Wednesday, January 31, 2018

something to fill my time

alright so let's end january 2018 with a good ol' fashioned "get to know your blogger" session! (mostly because i refuse to clog my twitter followers' timelines with those "for every like i will tell you a fact about me" memes)

here's 25 things about me that you probably didn't know, maybe:

1. when i'm at work, i usually put a single song on repeat for my entire day - like, 6-8 hours of the same song over and over again - and not think twice about it. it's just pleasant background noise. (conversely, i don't listen to podcasts. i grew up in a house that always had talk radio on, and so i hate talk radio, and podcasts remind me way too much of talk radio.)

2. i love flowers and plants and green things. i worked as a florist when i was a teenager, and i used to pore over my mother's gardening catalogues when i was a kid. i had my own gardens by the time i was eight. you can still so easily win me over by buying me flowers.

3. the amount of money i spend on beauty & skincare products isn't...indecent, but it is by far my biggest monthly investment. (i have qualified for sephora's vib rouge loyalty tier three years in a row.)

4. my early-to-mid-20s fashion aesthetic could be described as "fetish goth" (there are plenty of photos out there to support this). i still have an entire bag - and half a closet - full of my old pieces, even though i have basically nowhere to wear them out anymore. hasn't stopped me from buying two harness bras and a new o-ring collar in the last six months, though.

5. i have never actually traveled off the continent. like, ever. it's happening in december!

6. i have a green belt in shotokan karate-do, and some additional minor weapons training in bo and tonfa.

7. i was trained as a vocalist for almost two years, and i've taken piano and guitar lessons for just over a year. despite this, i was never that great at being a musician, so i've never actually tried my hand at it seriously.

8. i've always said that i don't have "a type" when it comes to the guys i'm attracted to, but i showed my friend photos of my most recent crushes and she rolled her eyes and sarcastically said, "oh, you don't have a type at all." and yeah, i can see it. (no specifics given, but they do share a lot of the same physical characteristics. god damn it.)

9. i'm an ex-cosplayer (video games and anime, mostly). yes, i still have photos; no, you don't get to see them.

10. people assume that my love of pro wrestling and rammstein came out of nowhere, but actually, the genesis of both happened when i was 15. i first got into both interests more or less simultaneously in 1999-2000, which ended up laying the groundwork for my current re-obsessions. thanks for the credibility, teenage me!

11. i'm iffy about shopping online for clothes because i have a weird body shape: very long legs, very short torso, typically a medium but sometimes a large or even a small depending?? the only place i am currently comfortable buying from is pretty attitude, with accessories from kadabra.

12. i'm so solidly into writing that i sometimes get uncomfortable with speaking, because i get wrapped up in my words not coming out correctly (sometimes my mouth moves faster than my brain). this gives me a lot of nervousness around public speaking and presenting, but i'm trying to get better.

13. i'm really into all the fun mystical stuff: crystals, tarot, candles, horoscopes, moon phases, you name it. i may be going to new orleans this spring and you know i'm gonna have a hell of a time.

14. i don't care for nutella, but i eat an entire jar of peanut butter almost every week. i'd have a hard time in germany.

15. i was a vegetarian for just over a year in 2007-08 before i backslid due to me being drunk and there being bitondo's pepperoni pizza available. (going veggie had actually been pretty bad on my health; i ended up super anemic, my periods got weird, my hair started falling out, etc)

16. i have a tilted uterus. in fact, according to my doctor at my last yearly physical, the most tilted one he's ever seen ("it's like it's backwards"). this really has no bearing on anything - apparently popping out a kid can straighten it out - but i find it sort of hilarious.

17. i'm a minor hypochondriac, just enough that it's annoying as hell on my anxiety.

18. i have skin allergies to a lot of metals (nickel, gold to a certain carat, some minerals in makeup) and pine resin. no food allergies, which is great because i will basically eat anything (other than olives and eggplant).

19. i can pick up things with my toes and flare my nostrils to comical sizes. double-jointed elbows, too.

20. i hated coconut when i was a kid, but now i can't get enough of it. same goes for strong cheeses. (i was also really late to get into coffee and wine, as an adult.)

