Wednesday, December 30, 2009

midweek madness

first off, sappy thank-you time: whether it's due to my alerts via twitterfeed, the addition of more pictures to my entries, or just the return of semi-frequest posting in general, my regular viewership has gone way, way up this month. and it's not just the usual suspects in toronto, ontario (and surrounding area) either -- there's more american and international readers showing up for every new post here, which delights me wholeheartedly. i'm reaching out and touching people! but not in a no-no way or anything.

so anyway, thanks guys -- thanks for consistently reading my posts and being a part of my surprisingly widening audience. dunno what it is i'm doing right - after plateauing for so long at 18-22 visits per day, if that - but hey, works for me. and you. i think. whee!

back to the real life, though -- back to the city as of late sunday night, hauling my, er, haul of christmas gifts with me (managing to bring all with the exception of two of my three cookbooks, which my mother promised to mail to me). sure, i looked like a tard because i had to wear my new camera in order to save packing space, and i almost knocked a little kid down the escalator stairs with my massive duffel bag, but i got it all home! and all in one piece. and that, my friends, is very important. in a materialistic sort of way, of course.

more important than materialism, though, was the second anniversary of the boy's and my relationship on boxing day (and the belated celebration at sneaky dee's monday night, site of our first date back in 2007). unlike last year's paean, which i think made some of you vom, i won't be doing another super-mega-tribute this year, but i will force some pics on you from the night, courtesy my new rock-awesome camera (which i haven't entirely figured out how to use to its optimal functions, so bear with me while i go through the trial-and-error period of photography-learning):

boy pores over a belated extra xmas gift from me, toronto: then & now (he's an architectural history buff)

our anniversary dinner (yes, the infamous king's crown nachos), the before shot

our anniversary dinner, the after(math) shot

still life with corona

and now, a quick comparitive montage from our first date together (boxing day, 2007) to our date two nights ago (i will forever be insistent on "date nights" for however long i have relationships with anyone). because comparisons between a two-year timespan are oh so fascinating, i know, right?

first up, me then, so unimpressed with my then-recent super-short hairchop:

me now, sneaky at sneaky's:

boy then, ever so charming:

boy now, rockin' the sweden sweater:

and that is us, and we are awesome. thank you, the end.

(also awesome? sherlock holmes. saw a cheap afternoon matinee yesterday and it was A++)

news you can use (maybe):

the biggest bombshell of the week so far (shock! horror!) has undoubtedly been the news that andrew w.k. is not a real person. well, technically speaking, anyway -- he's a corporate construct! so the real question is, does "the man" still want us to party hard, party hard?

oh yeah, the other relative important news is the revealing of the canadian musicfest (neƩ canadian music week/cmw) lineup -- the initial few acts, that is. the super-big names are obviously in the marquee graphic at the top; your best friend's/sister's/boyfriend's band listed below with the plebes. fortunately, no sign for me of any of my exes' bands. hurrah!

something for you to, obviously, not watch at work: stereogum's top 10 most nsfw videos of 2009. but where oh where was the new rammstein video??

people still don't know what killed avenged sevenfold drummer the rev, but "lots of drugs" seems to be a pretty good guess.

lesbians! famous lesbians everywhere! posted because i'm late to the party that already knew that alison goldfrapp is gay. seriously, had no idea. but hey, that's hot.

the three universal truths of law & order. because you can't hide the fact that you spent 80% of your christmas vacation watching l&o marathons. (though my shameless poison has always been csi, las vegas or new york plz)

and now, i'm off to the gym, and to run a myriad of errands. i'm still not entirely used to the fact that i no longer need to have a "schedule", and that i can basically do whatever i want whenever i want. i'm sure the novelty will wear off soon. (especially since my #1 job prospect just went up in smoke a few days ago, so i'm getting ready to push the panic button)

leafs versus oilers tonight! go leafs go!

[ music | yeah yeah yeahs, "zero" ]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

easy tiger

alright, so as i'm sure you've noticed, the interwebs have been pretty quiet the last few days due to holiday break, and things are just starting to pick up again now. so here's a few links to keep you entertained - photos are still on the dl until i can figure out how to properly work my new digital, but oh baby is this thing a treat - as we all get our lives back to normal before the liver-busting blowout that will be new year's eve this friday. oh god.

annual holiday treat from the mighty a.v. club: 2009's year in band names. there's some canadian ones on the list - hell, there's some acquaintances on the list - but it's always good for a solid laugh. i know that picking a band name is a hard task, but... lists the most-listened to songs of 2009. i've been with ever since they were audioscrobbler, and i've always enjoyed its crazy little features. plus there's few better ways to be an online music snob. or, you know, proudly display how shitty your taste in music is (me! me!).

it's a few days too late, but even belatedness can't take away the humour of exclaim!'s top ten worst metal christmas albums. yes, there are such things as metal christmas albums. the rather apt phrase "special little snowflake" comes to mind.

to my toronto homies: blog to's top 10 deadpool of 2009. can't say i mourn the loss many of these, but there were a few good memories made at pages and mel's. oh well, out with the old, in with the new, et cetera, et al.

