Friday, January 29, 2010

Forgive Me, Tara, For I Have Sinned


  • I took the Hair God's name in vain once, when my snarls got caught under the strap of my purse.

  • I wore my hair in a strict ponytail for an hour today.

  • I failed to use product before straightening my hair this morning.

  • Instead of allowing my hair to air-dry, I clipped it back to avoid getting my shirt wet.

  • I was jealous of my friend's naturally straight hair.

  • I was jealous of a stranger's naturally curly hair.

  • I ruthlessly used two metal barrettes to keep my bangs in place.

  • I tugged on my bangs when they would not stay in place.

  • I dropped a barrette in the street and did not pick it up.

  • I snagged my hair in my necklace and instead of un-hooking my necklace, I pulled out a few strands.

  • I stole a hair-tie from the kitchen counter without asking who it belonged to.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I’m In Love With The President of the United States

How could you NOT be? I'm watching the State of the Union and glowing with pride.

For years, when introducing myself, I made sure to include that "I'm half-American, half-British." I was ashamed of the Bush Administration and didn't want people to assume that because of my nationality, I was like that too - trigger-happy, overly religious, and pent on conquering the world.

I can't even begin to explain the amount of racial friction I got, coming as an American to Canada. I know what America says, or thinks, about Canada - see South Park. But I never knew what the Kanucks thought about us. Those were kept pretty much under wraps. But upon moving here, I've learnt that many Canadians have a lot of stereotypes of their neighbors to the south, and often assume any Yankees coming in will fit these stereotypes. I've been here for almost four months now, and am just starting to overcome this tension around Canadians.

They gasp when I say "ya'll" - something I maintain is more Trini than American. They die a little inside when I say I haven't heard of "Mr. Dressup", or that I've only been ice-skating twice in my life and have never been to a hockey game. They assume that because I'm white and have what could be misconstrued as a Canadian accent, that I know everything about the country.

For months, this annoyed me. I couldn't believe that in a country like Canada, which, surprisingly, could rival Trinidad for "The Melting Pot" status, people would be so shocked that someone, an outsider, wouldn't share their culture. I eventually turned to shame, wishing I could be three shades darker, develop an exotic accent, and be able to plead foreign.

These days, I am almost to the point where I get Canadians and they get me. Admittedly, I had to put my foot down in my group of friends, and ask them to please, please stop with the American jokes. But I am slowly overcoming all this and getting to a place where I can be proud of the Stars and Stripes.

I love to hear someone call New Orleans "N'awlens", or Toronto "Trontah". I love the look of US dollars, and love that they aren't called "doo-lahrs" to us. I love crossing the border and leaving the land of Shopper's Drug and entering the land where Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid fight out for rank of supreme drugstore.

I love our president. I love that we learnt our lesson after eight years of (sorry, my Republican friend) hell. I love hearing his voice. I love seeing his purple lips and triangle face on CNN every night. I love his wife and children. I love that I shook his hand (two and a half times).

So, for now, I guess I have to get used to the fact that my first ever celebrity crush is my own president.

I don't mind it too much, though.

He's fucking sexy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Would You Do With $1 Million?

This is the question I posed to Eoin today. The only rules - you had to list out everything. No saying "some of it for college, some for a vacation". Estimate the costs as best you can. And, you couldn't simply say "10,000 to Tony", you had to be specific as to what it is for.

My very well-thought-out, detailed, rational list:

120,000 --> 4 years at American University

180,000 --> Get apartment for last 2-3 years there, and beyond

15,000 --> Retro-style VW bug

100,000 --> To my mom, to buy a house and fix it up

2,500 --> Uber-awesome desktop; get Flamingo made as good as new

500 --> All the Sims games I want

1,000 --> Entertainment system - a TV, movies, etc. for my apartment

2000 --> All my dream toiletries

200,000 --> A vacation to Thailand for me, Eoin, and all my friends

75,000 --> New wardrobe (clothes, accessories, shoes)

150,000 --> The X-Perience

50,000 --> Manis/pedis, facials, hairstyling (until the 50K runs out)

5,000 --> Get Tony: PS3, all the games he wants, a big TV

4,000 --> Dream bathroom in my apartment.

