Saturday, January 12, 2019

in the meantime

so what else have i been up to, then?

we're a bit a ways from it now, but christmas was....fine? definitely better than last year's shitshow of depression, anyway. 2018's holiday-time success may have had a lot to do with the fact that i wasn't home for long; i got to kingston late on the night of the 23rd, then was driven back(!) early on the 27th. the shorter stay time is key.

it was a quick visit and a good christmas (the last family christmas that will be spent fully with this generation - my youngest stepbrother and his wife are expecting now, with the baby showing up around june this year), with enough sephora gift cards to buy me like half the store. it's all i ever really want.

but yeah, mega bonus that will probably never happen again: my mom and stepdad were en route to visiting friends just outside of toronto, so they actually gave me a ride back. because i wouldn't have to navigate train/bus/toronto transit with christmas gifts, that meant i was finally able to ask for some bigger, bulkier things (ie. a bed comforter set; a six-pack of beer from the craft brewery near the island). also, there's a weird sense of pride when your parents see your apartment for the first time and comment favourably on how much space you have. (they also tell you to never move out, which has always been the plan anyway)

from there i had a day's break, then i had to repack all my stuff and head over to housesit/catsit the fancy beast for a few days:

be warned, this is a trap.

as always, though, not a hardship to stay here for a few days:

so since the new year started, it's been a lot of sequestering myself away at home and uhhhhhhhh keeping myself occupied? a notable thing about having all this free time + a chromecast + a new unlimited internet data package is that i've finally been able to catch up on my netflix, both movies and tv series. yes, even old shit that came out in like 2016 that i wasn't able to watch. quick hits on what i've watched so far and have truly enjoyed:

defenders: quick lightweight watch, not truly as bad as everyone said it was but i'm always here for unconventional hero team-ups and also angst-ridden matt. could have done more with a lot of things but such is the constraints of netflix/serialized tv, i guess.

daredevil season 3: super fucking good to the point where i'm still super fucking mad they cancelled this series.

the punisher: i only caught up with this one last month (on the recommendation of emma, who loves ben barnes as much as i do) and was really glad i did, especially since season 2 is out next friday. it's a bit unrelentingly dark and violent, but what would you expect.

(this happened btw)

train to busan: probably one of the best zombie movies i've ever seen. i was late watching this one - it's one of the highest grossing domestic films at the box office in south korea - but holy shit. again with the unrelenting.

bodyguard: i felt about this one like i did about defenders - it was a bit lightweight and more could have been done, but i thoroughly enjoyed the watchthrough, the soundtrack was fantastic, and when they hit the mark on the suspense they really hit it. also, richard madden is a total fox.

cam: awesome thriller, creepy af, and sex-worker positive, so well done on the whole. some scenes from this one still haunt me a little bit.

terrace house: the only season i've watched so far is the most recent (opening new doors) but oh man, am i hooked. it's basically a japanese reality show where six young people live in a house together and....nothing really happens. but at the same time, it's endlessly entertaining and weirdly soothing. perfect long afternoon binge-watch.

babylon berlin: i just started watching this one last week and killed all 17 episodes of the first season within three days. a detective mystery/thriller that takes place in 1929 berlin and it's just fucking excellent. but do yourself a favour and watch it in the original german with english subtitles - the english dub is atrocious. (also i've been reading the translation of the book it's based on and the show was a huge improvement??) give me season 2 already, netflix!

so that's the binge-watching, either by myself or happily ensconsced with friends as we all watch together. otherwise, my free time is currently being taken up by job searching, reading my way through my insane pile of books, drinking my way through my insane collection of tea, working my ass off on my written/spoken german comprehension, getting to the gym a bunch of times a week, and taking long walks while listening to music. such is life.

here's my current obsession. enjoy!

[ music | none ]

Friday, January 4, 2019

are you ready

yeah, so, i'd be remiss if i didn't devote a whole blog post to explaining my plans for june this year:

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

it's as simple as what you'd expect: what i've been talking about and preparing for since 2017 is finally getting underway. rammstein's touring europe from may til august.

in case you don't follow me on twitter and have missed my excited ramblings/updates about this, the new album (their first since 2009!) is apparently coming out in april, and our good german metal dads are embarking on a summer stadium tour across europe. all this was announced back in october, with the fanclub presale happening literally, like, less than a week later.

smash cut to a bleary-eyed me getting up at 4 a.m. to log on to the european ticket site the very second they went on sale (at a respectable 10 a.m. germany time, mind you).