pitchfork reviews fucked up's "do they know it's christmas?" charity single. i'm not huge on fucked up, but i felt this was worth linking to since even my father asked me if i've heard of "this effed up band". he was mighty impressed that they're donating the proceeds to charities benefitting women, and even more impressed when i informed him that their frontman majored in women's studies. male feminists gotta stick together, i suppose.

on the topic of parentals, since my stepdad got an apple tv from my mom for christmas, we spent the majority of today's boxing-day morn pulling up old favourites and viral gems on youtube, including this catchy thing that i'm sure is definite old hat (heh, just noticed that christine mentioned it in a facebook note), but it was new to me, and maybe it'll be new to you too. either way, will probably be appreciated by my male readership. (don't worry, it's probably about as safe for work as that old alanis video where she's standing "naked" in the street. thank you india?)

so! tomorrow night: back to the big city. meet up with boy, make out with boy, get all my sweet new shit home and unpacked, a nice thankful bath and whatever comes after (nsfw). fun plans to start the week off, including a belated two-year anniversary dinner date at sneaky dee's - we had our first date ever there, boxing day 2007 - on monday, and a double-movie date at rainbow on tuesday (likely avatar in the afternoon followed by sherlock holmes in the evening, or vice versa) with probable brews at c'est what between and maybe after as well. oh yeah, and getting my ass back to the gym asap. i'm fairly proud of sticking to my guns and doing at least an hour of cardio a day at home, but man, hardly enough to compensate for the sheer amount of carbs consumed. enough to keep me in a good mood around the fam, anyway.

done like dinner. see you all after my return to the adult life.

[ music | joy division, "dead souls" ]

Friday, December 25, 2009

holidaze 2

merry christmas to all! this is a day to be spent in yoga pants, with no makeup on, and no regrets over how many mimosas you drank at family brunch this morning. well, if you're me, anyway.

currently, i'm doing all three of the things listed above, while sitting in the den of my mother's house and listening to my stepdad watch home alone on tv upstairs. (separately, we watched district 9 this morning before brunch, and it was not exactly a very christmas-y movie) yoga pants are comfy, mimosas made me happy, and all of the gifts i gave - both bought and handmade - went over wonderfully. plus family is awesome.

now, because this is all anyone really cares about today - okay, i guess this concept of "family" and "loved ones" too - here's the swag from my 26th christmas, in brief pictorial:

panasonic dmc-fz28 lumix digital camera (disgustingly insane and awesome -- and, well, 10.1 megapixels is a bit of a step up from my current camera's 2.0)

blackberry pearl 8120 from my sister (she works for a t-mobile affiliated company), which i don't even think i can use (apparently the american t-mobile is only compatible with rogers service up here, and i'm already on a three-year bell contract with my cleo) - though michelle, you might correct me on that, and please do by all means - so, uh, anybody need a bb?

beauty stuff -- high-powered flatiron and mac makeup brush set, because i'm over the hill towards thirty and i need to be able to correctly put my face on in the morning

this monster of a food processor, for super blending power!!!11

cookbook mania, complete with botoxed martha

and other various things (clothing, gift cards) and sundry. it was a damn fine christmas, for sure -- i haven't had such a tech-y christmas day for quite a few years. i mean, seriously, the instruction booklet for my new camera is 154(!) pages long. but tech toys make me happy. as does subsisting on a diet mostly of carbs, cheese, sweets and booze for the last few days. gotta say: thank god my parents have both an elliptical and a treadmill. an hour and a half of daily cardio during the overindulgent holiday season makes me feel human again. (shaddup, all of you booing the screen right now. ;))

but i guess this is all i have to report on right now...give you something to look at/read online on this day of internets boredom and relative silence from the masses. always willing to be the entertainment, me. just so long as you don't come over here and gawk at me in my yoga pants and bedhead and makeupless face. i'm relatively unfabulous right now and i pretty much love it.

to all the rest of you: happy day, whatever you're celebrating, and here's hoping you're spending it in the company of good people, free shit, and many bottles of alcohol. here's to the boxing-day hangover!

[ music | kenny g christmas, i am dead fucking serious about this ]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

holiday home

welcome! here we are. home in kingston. home on the range. was up at quarter after six in the morning along with the rest of my family; my friends in toronto are always rather astonished and horrified at my early-rising nature, yet they don't exactly realize that my entire family gets up and at 'em before 7. for real. we ought to be one of those pioneer families out in the prairies.

but my last few days in the city were more or less uneventful, aside from sitting on my hands so i would not scratch my scalp and filling out forms for the ministry of labour to claim the money i'm owed. had early-christmas dinner and exchanged presents with boyfriend; i didn't take a picture of all the swag he got me because i was so jazzed about it all, but he got me a bunch of lovely awesome things: stuff from lush that he knows i use/love/can no longer afford, a new moleskine day planner, the instant-classic novel price and prejudice and zombies, and a pair of lululemon yoga pants which i have wanted for ages. there was much happy girly shrieking and hugging and makeoutz. christmas: the season to be materialistic!

just kidding. i love that boy. two-year anniversary in three days say what.

