Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Back in Toronto… I’m trying to digest and process my first experience with the Miss Nude Canada Pageant (MNCP), but I’m having a hard time with it.

It was a good week overall, and I met some great girls. Bad luck of the draw got me eliminated early. I went in without expectations but it stung looking at the scores, realizing that I had I not been first on that stage on Monday, I would have been in the finals. The difference between 4th and 7th place on Monday was 0.6. But, I had fun and I learned a lot. I ended up co-coordinating the pageant with Ultimate Feature, and was really able to get to know some of the girls. I’m really glad I had the opportunity, and I know I made some amazing friends. At the end of the week I won Miss Congeniality and Fanciest Fanny (best ass!!!)

As for the finals… well I don’t know what to say… or how to say it. This year we had international competitors entered in Miss Nude Canada. They are both great girls, and wonderful entertainers, but I just can‘t agree with what happened.

Miss Nude Canada should be exclusive to dancers who live and work in Canada. It no longer is, and we no longer have a highly regarded pageant for our Canadian girls

We had been told that IF an international girl won she would be given the award “Miss Nude Canada- International”. The Canadian 1st runner up would be awarded Miss Nude Canada. What happened instead was the Hungarian won Miss Nude Canada, the Australian won 1st runner up, and this is what it looked like.

Contestant Fri/ Sat/ Combined Total Award
Ginger Jones 43.5/ 46.6/ 45.05 Miss Nude Canada
Paris Lamore 41.7/ 45.5/ 43.6 1st Runner Up
Justice 41.3/ 45.9/ 43.6 2nd Runner Up
Mandy Carlton 43.4/ 43.1/ 43.25 3rd Runner Up
Fiona Phoenix 40.6/ 45.2/ 42.7 -
Fantasy 39.9/ 44.8/ 42.25 MNC Au Natural

As you can see Paris and Justice tied for 1st runner up. Beauty Queen Image scores were used to break the tie.

I spent six hours yesterday with Ultimate Feature and Pooh Bear (pageant owner) going over every detail of everything. The entire history of the pageant, the changes and state of our industry, past winners, egos, emotions, and expectations and I’m still left with the same feeling.

Miss Nude Canada should be represented by a dancer who lives and works in Canada.

I’m finding it difficult to convey the level of disillusionment and hurt to people who weren’t there to experience the week. It was agonizing watching our top dancers loose the crown. I know people will say they should just work harder, and fight for it next year. But it’s so much more than that. It’s our pride and faith in Canadian girls to keep going.

I’m upset. Other girls are upset. People are confused, and while some might calm down, and gain some emotional distance from this contest, others won’t come back.

About Pooh Bear (from the manual)
The company is (his) baby… he conceived of it, he designed it, he built it. This business is his pride and joy and no one is worth destroying a dream for. Honesty is the foundation of this pageant, a novel idea that seems to be working.

Stripper pageants are infamous for being manipulated, and tweaked. Miss Nude Canada is truly an honest event, and we cherish it. But now… it’s not Canadian, and it’s not the same. I don’t know that Canadian dancers will be as willing to take a week off, make the financial investment and sacrifice to come together and compete for a Miss Nude Canada, that isn’t. It’s not Miss Nude World, or Miss Nude International. It’s Miss Nude Canada!!

I want to cry. We NEED a reputable, reliable pageant for us. Our industry is struggling, our finances are dropping. The money that a top feature in Europe makes is TRIPLE what she would make in Canada. Yet we try. Even with the push towards lap dancing spreading across the country, even with the lack of bars booking features, even with clubs closing down at a staggering rate, we still have dancers willing to put in the time, the money, the creativity, and the love of performance into this pageant. It’s all we have left!!

I haven’t been around for 30 years. I only know the stories of what the Features did 15 or 20 years ago. I hear people long for the “good old days” of exotic dancing when it was a real show. I would love to spend $5000 on a show. I would love to invest in a trailer, and lights, and pyrotechnics, and effects… but I can’t. The money isn’t there anymore. At the end of the week and the end of the year you have to look at your net income. This isn’t volunteer work. It’s a job. I do the best I can and I know every contestant that entered this year does the same.

If you want to make money as a stripper in Canada you buy a couple sexy bikinis, a skimpy dress, and a pair of heels and you lap dance. You don’t take a week off to compete for titles. You don’t invest thousands into costumes and props. You don’t leave your family behind for weeks at a time. You lap dance, or you buy 6-10 simple costumes and you work as a Showgirl. You don’t buy $500 theme costumes; you buy $80 jam costumes.

