casa del vaginal anarchy

here’s the thing about living with girls when you’re an adult:


coming from someone who has never really enjoyed living with other human beings, this comes as a total shock. but i mean it- maybe it’s because i’ve known katie for ten years, and the shit we found funny when we were kids are still just as hilarious today. maybe it’s the fact that neither of us have actually matured since we got our first period, or that dick jokes and fart noises still have us roaring in stitches on the floor…

maybe it’s because ten years ago, i looked like this:

and katie looked like this:

so absolutely every other joke we make is about anarchy, and feminism, and making fun of how stupid we looked, and how awesome our childhoods were. i’m so lucky to be where i am- that after a gut-wrenching breakup with the man i wanted to spend the rest of my life with, i get to share a home with someone i grew up with. someone who knows me, and gets me, and who paints my nails when i watch criminal minds and cooks me fish for dinner after bootcamp.


i was really, really worried about how i would adjust to roommate life after not having roommates in over a year. how i would adjust to other people’s CRAP in MY HOUSE. but the fact is this: everything is perfect. her stuff “goes” with my stuff… we love the same things, we appreciate art and vintage and punk rock bands we’re still in love with. she’s an excellent cook, and she has a heart the size of the planet. and what was once me and dan’s house, turned MY HOUSE, has now transitioned so seamlessly into our house.

also dubbed casa del vaginal anarchy.



it’s the summer, internet. i have two days of work left before i run out of here with my shirt above my head, boobs out, screaming SPRING BREAK. the first real break i’ve give myself since i graduated high school and spent days broke, hungry, and crying in me and m’s apartment, waiting for him to come home.

fucking crazy, right?

half the women in my life are either married, pregnant, engaged, or happily co-habitating with their lovers. and considering just a few months ago i had already picked out me and dan’s wedding song, and peed on a stick because i totally thought we’d accidentally gotten pregnant and the first thing that popped into my head was “well, at least we love each other”- considering how fucking insane that sounds and how long ago that seems and how sad and lonely that makes me feel… all those things considered- i’m okay.

there’s something to be said for the strength and support the women in my life have given me. i am constantly laughing, having fun, drinking wine, being productive and carefree and so overwhelmed by how big my heart feels.

this must be one of the best places i’ve been (emotionally) in my life. maybe it’s the season, or the fact that i will soon have time to go to the beach, read in the park, nap IN THE AFTERNOON ON A WEEKDAY (holy shit, what does that even feel like?!), spend time with my night owl friends who work evenings, who fucking knows… i feel so LIMITLESS!

i have a movie date tonight, bootcamp this week, my friend’s champagne 30 birthday party on thursday, a BBQ & potential baseball game on friday, and one of my favourite bands is playing a local venue next tuesday- so many fun summer activities almost every single day of the week. how do i even have time to feel sad?

in other news… katie’s dog finnegan ate up my $300 hugo boss frames, so i bought two new pairs:




i should probably just rename this blog “progress reports of a girl who takes one step forward, and ten steps back”, or better yet “little elle: why bother”

HA! i’m funny.

this is what the mancave looked like a few weeks ago…

this is what it looked like after dan lived in here for a few weeks when we decided to break up


and through all of this? thank goodness for this… all of it:

late night wine & strawberries on my porch

hanging out in the park & blowing bubbles

midnight street frisbee, in the heart of the city

not ever like it was

for a long time i wanted to leave this city.

i wanted to pack up everything i own, hop a bus to my favourite place, and forget. i wanted to work easy jobs, and live in tiny little apartments with my best friends, and finally let go. i was living alone, then. sitting on a fence between wanting so badly to leave, and managing my emotions enough to stay.

that’s always been my problem. it was never indecision or nerves. i wasn’t scared to fall off the map, no. i was afraid to sever the ties for the last time. i was scared i wasn’t independent enough, or happy. i was scared i’d make all these big plans, and have them crumble at my feet. i was frantically searching the internet for little apartments i could share with my friend. a place we could lay around in our underwear, reading comic books and listening to dykie folk rock. a place where we could wall-paper the bathroom, he and i. a place where i’d cook and we’d read books, and watch old films, and things would finally just be quiet.