as for the hair, it's...not as bad right now, really. the redness around my hairline has receded (plus my scalp looks fairly normal), and aside from my flaking dye-burned ears, it's only itchy on and off towards the back of my head. there's also some somewhat-painful swellings around that area that may or may not be caused by the allergic reaction, or may be just part of my skull. or maybe they're tumours. dunno. (this is when it helps to have a stepfather who's a registered nurse. examination later on, hurrah)

but yeah, after googling "allergic reaction to hair dye", i've found that it's a relatively common problem -- and one that can actually be deadly for some people. apparently hair dye reactions can cause anaphlatic shock. i'm lucky in that mine's just a "delayed hypersensitivity," which means that my allergic reactions don't show up until hours/days later, and they're nowhere near as severe as, well, sudden death. they're just obnoxious and irritating.

and, you know, to be completely vain and superficial about all this, the colour looks really damn good. (oh yeah, and parental units like it -- exclaimed more over the length of it, since it hasn't been this long since i was a teenager, but my mother was just relieved that, though very dark, "at least it's not black!" she hated it when i was dying my hair black)

okay, because i don't have any pictures for you good people - my cell camera is still crummy, and i left my digital at home because i'm 98% sure i'll be unwrapping a new camera on christmas morning - some links for your holiday-week hump day:

i'm probably way behind on this, but here be a lovely new site format for idolator! love it. love 'em. especially because they have stories titled "jessica simpson: the world's worst menorah".

...ah shit, now i have that "jessica simpson" song (adam duritz?) stuck in my head. "jes-si-ca, jes-si-ca simp-son..." well, i guess it's better than the shitty christmas tunes that have been ringing through my head for the last couple days. "last christmas" or "simply having a wonderful christmastime", anyone?

apparently i'm not the only one devoid of christmas cheer when it comes to overplayed music: this group of american prisoners is suing for being made to listen to christmas playlists. are the two robber dudes from the home alone movies among them? because you know those guys must hate christmas music.

stereotyping people by their favorite indie bands. you know you do it.

leafs in suits. i know i'd do them. well, selectively.

did a hawksley workman interview last friday; banged out news story and feature article by monday. they should be up on chartattack in the coming days, if not the near future. in the meantime, go hit up the site for lots n' lots of rock & roll good times, mostly canadian, sometimes not. (if you're in the mood for a laugh, search my name -- there's buttloads of my archived work on that site)

oh, for example, they have the trailer for the upcoming runaways movie! you have to sit through a crappy 15-second commercial for toothpaste first, and the trailer's a teaser by clocking in at under a minute, but what a gold little teaser it is. kristen stewart as joan jett looks amazing. haters to the left.

anyway, this may be the last time i write before the big x-mess hits, so happy holidays to all of you, and here's to getting fantastically wasted around the christmas tree tomorrow. (uh, those of you in my readership who are legal to drink, that is. and don't drive. please don't drive.) in the meantime, i has a tired. later.

[ music | lady gaga, "bad romance" ]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

fell over me

products of the last three days:

clockwise from top: chocolate-swirled almond bark, peanut butter-chocolate fudge, white chocolate-eggnog fudge as gifts for dean's family (there's two more identical tins in the freezer)

massive-ass jar of honey-roasted almonds for my stepfather

ever since last holiday season's kitchen disaster, i'd approached the idea of attempting candy-making with trepidation. but i finally figured hey, why the hell not -- if it actually works this time, it'll make a nice gift for family and friends. and there we have it. considering it was actually pretty damn fun this time, i sort of want to make candy more often. yet my hips say nein. so sad, this "willpower" business. (yet there are still two more kitchen tasks to be done - oatmeal-raisin molasses cookies for my father, and chocolate-chip shortbread cookies for my grandmother - so all is not lost for my insatiable sweet tooth)

mantlepiece, all decorated up.

new darker (though i know it doesn't look like it) hair -- just a chestnut shade or two above black (also bonus: morning blahs, no makeup, bedhead hair, don't judge me)

oh yeah, so...about that hair.

have i mentioned before that i have a bad time with hair dyes? i feel like i've mentioned it. anyway, i never starting experimenting with hair dye until three years ago, and in the beginning it was tamer stuff: darker brown one time, purplish-maroon another (you can see that somewhat ill-advised colour choice in my twitter icon). nothing out of the ordinary occurred then, but i myself was not satisfied. it took going out on the road with a punk rock band - all of whom had dyed-black hair - to get me to finally make the plunge (in an albuquerque motel room, no less) and go all black. which i loved, and coveted, and thus re-dyed a few months later because it appealed to the goth in me.

then the troubles began. although i can't recall having had any reaction whatsoever after the first box of nice n' easy, the second one ended up setting my scalp on fire. imagine having a red, itchy area that looks like the bastard child of a sunburn and poison ivy all over your head. and it itched for weeks.