Good, right?

Now, I present, Eoin's list. (With my explanations in square brackets.)

•18,000 for st.georges [the college in Grenada he wants to go to]

•then 10,000 for all my airline tickets to canada

•4000-10,000 max gibson lespaul/sg custom [a guitar]

•liposuction for my dog- 2000

•100: bike for my little cousin

•stuff for Robin: 500

•ps3 slime and a plasme for my dorm- 6000

•library of ps3 games (even crap i dont like)- 4000

•a day's worth of lessons on how to be awesome from will smith- 6000

•buy more seats for my parent's [home movie] theater and make the floor sloping- 20,000

•4000 bigger screen. better projector

•umm 3000 for the jabbawockeez [a dance crew] to give me a crash course in dancing

•4000 for a program that can make awesome playsists for me.

•4000 to hire my own personal ninja for a week

•500 to an asian kid to get a perfect SAT score for me

•5000 for 50 cent to walk into a club with me and be like "IM IN HIS ENTOURAGE!!"

•and 10,000 for two bodygaurds to beat ppl off of me

•25,000 to be in a music video with michael jackson, snoop dogg or missy elliot

•25,000 to never "halfway sneeze again"

•30,000 for...a rotweiler, an italian mastiff, a pit bull and a St.Bernard

•and 50,000 to be able to kick george bush in the nuts

•10,000 for an ACTUAL katana [Samurai sword]

•25,000 for a dual set of gunblades

--

He only made it to around $400,000.

Men and women are funny, aren't we?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Real Life Doesn't Move This Fast

Lately, I've been playing a LOT of Sims. But not as much as I would like. My poor, old, desktop computer, Lucy, aptly named for being loud, slow, and good-hearted, is the only computer on which I can play my glorious games. We have had her for almost seven years and in three countries, and before we all got laptops she was our only PC. But she must live in some weird version of dog years, where she ages ten times as fast as a human, because if she were a human, she'd be ancient. Not that she's out of date. But dust from three different continents and multiple crashes can be rough on a...girl. Computer. Whatever.

Anyway, if you're a long-time reader or a close friend, you know of my Sims obsession. I would play it all day, every day if I could, and I'd do it well. I do it well. I consider myself a damn fine Sims player, if you don't mind my conceit. I put lots and lots of time and effort into my Sims and where they live.

But lately, my poor old Lucy has not been having the easiest time managing Sims. I get about 45 minutes before she crashes. I'm told by the very reliable peoples of the internet that it does this to stop from overheating. Like as a defensive mechanism. Like a gecko's tail falling off if you try to pick it up.

So I've become paranoid, saving every five minutes and every time something big happens. It's nerve-racking, really, but I'm too the point now where once it crashes, I kind of sit there, going, "Well. There that is."

I don't know why I love Sims so much. Tony used to argue with me that the game serves no purpose. You send someone to the bathroom, then to read a book. YAY, HOW FUN. But he never understood that it was, is more than that. You completely and totally bond with these simulated characters you've created. You cry when they get married, have a baby, and die. You plan their lives out from birth - a baby girl with high Outgoing levels is destined to be a spunky teenager and a revolutionary politician. Two roommates will fall in love, get married, make lots of babies, who will grow up, go to college, fall in love, get married, and make lots of babies.

It's about fantasy. It's about making beautiful people in gorgeous homes who don't worry about money or school and can live nocturnally if they want to. It's not weird for a grown man to wake up at 2 a.m. and play chess because he maybe someday will need more logic points, you're not sure just yet.

So, yeah, it's a bit of a cult gaming community, we Simsers. A great level of design and control skill goes into it, but you also have to be compassionate. These aren't just overly animated people on a screen. They become real and you want to be around them all the time. And so the obsession is born.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LURKERS! SHOW YOURSELVES!

