Sunday, May 24, 2009

bury it

after my vacation's veritable orgy of posting (betcha didn't see all those posts coming, did ya?), this is an apology in advance for the fact that i'm not entirely sure when i'll be able to blog in the next week or so. i'm in kingston right now but heading to the toronto bus in a few hours, and by my estimation, in the coming post-vacation week there will be:

- catching up on work
- catching up on workouts
- catching up on toronto life
- kitten feeding
- box collecting
- packing up mah shit for saturday's move
- attempting to broker the sale and subsequent pickup of my old bed
- cancelling accounts and subscriptions and changing my address everywhere else
- moving shit on saturday
- dirty text-messaging with the boy

and so on. as you can see, not a whole lot of swing room in there. but you can always go down and read what you missed from my days in vancouver, or just pop over to twitter if you need a fix. ya bunch of stalkers.

much love!

[ music | muse, "time is running out" ]

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

reign of love

okay, i lied: one more transmission from the west coast, written as i sit in melissa's living room on my last morning here.

(brief recap of yesterday, if anybody cares and/or is keeping up with this: got my massively delicious lunch at topanga; popped in to visit old vancouver friend delna at work; walked down west broadway and west 4th to get to granville island; hung out before going to get the massive superior spinach salad at the templeton; went down to the cambie to have drinks and reunions with leora, garry and co.)

anyway, right now i attempt to answer a question i asked myself as i made the walk downtown yesterday evening: what would you be doing, if you were still here right now?



it's not all that hard to suss out -- i almost did end up staying, after all. right before i made my final decision to move back to toronto, i'd had a chance for an interview with a certain dominant weekly culture/arts newspaper here. (i'm not going to point any fingers though, because i still do love them despite everything) it was to write for their notable music section, and i was super-stoked to have such a big chance. it wasn't a sure thing by any means, but if i managed to land even a freelance position with them, it could lead to bigger and better - and more permanent - things for my music journalism career. that sort of kickstart was exactly what i needed.



...but - and of course there's a but - i was never able to make contact with the music editor after he got back from christmas vacation (him having left me a message for an interview before he left), and so i abandoned it as a lost cause after two weeks of trying. i knew it could have been something, definitely -- in fact, i made one of those little "deals" with myself in my head at the time. if i get a job at the paper, then i'm obviously meant to be here, so i'll stay. but if i don't, then it's not meant to be, and i'll leave.

of course, that point ended up being rather moot anyway, since by then it was getting into february, and i was being pulled further and further into the nefarious clutches of infatuation and love from a distance. soon, i was more or less a goner.

but last night led me to wonder what life would have been like had i gotten that job, or even a better job that managing a coffee shop, and if i hadn't gone home at christmas and met that boy, and if i had found a reason to stay here in vancouver after all.



if i were still living here in vancouver instead of moving back to toronto a year ago, i'd probably be like anybody else who's trying to keep on delaying an adult life and responsibilities (ie. me from 2006-2007): working shitty joe jobs, barely making ends meet but still having money to drink with, keeping weird schedules, staying up late, doing a lot of walking and thinking with my ipod headphones stuck in my ears, missing my family back east, and feeling somewhat lost and disjointed -- out of place in a city where i didn't quite belong.

and, as crummy as that sounds, that's a life i do miss sometimes. it was freedom, really; it was the knowledge that i wasn't quite an adult yet, i didn't have an adult job or duties or responsibilities, and so i could still be a stupid kid and have fun without worrying about consequence. i feel that a lot here in vancouver -- so much so that i'm halfway convinced that that would definitely be my life if i were still here. it's like, in a parallel world, my other half is living here, maybe working at a cafe or a bakery or a bar, scraping by on $12 an hour plus tips, still trying to figure out how to make this all worthwhile -- but at least having a good time growing up and coming into herself in the process.



