Friday, December 29, 2017

maybe in another life

welcome back to the frosty city!

(clearly i'm not complaining, as it has been well documented how much i love the cold, but it's always a bit of a shock when toronto gets those first few "extreme cold alert" days. adjust! adjust fast!)

okay so i'm doing this blog post a couple days in advance of new year's day, just so i can get my last kicks in at 2017 and hopefully start off 2018 right. i realized i hadn't done a year-end wrapup/goals for the new year blog post in like a billion years, so hi hello here we are. (i used to do these somewhat yearly but fell out of the habit)

and honestly? it's a good year to do one of these, especially when it comes to making better, more achievable goals for myself. it's not that i'm running out of time to have an awesome fulfilled life, necessarily, but year over year i'm becoming more aware of how much time i'm wasting, and how many opportunities are slipping away from me. stop the world, damn it, i want to get off.

so here's a list of stuff i want to start working on in 2018, in order to really get out there and have a life as opposed to something i'm just going through the motions for:

see friends more, set up more hangs, say yes to every invite if you can. i've been really thinking i ought to do one of those "year of yes" things, where you don't turn down any opportunity and just see what happens. over the last year or so - really, mostly because i've been single - i've found that i do tend to turn down a lot of my friends asking if i want to hang out. i tell myself so many excuses - i'm tired, i need to go to the gym, i don't have the money, i don't want to stay out late on a work night - but i need to cut that shit out this year. my connections with my friends suffer for it, and i need people more than ever (again, see: now that i've been single, as it really does shift the framework of how you spend your free time).

stuff i could and should be doing more of: movies, dinners, house parties, art installations, sports events, nights out at the bars (wrestling-related social plans are already a given, and you're damn right i'm going to keep up with those in the new year) - just, like, try to be fucking social again. i have been before, so it's not like i've totally lost my extrovert side. i just need to rediscover it, you know? it's far too easy to be a hermit in this city.

work more on photography. i've always enjoyed taking photos, and my parents have really stressed that i've always had an eye for it. that doesn't mean that i've ever been motivated enough to go drop thousands of dollars on expensive camera equipment, but i think this year i should put some more time and effort into it. i already have plans to get a new phone once i'm done paying off my (frankly massive) income tax debt in april, and the #1 quality i'm looking for is the best camera i can find - because honestly, i don't want to be lugging around camera equipment all the time. part of the appeal of working on my photography, for me, is being able to do it spontaneously and from anywhere, so i rely on my smartphone for that.

also, honestly, it may be dumb but being able to go out and take cool photos is a huge motivator for me to go do stuff. even if my life is otherwise very average, i can still keep a visual record of the fun stuff i've been doing in between the everyday banality.

work more on writing. this includes aiming for at least writing two new blog posts per week. you all can hold me to that, if you want. but also, i should start looking outwards towards doing more topical writing; the clear answer here is that i ought to begin writing about wrestling, finally, though i'm not entirely sure where to begin. of course, i know that the answer is that i need to just find an outlet and jump right in. we'll see where this takes me.

earmark money for travel in 2018 (and 2019). i mentioned it briefly before, but it was announced that rammstein aren't touring in 2018, with the (tentative) plan instead (maybe) being to release the new album in fall 2018 before doing the big tour in 2019. disappointing news, but at least that gives me more time to 1) get even better at german and 2) save a fuckton of money so i can attend many many dates across europe in 2019. but beyond that, i should be looking to save money so i can have more freedom to just...go places. i clearly want to start looking at wrestling trips as soon as i can, but it would be great to get out and see a little more of the world as well.

get more tattoos. cost-dependent, clearly, but i always have a need to get more work done, and i think i need to make a goal to aim for in 2018. maybe two new tattoos? three? i already have a few ideas, so now it's a matter of earmarking additional funds to go towards getting more ink. it's not the cheapest hobby, but i do love it so much.

listen to more/new music. is anyone surprised to find out that i listened to rammstein exclusively for like eight months straight in 2017? as much as i love them and depend on their tunes to comfort me and keep me grounded, i really ought to spread out some more and put my shit back on random shuffle. this probably means i also should start listening to more, uh, current stuff - i get jealous reading peoples' "best albums of XXXX year" lists, because they remind me that i'm so behind - and i need to make time for that. broadening my horizons and such.

work on german. this has been a constant for me for almost a year now - directly related to the whole "listening to rammstein for eight months" thing mentioned above; i couldn't stand not understanding what the all-german lyrics meant - and i'm still dedicated to it on a daily basis. i'm not sure what the next step is - buy more books? actually take physical classes? find a german club in toronto so i can practice my speaking? - but we'll see. sticking with this (on my own, without encouragement) has been such a source of accomplishment for me in 2017, and i want to keep it up.

stop spending money on dumb shit. this does not include gifts for people; i love buying gifts for people when i know they'll be appreciated (and i'm a very good gift-giver). but in 2017, i did waste a lot of money on stupid things for myself that either didn't work out (see: ring of honor tickets for las vegas) or that i didn't need (see: so much makeup). i need to be smarter about my spending in 2018 if i ever want to climb out of my ridiculous debt.

learn how to play bass? question mark because i've considered doing it for years, and maybe in 2018 i should just take the plunge. my friend emma plays drums, so between the two of us we could be a sweet duo. again, a cost-dependent hobby, but maybe this is finally the year that i give it a shot.

so! that's my list of...not quite resolutions, i guess, but personal goals and things i want to work on in the upcoming 2018. i think it's a good place to start; clearly i can't tackle all of them all at once, but that list is at least something to work towards in small increments throughout the year. just a number of little ways that i can start making my life count for real, and hopefully become more fulfilling to me beyond the banal everyday routines.

