The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, June 08, 2007

Of Course We Know Each Other - We're Canadian!

by Melissa Bell

Today I'm meeting up with Ms. Tamara J. Lee for lunch, people. A fellow CWCer who's flown in from B.C. via Montreal, and we're going to do lunch with The Pasha at King's Noodle House on Spadina. So if you've got designs on all of us, that's where we're supposed to be meeting up, around 1:15ish.

Funny thing this meeting up with people who you first encounter on-line. I feel like I know Tamara J. Lee - after all, we've been a-blogging here for over a year now, and yet I won't even know what she looks like and she won't know me either. Yet I suspect when we sit down over some spring rolls and hot tea, we'll find we've got at least half a dozen friends and acquaintances in common. Such is the Canadian way.

Canadians often joke that the rest of the world assumes all Canadians know each other. But to some degree - at least in my experience - it's very true. If I don't know who so-and-so is, it's highly likely I do know somebody who does. And rather than that generating a creepy feeling, it's really quite comforting. And it keeps me "kind". Because sometimes when I want to rant about something a certain somebody might have done or said in the media up in these parts, I stop and think that that person might be friends with a friend of mine. I've been caught out before. I love the media and I'm a pop culture addict. But, lo and behold my dear friends, the media very often doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. So while I've heard through the Canadian grapevine that Tamara J. Lee likes to do "certain things", I'm going to take the high road and reserve being all judgey until I've actually met her myself and can tell all y'all about it the next time I'm scheduled to post.

Like with Andrew Tibbetts. I've met him several times. You know how his posts are all funny and irreverent and sometimes also very moving and incredibly well-written? Well in real life Andrew is even funnier and sweeter than you might imagine, it's enough to make you hate his living guts. But do I say that here? In public? He could sue my ass! And Tricia Dower. She always posts something with real weight to it and she's a fantastic writer. But she's somebody else that I've met and...she's actually really whip-smart and hilarious! Doesn't that just twist your brain?

Pasha Malla, while not a "regular" here, is, for all intents and purposes, a "beloved contributor" and he's got a book deal and he's all talented and stuff. People often ask me "Is Pasha a jerk?" and I have to come clean and say "No, I hate to burst your bubble, my friend, but he's not a jerk. Far from it." Sometimes they believe me, sometimes they do not. But that's just the way it is. Not only is Pasha a wonderful writer, he does "good work" with the community and is highly dedicated to causes of literacy and whatnot. Hey, he's just going to have to live that down on his own. Nothing I can do about it. If he chooses to not to be a jerk about stuff, that's his problem. Don't think just because I might know the guy you can tar me with the same non-jerk brush, because that's not necessarily the way I roll. And I work in an office with someone he went to high school with. He is also not a jerk. I know what you're thinking: What gives?

Anne? Chudobiak? Haven't met her. But other folk here have. Sounds frighteningly friendly. I bet when I meet up with Tamara she'll have some stories. Sure, I could post them here. In fact, I would and I will. Because I know she knows people I know and it will be easy to shake her down for some beer money. Score!

Steve? That ex-pat livng in Hawaii? We've got mutual employment history. Brief mutual employment history, but it's there nonetheless. Does that answer your questions about why he's living in Hawaii? It should.

As for Antonios - well it's only a matter of time before I figure out we're actually related. Seeing as I've no blood relations with anyone else on the site here, the odds are such that Antonios is one of my first cousins or my favourite nephew. Because that's the way things work in Canadaland. We're all connected. We really are.

So it's 1:15 at King's Noodle on Spadina. Just beware if you read this and show up, you're buying. And I hear they're pricey. Real pricey. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Welcome to Toronto, Tamara J. Lee. :-)


Blogger Anne C. said...

You really put out the welcome mat in TO. Happy lunch!

Fri Jun 08, 06:48:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

It's true, I'm often hysterical and some people find that funny. Thanks for the kind words, Mel. Hope you lunch bunch have a ball (or a salad or a sandwich).

Fri Jun 08, 12:30:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

We're back (or at least I am). I had deep-fried squid. And noodles. And steamed pork dumplings. And a Tsingtao. It was me, Andrew, Pasha, Tamara and Hannah Holborn. I hated to leave, but work beckoned. Or more like it kind of yelled at me.

Fri Jun 08, 03:12:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

What's the word from everyone else? Still partying?

Fri Jun 08, 10:14:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I'd show up but I'm broke. No royalty cheques for a couple of months.

But next time, I'll buy a round for sure. I'm only an hour north.

Tomorrow I go shoe shopping with my daughter and HER money.

Fri Jun 08, 11:04:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

It was so great to meet Tamara and Hannah Holborn, too! Melissa Bell is always a treat. Lovely women. Pasha Malla is also a lovely woman.

It was too short.

Mon Jun 11, 04:22:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Dang it! I wish I coulda been there. I'll be in Sasakatchewan from the 25th to the 11th of July, so if any of you are going to be in Moose Jaw, Regina, or Saskatoon, let me know and we'll hook up for a drink or two.

And I totally forgot about my brief stint at BBB! I should email Todd, haven't talked to that guy in awhile, and Dennis, ahh Dennis that man who swore I would never work in Ottawa again...

Tue Jun 12, 02:08:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Oh my, oh my. Such a delayed response from me! (No computer access in Toronto. NYC has been a whirlwind so far!) But I feel badly that my first impression was me illin' like I was. I would love to come back soon and do it again, with me having all my wits about me. Meeting you guys was amazing! Funny and smart and talented the lot of you! Thanks for everything, folks. Please come visit me in Vancouver!

Wed Jun 13, 11:36:00 am GMT-4  

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