Wednesday, March 31, 2004

(Try To) Say My Name (Without Laughing Like an Asshole)

I work at a busy in-call centre as a customer service representative for a large daily newspaper. I probably talk to close to one hundred people per shift. Relating funny work stories re: random ineptitards who call us and spout forehead-slapping stupidity would necessitate creating another blog entirely. So, instead of making fun of people who deserve it, I will now share with you a bit of cruel humour at the expense of generally nice people...with really awful names. I know that I - Sofi Papamarko - am not particularly one to talk. My name is arduous, contains many syllables and sounds a bit like popping corn when pronounced correctly, but at least my name is not...

  • Judy Belcher

  • Clarence Bytheway

  • Gloria L. Bejesus

  • Hugh Pugh

  • Golda Fischenbacher

  • and finally, my new favourite...Barbara Huha

Anyway, I think I should be commended on my graceful and respectful interaction with all of these people. I did not laugh at them at all while on the phone with them. Instead, I have chosen to deride them publicly, on my blog. Good.

I found another 99 cent bin wonder at my local sketchy drug mart. Twice Removed on cassette! Fun!

I'm going to a French academy to take a language proficiency test in a bit, in preparation for moving to Montreal. I haven't used French in ages. All I really know is "Je joue au hockey" (which is a vicious lie), "J'Adore Dior", "Poutine, s'il vous plait?" and "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"

Speaking of coucher-ing, does anyone want to sleep with my friend Jay? I'd appreciate it. I think he probably would, too.

(Now playing: "All For Swinging You Around", The New Pornographers)

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I Feel Pretty

After work today, the lovely Miss Chelsea kindly met up with me for Mission: Sofi Makeover. I'd been trying to coerce her to help me out for a little while, because a) she is a freaking cosmetics guru and also b) I haven't seen her in something like 4 years - not since before she and Matej moved to Prague. It was fun and girly. I bought this amazing lip/cheek stain and Cargo lip gloss in Machu Picchu . Spent far too much money, but I'll just have to live with myself. (I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.) Oh, and I got semi-lost coming home from the subway. I took the wrong bus for the first time ever and ended up in Nowheresville. Which was pretty scary, since my parents were in Collingwood today and I had no one to bail me out. I eventually found my way with the help of a kindly, attractive francophone TTC driver. Gold star for him.

I just watched the series finale of Sex and the City, and I am not ashamed to admit that I bawled like a little girl. Honestly, best show ever! Anyone who is scoffing at my love for it has obviously never watched more than one episode.

Alison and I went to the Fox and the Mirkin Ball or something on Thursday night. It was a sad excuse for retro night, and we enjoyed watching the very obviously underaged jailbait parade about in their off-the-shoulder shirts and acid-washed jeans. Alison is super. I'm happy that we've stayed friends, and that we can talk about more than just highschool. By the end of the night, my cheeks literally hurt from laughing/smiling so much. Awww.

A conversation with Rob about men's ties prompted me to remember something. When my brother and I were like 10 and 11, we bought our dad a vinyl inflatable shark tie from the Zoo for his birthday or Father's Day. It was probably a pretty hideous tie, but we believed it to be the greatest thing ever. The cool thing is that dad wore it all the time. Every time we went out to dinner and sometimes he'd (pretend to?) wear it to work. I think that's a cool thing for dads to do. I hope I remember to wear any and all of the ugly, tacky shit that my kids make/buy for me.

(Now playing: "Let's Go", The Jessica Fletchers)

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I'm On Fire

Just two days after getting accepted to Concordia, the nice folks at The Toronto Star informed me that I am no longer a temp. They have decided to hire me as a permanent employee. Wowee zowee. A bit of a surprise, considering that they were feeling unsure about me less than three months ago...

Anyway, this means that I now have job security, health benefits (Work With Benefits = Friend With Benefits, but way way cooler), some say in what my schedule looks like, paid vacations, and I am no longer on contract. Which is great and everything, but I'm leaving the company/city in two months so I'll hardly be able to milk it for all its worth. They'll probably be willing to take me back after I graduate, though - it's good to have a safety net, even if I never have to use it.

(Now playing: "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl", Broken Social Scene)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Whoop, there it is!

Concordia University
Journalism Department
March 16, 2004

Dear Sofi,

Congratulations! On behalf of the journalism admissions committee, I'm delighted to invite you into the Graduate Diploma Program for 2004-2005. You are part of a select group chosen from the largest applicant pool I've seen in my tenure as graduate program director, so pat yourself on the back...

