The Good Samaritan that never was

I have always prided myself at being AWESOME at life. Part of being AWESOME at life was seeking out opportunities to help the less fortunate. Like one time, I gave my gloves to some homeless guy. 

Another time, I gave my seat to a super pregnant lady. The look of gratefulness she gave me was enough to melt the heart of God himself.  

And another time, I was at Shopper’s Drug Mart, I almost bought a $5.00 gift card for the next person in line from me. I refrained when I saw that it was some old geezer buying Lottery tickets. Pfft…screw that! I may be awesome at life, but I’m no enabler. 

Anyways. 

The problem with this whole act of kindness thing that I’m mildly obsessed with is that there’s always an air of pride that’s dancing along with that.  I never do things for people if:

- It’s inconvenient for me.

- They’re crazy.

- If they clearly look distressed but also look like they are totally capable of lunging for the carotid with a machete and the kind of enthusiasm that only comes with being a repeat victim of the Toronto Transit Commission. 

Most people who need help in Toronto fit one or all of the above categories. 

And then I met Ivan last week. 

I was going to buy some groceries on my way home from work when a rotund little man with a cane and two heaping grocery bags was walking towards me. He was talking to himself no less. 

“EXCUSE ME, KIND LADY! Will you help me with my bags?” He was looking straight at me. 

He fit almost all of my above stated categories. Although, he wouldn’t be able to run fast enough after me with a machete with those bags so I obliged. 

“Sure, I’ll help you!”

“Thank you, kind lady. My name is Ivan and you’re a kind lady!!”  Of course I’m a kind lady, Ivan!

Turned out he not only needed help with his bags, he also needed a shoulder to lean on. Literally. He almost fell off on one side. When you’re not strong and you need a friend, you lean on Karen. 

To say his bags were heavy was an understatement.  If his bags were a food group, they’d be trans fat. If his bags were a feeling, they’d be a mixture of guilt and daddy issues. If his bags were a mustache, they’d be Tom Selleck.

The point is, I couldn’t actually carry his bags and have him lean all of his 250lbs on me at the same time. The only thing that kept me going was pride that I was doing something good. 

Ivan was a character. If the personalities of Walter Matthau and Uncle Leo from Seinfield had a love child, it would grow up to become Ivan’s personality. 

He shouted at everyone on the streets about what a kind lady I was. When he found out  I was Catholic, he yelled some more about how protestants are fools.

“NOT the place or time, Ivan”, I scolded back at him. 

“Whatever you say, kind lady”

Luckily, the City of Toronto is God’s own green earth of polite, tree-hugging atheists. All I got were stares of unadulterated sympathy. 

The subway station, where Ivan wanted to get to was three minutes away. Twenty minutes later, we were still crossing the street and Ivan was still bitching about protestants. 

He finally noticed that I was struggling with the bags and just stopped and asked, “Oh kind sister, would like some help with those bags?”

I stared at him dumbly.”No Ivan, you need help with these bags, remember?”

“Oh you’re such a kind lady”. 

By the time we got down the stairs to the subway platform, Ivan had already yelled at every passerby about how kind I was and I, in turn, was ready to fling his bags onto the subway tracks. 

The train finally came by. Ivan wrote his number on my hand and insisted I call him because he liked kind ladies. 

Before he left he yelled one last time, “WAIT! I have something important to tell you”

He said this with all the self-importance an enlightened Siddhartha could muster. Maybe this was the moment when I was to find out that he’s really a wise man and he’ll give me a piece of profound wisdom that would make sense all of that had just happened. 

“Remember, kind lady”, he said. “When you go grocery shopping today, stock up on juice. JUICE IS ON SALE!!”

Fuck you, Ivan. And the subway door closed. 

Moral of the story: Its okay to have a little pride when you seek to help people. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of doing the right thing. But its better to have humility. Because without it, nothing you do to help people will ever make sense to you.

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PS: Thank you all for such a warm welcome back. It feels good to see all of you again :)

Friday Chronicles: Five things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

I know I’m a little late, but better late than pregnant…right? (Right Breezyk?)

