Saturday, December 29, 2007

the one to never change

"i am so totally in love with this right now. it's like shitty casio rock from 1983." - me, listening to some girls wander by mistake for the first time since last summer

so, i'm back. hello! how were your holidays? please share, i'm a good listener.

me, i did alright for myself, as usual -- great times hanging out with people at home, lots of drinking done, a solid xmas haul from my family (the majority of which was made up of hoodies, no doubt due to the fact that i explained earlier that the vancouverite uniform is a thin jacket over a hoodie -- but oh, i did also get a shop-vac, huzzah!), and at least a bit of relaxation without having to wake up at quarter to six every goddamn morning to go make lattes for people.

and also: perspective!

this was the first time i'd been home since i moved to the west coast. the plane ride to ontario and back is no less lengthy and terrifying - though i pretty much find every flight terrifying, no matter how smooth and uneventful - and hopefully i'll only have to do it once more and one way (that would be when i move back east in august), but you know. the whole time in kingston was a nice refresher of my old life -- and also a testament to how strictly self-sufficient i've become since i left.

i mean, my mother drove me around town to pick up a few last-minute things on christmas eve day, and i gratefully thanked her maybe three times in a row. this is the kind of stuff i've learned to live without -- adapting to a lifestyle in which i rarely receive help from others, taking on pretty much everything myself, reluctant to ask for assistance from anyone else. this isn't to say that i'm too stubborn to ask for help; i just don't like feeling emotional debt, not to mention i've had too many bad experiences where the other party has made me feel guilty for even asking. and if there's one thing i hate, it's feeling like i'm a burden to anybody. anyway, i digress -- let's just say it was nice to actually be able to ask for favours from people again without worrying about it.

however, there was also talk of "when you settle down". when i settle down. i kind of hadn't thought about that concept before, because to me, "settling down" implies having a relationship and/or a career, and therefore enough of a base to put down roots in one place. and see, i'm not so much of a gypsy as dear jenna -- i love travelling and being on the road, but i also love having a fixed home and place to belong. i can admit to that. and to me right now, the idea of "settling down" (career, boyfriend or no -- but having a reason would be nice) and having a place where i'll want to stay is more appealing than i thought.

even before i moved to vancouver, i knew deep down that it'd be only temporary. it's a city full of transients, after all, and i'm just one of the many. plus, it's too far away from everything and everyone i love for me to consider staying there forever -- i didn't leave toronto because i was running from anything, after all.

oh, yeah. toronto.

so, toronto i'm...not sure about, anymore. not so sure about how long i'll actually be able to keep up any sort of semi-permanent, self-imposed exile from that place. as i mentioned before, i went back there on wednesday and stayed for a couple days - actually a day longer than i'd planned, which doesn't say so much about my adopted hometown as it does for the particular someone i was spending my time with - and, as my italicized quote earlier stated, every minute i spent there just fucking broke my heart. for the first day and a half, i felt like i was being suffocated by every amazing and crushing memory i made in that city over the last five years.

but it felt unequivocally like home.

it was the people and the atmosphere and the neighbourhoods and the streetcar routes and the restaurants and the bars and everything combined that put me right back in my comfort zone. that was my city, and i still belonged there with every inch of my soul. i went to the bovine ("welcome to boxing day sausage party `07 -- there are now three women in the bar!" announced dj al) and could have cried at how it was all still the same, and how quickly and easily i still fit in there. (not to mention the amount of excited grins, hugs and free drinks that my return to my old stomping ground garnered me)

it took me five years to master the city of toronto and to make it my own. i don't intend on staying in vancouver long enough to feel the same way.

but then, everyone was asking me, why did you leave toronto if you really belonged there? and why wouldn't you just move back in the fall? why do you want to go to montreal instead?

this is complicated.

i left not because of any one incident or one person, but because i was just burning out, and i can admit to that now. i was killing myself between two part-time jobs that were having me work seven days a week just to pay my rent and bills. i wasn't getting any time to do my music journalism, which was my real passion. i was getting pressured by work, by ever-increasing responsibilities and stress, and i couldn't see any way out of the cycle -- nor could i even see myself going anywhere. literally, i woke up one morning last summer and could only see one long, endless tunnel. i was spinning my wheels in toronto and i knew it.

so see, for however much my few days there made it entirely obvious that toronto is my home and heartland, i could also totally tell that, were i still there now and hadn't moved away in the first place, i'd be every bit as miserable. nothing would have changed for me in toronto between october and now. i mean, true, i can't tell that, but as far as my work life and home life were going...it wasn't going to stop until i stepped off. put the brakes on everything and bolted. i couldn't keep living like that. i don't know who could have.

toronto for those brief two days was amazing, though. like one wacky, crazy, surreal fucking dream that had everything (and the photos to prove it) from the aforementioned bovine boozing to running amok in the lcbo to hugs and shrieking with old coworkers to plowing through a massive platter of sneaky dee's veggie nachos to snapping pictures of weird college street signs to watching terrible 80's z-grade movies at 1 a.m. to way too many pints of beer and cigarettes and yelling at televised hockey in local pubs to more inside jokes and new friends and old friends than i could even begin to list. and the companion i had for the entirety of those two days was no less of a fucking godsend, a gracious host, and a story that this little girl is keeping to herself. let's just say i've got even more of a reason to look forward to the springtime.

okay, so, anyway. that's bringing us to now, which is me finally back in vancouver after a remarkably smooth flight on the most monstrous beast of an airplane i've ever seen (a boeing 777, holy shit). it's rather nice because it's the weekend right now, which means i don't have to work until monday, and monday - being new year's eve - is a short day at work before i have tuesday off for new year's day.

that's enough for now -- i think i'm gonna go back to bed for a bit before i hit the gym this morning, and then: using up the veritable deck of gift cards in my wallet!

p.s. i'd be ashamed of myself if i didn't share this link with you all: the onion a.v. club's worst band names of `07 i've since howled with mutual laughter with no less than four friends that i've showed the link to. it's just one of those naturally tear-inducing pieces of satire.

[ music | echo & the bunnymen, "seven seas" ]

johnny and mary

a little suffering is a good thing, maybe. but

(staring out the apartment window, wearing only my unbuttoned black ribbon blouse and nothing else, hair and makeup a mess, hugging myself against the slight chill, watching the morning snowfall, thinking one solitary thing: every minute i'm in this city is breaking my heart.)

.....my timing is, as always, fucking terrible.

[ music | the sisters of mercy, "1959" ]

Monday, December 24, 2007

in a haze around you

exchange between one of the nicer regular customers and i at work last week:

"so are you looking forward to going home?"
"well, i guess. but i usually just end up sitting in my parents' basement and getting drunk alone while everyone else sings carols around the tree."

everyone has their holiday traditions, what can i say.

so, i'm back in ontario, and maybe it's the minor jetlag, but it kinda feels like a weird dream to me -- like i never really left, and i don't really have another life on hold on the other side of this country. either way, the five-hour plane ride was dutifully horrifying - huzzah for typical winter turbulence and a "missed" approach into ottawa (the plane had to accelerate and then turn back around; by this point my guts had been liquified out of sheer terror) - and the two-hour drive to kingston abysmally long. i spent the entire time consolidating my music library and deleting somewhere in the realm of 100 rarely-listened-to mp3s. this is what happens when you only have a laptop with 64 gigs of memory and a 2 gig ipod nano -- you really gotta keep your music library streamlined, no bullshit allowed.

but now: home. kingston home #1, my mother and stepfather's home, and off to kingston home #2 - you guessed it, my father and stepmother's home - for christmas eve dinner tonight. mon oncle favori is going to be there, and that makes me so fucking excited you have no idea. in the meantime, i just bought my bus ticket to toronto for wednesday, which means hello primarily torontonian readership, i'm coming back! (yeah, don't think i haven't noticed that 90% of my blog hits are from toronto servers) true, it's only for 24 hours and i'm going to spend most of that time either drunk or running around doing errands (and by "errands", i mean "buying cheap packs of cigarettes at the discount store on the corner of queen and broadview"), but hey, it's my adopted home. i fully expect i may cry, drunkenly or not.

