Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the living things

yeah, so i feel a bit better after getting that last rant out. there's always been something about writing that does me a world of good; if you know me in person, you know that i'm not one to keep silent about my feelings (apparently i "don't have a filter"), but i feel more in control of articulating them if i write instead of speak. and to that point, it's good for me to be able to look back over what i wrote in order to get a sense of how to solve whatever it is that's bugging me, so i've been making more of an effort to get out and see friends - old and new - lately. it's lame, but i do get a bit lonely without the boy around, because without him i usually only see my coworkers and my fellow spin class members, and that's it. my life's kind of solitary, though i don't really mind it that way.

anyway, sorry for the absence -- it was unintended, until i started reading the first book of a game of thrones. yeah, i basically haven't really surfaced too much lately. (i haven't tried watching the hbo series yet; i'm one of those people who's strict on reading the original written material of things before she watches the visual adaptation. however, there's a marathon on friday night, which i intend to watch to its fullest.) the boy can attest to this: when i'm engrossed in a new book, i basically ignore everything else until i finish it. and given that it's a series, i might be, er, occupied for a while.

swords! sorcery! nerdery! ah, the old role-playing gamer in me is satisfied.  (doubly so since leilani just lent me some new xbox games today; there goes the rest of my free time that isn't taken up by books)  apparently it's quaint in this day and age that i'm still so into reading books as a pastime; however, if you take into account the fact that they're now mostly e-books, i guess it's not so strange.  the old meets the new.

in the meantime, i'm starting to wonder if it's bad that i dote upon/worry about my balcony garden as much as i do.

seriously, i'm leaving town for the long weekend this week, and though awesome friend amanda agreed to water them while i'm gone, i really hate asking people to do those sort of favours for me. i know it doesn't feel like a big deal, but i don't like being a burden on people.

then again, my plants are spoiled. i hand-pollinate all the veggies (using such unlikely tools as a small paintbrush and an electric toothbrush), i water them with kelp meal tea, and i make sure they get plenty of water first thing in the morning (sometimes even again midday). hell, i even have days during the week when i stop in at home for my lunch break and make sure everything's looking good. so yeah, they definitely don't know the hardship of being stuck in the ground, dependent on rain for water, getting eaten alive by bugs and beasties.

spoiled little bastards. they love it.

oh yeah, and one other story, for those of you who saw this tweet and this pic late last night:

yes, that's my closet, draped in taped-up garbage bags and old bath towels.

basically, around 11 last night, i went digging for some clothes to wear for work today -- only to have my hand come away wet as i pawed aside some hangers. i looked up frantically, and sure enough, there was water steadily dripping through the ceiling in the closet.  now, i'd read the weather report for the evening and it had said thunderstorms, so i assumed that the rain had started and it was the apartment's roof that was leaking (i live on the top floor).  but when i looked outside - no rain.  so, what the fuck?

after delivering a semi-panicked call to the superintendent close to midnight (he wasn't impressed), i was told that it'd be checked out in the morning, and it was most likely the air conditioner.  (the vent is right above the closet.)  so i went to bed but barely slept a wink, terrified of the (probably impossible) thought that water would suddenly start gushing through the roof.  what is it with me and flooded apartments?  i ask you.

so anyway, superintendent shows up bright n' early this morning - shortly after i got out of the shower, dressed in a nyan cat shirt and light blue pajama bottoms with little blue hearts all over them - and determined that something was definitely wrong with the air conditioner -- the drip tray was blocked so the condensation was overflowing, or something. (never mind the fact that we don't run the air conditioner in the bedroom, since it conked out on us back in the winter when it was pumping out hot air instead of cold) it was fixed relatively quickly, but i'd had to hang around at home in the meantime, which meant that a crazy busy work day was even crazier given that i wasn't in the usual office environment. sigh.

right now, the garbage bag curtain and towels are still up there, since the super recommended i "keep an eye on it" for the next day or two...but there's been no leakage since, so here's hoping i don't come back from the long weekend to find a flooded bedroom. not that i'm not used to that sort of thing by now, but i definitely don't want to make it a frequent habit.

and that's it for me, for now.  i'll see what i can come up with this long holiday weekend, if anything.  be safe and have fun, all.

