Wednesday, July 29, 2009


anyway, yeah. hi. sorry for the disappearance and all that.

but hey, as i keep pleadingly reiterating, life is busy. the only problem lately is that it's been bordering on stressful-busy - the kind of busy where you're busy with stuff you don't really want to be doing - and that hasn't been very good for my psyche, mental/emotional health, what have you. i've taken to coping by buying new books and expensive bath products every couple weeks, and taking long soaks in the tub while reading in silence. it's been more or less keeping me sane over the last few turbulent weeks.

i don't know. there's just a lot of ground to cover, you know? i do feel somewhat handcuffed by all my responsibilities and such, even though the only person who's got the key to said handcuffs is me myself. i'm the only one who's in charge of how i spend my free time - or how i spend my time day to day in general - and so long as i keep on piling things to do that i'm not really big on doing, then the stress will continue. with that in mind, i'm trying to take a few steps forward: i've vowed to make weekends gym-free zones - my mother was right when she pointed out that i ought to be using my saturdays and sundays to spend time together with my boyfriend, whom i don't see as much because we're both working a lot these days - so maybe that's a step in the right direction in terms of lifting the pressure i put on myself.

still, i'm gonna see if i can at least jam in a couple more blog posts to at least fill up july 2009's archives a bit. :P gotta keep up with my personal histories and all.

also, for the grace of via rail and their non-strike last weekend, two things happened in succession: one, a shitload of customers canceled their train reservations, and two, via offered a ridiculous 60% discount on tickets once the "strike" was over. now that's the way to do it!

so, because now there were both open spots and cheap tickets (when previously it had been overly expensive and sold out besides) for long-weekend travel this coming weekend, i booked tickets for both dean and i to spend friday night through monday night in kingston. not exactly a vacation per se, since we'll just be at my mom's house, but my mom's house also happens to have satellite tv and a flatscreen and a hot tub and a swimming pool and two huge patios and a big barbeque and plenty of booze. and, along with all that, nothing to do for three straight days (aside from the requisite visiting with both sides of my wacky split-up family, that is). i think it might be just what i need right now, and having my boyfriend with me will be a super bonus. so good.

in the meantime - and because i know you've all been dying to see it (ha ha) - here are some pictures of our new place together:

bedroom. big bay window. the impressive bookshelf. pretty whiteness everywhere. (marred only by my big squishy black work bag)

bathroom -- shower/tub is on the other side of the door. nothing fancy or spectacular (not like the bidet and whirlpool bath in my vancouver apartment) but it'll do.

gear stacked at the top of stairs. yes, i live with a drummer.

kitchen, lower level, taken from the stairs. not enough counter space for all of stuff, but then again, when is there ever?

living room, lower level, taken from the stairs. still looks a bit cluttered, but then again, i'm pretty sure we're not even really done unpacking yet.

kitchen, lower level, taken from the living room. our pot collection (ha ha) -- we're both in love with how "professional-chef" it looks.

so now, what's left? one answer: decorating. we both have sizable collections of posters, framed photos, and various paraphernalia, so we're not at a lack of things to make our apartment look like home; it's just finding the time to do it, i guess. i want to get a whole bunch of picture frames and frame lots of his photos (little-known fact about the boy: he's a very good scenic photographer), and i want to get a shit ton of houseplants and arrange them wherever i can. there's a surprising amount of natural light in the downstairs lower level - and an expected large amount in the upstairs bedroom - so for once, maybe i'll finally be able to have a nice collection of flora. i can't live without some living greenery in the house.

...and for all of you who prefer looking at pretty pictures rather than reading words, you'll be glad to know that i plan on taking a shitload of photos during our long weekend in kingston, so those'll be showing up around next week sometime. yes, i swear. i think both work and personal life won't be nearly as insane in august as they were in july - at least, one can hope - so i can maybe try to be around more.

so here's what else has been going on:

grand rejoicing, for kill hannah is playing here in toronto on september 28th! i actually considered seeing if i could make it to montreal for their gig on the 26th, just because, y'know, i love those boys and it's been way way way too long. i've said it before and i'll say it again: now is the prime time for you to become addicted to the matblog. always reminds me of the good ol' days of summer 2004, when the original matblog was the best thing ever and the kh forums ruled my life. ahhhh.

marilyn manson threatens to kill journalists. really, the rebuttal from the guy behind his ire is probably the best part. nothing like telling it like it is.

idolator offers you six songs that would-be brides can dance down the aisle to. includes a youtube link to that viral video of the "wedding dance," which i hadn't seen until two days ago and have promptly been showing everyone ever since. schmaltzy, yes, but if you don't grin at least a little bit, your heart is made of stone.