....but i'm sure that parallel-world self has good friends here, and more than enough fun social times to make up for any solo loneliness that comes with living in the rainy depressing greyness of vancouver. that self would take plenty of moments of solitude, of course - i've always been like that - but the company of others would fill the rest of the time with good times.

parallel-world self would also be greatly enjoying the fine food and caffeinated-beverage options available in vancouver and nowhere else:





so, i've come to the conclusion that i probably would have been happy here, eventually, but it would have been the continually unfulfilled, unsettled happiness of the quarter-life crisis. i would have been happy with my sparse freedom, my lax responsibilities, and my continuous daydreaming about my future -- but i wouldn't have been ready to live my future just yet. after all, that is exactly what scared me so badly in toronto that summer, and why i decided to escape -- because i knew my adult life was knocking on the door, and i sure as hell wasn't ready to answer. i still wanted to be able to get out and do my own thing. much as i hated the joe-job grind, i wasn't ready for the cubicle farms of the 9-to-5. i wasn't ready to have expectations placed on me. i wanted to live for myself, and to do that, i had to go it alone, in a city i'd never been to full of people i'd never met.



but after this, i had been ready. after vancouver, i had been ready to grow up.

but not too much.

[ music | coldplay, "lovers in japan" ]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

come rescue me

brief recap of the last couple days:

quite literally, almost all of sunday was spent drinking. well, there were intermissions of shopping in between, and a lot of smoking done throughout, but in the end, it started at brunch (at score on davie with melissa and a bunch of her friends) and ended with nightcaps at melissa's bar after almost making my stomach explode from too much delicious, delicious sushi at the eatery. gods have mercy on my digestive system. (especially since at said bar, i drank two interesting yet vaguely disgusting things: a "pearl necklace", which is a cocktail made out of vodka, kahlua, espresso liquor, coke, and milk; and a shot invented on the spot by melissa's coworker made up of limoncello, french kiss, and vodka. ouch. ouch.)

....then again, they didn't seek fit to spare me from the old familiar feeling of my body detoxing itself of all that extra poison the monday morning after. add that to the fact that melissa and i had had a movie bender that lasted until almost 3 a.m. and consisted of the reader (neither of us had seen it; we both cried), repo! the genetic opera (i'd seen it, she hadn't) and too much diet dr. pepper for after midnight, and you have a very hungover and bleary vacationer for a holiday-monday morning.

but! that was not enough to keep me from going off on another day adventure today, after we managed to rouse ourselves enough to drag our aching selves down the street to the naam for lunch. from there, i was off on foot to downtown, in order to catch the seabus to north vancouver (ie. lonsdale quay, park & tilford, j.j. bean and save-on-foods) for most of the day. it was rainy and depressing out by then, which was appropriate since my memories of north van always have it being rainy and depressing.

pics from yesterday's excursions, as we go:



another shot crossing the burrard bridge. i can't help it, this is one of the coolest views in the city to me -- when you head over the bridge that separates the outer lower mainland (ie. kitsilano) with the actual downtown area. welcome home.



whenever toronto hipster foodies start bitching about how "you get what you pay for" with toronto's culture of "japanese fast-food" sushi, i just think of places like this, where you can get almost 20 maki for under $8. now that's insanity. (i have eaten at daikichi once or twice; you definitely do get what you pay for)



the view of downtown from a very soggy and grey lonsdale quay, in north vancouver. such sad-looking waterlogged flags.



lonsdale quay from the upper level. much nicer at christmastime, but still -- lonsdale quay! woo!



another upper-camera angle view of the quay. the little shop in the closest-to-top-right-corner is the place where i bought my very first vancouver umbrella! (i think it sort of exploded during an autumn storm a few weeks later.)



p&t! public gardens in vancouver = fuuuuck yeah.



some of the massive walled garden at park & tilford in north van. even though it was pissing rain the entire time, the ridiculous beauty of it just punched me in the gut.



another shot in the rainy garden. ridiculous, i say.



this was supposed to be a shot of downtown as i was coming back on the seabus, but as you can see, it was raining. it was raining a lot. god damn it, vancouver.




cocktails at melissa's bar. (this being her invention titled "cotton-candy cherry blossom", my second drink after i got her to make me a copy of the labyrinth's swedish berry martini.) here it is worth mentioning that i've been drunk every single day i've been here. my hangover yesterday morning was epic in its scope and painfulness.



