Weed the North

So pot is legal in Canada now. Yay? It feels like a foregone conclusion. Kind of like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn; they’ve been together for so long, if they ever got married, it would be anticlimactic (and about damn time). That’s pot in Canada.

A major peeve of mine is following behind someone who happens to be walking while smoking like a chimney, the human traffic equivalent of being stuck behind a car smoking black exhaust. Gross. I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so anything from a cigarette to B.O. is capable of causing a splitting headache. (Axe Body Spray is nasal assault and battery. Please stop.)  So my main gripe about smoking in general is that it literally stinks. It sticks to clothes and hair. It’s also kind of like fireworks – lit up for a brief moment of enjoyment and gone forever. It’s burning money, which to me is  the definition of absolute lunacy.

Anyway, I girded my mental loins as I exited the subway, expecting hordes of long-suppressed smokers toking up all over in joyous celebration, enveloping Toronto in a big, stinky mushroom cloud of weed smoke. Didn’t happen. There was a bud drop, and they went a bit nuts in the Bellwoods yesterday, but at least they weren’t spilling out into the streets smoking like there’s no tomorrow. Again, yay?

In Ontario, storefronts have yet to launch and legal weed is only available for sale online but Canada Post is threatening to strike, etc, so people may not yet have gotten the weed they ordered.  I don’t smoke, but I know people who do and appreciate the ones who make an effort to ensure their smoking doesn’t affect other people. It’s too soon to tell how this is gonna go, it’s only been a day. Here’s hoping Canadians live up to their rep of being polite, well-mannered and considerate. If not, it’s time to consider investing in face masks.

 

Internet Sausage Links

Internet Sausage Links

If I had a penny for every Facebook status reminding me to wake up because September has ended, I would have enough to buy something at Tim’s. But coffee never works on me, so I use sugar instead. Which is awful.

You know what else is awful? The concept of free bleeding. I would’ve been perfectly happy not knowing what free bleeding is, but I am cursed with the need to know. This week, my pursuit of knowledge is a curse. Free bleeding is when women take going with the flow to an extreme in the name of freedom and the environment. In a nutshell, it’s voluntarily going without tampons, pads, period cups or liners because hygiene and basic human courtesy, like common sense, is on its way out the door – Vice

Another word I learned this week is “scumbro,” which is wonderfully self-explanatory. It’s the perfect term to describe the fashion sensibilities of Justin Bieber and Pete Davidson et al., who are running around in the most ridiculous outfits while remaining inexplicably attractive to women. I say inexplicable because as a nineties child, my idea of attractive is a healthy, corn-fed boybander with squeaky clean hair, non-skinny jeans and clothes that follow a complimentary colour scheme. To my eye, these kids look like everything they own is filched from the local thrift shop, rarely (if ever) bathe, and get dressed blindfolded in the dark. Except they’re mad rich, so the whole thing is purposefully not on purpose, the guy version of the no make-up make-up look. Behold, the rise of the scumbro – Vanity Fair

Apropos of nothing, here’s an interesting take on the Japanese psyche as influenced by the fallout of WWII, anime and the rise of technology. An oldie (2016) but a goodie – The Verge

Why do all my links start with a V today? Let’s go with a C, for children, who are cute, but are also the worst  – CTV

Speaking of C’s, my favourite Chris in the pantheon of Hollywood Chrises said goodbye to Captain America, setting off an avalanche of crying gifs as the internet weeps for its loss. Please, there’s three other Chrises left in the game, with one of them set to do a particularly revealing scene this November on Netflix (to Karen’s utter glee), so we’re all gonna be juuuuust fine. That said, he made for a splendiferous Cap, and the Captain America movies have always been among my MCU faves. You will be missed, Chris Evans.

 

Homecoming Queens

Homecoming Queens

I used to wonder why school reunions made adults so wistful. Why did they keep playing Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko at these things? Why would all the other oldies inevitably scream and enthusiastically make for the dance floor? I couldn’t grasp it. It was incomprehensible to me.

We spend our youth wanting to grow up, and spend our adulthood wanting to be young again. There’s finally enough mileage on the old engine for me to think I get it.  Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko was to them what I Want It That Way is to us. Obviously cornball and ridiculously outdated, it’s the soundtrack to our youth – and sometimes music, like smell, evokes memories and emotions. It’s not so much being young, it’s feeling young, truly young, the way we used to feel when we didn’t have to pay rent and each day was an empty page to be filled with new and exciting stories, not a mindless slog to the office.

While I wish high school was the way it was in Clueless, the reality was a lot more grim. Thankfully, not Columbine grim – we didn’t fear school shooters as much as we feared mosquitoes that carry dengue – but teenagers always feel everything so keenly. High school for me was not always a fun time. High school is good to rich, attractive teenagers with seemingly effortless cool. It is very rarely kind to bepimpled, skeptical bookworms who don’t understand why always having the same things and going to the bathroom in packs are necessary.