I know Pooh Bear is struggling to keep MNCP alive. We all know the state of the industry. I know he’s had a hard time getting girls to enter. The days of 30 contestants are gone. There aren’t that many girls working as Features in Canada anymore. The old school Features are almost all retired, and there’s only a handful left. It’s a new generation taking up the feature game, and it won’t be the same. Our world is not the same. But there are those of us that care!!! It might not be 30 girls, but there were 14 Canadian strippers last week that cared enough to enter. We take pride in our show, in our performance, in our creativity and desire to keep exotic dancing in Canada an exotic art.

I want Miss Nude Canada to keep going, but not at any cost. It breaks my heart that it seems necessary to bring in international performers to compete for the only thing we have left.

I saw the best shows I’ve ever seen at the bar on Saturday night, and I saw the tears. I saw the anger and the pain of watching our title go to a wonderful performer that had never been to Canada before last week. Tears well in my eyes, fighting the raw lump in my throat as I think about how hard these girls worked, all the blood, sweat and tears that not only went into this pageant, but that goes into this business everyday as we fight tooth and nail to keep Features working in Canada. MNCP helps build Features. If we loose faith in the worth of MNC as a career booster and venue for creativity then I am even more worried about the art of exotic dance in Canada. The Velvet Lounge had never even seen a feature show before last week. We don’t often have the opportunity to see other feature shows. MNCP is a chance for the dedicated up and coming generation of exotic artists to come together to network, showcase, and compete. We build contacts and friendships. We exchange booking information, and discuss the state of our business. We inspire each other to enhance our shows, and remind each other of why we do this.

The MNCP should be an inspiration to improve, not a reason to quit. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, and I would like nothing more than to remain positive and determined in looking forward to next year’s pageant. But right now, I don’t want to go back to watch the most talented, hardworking, and dedicated dancers in Canada not be awarded the titles to represent our country and our industry.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

MNCP- meltdown

Through the deep fog of slumber I hear my alarm sound. It’s morning. Everything aches, my head hurts and I want to wrap the blankets around my soul and hide. I haven’t cried yet, but I’m thinking I might be the only one. Maybe I should, hidden in my room, shielded from the day for a few more stolen moments. It was a rough night, and things could have been so much worse had I made semi-finals. Somewhere in the mayhem of sabotage, drama, and unattainable perfection I lost my phone. Fuck.

I doubt I’ll cry. I’m in caretaker mode, and there are too many girls that need support and help. Emotions are high, and the stress level is off the chart. I’ve seen the scores, and I know now that my show was good enough to make semi-finals, but drawing #1 on Monday hurt me. I could cry, but they would be tears of anger and frustration. Yes, I’m disappointed but I’m more concerned about the girls. I’m fucking pissed off at the lack of compassion and respect demonstrated by an arrogant individual. Someone is determined to make a point, and hurt as many people as possible in the process. Someone’s ego is willing to jeopardize the safety of over a dozen dancers just to make a point. Oil was poured in a fog machine. Pools were popped. Props disappeared. Oil could cause a dancer to slip and break an ankle, or worse fall off the pole. Sabotage is fucking pathetic. Endangerment is beyond forgivable.

I ran for hours, collecting props, organizing shows, and ensuring every girl had what she needed. Then I ran around again, checking on injuries, comforting disappointments, and providing interference through the chaos. Somehow it worked, and Ultimate Feature and her team held together the show. Pools were shared, comfort and hugs were plenty. The fantasy was maintained, and the deliberate attempts at destruction did not show on stage. We are professionals, and the show went on. They smiled, and danced, and did everything in their control to put on the best show. The shows were beautiful. There were tears across the board as the stress culminated into a 3am meltdown. Vibrating with anger and disbelief, we did our best to make it work. And then we all went home and collapsed. It was a rough night.

I have to convince my body to leave this bed, and face the day. It’s Saturday, and not only do we have finals to prepare for, we have repairs and investigations to do. It all has to be done in the next four hours, and we all have to be at the bar, perfect embodiments of stunning fantasies for a media meet and greet in six hours. I’d better get up.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

The contest... day 5

I don’t really know what to say. I want to express how the week has been going, tell the stories from the bar, convey my feelings about this competition… but I can’t seem to find the words. I’m so happy to be here, and to have the opportunity to meet these girls. It’s been a great experience. It’s a solid attempt at organized chaos. For a week where really it’s only possible to have a maximum of four shows, I’m exhausted.

