Tuesday, October 9, 2018

girl's not grey



once again, it is my birthday today, and i wanted to do a quick sentimental post about something nice, namely: how grateful i am for the people who care about me.

here's the thing: i don't always have a lot of faith in people. maybe that makes me jaded and aloof sometimes, but on the flip side, it absolutely means that much more to me when people do follow through on what they say. people who say they care about me and are there for me when i need them - and who act on their promises - actually blow my mind a little bit, because i really never expect that much out of people, because i've been let down so many times that i just shrug and get used to it.

so it means a hell of a lot to me when those who care actually step up, and in the last twelve months, it's been insane to find how many genuinely good people are in my life. even my mother has commented, "you really have very good friends" and that's the long and short of it. this past year has been about realizing that i can trust people - certain people, anyway; it's always a learning process - to be there for me if and when i need them. and that in turn has definitely helped make me a better, more confident person.

adult friendships are something that can't be taken for granted; you still need each other, even with all the careers and the marriages and the kids and the mortgages. your friends are the people that make it all worthwhile. not to focus on the negative here, but there are always people who turn out to be selfish or flaky or just vampires that feed on your emotions and energy. the good thing about being an adult is that you can recognize who you fit with and who you don't, and you can more easily realize who's worth your time and attention.

and that works both ways! it's such a nice feeling when you realize that you are that to other people. it's rewarding as hell to know that you're valued by others. i know i probably sound like an alien here, but i didn't have a close-knit group of friends as a kid or a teenager, and i only really became a part of social groups in my twenties. even then, though, i was more ancillary; i was a friend that came along to things with other friends, the ones who were the nuclei of the social groups. so that is, i think, what the difference i'm feeling now is: for once, people want me around for me, not because i'm part and parcel with someone else.

so i've been thinking a lot on that lately, which is a good balance, because i'm also keeping in mind what i need to do for myself. because there's some stuff i need to separate from, and some things i need to re-prioritize, especially going into the next year. i need a clearer mind than the one i've been struggling with, and thankfully, my friends - the people that matter - have given me the stability to see things more clearly.

the one thought i kept coming back to the other week was: you shouldn't keep on being a supporting character and waiting around for things to happen to you. you should be out there being the main character of your own story.

and i'm aware that the only thing that's keeping me here right now is me. (you know i always need a reason to stay, because otherwise it's too easy for me to leave. and i spent so many sunny berlin mornings on the stadtbahn, leaning my head against the window, wondering what would ever be enough.)

so let's see what happens from here on, and we'll find out where my story is this time next year.



everything can change in an instant so trust your fucking heart.

[ music | eisbrecher, "verrückt" ]

Monday, October 1, 2018

autumn beds



october is finally here! and with it, oktoberfest:



i'd meant to go to the toronto celebration last year but didn't quite get around to it, so this year i made sure i was there, and thankfully emma had a spare ticket i could buy off her (the saturday-night ein prosit party was sold out). and honestly, for me, big dumb germany superfan, this festhalle party was tops. so many costumes! so much beer! (and yes, they had a traditional brass band playing polka.) did i have to stop myself from tacking on german words to my sentences because that's how my brain works now? sure.

caption says it all:



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

(i do love me some spicy sausage, though, but someone really ought to have warned me that the hot mustard is no joke) the hot potato salad had a bit too many fennel seeds, but i will always scarf down so much german beige food. and i definitely got a laugenbretzel on the way out, although again, foiled by the incredibly hot mustard. 10/10 would still eat again.

i also had to take a photo of this backdrop for selfies, and man oh man did i cackle loudly:



rammstein has a song called "küss mich" and it's...sort of about kissing...but like...not where you'd think? uh, anyway.

so oktoberfest in toronto was a joy - you'd be surprised at how willing you are to dance at the front of the stage after three beers - and i lost track of how many times i gushed, "oh my god, this is adorable." i mean, i don't think i'd ever be taking the trip to munich for the real thing - munich's expensive, and oktoberfest there is overrun with tourists - but i would clearly go back to berlin for lichterfeste in october. it seems like a given that r+ is going out on tour next year, but on the off-chance that they don't, i'm definitely planning on making that trip. berlin in october, please yes.

prince's gate even reminds me of brandenburger tor, ugh my heart:



tangentially related: i'm currently obsessed with good german chocolate ritter sport. even more so if i can find one in its original german packaging.