but hey, a lot of big things happened this year, too:

i got my nipples pierced after having wanted to do it since 2009, and i got a new tattoo (my 11th!) that i still love so much - both choices somewhat spontaneous, but i regret nothing. i saw ring of honor not just once, but twice (and even going to buffalo for the second one!). i went to rockfest all on my own, and i saw my favourite band of the year live from front row. i went back to vancouver for the first time in eight years. i had lots of nice sarahah anons inspire some writing, including this piece which i still really like. i was reflective on my birthday. i cried at logan. i had a band bring me back to who i was and their music saved my sanity all year long. i spent almost the entire year learning german and i'm currently sitting at 71% fluency. i was brave and took a chance on something, and though it didn't turn out the way i'd hoped, it turned out the way it was supposed to.

i'm thankful for everything i've learned from 2017, really, whether about myself or others. sure, i made some mistakes, but i also made so many new friends this year, and there are so many important people in my life, and i'm grateful for all of them, and you out there reading this.

the two vitals truths i need to remember for 2018:

- when someone tells you who they are, believe them.
- everyone in your life right now is there for a reason.

i hope we all learn something. learned something.

maybe next year.

[ music | florence + the machine, "only if for a night" ]

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

living after midnight

it is here! holiday party season.

me and my best girl emma at my office's holiday party on december 1st. ho ho's

...okay, i mean, it's more or less over by now, and many of us are just focusing on getting our shopping done and getting home for the holidays because holy shit are they ever coming up soon. i was so focused on my vancouver trip that i barely even thought about the fact that christmas was on the immediate horizon, which is only a bit weird because i love the festive season, but i've got a one-track mind most of the time. (also, vancouver was very very pretty all dressed up for christmas, so i definitely got some of that vibe while i was away at least)

not as many holiday parties this year didn't mean i still couldn't pick up this much-longed for romper, though:

honestly, i saw that cute little dress online, like, a month ago, but hadn't found it in stores until a couple weeks back. the price tag wasn't too horrifying, so i picked it up. i'm glad i already happen to own boob tape. (come on, of course i own boob tape.) (it's not like i have a lot of boob to tape down, but i do get a bit self-conscious wearing things that are low-cut, so yeah, time to tape that shit in.)

here's the kit paired with the face full o' slap (and a different filter):

hope you’re keeping some kind of record

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(the caption is from leonard cohen's "famous blue raincoat" - i always listen to tori amos's killer cover of it a lot at this time of year) sometimes i wear torn jeans and wrestling t-shirts, sometimes i get fancy. i am multitudes.

see: this very perfect tweet encapsulating me.

ahhhh, there it is.

still, partying aside, i've been wayyyyyyyy behind on getting my christmas stuff done and dusted. to be fair, i knew i'd be in the shit - like i said, i'd decided that i was just going to focus on my vancouver trip first and foremost, and take care of christmas stuff after i got back - but yeah, it's been a mad scramble on this year. i got pretty hosed on travel costs to kingston because i waited too long to book anything, and i had to dash around to a bunch of stores this past weekend to get all my gift shopping finished. i have a pretty large extended family and not a lot of imagination (read: i don't see my family all that much, so i don't really know what they want or need), so like, gift cards for everybody! (me included, thx)

yet tomorrow i'm cashing in on one of my more unconventional gift requests: i asked my mom if she could pay for me to get a one-time cleaning service on my apartment. yes, i have a maid coming in tomorrow. it absolutely feels a little bougie, but it's going to be a one-off thing for me, just because my place feels really grimy in the corners and stuff. my shower/bathtub is a monstrosity and i want to be able to have some good soaks when i return from kingston.

(also, i have a brief housemate joining me when i get back: i'm catsitting emma's little kitty brody for a week while she's away in nyc. more reason to at least have a base clean to start with.)

in the meantime, there was wrestling last weekend!

...yeah, it's a rare weekend when there isn't something wrestling-related going on in toronto, really. (my father, who calls me every sunday, has long since learned to ask "so what wrestling stuff is happening today?") that's one of the best parts about living in this city, for me anyway - if there isn't a ppv on tv to watch on sundays with friends, then there's an indy show happening somewhere in toronto. this month, i went out to greektown wrestling in the east end, particularly because they had the two joeys on their bill: joey janela and joey ryan, whom i both adore.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

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i was also the lucky recipient of joey's blow-pop (which, yes, i sucked on throughout the match because what are you gonna do):

pro wrestling is hilarious and fun, forever.

at the same time, though, there was also a wwe ppv happening, so not only did i join my regular crew beforehand to play some wwe 2k14, but i left and came back after the wrestling show was done to finish off the ppv with everyone. it's a very convenient day in toronto when all the public transit is free. so that made for three late nights in a row - i watched roh final battle on friday night, then went to a dive bar with girlfriends on saturday - but i really wanted to cram as much facetime with friends in as possible before we all depart for our respective families and homes.

speaking of that, i'm outta here soon - today is my last day at work before holidays, then it's emma's birthday tomorrow night so i wanted to stick around for that, but i'm taking the bus to kingston on friday afternoon and i'll be there with my family until december 27th. no computer, so likely no blog posts til i'm back, but i'll still be tweeting like mad and instagramming festive photos (my mother goes all out with decorating the house), so you can still follow along with my dumb life if you choose!

ok be good, stay awesome.

p.s. i don't flog it as much anymore but my sarahah is still operational, if you ever want to drop me an anonymous line in this holiday season of madness.