For me, there will only be two shows this week. I didn’t make the cut to semi-finals, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I came into this week not expecting to make semi-finals, but of course… I wanted to. I’m still eligible for other awards, and I have no doubt that this weekend will be amazing. I did the best show I could under the circumstances, with my experience level. There were hiccups and an unfortunate bad luck of the draw on Monday, but it happens.

My instincts and training seem to be taking over, and I’m finding myself in familiar territory. I love competition, I love the event, I love the energy and the unknown… but I don’t have a lot of personal attachment to my own achievement. I do my best, but I’m naturally more comfortable behind the scenes.

That’s where my energy is right now. I want to help. I’m mildly disappointed that I don’t have a show tonight, and I suspect I will feel some anger and resentment when I hear who did make the cut. There are things I don’t think are fair. I’m sensitive to drama and issues floating behind the scenes as always. I know I will have an emotional reaction, but I’m also relieved. I can concentrate on helping the other girls, without worrying about my show. I don’t have to make time to get ready, but I know I’ll be busier than imaginable tonight.

Next year, I’ll be back, and I’ll have learned so much from this experience. But right now there are girls that need my help. We have a lot to do, and never enough time to do it.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

MNCP - day three

Day three.

Naked in my hotel bathroom paint is dripping off my breast as I examine the effect in the mirror. I like it. My hair is knotted, and untamed, and I need a shower. But the paint is going to work. Even though I’m a mess, sexy in a morning after, smudged makeup, covered in paint, fuck me hard kind of way, I’m just about ready for the night. It’s still mid-afternoon. My basket is organized, my music is burning, and my costume is on the bed. Ultimate Feature would be so proud of me if she knew how prepared I was for the day. My second preliminary show is tonight, and I’m a bit nervous. I don’t know the show as well as I’d like, and I really hope it goes well. The ranking from your best night is used to determine who advances on to semi-finals.

I fully expect tonight to be my last show for the week. Not because I don’t have faith in myself, or that I’m not trying… but because I’m new to the competition scene. It’s my first time at nationals. For me to believe that I have to make it to finals this year would be presumptuous, and arrogant. There are so many girls who are so much better than I am.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m having fun.

But right now, it’s time for a few sexy strippers to go jump in the pool and soak away the aching muscles in the hot tub.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Finally time to post... (and rant)

Where to begin… I’ve just finished two weeks at Whiskey A GoGo, and now on to Miss Nude Canada. It’s been a pretty interesting couple of weeks, so here it is… I’ve posted a few stories below, so scroll down and keep reading.

I’m packed, frustrated, and not ready for the contest. Sunshine never bothered to pick up my pool from the bar after Miss Nude Ontario so I’m pissed off and scrambling. I know I’ll figure it out, but it is one more thing on my “To do” list. Miss Nude Canada starts in 24 hours and I don’t have a pool. Fuck!

He’s pretty, but about as mature and useful as a slinky. The level of tolerance I have right now is just slightly above homicidal. I want to scream. I want to punch something. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that this is important to me. Instead he’s defensive, dismissive, and completely without accountability. An apology of “I’m sorry, but it’s not really my fault” doesn’t count. A statement of “It’s not a big deal, it’s just a pool, just get a new one”, isn’t helpful in November.

The plan was for me to drive down and visit him after work last night, spend a bit of time and just relax. Instead I’m staying in the city for another night. I simply had no desire to see him after our conversation…

It’s not really my problem, or my responsibility. It’s not my job to get your pool
Well when you said sure no problem I’ll pick up your pool, it became your responsibility. Now I don’t have a pool.
Well I’m sorry but I was just waiting until I wouldn’t have to make a special trip
It’s 15 minutes, and it’s been 5 weeks.
Well I went down there and no one would talk to me. I asked, but I couldn’t get any information.
When did you go to the bar?
Not too long ago, they wouldn’t talk to me.
You went to the club at midnight on a Saturday night to ask about a POOL!?!
(rolling eyes, and shaking head- not the brightest crayon in the box)
Of course they wouldn’t talk to you. Midnight on a Saturday!
Well I tried. It’s not my problem really.
Obviously not!
It’s not my job to get your pool. I don’t work for you. What are you going to do? Fire me?


