Tag Archives: cruelty-free

My vegan-friendly wedding: Key items

Most people who know me know that I got married earlier this month. It’s been so strange the last few weeks getting used to not thinking about my wedding — even though it was a small event (only 30 people, including Jarrod and I), it was seemingly all that was on my mind, especially for the last two weeks. So not thinking about my wedding has me suddenly a little discombobulated! What do I do with all this space in my head!

JK, work and write, work and write, write and work, work and write! That was a cute little moment where I thought I’d never be stressed again.


Back to basics: Vegan skincare

Like many women, I’ve strove (hold up — apparently “strived” is not a word??!) to simplify my skincare routine in the last few years. Few people take pride in having a wide array of products that spills out of their medicine cabinet and requires so much liquid that yeah girl, you definitely have to check that bag at the airport.

But the problem (I find) with the much-coveted capsule skincare collection is that so many of us still don’t actually know what products we need the most in order to actually make our skin behave — never mind trying to stick to a budget. It feels like we can either have a $100 moisturizer that actually somehow manages to do the trick, or a $12 moisturizer that leaves your skin with an uncomfortable milky residue so hey let’s also buy a $10 pack of blotting papers and a $20 loose powder and throw in a spot treatment while we’re at it.


Vegan nighttime routine: My longtime go-tos

Night Routine

If you asked my partner, he’d probably tell you that my “nighttime routine” involves reluctantly washing my face and then falling asleep on the couch while watching a rerun of Rick and Morty/Brooklyn Nine-Nine/The Office/something equally silly. However, for the past year or so I’ve actually been trying harder to get a more definitive nighttime routine down because helping myself actually ease into sleep and relaxation makes it way easier for me to fall asleep. (more…)

What’s in my (vegan) bag: Ballet class edition

WIMB Ballet

If you’ve known me for five minutes, you probably know that I’m a dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was 11 years old and I’ve never really stopped. I also teach dance at a few different studios, which keeps me feeling so happy and connected to the art.


What’s in my (vegan) bag: cyclist edition


Have I mentioned I’m kind of an active person? Between cycling, lifting, climbing, dancing and yoga, if I have a day where I don’t do some form of physical activity, I feel really weird.

At the very least, I ride my bike every day (even in the winter), to and from work. It’s only about 10K each way, but it’s enough to get me pumped and energized — and to turn me into kind of a hot mess. I’m a sweaty person, and because I’m devoted to safety (i.e. wearing a helmet) my hair is always a total tragedy after a ride.


New vegan personal/household products I’ve tried lately (including one that almost burned my eyelid off)

Big Shampoo

It’s been a busy start to spring in our apartment (which our friend Molly has affectionately nicknamed the “BJ Supermarket”). We’ve been more productive than ever with clean-ups, new organization systems and personal projects (like finally re-stringing my ancient hand-me-down guitar, or Jar’s continued work on his model train layout. His birthday gift to me can be getting it the f*%^ out of the way of the guest bed).

We’ve also still got big plans, like what we want to do with the balcony, how we want to hang the rest of our art, and how we want our bedroom to evolve, style-wise.

As I’ve eased myself into this new living situation (quite comfortably, I might say), I’ve also settled on products that I’m most comfortable with for doing work around the house, and also, well, work on me. I’ve reviewed a few of my favourite household and personal products before, but I thought I might give an update on some things that have worked out really well for me — and some that haven’t.

I want to state that I’m not strictly a naturalist (is that the right word?) when it comes to my products, even though most of these products you will find are considered “clean” and “chemical-free.” The fact is it’s just easier to find vegan products that also fall under this umbrella — and it’s also easier to track which ingredients were tested on or derived from animals this way.

Note: None of the following products are blog sponsors and no money or personal goods have been accepted in exchange for positive reviews.

Earthpaste natural toothpaste in Wintergreen

  • Price: $6.55
  • Where I bought it: The Big Carrot

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for something just because it seems different. Earthpaste certainly sells itself as different. This is a clay-based toothpaste with no fluoride or foaming agents. It’s the foaming agents thing that makes the biggest difference (again: while I’m not strictly anti-fluoride, since most vegan toothpastes are fluoride-free, I’ve lived without it for years). You won’t get that big foamy texture in your mouth, which definitely feels different. I’m normally one to shrug at this — less foam doesn’t mean you’re less clean. But unfortunately that results in a really thin, runny consistency in the paste. There’s something about the clay that also feels gritty, which I personally don’t like on my teeth. I can’t speak to its long-term success, but I just found no matter what it was difficult to make my mouth feel “clean” after.