[ music | rammstein, "das modell" ]

Thursday, December 14, 2017

some kind of resolution

so if you don't follow along with me on the ol' social media machine - click click - you may have missed the fact that i was just in my former home of vancouver for five days!

even though i haven't been blogging lately, it's true, it was a bit of a spontaneous decision brought about by a number of factors coming together: rammstein announced that they're not touring until 2019, which freed up a bunch of my savings for fun travel; westjet had a black friday sale so i got a cheaper return flight than i'd ever gotten; i was long overdue (eight years!) to see my old west coast friends.

plus, come on - i'm not great with air travel but i knew i needed to get over that anxiety. it had been five years since i'd set foot on an airplane, and that was long enough, thanks. (i'm looking to do some work travel next year, so it's smart to start getting used to flying again) time to buck up and face my fears.

and: fears were faced! honestly, as i always realized afterward, it's never so bad as i think it's going to be. (though yeah, the multiple glasses of red helped.) and from there, i landed in incredibly foggy vancouver, back to the place i'd once run away to.

i was staying at the cambie hostel right downtown, mostly because 1) it was dirt cheap ($168 for five nights!) and 2) i thought it'd be a riot to stay above the cheapass bar i used to get tanked at all the time, and it worked out fine for me - i only ever need a convenient place to shower and sleep, after all. plus, the cambie is right down in gastown, a very lovely neighbourhood with some fine architecture:

but when i got in to vancouver proper, i was pretty geographically lost due to plenty of new buildings (who'd have thought infrastructure could change in eight years, right?), though i still managed to get around fine after the first day - when i lived in van, i spent most of my free time wandering the city while listening to music, and my muscle memory is very good for remembering my way around cities. it was still a bit jarring to see how different everything is now post-olympics - i hadn't been to the city since 2009, after all - but at least the new skytrain stuff was super convenient.

over the course of the weekend, i went back to my old neighbourhoods - kits, north van, the cafe i managed at west hastings & burrard - and did a hell of a lot of walking, as per usual. also managed to pack in a couple of local delicacies - the coffee (my favourite in canada) and donut (i got a peanut butter & jelly donut which, as you can see, was the size of a plate) combo at 49th parallel:

and the glorious terimayo japadog, which i'd always wanted to try but couldn't when i lived in vancouver because i was a vegetarian then (dumb idea, i know):

not to mention a wonderful dinner of curry and cocktails with my west-coast sister melissa:

Curry overload

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Red lips sink ships

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plus - plus! - i was lucky enough to be in vancouver during a weekend when an eccw show was happening, which means i got to experience indy wrestling west-coast style:

it's true, i find the wrestling wherever i go.

another bit of good timing was in the city while the vancouver christmas market was going on, and old toronto pal katy (who now lives in port moody) and i headed off to see the sights:


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and take in the view from the olympic cauldron:

(that there is north vancouver, where i first lived when i moved out west in 2007. i have bleary memories of getting up at 6:30 a.m. to catch the 7 a.m. seabus to the mainland for work, eating energy bars and trying not to fall asleep along with all the other early-work zombies.)

cap that off with plenty of wine and pizza with melissa and her adorable bunny rabbits and it was a good final day in van. (and i'd finally managed to re-conquer the bus/skytrain system, which felt like a great success. i only took two cabs while i was there and my wallet was pretty, pretty grateful.) one last sleep at the hostel, one last skytrain ride to the airport, and after a 2-hour delay due to bad weather in toronto (yeah, you know that didn't settle my anxiety one bit) we were up in the air and headed home late tuesday night.

but it was all something of a mindfuck, for sure, being back in the city that i once gave up everything for and tried so hard to love. ten years ago to the day, i would have still been living in kitsilano, still working at the coffee shop, and it was hard not to see the ghosts. it was bizarre to feel that overlap being back out there ten years in the future, remembering how conflicted i was then, both exhilarated and miserable in equal measure. and it was only a few days ago that i drank coffee and smoked and looked out over the water and all i could think was, my life is in reruns but the tape's running in reverse.

but i am back in toronto now, and i want to wrap this city around me like a big smelly blanket. i'm not going to harp too much on the stuff i already wrote about, because everything's said and done and things are in a good place, but being back in toronto has always helped with getting my shit together. this place is my center. that's why it was so hard for me to stay in vancouver all those years ago - because i know, instinctively, that toronto is where i've always belonged. and, like i wrote in my birthday entry, you have to always know who you are.

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[ music | florence + the machine, "no light, no light" ]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

i’m holding on to nothing just as fast as i can

alright so i’m going to be vague enough here that i don’t imply too much, but it’s likely easy to read between the lines. (and i’m not fielding questions or requests for specifics, sorry.) as always, though, i need to write it out, so here we go, here’s why i’ve been so absent lately:

i’ve been distracted for the last four months.

the thing about distractions is that they can be both good and bad: good because you don’t have to focus on other things, but bad because you just don’t focus on other things. and after four months, this distraction was reaching its tipping point for me. i had to do something, to figure something out, to either move forward or to close the door.

so, i did something. and in taking that chance, i knew i had to be straightforward and honest and i had to be brave, because i was taking the bull by the horns and taking my shot. and maybe, just maybe, things would turn out in the way that i’d hoped so hard for.

they didn’t. is a bit crushing, you know, to put yourself out there and not get what you want. it feels like, if you do a big thing, it should work out for you, right? it should work out the way you wanted.

