Taylor Swift vs. Lana Del Rey

Second marriages are always hard. Especially on the kids.

I remember the first time fell in love with Lan. I call her Lan, then she slaps me and says that’s not her name, and she’s not putting up with my nonsense. It’s a thing I like to pretend we have. So, I remember the first time fell in love with Lana. It wasn’t during the summer of 2014, the way I tell everyone it was. It was actually much later. Ultraviolence hadn’t actually ‘just came out’ – it was definitely a few years after the fact. But I was sitting on a couch at Comfort Zone smoking a camel light at 4am. In my defense though, I was mildly aware of Lana and her moody mid-tempo songs about pining for the west coast. They definitely did play Ultraviolence front to back, which was very out of character for Comfort Zone at the time, apparently. Must have been an off night? I was much more of a Cold Tea fan. I was conscious enough to Shazaam it though, just to confirm my suspicions. It was also weird that I got reception in the basement that night :/. Shazaam’s a life saver – you can’t always be on the cusp of pop culture when you’re busy being a digital marketing Don Draper/asshole.

It was a typically sour night. Probably a Tuesday. Cold Tea probably wasn’t open and I was smoking American cigarettes, which I shouldn’t have been smoking in the first place, in a basement. Sitting on a couch of very questionable cleanliness, in an after-hours spot I couldn’t really afford, trying not to head back to my apartment that I could almost afford. I was moody. Lana was moody. It was just what I needed.

Her general malaise gets my hotter than a single serving girlfriend walking away from my bed wearing nothing but my plaid shirt from the previous night. Smoking cigs and telling it like it is. Lana may or may not have actually fucked her way up to the top, but at least she doesn’t hide it behind cleverly titled pop songs about Harry Styles. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. My ex, current flame and I all disagree on morning drinks – tequila sunrise vs. caesars vs…. purple vitamin water, probably? (I’m aware Lana quit drinking years ago, so don’t bother pointing that out) Totally fine, because I can’t get them in the same room together. Or in a room with me for that matter.

I can’t wait for her to meet my Mother.

In the meantime, I’m still drinking Tecate, smoking American Spirits and falling in love with bartenders on Queen West. But don’t tell Lana. I’ve graduated to much more expensive cigarettes, and better after hours dives. When trying to be your best self, your liquor’s gotta be top shelf. At this point, who knows who my kids’ (read: my fake, stuffed dachshund from Ikea) second step mom will be. This isn’t permanent, nothing is. Sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s fine.

Lana is the now the new, darker step mom. The kids hate her, but she’s probably the one you should have been with the first place. While Though, she does need to step up her merch design game, Taylor still doesn’t make a shirt that would actually fit me, despite my many complaints. Taylor never listens to me anymore, and I think that was the problem. Communication kids, it’s key. Satan knows I tried, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Also, 23 dollars for a magazine at Target is a little ridiculous, Tay.

Stay together for the kids, kids (but actually don’t)

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New Orleans is Sinking, Cause I’m a Fat Bag of Garbage That Eats 3 Beignets at Every Meal

That Tragically Hip song is actually really good. Actually, The Tragically Hip is really good. I kinda feel bad about all the shit I’ve talked over the years. Whatever. I would fly to The Mississippi Delta during hurricane season, when an actual hurricane is pounding people 2 states over. Look out everyone, Ol’ Two Tits is drunk in a foreign city again…

I’m drinking bud light/water out of a cup shaped like a butt, FYI

But the weather was actually amazing. Hot today. Hot yesterday too. Probably be hot again tomorrow. I’m at my best when I’m wearing all black, and am sweaty and uncomfortable. So this was the best trip ever. Displaced Floridians were vacationing with the native New Orleans-ians and the drunk, tourist-ing Canadians. Drinking sweet tea, fanning yourself on the front stoop of your cute little Marigny – French Quarter shotgun house. This is 34 – going on another vacation, getting bombed everyday, then bitching to anyone who will listen to you, about the weather.

