Apocalypse Now: A Story of High School and Low Hopes

I’m here to tell you a story about a young girl who got off a bus in the Big City (re: Toronto) with a dollar in her bank account (re: not really) ready to take on high school at the most magical place in the world:

ART SCHOOL. 

And in case you’re wondering, that little naive piece of hot, acne-infested pubescence was me.

Sadly, this is a real photo.

Sensuality is my specialty. 

Yes, that is a picture from when I was in an opera. Yes, I did youth opera as a voluntary extracurricular activity.

And I ain’t ashamed.

However, what I didn’t anticipate was how unprepared I was for the ruthless 4 years ahead of me.
Not only did I choose to go to an arts high school, but I chose to major in musical theatre at said arts school.

You know what kind of people are musical theatre people??

PEOPLE LIKE THIS:

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are musical theatre fanatics.

But then again… most of them are not.

I was simply not prepared for the fuckin’ Vietnam War-like conditions that awaited me in that graffitied building where people would try to snort ecstasy between classes (because LOGIC) and where, on my first day, a kid threw up in my French class because he’d drank a mickey of Jack Daniels.

It was 10am. 

In that school, it was either kill, or be killed. DANCE OR DIE.

I would say “eat or be eaten,” but no one in that school ever fuckin’ ate.

Except for the visual arts majors. Because of the cannabis and such.

At lunch, it would be salads and chickpeas as far as the eye could see. And there I was, with my pudding cups, feeling like I’d landed in the middle of a Jenny Craig ad.

It didn’t take long before people noticed I was eating well over the 500-calorie limit for the day and started dropping hints whenever I got up in the middle of Geography to grab a quick Mountain Dew and a bag of Doritos.

They were not very subtle hints.

It was a sad day when they finally broke me down, leaving me starving (literally) in the gutter (metaphorically), desperately clutching at my carbohydrate-filld past.

This attitude wasn’t only perpetuated by the students. In fact, the students were the smallest part of it.

The teachers were way worse.

It was common knowledge that one of the dance teachers had told her class, after showing them a particularly skimpy costume: “Next time you want to reach for that slice of cake, you better think twice!”

I KNOW, RIGHT?? Thanks, Tina.

So you see, it was not a very healthy environment for a bunch of emotionally and physically insecure teenagers who still didn’t know what to do with their boobs (I’m speaking from a feminine perspective, here).

It could also have had something to do with the fact that they made us dance like common whores. For one show, I had to warn my family ahead of time that they would probably be shocked by what I’d be doing.

Which was basically this:

Luckily, I managed to turn it into something more like this:

FACT: They did ask us to wear bras. And only bras.

The thing is, that I had trouble being “sexy.” What were supposed to be smooth body rolls and flirty lil’ booty shakes became something not unlike an epileptic seizure. And apparently musical theatre is a “sexy” thing to do, now.

Goddammit, Glee. 

I went into the school with little-to-no knowledge of the art of dahnce. And I had no freakin’ clue how to be sexy.

I gave it my best effort…

…but was not very successful.

Not only was this school a fuckin’ feeding ground for anorexia and slut culture, but people were CONSTANTLY trying to outshine one another. This was the place where your friends were also your competition. Backstabbing and shit-talking was everywhere. People sucked up to teachers and even drunk-texted them (because this was a m****f***in’ classy establishment) in order to get call-backs and roles and solos and whatever the fuck else was important to them at the time.

IT WAS LIKE GOING TO SCHOOL WITH THE CAST OF  GLEE.

Except everyone secretly wanted to kill each other.

It was all about getting noticed. And I completely understand that this is what it’s like in the professional world, but we were just kids! For fuck’s sake, I’m still a child! (See previous blog post.)

The teachers basically put a bunch of attention-depraved chihuahuas into an arena and yelled: “TO THE DEATH!”

I tried to get noticed, I really did. In 9th and 10th grades, I sang my lil’ heart out with mediocre renditions of “I Have Confidence” and “On My Own.” By Grade 11, I had gained a “who the f*** cares” attitude, and just kind of went through the musical motions.

The breaking point might have been when they made me wear this:

4418_1109076180870_4100034_n

Even though I consistently wore mis-matched camo-patterned ensembles and miniskirts from Hot Topic (but that’s another story entirely), this was a bit much.

