Sunday, November 29, 2009

last day of magic

sunday, sunday.

okay, here we go with the biggest news right off the bat: noisy asshole neighbours are being evicted. yes, dean and i are responsible for it going down, and thank fucking god for that.

on friday night, the idiots decided to once more thumb their noses at the posted signs/the landlord/us/the household in general, and blast shitty techno music at 3 in the morning while they had guests over. at 3 in the morning. because that's obviously how they roll, they're so cool like that. anyway, this wasn't the best night to push the boundaries -- because, as dean's been working hard on a movie all week (and this was his one night to get some decent rest), he snapped.

i'm kind of bummed i already had my earplugs in, because i ended up missing him thunder up the stairs - shirtless and wild-eyed - and scream at the tenants and their terrified guests. which would definitely be worth the price of admission, so to speak. (let it be known that my boyfriend is a very calm, very even-tempered guy, but if he gets pushed too far - and it takes a lot to do so - watch the hell out)

anyway, he was so angry he couldn't get back to sleep for another hour or so - though, unsurprisingly, the music and noise completely disappeared after his explosion - and then the next morning, i had the good fortune to run into our landlord outside. i calmly explained to him that their disturbances were still occurring, even with all the warnings and threats of eviction they'd already received, and that if nothing was done about this situation, dean and i would be breaking our lease and moving out by the end of january. it really was not worth the $1000 in rent we were paying each month, i told him, and their blatant disregard of the house rules, the lease regulations, and the fucking city noise by-laws was completely unacceptable on every level. landlord agreed with me, apologized, asked if i could e-mail him the log of disturbances i'd been keeping since october (i did -- after organizing it into a very professional-looking report), and said he'd go ahead with the eviction process. last night, he e-mailed me to confirm.

dean and i plan on standing at the window on the day the assholes move out, and wave joyfully.

yeah, so you don't fuck with us. end of story. they were warned and warned and warned, and they just decided to ignore everything and everybody because they had to have people over at 2 a.m. all the time and they had to have music playing in the wee hours of the morning. it's on your head, buckos.

better things? better things.

christmastravaganza at the one of a kind show yesterday

covert snap of an awesome sculpture that would have been mine if i had 5 g's to drop

cooking with coolio! i officially declare "pimp' yo kitchen" to be the best statement for getting dudes interested in cooking, like, ever. it might do more for culinary-school enrolment than anthony boudain and guy fieri combined. (does anybody care about guy fieri? my dad just finds him amusing because he can't understand how anybody ever eats at the diners he puts on his show)

die mannequin are awesome, even if this article reads pretty cheesily. it's great to see them getting more attention though -- makes me a little more optimistic about the future of females in balls-out rock n' roll. (i never had any faith in courtney love)

top ten greatest singers who can't sing. uh, subjective much? then again, everybody knows (ha ha) of my love for leonard cohen - i'm buying his new biography for my equally cohen-loving mom for christmas - and i know dude would be the first to admit he doesn't conventionally "sing" either. but he still has more talent in his pinky finger than half the morons on the hit charts today.

fuck, i'm starting to sound like my father. back in my day...

also coming father-approved is the globe and mail's best reviewed books of the year. yeah, you know i'd link to this. (right now, though, i'm rereading alice sebold's the lovely bones for like the sixth time - what a great, great book - in preparation for the movie that's about to come out. ain't it cool news just did a solid review, so i'm more looking forward to it than i was before)

speaking of book-to-movie adaptations, i posted this on facebook yesterday but it deserves a spot here too: why breaking dawn must be made into a movie. it's the last book in the twilight saga, and it's apparently an absolute fucking brain explosion of awfulness and incoherency. for real fun, check out some of the amazon reader reviews -- written by diehard fans, no less!

also, new/current body product loves (aka blatant materialism plugging 101), if any of you care: lush stuff, burt's bees bath salts (boy loves 'em, helps his sore muscles), kings & queens shower gel (i go with honey, boy goes with myrrh, thanks allegra for the tipoff to its awesomeness), buying favourite old now-discontinued lip glosses on ebay. four and counting. and yes, they come sealed and in decent condition. (otherwise: ewwww.)

see, this is what happens when i suddenly have enough income to start using higher-end beauty products. don't anybody let me go near sephora, i might never return. (but if somebody wants to take me on a shopping spree there, then hey, by all means)

gthla stylin'

hot hockey timez on a saturday night (nightmares v. parkdale porcupines)

tonight, i make soup.

