Tuesday, February 26, 2008

recording the wrong episodes

i am hideously negligent. i'm sorry. i feel like a bad parent. (and it seriously takes delna to remind me that people actually read this thing...)

...however! i must regretfully be further negligent, as tomorrow starts my tenure as store manager, and i have a myriad of how-to notes to copy out and general things to prepare for. i know, i know, you can't be ready for the unexpected, but given that today was one of those mondays from hell, i worry all too much that it was an ominous preview of what might be to come...eeeep.

yet i still do write, in between frolicking in the rare vancouver sunshine (it's like ontario patio weather here, but in february!) and jacking off over the phone line (one of those necessities that long-distance relationships dictates...i don't mind much, really, but i'd far prefer the real thing), and so for now - until i get off my duff and find the spare time some evening this week to write a proper update - i'm going to be lame and lazy and just repost something i wrote over in my myspace blog, which gets mostly neglected until i want attention. i'm special that way. (or else incredibly normal, maybe...but why split hairs?)

anyway, it's all a true story, and i rather like it. titled "my sentimental side should be held with kid gloves":


one a.m., downtown vancouver. it's all tall buildings and sparkling lights, a waning full moon and a sky full of stars, the brief smell of someone's cigarette smoke on the night air. makes the veil slip, just a little bit. just enough that, combined with the writings you read last night, it brings it back in bits and pieces -- the stars and planets overhead in arizona, maybe, or the icy sidewalks of toronto when it was all still new to you, discovering the place where you belonged. and, even further back, a rainy night in pennsylvania, the first time you were actually scared that maybe the life you'd wanted so badly was too much for you to handle. lying in bed, staring at a white hotel room wall, blank.

you get impatient, maybe, just waiting for something to happen or someone to come find you, so you run, not because you necessarily need to but just because you feel like it, just because you want to hear the jangling of the chains on your collar harmonizing with stellastarr* -
well i want to wake from my disease / and the cure is lying next to me / and i'm trying so hard yes i'm trying to be what you're dreaming of - before you slow back to a walk. don't make eye contact with anyone passing, especially not the ones who whistle and comment and even just say a simple hello. lift your chin a bit instead, sneer slightly, glare, be that goth bitch in black with the long coat and fishnets under combat boots, hair exploding in all directions like the bastard lovechild of robert smith and siouxsie sioux. show them you don't belong to them. show them you don't belong here.

stare out the window. brief glances at the faces of the other passengers, still expecting to see someone you know, someone who knows you but doesn't know you at all, really. wish that you could have someone with you - family, friend, lover, it doesn't matter so much tonight; just someone who believes in you would be enough - to put an arm around you and make you feel like you exist in the expanse of the universe. because you're still looking for your place, still and always, even if you may never find it.

("...so what
are you doing here? i mean, really."

i didn't meet his eyes when i answered, smiling vaguely, exhaling nicotine smoke and other such vices. "...you know, i'm so done telling that story.")

and when the melody brings you back, close your eyes and pretend you're somewhere else, so many and only a few short years ago.

...Sometimes I still feel, even now, that I'm living someone else's life entirely.


[ music | modest mouse, "dashboard" ]

Monday, February 18, 2008

the darkest one

funny how a single familiar song listened to in the middle of a crowded street can serve as such a vital reminder.

-but what about you and who you are, what you've done in your life so far? think about all the ones you call friends now, the ones you've drank with and partied with and slept with and fell for. think about the ones you've interviewed, the ones who've remembered you, the big names and the famous ones, and the ones you've been able to proudly tell stories about afterward. think about the long hot nights and the smell of cigarette smoke on the cold winter air, think about the glory days and the ones you've helped and worked for and cared for. you've known so many of them in so many ways, to the point where you can walk the streets with their same self-confident swagger and turn the same amount of heads -- because by now they are your people, your lovers and your family. you are no longer on the outside looking in, and there is no longer a pedestal because you know them, you know them, as deeply ingrained as your own blood and heart and soul. for so long, you've been theirs, but now they are yours as well.

when you think about where you came from, sweetheart, think about how weird, random and surreal your life is, and think about how goddamn lucky you are.

.....how very lucky i am.

