Thursday, June 21, 2018

facing forward

hah so apparently i am a prophet:


remember i was just saying in my previous blog post that i had to be ready to go once rammstein announced their new tour dates? well, here it is - or rather, it looks like a special two-night holiday one-off in mexico, where they're insanely popular (and will probably be making very good bank for these shows). but because of this, the ticket prices are jacked way up, like:


and they'll sell that out, just you watch.

....i mean, i won't say it isn't doable for me, because it is, but i don't think i want to take the plunge here. it'd be super epic to see my good german dads for new year's, but i've never particularly wanted to go to mexico (especially by myself), and i would honestly rather save up my money to go see them in europe instead. i still bet they'll sell this one out, though; they're massive in mexico to the point where there's, like, fan riots. another reason for me to nope out, really. (if i had the extra $5000 to spare, clearly i would be doing the 4-night hotel package, but i don't even have the cash to cover anything beyond one, maybe two tickets right now)

also, i'm not sure i believe the above when they say both that the new album drops before the end of the year, and the two mexico shows will be the only dates they play in 2018; if the album comes out in, say, the fall, why wouldn't they do some dates around that? i mean, it could make sense if they release the album in the holiday season, but who knows. everything is speculation at this point, but you better believe the fanclub forum is going nuts. things are finally happening!! like, there'll be new promo photos and a new set list and a new stage production and uhhhhhh yeah, new rammstein songs for the first time in nine years. i'm so excited.

2019 tour set wish list: bring back "weisses fleisch" and "adios", add "das modell" and "amour" (as well as whatever bangers are on the new album). i just wanna dance and maybe cry? idk

hey look it's absolutely me:


but i mean, if you're here reading, you're likely used to my yelling by now. this is my yelling place.

otherwise, i feel good about how things are going in terms of life stuff - while i may not have enough money to fund a new year's trip to mexico to see one of my favourite bands play on a goddamn beach, my savings are growing and my debt is finally getting more manageable. my health is getting on track, my job's going well and i'm really thankful i have it, and i'm just having a moment where i'm grateful i've got all the stuff i've got, you know? plus i've been busy laying out plans for july and august, which include many wrestling shows (obviously), a few big concerts, some more house/cat-sitting, and not one but two(!) late-summer trips to kingston. i am that nerd with a wall calendar in her bedroom that she scribbles on to keep everything straight.

speaking of, it's a busy weekend ahead - my dad is coming to town on saturday for a quick visit (i haven't seen any of my family since uhhhhhhhhh december), then sunday a bunch of us are doing brunch and world cup-watching for sean's birthday before i have to run home and record a wrestler interview(!) with my old pals at the big gold belt podcast. i am very okay with conducting interviews that i don't have to transcribe later.

also here's my astrological chart because i feel like it'll be important at some point (basics: sun in libra, moon in scorpio, virgo ascending):





(it's not that i assume i'll end up with anybody who's astrologically compatible with me, i'm just more interested in seeing which particular traits ring true for me - you can find yours here)

bye!

[ music | florence + the machine, "big god" ]

Sunday, June 17, 2018

buying your freedom

hello from a very sunny and extraordinarily warm toronto!



(a bunch of girlfriends and i went to the rugby yesterday, because when it's hot as balls outside sometimes you need to go watch some sports and drink some cold beers together)

so montebello rockfest has come and gone this weekend, and i....was not there. like i said, even though i won the free passes, i was unable to find a way to make it happen. saddest. i just had to keep reminding myself that there's always next year, and hopefully i have a longer lead time to plan (and there's actually at least a few bands that i really want to see. but it was still a nostalgic bummer to see all the photos and stuff out of quebec this past weekend and know that i'd had tickets to go :( (also it would have been rad to just post "surprise i'm in montebello" with a photo on social media, sigh)

then again, i keep noting that my focus for next year is definitely drifting towards wacken open air:



i'm keeping my eye on the prize here: next summer i want to be standing in mud in a field in rural germany, chugging beers and throwing the devil horns. 2019 goals.

but in preparation for all this, i know that i have to go easy this year (yes, the entire year - next year's not going to be cheap), and maybe even be a boring homebody as i save my pennies. i mean, it's tough because i always see friends doing fun stuff like travelling a lot, getting tattoos all the time, having pets, paying for transit that's not public (or, err, on foot), and spending plenty of nights out - and like, i'd love to do all of that! i wish i could get out of town more often and add to my ink collection and have more nights out with my friends without worrying about money. (also, my sephora wish list is consistently a mile long.)

but here's the thing that i always keep in mind: the majority of my earnings goes towards my apartment. i rent a junior one-bedroom, and it's not cheap, but i've been in the same place since 2012 and my rent is actually...not expensive compared to the rest of toronto? (though i have seen what they charge new tenants for a similar unit, and it's significantly higher than what i pay now. mwahaha) this city is becoming infamous for high apartment rental costs, and even though mine's doable, it's still the biggest chunk of my paycheque. but it is so worth it:



i try not to torture myself by thinking how much money i could be saving if i split the unit with somebody, because the only way that would happen is if i had a boyfriend ready to move in, and 1) nobody even close to being my boyfriend right now, lol and 2) i feel like cohabitation right away is always asking for trouble. plus, i like my place. i like my space. roommates are a no go for me; i've done it and i'm not a fan.

so any time i feel sad or envious that i have to stay on budget and can't live a big lifestyle, i remind myself that i'm paying for my freedom. it's my actual #1 priority. i have a nice little apartment all to myself, and that's worth it to me. i have a great job and i get paid very well, but other than paying for my apartment, i also have to pay down the debt i accrued while freelancing and put a significant portion in my savings account for next year. so, it's a lot.