speaking of youtube and hearts not made of stone, i've been watching the time traveler's wife trailer more than a few times these days, and oh man it pretty much makes me choke up all the way through. i really did love the book - i read the entirety of its 500-odd pages on my flight from toronto to vancouver last may, which i think shows how engrossing it is - and, unlike my sister's keeper, i probably will sob all through this one.

oh look, a new echo & the bunnymen album coming out in october. at this point, i don't know whether to have faith in my old favourite legends or not. some let me down, some give me hope, and some i love no matter what the fuck they do. i wonder how this will be twenty years from now.

fuck yeah peanut butter. do not view if you a) are hungry or b) consider peanut butter (most often paired with chocolate goodies) your own personal kryptonite.

and last but not least:

the goggles, they do nothing.

[ music | love and rockets, "kundalini express" ]

Monday, July 27, 2009

never let me down

so july was a bit of a bust blog-wise, eh? yeah.

anyway, i wanted to put this in quickly -- i saw depeche mode live for the very first time last friday. here is my official review - yes, it was work for me, but how can a girl argue when the seat is in section 201? - but as i was writing it, i found i was having to do a number of edits, because i was veering it far too much into personal/band-fan nerd territory.

so, as a companion piece of sorts, here's the stuff i didn't mention in my review:

i've been a ravenous depeche mode fan since around summer 2006. late to the party, to be sure, but when i fall for a band...oh man, do i ever fall hard. it was around this time that i determined "never let me down again" to be my favourite song of all time - ranking just past interpol's "pda" - and all the scrobbles on my were confirming that, indeed, depeche mode took up a large majority of my listening time. "never let me down again," in fact, was more or less one of my soundtrack songs for a rather messy affair i was engaged in at the time. that and "enjoy the silence" were everyday listening fodder, most days more than a few times.

so that was 2006, right through to 2007, when said messy affair thankfully ended but still left the music to cling to. when i went on tour with the band in spring 2007, the mix cd i made for the trip had "never let me down again" as its first track, and it was listened to many times as the van drove through the dark of night in various american states. this little bit of adoration was heightened only further at the end of that summer, when two things happened: one, i'd decided to get rid of everything i owned and move to vancouver on a whim; and two, i interviewed depeche mode's frontman over the phone. and dave gahan, being as awesome as he was, won me over completely. i was a goner.

so then was fall 2007, and i was on a plane to vancouver, and shortly after that my love for dm pretty much exploded. they were one of the only bands i was seriously drowning myself in during the entirety of october - my first disjointed, semi-lonely month living out west - right down to the point where i was broke as hell but still scraping together enough money for dm concert dvds. even when i spent five days in los angeles at the end of that month, depeche mode was pretty much my soundtrack. i even bought their tome-like biography at a bookstore near the sunset strip, and spent so much time engrossed in it that even my dear hostess was looking a bit confused at my vociferous appetite for reading.

also, while in los angeles - and also back in vancouver - i came very close to getting tattooed with either the violator rose or the words "never let me down again" on my left arm. neither of which has happened, but i would still kill to have either. (forearm tattoos are generally considered job-killers, but i can't image getting them done anywhere else)

so yeah: vancouver. remember those days that i was once describing as feeling like i was on a boat in a storm, clinging the mast for dear life and just hoping to survive through it all? there were two bands - depeche mode and the sisters of mercy - that got me through all that, and as such, they are forever imprinted on me as reminders of my solo time on the west coast. i've never been one to take the "music saved my life" route, because it wasn't like my life needed to be saved, but my sanity and faith and stability...yeah. those needed something to hang on to. and for some reason or another, the songs of those two bands were what resonated most strongly with me out there in the rainy west. i found my solace in gothy, drum-machine synth-rock of the 80s. go figure.

so, yeah -- three years onward since my adoration took hold, last friday was my first time seeing them live. although they don't look to be stopping anytime soon, the guys are all gaining on fifty years old, so i get the feeling time's actually pretty short to see depeche mode live in concert. gotta take the chance where you can find it, i think.

anyway, the concert itself was massive. massive and crazy. the amphitheatre was sold out, obviously, and there were hordes of people - the young, the old, the preppy and the gothy - clamouring to get in. i went ahead and paid $40 for a reworked violator t-shirt - even though i definitely did not have $40 to spare - and took my seat right close to the front. and the show itself...well, i'll refer you back to my actual review here, because it pretty much said everything. so fucking excellent.

