Thursday, November 27, 2008

there's more besides joyrides

hey. so, remember how i somewhat infamously quit my starbucks job last year in order to stay on tour? in the following weeks, i recall commenting with a nervous laugh that karma was eventually going to bite me in the ass for that - dropping on them without any notice - and i thought i'd been through it by now; despite my cafe-managing skills from vancouver, i've been deemed "unemployable" by the almighty `bucks, after all.

but nope, it seems like karma had yet to lay the smack down, as it totally did the other day: my mother called to inform me that, since i didn't receive my t4 tax form from starbucks last year, it hadn't been included in my 2008 income tax. as such, i owe the government $750.

to be fair, this was partly my fault -- i didn't exactly think to inform my former estranged employers that i would no longer be living in ontario at the end of last year, and so presumably they mailed my t4 to my old toronto address. but still, the bloody karmic payoff of that almost makes me laugh. of course they got in the final kick at me for turning my back on them. of course. (and it sort of works out anyway, as my mother offered to pay off the $750 for me and i can pay her back over the next few months, therefore my christmas is not cancelled and i also learned a valuable lesson. i e-mailed the vancouver cafe twice the other day to inform them of my toronto mailing address when it comes time for this year's taxes)

though really, i ought to know better than to pick up the phone when my mother calls -- bad news, inevitably.

and also, fuck you starbucks, fuck your greedy fucking corporation and i'm never buying anything at any of your sad excuses for "cafes" ever again. really, i am ever so sorry i chose to go on tour with a rock band rather than come back to toronto and make stupid overly complicated coffee-based beverages for your stupid condescending customers for $10 an hour. such a wrong decision on my part! how i should have reconsidered!

whatever, it was worth the $750. bite me.

...ahhhh, that feels better.

idolator (can i move to nyc and write for you guys? please?) brings us the abject horror that is hard rock goth punk barbie. not even a joke. also not even a joke: i would totally probably wear that outfit. but i probably wouldn't call it "hard rock goth punk" -- just goth-punk would work, thx.

guns n' roses stands up for dr. pepper fans everywhere! that one came out of left field, although any sort of legal action from axl's lawyers isn't the most unexpected event in the world. the older those rock legends get, the more sue-happy they end up.

speaking of old rock legends, i mother earth open to reunion! i'm probably one of the only people excited to read that news! oh, canada.

here we go already with the year-end lists: stereogum has both uncut and mojo, plus you can pick up exclaim!'s at locations across this fine city. i'm already over the concept of year-end top lists, mostly because i don't like anything. (but foo fighters judging top chef? that, i like)

now, amanda and i went to see one of the last few independent screenings of repo! the genetic opera last night (we both enjoyed it; then again, we both are very much that movie's target audience), and it made me remember how much i enjoy sarah brightman. this is mostly due to the fact that my father adores andrew lloyd webber musicals, and i was subjected to a variety of show tunes as a child, many of which featured ms. brightman's stunning soprano. that didn't make it so much of a torture. go opera!

busy weekend and next week coming up, entertaining-prep-wise: gotta get boxes of crackers and a fruit plate and possibly stuff for a cheese ball for the wine & cheese party on friday; midweek, i'm planning on doing a round of holiday-goody crafting: this plus this (which i'm sort of terrified of making since crafting toffee is apparently a ridiculously sensitive procedure) to tin up as gifts. it's gonna be all martha stewart around here over the next while.

also: no home internet, still. it's been down since sunday afternoon. you can imagine my displeasure, not to mention my frustration at not being able to do anything about it. such is the fruitless dilemma of those who steal faulty wireless signals everywhere.