It was a bucket list thing to stay in a traditional New Orleans shotgun house (I have a fucking lame bucket list guys) and the experience didn’t disappoint. Dead bugs and all. Fun fact: about 15 years ago, I wasted 8 hours on a Sunday evening/Monday morning reading about traditional Louisiana architecture on this new fanged website known as Wikipedia. For reasons I’m still clueless about, I was fucking enamored with the shotgun house, and made it a lame life goal to stay in one. The design, the simplicity, the functionality made the experience. An adequate accommodation, at a reasonable price. Believe in your dreams kiddos, you never know when they’ll come true.

Speaking of dreams, see post title. Beignets for breakfast, beignets for lunch, beignets for dinner, beignets for brunch. 3 beignets after every meal. I am a fat bag of garbage. 100% worth the diabetes and heart disease though.

Dipping my feet in important bodies of water has also become a bucket list thing (again, it’s a fucking lame bucket list). Spoiler alert: The Mississippi feels just like all the others. Wet.

I like my history, art, lingerie, girls eyes, coffee, touristy activities etc. as dark as possible. There’s likely nothing darker than hopping a brick wall and illegally hanging out in graveyards on a Saturday afternoon.

 

…and then I died.

Later NOLA, it was a time.

A Vacation. A Vacation From Ourselves.

XXXIV. Another year around the sun. Another 75,000 dollars or so. Another American road trip in a Hyundai Elantra sedan. Another chapter in ‘If You Like Coffee, You’ll Love Cocaine’. Another vacation. But still, a vacation. A vacation from ourselves.

Currently, I actually feel like a very busy porn star, but that’s neither here nor there…

My Accountant and My Electrician picked me up at 5AM in Burlington, somewhere near Mapleview Mall. I was on no sleep, no sleep! (2 hours sleep actually) after a particularly wild office karaoke party (and another flawless rendition Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi, by me). Getting into the car, My Accountant was heard to remark,

“It’s 5AM, you’re drunk, and carrying a half eaten pizza. Absolutely nothing about this pickup is a surprise”

It’s good to know I don’t disappoint.

 

We ripped through Niagara, Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and into Manhattan in record time. I managed to not piss away all my money at the first Wawa I saw, and opted for the usual cauldron of coffee and a pack of American Spirits. Oh, and mozzarella sticks. Can’t forget those mozzarella sticks.

“Oh you went to a Wawa? Wow, congratulations on going to a fucking convenience store” – Me, a loser, on the Bam Margera message board, circa 2002.

 

Beyond all that, and despite the fact that I almost poutine’d in my shorts coming out of The Lincoln Tunnel, The Ramblin’ Boys of Pleasure made it to the East Village, relatively unscathed.

(I don’t know why we insist on doing this pose)

Then proceeded to get to the task at hand.

Obviously $1 slices were a larger part of the intended tasks at hand, but no one needs to read about how I’m getting fatter and slowly killing myself with bread, sauce, and cheese. But I drank a bottle or two of Kombucha, so you know, #balance.

 

In my continuing/never ending quest to live out episodes of Seinfeld in real-life, I convinced My Accountant and My Electrician to do The Real Kramer reality tour.

The Real K-Man did not understand my ‘Van Buren Boys’ reference…

Unlike last time, I actually ate something from The Soup Nazi without the feeling that I was about to die. The turkey chili – 11/10. The tour itself? Basically $37.50 for a bus ride around Manhattan and a 3 Musketeers, but also 11/10.

 

Waiting in line for a another trip to The Comedy Cellar, we got stuck in line behind some delightful NYU grads, who now work in finance. They and their leader, Chad, spent a lot of time shitting on some girl named Teresa, who actually sounded like a delightful, fun person. Who cares if Teresa was booty poppin’ in front of the LaCroix display at the back of a Safeway in Florida on spring break. Maybe she just didn’t want to go into details about the farm she currently works on because she doesn’t want to get any shit from you, Chad. Fuck you Chad.

Do girls know how pretty they are? I saw Chloë Sevigny walking through Tompkins. In my head I asked her to marry me, she said yes, and we ran away to live out our lives in Connecticut. But actually, I just swooned, likely spit up my whole wheat everything bagel w/ lox, and gawked at her, likely making her very uncomfortable.

Happy Birthday.

