Thursday, February 26, 2009

special handling

okay, i'm admitting now that the new depeche mode single is a total grower -- i'm definitely into it now, and thankfully, so are multitudes of their fans and casual listeners. go right to the source at dm's myspace for both the song and the uber-creepy video. i still can't get over how good dave sounds - no, it's not auto-tune, he sounds just as fantastic live - especially given that dm formed almost 30 years ago. (i actually asked him a question along the "wtf how is that possible" line when i interviewed him, and he mentioned taking a few vocal lessons for improvements, but that was it. the man is a god, i swear.)

chartattack recaps the nme shockwaves awards winners. usual suspects all along that winner list, though i do admit to chuckling at the hero of the year/villain of the year split. idolator comments further, as well as tossing in this little tidbit of dubiousity. i'm a cure fan, yes, but come on nme, a statement like that is total hater bait.

also a momentous occasion at the shockwaves awards: the reunion of damon albarn and graham coxon! now, if only we could get the same situation but with carl barat and pete doherty, i'd be one happy girl. as would a gazillion libertines fangirls.

mgmt vs. france president sarkozy! if you remember the whole legal battle with foo fighters and heart vs. the republicans, then this will ring familiar. there's a nice little hit of irony in this particular story, though.

cbc radio 3 listeners vote for windsor's phog lounge as best live venue in canada. i guess this means windsor's finally got something going for it other than depressing strip clubs and low-grade casinos. you go, detroit junior!

personal!: tattoo time is coming up soon -- i might as well spoil the surprise and reveal that it's going to be a black tribal tiger, clawing its way up my lower back. (though i already know what my next tattoo after that will be -- the words empire down. on the back of my neck. yes, those are sisters of mercy lyrics.) my parents are past protest by now; they just sigh loudly instead. (though my father grumbled something like "you already have five. isn't five enough??" sorry daddy)

also, speaking of my beleaguered father, i used his generous and much-appreciated valentine's day present of a $50 le chateau gift card to purchase a new shoulder bag (on sale for $30, marked down from $70) and black leather gloves with leopard-print trim ($20, marked down from $40), because my corresponding old bag and gloves are both falling apart. except now this has all put me in a "buy new things!" mode, which has got me browsing the danier website for a new leather coat. i am the biggest sucker for black leather.

i know none of you really care about this stuff. that's why i'm writing about it. :)

(one more thing: after 30 days on supplement pills and a high-iron diet, my anemia treatment is finally over. i've made a few longstanding changes here and there - soy milk instead of regular dairy, more citrus and vitamin c, plus i'm assuming i'll get around to eating meat at some point - but on a whole, i'm back reunited with my beloved coffee, and been able to cut out the orange juice, decaf tea and dried fruit & nuts. which is a good thing -- i blame the higher-fat dietary additions and lack of metabolism-speeding caffeine for my weight gain over the last month.)

weekender!: chilling with the boy tomorrow night; good gym workout saturday (perhaps to make up for imminent "shrove saturday" pancakes) followed by our esteemed christine's birthday/birfday extravaganza; sunday, running errands, getting some fresh air and more quality time with boyfriend. nothing too high stress or high maintenance. sounds like a solid weekend plan to me.

[ music | the bird and the bee, "love letter to japan" ]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

misjudging your limits

so, the best-laid plans have been (best) laid: once westjet or air canada have their random 50% off day, i'm snatching up a ticket to fly to vancouver on saturday may 16th, then staying there with friends for five days. on thursday the 21st, i'm flying out from vancouver to ottawa, then hopefully getting picked up by a parental figure in order to return home to kingston and spend the entire weekend there. my mother was delighted by the idea of me taking her to see leonard cohen as a late mother's day gift, so that'll be the perfect cap to a week of travel, old friends, familiar sights, and family. nice little mid-spring vacation. (and yes, i just opened a savings account and have been/will be socking away any extra cash i get until then)

possible extra-bonus: the boy will be touring out that way around that time - they're doing a cross-canada tour all may - so there's the possibility we might be in vancouver at the same time. again with the familiar sights :) same situation but such different circumstances...hurrah!