[ music | none - early morning silence]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

get it and go

getting back into the regular blogging habit feels pretty good. means i don't have to feel so guilty when i check my stat counter or even visit myself to go through the blogroll when i'm bored. (other healthy habits i'm pushing myself back into as of late: gym 4-5 times a week instead of 2-3; 2 spin classes a week instead of 1 or 0; getting daily diet back on track; drink 3 litres of water a day; go out with friends once a week. all in the pursuit of staving off the sads/winter depression/what have you. exercise + good diet + social life = the best cure.)

plus, yeah, i miss the writing. these days, i guess my big stress-reliever would be cooking - which never fails to baffle, amuse, and bemuse anyone who's known me since my earlier twenties, when i lived off of canned soup and rice cakes - which in itself is good times, except for the fact that i'm more of a baker than a cook and i live with a man who has little to no sweet tooth. (the only baked goods i can ply him with are quick breads -- banana and zucchini, mostly, though i did a few pumpkin breads last month that were eagerly received, especially the one with beer in it)

behold, the birthday cake i baked for my boyfriend's 39th back in september (chocolate guinness stout cake with baileys buttercream frosting, recipe here and highly recommended):

...then dean pointed out that i'd done the "3" backwards in candles. numbers dyslexia fixed:

i remember that we somehow found this the funniest thing ever. probably had something to do with the amount of booze in the frosting.

lookit that monster. om nom nom.

i later forced him to take the leftovers to his sister, who then apparently ate it for both breakfast and lunch the next day. it's good to know my baking skills are appreciated somewhere, if not in my own household. maybe i need children. (hahahahahaha no.)

in case you hadn't noticed, i'm going to try more to incorporate pics into my entries, because i've realized that text text text text is pretty boring to read, and very few of you probably even bother. can't say i blame you. so yeah, here's hoping i get off my ass and purchase a new/better camera sometime soon (i can haz xmas present?) so the quality isn't limited to 1. my tiny cellphone camera and 2. my whopping 2.0 megapixel digital camera from 2003. yeah buddy.

as for other, significantly weirder news, martin gore subpoenaed in a world of warcraft lawsuit? for real? honestly? shit man, some people have issues. (better known as "tenuous grasp on reality")

also having issues - with just about everything, it seems - is echo & the bunnymen's ian mcculloch pouring the haterade all over u2 and bruce springsteen. which i actually don't mind so much, since i'm not a fan of either as well, and because mac is starting to remind me of the lost older gallagher brother. which the world definitely needs. you know it, don't lie.

why "laugh off bisexual rumours," rihanna? everybody's into it nowadays. and if you're a hot female pop singer, then hey, that = revenue. not that that's been working much for lindsay lohan, but you can't say the girl didn't try. and try, and try.

apparently lemmy has an imposter! and he was the guy hiding out in a doorway being mistaken for a homeless man the other day. well, boo, that sort of takes the fun out of it.

bringing the fun back: paula deen hit in the face by flying ham. absolutely fantastic. takes more than a piece of porcine goodness to slow that lady down!

the a.v. club also brings us the best books of the 00's, of particular interest to myself and anyone else here who's constantly on the lookout for their next favourite book. (i just finished andrew davidson's the gargoyle and, promptly and expectedly, started to sob as soon as i turned the last page)

nostalgia for a time i shouldn't be nostalgic for is me wanting this album. seriously, i can't remember a time i was happier working at the 'bucks than around three years ago, pulling espresso shots and goofing around with my coworker-siblings while the smiths and the cure played overhead.

also - and i'm not making any guarantees here, because, well, it's me - it's looking like i finally might get with the times and properly learn css coding. so if this does in fact happen (it's a work training thing), then you can probably expect to see a spiffy new layout around here, since i'm thinking this blog will be my outside practice ground. (blogger apparently won't give you all the new features unless your blog is formatted for "layouts," which mine is not because i have yet to learn css) ah, for the old days when i used to stay up until 2 a.m. coding website layouts by hand. good ol' dark ages.

[ music | the horrors, "a whole new way" ]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

is it ever gonna be enough

well, that was productive. i really ought to get back into the habit of blogging on weekends or weeknights, rather than trying to cram it in on my lunch breaks. i remember back when i was working 2-3 jobs at a time but still managing to have enough time to pound out a blog entry every few days, just because it felt good to write. i should get back to that, right? right.

anyway, here's some stuff:

first - to get this off on a somber note - r.i.p. to haydain neale, singer of jacksoul. canada has so few r&b artists that it's a definite tragedy to lose one, especially after the double-whammy of vehicular accident and lung cancer. what a shit deal. hope he finds his peace.

okay, upswing from there: via chromewaves, here's the totally awesome sam fogarino talking to paste magazine about the new interpol album. early 2010, bitches. sure, i'm one of the many who's sort of lost faith in them since our love to admire (disappoooointing), but i'm willing to give them another shot. in my opinion, the sheer fucking brilliance of turn on the bright lights buys interpol enough free passes to last until the next decade.