this may look disgusting, but it's one of the best fucking things i've ever eaten -- a "granola bar" (there's nothing resembling granola in it -- it's just chocolate, raisins, coconut, peanut butter and sunflower seeds in bar form) from the bean around the world on main street. (they don't seem to sell them at any other locations) as with the sushi here in vancouver, i've never been able to find anything in toronto to compare to its glorious deliciousness.



melissa and i were pretty drunk when we rented movies on sunday night. that's my excuse and i'm sticking to it.


also, the old vancouver foodie in me is proud that i've managed to hit pretty much all of my projected drinking/dining targets here: vegetarian combo at sushi sushi, gelato, an epic load of sushi at the eatery that i destroyed in 15.6 seconds, coffee at j.j. bean, london fog at trees, granola bar at bean around the world, and veggie & rice bowl at the naam, and today it's looking likely for tostada and margaritas at topanga, coffee at 49th parallel, and probably hitting up the templeton for my last vancouver dinner foodz tonight. it's been one hell of a trip as far as good eatin's are concerned, i tell you that.

(and yes, it is true that i've probably drank more alcohol here in the last four days than i've drank in the last two months at home. what can i say? vacationnnnn)

so yeah, today is my last full day & night in vancouver. i've got tomorrow morning still, but then i get on a five-hour bus to kamloops in order to see a certain drummer i know, and then after that it's a five-hour bus back to vancouver and a crazy skytrain/bus ride to the airport immediately. so, today is essentially the last day of "relaxation" as it were (though this of course is going to involved getting smashed at the cambie & cobalt late tonight).

yesterday, though....yesterday was good. yesterday made sense to me. not many other people would find sense in walking for hours in the pouring rain with soaked chucks and a coffee hangover, but to me, i had to do it. i had to get all those thoughts out here while i still could. see, i do feel kind of like i left a piece of me behind here in vancouver, and i at least wanted to make an effort to find it again.

as i walked down those old streets that i used to wander every spare moment i got, i could only really think about how the man who's been my boyfriend for the last year and a half is all over this city for me. not because he's from here - though technically he did spend part of his childhood in richmond - but because after i came back here from my christmas trip home in 2007, the only thing on my mind was that boy. almost every memory i have of this city after that pivotal point is tinged with memories of loneliness, lust, daydreaming, angst, and hope. every memory i have of vancouver after that is shared with the memory of falling in love hard and fast, but from afar, and the trouble i had with that.

i mean, seriously, i fell in love in this city -- not with this city, mind you - i didn't give it that chance - but it was this place that served as the backdrop to my first actual descent into being in love with someone who (gasp, shock) returned my affections. and that's what i equate vancouver with in my mind -- that's the main association, and i can see it everywhere when i'm here.

i'm actually sort of okay with that, really. it's comforting in a weird way.

alright, i think i've written enough for now. this will most likely also be my last post from vancouver since, as i said, i'm gonna be stuck on a bus tomorrow, and i probably won't even have internet again until i'm home in kingston late thursday (and then: leonard cohen concert on friday!) but i'll see what i can come up with before the weekend for you all.

thanks for listening to my rambles, kids. enjoy the shortened week!

[ music | bif naked, "spaceman" ]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

far and away

some minor notes on my first 24 hours in vancouver:

flying simultaneously makes me want to cry, puke, and curl up in a little ball of terror. suffice it to say, given that most human beings tend to avoid situations that they find unpleasant, i try to not fly as much as possible.

this was slightly difficult when i actually lived in vancouver.

see, the thing about van is that it's surrounded by mountains -- literally. there's buses and stuff, sure, but the only decently quick way to get in and out is to fly. when i lived here, i took a total of eight flights (one to vancouver; one to san francisco, one to los angeles, one back to vancouver; one to ottawa, then back to vancouver at christmas; one to toronto and back in march 2008 because i had to see that boy; and eventually one home altogether). when i fly often, i'm generally okay with it -- i have a steady handle on my in-air neurosises, and i don't whimper or shake too much during takeoff.

