Tuesday, August 14, 2018

even if you're gone

whew! yes. thanks to those of you who read the previous blog post and are excited for me - i'm crazy excited for me, too. this whole going-to-berlin thing has been a dream for like a year and a half now, and now i've got the tickets to go. holy shit.

my parents were obviously not as thrilled; my father sounded apprehensive ("i'm going to worry about you the entire time you're there") while my mother just sounded bemused ("i thought your plan was to go next year?" i mean, i'm doing that too, i just didn't want next year to be my first time - i want the lay of the land first). but i mean, this is my life, and i'm a grown-ass adult who's seen so little of the world. i'm way overdue in getting out there and having some once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

though like i said, everything is coming together nicely (i'm way excited about my airbnb and how centrally located it is), i'm plotting out what parts of the city i'm gonna visit on which days, i've upped my daily german language lessons exponentially, and my bestie even offered to pay for my air canada lounge access on my outboard trip - which means unlimited free booze, snacks, and wifi, hell yes. there's the small chance i'll actually sleep on the plane if i'm tipsy enough, so i might try for it. (within reason, i know.)

but enough of that for now - what else has been going on in my life this summer? let's do a somewhat lengthy recap (there'll be a lot of multimedia embeds to break this up; even if i'm not blogging a lot i'm still and always very active on twitter and instagram):

i've watched a ton of wrestling!

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

i mean, what else is new? i'm never lying when i joke about how i only care about german metal and pro wrestling and nothing else.

aside from new japan's g1 tournament wrapping up after a month of wrecking my sleep schedule, i've had plenty of occasions to hang out with pals and watch wrestling, either on tv or in person. last month, i was lucky enough to get to go to both impact slammiversary and the following night of tv tapings, which was an unexpected blast. so many people and such great vibes, even if the venue (rebel) was in the middle of nowhere on the lower east side.

next up: nxt takeover/wwe summerslam ppv watching this saturday and sunday, followed by the next smash wrestling event on sunday the 26th. (yes, even with my clamped-down budget for my germany trip, i'm still making enough allowances to get me to my favourite wrestling promotion in the city)

i was barred from a concert!

okay look, i'm trying not to be too bitter about this because it was my dumb decision, but i really could have used the $80 i spent on that ticket that ended up being worthless, so: i had a ticket to go see afi and rise against a few weeks back, and i was super looking forward to it. i'd bought the ticket back in like, april, and my original plan was to go with bff jenna, who also loves both those bands. (i'd already seen afi at rockfest last year and adored them)

however, jenna had an emergency come up and had to cancel, so i figured i'd go it alone. unfortunately, i also figured i'd wear my spiked crown for the very punk occasion:

i'd worn it to rockfest and to a few wrestling shows, so it should be fine as an accessory, right? wrong, my friends. even though the spikes are blunt and clearly i'm not gonna be out in the pit headbutting anybody, security at the venue took one look at my head and told me i couldn't come in with it. "okay, what if i just wear it around my neck?" "no, it can't come in." *security points at garbage bin* and i mean, no fucking way was i going to trash my $65 spiked crown of awesomeness.

so i turned right around and went home. at least i bought myself ice cream to help myself feel a little better about missing out because of my idiot fashion pride.

i went to kingston / my stepbrother got married!

quick two-parter here: so it turns out that my stepbrother got engaged, like, a month ago, and they were going to get married in a casual island wedding on the august long weekend. it was a bit manic schedule-wise for me, since i would just be coming off of half a week of housesitting/catsitting for emma (who was in the uk for two weddings herself), but i couldn't not attend, so i forked over the money for a round-trip train ride back to kingston - my first time visiting since christmas.

and hey, it actually was...fine? it was a civic holiday long weekend here in canada, so pretty much everybody was out cottaging and drinking a shit ton and instagramming photos of their vacations out of town, and i was happy to join the masses for once. it was good to get face time with my family after so long, and i guess a break out of the big city is good for the soul. i guess. (i still don't like being stranded out on the island, though.)