also and notably, my mother has only made three typical-mother observations (addendum: my grandmother also thinks i should eat more cheese): 1) i've lost weight (she says this every time i come home); 2) i need to stop smoking (moot point because she smokes more than i do); and 3) my hair's thinned out. i can't help that last one at all, no matter how much i've obsessed over my rampant hair loss in the past few months -- i've determined it's probably due to the fact that i went off and then back on birth control pills back in the summer, and i've read that the hormonal changes from it can trigger hair loss. (i don't think it's due to the vegetarianism; at least, i hope it's not due to that, because i kind of like not eating meat. my mother made me a salmon filet for dinner and, though quite tasty, my digestive system nearly forced it back out.) all the hair dye and flatironing probably hasn't helped. well, damn.

though really, given the choice between 25% of my hair falling out and preventing unwanted pregnancy, i'm going with the empty womb, thanks. i may be ridiculously vain about my hair, but i know my priorities.

okay! enough. here's more for ya:

on my current homefront, urban diner discusses the hotness of cactus club girls vs. earl's girls. i link this specifically for cactus alumni delna, and also because i may end up applying to cactus in the new year when i go back to my van-centric struggles to pay my bills. (looks like i oughta try for the west van location, ironically -- i am a brunette, after all)

this is probably way late, but you all ought to read up on c'mon, whose album i'm listening to right now (and whose drummer is kindly letting me crash at his place on wednesday). c'mon gladdens me inside, and so does the piece's author, one mr. keith carman, who also plays some rad rock guitar for maximum rnr as well as having a veritable fan club amongst toronto's younger rock journos. (yours truly included, ahem)

new music vid obsession right here. i still don't know what nationality maryslim are - finnish? swedish? - but i love that cover like i love alkaline trio's cover of "lucretia my reflection". yet at the same time i find it heresy because, er, it's not von. and if it ain't the real thing, then fuck that noise.

i love becoming a lapsed fan of bands that had their big heyday many years ago. it just makes me feel that more special.

are my chemical romance dead? ooooh, cryptic indeed. also appropriately gothemo.

via starbucks gossip (which i still read on occasion, because hey, a barista is a barista and you can't get the green apron out of your system that easily): some dude used his recovery coupon to concoct the most expensive drink at the `bucks. i'll spoil it for you: it involved 13 shots and was $13.76.

okay, so it's time to go wrap presents. hallelujah and enjoy getting hammered under the christmas tree.

p.s. now that i'm home, i finally got to see the muchmoremusic documentary i was in last month, and holy thank god it wasn't that bad. i was actually sort of impressed at how white my teeth were.

[ music | c'mon, "waste my time" ]

Saturday, December 22, 2007

harmonies for the haunted

and lo, on the tenth day without proper wireless internet access, the house connection suddenly resolved itself with my laptop's system, so i'm back in speedy business! quickly making up for lost time by downloading a rather intense amount of sisters bootlegs... although i normally detest live recordings (the quality's typically so shit that i never find them worth listening to, even if the song's rare or unreleased), but holy fuck holy fuck "we are the same, susanne" is like having somebody punch me in the stomach. i listened to it on repeat for the better portion of an hour, just fucking transfixed. when there's music out there that can still do that to me, then i know it'll always be my passion in life.

and speaking of that, the other big news in my life right now...

today i got a callback from the music editor of the georgia straight, the major entertainment & lifestyle weekly paper here in vancouver. he'd received my package of portfolio pieces and cover letter pleading for any sort of position - freelance or no - and was interested. could i call him back after he's finished vacation in january and discuss me doing some spec work for them to see how decent my unedited copy is?

er, hell yes.

suffice to say, i'm marking the date to call him back on my calendar. i refuse to do any sort of freaking out until i see what they actually want me for - most likely a freelance contributor, which in itself would be fantastic, although any sort of staff position would be enough to finally liberate me from my seven-year hell of working multiple part-time joe jobs to support myself - but in the meantime, i'm trying not to do any freaking out over whether or not i'm good enough for a weekly. sure, i've been a published music journo for the last four years, but it's only ever been within the framework of one publication (and its sister website offshoot). i've done bits and pieces for other zines - soul shine and also spin.com, of which i'm still a correspondent - but to have only been restricted to a single typical format and demographic makes me feel like i've been...limited in my style and format, i guess. my copy is and has always been pretty friggin' spotless though, so at least that's something.

anyway, we'll see what happens come next month. it probably wouldn't be enough to keep me here (not as freelance contributor, anyway; staff position, though...would have to see about that, though i personally think it's unlikely they'd want me for that), but it would at least make my months of `08 in vancouver worthwhile. more experience, portfolio fodder, all that. and my parents are impressed, which is nice.

blah blah whatever. here's some other stuff:

oh no they didn't! posts and comments on vh1's 100 best songs of the 90's. i admittedly squealed and/or cringed in shame at the following: tlc - "waterfalls"; ricky martin, "livin' la vida loca"; third eye blind - "semi-charmed life"; oasis - "wonderwall"; goo goo dolls - "iris"; matchbox twenty - "3 am"; joan osborne - "one of us"; sophie b. hawkins - "damn, i wish i was your lover"; the presidents of the united states of america - "peaches"; marcy playground - "sex and candy"; fastball - "the way"; new radicals - "you get what you give". also, i heard practically this entire list in my head as i was reading it. i listened to shitty mainstream music when i was a teenager in the 90's.

more nostalgia courtesy ontd!: the new american gladiators! that whole list and gallery is made of no.

there's plenty of year-end round-up goodness at my ontario journalism beneficiaries, chartattack - you know, just in case you happen to be stuck in winnipeg for new year's - and if you look closely, my second bionic feature article is up. as complimentary as i could be without appearing too biased in their favour. (my plan for nye `07: the currently-homeward bound jenna and i are strapping on the pvc and attending sin city fetish new year's)

stereogum and friends raise eyebrows at the new kanye west interview. well, er, yeah. didn't expect any less from mr. west, did we?

lou reed will be kicking off sxsw 2008 in march. i post this because every year i swear i'm gonna go to southby, and every year i don't, but at least this year i might have a band or two to accompany. (not to say i haven't in the past, but....oh well)

introspection time: another good thing about moving far away by yourself - removing yourself from your everyday environment, i suppose - is the way that the distance causes you to appreciate home, and family, and your old familiar friends. i think it's in the absence of those things that one grows the most as a person, because it's only when you realize what you left behind that you start to appreciate it.

and me, i haven't left everything behind permanently -- i'm going back to kingston on sunday, staying for a few days, onwards to toronto for two days, running madly between cities in an attempt to see everyone and everything i loved and left. because it's what i need to do -- visit the past in order to properly appreciate the present.

(one thing i don't need to do, though, is to prove that those ghosts exist. i already hear the voices of the memories and that's enough for me these days.)

one more late-night drunken house party to survive (and by that, i mean "sleep through", since it's currently going on downstairs and will likely be making my floor vibrate until the wee hours), one more day of work, one plane ride, and i'll be home on sunday night. three days after that and i'll be back in my real home. next broadcast will be from one, both, or either heartland.

wish me luck surviving the terrifying five-hour flight home, and actually getting something resembling sleep tonight overtop of the din downstairs. (they'll get theirs when i go stomping down the stairs to do laundry at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning)

[ music | maryslim feat. jyrki69, "this corrosion" (the sisters of mercy cover) ]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

precious and fragile things

now that i've finally managed to download a copy onto my computer (along with the vids for "lucretia my reflection" and "doctor jeep"), i've been back watching this video at least three times a day. like, how hot is that man? holy fucking seriously. (on a related note, i really, really want to go to bang-on on robson and get a plain black t-shirt screened with: fuck me and marry me young. i guess it's not really as funny if you don't know the song - which in itself is heartbreakingly gorgeous - but hey...)

my shock of last week: placebo's drummer is leaving! wtf? and here they seemed like such a solid threesome (no pun intended...i don't think). such a pity, they've been so fucking awesome the last few times i've seen them live...still, news of a new album in the spring is a bit of a balm.

and because i'm probably one of the only people to care enough to blog about it, econoline crush is returning. i won't even apologize for loving their music back in the 90's -- then again, if you know me, you probably expected that. you also probably expected that i think trevor hurst is a fine specimen, and you would be correct on that.