because that’s just the thing with 2009 and the year i lived alone. the silence was so deafening, i surrounded myself with noise. there were always records spinning, or the tv blaring, or friends in my bed drinking wine from the bottle. and when i left him, finally and i couldn’t even muster the courage to put on some fucking pants and leave the house to buy groceries, the static and noise of the blatantly obvious became too much. the empty bottles of liquor scattered in every room, the cat litter over-flowing in the kitchen, or the piles of dishes i hadn’t touched in months. i didn’t have to worry about the dirty laundry on the floor because i couldn’t remember the last time i had clothes on my back.

christmas rolled in, and it was the first time i’d bought a real tree. january came and went as fast as february and by march i no longer had a fir, but a weeping willow. my father eventually came to my rescue- removing the decorations and storing them carefully as i sat quietly on my sofa. he dragged that thing through the kitchen and out the back door, and the only thing remaining was a trail of green needles.

it kills me to think of that, now.

by spring i’d come alive again- the weather and the hum in my heart had made it possible to breathe. i was still hiding his secrets- flushing his drugs when he asked me to, and crying silently when he’d leave. it all seemed new and yet so, so fucking the same. i guess it was the first time in four years that he’d been honest about the poison he’d been snorting and the people he’d been seeing in the nighttime. maybe that made it easier. he was so open about his indecencies. i was so young then- so naive. i would carefully unfold the foil, staring so angrily at this white powder, before i’d flush it down the toilet, again.

i didn’t have many words then, but i just remember thinking “how?” , over and over. how could he possibly choose these four bumps over us? over our lifestyle? over the family we nearly started- the family i was so quick to destroy, so quick to give up on.

…i could feel my heart pounding in my chest so hard i could hear it- the ringing in my ears blocking out his sobs from the other room. i remember laying there for hours after wondering when the fuck it would get quiet again.

in the years we’d been friends, and the months we’ve been dating, dan and i have never gone to the movies together. aftera particularly angry blowout on friday (where i’d been accidentally locked out of the apartment for over two hours without shoes or my phone), he’d promised me a date. a few friends joined us on a double-date as we walked the quiet streets last night. we live in the heart of the city, and yet by dusk on sundays, the streets are deserted. it’s my favourite part about living here. dan paid for our tickets as i bought us the biggest bag of popcorn they had- dan whispering to me, making sure i was asking for extra butter, “the real stuff!”, he kept saying. we saw a particularly gory movie, that had us roaring in laughter (as i hid behind my own hands). he kept rubbing my leg, or kissing my head- right on the temple. i close my eyes when he does that. i can’t help but get sentimental when he’s so gentle, like that.

“this is our first movie together!” he eagerly whispered, as the lights dimmed. i nodded and smiled the kind of smile only he can effortlessly get from me.

we walked home in separate directions- he was going to meet with a friend, and i was going to collapse into bed. i had forgotten my ipod at home, next to our bed, so i walked quickly, hands in my pocket. the final stretch of the long street before turning onto ours seems so much longer than it really is. i slowed my pace only briefly before being so thankful for dead of night. not a car in sight, unless it was parked. the yellow dim of the street lamps accentuating everything so perfectly. the leafless trees motionless, like skeletons.

i used to look over my shoulder at every sound, every footstep behind me. but things are different now- they’ve changed.

i exhaled a long, audible sigh, as i smirked and thought of a line from one of my most favourite comics…

(…) i should be scared or angry, the newsfeed says, but the sky is so empty and quiet and beautiful.

i finally, finally feel safe here.

valentines day

DISCLAIMER: i’m totally posting this against the little voice in my head screaming, “NO! don’t show the internet your wrinkles and rolls! you big, dumb idiot!” … but i told it to shut up, because it’s valentines day, and you totally deserve a piece of ass (and i just love all of you that much). and also, if you want to be a dillhole and tell me how gross i look, please do me a favour and send your hatemail to my email, or just shut your pie hole because even i deserve to feel hot for like, four seconds and it took me a ton of courage to actually post these. OH! and no stealing! DUH.

so! what did i do for valentines day? i broke into my boyfriend’s old house, got naked, and shotgunned a few beers in front of the camera.

all pictures by julie hope

did dan like it? ehhhh, not really. i knew it wasn’t his thing, and it’s not like he’s going to look at some pictures of me in my undernothings if he wants to get all hot and bothered… but it was totally a fun idea, and i must say that the lady behind the lens (a super good friend of mine/an old roommie) made all of my millions of insecurities disappear. it was a great experience and i totally had a hard-on for myself for the first time in years, even if it did only last, like, 5 minutes.

i hope your v-day was filled with blowjobs and hot makeouts and roses and chocolates!


