The Surrealist List of Pleasant Things

Wow, I’ve been posting a lot of really angry things lately. (Pause: HELLO MAN WHO JUST WALKED INTO THE COFFEE SHOP! YOU LOOK EXACTLY LIKE ANDY WARHOL!) Maybe that’s why all my friends have been avoiding me. At first I thought it was because my fabulous aura of success and Zen-like contentment was just too intimidating, but now I realize it’s because I’ve deteriorated into a hateful and unappealing mess. YOU GUYS I REALLY HATE MY HAIR. I look so bad! Lady Gaga without makeup bad! And for someone who’s planning to enter the Miss Universe contest in 2064, this is not a good thing!

Anyway, the hair, the computers, and losing my best draft of my favorite short story have really been getting me down. But enough of that! It’s time to stop and smell the Surrealist daisies. In order to boost my mood–and lure back all my friends–I’ve compiled a list of things that make me happy (100% Salvador Dali-approved). I hope they make you happy, too.


fresh-picked daisies, dripping with morning egg

wind and other jewelry

bees sipping lucid exotics

very tall grasses in which to hide one’s soulmeat

transparent hemophiliacs in ruby

stillborn rose laughter

frothy petticoats, swimming

absolutely everyone’s spinal birthstones

manic yolk diamonds

goblets of cream trees

lemonade sun-butter

couture dresses of fine creekwater

a moon a day

waterbugs frozen in whipped milk

pretty nerves in a bathtub

cocktails, headless and iced

acorn melancholy

distilled lavender innuendo


In the past 24 hours, not only has my personal laptop bite the dust, but my computer at work crashed, resulting in all my files being erased.

You wouldn’t think I would care so much about my work computer, but that had SO MANY FILES ON IT. So many files that were totally necessary for me to do my day-to-day job. I feel like I just started a new job–I have nothing. Not even my old emails. Not even the hundreds of emails I saved from my boyfriend, or the gadjillion emails I needed to respond to

The thing that kills me most is that the most recent draft of one of my short stories was on that computer. Why the hell didn’t I email it to myself? THE ONE TIME I DON’T EMAIL IT TO MYSELF!

I loathe computers. I loathe them so much. I think it’s infinitely creepy that they’re designed to break. I think it’s disgusting how often upgrades are required. I JUST WANT TO TYPE SOMETHING IN A F—ING WORD PROCESSOR. I don’t give a damn about amenities or add-ons or whatever. I just want to type my short stories in peace without having to worry that AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR, IF NOT MORE, my entire life is going to go up in flames because some loser geek in silicon valley spends his meaningless days rolling in money and dreaming about his dungeon master girlfriend and PURPOSEFULLY DESIGNING THIS EXPENSIVE THING TO BREAK. 

Oh, I should have emailed everything to myself? I should have backed up? I should have paid–PAID!!!–for that creepy service advertised on the El with the guy with his head in his hands over his laptop that says, “Tony should have bought That Creepy Service. Now he lost everything.” NO. NO. Why the fuck should I pay for this expensive loser computer if it’s NOT GOING TO WORK. I DIDN’T BUY A COMPUTER SO I COULD BE CONSTANTLY BACKING SHIT UP AND STORING IT ON THE F—ING INTERNET. What happens when the internet breaks? (Solar storms, bitches, look it up.) Do I get a refund on That Creepy Service?

Sorry that I have this crazy idea that computers should work, like, uh, for good, and that I shouldn’t have to have three or four backup plans in case of “emergency,” aka planned obsolescence. PLANNED! Are you hearing this? Can you imagine if cars worked that way? Uh-oh, system malfunction. Have fun being toooootally dead!

Dude…a NOTEBOOK. MADE OUT OF PAPER. Costs like three bucks, will never randomly “crash” on you. It can be destroyed, but only by the same things that destroy computers: theft, loss, fire, water. Arsenic. Blowtorches. Zombie armies. Finely-sharpened nails. I AM COMING TO GET YOU, COMPUTERS OF THE WORLD.

PS: I was feeling bad about all the cursing in this post so I went back and edited a lot of it out. A LOT. Don’t worry, my computer still knows that I typed it. Good. I wanted you to know. I want you to know that I’m coming for you. I want you to be afraid.