c'mon! mtv canada tomorrow at 6 pm est! sad i can't be there myself to offer my support (although they wouldn't need a merch girl for this gig, i don't think), but i'm definitely looking forward to catching the recap on the website -- if my still-shoddy wireless connection holds up long enough, that is. (found out the problem, btw -- there's a glitch in my windows vista that won't let me tap into the house's wireless, so unless i buy a separate usb port, then i'm gonna have to keep blagging bad connections from elsewhere. i'm so poor right now that i'm gonna have to keep going that route)

connecticut schoolteacher threatened by guns n' roses singalong. wow, it's 1990 all over again. where's tipper gore when you need her?

speaking of popular music showing up in unlikely places, pitchfork reports on the new "minor threat" hot sauce. yes, ian mackay is now technically a condiment. i suppose one could see that as a compliment...i mean, it worked for paul newman.

oh, and the `fork's also got their list of worst album covers of 2007. not quite as clever as idolator's long-running list - now in year-end tournament mode! - but they still get points for posting all that eye-raping hideousness.

something to think about: a culture saturated in sexism. combine this with the article that ran last week about "push presents" (an article which got me so blindly enraged that i was ranting - loudly - about it at work) and i'm starting to understand why my dad swears by the globe and mail -- among the five other newspapers he reads in the morning, of course. (i suppose this can also be seen as a reflection of how my parents' feminism has rubbed off on me)

now, for many things to occupy my sunday: getting a much-needed haircut, shaking off last night's extensive rum n' nog hangover (friend had a fantastically themed "ugly yule sweater" party, complete with burning log video on the tv set and terrible christmas music and red and green jello shooters), finishing my christmas shopping, popping in for drinks with a bartender friend, comforting a heartbroken housemate, et cetera. this is life.

[ music | limblifter, "ariel vs. lotus" ]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

just hang on

rather concise observation made between the boss and i at work the other day:

him: "man, life really hates you, doesn't it?"
me: "yeah, sometimes. but when life likes me, life really, really fucking likes me."

there's something to be said for karmic payoff, after all.

so my internet connection's been on the blink since friday - this is what happens when you've been blagging a wireless signal that isn't yours, and then when it goes down you're forced to pirate someone else's terribly weak connection - which, for some reason, does not translate into more time for writing. (though i did pump out an additional bionic feature for chartattack, which should be appearing on the website hopefully soon) too much stress right now, i suppose -- work stress, money stress, holiday stress all around. it's hard not to stay immune to it. (doesn't help that i somehow lost my tongue stud today -- i usually put it in my wallet before i start work in the mornings, but when i went to put it back in after work today it was missing. hello, $39 replacement stud -- because there is no way i'm compromising my beloved last facial piercing)

but, i have my health and i have things to look forward to, and i'm not so broke that i'm one step away from living in a gutter, so that's enough for me. well it comes and goes but / now it's getting better every day. right? right. thank you, moist.

anyway, more later. you always know there's more later. in the meantime, some other things to keep you entertained:

also from my online journalism benefactors, news on rammstein guitarist's new band. i might probably be the only one reading who cares about that, but whatevs, i still hold a guilty torch for rammstein. the german language is just so awesomely angry-sounding.

via idolator: hilary duff's on the cover of cosmo. seriously now -- cosmo?? i still have a hard time seeing duff out of her early teen years, let alone gracing the cover of a magazine devoted to recycling the same articles about g-spots and oral sex from the last twenty-five years. (this is according to my mom, by the way)

i'm actually surprised nme.com is still running morrissey stories. i'm willing to bet they're getting their passive-aggressive revenge by picking that photo, which makes moz look totally constipated.

spoiler alert! worst movie endings ever. many agreements on a.i., former roomie jenn and i went to see it theatres way back in the day and ending up cringing and squirming in our seats through endings number three through six. seriously, should have picked one ending and stuck with it.

pickton not eligible for parole for 25 years. this whole trial's been a big deal out here, for obvious reasons, but i can remember reading stuff about it in the papers back in toronto and just feeling fucking sick to my stomach at the amount of violence promulgated against women. glad they found the bastard guilty.

oh, and more on the vancouver front: i finally read jpod, and i still can't figure out if i think douglas coupland fucking rocks or is just incredibly lame. it's kind of a toss-up.

[ music | portishead, "sour times" ]

Friday, December 7, 2007

in a city by the sea

more than anything, i would like to beg someone to get me one of these for christmas -- in all black, please, like martin gore has. (or else one of these, because i'm currently reviving my fetish for military uniforms) i figure i might as well ask since all i'm really getting for christmas are driving lessons.

(alternatively, any enterprising soul looking to secure the rights to my firstborn child can go here and try to win me any live bootleg of any 2006 sisters show, because i'm continually blown away that eldritch still sounds that fucking amazing. and i would probably still do him.)

i didn't write this, but i damn well wish i did, and i couldn't have put it better myself. cheers to that. (i wrote in to complain about the erroneous review, too. hello, unprofessional music journalism 101) on a related note, i've been listening to bionic's new album all week, and i'd think it was fucking rad even if i hadn't stayed up all night with `em a couple weeks ago. love those guys.

the tagline on this link is amusingly enjoyable, as is the commentary, as always. also reminds me to put this book on my shopping/must-read list. good to know where girls of my typical stature stand in the scheme of things.

another example of classic headline! they're coming fast and furious right now, much like dan deacon's stream of profanity. excellent.

cheers to the half of babyshambles for carrying on in the midst of no-show bandmates. and hot damn if that fan isn't walking on cloud nine right now, and probably for the entirety of 2008.

speaking of more relevant awards shows, the taste police take on the grammy award nominations, part one. and holy shit, the shinys got nominated for the best electronic/dance grammy?? holy motherfucking shit. that's just...wow. so definitely deserved, yet so insane because i remember seeing them play for like 200 people at reverb (and then spending the rest of the night playing somewhat violent tonsil hockey with a here-unidentified member of the band). consider my mind blown. (they're playing london, ontario tonight! makes me sad inside that i'm not there)

oh yeah, and i'm attending this saturday night. god bless vancouver.

speaking on that, i think things are getting better for me here. i've actually been having a lot of surreal "holy shit, i live in vancouver" moments lately -- where i just kind of look around in wonder and astonishment that i actually made it here. this is a good sign to me, since i had a lot of those moments in toronto over the years. i don't know, i guess in my mind's eye i'm forever that dorky teenager from kingston, the former farmgirl from out in the sticks. but even these days, i'm noticing that i look older -- not old older, but i don't think i look like such a little kid anymore (and i was always convinced for the past five years that i look maybe all of sixteen). my face is definitely more reflective of someone who's hitting the quarter-century mark next year -- the big ol' twenty-five.

and it sort of makes me wonder if this is the point that, when you're a kid, you always think about how you'll look when you're grown up.

huh.

p.s. i realized the other day that if it weren't for my love of soup (and inability to afford all organic groceries), i'd be pretty much living on a raw-food vegetarian diet right now. well, alright. (although i can't say i believe the hooey that amenorrhea is normal on a raw food diet because menstruation is a product of an "unnatural" cooked-food diet -- uh, i bleed because my uterus is angry that it's empty every month)

[ music | nirvana, "heart-shaped box" ]

Sunday, December 2, 2007

what if this does not belong to you

it's been a long couple of weeks, what can i say.

but after a lovely eatery sushi dinner with jenna on friday night, we've come across things to mutually look forward to in the new year: the start of the west coast concert season in february (for us, it officially kicks off with editors at richard's on the 2nd -- hell to the fucking yes), the onset of springtime in march and april (when vancouver apparently becomes "the most beautiful place in canada" according to my mother), bionic coming back in april, many of my bands making their way out here once the weather's better for touring, trips to the islands and the beaches when the weather gets warm enough, summer party times in van city, and then wrapping up with me hitting the road home at the end of august. from there on, who knows -- i'm just learning to be content with the present.

moz is suing the nme for the 3517th time! i keep checking on nme.com to see if they'll post a story titled "morrissey suing us" or something, but so far no bones. aw.

i don't know if i'm just a grinch or what, but "cool christmas album" seems like a contradiction in terms to me. maybe i'm just bitter because i have to listen to shitty christmas music all day at work -- both over the recorded sound system and courtesy of the piano player in the office foyer. give me your pity, plz.

