Wednesday, October 22, 2014

these things

here's what else has been going on:

- moist put out their first album in 12 years two weeks ago.

did i buy a digital copy in advance? yep. did i get choked up when listening to the whole thing for the first time? you bet.

because i've gone over it so many times - i even wrote a piece earlier this year alluding to the impact that band's had on my life - but here it is again: moist are my favourite band, and will be my favourite band forever. and man, hearing new music from them - music that is unequivocally them, even 12 years removed - was something so unexpected, and something i never thought i'd hear in my lifetime. i don't cry at happy-sentimental things easily, if ever, so it's a big deal to me if listening to an album can get me to tear up. (usually it's a new album from one of my few beloved bands; actually, thinking on it, the last time an album made me cry was kill hannah's until there's nothing left of us)

still, it's always an interesting reflection for me to think about how much my love for a band or a band's music is based in its time and place in my life. there are songs that are so tied up with who i was in my teens and my twenties that i'll love them forever -- but, y'know, i won't care so much for the rest of the band's canon. that situation leaves me wondering how much i actually love the band versus how much you love that time and place. when it's become something bigger, like a soundtrack to a time in weird years gone by. and there are some things you just unconditionally love forever.

anyway, i'm rambling. it's a great album. buy that shit.

- last weekend, i went back to kingston for the first time since, uh, last christmas.

this was an exceptionally long time for me to have gone without a visit to the ol' hometown. 2014 has mostly been a whirlwind of too many activities and too little money, so it's not a surprise that i didn't make it back during the summer, but it was a bit disorienting to see how the year had passed without me being there to see it at least once. anyway, i went to k-town for the annual triple threat of my birthday / my father's birthday / thanksgiving, all within the space of a few days. nothing out of the ordinary happened -- it was the usual array of long walks, good food, belated birthday presents, making small talk with distant relatives i only see a couple times a year, too much wine all the time, ridiculous caloric intake, late nights and too-early mornings. then, before i knew it, i was on the train back to toronto.

and that's the last trip i'll be making to kingston for the foreseeable future -- i'd already made the decision to spend this christmas here in toronto, away from my family for the first time in my life. this is a pretty big deal; even when i lived in vancouver, i still flew back for the holidays. but i think it's time for me to start making my own traditions, especially when my boyfriend is effectively hamstrung by having to work both christmas eve and boxing day. i want him to have a fun christmas here for once, and i want him to have it with me.

so! nerdy orphan christmas it is. my parents were disheartened by the news, but they're okay with it now. i'm just trying something different this year, for once. it's been slightly weird for me to be carrying on the same christmas tradition that's been held since i was a teenager.

a couple more shots from kingston last weekend:

the marina where my stepbrother's boat is docked (he currently lives on it)

wolfe islander iii!

my birthday pie. my mother's pecan pie -- the best.

- at 31 years old, here are my current looks:

music-festival flower child hipster

smug goth cheerleader

faux intellectual in boyfriend's glasses

it's no small wonder that i still spend a lot of money - even without much money to spend - on anti-aging creams and serums and masks for my face. i think they're probably working okay. i'm basically terrified of my face collapsing. (that's why i stopped smoking, remember?)

- i miss america.

- my boobs hurt from stupid pms.

- blogger has changed its wysiwyg interface and it's really messing with me.

that's all i've got for now.

[ music | ms mr, "hurricane" ]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

sometimes they come back

oh, hello. hi.

you know what's weirdly difficult? writing personal blog stuff when you're happy. for me, words come infinitely easier when i'm miserable and depressed with life (hi there, majority of 2012-13), because i've always used them as a way to center myself and find myself. it doesn't flow quite so well when i'm happy and good with life -- because something inside me just goes, what's the point? a humblebrag? a look-at-me, look-at-me status update? we all get enough of those from facebook; one of the draws of this blog of mine, i think, has always been the fact that i'm honest, and i don't sugarcoat my life. i write about shitty stuff, angsty stuff. i guess this would be like if kurt cobain wrote a sunshine-y pop album. (maybe in another universe, he does.)

