an eloquently warped point of view from the tongue of a cartoon character.

Around 760 Days Ago


“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” ― Yves Saint-Laurent

Around 760 days ago, I walked into St. Vital mall with a crumpled resume, overly filled-in eyebrows, and a very uneven haircut.

A week before, I was being told by my friend’s mother that the retail job I was at was inappropriate for ‘someone like me.’

“You’re selling crappy bags to crappy people, and those stupid frog hats,” she said, nodding to the fluorescent-green, bug-eyed toque I had bought one shift as a joke. “You need to work somewhere better.”

She mentioned high-end places for me to apply at; retail boutiques and designer stores, but I kept saying I was fine. I felt like after quitting my job as a cashier at a grocery store, I had hit the jackpot in finding an overly-chill mall job.

I mean, there was little to no traffic at the location I worked, the bosses and employees were relaxed, and the majority of my shift would be spent playing Magic: The Gathering with a Scottish red-head in stretch-pants, or shooting elastic bands over luggage racks.

And it was fun right out of high school, but after a year of mediocre sales, a shitty secret-shopper on the day after my 18th birthday (guess how that went?) and a move to a more… What’s the word… Sketchyasfuck mall, I decided I had enough of the ‘lax life. I wanted a challenge- a job with structure where I could actually learn something.

The new location I was at was tucked into the corner of a desolate, cavernous maze of unkept faulty fountains and excessive extra security. Someone stole something at least once a day, a woman on the bench outside the store once pulled out her gun in a daze, and I was spit at after being told I needed a ‘facial’ by a giggling teenage girl.

“But you’re creative!” my friend’s mom would say as I sat in denial, thinking about the old bitch who had tried to rip me off the week before with doctored receipts for a $16 handbag. “You need an exciting, fun retail job.”

Super Cool Fact: Retail is rarely ‘fun’. Retail is always war.

The next day, I printed off my resume, watched a dozen YouTube makeup tutorials, and mentally prepared myself to drop off my envelope of qualifications at a little black-and-white store in the mall.

They were supposedly hiring.

I stopped in twice the week before handing in my resume, picking up makeup I had read about online (yet having no idea how to use it) and reading about the history of the company in late-night web binges.

Originally founded in 1969, France, by Dominique Mandonnaud, Sephora started off as a small perfumery called Shop 8, but the owner had bigger ideas. Mandonnaud wanted to run a new slice of cosmetic heaven- a store that actually let customers try on products before making a purchase- and that was something that was unheard of at the time.

In 1970, Shop 8 became Sephora, but it wasn’t until 1995 that Sephora began producing its own cosmetics, and it wasn’t until 1997 that Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy (LVMH) purchased the chain from Mandonnaud.

Since being bought by the world’s leading luxury group, Sephora has gone global, operating approximately 1,900 stores in 29 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 360 stores across North America.

So you can guess why, around 760 days ago, when I walked into St. Vital mall with a crumpled resume, overly filled-in eyebrows, and a very uneven haircut, I was nervous.

You can guess why, around 760 days ago, when I approached a thin shopgirl in hot-pink lipstick and crisp eyeliner, my voice shook as I asked to speak to a manager.

You can guess why, around 760 days ago, when I sat down for a group interview across from all-black visages and glottal-fried answers, I thought about my responses and tried to reply thoughtfully.

And you can guess why, around 760 days ago, I vomited up my chicken souvlaki pita and cried with excitement when I received a phone call telling me I was hired on to work a seasonal position.

But I knew I couldn’t work with smeared mascara, so I took a minute to get my shit together.

Eager, I moved from cash, to greeting, to late-night restocking. I was a cheese-ball at the register, cracking bad jokes and poking fun at awkward boyfriends who didn’t understand the difference between concealer and foundation (HA. N00bz.)

From the sidelines, I observed the store’s staff dynamic.
There was Josh, who had resting bitch-face so intimidating that I didn’t talk to him for months out of fear. Shayla, the seemingly soft-spoken red-head who reminded me of a sassy Little Mermaid. Becca, my fellow big-boobed, in-your-face, powerhouse, and Shalla, her Kardashian-obsessed mentor and other half (who doubled as the store’s tender mother figure).

In the back, there was Lacey with her inappropriate jokes and toothy grin. In the front, there was Lauren, the tatted-up ~*cool kid*~ beauty, Brooklynn, a fellow newbie (and babe) who went on to be my boss (which reeeally isn’t as awkward as it sounds), Raquel, a yoga-loving party gal’, Alysha, a bubbly, gel-nail princess, and Jess, an out-spoken realist with a personality double her size.