(having a big trip to look forward to is an instant mood-booster for me, btw -- i'm such a travel whore)

nme's put together a cure tribute album! definitely scores above anything put out by cleopatra records, that's for sure. currently scheming a way to get ahold of this album asap.

morning lolz: coachella ticket holders protest the killers headlining. gotta say i agree with them there. i mean, okay, i get the whole desert = killers connection, and i'm sure they've headlined a gazillion british festivals, but americans are a little more choosy. also, have somewhat better tastes, sometimes. (is it too early to be excited for lollapalooza '09? think i might want to go this year)

hidden amongst the inmitable idolator's seven-word reviews of seven new pop songs is the new depeche mode single, "wrong", which i streamed on some french blog last night and wasn't too impressed with yet. sadly the link at idolator has been taken done, but here's a live version from a few weeks ago. (video needs more m. l. gore! man is looking good) still not overly into it, though damn is it ever good to see the dm guys onstage again, gahan grooving intact. they're playing toronto on july 24th and i have the feeling it'll be one of my rare cases of spending in the range of $100 for a ticket. (also, you can bet i will be pulling out all my old tricks and tactics to get backstage and meet the band. that teenager in me does love a challenge)

stereogum has more depeche mode news -- no video there either, but there is the cover art for their next album. oooooh, i want.

the j.d. fortune vs. inxs dramaz continue. good times, people.

pitchfork does a refreshingly music-centered recap of the oscars. good for those of us who've been inundated with oscar news for the last few days, which would be...well, all of us on the intarwebs. also good for us who were left wondering just where the proposed m.i.a. hologram disappeared (har har) to.

two good things for a tuesday: my iron supplement treatment is almost over (damn anemia, ruining all my fun), which means i'll be able to enjoy amounts of caffeine and dairy again and not have to take any more hardcore pills; and my turn on the tattoo table is coming up soon. can't. wait.

considering a bunch of new "continuing education" courses, by the way. life skillz, i wants them!

[ music | yeah yeah yeahs, "y control" ]

Friday, February 20, 2009

participation anticipation

ah, another week come and gone. at least this was a short one - now that i'm an ontarian again, i could participate in the random monday holiday that was "family day" - but still, sometimes it feels like the shortened weeks are the longest ones. is it springtime yet? (and yes, i'm blaming my recent weight gain on my body's winter-hibernation mode. curse you, metabolism!)

obviously, the big news this morning is that a photo of the beaten rihanna has leaked online. goes without saying that it's not a pretty sight. it also makes more than a few of us uncomfortable that so many of the gossip blogs are jumping all over this pic, which really shouldn't have been released in the first place. oh well, at least it makes chris brown's apology look even more half-assed and ridiculous.

chromewaves breaks better news: leonard cohen north american tour! omfg. i'll be just getting back from vancouver when he plays my hometown of kingston, so perhaps i should extend the trip a little bit...i know my mother would love to see some leonard! (and there are very few musicians my mom and i agree on, so this could be a good concert-bonding experience)

okay, new plan: leave for vancouver may 16th, stay until the 21st, fly back to ottawa and go home to kingston for that weekend. it'll take four days of my vacation time, but i think i'll need a proper vacay by then. there we go. plans in place!

with that digression done, exclaim! recaps the brit award winners. duffy came in big, obviously, but i was more surprised to have the kings of leon's uk popularity cemented even further. i mean, i knew they were huge across the pond, but daaaamn. (also in that category: duffy the new face of diet coke. only in the uk though, since 75% of north americans would go "who?")

full sxsw schedule released. green with envy? um, you might say that. oh well, i'll get my escapist fun in may. stocking up the vacation time until then! (not to mention keeping my eyes firmly on the airline websites to try and score the best possible deals -- fuck, you'd think the economy/gas costs would have some effect on astronomical flight prices...)

and i know it's not related to music or pop culture, but montreal canadiens scandal is sort of blowing my mind right now -- or at least, the behind-the-scenes rumours are. prostitution rings? underage sex? rape? drug trafficking? no doubt these are all charges towards the mobster, but i'd be more interested in seeing just how much of that badness the players themselves participated in.

plans for tonight include monopoly and a big bottle of red wine. i don't think any more details are needed.