[ music | the airborne toxic event, "sometime around midnight" ]

Sunday, February 17, 2008

yes it's real

what a week. this one's looking to be just as rough, i'm afraid, though at least i'll be working on a different schedule from now on -- more of your typical 9-to-5, monday-to-friday b.s. but i guess it's hard to be bummed out about the menial things in your life when the most gorgeous morning is going on out there. :P seriously, weather like this makes me want to bitchslap anyone who says vancouver is "all rain, all the time". sure, it's rain a lot of the time, but when it's sunny? it's probably the most insanely gorgeous place in the world. looking out from my deck right now at the sun on the mountains makes it look like a postcard, or a movie set.

sorry, ontarians who are dealing with so much snow that they no longer know where to put it. :P (case in point. i want to say i remember what that was like, but my mother said she hasn't seen a winter like this in years, so i probably can't)

liam gallagher: married on v-day! wonder what noel would have to say about that. probably would include a string of inexplicable, mumbled expletives. bless.

not so bless (but pretty damn ingenious, considering who it's coming from): win a hunting trip with ted nugent. the nuge is kind of like the forces of evil: has to exist in order to remind us of all the good in the world. thus, i can only roll my eyes and shake my head.

new album coming up for the raconteurs, whom i honestly didn't know were still a band. yet i dredged up fond memories of them only yesterday, when relating this story (relevance to the topic at hand near the end of the entry) to a friend. makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.

also on the schoolgirl-giggle radar: crash.tv has a webisode up about kill hannah. (is that the right word? "webisode"?) just seeing mat's face puts a grin on my own, and d'awwww he's still so awkward in live interviews. bonus: old band photos ahoy! god i still fucking love that band to a gazillion little eyeliner-smeared pieces. (there's also fun with the shinys at that website too)

now, for valentine's day: still a bullshit excuse for a "holiday". i no longer have to say that because i'm bitter about being single (truthfully, this was the first valentine's day i spent not single); now i can just say it because it's true! :P and it is. still, a few belated/related links that are continually funny no matter what the day: action-squad's indie hipster valentines (i got one from sofi! i'm **~speshul~**) and the a.v. club's review of edible sex toys. um, ew.

it's sunday morning which means i'm going back to bed.

[ music | candlebox, "you" ]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

give me one last try

a fantastic radio station discovery this weekend! :D

specifically, the one i'm now constantly streaming via itunes is "90's alternative", which more or less plays the soundtrack to my early adolescence. in one hour i heard jane's addiction ("been caught stealing"), collective soul ("precious declaration"), the verve ("bittersweet symphony" - what else?), bush ("glycerine"), prodigy ("smack my bitch up"), the offspring ("why don't you get a job?" - omfg hell yes), candy skins ("for what it's worth" - tell me stop baby what's that sound everybody look what's going downnnnn), and i can't even go into how many others. sure, i could have done without the blink-182 following up inxs (which was, in turn, followed by marilyn manson's "sweet dreams" cover, which i associate most with grade 8), and if there were more canadian content from that era i'd be in heaven, but just the fact that i recognized like 98% of the songs within the first ten seconds is a testament to how that is my era of music, no matter how inherently awful the majority of it is. (as in, some of it was songs i could go forever without hearing again. i mean, come on -- eve 6? semisonic? filter? mighty mighty bosstones?) seriously barb, you would have been delighted.

anyway, just brought back so many memories of high school, particularly the early years when my best friend would go away to toronto a couple weekends a month and tape songs off edge 102 for me. (though really, is it so weird that i always thought "pepper" was by beck, not butthole surfers?) and no, i'm completely unashamed of my love for that era. funny how one of my editors said recently that one of my strengths as a music journalist is the fact that i can appreciate music that isn't critically beloved; i blinked and replied, "so my biggest strength is that i love shitty bands?"

well, maybe.

speaking of shitty bands (or lack thereof), the grammy awards are on right now, and mtv is keeping a running tally of the winners for those of us who are too poor and/or obstinant to own a television set. idolator's liveblogging the shindig, and so is stereogum. ah, who am i kidding, even if i did own a tv i probably wouldn't be watching them anyway. i'm too busy listening to shitty 90's alt-rock. (the station nearly lost me by playing creed's "higher," but i've since been won back by the one-two punch of third eye blind's "jumper" and live's "all over you")

oh, but here's some dirt (or lack thereof) from clive davis's grammy red carpet party. it's mostly all about amy winehouse - and i am far, far winehouse-d out by now - but awww, dave grohl! seriously, it's hard not to love that dude. unless you're courtney love.