but life is funny and fucked up in equal measures, and one thing that always needs to be remembered is that other people are not you. everyone has a different lens that they see the world through, and it’s a mistake if you think everyone views things the same way as you do. you can’t be solipsistic. you have to accept that everyone is the main character in their own story, and they look at the world in their own way, not yours.

so for me, i had been seeing a completely different viewpoint, and i had been convinced it was the only one, when it wasn’t. the distraction was a blind side of my own making. and i was levelled.

it was rough, i’m not going to lie. if you invest so much time and emotion into something and it just doesn’t work out, to no fault of anyone involved, it’s rough. it leaves a void. it’s a reality you were not prepared for, even if you’d had your doubts, even if you knew it wasn’t a sure thing, not really. but you wanted to believe.

yet even as i was a total mess in the aftermath, i realized with 100% clarity what i needed to do.

sure, i could cut and run. i could burn that bridge to the fucking ground and try not to look back. but...if i did that, i would lose something that was still special in its own way. just because it was different from what i thought it would be didn’t make it worth just throwing away. and i didn’t want to, at all.

i’m not saying it was easy. i was crushed. i was confused and numb and sad and i cried on and off for three days straight. i’m still carrying some of that sadness, and i will for a while, because i have to mourn the sudden loss of something i’d happily focused on for so long.

but as always, you have to have acceptance in the end, and you have to look for the silver linings and the positive takeaways, and i’m doing that. because i don’t want to make the last four months meaningless. i have to put in the work, because all this requires me to be a bigger person than i thought i would be if faced with this.

it doesn’t mean i don’t wish things were different. holy shit, with all my heart i wish things were different. but if i dwell on that and all the what-ifs and if-onlys, it’ll just be another distraction, and it’s going to prevent me from growing and learning from all this. and i at least need to take some lessons from this. i learned some things about myself, and the value of other people who care about me, and my own heart. i was brave, and i took a chance. that’s not nothing.

and life is funny. you never know how things may come back around or what may happen in the future. maybe someday you’ll laugh about this. maybe someday this will all make sense, why it worked out the way it did.

don’t burn that bridge. you just never know.

anyway, that’s all.

(i think this fever’s gonna break.)

[ music | holy ghost!, “it must be the weather” ]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

the truth is a thunderstorm

....oh hey, so, i spoke too soon about trying to make sure november's a better month for me? booooooo, ennui.

sepia tone means v. moody

look, straiiiiiiiiight up: being single is super rad and i have maybe too much fun with it, but i'm going to say that the big downside - besides lack of makeout sessions and back & shoulder massages on request - is that you don't have someone to talk to when you're feeling down. sure, for me personally, i've got plenty of close family and friends, but it's not the same, you know? it's really not the same as knowing that there's a significant other who's got your back and is always willing to listen to you and be there for you when things get tough.

and that's what i miss the most. it's not like i'm desperate or willing to settle for whatever i can get just so i can have that company once again, but that's the part that tends to sting the strongest when i'm alone.

anyway, i try to keep a regular face on my social media because i don't want to be that person, but you know, whatever. i'll be fine once november's done, i think. (and if i can stop myself from daydreaming about tossing everything aside and just moving to berlin.)

in the meantime: retail therapy. ohooooohoooooooooo.

so i'm still out here buying myself presents (because i know what i want, and i have the money to buy whatever). i'm a sucker for a sale - especially if it's on things i would be buying anyway - so i fell prey to sephora's 20% off sale and picked up a couple choice items: the peter thomas roth mini-mask set (have bought it at least three times before, v. good value) and a travel size of my current favourite perfume, kat von d sinner. it's both a bit floral and a bit spicy, which makes it perfect for cold weather.

the full frangrance list otherwise (inspired by tweeting about how big of a sucker i am for cologne on guys):

but my ridiculous bullshit spending doesn't stop there! because kadabra was also having a sale, i went ahead and bought yet another harness bra:

it's a goddamn pentagram. i love it. (also thicker straps than my other harness bra, which is a nice aesthetic plus) i mean, i'm just thinking ahead to next tour, here. it'll be nice to have solid gothy options if/when i head over to europe. (it's absolutely accurate that the only places i shop for clothes/accessories right now are kadabra and pretty attitude)

but what if next tour doesn't happen in 2018, you say? well, for one, i will be sad; for two, i'll have plenty of savings in hand to do something else fun next year. for three, i will probably end up going on the jericho cruise, because going on a wrestling cruise - partnered with my favourite promotion - is absolutely something i would do. it would be the most insane fever dream and probably the weirdest thing i would ever do.

but you know, if it happens, it happens. otherwise, i can at least look forward to this weekend, in which there will be not one but two wrestling ppvs to watch with good friends and plenty of wine to get drunk on. always the best weekends.

lastly - and you know i bury this stuff at the end of my blog posts because nobody cares all that much but me - this goddamn video:

0:14 - "rammstein"
4:38 - "sehnsucht"
8:58 - "weisses fleisch" (if you're gonna watch any of them, watch this one)
13:34 - "engel"
18:28 - "seemann"

i have many comments.