[Props to V.M.D. for the idea]

Okay. Let's be honest. Who the hell reads my blog. My friends, a teacher, my mom, sometimes my brother. Who else? If you are out there, and you read my blog, AT ALL, and I don't know about it, leave a comment. Let me know. Give me a little self-esteem booster.

Worst-case scenario is I get no responses. Which wouldn't surprise me.

In which case, I expect my friends to sign in as imaginary people and comment the hell out of this post.

Mmm hmm.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Get Better

Why is it that out of all the ways you can greet someone, thank them, say goodbye, congratulate them, or wish them well in general, there is no set, non-awkward way to tell someone to get over being sick? "Get Well Soon" springs to mind, but I can't think of this, or even say it, without picturing it written on a red velvet heart held by a simpering teddy bear. "Feel Better" seems to have become a suitable alternative, but I personally feel guilty ordering an invalid to get over whatever ails them. "I Hope You Feel Better", is, I suppose, the longer version of the previous command, but when faced with a coughing peer, say, a classmate, a coworker, or the local barista, this seems far too of an emotional remark. Besides, who would believe that you really do hope and pray and wish that someone you barely know would get better? On the topic of "get better", this is also an odd phrase. I know getting better after being sick just means returning to your normal state, but getting better also implies the improvement of yourself. "Get better." "Be a better person. Quit smoking, you, and cut back on the swearing."

Random musings.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Addition To The Family

No, no one's pregnant. 'Cept Vern.

I've started a new blog. Not to replace Lemon, don't worry. They'll be co-habitatin'.

Check it out: http://robinjoneskerrthemoshpit.wordpress.com/

And stay tuned.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It Seems I Have Delved Into The Black Hole That Is Lists

Sorry about that. It is the New Year, though. So, what has been going on with me lately. It has been a blur of Mad Men, Sims, Facebook, and reading "Precious, based on the novel 'PUSH' by Sapphire". Which was extremely good, by the way, far better than I thought it would be, and it's not normally my type of thing. Actually, one of my most pissed-off moments was the other day. I was reading that book before my Creative Writing class started, and a guy who I normally get along with really well came in and unpacked his stuff. This guy and I have been called a Dynamic Duo. We're crazy and loud and funny and have a good time. But on this day, I think it was last Friday, my perception of him changed. He noticed I was reading that book and went off on a rant about how all books about black people getting out of the projects are the same. The young, impoverished black kid meets the optimistic white teacher and the two turn things around together. The kid is, of course, abused and has extremely low self-esteem, but the book/movie ends hopefully with their life being changed forever. I know, right. I guess some people are more dickheady than you thought they were.

But people can also turn out to be nicer than you thought they were. Well, not necessarily nicer, that sounds mean. But different. I know she doesn't read my blog, but I need to apologize somewhere. I was unnecessarily mean to a friend of mine a few days ago. I blamed it on "family stuff" but I was just in a bad mood, tired, and I snapped at her. So if you're reading this, and you have an apology weighing on you...just do it. Why put it off.

Lastly, I was reading my new PostSecret book, "Confessions on Life, Death, and God" that my mom got me for Christmas. This was right after every single Sims game I had ever saved disappeared. I KNOW, but don't be upset (I know you're probably not, but I cried for HOURS), I got them all back this morning. Like it never happened. Anyhoo. A secret in the book was a map of the world, with a male symbol on California and a female symbol on the UK. My mind flashed to Eoin, Kaster, my parents, my relationships. And I cried more. It was emotional. There was some French written across it, too, and it was translated underneath to be, "We'll find a solution." I wrote this on my hand and fell asleep. It was an emotional night, but I can't stop thinking that. "We'll find a solution."

Let's See How Far We've Come

Okay, I know I did my big End of '09 post already. But I want to review last year's resolutions.

