Wednesday, May 24, 2017

choose to walk or stay

hello i have returned from the wilderness.

not sure there's anything i can ruminate on about going home that i haven't already blogged about, really; it's all the same reflections at this point. it's always a bit surreal being back home ("home" nowadays being howe island, which is closer to gananoque than my actual hometown of kingston) and seeing my family and everything - i'm the only member of my immediate family who doesn't live in the kingston area - but it does make for a good break.

still, the logistics of getting me on and off the island as well as juggling me across split families can be super tedious, and there usually tends to be long stretches of boredom. i've never dealt too well with boredom. i'm not one of those people who goes on vacation to relax and "do nothing"; i like being active and filling my time with doing stuff. unfortunately, stuff is at a premium when you live on a little island near the middle of nowhere, so i spent a lot of time just lying around the house, working out in the basement gym and messing about with duolingo.

none of this was made better by the fact that the water levels were so high surrounding the island (there's been a lot of flooding in ontario and quebec) that my stepdad told me there was a very real chance the ferries could get suspended, stranding us all there. no, no thank you.


here's something i noticed this time, though:

back in the day, when i first moved to toronto (15 years ago!), i still had to visit home every once in a while - thanksgiving, christmas, etc. - and i really remember just how hard i was clawing up the walls those first few years. i was so convinced there was plenty of amazing stuff going on in toronto that i was missing, just by being out of town for a couple days. (i tried to move back to kingston for the summer between my first and second years of university, but i ended up going so insane with fomo that i only lasted two weeks before moving right back to toronto.)

however, in the last, oh, i'd say eight years or so, i would tend to get really melancholy when it came time to leave kingston and head back to toronto. i just didn't want to go. i'm sure i could parse that down deeper and attribute it to dissatisfaction in my big-city life in those years, but no matter what the root cause, i would just get sad about having to leave my family.

but this time, for the first time in years, just like when i was 19-20, i was raring to get back to the city. i've got a lot of big things coming up, so there's no sitting around being a kid at my parents' place - i've got grownup shit to do. it's time to put in some work, friends.

happily for me, i was welcomed back to toronto by a number of packages that i'd been waiting for. first, the rammstein order i'd placed back in march (the dvd didn't get released until last week, so i didn't get the tank top until now either):

(it's always sort of amazing that their official store ships all their orders in these sinister-looking black boxes covered in tape with the band's logo all over it. i cackle with glee every time.)

so i poured myself a good deal of alcohol and watched the paris dvd last night; although i saw it back in march, that was the theatrical release, and the dvd had the full show. there was a lot i'd missed and/or forgotten about - though i was a bit wistful that neither "reise, reise" nor "ich tu dir weh" were in the set - but holyyyyyy shit am i ever ready to see them perform next month. i'm pretty confident in the amount of lyrics i know, so i think i'll be able to sing along in adequate german. (it was also a good reminder that i need to stock up on waterproof eye makeup - the spray from the dick cannons is no joke.)

and on that topic - my rockfest wristband is here.

this was the final lynchpin in my plans for next month - there was no reason why i wouldn't receive my wristband, but i wasn't going to book my travel until it arrived. now that i have it, i've since paid for my transportation to ottawa (i already booked the shuttle bus from ottawa to montebello and back), and i'm completely ready to go. about a month from now, i'll be standing in a field in quebec in a harness bra and fishnets and chuck taylors and way too much eyeliner, getting baptized by the dick cannons and screaming along to german metal songs with extremely questionable subject matter. it's going to be the best way to start my summer.

grown-ass adult, still joining official band fan clubs

what comes after that? i don't really know, actually. a lot of my remaining summer plans are dependent on funds - i keep telling myself that once the rockfest weekend is done, then i can start saving, but uh - so i'm not sure what's going to remain on schedule. hopefully i can still make it out to chicago for the aaw weekend in july, and i think the girls' cottage weekend is still on for august, but who knows. right now i'm just focused on having the best goddamn june a girl could ever have.

and we're off!

