As a born-and-raised Toronto girl stuck out on the rainy edge of Canada, I used to slurp up Raymi the Minx like hot bowls of soup. Her blog was homesick crack as she stomped around the city I so missed in her Frye boots, kicking ass and taking names. She was the distant cousin-niece-step-something-something of Jack Kerouac, she seemed to live on a steady diet of local rock shows, joints, high-end cheese and bike rides past murals, and she had really, really shiny hair. What more could you ask for in a beacon of everything 416?
Raymi (aka Lauren White) was queen of the internet before most people knew what the internet was. She’s been blogging like a bad ass since the dawn of the decade, and no one does it better. With a following that would give most personal bloggers a panic attack or an orgasm, Captain Raymi just keeps going, blogging with a prolific loyalty to her fans. She’s such a big deal that the Globe & Mail calls when she has a break up. She’s a true original, a writer whose chops have taken her all over the internet and into print, and kept us hanging on her every diet, tattoo, meal, and reincarnation for ten years. Her blog feels like the ultimate translation of life into internet, and while we know we don’t know everything about her, we can’t help but feel like we do.
What makes her so appealing? If you’re one of her many fans, you probably never stopped to ask. Something about her intense dedication to self-exploration, self-deprecation and self-exposure mixes into one potent internet cocktail, and we can’t stop reading. This year, she’s celebrating 10 years of satisfying the voracious appetite of the internet, and you can toast right along with her tonight at Wrongbar, where she’s throwing one hell of an anniversary bash. On the eve of the celebration, we talked to Raymi about what it means to be a certified self-made internet celebrity.
What was your first post about?
I wrote it on my dad’s birthday in our basement like a total loser. Just kidding, our basement was where the teenagers all hung out and where my secret internetland was stationed. My first post is actually a rather embarrassing post, I was 17 and I was doing this stupid slang writing at the time as I was a forum poster. I didn’t know anything about the internet or personaes, I just thought I was cool. Wasn’t. Still there’s lots of truth in there. I haven’t gone to Thailand to get arrested for weed yet, that JJ Muggs is no longer, and “Got that bruisy, booze-eyed look, again,” is a quote I lifted from Prozac Nation. I still want a daughter and now my niece is 12, that’s why we went to see The Grinch. I remember that day vividly. Oh man, memories. This was my first ever movie review I guess. I give it no stars. I would love to delete it and I fully could but then we couldn’t make fun of me for it.
Where do you find the most inspiration?
Films. No, cinema. Which word is more obnoxious? Celebrities for sure, their beauty and talent, poise. I admire their perfectionism and tenacity, they also take a lot garbage in the media. I am inspired by nature, seasons, colours, food, art, music. A good bender, the perfect company with the right attitude. A night like that can keep you writing for weeks.
What do you think has been your most controversial post?
When I wrote about The Hangover and the one that made the Globe interview me. First, The Hangover. I am a completely different person now and wouldn’t care if my loser boyfriend went to Vegas with his pals it just draws a line in the sand of the relationship and makes him that less precious to me but still I wouldn’t lose it like 2008 Raymi would. Sure I might even the score but yeah, that post certainly divided people. People respond to emotional posts with emotion plus if you piss them off a little bit they like to chime in. The comments went up to about a hundred. It wasn’t that controversial it just drew a crowd. I’ve had other more controversial ones, like nudity or talking about a date or something abusive, it’s not controversial anymore when it becomes standard fare I think. When I wrote about ending my engagement that’s when I really struck one out of the park and the funny (sad) thing is I only broke silence because some sniveling anonymous hater snarkily quipped muahaha what happened? Insinuating I got dumped so naturally, I gotta speak up ‘cos I knew it wasn’t going to go away.
What’s the best opportunity you have received through the blog?
VIP all access to (almost) anything I want if I asked for it, or it’s offered. Amazing dining experiences. The opportunity of making myself a notable just from typing into an online journal every day.
Do you have a favourite party you attended? Or BEST NIGHT EVER?