this headline sounds awkward, somehow -- like, evel knievel was only able to die peacefully after he settled his suit with kanye. which is kind of like something out of a movie. either way, r.i.p. stuntman dude.

via stereogum: stephen king runs down his top albums and tracks of the year. the country music isn't that surprising - i just finished reading lisey's story - but, uh, both james blunt and avril? ouch. my faith, it is shaken.

torontonian hipster music fans ought to go to this fucked up show because i can't, though i probably would have if i were still living down the street from sonic boom like i was two years ago.

by the way, if you grab the newest copy of chart magazine, you'll stumble across my dave gahan article on pages 16-17. it still makes me grin like the goofiest motherfucker on the planet when i read it. not the best piece i've ever written, but ohhh, that interview. (i still listen to the recording file sometimes, though i usually get all giggly and have to turn it off after about ten seconds)

oh yeah, and there'll be no more laughing at wintertime ontario for me: vancouver been getting covered in honest-to-god snow for the last two days. and honest to god, i've been loving it. i can't help but smile when i see kids outside running around in the white stuff (it's what my sister and i used to call "packy snow" when we were little -- the best kind of wet stuff that you can make forts with), and although i'm too scared to venture outside today - nobody here has snow tires, after all, and i think translink is on the verge of imploding on itself - i spent all yesterday walking around in the blizzard. seriously, it was my childhood spent out in the country: the falling snow, the chilly wind, the smell of wood-burning fireplaces on the air, the dusky winter darkness coming down in the afternoon. and then in the current day, there was me, half-sliding down the sidewalk in weather-inappropriate leather boots and thin leather coat with a maniacal fucking grin on my face, because this, at least, was home to me. i'm one of the hardiest breeds of eastern-ontario girl, after all.

p.s. i wish i had batteries for my digital camera so i could post pics of the far wall in my apartment; i received my three six-foot tall sisters posters in the mail last week, and have since created "the wall of mercy". it's either totally cool or completely fucking ridiculous, i can't tell yet.

[ music | beastie boys, "intergalactic" ]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

for your apocalypse

things i need to do personal-growth wise to ensure that my time here isn't a waste:

1. become a nicer person. a lot of my friends will tell you that i'm already a nice person, but i'm not as good at heart as i'd like to be. i'm still selfish and cruel in ways that makes me cringe at my own immaturity, and i know so many really good human beings that it routinely makes me ashamed of my own actions and thought processes. i want to be one of those people, considerate and open and selfless. it's going to require me to grow up a bit, and i think i need that.

2. complete the first step towards getting my full driver's license. i've been told by many musicians that my value as a road companion would go up astronomically if i could drive, and that makes total sense -- when a band's on tour, they always, always need more drivers. and though i wouldn't gain full road access for at least another two years, i really ought to start at it now.

3. learn how to take life one day at a time. slow down. don't overload myself or obsess over multi-tasking and time organization. i developed that lifestyle as a total reaction to high-speed life in toronto - i was juggling two jobs and school for three years, remember, and then three jobs for a whole year - and it's taken its toll. i really don't know how to live from day to day -- i'm constantly planning ahead, thinking about tomorrow and next week and next month and what needs to be done and how much time i have to do it. and you know what? it sucks. it's tiring. so now i have to consciously unlearn that behaviour and learn how to go at a day-by-day pace. maybe i should take up yoga.

4. get some more writing gigs under my belt. what i'm gunning for is an actual job at it, but if i can expand my style and at least get some more publications to put on my cv, then that'll do for now. so long as i get more professional experience and further my journalism career while i'm here, then it'll be worth it for me. seriously now: do i really need nine months spent perfecting my latte-making abilities? don't think so.

5. develop new interests and/or nurture old ones. i want to start paying more attention to clubs, organizations, meetings and the like, not only because i want to meet new people (this is also an ambition while i'm here: make as many vancouver friends as possible) but because i want to try new things and get some culture while i'm at. i'm forsaking getting a tv in favour of going to the library every weekend, because reading books and absorbing different writing styles has always been far more fulfilling to me than watching a flickering idiot box. sure, i'm still going to plenty of bars and concerts - probably more so than i did in my last two years in toronto - but i want to expand my interests and do different things. see what else lies beyond my little sphere of experience.

6. finding a way to make a living and career out of what really makes me happy. and here we dive into a vaguely philosophical/metaphysical debate i've been having with many people lately: are the things you really love only that special because they're usually fleeting and don't last? would those things make you just as happy if you had them all the time, or would that everyday-ness make them less enjoyable? is there a sustainability to that sort of perfect happiness, or would that be illogical -- because for it to exist, there'd have to be a downside as well?

let me try to explain this given my own experience: i've found what makes me truly happy in life. really, i have. and, unsurprisingly, it has everything to do with bands and musicians. see, for me, making contact with the musician is like making contact with the art -- it sounds cheesy and cliche'd but it's true. it's like touching the ephemeral, and for me, it's that brief glimpse through the doorway that has me hooked. it's what i've always strived to find again, after all -- what i mentioned in this old entry here, a way to that other world. the only way i've ever seen is to get close to them, and i've tried it on a multitude of levels -- being their friend, their fan, their quick fuck, their publicist, their interviewer. all of these are satisfying, to an extent, but what i realized last friday night is that i really enjoy just being with musicians. hanging out with them, talking to them, listening to their conversations amongst themselves, just being there.

and what really, truly makes me happy is being on the road with a band.

i am never so happy as i am packed into a van with a bunch of rocker guys, smoking, shooting the shit, laughing at in-jokes, teasing them and getting teased in return, singing along to bad songs on the radio as we barrel down the highway to the next gig and the next adventure. it's their show, it's always their show - i rarely have the impulse to be a musician myself - but i thrive on being the support, the protective force, the cute face, alternatively the nurturing one and the one that needs to be looked out for. in short, it's like having the coolest bunch of siblings ever. (there's a reason i tend to refer to many of my post-tour musicians as my brothers, after all.)

i seriously do have more fun with that than i ever did in my years of sleeping with musicians (and, consequently, getting my heart broken by musicians). it's actually kind of the same in my everyday personal life right now: i don't care about having a boyfriend because all i really want are brothers. i don't want affairs, i just want family. the love there is so much less complicated.

and see, not even my music journalism has offered me that sort of connection. it can be a useful asset and it can give you power, but it stands you alone. it doesn't always have to put you against them, but it puts you on the other side regardless, and you can't really get any closer to them. the contact is so temporary that unless you really work to build upon it (and i have, in a few cases), it'll just be another fleeting encounter with just another journalist. true, i'm far from a simple forgettable journalist - i've had bands remember me years after interview, which probably has something to do with the novelty of me being young and female and unexpectedly intelligent - but it's not always enough for me. (plus it's a well-understood fact that if you become a music journalist because you want to be a friend to rock stars, you are in the wrong fucking line of work.)

so, there is my happiness. and therein is my question and dilemma in one: is it sustainable? and would it become less special if i had that all the time? (if i actually found a way to stay, that is?)

here's where a harsher voice never fails to speak the truth: you can't just keep running after whichever of them seemingly wants to adopt you. didn't work very well the first time, now did it?

and me, speaking quietly over the phone to my father saturday morning: "i know it sounds dumb, but i think what i've always really wanted is for one of them to come get me and take me with them."

and echoes of an old phone conversation, two years down the broken line: "after this tour is done, i want you to be with me. i'll come up there and get you. really, i promise i will."

...maybe not always, then. maybe just since him.

(they're your people, little girl. you don't have to go finding them -- they'll always find you. and you feel the ties coming together in the background, just like last time. you'll see the effects months, maybe years down the road, but they'll happen.)

nine months left of finding myself.

p.s. i'm going home for christmas after all. both of my homes.