[ music | none ]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

the little things

i am trash at saving money, part 3,856: maybe i should not be left alone with vodka and my credit card and boredom?

my only justification is that i've wanted this gorgeous, insane headband since july 2015, according to my tumblr. here is the damn thing on my actual head:

i obviously can't take credit for the face full o' slap - i'm in the vib rouge loyalty tier at sephora, which means i get free makeovers whenever i want, and i decided to go in just for the hell of it last week. fortunately, i got a makeup artist who saw the sample photos of the look i wanted, and then proceeded to blow it out of the water. no jokes, other makeup artists kept coming over to freak out over how good of a job she did on the eyeshadow (you can't see all of it in the above, but it was a complete top-to-bottom gradient from gold to orange to red to purple to black, with the undereye lined with a blend of red and black shadow/liner).

anyway, it's clearly not a look i can manage everyday or by myself, but damn if i didn't buy the eyeshadow palette she used anyway. i have a super ladyboner for the aggressive rock n' roll-ness of red eyeshadows right now, so it was a must-purchase. related: i need to freeze my credit card.

also, sadly it's only the filter making my hair look black instead of its actual boring brown. i will forever rue the fact that my genes gave me my mother's plain ol' brown hair instead of my father's awesome (and very scottish) black hair. (everybody: "your natural hair is pretty dark, though." me: "it's not dark enough.")

my new avatar for everything, basically:

but back to the headband purchase - finally checking it off my wish list did nothing for the fact that afterward i kept shopping around on the kadabra site, and decided that clearly i need this to complete my rockfest look next month:

having this harness top peeking out from under a plain black tank top is absolutely the aesthetic i'm going for. i've never actually done full festival goth before (i know, i know) but i am getting ready for some weird-ass tan lines.

but i digress: i know i've blogged before about how i need to start saving money, but yeah, clearly i'm having a hard time with it. i still chalk it up to being on the breadline for two years while i freelanced, and i couldn't make any fun purchases while that was happening, but now i'm probably going overboard. i'm actually doing better than i make out, though; i've got a steady job which means steady paycheques coming in, and i've got plenty of savings to cover my dumb impulse buys. so i'm not all that concerned, though i likely will be if this keeps up past june, when i'll need to drop a fair bit on accommodations and spending money for the days i'm in quebec for rockfest. ooooof.

(this isn't even counting the money i dropped on my recent piercings, btw. it was almost as much for all the aftercare supplies as it was to get the holes themselves punched and the barbells put in.)

hey also this happened:

my response to the announcement:

what's that? i get to see my favourite wrestler twice in two months? i am the luckiest. (the fact that this is happening the weekend before i get to go see rammstein in quebec is everything, and yes my wristband for rockfest has just been shipped. i already have too many emotions about june 2017)

it is actually hilarious that i was already wearing this shirt during the live announcement at the show and everything:

i didn't even plan it, i swear! i am the biggest dork you know. (i was originally considering wearing my marty scurll shirt that night, since he was very topical that weekend, but now i'm glad my loyalty to the peacock army won out) friends: "what if you already have one of every shirt he's selling there?" me: "well, i...well...that's a very real possibility, actually."

so i suppose my personal theme for june 2017 is to not completely embarrass myself in front of musicians and/or wrestlers i adore very much. story of my life. everything changes, everything stays the same.

alright, it's time to go keep up with the piercing aftercare. be safe, i love you.

[ music | none ]

Thursday, May 11, 2017

speak in tongues

the other thing keeping me occupied right now, other than screaming about wrestling, like, all the time: using free apps to brush up on my languages!

is her opponent jeff hardy

true story: i've always been into linguistics. (get the "cunning linguist" jokes out of your system now, people.) there was always just something about languages that clicked in me, particularly where technical skills like math and science didn't. for real, i had to beg my parents to let me drop high school math as soon as it became non-compulsory, because they were convinced that me not having full math credits would "close some doors" in my future. never mind the fact that i was getting a wonderfully consistent 43% average on all my tests.

i don't mention it often because why would i, but i taught myself japanese when i was a teenager. half the time i laugh it off as something i did because i grew up in the country and was bored, but it was more something i did out of sheer goddamn will.