21. as i said, i don't have many food aversions, but i do have weird ones about people commenting on what i'm eating, people watching me eat, people effusing loudly about how good their meals are ("mmmmmm oh my god this is so good!!"), etc. etc. i don't know. ("yummy" is my least favourite word in the english language.)

22. i have never learned how to drive a car, and honestly at this point i probably just won't because it's hilarious that i've made it this far as an adult without knowing how to drive. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

23. i have such a bone-dry sense of humour that it's rare something makes me laugh really hard, including typical comedies, stand-up routines and so on. this leads a lot of people to think that i don't have a sense of humour; i do, but it's very specific: satire, sarcasm, and offbeat/weird twitter mostly.

24. i have pretty bad skin - like, reasonably terrible hormonal adult acne that worsens along with my cycle. you wouldn't notice it on the offset, because i've had to get really good at using foundation/concealer, but my complexion generally isn't great and there's not much i can do to fix it. sigh.

25. my m.o. my entire life has been to work against type/expectation. it's so much more fun when you're underestimated.

and i'm still my own person.

and that's the most important thing.

[ music | rammstein, "mutter (vocoder mix)" ]

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

hanging onto every heartbeat

hello, what's new?

i mean, i wasn't lying:

like, i'm just saying. (and it's not even like i need any new eyeshadow palettes - i have, uh, cough cough, six of them - but i have to continue my search for a true deep crimson red. apparently, like most red dyes, it's difficult to do because there are so many irritants if you want it really pigmented, but i'm going to keep looking. i don't want to look pretty, i want to look terrifying)

sooooooo the wanderlust is hitting me hard right now, you guys, and not just because the weather's been looking like this lately (i love the cold and the snow, remember):

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

it's funny - i love this city to death and it's my home to my very core, but sometimes i get the unexplained urge to try out living somewhere else. i start thinking about how much of the world i haven't seen, and how maybe there are bigger and better life possibilities out there for me, if only i were to go find them first. i'm not sure if this is simply a "grass is greener" scenario, but it's always a little nagging when it eats away at me like this. i live for the feeling of having so many possibilities, but the idea that i'm blocking myself from said possibilities is kind of annoying.

i keep (semi?) jokingly tweeting about moving to berlin and never coming back, and while it's basically not feasible (visas, etc) i really kind of wish it was. every now and then i get the urge to up and leave, toss everything aside and start again somewhere new. this feeling mostly comes around when i have nothing keeping me here - no relationship, no pets, no mortgage etc. - and i always just end up thinking well, fuck, why not?

those of you who've been reading for a while will recall that that's exactly what i did when i left for vancouver in 2007; i didn't have anything holding me to toronto, and i was actually burning out on being here. i was about to turn 24, i was single, i had no major job prospects, and i lived in a shitty basement apartment in the east end. there was no better time for me to upend my entire life and start fresh in a different city, and i still don't regret doing it, even if i only lasted eight months. (if anything, it definitely confirmed to me how much i belong here.)

what do i have here now? well, three big important things: a solid job, an amazing apartment, and my diehard love of this city. i don't want to lose any of those three things, so it looks like i'm here for the time being. but it's still a slight comfort to think i could go, if i wanted. if i had the money and if i was willing to drop my apartment (which would be tough, it's my favourite place), i could leave and do my thing elsewhere, even for a little while. it's the freedom that's important to me.

god, i really do love my apartment setup, though:

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

and i'm still not even done the little touches and improvements i want to make on it this year. (next up is adding more houseplants, replacing all my textiles, and potentially buying a new couch) it never stops.

in the meantime, i watched the entirety of völkerball the other night - over 2 hours of live concert footage from 2003-05 that i'd never seen! - and here was what went through my head, as i sat on my couch with a big dopey smile on my face:

1) ughhhhhhhh my boys i love themmmmmmmmmmm

2) at some point, probably next year, i am going to be in that very arena (i'm pretty sure they usually play nimes), waiting to watch this band, and i'm going to think back to tonight, a night in january 2018, and remember thinking all of this. because holy shit, this is my life, and i have always been able to make that happen, and more besides. the blessings of the alternate universe, amen.

p.s. this is my current weird, weird obsession:

at this point it is impossible for me to not clasp my chest and melodramatically howl "entferne es mit messers kuss!! auch wenn ich verbluten muss!!" along with the final verse. just so good. (the live/original version is also good.)