– e

thirty facts

picture by julie hope

1. i have an irrational fear of the dark, i.e. i start having panic attacks and shut my eyes until i can turn a light on. i actually spent the better part of my teenage years sleeping with lights & the tv on… it’s a little better now, only slightly.

2. i fall in love with cities i’ve never been to. i think it started when i was sixteen and began reading the blog of a previously heroin-addicted twenty-one-year old living in portland. i loved everything about her- her wardrobe, her taste in music, the way she described her love life, and the beauty of her city. her self-destructive life was so appealing and punk rock- until it became my reality and i finally understood the sadness in her words.

3. i honestly believe the only reason i was put on this earth is to become a mother; my ideal job would be a stay-at-home mom.

4. i hate watching people eat peanut butter on its own. a lot of my friends open the little packages of it while we wait for breakfast at the diner, and it makes me heave a little. i don’t know why, considering how much i love peanut butter.

5. i’m particular when it comes to how my food is placed on my plate- especially with breakfast foods. when i get my plate at a restaurant, i rearrange it to my liking.

6. i get really emotionally attached to songs, and bands. if a song means something to me, i can listen to it a million times on repeat and not get sick of it (on my twenty first birthday, dan danced with me in my living room until well past 4 in the morning, singing “temptation” by new order to me, on repeat, for hours). i cry almost every single time i listen to cat power, i can relate to every single tegan & sara song ever written, and ani difranco got me through the majority of my relationship with m.

7. when i sleep away from home, i get separation anxiety from my cat.

8. my chest piece is one of the most sentimental pieces i have tattooed on my body. i thought of the idea when i was still with m– and i promised myself it would be completed when i finally left him. mission accomplished.

9. i talk about butts, farts, poo, masturbation, sex, and my vagina a lot. too much, actually.

10. second to being a mom, i cannot wait to become an aunt. like, my head will implode and so will the internet, the day i find out my sister-in-law is expecting. i actually decided against moving out of this city when my brother told me he was proposing a few years back.

11. speaking of my brother- he’s one of the people i look up to most. his strength, his determination, his charisma, his intelligence, the way he loves his wife… everything about him is remarkable. i love him to the moon and back. he makes me want to be better.

12. i can touch my tongue to my nose.

13. i have an unnatural obsession with pizza. i like it in and around my mouth. it’s true… ask the nine pairs of jeans in my closet that don’t fit me anymore!

14. i curse like a sailor.

15. there is nothing i hate more than cigarettes.

16. attempting to swim makes me really anxious. either i need to be able to touch the bottom, or i’m using some sort of flotation device. besides, what’s the point of being in a lake, the ocean, or a pool, unless i’m relaxing with a beer in my hand.

17. i can’t peel oranges.

18. i’m addicted to crime shows… mostly law & order SVU and criminal minds.

19. i’m a poor girl. i was raised a poor girl, i am a poor girl, and i have a feeling i’ll be broke until the day i die. i have this awful fear that i’ll work these mundane, mindless office jobs forever, and i’ll never even buy a house. it scares the shit out of me.

20. i’m a sucker for the banjo and the organ, big time.

21. i have a super goofy laugh. more of a cackle, actually. it’s really quite embarrassing.

22. my nipples are always hard… it’s the weirdest thing. i’m not kidding! ask dan- he always makes fun of me and calls me a weirdo.

23. i can’t sing. like, even a little bit. i KNOW i’m tone-deaf.

24. my biggest weakness? chocolate milkshakes.

25. i LOVE being photographed. lucky for me, i have a lot of photographer friends.