[ music | placebo, "drag" ]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

the things you believe in

yeah, so there was that.

let me talk for a sec about friday night first: the awesome montreal band bionic was here to play pub 340 as part of their current cross-canada tour, and i'd been psyched to see them for weeks now. and of course, it turned out to be seriously one of the best times i've had in months, no matter what province i've been in. those four guys are all total darlings - i'm their sometimes merch girl, happy enough to either do it for free or take my pay in beer and t-shirts - and i love hanging out with all of them -- usually into the early hours of the morning, it seems. (the last time we all partied together in montreal, i didn't get back to my uncle's until six a.m.; this time, i was awake for over twenty-four hours, just sitting up with jean and tim at their friend's house, smoking a gazillion cigarettes and drinking a shitload of stella and talking about pretty much everything.)

so yeah, there was no problem there at all, aside from my sad disappointment that i wouldn't be able to catch any of their other british columbia dates (and they're not getting back here until next april). i miss them already and all that - i don't have any rockstar boys here yet, after all, whereas i had multitudes to care about and support back home, and they were my livelihood for the longest time - but no, the revelation alluded to in my last blog post was because of the question that all the guys individually asked me, in their own ways: "how are you liking vancouver?"

and this was the problem (at least to me): i still didn't bloody know how to answer.

see, various people have been asking me that since probably my first week here. and i figured it was okay for me to not have a decided opinion on vancouver in only my first couple weeks -- i still had to get settled and everything, after all. i figured that once i had my own place and a job and a decent sense of being centered, i would be able to say that seriously, i love vancouver. i love it here. i'm really glad i moved.

the problem i realized friday night was that it would be a lie. because i'm still indifferent, and that disturbs me deeply.

i'm kind of holding onto hope that springtime and summer will make me fall in love with this city like i really truly want to - in fact, that's the answer i'm mostly giving these days, a small smile and a shrug and a well, it's alright, but i think i'll like it more in the spring - but right now, almost two months into my exodus to the west, i don't love it here. i realized that pretty keenly when i sort of waffled through my answer to the guys, and they all nodded sagely and said that they thought it was an alright city, but they wouldn't want to live here. there was nothing here for them -- nothing here for those who thrive on music and culture and nightlife and being connected in the scene. (my people, in other words.) and i realized, with a certain amount of subconscious relief, that i felt the same way they did. they knew i didn't belong here as much as i knew it, and as much as i've been afraid to admit it to myself or anybody.

i don't hate vancouver. there are certainly moments that make me happy to be here, but if anything, being with the guys on friday - hanging out, sharing stories, having them convince me more and more that i'd be better off in montreal - made me realize that i actually would rather be in montreal. i think i always kind of knew that, especially after my couple days there back in october. i had planned to move to montreal after i finished school last year, after all, but then i wasn't ready to leave toronto. too many things would've been left undone. but by now, i really am done with toronto - at least for the time being - and so it wasn't hard for me to leave it when i did. though now i can't help but wonder if my location redecision had been a good one. (particularly given the actual reason i came to vancouver instead -- and yes, there was a reason, but it's one i don't even like admitting to myself so you ain't getting it out of me)

...but i wanted to give vancouver a fair shot, you know? i really do believe that if i'd turned tail back at the end of october and ran back home (then, consequently, used my vancouver money to get me to quebec), i would've regretted it. i would have always wondered if maybe i hadn't given vancouver enough of a chance. and i do still want to give it a chance -- as my mother said over the phone this morning, "this is a miserable time of year to be anywhere." i've been told by countless people that i came "at the wrong time of year" and that spring and summer in vancouver are nothing short of fantastic. and i'm pretty well stuck here anyway -- i signed a ten-month lease when i moved in, so i'm here until the end of next august. that's such a long time from now that it scares me, but i do at least try to keep in the back of my mind that a lot can happen in the next nine months. something may happen to change my mind about this place. who knows? but regardless, i am pretty well decided at this moment that i'll be heading back east in august. it's where i need to be. still, for now, this will be a nice break and a good period in my life for growth, soul-searching, all that. i just have to focus and make a real effort to change things.

so i'm making steps to at least make my time here worthwhile. my father, good soul that he is, is in favour of the idea that i should spend a few months seriously trying for a writing gig - i'm mailing off my portfolio pieces and cover letters to a variety of local publications tomorrow - but if i can't find one, then i should sublet the rest of my lease and come home. but while he doesn't like to see me miserable, my mother has always been the purveyor of tough love, and told me that i should stay until august. stick it out and survive and grow as a person because of it. and she's right, of course -- it's just hard (though vaguely amusing) when you've got one parent offering you a way out while the other is essentially telling you to suck it up. kind of the usual case in my family, though, but i digress.

and that's that. see, i'm wise enough to be aware that these sorts of personal dilemmas and crisises are common in people my age - par for the course, even - but it's just that much harder when you've recently uprooted yourself and moved across the country from your longtime home, friends and family. i don't even have a center at the moment -- nowhere grounding, nowhere with familiarity, nothing solid to really hang onto while i navigate through the storm. and that? that is the absolute hardest fucking thing.

but i guess this is what you have to do if you want to grow up.

and i never did like doing things the easy way.

[ music | depeche mode, "never let me down again" ]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

small revelations

"you came here for a reason. you came here to try and find your place, so you have to give it a fucking shot. and you know what, even if you don't find that this is your place, then at least make your time here worthwhile, because otherwise...what the fuck are you doing with your life?"

i just said those very words out loud to myself while standing in my pajamas, coasting on maybe one hour of sleep, looking out my deck window over sunny downtown vancouver and the north shore in the distance.

thanks, guys -- and thanks, delna. i think i'm starting to get it.

it's time to really get the ball rolling on this thing: to get motivated and deadly serious about my ambition to be a full-on music journalist, to make my writing both my escape hatch and my open door to a future of new, different possibilities. this is my priority right now. it has to be, because otherwise all of this will have been for absolutely nothing.

i've got the kingdom and i've got the key, indeed.

[ music | she wants revenge, "true romance" ]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

crazy/beautiful

the house across the street from me has a manchester united flag hanging in the top-floor window. that makes me happy inside.

on the opposite end of the spectrum, this makes me die inside, a little bit. though i have to say i agree wholeheartedly with the `gum commentator who posted "as long as someone's writing martin l. gore a check, i'm fine with it." damn straight.

more news i know you've all been waiting for: the imminent return of sebastian bach! with added axl rose for your buck, apparently. of course, all this without even the faintest glimmer of chinese democracy on the horizon...i'm pretty sure that album's well on its way to becoming an urban myth.

continuing down my list of linking to music videos probably nobody else cares about, i'm not sure if i really love this or want to recoil in horror. much respect for zombie jyrki showing respect by wearing a sisters shirt, though. and hey, it's hard to go wrong with pretty european glam-gothrock boys. but, like...don't touch eldritch's music. don't even go there. ever. no.

via defamer: red hot chili peppers suing showtime. they actually have a pretty good point, there. (also, rotf: "primary themes of fucking and life in Southern California")

idols rule at the american music awards. confirming the general accepted fact that america has no fucking taste when it comes to music. (begging the pardon of my american readership, but even you gotta admit it's horrifying) still, at least it gives the fug girls plenty of new and hideous material -- they've already got the party started with kid rock under the crosshairs.

now, a bright spot to this past weekend (obviously brighter than when i turned my heel on the sidewalk while wearing six-inch stilettos and fell, tearing a hole in the knee of my favourite black skinny jeans): i got to spend time with my vancouver uncle and two cousins, none of whom i'd seen for the last five years or so. good to connect - or reconnect as it were - with some actual blood relations out here, and my cousins aren't that far from me age-wise, so we all got along quite well. i'd like to think i'm successfully reaffirming my position as the wild-child rock n' roll cousin in the family.

my uncle also took me around on a mini-tour of the southland, and i was notably impressed even if the grey drizzle and fog pretty much obscured most of the sights. when it comes to vancouver - and its surrounding area in general - i don't think i've ever been in a town that more reminds me of a city in an rpg. i mean, seriously: there's harbours, and farmer's markets, and little shopping villages, and cute boutique hotels, and ferries, and all kinds of wacky architecture. hell, even my apartment reminds me of a final fantasy house. considering i grew up on rpgs, this is kind of a little bit of heaven for me.

but i digress -- here is another family-related (both toronto and kingston) decision: i'm not coming home for christmas.

the easiest explanation i can give is that a round-trip plane ticket to toronto and back would cost over one thousand dollars. seriously, i did all the price comparisons and explored every option, but nope -- all the flights that are left now for the holiday season cost some insane cash. and while my parents wavered on it at first, they eventually told me to go ahead and book the tickets on my credit card and they'd pay me back in full.

i refused.