[ music | none ]

Thursday, January 25, 2018

storms and saints

come on, what do you think i've been up to?

it's good to have a hobby.

no, for real, i've written about it before but it is way nice to have something reliable and fun to do all the time and that, my friends, is watch wrestling. whether it's live or on tv, it's just a great reason to get out of the house and get together with friends to scream at people pulverizing each other in a ring. i was thinking about this the other night - that it's just really nice to have something to be so passionate about, and to be able to have that shared passion with others. it makes the doldrums of life more bearable.

plus: wrestling trivia last night! as fun and aggravating as always.

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

coming up is this saturday, wherein i will convene with pals corey and amanda and catch up on that morning's njpw new beginning in sapporo ppv, followed by the newest nxt: takeover ppv. on sunday, it's the royal rumble, which is probablyyyyyyyy my favourite of all of wwe's ppvs. sure, we end up let down and disappointed every year, but hope springs eternal, right?

but as always with me, there is also this in perpetuity:

maybe i yelled a lot when i finally received my very own copy of live aus berlin, their homecoming show at the parkbühne wuhlheide after their first headlining tour of north america in 1998?? really, who can say.

also, i can neither confirm nor deny that i finally got the völkerball dvd as well, thereby completing my collection of rammstein live concert dvds (they have four). plus it came with anakonda im netz, one of the documentaries i hadn't yet seen (they have many documentaries), so i am now completely equipped to write any gateway/getting-started pieces you may need. (one of the best/most hilarious things about ordering from the rammstein-shop is that the warehouse is in berlin and only has a single shipping option to canada: fedex 2-day delivery, so i basically get my package the day after ordering)

in the meantime, a more general/relatable topic: let's talk self-care!

look, it's the dead of winter, people are stressed out, and not enough people are taking the time to take care of themselves. i'm not particularly susceptible to it, really; when you are the #1 person in your life, it can be a bit easier to focus on yourself rather than other people. i've got a lot of time for me, and it's generally a good thing, but there's still (and always) the usual stress and bullshit from various life factors, which means i still need tactics to take care of myself - particularly in the months when everyone is cold and grouchy and cooped up.

so here are my wintertime self-care rituals, or at least the stuff that works for me to help me unwind and get re-centered in a good/better place:

exercise: look, i don't enjoy working out; i am an inherently lazy person. but i can't deny that i do feel a big sense of accomplishment after i'm done. it's that sense of satisfaction in knowing that i've taken the time to do something good for myself. it's when you know you could have taken the easy way out and just bailed, but you stuck to your guns and did something you really didn't want to do. so that's what exercise is for me, and the fact that i can get my blood pumping and mood boosted is just a bonus. (i typically go for an hour 4-5 nights a week, usually after work or on weekend mornings) also underrated: long walks. bundle up, put music on and just go go go.

Safe harbour

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

baths: i've always loved baths, but i really got into them last winter. i've been fortunate enough to consistently have apartments with bathtub-shower combos (my vancouver apartment even had a whirlpool bath!), so i love taking advantage by just heading to lush and going to town on bath bombs. i also really love reading books in the bath, but if you also try it, be sure to have a hand towel nearby so you can keep the book relatively dry when you go to turn the pages.

wine: (usually in conjuncture with the above) this is a tricky one, because too much wine def = drinking problem, but hot damn if i don't love a couple glasses of red wine to wind down in the evenings. also, i don't prefer to drink wine in the summer because it's too heavy for me (i don't like white wine), so i go all the fuck in on the red - and pack away the vodka - once the weather gets chilly. it's a nice switch and it helps me feel happy, leave me alone.

music (and writing): two things i love, together! i do the majority of my writing early in the morning or late at night, but having music on in the background is essential. even when i'm not writing, though, i need to have music always. if i'm feeling out of sorts, favourite sounds and songs generally bring me back. it's a comfort that i have never found an equal to.

books: read a book, please. the amount of people i know who don't read is staggering. having an afternoon or an evening to just settle down on the couch under a blanket with a good book is one of the best de-stressors i know.

okay, that's all i got. drop me an anonymous line and let me know what you think about life, the universe and everything.