still, though, i miss personal writing when i don't do it often. it's still a good outlet, no matter where i am at whatever point in my life, and it always serves as a digital marker for me to come back and recall later. i know that whenever i don't blog about stuff, i get kind of sad later to see that i didn't. if that makes any sense. (for example, i really didn't blog much when i lived in vancouver, and looking back on those few posts now, i wish i had written more. i want to remember the mindset i was in and the things i was doing. good ol' rose-coloured nostalgia glasses.)

also, i've mentioned it before but writing is like a muscle -- you tend to lose it if you don't use it, and i've really missed just getting up in the morning, fetching some coffee and sitting down to write about whatever. i mean, i've found a lot of my old private and archived blog posts, and man, i used to write, like, five or six times a day. yet i don't have a niche blog here -- i don't write specifically about one topic of interest or specialization. (my two favourite examples are two of my friends' current works, both tv recap blogs -- jenn writing about dawson's creek, and neil writing about any number of awesome watercooler shows) nope, i have a personal blog, which relies on my own life as entertainment fodder. that can be kind of slim pickings if you're not out and about and doing stuff and having a crazy dynamic life. i am too old for fun. i like playing video games in my pajamas and going to bed at 10:30. whatever.

i doubted anyone would worry about my absence, though, since i was away on a good note -- and yes, it's still good. the new boy (not really new anymore, i suppose) and i are coming up on our eight-month anniversary, and we are by far the grossest mushy couple we know. again, though, that's had an impact on my writing, because doing a ton of personal writing when you're in a relationships can be hard, and weird. as i've tried to describe it before, i don't mind opening up my own life to the public -- but once i'm involved with someone else, then their life becomes mixed up with mine, and consequently, their life becomes my public fodder. that's how it goes when you're with a writer. so i never really know how to approach blogging on the outset of a new relationship (i went through this in 2008 as well -- i think i took maybe 2-3 months off from blogging at that point). add in the fact that the new boy does read this blog, and yeah, i needed some time to ponder how i'll approach it from here on. you all know that i've never been a fan of self-censoring; "selective truth-telling" is more my thing. so i suppose that's what i'll do (but who's to say i wasn't doing that all along? heh heh heh).

also, i want to keep my relationship mostly private, because i want something for me, you know? i've blogged for more than ten years of my life now, and i've put a lot of myself out there for public consumption. i want to keep my relationship for me. so now it's mostly a matter of pulling out the other bits of my life that are not centered around my relationship. i love this boy and he plays a huge part in my life now, but he has his own life and story, and i'm not equipped to tell anyone's story but my own. so i'll exercise caution in what i write about, as i always have and always do.

here he is, though. he is cute.

and here we are, and we are disgusting:

we have since been to london (ontario) for my cousin's wedding, niagara falls so import boy could attain his permanent residency for canada (he's from england and would've had to return there for good this summer otherwise), the cne, toronto island & centreville, mount pleasant ravine, the beaches, st. lawrence market, kensington, any number of favourite little coffee shops and restaurants around town, and who knows where else. he's gotten me hooked on game grumps, english breakfast tea, and hot crumpets soaked in butter (yes, i'm aware that two of those three things are classically british); i have introduced him to nikita (the best cat on the internet), homemade granola bars, and the joy that is watching truly terrible movies together. (so far it's a three-way tie between battleship, i frankenstein, and the american remake of 13 tzameti.) we're explorers and we're partners in crime and we eat all the sushi and we have such a damn good time together. anyway, that's enough. we are disgustingly cute and would totally gross out the entirety of my blog's audience. enough!

anyway, if you wanna go back and see what i've been up to, maybe take a browse through my tumblr -- it's more image-heavy than writing, but it's been a pretty decent archive of my 2014 so far. otherwise, i'm going to try to do more frequent writing in here, if only to get back on track when it comes to recording what banal shit i've been up to. and who knows, maybe this will force me to get out and do more awesome things with my life, if only so i have something to entertain you all with. so!

to close on a seasonally festive note, here is an unedited photo of casa loma looking extra spoopy a couple weeks ago:


[ music | arctic monkeys, "r u mine?" ]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

well baby are you mine

so sometimes you get lost.

sometimes you find yourself chasing after ghosts, or looking for a phantom limb, and you miss the point of everything completely. sometimes you convince yourself it's safer to stick to what you know, even if you're aware that what you know is a giant sack of bullshit and lies that have never worked out for you. sometimes you stick with something because you're stubborn, because you don't like to give something up without a fight, because you're certain you can fix things and change things and save things if you just have enough time, if you just do everything right. sometimes the only thing you know is that you're not being treated very well, but you keep a shaky smile on your face anyway, telling yourself that you're fine, everything's fine, you're fine. you'll be fine.

but then sometimes you meet someone who convinces you, at last and finally, that you deserve a whole lot more than that.

sometimes you do.

i am a very happy girl right now.

