Internet Sausage Links

Internet Sausage Links

I decided to do a new thing on here where I share random links because lord knows I spend enough time whiling away on the internet despite my best intentions, so I may as well share. Also, I may or may not have been inspired by the glorious Michael K of Dlisted, but don’t worry this isn’t going to turn into a gossipy sort of blog. Just think of me as the friend who messages you out of the blue with some random bullshit you can check out while you’re stuck in traffic. Or pretend you’re reading over my shoulder on the subway while I’m hastily scrolling up on my phone trying to hide the outright porny Instagram posts I keep getting without any advance notice, which is what I get for having a raging homosexual as a best friend. So here we go!

They’re rebooting Daria, that immortal MTV classic, because nothing is off-limits. Or sacred. To be fair, nothing in or about my high school puberty was off-limits or sacred anyway, so go ahead and ruin it even more, damn you – Vice

Since that sicko ran a rented van into a bunch of innocents on a sidewalk in Toronto, this hateful subgroup of sadly misinformed, completely batshit individuals have been thrust into the spotlight, and boy is their slang an eye-opening education. Incels: A Lexicon – Vice

Excuse me for being really into Vice today, but someone tried to hide in the crawlspace above a convenience store to escape a cop and promptly fell through the ceiling. All this over a $1 can of pop. Alberta is fun, I really should go back sometime to see my lovely friend Karen – Vice

Just in time for Canada Day, Drizzy Drake dropped an album and Hotline Bling aside, I don’t really care, but he’s apparently milking the story of having a baby out of wedlock and how being a single parent is hard, because mining your rich, successful, dysfunctional man-whore life for all its worth is how to make money in music now. Who am I kidding? That’s always been how to make money, just ask the Carters – Rolling Stone

Big Dick Energy (BDE): three words that kind of go together and make sense, while making me wonder why it’s never really been a thing until the past twenty four hours, and we’ll probably continue to see it being used to death for the next few days until the next new phrase hits the internet. Anthony Bourdain just couldn’t resist contributing one last thing to humanity before going to the great kitchen confidential in the sky – Vox

Standing Still

Standing Still

I roll the window down
Feel like I’m gonna drown in this strange town
Feel broken down.. feel broken down
Jewel Kilcher, Standing Still

According to the internet, everything I’m doing is  wrong. I’m slicing a mango wrong – the correct way involves a glass. I’m packing my suitcase wrong – roll, don’t fold. I’m making my bacon wrong – bake, don’t fry. I’m squeezing my toothpaste tube wrong – use a binder clip to help push every last bit of goop up through it’s nozzle. My life is wrong, I’m wrong and I’m useless without the internet.

It’s insidious, the kind of negging that used to be relegated to magazine covers like Cosmopolitan, that well-meaning font of wisdom on  how to live your best life. Cosmo has always been about how to lose weight, have better relationships, make him want you again, all with the subtle inference that the reader is boring, vanilla and unattractive and that the only way to be a fun, fearless, female is to buy their magazine. That’s the internet. It’s like a cover of Cosmopolitan, turned up times a thousand. There’s no subtlety at all.

Well the internet can go hang. I decided to stay away from it this past weekend, going cold turkey, because somehow I had just had enough. I wanted to confront my own personal FoMO, and see if I could beat it.

In the never-ending barrage of information that is the present-day internet, our real and our online selves have merged, and FoMO, or fear of missing out, is that nagging anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, leaving us out of the loop, contributing to the feeling that missing out will contribute to a lifetime of regret, and so will not joining in. It’s just one of the many effects having a life online has on a body. There’s the sense of validity we gain from getting poked, tagged, liked, shared and talked about, the feeling of connection and belonging that can sometimes be even stronger in the world of the virtual rather than the real.

But it wasn’t just the FoMO. It was also the stark reminder that comparing myself and my life choices to someone else’s can give me crippling insecurity and lead to very damaging questions. Questions like, why can’t they be fat, what’s wrong with me, why them, why not me – a smorgasbord of whys that ultimately lead nowhere good, the kind of downward spiral that doesn’t feel healthy, or even good, and if there’s anything I dislike (and I know I dislike a lot of things), it’s being made to feel less than. And here I was, doing it to myself.