also, you can't really fault the summer sunsets:

from there on, it was wedding time! the dress code for the sunday matrimonials was casual, which was fortunate for all of us given how stiflingly hot it was for an outdoor wedding, although i still had my outfit checked by my mother three times:

we all had to take shuttle boats out to the island where the wedding was taking place (yes, another island - this part of ontario isn't called the thousand islands for nothing), but once we were there it was smooth sailing - open bar, solid catering, and fantastic weather for the entire deal. also, you have to love a laid-back wedding with an early start, quick ceremony, and plenty of time to party afterwards.

yeah, so, clearly ya girl got too drunk and sent wayyyyy too many ill-advised text messages (hahahaha errrrrrr), but managed to peace out on the first shuttle back to the mainland at like 6 pm. had to save myself and my dignity. before my buzz wore off, though, i threw on my swimsuit and hopped on a pool float that my parents have anchored outside the dock, and somehow didn't manage to drop my phone in the st. lawrence river as i took selfies:

hot mess dork.

so the whole thing was mostly just a head trip for me, because my stepbrother is the first of us siblings (on my mom/stepdad's side anyway) to get married, and he's also someone i knew when he was like, eight years old. i remember him being a little kid, you know? and now he's all out here getting hitched, and also my stepsister (his older sister) just got engaged to her long-term boyfriend as well, and these life changes don't make me feel inadequate, not at all. (gahhhhhhhhh.)

which is a good segue into the next point:

me doing online dating is still a thing?

i took a break for a couple months but now i'm back in the game, bitches.

right now i'm being a dick and just window shopping, as it were - bookmarking the occasional guy i might be interested in (there's always possibilities; i'm not made of goddamn stone) and swiping through all the rest. no messages or right-swipes yet, though - like i said, window shopping. i'm not entirely sure i want to start opening any dialogues right now. (though at some point i'll likely get drunk one night and right-swipe on all my bookmarks just for the hell of it and see what happens) i mean, i definitely have some stuff i need to work through.

see, all the way back to my twenties, i've had the bad habit of going for guys that...don't really care all that much about me? or at the very least, throw me juuuuuust enough scraps of bare-minimum attention to keep me interested. (apparently there are terms for that: breadcrumbing, and to a lesser extent, benching) the problem is that i love a challenge, and trying to win over an ambivalent dude is exactly the kind of thing i'm into. i know! it sucks and i'm the worst.

but at a certain point - when you grow older, when you become a bit more jaded, when you smarten up - you realize how depressing and dumb it is to always be hanging after these "ehhhhh mayyyybe" guys, hoping they'll think you're worth it. i should be worth it. i should be looking for a guy who's super excited about getting to spend time with me. i'm legit not used to someone being excited about me, you guys. my bar for dudes is so fucking low, it's practically on the ground. but it doesn't change the fact that no matter what, there's always that one nagging truth in the back of my mind: if he's interested in you, you'll know it. if you have to speculate and guess and analyze everything, it's not it. you'll know. you shouldn't have to fucking guess.

so now it's back to the tale as old as time for many of us: trying to unlearn bad habits and realizing that i don't have to settle for less than i deserve (and maybe what i think i want has been the problem all along). and come on, i'm not some weird gargoyle - i don't think i'd be lacking dates out there. i just need to get out of this mental sinkhole.

anyway! to the logistics: i'm not sure how feasible it is for me to be dating right now finance-wise; i honestly have little to no wiggle room when it comes to extra spending between now and berlin. and sure, a lot of people will jump in here and point out that the guy will usually pay, but....i'm not like that? like, i don't expect that. so i always need to have at least some cash of my own to bring, and man oh man right now i certainly do not. we'll see how the next couple months shake out. maybe berlin will fix all my problems! ha ha ha.

it's too fucking hot outside!

i mean, it is.

that about covers it! see you here next time (sooner rather than later, i promise).