[ music | the whip, "trash" ]

Saturday, February 14, 2009

red velvet

yes, okay. for the sake of my single friends who are more on the mopey side about their status (as opposed to my single friends who are more rightly proud of it), i promised i wouldn't do a sappy mush-laden entry about my man on valentine's day. besides, i sort of mention how awesome he is in almost every entry anyway. because it's true, damn it. just take my word for it.

but! out of sheer boredom a couple days ago, i started keeping a list in the moleskine day planner dean bought me for christmas. it's a neat little thing, that planner, and because of my sentimental ties to it (he wrote a cute little note in the front of it that makes me all goopy), i decided also to use it as a diary of sorts -- keeping track of events, movies and concerts seen, dvds watched and books read, scribbling song lyrics and popular song titles in the sidebars. maybe that's a little high school, but that's all i ever did with my day planners in high school anyway. :P

anyway, i digress -- the list i started was called "things we like!", to detail many of the things we like mutually. you could call them common interests - although we have just enough opposites to attract as well - and either way, i thought it was a cute list to come up with, even though i'm sure i've missed a lot! still, these are a fraction of the things i love about this guy, and a fraction of the things i love about being in this relationship. voici:

Things We Like!

- hockey
- popcorn
- drinking
- cigarettes
- watching DVDs
- spicy food
- crossword puzzles
- kitties
- movies
- nachos
- Jeopardy!
- cuddling
- big dogs
- Chicago
- taking baths together
- coffee
- working out
- cooking
- Interpol
- Trogdor the Burninator
- long walks
- blueberries
- thunderstorms
- board games
- metalz
- Altoids
- "tuna surprise" (Kraft Dinner mixed with tuna and canned mushrooms)
- clean kitchens
- travel
- peanut butter
- vinyl
- a particular deviant sexual act that I am not about to write down although he dared me to
- pubs
- sushi
- spooning
- Arrested Development
- making fun of "Roethlisberger"
- photography
- massages
- sodium

(also, cheesy details of this day: i got him an elephant for a gift, sort of - i adopted one in his name through the world wildlife fund, since they're his favourite animal - and tonight's v-day menu is cilantro curry shrimp on red quinoa, with plenty of red wine and guinness chocolate cake for dessert)

and that's all from me. see? relatively quick and painless. now if you'll excuse me, i have a slumbering boyfriend to go hop back into bed with...hope there's plenty of love out there for all of you today, no matter who or where it comes from!

[ music | none, dean's sleeping, shhhhh ]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

you're my best fix

ah, hump day. so much love. so much bafflement at how quickly my weeks go by. it's not like i'm not used to work passing the time fast, but man, it's sort of crazy these days. well, whatever gets us to springtime sooner -- come onnnn, sunshine and patio weather and flowers! (god knows i am totally in vacation-craving mode right now, but i'd rather wait and save up the money/vacation days for something a little more significant...possible details on that coming later ;))

leonard cohen donates money to help australian fire victims. yet another one of the countless reasons why leonard cohen is cooler than anyone you know.

pitchfork brings us the news that thom yorke may be scoring the new terminator movie. this movie is increasingly becoming either a trainwreck or a weird success. (so long as christian bale doesn't yell at thom -- he looks like the sensitive type)

idolator lets us know that ted nugent loves us -- in the very special way that only the nuge can. when you've got that many songs on your "love manifesto" playlist that include the word "wang", it's somewhat questionable as your soundtrack for valentine's day lovin'. unless you're a southern redneck, i guess.

justice designs a coca-cola bottle. uh, kay. speaking of pop designs, the new pepsi logo is apparently the pinnacle of the universe. or some such. this soda-as-god mania is making me somewhat happy that i don't supply their coffers with money anymore (or at least, not very often).

the astute of you may have noticed that i slightly rearranged my blogroll to your left last week; reorganized the categories a bit and added a few more fun links. among such fun links is cheap healthy good, which is a great little blog with recipes (cheap and healthy, naturally) along with links to useful articles for saving money at the grocery store and such. it appears we're in a recession right now, so every little bit helps, right?

likewise, this dude at cnn is living on food stamps for a month. really gives you a good look at how a sad majority of people in north america have to live. i'm starting to think those of us up here in canada are luckier than least none of our banks are crashing and burning. uh, hurray!

also! a longstanding ambition may soon be fulfilled: i'm going to take a sushi-making class! :D five sundays, 1-6 p.m. at this awesome little sushi joint on the east end of town (one of my old favourites when i lived in that neighbourhood). amanda l. (hi dude!) has agreed to take it with me so we can qualify for the "couples" discount, which makes it a pretty damn good deal, especially when it comes to ticking off another thing on my "want to learn before i die" list. yesssss.