[ music | the chameleons uk, "don't fall" ]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

within and without

you ever get the nagging feeling that people just don't like you, or at least borderline tolerating you, and you don't really know why?

it's a hard thing, i suppose, because you can't get outside of yourself to see what (if anything) is turning people off, and most people aren't blunt enough to tell you to your face what it is that's so annoying about you. and maybe it's a seasonal thing - at least, it is with me - where you go through a phase of feeling as though you're alone in the world, and all the people you thought were on your side just don't care. maybe you're doing something critically wrong, but you can't see it in yourself.

this latest bout of self-reflective ennui has been brought about because facebook messages and @replies on twitter to my friends have routinely been going unanswered. which, to my unsettled mind, makes me wonder if 1) they're not replying because it's easy to forget to do so in social media or 2) they just don't want to talk to me. yet again, this could just serve to illustrate that i feel like things are about me, when they totally couldn't -- maybe my friends are just busy with their own lives. (but it's hard not to be a little paranoid when they have enough time to update their facebook statuses and reply to other people on twitter...)

ugh, social media making everything easier but so much harder at the same time. i'm totally guilty of not just picking up the phone, but i've always hated the phone, even before the advent of social media and its worldwide takeover.

yes, i can admit to some of my faults: i can be aloof, and i can be negative, and i can succumb to petty jealousy, and i can be too self-absorbed (hell, isn't that the point of having a personal blog?). i'm also not very social these days, and i've always had a hard time asking about people's lives (ie. what are you up to, what's that thing you're working on, etc -- it's always felt invasive to me, although i know it's polite recourse). but i try to be a good person, on a whole -- i try to do nice things for others, give compliments, start conversations and the like. but not a lot of that gets returned, which makes me slightly bitter and unwilling to stick my neck out again. (long story there that i won't go into.)

so again, it comes down to establishing if this is all in my head (which also points towards egotism, i suppose) or if there's something i'm doing fundamentally wrong here. to that end, i'm not sure how much of my human nature i can actually change -- or if i'd even be motivated enough to do so (i partially subscribe to the "this is me, i don't care what you think" school).

i guess i'm leaving myself pretty open here to the anonymous commenters, but sometimes you just need to rant. on the internet.

maybe i need to take a hint from sarah and have a "digital diet" weekend so i can get back to where things actually matter.

this post was brought to you by vodka.

[ music | social distortion, "i was wrong" ]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

midnight sun

this has been a quiet month.

aside from this, of course.

the boy and his band, the almighty c'mon, just left yesterday for a quick tour to british columbia and back, amounting to just over two weeks of rock n' roll road-tripping. (learning from past care-package leftovers, i packed him less sweet things and more salty/spicy things) i'm pretty sure i've talked about this in here before - the boy goes on tour at least once a year - and it feels weird the entire time he's gone, because there's a boy-shaped hole in my life. my evenings at home are very quiet, the apartment is very neat, and i'm very alone a lot. except that for the most part, i don't mind it as much as i used to. for example, i sleep like a fucking champion (i've never become accustomed to sharing a bed). that's kind of the part i like best, aside from the fact that the kitchen is kept clean.

but as i've said, we've always functioned well as a long-distance couple; that's how we started off, after all. and really, the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing is totally true -- we both like our space, and tour time gives us just enough time apart to 1) enjoy space apart and 2) appreciate/miss each other. after all, you can't miss somebody if they're there all the time.  (which is a lesson my mother insisted on repeating in the early days of the boy's and my courtship, in which i was clingy as hell and wanted to hang out with him all the time)

anyway, i've already said too much -- i'm sure naysayers are going to run with those comments, accuse us of not loving each other because we don't want to spend every waking minute together, et cetera et cetera. whatever. all i know is that these little separation periods are good stuff for both of us (maybe more for me, since i don't have to spend my days driving across the country and my nights loading and unloading gear), and we're refreshed and nauseatingly cuddly when we're reunited. so.

love love.