[ music | kill hannah, "kennedy" ]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

tourniquet

just when i thought i'd escaped the curse of november, it rolls around to hit me in the final week.

oh sure, there's plenty of good stuff going on: short-term and long-term plans with friends, preparations for holiday-season sociables, work still going a-ok, everything of that sort is fine. but my health is slipping, my fitness is suffering, and my mentality? well...it's taking a beating, i guess is the best way of putting it. i don't tend to worry about my sanity too often, but there are times when i wonder if maybe i should have gone to therapy, or on drugs, or done (and/or do) something to make things better.

part of it is the season, literally -- like i mentioned, i always used to get hit with the sads in november. never any other months, just november. it hasn't been as bad in the last year or two as it was when i was in university, but yeah, i can recall that last year's november was by far my worst vancouver month. lots of low points. and part of it is still a combination of things that all seem to be coming up at the wrong time.

but! i'm gonna push through it. i'm actually a sucker for the holiday season, believe it or not, and christmas coming up usually has me feeling better about gloomy november. christmas means time off work, a chance to see my family and relax at home. plus there's already a few social get-togethers in the works over the next couple of weeks, so i'm kept busy making plans, gathering recipes and ingredients and sectioning out my time to be best spent on matters of high priority. those things are helping.

right now, though, i just need to kick my own ass into gear, smarten up about how much crap i've been eating and how little effort i've been putting into my cardio (though i'm doing hour-long spin classes twice a week now, which will undoubtedly help, even if it kills me), and just smarten up in general. i try not to worry about what others think of me and the decisions i make with my life, but truthfully, my friends do have an influence on me, and i wouldn't want to look bad in their eyes. i'm trying to make things better, i really am.

(also, notable: do not, under any circumstances, read this book if you're female, hormonal, and easily prone to angst-ridden mood swings. i basically cried all of sunday afternoon while reading it, mostly because i read it once before in vancouver and i know how it plays out)

anyway, let's have some better news:

it's been all over the internets by now, but here it is again with emphasis: chuck klosterman reviews chinese democracy. seriously, who else could've done that review? the answer: no one. (and you can count me among the masses who are surprised that the new gnr is actually good)

gerard way and lyn-z are gonna be parents! that's pretty cool news, really -- i like those crazy kids. and surely they'll find a way to top "bronx mowgli". not that the world needs any more incredibly ridiculous celebrity baby names, but still...yeah, way to use your kid for press attention. bah.

it was a dark day for manic street preachers fans, as richie edwards has been presumed dead by parents. total bummer, but you kinda had to see it coming. maybe dude will be like this guy, who faked his own suicide to evade taxes and then went on to live in british columbia, or something. nice try, pal.

twilight sequel on the way. the horror, the horror! (but really, with four books in the series, who didn't see it coming? also, i have to shamefully admit here that a coworker and i actually want to go see that movie, if only to take note of how much it fails. sort of like how i want to see the car-crash of fail that will be the dragonball movie. what can i say, i'm masochistic to the end.)

also admittedly, i still read the vancouver sun and the georgia straight online. where else am i going to read about the "losing luongo" panic and get my dose of van city life? i think a part of me is still out there on the west coast, surprising to say.

my internet at home is broken, i think, which has been doing nothing for my crushing feeling of isolation lately. damn it.

[ music | towers of london, "go sister go" ]

Monday, November 17, 2008

lost in the drift again

me, flipping through magazine: "according to glamour, the number-one thing you want from me for christmas is me wearing only a garter belt and a big bow."
boyfriend: *blinks* "but...you'd wear only a garter belt and a big bow for me any day of the year."

this is true.

let's see what's new and amazing lately:

the santa claus parade was yesterday, and every year i make a vow to go see it, and every year i pretty much don't. (see, it was a tradition in my childhood country household, having me grow up to believe that "toronto" was a magical land that you only saw on tv)

surely a far superior way to celebrate the season: stephen colbert christmas album! i'd rather not think about christmas at all this early, but if mass marketing is to force me to, then i'll go with the colbert.

coming out of left field is the news that the lostprophets drummer is joining the touring nine inch nails band. guess that'll give ian more time to come up with more t-shirt designs.

after the crazy-devastating kill hannah bus fire a few weeks ago, the matblog is once more a go. how i've missed mat's acerbically awesome prose keeping me entertained at work. a must-read, people.