Welcome again to this week’s edition of The Chronicles. I’ve been seeing a lot of Thanksgiving related posts these days and obviously The Chronicles will take a piece of that pumpkin pie. If the fact that it’s Friday/Saturday doesn’t already bring a lone tear of gratitude to your eye, then I don’t know what will.

Sometimes even when life is good, we may find it hard to be thankful. Our first-world problems, although trivial can really be a cause of stress. The Friday Chronicles understands, and ensures that this won’t be a post trying to make you feel guilty about not being more thankful for the shit loads of things you already have.

And so without further ado, let’s begin!…

1) Kate Middleton  returns clothing gift from Kim Kardashian:

This is by far my most favorite story of the week and was what convinced me that maybe this world is not down in a sewer just yet. The Duchess, in this very strong rumor, allegedly returned some clothing items that Kinky Kardashian sent her in hopes of publicizing her klothing line, Kardashian Kollection.

Just a few months ago, Kardashian’s krush Kanye urged his hoochie mama to be more poised and sophisticated like Kate. Well, Oprah and Disney may tell you that “anything is possible”, but the truth is that some things are REALLY not.  

Red Carpet soul sisters

2) Man buys Toronto Maple Leafs toilet for $5,300.00:

There are two things Toronto is really not good for- the Queen Street streetcar, which is hailed as an urban myth and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto’s shiteous hockey team. Over the past few years, Leafs die-hard fans(because you’re either a die-hard or completely indifferent)  have been paying anywhere between $117-$300.00 to watch the Leafs continuously lose and go home in bitter tears.

Obviously, all the disappointment over the years wasn’t enough to sway Toronto native Jim Vigmond, who just paid $5,300.00 to literally take the ultimate crap from the Leafs. The expensive potty is one among many Leaf items that was auctioned off to crazy fans. The Maple Leaf Gardens, where the Leafs and their toilet were orginally based, moved and now is converted into a grocery store, hence leaving some of their random shit for the die-hards.

A toilet

3) Ukrainian priest slaps Pussy Riot sympathizers with censer:

Continuing with this shit-for-brains theme this week, a bunch of guys with stockings on their heads stormed into a Ukrainian Orthodox church to perform a terrible version of the already terrible version of the feminist group’s “Punk Prayer”. But the priest was having none of this nonsense. The old guy proceeded to smack these crackpots with a censer, after which, he handed them over to the police.

Just in case you don’t know what a censer is (I didn’t), it’s the vessel used to dispense incense. Which makes the mental picture of an old man swinging this at the stocking-clad members of Penis Protest even funnier.

A censer is a vessel used for dispensing incense and knocking sense into dumbasses

4) Israel-Palestine photo goes viral:

In the midst of all the craziness that has been going on in Gaza, two regular guys in Manhattan posted this photo with a touching message.

Picture taken from The Huffington Post

While these guys are thinking about their people dying in war in a far off land on Thanksgiving, I’m thinking about what’s going on right here at home. My photo didn’t get nearly as much attention:

Story of my life

5) Last installment of the Twilight series in theatres now:

For the pièce de résistance, I hereby leave you with the last news item for this week. Twilight is back on the big screen. Control your excitment, folks. 

Whether you are a Twi-lover or a Twi-hater, I have found you all the perfect youtube video celebrating the end of this God-forsaken franchise. 

And with that, we complete this week’s edition of the Friday Chronicles. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! 

Don’t forget to participate in this fun poll:

At least I have Eton A. Holton

November historically is a month known to usher in numerous first-world problems. Darker days, pedophilic facial hair, wrist-slitting Christmas holiday music while you’re standing in a three mile line up at Walmart to buy socks…

The worst thing about November for me is that winter is so incredibly close to kicking you in the ass for the next three months. Toronto put up a brave fight last year and came out victorious, officially cutting out winter 2011-2012. The only thing Toronto is cutting this winter are the lineups at the pharmacy for anti-depression meds.

But you know me, I’m not one to waste too many words wallowing in this annual life obstacle. Obviously, I will fight the winter blues in the best way I know how: Food and listening to Taylor Swift.