in the meantime, i'm kept manically occupied by work - there have been quite a few "i think i've fused to my office chair because i haven't left my desk in hours" moments - but it's all working towards long weekend next week, in which i hop the train to kingston for four days of relaxation. i haven't been back since christmas, which means my parents are getting anxious about seeing me; also, i don't entirely mind kingston in the summertime. it's picturesque, it's fairly cool due to being on the water, and it's just generally a good place to laze away some summer days. especially when your parents put in a pool, hot tub and two patios after you moved out.

otherwise: nhl awards tomorrow night, one of my favourite events of the year. as i was saying to a coworker, you can basically set up drinking games based on awkward english-as-second-language speeches, bad camera shots, and stripper wives/girlfriends with bleached blonde hair and makeup spackled on with a trowel. good times! i will be (infrequently) live-tweeting the event, using the hashtag #NHLawards.

and that's all for now. happy summer solstice, hippies.

[ music | red lorry yellow lorry, "temptation" ]

Friday, June 17, 2011

caffeinated consciousness

so, wow. i came across my old diary files last night.

march 2002, at my first david usher show, where it all began. look out below.

see, i had a public blog - back before the term blog existed, and we called them "online diaries" - way back that predated my old blog, and now there is this distance. actually, if i remember timelines right, i had two: one that ran from spring 2001 to about spring 2003, and a second that went from then until mid-2005 (it coincided with and now there is this distance, but i kept that first blog private and locked down while this distance was open to the public). by summer 2005, i decided to close down my original blog and focus completely on and now there is this distance, but in between - and at the same time during 2001-2003 - i was also keeping a private diary on my computer, full of the shit that i wanted to get down in writing but didn't want anyone else to see.

and in retrospect, holy shit was that ever the right decision. sure, i might have a bigger legacy now if i'd been continually blogging in public for the last eleven years, but i probably wouldn't be able to live with myself.

basically, it was the chronicle of a crazy hyperactive obsessed rock band fangirl. almost every single entry i wrote mentioned the band i was following at the time (david usher & his solo band, then his bassist jeff's solo band, then jeff's guitarist sean's solo band...), or else just moist in general. there was also a lot of commentary and rantings about the gossipy, backstabbing politics of being so heavily involved in a fandom that 1) primarily consisted of females and 2) worshiped at the altar of a group of attractive rock star men. combine this environment with someone like myself - a girl on her way out of adolescence, just moved to the big city alone and still coming to grips with herself - and it was akin to a powderkeg at times.

(also, i took it all seriously. so seriously. i can't even imagine what it'd have been like if i'd gone through it all now, in the age of facebook and twitter.)

aside from the ramblings and gushings, though, it reads more or less like what you'd expect from a nineteen-year-old; i wrote in that thing (literally, they were text docs) multiple times a day, usually about what i was doing or what i was looking forward to or school or food or hangouts with friends. yes, exactly the kind of boring minutiae that people think most personal blogs are all about.

but then it petered off when i started the shift from semi-innocent fangirl to groupie-in-training - including detailing my first few attempts at seducing musicians, which are so incredibly cringe-worthy i can't even read them now, eight years down the line - and that shift is so clearly visible in my writing. the lighthearted accounts of my days faded out, and were replaced with pages upon pages of angst and anxiety over those idiot men that meant the world to me at that time. it got dark. it got sad. and cringe-worthy as a lot of it was, i could clearly see where and when things began to spiral out of control, and where i started to get lost on my turbulent way through my early twenties.

one of the things that struck me the most was how much i talked about my friends at the time, how much we confided in each other and how much time we spent together. reading this now, it seems like i had a shit-ton of friends back then; sadly, reading this now, i also know that they weren't really my friends. i don't mean that in a completely cold sense, because at the time, we were friends. but us falling out of touch and not talking anymore isn't a symptom of the facebook age; in some cases, i realized that a few of them were poison to me and my self-esteem, so i cut them out of my life. and so it's weird to read about me going on and on about the great times i was having with these girls, and it makes me wonder if i really knew what was going on all along and just pretending i didn't.

