When I try flirt

What happens when I try flirt:

What happens after, when I realize how terribly I’ve humiliated myself and I should just stop interacting with the male species forever:

I’m pretty sure accountants are forbidden from flirting – it goes against our professional code of nerdy conduct.




2 objects 2 owners

Assignment 4: Describe 2 objects: what they are, how you got them, what they mean to you (emotional connection). E.g. “The chair” or “The cup”. Trick is that you truly own one of the two objects. Class will have to guess which of the two.

Just a ring

I never saw my mother wear it, because by the time I was born, her hands were perma-swollen from all the pain medication for her health issues. I glimpsed it once or twice as a child, the rare times she would open her box of treasures, and stare at her collection of jewelry. My mother favored bright colors in life and clothing: this ring was different, a pale blue stone. Icy. Aloof.

By the time I was a young adult, my mother’s coquettish side had resurfaced. The few times she would go out, she’d picked her outfits with care, occasionally even wearing lipstick. She’d ask me to help her with her necklaces and for advice on which earrings to wear. I loved those girly moments with my mother. We’d sit on the bed poring over her jewelry box, she wearing her dainty reading glasses to better see her “shiny things” with. I asked her once about the icy ring – it mesmerized me, with its delicately wrought silver band, and quiet beauty. She curtly explained it was her almost-engagement ring. Her father died from a massive heart attack the night my parents announced their engagement. My grandmother blamed my parents for killing my grandfather. She refused to acknowledge their engagement, and as my father hadn’t thought to buy my mother a ring, nobody believed they were affianced for the first several months following my grandfather’s death. My father eventually scraped some money together and bought this ring, but the damage was done. Their engagement, and this ring, was forever associated with pain and grief. My mother chose a gold wedding band – a new ring for a new chapter.

When she died, I asked my father for her jewelry box. I’ve kept everything intact, including the pair of reading glasses stored in the second drawer from the top, except for the icy blue ring, that I wear as a talisman. This ring was and remains a ring of grief. But it is also a ring of love, the love my parents shared, and the love I’ll always have for my mother.

My first pair of point shoes

Tucked away on the top shelf in my closet next to my childhood teddy-bears is a shoe box. As the years go by, I take it down and open it less frequently, but I know it is there. A reminder of a by-gone dream that still hurts me.

My first pair of pointe shoes. Almost in pristine condition – I only managed to squeeze in a handful of classes before I blew out my knee in a career-ending injury. Despite their minimal usage, there are some faded brown stains inside, the mandatory traces of blood that every ballerina must suffer for her passion. The ribbons are frayed slightly, from all the times I tied these shoes during the years of surgeries, rehabilitation and endless physio. I’d slip on these point shoes hoping they would magically heal my swollen, scared and bruised knee with their magical properties of beauty, art and soul. They didn’t.

I considered throwing them away when I finally got my professional title as an accountant: surely it was time to accept that my identity as an artist and a dancer was over? Surely it was time to be mature and pursue a real career? I’m glad I didn’t. For here I am, a decade later, finally giving voice to my feelings. My form of self-expression is not and never will be those point shoes, but I hope my words and laptop will fill that artistic void. That shoe-box keeps me accountable for following my dreams. 

#writingwayoflife #soulofanartist

So? Which of these 2 objects do I own? Which one is real? Leave your answer in the comments – and let me know what makes you think so! Please – this will help me work on the verissimilitude of my creative writing. Your feedback is appreciated!

Dr. Booté strikes again

My dance school is conveniently located on the 2nd floor of the same building as my boxing gym. I sometimes stop by the gym on my way to/from dance to say hi to all my friends. Last night was such a time. I was almost 2 hours late for a social hosted by my school (thats code for a big salsa/kizomba/dancehall dance party that goes from 9pm-3am. It’s like dancing at a club except with none of the disadvantages: less crowded, better music, not a single underage, underdressed shrill teenage girl in sight, no lineups at the bar, the men actually know how to and want to dance, and aren’t there ogle the women). Despite it being close to 11pm, I figured my boxing crew would still be at the gym, as Friday evenings are when the competitive team spars, and then sits in the gym past closing time and drinks 1-3 bottles of vodka and rum. What? Hydration is an important part of any athlete’s regimen. Obvi.