[ music | bloc party, "talons" ]

Thursday, March 20, 2014

the crash years

oh hi, it's been a while.

here i go again, being distracted by life outside of the computer. that's not to say i don't enjoy writing on the internet; i just happen to do it all day long for work, so when i get home i kind of tend to do other things (like, er, playing video games on my ipad). but at least i'm still working on the book when i can. never-ending sources of inspiration and memories these days.

also, snow.

winter still seems to be never-ending here in toronto, but i'm actually pretty fine with that. i like the cold, i have a nice coat, and i always enjoy snuggling up under a blanket. (really, i will be the first person to bitch about the heat come summertime. i hate the heat.) nonetheless, i've already started to perk up at the thoughts of sunny patios and weekends in the park and donning little dresses with jean jackets. i just bought this one for the music festivals i'll be lurking at this summer:

toss on one of my flower headbands and some tall boots and i'll be set. (it also laces up the back and plunges just low enough that you can see my back tattoo, which almost never gets to be seen. excellent.)

and also, some quick life updates:

job stuff. as of today, i've been at this job of mine for one year, and so far so good. i actually just had my responsibilities shifted a couple weeks ago, so now i'm focusing more on the print side of things rather than digital media, which is a pretty cool thing to add to my toolbox. (i had it confirmed that i'll be able to put "magazine publishing" under my skills on my resume from now on, which is a huge yes for me) it's a little intimidating, but i adapt quickly to change, and i'm obviously okay with becoming more integral to team production. i'm never leaving! mwahahaha.

writing stuff. by the grace of aux, i've been getting a few more opportunities to have my music writing published once again. here's the piece i did last december about band gear theft in canada; i did this requested flashback piece on muchmusic snow job last week. the fact that they assigned me a piece was pretty cool, not to mention it was hilarious fun to put together. i'd forgotten how much i enjoy all the various aspects of music journalism: research, questions, interviews, cutting up everything and making it into a story.

crossfit stuff. i'm still garbage at pull-ups and push-ups, but my hand callouses are coming back, which is a positive sign. also, i haven't had to start directly from scratch; i can still lift decently, but i'd like to go a bit further in the coming months. i'm fairly pleased with my progress so far, though (minus a couple weeks i've had to take off due to various illnesses and weird back spasms), and damn if it hasn't been good to get back into the camaraderie of having a crossfit box to go to.

cleanse stuff. i'm alive, and i'm at the point where i'm getting super bored with chicken and kale (although i love chicken and kale), but i'm more than halfway done and it's going alright. i still miss coffee, as usual, but my sweet tooth has all but disappeared and i really enjoy getting to go to the infrared sauna every sunday. i'm sort of managing the rest of the effects decently - i get cold and tired pretty easily - but it does get rather boring after a while (and damn if it doesn't throw a giant wrench into any kind of social plans). at the very least, i hope this succeeds in breaking some shitty habits of mine. i've always been the kind to treat things like nicotine, caffeine and sugar as crutches for when i'm stressed, and i intentionally stripped those away so i could deal with life without any chemical distractions. (also, summer's coming up and i have a whole lot of cutoff shorts to look good in)

love life stuff(!). i got me a boy.

we do a lot of hockey-watching and sushi-eating.

i'll keep the details light for privacy's sake, but all you really need to know is that he has a good heart and he treats me like gold. two things i'm not entirely used to, though it's a wonderful, thankful change. (plus: actually not a musician - again, a thankful change - but he's a diehard leafs fan who's also my age, so that all works very well for me.) and i am smitten and he's probably reading this right now so i'll stop. (hi, baby.)

that's all for now.

[ music | stars, "fixed" ]