Tuesday, January 16, 2018

making you a wish

so i already swore up and down on social media that i'd be spending my 2018 holidays in europe, and i've since made a plan in advance! (mostly to 1. hold myself to it and 2. look at booking relatively early, in order to get good travel deals)

if all goes well, my friend emma and i are going to spend the days before, during, and after christmas in berlin and hamburg (planning on having a 6-8 hour stopover in iceland on the way!), then we're going to take the train to italy for new year's eve since her family has a villa in tuscany (and apparently new year's is a massive deal in italy). she's from england, and she has about a million friends and connections all over europe, so i'd be going with someone who knows the people and know the terrain. perfect. (worth noting that i've never been to europe, ever.)

i'm a little wary about the costs, since i'm just going to be going back to europe (or germany, at least) in 2019 for the predicted rammstein tour, but i feel like it'll be good to at least see the country before i'm only going from town to town to see a band. following a band makes it a little restrictive for sightseeing, is all. i mean, i might have seen a lot of montebello at rockfest last year, but that's because there wasn't too much to see, really.

speaking of quebec, i'm going to montreal with my girlfriends for my birthday weekend in october. hell yes.

but in the spaces in between, i'm racking up wrestling show plans for the year in advance. so far it includes wwe nxt coming to mississauga next month, possibly the next wwe house show when they roll through toronto in march, and ring of honor's annual toronto show in may. i've gotta keep an eye on the rest of the roh dates throughout the year, because i definitely want to try for at least a couple of their shows. i may end up being broke as fuck, but at least i'm going to have a great time.

(i've managed to keep it together so far every time i've met him, but i feel like seeing him with the title belt will be too much. my emotions!!!11)

also, there has been brunch with good company and chilling solo.

you can't go wrong with a bath bomb that fills your tub with glitter, is what i'm saying.

plus i ordered a copy of the live aus berlin dvd, which is going to keep me occupied later this week. and! the toronto light festival opens this week, so my insta will likely be bright with photos from that. add in next week's pretty much entire wrestling-related hangs and events, and i think i'm doing a good job keeping the january blues at bay.

but i also tweeted this thing on christmas eve, and i think it's important (especially in light of all the valentine's day trash creeping into stores right now):

as i've said before, i am very single, and i probably have too much fun with being single, but i can understand how in some situations it can feel a bit....less than, you know what i mean? i'm really not immune to seeing people in my life happy in relationships - or at the very least, actively dating with apps or whatever - and i can feel all well and good for them, but sometimes there's that nagging, shitty voice in the back of my head going, so what are you doing wrong, then? yeah, what indeed.

so that sort of thing sometimes makes me wonder if i should give it a shot again - if only to prove to my self-doubt that there's nothing wrong with me after all - but it all comes down to the very human trait of avoiding doing something you don't want to do, and i'm....not that into dating random guys, really. i have a fun and fulfilled life, which means i can afford to be selective (and boy howdy, am i ever). this also means i'm not willing to settle for less than what i think i deserve, and not to put myself over too much, but i think i deserve somebody pretty rad. so i'm not gonna settle. (plus going on dates with strangers has always weirded me out. i'd rather be familiar with a guy first, you know?)

but for everybody, here's the thing: at the end of the day, you have to be okay with being alone, which means you have to be okay with yourself and your own presence. whatever you do, whatever you work on, it has to be for you and in service of you becoming a better, more well-rounded person. if your motivation for doing something is to impress someone that you're interested in, then it's a bit of a false face, you know? that is to say, at the end of the day, other people can disappoint you. you should never disappoint yourself.

okay that's all for now.

[ music | cut copy, "future" ]

Thursday, January 11, 2018

aces up your sleeve

and lo, 2018 became the winter that i officially gave up looking cute for being comfortable. in case you missed it, this is my current parka, the rammstein women's winter jacket (yes, they sell branded winter jackets; they've merched everything):

this has quickly become my favourite winter coat; not only is it covered in the band's logo (mostly in subtle patches and stamped buttons, but a big stitched r+ is blazed on the back under the hood), but it's waterproof and warm as hell with a big hood and a million deep pockets. it's honestly like wearing a shapeless sleeping bag, so it's not flattering at all, but i love it. i have to admit i didn't have the highest hopes when i bought it; sure, i paid a pretty penny (just over $300, in case you're wondering about how little shame i have), but it is band merch at the end of the day. however, i have learned to never doubt the germans when it comes to quality engineering.

so while i've been inside sheltering from the cold, i've been putting way, way too much effort into fixing up my apartment. according to my to-do list, here's what i have crossed off (that is, what i've accomplished already):

