Wednesday, April 20, 2016

paddling out

it's my liiiiiiiife

but yeah, april's been a busy month so far. between working, finding more work, and stressing over my taxes, it's been full up of things that either 1) i prefer not to blog publicly about (in terms of my professional life, that is -- not my personal life, which is going swimmingly) and 2) the reading public would find too boring. all while making time to go to the gym 4-5 times a week, eat right, take my vitamins, floss, and get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. yeesh.

but it's become much more of a priority for me in recent years to take care of myself, which includes getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutrients. remember those times in your twenties when you could be a total fucking trainwreck, eating garbage and barely sleeping and partying all the time, yet you still look only adorably dishevelled afterwards? yeah, uh, that...doesn't happen when you're in your thirties. instead, you're basically working against the clock and your own failing metabolism to keep yourself from looking like your parents more and more every day. (also, grim case in point: i had the absolute random thought the other day of, what if i'm just rotting inside?)

and like, it sucks. it does! it especially does if you can still vividly remember your twenties and the way your body operated and how you could put up with so much more. it feels like a goddamn betrayal, that's what. how dare you age, body?!

update on the "pump body full of biotin to see if crappy hair/skin is fixed" situation: ongoing.

anyway, i'm going to have some time to myself soon -- next week, the import boy's heading back to his homeland of england to be best man in his twin brother's wedding. i'm not going because i am a poor. (also, i'd needed to get my passport renewed, and it only just arrived two days ago.) still, i'm excited to see his photos and hear his stories about being back in the uk, where nobody will ask him if he's australian. also, it's crazy and awesome that his brother is getting married(!) and i'm so happy they get to be reunited for the occasion.

my father asked if i was planning on coming back to my hometown while sean's away, and the answer was no. for one, i'm already super busy with a lot of things here in the city, and for's weird, but i've been feeling a bit disconnected from kingston and my family there. maybe it's because i still don't feel like i'm going "home" when i make the long (looooong) trek to the island house. i don't have a lot going on in my life, so there's not much to update my family on, and i just feel awkward when there's dead air after i'm asked about what i've been up to. scrabbling for conversation points is not my forte.

also, i think i'm at that point in my adult life where i'm beginning to see myself more from my parents' point of view, and it's so weird, you guys. it's weird to think that you're regarded as a fellow adult rather than just their kid. and like, i dunno. do they feel like they did a good job with me? are they reasonably happy with how i turned out? because i'm basically done as a person, now - i mean, my personality's pretty well set and stuff - and while i obviously still have a lot of life left, are they cool with how i am as an adult? do they approve of what i'm doing, or do they secretly wish i'd made different life choices? these are the big questions that i've never had enough wine to ask about. (also, you tend to get the boilerplate "of course we're proud of you and we'll love you no matter what!" answers)

anyway, that's all i'm willing to write there. true story: when i was a teenager, my parents found my angst-and-anger filled "online diary" (when you're a teen, it's easy to feel as though you're secure online from prying eyes, but nope) and just about sent me to the psych hospital. that may have been an over-exaggeration, but either way, i was grounded for months, and ever since then i've absolutely avoided talking about my family online. like, never do it. not worth who might potentially see it.

in other news, i'm going to drink this beer tonight and i'm pretty stoked about it.

[ music | mgmt, "congratulations" ]

Saturday, April 2, 2016

begin again

it's april! and stuff. so here's where we're at:

- this weekend is the biggest wwe weekend of the year, with the nxt (their equivalent of the minor leagues/feeder system) pay-per-view last night and wrestlemania tomorrow night. so obviously, the boy and i stayed up late last night to watch all of nxt: takeover dallas, furiously tweeting and gasping at the screen. i've actually been tweeting more and more with a whole community of wrestling fans on twitter, and it's been an absolute blast. just goes to show how if you're willing to dive headfirst into a fandom, you'll end up making a bunch of rad connections you never would have otherwise.

anyway, tomorrow is sean's day off, so we're going to load up on snacks (and wine) and get ready for the big event in the evening. something nice to kick off the month! (it's also the night that all the fairweather wrestling fans come out of the woodwork, so don't be surprised if you see someone who never talks about wwe tweeting avidly about wrestlemania)