[ music | placebo, "post blue" ]

Monday, August 13, 2018

on the evening wind

hi! it's been a while, i know. it's been a busy summer, and i've got plenty to talk about for sure, but i'm back now because here's the biggest thing that's happening: i'm going to berlin. and it's happening in less than a month.

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

i'm sort of glad nobody on social media has asked why yet (other than dana, that is - hi dana!), because it's incredibly nerdy, but since this is my blog and i have zero shame, i'll put it out there right now: it's the annual rammstein fanclub meetup weekend in september. yuuuuuuup.

this one's mostly for the international fans - the german fans have a meetup every couple months - so that means there'll be plenty of english speakers, which is good for me and my stilted spoken german (i'm so nervous about trying to make friends, you guys), but the schedule of activities also looks like a goddamn blast. check it:

thursday - keyboardist flake is doing a reading from his new book
friday - beer garden meetup in the early evening, followed by a rammstein cover band show at a metal bar that's also displaying some of till's artwork
saturday - the official fanclub pre-opening of the rammstein retail store (discounts! one-off merch! props and costumes from the videos and stage shows on display!), then a tour of schloss schönhausen where the "du riechst so gut" video was filmed, then a band/berlin trivia night

sunday i head home, and thanks to the magic of time zones i'll be back in toronto at like 3 p.m. with the next day off work to recover. i'll probably be exhausted and slightly jetlagged, but i'm paying extra to fly direct just so it hopefully won't be that bad. that goes for wednesday, too; it's basically my only free day, and since i get in before noon, i'll have plenty of time to acclimatize, check in to my airbnb, and tour around the city on my own for a bit (and then sleep forever because fuck knows i won't have slept on the redeye flight over). honestly, i've wanted to go to berlin for over a year now, and i want to make the most of it when i'm not doing fanclub activities. (and by "make the most of it" i mean walk everywhere and eat so much currywurst. i'm on such a limited budget, i'll probably just survive on currywurst, doners, coffee and beer for the entire time i'm there. though, really, could be worse.)

anyway, this is a lot of firsts for me: the first time travelling to europe; first time being in germany; first time using airbnb (already booked and confirmed on alexanderplatz, right close to central!); first time going to a country that isn't english as a first language. so of course i'm a little bit nervous, especially because although i'm used to travelling solo, i don't travel a lot, and even then it's mostly to places i've been before. this is a brand new place and adventure!

like i said, though, suuuuper limited budget - i don't have a lot of money to spare otherwise, so i have to keep costs down. no touring big historical landmarks, trying not to take cabs (i'm already gonna be forking out 30 euros for the 7-day transit pass so i can take the s-bahn/u-bahn unlimited times), no big expensive dinners at fancy restaurants, et cetera. i've already laid out a budget spreadsheet and done as many calculations as i could - which includes projecting that i'm basically gonna live on rice cakes and vegetables for the next two months to make this work - and i've managed to make it doable. barely.

that said, i'm probably the most excited about visiting the rammsteinstore, and you just know i'm saving a large chunk of luggage space for the sheer amount of merch i'm gonna bring back. the announcement has promised that "you can score some great deals in the sale section. Pick up a T-shirt with a sample design on it, B items, and other special sale items!" and hot damn you know i want some sample one-offs. at this point i'm pretty sure my budgeted expenditure for rare weird merch is second only to my flight in terms of expenses.

also: i rankle at the idea of having to spend $60 to check my bag on the way back, but it may be the only way i get to own the band-branded alcohol (since it's obviously a liquid and i can't bring it in my carry-on). i mean, look at how cool the vodka is. look at it!!!