23 Short Stories About La Belle Province – Part I

That’s Quebec, for those who aren’t fluent in my personal version of Franglais. There’s something about that province that turns me into a complete animal.  Without fail, as soon as I cross that imaginary line on the map and the 401 becomes Auto route 20, I become a madman. First, it’s straight to Schwartz’s for a smoked meat sandwich, cause I’m usually hungry. Then, I immediately stop at the first Couche Tard I see, grab a tomato pizza, a sugar pie, and 24 Molson Dry’s (for the low low price of 23.98) and proceed to weird on a level that only my best friends, and Phuong, could understand. When I’m there, I rarely remember going to bed. I wake up in strange positions, surrounded by those thin grease covered cardboard plates that pizza comes on, and I’m not exactly proud of that.

 

 

Montreal is about 6 hours by car, 1 hour by plane or 5-ish hours by train, according to the VIA Rail Customer Success specialist of the train I’m currently writing this on. I’ve only got 2 hours to go until I arrive at that bunker/train station for a weekend of Pouzza VII.  What follows are a bunch of loose short stories, vignettes, bullshittery, and other anecdotes about my various adventures in La Belle Province, in no particular order. OK, There’s actually only 10…I stole the title from a Simpson’s episode.

 

P.R.E.A.M

The first hungover morning (there have been several since then) that I ever spent in Montreal, I fell off the bed, shoes on of course, and immediately went to a pizza parlor down the street from the hotel. The floor in that pizzeria was fucking plywood, but I didn’t really care. I was hungover and wearing a bandanna as a head band, which was the style at the time. I ordered a  Boreal Blanche with my 9am breakfast pizza slice, because it’s Montreal and I can do that. At the young age of 23, and being from Ontario, this was so new and mind blowing to me at the time. Sadly, that pizza place is and it’s sassy Franco-Italian owner is no longer there. My Electrician and I (who was my travel companion on that first trip) almost cried over that fact recently. But now there’s a new Chipotle-esque burrito place kiddie-corner to that long abandoned commercial space, where none of the staff speak any English. So there’s that. Incidentally, that day/night I continued to drink so much Boreal Blanche that the bottoms of my feet got incredibly itchy, and I had to take of my shoes and scratch the shit out of my calloused feet. Then I got lost in some weird student housing complex and walked back to the hotel barefoot.

Haven’t touched the stuff since. Luckily, that’s not the best story I have.

 

I Don’t Believe In God, I Believe In God-ess

I’ve seen and done a bunch of much weirder shit since, so in hindsight, this was a pretty tame, but I once watched a suspension performance in one of the upper rooms at Foufounes Electriques. It was some sort of tour loosely related to the Suicide Girls, and was totally different from their burlesque tour I had seen at Salt Lounge a few days prior (that website was still very much underground at the time). I was kinda turned on, but the whole suspension part (bleeding and all) wasn’t really my thing. Still, that was probably my first real-life exposure to any type of alternative sexual lifestyle. Now I march in parades for that shit. I met a couple girls that night, and our conversations indirectly changed my outlook on sex and relationships. I got a quick primer in the BDSM lifestyle, and the whole domme and submissive relationship. I learned things over $2 squishy cups of Molson Dry that stick with me to this very day.

So, if you ever make a ‘daddy issues’ joke about a Suicide Girl to me, I’ll probably slap you silly.

 

You, Were Everything I Wanted

I once saw New Found Glory play Stick and Stones front to back, and it was everything I wanted. Not like sexually though. I waited around at Underworld at 3 am during a Pouzza fest, for American Steel to play a secret show.  American Steel had some great songs and why they’re not at least in the same Income bracket as Hot Water Music, is totally beyond me. Though, I choose to pretend that they didn’t exist during their venture into synth-rock (as Communique). I’ve learned that the best Pouzza sets, and the best times in Montreal in general, happen between midnight and 4am. Bad Cop/Bad Cop and The Bombpops, together. The Almighty Trigger Happy and Wasted Potential, together. Scorpios. Enough said there. The best fucking times. I’ve bitched about the new Saves The Day songs to a half-full Club Soda. I’ve reminded complete strangers about what soundtrack they originally heard May 16th on. I’ve sang along to Broadway Calls songs with my best friends.