[ music | rammstein, "küss mich" ]

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

making you a wish

so i already swore up and down on social media that i'd be spending my 2018 holidays in europe, and i've since made a plan in advance! (mostly to 1. hold myself to it and 2. look at booking relatively early, in order to get good travel deals)

if all goes well, my friend emma and i are going to spend the days before, during, and after christmas in berlin and hamburg (planning on having a 6-8 hour stopover in iceland on the way!), then we're going to take the train to italy for new year's eve since her family has a villa in tuscany (and apparently new year's is a massive deal in italy). she's from england, and she has about a million friends and connections all over europe, so i'd be going with someone who knows the people and know the terrain. perfect. (worth noting that i've never been to europe, ever.)

i'm a little wary about the costs, since i'm just going to be going back to europe (or germany, at least) in 2019 for the predicted rammstein tour, but i feel like it'll be good to at least see the country before i'm only going from town to town to see a band. following a band makes it a little restrictive for sightseeing, is all. i mean, i might have seen a lot of montebello at rockfest last year, but that's because there wasn't too much to see, really.

speaking of quebec, i'm going to montreal with my girlfriends for my birthday weekend in october. hell yes.

but in the spaces in between, i'm racking up wrestling show plans for the year in advance. so far it includes wwe nxt coming to mississauga next month, possibly the next wwe house show when they roll through toronto in march, and ring of honor's annual toronto show in may. i've gotta keep an eye on the rest of the roh dates throughout the year, because i definitely want to try for at least a couple of their shows. i may end up being broke as fuck, but at least i'm going to have a great time.

(i've managed to keep it together so far every time i've met him, but i feel like seeing him with the title belt will be too much. my emotions!!!11)

also, there has been brunch with good company and chilling solo.

you can't go wrong with a bath bomb that fills your tub with glitter, is what i'm saying.

plus i ordered a copy of the live aus berlin dvd, which is going to keep me occupied later this week. and! the toronto light festival opens this week, so my insta will likely be bright with photos from that. add in next week's pretty much entire wrestling-related hangs and events, and i think i'm doing a good job keeping the january blues at bay.

but i also tweeted this thing on christmas eve, and i think it's important (especially in light of all the valentine's day trash creeping into stores right now):

as i've said before, i am very single, and i probably have too much fun with being single, but i can understand how in some situations it can feel a bit....less than, you know what i mean? i'm really not immune to seeing people in my life happy in relationships - or at the very least, actively dating with apps or whatever - and i can feel all well and good for them, but sometimes there's that nagging, shitty voice in the back of my head going, so what are you doing wrong, then? yeah, what indeed.

so that sort of thing sometimes makes me wonder if i should give it a shot again - if only to prove to my self-doubt that there's nothing wrong with me after all - but it all comes down to the very human trait of avoiding doing something you don't want to do, and i'm....not that into dating random guys, really. i have a fun and fulfilled life, which means i can afford to be selective (and boy howdy, am i ever). this also means i'm not willing to settle for less than what i think i deserve, and not to put myself over too much, but i think i deserve somebody pretty rad. so i'm not gonna settle. (plus going on dates with strangers has always weirded me out. i'd rather be familiar with a guy first, you know?)

but for everybody, here's the thing: at the end of the day, you have to be okay with being alone, which means you have to be okay with yourself and your own presence. whatever you do, whatever you work on, it has to be for you and in service of you becoming a better, more well-rounded person. if your motivation for doing something is to impress someone that you're interested in, then it's a bit of a false face, you know? that is to say, at the end of the day, other people can disappoint you. you should never disappoint yourself.

okay that's all for now.