So I made like MTV, and unplugged.

And it was good. So good, I’ve decided to do without the internet on weekends.

I hadn’t realized how noisy and over-saturated the digital hum had become until I purposefully disengaged from the Matrix.  There’s an almost audible absence of sound, digital sound, a silence that expands. There’s a freedom in not knowing what Mr and Mrs Smith are up to, a peace in not being up to date and not caring. Trump what? Oil pipeline who? FIFA World Cup how? None of it. Not a single thing matters, and it feels so sweet. Like a big burden being lifted, this burden we place on ourselves to be informed, to be in the know, to seem together, to be “with it.”

It’s not that I no longer want to know what everyone is up to. I just don’t need to know about it all the time.

 

Illustration by Penelope Gazin, from Vice.

 

Drive

I took an Uber tonight. It’s not something I do a lot. But tonight, I did. And it was like being in a time machine.

I wasn’t in Toronto, I was back in Cebu, on one of the many evenings in a cab on my way to work, like Cinderella in the evening, rushing. The driver took a route I had never tried before, cutting through parts of the city I had never seen. As it unfolded before me tonight like a new place to be explored,  Toronto was a mysterious city waiting to be discovered and I felt a quiet sort of  joy, savouring the sweet, delicious tang of curiosity.  For a brief span of time, I was younger, the whole world before me. I was that girl again, and I realized I haven’t felt that way in a long, long time.

Last Weekend Tonight (in bullet points, with links)

Last Weekend Tonight (in bullet points, with links)
  • Shiny Happy People
    • new platform sandals
    • Pretty!
    • My feet are white and delicate! I’m a girl!
    • Why did I spend a whole afternoon walking?
    • And now my feet are yesterday’s ground up meat.
    • mein gott, the pain
  • Ikea
    • where I never leave empty-handed, despite my best intentions
    • same goes for you, Costco
    • Kitchen brush for 99c!
    • meatballs, yay
    • material for a new curtain
    • Yep, one. Singular.
    • would’ve flunked sewing class if it weren’t for my mother
    • which reminds me of that cross-stitch project I took on and never finished
    • it’s been three years, I really should complete that thing
  • Peek Freans Cookie Outlet
    • because I decided to send a box home to the fam
    • best place to get Oreos on the cheap
    • Le Hubs to me: What are you sending them, diabetes?
    • Me to Le Hubs: because I’m sweet?
    • sending them Omega 3 though
    • and pistachios, because my Dad loves them
    • my Dad, who wanted a trailer hitch for his Sorento, try fitting that in a large LBC box, Dad
  • Design Republic / Urban Mode / Casper Showroom
    • need new mattress, my back can’t take much more of this
    • I hate getting old
    • test drives are a must, 100 night trial offer bedamned
    • Urban furniture and design stores + expertly staged, ultra-expensive furniture = major inferiority complex
    • I may as well be living in a shack with donated goods from Habitat for Humanity
    • Casper vs. Endy vs. just choose one already godamnit, my feet are killing me
    • Oh well, Endy it is.
    • all I want for Christmas is Mandaue Foam
  • Storage Wars: Northern Treasures
    • getting some bang out of my Netflix buck
    • for when I want to binge-watch my tits off
    • one man’s trash, another man’s treasure
    • I’ll stick to dumpster diving, this is way too stressful
    • What kind of idiot leaves real gold jewelry in storage?
    • Maybe a dead one. Oops. Sorry, Lord.
    • Will Netflix ever get the original Storage Wars?
    • Does Roku support the A&E app for Canada?
    • Ugh, geo-blocking sucks!

Parts Unknown

Sometimes I avoid news. Not that I can avoid it entirely, but the general predilection of today’s news to be inflammatory – because that’s what sells – is exhausting. It’s issues, issues and even more issues, some of it real, a lot of it manufactured by people who seem to have made it their business to go through life with a gigantic chip on their shoulder.  Still, this past week or so, with that kiss (why does he make it so hard?) and she-who-shall-not-be-named invoking the memory of her dead parents yet again, it’s easy to see why people contemplate offing themselves.