then my hair started to fall out. not immediately, and not in clumps or anything, but a month or two later i started to see a lot of my hair coming out in the shower, all over my (then-vancouver) apartment, and even my mother noticed that my hair was getting scarily thin on top. as in, thin enough to be borderline bald spot. holy fuck aaaaaaaah

so, after that, no more cheap scary box hair dyes from the drugstore. swore that shit right off. (okay, well, no, i tried dying it again once last year, but got so freaked out by the prospect of fucking up my scalp again that i washed it out far too soon) but then the natural colour of my hair started to bug me: it's brown, yes, but varying shades from very dark right up at my roots to almost light blonde where the sun's dyed it halfway down. literally, it looked like i'd had a dye job at one point in time and it had all grown out. gross.

yesterday, while at my hairstylist's, i made the plunge and paid a good chunk of cash to get a professional dye job done, if only to even out my natural hair colour. (though of course, when my stylist asked if i "wanted to go a bit darker", i couldn't help myself) $$$ = good-quality dye, right? well...

here we go again.

you ever been kept up all night scratching maniacally at your head? it sucks.

anyway, sorry for the blather and delay -- it's keraaaazy holiday times over here. in total, there's been my now-defunct office's christmas party (probably should have drank more), a film wrap party (where one of the drunken a.d. guys got up on the bar and gave a shoutout to my boyfriend as "you long-haired motherfucker, bringing such a good-looking girl with you"), and a festive christmas loft party (in which the ingestion of some particularly potent pot brownies was not the best of ideas). tonight, there is a potluck party at jenna's place, and there will be much red wine drank.

also, the leafs game the other night - to go into more textual detail - was an excellent experience, even with a number of less-than-stellar factors, such as 1) the team's crappy playing and eventual 6-3 loss; 2) the fact that there was a little boy of all of about five years old sitting right in front of us with his dad, so we had to keep the swearing out; 3) our seatmates, who were every bit the stereotypical boorish drunken loudmouthed hoser-assholes you'd expect to see at a sporting event.

but, you know, live hockey, good company (hoser-assholes notwithstanding), burritos and alcohol make for a pretty damn decent night. that's the truth.

so, yeah. there's yer updates. now must run, hawksley workman interview to transcribe (yes, i'm right back into the music-journo world -- and a much pleasant interview subject to return on; hawksley was very affable and funny to talk to), tours to dream about (yes, i might be going back on the road with a band in march), groceries and booze to purchase for tonight's get-together of friends and good people, and so on.

p.s. last couple nights' rentals: the hangover and inglourious basterds. both highly recommended.

[ music | interpol, "obstacle 1" ]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

fifty mission cap

seriously, what better way to spend the wednesday after your job goes up in smoke by drinking profusely and cheering on the biggest sports team in the city (though hardly the best, but toronto is rather infamous for having incredibly shitty sports teams)?

my first ever toronto maple leafs game, in a brief pictorial:

predrinking at gretzky's. not the wisest choice on the wallet, but it was too apt otherwise.

literally, this was the stir-stick for my booze coffee (even though it wasn't actually coffee, the waitress messed up and gave me a booze latte and charged me an extra $2 for it, boooo fail).

burkie's dog house, home to the $8 kobe beef hot dog. i love me some brian burke.

got'cher tickets raaaight here.

the view from the 300s. guess who's scared of heights. (like, literally - as in, panicked breathing, rapid heartbeat, shaking hands, etc)

dean ponders the making of the noise with our free "noise sticks".


leafs take to the ice for the opening ceremonies. this is the part where everybody's pumped because we don't know if the team will suck tonight or not.

300-level blur factor.

we are approving of the opening ceremonies.

i, however, am obviously not approving of the team's shitty lackluster performance in the second and third periods.

blaaaaaaah so boring even my camera's focus took a nap zzzzzzz.

team bench(ed). i still love you, leafs.

many beers were required at c'est what afterwards to ease the pain of a 6-3 loss to my brothers-in-bankruptcy, the phoenix coyotes.

that's it for now. more non-hockey stuff later, probably. must run off to haircut/dye appointment soon. hurrah!

[ music | none, boy is still sleeping upstairs ]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what came after

hello, readership! and thank you for making yesterday's post the most-visited blog entry i've had in months. judging by the stats, most of you came from my twitter, probably eager to see what a blogger directly after sudden unemployment looks like. sorry to disappoint with below's briefness -- i prefer to keep things a little quieter (unless, of course, we're good friends offline and you want to take my unemployed ass out for coffee or a drink -- then i'll give you the whole story and then some). besides, i think that last post said it all, n'est-ce pas?

anyway, things were good at my job for a while, and then they were not so good, and things were just at the point of seesawing between "decent" and "uncomfortable" when this happened, and we all knew it would happen eventually anyway with the way things were going, so it was probably alright timing. well, you know, except for the whole eleven days before christmas thing. that kind of sucked. but hey: extra-long vacation, bitches!

foresight i am happy for:

- getting all my med prescriptions filled last week, so now i have four months' worth of birth control (huzzah!);
- buying 1. all my christmas presents and 2. all my winter outerwear already;
- saving money since may for the day this would happen (i have $2500 saved up);
- not leaving my boyfriend's christmas present in my desk as i'd considered (so he wouldn't find it hidden anywhere at home) -- i ended up bringing it home a few weeks ago "just in case" the office got shut down suddenly