another amusing thing i noticed was how self-aware i was about the whole thing. at a couple points in entries from 2002, i commented about how i was afraid i'd look back on these diaries years from now and regret everything (i don't) or be totally embarrassed (well, a little bit). i talked about my terror at the idea of a day coming when my life wouldn't be revolving around this band and this posse of friends and this lifestyle; that day is more or less now, and i'm not exactly killing myself over it.

funny how time and distance change perspective, eh?

anyway, i guess what i'm getting at is how much i snickered to myself while reading these old diary entries, knowing now what i didn't know then. i had no idea the tidal wave of drama and craziness that was gunning straight for me, nor the fact that i was running for it head-on. i couldn't have foreseen how far my friendships - and otherwise - would go with the various musicians that would enter (and exit) my life. and i definitely couldn't have known that, eight years later, i would have the rockstar boyfriend i wanted so badly (but in a much more stable situation) and be living together, still into each other after four years as a couple.

finally, although i know i must have suspected it wouldn't last forever, i'd wanted to know that the day wouldn't come where the pedestals would crumble, and the rockstars themselves would no longer be the demigods i once thought they were. that day's come and gone by now, and with time and perspective, i know i'm better off for it.

so in the end, i basically lived a lifetime between 2001 and 2007, and it's nice to know that if i ever start to forget it - or if it ever starts to feel too much like a life someone else lived, or something i dreamed up - i have the written evidence to prove it.

march 8, 2003


Choose band fandoms. Choose a band. Choose to spend all your money on show tickets, rare CDs, merch and photographs. Choose to make signs. Choose to throw bras onstage. Choose to have a camera at all times. Choose the loss of sleep. Choose road trips. Choose sleeping on the floors of seedy motel rooms. Choose the drug of your choice while losing all the moisture from your body and standing in the middle of a full mosh pit. Choose to learn the fine art of sneaking backstage. Choose a sore throat the next morning, along with bruises in places you didn't know you could bruise. Choose to spend long hours on buses and trains, going to the middle of nowhere just to see the band play a hick town with a population of 40.

Choose your band member.

Choose band fandoms.

[ music | the caesars, "it's not the fall that hurts" ]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

body talk

June Prompt: What can you let yourself off the hook for?

[image from the weight loss site - i'm basically at the "current weight" size]

oh, well, this one is a common call for so many girls: my appearance. i've needed to give myself a break on the way i look for at least seven years now.

it's strange, really -- i had a pretty healthy body image as a teenager (i was a few pounds overweight, but never super-heavy, and i was always of the mind that "if a guy doesn't want me like this, i don't want him"), but then i remember moving to toronto and looking at all the slim, gorgeous girls on campus and feeling deflated. add that to the eventual pressure from the company - and competition - i later kept as a band groupie, and my staunch feminist beliefs that i shouldn't have to impress anyone but myself began to crack.

i really went gung-ho on the weight control after the first rockstar i was seeing decided he didn't want to see me anymore; i can't confirm it, but the fact that he was always eager to ask "are you going to the gym today?" might have had something to do with it. after that, i remember running many angry laps around the university gym's track, listening to holly mcnarland's "elmo" and thinking about how soon i'd be so hot that he'd regret dumping me.

well, that worked, but it required a lot of misguided self-control and a bad habit of subsisting on coffee and cigarettes. i looked great, but i wasn't smart about it at all. and now, almost eight years on, i still struggle with the same body and self-esteem issues, to the point where i wonder if it's like alcoholism or a drug addiction -- you never quite get over it.

but anyway, like i said, it's strange, because i didn't have any of those pressures growing up. i have strident feminist parents who never questioned me or my looks and, despite the fact that my mother is a tiny woman, i never figured that i could look like her. and to this day, i still have a hard time figuring out what my ideal body shape is -- i'm tall and small-boned, but i've definitely got hips (and added padding since i've started working sedentary desk jobs). i work out as much as i can, but there's only so much i can do, and as this prompt says, i should let myself off the hook for the things i can't (such as make said hips shrink, because they're bones and they kind of can't do that).