but when i got on the plane to vancouver out of toronto yesterday, i hadn't flown in just a little over a year. and, although that last flight home had been entirely ordinary and routine, i stepped off that plane vowing to never fly again so help me god. because i wouldn't have to.

and now, here i am, back again.



i suppose there's a modicum of irony in the fact that the song i was listening to when the plane was banking in for its landing was shiny toy guns' "major tom" cover -- specifically, as i could see the evening sun shining off of the downtown buildings (really wish i'd gotten a photo, but i had the damn aisle seat), it was at the "this is my home / i am coming home" part. not quite accurate here, but strangely fitting nonetheless.



logic and necessity facilitated a real vancouver dinner when i got here, which was of course sushi maki (my favourite vegetarian combo - five yam tempura rolls and five vegetable rolls, roughly the size of hockey pucks and fresher than anything i can get in toronto - at my favourite sushi place, sushi sushi on west broadway) and gelato (at mondo gelato on robson, where jenna and i got gelato on our first venture downtown together when i moved here). then, of course, because it was a very fine evening last night, i did the old routine of walking my way downtown, along the waterfront, over burrard bridge, right into the middle of the saturday-night lights of the lower mainland. which is when these photos were taken.



(i should have mentioned earlier that my cab driver took my old street - west king edward - to get me to melissa's place, and went along my old bus route on macdonald street to boot. it was serious deja vu, man.)

then, the expected madness of drinking, chain smoking, night bus rides, and wondering how the hell i could still be functioning when it was technically 5 a.m. in my brain. (the answer to that probably lay in my blood-alcohol level, and the amount of nicotine in my veins) got back to melissa's, crashed out, woke up with her still not there - slightly worrisome; i'm waiting on a text-message reply to make sure she's okay, but she's out late a lot anyway - and formulated a rough plan for my remaining four days here.

all subject to change:

today: west 4th. 49th parallel because i've been missing their coffee more than anything (and god knows i need it right now, to cope with this vague hangover and remaining jet lag). granville island. upper granville street. broadway. west broadway. hopefully mexican food and dvds like the old days to finish it off.

tomorrow (monday): north van. lonsdale quay. that awesome sushi place whose name i can't remember. park & tilford. j.j. bean for jenna (who's craving it back home) and candy from the superior save-on-foods for me. pictures of ships and docks and shipping docks. more downtown wandering, maybe the templeton for dinner and stopping in to see melissa at work later. sleep, blessed sleep.

tuesday: unsure -- maybe commercial drive, maybe downtown, maybe my old neighbourhood. most likely my old neighbourhood of dunbar, west 17th and broadway. get an eccle at west side bakery. see if dunbar has gentrified any further (an amazing feat if it's happened; the area was very young-hip-suburban-family, and then there was me with my goth coats and dyed black hair). wanderings. go out to the cambie with leora and garry and their crew, hopefully meeting up with katy and her friends along the way. possibly cobalt afterwards if we're in the mood for some punk-metal skeez.

wednesday: get as much sleep in the morning as possible. board a bus to kamloops at quarter to 2; stay on said bus for five hours, until getting to kamloops, getting to the club, and throwing arms around a particular drummer boyfriend of mine whom i haven't seen in over three weeks now.

eta: couple photos from today (sunday) as follows...



morning crossing on the burrard st. bridge




granville island and many, many boats


yet as the plane flew in over the mountains last night and i could see the entire city spread out through the tiny window, i got this weird feeling all around the pit of my stomach. anxiety, excitement, nostalgic, sadness, happiness, all that mixed in there together. (i think the japanese have a word for that feeling, but for the life of me i can't remember) and above all, one tiny voice with a confused question: what am i doing back here?

to this, something else in me smirks and simply replies, you don't get to know the answer to that, sweetheart, until you ask yourself the bigger question: why did you come here in the first place?

and that's the question, isn't it.

more later, i have good west-coast coffee to drink and old familiar streets to wander.