i do have a certain savings goal i want to hit by october, because for one october's my birthday (so it's a good time marker), and for two i really suspect the new rammstein album will drop this fall. (if not this fall, then i'd bet it drops next spring in time to tour the summer festival circuit.) they're done in the studio so it's likely the new album's in the can, and i seem to recall flake saying something about it maybe being released this fall, which is gonna be huge. huge! first new rammstein album in nine years! gahhhhhh

...then again, i also half-expect my good german dads will just announce the new album and a new tour with no forewarning, and i need to have some money saved up because wherever the first date of the next tour is, i'm going to be there. full stop. germany? france? spain? sure, i'm there. so, i have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat, basically.

so yeah, no animosity at all towards people who use their money for fun-time things while i skimp and save - we all choose what we want to prioritize and put our money towards, and for me, it's 1) my apartment and 2) paying off my debts and building up enough savings that i can run around europe after rammstein on tour next (this?) year. gotta keep my eye on the prize. i'll have my day in the sun soon enough.

in the meantime, here's me from yesterday. li'l narcissist.

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

have a good week!

[ music | rammstein, "wollt ihr das bett in flammen sehen?" ]

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

break the silence

okay i'm going to get this one off quick, because it's worth writing about: i saw depeche mode here in toronto on monday night - my third time seeing them live - and it was an experience, as always.



i don't gush about them as much as some other bands (...*coughs in german*), but as i said in an earlier blog post, depeche mode are one of my favourite bands of all time. as i said to a friend after i bought a ticket to this show (kind of last minute, because i'm a brokeass, but i knew it was something i shouldn't miss), "their music has been there with me through so many phases of my life", and that's the truth.

i fell in love with them pretty late, for me - probably when i was about 22-23 - but they've been with me ever since. not always as, like, my absolute #1 favourite band of all time!!!, but they've always been there, you know? their music has always been in the background in my life, so whenever they're nearby for a concert - because they're still touring, even though the band's in its 38th(!) year of existence now - i try to make it out.



a depeche mode show is part concert and part communion (with a bit of a dance party thrown in). this time around, they played all the hits i'd hoped for - "enjoy the silence", "personal jesus", "never let me down again", "a question of time", "a pain that i'm used to", "walking in my shoes"(!), "in your room"(!!), and more (although no "master and servant" or "policy of truth", and i think i've only heard them play "just can't get enough" like once?). they covered some of their newer stuff, sure, but the crowd - one which actually made me feel young (quoth my stepfather: "that's why i don't go to concerts. too many old people my age there.") - was obviously there to sing and dance along with the classic singles.



"never let me down again", in particular, has always been one of my favourites to see live; i've said it before, but it's my favourite song of any band, ever. if anyone ever asks me "what's your favourite song?" i have a ready answer, and it's that song. not rammstein, not moist, not kill hannah. it's "never let me down again", full stop. and live, oh fuck, it's something else. i took a video of the mass hand-waving right before the final chorus, but it's nowhere near as good as this:



what really got me right in the feels, though - and as expected - was this:


how do you even explain what a song means to you, anyway? it's a tough task to try and find the right words to describe how it makes you feel, and what this collection of sounds represents to you personally. i was a music writer for years, and i still struggle with it.

here, i'll try, and clearly it deviates back to familiar territory for me: their cover of "stripped" was the first rammstein song i loved, really loved, and it stuck with me through so many of my formative late teenage years. (it was the song that got me into depeche mode in the first place, to be honest.) it was probably my most-listened to song in my freshman year of university, when i was living on my own in toronto(!) for the very first time. putting "stripped" on repeat while getting ready to go out to the bars and clubs was my ritual. it made me feel cool and invincible and badass, even though in my heart i was still this awkward farm girl who somehow made it to the big city.

so now, whenever i hear that synth line - whether it's in rammstein's version or the depeche mode original - it's the most evocative sound of my shifting state of mind and personal growth in my late teens and early twenties. i mentioned that when i saw rammstein last year, "stripped" was probably my biggest surprise in the set list, and i'm not lying when i said i nearly burst into tears. it was straight-up catharsis, getting to see the song that soundtracked some of my most turbulent years played live in front of me. i didn't expect that. i never thought it was going to happen. (when jenna and i saw rammstein: paris in the theatre last march, i turned to her and said in a hushed voice, "holy shit, what if they play stripped??" they didn't, not on the 2012 tour, but i actually didn't expect to ever see it live)



and then, there it was (see above). and then, less than a week from a year to the date, i got to see the originals - depeche mode - play "stripped" live too, and it just got me right in the heart all over again. it's everything: the synth, the darkness, the deep intoning and harmonies on "let me hear you make decisions / without your television", and how it just resonates, you know? those kind of songs are the ones that take you back to the past but also keep you anchored to the present. it's an experience, and one that's wholly unique to anybody who loves music. one foot in the past, the other in the moment.



there are so few songs like that, for me; the only other song that's come close in recent years is "amour". last fall, i was going through some stuff - that's how i'll put it, anyway - and i spent a lot of time standing on the far side of my office's building, smoking cigarettes and listening to that song on repeat. even now, just hearing the guitar line takes me back to the colder weather and the smell of smoke, wondering if i was doing the right thing. if i'm still doing the right thing.

but still - no matter what band, no matter what song. one foot in front of the other.



