Wednesday, January 28, 2009

we're ruined but we're building

more of what i remember, inspired by looking through a former housemate's photographs of our city on the west coast:

long bus rides in twilight evenings. cold wet walks down commercial drive. staying up all night watching movies with melissa, thankful i'd finally found a vancouver friend. vegetarian food, everywhere and all the time. the northern part of granville street, which i wandered on sunny weekends after browsing through granville island. my old bus route. patio weather in february. my soundtracks: depeche mode, indie 103.1, c'mon, interpol, and most of all the sisters of mercy, whose music seemed to reflect pretty much everything about my lonely life of separation on the gloomy west coast. familiar streets: carnavon, west king edward, burrard, dunbar, broadway, west 4th, main, commercial. getting lost on the translink bus more than once. good quality coffee drank on morning walks through the west side. mountains in the distance, living in a movie scene. looking out my second-floor window to see a literal sea of pink and white cherry blossoms. feeling torn over whether to be elated i'm going home, or saddened that i couldn't make it my home.

it still remains one of the most defining things i have ever done: deciding literally over the course of a day or two that i wanted to quit my jobs, sell and donate everything i owned, pack up my life in a couple duffel bags and move across the country on a one-way plane ticket. no plans, but so many reasons.

...don't get me wrong; there is so much in my life right now that i wouldn't trade for anything. there is so much i have now that i've wanted for many years, not just during the eight months i lived in vancouver. (plus, if you took me out of toronto now, i would wither and die. i'd be absolutely heartbroken. i wouldn't be able to leave it so easily as i did in october 2007.) and those things complete me, in a way; yet in a very human way, there's something about being incomplete - having something to strive for, to make you want to improve and be better and be stronger - that makes me content. taking comfort in being imperfect. and there really is a thin line between self-sacrifice and masochism, as i realized on a december morning in a strange apartment in toronto, half-naked and staring out the window at the snow coming down.

an ex of mine, in one of our rare moments of post-breakup civility, once told me that "we find day to day satisfaction in not being satisfied."

sometimes, i think he may have been on to something.

[ music | afi, "love like winter" ]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

breathe me

lotsa big stuff happening, so let's get to it:

canadian music week 2009 lineup. given that the panels don't sound very interesting, i think this year i may skip doing coverage and just buy a wristband so i can join my friends in having fun. getting to wear a press/media pass is all hot shit and everything, but that effectively makes the festival into work for me, and long tedious work at that. plus it'd be nice to see a few choice bands (left spine down, mostly - buddies from out west - along with big names like supersuckers and bloc party. plus come on, buckcherry?? zomfg yes)

of course, it all pales in comparison to...

south by southwest 2009 lineup. just try to read that list and not have your brain explode -- either from the stellar amazingness of the lineup or the sheer hilarity of some of the band names. want to go.

eye weekly's annual music critics poll! i got my annual case of lazy on and didn't submit anything. still, you can go see some prime picks by octo and john p among many more of my canadian music journo brethren. our opinion matters more than yours.

idolator's got a roundup of brit award nominees. i approve of all these adele vs. duffy matchups, yet am i the only person to think "one of these things is not like the other" in the international album & international group categories? uhhh...

the superior (however commercial-laden) indie 103.1 fm is dead, sending shockwaves through the radio-loving indie rock community. of course, i'm not entirely sure if i'm all that affected - i've only ever streamed it online, and they're continuing to keep it on the internetz - but it was still a sad day, especially remembering how many good and bad times indie got me through over the last two years. sign the petition to let indie live!

and if you need reason enough to listen to radio, studies have shown that studying music "is like doing push-ups for your brain". music made me smrt!

warning to java junkies: caffeine addicts more likely to hallucinate. the voices in my head told me to say amen to that.

yet here's something that's not a hallucination: the amazing talking husky dog! my boyfriend posted that on his facebook earlier today and i haven't stopped watching it - and forwarding it to friends - since. are talking-animal vids something i didn't know about? because if so, seriously, i welcome our new furry overlords.

too tired and busy to do half the shit i want to do these days. goal for this week (or at least tomorrow): make a reasonably awesome veggie soy chili, then cap it off with a good homemade italian tomato sauce to freeze for pasta. that's about it, really.

oh yeah, and you americans are damn lucky to have an awesome new prez. gobama!