[ music | c'mon, "city of daggers" ]

Friday, May 15, 2009

gone away to the west

okay! so this will be my final blog dispatch before i leave for vancouver tomorrow afternoon. to all my west-coast homies: i'll be getting in early in the evening, but i'm willing to bet the minor jet leg combined with the soul-sucking anxiety of being on a plane (i do not and have never been a good flier) will mean that i won't be immediately hitting the town that night. later on, perhaps -- especially if it involves a nightcap or two (or ten) on granville to soothe my frazzled ontarian nerves.

anyway, from there it's british columbia (vancouver plus a brief stint in kamloops, mostly to make out with a drummer) until next thursday, then kingston for three days, then back to toronto on sunday the 24th. i don't exactly know if i'm going to have time to consistently blog while i'm travelling around; i wouldn't bet on it, really. but what i promise i will do is bring a small notebook with me, and take some time here and there to jot down my thoughts and shit. and who knows, i'm bringing my laptop with me, so maybe during the downtime (if there is any), i'll upload some pictures and write a few blurbs. i like to stay connected, after all. even if twitter hates my phone and won't let me send updates from it. grrrrr.

my theme song for this trip - "houses" by great northern. (the lyrics are just one part of it -- listen to the song yourself and then you'll know how it feels.)

au revoir!

[ music | none ]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

tributary

i really don't mind the slow weekends right before everything goes batshit nuts. it's relaxing, even with the undercurrent of stress and anxiety.

see, those of you who know me - know me personally, at least, and for longer than six months - will know quite well that i'm sort of a compulsive organizer, planner, what have you. it's one of my varied ways of channeling my innate control-freakness into something more productive (and kinder) than my earlier days of being manipulative and generally a crazy bitch. anyway, so whenever there's something big on the horizon that needs to be planned for ahead of time, i'm on it. i'm on that shit like a fat kid on a twinkie. what's more, i'm manic-compulsive about making sure that everything will go off without a hitch.

this obviously can cause undue stress.

this is especially since i have two big things on the horizon that need to be prepared for, and asap: one, my trip to vancouver (i leave this saturday afternoon), and two, my move at the end of the month (looking to be saturday the 30th, all participating parties permitting). i'm sort of manic about my vancouver trip because i still need to call people, still need to organize get-togethers, still need to figure out what to pack, still need to make sure i know where i'm going and how to get there; i'm sort of manic about my move at the end of the month because i still need to ensure my friend can help me move, still need to confirm the van rental, still need to clear everything with dean's mom for storage, still need to do the usual pre-moving rituals like changing addresses and cancelling utilities.

fortunately, i'm also manic about making lists, so this has helped quite a bit.

really, i'm too much like my mother in that i have a hard time relaxing -- there are always too many things running through my head, too many things that need to be done or prepped or organized. and so, since this is my first actual vacation, i have to learn to just calm down, sit back and enjoy my time off. or at least make a concentrated effort to have it honestly be "time off". bah.

though i have to admit i don't make it any easier on myself -- i'm just about to book bus tickets to get me to kamloops on wednesday the 20th (to see c'mon, of course -- no, i can't let go; yes, i'm a stalker), which will end in me taking an all-night bus ride back to vancouver on thursday morning in order to go straight to the airport for my 9 am flight home. oh, lovely madness. (but, as i said to the boy in a text message this morning, "i have done way crazier, way stupider things for boys before. for the boy i love, why the hell not?")

also, from my notebook scribblings late last night:

VANCOUVER DO/SEE LIST:

- Sushi Sushi, the Eatery, the Naam, the Templeton, sushi place in North Van, Topanga
- J.J. Bean (get coffee beans for Jenna)
- 49th Parallel (get coffee beans for self)
- Granville Island
- Lonsdale Quay
- Dunbar! [dunbar street was the closest "big street" to where i lived, and i spent many days walking up and down dunbar to get groceries, booze, go to and from the gym at the community centre, etc.]
- Park & Tilford w/ gardens
- Melissa/Delna/Leora/Garry/Henry/Todd/Denyss/Johnny
- Uncle Chris/cousins Rob & Peter
- the Cobalt and the Cambie
- T5PC (maybe) [this would be "take 5 pacific centre", the cafe where i trained]
- T5WH (probably) [take 5 west hastings, the cafe i later managed]
- mountains
- SeaBus rides

hopefully most or all of these can be done and/or seen in my five days in vancouver next week.