- paul (rhythm guitar), richard (lead guitar), and schneider (drums) are collectively wearing more makeup than i've ever worn in my entire life
- the goddamn creepy rey mysterio jr contact lenses on richard are killing me
- weird german space goths
- are there....are there creepy children in nightgowns standing in the rafters
- bless paul, the prettiest sparkly-glam gothling prince to ever exist
- schneider is super fucking into it
- why is 1998
- g e r m a n y
- i didn't think it was possible for me to be more in love with the vampire guitar bros (the guitarist tag team of my hearrrrrrrt), but i guess if you add a ton of glam silver eye makeup and black lipstick on both of them then holy fuck yes
- wait, they're all like, my age in this video
- boys in makeup, the end

honestly though, now that we're almost at the end of 2017, i've been freely admitting that rammstein saved my sanity so many times this year. i'm going to expound upon that here by reminding you that i broke up with my boyfriend back in january, and immediately went through that weird post-breakup period where you sort of have to rediscover who you are outside of a twosome. like, what did you unintentionally lose when you were in a relationship? what did you give up without really noticing or mourning for its loss?

for me, i found that i wasn't sure if i knew how to still love a band, and that terrified me. because for so many years of my life, i was absolutely defined by the fact that i was a fan of the bands, and earlier this year i wasn't even sure if i could still do it. it had been way too long. so i was struggling with that identity crisis, plus a really dumb mistake of a crush in the first couple months of the year (yeah, hi, i know you're reading this, it was dumb! guy, i know), and it was rough going for me. i honestly didn't think 2017 was gonna go so well for your favourite idiot (me).

but then came the night in march when i saw the paris concert in theatre, and it was like i was fucking revitalized. it reminded me of everything i loved about the bands, and why i loved it. so like, holy shit, this band brought me back to who i was. that's something i can't stress enough.

it hasn't always been an easy year. it's been full of incredible experiences and memorable moments, for sure, but there's been some tough stuff to get through, and music has always been a huge part of helping me cope. and seriously, i'm not even lying when i say that rammstein is pretty much the only band i listen to right now, and has pretty much been the only band i've listened to since march. it's a comfort. it's a reminder. it helps ground me and get me through everything. (then there's corollary things, too, like how big of a thing rockfest was for me to attend, and how it's gotten me to get back to learning german, and how i'm on the fan club forums every day making friends and chatting in german)

anyway, look, they gave me back something i was missing in my identity and in my life in a major way. hence the tattoo. hence the obsessively writing about them. because you owe the things that save you, and sometimes i still need something to cling to.

maybe someday i'll move on. but for now, it makes me happy. bye!

[ music | none ]

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

but now it's on you

it's a pretty humourous state of affairs when i have to look over my twitter and instagram (and to a lesser extent, my photos on my phone) to remember all the stuff i've been up to lately, but oh well, here we are.

as someone (ashamedly) at the vib rouge tier of sephora - for the uninitiated/innocent, that means i spend a shitload of money at sephora yearly, and ughhhh my membership is solid straight through until december 2018 - that also means i can schedule free 45-minute makeovers whenever i want, and i'll absolutely admit that i go for one maybe once a month. because for one, they really do help me learn better techniques, and for two, uhhhh i like being able to take good selfies with a well-done makeup job by a professional. i still have no faith in my contouring abilities.

but now it is finally the time for the outfit i've wanted to wear since i ordered it in august!!

seriously, like i said on twitter, wearing that velvet coat is like wearing a black hole. it's basically an absence of light. pair it with the elbow-length fingerless leather gloves i ordered and my tall lace-up stompy boots, and it's my favourite richard-inspired outfit right now. (unfortunately i can't wear it when it rains, but that's when i can wear my dark grey brocade coat that is absolutely identical to the above)

honestly, i've never been a fashionista of any kind, but it's such a boost to your day when you feel confident and cool in your outfit, you know? and it's a nice testament to having 1) a well-paying job and 2) a constantly refined sense of fashion if you can pull it off to your own standards - and mine are obviously a little on the darker side. probably well-expressed in my new pinned tweet:

(this means i had to drop the plug for my sarahah, but you can still send me anonymous messages if you want!)

~looks~ aside, over here it's shaping up to be, like october, another wacky four weeks. it's a super busy month at my job (fun fact: i'm just about to celebrate my one-year anniversary!), which means it's kind of like getting on a rollercoaster and just riding the waves as they go. but on the other side of all this is december, when things calm down a bit more and the city gets all festive and i can look forward to 1) christmas and 2) time off. (i barely took any time off for christmas last year because i was still new and hadn't accrued my paid vacation days yet.)

yet november's always been a bit of a weird month for me; when i was younger, it was a big month of the sads, so i was usually bleak and moody and struggling with ennui for the majority of 30 days. but over the last few years, i've really worked hard to turn that around in my mind - i've come to love the dark evenings and cold weather, and i've embraced all the good stuff about early winter (warm clothing, blankets, endless cups of tea, etc). that's not to say that my approach works for everyone, obviously; get help if you need it, be it therapeutic or pharmaceutical, i would never judge. but for me personally, what i do is enough to keep me going. plus i have a lot of good fun stuff to distract me right now - wrestling! music! makeup! wine! boys! - so i'm sure i'll be fine.

in the meantime, i'll spare you any more song analyses but i am obsessed with this live rendition right now (and this after disliking "mutter" for months and months because i really couldn't do their ballads when i first started but now i love them all??):

p.s. i shrieked about it on instagram already, but all month rammstein is holding a fan photo contest to find the best photo shot on the most recent tour (2016-17). this was my entry. i think i've got a pretty decent chance at placing, no? (all the prizes are great, but first place gets 1) their photo published on the band's official insta and 2) a copy of the photo printed out and autographed, which would be just so cool. wünsch mir glück!)

