Reggie Does Archie

I already know you’re gay (again, except for the Sirois clan), but if you’re in Montreal, I have news for you. What are you doing at 8:00 pm, say, tonight? 

Buying you drinks, Lauren!

‘Atta girl! Tonight is Reggie does Archie at Reggie’s bar… it’s another one of those crazy gender-bender parties that those gays do. But this time it’s with a twist, Reggie’s is not a gay bar (although a campus gay bar should be on the agenda for the CSU), so we’re taking it over. If you plan on coming, leave your hetero-normative facade at the door; a) because I don’t like to have to read too far into people, b) because you could be very good looking and I have a strict no straight girls thing going on, c) “everyone else is doing it, you’ll be a loser if you don’t.”

So come out tonight, I’ll be there. Bad coming out pun intended.

Brief Moments of Celebrity

I'm going to start carrying these around in my man-bag... with assorted impersonal-yet-inspiring blurbs.

I'm going to start carrying these around in my man-bag... with assorted impersonal-yet-inspiring blurbs.

When I walk into a room and everyone behind a desk-like object of importance knows my name, it’s usually a bar. And, usually, I haven’t paid my tab yet, but I would have certainly told/slurred to the bartender enough priceless wisdom for me to drink for free there for the rest of my life. Today, I didn’t walk into a bar; I walked into class. 

 

I knew people read this blog, I probably wouldn’t have a blog if I didn’t want people to read it; rather, I would have a(nother) unicorn journal. But it’s a surreal experience to find yourself the topic of discussion amongst people you don’t know. Cool, don’t get me wrong, talk about me to everybody! But still, surreal.

I’m finding more and more often that people don’t know me, but they know me. You, reading this blog for example, we probably have never conversed. If we have, you are a creepy stalker, maybe even a creepier stalker than I am (and yes, that was a very subtle shout out). People know me by what bike I ride, or the hats I wear, they know my glasses, the way I dress, and often times the fact that I dance like a lunatic. But most often, I get the “you look exactly like my friend/ex-girlfriend/Emile Hirsch in Milk!” or “you’re that funny person, right? My (name of person/title here) loves you!”

I will be the first to admit I’m not cut out for such types of interaction. First, I’m beyond terrible with names, so I probably know the person you were talking about, and I’d remember them if they were infront of me. But saying things like:

“I heard about you from Sarah… you know, Sarah! She’s got brown hair, average height, kind of slim, about our age… Sarah! Come on!”

Second, I don’t do compliments well. I believe I blogged about this earlier, actually. But I digress, it’s not that I can’t take compliments, it’s that I feel obligated to return the favour, even though it will probably either a) be half-hearted or b) come off as half-hearted due to the timing in which I give said compliment.

It’s just an odd predicament, and I overthink everything. I am off to try and eat something.

Who’s afraid of the big, bad hipster?

Actually, I don't think Renee is that afraid of me.

Actually, I don't think Renee is that afraid of me.

 

When I first started out here in Montreal, I felt as if I looked like cousin It or something. Everyone would look at me, some even staring at me all class, but people were afraid to start up conversations.

“How could that be, Lauren? You are the vision of all that is good in the world!”

    I know, right? I soon figured out it was because I’m, apparently, very unapproachable. How did I come to such a conclusion? Well, in one of my classes, we were assigned to groups. No one in the groups would talk to me, however I was in a group full of idiots, so I felt the need to put in my two cents.

“Listen,” I would say, “we’re going about this all wrong.”

When people stopped their conversations and listened to me as if I had just rang the Pavlovian-response bell, I knew something was up. Later that day, someone from the group said they really appreciated my input, and that they were ‘very intimidated’ by me before. 

    I still didn’t understand why people were so afraid to talk to me, so I started taking my critical thinking to the next level. I sat in class and analyzed myself. I sit in class, MacBook Pro in front of me, with my Grado SR60s on. Now, my Grado’s have this really great feature, which essentially cancels out any sound which could hurt my hearing. So when my music is playing, everyone around me gets a taste, even if I’m listening at low volumes. The possibility of anyone in my classes knowing who I was listening to were so slim to none that I blocked all conversational possibilities.

    Next came to my posture. I pretty much sit like a guy; legs apart and outstretched, showing off my skinnies and overly-disheveled sweatshop-free, vegan high tops. I slouch into my chair, in a very relaxed manner, mind you, and I sport a look of general indifference. Unless of course, we start talking politics, human rights violations, or the environment, then I sit more forward, and nod in a way that says “I’m part of this discussion, even though I’m not saying anything, because I want to give the beginners a shot.”

    My choice of reading material could have also been deterring. I read Bitch when it came to magazines, and I’m currently working on a book about gender in modern political theory, which just happens to come with a holier-than-thou cover, and a Toronto Women’s Bookstore bookmark.

    Clothing wise, I’m always in some kind of skinny jeans, with high tops, and cycling cap of sorts. Topwear varies day to day, from organic hoodies, to politically incorrect vintage tees, to organic plaid, to all things American Apparel. Plus my messenger bag is always with me, and everyone knows which bike I ride.