...i don't know if i can explain it properly or if anybody else will understand (my stepfather certainly didn't, and made it out to be some sort of selfish decision on my part when it was entirely the opposite), but see, i'm huge on debt. feeling emotional and/or monetary debt to another person or party is something i can't tolerate in my life. i lose sleep over this sort of shit. and the idea of my mother and father jointly forking over a thousand dollars to bring my prodigal-daughter ass home for maybe only three days (i can't take that much time off work) is just absurd to me. maybe it's also absurd to say that i don't think my presence is worth that, even at christmastime with my family, but that's how i feel. it's not like i have ridiculously low self-esteem or anything, but i just couldn't do it, even with my parents making that generous an offer.

true, they are my parents. as my mother kept saying, "it's just money. really, it's just money." there's no reason i should ever feel indebted to my parents for anything of monetary value, because they've never made me feel guilty about them supporting me for all the years i haven't lived under their roofs. but i thought long and hard about this, and i feel like it's the right thing for me to do, and my parents understand that. so: christmas on the coast it is. no pity and no regrets.

for now, there be tea with delna tomorrow and sushi with jenna on wednesday, and then an entire fucking weekend of drinking and debauchery. as i said at work today with a sad shake of my head, "this city is going to do nothing for my alcoholism."

[ music | red lorry yellow lorry, "save my soul" ]

Friday, November 16, 2007

given away to the west

i don't care that there may or may not be a mullet involved, here; would still hit that.

a positive thing to note about starting a new blog: for the first little while - at least, until the searchbots come charging in, and until you start posting images and making statements of relevance to curious people on google - the only people reading are your regular audience. so right now, i'm able to get a pretty good view of my usual readership: mostly torontonian, unsurprisingly, with a few in montreal, my hometown of kingston, one in the netherlands (hi marianne!), guelph, edmonton, california, even as far away as kuwait and singapore. i even have a regular reader in germany, apparently; i don't know who i know in germany, but uh, guten tag! (my german has deteriorated considerably since i took a first-year course in it at university -- a course which i signed up for mostly because i enjoy how brutal and angry the german language sounds)

also, my fame (or, well, "fame") is sort of spreading -- yes, that's me on the currently-airing (ad nauseum, knowing muchmoremusic's programming schedule) episode of popaganda. granted, not owning a tv set or vcr means that i have yet to see it myself (and probably won't unless someone sticks that shit up on youtube), but from all the reports i've heard - not just from friends and family, but even from random customers at work who've caught it while channel-surfing - 1) i do not look hideous, and 2) i do not make an ass out of myself. i referred to the taping back in september here, and i'm sort of glad it ended up turning out okay. my grandparents were proud enough to tell everybody at their local tim horton's the next day, anyway.

awesome headline alert: queens of the stone age get kicked out of rehab! seriously, josh homme is badass 110%.

your daily outrageousness courtesy of idolator is about some dude who kept his hands on a hannah montana statue for almost a week to win concert tickets. this brings both the lolz and the wtfs?.

oh, hooky, whatevs. frank was right, it was kinda nice to see him be portrayed as pretty douchebag-y in the control movie. (...okay, couldn't resist going to that website again...couldn't resist watching the trailer again. nearly cried. again. i love you, anton corbijn)

why canadians rule: super mario is more reconizable than our prime minister. is this really any revelation? maybe harper should start making friends with mushrooms.

here comes the new plague. i won't be impressed until i start seeing zombies.

speaking of black blood, bionic is coming here next week. i fucking love bionic and i am so ridiculously fucking excited to see them again and oh my god awesomeness, the end. (don't mind me, i've spent most of this evening doing up my bionic article for chartattack, and i hope i did `em justice)

otherwise, i have my bed, my fetish coat and an eight-inch long (no seriously, it's eight fucking inches long) pvc micro-mini to go with it, i've got three six-foot tall sisters of mercy posters from the 80's coming my way in the mail, there be mass boozing happening downtown tomorrow night, and life is good.

p.s. on the christmas list: a bass guitar and amp. that's all, really.

[ music | new order, "age of consent" ]

Sunday, November 11, 2007

like stars and rain

this video is awesome, even if i don't really get it, and i don't like the facial hair. oh well, still hot.

also in the unconcerned-query department: i don't know who wrote this headline, but it totally rules. looks like there's some shakeups and some new blood over at my old hq (the second dave gahan feature i wrote is in the new print issue -- "the stylin' issue", appropriately), which is a good thing, though i'm not out of the picture -- i'm doing a phoner with bionic on monday. that ought to be interesting, given that i don't have a landline here, thus no phone tap connection, thus recording the interview off of my cell's speakerphone...um. well, we'll see.

and now, presenting a smiths art video project by...phil collins?! no, not that phil collins. i admit to my slight disappointment.

this brought the lolz out loud. no, really.

via the irrepressable oh no they didn't!: hot interpol action! there are also pretty pretty pictures. aw, old carlos! what a hipster fox. (there is almost something fundamentally wrong with the fact that 98% of us fangirls liked his nazi look better, but i can't argue it)

i'm going to be on this show on monday. don't worry if you miss the episode, muchmore will be showing it ad infinitum for the next couple years, no doubt securing my horrendous image and lame quotes in the annals of bad tv commentator history. (no, i haven't seen it myself yet -- i doubt i really want to. at least my mom's excited.)

on a note of obviousness, i'm really enjoying this novelty that is having the weekends off work. see, for the last seven years, i've worked saturdays and sundays at my crappy part-time joe jobs, and though my new job is no less joe-worthy, it's full time and it's in an office building that's closed on weekends. so: instant time off! ...unfortunately, this also leads to the sort of extreme debauchery that can only be had in a new city on a friday night; the reason why it's saturday night and i'm staying in is because my stomach feels like i swallowed a boxful of tacks. i also spent a good two hours late this morning scrubbing vomit stains out of my carpet. make your own conclusions. (though my friend laughingly commented that i should have aimed more for the box of defective ikea bedframe pieces)

on a better note, i finally connected with my vancouver uncle (i actually have a surprising few relatives out here on the west coast; along with that uncle and two cousins, i have a great-aunt on salt spring island, not to mention my stepbrother and his whole family on the north shore), and it turns out that he has "a ton" of furniture and household stuff that he'll give me for free. bonus! though sappily, a bigger bonus is having real family out here, especially given that i haven't seen this particular uncle (one of my mother's many brothers) or his two sons - my cousins, who are fairly close to my age, and one of them is apparently pretty psyched to see me - in years. my uncle's coming to pick me up next saturday and we're all gonna hang. good clean times that i probably need right about now. i miss family.

it's...strange here, though. vancouver is quickly becoming the most gorgeous place in the world to me, but i know i'm not a part of it, and i don't think i ever will be. as i half-jokingly said to my mother last month, "i figure i've got maybe two more weeks of looking like some exotic creature to the people here, and then i'll just start looking like a local." but if all the stares are any indication, i don't think that's happened. i guess i still stand out in the crowds, and i've never entirely been sure why. even when i dress normally and walk down the street, i still get people trying to glimpse my face and watch me. i don't make eye contact. it all makes me slightly uncomfortable.

also, as i reflected on twitter the other day, it sounds egotistical to say, but people who don't know me tend to find me fascinating. these are generally the same sort of people who tell me i ought to write a book someday, and i react to both these opinions with the same sort of bemusement. i mean, to me, this is just my life, you know? and i can understand that it's pretty weird and surreal and very little of it can be considered "ordinary," but this is just everyday reality for me. this is the life i've made for myself, and i don't tend to think a lot of it is overly remarkable. i know plenty of people who have much more interesting lives. but i suppose i'll take it all as a compliment, because i'd always much rather have a life far removed from the norm than some boring existence.

i need a haircut. unremarkably.