[ music | kaiser chiefs, "na na na na naa" ]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

middle-class intellectual

currently working on one of my new year's resolutions: drink more, which should up my alcohol tolerance back to where it used to be (ie. upwards of 5 drinks to get me smashed, whereas now it's maybe 2-3). i figure it's a good resolution to have -- i mean, come on, i used to have coworkers come to me for advice on working hungover. i need to keep up with my legacy, damn it.

to that end, i think my headache and lethargy this morning was more due to hangover. huzzah, i'm back! (though this says nothing about my flogging motivation to go out when it's fuck-off cold outside, like it is today and for the rest of the week. cheap martinis with the girls tonight and that's it)

chromewaves talks flight of the conchords, cheering me immensely and exciting me for the new season. very fond memories of watching the first season's episodes with choice musicians as my company (a few episodes with bionic in vancouver, then the entire season with dean at home on my couch a couple months ago).

wasn't there already a pete doherty solo album? either way, i guess it's good to see that he's pretty much off the smack and shambolic craziness. we still have amy winehouse for that.

apparently david bowie is to blame for the tanking economy. say whaaaaat? (but good move on exclaim! for that very appropriate choice of bowie video at the end)

more delight for my morning: leonard cohen news! apparently dude hasn't played an american show in 15 years, so this is a somewhat momentous occasion. as any occasion involving leonard cohen should be. i hope that man never dies, ever.

stereogum's gossip on the possible coachella '09 lineup. leonard cohen plz. (also, lol at the smiths...keep dreaming, people)

and you know what, i never thought i'd say this, but god sometimes i really miss reading nme. budgetary concerns mean that i can't really go out and spend $5 a week on a paper-thin imported british music rag, but there is such good stuff in their online news section. i don't peruse it enough these days.

in the meantime, this sounds interesting: cut to the drummer art exhibition and show. a night of drumming and artwork that supports multiple sclerosis research? methinks an appearance may be in order.

doctor's appointment tomorrow; not particularly excited for it. poked + prodded + swabbed + needled = no fun.

[ music | bad religion, "21st century (digital boy)" ]

Monday, January 12, 2009


hi, yeah, sorry for the week-long disappearance (feels sorta like last year when i was in vancouver, eh?) -- but, given that my boyfriend came home last tuesday after being gone for almost a month, i figured a brief hiatus would be understood in retrospect. ;) so yes, he is home and well, and we've spent every day together since -- chilling, catching up, making pancakes, making out, and everything else that follows that the general public doesn't need details of. ;) (though he did bring me a variety of fun little things from across the pond, including a pair of light-up devil horns, french chocolates, and a sisters of mercy tour poster he tore off a wall in germany) suffice it to say, i've got my partner in crime (crimes of passionnnn) back, the lonely little hole in my life is filled up, and i am a very happy and very lucky girl once again. huzzah!

so here's some stuff for you, then:

first round of sxsw 2009 artists announced! who knows, this may actually be the year where i get off my ass and put aside the money to make the trek to austin. i've only been swearing i'm gonna go to southby for the last, oh, three years or so. (the boy was telling me even more about it last week and now i'm extra intrigued...)

courtesy of exclaim!, canada's own free monthly music paper: fall out boy vs. blender magazine! i shamefully haven't read blender for a long time - or any music rag, for that matter; though for some reason i pick up glamour and cosmo every month, insert blushing here - but i wouldn't doubt it. sometimes musicians just need to be made more interesting.

such as this fine lady here: amanda palmer, formerly (currently?) of the dresden dolls. her blog is badass and awesome. you should read it. fact.

idolator reviews the leak of the new franz ferdinand album. sounds convincing enough that i might just pick it up. or i might just continue my post-vancouver trend of not buying any more cds ever. it's hard to tell right now.

and although this newsbit has already made the rounds, there'll be no 2009 pemberton festival. somewhat of a bummer, but it would definitely be better to take some time and focus on doing it right in 2010. not that vancouver won't have a lot on their hands with another little event in 2010, but still...

patrick wolf + tilda swinton = otp. for reals. coolest news i've heard in days.

loblaws to charge 5 cents per plastic bag starting today. this makes me almost proud of my former longterm workplace. if anything, they ought to be charging more in my opinion, but it's a good start. viva la backpack!

also, i've been going over my blogroll and links lately to keep everything updated, so if you're a frequent reader with a blog of yer own (and/or a friend who has a blog that i don't know about), let me know and i'll add a link in here for you. gotta stay connected, after all.

alright, that's all i got for monday. be good to each other.