I would also like to point out that I did not cover my friend’s face in this photograph, because she specifically asked me not to. Because she wants to become famous.

But it was people like that who got me through my high school years. Granted, a lot of them sucked, but I met some people at that place that I’ll never forget and will always remember (THANKS, CAPTAIN REDUNDANT!)

High school sucks. If it didn’t suck for you, then you were doing something wrong. They’re four extremely awkward years full of heartbreak and broken dreams and weird body odours.

High school.

Not high school:

But the friends you make and keep during those years are so important. I’ll never forget how much shit we cried over, and how many times we snuck alcohol from our parents’ liquor cabinets and got drunk in each other’s basements.

To all you people who are still in high school:
Hang in there, because university is SO GREAT.

To all you people at an arts high school:

Unless you’re enjoying it. In which case: more power to ya! (But also, how???)

And finally, to everyone who made me feel like less of a person because I couldn’t shake my ass properly, to you I say:
images

And that ain’t ever gonna change.

 

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HEAR ME OUT: Valentine’s Day is the Best Day of the Year

 

Unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, (which I completely respect, but I’m really sad that you don’t get birthdays because they’re the best and everyone treats you like a supreme War Lord), you know that Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

And by around the corner, I mean in about T-3 hours from the time I’m writing this.

But you know what?

I’m excited.

Because Valentine’s Day is the best day of the year.

NOW DON’T CLICK AWAY. I SEE YOU, YOU BITTER LITTLE BASTARD.

“She doesn’t know anything, I’m single, Valentine’s Day is 24 hours of reminders of my sexual inactivityyyyyyy!”

Cry me a river.

FUN FACT: I’M SINGLE, TOO.

So listen up, my pets, as I explain to you why February 14th is the fuckin’ bomb.

Now, all you dopes in relationships don’t get to say that this is the best day of the year. Because you have other days where you can be all lovey-dovey, like anniversaries of the first time you farted in front of each other or something. I dunno what you people do.

And on Valentine’s Day, you know exactly what to expect:

Or, if you don’t live in a Nicholas Sparks movie, this:

Cue the Marvin Gaye music.

 

Couples: You might think that you have an awesome day. You might think that for the two of you, in your hazy love nest of sexual healing, it don’t get much better than February Fuckin’ Fourteenth.

You, my fair Kims and Kanyes, are flat fucking wrong.

 

Us single people have got it SO much better.

For instance, Valentine’s Day is the one day a year where I can buy five pounds of chocolate from the Shopper’s Drugmart without the cashier asking me: “Do you want Tampax with that?” 

Fuck you, Judgmental Cashier Lady, I’m not “riding the crimson wave”, I’m just SAD AND LONELY.

But it’s okay to be sad and lonely on Valentine’s Day. THAT’S THE POINT.

So no one asks you why you’re buying enough chocolate and candy to stock a bomb shelter for six months. They just give you a knowing look that says:
“Honey, I getchu. Do what you need to do.”

And they leave you in peace.

Bliss.

But wait- it gets better!

Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year on which a single person, such as myself and probably 90% of people reading this blog, can march into a restaurant at 11am and demand alcohol.

The last time I tried to do this was on a nameless day in January, and the waitress responded with a: “Starting early, are we?” And a smirk. A goddamn smirk. Grins I can abide, even laughter I can tolerate, but a fucking smirk? A smirk means she’s laughing at you ON THE INSIDE.

YOU ARE NOT EVEN WORTH LAUGHING AT OUT LOUD.

DON’T YOU JUST WANT TO PUNCH SOMETHING?

 

But on Valentine’s Day, no one smirks at you, nononono.

They bring you alcohol. They smile at you as if to say: “You poor lonely soul, drinking alone on Valentine’s Day.” They comfort you. They might even tell you the drink’s on the house.

Awww, thanks house!

But in all seriousness, Valentine’s Day rules.

I can get day-drunk simply because I don’t have a boyfriend. On any other day, people would call you a whiny bitch. Or an alcoholic. But on V-Day, it’s just doing what you’re s’posed ta. 

A lot of my single friends will also treat themselves to stuff a boyfriend/girlfriend would never ever EVER buy them.