Um… Yes actually you stupid kid. Consider yourself fired. My actual words were slightly more civil… but not by much. I think I ended the conversation with “I have to pack.” Click.

Now while most of the world might not realize the importance of this pool I’m going to change a few words. Let’s change stripper to sales rep, pool to report and contest to promotion.

Get it?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop trying to catch up on my life. With a great deal of effort I’ve managed to remain somewhat civil to Sunshine throughout the day. He’s driving up to Toronto to drop off my bubble machine, but he’s lost. My phone rings and I’m already irritated. He’s whining. He doesn’t know where he is, and he doesn’t know where he’s going. My sharp response does nothing to defuse the tension. My voice is patronizing, and short. I remind him that I gave him a map book, he’s not a child, and I do just fine with a rental car and a map… maybe he should figure it out. I’m not helping, and I don’t care. I can’t remember the last time I dealt with such immaturity. It’s repulsive. Besides, he’s already fired.

After a few more arguments on the phone, and him wanting me to come find him, he finally stops bitching and follows my directions. I’m busy. I have a hell of a lot of stuff to get done today, and he can damn well drive another 10 minutes to the coffee shop. I’m not feeling very compassionate today.

I see his car pull into the parking lot, and ignore it. He struts arrogantly into the shop and drops a box at my feet. “Here.” He pronounces self-righteously, as though he’s going out of his way to do me a favour. “Thanks” is my brief reply before he turns and walks out.

I guess that’s done. Next!

I still need a pool.

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Lap dances

There’s a large degree of separation between the west and the east in this business. Western Canada is primarily Showgirls. Dancers switch clubs on a weekly basis, and often travel. The division between your greenest rookie and your most seasoned dancer is minimal at the end of the week. Once show price, agency fees, and show count are calculated from the top to the bottom the take home pay is very similar. It seems like everyone wants their cut and no one tips. There are very few house girls out west. The majority of strippers make their pay on stage. Only a handful of clubs even offer private dances, and even fewer allow for an actual contact lap dance.

The laws in Ontario and Quebec are FAR different. Instead of showgirls, there are features and house girls. Features are basically on the same system as showgirls out west. Income is primarily stage pay, and a lot of travel is required. Show prices, and show quality are significantly higher.

However the majority of strippers are house girls. They have a home bar, sleep in their own bed every night, and make their money in the VIP room. Working as a house girl is far more lucrative at the end of the night, and the end of the year. While no income is ever guaranteed the lack of overhead expenses alone makes up for it.

And here comes the confession. I love my job. We know. I love dancing, creating a show, and being a fantasy. I also really enjoy doing lap dances.

I like it. I like working the floor, and I enjoy doing lap dances. I’ve discovered that I can be paid to receive a back massage, or a foot rub (I love foot fetish guys- so easy to please). I enjoy spending time with customers, and I like the interaction. I get spoiled, and adored. I feel sexy, and approachable. The money is good, and the rules are well enforced. I’ve never felt threatened or unsafe in this bar. They take good care of their girls.

I like making a difference in someone’s day. Be it spending 20 minutes talking about life, or 5 minutes providing a bit of human contact, I enjoy it.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

He owes me $40

A twenty is folded and handed to me “take him for a dance” I’m told, as the young guy motions to his friend. I smile and take the hand of the pretty blonde, leading him off to the VIP room. Lounging on a dark couch, the music changes and I begin to seduce him. Sexy, and smooth I arch against him, taunting him with my body. It’s working. His eyes are glazed, transfixed on the naked body in his lap. He wants more. “Would you like another song sweetie?” I ask softly. He nods, licking his lips while staring at my breasts. I dance. I tease. I taunt. I seduce. I do another song. He’s in awe as the music fades again. “Would you like another song? You owe me $40 already babe”

“Huh?” The mention of money jolts him back to reality. “Why didn’t you tell me that?” He accuses.

It’s $20 per song. You’re friend bought the first song, and then you had two more. No big deal, you just owe me $40.

Well it’s my birthday, I don’t have any money.

Okay, well I suggest you borrow it from a friend

You really should tell people that it costs more

It’s not $20 for unlimited dances

Well you didn’t tell me. That’s not very professional of you. (by this time, I’m dressed, we’re back in the bar and looking for his friend)

I said, would you like another song. You said yes.

But you should have told me. That’s bullshit. I shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Look kid, So far I’ve been really nice. Don’t be stupid, just pay me.