1. Take better care of my skin and hair. --> Check. My mom actually complimented me on my skin the other day, saying she knew I was working on it and she thinks I have a nice complexion. And the hair thing, foof. Totally did. See my many comments on shampoo and conditioner, plus my new hair straightener.

2. Recycle. --> Check. The eight-ton shoebox full of paper I left in my old room in Trinidad answers this one.

3. Talk to Dad more. --> Sort of check. I didn't do this one in the middle of the year so much, but towards the end I did. And we're making plans to meet up more often than before. So a future check.

4. Get at least a C+ in Chemistry. --> FUCKING CHECK. B-, baby.

5. Cut back on my Chick Lit. --> Sort of check. I did slip back into it on occasion.

6. Add all 500 of the Rolling Stone Top 5oo into my iTunes library. --> Check.

7. Organize all 500. --> Check. I deleted a lot of them, actually, songs I just didn't like. I'm proud of my iTunes now.

8. Find balance in love. --> Check. Okay, the reason this was on here is because I wanted to sort out all the Eoin drama. And it has been fully and completely sorted.

9. Find social balance. --> Check times a million. I wanted to balance my two quite different groups of friends, and I definitely accomplished that.

10. Write to Nora. --> Not as much of a check as I'd like. I need to do this more.

11. Blog at least once a week. --> A pretty obvious not check. I'm getting better in the new year, though.

12. Make Canada kick some serious ass. --> Check and check, so far.

13. Read Atonement. --> Not check. What a shame.

14. Be in the play at school. --> Double check. We kicked its ASS.

15. Do the PhotoBooth at Movie Towne more often. --> CHECK CHECK CHECK. I have only about a million strips of photos outlining my mirror.

Overall, not too bad. Out of 15, 10 are full checks, 3 sort-of checks, and 2 not-at-all checks. I'm pretty proud of that.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's Resolutions 2010


  1. Get my hair cut more often, at least once every six months.

  2. Only buy one drink from a vending machine per week.

  3. Bring bottles of water/Vitamin Water to school at least three times a week.

  4. Buy less toiletries.

  5. Join less Facebook groups. Cut back to ones that REALLY make me laugh.

  6. Cut back on the after-school snacks. It's a chocolate black hole.

  7. Pass Driver's Ed.

  8. Go to Trinidad at least twice.

  9. Go to DC at least three times.

  10. Be fabulous at Grad Ball 2010.

  11. Stop biting my nails. For serious.

  12. Get some confidence.

  13. Wear jeans less often.

  14. Reconnect with people from a long time ago.

  15. Get to bed before 11:30 pm every school night.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My 100 Things, Volume II


  1. I am in love with the shows "Cake Boss" and "Ace of Cakes", and I don't know why.

  2. I have a mini-panic attack whenever I have to pull the little stop string on the bus before my stop. I'm never confident that it's the right time to do it.

  3. At night, I tuck my mom in and then flip on our shared Bobby Baseball nightlight that's plugged in in our hallway.

  4. I would pay good money to make it so my hair was straight when I wanted it straight, and curly when I wanted it curly.

  5. I love it when people shrink to the size of an ant and fly into other people's bodies. "Hey, look, his tonsils!"

  6. I am terrified to learn to drive. Terrified.

  7. I always swear to myself that I will be clever with my money when it's mine to do whatever I want with. But I like to buy toiletries. A lot.

  8. I have never broken a bone or had surgery.

  9. I hate the letter "b", and there's one in the middle of my name.

  10. I think my cousin Katie and I could be good friends if we didn't talk about religion or politics.

  11. I spent years thinking "TLC" meant "The Learning Channel", instead of "Tender Loving Care".

  12. I hate March, but I will love February.

  13. Shows on The Food Network are always overly-dramatic. Especially Iron Chef America.

  14. Flambay ("OPAHH!") scares the crap out of me.

  15. I've often wished that I had black hair.

  16. I'm so lazy that I have laptop chargers in both my bedroom and the basement, but I've strongly considered buying a third the put in the office, where I play Sims.