- trying to make good on my vow to start putting music on at home again, i've also picked up on updating my indie 103.1 tribute playlist on spotify. i've been listening to indie 103.1 out of los angeles for, geez, at least ten years now, and their popular spins have soundtracked a lot of major events and moments in my life. so, in an attempt to memorialise their playlist (and also to have something to play when they've got a radio show on), i've been working on a playlist of my own that includes a lot of indie 103.1 faves (and my own faves, obviously). i think it's come along quite well, and it features a ton of both big names and little-known indie bands, all with great tunes.

anyway, have a scroll below, and subscribe here through spotify if you wanna stay updated on what i've recently added to the mix:

- while my love affair continues with neko atsume, sean pointed out the other day that my life pretty much is neko atsume: i see random cats, i give them names, i snap photos of them. sometimes i don't see the regular cats, and sometimes i see brand new ones. (unfortunately i can't bring food for them, even though i want to so badly; i wouldn't want to risk a cat getting sick and then me looking suspicious.) here are four sweeties i've seen recently:

nickname "sweet fluff" (lives three blocks away, sort of a maine coon-ish face, likes to roll around on my shoes while begging for belly rubs)

nickname "tabby princess" (soft fur, generally chill, also friends with a cat that lives nearby that we've nicknamed "the prettiest cat" because it's gorgeous)

nickname nothing yet (i only saw this sweetie yesterday, and she was so pretty and so happy to get some bellyrubs)

nickname "smol friend" (this little guy is probably my favourite right now -- he always comes running over with a happy meow when he sees me, and i swear he embodies the "cat heart-eyes" emoji)

sean's commented before on how i make so many cat friends, and honestly, i spot around a dozen every week. (i don't always get to shower them with affection, though; many city cats are timid and won't go near me.) basically, if you ever go out on a walk with me through a residential neighbourhood, you'll see my head on a swivel as i scan the area for any furry feline movements. i don't have the funds to have a cat of my own, so making friends with all the neighbourhood kitties is the next best thing.

- partially on a whim, i picked up a bottle of nature's bounty hair, skin & nails gummies, because i feel like more biotin is what i need in my life. my skin's never been that great, my nail beds don't look so hot, and i've been super worried lately about how thin my hair is. short of going to the doc and getting my thyroid checked - especially since a lot of this can just be chalked up to, well, ageing - i decided i'd rather try and see if supplements could help first, so, biotin it is. this is in addition to the multivitamin, wild salmon oil, and two vitamin d pills i take every day. (my doc said these were all fine for me to take, so no worries that i'm actually poisoning myself or anything.)

i may be pretty skint, but i do try to afford my vitamins. sure, they might all be placebos and might not be doing any good, but they're certainly not doing me any harm. i was also thinking about picking up some joint care supplements, since repeated injuries and wear & tear have done a number on both my knees - and, to a lesser extent, my right elbow - but i think it'll be okay for now. check back later when i'm hobbling around with knee braces!

- i had a pretty shitty week (pms combined with filing my first taxes as a freelancer combined to a lot of terror and tears), so sean put together a little gift bag of roots stuff for me to cheer me up:

not pictured: bottle of wine, because he knows i've needed it a lot lately. best boyfriend. fuck all y'all, shitty dudes of my past.

that's all! i'm going to go curl up with a hot water bottle positioned directly over my uterus.

[ music | dead confederate, "the rat" ]

Sunday, March 27, 2016

if nothing's good on tv

since pop culture is something that gets a lot of people talking - or else hot under the collar - let's talk tv!

it's funny, but i've never been a huge tv person. not so much when i was a teenager, because the newly-expanding "internet" was fulfilling my screen needs; not much as an adult, because i usually didn't own a tv. and so i've always had trouble sitting down and focusing for half an hour or an hour at a time. honestly, i'm so easily distracted, i need to be locked in a movie theatre if you want me to pay attention to one thing for a couple of hours straight. i'm not the kind of person who can zone out in front of the tv. my attention span always wants to see what else is going on.