- having to cancel dentist appointment on thursday because i won't have any more health coverage (and that appointment would cost me about $250 out of my own pocket);
- forever losing my order from (it was supposed to be a christmas present for the boy) because i was having it shipped to the office and it was supposed to arrive tomorrow, but now it's just going to be sent back;
- i left some stuff at my cubicle that i'd really like back (my glasses, a nice blazer jacket, my favourite ballet flats, some cutlery/dishes including my leafs bottle, a christmas cactus, photos) but nobody knows when we'll be allowed into the office to collect our personal items


- refusing to cancel my haircut/dye appointment on thursday, even though it's going to set me back at least $130 (i'm vain, oh so vain)

so yeah, the plan for now is to use this week to apply for jobs here and there and otherwise take it easy, devise strategies/plot next moves/etc....keep fingers crossed that possibilities come up in the new year. i don't think a whole lot will happen on the job front either this week or next week, what with the holidays being in a week and all, but it'll be good to stay prepared.

pho asia 21 shut down by the health board = me not sure whether to be disappointed (because i ate there a lot) or nauseous (because i ate there a lot).

now, i would be reticent to note that the 15th annual chartattack readers' poll is happening now, and it's always good for a laugh (and some incredibly predictable results year in and year out). though i do wholeheartedly support lucas silveira for sexiest canadian man. damn straight! (props to amanda, i know you're reading this and cheering)

oh yeah! that's another upside to the whole no-day job situation: i can get back into doing more music/pop-culture writin's. so if you're looking for somebody to write or blog for you about said topics, give me a yell -- i'm awesome and fun and have been doing this for a long long time.

top five black metal christmas gifts. come on, you know you're curious. dunno if i'd recommend that last pick on the list, though. ouch.

for those of us who believe summer is never too far away, here's an early speculative look at coachella 2010. not a whole lot of excitement going on yet, but a nice thought for music fans trying to ignore winter in favour of dreams of partying in the desert.

no doubt! activision! band hero! lawsuits! i particularly enjoy the line about how "this is America, and you can sue anybody for anything." ain't that the truth. god bless you crazy people below us in the north, i love you guys.

where's the beef? oh there it is.

going to my first-ever leafs game tomorrow! they're playing the phoenix coyotes, so hopefully my live-nhl virginity will be taken with a triumphant win for the blue n' white. for real.

[ music | blonde redhead, "spring & by summer fall" ]

Monday, December 14, 2009

well then

yeah, i guess there really isn't much more to say than this:

(just kidding, there probably is more to say, but i'm not sure if i'm allowed to say or explain it...let me just leave it by saying 1. we all saw this coming and 2. one of my pervading emotions this morning was relief. that in itself should say a lot.)

p.s. lol to the fact that people have been checking this blog like crazy all day. and my text messages/facebook/twitter haven't stopped beeping at me yet today. i love you guys!

[ music | leonard cohen, "first we take manhattan" ]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

enough of the good stuff

full list of components for winterproofing oneself - the canadian way!
by caitlin

1. two layers of regular clothing (at the very least)
1. lined waterproof boots, ankle-height or higher, with slip-proof treads
2. gloves with full-finger coverage
3. scarf, preferably cotton or any other thick "breathing" material
4. warm coat, knee-length or longer (i prefer black wool)
5. winter hat, any type
6. earmuffs, to clamp hat to head in windy conditions

* umbrellas not allowed unless the snow is sleet/rain
* if you work in an office, keep a change of socks and shoes
* ladies, don't bother doing anything with your hair -- just ponytail that shit and stuff it under a hat. however long you take to perfectly style your hair, the elements will destroy it within five minutes.

...and there you have it: my current morning routine. yes, winter's finally hit toronto - and pretty much the rest of north america, it seems - and i've spent the last couple weeks (and a portion of my last paycheque) making sure i was ready for it. though i'm pretty sure i'm going to have to coat my boots in heavy-duty sealing solution, because even after spending half an hour emptying a quarter of a can of aldo's "protection" spray on them, my feet still end up wet. i am not amphibious, goddammit.

merde, il neige.

merde, plus de neige.

it's that time of year, all right: the a.v. club has their top 25 albums of 2009; spinner counteracts with their top 50 albums of the decade (nicely formatted by a kind ontd! reader). i wish i cared more about new music, but truthfully, i'm too busy being jazzed for our lady peace's live recreation of 1997's clumsy album next march, and being blown away by the fact that the mission uk sampled the sisters of mercy's "marian" in their song "wasteland". (as i remarked on twitter, i'm betting von hated that, but since hussey more than likely wrote that song i'm sure he's legally entitled to the sample. but still! wow! sing this corrosion to me, indeed)

so yeah, i generally have outdated and awful tastes in music. but if you know me and/or have been reading my blogs for a while, you'd already know that. no music-hipster elitist am i!

anyway, also joining in the year-end list race is itunes and their best-selling albums & songs of 2009 list. that's the u.k. version, note -- here's its american compatriot. comparing the two, i think i prefer the british version better, if only for the absence of shitty hip-hop and miley cyrus.

