Friday, March 29, 2013

the science of things

and now for new things! shiny new things to make me feel better:

new tattoos: as you might have noticed at the end of two blog posts ago, i got ink numbers 9 and 10 done last saturday (at hartless tattoo, where my current go-to girl is evie, who also did my forearms). they were relatively quick - maybe five minutes each, tops - but i'd underestimated just how much getting your inner wrists tattooed fucking hurts. i'd assumed that since my inner forearms didn't feel too bad, the base of my wrists wouldn't be awful, but maaaaaan. i hadn't really thought too much about all the veins and tendons and little bones and stuff. ugh.

so yeah, five minutes each, but the left one especially killed me. probably one of the more painful pieces i've had done (up there with the inner portion of my upper arm, because anything near the armpit just sucks). i made a lot of sad whimpering noises, but it was all worth it in the end, because they look awesome -- evie commented that "they look like they were meant to be there all along" and yep, indeed. we're now into the double digits when it comes to my collection of ink, and i couldn't be happier. (i'm one of those people who's wanted tattoos since early adolescence, so.)

left and right:


for those of you not musically inclined, by the way, the one on my left wrist is a treble clef and the one on my right wrist is a bass clef. amusingly, i now have two bass clefs tattooed - there's one included with the band of musical notes tattooed around my upper left arm, since it's a bass line and all - but i'm okay with this, given how the rhythm section (which includes drummers) has both made me who i am and absolutely ruined me over the last ten years of my life. that's how it goes.

new job: so, my last day at my old job was wednesday the 20th, and it was fine -- got a lovely card from my coworkers, and i only got choked up a little bit as i was walking home from the office for the last time. it really did feel like i was closing the book on a chapter of my life, one that was all wrapped up with things like my last relationship and the neighbourhood i had lived and worked in for over two years. so yeah, little emotional over here.

after a two-day orientation last week, i started full-time work at my new marketing job downtown. again, i'm not going to be detailing too much - working in public relations for three years is really good at making you gun-shy and paranoid about what you say in public - but i'm working with a longtime friend as well as a bunch of really cool people, and we're doing really cool things, so that's awesome and a very positive move for me in a lot of ways. also awesome: being back downtown for work! i've been in the area for jobs twice now in my life, and i missed it during the years i was up working in yorkville. it's just so much more convenient, close to things and in the heart of the action, plus i have endless options for places to walk on my breaks. new things to see and do: bonus. extra bonus since spring is coming, which just makes everything that much better.

new phone: i got my very first iphone! (a 4s, because it was free with contract)  combine that with my very first macbook at work, and i'm innundated with new technology marvels to figure out. i'm mostly stoked about how good the iphone's camera is, though -- for someone like me who has a penchant for ridiculous amounts of selfies, this is perfect. like so:

(the above picture is my office intranet profile pic. they wanted something with a "smiling face," so i figured "smirking devilishly in a punk hoodie" was close enough.) funny how my parents always complain that i never want to have my picture taken, but that's only because i prefer to have control over how the shots turn out -- mostly because i know that i can either look alright in photos, or really, really bad in photos. also, i am a narcissist, which is probably why i am good at the internet.

oh, and as i said before, instagram is now a thing in my life. i've been big on photography my entire life, and it's a good way to dip my toes back in the pool. again, another reason to look forward to spring: so many more pretty things to photograph. (my father: "what's the weather like out there in toronto?" me: "it's brown.")

new outlook: well, okay, not totally on this one, not yet -- but i'm getting there. see, my mother came to town yesterday for a surprise visit, and it was awesome to see her:

(i get my penchant for epic winter coats from her, obviously.)

anyway, over a lovely lunch, i spilled out all the things that have been deeply troubling me over the last few months, and the big, terrifying, much-needed steps i've just taken to get on the road to fixing them, and ultimately myself. then my mom said she was proud of me, and sometimes that's all you need. (also, she confirmed that i may not be completely there yet - "you still have the emotional ties," she noted, "but you can work through those until they don't matter anymore" - but i will get to a good point eventually. i'm no longer as stuck as i was, and that's the important thing.)

i did have a moment the other night though, when i was out on my balcony having a smoke and watching the sun set, and i smiled to myself and said out loud, "i'm gonna be okay."

and yeah. i am.

[ music | depeche mode, "personal jesus (the stargate mix)" ]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

where is the cure for my disease

so here is the truth of it, then, insofar as i can tell the truth without breaking any promises (and i keep my promises):

when i was in my late teens/early twenties, i had a pretty clear vision of the life i eventually wanted to have. i wanted a well-paying career (aka anything that wasn't a minimum-wage joe job); i wanted a nice apartment in downtown toronto (aka anything that wasn't a basement); i wanted a boyfriend who loved me (and played in a rock band, please and thank you). these were the things that would make me happy, i figured. attain these three things and my malcontent self would finally be appeased. the dissatisfaction with myself and my life would be gone, and my nagging ennui would disappear.

this time one year ago, i had all three boxes checked off: the beautiful little toronto apartment, the secure job that afforded me a comfortable lifestyle, the long-term relationship with a wonderful man who just happened to play in a number of awesome bands. it was great. it should have been great.