in the meantime, distractions:

my review of the kills & the horrors show last week, and i didn't really hold back on any of my opinions in it. i hate - really hate - to get down on a band i love so much, but my journalistic integrity means i have to tell the truth about what i saw and how i felt about it. it's a very fine line, this. (though i have to say, the kills' set definitely made me a fan. i don't think i'm gonna make their show in vancouver - if only because i'll have just gotten off of a four-hour flight and will undoubtedly be frazzled - but i know melissa will enjoy it. will definitely be sold out.

in that same vein - or at least, with the same lead singer - dead weather have their first north american tour planned, and i definitely wouldn't mind checking that shit out. crazy weird supergroups unite!

what can you really say about a compilation titled "time to say goodbye"? my immediate thought was "there had better be at least one sarah mclachlan song on it, probably 'i will remember you'" -- and well, i at least had the first part right. ("angel" is on disc 2)

pitchfork's summer festivals in brief, notable mostly for the ottawa bluesfest lineup. i'm not sure what qualifies it as "blues" exactly, but come on -- the yeah yeah yeahs? [the aformentioned] dead weather? the national? hot damn, i might actually have a reason to go to ottawa for once. (if you're not from ontario, you may have heard that ottawa is a requisite place to visit if you ever come here -- trust me, don't.)

an american gladiators movie? excuse me, what? i suddenly got a horrifying image of something like mad max: beyond thunderdome, but with those ridiculously costumed roided-up gladiators on the landscape instead. (to be fair, though, i think that show was a mainstay in the youth of anybody growing up in the late 80s/early 90s)

urrrgh, food now. note to all my fellow sufferers of high stomach acid: drinking two glasses of lemon water every morning doesn't do any good. in fact, it just makes you feel worse. who'd have thought.

[ music | the horrors, "scarlet fields" ]

Thursday, May 7, 2009

right out the other

random news from across the internetz (or at least across my easily-accessed blogroll):

deftones bassist comes out of coma! considering dude's been in it since last november, this is definitely good news. and deftones are pretty awesome, not just because they've admitted to depeche mode's influence on their music. excellent.

not so excellent: glastonbury might be cancelled if swine flu spreads. well, yeah, putting a gazillion people together in a field might be cause for a massive infection outbreak, but come on, how is that different from any other year? (....oh right, swine flu isn't an std)

the guitarist for the kills allegedly tosses a fan out of their new york gig. i kind of hope this won't happen tonight if they spot me in the audience and correctly identify me as one of the evening's attending music critics. (yet there will be horrors to make it better regardless)

idolator has a review of the old leaked script for gladiator 2 -- penned by nick cave. yes, that nick cave. i'd definitely go just for the "several ships battling hundreds of alligators with fireballs and arrows". does that epic battle include sharks with lasers on their heads?

alkaline trio part ways with yet another label. indecisiveness rules in the emo-punk camp. (though really, i'm just linking that for one of my coworkers who used to write matt skiba fan letters when he was a teenager -- aside from two pieces i wrote a couple years ago, my only connection is how much i love their cover of the sisters of mercy's "lucretia my reflection". it's actually what got me into the sisters' music in the first place, as odd as that sounds.)

ok hang on a second, i want to share something with you:



my cellphone's wallpaper for the next month. hey, i need something pretty to look at. grrrrrrrrrrrrowl.

on that topic, yes, the boy is off onto the open road again - playing my hometown tonight! (psst to my regular reader in edmonton -- i expect you to go to c'mon's show on the 17th at the pawnshop and report back to me in full) - which, as usual, gives me pause to think and turn the self-conscious eye inwards a bit. see, i make super-strong emotional attachments; this is something i have never been able to help. and of course, i attach especially onto people i love and care about and like to spend time with, which just makes it that much harder if they're ever removed suddenly from my life for an extended period of time. (i think that's pretty much a universal human trait, anyway.) but this is what it's like in my life right now, and this is the man i love, here -- the first real love of my life, pretty much. and i won't be able to see him or spend time with him for a month. and i miss him already. and and and....yeah, you get it.