go here, vote ian blurton. that beard is legendary, as any good torontonian knows. (plug for c'mon at the horseshoe december 12th -- i'll be late because our office christmas party is that night, but i will be there, and i will be very drunk on free office-party booze)

please let us have a cup-winning team. please let us have a cup-winning team. i am actually entirely surprised by the mostly-decent action of the leafs this season, no matter how much my loyalties are compromised by the canucks (my "old-home" team) and the penguins (my favourite team since i was a kid).

coworker kat's best-ever idea for next month: get together and have a baking party. i've never done one of those before - never really had any other girlfriends who were as enthusiastic in the kitchen as i am - and given that we a) both love to bake and b) need to make goodies for the office christmas party, why not? i'm thinking of making neiman marcus chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal butterscotch cookies (stick to frozen foods, mccain), and the classic best-ever chocolate chip cookie recipe, which can be found on boxes of golden crisco. i can personally vouch for their awesomeness, having baked them myself frequently since childhood.

....and if that last passage (or my tweets as of late) wasn't any indication, i've somehow gotten really, really hooked on culinary pursuits. i don't know if it's the inherent girl in me (especially because i enjoy baking most of all, although unless i'm making goodies for other people - see above - i mostly avoid it since the last thing i want is batches of fresh cookies in my kitchen) or caregiving side (i also greatly enjoy having the boy over for dinner and hockey, which is a deal i'm pretty sure he enjoys) or what, but i'm really into the making of my own meals these days. hell, i even got an early christmas present from my mom delivered on saturday: a kitchenaid 10-piece cookware set. (don't be horrified by the price, it was on sale for like $100 or something) and dude, i was over the moon about it. i'm now compiling a list of household appliances that i want to equip my kitchen with: blender, mixer, more pots and pans and utensils. it's pretty sickening.

either way, my apartment is finally shaping up in the homey, comfortable way i'd wanted it to: space heater, houseplants, lots of books, cable tv, internet, mostly-equipped kitchen, lots of warmth and coziness. it's good to have a home.

[ music | depeche mode, "in your room" (the jeep rock mix) ]

Friday, November 7, 2008

no easy answer

in the spirit of jenna and i semi-seriously deciding that we're going to go visit vancouver next may/june - and also, just from looking at this photo at the top of the page, an old familiar sight for me (omfg it's cambiiiiie) - here is more of what i remember of life in vancouver last year:

browsing through the market stalls at lonsdale quay. favourite coffee shops: bean around the world, jj bean, waves coffee (but only for their 24-hour schedule and their free wireless), having coffee on the sunny patio of bean town in february. the repeated walks down dunbar towards west 37th - what you could more or less consider "my neighbourhood" in lower kits - to run post-work or weekend errands, ear buds plugged in the entire time. pretty much exclusively my west-coast soundtrack: anything by the sisters of mercy or depeche mode for october through january, then after that, anything the boy's played on. hanging with jenna on commercial drive, the two of us still and separately trying to figure out if either of us made the right decision by leaving toronto. being able to see the mountains not far off in the distance. whole foods and choices market burgeoning my love for health food and naturopathy. taking the translink bus - 22 macdonald - to work early in the morning, rumbling over the bridge to the downtown core, all tall buildings and modern architecture propped up on a sea of blue water and backed by snow-capped mountains. fresh air. new streets to wander and new neighbourhoods to explore. no familiar faces, which was both a good and bad thing. late "girls' nights" with melissa spent ransacking blockbuster for movies and mowing down on mexican food. (really, it wasn't so lonely and sad once i had a good friend/partner in crime, but we didn't start seriously hanging out until january or so) nights out on the town with my few but valued vancouver friends, often ended by drunkenly stumbling home and hoping i don't fall asleep/pass out on the bus (a few times) or get lost due to the bus routes being made even more confusing by the haze of alcohol and drugs (more than a few times). main street, davie, granville, broadway, west 4th. granville island on saturday mornings, sitting on the pier and writing postcards, postcards once every week mailed on thursdays so he would get them early the next week. (he keeps them in a little stand on his computer desk, and it's both sweet and embarrassing for me to read my words now) being more aware than anything of the way people would stare at me curiously, as if being able to sense by the fabric of my very being that i wasn't from there.