[ music | ladytron, "seventeen" ]

Monday, October 30, 2017

all there is and ever was

hi sorry! definitely warned you all that this month was gonna be bananas, so here we are at the end of october - always my favourite month - and so much to cover, so little time. (also, all the interesting stuff is stuff i don't talk about because it's personal, just so you know. that's always the way, in case you're new here. but everything is such a fun unpredictable whirlwind right now, and that's all very fine with me)

first things first: did the wrestling last night, even though i've been progressively getting sick and it sucks. i wasn't gonna miss the big return of beloved glam-punk zombie princess jimmy jacobs, hell no.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

i used to scoff at people who bought signed 8x10s, but now i am become one and i'm oddly okay with it. (once you become a sucker for pretty glam boys in eyeliner, you never quite shake it.)

the other big draw for me was the return of wcw's infamous glacier, and boy oh boy was i ever excited:

the entire show was a lot of comedy and good fun, and exactly what i needed, even with impending sickness. plus, even though i went alone, everyone was very nice, i got some free beers and some phone numbers (hahahahaha ah), and ate some delicious lebanese food to end the night. and i made new chikara friends, too!:

(boar wanted a photo with me, it must be noted. i'm iffy on selfies because i always feel like i look like a weird potatoface but i don't hate this one? it's always a little confusing to me if/when i manage to pull off a makeup job properly.)

in the meantime, as per usual, there has been a lot of drinking, and also brunching:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

that same day of the blessed brunch above, emma and i made some amazing scores at the film wardrobe sale two weekends ago - she got the most perfect raccoon-fur hat and a lilac burberry raincoat for under $200(!), while i got a cute pendant necklace for $10 and a pair of grey leather wrist-length gloves lined with rabbit fur for only $20. if you know me at all, you know that i thrive on accessories (and bags, and coats), so it was a major score for me.

i still gotta stick with the fun stuff, though:

so as for the month of travel and partying and good times aplenty, i've mostly recovered. although i think there's something about the weather and the coming early darkness that's throwing me off a bit - i may be a child of the fall forever, but i forgot that the change of season (particularly in november) can make me melancholy and moody for literally no reason at all. i've been doing my best to shake it off, but so many factors come into play and sometimes i have to just muddle through it. blargh.

in the realm of the positives, though, my main birthday gift arrived a few weeks ago!!!:

yeah, uh, that is....very much a rammstein-branded winter parka.

the band has merched just about everything, and they happen to have winter coats, and i wanted one with the fire of a thousand suns, so i asked for the money to order one for my birthday (they do not come cheap and i still had to pay a bit out of pocket). fortunately - especially with the cost, though i get a discount because i'm in the fan club because ha ha of course i am - it turned out to be a super legit parka. it's pretty bulky, but that gives me enough room to wear a hoodie underneath, and it's fully lined and incredibly warm. plus it has a big hood, a tall collar, and deep pockets, all of which my other winter coat doesn't have. so the r+ parka is going to be my standby for the "fuck you, cold weather" days coming up. (it's worth noting that i walk to work/everywhere else, no matter what the weather, so it's important that i'm outfitted correctly)

also it doesn't hurt that it looks cool as hell, plus it's got the band logo blazed on the back and the patches are neat and all the buttons on it are stamped with "rammstein 1994" (they officially formed in 1994, first album came out in 1995). and i'm going to wear the fuck out of it when it's deathly cold outside. honestly, do you actually think i have any shame left at this point? because i don't.

that said, here's another song analysis because this is my blog and fuuuuuuuuck iiiiiiitttt

welcome to their undisputed goth rock anthem, "mein herz brennt" ("my heart burns").

see, rammstein have a solid track history of starting off their albums with total bangers. rosenrot has "benzin", herzeleid has "wollt ihr das bett in flammen sehen?", liebe ist für alle da has "rammlied" (and you have to crank the fuck outta "rammlied"), and so on - but it's their 2001 album mutter that kicks off with "mein herz brennt", and it's a very fitting opening to the album that arguably had the job to keep their momentum going (their previous album, 1997's sehnsucht, had got them buzz, so their follow-up album had to deliver, especially since it'd been a four-year wait).

the song is essentially a creepy bedtime story, a warning to children about ghosts and black fairies that come to steal your tears at night, with the narrator being one of those demons ("ich hab euch etwas mitgebracht / hab es aus meiner Brust gerissen"). but there's a real bit of artistry to the way the song's composed, and it affirmed what a lot of rock critics started calling rammstein's cabaret sensibilities. mutter elevated their sound past the industrial metal/late-90's eurotrash of their previous two albums, putting a new dimension on what they're capable of as a band (they'd evolve even further on their next album, reise, reise, but that one would be another three years in coming) - and it really started with "mein herz brennt", the first track out of the gate.

it opens with samples of strings and rising synth, and the vocals at first sound like they're being filtered through some long distance, starting with "nun liebe Kinder gebt fein acht" ("now dear children, be careful...") before the vocals fully cut in a few lines later along with the drums, and the song really begins. and geez, i can't think of many other songs where everything melds together so perfectly to make something that's so completely the sum of its parts.

care of keyboardist flake, the synth just soars through every bridge and chorus, plus oli's got a really neat chunky bass line underpinning the verses if you listen hard enough. the guitars are there, but they're enhancing rather than overpowering the melody - it's really the synth and the samples that carry it. also till lindemann, the singer, has this great ability to make words sound like they're being torn out of his throat (it's probably even easier when it's german), and the way he screams "mein herz brennt!!" in each chorus just gets me right in the emotions.

speaking of, there's also an official piano version with isolated vocals that kills me every goddamn time (i'll swear up and down that putting "mein herz brennt" solely into piano & vocals makes it one of their best ballads - the track itself appears on the raritäten 1994-2012 album):