but here and now, though, most people are focusing on the fact that it's a long weekend coming up; it's canadian thanksgiving this sunday, so everyone's getting time off and travel plans in place and so on. but me - and i think i mentioned this before, but whatever - i'm staying here in toronto, for what i'm pretty sure is my first-ever thanksgiving long weekend not spent in kingston. i'm serious - i thought on it, and i can't recall a single thanksgiving that i didn't go home for. thanksgiving's always been a part of it, but it's been more so because both my birthday (the 9th) and my father's birthday (the 11th) are around the holiday, so it's a "three birds with one stone" scenario.

this year, though, i dunno. i just don't really feel it. it's a lot of maneuvering and coordination to get me to and from the island where my mom and stepdad live, and i wouldn't even be there for very long, and it's too much money for me right now. also, my dad and stepmom are only just getting back from croatia & austria on the 6th, and they already told me that they're not planning on doing anything for thanksgiving sunday. so now hopefully i don't feel too bummed out to miss the family thanksgiving, and likewise my birthday, because left to my own devices i can't see myself actually doing anything on my birthday.

ooof, does that sound depressing? i hope it doesn't sound that depressing. i'm just one of those people who's never made that big of a deal of my own birthday, mostly because, as i noted above, i've always been home with my family on the actual day. and honestly, as you get older, it's not even that big a deal, you know? it's really what you make of it. if you want to declare a "birthday week" or whatever, fine, sure - then it's a deal. but if you're not that motivated to make it into a big goddamn day for yourself, then that's how it is. (i'm probably too jaded and burned from my youth and the majority of my friends flaking out from my birthday parties, come to think of it.)

so in reality, i'm likely going to spend my birthday doing very little, unless i decide to hit up the movies or grab a nice (yet cheap) lunch somewhere. i'm easy to please, and i like my own company. (also, straight up, i am poor, my guys. i don't have the cash to splash out on a day of good times for myself. at least i don't have - and have never had - expensive wants or needs.) but i can unequivocally say that a year ago, i didn't expect to be back here, sitting around my apartment in my pjs all day and searching for jobs to apply for. that's the thing about life, though - you gotta be ready to roll with the punches, whatever happens. dust yourself off and get back to it.

and with that, i'm continuing to get back to it. enjoy the first week of the best month!

[ music | afi, "girl's not grey" ]

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

close cover before striking

so i have good friends that do cool things that they invite me to, which is how i ended up at a ddp yoga workshop in guelph last saturday:



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

it's actually quite serendipitous that i'd been doing ddpy before; in fact, last time i was freelancing, i would regularly fill my morning hours with yoga workouts. so even though i was pretty out of practice, muscle memory is a hell of a thing, and i was at least able to remember many of the move sequences and how to brace my core properly. still, it was almost a full day of intense yoga and inspirational talks from ddp himself (he gave me a mini-lecture about self-confidence when i professed to being awkward taking selfies with people, hah), and it was an interesting way to spend a saturday out of town.

also the rural parts of guelph are quite pretty:



my mother would have loved it out there, but i was just happy to get back to civilization. give me the city, forever.

the major downside of pushing myself through a long yoga workout was that i was sick, and i've been sick for the better portion of the week. it's clearly a head cold i picked up on the stupid germ-tube airplane on the way back from berlin, but i haven't been able to shake it yet, especially combined with the fact that my lingering jet lag is still messing with my sleep. love to wake up at 3-4 a.m. pretty much every day! fuck me.

still, sickness and jet lag haven't been enough to keep me down - i was fortunate enough to be selected to take part in a customer survey downtown last week, and it turned out my recompense was a $50 gift card to best buy. me: "what do i need at best buy?....wait."



so all told, i got a google chromecast for $1.70, which was a wonderful little mood-booster for this poor cost-cutter. especially since i'd wanted one for months but never got around to buying one. one more thing off the list!

moreover, this purchase has opened the door to cutting back further on my utilities: i'm going to simply ditch my cable access altogether (i barely watch tv anyway) and instead bump up my internet data, then just stick to streaming netflix and wrestling online, broadcast straight to my giant-ass tv set. i'll even end up saving something like $20 per month, which is always a bonus, particularly when you consider how much time i'm online (and, like i said, how little i watch tv).