(they sell branded tequila too, but it's double the price of the vodka and i hate tequila anyway)

so along with finally getting to see berlin proper, it's important for me to just get some face time with the other fans, especially in advance of a potential tour next year. it's good to make in-person connections, and also holy shit i want to spend time with my people. here, i get looked at like i have two heads when i talk about how much i love this band; i want to be with other people who also love this band that much. and if you're going to a fanclub meetup, then yeah, it's a safe bet to say that you probably do. (i try to tell myself it's no less nerdy than attending a comic or anime convention, and there are tons of those happening all the time)

but it's a nerve-wracking thing, y'know, to show up in a different country by yourself to meet people you know tangentially from the internet and expect to be fast friends in person - especially if english isn't everyone's first language. so i'm just gonna have to put on my extrovert pants, drink a bunch of beer, and be as outgoing and fun as i can. sometimes that's a tough task for me, but it's a necessity here, unless i want to feel like the odd girl out at school again. and who knows, maybe my last year and a half of learning german will actually come through for me and give me just enough to keep up.

so: the countdown is on! just enough time for me to hyperventilate about spending 8 hours on a plane, twice.

[ music | afi, "i hope you suffer" ]

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

the old sorrow

it's time for a blast from the past!

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

backstory: last year, out of nowhere my dad asked me if i wanted an ipod. apparently he had one that he barely used, and he wanted it to go to a good home (and he knew i use an ipod nonstop daily - for real, i've never gotten into listening to music on my phone, it's my ipod when i'm on the go or nothing). i shrugged, assuming that he had maybe an ipod shuffle or something, and said sure, i could always use a backup.

what i got was a full 160-gb ipod classic, one of the original and best models that sell in the range of $200+ now, and it was in near-mint condition.

smash cut to now: my own ipod - a nano i got for christmas in 2015 - has been on its last legs since last year. remember the saga of me getting the fucking thing fixed? it never fully recovered, not even after spending a month in the shop to be repaired, and not even after i had to take it back the following week because the led faceplate had started to fall off. a real shoddy job, there. anyway, it's been holding on ever since - okay fine, it's been a year, i can finally admit that my ipod originally got fucked up because i was drunk and barfed on it - but the faceplate was still unstable and one of the panels on it was threatening to fall off all the way back in december (it's been scotch taped).

so here i am with a failing ipod nano and this stellar retro ipod classic in my possession, but i hadn't yet moved anything to the classic. i wasn't sure if i should attempt to sell it; i knew i could make some good cash. but finally, i realized that 1) i was too lazy and/or paranoid about trying to sell it to a stranger to even attempt it, and 2) i kind of....didn't want to? i mean, my dad gave it to me, for me to use. at the end of the day, i felt kind of squirmy and gross about selling this thing that was a gift, even if i knew my dad probably wouldn't mind.

anyway, all this led up to last week, when i just decided i'd rather put the thing to use instead of having it sit in a box with the intentions of one day selling it (though there was a 98% chance i never would). i factory-wiped it, installed the up-to-date software, and synced up my entire current music library (which still only filled, like, 1/100th of the ipod's space). so now it's my main listening device, even if i have to once again adapt to the fact that it's a little bit heavier and more bulky than i'm used to. (also, it doesn't fit in pockets as easily, sigh)

spending of music and nostalgia and #memories, i read this retrospective on warped tour 2005 last week and it got me right in my soul. if there's one thing i love, it's thinkpieces on time periods in music scenes that i've lived through, or at least can remember happening.

i'd tried to read meet me in the bathroom: rebirth of rock and roll in new york city 2001-2011, thinking i'd find something of my past in there, but i just couldn't relate. there was too much hopping between names and assumed familiarity with key players, and you really had to know the nyc scene inside out. i mean, i just liked interpol a lot, you know?

but that had been my goal for ages: get through university while building a freelance music journalism portfolio on the side, then go down to nyc after i graduated in 2006 to try and pitch for a music journalism job. clearly that didn't work out - and lol at my naive thinking it ever would - but a part of me has always kind of 1) longed for new york and the life i thought i'd have and 2) felt nostalgic for the nyc scene i missed out on, and had to try and take part in from a distance.

i digress - this wasn't the case with the pop-punk of the early-to-mid 00's. sure, i wasn't as in it as some people, but i had the tangential edges mostly through my love of kill hannah (one of the last of the trl-popular bands), and i knew all the big players because i was just starting out as a music journalist then. it was more the feel of that scene that i remember so well, and that piece from billboard really captured that moment in time. the early-to-mid 00's were a special time for popular music, and it totally felt like something unique was happening - even if its time was limited, it certainly didn't feel like that. in the moment, it felt like things would stay that way forever.