see, i loved anime and manga in my early teens, but i didn't want the english dubs (of which there were scant few at the time) - i wanted the actual japanese stuff. but like...the technology that we have now to translate languages wasn't there back in the late nineties. the resources weren't there either. the big-city library only had one set of japanese dictionaries, and they were in the reference room so you couldn't check them out, so i would go in almost every weekend with a stack of manga (comic books) and imported artbooks that i wanted to translate.

and it's weird to describe it as "exciting", but man, it really was, you know? it was a big thrill to be able to unlock the meaning of even a few japanese words. it was like i was getting to be privy to knowledge that other people didn't unless they also knew japanese. moreover, it sort of cemented the idea that i'm actually good at this; i had always been pretty decent at french, but tackling a new language was on another level for me.

so after the japanese, i did a run on dead languages, taking a year of irish gaelic in high school and also trying to pick up latin because why the hell not. around this time was when i first got into rammstein, so i added german to the mix (and went on to take it in first-year university, because i thought it sounded so beautiful and badass). i didn't continue with french after high school, but up to that point i'd done around thirteen straight years of ontario-curriculum french classes, so i was fairly well-equipped.

all this is to say that i was so serious about languages in my late teens/early twenties that i was honestly considering going into linguistics in university. (i think at one point my parents imagined me working as a translator at an embassy or something.) yet i didn't want to do something that broad, and it was actually ridiculously, stupidly hard to major in japanese at university of toronto. i was only ever very average at german, and was mortified during the speaking portions because i could never roll the damn r's correctly. y u no cooperate, soft palate? (i'm very self-conscious about speaking other languages aloud if i can't hit the accent properly. i don't want to sound like a dumb anglo.)

but like, what i know now is that it can be a tough slog before you hit the major breakthroughs. (for me, it was twofold - both picking up the japanese accent when i speak it, and also when i first broke the barrier between the japanese characters and english letters.) also, immersion is suuuuuuper important. it's the main reason why i was even able to pick up japanese on my own - because i was so engrossed in watching anime and reading manga and playing video games all the time. it honestly does end up making a huge difference when it's something you 1) want to do and 2) are super fucking driven to do.

anyway, right now i have a lot of time on my hands in the evenings (and the mornings too, really, because my dumb brain keeps nudging me awake at dumb 6:30 a.m. every day), so i downloaded duolingo to fix up my german skills. and hey, pro tip!: uhhhh maybe don't use your nascent german to translate rammstein song lyrics because you will invariably be creeped out and ruined forever. i've learned that it's always the most fucked up possibilities (though now i know the differences between "burn"/verbrennen, "fire"/feuer, and "flames"/flammen).

not rammstein lyrics.

something that i always keep in mind, though, no matter what language i'm trying to pick up, is that it's not about translating a language to english - because honestly, done word for word that shit sounds clunky and weird. instead, it's about understanding the language as it is, and being able to identify the meaning of a word based on the circumstance, placement, and so on. english really shouldn't be the arbiter of all languages; i'd rather look at it as appreciating different languages for what they are and seeing if i can understand the gist of something instead of the direct translation.

also, it's like...i mentioned this on twitter a couple weeks ago, but to me it feels pretty arrogant to expect everyone we meet to speak/understand english. to me, learning another language is a respectful thing. i always remember the time in elementary school when we took a class trip to quebec, and everyone spoke english to us without expecting us to speak french to them. i remember thinking wait, that's not fair to them, even though they probably didn't mind/were used to it. i wanted to be able to do something in return.

plus i'd rather learn a useful skill than just be bored on my phone all the time.


