound. Last year, Miley Cyrus took all of the stuff that people throw to her on stage, glued it together, and the art world collectively jizzed. We, as a society, stroked this ego-centric project, instead of laughing it off and secretly hoping she didn't ever ditch the Hannah Montana act. True artistic critique flew out the window a long time ago, in favor of public recognizability and media presence.

What does writing mean to me? It means putting down my thoughts and feelings on paper, stringing together words, celebrating the English language.  I've always said that nobody reads this blog, and I like it that way, but the question begs to be ask: why would I spend hours a week in front of a screen, typing and editing, if I didn't inherently care about how I would be portrayed in the world as a writer? Why would I bother? Let's not kid ourselves. As I type this, I may as well be wanking it with the other hand (figuratively, you assholes. Don't be gross).

~sarah p.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Ten Stampede Inevitabilites:

1. If you do not work at an oil company, you are going to spend the next week jealous of those who are expected to be at "work" at 9AM sharp, with the first cold Budweiser of the day in their fist.

2. Bars start serving booze at 8AM, so the morning walk to work is about 78% more sexual-harrassy than usual.

3. If you are allergic to decorative bails of hay, be prepared to spend the next week in itchy pre-anaphylaxix.

4. Free pancakes are good, but waiting for twenty minutes at the mall, behind a bunch of old ladies in western wear, to get a free pancake is actually an exercise in patience.

5. If it CAN be deep-fried, you best believe that Stampede food vendor are going to try it, even if the end result is going to be far from delicious.

6. Any and all ex-boyfriends, in the middle of a three-day Stampede bender, will fire off a text to see if you are Stampeded enough to be DTF.

7. "Western wear" can be very loosely interpreted. Very.

8. Even the rowdiest cowpokes have their limit, as illustrated by the adorable sleepy Stampeders passed out on the benches of the local park in the morning, and the piles and piles of puke EVERYWHERE.

9. Even if you only live a few blocks from where the fireworks are being set off, you will miss them every single night.

10. The cultural appropriation will be out. of. hand.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Mura Masa Edition):

 ~sarah p.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Good List Of Things To Do When It's +30C Outside.

1. Take your pants off and see if your ass fits in the freezer.
2. Cut all of your sweatshirts into cropped tank-tops, like my drunk uncle used to do in the 80's.
3. Does an egg fry on the sidewalk? Time to find out. Probably use the neighbor's sidewalk, in case it doesn't pan out so well.
4. Time to try out that all-popsicle diet.
5. Make robot-voiced prank calls using an oscillating fan.
6. Give really faux-sincere sweaty hugs to your enemies.
7. Give a dog a bath! When they shake off, it's like refreshing, disgusting, stinky rain!
8. Make friends with someone who has air conditioning in their house, whether or not you like them for any other reason.
9. Go and majorly perv out at the basketball courts.
10. Despite what your parents used to tell you, there is absolutely no reason why you can't wear your bathing suit as underwear.

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Hold Me Edition):

~sarah p.