(i'm sorry till looks like a living nightmare here, but that's how it goes - it's a real reminder that he's said he doesn't think of himself as a singer, he's more of an entertainer) additionally, the above version makes it easier to focus on till's vocals and the way he can manipulate his voice (the rolling r's are so epic) - our meister can go from a purr to a roar in seconds. i've never heard anything like it. i trained as a vocalist for a couple of years, and i can honestly say that what he has is a god-given talent. it's not something you could ever learn.

you can hear the live rendition here, from the paris show recordings:

there was a time when i watched it on the dvd, and i don't know what it was - might have been pms, might have been life stress - but i just burst into tears. it was something about the rising guitars and the synth (the crescendo starts at 4:11 in the above) and the sight of till raising the flaring heart, eyes closed, his other hand over his actual heart, that just tore me up inside to the point where i started crying from sheer emotion. and it happened when i saw it live for myself, too - my buddy actually looked over at me in concern because i had my hand over my mouth, trying to hold back the sobs. i don't know what it is. i really don't.

maybe you can see for yourself - here's the current live set rendition (this video's from the 2016 festival tour, but they were performing it the same way this year):

yeah, so, he's gone from raising the heart before it explodes to simply having it explode right on his chest. always pushing the boundaries, our meister.

but even now, i listen to the song, and everything just comes together so well - the pounding drums, the guitars, the synth lines, the bass, the vocals, everything. i've always ranked "mein herz brennt" in my top five rammstein songs, though i'm not entirely sure it ever became a smash hit as a single; the fact of that matter is that mutter ended up being rife with some of what would become rammstein's biggest hits - "sonne" and "feuer frei!" chief among them (with "links 2-3-4" and "ich will" bringing up the rear). "mein herz brennt" may have simply become lost in the shuffle. but it's enduring as hell, one of their gothiest (and, in my opinion, most accessible) rock songs to date, and the best way to kick off what ended up becoming their most successful album.

okay, that's all for now. you know who to call if you need german industrial metal recommendations.

[ music | the kills, "doing it to death" ]

Saturday, October 14, 2017

put em up

returned from buffalo safe and sound and loaded down with american groceries and wrestling merch. all is how it should be.

honestly, travelling for a wrestling show is as good a reason as any to make a little road trip. it's funny how every time i'm on the bus heading to the u.s., it's basically one million flashbacks to when i was always running off after bands in my early twenties, and it never stops being exciting. sure, america is kind of a trash fire right now, but i've never been scared of our neighbours to the south and i was definitely down to see my second ring of honor show this year. so.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

not only did i get to see roh in a super cool venue (with great beer, clearly) in another country, i also got to be there with so many friends and great people, which made the experience even more fun. the roh crowds are some of my favourites - more smarky, far more adults than children, and just much more my vibe, you know? (i mentioned it on twitter, but when the american border guard asked me for my purpose in visiting and i said to see a wrestling show, he kind of looked at me and asked, "big wrestling fan, are ya?" i always sort of love it when they look so surprised.)

here are a couple shots i got at the show:

kushida posing before his match with hangman page. also, referee todd sinclair! wallet club! (never forget wallet club, buffalo friends.)

ray rowe, one-half of the beardo viking tag team of war machine. i didn't get to see the big hosses at the toronto show back in may, so i was way stoked to see them this time around.

mark briscoe learns that it's not the best idea to taunt minoru suzuki, human death machine.

the villain!! marty scurll was on my must-see wrestlers bucket list, so i'm thrilled i was able to cross him off. also, he is a bazillion times more handsome in person (and under the deathbird mask, obviously).

three stages of 1) the elite striking their signature pose and 2) getting engulfed by streamers. (throwing party streamers at posing wrestlers is a traditional roh/new japan wrestling thing, and it's very fun to do.) the crowd was hyped as fuck to see the trio, and the meet & greet line for kenny and the bucks wrapped around the building for a couple hours.

ten boots! ten boots! (comedy spot of the night courtesy of the entire bullet club.)

also, me and my very own daryl takahashi (by far my best birthday gift this year):

i didn't stop carrying my daryl under my arm for the entire night, and it was awesome and hilarious to see everyone react. (there were a few other daryls there too, which was delightful. my people) it got a bit hard to juggle all my stuff - i had both daryl and my bullet club tote bag, and i was also holding cups of beer quite frequently - but i made it work.

also, this:

one of my highlights of the night, basically. (if you don't know, i...don't think i can explain it to you, really.)

it was a pretty long show and i was already running on fumes, so you bet your ass i crashed as soon as i got back to my (actually quite nice) hotel room late that night. fortunately for me, i was able to take all of last week off work for vacation, which meant i had some time to check out buffalo and get some american shopping in. i hadn't been to the u.s. since the final kill hannah show in chicago back in december 2015, so i had a lot of lost time to make up for. (also, big ups to the mighty joe for being my buffalo sherpa, driving me around town, listening to my rambles, and blasting rammstein for me)

clearly i had to do actual buffalo wings from the place that made them famous: well as keeping my promise to carvel's social media manager and travelling out to the middle of nowhere in new york state to get a sundae (the location was a kiosk in a truck stop and they didn't have any fudgie the whale cakes, sadface):

and of course, plenty of good craft beer, because holy shit i love american craft beer so so much. i'm not even kidding, this was the sum total of what i ingested while i was away:

thursday: wings, beer, ice cream donut sandwich (1/2)
friday: ice cream sundae, beer, chex mix

my insides are probably rotting from malnutrition. put all the vegetables in my face, belatedly.