[ music | smashing pumpkins, "bullet with butterfly wings" ]

Monday, May 8, 2017


wooooo! oh my god, okay. so. ring of honor last night was just the fucking best.

it's interesting because i look back on my first live wrestling experience - a wwe house show in september 2015 - and i was so goddamn excited. and though i've been to plenty of wrestling shows in the following two years(!), there hasn't been anything i've loved quite so much as my first time at a wwe show. (i don't think i've lost my shit at anything harder than i did the first time i saw seth rollins in person, and this was at the height of my seth markdom.)

but: since then, i've fallen way in love with ring of honor, one of the bigger american wrestling promotions that isn't wwe. roh is one of my favourite things now. it's not immensely popular among a lot of wrestling fans, which just means i love it all the more. also, there's the tiny fact that my favourite wrestler of all the wrestlers in the world - dalton castle, our peacock king and flamboyant suplex machine - is in ring of honor, so of course i'm gonna be a fan. i go where my fave goes. (the first time i saw him was on tv a little over a year ago, and i'm pretty sure i just started shrieking. what the fuck holy shit this is the greatest man oh my god what!!!!!)

so i'd been looking into going to the u.s. for an roh show for the last year now - i almost went to one in michigan last summer, but had no money - and was stoked to learn that they were once again doing their annual war of the worlds tour stop in toronto in may. ticket: bought immediately.

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

so may got here in a flash, and yesterday i headed out early with some friends to deep east york to see a card that i was probably more excited about than any of the wwe stuff i've seen in the last year.

it was cool too because it meant we got in early enough to hit up the merch booth (i spent all my money on dalton merch, which is exactly the way i wanted it) and be close to the front of the line for the meet & greets. and i mean, sure, it's easy to rag on paid meet & greets, but like...why not have that option? it gives the talent a bit more money, and it weeds out the casuals from the diehard fans. plus from what i saw, it wasn't like an impersonal assembly line or anything - all the wrestlers took the time to chat with the fans, sign their stuff, and get photos. (sean got some good face time with the young bucks as well as a photo and autographs, and i got to have a few words with the bucks as well)

with business taken care of, we all grabbed our seats, and it was just really cool to soak in the atmosphere. there was something especially fun about the ring and the seats and the meet & greets happening in the same place, and the excitement was palpable. big crowds, and far similar to what you'd find at a local indy show rather than the army of cena children and their exhausted parents that you'd find at a wwe house show. just a sea of stoked smarks in black and white bullet club merch (ya girl no exception - i may have been wearing a dalton castle shirt, but i was also proudly carrying my bullet club tote, to which some adorable child in a cm punk shirt shyly said, "i like your purse." d'awwwww).

and then the goddamn show. it had all the big-fight feel of a wwe card with the smaller scale and intimacy of an amazingly good indy show, and the crowd was so amped for it. i was lucky enough to be three seats over from the entrance ramp, and my friends let me squeeze over so i could pound the barricades and give/receive high fives from the wrestlers as they headed to the ring.

also, this happened:

some people got high fives, i got physical contact. (me right by the barricade, in my dalton t-shirt, holding up the peacock fan i bought. the proudest fangirl nerd)

i didn't get a ton of photos, if only because i wasn't in the best spot for it (we were opposite what would have been considered hard camera), and because i was too busy trying to whip streamers at people to snap pics. but here are a few i managed:

pretty much one of the only shots i got of dalton and the boys, mostly because as i said, i was too busy screaming like a fucking banshee and/or hurling party streamers. (i gotta say i am absolutely thrilled he won the match, because my heart would have been broken a little bit otherwise)

birthday boy will ospreay not impressed by cody's evil showboating. (this match was super fucking great, btw. plenty of flippy shit from will, and cody is such a good heel.)

the! elite! the the elite!

getting ready for the terminator dive. (it was absolutely a treat to get to see the elite, for sure. they're basically hilarious cartoon supervillains and also the best dudes.)

during intermission, longtime pal/first-time meetup joe (hi joe!) remarked that he saw cody out signing autographs, and i perked up. wait, there was a second round of meet & greets?? dalton hadn't been present at the one before the show, but maybe i should go check this one. i pretty much bolted - intermission was three-quarters over at this point - and sure enough, he was one of the wrestlers out there for meet & greets. i dashed up to the ticket guy, yelped "how much time do i have??", was told that i have "just enough time", tossed down my $30 for a dalton ticket, and shyly crept over to his table. (going so close to the end was a stroke of luck, as there was only one trio ahead of me already meeting him)

and man, for real, dalton was a sweetheart. i didn't cry in front of him, although i threatened to - and he encouraged it, haha - but i did manage to shakily stammer out that he was my favourite wrestler in the world, and that it's because of him i fell in love with wrestling, and i'll always be a fan wherever he goes. (i was actually trembling, probably.) he signed the t-shirt i brought, and signed a picture for me too because ugh man he is just the best ever. (and he called me back for one more face caress before i dashed away and died forever.)

