Thursday, May 31, 2012

pump it up

'tis the summer of travel. as i posted on my facebook wall the other day:

Kingston June 29-July 2.
Montreal July 14-16.
Chicago July 27-29.
NYC August 2-5.


(my brain also keeps lumping in june 14-16 at nxne as travel/vacation time, which is dumb because 1. i'm working it and 2. i'm not leaving the city)

so yeah, not much has changed since the last travel update -- except, oh, yet another chicago trip in there. hilariously enough, this will be my third chicago trip in less than a year, brought about by the combination of two important factors: a 50% off seat sale at porter, and a new kill hannah show. the boys are playing wicker park fest, and the more i thought about it, the more determined i was to go. i haven't seen kh since the last time they played toronto (which was fall 2009, i think), and that's far too long for a band whose logo i have tattooed. i've been going to see kill hannah since i was 20 years old, and the sense of nostalgia is strong in me right now. i need to go back and see them. also, just chicago in general. love love love.

the joke is on me, though, since i will be taking not one but two flights within seven days of each other. if this doesn't help me get used to flying, nothing will. (yet news stories like this one don't make me feel better.)

also, update on another life/self-improvement movement: crossfit! tonight will be my fourth and final training session, which means that i can start doing the real classes next week. should i choose to accept this mission (and i guess i have to for now, since i paid for six additional classes), i'll be doing two crossfit classes a week for the next three weeks, then have to make the decision whether or not to keep going. the training sessions have been working me hard (after the first one, i could barely walk for almost a week; i nearly cried out of frustration and exhaustion during the third session), but nowhere near as hard as the real thing will. yikes.

anyway, i'm still of kind of pretty terrible at everything, but the key thing is that i know i can get better at it (and i will), and to be a little proud of myself for going through with this in the first place. the idea of crossfit has always sort of terrified me, and the fact that i've managed to not flake out of any of the training sessions is a huge self-victory in itself. i'm completely motivated by the thought of getting to do the actual, 30-45 minute classes next week. (the training sessions have been in the range of 2-3 hours long, which is a long-ass time.)

so here's what my planned weekly schedule will look like:

sunday - gym cardio in the a.m.
monday - day off (because mondays are crummy enough just being mondays, and also because it's the only weeknight that dean has off and i want boyfriend time)
tuesday - crossfit in the evening
wednesday - day off (because hump day!)
thursday - gym cardio in the evening + spin class 5:45-6:30 p.m.
friday - crossfit in the evening
saturday - gym cardio in the a.m. + spin class 10-10:50 a.m.

again, but for different reasons -- whew.  (and although many people cringe in horror at the idea of working out on weekend mornings, i'm very much a morning person who hates being bored, and i never have anything to do on saturday and sunday mornings except wait for the boy to wake up, which usually isn't until 10:30-11 a.m.)

anyway! that's your end-of-the-month update from me. a little short, but there's a semi-promise of many travel blog posts to come later this summer, so hopefully i'll be able to get off my ass and take care of that. in the meantime, there is much getting-ready to be done right now -- wish me luck in finally completing this training!

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

modest self-improvements

further to my mother's suggestion that i work on changing the things that i can change, i have declared the rest of this month and all of next month to be my time of 1) improving myself and 2) getting shit done. just to prove to myself that i can. (shades of last january!)

for one, i've been meaning to finally step it up on my physical fitness. sure, i'm very good about going to the gym 5-6 days a week, but i'll be the first to admit that i'm incredibly lazy in my workouts. it's definitely the same cardio every time (with two spin classes thrown in for good measure, but even those are a lot of the same movements week after week), and though my lower body is pretty good at endurance, i have no upper body strength -- and that's something i've been meaning to work on for years. but, y'know, it's pretty easy to put something off when you don't want to do it (because you're not good at it and thus you're not motivated to work on it). so finally, on jenna's recommendation/urging, i made the plunge and registered for crossfit, which is absolutely something i should have been doing back when i first started in on the primal lifestyle.

so i'm doing the required "on-ramp program" twice a week for the next four weeks (the first one is tonight - eeeeeeee), and then i'm hopefully going to move on to regular twice-weekly workouts. it's mostly strength training, so i'm going to keep my regular gym membership for a little while, if only because i really like my spin classes and being able to get some cardio in to balance things out. i figure i'll give that combo a few months and see what happens; it might not be sustainable for long, since it'll cost me about $150+ a month for both gyms, but that's a decision i'll make further down the line. in situations like this, it's nice to have the extra finances kicking around.