Every Valentine’s Day, at least one of my single friends will come up to me and say: “I just felt so bad about being alone today, so I went shopping and bought this $400 outfit from Mendocino, and then I had to go to Victoria’s Secret, because what if I do get a boyfriend, I mean, I don’t want him to see me in granny panties, you know? ”

First of all, I understand about the granny panties- that shit could be embarrassing. And saggy.

But the main point is, you think your boyfriend (slash girlfriend) would spent four hundred dollars on an outfit for you, just because it’s a Hallmark Holiday?? 

AGAIN: REAL LIFE DOES NOT EQUAL A NICHOLAS SPARKS MOVIE. 

No. No he would not. You are a much better boyfriend (or girlfriend) to yourself than anyone ever could be.

And Valentine’s Day gives you the perfect excuse to pamper yourself like the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend would!

If this is news to you, then get your head of your ass, and realize that real people are not as thoughtful as fictional characters.

But you know who is? You areTo yourself.

So PAMPER YOURSELF. BECAUSE YOU CAN.

And bitch. Bitch up a storm.

Because V-Day, once again, is the ONLY DAY OF THE YEAR that allows for this.

You and your friends can bitch about being single for hours. Literally. And no one will judge you. Because it’s sad to be alone on Valentine’s Day.

This is totally acceptable.

And all your friends can sit in a lil’ old circle like in kindergarten and talk about how one day you’ll get married in a mothafuckin’ castle, and you’ll leave on a mothafuckin’ horse, and it’ll be with the Old Spice Guy, because he’s the best mothafucka around, and you’ll drink mimosas and fondle each other in the Caribbean.

even his abs are smiling at me

And no one will tell you otherwise. No one will say: “That’s completely stupid and dumb and you should go drown yourself in a pool of cat urine and you’re going to end up alone if you maintain such high expectations.”

They’ll say: “If that’s what you want, girl, you should go for it. Dream big, and it’ll happen. I know it will. And you know why? Because you’re a nice person.

They’ll probably be drunk.

So if you’re feeling the Valentine’s Day Blues this year, stop it you stupid, horny jerk. 

Because V-Day is the most wonderful time of the year!

I know that my Valentine’s Day will probably end up like this:

And I’m totally alright with that. Because it’s going to be a fucking awesome day where I can drink and wallow in self-pity and bitch about men with my friends.

I can also treat myself to a little cheese, even though I’m lactose intolerant 😉

BAD. ASS.

Because that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about when you’re single.

Treating yourself. (Even if it causes stomach pains.)

Trust me, one day you’ll experience a Valentine’s Day filled to the brim with awkward sexual encounters and professions of everlasting love. But until then, some words of advice:

 

Don’t feel guilty about feeling lonely and shit on Valentine’s Day- embrace it.

Love it tenderly. 

Love it to the sensual melody of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On

Because at the end of the day, you won’t be lonely forever. So this is the one time in your life when you can be completely self-absorbed and not give a shit about other people (unless you want to give a shit, in which case, shit away, sir).

Now, for the male counterparts in the couplings out there, some words of advice from one Tenacious D:

 

For all us single people out there- HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY. Happy drunken bitching, cheese-eating, shopping-spreeing, exploitation-of-loneliness day to you all! 

And a Happy New Year!

I’m afraid I might be one of THOSE drunk people…

Until recently, I’d always prided myself on being one of those people who never did anything remarkably stupid while drunk. I’d wake up the morning after a party, grab a cup of black coffee, and laugh at the new and hilarious ways my friends had managed to humiliate themselves the night before.

I was really fucking smug about it. 

I would sit there and listen to their stories, thinking:

Little did I know that the tables were about to turn. In a big way. No they weren’t just going to turn, they were going to fucking shatter into a million little splinters and stab me right in the dignity.

The realization came to me after a party one night which ended with me racing through the underground tunnels at my school pretending to be an airplane. I called one of my friends, referred to as Elektra in one of my previous posts, but for today we’ll just call her The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships, and she came down to find me running through the tunnels with my arms spread wide going: “VROOOOOOOOM!”

That’s not even the noise that an airplane makes. Jesus. 

She tried to get me home, but I was not having it.

And that was only the beginning.