I have always found it easier to befriend people with wills of their own, who have their own interests and aren’t afraid to pursue them. I felt fortunate to find people who – although way less awkward and bepimpled – were in their own way, iconoclasts. I like to think the friends I’ve made are all iconoclastic in their own way. We were all united in our shared respect for each other’s different interests. The main thing I have in common with all of them is a deeply twisted sense of humour, which we use as a crutch because life is absurd and laughter is the only way to get through it.

So our friendship, formed in our very early teens (and for two of us, childhood) and forged in the highly pressurized crucible we call high school, had miraculously survived the inevitable forces of growing up that cause us to drift apart. Things like college, career choices and immigration. Through it all we had stayed in touch and hung out with each other, but never as a whole. It had been almost two decades since our foursome had been complete, so like the first Avengers movie, we decided it was time. Boy am I happy we got together again.

What we don’t always realize is that high school forms the bedrock of our most cherished memories. The cruelty of it all is that we will never really get it back. One can only try to recreate it, which is why high school reunions are always a thing. We only decided to join this year because it was the 20th anniversary, and we all felt it was a milestone worth celebrating (i.e. join while your body still holds up to some extent and you still look relatively good in pictures.)

 

You can try to recreate a memory, but it will never truly be the same; the only way to get through it is to make new memories. And that, I think, we accomplished in spades.

Mary Poppins Returns, and so do the Nineties, Yay!

Today is a pretty good day for trailers you guys, even if it does seem rather early in the week for Flashback Friday. But never mind all that, there’s things to see, starting with the nanny we all wish we had…

Mary Poppins Returns

The Banks children are all grown up and overwhelmed by the stresses of adulting, so naturally their former nanny comes back to add a spoonful of sugar into their dreary lives. It seems slightly sacrilegious to admit I’m probably going to throw money at this thing, especially when we all know there can only be one Mary Poppins, and that’s Miss Julie Andrews. Forgive me for going, Miss Julie, but it looks… interesting? Fine, it looks like a boatload of fun, with re-imagined themes that bring us right back to the original, from the nostalgia-inducing kite and giant clock to escapist adventures replete  with old-timey technicolor animation. While I’m sure a number of Hamilton fans are plotzing over Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’m in this for Ben Whishaw and Emily Blunt, who always seems to  make everything better with that posh British accent. Also, Colin Firth, who does makes everything better, but is not in…

Captain Marvel

Never fear, Jude Law is there to represent the Brits. Speaking of nostalgic 90’s movies, Marvel Studios wastes no time going all-in on the best decade ever (the nineties rules and everything else is trash, I’m clearly biased, don’t @ me!) by having the titular heroine crash land into a Blockbuster in the first official trailer for Captain Marvel. More than just a big Flashback Friday moment, it could also be a cheeky reference to how all the Marvel movies have been blockbusters. Kevin Feige, you sly dog. Anyhowitzer, here’s hoping that bit becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because it does look sorta/kinda/maybe boring? I’m not sure how I feel about this trailer.  I do know it didn’t make me scream and abuse the replay button the way I did for Avengers: Infinity War. I also know zilch about Captain Marvel, and in the interest of not spoiling the experience, have resolved to avoid further research. We shall see what we shall see.

How To Stay Alive When You’re Stuck in Economy Class for Fifteen Hours

How To Stay Alive When You’re Stuck in Economy Class for Fifteen Hours

Looking like you just got off the Paris runway is ridiculous if you’re ultimately headed for the cheap seats in the back. Wear a sports bra. All the support, none of the underwire.  You’ll have enough aggravation going on without including uncomfortable underwear into the whole mess. Dress light, dress comfy, use shoes you can ultimately slip in and out of very easily, and for the love of god, wear socks. You don’t want to be traipsing barefoot through security checkpoints when they ask you to remove your shoes. Gross.

My go-to travel outfit is a long-sleeved sweater, lounge pants from Uniqlo and my trusty Adidas Superstars. If it was socially acceptable to travel in a Snuggie, I would consider it. For a few minutes. I’m not that far gone.

Pick an aisle seat. You’ll get a little extra wiggle room and getting out is easy. Watch those elbows when the food cart comes around, though.

Have a travel buddy? Great, you get to keep that armrest lifted for a less confined feel. You can also try to game the system. If the plane’s seating configuration is 3 x 3 x 3, choose seats that leave the middle seat between you empty. If you’re lucky, no one will book it, and you’ll end up with even more extra space, because no one likes the middle seat.

Fair warning, this doesn’t always work out. People flying economy rarely cancel intercontinental long-haul flights if they can help it.

Stand. Stand often. Deep vein thrombosis is not your friend. No need to be a jack-in-the-box, but try to stretch your limbs at least once every couple of hours, and a potty break is a great excuse.

Keep your socks on. Planes get cold. Fun fact: you can get free socks and a sleep mask for free if you ask!