Bottom line: Would probably not recommend this product, but it’s more about personal preference.

Green Beaver Cilantro and Mint Toothpaste

  • Price: $4.99
  • Where I bought it: Noah’s (King/Spadina)

Yep, somehow I found a cilantro toothpaste. I actually rushed out to buy a new toothpaste after I decided I couldn’t take another day of the Earthpaste. I was going to go back to my usual Kiss My Face brand, but that was about $3 more expensive, and… I mean, cilantro, y’all. I’ll admit this toothpaste probably isn’t for everyone. Cilantro is already an acquired taste (I used to hate it, now I have it in/on everything!) and it’s not the most common thing to find in a toothpaste, but is a really unique taste. It’s still not as foamy as a conventional toothpaste (it’s more creamy) but it at least isn’t super runny, and a little bit of toothpaste goes a way longer way. After this tube is out I’ll probably spend the extra bucks on one of my older preferred brands, but it’s been a good trip.

Bottom line: Would recommend this product to anyone who likes cilantro, but it’s by no means an amazing toothpaste.

ELF Illuminating Eye Cream

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I was having “some eye issues” lately? I’d been waking up with a lot of eye secretions (sorry, I know that word is nasty) and even crust on my eye that was so bad I could barely open them some mornings. I also experienced a burn on the outer corner of my left eye. I eliminated all of my face products and makeup for a bit and slowly re-introduced them, and the ELF cream started to look like the suspect. I also took a look at the one-star reviews of the product online (I tend to avoid both five and one-star reviews since they usually exaggerate a lot on either side) and found a lot of people said the same thing! Stinging, burning, redness, eczema… yeah. Anyway, ELF responded to my complaints almost immediately and offered a refund, which I have to say really impressed me on their part. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m really publicly not recommending this product to anyone with even vaguely sensitive skin (my skin tends to fall under combination/normal and isn’t very sensitive).

Bottom line: Would absolutely not recommend this product regardless of skin type or needs.

Attitude Daily Shower cleaner in Citrus Zest

  • Price: $4.99
  • Where I bought it: The Big Carrot

Moving into an apartment can be tough — even if the building management cleans your tub prior, one big clean session can’t quite get everything off the surface. Combine that with us both being, well, basic human beings who shower every day, and me being a girl who likes her bath (and bath bombs) it was really hard to get ahead with the tub. Admittedly, most vegan bathroom products I’ve tried don’t have the same scrubbing power as non-vegan ones (although I hated using traditional cleansers like Vim anyway because of how they irritated my hands). Every time I’d give a good cleaning session (that would wear my shoulders and chest out as much as a good climb would) it felt like I never got the grime fully off, then after one shower it was dirty again. Anyway, we spontaneously decided to grab this stuff at the Carrot one day. Upon first use we gave it a super thorough scrubbing (that’s recommended for very dirty bathtubs. I’d like to think our bathtub wasn’t “very dirty,” but still, we wanted to see results) and we now use it after every shower. Woah! Major difference. No grit, no weird shady shit that I try to convince myself is a shadow, just a nice, clean shower (and the smell is barely-there, so you don’t have to worry about some overbearing artificial fragrance).

Lush BIG shampoo

  • Price: $27.95
  • Where I bought it: LUSH (Queen/Peter)

I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I no longer have to shampoo my hair every single day. In fact, I’m down to about 1-2 shampoos per week. This shampoo has proven to be the best possible formula for my hair — which is of the Flat ‘n’ Floppy variety. Most shampoos intended for volumizing tend to dry my hair out too much (my hair has oily roots but once you get down to ear level you start to see the dryness/damage), whereas this is a mild enough formula that it doesn’t leave my hair feeling totally parched. A little goes a long way with this shampoo in terms of lather, and the sea salt sensation is actually really cool.

Bottom line: would recommend this shampoo to anyone with a flat hair problem!

One last thing: I had a few lipstick reviews to add (I’m a total lipstick junkie), but I’ve decided to do a separate post on my favourite vegan lipsticks. You guys have to hold me to that, okay?