T. Swift’s music is the perfect laxative for tough city girls like me who suffer from seasonal bouts of emotional constipation. The other day I was having my dinner and listening to Taylor’s new album when all of a sudden, I burst into tears for no apparent reason. Taylor is a lyrical genius, I thought to myself while sobbing into my very large bowl of vegetable casserole. 

But I know this year, the cold is coming out swinging. If my only defense mechanism is being an avid emotional eater and a proud Swiftie, then I might as well put a target on my ass and moon winter.

I needed something more concrete. In my daily routine of scouring food websites, I found it. The key to (temporary) winter happiness: a blender.

I thought about this thoroughly. The endless possibilities when you have a blender!  Just think of all the indoor culinary adventures one could engage in this winter! Elaborately made gourmet smoothies, homemade jams, chutneys, almost every home-cooked meal (you’d be surprised at how many meals need a blender),  guacamole…just about anything that requires shit loads of work, patience and washing up later on.

I trudged my way to Sears. Picking the right blender is key (to having fun at Sears). I asked one of the many salesladies who didn’t speak English about which blender would be ideal for me. After making several blender hand gestures and voicing blender sounds to the ESL saleslady, I was finally pointed to the general grinder section. I sifted through the entire family tree of food smashers until the holy Sears spotlight of kitchen appliances fell on my new BFF.

Eton A. Holton was not available at the time for a photo-op. But he’s a fine poser for Paint sketches like these.

His christened name is Eton A. Holton.

I took Eton A. Holton out of his box, gave him a bath and introduced him to his new home in my kitchen. Because I have no patience, I immediately loaded raspberries, blackberries and yogurt into Eton A. Holton. I sealed in the top, plugged him in and hit the grind button. Nothing happened. Eton A. Holton stood there staring at me silently while I stared back confused. 

I removed the berries and the yogurt which was no easy or tidy feat, dismantled everything, put everything together again and screwed the top back on. Again….NOTHING. Eton A. Holton stared at me stubbornly. Angrily. Passively. Stupidly.

What the hell was I doing wrong? I finally had the bright idea of reading the manual. Under the section “How do single girls get Eton A. Holton to work after you stuff him with berries”, it stated that I make sure Eton A. Holton is fully plugged in, stuffed with food (but not too stuffed) and most importantly: put the lid on and close this tightly the right way. 

Eton A. Holton was closed alright. I kept removing the lid and trying out a million different ways to close it, but all in vain. I wanted to cry but couldn’t because only T.Swift has that kind of power over me.

The manual had a phone number for tech support. It hit me, as I collapsed on my kitchen floor in shame, that this was the lowest point in my tough,  city girl single life: having to call tech support for a blender. 

I dropped everything, ate a cookie and thought I’d go back for one last try before I called Sanjay in Mumbai Scott in Maine for help. I must have screwed Eton A. Holton’s top on right this time because the moment I hit his buttons, he smirked and roared into gear.

In four and a half seconds, I had an expertly blended but very disgusting tasting smoothie. 

It was then that I realised how very similar me and Eton A. Holton really are. We are two perfectionists brought together by fate and Sears to teach each some important life lessons. I have learnt three so far:

1) Don’t be such a tight ass. Oftentimes there is more than one right way to do things. 

2) Enjoy the moment. Sometimes the blended fruit of your life’s labors isn’t even close to what you imagined it to be and you realize that the most fun you had was the process of putting it all together and making it work. 

3) Don’t settle. The right person will take the trouble to learn exactly how to turn you on and push the right buttons before you give away your smoothies at the yard. 

I have no more lessons because its only been a week since I’ve had Eton A. Holton. So far, we have made a six month supply of crushed garlic, spinach-chickpea fritters and one expertly blended, disgusting tasting smoothie.

Eton A. Holton hasn’t budged on the right way to turn him on, but he does push the boundaries with how much food he can take.

Lesson 4) Try as you might, you can never eat more than a Holton. (Holton= Hole-ton=Whole-ton…for those of you who didn’t catch my pathetic attempt at wordplay) 

Audience Questions: 1) What are you guys doing to beat the winter blues?

2) Does ANYONE here know how to make a decent smoothie?

Look what you have done, WordPress!