I quickly bonded with Nichole as we talked about Arrested Development and our love for Marc Jacobs, learned plenty from quick-witted fragrance specialist Morgan, shared constant giggle-fits with cheeky Kaela, and got play-by-plays of the day-to-day from fierce, red-headed leader, Trish.

Slowly, I blended with the group, and made my mark as the loud, foul-mouthed, big-haired new chick who tried to watch every brand video in existence, all while learning that primer is actually supposed to go under foundation, and that perfecting liquid liner comes from practice, not selling your soul to some master of a demonic underworld.


Soon I was matching foundation and filling in eyebrows, learning the difference between under and surface tones, and watching in amazement as Josh tacked on pair after pair of false lashes without breaking a sweat.

I delved into a world of lipstick, finding my comfort zone in dark, gothic reds and browns rather than the pinks and corals I had always been told I should wear to look ‘feminine’ and ‘cute’. I started applying bronzer strategically, not all over my face, and repositioned my blush to accentuate my cheekbones rather than flood product across my profile.

I grew into myself, gaining confidence with every educated brushstroke and wand-swipe within the walls of the black-and-white makeup store, forming bonds with employees and clients alike.

On one day, a blue-haired teenage girl in a wheelchair entered the store with her boyfriend.

After helping her pick out some eyeshadow and lipstick, I chirped a lyrical goodbye to them as they moved towards the exit. She paused and stopped her boyfriend, calling me over before lifting the sleeve of her baggy black sweater.

Lining her thin, pale arm, were dozens and dozens of hand-beaded bracelets, each with their own unique patterns and colours. She slipped a purple and green one off her wrist and held it out to me.

The girl explained that she had cancer and that she didn’t have long to live. She wanted to say thank you to all the people in her life, regardless of how long she knew them. To her, I was no more than a shopgirl who helped her with her makeup.

She held my hand as I touched the bracelet and pulled me down for a hug. “You’re so beautiful,” she whispered with a smile as I froze, tears streaking down my face. “Thank you.” I couldn’t respond; I would choke on my words.

I never saw her again after that.

Life at the little black-and-white makeup store prepared me for the challenges that can come with human interaction, and the patience needed for successful, genuine, and thoughtful connections with others.

Life at the little black-and-white makeup store allowed me to grow and learn in a fast-paced, overwhelming environment of constantly updated knick-knacks and techniques, all while keeping me grounded, trained, and set in reality.

Life at the little black-and-white makeup store gave me the chance to meet and interact with some of the most incredible, talented people I know, and whether I knew you for a chapter, a page, or a sentence, your mark on my life has been effective and sincere.

Around 760 days ago, I walked into St. Vital mall with a crumpled resume, overly filled-in eyebrows, and a very uneven haircut. I was looking for a job: something new and challenging, but more importantly, a place where I could fit in and be supported regardless of whatever ridiculous path I decided to follow.

Around 760 days ago, I found that job,
and around 30 days ago, I left it.

Not because I outgrew the fragrance wall, the intricate gold packages of YSL, or the soft melodic crunch of folded red tissue paper, but because I have the chance to grow elsewhere, and follow yet another ridiculous path.

So thank you, Sephora St. Vital.

Thank you for everything.


They Sleep Until Dark

Heads up: This post is not about body positivity. Sometimes I do things for school. This is one of those things.

Mount Zion cemetery is the perfect metaphor for Baltimore, Maryland.

It’s an overcrowded, messy, sparatic, “… hallowed ground.

Bullshit, thinks Waltemeyer. The place is a small stretch of barren wetness running down…” (542)

Waltemeyer digs up one body, and then another, both times excavating graves of wrong randoms. Their only similarities are that they’re black, male, and they’ve been in the ground over the winter, but it doesn’t stop the cemetery manager from insisting it’s the right guy both times.

The faces of Mount Zion are interchangeable and fleeting, some coffins piled in mass graves, others shoved in cheap boxes before being covered in dirt. In death, their decaying bodies are cheap and disposable, the same as they were in life suggests Simon.

In the midst of Mount Zion, bodies of both victims and criminals, law abiding and breaking citizens, men and women alike, mingle and mix in the dirt of Baltimore.

“Here is James Brown, Gilbert’s murder, that kid who got stabbed to death on New Year’s.

And Barney Erely, the old drunk Pellegrini found bludgeoned in the alley of Clay Street a few weeks after Latonya Wallace, the derelict killed when he chose the wrong place to defecate.

And Orlando Felton, that decomp from North Calvert Street, the overdose that McAllister and McLarney handled back in January…

Eddie Brown’s fatal shooting from Vine Street…

This one was Dave Brown’s, this one was Shea’s.