26. if i feed my cat in the morning without giving him treats, i feel super guilty. i’ve actually walked away, and then walked back to the kitchen to give him treats because it eats away at me. is that weird?

27. my biggest vice, other than being a lush, is procrastination. on a serious level, folks.

28. i have a huge hard-on for geeks. like, actual smarty-pants. a well-dressed person who loves to read, is well-spoken and articulate, who has a passion for writing, photography, music, and/or science? holy-fucking-swoon.

29. when dan wears a plaid button-up shirt, rolled up jeans, cherry doc martens, and slicks his hair back… my ovaries twitch a little and i actually can’t keep my hands off him. my boyfriend is like, really, really ridiculously good-looking.

30. i have this thing for female vocalists. whether it’s punk, indie, or folk… throw it on, and i’m a dancing, singing, cleaning-in-my-undies machine! i just can’t get enough of my girlie music. dan even got me a t-shirt of kathleen hannah (singer of bikini kill & le tigre) sitting in a bed on the phone, eating a cheeseburger. if that’s not love, i don’t know what is.

idea borrowed from the cutest little miss elycia


February 27, 2009 at 5:37pm

hey m,

today i swam with sharks! real live ones! and it was amazing. i got to go snorkeling, and the ocean is beautiful. everything is so slow paced- everyone drives motorcycles or mopeds, and no one gives a fuck. they feed us booze for beakfast, lunch, and dinner! it rules! our room is amazing- i wake up and have a perfect view of the ocean. it smells of spices everywhere i go. today i went on a cruise and drank rum in the ocean. we got to dance to bob marley and it was perfect.

everything here reminds me of you.


i was going through old emails and stumbled across this one- the only email i have between me and m in four years of bullshit. i left in the winter of 2008: the first time his drug-fueled rage took everything over the edge and he became physically violent. i say violent because that’s the only way i remember it… so awfully painful. so terribly angry. we briefly reconnected that summer, but there was no trust and the stress of forcing myself to care about him became too much. we parted ways again, only to reconnect in the winter of 2009- two days before i left for my very first trip, to the dominican republic. he came back into my life as quick as he always left. while i should have been enjoying my first vacation in the sun, surrounded by people who loved me… i spent the whole time stressing over whether or not i wanted to go there with him again. it’s weird- how simple emails can remind me so vividly of exactly how i felt back then. so broken, so hopeful, so fucking vulnerable. i haven’t gone back any further to see if there were more from him…

when i got back from my vacation at two in the morning, i had barely dropped my suitcases on the floor before we were on the phone together. i spent days with him in bed talking, as he cried and cried. we both did. i don’t ever want to feel that kind of sadness again. i don’t ever want to be put into a position where i know i have to leave someone i love. it took me three years to walk away forever… what the hell does that say about my strength? fucking nothing.

this april will mark the two year anniversary of our final separation. it will mark the two year anniversary of the day i woke up, walked to his work, ordered him into a back booth, and ripped him apart. the two year anniversary of the day i called him a monster to his face, told him to eat shit and die, and that if he EVER attempted to contact me again, i’d call the police. it marks the two year anniversary of my sobriety- sober from his sickness, sober from mine.

two years of freedom.

in some ways it feels like such an accomplishment, such an insurmountable feat. in other ways it all still seems so devastating, so tragic. half the time it doesn’t feel like my own story. i have this awful way of remembering him before the drugs, before the partying, before the anger and abuse. he was so young, so pure, so innocent, i thought. i know now that i was blinded by youth, by young love, by the haze of a world i was spiraling into so easily. i was conned, and he knew just what he was doing from the very beginning- and that’s the scariest part. i see now, how calculated our love was. how conditionnal. how ugly. how sad.

so very, very sad.

in any case, he’s gone now. lost somewhere in the muddle of this city. shamefully hiding from everything- all the bridges he’s burned, people he’s fucked, friendships he’s destroyed. i’m okay with that, too. i’m okay with him being here because i know he’s so unwelcome.

i’m not even concerned about how awful and alone he must feel… and after two years of running, of hiding, of living in fear… i’m no longer concerned about what kind of person that makes me.