Nee hawwww! I'm going to Montreal! This sweet victory is made even sweeter considering that they only accept 22 students a year for the post-grad journalism program. Word. I'm all elite and shit. Anyway, here's to a year of smoked meat, cafes, Leonard Cohen sightings, bilingualism, bagels and binge drinking! Many thanks to all for their kind words of encouragement and congratulatory emails/phone calls.

Aside from the acceptance (woo!), not a lot going on right now. I got a new pair of glasses today. They make me look like a grown-up/boffable librarian. Who falls down a whole lot. I'm still getting used to them, so my depth perception is a

For those of you who go/went to Queen's, I suggest you read this post from Tavis' blog. It's pretty freaking hilarious if you know the girl in question.

(Now playing: "Wet Blanket", Metric)

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Moonage Daydream

It seems to me that everyone I know is just one great big giant ball of stress lately. What with work woes, law/med school, applications for yet more school, break-ups, weddings, apartment hunting, apartment subletting, exams, loneliness, deadlines, crazy family issues, etc., it's a freaking wonder that everyone mentally/emotionally stable. Or at least they appear to be on the surface. Things could be worse for us, sure. But things could certainly be better.

I'm going to indulge myself for a moment and daydream away. Now. I would very much like it if the following were to happen in my life (chronologically), so that I may lead a blissfully tension-free existence:

1) Get accepted to Concordia AND Ryerson for their Journalism post-graduate programs. Win scholarships. Big ones.

2) Win the lottery. Five million or so will suffice.

3) Fall in love with the perfect man who will pledge his life and heart to me forevermore. He will enjoy hand-holding and give unbelievable head.

4) Raise 2-3 perfectly balanced, healthy, exceedingly bright and reasonably attractive children who will adore their parents and themselves unconditionally.

5) Write the Great Canadian Novel, touching the minds and souls of millions of readers worldwide. It will not be featured on Oprah's book club. Oprah will be long dead, her book club forgotten. I will proceed to give 100% of the profits to charity (seeing as how I'm already a millionairess and all).

6) Discover unequivocal evidence of the existence of heaven and learn that I am headed there, despite my strong atheistic tendencies and my refusal to go see "The Passion of the Christ". Die peacefully in my sleep at the age of 88 - NOT in a car accident or of a brain aneurysm while pinching out a particularly big one on the shitter.

Yes. Yes. That will do nicely.

(Now playing: "Nothing Better", The Postal Service)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

We Put the High in Highschool

I hereby pronounce By Divine Right's Jose Contreras to be the nicest, coolest boy ever. I did an in-person interview/photoshoot with him today for Chart's "Stylin'" section, and he is warmer and fuzzier than the crazy toques and scarves he is so fond of sporting. He is also mellow although surprisingly quick-witted, keeping all of us in stitches with his zany antics and hokey Sears Catalogue poses. Also, he has a very endearing smile. The icing on the cake was getting a big patchouli-scented hug from him at the end of the shoot. Hmmm. Methinks I have another rockstar crush. Screw you, Pete Elkas! I am a fickle fickle girl and am jumping ship. Jose all the way? A-OK!

On the way home from the shoot, I was so brimmingly full of happy Jose vibes and goodwill towards men that I bought a homeless man some lunch from Tim Horton's. I've never done that before. He was very gracious and said, "You don't know how much I appreciate this." I don't know what I said to him. Probably something stupid. I should have asked him his name, but I didn't. Anyway, I'm not mentioning this to be self-righteous. I'm just letting you know that very few things in this world feel as good as making somebody's whole entire day, so I suggest that you go ahead and do that. You don't necessarily have to feed a homeless person. It can be something even simpler, like perhaps giving someone who really needs it a patchouli-scented hug.

Tonight, Alison and I saw a movie (Spartan, which was alright. I find David Mamet's dialogue kind of clunky sometimes, and he's often clueless at developing realistic romantic subplots/relationships. Otherwise, it was gory and unsettling and vaguely intriguing and it made me hate America and their media spindoctoring and their filthy FILTHY lies), ate chicken wings at an empty Shoeless, and bitched about stuff (as we are wont to do). We also reminisced about highschool. It's astounding how little I remember about that time in my life since it wasn't all that long ago. Memory is strange. I hope I don't lose my university memories five years from now as they were quite a lot better.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Give 'er to your liver.

