Why I’ll Never Be a Writer

(This conversation took place over Facebook chat today.)

9:44am Andrew


so, how goes your imminent novel of epic awesomeness? Started yet?

9:45am Me

I have an outline and many notes!

So… kinda!

9:45am Andrew

Come on Stephen King. get the lead out… on paper

9:46am Me

Maybe I should get run over by a van like him

Wind up in traction

That would certainly help me (takes off sunglasses) …get a leg up.


9:48am Andrew



i hope that van kills you

Nice Boys Don’t

Being single agrees with me for the most part. I get to plan my weekends without having to have the conversation of I Didn’t Know It Was Your Mother’s Birthday, You Need To Tell Me These Things More Than Two Days Before. I get all the pillows to myself.  No one makes fun of me for watching Colin Firth movies for an entire afternoon. I’ve had a couple of flirtations and flings in the last few months, but nothing too intense. I simply didn’t want to date.

Of course, it’s late May and spring has sprung, and with it came spring fever. The world is shiny and new and maybe, just maybe, it’d be nice to have someone to share it with. Unfortunately, I’m at that stage in life where most of my friends have paired off and are only friends with other paired off people. Not being possessed of the patience necessary to wait it out until people’s starter marriages begin failing, I dipped a toe into online dating.

It’s harrowing, of course. The city I’m in is relatively small and doesn’t have the selection that a place the size of, say, Toronto or Vancouver would. I get a fair amount of messages, but I don’t pretend that it’s because I’m special in any way. Sure, I’m moderately attractive and can string a sentence together, but anyone with a vagina can attract a certain amount of attention online simply by nature of having a place on the body in which to insert a penis. Frankly, I’d wager the same amount of success could be achieved by a sentient Fleshlight, or even a lukewarm bag of Spaghetti-Os. The messages are mostly unobjectionable, if somewhat lacking in good spelling, but mostly the problem is not having anything in common.

Unless, of course, the problem is the Nice Guy. Ohhhhh, how I loathe the Nice Guy.

A Nice Guy is not to be mixed up with a nice guy, of course. I know nice guys. I’ve dated some of them. They let me sleep on their couches when I’ve had too much to drink, bake me pie for my birthday, and send me animations of bouncing breasts when I’m feeling down. The Nice Guy is the guy who says and does all the things he thinks he needs to do to get in your pants and then considers you the problem when it doesn’t work. The problem clearly isn’t that they are either transparent as hell or that they never made anything constituting an actual move. Oh, no, clearly the problem is you, the fickle and stupid woman, for actually appreciating the more direct approach.

Courtesy of A Softer World

“All women want are jerks,” they grump. “They talk about how all they want is a nice, sweet guy who will treat them like a queen and then turn around and go for the hot guy who treats them like shit.” Oh, fuck off out of it, Lloyd Dobler. In the first place, I’ve never asked to be treated like a queen. I want a guy with a sense of humour and a spark and a personality that meshes with mine, a guy who will treat me with respect. Me, the person I am. Not as some generic woman. The reason I don’t want your flowers and sonnets is because that’s not who I am and if you’d bothered to get to know me beyond the fact that I have a matching pair of X chromosomes, you’d understand that. Romance is fine, but when you’re acting as if all women are the same, it’s not romantic. It’s bullshit, and we can usually smell it from a mile away. How is it respectful to me or you to live your life as though you’re holding a sign up that says “Will Act As Doormat For Pussy”? Is that what being nice means to you? Maybe that’s why you’re striking out.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that women can’t be hypocrites or stupid or what have you. Of course we can. I’ve known some girls who were horror stories enough that they’d curl your hair. But seriously, don’t act as if I’m stupid and then be offended when I don’t swoon at you trying to clumsily pluck out “Crash Into Me” on your acoustic guitar. I have enough experience now to know what I want, and it isn’t someone who thinks so little of me that they assume I don’t know what’s good for me. Slow your roll, Prince Smarming. I have a weekend with Colin Firth planned and it doesn’t involve you.

Stuff I Like

Sometimes I sit down to write something and all these feelings pour out. Sometimes I sit down to write something and I’m so tired from packing up all my shit that all I really want to do is recommend stuff to you. Tonight is the latter.

Music-wise, I really, really cannot recommend Ian Foster enough. He combines dusky vocals and simple but effective arrangements with fantastic and evocative lyrics that will knock you on your ass. He’s also a jerk who gets to tour Italy and the Netherlands for the next month a pretty cool guy and a good friend of mine. (Listen: If The Weather Holds)

Also, do yourself a favour and check out Amelia Curran. I’ve been obsessed with her song “The Mistress” for weeks. (Listen: The Mistress)

If you’d rather steer away from the acoustic route, check out Shiny Toy Guns. Yes, they had that song in that cell phone commercial. Yes, it’s addictive. Yes, the rest of their stuff is pretty good as well. (Listen: Le Disko)

I’m also one of those idiots just discovering Warren Zevon. How did I not know about this guy? Kid Rock should be beaten daily with a shoe for sampling “Werewolves of London” in his shitty song. (Listen: Lawyers, Guns and Money)

If it’s books you want, Mary Roach’s Bonk is a fantastic read. The wit is dry but the writing isn’t. If you’re not at all inclined to care about historical experiments it might be a bit of a slog, but the curious-minded among you will probably get a real kick out of it.

If you’re the type of person who gets in long-winded conversations about pop culture and the effects on society (slacker Sociology majors, represent),  Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs is definitely worth your time. Chuck Klosterman is my future husband, even though he doesn’t know it yet.

You need the Cyanide and Happiness book. You just do. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I’m not really much help when it comes to fiction, but I’ll go ahead and bolster my Canadian cred by recommending some Margaret Atwood. Start with The Penelopiad and if you feel like something more time-intensive, pick up Cat’s Eye. Her prose isn’t too in love with itself but she can turn a phrase like it’s ballet.

Dylan Moran gets a category of his own. If you like lovable, misanthropic drunks (and if you don’t, I can’t imagine why you’re reading my blog), here are my instructions: watch Monster, watch What It Is, order Black Books on DVD, improve your life immensely.

For random stuff you don’t really need, FLOR tiles! Tell me that isn’t the neatest shit ever. The apartment I’m moving into has amazing Smurf-blue walls but the floor is heinous, so I will be investing in these as soon as possible.

I also like not packing.

What stuff do YOU like?