so yeah, i was fine living life away from the idiot box until i moved to a place with 1) a decent tv set and 2) a wealth of cable channels. finally, i was able to take part in water-cooler conversation zeitgeist shows! before long, i picked up on true blood (which i watched in its entirety, feel bad for me) on hbo and the walking dead on amc, and suddenly it felt cool. it was fun to be a part of popular tv culture, because it gives you something to talk about with other people, whether around the water cooler at work or online. (shoutout to the av club's tv club, a place where you actually should read the comments, for once.) because really, everybody's got an opinion on the latest plot twist or the current must-see show, and if you can join the conversation, you're part of the in-crowd. add in the fact that "prestige tv shows" are becoming a thing, and there's actually never been a better time to get hooked on something decent.

i dunno, i still rail against the idea of feeling the need to be home on a certain day at a certain time in order to see the next instalment (i don't have tivo), so i try to keep my "tv show commitments" to a minimum. i'll never be the person who cancels plans just so she can stay home and watch her show, but maybe stuff like netflix will eventually make that sort of thing obsolete. who knows.

anyway, long story short, here are four shows i've been digging in tv land:

daredevil: the second season dropped on netflix a couple weeks ago, and it's entirely binge-worthy. i love the tone, i love the cinematography, i love the characters old and new (though i'll never understand the near-universal hate for matt in season 2; he's saving the goddamn world, sorry he can't be your best friend right now?). wasn't suuuuuper hot on the ending, but a few plot holes aside, it seemed to be a pretty decent close to the second chapter. i want a third season, but if that's it for dd until the defenders, i'm fine with that, too. (notable that i didn't give a shit about the daredevil franchise until the netflix series; now, i love it) also, i tweet the truth:

the walking dead: yeah, i'm still watching it. it's one of the few shows i'm watching right now that i've watched since season 1, episode 1 -- for some reason, i've stuck it out through all the slow and crappy seasons, and now we're just wrapping up season 6 and i don't regret it at all. (however, unlike last year, i'm going to choose to miss the season finale in favour of watching wrestlemania the same night. i may regret this, but i've never been too pressed about seeing spoilers online before i watch, so whatevs.) i still consider it more tense and terrifying than a lot of horror movies. also, plug for my buddy neil's tv recap blog -- he covers the walking dead and his write-ups are dead on (pun intended) every time.

girls: a lot of people despise this show and have long since given up on it, but i've been watching it since it started, and i find it decently enjoyable in a hate-watch sort of way. sure, the girls are all not-great people, but so are we all, right? if anything, i feel like it's a good portrayal of what life is like for a twentysomething girl in the big city, and how things change with your life and friendships over the years. also, it makes me want to live in (or at least visit) new york city.

broad city: fuckin' broad city, man. this shit is hilarious and brilliant and definitely not for everyone (occasionally-surreal feminist stoner comedy), but it's just so clever, and a great portrait of the bestfriendship between two young women in new york. as above, it features a lot of not totally likeable characters, but if you can embrace the fact that maybe they're just a bit like us, you'll understand it better. the whole show is weird and unique in the best possible way, but you might hate it. just give it a try.

and here are four shows that i'm looking forward to returning:

penny dreadful: this goddamn show. i'm not exaggerating when i say it's my favourite tv series of the last decade. it has everything i want: victorian goth setting, spoopy supernatural goings-on, eva green looking like the queen of the underworld, bisexual werewolf josh harnett, and such a mastery of pulpy horror-drama. season 3 starts in may, and counter to what i said earlier, i may actually refuse to make sunday-night plans just so i can watch it.

game of thrones: i know, i know. this is the show that everyone's watching, but honestly, it's for good reason. i've read all the books and it does bug me a little bit how they deviate from the canon, but i get that it's necessary to keep people guessing -- and holy shit, how could you ever guess what plot twist is going to happen next? swords & sorcery, dragons, full-scale battles, and ice zombies. game of thrones has got something for everyone.