i don't have the words for how fucking miserable i was.

i don't know how much of it i hinted at in blog posts from that time (it got really bad from january through may 2012), but yeah, i was out of my mind with unhappiness. the thing is, i was just so goddamn bored. i had everything i wanted to attain; i felt like there was nothing left for me to strive for, and so i just sort of wandered through my days wondering why i didn't feel more fulfilled or more secure. also, i was lonely. it is so beyond fucking hard to be lonely in a relationship, i can tell you that. you start looking for a way out -- any way out.

so. what did i do to remedy this?

i made choices. a bunch of choices. and for good or ill, i got out.

now, the present day: i've left my boyfriend; i moved apartments to a one-bedroom on the west side; i switched jobs from the comfortable familiar one that i'd held for the last three years.

am i happy now?

i don't even know. i don't. but at least i can say that things are constantly changing now, and i am no longer bored. whether i'm still afflicted with some malaise of discontent, i have yet to tell. and if i am, then i really have no idea what else i can do to try and fix it. therapy, i guess.

but spring is coming, and i've cut some of the deadwood out of my life, and i think that will help.

[ music | depeche mode, "soothe my soul" ]

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


i wanted to talk about this for a minute:

embarrassing confession: i actually hadn't seen hard core logo until last year. i knew it was one of those movies that i would get, yet i'd never gotten around to watching it. then it was on aux tv or ifc or some channel one night, and i put it on (with the now-ex boy, of course, because - him having lived it - he was probably the best companion to watch it with), and was basically floored. as i suspected, i got it. it was like an emotional gut punch, all the memories coming back, remembering where i came from. i think maybe i'd been subconsciously avoiding watching it for that very reason. sometimes it's hard to be reminded of your past, especially when you're still so conflicted about your present.

anyway, i read that trigger was originally supposed to be a follow-up movie to hard core logo about joe and billy, which would make sense coming from bruce mcdonald -- but the two leads were changed to women musicians instead. so i'd read about it coming out at tiff a few years back, and i remember wanting to check it out. movies about bands and musicians are my bag, after all. (dig!, almost famous and control are three of my favourite films, unsurprisingly.) with me, it's sort of like books -- i go searching for the stories that will reflect my own life, and help me understand myself a little better. stories about the world of rock bands, obviously, do that more clearly than anything else.

anyway. the point is, i watched this movie alone in my apartment one night last fall, and i silently cried through about half of it. then i had to go outside and smoke three cigarettes before my hands stopped shaking.

because i knew those people. i knew that story. it's been ingrained in me since i was sixteen years old and heard the song that would change my life; since i was eighteen and made a choice that would define who i would become; since i was twenty-one and gave myself up for a price that i would keep paying for years and years to come.

but i am not one of them, i will never be one of them, and still -- i get it. and i tell myself that i can leave it, that i can walk away, but i know that i can't, because i won't. because it's the only life i've known and, more importantly, it's the only one i've ever wanted.

eleven years ago, i moved here to find the musicians.

and i found them.

[ music | none ]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

when you move on

now that everything's said and done, i can finally tell you all that i'm starting a new job on monday.

everything will be non-specific and intentionally vague, of course, because i'm smarter than that when it comes to what i write in the public sphere, but it wasn't for any bad or negative reasons -- just a switching of gears for me. i'm still relatively young and, as i pointed out to my concerned parents, i'm almost done with my student debt, i have a decent amount of savings, i don't own a house or a car, and i don't have kids or a partner or pets. now's my time to take risks. though it's what i flippantly said to a friend that sort of hit the nail on the head: "whenever things in my life get too comfortable and familiar, i tend to throw it all away in the pursuit of something new and exciting." and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how i propel myself out of my comfort zone. it's messy and stupid and sometimes traumatic, but it works. i get so complacent that that's literally the only way anything changes in my life.

but i digress -- there's plenty of stuff to be both sad and excited about. i'm stoked for all the shiny new stuff, like a new office and new colleagues and new responsibilities, but of course i'm bummed out that i'll be losing the rad people who have been my coworkers for the last three years, as well as a place that's basically been my second home for so long. (remember when i got hired? good times.) see, where i work always ends up being so tied with my life and whatever i'm going through. no matter how crazy things get in my "outside" life, my workplace remains the same, and i've found that to be something of a comfort many times throughout many places of employment. it can be a sanctuary, a place to get my mind off of whatever turmoil's happening in my personal life. (other than my workplace, these weird little sanctuaries also include my gym, and my mother's house.)

yet i was here during the bad times, too. i was here for the months when i was propping myself up with too much caffeine and nicotine and little else. i was here for the times spent hiding in the stairwell, quietly sobbing over the phone to my mother about the mistakes i'd made, the things i couldn't take back. (and i'd made so many mistakes.) i was here both before and after i made one of the hardest decisions of my life, a choice that still defines so many of my days.

see, to me, life is about the choices you make. sometimes it works out, and it's good; sometimes it doesn't work out, and you live with the consequences, and you hopefully learn from them. at the end of the day, though, making choices is a risk you have to take. all of life - as i told someone who was once important to me, not too long ago - is a risk. but i think that that's how you really live, and how you get the most out of the one shot you have in this world. what kind of a life do you have if you don't take a chance on things?