i mean, it was hard to get out because i was so nervous, but i'm just really glad i got to tell him how grateful we are for him and to thank him for everything he does. it doesn't sound like an easy life, being a pro wrestler, and i feel that as with any artist, it's so important to tell them that their work is appreciated. (even if you do look like the world's biggest fangirl dork in the process, lol.)

this is what i toted home at the end of the night:

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

(the inscription on the photo reads "to caitlin - get yourself some boys!" i'm trying, dalton, i'm trying)

plus this lovely piece, which has already shot to the top of my favourite wrestling t-shirts list (the roh shop's unisex small is the best fit ever):

so i got home just before midnight, with a disappearing voice from screaming and bruised fingers from banging on the barricade so hard (it's an roh thing). what an incredible night. i'm already gonna start scanning the ring of honor website for any dates and locations i can hit up next.

here are the card results, in order, for posterity:
  • will ferrera & cheeseburger def. the fraternity
  • the rebellion (caprice coleman & rhett titus) def. motor city machine guns
  • hirooki goto def. shane taylor
  • dalton castle & the boys def. chaos (gedo & roppongi vice)
  • bully ray def. punishment martinez and hangman page
  • cody def. will ospreay
  • los ingobernables de japon (tetsuya naito & bushi) def. the kingdom (matt taven & vinny marseglia)
  • the briscoes def. los ingobernables de japon (evil & sanada) and silas young & the beer city bruiser
  • kushida def. jay lethal
  • the elite (kenny omega & the young bucks) def. the addiction & hiroshi tanahashi
and that's the story of my first ring of honor show. stay tuned for next week when i attempt to survive seven more straight hours of wrestling at the phoenix!

[ music | none ]

Thursday, May 4, 2017

head like a hole

sooooooooo this happened:

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

see, there was a good block of time in my life when i would get either a piercing or tattoo every single year without fail. my love of body mods started when i was probably around 15 and just getting into alternative culture & goth-y fashion (thank you, jeff hardy). i absolutely couldn't wait to get some work done of my own. i remember getting a temporary henna "tattoo" done and just falling in love with the mark on my skin. you know what it's like when you have the perfect article of clothing or a great hair/makeup day and it just boosts your entire being? that's what it felt like for young caitlin.

of course, my parents clearly weren't hot on the idea of me getting anything done, but once i moved out i had the freedom to do whatever i want (as a bonus, in toronto, a city with no lack of tattoo parlours). within a month, i was in the chair at yonge street tattoos, getting my first ink done on my 19th birthday (the moist kanji logo on my right shoulder, the perfect spot since it barely hurt at all). and man oh man, i was hooked.

over the years, i ended up getting ten tattoos (so far), plus my labret pierced in 2004 and my tongue pierced in 2005. sadly, my mouth was not at all into oral piercings, and i ended up having to remove the labret stud first (then fork over a shit ton of money for a graft to fix where it fucked up my gums), and eventually took out the tongue stud around 2009 (it was starting to mess with my gums as well, plus my boyfriend at the time found it, uh, more distracting than pleasurable).

miss youuuuuuuuuuuuu

but hilariously, getting my nipples pierced is something i've talked about doing all the way back to 2009 (that wish list is complete now, btw - i got the tiger that year but not the piercings). then i considered doing it in 2012 (got a tattoo instead), and again in 2013 for my 30th birthday, but i chickened out. sure, i'd had holes punched in my face and tongue before, but i never, ever enjoyed the process. my pain threshold isn't all that high. i don't consider tattoos to "hurt" per se - it's more an annoying prickly sensation for me - but i've never relished the feeling of getting a sharp needle pushed through my flesh. it always feels like it lasts forever when it's only, like, 2-3 seconds.