Well I could go outside and look for him

Hahahahaha. No. I’m not about to let you walk out of here without paying me.

Well I didn’t know it costs more.

(rolling my eyes) We’ve been over this, and I’m done explaining it.

I turn to a nearby bouncer and quickly explain “He owes me $40, and can’t find his friend. ” The bouncer nods, and walks us towards the front door. “What the fuck?” Pretty blonde is bitching, and whining now. He sees the bouncers and glares at me. “What now you’re going to get me beat up and kicked out? How is that fair?” “You owe me $40.” I’m sick of this kid. The manager is there, talking to another doorman. He pauses immediately to give us his full attention. The situation is explained, and I’m told to go back on the floor. I shake my head to myself as I walk away, listening to him explain his side to management… “But I didn’t know it was per song… she…”

The next time I run into the Manager on the floor he hands me $40.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006


It’s early and I can smell the arrogance from across the bar, their need to feel flashy and powerful. I can’t tell yet how much is talk and how much is monetary gain, but there’s one way to find out. Moving into the circle of men I begin to access the group. The Money Man is quickly identified. He’s middle aged, slightly portly, casually dressed, and carrying a wad of cash in his left hand. It’s his nephew’s birthday, and he’s determined to showcase every possible disrespectful and narcissistic behavior in the book. I have no doubt that the birthday boy will be taught how to buy women, and how to tell them their worth. I’m sure he’ll be a real doll within a few years.

Tonight he’s 19, and trainable. The money is flowing and I do a few dances for the birthday boy, his uncle, and a few other guys in the party. Money Man is talking about their plans, and how extravagant the evening is going to be. They’re going to an exclusive club, in their limo, and I ought to be impressed. He wants to make a deal on the evening, for a few dancers to join the party. I’m willing to talk and negotiate as long as he’s paying me to do so. “$1000, no sex and no drugs, and sure I’ll come party with you. You want me out of the bar, you have to make it worth me leaving the bar.”

Apparently that’s not the deal, and “extras” are desired. If sex was on the menu, he should have hired a few escorts, and got his money’s worth. As it stands right now, I’ve pocketed a couple hundred, as has every other girl who’s been pretending to negotiate while Money Man proves his worth. No dancers left the bar.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

A dance...

He’s damaged. Newly single, he’s fragile and frustrated. The lack of regular sex is a shock to the system. I sense in him a smooth power and comfort. He’s used to being secure in the routine of monogamy. His role has never been questioned; his power has never been challenged.

I love his delicate vulnerability. Confident in his ability to manipulate he slides into my circle. He wants relief and attention. He wants to be masculine and desired. He wants to forget for a moment the reality of the loneliness that waits for him at home.

In a different world I may have given him my number; instead I make him my favourite for the evening. ‘Let’s dance’. Let me crawl into your lap and press my naked breasts against your cheek. Let me straddle your body, and tease you with an idea. I rotate my hips and feel his breath catch. Arching in his lap I play with the intimacy and the escape. Another song, and then another, and then perhaps a few more… He’s frustrated and beautiful. The outcome might be the same as every other night at home alone, but at least he now has a new inspiration. Right now, in this room, he can forget how lonely it gets.

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Wireless bullshit

Everyday I discover more tasks that this shitty wireless is preventing me from doing. Let me into my FUCKING EMAIL DAMMIT!!!

Grrrr!!! It’s not a bad request. It’s not an error in the address. It’s this stupid unreliable shitty imitation of a wireless single created to irritate me. I’m convinced. My time is sparse and instead of actually getting a couple hours of work done, I’ve spent over an hour fighting with a fucking wireless signal from hell.

On the bright side, I’m having a great week at work. I like this bar. The money is good, and although the hours are long (4pm until close), I’m having a good time. Life would be a lot smoother if I had consistent access to wireless, but I don’t.

It’s Thursday, and the bar should be busy. I’m just working the floor, enjoying the lack of expectations and pressure. Miss Nude Canada is less than two weeks away, and I have a lot of prep to do. I think I need a car, and a fucking wireless signal.

Ooh well… I’ll worry about that tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

so much to say... no time to say it

I’m so busy I barely have time to breathe. It’s been a great week, and I’m having a blast, and I have so much to say… but I haven’t found time to write it all down yet!! I love Whiskey A GoGo. It’s a great club, with good people. Only a week until Miss Nude Canada, and I have three million things to do in the next 6 days, and NO idea when I’m going to get everything done.