[ music | depeche mode, "enjoy the silence" ]

Monday, June 11, 2018

signs everywhere i look

and now it is june!



aaaaaaaaaaand i blew it:

uhhhhhh anybody want to drive to Quebec this weekend

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


see, i entered rockfest's obviously-named "last chance contest" on a whim last week, figuring that there's no way i would win because i never win anything. but lo and behold, i got the above email in my inbox yesterday morning, and clearly the wheels in my brain began turning, because it's me and because there's nothing i love more than a spontaneous adventure to go see some live music.

sadly, i think it's a pass for me. for one, i only won a pair of wristbands, which means i'd still have to fork over for last year's route of bus to ottawa, hostel reservations for 2-3 nights, shuttle bus to montebello, and beer. for two, uh, it starts this week. like, this thursday is the first day of the festival in montebello. it's not difficult for me to peace out of work two days early this week, but i would still feel like a dick about giving such short notice. (likewise, it's not like i don't have the money to do this, i just don't know if it'd actually be worth it. the rockfest experience is definitely worth it, but this year's lineup kind of isn't? sad but true)

emma suggested that if i wanted company, she and i could maybe just do saturday (she's locked in to work on friday), but the logistics of getting to and from montebello for a single day are both daunting and still costly. anyway, the story might be different if 1) i had another week's notice and 2) there were any bands in the lineup that i'd kill to see, but not this year. i'd much rather save my pennies for next year's festival mayhem (wacken open air is clearly a goal.)

also, on the topic of tickets: i'm not sure if i mentioned it previously, but i did have a ticket scored for the massive (and sold out) all in wrestling show in chicago on september 1st - yet a couple days ago i decided to try and sell it. combination of a lot of factors, among them: it'd be a big chicago trip and i don't think i really have the cash (i have to keep saving for europe next year); i could make some good coin by selling it; i'm not all that excited by the match card; and it turns out it's my mother and stepfather's joint retirement party in kingston the day beforehand. that last point was kind of the deciding factor for me, because you only retire once, and i probably should be a dutiful daughter and be there for it.

plus, i do have a certain goal for savings that i'm striving to hit this year, because i'm always keeping an eye on europe next year and it won't be a cheap trip. and right now, to say that i'm tracking behind on that goal is uhhhhhhhh an understatement? so it'll be good to know that i'm getting a tiny boost in september with the proceeds from selling my ticket (it went for triple what i paid for it). also, this is the truth:


sorry, america.

don't get me wrong, though - i feel sad to willingly miss out on any adventures, although i still do have many locked in. i hate to keep coming back to it, but this time last year i felt like i was on top of the goddamn world. i was 100% focused on rockfest coming up, i had so many amazing wrestling shows on the near horizon, and i didn't care at all about anything except for listening to as much rammstein as i could, learning german every spare second, and taking care of myself without worrying about what anyone else thought. it was incredibly freeing, is what i'm trying to say, and i sort of miss having that singular focus on just me and my life.

in the wake of my whole dating app adventure - which, by the way, i'm ending tomorrow, as my one-month paid subscription will either need to be continued or discontinued and i just don't care to keep going with it right now - i went back to my myers-briggs test results, and the thing about my intj personality that really hit true for me was this part:

The positive side of INTJs’ “giving up” is that they are most attractive when they aren’t trying to be attractive, working in a familiar environment where their confidence and intelligence can be seen in action. Allowing others to come to them is often INTJs’ best strategy, and if they perceive a potential to the relationship, they will spare no effort in developing and maintaining stability and long-term satisfaction.

and ooooh yeah, that's it right there. i know from lived-in experience that i attract more people when i'm not trying at all - when i'm not even thinking about it - but if i make the active effort, it never works. it really doesn't.

so with that in mind, i'm gonna peace out a bit on trying and just focus on myself instead. but this whole social experiment with online dating wasn't for a loss! a very important thing i learned - other than that i don't owe anyone anything - is that i don't have to do something if i don't want to. i don't have to reply to this person. i don't have to go on a date with this person. i don't have to do anything if i don't want to. if i want to just be the loner weirdo who stays single and watches rammstein dvds and goes to bed early, i can absolutely do that, and there's nothing wrong with it. it's my life, and i'm the only one who calls the shots.

as for the rest, i know that i do need to get stuff back on track. i need to take better care of myself, cut back on the drinking, get more sunshine and exercise, watch out for my finances, take on new work projects, and focus on just being happy and grateful for what i've got (ie. friends, family, job, apartment, health). it's a tall order to do all of that at once rather than in bits and pieces, but it's good, self-fulfilling motivation to get as much of it done as i can.

to sum up: i have a lot of shit that i still need to sort out, and i'm acutely aware that i have to do it by myself. time to get to work this summer.

talk to you later!

p.s. lastly, for posterity, because i like these tweets:


"rammstein: there's a surprise flamethrower" should be their motto.

[ music | emigrate, "rainbow" ]

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

butterflies and hurricanes

me, last week: "man, i've been doing such a good job saving up and not spending money. i should be proud! i am the budgeting queen!"
me, over the course of last weekend's drinking: lol

in sum total, things i ended up buying:

- ticket to see depeche mode
- the last rammstein dvd i was missing
- a sephora order
- one-month subscription to memrise

they're all tangentially related, so let's go through them!

so i've been looking to load up june and july with big plans and good times, which means i couldn't let the return of our original synth-goth dads pass me by:

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

this will be my third time seeing them live; i missed them last time they were in toronto and ended regretting it immensely, so i didn't want to miss out on this one. depeche mode is one of my favourite bands of all time - their music has been there for me during some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life - and i want to see them as many times as possible before they finally hang it up for good.

so this is in my concert schedule along with the rise against / afi / anti-flag show in july, which promises to be an awesome time as well. i had such a blast seeing afi at rockfest last summer, and i'm way excited to see them again (without having to go all the way to quebec). gimme all that sweaty outdoor punk rock!