exclaim! rightfully titles this "trashy internet gossip" -- because really, what else would you label a rumour that billy corgan is dating jessica simpson? i mean, okay, none of us saw pete wentz and ashlee simpson coming, but the world doesn't work in ways that strange.

another headline from exclaim! that you wouldn't expect to see: karen o gets grammy nod thanks to miley cyrus. okay, so it wasn't intentional on miley's part, - two miley cyrus references in one blog entry, who saw that coming - but i suppose there's no looking a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to the grammys. also, props for the super-cute pic of miss o at the top of that article.

the grammys continue to take a better turn this year by announcing that they'll honour leonard cohen with a lifetime achievement award. who deserves it more? no-f'in-body. much love for the cohen.

spotting lies in online profiles -- a nice little primer for those of us who aren't as astute when it comes to this sort of thing. but if you're using an online dating site, then i'm half-tempted to say that there isn't much hope for you in the first place. sorry.

(by the way, i figure you should all know that yes, pending eviction has done nothing to teach the upstairs assholes a lesson -- they're already givin'er up there with the shitty electronica right now. as if you expected anything less.)

gift from my secret santa (neil) at work. not only can i use it for my daily multiple litres of water intake, but i can drink booze from it when the leafs are losing! (as they are right now against the boston bruins)

strangely enough, i've finally dropped from the longstanding weight plateau of 132 pounds to 129 (i'm 5'8"), which is funny considering how much crap i've been eating lately. then again, it'll all prove to be moot once the holiday goodies and binge-drinking starts popping up in a few days, but hey, i figure i'm just making room. especially because weekend kitchen-ing coming up includes cilantro shrimp curry on rice and slow-cooker beef brisket with quinoa, mmmmm foods. (i'm also planning on making a lighter version of this glorious mess at some point in the future. have i mentioned homemade curry fries make the best dinner ever?)

alright, time to prep my liver and get some sleep -- this weekend's gonna be off the hook in terms of partying, boozing, etc. plus: ikea! and decorating the apartment on sunday! amazingtimes.

[ music | mstrkrft, "easy love" ]

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

on the horizon

i'm actually quite happy that so many people enjoyed my g.i. joe diatribe in the last entry. for the record, the day before that mess, we watched terminator: salvation and the day after we watched angels & demons, and neither brought me as much awful-movie glee as that one did. to be sure, both of those were also irreparably awful, but terminator: salvation more made me sad (because it was once such an awesome franchise...well, "once" being the first one and sequel) and angels & demons just made me frustrated and irritated. growl.

but yeah, recommendations for the "shittily amazing" movie oeuvre are always appreciated. constantly in the mood for those.

our rosemary mini-christmas tree -- functional and edible. (i'll throw a string of lights up on it this weekend and take the "after" photo later)

there will be scorn and mockery for this, i'm sure, but our lady peace are doing a live recreation of the clumsy album next march and i am so. fucking. there. i haven't cared at all for olp since, oh, 2001 or so, but (and here comes the scorn and mockery) i will hold to it that clumsy is one of the seminal albums in canadian modern rock history. the 90's were a good time for that. therefore, i must see this, even though there will be no mike (he's moved on to other things) and mike's my favourite.

my literal lol of the day came from adorable cat behaviors that are actually evil, particularly the line "cats love murder." well, it is true, when you think about it. nothing in that article changes my love and crazy human admiration for cats, though. once they develop opposable thumbs, i will welcome our feline overlords.

although nme can be considered dubious at the best of times - although i sort of love them for that - they made two right calls in naming the horrors' primary colours for best album of the year, and yeah yeah yeahs' "zero" for best single. i applaud these decisions though i'm sure i won't quite agree with the rest of their lists.

a lindsay lohan-inspired musical a band called the blow. well, of course.

no pemberton fest for vancouver until 2011? i guess that makes sense, since there's a bigger party (albeit a jock party) happening there in 2010, but there were some bigger logistical problems in the last edition of the festival despite the awesome lineup. oh, vancouvs. you can always just smoke a doob and pretend.

in the foyer of our apartment. landlord/landlady = adorable.

now, looks like weekend purchases of leather gloves and winter boots (the last pair in all of toronto of the ones i wanted in a size 9, i booted it right from one mall to another in order to grab them in time - stupid big feet) were just in the nick of time: there's supposed to be a buttload of snow coming toronto's way as of tonight and tomorrow. as for now, i'm safe inside with my hot cocoa and baileys. ahhh, comfort.

coming up this weekend: finally - finally - getting around to fucking decorating our apartment. we only moved in, oh, five months ago. and i'm in a wanting-a-home-for-the-holidays mood.

p.s. i'm actually forking over the money when i go for a haircut in a week to get a full colour job as well. you know it's bizarre when you need a colour correction job not for something you did, but something the goddamn sun did to your hair. (especially considering how many people purposely go to the hairdresser to get natural-looking highlights) oh, life.