the unbreakable kimmy schmidt: i didn't think i'd like this little netflix comedy as much as i did, but the first season had some genuinely funny moments (pinot noir!) and some strong character work. i knew it wasn't going to be another 30 rock (which sucks, 30 rock is probably my favourite comedy series ever), but it's a very sweet and fun show, and ellie kemper's ray-of-sunshine kimmy isn't as cavity-inducing as you'd think. the second season drops on netflix in a few weeks, and although it's more of a episode-by-episode watch rather than a binge,

mr. robot: late to the party on this one, but it was only streamable recently, and i wanted to wait til it was possible to watch the whole thing in one go. ugh, man. mindfuckery on the highest level, which is big praise from me -- and something i don't usually expect to see from tv shows. i definitely enjoy any show that has you screaming at the tv screen in confusion, terror, anger, etc. plus: what a fucking cliffhanger. when is season 2?!

so there you have it - my picks for decent tv and what i think you, yes you should be watching. agree? disagree? have other shows you think i should make room for on my tv dance card? feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on twitter. i'll probably never be a tv critic or commentator, but that's not to say i won't take a healthy interest.

here's a picture of some potato chips.

[ music | passion pit, "the reeling" ]

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

the things that i believe

the lollapalooza lineup, you guys!

yeah, so maybe i'll take any reason for a chicago weekend in the summer. but really, i'm mostly interested in the thursday and friday lineups, with the exception of grimes and st. lucia on saturday and halsey, bloc party, and silversun pickups on sunday. (hilarious that third eye blind is totally making a comeback) yet it's still a pretty expensive prospect for me, who's basically living hand to mouth and also at the grace of her generous and slightly frustrated parents. 2-3 nights at the hostel and the cost of two days of lolla tickets would be...a lot. especially if i don't feel like i need to see any of the bands, although many of them would be nice. (i've only been to one lolla before - lollapalooza 2006 - and honestly, i only really went because kill hannah was in the lineup that year)

but like, who knows? i wish i had more options and honestly, it feels like i should (i'm not exactly tied to a desk or the 9-to-5 grind right now, after all), but budgeting will be the death of me, and i can't take a chance on things like i used to. not when i don't have any fallback plans.

still, this highlights how i feel really out of the loop as far as music is concerned. i almost never go out to concerts anymore (no money), i rarely stream music on my laptop (no data to spare and my external speakers have been long busted), and i don't have any festival plans this year (yet). sure, i'm always plugged into my ipod when i'm out walking or at the gym, but it's not like i'm really listening to anything new. i just feel pretty disconnected in the scene, and the more i think about it the more it sucks. i used to devote so much of my spare time to the music industry - everything from going to gigs to street-team efforts to music journalism to blogging music news to simply putting on indie 103.1 all the time - and now it's such a lessened part of my life. i used to do so much for so little payoff and yet i loved every minute of it.

i don't know, it's been on my mind lately, i guess. spring is another one of those weird evocative seasons for me; it brings back a lot of memories, many of them built around that fundamental feeling of a new beginning, or a restart at the very least. back in the day, springtime signalled the end of another year of university (at u of t, classes typically wind down in april with exams being finished by may) and the beginning of a few months without school. every time i've gone out on tour with a band, it's been in the spring. i was getting ready to say goodbye to vancouver in march/april of 2008. it's definitely a season of renewal for me, or at least the notion that something better is about to begin.

these days, though? man, i don't know. it bothers me, and a lot of it comes back to the vital question: as you get older, how much of your past self do you hang on to, and how much do you accept is just done? how do you know when to cling and when to move on? because i feel like i don't have a lot left now that i'm interested in the way i used to be. do i try to resuscitate past interests or do i accept that i won't ever be into them like i once was?

ugh. stop, me.

ten things i am interested in lately:

1. wrestlemania and nxt takeover: dallas the first weekend of april
2. the very british things twitter account
3. cuddling all the neighbourhood cats
4. considering taking up ddp yoga
5. thai curries
6. dissecting the second season of daredevil with others
7. counting down the days til captain america: civil war
8. laughing at the flop that is batman v. superman
9. browsing cats up for adoption
10. pouring baileys into coffee

lastly, here are two pics of me with my buddy, the neighbourhood floof (i love her so much):

my hair is gross. later.

[ music | au revoir simone, "crazy" ]