speaking of, a ton of rockfest news is popping up in my feed, due to the fact that it's less than a month away, and even though i'm not going i'm still nostalgically wistful/envious for those attending. the lineup this year just didn't look as impressive to me (plus it's three days now, and as i said last year, two days was more than enough for me), but still, the experience itself was/is a blast. hopefully next year! (though as with everything, it's totally dependent on whether or not rammstein does their next tour in 2019)

good segue to my next idiot purchase: the rammstein - videos 1995-2012 blu-ray, aka the final dvd i was missing in my collection. once it arrives, i'll own all six of their official dvd releases, which means i am obsessed, but like i needed this purchase to tell me that, come on now. i'd left this dvd til the last because it doesn't offer a lot i haven't seen already - all the videos and their making-ofs are available on youtube (plus their previous video compilation dvd, 2001's rammstein - lichtspielhaus, also included a bunch of live footage and extras, which made it more than worth tracking down), which means i mostly bought it for the novelty of getting to watch their videos on my giant-ass tv rather than my laptop.

there's one exception, though - it has the video and making-of for "pussy", which isn't available on youtube because the video is actual porn. it's also the reason that the dvd is rated 18+ and marked as "explicit content":



hellllllllllll yeah, give me those high impact sex scenes & nudity.

(similarly, the sephora order i put in last weekend included a red eyeliner, because the goal is forever to emulate the giant swathes of red that paul had smeared across his eyes on the 2016 tour. he is my favourite, forever. that's also his creepy hairless head on the dvd cover, and you're damn right i shopped around until i found the paul variation. #teampaul)

this loops us around to my final purchase, one month of pro access to memrise, a language learning app that i've been hooked on since march. sure, i've hit over a year with duolingo, but memrise has different learning options, and even more bonus features with a pro subscription. so after using the freemium app for a few months, i'm trying out the full version for one month then seeing if it's worth shelling out for longer. i made the mistake last year of buying 3 months of rosetta stone only to discover that it barely did anything to up my comprehension, so it's time for a trial.

honestly, though, i can't understate how much learning german has done for me. not only is my spoken accent coming along (and i never managed it back when i was learning in school), but the language is becoming instinctive to me in a way where stuff like the incorrect masculine/feminine/neutral or a bad sentence structure looks "wrong" to my brain. that's what comes from over a year of 1) consistently using language apps and 2) listening to bands sing in german every day. it starts to sink in and it blows my mind constantly.

that's a quirk about me: i have to pick up a language intuitively. the minute i start trying to mentally pick it apart and figure out how it works, i'm utterly lost. and this includes english! this is my native tongue, but i'll be damned if i can explain how it works. i just know that it does. (this is also the reason i never became an english teacher. i honestly can't explain the ins and outs of the language.)

also, having a new language toy to play around with gives me something to do while i'm looking after the fancy beast til tomorrow:



lastly, thing i did not buy, but wanted to: this hat.


soon.

happy tuesday!

[ music | rammstein, "halleluja" ]

Sunday, May 27, 2018

even the stars are ill at ease

hi friends! welcome to the almost-end of may, aka the time of year when my facial complexion goes from "good" to "might be a meth addict". blech. (the combination of heat, sweat and monthly hormone cycles is going to be the end of me, every year.)

at least the city looks nice while i'm walking around feeling like some kind of golem:



trinity bellwoods, you have my summertime heart. well, me and every other goddamn hipster within city limits, anyway.

so in advance of a wacky week coming up - i have things to do after work every single day; i brought this on myself, truly (plus i'm housesitting/catsitting again from tomorrow through to wednesday) - i've been determined to have a solid weekend on my own, even if it's not a long weekend like our neighbours to the south. so far i've run errands, i've relaxed on my balcony, i've worked through the current book i'm reading, i've done a shit ton of german lessons, i've painted my nails, i've hit the gym, i've watched some rammstein concerts, i've gone for some long walks, and i'm off a bit later to get groceries and put in my advance vote in the ontario election. legit the chillest weekend. (yeah, for me the definition of "chill" is "to be busy and productive in as self-fulfilling a manner as possible")

but hey, i've been burying the lede, haven't i? okay, so here's the part you've all clicked for: me, dating. woooooo! argh.


a current selfie from my dating profile. the giant sunglasses come with the girl.

i mentioned it on twitter, but i'm not going to blog or tweet publicly about my dating adventures, for two reasons: one, i believe that some things should still be kept private (or between me and my friends); two, i'd be absolutely fucking mortified if the situation was reversed. like, if i went on a date with a dude and later found that he'd tweeted or blogged about it - favourably or not - i'd be freaked out. so, not doing that, sorry.

however! i can definitely talk about me and how i feel about the process.

i'm envious of people who talk about dating like it's no big deal. i have girlfriends who actively go out on multiple dates with multiple guys every week, and i wish i could be casual about it. i don't have the capacity or capability to just date around and have fun and not get attached and not take it so seriously. i just don't want to give myself away too freely or too easily. it has to be somebody i think is worth it.

also, it helps that i don't need somebody else in my life. (i've said it before but i'll keep reiterating it until people believe me.) for me, it's completely circumstantial. if i like somebody, cool; if i don't, i don't, and that's fine too. i've always said that for me, a relationship and/or dating situation is a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have.

but for now, i'm sticking with trying it out anyway - just to see what's out there - because everything else aside i'm finding it to be a good social exercise for me on a lot of fronts. you know how sometimes you really don't want to do something but you kind of need to, so then you do it, and you have to sit with it and learn how to be comfortable with it even through the flight response? that's me right now, learning to be comfortable with dating.

plus the thing is - and i swear i won't try to make this sound too pathetic - i wasn't super desirable when i was a teenager, which led my dumb brain to warp itself into thinking that "i should be thankful and grateful for any attention i get!" which meant that for years and years, i would be paralyzed when it came to turning guys down. even the thought of having to reject potential affection brought on serious anxiety for me (and still does, if i'm being honest). but this? this is good for me, because it shows that for one, there's plenty of potential guys out there, and for two, i can say no if i'm not into it. (i mean, i do try to keep my humanity and remember that there's someone else on the other side of the screen. although i have definitely unmatched with guys if i'm not into the conversation or if it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere.)