[ music | the kills, "black rooster" ]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

turn it around

hey awesome, two rants for the price of one! (though one is slightly more angry than the other - slightly)

rant one: on antiquing and assholes.

so here's the deal: i, like every other person in this goddamn city, am christmas shopping. specifically, i was christmas shopping today. and you know how there's always that one person in your family that's insanely hard to buy for and you struggle every year to figure out what to get them? well, for me, that's my father. i love my dad more than anything, but damn if he isn't the toughest old man to shop for. anyway.

i think i mentioned before that, in his post-retirement elderly age, my father likes to come up with zany collections of things -- which, coincidentally, make gift-giving a whole lot easier. for example, for a while it was potted orchids, so wham -- give him a new dendrobium for every birthday, father's day, what have you. but now, it's turned to pressed glass goblets, which he refers to as "sean george" -- the name of the maker, or the brand, or something. anyway, i'm going somewhere with this, i promise.

pic courtesy of sean george's site

so miraculously, last year i found a huge antiques store here downtown - antiques on king, for the record, i hope they google themselves and find this little story - that stocked a shitload of sean george goblets, which to me was a great thing. score! a permanent source for gifts for my dad!

...but then the store moved locations and stopped stocking them. regardless, last time i spoke to somebody on the phone there, they said they might have some back in time for christmas. which leads to today, and me stopping in at the shop during my trip downtown to see if maybe i could grab a nice goblet for $40-60.

me: hi, i need some help - i'm looking for a specific type of goblet, sean george?
asshole clerk (ac): oh, you mean pressed glass. you're looking for a pressed glass goblet.
me: yeah, um, it's for my dad, he collects the sean george ones.
ac: sean george is the name of the company that makes them. that's not the name of the product. the product is a pressed glass goblet.
me: uh, okay, well, i just know that it's the sean george ones-
ac: (huffily) okay, miss? don't call them that. they are not "sean george" goblets. you wouldn't say you got an "eaton's shirt", you got a "tommy hilfiger shirt". do you see what i mean?
me: (taken aback, then getting angry at his tone) yeah, alright, i got it. all i know is that my father calls them sean george goblets. that's all i know.
ac: well, fine, we have a small selection of pressed glass over here if you'd like to browse them...
me: actually, no, that's fine. i'm going to keep looking. thank you. (walks away, trying not to explode)

does this guy have serious grudge against sean george or something? i mean, fuck.

so yeah, i walked out of that place almost shaking with anger. seriously, guy? seriously?? how dare you fucking talk to a customer with such contempt and patronization? antique stores are generally not cheap, so you'd expect all the clerks there to be really nice to customers, since they're probably going to drop an assload of money on your goods. and sure enough, i've spent almost $100 in that antique store before (on sean geor- i'm so fucking sorry, on pressed glass goblets). but now, i'm gonna give antiques on king a wide fucking berth, thanks. treating your customers with contemptuous fucking attitude and snark does not equal sales in my book.

to sum up, fuck you, guy.

hey look, motherfucker, it's pressed glass!, actually it's the monster of a vodka shelf at the new lcbo at king and spadina. sorry about the crooked, i was trying to covertly snap the pic since staff members were cruising around.

rant two: on nonironic enjoyment of terrible movies and g.i. joe: the rise of cobra.

okay, i give it to sienna -- i dig the long dark hair + glasses + pvc bodysuit. but hey, it's me.

first off, i never really had any interest in seeing this movie. i'm not really of the whole he-man/thundercats/g.i. joe generation -- i was born in 1983, and although i would have been watching cartoons in the late 80's, i grew up on a farm in the remote country with a television that brought in maybe six channels. so, i may have gained plenty of imagination, but i missed out on the latter-day pop culture zeitgeists. them's the breaks.

however, one thing i do enjoy - with the same fervour and relish that i enjoy critically reviled music - is a seriously bad movie. not even one that is or isn't trying to be bad, or one that has tongue firmly planted in cheek -- no, one that you just know going in is gonna be trashy and awful, and that's exactly what you're in the mood for. (i'm in the mood for that even more often now that i have a partner who derives the same enjoyment from a shitty movie that i do)

i guess it's safe to say, then, that it's not pop culture i enjoy so much as it is the mockery of pop culture. nothing ever makes me laugh harder than satire, particularly if it's mean or sarcastic. i'm an asshole that way.

so yeah, g.i. joe: the rise of cobra, starring channing tatum as our hero "duke" (really, what else would he be called? steve? robert?) and sienna miller as the villain/his ex-girlfriend "the baronness" (basically exactly what scarlett johansson is going to be doing in iron man 2, but presumably better/hotter). despite the fact that they have less onscreen chemistry than bert and ernie, channing tatum and sienna miller are the perfect balanced couple: she chronically overacts ("do you love him?" "alllways...AND FOREVERRR") and he can't act to save his life (seriously, you could have subbed in a plank of wood with an angry face drawn on it). throw in a wayans brother doing his typical poor man's will smith, dennis quaid as stereotypical gruff action hero army general man, and a cast of nameless faceless other "joes" who were probably immortalized in genital-less plastic at one point in time, and you have your all-star cast of terrible, terrible amazingness.