  17. There are a pair of old bowling shoes, in my size, at our favorite vintage store here in Winnipeg, and I think I should buy them.

  18. When Scrubs ended, I cried. For hours. And now it's back, and though I swore I wouldn't watch a spin-off, I'm in love with the new season.

  19. I hate Froot Loops. When I was little, my mom thought I needed more fibre to keep me from falling asleep all the time, so she bought them for us. I made Tony eat mine.

  20. I don't know where, or when, or with whom I will go to college. And that scares the shit out of me.

  21. I wonder if Frank ever got our PostSecrets.

  22. I felt a lot of sympathy for Jon and Kate, and I feel bad for the way it all turned out.

  23. Who wears sweat bands? I have never worn them and I never plan to.

  24. Everyone warned me about the winters here in the Peg, but I have to say, I love it. I love the pink noses and long scarves, the snowflakes and wind in the hair. Everything looks prettier with snow.

  25. I find it hard to trust people who have mustaches.

  26. Calling someone an amateur is, to me, a maaajor diss. I would freak if someone called me that.

  27. Tyra Banks cancelled her talk show after five seasons. Though I  like her, I don't really know when she started it in the first place.

  28. I miss my friends from Trinidad infinitely, but it's surprising how much I miss the random people I never really connected with.

  29. I join lots of groups and become fans of lots of things on Facebook. LOTS and LOTS.

  30. I wish my family ate more meat so we could have a massive cleaver.

  31. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser looks like it would be really annoying to use.

  32. I haven't had cauliflour in forever. But I don't miss it.

  33. Road trip food sustains me. But the thought of eating it day-to-day grosses me out.

  34. I downloaded The Da Vinci Code and Angles and Demons, but the pirates of the internet don't include English subtitles. So that was an experience.

  35. I have never and will never wear a purity ring, a sex bracelet, or anything of the sort. People don't need to know that about me and I don't want to know it about them.

  36. I wear my hair down almost every day now. I'm proud, and Tara is too.

  37. I do not want a cat. I will never want a cat.

  38. No offense to French people, but it is not a very pretty accent.

  39. I'm drawing a blank trying to come up with 61 more things.

  40. I friggin' LOVE crepes, but they take a long time to make. I was sitting on the couch thinking about them today, and how in Dhaka, if I had wanted to, I could've simply asked the housekeeper to make me pancakes whenever I wanted.

  41. The Core weekend in Toronto was one of my favorite trips of 2009.

  42. I grudgingly put a "u" in words like color and favorite for my schoolwork, but I will not do it on my own time.

  43. I've always wondered how other people see places like Poland or Bangladesh, since I have my own view of them. Have people heard of them? Do they have any connections to these places I've spent years in?

  44. I am in love with the Pedigree ad where the dogs jump up to get food in slow motion. It's amazing.

  45. Everytime I say or think "It's HOT" I mentally, and sometimes verbally, add "YOU GOT A WINDOW? OPEN IT!"

  46. People say you can't distinguish Canadians from other white people just by how they look. But you can. It's something in the cheekbones.

  47. Wearing a microphone on stage can be incredibly annoying. But it's also extremely fun.

  48. If I was a guy, I'd grow stubble.

  49. I worry that I have gingivitis. It's where your gums advance down onto your teeth, making your teeth look smaller. You can get it from lack of flossing.

  50. Tyler and Eddie are the sweetest people I know.

  51. Though I rarely play video games other than Sims, I know a lot about ones like Fallout 3, Bioshock, and GTA from watching Tony play them.

  52. I love Friends. Love it.

  53. The main reason I wanted to move to Canada was so I could buy winter clothes.

  54. Car envy annoys me.

  55. I LOVE to buy toiletries. To the point where I currently have three kinds of shampoo/conditioner sets and want a fourth.