Unrelated but somewhat related, in 2008, I ran into and talked to Zombie Boy in an alley off Rue St. Catherine, right before he blew up and became Lady GaGa’s muse. The name dropping continues.

 

Do You Get Gags?

If you’ve ever read/stalked me on on this garbage website, you’ll know I had/still have a maniacal fear of ending up on Just For Laughs Gags, or anything similar. Before it actually happened, there was the time I thought it was about to happen. When it did happen, It was a nightmare, and I didn’t leave my apartment for weeks as a result. That show really is Quebec’s worst contribution to Canadian culture.

Get me outta here…

 

Grandfather Poutine, RIP

When I describe my diet to a stranger ‘It’s all about contrast‘ is the sentence I choose to go with. I love Sneaky Dee’s, but I also love Grand Electric. I can appreciate a croissant made with real butter, but I can also appreciate the buttermilk fried chicken at Popeye’s. I love Lil’ Baci, but I also love Domino’s. Sometimes I drop $100 on myself at La Carnita, and sometimes I go 649 on the value menu at the KFC/Taco Bell at Queen and Augusta. Basically, I like good food, but I also like hot garbage. YOLO.

I’ve ate some of the most delicious food in Montreal proper, and the surrounding townships. I once drunk bought an whole Peking duck from Chinatown, then proceeding to eat it, sans utensils, off the counter back at the hotel room. I’ve been berated by a waiter at Schwartz’s for only ordering fries when I was hungover, as opposed to an entire Smoked Meat Sandwich, with a pickle. I eventually had the full deal a few years later so no hard feelings, salty Schwartz’s waiter. I’ve had many delicious/fattening meals, but the culinary experience that’s stuck with me the most…during my first, and many subsequent 3:30 am visits to La Belle Province (Quebec’s finest 2 star fast food restaurant) at St. Catherine’s and St. Laurent, I was served/berated by the most delightful/cranky old man behind the counter…

Grandfather Poutine: “Smoked meat poutine!”

*throws down my order of poutine and 2 steamed hot dogs onto the counter*

Me: Thank…

Grandfather Poutine: “No English, Next!”

Me: “But you just spoke….”

Grandfather Poutine: “No, No English, Next!”

That man was always a highlight of my trips. He felt like family, even though I only saw him for a total of 45 minutes each year. Last time I was in town, I didn’t see him there the entire weekend. I even stopped by more than usual (You’re welcome arteries).

He’s probably gone, and that makes Jay tres, tres triste.

 

 

“If This Trip Doesn’t Kill Us, This Tienda Crawl Will”

Part I

I really did go to Colombia for the second time, and I really did feel safe. Despite what all the white people you know will try to tell you, it’s quite safe. It was 5:30 AM, flight number blah blah, gate whatever. As opposed to lying down and simply pretending to sleep for 6 or so hours, My Accountant and I chose to stay up talking shit and drinking aguardiente sours all night, then take a quick power nap before flying. We would do that in lieu of sleeping. Really, it just made more sense that way. The flight was with Air Canada Rouge. Rouge, when translated into English, apparently means passable pancakes, zero free booze, and some asshole toddler behind you crying and kicking your seat every 30 seconds. Needless to say, said plan, did not go as planned. I moved to the middle row, and slept horribly most of the way. So it goes.

I lived to write this, so we obviously didn’t die on the plane/metal tube with a liquor license. Or any of the other flights that would ensure on this journey. Bogota seems to be the same as when we last left her. Traffic, Poverty, and Postebon ads. Tamales and Tiendas. Cyclovela (I’m definitely not saying that correctly) on Sunday’s. Cute little cars that think they’re cars, but they’re not actually cars. Those silly cars, I sure did miss them. I hate this place, but I love these chords. The city is still humid as shit, and I’m wearing a worn out American Apparel (RIP) hoodie, and a vinyl jacket that may look cool, but offers no ventilation whatsoever. I’m also hungover, which is basically my natural state, as of late. We missed our Translator coming out of arrivals, and had to wait between the OMA, and the Juan Valdez for him to show up with our Mr. & Mr. Salt sign. Thus, our arrival was pretty anti-climactic.