it was the ephemeral, the indescribable, the deeply all-pervading sense of loneliness to the brief gray days and long rainy nights, yet always tempered with something else that rose up within me at the same time. resolve, maybe, or perseverance, or just simple hard-assed grit. i'm gonna do this thing. watch me. i can survive here alone, cut off from everyone else. it'll be better for me. it's what i need to do.

the fact of the matter is, for the first time, i honestly felt inside what it was like to do a bit of growing up. i forced myself out of my box. i hurled myself into the universe. i told myself to go there by myself and stay there until i learned something about myself, who i am and where i come from and just what it is i need to survive. and be happy doing so.

and so, i think i did accomplish my goal. as far as i'm concerned, i didn't cop out and run when the going got tough, when the feeling of being cut off started to become crushing and the days became so long and i fell for a boy from a distance. i stayed until i had made enough self-realizations and had enough reasons to return. sure, i know a multitude of things could have happened to change the course of everything - and i could pretty much name them for you, but the maybes and what-ifs aren't what i want to dwell on right now - but i really do believe everything happened the way it did for a reason. it all worked out along the right path, and i regret none of it.

i know i've outlined it before, but again: when i decided to leave toronto, i'd been working part-time retail joe jobs for years, had no relationship, had no social life, lived in a crummy basement on the far east side of town, struggled to pay my bills, and dreamed of a way out. that was when i said okay, fuck it, nothing is going to change here unless i change it myself. so, i left.

a year later, after i went away and came back, i have a full-time professional job, a fantastic relationship that's going on almost a year now, fun nights out with my friends, a gorgeous little apartment right downtown, weekends spent sleeping in and rediscovering my city, easy access to my family, and a lot of other things that i had to take away from myself in order to realize how much i'd miss them. i never do things the easy way, after all.

really, it's these days - the days when exactly one year ago, i was living my first week in my own apartment, adjusting to my new job and trying to quell the rising panic inside me - that i can remember the strongest feeling i had in february, when i made the decision, and again in the final weeks of april, as i was preparing to leave vancouver:

you've done your time, little girl. you've proved it to yourself here. now, go on home and start your life.

so that's what i did.

[ music | the conscience pilate, "this angel" ]

Thursday, November 6, 2008

shapeless in the dark

octo really did sum it up best. (i think i was like three when the berlin wall fell, but the rest of it i can understand) we canadians may have been unable to vote - and we have a crappy conservative government no less - but as america's closest neighbour, i think we all understand the significance that this holds for humankind in general. and no, i don't think that's being too overblown or dramatic. america, fuck yeah!

(and trust me, i really did have to hide my secret love for america for a long time, lest my fellow canadian friends look at me funny and say in puzzled tones, "really?? you love the u.s.??" but you know what, yeah i do, and now more than ever i really feel like it'd be a good place to live. someday!)

chart talks to peter from the dandy warhols. of course, the conversation invariably turns to dig! - one of my favourite movies of all time, pretty much, as well as the best documentary i've ever seen - and the usual grousing ensues. par for the course.

new metric album? whuh? actually, it sounds sort of good. much as i've maligned metric in the past - mostly due to talk of emily's diva-like behaviour - i have to admit that i enjoy many of their singles, so this sounds like it might be worth a listen. (the new shiny toy guns, though, i can't even bring myself to pick up. the new single gives me ear cancer, and that's enough.)

speaking of ear cancer, tokio hotel's drummer really getting into being a rock star. ("ear cancer" was originally coined by an old german coworker of mine in vancouver who absolutely despised tokio hotel.) hee hee, "famous of the internet". all too true. (i also like linking to idolator mostly because later on somebody from the site comes through and checks out the link. hi guys!)