i just want my focus for the next little while to be on bettering my fitness, so i can have a capable body for doing functional things. (well, and to look good in summer outfits, of course.) i want to be able to lift things. i don't want to have to rely on other people to do physical things for me because i have zero upper body strength. as long as i keep this goal of having an optimally-functioning human body in mind, i'm pretty confident i'll be able to stick with it. health is crazy important, after all. (it took a marathon of watching the entire weight of the nation documentary series to absolutely terrify me about what can happen when you don't take care of yourself.)

also tied in with this goal: get my dietary habits back on track. watch what i eat, stop snacking so much, stop reading food blogs (major appetite trigger), and rein in my sweet tooth. it's been working so far with only a few minor slip-ups, and i've actually noticed a pretty big different in both my body and my energy levels.

for two, i have a bunch of work goals that i want to complete by the end of june. well, they're not so much a "want to" as a "need to", since completing them is tied to my performance review in the fall, but i want to push myself to make them a priority. no more details there, because i'm reticent to mention anything about my job in this blog (as i've said before, i'm not that dumb), but i really intend to make this happen. again, just to prove to myself that i can do these things if i just knuckle down and complete them.

oh yeah, and i guess for three - i've been reading a lot of articles lately about internet privacy and tracking and oversharing, and i went ahead and deleted my foursquare account (again, though i think it'll stick this time). it was fun while it lasted, but ultimately those articles were right -- nobody needs to know where i am and where i've been. and if they feel that they do, then uh, that's kind of creepy, guy.

back in my younger years, i figured the only way to get out of one's bubble was through extreme methods -- like, moving to the other side of the country. but now i'm realizing that there are little ways you can do it, day by day, to help you grow as a person in small, gradual ways. true, it takes a lot more effort - and sustained effort at that - to stay on track with small life changes, but i'm keeping in mind that after you do things long enough, your brain just accepts them as routine and normal. i think that's how it works, anyway.

meanwhile, there was the first sangria sunday since 2009, and lo, it was good:

[ music | cold cave, "villains of the moon" ]

Saturday, May 12, 2012


i forgot that having things to look forward to is one of my prime sources of daily happiness. nothing does it for me like anticipation.

seeing the avengers for the second and third time: i haven't seen a movie in theatres more than twice...uh, ever. (even seeing a movie in theatres twice is extremely rare for me.) but goddammit if i wasn't counting down the days until this movie came out, and so now i want to make the most of it while it's still on the big screen. it's not even that there are easter eggs or things that i miss each time around -- no, i just want to watch it again and again unto infinity. ever since i fell in love with x-men vs. street fighter as a young teen (going back even further, my favourite spider-man: the animated series arc involved spidey meeting the x-men), nothing gives me a bigger geek-ladyboner than crossovers. and to see this multi-movie crossover on the big screen, with a skinny gothy hottie of a villain who does crazy things to my ladybits?

anyway, as i said before, i saw avengers by myself the third day it was out in theatres, and now i'm going again tomorrow afternoon, and then i'm taking dean to see it on monday. hopefully he won't mind terribly when i start drooling and making take-me-now whimpering noises every time loki is onscreen. (as an observation, i find it funny that although i've been dating a warm, sunny blond for five years now, i still have a thing for the pale dark-haired boys of the night)

spring being here, and summer coming up: yep. the sunshine and green growing things automatically seem to make everything better and more awesome.

dresses on the way: and these two are next on my wishlist, even though they sort of look the same:

not sure yet on the second one since it's sort of mumsy (i generally recoil at things that button up), but the first one has just the right amount of gauzy gothiness.

nxne in june: i'm going back into the press pit for this one, and it's actually made me way more excited than i'd initially expected. sure, i'm doing it gratis, but i sort of realized that maybe that's the key to keeping up with my music journalism -- i don't need it to live (i have a day job for that), so why not do pieces here and there for free, if only to keep my name out there and my portfolio updated? i'm still not sure it'll ever pan out as a career, but old habits die hard. and i do love the feel of a press pass around my neck during a music festival.

kingston for canada day weekend: usually i'm not that thrilled to go back to k-town, but i really do enjoy it in the summertime, and i also haven't seen my family since christmas. since this is the first long weekend of the summer, i figured i might as well take it from my old home. kingston's also really quite nice in june/july, especially when it comes to watching fireworks from confederation basin.

montreal on july 14-16: this was a split-second decision brought on by two things - a weird longing to visit montreal again (i haven't been since the bachelorette weekend last september), and via rail's 50% off sale (the same one i used to score the trip above as well). when these two circumstances collided, it resulted in me booking this mid-july trip for no reason whatsoever other than that i want to. the arbitrary timing ended up being super-great, too -- now i'm going to be meeting up with internet friends, hopefully seeing my favourite uncle, finally re-visiting old montreal, and hanging out on patios across downtown. not sure yet if this will be a solo trip - the boy's working on a show through the summer and doesn't know if he can get the time off - but either way, i'm stoked.