[ music | raveonettes, "love in a trashcan" ]

Saturday, February 7, 2009

don't change a thing

saturday night in toronto and i'm staying in, since this stubborn sinus cold is just hanging on by its blasted fingertips, and i have the feeling one more night of solidly restful sleep will knock it out for good. god willing, anyway.

cheerful headline for today: stefani hoodies could kill children. but man, aren't hoodie drawstrings hazards for pretty much everybody? i mean, i guess you'd have to be really dumb - or, well, a small child - to choke yourself with your hoodie, but hey. life: it's hazardous to your health.

conversely, your wtf? headline for today: noel gallagher inspired by barack obama to run for prime minister? i would actually pay good money to see that. hell, i would move to britain if that were the case.

the man, the myth, the not-so-legend: axl rose speaks! the "on slash..." quote pretty much makes the mouseclick worthwhile. do it now.

just in time for the grammys tomorrow night, idolator does a rundown of grammy picks. (they'll be liveblogging the ceremony tomorrow, too -- and you can bet it'll be a hell of a lot more entertaining than the broadcast itself) i wish i could make myself care about awards shows, i really do. but aside from the brit awards - where bands get tanked and fall down on the way to the stage - there just isn't any redeeming value in them for me. maybe it has something to do with the fact that i'm a citizen of the country where the juno awards originate. blech.

boyfriend suggested this as a blog item, and i have to agree: what better news that knowing that coldplay will be served with legal papers -- at the grammys? probably the best part is where joe satriani's lawyer talks about how they have "hired a fleet of process servers to dog the band everywhere they go this weekend." excellent. welcome to america, coldplay!

jessica simpson's apparently breakdown. not a full-on britney blowup but weird enough, even if it's not unfounded after the whole "fat" thing. and that sort of thing kind of annoys me -- i mean, i can totally sympathize with the unhealthy drive to diet and stay skinny for whatever reason, and then becoming more comfortable with yourself and your body after you're in love with a guy. being in the celebrity spotlight, though, there's just that much more pressure and scrutiny. makes me happy with my life of relative obscurity (somewhat tempered with infamy).

familiar with the twilight books of fail? ready to be seriously disturbed? some fan did a felt replica of bella's pregnant womb. i...really wish i was joking. the horror, the horror. (though it's all somewhat tempered by the hilarious reactions of the ontd! fans in the comments)

here's the lowl to make things better. amazing!

also - and i do feel this is worth noting, as this is my blog which is occasionally about my life - domesticity is taking over: dean and i are moving in together in late spring. the circumstances are right, the time is right, and it just feels right, you know? and you bet yer ass that the idea of cohabitation with my awesome hot boyfriend (of over a year now!) has me stoked. :) hurrah!

[ music | leafs vs. habs, 3-1 in the third period fuck yeahhhhh ]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

til the hour falls

also, having just consulted my calendar and compared it to my work office's holiday schedule, i have made the decision: i'm going to go back to vancouver for the may long weekend -- most likely wednesday the 13th or thursday the 14th until monday the 18th. doesn't matter that i'll have to be watching the airlines like a hawk until then to try and get the best deal. doesn't matter that it'll still cost me a few vacation days. doesn't matter that i'll likely be having to move in couple short weeks by then, since my lease is up at the end of may.

i just have to go back. i have everything i need here, but somehow i have to go back there, to a place where i hardly had anything, because i need to. whether or not anybody can come with me is irregardless -- because, like the first time, i have to do this by myself. for myself.

i just know these things.

[ music | great northern, "houses" ]

going on and on

...okay, i promise i won't be a big sappy schmuck for valentine's day. big sappy schmuck quota in this blog = filled. ;)

i'm sure everyone in the country's heard the resounding news by now, but the 2009 juno award nominees have been announced, and nobody's happy about them. i'm sure we can all admit that there are a few hopeful gems among the garbage - best new group in general looks accurate (except for the totally far-from-new stills), and i really want to see who wins for best alternative album - but octo was right when she said that it's all based on sales. (boyfriend, who won a juno award in 1994, agrees with this and confirms that it wasn't about sales back in the 90s) pitiful. for fucking shame, junos.

idolator reports the shutdown of three music mags -- all at the same time. noooo, not metal edge! i imagine the dedicated audience over at metal sludge is alternately weeping or rejoicing.

johnny rotten: saviour of country life butter. because nothing says punk like spreadable dairy products.

speaking of punk (or questionable nature thereof), pete doherty to give a university lecture! come on, you know you'd be there if you could. i know i'd be front row center, asking about carl barat mostly.

it's true that twitter has made a resurgence since 2007 (i was a member way back then, but only rediscovered it in the last few months), and so pitchfork has a list of musicians on twitter. convenient for those of us who are addicted to finding "famous" people to follow.

we has new depeche mode coming! first single to be debuted at the "echo awards", whatever the fuck that is. but hey, i guess if anywhere, germany's pretty appropriate -- they love their depeche there. which means germany is awesome.

and now for your daily trash quotient: tabloid covers of the week. apparently jessica simpson is a whale now. amazing what a little bit of life happiness - and a lot less celebrity-fame stress - can do.