- hang my blown-up r+ photo my stepdad gave me for christmas
- set up 2 new floor lamps
- get salt lamp
- get new pillow
- reorganize liquor cabinet
- change shower curtain / get liner
- set up ps3
- dust bathroom vent out
- toss out expired fridge stuff
- resort bookshelf / toss old magazines

(all of this got done in a flurry of activity over like, the last week or so. when i get into projects, i really get into them.)

also, "get art for bathroom", which ended up being this rad piece:

i mean, it's really just perfect. ($30 at chapters, btw)

all told, i'm glad that my ridiculous frenetic whirlwind of home improvement is more or less finished; it's not cheap to overhaul so many things, because even though a lot of them are little, they do add up. (and i still have items on my to-do list like "get new comforter/bed set", "buy new computer speakers" etc.) i'm super aware that i got whacked pretty hard by post-christmas debt, and it's beginning to feel like months between paycheques. but, i keep telling myself that it's just money, and a small tradeoff to finally get things in order. there's really nothing like feeling satisfied with/in your living space, you know?

salt laaaaaaaaaaamp!

again, i have to keep an eye on my budget when it comes to being social around town, but it's all a small tradeoff for good hangs. to that extent, there's some fun stuff coming up this month already: brunch with my girl emma on saturday (boozy? obviously), return to hawaii bar with jenna next week, in-work activities that i'm looking forward to, smash wrestling's next show on the 21st, then the return of wwe trivia on the 24th. and then, of course, is the big nxt takeover/wwe royal rumble weekend, which always brings a plethora of viewing parties and get-togethers with other wrestling fans in the city. (...at which i am usually one of the only women - if not the only woman - which is my natural state of contentment and happiness, tbh)

really, i'm mostly just glad for where i am now considering where i was one year ago. last january was such a desolate month for me, trying to reframe my life in the wake of a breakup and becoming aware that maybe i didn't have anywhere to go. day by day, i had to realize that i needed to stand on my own two feet, and that i had to stop relying on others to define me. although i had to rip things up and start again, it was the start of a good trajectory for me in 2017...but it did start with a pretty garbage january, so 1) i'm glad i'm not there now and 2) i suppose that's a lesson in itself. from small things, big things come.

anyway, looping back to the start, here's the current song obsession:

(hey, there's my tattoo!) see, pretty much all of rammstein's song topics fall into one of two categories:

1. vikings/sailors/weird pastoral shit
2. absolutely offensive obscenities

the above ("don't forget us" - weißt du noch, im märz...?) is more of #1, but it's dark as hell anyway while still being majestic af. i love them, the end.

p.s. the number of sarahah anons (yes, my comment box is still open, you can leave me an anonymous message here!) who've been commenting recently on how strong my fashion aesthetic is: thank you, i love you all. (i'm really mostly aping paul and richard's "cool goth vampire lords" look.)

[ music | none ]

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

cut it out and then restart

alright! so here we are in 2018. if you missed my 2017 recaps/2018 goals blog post from a couple days ago, the words right there are hyperlinked for your convenience, so please to enjoy. (it's always a little sad to see my previous year's blog posts all get condensed under dropdowns on the righthand nav bar, but oh well, fresh beginnings et cetera)

in the meantime, here's some regular-flavour recaps to what else i've been up to over the last couple of weeks:

my holidays were...not great? i wasn't in the best space to deal with emotional stress, and going back to kingston always means being micromanaged within an inch of my life, which is already a hard adjustment when i am 110% independent in my everyday life back in toronto. so yeah, whatever. got through it, vowed to spend next christmas in europe, the end.

here's at least a few snaps to show how frigid it was out there on the island:

i don't know if it was the cold air or the hard water in the pipes, but my complexion was dry to the point of peeling by the time i left, and i never get dry skin. gross. (but if you know me, you know that i have skincare solutions and products for basically everything, so i got my dumb face back in order as soon as i returned home)

but then come last wednesday, i jumped on the bus back to toronto and returned to civilization. blessed.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

as the caption there says, i still had almost a full week of vacation left, so i set about making it as busy and productive as possible: first, i had agreed to housesit/catsit for emma while she was away in new york city for new year's, which meant i was out in rosedale from thursday the 28th til, er, last night. like back in september, it was no hardship to stay in her nice little flat and look after her adorable cat brody:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

in between that, since i didn't have to truck to and from the office every day, i was able to make time for multiple friend hangs, plenty of wine, running errands (see: tackling ikea the day before new year's eve, which was a thrill and a half let me tell you), and obviously this:

but! there were a couple of big-ticket events interspersed with the housesitting: for one, i had a pass to go see the guillermo del toro: at home with monsters exhibit at the art gallery of ontario before it closed on the 7th, so i headed downtown on friday to check out this gothy goodness:

i love so many of gdt's films, and i'm always stoked to see that he cites frankenstein as being a huge influence - anyone who loves and respects shelley's original novel is one of my people, as it's also long been one of my favourites. but it was so cool, too, to see props from the hellboy movies (which i adore) as well as the dresses from crimson peak, a movie i went bananas for when it came out a couple years back:

how can you go wrong with a turn-of-the-century supernatural gothic thriller with tom hiddleston? like, you can't. end of. (it was also partially filmed in my hometown, which was hilarious)

then on saturday night, there was a wwe house show here in toronto!