Melodrama aside, suicide is no laughing matter. And it’s trending again. A couple of months ago, it was Avicii. Just recently, Kate Spade – she of the eponymous line of bags, shoes and accessories – and now Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, globe-trotter and highly esteemed food writer. All were highly successful and wealthy, all were living the kind of accomplished, jet-set lives the rest of us can only dream of having. None of it was enough to make them want to go on living. You know it’s serious when you wake up one day at the top of your game, and decide you can’t be bothered to keep breathing. Is it really that empty up there in the atmosphere of the one percent? Is it really that bleak? If having all that isn’t enough, then what is?

Although the stigma of depression is slowly being chipped away, no one ever talks about it very much. It’s a mysterious illness, easily dismissed, something only understood by those going through it and those who’ve gone through it and made it to the other side. My mother used to tell me stories of what it was like for her, after she had my brothers. She said it was a very scary, very weird headspace to be in. I was a child back then, so the only things that stood out were these strange roots suspended in jars of orange liquid, infusions of ginger root and tree bark she used to take, and the word bughat, something that, to a nine year old, was both riddle and an answer, all at once.

It takes a lot of strength to get through something like that, a lot of fortitude and a very strong will. My mother was one of the fortunate ones, able to emerge from the darkness of post-partum depression. I do remember one thing she always made an effort to do whenever she felt particularly low: she talked about it. Doing so helped in many ways – it helped me understand a little bit of what she was going through, even if I was only nine. And I think it helped her to know that we may not have fully understood, but that we were going to be there for her all the same. Talking about it helps. It’s particularly hard on us Filipinos, who for the most part, either think psychotherapy and the drugs that can come with it are for the weak, or believe in it but can’t afford it. Talking is cheap and effective, and there’s no shame in struggling. Depression doesn’t discriminate.

If we’re to go by the examples of successful people who’ve killed themselves (Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Robin Williams, Alexander McQueen, etc), all the money, success, fame and glamour in the world aren’t enough.  But does that  make life not worth living? I refuse to believe that. I still want to know  what it’s like to be so rich, I can use dollar bills to wipe my behind.  I’m not convinced that life isn’t worth it, just yet. I think breathing is sweet, and I still want to win the lottery. If it’s all downhill from there, then that’s as it may be, but at least I’d have gotten to try being on top of the world.

Just Another Day

Well, Doug Ford and the Conservatives have won Ontario, winning a rat race of an election I couldn’t bring myself to participate in because all the choices were so bad, it was practically  Russian Roulette with all the chambers loaded. The Liberals have overspent, overpromised and under-delivered. The NDP is untried and untested, their dreams of a better province unsupported by a concrete budget. The Conservatives are viewed as  the Canadian version of the people who support Trump and they didn’t even bother releasing a plan with a budget. Doug Ford, their grand high poobah, is the brother of a mayor so infamous, Toronto did a full 360 and elected his exact opposite – may that infamous mayor rest in peace – and said poobah made said brother look so much gentler in comparison.

There’s really no easy way to put this, my province is fucked.  Ontario’s electricity bills are astronomical in comparison to the rest of Canada, and our government acts like someone  who’s just gotten paid on a Friday and decided that the word budget is not in their vocabulary. In Toronto, the TTC is practically held together with duct tape and a prayer because no one wants to stop squabbling about how to make the TTC better and everyone keeps spending to find out how to make it better instead of actually making it better. The Liberals have already screwed us seven ways to Sunday, what else could go wrong?

I have no idea what the future holds for Ontario and Toronto in particular, but at least the Liberals paid for their very expensive mistakes (but not before we had to pay for theirs) by flaming out spectacularly. I guess we’ll have to see if the Conservatives make good on their promises to make Ontario great again. Hope for the best, and expect the worst. So really, just another day, eh?