segueway!: ontd! has the full scans and article from the harper's bazaar feature on frances bean cobain. and man, read that shit and try to tell me that's not an astounding well-adjusted kid, especially given her past, parental figures and, well, life in general. and she's adorable in those photos.

so the 2008 sxsw lineup has been released, and your friend and mine, chartattack, lines up the canadian content. many a familiar name on there to moi-meme, although a few disappointing absences...oh well, i'm gonna be busy that weekend anyway. more details on that later, but i'll say that it has a great deal to do with that mental image i mentioned earlier of a bunch of planets crashing together in my little universe. eeeeep.

though while you're at the site, you should also read this article about dearly beloved, because i used to work with rob and will testify that he is an absolute sweetheart. i also had a tiny little crush on him, as i am (was?) wont to do with musicians, and would have to hide my girly blushings every time he came into the office. eh, what can i say, i was a sucker.

my newest time-waster: the onion av club. no secret that i've been addicted to the onion since high school - i'm an asshole in that i find nothing funnier than sarcastic mockery - but hey, intelligent snarky writings on music and movies? i'm down, and you should be too.

now if you'll excuse me, i'm heading back to the grammy liveblogging. a happy rest-of-sunday to you!

p.s. new video game obsession: rock band, preferably played with friends while everyone is drunk on jagermeister. i'm middling on drums (the boyfriend's skills have no influence on me), a bit better on bass, and i can slay vocals if the song was originally done by a female. nailed 100% on the yeah yeah yeahs' "maps"! all hail the soprano melisma.

[ music | smashing pumpkins, "tonight tonight" ]

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

get (in)famous

okay, moving on from the gushy-giggly-schoolgirlness (aka totally shutting up so i don't make anyone vomit from all the cuteness)...

big excitement of the week: juno award nominations! as i explained it to my boss at work, it's not like the awards themselves are even a big deal -- it's just really, really cool to see my friends get nominated for things that acknowledge their work. i'm not that close to anybody who's up for awards this year, but it's still a nice thing for a lot of the hometown kids to get nods, and so many british columbians too! will be interesting to see the results... (even if my darling's superior rock band didn't get nominated, and yes i was slightly sore to see that)

by the way, chartattack has got mini-interviews with many of the nominees. i did the coverage last year, and it was a damn good time. well, what i can remember through the haze of free beer, anyway. (i seem to vaguely recall one of my editors and i being completely smashed by 7:30 p.m.) cbc arts has a more critical look at the whole shebang. or is that realistic?

also over at the mag's online presence, there's a gallows show review done up by my main dude s-jeezy, and an additional review at jam! music. while i can safely say that the band was probably better at their gig here in vancouver, i can also agree that there should be much praise all around for cancer bats. holy shit, do those dudes ever rock hard. props!

`tis the season for summer festival lineup reveals: pitchfork talks bonnaroo `08, no longer the hippie-folkfest of yore. well, i'm betting there'll still be plenty of hacky-sacking -- but to the chill soundtrack of live metallica!

oooh, and more news from the `fork that made me happy: dave gahan remix album coming! my heart still belongs to depeche mode - and i would still totally do martin gore - but, like, daaaaaave. biggest soft spot ever, at least ever since that interview i did with him. what a sweetheart.

amy winehouse to write and sing the new bond movie theme...if she's not too cracked out, that is. speaking of british rockstar smackheads, spin's got pete doherty on their cover, which pretty much guarantees i'm going to buy a copy. i can't help my love for peter, i'm sorry.

alright, must get self clean now (so as to spare self having to get up even earlier in the morning tomorrow to shower). two more days to weekend, two more days to weekend...

[ music | dave gahan, "deeper and deeper" (juan maclean club mix) ]

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"oh man, you are so totally gone on this one."

...and maybe i am.

as of now (or, rather, late last night), i am officially off the singles market. and i haven't been able to wipe the thousand-watt grin off my face since.

i am one lucky girl.