So we’re here. But first, cervezas. Several cervezas at that. Then we get escorted out of the city in The Mother Fucking Twingo. Still a car with bags of personality and the innovative technology to match. But now it’s gained this certain ‘We could break down at any moment feeling’ that I love so much in an automobile.

That particular day, we were escorted to a great monument to Jesus in the mountains, but a different and more impressive one than last time. I was on a mountain. We arrived, parked, arepa’d, cerveza’d, then stood at the end of the longest line, to get into a church buried deep in the mountains. It was amazing, and a real testament to someone’s faith. But, the irony of digging half way to hell just to build a monument to worship that Jesus character isn’t lost on me.

So it goes.

We ate a fuck of a lot more tacos this time. I am not complaining. The Mexican food is a better this time around. I am not complaining. That, or My Translator is just a better tour guide this time around. Again, I am not complaining. Tacos, Tecate, nachos, Tecate and more Tecate. 8 Tecate for $4 at the !Exito. Short girls that bought a can of Tecate from the food truck behind the actual bar. Tell all your friends! For the most part, everything is still a nightclub disguised as something else. Except for the fake speakeasy’s. But I’ll get to that in the next paragraph. At one of those nightclubs (disguised as a taco restaurant, obviously) I did that awkward Spanish cheek kiss thing with my stepsister, and she got me sick. I’ll blame it on the moisture and the altitude of Bogota, but My Doctor will insist otherwise. Oh yeah, we have a Doctor now! She’s a great addition to the squad, seeing as how we’re all (OK, 2/3’s of us at least) barreling towards the vastness of death at breakneck speeds with the lifestyles we lead.

Whilst wasted, we went to at least 3 different bars hidden behind bookshelves, or that we had to be lead through a kitchen by a guy in a suit in order to get a Manhattan. The Manhattan’s here are made with Jack Daniels. I’m not complaining, I guess. But, not a single person here knows what the word speakeasy means. That’s my real complaint. I told you I’d talk about this. I love this place, but I’m not so crazy about these chords. Whilst sober, El Jefe, our 2nd roommate/tour guide/My Translator’s Father/babysitter took us for fruit and empanadas. It was a niiiiiiice. He also flagged down the taxi cabs/roller coasters we took to get downtown. El Jefe took us to The Botero museum, and we saw some fantastic paintings starring chubby ladies. I bought a reasonably priced fridge magnet, and ate some pizzas. If Botero is your favourite artist, then fucking get fat.

But this was all just the warm up.

A 9AM flight to Cartagena. Flight number blah blah, gate whatever. Only worth mentioning, because it was my first ever flight sober and drug free. There was a pressure drop that destroyed my left ear for about a week and a half. So it goes.

CTG doesn’t have actual gates, so we de-boarded the plane on the tarmac. I felt like one of The Beatles. But one of The Shitty Beatles. On the cab ride from CTG to the Sonesta hotel (A series of gorgeous but poorly built luxury condominiums) We saw what a proper 3rd world country looks like. If you think you’re poor, you would be greatly mistaken.

Colombia dreaming. Easy money in a sunshine state. We checked Clamato in our luggage, because It’s impossible to get a passable Caesar/Bloody Mary in this country. We paid for a maid. Again, because we are still middle class drug lords. I saw a large lizard crawl across my wall, and go inside the air conditioner. I told everyone, but I had a sneaking suspicion that no one believed me.

We went to Cartagena proper on a daily/nightly basis. In an alley, I was asked if I wanted yayo. In front of a bunch of souvenir stands, I was asked if I was ‘Tony Montana’ I was stared at by a dude who was constantly brushing his nose as if he had some sort of post nasal drip from the back of a tienda I was drinking at. In front of a Hoobastank concert, disguised as a simple Irish pub with a Hoobastank cover band playing, I was asked if I wanted coke (thank you for finally being so direct, fine sir) There was a bunch of other times, but those are ones that are noteworthy. We went to a KGB themed bar, talked about fiscally responsible socialism, and drank there until a table full of white guys ordered some hookers. Once again, the irony was not lost on me. It never is.

My translator haggled for some cigars. Every time I smoke cigars, I’m reminded why I don’t smoke cigars. That irony wasn’t lost on me either.

