I ran into an online friend IRL

In this world of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, I have a solid network of friends: My online friends, and my real life friends. My real life friends are the people I met in school. We go out for drinks and go dancing and moan about our lives together. My online friends discuss the Leafs and CFL football with me and like all my photos on Instagram.

Twenty years ago, I was heavily into Livejournal (oh my god, was that really 20 years ago??? I feel so old!). I made six really close friends who, after the death of LJ, followed me to my various online social networks and we’ve stayed friends ever since. They almost know me better than my current IRL friends, because they were there with me through school, bad boyfriends, and work dramas.

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This was totally us

Last weekend I was shopping with my mom and we decided to stop into Taco Bell for some grub. I walk right in and stopped dead in my tracks. Sitting inside was one of my old LJ friends! I now have her on Facebook and Instagram, where she likes all my photos and shares all my memes. I had never met her IRL before, and she doesn’t live in my area, so it was quite a surprise. I was hit with this confusion: do I go and say hi to her? Will she even recognize me from my selfies? She was with her family, and I was like, do they know how active she is online, or does she hide her online identity from them the way I hide mine?

Thankfully, as I was having a crisis, she called out my name and waved me over. We had tacos together and caught up. Yes, it was totally awkward. But it was still a pretty cool experience. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity. This was a person who I only knew through Instagram selfies and Facebook rants, and now I was meeting her in person and she was the exact same person online. Even weirder, she was with her husband and two children, and I felt like I knew them as well, because she posts so many pictures of them.

It’s definitely a small world. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, either. Still, it was pretty cool and I’m glad I got to meet her. And it’s proof that Taco Bell brings everyone together.

 

 

 

 

Describe Yourself as a Writer

<I>Q: Describe yourself as a writer using one word.</I>

A: zhogv3bi

I like weird things. And I like to write about weird things.

When I first started working as an advertising copywriter, my Creative Director gave me a little notebook on the first day (I’d love to picture it as a sexy leather-bound moleskin but nope, it was just a shitty dollar store book) and told me to write down anything weird I observe or experience during the day (of course I wrote that down as my first entry). This became my “There-Must-Be-An-Ad-In-That” idea book. If we were ever stuck for ad ideas, we were all urged to refer back to this book, just flip the pages and see if we could plug any of these strange things into an advertising concept.

I’ve never stopped doing this even though I’ve fled as far as possible from advertising. Only now instead of carrying around a notebook I just type it all into the Notes section of my phone.

Story on the news that made me laugh? I shove it in. I’m not a traditional person and my entire life I’ve been attracted towards the strange and things that are different. That includes reading novels based on strange situations (for example: Death and the Penguin, a story about a man who lives in post-USSR Ukraine with his pet penguin that he recovered from the bankrupt zoo). I love that kind of shit! Give me more of it! My thirst for the bizarre is rarely satisfied, though, that’s why I feel this need to write about it.

People who read my stuff always go “Wow you’ve got such a creative mind to come up with these things!” but let’s face it, that’s not the exact truth. Ideas don’t magically strike me down at any given moment. Maybe that’s how some writers work, but not me. It’s hard work – always observing, listening, and recording things down. That’s the key to it all – don’t hope you remember it later. Even if you’re lying in bed half asleep or on a crowded subway or in the shower – if it comes into your head, even if it doesn’t make sense at the moment, write it down! For those moments when you’re stuck with either where to begin a story or how to get one going, the idea swipe file will always come in handy. No matter how quirky the thought is.

By the way, QUIRKY has a close relation to CRAZY, so sometimes I straddle both lines…

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But I’m okay with that.

How would you describe yourself as a writer? Also, if you have any fab quirky book recommendations for me, please don’t hesitate to share! I’m always on the lookout!

 

Prompt: The Accidental (?) Boob Grab

Prompt: Tell us about a time someone accidentally grabbed your boobs.

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Okay. So there I was, walking down Bay Street, heading back to work after lunch. I was late, of course, because I had to pause to visit the LCBO on my way back. I was rushing like Usain Bolt to get back to my desk before my boss decides she prefers my desk to be empty, which caused me to dart in between the slowpokes. In front of me, a man was talking with a lady. They were so engrossed with their conversation that they were not in any hurry to get anywhere and clearly were in my way.

I rudely darted in front of the man so I could pass them at the light. The light was red. As I took a step forward, he took a step forward. Our bodies collided. Instinctively, his hand went up to pat my shoulder as he apologized. Accidentally, his hand landed riiiiight on my boob.

It was not a soft graze. It was a full on, palm flat against my breast. But it was totally accidental. Which is what made it so hilarious. Especially the look of horror on his face as he realized what he did.

The light turned green and I bolted forward. Both humiliated and amused.

 

Job Interview Nightmare #76

This job interview was the worst. And I’ve had a lot of bad ones.

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The job posting I applied to was for a start-up looking for a content editor. Writing deals for the website and publishing content? Awesome, that sounded like something I could do! My confidence was at an all-time high as I left the door.

I hadn’t had a job interview in awhile, so the professional black blazer I wore was a bit snug as I buttoned it up. But, oh well, it would do.

I sat down with the CEO and the Content Manager. Right away, they ask how my CSS, Java and PHP skills are, along with another list of random acronyms I’ve never dealt with in my entire life.