Since that night, I’ve developed such embarrassing drunken habits that I’d make the whitest of the White Girl Wasteds jealous. Not to mention the entire cast of Jersey Shore:

LOOK AT THIS TRAINWRECK

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

For one thing, I’ve started doing this thing where I try to suck on whoever’s face is nearest like some weird sea slug that just doesn’t understand social boundaries. Once I had a few drinks in me, I’d run around the party like a rabid dog in heat, basically screaming:

No one is safe.

Some of my friends would come up to me the next day and quietly pull me aside, saying: “Hey, man, this is kind of awkward, but at that party last night, you tried to make out with me… and with my boyfriend…”

YES. I KNOW I DID. I WAS THERE. I GRABBED YOUR FACE A BIT AND HARASSED YOU AND YOUR SEX-MATE.  BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

I was on a Vodka Cloud of Love and I wanted to share my emotions with everyone because internalizing your feelings is bad for your heart. 

AND I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. 

And a big heart.

So I’ve been trying to kick that lil’ habit to avoid the inevitable awkwardness that it brings about, but I guess that while I was doing that, I failed to notice another little tendency creeping into my behaviour.

I’m a photo ruiner. I ruin people’s photos.

Let me explain.

This morning I woke up in a Bed of Pain feeling like my stomach was going to capsize and my head was going to explode. I didn’t really remember anything about last night, only that I almost made it to midnight before several of my friends had to put me to bed. I’m like a little kid that desperately wants to stay up until 12 on New Year’s Eve but can never make it, no matter how hard she tries.

Anyways, later in the day, photos began to be posted on Facebook. And that is when I realized.

I am an embarrassment to the human race and an example for you all of everything you should avoid becoming.

For example:

Rachel is unimpressed with my antics.

Rachel is unimpressed with my antics.

So you see, I run around and make everyone’s night significantly less attractive using skills I picked up from watching Rosie O’Donnell as a kid.

Let’s look at another one, shall we?

547921_3991805287103_538693617_n

Now, let’s take a second here. Note the weird, drooling mouth, the half-shut eyes, and, oh yeah, the vodka cooler shoved down my dress.

Why would I take a picture of this? Why would I put the vodka cooler in that strange location? That’s not where it’s supposed to go. I know this. Every part of me knows this. And yet, we have this photo.

And it wasn’t even my camera.

Sometimes I wonder how I even have friends.

One of my them tried to tell me that I enhanced photos, rather than ruin them. For anonymity’s sake, we’ll call her a total fucking liar.

This is not enhancement:

I also really like food.

I also really like food.

This is total and utter destruction.

I am the Godzilla of group photos.

I stomp around in a drunken daze and destroy everyone’s chance at finding a fun new profile pic. 

I am a destroyer of social media success.

Damn me.

However, while writing this blog, I came to the conclusion that the reason for my change from a peaceful little tipsy gnome to a tornado of drunken destructiveness is:

University.

Damn you, university. With your (sometimes) free alcohol, and lack of rules.

No, you know what? F*** you.

F*** you, university.

Now, beware children (if there are any children reading this blog, which I hope there aren’t, since I could easily be a pedophile lying in wait (except I’m not) but back to the point in these parentheses, you should maybe ask your parents before signing up for a blog website, because that just seems like common sense), a higher education is not all fun and games. It can lead to social humiliation, regret, and remorse.

So much remorse.

My spidey senses are tingling with it.

But on the flip side, university’s also the time in your life when making a fool of yourself is somewhat socially acceptable.

So if you’re like the Old Me, and are scared of embarrassing yourself, stop it. Stop it right now.
You don’t learn anything by playing it safe. You learn by going a little bit crazy and getting a little bit silly. Otherwise, how else will you learn to laugh at yourself?

I’m not saying that you need to get drunk all the time and pass out on the bathroom floor in some frat house. You just need to stop caring what other people think so much. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s so worth it. Because when you stop caring what other people think, you can actually start becoming yourself.

In the wise words of a class-A drunk, Chelsea Handler:

“Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most important, laugh at yourself.”
So if every Sunday morning I emerge from my cave (read: room) looking like this:
that’s my prerogative. Because I don’t give a flying f*** what people think of me anymore- and I’ve never been happier.
And that’s something to drink to.