A few tips on caring for tattoos (in a vegan-friendly way)

There’s no sadder feeling than writing up a 1,000+ word blog post only to have to toss it out because you were all wrong, and the mascara you were singing the praises for wasn’t at all vegan.

Sigh. Yep, that’s about all I can do right now. Apparently I still haven’t taken my own advice and tend to believe brands when they say their product is “vegan” when it actually contains beeswax and carmine.

Note to the general public: bees and beetles are actually living things.

So now I’m back to using the mascara that I’ve actually said is kind of crappy, Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara (note to everyone: NOT better than sex, because I’ve still never had to pay for even the most mediocre sex I’ve had).

What I’ve decided to do instead of blather on about mascara is blather on about something else I love — tattoos!

I have six tattoos, and doing the math I think there’s just under seven hours of work on my body — which is funny, because I know people who have just one tattoo who have technically undergone more hours of work than I have.

I got my first tattoo shortly after my 20th birthday. I remember being so nervous I shook at my desk all day before it. My friend Sam held my hand the entire time, and I was in a ton of pain, but kept a smile on my face. I think it was up until my third tattoo (the giant CBC logo on my shoulder) that I still found tattoos to be incredibly painful. Starting with my fourth tattoo, I’ve stopped really feeling anything other than mild annoyance (I actually found my most recent tattoo rather pleasurable).

I have no plans for when to stop. I adore tattoos. For me, the art will always be the first priority. I’m not going to just get more tattoos for the sake of more tattoos (not that I think there’s anything wrong with that). Right now I have no ideas for other tattoos, but I’m sure they’ll come around eventually.

I have a great relationship with my tattoo artist, Darryl. He’s done the last four pieces on me, we have a wonderful rapport and I like supporting his new shop.

Here are a few tips for vegans with regards to tattoos:

  • Check for vegan ink! A lot of tattoo inks are not vegan, but fortunately there’s a pretty large selection of vegan tattoo inks and transfer paper. Talk to your artist about inks, and always offer to buy and provide. Showing up unannounced with vegan ink isn’t the nicest thing you can do, so cover this at the consult.
  • Aftercare, aftercare, aftercare! Stay away from fragrance and heavy soaps. I love my Dr. Bronner’s (the “baby” version is fragrance-free) for this.
  • Always protect your tattoos from the sun. I buy vegan sunscreen online. For the summer, I love Lush’s Sunblock, which leaves a nice, thick, strong layer of sun protection.
  • Moisturizing your tattoos shouldn’t stop once the healing is done. Your tattoo is art, so treat it like that! I love to quickly shine up my tattoos with Lush Ultrabalm, but if you want some extra portability, go for the Merry Hempsters hemp tattoo balm. Bonus —  I also love their hot and cool muscle rubs (why haven’t I picked up their “bumps and bruises” rub yet? Bumps and bruises are, like, my thing).
  • About once a week, I give my body a nice deep moisture treatment with almond oil. I rub the most on my knees, elbows and tattoos. That’s a way better visual effect than a heavy moisturizer, has no artificial scents that irritate your skin and makes you extra cuddle-able all day.
  • Tattoos are on your skin and are not exempt from any skin problems like the rest of your body! My biggest issue is flaking skin, which can make my tattoos look dull and yucky. A few years ago I switched from using typical bath sponges to using a more abrasive (but all-natural) shower brush. I give myself a gentle scrubbing which exfoliates my skin, removes flakes and gives me a good wake-up!

Anyway, here are a few “glam” shots I threw together of my tattoos. The most recent one, my ballerina, is still healing, so forgive the little bobos!

Tattoos 1 Tattoos 2 Tattoos 3 Tattoos 4 Tattoos 5

How to deal with your non-vegan friends when you go vegan

I think most vegans — largely new vegans, but I even see this with longtime vegans — say the hardest adjustment they make when they first transition isn’t the physical/food aspect of veganism, but the social aspect.

Non-vegan friends and family members have a really difficult time seeing things from a vegan’s perspective. They’re not really bad people for it, but they sometimes have a tendency to make vegans feel like bad people. It’s really easy to feel excluded — because you want to stand up for yourself, but you don’t want to become known as “that vegan.” As much as you don’t want to end up being preachy and alienating your friends, you end up feeling like you’re constantly having to defend your decision, which others read as “preachy.”