“I thought this was for a content writing job?” My voice squeaked. None of that was in the job posting. If it had been, I wouldn’t have applied. And if I had those skills, they would have been in my resume. Did nobody look at my resume?

“Sorry, we are looking for these particular qualifications,” the CEO said. “You are probably not the right fit.”

I stood, stunned, and gathered my untouched writing portfolio from the table. Just as I leaned forward, my stomach expanded slightly, and the button on my blazer popped off.

Like, it literally popped off. Flew up in the air, landed on the table, bounced, hit the floor, and rolled into the corner.

Everyone stared at the button, watching it. Horrified, my face flushed, I shook hands, thanked them for their time, and ran out of the room without collecting my button. Maybe if I didn’t acknowledge that it happened, it hadn’t happened.

Two days later I got a call from the Content Manager. “We found someone for the content editor position you interviewed for, but another writing job has opened up at another app we are working on. We would like to offer you the job.”

I think they felt sorry for me. I took the job.

I wanted to get my button back.

 

 

 

Awkward Subway Moment #4382

I swear the most awkwardest things in the world always happen to me.

I am literally this all the time:

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The other day, I was on the subway rushing home after work, crammed into a subway car. We stop at a station, and the guy standing in front of me tries to get off the train.

But he couldn’t. My scarf had gotten stuck in the zipper of his backpack.

(I was wearing a scarf I bought in Ukraine, that looks like this:)

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Somehow, one of the tassels got right into the part of the zipper, and he couldn’t get off! He was literally trying to drag me off the train with him. I tried desperately to pull it out, but it was really jammed in there. The more I panicked, the harder it was to pull it out.

The doors closed, and he missed his stop.

By the next stop, we both managed to get it out and he got off at the next stop. But I was absolutely MORTIFIED.

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At least the guy was really really really nice about it. I’m surprised he didn’t punch me in the face.

Too bad he wasn’t cute. That would’ve been quite a story, right?

“How did you two meet?”

“On the subway. My scarf was so attracted to him, it didn’t want to let him go.”

Or Perhaps

At work I received the RANDOMEST spam email ever.

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From: cauliflower please

Subject: …enjoy!

Message:

banking on eating well…

or perhaps

the cauliflower will be devoured one flowerette per day…

We will be boiling the leaves and roots, and rediscovering all manner of wild veggies!

—-

Okay now. Settle down, Mr. Cauliflower Spambot.

I get it that there’s been issues in the news lately about the soaring price of cauliflower. This e-mail probably has something to do with that.

Things I love about this e-mail:

  • poetic formatting
  • the title asking me to enjoy! As if I wouldn’t enjoy random vegetable poetry!
  • hilarious title (cauliflower, PLEASE)
  • dramatic pause of the second line (OR PERHAPS!!!)
  • random usage of ellipses
  • flowery language (devoured one flowerette per day…)
  • suggestive ending (rediscovering all manner of wild veggies!)

I’ve read this email/poem 10 times already today. I seriously can’t stop laughing. I actually printed it out and pinned it to my wall.

What does it even MEAN?!!?

It almost sounds like some kind of threat.

Maybe I’ve stumbled onto some kind of covert spy instructions.

My mission, if I chose to accept it, is to devour the cauliflower, boil the leaves and roots, and find out where the gold is buried.

#ThereMustBeAStoryInThereSomewhere

Fresh Breath Bandit – Creative Writing Prompt

Okay here’s another news story that made me LOL.

Guy Steals $1,500 worth of chewing gum

My favourite things about this:

  • He just casually strolls out of the store with his loot in a giant garbage bag
  • He steals all the items just an aisle away from a worker – ballsy!
  • HE COMES BACK AND STEALS MORE. BALLSY.
  • He stole CHEWING GUM.

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I have sooooo many questions (as I’m sure the police do, too).

Does he have a gum fetish?

A gum addiction?

Is he running some black market chewing gum ring?

DID HE GIVE GUM TO EVERYONE ON HIS CHRISTMAS SHOPPING LIST?!?!

(Imagine a huge family gathering, unwrapping their presents. “What did you get?” “Gum.” “SAME!” “Wtf?!”)

Does he have some random illness that causes severe bad breath?

Does his crush love that brand of chewing gum so he decided to make a romantic gesture to win her love by swiping all the gum for her???

Was he making some kind of epic chewing gum related art project?

I feel like this would make a great story.

ALSO…imagine being the person working at the checkout, who completely missed this guy walking in and out of the store TWICE with GIANT BAGS FILLED WITH ALL THE CHEWING GUM!!!

Did they get fired????

Imagine a character stealing something else really random in a large quantity.

Toronto The Good

Okay, I love this story.

Good Samaritan found your cash, bought you Powerball tickets

TL;DR: Guy from Toronto travels to the USA to buy a powerball ticket. Outside the gas station, he finds an envelope stashed with cash and a list of names (with Canadian dollars). Oh, the horror – someone lost the cash while buying for a lottery pool (the office must hate him now, right?).

So what did this guy do? The right thing, of course. He bought $350 worth of powerball tickets on behalf of the mystery people.

They only won $32, so he used that money to buy them some additional lotto tickets (in Canada).

I like when people do nice things.

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Anyway, I hope he finds the Lost Lotto Pool People.

Can you imagine if he actually won the jackpot with those tickets?

That would make a great story…hmm..

#ThereMustBeaStoryThere