No, this is not another shameless bid to get WordPress’ attention to get myself Freshly Pressed. Although, who am I to protest and complain if they do after reading this?

By now, if you are a WordPress blogger you would have realised that there truly isn’t a better platform from which to springboard your innermost thoughts and fantasies to a whole bevy of strangers around the world. And even then, everyday I discovered new nifty little tricks and features that WordPress keeps adding to enhance my TMI sharing experiences with even more strangers I ever imagined possible.

But I’m not going to waste an entire blog post praising the WordPress features that you already have come to know and love. Today, I’m going to show you how WordPress is awesome in a totally different way: Connecting People in real life.

It came to be realised that there were quite a few of us 20-something Torontonian bloggers, most of whom were somehow connected and subscribed to each other. From this fact was born our very ambitious mini-blogger convention. Sadly our first convention only consisted of three people (hence mini). You may or may not recognise these amazing bloggers:

Breezyk from The Camel Life

Janice (Cafe23) from Your Daily Dose

and of course, yours truly, Karen from The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans-wearing Toronto girl

It all began like any potentially good online dating story (or the stuff  good reality TV is made of). I started reading Breezyk’s The Camel Life sometime last year when I came across her post about going to some Wine and Food convention. I was effectively hooked after reading her ‘About Me’ section. I have no idea what she saw in me at the time but we decided to meet up for a glass of Pinot. I was never one to turn down a fellow wino.

Three glasses of classy juice later, we knew we would be BFFs. Well I was thinking we would be. She was probably thinking about how she was going to be hungover at work the next day. Regardless, we knew that the only thing that would make this even better the next time was if we actually had more awesome bloggers in the mix.

Janice from ‘Your Daily Dose’ was another blogger who I started following fairly recently. I think the first post I read of hers was about the Kingston Penitentiary. This was really strange because after reading her ‘About Me’ section, the first thought that came to mind was “what the heck is a sweet girl like her doing in King Pen?!” Then I found out she was a Criminology major after which I promptly hit the Follow button. Anyone who is drop dead beautiful, likes week-long hikes and camping in the wilderness, has the voice of an angel and writes posts about King Pen definitely is a blogger to be reckoned with.

You mix all of us together and you get an evening of wine, Italian food goodtimes! Here’s some photographic evidence that this actually happened.

Left to Right: Breezy, Karen and Janice. There were no Cut, Paste or gun point threats involved in the making of this photo

It’s always wonderful when we as bloggers follow each other and support each other’s blogs with follows, comments and likes. But there’s really nothing like actually getting to meet these wonderful people in person and laughing and sharing stories. Breezyk and Janice, you guys rock! Here’s to many more blogging years and mini conventions in the future!

And more importantly, if any of you bloggers are Toronto-based or close to the GTA, drop us a line! This could only get better from here.

 Have you ever met a fellow blogger who is a complete stranger in real life? How did it turn out?

Because the Greatest Cockblock of all is happening to me

Urban Dictionary, the new Webster for those of you who didn’t get the memo, defines  the word cockblock as: “The act of obstructing one person’s advances towards another.” My best friend Bernice describes a cockblock as ANYTHING that comes in the way of things going the way you planned. A flat tire, hailstones, bad hair days, the Toronto Transit Commission, and chlamydia are shining examples of the many cockblocks one can encounter.

If however, you are still unsure of what a cockblock is and the kind of humorously terrible situations it creates, you’re in for a treat. Today, all you lucky ducks get to read a pretty freaking compelling post on it.

People always ask me why I’m single. For future reference, please note that this is a horrible question to ask single people. Regardless, I know I’m single because I suffer from a peculiar condition known as Dating ADD. I have no patience to explain what that means because that’s not what this is about. Until fairly recently I stopped blaming men for my relationship failures and realised it would be colossally narcissistic of me to blame the Universe. The universe had more important things to tend to then to get in the way of my sexytimes. I’m starting to reevaluate that theory now.

The whole story actually begins two and a half years ago when I moved closer to the city where possibilities of having an awesome life were endless. The first thing I did back then was join the gym because that’s what kinesiologists do. Barely two days later I saw the man who made me weak in the knees despite all the rigorous quad strengthening exercises I did.