As I walked down the stairway into the gym, I could hear the bursts of Coach and my former teammates laughter. I ran to them, excited, only to be met with a slightly awkard silence. “Oh hi Vanilla. Ummm, we were just talking about you. Well, we were talking about you and your shrinking ass.” Really, we are still stuck on this? “Of course we are still stuck on this. Vanilla, you had the nicest butt in the gym! Boxers would get distracted and forget to keep their guard up. It was perfection. Now… Now it’s nothing special. It’s meh. DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW UPSETTING THIS IS TO ALL OF US GIRLS AND GUYS ALIKE?!!!!” My teammates were staring at me tipsily earnestly, willing me to understand the gravity of the situation. I glanced over at Coach, his eyes were twinkling not-tipsily at the absurdity of the situation.

Here I was, thinking that they’d all be happy to see me, and maybe compliment me on my weightloss & sexy outfit. Nope. Apparently not. What is a sexy outfit where there is lost ass?

In a mild huff, I left them to their booze and went upstairs to dance my ass-grief away. And dance I did, for although there were less men than women present, I was never at a loss for a partner. Hmph. Some men, apparently, either thought I was a phenomenal dancer (which I soon will be, at this rate #modest) or else they found me quite to their taste. Which makes sense since I looked fab. Did I mention #modest?

After an hour and a half of dancing, a dude approached me and started talking to me. I assumed he was trying to flirt, which was acceptable to me because he was taller than me, had good shoulders and a nice smile #standards.

Can I be totally honest with you? You are REALLY fine, like so fine, but you know what would just make you tops? If you had just a bit more ass. No, I’m serious, don’t take this the wrong way, because seriously you are beautiful, and I was watching you dance, you got the moves, but the only thing stopping you from being perfect is your ass. You need just a little bit more.

You know when you have too many thoughts in your head, that your body is incapable of any reaction? I was completely bemused at the statistical unlikelihood of me having the same conversation twice within 2 hours, once with a stranger. Also, I had an overwhelming urge to collapse into giggles which distracted me from my efforts to memorize Stranger’s exact words – it was hard to ignore the bright flashing “BLOG CONTENT THIS IS BLOG CONTENT” sign hanging over us. And throughout all this, I wondered if it was at all possible that he could know Coach; but then my politically correct brain pointed out that just because Stranger was black and Coach is black, that did not provide me with enough reason to assume they knew each other… racial profiling much? Coach does not know EVERY black person in Montreal. (My politically correct brain forgot about this incident, which supports the theory that Coach does in fact know every black person in Montreal.)

Stranger stopped talking, misinterpreting my slack features (caused by my short circuiting brain) as a sign that I was about to lose my shit. He hesitantly asked me, “Wait… you ARE the girl that knows Coach, right?! Oh God, please tell me you train with Coach.” Stranger’s panic mild worry might be my favorite moment in the whole prank. Because prank indeed it was. Coach knew Stranger was going to the same social as I, and convinced him to do this.


And that is why I love Coach Dr. Booté. Only he can produce simultaneous feelings of rage and admiration for a prank well executed.

P.S. Once Stranger was reassured that I wouldn’t murder him, we danced for a couple of songs. Guy’s got the moves.

The Scream Room. I feel like screaming.

I can’t find the words to say how upsetting I find the American election.

I’ve yet to read anything that explains better the cognitive dissonance about this election. What appears to be the absence of reason. An explanation for how we got here, when a reality-TV Emmy-loser can calmly state in a presidential debate that he might not accept the results of the election (side note – why then is he running?!). The article below, written after the RNC, is possibly the most powerful indictment of how a cultural shift made this possible.

In the humid dark of the plaza outside the event, a dozen young activists covered in sweat and glitter have got together an impromptu protest. Shell-shocked members of the press stumble out into the street. One journalist from a major mainstream outlet breaks down in tears.

“It’s just — there’s so much hate,” she says, as a couple of glitterpunks move in to comfort her. “What is happening to this country?”

What’s happening to this country has happened before, in other nations, in other anxious, violent times when all the old certainties peeled away and maniacs took the wheel. It’s what happens when weaponised insincerity is applied to structured ignorance. Donald Trump is the Gordon Gekko of the attention economy, but even he is no longer in control. This culture war is being run in bad faith by bad actors who are running way off-script, and it’s barely begun, and there are going to be a lot of refugees.  – Laurie Penny, I’m With the Banned

This video unpacking why the “lockeroom talk” spin is deeply upsetting. Silver lining: Trevor Noah is finally coming into his own on the Daily Show.