It becomes a cycle, and it’s really easy to get bummed out.

My friends by now are all very accepting of my veganism, and most of the questions I get about it have evolved from irritating questions that are really just attempts to start arguments to legitimate curiosities that I’m always happy to satisfy. They’ve come to really respect my choice and (maybe this is just false hope here) really think more about their own choices. I’ve had a few friends express a will to shift their diets and lifestyles to a more cruelty-free alternative, and that feels really, really awesome.

I’m not saying my way is the best way, but all I can say is that I feel like I’ve created a good balance of sticking to my guns and my morals while getting my friends off my back.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • The reason they feel like you talk about it constantly is because, no matter how much or how little you talk about it, you’re probably talking about your diet 100% more than you used to. A meat-eating diet is essentially an invisible diet, nor is it a political statement, and people aren’t used to it being talked about. When you put a label on your diet, it is no longer invisible, so for outsiders who don’t understand, it feels like they’re being bombarded.
  • The reason they get defensive is because your lifestyle forces them to think about their own. It’s sometimes hard for me to think back to how I felt about food before I was a vegan, but I can safely say that until a vegan is around, when you’re a lifetime meat-eater, it’s hard to think of, say, chicken, as chicken, or steak as being from an individual cow. Veganism is a very bold challenge to beliefs that, in some cases, have been held for a very long time. It’s natural for people to feel defensive over that.
  • Don’t sell yourself out. Don’t lie or betray your own values for the sake of “not being that vegan.” If you chicken out (heh!) and say things you don’t actually think (like, “Oh, I don’t actually agree with all those activist types, I just do it for my health”) it’ll get way harder to actually stand up for yourself after that.

That said, here are a few lines I’d recommend using if your friends ever get to you a little too much. Some of them vary in how harsh they are, some incorporate sarcasm/humour but all of them make one very strong point: you do not have to answer to anyone else!

  1. “Look, I’m trying not to be too aggressive about my beliefs because we’re friends, but you have to realize that when you put my life choices on trial, it’s hurtful and irritating.”
  2. “I realize that this new choice of mine is very different for you, and it might force you to think differently about what you eat. But I’m really not interested in an argument right now, because it won’t accomplish anything other than upsetting me.”
  3. “Judging from your reaction, I feel like my choice is very upsetting to you. I’m sorry that you’re so upset by it, but I think you need to work out whatever issues you have with it on your own.”
  4. “Isn’t it interesting how people say vegans love to shove their beliefs down others’ throats? Because you seem very concerned about my diet.”
  5. “Trust me, I know it sounds like veganism is all I talk about. I’m just really passionate about it. I’m sure you can relate to feeling so passionate about something.”
  6. “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to answer that question. It’s not your job to change my beliefs.”
  7. “I have no obligation to humour you because you might feel insecure about my choice.”
  8. “Can we just fast-forward to a few months down the road when you’re all used to me being a vegan so I don’t have to answer so many questions?”
  9. “I’m fine with my choice — are you?”
  10. “If you have genuine curiosities or are thinking of going vegan, I’m happy to answer some questions. But please realize how exhausting it is for me to have to deal with so many questions.”

Best of luck, fellow potato-heads. What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked since going vegan? How have your friends reacted? Has anyone here lost friends over it? (Well, you have a new friend now: me)!

My everyday (vegan) makeup look in five minutes or less!

vegan makeup

I’m so excited, you guys! I’ve been putting off doing a makeup post for a very long time — I always get really, really close and then scrap it. One of the biggest factors is waiting to get decent photos taken (the first draft contained a mirror selfie at the gym. OMG). The next factor is that, well, my look changes up a lot. I don’t wear makeup all the time (I like to give my skin room to breathe), but when I do wear makeup I like to have a lot of fun with it, and I’m always trying my hand at something new.

This look, however, is my “tried and true” look, a method I’ve been perfecting since high school. It might seem high-concept or like a lot of product at first, but I’ve actually managed to get my routine down to a pretty simple process.

One thing that has always inspired me was the book The Five-Minute Face by Carmindy. I read the book in high school and have spent the past decade following the philosophy of a simple, radiant look that doesn’t get too trendy.