i'm just going to give you the headline for this one: Motorhead’s Lemmy Found Asleep in Glasgow Doorway, Mistaken for Homeless Man. for f'in serious. that's a story that needs to be read, right there.

murph talks about his near-death experience. nooooo! thank the gods he's okay now. i've never been a huge sloan fan - shocking, i know - but, like any good torontonian, i've met chris before and he's a super-nice guy. fer god's sake, cycling people, wear bike helmets. dean can attest to how much i nag him about this on a weekly basis. ("you need to protect your brain! your brain is too sexy to be splattered on the road!")

yet in horrorcore, the gore is deliberate. and apparently it's the newest musical movement that concerned parents should worry about. uh, okay. (for the record, when i was an angst-filled angry young teenager, the music i blasted in order to "worry" my parents was - and i shit you not here - limp bizkit, papa roach, rammstein and korn. ahhh, 1999.)

good lord, how bad do i wanna see this depeche mode documentary? granted, i probably ought to finish reading their massive tome of a biography - for the second time - but still, music fans are my people.

also, these days - at least on twitter, my people are also toronto maple leafs fans, and it is for them that i link to the amazing down goes brown's 10 types of leaf fans. and how to deal with them, of course. comes in handy if you live in toronto, because i guarantee you'll run into at least two of them on a daily basis. (woe be the leafs fan who lives in another province, particularly a western one -- vancouvs, i'm looking at you. then again, they just greatly dislike anything toronto-related out there. trust me, i know this.)

and now, to be a creeper (google street view is tailor-made for that), here's screencaps of my old life in vancouver:

my old residence in lower kitsilano. top left window was mine; there's my nice little balcony right there. if you go out and stand on that thing, you can see right clear through to the downtown mainland. that was the reason i pretty much begged for that apartment -- i've never had a view like that since.

old workplace! up those stairs and to your right is the cafe i worked at/managed for seven months. like all jobs, it got frustrating and aggravating at the worst of times, but it was still pretty enjoyable and not really torturous or anything. my staff and coworkers were the awesomest. (and i was damn lucky to have a cafe job that was monday-to-friday, 9-to-5 -- those are rare)

the view down west broadway avenue in kits, facing west. i think i spent more time on west broadway than any other street in vancouver, mostly because it's home to many cool shops and my two favourite sushi places in the entire city. also, it's awesome.

dunbar street, facing south. the closest "major" street to where i lived, and bordering on yuppieland (if you follow it down and go east a little, you get to kerrisdale, which was frighteningly close to toronto's beaches neighbourhood with its mega-stroller families and yoga moms and little dogs and utter caucasian-ness)

and finally, self (not from vancouvertimes, though - rather, last weekend at kat's birthday dance party dj'd by the lovely sofi) -- apparently i clean up alright even without any eye makeup whatsoever:

i mostly just like this because it looks like i still have short hair. i miss you, short hair. *sob*

now, i have to get back to making dinner (dal palak curry on basmati rice, a follow-up to the fucking awesome black bean & cashew chicken chili i made on saturday -- wish i had more leftovers). thank you for your time.

[ music | metric, "gold guns girls" ]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

lost control

situational rant brought to you by a) sunday-night boredom and b) the fucking awesome goth/darkwave radio station i'm streaming right now through itunes. not even lying, this shit is making my night. yes!

okay, anyway. to bring you all up to speed: the saga of our upstairs neighbours.

as vaguely documented here in the summer, dean and i got a place together. we moved in july 1st, one year lease, small split-level (bedroom & bathroom on main level, kitchen & living room on basement level) apartment in a shared house on the outskirts of parkdale. (between the gladstone and the drake and just up the street, for the torontonia denizens reading this) happy. good times. nice place. quiet neighbourhood, despite its proximity to both crackdale and hipster ground zero, aka queen west west.

then october rolled around.

at the end of september, the tenants of the unit above ours moved out. didn't think much of it at the time - dean was up north filming a movie, so the relative silence didn't strike me as out of the ordinary - but when the two new tenants moved in the week before my birthday....uh, well. they basically started up that very night with a party involving loud thumping euro-techno (is there any other kind?), girls clomping around in high heels (notable: their living room floor is our bedroom ceiling, and not only is there no insulation in between, their floors are hardwood), and everybody talking at the top of their lungs.

this went on from 10 p.m. until roughly 4 a.m. it was a monday.

i buried my head under my pillow and angrily made it through the night. okay, housewarming shindig, i got it. monday night? pretty shitty move, but whatever, can deal.