Can we take a second to remember what sexual assault really is? Let’s revisit Brock Turner’s victim’s impact statement.

I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.


If you are hoping that one of my organs will implode from anger and I will die, I’m almost there. You are very close. This is not a story of another drunk college hook­up with poor decision making. Assault is not an accident. Somehow, you still don’t get it. Somehow, you still sound confused.


A life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine. Let me rephrase for you, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again. You knocked down both our towers, I collapsed at the same time you did. If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering. Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.

Yes. Yes, sexual assault and lockeroom talk.

I was at a 5a7 recently with a bunch of my girlfriends, most of whom have been practicing combat sports (kickboxing, muay thai, boxing) for years. All beautiful, professional, fierce women. The eldest surprised us by recounting how she had been assaulted by a male stranger the night before, on her way home from the gym. She’d sprained her thumb when he tackled her to the ground, lost her shoe during the struggle, and was banged up and bruised. She talked him out of his stated wish to rape and kill her. This triggered a group discussion amongst my friends, where one by one, we each traded our stories of the time we were assaulted by men. 5 of us. We all had stories. We all knew of other stories that the women in our lives, friends and family, had experienced.

I want to weep. As a woman, it is my burden that I instinctively recognize hatred directed towards my gender. My white privilege allowed me to be comfortably outraged until now, try laugh about the Wall, shaking my head at all those Mexican rapists and terrorizing Muslims. I was uncomfortably outraged when the Khan fiasco happened. But now? I feel personally attacked by Trump and all he represents.

And I am Canadian.

This is what accounting humour looks like (spoiler: WAY funnier than engineering humour!)

So I had my first call with our auditors this afternoon to prep for the audit happening in November. Of course, Auditor asked me if there were any known or alleged instances of fraud thus far (mandatory audit question). Of course, I answered ‘No’ because we are good people here. I say “of course” because that is what every client has ever said to me, back in my audit life, and that is what every auditor hopes to hear – bc otherwise, their life goes from bad to hellish. That is why this is funny not an exaggeration:

I can hear you all giggling. Really, I can. “That is funny stuff!” you say. Never fear, there is a lot more where that came from.

And for possibly the most accurate gif ever, for any accountant worldwide, regardless of role or company…

Best for last… Excel is bae.

Told y’all we were hi-la-ri-ous!!!



Through a boundary

3rd creative writing assignment: Pick a physical boundary that narrator is looking through. Describe what narrator is seeing through the boundary, and must illicit a reaction in the character (narrator – can be fictitious). E.g.: someone waiting in the wings about to go on stage; looking through a fence; someone paralyzed in bed, describing what they see; a girl looking in the mirror with anorexia.

Finally! David’s entrance song is playing. There he is, walking in his embroidered black satin robe. It’s hard to make him out, surrounded as he is by his coaches and posse. Oh my, look at him, climbing into the ring. God, he is a breathtakingly beautiful thug. How is it possible to be this physically affected by him, from such a distance?! He can’t see me from the ring – good thing too, that boy needs to stay focused. I don’t want him distracted for a millisecond, too dangerous. And really, I don’t want him to notice how worried I am. We aren’t anything official, he said he wanted to keep things casual. Casual means not freaking out that he might get hurt. I need to get a grip. The fight hasn’t even started, and I am already restless.

Why must there be so much blahblahblah before the fight? They are in the ring, both of them, everybody knows the rules already, they are professional boxers. Can we get this over with? My blood-pressure can’t handle the wait. I just want him safe. And I want him to win. Oh god, I want him to win, he deserves it so much. Fine. I just want him to win, and if he gets a little bashed up, that’s an ok tradeoff, I think. Because of course the Universe will negotiate with me about David’s fight. Right. Me, out of all of his almost-groupies, telling the Universe what to do, how cute. But seriously though, please, Universe, let him win without any serious injury. He is pretty – Ronda Rousey says that the prettiest fighters are the most dangerous, because that means they haven’t taken many hits. His opponent is ugly-as-fuck. That’s a good sign, I hope. Or maybe his opponent knows he is ugly-as-fuck, feels he has nothing to lose and will enjoy bashing in David’s face. Why is the ref still talking?!

I can’t handle 10 rounds of this. I can’t watch this. This sport is stupid. Any moment, and one of them might land a life-changing punch. Oh lordy, his opponent isn’t half-bad. Shit. I can’t. David needs to focus, get solid on his feet, why is he so twitchy? I hope he doesn’t run out of gas. JAB HIM. JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAB, YEAH LIKE THAT! YEAH! DAVID GO GO GO! Oye, I’m louder than the rednecks sitting next to me. Like he can hear me. JAB DAMMIT JAB! RIGHT! YES THAT’S IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!