[ music | yeah yeah yeahs, "maps" ]

Thursday, November 8, 2007

see if you can float

so i just watched this video, and whoaaaaa. i love the song, it's one of my favourites right now, but somebody is totally not chris cornell, thanks. oh, 1994.

also, current observation: putting together an apartment is hard.

for however awesome my new place is (read: the view, the location, the apartment itself), it came with one rather inconvenient but common downside: no furnishings. well, okay, so the bathroom has a bidet, and the kitchen - or, rather, the hallway between the main room and bathroom that serves as a "kitchen" - came with some stuff (namely, a hot plate, microwave, bar fridge and toaster oven), but otherwise, nada. so of course, i went to every cheapass twentysomething's home furnishing headquarters: ikea. the one nearest to me is in richmond, but that's still two bus rides away, and since i don't have a car (the point in owning one would be moot, as i've yet to attain any sort of driver's license), i bought a bed there - boxed-up frame, slats, separate midbeam, and foam mattress - and paid to have it delivered to my apartment on monday night.

but, of course, it is ikea -- you get what you pay for. so what i got was a bedframe that was missing two pieces (um, the baseboard legs) and without enough holes drilled in both sideboards and the centre support beam. oh yeah, and the instruction booklet was missing steps #7-12.

you can imagine my displeasure.

said displeasure was experienced by whatever poor customer service representative was on the receiving end of my calm and collected yet very, very angry phone call this afternoon.

in sum total: i'm getting a new bedset for free, delivered for free sometime within the next few days. when my father heard about this story, he laughed and said, "so you put on your mother's voice, did you?" i certainly did. (it's hard to explain unless you know her, but my mother is fantastic at getting things fixed her way when she's been wronged -- she gets very quiet and keeps her composure even and measured, then just verbally tears the offending party apart. gives no quarter and no area of compromise. seriously, nobody fucks with my mom. so, i've tried to adopt this tact whenever possible, and though i'm not as skilled at it as she is, i'm getting there)

on another positive note - really, the only thing that kept me from losing it yesterday - my gorgeous fetish military coat is finally coming! sure, it got lost in the mail for almost a month due to me not knowing my correct temporary address and so i didn't get it in time for halloween, but whatevs. you know i'll find other occasions to wear it. oh, will i ever.

news coming up:

i liked the fact that gang-war related stories were all over the covers of all the newspapers here in vancouver this morning. made me feel like i was back in toronto. (though as one of my cafe customers succinctly put it, "the difference between toronto gang members and our gang members is that ours don't shoot bystanders. they don't miss their targets.")

and okay, i know of a few friends who might garrot me for saying this, but really: fuck the beatles. i've been saying that a lot lately, given my manager's habit of playing his beatles albums seemingly nonstop every afternoon. though i think he just does that because he knows i get sick of their music in mere minutes. i am officially the worst music critic ever.

pete relapses! oh noes! well, we all kinda saw that coming...but the admittance and all the support is kind of sweet. i still believe in the doherty! (no, really. much love. keep an eye on nme.com for more developing news, i'm sure they've got the ticker running nonstop right now...)

speaking of the new musical express, they've got their annual "cool list" out, and xfm has your recap from across the pond. carlos d at #47! yeah, that's right. (though i'm sure we'd all be relieved if he shaved off the nasty cowboy `stache and went back to the vampire nazi look...but i'm sort of convinced he's keeping the wild-west style just to fuck with us)

back in the real world...with the majority of the errand-running out of the way (for now, anyway), lots of social time coming up: dinner at the naam with jenna tomorrow, boozing it up with my manager at some trashy downtown bar on friday night (yeah, you read that right -- i have an awesome workplace), japanese food with an old high school friend on saturday. life rolls on, and it is more or less good, my friends. thank you for still being here.

p.s. sorry about the last post. change of season.

[ music | interpol, "the specialist" ]

Monday, November 5, 2007

a moment of slight perfection

like the title says...

coming over the burrard bridge at quarter to seven in the morning, the sun just starting to rise over the water, the lights of downtown vancouver reflecting off the bay and the ocean, the mountains in the near distance, the sisters's song "driven like the snow" playing in my ears (seriously, go read those lyrics -- i'm not reprinting them here because i don't wanna get sued, but oh my god, oh my god, they were so perfect for that very moment that i wanted to cry), and i kind of sort of felt like that one moment in space and time might have been perfect, like a scene from a movie, the story of my life.

....i had a lot of weird dreams last night. well, no, not so weird because i can see how it all came together, subconscious notwithstanding -- the movie last week, my thoughts on it yesterday, facebook status changes, myspace bulletins, catching a fleeting glimpse of the scars on my back, memories, old ghosts. and it all went to remind me that i can't escape the last two years and all the things i did.

and i think about how it really is true that the bad guy - or girl - never wins in the end. i haven't yet, after all.

still no guilt and no shame, but no satisfaction in any of this either.

homespun desperation's knowing
inside your cover's always blown


[ music | the cars below outside my window ]

Sunday, November 4, 2007

hillsides at dusk

okay, better get the broadcast done first, so at least this blog isn't made up entirely of self-indulgent blather:

i heart music ranks the hottest bands in canada. our very own octo took part in what's probably the print equivalent, the top 10 canadian albums book. i think i actually recall being asked to contribute too, way back when, but i declined due to the fact that i'm not a huge fan of any contemporary canadian bands (and all the canadian bands i do like are those 90's alt-rock arena bands, or else canadian postgrunge acts that pretty much everybody hates and/or blames for nickelback). i'm patriotic in pretty much every other way, but i've really cooled off on the homegrown talent in the last couple years. i blame it on my discovering british music. mmmm...britrock.

idolator's large headline font informs us that the led zep reunion has been pushed back. i know a lot of wires have reported on it already, but i like idolator's healthy sarcasm and skepticism.

kate moss: the new yoko ono? whatevs, by now the pete drama is simmering down, and the new album is getting fair to middling reviews, so now he needs to run away and marry carlos in order to recapture my attention.

seriously: bran van 3000. seriously! i lol'd, i admit. i'm not always a nice person.

and man oh man, the king tut curse is gonna start laying some total smackdown. this just can't be good. didn't we learn anything from hollywood blockbuster horror movies?

oh yeah, and i saw control last week, and i...still don't know how exactly to describe the way i felt when the lights came up at the end. it was so painfully depressing but just so beautiful and passionate at the same time -- even watching that trailer on the website choked me up. funny, though, how one of the parts that affected me the most was when annik (ian's groupie mistress) was with ian when one of the guys told him that his wife was on the phone, and annik had this little smile on her face like oh, he's not going to take the call, he's going to stay here with me -- but then ian gets up and leaves the room, and the look on annik's face just crumples, and her eyes avert to the floor, and i was just sitting there thinking, fuck. i know that feeling. i know that feeling all too well, and way too many times over. but i guess i wouldn't be here if i ever learned from my past mistakes.

speaking of being here, since i'm now blogging from my new apartment on the west end...

after dumping close to $500 at ikea today - although that covered a lot, including my entire bed set and a load of cutlery and dishes - and raiding a few area dollar stores in order to get my kitchenware in order, i'm sort of spended out. at least i get my paychecque tomorrow, and though it's nice to actually have new things - all my old household stuff in toronto was hand-me-down from my parents, most of it excess from the divorce and its consequent split family amalgamations - it was pretty painful to be parting with so much money so quickly. i know it needs to be done, but my brain still tries to find ways around it (like, i was honestly considering just sleeping on a mattress on the floor before i remembered how drafty it is down there). i'm just a cheapass, i guess.

regardless, i'm not finished and probably won't be until late this month, so next up (as in, next payday when i can properly assess my finances): computer desk, chair for computer desk, a possible television set, and some myriad decorations to help this place feel a bit more home-y. i am here for at least the next ten months, after all, and i think with this little studio, it will actually be a pleasant experience. because seriously, looking out over my deck and seeing all of downtown and the north shore glittering like a thousand stars, a million little points of light...and i can kind of feel like i may have finally found my place.

p.s. i mailed a request - in actual letter form - to the reptile house today, politely asking if i could get a copy of the new order form. in my handwritten scrawl, i also added, "i think you guys are superfoxy rock gods." well, you know. i kinda had to.

p.p.s. leora and i were out drinking last night and semi-seriously discussed forming a band. uh-oh.