Because I’m a full-time working gal, my products do go up on the price scale on occasion. Of course, there are also some great vegan makeup products in the low-end price range, many of which I use every day. I try to include alternatives for cheaper products when I have enough in-depth knowledge of the product, and I’m definitely open to suggestions!

Please note that while I only buy 100% vegan cosmetics myself, not all of my products purchased are from companies that ONLY make vegan products. I would love to be in this position one day, but I’ve chosen to go with options from companies that are most accessible.

I’ve also found that some companies who generally get a pass as “vegan” but do not reveal their full ingredient list or vegan lists have actually been less-than-truthful on the subject, therefore I only give my business to companies that actually provide the information upfront. Some companies also present their products as “vegan” but don’t consider products such as beeswax and lanolin to be non-vegan! (I’m looking at you, Wet ‘n’ Wild).

For vegan products I rely largely on sites like Logical Harmony and Vegan Makeup on Tumblr.

My “everyday” vegan makeup routine (and yes, it only takes 5 minutes)


I’ve always had naturally pretty good skin, but like everyone, it has its picky elements. I tend to break out a lot between my eyebrows and on my chin, especially around my period, and I have extremely dark (purple-ish) under-eyes. But I have a lot of positive aspects to my skin too — I really like the tone of my skin and I feel like my cheeks have a nice natural glow. I generally don’t like my foundation to take away from that, I just like it to do a bit of evening out here and there. That’s why I just use a little lightweight primer to bring a nice, bright tone to my face. For spot-concealing I tend to use a heavier, more buildable concealer, and I apply it with a concealer brush. I’ve used the Kat Von D concealer for awhile now and it’s hands-down the best concealer I’ve ever used — both for under-eyes and blemishes! Despite being a full-coverage concealer, it’s never given my skin any problems or made my breakouts worse. Lastly, I set with a nice fine finishing powder, because I have a tendency toward shine, and it helps all my makeup blend better. Finally, I add some shimmery pink blush on top of my powder (I find powder dulls the shine of blush, so I put my blush on top for a more distinct glow). For a more glow-y blush I just swipe the colour on the very top of my cheekbones — I’m not gonna lie, I think it makes me look mega-cute when I smile.



Eyes are something I’ve gone back and forth on since I first started wearing makeup in high school. When I first got into makeup, all of my peers were going through the Avril Lavigne phase of really thick black eyeliner on top and bottom with very little fade and tons of thick black mascara. Somehow I could never quite master the look! Of course, being a dancer I’ve owned a lot of eyeshadow in my life (I won’t tell you how much of it was blue, but here’s a hint: a metric shit-tonne). I do like eyeshadow and tend to prefer it over eyeliner in more formal situations, but for an everyday look I find a single line of liquid liner pulls my look together really nicely. Just like I learned in The Five Minute Face, I dot a few lines along my lower lashes and then blend with a smudge brush (or you could use a Q-tip). I like to curl my lashes before applying a light coat of black mascara. I’m not Twiggy, so I don’t put any mascara at all on my lower lashes (anyone who can actually pull this off, let me know and I’ll buy you a Daiya Pizza). I also cannot emphasize enough how much effort I put into my eyebrows! I used to be self-conscious of my thick eyebrows when I was young (not to mention I apparently inherited the patented “Rody scowl” and constantly have a furrowed brow) and couldn’t wait to get them waxed off when I hit high school. Now, I love my mean eyebrows! I mostly fill them in tracing along the top of my brow, then lightly shade down from that line. I don’t do anything to altar or enhance the shape of my brow, just to enhance its current shape and colour!



Okay, this is actually a simple one. For everyday wear, I don’t wear any lipgloss or lipstick — I find my lips look most glowing when they’re moisturized and healthy. Lip balm is probably the hardest vegan product to find — even “natural” companies don’t seem to prefer using cruelty-free candelilla wax to beeswax! Why oh why is it I can find soy candles but I can’t find soy-based lip balms? Anyway, two of my favourite vegan lip balms that you can actually find locally in Toronto are Hurraw! and Bare English. Hurraw is definitely more oily and has a glossier finish, while Bare English has a nice waxy feel. Both make tinted versions as well (I prefer Bare English’s tinted balm shades). They both come in an ever-increasing range of scents and flavours (Hurraw has 23 varieties!), but my all-time favourite will always be Hurraw’s lip balm in Root Beer. I’ve not really talked about my deep dark secret on this blog very much, but I’m a total root beer addict.