[ music | cut copy, "future" ]

Thursday, January 11, 2018

aces up your sleeve

and lo, 2018 became the winter that i officially gave up looking cute for being comfortable. in case you missed it, this is my current parka, the rammstein women's winter jacket (yes, they sell branded winter jackets; they've merched everything):

this has quickly become my favourite winter coat; not only is it covered in the band's logo (mostly in subtle patches and stamped buttons, but a big stitched r+ is blazed on the back under the hood), but it's waterproof and warm as hell with a big hood and a million deep pockets. it's honestly like wearing a shapeless sleeping bag, so it's not flattering at all, but i love it. i have to admit i didn't have the highest hopes when i bought it; sure, i paid a pretty penny (just over $300, in case you're wondering about how little shame i have), but it is band merch at the end of the day. however, i have learned to never doubt the germans when it comes to quality engineering.

so while i've been inside sheltering from the cold, i've been putting way, way too much effort into fixing up my apartment. according to my to-do list, here's what i have crossed off (that is, what i've accomplished already):

- hang my blown-up r+ photo my stepdad gave me for christmas
- set up 2 new floor lamps
- get salt lamp
- get new pillow
- reorganize liquor cabinet
- change shower curtain / get liner
- set up ps3
- dust bathroom vent out
- toss out expired fridge stuff
- resort bookshelf / toss old magazines

(all of this got done in a flurry of activity over like, the last week or so. when i get into projects, i really get into them.)

also, "get art for bathroom", which ended up being this rad piece:

i mean, it's really just perfect. ($30 at chapters, btw)

all told, i'm glad that my ridiculous frenetic whirlwind of home improvement is more or less finished; it's not cheap to overhaul so many things, because even though a lot of them are little, they do add up. (and i still have items on my to-do list like "get new comforter/bed set", "buy new computer speakers" etc.) i'm super aware that i got whacked pretty hard by post-christmas debt, and it's beginning to feel like months between paycheques. but, i keep telling myself that it's just money, and a small tradeoff to finally get things in order. there's really nothing like feeling satisfied with/in your living space, you know?

salt laaaaaaaaaaamp!

again, i have to keep an eye on my budget when it comes to being social around town, but it's all a small tradeoff for good hangs. to that extent, there's some fun stuff coming up this month already: brunch with my girl emma on saturday (boozy? obviously), return to hawaii bar with jenna next week, in-work activities that i'm looking forward to, smash wrestling's next show on the 21st, then the return of wwe trivia on the 24th. and then, of course, is the big nxt takeover/wwe royal rumble weekend, which always brings a plethora of viewing parties and get-togethers with other wrestling fans in the city. ( which i am usually one of the only women - if not the only woman - which is my natural state of contentment and happiness, tbh)

really, i'm mostly just glad for where i am now considering where i was one year ago. last january was such a desolate month for me, trying to reframe my life in the wake of a breakup and becoming aware that maybe i didn't have anywhere to go. day by day, i had to realize that i needed to stand on my own two feet, and that i had to stop relying on others to define me. although i had to rip things up and start again, it was the start of a good trajectory for me in 2017...but it did start with a pretty garbage january, so 1) i'm glad i'm not there now and 2) i suppose that's a lesson in itself. from small things, big things come.

anyway, looping back to the start, here's the current song obsession:

(hey, there's my tattoo!) see, pretty much all of rammstein's song topics fall into one of two categories:

1. vikings/sailors/weird pastoral shit
2. absolutely offensive obscenities

the above ("don't forget us" - weißt du noch, im märz...?) is more of #1, but it's dark as hell anyway while still being majestic af. i love them, the end.

p.s. the number of sarahah anons (yes, my comment box is still open, you can leave me an anonymous message here!) who've been commenting recently on how strong my fashion aesthetic is: thank you, i love you all. (i'm really mostly aping paul and richard's "cool goth vampire lords" look.)