yet i've been craving a new piece of metal in my body since, well, 2009 i guess. the only problem is that i could never decide where. i'm weird about symmetry on my body, so i wouldn't do just one eyebrow or one nostril, and i wanted to stay away from nose piercings altogether (piercings draw the eye to whatever area they occupy, and i've always been a tad self-conscious of my slightly large nose). i promised my dentist i wouldn't get any more oral piercings, and my dental insurance wouldn't hold out for more repair surgeries regardless.

so that left my tits, and as the above attests, i'd always been tempted to go that route. i liked the way nipple piercings looked aesthetically, and i'd been curious about it ever since my high school buddy ben got his done when we were still teenagers. but like i said, i was kind of a chicken about the pain - clearly it's a very sensitive area - and i'd heard horror stories from dude friends about theirs (one passed out the first time he took a shower after getting pierced; one found the pain so intense that he only got a single nipple done and refused the other).

fortunately for me, i was reassured when the apprentice at black line studio told me that it's not that bad - "our nipples go through a lot" - and that if i'd gotten my tongue pierced, it would be no big deal by comparison. (unsurprisingly, men tend to suffer more with nipple piercings because it's a different zone for them, plus there's not as much tissue to punch through there) so when i was offered a spot the following night, i said sure, let's do it. it's better to do it now before it's summer and i'm all sweaty, plus i was afraid if i wait any longer it would start looking like a mid-thirties crisis. (also, come on - for sure it would look awesome under t-shirts and tank tops this summer. i typically wear padded bras, but the bonus of being small-chested - like, i'm a 36A, if that - is that i can go braless if i want)

okay, so: if you've never had anything pierced, basically the piercer takes a metal vice, clamps it over your skin, tugs the flesh a bit to get some purchase, then pushes a needle through. the needle threads in a long post, and then once it's in, the piercer screws the ends of the barbell on, and it's done. as i said, the entire process doesn't take all that long, but it can feel like goddamn forever. you don't get any topical anesthetic, and it's not recommended that you get fucked up first (alcohol thins the blood and makes it more difficult to clot). you just have to bite down and face it.

and yeah, it...hurt. for sure it did. the pain was sharp and the aftermath stung, and i swore a lot, and i had to ask for a couple minutes' break before we did the other one. but then, you know, it was over, and i never have to have it done again (hopefully). now the only thing i have to concern myself with is proper aftercare; for the next few weeks, i have to clean around the studs with antibacterial gel a few times a day, and spray 'em down with saltwater spray to keep them disinfected. apparently it takes up to a year for the holes to fully heal (not that surprising - it took that long for my tongue, too), but i'm gonna likely change out the barbell studs for bigger ones as soon as i can. i'm flashy.

and there will be no photos, you pervs.

obviously i won't tell my dad, and i'm likely only going to tell my mom if i have to; i'm staying at her house in kingston for the long weekend in a couple of weeks, and it might be unavoidable if i still have to do sprays and soaks. i'm not entirely sure how she'd take the news, but probably not all that well, considering how much she's categorically despised all my other piercings ("i just don't see why you have to mutilate your body like that, honey"). she's always hated me getting pierced more than me getting tattooed, which i find strange considering that the former isn't as permanent as the latter, but i think she just finds piercing studs more ugly than anything. maybe it won't be so bad to her this time because they're not on my face? dunno.

but here's the thing, to close out - i've always loved body mods, right down to the very concept: we're all born into these same human bodies, so why not customize yours a bit? you can be as much of an individual as you want. and i love, love seeing other peoples' tattoos and hearing about their stories. i'm forever encouraging people to get their first ink. sure, the big fear is commitment and not wanting to put something in your skin that will be there for the rest of your life (piercings are the lesser end, but it still does leave empty holes in your body), but fuck it - you only live once. do the thing. customize your body however you want. (just like, don't get hate symbols tattooed. those are bad and gross and always will be bad and gross.)

okay byeeeeeeeeeeee

[ music | none ]