i mean, i've been using an online dating app for just about two weeks and i'm closing in on 2,000 likes. that's actually...a bit insane to me. sure, most guys just swipe left on pretty much any girl - cast that wide net, boys - but people aren't wrong when they say that dating apps are an ego boost. so, sure. however, it doesn't mean that i have to like anybody. (and i rarely do. i'm just window-shopping, i guess. i kind of feel like when i come across somebody that clicks for me, i'll know it.)

but that's going to be how things go for a while. i'm not sure what's going to happen with any of this, but i'm trying to just enjoy the ride (and maybe even have fun while i'm at it? gasp, shock). and like i said to my mother the other day, "i really think something's going to happen - like, maybe not right away, but i feel like something will happen soon." yeah, we'll see. june's almost here, after all.

in the meantime: solo life, it is good.


have the best sunday!

[ music | rammstein, "haifisch" ]

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

kiss with a fist

it is time!! for the wrestling!!



or rather, it was - last friday, to be exact. it was time once again for the annual toronto show of ring of honor's war of the worlds tour, and i'd been sitting on a ticket for the event since, uhhhh, january? roh is my favourite wrestling promotion and employs some of my favourite wrestlers in the world, so attending their show here is the highest priority for me.

this year, i even took the day off work so i could get to the east end early (for the last few years, the show's been held at ted reeve area, way out in the reaches of east york) and meet my friends for food and beers beforehand. also, since the doors are at 6 p.m. to allow for an hour and a half of meet & greets and merch-selling, the lineup generally starts around 3:30-4, so we aimed to meet up and start predrinking at 2:30. even with me suffering through a brutal hangover from thursday night, ugh.

so: the week had been a rollercoaster of emotions for ya girl, beginning with the fact that it didn't look like my fave (and roh world champ) dalton castle would be wrestling (gahhhhh), then to the knowledge that he would be wrestling in the main event (yesssss), then to the announcement that he was actually injured and wouldn't be competing after all (booooooooooooo). so, a disappointment for sure, but the injury bug can't be helped.

however. however! i was bet a beer to go talk to sanada, the handsomest wrestler/man in the entire world (and probably my favourite wrestler in new japan), so i threw down my $30 and went to go babble some of my rusty, broken japanese at one-half of the iwgp tag team champions.


(that's me just out of shot, trying not to die) sanada may be a intimidating hypebeast of a man, but he's also very ready with the smiles when faced with a giggly fangirl, especially one who can barely eke out "you are so cool" in japanese (he asked me in english if i'd been to japan! aww). so i got a signed 8x10 photo (i'd bought a sanada t-shirt earlier in the evening but i planned on wearing it so i didn't want it autographed), then asked if i could get a picture of him - "just me?" he asked, and i nodded, because there was no way i would sully these magnificent photos with my dumb face:





the handsomest. i gasped out good-luck wishes for his match later then ran for the hills, shrieking internally. sanada the best.

also, i did this:


look, i was more alcohol than i was dignity at this point, okay? (but sean, who'd been watching nearby, noted to me that page nodded with an "all riiiiight" look on his face as i dashed away, which was a highlight)

alright, here's the best shots i managed to take on the night, you can scroll through on each in instagram:

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

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

much bonus love especially to roppongi 3k - sho (the one in gold) caught my eye from the top turnbuckle and winked at me so obviously that my friends started yelling and slapping my shoulders. "he just winked at caitlin!!" hahahaha ahhhhh i will take that rather needed ego boost, ありがとうございました.

even though i hadn't initially been so excited for the card (especially compared to last year's greatness), obviously i got so into it once the show started. toronto crowds for roh shows are always loud and hyped as hell, and according to those watching on the stream it definitely translated to the broadcast as well (the good thing is that these aren't treated as non-canon house shows - they all feed into the larger storyline). there's a reason i refer to roh's annual war of the worlds toronto stop as my wrestling christmas: because it's always the most fun gathering of all my wrestling friends and all the best fans in toronto and the surrounding area. add in the fact that it's some of the best wrestling on the planet (that's not wwe) and it's the recipe for a memorable night every year.

and for real, the matches were excellent. got to see a really phenomenal young bucks match (which won over one of my companions, who was only there because her boyfriend is a huge fan), the entirety of los ingobernables de japon, jay white defending the iwgp u.s. title, some really cool angles for tv storylines, and a lot more. the crowd was hot all night, i got to meet up with like a dozen friends, and the vibe was electric. it's incredibly nerdy how much i love roh, but it really does remind me why i love wrestling in general.

so it was a much-needed night of graps and pals and good times, and completely appreciated on all fronts. a bunch of us have already been plotting to catch a buffalo show, if they run another one in the fall like they did last october, so hopefully that ends up on the horizon.

(also dalton castle himself liked one of my tweets this morning, which is more than enough reason to have me grinning like a dope all day.)

happy tuesday!