For the purposes of convenience we will call this man Astro Boy. Because of his astronomically beautiful smile of course. So intrigued was I by Astro Boy that he guest starred as the “Lat Pull Down” guy in my first Freshly Pressed post “Karen’s Guide to Maximising Gym Workouts”. Anyway, for months after that all I could do was worship from afar. I may come off as a straight talking bitch on my blog, but I’m a gigantic pansy in real life.

It was love at first stretch

I saw Astro Boy everywhere. At the gym, at the subway station, walking home from work, at the grocery store..

Finally last summer, fate dealt me a sweet card. I was coming home from work one tired afternoon and from a distance I saw a shirtless douchebag running on my street. I judge anyone who runs outside without a shirt as a douchebag. Since douchebag and I were moving towards each other, it wasn’t long before I realised that the douchebag was Astro Boy.

For the rest of the summer, Astro Boy ran around the block without a shirt and everytime this happened I heard the song “I only have eyes for you” by The Flamingos play in my head. To be fair to him, it was a pretty hot summer. I found out later that he lives in the house that is directly across the street from mine. All this time, Astro Boy was literally the boy next door.

And all this time, not a word was exchanged between us.

If only life were this simple

Now that you know this back story, I can proceed to educate you on the concept of cockblockism.

 It was Friday night and I was in a frenzy to get to the Greyhound station. I was scheduled to be on the 12:30am night bus to Montreal. Yes, this happened last week. The elevator doors opened to the Greyhound station and the first face I saw sitting in the waiting area with a large suitcase of his own was Astro Boy.

I tried to keep a cool head, which is not easy when you’re freaking out. And because life is humorous, the only two available seats was either one next to a crazy man who was talking to himself or one next to Astro Boy. For a second of pure insanity, I seriously debated sitting next to the crazy guy.

But I regained my senses and sat next to Astro Boy. I could sense him looking at me but I did what any nervous person would do. I pretended that I had a thousand text messages to respond to. A quick glance at the bus schedule on the screen told me there was only one bus scheduled to depart from Toronto at that time. And that was the 12:30am night bus to Montreal. After two and a half years of  gaping creepily and listening to The Flamingos, the Universe was finally handing me an opportunity on a silver platter by putting both of us on the same bus for the next 8 hours.

He finally got up to join the bus line outside and as he passed by, he looked straight at me and smiled. It took me a while to collect myself and join the line too. We were five people away from each other in the line up and those 10 minutes were spent stealing glances. He finally got to the front of the line and sat at the window seat. 

There comes a time in one’s life when you have to overcome your fears and go for it. And when that time comes, you have to not care about the aura of dumbassery that will inevitably surround you when you do go for it. With that in mind, I stood there in that line with a firm resolve to go up to him and introduce myself. There was a feeling of peace that surrounded this decision and I knew the time had come. I handed my ticket to the driver trying to think of witty ways I would begin the fateful conversation with Astro Boy.

Where are you going Miss?” I heard the driver ask.

Montreal.” I say in a dream-like voice. “This is the 12:30 bus to Montreal, is it not?”

It most definitely is ma’am“, said the driver. “But you’re not on this bus.”

What?

I looked at the driver confused while he proceeded to explain to me how he was going to cockblock me from Astro Boy.

Miss, you have a ticket for the Greyhound. This is Megabus. Megabus and Greyhound are two completely different companies. I’m sorry. I can’t let you get on this bus. The Greyhound is the next bus. You’ll have to join that line“.

I stared at the driver dumbly. “Can I not just get on this one? They’re both going to the same place. I already have a ticket”.

Sorry. You’re not getting on this bus.”

“I only have eyes for you” abruptly stopped playing. I walked over to the next bus and didn’t look back.

____________________________________________________

There were several cockblocks at play that night and till today I am unable to decide which was the biggest one. One thing I know for sure, summer is coming. And its a lot harder to muster the courage to talk to someone attractive when they’re shirtless. I’m sure all of you, male and female, can attest to this fact.

Until an opportunity slaps me in the face again two years from now, I will continue come home from work everyday with hopes of seeing a shirtless douchebag Astro Boy running down my street.