then that night - tuesday - it happened again. same timeframe. same noise levels. same inconsiderate bullshit completely disregarding the fact that there were people living right below them.

so at around 3 a.m. that night, i went up there in my pajamas and bedhead, and as soon as one of the dudes (short, h&m-style hipster type) answered the door, i wearily told him that i live below them - and the first thing he said was, "oh, are we being too loud??" well no shit, sherlock. he promised to turn the music down and that "it won't happen again" (ha), but i could still hear the muffled beats and talking through the ceiling as i tried to get back to sleep.

wednesday and thursday, i can't remember, but i know it was around that time that i wisely invested in a pair of earplugs, which i wore both those nights. and friday i went home for my birthday, and dean came back into town, and - you guessed it - he had the same problems with them. even went up to their apartment himself around 2 a.m. and noisily banged on the door, to which there was no answer, just a muting of the music. fan-fucking-tastic.

noisy assholes live here.

so by now, we'd had enough - even considering threatening to break our lease with our landlord, who amazingly lives in the unit right next door to the party animals but apparently noticed nothing amiss - and complained mightily. landlord finally warned asshole tenants to keep it down. noise persisted. we complained again. landlord (apparently) warned tenants of possible eviction, and posted a sign on the back of the house's front door highlighting the section of the tenant act re: noise levels (basically, no disruptive noise between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.).

effective. sort of.

no more music at 2 a.m. sweet, sweet relief.

sleep came after that - for a bit, anyway. the music started to creep back in, although they've managed to keep it locked in a timeframe starting around 7:30 p.m. and ending when they and their loud girlfriends (who are always over) go out to party (or possibly work -- we figure there's no way they have day jobs, so they're likely bartenders) at 10:30. there's no post-party music when they come tromping in at 2:30-3 a.m., thankfully, but i do mean "tromping": the group of them come heavily thumping up the front steps (which are right outside our bedroom window), talking loudly before opening and slamming the front door (which, you guessed it, is also next to our bedroom wall), then banging their way up the stairs to their apartment. again, no music, but 75% of the time there'll be talking and the clacking of high heels until around 4. which usually dean and/or i can sleep through, if we missed the commotion coming in, but if not, i usually get up at this point and jam my earplugs in. (and it's not just the girlfriends with the heels, either, since short guy apparently has total short man syndrome: loud voice, height-boosting shoes)

and now, new development in the last couple weeks: the stupid party bitches are leaving the front door open. as in, the front door of the entire house, lying wide open all night. i came home from the dakota last wednesday around midnight to find the door open, and when dean was leaving for work this morning around 6, he saw one of the girls walk away without shutting the door. honestly, who the fuck does that? who the fuck is so inconsiderate that they don't even automatically close a house's front door behind them? isn't that, like, something you get ingrained in you from childhood? you know, typical self-security instinct? for fuck's sake.

oh yeah, and i haven't even mentioned how one of the guys and his girlfriend routinely get into screaming matches. (sometimes ending with her stomping out of the apartment and - yes - leaving the front door open behind her) great for the atmosphere of the place.

...okay, there you go. all up to speed, my readership. my everyday acquaintances have heard about this saga since it more or less began last month, but i think everyone else has only heard bits and pieces and angry updates, so that's how it is as of right now. called landlord this morning after i found out about dean spotting party skank leaving the door open at 6 a.m., because hello, house security issue. not cool at all. anyway, landlord said he'd "do something about it", but i'll believe that when i see it. fuck.

rant over! back to your regularly scheduled sunday night.

[ music | joy division, "she's lost control" ]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the world beyond

before all else, happy remembrance day on this 11/11/2009. my maternal grandfather served in world war 2 after lying about his age, and had "the time of his life" according to my mother. probably safe to say that that's not the norm when it comes to troops past and present, but good on my gramp for surviving the war, protecting the people and going on to live a long, full life. (he's still alive today, btw)

and now, appreciating: the late autumn sunshine. not appreciating: the early winter chill. (though i am rather relieved that, for the first time since 2005, i actually have an apartment with decent internal heating)

of course, it doesn't help much that our department has moved to the front side of the office which, although very bright and sunny, has an incredible level of draftiness. especially in my corner cubicle (which, although very bright and sunny with a great view of the street, tends to get the cross-breeze of cold air). but eh, can't complain otherwise. christmas is coming! woooo!

but hey, if you happen to be looking to get rammstein for that special person in your life, you may have to look harder: their new album is being banned from shelf display in germany. in germany! i can't even imagine the fucking field day the wal-mart empire will have when it gets released stateside. (for the record, i still do like rammstein. one of the only holdovers from my angry-metal teenager days.)