Organizations to Which I Would Rather Give My Money Than to the Guy With the Clipboard and Mohawk on the Corner of Lake and Michigan Who Asks Me "Where Do You Get Your Hair Done?"


1. Your Mom Breast Augmentation Society
2. Homeless People for Crack
3. Coalition to Prevent Tori From Being Published
4. Our Drugs, Our Children: Heroin for a Happy Childhood
5. Annoying Biddies Who Want To Be My Friend
6. Coalition to Keep Tori and Scott Weiland Apart
7. Jersey Shore
8. Madonna’s Harem of Bloodsucking Terror
9. Hot Guys Who Squish Puppies
10. Coalition to Force Tori to Eat a Steak, Medium-Rare
11.United Nutella Ban Nations
12. Shakespeare Gives You Cancer
13. “A Tapeworm in Every Intestine” Society
14. Ron Jeremy’s Harem of Hairy Horror
15. The “World Domination Through Twilight-Themed Hypnosis” Society
16. Juggalos Make Better Boyfriends
17. Adopt-a-Homeless-Person
18. No Tsetse Fly Left Behind


Traumatizing Moments From My Past, Volume Four: You Can’t Spell "Cockroach" Without "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"

Hi. I don’t like cockroaches. Here’s an easy way to tell if your friend/girlfriend/lover/whatever likes cockroaches:

1. Is s/he a girl?
2. Is s/he a human?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above, the answer is NO. THEY DO NOT LIKE COCKROACHES.

My reasons for not liking them are a bit more personal. A few months ago, I moved into my first apartment. I loved it. It had blue walls and a patio and a pink bathroom and an adorable little basket for silverware. It was great, life was great, everything was fabulous. UNTIL THE COCKROACHES SHOWED UP. I panicked, I screamed at my boyfriend, my boyfriend screamed at the cockroach (yes, screamed, hahahahahaha), I screamed at my landlord (in an email), I sobbed at my dad, I got out of the lease (thank you, Chicago Charge Speech and Debate training!), I moved into the most fantastic apartment known to mankind, I am madly in love, end of story. Needless to say, that’s why I hate cockroaches.

OR IS IT?!?!?!?!?!?!

Friends, journey back with me to a time long, long ago, to a land dry and dusty and speckled with the greenery of cacti. A land called Eritrea. A land of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten–red lentils, sugar-spackled doughnuts, and cardamom-spiced coffee–but also a land of horror, a land of darkness. A land where pet goats die, a land where people eat cow eyeballs, a land where skinned oxen hang from butcher hooks in open doorways, black with flies. (Hi vegetarianism!) The land of my childhood.

I was seven. I was sitting on my bed and putting on my shoes. Shoes, at the age of seven, are not as manageable as they are in adulthood. So there I was, tugging on my dirty sneaker, when I felt a lump in the toe. “That’s weird,” I thought. It was too large to ignore. “Probably a stone,” I thought. OH, THE IRRETRIEVABLE INNOCENCE!

I pulled out my foot.

There, clinging to my toe: A COCKROACH.




I screamed as loud as my petrified lungs would allow. My parents came rushing in and I clawed at them. But instead of the soothing propaganda I expected–Honey, you’re seeing things. It never existed. There is no such thing as a “cockroach.” Here, swallow this pill–they were relieved. RELIEVED?

“We thought it was a scorpion,” they said. (A few days earlier, my little brother–obsessed with flipping over rocks–had discovered, and tried to pick up, a scorpion. Stupid kid.)

Call me crazy, but I’d rather die the death of a thousand scorpion stings than ever see another cockroach. There’s a reason Scorpio is a sign of the Zodiac, and not Cucaracha.

Epilogue: Insects of the order Blatteria have always plagued the Tori family. Here, for instance, is an excerpted email from her father, currently in Guatemala: “I feel a bit guilty to have basically a whole little house to myself. I guess I do share it with one other inhabitant–a 2.5 inch cockroach (or I should say I did share it!).”