When that party was over, we flew back to Bogota on an evening flight. The sads were setting in. That flight was much smoother, though my ears were still fucked. But it’s cool, I don’t really need to hear anything anyway. My Accountant, Translator and I, spent our last few days in Bogota drinking. As if there was any other option, you know? The BBC now has BBC Bodegas. I’m pretty sure it’s the only establishment (Tienda’s aside) that isn’t a nightclub disguised as something else. Naturally I was fucking into it, and so was My Accountant. We made it our local, twice in one night if I recall, which I really don’t. Remember earlier, when I mentioned short girls that bought cans of Tecate from the food truck behind the actual bar. Well the actual bar was a BBC Bodega, and My Accountant and that girl really wanted to grab some late night empanadas together.

After breaking through the language barrier, vetting that she wasn’t a criminal, smoking a fuck ton of cigarillos, and blatantly talking about all the sauces they were going to get on the their empanadas at the giant picnic table in the BBC bodega, they finally decided to grab some empanadas. There’s a moderately hilarious story about them loudly eating empanadas together in My Translators bedroom. Part of that story involves My Translator and I trying to distract El Jefe while they were loudly eating those empanadas. Another part involves My Account quickly grabbing a napkin out of my backpack to avoid getting fancy sauce everywhere. But that’s just semantics.

Long story short, I got drunk. We got drunk. But I finally had a fucking vacation. And then I came home and quit my job.

What a time to be barely alive.

What A Time To Be Barely Alive

 

All of this actually happened, more or less. The drinking parts, I can guarantee, are pretty much true…from what I can remember. I really was asked if I wanted to buy cocaine 14 times in the 7 or so hours I actually spent in Cartagena proper. I really did see The Weeknd in the Crepes & Waffles at the Bogota airport (He really did know that I knew and It really was weird) I really did see a rather large lizard crawl along the wall into the air conditioner of my rather shabbily built, but reasonably priced Cartagena condo…which was actually on the outskirts of Cartagena. It was a $2 cab ride in to town, so I digress. It was the company that I cared about most. As per usual, I’ve changed their names.

 

 

 

 

So it goes.

You Are Here

Where you are is where you are, and that’s just the way it is. You’ve gotta know where you’ve came from to know where you’re going. From here to there, and back to here. The days just keep rolling on…yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah.

lonewolf

Describing this past year as the time I dropped a fresh slice of pizza on Front Street, toppings side down, and ate it anyway, would be an understatement. So, 2016…*takes 3 shots of tequilla* Well. It all started with this monkey. It was one hell of a weird ride. There was some yelling, some cussing, and some crying. Yadda Yadda Yadda, now a bunch of great people are dead and a facist reality TV star who took up politics last year as a hobby, is now the leader of the free world.

Yeah.

Uhhh, some positives? Let’s see…I made domestic travel my bitch.

lovedones

18

azhardaf

uhhhnopeg

les-drinking-club

I sleep alone now. Granted, not on the pile of money we millennials were guaranteed provided we simply ‘went to college’. It’s usually diagonally, and usually quite well. I’m 100% OK with that (It was probably inevitable anyway) and frankly, I prefer it.

I tried to write more this year. Hank’s advice on how to become a good writer? “Fuck a great many women, beautiful women…and drink beer. More and more beer…” We’ll I’ve tried that, and still only posted on this thing like 6 times this year. Moderately priced drinks. Single serving girlfriends. Uber’s home at 1AM. All of those things get quite expensive, and my bank account shows very little traces of the ~50 hour weeks I’ve been working since 2012. But, the drafts folder on this thing is more full of cheap scotch and water’s than Hank’s old man belly on a Tuesday afternoon.

I guess I’ll try harder next year.

Despite all this negativity, and the misanthropic, sardonic tone, answering ‘I’m fine‘ when asked is no longer an exercise in sarcasm. I actually mean it, and I’m not just faking it.

I listened to The Lawrence Arms and Jawbreaker on repeat. I finally figured out what the fuck Drake is rapping about…I think. It was the end of an era. Friends are friends, I guess. But friends are rare – some talk but never hear. To the people who are currently with me, I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. And to those who aren’t – Fuck You.

lvsign

I’ll catch ya’ll, when I catch ya’ll.