[ music | muse, "knights of cydonia" ]

Monday, February 2, 2009

it all comes down to you

we named boxing day the anniversary but, according to this right here, it would actually be today, right around now.

which means that i can very clearly remember lying on my pink striped bedspread in vancouver, late on a saturday night when i should have been out on the town except that there's nothing to do in vancouver, grinning into my cell phone, to a connection made across the country. "well, if you're in, i'm in."

only a brief pause on the other end of the line. "...i'm in."

and there we have it.

[ music | the cure, "in between days" ]

give me reason

you know what makes me happy? when i'm totally expecting a week or a day to be awful, but it doesn't turn out to be that bad at all. (karma evens this out when i have an otherwise-normal day that suddenly goes totally fuck-off sideways) for example, i was completely sure last week would be an absolute shitshow: it was super bowl on sunday, meaning busy work times; it'll be my first full week on iron supplements, as my doctor diagnosed me as anemic which means i have to take iron pills and have no dairy or caffeine for a month (yes, no coffee for a month -- i anticipated caffeine withdrawal adding to my week from hell); and on top of all that, i'd be on the rag. yeah, we had a quadruple whammy right there. (i actually told my boyfriend he'd do best to keep a solid distance from me all week -- he didn't obey, but that was totally okay)

but! as can be expected after reading my opening paragraph there, it wasn't so bad after all. sure, the medical (and uh, biological) bits weren't a hell of a lot of fun - i remember just what it feels like to go through caffeine withdrawal, headaches and shaky anxiety and all - but otherwise, i got through last week in one piece, managing to do some good work at the office, getting in some cardio at the gym almost every night, and generally keeping up with things. i'm sure there's some sociopsychological explanation for this (overprepare/understress?), but right now, i'm content. especially given the awesome past weekend i had of cooking, cardio, hangouts with the boy, hockey games (both televised and in person), watching super bowl at hooters (yes, seriously), serious drinking, late-night movies, and plenty more to keep this girl happy. ahhhh, happy february. (there are also a few camera pics from this weekend that i will add in this space tonight, once uploaded and resized)

now let's make sure this week doesn't completely blow the fuck up in my face for whatever reason. yes? yes.

somewhat old news on the interwebs now, but what the hey: pitchfork has the coachella 2009 lineup! or, at least they say they do -- no jpeg is showing up, but i think the commentary on the lineup is worth the linkage. plus this makes yet another reason for me to sigh and curse my massive bank debts that effectively disable me from doing any traveling until, oh...2012 or so. until the world ends, i guess. thanks, mayans!

okay, so here's the actual poster courtesy of our dear exclaim!. damn it, travel expenses!

but i suppose it spares me having to get on any planes in the near future, especially when tomorrow is the anniversary of the day the music died. this always makes me think of my father's immortal grumble of: "rock n' roll died with buddy holly, that's what i say." i love my daddy.

there is also snow! in england! lots of it! might your concert be cancelled? never fear, is here. this is where all the canadians reading - plus all the canadian ex-pats in england - start snickering, making jokes about calling in the national guard, etc.

stereogum brings you lucky people the infamous springsteen crotch shot from last night's super bowl. we watched this part at hooters and pretty much laughed our asses off, though all i could think of was michael flatley. anybody who's seen lord of the dance knows exactly what i'm talking about, there.

urmagazine's got their best of 2008 online -- in large .pdf form, so beware when downloading on a slow connection. still, i did some contributing to this, so please go support my freelance paycheque.

by the way, i pretty much love the matblog. i know i've said it before, but here it is again: required reading. do it now.

also new required reading, courtesy of octo and her rad blog: f my life. if you revel in schadenfreude, such as i unashamedly do (i'm an asshole like that), this site will be a highlight of your day.

[ music | the replacements, "i'll be you" ]