in case you missed it - but i don't know how, with all the stink being raised - no doubt are siding with the cobain/nirvana camp against band hero avatars. though come on, it would be funny to hear mick jagger's voice coming out of gwen stefani's (virtual) mouth. but oh well, score one for the much-superior rock band. many happy vancouver memories of drunken rock band party nights with leora and company.

brian viglione from the dresden dolls joins the cliks! such awesome news, and so glad to hear that the cliks are pulling together a better lineup than ever. go search out some music and videos and see for yourself why they rock.

kill hannah's on the radio tonight at 10 p.m. eastern. tune in because they are amazing.

celine dion "no longer pregnant". i dunno, that headline makes it sound sort of weird and bizarre rather than actually kind of sad. related: has she cut her son's hair yet? last i saw, that kid was rivaling kate hudson's son in the long-locks dude-looks-like-a-lady department.

tomorrow night: domesticity (baking two loaves of banana bread; cooking oatmeal for next four days' breakfast) and possible physicality (cardio for sure, but i'm waffling on spin class these days), then friday-night date night the next day with sushi and late hockey and drinking and the boy. saturday: this, and you should come too. really.

and now, i leave you with five ways your brain can turn on you without warning. you're welcome.

[ music | death cab for cutie, "meet me on the equinox" ]

Monday, November 2, 2009

hard to light a candle

so what exactly does one do with november, anyway? besides be totally absent from one's blog, that is. (everybody's doing it, by the looks of things. deserted blogs everywhere!)

personally, i've never been a fan. it's a long, desolate stretch of a gray crappy month, with no statutory holidays and nothing to look forward to except christmas (which is more than a whole month and a half away). on top of that, november is the usual month when i get hit with the sads, although it seems to have come early this year -- i've been down and mopey all october, which sort of counts for my absence last month. not to say i'm 100% better now that october's over - and it's usually one of my favourite months! - but i'm not swerving and spiraling out of control like i was before. seriously, it felt like all kinds of things were coming down on my head, and none of it was made better by hormonal mood swings, season affective disorders, general unrest within my personal life, et cetera. so.

in the meantime, i'm readying for the whole h1n1 insanity -- preparedness is much better than panic, in my opinion. thus, i'm eating well, drinking plenty of water and "immune defense" emergen-c's often, and have stocked both my desk at work (purell, disinfectant wipes, kleenex) and my home (more purell, more kleenex, antibacterial soap and tylenol flu medication, plus chicken noodle soup and herbal tea just in case). i know there's really nothing you can do to prevent catching it other than washing and/or sanitizing your hands all the time, so no matter how healthy i keep myself, never know. like i said, i'd rather be prepared than caught unawares. or something like that.

also, there has been lots of cooking. i got a slow cooker, a hand mixer and four cookbooks for my birthday back in october, so i'm making use of new tools. the outcome? sweet. (literally and figuratively)

on top of all that, work being busy, life being busy, all that typical stuff. you know how it is.

now for a good segueway, on the old music news front: i reviewed the echo & the bunnymen orchestra show a few weeks ago, and found it entirely satisfactory to scratch my itch for both 80's post-punk goth and classical orchestration. i'm now intent on finding somebody to drag with me to handel's messiah in december. come on, it's christmas!

if you haven't kept up with the matblog in my absence, you should start again, like, now. although it's turned more into an advice column than a witty recollection of his life's activities, which isn't quite as fun, but it's pretty good for schadenfreude. much better than a few episodes of dr. phil, anyway.

tegan and sara are all over the music news right now, and for good reason -- their new album sainthood is one of my favourite releases this year so far. seriously, watch for that shit to be topping all kinds of critics' best-of lists for 2009.

karen o and spike jonze discuss wild things. are they still together? were they ever together? would this be sort of awkward? (regardless, i've seen where the wild things are twice now and i highly recommend it -- not for kids, though, but for adults who remember being kids)

post-halloween madness: the dead weather perform in a london church. chaos and excitability, for sure. (also, horehound is another one of those releases sure to be on a ton of 2009 best-of lists. absolutely fantastic album.)

idolator explores the illuminati-lady gaga connection. it's actually pretty fascinating stuff, despite the fact i am nowhere near on the gaga bandwagon. flash in the pan, kids. flash in the pan.

as a good remedy, check out amanda palmer's blog, for writings from an entirely relevant artist -- including the linked open letter to robert smith, which actually inspired me to re-purchase a copy of disintegration. what a fucking seminal album that is.

and finally: will i be judged for wanting the new moon soundtrack?

[ music | the cure, "plainsong" ]