[ music | florence + the machine, "hunger" ]

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

too much is never enough

holy shit, i actually did it:

Es war ein Jahr. 🇩🇪 @duolingo

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


when i wrote this blog post on may 11th last year, i'd already been using duolingo for a few days, but now here we are, a year later. i think i only missed maybe 4-5 days in there - i know i missed two days because i was at rockfest, and i think there were a couple more days where either i was busy or just forgot - but yeah, a solid year of pushing myself to practice german every day.

it started off, obviously, because i got back into rammstein so hard and it drove me nuts not being able to understand the lyrics. (little did i know that it's, uh, probably better that way.) then i just thought well, what the hell, i at least have some background in german since i took it in university, so why not make it a mission to see how far i can go with independent learning? after all, there are free language apps now, which were never a resource i had back in the day (either when i was in school or when i was teaching myself japanese as a teenager).

here's a truth: when you're single, you can sometimes have a lot of free time on your hands, so it's a plus if you can find something to do to fill those hours. (i mean, even if you're in a relationship, you should still be able to have free time to pursue things you enjoy!) and since i was only a few months out of a relationship at the time, i found myself with hours on my own that needed to be filled.


the other thing that was important to me - and still is, really - was that it was something of value for me. i didn't want to spend all my sudden free time and energy binging on netflix - i wanted to do something for me, something that i could be proud of myself for. and even a year later, i still feel that way when i take time in the mornings and evenings to work away at my german lessons - that i'm doing something to be proud of and not to impress anybody else.

so where am i at now? i'm up to using two different apps (duolingo, which i've completed, and memrise, where i'm up to german level 6) as well as a grammar book to study, and i can construct simple-to-intermediate sentences. i've got a good mental sense of the placement of words, and my accent is coming along well. but the most exciting for me is that i'm at the point where i can look over a full paragraph in german and although i might not know every single word, i can actually get the gist of what it's saying! holy shit. (also, unfortunately there will be many a time that i actually pick up on what a rammstein lyric means, and then i openly cringe at how hard i'm going to hell.)

anyway, keeping up with learning a new language for a whole year is actually a huge success for me, since i tend to drop hobbies fairly quickly. the thing with me is, i'm not....the most motivated individual? and one thing that i really, physically cannot do is have weekly obligations that i need to hold myself to; ie. having a class every thursday night or something. if i have a "fixed thing" on my weekly schedule, i just end up feeling squirrelly and constrained and much more likely to skip out.

i used to push through it more when i was younger - i'd have spin classes twice a week; i registered for an 8-week japanese class - but now i've gotten to the point in my adult life where i try not to do things i don't want to do. this is...probably bad? i mean, there's something to be said for discipline, faking it til you make it, and so on. sometimes you should do the things you don't want to do.

but i'm an adult! and an inherently lazy one. which is why learning languages through apps is perfect for me. low commitment! (i'm bad at commitment unless it's something i really, really want.)


it's also fun that, as i mentioned on twitter a bunch of times last week (it was a slow day), i'm now officially past the one-year mark for my nipple piercings! which means i can probably take the studs out if i wanted, but even the thought of that makes me a bit queasy, so no. (pulling barbells posts out through my flesh? nooooooooope.) but it's amusing to remember how last year i basically decided over the course of a weekend that yes, i want to get pierced, it's going to happen like tomorrow, and then i went through with it and had to go do a jager shot like immediately.

it was then a very strange month of aftercare:


(i would also watch rammstein videos while doing so, because obviously i would.) like i said on twitter, 2017 was a goddamn ride, especially the springtime. i think i ought to be harnessing some of that madcap energy this spring as well.

now, to the mailbag!



thank you johnny in california! trust me, you are far from the weirdest lurker, i'm sure. i'm always a little glad that people both here and on twitter don't mind all the wrestling talk; i do try to intersperse it with more general interests and fun things for everyone. gotta know your audience.



well anon, bukowski said it best, for me:



and that's kind of it, really.



coooooooool cool cool.

and i'm off!

[ music | emigrate, "born on my own" ]

Thursday, May 3, 2018

lips like morphine

sup? this is my face (just to remind you that i have one, i'm not just a construct that exists within the internet y'know):





so here's the thing i do: i have unlimited makeovers at sephora since i've qualified for the highest tier in their loyalty program, and i usually go like once a month (they take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour) - just because for one, it's fun, and for two, i like taking notes of new products and techniques to use. and yeah, honestly, for three, it gives me a chance to work on my selfie game and update my personal-brand collateral with some new pics that have actual professionally-done makeup. (in truth, i probably have enough products at home do this stuff myself, but i don't quite have the right brushes or the right, like, contour techniques or anything.)

plus, i'm always told by the girls doing my makeup that i'm one of the "fun" ones - that is, i don't want something simple or soft or nude. i go in there wanting over-the-top bullshit psycho makeup - "i don't care if i look like a terror on the way home, it'll look good in photos later" - and the artists are always gleeful about it. it is, indeed, a ton of fun. makeup should be fun, you know?

throwing it back to my blog posts last summer highlighting some of the products i like to use, here are three quick current hits:

buxom lip gloss in gabby

at this point in my life, i think it's fair to say that i am a lip gloss aficionado - i have way too many in my bag at any given time, and i always want new ones (the more sparkle, the better). but it's also fair to say that this one is very likely my favourite. i originally bought it for rockfest last year, because i wanted a usable high-shine gloss that was slightly on the darker side, and now i'm wearing it all the time. go purple!

urban decay comfort matte lipstick in bad blood

i go between lip gloss phases and lipstick phases depending on the season and what i'm wearing, but whenever i'm in a lipstick mood lately, this is the one i'm grabbing. (either this or the sample i have of rouge dior in 999, but it broke in the tube so i have to apply it with a q-tip :/) it's a solid red - more blue-tinged than orange, which is better with my pasty-ass colouring - and it has incredible staying power.

kat von d metal crush eyeshadow in raw power

my obsession with red/pink eyeshadow has continued unabated, and i picked this one up on sale with zero regrets. i think i've worn it more than any other eyeshadow in the last month or so. it's kind of a deep cerise with a bit of sparkle to it, and it looks the tits with some good black eyeliner/mascara. there's quite a bit of fallout, which is annoying but workable.

now, for wrestling plans for the summer!