it's only been in the last year that i've subscribed to bust magazine - not to mention i only started reading jezebel last month - and thankfully, it's those things that sway me a bit more all the time, convincing me that maybe i do look okay the way i am. maybe i don't need to obsess. maybe i'm absolutely fine, and it's everyone else that's wrong.

anyway. this topic always results in a firestorm from my female acquaintances, with many of them freaking out on me - you're thin enough! you work out all the time, you don't need to do it so much! why do you think you're heavy? why don't you feel good enough about yourself? - to the point of making me feel ashamed (which is probably the point, but i do not appreciate it). a number of the not-so-close acquaintances have even made a show about how much they love themselves for who they are -- when i've definitely heard and read things from them on occasion about how they doubt their own bodies and appearances. that hypocritical thing sort of gets my goat, and reinforces the notion that no girl is immune. again, that sort of statement brings about the firestorms, but hey, whatever. i believe what i believe.

okay, this post has been all over the place, but i hope i managed to somehow answer why i need to give myself a rest when it comes to body image. that's been a goal of mine for years and years now, and unfortunately, i think it'll take a few more years before i'm completely fine with myself. but i'm working on it.

[ music | lady gaga, "born this way" ]

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

exile vilify

...and june is a go.

yeah, so i'm just a little obsessed with my urban garden.

at least this weather is definitely inspiring me to get out and be active and do things and make memories. i feel like that's probably the case for a lot of people; summer is prime time for good times, and i'm already feeling the early stirrings of plans like picnics and trips to toronto island and patio hangouts. the boy and i had our first al fresco dinner on our balcony (homemade tacos for him, taco salad for the cavegirl) last sunday evening, and it was absolutely glorious. these are all the things you miss after living in a basement for years and years.

speaking of summertime rejuvenation, i'm glad to note that my renewed gym membership is getting plenty of work, mostly on a new schedule: spin class monday & thursday, weight training class wednesday, and free cardio on saturday & sunday. that gives me five days on with two days (tuesdays and fridays) off, which works perfectly for me recovery-wise. probably not so much for my growing lululemon addiction (i want one of eeeeeverything), but oh well.

and it might be weird, but i really want a pair of these:

ridiculous-looking, yet so functional! (and for someone like me, who has continuous trouble with footwear of all kinds, it'll be interesting to see how they work out)

anyway, this schedule also gives me the time to reflect on how much i missed being able to work out, and how much i definitely need that cathartic outlet for all my pent-up energy throughout the day. sure, there are times when i get burnt out on the gym; those are the times when i absolutely hate it and think of any excuse possible to get out of it. but there are times when i'm walking back home from the gym at dusk, and i just got out of a hard spin class so my adrenaline high is cooling down, and everything feels right and awesome. plus i can tell my moods have evened out a lot as well -- i'm a lot more cheerful and energetic at home. so those are the things i have to remind myself when i get to those burnout points and want to just go home and veg on the couch all night. not good. grossness follows.

but honestly, it's getting up and moving - to see my surroundings, preferably on foot - that has me the most motivated this summer. however, that brings us to another point, one i don't like admitting to my fellow canadians for fear of being lynched: i'm not a huge fan of the heat. sure, we may have six months of winter and cold weather here, but i almost enjoy it. when it gets to the point where it's so hot that the humidex puts it close to 40 celsius, i hate everything. mostly because i hate sweating; i have isolated axillary hyperhidrosis, which means that i sweat too much and i get dehydrated very easily because of it. hence, a hot summer is generally my body's enemy.

i know, i know. i'm that person. but at least i have a medical excuse for my high-heat grumpiness. (and i try to keep my complaints about the cold in wintertime at a minimum)

wildly off-topic: apparently - according to blogger anyway - this blog is now (or will shortly be) optimized for mobile devices, which is a plus if you're trying to read this from your smartphone. i would be all sarcastic about "welcome to 2005" or whatever, but i'd rather look on the positive and be glad that blogger's finally getting with the times and adding new/improved features. moar readership!!!1 so yeah, let me know how that goes.

back to the hockey game, and copious drinking.

[ music | the stone roses, "i wanna be adored" ]