Tomlin handled this one…” (548)

Although chapter ten of Homicide touches on rule ten of the homicide handbook, some fresh new murders, and a tense, nail-biting concluding interrogation with the Fish Man, the most captivating, interesting images from the chapter come from its first few pages.

Simon describes Mount Zion as a black hole; a toxic entity that surrounds itself with clutter, and sucks in all odds-and-ends around it. Very much like the city of Baltimore, it is enveloped by low-income housing, convenience stores, and surrounding polluted nature (542).

Mount Zion cemetery is where the people of Baltimore clammer to find rest. Mount Zion cemetery is the messy, jumbled, end-of-the-line for faceless, anonymous victims and suspects that run through the filing cabinets of Baltimore’s homicide unit.

The cemetery is yet another pile of lives that have been abandoned for someone else to sort through; to clean up after. Just like how the homicide detectives spend their sleepless days cleaning the blood off the sidewalk, so too do they spend their time sorting through bodies in the ground.

As Simon shows us, a homicide detective’s work does not end with the freshly deceased.

They deal in all that is dead in their city.

“These were the lives lost by the city in a single year, the men and women who cluttered crime scenes and filled Penn Street freezers, leaving little more than red or black ink on a police department tally board.

violent death,

then an anonymous burial in the mud of Mount Zion.

In life, the city could muster no purpose for the wasted souls;
in death, the city had lost them entirely.” (549)

Foxy Hockey Hullabaloo


“‘One word: ‘Fight.’ Anyone can do it when it feels good. When you’re hurting, that’s when it makes a difference, so you have to keep fighting.” -Erin Cafaro, 2008 rowing Olympic gold medalist

When I graduated from high school, my class had its celebration at the Fairmont.

It was a Moulin Rouge themed, feather-laden, wine-fest, with an after-hours chicken finger bar, and one constipated parent who complained about the theme being too inappropriate and promiscuous.

Even though no one gave the Les Mis theme a chance.

Halfway through the night, I managed to successfully sneak into a few photo booth pictures, drink the leftover wine on most tables, and dance hard enough to make my feet gush blood while the DJ spun his sick beats.

It was nearing midnight, and I decided that I needed a few more decent memories before I trudged off to my eventual grave in the cemetery that was university.

I noticed my friend Amanda going into the photo booth with her boyfriend at the time, and as they kissed and canoodled for the camera’s timer, I poked my head in through the back panel.

Now, I honestly don’t know why it was so funny, but when the picture printed, I laughed so fucking hard that I peed my pants.

Screen shot 2014-11-23 at 3.54.42 PM

All that table wine may have been a contributing factor.

I was wearing my favourite pair of neon orange, camera-covered panties, which I decided I needed to remove immediately, and so I left a ballroom of floor-length gowns and tuxedos to take off my underwear.

When I got into the bathroom, I wrapped them in a paper towel, washed my hands 4 times, then proceeded to figure out what to do with my favourite pair of underwear. After all, I couldn’t just throw them away.

They were lucky. They were the only reason I had passed my biology exam. They were the only reason I had the courage to go out and meet people after an exhausting breakup with my ex-boyfriend.

These underwear had magical powers, and whether they smelled like pee or not, I was NOT just going to abandon them in a hotel washroom trashcan.

I’m not even lying when I say that this would be a more appropriate send off.

After literally thirty seconds of thought, and realizing that sticking them in my purse would be a super gross idea, I decided I would stick them in the sick room, and get them just before the night was over (by the way, the sick room is a place that you go if you get too drunk and can’t function. Or if you get, like, sick, I guess. But no one catches a damn cold at grad, lemme tell ya’.)

When I was in the room, however, my plans were quickly thwarted, seeing as the only thing in the small space were two stripped down cots on thin metal framing. I shoved the underwear under the bed’s wiring, adjusted the mattress, and just as I was about to shut the door behind me, I noticed someone crying on the leather armchair outside.

She was in a royal blue dress similar to mine, with one strap going over a shoulder, the other bare (except hers wasn’t an eye-gouging shade of pink). Her makeup ran down both cheeks, and though her manicured hands were polished and prim, her fingers were spotted from wiping away tears.

When I asked her what was wrong, she let out a louder sob, people around us turning their heads to see the source of the noise. I hesitated momentarily before leading her into the sick room, shutting the door behind us.

Apparently a girl we graduated with had snubbed her in a cruel display of ostrich feathers and Mean Girls-esuqe cattiness.

I tried to comfort her, telling her that the girl was pretty much stuck in her ways like a Louboutin in wet grass, that she should ignore her behaviour that reeked like a middle school sock-hop, but the girl in the blue dress kept crying.

After about 20 minutes of talking, I stopped my feel-good ramble. The scent had hit my nostrils, and I was suddenly hyper-aware that my new friend was sitting on top of my pee-soaked underwear.