[ music | the sisters of mercy, "dominion / mother russia" ]

Thursday, November 1, 2007

under a black flag

after watching the depeche mode touring the angel: live in milan dvd at 1:30 a.m. in the seattle-tacoma airport - and this was after i somehow managed to sleep on the floor of the waiting area for an uncomfortable hour - i've determined that i would probably totally bang martin gore. yeah, i said it.

but first, uh, okay seriously -- this please:



were this 1985 (and i would be my current age as opposed to, well, two), i would totally hit that. hit that fucking hard.

(what differs me from your common young music journalist is that i actually say this shit out loud. might get me in trouble someday, but eh, i'm a freelancer. take me as i am.)

anyway, apologies for the random blackouts in posting lately. things have been busy both before and after los angeles, what with the job-finding and apartment-hunting (and finding!) and actually getting to know this city a little bit. (conclusion: less than ten dollars can buy you an absolute assload of sushi in this town.) the new job itself is promising; despite the district manager changing my shift (i was supposed to work from monday to friday, 8:30-5 -- now i'm working 7-3:30 instead, which does not please me at all), it seems like a good deal: full-time barista in an upscale cafe located in an office building, which means i get the weekends off and presumably plenty of stat holidays as well. plus there's only four employees including myself, so it's a nice little tight-knit group. (not to mention the fact that tips split only four ways are quite sizeable indeed) now, to actually survive getting back in the swing of having to go to bed early and waking up at some ungodly hour to go to work...stupid coffee shops.

also, as mentioned, there are new living quarters! i am now a resident of vancouver's dunbar neighbourhood, sort of between lower kitsilano and upper kerrisdale. it's all west end anyway, and my apartment (a second-floor studio bachelor with a lovely little deck) is up on a hill, so i've got a gorgeous view of downtown and the north shore. really, that was the biggest selling point for me (although the sheer oddity that is the honest to god bidet in the bathroom ranks up there) -- the idea of being able to look out over the lights of the city that i gave up pretty much everything for is like a dream come true. i'm moving my shit over there later tonight and it's going to be a nice beginning, i think.

in the meantime, there has been: a lot of coffee, fireworks, bus rides, getting lost on the bus, tears, hugs, reunions, black pvc, new articles (though i'm still slightly miffed over how much that second one got edited), socializing, partying, rock star obsessing, and generally good times. i figure after i get settled in at my own place - and it really will have to be settling in, as i've signed a ten-month lease, which means i'm a vancouver girl until august 2008 - maybe this city will finally start feeling less like a vacation (or an escape) and more like home.

i guess i better get back to reporting on the pop culture news, but that may have to keep on waiting -- my new place has internet but not wireless, so i have to wait until i get the proper cables hooked up in order to get access in my unit. either way, i'll try to make it out to a hotspot at some point in the next few days in order to update again, hopefully with photos of the new headquarters.

you are all being very patient and i love you all.

i leave you with the top 25 most played songs on the lilithpod right now:

1. never let me down again - depeche mode
2. running up that hill - placebo
3. goodnight goodbye - kill hannah
4. i wanna be a kennedy - kill hannah
5. sweet troubled soul - stellastarr*
6. enjoy the silence - depeche mode
7. in the walls - stellastarr*
8. chemicals between us - bush
9. i bet you look good on the dancefloor - arctic monkeys
10. stripped - depeche mode
11. foxy foxy - rob zombie
12. the hanging garden - the cure
13. beaujolais - towers of london
14. lucretia my reflection - alkaline trio
15. this picture - placebo
16. kennedy - kill hannah
17. bling (confession of a king) - the killers
18. blood - editors
19. stripped - shiny toy guns
20. post blue - placebo
21. she sells sanctuary - the cult
22. strangelove - depeche mode
23. english summer rain - placebo
24. golden touch - razorlight
25. just like heaven - the cure

[ music | the cure, "one hundred years" ]

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

feels like home to me

so as of this thursday, i will have my own studio apartment for one year's time in the neighbourhood of lower kitsilano, vancouver.

i've finally landed. and for better or worse, i'm here until november 2008.

i'll be back posting soon, i promise.

[ music | echo & the bunnymen, "lips like sugar" ]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

detonation boulevard

things i did during my five-day trip to los angeles, california:

- slept an uncomfortable hour on the floor of the seattle-tacoma airport;
- vowed to never ever ever fly united airlines or any of its subsidiary airlines because they have now granted me two shaky and terrifying flight experiences (although granted, i was running on about twenty-eight hours without sleep at that point, so my mind was in a less than competant state);
- was entirely disappointed by in-n-out burger's sorry attempt at a "veggie burger" (which, to them, consituted some lettuce and tomato on a bun with sauce);
- watched a shitload of bad horror movies with bre;
- finally realized my dream of experiencing the american mall-goth phenomenon that is hot topic, and spent over $100 there to boot;
- found the tome-like depeche mode biography (stripped: the true story of depeche mode) that i'd been impossibly searching for in canada, and have since read all 600 pages;
- absorbed as much vitamin d as possible to make up for what i'd be missing back in the rainy grayness of vancouver (even though i ended up with a slight sunburn on my shoulders for my efforts);
- walked the sunset strip and ate dinner at the rainbow room;
- conquered the greater los angeles transit system (albeit with some help from kindly bus drivers who took pity on two obviously lost young ladies);
- avoided brushfires, crazies, and the general foreboding scariness that is downtown los angeles after dark;
- made friends with a number of the montebello neighbourhood cats;
- walked all over the stars on hollywood boulevard;
- shopped at hollywood & highland (site of yet another hot topic);
- was introduced to a number of american foodstuff delicacies, such as snapea crisps, mini-cups of ben & jerry's, multi-v vitamin water, tecate beer, cold stone creamery, and way better rice cakes than we have in canada (i also got to indulge in my favourite america-only candy, starburst jellybeans, which i usually have to beg chicagoan adam to mail to me);
- seriously considered getting tattooed at 1 a.m. - i've wanted to get the words never let me down again inked on my inner left forearm for a couple months now - at one of the many parlours in west hollywood still open at that hour;
- had my canadian accent made fun of quite often, but all in good humour;
- found what may quite possibly be shanghai cowgirl's american equal in toi (awesome late-night rock n' roll thai food joint where i swigged jagermeister in the washroom while snapping photos of pro-britrock graffiti);
- made eyes at the boys on hollywood & vine;
- laughed at the drunken girls attempting to perform sexy pole dances at spider club;
- came up with a number of retarded and oft-repeated in-jokes with bre over the course of the weekend (including, but not limited to, exploding toilets, getting shanked, biblical salvation, the fetus-free zone, and "cesar. e. chavez.")
- tried not to cry and/or exchange my plane ticket home for a bus ticket when it was delayed due to not one but two "service maintenance errors";
- and so on, and so forth.

here are a small amount of accompanying visuals:


wings over california


modelling my new wedge cap, probably around forty-five hours without sleep



montebello mall gets into the halloween spirit



corner of hollywood & vine



capital records hq



grauman's chinese theatre at hollywood & highland



sneaky little minx


fun graffiti in toi's washroom



this is a city i can appreciate



bre's and my favourite kitty friend, mya of lincoln & 2nd avenue



yeah it's 4 a.m. in a speeding car...



americans really get into halloween



we found these on the curb by bre's house (and, of course, claimed them for ourselves). only in los angeles...


in sum total, there was no point to this trip, really; it was more to get away for a few days, see some of the american west coast now that i'm a denizen of the canadian west, and of course to see my american little sister, bre, whom i've been friends with for four years and hadn't seen for over a year (far too long in our books). we partied, we drank, we bonded and we had a hell of a time.

as for the city of los angeles itself, it doesn't quite top the glory of new york city or my beloved chicago, but it was a pretty damn good time. might be more fun in the future if there were actually a set reason for me to head down there - like, say, a choice concert or two - but otherwise, it was a cool american metropolis. and i have a definite weakness for those.

tellingly, though, bre asked me a very wise question on my last morning in l.a.: "does it even feel like you're going home?"

and then, followed by my mother on the phone this evening: "are you really enjoying it there?"

....i got scared today. like, really scared. but i'm hanging on - reminding myself that being out of my comfort zone is exactly what i wanted, it's what i asked for, so it's time to take it like an adult - and so the apartment hunt starts tomorrow.

i'm staying, because this is something i have to do.

[ music | the cure, "alt.end" ]