(Now playing: "Look Inside America", Blur)

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Painkillers for my Heart

I've had a rough past couple of days. I'd get into more detail than that, but it's too private a matter for a public medium. Those closest to me know what's going on, so I don't feel the need to elaborate. Nonetheless, for the sake of posterity, I have alluded to it cryptically and that's really all I feel the need to do. But enough about that.

I've got this entrance essay (Ryerson's Journalism postgrad) due next week and although I've known about it for weeks, I haven't even begun to write it. Or even think about it all that much. I have no idea how I made it through four years of massive essay writing when the thought of writing a piddly 300 word paper turns my stomach so. Maybe it's because there is so very much riding on it. Maybe it's because I have become really lazy this year. Maybe it's because the only writing that I've been doing lately is of the fun variety. Hey, does anyone feel like writing 250 - 350 words on how one specific piece of journalism inspired me to pursue the field? I'll bake you cookies! Chocolate ones, with nuts (or without nuts, if you are allergic)!

Speaking of nut allergies, did any other at-home-on-a-Friday-night-loser see the premiere of that new show "Wonderfalls"? It is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is fantastically funny and original and just so refreshingly bizarre that I wish I had written it. The premise is only half as kooky as the show itself: a depressed 24-year-old philosophy graduate named Jaye lives in a trailer and works in a gift shop at Niagara Falls. On the verge of a mental breakdown (or possibly not), toy animals at the gift shop talk to Jaye and instruct her to do certain things which eventually lead to a happy pay-off for others, ie. her lesbian sister finds love, the friendly UPS guy has an emergency pen shaft tracheotomy after accidentally eating peanuts but then the nurse of his dreams gives him a spongebath and they end up falling for each other, etc. Also, all of this mad mad madness might have something to do with the superpowers of the Maid of the Mist fountain, but it also might not. Even if you don't think it sounds like your cup of tea, I urge you to watch it before it inevitably gets cancelled for being too good. If you don't laugh out loud uproariously at least three times, I'll eat my hat! Or one of those cookies I baked you earlier! Damnit, I'll eat something!

(Now playing: "Answering Machine", Sekiden)

Monday, March 08, 2004

I See Fine (Young Men. Named Pete Elkas. On The Subway.)

After work, I got off the subway at Don Mills like I always do. As I walked up the stairs towards the buses, a young man was descending to my left.

This was my thought process:

1) Holy shit, that guy is stunningly beautiful (this is holy shit-worthy only because Don Mills station is a haven for ugly).

and half a second later...

2) Holy shit, that guy is Pete Elkas!

Unwilling to let any opportunity to make an ass of myself in front of a hot musician pass me by, I turned around (for he was now behind me) and called,

"You're awesome, Pete!"

(I have absolutely no idea how loudly I shouted after him as I was wearing headphones at the time.)

Anyway, I am not at all embarrassed by my "shout out" since I was rewarded with a gorgeous billion watt smile, given freely by a benevolent green-eyed Greek God who walketh among us. (At Don Mills station, of all places.)

Oh Pete Elkas. Oh my. You make me happy to possess a uterus.

(Now playing: "Still A Flame", Pete Elkas)

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Action Pact

In order to counteract the vaguely depressing post below, I will now list off some fun, happy things that are making me smile.

  • Buying a Morrissey cassette I have never ever seen before at my local drugstore for 99 cents. It was next to Linda Ronstadt's Greatest Hits.

  • There is a distinct possibility that I might be living with Valerie and Liz in Montreal next year!

  • I'm going to see pretty pretty Matt Barber play tomorrow night after having dinner with Hilary. I will likely present him with a gift of cinnamon hearts.

  • Having a fancy dinner with Lindsay, Katherine, Ben, Lee and Don on Friday night at a sooper secret location. Ben insists that the dress-code is "casual fabulous".

  • I have found a grown-up signature fragrance! It is called Connexion by Lancome (click the link at your own risk - yikes, I'm one of THEM now) and it is lovely. It's like the smell of my skin and some foreign flowers (Rob or really anyone: shiny nickel if you can pin that lyric). No more Calgon body sprays for me!

  • The snow is melting and it's still light out at 6:45PM.

  • I'm finally seeing The Salteens and Sekiden on Sunday afternoon, possibly with some excellent company.

So that's nice.

(Now playing: "Let Go of Your Bad Days", The Salteens)