“I pissed my pants earlier. Then I shoved them under the bed you’re sitting on.”

I paused.

“I’m sorry.”

Cailey Hay looked up at me from between her fingers. She let out a loud laugh.
Then she told me she wished we could have been friends earlier in the year, which was a weird reaction to someone telling you they pissed themselves in public.


Pictured: Head of Hockey Hotness

Cailey Hay is a 21-year-old hockey player from OakBank, Manitoba, but I met her when she came to the hallowed halls of kilts and cliques.

Although we weren’t close then, we reconnected after realizing my piss-pants antics were a pretty solid bonding mechanism. In my eyes, she has always been an outspoken, confident woman who dominates on the rink, and connects with just about everyone she meets.

And no matter where we find ourselves, Cailey Hay turns heads, whether it’s hitting up MAW’s beer garden, or going to Whiskey Dix with me and her ex-boyfriend’s mom. Part of it is because she’s a babe and a half, but the other part is because of the level of confidence she exudes.

Cailey Hay is the perfect example of a Manitoba-grown, hockey-playing beauty who has worked hard at loving herself, despite life’s crooked obstacles. Being a well-rounded teammate and athlete is just one side of her. Being a daring, fiery, fashionable smoke show, is another.

As she attempts to balance all areas of her life on the edge of her skate, and be body-confident on and off the ice, this University of British Columbia powerhouse does her best to take on all challenges headfirst.


But at least she’s wearing her helmet.

I think that body positivity is having a healthy relationship between your brain and your body. It’s just like any other relationship that you would have with another human being, except the majority of the contact is done in your own mind.

This all kind of hit home when I was schmoozing the Internet and found a quote saying, “Don’t say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to others.”

Everything clicked.

People think that it’s okay to constantly bash themselves, and end up defining themselves through the vision of others.

In reality, you would never EVER go to your friends, or significant others, and say, “hey, your cellulite makes me nauseous,” “you are truly the ugliest person I’ve ever seen,” or “you’re a cow” (and if you do, please stop, now).

And yet, people don’t hesitate for a second when saying these things to themselves. There is such a disconnect between sharing happiness and kindness with your friends and family, and sharing these same loving thoughts with yourself.

Beyonce, who I love so much, said in her song Pretty Hurts:

When you’re alone all by yourself,

And you’re lying in your bed,

Reflection stares right into you,

Are you happy with yourself?

You stripped away the masquerade,

The illusion has been shed,

Are you happy with yourself?

Are you happy with yourself?


At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. No matter who comes and goes in your life, you are the only one that will be present for every second of every day.

Playing hockey is the main reason I have any confidence at all. As opposed to individual sports, hockey requires so many different types of players to create a successful team.

Unlike men’s hockey, where all players have a fairly generic body type (tall, muscular- but toned- and bordering on thin), female hockey players come in all different shapes and sizes.

If there’s a female body-type you can think of, you can literally find it in our dressing room. This kind of physical diversity reflects the diversity of skills that make up our team. 

Everyone brings different strengths (and weaknesses) to the table, and even though no individual is perfect, together we create this flawless mosaic.

Being permanently attached to a team of women who stick together through thick and thin, through defeat and success, is the greatest gift in the world. It’s because of this atmosphere that I have experienced support in its purest form.

With competition as the base, these relationships extend beyond our sport to our everyday lives. Meaning, at the end of the day, hockey or no hockey, I will always have a family to back me up, just as I will always be there for them.

My team IS my confidence. 

As for my favourite physical feature… I would have to say my eyes.

I think it’s because every time I look in a mirror, I see my parents. With my father having green eyes, and my mother having blue eyes, I was gifted this odd and and beautiful combination of the two.

I also like that the colour seems to change with the clothes I wear, or with the lighting of a room. It’s fun to be a chameleon of sorts, having a mysterious part of you that can’t be defined.


At the end of the day, hockey is a sport that seriously EVERYONE can love.

So many people who have never played watch the NHL on television for literally fifteen minutes, and they’re like, ‘This is stupid. Shoes with blades on them? Nah, that isn’t really my cup of tea…’

Well let me tell you, it’s so much more then that.

There are so many leagues around, especially considering we live in Canada, that provide open ice and games for all skill levels.

Even my mother, at 50, plays hockey occasionally. Anyone can do it! My personal favourite thing to do is to wait until Christmas time, and hit the outdoors rinks with family and friends.

If you’re not so much into playing the actual game, and just want to strap the skates on, it’s a really amazing experience to skate the river at The Forks in Winnipeg (also in at Christmas time).”

This is how this head of hockey hotness stays body positive.