("And what keeps me awake at night," I said, "is the idea that maybe I made the wrong choice. But then I realize that neither path was right, and neither was wrong." I paused here, trying to explain it correctly, because it matters. "I feel like I lost. And I can't sleep at night because I hate the fact that there's nothing I can fucking do about it.")

and all i can think of is how many times people have asked me what do you want, what do you really want, and what i have always wanted is something i've never been able to name.

still -- you need to move on, and grow, and change. whatever it takes. whatever it takes.

[ music | dj tiesto ft. emily haines, "knock you out" ]

Sunday, March 10, 2013

in bloom

spring is coming, and holy shit goddamn am i ever going to miss this coat:

i originally bought it for a number of reasons - it was 50% off; the ridiculous fur collar; my previous winter coat was so worn out that the right arm was basically tearing off - but i haven't regretted how stupidly outrageous it is, and now that it's finally(!) warming up outside, i'm already mourning the loss of my diva-ness. the above look goes over real well in yorkville, let me tell you. (and yet i am poor, and not at all famous, and actually a farmgirl from the sticks. i just know how to fake it really, really well.)

thus sayeth the girl who is too ashamed to admit just how many leather jackets she owns. the madness must end. (though i guess it's a testament to how much i am my mother's daughter.)

and now, for an equally ridiculous admission: last week, i didn't go to the gym for four whole days. four! holy fucking shocking, i know. but seriously, ever since i was 21, i've been very adamant to hit the gym no less than four days a week, and at least six days (sometimes all seven if i'm bored). over the last couple of years, it's not even about maintaining or keeping in shape; it's more about the catharsis, and having something to do that's good for me, and keeping myself feeling happy. there's been a billion scientific studies about how regular exercise staves off depression, and i absolutely believe that. but for me, last week, i just wanted to try indulging my slothful side that always wants to go home at the end of the day and lie on the couch and drink a lot of vodka.

surprise! crappy moods ahoy.

no surprise: it requires an ass-ton of self-discipline to go to the gym every day. i don't really enjoy it, and i do really enjoy sabotaging and/or undermining my self-discipline. so even though i decided to try giving in to my impulses to take a load off and relax, i found that i...wasn't relaxing. i felt crummy and lazy and tired. and the more i stayed away from the gym, the less motivated i was to return. and then thursday night's spin class was exhausting. vicious cycle (no pun intended).

so, lesson learned: after making the gym part of my routine for so long, taking it out does more harm for me than good. also, probably wasn't a great idea to try this experiment the same week i decided to cut out coffee after 2 p.m. (my sleeping patterns have been ruined for so long now, and i suspect it's all the coffee i drink), because man oh man i was surly and short-tempered. more so than i usually am, that is.

still, as always, it only takes friends and booze in combination to cheer me up:

oh and i also got instagram, finally, which works for me on a variety of levels. a social network? pretty photography? a place for all my self-indulgent snaps? yes, yes please, sign me the fuck up.

this is one of my favourites right now:

that's my daily mantra (posted on my laptop), inspired by this wonderful quote:

yep. have a good fucking life. that's all there is to it, really.

p.s. there may or may not be a vlog in the near future, so stay tuned for that piece of insanity.

[ music | leonard cohen, "famous blue raincoat" ]

Friday, March 8, 2013

fall awake now

- a paraphrased conversation -

"you sure you wanna hear this?"

i handed him a cigarette and nodded. "yep. hit me."

he shrugged and inhaled as i lit the cigarette for him, looking thoughtful. "okay, here's the thing. you - you're kinda like a hurricane, you know? you're all unpredictable and sudden and kinda crazy, and you just love to blow into somebody's life out of nowhere and change everything."

"and that's such a bad thing."

"no, i didn't say that. it isn't always, but..." he raised an eyebrow at me. "look, it's just that a lot of guys like the chaotic approach at first because yeah, it's exciting and fun and new, but it doesn't really hold up over time. they want it, but they don't want to keep it. you see what i'm saying?"

"i think so. maybe." i leaned back in my chair, exhaling smoke. "but what am i supposed to do, change? this is the only way i know how to be, you know that. and i happen to like who i am, mostly."

"okay, so maybe just dial back the chaos."

"easier said than done."

"and maybe stop waiting for the guy who'll, like, sweep you off your feet or whatever."

i smirked at that. "that's not my thing. i'm waiting for the guy who's like a fucking atom-bomb blast in my chest." i took another drag on my cigarette, waving it at him in emphasis. "that's the funny thing -- i may like to be the hurricane, but the only way i know how to fall for a guy is if he totally fucking disrupts my life."

"sounds like fun." he's being sarcastic, clearly.

"yeah, not really. but thanks for the advice - you're still one of my favourites, you shithead."

"i keep you honest."

"yeah, you do."

i'm lucky to have this one around, still. he keeps me honest.

[ music | lady gaga, "judas" ]