My 27th birthday was pretty amazing. To summarize, Niagara Falls on a Tuesday night (deadsville), casino, slot machine cranking to $200 as you’re in the wonky feeling amazing tenure of your party pill (apparently a lot of people do mushrooms at casinos) and had decided to call it quits, strip club (sketchy but funny) then a swanky lame bar where you dance freely anonymously like an idiot, dive bar, hotel, woke up to the first punch of spring I was the only one who had brought shorts, cruised the falls for the day.
If you could go back in time and tell little Raymi a piece of advice what would you say?
Do it faster and sooner and avoid every scumbag you were nice to in late 2002/3 – go easier on the weed. Also don’t date dealers.
What is sexy to you?
Ew. Heheh sexy is so dated what is this Cosmopolitan? Jokes. I have weird sex hang-ups. I based my “character” around a minx for christ sakes, clearly I am a freak. Thank god I’m not a man. Anything can be sexy to me. I compartmentalize my thoughts and am pretty work-focused but on one of those crazy hungover as shit days I dunno why but I find I am pretty needy sexually and now that I am single you have to deal with alone or not at all. Yes I have too much pride to beat off. The point is, nothing is sexy to me if I’m not in the mood. I restrain myself from impure thoughts because well, that’s human, there are rules in this society you can’t go around acting on impulse all the time so after all this abstinence you kind of meltdown and then you find someone, it clicks and it’s see you in three months everyone! Obsession is sexy. Intensity. 48 hour love-ins.
What is the best blogger tool – beer, cheese, tits, hair, dance moves, humour?
Wit, always being right, being a good debater or just blind stubborn. Spinning a good yarn, lots of photos, story telling. Knowing what is interesting and what isn’t. Just because I can write about a thought I had about a swing in a dream or some garbage doesn’t mean you can, you know what I mean? It’s in the details, getting the reader in on it too, having flow and passion and following up. Tits, as in the packaging, crucial. You are an idiot if you think your ugly dowdy mug is going to sell that piece of crap book I am sorry lady but get your head out of your ass. Me being smart in a playboy bunny costume is so much more compelling. It pisses people off and turns them on simultaneously.
If you could have drinks with anyone, who would it be?
My grandpa, if he were alive today, we would be drinking scotch, he would be actually and I’d be drinking Jameson and I would ask him to explain why the fuck he drank cheap scotch all the time, it tastes like shit! John Lennon (plus weed). Kurt Cobain, Gallagher brothers, (either or though I think their drunken accents would be impossible to make out what the hell they were saying) and one more, why not? Some kind of big mouth hot shot with opposing political views as my own in a Bay street bar where he is one part agog by me and one part totally fucking infuriated. I love me a good argue.
What are you so over right now?
Divided party scenes, cliques, pressure to make it big, having to do my makeup every day, buying stuff to fill the void, snarkiness, nerds wearing keffiyehs, geniuses thinking they created life by wearing doc martens all over again, G20, people never being satisfied, NYE, uh, blogging? Hahahaha.
What are you so into right now?
Whatever project I am working on that’s been consuming me and being able to see the end of it, seeing it come together. Hopefully this will be the party for example. I really hope I pull it off. You just never know right, people are known to cancel birthday parties last minute. I worry that I don’t have enough free shit to give away to people who probably don’t really even like me just so I can prove that I can. The bags are beautiful and reusable, not a lot of concrete stuff other than a bottle of rum and hangover patch to slap on before you consume it, gift cards/vouchers etc. It was like planning a wedding for myself, by myself, and I did it because if the ten year mark passed and I just made this pithy comment like oh it’s the ten year anniversary of this blog you are reading, um, so not big enough. Your only role is to party, if you can’t have a good time then you have not been paying attention to my life philosophies over the past ten years.
Thanks so much Toronto for inspiring my stupid ass, to join your rat race and prove myself to you.
Make sure to come out tonight, Thursday, November 11th, to help Raymi celebrate. Festivities begin at 7 pm at Wrongbar, 1279 Queen St. W. $10 if you don’t want presents, $20 if you do.