And now I have to buy shave gel, mail a birthday card, and get my arse back “home” to shower and look all pretty for another night of work.

I swear I’ll find time to post my stories soon.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Bloody long day

Saturday night... Sunday morning I don't care what you call it.

Sunday Nov 5. 12:30am. The posters are signed, and I’m done. With a final glance around the bar, I head straight for the front desk. “Money please.” I check my contract, count the bills and say the obligatory goodbyes. Tip toeing across the icy cover parking lot I drag my tired body back to the room. It’s still a mess. I went out for dinner instead of packing. I laugh at my own procrastination and survey the explosion of panties, props and posters. Everything came from somewhere, and like every week it must be stuffed carefully into my suitcases. I’d better get on it. I peel off my sweater and wander around in my bra. I have work to do, and a sweaty turtleneck is gross.

1:00am Ashley pops her head in my room and shakes her head at the obvious lack of packing I’ve done. We both have flights to catch out of Winnipeg and we need to figure out timing. There’s a bus leaving at 6:45am. I hate mornings. There’s also a 3am bus… Strippers and early mornings are not a good combination. I suspect our best hours of sleep are between 6am and noon. I guess we’re leaving at 3:00am. Joy!

1:30 am. I’m watching CSI Miami and sitting on my suitcase. With a bit of moral support and extra body weight it slowly zips closed. Suitcases are quickly being piled in the hall. My costumes are packed, as are Ashley’s. As I do a final check of the room I realize that I’ve packed my shirt. I have nothing to wear. Oops. I tug at the zipper, carefully opening a crack, peering in I spot a clean shirt and pull. Success! I have a sweater.

2:00am. After a bit of searching and a few phone calls from front desk, we find a willing employee to haul our 6 suitcases, Rubbermaid container, and random stuff to the lobby. Yay! The cab is called and we wait. The driver is useless. After staring at us for a few minutes and starting to drive away she reluctantly gets out of the van. With no assistance, and a few complaints we manage to load up. Finally.

2:45am. The road is slippery and the air is sharp. An obscene amount of luggage is piled around us, providing a chair and a hassle. The doors are locked and the depot is abandoned but for three enthusiastic drunks, and two very tired strippers.

4:30am. It’s dark, and it’s late. I’m exhausted and allow my body to drift in and out of sleep. Scrunched in the seat I toss and turn in futile attempts at comfort. My neck hurts and my back hurts, and I hate buses. Beside me I know Ashley shares my sentiments. Yawning, I stare out into the darkness for a moment. Everything is flat, and icy. Winter has come to the prairies, and I’m ready to move on.

5:30am. Winnipeg. I think I slept. I know I closed my eyes, but sleeping on a bus doesn’t count. We need a cab, actually we need 2 cabs and apparently the competent employees aren’t working at 5:30 in the morning on a Sunday. I’m annoyed, and too tired. The cabbies stare at us blankly until I give them very short instructions. “Ok look. We need two cabs. We have 8 bags. They won’t fit in one. You and you, drive around back.” My message appears to have made an impression and we’re on our way again.

6:00am. Home sweet home… or rather a pathetic imitation. I know this hotel all too well. For cheap weekly rates this is the local stripper hotel. Located downtown, and above a peeler bar it’s where most out of town dancers stay. We grab a dancer room and drag our sore bodies down the hall. Suitcases are dragged in and dropped. Clothes are stripped off and left in piles. “I claim the window bed.” I mumble as Ashley yawns in response. “Fine with me, I want the one closest to the door.” Comfortable chatter delays sleep for too long. Finally with the sun peeking through the heavy curtains I drift into darkness.

10:30am. The alarm rings. I roll over and whine. Squinting through a haze of exhaustion I watch her slowly crawl out of bed. Half asleep I hear her shower and drag her share of the gear into the hall. Before too long half the suitcases are gone, as is my friend. Her plane leaves soon. Mine doesn’t. I roll over and hide from the day, but I’m already awake.

11:15am I give up on sleep. I might as well start the day.

2:00pm. Showered, dressed, and packed I’m ready and waiting… for hours. A cab ride to Starbucks provides a welcome dose of caffeine and comfort. I can be a nerd for a couple hours.

4:30 pm. Back at the hotel, I finish closing zippers and staring blankly at the TV. I seem to be watching a follow up on the career of the New Kids on the Block. I’m too lazy to change the channel, besides it’s almost time to go and maybe the life of Jordan Knight is interesting.