[ music | danny elfman, "the little things" ]

Monday, January 5, 2009


back in the saddle:

oh, jeff martin. i can't even really explain the fascination - really - other than to point to my very old love for the tea party as my first favourite rock band ever. yes, i'm serious. and while i have doubts about jm's solo stuff, i don't doubt at all that the man still gives a good, pullquote-laden interview. (also, requisite holla at allison!)

hedley is voted as chart's artist of the year. y'know, i don't get the hate-on for hedley. okay, no, i do get why they'd be unpalpable to some people, but i also can understand their popularity and demographic, and moreover, i interviewed them a couple years ago and they were really fun, gracious, and hilarious guys. so hey, props to them, and good on jacob for taking his time in the spotlight and going all the way with it. god knows he's probably the only canadian idol alumnus who has.

pitchfork has your guide to winter 2009 releases. january 20th is gonna be a doozy! sort of makes me wish i still bought albums.

and whoa, kasabian are still around -- also, the astoria is closing. so many cool venues in england that i will never get to visit, because i'm lame and never leave the damn continent. one day, i tell you, one day!

leave it to oh no they didn't! to bring us the much-heralded news of eve 6's return. god damn it, now i have "inside out" stuck in my head. welcome back to the 90's. (though to be fair, i think a good 90% of the music i listen to is from the 90's)

and yes, as of new year's day, the hair is back to black -- or, well, as close to black as i could get. to explain would require this brief annotated history of my experiences in hair-dying (probably will only be interesting to the females in the crowd, or else only interesting to me in general):

1) my mother dyed my hair for me on christmas holidays back in 2005. i'd chosen a dark brown colour that ended up not being noticeable whatsoever. bah.

2) jenna helped me dye my hair 'chocolate cherry' (l'oreal feria) in 2006. no side effects, though my hair ended up being a dark maroon-purple colour that i was only fond of for about three weeks. i let it fade out, which it did rather quickly.

3) dyed my own hair 'blue-black' (clairol nice n' easy) while on tour with the halos in 2007. although i destroyed a bathroom in an albuquerque motel in the process - no one mentioned the vandalizing stain properties of black hair dye to me - it turned out amazingly. no side effects that i can remember.

4) re-dyed my hair with the same clairol dye again that summer. my scalp practically exploded with itchy, burning pain for about two weeks, and then not long after that, i noticed that my hair was coming out in abnormal amounts. not clumps of it in my hands or anything, but there were black hairs everywhere in my bathroom, my tub, my sink, you name it. i know that a certain amount of hairs fall out every day, but trust me -- this was definitely abnormal, and pretty frightening.

granted, there were a number of factors at the time that could have also influenced my hair loss - i'd just started on birth control again, i'd become a vegetarian, i was incredibly stressed from my job; all three of those are attributed to female hair loss, especially birth-control hormones - but i kept thinking about how it'd felt like my scalp was under siege by rabid fire ants, and the suspicion stuck. made it enough of a cautionary tale that i swore off any more re-dyes, even though i was once tempted enough in vancouver to actually buy a box on sale at a london drugs on robson street (which i later returned).

5) last thursday: bit the bullet and dyed my hair black again, this time using 'starry night' bright black (l'oreal feria again, the kind i bought and returned in van). as i said before, it was sort of a hair dye fail -- because i was all paranoid about dying it in the first place, i didn't leave the dye on long enough, and so instead of coming out blue-black, it's more of a very dark chestnut colour. so, under certain lights you can't even really tell it's a different colour. (it actually really looks like the colour my hair was around this time last year, when my previous black dye job had started to fade out) but you know, i kind of like it -- it's a little streaky in some areas, but because it's lighter than expected it's not as "harsh," as my mother would put it.

still, moral of the story? don't half-ass it when it comes to dying your hair. all or nothing, baby. (and at the very least, this will be an interesting experiment to see if it was a dye allergy behind my hair loss)

more physical modification plans for '09: another tattoo (tribal-style tiger done in black on my lower back -- tattoo-artist coworker's gonna do it for cheap) and possibly getting my nipples pierced (jenna's coworker is a piercer and will apparently do them for cheap/free).

travel plans for '09: chicago in february. oh hell yes.

life plans for tomorrow and wednesday: spend as much time with the newly-returned boyfriend as possible. (preferably, most to all of said time spent naked.)