[ music | none ]

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

cut it out and then restart

alright! so here we are in 2018. if you missed my 2017 recaps/2018 goals blog post from a couple days ago, the words right there are hyperlinked for your convenience, so please to enjoy. (it's always a little sad to see my previous year's blog posts all get condensed under dropdowns on the righthand nav bar, but oh well, fresh beginnings et cetera)

in the meantime, here's some regular-flavour recaps to what else i've been up to over the last couple of weeks:

my holidays were...not great? i wasn't in the best space to deal with emotional stress, and going back to kingston always means being micromanaged within an inch of my life, which is already a hard adjustment when i am 110% independent in my everyday life back in toronto. so yeah, whatever. got through it, vowed to spend next christmas in europe, the end.

here's at least a few snaps to show how frigid it was out there on the island:

i don't know if it was the cold air or the hard water in the pipes, but my complexion was dry to the point of peeling by the time i left, and i never get dry skin. gross. (but if you know me, you know that i have skincare solutions and products for basically everything, so i got my dumb face back in order as soon as i returned home)

but then come last wednesday, i jumped on the bus back to toronto and returned to civilization. blessed.

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

as the caption there says, i still had almost a full week of vacation left, so i set about making it as busy and productive as possible: first, i had agreed to housesit/catsit for emma while she was away in new york city for new year's, which meant i was out in rosedale from thursday the 28th til, er, last night. like back in september, it was no hardship to stay in her nice little flat and look after her adorable cat brody:

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

in between that, since i didn't have to truck to and from the office every day, i was able to make time for multiple friend hangs, plenty of wine, running errands (see: tackling ikea the day before new year's eve, which was a thrill and a half let me tell you), and obviously this:

but! there were a couple of big-ticket events interspersed with the housesitting: for one, i had a pass to go see the guillermo del toro: at home with monsters exhibit at the art gallery of ontario before it closed on the 7th, so i headed downtown on friday to check out this gothy goodness:

i love so many of gdt's films, and i'm always stoked to see that he cites frankenstein as being a huge influence - anyone who loves and respects shelley's original novel is one of my people, as it's also long been one of my favourites. but it was so cool, too, to see props from the hellboy movies (which i adore) as well as the dresses from crimson peak, a movie i went bananas for when it came out a couple years back:

how can you go wrong with a turn-of-the-century supernatural gothic thriller with tom hiddleston? like, you can't. end of. (it was also partially filmed in my hometown, which was hilarious)

then on saturday night, there was a wwe house show here in toronto!

A thing that is happening

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

i'd thought about skipping it - money was tight, and i have so many other wrestling shows to go to in the next couple of months - but drunk me clearly would not let myself miss it, as i imbibed too much wine on christmas eve and ended up grabbing a ticket online. it's just hard to miss out on any big wrestling events that are happening in town, you know?

all in all, it was a good time with good company, i was wretchedly hungover the next day, and oh thank god for weekends.

also, additional goal to the list i posted a few days ago: i've continued to refine and fix up my apartment. for starters, the cleaning service did a great job getting it back down to a base sparkly clean, but i also decided to start reorganizing, adding new decor and tossing some older stuff. i finally sorted out my lighting situation for my living room, added some art to the bathroom, put up wall hooks for my kimono bathrobes, strung some new fairy lights across the windowsill, dumped and recycled a bunch of worn-out stuff, and so on. i want to go ahead and add a few more plants and art pieces over the next few weeks/months, too, to make it not only further livable for me but also to be a welcome space for people to hang out.

because - semi-buried lede - i'm having a bunch of people over this thursday morning at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m. to watch a japanese wrestling ppv. so i really wanted to get my place in order for that, as well as for the year to come. new year! new beginning! same apartment i've had for six years now but whatever i love it so much i will never leave!

so all in all, i'm pretty sure i accomplished my mission to make the goddamn most out of my time off. it's rare that i take long stretches of time off work, but the holidays basically dictate it every year (see: hardly anybody is in the office), so it was really nice to have the extra days to kickstart getting my apartment in order and getting things back to normal after being in kingston. and now it's also nice to be back at the office doing good work with good people, as one does.

happy 2018, be good, but not too good.

[ music | rammstein, "vergiss uns nicht" ]