GUEST POST: All the Things You Didn’t Know You Want To Buy Me

Faithful Subjects—I MEAN, Readers (whoa that was creepy of me), I present you with the first-ever Guest Post on t-t-tori! Written by a girl named Susie, a girl I have known for a very long time, except we don’t know each other super super well so it’s hard for me to tell when she’s joking or not, like once she called me conceited in a Facebook message and I was like, does she really think I’m conceited? And then I though, am I conceited? And then I thought, what’s the purpose of life? And then I thought, if you gaze long enough into the abyss, does the abyss also gaze into you?

Regardless, Susie is totally hilarious and is my young twin/publicist, so let’s give it up for SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSIE! Aren’t you excited to read something that doesn’t involve bitterness/urine/creepitude? Oh, and don’t forget to click the link at the end of this post to buy Susie everything she has ever wanted. 


looking for neat gift ideas for your friend named susie? look no further!

1. pin wheels. ever since i was a mere child, the very site of these lovely creatures has sent me into a tizzy. rainbow colored, covered in purple daisies, sunshine yellow, it doesn’t matter its color or creed! i wait with an open heart, and an empty front yard.

2. plays. a little secret about me: yes, i do like to read. books are great, but i feel like it’s so typical to read them. no one thinks “hm, what an interesting girl” if you say “i like to read books!”.
therefore, i’ve started reading plays. i enjoy plays of all types. from the crazy, screaming drama of American plays, to the quiet, proper, social commentary of the british. it feels hideous to say out loud- but i don’t read many super old plays. feel free to buy me some of them. shakespeare is fer shure someone i need to hop on board with.

3. posters. as long as there are blank spots on my wall, there is room for more posters. make it something heartfelt, like a friendship poster. or perhaps something that shows you *really* love me, like a CCR or mamas and the papas poster. (or more simon and garfunkel. obviously i already have one, because my best friend is better than any of you are. it’s okay…CCR posters will help your standing a lot.)
the only posters i will not accept are lord of the rings posters. i already have an alarming amount on my wall, and i don’t even like lord of the rings.
wait- no pirates of the caribbean either
and please avoid giving me any twilight items.
no posters of singers under the age of 30 will be accepted.
but other than that- GO CRAZY.

4. the entire series of 2 guys and a girl. there isn’t much to explain. they don’t have that online anywhere, and i want it. make it happen.

5. all of the movies that i want to see, but can’t find online or at the library. list is too long to be published here, message me for more information.

6. wind chimes. the most beautiful things since pin wheels. ❤

if your response upon reading this is: i don’t WANT to buy susie a present. you wanna know what i suggest? you buy yourself something. yeah, try A NEW ATTITUDE.

You can find all of Susie’s favorite gifts HERE. Happy shopping!

Traumatizing Moments From My Present, Volume Two: Things That Go "Splash" in the Daytime

Speaking of life’s great ironies…

Wait, let me start at the beginning. It involves me talking a little bit about my Facebook photo albums. Is that OK? I know Facebook is really boring and there are lots of spambots on it that want to suck out your soul and advertise non-stop to your decaying flesh. Besides, what if someone just broke up with you on Facebook? It happens! I would hate to rip off that new-formed scar. ARE YOU SURE IT’S OK FOR ME TO MENTION FACEBOOK?


Two years ago, I posted the following picture to Facebook with the caption: “We asked a homeless man to take this picture, and then he peed on the camera and told us to kiss his flabby black ass.” Yeah, perhaps I could have been a little more tasteful in my choice of words, but that’s not important.

tempting fate in 2008

Two days ago, I posted a new photo album to Facebook with this caveat: “No more long-winded, flamboyant descriptions about homeless men peeing on me. That never happened, anyway!” See what I did there? I tried to switch my karma. But to no avail, because…



(He didn’t exactly pee on me, per say, I just walked right into his pee stream. It was totally my fault. I mean, everyone knows that when you walk past Macy’s in the middle of the day, you have to look right and left to check for pee streams before proceeding. DUH. I really learned my lesson. Why do I keep saying “pee stream”? I have this sick feeling that it’s going to enter popular–mainstream, if you will–vernacular. It’s just so funny-sounding. SPREAD THE WORD, EVERYONE! No, don’t. I’m conflicted! Sorry I have to go dip my legs in bleach.)