not that this was an easy process; for some reason, the ticket website absolutely refused to accept my credit card, and even though i kept trying and trying, the website eventually dumped me out and released all my tickets. but i wasn't going to give up that easily, and somehow - somehow - i finally managed to eke out a decent ticket for the berlin concert, which was my #1 priority. but i didn't want to make the trip to go to just one concert, which lead to me also wading back into the fray to secure a ticket for copenhagen as well, which is scheduled for a few days before berlin.

however, i was unaware that, due to these being shows at football stadiums, paying a premium doesn't get you front row space - it gets you seats. i mean, probably good seats, but still - seats?? i didn't want to be fucking seated for these shows. so it may have been too late to go back and course-correct berlin and copenhagen, but i was determined to at least get one show where i could elbow my way to front row, my favourite place in the world. and that's how i ended up with a ticket to their show in rotterdam. i at least got standing for that, thank god.

so to sum up, here's where i'm heading and what i'm doing there:

june 16 - ostseestadion, rostock, germany
rostock was actually a ticket i got on a whim, but not really. for whatever reason, the rostock show is the one that like 20-30 members of the fanclub are all attending, and i was encouraged to come too. but one tiny thing stood in the way: tickets were sold out. (in fact, tickets for the majority of the tour sold out within hours of general sale.)

the good thing, though, was that every so often the ticketing site would release a few random extra tickets for sale for a few random concerts on the schedule. i was lucky enough to have one of fanclub members i met at the berlin meetup keeping an eye out for me, and one night he messaged me late to tell me that rostock tickets were available again. within minutes, i was going to my fourth concert on the tour. (i got standing room for this one too, an extra bonus!)

the other "fun" detail is that this is largely the german side of the fanclub attending, and i have no goddamn clue if my spoken german is going to be good enough. but considering how flattered i am that i was even invited, i'm gonna definitely try my hardest. (there's apparently going to be a meetup or party of some form in the days before or after the concert, so i'll be put to the test as the novelty canadian visitor for the tour, eeeeeeep) so, this is where i start: fly in to berlin, either i catch a ride with one of the other fanclub members or take the bus an hour north to rostock, and off we go.

june 19 - telia parken, copenhagen, denmark
everyone's been telling me that copenhagen is expensive as hell, so i plan on only staying here a couple nights and heading off to berlin as soon as i possibly can (also because that means more time in berlin!). also apparently it takes like five hours to get from rostock to copenhagen, but i gotta do it. i'm seated for this show too, sigh.

june 22 - olympiastadion, berlin, germany
this is it: the hometown show, essentially, and most likely the hottest ticket on the tour. honestly, i'm just so fucking grateful that i even managed to snag a ticket, especially given my troubles with the ticketing website. i'm going to likely be in berlin from june 20 to 24, and having this show right in the middle is perfect. also, although i bitch about the fact that i have a seated ticket for this one, it'll likely work in my favour - i won't have to line up at the venue at the crack of dawn, and i'll have time to hit up the rammsteinstore beforehand, if it's open. silver linings. and like i said, i am insanely thankful i'm going to this one. seeing rammstein play a concert at berlin's olympic stadium has always been the dream, and this is the one everyone wanted. (most of us were greedy and wanted two berlin shows - munich got two! - but no dice)

june 25 - de kuip, rotterdam, the netherlands
as i detailed in the saga of my grabbing tickets at 4 a.m., the rotterdam show was my original bonus show (before rostock happened, that is) simply because i wanted at least one show where i could be standing (ideally up front, where i belong). i had legit gone back to bed before thinking on it, deciding nope, fuck it, and getting back up and on the website to see where else i could go. rotterdam was the only logical choice, since rostock had already sold out at that point and i figured it'd be easy enough to stay a few extra days past berlin.

another long commute here - apparently it's like a seven-hour bus ride from berlin to rotterdam - but a quick flight is only doable if i end up with a big windfall of money between now and then. having to bus it will be far more likely, and possibly even a respite. after the insane whirlwind of berlin, i'll probably just sleep the whole way.

as for amsterdam, there isn't a rammstein concert taking place there, but it's going to be part of my trip anyway. for one, i'd rather fly back to toronto from amsterdam than rotterdam, and for two, i've always wanted to see amsterdam, and since it's right there, why not? my father raves about how much he loves that city, especially in the summer, and has already been loading me up with recommendations for sightseeing. true, i might actually be death walking at this point of my trip, but there's no reason to pass up one of the great cities.

i haven't mentioned paris here, because it's still an iffy pipe dream - there are two shows in paris, both of which are currently sold out (ticket resales start in march), taking place on june 28 and 29 at la défense arena. even if i did luck out with a ticket to one, it would mean staying additional time in europe, bringing my total trip length up to three weeks instead of just two. i may be saving up for this trip, but i'm not sure i have that much money. (the tickets themselves were expensive enough, and now i have to think about flight costs, airbnbs, bus/trains, food, booze, merch, and so on - and for three whole weeks? yikes)

yet "paris?" remains on my list because honestly? for me, seeing rammstein play paris may be an even bigger dream than seeing them play berlin. ever since i fell back in love with this band by watching the rammstein: paris concert film, i've wanted to see them play there. the french love them and i want to be a part of that, too.