but! as it was last december, in order to fill up my time spent alone, i'm spending the month fully focusing on things like my work (ie. working hard), my health (consistent cardio, spin classes, and eating healthy), my cooking hobby (making new and interesting dishes for myself), my social life (catching up with my friends over drinks, because we've all been out of commission due to poverty/school/work etc.), my explorations around town (my weekend walkathons especially), and other such things. things to keep me busy. sure, i've got a week of vacation in there to break up the monotony of regular routines, but i get the feeling the two weeks after that (last one of may and first one of june) will be the hardest ones of all.

did i mention i miss him already? i did? okay then.

(note to self: stop listening to the sisters of mercy's "some kind of stranger". it makes you sad.)

coming up on the weekend....not a whole hell of a lot, as far as i know. simple cheap cooking, nice long walks, disassembling my bed in preparation for attempting to sell it on craigslist (fortunately i have a fold-out futon couch i can sleep on for the rest of the month), cardio sessions, spin class, and maybe even drunken karaoke on sunday night. my last weekend of rest and saving up cash in preparation for the following week's vancouver madness....!

[ music | portishead, "sour times" ]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

be happy in this world

hello! it is tuesday, therefore it is about time for the usual lunch-hour blog update. (interestingly enough, i'm finding that i'm not too arsed to be without internet at home anymore -- aside from having to make a usual sunday trip to the library to update all my virus scans etc.) the past weekend - aside from a much-needed sunday of rest, relaxation, reading, hockey and cooking - was a drunken-slash-hungover affair of little sleep, lots of rock, bleary delirium, girly emotion, and altogether good times, all due to two c'mon shows -- one in toronto on friday night, and one in london on saturday. (in case you are totally just joining the party here, the drummer of c'mon is my boyfriend of a year and a half, thus facilitating my desire to be at as many of their gigs as possible)

it's actually kind of funny that my mom and stepdad will be at their kingston show on thursday, yet i won't be. oh well, i have no doubts everyone will be on their best behaviour. or, well, lack thereof. it is a rock n' roll show, after all.

to break up all this damn text, here are a few choice photos from saturday night's gig in london (i felt that camera documentation was needed, given that this was my first out-of-town show in like a bazillion months):



the marquee at call the office! the text of this signage will be appearing on clubs across canada for the next month or so. if you happen to spot it in your town, go go go.



the venue, call the office, has been around for years and years -- and they have set lists everywhere to prove it. here is a set list from when my beloved moist played the bar back in 1994. did i temporarily lose my shit when i saw this? you bet yer ass i did.



speaking of ass (a hot one in this case), this is dean lining 'er up for a solid shot during our early game of pool. he won, but i wore him out first.



bassist katie-lynn gives it up, breaks heart, stomps on the remains. she's awesome, btw.



sir ian blurton, frontman, guitarist, singer, toronto rock legend.



katie leans into the power of rawk; dean keeps time behind the kit.



the full trio of c'mon!




by the end of the night (band rocked until almost 2 am!), there were even drunken audience members being pulled onstage to play rock band for real. here, dean takes the time to watch his replacement bang away.

after all this madness, i tipsily took a bus back to toronto at 4 in the morning. felt like old times, oh yes it did. (actually, a lot of those two days reminded me of old times, and times older still. not always the best thing, really, and not now especially, but a solid reminder to myself nonetheless. sometimes those are needed. don't be a fucking idiot.)

here we go with the rest:

stryper is back! christian rockers everywhere rejoice at the return of their ancestors! but the real question is, will they still have those nifty striped jumpsuits? only jesus knows.

a double-shot of gold pete doherty news: info on babyshambles' new album, plus pete may have swine flu. absolutely amazing. is it too early to pronounce that the man might save music as we know it? too late? whatevs, i make my pronouncement.