A thing that is happening

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

i'd thought about skipping it - money was tight, and i have so many other wrestling shows to go to in the next couple of months - but drunk me clearly would not let myself miss it, as i imbibed too much wine on christmas eve and ended up grabbing a ticket online. it's just hard to miss out on any big wrestling events that are happening in town, you know?

all in all, it was a good time with good company, i was wretchedly hungover the next day, and oh thank god for weekends.

also, additional goal to the list i posted a few days ago: i've continued to refine and fix up my apartment. for starters, the cleaning service did a great job getting it back down to a base sparkly clean, but i also decided to start reorganizing, adding new decor and tossing some older stuff. i finally sorted out my lighting situation for my living room, added some art to the bathroom, put up wall hooks for my kimono bathrobes, strung some new fairy lights across the windowsill, dumped and recycled a bunch of worn-out stuff, and so on. i want to go ahead and add a few more plants and art pieces over the next few weeks/months, too, to make it not only further livable for me but also to be a welcome space for people to hang out.

because - semi-buried lede - i'm having a bunch of people over this thursday morning at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m. to watch a japanese wrestling ppv. so i really wanted to get my place in order for that, as well as for the year to come. new year! new beginning! same apartment i've had for six years now but whatever i love it so much i will never leave!

so all in all, i'm pretty sure i accomplished my mission to make the goddamn most out of my time off. it's rare that i take long stretches of time off work, but the holidays basically dictate it every year (see: hardly anybody is in the office), so it was really nice to have the extra days to kickstart getting my apartment in order and getting things back to normal after being in kingston. and now it's also nice to be back at the office doing good work with good people, as one does.

happy 2018, be good, but not too good.

[ music | rammstein, "vergiss uns nicht" ]

Friday, December 29, 2017

maybe in another life

welcome back to the frosty city!

(clearly i'm not complaining, as it has been well documented how much i love the cold, but it's always a bit of a shock when toronto gets those first few "extreme cold alert" days. adjust! adjust fast!)

okay so i'm doing this blog post a couple days in advance of new year's day, just so i can get my last kicks in at 2017 and hopefully start off 2018 right. i realized i hadn't done a year-end wrapup/goals for the new year blog post in like a billion years, so hi hello here we are. (i used to do these somewhat yearly but fell out of the habit)

and honestly? it's a good year to do one of these, especially when it comes to making better, more achievable goals for myself. it's not that i'm running out of time to have an awesome fulfilled life, necessarily, but year over year i'm becoming more aware of how much time i'm wasting, and how many opportunities are slipping away from me. stop the world, damn it, i want to get off.

so here's a list of stuff i want to start working on in 2018, in order to really get out there and have a life as opposed to something i'm just going through the motions for:

see friends more, set up more hangs, say yes to every invite if you can. i've been really thinking i ought to do one of those "year of yes" things, where you don't turn down any opportunity and just see what happens. over the last year or so - really, mostly because i've been single - i've found that i do tend to turn down a lot of my friends asking if i want to hang out. i tell myself so many excuses - i'm tired, i need to go to the gym, i don't have the money, i don't want to stay out late on a work night - but i need to cut that shit out this year. my connections with my friends suffer for it, and i need people more than ever (again, see: now that i've been single, as it really does shift the framework of how you spend your free time).

stuff i could and should be doing more of: movies, dinners, house parties, art installations, sports events, nights out at the bars (wrestling-related social plans are already a given, and you're damn right i'm going to keep up with those in the new year) - just, like, try to be fucking social again. i have been before, so it's not like i've totally lost my extrovert side. i just need to rediscover it, you know? it's far too easy to be a hermit in this city.

work more on photography. i've always enjoyed taking photos, and my parents have really stressed that i've always had an eye for it. that doesn't mean that i've ever been motivated enough to go drop thousands of dollars on expensive camera equipment, but i think this year i should put some more time and effort into it. i already have plans to get a new phone once i'm done paying off my (frankly massive) income tax debt in april, and the #1 quality i'm looking for is the best camera i can find - because honestly, i don't want to be lugging around camera equipment all the time. part of the appeal of working on my photography, for me, is being able to do it spontaneously and from anywhere, so i rely on my smartphone for that.