[ music | submarines, "you me and the bourgeoisie" ]

Thursday, January 1, 2009

all is quiet on new year's day

hey ho, welcome to 2009!

kicking things off is this rock-awesome glamour shot of our trio of hot ladies (christine, sofi, et moi) pre-drinking before the party at 751 last night:

eat yer hearts out, boys.

so with the hangover shaken off (note to self: self is not good with drinking an entire bottle of red wine on one's own), it was a good night upon reflection: quality bonding time with the girlfriends, dancing to "bad" pop and hip-hop courtesy dj sofi p, watching the ball drop at midnight in a bar rammed full of queen west hipsters...yeah, it was home. hopefully the kiss from chrissy will bring me good luck in the new year ;)

as far as resolutions go, i'm one of those obnoxious people who believes you should make resolutions all year round, but what the hell. a couple weeks ago, i started scribbling a short list in the front of my day planner, and ended up with a grand total of four by yesterday's count. for lack of anything else to write about (and because it seems like every other blogger is preoccupied with year-end lists and recaps and wrapups, so hey, why not), let's go through them:

1. Be nicer
this applies to a lot of things and a lot of circumstances. my friends may argue otherwise, but i don't think i'm as nice a person as i could be. i'm not intentionally malicious, but i am human, and so i can be casually cruel and unintentionally hurtful with the things i say and do. (this also includes the way i act towards family and friends, which i hate myself for sometimes) for the most part, this goes for people i don't know -- i should be nicer to strangers, for one, and not putting up a prickly exterior of cold bitch in order to protect myself. but i also should not be putting up that guard with the people who care about me; that's the sort of thing that pushes them away, and i couldn't bear to lose any of them. especially not if it was my own fault and i didn't mean it. and so i have to keep an eye on the things i say and do - install a personal filter, i suppose - and work hard to be more positive. (stop complaining, little girl -- you're so damn lucky to have the friends and loved ones you have. treasure them.)

2. Have faith
straight up: i'm a realist who's one step away from being a completely negative cynic. that's how i've always been. but i really need to start turning that world view around; like the first item on my list, i have to start being more positive. and that, in turn, will help me start to have more faith in people, and things working out the way they should. hopefully, once that view's in place, i can stop being paranoid and obsessive about things. enough with all this situational control-freak business -- it's making me tired.

3. Get serious about paying back debts (and budgeting!)
as of right now (or rather, monday), i owe my mother $540, and that's probably the least of my debt -- seriously, none of you want to know how much i owe in credit card debt or student debt. it's hideous and painful and probably a lot more than you'd expect from someone who isn't lying awake at night in a cold sweat. i'm only relieved because i'm making enough money to pay off the interest and minimums each month, but still not enough to start making any sort of dent in my debts. there's nothing i can really do about my income right now (aside from attempting to ask for a raise at my next job review), so all i can do is budget better and start allocating my funds in the best possible way.

4. Get your edge back
as i was saying on the phone to my mother this morning, it kind of sucks to be only twenty-five and to already feel old and boring and over the hill. yeah, i've got a good adult job and i've got responsibilities and i'm keeping up with everything as best i can, so my days of staying up until 4 a.m. at boozecans, doing drugs, raising hell in the big city and travelling across the country on a few days' notice are pretty well done. and yet, thinking on it...i don't know if i'm so okay with that. like i said before: i'm not even thirty yet, and i feel like i've lost a part of myself along with my teen-punk angst. i didn't even get any new tattoos or piercings this year ("what a shame," my mother deadpanned). and so, while it may seem like the opposite of a typical resolution, this year i resolve to bring the debauchery back as much as i can: more boozing, more smoking, late nights, hopefully a few new body modifications and black-dyed hair (which i'm redoing tonight). it sounds bizarre, but those things made me comfortable with myself and my life. that's who i am. and as much as my job and my homemaking instinct and my age are driving me forward, i'm not ready to go into mature settled adulthood just yet. there's still some things i have to do.

i think i know what you have coming for me, 2009.

bring it on, motherfucker.

[ music | death from above 1979, "sexy results" ]