i would've been happier with more classics and less new stuff, but i understand that they've got an album to promote, so it was inevitable -- but ohhhh, the classics they did play. "enjoy the silence" was the best thing ever, i think - huge, huge sound that had everybody, including me, dancing their asses off - and i don't think anyone was expecting "master and servant." i forgot that "never let me down again" doesn't translate very well to the live environment, but the version they did was amazing -- sounded much closer to the nine-minute split mix from the remixes 81-94 double album. (this is the kind of thing only a uber-geeky dm fan would notice, and as such, i left it out of my review.)

in the end, i left the amphitheatre with a mile-wide smile and the music stuck in my head. if/when they come back, i think i'm gonna shell out the hundred dollars or whatever for a floor seat, just because next time i want to be that close to the music that kept me sane when i felt like i was alone in the world. (rather like when i saw the sisters of mercy live, i made sure to be front-row center and lost my shit throughout the entire thing) seeing it live though, at least, was an experience i was glad to have finally had. fuckin' a.

thus ends the diatribe for the day. more photos and review-ish writeup here for you to see (very nice photos, actually), and another review here that says more or less the same thing i did. go read. go listen. go love. that is all.

[ music | depeche mode, "black celebration" ]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

silence is tarnished

i'm starting to feel like i'm losing the ability to communicate. this bothers me deeply.

i can lay the blame on a lot of things, many of which are common to most people (who are undoubtedly suffering from the same affliction). for one, although i totally dig my job, it's an office job, meaning that i work from a cubicle and only communicate with the same coworkers every single day. as much as i had my days of despising the general public when i worked at supermarkets and coffee shops, at least i was forced to interact with strangers and the outside world on a daily basis. socialization is like any muscle -- it has to be exercised in order to stay strong. i'm not getting enough of that lately.

moreover, i blame the internet. i blame the rise of social media. i blame it for making interaction with people - be they friends or "acquaintances" - too fucking easy for those of us who are inherently lazy. i mean, for christ's sake, i can't even remember the last time i had a phone conversation with someone -- or even exchanged e-mails. these days, it's all twitter and facebook messages -- not even blogging so much, because i don't have as much consistent time these days. so sure, the social media outlet is easy and convenient, but it bothers me to a certain extent. for a long long time, i've been mired in the same problem that caused octo to close her blog: that friends use my blog - and, to a lesser extent, my facebook or my twitter - as a way of keeping up with my life, instead of arranging get-togethers and talking to me themselves. (out-of-town friends are exempt from this, obviously.) i mean, sure, i'm busy, but i really would like to have one-on-one face time with the people who mean a lot to me.

those two points above, in tandem, combine to completely rob me of any motivation to go out and have fun with people in public places. i work 9 to 5, monday to friday, and i have three non-negotiable obligations per week (two spin classes and feeding kittens on wednesdays from 7 to 11 p.m.). i often stay up late and get up far too early, and that combined with what i suspect to be low iron levels (return of the anemia monster) often keep me inexcusably exhausted most nights of the week. i literally can't muster up the energy and motivation to go out pubbing with friends on a thursday night. i'm drained from working all day and most days i'm in the gym right after work anyway and i have too many errands that need to be ran and all i want to do is go home and curl up with my boyfriend and watch a dvd. i want to take off the day's makeup and get in the shower and put my pj's on and just chill. i don't want to put it all back on again afterward and go back out into the world. my brain and body aren't letting me do it that way anymore, for reasons chemical or emotional or physical.

i hate that, though, and it makes me feel like a terrible friend who's losing touch with everyone in her social circle - literally, i hardly ever get invited out anywhere these days because i've cancelled so many times due to exhaustion, or else being poor - but at this point in time, i don't know what to do about it, aside from taking everything one day at a time and just dealing with it that way. until i get to the root cause of all of this unmotivation and apathy, that is.

(also, i have social anxiety to a slight point where i have a hard time setting up any get-togethers with more than one friend, because i'm positive everyone will bail on me and i'll be left all alone. it's happened more than a few times.)

but that, my friends, is that. and i'm glad i could get it out there, because maybe now i can force myself to start fixing things -- going out more, seeing more concerts, hanging out with old friends. starting to put socialization with the world outside my usual bubble in my daily schedule. it needs to be done, because i know i can't build my world around one or two people and one or two places alone. life doesn't function healthily that way. and so on.

love you all. let's see what the summer brings.

p.s. i got cleared to review depeche mode in less than three weeks and i'm already shitting myself from excited glee. omfg.

p.p.s. the boy and i did get our move on last wednesday. it did go well. cohabitation has begun. we are happy; i am happy.

[ music | julian plenti, "skyscraper" ]