- smash wrestling's northern tournament (june 3)
- smash x czw (july 13)
- impact slammiversary (july 26)
- smash wrestling's super showdown (august 26)
- possibly wwe raw and/or smackdown (august 27-28)
- all in (september 1)

i mark these down here so i have stuff to work towards/save money for; it's good for me to have a roadmap. there'll definitely be additions to the list as more promotions firm up their summer plans, but for now, those are the ones i'm aiming to attend. they're all in toronto save for the last one, which is just outside chicago, so, not exactly a hardship for yours truly, chicago megafan.

it's funny because years ago, this would have been me planning out my concerts and tour schedule for the summer, but now it's easier to keep things closer to home. adult job and responsibilities and all that. plus there just aren't as many bands out there these days that i'm as dedicated to, you know? (clearly this all changes if rammstein does tour next year for their 25th anniversary, but...)



still, it feels good to be able to start planning for things coming up through the summer, especially now that the weather's warming up and it's becoming unarguable that the "nice" weather is coming. this also leads me to get into more of a "fix your shit" mode; it's easier to hibernate and close off and wallow in your garbage in the wintertime. once spring and summer show up, you can't avoid people and you can't avoid what you've been putting off. call it spring cleaning for your dumb soul, i guess.

for me, right now, i need to fix up my routines and my mental space, and i need to maintain my friendships and cultivate new ones. i need to get more sleep and drink less coffee. i'm going to get back into journaling (yes, i have an analog one) and try to write a bit every day. i want to look into more tattoos. i need to go see infinity war like at least two more times. i have to stop worrying about the things i can't control and be conscious and gracious about the things i can, always. because it's only me out here, and i'm not like other people.

that's all for now! you know where to find me.

[ music | rammstein, "rosenrot" ]

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

slipping into the fray



a full slate of busy days lately, my good friends.



yep, i headed downtown last wednesday to be a part of the massive "every sports team in toronto is playing tonight" tailgate party, even though it was crazy crowded and the weather was, uh, less than ideal. i dunno, it just seemed like the right thing to do? it's true that i've largely fallen out of the hockey fandom in recent years - the whole handling of the kane situation really, really turned me off and i never quite got back in - but it's in my blood, and i felt like i owed it to my family of leafs fans (minus my mother's side of habs fans, blech) to go.

despite the rain and the cold, that is:

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

whatever my friend dana and i still looked super cute and stuff:



bless filters for being super fun and also making my skin look glowing and nice even though i was soaked to the bone and freezing so hard that i was shaking. (we later found sanctuary in a bar to get food and beer and banish how numb we were.) this is what you do for sports, even if your team loses in the playoffs, as the leafs did that night. sigh.

alongside a few whirlwind days of additional friend hangs - including a visit to my current favourite little bar in toronto, birreria volo - there was a very packed friday off work spent watching a wwe ppv broadcast from saudi arabia in the middle of the day:



and then a screening of avengers: infinity war right after (i'd had a ticket for an earlier showing but skipped it to finish watching the wrestling):



oooooof, what do i even say? longtime readers of my blog will know how much the marvel movies have meant to me over the years; the very first avengers movie was a much-needed distraction crutch for me during my big breakup, and i've always kept up with the latest movies in the all the connected series. i love comic books, and i love big, colourful spectacles of movies. they're the best distraction from the bullshit craziness of the real world.

and this was....again, oooooooooof. i won't spoil anything, but i've made plenty of mentions on twitter already that i found parts of it genuinely distressing, and the last part of the movie still makes me a bit nauseous to think about. not that it was gory or anything, but it was...yeah, distressing is the right word, i think. it was very much the "empire strikes back" of the avengers series. (it also didn't help that i was hammered for a good first third of the movie. i blame too many wrestling beers)

fortunately, sunday brought something to lift my mood out of the post-avengers nihilism: another good live wrestling show with friends!



sure, it was out in the wilds of mississauga and it wasn't a cheap uber ride - plus it was a dry show, much to the chagrin of my companions - but man, what a card, and a packed house for it as well. you can scroll through all the photos i posted on insta here and here:

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

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

oh yeah, and - i broke my "don't get selfies with wrestlers because you inevitably look terrible" rule for a picture with one marty scurll, the villain of professional wrestling:



way to do that dumb face thing you do when you get nervous, me. (for real though, he was super nice and friendly and i got two really great hugs plus my t-shirt autographed, so it was worth it)

drop in some wine-drinking with one of my best friends the other night, and there you have it - a whirlwind of a week. again, going back to that 2018 goals blog post i wrote before new year's, i'm really making an effort to get out and see people and be a part of stuff. there's no excuse, really, now that the weather's warming up and everybody's getting out to enjoy it. while it's still good for me to take time for myself and hit the gym and watch tv and relax solo, i have to remind myself that it's just as important to spend time with my real-world friends. it at least keeps me grateful that i have them. treasure your pals, ya jerks. i know i do.

last but certainly not least: i found this list of the "10 worst rammstein songs" and clearly i have opinions.

notably: how dare the list include genuine bangers like "stein um stein"(!!) "der meister"(!!!) and "seemann" (their greatest love song!) and not dreck like "stirb nicht vor mir" (one of their actual worst songs), "haifisch" (weakest single), or the album version of "asche zu asche" (mehhhhhhh); this list is correct in calling out rosenrot as essentially reise, reise: the b-sides (it's their weakest album by far); and i think we're pretty much all in agreement that the #1 slot deserves it. (we're all a tiny bit embarrassed when it comes to the mariachi song.)

that's all for now! byeeeeeeee

[ music | emigrate, "eat you alive" ]

Monday, April 23, 2018

nothing left to owe

whew, hello from under my mountain of "your package has shipped" notifications. (what can i say, i wanted to knock even more things off my "you should get this!" list before i smarten up, as my father would say.)

