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.


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" ]