and then there's joseph gordon-levitt. actually, joseph gordon-levitt fucking made this movie for me. he plays (spoiler) a mad-scientist doctor who spends all of his time on camera either stalking around scene and sneer-growling all his lines, or giving away all of his genius plans to our heroes in the final act. of course, he also had to have a robot mask-thing covering half of his face and a serious case of crazy eyes. once again, amazing.

also, i honestly think gordon-levitt (isn't he, uh, a respectable young actor otherwise?) must have been overdubbed by somebody else - somebody from the pantheon of absolutely terrible north american voice actors - but if that was him, well, more's the better. like i said on twitter, dude was chewing scenery like it was fucking trident. i haven't seen a more over-the-top grand-villainry character since john turturro in the first transformers movie. (or, you know, john turturro in general.)

i mean, seriously -- at one point, gordon-levitt's guy makes a reference to his mentor, "doctor mindbender". doctor motherfucking mindbender. i could have cried with joy, it was so terribly bad.

so it's terribly bad, but is it worth watching? well, it's surprisingly complicated, as far as shoot 'em up action movies go. i'd even go so far as to call it overly convoluted, but you can't say it's brainless entertainment. to quote the boy, "for a movie that's supposed to be all about things blowing up, it's really dense plot-wise." for real, it's ridiculously easy to get lost in this movie if you aren't paying super-close attention to the plot and characters (there's like three backstories going on at the same time, told through flashbacks), which isn't a good thing if you're even the least bit adhd. to whit, the boy took two smoke breaks and i developed a mild headache during this movie.

but then there was the appearance of a fighter jet that only responded to gaelic, which pretty much did me in. a scottish-speaking war plane? done. sold. awful movie of the year. you win the razzie.

(the goofs page on this movie is three pages long, by the way. just so you know.)

g.i. joe, you get a "rock on in your awfulness" from me.

alright, it's time to watch some leafs. ta.

p.s. i just ate this glorious mess for dinner tonight, and i don't think my innards are going to be the same. at least, not until leftovers tomorrow night. mmmmmm.

[ music | crappy new hockey night in canada theme song ]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the scene is dead

december! hurrah.

my monster of a christmas cactus, blooming right on time. i've had it since i was seventeen years old, and no matter how many times i move house, it always finds me again.

anyway, although it was cold enough this morning for me to finally pull out my new winter coat (bought on sale for 20% off at h&m two weeks ago, yessss), apparently this past november was toronto's first snow-less november in over 150 years. let's hear it for global warming! but it more makes me happy because i was able to put off buying excessively warm clothing until, well, now.

warm coat? check. 'tard face? check. (i only wear glasses at work, so my eyes don't get burned out of my head from staring at a computer screen all day. also, they were free with my health plan)

(as a side note, indie 103.1 is playing depeche mode's "people are people" right now, making this the second time i've heard that song in 24 hours. which means it's been a damn good 24 hours.)

it may sound kind of dumb to admit it, but this time of year is the time i most miss being a barista. i know, there is very little i miss about that occupation, but one of the few things was working the holiday season, pulling espresso shots in a warm cafe while snow fell outside, with christmas decorations everywhere and most people (most people) being in great moods. i guess this connects with how that job also gave me the chance to socially interact with people; i'm slightly anti-social by nature, so being forced daily to communicate face to face with strangers was good for me in the end.

i think i mentioned it here before, but more than anything, i've learned that being social is like a muscle: you have to keep exercising it in order for it to stay strong. unfortunately, office desk jobs don't really afford you that opportunity, so that's one of the things i think i've really lost in the last year and a half.

but then i think about the benefits of this nature of occupation - no dealing with idiots/assholes/pompous douchebags, for one, and making a very good salary for another - and figure, eh. i can definitely dig this more.

sxsw 2010: the initial lineup. every year i swear i'm going to head down to austin; every year i end up having to give it a pass. judging by the early list of bands, i'm not seeing much to inspire me to change this pattern, but maybe as bands get added i'll finally find my inspiration. it'd be a fun little trip, anyway.

if you are a hipster indie-music fan, you may be interested in reading stereogum's most-anticipated albums of 2010. well, i guess you don't have to necessarily be a hipster, but you have to have a love for quirky/twee/atmospheric/"angular" music. fuck, do i ever love critics who use "angular" to describe indie rock. i think i've even been guilty of it once or twice. otherwise, mmmmmm new interpol. yes please.

okay look, i'm sorry, but if we're on the topic of bands i loved in 2003-04, i gotta mention razorlight...and the fact that they have a road movie/documentary coming out soon! i guess you can view it online right there once it's released on december 9th. am i gonna take the time to watch it? you betcha.

for the snoop dogg fan who has everything this christmas, one might consider the snoop gps system. but does it tell you to periodically pull onto the shoulder for doobie breaks?

yeah wow. (griswold family christmas house at dundas west & brock)

counting down the days until this payday friday -- then, the christmas shopping (and the purchasing of even more winter outerwear, because i have no warm boots and i left my only pair of winter gloves on the bus) can begin. cue the evil

[ music | the xx, "crystallized" ]