i have continued to avoid the american idol juggernaut thus far, but it becomes harder and harder to escape the madness as it comes down to the final few. to whit: there is an adam lambert shower curtain. i actually sort of hope they sell this shit at urban outfitters, if only to see him become an outdated hipster trend. or maybe he already is, i dunno. thank god (stryper?) for selective innocence.

trent reznor engaged! goth rocker girls everywhere have their hearts broken! meanwhile, the honeymoon between apple and trent is already over. bummer, dude.

humility in the music world is not dead: wayne coyne apologizes to the arcade fire for the apparent verbal pot shots they were taking at each other for a while. curses, another musician rivalry foiled! we really need to be more like the u.k.

also, i have to give it up here for the horrors and the love-in everybody seems to be having for their new album, primary colours (which genuinely is fantastic, btw). i just got the okay from my editors at chartattack to review their gig here on thursday, and all i have to say is that it had better be a good show -- i'm seeing them again in vancouver on the 16th. whoa baby.

on that note: a week and four days until i take off for my vancouver vacation. i'm already planning on bringing both notebook and camera, don't you worry. talk about your serious need for documentation.

[ music | css, "jager yoga" ]

Friday, May 1, 2009

ladder to the sun

now that we're into the month of may, things are swiftly - and happily - coming together for my almost-week in vancouver, from saturday the 16th until thursday the 21st. gonna be staying with west-coast sister melissa at her lovely little pad on west 4th (and we are ridiculously excited to see each other in the way that only giddy girlfriends can be), going right out to see that aformentioned kills/horrors show at the commodore that very night, then spending the following five days hanging, chilling, writing, reflecting, visiting old friends (leora! delna! take 5 peeps past and still-present!), gorging myself on sushi, and soaking up the vancouver vibe. then it'll be off to kingston for three days to see home and family (and leonard cohen), and back to work refreshed and revitalized on the 25th. so excited to have something awesome to look forward to!

notice, however, that the excitement does not extend to the fact that i have to get on a plane once more. or, more accurately, thrice more. the longer i go between flights, the more of an aversion to flying my psyche builds up. it makes me uncomfortable in ways i can't describe properly.

also of note: today marks my one-year anniversary of coming home for good, complete with movie-like scene of walking through the arrival gate at the airport and jumping into the arms of a boy. good times. hooray for may 1st!

continuing with the vancouver theme, here's a fun little story about vancouver metaller thor capitalizing on the canucks' victory in the nhl playoffs. you just gotta respect -- especially after you watch the couple videos at the end. (my father's in vancouver right now, by the way, and he says it's like mass chaos in the city right now with flags everywhere and people losing their shit over the 'nucks. can't wait to go join in!)

the man himself, rick astley speaks on the rickroll phenomenon. it's good to know he at least has a sense of humour about the horror that was the new-wave 80s. (i'd like to think depeche mode does too -- seriously, just go to youtube and check out any of that retro footage)

d'awwww, russell brand is sad to not get invited to morrissey's birthday party. what, is russell not a vegetarian or something? because god knows it'd be a bad idea to show up smelling like barbeque -- we all know how that turns out.

lily allen takes a vow of celibacy - to help her music. didn't katy perry pull the same pr stunt? didn't amy winehouse? young female singers need to come up with a few new schticks for publicity. (then again, it seems like the media loves to take a few sentences and blow them completely out of proportion...such is my freelance job as music journalist, even though i've always tried to avoid that side of it)

didn't we just see this a little while ago, but it was called the "brit box"? i guess there's just no end to the need for compilations of retro british rock music. (personally, i prefer to make my own free compilations using that fancy program called "limewire". mmmm, tastes like music piracy!)

passed on to me by amanda (i'd been hearing about it all week, but she was convincing enough to make me finally check it out): texts from last night. man, keep these random and hilarious meme websites coming. it's exactly the kind of weird, stupid humour that cracks my shit up.

yeah okay, that's gotta be it for now -- busy day, busy night, busy weekend ahead. hurrah!

[ music | hot hot heat, "bandages" ]