speaking of, we're definitely in the cost-cutting measures now that i'm still sorting out the funemployment. so i'm dumping my cable, i cancelled my patreon and app subscriptions (sorry everyone, i gotta look out for #1 for a while), i'm switching gym memberships as of next month (going from $58 a month to $15 a month), and just generally redoing my budgets so i'm not so panicky. sure, i'll be fine, but not immediately, so i'm taking the steps to ensure that i'm scaling back on the non-necessities. it's almost freeing, in a way.

i really do not regret this purchase, though:


it's beautiful - a well-packaged coffee table book full of photographs taken on the völkerball tour worldwide in the mid-2000's. i'd kinda given up hope of ever owning a copy - they were a limited run, and they're quite expensive on ebay - and i wasn't even sure i'd be able to find one at the store in berlin, but thankfully this single damaged copy was on sale. i don't even care that the back corner of the book is all fucked up, i'm just so pleased to own one. (even if, yes, it weighed the hell out of my suitcase coming back)

hnnnnnngggghhhh


handsome dads are handsome.

alright, that's enough - i'm off to get in one last dental cleaning before my benefits run out (i definitely already filled my painkiller prescription; my pms cramps are never any joke), and meet up with my friends a bit later. it's finally fall, the leaves are changing colour, and i always land on my feet.

[ music | rammstein, "was ich liebe (demo)" ]

Thursday, September 20, 2018

down to the sea

so! here we are, getting towards the end of my first week of funemployment. i legit had to hit the ground running on this one; sure, i'm eligible to apply for employment insurance, but like i said before, i want to work, which means i'm applying for full-time jobs all the time. the goal is something full-time permanent, of course, but i still need to spend time thinking about the bigger picture.

does being unemployed mean i have more time to blog? well, i mean...sure, but it also means i have less money to do things with, which means i have less things to blog about. i suppose i can go far enough into my head that i can just write a bunch about introspective things, but i have to be in the right mood to get ~deep~. it's easier to do some shit like oh, i dunno, take off for germany and then write about that. physical experiences, y'know.


("oh, so what do you drink here, then?" "we drink jack daniels.")

but! like i said, i'm sorting it out. it's worth mentioning it, but the last time i didn't have a job, i had a boyfriend, so at least i had a reason to clean myself up a few times a week and go be a part of the outside world. this time, i'm actually going to have to make the effort to be in society myself, and that might be tough? i dunno. it depends on how much motivation i have to put on pants, i guess.

but honestly, the rest of my situation is far from bad. i've got my health, i have a band that i love, i have all the cool coats and makeup i need (and it's weird how reassuring this is to me), i'm well-stocked with groceries and supplies, i have a network of awesome and supportive friends, and i can write. i'm comfortable. it could be so much worse, and i know i'm very lucky for it.

if anything, all this free time has been giving me plenty of time to work my way through flake's book:



i mentioned it on twitter, but it's almost surreal how much of it i...actually understand? or like, get the gist of, anyway. it's fair to say that attempting to read german in order to decipher rammstein tour stories is far more motivating than a textbook.

to go along with this, though, i'm still keeping up with my german lessons, this time more determined than ever (must! read book!!). it's interesting to note how much better my spoken pronounciation/accent has gotten after only four days in germany. (also, i absolutely found that it's true that you speak better the drunker you are.) it's a twisty language, but then again so is english, and anything can be improved upon. it's good to have a goal to work towards in the off-hours.



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

in the meantime: cutting back on amenities, budgeting, spreadsheets, and getting back into the groove of surviving on my own. also, i may be a poor now, but you're damn right going to toronto oktoberfest here next weekend. sure, it's touristy and cheesy, but i miss berlin so much already, and i'll take any bit of the culture i can get. ich vermisse dich.

also: it's almost fall, which is guaranteed to put me in a good mood. best season ever. (my birthday is also officially less than three weeks away now, eeeep.) seeing the leaves change colour and feeling a chill in the air is my best cure for any malaise, and though it doesn't last too long here in toronto, it'll be enough to revive me even a little bit. get ready for plenty of instagrammed photos of fall foliage throughout the city, as well as outfit-of-the-day selfies of whatever fall coat-and-boots combo i'm wearing. like so, from last year:



anyway, i have a packed weekend coming up - ie. i will actually have things to blog about - so i'm going to take my leave now to start knocking tasks off my to-do list. no rest for the wicked, i swear.

[ music | florence + the machine, "big god" ]