On the odd chance I feel like adding a bit of lip gloss, I always stick to ELF with their classic Super Glossy Lip Gloss in Pink Kiss. I don’t find beige works as a “nude” for me, since I have so many blue-ish pink tones to my skin, and despite looking bubble-gum in the tube, this gloss actually gives that “your lips but better!” shade everyone always aims for.

Things I’m Loving Lately: May Edition

May is finished! Woah! And that brings us to my favourite month: (wait for it) JUNE! (Weren’t expecting that, were you)?

Now, I could tell you that June is my favourite month because it’s the month of my birthday and you’d probably believe me, right? Well, as a matter of fact, even if I were born in, say, November (the WORST month) I bet June would be my favourite month. Why? C’mon, it’s obvious. Long days, warm weather (without that awful, pervasive heat-wave feel), sunshine, and the end of school!

Wait, it’s been about ten years since June meant “the end of school.” Oy, I feel old.

But still, I’m making a strong case for June, right?

Here are a few favourites I discovered or simply used a lot of in May. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

  1. Lush U.K.’s SunblockI was shocked to know that you can’t actually buy vegan sunscreen in Canada. Why? Because sunscreen sold in Canada MUST be tested on animals. How silly! I’m in California right now (like, RIGHT NOW!) and this little bar is saving my Irish ass.
  2. I actually bought a romper. I love myself for that.
  3. Kat Von D makeup has been one of those up-in-the-air brands that had murmurs and rumours about that it was vegan/cruelty-free, but there was no confirmation. Recently, Logical Harmony certified Kat Von D makeup as cruelty-free and listed their vegan products — almost all of them! I now own a KVD lipstick, concealer AND eyeliner, and I can’t wait to show off some of the interesting looks I’ve been creating.
  4. I’m not just loving my cat Benny “lately,” I’ve loved him forever, but lately I’ve been loving posting pictures and videos of him on Instagram. My cat is just so funny-looking I have to share him with the world (you should follow me! You’ll see some of my sister’s jerk cats there too).
  5. I want to give a special shout-out to my favourite climbing gym in the GTA, Climber’s Rock. I mean, that’s aside from my home gym (I will always love you, TCA). But Climber’s Rock, located in Burlington, is a fantastic gym to travel to from time to time! There are some great beginner routes and a few auto-belays, so you can work without a partner, two large boulder areas, plenty of high, challenging lead walls, and even a great yoga studio and fitness area.
  6. Another great space to shout out to is Hub 14, a creative arts space for local creators to rehearse, create content and even perform in. I’ve been rehearsing at Hub 14 lately. It’s located in the Queen and Bathurst area and feels so wonderfully private.
  7. How did I find Hub 14? Actually, that’s another thing I’m loving lately: Space Finder Toronto. This is a great, easy way to find a space to rehearse in — or have a meeting, or teach a lesson, or record a song. It’s easy to find and book space and sort by price too!
  8. I recently bought these jeans from GAP and they make my legs look fantastic.
  9. A few great articles I’ve read recently about the politics of food: A Plea for Culinary Modernism, which is critical of the way we romanticize the “old-fashioned” food and cooking styles, and The new religion: how an emphasis on “clean eating” has created a moral hierarchy for food. I will say that I disagree (or am just plain confused by) the latter’s views on veganism to an extent (it seems to believe that the only reason people are vegan is to feel “pure” themselves and leaves animal liberation out of the conversation entirely), but that said I think it is astute (and yes, harsh) and a strong point to compare food and the emphasis on “clean eating” to religion.
  10. One of my favourite vegans in the world, Evelyn aka NourishNotPunish (a fellow fructmal) has recently published a raw vegan cheesecake made. without. cashews. or. dates. I actually haven’t made this cheesecake yet, but I WILL! Because, uh, it’s summer time, and my birthday is coming up!

That’s it for this month’s link love and ravings! June will surely be full of a lot of adventures. I’ll make sure to post pics from California (if they even turn out alright) so you can see how this pale Irish-Canadian loser deals with the city of dreams.