sometimes i think i have a problem when it comes to spatial awareness of time.

i'm not good at grasping the concept that things won't stay the same forever, and somehow it always comes as an unpleasant surprise to me when things change. so it's hard for me to explain the weird, empty sadness i feel at the knowledge that a time that i look back on with so much nostalgia will never come around again. there will never again be another time when mtv and muchmusic are huge, and music videos and magazines and myspace are tastemakers, and the internet seemed less vicious and cruel. there won't be another time like then, when i was still constantly daydreaming what my future would be, and when the world seemed less stressful and chaotic.

both professionally and personally, there's never any going back. and i've always found the concept of "never again" to be hard to reconcile with.

i guess a lot of that stuff is stories for another time, though.

[ music | rammstein, "feuer und wasser" ]

Thursday, June 21, 2018

facing forward

hah so apparently i am a prophet:

remember i was just saying in my previous blog post that i had to be ready to go once rammstein announced their new tour dates? well, here it is - or rather, it looks like a special two-night holiday one-off in mexico, where they're insanely popular (and will probably be making very good bank for these shows). but because of this, the ticket prices are jacked way up, like:

and they'll sell that out, just you watch.

....i mean, i won't say it isn't doable for me, because it is, but i don't think i want to take the plunge here. it'd be super epic to see my good german dads for new year's, but i've never particularly wanted to go to mexico (especially by myself), and i would honestly rather save up my money to go see them in europe instead. i still bet they'll sell this one out, though; they're massive in mexico to the point where there's, like, fan riots. another reason for me to nope out, really. (if i had the extra $5000 to spare, clearly i would be doing the 4-night hotel package, but i don't even have the cash to cover anything beyond one, maybe two tickets right now)

also, i'm not sure i believe the above when they say both that the new album drops before the end of the year, and the two mexico shows will be the only dates they play in 2018; if the album comes out in, say, the fall, why wouldn't they do some dates around that? i mean, it could make sense if they release the album in the holiday season, but who knows. everything is speculation at this point, but you better believe the fanclub forum is going nuts. things are finally happening!! like, there'll be new promo photos and a new set list and a new stage production and uhhhhhh yeah, new rammstein songs for the first time in nine years. i'm so excited.

2019 tour set wish list: bring back "der meister", "weisses fleisch" and "adios", add "das modell", "rosenrot" and "amour" (as well as whatever bangers are on the new album). i just wanna dance and maybe cry? idk

hey look it's absolutely me:

but i mean, if you're here reading, you're likely used to my yelling by now. this is my yelling place.

otherwise, i feel good about how things are going in terms of life stuff - while i may not have enough money to fund a new year's trip to mexico to see one of my favourite bands play on a goddamn beach, my savings are growing and my debt is finally getting more manageable. my health is getting on track, my job's going well and i'm really thankful i have it, and i'm just having a moment where i'm grateful i've got all the stuff i've got, you know? plus i've been busy laying out plans for july and august, which include many wrestling shows (obviously), a few big concerts, some more house/cat-sitting, and not one but two(!) late-summer trips to kingston. i am that nerd with a wall calendar in her bedroom that she scribbles on to keep everything straight.

speaking of, it's a busy weekend ahead - my dad is coming to town on saturday for a quick visit (i haven't seen any of my family since uhhhhhhhhh december), then sunday a bunch of us are doing brunch and world cup-watching for sean's birthday before i have to run home and record a wrestler interview(!) with my old pals at the big gold belt podcast. i am very okay with conducting interviews that i don't have to transcribe later.

also here's my astrological chart because i feel like it'll be important at some point (basics: sun in libra, moon in scorpio, virgo ascending):

(it's not that i assume i'll end up with anybody who's astrologically compatible with me, i'm just more interested in seeing which particular traits ring true for me - you can find yours here)


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