  56. I was ashamed when I got dandruff a few years ago. After using Head and Shoulders for a while, the dandruff was gone and my hair was shinier and softer than it had ever been, to the point where people at my mom's receptions commented on how nice it looked. It's my ultimate beauty secret.

  57. People say I've been all over the world. Here are just a few of the places I've never been: Italy. Russia. Brazil. Mexico. Ireland. Indonesia. Egypt. South Africa. Germany. There are many more.

  58. I don't think I've ever had a snow day.

  59. A lot of my worries in life are about how I'm going to pay for things.

  60. I've never dyed my hair. Not even highlights.

  61. I love the Die Hard movies and have seen the third one ("Die Hard With A Vengeance") at least ten times.

  62. I have a Twitter, but only Tweet about once a week.

  63. It's sad that whenever you see pictures of New York before 2001, you can see the Twin Towers.

  64. I would love to paint my room turquoise.

  65. My Flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/photos/happylittlelemon/, if you're interested) makes me very proud.

  66. Kim Bassinger in 8 Mile put me off of her forever.

  67. I love John Lithgow's voice.

  68. My dog burps a lot.

  69. I used to think Head and Shoulders was a soap you could use on both your hair and skin.

  70. Zach Braff voices the puppy in the Cottonelle ads. It's adorable.

  71. I hate Nutella. There was a kind like it in Poland, but it was a Milky Way spread. It was amazing.

  72. Once in DC, I spent all afternoon eating prunes and walnuts. Now the combination disgusts me.

  73. Similarly, in fifth grade, I got a lot of stomaches (for some reason), so I carried around Pepto Bismol pills everywhere and would chew them constantly. Now, just the thought of Pepto makes me nauseous.

  74. The Green Goblin in Spider-Man 1 scared me. A lot.

  75. Why are there so many Superman and Batman films and only one series of Spider-Man ones?

  76. I have a pink laptop, but I don't really like pink.

  77. After seeing those ads for that little plastic thing that pulls your bra straps in so that no one can see them, I got self conscious about letting my straps show.

  78. Where did Jo Frost (Supernanny) learn all that stuff?

  79. It's odd that really awesome, powerful women, like Oprah and Stacy London, aren't married.

  80. Mad Men, Scrubs, and Lost are the best shows currently on television.

  81. I live in Canada and have never been skiing. That seems wrong.

  82. I used to have beads hanging over my door, but I guess they got lost in the move. I really want some more.

  83. When I was younger, Tony and I would play a game where, as my dad pulled the car out of the garage, we would stand dangerously close to the wheels - until my dad told us that if the car ran over our toes, they would turn into powder.

  84. If I had to play a sport, HAD TO, I'd pick basketball.

  85. My dad used to cut my hair. I remember the cold scissors on my forehead as he did my bangs.

  86. I've always wanted to spend New Year's Eve at Times Square. Who doesn't want to do that at least once.

  87. I miss acting.

  88. Eoin and I play the question game almost every time we talk. Sometimes I worry we couldn't have conversations without it.

  89. I still like SNL. I didn't see its Golden Age, and I'm sure it was awesome, but I like it now, too. It's sad that people have so little faith in it.

  90. I like the first half of this list better than the second.

  91. I don't really like beer or wine. And though I hate when people brag about how much they know about alcohol to seem older, I do actually like mixed stuff better.

  92. I have never had a smart phone. I don't know if I want one or not.

  93. I met my three favorite teachers in ISPS.

  94. Singing Boom Boom Pow with Eddie was one of my best moments of 09'.

  95. I rarely talk on the phone.

  96. I used to "type lyk dis" until Jamie educated me.

  97. I'm all for Microsoft. But I hate Bing.

  98. Dule Hill is underappreciated and really hot.

  99. It's a shame that many of these things have nothing to do with me.

  100. Though I have no connection to New York whatsoever, "Empire State of Mind", by Alicia Keys, makes me homesick.