[ music | kill hannah, "the chase" ]

Saturday, February 2, 2008

earth and sun and sky

saw cloverfield last night; thought it was alright. the concept was pretty cool and it was well-executed, though i didn't find it all that scary, and i'm ridiculously wussy when it comes to monster movies. damn if that thing wasn't ugly as fuck, though. jenna and i spent much time post-movie trying to pinpoint an accurate description; we eventually settled on "weird mutated turtle-bug". with too many legs. too many legs!

more chart cmw goodness. i was actually looking over the cmw showcases yesterday, and i can even pick out the ones i'd undoubtedly be assigned to review were i still in toronto. the whole event is still pretty underwhelming though, especially with my friends tempting me to come down the coast to coachella...

by the way, chartattack also reminds me why i love amanda palmer. she was kind of rushed and tired-sounding when i interviewed her last year - then again, that article of mine was super-weak - but her wit is damn near unstoppable. great blogger, too. (can't find the link right now but you ought to google it up)

britney still crazy; sky still blue. right, then.

idolator finds it when i can't locate it on pitchfork: rachael ray invades sxsw. oh my dear god please let this be a false rumour. i used to have to watch that crazy bitch on the tv sets in the gym, and even without sound i wanted to stab myself.

stereogum picks up on the new morrissey advert. as someone whose tattoos are all band-related - no, seriously, they are - i can relate, and take a measure of pride in my daring brethren. sure, we may all regret it in ten years, but who says we'll even live to see tomorrow? come on, live a little.

okay, and here's the big personal-life news of the moment: in two weeks, i'm taking over as store manager at the cafe.

we're not talking supervisory level anymore -- this is running the damn place more or less by myself. now, to be fair, it's most likely not going to be an overwhelming affair -- my cafe is relatively low-traffic compared to the others, there's only three people on staff, and it's only open monday to friday from 7 to 5. both the district manager and my current boss have been reassuring me that i'll barely be doing more than i'm doing now, just on a different shift (9:15 to 5:45) and i'll be responsible for the banking, the cashouts, the ordering, all that stuff.

yeah, back to being the almighty, indispensable responsible one, remembering all too well how i swore that off when i moved here.

i guess that's not really fair of me. i mean, for hell's sake, i'm turning twenty-five this year. quarter century of my life. it should be about time to start taking more responsibility in my jobs (because that usually equals more money, and i'm at the point - with bills, rent, and student loan payments all gouging me monthly - where i need much more than minimum wage). not to mention the fact that i basically never back down from a new challenge; for someone to offer me a higher position at work means asking me to rise to the occasion, and i can never live with myself if i refuse. i've always been that way. ("it runs in your blood," my mother said.)

still. it's as i put it to my district manager when he proposed this promotion to me: "i just don't like the knowledge that this is something only i can do, and if i'm not here for whatever reason, things will fall apart." he assured me that there's an excess of supervisors at the neighbouring store, so if i ever need a day off or a sick day or whatever, one of them can come cover for me. i don't exactly trust that it'd be that easy, but i'm kind of banking on that right now. (after all, i do have a vacation request form in interoffice mail right now...there's a particular weekend in march where i won't be here. that's all i'm saying right now.)

and let's be honest, i do really need the money right now, and i'm trying to comfort myself with the knowledge that i've pretty well done this job before, and even back then i never seriously screwed anything up. so, then.

at least i get to choose the music that gets played in the cafe. yeah, "uh-oh" is right.

but the bigger problem is that the other world is starting to call me back. right when i have a job i'd kind of like to keep (even though it's not at all what i want to do with my life, whereas this other, er, "occupation" completely is) and rent to pay and bills to pay and a life to keep living here for another seven months. not to mention my instinct tells me that this wouldn't be the ideal situation -- not right now, not with everything else i've already got. i'd be a damn fool to risk losing that.

but what the hell do i do, refuse the opportunity? then what happens?

...then what the fuck am i doing this all for, if not that?

sometimes my sensible logic just makes things even more confusing.

another month, and then we'll have to see what happens in the aftermath of march 2008. it's gonna be a doozy (the mental image i keep describing is "a bunch of planets in my universe all colliding"). stay tuned.

[ music | kill hannah, "lips like morphine" (remix) ]