also, honestly, it may be dumb but being able to go out and take cool photos is a huge motivator for me to go do stuff. even if my life is otherwise very average, i can still keep a visual record of the fun stuff i've been doing in between the everyday banality.

work more on writing. this includes aiming for at least writing two new blog posts per week. you all can hold me to that, if you want. but also, i should start looking outwards towards doing more topical writing; the clear answer here is that i ought to begin writing about wrestling, finally, though i'm not entirely sure where to begin. of course, i know that the answer is that i need to just find an outlet and jump right in. we'll see where this takes me.

earmark money for travel in 2018 (and 2019). i mentioned it briefly before, but it was announced that rammstein aren't touring in 2018, with the (tentative) plan instead (maybe) being to release the new album in fall 2018 before doing the big tour in 2019. disappointing news, but at least that gives me more time to 1) get even better at german and 2) save a fuckton of money so i can attend many many dates across europe in 2019. but beyond that, i should be looking to save money so i can have more freedom to just...go places. i clearly want to start looking at wrestling trips as soon as i can, but it would be great to get out and see a little more of the world as well.

get more tattoos. cost-dependent, clearly, but i always have a need to get more work done, and i think i need to make a goal to aim for in 2018. maybe two new tattoos? three? i already have a few ideas, so now it's a matter of earmarking additional funds to go towards getting more ink. it's not the cheapest hobby, but i do love it so much.

listen to more/new music. is anyone surprised to find out that i listened to rammstein exclusively for like eight months straight in 2017? as much as i love them and depend on their tunes to comfort me and keep me grounded, i really ought to spread out some more and put my shit back on random shuffle. this probably means i also should start listening to more, uh, current stuff - i get jealous reading peoples' "best albums of XXXX year" lists, because they remind me that i'm so behind - and i need to make time for that. broadening my horizons and such.

work on german. this has been a constant for me for almost a year now - directly related to the whole "listening to rammstein for eight months" thing mentioned above; i couldn't stand not understanding what the all-german lyrics meant - and i'm still dedicated to it on a daily basis. i'm not sure what the next step is - buy more books? actually take physical classes? find a german club in toronto so i can practice my speaking? - but we'll see. sticking with this (on my own, without encouragement) has been such a source of accomplishment for me in 2017, and i want to keep it up.

stop spending money on dumb shit. this does not include gifts for people; i love buying gifts for people when i know they'll be appreciated (and i'm a very good gift-giver). but in 2017, i did waste a lot of money on stupid things for myself that either didn't work out (see: ring of honor tickets for las vegas) or that i didn't need (see: so much makeup). i need to be smarter about my spending in 2018 if i ever want to climb out of my ridiculous debt.

learn how to play bass? question mark because i've considered doing it for years, and maybe in 2018 i should just take the plunge. my friend emma plays drums, so between the two of us we could be a sweet duo. again, a cost-dependent hobby, but maybe this is finally the year that i give it a shot.

so! that's my list of...not quite resolutions, i guess, but personal goals and things i want to work on in the upcoming 2018. i think it's a good place to start; clearly i can't tackle all of them all at once, but that list is at least something to work towards in small increments throughout the year. just a number of little ways that i can start making my life count for real, and hopefully become more fulfilling to me beyond the banal everyday routines.

but hey, a lot of big things happened this year, too:

i got my nipples pierced after having wanted to do it since 2009, and i got a new tattoo (my 11th!) that i still love so much - both choices somewhat spontaneous, but i regret nothing. i saw ring of honor not just once, but twice (and even going to buffalo for the second one!). i went to rockfest all on my own, and i saw my favourite band of the year live from front row. i went back to vancouver for the first time in eight years. i had lots of nice sarahah anons inspire some writing, including this piece which i still really like. i was reflective on my birthday. i cried at logan. i had a band bring me back to who i was and their music saved my sanity all year long. i spent almost the entire year learning german and i'm currently sitting at 71% fluency. i was brave and took a chance on something, and though it didn't turn out the way i'd hoped, it turned out the way it was supposed to.

i'm thankful for everything i've learned from 2017, really, whether about myself or others. sure, i made some mistakes, but i also made so many new friends this year, and there are so many important people in my life, and i'm grateful for all of them, and you out there reading this.

the two vitals truths i need to remember for 2018:

- when someone tells you who they are, believe them.
- everyone in your life right now is there for a reason.

i hope we all learn something. learned something.

maybe next year.

[ music | florence + the machine, "only if for a night" ]