exclaim! informs us of the interesting news that robert johnson's soul has been sold on ebay. man, have we learned nothing from horror movies and novels? you just don't mess with that shit.

btw, if you're so inclined, you can view my first-ever debut as a music video vixen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZluDYPzCjg (though, errr, "video vixen" is relative -- i appear briefly leaning against a wall, tapping my foot while watching thom and some other dude play a chinese dice game)

while we're tubing it, i was just listening to this on my lilith2pod and demand that everyone watch the video: moist - "resurrection". nice little slice of late-90's canadian alternative rock right there, and just the thing to make me continually proud of my two moist tattoos. i will never regret! (for slightly freakier fare, check out their video - from the same era - for "tangerine". almost ten years later, a production assistant on that video would become my current boyfriend. and yes, you know my brain basically exploded when i found that out.)

also, jenna and i have pretty much seriously decided that we're going to go to vancouver for a week-long visit next may (by which she'll be done exams and i'll qualify for job vacation time). it's going to rule all.

anyway, back to being broke and tired and pissed off that i most likely won't be able to watch the leafs game from the comfort of my own home tonight because rogers cocked up my cable installation, as i knew they would. balls to that.

[ music | the cure, "the hanging garden" ]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

yes they can!



...as i briefly said on twitter, i don't think i have to be so ashamed to profess my love for america anymore.

and thank god for that, this and everything.

[ music | innerpartysystem, "heart of fire" ]

Monday, November 3, 2008

hocus pocus

looking back on the story in my last entry, it's been funny how many of my friends were seemingly horrified or pissed off on my behalf for having gotten kicked out of the dressing room by one of my rock gods. but no, dudes, really, that was probably one of the coolest things that could have happened to me. what an awesome story to tell! and i still love and worship the man (even if he hates me), so it's all good. (really, i think it would have kind of spoiled everything if i'd had a nice friendly chat with him. experiencing the surliness firsthand means that the mystique is intact! plus i was too afraid to even look at him for fear i'd burst into emotional tears, which i almost did because i'm functionally retarded like that)

anyway, yeah, other stuff going on. halloween weekend. much partying, much drinking of vodka. getting a nasty rash from my costume. seeing many friends. cooking. (i made bucatini alla lipari for the boy and i on saturday night and it was excellent) turning the clock back an hour. wandering through the hockey hall of fame followed by watching televised hockey. much happy makeouts (and, you know, et cetera) with hot awesome boyfriend. good times. good weekend. ahhhh.

what else went on in the world outside caitlin's happy little bubble, you ask? well....

there's some badass shit going down in leslieville. that's my old neighbourhood and former work area twice over (2003-04 and 2006-07), so it's kind of hilarious to read about that stuff going down. hilarious and bad, that is. (especially considering that if you go further east from leslieville, you hit the beaches, which is pretty much toronto's own wasp-land)

in time for halloween, our very own super-rad keith carman does a roundup of the most notorious metal album covers. warning: not safe for work, or for pretty much anybody with a weak stomach. oh, metalz.

also in the halloween spirit this past weekend was babyshambles. aw, costumed pete! i wonder if his drug problems have gotten better, or if he's just been eclipsed by the trainwreck explosion that is winehouse.

behold: canadian hipster indie rock tour `08. i would love to be a fly on the wall on that tour...

calgary: new home of canadian rock? i'm rather confused by this. "nashville of the north" i get, but i don't much think of rock n' roll when i think of anywhere in alberta.

i'm getting sort of addicted to blip.fm, by the way. at least it's introducing me to good music.

alright, to work with me. i don't like mondays, but i'll survive.

p.s. i ordered cable tv to be installed on wednesday, a decision i might likely regret since it means i'm dealing with rogers, they of the famously awful customer service. (one coworker of mine theorized that since rogers has the monopoly on cable tv services in toronto, they feel they can treat their customers however the fuck they please, and that sounds about right)

[ music | art brut, "good weekend" ]