“Hey, aren’t you the girl with that really sweet red & white fixie?”

    “Why yes, yes I am.”

    The only people brave enough to talk to me are other hipster-looking people, or complete idiots. There are a lot of complete idiots. I applaud those who talk to me, and I enjoy the non-verbal communication which goes on between myself and the other, older, hipsters. The mutual up-down has become a regular thing for myself and a group of other social-elitists. I’m hoping to run into them at a bar, and I will invite them back to my holier-than-thou looking apartment for some Stella and Death From Above. 

    Speaking of my apartment, yesterday I was surveying my surroundings, and I thought to myself “damn, I’m cool.” Usually I wouldn’t say such a thing, but Xan and I got into a conversation about how she wanted to start long boarding, cycling regularly, dj-ing, and get a better handle on photography. I realized that I had all those things. Well, I’m not a very good dj because I buy indie records, and no one wants to scratch their Elliott Smith’s. 

    I also have a “party fridge”, I say this because at one point, I had so much beer in my fridge, placed right above the crisper, that there is a huge crack in the plastic, due to the sheer weight of beer. 

    “Awesome!”

    In conclusion, don’t be deterred just because I waft cultural superiority, I’m really not trying to. I’m just “in style” these days. In a couple months I’ll be a has been.

    Oh, and this is just a quick tip to anyone who wants to stay ahead of the curve. I will even bold it for you. Half cabs are the new high tops. So buy some now. I think I’m going to start giving social-elitist fashion advice. “Social-elitist” is the new, more politically correct way to say “hipster”, just so you know.

[ First posted: 23/10/08 ]

Worst day ever

It's true, there are many a Facebook group.

It's true, there are many a Facebook group.

It’s almost 11:30, and I feel like death warmed over. Before I elaborate upon why it is I feel so terrible, and who I’m blaming for it, I will add that this is going to be a two post day. I know, I’ve never warned you before, but when my message is so doom and gloom, I don’t want you to worry. Mostly because I posted earlier that I had moved to the province with the 4th highest suicide rates in the world, yikes. So have no fear, I’m not heading to the Champlain bridge with two cement blocks on a string, or anything.

    Anyways, I think I have strep throat, and this worries me because I can’t miss school, and I can’t miss interviewing my sources, so it’s basically like Concordia and I are married. 

“Do you, Lauren Pettigrew, promise to attend classes in both sickness and health?”

“I do.“

“Do you, Concordia University, promise to still hold classes and dock Lauren for participation points, whether she be in sickness or health?”

“Obvi!”

    Also, I’m “taking Carrie to the prom”, which is really just a nice way of saying I’m on my period while exerting that I did, in fact, watch that episode of the L Word… numerous times (as well as actually watching Carrie, but only once). So just to recap, I’m bleeding, and I have strep. This is awesome.

    Other things which have gone wrong, oh, my check still hasn’t been processed. And my tuition was due yesterday. My rent is due today. And if I don’t get that money soon, I’m screwed. Seriously, my landlord will come and beat me up, or something. And Concordia, even though we’re married, will probably leave me, for someone younger too. I would file this under woe is me. Oh, and I have yet to get the bill for my hydro, so I have a feeling something is up. Seeing as my electricity isn’t included in my rent. I suppose I should email them. Probably.

    Anyways, I’m off to write a story about a terribly insignificant event. I’ll report back later.

[ First posted: 01/10/08 ]

Take 215

You know, for making my life so darn easy!

You know, for making my life so darn easy!

If any of you go to Concordia, firstly, lets have coffee. Secondly, take JOUR 215, it’s an open course, so even if you’re studying to become, I don’t know, an accountant, you can get in. I actually did the reading for the class, I was shocked by me doing this too, don’t worry, I found it to be terribly enthralling. It was on the role of media in different subsets of democratic society, and it blew my mind. 

    I was pondering dropping this course. During the first class, the ultimate KOD was pulled out, the librarian came to tell us how to use the online catalogue, and I wanted to die, or at least download sudoku to my Mac. But after reading this article, I realize this is the class for me. 

    Democracy and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. And I know what you’re thinking, “you’re probably telling us this as you sit, reading the New York Times Book Review, remarking on Sarah Palin’s dodgey politics, wearing an organic cotton v neck and sweatshop-free shoes, trying to distract yourself from the fact that conservative-minded governments are in the lead in both Canada and the US right now,” while it is creepy that you knew that, you’re right. I enjoy democracy, I enjoy learning about it, and occasionally participating in it. More so on a local level, mind you, even though I do prefer to surround myself with knowledge of national and international doings.

    But I am so informed that democracy’s workings continually let me down. I read about scandal, and corruption, and I read complete garbage coming out of the mouthes of our political powers, and it makes me sick, seriously. So reading this article today, and how different types of democracy require different forms of media to keep the ‘ideal society’ for the particular democracy in check, I was frustrated because I have a clear bias of what forms of democracy I think would work best. Yet it became increasingly apparent to me that I did not live in a place in which my preferred democratic model was practiced, or even seen as legitimate.