What round are we at already? They are all blurring into one big mess, I can’t follow, they seem to have been fighting since forever, this is endless and horrible. Oh, there is the ring girl, thank goodness she has sexy stage-presence, she gives me something to blindly focus on to calm my breathing. Lol, I am calming my breathing, in between rounds. Because I am exhausted. Ha. Wonder how David is feeling. He looks concentrated, breathing a bit hard, as he listens to his coach. That last hook to the head rattled him, I can tell. I hope his legs come back quickly. What? The bell already?! This sport is stupid.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!! What an uppercut! That guy went down like timber! It’s done! It’s over! Hahaha that was amazing!!!! Look at David jumping up and down in victory! He looks like a 5 year old boy, except in a man’s body, wearing boxing gloves, and there is a guy unconscious on the mat next to him. Oh man, my legs are shaky from relief. Casual, right. I’m in trouble. Wait, did he just see me? He did see me! He just smiled at me! Boy just landed his second knock-out punch of the evening. One smile from him across the room, and I can’t breathe. Oye. I am so happy.

Dr. Booté

Since quitting boxing 2 months ago, I’ve lost 10-12lbs (8lbs currently, I’m still recovering from Canadian Thanksgiving, oops). Partly because I’m training less, so I’m less hungry and am eating less. Partly because of a morbid fear of losing my physique, so I’ve been careful with my food. Partly because of two doctors appointments which scared me into realizing I’m at the age where health can no longer be taken for granted and it’s a matter of time and discipline (nutrition and exercise) before my mother’s genetics catch up to me. Partly because of work stress so bad, eating made me nauseous. Point is, I’ve lost a lot of weight, and the general consensus (other than Beaut who complained about my flat(ter) ass) is that I look fab. For the first time in my life, I’ve been called a skinny bitch, which made me so happy.

I’ve been a little worried about falling back into my neurotic/borderline eating disorder ways of the past. At Thanksgiving, one of my cousins cautioned me that I seemed awfully concerned about remaining slender. She relaxed a bit when she observed my usual capacity to eat disturbing quantities of corn bread and apple pie and my subsequent complaining of foodbabies. But I am not gonna lie, I’ve been overly preoccupied about my seeming inability to shift the Thanksgiving weight, and my newfound cravings and appetite. What can I say? I like being a skinny bitch. I’ve never been one. I like getting all these compliments. I am vain.

This past week, I finally returned to Coach: the deal when I quit boxing was that I’d continue with his weightlifting & conditioning classes twice a week. Perfect, really – I’d continue with some of the workouts that had given me the physique I adored, see my friends and I’d still bask in the comfort of Coach’s zany personality. However, during the past two months, with everything going on (Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving, other work commitments), I’ve only managed a very sporadic attendance. This week marked my renewed commitment to consistent training.

On Workout 1 this week, Coach greeted me with a hug, and then a cry of dismay,

Vanilla! Your booty! Its GONE! Why Vanilla, Why???? It was such a work of art, my pride and joy, promotional material for my gym. Now, you better not tell anyone that I am your Coach. This is terrible. We have to fix this.

Ok then.

On Workout 2 this week, Coach designed a killer circuit to end the class. 5 rounds/16 minutes (whichever came first) of:

  • 20 weighted lunges (25lbs plate for the girls, 45lbs plate for the boys)
  • 15 burpees
  • 8 pullups

The girls were allowed an elastic for the pullups. Coach insisted I take one of the less resistant elastics, because, “you are a skinny bitch, you have nothing to lift. What do you weigh now, a $1.50? Pocket change!” Hmmph.

I was the only one who almost completed the 5 rounds withing 16 minutes (I finished my last 3 pullups right after the bell). The guys made it to their 5th set of lunges, and the girls were almost done their 4th round. I had done really really well! As we sat in silence, heavy breathing, two of the boys congratulated me for whooping their asses. Coach interrupted them with, “yes, well, that is because she no longer has any junk in her trunk. Its pretty easy to move around when you aren’t carrying anything.”

If I was worried about developing an unhealthy obsession with being thin, Coach certainly has imposed a different narrative. One based on athletic performance and healthy curves. I suppose that is why his nickname is Dr. Booté.