at least this sweatshirt was incredibly worthwhile:

casual / lazy / tired girl #latergram #ootd

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


newwwwwwwwww favouriiiiiiiiiiiite. (nothing says "work appropriate" like pictures of a dove getting beheaded, roses dripping blood, and german lyrics from a song about dick cannibalism. ahoi.)

and now: adulting! friends, adulting is a pain. there's always a few times in the year when i have to get off my ass and take care of a bunch of stuff that i've let pile up, whether it's financials or repairs or chores or what have you. on that last point, something i've always accepted is that when you live alone, the tradeoff to all this personal space to yourself is that you are solely responsible for your shit. so sure, it's a mess, but it's a mess of my own making and i have to take care of it myself. (...which also works as a good life lesson, come to think of it.)

so throughout this weekend, i tackled the following:

- cleaned my windows
- did my taxes (ugh nooooooooooo)
- did laundry/hand-washed a bunch of delicates
- dusted/vacuumed
- cleaned my bathroom
- tightened the buttons on my spring coats
- organized my makeup bags and cleaned my brushes
- went through my closets and dumped a bunch of rarely-worn clothes for donation

what can i say, it had definitely piled up and it needed to be done. to quote a late great tag team (r.i.p. the friendship between johnny and tommaso), nobody will do it for you.

but given that it was a gorgeous weekend here in the city, i still made time for the little things, like good coffee and pizza with one of my best friends:






emma actually the best.

i made a comment on twitter last week about how in 2018 so far, i've pretty much only taken days off to watch wrestling with friends, and i think that's a fairly accurate statement. i'm now doubling up friday's greatest royal rumble viewing with a showing of avengers: infinity war in the late afternoon (though i think i'll have to leave before the end of the rumble, sigh), and then there's this amazingness to see on sunday:

ALSO: next Sunday gonna be rad. (Trent Seven, Tyler Bate and Deonna Purrazzo, too!)

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


hnnnnnnnnnnnngh what a card. pity it's in the furthest reaches of mississauga, but that's what splitting an uber with friends is for.

finally, shoutouts to two books i've been reading recently for sunny balcony days: the incomparable circe, which hit all my excitement buttons because of how steeped my childhood was in greek mythology (no joke, i had one of my old, dog-eared reference books open next to me as i read the entirety of circe in a day); and the devil in the white city, which i've read twice before but have just started on my third read, and man. i'm not much for true crime nonfiction but the historical details are incredible in this one. (also, you know what chicago means to ya girl.)

it's a short week for me, but it feels like it's going to be a long one, so i better get to it.

oh, and one last thing. (if you're even reading, i hope you don't mind i bring this up briefly; it's the first and last time, i swear, then i'm done)

i went back and looked at what i wrote to wrap up 2017 and my 2018 goals, and what i wrote at the end, how i need to remember that "when someone tells you who they are, believe them."

...and it's just, i'm sorry that you told me so many times and i didn't want to believe you. maybe next time i'll finally learn. at least, i hope i do.

(i need to make this so much more than just a year of doing brave, heartbreaking things.)

[ music | emigrate, "born on my own" ]

Thursday, April 19, 2018

always keep you running

well, yeah:


....i think she means, why don't i ever buy nice clothes - this is a woman who routinely gifts me cardigans and blouses for christmas - but at least i buy what i like. (and i'll probably dress like i'm in my early 20's forever, the end.) the last two things on my list are leather leggings and that amazing pleather punk jacket, but i'm trying to hold off. i already have this one, after all:

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

budgeting has...never been my strong suit? like, i'm pretty obsessed with financials and making sure i have enough in the bank to keep me afloat in case of emergency, but sooner or later too much deprivation leads me to break down and go overboard. now that i've got my debt from the last year paid off, my brain has been all like "now you can go in on your 'i want this' list!" - hence, the tweet above. but i always hear my mother's voice warning me not to spend money i don't have yet, and i do know how quickly fortunes can turn, so. it's an internal struggle with me, always.

but i mean, there is just so much awesome wrestling coming up that i need to budget for: watching the greatest royal rumble with friends next friday (nothing like getting day drunk and watching wrestling, y'know), destiny wrestling on the 29th, and then ring of honor here in toronto on may 11th. just too much to look forward to, my dudes.

in the meantime, i need to probably do a better job of taking care of myself? i've mentioned it before, but the spring ennui tends to hit me hard - most people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter, i get it in the warmer months - and it can be a goddamn task to make regular routine stuff like exercise, nutrition, decent sleeping hours, and exposure to sunlight a priority. it becomes way too easy for me to just barricade myself at home with wine and movies and books. (it's even worse that i downloaded a second german-language app, so now i can spend even more hours smashing away at language lessons. at least it's educational)

and i love where i live, btw:



(this is year 6! perhaps this summer will finally be the one i invest in a goddamn air conditioner, because my 18th-floor apartment becomes the seventh circle of hell when the heat arrives)

sure, none of this sounds like a jail sentence or anything, but it's easy for my brain to loop into shaming me for not sticking with routine and buckling under the weight of my bullshit instead. the internal shame cycle is so real and it really fucking sucks and i don't have this problem in the fall/winter, somehow?

fortunately, i do have good friends that get me to clean myself up and come out, if only for a little while. it does me good, i know. the motivation's just gotta be there, is all, and it can sometimes be a struggle for me. if it's tough for you to be cheerful and excited at the sight of spring/summer on the horizon, you're not alone, i promise!

oh, and something music-related to look forward to in said warmer months, at least: i got a ticket to see rise against, afi and anti-flag in july. hell yes gimme that punk rock good times. (i mean, if i can't go to wacken open air this year....)

in sum total: change of season and i think i need to make some changes. we'll see.

[ music | rammstein, "schwarzes glas" ]