new york city on august 2-5: ...this one actually is a trip with the boy -- i'm tagging along as he heads down to nyc for a weekend to practice with a old friend's band that he'll be doing a one-off gig (in, uh, indiana) with in the fall. so while there'll hopefully be mornings and evenings in between band practice to explore the city together, there'll still be plenty of time for me to trek across downtown nyc and visit both friends and old favourite haunts from my last trip (two years ago!). my only point of apprehension is that we're flying there, but we're taking porter (they of the free in-air snacks and booze) and it's only about an hour and a half, so i think i'll be okay.

coming soon in pop culture: stephen king's follow-up novel to the shining. depeche mode are likely touring next year. the stanley cup playoffs have almost reached their conclusion, but in the meantime there's been hockey almost every day. and so on, and so forth.

and now for game 7 of rangers-capitals. woooo!

[ music | lady gaga, "judas" ]

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

better days

it's may already? man.

i guess this is looking like shades of 2008, when i basically disappeared from blogging for two months, for myriad reasons. for one, i don't like just blogging for the sake of blogging (i'd rather have quality over quantity, and posts of substance rather than fluffy throw-away things that are only a few sentences long), and for two, i tend to come up against that old barrier of having so much to write about, only i can't because there are things i can't reveal online.

i also probably spend too much time apologizing for not blogging enough/extrapolating upon why i don't blog enough/et cetera, and so on.

this has been a close friend in recent weeks. (also: the best wine.)

there's been a lot of life trouble and weirdness, and a lot of stuff that i don't care to talk about in a public forum. as i've mentioned before, i've become a lot more social-media aware in the last few years; it definitely impacts the amount of things i reveal in my blog, which sort of rankles me, but i know deep down that it's for the best. it keeps me safe, basically. which is hilarious coming from the girl who's never had a filter.

anyway, there's been a lot of personal inventory being done in my life, and a lot of having to remind myself that i am, in fact, not a total fuckup who's absolutely alone in the world.

i don't know how much of an effect the word "depression" has these days. in fact, i'm inclined to think that pretty much everybody goes through minor-to-major periods of being depressed. so i don't know if even saying that it runs in my family is that huge of a revelation; i've had a few bleak periods in my life, anyway. (i was eleven years old when they sent me to a therapist for the first time.) the last month or two haven't been too easy on me for a variety of reasons that, again, i'm not wanting to discuss here.

as i said, though, i've had to do a lot of reminding myself that things aren't as terrible as i think they are. i have an incredibly solid bunch of friends that do nice things for me, and i'm getting better at returning the favour. i'm trying to focus more on liking myself more, in hopes that it'll have a positive effect on my life outlook. and lastly, i keep trying to remember what my mother told me: that i need to determine what i do have control over, and what i can work to change.

i also have really great hair these days. (thanks bumble and bumble, even though you discontinued my miracle product and now i have to buy it on ebay)

further to the point about "liking myself more", i've found myself cultivating more of a "grown-up" fashion sense. my current favourite look is a dress/skirt, tights, flats or tall boots, and a blazer or leather jacket overtop. part of me may (finally) be ready to embrace the girly side, but i can't give up the badass-gothy side that easily.

still, these are some of my recent purchases from modcloth (and yes, retail therapy does feel good for a while):

i wasn't sure on this one, but despite the fact that the arms are a little wide, it looks pretty fantastic under a blazer. also, i really sort of adore what alison called the "reverse mullet" trend in dresses, though i suspect it's because i love drape-y, billowing things flowing out behind me (see also: long trenchcoats, of which i have two). maybe i just need a cape.

this is the same dress, obviously -- it's basically a two-in-one, depending on the sash inclusion and the adjustable length of the skirt. i have no fucking clue where i will wear this thing, but i suspect the office summer party will be a good place to start.

again, another dress that i bought for the hell of it, mostly because i want to badass it up with my leather bomber or some heavy boots.

so that takes care of the self-image (for now)...and when it comes to racking up things to look forward to in the coming months, i've done alright: taking boy to see the avengers next monday (i caved and saw it myself last weekend - eeeeeee!), doing nxne press coverage in june, spending july's canada day weekend in kingston with my family, and going to new york city with the boy in august. whew.

all in all, things are looking much further up. at least it's always something to strive for.

[ music | lady gaga, "bad romance" ]