    Democracy sucks when it doesn’t work in my favour. And it never seems to work in my favour.

(First posted: 15/09/08)

It’s my first day, and I had to take the bus.

 

Usually that's how I call them all in... or I leave a trail of flannel.

Usually that's how I call them all in... or I leave a trail of flannel.

I’m sitting outside my classroom in the CJ building right now, and I arrived a half hour too early. If you’ve seen my most recent vlog, you know I’m intimidated by my prof already. So I guess coming early is better than coming late, because apparently they just lock you out? What the hell, that’s not how it happens on television!

    Anyways, I’m sitting here, I don’t know anyone, and I’ve seen less than a handful of properly dressed people. I thought that university + Montreal = fashion savvy, thrift store worshipping, hipsters. Apparently, I was wrong, and people are even less fashion forward than they were at Richview. And that, well, that’s just embarrassing. I don’t want poorly dressed friends, but I don’t want to be a loner. I have a feeling this is going to be some sort of an epic cool friend-finding uphill battle. I never thought I’d be using “uphill battle” and “epic” in explaining how I’ll find friends. This looks bad.

8 hours later…

    So I caught this girl checking me out in the “tell us who you are” segment of class. I can’t remember her name because I only started listening when the prof glared at me. But I digress, I turned my head to look at the girl who was telling us about why she chose journalism, and our eyes locked for a good five seconds. Then she turned away smiling, looked down at her desk, and brought her head back up, still smiling. It was definitely a moment. Almost enough of a moment for me to warrant putting it on Craigslist missed encounters (I’m not even going to put a link there, you know where the page is, don’t lie to me). However, I’ll see her next Monday, so there’s really no reason to do so.

    Now, back to this bus ride which I never addressed. It was horrendous. Free, but horrendous none the less. You see, as a cyclist I know nothing of streets. I care not about whether it’s a one way, whether there are bike lanes present, whether there are streetcar tracks, or anything of the matter. I know north, south, east, and west. I know major intersections, and really that’s all I feel I need to know. Well, I haven’t figured out north, south, east or west. Nor have I been to any major intersections. So when it came time for me to leave for class this morning, I had to choose between making it to class and riding my bike 7 km in each direction until I ran into the other campus. I chose the former, and a good thing too. The prof, bless her Naomi Klien-esque heart, was a stickler for time, but she knew all about Burma, and she’d spent months in conflict zones. And that is just hot. I’m not saying I like her, but I admire her. Plus I can’t be late now, there are hot women awaiting!

    I cleaned my whole apartment today, and I think I’ll have to clean it again tomorrow, because my feet are still turning black. Yesterday it was really really bad. Today, it’s better, but still, I don’t want these dirty floors. I really hate the guy who was so messy to leave literally layers of grime on the floor. My water/vinegar floor cleaning solution was opaque when I poured it out. And honestly, there is not a lot of floor here, so that blows my mind! I hate messes, seriously, I can deal for a little while, but I get fed up really quickly. especially with my new bed coming in Friday, I want my room to be pristine. My sheets are white, too, and I’m not washing them every 2 days because I have grimey floors. On the upside, I have no pets to clean up after, so once I get this place into working order, I have no one to blame but myself, and that’s the way I like things to be. 

(First posted: 02/09/08)

This just in: I’m one bolt away from being a total badass.

My fixed gear conversion is almost complete, and in saying that I mean that I can start riding just as soon as I buy a new saddle and get my wheel built. The only thing standing in my ego’s path is the bolt on the left hand side of my free wheel. Having no real cycling equipment, formal bike dismantling training, or relevant information other than “take it all off”, this bolt has proven to be a worthy opponent for my can’t-do-5-push-ups physique.

    I don’t want to bring it in to the bike shop because I just know those crazies are going to charge me an arm and a leg, or $15. But it’s a matter of principle. I enjoy the fact that I have ripped out every innovative piece of machinery on this bicycle, and that I really don’t need much of anything to make it into what I want it to be. And that makes me feel as if I am far superior to most everyone inhabiting this planet

    In other news which is entirely unrelated to bicycles or my poor upper body strength, Chloe leaves tomorrow! I am incredibly depressed just thinking about it, however I know letting my friend go free into the land of the free and the campus filled with cheap, free and plentiful under armor accessories is the right thing to do. Chloe heads out for Utica to start training with her team tomorrow, so tonight, and possibly all throughout today, I am treating her to something which I have put no planning into, seeing as this date has snuck up on me. I am willing to offer free tequila to her though, and if that isn’t the sign of true friendship, well, I don’t know what is.

    Speaking of friends near and far, Sarah Batzold called me yesterday. I haven’t seen her in an entire year, which is incredibly depressing to admit to, but it was really good to catch up with that girl. Her and I have the worst timing, however. You see, she’s going to U of T next year for psychology, and she’s moving down a day after I leave for Montreal. If only Concordia had residences that were convenient for vegans, that way I wouldn’t have to live alone, in a building full of hipsters. Oh, I am so very hard done by. I live 2 km away from Montreal’s Brakeless shop though, so I think I will just get by. 

(First posted: 13/08/08)