Friday Chronicles: What a lovely day to have a slice of Gosling pie

Here’s some news you could use: The Skinny Jeans and Starbucks Chronicles is going to try to branch out in to the mysterious world of journalism. Actually what I’m about to do here is an atrocious excuse for journalism as most real journalists out there will attest to. But while I love to write, I never thought I had the ability to be the kind of writer who could journalise anything.

But I do love throwing around my opinions where they’re least welcome so hey, why not just make a whole segment out of it! After all, I always thought life cheated me out of my true calling of being a staff reporter for TMZ so what better way to tip my hat off to that brilliant bastard Harvey Levin than Skinny Jeans style reports of the week’s happenings. So here goes, in no particular order of importance:

1) Town mouse takes over Toronto spinster’s kitchen and eats her breakfast:

Toronto blogger Karen woke up last Wednesday morning to find holes in her peanut butter sandwich. After sleep-walking and Casper the friendly ghost were ruled out, it was discovered that naughty little town mouse Dexter Cheeseman was the pooping culprit. Several days and piles of mouse shit later, an exterminator was called and Dexter is being given a one-way ticket to mouse purgatory.

2) Top baby names in 2011 for Alberta have been revealed:

The province of Alberta has released its top names for 2011. Single ladies take some furious notes here for when you go on that first date with the man of your dreams. You know that while he’s busy picking out the last bits of bread crust from his grill, you’re going to nonchalantly ask him how many of his babies he would like you birth. And when you do, he will ask you if you picked out baby names. And that’s when you will whip out this list and say Luv, Dreamz or Feather for a girl and Essay, Pistol or Jäger for a boy. And if you really want to impress him with your classiness: Princewill. You’re welcome.

Speaking of Jäger…

3) Snooki gets knocked up AND engaged:

Schnookums and her meat (http://static.igossip.com)

 Its been a busy week for this little meatball who  announced that the bump on her belly is indeed a tiny human growing inside her and not just pasta and cannolis. Obviously, paternity speculation was rampant. Some even say Maury Povich was rubbing his hands with glee while his dentures clattered with excitement at the prospect of setting up paternity testing for everything from Justin Beiber’s toothbrush to the greasy pole at the Shore’s local strip club. Much to his dismay, Maury’s services were not required as it was revealed that Jionni, Snooki’s juicebox boyfriend was the sperm donor. After that he gave her a ring with a rock the size of her hair poof.

4) Kony 2012 goes viral:

Even blind bats can see this.

A 30-minute Vimeo video of the child-mongering war lord has been spreading through social media like mad-cow disease. While there is some controversy and criticism over the video, one things for sure, everyone  including the mice that live in my ceiling now know who Joseph Kony is. I only wish Jason Russell could have made one of his boldface videos on breast cancer awareness so that we wouldn’t be subjected to reading the color of people’s bras and other nonsensical sexual information on people’s Facebook statuses each year.

5) Warm temperature drives everyone berserk:

Temperatures rose in Toronto and the GTA this week sending a few people off into their annual global warming anxiety attacks. “The weather is changing! This is so bad for the environment!” “It used to never be mild like this in the winter. We’re digging our own grave”. Ironically, the people who keep complaining about the environment being ruined are the same people who drive very large gasoline-guzzling SUVs. As for my public transit availing self, I’m happy as a fat pig in the warm sunshine.

6) WordPress introduces a new “Views by Country” site stats feature:

Love it!

 That’s right, WordPressers! Now we can actually see what countries our stalkers readers come from in our site stats. And what is the number one country that stalks me? Here’s lookin’ at you United States of America.

And last but not least, just for kicks…

7) Emma Stone says she hasn’t worked out in a month and is proud of it:

Yet another reason to hate Stoney. The girl is classy, hilarious, rich and smart. In addition to everything she is able to eat guilt-free, she has also helped herself to a generous slice of delish Ryan Gosling pie…and doesn’t look a pound heavier for it. Then again, I would imagine you wouldn’t really need a gym if you had a house-trained Gosling.  

And that’s about the round-up I have for you today. I’m thinking of making this a weekly post. But I need some feedback. Would you be a reader of the weekly Friday Chronicles?