plus, my love affair with the america-only cult supermarket chain trader joe's has been well documented in the past, so thankfully i was able to haul away enough goodies to last me until my potential chicago trip in december (more on that if/as it gets confirmed). there was also the hilarity of me buying three massive boxes of k-cups at target, opening all the boxes up and just dumping all the cups into a bag for easier packing. i'm an old hand at this by now.

at the end of all that, though, i'm really glad to be back home right now. i always love all my little (and big) adventures, but the past week has been a bit of a manic and exhausting travel time for me, so the fact that i can just chill out this weekend at my own apartment in a pile of trader joe's stuff is perfection. back to the real world on monday, but at least i can put it off for just a few more days.

but i feel so lucky right now, you know? i had a bomb-ass birthday week of sorts, i got so many warm fuzzies from friends around the world, it was payday yesterday (yesssss), i have plenty of american groceries and cool wrestling merch, and i just feel really content with where i am right now. sure, there are things i want - there are always things i want - but i can be patient, sometimes.

that's all from me, for now.

[ music | interpol, "slow hands" ]

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

sing no more

hi yes i am back. but only briefly!

so i'm hitting publish on this one a little late in the day (i aim for morning publishing usually, but whatevs), but i'm in transit all tomorrow morning after coming screaming back into toronto this afternoon. yes, i got dropped off at the toronto bus station today, went home, unpacked, re-packed, and i'm going to sleep then go back to the bus station early tomorrow morning. considering that i was up at 5 a.m. today (and will be up at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow), i'm basically gonna be running on coffee, fumes, and sheer adrenaline. it's ring of honor tomorrow night!!

so i won't exactly get travel recovery time until saturday; i'm in buffalo all day friday too, for shopping and general mischief. but in the meantime, it's good to be back on the mainland.

birthday was okay, as birthday always is - it can be kind of tricky to maneuver it around the thanksgiving holiday, because it falls on that weekend every year, but at least it's a built-in excuse for me to go home and see my family anyway. plus that means the gang's all here, which means i make out well in the birthday present department:

i love that i asked my dad for a selfie stick - i wanted something easy for him to buy for like $10 at the drugstore or something - and he went out and bought me a legit piece of expensive professional camera equipment. amaze. (i also ended up with plenty of spending cash for buffalo today, as well as some books - the newest stephen king plus meet me in the bathroom and gift cards, all standard and much appreciated)

also, this happens, every goddamn year:

(it's true. hello to all of you.)

and as with every year, i give myself a solid case of indigestion pretty much every night, not just the ones with the massive holiday dinners (and i had two of these, sunday and monday both):

i also always consider it my mission when i'm home to 1) drain as much of my mom's wine collection as possible and 1)a) never say no when offered a drink. this doesn't always lead to the, errrr, wisest choices on my part (take my phone away from me forever), but oh well. it could always be so much worse than what it is.

smash cut to the next day:

(my mom went over the border to pick up a package for me, and since i didn't have my passport on me, she left me alone at a creepy tim horton's. cool cool cool)

fortunately, the weather on tuesday was beautiful and even somewhat soothing to my ridiculous hangover, plus i got to watch wrestling three days straight - a very good birthday weekend for me, all things considering. even though i didn't get out here in the summer like i usually do, it made for some nice hashtag-views:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

i'm always reminded how emotionally draining it is to be home, though; don't get me wrong, i love my family and it's good to see them, but like...i'm so much happier and more at home here, in toronto. i had to put in a lot of work over the years to make myself something different from who i was when i was there, and i don't like going back to it. it's like time travel. it's like looking at ghosts. i don't enjoy all those reminders of who i used to be.

anyway, that wasn't a lot but that's still enough for now. roll on to buffalo and friends and wrestling tomorrow and friday!

[ music | rammstein, "ohne dich" (live in paris) ]

Monday, October 9, 2017

time stands still

okay so it's my birthday today and i want to say some things.

i've been kicking around for a while and blogging even longer, so i'd like to think that i maybe know some stuff. i'm halfway decent at giving advice (and a very good listener), so no matter what happens in my life, i always try to sort it out and see what i can learn from it, good or bad. so i've always found that my birthday is a good moment to step back and assess what i've accomplished over the past twelve months.

since my birthday in 2016, i got more into the indy wrestling scene. i saw a ton of the bigger wrestling promotions. i met my favourite wrestler at last (and twice)! i began teaching myself german and seven months later i'm more than halfway to being fluent. i got a rad new tattoo and i finally got my nipples pierced. i'm still at my (now no longer new) job and still enjoying the hell out of it, almost one year in. i made a bunch of new friends and kept up with the old ones. i went to the first out-of-town music festival i've been to since 2006, and i did it all by myself. i had a band bring me back to who i was and their music is still saving the hell out of me, all the time.

of course, i've fucked up a few times this year, too. i mean, obviously i have.

look - there are three things, i think, that are the most important to protect: your dignity, your self-esteem, and your stupid precious heart. so the life lesson i want to impart on all of you today, on my day of birth, is twofold: one, you have to protect those three things with your fucking life. at the end of the day, they are all you have, and they can see you through any goddamn thing that happens. dignity, self-esteem, and your heart. protect that shit. do it for me, okay?

and two, you have to know who you are. you can't ever forget it, and you can't compromise on it, and you can't let anyone distract you from it or take it away from you. you have to always, always know who you are.

but as for me, we'll see where everything goes for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. some big, big things are coming over the next twelve months and i'm ready, i think i'm ready. (i better be ready.)

[ music | cut copy, "hearts on fire" ]