4:45pm. realize I haven’t eaten today.

5:10pm. In another cab, this time on the way to the airport. The boy at the check in counter is cute and friendly. He’s my new favourite WestJet employee of the day as he barely charges me for the extra checked baggage. He remembers Ashley from earlier, and did the same for her. What a doll.

5:40pm. I roll my eyes at security girl who wants my MAC lip gloss in a Ziplock before I’m allowed to take it on the plane. They’ve run out of baggies. The guy working at the gift shop finds me a tiny baggie so I can continue through security. Some things I’m willing to sacrifice. Chapstick- sure. MAC tingle shimmer gloss- not a chance.

5:50pm. Sunshine calls. He can’t make it up to see me tonight. Work needs him. It happens. Contingency plan, I call Ashley and get the name of her driver in TO. She offers to make a few calls and txt msg me if she figures something out.

6:10pm. Board plane.

6:25pm. Ashley calls as the flight attendants are going over emergency exits. She got a hold of her driver, and he’ll meet me at the airport. Sweet!! I’m disappointed about Sunshine, but hopefully our schedules with work out soon.

7:50pm. There’s nothing on TV. I munch on a bag of cashews. This does NOT count as dinner, but it's a start. Yawn… (cross time zone and loose an hour)

9:45pm. I’m in Toronto. I’m exhausted and starving. My driver is right where he said he’d be, and he recognizes me immediately. I must look like a stripper. I suspect my luggage is a dead giveaway.

10:40pm. I don’t know where I am, but somewhere in this isolated industrial area is my new home for two weeks. I grab a quick glance in the mirror and head into the bar. I love it. The multileveled floor plan both isolates the room into intimate corners, and creates a central focus around the stage. The room is dim, and feels inviting. I watch patrons enjoy conversations with scantily clad beauties as I weave through the room to the office. I need a key, and an introduction. All is well, and I’m sure I’ll have a good time here. Starving a grab a Chicken Caesar salad and wander through the darkness to my room. The bar is the only life in the neighbourhood, and my apartment is hidden above dark store fronts. The pillows are speckled with lavender flowers and the canary walls create a homey atmosphere. I feel safe here.

Monday Nov 6. 1:00am
My concentration wavers as George Stroumboulopoulos talks Kyoto with David Suzuki in the background. A can of iced tea rests on the bedside table next to my cell phone. I swear I can create a home in 10 minutes. All I have to do is open the bags, and my personality overflows into the room. Flicking channels impatiently, I’m trying to kill a bit more time. I need to stay awake just a little bit longer. I need to switch my laundry before I can pass out for the night. Saddam Hussein has been declared guilty and sentenced to execution. It’s a strange moment. I feel detached and uninformed. With so much propaganda being fed through the media, I’ve found myself frustrated with everything political. I wonder if Saddam will actually be hung. What a strange concept. A trial with international attention resulting in a sentence that reminds me of old westerns and historical revolutions.

I’m done. The alarm is set for 10. My care bear is nuzzled in my breast. The pillow is soft. CSI is providing a familiar distraction and I’ll be asleep soon.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006


Saturday!! Saturday!! (Insert Nickelback and Hockey here)

It’s been cold, but relaxing in Brandon this week. No complaints really, just tired. I have two more shows tonight, and a day of travel ahead of me tomorrow. I’m off to Toronto tomorrow for two weeks of mellow money making. I need a break from the stage. I need to give my mind and mostly my body a chance to rest and heal. My back finally gave up on me last weekend. I’ve worked too hard, too long, and demanded too much from my already injured body over the past few months. I can’t run home just yet, but I can take myself off the pole for a few weeks. I’ve had acupuncture this week, massage and chiropractic hopefully next week, and a steady regime of hot compresses, yoga, hot baths, stretching and Advil should get me back on track (fingers crossed)

I’ve been feeling pretty blah. I’m not desperate to go home yet, but I want to. Money is tight, the past couple weeks have been financially irritating, but it’ll work out.

Inspiration is lacking. Motivation is weak. It’s winter outside and I’m feeling it. I’m going to pack my room, watch Hockey Night in Canada, and eat chocolate covered cherries until they’re all gone. I might treat myself to a steak at the Keg, or I might sit in the corner and be a nerd. All I really know is I‘ll be getting naked for money two more times tonight, and I have to clean my room.