regardless, i'm back in toronto by the end of the month, which is...uh, only the end of the first leg of their tour, actually. so what i'm saying is that there's an entirely good possibility that i get home, feel mopey with post-tour depression all of july, and end up heading back for the final leg in august (finland, norway, sweden, vienna). maybe i am insane? who knows! but probably. (also worth noting that apparently they're touring north america next year - they've said in interviews that they're going to be touring for the next three years straight - so this is definitely not the end of my plans)

honestly, this is nuts. i know it is. it's a hell of a trek to undertake by yourself, everything from the planning to the booking to actually getting out there and doing it alone. sure, i'm going to be meeting friends at all the shows - being an active member of the fanclub has really helped with recognition, plus like i said, the weird novelty of being a solo canadian who's making the trek - but the actual travelling-around-europe part, i'm doing on my own. and i'd like to think i'll be okay, since it's not like i'm a broke college student backpacking or anything, but overseas travel is still very new for me, especially in non-english countries. but, this is what i wanted - what i've wanted for two years now. time to put up or shut up (and the second option is not an option - i already have all four tickets in hand).

and for sure, there's going to be adventures. come on - it's me, back following a band on tour. it doesn't matter how old the band is or how old their general fanbase is - of course there's going to be adventures with me. it never follows far behind.

so that's the thing: the world is a little bit shit these days, and my strongest recommendation is that if you find something you love, something that truly brings you ridiculous joy, then you should do everything you can to follow that love. (unless it's like, murdering people. don't murder!!) you gotta do it unabashedly and unafraid of what people will think, and you have to do it for yourself. that's what i'm doing.

that's all! and june will be here before we know it. i'll definitely be giving periodic updates into how the trip planning is going, and you can bet there'll be a ton of recap posts afterwards. but for now, i need coffee.

[ music | none ]

Thursday, January 3, 2019

it must be the weather

hey, would you look at that! i'm not dead after all.

see, one of the good things of being a writer with a personal blog (an increasing rarity these days, i know) is that you're not on deadline and you don't have an editor breathing down your neck for new content. it's fine! freedom! however, i understand that it's bad practice to uhhhhhhh not write, so here we are again. (rest assured that if i were to ever drop blogging entirely, i'd just delete this entire thing - leave no trace - so if it's still up that means i'll come back to it eventually)

in fairness to me, i only ever really take long hiatuses because sometimes i just don't have a lot to write about (or that i can write about publicly; take that however you want), or an absence gets kicked off when there's a lot of life upheaval and i just don't have the energy to write. life upheaval like losing my job. so, whatever.

but yeah, on that - funemployment remains what it is, and i'm getting by okay, although i'm discovering that it's not just a financial toll, but a mental and emotional one as well.

it's weird because, although i definitely welcome the respite and mostly prefer to be alone (i'm cool with it), it's easy as hell to backslide right into loneliness, you know? it's also that much harder when you don't have a regular routine to fill your days, especially when everyone else (ie. your friends with normal lives) seem to.

so although all the time off sounds ideal - and it is pretty great at first! - after a while, it starts getting both boring and lonely, and i don't like either of those scenarios. i don't like having to make an effort to find things to keep myself occupied. also, as i've mentioned before, i can easily be a triple-punch of lazy, unmotivated, and antisocial, which makes it a struggle to get out and beat the hell out of that loneliness. it's a process.

it's part of the reason why i'm back here writing, actually - i need something useful to do with my time in the afternoons. i'm a stupidly early riser, which means i tend to get everything done before noon, which...leaves the entire afternoon to myself. and you can only watch so much netflix. (plus i've read so, so many books.) i was complaining about this imbalance to my mother on new year's day, and said something like "i need to develop a hobby so i can get rid of this bored housewife syndrome." is it as easy as this? maybe!

anyway! i've got tons of stuff to catch up on, but i'm going to space it out between blog posts so i actually have more things to write about (hah). here's a shot of a sunset from when i was on the island at christmas.

p.s. i don't listen to new music really, because i'm typically very tired, but the mighty emigrate (aka the side project of rammstein's founder/lead guitarist) put out their third album back at the end of november and it was far and away my favourite release of the year. i've had the title track on repeat for ages now:

it is incredibly fucking good, the end. (also emigrate's songs are all in english, for those otherwise disinclined to listen to songs in german)

[ music | emigrate, "let's go" ]