Use shoes when you use the lavatory.

This really shouldn’t be a necessary reminder, but I’ve seen quite a few people traipsing up the aisle in their stockinged feet. Observe hygiene and common sense; an airplane is a giant, bacteria-filled flying bus. God knows what you’re picking up.  (Hepatitis? Swine Flu? Foot and Mouth Disease? Gingivitis?)

Pre-load your phone/tablet/e-Reader with enough material to keep you occupied. In-flight entertainment may not always be ideal (Cathay Pacific – yay! Air Canada – boo!), and you’ll need something to make those interminable hours pass quickly, especially if you find it hard to sleep on planes. Otherwise, there’s always extra-strength Benadryl.

You know what, forget everything you’ve just read, with the exception of the sports bra. When all else fails, always go for extra-strength Benadryl. Sleep your way through a plane flight with no underwire digging into your ample curves, and you’ll be juuuust fine.

Random YouTube K-Hole: F-bombs Away

Random YouTube K-Hole: F-bombs Away

Remember when the f-word was so bad, saying it made a body feel positively wicked? It’s gone mainstream and all the rebellious energy its use imparted seems to have gone. Well, mostly. It’s still a great way to express some pretty turbulent emotions, as today’s trio will proceed to demonstrate.

F*ck You – CeeLo Green

Sometimes there’s just no other thing to say, when the one you care about takes everything you thought mattered and tramples it in the dust. The best revenge is being successful, and CeeLo illustrates this in his sassy, snappy ode to a former girlfriend. Its genius is in the use of a gospel-tinged melody so upbeat, it almost makes us forget what the song is about and the aggressive lyrical message from a jilted lover to his ex and the man she left him for.

IDGAF – Dua Lipa

Bringing out the dual in Dua Lipa, IDGAF’s stylish music video illustrates the warring emotions that arise when dealing with a jerk who’s broken your heart and wants to come back. It’s an angry, f-bombing ode from a dumpee to a dumper, and Dua Lipa, unlike CeeLo, plays it with a sullen, disinterested, slow-burning anger, rather than glee.

GTFO – Mariah Carey

Finally, the music video that started this all, Mariah Carey is back in the hizzy with a drunken little ditty, and you know what, I’m liking it. It’s been a while since she’s released a single and an accompanying music video, and GTFO is billed as a “lighthearted first listen” of her latest album. If this is Mimi’s idea of lighthearted, she’s got some serious issues, but it’s catchy, with lyrics that belie her delicate vocals. She’s angry, but she’s not going to be trashy about it, she’s just going to down some red wine and run herself a bath like a well-balanced adult who looks a mite too big for the house she lives in, but whatever. I am not going to be able to stop listening to  this today.

Magic Carpet Ride

Magic Carpet Ride

You know how it goes. Street rat in disguise woos princess away from her balcony with an offer to show her the world by magic carpet. She accepts, and it’s glorious. Fantastical. Amazing. Romantic, the kind of adventure a young girl would give her right arm for.

But I’m old and jaded now, and you know what? It’s a carpet. There won’t anything between you and the elements, no stable foundation for your backside, no one serving warm rolls and instant noodles, no inflight entertainment.

Economy class is a bit harder on the body. It’s a cattle car on a flying bus with a caste system. There’s the one percent – first class, with its hot towels and personalized care. Then upper middle class – business class, with its bags of warm nuts. Then there’s lower middle class – premium economy, the place where the more fortunate bob up from under, using their miles or squeezing the last drops of their life savings for slightly larger inflight entertainment screens and a bit more legroom. The rest of us ne’er do wells are in economy, herded together like a bunch of sheep hitching a ride to the slaughterhouse.

I personally enjoy nabbing the cheapest prices I can find, but you really do get what you pay for. It’s fine for short haul flights that take about two or three hours tops, but when you’re winging your way across the Pacific on a flight that lasts for forever in the middle seat and unable to stretch your legs (and really, much of anything) it’s an exquisite sort of torture. Exquisite because I know I’m going to end up somewhere nice, like Silliman University’s Founder’s Day celebration (yay!). Torture, because it’s fifteen interminable hours of being in one position, praying the passenger in front of you isn’t a jerk about reclining, that the people you share seats with won’t come with a squalling little human and that the stranger behind you doesn’t treat the touch screen monitor like a punching bag.

Worst of all, airlines never let you forget how much better you can have it if you just pay more. Why else do we peons get a glimpse of the business class section on our way to the back of the bus plane? With its roomy seats that turn into recliners, ample legroom and enough space to for others to respect your own personal bubble, business class is a glimpse of heaven on your way to hell. Wish you were here! It’s awful.

So to everyone who’s flown in to catch SU’s 117th anniversary and did it on an economy fare, I salute you. Loyal shall we e’er remain, indeed. Happy birthday, Silliman!

 

Image Disney/Aladdin